Alien Nine

Title:Alien Nine
Alien 9
エイリアン9
Overall:Watch
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: HISAKAWA Aya
IHATA Yuri
IRIE Yasuhiro
ISHIDA Akira
MURAI Sadayuki
NAKAO Ryuusei
NAKAYAMA Manami
Production - GENCO, Inc.
R1 License - Central Park Media(Defunct)
SHIMIZU Kaori
SHITAYA Noriko
TOMIZAWA Hitoshi
For the new year in elementary school #9 the responsibilities are assigned, like class representatives, homeroom duties, feeding the class animals - and membership in the anti alien squad who put an alien symbiont on their head like a hat and then catch those aliens that are occasionally landing on earth before they can do any damage. Energetic Toomine Kasumi and serious Kawamura Kumi volunteered for this task while timid Ootani Yuri was elected for this squad by her class, much against her will. And facing these monsters, defending her classmates and even feeding the symbiont with her body (who gives her protection in return) takes a heavy toll on this girl.

[OVA, 2001, 4 episodes, 29 min; based on a longer manga of the same title]
1:33min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
Will
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 8 7 7 7 8 Dreamer [series:914#2279]
Reading the synopsis is what caught my interest in this one. After watching it however...

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork seemed a bit different than the norm. It almost reminded me of of Photon and I don't know why. Actually, I think I know why. Somehow our protagonist, "Ootani" reminds me of the artwork found in Photon... mainly he eyes. It wasn't bad by no means, just slightly different. Character designs were pretty good but nothing out of the ordinary.

Music
The OP was.... I'm not sure what it was. I can't quite classify it. It's sorta cute with female vocals. The soundtrack overall had some unusual compilations of various bells, xylophones, pan pipes and similar. It was really more or less a conglomeration of odd sounding effects that somehow still sounded musical. The ED was a fairly nice piece with female vocals.... almost reminded me of a light pop piece from the 80's.

Series and Episode Story
Being only a 4 episode OVA, there wasn't a whole lot to tell, thus we are thrust into a scenario where having aliens around and nonchalantly exterminating them was the norm. Things are not explained in terms of this and to be honest, it would probably take away from the series as a whole since the plot wasn't about the aliens but rather the girls. The plot focuses on 3 girls and their "normal" lives as the anti-alien squad and how they deal with their situations and decisions handed to them.... mainly our protagonist "Ootani".

Ootani was the biggest crybaby of them all. Frankly, she got quite annoying and almost ruined the series for me. Ok, so she was the timid one of the 3, but the level and amount at which she cried almost ruins the believability of having "capable" anti-alien squads. I mean afterall, what's the point of have such squads if they can't take on and accomplish their tasks.

Overall, this OVA set was marginally enjoyable.... very marginally. For sure move on if you've got other series to watch.

Last updated Thursday, August 26 2010. Created Thursday, August 26 2010.
Watch 7 8 6 7 6 7 Ggultra2764 [series:914#1552]
Alien Nine was quite a mixed bag for me as a sci-fi title. On the one hand, it reminded me in some ways of Narutaru with a deceptive light-hearted start and opening sequence, as well as focus on the mental limitations of children as they cope with the pressures of expectations from others weighing down upon them creating a sort of coming-of-age focus as Yuri adapts to a position she isn't so willing to accept. The series also takes the time later on to provide depth to all three of the girls over whatever personal problems they are faced with in their lives. However, there were a glaring number of issues I couldn't help but notice with the series. The character designs reminded me of Digimon: Digital Monsters and not in a good way with skinny limbs and simple details for human characters and the Borgs reminding me enough of the Digimon in their Training stages. Plus, the series doesn't really go into great detail on aspects of the alien squad and their hunts such as why the aliens are invading an elementary school, how the squad was formed and why elementary students are being recruited to capture aliens. And with four OAV episodes, there's only so much that could be explored within that time. As a whole, Alien Nine has decent focus on exploring its characters yet is lacking quite a bit in focusing on the alien aspect of the series. It was a decent watch, but nothing that I'd be willing to watch again anytime soon.

