Anime Review | Wish Upon the Pleiades Complete Season 1 Collection (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 29.10.2016 1

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Wish Upon the Pleiades Complete Season 1 Collection (UK Rating: 12)

When it comes to anime, there are a number of cornerstone series that will always be made, again and again. The giant mecha anime, the shonen battle anime, the magical girl anime, and so on. This new magical girl anime follows a group of colour-coded, broom riding witches as they try to capture falling stars to get an alien back to its home planet. Indeed. This complete series from Manga Entertainment contains all 12 episodes and hit the UK retail scene on 17th October.

Wish Upon the Pleiades comes from an unusual source material. Instead of being based on a usual manga or light novel / visual novel, Wish Upon the Pleiades was originally a free short 'net animation series, produced in a partnership between venerable anime studio Gainax and… car manufacturer Subaru. This series was available for free on YouTube, broken into four parts and totalling around 25 minutes.

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The series follows a young girl called Subaru… It's one of the few things linking the company to this anime. The sharp-eyed out there may also spot the logo from time to time, as well as the fact that Pleiades is known as Subaru in Japan. Subaru is an astronomy obsessive who is beginning her first year in junior high - something she's going to have to take on alone, since she and her best friend, Aoi, are no longer speaking. During Subaru's first night at her school, she decides to take her telescope and go stargazing on campus, yet when she enters the observatory, she somehow ends up in a strange greenhouse-like room filled with trees and flowers, in the middle of which sits an odd red-headed boy named Minato. Upon leaving there, she ends up in another room, stumbling in on her old friend Aoi and three other girls, along with an alien slime creature…

This alien slime creature is hunting for pieces of its crashed spaceship and has granted the girls magical powers (of course) to help it track down these parts. The parts take the form of shooting stars and the girls transform into colour-coded magical young ladies, riding powered-up broomsticks known as "driveshafts" that rev and roar like an engine. Soon enough, Subaru has joined the team and after class the quintet is trying to track down all of the engine pieces so the alien can return home.

Being quite a short series, the story relies on each episode mostly consisting of single episode stories where the girls compete with a mysterious red-haired boy, who also seems to be trying to collect the falling stars. There are also episodes dedicated to each of the girls, where their characters are fleshed out, with some flashbacks and their own personal problems for them to face; each is wrapped up quickly in a single episode.

Wish Upon the Pleiades' best feature is the visuals; this series is from Gainax, after all, and it is filled with plenty of gorgeous moments and the brightly coloured ladies soar through the sky and even through space. When they fly in particular formations, huge spell circles form in the sky between them, made of iridescent light and prisms. They look fantastic and reminiscent of some of the moments from TTGL. A particularly great looking episode has the girls chasing a piece of the engine that has attached itself to a comet, which ends up getting too close to the sun.

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10
What at first seems like just another average series becomes something more in its final moments. Wish Upon the Pleiades is an entertaining series that is elevated by its truly gorgeous and fantastical visuals. A truly original, eccentric trip through the stars with an absolutely superb finale.

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Least it's not the Pleiades from Overlord.

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