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
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
Apr 9, 2021 10:26:05 GMT
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT