Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 11, 2013 to Dec 20, 2013
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 6.591 (scored by 11319 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThree sisters, Hozuki, Kazuki, and Hazuki, are descendants of Galileo and have completely different personalities and tastes; they never meet eye-to-eye. One day, the girls are suddenly attacked by a mysterious organization. The organization was after the "Galileo Tesoro" which Galileo Galilei was said to have discovered. Still unaware of what was going on, the sisters escape on the airship they built after the sudden attack. But it won't be so easy for these three sisters to help each other out in a pinch when they're constantly at odds with each other. What is the Tesoro, and what is the organization after? And what about the relationship between the sisters? It's a threesome of cute girls, action, and mystery!
(Source: Fuji Creative)
Characters & Voice Actors
Recently, anime adaptations of western culture have become somewhat of an outlandish trend. Not only are these adaptations capitalized by world-building over historical accuracy, but they are also filled with unremarkable plot twists that occur spontaneously. Instead of quality writing and a substantial narrative, one will find uninspired executions of characterization and pretentious attempts at making grandiose, explosive scenes seem more than they really are. Regrettably, Galilei Donna is an anime that exhibits the very shortcomings of this trend.
In retrospect, Galilei Donna had it all: gorgeous sceneries, splendorous mecha battles, and a bizarre but spectacular synopsis. It had the makings of a great sci-fi tale, an epic journey about finding and reconciling with personal insecurities, and an innocent slice of life series. However, because it lacked the patience to blend these elements together harmoniously, Galilei Donna ends up having something of an identity crisis.
Set in the future of metropolitan Italy, Galilei Donna starts by introducing us to the three sisters: Hazuki, Kazuki, and Hozuki. As descendants of Galileo, they are a trio of the Ferrari family, each bearing her own distinct personalities. One day, agents from an enigmatic organization show up to chase after the three sisters, supposedly seeking for a family treasure called the Galileo Tesoro. By the time these agents have encircled the Ferrari family, we find out that the youngest sister Hozuki, a prepubescent girl, just so happens to have a flying goldfish machine to save them from the perpetrators. Before we're given any other information, we learn that she also miraculously constructed the entire machine by herself. And very conveniently so. Thus begins a traditional game of cat and mouse and treasure hunting.
A story composed largely of coincidences is just a sorry excuse for poor writing. For some reason, this is an inference that Galileo Donna doesn't seem to understand. See a missile flying towards you?—No worries, a deus ex machina will nullify the belligerence. Stuck in the past?—No tears, an unexplained chemical storm will drain you back to the future. It is ludicrous how, by being so painstakingly unpredictable, this series has become so very predictable.
Moreover, it tries very little to explicate the premise beyond its plot elements, and even when attempted, Galilei Donna does it in a fairly half-baked and frivolous manner. In a way, Galilei Donna could be trying to immerse the viewer in another dimension, however, this usually works atrociously. For instance, whenever Galilei Donna introduces details or tries to add depth to its plot, it’s done so very capriciously, and due to there being little purpose to these gimmicks beyond their initial use, they become arbitrary rather than significant contributions—recyclable instead of irreplaceable characters and causes.
Likewise, there’s also a lavish amount of gratuitous scenes. In general, there are lots of events that occur nonsensically. One scene could present some semi-humorless drama with a dark overtone, while the next would present something completely irrelevant or dissonant with the mood. From one frame to another, Galilei Donna would jump from the cute sisters doing cute things, to a sequence of imposing mecha fights. Unfortunately, this not only creates many discrepancies, but also discredits the overall seriousness of the plot.
Following the lackluster plot, a vast majority of the characters are two-dimensional. Their personalities are mostly caricatured; and their backstories often hackneyed. Out of the three sisters, Hazuki acts dramatically; Kazuki acts conservatively but at times speaks derisively; and Hozuki acts impulsively, yet is given the heaviest duties of the three. Most side characters chiefly serve as caricatures or comic reliefs, and though as humorous as they are, their antics get old by the third—fourth—until which time? There is a decent amount of time spent developing Hozuki’s character, but all of that is annulled each time she regresses back due to her insecurities. Sure, the last episodes provide her with some flair, but even marrying Galileo couldn't convert a duckling into a swan.
In comparison, the animation is simply splendid. Altogether, the background frameworks and scenery presentations paint a stellar landscape of the setting, and while perhaps overly extravagant, they provide the audience with a stimulating backdrop.
Additionally, there are a decent amount of mouthwatering mecha sequences in Galilei Donna. Poor concepts and designs (a goldfish mecha, really?) aside, the action frames are usually coherent, fluid, and pleasant for the eye. Mecha and action junkies will unlikely be disappointed. In fact, this should be one of the only sensible reasons one should watch Galilei Donna: for the stellar animation.
Similarly, the music delivers some relaxing and vigorous tones. The background music is silent when no sound is required, and switches back on whenever appropriate. However, the voice acting cast appears to be lacking in some aspects, as there weren't many outstanding voice talents. Not that there needed to be prominent voice actors or actresses voicing the characters, but the lack of tonal variances and fluctuations made some scenes feel unexpectedly dull and underwhelming.
