Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
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Finished series: Jinki:Extend

We've finished watching Jinki:Extend. My first episode review is here.

This series comes in two parts. The first part is about Aoba, a young girl who gets kidnapped and taken to Venezuela, where her mother is an administrator on a mecha base. She and Aoba don't get along (to say the least). The mecha on the base are used to fight against 'ancient Jinki': mecha who appear at random on a highland plateau. Obviously those have to be contained -- but who pilots them (or even if they are piloted at all) and why and how is all left unexplained.
Aoba, who is a bit of a mecha otaku, is of course very interested in the mecha at the base, and she turns out to have a talent for piloting - though she has to go through some harsh training to build up the stamina. But after a while she is allowed to (co-)pilot a mecha and blow up the ancient Jinki along with the rest of the crew.
And then the bad guys appear. It turns out that some romantic troubles in the past soured someone's life a bit and of course that means the world has to be destroyed!

The second part is set some years later than the first part, and is set in Tokyo. The fights against the good guys and the bad guys have continued, and part of the good guys have taken up residence in an old temple. They are joined by someone who has a talent for piloting mecha, but who wishes to remain pacifist. She becomes friends with the good guys, and of course due to her inaction one of her new friends is hurt -- and so she chooses to become a pilot too!
And then some other characters show up, and they fight a bit with the other characters that also show up. And then all the good guys and all the bad guys convene in Tokyo, and there's some psychological tweaking done by the bad guys to make Pilot-Girl miserable and lock her up in some sort of super-mecha, but of course the good guys talk her out of it!
And then the series ends.

If it sounds bland and confused, that is because it is. If you've read the manga, it will probably all make sense, but due to the large leaps in time, there is seemingly no connection between the two parts. Lots of characters are introduced, but there's simply no time for them to grow as a character before they have to climb into a mecha to fight.
That makes it impossible to care about who does what and what happens to them. They're just cardboard cut-outs that show up, fight for a bit and then move to the background. Motivations, character building and even presenting a coherent story must not have been a priority of the writers.

This being an older series, it just doesn't look as slick as more recent offerings. Most of the mecha-action seems cell-animation, which means it's not as smooth as we've been getting used to. Other than that, the series looks decent enough. Not overly detailed (neither characters nor mecha), but competent enough for a quick budget-series like this seems to have been.

Good points:
- Starts out interesting enough;
Bad points:
- No coherent story;
- No time to actually do something with the mecha and characters that have been introduced.

All in all, hard to get enthousiastic about this one. I'll give it a 5.5 -- it's not bad, but it's just barely scraping by.
Tags: anime, full review
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