The anime teen: saving the world and getting the cute guy

In anime, it’s a given that only a teen can save the world when it’s about to get wiped off the universe. The task usually falls to the most angst-filled or most ordinary teen at the local junior high school. The gender depends on the target audience of the show. Once you get past this convention, just relax and enjoy the series. Unless of course the show stinks.

“Stellvia” relies on this convention. It’s a high school/science fiction anime with a slight mecha flavor to it. Translation: A bunch of teens attending a program at a space station save the world and the two lead characters use a giant robot to do it.

It is 2356 and the sky is no longer blue but green. The reason for the color change? In 2167, a super nova caused an electromagnetic shockwave that nearly destroyed the Earth. The survivors and their descendants have been preparing since then for the second shockwave expected to hit the planet. There’s a subplot involving some alien life forms and their attempts to attack or help humans.

Our heroine is Shima Katase who is a whiz at programming but a dunce at piloting space ships. Her piloting skills improves a great deal later on. We meet her as she is leaving home to enroll at the space program at Stellvia Foundation, one of the floating space stations. She acquires a best friend who christens her “Shipon”.

“Stellvia” isn’t a bad show. The episode where Shima gets to play a ball game using a space ship was nice. Most of the characters are likeable and the CGI is nothing to sneeze at. The only character that got on my nerves was the heroine and not because of her hairstyle which look like two meatballs got stuck on either side of her head.

The problem with Shima is she doubts herself too much and she’s a crybaby. I want so much to shake her and yell: Stop crying. Just stop it! Even one of her friends slaps some sense into her.

Shima and another classmate, Kouta Otoyama, fall in love. His admission that he likes her is followed by a cute kissing scene. The only thing it lacked was a puppy frolicking in the background.

Kouta is the other lead character but we don’t really get to know too much about him. He’s a C student and he has an older sister who runs an observatory. But he’s a special pilot because he’s the only one who can see beyond a certain level in space. Or something to that effect. The graphics for the program that allows him and Shima to do that look like some kid’s game though.

Shima also has this ability but not at Kouta’s level. This sets up some angst-filled moments and yes, more crying on her part. Sigh.

To me, “Stellvia” is like any high school anime out there except it’s set in space and the kids are dealing with a major problem rather than just who to take to the dance. If you have time to look it over, feel free to do so. It’s available on DVDs.

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