Infinite Ryvius is essentially "Lord of the Flies" on a spaceship, although with students old enough to be in high school (surprise, surprise). Once the students are stranded without their teachers, in various hostile situations, the anime becomes a microcosm for the problem of governance. We have the authoritarians, we have the democrats, and everyone in-between. Most striking for me, about this series, was the slow descent from happy-go-lucky "let's try our best at being space heroes" to chaos, mob-rule, and abuse of power. Having gone to teachers college, I'd hazard that many students would do well to watch this anime,
just to gain an understanding of the different political systems that countries choose to adopt (often for reasons mirrored in this series).
For me, what made the characters interesting wasn't so much their innate personalities, but the way they handled the situations around them. Ultimately that is what defines the cast in this series. After all, many people find their true colours emerge in life-or-death situations, and I took a strange pleasure in seeing everyone change, stay the same, or reveal their true selves as everything began to crumble. While some of you might think about boys running amok doing all sorts of bad things, the instance that disturbed me the most involved perpetrators from my own gender. There are no groups in this anime that can easily be seen as victims or oppressors... everyone loses their grip a bit. We are all human, and there are no monsters to blame everything on.
The production, though nothing earth-shaking, adequately supports the story and characters, such that I never felt myself cringing due to quality issues. Certainly we're not taking about a Miyazaki film here, but we spend so much time listening to dialogue that it never grated on me.
Infinite Ryvius is a look at the politics of a confused society under threat. Any student of history or politics would do well to watch this title. For those non-politically inclined, you might find yourselves drawn in by the character drama, thinking a lot about the world you live in, and that's always a good thing, hmm? What would you do in the same situation? I think I'd probably cry, but then, that's why I watch anime instead of actually piloting space ships. ^_~
I've seen a lot of overrated and over-hyped animes here, but this has to be one of the few who's underrated, and one that should really be in the Top10 of Top100.
Strange but this anime seems to be the only one that all the people who rated it liked and respect it, even the ones that gave it an average 7 think this is a really good anime, but just gets dragged down by animation and the really depressive story, in their opinion, i happen to like the animation and the story.
This anime has one visible flaw but the good points more than make up
for it. The only flaw i can see, and the one that drove people off from this anime even before they gave it a chance is the animation that looks like it came out of the early-mid 90's. Sure the fighting scenes don't look so spectacular and there are no majors CG effects, but the animation is still capable of inflicting a few WOOWWs and i find the space battles more intriguing from the logic and realism point of view a lot better than in Gundam, and if you'll watch the show you'll know what i mean.
The character design is that semi-realistic mid 90's Evangelion like style, no pink or blue hair, just the realistic colors you'll find in humans, Aeris Blue doesn't count since he has dyed hair. So overall i love the way they are drawn.
The sound is great, with nice music beats, even dough i didn't enjoy the OP theme to much, but i can't think of giving it a lower grade than 10 when it comes to voice acting. It has the best voice acting i ever came across, with voices so diverse and acting so realistic in all sorts of situation, from happiness, to anger, cry or desperation.
The plot is good and filled with nice and unpredictable twists and similar to the classic "Lord of the flies" but placed in a sf ground, so it's all about how a few hundred teenagers without adults to watch over them fight to survive. And belive me, the outside enemy isn't their own enemy, they are their worst enemy and as time passes things become more and more violent and desperate and the mood darker and darker.
So overall the story focuses on the human nature, on how people act in desperate situation and how these situations change their personalities, the fight for survival and acts of alliances, violence, backstabbing, emotions of all kinds from love, friendship to fear, hate, jealousy and self conservation. All put in an overall realistic and very detailed manner and very dark and dramatic that just keeps you wanting more. And this anime has a real ending, and i don't mean the short, forced conclusion, no, a hole episode in which you can see the aftermath of "no spoilers" the story, unlike most of the japanese animes.
The character development has to be the crown jewel of this anime, it has the best, most extensive and unexpected character development I ever seen. All the characters are taken care of, some are important from day one others that you'll never consider get a big importance after a while. I should warn you that there are about 26 characters that appear in every episode and have a real development, and that you might not like any of them in the end, but almost all change and at the end you'll never recognize them and you'll probably say "i never thought that he'll end up this way". Maybe you'll love some characters at first and then come to dislike then and the other way around.
Value and enjoyment:
This is one of the best, if not the best animes i've seen, and if you don't mind the animation you'll find a masterpiece of a story development, voice acting and character development...these are the three areas in which this anime could be the best of the best animes.
If you are a SF/psychology fan and you prefer story and character quality over animation quality then this is the BEST choice for you, but if you are a shallow person who just enjoys explosions and cool mechas and pantie shots then you better thing twice.
It is such a brilliant anime and yet so few people know of it, and why you ask? ... Well i guess this world is composed of shallow pantie shot, mega-exposion loverz since this show is so unknown and shows like DearS, Naruto or other top100 animes are soo famous.
