Galilei Donna (A-1 Pictures) – Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
Episode 01 – “Galileo DNA”
Here it is, my most anticipated series of the season. Does it live up to my expectations? Well, considering it’s an original series and part of noitanimA, it’s pretty hard to say even after watching the first episode. Like many of the other shows this season, I’m already loving the setting of Galilei Donna as it’s unlike most series I’ve ever seen before.
The story focuses on the three Ferrari sisters, and could they have chosen a more stereotypical Italian name? Anyway, these girls are being targeted by international kidnappers because they’re believed to descendants of the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei. However, the exact significance behind their supposed relation is not yet clear, outside of a possible fortune left behind by the father of heliocentric belief.
First, we have youngest sister Hozuki (CV: Rina Hidaka), a precocious mechanic and probably my favorite sister so far. Next is the middle sister Kazuki (CV: Rumi Ookubo) who seems to be the most unremarkable sibling so far, as she mostly seems like a normal teenage girl. She’s not afraid to kick a guy in the balls though. Finally, the eldest sister Hazuki (CV: Kei Shindou) is a law student whose quick to talk back, a trait that fits the trade I suppose.
The three Ferraris quickly find themselves in hot water when they’re simultaneously attacked by mysterious men who suspiciously seem like they’re out of some American conspiracy movie. That’s one interesting thing that I noticed about the series. There are heavy Western influences, not only on the setting, but also on the narrative. It feels like something straight from an American movie, with the series starting with a scene on some icy continent and a mysterious airship attacking a mining facility. I mean, doesn’t every spy movie start off like this?
Of course, since this is anime there are certain divergences from Western norm, and I, for one, am glad. The “villain” that appears before the sisters looks to be the bastard child between Captain Jack Sparrow and Final Fantasy VI’s Kefka. Not too bad of a design, in my book. His name’s Cicinho (CV: Hiroshi Kamiya, as Izaya from Durarara!!), and the captain of the airship Black Ganymede that attacked the mining facility. Outside of apprehending the sisters, his true motives haven’t been made clear yet. I can easily see him being an antihero of sorts though, as the fact that he threatens them with an unloaded gun might be proof of that.
Did I mention that Hozuki has a sentient goldfish because she does and it’s awesome. To make things even more awesome, Hozuki pilots a goldfish-shaped airship that she built herself, and her goldfish acts as a co-pilot via its projected sentience. I never knew how much I needed to see a fish airship shoot at another airship before. That and the surprisingly great use of CGI made the episode for me.
I have no idea where the series will go from here, but I like how it’s started so far. It reminds me a lot of intros we’d see in a JRPG. Not much is explained about the story, and we have brief introductions of each character before everything is blown up as we fly away on an airship. Galilei Donna also shares a lot of the fantasy meets technology aesthetics of JRPG’s and is kind of steampunk-ish (maybe not as much as Machine-doll). This first episode might not have enough to grab everyone, but I’d say stick around for more. I can tell there’s plenty of potential to be unleashed in the weeks to come.