A war is being waged between the Solnoid race, consisting entirely of women with day-glo hair, and the Planoids, who're actually a kind of ooze that inhabit mechanical 'shells'. During a Solnoid/Planoid space skirmish, the Solnoid ship Star Leaf is badly damaged, leaving only seven Solnoids alive on board. Their orders are to head to planet Chaos, which may provide a safe haven for the Solnoid race.
Directed by: Katsuhito Akiyama
. Starring: Maria Kawamura
, Naoko Matsui
, Lisa Ortiz
, Hiromi Tsuru
, Michie Tomizawa
, Naoko Watanabe
, R.P. Wellington
, Yuriko Yamamoto
, Eric Stuart
, Arisa Andô
, Teresa Campbell
, James Carter Cathcart
, Daniel Cronin
. Music by: Ichizo Seo
This a biased and a non-biased review here, since Gall Force: Eternal Story was the first anime I've watched and thoroughly enjoyed as a 4-year-old kid.
The story's simple. The Solnoids, an all female race, has been on war with the Paranoids, an amoeba-like life form, for many years (aprox 100). We as viewers, follow the last adventure of a heavily damaged battle ship the Star Leaf, with its remaining survivors traveling to planet Chaos, where the last battle will take place. The malfunctioning ship however, ends up travelling way ahead of the other units, resulting into the crew fighting alone the upcoming challenges, one of them being the secret plan of eternal peace between the two races, which is the creation of a third one, between Paranoids and Solnoids.
The story is quiet simple. However, it gets more complicated during its short movie run. Eternal Story is a movie which is not self-explanatory enough, since it's one of the three of the space Arc. Early on in the movie, we hear Rumy being surprised over the completion of the Planet Destroyer, and we no longer hear for it there on. However, this little information will help in the story's outcome.
Gall Force Eternal Story, is in general a rather quick-paced space opera. The characters, each have their own personality making them memorable for different reasons. The biggest flow of Gall Force: Eternal Story is quiet frankly its time duration. However, it manages to at least present its character's with their unique traits by over-exaggerating them while they're on screen.
-Eluza is without a doubt a born leader, a brave collected woman, who believes in this war and a true patriot, the latter one bringing her own demise.
-Patty, is more of a follower, not taking initiative in the biggest part of the movie. She is calm and collected as well as little bit shy. However, her acceptance of the impregnation from the Paranoids, showcase that she is more accepting than most of the crew towards them. Even though she fights against them for so many years, she subconsciously does not loath them, and indeed she would want to see a peaceful future between the Solnoids and Paranoids. The fact that in the most part of the movie she does not take initiative actions, dramatically changes when she becomes a mother, begging and stopping Rabby from killing her child.
-Pony is the crew's geek and lil coward, that only to change later on. From the beginning she is shown as this computer whiz who just can't get herself into fights and is actually pretty cowardice. She also seems to deeply care about the crew members. Deeply to the point that she decides to go to the back ship, while it's set to explode, and learn the truth about Catty and pass on the truth as her last message.
-Rumy. From the get-go she is that young-looking short girl (also a happy nod for lolis from the creator himself), who is mostly there as a comedy relief. She seems and is rather naïve, and barely finishes her task while being yelled at. Her happy-go-lucky character makes the whole set in tense moments more light-hearted but at the same time she breaks your heart since she cries louder than any other when a comrade dies. She truly has the mentality of a kid, and even though she seems like the least important character, she ends up being the sole Solnoid survivor of Star Leaf.
-Catty. Mostly silent and mysterious, with her eyes having always this sad look in them. Catty remains a mystery even after the end of the movie, hence why Eternal Story is an organic part of a trilogy, not a stand-alone movie. Smart directing unveils certain parts of her, which can make you suspicious of her actions until the moment she sacrifices herself for the crew's escape.
-Lufy. Perhaps my favourite character. She has intense characteristics of masculinity compared to the other characters. Without a doubt she rocks her "lesbian" vibes. Loud, foul-mouthed, stubborn who doesn't hesitate to talk back even to higher-ups. A person who has learned surviving on its own in the battle no matter what. Despite her overall cold attitude towards the crew member, she shows subtle emotions of caring about the others. Lufy, like Eluza believes in this war but in the end she chooses to save Rabby instead of her own life, proving that she cared more than anyone could tell about the crew of Star Leaf, and most importantly for Rabby though they were fighting with each other a lot.
