Gunparade March Volume 2
“The opening of the first few episodes gives a brief but detailed description of what is happening in a fictional world, where alien life forms known as the Genjyu have taken over control of the world and people have been living in fear of these creatures since the late 1940s. Rather than being intelligent life forms, the Genjyu are no more than parasites, spreading across the world at an incredible rate and leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. To try and battle these creatures, all modern forms of warfare have been employed and it would appear that not even a nuclear bomb is able to disperse the creatures and prevent full invasion. As such the use of these powerful weapons has left the planet poisoned with radiation. Yet the aliens continue to live on whilst the human race struggles to live ordinary lives alongside them”.
Continuing from Gunparade March Volume 1.
By the end of the first volume the story seems pretty much explained and the characters are somewhat developed. The first episode of the second volumes opens with a very light hearted beginning with the main characters creating and organising a puppet show for some of the younger students at their school. Considering that these older students are meant to be training to destroy the Genjyu in super, high powered, monster fighting robot machines to put on a puppet show is a gentle touch to show some humour. This is also a nice twist away from the generic alight fighting animes in the market that don’t contain so much as a giggle; however, this first episode is not without its bloodshed.
Within the first episode a few more Genjyu are introduced, bigger and more dangerous than before. This danger becomes even more apparent when one of the best student fighters is taken down by one of the Genjyu and has toxins enter their body through an open wound. This leads to some gruesome scenes and by this point the character’s relationships are developed and their concern is projected very well. By the end of the first episode, several students have died which truly impacts where this anime is prepared to go. Unlike a lot of anime, Gunparade March is not afraid to actually kill off some characters.
In the following episode, life tries to resume as normal, but student’s deaths are still on everyone mind which makes for a very depressing episode and rightly so. In this second episode, another new Genjyu is introduced which emphasises that just because lives have already been lost, doesn’t mean to say that these foul beasts rest. It reminds viewers that the war is still on going and it is seemingly never ending. This new Genjyu is also referred to as ‘The Brain’ and it soon becomes clear that other Genjyu are it’s spawn and if The Brain is destroyed it can no longer produce new Genjyu.
As to be expected with any new breed of anything, the new breed is tougher and not as easy to destroy especially as this one can multiply. The students find themselves having to withdraw temporarily thus making things a little more interesting, leaving the viewer eager to know what the next move is going to be and just how will it pan out.
The animation quality hasn’t improved at all since the first volume and although it’s not bad, it’s just standard. The same can be said for the voice acting for the English cast, just a little bland and forgettable. However, credit must go to the storyline which is fast moving and glides swiftly between more relaxed, humorous scenes to serious fighting scenes. Most viewers are likely to have worked out by the end of the first volume whether this anime is something that they would want to continue with and the second volume really does just carry on from where it left off.
It’s good and so far that’s all it is. It hits all the right buttons with regards to the viewers who enjoy weapons, aliens, blood shed, comedy and the occasional adult humour. The only thing that really lets this anime down, again, is the voice acting. They are often over-the-top, exaggerated, forced and feel as though the actors themselves lack experience. The anime itself might have received a 7 if the voice acting wasn’t embarrassingly bad.