After scaling Mt. Everest, mountain climbing partners Saruwatari Gorou and "Lostman" Jack F. Woodbridge see the ISA Space Station, and each vows to make the trek into outerspace. When Helium 3, a new energy source, is discovered on the moon, NASA forms a new project named "Nexus" to harness that energy for use on earth. This is the story of the two and the paths they take to see their dream become a reality in the quest to harness the next-generation energy source.
This series is bout two characters, "Gorou Saruwatari" and Jack F. Woodbridge aka "Lostman" Two talented individuals that have their own unique personality and identity traits, both enthusiastic mountain climbing partners, they want to try and hit the highest mountain peek in the world but are unsatisfied until one day they want to explore the heavens, the vast ocean of the stars, they both want to each pursue their dreams of one day entering outer space and be the first man to walk on the moon. While the story takes place in a slightly more technologically advanced future, the rigors of space flight are
every bit as insurmountable as they would be today.
What makes the core of the tale work so well is that the interaction between the two lead characters is anything but direct for the vast majority of the season. Rather than lump them together in their competitive race to be the first to the moon, the show's creative staff pays careful attention to crafting two very separate and unique stories. Sure their paths cross on more than one occasion along the way but the overall feel is almost that of a competition from opposite sides of the globe.
The viewer is transported along to several locales around the planet including a snowy Russia, sunny coastal Japan, scorching Middle Eastern desert and even the mystical Area 51 all under the near-flawless portrayal of the technological space race taking place between nations. It turns out that the future spawns a sort of United Nations banner (the International Space Agency or ISA for short) specifically catered to space travel and the common goal of using material within the moon's core as a near limitless global energy source.In case you haven't noticed, the show takes a very tangible approach to the sciences contained within.
The acting is simply flawless in both the original Japanese version and the English dub. Moonlight Mile manages to impress. The voice work is emotional and passionate throughout without crossing the delicate line between acting and overacting. Casting choices of the lead and secondary roles are spot on (especially with Goro and Lost Man themselves as the actors simply nail the unique yet similar traits of their respective personalities). I especially found myself appreciating the rare moments when the two lead characters interacted. It was almost as if there was a sense of their underlying friendship even though each acted as though he cared little whether the other lived or not.
The animation quality in this show is absolutely splendid, blending CG and animation so seamlessly together is not something easy to do but yet this show really seems to pull it off so perfectly.
The sound tracks at least in the first half of the show could of been a bit suited towards the theme of the show, but towards the 2nd half, it picks up with music that is really inspiring for the typical setting and space exploration or science.
As i said before this show strives on the realization of inquiring one's own dream's even though some of the actors like goro see's things very differently and acts like he does not care half the time or jokes around, his ideal beliefs and philosophies are still a very prominent attraction to his character. As is the case with Lostman.
The first half of this show really focuses mostly on developing the characters in other parts of the world, showing what kind of situations they are in, what kind of lives they live. The 2nd half of the series involves more of a subplot involving mysteries and touches base on the more rivalry between the two characters, and also other theme's like governmental secrecy and conflicts between nations.
I felt that some of the characters in the first season should not have been introduced, because some of them never really got their spot light they deserved. This is think is one of the flaws of this season. We are barely touched based on these side actors of the story and they become more and more insignificant as the story progress. This is the first season and i expect them to fully be explored in season 2 hopefully. This show is really bout the two main leads and the ISA's experimental projects to entering space, as well as the US military and the Javanese government's involvement. Mankind has reached for this type of technology for thousands of years. The show also explore's lots of politics, mystery, and conspiracy theories.
This series kinds of breaks the boundaries of what is considered a "perfect" anime world. Where everything is always in some sort of order like out of a story book or novel and characters are to strong in certain scenario's and the fan service is always their. This show's core theme is really centered around dreams and how far you are willing to go to achieve those dreams and make them a reality.
It kind of really portrays a much more visual approach to realism. Even the sex is shown in a very natural manner. The series is not afraid to show different racial types as is the case in this world today, so many African Americans marrying other races. I could swear it feels like i am watching an actual movie like "Armeggedon" on screen. Some people are just so stuck so attached to a perfect anime world, they don't realize how a story can be portrayed in a more realistic fashion by not following the general and most notable mainstream anime trends. Its just a rarity amongst anime so its nice to see a show like this come along every now and then.
I highly recommend this series if you want to watch something with a more complex, but intricate plot with interesting characters that explore their own dreams in very different way's and use their wits and skills to undertake any tasks, each having their own ideal philosophies on how to achieve their goal.
