Gunparade March Vol. 3
The end of the semester is finally approaching our favorite 5121 unit, and so is the end of this series.
When we last left our unit they were stuck with sadness, as one of their own, Mio Mibu, was killed during an operation. The relationship between Hayami and Mai gets deeper and deeper. In the third installment of Gunparade March we get something a little different. The beginning of episode eight gives us a more in-depth look at the characters. More is reveled about everyone and their feelings toward each other and the unit as a whole. I was a little shocked at this, because this is a series of only twelve episodes; they should be pushing along the main story, rather than pausing for a short flashback.
After our little character information session the story shifts towards the relationship of Mai and Hayami. Eh? Did I just say the relation between Hayami and Mai? I guess they decided to go down the romance route rather than the military route of fighting the Genjyu. On to the romance. Hayami likes Mai very much, but he is too chicken to ask her out or to tell her. The whole unit, however, is hell bent on getting them together, no matter what the cost. The show takes off on the unit's quest to get Mai and Hayami together, and the threat of the Genjyu is almost forgotten. The next episode has our unit picked for the end of the year play. What cracks me up is that as each unit member gets their part, they complain about the character picked, and quiet Sakaue steps up and demands that they take what role they got chosen for. A shock is that the bad luck ridden Tanabe picks the main part and performs it to perfection. As the play is about to start for the children the unit gets sidetracked in doing their job: to stop the Genjyu. Sadly, this is the last battle that you will see our unit fight in for the rest of the series.
Mai and Hayami's relationship slowly builds as we approach the end. The couple is tricked into spending time together while Christmas shopping for the unit, in order to give Hayami multiple chances to confess his feelings for Mai. After each attempt you can't do anything more but to laugh at Hayami for his failure to finally admit his feelings for Mai. Many times during the remaining two episodes you just want to yell at him to just ask her out. You have to admit that some of us have been in that position before, so I understood how he must have felt. Still, most of the time I wanted to just hit him and say, "JUST DO IT!"
The ONLY extra that was included in this volume is four trailers for other Media Blasters titles. The dub was okay for the most part. Most of the time when I switched over to dub, it didn't last long; I was very pleased by the voice actors. I find for the most part that dubbing done by Media Blasters is either hit or miss. You can find some good dubs, like Kenshin.
This show was a bit of a surprise for me. I was expecting some blood, gore, and ass kicking mecha action. What I got was a short series that has some very different themes mixed together. I was laughing more in this installment than in the previous two releases. I must say I enjoyed this series, even with all the high school romance mixed in. I was sad when they killed Mio, because I liked her determination to become the leader of the group.
The ending for me seemed incomplete, and it leaves me believing and hoping for a second season! I must say that for this being a game-inspired anime series they did a fine job. So if you like some mecha action mixed in with high school romance, this show is for you. Also note that ADV does have the manga rights, and I can't wait to get my hands on that to see if it continues after the anime series ends and if the manga has a better ending.