Evangelion in the late 1990s, the series is set on a future Earth where the planet is being ravaged by earthquakes and floods due to the massive power emitted from a massive alien spacecraft called Orphan that an enemy faction called the Reclaimers are attempting to learn more about how to harness its power and leave the planet, which would result in humanity's destruction should this happen. Opposing Orphan are those aboard the battleship Novis Noah, a resistance movement seeking to halt the battleship's restoration and flight from Earth, and whom our series leads, teen orphan Hime Utsumiya and Reclaimer defector Yuu Isami, are aligned with.
Will admit it's been a while since I've had some rather complicated thoughts regarding an anime series and looks like Brain Powerd has done just that with me. Being Yoshiyuki Tomino's answer to
Many over the years have dismissed Brain Powerd as a shallow "Eva ripoff" attempting to take after similar complicated storytelling beats as Gainax's famous mecha series and as a result, reception to it has been quite mixed. While I'm not interested in knocking the series as such, I will admit that my thoughts on Brain Powerd are rather mixed. I guess I'll go over the positives to the series I have for it first.
First off is that the series does have a good bit of substance to its story and themes that it makes an effort to lay out, and isn't just doing things for aesthetic effect. While I do want to be careful on how deep I dabble into things to avoid spoilers, I guess the major element of the series to consider are the mecha used by both the Reclaimers (that they call Grand Chers) and the crew of Novis Noah (that they call Brain Powerd). The mecha within the series are shown to have an empathic connection to their pilots, which shape the relationships that the pilot and mecha each have with both one another and those around them. This is rather noticeable in the different environments that both the Reclaimers and Novis Noah have due to whatever beliefs and personalities are forming within the different factions. This empathic relationship also shapes events going into later episodes as more about the mysterious Orphan spaceship gets dabbled into. Plus, Brain Powerd is consistent with applying its themes and the abilities demonstrated with its various technologies, as I never got any sense of things feeling tossed in just for the sake of plot convenience. I'll just say that the series is rather cryptic and takes its time with how it develops its story and themes, hence it does require the viewer to be attentive to minor details with the series as they develop as it doesn't get into the habit of explaining things too upfront. Because of this angle to the series, I can see where folks could get frustrated and choose to ditch Brain Powerd during its earlier episodes.
Another high point is the anime's soundtrack. Composed by the legendary composer Yoko Kanno, the series consists of a good amount of lively and energetic insert tracks, even coming with a catchy opener in the form of "In My Dreams." My only real gripe with the soundtrack is the show's rather questionable placement of insert tracks at points, as they usually don't fit the intended mood and tone of certain key scenes throughout Brain Powerd.
Major areas I would consider weaknesses with the series are its characterization and melodrama. For the former, I'll admit that it is rather hit and miss with the quality of the character stories that are dabbled into. Yuu's character story gets perhaps the best development within Brain Powerd as the bonds he gradually develops with his Brain Powerd, Hime, and the Novis Noah crew help him get over his lone-wolf mentality and the hatred he has for the Reclaimers. Some other characters get reasonable fleshing out of their personalities and motives, though the series doesn't go deeply into exploring them. The more weaker character stories within Brain Powerd involve a decent number of those among the Reclaimers, whose motives for their alignment with the group border on the ridiculous with how simplistic and over-the-top they can get with their unhealthy family issues.
Melodrama is tied to some of the character backstory issues I have with members among the Reclaimers. But like many mecha titles directed by Tomino, this also comes into play when characters are in the annoying habit of angrily debating one another during heated mecha fights due to their opposing ideologies that can distract from the action.
In short, Brain Powerd is certainly quite a mixed bag in terms of quality as an entry in the mecha title. It does have a solid foundation for a story and themes that become more apparent and engrossing as episodes progress, though the slow pacing of its first half and the cryptic approach to its storytelling can turn away first time viewers. It comes with a catchy soundtrack from Yoko Kanno that unfortunately usually has some questionable insert track placements. Characterization is also a mixed bag, with the series also having the typical melodramatic beats from Tomino that usually rear their ugly head. While not the worst anime I've seen of the mecha genre or from Tomino (the latter honor would go to Garzey's Wing), I'll just say your mileage would definitely vary to Brain Powerd with how its storytelling plays out.
Last updated Saturday, October 21 2023. Created Saturday, October 21 2023.
26 episodes released as an English Dub by Bandai, as three DVD sets (each set has two DVDs, with 8 or 9 episodes).
