Tekkaman Blade takes place in the year 2300 AD. On a certain moment, the Radam attack earth. A few months after the beginning of the invasion, a tekkaman appears, he calls himself Blade and with the help of the Space Knights, Blade starts to fight the radam. But there are a few things that Blade isn't telling about his past.
It is with great pleasure for me to tell you why I liked this anime. First off, it does have some flaws that do stand out such as a few too many recap episodes, which you can skip at your leisure, but other than that, it’s virtually near perfection. The first half of the story will be at a very fast pace and depending on how much time you have, you can probably watch a significant portion of this 49 episode series in one setting. But with the second half, it does get a little slow progressively until near the end, but it’s because of
certain circumstantial reasons within the story of why it slows down, but when you get to the ending, it picks up again.
But the best quality of this anime is definitely its character development. Initially, there will be characters you will not be able to stand and you wish for them to get what’s coming to them for how they act and treat D-Boy. But as time goes on, the characters do grow on you and show significant maturity where your feelings of them drastically change. Another great point in which contributes to the development is of course the relationships between the characters. It’s about family, friendship and love. Initially the characters egos will be a driving force of internal conflicts, but as time goes on, they will unite and come to accept each other as family and support.
But despite these find qualities, the story overall is still dark and gritty and I felt it was a good foundation to build and develop the characters on. Certain parts of the story will really make you feel sad for D-Boy for what he has to go through throughout the series. Initially he’s this self-centered guy, but comes to learn that nobody can live alone. I feel a lot of the development of the characters and their relationships is a high point because I think everybody can relate to it.
I have to say that the art and animation for an early 90s anime is top notch. I originally thought this anime shared the same character designer of Gundam 0083 because the style of those characters, looked like the characters of this anime, but despite my false assumption, the character designs are done by Kogawa Tomonori, the designer of another personal favorite of mine, Tomino Yoshiyuki’s Aura Battler Dunbine. When I compared the heavy clothing of lets say Aki and D-Boy to Sho’s, I could see the resemblance of how he approaches such things and I have to say the 10 year gap between both series shows a significant bounds of evolution with his art style. I’ll admit the character designs aren’t exactly state of the art with wicked hairstyles, but the art is still complex by exhibiting a lot of the emotion this anime caries with the postures, ways of walking, and facial expressions.
The designs and transformations of the Tekkaman in this installment are of course more sophisticated and very uniquely organic which helps makes this anime stand out in comparison to your typical mech anime nowadays. In comparison to the original Tekkaman, which looked more like a European Knight hence the title Space Knight, Tekkaman Blade’s edginess and angles give a more distinctive samurai look to it and really compliments the style of the action where it’s fast paced, explosive, and agile. Unfortunately, there are moments in the 2nd half of the series, specifically between Blade and Evil where the action gets DBZ-ish, but then again, it was 1992 when DBZ was all the rage so they were trying to capitalize on it, but I guess it does capture the more organic nature of this anime in relation to being a Tekkaman in this installment. But the most bad ass of the fights is of course the use of the Voltekka, Tekkaman’s ultimate attack which was in the original series as well but drastically changed in this version. The special effects will kind of look like a kamehameha but when you see it in action, it’s still really bad ass and appropriate in this anime in context to everything related in it. So it’s a nice touch.
But if there was one thing I didn’t like about the designs, it was the one-dimensional approach to the villains. In the original Tekkaman, you got all kinds of aliens with different gimmicks, while in this one, it’s mostly just the giant alien spiders and the evil Tekkaman for Tekkaman to fight. But other than that, everything else is cool.
The seiyuu cast of this respective series is certainly top notch and has a handful of my personal favorites. D-Boy is played by Morikawa Toshiyuki, the voice of Griffith from Berserk, and Vorg from Hajime no Ippo. In those roles, he was more quiet and calm, while in this role, he was shockingly hot headed and hostile and I wasn’t even able to recognize that it was the same actor after I looked it up. After all the anime I watched in Japanese, I’m pretty good at recognizing seiyuus, but Morikawa really took me by surprise in this one and just saying this should give you an idea of how excellent his voice acting will be as D-Boy when you get to watch this anime. And my favorite female seiyuu, Hayashibara Megumi, the voice of female Ranma, Rei from Evangelion, and Faye from Cowboy Bebop plays Aki. Aki’s design may not really compare to other babes of anime, but I felt Hayashibara’s talented voice acting really brought out her inner beauty and makes you drawn to just her character, and this will really be emphasized in the second half. And I can’t deny the presence of the late great Suzuoki Hirotaka, the voice of Bright from Gundam, Kuno from Ranma, and Seiryuu from Saint Seiya and many, many, many other roles as the voice of Chief Freeman. He really brings out the well intended scheming personality of the character to life and just the way he sounds really makes you think what kind of a character Freeman really is just like how Noal kind of always has his suspicious about him. And one last seiyuu I want to mention is Koyasu Takehito, the voice of Tekkaman Evil. Due to time constraints I won’t elaborate too much on this, but if you’ve seen my review of Initial D 4th Stage, I really praised him for his performance in that anime, but his talent in making his character stand out is present here as well. I really like how he makes Tekkaman Evil provoking and provocative, but still has this mystique surrounding him. There are a lot more names I want to get into, but I have to end it there, so time to move onto the music.
