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Review: Stellvia of the Universe

When you get right down to it, this is a nice little story of personal growth, and space fighter pilots, and high school…

Ok, so it’s not exactly plausible. Essentially, you have an Ender’s Game-style battle school, a space station in which young geniuses are trained to become expert in flying small fighter-style spacecraft. The purpose of this (as there are no more wars on earth) is to deflect various astronomical disasters from hitting the earth. You have engaging characters who interact pleasingly, though the focus narrows down to the primary two characters almost exclusively for the last few episodes. The writers do a decent job of pacing the story and maintaining interest over the course of the series, though the end does feel a bit rushed. At times, it feels like there are two main stories which happen, one after the other, but the authors didn’t like the ending of the first one so they just added the second to its end. Not that it doesn’t mesh well, just that there is an odd sense that the editors liked the proposal, but not the main plot element, to they condensed that, expanded the love story, and had the author add another plot after the first.

Then you have the science of it, which is less plausible then the plot. Not so much the technology itself, but the way it is manifested. You have the little space fighters banking and dogfighting, leaving pretty contrails that somehow evaporate harmlessly… You have huge, plot-important scenes in which the protagonist ‘programs’ a computer somehow by swiping her hands back and forth franticly on an unmarked keypad-thing, and assembles these programs in realtime to deal with battle-like situations. You have one point (though this is the fault of the fansubbers, not the authors) where, not recognizing the word ‘lagrange’ (as in ‘lagrange point’), they just left in the phrase ‘lagurangu point’ with no explanations. You have odd pseudoscience which is never really explained, which is the cause of major plot events.

The epilogue at the end is nice, though it leaves many questions dangling. It’s really hard to give this series a downcheck, because it really is a fun series–as long as you don’t think about it. If you get caught up in troublesome thoughts, though… it takes some of the fun out.

Genre: science fiction/drama with a dash of action
Emotion: high school girls–in SPACE! (there are guys, too)
BTFS: .45

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