Well here we are at the next part of our Votoms watch along, starting our Armor Hunter Mellowlink analysis. As I said in our last edition, this is the first entry not to have Chirico Cuvie in the starring role.
(*NOTE* This is a repost from our old defunct site MatureManga.net.)
The Case of the Stolen Jijirium
Armor Hunter Mellowlink seems to take place roughly at the same time as the original Votoms. We learn that Mellowlink was another soldier left for dead. Similar to how Chirico was but under slightly different circumstances. Like we see from the crew in The Last Red Shoulder, Mellowlink is embarking on a revenge mission. He aims to avenge his fallen comrades and take revenge against the commanders that put him and his squad on that death mission, and then framed them for that jijirium theft. Maybe you won’t agree with me, but so far throughout Votoms we have seen that there are many corrupt, power hungry and sadistic people involved with the Gilgamesh. It makes me wonder if the same is true with the Balarant.
What exactly the officers involved planned to do with the stolen jijirium we don’t know. It’s certainly possible it could have been used for more Perfect Soldiers. They could have been a part of the Secret Society. However we know it is a very valuable material and so it could just have been for their own monetary gain. We will probably find out in the second half of the series.
Mellowlink and Friends
Mellowlink for sure seems very much in the same vein as Chirico as the main character. He is also a man of few words. However he seems a few years younger than Chirico. He seems not quite as calm and collected as Chirico was, but similarly excellent in combat. Mellowlink also appears to try not to kill other people aside from his main targets. Chirico was not so forgiving.
With all these feats we’ve seen Mellowlink perform over the first half of this series, I’d be surprised if he didn’t also turn out to be a Perfect Soldier. This especially considering he’s going up against powerful ATs used by experienced commanders and winning. All the more without an AT of his own. The character of Keik seems to suggest in Episode 2 how he can do this. Mellowlink has probably learnt the firing range and the different parameters ATs use.
About Armor Hunter Mellowlink’s supporting cast, Keik is with Gilgamesh intelligence and seems to know who was involved with the jijirium Plan Bang Doll scandal already. The fact that the officers involved pinned the blame on Mellowlink at his hearing in front of the Gilgamesh top brass shows that like the Secret Society, they were in this for their own benefit. Keik seems more than happy to allow and assist Mellowlink to pick off all the officers one by one. We also have Lulucy who also seems to be tracking the officers involved, but for as of yet unknown reasons.
Pluses and Minuses
I thought the first episode of Armor Hunter Mellowlink was really good and was something that felt new and exciting. A new lead character and an interesting premise, complete with great action scenes. A couple of the episodes so far have disappointed me a little however. Some were just too predictable in places. I feel some of the stories so far would have worked better over two episodes giving a little more room for them to breathe.
Another negative is an incident similar to Chirico dodging those bullets at close range in the last OVA. I found it pretty ridiculous in Episode 3 when Mellowlink fell into the swamp, he was able to just shoot a random vine out of the sky and swing away. I know anime isn’t supposed to be realistic, but there are limits.
It’s great that Armor Hunter Mellowlink allows us to explore the principle planet of the Gilgamesh Melkia a little more. We were able to see some new places in The Last Red Shoulder, but in this series we get to see some new locations as well as revisiting Kummen. I was hoping for some more exploration of the world of Votoms so this is very much welcomed.
While writing this analysis of Armor Hunter Mellowlink I think episode 4 was my favourite of the series so far. The characters having to move around with a distorted sense of gravity made for really interesting sequences. This episode was really inventive and the most suspenseful too. Mellowlink was so close to losing his life against Golphy. Keik was there to save him in the nick of time.
He also got quite lucky on that prison island too. I think the original plan was for Lulucy to use Mellowlink’s rifle and cause a commotion during her magic performance, but she ended up having cold feet. Fortunately the coincidental prison break allowed Mellowlink to achieve his goal and take out another of the officers.
Thoughts So Far
Overall I am enjoying Armor Hunter Mellowlink. Some aspects have disappointed me but I’m having a fun time watching it. It’s not going to be the best anime I have seen in this genre. However I am very excited to see how the story will conclude in the second half.
What do you think about Armor Hunter Mellowlink, and how do you think it compares to the original Votoms? Leave your comments below.