Houkago no Pleiades – OVA

After much anticipation, this series turns our to be an OVA consisting for four 5-6 minutes mini-episodes. While it’s a co-production of Gainax and Subaru (yes, the car company) I can’t see any overt connection to Subaru other than the fact that the lead is named “Subaru”, the fact that their logo is the constellation Pleiades, and this series is more or less about stars. So don’t worry, it’s not a commercial.

On the one hand I have to give credit to Gainax for doing things their own way. They’ve always been unconventional about what they do and this is an interesting and unusual partnership and distribution method. On the other hand, though, in terms of content I suspect this is by far the most insignificant thing they’ve ever done. Seriously – it makes He is My Noble Master seem like “War and Peace”.

What you really have is a very conventional Mahou Shoujo premise here, with uber-moe character designs and a very simple premise. The little shmoo-like alien (quite literally a moeblob) has apparently chartered Subaru’s friend Aoi and three other girls to form a magical girl club where they collect engine fragments from his spaceship. There’s also a mysterious horn-haired boy (though about half the viewers seem to think he’s a girl) who’s also collecting fragments, and who Subaru met in a strange room in the school. Subaru ends up joining the club and they confront the boy, Minato, and Subaru ends up defeating his attacks with a hug and before he disappears, she promises to find him.

A light breeze would blow this away, really. The format is severely limiting in terms of story and character, of course – though Eve no Jikan and Higepiyo did plenty with short episodes – and at least the artwork is nice. None of this is really anything notable by Gainax standards, though – they seem a bit off their game at the moment. Gurren-Laggan seems like a century ago at this point.

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