Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now
Welcome to the exciting side of the moon.
Goro Saruwatari and Jack “Lostman” Woodridge are big men with big dreams.
They’re the kind of men that other men just can’t help but like and the ladies, well, the ladies can’t help surrendering themselves to them since these two men are bigger than life itself. Both Goro and Lostman have climbed every impossible mountain and, when we first see them, they are already bored with climbing Mount Everest. It isn’t until they witness French alpine climbers and rescue a girl that passes away that they realize that they were meant to do something even bigger.
The Complete First Season of Moonlight Mile brings us the first 12 episodes of a series about these two men on the road to go into space after a new space program is formed. You see, half a century after the Apollo 11 space flight, the moon once again becomes the center of attention thanks to the discovery of a rare isotope that can be used as a source of energy seeing as our supply is currently running out. As a result, and with the cooperation of every country in the U.N., the ISA (International Space Association) is formed to find a way to make use of this new energy on the moon.
So the world needs new astronauts willing to go into space to prepare for a new space stations as well as skilled pilots and operators to test out new technology. While there are five main candidates, it is Goro – working in construction – that jumps to the top of the list to join the ISA. Unfortunately, the ISA’s public relations official, Riyoko Ikeuchi, attempts to keep Goro from becoming the prime candidate. After saving a fellow co-worker, Goro becomes a hero and thus becomes the top choice.
Meanwhile, Lostman finds himself looking to be transferred from the Air Force to join the ISA like his friend Goro but he’s caught in the war in the Middle East. Unfortunately for Lost Man, he is captured in the line of duty behind enemy territory when he meets and saves a father and son that later help him escape. It is his service record and his POW status that makes Lostman an automatic candidate for the ISA.
While the flight plans have been delayed in the US, Goro is sent to Russia to join the Russian cosmonauts headed for space. Finally, Goro makes his dream come true when he lifts off into space to join other astronauts in the ISA station. Of course, everything that could go wrong does but Goro manages to solve the problem aboard the shuttle as well as when a malfunction on a survey mission threatens Sydney, Australia. It’s not wonder that women throw themselves at him … and a lot of them do, which is part of what makes this series rated Mature.
When Lostman finally does get a chance to go into space, he joins his friend and helps him save fellow astronauts but as a result the two have to touch back down to Earth. Back home, Goro is asked to help pilot a new ISA project designed in Japan. It is the Moon Walker, a two-legged Mech-like transport that fails during testing and even results in the death of a diver when the Moon Walker is tested underwater. Goro and project leader Sawamura open up their own investigation along with Riyoko who was against Goro but now becomes sweet on him. What they discover is shocking but their payback against those really responsible for the Moon Walker’s failure is priceless.
The most interesting episodes are the final two where a pair of paparazzi are tailing Lostman when they discover that the man’s life isn’t just dating movie stars and models but meeting with government officials in secret. The two follow Lostman to Nevada where they discover that he’s involved in something that includes a secret in Area 51. Lostman finds out that his role won’t be as noble as the ISA as he is put behind the cockpit of an experimental craft headed for a military space station. Could this have anything to do with the events in the opening of the first episode that results in the slaughter of an astronaut? It sure isn’t revealed in this first season set.
There certainly is no shortage of interesting moments in the series and while its tone is serious the series has its light moments such as when Goro pursues Riyoko in the later episodes. The strength of the series is certainly how plausible the plot is and how well-rounded the characters are as they chase their dreams. These two men are more than just womanizers, they’re unforgettable figures that bring to mind those who have been to space.
The Complete First Season of Moonlight Mile is a blast to watch and even more so since this story is inspiring and a true testament of what man can do if they’re willing to go the extra mile. On top of a great story, the series has excellent production values that make the animation a visual treat as well. Really, I can’t recommend this one enough.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
In a possible near future where space exploration has become a necessity, two of the manliest men you’ll ever meet join the newly formed space program. The road to exploring the moon isn’t an easy one though, as Goro and Lostman find out firsthand.
VIDEO QUALITY: A+
The animation is simply the best with CGI elements that actually work well with the great backgrounds. Thanks to solid directing work, this mature-themed series is a visceral treat.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
The original Japanese cast does a great job all around and so does the English dub cast with a few exceptions (is that suppose to be an Australian accent?). The original score by Kan Sawada is intense and brilliant and the ending theme song, “scarecrow” performed by the pillows is awesome.
The only extras you’ll find in this two-disc set are trailers and the clean opening and closing music.
Moonlight Mile is the type of series that comes oh-so rarely and that’s a shame seeing as it’s a mature, richly told and deeply fascinating series that will hold your attention from beginning to end. It not only explores the possibilities of the future of our space program but it tells a story of heroism and making your dreams come true no matter how out of reach it might seem. Consider this a real Must Have for your collection.