Let me ask you, what makes a good ‘mecha’ anime? Robots? Of course, Einstein. Throw in a boy with the power to make others do whatever comes to his narcissistic head? That works, I guess. But you see, there’s one thing that comes first and foremost before we consider two ‘metal titans’ going at each other. That very thing being the whole setting being rather ‘strange’ and so ‘out of the ordinary that you can’t help but get dizzy from all the questions that start popping up in your head the moment you start watching a show like that. Well, I know it’s an anime and whatever comes up on the screen is as normal as it gets, be it people turning into Titans or Poseidon and Shiva battling it out for an unknown girl.
But Bokurano took that good old ‘mecha’ approach and ‘blended it’ with all these genre elements that provided us with something so original, something so unique and ‘real’ that it’s hard to not get amazed by it every other episode or so. That’s just how much of a rollercoaster ride the show is the cause, trust me, the way it goes all out, completely disregarding the existence of the word ‘self-control’ makes you see some rather ‘obscene’ stuff at times. I guess that amounts to the anime being a rather hidden gem and something that’s not that ‘well known. But aren’t that kind of shows the best of them all? Well, not all the time but let’s say most of the time. With that being said, let me talk you through just what exactly makes Bokurano such a different show and something that would hit you right in the feels more than just a couple of times, every other episode.
Starting It Off Right
Now when it comes to these ‘transformers’ anime, we usually have this pilot or godly human, thrashing every other mecha creature with his junkie friend that, all of a sudden, he’s a ‘master controller’ of. But you see Bokurano makes sure it has everyone all glued to the screen, wasting no time at all. Children love games, even adults do, to be honest.
That very interest made even sweeter by being granted a chance to control a behemoth robot, hogging away all the glory, assuming the role of ‘the hero’, someone Earth has desperately waited for. Now that sounds like every child’s dream, no? Registering themselves as the pilots of this machine, never have I seen fingerprints coming so handy, to be honest. Though I do question the IQ of these kids trusting a failed ‘Diane Keaton’ cosplay calling himself Kokopelli but let’s cut them some slack just this once. They’ve got a lot on their ‘minds’ after all.
Just like any other wonderful anime sensei, Kokopelli fights the first battle, gives them a demo as to how to control this titan robot and what kind of fellow metal bodies they can look forward to meeting in the future. That only serves as the spark to make the already burning flames grow bigger and bigger when it comes to the hearts of these kids. ‘We’ll get to see battles and a new Gundam-style anime! Yayy!’ Ah! Hold your horses there, buddy! What’s about to come next in the show, I’m sure no one would’ve seen it coming.
A Plot That Makes Sure You Aren’t Blinking
After our sensei’s demonstration, the kids have to fight these E.T. robots that come one after another to destroy our ‘lovely planet’. Sounds like Neon Genesis Evangelion with a bunch of more ‘numerical children’? Yes and no since the robot uses life energy as its ‘battery’ to do those flashy moves. So what? That makes it a one-go, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a Disneyland ride you can only have for the first and the last time cause once you’re done with it, you’re dead.
That’s it. A hollow vessel without a soul at the mercy of gravity that’s been keeping the balance of this universe we’re a part of. Soon we’re also introduced to this talking plushie who has a lot of manners, better tone it down a little dude! Dung Beetle who serves as the instructor and the ‘roulette master’, giving a whole new meaning to the musical chairs we loved to play as little beans. If your chair’s the one that comes up after that spin, that’s it. You get the mark, and you have to fight the next mecha that comes up in a few days or a few hours at worst.
It’s kind of when you get diagnosed with a deadly disease, or have a near-miss with death itself, shaking hands and exchanging greetings with the horrendous death god. But you can’t escape any of it, with the children’s fate sealed the moment they touched that device at the beginning, with death being the only ‘thing’ waiting for them, it’s only natural that desperation, fear, and the true human colors surface through all these characters, making us ‘feel’ just what it’s like for a person to have the door of life start closing upon him/her.
So Many Faces, So Many Stories
With every character being a completely different book, the characters are a real strong point when it comes to Bokurano. Some troubled by their past, some searching for answers, some lacking what’s the most integral and quintessential part of being alive, some in a fight with the world itself, the world that abandoned them, left them at the mercy of an adult who made everything a living hell for them.
It’s just too much to take in at times and with every other episode, a new story gets featured in addition to characters remembering the old faces, making sure that their deaths weren’t in vain at all. Plus, with politics and adults using these kids as mere pawns in order to get some kind of personal gain out of the whole thing makes your blood boil at times and shows you just how corrupt and remorseless our very guardians can be given the time and situation.
By the end of the series, you’ll feel connected to all these faces and whether they were in the right or in the wrong, you’ll feel bad for these poor kids, wishing things were different for them. Plus, they’re not alone.
Secrets Unveiled, Mysteries Solved, Questions Answered
Bokurano makes all these queries pop up in our heads that keep increasing as we dive deeper into the show. It only starts answering them all, one by one in the second half of the show, and trust me, that adds all the more to the charm of the series cause the way the dots align, the way the perfect picture comes to life is depressing, of course, but at the same time it’s beautiful to see how it all comes to an end, it all comes to ‘plug’ these loopholes that were created throughout the entirety of its runtime, making it a show we all would be recommending to more than just a couple of people.
Is it dark? Sure. Is it intended for mature audiences? Sure. But that doesn’t necessarily make it ‘bad’ by any means and each and every one of you who’s watched the show would totally agree with me that it’s worth every second of anyone’s time and that ‘mystery suspense thriller’ journey would be one you never would’ve anticipated before.