Monday, 6 April 2009

Basquash! - Episode 1

I won't lie to you - I was attracted to Basquash! solely on account of its trailer, and more precisely its depiction of mecha playing basketball - Surely it goes without saying that's a tremendously cool concept without any additional effort required?

Given my reasons for picking up this show, I was more than a little surprised to find that its protagonists hates these "Bigfoots", and even more so hates the way they play basketball. The reason for Dan's disdain quickly becomes clear on two fronts - On one hand, Bigfoot Basketball (or BFB as it's known) is in someway responsible for his sister being wheelchair-bound, and on the other Dan is clearly quite the basketball player himself, proving to be fast, nimble and a million miles away from any lumbering old machine. To this end, Dan has himself an alter-ego - "Dunk Mask", a smasher of televisions to prevent anyone from watching the BFB, which also allows him and his "crew" a handy sidelining in selling spare parts from said TVs.

However, in this fast-paced opener things change for Dan in numerous ways, as he meets a rather strange (and top heavy) girl who shows him a Bigfoot which at least somewhat changes his opinion of them, while some free tickets to the BFB prove his disdain for the sport to be well-founded, and thus causing him to create so much chaos that the end of the episode all but introduces us to an entirely new world.

If there's one thing that can be said about Basquash!, it's that it's a visual tour de force - The world (named Earthdash) that the series presents us with is a sumptuously messy and deliciously urban one, all dust and disrepair yet stunningly detailed for the viewer. Up above the surface of Earthdash is its moon, a rather Cybertronian looking effort which acts as a source of hope and drive for pretty much everyone on the planet. This "reach for the stars" ambition which is displayed here pretty much sums up this show, which holds its head high and looks you in the eye with the brazen attitude of Gurren Lagann, while its anti-establishment roots also have a touch of Eureka Seven about them.

Putting any comparisons aside however, this first episode of Basquash! is an absolutely grade A viewing experience - After those gorgeous visuals and excellent character designs (if you can get past the fan service that actually feels oddly appropriate), you'll find yourself spun around over and over again by the crazy ever-shifting camera angles, and the actual story doesn't have time to allow you to pause for breath either, throwing characters at the screen left and right, flashing through their back stories at the speed of light, yet leaving you in no doubt as to who they are and what they represent. I can't call a series genius after a single episode, and I've been burned before by show's that start so well yet fall flat so quickly - From this first glimpse of Basquash! however, I've been blown away... As of the moment of writing this, it's placed itself as my favourite show of the season thus far. Now, please don't let me down...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to know that Basquash is looking promising. I was really attracted to the art, but read some pretty cynical opinions about the premise and the studio. Now to find the sub. ^.^;; I haven't seen it come up on any of the sites I frequent.