Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: ADV Films UK
Age Rating: 12
Region: 2 - UK
Volume 1 of 7
Length: 125 minutes
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
German Dolby Digital 5.1
A terrorist attack changes everything; the sky becomes a strange swirling mirror known as the sheltering sky. Adults lament the loss of the blue sky, whilst a generation of children grow up knowing nothing different. Among this new generation is Orga, a group of mutants with mysterious powers; their enemies are the beautiful and deadly Gilgamesh who bow only to Enkidu, the scientist who started the original attack. Caught between these two groups are a brother and sister; Kiyoko and Tatsuya, neither understands the situation in which they have been placed but everything could count on their actions.
The first thing that you notice when you watch Gilgamesh is the stylish gothic art. The character design is detailed; the facial features are bold and give many of the characters troubled haunted looks, which compliment the dark atmosphere of the show perfectly. The designs take some getting used to and border on ugly, but it suits the moody style and by the end of the DVD most viewers can probably adjust.
Much of the action takes place in the evening or at night, in dark moody locations; this is a world, which is been ravaged by a disaster a fact that the creators don’t want the viewer to forget. The animation is limited, which affects the battle sequences, which rely strongly on physic attacks rather than direct battle. This means that the action is far less exciting then it could be
The opening theme is almost aching trendy, and annoyingly catchy, but the inclusion of a cheery pop song really doesn’t fit the show, the background music throughout the rest of the series is moody and dramatic, and fits extremely well.
Gilgamesh is the type of anime that moves slowly but at constant speed, drawing the viewer into it’s various mysteries. Every small clue that is revealed leads to more questions, which makes it irritatingly addictive. There’s a strong link thematically with the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ though it’s not a retelling, instead the series uses characters and ideas from the epic to move it’s own story on. The trouble is that everything resolves around revealing the mystery and character development is extremely limited. Part of the problem is the series creators desire to generate suspense, both sides in the battle act questionably leaving the viewer to wonder whose side is the correct one. This is obviously intended but unfortunately this also means that very few of the characters are likable as individuals, The only real development this volume is between Tatsuya and Kiyoko, as Tatsuya discovers a previous unknown talent that begins to drive them apart.
Gilgamesh is a moody gothic take on post apocalyptic sci-fi, the multi layered plot is intriguing and makes the series an interesting watch. The trouble is there’s not much below the surface. Fans of anime such as Clamp’s X will defiantly enjoy the series, if not it’s one of those series that should be at least tried. The generous five episodes on this DVD should be enough to tell if the show is to your taste or not