Odin: Starlight Mutiny
As mankind took to space, they pushed farther and farther across the solar system. The current technology utilizes solar sail technology to drive ships. The newest space ship known as Starlight is at the cutting edge of technology and set to explore past the orbit of Jupiter. While on her maiden flight she ends up at the orbit of Uranus. There they find a debris from a wreck and a life pod with a girl inside. After reviving her, she notifies the crew of ruins on one of the moons of Uranus despite having amnesia. There the crew discovers alien technology, and even more amazing is how they may be able to adapt hyperspace technology to their ship. While the Starlight is ordered to return to earth, the restless crew decide to mutiny and seize the opportunity to explore the universe. On the other side they find more about the lost planet of Odin, and a super computer which is determined to extinguish all life in the universe.
Writing a review about bad anime is something many people enjoy because it allows them to showcase their skills in cutting down a title. I'm not articulate enough to pull that off, but I will spend this entire review blasting this anime. Why? Because it pisses me off. I'm alright with the brainless science fantasy titles found in anime, but I HATE titles that attempt science fiction but are mired in wall to wall stupidity. If you want the short version: Odin Starlight Mutiny sucks, it's boring and it doesn't go anywhere.
For the first 2-3 minutes it started decent enough. In fact it explained solar sail technology which may very much be how space travel is done in the future. I know reception for this title is poor, so I started to wonder if maybe it was simply misunderstood. That's when out of nowhere this wacky rock music starts up as the crew boards the ship. That's all they do is BOARD THE SHIP and they need rock music for this? The music is kind of awesome in a cheesy 80's hard rock way that you sometimes find in older titles and was the only good thing about the entire show. I am curious if the music was added before or after everything was done. Main reason being that there are sequences where the ship is sailing through space with this music playing. I'm not joking, it's just sailing with guitars and a hard drum beat in the background. It's almost like they knew how boring it was and added the music in as a last ditch effort not to put people into a coma.
Enter problem character number one: a guy named Akira, who gets the dubious honor of the only character I could name, but only because people say his name a lot. He comes in as a hot shot pilot who's not even with the crew, gets adopted onto the Starlight, and suddenly he's the centerpiece of the ship. Everyone is perfectly happy to follow his lead, and do whatever he says. He can also do seemingly everything. And this guy is the most "developed" character.
After 30 minutes of monotonous non events backed by uncharacteristic hard rock, they find this girl in a life pod. She wakes up (but has amnesia.. SURPRISE), and she's like "on that moon there's a wreckage. If you turn right there's a control room." And then she can read this alien language from computer displays. I don't know about you, but if I'm EVER in the depths of space and come across a girl who happens to randomly know stuff like this and hears voices in her head I know something really bad is about to happen. Your best option is to stuff her butt into a torpedo tube and eject her ass ASAP and get the hell out of there. The crew of the Starlight is all male though, so I'm wondering if that wasn't factored into this.
After the alien discoveries the crew is anxious to jump right into a wormhole into hyperspace. Never mind the fact that they have no idea if their ship can survive it, or how to navigate hyperspace, they are so excited to do this they lock the senior officers in a room and mutiny. Whatever resources it took to create this ship, I have to credit the owners on staffing it with a bunch of undisciplined morons with no loyalty... who manage to botch the operation so badly that the senior officers come to the rescue.
So predictably they go into hyperspace and end up somewhere. Despite having probably not encountered life for thousands of years, and not expecting a foreign ship, the aliens attack them immediately. This is where yet another annoying part of the sci-fi comes in. This was an exploration ship, but every two minutes the crew is modifying yet another piece of ship equipment to become an astoundingly effective weapon. These aliens have nothing better to do then hone their combat skills, and this space fairing sailing ship with modified science gear is completely dominating them. Now the next part is like a journey down bad acid-trip lane. It heavily starts to mix in all this Norse mythology stuff, along with scenes between the evil mother brain named Balgel that controls the aliens that want to destroy all life because it views them as inferior (total logic fail).
Any science around computers is hilariously dumb in this anime. The aliens left the wreckage around Uranus 20,000 years ago, use some penta (base 5) based computers compared to the binary (base 2) based ones we use, and the crew somehow manages to connect their computers to the aliens, and read the data from their machines. The fight against Balgel also was also a technological marvel of stupidity. As the crew scours the enemy base for a way to defeat the evil computer, one of the crew members says "It must have a self destruct button". Yeah, because with a computer intended to guide a civilization and is central to a battle fleet, I'd go building a self destruct button right into that thing right? Thankfully they didn't find a big red button, but instead some whiz kid and his partner find the brain box protected by a shield. Whiz kid has some spiked ball thing that he programmed with a self destruct command, and whatever comes into contact with it will self destruct. Don't even get me started on how that kind of thing was invented on the spur of the moment and how it can magically interface with alien computers never encountered before. To drop the shield around the brain box, his partner says he'll infiltrate a circuit panel with logic chips and as the computers use a penta based system, he'll use plug the chips in a lower base - or something to that effect. Basically that's the same as saying my computer will explode if I have 3 RAM sticks in my PC because my computer is binary (base 2) and 3 is an odd number. ZOMFG this cannot happen! I don't even know why it bothered with that explanation, because all the guy did was walk in to the room and started pulling chips and plugging them into the wrong freaking slots. Wow plug stuff in wrong and it to go haywire, super genius there - glad we got that explanation before hand.
On top of that, they get away from all this and it doesn't even end! The entire thing is left hanging with crazy voices in her head girl left to guide the crew to planet Odin which she wonders if birds still sing there and the grass is still green. Note that only 20 thousand years ago all life was eradicated by a supernova (or something to that effect). How the planet would recover from the death of all life in a pyre of obliteration in that amount of time is anyone's guess. Especially considering all sentient beings from that planet were turned to cyborgs who can't shoot strait to save their lives.
Alright, well this anime is bad for a lot of reasons. Calling this science fiction is an insult to the term "science" because it's about as scientific as a plot strait out of an astrophysics book interpreted by a 1st grader. What irks me most is that the whole solar sails thing is valid science and this show had me going for a whole 2 minutes. After that it's just a traffic jam of logic holes. Plot convenience in this one is absolutely absurd. Any problem the crew encounters has the solution mere inches away or they have some gigantic leap in deductive reasoning that allows them to figure out a solution which miraculously works as needed.
The animation wasn't terrible, but for some reason I often had a hard time telling what was happening in this anime. Many sequences had action, but it was like trying to read a crumpled up newspaper. Things were moving and happening, but I had no idea what it was. This compliments the plot nicely.
In summary it's bad and don't bother. The sailing ship in space defies reasoning, but is cool in it's own right. Aside from that the rock music was also cool although completely inappropriate for most of where it was used. Everything else was a lost cause. There is another release of this title called Odin: Photon Space Sailor Starlight. That version is a spectacular masterpiece of anime... Hah! As if. No, every incarnation of this anime sucks. Seriously. Avoid it.
Bosman: You morons took over a ship you can't even run yourselves.
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reviewed by archen in 2007