Posted by psgels on 16 November 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




There was pretty much only one reason why I was really looking forward to checking out Infinite Ryvius: because I had seen it being praised for having very realistic and true to life characters. Now that I finished watching it, I can wholeheartedly agree with that, but just that statement alone also does a complete injustice of just how good this show really is.

The cast in this show is true to life, but by god, that’s not everything. This show has pretty much one of the best uses of teenagers in a space opera I’ve seen. Perhaps only Bokura no surpasses it here, if you really stretch the definition of “space opera”. This show is about the crew of a space ship. The entire cast of Infinite Ryvius consists out of teenagers, but for once, it makes perfect sense in the context of the story, they actually make full use of the young age of everyone to create a storyline that would never have been possible with adults. The fact that everyone is just a kid is vital to just about everything in the story.

What’s also amazing is how perfectly paced this show is. I mean, above I said that the characters are really true to life. They are very easy to relate to, and their actions throughout the series are very realistic. And yet at the same time the creators somehow turned this into a roller-coaster of a series that hardly ever takes a break. I’m completely amazed at how well the creators manage to weave everything together into one series. The cast of this show is huge, every episode brings a ton of new developments for the characters, and yet it doesn’t feel rushed. The story is the complete definition of utter chaos, and yet it’s full of twists, and yet the creators succeeded in making it move naturally. Despite having a ton of characters who all change significantly multiple times, all at their own pace, it makes sure to make all of them relatable, very strongly acted and miles away from stereotypes.

The only thing I’d have to mention against this series’ favor is that there is techno-babble, but it’s not even badly used. This show has its own original setting, and with that comes a bit of terminology that will take a bit of time to remember all of the different aspects of it.

Seriously, this may not have strings of over the top action scenes, but this show was made in 1999. I haven’t seen any Sunrise series made after that that was able to top this series. Not even Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto. It’s an emotional roller-coaster that somehow managed to avoid stereotypes, one-dimensional characters, hamming it up or other kinds of insincere melodrama, and it manages to blend all sorts of emotions wonderfully together. Definitely a recommendation for science fiction fans.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Rock-solid themes, fantastically balanced pacing, is guided by chaos, and yet manages to lead that chaos into a wonderful storyline.
Characters: 10/10 – An utterly brilliant cast of characters who play wonderfully off each other.
Production-Values: 8/10 – No flashy graphics, but very good inbetween work.
Setting: 9/10 – There are some very neat ideas. Not just on the backstory itself, but also how it’s used in context with the story.

Suggestions:
Zone of the Enders
Gankuen Senki Muryou

17 Responses

  1. Avatar valinor89 says:

    I’ve seen it twice and loved every episode. I prefer the animation style of those years than what they do today.

  2. Avatar sywen says:

    this is one of my favourites aswell, glad you decided to watch it afterall :)

    but, a (very) minor flaw i find in this show, is that sometimes the drama seemed to forced. otherways, i agree with you completely

  3. Avatar stuff says:

    I’m not a huge fan of the animation (OR the dub), but story-wise it’s pretty much a perfect show. My only complaint with the script would be that some character decisions at the end seemed disproportionate (a couple characters went REALLY crazy – you know who I’m talking about). And that, with that in mind, the epilogue episode was WAY too happy-go-lucky.

    But seriously, this is a terribly underrated, pretty much perfect anime. I watched it about six months ago and haven’t been able to get into much anime since because it just set such a high bar for me.

  4. Avatar Taara535 says:

    Yeah this series really puts this season of anime to absolute shame. I’m just thinking of re-watching this now..

  5. Avatar skyhack says:

    Sits on my shelf right next to “Excel Saga”. I love ’em both.

  6. Avatar Chris says:

    @stuff: the dub used child actors and it led to a rather unprofessional dub sadly.

    I wouldn’t rate this show over 90, but I agree that it deserves a bigger audience. I enjoyed the total breakdown of the characters a lot more than the sci-fi battles. They started off strong, but then it just got a bit too silly.

  7. Avatar Sukigu says:

    I just finished watching this last week and was surprised to see it reviewed here, seeing as it’s unfortunately not very known.
    There’s just a minor aspect you didn’t focus at all: the soundtrack. Those hip-hop tunes blended with the anime’s space setting very nicely (my favorite one is “easy living”!), but it’s nice to see more fans of this awesome series still appearing, myself included. :D

  8. Avatar evolstar says:

    My favorite space opera series, second only to Legend of the Galactic Heroes. You hit on all its good points dead on. I love how they fleshed out all major characters down to those who had no role in the actual fighting; too many space operas (Seikai no Senki and Starship Operators are examples) only focus on the officers and not the crew. I recommend this series not only to sci-fi fans, but to those who love character studies as well.

  9. Avatar Fauntleroy says:

    Planetes (2003) by Sunrise.

  10. Avatar Commenter says:

    Ah yes, Planetes is still better.

    But infinite rivius was pretty good. It’s one of those shows that has a million characters, but still manages to give them a feelinig of uniqueness AND the character development of the main characters was really good.

    I was amazed what they got away with though. This show had some hardcore moments that usually don’t happen to children.

  11. Avatar AKI says:

    I agree, psgels you should watch PlanetES next.

  12. Avatar Pax says:

    I have yet to complete this one, I watched a few episodes of it some years ago and I liked it but for some reason I never finished this one. I will start it again from zero sometime in the near future. Also, I was pretty sure you will enjoy this one since as I was watching Bokura no I immediately thought of this series.

    Planetes related I don’t think you should get your hopes too high psgels, more on this anime when you will review it even if I can’t say much since I dropped it at ep.5 and it took me a few years to give the manga a try, which actually is excellent so far.

  13. Avatar Firechick says:

    Fun facts about this show.

    Director: Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass)
    Series Composition: Yousuke Kuroda (Puni Puni Poemi)
    Composer: Katsuhisa Hattori (Ie Naki Ko Remi)

  14. Avatar Souther says:

    This was actually the first series Goro Taniguchi directed and it’s still one of his best, though arguably Planetes gives it a run for its money after a relatively questionable beginning.

    What Infinite Ryvius and his better works demonstrate is that Taniguchi can pull off some incredible stories about character drama, as long as the written script is good enough and there is a lot of time to flesh out the setting, which doesn’t always apply to some of his other works. Then again, unlike other viewers I’m still a fan of most of his projects, new and old.

  15. Avatar Hades says:

    @Pax

    Well, the first 6 episodes of Planetes are filler… and you should read/watch Planetes soon. The manga is more complete, but the anime is almost as fantastic as the manga itself. All I can say it’s Planetes have one of the most solid endings I’ve ever seen.

    I still have to watch Ryvius. Dinwloading here to check it out :)

  16. Avatar Jedman says:

    Really enjoyed this, although I felt some parts of the story weren’t very well explained, and didn’t make much sense, the setting and characters are very good, and it had a great atmosphere.

  17. Avatar Jedman says:

    Also how many times does kouji get hit in the face? must be some kind of record, happens in pretty much every episode.

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