Space Family Carlvinson Review

Space Family Carlvinson

Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: A theater group made up of aliens crashes into another spaceship that made a grave error while warping. They head down to the surface of a planet to see if the passengers are still alive, but all they find is a baby in a pod and two bodies that are presumed to be the baby’s parents. The authorities refuse to take the child, so the group decides to make a new life on the planet while raising the baby girl they have named Corona, waiting for the day that someone who knows her will answer their call and reunite with her.

Breakdown:
A fairly rare title, this is a 45 minute OVA, and it’s a pretty cute story. It’s heartwarming to see the lengths that the group has gone to in order to ensure that Corona lives a life as close to the one that she would have on her home planet, which I assume is Earth, but I can’t be certain.

A little purple puffball who could easily be related to Grimace has taken the role of mother, and seems to only have Mother as her name, which suits her perfectly since she’s been the key authority in the theater group. She deeply cares for Corona like her own child, but still sends out messages every day to see if anyone’s looking for Corona so that she can be with her actual family.

Then we have what I find to be the funniest character in the show, Father. He’s a robot with two very funny traits. First, he’s not very intelligent, which is odd for a robot. He takes many things too far and misunderstands a lot, though he’s always willing to do anything for Corona.

Second is his growth capability. Somehow, Father can continuously grow in size and create additional parts on himself to make jets, medium sized mecha and giant mecha. He seems to do this whenever he’s spurred by something involving Corona. Thus, he’s constantly destroying things to make Corona happy, ironically.

Then we have a character who looks human-ish called Beruka. She has taken an odd role as Sheriff, I guess to ensure that Corona lives in a safe place. I thought she’d be somewhat central in this movie, but she’s really not.

This movie is pretty cute, touching and it gets pretty funny at some points. The characters are likable and Corona’s a believable cute little kid.

The only real problems I have with this show are character development and the ending.

Since this is only a 45 minute OVA, none of the characters are developed much beyond Mother and Corona. Father has no real character to develop, and Beruka is pretty generic. We don’t even know what their theater troupe really was.

The ending also kinda weirds me out. Spoilers, of course. An alien sends messages to Mother’s radio saying that they’re coming for Corona, but Mother doesn’t know what to do about it. After getting upset with Corona about being out too late, Corona runs off into the forest where she’s taken into a weird spaceship. She’s given cake and candy by some weird alien who has been sending the messages.

She says she heard the message about Corona not having parents and wanted to have a child around to eat the sweets she makes because she can’t have kids of her own. Either this is creepy in a sad/sweet way or very creepy in a Hansel and Gretel type of deal.

As Mother, Father, Beruka and others search for the spaceship, they arrive just in time to see it leaving. Mother believes she went off with the person from the messages, but sees Corona waving goodbye to it. Corona is reunited with Mother and we see that the alien apparently has a catalog of books containing parentless children to try and kidnap. Okay, she seems to be somewhat sincere about this stuff and she did let Corona go happily, but still, what the hell?

Fear not, though, giant mecha Father blows up the spaceship while looking for Corona, which is alarming seeing as how she could’ve easily been on that spaceship. Way to commit murder on someone who could’ve easily been incredibly nice but creepy, Father!

Corona said she didn’t go with the alien despite promises of candy and treats because she did indeed have a family in the theatre troupe, and she and the others go home.

One other thing that bugged me was the fact that Beruka seems to hint that she has some kind of special power earlier in the movie but we never learn what it is. Her eyes glow and her features get catty for a minute and then she’s interrupted and it’s never brought up again.

Art and Animation: The art and animation are somewhat dated, but it’s still pretty good and holds up fairly well.

Music:
The music is good. Nothing particularly memorable to me, but still good.

Voice Acting: Japanese –  Everyone was great in their roles. Corona didn’t even get on my nerves, and that’s pretty rare for a child character.

Bottomline: It’s a cute family OVA that you won’t regret watching. While the ending is a bit odd, it’s still funny, cute and at times heartwarming.

Additional Notes and Information: 

Space Family Carlvinson was directed by Kimio Yabuki and was written by Michiru Shimada. It was produced by Dogakobo.

Runtime: 45 Minutes

Year: 1988

Recommended Audience: The ending can easily be construed as creepy. Corona’s parents die, a couple of the characters have perverted, but not very perverted, fantasies, no nudity, no swearing, no sex, no gore or violence. 5+

 

Fushigi Yuugi: Eikoden Review

Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden

Rating: 1/10

Plot: Taka and Miaka have gotten married, and now Miaka is pregnant with their first child. A girl named Mayo comes across the book of the Universe of the Four Gods and plans to enter it to escape her oh so terrible life filled with fighting, divorced parents, being cut from the basketball team, and worse of all her love of all loves, Taka, getting married. She enters the book to a dying Konan and becomes the new priestess of Suzaku.

Breakdown: All you have to know about this OVA is as follows – this anime was based on a fanfic.

