Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl anime series cover art
Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl

Electromagnetic Wave Woman and Adolescent Man

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko / 電波女と青春男) is a comedy anime. This review also covers the 13th episode bundled with the Blu-ray release.

Before I get into the series itself, I want to mention the title. The official English title is Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl. But, the Japanese title actually translates to Electromagnetic Wave Woman and Adolescent Man. Clearly, the English title is the superior one.

Hitoma Iruma, who also wrote Adachi and Shimamura, wrote the original story of this series. But, Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl and Adachi and Shimamura are very different.

So, what’s this series about? A high school student moves in with his single aunt when his parents go overseas to work. He then finds out his aunt has a daughter (his cousin) nobody in the family knew about. She’s a strange girl who believes aliens abducted her. And she spends all her time searching for signs of alien life.

Erio Towa wrapped up in a futon from the anime series Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Erio Towa wrapped up in a futon

At the start of the anime, I thought it was going to turn into a romance series about these cousins. But, it never actually gets to that point. And that’s because this isn’t a romance anime, despite how it may seem at times.

What the series is really about is not being afraid to believe. That could be believing you can win a low-stakes sports match. Or it could be believing in aliens. If you believe in something enough, it will come true — at least, that’s what the story is trying to say.

Something else I want to point out is that Shaft animated this series. Shaft is my favorite animation studio, and this anime came out during peak Shaft years. It aired only a few months after Madoka Magica back in 2011.

Main Characters

Makoto Niwa is the protagonist of the series. And as a male protagonist in a series with a lot of cute female characters, he’s not that interesting. The most important thing to know about him is that he’s obsessed with the idea of adolescence.

Erio Towa is Makoto’s mysterious cousin. A year ago, Erio disappeared for 6 months before turning up in the ocean. Ever since her return, she’s claimed that aliens abducted her. This led to everyone around her thinking she was crazy. She eventually stopped going to school and started wrapping herself in a futon.

Meme Towa is Makoto’s aunt and Erio’s mother. The best way to describe her is that she’s 40 going on 20. Despite being the adult of the household, she’s the one who acts the most like a child. And she’s also the best girl of the series.

Ryuko "Ryushi" Mifune wearing her helmet from the anime series Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Ryuko “Ryushi” Mifune wearing her helmet

Ryuko “Ryushi” Mifune is the first friend Makoto makes at his new school. She’s a very outgoing girl who plays basketball and has a crush on Makoto. If you were going to point to one girl as the primary love interest for Makoto, it would be Ryuko.

Maekawa is another female friend of Makoto’s from school. A running gag is that she’s so tall she frequently gets light-headed. But, at only 5’9″, she’s not that tall. Her defining characteristic is that she likes to walk around town in cosplay. But, her idea of cosplay usually involves a strange mascot outfit.

The final character of note is Yashiro Hoshimiya. Yashiro shows up later in the series. She’s a young girl with white hair who wears a space suit and claims to be an alien/esper. Her stated goal is to find her brethren and she believes Erio is one of them.

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Shared Universe

Have you seen both Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl and Adachi and Shimamura? If so, you may have noticed there are characters in both series who are very similar. The former has Yashiro Hoshimiya. And the latter has Yashiro Chikama. Both are young girls who wear the same space suit.

What’s unclear is if both these Yashiro are the same character. At first, you may think they’re different because their surnames are different. But, their surnames are actually just made up. For example, Hoshimiya refers to the meteor striking the shrine in Episode 13.

What this means is that it could be the same Yashiro present in both series using a different surname. But, these Yashiro could also be different characters who are looking for each other. As I already mentioned, Yashiro Hoshimiya claims she’s looking for her brethren. That could be Yashiro Chikama.

Meme Towa smiling from the anime series Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Meme Towa smiling

Now, let’s focus on the final episode of Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl. It’s a bit odd because the 13th episode came bundled with the Blu-ray and DVD releases. But, the series isn’t finished without it. Episode 12 leaves off without resolving anything or finishing the story.

The most important part of Episode 13 is that we find out Yashiro was telling the truth. She predicted the meteor strike that happened in this episode when she first met Makoto. Back then, she said he’d die when the midnight sun appeared. And if she’s telling the truth, it means Erio could have been, as well.

But, if the final episode is so important, why was it left off the end of the series? Did Shaft run out of time? It’s possible. But, I also noticed this was the only episode in which Erio’s dress is sheer. Fan service is a powerful marketing tool.

Conclusion

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl is an 8/10. If you’re a fan of Shaft’s other work, you’ll probably be a fan of this one, too. Also, both the OP and ED for this series are good, which is always a bonus.

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