Beautiful Animation On Humanity of War
Nathan D. Plain | Palo Alto, CA | 11/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Simoun has some of the highest production values you will see outside of an OVA or full length movie. Character animations are smooth and varied; the CG elements are detailed without being obtuse. One of the more interesting elements of this show is the striking, beautiful difference between foreground (characters, ships) and the muted background (scenery). This stylization adds a visual daynamic that is very pleasing to the viewer.
Character designs are very clean, sharp, and distinct. There are a couple of examples where characters feel out of place, almost dollish, such as Neviril, but overall they are well implemented. The mechanical designs are equally impressive and do not look out of place when juxtiposed to the hand animated characters. In many ways, the designs and integration of the mechanical and character designs are throwbacks to those of steampunk designs of Last Exile.
The first 6 episodes (contained in Vol 1.) is little more than a setup for the entire series. The first minute quit literally sets up the universe: The peaceful theocracy of Simulacrum is attacked by the Shoukoku. During this initial invasion the elite squadron known as Chor Tempest is nearly decimated, but somehow they come out in victory. The rest of the episode, and the following episodes, center around Chor Tempest trying to recoup their loses by training new recruits and returning their venerable, shell shocked squad leader, Neviril, back to flying status.
The show shares many thematic elements as Last Exile (what does it mean to be a pilot; who and what are we fighting for; how can I continue flying when I lose my friends?) and is highly recommended for viewers who prefer a real sense of humanity and personal relationships in their military dramas."
M. Segovia | Mexico | 12/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the finest animes to come by in recent years, Simoun has more than just a war story, or a yuri theme; the director took great care in crafting a multilevel plot, with a lot of intricacies that come to a surprising conclusion. You might want to see it a couple of times to get the full effect, since some of the details and clues given from the very beginning can be easily missed.
I will not go into plot details, because it may spoil your fun, but rest assured, there are no loose ends here, and no weak, hurried wrap-up.
And just in case you're wandering, yes, I have seen the whole series already."
Coolest yuri series ever?
lain4ever | Los Angeles, CA | 09/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some people may get embarassed to express their love for a yuri series with girls kissing girls. However, "Simoun" is clearly a step above all of them with a complex war story like no other.
"Simoun" introduces us to Daikuriku, a planet of female humanoids. At age 17, most of the girls enter a spring to choose the permanant gender of their choice.
Daikuriku also has ancient advanced technology. Although it disappeared for some time, the nation of Simulacrum managed to get their hands on it to produce flying ships called Simoun. Priestesses, known as Syballae, pilot the Simouns to defend Simulacrum from other economically strapped countries, such as Argentum. Argentum wants the technology for its own imperialist ideals.
But Simouns are purely based on the abilities of the two Sibyllae. In order to pilot it, the two Syballae have to kiss each other, then kiss the Simoun gem to activate it. And this slightly romantic teamwork really distinguish "Simoun" as an anime confronting controversial homosexual romances.
Chors are Simoun squadrons, sent out to defend Simulcrum. The anime focuses on Neviril of the Chor Tempest. Her partner vanished after a fatal accident in her Simoun's Ri Majon attack. Neviril, the highly esteemed sibyllus of the squadron, suffered a severe depression afterwards. Fortunately, the Chor is recouping with a new member, Aeru, intent on becoming Neviril's new pair.
The whole concept of Simoun is a little weird at first. The aircraft hardly ever fire machine guns--they have to fly Ri Majon shapes in the sky to destroy huge groups of aircraft. However, as the series progresses, it is clear that this series isn't about the dogfights, but about the romance between the pilots.
And each pilot has a unique romance story with another pilot. For example, Rimone is a young pilot, whose mother died after she tried to fly a difficult Ri Majon. Rimone gains a budding relationship with the war veteran Dominura. Kaim sets off a steamy romance with Paraietta.
Of course, the series doesn't fail to show a little controversy later in the series as well. Kaim has an extremely difficult time with her sister, Alty. Their story arc is the most emotionally charged part of the series, in volume three.
Overall, this is one of the most complex series, covering difficult subjects that no American series has the guts to examine. The series tackles a wide variety of intense emotions and controversial relationships. It's hard to find a more thrilling series with homosexual romance. "Simoun" may be the most underrated anime of 2008."