Gatekeepers 21 is set in 21st century, 32 years from the original Gatekeepers.
Cast & Seiyuu:
Ayane Isuzu - Otani Ikue
Animation - what do you expect from an OAV? Really cool designs. I'd have to say, the creators did better with the "gate" thing. And boy, aren't the girls sexier?
Story and Plot - Reveals a lot from the original series. Questios were answered "vaguely". You'd just have to figure it out on yourself. Or check out the Gatekeepers 1985 novel (I heard it won't be animated - ever). Good versus Evil, but evil here seems to be more powerful.
Music - An array of background songs, plus the OP/ED. Gets repetitive over the suceeding episodes.
Enjoyment - This one's my favorite.
When I first read the news about an upcoming release of Gatekeepers 21, I was a bit disappointed. It didn't include the original cast, and that it was a "wonder" why the sequel skipped 32 years - from 1969 to 2001. I thought it wouldn't be good, because based from experience, Gatekeepers will not be Gatekeepers without both Shun and Ruriko present. I didn't like welcoming new characters.
My disappointment went deeper when I read the synopsis of the first episode. Maybe it was the author's fault..but it didn't intrigue me much. The "Imitation Gate" was like a disaster - what about the real gate? I like the original powers immensely. And the "Gate of Leap" of Miu, I couldn't imagine that! Jumping powers? What's so exciting about that anywhos??
Well..I was about to correct myself...
Gatekeepers 21 is darker, that's the word. Compared to the original TV Series, GK21 does not carry the usual humor of the anime. Instead, it shows the inner turmoil of a Gatekeeper, how using her powers take away her happiness - piece by piece. Ayane Isuzu, being the most powerful Gatekeeper, hated her father and has no friends. She went on with her life collecting crystals of invaders and selling them to Reiji Kageyama who took over A.E.G.I.S after it was destroyed. [ I think it was explained by the manga Gatekeepers 1985, which will not be animated - ever. ] Ayane doesn't like using her powers, which she inherited from Shun Ukiya. Instead, she used "imitation gates", or alternative powers released from cellphone devices. Because of such emotional burden, she doesn't open up to others much. She preferred to live alone. And whether you believe it or not, she hates the world. She wants it to disappear.
Her life suddenly took an ironic twist when she met Miu Manadzuru, a Gatekeeper who possesses the Leaping Ability. Ayane didn't like how the other girl wants to protect the world and the people's smiles with such power that's only good in jumping around. She hated it that Miu doesn't like fighting, her being so vulnerable and incompetent. However, as the story progresses, Ayane started realizing a couple of things...
She once told Miu "Come with me if you want to do more fun things..."
In the end, she herself realized that doing these things will not be fun when you are alone...
There has been couple of changes about Gatekeepers 21. One, the invaders do not vanish in the air completely. Perhaps the creator thought it's time to set things straight. If you remember, the invaders in the original TV series vanish into thin air after being defeated. And if you also remember, invaders were "humans" before - humans that were consumed by greed. However you look at it, it's murder. Gatekeepers kill Humans. Ironic as this may sound, although GK21 is definitely darker, the creators have "lightened" this idea. In the end, the invaders of GK21 take form of "crystals" after they are defeated. This brings "hope" that someday, the crystals which "perhaps" contain the soul of a human will be returned to life. And then, the "protection of everyone's smiles" will finally be...true.
Another change, invaders have improved its multiplying ability. It can spread to humans just by transfering some of its "internal fluids" to the preferred host. And it no longer took time for transformation. The moment they are inflicted, they are full-grown invaders already, aware of its nature and spreading evil to Tokyo.
The main villain of this OAV is the "Ghost Girl", or "Yuurei Shoujo", which also appeared in the GK Playstation game. Both "Count Devil" and "General Machine" who were defeated by Shun Ukiya before were revived. (Well, there are ways in which they can return as long as there is human greed). The "Ghost Girl" seems to have a liking for Ayane, for she found the latter quite like herself - the one who hates everything and wants everybody to disappear. The "Ghost Girl" possesed the "Gate of Disappearance". She lost her body a long time ago from over-using her gate but was able to keep "ghost-form", therefore the name "Ghost Girl". Although she no longer existed (as in flesh and blood), her powers surpassed that of the gatekeepers.
Overall, Gatekeepers 21 is uniquely superb. The music is great, the animation, the script...everything about it is perfect. The 6-part OAV completely overwhelmed the original TV Series all 24 episodes combined. It's thrilling, exciting and truly one of a kind...
Highlight for some spoiler:
*The Ghost of Shun Ukiya appeared in the last episode. (wow!! still good-looking)
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