Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko
A thousand years in the future the nature of war has changed. Instead of direct assaults upon the enemy, the various planets hold limited scale tactical battles between chosen pilot representatives from their worlds. Unfortunately, the team representing Terra is undermanned and it looks like that they are going to lose their next competition. However, the Terran team has a secret weapon from a thousand years in the past: ace-gamer Yamamoto Yohko.
Yamamoto Yohko tells a pretty straightforward story. You basically have one team of cute girls who are facing off with the enemy team of cute girls in a series of battles for various resources and planets. They add a few humor episodes, a new "enemy from the past" type antagonist in the second set of episodes, but the show doesn't really stray far from that central idea. Those looking for a bit more depth or even a deep explanation of how the world came to be this way will be sorely disappointed.
Now just because something lacks depth doesn't mean it can't be entertaining, and that is the case with this show. Most of the starship battle sequences are fairly well done and while I can't claim they are nearly as gorgeous as some other OAV series in and around that period, they don't come off looking particularly cheap either. Most of Team Terra in this show are not professional warriors, but rather somewhat immature teenagers so you did get more then a few amusing bits from their interaction.
There are a lot of characters for only six episodes, but I can't say they necessarily get a huge amount of time to develop. Most tend to stick fairly close to their initial character niches. However, in the second set of episodes, we do get to see some more about the non-Terran team granting them a bit more depth. I will note that I rather liked Yohko as a character. She can be a bit cocky at times, but she is a pleasant change of pace from the clumsy and timid heroines you see in so many other anime series. Additionally, though she teases her teammates a bit here and there, as the episodes progress she is shown to actually be a bit more caring than one might suspect at first.
As I noted above, the battles are fairly good, though something about the palette of this show bugged me. Perhaps it was just the DVD version I watching, but it seemed a bit washed out to me. On the musical side, most of the background music and themes are decent, though forgettable. For those fans who are big Hayashibara Megumi fans, she does have a role in this, though, to be honest, I did not find it one of her stronger performances.
While I can't say this OAV series contained the epic themes, plot depth, or character development that would let me declare it excellent, I did find it a fun diversion over the course of a couple of days. I felt they had an entertaining enough basic idea, it just seemed like most elements (like the characters) weren't getting enough time to be developed. Perhaps the television series is better in that regard.
An entertaining enough OAV series with some decent star fighter combat action and amusing bits, but a bit lacking in depth and character development for my taste. Subtract a star if you really don't like space combat shows or maybe add a star if you really like having eighty percent of your cast being cute females. — Jeremy A Beard
Recommended Audience: Though there is a lot of star fighter combat, a pilot teleportation system keeps this from being a death fest. There is a bit of fan service and at one point they even go to a hot springs planet (yes, an entire hot springs planet). Overall, this is appropriate for teens and above.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (6/6)
Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko © 1996 JC Staff / Shouji Taku / Akaishizawa Takashi / Yamamoto Yoko Production Committee / Kadokawa Shoten
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