It is two hundred years after the beginning of the Space Era, when human civilization on Earth began expanding into space. However, by the start of the 21st century, two meteors struck the planet, sending humanity into chaos. By the year 179 of the Space Era, secret technology, dubbed Extra-Over Technology, or EOT, was discovered by the Earth Federal Government within a third meteor that hit Earth in the Marquesas Islands of the South Pacific. Dr. Bian Zoldark, head of the EOTI Institute (Extra-Over Technological Investigative Institute), had evidence the creators of the EOT were heading to Earth, in order to reclaim it...or worse, invade the planet. In order to defend humanity from extraterrestrial threats, the government begins to research and develop humanoid mecha called Personal Troopers.
Super Robot Wars OG: Divine Wars is an anime based on the "OG Universe", where all "Banpresto Originals" characters from various SRW games. Only a few of that characters were able to appear in this game, but the game developer, Banpresto, plans to add all Banpresto Original characters to its upcoming games.
Summarization of the Story: (I will try my best not to spoil everything from here)
It all began when Meteor 3 fell from Earth. The Meteor 3 contains Extra-Over-Technology (EOT), where it is used to power some super robots/real robots in the franchise. The Earth Federation Army (EFA) is a group which aims to protect
Earth and humanity from threats, both inside and outside the planet. It was when an alien group called the "Aerogaters" started invading Earth. Then the Antarctic Incident happened, where its aim is to have a peace treaty in both the EFA and the Aerogaters. The outcome result failed because the pilot of Granzon, Shu Shirakawa, started attacking both sides. After the Antarctic Incident is the declaration of Bian Zoldark, the commander of Divine Crusaders, declared war against EFA for a "reason". This sums everything up. Come to think of it, this is the first 5 stages of the game, so there's nothing wrong in summarizing everything up.
It's awesome to see them merge the teams from EFA into one episode. Of course, the story isn't that accurate, but the sense of it is still there. (And soon you'll find this non-canon to the SRW OG Verse, but just a "part" of it (explained in SRW OGs 2nd)
The robots that are drawn in this anime doesn't fit my taste. I would prefer how the robots are drawn in the SRW OG: The Inspectors (its sequel) rather in this franchise.
Two words: JAM Project.
Some lacked introduction/background history, but the way that characters became close to each other, and seeing them develop relationship between others is good.
I can't tell that I enjoyed, because I played the game and I knew which and what will come up next. The "final" boss of this franchise is what surprised me the most.
If you want to keep up from the events of this franchise, I recommend playing the game first before watching this anime, because some part of it is not accurate, and this timeline is NOT CANON
Videogame adaptations in anime are very hit or miss. For every Devil May Cry or Persona 4, you get a Persona 4 Golden or Fire Emblem. Today, we're looking at one that's smack down the middle... mostly because what they already had wasn't that great to begin with.
The plot is based on the Ryusei route of the first Super Robot Wars Original Generation game... and only the Ryusei route, any events from the first half of Kyosuke's route are ignored with one or two exceptions.
Already, this raises a problem. OG1 plot's was already nothing special to begin with (The series didn't really hit its stride
until the second game) so removing stuff only hurts it. That said, I can't really say it's terrible either. There are some moments that are recreated decently enough, and ultimately this is still an adaptation of a decent plot.
Part of the reason I can't hate this show is the characters. The main trio of Ryusei, Aya and Rau are a delight to see, and it's great to see them develop from reluctant allies to full fledged true companions. Ryusei in particular gets a lot of development, going from an excitable and naive fanboy who clearly doesn't know what he's getting into (Eveb if his heart is ultimately in the right place) to a mature, responsible soldier that still retains his previous lightheartedness.
The supporting cast certainly helps. Ingram is a great mentor character, and the others are great as well. From the lovably stupid Masaki, the shy yet intelligent Latooni, and the badass captain known to us mortals as Daitetsu. The ATX Team (Comprised of Kyosuke, Excellen, Bullet and Sanger) sadly don't get much to do, but they'll get their chance to shine.
The villains are great. Bian makes for a great early threat, and Elzam is motherfucking Elzam. I don't need to say anything else. The later enemies, the Aerrogators, aren't quite as good, but they do serve as an effective enough threat and I can take them seriously.
This is the show's worst aspect by a long shot. While the character designs are faithful to the games (With the exception of Shu who looks like if he's about to fall asleep at any second now) the actual movement is very stiff, and it only gets worse in the giant robot fights. Why? Well...
Why!? Why did they use CGI!? It's not even good CGI, this is some of te cheapest, most lifeless CGI I've ever seen, and it never gets better. The mechs themselves look decent enough, but nothing really stands out.
Exclusive to this anime is the Dis-SRX, a fusion of the SRX and The Did Astranagant (No, I hace no idea from where the hell that thing came from considering that the regular Astranagant doesn't even exist in the OG-Verse... yet(As of writing this, Super Robot Wars T has just been announced)). It looks alright, but nothing special.
By contrast, this is the best part about this show. It's comprised entirely of orchestral remixes of songs from the game. While there are some songs I do feel are better with the electronic instruments from the game (Most notably "Everywhere You Go" "Ice Man" and "Marionette Messiah") others (IE most of them) are great, with the standouts being "Trombe!" "Time Diver" and "Dark Prision". Weirdly enough, I didn't really care for either the Opening or endings themes.
All of the cast from the game return and do a good enough job. Shinichiro Miki and Tohru Furusawa in particular did a great job as Ryusei and Ingram, but the rest do a good job as well. From Narumi Hidaka, Ai Orikasa, Tetsu Inada, Ryotaro Okiayu and even the one and only Norio Wakamoto. My only complain about this cast ironically belongs to the man I thought had the best performance in the games: Takehito Koyasu as Shu. Who, much like The character he's playing, sounds almost sleepy. A large contrast from the deliciously cold ham he is in the games.
Divine Wars isn't particularly good, but I can't call it terrible either. It's very much a middle of the road anime that, had it not been based on a good game, would've been forgotten fast. Stuck with the game, if possible play the PS2 remake, which has the first two games plus some rewritten dialogue and added voice acting (Though be warned, the game wasn't released out of Japan, which is funny as the original GBA versions were).