Posted by psgels on 17 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



From the creators of Vexille, TO is their next work as they adapt two stories from the 2001 Nights manga. This manga was a collection of stories (most of them unrelated) that chronicled the challenges of humankind as they ventured into outer space. The two episodes of TO are completely unrelated, and so they can be watched completely individual from each other. Like Vexille, these OVAs are also shot entirely in 3D CG, and unfortunately, they didn’t escape the big weakness of 3D-movies: the botox-faces. But apart from these botox-faces, how do they hold up? As a very mixed bag, actually.

The first story is Elliptical Orbit, and for the most part it’s just average: average action, average, characters, average story; it all feels like it’s been done before. While I do appreciate that one of the lead character is an actual grown up male (somewhere in his forties, I guess), there just hardly is anything interesting or noteworthy. The bad guys are stereotypical bad guys who are evil because they’re evil; the kind that want to blow lots of stuff up and kill as many people as possible.

There is one spark of light in here, though. The twist at the end of this episode is one I really, really liked: it’s creative, and adds quite a bit of depth to at least the main characters. Throughout the average action, the build-up at least came together quite nicely in the end, and so this is a story that left me with a good impression.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the second story, Symbiotic Planet. The episode should be applauded for its background art, and design works, which are absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode isn’t just average like with Elliptical Orbit, it’s just outright bad.

The story is stupid, it centers around a silly love story between star crossed lovers (since their parents hate each other and want to blow each other up for badly explained reasons). The build-up of tension is ruined by very one-dimensional characters who only seem to have one character-trait and nothing more. The real disaster is the climax, though: it’s full of lazy plotholes, deus ex machina, storyboards that just don’t make any sense (about a dozen of people completely vanish at one point, with no explanation of where they went; which is a bit unnerving because they were just infected with a dangerous space virus) and the ending itself is just such an incredibly cheap knock-off that it completely destroys any sort of build-up that still remained.

So overall, Elliptical Orbit has its charms, Symbiotic Planet doesn’t. However, the manga of 2001 Nights has already been adapted once before: in 1987 a movie was created with some of the other stories. Even though it actually has less airtime than TO, it’s a really good story and really well told, giving you a great idea of some of the basics and challenges of space travel. If you’re interested in this story, check out that one before trying trying TO. Unless you’re looking for nothing but action or botox people, I guess.

Storytelling: 6/10
Characters: 6/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 7/10

4 Responses

  1. Avatar tk007 says:

    The twist at the end of the first story caught me off guard too. It seems we were deliberately misled throughout the show. Good one : )

  2. Avatar Akizuki says:

    Hi, can you please post the director or imdb number of this movie, I’m having an incredibly hard time finding it online by virtue of it being named “TO” +__+

    Thanks!

  3. psgels psgels says:

    I don’t have the imdb number, but here is the anidb link. I hope that that at least helps.

    http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=anime&aid=7185

  4. Avatar Akizuki says:

    Arigats to the max dude! Got it : )

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

8 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Fire Force 12 – Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa

Welcome back to Beni town!  After a two week break, Fire Force has awkwardly picked back up with its penultimate episode (for the first cour).  Missed Shinra and the gang?  Unfortunately, there’s some Catgirl this week, but aside from that, we have another solid effort all around.  Let’s get into it!

Vinland Saga – 14 [The Light of Dawn]

This is a big week for Vinland. One of the best episodes, not just of the season, but the year for me. So many things just came together to really nail it. As this week Askeladd makes us question who we are rooting for, and really throws the brutality of war in our face. Let’s […]

Mononoke – 10 [Goblin Cat, Part 1] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all, apologies for the delay, and welcome to the final arc of Mononoke! This is perhaps the most unique one yet. As we skip forward to a modern era, set the entire thing in a single location, and have ourselves a murder mystery. So, lets dive in! Right off the bat, as always, I […]

Vinland Saga – 12/13 [The Land on the Far Bank/Child of a Hero]

Hello again everyone and welcome to a double feature for Vinland Saga. Apologies for the missed week, but even I am not totally immune to sickness. So this week we cover episodes 12 and 13. Where we learn quite a bit about Askeladd, Canute finds his voice and winter starts to turn. In we go! […]

Dr.STONE – 14 [Master of Flame]

And so begins the 2nd cour of Dr.STONE, complete with a whole new OP and everything. However for us, we are just picking up right where we left off. With Kinro’s fight, Senku’s science and an old friend returned. Let’s dive in! In general I think this week was better than the last. Yes, the […]

Mononoke – 9 [Japanese Chimera, Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

And so ends another arc of Mononoke, in a way I never would have expected. As this week we solve a murder mystery, once again question our perceptions of the world, and get another new “favorite arc”. Apologies for the wait, sickness waits for no man, but let’s dive in. Starting off, as always, the […]

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 13 [FINAL]

I can’t help but feel disappointed when the epilogue of  Lord El-M skips the entirety of the epic use of Rhongomyniad, and Hecatic Wheel smashing into each other. It doesn’t make for an exciting climax when the antagonist just simply teleports away before those two noble phantasm meet each other in a violent explosion. I […]

DanMachi2 – 12 [ Goddess/Child (Song of Love) ] FINAL

DanMachi2 is the kid in class who everyone knows is smarter than their grades reflect.  If only they would get it together and take things seriously.  In the finale of this mess of a second season, DanMachi finally rouses itself and delivers an episode worth watching.

Dr.STONE – 13 [Masked Warrior]

This is a difficult week for Dr.STONE, with what it has to follow up. Everything from production to the story just couldn’t seem to meet the same highs. As we start the Grand Bout, progress the cure-all and Kinro learns a thing or two about science. Let’s dive in! Starting off, I hate to do […]

Latest Reviews

Mix: Meisei Story Review – 75/100

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip […]

DanMachi2 Anime Review – 40/100

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime Review – 80/100

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent […]

Youjo Senki Movie Review – 85/100

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]