UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie: V.1 Bedlam, Bathhouse & Beyond! (ep.1-4)
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UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie, Vol. 1- Bedlam, Bathhouse and Beyond
UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie (2002) began as a manga by Kaishaku (artists Hitoshi Ota and Terumasa Shichinohe, the creators of Steel Angel Kurumi), so there's lots of fan service nudity and jiggle shots. Nerdy student Kazuto Tokino maintains his grandfather's bath house, until Valkyrie, the princess of the planet Valhalla, crashes her space ship into it. To save Kazuto's life, she gives him half her soul, linking them forever. Valkyrie appears as an obnoxious child or an adoring, pneumatic babe: she's either 10 years too young or too old for Kazuto. The vocal cast shrieks the lines in a desperate attempt to energize the inane story, but it's a losing battle. When Kazuto's impatient sister Rika watches Valkyrie's cat girl maid Sanada and comments, "This is just plain ridiculous," she sums up Ultramaiden Valkyrie. (Rated TV MA SL, suitable for ages 16 and older: extensive nudity, violence, risqué humor, tobacco use, profanity) --Charles Solomon
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Part of what makes this so special to me is the story which takes place on a Earth where aliens are commonplace, and neko girls (cat girls) are considered to be just as much a part of everyday life as the aliens. It is within this world that Kazuto Tokino decides to run his late grandfather's bathhouse despite protests from his parents and sister who consider it to be a "money pit". One night when working in the bathhouse an alien named Princess Valkyrie, who is running from a marriage her parents arranged for her, destroys the bathhouse when her spaceship crashes into it. She also mortally wounds Kazuto, however, she is able to save his life with a magical kiss that gives him half of her soul, and turns her into an 8 year old child. She can return to her adult form by kissing Kazuto, but it only lasts for a short time, and is mostly done when there is a need to protect Kazuto.
Princess Valkyrie is then stranded on Earth in the form of an 8 year old child with the mind of one too, unable to look after herself even though the entire solar system is out searching for her. Kazuto who owes her his life and truly cares for her works to protect this super sweet very hyper Princess Valkyrie from those alien invaders some who are searching for her to bring her back home to the marriage her parents had arranged. Valkyrie meanwhile shows a great and increasing love for Kazuto who shares part of her soul. Further Valkyrie's neko-meido (cat girl maid) Sanada comes to consider Kazuto as Valkyrie's official fiancée and helps him to protect Valkyrie.
Personally, one of the things I really like in this anime this switch that can occur in Valkyrie and how her different "ages" try to show how much she has come to love Kazuto, one is very sorry for what she has done to him and uses her powers to protect him, and the other, the younger Valkyrie, seems to cling to him jealously perhaps in a way to show how deeply her older self also feels but refuses to admit or cannot admit.
The animation is also stunning in my opinion, and very excellently done for such a short series which does actually have two sequels. Overall I say this is a must see for any anime fan and those looking for a good silly original anime that covers a lot of the genres of all anime within this one series.
The universe in this anime is a cross between sci-fi and fantasy, you'll see aliens, spaceships and fantasy based creatures like; catgirls, sheep women, fairies and demons. They live and act as normal people do and sometimes get into mischief. I really liked the concept here, but it was poorly
executed. By making the alien and fantasy creatures act and live
like regular human, it detracts from novelty of having these unique creatures living among humans. There are twelve episodes over three volumes (discs), contains comedy and nudity. Even though there is no sex in the show, I cannot recommend it to people under 16 years of age because of the fan service. However the mindless nature of the show will repel older viewers and the anime savy. I don't think it's worth a purchase, but makes a good rental. I recommend the animes called "Oh, My Goddess" and "Video Girl Ai".
