Gundam Reconguista in G aired in Japan back in Fall of 2014, running for 26 episodes. It’s a show with a lot going on, to say the least, and it’s managed to stay on my mind after all this time – thus, this blog. I’m hoping to highlight some of the themes and interesting bits that make it compelling.
Necessarily, though, to really dig into it, most of my posts are going to be spoiler heavy. I’ll be putting a spoiler warning on everything either way, but I think a non-spoilery introduction is in order – whether you’ve never seen it and are wondering what the deal is, or perhaps have seen a few episodes and would like a little something to make sense of its general direction.
G-Reco has a bit of a reputation for being incomprehensible. This is right from the get go: there are factions within factions, with different goals, all going at it at the same time, and a main character, Bellri, who himself seems to have no actual goal. If one sticks with it, eventually, it becomes apparent who is on what side, and it seems as if the world will then unfurl itself…only for another set of characters to suddenly appear, and for those existing characters to start switching allegiances. And if you think you’ve got it together after that…it happens AGAIN. It never lets up. It’s overwhelming.
There’s a hint at the story’s intent with one of these factional disputes, and that’s with the Capital Guard and the Capital Army. One has been around for a while to defend the Capital Territory, and the other is a new, rising division better equipped to go out and fight a war wherever – yes, it’s the debate on expanding the Japan Self-Defense Force into more of an active military. And that’s where the structure comes from: 2014 and beyond, with its competing narratives, overlapping and contradictory – and differing realities for different people, in the same places, and different places. The tidal wave execution of the show itself is a manifestation of this world.
In the middle of that, you’ve got Aida, trying to do something about it with what she knows, and Bellri, awoken by her out of his comfortable life to a world that’s moving and that will affect him one way or another – whether or not he succeeds in making any sense of it.
Now, good intentions are nice and all, but what about just enjoying the show itself? If I had to attempt to narrow it further, I’d say it’s a show in a lively, active world, and there’s a feeling that you’re on the outside looking in at characters actually acting within it, rather than simply reading a drama. Still, you might see a certain sigh of resignation among established fans of the show: “I liked it…buuuut I know nobody else will!” Of course, what that boils down to is, it’s one of those shows where it’s just plain hard to tell how people will react. It’s certainly not slow, I can tell you that! Give it a try.