Friday, November 30, 2001

Please Save My Earth

Please Save My Earth

4/5 Stars

VIZ Video
Released 2000
6 Episode OVA on 1 DVD

Based on a shojo (girl's) manga, Please Save My Earth is a well crafted and entertaining story of 7 friends who discover that they all shared a past life together. Interestingly, we discover that in that past life, they were all alien scientists who were stranded on the moon after a war destroyed their civilization. Slowly, each of them succumbed to a virus, dying and being reborn on Earth. Each of them start having dreams of this around the time they enter Junior High School, though for two of the characters it happens earlier and later.

Because it's based on a shojo series, Please Save My Earth is character driven, with a lot of emphasis on relationships. What makes this interesting is that these characters have carried their feelings for each other over from past lives, even though in some cases they've changed sex or are widely apart in age. This leads to some of the central complications and plot of the story, and lies behind most of the conflict. Don't think that this is a love story though. The chief villain of the story, a 7 year old boy named Rin, is also the most sympathetic character, forcing you to both love and hate him at times. Most of the aliens have psychic powers brought over from their past life, and one of the human characters is a powerful psychic as well, leading to some pretty exciting battles, especially near the end of the series.

The down side of the series is the end. The first four episodes flow well, with characters being well developed, but never to the point that it bores the audience, there's enough action thrown in to keep action fans happy, and the mysteries behind Rin's motives and actions will keep pretty much everyone else happy. The problem starts in the last two episodes. A lengthy fight takes up most of episode 5, which could have been better used to start tying up the series. Episode 6 is a wide departure from the rest of the series, delving into Rin's first childhood, and then ending with a strange collage of images, similar in some ways to the end of Evangelion or 2001. This leaves most of the plot lines unfinished, including several major ones which are central to the story. It's a bit annoying to see such a great series end so badly. The pacing was perfect for a 6 episode OVA, if only they had stuck with it until the end.

In the end, Please Save My Earth is worth watching, with some great characters, beautiful art and animation. The musical score is great, and includes a song by Yoko Kanno, of Macross fame. The characters are well developed, especially Rin. It would be nice to see this as a full 26 episode series, but if you like the story there's a manga series that's worth checking out. The plotlines dropped in the anime are complete in the anime, and the characters are developed much more, particularly the past lives on the moon.

Please Save My Earth (DVD)

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