In this world there are sorcerers who use a very specific type of magic, the controlling of Quartz. They use this for everything from controlling vehicles to operating weaponry such as giant mecha known as golems. The difference to standard magic practices is that everyone born in this world can manipulate quartz to some degree from the age of 2 children are taught this skill. Everyone that is except the main character Rygart and his younger brother, due to circumstances neither can control even the slightest bit of Quartz.As such they are basically shunned from society as outcasts being dubbed un-sorcerers. Eventual y Rygart's father, wanting him to have a chance of a normal life, sends him to the state military academy where he meets Zess a combat genius from a rival country of athens. Hodr the heir to Rygart's own kingdom of Krisna and Sigyn a genius in quartz. Through the years the four become close friends until rygart is forced out of the academy due to a lack of money to pay tuition.
Several years pass until Rygart gets a letter from Hodr, now king, asking him to come to the capital. Turns out that Krisna and Athens are now at war. Zess is leading an Athen attack force in krisna territory and krisna is losing badly. Their only ace in the hole is an ancient golem found in the dessert but none of their pilots can control it, Hodr believes that only an un-sorcerer like Rygart is able to.
One of the highlites of the series is the belivability of the characters and how they interact. Each has their own goals and fears, faults and exceptions.
Rygart is a likable main character who is thrust into a position he had grown up believing he had no chance of obtaining, that of a golem controller. He goes through hardships and challenges in a realistic manner and breaks through his hesitations in great fashion. Hodr is a king who never asked for the title but leads his people as well as can be expected. The weight of the responsibility weighs heavily on him as he tries to do what is best for his country. Sigyn as Hodr's wife is the queen of the country and also their lead researcher in Golem development. She is kind and gentle as her country and husband face annihilation. Zess is a natural born combat leader but now he must go against his greatest friends and comrades he leads his troops well but with great sadness and is not fully aware of the ultimate outcome his country has demanded from this war.
Great secondary characters round out the cast. Each one is named and has personal history. From Zess' squad of marauding golems to krisna's millitary command hierarchy. It would take far too long to point them all out. Oh and of course Hodr's pet owl the smug bastard shown above on Rygart's head.
Another aspect where the series shines. The mech combat is fast paced without devolving into complete absurdity. The Mechs themselves seem designed with a bit of thought to how they would work if transplanted into the real world. The use of tactics is a nice change of pace from shoot shoot shoot then swing sword. Each action has a consequence and the characters realize this and respong accordingly or don't and then realize their mistake.
Production IG has done a superb job bringing this manga to life so to speak in it's animation style. Movements are smooth and polished to perfection. The character design is typical anime but the detail is exquisite. the mechs them selves look beautiful and as would be expected from military hard ware that has been out in the field it gets dings and scratches from normal wear and tear and any battle damage stays there until it can be repaired back at base. Another thing to note is that they have taken the eyes and really fleshed them out compared to other animes which of course always have the traditional style but it seems that someone on the staff has an eye fetish as there are perhaps a few too many eye shots.
If you are looking for a Mech anime with actual substance then this is definitely something you should check out. The one fault of the series is that it isn't finished yet so giving a complete review is hard in that regard. Still if you can stand the nail biting waiting game for future installments then procure your self a copy of this great show and give it a watch!