story focuses on a Japanese community where a lot
of strange things start to happen. Tokyo has an alien space-ship that
floating above the city and it isn't long before it's confirmed that
on earth. Hajime Murata, a rather intelligent student attending
begins to notice students who seem to have special powers. Everyone at
school in Tenmo is talking about aliens and space. The student clubs
discuss what the future might hold if people and aliens are living
Could these students need to protect our planet from aliens or is a
what lies in the future? The students of Misumaru will have a long
ahead of them as they work together to find out for themselves, and
Murata will have the most fascinating moments ahead as he seems
all the events and people involved in this alien business that has been
his small town called Tenmo.
Tatsuo Sato brings the series a pacing that is often slow but always thoroughly interesting, because the characters are more important to the storytelling by being given enough time to become unique. Sato seems to have learned something from the works of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki: Story and Character are the elements most needed to make audiences care about the overall filmmaking experience. The series manages to be a unique blend of sci-fi action and personal drama with the skill that is rarely seen in short form storytelling. Shingu is one of the more compelling anime series to tell a story-arc with only 26 episodes.
The animation is well produced and there are many moments with captivating imagery of the wonderful landscapes - the beautiful trees, the green grassy lands, and the bright blue sky. The designs for the sci-fi elements are also particularly effective with interesting art used for the space portions and the uniquely staged battles (which are sparingly used but well crafted in this series). Character designs many not reach the heights of the greatest anime series to be produced but they are also far from bland either and these manage to make a lasting impression by being well made for each character. That is an impressive element. The bulk of the visually artistic choices made for Shingu become important and easily notable in a variety of ways.
Music plays an important part in the series as well. The opening theme to the series was the perfect way to help introduce the idea of the show having a greater focus on character and quietly reflective moments - which would become an essential element used throughout the entire series. The music created a sense of tranquility that was quite beautiful and moving, far more so than expected, and it helped to create the right kind of mood for each episode.
overwhelming positive reaction to Shingu: Secret of the
Stellar Wars was pleasantly
surprising. The completed story arc was satisfying for viewers who
entire series. Animation was consistently beautiful and well done.
Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars is presented in its original television aspect ratio of 1:33:1 full frame. The source material used seems as though it could be slightly dated. Colors appear to be slightly faded, but they are still impressive for an older anime series. The black levels are not that strong though and this was one of the more easily noticeable drawbacks to the overall transfer. There seems to be some inherent softness to the image but this is still a reasonably sharp and clean looking image. The picture quality isn't perfect but it's difficult to imagine the overall quality disappointing viewers. Owners of the original 2007 DVD release of this anime series should expect similar (if not identical) picture quality and are not encouraged to upgrade.
The audio is available in 2.0 for both the original Japanese language dub and the English language dub. Either option provided a pleasing audio experience with good directionality, and impressive clarity for both music and dialogue. It would have been nice to hear a 5.1 surround sound mix for such an impressive anime series but given that the 2.0 tracks are true to the source material it's hard to be that bothered by the lack of one. Subtitles are included in English for viewing with the Japanese dub and in English for the Japanese text (and this option can be experienced while viewing with either the Japanese or English dub). The voice acting was impressive for both the English and Japanese dub yet for this series the English dub surprised by being somewhat more enjoyable than the original language track.
includes a small selection of extra materials.
Each disc in the set includes some character bios, a line art gallery,
production notes, English production notes, and a selection of
trailers for other anime DVD releases. The final disc also includes the
as a textless version. Lastly, a booklet is included within the box-set
contains production notes, mini comics, and an interview with series
Shingu was a unique anime experience from beginning to end. Director Tatsuo Sato cared far more about developing interesting characters and having a consistent storyline with an impressive ending than on trying to make a more standard sci-fi action series. This helped to make it an especially worthwhile series that can stand out from the crowd as something worth celebrating. The DVD release features good enough PQ/AQ, and a small selection of extras. The high quality of this series makes this easy to recommend to anime fans looking for something more character-based and with a slower pace. This overlooked series deserves a wider audience. Highly Recommended.