Striking The Right Note: Gun X Sword

This one I chose to highlight just because I like it. I mean, I like all the openings I feature and talk about, obviously, but this one just tickles me the right way for reasons that aren’t deep, complex, and thought provoking. It tickles me because I’m old.

Yes, young ones, I remember a time when there was no internet, the Atari 2600 was the height of gaming consoles, phones had cords, and the sandbox was something that didn’t exist virtually. I am an old man, an old geek, and sometimes, I just like things because they invoke a sense of nostalgia.

Gun X Sword pulls that off very nicely.

If you’ve never seen it, Gun X Sword is… really weird. There’s this lone drifter named Van, who has a thing for condiments, and he’s looking for a guy called The Claw. Seems The Claw killed Van’s wife on their wedding day. Van also has a giant mecha that falls out of the sky whenever he turns his hat the right way, a sash that turns into a sword, and as near as I can tell, no taste buds.

Seriously, nobody can use every condiment in existence to that degree and be capable of actually tasting anything.

Granted, Gun X Sword sound silly as hell, and to a degree, it is silly. It’s also extremely well written, with every single character given surprising depth, even the ones that only show up for a single episode. There’s a lot of complexity to The Claw, even, and the mechas that appear are much more than they seem, and are actually relevant to the story beyond just looking cool.

Gun X Sword is one of those shows I may tackle more in depth in the future, just because there’s so much to talk about where it’s concerned. It’s a very unexpected sort of show, in a lot of ways, and I recommend folks giving it a try. It is worth the experience.

The opening credits, now, they really do set the stage in some interesting ways. It isn’t so much what they do, as how they do it. See, Gun X Sword hit the scene in 2005, but it’s one of the most 80’s things you’ll ever see this side of Stranger Things.

First, there’s that theme music. It sounds like something Ennio Morricone would have written. It feels like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It was actually written by Kotaro Nakagawa, who is best known for his work on Planetes, Code Geass, and many of the Kamen Rider tv shows.

I grew up on the spaghetti westerns of Clint Eastwood, and they still hold a special place in my heart. So, the theme song here takes me back to that time. That’s the first nostalgia trip.

The second is all the silhouette figures dancing their way through the opening animation. Go back and watch any of the James Bond films openings from the 80’s and you’ll see the same thing.

The last nostalgia trip it takes me on it the way they frame everything. It feels like a shout out to the shows that first introduced me to anime. Robotech, Voltron, battle of the Planets. There’s a strong vibe there that calls back to those. It’s in the ways the characters are moved across the screen, I think. It’s weird, and hard to describe, but it reminds me of those days, sitting with a bowl of cereal, watching those shows on a Saturday morning.

All of it together, for old folks like me, weaves a tale of outlaws, caught up in intrigue, and the wonder of our youth as we first experienced the medium of anime, and were captivated for reasons we couldn’t explain. It feels like something that would have been on back then, and for a minute, watching it, I feel like a kid again.

That’s a special kind of magic. That’s striking the right note in a very different way.

 

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18 thoughts on “Striking The Right Note: Gun X Sword

  1. Okay…this I am definitely going to be checking out. “A shout out to the series that first introduced me to anime. Robotech”…..I am a hardcore Robotech fan…have probably one of the biggest collections of Robotech in Holland (and when compared the rest of the world probably very small lol) , but I have been following Robotech ever since seeing it way back in 1985. This series premise alone has me interested, but after seeing the themesong, I am really, really interested in it. Definitely going to try and find this one. Great post: thanks for sharing this šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dude. Robotech forever. They did a novelization of the whole series, plus a book that wrapped up the entire series and featured characters from all three shows. I’ve got the whole series. I’ve got the old original Robotech role playing game, some of the comics (which were super hard to find), and love everything about Robotech.

      I know it isn’t even the actual anime show, but a bunch of stuff that was Americanized, and I don’t even care. Robotech was my introduction to anime. I love everything about it, and still get misty eyed if somebody mentions Roy Focker.

