Well, I suppose I should knock this out of the way before we get too far into the season. With episode 3 airing subbed tommorow, I feel like I should go ahead an give my thoughts on the first two episode in one go. I guess I should start with an introduction of the Super Robot Wars Original Generation series first. SRWOG is in fact an amalgam of the original characters and plot introduced in past Super Robot Wars games. The title is fitting since it features only original characters, no licensed series like Gundam, Mazinger, etc. For example, Kyosuke Nanbu and Excellen Browning who are the closest you could get to main characters in the Inspector first appeared in Super Robot Wars Compact. Axel Almer from the intro fight in the first episode and Lamia Loveless were the protagonists in Super Robot Wars A, and so on. Original Generation takes all these characters and combines their stories into one big mess of fan service.
This can make things a bit difficult to follow for newcomers to the franchise. It’s especially difficult since OG The Inspector is based on the SECOND Original Generation game. The first game already had an anime adaptation in the form of Divine Wars. A brief summary of that game/anime’s plot is in order: A mysterious asteroid lands on Earth holding never before seen technology that allows the Earth Federation to develop Personal Troopers, giant robots. Bian Zoldark, a genius scientist that understood the threat of alien invasion, formed an army called the Divine Crusaders to battle the established government. His bid was to progress technology to a point where mankind could defend itself. His suspicions were proven correct when the Aerogaters invaded. Otherwise known as the Ze Balmary Empire, the goal of the invasion was to assimilate Earth’s technology and fold the human race into their army. The Divine Crusaders were defeated, and after rallying their strength, the Earth forces were able to defeat the Aerogaters at Lagrange 5 in what became known as the L5 Campaign. Key participants in this battle were the ATX and SRX Teams.
This brings us to the beginning of Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector. Before the episode proper begins, the viewer is treated to an intense battle in an unknown location and time. There, it appears that Beowulf, aka Kyosuke Nanbu, has just murdered the SRX team, and later engages in battle with Axel Almer, the pilot of the Soul Gain. Kyosuke’s mecha goes through some hideous transformation, but Axel manages to fend him off before making the “jump.” To anyone not familiar with the games, this sequence makes no sense. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say that the Kyosuke we see here, and the Kyosuke you see later are not exactly the same person…
The Earth government is still fighting off remnants of the Divine Crusaders who refuse to disarm despite the alien threat being dealt with, and the ever impending threat of invasion by OTHER aliens still looms over the Earth’s head. Now, that was just a crash course, but it should cover the basics of what’s going on in the world setting. Episode 1 opens with the new president, Brian Midcrid, giving a speech about the need to organize in order to defend the Earth if the need should arise. Meanwhile, the ATX team consisting of poker faced ace Kyosuke Nanbu in the Alt Eisen, sexy airhead Excellen Browning in her Weissritter, and the hotheaded psychic Brooklyn “Bullet” Luckfield in a test machine, fight off DC remnants in the far east. Things get heated when DC pilots Yuuki and Carla enter the fight, but things are interrupted when a mysterious angelic figure and massive unidentified robot descend onto the battlefield.
In the second episode the ATX team is given orders to team up with Lamia and her AngelG mecha, despite them having no idea where she’s coming from. Meanwhile, Archibald Grims, the evil man in charge of DC remnants fighting the ATX team retreats and decides to focus his attention elsewhere, a dig site to be precise. There ancient guardian beasts called the Chokijin are supposedly being excavated. Back on board the Shirogane, Kyosuke and Excellen get introduced to the gorgeous pilot of the AngelG, Lamia Loveless. While she seems polite enough, she has a strange speech habit. Either way, the ATX team is quickly called to the scene of the Chokijin excavation where Archibald has ordered an attack on the civilian workers. Yuuki disapproves of the needless slaughter, but Archibald simply laughs as he proclaims that he loves senseless killing, especially of civilians. Yeah, he’s not a nice guy. The ATX team once again face Yuuki and Carla in battle, though this time Bullet ends up communicating over open channels with Yuuki. Things go from bad to worse when an force of what appear to be monsters appears out of thin air to attack the site. Excellen reacts strangely to them, and only Kyosuke and her can hear their voice. Almost as if in reaction to the strange creatures appearing, the Dragon and Tiger Chokijin which were dormant at the site awaken and begin to destroy the monsters one after the other. After finishing them off, the Chokijin disappear just as suddenly as they appeared. Meanwhile, Lamia looks on while thinking about how she had no clue such things existed on this side…
Where to start? So as a follow up to Divine Wars, all I can say is that the Inspector absolutely nails the design and animation departments. The mecha look great in action, a huge step up from the awful looking 3D models from Divine Wars. Honestly, nothing beats good old hand drawn mecha. The character art also is a major upgrade here, especially in terms of the female characters. This is mostly thanks to Masami Obari being in charge of this project. He worked on Gravion and Godannar in the past, both series well known for their large amounts of bounce and jiggle. Super Robot Wars is a series all about fan service to begin with, so this fits perfectly. Excellen steals the show in the second episode with her fun and outgoing demeanor. She’s a joker, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a moment where she’s serious. The way she plays with Lamia as if she just found a new toy is all kinds of fun. Exie-neechan indeed.
The action has been great so far indeed. Opening of the first episode with Axel vs Beowulf was simply awesome, and getting to see the Alt Eisen and Weisritter put holes in grunts was nice. The real surprise for me came in the form of the dragon and tiger mecha from the second episode. Their introduction was changed greatly from the games, and seeing kick some alien ass was a nice surprise indeed. Already a few changes to the flow of events in the game have been made, but so far it’s for the better, as fitting in such a crazy amount of characters, mecha, and plot into just 26 episodes is going to be a feat. Already the cast of characters is pretty big for just two episodes, but it’s just going to keep getting bigger, with the next episode preview already hinting at the SRX team making its appearance. Needless to say, I’m crazy excited to see this progress, and couldn’t be more pleased with the first two episodes. I’m a huge fan of the franchise and I’ve played both OG games, so keeping track of the characters is easier for me.
In terms of the opening and ending themes, JAM Project provides Maxon for the opening which is very similar to there past work with the SRW series. Hot blooded and rocking metal with awesome animation, yeah, it passes. While the opening is pure mecha porn, the ending theme gives us a good look at the ladies of the series at the beach. The song Bokura no Jiyou by Aki Misato is a good accompaniment to the visuals as it’s rather catchy. With that, I’ll leave the reader with some sexy beach shots and I’ll see you for episode 3.