At first, you would think that Aoba Tsuzaki lead a fairly normal life living with her grandmother and spending her spare time building model robots. That is of course until her grandmother dies and she is left out in the cold on the streets, and she's kidnapped by a particularly unconvincing transvestite!
She escapes only to find a real-life version of one of the robot toys she builds, and is accidentally taken on a wild ride into battle! It turns out that she has unwittingly been drafted into an organisation called Angel, an organisation that uses these robot Jinki to fight off a race of ancient Jinki that seem to be terrorising some southern area of the world called La Grand Sabana. Action, intrigue and suspense abound in one totally hectic series!
The pace of Jinki:Extend is almost impossible to judge, as it moves from introverted reflection to fast-paced action to silly humour at the drop of a hat, much in the way that our old friend Full Metal Panic was fond of doing. The main plot consists of the two main pilots of the Jinki, the cool and logical Roihei Ogawara and his hot-headed son Gento and their battles with the ancient Jinki. Along side this are thrown in sub-plots that not only involve the now popular estranged parent and secret society paradigms, but also the occasional mysterious stranger that likes the tops of tall structures and could be friend or foe.
Aoba herself feels a little shy and frightened and even a little spacey at the beginning of this disk, but as it progresses and she interacts with the other characters (mostly Gento) it becomes apparent that she begins to gain confidence in herself and others around her. There are a few other characters, mainly pilots and their Jinki that are added throughout the first disk, however at the end of the first disk they have not yet shown their true colours.
The graphics look phenomenal in this show and the robot movements thankfully do not show any of the extremely shiny, jerk movements that have plagued some of the other, even quite expensive shows out there (Divergence EVE, you know who you are), although in my personal opinion, some of the colours look a little washed out in some of the scenes and in some of the details. It is however quite a good print, though this is only to be expected from a 2004 series.
Almost all of the music in Jinki:Extend is upbeat J-rock/pop and is incredibly fast-paced giving a definite sense of adrenaline to the series that can really leave your heart racing by the end of an episode. The voice cast were well selected for both the Japanese and English speaking cast, in that I mean that they didn't cast Brian Blessed as the 13 year old girl Aoba. As for the subtitles, well, lets just say that they've seemed to have kept the Tequila out of the ADV sound dubbing booth this time (which I'm sure is no mean feat).
I am, as many may know, a huge fan of giant robot shows. That said, I've used the word "Jinki" instead of the obvious plural of "Jinkis" that is commonly used in this show to allow our readers to at least get through the majority of the review without going through horrific Scooby-Doo flashbacks. Oops, I suppose I should have warned you about that! Anyway, now the paramedics have gone, Jinki:Extend is an action-packed with some intriguing sub-plots that should keep you tuned in at least until the next volume, if not the third as well, if you crossed the aforementioned FMP with Evangelion you might get somewhere close to this silly-but-somehow-dark series.