Moonlight Mile - Reviews

Alt title: Moonlight Mile 1st Season: Lift Off

sothis's avatar
Dec 31, 2007


Moonlight Mile, at first glance, appears to be a ripoff of the realistic slice-of-life space drama Planetes; but at its core, it's much more.

At first, Moonlight Mile is reminiscent of Twin Spica - two men have a lofty aspiration of becoming astronauts, in an era when mankind is finally looking to extend its reach into space. As the series goes on, we follow both Goro and Lostman as they become astronauts and hone their skills. However, about one third of the way through the twelve episodes, the tone changes - instead of being akin to Twin Spica, Moonlight Mile's tone is closer to Wings of Honneamise, focusing on how mankind can use technology that will work in space, the trials and tribulations that follow, and the rescue attempts that must be devised and made when the technology - or human error - fails. Really, not much of Moonlight Mile will remind you of Planetes - just the fact that they both are very realistic space dramas.

As someone who loves the idea of someday going into space, I can't get enough of these types of shows (the very few that there are); but though Moonlight Mile begins with a bang, by the end I had very mixed feelings.

First of all, Moonlight Mile can't decide what it wants to be, or what tone it wants to portray. At first you are watching a passionate tale of two friends with powerful goals; then, the tone changes to one of suspense, as you watch several potentially-fatal situations unfold; finally, the last third becomes even more derailed, with a conspiracy-type investigation that spans several episodes.

Second, the beginning of the first episode is incredibly misleading, Berserk or Gungrave-style. The opening scene of the series is of a woman landing on the moon, and eventually running into giant robots which presumably kill her. I can only guess that this happens in the second season, because the rest of that episode, and the series, involves nothing of the sort. People who would expect alien invaders and space battles would be sadly let down, as the subject matter is fully realistic and is more in line with Wings of Honneamise.

Third, I didn't care at all for how most of the women were portrayed, or for the two main characters - but I'll get to that in the characters section.

Fourth, there's a random hentai scene that is shown just after the misleading intro, that shows various people getting rammed (including overdone jiggling breasts flapping in the wind) - WHICH HAS NO PURPOSE AT ALL! It's never returned to, and never explained why they showed it. Ooooookkk!

Even with these problems, I ultimately enjoyed the story of Moonlight Mile, quite a bit.


The only reviews I've read for Moonlight Mile are based on the first few episodes, and condemn the animation as being cheap and low budget. I don't really agree. Sure, it's no Ghibli production, but the animation seemed just fine to me. The character designs are quite rough and most of the time, are quite unattractive (even the meant-to-be-sexual characters like Riyoko were unappealing to me); regardless, I thought the detail was decent enough and the CG, though not seamlessly-integrated, was fairly good. I did notice a few scenes where the characters move very little (except for the mouths), but overall the animation suited the series well enough in my book.


Orchestral in a different sort of way, Moonlight Mile's audio was almost perfectly selected for the tone and feel. There's a sweeping kind of ambience that the tracks instill, all of which made me feel like it was myself looking at the stars, wanting nothing more than to fulfill my dreams. Though I probably wouldn't buy the soundtrack, I have nothing bad to say about the audio.


Now, I know I'm not the target audience for Moonlight Mile (as I don't have the right plumbing between my legs), but the characters are what really miffed me.

First of all, there's Goro and Lostman - two womanizing slutbags that can't keep their pants zipped up. We watch the two as they move along their respective paths, having sex with whoever they come across - whether it's the stripper in Russia to the Broadway star, to the family woman and beyond. Lostman I can understand - he's meant to be a looker (though I would have appreciated the story a lot more if it wasn't damn near a central focus of the story, that he always was off with random women and needed to screw something before any mission for "luck"); but Goro?! The guy is unattractive, overweight, bumbling, and not overtly intelligent (though he proves his ingenuity throughout the series) - why are all the women falling over him, even before he is famous? These guys both continued to grate on me as time went on, though I'm sure a lot of men out there would love to give them a virtual high five.

Second, the portrayal of damn near all of the women, with the exception of some of the random shuttle staff and others that aren't major characters, is very misogynistic in a way. There's the ISA staff member who is overtly sleeping with one of the married astronaut candidates to "make her way up in the company"; the endless women who sleep with Goro, often in long term relationships, who never seem to get angry when he randomly leaves them for new territory and new women (right, cause THAT happens in real life!); and overall, the women are in general complacent and docile, and subservient to the men of the house. I know it might just be a Japanese societal thing, but this was easily the most off-putting element of the series. Though the idea of women as an inferior race is a commonly-accepted theme in most anime, Moonlight Mile is more on par with a series like Jyu Oh Sei for the intensity of the idea.  


