Galaxy Angel

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

A squad of women can perform any mission if you pay the price… This episode : finding a lost cat. No, really.


Ranpha, the hot-tempered blonde who complains about everything. Only Yukari Tamura’s charisma can keep her from being too annoying.

Forte, her tall and snarky partner, whom I mistook for a dude until I saw the frankly embarrassing cleavage hole in her clothes. Urgh.

Milfeulle, a girl they encounter during their mission and who just happens to have found the precise cat they’re looking for. She’s got insane amounts of luck, although it seems to mostly be the ironic kind. Presumably she’s joining the team soon.

There are a couple of other women on the team, plus their elderly boss, but they don’t contribute much to this episode.

Production values

Not very good, to tell the truth. It’s got decent comedic timing, and that’s all I can really say for it. Forte’s costume aside, the fanservice ain’t too obnoxious, but it’s still quite present.

Overall Impression

That… wasn’t very good, was it ? While the characters have some decent chemistry, there’s no plot in sight, and even the characters complain about the inanity of the premise in the very first scene of the episode. The comedy is decent, but nothing you haven’t seen done better elsewhere.

This got three sequel seasons ? Really ?

Now, which cat's the right one ?
Now, which cat’s the right one ?

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001 – Page 6.


(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

The future, where everybody is genetically engineered to be AWESOME. A special team of elite agents has been assembled to get rid of a mysterious gigantic ring object that appeared near the moon years ago (it’s kinda in the way), but the mission quickly goes south when (1) terrorists blow up most of the recon team and (2) the ring itself fires a giant beam at our heroes’ space station.


Mika, our protagonist. She’s got something of an inferiority complex (everyone else on the mission is much more AWESOME than her, why was she chosen to participate ?). Although everything’s relative, given the kick-ass fight/greeting she has with her old friend (and straight-woman) Sofia.

Mir is the leader of the recon mission, and she’ll never let you forget she’s the most AWESOME person on the mission. She’s already got a groupie. Her reputation’s not undeserved, though, as she manages to survive both an assassination attempt by half of her recon team (infiltrated by terrorists) and the ensuing point-blank explosion.

It has to be mentioned that most of the cast (and Earth’s population, apparently) are female. Males are viewed as “dangerous”, and under constant surveillance by dedicated monitors. The mission has three of them : the Captain, who’s smarmy enough to warrant the monitoring ; Amagiwa, who apparently has some history with Mika (his role on the mission’s not clear yet) ; and…

Mario, the backup Captain, who hangs around with his sister Tiki. Which is puzzling, given that it’s specifically pointed out that siblings are not supposed to happen in this brave new world. (Points off to the show for claiming they have the same DNA. Urgh.)

Production Values

Well, it’s certainly got some budget. Good use of CG graphics for the space station and the ring. Overall, this looks quite sharp. The cheesecake factor is quite high, but very tolerable (it’s mercifully sparse on ass shots).

The score is very heavy on guitar solos, which quickly becomes quite annoying.

Overall impression

Disclaimer : I watched half of this first episode 6 years ago, before giving up at the inane figh/greeting scene. Let’s just say that I approached this again with some apprehension.

But actually, it’s much better than I remembered. A lot less fanservicey than I recall, and there seems to be an actually decent plot. It’s certainly a well-put-together show.

Do I want to watch more of it ? Let’s not get carried away. The characters range from inoffensive to bloody annoying, the gender politics look more like an excuse to have women kicking ass instead of a genuine exploration of the issues, and the exposition is beyond clunky. The next-episode-preview makes it sound like it’s heading into giant-robot territory, not a direction I care for. And finally, I don’t think I can bear those frigging guitar solos any longer.

Handshakes will be a little more complicated in The Future.
Handshakes will be a little more complicated in The Future.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001 – Page 5.

