Gravion Zwei, Vol 1: Eye of the Storm (2004) – DVD Review
Screenplay by Fumihiko Shimo Directed by Masami Obari Music by Hikaru Nanase
Character profiles with information and art
Episode art gallery
Clean opening and closing animation
Original Japanese commercials
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
Seriously gravity-defying boobs
A whole Vicky’s Secret full of panties
Released by: ADV Region: 1 Rating: MA Anamorphic: N/A; appears in their original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Check it out if you have a sense of humor, or like maids. A lot.
Gravion Zwei is the follow-up to the infamous and shameless action-mecha-science fiction story, Gravion. Sandman and his team of Gran Knights pilots, along with the giant mecha Gravion, collectively known as the Earthgertz, have seemingly defeated their nemesis, the evil alien race known as the Zeravire. The Zeravire are back, however, and the Gran Knights are not the only defenders facing the invasion; the G-Soldier Squadron, led by lovely and powerful ace Faye, and their accompanying giant robot, Grand Trooper, are competing with the Earthgertz.
If you’re new to the franchise, you might be a little bit confused; all you really need to know is that Sandman has an Oscar Wilde complex of sorts, likes his entire staff to be dressed in maid costumes, and sponsors a group of mecha pilots (the Gran Knights/Divas) who combine to form a giant robot called Gravion, which is powered by gravity and dependent upon the G-Factor of the pilots. Got all that? Good. Their purpose is to protect the Earth from invasion by the Zeravire. Toga was raised by Sandman, and Luna has a crush on Eiji. The rest is window-dressing. It’s all very self-aware and rather metaâ€”a sort of spoof of shows like Nadesico and the endless Gundam reboots.
The show basically begins showing Eiji and the other Gran Knights in maid costume doing chores for the real maids, due to the fact that Eiji lost what looks like a game of strip poker. The unprofessionalism of all this is not lost on some of the other pilots on the base, but since their leader, Sandman, is away on business, the “heroes” are doing some serious playing. In the second episode, some of Eiji’s friends from high school show up to visit, annoying Eiji’s uber-serious trainer, Raven. Further episodes show the characters getting drunk, fighting each other and aliens, and doing a lot of being half-naked, especially the older and vivacious Mitsuki.
Not consisting strictly of panty shots, impossibly large boobs, and comedy, Gravion Zwei also has a lot of serious moments. This is a tale of an eccentric genius facing off against vicious aliens bent upon destroying the earth â€¦ only with maids. In short skirts. And a pet ferret. It is an absolutely bizarre combination of Gundam Wing, Bubblegum Crisis, and Playboy magazine. Too bad that this first volume, which is still introducing viewers to the world and the people, is still pretty scattershot about the plot, taking a few too many picnics and trips to where women will get naked. At least with Gonzo, you know it will be pretty.
The sound is very well done, especially the voice actors for Sandman and Mitsuki. Both characters could be very overdone, but both the English and Japanese voice actors make them complex people, who are also fun. The musical numbers are slightly distracting, but are true to the genre, which always seems to want to set battles and transformation sequences to music. The visuals are also good (perhaps TOO good, when we’re looking at giant bazooms), but pleasant to watch.
The features on this first volume are solid. We get some nice character profiles, a couple of art galleries, one for the characters and one for the show at large, some original Japanese commercials, and clean opening and closings. If you’re new to the show, check out the character profiles for some useful information and an introduction. “Inside the Actor’s Head” interviews the ADV director and discusses the difficulty of translating anime into another language with different linguistic rhythms. We also get to hear from Chris Patton (the English voice of Eji), Jason Douglas (Sandman), Kira Vincent Davis (Mitsuki), Luci Christian (Luna), Jessica Boone (Ena), Allison Keith (Leele), Vic Mignogna (Raven), and the voice of Toga, Greg Ayres, who each give a few thoughts about their methods and thoughts about the show and their characters.
If you’re a fan of the giant robot/combination heroes genre, then this will be an interesting addition to your collection. Be warned that the real purpose of this show is to be as racy as possible without being outright porn; yet there is a surprisingly solid plot underneath all the cleavage and maid fetishes. The maids are incredibly silly and foolish, but the other characters, like Luna and Eiji, are actually pretty well-rounded. Sandman is appropriately eccentric (read: nutters), but of course desperately handsome as well. If you can handle the cheese and the sleaze, this show can be good for a relatively harmless afternoon’s entertainment.