Stelvia of the Universe Review


Katase Shima First Wave Earth Formation Friends Stelvia
      Stelvia of the Universe is a bit hard to write about. What first strikes me about the show is how gorgeous it is. Incase you haven't noticed by looking around the page, I happen to like bright colors and happy stories. The animation is quite low budget, but done in (dare I use a big word?) vibrant colors and a cheerful cast. Well, for the most part anyway. The characters are digitally filled instead of being painted by hand. This yields more solid and bright colors, but often lacks in depth.

      The space scenes are where the show stands out. They use a modified cel-shader algorithm to make the vehicles look animated. This has been showing up a lot in anime recently (Tenchi GXP for instance). Where normal animation is 4-15 frames per second, computer rendered scenes are a silky smooth at 60fps. The fast maneuvers of the craft, the choice of colors, gravity drives bending light, and the effects of the engine glow all combine to give a stunning presentation.

      What I find so odd about this show is the storyline. I promise you, these people were making things up as they went along. It's not unusual for a TV show to have one episode stories in between major happenings, but it's very strange to have major happenings that have no impact on the plot. Maybe this happens in real life, but it's strange even then.

      Another example of low budget and lack of planning is that the entire opening credits are made of clips from the first episode. They didn't have the first clue where they were going when they made the first episode.

      Even so, they do an amazingly good job with emotions all the way through. Childish whims and tantrums give way when important events demand mature action. I guess we can all hope that we will respond as well.

      All said, it's a fun show to watch. The plot confuses itself several times and things happen that are never explained or even rationalized, but I've seen plenty of shows like that. Everything doesn't need to be deep and meaningful, don't expect this one to be.

      One last rib, if they can take all their shots from the first episode, so can I. (Maybe I'll find more later)

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