They’re the best Anime that 2006 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Rozen Maiden: Tr?umend, Blood+, Utawarerumono, and more!
10: Rozen Maiden: Tr umend
English: Rozen Maiden: Tr umend
Japanese: ローゼンメイデン トロイメント
MAL Score: 7.64
As the story of Rozen Maiden closes, a new chapter begins in Rozen Maiden: Tr?umend. Shinku and the other sentient dolls of the Rozen Maiden collection are living life as usual at Jun Sakurada’s house. Having settled into his role as Shinku’s partner in the deadly Alice Game, Jun overcomes his former fears and prepares to return to school. And although Shinku and the other dolls idly pass the days by in the comfort of Jun’s home, dark times lie ahead as a new foe presents herself: Barasuishou, the seventh Rozen Maiden.
But Barasuishou is a mystery even to her sisters, none of whom have ever laid eyes on her until now. Shinku considers this a sign that the Alice Game is coming to an end, meaning the dolls will soon be forced to fight one another. Haunted by the upcoming battle and nightmares concerning another doll, Shinku begins distancing herself from the others. If she wishes to claim victory, it will come at a high cost—the lives of her sisters.
Story: TrÃ¤umend picks up an unspecified amount of time after the first season. All the dolls are still living at Jun’s house, and he’s definitely better than he was, but still not going to school (though there’s good reason for it ‘ he’s playing catch-up). Shinku is having guilt-related nightmares, and after one of these, she and Jun end up being drawn back into the mirror in his attic (why haven’t they gotten rid of that yet?!) and meeting the seventh doll, whose appearance basically means that Father wants them to get on with the Alice Game, already.
This season is everything I wanted last season to be, and more. There’s not so much filler as there was before ‘ and when there is, it actually advances the plot! –, and there’s actually an overarching plot/urgency that wasn’t there last season. And moreover, we get to see the darker tones that were only hinted at in the last season. There are so many more standout episodes, and the writers really show their talent by making you feel for characters you might not have necessarily liked last season.
However, it’s not perfect. There is a character who turns into a bad running joke for most of the series. And it looked like it was going to resolve things up till the last minute, but in the second half of the last episode, there’s a nasty plot twist that leaves things open for a third season and several mysteries in its wake.
Art: I don’t know why, but the colors seem richer this season. Maybe it’s because there are so many scenes where they can use certain color schemes/tones. Either way, it looks like it did last season, but better.
Music: Again, about the same as last season. The background music has its instantly recognizable songs (some that carry over from last season, too, which is really nice). Didn’t like the OP as much as last season’s (ALI Project, again), but it grew on me. Liked the ED instantly, though, as it’s done by the same group who did Nishi no Yoki Majo: Astraea Testament’s OP, which is one of my favorites (kukui).
Length: No real issues with length, this time. Length is the same as last season’s (twelve episodes), but it definitely goes by quicker. When there was filler, as I said before, it ended up advancing the plot, so that was good, and there was an overarching plot/urgency to drive things forward. However, the eleventh-hour plot twist in the episode, while it leaves things open for a second season, leaves a bit of a bitter aftertaste, because they were this close to resolving things, and they’ve only bought up more mysteries.
Seiyuu: I recognize Enju’s seiyuu from TmoHS (Koizumi) and Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~ (Asuta), and Suigin Tou’s seiyuu continues to rawq (Leandra from Nishi no Yoki Majo ‘ Astraea Testament and Lula from Red Garden!), but no other standout roles. Decent seiyuu all around.
Dub: N/A, has not been licensed as of yet.
Overall: A definite improvement on the first season, but still has its flaws. The ending leaves things more than open and ready for a third season, so Nomad should follow up on the implied promise and fix what few problems there are, kthnxbye.
Overall: 39/50; 78% (C)
The Story line of this anime was very good showing not only the beauty of the dolls outfits and personalities, but adding the final touch with intense fighting scenes. Although I do not want to give out alot of info this series is about a young boy named jun who is locked up in his room because of cracking under pressure on entrance exams, we do not find out about that until later on in the series, so as a result he is a hermit in his own home refusing to go to school and buying “stupid” mystical items off his computer. Then he gets possesion of Shinku, a wind up doll in search of Alice (the perfect doll) for his creator or “Father” to be happy, and for that to happen she has to defeat all the other dolls known as “Rozen Maidens” and take there life which is called a “Rozen Mystica” Now as the story goes on you see the characters unique personalities and powers. I believe that this series is a great recommendation to people who are interested in mystical and almost sci-fi’sh anime. The story was overall good and had me wondering what would happen next although I thought that the ending was a little weak because it doesn’t explain what happened to everyone else but gives an idea.
The Art in this Anime is absolutely amazing. For the most part when I watched this I felt like there was a normal feel (as in the regular japanese home and life) with a little class into it. there is detail in every background although the characters do stick out more. There is one scene I absolutely adored the art and that was when one of the Rozen Maidens (Suigin Tou) goes to her world and it is snowing with Crystals all around. I really did love that the backgrounds fit the characters nature and personalilty for the fighting scenes and the comedy scenes.
now the music was great, I loved the opening for this anime so much, it was creepy and yet energetic and was so well done. I love that the ending was great too because it was classy and modern at the same time , with a fast beat but still had that classy feel. I also loved the background music for this anime. the Orchestra was great for the serious scenes and the not so serious scenes. I really did enjoy the music
Now I know in this review I talk alot about the characters but I cannot help it they were great. The way they acted was amazing to the outfits they wore. As a person who thought I’d never watch this anime due to the fact that I am personally afraid of dolls, felt like these characters were real with every step they took. Each personality was different in there own way and that is why I fell so in love with them. I especially fell head over heels for Shinku. She may act serious at times, but there have been times I felt that she was funny and overall the most beautiful of the Rozen maidens. the costumes fit each of the personalities with different colors on everyone’s costume, and the fact that each is very unique made my heart jump. I also loved the supporting characters too as they were very great at there personalities and expressions, plus their designs fit their personalities greatly.
my overall enjoyment for this anime is splendid. The only problem I had with it was probably the design of barasusishou because the other designs of all the characters were amazing and detailed while her design felt like it did not belong, though I did enjoy this character repeating what everyone said, I did not like how she look because she stood out too much. I also as I said earlier did not really like the ending because I wanted to see what happened to the other characters in the story that got there Rozen Mystica’s taken away, but it was an overall 9.5 out of 10
The story this time is more interesting, is a little bit more original and the plot advances faster. However, it lacks some details about the story that i think werent very well explained.
Still, is better than first season, so i pass from 7 to 8.
art (7.3) – Not much difference in this aspect..i really didnt notice any change at all, still an average aspect.
Sound (8.0) – Sound is a little better than first season, however, is not enough for a 9. Background music this time fits better with the plot, the ed and op are about the same opinion i´ve had in the first season, just acceptable.
Character (8.0) – (read my review in the first series, so you will understand) Again, its what i said in the first season. My opinion didnt change much with the new story and with the new characters. However, with more action it gets a little better, but not enough to give a 9.
Enjoyment (8.0) – This time, there is more action, more mystery. There is improvement in this aspect, this time i will give it an 8.
overall (8) – Second series of rozen maiden is definitevely better than the first. However, there are still flaws, and even with this improvement, i still say that this is what i call an average anime. However, if you have a lot of spare time, you can check it, maybe you will like it.
MAL Score: 7.64
Saya Otonashi is a seemingly ordinary girl living a mundane life with her adoptive family in Okinawa City. In fact, her only peculiarities are suffering from anemia and being unable to remember any of her life beyond the previous year.
However, Saya’s forgotten past quickly comes back to haunt her—one night, she is attacked at school by a creature that feeds on human blood. Just when all hope seems lost, a mysterious man named Haji appears and fends off the creature temporarily. But when her rescuer forces her to drink his blood, Saya suddenly enters a trance and slays the monster with ease, using her own blood as a catalyst.
Saya then learns of an organization named Red Shield, founded for the sole purpose of defeating the hellish beasts. Now Saya and Haji must work together with Red Shield to fight these fearsome monsters and unlock the secrets to the girl’s past.
The story is dark, sad and action-packed. I like how they present everything with a sad setting; it’s not like it’s just one big brawl after another; it is emotions and resolve-strengthening, it’s battles which have a reason other than just being yet another battle. The story keeps complex but simple enough to follow without too much thinking “what’s happening?”
The animation style in Blood+ is really cool. It’s got good shading details, and the characters looks good too; they’ve got a nice variation of character designs, some detailed and some maybe not so detailed. The animation is flawless; at least no noticeable errors. The background art in this series is amazing; the sceneries and cityscapes are wonderful to look at.
The music rocks too. The OP/ED songs are great (aside the fourth OP, which was all but good), and the background music is just as it should be; moody. It sets the right mood to all the scenes, and it fits very good with the series’ sad tone.
Blood+ has the best character development of any anime I’ve watched. I’m completely enthralled by its characters, and how they change during the course of the series. They’re deep, three-dimensional characters, and their relationships with each other are fascinating. I also like how a simple death during the beginning of the series had a large effect on the characters.
What I like about Blood+ is that despite being about vampires, it focuses on almost anything but the vampire aspects of the characters, with the latter being used mainly as a MacGuffin. Therefore, you’ll enjoy this series even if you do not like vampire anime, and you’ll love it if you like vampire anime.
All in all, Blood+ is among the better series in the vast world that is anime, and a series you’ll enjoy watching.
To ‘Not ‘ voters (and you ” voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
What every viewer must realize first off is that this is NOT just an anime about vampires. The fact that the characters often require blood to survive is used as an effective plot device, but it is not the entire focus of the show. What this means is that it appeals to both those who love vampire animes and those who do not, creating, as a whole, an extremely balanced, well crafted anime.
The anime will be a joy for anyone who watches it. The storyline ranges from romance, to comedy, to intrigue, to detailed pseudo-history, innocence and experience, violence and peace, and then circles around again to the vague but omnipresent romance that insinuates itself, not as the main focus, but as a continuing theme throughout.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the anime, and I invite all who read this to do the same.
Post-note: All scores are compared to titles I have watched personally and represent the verbal “score” of that number, with a 7 meaning ” Good”. It is unrelated to the 1-10 grading that a lot of people seem to solely apply, without thinking of what it means.
Originally an offshoot of an earlier movie, Blood+ combines both existing elements present in anime and new ones, to create a somewhat unique shonen (yes, shonen, because that’s what this is, don’t be fooled by the R+ rating) title. The original premise, that of cute girl with big sword fighting large monsters has been done many times before, but it is the encompassing plot and character designs that make this title stand out.
The fact that that the writers obviously wanted this series to stand out compared to a lot of other drab that comes out nowadays is evident. Sharp character designs (lack of moe characters) are the norm, and the plot line aims to be as realistic as possible, including many existing locations throughout the modern world. from Japan to Russia to France, it becomes evident that the animators have at least glanced at existing sceneries before sketching the locations where the story takes place.
We can understand the actions of certain characters (if the motifs have been revealed), and often the distinction between good and evil becomes blurred, something which lacks in a lot of series nowadays, where differences are usually black and white, with not much repose in between.
Then, you may ask ” Why give it a 7?”.
First note that a 7 to me means ” Good”, it holds no numerical value. Blood+ is a good show, but it doesn’t have any factors that make it stand out to the point where, maybe a year later, you think “wow, that was quite a memorable show”.
It is the same factor that makes it unique, that drags it down. The score is pulled down because of the lack of realism in a show that aims to include many elements pulled straight out of the 21st century world for the sake of appearing realistic and well thought through.
There is a scene where a protagonist is being pursued. He flees into a park, filled with happy picnickers. He rests momentarily on a bench, when suddenly his pursuer appears again. He runs through the park, but to our surprise, all those picnickers have disappeared. Is the director implying that in the few seconds that the camera pans away, all those men and women decided to pack up and leave? This incident is not standalone, and quite often outsiders (to the plot) seem to act illogically, or simply disappear solely for the sake of furthering a plot line and making the actions of characters seem logical.
Another small, annoying factor is that all characters seem to be able to speak to anyone on the globe. Now honestly, I don’t believe that the entire world has started speaking Japanese overnight. This can be overlooked to a certain extent however, since such reasoning seems to be prevalent in many shonen titles.
Another factor pulling down an otherwise very good show, is the seemingly low budget of Blood+. It affects many of the most dominant factors determining the success of a show, plot, animation and sound. Firstly, the plot seems to suffer because directors and producers felt it necessary to include a lot of tangents, which lead nowhere. The entire series could have been done in 3/4ths of the 50 episodes that it runs for or less. Secondly, the lack of CG animation and lanky movements at times takes away from a series that includes a lot of fight scenes. Although it does give it some sort of visual appeal, it would have been much better executed with a larger animation budget.
