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R1 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 15 June 2005 12:28
Stellvia - Volume 5 (Cover Art)Away from the station and out into deep space in this volume of Stellvia, as strange things are afoot by Ultima.  Shipon and Kouta take the headline billing as the rest of their friend are left behind, but everyone involved is about to realise that their peaceful times may be about to come to an end...

14 - Dream and Reality
With word of fighting breaking out around Ultima, Shipon and the rest of the Stellvia gang have been recalled from their winter break and head back to the station.  Problem is, nobody seems to know exactly what's going on as Ultima is so far away - it could be aliens, it could be forces from another colony looking to start a war, but either way, the prospect of sending the Stellvia students into war is worrying a lot of people.  While the adults try and agree on the best course of action, Shipon spends her time worrying about what may happen & trying once more to patch things up with Ayaka, and Ultima has to deal with another incursion by its unknown visitors...

Stellvia - The adults discuss the trouble at UltimaStellvia - Shipon and Kouta enjoy a quiet moment

15 - I Don't Understand
The new school term begins, despite the uncertainty over events out at Ultima - and the unidentified objects have now also been sighted near two other Foundations, so mock battles have made an appearance on the gang's school curriculum.  Not ones to worry about such things, they seem to be more interested in how far Kouta and Shipon have got with each other, but it seems the two lovebirds are already running into problems.  Meanwhile, Stellvia's been asked to take part in a rescue convoy to Ultima to help evacuate the families from the station, while Kouta's tests of Infinity's new systems leads to him discovering something disturbing out in space...

Stellvia - One of many hints that people are preparing for warStellvia - Akira stars wondering about JoJo's idea of 'cool'

16 - In Doubt
Shipon and Kouta have been chosen to take part in the mission to Ultima, along with a team from the Odyssey.  With ten days to go before arrival at Ultima, some of the Odyssey cadets pay a visit to Stellvia's ship - members of the astroball team that Shipon played against.  As well as some of them seeming to have a romantic interest in Shipon, they're also showing an interest in Infinity's capablitities.  Later, during a videocall between Shipon and Rinna, the connection is broken from Ultima's end shortly after what appears to be an attack.  Racing to find out what's happened, they find Ultima's residential block floating free - it detached from the station after an attack.  Those in the residential block are safe, but the crew remaining on the Ultima's main section are under attack, including Rinna's father...

Stellvia - Ultima is attacked while Rinna's on the phoneStellvia - The aliens attack the rescue party

You knew the Great Mission wasn't the real purpose behind this show, right?  Don't get too worked up about the alien attacks being the Next Big Thing, either - while these episodes drop a few hints towards what will eventually be the focus of Stellvia's climax, that storyline hasn't quite kicked in yet.  Instead, we get a few episodes that ramp up the tension and throw the kids into something they never expected to have to deal with, although the story is something of a red herring.

But an interesting red herring at that, as the people of the world that Stellvia depicts have lived with peace for so long that the prospect of war is a genuine surprise for them, and the look at how they each handle the situation they now find themselves in is quite interesting.

I swear Shipon was more emotional the first time I saw this series, though - I still can't recall many genuine 'floods of tears' incidents, which are one of the things Stellvia is famous for.  Go figure.  At any rate, the show continues to entertain, and is one where I always look forward to getting the next volume.  Recommended.



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