Rocket Girls


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     Here it is, the last episode of Rocket Girls. The episode starts off with the NASA safety committee recommending disapproval, but the overall decision is to go. NASA wants the separation to be handled by the capsule crew putting them in the most danger. Some of the SSA’s staff recommends that Yukari say no, but Yukari says yes, and thanks everyone for the tough training, and says her goodbye’s.  Yukari and Norman get into to it again (I can almost feel the attraction), but cooler heads prevail and the work is divided between the shuttle crew and the SSA crew. After finishing the prep work Norman and Gordon will do the separation even though NASA wanted the girls to do it.

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      After the separation, Yukari thanks Norman making her peace (I can sense a date coming up). After the capsule fires its engines, the SSA’s engineer’s rush to the control room says the their data indicates the capsule will break up on reentry. The SSA director decides not to tell the girls till after the mission because its to late for them to change orbit now. After the probe is repaired the girls watch the sunrise over the Earth, and Miura thanks Yukari for taking her all the way, she then breaks down crying tears of joy.

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      After separation from the probe, and confirming probe takeoff, Yukari can tell from the tone in Matsuri’s voice that somethings wrong, she demands to be told what it is. Matsuri to upset to tell her so the director breaks the bad news to them, almost the whole SSA control room is in tears. At the last minute Norman comes up with the idea to bounce the capsule off the atmosphere several times to slow it down enough so it won’t break up, saying one of the Apollo missions did it, everybody springs into action investigating the idea. NASA adapts the capsule data to Apollo data and the ship has to do 24 maneuvers to slow it down while pulling up to 8 G’s. They begin reentry and Yukari thanks everyone, and compliments Miura on her skill, she keeps a cool and calm demeanor, telling Miura it will be OK. After a while Yukari finds out that Miura has passed out, so she decides to wing it and fly by feel. Then after Yukari feels she did her best and their going to die she releases the stick leaving it in the hands of fate. Later a burnt and battered capsule is seen floating over Japan, Yukari’s skills slowed the capsule down enough to survive reentry. The last couple of minutes are bits of interviews of people involved in the SSA program, and Yukari and Miura are on another mission. Below are some screen shots.

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     Well that was one hell of a ending to a series I really liked, the last several episodes were a real roller coaster ride. All the main players in this series were likable, and fun. Rocket Girls  had just the right mix of comedy and drama to it, I was finally satisfied with the maturity and composure that Yukari displayed at the end of the series. My only gripe was the silly middle episodes taking place at Yukari’s old school, I can only hope for another 12 episodes if they do a second season. Hell maybe Yukari and Norman could hook up in a second season. Below are the Rocket Girls.

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     Rocket Girls 11  starts off with Yukari and Miura walking towards the launch platform where they meet the SSA director whom tells them to show NASA how its done. After liftoff Yukari gets the ship into orbit, but she finds Miura passed out and wakes her up. Muira is very excited being in space when she views the Earth from orbit. They arrive and dock with the space shuttle in no time flat, and the girls get a pretty warm welcome from everyone except the shuttle’s mission specialist. He yells at the girls and Yukari gives it right back to him, Muira is more diplomatic and goes to help him. Once at the probe, Miura backpack gets in the way and she can’t reach the part, so she removes the pack in order to retrieve the part. This act is very dangerous she has only three minutes of air, the NASA guy thinks this is crazy. After retrieving the part the NASA guy invites them into the shuttle where they get a nice welcome. Norman is still pretty cold towards the girls, while he’s repairing the probe its launches prematurely with the safety pin still in, the probe can’t reach Pluto unless its removed. Muira comes up with a plan to use the shuttle and the capsule to get enough speed to reach the probe, its a very dangerous plan and the girls could die, well that’s the end. Below are some screen shots.

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     Well I found episode 11 to be very exciting and fast paced, the interactions of Yukari and Miura with the shuttle crew was interesting and funny. Maybe Yukari could find a boyfriend that fits her personality (Norman), he hot headed just like her. Only one more episode left in the series, it looks like it will be a real nail biter, look forward to it.

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     Rocket girls 10  starts off with the US space shuttle crew starting to make repairs on a defective space probe. Later on Miura is introduced to the world in a press conference, she is very embarrassed wearing the skin tight spacesuit. The space shuttle crew makes a mistake during the repair of the probe, causing a part to lodge inside the probe out of reach of the crew. Back at the SSA, the design of the two person capsule is introduced.

