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Alien Nine

Alien 9 is a four episode OAV from 2002 that has been released in Australia by Hanabee, and not one that I’ll be keeping.

Unfortunately, due to the wonders of development hell, it only tells half the story [1]. This is worse than my experiences with Queen Emeraldas [2] or Strange Dawn [3], as the episodes that would tell the rest of the story simply do not exist.

Alien 9 does not tell a pleasant story, and arguably a horrific one. This is somewhat problematic given that I’m not really a fan of horror as a genre.

The basic premise is that elementary school students are required to fight aliens in a somewhat symbiotic relationship [4] with other aliens.

It is also a position that the lead character is voted into by her classmates, and who has no right of refusal. This does not lead to happy times, and the lead character Yuri Otani isn’t the happiest of girls to begin with.

At times Yuri’s fear and crying reminded me of Noriko from Gunbuster, although I think that Yuri’s reactions are entirely justified.

I think that the situation that Yuri, Kasumi, and Kumi are in is, at best, borderline abusive, and it makes for creepy viewing.

I did find Alien 9 to be compelling viewing however in the sense of watching a slow motion tragedy that you can’t do anything to stop, and can’t look away from.

I can see why the series is M rated in Australia.

Alien 9 really doesn’t work for me, and I definitely won’t be replacing it once the review copy is auctioned off for charity. It may appeal to fans of horror however, and the anime itself is quite well done for the era.

[1] Survey says (i.e. Wikipedia) that the anime ends about half way through volume 2 of a 3 volume manga.

[2] I did not discover that there were two more episodes of Queen Emeraldas until I wrote my review.

[3] A friend (see the comments in the linked review) apparently has a French subtitled version of the remaining episodes of Strange Dawn.

[4] The onscreen evidence is ambiguous, and I’m not convinced it is a true symbiotic relationship.