gun x sword recap and 17

You probably heard of “jumping the shark,” where a TV show goes from good to bad. But what happens when it does the opposite? Gun x Sword does just that… the inverse jump the shark. After episode 13 or so, after the show introduces Claw Man’s true identity, Van’s past, Wendy’s brother, Fasalina’s stripper pole, and Van’s Shinn face, Gun x Sword went from unwatchable to almost must watch. It really gets kicked up a notch after Priscilla joins and adds some jealously into Wendy. I’d call this inverse jumping the shark “going Shinn,” but I think that phrase is taken already so I propose “getting a haircut.” Why? A similar phenonemom happens in Eureka Seven after Eureka gets her haircut.


Getting back to Gun x Sword, the first half of the series is more or less a dull, boring excercise in trying to make the most stylish and cool action shounen series this side of Trigun. They had the lone, mysterious protagonist, Van, and his underaged, wife-to-be sidekick, Wendy, and they would go from town to town experiencing each unique town’s unique issue. Van was aloof and had a giant robot. Wendy had that loli thing going. How could it lose? Too bad they forgot to toss in some plot and story. Unlike Vash, both Van and Wendy lacked any appeal or sympathy… they both sounded like broken records. They were definitely not in Vash’s class and that more or less starting sinking the show. At the end of each episode, the bad guys would be defeated, and Van would earn yet another ridiculous nickname. It was almost as formulatic as Law and Order: Loli Demon Revenge Unit. But that wasn’t the worst part… the show itself was trying to be serious while presenting very ridiculous stories like the guy with a mushtache or the reject giant robot from the 80’s. Bland. Uninspired. Dumb.

Then at 13, I’m not sure what happened, but they kicked it up a notch. Van sees the Claw Man (finally), and he goes berserk. I’m mean I haven’t seen anything like that since Shinn/Mai. That actually injected some personality into a pretty bland character, so it was a good thing. Then there’s finally this creepy guy who is the Claw Man, and he’s an actual viable villian… you have to take him more seriously than, oh, the doll-fetishist from Shana or the mushtache guy from earlier in Gun x Sword. Then toss in Wendy’s climatic meeting with her brother, the plot really started to pick up… and it made me want to watch the next episodes (something I really couldn’t say about the previous episodes).


Around this time, the show has completely stopped taking itself seriously and is just having fun. I can imagine the scriptwriters having fun writing, and I’m having fun watching. Winning combo. They toss out all the seriousness and replace it with Van’s new Shinn persona as well as surrounding him with an Athrun-class harem (he even has Joshua to fill the y4l role). They introduced Priscilla as a viable competitor to Wendy as well as revealing Fasalina’s stripper pole weapon. It went from this Trigun-ish show that was failing to this Gundam-ish show that wasn’t. The Gundam references get even more blatant after Van’s harem obtains their new carrier, which reminds me of the one from Gundam X.

So the story thus far has Van and Wendy finally finding both the Claw Man and her brother. The Claw Man is gathering people to create his ideal world, and they are using the original seven robots to do this… these robots are the leftover defense program for this once prison planet. Each of the Claw Man’s followers has a robot, and Van has the seventh (Thursday). Not everyone can use these robots, and to use them successfully, it takes training and physical augmentation of a pilot… Wendy’s brother left because he wanted to become a pilot for Claw Man.

Prior to 17, Carmen split off from Van and Wendy to “gather the troops,” which includes Priscilla as well the 80’s robot team. At the end of 16, Van figures out how to use his robot’s super power, much like the Arbarest. At the beginning of 17, the gang is finally reunited, but they are stuck because to continue, they must pass through “Swimsuit Nation” where only girls wearing revealing swimsuits may enter. (You can probably see why I’m blogging about this now…)


So the four girls from Van’s harem (Wendy, Carmen, Pris, and Yukiko) infiltrate the Swimsuit Nation much to my delight… until the Censor Donkey shows up. WTF. Has anyone seen the DVDs? Is the Censor Donkey still there… I really hope not. Anyway, the Censor Donkey (the dumbest idea since the goat in Futakoi… actually… maybe not that dumb since if someone can confirm that the donkey is removed from the DVD, I’d probably end up importing it) covers up the girls if they even approach a sekushi pose or revealing position. Anyway, in order to pass through the nation, they must defeat the Swimsuit Nation’s ringer in an obstacle course. Of course… out of all the girls, only Wendy is able to compete due to a plot contrivance.

