The first episode of Ga-Rei -Zero- entertained me with its no nonsense blend of stylish action, then confounded me by seemingly killing off the entirety of what were shaping up to be the main cast in the matter of a minute at the end of the episode. So where on Earth can it go from here?
Hmm, how about a Humvee, spiritual ferrets that can turn into energy blasts, massive shotguns, briefcases backed with machine guns, zombies, and schoolgirls wielding huge swords? Yep, that's exactly where Ga-Rei -Zero- has gone, and to put it bluntly it just oozes awesome.
Aside from all that, we get introduced to a little politics in this series - Last episode, we followed the Supernatural Disaster Prevention Agency, whereas this time around we become familiar with the Ministry of the Environment's Supernatural Disaster Countermeasures Division, which is where our Humvee-sporting new band of heroes come from. After staving off a Category B monster, things ramp up a notch when a Category A element enters the fray... The trouble is, it's Yomi; one of their former colleagues and close friend (and then some) of Kagura, one of those aforementioned schoolgrils with swords.
If you've ever wondered how to make a non-stop, all action anime, then sit up and pay attention, for Ga-Rei -Zero- is well and truly it. Although we do get some quieter moments to firm up the plot, these are few and far between compared to the almost relentless action, all of which is carried out with both blood and guts with plenty of style to match. If it's your kind of thing, then it's really both engrossing and stunning to watch, with some very nice animation to back up the crazy supernatural fighting.
There's no need for deep thought or analysis here, I'm loving this series so far. A lot. It shows no signs of becoming too deep or highbrow, but as pure entertainment with a very definite laddish "cool factor", I don't think it'll be beaten this season... No, I don't actually think it'll be beaten this year on its current showing.