Last updated Sunday, May 16 2010. Created Sunday, May 16 2010.
Rent Forbin [series:914#1573]
Drama - HIGH
Comedy - Low
Action - High
SciFi - High
Ecchi - Low/Med
Hmm...yet another thinking Anime. I keep getting caught in this after getting suckered into The Voices of a Distant Star.
This picture does not do it justice. This is an Anime on par with Lain, or any other one that has lots of sadness.
Now here I differ from Kat message. (I think she has some personal issues and tries to apply that here). I do agree with Kasumi's issues. She's a bit off. Where Kat saw this as an adolescent issues, I approached it from a SciFi issue.
It looks like to me that the Aliens are really trying to take over the Earth, one child at a time. As they get more and more people 'converted' they gain power. The scene where Yuri (nice name...sorta gives hints) gets the white hair really implies these 'helmets' have another hidden agenda.
Well enough of that, if you like high drama, watch it. I normally do not watch this kind of thing (As I prefer entertainment over thought) but it's a good watch when you feel like something serious.

Last updated Sunday, January 02 2005. Created Sunday, January 02 2005.
Rent 8 9 9 8 6 9 Devil Doll [series:914#752]
[Score: 81%= Rent+. Recommended Supernatural Conflict animes: Silent Mobius, Kannazuki no Miko]

The character visualizations look like this were a series for kids - but don't get fooled by this. This isn't a silly comedy... try to imagine a girl being so desperate that she forgets about her own 12th birthday! Now you know what this OVA is about: Fear, even terror, and depression. Think "Evangelion Lite" with kawaii little girls 6th grade. But listen carefully to the intro song (whose cheerful tune is all too misleading) to understand what this is actually about. There is a lot of symbolism to be decoded (see below), and this is way more than just "another anime".
Unfortunately, it isn't an anime that really works for me either. And this is a pity because many people will be disappointed after watching it the first time, and probably not take the time to watch it again and tackle its deeper meaning.

I like the art (including those unusually big ears that have to make up for the missing noses of the characters), and I love the animation - there's a lot of movement, and they did this excellently. And the trailer song "Rebirth" is simply great. On the other hand the story provides only little character development (mostly for Kumi-chan, and this until the bitter end), therefore it had to be the line of events that kept me watching... and they did. I could hardly wait to watch the subsequent episodes. Unfortunately I am still waiting for another episode when the series is over. Which isn't a good sign in general.
Episode 1 is basically describing the setting and covering the synopsis.
Episode 2 starts to show that all is not what it seems and ends with a total blow-off.
Episode 3 feels like everything is going to improve now but ends with an unexpected cliffhanger.
Episode 4 resolves this cliffhanger - but nothing else.
And when you think it's already over, the most disturbing scene of the whole series is thrown into the audience's face while the trailer credits are rolling already. After that, the OVA ends right in the middle of a story with each and every important question unanswered. Obviously you need to read the manga to understand what this is all about.
It was quite an experience ("fun" wouldn't be the correct term here given this gloomy ride) to watch these four episodes, and it was even more interesting to re-watch them now. I am deeply touched by the characters and what they have been going through. But as a whole this OVA still failed in both aspects that are most important to me, character development (maybe I'm expecting too much in this aspect) as well as series story transparency and plausibility. Which is a pity because it definitely had the potential for a "Buy" rating had it become a 13 episodes series (the manga appears to cover enough content for this) with a reasonable ending (answering at least the most important questions about the teachers). But as it is, it looks oddly unfinished. I have a very similar feeling as I had when I watched Silent Mobius and Shin Seiki Evangelion in the original TV version for the first time; then again they are both amongst my favorite series... looks like I really need the manga.

Reading the very personal analysis by Kathryn K Williams (see link below) can make you see the message of this series from a totally different angle. I agree with the Borgu symbolizing "adulthood" as suggested by the intro song, and I did interpret the scene where Yuri was feeding the aliens the same way, and I have my very own interpretation of the song "Everybody's going to be an alien".
Which doesn't mean I'll completely go along with her analysis. This anime just left too many questions unanswered to let me accept they're all not important. In this case the whole story arc of the teachers (which is explained in the manga) would be totally misleading, making it almost impossible to understand the intended message of the series.

Last updated Monday, October 11 2010. Created Sunday, November 21 2004.

Other Sites
NameURL
Alien Nine Unofficial Website http://alien9.crossrealms.net/
A fan site about anime, manga, soundtracks and collectibles for Alien Nine.
A Kat's View of Alien 9 http://anime.mikomi.org/episode/914/Will.html
A very personal analysis of the symbolism used in Alien Nine by Kathryn K Williams (the page isn't online any more, I saved the text of this article into an "episode review" for this page)
Buried Treasure: Alien Nine http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/buried-treasure/2009-09-17/alien-nine
A complete Alien Nine review (with some screenshots) by Justin Servakis at ANN

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