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Generator Gawl

The Flower Girl

Copyright: ©
Length: 25 minutes
Rating: NR,
Format: Original Japanese Dialogue (VHS, LD, DVD)


ld jacket

Ryo, Kouji and Gawl have enrolled in Ohju Gakuen, a special institute that strives to develop unique talents of its students. Masami, who is a student there, brings them around. While Ryo and Kouji probe Masami for more information about the institute's research and experimental facilities, Gawl chases after a butterfly that leads him to a greenhouse, where he stumbles upon Natsume, who is watering the flowers. The rest soon catch up with him, and Masami introduces Natsume, her best friend, to them. They are interrupted by the entrance of two teachers, of which the male is the mysterious spy in the earlier episode. Later, the female teacher, Ms Nuriko, smugly refers to the students as her 'prey'. The three attempt to break into a research lab, only to be interrupted by Masami, who accuses them of spying on the female washroom. Suddenly the sky flashes, and Gawl sneaks out to investigate...

capsule review:

Up till now, the characters introduced to us are fairly interesting. Although they do not break new ground, the overall feel is good; I am generally able to engage with them. Also, the voice acting is competent. Gawl sounds basically brash, Kouji nicely icy, Ryo suitably suave and Masami appropriately assertive (and amusing, too!). The comic moments provide tasteful relief without jeopardising the overall darker tone of an intriguing mystery, for there are no over-the-top vocalisations. The villains, Ms Nuriko and her assistant, can sound much more scheming, though.

Episode 2 marks the introduction of yet another major character, Natsume. Sad to say, Natsume is not only an unoriginal character, she fails on every count to evoke any characteristics of the lovely, sweet-voiced bishoujo who draws protective warmth and instinctive liking through her vulnerability. Visually speaking, Natsume has, rather frighteningly, two coifs of strawberry-pink hair-buns dubiously positioned at the ends of her forehead. And her voice, trust me, is far more painful on your ears than her image is on your eyes. Never have I heard anyone so wheezy and whiny...and her dialogue...simply put, it is more grating than a crude monologue in a German opera, the banality of her words almost a vulgarity. The longest sentence emitted by Natsume comes as a wheezy, "Oh, I am at a loss for words...oh! Oh!" (she then runs away, blushing). The only way to salvage Natsume is to believe that she is not the archetypal bishoujo precisely because she is not meant to be one. Hopefully, she will blossom beyond emitting asthmatic wheezes.

Another point of significance is that this episode contains the first battle scene of the entire series. As far as aesthetics is concerned, I am not disappointed. The action sequences are decently choreographed, and the animation is good, for I do not see the invasion of crude speedlines as a lazy substitute for motion. Those who watch Macross Plus only for its incredibly rendered battles should be warned that the quality here is by no means near the standards of that classic.

What really interests me is the actual design of the fighting machine (known as generators). Hard core mecha fans should be warned once more that what intrigues me is not the intensively detailed and creative drawings, but rather, the concept behind the nature of the generator. Unlike the heroes of Bt'X who control the mecha beasts they ride on, Gawl is the mecha beast itself. The male answer to Sakura, Sailor Moon and Cha Cha? Only superficially, for unlike the magical girl transformation routine, the sight of Gawl's metamorphosis into a generator is as horrifying to behold as it is intriguing to thought. In this short sequence, plenty of questions are evoked. Is Gawl a human? a robot? or both? What are the implications of possessing these powers? Does Gawl actually enjoy this? Is Gawl fully in control, or will he degenerate into a mindless mecha beast? I can already foresee these ideas developing into meta-philosophical enquiries coated with testosterone-ridden angst in the later episodes.

Also, Gawl's transformation hints that the conspiracies of the series will supersede the intricacies of politics and robot science. There is a subtle thematic association between the flowers under the care of villain-scientist Ms Nuriko to Gawl and his friends; is this therefore a hint of the series' concern with human sciences? It all remains to be seen.
- JW, 2001.03.26

café rating (original japanese):


3 stars

[3 / 5] - As before, nothing much really happens. The revelation of Gawl's generator powers is sufficient to engage my interest, though. There are promises of new developments that go beyond normal mecha politics, though.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - Good. This is what sustains the episode despite the lack of developments. Nothing is made too explicit; there is a lot that is suggested and promised in this episode, through a careful pacing in the revealing of information.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Generally sound. Let's not talk about Natsume.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - More impressive than before, given that I have actually witnessed the first battle scene. Like before, however, there are no exceptional moments pushing up the score.


3 stars
[3 / 5] -


[ N/A ] -

Overall Rating:

3 star
[3 / 5] - I am already quite addicted at this stage. On to the next episode, please.

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