Plot Synopsis: “In 1973, the invasion of an extra terrestrial life form, the BETA, began a war that has driven mankind to the brink of extinction. In an attempt to counter the BETA’s overwhelming strength in numbers, mankind has developed the humanoid weapons known as TSFs, deploying them on the front lines of their Anti-BETA War all across the globe. For nearly 30 years mankind has remained bogged down in its struggle against the BETA with no hope in sight.”
Thoughts: Something you may notice if you watch this show, assuming you are a decent, respectable human being, is that it has quite a few similarities to Gunbuster. The main cast is composed pretty much entirely of high school girls. The high school girls go to a school that teaches them how to pilot mecha. The guy who teaches them how to pilot is clearly a coach, though they never address him as so, and unfortunately he is not voiced by Norio Wakamoto. It was enough that when I started watching it, I was prepared to write it off as a shitty Gunbuster clone. But that was a little unfair. It’s not really shitty. There wasn’t even anything really bad in the episode, aside from the stupid outfits the girls have to wear when piloting their mecha, a pretty generic alien invasion storyline, and the CGI mecha themselves. I hate CGI mecha. Gunbuster didn’t have CGI mecha, because it was made in the ’80s and there really wasn’t CG back then and it was a much better time for all mecha everywhere.
The only other thing Total Eclipse has working against it is that it’s connected to an eroge, so there’s high probability it could get into some creepy otaku pandering nonsense. It’s pretty much halfway there with the skintight mecha pilot outfits, which it doesn’t even attempt to justify at all. I’m too lazy to find the novel/manga to see if it does delve all the way down the creepy otaku hole, so I’m probably just going to give it another episode or so. The first episode is worth checking out, as it’s surprisingly not bad.
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse is available streaming at Crunchyroll