Gasaraki (1998 IMDb)

Categorization

Complex cyberpunk wherein Takahashi Ryousuke marries his perennial realist mecha efforts with the psychological and occult flavours of Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995).

Subject

In 2014, a plot to raise Japan to economic domination over the USA is intertwined with an old clan's efforts to build mecha using medieval secrets.

Commentary

Steep learning curve. Impressively realistic, especially in mechanical/creature design and the devotion to economic and political factors. Great character design, although chins are sometimes strangely shaped. Slow at times, and some of the weirder Evangelion influences are glaring: in one long scene, there is a total of six lines of translated dialogue from three different simultaneous conversations in the DVD subtitles. What really drags it down is the traditional -style dancing, accompanied by stylized shouts and drums, used for occult purposes. That might be exotic, but it is also ridiculous. Otherwise good music, and a gradually varied opening sequence.

References here: Gunparade March (2003).

Japanese production animation cyberpunk mecha series