The artistic presentation is definitely not the selling point of Infinite Ryvius. I'll state one of my major complaints with the show right off the bat: It is permeated by numerous elements that feel tenuously connected to the setting and the plot, and while the character designs aren't the worst offenders, they're a good visual representation of the problem. I can get behind the generic-but-acceptable “everyday kid” look of some cast members, and the spiffy flight uniforms worn by the group of elite pilots look halfway believable, but that's about as far as these designs could take me. It's hard to feel any sort of
grounded connection to a series that frequently features a girl who inexplicably wears a dinosaur costume on a training spaceship, an antagonistic boy who looks like an outcast from Naruto, or...well, whatever you want to call that pink nightmare ensemble that Neeya is wearing. You get used to the fantastic and the over-the-top in anime, but even by those standards, there are parts of this show's aesthetic repertoire that can only be described as absurdly out of place.
It's also worth mentioning that in addition to the design choices, the follow-through on the art and animation in Ryvius is lackluster at best. Stiff, jerky movements abound, and the character art, which is rough to start with, suffers noticeable degradation in quality at many points. The cinematography during some of the space battles is so poor that I genuinely don't think I would have been able to tell what was happening if not for the narration offered by the characters. Still-frames, poor transitions, reused footage—any technique that could shave a dollar off the cost of animation is used, and used frequently. On a more positive note, the space backgrounds aren't half bad, and the mecha and ship designs are pretty impressive in comparison to everything else.
I swear that I'm not trying to beat this show up based only on its technical side, but frankly, whoever thought that this musical score was a good idea deserves to be beaten up, figuratively and literally. To elaborate on that a little, I'll say that the soundtrack is unique—it's a mix of jazzy contemporary, soft atmospheric noise, and grandiose orchestra, all underscored by a distinct flair of hip-hop influence. That sounds strange on paper, and in this particular case, it isn't any better in practice. I've been impressed by hip-hop and electronic soundtracks in the past, but most of the music in Ryvius consists of simplistic beats that sound tinny and uninspired. One track features a man (who I can only assume was hard-up for cash at the time) repeatedly rapping the word “Ryvius.” I wish I could say I was kidding. It is one of the worst pieces of music that I have ever heard. The score has its high points, but they're few and far between; in general, it actively detracts from the show. Good integration is theoretically possible even with a sub-par soundtrack, but the music in Ryvius fails to jive with what's happening at any given point in time. Upbeat tracks play while people are panicking and dying, not just once, but with unerring frequency. Sometimes the music will start, barely manage to reach a point where it's noticeable, play for five or ten seconds, and then stop abruptly to match an awkward scene transition. My impression of the sound in Infinite Ryvius matches my impression of many other things in Infinite Ryvius: It's tacked-on and it feels unnatural.
The series hurries to introduce disaster; it takes all of two episodes to get to the “kids trapped on ship trying to stay alive” premise. The beginning is rushed, clearly, but it works; it breeds tension and arouses curiosity about how the situation will play out. It introduces the large cast, briefly but sufficiently, and tosses them all into the fray. But just as it gets to the point where the pot should start boiling, the series freezes. It has no idea what to do, and perversely, it brings some of its less convincing sci-fi elements to bear in a series of dreadfully uneventful mecha battles which mostly consist of the characters shouting inarticulate technobabble at one another. There's precious little indication that these battles have anything to do with the plot as a whole, and indeed, once the story is complete it becomes glaringly obvious that they serve almost no purpose other than to kill time. Isn't that an oddity; at the points where they occur, these fights lack the context to be suspenseful or engaging, but in retrospect, that context makes them seem silly and unnecessary. Nor do they appear to affect the characters in any way. You would think that these constant reminders of how tiny and mortal they are would drive the kids mad, but it seems like most of the character conflict pushing the story would have occurred with or without eight episodes worth of borderline junk.
Speaking of those characters, it's on their behalf that I can finally give the show some much-needed credit. The cast is huge, and individually they aren't the most complex bunch, but the show manages to juggle a pretty involving web of relationships that ends up bearing some rewards. There is a gritty and understated wit to the way the characters interact that I found myself appreciating more than anything else in the show—they mock each other gently, threaten each other softly, and on the rare occasions where they help each other, they do so with great humanity and sincerity. There is no clear-cut good or evil present in the series; everyone is an antagonist to someone, whether they know it or not. Some of them hate each other, but at the same time they recognize the need for one another. The ship's pilots don't like the thugs and the thugs don't like the pilots, but neither can exist without the other; they know it and it shows in the way they act, which is both clever and true to how a society really functions.
