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[ café reviews ]

Episode 2: The Challenge of the Fearless Girl Genius

Copyright: GAINAX (Japan), US Renditions (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Subtitled (VHS)

Directed by: Hideaki Anno Produced by: English translation: Yoshida Toshifume, Trish Ledoux

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Six years ago, Noriko father's ship, Lukushion, was destroyed by an unknown alien force. Now, Kazumi and Noriko find themselves training at Silver Star space station in order to become the front-line troops in their battle against their deadly interstellar adversary. But it seems that Kazumi has acquired an adversary much closer to home -- Jung-Freud, representing the Soviets, has more than a bit of a competitive streak within her. The Space Combat Genius and Rose Queen square off in a personal duel, only to be interrupted by a startling discovery. Later, Noriko and Kazumi have their first real mission -- to identify an unknown object travelling at 99.8% light-speed. What is it, and why is it approaching the solar system?

[ capsule review ]

Just about every SF show I can think of treats high-speed travel in the same way: they preclude the concept of time dilation (the "gamma factor" in high-speed physics). Well, here's a show that doesn't and in fact, uses this principle to its advantage. It's not perfectly accurate, but very refreshing! (Did you notice the doppler-induced blue and red shift of light?) Takaya is still annoying, but you can see where things are going -- she has a lot of ghosts to exorcise, including the ghost of her late father. Once again, the script writers have done a good job in using the situation to develop the character, and to let her grow. Yes, Noriko's still annoying. But you can see why the character is written in this manner, making it a bit easier to accept. The music and animation backgrounds are of high caliber, and overall acting is fine. The introduction of the competitive Jung-Freud is another favorite technique in animé -- there always seems to be internal competition somewhere to keep the principal characters sharp. I do find that the English translations throughout the series tend to be very loose, but it's probably done this way since a word-for-word translation would be rather awkward. In the end, though, it's the advancement of the plot and character that I find facinating. - AN

The story continues as Amano and Noriko both arrive at the Stilver Star Space Station at the LaGrange point. The story itself is quite interesting, the acting is well done and the music itself continues to be excellent. Noriko's character continues to be decidedly weepy, and I find it difficult to believe that she wouldn't have gained *some* control over her grief of her father's death in the eight years between the accident and the present. (She's supposed to be 16, but she acts like she was six! Sheesh!) Why her experiencing light speed should over-ride the need for her continued training considering her current skill level in her meccha is... well I suppose it makes for the story here. Still, the introduction of Jung-Freud makes for an interesting show-down between her and Amano in a test of skill. - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 3 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 3 stars N/A

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Page last modified 2000.02.27