Japanese animated tv series (2018), in conjunction with the Manga by Satoshi Mizukami. J C Staff. Directed by Youhei Suzuki. Written by Satoshi Mizukami. Voice cast includes Atsushi Abe, Sayaka Haradi, Shiori Izawa, Rikiya Koyama and Kenji Nomura. Twelve 24-minute episodes to date. Colour.
The Invasion of Earth is not an infrequent genre trope, but the first Weapon being an enormous smiling teddy bear with ears for wings, a mass of (human) arms in place of legs and, upon its chest, "Peace" misspelled ("Peas" in the subtitles) is atypical. The attack being thwarted by a Superhero team whose leader is devoted to justice also seems familiar; but that leader being the series Villain, less so.
Soya Kuroi (Abe), from the destroyed planet Sirius, has recently moved to Earth with fellow Aliens Princess Ginko (Izawa) and Sensei (Koyama), the latter having the appearance of a blue humanoid cat. While Soya and new schoolfriend Nozomi Takamagahara (Haradi) watch the "Grand Paladin" superhero team battle the invader, he is rung by Ginko and told he must fight – not the invader, but the superheroes; Soya's surprise heightens when he is swallowed by Sensei and they turn into a Mecha.
He learns that the invaders are the Sealist faction of an alien alliance called Nebula; concerned by the human race's aggressive tendencies, they wish to keep them sealed on Earth. Sensei represents the Pacifist faction, who only want humans to be monitored in the hope they choose the path of love, as "sealed" species stagnate.
The Grand Paladin are led by Director Takashi Ryuzoji (Nomura), the reincarnation of a rogue Sealist Dragon who, sickened by the Sirius military's violent invasion of Ginko's world, destroyed their planet in the name of justice (Sensei only being able to rescue Soya). The Dragon survived the death penalty imposed by Nebula: Earth is now a stepping stone for imposing its interpretation of justice onto the universe – but it is defeated by Soya, though only temporarily. The intervention of the "People of Paradise" (the universe's oldest race) leads to the Nebula factions and the Grand Paladin uniting and finally destroying the Dragon; as it breaks up, Soya, Ginko and Sensei are caught inside, but are rescued and taken to the barren ruins of Sirius, where Soya discovers a flower growing.
Early episodes concentrate on story (the first seven feel like a full season): nevertheless the characters, evenly split between male and female, are given distinct personalities (all considering themselves more or less righteous). The design of the Sealist weapons is agreeably bizarre (further examples include upside-down walking babies and a bowl of rice labelled "universe", held up by elephants and a turtle), which might be a sign of the Sealist's inability to fully grasp human references (see Communications). Unfortunately the last five episodes generally lack the drive of the earlier ones: character is not deepened, while at times the plot feels underdeveloped. However, the final scenes are successful, particularly where Soya, Ginko and Sense say farewell to the Dragon as its inner landscape crumbles. [SP]
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