Aoba is a young girl who loves to build models of robots. She lived alone with her grandmother until her grandmother passes away. Shortly after she is kidnapped and brought to a secret base where she discovers a huge robot. The piloted robots fight against Ancient-Jinki in The Grand Savanna, but the true meaning behind the fights is hidden. Aoba works hard at the base so one day she can pilot one of the robots and discover these secrets.
I really wanted this show to work. At the time of me watching this, I had yet to see someone try to make a mech show that has a female lead. That was the primary reason for me to watch this show. Within the first four minutes, I was interested. Tokyo Tower getting destroyed (as usual) and some psycho chick in a robot is about to kill some other chick in a robot. I got a bit confused as I was watching the show the first time. I ended up watching the show again just to see if I missed something and to do this review more properly.
The story is simple as most mech shows are. The show tends to take a few pages from other shows.
“Oh look, a convenient manual for the robot happened to fall on my lap.”
The thing that may confuse some people is how the story is being told. The show itself is more or less based on two mangas: Jinki and Jinki:Extend. Jinki, being the prequel of the latter, occupies most of the spotlight during the first half of the show. While the initial story is going on, the story of the sequel, Jinki:Extend, is also being told in between scenes of the Jinki story. You will notice when there is a bright white transition the scene suddenly changes to character you met in the beginning suddenly are in Japan for five minutes, and then transition back and they are back in Venezuela. I think it was meant for the viewer to notice the transitions on their own, but sometimes when people are not paying attention (which was the case for me the first time) you tend to lose track on what is going on. You may end up thinking that the Extend manga scenes are flashbacks of the Jinki story. During the second half, the events of the Extend manga take over as the leading story. Though, the show picks up from here, it still felt a bit rushed. You get a few “OH SNAP!” moments during this part of the show, but it felt a bit forced due to lack of development.
The show is twelve episodes, well technically thirteen. They more or less tried to make a show that could have worked a lot better as a 26 episode show into 12 which forces the viewer to take in all the information quickly. The manga was still running during the process of the show which could explain some gaps in the story and the ending which left you wondering, “What the hell happened?” I guess this show was meant for those reading the manga. A good amount was actually skipped from the manga to tie both of the stories together. This show had a lot of potential, but the creators screwed up by making a shortened version of an unfinished manga.
The characters unfortunately did not get enough time to develop. At first, you get a lot time with Aoba and then the second half starts and you have to already know who the new characters are, because they do not spend much time on them. The villains of the show somehow worked though. Most of them are just plain evil, especially Shizuka. The dub for this character was on point. She acted so well I wanted to stab my monitor.
I didn't mind the mech designs that much. The Moribito itself looks a little bulky, but it made up for itself towards the end. Some of the later suits actually look good too. I can’t say much about the mechs since most of the story centers around the characters not the mechs.
The show has been licensed for a while, so I have to talk about the dub a bit more. It can be hit or miss at times. It is an ADV dub, so you can expect the usual staple of people doing the show. I have bit of a bias since I love most of the cast, most not all. One of the pilots from the Extend story just did not work for me. For me, the best part is Vic Mignogna playing a shape shifting, psycho, child rapist. Hilarious. As a side note, don’t play this show too loud on whatever it is you use. Brittney Karbowski, who plays Aoba, can scream like you can’t believe, which I commend her for doing. Final things about the dub you should know, is the previews for each episode were…it would be best if you just listen to the Japanese previews and see for yourselves.
Overall, I thought the show was not as bad as I thought it was and I didn’t think it was terrible before, just confusing. Again, had each manga were given enough screen time, it would have worked out. As a side note, for those who are tokusatsu fans, you can compare the way the story is being told to Kamen Rider Kiva. That show has a story being told in 1987 and another in 2008. It would be the same, except in Kiva they do a better job at the transitions between times. It even gives both stories equal screen time. Ah, but I digress, I think that people should try this show out. Even with its flaws, it is worth a watch. It’s short and you can bang through this show in one day. Just make sure you pay attention. If you are given the choice of the sub or dub, I would go with the dub. I think the cast did a good job. They acted all over this show and for that I thank them. It’s not perfect I know, but this is one of the few shows that are giving equal opportunity to leading mech pilots.
By the way, the opening and the ending sequence is a homage to Mobile Suit Gundam and Mazinger Z respectively. Just in case you didn’t notice.
//If you want to leave some feedback on my page, it would be cool. Hate or whatever, I don't mind.read more
Series that are reputed to be bad or average are interesting things. Interesting because, more often than not, they don't mean too.
That's how Jink: Extend is... It's the perfect example of something good, possibly great, turning into something puzzling, JUST because the staff got lazy.
And it's a real shame too.
Jinki had a few things going for it...
Honestly, the story wasn't bad. In fact, one could say it was semi-intriguing!
A girl named Aoba gets kidnapped by unknown captors to pilot a mecha that's known as a Jinki.
Aoba herself is an interesting heroine too, in that she herself is a fan of mecha model kits(it's actually pretty cute!), and doesn't seem to mind piloting it... In fact, she REALLY wants too!
So what causes her to be resilient towards the whole predicament? Her mother. Aoba's mother abandoned her at an early age for an unknown reason. Sure, so far it sounds like nothing special, but subtle role-rearranging made everything surprisingly fresh!
And that's what automatically created a lot of curiosity within me, as to how a formula that's been done before that received new life, transform into something that just plain crashes...
The sad truth came right around the corner. The truth is, the story isn't really about Aoba, or her mother's wicked acts. Well, it is, but the whole beginning arc is aimed towards something other than what was initially believed(misleading premise).
And that would've been okay, except that the true plot never gets properly pieced together. Everything up to episode 6-7 is lively and fresh only for viewers to realize that it was nothing more than the calm before the storm.
