Posted by psgels on 2 February 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


What a charming little OVA. Alien Nine gives the term “Alien Invasion” a whole new dimension. Here, aliens can come in lots of different sizes and shapes, and most of them have no real intention to take over the Earth at all. Instead, they cause small amounts of trouble here and there, especially around schools apparently. Because of that, random students get allocated for each school to be the local alien fighters. Alien Nine is about the three alien fighters for one particular grade school.

The beauty of this anime is that it’s a character-study, and it knows it. Every single scene is dedicated to flesh out the three main characters, and develop them through the short airtime of four episodes. There’s a lot of angst, but the creators never delve into pointless melodrama, and they know exactly when to time the big climaxes for this OVA. There’s no cheesy love-story that gets in the way of what’s really important either, and all in all, the creators made the optimum use of the short time that they had to work with.

The thing about the characters is that they would have failed horribly if they weren’t developed as well as this series did. There’s a cry-baby, a strong girl and a perfect girl. They’re all pretty clichéd when you first see them, but the storytelling is so refreshing that you hardly even notice this while watching. Do note that the cry-baby can get on people’s nerves at times, so that may be potentially off-putting. Her interaction with the other main characters is excellent, though. ;)

Unfortunately, and I’m afraid to say it, but Alien Nine does suffer from the “TOO SHORT!!”-syndrome, which I’ve seen on many other movies and OVAs. Some anime try to solve this by omitting important character-backgrounds, others don’t bother to explain their storylines properly, though Alien Nine manages to avoid this. Instead, it just stops. I assume that it’s based on a manga, and only the first X chapters of this manga made it into the OVA. It’s a darn shame, because I feel that yet again this series deserves so much more episodes.

Thankfully, this flaw never got in the way of the characters, and they make sure to keep this OVA interesting till the end. The creators know how to build up properly, and try their best with such a limited amount of time. You’d be surprised at how intense the drama can get at times, considering that we’re just dealing with ordinary grade-schoolers.

5 Responses

  1. Solaris says:

    This anime could have been awesome if it didn’t come to an abrupt end, leaving you with to many unsolved questions.
    If i were to mark it 80%, i’d rather give it half the mark, cause this is only hal an anime :S so 40% is what it deserves

  2. Fuse01 says:

    This show has a really dark side to it that is not apparent unless one reads the manga.

  3. Wyrdwad says:

    If you buy the special-edition DVD release of it here, it comes with three volumes of manga, I guess to help finish off the story. Still have yet to read them (I don’t read much manga!), but I did very muchly enjoy the anime. It reminded me a lot of Narutaru: same sort of juxtaposition of “cute on the surface” and “extremely dark at its core.” And same sense of being COMPLETELY UNFINISHED, too. (:

    -Tom

  4. Bodom says:

    An uncompleted anime with a girl crying all the time… A lot of wasted potential… My rating: 40/100

  5. Darknives says:

    I just recently saw some clips of this series in an AMV. It was a serious AMV so I was surprised to see this little cute characters that probably belonged to some comedy series. And then I’m immediately presented with some more disturbing images of one of the characters being attacked.
    I still haven’t read the manga or even watched this, but the manga is 3 volumes long and finished. There’s also a sequel dating 2003 called “Alien Nine Emulators”.
    As for the combination of cute drawing style with more seinen themes, I think it’s natural if know some of the author’s previous work, the same artist did the artwork for the Battle Royal sequel.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 05:29 AM)
    Although it looks like Liden Films is working with a decent budget, the 3d models weren’t really that impressive. They’re actually pretty lucky to have Studio Millepensee on board as well; since their still frames and 2D in-betweens were actually really good.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 05:13 AM)
    The song from Gut’s nightmare sequence in the wagon was good tho. That might be the Harasawa insert track.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 05:11 AM)
    @Aidan: I already favorited their page. That’s incredibly. It’s like Kotaku hired a bunch of bronies to write reviews.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 05:05 AM)
    @Bam, don’t think it’s a parody. After all it’s the same site that posted this comedy gem of an article.
    http://kotaku.com/sword-art-online-is-the-smartest-anime-i-ve-seen-in-yea-5947171
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:59 AM)
    I really do hope that I’m wrong about all of this.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:57 AM)
    I’m starting to question Miura, and wondering how much of the genius of it was the 97 series director Naohito Takahashi, I mean I did watch the series before reading the manga. His choices are starting to make sense: leaving Puck out, ending the show right at the eclipse. He knew Miura will never finish it, and that is the high point of the whole story.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:52 AM)
    @Aidan: this article has to be a parody. I refuse to believe otherwise.
    The original’s pilot was disjointed and messy, but it kept the dark atmosphere and the somber tone. It still captured your attention and got you to watch the second episode, which was the real hook. This upbeatness … it’s just wrong.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:51 AM)
    @Bam: Ah, I’m am slightly high at the moment and it makes me giddy/shit post.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:48 AM)
    @Kaiser: might be a “bab” but I am far from innocent.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:46 AM)
    And hearing the characters voiced in Japanese, it reminds me just how the dub for Berserk sat much better for me.

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