Space Family Carlvinson Review
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 for them 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.
Reasons for rating: A fairly rare title, this is a 45 minute OVA, and it’s a pretty damn cute story. It’s cute to see the lengths that the group has gone to 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 seems to have 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 think is the funniest character in the show, Father. Father is a robot with two very funny traits. First, he’s not very intelligent, which is odd for a robot. Thus he takes many things too far and misunderstands a whole 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 who 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 and 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 OAV, none of the characters are developed much beyond Mother and Corona. Father has no real character to develop and Beruka is pretty generic. We also don’t 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. Okay, this is either 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. Whew. 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 WTF.
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 and she and the others go home.
I guess 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: The art and animation are somewhat dated, but it’s still pretty good and holds up fairly well.
Music: The music is also good. Nothing particularly memorable to me, but still good.
Voice acting: Japanese. (I doubt there’s an English dub anywhere if it is indeed so rare) Everyone was great in their roles. Hell, 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 Carvinson was directed by Kimio Yabuki and was written by Michiru Shimada. It was produced by Dogakobo.
Recommended Audience: Well, there’s the ending which 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+