A group of students is stranded on a space station after a terrorist attack. Will they be able to survive the harshness of space? And perhaps more importantly, will they be able to survive each other?
Infinite Ryvius’ greatest strength is in its characters. They all manage to grow on you and develop a certain depth, even the ones who initially seem like jokes. The events of the series illicit enormous changes on them. For example, take Lucson, the original leader. He’s completely incompetent, but by the end of the story becomes quite likable. Or consider Fina: she initially seems kind and innocent, but turns out to be a religious nut-job.
The characters undergo this enormous trial, and come out drastically changed, for better or for worse. Heigar transforms from an efficient administrator into a brutal technocratic dictator. Juli goes from an efficient captain to a lovelorn girl. Ikumi begins as an easy going guy, and turns into a military strongman. Even Good Turtleland III becomes interesting! All of these changes are slow, deliberate and believable.
So the show has a great (and large) cast of characters. There’s a complex and detailed web of relationships between them which is fascinating to watch as it grows.
The story of Infinite Ryvius is thought provoking, as well, as we cycle through a rapid succession of governing ideologies. It’s like another Japanese Lord of the Flies, except it isn’t utter crap.
I did love the combat in this show. Instead of fast paced laser and missile spamming, the combat is slow and strategic. The crew spends days orbiting around planets and maneuvering into position, all for brief bursts of fighting. This allows the show to focus on the heart of the story, which is the crew and how they deal with their situation, while still including some bursts of excitement.
I only have one big complaint: the ending was downright stupid (spoilers ahead). It was great up until the point where Kouji punched that officer in the face who wanted to reform the crew. But then every single person comes back to join the crew of the Ryvius, together with people that had tried to kill them? And everyone is best friends again? Give me a break. They should have just ended it with Kouji’s “screw you” to humanity.
Infinite Ryvius bears many similarities to Starship Operators: in both shows, a crew of children on a stranded ship ends up fighting a war against the rest of humanity. I would say that Infinite Ryvius takes a more detailed look at the internal workings of the ship. Starship Operators does a much better job with the external affairs, however. The war against humanity seemed almost like an afterthought in Infinite Ryvius. I’d say that I prefer Starship Operators, but they’re both great shows.
- Plot / Script – B – Interesting, well-paced story: I couldn’t stop watching.
- Characters – A – An enormous, well-developed cast. Fina is my personal favorite.
- Production – B – It’s old, but holds up well.
- Overall – B+
Recommendations – Starship Operators, Banner of the Stars, Planetes