The episode is a chaotic, semi-fanservice-filled fest (no thanks to the Censor Donkey) that makes absolutely no sense from start to finish. If someone hasn’t watched any Gun x Sword or Gundam recently, they’d shake their heads going, “This sucks; I could have watched Mushishi instead.” I don’t blame them. But, in the overall tapestry of Gun x Sword (if tapestry can be used this loosely), it fits beautifully. Chaotic. Fanservice. Giant robots. Stripper poles. Swimsuits made from secret metal shileding. Hyperactive gay males. This is what the show is about. The series has finally given up any pretention of being serious and now just tries to top itself episode after episode… just like how GSD become more enjoyable once it started Super Suit Whoring™. Whereas Trigun was both serious and funny, Gun x Sword doesn’t do either anymore… just train wreck/over-the-top style now, and it definitely works in that framework.


As for the cherry on top, most of the “throwaway” and “formulaic” episodes from early on serve a purpose. The later episodes actually go back and tie together some of the old ends… it’s not done with the same mastery as, let’s say, Kamichu, but it at least tries, unlike Law and Order: Loli Demon Revenge Unit. The second half of Gun x Sword makes up for the lousy start to the series… and if you have the patience to sit through the first few episodes, there’s some great train wreck/over-the-top anime waiting at the end.

(And, if I had to rank the girls… Fasalina must be one. Fights with a stripper pole and seduces Wendy’s brother in his robot’s cockpit. Completely over-the-top. Even more so once you recognize that she has the same seiyuu as Shinobu and juxtapose the two.)

Episode 20
Episode 21

8 Responses to “gun x sword recap and 17”

  1. I agree, Gun X Sword gets significantly better after ep 13, which was one of the better episodes in the series in my opinion

    Awesome show and I can’t wait for more released subs

  2. Well I for one loved it from the start. Who else didn’t get chills when Vann would say “Wake up, Dann..”? But yeah when Vann finds the Claw Man and then discovers his true reason for fighting/mastering Dann things get even sweeter.

    So far I’ve rewatched the moment Van solved that puzzle and realized his love for Helena several times now. Time to stomp some Claw Man…..

  3. Exactly, It got better after 13. I just finished watching the entire series. I loved it. It’s so funny/cool. LOL Fasalina is a stipper. It was funny how she kept making moaning noises when fighting with Van. Question do you like her hair long or short? Personally I liked her long hair, but she didn’t look that bad with short hair. At the end Van should have married Priscilla, I liked her more than Wendy, and Carmen. They should have shown what happened to everyone else in the end. Damnit why did Ray have to die? there were some sparks between him and that waitress girl that was from the town with the power ranger megazord armour. One of MY favourite Animes of all time. Does anyone know where I can get a deck of cards where the Joker is a Grim Reaper like “Lucky’s” in the first episode? No?

  4. I liked Fasa’s hair long. Looked more wild that way.

    She was a prostitute before meeting Claw Man, though I’m still wondering what exactly did she do to Carmen in the bathroom that made Carmen hate her so much.

  5. shark the jump?

  6. Does anybody know where I can get a hat like Van’s?

  7. I guess Fasa did *bip bip bip*(sensor) to Carmen when she passed out. That’s one possible reason why Carmen hate her so much. Don’t ask me how did Carmen realize that Fasa has done *bip bip bip* to her. Use common sense /LOL

  8. Does anyone know the name of Van’s puzzle,I’ve been looking for it in several places however I can’t seem to find one like it !

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