The story is set in the 22nd century where space travel, planet colonization and anti-gravity basketball are practically everyday things. Planet Earth has become uninhabitable, and therefore people live in colonies on the surrounding planets. On a school field trip, a mistake causes the protagonist, a young transfer student named Luna, her pet robot, and six of her classmates to be thrown through a gravity storm and crash land on a seemingly uninhabited planet. There, with Luna as their leader, the robot cat Chako, the lone wolf Kaoru, the spoiled rich boy Howard, the shy Sharla, the obedient Bell, the prideful musician Menori and the young genius Shingo must fight for their survival. But is the planet really uninhabited, or is there someone or something out there, waiting in the shadows?
I wish this series existed when I was younger. Even though I'm much older now than the fourteen year-old characters, I can still appreciate that this is a special show. Sure, it's a show for kids or young teens, but it doesn't pander, doesn't try to be precious or cute, and has more respect for its intended audience than nearly any other show I can think of. And I can think of several shows intended for adults that aren't half as smart.
Overall, the story line is excellent. The group of young teens (plus one "animal", as it says in the opening)
get stranded on an uninhabited planet. The main premise is an old one: characters get stranded, must learn how to survive, get along, deal with assorted trials of nature and bad guys, figure out how to get back home. But for once, the writers handle it all very well. Episode plots are tight, the story moves along briskly but without sloppiness. One story arc lasts too long, which made the next one feel far too short, but other than that, the writing is as good as that in any top series.
A lot of thought went into real elements of survival in the wild, and the kids definitely have a hard time of it before they learn how to do all the necessary tasks to feed and shelter themselves. It's not a picnic at all, contrary to most shows, live action or animated. The characters themselves start out as cardboard cutout stereotypes, but eventually individually-focused episodes and a bit of back-story flesh them out enough that you can't help but root for them all. The writers maintain a good group dynamic throughout the series, with different characters revealing strengths and weaknesses along the way.
Also, Chako is quite simply the best cute animal mascot character in any series, ever. And I absolutely hate cute animal mascots (except Teto from Nausicaä). I hate them in anime, and I hate them in Engineering in the new Star Trek movie. But Chako is a good one.
The artwork isn't all that great, but it's not meant to be. The characters and animals all have a Pokemon look to them, but it's not objectionable. The backgrounds, landscapes, and alien designs are well done, with nice colors, giving the viewer a good feel for the planet and its creatures. As others have mentioned, the character artwork and animation is very inconsistent. It seems like some of the in-betweens just weren't done as well as the key frames. There are also a few moments where you want to shout at the screen to tell the animator not to attempt to do certain camera angles if he can't draw those perspectives. But overall the artwork is nice and colorful enough, with that Pokemon-like bright and cheerful look, while still having a different enough to have its own character.
The opening sequence music really sets the mood, and reminds me of 80s American TV for some reason. End music is decent enough, but not as good. Background music is pretty good, and mostly unobtrusive (as it should be).
I'll miss this show now that I've seen the whole thing. Disney would make a fortune licensing it for the US market, and I don't understand why they haven't brought it over already.
Uninhabited Planet Survive is basically a story set in the future where humans are forced to live in space colonies due to Earth being uninhabitable. It focuses on a group of children and their adventures when their space ship unexpectedly crashes during a school field trip onto an uninhabited planet.
Well, its a story of survival on a remote island after a shipwreck or a plane crash (think a child's version of Cast Away and Lost), but add elements of sci fi into it and you can imagine the basic premise of Uninhabited Planet Survive. Personally I really enjoyed the story of
this anime, as it touches on many of the topics of actual survival in the wild if one was to unexpectedly find themselves stranded on a remote island (for example, having to find food, fresh water and shelter), but also had more fantastic themes often involved with science fiction, like monsters and aliens. However, this anime is obviously targeted at a much younger audience as all the characters are of elementary school age and as a result are oftentimes at an elementary school children annoyance level :p. The characters are realistic, although a little bit expected, with the typical rich brat, the classroom president type, the slow witted ox, the nerd, the girl that is always scared, the mysterious emo male, and the peacemaker (whom is the main character of the anime) and her pet robot.
Overall this anime is recommended to those of you who like stories of survival as well as discovery, but dont mind the characters being like your younger siblings. The real strength of the anime lies in its story, as the plot was well paced and you really get a sense of being part of this group, which is a lot of fun especially when they discover new things about the planet.
I enjoyed this show immensely, and with my attention span that's saying something. Though this was over fifty episodes, they managed to make each one interesting, and they kept my attention. There is a twist in the story, which keeps it going but at the same time is kind of just... what the fuck? But it ended well, so I was alright with it.
The art is simple, decent, but not the best I've seen.
Sound is also alright, but I positively despised one [Sharla] of the characters voices, I think they could have cast her better.
