(also Chikyuu Shoujo Arjuna)

Synopsis

"Juna was just an ordinary high-school girl, right up until the day she died in a motorcycle accident. But there, in the twilight of death, she saw the future of the barren earth destroyed by the Raaja, and was offered a second chance at life if she would stop them. Now she must learn to cast aside her thoughtlessly destructive ways and face her destiny as the Avatar of Time, the one being who can decide the fate of the planet... and is very much a part of it."

Overview

"First: relax the body and pierce the heaven and earth.
Second: calm the mind and take a deep breath.
Third: focus the sight far beyond infinity.
Fourth: do not simply hit the target, become one with the target."

- from Episode 1, Drop of Time
The shoujo environmentalist anime Earth Girl Arjuna features a young protagonist, Ariyoshi Juna (note: Juna is her first name, and what she is most often referred to by). She's been taking archery lessons for a long time, but has never concentrated enough to become good at it. She has a boyfriend named Tokio that is very fond of her, but sometimes seems to be slightly out of touch with Juna's thoughts. Juna becomes involved in a conflict that she does not fully understand, her mission no less than to save the Earth. By her side are Chris, the powerful mystic who was the Avatar of Time, but has been severely weakened; Cindy, the strange and petulant girl who shares a strong emotional bond with Chris; and Teresa, a woman who is fiercely dedicated to her cause and the planet. But she is left to figure out the details on her own quite often, and her curiosity at what she finds brings her step by step closer to understanding the mysterious monster, Raaja.

Characters and Seiyuu

(note: Japanese names are surname first, while some other names are surname second. You'll figure it out.)
Ariyoshi Juna - Mami Higashiyama
Ooshima Tokio - Tomokazu Seki (may recognize him from his numerous other roles, such as Van Fanel from Vision of Escaflowne)
Chris - Yuuji Ueda
Cindy Klein - Mayumi Shintani
Teresa Wong - Yoko Soumi
Sayuri - Aya Hisakawa (may recognize her from her role in Kareshi Kanojo No Jijou, where she voiced Shibahime Tsubasa)
Mr. Ariyoshi
Mrs. Ariyoshi - Chiharu Suzuka
Ariyoshi Kaine
Mr. Sakurai
SEED Organization
Ashura
Sayuri's family
Mr. and Mrs. Ooshima
Raaja

Episodes:

(These english translations are the ones I've seen most commonly, but they may not be correct)
1: Drop of Time
2: Blue Light
3: Tear of the Forest
4: Resurrecting Circle of Life
5: Small Voices
6: First Person
7: Words that Cannot Be Seen
8: The Rain Far Away
9: Shaking Gene
10: The Days Gone By
11: A Nation Destroyed
12: Now

Significance of Arjuna

It is probably not coincidental that the shortening Arjuna is used for Ariyoshi Juna in the title of this anime, as Arjuna is the name of a warrior from the Hindu religion. Several times in the anime parallels are drawn between the two warriors. The most obvious of these is Chris empathetically urging Juna to abandon her fear and fight the Raaja. This relates to the Bhagavad-Gita spoken by the Supreme Being Under the Form of Krishna to a reluctant Prince of India, Arjuna. One quote by Arjuna from this text reads:
"Krishna! as I behold, come here to shed
Their common blood, yon concourse of our kin,
My members fail, my tongue dries in my mouth,
A shudder thrills my body, and my hair
Bristles with horror; from my weak hand slips
Gandiv, the goodly bow; a fever burns
My skin to parching; hardly may I stand;
The life within me seems to swim and faint..."
Gandiv is also Juna's weapon, which she seems to summon whenever she has confidence, but which disappears when she is fearful of the Raaja. As you are watching this anime, bear this significance in mind and you'll realize the similarities. Or you may think I'm totally off base.

Staff

Writer/Director/Planner - Shoji Kawamori
Series Composer - Shoji Kawamori, Hiroshi Ohnogi
Character Designer - Takahiro Kishida
Assistant Director - Hidekazu Sato
Art Director - Masaru Outa, Masanobu Nomura
Color Designer - Miyoko Kasamori
CG Supervisor for Motion Pictures - Ichiro Itano
Digital Imaging Coordinator - Yasuaki Takeuchi
Music - Yoko Kanno (another excellent work for her)
Music Director - Masafumi Mima
Animation Producer - Michiaki Sato
Producers - Fukashi Azuma (TV Tokyo), Hidetoku Itabashi, Minoru Takanashi, Atsushi Yukawa
Animation Producers - Satellite, Inc.
Production - TV Tokyo, Sotsueizo, "Arjuna" production committee

Show Information

Broadcaster - TV Tokyo
Offical Website - http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/arjuna/ (though it seems to be unavailable as of Nov. 14, 2002)
Began Run January 9, 2001
Ended Run March 27, 2001
Number of Episodes/DVDs 12 episodes / 6 DVDs
Release Information:
Bandai Entertainment licensed for Region 1 distribution. The North American version of Chikyuu Shoujo Arjuna's title was shortened to "Arjuna".
Arjuna Vol. #1 (Episodes 1-3), MSRP: $29.98, Running time: 75 minutes, Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Release Date: 10/08/2002
Still two DVDs left to be released, with episodes 4-12.
Number of OSTs: 2
Chikyuu Shoujo Arjuna - Into the Another World
Chikyuu Shoujo Arjuna - Onna no Minato (possible translation: A Woman's Harbor)
Most of this information was checked at various sites to ensure validity, but my primary resource for the staff, seiyuu and show data was http://www.hatsuyume.net/users/arjuna/ - a nice, artistic site with plenty of information and pictures.

Other Sites:

English Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Girl_Arjuna
Anime lyrics page: http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/arjuna/
OST 1: Into the Another World: http://www.maayasakamoto.net/cds/arjuna1.html
OST 2: Onna no Minato: http://www.maayasakamoto.net/cds/arjuna2.html

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