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Stellvia #4 PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Tuesday, 12 April 2005 12:41
Stellvia - Volume 4 (Cover Art)With the Great Mission behind them, Shipon and friends can turn their thoughts to lighter things - like romance.  Awww.  Among the fluff, though, there are darker moments, as Ayaka snaps when she feels threatened by Shipon's rapidly-improving skills, and events out by Ultima turn decidely nasty.  Looks like the hard times are ahead for the inhabitants of Stellvia, as well as behind...

11 - The Real You
With the Second Wave out of the way, it's back to training classes for Shipon and co, and their first experience with the DLS control system for their Bianca's - something most of them don't handle too well, but that Shipon takes to like a duck to water.  For some reason, this doesn't seem to impress Ayaka too much, especially after word of Shipon's 'genius' begins to travel round the station.  Trying to prove her own superiority, Ayaka challenges Shipon...  Meanwhile, Akira seems to have been under the weather lately, especially after a particlularly bad showing with the DLS, and of all people Jojo turns out the be the one able to cheer her up...

Stellvia - Kouta shares a few words of wisdomStellvia - Aftermath of the duel

12 - Confession
Shipon discovers she's not the only person Ayaka's had it in for - Yayoi tells her of her own run-in with Ayaka, that left her in hospital.  At least Kouta had been able to intervene this time before Shipon was hurt, but for some reason Shipon feels responsible when Ayaka faces expulsion for her acts.  While the students prepare for Christmas and Rinna's return to Ultima, the staff are more concerned about mysterious spacecraft that have been spotted in the vicinity of Ultima, and Kouta finally gets around to sharing his feelings with Shipon...

Stellvia - Ayaka doesn't take defeat wellStellvia - He shoots! He scores!!

13 - Winter Vacation
Vacation time, and back to Earth for Shipon, who's making the most of her break by going home - and surprisingly, taking Kouta with her.  The trip down in the Fujiyama gives Jojo and Pierre a chance to try & catch up with Kouta in the "I've got a girlfriend" stakes - while Jojo and Akira make a surprise couple, Pierre has less luck with Yayoi.  Perhaps the biggest surprise is the reception Shipon and Kouta get after the ship lands.  They don't get as much of a vacation as they'd expected, though - they're both called back to the Stellvia after Ultima comes under attack...

Stellvia - Akira & Jojo run decoyStellvia - Shipon does more blushing than crying on this disc

Just for the record, the Shipon 'crybaby' meter didn't even register on this disc - no bouts of self-doubt and no floods of tears.  It's such a miracle that it bears mentioning..!

For the most part, these episodes are really a break in the action before the story ramps up again - events out by Ultima will play a very significant role in the next few episodes, and are set up nicely here with a few key scenes.  The gang being called back to Stellvia at the end of episode 13 sets an ominous tone for what comes next, and is a good contrast to the more light-hearted moments that make up most of episodes 12 & 13.

Ayaka's attack on Shipon puzzled me a little, it has to be said, as it seems more of an excuse to throw some hostitility or conflict into the mix - it's a major thing, but with Shipon having forgiven her and Yayoi having covered for her with the inquiry, it's now brushed neatly under the carpet and never mentioned again.  A good bit more could probably have been made of it, but there you go.

Overall, then, there's not much here that's 'required viewing' - missing these episodes won't spoil anything later in the series - but it's enjoyable enough.  It's good to see the characters acting like normal kids again - it's a shame for them that the good times don't last...

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