In the not so distant future war has come to Japan. Caught
up in the configuration are two young high school lovers Shuji
and Chise. Chise is a young clumsy, and not too bright, girl
who is in love with Shuji. The normality of their teenage
romance is seriously interrupted when, during an attack, Shuji
discovers that Chise has been turned into She the Ultimate
second DVD release presents the next four episodes in a thirteen
episode run. In my review of Volume
I was justifiably unhappy about some of the character designs;
I have subsequently discovered that these peculiarities are
a direct take on the designs in the original manga Saikano
by Shin Takahashi. Whilst I still feel that they don't work
as well in the anime as well as they did in the manga their
inclusion makes a lot more sense now.
The story continues the melancholy teenage love story between
Shuji and Chise against the background of an unexplained war.
The war itself is secondary to the love story and is mostly
added as a metaphor for the conflicts which arise from young
relationships. Chise, rather than having to come to terms
with puberty and the inherent changes to her body, has to
deal with her body transforming into a weapon: Grow breasts...
Grow cannons... The connection is a bit obvious, but not overly
The show continues to explore the effects on not just the
young lovers but also on everyone around them. As you would
expect the show contains depictions of death, but it cannot
be said to be gratuitously violent and the nudity is slight
compared to other shows. Where the show really scores high
is in its depiction of the main characters, especially Shuji,
who after a while you really do get to care about. They may
look odd, but the characters journey through the show really
does get you gripped after a while.
five, Liar, and Chise is starting to question the morality
of becoming a living weapon. The odd thing is that she continues
to attend school, which is a bit weird that the military would
allow such an expensive and dangerous piece of equipment to
sit in a schoolroom. The stupidity of this action comes to
fruition in this episode when an earthquake sparks off Chise's
transformation into a weapon, whereupon she destroys half
the school. If that wasn't freaky enough for her boyfriend,
Shuji is starting to understand that Chise is more than a
girl, she is also a thinking, living weapon and what is worse
the weapon appears not to share Chise's morality. Behind the
main story the war continues with some disturbing scenes of
dying soldiers. There's an odd comparison between the school
and town and the hell of the battlefield, a deliberate ploy
to make both areas seem a little off kilter, adding to the
uneasy feeling that the show imbues in the audience.
episode six, and Shuji is suffering some more teenage angst,
personally I'd be terrified of dating this girl, especially
if you get her jealous. Shjui ignores this piece of advice
and admits to Chise that he has a dirty mind and is always
thinking of doing it with her. Not the best chat up line I've
heard, but then I guess he's only seventeen. He also admits
to her that he had done it with Fuyumi, more than once. Well
that's never going to work. But, blow me down Chise admits
to him that she wanted to do it with him a hundred times more
than Fuyumi. Who'd have thought that chat up line would work?
Well it doesn't and she dumps him. Could have told him it
was a bad idea. Cue teenage angst and slow piano music.
seven, What I want to Protect, and the angst has been
cranked up a notch. Everyone's tense and both Chise and Shuji
are given a lot of advice by their friends. Running through
the episode is an interesting discussion on the nature of
love and whether going to war is an act of protection for
those that you love or just an act of killing. The episode
continues the drift into a much darker show, with some of
the students enlisting to fight for reasons that they are
never sure of; they give into a form of romanticism that leads
many young men to go off to war.
eight, Everyone's Changing, and the school is starting
to thin out, with some of the students having gone off to
war, others have been killed and still others have just given
up. With Chise away, the action moves to the front and the
students are starting to understand the realities of war.
Tetsu finds Chise amidst the ruins of a town she has destroyed
and takes her off for a little looting.
Like the previous release, the show comes on two discs, each
disc contains the same shows, only the audio options are different.
On disc one you have the option of English or Japanese stereo
or 5.1, while disc two offers the addition of a DTS track
for each language.
the extras front we get twelve pieces of production art and
another hilarious instalment from the Japanese vocal actors
Shinichiro Miki (the voice of Tetsu) and Miki Ito (the voice
of Fuyumi). These guys really must be taking speed; their
enthusiasm for the show is infectious as they discuss the
story from an adult perspective. There is a slight discrepancy
in the interview, due to the fact that the number of shows
in the English release is obviously higher that that of the
Japanese release, so sometimes they are discussing things
which happened on the first DVD. Still it's all very entertaining
none the less. Disc two also contains three trailers for other