Subaru is a girl who loves the stars—so much that she heads back to school with a telescope just to see the shooting stars from the observatory that night. When she opens the door to the observatory, however; she finds that it’s transformed into a magical garden with a fountain in the middle. At the fountain is a strange red-haired boy. Subaru and the boy talk for a bit, but Subaru gets flustered and leaves. When she goes back into the room, it has turned back to normal. Sadly, it starts to rain, so Subaru is unable to see the stars.
On the way out of the school, Subaru encounters a strange blob-like thing that leads her to a room where four magical girls are relaxing. One of the girls is a past friend of Subaru’s, named Aoi. Subaru is quickly recruited by the alien blob (called “President”) and becomes a magical girl with a flying magical staff. Aoi and the three other girls quickly explain to Subaru that the alien blob is a Pleiadian. They’re all trying to gather engine fragments (that take the form of large stars) in order to repair President’s ship so he can go back home.
The first time they attempt to secure the fragment, Subaru’s and Aoi’s arguing throws off everyone’s groove and they fall back to earth and into the school’s observatory room. In the end, Subaru and Aoi manage to work out their feelings somewhat, and they all agree to give it another try. This time, they’re more successful in securing the fragment, but a strange long, red-haired boy quickly steals it away. Fortunately, a small piece of the fragment is left behind under Subaru’s cap, and so the team all consider it a success. As they are above the rainclouds, Subaru does manage to watch the shooting stars that night.
THIS SERIES IS SO CUTE AND PRETTY AND PLEASANT PLEASE DON’T LET IT BECOME ANOTHER MADOKA. *Ahem*… For those not in the know, this isn’t actually the first time this “series” aired. It was originally a series of four shorts back in 2011, as a joint project between Gainax and the company Subaru. Yes, the car company. I actually reviewed those shorts back when it first aired. You can see my review for it here.
Four years later, I am glad that they still plan to make a series out of this. And with more episodes and a longer running time per episode, things will hopefully be much more fleshed out. Having seen the original series of shorts and this first episode, it seems that they’re following the same storyline. Indeed some scenes were taken verbatim from the original shorts, such as the very first opening shot; but at least they’re all expanded on. Hopefully the characters other than Subaru and Aoi get more fleshed out too.
And hnnnngh that animation! It’s to be expected from a company like Gainax, but the animation in the whole episode really was a beauty to watch. There are actually some CG scenes, such as faraway shots of the girls flying in the skies; but at least it’s used pretty sparingly. It does clash pretty badly with the original 2D animation, so I hope it’s not abused too much later on.
Anyway, there’s not much else I can say about this series. I really loved it, but I can also see that this first episode might be a little bit slow and boring to some people. Subaru’s and Aoi’s arguing is also pretty… awkward to watch. This series seems set to be a more laid back magical girl anime (I hope) so that might also be a turn off. I love cutesy magical girl anime like this, though; so this is a series I am almost guaranteed to blog. Now whether I’m going to possibly take on another anime is another question…
Out of five for this episode: