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Please Save My Earth

(return to disc)

Content rating: 7
Posted 2005-03-12 by StupendousMan
Endorsed by Cacophanus on 2005-05-21 17:35:00

Please Save My Earth is not easily classified into one of the standard anime categories. It combines almost Harlequin-esqe romance (mistaken identities, long-lost memories, souls reincarnated to meet again) with elements of space opera (scientists in a remote space station observe an alien world) and even a little psychic combat between levitating opponents (yes, the Kamehameha makes an appearance). It sounds strange, but it worked pretty well, at least for me.

As others have mentioned, however, the series doesn't have a chance to develop fully all the ideas and the characters it introduces. The single DVD holds all six episodes of what must have been a much longer story in the manga. This hurt me in two ways. First, because I was just starting to remember exactly which of the seven space scientists was which of the ordinary high-school kids by episode five, and I was starting to see understand some of the interactions between these personalities, in both worlds. It's as if I went to see a French movie, without subtitles, despite all the years since my high-school French classes ... and just as I began to put the phrases together, the movie ended. Frustrating. Second, even if I had been able to keep everyone straight from the beginning, I would also want to learn more about the scientists' civilization, and their reason for sending a team to study the Earth -- there's a great deal of background information which clearly does exist, and must be given in the manga. And most of all, I want to know just what one of the characters was planning to do with his mysterious blueprints for the renovation of the Tokyo Tower. If I understand the ending correctly, he gives up his plan ... but we never learned what it was in the first place! Argh. Since the Tower plays a central role in the plot for the middle three episodes of the series, this isn't a minor issue. This character's need for the "control words" of the other reincarnated scientists, which drive his actions throughout the series, is likewise left unexplained. Sigh.

The final episode is largely a flashback to the childhood of one of the scientists. We learn a lot about his family history, and come to learn why he might react to certain later events as he does. As others have noted, it seems as if the series writers are rushing to give viewers the answers to his puzzling behavior. But it doesn't really work for me. What we really need to see is the relationship between this character -- Scion -- and the other main character in the series, Mokuren. How they met, when they became lovers, how jealous or unhappy they were at times, the small, meaningless items over which they had fights: we are set up to see all of this, which will throw new light on the interactions between their reincarnated doubles we see in the first few episodes .... but we never do. It just stops. The simple stills shown in the final credits hint at the future of these two characters, and perhaps those of the other characters, but that's it.

It was nice of VIZ to include character bios for each of the seven scientists in the "Extras" section; it really did help to keep track of who was who in the early episodes. I also appreciated the seven screens of "Frequently Asked Questions" they provided. But these can't make up for the missing content. Please Save My Earth should have been a full thirteen episodes. I wonder why it was cut short.

I enjoyed watching the show: it has strong, realistic characters who do their best to deal with a past that won't leave them alone. Since it doesn't fall into any standard category, it also doesn't follow a typical story pattern: I was surprised by some of the twists. I just wish that the producers hadn't cut it short.

Equipment used when writing this review:
Sony DVD player, JVC 27-inch TV, stereo speakers and headphones

Content: 7 Video: 7 Sound: 9 Packaging: 4 Menu: 6

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Other reviews of this disc:
Please Save My Earth by Cacophanus (Rating: 8.00)
It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all - every shoujo fanatic obviously has had this dogma ingrained into their subconscious.

That being said, not all shoujo is a depressingly masochistic affair. "Plea...(continues)

Content: 8 Video: N/A Sound: N/A Packaging: N/A Menu: N/A

Please Save My Earth by Purificator (Rating: 7.50)
I'm going to take a flying stab and say that this series was probably meant to be much longer, but something forced a premature ending. It's a shame, too, because I would have liked to see more of the story.

The basic story is that...(continues)

Content: 8 Video: 7 Sound: 7 Packaging: N/A Menu: 8

Please Save My Earth by Nataku (Rating: 6.80)

Please Save My Earth is the story of seven young people who awaken to the knowledge of their previous life together. They lived as extra-terrestrial scientists who were sent to observe humanity from a secret base on the Moon. After a...(continues)

Content: 8 Video: 7 Sound: 7 Packaging: 4 Menu: 8

Please Save My Earth by OldMan (Rating: 7.40)
I rented Please Save My Earth as a second choice but did not really expect to much from it. After watching it I found that it was good enough to buy. The story is good. My only complaint was that the ending was wrapped up a little too...(continues)
Content: 8 Video: 8 Sound: 7 Packaging: 7 Menu: 7

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