Alien Nine

Alt title: Alien 9

OVA (4 eps)
3.154 out of 5 from 2,072 votes
Rank #12,532

At a typical elementary school in Japan, yearly chores are being distributed. Yuri and 3 other students are chosen to be the beneficiaries of the alien hats for the year. Alien hats?! Yuri's sentiments, exactly. Despite her misgivings, she and her classmates must round up stray aliens that have escaped from a crashed spaceship -- with the help of the alien hats, of course.

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Judging solely from the picture here on anidb, one would think that this would be a standard magical girl OVA with no real innovation or complexity. However, without a doubt, this is one of the strangest animes I've ever seen. In Alien Nine, incredibly cute, shoujo characters are juxtaposed against startling violence. The plot begins in standard fruitcake mode (girls must roll around on rollerskates to catch aliens), but deviates from this formula very quickly. I, for one, have no idea what happened in this anime. The plot becomes pretty much indecipherable at the end, and the ending credits have an event that is especially incoherant. However, whatever the hell happened over the 4 episodes, I enjoyed it. The anime's mix of cutesy girls and flat out disturbing gore provided a surprisingly entertaining mix. Whether the events were actually disturbing or merely unintentionally hilarious, I never got bored during the course of the anime. As far as animation and sound go, I was fairly satisfied with both. As mentioned before, very cutesy character designs are placed in direct contrast to the remarkably disturbing gore and violence. This juxtoposition works surprisingly well on a basic visual level. As for the music, what at first sounds like standard happy BGM slowly becomes more and more sinister as you realize the true intent of the anime. Though I'd never listen to the ost by itself, with the anime it works fairly well. What prevents the anime from being REALLY good, however, are the characters. The best of the characters manage to be merely unmemorable and uninteresting. The main character, however, is ridiculously annoying. Call me crazy, but a school girl who cries about 3 times an episode can hardly be called "likeable." I expect that if the three main girls had been redesigned and expanded upon, I might have cared about them a little more. Ah well. At any rate, the anime certainly isn't as bad as the average score seems to suggest. I think the reason for the abnormally low score lies in the fact that this anime is reaching the wrong target audience. People looking for strange, disturbing animes probably look at the cute picture on AniDB and shy away from watching it. Likewise, people looking for fruity shoujo crap download this and are sorely disappointed. The bottom line is: if you're looking for disturbing, gorey, and downright WEIRD anime, you can do a lot worse than Alien Nine. However, if you're looking for a cute, mindless romp across some sort of magical fairy land, you'd be better off watching horse porn.


The story line seems really odd, not really explaining much. It starts out counting votes and doesn’t tell us what though the girl that seems to be called most often doesn’t want to be. It turns out that she is going to be part of an alien fighting squad. Now something bothers me about this… why are they having elementary school children dealing with aliens and not adults? Not to mention, a girl who seems to be the weakest link is our main character. The whole time I watched it, I was thinking, Our main character everybody, the crybaby in the back row. She’s a very big spaze who seems to just freak out about every little thing. The characters are all over the place. Yuri is pretty useless, Kumi is pretty much the always the leader, and Kasumi is the little miss perfect. Frankly, they just seem like a very miss matched grouping. And they all have to wear aliens on their head’s called Borgs…. Why am I getting a thought of the Star Trek version of Borg in my head now? Oh ya, because they are pretty much assimilated into the damn alien fighter thing. Oh ya, can someone tell me what the Borg is doing with their tongues whenever their licking the girls backs? There is a lot of filler in this show it seems, and a lot of it feels like nothing really happens except one or two little things like seeing the personalities that are actually rather shallow. Really, do we need three episodes dedicated to seeing the girl’s personalities when they are so shallow a 5 minute episode would work fine? This is only 4 episodes long, give us something more! The Animation is alright, though all the characters have a rather round face with no chins or noses when looking at a side profile. The animation sometimes loops a bit. The space ships look a lot like mushrooms instead of actual space ships. Can I ask why everything looks like screws when they show tentacles. The artwork seems a bit like the first Digimon Adventures Movie. It’s just pretty run down. The Music is alright, though it’s not the best. It could use a little more in order to stand out instead of the odd little things. The Voices are somewhat alright, though some of them seem to squeak. This is the English version that I’m talking about. The girls just feel like they are saying there lines half assed, actually, all the characters are. They just don’t seem to be able to do very good voices. When Yuri keeps saying Kumi Kumi all the time, it really sounds like she is saying ‘kill me’. It’s a bit funny in that aspect.


You may enjoy this series because:  It's a rather charming take on the [email protected]#k genre.  Being only a four-episode OVA, the [email protected]#ckery here isn't quite as intense and grim as something like Lain, but the combination of adorable character-designs and cheerful color palette with a disturbing, squirmy, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" sort of vibe definitely makes this an unsettling and memorable work. Our heroine is Yuri, a sixth-grade girl who has been voted as her class's representative in the school's "Alien Party" - a group of three girls given the job of capturing the aliens who occasionally appear on campus.  Yuri is a particularly bad choice for this, as she is terrified of aliens, and has a tendency to pass out and/or burst into tears in their presence... and the fact that she has to enter a vaguely creepy symbiotic relationship with a friendly alien as part of the job doesn't help much. With this setup, and a glance at the lovable, round-faced character-designs, there's a pretty clear roadmap for how this show ought to go - with the reluctant Yuri learning to face her fears and rising to the occasion to protect her friends - but that's not how things play out.  Instead, we have a gradual unveiling that there may be a darker agenda behind the Alien Party.  And poor Yuri, instead of rising to the occasion, merely becomes more and more traumatized.  It's a pretty cool twist on expectations, with some interesting symbolic undercurrents related to puberty and changes that are forced upon us, whether we like it or not, at that age. You may dislike this series because:  It leaves you hanging.  Given the nature of the series, I was not terribly surprised that there was no grand reveal of what was going on, and no final resolution to Yuri's situation, in particular.  The open-ended conclusion is pretty much par for the course in this type of title, but I'm sure it will bother some. Yuri's failure to grow a spine is probably also going to irritate some.  It didn't really bother me... something about the cuteness of the character designs or the characters' relatively young age (even by anime standards) brought out my protective instincts and I was totally sympathetic to her plight, especially once the reality of what was going on behind the scenes started to become known. Bottom Line: A "thinky" sort of title with likeable characters, adorably different character designs, and world-building that gives you just enough to creep you out, while leaving just enough to the imagination to keep your thoughts coming back to it for a while afterwards.

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