Roots Search

Alt title: Roots Search: Shokushin Buttai X

OVA (1 ep x 45 min)
1.406 out of 5 from 230 votes
Rank #11,083

Deep in the recesses of space, onboard a space station, a young woman named Moira is having terrifying dreams of her crewmates' bloody future. As if to prove the premonition, a lone spacecraft later descends upon the station casting a SOS distress call, though only one member of its crew was left alive. The visions begin to come true when Moira and her friends uncover a mysterious alien who can somehow manifest itself into their fears and regrets. With the crew being picked off on by one, and tensions rising, can any of them last long enough to escape?

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StoryFirst of all, Roots Search has one of the most unexplained titles ever. Some series have titles that somehow relate to the story, but I have absolutely no idea why "Roots Search" was chosen for this OVA. It has nothing to do with roots (except tentacle looking things at the end), and nothing to do with searching. Anyways, Roots Search takes places on a space station that houses the ESP Project, which is investigating -- you guessed it! -- ESP. Moira is the current subject, and she's having dreams about all her crewmates dying in fairly terrible ways. Then a spaceship shows up sending out a distress call, and they discover a strange alien and one human survivor. Everything goes downhill from there, and people keep getting picked off by their nightmares, of all things! Demons from each person's past come back to haunt them -- literally -- and they die one by one. It's basically a cross between Event Horizon and Alien, and the premise is very interesting and unique for an anime series. Unfortunately, the plot is about as far as it goes for quality, as the animation and music are terrible, as well as the characters. For just plot, though, Roots Search had a good idea that was executed well, except the Cube-like ending and some major plot holes along the way. If you are looking for an interesting sci fi plot that isn't the same old kids in space fighting bad guys, Roots Search might be a good bet. AnimationThe animation in Roots Search has so many problems it's almost funny. The first thing you'll notice is the really ridiculous looking character designs. Scott, for example, is extremely square with HUGE shoulders and a head that is clearly too small for his body. He also has a line across his lip that makes no sense at all. Other characters also suffer from square body and small head syndrome, as well. The main alien reminds me of a cross between Predator and female genetalia, and the monster near the end reminded me of many other R-rated related things, to say the least. The special effects were incredibly cheesy and the violence and gore was laughable. Blood splatters looked incredibly fake (and the wrong color), and people's faces melting off and such makes you chuckle out loud, rather than scream in terror. Near the end, it's like their 5 dollar budget suddenly ran out, and the corridors look hand drawn in 10 seconds, and are INCREDIBLY bad looking. Animation is also recycled at times, such as the shot of someone running down the hall. SoundThe audio was incredibly cheesy, just like the animation. Synthy 70s sounding beats flowed throughout the OVA, fitting the tone that the animation set (though not on purpose, I'm sure). One thing that was hilarious about the sound effects is that occasionally, certain things didn't have sounds associated with them at all. For example, at one point Buzz smashes a panel, glass falls to the ground, and there's no sound! Or Moira shoots something and no sound comes out. This is coupled by the cheesy sound effects for other situations, as well as breaks in the sound when transitions occur at inappropriate times. The music was quite laughable on that note, really. Besides the effects, though, the music was fairly average for the type of OVA this was. CharactersThe characters were quite flat as far as personality or depth, though we did learn about the pasts of each of the characters. Without spoiling, there were relationships that grew and vanished with several of the characters, and all of these seemed quite unrealistic. The alien was probably the most important character of the entire movie, but he isn't explained well. We hear a brief explanation of what exactly he is, but it seems cheesy. Granted, Event Horizon's sentient ship was cheesy too, but it was more interesting than what this alien said he was. In general, I felt the characters were too shallow (though this could have been because of the length, too), and the relationships were too unrealistic to warrant me caring about any of the characters. OverallOverall, Roots Search really could have been something good, if it wasn't for the terrible animation and music. The plot had potential, that's for sure, but even that became crappy once you neared the end of the 45 minutes. Fans of Alien or Event Horizon might write this off as a ripoff, and it sort of feels like that, but it definitely was unique for an anime. If you like sci fi and want a fairly interesting watch, and don't mind the graphics and music sucking, this might be OK to watch. Else, probably not.


