Title: Spirit of Wonder
Genre: fantasy, sci-fi, historical, drama, comedy
Released date: January 25, 2001
Runtime: appx 90 min.
Director: Mitsuru Hongo, Takashi Anno
Animated by: Ajia-do Animation Works, Bandai Visual
Comment: Spirit of Wonder is a four episode OVA; The Shrinking of miss China, Scientific Boys Club part I, II and China-san: Short Stories. The Shrinking of miss China is only 15 minutes long but it is funny and smart that it easily puts a smile on my face. The next 2 episodes, Scientific Boys Club part I and II, are quite the opposite. They are about a few old men who try to fulfill their dreams of going to Mars and in the process manage to bring a young married couple along with them. These two episodes are utterly dull. The drama in the first episode is boring and the journey to Mars in the second episode is slow and uneventful that it fails to capture the viewers’ interest. The dullness probably results from the shallow and poorly detailed characters. I don’t care whether they reach the red planet or get sucked into some wormhole. I also have problems with the space ship in this anime because it is not credible from the beginning. How the ship is built is shown only briefly then it suddenly floats into space. I do not mind that it looks like anything but a space ship but it should at least be realistic. In the last episode, Miss China returns. This is a nice episode with interesting sci-fi theme but it isn’t enough to improve the overall rating. Conclusion: The anime has some good moments but after the show ends, one question springs into my mind; ‘so what?’