There ya go.

Review over.

Alright, fine. Let’s go ahead and be ‘fair’ and ‘mature.’

This OVA was based on a graphic novel that wasn’t written by Yuu Watase, the author of basically everything in the Fushigi Yuugi universe thusfar. She did the illustrations on the graphic novel, but it was written by someone named Megumi Nishizaki who only seems to have one other manga under her belt that’s not related to Fushigi Yuugi – a one shot shoujo manga called Hot Gimmick S (I don’t know what that title means as I haven’t read the manga, but considering my view on this series, I feel like laughing at that)

And guess what? That’s also basically a fanfic. It’s an alternative ending to another series called Hot Gimmick. Oh and she also has other fanworks of Fushigi Yuugi called Fushigi Yuugi Kaiden. Not to be confused with the prequel that Yuu Watase wrote on the Genbu arc called Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden.

However, I’m not here to pass judgment on the manga. That’s merely the source material being used here. I’ve never read the manga, and Ms. Nishizaki is free to write fanworks all that she wants. Neither Yuu Watase nor Megumi Nishizaki had a hand in writing or directing this OVA, but I’d imagine they obviously got money for it.

I’m not saying fanfics are all bad, either. There are many out there that are jaw-droppingly amazing. There are some wonderful writers out there who can naturally write characters that are known and beloved in believable ways with exciting and interesting situations. Some fanfics even have better stories than the original work.

I’m using the term ‘fanfic’ here as a sleight as in there are so many red flags of bad fanfic writing in the OVA.

Mary Sue? Check.

Reviving dead characters? Check.

Pregnancy? Check.

Marriage? Check.

Plot holes? Check.

Making up BS that makes no sense? Check.

Fushigi Yuugi OVA 2 Review

Fushigi Yuugi OVA 2

Rating: 7/10

Plot: Tamahome has been reborn into Miaka’s world, but he has lost all of his memories as Tamahome and knows only his life as Taka. He meets Miaka in the real world and they start dating. Miaka seemingly knows this is Tamahome’s reborn form, but since he has no memories of that time she tries to treat him as Taka.

Trouble starts brewing at Miaka’s school. A new kid named Shigyou, intent on becoming the Student Council president, has recently enrolled. Soon after his arrival, the other kids at school start acting strangely. They corner Taka and Miaka on the roof with plans to kill them both. As one student throws Miaka off the roof, Taka jumps off to grab her. (~I believe I can fly….I believe I can touch the sky~) A red light appears and just as they’re about to hit the ground, they are conveniently transported into the Universe of the Four Gods.

They soon discover that they have to retrieve Taka’s memories as Tamahome or Taka will disappear forever. Tamahome’s memories have been put into seven jewels and scattered (Cliches!) and they have to collect all seven to restore Taka’s memories.

Breakdown: Miaka and Taka. That doesn’t sound stupid at all.

This OVA is a continuation of the first OVA, and it is a lot better than the first one. Albeit, and you probably guessed this by now, I had my problems with it.

As the plot states, the OVA is all about getting Taka’s memories of being Tamahome back. Because God knows this makes sense.

Last OVA: Tamahome can’t remain in your world as long as he remembers his life here.

This OVA: Taka can’t stay in existence for much longer unless he retrieves his lost memories.

MAKE UP YOUR FREAKING MIND!

Anyway, they have to retrieve seven jewels containing Tamahome’s memories so he can stay in existence. Evidently, the Suzaku warriors all have the jewels as Chichiri and Tasuki already had theirs, Hotohori’s is found in the palace (In his son, more specifically) and Nuriko’s is in an old crystal ball keepsake from his childhood.

I was actually interested in this for a while because I thought we’d go back through all the pasts of the remaining warriors, Hotohori, Nuriko, Chiriko, Mitsukake and Tamahome or at least get some cool episodes surrounding them. That didn’t happen.

Instead we got a really touching episode around Hotohori and his son, a semi-touching episode about Nuriko and his big brother, and a touching for 15 seconds episode about Chichiri and the best friend he “killed.” The rest is about getting Taka’s memories back and fighting Tenkou.

About halfway through the OVA series, four of Tamahome’s memory jewels get stolen and destroyed. Later Tamahome’s “real” self kindasortaishidunno appears and, oh by the way, he already got Chiriko’s and Mitsukake’s jewels, comes about and—What? Oh yeah, you remember those characters I told you about from the TV series review that always get pushed to the side and ignored? Yeah, well instead of building any stories for them (or building any story whatsoever for Chiriko) when they find their respective memory jewel, Tenkou just blurts out that he already got Chiriko’s and Mitsukake’s memory jewels for ‘Tamahome’.

Oh well, at least Mitsukake got to save Tasuki’s life and Chiriko at least tried to do something. *sigh*

Back to the story, the Tamahome thing is bugging me. In the next to last episode, Tamahome comes back. He seems like the real Tamahome and claims Taka is nothing but a shadow of him. This seems right, I mean, that is why Taka’s disappearing right? This is insanely confusing, because Tenkou and the others act like Tamahome’s possessed or he’s another completely different person just turned evil now because he was jealous of Taka.

