Great news anime fans. NIS America presents Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl Complete Series Premium Edition which is now shipping across North America! The anime is produced by the animation studio SHAFT (Puella Magi Madoka Magica) and is directed by Akiyuki Simbo (Arakawa Under the Bridge). The series follows Makoto Niwa, who just moved to the city to live with his aunt Meme after his parents who were reassigned to work overseas. He is perfectly fine with that, saying it will give him the chance to live the dream life of an adolescent boy. He keeps track of the things he does by assigning “points” to them—positive or negative—and adds them up on a regular basis to grade his adolescent life. And then he discovers Meme has a secret daughter (and self-proclaimed alien) named Erio. He finds her rolling around by the front door of Meme’s house wrapped up in a futon. It is then he realizes that his dream adolescent life will not come true, and begins a life of experiences that are out of this world.
The story is certainly full of characters who hold odd believes and act strangely, the chief among them being Makoto’s cousin Towa, who is the main focus of the narrative. The ending is… inconclusive, but definitely climatic enough. I didn’t expect a conclusive ending, since there are still light novels left to adapt, so I’m perfectly happy with the 13th episode. I really, really hope that the whole story will be adapted to anime. I want more of this, I want to see more of these quirky characters, I want more scenes that make me tear up, and I want a fulfilling conclusion to the romance – even at the risk that it’s not my favorite girl who wins. The animation was glorious, which says a lot because I normally don’t notice the animation of shows much. The girls all had adorable designs and the art style was very suitable for the show.
To me it seems this anime’s main appeal comes from Erio’s cute helplessness and moe behavior. A varied cast of strange yet interesting characters; A girl that lives in a rolled up futon, a mother that completely ignores it, a classmate that loves fruit, and another that wanders in cosplay at night. Yes, a girl in a futon — that’s crazy! The writers give you the ‘here’ and ‘now’ by using a fairly simplistic plot, but create the dissonance that makes a story good by keeping you guessing about how we got ‘here’ and ‘now’. So although the story is slightly simplistic, it is at the same time hard hitting and very enjoyable. So in short, this anime ranks with the best I’ve seen of the year. At the moment I’m unable to objectively say which place it takes in my top 10, but it’s in there, that much is certain.
Not a single one of our main cast is a placeholder that could be replaced without fundamentally changing the story to its very core. For me, this is what is important in a story. These people are not shallow archetypes but real three dimensional characters! So to wrap up the narrative components, the last thing I’d like to touch upon is the procedural style of the relationships which give the show a dating sim adaptation feeling but the relationships themselves are more subtle and playful. It’s mainly a slice of life story, so I can’t say there’s much plot, but there’s plenty of development in characters alone.