Overman King Gainer

TV (26 eps)
2002 - 2003
Fall 2002
3.288 out of 5 from 554 votes
Rank #10,402

As the result of heavy pollution, mankind now lives in remote and desolate locations in order to survive. The government rules with an iron fist, keeping close control over the masses. Gainer is a boy who has been playing a video game so much that he has finally secured the title of King. However, the next day he is falsely arrested for allegedly starting an Exodus – a journey to the mythical paradise known as Yapan. While in prison, fellow prisoner Gain offers to help Gainer escape, so with nothing to lose Gainer finds an Overman and makes his exit. However, in order to return the favor, Gainer chooses to further Gain’s cause: protecting the Exodus movement, even though Gainer’s parents were killed for their anti-Exodus ways…

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Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Overman King Gainer for me is that even though it's mecha and full of abilities ridiculous for scifi, my suspension of disbelief system had no problem handling it. I usually hate mecha, and most of Japanese scifi in general. No idea why this one was so easy to accept.Overman is really quite an enjoyable anime. It's only too bad it doesn't reach half of its full potential. The story settings are very interesting, the characters aren't half-bad, and there's even potential for a nice romance on the side, but all of this is severely hindered by the fact that every single episode is crammed full of action. Don't take me wrong, the action is enjoyable in itself, and both the settings and characters do get some development at times, but it's just not as good as it could be. The beginning is confusing, half the series feels rushed, and after several episodes of excellent build-up, the last ep is somewhat rushed and anti-climactic. It's not like 26 eps wouldn't have been enough for this story, even a much longer story, it's just that with 80% of every ep being spent in battle, there's little time left for what I consider "more interesting stuff."Anyway, once you get past the first ep, which is pretty confusing and doesn't explain much, the story adopts a "mecha of the week" routine. The main characters are pretty likeable, even the teenage boy in the leading role is gutsy and competent enough. Granted, I don't know what the leads in mecha anime are usually like, but seeing as he does most of the heavy lifting in nearly every battle, and even manages to be reasonably straightforward about his feelings for a girl, I don't think anyone could call him useless. The secondary lead is pretty awesome, the girls in the show aren't half-bad, and most of the the major antagonists are given almost more character development than the protagonists, so overall I'm not disappointed with the characters, although they could have been much better.Starting ep 12, it starts getting better. Still a few forgettable eps in the mix, but most of the eps on the second half are much better than a single one in the first half. As I mentioned earlier, the last arc gets several eps of build-up (battle-filled build-up, of course), only to end in a somewhat rushed and anti-climactic way. I won't call the ending bad, but I was expecting much better based on the build-up.The episode plots are rather repetitive, but the good villain characters and the interesting - if underused - overarching plot make it worthwhile. The basic concept is great, and there are lots of good ideas thrown around carelessly, half-used. I know I'm repeating myself, but the show could really have been so much better if they'd properly delved into the rich backstory and explored the fairly unique settings.I'm not a good judge of animation quality, but it's not bad. The combat is fluid, which is very good, since most of the anime is spent in combat. Some of the musics are forgettable, but the OP is epic, the ED is kinda good too, and Meeya's song is very nice. I've already DL'ed the OST.In conclusion, Overman is a fun ride which wastes the vast potential in its settings and characters by cramming every episode full of, admittedly quite entertaining, action. 7/10.

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