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Time Ranger~

August 25, 2014

“My name isn’t Kouichi! It’s Tokito!”

Tokito Aizawa, Giniro no Olynsiss

silber

This show, a short 12-episode affair sometime after the airing of Gundam SEED, has a (in my opinion) wrongfully bad reputation amongst mecha fans for being a terrible show overall. Don’t be mistaken; I’m not defending the show. But after going back to rewatch it along with a friend, just to show him how subpar it was, things are in a somewhat clearer perspective.

In the world of Giniro no Olynsiss, in the year A.D. 3567, the Earth, now a largely post-apocalyptic-style wilderness with small towns and cities all around, is covered by a gigantic Olynsiss barrier, an energy manifestation that not only blocks out all that it is in-between of, but also causes a few rare space-time incidents, largely by means of tossing people forward or back in the time-stream. However, down on Earth life goes on, and our protagonist, Tokito Aizawa, along with the group of Hunters he travels with, take on jobs that largely involve fighting the mechanical constructs roaming much of the planet’s surface; it’s heavily implied that the causes of fighting are two-way, as the Gardeners have no compunctions chasing human targets once they spot them. These constructs, called Gardeners, are taken down, then sold for scrap, by those in the Hunter business, as these parts can either be used to construct/upgrade Crawlers, the combat vehicles used by Hunters and guards to engage these Gardeners, or in some other purposes that are not elaborated upon.

However, Tokito’s life changes when he encounters a mysterious girl called Tia. Not only is she unbelievably strong physically, but she seems to have a connection to the Gardeners, and when she names Tokito the inheritor of a gigantic, fully-bidepal robot, an Olynsiss Machine, that she calls Silber, all while mis-identifying him as a “Kouichi”, Tokito is drawn into a greater conflict that far surpasses his everyday life of fighting mere Gardeners.

First off, this is a small-scale series. Most small-scale anime productions tend to remain small-scale if they weren’t adapted from big-name material beforehand/had their animation projects handled by big-name people in a big-name company. Giniro no Olynsiss, being a one-volume light novel adapted into a 12-episode anime, had neither opportunities to call to its name, and the art/animation quality really shows this. In general, GnO’s art hovers somewhere around the level of “Hmm… okay.” to “This is totes Gundam 0079, am I really in the 2000s?”

The plot, despite the mysterious girl angle, is fairly straightforward, and doesn’t intensify in its curveballs until the last four or five episodes. Because time travel is involved, things might get fairly confusing, but actually, it’s just standard time travel fair (the more popular, scientifically-inaccurate version of it, but I’m not a quantum scientist anyways) hidden by the surprisingly thick layer of drama they have on the plot. It’s neither surprising drama or even GOOD drama, even to the drama-blind like me, but it’s not bad drama either, not by any measure of the word. It’s just… standard, once the initial kick settles. Things are not what they seem, but neither are the revelations some kind of divine hammer of enlightenment, and some viewers might even be turned off by some of the plot twists/revelations (too twisty/not twisty enough/small, little impact on overall plot), depending on personal POV.

My greatest gripe is pretty much the settings/animation/design in this. Giniro no Olynsiss actually has the settings to become a “big world” setting; machines roaming the Earth (although the anime never goes that far despite the implications), people fighting them and building actual mecha out of those scraps, traveling and meeting towns and people, trading parts, bandit groups, and so on and so forth. It has a setting that wouldn’t be out of place on a tabletop/RPG, or even on a Zoids series. It’s a pity that like the design of the enemies (Gardeners LOL), that seems to have taken the back seat; and not just the back seat, in my personal opinion, but the boot of the car.

The Gardeners have a simplistic, almost lazy design. Those viewers who are more detail-oriented might find themselves suppressing a chortle upon first viewing, because that’s how out-of-place it looks. The Crawlers are slightly better, and the titular Olynsiss Machine(s) have the most detail of them all. Which brings me to my final point: the animation.

It’s nowhere near SEED Destiny levels, and I mean that in a negative way. The choreography is largely bland, action scenes are no better than simple movements most of the time, and the Olynsiss Machines fight like slugs for the better part of the series. The only plus is that they’re so powerful, canonically speaking, that blowing shit up by waving their hands at them is actually a rather realistic, if boring depiction of combat between an Olynsiss Machine and anything that isn’t an Olynsiss Machine. For everything else though, the action angles and rather lackluster presentation does take the anime down a few more notches.

All in all, it’s just… bland. Giniro no Olynsiss is a one-off story adapted from a one-off book, so there really wasn’t much to be done about it. The world was never the focus; neither the mecha, the people living in it, nor the implied larger conflict between humanity in the solar system in general. It was always about Tokito x Tia, and whatever sub-plots the show had, apart from the secondary romance plotline (one plus two can never equal three~ ho!) were either resolved quickly, hardly appeared, or else were reserved for other characters, and thus never got much spotlight. Giniro no Olynsiss is a small series, something to watch when you’re bored or with nothing better to do, but unless the QUALITY makes you rage so much it sticks in your mind, you’re unlikely to even remember watching it once past a week.

It does have some rather nice T & A, though…

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