Usual Waffling Intro
I’m going to start this post off for saying that Tubi.TV is probably the best streaming service ever. (Not sponsored.) Not only is it a free service, with some ads but they aren’t as annoying as you would think, but I think they have the best player in the business right now. Not to mention how many anime series that they have. A lot of titles that you would never expect them to be there, but they are. It’s honestly why I dove into Alien Nine, Bartender, and have just rewatched Stellvia. It’s become such a major part of my anime watching experience that I at least use it once a day if not more. It’s just that good. Oh yeah, Alien Nine.
Alien Nine is one of those anime series that I’ve heard about and have had on my backlog for forever. ONe of those retro series from 2000 that I knew that I would like when I watched it, but was saving it for the right time. Especially giving the feeling of how there is no ending and people having a lot of conflicted feelings on it. Well, apparently the time was right and I checked it out. It is one of those series where I struggled to hit the play button. Not for bad reasons. Even if I knew the content was going to be great and just be a lot of fun to analyze, it was hard to watch because of how realistic it kind of feels. Especially on subject matters that I don’t know about. It feels like a FLCL, because it’s from the same era, but for young girls instead.
Getting Into Aliens Nine
In what was the future of 2014 (in 2001), the Earth is now an area where aliens of all kinds just land on Earth whenever. Ever since 1998, aliens made contact with Earth and nothing has been the same ever since. To most humans, they don’t seem like intelligent beings, just dangerous creatures to clean up but that is far from the truth. Still, it means that schools have to create a special squad, of little girls wearing skate gear with an alien on their head, to clean up and solve all alien landings that occur around it. Just send your most unpopular kid there. Some are more dangerous than others, but aliens are scary and some kids don’t want anything to do with them.
That is the life of our protagonist, Yuri Otani. As the most unpopular student in her class in Elementary school, she is selected as one of the members of the alien party. This scared girl is put into a situation not in her control, has to wear a strange alien on her head, and just be looked down on by everyone. Then the other two members are at least competent at the job while she just attracts them with her fear. Kumi is a hard worker then unfortunately has to help Yuri whether she wants to or not. Kasumi is just naturally talented at everything. Yuri is holding the two back or ruins everything, but eventually they do make a good team.
Aliens as a Metaphor(s)?
One point that I haven’t talked about yet is that the advisor of the Alien Party, Megumi Hisawaka, wants to turn the girls into an alien human hybrid like her. Part of the anime is her assessing how “good” the girls are or how prepared they are. Also, she is behind a lot of the incidents of aliens appearing and attacking at the school itself. It becomes clear that through the aliens on the young girl’s heads have an intelligence and maybe the girls themselves will be slowly taken over by all of them. It’s an interesting sort of thing about adult women being different then they were before the alien taking over or merging with them? It’s not clear, but I think that’s ok.
Like zombies, aliens are widely used for different metaphors for whatever the author wants them to be. I’m not 100% sure on what Alien Nine is trying to say, but in my mind the aliens are a metaphor for these young girls dealing with puberty. I mean, they are at the right age for it to happen. At the end of their elementary school days before middle school or junior high. That’s about when it hits. So that fear of puberty kind of takes the form of these aliens that the girls are dealing with. At least that makes sense in my mind. The aliens are the unknown territory of adulthood that they are being forced to be introduced to and they have no chance but to deal with it.
Scared Kid Finds More Friends
Part of the reason why it was so hard for me to watch Yuri. Not because I don’t like Yuri Otani. I like her quite a bit because she is very relatable. I wish we actually would have more protagonists who would cry or be scared about being thrown into different scenarios that they don’t understand. Not every person is going to be an action protagonist who just moves in with as much gar as possible and just wins the day. Not everyone is going to be comfortable with that and there is something great about seeing a scared kid maybe find something to connect to.
It also helps to see those scared kids get friends too. Alien Nine is very uncomfortable because it does a great job of placing the focus onto Yuri Otani being scared because that is the main point. I didn’t want to see her be hurt again because the pain is real and you can feel it even from something made over twenty years ago. But you also feel the comfort of Yuri getting along with Kasumi and Kumi. That summer episode was so relaxing because Yuri really does set the mood of the show. It is also just great to tap into something and actually be supported when her school, her parents, and literally everyone else are never going to do that at all.
Concluding Alien Nine
Well, Alien Nine doesn’t have a conclusion…but I hope you all know what I mean. I really like the look of this show. It does have the simple child like art style for our young girls with a much more mature look for the adult women with aliens. There are so many strange and complicated sorts of alien designs that there really isn’t anything standard or boring about them. Then you top that with some really good animation when the girls are roller skating around or just tearing apart aliens in some very high moments of crazy emotional peaks that are shown through visuals. I honestly wish that Alien Nine did have a conclusion, but that was the nature of OVAS back then.
Yeah, I really liked Alien Nine. It is very simple and kind of obvious about what it’s trying to say, but it really is well executed. Very simple characters you can latch yourself onto, the strangeness of adulthood looming over each of them, and everything else. The only flaws are that it can be hard to watch sometimes and that you don’t know about the fate of characters. There is a real cliffhanger that never gets concluded which leads to having to read the manga. But what we have is pretty great. Would recommend it to people who are interested in what they are reading/hearing.