Ryvius also manages to generate a fair amount of effective drama by taking character archetypes and forcing them to react to adversity. The pushy, aggressive, prideful brother? Make him get overpowered by a stronger boy and turned into an unwilling underling, then see how he handles it. The peacemaking, kind-hearted girl who just wants everybody to get along? Make her the target of merciless violence, and see if she can still cling to her optimism. It isn't the most inspired or original formula, but it's played well enough here—even in the very early episodes, the series is careful to drop some subtle hints that everyone might not be who they initially appear to be, and some equally subtle hints that some of the cast are undergoing transformations, for better or for worse. Sometimes those transformations are a bit over-the-top, but I'll forgive that, because in general I found myself having just enough emotional investment in the characters to not want to see them break under pressure. In some of its human elements, at least, the series soundly struck the right note.
To get back to the story for a moment, I talked about the show's beginning and middle, but not about its last third or so, which is the most satisfying part. It's not perfect. It's a plot that definitely requires a stretch on the part of the viewer to appreciate. But the fact that the series actually manages to snap out of its lengthy funk and make something of a story that initially appears to be a complete mess is commendable. Not only do some of the science fiction aspects come full circle, but the show actually manages to draw a meaningful parallel between the unseen antagonists and the children they're targeting, which is a surprising and welcome turn of events. The last third of Ryvius makes all the difference in the world. It manages to pull the series out of the quagmire of mediocrity that the middle nearly drowned it in and breathe some life into it. There still isn't any excuse for the painful ineptitude I mentioned earlier, but that the writers actually managed to pull themselves together for the home stretch is nothing to sneeze at.
To pin down just what ails Infinite Ryvius: It's ambitious to a fault. There are way too many scarcely explained, grandiose sci-fi concepts placed alongside the comparatively grounded character interactions, and for the most part they end up feeling misplaced. Things like the Geduld, the destructive natural phenomenon that suddenly appeared in outer space, or the Sphixes, the beings which are associated with controlling the giant robots. Or the giant robots themselves, for that matter. Some of them do actually end up working, and when that happens they couple quite well with the show's human half. I can see what the series is going for, certainly, but if I had to pick a number, I'd say that it's sixty percent of the way there; not every thread is tied off, not every connection is firm. Its world just isn't made whole on the level that you'd expect a sweeping sci-fi to operate on. But I do think this show earns the privilege of at least some recognition, mostly on the basis of its characters and the way it manages to steer itself into a graceful ending. It does just enough right for me to give it the benefit of the doubt, and a cautious recommendation.
The story of Infinite Ryvius is developed well. The plot is fairly basic, a bunch of kids attending a space academy are involved in an accident and get stranded on a space vessel with no adults. However, they do a good job though at developing the story by showing all the ordeals and troubles that the kids go up against and more importantly how they affect each character's state of mind individually. A lot of drama and emotions are involved, there's a good fill of action, and even a nice touch of romance is brought into the mix. So overall, it's a pretty entertaining story
to follow. There's just a couple of things that might confuse you in the series as the story unfolds since a lot of it isn't explained thoroughly, but that just means you have to pay attention a bit more.
Obviously, due to Infinite Ryvius's air date, the art isn't exactly top notch. One thing I'd like to point out that I guess falls under the art category too though is that I was a little displeased with the mecha design, the mecha itself just looked kinda blah, unlike most mecha series where you have a really badass looking robot. That's one of my few complaints on the series. Other than that, I can't really complain too much about the animation due to its time.
I found the music fairly impressive. The OP and ED, especially the OP, had a really nice vibe and feel to them that complimented the show well. The background music was pretty good and would always intensify the situation, but luckily you do get that in most series. Same goes for the sound effects. I liked how at the middle of the episode, where it shows the title of the show and where I guess commercials would usually be, they made these cool music mixes, kinda reminding me of Samurai Champloo.
If only the characters designs were a tad better and more special, this would've gotten a 10. The cast of characters is vast, and each is highlighted somewhere throughout the series pretty well. They all encounter a variety of obstacles, and they display and give insight to so many contrasting emotions as the characters develope greatly. Obviously, some are focused on more than others, but to paint the brilliant picture that was painted with so many characters and in just 26 simple episodes, Infinite Ryvius is pretty remarkable in that aspect. All of the characters have a very 'real' feel too, if that makes any sense.
The enjoyment level of this series I would think probably varies from person to person, and what expectations you have going into it. I went into it simply with the desire to watch a decent space drama since I haven't seen much of the genre, and I got what I wanted, in fact I'm now looking into more similar series. But if you're going into this series thinking you're gonna get some awesome mecha action like Gundam, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. There is action involved, but it is certainly not the main focus. With that said, I feel Infinite Ryvius is a very enjoyable watch because of a lot of the stuff I have already mentioned. The bombardment of emotions, the series of unfortunate events that these kids have to deal with with practically no break, the betrayals, the violence between people, the desperate desire for survival, the new forming love relations, as well as the severing relations, and so on.
It's been said before but this is essentially Lord of the Flies meets space. If you're looking for a powerful plot or characters to empathize or even connect with I'd suggest you look elsewhere. This is a story not really meant to entertain but understand the nature of the human condition. That objective gives birth to the best and worst part about Ryvius, and ultimately the core focus, the characters.
