The ladies of the Gatekeepers team


Rating: 3½ Rampages Promo poster shot for Gatekeepers

It's 1969, and Japan is in the middle of a large economic boom. That doesn't mean that all is well, however. Mysterious beings, called "invaders", are infiltrating Japan at an alarming rate. Earth Defense Organization AEGIS has a secret weapon to battle the invaders Ikusawa Izuniko, a schoolgirl who can open a dimension to another world and draw devastating supernatural powers from it. One day on a routine assignment, AEGIS sensors detect an immense Gate Power source in the area one Ukia Shun, an estranged boy who was completely unaware of his amazing power. After an encounter with the alien menace accidentally pushes Shun to the point of releasing his hidden power, AGEIS recruits him as the newest Gatekeeper. But the fight isn't over yet, they're gonna need to find a lot more Gatekeepers to take the battle to the invaders, and free the Earth from they're menace once and for all!

Hot damn, it's about time we got some kick ass eye-candy that actually has some substance to it! You have no idea (well okay, you people just might ^_^) how sick I am of shows that went for the whole digital medium and end up being full of painfully awkward pans and paper cut-out charcters on flat backgrounds. While there is a tiny bit of it here, the digital effects are some of the best I've seen outside of Blue Sub 6. The character designs by Keiji Gotoh (Martian Successor Nadesico) are just perfect; slick with some hints of 70's style in a few, and just plain smooth with the rest. The Invaders are both menacing and amusing (the first time they appeared we all started humming the Men In Black song) and serve their purpose well as we are given precious little information on them. The charcters themselves are every bit as much fun to watch as the crew of the Nadesico--serious when need be, but deranged all the same. The story has a lot of the same feel as Giant Robo, only not as severely stylized in either art or writing. Obviously retro, but they only take the "we're in the 60's" thing as far as they feel is necessary to keep things interesting and funky.

The only thing keeping this show from greatness is the lack of originality and a somewhat formulaic story. It makes up for this with energy, well-executed action sequences and fun characters, but it still isn't enough to break any barriers. Don't let that stop you from checking out Gatekeepers for yourself, however, as it easily makes up for its flaws with the sheer fun factor. Very entertaining, and probably one of the best excuses I've seen yet to own a DVD player, as this is gonna look SWEET on one of those when it comes out (notice I said WHEN, not IF...this show being bought is just a matter of time).

Available from Pioneer.

Updated 25-01-03