Encircled by the Wall, the land of Lingalind knows only of the world inside it. To it’s residents, divided into the warring nations of the Supremacy of Lutoh and the Republic of Rekka, nothing exists beyond the wall, and any who claim otherwise would be considered mad. That is until one day, when a mysterious amnesiac man who calls himself Back Arrow crashes from the skies to Edger village, remembering nothing except that he comes from beyond the Wall. Who is Back Arrow? Where do the bracelets that enable people to become the giant, robotic Briheight come from? What lies beyond the Wall? Back Arrow’s journey to seek out the truth about the world and himself begins.
Caesar E.S. (The Indonesian Anime Times)
MECHA ANIME IS BACK. Arrow. (I’m sorry.) Yes, while fans of the genre would be quick to state how it never really went away, (and it never really did, as the last decade had at least one robot show per season) Back Arrow does feel like what could be a solid return to the spotlight for the genre, and probably one of the most high-profile original entries in recent years by the strength of its staff.
It feels rare to see an original mecha show spring up these days, so when something like Back Arrow that’s helmed by the industry’s top talents comes along, it’s hard not to feel excited. Directed by Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass), written by Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann), with music composed by legendary composer Kōhei Tanaka (Sakura Taisen, One Piece, Gunbuster, G Gundam) and the opening sung by LiSA (Kimetsu no Yaiba)? I’m in for whatever the hell Back Arrow is.
And the series so far is an adventure that might remind you of Gurren Lagann, for all the right reasons. Despite the looming overarching conflict, the titular hot-blooded protagonist Back Arrow sets the show’s tone in a humorous and fun mood with his gung-ho attitude. Kazuki Nakashima knows how to make a story exciting, and those familiar with his past projects can really feel his handiwork on display.
Of course, mecha shows wouldn’t be complete without the mecha themselves, and the show’s robots, called the Briheight, both look and move great. By equipping special armbands, the user can transform themselves into a Briheight, with forms and abilities reflecting their personal convictions. This is already shown to manifest in a couple of different ways in the first episode, which makes for an interesting concept that I’m only excited to see going forward as we learn more about the world and its characters. Not only that, but all the Briheight so far seem to lean to utilizing close combat. It’s a great setup for exciting action-packed battles, like how Back Arrow’s Briheight Muga attacks using a flurry of punches and kicks, moving smoothly by the excellent use of 3DCG.
In fact, it’s Back Arrow‘s lightning-fast, dynamic, and snappy 3DCG animation that might be the show’s biggest selling point. We’ve come a long way from the blocky, awkward-moving 3DCG robots of the early 2000’s, and the show’s usage of 3DCG for its robots feels smooth to the extent that it doesn’t feel like 3DCG. Cracking the code on using 3DCG for great mecha action has long been a challenge for the genre, so whenever a show manages to do it successfully like this it always feels like an accomplishment for the genre as a whole. With that and all of the above, I get the feeling that Back Arrow is in the making to be another classic entry to the mecha genre, and one people should definitely keep a close eye on.
Back Arrow is currently airing on Aniplus Asia
Facts and Figures
|Source Material||Original work|
|Casts||Ami Koshimizu as Fine Forté
Ari Ozawa as Elsha Lean
Aya Suzaki as Atlee Ariel
Kensho Ono as Bit Namital
Megumi Han as Ren Sin
Ryotaro Okiayu as Kai Rhodan
Tomokazu Sugita as Shû Bi
Yuuki Kaji as Back Arrow
|Director||Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass, revisions, S-CRY-ed)|
|Series Composition||Kazuki Nakashima (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Promare, Kamen Rider Fourze)|
|Original Character Design||Shinobu Ohtaka|
|Mechanical Design||Hidetaka Tenjin|
|Opening Theme||“dawn” by LiSA|
|Broadcast Date||8 January 2021, (1900 GMT/2200 WIB/2400 JST)|
Screenshots and Trailer
The Indonesian Anime Times