Okay, so most of the shows we have talked about in this series of articles have been weird, but this one’s strangeness comes from its team of creators, and it’s conception.
Created by a French and Japanese team led by Sav! The World Productions, and largely distrusted by Disney through their former Jetix brand, Oban Star-Racers was a unique ride all the way through.
The plot is that in the future following a devasting alien invasion that humanity nearly lost, Star-Racing has become one of Earth’s major sports. Through star-racing, earth has managed to compete with a few friendly planets. But that all changes when it is revealed the only reason the Earth survived the original invasion, was because of the help of an immensely powerful being called the Avatar.
In order to pay their debt back and have the chance to win something called “the ultimate prize,” Earth’s government sends race manager Don Wei and his racing team made up of earth’s best racer, best military gunner, most skilled mechanics, and the fastest ships developed by man, to join in on “The Great Race.”
Oh, and Don Wei’s newly hired on a young mechanic, Molly sneaks along. Or should I say Eva, his estranged daughter in disguise?
Yeah, that’s a whole thing better left to understand through watching the show, but a quick recap of their weird relationship is that Don Wei sent Eva to a boarding school 10 years before the story begins. He did this following the death of his wife, Molly’s mother, during a race. It has given Don Wei a weird mix of concern and dislike towards female pilots, making it difficult for him to accept Molly as the racer for the Earth team following the team’s original racer being unable to race.
It becomes a high stake and fast-paced show, full of intrigue and heart-pounding races as the Earth team learns that there is more to the race and ultimate prize, than they were originally told.
Filling up the roster of rival racers are a cast of fun and memorable aliens. That brings up a minor fault of the show to me, as it feels like we are missing some of the narratives in regards to most of the non-earth cast who aren’t allies.
Though that won’t stop you from loving them, my favorite being the strong-armed racer Rush and the playfull tv headed cat girl Para-Dice. Para-Dice flies her arcade machine of a ship by playing what can only be called alien Dance Dance Revolution inside. All the alien ships will have you trying to get a peek inside their unique control scheme and pilots, is a beautiful example of world design.
So then should you find it? Oban Star-Racers made for one fun ride. Only a single season long, its length works for the story they are trying to tell. Every episode has for fun moments but includes the understanding that Molly is given of the universe. A girl left alone for 10 years, she is imparted with the lessons of growth, forgiveness, and kindness. Watch Oban Star-Racers, and as the opening song says: NEVER SAY NEVER!
We will talk to you next time we ask “Do You Remember?“
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And stay tuned to Nerdier Tides as we get you ready for it!