Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Moonlight Mile Season One Anime Review

Moonlight Mile Season One
Complete Collection - 3 discs
300 mins. - 12 episodes
$49.98 (2009)
$19.98 (2012) S.A.V.E.
ISBN 704400069505
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Iku Suzuki
Studio - Studio Hibari

Synopsis: Gorou and Lostman are the best mountain climbing team in the world.  They have attained the peak of every noteworthy mountain on the face of the planet.  Prior to each ascension they bed beautiful women for luck and are so good at mountain climbing they make it look easy.  On the top of Mount Everest the pair ponder what they will do with their lives now that every summit is completed.  As they gaze into the heavens in the rarefied air the International Space Agency (ISA) orbital space station comes into view.  Both men decide space is the next frontier for them to conquer.
Gorou and Lostman find a dead climber on their way to the top of
Everest. "Gorou, check this guy out." "Yeah, he's totally dead."
They embark on separate journeys to reach the same goal of joining the ISA and walking on the moon.  Gorou becomes a specialized construction machine operator and soon is top in his field.  He operates cranes  atop massive skyrises and even drunk is the best operator around.  The ISA needs top notch talented machine operators for their space operations and testing newly designed space equipment before it's put into production.  Gorou is a perfect candidate, but the competition is fierce and treacherous.  Can he achieve his goal of walking on the moon?
Gorou and Lostman at the peak of Everest decide the moon
is their next conquest after conquering all the mountains on Earth
Meanwhile Lostman has joined the navy and become their ace pilot.  His skills are so good that other pilots become jealous of his success.  The ISA needs incredible pilots to fly their space missions and Lostman is an immediate sensation, if he can avoid getting shot down in the Navy.  Will he survive to achieve his goal of walking on the moon?
Gorou becomes a skyscraper crane operator
Both Gorou and Lostman are tough, no-nonsense guys with indomitable wills and the skills to back it up.  Despite their prowess at just about anything they set their minds to, the pair will face impossible challenges on their journeys to space.  The ISA is a benevolent organization aiming to explore space, but another organization with imperial designs is vying for initial dominance of new territorial assets - the U.S. government!  What secret does the moon hold and will it spell doom for our courageous mountaineers?
Lostman flies Navy fighter jets
Pros: Animation is pretty decent (they obviously put some time/money into this one, although the CG can be a bit crude), Gorou and Lostman are two badass dudes = male wish fulfillment, a bunch of nudity and sex, fairly humorous, the space/moon subplot is actually pretty interesting
Gorou helps the ISA technicians solve a problem
Cons: CG elements are a bit rough/obvious (there were a lot), testosterone-driven plot on overdrive - women are just sex objects and guys are one-dimensional high-five monkeys, characters are pretty boring - Gorou is a macho genius equipment operator jock and Lostman is a macho emotionless pilot jock, immaturity abounds
Lostman enjoys a smoke after bedding another nameless woman
Mike Tells It Straight: Moonlight Mile is about two tough and determined men on a journey to achieve their goals despite all obstacles in their path.  Their macho exploits are tempered with precursor space exploration science and human interest stories.  Fueled by heaping doses of testoterone and sexual conquests, the two must contend with governmental and agency conspiracies.  Only their incredible skills and indomitable wills help them to persevere.
Gorou windmills his junk at a bar filled with guys...because
that's what manly-men do of course.  Sure, buddy.
This show is pure male wish fulfillment (badass dudes who get laid by beautiful women with no strings attached) overlaid on a modern space science story with a conspiracy theory subplot.  I don't think many female viewers will enjoy this show based on the rather chauvinist depiction of women who come in contact with Gorou and Lostman.  They are either sex-crazed, manipulative businesswomen or starry-eyed girl-next-door types.  Then there are the single mothers unconcerned with commitments and anonymous one-night-stands...the list goes on.
Gorou even scores in space
Obviously targeted at the male, adolescent (or mentally adolescent) viewer Moonlight Mile is meant to be a dramactic adventure concerning space and moon exploration.  The show starts very slowly as the background of Gorou's and Lostman's epic journey to become astronauts and walk on the moon takes up about 8 episodes.  The opening credits include scenes on the moon and I kept thinking "How long is it going to take for these guys to finally get there? Sheesh!".
The space shuttle docked with the ISA orbital station
The pace finally picks up in the last few episodes, but then the first season ends and we're left wondering what will happen next (and if/when the two guys will reach the moon).  Well, looks like we may never find out in an official US/R1 dvd release.  Seems that ADV Films licensed/released the first season, but went out of business in 2008 and the license was transferred to Funimation (hence the S.A.V.E. complete collection).  No current news on a season two release (although Amazon has a listing for a fourth dvd release with no dub track).
"An emergency on the space station!" "Gorou, we better put our shirts on!"
I can't give this collection a high recommendation because it represents only the partial story and mostly the beginning setup for a much more interesting moon adventure.  We may never see an official release of season two which is a shame because the story really picks up (based on the opening credits sequence).  If space exploration and male wish fulfillment fantasies are your thing then Moonlight Mile is right up your alley.  Some hope exists for a season two official R1 release or you can track down unofficial fansubs on the internet.

TO BUY and Recommendations: