The Ascent into Hell: Infinite Ryvius & School Days (yeah you heard me)

school days katsura kotonoha saionji sekai swimsuit beach

Last year I watched the remarkably interesting School Days and one of the best comments I’ve read is how it can be characterized as a “descent into hell.” What kind of hell? School Days is a remarkably constructed world of teenagers, being constructed from the material of an erotic game where players try to fuck all the females (as the game allows). What I know of anime that take on such material is that they are straight fanservice vehicles to tantalize the viewer and enjoy the interplay between source material and adaptation.

What made School Days interesting it plotted and presented how such a world will operate with rational consequences – provided that the main character will fulfill the desire of the gamer: fuck everyone. As such, the often bland main character type inevitably manifests a morally repugnant personality, and the pursuit of sex with all willing females results in a stew of betrayals and duplicity. Now add to this how at least some of the female characters are written as characters just enough to go beyond game objectives, and we are treated to a palpable sense of pain and remorse.

But gamer’s got to game, all for the fappy ending(s). And here School Days gave a grand show. I won’t say any more, for those who haven’t seen this anime. The episodes leading up to the ending I certainly feel a sense of being in a fictional contrivance that aspires to a depiction of hell. After all, hell is other people.

infinite ryvius ED aiba kouji

This is precisely why I juxtapose the longer and more complex Infinite Ryvius, a science fiction anime set in space wherein the solar system is facing a quite far off (not within the characters’ lifetimes) but imminent apocalypse. If School Days is simple in its elegance of constructing hell, Infinite Ryvius is complex and elegant. Here I will discuss how it achieves this without divulging spoilers – which I believe will make enjoying this show impossible. It’s not going to be easy, but I must do what I can. I can only ask for forgiveness if I have mentioned a plot event that spoils you for this show. Onwards!

Infinite Ryvius is a directorial work of Taniguchi Goro – I’ve seen at least two other of his shows: the superlative Planetes and the wildly enjoyable Code Geass. I pretty much watched this show (26 episodes) over 3 or 4 days. I have not experienced a show with such heart-stopping intensity sustained for a 15-episode stretch at some point. It also bears noting how this anime provided one of the most satisfying denouements I’ve seen in the TV format. I’d remember a lot more love for other shows such as Star Driver if they follow this example.

Infinite Ryvius has to be good enough for me not to ragequit over a lead character which combines a bland do-gooder Emiya Shirou with Ikari Shinji AND a brother who hates him that looks and sounds like Kira Yamato but is as batshit angry as Shinn Asuka.

The success of Infinite Ryvius is how it made me care about the characters. I don’t mean I necessarily root for them enthusiastically, but I care. I want them to be safe, I don’t want them to come to harm. I don’t want them to be assholes to each other. I want them to act in accordance to how they talk about themselves, or think of themselves. Then, this show oh my god… all of the characters you gave a benefit of the doubt, they will all fail you.

They will be tested, and they will fail terribly. And this isn’t the kind of show that only punishes characters with a slap on the wrist, a blush of embarrassment, a few choice words from their peers… no. This show punishes with shame, guilt, because people will suffer pain, privation, loss of dignity and integrity as a fallout of each other’s decisions. The eye of your enemy, your comrade, your lover, are all stark fluorescent lights exposing everything ugly about you. And yes, people die.

infinite ryvius vital guarder aoi housen

And this means teenagers. The extreme setting brings close to 500 teenagers adrift in space without any adult supervision. Comparisons with William Golding’s Lord of the Flies are apt, given how the Ryvius (space vessel) at least at first would seem a kind of paradise similar to the island amidst a nuclear war in Golding’s novel. Similar to the novel is how “innocents” left to themselves will devolve into savagery despite and/or because of the resources available to them. There are many parallels that can be read as references, from the alien entity that functions as the living nerve center of the ship – analogous to the “Lord of the Flies” itself (and an offering to the beasts that hunt them), to the attempts at self-governance.

