Saturday, October 27, 2001

Pilot Candidates (Megami Kouhosei / Candidate for Goddess)

Genre: Adventure / Comedy
Parental Guidance Recommended
2000 Yukiru Sugisaki, Xebec, Nippon Housou Kyoukai(NHK) BS2

Pilot Candidates DVDs
Candidate for Goddess Manga

Skysenshi's Description:
In a distant time, mankind had resorted to living in colonies where life is encased in dome-like structures that contain atmosphere. The only living planet left is Zion, and the unknown invaders identified only as "VICTIMS" have set their sights on this one last hope.

Enter the A.H.W. "INGRID", the gigantic machines controlled by extraordinary human beings. These are the ultimate defense weapon, and the only ones who can pilot them are the cream of the heavily trained Candidates.

(12 Episodes)

Think Xenosaga! >>> by skysenshi

That was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the beautiful mecha rendered in 3D CG that blended well with the equally stunning anime setting. It's like Xenosaga meets Evangelion -- with a bag of difference!

I wasn't too disappointed by the fact that there is very little known about the enemy or that the battle scenes don't really involve the real stars of the show. The title is after all Candidate for Goddess, meaning the focus is more on Zero and his fellow pilots-in-training. If they had paid more attention to the war and the pilots themselves, then the title should have been Goddess Wars instead, ne?

For a little backgrounder, here are some terminologies you might have to be a bit familiar with:

Ingrids the mechs
Goddesses the "souls" inside the mechs that recognize who their pilots should be

the natural energy of a pilot/candidate, triggered by particular instances or experiences in a person's life.

Pilot d-uh
Candidates trainees / students / examinees; not all of them will be able to pass the 3-year training
Repairers partners to pilots on a one-to-one basis; makes sure that the pilots as well as the Ingrids are in great physical condition
Victims the enemy whose origins and reasons for attacking human civilization are still unknown

Now that we have dispensed with that (it's easier reading something bulleted than a boring long-sentenced descriptions in paragraphs, ne?), I would like to comment on another aspect of MK that struck me. It's the characterization. Even those characters that have minimal roles can get you attached. Be careful, though, since everybody's fighting a war here, you should know what to expect in an anime that has great characters. One particular scene made me teary-eyed, especially when there were important words unsaid and love unrequited.

A twelve-episode presentation is too short for this particular title, though. There are so many frayed angles that needed fine-tuning or even definite resolutions. I fear I've become hungry for more of Megami Kohousei and what I've seen is just isn't enough.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 10; Story 8; Characters 9; Sounds 7

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