In the distant future, aliens called Victim destroyed all the worlds of humanity except for Zion. In this desperate time, young boys of the space colonies are sent to GOA to learn how to, and compete for the right to, pilot the fighting machines designated as Ingrids. These child pilots are assisted by EX -- a special power, and by female partners who repair the Ingrids. However, to save humanity, exceptional candidates are needed, and two new students, Zero and Hiead, motivated by their desire to succeed and burning rivalry, may be the human race's last hope...
StoryLike Stellvia, Candidate for Goddess is a lighthearted look at kids in space, training to fight a deadly disaster. In Stellvia, it was the upcoming shockwave that would destroy Earth. In Candidate for Goddess, it's invading aliens. Nevertheless, this is my favorite type of series by far, and thus, I was definitely disappointed when the end of Candidate for Goddess rolled around. The story starts out simple enough: a narrator introduces us to Zion, the only human populated planet left untouched by Victim, invading aliens. Mankind's only defense (surprise surprise) is five giant robots called Goddesses which are piloted by very special pilots. We watch the series through the eyes of trainees as they admire the five pilots who hold mankind's future in their hands, and compete against each other so that they might one day pilot these Goddesses as well. The story is mainly focused on a young man named Zero who seems to have special EX powers (one of many things that is never really explained). Again, the story starts out interesting enough, making you think this will be an engaging and interesting kids in space type story. Unfortunately, after episode one it just goes severely downhill, and it's near impossible to explain why. Maybe it was the erratic pacing that poorly combines action packed battles against the Victim, and poor character development that in some cases, is never explained. On that note, maybe it's the fact that the many mysteries that actually manage to keep our attention somewhat (the EX powers, why Zero can't remember his past, etc) are never actually explained when the ending credits roll in the final episode. These things aren't explained in the OVA either, read my review of that for more information. Maybe it was the serious lack of character development, or I should say, character development that doesn't interest us in any way. Again, it's really, really hard to vocalize why Candidate for Goddess sucked as much as it did. I guess you'd just have to see it for yourself to believe it. It must be a combination of many things, that in general weren't put together well. I found myself bored most episodes, but completely engaged in others. Again, I think you'll just have to see it for yourself. For me, I was very disappointed with the series, and felt I had wasted a great deal of my time by the end. AnimationVisually, there's no arguing that Candidate for Goddess is beautiful. The CG is almost seamless and wonderfully illustrates the Goddesses, Victim, and space battles (as well as the space station, etc). This CG makes up a very large percentage of the series, which isn't a bad thing. The normal animation was also well done, with beautifully created characters who were vibrantly colored and animated. The EX powers manifested themselves wonderfully through the animation as well. Colors used were very bright and flashy, but nothing tacky. Hair colors tended to be interesting shades of pastel, but not in a terrible dating-sim series sort of way. If you watch this series for anything, watch it for the animation, that's for sure. SoundThe music is entirely orchestral, mostly with trumpets and other very "happy" instruments. This seemed appropriate at first, especially for the lighthearted character development bits during training and discussions amongst friends. Unfortunately, this music also was played during very inappropriate times, including sad scenes and otherwise serious ones. The music was a lot like watching Galaxy Quest (real life movie), which was a parody of Star Trek and thus, the music sounded uber cheesy. For most of the time, this fit well, but for the serious times it was hard to take it seriously when this cheery 60s TV sounding music was wailing through the speakers. Great audio, but it really needed more mellow or sad bits for the appropriate times. CharactersThere were a great deal of characters involved, but none that we really came to know and love. Zero is definitely the main character, but all of his development (trying to remember his memories, his EX powers) were never explained, and thus it felt like a total waste of time. Hiead is the other supposedly main character, but he isn't on screen nearly as much, and to be honest, I felt he was as important of a character as all the secondary ones. It's definitely Zero's show, and his development failed miserably. We also get to meet some of the female mechanics who are also given a fair chance at development, which also falls flat. Like the story section, it's hard to describe why the development failed as much as it did... I guess all I can say is that at the end of the series, I really didn't care about any of them, so that must be the best indication, right? You'll have to see it for yourself to believe it, I suppose. OverallOverall, I was very disappointed with Candidate for Goddess. It's listed as one of the top recommendations for Stellvia, which I LOVED, so I decided to pick it up even though everyone had told me it's disappointing and flat out bad. I can understand now why people recommend it for Stellvia (and indeed, I recommended Stellvia for CFG, but not the other way around, it doesn't deserve that), but at the same time it doesn't come close to Stellvia in any way. The animation is great, the music is decent (but inappropriately placed at times) and the story has an interesting concept, but the poor pacing and execution leaves little to be desired. If you really want to watch every kids in space type series, this will be one you should probably watch. If you want a GOOD kids in space type series, though, check out Stellvia, Vandread (sort of), GunBuster, or any other really good ones. Candidate for Goddess, odds are, will be a waste of your time just like it was a waste of mine. Now, off to watch Twin Spica...
