Anime Spotlight: Project Blue Earth SOS

Project Blue Earth SOS consists of six hour-long episodes that aired on Japanese television from July 2-December 3, 2006. The series was produced by A.C.G.T. and was directed by Tensai Okamura. The series was originally licensed by ADV Films, but as of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American license for Project Blue Earth SOS.

The series is set in an alternate version of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, where the people of Earth are behind in comparison to current technologies (such as having old fashioned radios) but also have technology that is way ahead of where we are now. The main thing that lets the viewer know that this is an alternate timeline is the fact that actual historical events from our world, such as World War II, are referenced in the series.

The first scene in the first episode is set in 1995, where a G-Reactive fighter plane is being tested. During the test flight, a mysterious rainbow light appears behind the plane. While radar on Earth doesn’t pick it up, the pilot sees it. Right before his transmission is cut off, the pilot says he sees a flying saucer.

Five years later, main characters Billy Kimura and Penny Carter meet at a train station where a new bullet train that utilizes G-Reactive is being launched. Before anyone can board the train, a rainbow light suddenly appears, hits the train, and the train disappears.

Even though the government publicly denies anything about an alien invasion, it is learned by Billy and Penny that the government had secretly been developing technology to combat the aliens over the past five years. Just as the two boys are figuring things out, the aliens invade. Billy, Penny, and their acquaintances come together to try to fight against this alien invasion.

As I watched this series, I really wasn’t terribly bothered the alternate version of the 1990’s/2000’s or by the conflicting levels of technology. Personally, I thought this dichotomy really added an interesting feel to the series. In addition to seeing some of the older technology where you wouldn’t expect it, Project Blue Earth SOS also contains clichés associated with 1950’s alien invasion films.

Over the course of the first episode, there were some developments and twists I hadn’t expected. These developments, along with the animation being used to convey this story, really draw the viewer into the world that the story is set in. After finishing the series, I thought it had an interesting story to tell. I also appreciated seeing the character development that took place for both Penny and Billy over the course of these six episodes. While one could argue that these six episodes were equivalent to twelve regular episodes (since the episodes are double the normal length), it still impressed me just how much the writers accomplished with the story.

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