Beppu Yugo is one of the world's most successful and celebrated negotiators. His cases have ranged from big to small, from secretive to in the public eye. His work doesn't come cheap, but his skills are the top of the line, and through words, not violence, his failure rate is minimal. After a period of inactivity, Yugo is back on the job, to help negotiate the release of a hostage in Pakistan. With harsh terrain and deadly enemies before him, will he survive long enough to save the hostage, and return with his life?
In the civil war-torn country of Uddiyana, the photographer Saeko Shirasu took an image of a flag which captured the hearts of people around the world. With the help of a planned and UN-backed peace agreement, this symbol of peace was to usher in a new era for the people of Uddiyana - until it was stolen just before the historic day. Now, Saeko has been sent to cover the activities of SDAC - a group who has been charged with retrieving the flag and combating armed factions throughout the country. With the help of her camera, Saeko will document the struggles of the SDAC and its secret robotic weapon, the HAVWC.
Yugo and Flag are both remarkably similar: they have a slow pace and similar animation, but most importantly they are each focused with terrorist-laden third world countries and have a very realistic sense of the military. I enjoyed Yugo a lot more than Flag, but there is an unmistakable realistic quality to both (except for the robotic weapon in Flag, that is). If you liked one, I'm thinking you'd like the other.
Perhaps I should not make this recommendation, since I like neither Flag nor Yugo the Negotiator. Nevertheless, consider this a negative review of why you might like one of these, if you enjoyed the other.
Both anime are pretentious -- meaning, they obviously think very highly of themselves in terms of psychological insight and political analysis. In my opinion, both are entirely superficial, and have no real depth to their depictions. The psychology presented is pop psychology, and the political analysis is simplistic and slanted.
It has to be said, though, that if you found yourself thrilling to the courageous achievements of Yugo, you'll surely be captivated by the way that Flag slowly entwines you in its story.
So don't let my negativity dissuade you -- if you genuinely liked one of these, give the other one a chance.
Gonzo does it again with this action-packed mecha comedy. She's an ordinary high school girl. He's a counterterror agent assigned to protect her from those who would steal the information locked in her mind. OK, so she's not so normal after all. Armored Slave battles and lovers' spats abound as Sousuke and his comrades try to track down the mysterious Gauln before it's too late.
Since long ago, the wolf goddess Holo has honored a contract to bless the rural village of Pasloe with fertile harvests; and in return she has been celebrated and worshipped by the villagers. But as mankind advances, the people have begun to take command of nature for themselves and have made their own god to worship. Holo finds that she is paid little more than lip service, if not outright mocked; and considering the contract annulled, she takes human form and enlists the aid of a passing merchant, Kraft Lawrence, to return to her home in the snowy forests to the north. As they journey together, Kraft finds that he has plenty to learn from this capricious god, and she from him as well.
Yes, this is an odd one. Though clearly different in many ways, Yugo and Spicy Wolf do share a common thread of having a unique style of conflict. In S&W it's economics and trading, for Yugo it's (no surprise) political negotiating. So if you found one of these refreshing in that sense and seek another example, here you go.