189 years after the near destruction of human civilization by a nearby Super Nova explosion, mankind once again faces extinction by the approaching Super Nova shock wave. All hopes are on the completion of the 'Great Mission' to shield the earth, and the scattered space colonies from the stellar blast. This is the backdrop to the story as Shima Katase and a brand new class of preparatory students enter the space station Stellvia to become fledgling space pilots.
Shima Katase, the main character of this series, is a highly gifted programmer, but suffers from both a severe sensory overload problem, and a severe lack of confidence, both of which leads to her dropping to the bottom of her piloting class. And so being Shima-chan's emotional rollorcoaster ride as she learns to deal with friends who get her into trouble, overcoming her piloting problems, dealing with relations with boys, elite upper classmen, and a upper class rival, and finally becoming the girl who (along with the boy she has a crush on) saves the earth from destruction... (And this is only halfway through the series...)
The series is divided into 4 story arcs, with the first two, (Space Academy, and the 'Great Mission') are among the finest Sci-Fi stories in all of anime. This series also offers a strong character growth story as we watch Shima grow and develop as she deals with her constant troubles and trials. 'Stellvia' is more then the story of a Girl who saves the world. It offers a positive uplifting story on how mankind can raise above itself when faced with certain destruction.
'Stellvia' is easily one of the stronger Anime series released on US/Region 1 DVD in the year 2005, and is probably the best hard core Sci-Fi series released for that year. If you like a Sci-fi story, or a good character development story, (and don't mind a main character who cries a little bit too often..) then 'Stellvia' is a series to recommend...