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Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko I & II
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/22/2009

Synopsis:
Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko is actually comprised of two different OAV series:
  • Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko (Stage 1 to 3) - A thousand years from now, great battles between planets and civilizations will have been entrusted to a chosen few. Each would have their own fleet of champions, and disputes (ranging from ownership of certain heavenly bodies to usage of resources) are settled in the form of space games where victors are awarded whatever's being fought for. But the Terra team's been down and out lately. Even with their superior spaceships, they've been on a losing streak against Ness' Red Snappers. They lack one member to boot. Enter Yamamoto Yohko. She's sharp, smart, and she has all the makings of an ace pilot. She's come all the way from the past to boot. Can Yohko lead the team to victory?
  • Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko II (Stage 1 to 3) - Yohko and the Terra team have finally succeeded in establishing themselves as a force to contend with. But a new challenger surfaces in the person of Sylvie Dread. Sylvie used to be Terra's ace pilot, and she wants to prove that she's better than Yohko.
Review:
Truth be told, I wasn't expecting too much out of the Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko OAVs. I've seen bits of the TV series which aired on cable here, but I had never been compelled to give it serious attention. I could never resist "complete" DVDs (meaning all the eps are there), and so it was inevitable... I just had to order this one.

The first OAV series acquaints us with the Terra team and their main rival -- Ness' Red Snappers. The Terra team is comprised of four girls recruited from the past... namely Madoka, Ayano, Momiji, and Yohko. Meanwhile, the Red Snappers is made up of four sisters -- Rouge, Lote, Lubrum, and Erutron. Each of these girls have their own unique personalities, and things just get shaking whenever they face off. Terra and Ness fight over everything from mining rights to planetary ownership with these two teams. It's altogether a pretty civilized arrangement, as no one really dies from these war games. Disputes are settled and everyone is happy at the end of the day (at least the victors are).

The second OAV series builds on the foundation laid by the first. The Terra team is now established, and two out of three eps feature a new character called Sylvie Dread. Sylvie was Terra's ace pilot before Yohko, and she'll do anything to prove her superiority. She challenges Yohko to a couple of showdowns in space, but you'll just have to watch to find out the rest.

I find the concept of these OAVs quite refreshing, and the whole viewing experience nothing short of fun. Humor is served in the quirkiest ways... from Madoka cosplaying while in battle to Lote's exaggeratedly stupid-cute-girl characterization. In one episode, it is even discovered that the ownership of one planet can be claimed through a crane game.

As the title suggests, Yohko Yamamoto is the heroine of both series. She's perfect in every way, blessed with genius-level intellectual capabilities, extraordinary piloting skills, strong intuition, and a pretty face. To top it off, with these qualities come a spunky attitude and nerves of steel. Yet she manages to remain a regular carefree girl with a great love for snacks (like Pocky) and video games.

The art and animation are consistently good. The characters are rendered attractively, and the space battles (while nothing spectacular) are satisfactory. It's all very wholesome (don't expect much fan service) despite the fact that most of the characters are pretty young girls. The English dubbing is nicely done as well. All the names are actually pronounced correctly (except for Lote's), and the voices suit the roles they are playing.

Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko is fun (I can't stress that enough) and entertaining. It's a neat deviation from the usual themes of girls chasing boys and vice-versa, and it's not too outlandish that you'd lose touch with it. This is definitely one of my better DVD buys, but I'd recommend it only if you're willing to try a different flavor... so to speak.

Miscellanies:
The DVD release contains all six OAV episodes, three for OAV 1 and another three for OAV 2. There's not much in terms of extras though... just a lame slideshow and some dub outtakes.

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Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko I & II
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Review Title:
Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko I & II
Alternative Titles:
Soreyuke! Uchuu Senkan Yamamoto Yooko
Type:
OVA
Episodes:
6
Duration:
180 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Aired:
1996-1997
Suitable For:
Teens
Genres:
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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