      When I was a kid, I watched Voltron and Battle of the Planets, but it was Robotech that captivated me. That amazing story, the Zentradi slowly coming to question orders because of the power of music, freaking Roy being my first favorite character to freaking die! For a Saturday morning cartoon, Robotoch was hard core, and remains one of my all time favorite animes ever.

      Gun X Sword feels a lot like Robotech at times. Not so much in the story, or anything, but in that feel it has, ya know? That indefinable quality that makes it something special. May just be nostalgia speaking, but I love that, and this show is one of those little rare gems that just makes you feel like a kid sitting in front of the tv again.

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      1. Man….this is seriously cool! I have exactly the same feeling. Yes it is not officially Anime, but who cares? I got introduced to Robotech when 4.5 million ships surrounded the Earth and started to completely annihilate it. That scene alone almost exploded my mind. I have a lot of Robotech stuff too: got all of the novels, including the one that wraps things up. (The end of the circle), one of the original Artbooks, 200+ comics, the roleplaying games, toys, trading cards..etc. Robotech just got into my blood or something (Yes I am quoting Roy Fokker haha šŸ˜‚). But you are so right..it was more than a saturday morning cartoon: characters dying, that never happened. I remember seeing Gi-Joe, and pilots always ejected at the time their planes blew up (Inakways thought that was lame…not that I was sadistic or anything). But yeah it is and always will be one of my favorite shows. I am definitely going to check out Gun X Sword. Really looking forward to that. (Ps…off topic, I put your blog in the spotlight: you can find it here: https://raistlin0903.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/the-blogger-recognition-award-special-add-on/ ) šŸ˜€ We really have a lot of the same interests šŸ˜€

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    2. Dude, your collection totally surpasses mine, and that is AWESOME! Never could get the toys or trading cards when I was younger, and now I’ve got too many responsibilities to track them down, much less afford them. Never mind that, though, cause you got a rockin collection, and I love that so much. Just knowing that that is out there, with someone who loves it, makes my day.

      Ah, man, I tell ya. I remember G.I. Joe, and Transformers especially as being those shows you loved to watch, but that nobody ever got hurt in war kinda left me scratching my head, even as a kid. It made it hard to take the bad guys as serious threats, since they all seemed pretty incompetent.

      Then there was Robotech, where the Zendradi were not just competent, but actually had major characters you couldn’t help root for, like Exador and Breetai. Hell, that episode where Breetai goes clawing his way along the outside of his own ship to pursue Rick was freaking intense. I was honestly afraid for him. Never mind he was the enemy, he was awesome, and I respected him. It didn’t shy away from the horrors of war, for either side.

      I’ll never forget Miriya and Max, either. Damn. What a love story, forged in war. Pretty damn bold sub plot for a kids show. Then Ben died, right after Roy. Damn, but that show was brutal. Kids today, they don’t know nothing. When we were kids, we got a hell of an education.

      Probably the only thing that bugs me is in the last episode of the first series, I swear up and down, Lisa wasn’t aboard the SDF-1 when Khyron made his suicide run, but was out looking for Rick, who was out looking for Lisa. I remember it so clearly, that as the ship was about to hit the SDF-1, Gloval pulled the bridge crew into his arms, and just held them, glaring out at Khyron’s ship until the last moment.

      No idea why I remember it that way, but I do, very vividly. It was one of the most powerful and painful moments of the show for me. Must be a glitch in the Matrix.

      Okay, off to read your post, and thank you already for it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even though I loved Transformers (who as a kid living in these times did not) after discovering Robotech, it was that series all the way. The Macross saga is always the best part of the show, although I do have fond memories of the New Generation as well. There are so many cool scenes that will always stand out to me. Roy’s death, and Claudia crying at his deathbed, seriously gets me every time I see it. I hated that episode even though I loved it (if you know what I mean). Everything about that show is just awesome. It might be interesting to know that next year Robotech gets a new comic license, and they are going to reprint all of the old Comico comic series. They might even plan to release the Sentinels comics. As well as reprints there were also start a new and original comic book tale featuring the old crew. Excited for it? I know I am šŸ˜€ Speaking of Robotech: there is also a liveaction movie in the works, with James Wan at the helm. It seems that with Sony no obtaining the license, it might be that this is finally going to see the light of day. Hopefully it will at least retain the spirit of the original šŸ˜€

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        1. Oh, hey, I hadn’t heard about the comic license. Now that is exciting news. I’ll have to watch for that so I can get them.

