At a Glance: Infinite Ryvius
Infinite Ryvius begins with a few teenage characters at a school in space that trains astronauts. It's the year 2225, and space travel is common enough for "astronaut" to be a common aspiration for teenagers. But life in space turns out to be more than these teens bargained for, as their space station is attacked by a mysterious entity.
This thrusts the teens aboard the space station into a desperate struggle to run the ship, as the adults on board are incapacitated. So it starts out looking like it's going to be a high school drama set in space, but then it quickly becomes a harrowing tale of survival, and a coming-of-age story. These teenagers learn to set aside childish emotions and work together for the survival of the group.
The beginning few episodes also set up the intriguing mystery of the show. Who is attacking the station and why? Who is the mysterious blue-haired girl and what is she doing there? What's going on politically in the wider universe? What caused this particular place to be targeted? Will adults come to the rescue? Will the teens be able to save themselves? Why is there a ferret?
My hope is that by the end of 26 episodes, these questions will be answered. But having only seen a few episodes, I have no idea.
"Do you think we'll survive?"
"I don't know. I'm just doing all I can to help."
Manga by Yōsuke Kuroda
There are some things I liked about Infinite Ryvius. Instead of focusing so much on one main character, there are a lot of interactions with a lot of different characters, and I like stories like that because it makes the show more intellectually stimulating. And the characters are realistic, but charming, not whiny and angry like the characters in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
But I have a few gripes. The main characters are a bit bland. The story takes a while to set up, and in the meantime, you're left with boring starter episodes that clearly intend to be setting up greater drama, but that are not super interesting alone.
Overall, I thought the show was smart and interesting enough, especially for fans of sci-fi. You got the sense that the characters were, as I said, realistic. They have normal human limitations, emotions, and weaknesses. Watching them interact with each other under pressure is interesting. In the beginning episodes, it's hard to tell what might happen or how these characters might change. But I feel that this experience is probably going to change them, to be a source of growth and learning, the way any good coming-of-age story should be.