OrgussReviews

Orguss Ep. 1: Time Space Rift!!

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Summary

In 2062, Kei Katsuragi has sex with his girlfriend Tina Henderson and gets dressed to leave. Tina’s father bursts into the room with a rifle and tries to shoot Kei, but Tina grabs the rifle and causes him to miss. Kei safely escapes by jumping out of the window and getting into the sidecar of his friend Olson D. Verne’s motorcycle. Kei offers to buy Olson a drink, and Olson jokes that Kei hasn’t progressed at all since military school. Two global factions fight on Earth and in space for control of a space elevator: the Freedom Space Corps and the Eastern Bloc. The Freedom Space Corps develops the space-time oscillation bomb as its ultimate weapon. Kei tells Olson that he thinks this mission is a waste and that they should just blow up the space elevator with a bomb. Olson explains that they don’t have a bomb like that and that the best way to take down the space elevator is to destroy its energy plant. Kei wonders why they have to use the space-time oscillation bomb. Their forces open fire and launch missiles at the space elevator, but the elevator’s defenses destroy many of them. Kei and Olson’s transforming Bronco II fighters enter Earth’s atmosphere and ditch their re-entry armor. The bomb also enters the atmosphere and deploys a parachute to slow its descent. The bomb’s re-entry capsule breaks away as it lands on the ground. A report comes in that enemy forces will be breaking through from space in eight minutes, but they need 10 to arm the bomb. Enemy Variable GERWALK fighters enter the atmosphere and open fire on the Bronco II squad, but Olson saves Kei from an attacking fighter. Retreat orders are issued because the bomb is about to explode, so most of the Bronco IIs fall back to the escape shuttle. Kei notices that something is wrong with the bomb and flies over to it, but Olson tells him they have to leave. Kei says he won’t let it explode after all their sacrifices and deploys a manipulator arm to disarm it. He thinks he’s disarmed it, but the bomb goes off and sucks Kei into a bright light.

Elsewhere, the Emaan ship Glomar flies over a forest. Slay Paradine pleads with Mimsy Laarz to be with him and asks if he’s dissatisfied her, but she doesn’t know. On the bridge, Captain Shaya Thoov gets a call from dinosaur Jabby that he can feel it coming soon. A ball of white light appears in front of the ship, and Shaya is informed that it’s a singularity. Kei’s Bronco II emerges from the light and crashes in the forest. M-Lover pilots Lieea and Maaie land near the Bronco II, and Lieea wonders if it’s a Chiram unit. Shaya asks Jabby if this is what he was talking about, and he says it is. Kei is taken aboard the ship and cries out Tina’s name in his sleep. Jabby tells Shaya that Kei has been confirmed as a singularity. Mimsy puts a cloth on Kei’s head, but he assumes that she’s Tina and kisses her. Mimsy slaps him awake, and he jokes that it was a mistake for the army to send such a pretty nurse. Shaya asks Kei if he’s Chiram, but he doesn’t know what that is. Slay notes that the Bronco II looks like a Chiram unit, so Kei assumes that he’s been captured by the enemy. Jabby says that Kei isn’t Chiram, and Kei jumps out of bed at the sight of the dinosaur. Mimsy and Shaya conclude that Kei must be from another dimension. A Chiram Ishkick squad spots the location of the singularity and the Glomar. Although they aren’t enemies with the Emaan, the Chiram squad leader breaks off to capture the singularity. Kei can’t believe that he’s in another world, and Mimsy tells Shaya that an Ishkick is approaching them. Kei sees the two-legged Ishkick and its resemblance to the Bronco II. The Chiram squad leader demands that they hand over the singularity, and Mimsy answers that she wants compensation. Kei asks what the singularity is, and Shaya answers that it’s him. The Chiram repeats his demand and destroys Tamito’s Drifand Dee. He threatens to destroy the Glomar next, which makes Shaya panic. Mimsy has the ship pull away while it deploys four M-Lovers for defense. Several M-Lovers are shot down, and Kei complains that they have no tactics. Kei asks where his Bronco II is, so Shaya takes him down to the hangar. Kei takes off and destroys an Ishkick, even though it’s faster than the Bronco II. The squad leader gets behind Kei and gets a report on his sensors, indicating that Kei is the singularity. Kei shoots him down, causing the remaining Ishkicks to retreat. Kei lands and is thanked by Shaya and the others. He’s shocked when he sees the strange antennae coming out of the Emaan’s necks and declares them monsters.

Commentary

The first episode of Orguss is definitely a head trip. It lives up to the Super Dimension in its name not just through its story, but also in the carryover of Macross staff members, which is apparent in the direction, character and mecha designs and voice cast. The story gets off to a rather light start with playboy Kei getting some loving from his girlfriend (who bears quite a resemblance to Lynn Minmay) before getting shot at by her father. We then learn that the world is divided up into two factions vying for control of a space elevator. While space elevators have played a role in later anime like Zone of the Enders and Gundam 00, this is probably the earliest use I’ve seen of it. Kei messes with the space-time oscillation bomb, which fractures dimensions and mixes them together. It’s no surprise that he’s shocked to be in a world of women with antennas and talking dinosaurs. He’s now a marked man as the singularity, but I don’t think he quite understands the gravity of his situation. Overall, it’s a good start to the series and an interesting departure from the typical faction vs. faction of mecha anime.

Overall Rating
3.5/5
Orguss Info


Director:
Noboru Ishiguro

Writer(s):
Ken’ichi Matsuzaki
Hiroshi Ohnogi

Mechanical Designer:
Kazutaka Miyatake

Character Designer:
Haruhiko Mikomoto

Musical Composer:
Kentaroh Haneda

Airdates:
Japan 07.03.1983 – 04.08.1984
U.S. 06.11.2007 – 09.21.2007

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