And that storm isn't a "WOW, what a plot twist!!!", but a "Jeez, this isn't what I was expecting..."
And since the series is only 12 episodes long, that doesn't give it NEARLY enough time to reveal everything. At the end of the series, it just tries to trick us into thinking that it was about Aoba and her mother's actions. And that, too, would've been alright as well, except that with all the additives mixed in we can't help but think "yep, I can't believe that's it."
And that right there is Jinki's greatest weakness.
Artistically speaking, it's quite sound.
What stands out the most are the female character designs(at first anyway). Aoba's figure and facial features clearly look like common moe', yet her reactions are amazingly one-of-a-kind. It also shows her strength as a character as the series progresses.
Aoba's mother also has extra villainy reactions that make her more vicious, more hateful, and, ultimately, more enjoyable.
The male designs are uninspiring, look a little plain, and just kinda sit there when things happen. Even when the action occurs, they're cheaply animated. It's a good thing the majority of the cast are females(at first anyway...)!
Mecha designs are, surprisingly, a treat. The primary Jinki looks ordinary at first, moves with fluidity and with presence. The Jinki "feels" like a giant robot, in short.
What sucks about the art later on, is how droll everything gets once the story's focus changes(another side-effect on the shift-change).
Multiple characters pop out of nowhere. All borrow the same designs. All get old. Quickly.
One of the highlights about Jinki, is the ultra-talented music composer, Kenji Kawai, try to save the show with his musical genius.
And let me say that, without his music, this show wouldn't be NEARLY as enjoyable as it was.
Moody, pumpy threads of background music course themselves during the mecha sequences, blending seamlessly. They constantly switch too, according to the circumstances. One could say it's not the music per se' that's so good, but the masterful control.
"Down time" moments are equally done too. Some of the songs resemble his other work on Moribito, ironically(those of you who've seen it will know what I'm talking about!).
Sensually gentle songs help make the character development(the very few times it's used) feel more effective and genuine.
Simply put, Kenji is WAY too good for this series. But because he's such a talented guy, he tries his best to make the series better than it can be. Admirable, but, sadly, futile...
This is what dragged down everything.
While the story was needlessly compressed, it could've been more fun to watch if there weren't SOOO many extra people in the sidelines doing little to nothing, that previous characters were more than capable of doing...
I swear, this part is so bad, that I wonder if the staff, themselves were frightened by the time they realized what they've done.
The early episodes brought out Aoba's scenario with life and freshness, and that applies to the characters.
Once it got "post-Aoba", every previous character got muddled with sudden new faces, popping left and right, that just keeping track of everyone became a challenge and a half.
Once it the show declines it affects everything...
If I were to judge the series based on it's early stages, I'd rank it a 8 or 9.
If I were to judge the series based on it's later stages, I'd rank it a 5 or 6.
And that's where the 7 comes from.
Granted, the later episodes may be frustrating, but they don't completely destroy the show.
In addition to Aoba's time, half of what made beginning so fun, was wondering where it would go.
So when the later episodes do arrive you get to know, but not without the excess baggage.
The baggage may hinder a lot of the comprehension, but the points do get across. You just need to put extra effort into it! Which also, in a weird "can't put my finger on" way, creates another form of enjoyment: Deciphering everything.
Even if everything CAN'T be deciphered(curse you Jinki's staff)!!!
Jinki doesn't quite lose it's addicting factor in it's later on. It just changes the origin.
Jinki literally is the definition of the phrase: "Mixed bag"
It had nearly everything it needed to be successful as an independent mecha series. But instead of mediocrity or cliche's being the cause of it's downfall, it was it's staff's fault. Weird huh?
Jinki: Extend will probably be forever known as "The Series that Never Could, But Tried". Oh, did it try.
I have nothing against Jinki, just their producers.
+ A rather interestingly fresh and highly enjoyable start. Took old elements and strung them together with subtle changes to make it work.
+ Looks and moves better than one would think. Kenji's talent shows off well here as he does in everything he's in. The show is still watchable no matter what.
- Later episodes take a huge dive in pacing, writing, direction, and concluding. More characters than a fish school in the Pacific Ocean.
- Character designs make it harder to distinguish who's who. While enjoying the entire series IS possible, whether everyone CAN enjoy it is another story entirely.read more
Mecha shows with female leads aren't really that common (the other one I've watched is Rinne no Lagrange. Not sure if Kannazuki no Miko counts considering the one who piloted most of the time was the guy character) so I decided to give Jinik: Extend a shot. That and it's OP is a reference to the OP of Mobile Suit Gundam. Really. View Jinki Extend's OP, then MSG's. You'll see.
Jinki Extend would have worked better as a longer anime, or one with two seasons. there are two storylines- one starring Aoba, and the other one starring Akao. Chronologically, Aoba's arc occurs before Akao's, but the anime shows them both at the same time, making it quite confusing. To save you the trouble, if there's a flashy scene transition it's probably going to shift from one arc to the other.
This showing of two arcs at the same time is not a good idea-the show gave us a lot of time in the first half with Aoba, then it suddenly shifts into focus into Akao in the latter part. However since you have not been given time to "bond" with this new cast, you may not care for them as much.
The mecha design is okay-nothing stands out, really. Music is very good- it gets you pumped up for the battles. Especially in the Akao arc, with it's city setting. Expect lots of collateral damage.
Overall however it's not too bad- I still enjoyed the series, especially near the end since both storylines merged and we get too see characters from both arcs fight together, which was great.
This would have been better if it had two arcs-or at least, if it showed everything in chronological order. As it stands it's just an average anime-still enjoyable, but don't expect it to be really good.read more