In the year 2999: humanity is split into two factions, Terra and Ness, in a war fought by starships. One of the foremost of the pilots is the cocky teenager Yamamoto Yohko, and during one of her missions, she and her crew are sucked into a temporal anomaly (a la Star Trek) that sends her back to our time. Amnesiac, she only thinks of herself as a typical high school student - until a course of events sends her back to her ship the TA-29, with her newfound friends fighting at her side in a war that looks suspiciously like an arcade game (complete with 100 yen ignition costs!).
Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko is an anime based on novels by Takashi Shoji. It aired in 1999 in Japan, but was never licensed outside of it. Is it like Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight and worth looking into or is there a very good reason it was never licenced? Let's take a look.
The story begins with a High School girl named Yamamoto Yohko doing athletics. She's bribed into examining a strange event involving a door that only seems to open at certain times and a certain student seems to keep disappearing into. She finds a portal that takes her a thousand years into the future where she's greeted by several people who seem to know her including a girl from her school named Momiji. She regains her memories during a starship fight and remembers the truth, she's the one who's been disappearing. She was going to the future to battle in a war between two factions for control over different territories. She and Momiji return to their battles and recruit two other girls from their time, Ayano and Madoka, to fight with them. Things get complicated when they discover a mystery called "The Old Timers' Inheritance" and looking into it quickly leads the group into trouble. The premise isn't bad and there are some good moments, but overall the execution is terrible. There are multiple plot holes, the fight scenes are boring and the series is full of pointless transitions and forced expository dialogue. There are several pointless romance subplots that don't affect the narrative and only affect the characters temporarily before getting dropped. The only romance subplot that they actually need for the story is the one between Madoka and Yohsuke. The rest are pointless padding. Speaking of which, there's a lot of that.
The characters aren't so bad. The main four get some good interactions and are pretty complex and developed characters. The main issue is that the vast majority of the other characters are completely one dimensional. The antagonists suffer from the "needlessly toy with the enemy giving them a chance to beat you" cliche. Each of the main characters also gets one episode where they spend an inordinate amount of time moping over something relatively minor. Which ruins part of the tension when they're moping over something serious.
I didn't want to say this after last week, but the art is lazy and schizophrenic. They don't change the art technique completely like they did in Leave it to Piyoko, but they're constantly doing bad effects with the animation that just get annoying really quickly. They frequently save time on doing the colour simply by shading everything one colour. There are moments where they draw a simple scene and just tile it. The result is that the art goes all over the place. Even when they aren't doing anything screwy with it, it's not good. Rather, it would be pretty mediocre without the horrendous effects. What makes this worse is that the key animation was done by Sushio, who did animation work for several very well drawn series like Berserk, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 and Mushishi. I have no idea what happened here.
The voice acting is actually really good, overall. They got a lot of strong actors like Hayashibara Megumi, Yukino Satsuki, Miyamura Yuko and Matsumoto Yasunori. The music is pretty good as well. One issue is that the characters almost always refer to Yamamoto Yohko by her full name and it gets annoying pretty quickly. Another is that there are moments where the sound effects are so loud that it's hard to hear the actors.
I'm going to give Starship Girl a yuri factor of 3/10. The main four protagonists all get some homoerotic moments, especially Ayano and Yohko but they go out of their way to give them all gratuitous romance subplots, except for the aforementioned Madoka one, and nothing too substantial ever happens among them.
My final rating for Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko is a 3/10. The voice acting and music are really the only strong points. The plot and art are both messes and the few decent moments really aren't worth watching the series for. Even if I've watched worse anime that did get licensed, I can understand why the license was never picked up. read more
(As written on 'The Hateful Anime Truth' on Facebook)
As a pre-teen, I loved animes. I literally walked, stepped, breathed, drink and excrement out anime. During my time, my sister would drag me to the front of the house where the TV is to watch some anime on AXN and Animax.
So I'd like to thank her for giving me this little gem that is Starship Girl Yamamoto Yoko. It's fast-paced, action packed, quirky and light-hearted all at the same time. Well, anything will do for this one, and I believe it's actually better than that stupid Evangelion and the stupid expositionsWith that, let's get on with the review.
Usually, it's your typical standard good vs evil anime. 4 ordinary girls become goddesses of their starships to take out evil tyrants from destroying the world... or taking over it. I forgot, it's a REALLY old anime. The story's actually pretty good, with its extra bit of charm and quirkiness.
Well, this IS an old anime, and at the time, the art style isn't like today's, so it's slightly grainy, but the detail they give to the girls, the spaceships and the attacks are pretty much top-notch.
Oh and SHINY FOREHEAD.
Not much to say about sound except god damn that opening intro is classic. The music is pretty badass when it gets to the fighting parts. Really fitting especially at the last parts of the anime.
My favorite part, the characters. The 4 heroines are really different in terms of style. Yoko happens to be the average all-arounder, and then there's the shy one, the sporty one, and the one that wants to beat Yoko. The modern day version of Yoko Yamamoto would be Misaka Mikoto from To Aru Majutsu no Index/To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, since they both use the patented 100 yen coins to fire off giant f*cking lasers.
This is actually a pretty good anime. I'm surprised as to something being actually better than Evangelion or Gundam. If you like action, but at the same time a light-hearted feel to an anime, then I suggest you pick this up.
This show is directed by a young Akiyuki Shinbo in the days before he joined Shaft. Despite the director's newfound popularity, shows like this remain obscure. It's a shame, because I think many anime fans would enjoy this show.
Probably the first thing I should hit on in this review are the two OVAs that preceded this. They aren’t actually prequels, they are telling the same story. However, there are some differences. First, the TV series covers much more material than the OVAs. The OVAs do not add anything to the TV show, there’s no vital information in them. However, I still recommend that you watch the OVAs first. They are both really short, and a lot less plot-oriented than the TV series. They focus a lot on visual effect and atmosphere, but have a light-hearted tone for the most part.
Just like the OVAs, this TV series doesn't take itself too seriously; even during dramatic scenes there's a certain wittiness about it. It's got a good plot premise, but doesn't really explore it too much. It tends to focus more on the characters than the plot, and this is really just fine.
The art is kind of outdated, and doesn't show too much detail. Despite this, the art is still very good in some spots, and of course there are tons of fantastic experimental scenes. As long as you don’t expect high-res, you might find a good amount of charm in the artwork. There aren’t many lapses in quality or anything like that.
The soundtrack is pretty good, the most memorable part of which is the excellent opening. As another reviewer put it, it’s a classic. The characters are all pretty fun, though not terribly deep. Probably where this anime is strongest is in the enjoyment section. read more