- Alt. Name
- Kono Danshi, Uchuujin to Tatakaemasu.
- Release Date
- 10 October 2011
- 0 hr. 28 min.
- CoMix Wave Films
This Boy Can Fight Aliens! is a 2011 Action Drama Original Video Animation from the beloved Japanese animation studio, CoMix Wave Films. This studio has created some of the most fan-favored anime films that will forever belong in viewers’ hearts. Their titles include Your Name, The Garden of Words, and even Children Who Chase Lost Voices. Though no anime studio has a perfect track record, sometimes even their biggest hits aren’t as significant to some viewers. However, the real question is can a studio create something as good as the titles above with only a third of the run time? Perhaps this anime was more of a dream than a reality, but stranger things have happened when viewing animation of any kind.
All hope seems lost when aliens suddenly invade the world. Earth’s only defense is a small three-person team known as the Special Counter-Aliens Task Force, an anonymous director, the tyrannical Shiro, and the easygoing Arikawa. Together they try to save the world from being destroyed while also trying to pass High School. Can this trio defeat this humongous task, or will they be crushed by the levels of homework and teenage angst before their fight even begins?
The luck of the Task Force improves when Arikawa finds a teenage boy lying alone on a hill. The boy, Kakashi, is humanity’s only hope – he has power previously unbeknownst capable of defeating the aliens! Without any memories and no knowledge of using his strength, Kakashi is left clinging to Arikawa and Shiro as well as the only remnant of his previous life: his broken cellphone. Kakashi is conflicted by the fears of his past and the emotions clouding his mind, and he calls his motivations into question. Can he overcome his doubts and internal struggles and save the world?
The story was rather quite enjoyable for a short OVA anime that only lasts barely under half an hour. The action was better than expected and tame enough not to get overwhelmed by the quickness of the story. This setup was equally as good because, with such a short amount of time in the story, the high level of psychological drama was well written and will make the viewer question what was going on when they viewed this anime. By doing this, the viewer may need to watch this multiple times to understand the depths in the story, which also potentially will create a new theory of what happened.
Another positive aspect of This Boy Can Fight Aliens’ story was that there were hints of same-sex boylove going on, but this mainly depends on the viewer’s willingness to infer particular meanings and gestures. If the viewer is willing to make this an LGBT story, it does not add or subtract anything from the story, which is always a plus because this is by far no means a romance anime. Creating something that viewers could take as many things, regardless of intention, can easily backfire. Still, this anime made something positive with it, and that works well with the story altogether.
However, this Orginal Video Animation is not perfect, but the areas that weren’t as good viewers may not expect. The relatively short story is hard to keep track of since it moves so fast, which is expected given the duration of the OVA. However, the action elements were rather forgettable to the point that the viewers may forget this is an action anime until the very end. Though no anime can be one hundred percent of one genre all the time, when that anime has a huge hook to get the viewers in and are given a dramatic one instead, they may feel cheated. However, this was not the biggest issue with the story.
The biggest issue that viewers may have with this anime is that this story revolves around the theme of “what is my place in this world.” Though the theme is quite well explained, the problem with the story is that there is no beginning to the story. When This Boy Can Fight Aliens starts, it begins in the middle of the story; there are no introductions or setting at the beginning. Doing this leaves a huge opening for the story to miss its emotional impact, and it dropped it big time. Leading up to the climax of this anime, the viewer could tell it’s a high emotional level, but more than likely, they’ll be numb to it due to it feeling incomplete.
Unfortunately, the most significant disadvantage for most anime viewers is the art style, which has not aged well. To describe this type of art style in one word, it’d be different. The art is not bad nor uncreative by any means; however, in some scenes, the style of sharp edges and bright colors works, and in others, it doesn’t. Age does not always work in anime’s favor, and though some will prefer this type of artistic style when it comes to short-form anime, myself included, there are better options to go with that could have aged better. This short-form animation is the type that is a solid mix of animation and manga, which can work in anime and other forms; however, this attempt just missed the mark even when it premiered.
With the large amounts of choppy and still framed animation, the animation’s production level is quite good. One can quickly tell that this is a low-budget production. However, the director works with what she has, and doing that makes this anime even better. The voice actors are excellent and are easily one of the better aspects of this production. Though the musical pieces are few and far between, they add a little more to the story, which is always pleasing to have.
The characters within this short-form anime are relatively small, but that’s expected. Arikawa is a high school student who cares for his friends as if they were his family. He is a little sensitive, and his teammates describe him as a “deadly chef.” Kakashi is an alien that is unable to recall anything before meeting Arikawa that one faithful night. He dislikes going in for his regular checkups for unknown reasons but is unaware as to why. Shiro is the most mature one of the bunch, but he’s also the most authoritative. The one thing that they both share in common is their hating in eating Arikawa’s food, as they both try to weasel out of eating but ultimately don’t due to hurting his feelings.
Overall, this short-form anime is as good as it is terrible, but ultimately it is pretty forgettable. The story is nothing new and has been done countless times prior, though some have been better. What makes this even better is that it was all done by one person in the creation. Having one person draw, produce, write the story, and even direct is hard even to imagine. But considering this was their first attempt at doing so shows that it wasn’t all bad. If one is interested in seeing an anime that gives the viewer feeling like they are watching a long Gorillaz music video, they’ll most likely enjoy it.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.