movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Ryan S’s excellent review] Time to watch an anime series again. It’s been awhile.

PLOT SUMMARY: Space garbage is a problem in the future, requiring full-time garbage collection of debris in Earth orbit. Meanwhile, selfish capitalist corporations are trying a land-grab at claiming all the space resources as the property of whoever invests (rich get richer), while terrorist groups pit innumerable lives against their desire to have space resources divided up for the benefit of all humanity. But that’s just the back story: This series, like most anime, is quite character driven, and about the relationships between the various characters. But again, I direct the reader to Ryan S’s excellent review of this series, as I am too lazy to write full reviews, because I try to review EVERYTHING I watch. It’s too much :)

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Corporations selfishly grab space resources; terrorists do good things. Based on a comic. Space. Politics. Terrorism. Capitalism. Smoking. Personal relationships. Love. Loss. It’s a 26 episode series, so there are many different kinds of episodes… Depressing ones, funny ones, dramatic ones, etc.

This is often heralded as the most realistic space-based anime ever made. They consulted with the Japanese equivalent of NASA to make sure things were accurate. Also, for example, space is dead silent. If they show a ship exploding — there will be no sound. Finally, paste-eating nerds won’t have to complain in a Comic Book Guy voice: “You can’t really hear explosions in space.”

VISUALS: Nothing special, but anime visuals are almost always superior to their American-animated counterparts.

POLITICS: Tons of politics in this movie. They don’t take the central stage; Most anime is about a guy and a girl falling in love, with the characters in the foreground, and the plot in the background. But politics permeate many of the episodes, as well as the series’s climax. This improves the show by making it more thought-provoking than a non-political show would be. Also, they amazingly don’t take sides. One could argue that the terrorists in this series are the good guys, making sure that space exploration benefits ALL of humanity, not just the rich capitalists. You could also argue that the terrorists are the bad guys, threatening to set space travel back decades by killing innumerable people. This moral ambiguity makes the series that much more enjoyable.

BAD STUFF: The one issue I had with smoking was the smoking booth: If they’d really done their research, they would probably have been able to more accurately depict smoking in the future by having Fee use an e-cigarette to vaporize nicotine, instead of smoking cigarettes with fire. Since no combustion occurs with vaporization, no precious oxygen is wasted. Though I’m not sure what the byproduct of that is like, and what its effects on space instrumentation would be, I would assume for purposes of space vehicle safety, that vapor > smoke.

CONCLUSION: An excellent anime series that doesn’t fall into the boring tropes that most anime series fall into.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.8/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.6/5 stars. It’s true, we don’t like anime as much as “true” anime fans do). Even if you hate anime, this is a very “non-anime” anime series worth checking out. Again, read Ryan S’s excellent review of this series. It says more than I will ever bother to.

COINCIDENCES: (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Planetes #24) 2 videos in 2 days where someone had to *temporarily* be in a wheelchair due to hypothermia. Space or time travel’ll do that to ya.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: I’m going to assume, based on Ryan S’s excellent review, that he loved it. Ben W also chimed in on Facebook, with good things to say about it.

Mood: annoyed at missing 75% of the main band i wanted to see
Music: Megadeth – Sweating Bullets