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[ café reviews ]

Episode 1: Shock! Watashi To Oneisama Ga Pilot?!
(Unbelievable! Amano and I Are Pilots?!)

Copyright: GAINAX (Japan), US Renditions (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Subtitled (VHS)

Directed by: Hideaki Anno Produced by: English translation: Yoshida Toshifume, Trish Ledoux

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

16 year-old Takaya Noriko always wanted to be a space pilot. Ever since her father, the captain of the ill-fated Lukushyon which was destroyed in mankind's first encounter with an alien race, used to carry her on his shoulders, the young Noriko would dream of going to the stars. Now, Noriko has enrolled in Earth's Space Academy program, in hopes of realizing her dreams. But she finds that dreams and reality can be worlds apart -- even the simplified controls of the RX-7 training mecha are too much for her. Can she overcome her shortcomings, tauntings of her classmates, and come to grips with living in the shadows of her well-known father? Can she make her dreams become reality?

[ capsule review ]

One of the things you have to do with the animé SF, cyberpunk and similar type genres is to put the logical part of your brain on "pause." Otherwise, you'd fry your mind trying to accept a 16 year old kid being sent out into space to save our galaxy. That, and the idea that mecha and supra-light physics might actually work. Once you get past these ideas, you can sit back and enjoy the story. Here, we've got a young girl trying to get through the Space Academy at the Okinawa School for Girls. Never mind that fact that I really wanted to see this cry-baby (Takaya Noriko, played by Hidaka Noriko of Ranma fame) thrown into a vat full of dessicant. The story is interesting, and I found that I could relate to the bullying and ridicule that our would-be mecha pilot had to endure. Yes, this series does feature a bit of the famous "Gainax Bounce," but it also features all of the other GAINAX qualities -- excellent animation, detailed backgrounds (look at the details in the screen-cap!), wonderful mecha designs, tightly written screenplay and a boppin' soundtrack, complete with opening and ending themes by the queen of J-Pop herself, Sakai Noriko. The BGM in a scene where Noriko begins her training in earnest seems to be done a là Vangelis and Chariots of Fire. (The series also features some of the biggest puppie-dog eyes that animé has ever seen!) Voice acting is superb, especially Coach Ota (Wakamoto Norio of Lodoss To Senki and many, many others), and yes, Hidaka Noriko deserves a mention. The "science lessons" done in super-deformed format at the end of each episode are cute. (Does the story feel like a "rah-rah" show for kids?) Yes, it is melodrama, but it's good melodrama. Give it a try! - AN

In this episode we are introduced to the main characters Takaya Noriko, Amano Kazumi and Coach. Noriko is scarcely one month into her training when she is selected to go on an advanced training sortie into outer space. Needless to say she is teased mercilessly by her class-mates and upperclassmen since she can scarcely even handle her own mecha. The animation quality is excellent with lots of attention to detail. Despite the age of this series, it's truly well done. The music is also excellent adding to the total feel of the story line. Personally I find Takaya Noriko to be a pathetic watering can in this episode (can she really be almost 16 years old??) but at the same time, this is her character at that point, so I can't condemn the characterisation. Despite this however, the acting is well done, and the story itself is very gripping. It's difficult not to sit and watch the whole series straight through; especially with the earth's fate in the balance. - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 3 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 3 stars N/A

[ café trivia ]

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Page last modified 2000.02.27