They’re the best Anime that 1997 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Yume no Crayon Oukoku, Saber Marionette J, Rekka no Honoo, and more!
10: Yume no Crayon Oukoku
English: Crayon Kingdom of Dreams
MAL Score: 7.10
The civilians of the Crayon Kingdom have always view their Princess Silver as a twelve-year old girl with a beautiful smile. However, unknown to them, the princess has 12 bad habits. This has created much distress to the Chameleon Prime Minister and the Crayon ministers for it would be embarassing if this gets out. One day, a party was held to celebrate Princess Silver’s twelvth birthday. The princess was trying to seek her Prince Charming that she forgot to take notice of her bad habits. One of the boys at the party was so angry that he changed Silver’s parents, the King and Queen, into stone. In order to break the curse and save her parents, Silver decided to set on a journey to locate the boy. Together with her companions, Silver begins her adventure.
9: Saber Marionette J
English: Saber Marionette J
MAL Score: 7.34
In the distant future, since the Earth has become overpopulated, efforts to find and colonize on other planets have begun. However, one of the ships, the “Mesopotamia” malfunctions and all but 6 of its inhabitants are all killed. the remaining 6 manage to escape to a nearby planet named “Terra ll “, which is similar to Earth in many respects. However, all of them are male. Therefore, as to not let their efforts go to waste, they begin to set up 6 countries and to reproduce through cloning and genetic engineering. however, there are still no women, and to make up for it they create lifelike advanced female androids called “Marionettes” which do everyday chores and work. However, they are all emotionless machines. But one day, a ordinary boy named Otaru finds and awakens 3 special battle type Marionettes that have emotions due to a “Maiden Circuit” within them. It’s up to him then to teach them and allow their emotions to grow, and when a nearby country threatens with world domination, it’s up to to Otaru and his “human” Marionettes to protect their country.
The story revolves around Otaru Mamiya and his three Marionettes named Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry, but they are not just an ordinary ordinary marionettes, they have a system called “Maiden Circuit” that act like the source of their emotion thats why they can laugh and cry. A futuristic setting in a planet named Terra – II in the country of Japones where there are no female and all male are born from cloning. Female was replaced by Female machine called Marionettes. Thus begin their wacky adventure under one roof. The gags are old but still funny specially when the punchline is hanagata. The story is not always about humor, there is drama also, its the main point of the story on how the three marionette grows emotionally thru happiness and hardship. The anime’s story is slow pace but not boring so you will have time to enjoy how the it will develop.
Meet Otaru a normal boy who live a normal life, kind and hard working . One day he accidentally activated a Marionette named Lime. Lime a marionette with a cute and childish personality, always eat and play around and loves Otaru a lot. She’s my favorite marionette because whenever she’s around the surrounding become cheerful. Next is Cherry the second marionette Otaru awakened. She always give a maiden aura, in cuteness i think its in par with Lime. She loves to cook and more importantly loves to daydream about his master Otaru.The third was Bloodberry, she’s a how should i say it… a muscle woman? Well she’s not as cute as the first two but she emits an older woman aura, she has the biggest breast among the three and loves to seduce Otaru. For side character, let see, hmm… Hanagata hes a loser so lets forgot about him (Hanagata: What did you just say?) just joking, he always introduce himself as Otaru’s bestfriend, a pesky character who appears anywhere near Otaru.
Otaru, his design is quite simple, passable for a normal character.For the character design of the three marionettes, Lime, since she loves to move around designing loose costume fits nicely with her character. Cherry, she’s loves doing housework so the cutely designed pink kimono si looks good in her. Bloodberry with the blood on her red suits her best, well only her hair is red, she got the most daring design because of her nicely proportioned body and big-sister like character.
The Opening song is good, you will like it the more you listened to it. Same goes for the Ending song, with a great visualization it will make you listened to the song as well. For The Seiyuu’s, I really like the japanese voice for Lime, Megumi Hayashibara. It match perfectly with Limes personality, cute and playful. I dont like the english dub, it gives a kind of feeling that its not Lime-like. Same goes with Cherry, i like her polite voice. When u talk about Bloodberry, that means Power, power in the voice but with a sweetness of an older women and the seiyuu deliver it nicely.
After many years of not seeing this anime (10 years +) it give me a nostalgic feeling and with that i enjoy it a lot. I laughed in the funny scenes and got teary in those touching moment. I couldn’t ask for more… 😀
if u read some weird grammar, its my bad haha, ore ningen da mono~
The premise of the series is that sometime in the future, a group of 6 explorers made an emergency crash onto the Planet of Terra. There was the inconvenient problem that they landed without any females. Rather than wither off on this distant planet, the six decided to make clones of themselves, and thus repopulated the planet, but without females. The compensation for the lack of females is the development of female-appearing robots called marionettes, who can function like a human, but can’t experience feelings of their own, except, that is, for a few special marionettes whom our intrepid protagonist discovers, leading to ever more grand adventures until the fate of the planet is at stake.
