Series Recommendation: Super Robot Wars: The Inspector

Super Robot Wars is the biggest mecha crossover of all-time. But aside from the myriads of different series that participate in the franchise, Banpresto also created many original designs for characters, mechas as well as a separate timeline for them called Original Generation. The OG timeline has their own games and animes, and among the 3 animes, the Inspectors is no doubt the highest quality of them all.

Inspector adapts the story of the game SRW: OG2, but with a few changes to the plot and units. It is also the latest animation project from the franchise, with far higher production value than the previous series – Divine Wars and The Animation. The story closely follow the ATX team’s aces: Kyosuke and Excellen, while spreading screentime and development to a very diverse cast.

+ Plot:  After the Aerogater’s invasion and the L5 campaign, humanity was safe from aliens, but not from itself. The Divine Crusaders remnant after Bian Zoldark’s death has risen up again and began overthrowing the Federation. The war between them seems to have no end when a new threat appears, three to be exact. And now our heroes in their shiny giant robots will constantly do battles on Earth, in space and everywhere else that threaten humanity’s survival.

he plot is a bit complicated with juggling between 4 factions at once, but that’s par for the course with SRW, where multiple threats are imminent and usually comes one after another or even at the same time. The events, however, are quite straightforward since they are focus on one threat at a time so just follow it episode by episode should be good (good thing the enemies are dumb lol). In terms of characters, our main duo Kyosuke and Excellen got the most development (as they should). For fans of OG that have played the game, they should be super familiar with most of the characters in the anime already, so seeing them “act out” their personality, relationship in an animated fashion is a nice treat for the eyes. Especially with Excellen, Lamia and the huge range of hot chicks in here. (Sasuga Obari!)

Animation: While Divine Wars and the 3-part Animation is slammed for wonky and cheap-looking CG, Inspector just turned every pair of eyes around with their stunning animation. An amazing combination of 2D from Asahi Pro and 3D from Graphinica (who worked on DW and the Animation as well), produce crisp and dynamic looking battles. With Masami Obari at the director’s position, the man knows how to make badass mecha (maybe a bit unrealistic, but super cool nonetheless). And after all, SRW OG is meant to prioritize the rule-of-cool, which they did magnificently. You can tell which mechs use CG if you pay attention, but they flow very well with the other 2D mechs and scenery as well. And the plethora of eye-flashes, attack poses and skills shouting really make this a “super” Robot Wars.

Mecha Design: Well, it’s OG and SRW, so you can expect the best of the best! Most of the units we already see in the games, and they retouch it a bit in terms of proportion to match the real-type body scale. The original mechs were designed by Katoki, Obari, Akitaka, Miyatake and more, since the series feature dozens and dozens of designs. And all of them looks amazing. (Although I have to question Lemon Browning and Bian Zoldark design choices when they made the Angelg and Valsione lol)

Music: Another obvious choice for SRW: it’s gotta be Jam Project of course! The MAXON and Ryusei Lover opening are some of the most energetic and hyper mecha songs ever. SRW is also known to feature a BGM for each unit and character (well 99% of them anyway), so you can hear a lot of special theme blaring when a certain mech is the focus (like Steel Beowulf for Alteisen and Variable Formation for SRX). The series also features a vocal version of Fairy Dang Sing which is pretty nice. The endings by Aki Misato – who is known for Muv-Luv’s songs – are softer and more relaxing, which create a nice balance with the rest of the episode.

+ Conclusion: Overall, Super Robot Wars: Original Generation – The Inspector is definitely the best the franchise has to offer. It has everything a giant robot fans love: Real Robots, Super Robots, massive battles with alien hordes, Skill shouting and epic BGM. Obari-sensei knows how to make mecha entertaining without dwelling too much in characterization and exposition (since the games already did that), so OGIN got all the time it needs to showcase badass mecha action! For the franchise’s 30th anniversary coming this April, we are all hoping to continue the OG saga, so this is a great chance to revisit this instant classic.

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