Wednesday, May 14, 2014
2 Seasons - 26 episodes
In English and Japanese
Anime Rating: 4!
Think people racing Gundams. IGPX is what happens when Production I.G works with Toonami and it is wonderful. This show originally ran as a mini-series where piloted robots actually fought each other in combat. The rebooted series changed things up a bit.
The story follows Team Satomi and their new position in the IG-1, the top league in the Immortal Grand Prix. I'll give you the opening monologue found in the English version voiced by Peter Cullen aka Optimus Prime:
"In the year 2049, the world's most popular motorsport, is the Immortal Grand Prix. Two teams of three pilots. Sixty miles of track. Speeds upwards of 350 miles per hour. In the pro league, the IG1, the world's most elite teams compete for the ultimate prize. To win the IGPX. For Takeshi and Team Satomi, this is a dream worth fighting for. This is the future of sports. This is the IGPX."
The mechs usually race in an upright position but can switch into a speed mode that was made to resemble actual race cars:
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Even though I like sports, I'm not usually into sports anime for some reason. I occasionally try them out but the pacing just feels too slow. I caught IGPX on it's initial run in 2005 and was hooked right away. The show stars a complete all-star cast of English voice actors with the lead being played by Haley Joel Osment of all people. The other two leads from Team Satomi are Michelle Rodriguez (Lost) and Hynden Walch (Teen Titans). Steve Blum plays the main rival with Mark Hamill playing another prominent team captain.
The show balances the racing with character development fairly well. One race usually takes two episodes to get through with plenty of backstory being shared during the race by way of inner character monologue. The animation is Production I.G which means that it is wonderfully clean and I will never stop praising the CGI used. Usually you get that awkward CGI that doesn't quite fit with the background or the characters but IGPX really sets the bar on how it should be done.
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My favorite thing about IGPX is the portrayal of the characters. Most of them are very young similar to what you find in the Olympics and the story lets you know that. They aren't all completely mature. There are character flaws abounds especially within Team Satomi. You get to know the crew of the team and not only the pilots. You get to explore the other team's pilots and the different relationship that form or the backstory of the IGPX itself.
IGPX is a wonderfully diverse show that presents a fun cast, wonderful effects, and a very unique atmosphere. The only downside is that it is the only Toonami original series to date and IGPX proves that there needs to be more.