Sound is another factor pulling it down. Although there are some good tracks in the OST, which are nice to the ear, the repetition and overuse of them is simply irritating, especially for a longer anime like Blood+. The OP and ED are of the common staple, including well known (at least, for us anime fans) J-Rock bands such as UVERworld and Hyde. Certainly not bad, but not very original either. Voice acting isn’t terribly great either, although the actors can convey different emotions, it is not entirely convincing either.
Lastly, personally I found the lack of a deeper ” meaningful” plot line distasteful. Although certainly not needed, it would have brought the enjoyment factor up quite a bit. Simply following the story of the main protagonist, Saya, can be a bore at times, especially when it becomes overly melodramatic.
Pushing my criticism aside, Blood+ certainly isn’t a bad series. Even with these somewhat irritating flaws, it is still much better than a lot of Shonen titles nowadays, and for anyone simply wanting some enjoyment without a too much engrossing plot, i’d certainly recommend this. However, for anyone looking for something deeper, something with, say, moralistic or idealistic principles, i’d tell you to look further, because this wouldn’t be for you.
Recommended for: (more serious) Shonen fans, those looking for something different than average.
Not recommended for: Fans of moe character designs, serious Seinen fans.
MAL Score: 7.65
An injured man is found in the woods by a girl named Eruruu, and everything about him is mysterious. Without knowledge of his past nor even his own name, he is welcomed to Eruruu’s home and is given the name Hakuoro by her grandmother, and younger sister, Aruruu. While the inhabitants of the village have large ears and tails, Hakuoro’s defining physical trait is quite different as he has neither ears nor tail, but only a mask that he cannot remove.
Soon after he becomes a part of the villagers’ lives, a revolution against the tyrannical emperor of the land begins, and the conflict finds its way to his new home. Hakuoro must do whatever he can to save the people and the village that he has come to love, all while uncovering the mysteries that shroud his past.
The story in Utawarerumono is somewhat simplistic at first, with a majority of the anime following a simple formula of battles, battles and even more battles while introducing new characters. One may find that the way the story unfolds in this show is quite repetitive. However, if you’re a fan of war stories with occasionally comedic situations and intelligent strategies to undermine the enemy you will most likely overlook the lack of variation. Despite what has been said, Utawarerumono also has a number of twists and turns (especially in the second half of the show) that should keep the viewer glued to their chairs long enough to see the story through.
Animation is both a positive and negative point in Utawarerumono. While the animation actually animates the characters in combat (compared to other anime that may just use still images and lines to indicate action) with a good amount of detail, recycled animation occurs. The reused animation is unfortunately quite noticeable (although not too frequent) and may detract one’s enjoyment of the battles. The CG animation present in this show is a mixed bag. Some may like it, some may not. Either way, the CG is only used occasionally so it shouldn’t be a huge issue. Character designs are more or less consistent, detailed and interesting, albeit one (or more) episode(s) may have the characters looking slightly more odd then usual due to different animators.
Sound is also quite a mixed bag; you may like it or hate it. The opening song is quite catchy, although there is nothing particularly memorable about it. The ending song also proves to have a unique flair to it, with the overall tone of the music befitting the ambiance of this anime. As Utawarerumono contains a number of battle scenes, the background music does well in giving out the proper mood that is needed to set atmosphere of the show. The voice acting is decent, with no one really standing out but with everyone befitting their character.
Utawarerumono being a harem anime contains the usual female stock characters that you would find from other harems. The serious one, the flirtatious one, the cute one, the shy one and etc. However, due to the majority of the show focusing on war, thankfully most of the female characters are not just part of the harem and play a role in the story. Not every character is developed, most likely due to time constraints (although I’m not sure whether the original game developed the ones missed out in this show). Thankfully the main character and a number of other major characters are given some development and time to flesh out their backgrounds.
As for why I enjoyed Utawarerumono – I have natural bias against anything that would be considered a harem anime, but the nicely animated action scenes and character designs won this series over for me. Storywise I thought most of the show didn’t really offer much, but I was quite suprised towards the second half of the show where a number of twists were thrown in, making the overall story of this anime much more interesting. I also found almost all the characters to be likeable, except for the certain few which are obviously meant to be hated by the viewers. I only wish some other characters besides the ones given time were developed more properly.
Overall, Utawarerumono manages to deliver an enjoyable package to the casual anime viewer. One may desire to watch this show more then once due to the presence of foreshadowing and a good amount of the background story told in different episodes. Either way, Utawarerumono has a little bit of everything for everyone. It has fan service-like scenes and characters, a large amount of intense action scenes and an intriguing and somewhat deep plot for those seeking something less mindless and profound. It may not prove to be strong in any given area, but it delivers a show that should leave most anime fans somewhat satisfied with what they’ve just seen.
All the characters were really likable and I felt sorry for them whenever another war or battle emerges. It’s a good thing they laugh and make me laugh now and then. My favorite was Oboro – I loved watching him fight alongside Dori and Gura, the adorable twins. I love Touka too. I’m still wishing that he’s secretly a guy so my crush on Touka would be justified, but that will never happen. Aruruu was just so adorable and I like her WAY more than her older sister Eruruu. I just find Eruruu a bit weak and bland. I really didn’t like the idea of Hakuoro and Eruru as a couple. It’s just too weird since Aruruu thinks of him as her dad. The villains were also as irritating as the main characters are likable. They really convinced me to hate them.
Animation was above average. Everything was well drawn and surprisingly, I’m OK with the earthy color palette. The CG is something I have to think about. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. It reminds me of early PlayStation1 video game graphics, similar to Suikoden 2’s graphics. The fight scenes were impressive (and exciting) – I love how the characters move swiftly and smoothly when fighting.
I’m not familiar with most of the voice actors, but they were all very impressive. I have to admit that I was iffy with Hakuoro’s voice at first, since I thought it was too manly and old for him, but in the end it turned out well. Everyone was able to bring out their respective character’s personalities and that is what’s important.
As a stand alone, I probably won’t like the music that much. It’s because the music was really tailored for the series. If I’m gonna enjoy the music, I have to watch Utawarerumono along with it. On that note, I really love the opening theme. Whenever I watch Utawarerumono I just have to sing along with it. The BGM was good too. Most of it sounded tribal, for lack of a better word, which also went well with the theme and feel of the series. I also noticed that the music, although it sounds tribal and almost authentic, it would have sounded better if it was less synthesized.
It almost made my favorites list if it weren’t for the last 4-5 episodes that were too weird for me. Overall I did like it, in fact I like it a lot and it’s one of those series that left a strong impression on me.
Utawarerumono is an Action Adventure set in a world of Fantasy. Just think Lord of the Ring, but minus the Ring and Hobbits. Following the disturbing opening scene, we our introduced to our protagonist, a mysterious masked man with no recollection of who he is and why he has an immovable mask on his face. Now this amnesia plot device is one of the most over used but taking into account that this is based of a visual novel, it’s certainly a good way for the player to start off with a clean slate. Now as for the story, a good amount of time is spent bringing this fantasy world to life, in what looks to be a very mild mannered series. But soon after being lulled into a false sense of security, the story develops into that of a war between nations. So instead of harem filled romance you can expect bloody battle after battle, in an ever developing storyline. Sure it would have been better if more thought was put into how to kick start this warfare plot but as a whole, the series did prove to be very exciting to watch. If only it remained that way throughout however in the last batch of episodes you’ll witness one of the most thoughtless plot developments ever, which did a good enough job in ruining whatever impression I had of the series.
The male protagonist did suffer from this drastic change but before that he was a really interesting and mysterious character. It’s a great thing seeing him develop from a nameless nobody to a charismatic figure and the other characters that gravitate towards him certainly have their own appeal or role in the story. Not to forget the female characters, who are what make it this an obvious adaptation from a visual novel but that isn’t really a bad thing. The only negative aspect is the few really stupid and annoying characters (the Emperors) that stifle the quality of this anime.
The quality of the animation is really good as there’s a fair amount of detail put into the characters and environments with some good water, fire & smoke effects. Yet a lot of corners were cut, like when it came to animating the fight scenes. At times it just looked cheap, with a lot of recycled scenes and who could forget the poorly implemented CGI character models in the armies. At least the music is truly special as it manages to go well with the anime, especially during the battles or when it is building up to something epic and I am particularly fond of the ending theme (R.I.P Eri Kawai).
Overall Utawarerumono turned out to be a great Fantasy, Action, Adventure that pulled off a tale about one man and his journey onto greatness. There is quite a lot going for this show to get anyone into it, like the way the characters interact with one another and how the battles & politics were handled. Personally I was disappointed by the number of flaws that plagued the show, from the corners cut in animation, to the terribly erratic pacing and the few stupid decisions the characters made. But none of that really compares to how appalling the last couple episodes were handled. If you can overlook these then you’ll enjoy it.
7: Ueki no Housoku
English: The Law of Ueki
MAL Score: 7.75
Unbeknownst to most humans, a bizarre tournament is held to decide the next ruler of the Heavenly World. In this tournament, 100 Heavenly Beings known as the “God Candidates” are required to search among the middle school students on Earth, and transfer their powers to a student of their choice. The chosen ones will then battle each other, representing their God Candidates. The victor of this tournament will be awarded the “Blank Talent”—allowing them to choose any one unique ability they so desire—while the God Candidate they represent will obtain the position of “God” and become the king of the Heavenly World.
Participating in this grand tournament is Kousuke Ueki, a middle school student who is given the power to turn trash into trees by his homeroom teacher, Kobayashi. Despite the concerns of his classmate, Ai Mori, Ueki embarks on a journey to pursue his own sense of justice after witnessing the people around him misusing their powers for selfish purposes. But as he encounters talented power users such as Seiichirou Sano, Rinko Jerrard, Robert Haydn, and Hideyoshi Soya, he realizes that achieving his goal might be harder than it seems.
This anime starts pretty weak. When you first walk into The Law of Ueki, there’s not really anything to pull you in. It’s a shounen anime. Ok, sweet, shounen I can get in the mood for shounen. So what’s the main character able to do? Turn trash into trees. Awesome! wait what. He can turn trash into….. trees…
That’s pretty much what The Law of Ueki will hit you with. However, that’s what turns this anime into something so brilliant.
You’ve read the synopsis so let’s cut to the chase. The story in The Law of Ueki is definitely not its strongest point. As far as shounens go, The Law of Ueki is ahead of its competitors. Ueki strives towards his goals one step at a time, while meeting characters who ultimately he befriends. Stick in some backstory for the characters and you have the formula that The Law of Ueki pretty much adheres to.
As for the actual plot, I would give it a 8. It’s interesting, because even God has a backstory in this anime. Although the story does take a bit of a dive in the middle, and never really fully recovers. Other aspects of the anime (I.E. the battles, which is what Shounen is pretty much about) more than make up for it.
There’s not much to comment about. Everything is done as it should be. The Law of Ueki isn’t an anime that’s going to wow you with its visuals. Nor is it an anime
that you can’t bear to watch because your eyes are bleeding. The anime doesn’t cut any corners, and battles are animated to what they need to be. There’s no
slow-mo hi-def sword battles in this one. But that’s really not something The Law of Ueki should even be judged on.
The music is simply great. It’s basically your daily allotment of Jpop But of course, does it contribute to the anime? I would say yes. Some
of the fights and situations in the anime really get you pumped because of the added music, and that’s what I believe a 8/9 under music should do for you.
Clearly The Law of Ueki is no Yoko Kanno composition, but hey it gets the job done and it gets it done very well.
The strong point of the anime is right here. At first, Ueki seems kind of empty actually. However, over time Ueki begins to really become that
character you root for. Sometimes his “justice” oversteps the line and you simply facepalm or headdesk, but thats a rare occurance.
The characters are well developed, because their backstories are superb.Each character becomes unique and well defined while all contributing
to the overall enjoyment of the show. Even the character I hated the most (Saru) had his good moments. Although a part of me wanted a little more
“interaction” between Ueki and Mori, alas it was not to be.
What’s the best about the characters in The Law of Ueki, is that the anime also pays attention to the villains. Although they clearly aren’t given
as much attention as the main heroes, The Law of Ueki really nails it by giving them just the right amount of attention. It’s not a 1 minute “blah blah blah
this is why he hates Ueki/wants to win/hates person X/wants to destroy the world” nor is it an episode dedicated to a character who ends up writen off in the recap
time of the net episode.
Overall The Law of Ueki is a superb shounen. The creativity behind the battles makes it a very enjoyable watch just because you think
“Well how is he gonna get out of this one?” That question isn’t simply answered by “OH MY GOD HE HAS ASCENDED AND HE’S KICKIN ASS!” There’s actually thought behind each battle, and that’s what differentiates the average shounen from the great shounen.
