I really need to be more careful on choosing which series I want to drop. When Rocket Girls first aired, I lasted four episodes until I gave up. I mean, it was about a space-agency that plucks a random girl off the streets in order to make her an astronaut; I was sceptical from the start. I tried to give it a few chances, but the first four episodes were mostly about the female lead Yukari being the teenager that she is, and disagreeing with everything. I predicted that these training missions would take until episode 10 or something, so that the final two episodes could launch her off into space, and that didn’t seem like worth the effort to me.
Well, that’ll teach me to make baseless predictions… as it turns out, those first four episodes were just proper build-up and Yukari ended up in space in already the fifth episode. The whimsical nature of the first few episodes is only because a major theme in this series is the contrast between responsibility and irresponsibility. I’m glad I went back to this series, as it turned out to be pretty enjoyable.
With the biggest strength of course being the characters: they’re pretty nicely developed for a 12 episodes series. Yukari may be a hard character to warm up to, but once she gets past her moments of teenage angst, she really starts shining. There’s an overall good chemistry between the different members of the cast, the side-characters also have defined personalities that make them come alive.
There’s one little issue with the voice-acting, though. After the first half of this series, a third main character shows up, and her voice is way too high-pitched for her own good, which tends to break the flow of this series a bit. The rest of her character is fine, but her overly squeaky voice made her my least favourite character in this series.
The creators obviously simplified the setting a lot, when compared to real-life rocketry, in order to make it not get in the way of what’s really important in this series: the characters. It was also a solid way to not get lost in its own techno-babble. Still, they overall did a pretty good job in coming across believable. This series has a lot of similarities with Sky Girls, and if you liked one, you’ll probably like the other.