Rocket Girls: Wandaba Style Reprised

Wandaba Style was like shock therapy: you hurt so bad that you come to like it out of psychological desperation. Admittedly it has some redeeming value but only if you can pierce through the…noise. Wandaba Style is, for the uninitiated, the nightmare that spawned nightmares of Akira Kogami.

Rocket Girls, is, in some ways, the same flavor but without the noise. Our protagonist is a very spirited young woman who has discovered that there’s more to life than the dutiful society that cradled her for 17 years. Taking her no-nonsense mother she became the first teenage astronaut. Why a teenage astronaut? I don’t know; but the last 3 episodes proposes some kind of a rationale. Unlike shows like Stratos 4, RG is not pretentious. And unlike Stratos 4, RG is a bit more appealing to realism…even if it’s more ludicrous at times.

I think there’s some kind of charm coming from the overall team of the cast. While the large bulk of the show focuses on Yukari, Matsuri and Akane, it’s the most enjoyable when the overbearing Yukari loses some of her lines to the workers on the island base. Once Matsuri joined in, things got into a good balance and I began to be able to tolerate Yukari better.

It was hard to write about Rocket Girls. It’s a fun show but somewhat uneven at times. It tries to be heartful but it makes you wonder if it works or not. It’s not exactly high profile, and it’s comedy nature only makes it feel cheaper.

What it was, at the end, is a show about growing up and accomplishing something. I think that much was a “mission complete” for this little anime otaku piece. Not much in terms of anything else besides a good tease, maybe.

Without having to drive its viewer insane,  I suppose.

5 Responses to “Rocket Girls: Wandaba Style Reprised”

  • Dave Baranyi

    A small correction – Yukari and Matsuri are both 16 and Akane is 15, according to the official website.

    Why teen astronauts? Because all three girls are very, very small and can go into orbit with the smaller boosters. (Which work, whereas the larger booster usually doesn’t.) The three girls weigh between 36 and 38 kilos each.

    That is part of the joke right at the beginning when the Project Director tells Yukari that it is a job that a “monkey can do”.

  • hashihime

    Unassuming and excellent, in my opinion. Didn’t try to do too much, but was just funny and, for me, successfully heartful. The story, while not totally believable, was more believable than most anime. And the hard nature of Yukari actually worked for me, by the end.

  • Pete

    The picture you have chosen is beautiful, but overall the animation pissies me off to no end, it’s so bad. The art is done with nigh line count across faces and seems like designed for decent animation, but apparently at the final animation stage it became butt-ugly. Improper deformations at turns are the worst.

    The 3D scenes in the beginning were horrifying. And, the goddamn inverted helicopter sure was repulsive. It was as if they tested their viewers’ willpower to see through the unbelievably shoddy animation. Fortunately, they eased on that horror a little in ep.4 and 5.

    The characters and the story are great and I’m just crying blood in my tears here.

    Even the awesome script would not keep me watching after the first episode, but rockets, you know… I have to suck it up.

  • omo

    The animation wasn’t horrible; just not exactly “good” I thought.

    And yeah, I don’t know where I got 17 from.

    Lastly, I don’t buy the smaller astronaut nonsense whatsoever. It just isn’t true.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    Michael, you might want to look up Soyuz TMA, which permits bigger astronauts than Soyuz TM did. It was a not-entirely-trivial redesign. Weight of the crew is not such a big issue for Shuttle, where the cargo payload alone is nearly 25 metric tons to an optimal inclination LEO, but it is an issue elsewhere.

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