This is one strange fish of a show, in the fact I think it is intentionally designed not to make any sense. “World Conquest Zvezda Plot” (“Sekai Seifuku: Bōryaku no Zvezda”) confuses you right from the start, as the entire series is told as a giant flashback.
We are greeted with a scene of absolute destruction and devastation. Is anyone left alive? Is the Starbucks razed? A lone figure wanders the shattered landscape, pondering the nature of world conquest and the people who do it. We are then transported back in time, to when things were sunny and clean and colorful and it all worked (sort of). Oh, and there IS a Starbucks.
Asuta Jimon (he’s that S&M looking type, second from left) has run away or been thrown out of his house by his father. As he walks the streets, he is told to get inside fast, as marshal law is being declared. He flees the police and ducks into an alley, where he meets Kate Hoshimiya, (dead center) who is looking for her doll (yeah, that hideous pink bunny. Those are pointed teeth). She also calls herself Lady Venera, the leader of Zvezda, an organization with its eyes on world conquest. Asuta is eventually cornered by the military, but is rescued by Kate, who welcomes him to her group.
Now, everyone up there is in their battle garb, so they don’t normally look like that (or dress like that for going to the local Starbucks), but we’ll run down the rest of this potential cabal. Left to right:
Goro Shikabane (General Pepel), expert in handheld explosives
Itsuka Shikabane (Lady Plamya), excellent with a sword and Goro’s daughter
Natalia “Natasha” Vasylchenko (Professor Um), science and technology wizard
Roboko, a robotic girl of unknown origin
One more member not up there is Yasubee “Yasu” Morozumi (Odin), who creates more problems than he resolves.
This group is bent on taking over the world, but are blocked and befuddled by White Light, a phantom group of girls who work with the government to bring down Zvezda. However, neither organization is particularly good at what they do, seemingly unable to advance their causes. In one sense, this show reminded me of “Pinky and the Brain”, succinctly summed up in the following exchange:
Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”
Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!”
But that’s OK. One can hardly imagine a misfit group of people like this being able to take over the local Dunny’s or WacDonald’s, much less the world. And White Light always seems to come not in the nick of time and lets another opportunity slip by. But make no mistake; both of these groups are dangerous in their own way. It’s just that they do not know how to harness what they have. This follows the traditional 4-4-4 arc that I see in a lot of shows, with the last four shows involving a pitched battle of Zvezda and White Light, with a most bizarre turn of events to close out the first season.
There should not be any more season for this show, as all you could do is present how Zvezda manages to take over the world, but that might become endless fights. It’s a goofy enough show as it is and what I call an inbred show (everyone knows everyone else in some way or manner) and everyone has secrets and agendas of their own. It’s just that what we saw at the beginning I a future that cannot be avoided, despite the humble beginnings as seen with these episodes.
I do want to address the ‘fan service’, in that these two bikini-clad ladies is more or less the extent of things and it really isn’t all that appealing. Sure, if you are into loli, it might do something, but it struck me as both unnecessary and unsettling. And I don’t know about you, but I would at least want some sensible shoes before going into battle. I step on a thorn and that takes me out of the picture.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Standard approach)
Plot 7 (Nothing extraordinary)
Pacing 8 (Done quite well)
Effectiveness 7 (Weak, but works for its context)
Conclusion 2 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 3 (A similar show would be “Magikano”)
Overall 7 (Needed something better)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. The light of Zvezda will shine upon the whole world.