Other mecha shows, take note! This is how you start a series and explain the premise without confusing the audience about the actual story. Shows like Aldnoah.Zero and this season’s Heavy Object started by establishing global conflicts, which made it difficult to care about the main characters(because why would they be of any global importance?). Gundam: IBO, on the other hand, starts by telling the story of a few people working for a small company and by only hinting at an interplanetary context rather than immediately dropping the main characters into the middle of a large-scale conflict.
Ok, that sounds like a really roundabout way of explaining things, so let’s move on. I was also a fan of the fact that the characters are not all new recruits but training-hardened experts. It makes sense in the context of the story, and it also expedites story progression by skipping the “training arc”. Sure, that means that the first episode is unusually heavy on exposition, but that’s pretty much what I’d expect from a Gundam show regardless of who wrote or directed it. Other things that make this Gundam are the crazy character names and the hairstyles and -colours.
Verdict: Excellent first episode. I want and need more.
What is there to say about this show? Well, it was probably my most anticipated show of the season beside Owarimonogatari, and the first episode ended up being my favourite first episode of the season as well, beside Owarimonogatari. From the very first shot – that made the show look like a movie in quality – to the very last one, which promised new characters and new enemies, it was just a spectacular episode. The quality and art style varied a lot from scene to scene, but I guess that’s the price we have to pay for having so many talented and skilled animators working on this show(thank you, kVin, for making me pay attention to the different animation styles). I’m not complaining, though. I loved all the different styles.
Visuals aren’t everything, though, which is why I was initially nervous about the sound and the humour in the show. Those fears were laid to rest, though, by the kick-ass soundtrack and the surprisingly manga-faithful comedy. I laughed out loud several times while watching the episode(mostly during the butt-face scene), and I liked the OP, the ED and the guitar track that played during the dream sequence fight scene. I hope the quality of the next episode is as high as the quality in this first episode, but if that is not the case, I pray that it at least stays somewhat consistent.
Verdict: I could not have hoped for a better first episode. Amazing.