But this is anime, and as such I happily compare it with its peers. A frequent observation (or complaint, from some viewers) in science fiction anime (especially warfare and robot shows) is how everything important are in the hands of the teenagers. Mobile Suit Gundam’s White Base is a ship of teenagers after all. But Infinite Ryvius does more than just remember love for Golding and Tomino. It gives the construct a terrible scale, and quite troubling consequences to watch.

infinite ryvius ED neya

Yes, it is indeed quite terrible to watch children treat each other the way we see them in Infinite Ryvius. It does remind me of Neon Genesis Evangelion (“I mustn’t look away”) but again, on a terrible scale. The cast of Eva had adults failing with them (which is a different kind of tragedy, but one can often count on adults failing children in anime). These kids only had each other, and that was their hell.

It is breathtaking to watch.

(I can also talk a lot about the space warfare and the portrayal of giant robots in this show, but I’ll do that in the comments).

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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72 Responses to The Ascent into Hell: Infinite Ryvius & School Days (yeah you heard me)

  1. Reid says:

    Darn you, Mr. Lightning. Now I have to watch TWO shows after Sacred SeveN, this one AND Cowboy Bebop? Seriously, man. What gives? 🙂

    I’ve heard next to nothing about this show, but from your spoiler-free description it sounds pretty nifty. “Lord of the Flies” is one of my favorite books, so anything that draws parallels to that story is worth a look for me.

    Now…about these robots you speak of.

    • Each special ship that the Ryvius belongs in the same class, is pretty much like a huge transport vessel. It’s mainly protected by two main torpedo guns on each side, and a “lift ship” which can separate and act as the main control center for a giant robot called a “Vital Guarder.”

      Ships in the Ryvius’ class all have lift ships and their own version of the Vital Guarder.

      The Ryvius’ is controlled by a group of 5 main pilots, each designated a function… firing is controlled by one, etc.

      The piloting of this is made possible by “navigation solids” — data that is primed for control use prepared by an entire sub-crew of number crunchers. This is all in real time and is all high pressure and shit. The battles have the remote intensity of an Evangelion battle wherein the resources are incredibly scarce and every move matters. It’s really intense stuff.

      None of these controllers are on the robot itself, they are on the lift ship which is connected to the VG by puppet-string like filaments. This averts the show from losing the excitement of piloted robot combat — because all those kids (as many as 30 are involved in controlling the VG) are in a lot of danger. The main ship is also under threat which just increases the intensity even more.

      • Reid says:

        This sounds freakin’ awesome. Why do the Ryvius-type ships have to fight each other? If that’s a huge spoiler then don’t worry about it. I’m definitely going to watch this show now.

        Also, are these Vital Guarder things necessarily better than the ships’ own weapons at defending the ship? I mean, is there a justification given for why robots are needed? I’m all about cool justifications. I think it’s a pretty cool that there is a large group of people controlling each mech though. When there are that many people (and teenagers, no less) responsible for coordinating something as dangerous as all that it’s bound to get pretty intense pretty fast. Another show that I think TRIED to do this was “Gasaraki”, but those battles are, for the most part, boring as heck. You and others said those in “Flag” are better, right?

        Also, does “Ryvius” adhere more to the real-real tradition, or is it a super-as-real like “Evangelion” or a real-as-super like in “Xabungle”?

        • Definitely real in terms of the dynamics, but the naval one vs. one nature of the fights takes it to Eva/Super Robot territory. No strong justifications at all. When you see it… you’ll shit bricks.

          FLAG is different because the battles feel less than a robot anime skirmish than a play through of Rainbow Six or similar military thriller games.

  2. bluemist says:

    School Days is initially a harem lover’s wish fulfillment of the highest order, then plunges them straight to reality hell. Most shows only tease with fanservice but this one consummates everything along with the consequences of it. Yosuga no Sora (another eroge-anime with the sechs) got away with complications by introducing parallel universes. School Days was so ambitious as to walk through essentially every girl, mash it all up together, and derail everything in a single storyline.

    • Reid says:

      I’ve also never seen THAT show, but I did go through a kick where I wanted to see some gruesome anime stuff and…well, I kinda sorta know what you mean by “derail everything.”

    • The thing about supposed harem lovers is that they don’t get the idea that a relationship is sustained. The end for them is either the sex act, or after several trope-like “girlfriend” experiences are provided by each girl. Time has to stop for them there until they teleport themselves into another “reality” which is another harem game.

  3. A Day Without Me says:

    Hmm. You may have convinced me to seek out Infinite Ryvius.

