Oira Uchuu no Tankoufu

Title:Oira Uchuu no Tankoufu
Mighty Space Miners
おいら宇宙の探鉱夫 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: R1 License - Discotek
A disastrous accident has occured at a mining site on the asteroid Tortatis in the year 2060AD. Things go from bad to worse as one problem leads to another, including a nuclear reactor which may melt down, and the possibility that the asteroid as a whole may careen into the Earth. How extremely inconvenient to 12-year-old Nanbu Ushiwaka, who was in the process of taking a critical test to determine his suitability to become a space miner himself! But what better test could there be than to help save his precious asteroid home?

[OVA, 1994-95, 2 episodes, 25 min]
"おいら" ("oira") is a Kana sound pattern that would e. g. be used for a western name like "Euler"; there's also a Japanese word "oira" meaning "I" or "we" or even a Japanese name "Oira" but all of these would usually be written in Kanji. "宇宙" ("uchuu") means "universe, cosmos, space", "探鉱" ("tanko") means "mineral exploration", "夫" ("-pu" or "-fu" when used as suffix") means "man" (one of a group).
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 8 8 6 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:665#1552]
(Rent-/ Watch+)

This baby sure picked the worst time to have an inconclusive ending. In Mighty Space Miners, our young lead Nanbu finds himself and the residents of his asteroid home dealing with one bad situation after another. The plot to this is on the simple side, but the setting of space and the asteroid creates an immersive atmosphere with the OVA having its nice mix of fun and serious moments coming from Nanbu's antics and the serious situation that he and those in the asteroid have to contend with. For a mid-90s anime, the artwork to Mighty Space Miners is very good with nicely detailed shots of spaceships, the asteroid base and various space debris seen during Nanbu's journey to return to the asteroid. Animation was just as great with characters and spaceships showing a good level of fluid movement onscreen, realistic treatment of zero gravity and I didn't take notice of many moments of choppiness. But still as noted, Mighty Space Miners chose to end at the worst time as things continued getting worst for those aboard Tortatis and hints were dropped that this series was going on longer considering some shady activity was implicated in the issues affecting the asteroid. Still if you can find the 90s ADV VHS release of this or can hold off on Discotek's release for it come next year, Mighty Space Miners still makes for an engaging quick watch.

Last updated Tuesday, October 01 2013. Created Tuesday, October 01 2013.
Rent Stretch [series:665#628]
Despite it's silly title, Mighty Space Miners is in fact an intriguing piece of sci-fi anime well suited to adult viewers (perhaps the English language title came about as a result of some overly literal translation--as in "Birdy the Mighty"). One interesting thing I noticed from the opening credits was that MSM seems to have been originally written by a Westerner ("Horceman Lunchfield").* The show features exotic, yet believable technology--when you think about it, it makes sense that this is how an outer space mining colony would operate. A lot of attention is paid to the effects of zero gravity (even a zero-G toilet!), and you really need to watch this show more than once in order to catch anywhere near all the neat special effects. One questionable scene is when Ushiwaka makes a quick leap through space without his helmet on, and despite certain ill effects, survives--but hey, Spike did the same thing at least once in Cowboy Bebop, so let's not nitpick! Ushiwaka's voice in the dubbed version sounded familiar--turns out it was none other than Amanda Winn (Blue Seed, Devil Hunter Yohko, Plastic Little, .hack/SIGN, etc, etc.). The only serious problem I had with the first two episodes had to do with a scene in which one of the leaders of the struggling colony seemed to display a heartless attitude towards those who had already perished (he treated a drifting body as little more than garbage). My problem with the rest of the episodes is there were none!! The story was clearly far from finished, as yet another deadly problem had just been discovered, but either the remaining episodes were never released in the US, or, more likely, the series was never completed. Having read some reviews beforehand, I was aware of this, but I had confused this series with another and thought there would be three episodes, when in fact this fast-paced series comes to a screeching halt after only two. Bummer. Still, I'm glad this incomplete OAV was released instead of being shelved indefinitely.

*I recently read a respectable review which said no, this is just a pseudonym.

10/03 #76

Last updated Monday, March 03 2008. Created Saturday, October 04 2003.

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org