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Uchuu No Stellvia Thoughts
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I'm aware that this show is a few years old or so now, but I just recently watched it myself, and was surprised just how much I liked it. So I just had to do a blog post on it! I apologize in advance for quite a few of the screencaps focusing on Ayaka, but 90% of the time if Megumi Toyoguchi voices a character it's the type of character I will go into fangirl mode over and Ayaka is no exception.




While I assume the majority of people reading this post will have seen the anime, here's a quick summary of the plot! Katase Shima ends up attending school at the spacestation called "Stellvia". Stellvia is one of many spacestations (called foundations) which are waiting to protect earth from the second part of a supernova shock wave the first part of which severely damaged earth in the past. So, accompanied with much drama involving her friends and allies Katase (nicknamed "Shipon") soon finds herself in the front line defending earth! And the shockwave isn't the only dangerous thing headed her way.

Well, now that's the rather boring plot summary over! To be honest with you space things tend to not be my type of series and I never really expected to enjoy Stellvia but I was pleasantly surprised. Rather than the usual bunch of spaceship dogfights, walking on planets and floating about aimlessly that I seem to find dull in this setting this show had one of my favourite things! Drama! Another fantastic thing about the series was I didn't actually want to strangle any cast members (rare for me in an anime), as the entire cast were genuinely great characters. Also, while to begin with I thought the character designs for some of the cast were a bit to loli for my taste, I found the characters deep and mature enough personality wise to ignore this.




Totally separate from the main storyline (which I did enjoy too), and by far my favourite bit in the series is the yuri-subtext toned sub-plot with Ayaka and Yayoi. I raved slightly about how great Ayaka was earlier, and for me seeing what a psycho she can be was a major highlight. Anyway, the relationship between the two of them is very odd that's for sure, but great to see develop. For those not in the know they were both first years on Stellvia a few years ago and despite being friends Ayaka, obsessed with being a superior performer to Yayoi critically injured her on purpose in a allegedly friendly spaceship dual. After suffering in hospital for an extended period Yayoi returns to Stellvia and Ayaka (who nobody suspected of purposefully harming Yayoi apart from Yayoi herself) and her seem to begin to bond again.

It's very evident that Yayoi desperately wants to forgive Ayaka for what she did no matter how major the event because of their unusual bond. But she has a hard time doing so, especially as at first Ayaka does not visibly regret it. The possibility of their bond being romantic is granted fairly slim, but still their is subtext to be found her as long as you squint enough and they are some of the few cast members without boyfriends or a visible interest in the opposite sex. As things develop between them and Ayaka almost repeats the "taking out" incident on another pupil, things open up more between them with Ayaka realizing the error in her way of thinking and displaying genuine regret. Lots of tearful scenes ahoy! But its all for the best to see the two of them grow as characters. While their storyline is really abandoned in favour of the main plot by the end of the anime, there is one rather touching moment in the scenes of the epic conclusion where the two of them fly together and burst into tears in happiness at the fact they are doing so. One of the best parts of the conclusion for me to see them so obviously happy in one-anothers company.




Further on the subject of yuri in the show I got the feeling their was a slight (only everso slight) chance that Arisa has a unrequited (*sobs*) crush on our lead Katase. While I'm still not entirely sure myself on what I think here there were certainly moments when Arisa seems overly fond of her best friend bizarrely I felt this was most evident in one of the few "serious" episode previews. If Arisa does have feelings for Katase, then its fairly evident she is happy to just worship from afar as she helps her with her relationship, cheering her on a times. You have to feel sorry for if that is indeed the case as unrequited love is always sad.

So there you have my mostly yuri-fied ramblings on some of the relationships in the series, and some of the many reasons why I loved Stellvia a great deal. The fact it actually managed to make the space bits exciting to me is also a huge achievement in itself as I really was on the edge of my seat at the climatic end to both the story arcs. Usually when I'm watching mecha/vehicles of any kind I'm snoring but this was expertly presented.




It's fairly easy for me to score Stellvia overall as a series as I just enjoyed pretty much every aspect of it. If you want more in depth by disc by disc analysis (including yuri of course) check out Erica's reviews on Okazu. Anyway, for me Uchuu No Stellvia is a fantastic example of how to blend drama and sci-fi well so for final scores...

Stellvia
Artwork: 7
Music: 9
Characters: 9
Content: 9
Overall: 9

(Shall be using these for my review scores for everything, including DVD's from now on!)
posted by Mangaminx On Wednesday, March 15, 2006  
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