Chihuahua Review(short&sweet): This is a good shounen(bunch of guys and action) to watch. There are alot of unique characters. Let me rephrase that there are a lot of UNIQUE powers here.
——————————>In Depth Review:<————————
STORY: This is not, I repeat NOT just some lame, generic kid show. The story here is a for spot to become God. Here angels become god-candidates who choose kids to give powers to and then let them battle. The main character Ueki who believes deeply in justice. This may still sound lame and generic but the story execution was great with fun interesting strategies in every battle. The only real problem is parts of the story didnt make sense. 200 abilities for one person and only 100losers so far(you’ll understand later).
ART: Animation was well and the battles really drawn exceptionally well adding to the fights intensity. However at times the main characters look really young and it was really hard to take them seriously during dramatic moments. It does becomes unnoticeable with the addictive story.
SOUND: The opening and endings were REALLY good in this one and the background music was passable. The voice acting was great here with the infamous Paku, Romi playing the main Ueki. Guess that’s why I thought of Full Metal Alchemist while I was watching this.
CHARACTER: The characters here were really well made and there were alot and after watching it, I doubt there will be a character that youll end up hating. So many powers(trash into trees, towels to steel, etc.) they’re so weird but u cant not like them.>_< The powers even get stronger.
ENJOIMENT: I couldn’t stop watching this when i started it was so addicting I always wanted to find out wat happend next. Everything blended so well! Very close to being a nine overall. Ending was nice and really hope there is a second season(heard rumors).
OVERALL: No matter how generic this anime sounds it is good and definately worth a watch. Even though everything about it is not that great, the execution was amazing.
Recommendation: If you like shounens with a dash of fantasy and magic watch this. If you like this then watch the Prince of Tennis or Full Metal Alchemist.^_^
If you dissagreed OR agreed fully with me on anything feel free to message me and discuss it. Always fun. @_@
The story is based on a knock out tournament (a popular tag which few even classify as a genre of its own) and a final prize for the winner. This concept has been overused like the chunin exam of naruto, or hunter exam of hxh, or a recent example mirai nikki. Yet the execution is entirely different and unique in its own way. The story goes on like this- there are 100 god candidates chosen, and each candidate chooses a student (a middle school student) and gives him a power, and then the students fight between themselves, and whoever wins his candidate becomes the god, and the student gains a null talent, ie any talent he wishes. Moreover if a candidates student attacks a normal citizen the student loses one of his talents, and if they loose all their talents they will vanish without a trace. That is basically the initial setting. It becomes more intense as the show goes on. The few interesting points are the powers of the candidates, like MC has ability to turn trash into trees, another guy can turn towel into iron (looks lame at first, but it is splendidly used).
Animation 7/10 Sound 8/10
Animation is weak, but considering it to be a 2005-2006 anime it is not some exception. It gets it job done. The characters designs are pretty good, though it had room for improvement. No kinds of scenery or stuff is present to comment upon, but animation shouldn’t become a barrier to watching this splendid shounen anime.
Sound was better than the animation. The opening song gave a peculiar vibe of some kind of depressing situation, but it was not much pronounced in the anime, probably due to its excess comedy. The osts were pretty good, and there doesn’t exist much to complain about.
Tournament battles are overused stuff. And the existence of a decent prize is not an exception. And obviously there exists some kind of powerful antagonist with his own perception of talents and stuff. On a broader view there isn’t anything pulling us into the story, but on close examination there exists plenty of elements. First, is the MC, Ueki. He is shown to have a strong sense of justice, and much of the story evolves around the justice factor. Second, is its excess comedy, which was initially used to propel the viewer into watching more ep, and in latter eps, just as a medium to keep the story strong. Comedy is one of its strongest points, (caution : don’t drink water while watching this, else water will be spilled.). Third, is MCs peculiar power trash into trees and the possibilities that arise from. Fourth, and the most important is INTELLIGENT BATTLES. This is its strongest points, it delivers incredible battles. Battles are planned, and luckily the MC can actually think on his own and uses many tricks to baffle his opponents. Once 15 or so eps, pass MC also levels up, in very very interesting ways, as such once past 10 eps, there will be little incentive left to give up this anime. The anime also delves into teacher student relationship, and values of morals.
But still, the story lacks many things. First, the initial pace is slow, it is ok with manga but in anime adaptation, they could have cut quite many chapters and may be they could finish the anime sweetly in 35-40 episodes. The chapters I am referring to are not too integral in the story development, and plays very partial role in character development. In fact, the first few episodes were boring, and focused only on MC, and as result few important characters got introduced as late as ep 20. The anime should have neatly deleted unimportant battles. Even in the latter half some battles seemed to be dragged on. And only final battle remained to be seen.
While characters are mostly typical of shounen animes, their roles are quite varied and unique. There doesn’t exist a character who is powerless at first sight but then after intensive training becomes op. The charcters develop, become better but only according to their capacities. Starting with MC he pretty much masters his powers, and his development his most pronounced. His leveling up is extraordinary, and he uses his new powers very intelligently and there are many spontaneous combos which he uses to defeat his enemies, and at times I was forced to say Brilliant! Other characters like Mori, rinko and Sano play integral role, and they too level up with unexpected variations. They receive ample development mainly because of solid back stories. The characters are carefully chosen by the author and he has intelligently played with them and the role that everyone plays is incredible. (If I were to elucidate it would be a spoiler).
Interestingly, even god is a character and surprisingly has a backstory. Tbh I was quite amazed at the description of the god, and more interestingly he is a prominent source of outright comedy
I srsly enjoyed this anime, mainly because of highly intelligent battles, and some of the battles might even rival that of hxh. I was also amazed at the non cliche powers, among all I liked the antagonists power the most (can’t spoil). The outright comedy was evident and there exists no episode which won’t make u laugh. Added to this was powering up of the characters which added spice to the anime. Lastly and the most important part, that it has a good and actual ending, and not some lame original ending.
Even then there exists many points to be criticized. First, irregular pacing, and dragged on battles. Second some cliche elements like nakama powerboost and some friendship stuff. Third, excess comedy, which at times turned into forced comedy. Fourth and the most important part is that it deals with MIDDLE SCHOOL kids. The anime had vast potentials, and with highschool students and a bit of seinen feel, packed with awesome action scenes and intelligent battles could have turned out better in many respects, because the idea of middle school kids fighting didn’t really appeal to me much. Fifth, teacher student relationship was quite pronounced but again seemed to be a bit of excessive.
On subjective reviewing it deserves 9/10, but on close inspection and objective reviewing I can’t render more than. 8/10. As such the anime should have lasted not more than 35 eps, with fast pacing and appropriate development. Had it acccomplished this feat, it might have become a showcase masterpiece and shared its stage with other good animes.
Japanese: ディー グレイマン
MAL Score: 8.04
Losing a loved one is so painful that one may sometimes wish to be able to resurrect them—a weakness that the enigmatic Millennium Earl exploits. To make his mechanical weapons known as “Akuma,” he uses the souls of the dead that are called back. Once a soul is placed in an Akuma, it is trapped forever, and the only way to save them is to exorcise them from their vessel using the Anti-Akuma weapon, “Innocence.”
After spending three years as the disciple of General Cross, Allen Walker is sent to the Black Order—an organization comprised of those willing to fight Akuma and the Millennium Earl—to become an official Exorcist. With an arm as his Innocence and a cursed eye that can see the suffering souls within an Akuma, it’s up to Allen and his fellow Exorcists to stop the Millennium Earl’s ultimate plot: one that can lead to the destruction of the world.
I’ll start with the plot, which is far darker than your average shounen. From the very first episode, we are shown a merciless enemy that will exploit any weakness, who’s main weapon, the Akuma (demons) uses the souls of the dead. These are not zombies, just mindless corpses. These are weapons which pull a soul back from heaven and torture it as their power source. A lot of shounens gloss over the concept of death, bad guys are captured alive or shown the error of their ways, people fall unconscious but can be healed, etc. In D. Gray-man, death is very real, and resting in peace is only for the fortunate ones who’s loved ones are strong enough not to be tempted to call them back.
Against the Akuma and their creator, the Millennium Earl, are the Exorcists of the Dark Order. Exorcists are those chosen by God to use ‘innocence’, a mysterious substance which can be used to form weapons capable of destroying the Akuma. The series follows Allen Walker, a new recruit with the ability to see the souls trapped within the Akuma. The plot itself begins slowly, with short arcs in which Allen and his comrades are dispatched to investigate mysterious phenomena which are thought to be caused by innocence fragments. After a few of these arcs, the Noah Clan, allies of the Millennium Earl, begin to be introduced and the focus turns to the war between him and the Dark Order.
The plot is, for the most part, very well paced. Early arcs are kept short, about 4 episodes or so long, with a single ‘filler’ episode in between. Don’t be put off when I say filler. While the plot could easily go without these episodes, I found them all to be entertaining (if somewhat silly at times) and they served well as comic relief within an otherwise serious plot. And if you don’t enjoy them, they do become fewer and further between as the war intensifies and plot arcs become longer. With one exception, none of these longer plot arcs drag on to the point that the viewer just wants them to get on with it. In the one arc in which this does occur, it is saved in part by having another plot running at the same time. Battles often do last across multiple episodes, but in most of these, the battle changes and develops over those episodes, unlike drawn out battles in other shounen which just get repetitive, where the middle episodes can often just be skipped entirely.
The show also boasts one of the best sets of characters of any anime I have seen. Each hero is flawed, and the Earl and Noah are far more fleshed out (in more ways than one in the Earl’s case) than most villains. It says a lot about the quality of a series’ characters when the villains mourning a dead friend can evoke sympathy. They also managed to inspire doubt as to whether the exorcists are in fact the good guys, thanks to the show’s religious imagery.
As for the heroes, each has their own motive, each of which is more complex than the standard shounen motives of just saving the world or becoming the strongest and the like. Allen wants to save the souls of the Akuma, to the point where he can even show disregard for his own or others’ lives at times. Lenalee, the series’ main female character, fights for the sake of her friends and brother, and her past reveals that she may not support the Dark Order’s cause even as she fights for them.
My personal favourite characters were Lavi and Bookman. These two are a master (Bookman) and apprentice (Lavi) of a clan of historians who became exorcists to be close to history as it occurred so that it could be recorded, and while they do fight, they try to minimise how much they interfere. Lavi’s conflict between his duty as a Bookman and as an Exorcist, the loyalty he developed for his friends despite Bookman’s orders to become close to no one, and his doubts as to whether the cheerful, friendly, fun guy is the real him or a mask that he should remove was probably my favourite aspect of the series.
So, here I am singing the series’ praises, yet it got a 9, not a 10. Why? Well, in complete contrast to what I said at the beginning, because it ended. A lot wasn’t able to be explained before the series was cancelled. The last ten episodes or so suffered from trying to rush one of the story arcs after having taken their time over previous ones. The battle in the last three episodes was amazing, but it also wasn’t the final battle that I wanted to see. There is a lot of potential for a sequel, including a development at the end that virtually screamed “to be continued”. I do sincerely hope that there will be a sequel. But if there isn’t, the show ended in the best possible place it could. A clear cut ending is often unrealistic, and endings in which the heroes won but the villain is there in the shadows, not as dead as they thought, muttering “This isn’t over” gets old quickly. Maybe the abiguity was for the best.
All in all, the show is well worth watching, even if you don’t usually commit to long running shounen. Just don’t go in expecting to not have any questions at the end.
The Story has a very original plot. When I started this anime I immediately liked the concept of chosen humans + “innocence” = akuma (demon) butt-kicking “Exorcists”! I knew nothing about it but i decided to watch it based on its good animation and I was not disappointed at all. The characters and their uniforms/weapons all look outstanding!
I found that all of the op. and end. songs are excellent songs that you wouldnt mind listening to each episode. Normally I would skip songs but I listened to all of D.Gray-man’s because they really do suit the anime and sound good! Background music could be a bit better tho…
Character is one of the best aspects of the anime. Each and every character is Amazing! Each main character is lovable, unique, strong, nice-looking and they all have mysterious pasts and secrets. I have found fan clubs for even the evil characters. You wont find out about the evil characters until late in the anime but they are surprisingly loved as well. There might be a few characters you dont like but those would likely be side characters..all the main characters are great! The development of the ALL the characters through out the series always amazed me…
Try not to give up on this anime too early…after watching about 30 episodes I started to get a little bored… But since I loved the characters and was curious about the plot I decided to go read the manga. I was instantly hooked and it became a favorite! The point is that at the start of the anime there are a lot of filler-type episodes (especially before episode 38). Dont get me wrong, these are not the typical useless filler episodes. All most all these episodes are either action-packed or show some character development.
