Anime Meta-Review




By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4 of 4
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

A normal day for a young couple. They've just gone to see a movie, and while she was hoping `set far away' meant romance in paris it seems sci-fi is more to his taste. And then, moments later, there's a spaceship in the form of a huge (300M+) statuesque winged female which really upsets the Tokyo authorities. Our couple, in the meantime, are dealing with a woman (dressed in a red ribbon and knee high boots) who informs the male that he is the map man, last descendant of the solar nomads, and forms part of the key to the galaxies most potent hidden relic. In addition she is the heart of a starship pledged to recover this relic. Unfortunately her 6 sisters, who also happen to have (be?) similar ships at their disposal, and the mystics who built both the ships and the relic, are going to make things difficult. Fortunately the young guy is right into it all, seeing his chance for adventure. And thus begins some sci-fi stories with the underlying theme of a cosmic treasure hunt ...although no one is exactly sure what the treasure is.

Apparently maps was, originally, a 50 minute movie before being re-made into this form. Possibly as a result this story is pretty brutal. The stuff i've mentioned (spoiled) all happens really fast so that we can get into the action. While this is fine, it does mean that the story feels pretty rushed and the personalities of the characters are not as deep as would be nice. For example the lead male suddenly gets the `space hero' bug without much set-up. At the same time his female friend, despite some attempts, largely falls out of the story. And the story is not without some `gaps' that strain the credibility. On the positive side the anime does have a certain bravado in what it attempts. The novelty of the starships (and the epic battles / incidental destruction) they cause being the most obvious example. But also alien places and cultures, along with cosmic conspiracies and some very strange technology are splashed around with merry abandon. It's not always completely logical (or tasteful) as exemplified by the `sacrifice cannon' or the female `pilots' gouting blood when the starship is damaged (who would build such a thing?) but there is a certain originality. The secret of the relic, once revealed, is impressive in scope but the conclusion to the story seems fairly incomplete.

The animation fits the story very well, both in terms of strengths and weaknesses. It's fairly simple, with a really subdued color palette, especially in the early episodes. The design, of characters, tools and places is fairly simple. The action is likewise limited. The ships fight solely through energy attacks (although each ship has its own specialties) which strongly reduces the dramatic effect of the fights. The action out of the ships is better, but once again not overly impressive. The signs of some aging, and a less than huge budget in the first place, are definitely present. But at the same time it has a sense of scale, with huge amounts of destruction and an impressive complexity to some of the places visited. In the end the animation is still sufficient to enjoy the story. The voices seems fairly average although there was some nice symphonic ambient music and a pretty cheery opening track.

There's a partial review from THEM but since they hate the series it could be a a while before they finish it. The review is mainly a hatchet job, but still quite entertaining. Akemi's AnimeWorld is considerably more positivie in this review stating that while it does have potential it has plenty of flaws as well. In the end they give it an average rating. The review also contains some very perceptive analysis of the specific failings of the title.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:21 WST 2009