Um… I can say this for certain, Wow… It’s nice to see something that isn’t moe induced lovey dovey stuff or perverted thoughts of the male sex. Every once in a while, it’s nice to have a really manly type of show. (Yes, I am a girl… I do like men things…) After hearing great reviews from Professor Otaku, I just really wanted to see it. I was not disappointed. If I have to compare it to something that is similar in today’s era, I would have to say it’s like Firefly.
Actually, I have a strange feeling that they took the idea for Firefly from this. Gene is a lot like Malcolm Reynolds, butch, scruffy, and a ton of scars. Both also have this strange attitude that they talk with their guns pointed. Unlike Mal though, he isn’t a veteran of a war. He pretty much learned on the streets how to be a bad ass. He also has a phobia of space, something that I have actually never seen in any Sci-fi.
Malfina is much like River Tam in how she seems to be special. In fact, she even shows up in exactly the same way, in a cold storage. She keeps asking why she was born and is a little loopy in that aspect. The only difference is that she is needed to pilot the ship. Her temperament is like a mix of River and Kaylee in that she is sweet and gentle, able to work with the ship to get it up and running.
Jim Hawking (I really believe that his name is a play off of a character from Treasure Island) is a rather crazy computer wizard. I consider him a bit like Edward from Cowboy Bebop. He seems just a little more subtle though and I do think I like that.
Now, I do have to ask how there are people that seem to be able to use magic when they are in a really high technology heavy show? They never seem to explain about that in the little historical information given in the beginning of each show (good call to the creators by the way). The historical information does actually help since they don’t really explain it in the actual show much.
Even though this is a lot like Firefly (Yes, I know it came first), to me, this is actually something different that they put together. Firefly has only human people but in this, they have aliens that can look like frogs to tiger cat girls. Sadly, you don’t seem to see much of these aliens and I would like to learn a bit more about them and their culture. You only see one character most of the time. The story is pretty slow and they only get underway at about the 9th episode. Even then though, there wasn’t really any filler and were actually building up the plot line. When they do get up and running, it’s more about getting money for the ship. There is a story line that ties the whole thing together though and it makes you want to watch even more.
When it comes down to the artwork, you have to keep in mind that it’s a old show done when they were on the edge of just starting computer generated anime. Even so, this is all cell based and pretty high class for that style. The colors are bright and well detailed even in the action scenes. I have to say, this might be some of the best action scenes in an outer space style done with cells. I think all the others I’ve seen were computer generated (I have not seen much of Cowboy Bebop yet so don’t quote me on that yet.) Not really sure why the design of the ships look like… um… dildos or bongs would be the better word for it. Characters feel very stretched out with tiny waists as well, with movements looking a little stiff or not right. And another small note… there are a couple times that the women are naked.
The English dub is actually really well done even if it is sometimes a little clunky. They directly translated the script but yet, the voices picked out for the crew are almost perfect with them. Bob Buchholz is really good as the voice of Gene and has enough of a boyish charm that keeps him young. Something tells me that this was the first that Ian Hawk did and he is perfect for Jim Hawking and Emilie Brown is wonderful for Melfina. She has a way of speaking that sounds partly like an android and yet she has a lot of feeling behind her words.
The music is really well done, and I love the opening song. The opening artwork is alright, though it just seems a bit odd in how it has been cut. The ending is somewhat alright, though it is a little slow and the thing of stills just seems a little off since it isn’t in an anime style. They are also much more detailed then the actual show.