Hello Vice. It’s M here again this time finally with something other than Deadmen. This time I take a look into the well received Ga-Rei: Zero and see exactly what it has to offer the anime community. Ga-rei: zero was a 2008 anime and a prequel to the manga that shares the name Ga-rei. For the most part I didn’t know anything about Ga-Rei except for the somewhat famous pocky yuri scene and that it was “about F.E.A.R. except their Japanese school girls with swords not big American guys with guns.” Neither of these things necessarily sold it to me, but seeing all the positive reviews did.
A supernatural action anime dealing with fighting demons and ghosts, Ga-Rei starts off with the group called Paranormal Disaster Countermeasure Headquarters (PDCH) a government agency that hunts demons and ghosts. I say starts off because they are all subsequently killed in the next episode and replaced in the battle with Ministry of Environment's Supernatural Disaster Countermeasures Division (SDCD) who come in and also get messed up within the next episode. After that it turns back the clock to follow the actual story of Yomi and Kagura, two non-blood related sisters who eventually join SDCD.
Obviously from that description one might notice that the story is a tad bit…disjointed at least to start off. While I wouldn’t call in confusing it starts off making you want to just pause and ask what and why the whole first episode is there to begin with. I would describe the story as one trying to start their car in mud; spinning their wheels, but not getting anywhere conceivable. Putting that aside Ga-Rei is what it is at heart, an over the top silly action anime with a dark tone. Normally with the tone it tries to set I would think this anime was trying to be serious, but with one of the characters being essentially the chick from grind house with a bladed wheel chair along with the gun leg, no it’s not meant to be taken too seriously.
However immature as the story is and as over the top and impossible the action is to physics; Ga-rei is fun as hell to watch go at least for the short little 12 episodes it goes on for. It looks good in terms of art, not exactly shaft good, but good enough to be pretty interesting. The plot does grow on you a bit even if all the twists are revealed in the first two episodes of the show. The story stays for what it’s worth thematically consistent with the universe its set in even if it’s a tad bit preposterous and manages to have struck a minor emotional chord in me, probably due to the heavier parts of the story dealing with sibling (not romantic) love something I personally can relate to.
That being said ga-rei isn’t anything special. It’s good and I’m comfortable calling it that, but as a whole the package isn’t fantastic in any way. At the end of the day Ga-Rei isn’t a series I’m going to think about past this review, it came and it went, simple as that.
Also as an aside, the only real legal way to watch Ga-Rei is on Netflix streaming in English dub. While I’m not anti dub; this was the worst performance of a dub I have seen Funimation do in a very long time. I won’t knock the series for it being that the sub might be wonderful, but the acting in dub is just emotionless and jerky as hell I had to make note of it.
All in all Ga-Rei is good, but not worth much mentioning earning the comfortable place of 3.5 holy water hand grandees out of 5. With Ga-Rei in the bag I feel completely content to move on to something else, even if I’m not sure exactly what. Vice you decide, but for today that’s all for M. See you later folks.