Posted by psgels on 10 January 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


The original Sky Girls OVA was just a tasteless fanservice-fest. Needless to say that I wasn’t that keen on checking out the full-length-series for the concept. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the creators had no intention to make this end up as the failure that was the OVA. Sky Girls is definitely one of the surprises of 2007.

The show does have its issues in the beginning, though. In the first half, it just doesn’t succeed in making its setting believable. A giant war against invaders called WORMs in the past caused a lot of deaths, especially for adults, so because of that under-aged children have been allowed to join the military as well. Fair enough, though at the same time you see enough fully grown males parade the screen as mechanics and other similar jobs. You’d wonder why they didn’t do the piloting as well, as the bodies of young girls just can’t take that much strain when compared to fully grown adults.

The world was also supposed to have been nuked years ago, in an attempt to get rid of the WORMs, and again we hardly see any of the damages of these nuclear attacks. The first half of the series also consists out of a string of random episodes without much coherence; at one point, the characters also have nothing else to do besides comparing breast-sizes.

Still, as the series went on, it becomes clear that the creators knew fully well what they wanted with this series. Sky Girls isn’t about seeing cute girls in questionable outfits pilot mechas against giant invaders. It’s about living in the military, and how people deal with the relatives and loved ones that they leave behind. The main characters all have family, and they all have different relationships, and this anime does a very fine job of portraying this.

The series really picks up its pacing once the second half starts, and the characters start boarding a ship that was specifically designed to take care of the WORMs. With every character far away from home, and without much contact to the outside world, there are quite a few episodes dedicated to the characters, trying to brighten up their situation and trying to forget about the loneliness. What surprised me the most about this series is the final quarter, though, when the plot starts to kick in. Believe it or not, but the entire setting gets satisfactory explained and developed.

Overall, the pacing may be quiet, but this is one series that’s a pretty good recommendation if you want something light, yet engaging and thought-provoking. The first few episodes may not seem that much, but they’re building up pretty well for the second half of this series. It may not be the best, but it’s a great example of how you don’t need to have the hugest storyline in order to be good.

2 Responses

  1. BlueYoshi says:

    It’s good to hear that Sky Girls will have a better second half. I’m up to Episode 15, and it’s starting to develop the characters (especially Eika) very well. The first half bored me, but I’m not giving up with it, knowing that all the building up is over.

  2. Solaris says:

    >Sky Girls isn’t about seeing cute girls in questionable outfits pilot mechas against giant invaders
    No, that isn’t, but sure they indulged too much on showing the pretty nice kiddy pilots in a suit ^^;. Too often fanservice and action took most attention in place of the main theme of the anime.
    This anime should have focused more in the generational difference between an enthusiastic new generation of youngsters and the oldfashoned military generation. Still we gain some clue about this watching at the fight between Eika end her father Admiral.
    But it seems from the anime only a fight between the two rather than the main plot of the show. That was too bad.
    Most of the time we’re distracted by the nice siluettes of the girls doing random things on the screen. :P
    Further more there are only 5 girls fighting and 1 single man, the Vic Viper’s Pilot. All the other men are cleaning shine the robots and fanboying about the girls… Geez what are the men doing in the future? Sending children at war? I didn’t like that. I’d rather appreciate Colonel Togo being a the leader of the Team taking good care of his pupils, and not just staying there holding a fidhing rod!
    Next, the chara. Why the heck men look very old and on the other hand all the girls look like children? Otoha should be 17 but look like a middle schooler. Elize’d be 15 but looks, and behaves, like an elementary kid. I suppose this difference in the chara is made to show visually the difference between the old and the young generation, but i think that will appeal lolikons at first sight! BIG-LOL

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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