UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie Screener Release (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, January 30, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2006
What They Say
In the future, Earth is a very different place. Interplanetary travel and alien encounters are commonplace. In fact, maybe a bit too commonplace - considering that a mystical, otherworldly maiden named Valkyrie has crashed her spaceship into Kazuto Tokino's bathhouse. As Kazuto tries to rebuild his business (and his life), things get crazier by the minute! His bouncy, bubbly and bare bathhouse clients just want to relax, but certain individuals from Valkyrie's homeland of Valhalla want their beloved princess back - and they'll do just about anything to get her home. Get ready for hilarious battle scenes, mishaps galore, and an army of oh-co-cute catgirls on the prowl! It's the riveting, revealing first volume of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie!
Take NieA_7 and replace the melancholy with a spaceship full of fanservice and hyperviolent comedy, and you still won't come close to UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It's a world mostly like our own. Kazuto is a 17-year-old high school student living with his younger sister. He is determined to keep his grandfather's traditional bathhouse open, despite declining patronage. This would be a typical slice-of-life story except for one thing: He has an alien princess living with him. Earth is now part of a much larger alien society, with literally hundreds of different alien species living on Earth. It's quite routine and nothing new. Many of Kazuto's patrons are aliens. Then one day, a space ship crashes right into his bathhouse, killing him. That would be the end of most stories, but not this one. The lone occupant of the space ship is Valkyrie, a beautiful 18-year-old princess of the planet Valhalla. She saves Kazuto's life by giving him half her soul. But in the process, it leaves her with the body and intellect of an 8-year-old girl. Now Kazuto is caring for her like a little sister. Half of his soul is with her as well, and if they kiss, she can, at least temporarily, assume her adult form. Kazuto's childhood friend is Akina, a pretty girl who loves him, but it's unrequited. She's also a Shinto priestess, with extraordinary mystical abilities. That's helpful when another spaceship crash lands, this time in her family's temple. It's piloted by Hydra. Think Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo, and you're close. She's violent and reckless, and she's another princess from Valhalla. She's come to bring Valkyrie back. Valkyrie is fleeing from an arranged marriage, and when she left, the royal families looked to marry off Hydra instead. Hydra isn't having any of that, and is determined to bring Valkyrie back, even if she has to destroy Earth to do it. However, she's kept in check by Akina's magic, leaving her with the body of an 8-year-old girl, but with all her mental faculties intact. Finally, Miss Sanada is the head maid of Valhalla, and is totally devoted to Valkyrie. She's also a catgirl. She's come to Earth to care for Valkyrie, and in the process defend her from Hydra. Sanada commands a squadron of catgirl maids who work at the bathhouse. She's just as reckless in her defense of Valkyrie as Hydra is in her attempts to bring Valkyrie back.
The first episode is an introduction of sorts, as we get to see a typical day in the life of Kazuto. Valkyrie has gone missing, and despite the efforts of everyone at the bathhouse and Akina's temple, no one can find her. Only Kazuto, whose soul is intermingled with Valkyrie's, can find her. In the second episode, we see the events of Valkyrie's crash landing and the sacrifice she made to save his life. In the third episode, Miss Sanada is introduced. Instead of being outraged at what's happened to Valkyrie, she thinks she's the most adorable thing she's ever seen and pledges to serve her even more faithfully. She also misinterprets what the childlike Valkyrie means when she says she's given Kazuto her most precious thing. She now believes Kazuto and Valkyrie are going to be married and begins making preparations. Her misunderstanding at seeing Kazuto and Akina together makes her believe he's having an affair. To protect Valkyrie, she uses a special gun to turn local girls into catgirl maids who serve her without question. The resultant battle between her and Akina and Hydra nearly destroys the city, and shows us just what's ahead for Kazuto.
UFO Princess Valkyrie is a creation of Kaishaku, the creative duo responsible for Steel Angel Kurumi. For reasons known only to ADV's marketing staff, they've renamed the series UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie, a seemingly pointless name change. The show does seem to rely heavily on a few clichés, such as the childhood friend who is secretly in love with the main character, as well as Hydra who is a clear homage to Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo. In its favor, it has gratuitous nudity galore. The transformation scenes with Valkyrie and Hydra when they assume their adult forms are completely nude. Just to drive the point home, Valkyrie's transformation scene focuses on her breasts, as we watch them transform from those of a naked 8-year-old to those of a fully developed and quite bouncy naked 18-year-old. When Hydra transforms, she's fully clothed, but just so you don't miss out, the clothes disappear for a moment after she's transformed into an adult so you can ogle her naked body before the clothes reappear. And finally, there are all the beautiful naked human women, catgirls and hot alien babes at the bathhouse. I'm not sure if this show has what it takes to overcome the early clichés, but even if it doesn't, it does have plenty of fanservice and a great dub from Don Rush, featuring Greg Ayres as Kazuto and Kira Vincent-Davis as Valkyrie.
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player
Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie