Another anime cut from the same cloth as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Dual and Martian Successor Nadesico, Pilot Candidate holds its own but is also firmly in the middle of a crowded anime pack.
In Pilot Candidate, the last human planet is threatened by a mysterious alien enemy called "Victim." Only five giant robots, called "Goddesses", are capable of defeating the huge Victim entities. Each Goddess has a single pilot who has a symbiotic relationship with the machine. The pilot commands the craft via small pods floating near their heads that transmit their thoughts to the ship.
Pilot Candidate's characters seem familiar, mainly because they either look or act characters found in other series. The hero could be easily mistaken for Akito from Martian Successor Nadesico and the battle armor looks like it came from the same factory that made the units for Dual.Even the plot feels more like a variation on well-known themes than something original.
But don't let all the similarities fool you. Just as McDonald's and Burger King both serve hamburgers, there is enough difference between Pilot Candidate and it's competition to make it worth watching. Perhaps Pilot Candidate will develop into a genre-defining anime or remain a simple but entertaining yarn. Either way, here's to looking forward to the ride.
Volume 1: "The Academy" Plot Summary:
Zero meets all the requirements to become a pilot. He has the right blood type, he is the right age and he has the "EX" factor within him. Now all that remains is to see if he can survive the training and become one of the five chosen to pilot a "Goddess."
The first volume of Pilot Candidate focuses on setting up the scenario. Episode one, Connection, introduces the series hero, a teenage boy named Zero. He and two other classmates are on a transport heading for the GOA training facility. Along the way, they encounter the five goddess, powerful humanoid-shaped robots created to combat the deadly alien enemy "Victim." Later, Zero inadvertently finds himself within the cockpit of one of the goddesses and has an encounter that nearly costs him his life.
The second episode, In Tune, picks up where the first left off, with Zero in danger within the goddess and Victim preparing another attack. More characters make their appearances and the mystery of why they are fighting begins to emerge.
The third episode, EX, has Zero finally recovering from his encounter with the goddess while the goddesses fight a difficult battle with a powerful Victim. The pilot's "repairers" are introduced in this episode and briefest hint of the relationship between a pilot and his female partner is given. Also, an enigmatic figure is revealed during the contest with the Victim.
Languages: English & Japanese with subtitles
Video: 4:3 NTSC Standard Aspect Ratio
Audio: Dolby Digital
American Release Status: Unavailable
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Volume 1 Information
Title: The Academy
Running Time: 75
Number of Episodes On This Volume: 3
2: In Tune
Sorry, a synopsis of this volume is currently unavailable.