     Once the SSA director becomes aware of NASA’s problem he signs a contingency contract with NASA, he thinks the girls small size might be useful in retrieving the part. The girls as told that in two days that they’ll launch a mission to aid NASA, with Yukari in command, and Miura retrieving the part, Matsuri will be ground as back up. At first, Miura refuses saying she’ll only drag Yukari down, but Yukari tells her to take her chance to fly in space, and she won’t hold her down. During simulation training Miura is under a lot of pressure to succeed in the mission, and she becomes filled with self doubt. Later on the night before the launch, Miura makes a call home and finds out that her parents are very worried about her, and then she finds comfort in the company of Yukari and Matsuri at the beach, Yukari promises to take her all the way to the finish. That’s the end of episode 10, below are some screen shot from the show.

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     Well, episode 10 continues to focus on Miura’s training and growth, she is very shy and lacks confidence. Yukari gets to act as a mentor, and protector for Yukari, she is showing more maturity and strength of will than before. This show continues to stay enjoyable, and interesting to watch, it’s good clean anime fun.

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     Rocket Girls 9  starts off with Yukari and Matsuri believing that Muira quit the SSA and returned to Japan, this is really upsetting to Yakari because of her promise. During the next several days of training Yukari’s just not into it after Muira’s departure, they get a day off and Matsuri wants to go to the jungle. The SSA director asks Yukari if she wants to go into town, and Matsuri has trouble leaving the base but she uses her unique skills to get out. After picking some nuts Matsuri runs into Muira in the jungle, Matsuri is not surprised by this. Matsuri offer to help Muira but she refuses saying if she accepts helps she’ll fail, so Matsuri leaves her alone. Back at the room Matsuri tells Yukari about Muira, and Yukari heads out to find her. At the SSA gate Yukari runs into the director and the doctor whom apologize for the lie they told her. They tell Yukari that if she knew she would have stopped Muira, proving that she did not have confidence in her, so they all wait at the gate for her return. Muira makes it to the gate with fifteen minutes to spare. She passes the test and is told to prepare for more training, that’s how episode 9 ends. Below are some screen shots from the show.

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     Well, episode 9 really slowed down the pace of the show. We get to see how the SSA director knows Yukari better than herself, and knows how to push the right buttons. Muira faces some tough training and gains confidence in herself, I feel she’s still wimpy compared with Yukatri and Matsuri, but what the hell. The real problem is with Yukari, in the beginning her motivation for completing the training was to bring her father home, then later Muira motivated her to continue. After Yukari thought Muira left she was half hearted, she needs to be able to motivate herself to truly grow on her own. Like Sora  from Kaleido Star, Yukari needs to find her inner fire to really become a mature person. Overall this episode was nicely done, a fun anime of all ages to enjoy.

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     Rocket Girls 8 starts off with Miura showing up at the SSA’s main gate just as Yukari is about to quit, Miura starts to get sick and Yukari orders the doctor to do something. After the doctor’s medical exam she determines that Miura has motion sickness, then Muira states that she wants to go into space like Yukari. We then get Miura’s stats (weight 36 Kg, height 153 Cm, 74-52-75 / converted to English 79 Lbs, height 5′, 28′-20′-29′), then the base commander tells Yukari that if she leaves they’ll need another pilot, Yukari states that she has not yet quit. After Yukari takes Muira back to the living quarters the doctor states it not a good idea to send a girl into space that gets motion sickness just from a plane, and car ride.

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     After a little rest Muira feels a lot better and tells Yukari that her words inspired her, and how her description of space sounded just like Yuri Gagarin (First Soviet Cosmonaut) words. She then tells Yukari that she hates the part of herself that only thinks about how stuff effects her grades, and that she admires Yukari’s boldness. They then go to the beach, and Matsuri goes swimming nude, and Yukari stops Muira just before she strips, they then catch some fish and head back to the living quarters. On the way they run into Yasukawa whom buys them dinner, and on the way out Muira passes out, and they rush her back to base. The doctor conducts some tests on Muira, the same ones that Yukari and Matsuri both completed, and Muira passes out at only four G’s, the director says she can’t even ride a roller coaster. The doctor says that she needs work on her physical skills but she’s off the chart in brain power. Just as Muira is about to give up Yukari says she’ll take her into space. Well that’s the end of episode eight. Below are some screen shots from the show.

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     My impressions of episode eight are that finally Yukari got her grove back, she finally realizes how special a chance she’s been given. She also understands that when she said even a monkey could go into space, she was very wrong. The addition of Muira to the story’s plot, I think is a motivation for Yukari. Yukari and Matsuri finally have someone to mentor and help along. But most importantly Yukari begins to understand her impact on the girls of Japan, if Muira was inspired by her, how many other girls were also inspired. I still continue to like this series very much, a nice light science fiction drama. I hope this show gets licensed, but I don’t think it will be, at only twelve episodes I don’t think this show has a big enough fan base for an American release. 