Now let me say first that the character interaction with each other is fantastic and how they handle the realistic situations is, again grounded in realism. The dialogue can be a little hammy at time
but what show isn't? Nothing really comes out of left field with an author saving throw or hidden powers that appear right when the main characters need them most (outside of the first few episodes but I'll let that slide). It does lack a certain quality that is hard to frame: heart. The tension just isn't there and that leads to my main complaint, none of the characters are remotely likable or charismatic.
In my opinion a show must have at least one main character that you can empathize with or charms you into rooting for him/her. None of the characters on Ryvius do that for me. Kouji is a wimp. Yuuki is a pent up ball of aggression that is tried to be portrayed as cool but is really shallow, tempermental, and violent. Neeya is a pointless character added for reasons unknown. Ikumi is self righteous and weird, Izumi needs Ikumi, Fina needs Kouji and is crazy, Aoi needs Kouji and is a peace monger, Juli needs Blue and is boring. Then the last hope for the show Blue doesn't get enough attention to keep him relevant and possibly save the show.
People rate this show high because it's like literary fiction and tries to demonstrate understanding of people. I don't rate this show highly because in my opinion the foremost goal of any story is to entertain, which was not a priority in this show.
I think I decided to watch this show based on finding several reviews that praised Infinite Ryvius. I thought -- I love scifi and psychological deterioration. Too bad Infinite Ryvius can't pull it off.
First, the basics. The art is standard 90's fair. The music is an interesting, if somewhat incongruous, choice. Neither really make or break the show.
The plot of IR is also interesting, but it never really pays off. For 20-some episodes, I waited for something really thrilling to happen. There was very little that was thrilling, despite regular space battles and general in-fighting. The few good moments were only as good as
those of any other decent but not great anime. That is to say, the best parts of IR's plot still felt mediocre. Big build-ups didn't pay off, story lines died off or were wrapped too suddenly, long expositions were used to explain plot threads, and the end of the series was beyond frustrating and contrived.
By and far, the worst part of IR was the cast of characters. Many fell into stereotypical roles that never advanced beyond getting 'meaningful' back stories. For example, the loner-rebel type that spends most of their time doing nothing other than fighting or sulking. Characters that promised to be interesting usually lost that spark very quickly. Strong female characters were usually turned into love interests and forgotten. There were one or two characters that I enjoyed, but they were still one-dimensional. The main character is a wishy-washy sort that evolves slowly and is generally unpleasant. Personally? I hated most of the characters from beginning to end, and kept hoping for a much different ending for them than what they got.
I will finish by saying that there are better animes to get your psychological or scifi fix from. Unless you really enjoy mediocre space anime, Infinite Ryvius probably won't excite you.
The show features several space combat scenes altho the focus of the story is around the struggle of young students trying to grasp their future. The inexperience brings many problems, controlling the almost 500 ppl aboard the ship and maintaining it operational proves to be a difficult task, crime panic and chaos rampage in this ship who lost all touch with society and most of the time we'll see the evolvement of human nature in a free chaotic environment, they atemps to create a society with order and justice but power struggles erupt and diferent personalities clash into social and emotional battles. Its quite
interesting to observe how a group of ppl who are now faced with an uncertain future and a society without rules respond, several interesting characters grab the attention and the weak balance creates an instability where everything is uncertain and can change swiftly into a whole new situation. Focusing on human natures the environment is well created and extremely interesting to watch how it develops and ultimately ends. Mistery envolves all this as they uncover the capabilites of the unique spaceship and the strange girl that wanders around, learning more about the geduld and the universe on the main plot, features a bit of political struggle as the space authorities keep attacking them instead of rescuing the frightened children and behind all this lies big secrets that involve the fate of humanity.
With two main plots, being the misterious spaceship at the center of one and the human struggle inside the other, the show appeals to several diferent tastes, even if several combat action scenes are included it wont appeal to younger audiences as the main focus is based around complex emotions, humans and society.
The animation is quite old and doesnt stand out, even during the battles are quite dull, the music rarely stands out mostly just filling the background or annoyingly misplaced like the hip hop during the intermissions wich only serves to break the mood, a joyfyull track in the middle of a sad tragic scene isnt really my appeal, on a couple of ocasions it fits decently but most of the time you wont even notice any music. Altho technically aged its enough to feed the content into the viewer and thats the reason of this review, I enjoyed the character development deeply even if sometimes the main character can sometimes be extremely annoying with his swinging emotions and seems to never learn anything it eventually works out, doing a great job to keep the expectation of whats going to happen next and dramatically emotional is enough to make it a good show. Its a shame it wasnt made with better graphics and soundtrack or it could turn into a great classic but its still good enough considering the old age and I recommend it.
Favorite aspects: emotional depth and story development.
What I dislike: Outdated graphics and soundtrack.
