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CyanideBlizzard's Unidentified Tv Review

Unidentified tv Review

All submissions where the mangaka and series is unknown.

Story & Characters

After finishing my last review, I wasn't too sure what to do next. After hearing about Weskalia tackling Trigun, it gave me the inspiration to start revisiting series that I had watch quite some time ago and re-watch them and review them now. This series was a series I borrowed from my friend and vaguely remembered, so I figured I'll dive right in with this!

I'm going to list something and I want to know what immediately comes to your mind.

Anime with time travel!

No, we're not talking about an animated version of Back to the Future, but rather a twelve-part 1998 anime from Tatsunoko Productions. Generator Gawl was a show that I watched once in completion before, but could not remember hardly anything about except for a few small plot elements. Figuring that it left such a poor impression on me, I wasn't sure how the show would fare with a second viewing close to ten years later. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised and I'll explain why.

Generator Gawl follows Koji, the level-headed silent type of the group that keeps himself in check and in full bishie status, Ryo, the brains of the group and a bit of a coward, but with a heart of gold; and Gawl. Gawl is... pretty much a stereotype in and of itself. He's outgoing, loud, sleeps in class and the list just goes on. Along the way, we are also introduced to Masami, who comes across more as annoying than anything else, and Natsumi, who stands out as one of the better characters in the series that isn't a main character. She is also the silent type who enjoys plants and has a mysterious air about her. As I'm sure you can tell, neither of these characters are truly mold breakers and each fit to a specific set of stereotypes, yet they do more than enough to get the story rolling and we're treated quite a generous amount of character development which helps us break the stereotypical boundaries each character seems to have established. Now what about the story?

Well, the story takes place in the future! World War 3 has occurred, creating a nuclear playground and rendering most of the population obliterated. Science has focused on creating mutations called Generators, based around an advanced level of cell research. Generators can survive harsh climates and radiation. However, above all Generators are perfect soliders. Fast, powerful and well armored, they are the perfect weapon to use to keep mankind in check. Ryo stumbles into a mess of secrets and finds out the truth behind Kubere, a so-called peace organization. Needless to say, the three of them will not stand for being used and aim to go back in time to prevent the means of the third world war from starting. However, due to a mishap they only arrive three months from the fate day and now have to work as quickly as possible in the year 2007 to save the world, so to speak, while battling Generators that are sent back from time as well as keep Masami and Natsume in the dark about their secret.

I won't beat around the bush here. Generator Gawl is probably one of the more unique storylines I've seen and yet somewhat more stereotypical. Sometimes the show throws a lot at you to swallow, but it's paced out very nicely and is never too much that you can't swallow it. Generator Gawl does some pandering in certain areas, but the show itself never truly drags and each episode forwards the plot nicely. However, the show never truly grabs you by the seat of your pants. I didn't find myself getting hooked on the story until near the last few episodes, in which the story just blasts off. We learn a lot about Natsume, as well as a few other characters that really throw the series through some amazing loops, which really just makes the ending such a shame.

This is probably the only part of the series that truly brought the show down. By no means is the ending terrible, but it does sort of come out of left field and simply appears to be placed just simply to achieve the typical "Happy Ending". I don't want to spoil any more than that, but while it was nice to see it just seems sort of thrown in there, like they were trying to come up with a means to end the show and couldn't think of anything else that would work.

Rating: 7

Art

Let's get this right off the bat. Generator Gawl has an older look to it. In all fairness, the show reminds me a lot of the anime produced in the mid 90s, mostly because it was made in the mid 90s. One thing about the artwork is it switches back and forth from stellar, to mediocre. Thankfully, the majority of the series is very well animated, from both static images to well done fight scenes, this series is no slouch. Especially in the last few episodes, the animation is absolutely gorgeous.

Tatsunoko Productions really seems to truly have a good handle on great art direction, as The Soul Taker (another anime they produced in 2001) is one of my all time favorite series and mostly because of the art direction. Characters are given a nice touch, but what is really well done are the futuristic backgrounds and the Generators. Some Generators remind me of a mix between the Boomers from Bubblegum Crisis 2040 and the Eva without it's suit (Neon Genesis Evangelion, obviously), but the majority have a very unique look to them, some resembling insects while others not at all. Gawl's transformation sequences are always different too, which was a very huge plus to see and no two fights are the same as well.

Big props once again for a very well animated series to Tatsunoko Productions!

Rating: 8

Sound

Oh boy.