When I started watching this anime my expectations were that it would at least be a good waste of a few hours and that’s it, but even these expectations where to high. The story of an alien race attacking humanity that can only be stopped by mecha is standard and can be done well, this anime however just feels empty. Its characters start of numerous with plenty of opportunity for development and growth however this goes nowhere. The plot stagnates early on and so little happens to the point where you could cut the series by two thirds with little effect. The worst thing of all however is how it ends suddenly with no closer like even the makers couldn’t be bothered to continue. All of this could be forgiven however as I have seen mecha anime that I would watch just for the battles but like everything else it’s disappointing. The fights are uneventful and samey with little actual action with mecha and alien designs that are as standard as the plot. This combined with the lack of attachment to the characters and the sudden end left me feeling nothing, bland and pointless. I would not recommend this anime even to someone obsessed with mecha as you would get more out of alternate between watching paint dry and random battles from any competent mecha anime.
Candidate for Goddess can be more aptly described as being one big, juicy bait. It presents potential viewers with its premiere episode ‘00’, bountiful amounts of eye-candy, a seemingly interesting plot filled with mystery and lots of space battles to satisfy even the most hard-core action fans. However, what this anime doesn’t want you to know is one dark, little secret: There is no ending. It piles on with every episode more drama, more symbolism, more of everything and just when you expect something epic to happen, you’re just left with thin air. I won’t say I didn’t fall in its trap; it’d be as big as a lie as the anime itself to say that, and a lot of arrogance on my part. This anime gathered all the potential it had for it, and brought it crashing down in just one minute flat. After the credits rolled, the whole plot suddenly turned into one big fiasco, the characters were mere puppets, and I felt betrayed. Candidate for Goddess was really a trap after all, and it laughed in my face cruelly after I finished watching it. Story: (2/10) The plot started out well enough: humans lost their home planet thanks to the alien invasion called ‘Victim’, and they had to live in colonies in outer space, while still trying to protect their last planet (Zion) with the help of five mecha goddesses. Though many plot points were confusing and muddled, each episode tried to explain part of what happened in the past and you sort of began to understand some of it. But soon new mysteries began to appear, and the whole focus of the show grew more and more dramatic as it drew to a close. And what an ending that was. …If it had an ending, that is. Characters: (5.5/10) The characters, for one, have all cliché personalities you’ve seen before countless times, ranging from the determined Zero, to the know-it all Clay, and the cold, emotionless rival Hiead. You’ve seen their counterparts in many anime before, but they’re overused archetypes for a reason: they’re actually likeable. Seeing the interactions between the cat-eared Kizna and Zero always made me smile every time, not to mention other entertaining characters like Wrecka, Roose, Gareas, and the rude instructor Azuma Hijikata. That’s not to say that all the characters are appealing or worth remembering in the least; there’s a large cast for a series that’s only 12 episodes long, and thanks to that there are more than a handful of boring, unremarkable characters. Like the yawn-inducing, shy Tune, the uninteresting brother and sister Kazuhi and Yu, those nameless fanservice nurses, and Ernest, whose only purpose is to fill up the melodrama quota of the show. But the worst character goes to Ikhny, who seems to have no will of her own other than to make Hiead happy and then pathetically whimpers in a corner if he’s angry with her. Though there are still even more people that I couldn’t bother to remember their names, the characters are one of the best parts of the anime...which is not saying much. Sound: (5.5/10) The OP is overly cheery and composed solely on instrumentals. ED was forgettable. The BGM is also purely orchestral and it fit the lighthearted mood of the anime on some occasions, but it completely ruined the dramatic moments on some others by it. Voice acting is average. Animation: (8/10) This is, hands down, the best part of Candidate for Goddess. The characters are crisp and well-animated, and everything is pleasing to look at. Except for some bad CGI animation (mostly the Goddesses) that made me cringe at some parts, there is a lot of nice eyecandy. Overall: (5/10) Sadly, Candidate for Goddess failed on many levels and it will surely leave you dissappointed. It's also a mixed bag: there are some interesting episodes that'll make you want to watch more, and there are other episodes that'll leave you snoozing. It's all a waste of time in the end, so don't even bother watching.
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