Category Archives: Rocket Girls

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.

Yukari: A Stylish Rocket Girl

I don’t know how hard it is to tell geography by visuals when you’re in low earth orbit, but Yukari can do it. For some reason I got the impression that it is rather hard? For one, you don’t look at things north-up.

Eri Sendai’s performance as Yukari Morita in Rocket Girls is strangely familiar with a pinch of indignity and mild irritation. It took a while for me to find why but I narrowed it down to her role as Yuuhi from Neo Ranga. And in some ways, the mean streak continues on with Yukari when she fights and consents to the various trials and strangeness that makes a high schooler going into space something to be taken slightly more seriously (than not at all). More than a bunch of washed-up idol singers, at any rate.

But in exchange, maybe Matsuri should be in Wadaba Style instead? Maybe Rocket Girls should make reference to Lisa Nowak? Anime fans like determined girls with a streak of insanity, I suppose?

In some ways all of this pseudo low-tech sci-fi gets on my nerves like a confused bee grazing under a blooming Spring sky. Is it like Gundam? As in, an event several decades ago that changed the minds of the animators and creators forever? Are we bridging that gender gap? My parents saw the momentous Apollo 11 landing broadcast live across the world and told me about it when I got older, and most of you reading this blog probably hasn’t, or too young to remember. Is it just a staple genre that old Japanese guys buy to remind them the memories of fascination and dreams they had as children? I don’t know.