Let's deal with the elephant in the room. I'm mixed about ADV's English dubbing. For as long as I can remember, ADV has produced some truly fantastic dubbing, and some truly terrible dubbing as well. Despite the fact that ADV has the amazing Vic Mignogna (FullMetal Alchemist fame, he won an award for his dubbing of Ed) and Jay Hickman on board, ADV's other serious problem comes into play. Around the late 90s or so, ADV started being cute and changing up the English versions of the scripts. While they would still keep in context with the overall plot, they were..significantly different than the original translation. If anyone has ever watched the English version of Orphen this is very, very obvious. While creative in it's own way, it's rather detracting if it isn't very well done or fitting to the overall show and unfortunately is an aspect that has not aged well. At all.

Despite all the bashing I'm giving ADV, the overall English dub is fairly enjoyable for the most, especially for a mid 90s production. By no means is it truly outstanding, but it definitely is higher quality (which is mostly thanks to Vic and Jay). The Japanese version is very well done and incredibly fitting to the show. While I prefered Vic's version of Gawl instead of Nobutoshi Hayashi, I found that overall the Japanese cast really helped make the series so much better and in turn made my experience more enjoyable. Keep in mind that I only watched a few episodes in Japanese and the rest in English, so I cannot say for the entire performance, but that's simply what I've gathered.

I also wanted to hit up on the introduction, since I generally never watch anime intros. Generator Gawl's intro is probably one of my favorites and one of the few that I actually make an effort to watch without hitting the skip button immediately. Simply by watching it you can tell immediately it oozes awesome 90s anime. I miss those days.

Rating: 8

Presentation

Generator Gawl, you certainly aren't remembered very well. Hell, you didn't even have a section on Minitokyo until I made one for it. There are no wallpapers of you and hardly an scans out there of you either. Yet fear not, you are loved throughout the internet and you have not been forgotten. While it has been years since we've last seen each other, you've definitely left a rather enjoyable impression. Sure, your ending left something to be desire from, but you are a series I'd gladly go back and re-watch.

You've got a bit of blood here and there, but otherwise your a pretty tame show with a relatively deep plot that made for an enjoyable ride. Thanks for trip back in time, Gawl. It felt good to be a teenager again. Maybe I'll do a bit of exploring in the Ruins since I enjoyed the flash back. Maybe I will...

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.33 (above average)

Reviewed by CyanideBlizzard, Apr 24, 2011

Comments

  1. angelxxuan Banned Member Apr 24, 2011

    wow, I have never heard nor seen this anime, I'm going to have to go on a mission for it. you made it sound like something I would like, and I have to admit ADV was horrible there at a time, but started to clean up when people stopped buying their stuff, things change as often does, but I don't mind a bit to watch older anime, that's what I'm doing now to be honest. I'll have to find this one as well, might have to see if I can find it online to watch, every since I ran into a situation once with buying an anime I had not seen, always careful in the future. I don't watch many new ones due to the atmosphere that doesn't interest me. thanks for producing this review, I was needing something "new" to find.

  2. evelluchia Apr 25, 2011

    oh wow you should do the discriptions on movie cases hehe XD

    from what ive read Generator Gawl looks quite good and ill be on the look out to try and watch it

  3. SnickerdoodleNinja Retired Moderator Apr 25, 2011

    I may have said this before, but your reviews have a ton of voice in them. It's awesome, and it makes your reviews interesting and amusing while still being informative and descriptive.

    Great review!

    (Vic Mignogna....*Snicker turns to mush*...you rank up there with Crispin Freeman and Jason Liebricht....) <--- girl moment over now.

    In all seriousness, though, wonderful job!

  4. ChaoticMirage Apr 25, 2011

    i don

  5. CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Apr 25, 2011

    @ Xuan : If you'd like to get a feel for the show, there are some clips over at Youtube and if your really ambitious, I believe someone has posted a few episodes to see what you think!

    @ evelluchia : You are far too kind with your words! I try to do the best I can, but I know I've still got a bit of work to do.

    @ Snicker : I'm not sure if I deserve such a large scale amount of praise. I try to blend personal with professional, but my reviews end up being more personal and less professional in the end. I know what you mean, though. Crispin Freeman became my hero back when he did Straight Cougar in s-CRY-ed and I've been a long time fan of Jason Liebricht, along with Vic. The US dubbing industry has really grown a lot in the past decade and there's a lot of talent that developed over the years.

    @ Chaotic : Generator Gawl is a much older series, which is a big reason why a lot of people never got a chance to view it. I happened to stumble across it, originally, from a friend of mine that had purchased the series.

    Thank you to everyone for taking the time to post on my review, I really appreciate all the comments! Thank you so much!

  6. MisaSasekage Moderator May 03, 2011

    I've never heard of this series before, it sounds interesting for an old series. Though I think your review of it is awesome! Great job yet again Blizzard-kun^^

  7. Weskalia May 05, 2011

    I didn't expect my name would appear on your review, and yep, I agree that old school anime deserve the better treatment. Even here, I still haven't heard about GG until I read this. Only 12 episode so maybe I'll give it a push. And your review style, I already told you :)

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