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In This Issue

Contents 2
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Chasing Otakuism 6
Anime Briefs 7
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INFO FILE
Title:
Gravitation
Format:
TV Series
Production:
Sony Magazines
SPE Visual Works
BakaMX
Comments:
With fantastic seiyuu, amazing animation, and boys galore, how can it be wrong?
Overall Rating:
93%

Animefringe Reviews:
Gravitation
By Danielle D'Ornellas

"And so my crazy dream continues, I wish I could wake up in the middle of it." - Shuichi Shindou

Gravitation is not your average love story. It is a manga turned anime that follows the turbulent life of Shuichi Shindou, a debuting musician, the lead singer in the band 'Bad Luck'. He is a young 19-year-old boy who just wants to make it big with his best friend in the music biz, spread his talent all over the world, and be happy. However, after one night of fate in a park, his whole outlook is changed.

Little innocent Shuichi meets Yuki, a cold, insulting guy who challenges Shuichi's confidence by insulting his music, causing Shuichi to make a major change in the way he deals with his craft. After a few more confrontational meetings with Yuki, Shuichi realizes rather quickly that he has fallen in love with Yuki, and that is why he cannot get him out of his head and why he is slightly obsessed with the tall blonde.

The first few episodes follow him as he struggles with his feelings for Yuki, and being 'gay' and just what his attachment to Yuki is doing to his motivation in the band. Yuki Eiri, by the way, is a well-published romance novelist, with a penchant for being a jerk along with some major family issues. After three episodes, it is still completely unclear as to what exactly they are, and his whole personality is still shrouded in a cloud of doubt. Does he really care for Shuichi, or is he just using him as a toy to play with when he pleases?

The other main characters are as follows: We have Shuichi's best friend Hiro, who is as loyal and collected as can be, in contrast to Shuichi's constant problem with becoming too emotional over things. Then there's the Bad Luck manager, Sakano-san, who is struggling with his new job as manager over a couple of teenagers. The president of the music company, Seguchi Tohma, is an ex-keyboardist for 'Nittle Grasper', the band who's lead singer is idolized by Shuichi. And lets not forget that lead singer, Ryuichi Sakuma, is an interesting man in his late 20's or early 30's. He is adorable, funny, and sweet at the same time, an easy fan favorite. A character that shows up late in the third episode is the new keyboardist for Bad Luck, Fujisaki Suguru, the little cousin of Tohma, and a very talented young man. The cast is mainly made up of males, but a few females fall into the mix along the way, after the first three episodes that I'm covering. Along the next few episodes, complications arise with these characters, other bands, and family and friends; it's a wild ride.

The seiyuu from this show do a fabulous job of matching their voices to their characters. Sharp listeners could tell that our first main character, Shuichi Shindou, was voiced by Seki Tomokazu (Ken Hidaka - Weiß Kreuz; Touya - Card Captor Sakura). Then comes our second main mystery man, Yuki Eiri, who is voiced as the cold but affectionate author by Masahiko Inoue. He is a newcomer to the anime voice-acting stampede, but fills the role out quite well. Matsumoto Yasunori (Dick Saucer - Dragonhalf; Hayakawa Mitsuru - Kimagure Orange Road) voices our 'best friend' of the show, the cool, controlled, and loyal Hiro'shi Nakano. Other sharp-eared ones would be pleased to hear the tones of Koyasu Takehito playing the lovable manager, Sakano-San. Koyasu has done more roles than can be counted on the fingers and toes of all the Animefringe staffers combined, to give you only TWO examples would be pointless. Orikasa Ai voices the music president, Seguchi Tohma, and it is rather amusing that Tohma looks like a direct mirror image of Quatre Raberba Winner from Gundam Wing, another character that Orikasa voices.

With only 13 episodes, the show moves rather fast; sometimes fast enough to not flesh out situations that might need more detail. When Shuichi comes to grips with his newfound sexuality, it seemed to be lacking, but you cannot expect this series to go slowly with such a short running time. You get used to the speed after awhile, and every episode leaves you salivating for more. All killer, no filler. The budget for Gravitation was also excellent with amazing designs across the boards - be it backgrounds, characters, wardrobe... none of the characters wear the same clothing twice, that I've noticed. Stock footage isn't an issue here, which I'm sure will make many fans happy. Not only does Gravitation have the characters, the animation, it also has the sound. The OVA cd is full of background music from both the anime and OVA with a few singles thrown in, and the television series soundtrack has remixes of the singles of Bad Luck as well as the opening and ending themes. Definitely worth a listen, if you enjoy any of the songs from the series.

Gravitation is a 13 episode television series, followed by a 2 part OVA. Gravitation hasn't received English licensing as of yet, and that could be attributed to the fact that the Japanese release of this show contained English subtitles on a regionless DVD. BakaMX is currently releasing the fansub, slowly, and all of the episodes can be found online in digital fansub format.

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