Heavy Object Part 1 (UK Rating: 15)Set in the near future, the face of war has vastly changed, after a certain island nation developed a super weapon known as "The Object." This gargantuan weapon of war (looking something like the Technodrome's bigger, badder brother) was able to shrug off every attack thrown at it and decimate any opposition. With these new tools of destruction available, wars have become something akin to Robot Wars, as nations pour all of their money and resources into developing these "Objects," but the face of war changes once more when a trio of unlikely heroes suddenly become Object slaying experts. This first season of Heavy Object comes from Funimation via Anime Limited and is available from 20th March.
The prospect of this type of war is a fascinating one and a premise that the series does a great job in exploring, looking at the how the world and how war would change because of the Objects. When Objects do battle, the loser immediately raises a white flag, after all, there's no defeating an Object unless using another Object. That means a whole different world with no need for mass bloodshed or death tolls during wars or battles; at most, it's the pilots of the Objects and any collateral damage. The story centres on a military team from the "Legitimate Kingdom" - the hero, Qwenther, a soldier but also budding Object engineer/designer, Milinda, the pilot of their Object entitled "Baby Magnum," and Havia, a blue blood who joins the military to gain his family's respect and to take the his rightful place as head of his noble family.
The three live a quiet and peaceful, but horribly boring, life in Alaska, until a rival Object attacks. This Object from a rival nation known as "Faith Organisation." They attack and quickly take out Baby Magnum. Despite the white flag being raised afterward, they open fire on the base, too, tearing the place to pieces. Even worse, they capture the bailed out Milinda and it's up to a pair of newbie soldiers to escape, regroup, and take on the Object themselves. Obviously, they succeed and suddenly the world changes again, as this duo becomes a guerrilla team that travels the world with Milinda in Baby Magnum as backup, taking on the most powerful Objects in the world, trying to figure out a way to McGuyver their way into taking down something that can wipe out armies.
It's an interesting premise, and one filled with plenty of potential, in so many areas; the mechanics of unique battles between objects, the innovative methods the team have to come up with to take down the Objects, the socio-political ramifications of a world with this type of war. Sadly, however, none of these elements are particularly explored and the whole affair ends up rather formulaic and mediocre. It seems very unlikely that this duo would be the first ever to be able to take out Objects and that they continue to do so with such ease means that the stories lack any real bite or risk as the story slips into an inevitable pattern. It's not all bad; split up into four arcs, each three episodes in length, there are some fun and interesting moments, but it would be so much better if it took some risks. The Objects aren't particularly interesting, either; using CG designs, they lack anything to make them look particularly cool or to stand out against the awesome mecha designs of other shows - yet another missed opportunity.
This is a dual audio release and this is one of those series with a fantastic dub. Havia's voice actor, Micah Solusod, has quite a lot of experience with the creator's previous works, taking the starring role as Touma in A Certain Magical Index and Justin Briner is always good - look out for him soon, taking the lead in the My Hero Academia dub. The release of Heavy Object is the first 12 episodes of this, and extras consist of a single episode video commentary, textless opening and closing credit - really decent and catchy songs - and trailers for some upcoming Funimation releases.