Even in the most serious of times there are humorous moments and great weapons/abilities/battles..
D.Gray-man finished with 103 episodes and not many fillers..In my opinion do not be disappointed with the end of the anime. There are many amazing battles that lead up to the climatic end but a lot of things are left unexplained. I don’t think its confirmed but I am expecting a second season in the future after a lot more manga chapters are released (when the anime ended, it was very close to manga and i guess they decided not to go into fillers…)
Overall this anime is excellent [9-10] and covers almost every genre;
A worthy watch! It can be compared with the popular shounen anime Naruto and Bleach but I found more interest in D.Gray-man which is a bit more serious and in depth. (And a lot less out-stretched if you know what I mean…)
The story was bad to say the least. It was badly paced as most of the time your stuck to seeing something between shonen- anime glued together with a lot of dramatism. And that means that action fight’s are predictable and almost seem pointless and the Allen or Lenalle or other guys from the Order cry after almost every fight about something. The story had so much plot-holes that there were more holes then the plot. Also on the end all you get is about the same were this anime started. The last episode everyone is still fighting akuma’s and more then 100 episodes passed away already.
It was very good. Nowhere in this anime you can see bad animation and it was 103 episodes long. That’s a lot of episodes! Off course it wasn’t anything ground braking and akuma’s could of been made more creepier.
It was awesome. All the time I liked the sound in the anime soundtracks. Specially when Allen played piano. Only reason I didn’t give it 10 was, because few openings could of been a bit more better. Almost all of the openings were top notch, but none of them were something that I would like to listen.
The good guys were decent characters.The main protagonist Allen was an interesting character, but he lacked the brains or the attitude to be a real protagonist. Allen is basically a good guy and nothing more. The protagonist might as well be Lavi or The Krory( The vampire dude). Well at least the good guys had some good character development, but because of the bad story the character development was really hard to see. The villains were just pointless. There goal was pointless and even 3 year old kids have better goals to accomplish. For example, Earl’s goal was to destroy the world. And what will happen to him? Who the hell would want to destroy something his life depends on? Makes no sense.
I kinda enjoyed this anime with a big minus. I liked to watch some of the fights in D. Gray-man, like Krory against Lavi and Allen. Though most of the time the fights were one-sided like Allen killing lvl 1 akuma’s. The comedy in here was like: Should I be laughing or not? So I didn’t crack any laugh at all. Well at least I liked to listen to the music. But once I remember how long this anime was I feel like I wasted too much of my time for almost nothing. I will never rewatch this anime.
The story is rubbish. For 103 episodes it went nowhere and the last episode just ended with a cliffhanger. Character’s are decent. The art and music is quality stuff, but nothing ground-braking.
If you really have nothing to do then go watch D. Gray-man. At the start you will like it , then you will get bored of it somewhere in the middle, then close to the end you will start to like it again and you will want to know what will happen next and at the end you will just get a wtf moment that will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and a lot of wasted time.
5: Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi
English: KenIchi: The Mightiest Disciple
Japanese: 史上最強の弟子 ケンイチ
MAL Score: 8.08
“Weak Legs” Kenichi Shirahama would rather spend his time reading self improvement books than fighting. However, when he finally works up the courage to become strong and join his school’s karate club, he is coerced into fighting a bullying upperclassman who is intent on getting him kicked out of the club. He is about to give it all up until he falls for his mysterious new classmate, Miu Furinji. In order to face this challenge, he undergoes rigorous training at the dojo she lives at, Ryouzanpaku. Some initial training by the masters there allow him to defeat his upperclassman, however his fighting prowess brings him to the attention of the powerful gang of delinquents, Ragnarok. Wishing to protect the things he loves and determined to have the strength to face the increasing adversity, he must learn various martial arts from the dojo’s resident masters, taking Karate, Muay Thai, Ju Jitsu and Chinese Martial Arts and combining them to create his own fighting style!
The story, although simple at heart, becomes more complex at the surface as the anime progresses through the episodes. Kenichi is your run-of-the mill weakling kid who is always getting picked on by everyone and has no confidence in his abilities whatsoever. But that doesn’t stop him from doing the right thing and stepping into some pretty hairy situations despite his shortcomings. The story begins with Kenichi wanting to get stronger because of his will to protect his friends. As a result, he joins the Ryōzanpaku dojo and from there on out, every episode has meaning, and will have you wanting for more. The story ends with Kenichi in an final showdown verses the leader of the most intense gang in Japan – Ragnorak. Just from that, it gives you the sense that the plot development is spectacular in this show.
The art for Kenichi is well done. All of the characters are drawn very well and have distinguishing characteristics that cosplay members will love to create. Animation is also done very well, as you have great battles and very few repetition of frames.
Arguably, the sound is probably the weakest point of the anime, and its not even that weak. Opening/ending songs are pretty good and the scores used throughout the anime fit quite well with the current scene you are watching. However, it is the voices to each character that really brings all the characters alive, as you can feel the emotion from all of the characters.
The character design in HSD Kenichi is so original and great, that you’ll wonder why nobody has ever came up with this before. Kenichi is trained by six masters, who all specialize in a different form of martial arts. All of their personalities are so different and unique, you’ll also wonder how each of them get along in the first place. Hence, the many comedic moments and episodes that you’ll inevitably witness as they all fight amongst themselves to be the one who trains Kenichi. Ah, and let’s not forget the beautiful Miu Furinji, Kenichi’s love interest, who, unlike other female protagonists of similar plots, is one hell of a fighter and the reason Kenichi joins the dojo. As the anime progresses deeper in the story, you’ll be unveiled to a plethora of unique characters who have different fighting styles and unique personalities, which will all amaze and have you laughing at the same time. For the sake of keeping this section as short as possible, I’m simply going to say character development is flawless in this anime.
Even with all of this that I have written about, this anime would be nothing without its comedy, and that is what makes Kenichi so much fun and enjoyable to watch. You will be literally laughing out loud at some of the hellish training that Kenichi is forcibly put through and will wonder why he hasn’t died yet. (Yes, the training is that hellish). Even with 50 episodes, the comedy of Kenichi never gets old and you’ll find that to be the case right up to the very last episode. Hell, sometimes you’ll wish that they had more comedy than serious fights, because its that good.
All in all, Kenichi is one of those rare anime shows out there that is able to blend in comedy with the overall serious plot extremely well. One of the few qualms that I did have with this show was that the ending occurred a little to quick and you’ll also wish that they gave more information about the history of each of the masters, as they provide you with relatively very little on each one of them. In the end, once you watch the final episode of this anime, it will take you five seconds or so to wish that there would be a second season to it.
From the start, this anime has a very typical story and plot. Having a high school setting, the story is about Kenichi’s quest to become stronger. The story itself is incredibly basic that any idiot can grasp its concept. The way in which the story flows makes it feel like a game; Kenichi gains some experience points => clears a stage => levels up => makes it to the next stage. This makes it really enjoyable to watch him develop but its overall simplicity is also its downfall, due to the lack of depth to the story. This doesn’t matter too much, to the average viewer because of than the awesome fights and there’s plenty of comedy that will make it hard to take the show seriously.
This anime is full of so many interesting characters and it’s not only the 2 main ones (Kenichi & Miu). Some of the supporting characters are also great, as their little quirks make the series more enjoyable. With Kenichi being the main titular character, he proves to be quite an amazing well developed one. It just makes it so interesting to watch a “loser-kun” character with no natural talent become such a great fighter.
The quality of the animation is very peculiar because most of the time it looks really simple and crude. The action on the other hand can be pretty intense but the character’s thoughts tend to slow down the pace. The music has to be the weakest aspect of the show, as there is nothing particularly special about it. Not only that but the background sounds (birds & cicadas) don’t sound good but the SFX during fights help add to the intensity.
Overall History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi proved to be a really enjoyable and addicting Shounen Action anime to watch, as it didn’t rely on typical “power ups” and “special techniques” but just traditional fighting styles and clichés. Of course this anime would have been so much better if it was produced by a different studio but even then the story would still be very linear. If you’ve seen and enjoyed shounen action animes like “Tenjou Tenge” & “Naruto” then you’ll definitely enjoy this one.
The animation is lack luster. Rather than fluid animation displaying extension of limbs and alertness of characters. Kenichi relies more heavily on the quick flash of motion with speed lines indicating action, and sequences of pictures less worthy of being called animation. Character design is uninspired-ly shounen, with an overall presentation of something one would see in the early 90’s.
Bad voice acting. There really is no other way to say it. It was surprising to discover that the voice of the main character, Shirahama Kenichi, is acted by Seki Tomokazu one of my personal favorites. The music is equally bad and also quite forgettable. I had to go back to youtube just to remember them, and even then it was unfamiliar. Also laughable are the foley effects for fights which prove highly anachronistic given current technology and processes.
Characters – 4
Nothing to see here except a plethora of sterotypes as flat as the paper they were conceived on. We have your meek protagonist who cherishes what little companions he has. His busty, pure-hearted, yet equally shy friend. Kenichi’s numerous martial arts masters are all ripoffs of characters from various fighting games and movies. We have the old man with a long beard and ripped muscles, the kung fu master, the kunoichi weapons expert, the thai boxer, badass karate guy, and disciplined but dangeruous Aikido master. On the opposing side we have baddies including a tsundere who likes kittens, a bitter enemy who misdirects rage, and the main bad guy who lusts for power at all costs.
Story – 5
This story plays out as all shounen fighting shows with a hint of romance do: Fight a person and find out that something more sinister awaits. Train. Conflict of conscience. Something bad happens. Train. Fight. Get former enemies to be your friend. Train. Recognition of weakness. Train. Discover you like girl. Date. Train. Remember past with girl and baddies. Train. Turn weakness into strength. Prevail.
Enjoyment – 4
The only thing I can honestly say that I enjoyed is the application of Norse mythology in the form of giving nick-names to the "bad guys." I wasted a lot of time during the show trying to find a higher meaning behind the monikers. But clearly the creator though: Norse names are cool sounding. end of thought.
Overall – 4
Kenichi is a laughably mediocre show. I once had this score at a six (I tend to give middle of the road shows the benifit of the doubt), and then a five; however, while writing this review I have come to the conclusion that this show is not the sum of its average parts. At no point in time does this show take the viewer by surprise. Everything from design to execution is bizarrely over-exaggerated and banally predictable. Even if one is a fan of the genre, I doubt that it stacks up to any of the heavy hitters, or even the more marginally popular fare.
4: Initial D Fourth Stage
Japanese: 頭文字〈イニシャル〉D FOURTH STAGE
MAL Score: 8.14
Takumi Fujiwara finally joins Ryousuke and Keisuke Takahashi to create “Project D.” Their goal is twofold: Ryousuke wants to develop his “High-Speed Street Racing Theory,” while Keisuke and Takumi aim at improving their driving skills by facing powerful opponents on dangerous roads. The idea of Project D is to challenge street racing teams from other prefectures to improve both their uphill and downhill records. In order to attract the attention of the best racing teams, Ryousuke creates a dedicated website to announce the future battles of Project D and post the team’s results.
The fourth season of Initial D details the hardships and successes of the members of Project D as they try to become the best street racing team outside of Gunma Prefecture.
Itsuki, Iketani, and Kenji are of course present. Itsuki will also have his time to somewhat shine again. I think they are useful but not impacting. I think the purpose of their presence is to demonstrate that Takumi is developing and can talk about racing and cars, and Takumi won’t explain things all spaced out like in 1st stage. Other characters from previous season will be making a return and they also have their own contributions. The newer characters are interesting in their own right and you’re getting characters from all kinds of backgrounds and skill levels. Granted it’s been the same with previous installments, but this takes it to a whole new level in ways you can never have expected. By the end, you get characters that are not traditionally found in Initial D, but you would tend to find in Wangan Midnight, another racing anime and manga. Some teams go as far as getting professional racers to challenge Project D. A flaw that will stand out to those familiar with the manga is that Keisuke’s races such as that with the Integra and the R34 are mentioned, but are never shown, but afterwards they show his races. I don’t know why. But I heard they were animated for Battle Stage 2, which I have yet to see. I also recall that Kyoko, the black FD driver being spunkier in the manga while in this one, she’s more of a likeable and sweet girl, but with a unique passion for cars and racing. Over looking these flaws, the pacing felt as fast as the races, which will be my next topic of discussion.
