Uchuu no Stellvia

Title:Uchuu no Stellvia
Stellvia of the Universe
Stellvia: Complete Series
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Xebec
R1 License - Pioneer (Defunct)
SAIGA Mitsuki
UEDA Yuuji
In the year 2176 A.D., the solar system was subjected to a cosmically intense radiation and electromagnetic wave which caused vast disasters on Earth. The phenomenon was caused by a star twenty lightyears away from the solar system which went supernova. This was only the beginning... It has been determined that high-energy plasma from the exploded star pieces would reach the solar system within 189 years at the 0.1 speed of light. It is the year 2356 A.D. The human race has built enormous space bases called the "foundations" in the orbits of Earth, Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. The one for Earth is called "Stellvia." The show depicts the adventures of young cadets who enter the space pilot training school there with one common goal... To defend the solar system and planet Earth against the cosmic disaster and subsequent shock wave.

[TV series, 2003, 26 TV episodes, 24 min; Produced by XEBEC]
1:28min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
Aris, Shim, Akir, Leil, Ren, Rinn, Ayak, Naji, Joey
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 7 7 8 7 7 Dreamer [series:670#2279]
The story slowly grew on me. By the end of the series, I pretty much enjoyed this one. I guess you can never judge a book by it's cover.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork somehow seemed a bit cheap. I mean, it wasn't "bad" really but it wasn't that great either. I think it was the character designs that sorta threw me off. I couldn't stand our protagonist's eyes. Too big. Background artwork wasn't too bad. At times we have some pretty detailed backdrops.... which almost outshined the darn use of CG.

The OP was a pretty cool techno piece with female vocals (electronic). I loved the initial few seconds of the track. Nice! There's some nice piano pieces throughout the series that brings a bit of life to the scene at hand. Same can be said about the various other instruments used throughout the episodes. Not too bad. The ED was pretty good! I liked it. It was a cool alternative piece with a well balanced female vocals. Then the second ED was even better! Another alternative piece but this one was more dreamy and more epic sounding. Thinking about picking up the ST.

Series and Episode Story
The story slowly grew on me. At first, it started off a bit slow.... although the intro did catch my attention somewhat. But there after, the story unfolded pretty slowly and I almost wanted to drop it (would have been my first drop). However, I stuck with it and eventually grew to enjoy it. For the most part, this is an "in-the-life-of" type of story telling, where the protagonist happens to be a young girl name Shima. In other words, pretty much a "Coming of Age" story.

Few things bothered me with this one. First, the series lacks any believability. But it's an anime, so what the heck right? The other thing was the silly use of CG. CG wasn't that great so it pretty much didn't work to well. I'm a firm believer that if you're going to use CG, it should be used for eye-candy or to bring the scene to life. But if the CG looks bland or pretty bad, it pretty much defeats the purpose and sometimes work against the intended purpose. Such was the case here. On the plus side, we do have plenty of fun characters that make the show worth watching.

Overall, this was a light one with plenty of semi-fun episodes. Not sure if 26 episodes justified the story here. I think it could have been wrapped up in a dozen.

Last updated Wednesday, February 23 2011. Created Wednesday, February 23 2011.
Rent 8 8 8 7 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:670#1552]
If you want to think of Stellvia as a coming-of-age focus on Shima's struggles as a teen with saving the world/galaxy in the mix, then Stellvia will fit well for you. The series explores elements that are commonplace with a teenager shown through the interactions with Shima and her friends aboard the Stellvia: friendship, first love, competition, self-esteem, thoughts of the other gender. The focus on this was believable enough and I didn't feel as if any of the reactions that Shima or other characters had in their present situations seemed forced at all to force feelings onto the audience. The series also explores how unity amongst everyone is the key to ensuring humanity's survival. Despite differing views and tensions amongst individuals, those involved in saving the planet and galaxy learn to coexist with one another as they all realize that there is a greater threat to worry about than their own thoughts and desires. The series even sports some good-looking CG animation shown during the space fleet missions to engage said cosmic phenomenon.

If more than anything, I'd say the biggest problem with Stellvia is implementing its sci-fi genre which is a mixed bag thanks to its lack of deep depth and believability. As Devil Doll mentioned, the series tends to ignore believability with its science at the expense of its story which while still engaging, does give off a sense of Willing Suspension of Disbelief at a number of points. Not to mention the series doesn't really go into deep detail on aspects of its future world such as the technology, how preparations for the space phenomenon were known and prepared for and even mention of extraterrestrials later in the series. This lack of depth also went into the developments of some of the characters where their backgrounds weren't too deeply explored and some aspects of the characters (Kouta's potential as a pilot despite his average marks, for example) were left unexplored.

Overall, Stellvia is worthwhile for its coming of age story with Shima's struggles yet a mixed bag with believability and depth with its sci-fi genre. Still, the series did a good job with hooking me in with its story on uniting against a cosmic phenomenon which is enough for me to give it a strong Rent recommendation.

