December 02, 2012
Zoids Chaotic Century
Zoids Chaotic Century is a TV adaptation based on the popular toys released by Japanese manufacturer Tomy back in the 1980s. Very much like transformers, the human counterparts to many of the robotic/mechanic creatures are largely developed through the course of the television series and not part of the toy lineup itself.
Chaotic Century is the first of a four series run in the Zoids universe. Chaotic Century actually encompasses the first (Chaotic Century) and second (Guardian Force) series. The first arc of the Chaotic Century series, introduces the protagonist, Van Flyheight, a boy from a small village who desperately wants to become a Zoid pilot just like his father. After being chased through the desert by some bandits while exploring, Van ends up trapped in some old abandoned ruins where he stumbles across two pods connected to a computer system. Van lets his curiosity get the better of him and accidentally causes the pods to open. One of the pods contains a small Zoid, known as an organoid, the other a young girl with no memory of who she is or how she ended up in the pod. Van decides to name the young girl Fiona and the organoid Zeke (after his father's Zoid), who end up becoming his two best friends. As Van, Zeke, and Fiona, begin searching for the mysterious Zoid Eve, which is the only memory of her past that Fiona can recall, they end up in the middle of a war between the Imperial Army and the Republic, ultimately engaged in battles with both sides.
Because of their somewhat neutrality in the war, Van and his friends get caught up in the messy politics that plague the Imperial Army after the Emperor's passing. It is at this point in the story that the Guardian Force (series 2) begins (which you'll have to wait for the second review to find out more...).
The story in Chaotic Century has a lot happening in it. Much of the way that the story develops reminds of me of themes from the original Mobile Suit Gundam. You have a young pilot who ends up in a life or death situation which requires him to take control of a mechanical suit and fight (quite well with no training either) to start the whole story off. Once the element of war is brought into the equation, it becomes very clear that there is no right and wrong when both sides believe that their cause is just. This is demonstrated as an and his friends continually aid both sides depending on whose cause is "morally" just. This is very much reminiscent in the grey area that is created in Mobile Suit Gundam where Zeon starts out as "the bad guys" and as the story develops the lines between "good" and "bad" become blurred.
In terms of the artwork in this series, it was quite appealing for the most part. The us of CG elements for the Zoids made for an interesting combination. The character design allowed for easy interchangeability between comical and more dramatic scenes which helped to keep the plot more captivating as there were more elements to keep the viewers interest. The music was helpful in setting the tone for the various scenes within the show, however, I won't be running out the get the soundtrack any time soon.
Overall, Zoids Chaotic Century was an entertaining series to watch. I would recommend this show for anyone who wants a balance of action, comedy, and mild drama.