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 Alien 9 (Overlook)

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Join date : 2010-01-23
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PostSubject: Alien 9 (Overlook)   Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:27 am

Series: Alien 9
Release Date: 1999
Genre: science fiction
Director: Fujimoto Jiro
Composer: Haijima Kuniaki
Creator: Tomizawa Hitoshi
Duration: 4-episode OVA
Overview: 6th grader Otani Yuri finds herself elected into the Alien Party, making her responsible for the containment of alien life forms that land on or near school premises, with the help of Tomine Kasumi and Kawamura Kumi. To make their job easier, the party members are each assigned a Borg, a symbiotic life form perfectly suited to the task of helping alien hunters do their job.
the Vampire Killer says: Most video series this short tend to give you a very noticable lack of closure, and Alien 9 is no different. Yuri was incredibly reluctant to take the responsibility of alien hunting, and her constant crying and emotional breakdowns will either garner sympathy at the thought of why anyone would pressure a 6th-grade kid into fighting aliens of Xenomorph proportions, or just come off as really annoying. And she doesn't grow out of said breakdowns by the end of the series.

The story line does present some interesting turn of events: Yuri's Borg initiates a bizarre transformation in cases of extreme danger, Kasumi's vibrant and enthusiastic personality is revealed to be a cover for personal reasons, a conspiracy to interfere with the school's alien hunter program is suspected, and so on. The big problem is that in the 4 episodes, nothing gets scratched but the surface of these issues. Rather than a complement to the manga, as was the case with Read or Die, or a stand-alone series as was the case with Video Girl Ai, you get what looks more like a very long animated preview for the manga. The only thing truly conclusive about the series is that it has catchy opening and closing credits.

Despite the fact that thie series involves 6-th graders, don't expect it to be overly kiddy: some of the aliens have a penchant for hacking things up with razor-sharp tendrils, or beating them to a pulp with massive, bony fists. The best way to describe Yuri's dream sequences is that if you don't do drugs and watch one of them, you'll have a very good idea of what it's like to be tripping on acid. The feeding process of the Borgs will make you wonder if the writer was on drugs himself, they have to lick the shirtless back of their host in order to obtain their nourishment. And then there's that weird hug scene between Kumi and Yuri... I'm sure there are people out there who consider there to be a strong shoujo-ai undertone because of that, but again, the series doesn't give you anything beyond subtle hints.

As for the quality of the animation itself, it leans very strongly toward the spectrum of pastels and a simpler drawing style than other series, which doesn't work outstandingly well in combination with the Borgs' CG sequences. Still, at least it's not anywhere as near as bad as the animation for M.D. Geist [although Geist suffered from far more than just poor animation].
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