a.k.a. Soukou Kihei Votoms
A century of open warfare between the rival powers of Balarant and Gilgamesh has destroyed nearly 200 worlds. Now, a cease-fire has settled across the Astragius Galaxy. Chirico Cuvie, a member of Gilgamesh’s elite Red Shoulder battalion, is transferred to a new unit for a secret mission. While on the mission, Chirico finds a mysterious and beautiful woman but is left behind to die in space by his new unit. Who was the woman? Why did his own unit try to kill him? What was the purpose of their mission? As he wonders about these questions, Chirico begins his private war to find the answers.
summary by Eek
Highs: Great atmosphere; non-stop development; excellent combat sequences
Lows: Forced romance; sub par seiyuu cast
When you watch a series that is almost as old as you are, there is a dull respect that you normally do not give most anime right off the bat. Armored Trooper Votoms may be a bit rough around the edges, but rest assured, this is a classic anime that is on par with Macross.
Coming from Takahashi Ryousuke, many similarities can be seen between this and some of his latest works, which include Gasaraki and Blue Gender. Despite dated art and animation, it all works very well towards creating the right atmosphere. All of the grit and grime of this futuristic universe can be seen and felt through the art style, and I admit that this helped the series greatly. Spanning fifty-two episodes, everything is evenly spaced out across four arcs, and with the exception of three recap episodes, the entire series lacks any sort of filler, keeping the plot and character development rolling along constantly. Even newer series that are twenty-six episodes in length seem to be unable to keep everything paced well and are forced to use filler. However, where Armored Trooper Votoms really shines is with its rife and great combat scenes. If you were looking to see old school mecha battles at their prime, your search has ended.
However, even classic anime have their occasional weak spots. The romance between Chirico and Fyana feels forced all of the time; not only do we have two people who suddenly fall in love for little or no reason, but they are not compatible at all. Both characters are cold, almost inhuman at times, and neither one really possesses an innate yearning to find love. And despite having a great atmosphere, what prevents Armored Trooper Votoms from having an authentic atmosphere is the fact that the seiyuu cast is, for the most part, bland. At many instances, the acting was just bad, whether these parts were too wooden or overacted.
After watching Armored Trooper Votoms, it is very easy to understand why there are “jaded otaku”. You will not find a quality anime saga quite like this being created these days, and it goes to show that there are series that are oldies but still goldies.
Armored Trooper Votoms can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.