Gunslinger Stratos starts off interesting, but then quickly becomes generic until delving into something completely different and strange. Strange in the best of ways. The opening is a dream sequence, but it’s trippy and confusing in the right ways. It makes you curious as to what exactly is going on as our main character Tohru Kazasumi dreams of a little girl drawing on a sidewalk with chalk. Soon enough though she’s chased away by crows and Tohru is left looking at the intense formulas that she drew on the ground.
After that we follow Tohru to school. He’s all alone in the world and tries to keep his head down and avoid conflict… which of course makes him the love interest of one of the most popular and wealthy girls in the school Kyoka Katagiri. Her brother Kyoma doesn’t like Tohru and so he avoids conflict by ditching Kyoka and heading to class.
Soon enough we’re in gym class and it’s more of a battle training situation than gym. The boys are facing off against each other and so are the girls. Tohru for the most part avoids contact with others, but it comes down to just him and Kyoma. They battle and we see a little of what to expect from this world. We also learn just how good Tohru is at fighting as he could have beaten Kyoma, but didn’t want to be noticed so he throws the fight.
After school though Tohru sees the little girl from his dream, but she’s a hologram… a hologram that can run. Tohru cases after it and Kyoka chases after him and that’s when the show gets interesting.
I’m not going to spoil what happens. I’ve seen spoilers already online in reviews and it’s really makes it pointless to watch this episode because you’ll go in feeling negative towards it. Personally I thought the pacing was perfect for the episode. It set up the world quite well, but left a huge mystery to figure out next time. Hell I don’t think we’ll solve it next time, but we’ll begin collecting pieces.
It’s the third act or so of this series that pushes it out of mediocrity and into a damn good show. Sure Tohru and Kyoka are a little too perfect, but I’m curious to see what happens to them and how they’ll develop as characters.
The art is really good. I know the video game is by Square, so I’m sure the graphics are really good which probably pushed the animators into doing their best as well. It really is one of the best looking shows that I’ve seen in a while.
I’m interested in the story, but I like parallel earth sci-fi stuff and that’s the best way I can sum this episode up without spoiling anything else about it. If you’re not down with gunplay, sci-fi and a thinly veiled love story then you’ll probably dislike this series. If that does sound good then you’re in for a treat.
Gunslinger Stratos 1.1 Official Website