Last updated Wednesday, May 12 2010. Created Wednesday, May 12 2010.
Buy 10 8 9 9 6 8 Devil Doll [series:670#752]
[Rating: 83% = Buy-. Other recommended SciFi/Mecha animes: Shin Seiki Evangelion, Koukaku Kidoutai STAND ALONE COMPLEX]
  • Drama: Med/High (characters questioning their self-esteem being a main part of the story, and humanity on the verge of extinction)
  • Comedy: Low/Med (at least as many funny moments as depressing ones)
  • Action: Med (space ships in action, plus interstellar disasters)
  • SciFi: Med/High (science being the means for humankind to survive a catastrophe scheduled 189 years ahead... plus the alien interference element)
  • Ecchi: None/Low (schoolgirls of age 12-16 in short skirts, nothing beyond shy kisses)
During my first attempt of watching this series I expected it to be a space opera - which this series fails at. Too many obvious plausibility flaws... I'm just naming a few:
  • The academy's server is frequently hacked by prep students.
  • Rule violations are never punished (this highly equipped space station is more like a kindergarten).
  • It's sheer nonsense to arbitrarily limit the team of pilots fighting against the Second Wave effect to a fixed number instead of accepting everyone who qualifies by a common test, given the large number of available machines and being short on personnel.
  • Laws of physics, most notably for spaceships colliding with each other in high speed, are constantly neglected to an extent that borders the ridiculous.
  • If the effect of the Great Wall is to slow down the approaching objects, then the most likely candidates to break through that barrier are the big objects, not the small ones, and their resulting speed after passing the Wall would depend on their impulse, meaning the largest object would be the fastest one... facing the Infi with the issue of being in several places at the same time.
  • If the material from the supernova took 189 years to reach earth, and the Great Wall was operated a mere day, this means that all objects had the same velocity with a deviation of less than 0.0015%. If it were me to operate the Great Wall I'd leave it in effect for a couple of weeks, if not months - making the Second Wave much more a war than a kind of sports festival as shown in this series.
  • By the way, there's no oxygen in space, meaning that every single hull breach of a space ship would automatically lead to a horrible death of the pilot, given these sexy but useless space suits without any oxygen tank. (And yes, with that in mind most of the fooling around in their training ships wouldn't have been possible, including certain actions by Machida-senpai.)
All in all this made me give up this series half way through... only to return to this series when I had enough time.

When I decided to take it as a teenager comedy with just a few serious scenario elements this series began to work very well for me during my second pass. There's humor, competition, rivalry... but most notably - friendship, and coming of age, and self esteem issues. And lots of interesting Characters. And absolutely marvelous Art. And powerful Music with impressive orchestral pieces as well as fine melodic rock tracks. Where Mai-HiME decided to focus on what is happening (and failed), Stellvia decided to focus on how it happens - and succeeds in doing so, because the character relations do work.
You just need to be a fan of watching teenager's issues, and crybabies saving the world - then this series will work for you. The most similar anime series to this one that I know is Sky Girls (TV) with has slightly less drama, a additional loli touch, weaker visualization and a much weaker ending.

Last updated Sunday, May 09 2010. Created Tuesday, October 10 2006.
Buy Forbin [series:670#1573]
Drama : Med
Comedy : Med
Action : Low / Med
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Low

What a wonderful Anime. Xebec outdid themselves with all the CGI mixed in with the Animation. The story of Shinma Katase and how she grows up. I expected that Shinma would hog all the limelight (Sorta like Misaki in Angelic Layer did) but each character has a backstory that is explained very well (Well except for Kouta's I think). We learn the personalities of about 8 different main characters. They are all very real, one in a failure trying to win again, another is a Success that cannot STAND having a superior. Shinma is a normal girl with ton's of angst and we don't even learn why she doesn't get along with her mother for 6 disks! The script was top notch and I will mark this above Angelic Layer as a Young Person Pick. While the girls slightly outnumber the boys the boys do get their time on the screen.

What I am most amazed is that Shinma did not turn into the all knowing Deus Ex Machine (Like Shinon in Starship Operators did). She has real emotions and real issues. I am surprised that CLAMP didn't write this.

Last updated Wednesday, January 04 2006. Created Wednesday, December 15 2004.
Avoid 8 8 6 9 5 5 Cedric Chin [series:670#1412]
Stellvia numbs my brain. It's not that it's average (which it isn't), it's just that you've seen this "shy girl coming of age" plot and standard anime stereotypes everywhere else before.
My own problem with the series is that I just can't get over with some gaping holes others could overlook: In one episode, these preteenagers have access to high-security areas of a space station. They modify -- and crash -- multi-million dollar spacecraft.
Still, if you're new to anime and haven't seen yet another sf "coming of age" anime, go ahead and see this one.

Last updated Thursday, May 27 2004. Created Thursday, May 27 2004.
Rent 8 8 7 7 6 6 Jan-Chan [series:670#967]
With a feeling that this series has been targeted for the 12 to 16 year old crowd, Stellvia follows a high school teenager Katase Shima as she deals with the separation issues with her family as she travels to a new orbiting high school. Shima has been enrolled in the elite Stellvia high school that includes intra-solar spaceship piloting skills as part of its standard curriculum.

Shima is very cute and shy teenager who has been gifted with a strange ability with computers that takes a while for her to sort out. The first few stories deal with issues of grades, class rivalries, young love, and high school friendships. While the later stories deal address the issues a super nova shock wave that threatens to destroy the earth, and how the students of Stellvia are called upon to help in the defense of humanity. (Of course Shima and her boyfriend distinguish themselves and have to deal with the problems of popularity.)

While the story is not particularly original or distinctive, the animation is done well (particularly the computer-generated-animation that is used for the ship scenes), and it works well to be entertaining for the teenage crowd. With only 3 kisses, no fan service and no onscreen deaths or injuries, this definitely is something for the entire family.

While I might not want to speak to highly of Stellvia of the Universe, I really cannot find anything bad to say about it either. This is just one of those fun and entertaining anime series that you can kind-a-sort-of remember having seen after a year has gone by.

26 Episodes (fan sub release)

Last updated Tuesday, October 11 2005. Created Thursday, October 09 2003.

Other Sites
cdJAPAN.co.jp http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/anime/topics/stellvia/
Official Japanese Stellvia Series Web Site http://www.stellvia.com/

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