STARSHIP GIRL YAMAMOTO YOHKO (2001)

 

Format: 6 29-minute episodes from two OVA series (3 each), all available on one DVD

 

Rating: PG-13 (BN, AC, V)

 

Type: Sci-Fi Parody

 

American Production: The Right Stuf International/New Generation Pictures

 

Japanese Production: King Records

 

Grading

first/second series

Premise:

B-

Story:

C

Writing:

C

Character Design:

C+

Animation:

C/C+

Artistic Merits:

C/C+

English Dub:

B-

Musical Score:

C

Opener:

C

Closer:

C

 

 

Humor Content:

C+

Action Content:

C+

Drama Content:

C

 

 

DVD Presentation:

C

DVD Extras:

D+

 

 

OVERALL:

C+

 

Synopsis

      In the far future, destructive space wars have been replaced by a form of war games that resemble live-action video games. These war games decide issues such as mining rights, colonization rights, etc. in a bloodless and minimally destructive fashion; even the pilots are preserved if their ships are destroyed via the use of emergency teleporters built into their cockpits. The war games are also highly commercialized affairs, with top pilots earning commercial endorsements. The problem is that the Terrans, despite having a souped-up new ship design, have been losing a lot lately because of a shortage of qualified pilots. The top Terran techie, Lawson, decides to recruit some high-school girl from the end of the 20th century to fill his piloting vacancies. The last of the four girls so recruited, and the one needed for the special task of flying the powerful new prototype, is one Yamamoto Yohko. The chief rivals of the Terran team are the Red Snapper team of Ness, a group of sisters led by the vixen Rouge (who actually has blond hair, curiously). Later in the series Yohko gains another enemy in Sylvie Dread, a former Terran pilot deposed for reckless behavior who sees Yohko as the cause of her trouble. 

 

The Long View

      This series, which consists of two serial 3-episode OVA series, will not make much sense unless you understand up front that it’s supposed to be a parody series. The title is a dead giveaway to any Japanese viewer or well-informed otaku from other countries: it’s a take-off of Space Battleship Yamato (better known in the U.S. as Star Blazers), an early classic anime space opera. Actually, the series doesn’t make much sense even if you do know that it’s a parody. It doesn’t muddle around with details, arcane technological issues, or basic spaceship operation principles. Basic logic also flies out the window; why are girls from the 20th century needed to pilot the ships, how they can fly these ships without training, and how they can be in a ship cockpit in street clothes? And don’t even get me started on the twisting of physics involved in the “planetary pool” game in episode 2. It’s best not to fret over these details or the series loses its entertainment value. Remember, Starship Girl isn’t supposed to be taken seriously, even though some of the episodes actually do get a bit serious.

      Character development is not a big part of Starship Girl, but each of the main characters does have a distinct (if shallow) characterization. The title heroine is a cute, irrepressibly spunky, and supremely-confident 15-year-old girl who is the smartest and sharpest of the girls by far. Little seems to faze this tomboy, and she is routinely able to save the day while chomping away on Pocky sticks. Her appearance is most distinguished by big green eyes reminiscent of a cat, and her overall attitude makes her instantly appealing as a heroine. Rouge, her counterpart in the Red Snappers, is by far more sexy and voluptuous than any of the other female characters, and also a bit prideful and domineering. Among her younger sisters in the Red Snappers, one is supremely stupid, another is immature, and the third is an overly sensitive worrywart. Among the other Terran pilots, one is distinguished by her shiny forehead and near-constant indignant state, another is a country bumpkin, and the third is very demure (despite the fact that she wears a skimpy bikini in a couple of places).

      The technical merits of Starship Girl are unremarkable, although the artwork and animation is a little better in the second series than in the first. The openers and closers, which vary between the first three and last three episodes, are also unremarkable. The rating assigned is for one scene of brief nudity in the fifth episode and a few instances of somewhat racy content in other places (the girls are ogled while in swimsuits or in the shower, one character tries to go into a strip joint, etc.). It is generally a very mild series on content, however.

      Starship Girl is a light and entertaining romp that won’t strain anyone’s brain too much as long as you don’t try to make much sense of it.

 

DVD Extras

      The extras on the Collected Edition DVD are limited, including only outtakes from the English dub sessions and a “Slide Show” which is just a collection of screen shots from the series. 

 

Principle English Voice Actors

Role

Voice Actor

Yamamoto Yohko

Erin Matthews

Madoko

Hunter Austin

Ayano

Sienna Canyon

Momiji

Zarah Little

Admiral Rion

Robyn Nolting

Lawson

Justin Gross

Rouge

Sharon McWilliams

Lote

J-Ray

Lubrum

Jessica Kaplan

Erutron

Mariah Martin

Sylvie Dread

Tricia Dickson

Fuligar

Patrick Seitz

 

 

 

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