This was a title I was very curious about going during the previews of Fall 2015. The unusual mech design coupled with the three main characters had me curious as to what kind of show “Heavy Object” was going to be. After episode one, I am still a bit confused as to whether or not I should be taking this show seriously. From seemingly serious exposition, to goofy “military” base life, to the last seen of somber defeat this show was somewhat all over the place in terms of emotion. In spite of my confusion I find myself eagerly anticipating the next episode, though maybe that’s because I am a bit of a weirdo.
It starts with a major naval battle between the world powers and (I quote) “a certain island nation”. The nations of the world send their ships, subs, and planes after a single mech, and the mech handily defeats the fleet. The story then fast forwards to a time when all nations have these mechs, and they are called Objects. Two of our protagonists, Qwenthur and Havia, are shoveling snow off a military runway. Through their dialogue we learn that Qwenthur is a student learning the mechanics of Objects, while Havia’s a radar technician in the army. Havia laments the uselessness of tanks and aircraft against the Objects, which pretty much makes his whole job useless. After some gripping about the food, Havia convinces Qwenthur to fish while he hunts for deer off base.
During his fishing excursion, Qwenthur is visited by the Object pilot Milinda. Through their dialogue we learn that the Object at this base is the oldest model, and Milinda wants to know why Qwenthur wants to study it when it’s so outdated. Qwenthur informs her that there is value in learning the basics from a standard model Object. They return to the base where Qwenthur and Havia are punished by the base commander, 18 year old (of course) Frolaytia. Qwenthur is further punished by his instructor, the Object mechanic Ayami. After their punishments, and an odd scene of seat belt S&M, Qwenthur, Havia, and Frolaytia enjoy a barbecue form the hunt earlier. The comedy scenes really lull you into a false sense of security, as the last scene is the base Object destroyed and Milinda parachuting away from it.
Throughout the show they use dialogue to fill in most of the blanks of the world. They’re in Alaska, the main Object’s name is Baby Magnum, and war is conducted solely through Object combat. I find it interesting that they call the war of their time “clean wars” due to the presumed lack of casualties. I assume that they are either dead wrong about war, or a nation with an Object will decide to make their wars far less “clean”. This is contrasted by scenes like the meeting of the base commander, and the seat belt maintenance scene. Both are overtly sexual and this is perfectly fine with me, but the serious undertones of the show make me wonder where the show is going. It’ll be interesting to see if this is some sort of quasi-serious-ecchi-mech-comedy, but for now all I can say is it is well animated at least.
Thus far I am not a fan of the two male protagonists, especially Qwenthur who I see as somewhat of an idiot. During the seat belt scene he spends way too much time in internal monologue while Milinda’s life is quite literally in danger. I get the fact that he’s a teenage boy who hasn’t touched boobs before, but 3 minutes of him agonizing over what to do to save her was far too long. Havia isn’t really in the show that much, but when he is he is complaining. Also everyone calls what he hunts a deer, but it’s pretty clearly a moose (hunter rant). Milinda is more interesting if only for her mysterious air of nobility. Qwenthur and Ayami both call her princess, and her dressing room is very lavish so it’ll be interesting to learn how she came to be an Object pilot. Another thing I found interesting about her was her eyes, which Qwenthur claimed were blue due to irradiation from the Object.
In terms of supporting cast, I am not at all surprised to find the commander of the base to be an 18 year old (well stacked) girl. I do like how she runs her bases through a tablet though, and her domineering attitude is amusing if nothing else. Ayami is another interesting side character, as I find it rare to see an actual old looking old woman in anime. She carries herself with an air of an experienced mechanic, though there must not be a lot of grease in Baby Magnum’s gears because her uniform was spotless (mechanic’s son rant). Stepping away from the characters, I thought the CG in the opening and closing battles was excellent. I’m looking forward to the Object battles the most in this show, and due to the opening theme (seen in the end of this episode ironically) I believe we’ll see many of them.
In my opinion Heavy Object’s first episode gets a pass, but only for the potential I see in the show. Don’t get me wrong I love my ecchi moments, but in the serious sort of world they seem to be building here they seem out of place. I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy this anime no matter what, but a well executed story is the difference between good and great anime. With the first episode so full of twists and turns in terms of story, I can only wonder whether this will be an ecchi with mech elements or the reverse. Only time will tell, so check it out on Funimation (link below) if you’re interested in this show.
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!