Regardless of the inherent problems that Moonlight Mile faces, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. There are very few realistic space anime out there, and Moonlight Mile can rightfully take its place as one of the good ones. Though there are some definite problems with the story and character portrayals, the positives ultimately outweigh the negatives. Hopefully the second season will solve the mystery of the first episode, and hopefully Goro and Lostman will become a little less slutty.

7/10 story
7/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
5.5/10 characters
7/10 overall
Rbastid's avatar
Aug 2, 2015

Space, the final frontier, and apparently the final subject this anime cares to write about.

Story - 5/10

What could have been a great series (or first season) turned into fluff with very little point to it. 

First the series starts off with a scene from the moon, apparently an astronaut running into something she wasn't supposed to see, a secret military force already on the moon. Well apparently we also weren't suppose to see that, since it's the first and last glimpse we get of it.

Now onto what we did watch. The overarching story is about two adventurer friends, who after climbing their final and tallest mountain, Everest, decide they want to shoot for the moon. They each decide to take their own path, Goro as a builder and master robotics operator, and Lostman as a military pilot.

You'd think with so few episodes each would be packed with the friendship between the two, their lives, and the hard work that gets them into space, but you'd be wrong. Three episodes are about a conspiracy that really plays little part in the series, it could have been condensed into one. Another episode is focused on Goro chasing a girl. In total I think there were about three episodes in space, and one of them ends the series just as they get there.

It's not that the series had a bad story, it just had an erratic one. They seem to have had a plot for three episodes that they stretched into twelve. Build things up instead of just jumping around months and months inside each episode. There was a ton to work with but they decided to just write some weak dialogue around gratuitous sex scenes.

Animation - 3/10

The animation in this series is an example of the good, the bad and the monstrous.

Background animation comes in representing the good. The scenes of the moon and space are done beautifully. They also did an amazing job capturing all the different buildings in and around NYC. Heck if everything was done by the background artist this could have been a perfectly drawn series.

For the bad, we have the extensive use of CGI. I still don't get why it's used so often in anime. I guess it saves them some time, but it always looks horrible. For this series it's constantly in play, for almost anything mechanical looking, which i guess fits since the animation itself looks so robotic and out of place. 

And the monstrous, the character design. While some characters don't look too bad, Goro and Lost Man, all the minor characters look like steroid pumped freaks. I can only assume they used the sphinx as inspiration for everyone not of asian decent, as they have noses that take up eighty percent of their face.

Sound - 6/10

We're pretty much at a loss for sound in most of the series. The voices are done ok, with one pet peeve in the english version. I always find it funny that the Americans and Japanese all speak with American accents, but everyone from Europe, Russia or the Middle East speaks with a terribly done version of their accent. I guess they would offend the hell out of the content owners in Japan if every asian character had an accent as stereotypical as the others.

The one shinning light when it comes to sound in the series are the end credits. The first time I heard them I thought they were really good, reminiscent of the Pillows, but I thought "Why would they use them, they're so connected to FLCL in the anime world" well it turns out they sounded like them, because it was them. I'm not sure on the creation of the series, but wonder if the call sign "Lostman" was originally an ode to the Pillows moniker. 

Characters - 4/10

While i did really enjoy the series, I felt the characters were lacking. We know that our two stars, Goro and Lostman, are adventures and gain notoriety for that, but thats all we really learn about their past. Goro seems to be an engineering genius, but there's never mention of his schooling or even that he has the drive to study such things. All we really learn is he works construction and since he's so good he gets a job in the ISA, which is a stretch even in the anime world. 

As for Lostman, we're left with the same gaping hole. He goes from mountain climber to ace hotshot fighter pilot, something that often takes years. Then he's quickly picked up to be part of the space program? (It makes sense after his capture, as the media attention would give him a boost, but the fact he was going to go there before is a little far fetched.)

There was enough room in the series to spend an episode on each character, to make things more believable, but they instead used that time with useless filler and stores of Goro bedding the women of the world. Heck we don't even know how these two met.

The minor characters are all pretty dull and useless. Outside of ISA PR Rep Riyoko Ikeuchi, who also seems to be a secret agent based on the things she does, no character is given enough time to care about them. Everyone is the series is a pawn to play up the awesomeness of Goro and pretty much nothing more.

Overall - 8/10

Though it might seem like a contradiction to all I've written, the series is better than decent. It's a fun and short show that had the potential to be great, but didn't have the writing staff to do so. With such a wide array of subjects to talk about when it came to space, they decided to focus on two men and their rock star status instead, which is a big shame. Maybe Series Two will make up for it.

5/10 story
3/10 animation
6/10 sound
4/10 characters
8/10 overall