Anime Meta-Review


Yamamoto Yohko, Starship Girl


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-3 of 3
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

An anime that is happy to push you straight into the middle of the action. Indeed it opens with scenes of starship combat in the far future, as humanity and, um, some other branch of humanity compete over resources and rights in space. Although in the best anime traditions all of the starships are crewed by beautiful young girls and the mood is somewhere in between deadly battle and the megalomaniac version of a video game. This is helped by the fact that pilots `beam out' just before their ships are destroyed, so combats are destructive but not fatal. It seems that terra has a long tradition of being beaten, and such is the result of the first battle we see. Mind you the resident genius scientist has built brilliant new ships and recruited 3 pilots from 1000 years in earths past (ie. now, and no, it is not made clear why he had to do this). However he still needs a fourth pilot, and one who can handle the remaining ship. And thus enters Yamamoto Yohko herself, in our age a video game junky, in the future the most talented pilot the universe has ever seen. Mind you, Yohko's happy to play just about any game to prove her superiority. And the primary opponent, the red snappers (yes, you guessed it, more pretty girls), don't like losing.

Well, it's certainly cheerful enough, but there's definitely no danger of this becoming too deep. Character development, epic story and complex world are all largely skipped over in order to get into the action. And the action is not limited to spaceships, since the leaders of both teams (Yohko and Rouge) will happily compete in just about anything. Thus we also get to see table tennis and asteroid billiards. The third story gives hope, with the girls (to an extent) working together, but it's still heavily focused on action. There's also a reasonable amount of humor to keep things humming. The girls do have personalities, and the suggestion of some character depth does exist, but not much is done with it. Character and dialog exist more for energy and differentiation than as important elements in their own right. This is a real shame, because some of the minor characters seem much more interesting than the main two. In other words while it is a cheerful enough watch it's not that much more. And the lack of plot and character explanation, as well as the stories relying on Yohko's freakish genius, gives some reason to grumble.

Then again, I must admit I find starship combat to be...well...dead boring. Sometimes they zip around as lines of light in space, sometimes as close fly-by's, but either way they're still relatively undynamic. And given that the actual `combat' is limited it is even more abstract and uninteresting. I believe the ships all have individual strengths and weaknesses but, like the characters, not much is done with this. The animation in general is decent OAV level. You can see where tricks have been used to keep the action under control, and the effects are not too impressive, but it's not too bad. The girls are attractive, and the voices are fun, but while some of the minor characters are intriguing (especially the total nut on the red-snapper side, and one quite girl on each side) they spend a lot of time in the background. There's also another Hayashibara-san character (she of the reflective forehead) who, partly as a result, simply oozes personality. The music didn't call itself to my attention. Note that there is also a television series for this material, which came after this.

There's a supurb review from Lord Carnage which is right into it. It also correctly points out the high level of voice talent, which adds a lot of energy and personality. Which is probably what made me want to actually see some character development.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:25 WST 2009