The opening and ending themes are explosive and energetic that really reflect the action intense and relationship based tones of this anime overall and are addictive. The background tracks are all selectively and conducingly appropriate to the mood of the moment whether happy or sad. And the transformation music of Tekkaman itself feels like it was composed by the great John Williams himself.
Even though I have to admit some of the concepts don’t seem to be that new or innovating in relation to the story, I think it’s presentation still gives it a unique flavor of freshness where it does come across as original. To say it in a nutshell, I felt a lot of the features of Zeta Gundam, Gundam Wing, Macross, and the original respective novels of Starship Troopers and War of the Worlds along with some of the new features of the Tekkaman armor were put together to create this masterpiece. Very little can critics and audiences say remakes will surpass the original, and I’ll admit I prefer this series overall the original. But I personally find it impossible to really compare the two series, especially when mech and sci-fi anime overall drastically changed since the broadcasting of these two respective series. Even though they share the same name of Tekkaman, but I feel to compare Blade to the original Tekkaman is like comparing Gundam Wing to Tetsujin 28 or Gigantor. But I’ll get into some of those qualities in my review of the original Tekkaman which you have to stay tuned for.
I use the following system to calculate the final score:
In each of the five categories (Story, Art, Sound, Character(s), Enjoyment), a score can get 2, 4, 8 or 10. 2 for something I find truly bad, 4 for something that just isn't good enough, 8 for fairly good and 10 for outstanding.
The sum of the score is divided by 5 and the score is rounded to the nearest integer (More than or equal to .5 rounds it up, less than .5 rounds it down).
A tragic main character, forced to fight. Military men with lots of ambition. Aliens and plants. Romance. A bit of amnesia.
Mecha! Sounds like this series doesn't lack a single thing, right? The story is presented in a typical, episodic monster-of-the-week format, and is one of the better shows using this format.
The animation in this series is very inconsistent. Sometimes, it's brilliant, sometimes, it's bad. When it's good, it's really good, and the designs are exquisite. If you like mecha in the form of power armor, these designs should have you drooling, but the inconsistency hurts a lot.
Both opening tracks to this series are great, the same goes for tension music and sound effects. One of my favourite voice actors voices the main character, D-Boy. Many will know his voice as Sephiroth's, while others will recognise him from roles such as Kyosuke Nanbu or Ryu from Street Fighter. Either way, his voice is great.
D-Boy truly is an angsty main character, but rightfully so. And he doesn't run around whining about it. The main cast, the antagonists and the interactions within and between these groups are well written.
Anyone who didn't cry oily tears over a certain event towards the end of the series has a heart of stone.
Excellent fights, a captivating story and great mecha designs, not to mention the Vol Tekker, which was later turned into a Pokémon attack exclusive to Pichu's chain of evolution. I enjoyed the heck out of this show.
48 * 0.2 = 9.6, rounded up to 10.
This is something for people who like action shows with some angst and drama. Though there is romance, it's not the focus.
It's a bit more than your run-of-the-mill shounen, though it runs in the same vein, or very close to it. You should also be aware that with this being a rather long shows, it has some slower arcs that may put some viewers off, not to mention dated animation, which some people can't stand these days.
Every so often I come across a story, a story that has such utter genius written across it that reaches levels of masterpiece storytelling....only to be hindered by careless mistakes. That happens to be the case with tekkaman blade, the way I see this series is that its one of the best shows with one of the worst executions, for everything tekkaman blade was doing phenomenally they would do something bad to counteract it, yet despite all the things wrong with the series there is still a outstanding story to be found if you look hard enough, but does that story truly negate the flaws
that plague this series?
Before I begin, I know this is usually shunned upon in reviews but I apologize for making this review so long but I really cant sum up what this show does so right and so wrong in a abridged version.