 

     When we left off at the end of episode 6, Yukari and Matsuri had just crash landed in Yukari’s high school swimming pool. Episode 7 picks up at that point, with all the students rushing out to see Yukari and Matsuri. Yukari tells Matsuri that it must have been the work of evil spirits that they landed here of all places, and Matsuri says that they landed their because Yukari wished it, needless to say the principle is very upset.

    

      The landing causes a big commotion, but Yukari has a problem with her goldfish, the tank she put them in is running low on oxygen. After the goldfish problem is solved the SSA arrives with helicopters to remove the capsule, further causing a bigger ruckus on campus. Yukari uses the skills of one of her younger classmates (Miura) to save the goldfish, afterwards the military transports Yukari, Matsuri, and Miura back to the military base. Miura gets along well with the head researcher in charge of the goldfish experiment (well, I know were this is going, were going to get a third astronaut, what about 13 years old, doesn’t Japan have any adult smaller women in the military that can become astronauts).

      Later that night Yukari, and Matsuri have dinner at Yukari’s house, and Yukari says when she gets back to the SSA she going to drag her fathers ass back to Japan, and Yukari’s mother asks why she’s still going on about that. That night Yukari looks out her home’s window and can’t see any stars. At school the next day the principle suspends Miura, and chews out Yukari telling her that being a astronaut is a stupid job for a girl, well we can tell what century the principle is living in. In the school hallway Miura asks Yukari if she’s going to quit being a astronaut, and Yukari say she wants to be a normal girl, but we can tell she’s having second thoughts. Miura tells Yukari that she has no second thoughts about the suspension, and that makes Yukari think hard about quiting. Matsuri and Yukari send the rest of the day enjoying themselves doing things around the city. Yukari and Matsuri return to the SSA and as Yukari is about to leave the cab shows up with Miura, she’s expecting Yukari to give her the grand tour, well that’s it for Rocket Girls 7. Below are some screen shots of the episode.

     My impressions of this episode are, that I wish Yukari would stop whining about how normal she is and realize how good she has it. She’s given a once in a lifetime shot at being special, and all she thinks about is being a regular Japanese girl. Man, I tell you there has to be a lot of cultural pressure in Japan not to stick out as a individual. Well I really like this show, I just think Yukari should show a little more maturity.

 

     Rocket Girls 6  starts off with Yukari stranded in the wrong orbit with the ground crew trying to figure out why the Rocket got off track. A little while later ground control decides to bring the rocket down after the third orbit, and Matsuri feels its her fault the rockets off course, she forgot to tell father the launch was postponed, so he probably cursed the launch. After Yukari blows off Matsuri’s worry about the power of the curse more problems arise, but ground control feels its nothing serious. Later Yukari spots debris floating around the capsule that might be heat shield bricks, this is a major problem. The ground crew discovers that space debris struck and damaged the capsule, and that Yukari will have to exit the capsule to fix the problem. The SSA is forced to make the announcement that the flight has had major problems, the SSA decides to let the press know the truth, this news spreads worldwide. Yukari makes a space walk and discovers the extent of the damage, its so severe that ground control doesn’t think she can repair the problem. As time passes it get harder for Yukari to breathe as her air supply runs low, but she draws comfort from a trinket that her mother gave her as a child.

     Just as Yukari’s about to pass out, Marsuri shows up in a rescue capsule with more oxygen to save Yukari. Both girls are now waiting in space for the Russians to show up to rescue then, but due to technical problems the Russians can’t launch. At that point Yukari tells Matsuri to leave her and go back alone, Matsuri says no way and throws out most of the equipment out of the capsule to make room for Yukari, saying that they will fly by hand. They begin the reentry when Yukari realizes that her weight combined with G forces will crush Matsuri, but Matsuri says not to worry tribal women are tough. After landing Yukari find Matsuri not responsive, but Matsuri eventually wakes up. The girls find out that they landed in Yukari’s high school swimming pool. Well, that’s it for episode 6 of Rocket Girls. Below are some screen shots for the episode.

     I found Rocket Girls 6  to be quite  enjoyable, I liked the change of pace very interesting. The previous episodes were kind of laid back, but this episode upped the intensity level quite a bit. This episode was a matter of life and death, there was a real change that both girls could have died, the only part that I thought was quite silly was the girls landing inside the high school’s swimming pool, but overall episode 6 was very nice.

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