Wish Upon the Pleiades might not have been on everyone’s radar this season, but the prospect of a well-drawn “magical girl” series promising astronomy geekery has generated solid interest over the course of the first few episodes.
Unfortunately, viewers will quickly find that their interest is ill-founded. There’s no propping this one up with several paragraphs yammering about background art and the key signature of the end theme. It’s disappointing in practically every way possible. Wish is a series so utterly devoid of substance that it makes Fate/Kaleid seem like a masterwork. Let’s get the only two positive things we can say out of the way: the art isn’t entirely horrible and it is, in fact, animated.
Somewhere, some grown-ass men who still watch My Little Pony are scratching the stubble-laden acne on their third chins and objecting. “But it’s a magical girl series. It’s for kids!” This anime makes Power Rangers look like a Wagnerian opera. This series is so poorly written that Bic factories have begun to spontaneously combust in infernos sparked by anguish and fueled entirely by shame.
The main character, Subaru, is an unintentional case study in autism. Saying so sounds like a put-down against people with ASD and that’s not at all what we’re intending. We simply mean that the writers’ efforts to make Subaru spacey have gone so far into the realm of Asperger’s that it becomes uncomfortable and a bit sad. They tried to make her the clueless heroine archetype, but they overstepped by a great many miles. Unlike actual people with ASD, Subaru has no real personality to call her own and it makes her impossibly unrelatable.
The official plot rundown says that Subaru finds out her bestie Aoi is a member of a group of magical girls trying to get a globular alien from the Pleiades back to his home by collecting engine fragments from his ship. Apparently, the engine is the only part of a vehicle needed to make it run. Forget fuel sources, hulls, and life support. All you need are enormous CGI meth crystals. Fair warning: smoking them will not make this series better.
Figuring out even this sliver of plot was a challenge because the series likes to use vague dialogue. The characters say things like, “We’re trying to do something that no one else has ever done before.” They’ll do it and accomplish the thing. You realize very quickly that they’re not talking about anything at all. It’s just filler to stretch out the episode and possibly trick a five year old into feeling like the episode has a sense of purpose. It’s all convoluted even further by the girls saying nonsensical jargon. Learning to fly a broomstick? “Focus on the drive shaft!” …What?
Think Subaru might be propped up by the rest of the cast? The only one whose name we could even remember after the first two episodes was Aoi because it’s Japanese for “blue” and guess what color her everything is. As devoid of personality as Subaru is, Aoi manages to be worse because her character development can be summed up as follows: starts out a bitch, stays a bitch. Her whole purpose seems to be to treat Subaru like shit for reasons like the thing before and other allusions to nonexistent plot glossed over at every turn.
There’s a villain who shows up to commandeer an engine fragment, but he decides to let Subaru take it anyway because that’s the role of a villain — to ensure there’s no conflict and the heroines win out uncontested. There’s no real magic outside of the girls changing clothes. They fly around on high-tech brooms, but these can safely be assumed to be machines considering they make the same noise as a revving chainsaw. That sure won’t make for annoying lines of merchandise. The broomsticks are probably the only sound more grating than the music, which prominently features a xylophone. In the music guy’s defense, if we got saddled with doing a soundtrack for Wish, we wouldn’t have tried at all, either.
Wish is pure, unadulterated feces. Do not watch this series for any reason. The more of this animation you’re witness to, the more your mind falls into the wretched abyss inside Subaru’s vapid, soulless excuse for a brain. Your tears only make her stronger. Save yourself at all costs.
Recommendation: Skip it!
Title: Wish Upon the Pleiades (Houkago no Pleiades)
Original Source: Net animation
Source Writer: Daisuke Kikuchi, Shouji Saeki
Source Publisher: N/A
Director: Shouji Saeki
Music: Shiro Hamaguchi
Run Start: 04/2015
Review Date: 05/2015
Episodes Reviewed: 01-02