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R1 DVD Reviews
Tuesday, 15 February 2005 08:01
Stellvia - Volume 3 (Cover Art)The latest volume of Stellvia has landed on my doorstep, and it didn't take too long for me to throw it in the player.  Those doubters who've been keeping track of how many times Shipon can burst into tears may be diappointed - it onlu happens once this volume.  What we get instead is the real meat of the series' first-half story - it's time for the Great Mission, as the Second Wave arrives...

8 - Me?
Rinna's back - she's transferred from Ultima to Stellvia until the Great Mission is over.  That's the official reason, anyway - in reality, seems there's something strange going on in the vicinity of Ultima and her parents want her out of the way - but what?  Now that she's here, Rinna's determined to strike up a rivalry with Shipon, and it's not much on a contest - until a 'friendly' game of Lightning Joust goes wrong.  Shipon, meanwhile, seems to be developing a rivalry of her own, when she starts trying to beat Ayaka's achievements...

Stellvia - Zero-gee trainingStellvia - Shipon is told she's been chosen for the Great Mission

9 - I'm Going
The Great Mission is almost here - the Second Wave has hit Ultima, and is due to reach Earth in 2 days time.  Since contact was lost with Ultima when the Wave hit, it's a tough time for Rinna as she doesn't know if her parents are safe.  Back on Stellvia, everyone not involved in the Great Mission heads for the shelters, while Shipon and Kouta prepare for their role - it's their job to intercept any particles of the Wave that break through the barrier that will be generated by Stellvia and the other Foundations, but a bad practice run leads Shipon into one of her legendary bouts of self-doubt...

Stellvia - On board InfiStellvia - Preparing the barrier generators

10 - Welcome Back
The Second Wave finally hits, and although the Barrier works as planned, a large number of objects are able to penetrate it - meaning Shipon and Kouta get called into action, but it's not long before Shipon, injured while trying to save another pilot, gets pulled back to the Stellvia.  Just when everyone thinks the worst of the wave has passed, though, a huge meteor fragment breaches the Barrier, and it looks like there's nothing that can be done to stop it reaching Earth...

Stellvia - Incoming...Stellvia - Infi saves the day...

It's strange.  I distinctly remember Shipon being a whiny brat from the first time I watched the series, and I keep reading about it on other websites, but so far she hasn't seemed too bad.  Go figure.  While she does have her moments of self-doubt in these episodes, it's not off the scale & certainly doesn't get to the stage where it's annoying.  Since Shipon's alleged whininess (is that a word?) is one of the biggest gripes against Stellvia, I thought that was worth a mention...

The other thing that's strange is how early the series gets to the Great Mission.  From the way it was hyped during the early episodes, I had always assumed it was going to play a part around the end of the series, but we're not even half-way through and it's here already.  Take it as a hint that somthing very big is going to be thrown at Earth later in the series, especially as the Mission goes smoothly enough that it's almost an anti-climax.

Overall, this is a good batch of episodes, with the Great Mission being a suitably enjoyable centrepiece.  Pay attention to what some of the characters talk about during these episodes, and you'll get a few good hints about what's planned for the second half of the series, but for now not a lot is out in the open - patience!

Still one of my favourite recent sshows, and well worth getting.

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