Generator Gawl

A slick looking Gawl Phonecard

Rating: 3½ Rampages

Synopsis:
Sent from the future to save mankind from a nightmarish holocaust, three young men must blend into our society and uncover the dangerous machinations of a group of sinister scientists. Unfortunately for Kouji, Ryou and Gawl, their apparent youth leaves them with no option but to pretend to be foreign exchange students at the local high school. Their cover almost immediately begins to wear thin when the daughter of the boarding house where they're staying begins to suspect Gawl of being up to no good. In truth, Gawl is the ultimate weapon against evil, a bio-enhanced "generator" capable of shifting into an awesome inhuman form of unbelievable power. However, even Gawl's incredible abilities may not be enough, for the scientists have their own army of monstrous generators!

Gawl, looking far more pensive than usual... Review:
Well, the Elf was certainly excited to check this show out when she saw screencaps of the boys in their uniforms...so she harrassed Ferdama till he tracked a copy down. Thankfully, Gawl doesn't appear to be another Weiss Kreuz (all bishounen, no substance) or just another shitty battlesuit series like Genocyber or Guyver, and has some real interesting story going for it. While it borrows the initial plot from stories like the Terminator, the bulk of the story itself is far more along the lines of a mystery. We know they're from the future and are here to save their time from a disaster in the past, but the details of their mission, just what it is they are trying to prevent, and what those suspicious scientists are up to is kept hidden and revealed slowly from episode to episode. As a result, you're left with just enough info to hook you in, without spoiling the mystery...and who can resist a good mystery? Aside from certain archetypes enforced at the start of the series, the characters all grow quite a bit further than you'd expect them to, and even predictable characters like Gawl and Ryo surprise you from time to time. Like Gasaraki before it, Generator Gawl appears to keep you in the dark from at least some things and toss in plot twists all the way till the end.

The art is good, but obviously not up to the caliber of the better TV series since 98 (Gatekeepers, Inuyasha, Bebop) though the transformation scenes and fights are very well executed despite the moderately limited art quality. There is also the small annoyance of the really weird designs for the female leads; Like Masami with that weird coffee-can thing on her head, or Natsume with what seems like a huge wad of bubblegum stuck to her scalp. All the rest of the girls in the show look relatively normal, why make them look that freaky just to stand out? In any case it is a rather minor gripe, but it can get to you after a while (of all the things the boys comment on being different, why doesn't one of them ask what that damned thing is on Masami's head?). While the opening song suits the show quite well, I know a few people get annoyed by the fact that the guy singing it isn't really so much singing as "talk-singing". The ending song and animation is hilarious, as you get to see Gawl go through his daily routine of eat, sleep, eat some more, sleep, argue with Masami, sleep, eat again, sleep...picking up on a theme here? As for the BGM, I unfortunately took little notice of it, so that's either good or bad, make your own call there.

Overall, Generator Gawl is a bit of an oddity; it doesn't easily fit into any genre it seems to take things from, and manages to pull it all together into a pretty solid package. Good story, lots of action, suspenseful story and plot twists galore make Generator Gawl a good choice for anyone into sci-fi/action anime.

Availability:
Now available from AD Vision.