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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Honestly, seeing the graphic character designs of this anime didn't impress me so much. But what made Gilgamesh stole my heart was the tight storytelling. Aside from Jin-rou (I.G Production), I think Gilgamesh had fulfill the quality as alternative anime you must watch.


Just like what I usually did, I won't write any synopsis since you can read it in many websites. So I will just write whatever I think worth to write. There will be spoiler, though.. so, stop reading if you think it reveals too much にひひ

Who's Good, Who's Bad?

The story flew from a terrorist action then jumped to about 15 years after that where Madoka Tatsuya and her sister Kiyoko were chased by yakuza. Their life were totally changed after meeting the Gilgamesh (group) and the Countess' group. As each claimed themselves a good party, it was hard for Tatsuya and Kiyoko to accept any of them. When I watched it, instinctively I believe that Gilgamesh is the protagonist.

This was the first interesting part: until the last 3 episodes, I still cannot say which party was the protagonist. Countess was portrayed as a compassion but also could buy people. She was a strict person and full of rules. She kept some secrets both about her past and the children's past. In the other hand, Gilgamesh group seemed working by their own will to serve Enkidou (Tatsuya and Kiyoko's father whom originally named Terumichi). Aside from their beautiful appearance, they could change themselves into beasts. Probably this is a symbolism that a beautiful person can also be a beast?

It's About Technology

If Ergo Proxy spoke about philosophy, Gilgamesh spoke about technology and history. Coming up with Sumerian legend, the journey of Terumichi started. On deserted desert, he found the legendary tomb of Sumerian. Suddenly that place became famous and a huge research with the best scientists were gathered there with name Heaven's Gate. Not knowing by other people, the scientists were cloning themselves (without clear explanation why they did that). After Terumichi blew the facility, some of the D.N.A tubes were found and sold at black market.

The children under Countess' care found out about their D.N.A and turbulances stroke their mental. They tried to find out how they were born, who and how was their 'master D.N.A' lived before, and comparing to their own life. The questions are relevant to our questions. The use of D.N.A as cloning source had given us a big concern -- rather it is appropriate to clone human or not. Aside from the appearance, will the clone has its own personality or following the original? What is a clone for, to prolong your life or to help you (in this case, Yuki - founder of Heaven's Gate - used Reiko, his cloning, as a backup of his eyes).

The Super vs. The Ordinary; Hate vs. Lov

It was quite interesting that the story put all super things in control. The only normal one was Kiyoko (until nearly end episodes.. but the reason can be accepted). Kiyoko is portrayed as a stubborn but a calm and soft heart. Rather than taking aside to Gilgamesh nor Countess, she decided to stand by herself, even when it mean she must paid her late mother's debt for the rest of her life. However, it was understandable reason that she wanted to be free from those groups. Her life became more complex when the love story with Novem grew but I think this sub-plot had given a color to the entire story.

From beginning, I already suspect that the Countess had a feeling to Madoka Terumichi. Through slow revealing, it was true that she had crushed on him. Of course I understand. Terumichi's personality was unique and not to forget, he was one of the best bishie in this series. I was surprised that the reason of TEAR existed in Terumichi's body was formed by the love and hate of Countess' feeling.

Graphic & Music

I cannot say that the graphic was great. In my own opinion, the graphic looked rare and ugly. The human's face looked as combination of anime and realistic. I hate the lips that looked too thick at them. Luckily, Gilgamesh group consists of bishie. Novem and Terumichi were the great sample of bishie-ness. This quite entertained me. にひひ恋の矢

The overall backgrounds was combination of goth and art-deco. I recognize some buildings were having influence of art-deco. The Sumerian-style probably gave influence to the art designers to pick art-deco as the background graphic. The gloomy and dark places gave sad impression, along with mystery, and thrill as expected from gothic-style. The influence of gothic-style were easily witness at the Gilgamesh's fashion and Countess' dresses if not from some architectural style.

The score was pretty stunning with many influence of Middle East to India. Some were sounded like Gregorian but obviously the orchestra worked well. Kaoru Wada (Inuyasha, Samurai 7) had cleverly worked the score.

Final Word

Using Sumerian legend, Gilgamesh made its strike. I guess none of any mainstream anime took Sumerian tale as the base of the story. The intrigues were well developed and solved. Not only finding twist story as surprises, but the story was supported by strong characterization of each character. Sadly, many character's history of Gilgamesh was shortly given. The late coming of the rest member from Gilgamesh group didn't give appropriate information about them. If only the story was a bit longer, I think the details would be superb!

For me, this anime is worth it to see.

additional info:
anime news network
the anime blog (photo)

(as wriiten at mitayashi の 前, 2008/08/18, re-post here with content adjustment)

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