Star Ocean EX

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

While investigating bizarre occurrences in a remote star system, a spaceship crashlands on a planet after encountering an unexpected asteroid field. While exploring, a member of the crew finds a portal that transports him to a fantasy world, where a local hails him as the Hero of Legend…


Claude, our protagonist. Son of a hero admiral who saved the galaxy 20 years before. Daddy takes him along on his trips, but does not take him seriously (and given how the brat has yet to display any shred of competence, I kinda agree). Anyway, our “hero” is prone to fits of whiny narration that do absolutely nothing to endear him to me.

Daddy The Admiral himself seems to be a decent sort (and he’s certainly good at saving his ship from random asteroids), and respected by his crew (which seems to consist of only five people, himself and his son included). However, despite him investigating a somewhat interesting plot (did someone send a death-moon to hit a planet ?), it looks like the series will focus on his annoying son’s trip to a fantasy world instead.

Rena, a female elf living in the fantasy world. Mistakes Claude for the Hero of Destiny as she sees him defeat a monster with his raygun (which looks like a sword of light to her). She looks dumb as a sack of bricks.

Production Values

I was under the mistaken impression that this show had a budget, what with the decent CG sequences of space action at the beginning. However, the fantasy action sequences soon resort to still images animated by shaky-cam, and I realized that they’d blown all their cash on the first ten minutes.

Overall Impression

Gods, this is terrible. I didn’t have many expectations from an adaptation of manga that’s itself the sequel of a videogame, but this is by far the second worst show of the season so far. I especially appreciated the bit where it starts as a somewhat decent space opera (despite some warning signs like the insufferable protagonist), and then suddenly jumps into generic-fantasy-land. Way to kill my interest, show.

 Blur effects shouldn't be a substitute for actual animation.
Blur effects shouldn’t be a substitute for actual animation.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001 – Page 3.


(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

The year 2052. The world is still recoiling from a huge disaster at the end of the 20th century that wiped out most major cities. A terrorist faction has taken over a space station and threatens Japan with it. The government takes the “wait and see” approach, so the independent paramilitary organization known as “Jesas” (sic) sends in their manned mecha to recover it in a bid to get themselves established. They completely bungle it, but never fear : their new generation of mecha pilots, kids with prescience superpowers, are nearly ready !


Kazuto, our generic male lead. You know the type : when he falls off his bike, he manages to land watching under a girl’s skirt.

Kanna, our generic female lead. You know the type : she goes changing into the men’s locker room by mistake, and never acknowledges she did anything wrong.

There are six other new pilots, but they don’t show any personality so far. They all attend a briefing given by your typical hard-ass instructor, who has no patience for Kazuto and Kanna’s antics, and is of course voiced by Jouji Nakata. He’s mostly there to deliver exposition.

The Jesas organization is lead by generic council of vagueness, with one woman objecting to nearly everything the others say ; this is presumably supposed to make her look better than her scheming cynical colleagues, but she just comes off as irritating.

The terrorists’ only character of interest is a slightly creepy mecha pilot who annihilates his opponents without breaking a sweat.

Production Values

Oh, dear. Where do I start ?

This series is entirely computer-generated. And it looks terrible. The backgrounds are okay, if the “empty streets of Mainframe” look is what they were going for (after all, the setting is post-apocalyptic). But the characters look horrible, a bizarre cross of semi-realism and traditional anime designs, and their body language being all out of whack doesn’t help them getting out of the uncanny valley.

It doesn’t help that the directing is amazingly incompetent, with long shots where nothing happens and pregnant pauses that only underline the artificiality of these robotic characters. Every third shot has a sweeping camera movement that was presumably meant to show off the smoothness of the animation, but the fixed speed of motion makes it look like someone’s fallen asleep.

Overall impression

This does have some (unintended) comedy value, but the novelty wears off after a while. Mostly, it’s boring, and the cliché antics of our two leads don’t help. There are some major failures of storytelling (I’m still unsure of the sequence of events between Jesas’s first attack of the space station and the various scenes with our protagonists), and it’s just ugly to look at.

You might want to watch an episode to have a good laugh ; but otherwise, avoid it.

Doesn't this give him even more of a show ?
Doesn’t this give him even more of a show ?

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001.