From Chichiri’s episode, I’d bank on the latter. His best friend came back to life, but was renamed something different since he was a god now. Senki, I believe? Tamahome’s ‘name’ was Yousui. Chichiri’s friend was still his friend, but he had just turned vengeful and spiteful since Chichiri killed him. Besides, the memory jewels were able to be absorbed into him, he was obsessed with making Miaka his and was broken to shreds over killing her.

If that is true, they just screwed up badly. Tamahome would never get that possessive or jealous over someone who is essentially himself. It only makes sense that Miaka would be attached to someone who is supposedly Tamahome’s reborn self.

And what was up with all of the Suzaku seven and Keisuke telling Taka not to give up on Miaka? What the hell do you want him to do? He’s A: a shadow, B: going to vanish soon and C: it would just cause Miaka insane confusion if both were vying for her heart since they’re both the same person. You’ve known Taka all of a couple weeks, Tamahome was your friend for ages – way to stick by your buddy.

Another thing is there’s another addition to the Miaka love shape. Tasuki starts showing feelings for her too. Way to ruin his character. It starts by giving her mouth the mouth resuscitation after she almost drowned, but as episodes go by you see him getting more and more jealous of Taka and more caring for Miaka.

After getting doused with Chichiri’s friend’s mystical water to bring out the evil in him, Tasuki knocks out Taka, gets Miaka drunk and tries to rape her. (Fushigi Yuugi: If your name’s Miaka, bring a rape whistle.) And even though he was under a spell, I honestly can’t look at him the same way anymore. He redeemed himself later after regaining control over his actions, but come on. If a rapist is lying somewhere deep inside Tasuki I just don’t know what to think anymore.

Despite all of that, this OVA was very enjoyable, and the ending was very satisfying. I never found much of a point in continuing the series, but as long as the ending was good, I have no qualms.

Or I wouldn’t have any qualms if there wasn’t another OVA. I mean, come on. That was as perfect an ending as you can get, why do another OVA?

Oh and, by the way, the next OVA is of the worst anime I’ve ever seen. And…..she’s in it. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

Bonus!: At the end of each episode there’s a segment called “Mysterious Play-ing Around” It is a series of three short segments of the episode it follows, but they’re spoofed in some way. For instance, the first MPA is a spoof of the scene where Taka jumps off the roof to save Miaka. Instead of grabbing her, though, he clings to the railing and claims he’s afraid of heights as Miaka falls and calls him a jerk. Some of these were pretty funny and I LOVED the second one from the last episode, that was hilarious. However, they’re not as funny as the hot springs shorts.

Miaka and Tamahom–…Taka’s relationship isn’t nearly as annoying this time around. In fact, sometimes it was rather sweet without being too mushy. I do have to admit, though. Her yelling TAKA! is about 100x more annoying than her yelling TAMAHOME!

Art: Better than the TV series and the first OVA. Still not fantastic though.

Music: I have no qualms with it, for once. At least they ditched the idea of making a beat synced outro, though. I guess if I had one issue with all of the ending themes for Fushigi Yuugi it’s that the intro for it is too long. They spend like 30 seconds just staring at each other as something happens with no one talking and music plays, then the credits roll.

Characters: Any problems with characters I basically covered in the rant-review, but there are some new ones to discuss.

Tenkou: Tenkou’s from the last OVA but he was defeated and given backstory in this OVA. Apparently he’s not the god of the Four Gods or whatever he claimed. He’s just a dead guy whose spirit apparently got god-like powers somehow. At the very least, Tenkou was more shelled out and interesting than Nakago. He even gave pity to people who were about to die and granted them one last ‘wish’. Like when he was about to kill an incestuous brother and sister couple he let her see him one last time.

He bathes in a huge room filled with blood….I had nowhere else to include that and I couldn’t not mention it.

Shigyou: I am the almighty Shigyou. I shall use my powers to….BRAINWASH A HIGH SCHOOL! MUAHAHAHAHAA. He was fairly unmemorable.

Bottom line: It’s more enjoyable than the previous OVA, but it tarnishes some of the characters. It has a better villain than the TV series, and some episodes are truly touching, but if you’re nitpicky, like me, you may be left feeling hollow.

It does make for a better ending to the series than the TV series ending did, though.

Additional Information and Notes: The OVAs (the first two anyway) don’t differentiate in their information from the regular TV series outside of their episode number and year.

Episodes: 6

Year: 1997-98

Recommended Audience: Nudity, attempted rape, some violence, sex scene, but it’s nothing graphic, in fact, if it wasn’t for the dialogue of them “becoming one” in body I never would’ve guessed they were doing it until after I saw them naked in bed together (Covered by a sheet) implications of incest.

15+