Jinki: Extend

Genre: Action
Format: 12 Episodes
Allegiance: Feel
Director: Murata Masahiko
Vintage: 2005
Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage
Aoba was an ordinary girl living in Japan, until her grandmother dies and she was kidnapped and brought to Venezuela. There, she is asked to pilot a mecha called a “Jinki” for the organization Anhel, and meets her mother for the first time that she can remember. Three years later in Japan, Anhel is investigating the syndicate Kyomu, which caused the Lost Life Phenomena. The young amnesiac Akao has decided to fight in a Jinki and defend Tokyo. But what is her connection to Aoba?

Field Agent Report by: Lady Sage 
Overall 7.00
(not an average)

Jinki: Extend is a fusion of two manga series, Jinki and its sequel Jinki: Extend. The former is the story of Aoba, and the latter is the story of Akao. For some unfathomable reason, the creators of the TV adaptation decided to animate both stories simultaneously, switching between the two with no apparent rhyme or reason. Instead of what seemed to be two very good, very different series, we get a confused, incoherent jumble that is frustrating for so many reasons.

The plot is frankly impossible to untangle. It starts off well, focusing exclusively on Aoba learning to deal with the new life she’s thrown into. Aoba herself is rather likable, and it’s good to see a mecha series heroine who isn’t immediately a genius at what she does – instead, she’s out of shape and is terrified at being thrown into the new environment.

Then all of a sudden, everything falls apart. The Akao storyline is introduced without reaching the end of Aoba’s, characters are introduced in the latter storyline that we are expected to know, although they haven’t even entered into the first one, and everything collapses into a jumbled mess. Even at the end, when everything seems to come together, it’s far too late. Everything is just too confused for anything to make sense.

Jinki: Extend is a technically competent series. The animation is good, although several of the characters are almost indistinguishable in design. The theme songs are both quite catchy – I genuinely liked both, and the rest of the music is not unpleasant.

The series would probably make more sense to those that are thoroughly familiar with both manga series, since they know the plotlines and would not get them jumbled. However, everyone else should either read the manga first, or if they are not mecha fans, can probably skip this one.