Ryosuke Takahashi is mostly known for his work on Votoms, although he has made several other minor jewels such as Blue Gender and Flag. His shows are not appealing to most viewers because they feel slow, with poor action and too dark and depressing settings. Although he has his own fans who love him for the subtle and mature take on his stories, Galient is considered a bad apple, even for them.
I have no idea what the animators were thinking when they made the opening video for the series. 90% of everyone will hate it just for showing that wimp protagonist looking all surprised. I mean openings are supposed to excite you about the show, right? Well the only thing Galiant is showing is a robot posing and a dorky kid looking all surprised. THAT IS SO LAME! Where is the power, the strength of spirit, the preview of the world? The song doesn’t help either; its lyrics are stupid and the tune feels like a rip off by some other western song whose name I can’t recall.
Then the show begins. The setting combines both medieval fantasy and science fiction, which would normally help to make the world more captivating. Sadly there is very little immersion given to all that and it just ends up being big robots fighting next to castles instead of next to skyscrapers. There are also lots of battles with foot soldiers and cavalry but they all feel completely unnecessary in a world where a big robot can stomp entire platoons alone. Why are they even there?
The first episode is about an evil tyrant names Murder (lol?) leading an army with the goal to rule the world. Wow, how original! The royal family is on the run and the baby prince (dorky protagonist) is saved by a light in the sky (Deus ex machina) because it’s his fate to save the world and thus there is no way for the scriptwriters to let him die. Shall we drop this show already?
Years later, he wants to overthrow the tyrant by piloting a mystical robot that is buried somewhere. Tens of thousands are digging for it for years but it is eventually found by his loli platonic girlfriend in some cave. That shows how important anyone who is not in the main cast is. After that a hot busty chick comes with her spaceship and he gets all full of mystic resolve and knows how to pilot the robot and his journey to save the world begins. If kitsch was cheese, Galient is a moon full of it.
As you can tell, the anime takes a very childish approach to the whole thing; something quite uncommon for Ryosuke. Despite the numerous deaths and destruction, the plot is to the most part black and white, with clear cut heroes and villains which makes them boring fast. Heck, the enemy soldiers are even wearing expressionless masks to look identical, so you won’t care when they are killed. The battles are also not interesting to the most part as the lead robot uses simple attacks and owns everything while all the rest barely manage to affect the plot. The colours are also dark most of the time and they don’t seem to fit with the general feeling of the show.
And man, is the lead character a wuss or what? He is also nothing but an immature kid high on impractical ideals. I hate him. In a similar fashion nobody has a strong impression in the story; they are all very simple and generic as characters. To be honest with you, the most interesting character ends up being the major villain. Yes, mister Murder himself. His goals are actually catchy as he is not just a megalomaniac who wants to rule the world but also an idealist himself who believes might is right and that life needs conflict to proliferate. He even antagonizes a federation of highly advanced civilizations who lost their will for conflict millennia ago and now don’t even care about their lives or even fight back when attacked. All that make him an indirect antihero later in the show. What are all the rest doing? Absolutely nothing; they are stuck to their ideals and simplistic mentality and are boring as hell.
The final nail in the coffin comes in the finale that despite being about a doomsday devise that can wipe out planets and entire civilizations being in the brink of collapse and an all out war taking place that will define the future of the galaxy… And you get shit. The finale is damn boring; like nothing much happened. It barely even counts as one; it is vague and rushed. They totally ruined the interesting “life need conflict” twist.
Overall, Galiant is an anime that lacks direction and even fails to appeal to its audience in the most basic level. It looks annoying, it plays out boring and it ends in a disappoint manner. Despite their own faults, other anime that combine fantasy and science fiction have at least managed to become likable to their prime audience. So I recommend Vision of Escaflowne or Aura Battler Dunbine over this one. They cover all its good points in a much more enjoyable way.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
Analysis: General Artwork 1/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 1/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 1/2
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 3/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 2/10
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 0/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 0/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 2/10
Analysis: Presence 0/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 0/2, Catharsis 0/2
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Art 0/1, Sound 1/2, Story 0/3, Characters 0/4