G-on Riders

Title:G-on Riders
G-on らいだーす (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: ASANO Masumi
Animation - Shaft
In a near future time when alien attacks have become a common event, a secret (Japanese) organization called the GRA (GRAND RIFUREKUTO AMUDO, Grand Reflect Armor) has developed a very effective defense. Using a technology developed by Dr Sanada Mio, which she calls the 'G-On', certain young students wearing glasses (hence the "G" in the title) are able to harness their strong feelings and manifest those abilities and weapons that prove effective against the alien attacking units. The GRA has sponsored an elite high school to help identify and develop the students who have this ability in the hopes that they can defend not only Japan, but also the earth from the alien invaders.

A new transfer student, Yuki becomes involved in an alien attack on her first day at her new school. She proves be brave enough to directly confront the alien invader first hand in an attempt to recover her lost underwear, and while escaping, she happens to land on and meet a cute fellow student named Ichiro. During some tests, Yuki proves herself to be one of those rare individuals who has the G-On ability. So along with the other two G-On Riders, the Christian Crusader warrior, Sela-sama and the traditional Miko Shrine maiden, Yayoi-chan, they defend their school from repeated attacks of some very silly and strange alien mega-robots.

13 episodes (+1 extra episode)

2:30min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 98, 99, 100, 1893
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 6 7 4 6 6 Xenoknight [series:884#2967]
*WARNING: though this title has harem and romance elements, BE WARNED - THE MALE LEAD NEVER FINDS LOVE*

Decide if this type of harem is acceptable to view beforehand and watch it or skip it accordingly.

That being made clear:

This title will definetly make someone think twice about the silly-funny animes out there. This one starts out with the usual insanity that can be expected of this genre, with aliens here and power ranger-like super women there to stand in the way. I'll admit it is tough at first but the girls grew on me eventually and I found myself actually wanting to see what the next episode would throw at me. Once I started watching, I couldn't let myself leave it alone. (those who follow my reviews here know all about that already)

The first half of the series introduces each girl and their personalities. The downside to this is that they showed the enemies as well and normally I wouldn't have a problem, but the writers went too far into detail with it. I know it will be critical later on but since its so heavy right at the beginning, I really didn't care. Here I am trying to block out the stupid slap-stick humor that ALWAYS turns me away from the start of most animes and the writers kept bringing the enemies up with even heavier slap-stick comedy! It was ridiculous 80% of the time and the other 20% were giggles. This is what makes silly-funny shows an "instant hate" and it spends the whole time working its way back up again if the viewers didn't leave already. That's just the way it is i'm afraid, but for those who can cope with it are rewarded with an experience that couldn't be dreamt of coming from something this goofy, especially when it came to episode 6 as the official turning point of the series. By the end of the episode, I had to look at the top of the screen to make sure I was still watching the same show. It evolved that much in a matter of one episode. The reason is clear though. The lead role was shifted from Yuki (the female lead throughout the series) to the male lead. The new main lead has a more "manly" presence (LOL) and watching him put me at ease because the show was finally ready to start being serious.

The second half of the series gets crazy serious while throwing the harem "elements" at the viewer. As one can see early on, the male lead can’t be with the girls because he gets too "worked up" if you will and changes into his G-on form. This is clearly a method used to stall for time since he can never be alone with any of the girls for too long. It still is tough to watch though due to the enemies (slowly converting into allies) being the main focus but like I said before - it is critical to the story. They don't stop stalling until episode 9 where the story comes back to the action and the girls. This episode clicked for me as well because: 1) I love female robots and the play of emotions when their not supposed to have any. 2) The main lead transforms again showing his resolve and power. 3) The fighting in the episode itself was the best and most believable so far in the anime. One thing I should note is that the main lead can't transform by himself, he has to be "seduced" and then he can transform just like the main lead in Amaenaideyo!!. I thought it would work out fine and be funny in the process but alas, it acually hurt the anime as it constantly gets in the way later on. By the end of episode 10, he finally confesses to his love but she is not interested in love and says she likes everyone equally. Its at this point that I knew he would never find love and a huge aspect of the story went to hell. That was the tires on the car of this anime and the writers slashed them and threw them all away!!! It was just out of obligation that I kept watching this title. It was over no matter what kind of story it had left.

