In the future humankind has expanded and colonized other planets. Then an alien species, Victim, attacks the human colonies leaving only one planet, Zion. In an effort to stop Victim from destroying the last planet a training school, GOA, is set up to gather boys from the Zion colonies and train them to become pilots of the Ingrids AKA The Goddesses, five fighting robots that protect Zion. The boys must possess a rare blood type, EO, as well as a special ability, or EX. Zero (Candidate 88) has just arrived in GOA when he falls into the cockpit of the Ingrid Eeva-Leena. Since the synch between pilot and Ingrid are very sensitive everyone believes the Goddess will kill Zero in an attempt to synch. Just before Zero passes out he makes a full synch with the Goddess. Before he can find out more about the incident, his pilot training begins.
I think Candidate for Goddess didn't get the recognition is deserved in the least bit. The 12 episodes were very enjoyable, but I feel like it got cut too short. And because it's quite short, this review will be as well!
Story has some similarities to Evangelion, but not to make it a direct copy or a rip. The characters were fun and enjoyable. The animation was well done-- clean and crisp. Character development could be a bit more, as there was so much room for potential growth.
Overall, Candidate for Goddess is enjoyable, light hearted, and fun. I highly recommend watching it if you can find
it :) Seeing that if you want you can just watch it in one sitting if you so wish. :)
(Note that this review is based off of the TV show alone, and does not include the OVA)
Occasionally, whenever I watch a show, I'll wonder if the show has a function to serve aside from provide entertainment, and if so, what is that function (this isn't exclusive to anime - I've wondered this while watching shows like Numb3rs and Burn Notice)? Even if I'm watching an anime based off of a manga, I still will have this question every now and then. Pilot Candidate was a show that I found myself asking this question.
The story is somewhat standard for a mecha show
- Humanity is under attack from an alien race (called the Victim in this show - insert Tumblr joke here), they've been cornered into one last bastion, and their main defense are giant robots. However, there's a slight twist here - it focuses on the training program for the pilots - a "Pilot Candidate" system. This is actually somewhat unique, as I can't think of another show that does this - most of the time, the main character either "falls into the cockpit", or pretty much starts off piloting the mecha (Gundam SEED is an example of the former, and Gundam 00 would be an example of the latter). This, combined with the cast of characters (who I'll talk about in a second) and some of the plot threads that were introduced (but never resolved, as this show was canceled in Japan before it finished airing) leads me to believe that this show was supposed to act as a somewhat more child-friendly version of NGE. The plot was one that was suited for 24 episodes instead of 12 - it would have worked better if they had planned on having the first season consisting of 12 episodes cover the graduation of the class, and then have the second season (if it came into existance) focus on the struggle against the victim.
The art on itself is somewhat similar to the style from Martian Successor Nadesico, and while Nadesico's art style was fine for the time it came out, it's out of date in Pilot Candidate's case. Also, I find the fact that Xebec chose to animate the mechas using CGI to be a rather baffling one, considering the fact that I can't think of any other mecha anime they've made where they used CGI to animate the mechas - they drew the mechas by hand in Nadesico (which aired before Pilot Candidate), and Fafner of the Blue Sky (which was also made by Xebec, and aired after Pilot Candidate) featured hand-drawn mechas as well (while the aliens in Fafner were made using CGI, this was done to make the aliens appear more...well, alien in contrast to the surroundings). Heck, I've heard people call the CGI used in Blue Submarine No 6 (which I haven't seen as of writing this) better - and that show was by Gonzo, who are infamous for bad CGI.
The music is actually really great - it's basically something that sounds like it's from an epic sci-fi movie in the same vein as Star Wars.
The dub, on the other hand...not so much. While this isn't the worst dub I've heard (I've seen the dubs for Garzey's Wing - which is worse than Pilot Candidate in terms of dialogue - and Love Hina - which is worse than Pilot Candidate in terms of the voice acting), it's a really bad one - although it's definitely one that you can make fun of (so if you want to watch this show to have a laugh, I recommend the dub for maximum enjoyment). In fact, the existence of a dub for this show baffles me, mainly because, as previously mentioned, this show was canceled before it finished airing in Japan - while Deadman Wonderland also suffered this fate, that show actually got a good dub (and that's probably part of the reason why it enjoyed so much success in the U.S.).
