Spirit of Wonder: Scientific Boys Club is a remake of the 1992 OVA Spirit of Wonder, which was adapted after the Manga. This OVA runs two episodes in length at about 30 minutes each. The premise behind the entire story is regarding the ability to discover life on Mars and allow mankind to travel there. The story is set in the late 1950s with three men who remain in a childhood astronomy club that they formed 50 years prior. Their primary goal has been to go to Mars. Given that the time period when this film occurred, the idea of traveling to space was unheard of. The three men enlist the help of one of the scientist's daughter and her husband to help them realize their goal. The daughter, Windy, is considered an expert in the field of Etherial currents and has put her work to rest due to lack of professional interest by others in the field. It turns out the Windy's work proves to be useful in allowing the Scientific Boys Club to complete their journey to Mars.
What brings this story about is during the opening of the OVA when a panel of astronomers and scientists are awaiting the video results of the first Mars landing in the 1970s. They come across a flag that says "Scientific Boys Club 1958" on Mars which sparks confusion and curiosity. This is how we are brought to the story of these three aspiring scientists.
The story itself was very lighthearted. It was refreshing to watch and very easy to follow. There was a good balance of comedy and slice of life. During many of the more technical parts when scientific concepts were being referred to, it was easy enough for non-astronomical person to follow. The characters were developed in a way that made them easy to relate to. This was very important since the story rested so heavily on the dynamics between the characters and their goals through the story.
The animation style in this film was beautiful. The animation lines were very clean, colours were crisp and sharp, and the CG effects were used perfectly. One of the stronger aspects of this OVA was that the CG was not overused. Because of the very nice effects that CG creates, I tend to find it overused at times in some anime. In some sequences the ship that the characters depart to Mars on is heavily CG enhanced and given a lifelike appearance, while other times the effects are toned down and the ship becomes more connected to the scene. The animators of this film did an excellent job with determining when certain elements in the scenes should be emphasized and when they should remain in the background.
The music in Spirit of Wonder did not stand out as being anything exceptional. For the most part the music fit with the scenes, but I don't think I will be rushing out to get the soundtrack.
As a whole, this film was excellent. It provided enough content to keep me entertained for the hour in change that it ran, but not providing so many details that I felt the story was incomplete or even pushing me to the point of expecting to see more. I would recommend adding this one to your collection if you are in the mood for a lighthearted and thought provoking film.