The character development was well done, considering the circumstances and
the ages of the members, I think that they all developed well, and realistically.
So yeah, over all I really enjoyed this ^.^
There’s a special place in my heart for all the anime that try to do something different even if they end up hitting rock bottom or just not being that good. By the time first cour of the show was over I had a seat prepared for MWS and then it just started yelling and throwing shit at my window.
Mujin Wakusei Survive on first glance seems to be a show centred around people who are least prepared for it having to survive on an alien planet with some mystery slowly creeping up on them. Survival in the wild has been a common theme in video
games and reality TV shows, but I never came across it in anime so the premise sounded interesting. The first dozen of episodes admirably delivers on it bit by bit with almost episodic stories that nonetheless move the plot forward. Each of them focused on some aspect of survival. Finding food, water, shelter, crafting tools and generally getting familiar with flora and fauna of their surroundings. Even though it never went in-depth on any of it there was a tangible sense of progression to characters and story. Variety of situations was enough to wonder what will happen next and the answer is nothing good.
After some time, parts of the show that revolve around survival quickly lose their charm. What makes the theme interesting is seeing people overcome the dangers that arise when one is thrown out of their comfort zone into the wild where something as simple as drinkable water can be a luxury. It can serve as an excellent platform for some character development since the circumstances force it but no, they didn’t really do any of that.
In MWS it never feels like our group is ever in danger. When they feel thirsty, there turns out to be a convenient source of water nearby. When they need food, there’s a small river with plenty of fish. When they need to do some heavy lifting, there’s a friendly pseudo-elephant nearby, etc. Encounters with wildlife, hostile or not are extremely rare and are normally nothing more than a plot device instead of an actual threat. This manufactured feel of the show and overall convenience makes a large portion of it feel like nothing more than an afterthought.
I’ll give the show credit for pretty much every character having a role in the group that makes them regularly useful in one way or another but the writing is unfortunately too weak to take advantage of it. There are even few moments in the show where the individuals members are separated from the group which could serve as a good reminder of their strengths and weaknesses but it usually ends up with them just scraping by until they get saved shortly after. Because of this the cast never gets any substantial development. Like half of them get over little hang ups that didn’t impede their life and that’s it. At least there’s some nice party moments peppered throughout that make them feel like they’re actual friends and not just a bunch of cardboard cutouts someone put close to each other.
In the final two cours the show leans heavily toward mystery and adventure only to fail both once again.
Mystery of MWS consists of our group following the trails of seemingly extinct alien civilization to discover what actually happened to it. It’s not a bad concept by itself but the execution is terrible. What makes mysteries interesting is that when done right, they will more than likely heavily involve the audience. The viewer will be kept constantly engaged with the story cause they want to solve the puzzle, put all the clues together and feel satisfaction from finding the right solution. MWS boldly doesn’t adhere to any such standards so it just throws you random shapes and after writers realize that it doesn’t make much sense they’re gonna tell you that the puzzle is actually meant to be like that. It feels like the last arc was just straight up written as they went along cause it would take pages just to go over every stupid thing that happened, from the super smart AI trying to kill people he wanted to capture to kids beating a gravity storm with the power of imagination.
Adventure is somehow even weaker. Good adventure shows usually try to excite you over and over with creative setpieces and intriguing settings but MWS for some reason didn’t care for it in any capacity. Despite 99% of vegetation looking exactly like something you’d see on Earth and animals looking like someone had to redesign Earth fauna to avoid God hitting them with copyright strike the show still wants you to think that this is some wildly different alien planet. It doesn’t work, at times I even had doubts whether or not they’re supposed to have been stranded on (at that point abandoned) Earth but no, I guess it’s just some massive coincidence.
This is not made any better with the mediocre background art. While compositions themselves are fine at times, the actual technical quality of them is poor. They’re obviously digitally drawn and look like someone just upscaled SD art. You can make something look unique and majestic without coming up with outlandish settings but not with this level of art.
At times this clashes heavily with crisp and vibrant character designs, drawing a clear line between them and background. To say a bit more about the chara design it’s actually one of the stronger parts of the show. They’re very simple, clean, colourful and do a good job of bringing out the personality through design.
Music is unfortunately unremarkable. It’s a shame cause the show starts off on a great opening song with upbeat mood that perfectly captures the feeling of a optimism in the face of adversity but the OST for the show it self reminded me more of generic, factory made theme you’d get in a cheap visual novel.
In the end MWS is a show that doesn’t properly utilize its premise or deliver on it to any meaningful extent. The technical aspect of animation is solid and consistent but content lack creativity and imagination. Writing is terrible and ending is so stupid I wish it didn’t exist. I can’t recommend this to anyone cause it’s a massive waste of time.
When our protagonists in these Survival Anime are thrust into extreme - often life-or-death situations - we get to see desperate fights for survival and morals being put to the test. Any fan of the survival genre needs to check this list out!