Moonlight Mile is focused on two mountain climbers who meet one another during a climb up Mount Everest and make a challenge to one another to see who can make it onto the moon first. The series then focuses on the different journeys both men make to accomplish their goal of trying to land upon the moon first with Gorou being a Japanese engineer and Woodbridge being among the ranks of the American military. The biggest gripe I have with this series as a whole is that I could care less for both Gorou and Woodbridge as characters. Gorou gets quite a bit of focus
in this series as he is portrayed as a womanizing and easygoing Neanderthal-appearing man who is quite impulsive in his actions which are usually reckless and don't land him in any sort of trouble. Woodbridge suffers from a flat personality and is just as prone to womanizing as Gorou is.
But main characters I could care less about aren't the only gripes I have with Moonlight Mile. The series attempts to spin a realistic and mature take on the journeys faced by Gorou and Woodbridge in their journeys to venture into space. However, these takes don't spin too well with how this series sets up its story. The "realistic" elements rely fairly heavily on coincidences to advance events and in Gorou's case, his knack for committing reckless acts that don't land him in any sort of trouble despite any collateral damage they would cause, such as his use of a mecha to cause damage to a facility in his chase of a saboteur. The "mature" storytelling is also questionable with the title's habit of featuring a number of sex scenes with Gorou and Woodbridge's habits of hooking up with random women at different points in the series and Gorou's knack of being quite impulsive with his behavior at a number of points in the series whenever he gets focus.
It also seems this series was aiming to have much more to tell with its story with Woodbridge's involvement in the American military with some shady developments taking shape as can be seen from the opening minutes of Moonlight Mile's first episode and the final few episodes of the series. While making for the better developments of the series, these developments and the journey of our two male leads are left unresolved for the anime's second season.
The major highlight for this series would be the visuals. Scenery shots sport vivid color and plenty of detail, as well as excellent integration of CG-rendered objects like mecha and spaceships that fit in almost perfectly with the regular animation. Animation is quite fluid in many instances, especially in flight sequences involving space shuttles and jets. The only sour spot with the visuals were character designs. It looked like the series was attempting to implement a realistic approach to their designs, but it made the facial features of their characters look rather crude in their details and they are occasionally off-model during distant shots.
Overall, Moonlight Mile appeared to be an attempt at creating a seinen title, but the immaturity and lack of believability in its plot and characters made it feel more like a shounen title. While the final episodes seemed to hint at interesting developments to come with its plot, I don't feel invested enough in the characters of Gorou and Woonbridge to even want to attempt watching the second season of Moonlight Mile.
Moonlight Mile follows the seperate stories of Goro Saruwatari and Jack F. Woodbridge a.k.a. Lostman as they try to get into space after both conquer Mount Everest.
The show is very mature and uses persistent strong language as well as some really unnecessary sex scenes, although considering the manga it's based on, there was definitely going to be some sex scenes.
Story: I don't find the story very original this is a show that generally follows the format of Best friends climb mountain together, and then best friends make a pact to go into space. How many times has that been done, at times it feels as
if this show has no continuing story.
Art: I won't lie, the animation is outstanding, the C.G.I. and character designs are top-notch, but good animation does not always make a good story. But it does help.
Sound: Now I watched the dub version, but I take into account how the show sounds, like the effects. The dub is generally well-done effort, in his first lead role Andrew Love is cast in the role of Goro and he fits the character perfectly as he seems to be able to capture Goro's frat boy mentality. John Gremillion playing Lostman generally seems to be able to pull off the military man stereotype very well. There isn't many other major characters in this show except Monica Rial playing Riyoko Ikeuchi but she soon fades into the background after episode four.
Character: I don't like these characters, I especially have a problem with Goro, sure he can be really likeable some times, but about 75% of the time the guy is acting like a jackass, although to be honest this certain trait goes dramatically down starting with episode five. Goro, is perfectly well named considering he certainly looks like a "Gorilla", he does come off as a neanderthal and there are times in this show where I just have to throw up my arms and ask why they included completely unnecessary scenes of Goro taking off his clothes and getting a little wild (do not worry there is no frontal male nudity for the faint of heart).
As for Lostman he's a little more tolerable, he generally seems to have his hormones much more under control then Goro and I feel generally he seems to be very straightforward and he knows what he wants in life.
Enjoyment: I did enjoy this title, although it does have it's flaws it's still much better then most of the stuff that has come out of Japan in the last while.
Overall: I gave it a seven, which generally is where this series is, it's lead characters are not the most likeable and while it does suffer from some cliches. This is one of the few Space Exploration based animes out there, A lot of people will come into this show expecting Planetes. If you are, you will be sorely dissapointed. I admit I came into this show expecting it to be somewhat like Planetes and while the first four episodes aren't like Planetes, the next couple of episodes after that come out definitely feel more like Planetes. For people offended by in your face sex scenes of which there are about 5 brief scenes (with only one of them having any audio) from my count from the eight episodes. I found them to be utterly unnecessary and something I just didn't want to see. Anyway give this one a try if you want.