20 August 2004 | BrianDanaCamp
ORGUSS 02 Six exciting episodes of animated mecha combat
ORGUSS O2 is a six-part anime series made in 1993-94 as a sequel to "Super Dimension Century Orguss" (1983), a 35-part TV series often thought to be a sequel to "Super Dimension Century Macross" (1982), better known to American viewers as the series that formed the basis for the first 36 episodes of "Robotech" (1985). The two series were made one right after the other by many of the same people and they look very much alike, although there is no narrative connection.
ORGUSS 1 dealt with the effects of a Space Time Oscillation Bomb which caused four parallel universes to overlap, putting Japanese fighter pilot Kei Katsuragi into an altered earth where he finds himself in the company of a ship full of Emaan, a humanoid race with lots of pretty girls with whom he has lots of adventures. There was a lot of mecha combat in the Gundam and Macross styles. ORGUSS 02 takes place 200 years after ORGUSS 1 in a world in which the dimensions still overlap. Two sprawling European-style nation-states are at war and their armies are finding and digging up "Decimators," the giant robotic fighting vehicles used in ORGUSS 1. Each side also finds a massive mountain-sized Decimator and the two gigantic fighting machines, powered in unusual ways, eventually face off.
The young hero is Lean, of Rivilia, a mechanic who wants to pilot Decimators for the Rivilian army. He hooks up with a gorgeous female fugitive, Nataruma, who is wanted by both sides. She has a secret connecting her to the first series. Eventually a key character from the first series emerges to set things right and give the hero a rebuilt, refurbished Orguss, the fighting vehicle piloted by Kei in the original.
At six half-hour episodes, it's a lot shorter and more intense than the first series . More of it takes place on the ground as the characters battle back and forth across the borders of Zafrin and Rivilia, until the final episode when all the combat in the sky takes place. The design is darker, sleeker, more detailed than that of the first series. There is a lot of action and it's very well animated. This is a very good-looking anime series and it's consistently exciting and imaginative.
If there's any complaint I have about this series it's that it's too short. So many elements are thrown into play that the climax feels rushed as if they had to suddenly end it. It could have used a few more episodes.