A psychological mecha scifi drama that is also a social commentary on different extremist political systems, made by Sunrise? That line alone should warrant a watch....
Nonetheless i almost dropped the show after the first few episodes... I´m glad i didn`t.
Actually the show does everything to make you drop it in the first half. The first apparrent flaw is It`s visual presentation. Yes, it was made before Sunrise changed from hand colored animation to computer coloring with Gundam Seed, but for a show that was made in `99 it really doesn`t look good. Hell, even Zeta Gundam looks by far better in terms of animation. It
also doesn`t help that the character designs aren`t really appealing either. Even worse is the sound direction of Mugen no Ryvius with it`s unfitting Hip Hop elements.
But what really made me think of dropping it was the shows directing/writing with it`s rough cuts/editing and (at first) unrelatable characters. The fantasy aspects didn`t add anything either. On top of that, Mugen no Ryvius constantly throws techno babble at you that never is really explained. Terms like Sere 2, Solid, Sphix and Geduld are thrown at you constantly. I´m a sub purist for 15 years now, but Ryvius was really a tough ride for me.
Now, that that elephant is out of the room: Mugen no Ryvius is damn brilliant.
Many people are calling Ryvius basically "Lord of the Flies in space", but it`s really much more than that. With its "hard Sci Fi" approach Ryvius sets this crew of unexperienced teenagers into a dangerous environment. Instead of giving you a sense of security through technology. The characters are really put into a live threatening situation and have to deal with it constantly. Not only that, but the ship is also chased and under attack by a mysterius group. But in contrast to "Lord of the Flies" the crews major task is to build some kind of social structure on bord of the Ryvius instead of totally degenerate into wild animals (which still happens some degree thouh). The point is that those teenagers want to create the prefect societyfrom their individual points of view... and there the social commentary/criticism of the show arises. There is no single conclusion to the situation and how to deal with it. Every character has his/her own ideals and how he wants to implement them into a social/political system, may it be anarchy and therefore rule by the strongest or a fascist police state to control public unrest.
Interesting enough though, the most psychologically unstable people get the upper hand in creating a society. And there the psychological aspects of the show come into place.
Even though the characters are really hard to get into at the beginning, the show does a wonderfull job of developing their personality episode by episode and revealing how broken they are and (in some cases) showing their shocking secrets. Especially the second half does this brilliantly. It`s absolutely amazing watching how some of the characters break more and more and by mirroring that, how the entire social system steers to tragedy piece by piece. This is where Mugen no Ryvius is at its abolute peak and almost painful to watch.
In conclusion: Mugen no Ryvius, even though a flawed show, really caught me by surprise. The social commentary and psychologically broken characters where portrayed brilliantly. Though the rough directing and bad art and animation (at times) keep it from beeing an all time favourite/classic, Mugen no Ryvius is an intelligent diamond in the rough that every fan of Sci Fi or psychological anime (like NGE) should check out. Just expect the first half to be hard to get into.
I had high hopes for this anime, but at the end I did not feel as if I watched a show about how kids survive without adults or government, I felt as if I watched 26 episodes of cliche anime teenager romance. If you like that sort of thing, this show will be fine, but it does not deliver on the high praise of politics and Lord of the Flies-likeness that persuaded me to watch it.
The sphinx (sort of like the persona of the ship) reminded me of Boogiepop Phantom, which only served to make me think of how much better a show that was
To get into details:
There are about 3 or 4 episodes which consist purely of flashbacks, all very close together at the end of the series.
There are only really 2 factions consisting of about 5-8 characters each, and they don't really differ too much in how they think. They just sort of vie a tiny bit for control. You might say there's a third group, but they get so quickly assimilated into the other 2 factions (which also assimilate) that it doesn't really matter. The political depth of this show goes about as far as 'group in control abuses power a bit and lies' vs 'main character thinks that's pretty lame and so does another, but it's too lame to really rally any support for himself.' The 500 or so other students play little to no role except to be worker bees and faceless mobs.
The characters are all pretty unlikable babies. There never feels like anyone I want to cheer for. They either complain, or don't get things done, or do something really dumb that makes no sense.
The show's premise of being about kids in space governing themselves doesn't really even start until 12 episodes in. Most of the episodes before that are really boring 'hey, lets play house on the space ship.' You could call that build up for character changes later in the show, but the changes are all pretty abrupt, and the build up doesn't seem to have added anything to them, so I just think it's bad pacing.
TBH there's anime far, far worse that this, and it certainly goes beyond the dime a dozen anime, so I can give it some points for not being a total carbon copy... but it still wasn't good. Pass on it if kids' romances don't interest you.
First of all, it's not really Lord of the Flies in space. I didn't like that, but I did like this.
This is by the director for Code Geass and Planetes. It's more like Planetes than Geass.
Animation is mediocre. If you want to watch something for the animation, I suggest Tekkon Kinkreet or 5cm/second instead. I do not suggest watching this for action either.
