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.