I’ve already written about this show before, but it was so long ago that I might as well expand on those thoughts in light of the shows I’ve seen since then. First of all, I’m no longer as ecstatic about Ga-Rei Zero, and the director Ei Aoki in general(probably due to Aldnoah Zero), as I once was. That doesn’t mean that I’ve suddenly started disliking the show, it just doesn’t compare that well to other shows I’ve seen since then. I also now think that the show lacks focus for the most part. Sure, the facts that the show is a prequel and that the viewer knows what’s going to happen make it look like it’s a focused show, but not much really happens in it.
And, in retrospect, I wouldn’t applaud the show for its comedy-to-seriousness ratio either. When I think of a serious show with funny moments, I now think of stuff like Patlabor. And on the inverse, if I want slice of life comedy with occasional serious moments, I’ll rewatch Toaru Kagaku no Railgun instead. That’s another show that pairs catchy OPs with kick-ass action sequences, and it arguably does that better than Ga-Rei Zero. In retrospect, it’s also really annoying how the first episode of Ga-Rei Zero doesn’t represent what the rest of the show is like, which is something I should have kept in mind when I started watching Tokyo ESP(the two series are created by the same person), because it ended up doing the exact same thing.
Still, I do want to emphasise that I don’t dislike Ga-Rei Zero. I’ve already mentioned that it does great things within its constraints, and I do think the relationship between the main characters is kind of amazingly good. Were I to decide to rewatch Ga-Rei Zero right now, it’d be mainly so I could focus on watching that relationship unfold again.