12 Days of Anime 2012, Day 11: The Red Shoulder March


The scene in Armored Trooper Votoms where Chirico and Fyana are trapped on an abandoned spaceship, accompanied only by a broken recording of the Red Shoulders’ ruthless attacks on civilian towns on endless loop, is a huge moment in the series because it reveals so much so effortlessly about Chirico, his past, and how it affects him in the present.

We had learned before that Chirico was a Red Shoulder, which was an elite team of soldiers with a barbaric and bloody reputation. But the video recording shows us plainly and clearly the atrocities for which the “Bloodsucker” Red Shoulders were so infamous, accompanied by their Arrivano I Marines march.

the most horrific alarm clock

Even more telling, we see the toll that Chirico’s past as a Red Shoulder has taken on him, that it even affects him to this day. Merely hearing the Red Shoulder march puts him in a sweat, and the effect of its repetition is ultimately so strong it makes him physically ill. He engages in all manner of destructive behavior to deal with the repeated trauma. Having never drunk a drop of alcohol before, he downs a full bottle of wine. He feverishly stumbles through the ship in an attempt to destroy the screen which plays the video – a screen which is also their ship’s main monitor and view of the outside world. He begins hearing the voices of all the people he’s ever killed, calling him to join them in their fate. Through his extreme negative reaction to this reminder of his past, we can see a little better just how much weight he carries on his shoulders, and gain some insight into why he is such a bitter and lifeless individual (for which we, of course, love him so much).


The entire Deadworld Sunsa arc is an excellent look at Chirico’s character, and those five echoing trumpet blasts were just the way to kick it off.


About BokuSatchii

Yoroshiku ne!
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8 Responses to 12 Days of Anime 2012, Day 11: The Red Shoulder March

  1. Shinmaru says:

    Man, I’ve had VOTOMS sitting on my laptop for so long, but I always end up watching shorter series and continuing to put it off, haha. I was even sold on it totally at Anime Expo and convinced I needed to watch it right away and still haven’t touched it. I’m the worst. :(

    • BokuSatchii says:

      That length is a little intimidating, yeah, and beyond the series there’s also that sprawling franchise of OVAs to watch. I had it sitting on my Plan to Watch list for quite a while before my friend (the one who made that Chirico gif, actually) finally got me to sit down and watch it. And now I can sing the theme song by heart.

      If it helps any, it’s divided pretty firmly into quarters that you can tackle one at a time as shorter series. There’s an ongoing plot between them, but they all have their own self-contained story and take place in a different setting.

  2. Robobobo says:

    Who was the friend who drew that gif? Does she have any social media?

    • BokuSatchii says:

      She’s a friend of mine irl. If you wanted to ask her something I can relay it for you!

      • Robobobo says:

        I just wanted to see more work of her’s.

      • BokuSatchii says:

        Ah, sadly I’m not going to be much help there – she draws about as much as I blog nowadays (a real shame on both counts – work has a way of sapping time and creative energy). So she doesn’t have a body of art posted anywhere (at least not that she’ll tell me about 😋). This gif was something she sent me while we were watching Votoms together, and I asked if I could use it for my post. She appreciates the interest, though! Thanks for asking!

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