Jinki: Extend [2005] (13 Episodes)

Some shows are a waste of time.  You quickly realize it and either fast forward at ever increasing speeds or stop watching all together.  Jinki Extend is more nefarious.  It starts out with an enjoyable plot about a girl who dreams of being a mech pilot.  She gets caught up in a series of events that lead toward that goal.  Along the way she has a lot to learn and crosses paths with interesting characters.

Expecting a lot of cool shots like this?  Don't.

Expecting a lot of cool shots like this? Don't.

That is the plot of Jinki Extend… for the first few episodes.  Then it just goes off the rails.  It throws a half-dozen new characters on your lap unrelated to our initial heroine’s situation.  They call it “parallel plots”.  I call it confusing.  So you have a bunch of unestablished characters you really do not care about yet running around on inexplicable missions and your original heroine and her who cast pretty much disappears until the last episode.

Look, I like cute girls and giant robots as much as the next guy (probably a little more).  However it needs to be held together with a plot that can be followed without headache inducing calculations.  It needs to be carried with interesting and deep characters that you learn about over time, not a bunch of “cute girl generator” characters dropped on your lap in episode 5.

"What the -?  This school is REALLY serious about catching class skippers."

"What the -? This school is REALLY serious about catching class skippers."

Additionally there is an inexplicable time gap between some episodes that is not explained.  That on top of character’s whose motivation you are trying to figure and even confusion over who is who, that was pretty much the last straw.  You just start caring less and less at a time where you should be doing the opposite.

The production values were decent, and the early action scenes were good.  Those remind me a little of the classic Gunbuster.  The early episodes showed that this group could make a fun and entertaining anime.  But decent quality is not enough to carry you through the muddy waters of meandering and outright confusing plot.  A waste.  Do something better with your time than watching this series.

This is the expression some may wear after watching this whole series.

This is the expression some may wear after watching this whole series.

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