Space Warrior Baldios was a 1980s entry in the "super robot" mecha genre focused on the settlers of the ravaged planet S-1, who choose to invade and attempt to conquer Earth as their new home world following a military coup organized by the military fanatic Zeo Gattler. One of the S-1 residents, Marin Reigan, is opposed to Gattler's plans following his father's murder during the coup and allies with the human members of the military organization Blue Fixer to combat them. Using the technology of his spaceship, Blue Fixer are able to use it to form the mecha Baldios to combat the threat from Gattler and his regime.
Much like several of famous Gundam director Yoshiyuki Tomino's mecha titles of the time period, Baldios carries a somber and bleak tone in focusing on the conflict between S-1 and Blue Fixer over the Earth's fate. There is a good deal of destruction and a high kill count that unfolds throughout the anime's run to show how conflicts such as war can lead to pointless death and destruction of all that we would care for. This is best reflected in Gattler's regime, as his single-minded desire to conquer Earth at any cost prevents him from realizing that he is leading Earth down the same path of destruction that led his home world of S-1 to the state that it was left in. As the series progresses, attacks from S-1 grow more merciless and causes friction internally within the military's ranks as the war between S-1 and Earth drags out. While the regime is mostly depicted as ruthless in their goals, some characters in their ranks are depicted in a more sympathetic light. This is most notably depicted with Gattler's second-in-command, Aphrodia, who is shown to gradually become more conflicted in her thoughts of Marin and her loyalty toward Gattler as episodes in the series progress.
Outside of the anime's focus on the conflict between S-1 and Earth, Baldios also devotes time to exploring the personal lives of several of its major characters and how each are affected by the ongoing conflict. The various members of Blue Fixer have varying circumstances within their personal lives which affects them and that specific episodes within the series are devoted to exploring, particularly when an S-1 attack affects an element to said character's personal life. Marin also gets focus at a number of points in Baldios as he deals with prejudice from humanity at first for assuming he's a spy for S-1 and the hard decisions he is forced to make to ensure Earth's prosperity against his own race. For an early 80s mecha anime ran in a somewhat episodic format, Baldios is surprisingly solid with exploring how each of its characters are impacted by the conflict between S-1 and Earth.
Praises aside, Baldios isn't without its issues. Due to the series being abruptly cancelled due to low TV ratings during its original airing, Baldios does lack a conclusive ending as it ends during a rather major point in the anime's ongoing conflict. While there was a compilation movie for Baldios that later came out to provide a proper conclusion to the series, said conclusion did alter some plot elements from the TV anime that affect its consistency with some plot details.
The presentation for the series hasn't aged too well as the animation is rather rough to look at compared to modern titles and there are a good deal of animation shortcuts employed throughout its run. Plus, the anime's soundtrack is rather underwhelming at a number of points with properly conveying mood during key scenes. There are a couple lyrical tracks that do well at conveying a melancholic mood with Baldios' developments, but the frequency of their use does get repetitive over time.
The final issue stems from the titular mecha of the series. While many mech titles of the era prominently featured their mecha as a vital part of their premises, the presence of the Baldios mecha felt largely unnecessary throughout the show's run as any conflict it gets used in largely plays second fiddle to the anime's focus on exploring its characters and how Earth is affected by S-1's attacks. Some episodes of the series don't even feature Baldios, as the series is instead focused on exploring a plot element occurring with the conflict or the show's characters.
These hiccups aside, Baldios is a solid entry in the mecha genre for its time period that depicts the brutality of war and how those involved in the war between S-1 and Earth are affected by the increased brutality of the conflict. If you're a fan of old-school mecha titles, I'd at least recommend checking out the series at least once.
Rating: 7.5 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Dream: That seems to be a thing a number of schools are thinking of to get around coronavirus being an issue, as my school is planning to hold their graduation ceremony at a local drive-in theater as well next month.
May 18, 2020 3:49:50 GMT
Taka: That's pretty neat. I was wondering how will they change up graduation. edit: Thanks Yusuke. The banners for Winter 2020 are up! My apologies for the wait.
May 18, 2020 4:03:42 GMT
Taka: Found out my city is only doing virtual with the City Council tackling their respective schools. The Mayor will begin the ceremony.
May 19, 2020 4:13:12 GMT
Dream: For anyone not so interested in old-school anime, I plan to have a voting sometime next month where you can choose one of ten anime that have aired this year thus far for me to watch and review. Might be a little tricky for me to figure out Spring...
May 23, 2020 22:56:03 GMT
Dream: ...anime considering many titles have gotten postponed this season due to the pandemic. But still plan to run this in some sort of format next month.
May 23, 2020 22:56:37 GMT
Taka: I was going to review stuff but I'm working on something else right now.
May 24, 2020 4:02:58 GMT
Dream: I typically do mid-year reviews for current anime I don't actively follow anywho. Been doing it the past few years on here.
May 24, 2020 12:36:07 GMT
Taka: I wish I can be consistent in reviews. For the movie I watched this month because of the pandemic, I'm having some trouble in writing them.
May 24, 2020 23:56:02 GMT
Taka: For those in the USA, I hope everyone is doing good for Memorial Day weekend. I was about to say Happy Memorial Day Weekend but I realize that might be culturally awkward.
May 24, 2020 23:59:42 GMT
Dream: Far as Banana Fish goes, must admit it feels like a mess. There are story elements in it that are great and have their potential when focused on. On the other hand, also has some major issues that hinder it as a whole to a good degree.
May 25, 2020 2:21:32 GMT
Dream: Still, have 5 episodes left to dabble into with it.
May 25, 2020 2:21:43 GMT
Taka: I haven't finished Banana Fish. I need to go back. I was on the episode where the two young lads met and blond boy kissed him hello.
May 25, 2020 2:28:43 GMT
Dream: Sounds like one of the earlier episodes where Ash got himself into prison.
May 25, 2020 2:33:45 GMT
Dream: Watching Sea Prince and the Fire Child for the first Retro Crush anime. Got about 20 minutes left to see of it. See what I can whip up for a review afterward depending on weather, as I have storms coming my way later.
May 29, 2020 19:02:41 GMT