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Johnny Yong Bosch
Otani Yuri, much to her disgust, has been elected by her class for alien fighting duty. Together with Tonime Kasumi, who joined the alien fighter simply for the sake of doing so, and Kawamura Kumi, who became and alien fighter to avoid the responsibility of yet another year of class presidency, she must defend her school from periodic alien attacks. Introspection, fear, anxiety and friendship await Yuri as she is forced to stare life itself in the mouth in her chaotic coming of age.
Alien Nine is an OVA based on seinen manga by Hitoshi Tomizawa (Battle Royale II: Blitz Royale, 2003) with the same title. Animated by J.C. Staff (Azumanga Daioh, Shakugan no Shana, Bakuman), produced by Genco (Elfen Lied), directed by Jiro Fujimoto and Yasuhiro Irie (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
The story set not so far in future where human and aliens live together. Unlike E.T. or Predator or The Thing, these Aliens are more like mindless animal. Because most of them are not too harmful (more on the annoying side), each school made a team to capture these aliens that coming to school. These team equipped with tranquilizer gun, roller blade, net, and of course, a guardian alien on their head. Our main character, Yuri Ootani is a quite girl, easily scared, and easily cry on nearly every event. Together with her other team member, Kumi Kawamura, and Kasumi Tomine, they must work together to get rid the aliens from their school although, it's not as easy as it look.
I like the story because it focus on how Yuri try to do her duty despite her fear toward the aliens. How Yuri try to develop herself, to overcome her fear, to get along with Kumi and Kasumi which are stronger than her, and to properly fulfilled her duty are portrayed in realistic way. It's not easy and sometimes it's harsh and brutal.
The animation is superb although it's obvious because it's an OVA, very detail and very fluid. The character design is especially unique (because it follows Hitoshi Tomizawa's unique drawing style).
The cast are great. Juri Ihata as Yuri is incredibly awesome. Her voice acting really reflect Yuri's emotion in awesome way. I rarely like the English dub but the English localization team did a great job on this OVA.
The music by Kuniaki Haishima is very catchy and cheerful, it might not perfectly fit the nature of the series but it still great.
The only downside is the story ends abruptly. It's not surprising because it only cover half of the first 3 volumes of the manga (there are 4 volumes). There are still no news of continuation or reboot of this series, so for now you must read the manga to know the rest of the story.
verdict, it's a great OVA with strong story, great animation, music, and voice cast. As long as you can forgive the ending, i'm sure you can have a good watch with this one.
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