Type: TV Special
Episode Count: 4
Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 12 Feb 2007
revised 03 Mar 2007
At first glance, Alien Nine looks cutesy. However, things get very weird very quick.
Yuri Otani has just been elected to the Alien Party in her 6th grade class at school. This is something she does not want to do. At all. With the other two members of the party – 6th graders Kumi Kawamura and Kasumi Tomine – she chases and captures aliens that crash onto the school campus… protected by a symbiotic alien that she and the others wear on their heads.
This is a series that surprised me, but at the same time I figured that I would probably like it. It shares a few surface similarities to Figure 17, my favorite series of all-time (elementary school girls fighting aliens with alien help), but that’s about where the similarities end. Alien Nine is much more… weird… than Figure 17. But this is weird in a good way.
The first episode is straightforward enough. The girls are sent out to comb the school grounds for aliens when they appear on campus. It should be noted that in this alternate reality (set in the not-too-distant future), this is a common occurrence. If the girls cannot capture the aliens alone, their symbiotic headgear will attack the target and/or protect the girl who is in danger. Yuri cries – a lot – and so her alien ‘helmet’ is forced to cover for her more often than the others. After this first episode, this short series gets progressively more bizarre.
There are many open ended parts of the story, most of which are not resolved by the conclusion. Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt the series much, if at all. It is based on a manga, and these parts of the story are further explained there. The two versions of the story can stand independently, but if you want to see the story go further, be sure to check out the original manga version.
I didn’t go into this series expecting a mindtrip, but I did get a bit of one as it drew towards the conclusion. This was a positive thing, since to me anything that makes me wonder what exactly is going on is merely incentive to watch and analyze the series again! Therefore, Alien Nine is a great title for repeat viewings. I somewhat hesitantly give this series a B. Were it a mere two episodes longer to allow for just that little bit more of exposition, it would be an A. Alien Nine is an excellent short series that will almost certainly catch you off guard.