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Big Hed

Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 1607
Location: Melbourne, Australia
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 1:18 pm Reply with quote
Another good review Carl, for another series that I'm enjoying a lot.

The series really has done performed excellently in regards to creating a realistic setting, and mostly through the lens of a camera, no less. I might have been a bit apprehensive about this approach when I first picked up the series, but as you say, perspective has proven not to be a gimmick; instead it serves to contextualize real-world socio-political themes therein, and provoke considered thought on the issues raised.

Again, though, I do agree that a couple of the monologues by the SDC members were a little cheesey, but not to an extent that it proved detrimental to the overall show, fortunately. Also, as somebody who has been watching this dubbed, I've been quite satisfied thus far, and am glad to hear that there isn't much lost in translation.

As far as HAVWCs are concerned, though, I'll have to disagree: while the contribution of the mechs to Flag obviously isn't as important as the development of characters and themes, I think they've been quite a pleasant suprise. A lot of care has been taken to ensure that the HAVWCs integrate smoothly with the overall setting, and to depict a near-realistic interpretation of how a bipedal armoured unit and its associated infrastructure would operate in a modern war. The inclusion of mechs in Flag adds a subtle science fiction accent to an otherwise entirely plausible (in the sense the events within could be happening today), which -- I think -- provides a degree of seperation between audience and story that allows the former to more comfortable reflect on the meaning of the latter. Additionally, the HAVWCs in and of themselves open up another avenue of thought; that is, how exactly near-future technological advances in transportation for military application -- hey, civilian too maybe, why not -- will play out (okay, maybe I'm a little biased in this regard because I am a buff for big cool moving hulks of metal, but I digress).

Not to mention, you've got to love the "hop" in episode 8. That was just cool Very Happy

Anyway...I really need to go watch volume 4 now. Flag really does build to an effective climax, after all. This show's had a great run, and I'm going to miss it when it's over.
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Randall Miyashiro

Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2451
Location: A block away from Golden Gate Park
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 3:48 am Reply with quote
I agree that this third volume was even better than the first couple. The episode with the old lady and the doctor is the highlight of the volume.

It feels as though the narrative transitions smoother compared to the earlier volumes which were a bit more choppy. This is partially due to the volume following Saeko and not jumping between her and Akagi, but there also seems to be less of a hurry to get through scenes. I had this same impression with Gasaraki which also began to flow better as the series progressed.

Flag feels like one long story which I look forward to watching in one sitting once the final volume is released. All too often anime episodes feel to structured around the 21-24 minute frame and it is often easy to identify the A part, from the B part or even guess how many scenes are left until the credits role. Flag on the other hand flows nicely between episodes. This series is a real relief for those who are tired of monster of the week series. It really is hard to predict where Takahashi is going to end this series since his previous projects have always surprised, or left me confused, in the end.
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Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 7:02 pm Reply with quote
I've really been interested in seeing Gasaraki for a long time, but always ended up not purchasing it. I just bought the whole box set though, and can't wait to see it.

After reading all of the reviews for this series I'm now most likely going to get this as well. It really sounds like an outstanding change of pace from the traditional anime that's been coming out lately.

Great review. You just made Bandai and the creators some more money. Very Happy
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