Title: Galilei Donna
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction
Summary: In 2061, global warming is a thing of the past as a new ice age covers the world. Hozuki, Hazaki, and Kazaki Ferrari, three descendants of Galileo, live in Tuscany. A mysterious organization is searching for the “Galilei Donna,” and put out an international arrest warrant for the three sisters. The sisters must put aside their differences to join forces in fighting the organization and learning their true destiny.
Review: Probably the first thing you think when you see information about Galilei Donna is that it is only eleven episodes long. That’s quite a short series considering how slow the anime got around to actually starting. The first couple episodes were far from exciting and were only just starting to set the characters’ personalities. The anime did manage to pick itself up for an episode or two afterward and actually had me excited to see what happened next. Unfortunately you soon realize that it was all for naught as the series wraps up it’s terrible character gift with a nice anticlimactic bow.
I can’t say that Galilei Donna was completely terrible. It did have at least one thing that was tolerable, the visuals. I quite liked the CG mix this time around which is rather rare for me to say. They did a great job designing the ship and adding all the neat little features and transformations during battles. I also liked the idea of modeling the design after a fish whom she was rather fond of. Or at least I thought I liked it until they decided to completely strip the designs meaning away with an awkward time traveling mess. Thankfully they didn’t ruin the character designs. I don’t mean the personalities, those I’ll get to in a second; I’m talking about the actual visual representation of all the characters. The three sisters matched their personalities perfectly with the brooding, dark haired sister Kazuki, the aggressive, tall Hazuki, and finally the short and cute Hozuki. In case you were wonder, yes I did have trouble associating their names to the right person. The anime also took you to many different lands thanks to the overall plot of run away sisters that all had their own unique charm. I’m glad they didn’t make everything vary drastically and decided to stick with subtle differences to make environments stand out. Sadly the anime couldn’t take the time to buff the rest of it’s areas.
I’m a big fan of character development and story driven anime. Galilei Donna had probably some of the worst for the Fall 2013 season. The three sisters, while all with unique personalities, were equally annoying. The writers tried to make you feel for Kazuki as you yearned to go back to her normal life in Italy. She would hold the picture of the boy she liked and stare at it longingly. That would have been a great idea if you actually got to see what kind of life these three girls lived before everything happened. The world Galilei Donna throws you in wasn’t engaging and never engrossed you. It was a weird mix between alternate timeline and future society. On the one hand you have decedents of the great Galileo and familiar countries such as Italy and Japan, and on the other you had flying fish contraptions to a select group of individuals. After suffering through the initial shock of a world with an identity crisis you are introduced to the terrible trio of sisters, all with their own agenda. Roughly four episodes in I actually had hope for the series, it has one of the darkest episode I saw all season and I was hoping it would continue. Sadly a rather heart felt episode was lost in the array of chaos and foolishness that was this series. I hate to give away any spoilers but the sudden introduction and lack of explanation for a god pendant along with the weirdest time travel arc I’ve ever scene I threw up my hands and walked away. Galilei Donna was rushed, sloppy, and downright pointless till the end. I felt like we strapped into our fish-shaped vehicle and taken on a ride to an anticlimactic destination. There were many directions they could have taken this one, all of which would have made it even fairly decent, but they took the load that should never be traveled. I’m glad that they didn’t leave much for a second season because it would pain me to see even a sliver of hope for this anime to come back. Probably the next best thing they could do is a relaunch where all the character designs and names can stay the same, but their personalities, adventure, story, and genre all change.
Generally I like to end these posts talking about the OST because it is often the most overlooked despite being able to make a major impact on an anime. I’m happy to say that Galilei Donna didn’t completely botch this portion. Of course it could have been better, but it’s hard to have a soundtrack standout when the viewer was already dosing off from the lack of story hook; me being one of them Despite only having a short seven song list they were all pretty good. Particularly the opening rift to Galilei Donna, the anime’s opening, was very catching. I would argue that if you happen to run across the set list at least give it a shot. It might be the only thing worth taking away from this series after all.
Final statements: I’m not sure if the downfall was the actual plot or the fact that the series didn’t have enough time to really flush out a good story. Either way it isn’t worth your time to give this one a go so I suggest avoiding it. I would definitely like to see more work from Shingo Adachi (character design) and Shiro Hamaguchi (music) in future releases.