34 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Buddy Complex episode 1 – Spontaneously generated Sunrise anime

Buddy Complex - 01 -25[2]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.

Buddy Complex - 01 -16[5]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.

Buddy Complex - 01 -22[2]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.

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  1. Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Well, at least it’s not about rocks.

  2. Outcast
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    There were some parts of the description that didn’t seem generic, like how the main character will supposedly end up as a villian in the future…though that’s sort of like Kurisu’s story from Steins;Gate…Oh, there’s the fact that the main character gets transported to the future…which, come to think of it, is the premise of The Sarah Connor Chronicles…

    Somebody should really look into your theory.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I agree, when you start spelling out the plot it looks a hell of a lot less generic than it actually is

  3. Ken
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    OH NO! Now you did it! You divulged the secret of the Hajime Yatate anime generation machine. Now every anime studio is going to want to have one.

  4. Ramiel
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Sunrise has something equivalent to Family Guy’s “Idea Balls” then?


    • Shikamaru
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Damn it! I was supposed to say that. =) Glad to see that other South Park fans still exist.

      Yes this was really mediocre first episode. I will watch second episode and then decide whether or not to continue watching this.

  5. jherb33
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    sunrise ruined valvrave the liberator with a rushed ending so maybe they will do better with buddy complex, but this is highly unlikely..

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      haha implying there was anything left to ruin in Valvrave

  6. puyopop
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh, “traditional” robot series where:

    – All girls are bridge bunnies and commanders
    – The one and ONLY girl piloting outright burst into sparkles
    – ONLY guys are mecha pilots

    So Studio 8 created the dullest and most sexist mecha series which is SO against their mantra considering all of their past series DOES feature female characters as protagonists and/or proactive action girls. Why the hell are they doing this?

    The biggest kicker is that the freakin’ mobile game DOES have more female mecha pilots which makes it less generic than this tripe.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I think you got a different episode? There were a grand total of 2 mecha pilots in this episode and one was a lady

    • puyopop
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      And she disappeared in the end! :/

      Also go the official website:


      See any other females listed as mecha pilots? No? My point still stands.

  7. Mormegil
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Uh oh. Looks like another Sacred Seven, then.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      A good way to look at it

  8. luffyluffy
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was a very safe production actually, and this has a possibility to be legitimately good, unlike Valvrave which we knew was going to be bad from episode 1. Remember, even if the plot is recycled, it’s the execution that counts.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      If anything Buddy Complex made me respect Valvrave. That show had ambition and a vision and some crazy ideas. Buddy Complex being ‘safe’ is exactly what makes it bad.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Yeah but this has more potential to be good I think. Valvrave had so many different plotpoints going on that it felt like a checklist, and then the ending was garbage. This has two main plotpoints (so far), that being Time Travel and Aoba’s friendship w/ this mysterious robot pilot. If they do this well, the show will be a success in my book. It’s my policy to never drop a mecha anime anyway.

  9. Varyn
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Sorry if this is irrelevant to the post but today the Mushishi special aired along with an announcement for the second season in april (or at least this was the first I’d heard of it). I’m super hyped and a sequel 8 years after the original gives me hope for more Baccano! DTB or FMP.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      After the Mushishi sequel was announced there really is a chance for anything to happen. Except more FMP. There will never be more FMP.

  10. ANON
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    MAL just confirmed mushishi s2. much excite, very anticipation.

    Did they at least explain where they got the title from? VVV had that “valvrave – the system the liberated the world” thing every episode preview, they should also make one explaining where they got “buddy complex” from.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 1:40 am | Permalink

      At the end, the robot hears Aoba’s voice and says “Nice Coupling!” clearly implying these two robots have inner strength that only comes out when the two pilots, the other guy and Aoba, work together. BudCom was described as being “about how two boys friendship helps them grow,” so that’s pretty obvious.

      • puyopop
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 2:15 am | Permalink

        No excuse for absolute lack of female mecha pilots.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 4:15 am | Permalink

        It’s episode 1, calm down. Watch Bubblegum Crisis or something in the meantime.

      • puyopop
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Still waiting the moment they kill off half the guy pilots so they can replace them with girl pilots and make the series worth a damn.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Having two female pilots didn’t make Valvrave any better friend. If you want strong females in mecha go watch Gunbuster or Victory Gundam or something.

      • puyopop
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Obviously scriptwriters are everything, but this is Studio 8 we’re talking about here! A lot of of their past series like the Mai series, Accel World, and Horizon involved lots of proactive action girls, and the one time they do a mecha series, they DON’T involve them? What the hell?!

        This is making Sunrise mecha shows the worst gender bias ever especially with some fans going all “herp a derp female pilots, lol!”.

    • mikedude
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 1:42 am | Permalink

      “Buddy Complex” obviously means the gay will be very strong with this one.

      • ANON
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink

        I imagined a main character with a psychological condition that makes him follow around the other main character thinking he’s his buddy while the other character acts cool and all that and constantly tells that character “I’m not your buddy”.

        time to watch the first episode then.

      • Scamp
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        I prefer your explanation anon

  11. puyopop
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Worst gender biased mecha series ever!

    • jjpavo
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 3:18 am | Permalink

      Holy crap calm down. Who cares if there’s no women? It’s not like the show is saying “HOLY SHIT WOMEN FUCKING SUCK.” The mech pilots just happen to be males because the story is about male friendship. That doesn’t make it sexist or biased. Not everything needs every different kid of person shoehorned in just for diversity. That’s like saying K-On sucks because it’s all females. No, the story is just about female friendship, just like this one is about males.

    • kira
      Posted January 18, 2014 at 3:03 am | Permalink

      “The mech pilots just happen to be males because the story is about male friendship. That doesn’t make it sexist or biased.”

      Sure it does.

      It’s path beaten WAY TOO MANY TIMES in every medium!

      Girl pilots at least make it more interesting.

      Doesn’t matter though since Buddy Complex is failing.

  12. HAGA
    Posted January 10, 2014 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    NOPE…there actually a manga :P

  13. garry
    Posted January 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    I watched the first 3 Episode and the coupling system is so f*cking gay consider most of the anime in the market nowadays wanted to hit the gay market in an implicit manner.
    Secondly, some of the companies created anime out of noway for the reason of minor propaganda that slowing brainwash the audience. You can see where the antagonist of this anime started from and let your brain slowly interpret and accept it.
    It doesn’t matter as long as the female characters are pre-teens with good boobies and the male characters have the heroic voice. Finally with robot element they will gain a heat of robot models sale for a period of time. You got these 3 recipes and the anime will be not too bad to match. With the time element added into the anime will be considered easier to twist the plot without trying hard to write an excellent story line.

  14. R1CK_D0M
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    My gathering is that this is japan’s attempt at ruining the terminator series. Except they fucked up because this is about giant robots and people whereas the terminator is about regular sized robots and not-people. Oh japan, your giant robot instincts have betrayed you!

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