I’m obviously being facetious here by suggesting Sacred 7 is an amalgam of these high profile robot anime shows. It just so happens that I mainly watch robot anime shows so my frame of reference in watching a show like S7 is the mecha sub-genre. Nonetheless, I very much like what I’ve seen as pilot episodes go. If Tiger & Bunny went for the humorous, meta level of entertainment (and it’s doing a great job), Sacred 7 seems to be going for a more straightforward, conventional kind of show, which is a good thing too. I don’t want every show trying to be pandering to hipsters with their novelty and ‘originality’ (hyuk hyuk). Like with how Sunrise is covering its bases with its upcoming Gundam projects, it would seem that between Tiger & Bunny and S7 it’s covering the action hero bases as well. I like this comprehensive approach.
Sacred 7 is the new production by Sunrise, involving staff that participated in many robot anime shows such as Code Geass, Gundam 00, Zone of the Enders, and other Science Fiction anime such as Yamamoto Yohko, Planetes, Infinite Ryvius, KARAS, etc. Without giving too much away, in this post I’ll enumerate the elements that I saw that I find either interesting, excellently done, or both.
The show’s tagline is “People’s memories change the world!” Uh, yeah. That’s part of why I run a blog called “We Remember Love.”
In the OP I see the lead hero fly using a surfboard. That’s as Eureka SeveN as it gets. I like it, especially since it allows the hero to fight on a platform and maintain a vertical posture as if fighting on the ground, only… NOT! Besides, we get Sky High in Tiger & Bunny and he hasn’t done anything interesting with his flying so far. Also, after watching the Magical Lyrical Girl: Nanoha, flying humans don’t really add that much in terms of making the action dynamic. So, a flying surfboard adds a layer of complexity that can lead to interesting fight dynamics – as was seen in Eureka SeveN.
The main cast joins a school club – a geology kind of club that’s into rocks and stuff. A far more pedestrian version of Star Driver’s Night Flight drama club which is set against the Glittering Crux organization, but definitely more interesting than your fundamental all powerful student council as found in Code Geass.
A robot, a transforming attack robot with three modes (this is all Macross, baby). I was already appreciative of the inclusion of mecha elements and the execution of which in Tiger & Bunny (at least the first time the piloted Armored Trooper-inspired unit showed up). But my god, this is just awesome. The unit is basically a tank that transforms into an upright roller-skating Knightmare Frame Code Geass style. Moreover, it fights the ‘super’ type enemy and draws blood.
This is something important, I feel: All you want from a ‘real’ type hero in a ‘super’ type show, is to damage the enemy – an appetizer to the main course of ‘super vs. super.’ A ‘super’ type character/unit is unwelcome in a ‘real’ type show, but ‘real types’ are always welcome anywhere. I didn’t draw up these rules, but that’s just how it is. Now, the ‘real type’ character/unit can do the ff:
- Damage the super type enemy early on, but ultimately fail at fighting it (but looking cool and awesome anyway)
- Defeat a super type enemy (ultimately a minor one in the food chain) during a special episode dedicated to the real type character/unit. Here s/he can even save the main’s life, etc.
- Defeat a super type enemy mid-boss during the finale/approaching the finale.
- Of course, fight and beat any other real type characters/units.
The butler tank bot did number one, and was very cool the whole time. I’d make it the prime highlight of the pilot episode until well, Arma went all Evangelion on his opponent’s ass.
Yes, I haven’t seen this level of physical brutality in a robot show since Rebuild 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance. The use of conventional and ‘real type’ ordnance and units against the super is indeed evocative of Evangelion, albeit this tradition extends all the way back to super robot shows like Choudenji Machine Voltes V, and Tossho Daimos. In these super robot shows, the conventional weapons exist to portray the fearsomeness of the super enemy. Evangelion’s obsession with ‘real type’ dynamics necessitated the conceit of the AT Field, which is pretty good as force field conceits go. But the main comparison with Evangelion is how the Arma fought like the Unit 01 in its own version of the berserker mode. Arma executed a full mount on the enemy lying supine on the ground, pounded it with strikes, and pretty much tore it apart using bare hands. It was great!
There’s a bunch of other things that I find less interesting (like the MASTER CLOTH, the Megaman style arm weapons/attacks), or isn’t very well done (the whole sequence where he turns from berserker to hero of justice; also WTF BUTLERS AND MAIDS so many maids, TWIN MAIDS), but to find four things in a pilot episode is a good yield in my book. So yes, I’m hyped for this show. Can’t wait to see more!