Well, you’ll notice a lot of changes in this series in style. What I liked is that it brings a style more manga-like. The art was sketchier and it used a lot more cross-hatching to show the shadowing. I’m personally more of a manga person, so I felt appreciated as a manga fan. I also loved how the coloring and resolution complimented this approach as well. But one thing in particular that really stood out to me was that the characters wore different clothes in every episode. Usually in cartoons, video games, and anime, characters will always wear one set of clothes just to make them “iconic.” I know it may sound stupid those who are listening to this review, but this quality just stood out to me and I just happened to enjoy it. But one thing I didn’t like personally is that Shigeno-sensei at this point is sort of getting lazy with his female designs. How come Kyoko and Nao have to look like Natsuki? Why can’t he draw women in the fashion of Impact Blue? I don’t know where he went wrong there.
The rendering of the cars this time has more of a cel-shaded style, though not really in the same nature of that as in Jet Set Radio or Okami. It still has a CG kind of look, and I thought the rendering blended excellently with the style of this season. The races in this one are of course more exciting than ever, but I think they relied on the chase race more. You know the races like what Takumi had with Impact Blue in first stage, and with Wataru in second. But I heard in mountain races in Japan, that kind of racing is most common. I prefer the time attack races and I think in addition to realism they used the chase race just to drag the races a little bit more, but I feel the conclusions and finishes are more dramatic as a result, though sometimes anti-climatic, but there are legitimate reasons and purposes. But like other installments as the series progresses, new courses will of course mean new features and factors to how the races will turn out which is another contribution to motivating development. And sorry to bring up a spoiler, but I couldn’t help but mention that by the end, it will feature Mt. Tsukuba, also known as the Purple Mountain, a course I used to live not too far from and have hiked. And the home team is appropriately named the Purple Shadow. And I haven’t played the newer games enough to give the judgment of the accuracy of the course’s portrayal.
Even though I skim through this section in the last two reviews of Initial D, I need to really extend this particular section more in relation to the voice acting. First I will briefly talk about the music. My favorite song is the 2005 remix of Wild Reputation by Dave Rodgers, and it’s featured in episode 13. I just think the song really reflected the bad boy images of Wataru and Keisuke. And to conclude with the music, MOVE’s style has gone more radical where it was more reliant on rap in previous seasons, while they added more rock elements to come across as more extreme and it works out really well. So that’s it for music.
The voice acting in this season starting with Takahashi Ryosuke played by Koyasu Takehito, is taken to a new level of appreciation in my book. It’s not just his unique charisma and intimidation, but I just love how he makes the character distinguishing. His acting abilities truly bring those qualities to Ryosuke. It makes him sound like a Bruce Lee of street racing though that’s really Bunta’s role, but Koyasu’s acting just steals that spotlight. Miki Shin’ichiro also brings out Takumi’s development in relation to his ability to articulate his abilities racing and doesn’t sound as spaced out. He just really pulls you into the character and you can’t call him an empty shell. And as usual, I love Seki Tomokazu’s hot tempered portrayal as Keisuke. And Toyoguchi Megumi, who you may know as the voice of Elena in Advent Children, Millaria in Gundam SEED, and Sei in Maria-san ga Miteru did an excellent performance with the anime’s portrayal of Kyoko who is passionate, but yet mellow and focused. Even though my perfect scores in previous installments was out of fanboyism on my part, I just feel that for the first time I felt moved and more educated by the performances.
Despite how highly I rate this, I still acknowledge Initial D isn’t an anime for everyone whether new, casual, or hardcore. I’m just saying this as a guy who’ll try everything, and I didn’t expect to like Initial D. I like what’s fresh and original, which Initial D has always offered me and is free from most anime stereotypes, and it’s very educational to me as someone who has friends who like to race and I have been going to car shows and drag races since I was in high school, though I don’t participate in them. But the concept of racing isn’t something everyone is going to embrace and I know that eurobeat isn’t universally appealing. And the tech speak is something that can turn off people and I’ve seen that a lot. But if you want character and story development that is well motivated, maybe these qualities will make up for the surface ones that make you uninterested, I don’t know.
Now I will conclude this on a note that people will call me stupid and crazy, and for all the right reasons by fans and non-fans alike. It’s just that when I watched this, I felt the execution and presentation made me start to think that touge racing is a legitimate sport in its own way and requires a unique set of skills and customization of your car. After all, some famous racers started out on the street and Tsuchiya Keiichi, the drift king and supervisor of this anime was no different. Outside of public traffic risk and legality factors, other conditions that are explained and portrayed truly demonstrate this distinction to make you come to that assumption and I do have a new sense of respect for touge racing as a sport thanks to watching this anime. As for a fifth stage, the manga is still going on, so you can look forward to it at some point, or read the manga.
The story of Fourth Stage has come from the budding of Fujiwara Takumi’s driving skill to the nationwide domination of Project D, a new race team established by Takahashi Ryouske. The story proceeds well from the small victories in various regions, to the eventual domination of the prefecture as a whole. The story however, does also drop into the various personal lives of the characters. By allowing viewers to see what is driving the character’s ambitions and dreams, they can come to understand the determination that all hold.
The artwork has come a long way since the original First Stage. Character animations are more fluid and polished. Overall, they more attractive as well since they were pretty hard to view in the beginning. The biggest improvements have come, of course, in the vehicle and race animations. All the cars are depicted almost flawlessly both inside and out to let auto enthusiasts truly appreciate their favorite vehicles. The races are much smother and the vehicles have lost that "paste-on-top" feel that they used to have. A very welcome change. Fans can now truly feel the races blend together in solid animation.
The soundwork of Initial D has always been a key point to it’s success. The squeeling tires, high-revving engines, and bursting exhausts are all delivered in an excellence that is to be expected. The background music has stayed true to the Initial D style with it’s happy-pop Eurobeat soundtrack. The music, while perhaps annoying on it’s own, does help to provide a great sense of energy during the race scenes. By combining the music and sounds in great choreography with the revamped animation, a completed scene gives it’s viewers a real sense of awe. The new introduction and ending music are pretty similar to the previous tunes held by the earlier seasons. The intro music is fastpaced and energetic while the ending themes are a bit softer to give a sense of closure after each episode.
The characters in Initial D have come a long way since the original series, yet they still seem to have a hard time developing aside from their driving skill. Anger, drama, sadness, and determination are all delivered well enough, but any actual development is rarely made. The traditional overcoming by Takumi is nothing new but is fun to watch as new techniques and skills are found. The drama, itself, is pretty much based on a would-be relationship that is similar to one found in Second Stage. Again, while the characters learn and grow as drivers, they don’t seem to evolve much as people.
Overall, Initial D Fourth Stage is an excellent addition to growing franchise. The new artwork will be a welcomed upgrade amongst fans of previous series and may even captivate the eyes of new viewers. For series focused on automotive enthusiasm, drifting, and driver determination, it does well for itself. However, it may find difficulty in capturing the attention of those that have little or no interest in auto racing or drifting.
This series focuses on the exploits of the new team founded by Ryosuke, Project.D, which is composed of Ryosuke (leader and strategist), downhill specialist Takumi, uphill specialist Keisuke, and a staff consisting primarily of members of the Akagi Red Suns. The team travels the region, challenging other teams and posting the results of the battles on their website. Each race is intended by Ryosuke to develop a specific area of his drivers’ skills. By this time, Takumi matures slowly into a more confident and knowledgeable street racer, while Keisuke improves on his technical driving skills.
In the series, the main drivers and their racing skills do develop as they race against the opponents they’re matched with and could make their better drivers, but as normal people and in my opinion, they are flawed (which is a good thing) but they are crazy to think that racing is the only thing that fulfill their lives. For example, Keisuke has this girl named Kyoko Iwase, who is a fellow Mazda RX-7 FD driver and uphill ace racing for the Northern Saitama Alliance, has a crush on him as she admires his racing techniques and he does like her but he doesn’t want her to interfere with his racing, even though she said she wasn’t going to. Look, I get not being distracted during your time of racing but are you seriously going to say that it’s more important than a girl who has some interest in you because of your talent? Okay, maybe it could be distracting but still after hearing enough crap about that “lonely driver” thing from Takumi’s crew (friends who we never see race anyone BTW) during the first three stages and soon they realize what they been saying is a bunch of bulls**t.
As for the main story, it’s the same as always. People think the Eight-Six can’t race worth jack squat, they challenge him, they race which lasts about 2-3 episodes, they think they are about to win until Takumi tries this stunt that makes it impossible for the opponents to believe, they do the same thing and mess up and Takumi wins……only this time, it also happens to the other racers on Project D. It’s basically the same story with a few different story elements thrown in and some of the other drivers in Project D doing the same thing.
As for the animation, it’s done by another anime studio. Remember Studio ACGT (or Adenine Cytosine Guanine Thymine), the same studio that did the formerly reviewed Koi Kaze? Well, of course in this series, the animation is still better than what it used to be and ACGT definitely animated this better than the other aforementioned anime. The music is slightly better with the first opening theme, “Dogfight” by move, which is the better opening theme in either one of the Initial D series but, however, that theme only lasts for 10 episodes and the other one, “Noizy Tribe” also by move, is very lackluster at best. The ending theme songs you can just skip to the next episode since there is no next episode clip as they do in most anime.
FINAL VERDICT: 4th stage is the weakest of the series and it shows with shifting pace on storyline from turtle-like slow to roadrunner fast. At some parts, you will know what’s going to happen during the show. It’s becoming too predictable for its own good and doesn’t care about the other situations going on at the same time. The characters are merely just there and only motivate on one thing and make themselves look like robotic and stiff. I would say to watch it only to continue the saga but frankly, while doing that, just skip over the parts that you can guess already.
3: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
MAL Score: 8.15
There is no putting it lightly—Tsunayoshi Sawada is just no good. He is clumsy, talentless, and desperately in love with the school idol Kyouko Sasagawa, a girl so completely out of his league. Dubbed “Loser Tsuna” by his classmates, he seems to be the very personification of failure in the guise of a middle-schooler.
Tsuna’s boring life takes an extraordinary twist when he encounters the mysterious Reborn, who happens to be a hitman… and shockingly, a baby! Sent from the strongest Mafia family in Italy, Reborn is assigned the daunting mission of preparing the dull middle schooler to succeed the ninth boss of the notorious Vongola family, who is on the brink of retirement. The dull boy has a grueling road ahead, but with the help of his new criminal affiliates and his peculiar home tutor, perhaps even Loser Tsuna can achieve greatness.
At first glance, Katekyo Hitman Reborn may seem boring. The major flaw of the anime is that it absolutely misleads you, and it completely deceives you into either a) dropping the anime or b) thinking the anime is lame, when it isn’t!
The first 20 episodes may mislead you to drop the anime, just like it misled me, because of its fillerlike episodes. You will most likely tell yourself “Wow, this is really lame. What’s the point of all this?” That’s what I thought, but I gave it a chance. (And I’m SO glad I did. Katekyo Hitman Reborn is now my absolute favorite anime.)
The beginning is kind of slow and different from the rest of the later episodes, because apparently KHR was initially meant to be a gag anime – it was supposed to be something funny and comedic. The anime took a different turn as you progress to episode 20 into something more serious.
The first 20 episodes is merely a /long/ introduction to the anime. It’s worth watching though, because you get to be familiar with all the characters. They are all likeable! If you decide to watch Katekyo Hitman Reborn (and I hope you will!) you should decide whether you like it or not, after 25 episodes or so. It’s only fair, right? All animes have their flaws; and it’s flaw, in my opinion is that they don’t give it a decent start. If you do not have the patience for that, then this anime may not be for you.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn deals with the mafia. Tsuna, the *main* character, is in the next line to be the 10th boss for the Vongola Family~ (one of the many families in the mafia.) Reborn, a hitman, and also a baby (hehe), travels from Italy to Japan to tutor Tsuna to become a worthy boss for the Vongola Family.
From then on, Tsuna’s adventures and what he experiences are endless– but they’re all interesting. Over the course of the anime, Tsuna grows and matures, and becomes really strong; fighting his enemies and getting stronger each fight he experiences. The fights he encounters are well made, and they WILL keep you at the edge of your seat. Tsuna isn’t the only one fighting, though– he also has a “family”– his comrades, if you will, and the battles they encounter are endless.
The art is well made; I don’t think there is much to complain about it.
It isn’t outstandingly good, nor is it horribly bad to a point where you have to shield your eyes. The characters are wonderfully drawn and are all unique in their own ways. The art progressively gets better as you further get into the anime.
The sound is absolutely AMAZING. It deserves an 11/10, as opposed to a 10/10.
I loved all of the openings, and endings– I never once had to skip it; and that’s kind of rare, considering the fact that I’m absolutely picky with my music.
The soundtrack is amazing as well, there is a couple of them for EACH character (well, the main characters, anyways.)
They have a soundtrack for every different scene in the anime, and it is absolutely positively pleasing to the ears. Everything about it is EPIC!
