>DVD Review – The best homosexual anime you’ve never seen

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Homosexuality is still a risque topic in America as well as Japan. Thus, the anime publishing company Media Blasters took a big risk in releasing “Simoun”, a anime featuring homosexual girls, in America.

However, “Simoun” may very well be the best homosexual anime that you’ve never seen. No doubt, this is the sleeper hit of 2008. The anime looks so incredible and the scenes are so thought-provoking that anyone in the proper mindset will want to buy the rest of the series.

“Simoun” is a yuri series, a series which focuses on female homosexual romance. Believe it or not, many gay love anime series become really popular in Japan. However, I still somewhat grimace at watching girls kiss each other, as they do in this series.

However, “Simoun” is challenging in many other ways. Its world focuses on the planet Daikuriku, inhabited by humonoids who are born only as girls. In the most powerful colony, Simulacrum, the humanoids can choose their own gender when they reach the age of 17. And even the girls who choose to change their gender still retain their feminine voice. Although this may seem like a disturbing violation of ethics involving faulty industrial genetic mutation, the process is actually connected to Simulacrom’s religion. The girls can choose the gender they want, by entering a spring and praying. After a few years, their breasts flatten out, but they still retain their feminine voice. And the new guys created from the process don’t seem to mind either.

“Simoun” also presents a world where the nation of women happened to discover the most advanced technology in the world, with clean burning fuel, advanced spaceships called Simouns, and, of course, genetic altering without problems. However, the other nearby country, Argentum, is fighting Simulacrum for this technology with their propeller-powered aircraft with machine guns. Argentum also suffers over extreme pollution and don’t have the technology to change their own gender.

It sounds extremely far out, but “Simoun” provides a vision of what the world could be like if women ran the most powerful country in the world. I almost forgot the most risque part of the series–two female pilots of an aircraft have to kiss each other and then kiss a big jewel in-between their cockpits in order to activate the ship, known as a Simoun. This is probably as racy as the series ever gets, aside from a scene where one of the girls flirts with her senior. However, it also shows that this nation of Simulacrum permits homosexuality freely, without restrictions. The nature of the nation contrasts sharply with Argentum, which restricts people with industrial pollution and predestined gender roles.

As strange and far-out as the plot is, it leads to some excellent scenes. The first episode begins with top pilots Amuria and Neveril fighting with their fleet, the Chor Tempest, against an enormous Argentum fleet of airships. One Simulacrum ship is destroyed in the battle. Amuria and Neveril attempt to kill off all the Argentum by flying their ship through the air to create a huge Ri Majon, a laser trail shape in the sky that explodes. However, Neveril gets distracted when she sees the human eyes of an Argentum pilot. Because of the distraction, the Ri Majon explodes, killing her partner, Amuria. For much of the rest of the DVD, Neveril can’t bear to pilot a Simoun ever again, because of the fatal battle.

Thus, Paraietta, the second leader-in-command, picks up three new recruits to replace the fallen fighters. Aeru, one of the newcomers, is the main heroine of the series. Young, brash and aggressive, she takes a liking to Neveril immediately, but Paraietta isn’t so pleased. The other two recruits, Floe and Rimone, join the other Chor Tempest members, Alti, Floe, Kaimu, Mamiina, Morinas, Rodoreiamann and Yun.

The story centers mostly with Aeru, who constantly knocks on Neveril’s door, because Neveril remains secluded in her room. Because Neveril isn’t flying, the Chor Tempest hasn’t been able to fly any really challenging missions. In episode 4, Aeru almost destroys her ship and gets reprimanded. In order to regain her stature in the Chor Tempest, she convinces Rimone to fly with her to find Argentum soldiers to destroy. They find one aircraft and plan on capturing the pilot after landing. Unfortunately, the pilot surprises them and they get captured. The pilot reveals that his country is heavily polluted and that his only choice is to capture a Simulacrum ship for his country to use. However, he cannot find another person to help him pilot it, his lungs were not able to handle the clean air of Simulacrum, and he turned to stone in the cockpit. In a bloody scene, Aeru shoos the young Rimone away so that she can cut his frozen hands off the joystick.

In the fifth episode, Rimone recovers from the shock of her bloody cockpit and learns to fight again with the help of Dominura, a veteran pilot transferred to the Chor Tempest. The sixth episode focuses on Paraietta and Neveril’s former relationship. They were in love, until Neveril fell in love with Amuria. Paraietta sees herself as selfish for restricting Aeru from pairing with Neveril, and after a fencing match with Aeru, she lets Aeru become Neveril’s new flying partner.

Although this series is a little risque, it is one of the most complex anime series featuring an all female vocal cast. As long as people are willing to accept the homosexual relationships, this series is one of the best anime series of 2008. The dogfights are stunningly amazing to watch and the plot was very well thought out. This series probably won’t be the most popular series in America due to its content, but it is still a series to keep.

Images courtesy of stevegilham.blogspot.com and pinkubentobox.com

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2 Comments

Filed under sci-fi, shoujo, Simoun, yuri

2 responses to “>DVD Review – The best homosexual anime you’ve never seen

  1. SimounRules

    Not a bad review, but there are a few points that need to be made.
    Firstly, the relationships you describe as homoexual, aren’t. There is nothing in the series that indicates that any of the sybillae are sleeping with one another. Prior to entering the spring and choosing a permanent gender, the relationships are more along the lines of asexual schoolgirl “crushes”. And regardless, the pairings must be made for the technology to work at all, homosexual or not. If the Pilot and Gunner don’t have a strong emotional bond, the Simoun won’t even fire up. That was even indicated in one of the episodes.
    Secondly, the “laser trails” created by the Simoun that you mentioned are nothing of the sort. The Ri Majon is a rift in time-space made by the “Tempus-Spatium” rotors that power the craft. They are literally powered by space-time itself. The reason Dominura went off the deep end when she looked inside the engine was that she saw into the past.
    >SPOILER ALERT<
    What she saw was that SHE was the one that started the whole mess rolling after she and Rimone failed their attempt at an Emerald Ri Majon and went back in time.

    And in conclusion, if anyone reading this hasn't watched Simoun yet, what are you waiting for? 🙂
    I'm just wondering why they didn't feel that it was something worth dubbing. 😦 I also saw something in NewType about a Simoun II, but I haven't been able to find out anything more.

    • Yeah, I agree with everything that you said. I wrote this review back in, oh, 2007 or so. I wasn’t terribly good at writing at the time, so my review looks a little amateurish. It was still a pretty good show.

      As for why the publisher didn’t add a dub, my guess is that Geneon (or whoever the publisher was) didn’t think that it had a big enough audience to add a dub. Y’know, it takes money and resources to gather voice actors into a recording studio. Then they would have to add the audio track into the rest of the anime’s audio. It would just take a long time. I’m just glad that they even published it at all.

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