    • This is incredible stuff. I took it seriously, and as I watched I got pleased at how it wanted to make me take it seriously… then all sense of mirth was wiped from my face as it was episode after episode of depressing shit. HrrrRRRHyhyfhdfyyyhyyyrrrrggGGGhhhhHHH

  4. WhatSht says:

    Let me check the description of Infinite Ryvius, after i finished Aquarion.

    • The shows are nothng alike LOL.

      • Reid says:

        I lost all faith I had in that show after the episode where all the girls went on a diet because their negative body image was causing them to be unable to orgas….I mean gattai. I laughed for a bout five minutes straight and then hung my head in shame. That show has possibly the least amount of hotbloodedness of any super robot show ever. I LOVE the OP though. Even the English version ain’t half bad.

  5. chii says:

    Glad you enjoyed it 😀
    It made it to #10 in my absolute favourite anime list and it always makes me happy when someone watches shows from my favourites and really enjoys it.

    (especially someone like you ❤ teehehe)

    • What about me!?!?

      But yeah this show is brilliant. I thought hard of what kind of post to write about it and I thought a spoiler-free recommendation would be best. More people should watch this. Maybe then I can go into the bones of things.

  6. Myssa Rei says:

    Haruhi, this show, THIS SHOW. The first episodes were essentially enticing bait to the unwary to get them on a nearly one-way free-fall jump into darkness. While expecting the said jumper to keep their eyes wide open all the way.

  7. This isn’t a good comparison. The truth is that School Days appeals to yandere moe, plain and simple. The original video games had, among 21 endings, 3 violent and terrible ones, which were the ones that made anyone ever care about the otherwise mediocre game to begin with. Yandere moe, while a niche, is one with devout lovers who eat this shit up. In other words, the hell of the ending is the viewer’s fetish heaven.

    Ryvius is about being real. School Days just happens to look like that on its way to its own brand of wish fulfillment.

    (…and here’s the part where I admit I haven’t watched School Days so take that how you wish.)

    • Probably one of the most condescending, moronic, and irresponsible comments I’ve ever gotten. Congratulations.

      This isn’t a good comparison. The truth is that School Days appeals to yandere moe, plain and simple.

      I’ve 2 posts on SD with a fuckton of discussion and it’s only now that the term ‘yandere moe’ is brought up… by you.

      The praise for it is from people who include those who don’t give a fuck about the game itself, including myself.

      So reduction to one possible interpretation for each show is so intellectually lazy and pretty much destroys my faith in you as a human being. Never mind how you’ve not seen the show nor read the discussion about it on this blog. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Try again. Think through everything you said.

  8. steelbound says:

    Infinite Ryvius was the third anime series I bought as an anime fan; it was back in 2003 when I was just becoming an anime fan and was willing to blindly buy an anime series based on a review. The first series was Kenshin and the second was Witch Hunter Robin. I don’t remember much about the series other then liking Kenshin and Witch Hunter Robin more; this boded ill for me ever dusting off my DVDs of Infinite Ryvius because when I rewatched (relatively recently) both Kenshin and Witch Hunter Robin I was disappointed in Kenshin and thought WHR was abysmal.

    Reading this makes me want to give Infinite Ryvius another chance, especially since the director – Taniguchi Goro – did Planetes, one of my favorite SF anime ever.

    • Oh I definitely benefited from having watched a lot more anime by the time I watched this. Aside from being a ‘professional’ environment in outer space, there’s very little to connect Ryvius with Planetes, and despite being filled with teenagers, there’s little for me to compare it with Code Geass.

      Maybe there’s something about the single-mindedness of some of the characters, but this can be extended to a whole lot of teenage characters in anime, especially in action/mecha series.

      But definitely give it a new spin. Its pleasures are mined from the tunnels of despair, but that’s part of what good stories do too.

      • Mitch H. says:

        I guess I need to give the Planetes anime another try, I was repulsed by the idealist-idiot heroine and the cookie-cutter Japanese workplace-comedy setting in the first episode or two, both of which were absent from the source manga. It was pretty striking when I read the manga after rejecting the anime, and found it to be completely different from my anime-based impression. Why would they take a secondary character – a textbook “Alien” warped by her hippy-dippy parents – and turn her into a Mary Tyler Moore-type heroine? Not to mention all the lame office-comedy stereotypes…

        • Huntsman says:

          I suppose it’s a matter of personal preference, but the show does get a lot better later on.