Mindless entertainment—this is essentially what Galilei Donna is. A farcical story accompanied by insipid characters, Galilei Donna is a series meant to be taken at face value. Cheaply written narratives, convenient story resolutions, and lip-smacking visuals: these are what defines Galilei Donna. Be prompted to witness an in-cohesive mix of mecha battles, pseudo-mystery solving, and cute girls doing cute things. However, if any of those doesn't sound appealing, avoid Galilei Donna like the plague. read more
For this, my first ever written review for MAL, I decided to pick a series for which I had zero expectations going into watching the show. That is, no familiarity whatsoever with the source material (this is a TV original, so no issues there), or with the production staff or writers or any other personnel. This was a series I picked up "blind" at the start of the season and finished when it finished.
So just how did Galilei Donna end up being? If you want the short answer, it would be to both anime enthusiasts and casual watchers alike, “don’t bother.”
But I wouldn’t be doing this right if I didn’t go into further detail. Let us go through the various aspects in order and then summarize at the end.
Three sisters who are alternate-history Galileo's descendants, Hozuki, Kazuki, Hazuki learn of some kind of long-lost treasure of Galileo's and realize some evil energy corporation is also after it. After a rather violent disruption to their daily lives, they are forced to go on a journey to try to search for clues as to its identity and location before the evil company and some sky-faring pirates get their hands on it. So far, so good. It's a rather generic-sounding fetch quest or mystery/adventure story, but it has some potential in the right hands.
Unfortunately, the execution of the story is absolutely abysmal. It's like the writers thought the series needed a "treasure" mystery for the adventure to even occur in the first place, but all they were looking for was some kind of somewhat urgent situation with which to burden the delicate character of Hozuki such that she could look sort of moe while working her child-prodigy engineering magic (more on that later).
Whereas a classic mystery/adventure formula features (reluctantly or not) daring protagonists (again, more on that later) on a journey to solve some kind of puzzle by finding clues, and struggling against being set back by misdirection or other various conflicts, in Galilei Donna the pervading sense is that the story merely was an excuse to get the girls from one perilous action sequence to another with the "sketches" of Galileo as some kind of checkpoint.
Not once did I ever sense any kind of concern as to where the location of the next checkpoint would be, or what kind of puzzle they would have to solve to get their hands on it once the location was identified. In fact, in one particular instance, they randomly and inexplicably land in some far-off location I have since forgotten for reasons I didn't pick up on, and a strange hobo hands them a clue because he happened to have it.
And then it all concludes in the most inane, drama-less courtroom drama that I have ever seen onscreen. After giving us an entire show featuring about three girls on the run from an evil corporation and sky-pirates that clearly have very few scruples about killing or destroying to get what they want, the writers have the evil corporation arrest the girls and put them on trial...for stealing some of their precious energy source from them. Huh?
Note to writers: If your genre is mystery/adventure, put some mystery into your adventure, and have the climax of the show feature some kind of mystery-solving or at least a climactic battle for a long-lost treasure, please. It doesn't really count as a story if the protagonists accidentally stumble from clue to clue as though they were predefined checkpoints along a linear path, and then suddenly show up in a courtroom to defend themselves against a corporation that would probably just have killed them, anyway.
Throughout Galilei Donna, I am sorry to say, I was continuously baffled by the inexplicable sequence of events that followed one after another with barely any thread of plot stringing them together. Story: 2/10
To be honest, Galilei Donna was mostly a pleasure to look at. While a lot of the scenery was fairly generic, which made it seem like the writers did painfully little Google image searching for pictures of Italy, the action sequences were well-animated, and the character designs were unique and pleasant enough for this kind of show. In particular, Hozuki’s (Hocchi, Hocchibi) design was a high point.
In addition, the weapons, missile/rocket spam, the usual blingy computer displays, explosion effects, and other noticeably 3D-animated sequences were pretty well-done. This contributed to the general sense of fluidity and competence in the action sequences, of which there were plenty.
For the most part, the visuals delivered. However, there were a few very puzzling decisions that I could not shake off for the entire series, namely, why does alternate-future Italy look so Japanese, and more importantly, why was everything a fish?
These rather irksome questions were enough to cause me to actually laugh when I should have been riveted to the screen watching air-to-air missile combat during tense dogfights. Instead, what we got was...fish-fights? What?
In conclusion, this was a competently produced and animated show, with some odd design decisions that fell rather flat, and others that had some amount of charm to them. Art: 7/10
The voice-acting in Galilei Donna was mediocre to decent. In particular, the three main girls had some decent amount of differentiation, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say they really had “personality,” but good enough. The minor characters were all reasonable well-acted as well, with relatively little “ham” or overly-dramatically delivered dialogue, except possibly for the sky pirate Cicinho, whose penchant for calling Hazuki “bambina” grew old very fast.