The characters are very well portrayed; you can’t help but love all of them (well most of them anyways.) They change greatly over the course of the anime and it’s worthwhile to watch them grow up.
I love Katekyo Hitman Reborn! I love everything about it; it makes me laugh until I fall off my seat and look like a loser, it makes me sad as they go through their hard times, it makes me happy as they overcome their obstacles– and so on.
I can ramble on forever about how much I love the anime, but I’m going to end now, before I end up typing a ten page paper.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn is an AMAZING anime as I mentioned a billion times (well not really, but let’s pretend.) I highly suggest that you go off and watch it right now, but I can’t tell you what to do. It’s ultimately up to you.
Everything about it is amazing- it’s storyline, (although it may seem boring at first) it’s art, it’s sound, it’s characters– it’s everything!
Tsuna is a generic high school teenager which has the hots for some girl and doesn’t have the balls to do anything about it standard shonen cliché’s. The art is fairly mediocre as well the action scenes look alright for a shonen but everything else looks so bland and generic especially the character designs.
The soundtrack is very forgettable as well nothing really stands out except for the openings they are pretty great l think l like all the reborn openings which is really rare the last one is my least favourite though.
The characters god fucking damn it the characters l think l already talked about tsuna enough he is a standard generic shonen protagonist which wants to protect his friends also he dosen’t want to become a Mafioso even if it runs in his family’s tree his character is just so infuriating the other main characters are fairly forgettable as well only character l really remember fondly was hibari because he didn’t give a shit about anything that happened none of the characters get a huge amount of significant development for a 200 and something episode series.
There is also quite a lot of filler in reborn especially in the future arc with the girls cooking food and going on strike and it all feels quite pointless for a shonen to have it was probably there to save money because l don’t remember the filler scenes going for as long as they did in the manga.
While l do have a lot of complaints with the story and the characters l did enjoy myself with the show it was a fun cheesy shonen just don’t bother with the manga it gets even worse especially with the manga ending which l won’t spoil.
Overall Hitman reborn is a fun generic shonen it does hold a special place in my heart though because it was one of the first shows l ever watched when l first got in to anime.
Just DON’T judge the anime by the first 20 episodes. Watching till 20 I was ready to quit a few times, but i read some good reviews so i kept watching. If you cant stand them at all, DONT skip em! Just be patient. These episodes are to introduce some of the characters, and of course make you laugh a lot!
The only drawback of this anime (personal opinion) is it’s art. Sometimes characters’ and backgrounds’ art aren’t good at all, since the detail is too low.
“So why should i watch it then?” you may ask, the answer is simple: Just give it a try and you will understand why I’m giving it a big 9/10 no matter the drawbacks mntioned above!
2: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch
English: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Japanese: コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ
MAL Score: 8.71
In the year 2010, the Holy Empire of Britannia is establishing itself as a dominant military nation, starting with the conquest of Japan. Renamed to Area 11 after its swift defeat, Japan has seen significant resistance against these tyrants in an attempt to regain independence.
Lelouch Lamperouge, a Britannian student, unfortunately finds himself caught in a crossfire between the Britannian and the Area 11 rebel armed forces. He is able to escape, however, thanks to the timely appearance of a mysterious girl named C.C., who bestows upon him Geass, the “Power of Kings.” Realizing the vast potential of his newfound “power of absolute obedience,” Lelouch embarks upon a perilous journey as the masked vigilante known as Zero, leading a merciless onslaught against Britannia in order to get revenge once and for all.
STORY – Before I saw this series, it was described to me on multiple occasions as "Death Note with mechas." After seeing it, however, I am inclined to disagree. The similarities between the two series are superficial at best, and though I can see why people would draw the comparison, I don’t really think that dis/liking one means that you’ll dis/like the other. But anyway, unlike Death Note, I wouldn’t say that the story in Code Geass is particularly notable or unique. It’s actually rather straightforward and even a little cliche, but that’s exactly why this is such a well done series — the barebones storyline is handled in a refreshing and new way that grabs the viewer’s attention. There are enough twists and turns involved to keep you on the edge of your seat. The pacing is excellent and nothing feels rushed or drawn out. Indeed, the progression up to the conclusion is especially brilliant. (It’s a cliffhanger "ending," but oh, it’s just a fantastic cliffhanger.)
The series is also appealing in its uncanny ability to mix genres. Yes, this is a mecha series, but it really doesn’t have to be. Yes, CLAMP did the character designs and there are some very shoujo elements (read: homolust), but there are very shounen rivalries and some pretty epic battle scenes too. Everybody wins! Additionally, because of the number of characters, the story allows for a number of small subplots. I was very happy with how this was handled in particular because all of the subplots relate and affect the main plot directly, whether by revealing some bit of information to both the characters and the viewer or by pushing forward interesting character development. Everything is well thought out and wonderfully executed, so despite the fact that "strong-willed person with plans to change the world receives mysterious power that helps facilitate his goals" isn’t a very unique storyline… Code Geass makes it work.
Also. Code Geass utilizes the "best friends trying to kill each other" plotline, and I’m a sucker for that plotline.
CHARACTER – The characters in this series are rather varied. Some are very plain and one-dimensional, while others have an amazing complexity to them that makes them very life-like. I’ll be honest. I’ve become somewhat infatuated with Lelouch as a character (and am rather biased as a result). To me, he is very much a human character — he has emotions, opinions, a unique point of view, and some very serious flaws, all of which make him incredibly easy to relate to and to sympathize with. He is easily the most complex character in the series, and he feels real to me, even with his supernatural powers and his genius-level intellect. This ability to make the audience relate to him is also probably the series’ greatest strength and the main reason why the story is able to remain relevant and interesting despite the fact that there aren’t too many new ideas plotwise.
Suzaku would probably be second in line for complexity after Lelouch, though his sense of justice might be called cliche at first (along with Nunnally’s and Euphemia’s), and his hax-level physical prowess is somehow harder to accept than Lelouch’s genius-level intelligence. It’s harder to appreciate Suzaku’s depth at first, partially because he is presented as Lelouch’s main obstacle and the audience’s sympathies are with Lelouch, but a great deal is revealed about his character throughout the course of the series, and he becomes an amazing foil to his rival. Their conflicting ideologies and philosophies are fascinating if you really look into it, and gay as it sounds, they really do compliment each other very well.
Much of the rest of the cast seems to fall into typical archetypes — there’s your adorable little sister, your mad scientist and his assistant, your cheerful schoolgirls, your best friend, your most loyal soldier, your second-in-command, your village idiot, your… really creepy lesbian girl? Despite the generic-sounding descriptions, most of the characters are actually pretty fun, or at the very least, interesting. C.C. provides snarky commentary. Shirley spreads innocent schoolgirl love. Nunnally is so moe you’ll die. Jeremiah is a good butt of all jokes. Little bits of backstory are tossed in here and there to separate them from the crowd, but it’s never enough to actually intrude, and the wide range of characters lets you settle into the world pretty well too; after all, what universe is complete without an animal mascot that shows up now and again?
ARTWORK & ANIMATION – I wasn’t too impressed with CLAMP’s character designs at first (noodleboys!), but as always seems to be the case, they gradually grew on me, and I remembered just how pretty X was. CLAMP just knows how to make everyone look amazingly sexy, male or female. I really loved how they did all of the facial expressions in the series though, especially for Lelouch. Seriously, that guy had some of the most awesome crazy expressions, some of the most amazingly touching sadface expressions, and of course, some of the most amusing WTF expressions. The mecha designs for the Knightmare Frames were also pretty awesome. I dig the whole rollar blade thing, and some of the technologies they come up with are neat, if a little over-the-top. The animation is fluid and smooth for the most part and very few things stood out as being bad.
MUSIC – Initially, I wasn’t particularly fond of any of the OP/EDs for Code Geass except the first ending by ALI PROJECT because 1) they’re awesome, and 2) Yuki Kajiura’s style seemed to suit the series very well. The screaming violins both convey the high status of Britannia and the intensity of the emotions in the series. The rest of the themes seemed lackluster in comparison, but though I was never a huge fan of FLOW, "COLORS" kind of grew on me after a while. The final insert song, "Innocent Days" by Hitomi is pretty nice as well. Very thoughtful, very poignant, very fitting. The background music during the series was negligible for the most part; there is some pretty generic battle build-up type music and other appropriate, but rather typical, themes. Still, there’s some neat classical/opera stuff, and the "All hail Brittania!" theme is definitely awesome.
VOICE ACTING – I’ve seen all of Code Geass subbed and most of it dubbed. Although I was incredibly turned off by Johnny Yong Bosch’s role as Lelouch initially, it kind of grew on me, and now I think it fits well enough, though I do wish he’d change his voice a little more when Lelouch is Zero (make it a little deeper?). Suzaku’s dub voice surprised me with how appropriate it was too. One of the things I really wish we could replicate in English though, is the subtle differences in manners between characters, between Lelouch and Suzaku at various stages of their lives, and between Lelouch and Zero. In Japanese, when Lelouch and Suzaku are children, they refer to themselves with "boku" and "ore" respectively. As teenagers, the pronouns are swapped, with Lelouch using "ore" (Zero uses "watashi") and Suzaku using "boku." Euphemia uses "watakushi." I’ll skip the grammar lesson (go wiki "Japanese pronouns"), but suffice to say that these differences provide a lot of very interesting insight into each of the characters. It’s really too bad English isn’t nearly as interesting.
The rest of the voices in the dub are pretty average, perhaps the low end of average, with a stereotypically high-pitched girly voice for Nunnally that is amazingly annoying, and very forgettable voices for virtually all the female characters (Milly, Shirley, and Kallen all kind of sound the same). I was very impressed with Lloyd’s dub voice though, even if nothing will ever amount to his amazing original voice, which is uh, amazing! Seriously. One of the most amusing voices I’ve ever heard. Jun Fukuyama’s voice for Lelouch I found to be a bit too deep/old sounding initially, but that grew on me as well, and I really love the badassity of his voice for Zero. Suzaku’s original voice sounds a little generic at first, but it grows with his character. There’s a good bit of Engrish in the Japanese version as well, which is always fun. I don’t think you can ever get tired of their "Yes, my lord(o)!" or their "All hail Britannia!"
Overall, I’d say the original is damn awesome, and the dub is pretty watchable — always a plus, right?
OVERALL – I really love this series, and I definitely did not see that happening. Honestly, I found the first episode incredibly underwhelming: the opening sequence made it look like a series I wouldn’t be interested in watching at all, and all of the expository really turned me off…but the second episode? That was so much more epic than I could have ever predicted, and I was pretty much won over after that. I’m just a sucker for chess analogies, I guess! Seriously though, good story, good characters, good animation, and good music! Mechas, politics, rivalry and comradery, strained friendships, love and hate, complex ideologies, and blowing shit up! What more could you want? 😀
For some people, the plot, characters, and music alone is bad enough to make the show unwatchable. For others, the high action, flashy animation, and drama will be more than enough to make the show a favorite of all time though I like everything about Code Geass.
Story: Lelouch Lamperouge appears to be a typical high school student at Ashford Academy in the Britannian controlled Area 11 (formerly named Japan.) But he’s actually a prince in the Britannian imperial family, and seventeenth in line to the throne. He develops a hatred for the emperor of Britannia and the entire imperial establishment, vowing to one day destroy them for the death of his mother and cripple of his sister. After an encounter with a mysterious young woman named C.C., Lelouch gains the power of Geass, which grants him the ability to force anyone to do what he wishes. With this ability, Lelouch becomes a mysterious figure named Zero and begins his battle against the Britannian Empire.
Code Geass have too many loose and cliff hanging ends. The end are always left unexplained, leaving the viewer with questions not only about various subplots but also about several key elements of the storyline. However, what makes up for this is the plot and character developments. Every episode is surprising and leave you eager to watch the next episode.
It seems Code Geass mainly focus on the drama, emotion, and the heart-breaking moments. Geass ends up being not so much a story with a certain plot and characters but rather a series of exciting, exaggerated but well-crafted, incredulous and definitely memorable scenes.
Characters: The characters, are so great and awesome that it’s hard to stop enjoying them. There are characters that are a goody too shoe, outright intolerable that will make you want to strangle and kill them off the show. The characters are all so great that something unexpected might happen to them. There are also characters that are naive, filled with too much hate and/or love but in the end, you’ll have a character you like or maybe even love. My favorite character, of course, are C.C., Kallen, and Lelouch.
Art & Animation: Another good thing about Code Geass is its high production values and colorful animation. The character designs, created by CLAMP, are great and well drawn. The animation may not be great but it is detailed, vivid, and lively. The fights aren’t as smooth or fluid as it could be but it’s flashy, colorful, which is very much fitting considering the nature of the series.
