Project Blue Earth SoS
If you’re a fan of classic science fiction, read on. This show was made just for you. Project Blue Earth SOS was made in 2006, as a 6 part OVA. Each episode clocks in at around 45 minutes long, and so the series has a different pacing then most anime. But this is a good thing. Helmed by Tensai Okamura (of Wolf’s Rain fame) and animated by A.C.G.T., Project Blue Earth SOS does a wonderful job at not only paying homage to 50’s sci-fi, but also rekindling your hope in humanity. This series showcases the best of human beings. It shows us what the human race can do, when we pull together, and put our minds to something.
The series takes place in the 1999 that the 1950’s envisioned. It’s a retro future of sorts, but I’ll get to that in a bit. Many brand new vehicles have been disappearing all over the planet, with one thing that links them all together. They were all powered by a G-Reactor engine. Two boy genius meet at the unveiling of a brand new top of the line train. One boy, Penny believes this train is a prime target for whoever has been stealing G-Reactive powered vehicles all over the planet. The other boy, Billy, is the son of a multi-billionaire who happens to own the train, and thinks this is nonsense. But before the boys can say much else, the train disappears before their eyes! It is eventually revealed that aliens are to blame for the abduction of all these vehicles. And these aliens are beginning to invade earth! Penny, Billy, and Billy’s friend Lotta Brest (yes that’s really her name) end up getting involved with a secret organization created by the U.N. to defend the Earth against the aliens. Toss in Lotta’s father who is a brilliant scientist for the organization, an ace fighter pilot who everyone thought was dead, and his old captain, and you have the main cast of the series. Watch as they try to save the earth, from the invaders!
Project Blue Earth SOS harkens back to time when sci-fi meant wonderful rockets, silly ray guns, flying saucers, and jet-packs. This series is a tribute to 50’s sci-fi, B-movies, and old 30’s serials, all rolled into one. It wallows in the old, now cliche, tropes from hollywood movies now long past their prime. Everything’s here, from secret agents, alien invaders, hovering cars, futuristic cities, boy geniuses, retro space rockets, and even a hyper intelligent dog. And it’s a blast! But you really have to have a taste for 50’s sci-fi and B-movies to enjoy it. I imagine most people will think Project Blue Earth is silly and it’s story stupid, and they’d be right. But they’d be missing the point. The show is meant to bring back that feeling you got when you first watched Attack of the 50 Foot Women, Invasion of The Body Snatchers, Destination Moon, or any of the other now hokey 50’s era films. We are meant to look at awe of the retro future world they create for us (and what a world it is!). We should just sit back and enjoy it’s plot that piles on trope after trope, and somehow makes it all work . The show is designed to appeal to us in the same way those old movies did, and it does a magnificent job at capturing the pure magic of those great films. Now it does take awhile to get going, but once it does it doesn’t let up until it’s dramatic ending. This here is pure escapist fun, and I loved it! And as I mentioned before the show is a testament to the human spirit. How can you not just love a series that showcases the greatest aspects of mankind?
The wonderfully retro science fiction world that A.C.G.T.creates is just perfect. The amount of detail put into scenery, backgrounds, buildings, space ships, flying saucers, and the technology is astounding. You can really tell that this has an OVA sized budget. Everything looks great, just like the future we were all promised
(1,2,3,4 ) The technology seems as though it was all created by the artists of Popular Science. It’s all so creative, imaginative, and awe inspiring, although just silly enough to put a smile on your face. Even the cars have that classic 50’s era look, only they float! I swear A.C.G.T. employees must have been reading back-issues of Popular Science for months. Character designs also impress, they look like actors straight out of one of those classic Hollywood films or TV shows. I love Billy’s goofy thick glasses, and Lotta’s hairstyle. The animation here too is quite good. Action scenes really blow you away.
As for the music, I really liked it. Even it’s opening theme song is hokey and lovable. Background themes take their cues from the same place everything else does, and manage to be both silly and catchy. The soundtrack shines here, especially the battle themes. But even more impressive is the goofy sound effects, which seem almost lifted from some old B movie. ADV plays the dub straight, and this is for the best. While not as good as other late-era ADV dubs like Welcome to the NHK and 5 Centimeters Per Second, the dub here is more then solid. Penny, Billy and Lotta all seem very youthful. Are these real kids in this dub? The acting is top notch, casting perfect, and it’s extremely fresh and unique sounding. Eric Chase gives Dr. Brest a very powerful and inspiring voice! Not to mention he sounds creepily like a scientist character taken from one of those old movies. Marty Fleck brings a much needed humanity to the old captain (Clayton), and Gray Haddrock gives the fighter pilot (James) a great courageous hero-esque voice. Both of them are excellent actors as well. ADV had fun with the background characters, giving many of them accents, and I liked that.
Project Blue Earth SOS is something only a select few will “get”. The rest will think it’s just silly nonsense. But for those of us who “get” it, this is a true gift of an anime. It ‘s a near-perfect tribute to 50’s sci-fi, and it’s not afraid to take jabs at is’t self. It tells it’s story with a wink in one eye, and an innocent awe in the other. This series brings back your childlike sense of wonder, your faith in humanity, and your ability to enjoy kooky stories again. And I’m so glad I watched it.