Saikano: Another Love Song
She the Ultimate Weapon (or Saikano) was a great love story and anime series, even if the girls might have preferred it a little more than the boys. Another Love Song, on the other hand, remedies this with a faster pace, more action and enough of everything that made the original so likeable.
Another Love Song takes the form of a two episode OVA, told not from Shuji or Chise’s perspective, but from a more third person angle, with a greater focus on the military and new protagonist, Lieutenant Mizuki. Whilst shedding some light on events throughout the series, Another Love Song then also forges a new story within the anime’s universe, taking place at the same time as the original (rather than rewriting, preceeding or following its events).
Mizuki, a military commander who chose to serve as a soldier, rather than a commanding officer at head quarters, and the prototype ultimate weapon, immediately comes off as a strict and rather uninspiring character. It doesn’t take long for the series to expand on her upbringing, beliefs and human element though, as she struggles to come to terms with passing her torch as the ultimate weapon to the less dutiful Chise.
There is a good combination of new and old content in Another Love Song, which adds a greater dimension to Chise’s suffering in the original series, whilst also exploring the militaries role in the events, and allowing Mizuki centre stage for a slightly more explosive side story. Ultimately, Another Love Song is both nostalgic and fresh, as a result, with the emotional impact and themes of the series remaining intact.
Unfortunately, however, Another Love Song does suffer from it’s share of problems as well. The voice acting, for example, can be a little off-key, with occasional problems in lip synching, and some strange accents thrown in for no apparent reason. The partial nudity, although relatively tasteful, is also quite shocking, considering that the OVA is only rated a twelve. The ending is also fairly anti-climactic, with Mizuki’s greatest action sequence complete, and role fulfilled a while before the second episode ends on a much more subdued note.
A nice extension of the Saikano (She the Ultimate Weapon) series, but a little too short in itself, and not without its faults. If you have the chance, buy the boxset instead, which comes with the entire series and the Another Love Song OVA.