Sky Girls (OAV)
Directly quoted from the Wikipedia entry:
The Worms are back, and only three young girls can save the Earth from destruction. Aboard the secret vessel number 113, the Koryu, Sonic Diver Unit team members Eika, Otoha, and Karen help protect against the Worm threat with their mechs.
After bringing us such anime "classics" as Best Student Council and Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~, I have become wary of any animated series with the word "Konami" in its credits/copyright information. So when I heard Konami was producing an anime not based on a video game, I was a wee bit more interested. After all, it was being produced by J.C. Staff, one of the most renowned animation companies out there. Maybe it could be enjoyable camp like the Ganbare Goemon anime was, right?
Well surprise, it's not. Except for maybe the music, there's not a single good aspect about Sky Girls. Everything in the series, from the stereotypical characters, unoriginal premise (why is it always teenage girls that have to save apocalyptic futures in anime, anyway?), lifeless art and animation, and all the way down to the pointless fan service, cries out for salvation. But salvation you shall not find here; watching Sky Girls is 28 minutes of your life you'll never get back.
The story isn't a very complex one, thankfully, considering the short time frame of this OAV. There are these mechanical cell clusters known as Worms, and the military lost about one-third of its personnel struggling to defeat them. The population of Earth all united to defeat the Worms, but that didn't help much. Instead, the people of Earth are given the O.K. of allowing weapons of mass destruction, which does wipe out the Worms, but at the cost of 90% of the military (most of them males in their 20s to 30s), and Antartica disappears and floods half of the remaining land mass. Indeed: the first shot of the our heroines we see, we see them swimming in the middle of the ocean on their very temporary vacation (there wouldn't be any battling otherwise).
In typical anime fashion nowadays, our 16-17 year old leads look like they could barely pass for middle school girls. (Of course.) And they also dress up in what looks like glorified swimsuits for their battles. (Also of course.) Considering these girls are supposedly one of the greatest lines of defense for the planet, one would think that they'd more classy than this. After all, I didn't see any guys running around in Speedos out there.
Oh, speaking of the characters, I guess I should tell you about them. Fortunately this won't take long, as the characters in Sky Girls have about as much depth as a cup of water. We have Eika the take-no-crap command leader, Karen the bookworm, and Otoha the violent girl, who beats up on fellow comrade Ryohei (one of the two guys in this series not 60+) for looking at her while undressing. And guess what? This is our only "comedy" in the OAV. Aside from the shameless and tasteless perversion towards Otoha and her hitting Ryohei for peeking at her, Sky Girls takes itself very seriously, with no fun, interesting dynamics between the girls whatsoever. Give Strike Witches some credit; at least its heroines actually give a rat's ass about one another.
The action scenes are as uninspired as the characters. Snoopy's fights with the Red Baron in the Charlie Brown cartoon specials/movies are 100 times more interesting than the stuff in the Sky Girls OAV, and those were pretend! The flight scenes take up about 10 minutes or so of the whole OAV, but it feels like it goes on for much longer due to how boring and dragged out it all is. It doesn't help that the girls' crafts, known as Sonic Divers, look like they came straight out of Bargain-Bin Anime Vehicle Land. It also doesn't help that the OAV does a poor job at creating tension: you can guess before it happens know that Otoha and the others are just going to be able to complete their mission in the nick of time.
But hey, at least it all flows nicely, right? Wrong. Sky Girls's animation is horrible, with almost no facial expressions whatsoever and nice but boring backgrounds. Only during the flight sequences does it look like JC Staff cared, but even here Strike Witches is worlds better.
The only bright spot in all of this is the music. No, not the mediocre, forgettable J-POP opening or the equally forgettable ending theme, but the actual background music. It's by Shinkichi Mitsumune, who also did the music for the first Negima series (that series' sole saving grace, as well) and Rozen Maiden. But it doesn't really matter, as this OAV could've been composed by Yoko Kanno and it would still stink. The voices, as expected, are of the high-pitched, squeaky variety, and they all suck.
Usually an OAV pilot is supposed to perk your interest in the upcoming TV series. Sky Girls did the opposite for me, as I only managed to watch one episode of the TV series before giving up on that as well. With poor characters, an overused premise, lame action sequences, and lousy attempts at comedy, Sky Girls is build like a paper airplane out in the rain, and falls apart just as quickly.
Thankfully Konami bounced back the year after this with their producing/sponsoring Gurren Lagann and Shugo Chara!, both far superior anime.
Just watch Strike Witches instead. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: If someone feels they MUST watch it, only teens and unaware people beforehand would find even a hint of enjoyment here.
Version(s) Viewed: Prelicense digital source
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Sky Girls (OAV) © 2006 Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
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