Aug 20, 2020
Originally coming out in 2018, Shinkansen Heikei Robo Shinkalion is a super robot franchise created by Takara Tomy that was supposed to be a sort of modern revival of the Brave series but unfortunately flew under the radar and remains unknown for most of the Western audience.
Even though it's not what makes its main appeal, anyone familiar with the series would tell you about all the different collaborations going on such as Hatsune Miku becoming a recurring character in the show as a pilot or Shinji Hikari making a periodical appearance to fuse with a Shinkalion, and this movie can pride itself to top it
off by featuring Godzilla, the most emblematic monster coming from Japan.
Why I'm bothering talking about this star system is to make my first point : the collaboration in the movie are pointless and act more as mediocre baits than enjoyable fanservice, the fight against Godzilla is rushed in a few minutes around the beginning, lasting only a few minutes and consisting of him firing a laser and wagging his tail once for the battle to be over and for him to not appear ever again with very little bearing on the story. Same can be said for the appearance of the EVA characters and the fight against the angel which also comes out of nowhere and is utterly pointless. There's nothing that justifies their existence and nothing creative is done with them which is a bummer because the series managed to do something with them whenever they appeared on screen and were a cool bonus on the side for the fans but never relied only on that to make it cool. The only thing I can give to the movie concerning the collabs is that the Miku song is somewhat decent.
Then another disappointment is that there's not any technical improvement to note despite what you could expect from a theatrical version, it still feels like it's made with a low budget and bad CG, the fight scenes are made up primarily of transformations and reused special attacks but barely any choreography to make it exciting. Actually, the only thing making it exciting are the insert songs and the various themes used in them and some of the new mech designs look pretty cool.
The story doesn't even try either, bad guys are evil and they must be stopped, the end. There's a subplot with Hayato's father turning back to a child but it's honestly forgettable.
It's sad to say but the fact that this entry is a failure is not a great surprise, most of anime aimed at kids choose the easy way out especially if it's a to milk a bigger franchise. I still have a fondness for the characters and the comedy which prevents me from hating it but I really wish they would have tried harder, just like they tried hard for the series not to be just a generic MotW.
What did you think of this review?