Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars (Gakuen Senki Muryo)

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

2070, a future that’s basically the same as now, except we’ve got neat folding laptops. A giant alien floating thing shows up above Tokyo and wreaks havoc on anything electronic, but nobody really panics because it’s quickly dispatched by another giant alien floating thing that looks a lot more friendly (and has the good taste to disappear once it’s done its job). Meanwhile, one of the few characters who seems to have a clue about the whole thing moves to a backwater town and enrols in the local middle school. Cue the usual clich├ęs : making friends despite being a bit weird, slice-of-life scenes with the supporting cast, rooftop ki fights with the local bully… Wait, what ?

Characters

Hajime, our narrator, who seems to be a normal middle school boy apart from his habit of droning pointlessly about everything that happens on screen. He’d be quite annoying if not for two points : (1) his general reaction to the alien attack’s TV coverage is “Yeah, right…”, and (2) there’s a point where he turns to the camera while continuing to narrate, and even his little sister comments on how weird his behaviour is. So presumably this is going somewhere.

Subaru, the weird transfer student. He coincidentally had a perfect vantage point with his grandfather when the alien thing showed up, and they both talked as though they knew what was happening. He seems completely clueless about ordinary school life, to the point of showing up in a school uniform despite them being out of fashion for decades.

Moriyamata, the student council vice-president, who immediately pegs Subaru as somehow related to the alien attack, and summons him to a ki fight on the school rooftop. (How they got there is strange in itself, considering the acrobatics Hajime had to perform to join them.) He gets completely (although gently) schooled by Subaru, who offers to teach him to use his ki powers properly.

Production Values

This feels very retro-looking, especially the character designs. But overall this looks quite pretty and well-animated. The opening sequence with the alien attack is impressive, with a nice level of detail for the consequences of the electronic failures slowly propagating through the city.

Overall Impression

This is definitely intriguing. The Evangelion parallels are undeniable, but this has no angst whatsoever and everyone seems very relaxed about the whole thing. In lesser hands this absence of dramatic tension would be a turn-off, but here it feels like it’s a deliberate part of the plot that’ll be explored in due time.

I want to watch more. Mission accomplished.

SURPRISE ALIEN CROTCH ATTACK !
SURPRISE ALIEN CROTCH ATTACK !

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001 – Page 8.

Published by

Jhiday

I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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