          Then again…with one huge exception that was absolutely terrible, I didn’t have much of a problem with the anime’s early attempts at comedy. Overall, I’d say it was a hit or miss thing and, more importantly, the highly realistic space setting happened to be both detailed and interesting enough to make any bad jokes only a small concern, and there were still a few interesting episodes even during the first half.

          However, like I’ve already mentioned, Planetes clearly improves as time goes on. By the time we approach the second half, some of the secondary or even the obviously stereotypical characters get some genuinely good development, in my opinion, and rest of the show provides eventually some great moments of character drama.

          As for the heroine in particular, I believe the director has stated somewhere that he knew about half the audience or so wouldn’t like her and acknowledged there were differences in her portrayal. But I also seem to recall a few anime sequences with her that were taken straight from the original manga, so perhaps it can be considered more of a difference in emphasis and interpretation than anything else? I don’t remember all the exact details though. Then again, I would say this is also another aspect that doesn’t necessarily remain static during the show’s entire narrative arc.

        • Not lame. I enjoyed them. I liked the characters, even the ones that repulse you.

  9. MarigoldRan says:

    School Days: “rational consequences.” Seriously???????????????????

    • Yes. If you cheat so blatantly, people will find out. People won’t appreciate it. Your girlfriend will be upset. Perfectly rational. I didn’t say all consequences in School Days are rational, so why are you irrationally overreacting?

      • MarigoldRan says:

        Pet peeve.

        Logical consequences, yes. Rational consequences, no.

        For example, Tom goes and kills Bob because he believes Bob is an evil alien. Is this logical? Yes. After all, Bob is an evil alien, and Tom’s reasoning is logical because of his given assumption. Rational? No. Anyone who goes and kills someone because they’re an evil alien is obviously irrational.

        School Days is similar. The events are logical. But they’re not rational. Anyone who murders someone with a knife is obviously irrational, however logical their actions may be.

        • But you are talking about but one consequence.

          Using related logical examples:

          It is rational to feel upset when cheated.
          It is rational to feel feel upset when lied to.
          It is rational to accept of perceived generosity.
          It is rational to increase one’s level of gratification.

          Thus the irrational content — which involve the actions of the ending, do not negate the rational consequences in the show so much so to merit the utter incredulity you displayed. Had you said “the final consequence is irrational,” then I would’ve agreed. But your statement is of such absolute extremity and dismissiveness that, well, it is rational for me to dismiss it as an irrational/emotional reaction than it is a question founded on fact.

          Now, I acknowledge the pet peeve of yours and you are correct in distinguishing how logic may not be necessarily rational, but I do not wish to further quibble. Replace all instances of the use of rational with “logical” when you re-read the post if this pleases you.

      • MarigoldRan says:

        Rationality is based on assumptions. If your assumptions are crazy, that means you’re irrational. Logic measures your consistency of belief based on these assumptions. In other words, its possible to be perfectly logical and yet also be a total nutcase. The two are not the same and when people confuse it, I get annoyed.

        • Curuniel says:

          Not to derail this discussion too much, but MarigoldRan, your above comments (“Anyone who murders someone with a knife is obviously irrational, however logical their actions may be”) seem to associate rationality with certain moral views. Ok, yes, “don’t murder people” is a pretty widespread moral view (although what counts as murder varies)… my point, I suppose, is that killing somebody isn’t necessarily irrational. It could be a coldly rational way to solve a problem, just a selfish and immoral one.

          Am I getting definitions confused, or just being a cold-hearted relativist? 🙂

          • MarigoldRan says:

            Yeah, but the entire show is a build-up for the murder. In order to do it successfully, they have to throw in the assumption that two emotionally unstable girls would be attracted to a quiet un-assuming guy, which unfortunately is an assumption that is NOT rooted in reality. Now if the guy was some crazy cult member who would get roaring drunk while reading the Bible backwards, I would have a different opinion. Crazy people are attracted to crazy people like moths to a flame. The fact that the main character is insufficiently crazy is why I never liked or saw much of the show. It doesn’t make sense. Dramatic fiction works only when its plausible, and unfortunately the very basis of the show is implausible.

