Road Rash Reviews

NeiA_7 Collectors Edition Blu-ray Review***--

Cert 15 | 325 mins | 2024

3 star quirky and surreal anime series.

NeiA_7, also known as NeiA under 7, is a Japanese animation originally released in 2000 and based on the manga series created by Yoshitoshi Abe (Serial Experiments lain). It was adapted for anime by Studio Triangle Staff (Macross Plus: Movie Edition).

It available in the UK on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from 15th January 2024 courtesy of MVM Films.

“I don’t know why this alien is still living in my closet. I mean, there are lots of aliens all over Japan these days. But nothing really changes. Nothing has ever really been affected.”

It is sometime in the 21st Century and numerous UFOs have crashed all over Japan, the inhabitants of which have moved in alongside the population and have become part of everyday life. Near to the small rural community of Enohana is the site of the downed Mothership. It is here that we meet Mayuko (Tricia Dickson –  Hellsing, Angel Tales), a struggling cram school student living above the local bath house, formerly owned by her family when she was a child.

To get by, she works two jobs and can still barely afford to eat, something which is made much worse by the fact that one of the aliens, NeiA (J-Ray Hochfield – Girls Bravo) has moved into her closet. Lazy and demanding and obsessed with gourmet food, she is a constant drain on her limited resources, although Mayuko’s childhood friend Genzo (Josh Phillips – Ikki Tousen) is always eager to help out by providing rice. NeiA is always collecting junk and building UFO’s in their cramped room, and even smashes the roof trying to fly one.

Bath house manager Kotomi (Robyn Nolting) and pyromaniac boilerman Nenji (Eric Da Re – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me) are understanding of the situation, as is her UFO obsessed cram school friend Chiaki (Zarah Little – Strawberry Eggs), who loves being so close to a real life alien. This is the story of how the Mayuko and the inhabitants of this little town get on in this strange world.

“After a while, people came to the conclusion that alien or not, what difference does it make? It’s a funny thing to see, that moment when the extraordinary becomes ordinary.”

NeiA_7 is an extremely interesting anime, nothing like anything else I have ever watched. It is strange even by anime standards, but also seems to manage to put across a lot of messages in a very short space of time.

The characters are well developed and while some of them are extremely irritating, you do find yourself genuinely caring about what happens to them. It alternates wildly between comedy and melancholy, blending both into a sometimes baffling mixture. Possibly the oddest thing about it is that the matter of who the aliens are, what they want or where they came from is never addressed, it is simply just the way the world is. A deeply bizarre coming-of-age/slice-of-life anime which is worth adding to your collection if you’re looking for something completely different to watch.

“A mysterious oil and a rare plant. When properly blended together produces a relaxing fragrance and ideal water temperature. I’ve been burning things for many years. This is powerful. A new level of burning has been achieved!

NeiA_7 is available to buy now on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray

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GenreAnime, sci-fi
StarringTricia Dickson, J-Ray Hochfield, Will Castillo, Zarah Little
Available to buy on : Own NeiA_7 Collector's Edition on Blu-Ray