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Buddy Complex | Mecha?


As a show produced by Sunrise, the classic genre of mecha comes to mind. It doesn’t waste any time in the beginning as we witness several of those causing chaos and havoc at Aoba’s school; and the best part is that we don’t know why. It’s no surprise that the audience will have many questions. But for what’s worth, we do know that Aoba Watase is a loyal friend.

Despite having no military experience in the beginning, he listens to every word that Hina has to say and even attempts to save her like the way she is trying to save him. But this initial setup also identifies itself as cliché in the beginning with its gimmicky characters. Taking a look on the surface, the story itself adapts a supernatural device (time travel) and forwards 74 years into the future. But the more complex part is what goes on in that future. For instance, there’s two sides that are seemingly begrudged in a war – the Free Pact Alliance and Zogilia Republic; two sides existing opposite of each other sharing the common goal to win through absolute victory. 

Events that does come together may sound typical but what happens in the future really ticks one’s mind when characters forwarded in time are seemingly different. For instance, Hina is almost nothing like the high school girl she debuted as. Instead, we are introduced to a Hina fighting for the Zogilia Republic as a loyal soldier. There’s little explanation in the beginning as to why her character went so much change and how she is there in the first place. But nonetheless, we also find out a character (Dio) that was mentioned by Hina as someone significant and possible benefactor to this futuristic world.

Then, it goes on explaining the two nations and its backgrounds in diligent yet unnerving ways. While all this makes sense, there’s a lack of interest because the big mystery still remains to why Aoba is involved with all of this. But do take time to familiarize with this show’s concepts as it does take patience to get through. After all, these concepts are complex by origins and even with cliches formulates a story for thought.

At the apex of the story, we also find the mysterious pilot that came from the future to kill Aoba. Of course, Hina is there again but this time is seemingly confused by her own identity. And seemingly enough, identity is another issue as Hina doesn’t seems to know exactly who she is beyond her outer persona. As mystery would have taken hold at the core, Buddy Complex slowly yet vividly reveals little by little of its purpose. Whether it’s done through conversations, flashbacks, or just what’s there, the show does actually attempt to pull this out concisely. It also allows viewers to formulate their own theories and see if their predictions are valid in this typhoon of complexity.

Despite the serious nature and warfare dedication of the series, there are moments for lighthearted scenarios. Although it sheds away some of the more tragic moments and brings out a different side, it follows a standard direction of witless context. For instance, the romance subplot between Aoba and Mayuka, another member of the alliance, often comes out as cheesy. It’s not just the dialogues but execution with the usual blushes, misunderstandings, and tawdry interactions.

The action battles, in general, are outstanding with the rapid pace and intensity. One of the most mysterious device is the ‘coupling’ system, a weapon that can essentially turn the tides of the war. And while some of the battles lacks integrity, the show has strategy from both sides that demand teamwork, innovative maneuvers, and technological demonstration. Each mecha has its own specifications and designs with key elements. The results often serves as evidence to its performance.

As the studio is Sunrise, no stranger with mecha themed shows. You can spot a lot of similarities to their past work. Take that was you will, whether you consider that to be a good or bad thing. I personally consider that to be a negative feature as it doesn’t exactly scream “original”. To me it felt like an off-brand of the various mecha styles they used for other mecha Anime. Character designs are also typical with Hina being the most mysterious with her beauty and secretive backgrounds. On the other hand, Aoba stands out as dull with nothing distinguishing to write home about. Fan service is minimal although poorly coordinated when the time calls for it.

Soundtrack plays various roles throughout the series. While some of the OST undermines the serious nature of the atmosphere, there are also moments when it creates variety. In other words, it can shift quickly and simply depending on its scenario. For what’s worth, the OST makes sense whether it’s for emotional scenes, aerial warfare, or climatic moments.


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