Wow..this is very intense series, but it is not very friendly to the viewer. While being stunning, this series just drops the viewer into the storyline, without explaining anything, and it does not stop for all of the 26 episodes. It is only until about the 3rd or 4th episode that the viewer (sort-of) gets a sense of what is going on, and can follow along, but with each new episode, a bit more of story comes out. My only word of caution is to hang in there, and just watch and listen. Because once the story line does click-in, it will take off and offer a great sci-fi based story, with GRAND meccha battles at almost every turn.
While I don't want to give away the story line, I do want to tease enough to have you to show some measure of interest in this series (because I really do like it and think that it is worth a * watch+/rent * rating,) so I will only offer a high-level story synopsis.
An organic alien artifact has been found that has caused a lot of controversy within the scientific community. Codenamed Orphan, it has been living in deep ocean depth for thousands of years, but now it is slowly rising to the surface. Scientists have discovered that the artifact is alive, thriving on the life force energy of Earth, and they speculate that it will attempt to launch itself into space, through a process that will suck the life-force from entire Earth, and potentially leave the earth a barren planet. Two political camps have emerged; the REDEAMERS, who currently control the artifact and are nurturing its reawakening. They accept that the earth is flawed, already predestined for extinction, and believe that Orphan will permit a chosen group of humanity to survive as passengers on this starship artifact. Against them are Earths UN efforts in an organic-engine sea-ship called the Novis Noah, which has been designed to stop the Orphan from being launched. Orphans influence is generating translucent disks, which when they react, give birth to a quasi-sentient organic robotic lifeforms known as an antibodies, which can be piloted by a person. Each side has antibodies as combat units: Orphans antibodies are called Grand Cheres and Novis Noahs antibodies are called Brain Powered,and these antibodies seem to have an animosity against one another. So against a backdrop of an earth wracked by the side effects Orphans rising from the deep ocean, which is causing devastating earthquakes, volcanoes and towering tsunamis, these two forces struggle for an understanding as to true nature of Orphan and for their competing vision of humanity's future.
The series biggest weak-point are the simplistic and melodramatic motivating factors that drive most of the main characters. This series has the most work-obsessed and nurture-deficient parents of almost any series, complemented by their brood of insecure and twisted kids. And occasionally, some very silly (perhaps stupid) situations are tossed in just to keep things interesting, but whatever. These points are used only to keep the story moving as fast as possible, so it is just easiest to kick back and enjoy. And the music is oddly matched and very diverse, which I enjoy, but I can see how it might bother someone else.
If you can enjoy a very mecha story, told in a rather cryptic storyline with a bunch of bizarre main characters, then you might be able to share my joy in this series, as it twists and turns in an almost poetically fickle story line.
I will be honest with you. this is either a thumbs up or down series.. you will either like to it or not. with almost no middle ground. I have bought the entire series, so I can actually watch it several times, which is almost required. But, in any case.it is worth a strong measure of watch, as it does tell an interesting story. This series is rated PG13 with no fanservice or nudity (except for the nudity in the opening and closing credits, go figure?)
Last updated Wednesday, January 13 2010. Created Sunday, May 16 2004.
I can't really say much for this anime, but here goes. A friend of mine gave me the first volume of this series as a gift, so I figured I was watching it on a good recommendation. About halfway through the second episode, though, I was sound asleep. That was the effect it had on me. After that, I don't really remember many of the details about the art, design, music, story, etc... but the fact that this thing put me to sleep was enough to make me take it out of the VCR and never put it back in. I'd like to think that Tomino-san has done better work than this (namely, the original Gundam series).
As a side note, I used the money I got from selling this tape on Half.com to buy another volume of Urusei Yatsura. Take THAT, mechaphiles! Muahahahaha!
Last updated Saturday, March 31 2001. Created Saturday, March 31 2001.
this anime have a very entertaining and griping story line and I have been griped by it all along. The relationships are at times a little confuseing but this really has that old school anime flavor to it a definate bye
Last updated Saturday, November 11 2000. Created Saturday, November 11 2000.
This one is so good! It is a lot like the old anime, only the art is a 10x better! It has a GREAT plot! The chariacters are a little strang but inresting. If you don't want an anime were you have to think or one were you fell like you have to run out and buy the next one right away this is not for you...but other wise I can not think of a reson why you wouldn't want to see this anime! I have seen no nudity at all so far, but I havn't seen them all so I will keep you posted!
Last updated Wednesday, November 01 2000. Created Thursday, October 26 2000.
|Japanese Series Web Site