The second part of the Zoids: Chaotic Century (episodes 17-34) begins only several weeks after the climactic battle at the capitol where the emperor died and Prince Rudolph with his new powers withdrew all Gigalos forces ending the long war. His decision hasn’t set well with some in the empire specifically General Prozan. Prozan hatches a plan to kidnap Rudolph before his coronation. But when the kidnappers (who are the bandits who harassed Van in episode one) succeed and grow fond of Rudolph they attempt to get Rudolph to the capitol. Along the way they run into our group of heroes (Van Flyheight, Fiona, Zeke, Moonbay, and Irvine) still following a promising lead for Fiona’s memories. After the Kidnappers are killed, Van brings it upon himself to get Rudolph where he needs to go, even as he needs to cross through the entire country. Not to mention Prozan has taken control of the government and has the entire power of the Empire’s army behind him to back his scheme, But Prozan has much bigger plans then reigniting the war in mind.
The second part of Chaotic Century is really good but it drops the overall plot of finding the Zoid Eve for the most part. The plot to return Rudolph is really intense and it plays out like a classic espionage story; plus giant laser shooting gun blasting robots of course. Prozan is one of the most interesting characters I think I have ever seen in an anime and if Japan Cinema ever puts together a “Top 10 Most Devious Anime Characters” I could see Prozan ranking high. He is very much in charge of everything and bends and forces everything to his whim, and those that won’t follow are dealt with very quickly. Throughout part two Prozan is hiding his true intentions of unleashing ancient Zodian technology in extremely dangerous force known as the Deathsaur. His ulterior motives for everything he does in the series culminate in the last few episodes and it’s absolutely fantastic.
Part two has a lot of back-story and character development for our main characters. One of the best episodes involves Irvine’s back-story and it explains what made him such a gritty nihilistic character. Moonbay also becomes a much bigger character this time around and is shown to be quick thinking in tight situations. Fiona’s connection to Zeke is also strengthened as we learn a little bit more about her over time and orginoids. Even when I was little I thought it was pretty obvious Fiona was an ancient Zoidian but they treat it as a big reveal. The biggest development came from Van, in a great episode Raven returns in an unknown powerful Zoid. Raven quickly overpowers Irvine and challenges Van. In a very fast paced fight Van’s Liger is killed and Van has to deal with his first real defeat, to make matters worse Zeke begins acting very odd after the Ligers death. I remember watching this episode years ago and being completely shocked, but Zeke working with Fiona manage to resurrect the Liger and evolve it. Van also develops into a better Zoid fighter pilot eventually but he still needs help from time to time.
The animation is much more varied in part two, this is because it takes place mostly within the Empire which is more complex than the more rural Republic from part one. The settings are all pretty cool and well drawn and the computer animated Zoids look less awkward this time around. Some of them look really impressive Raven’s Genosauer Zoid and Van’s new Blade Liger are both my favorite and again their rivalry drives some of the best fights. The voice acting for the English dub is pretty good but I am not too picky about that to be honest. There is a great musical score that keeps me involved in the atmosphere.
Part two is fantastic and I think it’s this arc that makes this show one of my favorite all time animes. There is more on the line emotionally as we connect with Rudolph’s struggle, and all the twists and turns (both politically and in the physical fights) lead to a tension filled story. The fights are better, characters die and the whole theme is overall apocalyptic. Finding this series is almost impossible but it is so worth it and it has held up valiantly since I was small, I absolutely recommend a viewing of these 34 episodes of pure animated mech awesomeness.