Oban Star-Racers is a very special animated series in that its appeal, or even its ability to "work" properly as a franchise, isn't dependent on its medium. The pains that its creator, Mr. Savin Yeatman-Eiffel, went through to preserve his vision and create something truly unique are well-known (to those who're interested in that sort of thing, anyway), and I'm glad to report that his hard work paid off. The art style may seem a bit strange, and the animation occasionally jerky, but not so much that it ever disrupts the flow of the action. The characters are all three-dimensional and believably human (even when the term does not exactly apply); you really feel for them as they laugh, cry, suffer and persevere through their adventures in a way that's still distressingly rare in animation. The series features only twenty-six episodes. A bit short for modern standards, but, like a good book, all of them are gripping enough to return to again and again without them losing their edge. And not only that, there's not any need for more episodes, really. Each leads onto the next with virtually no filler (if there's any at all), and by the time the twenty-sixth comes to a close all plot threads have been convincingly resolved. Oban Star-Racers really is a little marvel. It's an exciting, heartwarming, intriguing and deeply emotional experience. Few animated series can make the claim of being able to work as well in live-action as they do in animation, and this is most certainly one of them. From the cheery ditty that opens each episode to the melancholy ballad that puts it to bed, Oban Star-Racers is sheer delight.
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