The opening and closing songs did their job and didn’t get too much in the way. Though I still remain puzzled as to their relation to the actual content of the series, they were competently sung and decently composed songs. I had no qualms about either, but they didn’t really stand out to me either. Sound effects in general were perfectly adequate, as were backing music tracks, but once again, neither particularly stood out to me.
A competent showing but not a particularly outstanding effort from the sound department. Sound: 6/10
Unfortunately things get really bad when it comes to the characters. Though it is easy to nitpick over the incredibly lackluster cast of villains and side characters, in the interest of time and space, I will focus on the protagonists.
Hozuki, Kazuki, and Hazuki are, respectively, an unfailingly cute child prodigy engineer, a rather pessimistic and grouchy teenager who...complains a lot, and a college-age law student (which, as you know by now, really only matters a single time at the end of the show). The girls are part-Japanese, which seems be the case simply to give the writers a convenient excuse to have the main characters speak Japanese and visit Japan when they feel like it.
Supposedly, this show is about their adventure together and the relationship between these sisters who don’t seem to get along very well. So by the end, they should have grown both personally and interpersonally; that is, as individual people and in their relationships with each other. Well, it is certainly true that by the end of the show they got used to living together with each other and their companion Anna Hendrix in a cramped (but surprisingly stable and comfortable-looking) flying goldfish.
However, do not be fooled.Although we are treated to occasional squabbles over trivial matters in life aboard a flying goldfish, and then occasional moments where the evil corporation, pirates, or other struggles force them to work together, never do we really see their relationships advance. Instead it seems that, simply by virtue of having been through some troubling times together, the sisters now know each other somewhat better, and have decided that they really are a family. Aw...that’s so...touchingly obvious?
Well, whatever. I guess lack of relationship developments is all right so long each character has some kind of depth or personality or internal struggle she has to work out. Unfortunately, this is not the case either.
Hozuki doesn’t really have anything to her. Beyond being an adorable pre-teen with genius-level engineering skills, there is literally no depth to her character. She doesn’t even have an internal struggle to make up for it, unless you count “missing” her ancestor Galileo.
Kazuki, much in the same vein, is an angsty teenage girl, and that seems to be her entire character. I guess there is some unrequited crush or something but this is never really explored, just literally tossed aside at the end (symbolism!!). Her entire character seems to exist to complain about what the other two girls are doing.
Meanwhile, Hazuki seems to struggle with being hit on by a space pirate...oh, and I guess she’s the eldest and has some responsibility or something. Too bad doesn’t really have time to shoulder all that responsibility until the courtroom drama sequence and she...well, gets saved by her parents anyway. Sigh...so much for that.
Flat and uninteresting personalities, complete with generic and boring character concepts leads to a pretty dull cast. Characters: 2/10
Well, you might have already sensed that I didn’t enjoy this show terribly much, and you’d be right. It was entertaining, mildly, to see this trainwreck of a show (shipwreck? fishwreck?) play out, all the while holding a glimmer of hope that something really astounding might occur to turn the show around. And, I guess it wasn’t an eyesore or too hard on the ears.
Still, though, “not annoying visually or audibly” is not enough to actually say I enjoyed something. If maybe I had cared for any of the content of the show, I would have enjoyed it more, but really, this was a vapid, forgettable piece of animation. Enjoyment: 3/10
In conclusion, some technically strong points lead to a watchable show that unfortunately has little to nothing in the way of content. This is a classic example of a show that tried too hard in all the wrong ways to be original or surprisingly, and ended up really just rehashing some clichéd story with some wooden characters, and then dressing it up in a different outfit or something.
Overall: 4/10 read more
Mouretsu Pirates and Galilei Donna takes the science fiction theme and transforms it into an idea revolving around girls in a futuristic setting. In that setting, there is a world with advanced technology but at the same time poses threats for humanity.
There is a sense of mystery going on behind the origins of the main characters and why they get caught up into events that puts their lives in danger. At the same time, the main characters from both series revolves around character relationships mixed with drama, emotions, and humor.
Action is also present with a taste of sci-fi/spacecraft warfare.
Do you like talented female characters that deal with a lot of technology? If so, you might want to give both these series a closer look. Both animes have futuristic settings, but draw on historical themes from European history.
In both series, the main character's legacy makes them a target for kidnappers. A mysterious woman aids a hand. There is an undercurrent of humor as well, as also nice world building that keeps you interested not just in the excellent characters, but the world as a whole.
Opening Theme"Synchromanica (シンクロマニカ)" by Negoto (ねごと)
Ending Theme"Innocent (イノセント)" by Earthmind
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
AnimeYO! [AnimeYO!] (Brazilian Portuguese)
AnimaKai [AnimaKai] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Related ClubsYuuki Kaji Fans., Galilei Donna Fan Club, 123, Hazuki Ferrari (ღ˘⌣˘ღ), Touyama Nao Fanclub, Kamiya Hiroshi fanclub, noitaminA
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