Sound: The voice acting also plays a role in the show’s success. Characters like Zero and Suzaku may be outrageous or cliched but their voice actors fit the characters so well that they are able to sell the characters. One of my favorite voice actor, Jun Fukuyama, does a great job playing the key character of Lelouch/Zero. His performance, especially how well he change from the carefree high school student to the more sinister and manipulative rebel is vital to keeping the series enjoyable and entertaining. Fukuyama is usually playing two characters and does it absolutely convincingly. There’s nothing to complain about of the music either as the background music is very good and it fits right in it. The openings for Code Geass are my favorite. It’s very paced and exciting.
Enjoyment: I’ve seen Geass more than 5 times in a row already. (Not counting season 2) This is a nice, great anime. With the non-stop action, you’ll be wanting to see which side will win and lose. For one moment you can be smiling, then crying the next. Happens to me sometimes.
Overall: Code Geass is a awesome anime that will surely gather different opinions from viewers and other reviewers other than myself. I’ve seen and heard a lot of people saying SUNRISE has done an awesome job and it’s not because of the use of mecha, action or drama, but rather how effectively it appeals to that certain aspect of anime that is not often addressed and yet is one of the main purposes of anime: entertainment. If your main interest in anime is in the quality of the storytelling or the characters, then Geass is probably not for you. However, if you’re in it to have fun or for some good laughs, then take a look at this anime. You wont be disappointed. Indeed Geass is a rare accomplishment.
Let me take a step back for a moment, because the truth of the matter is that Code Geass brought with it a genuinely compelling concept, one that could have done wonders if the creators at Sunrise had known what the hell they were doing. It takes place in an alternate universe where a version of the British Empire called Britannia, through various quirks of fate, manages to endure and thrive into the 21st century. After witnessing the assasination of his mother and having his and his sister’s lives ruined by his father, an exiled Britannian prince living under the assumed name Lelouch Lamperouge, out of a desire for revenge against the emperor, rises to become a revolutionary leader in an occupied Japan.
This concept could have gone in any number of directions and in the right hands could have been turned into something truly remarkable. Unfortunately Goro Tanaguchi and his team at Sunrise either didn’t realize the potential of what they’d come up with or were simply too caught up in making a commercially successful product to care. For, you see, although the basic premise survived to see the light of day it has been chained to and obscured by a wide variety of disparate concepts and ideas, none of which add anything of substance to the proceedings. This is a program that wants to be a mecha action series at the same time it wants to be a war drama at the same time it wants to be a romance/harem series at the same time it wants to be a high school comedy while above all else its trying to be Death Note with a copy of V for Vendetta in its pocket. It all gives the impression of a program that’s so terribly frightened of being disliked by any one subset of the anime fandom that it rushes to appeal to every conceivable kind of viewer and as a result is never truly exceptional at any of the things it attempts.
Giant robots, for example, are thrown in for no better reason than to draw in and satisfy the needs of the giant robot fandom. I don’t have anything against mecha per se but neither do I have any great love for it leaving me rather indifferent to it overall. All I ask is that it adds something to the experience, that there is some concrete purpose for their presence motivated by the narrative, that the giant robots aren’t merely props easily interchangeable with any other fantastical weaponry. Full Metal Panic provides, in its continuity, a fairly detailed justification for how its variation on the giant robot concept came into being. Patlabor provides a similarly believable rationale as well. Ride Back would have had a wonderful thematic connection to its motorcycle/robot hybrids had the creators had the sense to utilize a specific scene outside of the end credits. Code Geass has no such virtue. The “Knightmare frames” come across as a ploy just as empty and cynical as Gonzo’s additions of giant robots to their adaptations of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo.
The story itself runs into trouble fairly quickly. In the first episode, Lelouch is inspired to begin his campaign against Britannia when he obtains a supernatural ability called Geass from a mysterious girl wearing a tight-fitting straitjacket. This ability allows him to control the will and actions of anyone he chooses with very few actual limitations. All he needs is direct eye contact with his intended victim and that’s it. By comparison the Death Note has a whole page full of rules and restrictions on its use. As a result, a lot of Death Note’s intrigue is generated from the various ways Light Yagami finds to work with or around those rules. The Geass is almost too powerful by comparison. As a result it makes his decision to start a rebellion in Japan as a means of gaining revenge against his father in Britannia seem a very roundabout way of doing things. It would seem more effective to simply hop a plane home, Geass his way past security to get to his father and that would be the end of it. Its not like Lelouch doesn’t accomplish much the same thing with his brother Clovis at the end of the second episode. Of course, if Lelouch were to actually follow the course simple logic would dictate then he wouldn’t have started his rebellion and Code Geass wouldn’t have had the opportunity to indulge in enough overblown spectacle to shame Michael Bay.
This problem is further compounded by the revelation in the second episode that Lelouch is some sort of super-genius strategist. It’s never explained to any degree where his ability comes from, whether the creators want the viewer to assume that its some sort of blood inherited trait or that he was simply educated on the subject. The most the viewer is allowed to understand is that Lelouch’s “strategic brilliance” has something to do with the fact that he’s good at chess, which, if you actually accept that, only explains a fraction of the schemes that he devises. In the end, as a character Lelouch comes across as little more than a plot devise, a strategy generating machine that provides the series with its single greatest source of overblown spectacle.
Out of the rest of the cast the only character who made, or I should say had the potential to leave in impression on me was the anti-Britannian rebel Kallen. She receives an entire episode devoted to her background as the daughter of a Japanese mother and a Britannian father. Much is made of her identification with the Japanese side of her parentage and how her deceased brother figures into things and there is indeed potential for something interesting here. Unfortunately nothing is ever done with any of these elements. Everything that was brought up in that episode is quickly shelved and never brought up again.
It should be noted that a good portion of the issues I have with the show stem from the fact that Code Geass possesses all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the skull. The result is a heavily calculated experience where the hands of the creators can be clearly seen picking and choosing which ideas or scenarios would have the greatest impact regardless of whether or not they make any sense (coincidences are invoked to the point of absurdity). The first episode alone depicts an ethnic cleansing (a scenario the series portrays twice in its first season) and a bloody mass suicide sure to satisfy the more ghoulish members of the viewership. Fanservice is plentiful and obvious with only a scant few female cast members escaping the first season with their dignity, if they ever had any to begin with.
On the technical side of things there isn’t really a whole lot I can complain about. The animation is smooth well done. The color scheme employed can be a little too bright and cheery for its own good with purple mechs and a city that is lit with pink lighting at night but that is a minor complaint overall. Character designs come courtesy of CLAMP so if you like their artwork you’ll like what you see here. If you don’t like CLAMP then there isn’t anything in Code Geass that will convince you otherwise. The soundtrack, credited to Hitomi Kuroishi and Kotaro Nakagawa, isn’t anything spectacular but it is nonetheless serviceable. It is a competent presentation overall, if only.
MAL Score: 8.95
The Amanto, aliens from outer space, have invaded Earth and taken over feudal Japan. As a result, a prohibition on swords has been established, and the samurai of Japan are treated with disregard as a consequence.
However one man, Gintoki Sakata, still possesses the heart of the samurai, although from his love of sweets and work as a yorozuya, one might not expect it. Accompanying him in his jack-of-all-trades line of work are Shinpachi Shimura, a boy with glasses and a strong heart, Kagura with her umbrella and seemingly bottomless stomach, as well as Sadaharu, their oversized pet dog. Of course, these odd jobs are not always simple, as they frequently have run-ins with the police, ragtag rebels, and assassins, oftentimes leading to humorous but unfortunate consequences.
Who said life as an errand boy was easy?
It’s strange to say this, but humour has never been a strong department for the medium, partly because of the cultural differences between East and West, but mainly because the majority of anime comedies rely more on parody than anything else. The problem with this is that quite often the viewer is left without a frame of reference, so the humour simply goes over their heads. Some shows manage to get away with it purely by throwing out an almost constant stream of gags in the hope that people will understand enough of them to be entertained, while others like Seto no Hanayome and Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu have a slightly more careful approach.
The area where anime is weakest is where situational comedy is concerned. There are plenty of shows around that could invariably class themselves as sit-coms, but the penchant for studios to base their stories in some sort of school setting severely limits the quality of the humour. In essence, the industry’s blind adherence to what they think is a winning formula has resulted in the dilution of just about every single joke that could be told in a school setting, so much so in fact that these days studios have fallen to relying on fanservice based comedies in order to make ends meet (pardon the pun).
Comedy anime isn’t dead though, as there are some rays of light shining down on the wreckage of red noses, bladders on sticks and giant shoes. Nodame Cantabile insane otaku heroine and her long suffering boyfriend introduced many people to the world of classical music and the usage of otaku power when learning French. Genshiken took a slightly rose tinted look at the multi-layered world of the Japanese otaku, while Moyashimon payed homage to the classic American frat comedy National Lampoon’s Animal House.
One series has, however, defied all the conventions, and has become one of the greatest comedy anime of all time. Incorporating elements from some of the best comedy of both East and West, the series has an anarchic streak that, at times, is more reminiscent of Monty Python, The Simpsons and Family Guy.
I am, of course, talking about Gintama.
The concept of a samurai sit-com isn’t new to anime and manga, however it wasn’t until the serialisation of Sorachi Hideaki’s manga in 2003 that anyone actually realised the potential in this type of story. Set in a quasi-historical Edo, Japan (and possibly the rest of the world), has been conquered by an alien race known as the Amanto. The nation’s strongest warriors were no match for the alien technology, and in an effort to prevent another samurai uprising, the powers that be have banned humans from carrying swords in public.
In this world there lives a former samurai with silver hair who runs the firm known as Yorozuya from his rented second floor apartment. From time to time he takes on odd jobs (yorozuya), for people in order to pay his rent and buy milkshakes and his beloved Weekly Shounen Jump.
He is Sakata Gintoki, and his destiny is to make you cry with laughter.
To say that the story is a bit on the haphazard side is probably a gross understatement, however Gintama is nothing if not consistent in its approach. The underlying story is of Gintoki and his “friends”, Shimura Shinpachi (an average human teenager with no real special qualities), and Kagura (an alien who looks human and possesses monstrous strength), as they go through their days doing odd jobs for people, getting into arguments/figths with the Shinsengumi (police, kind of), drinking strawberry milkshakes (or some other flavour depending on Gintoki’s mood), and trying in some small way to make the world a better place.
And that’s really about as serious as many of the episodes get. The haphazard approach to the story is a purposeful measure that, strangely enough, works very well, mainly because Gintama is a comedy series. There are story arcs that occur over the course of the show, and even though they may include some serious or dramatic content, Gintama never once loses its sense of fun. Indeed, the comedy is the true strength of this series, not simply in its style and delivery, but also in its content. Many of the visual gags have to be seen to be believed (seriously, how the hell did they get away with the Neo Armstrong Cyclone Jet Armstrong Cannon), and whilst the series is top-filled with parodies, the humour is always involving so the viewer rarely feels like a joke has gone over their head.
That said, Ginatama has one aspect that is greater than all others in terms of its plot and comedy content, and that is its ability to turn the seemingly ordinary into something completely different. This is the main reason why Gintama can be considered a sit-com rather than a parody, as this aspect has more in common with shows like Blackadder and Monty Python than anything else. There are numerous occasions where the series will catch the viewer off guard with its sly, anarchic take on seemingly normal events (like being in a public toilet and running out of paper).
Of course, there are downsides too. Although the series is extremely strong in terms of comedy, it sometimes lacks when events take a serious turn. This may be due to the audience’s reactions, as viewers may automatically think that something funny is going to happen next, however a part of it also stems from the fact that the comedy is sometimes too “strong”. It’s ironic to say this, but Gintama’s greatest strength may also be its biggest weakness.
As with any long running shounen series animation and design are pretty good on the whole. The characters convey a sense of visual individuality that at times goes beyond that of other shounen anime, although this is tempered with a small degree of genericism that allows the humour to flourish . The colours are extremely bold and solid, while the backgrounds and set designs highlight the synergy between alien technology and Edo. The animation itself is of an extremely high standard, so much so in fact that some of the visual gags only really work because of it.
The high points of the visuals are the show’s numerous and well crafted parodies. There are many occasions where the style, animation, end even the character design, changes to make the humour more immediate, sometimes occuring in the blink of an eye, and sometimes lasting for a good portion of a given episode. The series also plays around with a variety of concepts that most people only really read about, one example being an occasion where Gintoki and the gang are rendered invisible because the episode is incomplete. It’s nigh on impossible to find another anime that not only mentions something like this, but also shows the viewer what it would look like.
