I missed Buddy Complex when doing my season preview because it hadn’t been announced yet. Which is odd because Sunrise usually like to go out all guns blazing when promoting their latest anime original mecha projects. My theory is that this is because nobody at Sunrise actually made Buddy Complex. It’s generally well known that Sunrise have an Executive Boardroom of Evil who ‘advise’ the creative team on what elements must be included in their shows. It must have robots, it must have ladies with shapely bottoms, it must have two teenage boys who are very angry with each other in a totally not gay way, and so on. Usually though you can see the creators vision working with these tools. Even Valvrave had a vision. Buddy Complex does not.
So here’s the story. Start drinking everytime this sounds a little generic. A generic teenage boy is coming into school after the summer holidays and he’s had his seat moved towards the back. He’s now sitting next to the pretty new exchange student who blushes whenever she looks at him. But then OHSNAP a giant robot appears with a very angry man inside it who tries to kill the main character He’s not a very good pilot though because he keeps getting outwitted by a teenage boy on a bicycle. ERU-ERUFU he is not.
Then it turns out that he’s from THE FUTURE and is here to kill the main character because the main character grows up to be Hitler or something. Up pops the pretty exchange student who also turns out to be from THE FUTURE and has her own giant robot (which is pink obviously because she’s a girl) and she rescues the main character. It looks like they’ve won the battle until the very angry man tries to set off a self-destruct sequence that goes on for 5 minutes because that’s really intelligent engineering so the lady pilot jumps through a timewarp with the bland main character. Now suddenly the main character is a robot pilot in the future.
In a way it’s commendable to make be capable of making a story about time travelling teenage robot pilots so generic, but it all felt very lifeless. There’s no memorable music, the robot designs we’ve all seen before. Characters aren’t terribly memorable. It’s not that bad to be honest. There were no lines of dialogue that made me roll my eyes…well, I suppose I did roll my eyes at “I’m from the future” but that did come after the main character did the witty little line about “tell me something” – “what” – “everything”. Plus as much as I want to criticise it about not really /about/ anything yet, it’s just episode one and their vision might become clearer in episode 2 now that he’s in the future. But as of this first episode it’s just so, so generic.
Which is where my theory comes in. Buddy Complex was not made by anybody. It was spontaneously generated within the Sunrise office. They have a machine called the Hajime Yatate which they all pump their creative ideas through and it comes out the other side with added robots and homoeroticism. But one day the cleaner accidentally bumped against it and it mysteriously dispensed Buddy Complex. That’s why it they announced it so late. It just appeared one day in early December already fully completed so with just decided to put it on this winter. Sunrise has just reached the state where it can spontaneously generate mecha anime with no creative input required.