            In regards to Curuniel’s comment, was the murder of the main character done in a coldly rational way? No it was not. I think she chopped off her head and then hugged it, while laughing and crying like a madwoman. Or something similar. Relativistic or not, facts remain facts. If you chop off someone’s head and then laugh and cry maniacally, I think there’s a pretty good argument here that you’re not acting rationally.

  10. ajthefourth says:

    Hnnn…the fact that you mention School Days, which I can’t say I enjoyed watching (until the very last episode, which is indubitably the point ^ ^) and my favorite piece of literature (No Exit) makes me think that I should watch this series. Added to the backlog. Thank you.

    • Oh School Days was a trying show to watch. I basically got through it drinking Scotch and Cranberry juice for serious. But it has, I must admit a LOT of ‘trophy’ value. It’s a fascinating show to discuss despite being a terrible show to watch. I do think it’s a net positive experience.

      Infinite Ryvius, on the other hand is straight up bad for you (in an awesome way). Like I said to steelbound above, its pleasures are mined from tunnels of despair, but it’s a rich vein of goodness you get from this show.

  11. Bonehimer says:

    This show made me realize how much I love Goro Taniguchi as a director and enjoy his works immensely. Planetes, Scryed, Infinite Ryvius, and of course GunxSword. Ironically, don’t care for his most well know work CG.

    I can’t remember the episode but at some point they show some graffiti inside the ship hat reads “HELL.” There really is no better way to describe what the character go through.

    • Yeah, I love the old-school graffiti in the ship, the very 90s sound clips, especially for the eyecatches. The show is actually very stylish on the periphery of its main content.

    • Huntsman says:

      @ Bonehimer :

      Hmm, that’s a pretty interesting piece on GxS.

      Adding to the irony, however, I would say watching both Infinite Ryvius and GunxSword after Code Geass actually helped me further understand the latter show, all of the flaws and virtues included, as opposed to making me dislike it.

      Because, in a way, it opened my eyes to what the director was going for. There isn’t much of an obvious similarity in content between these three, at least not on the surface, but there are some underlying ideas, parallels and directorial preferences that can be interesting to place under analysis. That is, of course, if you’re not otherwise turned off.

  12. I started watching this about the same time as you, seeing your twitter comments. At first, seeing this is a Sunrise production, I expected a lot of mecha or space battles and not really interesting characters or scenario. I was wrong.
    By the time I reached about episode 18 I had already started comparing this to NGE but it never really occurred to me a comparison with School Days, one is a harem show (albeit dark) the other Space Opera/Mecha.
    Overall, I think it’s a success since I caught myself cursing at the screen numerous times because some character did something I opposed to. Good thing I watch anime alone ^^.

    Trying to find something similar, I’m now watching Starship Operators, but it’s only half season and having seen 2/3 of it, they don’t develop the characters and relationships as much, only the space opera parts are a bit comparable really.

    • Oh yes, man, I was watching alone too… and I must’ve screamed at these characters more than a few times.

      If you’re going to draw comparisons I can only suggest that the show referenced the ones I mentioned: Mobile Suit Gundam and Space Runaway Ideon both had ships on the run filled with teenagers. Gundam’s Bright Noa was only 19.

      Robot battles are more reminiscent of Neon Genesis Evangelion, due to the 1 vs. 1 nature and the atmosphere of scarcity.

  13. kakashi says:

    hey ghostlightning, can i recommend you an anime, which can help you remember more love?
    it’s called Hakugei:Legend of the Moby Dick
    and it’s about a robot-whale, destroying the planets.

  14. Huntsman says:

    I didn’t expect a comparison to School Days, but your explanation was good enough to justify it.

    At the same time, I believe Infinite Ryvius does a better job in terms of standing up to repeated viewings. For one thing, as previously indicated, the situations it portrayed were a bit more dynamic and complex.

    While the School Days audience was clearly expected to eventually hate Makoto, as a consequence of taking the concept of the generic eroge protagonist to the extreme (in other words, wish fulfillment gone wrong), in Kouji’s case there was more of a balance between sympathy and disappointment (or satisfaction and anger, if you prefer).

