Gravion Vol. 1 - Divine Steel
Soldiers of the Gran Knights...COMBINE! Yes, when you though the old school eighties mecha genre was dead, it returns with Gravion! Aliens appear out of the sky and start to attack the world. One man, Sandman has our savior. Who? Enter SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT GOD GRAVION to save the world!
The year is 2041, and Earth has gone through a period of peace. Then all hell breaks loose as aliens appear and shake up the peace and prosperity that Earth got accustomed to. Klein Sandman is a wealthy and mysterious person who invites all of the top brass of the military to a ball at his castle. His plan was to warn the military of the oncoming threat of the aliens.
Enter Eiji, a young teenage boy who sneaks into Sandman's castle in search for his long lost sister from whom he received an email. The problem is that the castle is well guarded by Sandman's maids who also serve as guards. Eiji ends up in a room during the ensuing chase, and out of the wall comes Toga, the main driver of the Grand Kaiser. Toga is a quiet person who was born in the castle and has not been outside the castle walls...ever! Calm and collected, he is stunned and actually happy to see Eiji, another male.
While Eiji is telling Toga about his sister, the ground shakes and Eiji falls through. He awakens to find a vehicle that he thinks will get him out of the castle. What Eiji doesn't know is that the bike he is operating is one of the pieces that form SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT GOD GRAVION.
The earth's military weapons are useless against the alien Zeravire. Toga appears with the Grand Kaiser, however, and destroys the Zeravire without any problem. Unfortunately, a bigger Zeravire appears and the attacks from Grand Kaiser are ineffective. Sandman finally calls for his team to assemble. Be ready to hear this numerous times during the series: "Soldiers of the Gran Knights...COMBINE!" As the Grand Kaiser and the four Gran Diva's combine, they form... Gravion. Super Heavyweight God Gravion was the originally Japanese name; ADV shorted the name to Gravion. While attempting to form, Eiji has no idea what's going on and is still confused as to what he's doing piloting the Grand Diva G-Attacker. After another pilot, Luna assists Eiji; they finally attempt to combine. To the pilots' surprise, another pilot appears in the G-Shadow: a plane that no one on the team has seen or even heard of.
Cue the music. It's 80's throwback time. This made me smile and got me excited at the same time as they all combined to form Gravion. The music was playing in the background, and all I can remember is "Blaze up, hotter, hotter, hotter." You have to love it if you grew up on earlier mecha series such as Getter Robo, and even Voltron! Finally, Gravion is formed and takes on the Zeravire.
The other characters that form Gravion are Luna who pilots the Gran Diva G-Driller, Ena who pilots the other G-Driller, Mizuki who pilots the G-Striker, and finally the mysterious sixth member Leele, who pilots G-Shadow. Luna looks to be rude from Eiji's perspective, but she is very keen on her surroundings. Ena is the head maid for Sandman and is very clumsy. Mizuki is the only adult of the team. One thing you won't forget about her are her earth shattering...huge...big...BRAINS! (If you know what I mean!) Leele is a quiet and mysterious girl, unknown to all except for Sandman himself. Another character who does all of Sandman's work is Raven. Not much is known about Raven and how he came to work for Sandman.
The first volume packs five action-packed episodes of a short thirteen episode series. Graivon comes with a Limited Edition art box that will hold three volumes. Not the sturdiest of art boxes, but then again has ADV really ever made firm art boxes?
Looking at the animation, Gonzo did a wonderful job with the animation, and with almost no use of CG effect, it gave this show the great 80's feel. The robot looks familiar in the sense that it reminded me of the robot from GaoGaiGar . Masami Obari did not do himself the character design himself; he only directed it.
The dub cast is from Industrial Smoke & Mirrors, and is packed with voice actors you've probably heard of before if you have seen plenty of ADV titles. The cast includes Greg Ayres, Luci Christian, Chris Patton, and Hilary Haag; this is definitely a great group of actors who do a good job with the characters and their roles.
The music is very enjoyable. My favorite scene is when they combine into Gravion. The vocals done by Jam Project that features Masaaki Endo just make me want to find my old Voltron and Tranzor Z tapes and pop them in to watch again so I can re-live my childhood once more. The opening and ending theme are both done by Jam Project and they are enjoyable as well.
What I enjoyed most about this show was that it brings together various types of people with different backgrounds and joins them as one. Cheesy YES! I enjoyed the fact that each character has a role with the robot. For example, Eiji fires weapons from the legs and he controls it, unlike some shows where once they combine, only one person has full control of the robot. Luna and Ena both coordinate and control the arms and fists. Does this bring back memories of a certain childhood series? Voltron anyone?
After viewing this first volume, let's look at what I expected. Giant robots... Check! Ultra cheesy... Check! Plot? What plot? They have to combine and save the world from an alien takeover, simple enough. What I didn't expect was the numerous amounts of fan service displayed. Mizuki's HUGE breasts were the steal of the show. I think it was a bit over done, but hey, for all those people who enjoyed the jiggle counter, this one is for you. I've enjoyed this show so far, and I can't wait for more of SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT GOD GRAVION! God, I'm going to love saying that.