Pailsen Files: Assaulting Monad


The first three minutes of the eleventh episode of the Pailsen Files portray an assault, but they also are an assault – on the viewer. Vast troopships (VOTOMS‘s spaceships are essentially brick-shaped) loom over the machine planet Monad. (Incidentally(?), ‘monad’ may or may not have been a Pythagorean name for God.) The transports which aren’t blown up (in suitably massive explosions) by the defenders disgorge swarms of Armoured Troopers.

Fire fills the screen. Waves of ATs come charging out of it. They hurl themselves into a chasm. Our heroes hurled themselves into a similar chasm at the close of the previous episode – which quoted the Death Star trench sequence from Star Wars, except with men in robots instead of proton torpedoes – and the ‘camera’ sweeps down into Monad’s depths to join them.

This wasn’t in any way a profound scene, but it was a moment when the OVA was absolutely in touch with its essence: an impressive blend of 2D and 3D animation bringing a great mecha action scene to life. The music was unremarkable, but well-integrated, repeatedly promising to reach a climax and then refusing to actually do so as if echoing the Melkian assault’s relentlessness. One or two (only one or two) elements of the story’s finale were only really comprehensible in the context of the original ATV, but the opening scene of the eleventh episode established that the story’s resolution would be fun for everyone.


Well, fun for everyone who likes robots.

3 responses to “Pailsen Files: Assaulting Monad

  1. Welcome back! Ugh, I’m still stuck on episode 3 of this series. Must make time for this show. Your writing made a great case for me to resume watching, but the last image was the one that closed the deal.

  2. Welcome back you old pirate! I have already said what I wanted to say about Pailsen Files elsewhere, but in short Heinlein would have been proud of this achievement.

  3. @ ghostlightning: Thank you! Don’t feel pressured to watch it, or anything (I guess there are other priorities like real life and . . . LotGH?) but I’m pleased if the SOS Brigade clinched the deal.

    @ Crusader: Thanks! It’s definitely good to see military science fiction anime being produced in the twenty-first century.


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