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They Were Eleven
Violence: Mild
Sex/Nudity: None
Music: C -
Runtime Episodes: 91
Overall Rating: B
Artwork: B -
Story: B +
Comments: Based on the manga.
Voice Acting English: A
Voice Acting Japanese: B
Genre: Science Fiction
Extras: Gallery (1m 30s), previews for They Were Eleven, The Humanoid, Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer, Spirit Warrior: Regent of Darkness, Legend of the Dragon Kings: Iron Dragon, Slayers special manga preview

Date Reviewed: 11/19/09 Last Updated: 11/19/09

Basic Premise: In the future intergalactic travel is common and has led to the mutual discovery of many worlds and civilizations.  This has led to the necessity of an intergalactic federation to maintain the peace.  It is also here where initiates can gain entry into the academy.
Review: In my continuing search for rare and lesser known anime that is often overlooked I came across this older movie.  I had never heard of it before and it had good ratings and was very inexpensive (and still is), so I decided to give it a shot.  I wasn't disappointed.  After watching a lot of anime you begin to notice a number of cheap clichés that become almost painful to watch, which is why it is nice to find some of these rare anime titles that are not part of the trend nor do they try to buck the trend.  They just tell a good story.  That's one of the qualities of an anime gem.

This one starts out a little slow as the setting is set and people are taking their exams.  It is apparently a very difficult exam with about one in 10,000 applicant making it to the third and final exam where this story takes place.  In the third exam the people who pass are brought together into groups of 10 where they must work together in order to pass or fail together.  There is no preparation for this third test as it is a surprise and when the exam begins the team will all meet each other for the first time.  The exam for the this team takes place on an old abandoned space station where they must survive together for 53 days.  The only problem is that when they arrive they soon discover that there are eleven team members leading them to believe that he is an impostor and possibly a saboteur.

The story is sort of one of survival, but also a bit of a drama where people must learn to get along together while despite the fact that there is an impostor among them.  First and foremost for me this is a science fiction story.  It is actually quite engaging and the characters are very diverse adding a bit of replay value to this movie.  Each character really does have their own very distinct personality, talents, and history and they interact together very well, which is impressive considering that it is a short 91 minutes; at least it feels short.

The voice acting is good in both languages, but sadly this was also made in a time when many liberties were taken with translation.  The fact that the voice acting in english is good is really saying a lot, but there were just way too many liberties taken with the translation.  Enough so that I had to listen to it in english.  

There is a bit of that blob shaped anime that is common in that time period, but a lot less so than you would think.  The typical anime eyes that we are more familiar with were a lot less exaggerated  in this movie and in that time period as well.  It is sort of weird calling it a time period, but the thing is that Japanese animation style really does change and evolve at a much faster rate than has happened over here in the US, which is part of the many reasons that Japan has the best animation in the world.

The music is ok, but not impressive or bad.  Over all it is a fun tale of survival in space and exposure to different cultures in the distant future.  The ending doesn't let you down and left me guessing who the impostor was right on down to the end.

Conclusion: If you are looking for a fun science fiction anime movie this is certainly worth a look.  Not a classic, but still pretty good.

Publisher: Central Park Media
Related Website: none yet
Where Found: right stuf
Copyright: 1986/1992/1996
Author: none yet
If you enjoyed this anime try: Stellvia, Cowboy Bebop


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