Minor Spoilers I went into Roots Search completely blind assuming I'd be able to watch it and get invested despite its poor ratings. Even most bad anime can be enjoyable and get you invested, but this one can't. Story There really isn't too much to the story. It is people on a spaceship running from an alien. The story has a chance to do something kind of cool, a mysterious alien shows up and makes people see things and go crazy. That could be interesting but halfway through the alien stops doing that and just becomes a flesh monster that chases them around. The things that they hallucinate are skimmed over pretty quickly to keep you from really caring or understanding what is happening.  This anime suffers greatly with pacing. Scenes tend to be very short and cut off too quickly. This makes the story incoherent and gets rid of any tension. This show may have a better rating if it was multi-episode and not just an OVA so they could build on literally anything. Everything happens fast with no explanation. There is also a serious lack of world building going on here. The ending is a non-ending that is probably supposed to be artsy. This ending is fine for something that actually succeeds at being interesting and mysterious but for the fast-paced, barely coherent story of Roots Search it makes everything worse somehow. Animation Your average bad 80s animation. characters aren't very expressive in how they move and animation loops a lot. Character designs are lack-luster and the gore looks like bubblegum.  Sound Voice acting wasn't bad at all. Moira's voice actress was very good at showing emotion, as was Norman's. The soundtrack however was not great. The songs were very Ghostbusters-esque and rarely fit what was going on. Characters This may be where Roots Search fails the hardest. The characters are nothing. Buzz starts off as a stranger that doesn't trust the others but loses that trait after hanging out with Moira. Moira is your regular 80s anime girl, weak and likes to take care of people. She can see the future and has a moment or two where she acts all philosophical but that doesn't really add anything to her. The other characters are barely in it. With good characters this show may have succeeded at some type of tension and stakes. They could have made you give a single shit who lives or dies. They could have intrigued you with their backstories and how they all got to be on this ship together but they don't. The death scenes and hallucination scenes could have been interesting. Closing Statement Roots Search is definitely not something I'd usually watch as I dislike sci-fi, I have to say this really didn't make me want to start exploring the genre further although it was quite interesting to watch as it is very much a product of it's time.  This review was made for Anime-Planet Secret Santa.


So I just finished watching this with the DTAB-club, atleast the rewatch since I missed to main event (due to the daylight savings time) and I decided to review this shit. Story: The story revolves around an crew on a spaceship: Moira a girl, Norman, Scott (a douchebag with fabulous bright blond hair) and the doctor guy. I had no clue where they were from or what they were doing. Somehow a shapeshifting and mindreading alien started to terrorize them. One by one they're getting killed and it's all very unclear what actually is happening, BUT AT ONE POINT THERE WAS A GIANT ALIEN DINOSAUR. The crew finds a little but later an abandonned spaceship with everyone killed, except for one survivor, Buzz lightyear. Afer a while only a girl and Buzz are still alive and they get eaten by a giant alien tentacle monster. Against all odds Buzz and Moira survived and were in the aliens stomach. That's when it ended. Oh and right before the alien ate Buzz and Moira, they blew up the nuclear reactor of their ship .... it didn't kill the alien. Animation: It was surprisingly well animated on a scale from bad to halfway between bad and medium. About half of the budget probably went to the explosion in the end. The thing that was most noticeble was that all the used colours wre pretty dark, except for Scott's hair. Sound: Now... the soundeffects were horrible. they were just using random noises for everything. Besides this they weren't very consistent when using them, one point the button to open a door "Beeped" and then the next it didn't. The background music wasn't very good either, however the saxophone in the ending song was pretty neat though. Characters: Most of the characters aren't even worth mentioning. Only that Scott had fabulous hair and saw a flying naked woman. The 2 major characters were Buzz and Moira. They survived in the end after being eaten by a alien and continued their newly formed relationship. Overall this show was shit and unclear. It left me with quite a lot of unanswered questions. What's the "Green Planet" they speak off, why is there oxygen in the alien stomach, howcome the nuclear reactor of the spaceship took 19 minutes to explode while there only 9 minutes of runtime left.  That pretty much rounds it all up.

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