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"Gravion, Vol. 1": Big Robots and Big Breasts

The world is in the need of a new legend. The mysterious Sandman has forged him out of iron and steel. He is the God Gravion, a gestalt mech piloted by six kids ready to save the world from the Zeravire, mysterious metallic life forms ready to destroy the planet.

I’ve always been a fan of giant robots. I was there the first time the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers called on the Megazord. Many a time I’ve heard “… and I’ll form the head!” on Voltron and “Launch Gundam immediately!” on Mobile Suit Gundam. Of course, my preferences have always tilted towards the cheese side, what with G-Gundam‘s overblown martial arts mechs (it was a soap opera with Gundams, including the classic line, “Take this, my love, my anger, and all of my sorrow!” solidifying its velvetaness) to the current Megas XLR parodying giant robots left and right.

The latest to entrant in the giant robot field to catch my eye is Gravion. It chronicles the tales of six kids/teenagers (ages are rather vague, though some of the girls have definitely hit maturity–one of them with a sledgehammer) employed by the mysterious Sandman to defend their home (a futuristic Earth) by piloting five vehicles.

Piloting the Gran Diva G-Attacker is Eiji, the hero of the story, who is also out to find his sister. Toga, a guy who’s lived with Sandman for his entire life, pilots the Gran Kaiser. Luna, the short-fused girl ready to trounce Eiji for accidentally falling in the bath, and Ena, the shy and unsure glasses-wearing girl, pilot Gran Diva G-Driller. Mizuki is the woman with the triple-A sized chest (or whatever “Really Friggin’ Huger Than Your Head” size factors out to be) and the drunk, elder member of the group. She pilots the Gran Diva G-Striker. Finally, Leele is the most secretive member of the Gran Knighthood, separate from the others until her mech (the Gran Diva G-Shadow) forms the head of Gravion.

Together, these five Gran Divas lock together to form God Gravion. And, together, these six heroes provide a somewhat interesting tale. Oddly enough, the mech fights are just thrown in at the end and used as an excuse for all of them to be united. Nor is there much unity to the story. Eiji’s quest to find his missing sister has nothing to do with Toga’s desire to save the world, Ena’s unsure nature, or Leele’s seclusion. In fact, it appears that none of these plot threads have anything to do with each other. And little attention is paid to the Zeravire or who’s sending them. Hopefully that will be resolved at some point later in the series. Likewise, we better get some more hints as to where Eiji’s sister is and whether or not Sandman is all he’s cracked up to be, or else all the dangling threads are going to get annoying.

As these are the introductory episodes, much time is spent setting them up. Gravion is formed for the first time when the Zeravire prove immune to any attacks from the regular army. Sandman, the creator of Gravion, believes that his “God of iron and steel” is the only thing that can defeat these monstrosities.

Naturally, we need “Gravion Megazord power now!” “Rise, Gravion Gundam!” or whatever other mech homage you’d like to make. In every episode, the God Gravion is formed with ensuing mech action. If you like mech action, you’ll have fun here. If you prefer actual humans punching and kicking each other… Well, what are you, daft? That big robot on the box art should tell you that this is a mech show.

The creator of this series is Masami Obari. He’s had a rather spotty track record, mostly consisting of video game adaptations featuring women with back-breaking chests. Here it seems that he’s balanced out the rather natural looking girls with the “Holy crap, those can’t be real” Mizuki.

No joke; the cashier at Best Buy pointed them out, and another cashier decided to come over and comment on them as well. Let me tell you, it’s real easy to be an animation fan when two Best Buy employees question the legitimacy of an animé character’s baggage.

Otherwise, designs are fine, though you do have to wonder if the designer likes maid outfits. Animation is modern, so it’s bright and sharp. (There is an unfortunate “Engrish” issue when we get a “Status Clitical” message at one point.) Voices? I didn’t have any trouble with the dub. Story? It’s starting off. It’s enjoyable, but I’m not expecting too much plot development this early on. The series is only three discs, though, so it better come quick.

Extras? This release is available as both a single disc and in a deluxe edition with the box to hold all three. On the actual disc we get design sketches, clean intro and ending, the Japanese trailer, and general ADV trailers. Nothing super-spectacular, in other words. The real treats come in the disc’s case. There is “Gravion Mechanics Design Works,” an insert consisting of designs and descriptions of the Gran Divas on one side and the first part of a separate Gravion story on the other. Also included are two static cling details (two extra ones in the box release).

Should you pick it up? Well, do you like giant robots? I do. I thought it was good enough, considering only three discs are coming out. It can’t be that big of a strain on the wallet. It’s action with a little bit of drama (Eiji’s quest) thrown in for good measure. Go grab it; just make sure the Best Buy guys don’t get too hung up on it.

Episodes included on this disc:
Episode 1 “Fortress of the Deity”
Episode 2 “Mission of Gravity”
Episode 3 “Labyrinth”
Episode 4 “The Princess in the Tower”
Episode 5 “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Laugh”

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