There is little comedy here. Actually, maybe this is a spoiler, but if you're feeling cheerful about something that happened, it's probably so you can be sucker-punched in five seconds.
What Infinite Ryvius does have is lots of drama, lots of characters, lots of
talking, lots of plot, and lots of serious. If that's what you like, you will probably like this. I rated it a 10. It's good.
If you didn't like the story of "Lord of the Flies" there is a good chance you won't like this show. Its about a bunch of kids that get stranded and are attempting to survive until help arrives. The major difference is that it is set in space. Which is awesome because space is cool. The plot is pretty interesting though some people might criticize it for not having enough explanation of the reasons behind the kids being stranded, but this show is mostly character based. It maintains a fairly realistic(for anime) vibe and probably isn't for those that prefer more lighthearted shows.
The art isn't
anything special and the designs all look like they're from the 90s. This isn't all that surprising because the series was first released in 1999. The backgrounds are pretty cool and the rest of the art has aged pretty well even after 15 years. The animation isn't so horrible it ruins the show but it isn't something you would be fascinated by. The art might turn some people off before they even start watching the show.
The sound used in this show is pretty good. The op song has aged well there is this techno rap style where they repeat Ryvius a couple times at the interval halfway through an episode that helps the viewer to distance themselves from the drama that is actually going on in the show. Some people might say that its out of place but if it had been something operatic or super dramatic it would have ruined the tone by making it seem too melodramatic, which was not the point of the show and would have lumped this show in with everything else of its genre. The sound suits the show spot on. I watched the dub and the voice actors definitely managed to voice the emotions of their characters really well. It may come across as a little exaggerated at times but nothing that should make you think that you could do better.
The characters are what make this show great. There are too many to go over any main characters so I won't but most characters change as the show goes on. A character you liked or hated at one point will probably have your opinion of them flip flop at some point. Every character has believable motives for what they do. Viewer insert Kouji Aiba isn't your standard protagonist. He is whiny but he also never ends up powering up to become the big hero, instead watching as the power players make their moves on the chessboard. The only exception I have to these rules is the crazy bitch. You'll probably figure out who that is if you watch long enough.
I really enjoyed this show and would recommend it to fans of stuff like "Lord of the Flies" and "Game of Thrones" mixed with science fiction. Infinite Ryvius uses a greater than average amount of subtlety and implies things younger viewers probably wouldn't catch that you would need to pay attention to understand. It also has its own made up diction that helps to immerse to immerse the viewer the show even if they don't understand what the characters are saying all the time. Infinite Ryvius is targeted towards a certain type of watcher but for those specific viewers the show is above average.
Another series by Goro Taniguchi or should I say his first series as a full fledge director. I guess my perspective on it is different because while it is his first work it isn’t the first series he made that I watched. While it does have its flaws it is a good series and you can definitely feel that Taniguchi vibe as you proceed into the second half.
Opening sequence: 7/10
Ending sequence: 6/10
My Age Rating: PT: The violence isn’t graphic and the sex isn’t depicted but it has very mature situations such as implied serial and gang rape, gang beating and murder.
The story seems fairly simple,
a group of people are trap aboard a ship and must survive until they are rescued while escaping an unknown enemy. It has some government conspiracies but it remains a background focus. During their trip they face great difficulties such as leadership, order, survival, test of friendship, betrayal… They have to manage to stay together and learn to use to ship to survive. The series starts out slow and almost uninteresting but as the story progresses you realize the beginning was laying the ground work for the later episodes and without it the later half would have been devoided of any impact. The first episodes are a necessary evil but they are more enjoyable during a re-watch.
Some who watch it may also find some alarming similarities between this title and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, it appears the creators of Galactica’s remake saw this show before making their own: The girl with a religion in her room had a huge Baltar vibe, then there’s the entire premise of escaping from an enemy while having to survive on the ship (I’m ready to give them this one since its from the original Galactica series that came before Ryvius), the girl who gets abused in prison, the mutinies… At least it explains why a bunch of adults were going through major teen angst on the Galactica.
The characters were great and realistic. Most are teens and they each have their own friends, loyalties and relationships. At the beginning you become familiar with the characters and their stories as well as their personalities and this allows for the second half of the series to have some real impact on you: rooting for certain relationships, hoping for certain events and even having some tragedies that hit you in the guts. When you get the lay down of the show it seems like a regular story about friendship and pulling through together but you’d never expect the serious and horrible turn it takes as it goes on. Depicting realistically what such a situation would entail, you see betrayal by friends, prison rape, corruption, mutinies, gang beating, murder and how some members even snap under the pressure or in the wake of certain events. Out of all the cast the only character that will really get on your nerves might be Koji who seems to be the twin brother of Shinji Ikari so much so he looks and acts like him.
