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More insight than the average anime
I feel that this is a fairly underrated anime. Stylistically it may be a little dull and the pontificating philosophical ramblings don't translate well (have you seen an anime where they do?), but there is something else about it that makes it a rare find. It shows a level of political awareness and self-knowledge one rarely sees from the Japanese (yes, I'm invoking the stereotype of Japanese political obliviousness).
As a mecha anime it's a bit prosaic and Yuushiro is your usual introverted, teenage, Shinji-esquire (though he seems to lack the introspection required to be repressed) cardboard cutout you find in many animes. The show is wonderfully contemporary though, even if its analysis of events in the Middle East is a little superficial. This is forgivable as the focus seems to be very much on Japan's ambiguous role in the world. Here you see the corrupting influence of the keiretsus on the government and the tempting influence of Japan's traditional, martial past. The presence of elements of traditional Japanese culture, such as Noh, family hierarchy (and its influence on the nature of powerful, family-owned conglomerates), and, yes, samurai, may satisfy western viewers who have noticed a lack of cultural introspection in anime (if you want to see more I recommend Samurai Champloo; not as good as Bebop, but Watanabe's style is recognisable).
Far from the knee-jerk moral dichotomies which are frequently inserted into politics in today's world, there is one very notable scene in particular where the commanding officer of Yuushiro's unit makes a poetic and beautifully articulate justification for where their duties lie after there is a political wind change in Japan, even as he wrestles with his own conscience. You rarely see such depictions of the warrior-poet in fiction anymore, presumably because it's not pc.
Drawbacks of the series include, depending on your degree of patience, a slowly plodding plot and a disappointing finale which summons the clichéd deus ex machina (which REALLY comes out of left field) one expects from the finales of such animes.