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"Gravion" Volume 3: Super Heavyweight God Gets an "Upgrade"

At the command of Sandman, the six pilots of the Gran Divas combine into the Super Heavyweight God Gravion to defeat the invading Zeravire. But will the team be shattered as tensions mount between the pilots? The Zeravire are launching their final battle, not to conquer the Earth, but to take down the Gran Knights. Can Sandman’s pilots trust each other long enough to pilot Gravion through this final volume?

Episodes included on this disc
Episode 10: “Crack”
Episode 11: “The Thing That Was Lost”
Episode 12: “Because You’re With Me”
Episode 13: “White Steel Fang”

Image“Soldiers of the Gran Knighthood, combine!” For the first two-thirds of this series, Sandman has initiated the combination of the Gran Divas, the five machines that together form the Gravion, a metal behemoth for a new age. But the team dynamics get thrown out of whack when one pilot is willing to sacrifice another to save the world.

Gravion is a series I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Don’t come to Gravion expecting the most intelligent mech series since Mobile Suit Gundam or The 08th MS Team. Fans of the Gekiganger 3 segments from Martian Successor Nadesico will feel right at home. The show doesn’t try to hide the fact that it’s got pilots in absurd suits fusing via stock footage.

And I love every minute of it.

The Zeravire are attacking the planet. This time they’ve kidnapped one of the maids from Sanjelman Castle, leading our main man Eiji to abandon Gravion in order to save her. That in itself isn’t too big of a problem, as the newly developed Phantom System allows the Gravion to be formed without a pilot or two (though it won’t operate at full power). No, the problem is that the kidnapped gal is trapped on the body of the Zeravire that Toga must pilot Gravion into battle against. The time to defeat the Zeravire is running out, so Toga has a terrible decision to make: can he risk killing two of his friends by firing upon the Zeravire in order to save the lives of many more?

The decision splits the team. Minus one pilot, Gravion may not be strong enough to defeat the Zeravire, who will not quit attacking any time soon. The Zeravire arrive, aiming for the all-out defeat of our heroes’ mech. Gravion, even at full-power, will not be enough to defeat this super-evolved villain, which has learned evolutionarily from previously Zeravire-Gravion battles. For the fake-out finalé (there’s a Super Heavyweight God Gravion Zwei sequel series coming out, which I hope is a straight-out continuity continuation) Gravion’s going to have to unleash the power of the White Steel Fang to save the planet. Does it save the day?

What do you think?

This is the latest giant robot series out there. No doubt it’s formulaic, but that’s what gives the series its charm. It’s got a theme song that gets you pumped for the action. It’s got catchphrases (mainly Sandman’s commands) that you want to quote along with him. Gravion has his stock-footage formation and his toy-like super special attacks. Although sometimes you need to take your brain out and relax with some classically styled mech action, Gravion truly is an animé for a new age while not forgetting its classic roots.

That isn’t to say that these final episodes are perfect. For a series finalé, it seems no more than a “Hey, let’s introduce a final battle that’ll blow all away” with no real foreshadowing. C’mon, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers sowed the seeds for its series finalé two dozen episodes ahead. Likewise, some plot points are not resolved, but here’s hoping they will be expanded on in Zwei.

To accompany the four episodes on the disc, you get the traditional clean opening (which got multiple plays from my PStwo), clean closing, and ADV previews. Design sketches are decent, but they’re better seen in the insert than played to the editor’s choice of length set to music. I just fast-forwarded to check them all out. Of interesting note are two Japanese music videos that serve more as alternate intros than the AMVs we’re all used to. Included in the case is the third part of the Gravion Side Story, some design sketches of Eiji, and the “Obviously Designed by Masami Obari” female pilot. Two stickers of the, well, less problematic pilots complete the extras.

Gravion is potentially one of the greatest straight-out mech series I’ve seen since my introduction to animé–it’s right up there with Dai-Guard and G-Gundam. As they dispatch soldiers of the Gran Knighthood to battle, I dispatch you to the store. Gravion is a totally rocking classic mech series for the new generation.

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