Out of all the characters they are only three that really made me react or care even though the cast is well established:
-Ikumi: He starts as mister nice guy but certain circumstances flesh out his character and reveals a really twisted past as well as a very unstable individual. Though I might be one of the few who actually thought his actions were not only warranted and necessary in the last few episodes but I also thought he should have gone farther.
-Kuzoe: She seems like a spoiled brat and she is but what happened to her is really horrible and undeserved. Her situation made me care for her and hoping she would pull through and piece her life back together somehow.
-Aoi: You can definitely understand her pain and some may even be able to relate to it. Her struggle and her relationship as it develop are really one of the greatest in the series.
The voice acting seemed fine aside from Neya, but I think her tone was intentional even though annoying.
The action is never truly elaborated as they seemed to have avoided graphic content and the space battles weren’t much to look at so you don’t watch this series for the action but for the characters and the drama.
Now since the show leaves much to the imagination I will clarify a few details that are nebulous for those who have seen the show (I found these answers from more than simple deduction, I searched through the internet as well). Below are spoilers, huge ones:
-Michelle does indeed get serially raped in prison even though she doesn’t seem very affected by it afterwards. Considering she was waiting for the right time to escape and purposely stayed captive until she acquired the code of her friends’ cells, I’d say this kind of stuff doesn’t bother her too much, she was more shocked by the betrayal of Blue than anything else.
-Kuzoe gets taken away during the series by jealous girls and we are left wondering what they did to her. The answer is they had her beaten and gang raped by a group of guys at a party. Her mental instability afterwards and how Ikumi snaps into a frenzy are easily explainable when you have the facts. The guys we see Ikumi as beaten who were at a party after Kuzoe was attacked are the culprits and this is why he lashed out this hard on these guys even though he went more easy on the random bullies he finds later on. It also explains why he beat the crap out of a bunch of people who seemed to have done nothing more than to party at first glanced.
-Fina isn’t following the real teachings of her religion but a version she exaggerated herself and she indeed killed her former boyfriend as well as one other person to cut ties with her past. Even so Koji still seems to be willing to forgive her, there’s nice but this is just too much if you ask me.
To finish, the series really makes you think and feel, whether it be anger, sadness or sympathy for certain characters and their situations, and is truly something that should be watched by any Taniguchi fan and pretty much any fans of character development or drama and of course, survival stories. I also recommend watching all the way through, the show may not start out exciting but the later episodes are definitely worth watching the beginning.
Ryvius is a twisty, depressing space drama. Imagine Lord of the Flies in space with the slow, tense combat of The Hunt for Red October. Much like some of Sunrise's other works, they spend too much time building up to the climax to really resolve it, much less fully explain what was really going on. Nearly every episode has some sort of plot twist (and they all seem to have cliffhangers...) and many of the characters make you want to alternatively reach in and wring their necks and hug them. The big weakness to me is the music, as it's a bastardization of the
JPop we know and love with R&B. The result is far from unpalatable, but takes some getting used to. In short, Infinite Ryvius is a fantastic show that has a few flaws that don't really detract significantly from the enjoyment.
This show was an excellent test of my patience. It not only told a very well thought out and eventful story, but it taught many lessons along the way. I give the story an 8/10 because of it's good pacing over the 26 episode span (wasn't rushed at any points and didn't pull a goku and spend 4 episodes on one scene). It was very well paced and I appreciate that in an anime. The story itself is indeed reminiscent of Lord of the Flies by William Golding, but I wouldn't say it derives that much from it. It manages to tell its own
very diverse tale with a set of very diverse characters very well. I personally think the story was very well done.
The art was decent for the time (1999). I personally don't find the "classic anime" aesthetic all that distracting but some may. Even so, the character models matched the characters very well once you got a feel of the characters. The galactic backgrounds are very well drawn/painted. The show's overall look almost evoked an odd kind of nostalgic vibe in my opinion.
I will admit the voice acting threw me off slightly (perhaps because Kouji's voice actor voices Light Yagami from DN) But in all seriousness the voice acting threw me for the first couple of episodes but once I got into the characters more it sort of clicked. The music on the other hand is in my opinion great. It's similar to some of the music in Cowboy Bebop, but a few songs reminded me of Nujabes' work on Samurai Champloo (which was great to hear here because I absolutely love Nujabes' music.)
(I'd also like to note that if you watch the show and find yourself enjoying the vocoder voice samples and such look up "Roger and Zapp".)
But anyway the overall music of the show has a sort of 80s-esque funky hip-hop vibe that goes well with the show, but if you don't like boom bap or jazz you may not like the music. The theme song is good. It took until about halfway through the show before I warmed up to it but It grew on me for sure.
