Oban Star Racers is one of those TV shows that once you catch an episode you're immediately drawn into the story and have to see more. After seeing almost all of the series in syndication, I knew this is one of the few shows I had to own. It's more than just an action-packed racing story, it's also a sweeping drama about the pain and struggle of a broken family and the longing for redemption and love. Oh, and the fate of the universe too, if that's important to you.
But you came for the review of volume 2, didn't you? The first volume of Oban Star Racers was a great start to the story, setting up the characters, problems, stakes, and mysteries of the series. The preliminaries are finished on the planet Alwas, and in volume 2 of Oban Star Racers, the race finally moves onto the series' namesake - The planet Oban, where the true races begin. Not only do the races heat up with the Earth team facing the greatest racers in the galaxy, but the drama does as well, as Don Wei starts to suspect that Molly is not truly who she says she is.
The animation is top notch as always in the second volume. The japanese style of character animation is visually pleasing and does it's job well, and is expertly combined with the 3D cell shaded animation of the racers and environments during the races. I don't think there has been a series or movie that has combined these two elements as seamlessly as Oban has, and the diversity of locales in this volume is even greater than the first. The races will engross you, dragging you down when the Earth team takes their losses, and making you want to cheer when they experience their victories! And as the mysterious threat only hinted at earlier in the series looms it's dark head, the drama only increases as you devour every episode.
The DVD menus are pleasing and easy to navigate, and the special features are good as well, giving you in-depth insight into how the series was made, continuing from the first volume.
If you're a fan of animation, drama, racing, or just animé in general, Oban Star Racers is a must-see. And if you like it, Oban Star Racers Volume 2 is a must own. (Especially if you own the first volume!) So go and get it people!