Silent Mobius was left on the back-burner for a while; I had been meaning to watch this series, quite amazingly, since it first broadcasted during the late 90s, but kept choosing to watch other series in its stead. In fact, for a time, I had even forgotten about the series entirely. It was only until recently, after reviewing my ‘want to watch‘ list on the website, Anime-Planet, that I came across Silent Mobius again.
The series is produced by the studio AIC, who have contributed to a slew of series that I’ve throughly enjoyed such as ‘Now and Then, Here and There‘, ‘Blue Gender‘, and ‘Gun X Sword’, to name a few. They have also assisted on the OVA series ‘Armitage III‘, a personal favourite of mine. In addition, the manga author and artist responsible, Kia Asamiya, produced the highly popular manga series, ‘Martian Successor Nadesico‘. I remember watching the anime adaptation weekly on TV Tokyo. These factors spurred my intrigue to watch the anime adaptation for Silent Mobius, even though I hadn’t read the manga it was based on.
Akin to most science fiction series of its ilk, Silent Mobius attempts to combine a variety of common themes and motifs, most notably the fusion of magic and technology. However, unlike the many science-fiction series that fail to bring cohesion to these themes, Silent Mobius does so successfully. The plot is, for the most part, relatively straight-forward, with a sinister and mysterious alien race, known collectively as the Lucifer Hawk, and a SWAT-like unit, known as the AMP, who oppose them. I found this to be a little cliched, but the execution more than made up for it. What I particularly liked was how the AMP was part of a much larger government police force, with multiple factions and departments, all of which were separate, but are assigned to deal with the same mission. This provided a sense of perspective and realism.
Despite the moderately large cast, none of the characters were overlooked, receiving their share of development throughout the series. Furthermore, they all had their own unique and realistic personalities. What I particularly liked was how all of the characters were adults, not the typical adolescent teenagers many anime series of this kind tend to have. The main character, Katsumi, received notable development, from an ordinary woman with a timid disposition, to the eventual realisation of her family’s legacy, and her connection with the Lucifer Hawk. She didn’t willingly or naturally accept the circumstances she was placed in, she was understandably confused, wondering how these alien invaders even existed (the Lucifer Hawk are kept under wraps by the government). The Lucifer Hawk themselves were also developed reasonably well, with varying levels of intelligence.
The production was moderate, nothing special, even in account of its broadcast date. The character design was attractive, but suffered from inconsistencies from time to time, probably due to budgeting. The small amount of CG that was integrated was evidently recycled, although I won’t condemn AIC for that. The use of CG was a rarity during the late 90s. In fact, the overall presentation wasn’t that bad, it was actually rather good; it’s just a little disappointing to see the studio take obvious corners. The opening theme by Saori Ishi-tsuka, ‘Kindan no Panse’, was soothing and worked well. The two ending themes were serviceable, but nothing I’d listen to after the first session.
One thing I haven’t mentioned above is the violence that occurs throughout the series. It’s not that gory, on the whole, but there are certain scenes that are worth noting. Also, contrary to Asamiya’s ‘Nadesico’, and despite the all-female cast, there is a surprising lack of fan-service, except the one episode where they visit a beach (yes, very typical). So, in conclusion, this series turned out to be enjoyable, nothing amazing, but certainly better than average.