Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction
Uploaded By: Mavrik
My Age Rating: PG (Mild Language, Violence)
The year is 2356 A.D, 186 earth cycles around the sun since a galactically close supernova explosion wiped out 99% of the world's population. Humanity has since rebuilt itself and is living quite peacefully, but the next wave, which although starting at the same time as the first carries significantly more mass/energy and therefore accelerated slower thereby lagging 186 years behind the first, is coming in fast. Shima Katase, a child prodigy and recent Space Academy qualifier, is on her way to Stellvia, an earth-based "foundation" and school in space, to see the galaxy and make something of herself. Although it serves as an education space station, Stellvia is also highly involved in the training of space cadets and the protection of Earth from the rapidly approaching second wave that could spell not only the end of all the characters lives but also the permanent destruction of mankind.
When it comes right down to it, this show has two equal and distinct personalities, and although they do intermesh nicely, you'll probably have to be a fan of both to fully enjoy the series. The first side is your average space drama with people and machines trying to save the earth from disaster, exploring space, piloting spaceships, yada, yada, yada. The second side of the anime is a school romance with characters falling in love, having relational issues and love insecurities, finding their special one and never letting go, etc. If you like space drama but hate school romances (or visa versa), odds are this show will merely be an above average view. If you enjoy them both, you'll love it. The story is also a sort of coming of age story for Shima, as she gets passed her awkward social graces and shyness with the help of friends (sounds corny, right? Actually, it's not). (On a less serious note, another thing I think this anime was trying to do was see just how weird they could get away with drawing the character's hairstyles. There's nothing bad about that, just kinda strange is all...)
Overall, the series was produced fairly well for one of its type. The one bad thing that popped out at me was the quirky animation every once in awhile, but the art is decent, the character designs are original (if a bit cutesy), and the futuristic technology is pretty cool to look at. The opening and ending sequences are nothing spectacular (the latter being windowed replays of the episode), but they get the job done. The voice acting is well done, and the music the show uses is also quite nice. Bottom line, Stellvia is a show that may not appeal to everyone, but it's one you should definitely try anyway. There's something honest about life, love, and humanity hidden inside the storyline that cannot be ignored. For that, this series has my recommendation.
My Rating: 7.9/10 (Very Good)