Most of the characters are pretty stereotypical - if you've seen most mecha shows, you can probably fill in the blanks regarding most of the characters (the mentor is a grizzled old vet, the love interest is a tsundere, one of the best friends is a know-it-all, the rival is an emo kid, etc). The only one that's really of note is the main character - mainly because he's like a very excitable combination of Ash Ketchum and Kira Yamato, except he has none of the redeemable factors of either character.
The only reason I actually watched this was because of the fact that Adult Swim has never aired this series a second time - in fact, they supposedly took out a banner saying that they would never air the series again. And if that doesn't give you an idea of how bad this series is, consider this: the anime was one of the main factors that killed off the manga.
I guess if you watched the series as a kid, it's worth watching again just to see how much it aged. But if you didn't grow up watching it, then you're not missing out on anything if you choose to skip this.
Alternative recommendations: Gundam SEED, Nadesico, Fafner, Vandread
I was uh what seven episodes in and I thought the show was fairly bad but watching the last five episodes....I felt ripped off. Normally I wouldn't mind but this went from being bad to just being terrible!
Pilot Candidate or Candidate for Goddess is the typical show about a young feisty protagonist who wants to fulfill -insert dream here-. Plus or what should be a plus is that we get mechs added into the shounen mix! With a cast with over ten members, and 12 episodes to tell a story how bad does Pilot Candidate fall?
Well I will describe what can be the pros
of the show. The character art is alright but it looks standard for that time when I compare it with a show from the same time frame as Gate Keepers. Although the difference between the two is that not much of the art is that memorable beisdes the pilot uniforms. Though what makes them stick out is that besides the full dress uniform, the rest of the uniforms are rather girly for guy pilots, not to my taste anyway, The CGI in the show is mediocre. The mechs sorta look cool but move awkwardly and the enemies just look lame as their actual name.(Victims? Damn Saint Something Four Syndrome).
The music is probably my favorite part of the show and the only reason I didn't rate it a one. The opening for Pilot Candidate is a orchestral instrumental that sounds great for space battles. I don't hear many instrumental opening themes so I liked it a great deal. The soundtrack music generally fits the what's going Pilot Candidate wise(it doesn't the title story) and silence is used when needed. The only music I didn't like was the ending theme but that's was due to being the normal pop affair that didn't stick out much,
The story suck. It could have went somewhere but it didn't and I don't want to go into.
Now the story blows blows but if this show wanted to succeed in some fashion it could have done something with the characters and there's an attempt to do something with them they're made from the wrong place. The cast is mostly just bad foils for the main character Zero who himself is all not that great being the normal tenacious dumbass. We have the love interest, the smart guy, the instructor glasses girl, rival, the douche bag....and it goes on. None of the characters are very well defined and there's no emotional growth to be found. There's not much work put into these characters and thus the show is hard to watch.
I don't recommend this show to anyone unless they want to see a bad piece of work. It's slow, boring, and just a pain on the eyes.
Before I begin, I am just gonna say... AVOID THIS SHOW LIKE THE PLAGUE. That is all. I'm gonna rant how bad it is, if you'll excuse me.
This is one of the most appalling anime I've watched, next to Voices of a Distant Star and Orange Road. Even with industry elites like Michelle Ruff (Rukia), Joshua Seth (Tai) and Richard Cansino (Kenshin), whom played the roles of Kizuna, Zero and Azuma respectively, they still couldn't save the damn show. Not to mention that the directing was atrocious as well. Even the most acclaimed voice talent can't rescue a shipwreck
like this, and it's not hard to figure out why. Plot execution was poor, voice acting was flat and dull, most of the characters' names look like fucking typos, and the characters themselves are extremely forgettable as well. The OST isn't exactly memorable, either. Oh god, just... no. The only redeeming quality is the art. I gave it 7/10 cuz I like the artwork. But just having well drawn charas alone isn't enough. There needs to be sizable plot to push it forward, ya know? I'm ok with fanservice shit, as that in itself is entertainment, but this sorry excuse of an anime called Candidate for Goddess? Fuck no. I'm out.