Right, on to another anime I’ve been slowly collecting – Gilgamesh.

Now this series is weird. Firstly, I was drawn to the cover art on the dvd box. The picture I added is from the first DVD. It is beautifully evocative and has something nice about the design and layout. The original description put me in mind of a dark anime version of Xmen – boy was I wrong!

Taking its cue from such classics as Akira and Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gilgamesh is set in a post-apocalyptic world. At some point in the near future there will be a war in the middle east where the ruins of the city of Uruk will be revealed. Scientists discover that there is something odd about the ruins and unite in the biggest collaboration in human history – this unified archeological project is named Heaven’s Gate.

Something freaks the heads out and eventually the project is closed. On the day that it is meant to shut down, a scientist turns terrorist and sets something off from the central chamber of the dig – Gilgamesh’s tomb. This sets off a strange event known as Twin X (named because the date of the event is the tenth of October.) The result of this catastrophic event is that the sky is covered in a strange aurora borealis type event that mirrors the ground below it. This mirror is named the Sheltering Sky.

The series then picks up about fourteen years later, after war and famine have wrought hideous changes on the world and society has only just begun to restore itself. A side effect of the sheltering sky is that computers no longer work and planes can’t fly long distances anymore.

Tatsuya and his sister Kiyoko are running from debt-collectors when they cross paths with these mysterious androgynous-looking men who offer them protection. The men are known as Gilgamesh. They are fighting a faction called Orga, who have psychic children on their side to combat Gilgamesh and their mysterious leader Enkidu.

From that set up, the series proves to be one of the best mystery thrillers since Rah Xephon. The twists and turns in the series are clever and manage to start with playing on the cliches of anime. Where the series initially sets up what seems to be a kind of Akira meets Evangelion clone, it deliberately uses this to lull the audience into a false confidence of how the series is going to develop. But if I was to really compare Gilgamesh to a show, it would Boogiepop Phantom. Much like Boogiepop, Gilgamesh utilises a lower range of colours to give everything a washed out and gothic appearance. All the colours are drab, meaning that bright colours really stand out when they are used.

The series also follows the kind of twisty manner that BPP did, leaving a lot of the mystery shown rather than outright said. This series rewards the astute viewer through how the characters react rather than what is said. Initially I thought that the character designs and animation were pretty cheap and crappy – but as the series progresses I’ve come to realise that it is all part of the “feel” of the show. It somehow ends up (possibly unintentionally) adding to the experience.

All in all, I have been really impressed with the way this show has developed – and the english dub has truly excellent voice acting. Again, I thought it was wooden at first, but as the series progressed it has become apparent how nuanced the performances are. These are broken people, and many of them have gained a tragic apathy due to the world around them. As the series progresses I have become aware of how well the actors carry the weight of the show with their performance. There have been a number of scenes where there is no music, scant sound and all the power of the scene has relied on the voice actors to make you believe the characters are really there experiencing things in front of you.

In a way it is also like Argentosoma, in that respect.

Two thumbs up. Gligamesh is dark, gothic and very odd. I love it! 😀

Love and Huggles

Conan

Currently Reading: The Reality Dysfunction
Currently Playing: Exalted: The Seventh Legion
Mood:Still under stress, but coping with the help of anime…

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