Roots Search

Alt title: Roots Search: Shokushin Buttai X

OVA (1 ep x 45 min)
1.932 out of 5 from 265 votes
Rank #17,959

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.


*some spoilers i guess* The Betrayal of Sandals Roots Search is a boring, drunken attempt to create 80's alien horror in a japanese anime style. It has the feel of a cult classic, but it surely isn't one. It was as if someone went to the future, saw James Cameron's The Abyss and Ridley Scott's Alien and went back to the 80s to try and recreate them with 10 other people and a dry erase board. The Story has absolutely no coherence and rambles on from beginning to end. The overarching narrative has no real rhyme, it is for all intents and purposes, a collection of things that happen to people. It's not nearly long enough for anything to matter, although everything else is so bad you wish it was shorter. Fourty-five minutes of runtime wasn't enough to explain the insanity, so you don't get an explanation. What was the alien? It's all up to your imagination. What happened in the end? You decide! It's a DIY write your own ending make your own fun kind of anime even though it's not meant to be. Another thing it tires to be is a psychological horror. Since the audience can't possibly have a clue what even the characters are seeing due to the poor directing and presentation, there's no time for it to be scary as you're wondering what the heck you know and don't know. You're going to have a lot of questions and none of them are going to be answered. The characters are several weak paper people and two pretty stupid archetypes named Buzz and Buzz's medium girlfriend who fall in love for no reason. I say paper people because they're just there to get ripped to shreds with no development. There could have been development and I sincerely believe that there was... attempt... ...for development but it's all such a mess that it's hard to tell. They try to use the psychological aspect and flashbacks to give the characters some depth, but it doesn't matter and it just creates more questions. Who the hell is SANDAL and why does this guy like him so much? Who's the floating nude ghost lady? And WHAT, for the love of GOD is the GIANT TENTACLE ALIEN. What's the GOD thing, what's the flashback, who was the vagina-mouthed monstrosity, what is anything. Where are they at the end, where did the explosions go. How can the girl see the future. None of those questions are answered. And neither do these exciting pseudo-philisophical questions about the human condition. The Sound was the only part worth a single shoutout, the jazz soundtrack in the end was severely out of place yet nice to listen to. All the soundtrack is really, and the SFX sounded like they had a field trip to the bakery, hit some pots and knive holders together and recorded it. Animation was clearly a secondary goal to the mess of a story. There were too many inconsistancies to count and nothing was polished, save for a few death animations. The death animations were what they seemed to put most budget into, even though they held no weight. There's a lot more to say but i'll stop there because honestly all the crazy shit made it thoroughly entertaining to watch.


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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