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Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko Vol.1
2 Episodes
60 Minutes
Taku Shouji
Takashi Akaishizawa
Kadokawa Shoten
Right Stuf
Yamamoto Yohko paints an amusing picture of war and peace 1000 years in the future.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko Vol.1
By Steve Diabo (Kaneda)

War is not something new to anime. Many of the best-known and best-loved animes pivot around war scenarios, and if there's one thing about the art of war that anime teaches us, it's that it contstantly evolves with the technology. World War I was a war of attrition, with thousands of men starving in the trenches. World War II showed us the fury of the Blitzkrieg and the atomic bomb. The war in Vietnam and in the Persian Gulf brought the battle into our living rooms like never before. And, as anime takes the reigns of our destiny and allows us a glimpse into an "anime future", the act of war shall take to the stars with scores of fighter spacecraft and huge space armadas.

Enter Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko, a new domestic release by The Right Stuf -- a sci-fi anime that takes quite a different approach to your stereotypical anime space war. Who says it has to involve thousands of skilled pilots and technicians and thousands of super-advanced spacecraft, anyway? Just pick 4 of your most skilled representatives, put 'em in spacecrafts and organize a series of tactical 4-on-4 missions and Cannonball Run-style races through the galaxy. Badaboom, badabing -- low-cost war that's not only fun to watch, but might just be profitable... with the right publicity and sponsors!

Without getting into intense detail, I found Volume One of this series to be great fun to watch. The storyline is fun to follow and isn't too fast-paced or complicated. The characters are diverse, quirky and colorful -- just right for a light comedy anime. Watching the dub copy, I found the English voice actors did quite a decent job bringing the characters to life. I haven't had the opportunity to hear the original Japanese audio, but I was able to enjoy the dub easily nonetheless.

Looking at the packaging, I get flashbacks to the early 90's -- not only because it has that weird, funky kinda early 90's look to it, but also because the colors and text styles they used were somewhat bland and uneventful, kinda like most anime box designs were back in the day. It gets worse on the back cover, because the text is red on grayish plum purple, which makes it practically impossible to read without massively straining your eyes. I've had French class textbooks in High School that looked classier than this. I'm a design-conscious guy, and I can't help but think that the packaging design makes the anime seem lower-quality than it is. The Right Stuf is relatively new at the craft, though, and here's hoping their box designs will improve steadily with each new release.

Anyway, when all is said and done, Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko is great fun to watch, and may very well be "instant classic" material. I would highly recommend the series to anime clubs as well, due to its cute product placement and light-hearted, unisex-appeal nature. Anyone who's more than a little tired of anime war clichés need look no further than Yamamoto Yohko!

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