SAKUGAN’s series premiere aired on Thursday, giving fans a glorious sense of adventure that built up to a rather emotional ending. Studio Satelight’s latest sci-fi/mecha anime came out with a bang with its first episode. The series premiere set everything in motion, leaving us with arguably one of the best series premieres of Fall 2021 so far.
Main Characters Instantly Draw Attention
A key piece to a good anime series and grabbing attention is having interesting characters straight out of the gate. SAKUGAN nailed it with the father-daughter relationship between Memempu and Gagumber. For one, their names are quite unique and interesting. But their personalities, ideals, and even designs couldn’t align in more perfect contrast.
Start with Memempu, a nine-year-old hyperactive genius that has already finished college. She is setting out to become a Marker in order to explore the ever-expanding world that’s called the Labyrinth. But more importantly, to find the place she keeps seeing in her dreams. Unfortunately, her father—Gagumber—has his doubts.
Gagumber isn’t a terrible father nor is he a great one. He has a lazy streak in him with no knack for adventure, unlike his daughter who he’s very protective of. But it doesn’t seem like he was always like this. Unfortunate events and a heart-to-heart conversation with a close friend start to change him for the better as a father.
And this is just the character development we’ve received in episode one.
SAKUGAN’s Beautiful Setting
A couple of things that are sometimes overlooked when it comes to anime—where a story is taking place and how the environment looks, especially in a sci-fi series like SAKUGAN. The entire story takes place in an underground world. So environmental artwork is already going to be a primary focus. It was extremely noticeable in the first episode because some of the shots between scenes are breathtaking.
“It’s definitely an advantage for a certain kind of story to have a “convenient” setting,” said Junichi Wada, series director, when describing the scenic art in an interview with Crunchyroll. “SAKUGAN’s cities are designed with economy of land area in mind, so there are lots of structures with a towering vertical profile. That made it easier to really use the three-dimensional space when staging action and animation sequences.”
The main characters live in an underground colony called Pinyin. During the episode, it’s explained that there may be others in the Labyrinth just like it. Now it’s up to Memempu and Gabunger to see for themselves what lies ahead.
SAKUGAN is a Combination of Sci-Fi, Mecha, and Adventure
The over-arching genre for SAKUGAN is sci-fi, but it feels so much more than that. It’s a giant mix of adventure and mecha themes as well. The two find their way into the cracks of the series creating a captivating story.
Whether it’s about an underground society, robots fighting kaiju, or a young girl and her father’s adventure, the SAKUGAN series premiere gives viewers plenty to be excited about for the rest of the fall season.
The best part is that viewers never feel overwhelmed by any of these genres while watching the first episode. It’s a leveled mix of the three.
Episode 2 Next Week
For those who were able to watch, Crunchyroll streamed the first two episodes on Saturday via their YouTube channel. But don’t fret! The second episode of SAKUGAN will officially air on Thursday, October 14, exclusively on Crunchyroll.
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So what are your thoughts on the season premiere? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.