Ogy Anime Reviews: Shingu – Secrete of the Stellar Wars (Gakuen Senki Muryō)
Aired: Summer 2001
Genre: Slice of Life, Sci-fi, Fantasy
Age Range: 7+
Total Episodes: 26 Episodes, 25 minutes each
Origin Media: Original Series
Directed by Tatsuo Sato
– Other Directorials:
- Martian Successor Nadesico (T.V. Series & Movie)
- Bodacious Space Pirates (T.V. Series)
- Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne (T.V. Series & OVA)
Animation Studio: Mad House
Sound Production: Techno Sound
Licensed by The Right Stuf International/Nozomi Entertainment
Note: To skip spoilers please go to “Story Insight” after the next horizontal line.
–Episode one overview:
In late April of 2070, a power outage occurs as a monster attacks!!! An ominous boy talks to his elder before the opening plays. The invasion ensues as the monster analyses the area. Then a loud screech can be heard as another monster materializes from above and lands on top of the other. While on top, the new behemoth begins bashing multiple craters on top of his enemy. Enraged by this nuisance, he embeds his fists inside of the top like monster and causes the boggy to implode. After the victory, the boy and the elder talk briefly about the enemy efforts as the good monster safely dematerializes into cherry blossom peddles to scurry across the land. The power to the city is regenerated and the mysterious boy’s name is revealed to be Muryou Subaru.
A few days later, it’s May first and we are introduced to Hajime Murata that mourning as his bratty sister wakes him up. At the breakfast table we see him, his mom, and his sister enjoying their meal as strange news is informed to the small family. Next, we see him walk his sister to her friends. When she gets across the road he looks at the camera to share his insight on the events revealed to the fourth wall. His sister and friends wonder who he is talking to and find him to be a bit strange.
Hajima is now in his second year of middle school as the scene segues to him talking to his fellow peers on the topic of aliens. The small group gets eccentric and joyful as they cheer about the aliens as science fiction becomes real. The rest of the students look at them as they enjoy their conversation until the teacher walks in to begin class. The teacher lightly gets on to Hajima about over acting in class, since he is a class representative, but the teacher admits the he would do the same thing as news of aliens was a big stir lately. Soon the teacher introduces the transfer student Muryou to the class. The class was shocked to see a vintage school uniform on him.
We find Hajima and his friends talking to Muryou and question his fashion. Onto the fifth period assembly, here were introduced to the main female Nayuta Moriyama as she performs her student body duty. A shocking truth was revealed as the school sports events were to continue forward while this alien malarkey was juggled through the news. As the student counsel continued their meeting, Muryou caught the attention of the counsel’s member, Kyouichi Moriguchi. Later on we find Hajima pondering why the locals and government are not in a panic over this recent situation.
The next day, Hajima finds that Muryou is challenged to a fight with Kyouichi. He dashes off to the roof where they are. Once there we find the conflicted talking. Soon a psychic wave of wind coming from Kyouichi hits both Muryou and Hajima. Muryou stands his ground and catches Hajima. Muryou smirks and taunts the previous attacker before retaliating at Kyouichi with a shaded ball off Psychic energy that blasts heavily at him. Kyouichi stands baffled as he admits defeat while Muryou smiles and says that he can teach him to do the same. Hajima stands at a loss for words while wondering what’s going on.
Hajima notice more strange current events of extraterrestrials, psychics, and giant aliened robots; however, he must also deal with his school’s student vice president Nayuta Moriyama constantly enforcing the rules on him and Muryou. This development is not only with Hajima within his friends and school, but with the rest of the calm citizens in Tenmo. Earth is considered to be a vacation island for the alien politicians. Lurking towards earth is a skirmish of an ancient alien race in pursuit of taking over the earth. Unaware to the ancient aliens are their military and government are no longer under war.
Note: This show has a big cast. Part of the fun for this series is to find out who they are, what’s going on in their lives, and how they develop through these events; however, I’ll point out the main ones who are focused on as an introduction.
Name: Hajime Murata
Age: around 11 or 12
Personality: Calm, reasoning, believably a child, and happy-go-luck.
Family: Mom, Sister, and a Dad who is always traveling due to work.
Role: A main character who tells the story through his perspective as he is reasonably relatable. He soon finds out that the city has many secretes and he has a bigger role than he could ever imagine.
Name: Muryou Subaru
Age: around 11 or 12 or is he?
Personality: Calm and happy-go-luck. He kind of reminds me of Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin with how he handles the situations he is in just take out the killing.
Family: Grandfather and Sister
Role: The mysterious character, with psychic powers, who doesn’t talk much about himself. Throughout the show you will learn more about him as we explore the secret society of the locals.
Name: Nayuta Moriyama
Age: around 11 or 12
Personality: Bossy, Tomboy, Hot Headed, and Angst. She gets fussy if she doesn’t feel like she is independent or can’t maintain balance over the student body obeying the rules. She does have psychic powers.
Family: She is an only child with a Mom and Dad (I think the dad showed up once), but can confirm that she and her mom come from a family of Shrine Maidens.
