REVIEW: ‘Sakugan,’ Episode 1

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Sakugan Episode 1

Sakugan Episode 1 is a sci-fi adventure anime from Satelight. In the subterranean colony of Underworld, most people go about their lives working from day to day much as we do. But Underworld is home to another more adventurous type. The Markers. Markers explore the labyrinth that expands out from Underworld, connecting it with other subterranean colonies and leading to unexplored regions of the underground. It is this group of daring adventure seekers that young Memempo wishes to join. If she could only get her dad on board with the idea…

Anime dads. There is a long inglorious history of bad parenting in anime. Especially from the dads. Whether your brain jumps back to the oft absent Dragon Ball Z character Goku, to modern-day subpar fathers like My Hero Academia‘s Endeavor, bad dads are found throughout anime’s many offerings. It is for this reason that one of Sakugan Episode 1‘s most notable traits is just how good of a dad Gagumber is determined to be for his daughter, even if she hates him for it.

This pilot episode opens with a hot pursuit as young Memempo tries desperately to stay ahead of her pursuer. Eventually, however, the two come face to face only to reveal that the man in hot pursuit of her is none other than her father, Gagumber. Seems the nine-year-old has run off to join the Markers, again. After a brief, yet heated, debate the show cuts to the next morning where we see the duo preparing for a day of work. Turns out Memempo is a genius, having already completed college, as well as having made numerous improvements to the construction gear her father employs on the job. It is this grand intellect that makes Memempo believe she is ready to become a Marker. But no matter how gifted his daughter is, she is still nine, and her father will hear none of it.

It is this debate that is at the forefront of Sakugan Episode 1. From the argument at work, till the pair meet up with visiting friends who are Markers, the debate over Memempo’s eligibility is always center stage. And while most members of the cast are squarely on Memempo’s side, the show does a good job of never painting Gagumber to look like his motives are anything less than pure concern for his daughter’s safety and well-being.

The discussion takes a startling turn however when Memempo receives a mysterious package that may be from a legendary Marker. However, before the item can be thoroughly investigated, a giant monster attacks the colony, and survival becomes the immediate concern.

Sakugan Episode 1′s animation brings the drama of the father-daughter verbal battles with all the over-the-top energy anime is known for. Along with the strong personalities of the characters, the visual designs themselves are well executed as the characters all have memorable looks to them, especially Memempo. When all is said and done, Sakugan Episode 1 delivers a lot of heart, energy, and sets up for what could quite possibly be one grand adventure.

Sakugan Episode 1 is scheduled to air this October on Crunchyroll.

 

Sakugan Episode 1
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Sakugan Episode 1′s animation brings the drama of the father-daughter verbal battles with all the over-the-top energy anime is known for. Along with the strong personalities of the characters, the visual designs themselves are well executed as the characters all have memorable looks to them, especially Memempo. When all is said and done, Sakugan Episode 1 delivers a lot of heart, energy, and sets up for what could quite possibly be one grand adventure.