          As for the movie, I’m cautiously optimistic. Hollywood and anime adaptions don’t usually end up going well together, and Sony already has a rough track record with adaptations of any kind.

          That said, the Ghost In The Shell adaptation looks like it may actually be decent, so I’m gonna hold out hope we’ll get something that lives up to the premise.

          Personally, I’ve always felt that Rootech would be better adapted for television, with it’s long form story format and all. Sci Fi series have been doing really well for some years now. The Battlestar Galactica reboot, the Stargate shows, and so on give me hope that a Robotech series would look good, while still telling the overall story in all it’s glory.

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          1. Yes..it would definitely be great for television, but I think the costs for it would go through the roof. With all the Mechafights, ships, transformable fighter plans, I don’t think that a series would ever make enough money, to justify the costs for it to make. That said, James Wan is a pretty decent director, so I hope he will make something good šŸ˜€ And true, Ghost in the Shell, does look very good šŸ˜€

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            1. It’s always possible the expense would outweigh the reception. While Robotech is a big deal to anime lovers, it’s somehow fairly unknown in general. It would be hard to garner an audience, which is probably what keeps it from getting on tv more than cost.

              Battlestar Galactica did the big ships and dogfights, so it can be done. It really is a question, I think, of getting someone to accept that there would be a significant enough audience to put in the money.

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            2. I’m the same way. Both the original series, which was on when was a kid, and the new one, which was way better than people like to claim.

              Of course, if you really want to get me going, mention Stargate. That’s my great sci fi weakness.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. You mean…..Stargate the movie, the ten seasons of Stargate, the 5 Seasons of Stargate Atlantis, the 2 Seasons of Stargate Universe? That scifi show? Nah….never heard of it šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚

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            4. Haha…no I can tell lol šŸ˜‚ It is definitely one of my favorites to. Have the entire series on dvd, and it is really very,very good. So sad that Universe wasn’t received very well and the franchise pretty much died after that. Atlantis should have gone on longer. But Oh well, at least there are so many episodes that we can still enjoy šŸ˜€

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            5. Yeah, it really wasn’t ratings that killed Universe or Atlantis, it was MGM going bankrupt. If it had managed properly financially, odds are both shows would have lasted much longer, and the Stargate franchise would still be going strong.

              As it stands, sooner or later, it’ll be back. It’s just a question of how. The film reboot is pretty much dead at this point, due to the poor reception of the new Independence Day film, and MGM is reportedly looking at bringing the franchise back to television instead. From what I’ve heard, they don’t want to reboot it, either, but just start it back up.

              Of course, these are rumors at this time, so who knows for sure. One thing I am sure of is that Stargate will be back. You don’t just sit on a multi-million dollar franchise forever.

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            6. I’m definitely sure a reboot, restart or whatever will be in the works. You can’t keep a good show down, especially not a superb show like Stargate. I hope it will be a continuation of the show: that would really be awesome šŸ˜€

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            7. It would be the best way. They just need to come up with something for the Stargate team to fight against. The Gu’Ould are gone, the Ori are defeated, so they need some other threat.

              There’s the off chance they could round up at least most of the Universe cast, but many of them have gone on to new and successful shows, so it’d be tricky.

              Pretty much no matter which way they approach it, getting Stargate back on is going to require some finesse.

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            8. Perhaps they will do a crossover series with Battlestar Galactica ? šŸ˜€ Honestly though I had always thought it would have been very cool to have a show where a couple of people travel from one tv universe to the next, experiencing all kinds of adventures. As for Stargate, I really hope they will do a follow up someday…I just need this show in my life lol šŸ˜€

              Liked by 1 person

            9. Considering Stargate established multiple realities, they’d be the obvious show to do a crossover. Ben Browder could play a dual role in a Farscape crossover!

              Sooner or later, MGM will get it figured out and the gate will reopen. Just gotta be patient. šŸ™‚

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