Posted by psgels on 18 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

Well, I finally made myself watch the final episode of this thing. Hoshi no Umi no Amuri, or Amuri in the Star Ocean, is a three episode OVA, fully rendered in 3D CG. What I expected when I started watching was another one of those bad and uninspired fanservice OVAs, without any redeeming value whatsoever. What I got was… well, I’m still not sure what I got exactly, but it was really weird.

Seriously, this entire OVA feels like a really bad acid trip in space. Try to imagine yourself drunk, stoned, in an airless environment and having just lost a significant amount of blood. The hallucinations you can get there are a pretty accurate portrayal of all the bizarre stuff that flies, bounces, blasts and jumps across the screen in this OVA. It really is surreal beyond belief.

But the thing is, that it’s got a cast of really charming characters somehow. The characters in this series have lots of really weird powers, but they all have to do with escapism: the lead characters bounces off everywhere, but this is because she keeps resisting against making contact and friends with other people. Another character constantly flies uncontrollably across the screen like an annoying fly, but that’s because she’s constantly running away from trouble.

Overall, I refuse to give this series a rating, because my rating system just isn’t fit for all the strange stuff that happens in this series. I liked the show, though. It definitely isn’t for everyone, especially those who hate extremely sugary and energetic series will hate this show with passion, but if you’re looking for something utterly bizarre yet charming, then this series is a must-watch.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar Firechick says:

    Oh snap!! This show was EPIC for me!! I loved it after I saw the third episode! but man I wish there was a decent picture of Amuri and Suzu’s heads to use for my list of 100 favorite anime characters! I only found ones of Perrier (so sweet!) and Femina (AWESOME!). The first half of the 3rd episode is scary, but the 2nd half is PURE EPICNESS!! I’d definitely give this a 97/100 if I had a blog! And the song the girls sing is just beautiful. I even have it!…and memorized it!

  2. Avatar dm says:

    I hadn’t realized that the third part was out. The first two parts were fascinatingly bizarre — and ninety minutes isn’t too much time to spend in this particular experiment (particularly not when taken in small chunks).

    What I’ve seen is like Angel’s Egg only with bubblegum and videogames instead of absinthe and Kierkegaard. Animators could learn a lot from bits and pieces of this series — were the Touhou franchise to ever get professionally animated, I’d hope that the makers study the battle at the end of the first episode before embarking on their own danmaku. Then they top that with the dream sequences in the second episode.

  3. Avatar gaguri says:

    Wow if this is anything like angel’s egg, I’m so there.

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Well, I think that you could call this Angel’s Egg on steroids, but do note that the atmosphere of Angel’s Egg and Amuri is completely different. Angel’s Egg was dark and silent, while Amuri throws all kind of flashy and screwed up colours and figures at the screen in high succession.

  5. Avatar dm says:

    Right — Angel’s Egg without the gothic and an extra helping of the lolita. Like Angel’s Egg only completely different. Angel’s Egg was the interior of a chapel, Amuri is the interior of a pinball machine. What they have in common is an appealing experimentalism in animation and storytelling.

  6. Avatar dm says:

    I finally had a chance to watch the last episode. Yes, that was really weird.

  7. Avatar Firechick says:

    After re-watching the series, I think I found the messages this series is trying to give and what it’s really about: friendship, discrimination, learning to accept how you were born, loneliness, and learning that whatever kind of affliction you have, you’re not alone, whether it be some disease or facial impairment or mental disability (like autism or down syndrome), etc. I know this series only has characters that can’t be touched by literally anything or anyone, but you can see how much they’ve suffered and how traumatized they are when you see the episodes. This does have a dark and kind of bloody storyline once the second episode is around, but the way the characters learn to handle their situations and put their pasts behind are just brilliant! I think this is why this has 3rd place on my list of top 10 anime (but it loses to Kamichama Karin and, especially, Shounen Onmyouji).

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