Heavy Gear: The Animated Series (TV Series 2001–2003) Poster

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5/10
Just started watching on DVD
Stephen Bierce (FPilot)10 February 2007
I found the first DVD of the series in a discount store's bargain bin. I've been watching it with the commentary track on so as to pay more attention to the behind-the-scenes story and the actual artwork.

The producers said that the impetus for changing the focus of HG:TAS came from Bandai, who planned to market a series of action figures and toys based on the show. Bandai had previously made (via their animation arm Sunrise) Armored Trooper VOTOMS, which was one of the primary inspirations for the Heavy Gear pen-&-paper game. But Bandai didn't have the merchandising rights to VOTOMS; that belonged to Bandai's rival Takara (now Tomy). So the last thing Bandai wanted to see from Sony was a remake (or a perceived remake!) of VOTOMS, especially as Bandai was also keen about the possibility of releasing a version of HG:TAS in Japan. That would have opened Bandai up for a lawsuit like the kind that flared between Playmates and Tyco over the Exo-Squad/Robotech and Battletech toy product lines.

One excuse that was offered about HG:TAS in the past was that the show isn't ABOUT Terranova (the setting of Heavy Gear the games)--it's a show FROM Terranova. I'll have to see more of it to decide how well that argument works.

The producers have also said that they had high hopes for the show...adding more duelist teams, having different adventures, adding new Gear robot designs and so on.
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Seen it before...
blackclaw12 February 2003
Heavy Gear was in fact a Pen and Paper Role-Playing game made by the game company Dream Pod 9. They created the world of Heavy Gear and a few others. What DP9 did was create the most realistic sci-fi setting I have ever read.

The animated series by Sony Entertainment is a pale knock-off dumbed down for children. Sony's initial press release promised a show that was going to stay true to its origins and maturity. In the original setting "war is hell" and is not something to be chased after.

In the show its basically WWF or WCW mixed in with some dinosaur mecha to try and absorb young watchers with typical staples they think are a sure fire formula. As was to be expected with the limited imagination that pervades a television studio, they never stuck with their original promises and instead "chickened out" and went for the standard cheap gimmicks that passes for the bulk of American animation.

Sadly the show is a far cry from the original concept presented in the RPG or the PC games. For me the show was only interesting to see some gears move around, but even then it didn't take the sting out of the disappointment that Sony had created.

If you want the real "Heavy Gear" go look up it up on the web. If you like a good and epic story you wont be sorry you did.
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Based on a video game?
Nuclear-Atom18 January 2003
Exactly what part is based on the video game of the same name? I was hoping the series would be exactly based on the video games. Not inspired by them.

I wish the writers of the episodes gotten their facts straight and made it true to the computer games "Heavy Gear" and "Heavy Gear 2", both published by Activision. I was expecting something like ExoSquad or Battletech(which had some computer animation in it), where there's a war going on as both, good and bad, uses the Heavy Gears to destroy each other and cripple their bases.

A nice action/adventure show like "Roughnecks Starship Troopers". Instead, it's "American Gladiator" meets "Battletech". Hardly any battle scenes. I've only seen a couple of episodes. I don't know if they were building up a storyline, trying to introduce us these teenagers who uses Heavy Gears for sport and maybe later on, they join a force from invasion.

Who knows. The animation is great. Mainframe is changing quite a bit with their animation. The special effects and lighting effects have been improved since Action Man. Looks good. Too bad the scripts and storyline weren't good as the animation.
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Robotech Meets Gladiator Meets The Civil War
ATA23822 December 2001
Based on the video game, "Heavy Gear" is a pretty cool CGI series. On the planet Terra Nova, in a distant future, war veterans have become providers of entertainment, fighting in huge armor called "gears". Hence, the The heroes are the Shadow Dragons and the bad guys are the Vanguard of Justice. Each group's members and personalities contradicts the group's names, making the show quite interesting. My favorite characters are Shadow Dragons Serv (Clancy Brown) and Sebastian (Ed Hopkins).

The awesome animation is supplied by Mainframe Entertainment ("Reeboot", the Transformers' Beast Saga), and the stories are tight and action-packed. Check out "Heavy Gear" or you'll be sorry!
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