I remember the first time I saw Gun X Sword... Back when it was called Cowboy Bebop... Or was that Trigun? Maybe it was Outlaw Star. My point is that pretty much everything in Gun X Sword has been done before, and done better (well, except in the case of Trigun... Trigun sucked). The hero of GxS, Van, IS Spike Spiegel (from the Bebop). Not only does he act a bit like him, but if you showed somebody a picture of Van that person would say, "Hey, that's Spike Spiegel!" Yes, even if you asked your mother she'd say this. They just ripped poor Spike out of his universe and plopped him into a pseudo-desert world at the end of the galaxy.... *Cough* Trigun *Cough* Oh, and they gave him a giant mecha (you can pick whatever other anime with giant mecha-on-mecha action to say that GunXSword ripped it off. For example, I'll say "G Gundam").
NOT to say that Gun X Sword outright suxored. I was actually pretty drawn into it almost the whole way through (the last battle kind of wore on me seeing as it lasted something like 7 full episodes). Pretty much all of the characters are fun and very well developed (... I meant that in a "characterization way," but it holds true for a lot of the female players as well), the setting is interesting (a forgotten ex-prison planet at the end of the galaxy), and the mystery behind the bad guys' machination is intriguing.. But once it's explained it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.
Explanation and plot synopses:
Van is chasing after the "man with the claw-hand" throughout the entire world. Seems this man cut up Van and his bride on their wedding day and now a fully healed Van's out for some western-styled revenge (clad forever in his swallow-tailed suit, and wide-brimmed hat). Problem is he's not the only one after this clawed man, and he's soon in deep competition for the slicing-one's head with other people whom he runs across on his journey. Soon Van, with the help of young Wendy, big-chested Carmen 99, acrobatic Priscilla, young beatnik Joshua, and the old-fart Voltron team, meet up with the claw-hand man's posse, and rivalries are formed all around. Lots of big battles (both in and out of giant robots), and gobs of fun, over-the-top, sci-fi drama come pouring out of the screen, and by the half-way point of the series I was hooked. But then came the revelations of the claw-hand man's (from here on out known as "Comrade") organization.
Comrade's troupe is basically nothing more than a disturbed, brainwashed cult of fanatics who are bent on enlightenment and saving the world from itself despite the fact that everyone else is pretty damn happy with the way things are. Culties piss me the fuck off! Goddammit! I think the writers of GunXSword were trying to make us feel that maybe the "bad guys" were really good guys too, out to save us all from destruction -- but just the way that everybody in Comrade's cult is so fucking stupid, and totally unable to QUESTION their blind fucking faith just ticked me the fuck off!!! GYAAAAH!!! I HATE CULTS!!! Whenever a Comrade's culty was questioned by Van, or made to think about what the brotherhood of psychos was planning to accomplish they'd all fall into the same spiel: "It-it's all for the salvation of mankind! It's for the best. Comrade TELLS us so! We forge our fighting spirits in the tradition of our ancestors... Let's all give Comrade a great big hand!" It's like talking to a washed up Heaven's Gater, or a Scientologist, or a Mormon. You just can't get through to them enough to make them see that they are stupid and just doing something that a CRAZY person (key word being "crazy") is telling them to do. Comrade's plan is so bizarre as well, I'm just surprised that it's only Van and his group who's out to stop him. Seriously, news of what he's planning to accomplish would definitely have leaked out from a syndicate of that size and SOME world government should have said, "Damn! I, uh, I think we ought to stop this wacko." Jeezus... Maybe that planet of Endless Illusion deserved what Comrade had planned... Goddamn lemmings.
Anyway, I thought it was weird that claw-hand Comrade looked almost exactly like that old British guy (with the loooong eyebrows) in Robot Carnival's "Presence" short. I also thought it was strange (but nice) that Fasalina piloted her giant mecha by pole dancing in the cockpit. One thing that pissed me off more than any offbeat or bizarre thing though was the self-censoring donkey in the episode that took place in the Bikini Kingdom. Seriously, if you're going to throw the audience some fan service, do it properly.
Okay, first of all I really don't usually like cowboy movies or television shows all that much... Except for that Brokeback Mountain movie. Those two guys were hunky and dreamy! But this Gunsword show was pretty fun. I liked that "Van of the Dawn" guy and his sidekick Wendy. She was a hoot! That blonde boy who's the brother of that other guy who's chasing after the one-armed-man was fairly irritating though. He was all like "No, don't fight, big brother! Don't kill the bad people who are trying to mess up the entire planet! That would be wrong!" Ugh... Goddamn hippies.
Anyway, I thought that this show was kind of fun and all, but I didn't think that it needed all those robots in the story. They actually felt tacked on. It was like, "fun episode with interesting new characters and predicaments.... ROBOT FIGHT, end." Those robot fights seemed to come out of left field and kicked the punter in the crotch, if you know what I mean.
And what was up with that claw-man's "ultimate plan"? Did anybody else just laugh when they heard it? I kept waiting for the animators to cut in and say "Ha! You just got Punk'd! You were actually believing this stuff? That was some silly poop we were throwing at you, and you bought it all?! HA!"
The Wolfman did not like this show one bit. That claw-guy's plan was a little too close to my eventual plan to share a bit of Satan with the whole entire world, and make it all just a little nicer place to live in. Maybe instead I'll just sue the animators and use the money to buy some whores. My original plan needed too much actual work anyway.
Other than that, I was kind of pissed that they NEVER TELL YOU WHY THE CLAW MAN KILLED VAN'S AND THE BLONDE GUY'S WOMEN!!! That's like the whole point of Van even being in this show, and it's just shrugged off in the end. The Wolfman is not pleased. And old, doddering men make the worst villains it turns out. You just want to shake them until their head falls off or until they have something snap back into place and logic takes hold of their old, decaying minds again.