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Gun x Sword 2

It's campy, and at this point, sort of Saber Rider x Kill Bill. Doesn't require much thinking. It makes me a little nostalgic, like I'm watching my Saturday morning cartoon fix again. Um, that is, my Saturday morning cartoon fix when I was 7, rather than 16. Or 24. You... get the idea.

We finally have an OP and an ED. The OP gets brownie points for having traditional big rolling drums. It's big, dramatic and sounds exactly like the OP of a mecha show.All good mecha shows need a dramatic theme song. Think Evangelion. As far as animation sequences go, the OP is going for mysterious with swirly blue acid-scapes and strange silhouettes of characters I'm sure we'll meet, at some point in the future. That's it, really. CG of hints of transformation sequences, and silhouettes against swirly blue acid-scapes. The ED would've been good, if I could understand what anyone was saying. I'm sure it was meant to be English, somehow, not like it would help anyone. The last time I met acoustic ballads in a mecha show was way back when I watched Mospeada. Mospeada's ED was a lovely jazzy thing. This is people yawping something or other and spoiling the acoustic guitars. The ED also features coloured stills of what I'm assuming are nice illustrations from Gun x Sword's manga. Pleasant enough, and works enough.

Van (as of Ep 1, "of the Dawn") is turning out to be a neat character. He's chivalrous, saves girls, kicks arse and speaks in all of one tone. Wendy annoys me to no end. We find out she has a bank account, which she then uses to buy clothes and book a room for the night. She has a gun, with one bullet, which she never uses. You'd think with a bank account, she'd buy more guns, or more bullets, or rations, since it can't be that they only eat one meal per town they visit per episode. She couldn't possibly eat Van's food, which is slathered in all the sauces and sprinkles at every establishment they visit. Wendy needs to shoot something soon, preferably close to now, because things that are titled Gun x Sword demand that a gun gets involved at some blasted point, and you don't have a non-fighting character who never uses a gun in a show called GUN x Sword.

But we do meet our first adult female character of the show, Secret Agent Carmen 99. 99? Because her chest is that size. Who fights with a yoyo-whip. There have been stranger things (see below).

The monster of the week this time is the Mayor of Bridge City, whose special attack involves stabbing people with his moustache (told you it got stranger). Carmen 99 is there to investigate reports that Mayor Mayer (I'm not kidding!) is siphoning steel from the riverbed to build a mecha. When the bridge for which the city is named is suddenly closed for repairs, the Mayor announces that he'll allow a set number of women to use a temporary underground tunnel to get to the other side of the river that evening, after which the tunnel would be closed for three days. Carmen and Wendy opt to leave Bridge City by that route, leaving Van behind. Van asks Carmen to look after Wendy, and in return, Carmen hires Van to keep an eye on the Mayor. The women then set off for the tunnel, but instead find themselves lowered into the Mayor's warship. It turns out the Mayor is just another psychopath aiming for world domination, and needs a harem to help him repopulate the planet while he's at it. Van drops in to save everyone in a nick of time, of course, complete with a transformation sequence that still reminds me of the Ramrod and a little Ultraman thrown in.

At this point, I'm going to say Gun x Sword is just one of those shows where everything sounds great in theory, but doesn't quite work out in the end. Theoretically, I should be all over this show. It has swords, mecha, theoretical guns, girls, a coolly flat-faced hero. The animation's not bad and the SFX is definitely good, the voice acting isn't shoddy and the music, for all that I've said, is nice. So the story's not the most original thing ever made, but it doesn't take itself seriously. On the other hand, it's not going anywhere, and that bugs me in a real way. I've stuck with shows that also appeared to lack direction for longer before, but this is one of those shows I know I won't be able to last that long with. Pity really. But the season's not over yet.

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