    The “hero” of Infinite Ryvius does resemble Shinji in a couple of ways, but there are enough differences here and there to make him a little more interesting or at least tolerable, even if the course of events often makes us question or regret trusting him, in light of all the mistakes and suffering involved. But, for the sake of avoiding spoilers, I won’t elaborate further.

    It reminds me, to a certain extent, of how Lelouch and Light are rather similar yet not true clones.

    • Thank you.

      As for repeated viewings, I can’t imagine going through all of that ever again (at least in the near future). But the complexity of the dynamics, the circumstances, plus stylistic details do merit closer viewing and further appreciation.

      And yes, Makoto was never meant to be liked, or, he was even a device to trigger a complex reaction: self-loathing as one entertains the self watching anime.

      Kouji and many others are there to be related with, to empathize with.

      Shinji is interesting and fascinating, albeit incredibly difficult to watch! Kouji is similarly difficult to watch, but in different ways than the perpetual resignation of Shinji. Kouji gives a fuck, or too many fucks (without wanting to be a hero for the sake of being a hero as did Emiya Shirou from Fate/Stay Night).

      • MarigoldRan says:

        Self-loathing? What’s the point? Self-LOAFING is all the rage.

        Also, if you’re going to loathe something, loathe someone else. Much more entertaining and productive that way.

  15. JELEINEN says:

    This makes me really want to watch Ryvius again. Too bad I’ve got so many other shows to get through first. It might be interesting now after having finished all of Vifam, which could make for a good contrast.

    • It’ll be there when you’re ready for it. It took me maybe over a year since I set out to watch it until I finally did, and I did so I think at the perfect time after I’ve done the stuff I intended to watch, rewatch and blog at the time.

      But if you watch it again now, HAVE FUN!

    • Reid says:

      How is Vifam? I always wanted to see more of that show. Where did you find it? – if you don’t mind me asking.

      • JELEINEN says:

        I liked it. I think it ran a bit longer than it needed to, but otherwise the story was pretty solid. I think it’s the middle ground between the dark, Lord of the Flies nature of Ryvius and the juvenile (and I don’t mean that in the perjorative sense) adventure type story of Uninhabited Planet: Survive!. It’s also managed to be pretty good science fiction as well as having some good mechanical designs (the starship Janus felt very realistic and I’m especially fond of the dilfam among the robots).

        Anime-classic finished fansubbing it a couple of years ago. Not sure what the torrents for it are like.

        • Reid says:

          Thanks! I’ll check it out when I get done with Ryvius. I’m on episode 11 right now – the one where they through a big party. The whole Vital Guardian thing is growing on me more and more! I’m always interested in seeing what rationalization a mecha series gives for its robots and Ryvius might be the first one I’ve seen where the people who eventually use said robot all think it’s ridiculous for there to be a gigantic humanoid. Is there any kind of justification given for the Round Vernians in Vifam?

          • Reid says:

            @JELEINEN –
            I tried searching for anime-classic’s sub of “Vifam” and I’m afraid I couldn’t find anything. It looks as though the web site was allowed to lapse or something. I really want to watch the show but I’m not sure how I’ll do it since I couldn’t find it anywhere else. Any other suggestions?

          • JELEINEN says:

            There’s not any justification or even explanation. It’s just that the weapons they use happen to be big humanoid robots. I really can’t figure out why they even named the show after one of them, other than that’s just how things were done at the time.

            I’ll check with a friend who was in Classic and see if he knows where they might be hosted.

  16. MarigoldRan says:

    You’re too pessimistic. They’re alive.

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  18. kadian1364 says:

    I had no idea why my sister bought the box set of this circa 2004, it was relatively unknown even then, doesn’t have much to recommend it to capricious teenagers’ tastes, and must have cost quite the penny considering our nonexistent income then, but in hindsight I’m very glad she got it. Infinite Ryvius is real life high school without adults; a living, breathing, fragile web of clashing personalities, loose alliances, and poor decisions. The crazy drama and hormones of those teenaged years is intensified precisely because there are no adults to soften the consequences of their terrible mistakes, and they are burdened with the full responsibility of making life and death decisions. My rewatch five years after the first time made me appreciate the intricate attention to detail more, perhaps because I begun to pay attention to such things.

    It’s interesting that the DVD extra omakes point out the nature of their setting, being comedic shorts about life in Ryvius High School, where some students have take the role of teachers.