The story of tekkaman blade about one man, who is later named D-boy, whom has the powers to transform into a mech like armor called tekkaman blade in which he uses to fight off an invading alien force known as the Radam as well as other mysterious users with ties to our hero whom also have the ability to transform into tekkamans. After a fierce battle and nearly fatal wound D-boy reverts back to a human body and is found by aki and noel, of the military branch called the space knights. While that may not be the most flattering synopsis the show is way more interesting than both its premise and its initial episodes let on divulging into quite the epic and at times unpredictable storyline. I really have to hold back on giving specifics of what is to come in this storyline as while there aren't necessarily many twists there are a ton of plot points that surprise and intrigued me when watching and really helped push me to keep watching.
The story does a phenomenal job at utilizing D-Boy's initially shrouded past and utilizing them in the present plot points and storytelling without relying too heavily on exposition, its a very flashback heavy show but unlike most shows that do this it works quite well in Tekkaman blade. Finding out what happened in D-boy's past that gave him his powers as well as uncovering what his ties with these antagonist tekkamans that aid the radam is one of the strongest points in the story. There is also a interesting use of not making the radam the central antagonists but rather combining them with a corrupt military which adds a sense of danger to even the more calmer moments of the series when the radam are not attacking. However this interesting corrupt military plot point is pretty much entirely resolved by the shows halfway point and feels like a bit of a missed opportunity but for the most part served its purpose without overstaying its welcome but it still feels like there could had been some more interesting conflicts later on while they still juggled this antagonistic military force on their backs as they start to make their final moves on the radam forces. The 2nd half as well as the entire series suffers from 2 huge issues that truly hold it back more than anything
One of the issues is filler. Unlike what many long running shounens have led people to believe filler can be a really good thing, while not furthering the plot it can be used to get to know the characters, allow them to grow on us by seeing them in a less dire/serious sight as well as develop/build the world. A good filler will let the characters grow on you or at the very least create a more relaxing entertaining experience different than the more action filled events of the main story episodes. Tekkaman blade does filler horribly, residing mainly in the second half the series goes into downright moronic territory, youl find absurd stories of robotic little girls, one shot characters that lack any form of logic in their actions and seemingly cool locations that get absolutely no details about them given past a cool appearance. Not only are these fillers not enjoyable to watch due to their repetitive formula which ends every single of the episodes with random radam attacks that lack any real tension because you know nothing important will happen, but its made worse that these were largely wasted when they could had been good tools to build the characters and world. The 1st half of the story is told through a military perspective going on missions then back to base, the 2nd half has the cast traveling on foot/vehicle across the world, this should had been a great opportunity to build up this world that has survived these attacks by this unknown alien force yet its wasted by only showing hints of cool world-building the never following through on it. you'll see plenty of really cool looking areas and towns or ruins that all end up being simplified to nothing more than their appearance. Its a huge wasted opportunity that hurts the show. To top this off there are 4 recap episodes 3 of which are in the show's 2nd half.
The other huge issue that brings tekkaman blade down which ties into its filler issue, its pacing. Tekkaman blade simply should not have been 49 episodes, the pacing at the start is too slow for its own good and only a few of the first 10 episodes felt all that important, Many conflicts that span multiple episodes only needed to be done in merely 1 episode as many of the conflicts are drawn out by unnecessary dialogue from characters not fighting and the filler and the 4 recaps episodes did not need to exist as they only hurt the show rather than help. This should have been only about 26 episodes and would have worked much better that way. The way characters react to certain events is way too sluggish and slow that it really kills the dire mood the show is going for with this conflict. The shows pacing is quite fine from episode 11-24ish give and take a recap and episodes 36-45/46 or so are pretty back on scheduled to the main plot. However despite being a incredibly slow paced series the final episodes of the series are rushed as hell and nearly ruin all the good the 10 episodes before it had done. I cannot get into details at risk of major spoilers but to sum it up characters die anticlimactically for absolutely no reason or purpose other than to make it so D-boy isn't allied with anyone for the final conflicts, fights are anticlimactic, and the series ends with a bullshit deus ex machina final fight and ending, I was going to give a series a 7 at the time right before watching the finale but the way the show wraps up was so poorly done I had to drop it down the 6 its at now.
