Rocket Girls

Title:Rocket Girls
Keywords: , , ,
Notables: Music - MITSUMUNE Shinkichi
A high school girl Morita Yukari visits Axia of the Solomon Islands in order to look for her father who went missing some seventeen years ago on the day after he married Yukari's mother. While there, she meets some Japanese engineers who are operating the Solomon Space Project, who approach her with an unusual offer. With space on a rocket being very limited, the 38 kilo (83 lbs) Yukari accepts a part-time job as an astronaut, as a way to stay in the Solomons and continue her search for her missing father.

12 TV Episodes.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 8 7 6 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1589#1552]
Rocket Girls mixes around adventure, comedy and sci-fi in its focus on a trio of teenage girls trained to be astronauts for a struggling rocket engineering company. With the series produced with help from JAXA (Japan's equivalent of NASA for astronautics), the series is quite meticulous in depicting the safety measures, preparations and training that are undergone to teach the girls about different areas of aeronautic work both intellectually and physically and completing work on rockets and spacesuits needed for missions. As a matter of fact, the near-future setting of the series makes nods to a number of technologies presently in development such as the skin tight spacesuits used by the girls in their missions and creating cheaper technologies for astronautic missions. The preparations and missions were interesting stuff, with the latter having some suspenseful moments as the girls get into some serious situations while in space.

Much of the title's comedy revolves around Yukari adjusting to her unique circumstances as a teenage astronaut, learning of some surprising family connections and putting up with the eccentric habits of some of the Solomon Space Project's crew. To a good extent, I found the comedy to be hit-or-miss as I did enjoy seeing some of the eccentricities of the project crew yet I was not as giddy over the cliched elements to the characters of Yukari, Matsuri and Akane.

Even with the cliches to the three girls, they do have enough dimension to their personalities where their behavior was only a minor nitpick for me. However, one nitpick I couldn't ignore with the show that it chose to conveniently ignore was the storyline involving Yukari and the search for her father. This was obviously used to set up the premise for the anime with Yukari being an astronaut and befriending Matsuri, but it is cast aside once Yukari settles into the Space Project and leaves a nice plot hole in not covering why Yukari's father left her mother shortly after their time together.

In terms of animation, settings with the series had plenty of detail and were brightly-colored from the vast jungles of the Solomon Islands that Rocket Girls is mostly set in to seeing nice-looking wide shots of the Earth while in space. Character designs are a little on the simple side with the girls designed to look cute without being overbearingly so like in a moeblob title. The CG animation used in the rendering of rockets and a space station sticks out quite prominently, but movements with the renderings were quite fluid despite this. The soundtrack does its part to compliment major scenes in the anime, but there is nothing too memorable about it.

Despite some gripes I have in some of the show's choices for its setup, Rocket Girls is a solid sci-fi title that meticulously and believably depicts the challenges faced by Yukari and the Solomon Space Project crew in the successful launch of one of their rockets.

Last updated Friday, May 25 2012. Created Friday, May 25 2012.
Rent Stretch [series:1589#628]
(All episodes watched):

He he, I kinda liked this show. I wasn't sure what to expect--maybe some sort of futuristic sci-fi? But this turned out to have a modern day setting. That immediately waved some red flags, since it seems very hard to me to make a believable show about a small-time space program--even if they did, what would there be to get excited about? But Rocket Girls did a pretty good job of keeping things plausible and interesting. Perhaps a skillful mix of elements with just the right quantity of comedy was largely responsible for keeping this show fun. Just the way the series opened--flashing back and forth between a rocket countdown and ordinary girl Yukari's daily life--somehow instilled a sense of confidence in me that the makers were taking their job seriously (but not too seriously), and a quality product would result. Plenty of CG was employed, which (a very minor criticism) might not have been so obvious if it had been blended into the conventional animation more smoothly. I didn't recognize any of the VAs in the credits. This show is called Rocket GirlS after all, and main character Yukari was so likeable that I soon became curious to see what the story behind the other astronaut candidates would be. I must have enjoyed this show, because the next time I got on the computer I immediately began downloading episode two. I watched it, and at the end said to myself "This is a pretty fun show!". Yes indeed, just the right mix of craziness and plausibility; Yukari soon tracks down her father, in a most unlikely situation, and tries to "persuade" him to return to Japan with her. He's not enthusiastic, and they strike a bargain of sorts. Episodes three and four keep a fairly plausible and interesting plot moving, but as far as comedy is concerned didn't seem to live up to the standards set by the first two--that is, they were good rather than great. I was thinking that an actual liftoff into orbit surely wouldn't happen until the last couple of episodes, but around halfway through a launch takes place (not completely successful, though). The critical mission comes when those pathetic Yankees screw up a space shuttle mission and need the Solomon Space Agency to salvage the situation. Fortunately, the Americans aren't all jerks--some are quite competent and friendly. Comedy is set aside as a dangerous situation develops and the world holds it's breath as these new astrogirls race to cope with it. In some shows everything just "clicks" together perfectly--you understand exactly what's happening, become completely emersed in the situation, and you feel it. That didn't quite happen here, but Rocket Girls was still a fun and interesting show to the end.

A surprisingly good show, considering how little attention it has gotten.


Last updated Friday, May 25 2012. Created Friday, May 11 2007.

Other Sites
Japanese Language Series Web Site
Wikipedia posting for Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands is a very small and troubled country located near Australia.

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