In Vandread, men are from Mars and women are from Venus! Well, not quite. Technology has allowed mankind to colonize the entire Milky Way galaxy, and in one star system, the men and women live on two different planets, Taraak and Mejere. A bitter and very literal gender war rages, to the point where they don't even see each other as the sames species anymore!
Hibiki Tokai, a male third-class laborer from Taraak, ends up stuck on a battleship after a botched attempt at stealing a robot. When female pirates capture the Taraakian Vanguard, things don't look like they could get any worse for Hibiki. Unfortunately, they do; when the male crew of the Vanguard fire on their captured vessel out of desperation, they created a giant wormhole, which sucks the Vanguard and the Mejeran pirate's ships into itself! Now, stuck far away from their home planets, these men and women must learn to work together if they ever wish to make it back home.
While there is a lot of ecchi embedded in the plot (usual panty flashes, touching, talking about reproductive organs) there is something to the story of Vandread. I like the idea of men and women not getting along together, then throughout the series they learn to work with each other and win their battles. There’s also the theme of making a difference to prove you’ve existed, which is Hibiki’s goal throughout the series.
Now that I mentioned battles, I’m really not good when it comes to mecha battles. Intergalactic wars tend to either confuse or bore me, but because of the CG I was a bit
captivated. The battle scenes did look a bit busy, I wasn’t sure on what was happening all the time. The technical dialogue kind of made it worse, but compared to other mecha series I’ve watched, Vandread wasn’t so bad. I did watch it more than twice.
One of the reasons why I like Vandread is the cast of characters. I was impressed that everyone was able to get a good amount of screen time, even for the supporting characters such as Ezra and Paiway. That’s always difficult to accomplish, especially for an anime with so many characters. Also, Hibiki and Dita probably makes up one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever seen in anime. I think it’s because of their innocence.
Like I said, the CG was quite good. It blended with the hand drawn scenes very well and it wasn’t overwhelming. The color coordination was really good too – there was a myriad of colors that made the visuals of Vandread even more stunning. I have to note that the drawing styles would waver a bit, like for example, the characters’ designs have noticeably changed from the first episode to the second episode. At the middle of the series, I have noticed that the art became more consistent though.
The voice acting was actually good, but I prefer it if Tomokazu Seki was Hibiki instead of Bart. I’m not saying Hiroyuki Yoshino did a terrible job of playing Hibiki, but Tomokazu Seki is one of my favorite seiyuus. I also noticed that a lot of the major voice actors in Vandread also worked on Eureka 7 – another mecha anime I like.
The music was very poppy and upbeat, and it fit the theme of Vandread really well. Both tracks are very contemporary and they both show different aspects of the anime. I like the opening “trust” by Salia as well as “Himegoto” by SiLC. The BGM was equally impressive – I always like it when there are plenty of BGM tracks so that the mood and feel of a certain scene are heightened and conveyed at its best.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m not really a huge mecha fan. Vandread, however, is different because it’s got a lot to offer. Whether you’re into comedic anime, a mecha addict, a harem anime enthusiast, or just an ecchi fan, Vandread’s for you.
Vandread is an excellent space/sci fi/mech/comedy anime with a premise not found in any other show (that i am aware of anyway) and that is that men and women live on different planets and know nothing about eachother.
With that set in, the character interactions are amazing and comical. The show is more comical than serious, but it definitely has its moments of seriousness. The animation is done amazingly well with a mix of drawn anime and CGI space battles. Normally when the two mix it turns out pretty bad (Divergence Eve) but Gonzo managed to pull it off.
The story is
nothing to intricate but as it progresses, its gets deeper and deeper which brings a lot more action and battles into play. The character development is pretty good as well, no empty characters are really present (with exception of the third tier people you see occasionally)
Some plot holes are presented but if you watch the entire show (by that i mean season two) then everything will be answered and there are some pretty good twists in it to make it extra enjoyable. I have seen both the english and japanese versions and i have to say the dub actually isn't bad, but i would go with the japanese.
I would say this is one of my top rated shows, definitely worth watching.
Oh and something worth mentioning is the awesome soundtrack, keep the volume up during battles, the music rocks.
I think the least an anime series should do is have some reason for existing. Vandread doesn't. It doesn't try to be an intelligent sci-fi series; it doesn't try to be a heartwarming, iyashikei slice-of-life one; it's even too weak to be considered a harem romance anime. All you get with Vandread is episode after episode of pointlessness.
(And if you're wondering, I only watched it because it was being screened at an anime society. Oh, hours of my life that I'll never get back.)
The men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus premise, while cheesy, could have gone somewhere. In theory. In practice it
was an excuse to have a harem-style setup in space.
There are unexciting space battles which exist so viewers can giggle about the innuendo involved in combining mechs. There are episodes of ~wacky hijinks~ that just turn out tedious.
The art in Vandread, while not hideous, does suffer from character design inconsistency and an obviously low budget - in some cases it's so bad that attempts at fanservice fall pathetically flat.
The use of CGI is also jarring, but I'll be kind and chalk that up to the year of production.
I don't remember anything about the use of sound, but since this was a series without much tension or drama, that seems fair enough. It had pretty good opening and ending songs, though. The voice-acting was serviceable, but again, this is not the type of series which requires the expression of deep emotions.
What character? I think that one of the characters (the Ayanami Rei stock type) got a character development arc, and even that was woefully predictable. The rest of the characters were basically stock types (bubbly airheaded girl, comic relief dude) without believable motivations (if any).
Tedious, mind-numbingly stupid, and not even visually engaging enough to make up for that. If you're watching this for the fanservice (and come on, why else would you waste your time on this), then maybe you'd enjoy it more.
I heard that the Vandread: The Second Stage season is much better, in that it actually has some character development and perhaps a plot. It's just a pity the first season had to exist.
You're probably wondering why I watched every episode of this show when I so clearly despised it. Because I'm stupid. So here's my review, I'll try to do it all in one breath (pardon the commas). This show contains the following sins, bad 3-d, stupid mech designs, "I'm the main character that's why" writing, a chosen one (anything with a chosen one is bad don't question it accept it), characters that act based on the story instead of their own beliefs (I know the characters are fake but it's your job as a writer to make people understand the characters beliefs), and Power ups (he
shudder under his breath.) Power ups make the show into an arms race and their skill becomes a sidebar to the amount of money and luck the characters posses. So my review is a bad review don't watch this show. I didn't mind the concept of men and women being separated so long that they were unaware of how to interact with one another, but it was at best poorly executed. Recap: This show is only watchable when you're doing your laundry or ironing some clothes but never meant to be enjoyed, and I'm stupid.
Park the Enterprise and power down the X-Wing because our anime spaceships are coming in for a landing. These ships may not be blowing up Death Stars or battling the Borg Cube but they are each taking mankind (and sometimes also aliens) where they have never gone before.