In the year 2062, man has developed a space orbital elevator, a massive device reaching from the earth to the heavens. Unfortunately, it is also the cause of a great war between Earth's two superpowers. In a desperate plan, Orguss mecha-fighter pilot Kei Katsuragi of the Freedom Space Corps is ordered to destroy the elevator with a dangerous new superweapon: the Space-Time Oscillation bomb, which draws upon energy from the fabric of reality. Kei carries out his mission, but when the bomb explodes, it causes different dimensions of reality to coalesce together into a new gestalt universe. Kei crashlands into this brave new world, full of aliens and robots, where he finds himself caught up in another superpower war, between the militant Chilam and the Emaan gypsy races. Both sides see him as a Tokuiten, a singularity and the key to victory, as well as fixing the entire dimensional mess. Now not only must he survive in the new world, forging new relationships and reconnecting old ones, ... Written by
First "Orguss" series remains an anime sci-fi classic
"Super Dimension Century Orguss" is a 35-episode Japanese animated sci-fi TV series done in 1983 by many of the same people who did "Super Dimension Century Macross" (1982), better known to American viewers as the series that provided the first 36 episodes of "Robotech" (1985). Other than the similarity in look and title, it has no connection to "Macross." "Orguss" was one of the first anime TV series released on video in America (by U.S. Renditions in 1992), although only 17 of the 35 episodes actually got released.
"Orguss" shows us a future (2062) in which the accidental detonation of a Space Time Oscillation Bomb causes four different parallel universes to overlap. This puts hero Kei Katsuragi, a Japanese space pilot, on an Earth where everything's a little...umm...different. He winds up in the hands of a group of Emaan, a humanoid race dominated by pretty girls (a fact which pleases Kei no end), and finds himself on board a trading ship equipped with powerful fighter craft, including the Orguss, a Macross-like transforming vehicle which Kei pilots and makes his own. The Emaan engage in constant battle with the Chiram, another humanoid race, but with inverted triangles on their foreheads. Kei has a link with two of the Chiram dating back to before the Bomb went off.
There is some urgency in the plot about the need to restore the dimensional balance and Kei's specific role in the process, but several episodes at a time go by without addressing it. There are all kinds of side trips including a harrowing battle with barbarians from an ancient era who fight on horseback with axes, rocks and bows-and-arrows. At one point Kei and the crew visit an alternate dimension Paris, France to find an oppressed, poverty-stricken people who unite under Jeanne D'Arc to fight Marie Antoinette (and, yes, the "let them eat cake" line is voiced, in paraphrased fashion). In between the action, there's plenty of romantic angst on board the ship as a love triangle forms when Kei comes between the pretty young Mimsy and her sullen boyfriend Slay, one of the few men on board.
It's an exciting series with frequent battles between the Emaan and the Chiram, all expertly designed and staged. The character design is similar to that of "Macross"--simple, but effective. The character animation may seem a little stiff in parts, but the mecha action is fluid and plentiful. While the overall character interplay is not as complex as it was in "Macross/Robotech," making this just a tad less dramatically compelling, the series still holds a lot of value for fans of 1980s anime shows. Two of the most important of the "Macross" creative team are on board for this one: co-director Noboru Ishiguro and character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto.
"Orguss 02," a sequel, was made ten years later as an equally imaginative six-part OAV (Original Animated Video) series which picks up the story some 200 years later and involves the return of one of the key characters from "Orguss 1."
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