Stellvia – Anime Review

The Essentials

Name: Stellvia, Stellvia of the Universe
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance
Episodes: 26
Released: April 2, 2003 – September 24, 2003
Based On: N/A
Director: Tatsuo Sato
Produced By: Xebec
US Distribution By: Geneon Entertainment

Major Japanese Cast

Shima Katase: Ai Nonaka
Arisa Glennorth: Yuki Matsuoka
Kouta Otoyama: Takahiro Mizushima
Rinna Kazamatsuri: Ryou Hirohashi
Yayoi Fujisawa: Fumiko Orikasa
Akira Kayama: Rie Tanaka
Pierre Takida: Yuji Ueda
Masaru Odawara: Mitsuki Saiga
Ayaka Machida: Megumi Toyoguchi
Leila Barthes: Naomi Shindoh
Kent Austin: Daisuke Kishio

Major English Cast

Shima Katase: Carrie Savage
Arisa Glennorth: Kari Wahlgren
Kouta Otoyama: Kevin Hatcher
Rinna Kazamatsuri: Marie Danielle
Yayoi Fujisawa: Michelle Ruff
Akira Kayama: Sandy Fox
Pierre Takida: Richard Cansino
Masaru Odawara: David Lelyveld
Ayaka Machida: Julie Ann Taylor
Leila Barthes: Anne Loveman
Kent Austin: Andrew Watton

Scores

Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Story: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Music: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 9/10 (x 2 = 18 pts)
English Dubs: 8/10 (x 1 = 8 pts)
Gut Score: 8/10 (x 5 = 40 pts)

Total: 170/200 (85%)

Review

Stellvia is about a girl, Shima, to who leaves to attend the Stellvia space academy orbiting earth. Once there, she shows herself to be a natural genius, especially at programming, but she tends to have a lack of self-confidence in other subjects. Nevertheless, she soon becomes a favorite among her friends, including her roommate Arisa, Kouta, a boy with exceptional skills even though he scores average in everything, and Yayoi, whom Shima looks up to.

The Stellvia is one of several “Foundations” built around the solar system in advance of the “Great Mission” – a plan to use all of the scientific and technological knowledge of the human race in order to save the solar system from a matter-energy wave that originated from a supernova of a star that occurred 189 years prior. The urgency for this mission was made clear when the initial electromagnetic wave of the explosion caused catastrophic damage to Earth and caused the solar system to be enveloped in a green haze.

While Stellvia is, at it’s core, a science fiction show, it is still largely a character driven show, with Shima’s friends supporting her through her personal trials and her feelings of inadequacy, even while she continues to wow everyone at just how brilliant and skilled she is. However, the story is not only told from the perspective of Shima and the other students, but from the teacher’s point of views as well, which gives Stellvia another added element which makes the series more enjoyable.

On the technical aspects, the animation is kind of odd and is a bit “shiny,” if you will, but is still overall animated pretty well, with the 3-D and 2-D animation mixing together reasonably well. The music is also pretty good.

Stellvia is a show that can satisfy both fans of sci-fi and character-driven anime and is definitely a worthwhile watch.

First Watched: January – June 2008
Do I Own: Yes
Do I Recommend: Yes

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