Let’s jump right into Stellvia, Volume 6, shall we? In this volume, we get one of the best bit of character interaction I’ve ever seen in any anime. All the girls argue. At once. And with a level of snarky bitchiness that I’d actually expect from a group of four women arguing.
For that, and that alone, this volume is worth watching. As I do go on endlessly, the strength of this series is the humanity. The plot is really pretty meh. The aliens are bugs, literally, and they are horrible and violent and we can feel righteous about destroying them in the classic space opera fashion. The time spent with clueless Kouta (and his inability to ASK what is bothering Shima when she spends six hours crying in his presence….I mean really, could he be anymore of an annoying clod?) is just marking time in between the great moments as all the four main female characters crash and burn in their own ways.
Ayaka seems to have gotten herself together, but Yayoi starts to lose it. Akira, who is suffering a completely normal crisis of identity and confidence – and a bout of plain old jealousy – turns out to be quite perceptive. She not only pins Arisu to the wall on running away from being a pilot, but implies that Arisu’s crush on Shima isn’t as secret as she might think. AND she gets the snarky award for telling Yayoi that her subtlety is no beard for her real interest.
Arisu tries to be the good guy and gets stabbed in the back by an entirely self-absorbed and petty Shima, who is so entirely caught up in herself that she can’t even see that she’s being a jerk. I bet none of us have ever been there, huh? ^_^
The girls all make up in the time-honored anime fashion of having a good cry, which I object to, but the fight *was* stellar.
The art wasn’t as bad as usual for some reason. I can’t imagine why. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention.
For the rest of this series, the plot is fairly inconsequential, even tiresome, but the characters reign supreme. This anime, like Patlabor, is about the people. The rest is just window dressing.
Art – 6
Story – 4
Characters – 8
Music – 8
Yuri – 5 (mostly from Akira’s bitchy implications, but still there’s shades of Ayaka and Yayoi on their own)
Service – 6 (any spacesuits that have separate colors for the secondary sexual characteristics are *entirely* servicey seriously)
Overall – 7
If you don’t like it, you don’t like. I like it. ^_^