The now 50 year old Scientific Boys Club decides to built a ship that sails to Mars on the "Ethereal Current" - a thesis of the wife of a club member which claims that the universe is flooded with Ethereal energy. On this stream they travel to Mars in order to prove an old theory about channels on Mars built by Martians, but there is no life. Many years later, when both theories are considered to be nonsense, a Mars expedition discovers a stone with the inscription "Scientific Boys Club 1954".
Not much to see here. I came as an enthusiast of space-themed anime, but this wasn't about space at all, but about physics, mathematics and calculation.
The story is shallow and nothing interesting happens at all; you are left with a couple of beautiful, very well-animated scenes, but no compelling events for the plot. They study, they drink, they build a kind of spaceship, go on their mission and... That's it.
It's like you're seeing a slideshow of some trip your uncle Joe went to in 1979 and all he talks about is how good it was, but you get no feeling out of it, you just
can't relate. Uncle Joe is a bad storyteller. Maybe he worked on Spirit of Wonder.
The animation is adorable, the designs, the colors, the faces of the characters, all make you smile. Good music, it gets the mood right.
You don't get to know the characters very well. This is why I'm saying it's pretty difficult to care about something here. All you see them talking about is science. Ok, the title is SCIENTIFIC Boys Club. But at least I was expecting some kind of uh deep human relationships. I see they laugh, argue and smile, loving science together, but I don't see why. I can't understand how. Windy is the only likeable character there, yet she almost never talk.
If you're not expecting a compelling story and just wants to kill time, this can be a good, beautiful surprise. For me, personally, it didn't work.
The story of three old men who as boys had the dream of verifying the theory that there is life on Mars and how along with the daughter of one of them and her husband create a ship, yes a ship, and a ship with proppellors no less, to reach fullfill there fifty year old dream. Now there are many questionable parts of this OAV about the sci-fi bit and how it wouldn't actually be possible to do pretty much anything these guys did, but it gets away with it, you shouldn't really watch this for it science fiction, watch this for the warm atmosphere
I said it gives a warm atmosphere but looking at the setting you can't help but feel a little chilly, its always snowing, but this does provide a nice touch to the landscape shots. The setting is never really touched upon but they all have English names. Now although not strictly a comedy one could hardly call it a drama, there are a few times you will want to say "Jack, get your fucking ass home to your wife." But there love is strong and the old guys provide enough humour.
There are only six character to appear in the whole show, not surprising with it being only two episodes. Jack has a job in which he must travel away and the story starts with his return, he lives with his wife and her Father and doesn't seem to be able to hold his drink, Windy his wife is an eduacated girl, she published a book about Ethreal and the Scientific Boys Club are the only ones to have taken it seriously, she helps them out throughout providing answers to equations and genrally setting them straight. The three old men of the club are the main highlight, Windy's Father seems like the leader of the group, the Einstein look man is funny, he is a bit of a perv flipping a couple of girls skirts and is the main source of the comedy, the other member stays rather quiet and isn't really involved in the plot but is always around. Not forgetting of course Miss China has a few cameo roles.
Art is rather simple and seems a little dated like something from the 90s rather than 2001 but the landscape shots were nice and it didn't effect the show it self. Animation wasn't terrible, it wasn't great either, something like a motorbike heading of in the distance didn't even become smaller as it faded off, characters were all well drawn and stayed proportion mostly.
Sound is decent, the general background noises were bland, the sound of trees and the wind blowing were what you would expect them to sound like but wasn't much variety in it. No music stood out, it all fit nicely into the scenes and the credits song was a cool big band type song and was a decent listen to.
Overall for an hours worth of OAV spread oout over two episode you can't go wrong, especially if you enjoyed the prequal as this gave off a very similar feeling to it, its got a clam feel about it and is something to sit back and relax, there are no bad guys to worry about, no one to get into the way of out characters, a nice gentle comedy that will make you go 'D'aaaawwww' a few times.
The Scientific Boys Club is a wonderful, "modern" sci-fi fairytale about a woman and three old men achieving their pipe dreams... and a drunk guy.
Imagine grandpa tells you about the time he flew to Mars on a ship he built with two of his old buddies and a drunkard, based on some completely bogus theory. That's total nonsense, right? But what if it /were/ true?
That's the point of Spirit of Wonder: Scientific Boys Club.
It's a very feel-good story, not just because of the slow pacing and realistic characters, but also because it grants the unrealistic wishes of these characters. Windy's scientific theories were
mocked and proven wrong, and now she's a stay-at-home wife. The three old dudes of the scientific boys club have believed for 50 years in a totally nonsensical claim that aliens live on Mars. But luckily for them, this is a story where pigs fly and the sky falls down, and all their unbelievably fantastic dreams are fulfilled.
This ova is the total opposite of "hard" science fiction, where all the science-y stuff has to be scientifically accurate. Instead, Tsuruta has gone out of his way to emphasize how non-scientific everything is. It's a sci-fi that's not supposed to be sci -- not supposed to be believable. And it feels so good.
P.S.: for more reading, I wrote a bit more with spoilers here: http://flomu.net/blog/2018/12/spirit-of-wonder-scientific-boys-club