The show takes place on Earth in an unspecified future date where humanity has come in contact with aliens who now visit our planet and mingle regularly with humans. Kazuto Tokino is a high school boy who runs his late grandpa's bathhouse. His parents (who are never shown) and younger sister Rika think he's wasting his time and that the place is doomed to go out of business, but Kazuto is determined to try to make a living of it. Then one night a spaceship from the planet Valhalla carshes on top of the bathhouse. The pilot is Valkyrie, princess of Valhalla who ran away because she didn't want to be forced to marry a prince for beurocratic reasons rather than for love. In the crash Kazuto his horribly injured and Valhalla must give him part of her soul to save him. This turns her into a child, both physically and mentally. Now she wants to stay and live with Kazuto. The next day Kazuto's old childhood female friend Akina Nanamura stops by with a cake she bought. She sees Valkyrie clinging to Kazuto. The young Valkyrie says she gave Kazuto "the most precious thing a girl can give". She means part of her soul, of course, but naturally Akina takes this the wrong way and hits him over the head with the cake and storms out. She returns to the shrine where she works as a shinto priestess, but then another spaceship crashes on top of it. Out comes Hydra, Valkyrie's more aggressive sister who has several powers including being able to fly and fire energy beams. If Valkyrie doesn't return to Valhalla and marry a prince, Hydra will be forced to marry instead. So she's come back to caputre Valkyrie and take her back home so she'll marry. She's shocked to find Valkyrie's turned into a kid, but she resolves to take her back anyway. Kazuto takes Valkyrie and runs off with her. Hydra searches town for them. Kazuto and Valkyrie hide in his old elementary school. Things are quiet for awhile, but then Hydra finds them and attacks. Valkyrie kisses Kazuto and turns (temporarilly) into an adult again and battles Hydra. Then Rika and Akina show up. Akina sneaks up behind Hydra and puts a mystic scroll on her, which turns Hydra, like her sister, into a child. Unlike Valkyrie, however, Hydra still has the mind of an adult, so she's not at all happy about being stuck as a kid again. In the end Hydra ends up living at the shrine with Akina and Valkyrie lives at the bathhouse with Kazuto and Rika.
In the next episode Ms. Sanada, the head of the Valhallian Imperial Maid Squad, comes to Earth in search of Valkyrie. She finds her at the bathhouse, and doesn't seem too bothered that the princess is now a child. In fact, Sanada thinks Valkyrie is pretty cute in her current form. When Valkyrie says she wants to live with Kazuto, Sanada declares that he will be her husband. Kazuto never agreed to marrage, however, so he's less than thrilled. Later Kazuto walks home with Akina and they reminese about old times. Then Sanada sees Kazuto buying Akina a gift. Sanada is enraged, thinking Kazuto is cheating on Valkyrie, so she takes out her blaster that turns anyone she shoots with it into a catperson (a human with cat ears and a tail, like Sanada has,) and a brainwashed slave who'll gladly do whatever Sanada says. She then begins blasting every girl Kazuto runs accross and says anything to, and by the end of the day she's turned about 70 girls or so into obedient cat girls. When Hydra finds out she runs over to the shrine and warns Akina, since she doesn't want Akina switching to Sanada's side, as Sanada cares only for Valkyrie and not for Hydra. But then Sanada and her catgirl army come to the shrine. Sanada tries to shoot Akina, but Akina uses her psychic powers to deflect the gun's beam. Akina then lifts the spell on Hydra, turning her back (temporarilly) into an adult. Hydra begins battling Sanada, but then Kazuto and Valkyrie arrive. Kazuto tells Sanada that he and Akina are just friends and there's no romance between them, so Sanada stops her attack and apologizes to Akina. Sanada then has her army work at the bathhouse. (The moral and ethical problems of having once normal women leading normal lives who were forcibly turned into catgirls and brainwashed servants remain as such is basically skipped over.) Sanada also moves into the bathhouse.
