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Introduction and Story
Markers are individuals who take it upon themselves to explore labyrinths in colonies to learn more about the dangers and find information of all kinds back to the people. Memempu is a young girl who dreams of becoming a marker herself not to find treasure or riches but to see if she can locate images she sees in her dreams. However, her father—a former marker—named Gagumber isn’t so eager letting his nine-year-old daughter become a marker when it’s such a dangerous job. Unfortunately, a series of events befall the duo and lead the father and daughter on a dangerous journey. Can Gagumber keep his smart child in check or will they end up a meal for the dangerous beasts within the depths of the labyrinths?
Several months ago we got to review the first episode of Sakugan early and we had a blast with that initial episode! Now that the first season has come to a close—assuming that episode 12’s title TO BE CONTINUED isn’t just a red herring—we have a lot to say about this comedic adventure set in space. Did Sakugan exceed our initial impressions or fail to become the diamond we thought it would be? Find out in our review of Sakugan!
A Comedic Pairing for the Ages
Without going too far into our review, let’s discuss the best element of Sakugan, the dynamic duo that is Gagumber and Memempu. The father and daughter dynamic make Sakugan so enjoyable as they laugh together, make fun of one another, and survive together. Every scene these two share is a great one and they are usually the better moments of Sakugan. Without Gagumber and Memempu, Sakugan would suffer greatly as their dialogue and actions are just perfect.
An Honest Adventure
The adventure element in Sakugan really keeps the story from feeling overly generic and getting repetitive. When Gagumber and his team explore a city or get into some trouble–which usually ends in fighting for their lives–Sakugan felt a bit boring, to be honest. Yet, when the labyrinth comes into play, the adventure element of Sakugan really shines through. Even Sakugan’s mecha fights don’t hold up as well as just watching everyone go through the labyrinth and surviving the dangers and seeing the majesty of the environment, that is where Sakugan shines brightest.
Sakugan has a weird relationship with its mecha theme. The earlier episodes focus strongly on mecha action as the pair fight giant kaiju and monsters. Yet, after that, the mecha moments almost die out. There are some racing-like moments using Gagumber’s robot—as it can switch between a mech and car—but that’s about it. Don’t expect many battles like the first one, Sakugan will disappoint you if you do.
Uninteresting Side Characters
There are a multitude of characters that appear in Sakugan from the tough girl Zackletu to the street punk Yuri but they all feel very stale in comparison to the main two. Most of the characters have complex backstories that make you sympathize with them, but their stories aren’t anything we haven’t seen in other anime. Sakugan fails to really make characters that will be remembered for years after unless a continuation changes their personalities.
Is a Second Season Really Necessary?
The final episode is, as we mentioned, titled "To Be Continued" and really seems to want to push Sakugan into a second season. While there are plenty of mysteries to be found in the labyrinth and with our cast of “heroes”, will the problems we have with the anime be fixed in a second season? Honestly, if season 2 releases anytime soon we want several big fixes. There needs to be more mecha-action as this is where Sakugan really showed its solid animation. We also hope we learn more about Gagumber’s past as a Marker. Lastly, Sakugan needs—and we mean this—to shy away from city segments. Sakugan’s second season could help push the series to higher levels but if it doesn’t make some drastic changes, it will probably be no better or worse than the first season.
Sakugan is a hard series to recommend to everyone. We loved a lot of the adventure-related parts of Sakugan but were bored when they went through the various towns for their varying reasons. Overall, Sakugan isn’t a bad anime but it definitely didn’t live up to the hype we had for it.
Do you agree with us about Sakugan? Comment down below to let us know! Be sure to keep stuck to our adventure-loving hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more anime reviews and news.