One of the most mixed aspects of tekkaman blade is in its characters, The main characters D-boy, while not necessarily having that wide a range of emotions is a pretty well developed characters and I found myself really caring about the guy as the series progressed and really got into following the hardships he is facing due to the past he has and its affect on the present conflicts he faces. Some of the villains are extremely well thought out such as tekkaman evil whom I don't want to give away anything about this guy but his relationship to D-boy easily ranks up there as one of my favorite rivalries in anime providing the most emotional and exciting parts of the story, whenever tekkaman evil shows up you knew the series would get really good, and with the exception of one conflict later in the series they always delivered. While not the big bad of the series tekkaman evil thankfully acts mainly as the main antagonistic force in the series and appears quite frequently. A few of the other tekkamans such as tekkaman rapier are a more of a fresh breath of air compared to the other tekkamans and 2 particular other tekkamans(axe and sword) have really well developed back-stories and ties to the past that really sell though a emotional connection to the events transpiring. However the remaining 3 tekkaman's including the big bad are incredibly underdeveloped, tekkaman dagger in particular being the worst, he acts as the first antagonist for the first part of the series and that's all he was, a guy that got in the way, D-boy recognizes who he was but the ties he has to D-boy are never investigated and after a terribly anticlimactic fight between the 2 he is never once brought up again other than mentions of how D-boy kicked his ass. Tekkaman lance which warning I'm just going to spoil his incredibly insignificant role he had on the series, He is introduced in the 20's doesn't show up for 15 or so episodes, then gets killed anticlimactically in the same episode he comes back. Who was he? what's his backstory? What's his ties with D-boy let alone any character? NOTHING, he literally just some dude that we know nothing about. Finally there is the big bad whom while he is given an actual tie in to his relationship with D-boy in the events prior to the show that relationship is largely underdeveloped anywhere past just addressing what the 2's relationship title was. he's one of those villains that sits in a room the entire series and yells at the people, granted they say why he cant leave the ship he's on but its still such a boring decision to make the MAIN villain of the series just sit around on his ass the entire show. The heroes are sadly fairly shallow characters, the main heroine aki lacks any real form of a personality and her romance with D-boy doesn't really get developed past stating she likes him. Noel while at first being kind of a dick is one of the more likable characters and has an actual personality and more wide range of motivations and emotions, Honda, Milly, Freeman, and Levin who make up the rest of the cast are sadly 1 trick pony characters that don't have anything interesting about them past initial synopsis of them, Honda is just a mechanic with no real personality, milly is the residential cutsy girl usually used for occasional panty shots, freeman is a stereotypical leader character that is more of a plotpoint than a character, and levin is just a gay guy used for ineffective comic relief, one of the best characters in the story is a side character named balzac who has a ton of development and by story's end is almost a entirely different character than his initial premise. The characters are just a mixed bag but sadly because of the hero's lack of interesting aspects it ends up really outweighing the good characters in the end since these people are simply not interesting or entertaining to watch.
all that's really left are the music and animation/art, music is entirely forgettable and has no real interesting tracks, the animation is inconsistent with the art jumping from being well detailed and looking like a 90's anime should to becoming this really ugly, poorly detailed, and jagged animation that looks straight out of the 1970's. There are certain points where the series looks great such as some of the tekkaman evil fights but the series is really dampened by a ton of stock footage and poorly animated scenes. The art is also really ugly to look at, despite some cool looking backgrounds they use way too much of an emphasis on drag and dark colors that just make everything look unpleasant, and while this would work when showing the war torn world of this show, when you also use the same ugly color palette for what are supposed to be more pleasant looking areas you only make that lose impact and make the entire series just look ugly. To add on one last time about why this should have been 49 episodes is that if they had shortened the series it could have also allowed them to balance their budget more to make it look less cheap as it does throughout many portions of the series
So should you watch tekkaman blade even with all that's wrong with it? Despite how much I complained and ragged at many aspects of this series I do honest to god think this is worth your time if your willing to put up with the issues addressed in this review. Its a great series brought down by mishaps but its not a great story ruined by mishaps. If you give the series its time and can put up with its problems you will be rewarded. However if you don't have the patience to put up with this then you probably are better off passing on tekkaman blade.
Tekkaman. Yeah what here to say, the anime best for me. when I saw series having 12 years, I knew that it was this title who will win my heart. What can he boast about? He has beauties line, music of extraordinary beauty, sensational projects of heroes, especially Tekkamans. After examining the next stretch, impatiently we expect what will be happening in consecutive. There is no speech about boredom, every minute is drawing. Tekkaman simply needs to know, and one should watch. Frankly I recommend! Alone I examined series several times and I will certainly watch the no one time.
(sorry by mistakes in spelling, i
from poland and i have problems with this language)