In the first episode (which, again, takes place after 2 and 3 which were described above,) Kazuto is at the air/spaceport watching the plane that his parents are in leaving. (We are never told where they were or what they were doing before, or if they even know of the presence of the three Valhallian visitors.) The rest of the first half of this episode is mostly just the different characters going about thier daily life. Then one night as Valkyrie is about to go to sleep, she tells Kazuto that she wants to play hide-and-seek the next day, and if he can't find her, she'll go back to her home planet with his soul with her. The next day Valkyrie is nowhere to be found. Kazuto, Rika, Hydra, Akina, Sanada and her catgirl army search all over the city for her, but are unable to find her. Finally Kazuto finds her at the Spacecraft Docking Tower in a docked spacecraft. Both are happy that he's found her, but as she's getting out she trips and accidentally activates the spacecraft. It flies in circles and crashes into the tower, sending debris falling. Kazuto picks up Valkyrie and carries her down the stairs that are located on the outside of the tower with him, but the falling debris destroys the stairs in front of them. Then Valkyrie kisses him and again turns momentarilly into an adult, and saves them both. Then they go home.
In the last episode of this disk, Hydra and Akina plot to use a net gun to capture Valkyrie. Akina wants Valkyrie gone because she's secretly in love with Kazuto. But thier plan backfires and Hydra and Akina end up netted instead. Then Prince Triam, one of Valkyrie's would-be suitors, arrives with his robot Aujiro. He has come to take her back to Valhalla and marry her, and is also stunned to see her in child form, and thinks she's gotten a disease from Earth and needs to be taken back and cured. As it turns out, Valkyrie ran away when she found out Triam was planning to have her do all the work while he took it easy. Valkyrie refuses to go with him, and she leaves with Kazuto. When Triam learns she's a child because she gave part of her soul to Kazuto, he has Aujiro turn into a shuttle craft armed with a blaster that will give back Valkyrie her soul, which will probably kill Kazuto. Will Kazuto survive? Will Valkyrie be able to stay on Earth with him, or will she be forced to return to Valhalla and marry Triam...?
If you're a long-time viewer of dubbed anime, you'll probably recignize a few familiar voices. Kira Vincent Davis (Miyu from SUPER GALS!, Osaka from AZUMANGA DAIOH, Najica from NAJICA BLITZ TACTICS, Rumma from SLAYERS, and Momoru from SISTER PRINCESS) is both the older and the younger versions of Valkyrie, and she gives each role a seperate tone and personality so that one could well mistakenly think that two different voice actors were doing the character. Greg Ayres (Chrono from CHRONO CRUSADE, Hokuto's lackey from CHROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL, Shinji from FULL METAL PANIC, Leo from GHOST STORIES, and Tsuyoshi from KODOCHA) is Kazuto, Monica Rial (Natsume from the MERMAID FOREST T.V. series, Amy from CASE CLOSED, Aya from KODOCHA, Kyoko from FULL METAL PANIC, Sayaka from MAGICAL SHOPPING ARCADE ABENOBASHI, Ms. Ninamo from AZUMANGA DAIOH, Kirika from NOIR, Lila from NAJICA BLITZ TACTICS, Hyatt from EXCEL SAGA, Nanaka from NANAKA 6/17, Momoko from GHOST STORIES, and Sakuya from SISTER PRINCESS,) is Rika, Nancy Novotny (Raika from MABURAHO, Koyomi from AZUMANGA DAIOH, and Rin Rin from SISTER PRINCESS,) is Hydra, Cynthia Martinez (Lina Inverse from the SLAYERS movies and OAVs, Yuna from GALAXY FRAULIEN YUNA, Poemy from PUNI PUNI POEMY, and Kaho from SISTER PRINCESS) is Akina, Christen Auten (White Compiler from COMPILER, Princess Mirage from GALAXY FRAULIEN YUNA, and Kechiro from GHOST STORIES) is Sanada, and Chris Patton (Souske Sagara from FULL METAL PANIC, Gourry from SLAYERS PREMIUM, and Hajime from GHOST STORIES) is Prince Tiam.
If you're a fan of "harem" anime, (one guy and several different girls,) check this one out.