    • Indeed. Adults would’ve softened the impact of the decisions because they will bear the responsibility. How do we know this, when we see the adults of the government willingly attempt to murder the children? We see it in the behavior of the teachers during the first attempt to slow down the falling school. Those adults took full responsibility of protecting the students’ lives with their own.

      I’d love to see that DVD extra.

  19. Sun-Ku says:

    Im watching Animes since 2000 (before, I wasnt aware that those shows are “Animes” (Sailor moon, Nadia, Tsubasa, Saber Rider etc.)
    And HOW THE HELL did I miss this Series? I thought I wachted every oldschool Scifi/mecha/Space Opera Anime out there. And I was LOOKING.
    And here it is, an Series that i didnt know about, there was no AMV coverage to my knowledge (except one scene in AMV medley that I now know) No Threads, no suggestions in the animesuki forums, etc

    I watched this series in 3 days like you. (After your first mention here, I didnt read the whole post after you said you dont wanna spoiler things, instead I got the Anime and watched it.)
    It was rare for me to watch a whole series in so little time, I dont even do that with the new series I really like:

    the Whole time I was watching Infinite Ryvius, i thought: how the hell did I miss this, how the hell did I miss this!

    So I am really gratefull that you pointed me to this Anime.

    But did this anime “fail” in 1999? Because it got next to no media and fan coverage

    • Haha! I’m glad you had a similar experience. The intensity in every episode just grabs you. You just need to know what’s next. I can’t speak for the US, but it won the Kobe Animation award for that year, so it can’t have been that drastic a failure.

      In any case I feel good and validated in making this kind of post instead of a more exploratory/analytic one. I think more people will enjoy this show. Spread the word!

      • Sun-Ku says:

        I am allready spreading the word 😀

        I just cant get over the fact, that i missed this.
        And the music is also great (listening to the Intro right now)

        • Reid says:

          I feel the same way about it, dude. It’s a seriously great show – one that I am very sorry I missed until now. I’m about halfway into it and I’m loving every minute. While I would have said it is regretable to have not seen “Ryvius” as a younger anime fan, but that wouldn’t be true because I’m quite glad that I saw it now at this point in my anime-viewing life. I feel like I can appreciate the show more nowadays, whereas if I’d seen it at say 11 or 12 years old, I’d have likely been bored by it. I can’t wait to see how it ends!

        • Good job. I’m glad to have contributed to your anime viewing pleasure!

  20. Reid says:

    I just finished “Ryvius” a few minutes ago and I’m thoroughly satisfied with the experience except for one small (or not so small detail): why was Yuki so antagonistic toward Kouji? Maybe I just missed something when they explained that part but I frankly didn’t ever figure it out. The conclusion to the main story was pretty crazy, in a good sort of way. I never would have expected the enemy captain to take the action that he did, nor would I have expected Ikumi to take such drastic steps toward the end of the Ryvius’ trip. His big reveal was also pretty disturbing – but it did a good job of explaining why he felt the way he did about Kozue after her incident. There are all sorts of little things here and there about the show that I’m sure I still don’t fully understand, such as why Kouji behaved in the people-pleasing way he did or why he was attracted to Faina at all (she seemed pretty crazy from the get-go to me) or how exactly the Vaia ships will stop the next Gedult explosion etc. But overall I’d say “Infinite Ryvius” could easily supplant some of my “Favorites”. It’s a real treat to watch a personal character study against the backdrop of such tremendous and oftentimes terrible scale. Thanks so much for blogging about the show!

    And you were right, “Ryvius” had a SWEEET take on mecha v. mecha and ship v. ship battle!

    • Yuki was antagonistic towards Kouji for 2 things: he domineered him as his father figure, while (2) never being the kind of person yuki would respect. The intensity of the hatred is because Yuki is full of shit, and crazy. He is not a rational human being.

      Kouji dug Faina because she was HOT, and he pretty much only knew his childhood friend who was weird and always brought up Yuki anyway. Kouji is a pleaser like that because there are people who are like that — too lame to be a hero but can’t abide things that fail to adhere to his self-righteousness.

      Vaia ships won’t stop the explosion, they’re the ships that’ll allow humanity to escape from the solar system.

      Glad you enjoyed it, and the novel approach to space/mecha battles.

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