First Look: Wish Upon the Pleiades

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Alternative titles: Houkago no Pleiades
Bizarre car commercial by Gainax
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Originally an OVA collaboration between car manufacturer Subaru and Gainax, it’s now a full length TV series. Subaru is a milquetoast teenage girl who likes space. Suddenly she meets a bunch of other magic girls and becomes one herself. Their brooms make car noises.

Jel’s verdict: This is a Show About Magical Girls

There’s nothing technically wrong with this show. It’s kind of cute, well animated, and completely harmless. It just brings nothing unique or interesting to the table. The characters have very little personality or motivation, defined almost entirely by their hair color and the fact that they are magical girls. I struggled to pay attention as most of the episode means nothing to the viewer, we’re just told that they need to go stop the big CG star in the sky or something and that Madoka Subaru is the chosen one. In the end I can’t really pan it too hard as it does what it sets out to do, but I am left with no feelings about it either way You’re probably just better off re-watching Madoka Magica instead.

Iro’s verdict: Not-So-Magical Girl

This is kind of… bog-standard, I guess? It’s not even standard for magical girl fare, seeing as how there doesn’t seem to be a proper antagonist or much conflict at all. That said, there’s a cutesy animal sidekick and a bunch of color-coded girls who have magical powers (and sticks that make car noises, if the car commercial wasn’t obvious enough by the main girl being named Subaru), and collecting magic crystals or something, so I could see this being standard as they come. On the downside, the CG really stands out in a bad way, and it does not give me much hope for this becoming a success for Gainax.

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Gee’s verdict: Their Brooms Make Car Noises.

That’s basically the one redeeming trait of Wish upon the Pleiades. The rest of it is so creatively bankrupt that against all odds, Gainax somehow sinks even lower in my heart than they already had. I don’t know who was responsible for the writing, but assuming this show even has a writer, they need to stop forever. In its defense, the 2D animated parts are done quite nicely, retaining some of that Gainax spark and energy. Unfortunately it’s so heavily weighed down by some of the most atrocious CG I’ve seen this season, it basically evens out the good parts. All in all, chalk this one up as another hallmark of Gainax’s ignoble fall.

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8 thoughts on “First Look: Wish Upon the Pleiades

  1. All these commercials are getting me down, man…first Sanrio which somewhat makes sense, now Subaru which really makes very little sense (otaku are a hot target market for cars???)

    • It could have been a lot worse in terms of splashing “Subaru” all over the place but they also put no effort into making an interesting story, so it kind of fails as both an anime AND a commercial.

  2. I thought the ending was bad. Couldn’t they have made it somewhat happier? I really hated the ending. It also made no sense to me what was going on.

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