latest anime offering is a nice, quirky, light comedy show: Ground
Control to Psychoelectric Girl. The
story of a boy who travels from the
country to the big city to live with his aunt is filled with fun
that are slightly offbeat, and gentle stories that, while not
funny and very amusing. It's a good
series and NIS'
deluxe packaging makes it even better.
Makoto Niwa's parents have been transferred to America, so it's been decided that he's
move in with his unmarried, childless aunt, Meme Towa, who lives in
city so he can attend high school in Japan.
As the story begins he gets on a train to
travel to his new residence, nervous yet excited at the prospect of
being in a
big city and the prospect of meeting some girls. Meme
works a lot, so he should have the house
to himself most of the time.
He meets his aunt without a hitch, and though she flirts
with him a lot and is always fishing for compliments about her beauty
youthful appearance, she seems alright.
That is until the get to her house.
Laying in the entryway is a girl wrapped in a futon with only
showing. Makoto doesn't want to be rude
and ask about the inert person, so he waits for Meme to explain. She doesn't.
At all. At dinner Meme's going on
about how excited she is to have Makoto living with her while the
person, still wrapped in a futon, sits at the foot of the table. Finally Makoto gets up his nerve and asks who
the strange person is, and Meme tells him to just ignore her. After a bit of a struggle, Meme reveals that
the girl in the futon is Erio, who claims thinks she's an alien and
using scientific terms.
Of course Makoto
doesn't believe that Erio is from outerspace sent here to observe
though the girl obviously does. He soon
learns that Erio is Meme's secret daughter (though Makoto's aunt claims
she can't remember being pregnant) and that she went missing a while
just disappeared for six months and when she returned she claimed that
an alien. Makoto makes it his job to
reconnect his niece with reality.
He also has school however. There he meets Ryuko Mifune, an
energetic girl in her class that often misuses words and is the only
one in the
school to wear a helmet when biking. She
quickly develops a crush on Makoto, though she'll never admit it, and
lunch with him every day.
Another girl in Makoto's life is Maekawa, an avid cosplayer
who wanders around the city late at night in her costumes, and wears
her part-time job too. She seems to like
Makoto too, but she's much cooler about it and plays her cards close to
The great thing about this show is that it doesn't play out
according to the regular anime formulas.
After the first episode I was sure that it would center around
coming to realize that Erio was an alien.
Nope, that plot line is wrapped up pretty quickly.
Then I was sure it was going to morph into a
harem show, where the poor main character was pestered by a hoard of
ladies who are all very infatuated with him.
Nope, that didn't happen either.
The show is more of a slice-of-life show, though that
doesn't really sum it up accurately either.
Most of the episodes have stand alone plots and deal with common
school problems. In one installment
Ryuko is afraid that Makoto will be ostrasized at school if it gets out
he's living with that weirdo Erio (who dropped out of school) and isn't
what to do about it. In another Makoto
is in the hospital and all of his friends drop by.
They aren't Earth-shattering, but light and
This show is really amusing because of the likeable cast of
characters who inhabit the town (including a girl who wears a space
suit and the
pitch for the baseball team who runs away before every big game). The cast really drives the show, even if
there isn't a lot of action. A fun
program that goes wonderfully after watching a mecha series.
I really like the way NIS America handles their Premium
Edition releases. This time the 13-episode
show (12 broadcast episodes and the OVA) is presented both on DVD and
each format taking up two discs. The
discs come in a pair of double thinpak cases.
These are housed, not on top of each other, but side by side in
beautiful sturdy board case that's nearly 8 in X 11 in.
The case is attractively illustrated with
characters from the show. In a nice
touch that shows a fine attention to detail, the UPC code in hidden
inconspicuously on the side of the case so that the artwork isn't
marred. Included with the two DVDs and two
discs is a very nice hardcover art book.
Scroll down to the extras section for more details on that.
This release arrives with the original Japanese soundtrack
in lossless LPCM stereo. It sounded very
good, with full range and some nice separation.
There are optional English subtitles, but there is not a dub
which is fine with me. I prefer watching
anime in Japanese since that was the way it was created to be seen.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic image looks very good. The
colors are strong and solid and they're
accurately reproduced and come through clearly.
The level of detail is very good and the lines are tight. Digitally it also looked very good with
aliasing, which often plagues anime, being nonexistent.
The discs themselves include a clean opening and closing and
some commercials used to promote the show.
The best extra isn't found on the discs however.
That award goes to the very nice hardcover
book that is included with the set. This
attractive full-color book includes large images along with a synopsis
each episode, character design sheets, interviews with the creators and
more. It's printed on high quality
glossy paper, and is really very striking.
This is a fun show.
It's nice to watch a program that's more relaxing at times
(which you'd never get from the title) and this one
really fits the bill. Funny, charming,
and short, it's well worth picking up. Recommended.