The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Gilgamesh
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Group TAC
Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 2 Oct 2003 – 18 Mar 2004

Synopsis: On October 10th, the world suffers a massive terrorist attack that puts a massive, reflective substance that blocks out the sky. A scientist named Madoka Terumich takes responsibility for this heinous crime and boldly declares war on all of mankind under the moniker “Enkidu”. Years after this incident, Twin X, it is up to his two children, Tatsuya and Kiyoko, to join their father in his mad quest or to fight him and his messangers, the Gilgamesh.

The Highlights
Character designs: Bold and stylish, though an acquired taste.
Action: Downright boring.
Drama: Very good material without the punch it deserved.
Ending: Spectacular? Cop out? Worth watching 25 episodes for? Kind of…

Typically, it is mediocre anime that make me feel this empty after initial viewing. I don’t mean the “my heart has been ripped out” empty or “what a waste of my time” empty, but just a shallow, lingering feeling. While I don’t regret spending my time on this, I can’t say it was put to good use either. Gilgamesh is the type of anime that shows so many signs of greatness, but it just doesn’t manage to capitalize on what it has.

Usually, the best way to make a good anime is to develop the characters. It’s a fact that numerous anime including Gilgamesh take to heart. Between the action and the unfolding secrets of the various mysteries, this series has plenty of small, meaningful character interactions that really flesh out the quirks, motives, and flaws of these individuals. Issues such as sibling love, the crushing weight of adulthood, and the morality of human cloning are brought up and dealt in a mature fashion. While the action is only watchable when you fast forward through it, the art and animation are quite clean and the music sets the mood to the right, somber note.

What’s so overly ironic about Gilgamesh is that while there is a lot of meaningful character development, there is still an emotional void between the characters and the audience. This show is like the baker who carefully measures out each ingredient down to the nanogram and mechanically follows the instructions word for word. While the final product does taste good, there’s something inexplicably missing; the food just doesn’t have the warmth that permeates down to the bottom of one’s soul. Gilgamesh does have its fair share of twists and surprises, but it never really manages to churn out a truly great moment until the very end.

Regardless of what you are looking for, don’t watch this anime for the action. Much of the fights consists of standing around and shooting invisible energy blasts at foes who teleport at will. Don’t watch it for its story either. The plot is unimpressive and gets pretty bullish by the end. So, is there any reason to watch this anime? Well, Gilgamesh does manage to answer the age old question why most dramas try to shove heavily coated melodrama down the audience’s throat: Gilgamesh doesn’t, and for the most part, it failed to make my heart skip even half a beat.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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