Orguss 02 benefits from the effort that has been put into the characters that populate it, their lifestyles and the world in which they live. 'The politics of war' could be a subtitle to this intriguing anime series. In a successful mishmash of architecture from the middle ages, vehicles form the 1940s and huge flying robots form the future, director Fumihiko Takayama carefully steers Orguss 02 through a weave of politics, war and friendships, and succeeds in making the journey a new one, relatively free of cliche.
The artistically inventive opening credits (remaining intact with the original theme song subtitled) owe more than just a nod to Maurice Binder's similar creations for the James Bond films. Stylistically, Orguss 02 is very similar to Wings of Honneamise. The series has been released in a dubbed format here but this is improved with all the characters foreign to the lead character being subtitled as they speak different languages. The resulting mix works extremely well. Those who dislike mecha anime should not be put off Orguss 02 by the inclusion of large robots; there is far more to grab your attention here. The first tape (of four) is a prelude to and then the beginning of a war. The subsequent episodes deal with truth and loyalty in friendships and the political manoeuvring that abounds in government. it is a fairly relaxed approach to heavyweight subjects (little emphasis on bloodshed, hence the '12' rating) but works extremely well. Recommended.
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