-Rabby. The red-haired beauty. The one with the most complex character. Even though at first she seems like a rather shallow character, she ends up being the one with the more character development. She like Lufy, is a rather hot-headed person, something which comes into contrast when she acts calmly in tense situations. Many things showcase that she probably is bipolar. Her emotions seem to greatly influence her on what action she should take. Later on, when she learns the truth about the plan of creating a third race in order to ensure the peace between Solnoids and Paranoids, she acts rather unexpectedly. Letting her anger get the better of her, after realizing that she has been played by the likes of the Solnoids and Paranoids, and all this loss she has suffered because of them, she decides to kill Patty's baby, only to stop at the last minute, unable to do so, since the child resembles her comrade way more than she expected. There on, she makes a life-changing decision. Unable to follow the likes of the two races, she decides to protect the child, and even kill her higher-ups in the Akongaguya ship alongside with the Paranoids who want to take the child. Her plan though will result in the utter destruction of Chaos, saving only Rumy and Patty's child, sending them off to Terra while the last battle begins.
Overall conclusion on characters: The movie's biggest flaw is the short run time it has, when at the same time it wants to convey so many things. However, through smart over-exaggeration of the characters it manages to give us a good grip of who they are and what they seek. From the weird haircuts to their dialogues and body language, Gall Force Eternal Story manages to convey into its audience its characters perspective and personality. For Pony the truth in order to do not vile the memory of a comrade was the most important thing, Catty would sacrifice herself for her child and subconsciously doesn't loathe the Paranoids etc etc. Even though its doesn't manage to establish a strong bond with its audience through its characters, since one by one is wiped out from the movie, the final conclusion of it makes you feel for these characters and suddenly you realize why their loss was not something as minor as it seemed, even for the more short-lived ones. Even the robots were likeable to the point of their sacrifice being kinda..hurtful.
Music: I think that one of the best things in this movie is quiet frankly its music. Its up-beat as well as dark tones make you become one with Gall Force's universe. From the emotional songs to the battle soundtracks, the music of Gall Force is something which resonates within me up to this day, making its soundtracks and its main theme quiet unforgettable. The soundtracks themselves are made in the form of story-telling and following up greatly with the story. Each change and undertone that is happening helps in the smooth transition of imagery becoming a method to also convey the feelings of the characters to its audience with a more impactful way.
Animation: Since it's an animated movie it would be impossible to not talk about the animation on this one. And it's quiet splendidly done. Of course, as most of the Japanese animations of the 80s, it follows up the signature style of the era. Some animated moves are more smooth and others more rough. But combining smart cinematography with a smart scene sequence change, everything unfolds rather naturally. Another things that the movie manages in regards of animation is the transition between space and land. Every scene and sequence that takes place on outer space makes you feel emerged in them but manages to do the same thing when the crew goes on land. The sudden environmental change does not make you feel like you're watching a different movie, even though you can deeply feel the sudden change of set. The tropical climate is truthfully well-drawn giving off the atmosphere of this planet and what also helps into feel like all this natural is even the moves, and clothes of the characters themselves. The battle scenes are also nice well-drawn and well put in regards of choreography following the music and all this helps to enhance its space opera feeling and vibe. The technological aspects also seem plausible by the realistic way they're drawn and animated through-out the movie. And I think that the battle ships were the most well-drawn parts of the movie in general. Of course there are two parts where they reused animation scenes from the rest of the film, but it's something that goes unnoticeable unless you watch it more than once.
Flaws: As I've claimed earlier, one of its biggest flaws is the short run time, since it's a movie that has many things to convey but is cutting short on them. If you watch it as a stand-alone movie, some things are left without any context as of what was the purpose. For example one of the reasons Rabby took her final decision was because of the Planet's Destroyer completion, realizing that the possibility of both sides losing their home would result to total annihilation for both sides, and decided to create a Utopia for both races in memory of her comrades with Patty's child and Rumy in Terra. The things that the robots link themselves to, and bring the destruction of Chaos are also explained at the second movie of Gall Force but not in the first one and seem kinda out of the blue being put there. In general Gall Force: Eternal Story shall not be viewed as a stand-alone movie but rather as an organic part of a trilogy.
Review by themusicandcoffee from the Internet Movie Database.