The ending string of episodes were excellent however. It was really well done and (dare I say) a little ahead of its time in story development. MANY secrets get revealed and the fight for the planet ensues. I loved how the people of the earth used a spirit bomb gathering energy effect to defend that Freeza-like planet-destroying blast. (some DBZ elements can never hurt a story. LOL) The ending is favorable for everyone, though for me, it ended at episode 10!

The special episode was the usual ecchi OVA style episode that featured half the keywords up there near the title. Nudity, fan-service, and extremely suggestive material all present themselves here. It was satisifying to see all the girls after destroying my hopes a few episodes ago and it was like a reward for watching through to the end. Even though the world knew the main lead's secret, the writers STILL couldn't let the main lead enjoy some time with Zero and find some robotic love. After seeing this episode, it was definetly suggested that one of them would be happy with that arrangement.

A slightly just above average anime. If they didn't "slash those tires", it would've been more valuable to me but whatever.

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Thursday, October 09 2008. Created Monday, September 08 2008.
Buy Stretch [series:884#628]
This seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it sort of show, which gets wildly varrying reviews from different critics. What's more, people often don't seem to "get" this show on the first viewing, but may appreciate it on a second try. With those qualifiers, I am one of the lovers of this show and consider it one of my top 10 anime of all time.

I first heard of G-on Riders back when I was helping in an attempt to devise a new formula which would use keywords to select "best bets". This show was playing hell with the formula because practically every keyword available had been applied to it (they've been trimmed back considerably since then). Yet, having finally watched it myself, I was surprised to find that the one keyword which it most brought to my mind was missing--"Silly-Funny" (that problem has been corrected). Using the dictionary, a definition of that term would be "shows which have a funny, happy, innocent tone and characters which display a distinct lack of common sense"--which seems to fit G-on Riders to a T. The "funny" aspect goes without saying. as I understand it, humor results when things happen that are not what one expects, yet in a way they still make sense. If, like so many other shows, an established formula had been closely followed, then it would be easy to predict what was coming and the humor would have to suffer. But you never know what to expect from G-on Riders!* For example, out of nowhere the Principal and alien defector Ai-chan take to composing poetry and reading it to each other--a sort of mutual admiration society. This show is hilarious in so many ways. As for a "happy, innocent tone", yes, there's a good deal of fanservice, even ecchi, going on, but it's all played for laughs, and is genuinely funny. Forgive me if I don't feel particularly guilty after watching fanservice--indeed, I found the inexperienced teenage tactics that the cast members used to attract the attention of the opposite sex to be kind of cute(maybe we need a new keyword, "Silly-Naughty-Funny"). Main character Yuki is the very definition of innocent (or is it naive?) as she remains completely oblivious to carnal thoughts. Supposedly the Earth is in danger of alien conquest, or of being destroyed altogether, but it quickly became clear to me that this was a "comedy first, action second", sort of show. After all, how seriously can you take the threat to the Earth when the "enemy" consists of a handful of adorable alien children, who need an "Andro-maid" to look after them, and are only trying to make some money anyhow? Finally, there's the "distinct lack of common sense", which is a term which could be applied to practically the entire cast--from Yuki's tactic for dealing with Riro-chan, to Pao-chan's addiction to video games, to pretty much everything the Principal does. The final episode reminded me of the way Excel Saga wrapped up--a naughty, risque episode to complete a series that wasn't particularly politically correct to begin with. I really cannot think of anything wrong with this series! The music and artwork were great. The show just "flows" beautifully, with each episode being both hilariously funny and part of a well-designed overall plotline. The plot, of course, is so bizarre that there's no need to take it seriously--one of the hallmarks of true comedy! One reviewer described Yuki and the Riders as being "largely vapid protagonists", to which I would say that taking them seriously (i.e., expecting detailed, well-developed personalities) would likewise only distract the viewer from the comedy which is this series' backbone. You can tell how seriously the show's makers were taking it from the title they gave the climactic episode--"Full Force Strawberries". There's nothing wrong with giving comedy priority over drama--especially when the comedy is handled as well as it was in G-on Riders!