Much of the humour comes from the characters themselves, but no matter how good the scripting is, delivery is everything when it comes to comedy, and in this respect Gintama is extremely well served by its seiyuu. The cast are able to perform with a panache that is sometimes astonishing, and their portrayals of their respective characters are so good that one would be forgiven for believing they were full time comedians. Possibly the best example of this is Kugimiya Rie (Kagura), who for many years has been typecast into various tsundere roles. Her portrayal of Kagura is truly excellent, especially in terms of comedy, and much like the rest of the cast she manages to not only maintain a consistent character for a an extended period of time, but has actually become more adept with her timing and delivery.
Gintama is generally consistent with its choice of music, and certain tracks are repeated throughout the series usually to add to the comic atmosphere of a given scene. That said, some of the more serious moments can feel a little off-kilter as the score changes can sometimes be a little sudden. As with any long running series the OP and ED have changed since the show began airing in 2006. These tracks are usually pretty good at capturing the essence of Gintama (which just sounds wrong), as a whole, and the opening sequences are designed and choregraphed to highlight the important aspects of the anime – humour, fun, some seriousness, and a large slice of anarchy.
In all honesty, there is no real reason to find the characters outstanding, and the fact that they are iconic, original and memorable is possibly Gintama’s greatest triumph. Gintoki, Shinpachi, Kagura, the members of the Shinsengumi, and all the sundry characters, alien and otherwise, who appear in the show will find some funny bone to tickle. When taken as individuals each is a flawed creation that really wouldn’t work were this any other anime, but the plot and scripting for the series, together with the talent of the seiyuu and the design of each character, turns this idea completely on its head. Much of the comedy is dependent on the characters, and it’s because the series is so good at entertaining the audience that any noticeable flaws are generally forgiven or ignored.
Gintama is not simply a funny anime though. Over the seasons the show has gradually become a phenomenon in the medium, mainly because of its ability to maintain consistent humour for over most of its 201 episodes. The irreverent and oh-so anarchic humour can, at times, come off as weird, but this has only served to endear the series to more viewers.
Numerous fans refer to Gintama as their “anime crack”, a sentiment which is understandable in a sense as it has the ability to lift one’s mood in a way that few other anime can manage. That doesn’t mean that everyone will be entertained though, but if the viewer approaches the show with the right sort of mindset (e.g. open), then the series has a lot to offer.
That said, shounen fans will definitely find Gintama appealing, not simply because it bears all the stereotypical hallmarks of that genre of anime, but also for its ability to creatively parody other shounen tales (like Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, etc – who can forget the infamous DragonBleaPiece movie trailer). Fans of comedy anime like Seto no Hanayome, Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu and others of that ilk, will also find Gintama’s ability to mess with everyday concepts worthwhile.
There are plenty of aspects to the series that possess a broad appeal in terms of humour, and it’s to the credit of everyone involved with the production (from mangaka Sorachi Hideaki on down to the guy/girl who makes the tea), that the show never gets old, stale, or too bogged down in how good it actually is.
There’s a new king of comedy in town. Make way for Gintama.
Now this is a show I’ve wrestled with for a long time. Many of my friends pledged almost fanatically this is the best anime in existence. I watched the first episode. So this is it? I was not impressed. As a person who found pleasure in the darkest and most gloomy kinds of settings, I would almost immediately say that this was not for me. Everything was just so weird and appeared to be arbitrarily glued together.
I was so naïve.
At some point I picked Gintama up again, I’m one of the people who are not easily moved to laughter but still, there had to be something to this… Let me tell you this, Gintama is a journey, a pilgrimage. You will not appreciate it after two or three episodes, even twenty may not be enough. It took me sixty whole episodes when I was finally thoroughly entertained but it was then that I realized: Gintama is like a snowball rolling down a mountain. It’s barely recognizable at first but the next time you turn your gaze in its direction, it will have turned into an avalanche.
Sooo… yeah, this is actually hard. Gintama is composed of a series of mini arcs that have no real connection to each other. You can’t call it a consistent storyline but it’s also not really episodic, there are also fillers organically weaved into the style and pace of the anime. A strange kind of hybrid, that still works somehow. We have different little events like the Benizakura, Yoshiwara or Popularity Poll arc, which all are amazingly done. Action, drama and most of all comedy, Gintama’s got them all and none of them are bad. Also, because I can’t find a better place to do this, let may tell you a few things about the often overlooked setting. The pseudo-medieval, post war Japanese capital Edo with modern technology, invaded by a multitude of alien races called Amanto. Sounds utterly random right? Wrong. It is my firm believe that this setting is actually the backbone of Gintama. Why you ask? Because it allows for the greatest number of possible scenarios, different people and places. You can have a samurai, a rebel leader, an alien and a penguin costume guy added to the cast and nobody bats an eye, because it still feels natural. Never forget the setting, it makes this anime what it is.
It’s strange, when I started watching I thought to myself ‘This looks somehow generic’ but at the same time ‘This looks somehow unique’. It’s hard to explain but that’s the feeling I get from Gintama. Visual quality may not be top notch here but it gets progressively better, a fact that is especially apparent in latter battle sequences. I would leave it at nine points but there’s another thing… facial expressions. They are beyond hilarious, I won’t say too much about it but you will understand once you have seen a few exemplary episodes.
There are a few very iconic and memorable tracks on the Gintama OST, that’s probably due to the fact that they are used so frequently but that doesn’t mean that I ever got sick of them. Audio is mostly bright and uplifting, fitting to the animes focus on comedy. Opening and ending themes are also pleasing, notably Donten and Stairway Generation. This would also be a eight or nine if it wasn’t for the seiyuus. These guys are BRILLIANT! Every voice fits its character and Sugita Tomokazu is probably the most unique voice I have ever heard in anime. He’s now the voice of Gintoki for me, forever. Kugumiya Rie is a rather well-known name, revered for her roles as your run of the mill tsundere girls. Kagura was a kind of character that was probably new to her but she still did an excellent job. There are a dozen other examples but I’m not going into debt on all of them, only thing you have to know is that the voiceover job is amazing.
Alright, so this is the deciding factor that makes this anime awesome. Here we have some amazingly thought out characters and not just for comedy purposes, most of them have a backstory, even the vilest of antagonists are not just pure embodied malice. This is also what causes the anime to take time to get going, you have to get to know the characters. A naked random guy is very much different to a naked Isao Kondo. Almost all of them are likeable, memorable and most of all funny. We have no focus on development here but such progression would do more harm than anything else. It takes time to get to know them and that process is very important, changing a well-established character after that process is complete doesn’t strike me as a good idea.
It takes time, 60 episodes to get it rolling, 140 episodes to have me almost dying of laughter but it was well worth it. Gintama maintains a consistent, no, increasing level of entertainment over the course of its 201 episodes. It’s already hilarious and would have been even better if I was capable of understanding the Japanese language without subtitles or if I’d seen more anime to understand all the parodies going on. Knowledge of basic Shounen Jump, Ghibli Movies, NGE, Doraemon or Gundam widely enhances the spectrum of jokes you can laugh about. Even without that and as part of a western audience, I found myself crying out in laughter over a majority of the jokes, there are just so many of them, no way you can miss everything.
So are all these people right, is Gintama the best anime of all time? I dare not to pass judgment unto that, simply because Gintama is so unique and unconventional that I feel it falls into a category of its own. There is no competition for this anime in its specific category because it’s the only one that ever made it there. This is not the best of all anime, this is just Gintama, don’t lump it together with all the others! Even if they’re brilliant, if they’re entrancing, if they’re masterpieces, don’t make that mistake. I myself who is speaking so highly of this anime have other favorites; this is simply Gintama, no need for comparison.
If you plan on taking a shot at Gintama and you’re not completely hooked after the first few episodes, bring a lot of patience, it will pay off.
There isn’t a single cohesive narrative to Gintama. There are some loosely connected arcs, and a whole lot of episodes that have nothing to do with those arcs, but there is no single narrative. The basic setup is that the world has been conquered by aliens, referred to in Gintama as “Amanto” and the government is still subservient to them. Samurai are no longer allowed to carry swords except for a few who work for the government or who have wealth and connections. In this world a samurai named Gintoki works by, in theory, doing odd jobs. Although that largely consists of him doing nothing. His crew consists of a youngster named Shinpachi, an Amanto girl named Kagura who possesses super strength and is highly vulnerable to sunlight, and a giant dog named Sadaharu, our cute character who requires ear scritches and belly rubs. Hijinks ensue as this group and the people around them get into shenanigans.
Let’s begin by looking at the problems with the series, shall we? By far the biggest issue is that the writing aesthetic is horribly inconsistent. Most of the episodes are highly random and intended for humour but when they get to the more story heavy arcs things take a huge shift into serious territory, sometimes including really heavy topics like sex trafficking, and it creates a huge tonal clash between episodes. You can’t segue from jokes about testicles and bloody rectums into a story about an underground city where children are sold to be raised as sex slaves. There is quite literally no way to make that transition so that it isn’t painfully awkward and completely disrespectful to the serious issue. It’s worse than that Captain Planet episode that dealt with AIDS. Sure, that was way over the series’ head too, but there wasn’t such a radical tonal problem. The tone isn’t the only thing that has problems with consistency, there’s also the continuity. There are three basic ways to do continuity. The first is having a strict, coherent continuity where everything matters. The second is to have a basic progression from one episode to the next but the details aren’t that important. The third is to toss continuity out the window completely, like Galaxy Angel. The problem with Gintama is that it does all three. Some episodes deal very much with continuity as being super important, others follow the more fast and loose route where there’s a progression but the details aren’t important and there are other episodes that don’t fit into any kind of continuity and will never be mentioned again after they’re over.
Now that we’ve been over that, let’s talk a bit about the comedy in this series that is, mostly, comedic. A lot of it is pretty puerile humour where someone defecates in their pants, or someone’s anus bleeds or where the punchline is something involving testicles. There are also a lot of bits where the characters will make loud references to some other piece of media and there are some other random bits of humour. The trouble is, a lot of it really isn’t funny. For example, there’s a running gag about one of the characters eating too much mayonnaise which is funny because… if he ate that much mayo in reality he’d weigh two hundred kilos and have to get around with a motorised scooter? There are two characters who pretty much exist for stalker jokes and there’s another running joke about Katsura getting annoyed by people calling him the wrong thing. There are times when the randomness can work and there are some points where they parody something competently instead of just making reference to it but they’re few and far between. I will give the series full credit for having some surprisingly clever deconstructions here and there, particularly when it comes to its treatment of trans-gendered characters.
Gintama has a large cast of reoccurring characters, but very little in terms of complex ones. Most of them are used for one or two jokes and that’s pretty much it. I will say that there’s nothing wrong with that for a comedic work. You can have a bunch of fairly one-note characters as long as they have dynamics that provide good comedic possibilities and you can take advantage of that. The problem is the more serious episodes. This cast would be perfectly passable if the series didn’t have those largely serious story arcs but when you take a bunch of relatively shallow comedic characters and try to do something fairly serious with them it just quickly loses any sense of tension and the characters come across as heavily under-developed, if not as completely out of place.
The artwork and animation are pretty decent. There are some cases where they recycle footage or show a background with nothing happening, which they will almost always lampshade, but it’s competently done. The action sequences can be pretty strong, both when they’re doing something largely serious and when they’re doing a jokey action scene.
The actors are pretty capable and no one does badly. However, the level of over-exaggeration in the series is really high and you might very well find yourself growing weary of listening to people shouting. The music varies. Sometimes it’s pretty good, sometimes it’s kind of annoying. Mostly, it’s just kind of bland.
There’s some in the series. There’s an openly lesbian character who shows up on a semi-regular basis and there’s a guy who is heavily implied to have romantic feelings for Sougo who shows up for a couple of episodes late in the series. There’s no reciprocation for their feelings, but they also aren’t used for jokes based on their sexuality. Some of the other characters act like asses about it at points, but the series itself doesn’t treat it as an issue. So, I’ll give Gintama some credit for treating its gay characters no differently than it does its straight characters. It is pretty refreshing, especially when you have “comedies” like Baka to Test that have to be as mean-spirited as possible about things like that.
Gintama has a real problem with consistency. Its tone is wildly inconsistent which can lead to some really awkward and stilted moments. It’s inconsistent with what it wants to do with its continuity. If you like humour that’s more than a little puerile and pretty random then you might still enjoy the series in spite of that and there are some things it does pretty decently but it’s honestly not my cup of tea in that regard. I just don’t find ninety percent of the attempts at humour to be amusing. As such, I have to give the series a 4/10. Next week we’ll have this year’s film festival. Starting with Kara no Kyoukai 6 on Sunday. Because I’ve looked at that franchise first during the last two years and I might as well do it this time as well.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch
3. Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
4. Initial D Fourth Stage
5. Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi
7. Ueki no Housoku
9. Rozen Maiden: Tr umend