When local teacher Midori Yamabuki receives an emergency summons to her home planet it turns out to be a trap devised by galactic warlord Dr. Mashirito, and it's up to Dr. Senbei Norimaki and a group of students (including his robot daughter Arale) to venture into space to save her.
Dr. Slump: "Hoyoyo!" Space Adventure is the second of eleven films in the Dr. Slump franchise. Yes, eleven, of varying run times. For those unaware, Dr. Slump was Akira Toriyama's big break in the anime industry. Without Dr. Slump, his world famous Dragon Ball franchise may have never made it past the first volume. Space Adventure is a delightful, well crafted trip through the stars that I would recommend to anyone, even if you don't know a thing about the franchise. What makes this movie so good, in spite of its relative obscurity? Well let me tell you.
Story - 6
The weakest part of the film
is also its plot, however while the plot is not exceptionally good, it serves its purpose and doesn't drag down the film in any way. It's a simple movie and it understands that. It's not overly memorable, but the plot is used exactly the way it should be, as a driving force for its colorful cast of characters. The best part of the story is the various references to other works of science fiction, most notably Space Battleship Yamato.
Cast - 8
The characters in this film are all regulars from the Dr. Slump anime and manga series. The main standout character is Dr. Mashirito, excellently portrayed by the late, great Yasuo Yamada, most well known for portraying the character of Lupin III. Mashirito is a perfect villain for the story, a man who does a lot of bad things but also has a noticeable degree of child-like innocence in his character. This helps him fit in with the rest of the cast despite the fact they could've very easily focused on the dark aspects of his story. Senbei "Dr. Slump" Norimaki is at his best here as he's shown to be quite a bit more competent here. There's still some emphasis on his lovable goofball side, but they don't exaggerate his character too much for the sake of comedy. It's all very natural.
Art - 8
The art is very solid all things considered. You wouldn't expect much from a movie adaptation of a gag manga but there's actually a few really well done sequences. Of course if you don't like Toriyama's character designs, this won't change your mind but the art is, as a whole about as good as it had to be.
Sound - 8
The sound manages to avoid the problem a lot of the old DBZ movies have with audio quality. Crisp and clear, every sound effect was as loud as they should be. And thankfully Arale's perpetually cheerful voice didn't get too grating this time. The most notable part of the soundtrack, to me at least is the obvious homages to Space Battleship Yamato and other sci-fi shows. All of the songs that played during space travel, and especially in the big space battle towards the end could be slipped onto a Captain Harlock or Yamato tape and no one could tell the difference. All in all the sound was very well done but I would've liked to hear a few more songs throughout the movie. There's only a small handful of background tracks, though there is a vocal song or two.
Enjoyment - 10
This all depends on what you look for in an anime movie. I'm a fan of classic anime science fiction and I'm also a fan of stupid humor. This film strikes a balance between both that manages to be a little more accessible than the standard Slump fare, but also remains straightforwardly enjoyable. It's not deep, or complex by any means, but if a simple, fun ride through the sea of stars is up your alley, I recommend you view this film immediately.