Synonyms: Round Vernian Vifam, Galactic Drifter Vifam, Space Castaways Vifam
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 21, 1983 to Sep 21, 1984
25 min. per episode
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.361 (scored by 138 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisAD. 2058, on the Clayad which was the 3rd planet of the Ypserlon system, which was 43 light years away from Earth, suddently aliens raided the planet.The emigrants on the Clayad had to escape from the planet. Because of the confusion during the escape, the children were strayed from their parents and got in the training space ship, Janous. With a lot of sacrifices, they managed to arrive at 4th planet Belwick. However, the Belwick had been already in the war. Therefore, the 13 children had to go to the Earth by themselves.
Related AnimeSummary: Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam: Kachua Kara no Tayori, Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam: Atsumatta 13-nin
Side story: Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam: Kieta 12-nin, Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam: Keito no Kioku - Namida no Dakkai Sakusen
Alternative version: Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam 13
Characters & Voice Actors
Being an obscure title from the 80s, I didn't have high hopes for this series, however, I found myself pleasantly surprised.
In the future, Humanity has reached out into space and colonised two other planets. The story begins on the most recently colonised planet, as it falls under attack by alien forces. The civilian population proceeds to evactuate and amidst the chaos of battle, the training ship Janus takes flight across the galaxy. It's crew number just over a dozen, most of whom are children.
Essentially, this is a story about 13 children, their travels across the galaxy, and the effect they have on the war. It's a fairly light-hearted tale, watching the characters learning to cope in space, and learning to defend themselves, while they grow together as a group.
There is a fair helping of humour in the way the characters go about there task, but the series is generally a serious one. The scenario is also well crafted, with lots of little details as to how and why. I didn't really notice any loose threads.
The series weighs in at a hefty 46 episodes, but there's plenty of story to tell, and it keeps going at a fairly nice pace.
From the worried leader, to the excitable-military-nut, to the laid-back-jokester, the characters are solid, if perhaps a little simple, with a good variety of personalities.
For an 80s anime, the art is well done. The characters have lots of personality, and the battles are decent, with little noticable re-use of clips.
No complaints. The characters seem well-voiced. Hearing the little ones ask when they'll meet their parents will likely tug at a few people's heartstrings.
In short, it's a good series that doesn't really deserve to be overlooked as much as it seems to be. Sure, being from the 80s, the art is a bit dated, and scenes are paced a bit slower, but it's still a well-made series. I'll recommend this to people who like sci-fi, and think the characters should be more important than the mecha.
PS. It probably deserves an 8, but my bias against 80s anime says only 7 :P read more
ANIME MINOR JEWELS SERIES
Full list of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
Vifam is better than a run of the mill mecha for the strong focus on its characters. It would even be a mistake to view it as an action mecha, since the battles are to the most part simple or without choreography. It is in fact a lot closer to a children’s adventure, where (literally) a team of children need to reach safety.
The story is VERY dramatic and morbid at times, so this is not exactly an anime you can show to little children without scaring them or making them cry at times (if there is still a chance children will be willing to watch such an old show). There is a lot of death and destruction in it and despite the light way it tries to depict everything, I still believe this is a children’s adventure for adults. Plus it is full of sexual humor revolving little children and despite being done in an innocent way it still feels unacceptable for most non-Japanese audience. Damn those Japs; they are plain crazy!
So in the story, there is a war between Earth and an alien planet and during an attack on a base, a team of children are separated from their parents and are taken on-board a fleeing military ship. The aliens persist their attacks as they want the cargo of that ship and as a result more and more adults get killed in battle until there are only children left to fend themselves. I must say that the death total and the dread of seeing your friends and caretakers lying dead is extremely graphical at points, thus making this show a rather effective war drama and again not suitable for children. It is even highly tragic how the children need to survive by learning how to fight and keep eluding the alien attacks.
At the same time, the series is not exactly going serious with itself, as there is no actual consistency between the capabilities of the combatants. If the scriptwriters feel like it, the aliens are elites who wipe out entire armadas of earth soldiers, and if they don’t they are incompetent to beat a few children that clumsily pilot robots. I mean they can barely stretch their limbs enough to reach the controls and yet they fend off the aliens numerous times. Also, it is more than obvious how adults are the only ones who ever get killed in this show, fast and brutal, while children survive no matter the odds. After a point on, they don’t even seem to be affected with all the death around them and evil kill the highly human-like aliens like it doesn’t matter. For this reason the show is not convincing at all in making you believe the children are in deep trouble if not even experienced soldiers can defeat the aliens.
Although the realism part suffers tremendously, there is still a very good aspect in the show and that is the character focus and interaction. The whole meat of the show is looking at the children trying to survive and cope with any problems they encounter along their journey. Each one of them has a different personality and despite being a dozen, each one of them feels very likable and memorable in its own way. Some are definitely more active and comical or tragic than others, yet the show wouldn’t be the same if even one of them was missing.
As I said despite the dark overtones show goes for, it is still to the most part a humorous light adventure with the “almost” daily lives of children that need to survive on their own during a war. Each episode has several comical moments of how they mess up or trying to understand something, or even how they try to deal with their sexual frustration. I must say it has some really bold scenes concerning how the boys need porn magazines to steam out or how they drink alcohol to fight the pain they feel, or how the girls need to mend their underwear and lots of other not-exactly-humor-for-kids situations.
There is still a lot of drama present to balance it somehow, especially with one of the children being an alien and having to win the trust of the rest. Plus they need to solve the mystery of what is so important in their cargo that the aliens want so bad and still find their parents who are somewhere out there. There are also many mentions of the reasons behind the war that seem to give some justice even for the aliens, who are definitely not inhuman satanic conquerors but almost like earth-people, easy to misunderstand and snap. And humans are not exactly innocent either as they have mistreated the aliens’ colonies for far too long. Just don’t expect too much from all that, since as I said the show goes too easy with its dark side.
As far as production values go, the artwork is good for its age and has detail when it comes to robots and machinery. The character figures look a bit simplistic but their body language is very vivid so that saves face. The animation is not too good as there are a lot of still images going around and the battles are full of simplistic explosions. Music on the other hand is very good for its time as the voice actors did a god job in giving life to the children and the main music theme is amazingly captivating.
In all, Vifam is a good anime with likable characters, a bit of naughty humor, and nice anti-war messages. It simply never goes too bold with its themes and thus the serious aspects in it are feeling too naive to take seriously for long. It is not a masterpiece but surely more captivating than the average children’s adventure because of the very same dark elements and because children suffering is always an easy way to attract attention from the audience. Recommended with the bar set with middle expectations.
Mujin Wakusei Survive
Galaxy Express 999 read more
Opening Theme"Hello, Vifam" by TAO
Ending Theme"Never Give Up" by TAO
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Related ClubsOld School Anime - Brasil , The MAHQ Club, MAL: The Later Years, Old School Anime Club, Retro Mecha Club
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