Role: She adds to the other two with being the adolescent in that confusing (angry) time having difficulty on how to deal with one’s feelings (This does not feel like a PSA). While trying to serious most of the time, she is a silly girl who is caught in this dire situation. Even though her personality sounds bad, miss twin tails did grow on me as she interacts with the others.
Age: Looks about in his thirties and forties
Personality: Calm, Happy-go-lucky, and bubbly. He stands out from the crowd.
Family: Just him
Role: He is a Velunnian with many names, but Jiltosh being the most common one. This guy is a show in himself.
For a 2001 series it’s not bad. It still looks like a 1999’s style, but very crisp and clear. The series does have a dull pastel color quality while the shadows are well defined. I can assure you this is not a yaoi series.
Animation Rating = 3.5/5 (B) Safe & well defined.
The Opening, TAKE by KAKO, is a school alma mater which I would assume it’s for a Japanese middle school. The Background Music (BGM) and Ending, begin composed by Yuji Oono , (to me) has a lazy ragtime/jazzy feel to it. This ragtime music makes me crave some Popeye’s Chicken (good yeas). The Opening, BGM, and Ending sounds awkward at first but as you get into the story it does have its place as a lot of themes lean toward childhood kinder moments. The music at the end (I think the last three episodes) shifts from a tone of safe ragtime/jazz to dire guitar riffs in a rock ’n roll fashion. I find the music in Shingu – Secrete of the Stellar Wars to be similar to the Super Nintendo Classic Earthbound/Mother 2.
Sound Rating = 3/5 (C) Used well, but takes a bit to get use to.
*Overall Production Rating = 3.25/5 (B)
- Great character and development
- Very relatable
- The mystery & plot kept me wanting more
- Everyone is way too cheerful and smiling a majority of the time
- The most challenges are either light or barely there except for 3 instances which do build up quite well.
- For though who wanted this to be a monster of the week format of a show, this is not what you’re looking for.
- At the end of the last episode, after event X is concluded, we see some characters continue with their lives. After we see them, they carry on their business and end it with a short story ending. I feel like I know that they will get through the day, but there is no reason to make me curious as to what happens next if no second season comes or it’s not needed at all.
As I watched the show, Shingu – Secrete of the Stellar Wars kind of organized itself into four different categories of fun that happened at different points: the Junior-high/Middle-school students, the Political Bar, Jiltosh, and the mystery about Shingu and other thing or events in Tenmo.
While watching the students and political bar, the atmosphere felt warm, homily, and familiar. Like watching the students, I can remember my fellow peers back then act very similar and pretend to have psychic or super powers. Also observing the bar scene, it reminds me of good and recent times of going out with peers and work colleagues to a restaurant and have a good time.
As mentioned before, the mystery of Shingu – Secrete of the Steller Wars is engaging as questions are asked and answered in and at a natural pace. Some answers are funny as some are lightly serious.
Jiltosh is to Shingu – Secrete of the Steller Wars as Crammer is to Seinfeld. He doesn’t go into misadventures, but is a quirky fun loving guy. He does end up in an odd couple situation and this friendship will shined to me.
*Pro’s, Con’s, and Other Thoughts Rating: 3.5/5 (B) If these vague factors get you curious, then please check out this show.
- Plot: 4/5 (B) Simple and Mysterious.
- Performance: 3.5/5 (B) The characters sounded like they should except a tad slow in tone in dub, and the situations were presented well.
- Pace: 3/5 (C) I never thought that the show was lasting forever, but each episode felt like another episode. The show caught my attention but a slight grind is still there. With the grinding feeling their its mediocre.
- Characters: 4/5 (B) I enjoyed the stellar characters, Bravo!
- Production Quality: 3.25/5 (B) Animation: Stays safe and distinct. Sound: Used well, but takes time to get use to.
- Pro’s, Con’s, and other thoughts: 3.5/5 (B) I’m warm and toasty.
- Overall total: 3.5/5 (B) Above Average. Watch it! The characters fun!!!
Note: Due to my own belief and further defining anime as a pop art, no rating will ever receive a 0, 1, or 5 (a Z, F, or A in my book). For this reason is that times will change as opinions. Anything can be far greater or worse than before. That’s just human triumph and error.What was needed?
- Seeing the aliens in their original form.
- A naturally default face instead of Disney smiles everywhere.
- An alternate closing at the end of episode 26.
- More Monster or Alien confrontations would be nice, but it may not be needed.
I would say I agree with the box 7 + for both genders.
It does have mugs of alcohol and a plot that might be easier to follow for older children.
- Alien Nine
- Gate Keepers
- Neo Ranga (but doesn’t have the weak-ender)
- The Space Pirate Mito Series (but only by animation style)
Please let me know what you think in the comments below, and if you’re now interested in the show please go check it out.
It is common and cheap to get.
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Trailer for Shingu – Secrete of the Stellar Wars: http://youtu.be/7bM0J26C1Uc
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUlvYyW7UVtNJQ1KTv_Bsdg
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