Vandread: First Stage is a reminiscent of its time. It sets its stories in future world where humans are advances enough to have the capabilities of space travel. The world are divided by Tarak and Mejare, human male and female respectively and their war against each other. Hibiki was boy raised by his grandfather in Tarak, accidentally boarded a spaceship in its voyage to space. The spaceship was then assaulted by pirates, that waited to ambush it before its leaving its home planet. The ship, along with its assaulter, was hit by mysterious phenomena that merge bot the ship and the pirates ship into one. Hibiki, along with 2 other, become prisoner-turned-crew of their assaultant in their way of getting back home.
Its story had quite some up and down in it. There's a lot of nodes in which the story progress slowly. Although it put an emphasis in its character relationship. Indeed, the story was an exploration of the relationship dynamic of men and women. The character was very fun. The story was very fast pace, but the lack of dynamic between the cast was quite disapointing, or the relationship shown was only at bare minimum. In my opinion, the story premises, while good, becomes the very obstacle that hinder the character development in this story. The only relationship that exist in this story is the hierarchy of the pirates and the collegue relationship between the protagonist and other pilot. Its playing a very safe game, and just occasionally raunchy stuff. The protagonist at least have some good quality in him, at least that a saving grace.
The animation was very good. Its makes use of CG in its display of mecha and ship and resulting the combat to be very fluid. The story doesn't have the typical battleship command-style combat, but the idea of combining the mech, in literal and metaphorical sense as a tease to the premises was brilliant. I'm quite surprised that there's no reused footage in this story. I quite expecting something like that would happen. There's not much about the sound that catch my ears. Although the opening theme was great and really stood the test of time.
To end my review, Vandread : First Stage was a very good story, at least in my standard. It has good ideas in it, while the execution has its flaws, it doesn't hamper the climax of the season. The character developement was lacking in some area, particularly in other cast but still enjoyable. The animation was great, for its time. All in all, I like it. Simple as that.
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