ガルフォース: Girls’ Night Out

AZN has a habit of showing distinctly mediocre feature-length anime (with the notable exception of Grave of the Fireflies), but somehow I never learn, and found myself watching Gall Force: Eternal Story.

There is a lot here which should be good. Spacefaring small crew ship, intergalactic war, all-female cast: seems like it was designed to appeal to superfanboys. Too bad they couldn’t wrap something compelling around all those ideas. And there is the really big problem: the plot is pretty good, the art is fine, but… the characters are, well, basically nonexistent. There are only 7 of them, and don’t get too attached to them, because they start dropping like plague rats. Ideally, this would be a good thing for characterization, except that they kill off all the wrong ones. Lufy has the most assertive personality—the only one with an apparent personality, really— so she disappears about 15 mintues in. The problem is, without any characterization, nothing that happens later is motivated. Catty doesn’t do anything to arouse Rabby’s suspicion about her (she’s aloof and mechanical, but that doesn’t distinguish her from, say, Patty). Pony’s sacrifice seems absolutely pointless. Patty becoming the center of the story is a big disappointment, too, since of the three survivors, she’s the one with the least actual characterization, and being the plot device du jour doesn’t make her develop any more personality.

Other odds-and-ends: I don’t get the ending. Specifically, I don’t get what dangerous thing they’re doing to the planet at the end to drive off/destroy the landing crafts. I also don’t get the 5-or-so-minute postscript of women walking in a city. Is that supposed to be the descendants of Rumy and Pat, or something? Two visual effects struck me: first, ship-to-ship weapons do this weird netting/focusing thing where they arc out at an angle to the ship and curve in towards a focus point. Despite the physical implausibility of such a design, I must admit it looks graceful. Second, all the text on-screen is in English, which is pretty normal. The English appears to be mostly spelled right and all, which is a bit supernormal. But then they waste all that hard work by putting it all into a script almost, but not quite, unlike Roman. It looks a bit like Cherokee, also. Numerals are also abstracted, so it’s peculiar, but then, I guess it’s supposed to look alien.

Parting shot: is it just me, or do the Paranoids look a lot like the Skeksis? And if you think “Paranoids” is a dumb name for a race, keep in mind that the girls belong to the “Solenoid” race.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia, Anime News Network, AniDB.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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