Galilei Donna – anime television series review

Poster advertising the "Galilei Donna" anime television series.
Poster advertising the “Galilei Donna” anime television series.
Imagine a future where energy is scarce and in the hands of a mega corporation. Imagine pirates fly elaborate fish-like ships that defy gravity as deftly as the pirates defy authority while they steal energy from the wealthy. Imagine the descendants of Galileo Galilei living in Italy as simple girls who find themselves on the run from the law in a flying mecha goldfish. This is the world of Galilei Donna.

The three Ferrari sisters—Hozuki, Kazuki, and Hazuki—are the centerpiece of the story, though the main heroine is 13-year-old Hozuki, resident genius and true heir to the mind of Galileo. 20-year-old Hazuki is studying to be a lawyer; 17-year-old Kazuki lives in the shadow of her sisters. The sisters’ parents are separated, with the father taking a more loving role than the mother.

Around the same time that Hozuki discovered ancient blueprints in the attic, the mega corporation Adnimoon had begun a search for Galileo’s Tesoro, a fabled source of infinite energy that is reported to be in the hands of Galileo’s descendants. The pirates get wind of it, too, and preemptively attempt to steal it from the Ferraris. Then Adnimoon tries to frame the Ferraris for terrorism in order to get their hands on the treasure.

Soon, the girls make their escape and seek out Galileo’s fortune to beat Adnimoon to it in order to clear their name. Or something. It’s all very confusing and exciting with lots of mecha and explosions as the girls find the maps of Galileo which lead them around the world.

Galilei Donna is like The Da Vinci Code with steampunk mecha and cute girls. As such, you shouldn’t expect too much from the series. It’s animated extremely well for TV anime, with attractive character designs, creative mecha, and opening and closing theme songs that were quite catchy. As an original anime series, it doesn’t have a book or manga that it is based on. This might explain why the series suffered from pacing issues, but overall it was an aggressive storyline for weekly TV and never dull.

The series is short at only 11 episodes, which leaves me baffled why a key battle was halted for Hozuki to go back into pastoral Italy to romance her ancient grandfather while they built flying machines together. Plot-wise, the dalliance on the Italian countryside factored into the future, but considering that the resolution and series conclusion ended within one episode after Hozuki’s return from Renaissance Italy, I questioned why so much time was dedicated to that segment of the story.

Regardless, I enjoyed the series. It was a quality production that only suffered from not having enough time to build the story and characters. Perhaps that means that I found myself wanting more in a good way. Galilei Donna was a fun show. I recommend it.

Original Air Dates: October 10 – December 19, 2013 (Japan)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: Not Rated
Network: Fuji TV
Language: Japanese
Original Title: ガリレイドンナ (Garirei Donna)

MySF Rating: Four point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 100%


Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (mild)
Language: 1 (minor)
Nudity: 0
Sexuality: 0
Violence: 3 (aerial combat, bombings, death, gunplay, fisticuffs)

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