Now for the characters, which are in my opinion, the most vital part of the entire show. Without believable characters, this show wouldve fallen way flat, and when I first started viewing it, as I stated in the beginning of this review, it showed as a test of my patience. My patience mainly was tested with the two brothers of the series. We open up the show with a clear and strong conflict between Kujou and Yukki Aiba, two brothers who are about to embark on life on the Liebe Delta, a training ship for teens that seek to go into a space-related career of some kind, be it astronaut or flight attendant. I held a strong grudge with both Kouji (due to his submissiveness/passiveness) and Yukki (due to his aggressiveness and general "bad boy" attitude), but as the show progresses, I came to realize and see more and the show was transforming from a mecha space opera to a coming-of-age space opera. I was also slightly annoyed with the character of Aoi Housen, who is both Kouji and Yukki's childhood friend. She seemed to want to be unbaised when it came to the conflict between the two brothers, and that irked me for a while. But again, this show really is more than what it seems and it may not show it immediately, but every main character (and several side characters) are very dynamic and are anything but cliches or stock characters.
The first few episodes were trying, but around the 4th or 5th episode, I got into it more and by the end it became a great anime that I am proud to say I may come back to.
This show is not for everyone. There is a lot of angst (forgot to mention that above) but that goes with the terrain as we're dealing with a ship full of hundreds of teenagers. I mean cmon...
If you like stories with complex and sometimes frustrating characters you will enjoy this anime. If you enjoy a good space opera you will certainly enjoy this anime. If you like psychological animes that bring up thought-provoking questions and raise many societal and political points, this anime is for you.
Thanks for reading. :D
Infinite Ryvius is often described as "Lord of the Flies IN SPACE" by its small but dedicated fanbase, but this is probably just a ploy to get more people to watch it. The two share concepts on the surface, but that's about it.
Ryvius is a (mostly) hard sci-fi anime, blending political drama and commentary on systems of government with a "lost at sea" atmosphere. The sci-fi side of the plot is done quite well, but the show truly shines in the close-to-home story inside the Ryvius. The characters' situation inside is told masterfully and accurately captures the desperation, revolutions, and reconciliations within the ship
and within societies.
Darker shades and colors abound in Infinite Ryvius, fitting the mood of the show perfectly. One complaint I had at the beginning was how obviously "influenced" some character designs were by Neon Genesis Evangelion (looking at you, Aiba Kouji). Luckily though, the similarities end there, as Ryvius is a totally different show. Additionally, the ships and space battle sequences look quite nice.
Some anime have soundtracks that are just plain legendary. Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, Samurai Champloo, etc. These shows were good already, but their phenomenal soundtracks made them what they were. Infinite Ryvius is no different. Combining hip-hop beats and lyrics with one woman wails and repeated arc notes, Ryvius creates for itself an near-perfect atmosphere in music. Particular favorites include "Nowhere" and "Dis" (both the Japanese and English versions).
Character development can make or break a series. A story like this one wouldn't or couldn't go anywhere without solid development for its characters, and rest assured Ryvius delivers. Instead of the smaller central cast most anime opt for, Ryvius consists of a very large cast, mostly of high school age students who can be classified into different cliques or ideologies. There's the Zwei (students who serve as the political elite), the Delinquents (anarchists/abusers of socialist ideals), and the common students (everyone else). Nearly every character, even those in the background with only a few lines, goes through some sort of development that ultimately brings the cast to life. It was a lofty goal the creators set for themselves, but they just about achieved it perfectly.
Can you tell this is one of my favorite series yet? Infinite Ryvius is recommended to and will probably be enjoyed greatly by fans of similar shows such as Cowboy Bebop or Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is one of those series that appears to start off slow, but my enjoyment grew exponentially with each episode. I found myself unable to leave the computer, engulfed in the story and characters more and more as the series progressed. Even after I'd finished it, I was still hooked and even wrote a review for it!
I feel like agreeing with the review that is currently at the top in comparing this show to 'The Lord of The Flies'. That's the sort of plot you should expect, and that's the sort of uneasiness you should feel when you get into watching this show.
I watched infinite Ryvius at a very leisurely pace. I think I finished it over the course of a year in fact. I watched some four episodes at the beginning of the year and then just forgot about it in the midst of other shows and life in general, until I had the time to pick it up
again and proceed with it. When I did get to watching it like this I couldn't quite put it down, it's a really engaging show.
There is a healthy dollop of realistic science fiction that controls a lot of the show mechanics. Simple maneuvers of a humanoid machine require lot's of programming, no sounds in space, the classics. I like that sort of feel to the show, it makes situations that much more tense. And thankfully the young main cast isn't completely appalling or annoying, over the course of the time of watching this show you will fall in tune with most of the characters, and while you may forget their names you definitely won't forget the characters themselves.
A great dynamic cast, and a great science fiction tale to be told. It gave me a definate wistful feeling after finishing it, so it classifies as one of the greats. No, personally I don't consider it quite a masterpiece, but it's a very welcome watch for sci-fi, and definitely one of the greatest science fiction anime out there.
For the casual observer who isn't sure you'd watch this show: I can only suggest 'watch it until things first get bad'. However, the pacing is slow so there is no helping that.