My favorite line: "I hate punks with cheap costumes!" --Yuki

P.S: Why did I wait so long to rewatch this series? I've watched a lot of anime since the first time around, and still the cleverness, the wit, and the overall pleasing effect of this show stands out. I'm tempted to track down the names of the principal staff members of this series, and search for other titles they've worked on. Episode 14 had the jaw-dropping effect (in a good way) as I was hammered with a succession of some of the most blatantly suggestive humor I've ever seen in anime. This show will always be a favorite of mine--I'm surprised it has never been R1 licensed (maybe because a lot of the intentional stereotypes wouldn't be recognized by someone who wasn't Japanese?). G-on Riders forever!

See Yuki, Sela, and Yayoi's montages at Kendo Girl Scrapbook!

*Maybe that's why so many different keywords seemed appropriate!

Last updated Tuesday, September 09 2008. Created Monday, March 07 2005.
Rent 8 8 8 8 8 9 Jan-Chan [series:884#967]
(posted November 2004)

After a first watch, I was ready to take a proverbial torch to this series, but the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that I had really missed the mark. This series was in fact a well-written and very understated (subtle or stealth) parody. While the writers don't go out of their way to call attention to what they are doing, but they have (gleefully) pillaged, plundered and plagiarized most all of this stories thematic elements and plot concepts from so many other series. When I watched G-On Riders for a second time, I was able to find a strong measure of humor and whimsy at their cleverness, and I found it to be very fun (if only just watch for what I could recognize what came from so many other anime series), and as long one does not take it with ANY measure of seriousness, you might be able to laugh along with the story.

This series is just too difficult to try to describe in any coherent manner, so please permit me just babble along for a bit.

Yuki is invited to attend a special high school where she meets a cute boy and a couple of other friends, and they have a number of adventures. And then everyone in the series falls in love with someone else, which usually means with Ichiro, who is the typical girl-shy-repressed-high-school student - who is really in love with Yuki - not that she has a clue. And the pervert of high school principle wants to be in love with everyone, not that anyone really likes him. So while all of the good guys are teenagers, the bad guys are a female trio of aliens, who look and behave like twelve-year-olds, (Pao-chan, the cat-eared-girl is really kawaii!!!) but we all know that twelve-year-old girls can't really be bad, and so they are probably just misunderstood. But they do create some very cute giant robots with which to attack the school. And the bad-girl-trio have Zero, a really sexy android-maid who is really strong and who succeeds in defeating the three G-On girls, so Ichiro has to reveal that he is really is a cyborg, and who can transform into the ultra-manly Cosmo-Banchou, wearing a cool black trench coat and peaked cap emblazoned with the Japanese character for (VERY) MALE. Banchou confronts Zero, which activates her maiden circuit, and then she begins to have romantic feeling for him too! And thereafter when ever Ichiro gets stimulated by a cute girl (or woman or sexy android), his male circuit activates and he transforms into Cosmo-Banchou, which he is trying to hide from everyone, but since they all already know his secret, he spends a lot of time running around for nothing. We all know that the more a guy runs away, the more the girls will chase him. And when the trio of alien invaders are defeated (well, actually they becomes friends with the G-On team), it prompts the really BAD alien shows up ..... which results in a really BIG battle ..... then everyone is taken captive ...... a few more secrets are revealed ..... everyone agrees that high school principle REALLY is a pervert!! ..... WOW, the earth is going to be destroyed .... another big battle scene with lots of cute girls........then someone says Sister?.....and then we might agree oh, never mind.......and then the comes the very happy ending Right!!!

(HEY!!!! I worked really hard on this review. So don't knock me!!)

And there is episode number 14, in which the scriptwriters ask the question .. how ecchi can an anime episode get without being formally classified as being hentai? ... and the answer is VERY VERY ecchi. After Zero asks for a day off (which is permitted under the Cosmo-maid law #189 - one day off each year) and she wanders up to Ichiro to steal a kiss from him. This sets off Sela-chan and Yayoi-chan, who wonder if Ichiro is really into mecha-girls. They both worry to an extreme, and begin to actively chase Ichiro with the intent of seducing him with their 'natural' charms...(ECCHI!!!). So episode 14 is ecchi no, I misstated ..episode 14 is VERY ECCHI!! ECCHI!! ECCHI!!.

After I understood the series, I really enjoyed it. In the first 13 episodes, there is a lot of fanservice, and even more in a suggested or implied manner..and then there is episode 14 - ECCHI!!! ..well, you have been warned.

Last updated Saturday, May 28 2005. Created Thursday, November 04 2004.

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