A few complaints with this show are that it has a very obvious plot, most of the jokes aren’t funny, an irritating worm put in for comic relief really degrades this series, and a lot of the story is patronizing. I think this series is made especially for kids. The OP & ED are quite catchy, the animation is bad by today’s standards, and the characters are a bit flat. It’s still good clean fun though, worth watching with popcorn and friends.
It came to be this way because of an accident on a colonization ship that left six men alive on the surface, and they use genetics to populate the planet of Terra II. The direct clones of the six survivors rule the six nations that exist on the planet, Otaru being from Japoness which looks like feudal Japan.
Otaru tries to grow the personality of the three Marionettes throughout the series while having to deal with Gartland’s (Germany during World War II) ruler Faust and his own set of three Marionettes. The story is alright if you don’t have a problem with small details that could be considered giant plot holes with a lot of thought.
The art is dated even for a show from 12 years ago. The marionettes look vibrant, but completely out of place. The backgrounds of the other nations seemed to have been picked because they are easier to depict. Action scenes look merely average. It’s not horrific, but it would be hard to call it good.
Characters are a much stronger point. Otaru is not your typical male harem lead. The marionettes show diversity in character as the series progress from one-dimensional to something more.
Overall, Saber Marionette J is a solid, if not spectacular, series. It sets the table well for the OVA and second series that followed, though a conclusion could have been provided in this series if they really would have wanted it.
8: Rekka no Honoo
English: Flame of Recca
MAL Score: 7.35
Most people think that ninjas are a thing of the past, but Rekka Hanabishi wishes otherwise. Although he comes from a family that makes fireworks, he likes to think of himself as a self-styled, modern-day ninja. Sounds like fun, right? Maybe not. Rekka ends up in lots of fights because he once made the bold announcement that if someone can defeat him, he will become their servant.
Then one day, Rekka meets Yanagi Sakoshita, a gentle girl with the ability to heal any wound or injury. Their meeting sets off a chain of events, which culminate into a shocking discovery. Rekka is the last surviving member of a legendary ninja clan that was wiped out centuries ago. Even more astonishing than being an actual ninja, he also wields the power to control fire. What does this mean for Rekka? Who are these strange people after him and Yanagi? Find out in Rekka no Honoo!
The story is lethargic. It follows a very formulaic approach. The main protagonist, Recca goes through a sequence of ordeals to realize his true strength and then manages to win over enemies with his never say die attitude. Banal. Seen that a million times. But that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable.
The animation is fair, to be honest, I feel that the studio started pumping more money into Yu Yu Hakusho (which was being released at the same time), and the later episodes suffer from a marked decline in quality.
The sound is nothing spectacular, nothing memorable.
The characters are moderately well designed, but again follow cliched "five-guy-superhero-team" stereotypes. There are, of course, some deliciously sinister villains, some with more character than our 2-D heroes. But the anime doesn’t really explore them.
I really can’t give this a high grade. In it’s time, yes it was a classic, and sparked of future work such as Naruto, but now it’s a dated and overused concept and there are many more worthwhile series out there.
However, I highly recommend the manga. The anime only follows upto volume 16 of the manga series and by itself leaves many questions unanswered. The manga is complete and reflects the true worth of the series.
Well, the character design is faithful to the manga for the most part. When the manga started out, the art was pretty ugly, but Anzai further evolved and improved his art style to the point that when they made this anime, they used the improved art style thank god. The art style is basic, but still excellently detailed with the costume designs and the diversity of the character designs. I also like how the weapon’s are drawn and have really nifty designs.
The action is very high octane and breath taking. It’s very technique based and well played out. Characters have fighting styles in which they contrast and I have always believed in an old saying of styles make fights and this anime also proves that. In addition, the fights also have a Yuu Yuu Hakusho like feel to it where it’s based on tactics and strategy, and you get that in this anime as well. In comparison to Naruto, you get a better overall feel of the ninja authenticity to the action and art design.
The music is very addicting and very high spirited. A perfect example is the opening theme Nanka Shiawase by Oysters. It has good control with the guitars and the delivery of the lyrics is very true to the atmosphere of the series. I also can’t deny that the ending theme Love is Changing by Nishida Hikaru also exemplifies this, but more on the romantic side of the series. The background music has a fighting game esque feel to it and is very well diverse in that sense in which it portrays all kinds of moods and personalities.
I can’t say much about the dub since I’ve never seen it and have no intentions of watching it just because I don’t want to, but the Japanese voice cast I feel is satisfying enough. I was very shocked to learn that Tobita Nobuo, who is most famous amongst Gundam fans such as myself as Camille Vidan from Z Gundam is the voice of Domon. He does a great job of not recognizing it’s the same voice, but still makes the character convincing as a tough guy who has a soft spot, but overall true use is comic relief. And Okiayu Ryotaro as Kurei and Midorikawa Hikaru as Mikagami are probably the reasons why I can never watch this series outside of the Japanese language. These two reputable seiyuus do a great job in bringing their characters to life and make them very believable.
Well, if you want to see the rest of Flame of Recca as anime, the closest thing you’re going to get is if you get the PS2 game, Final Burning. The same studio animates the cut scenes and they got the same seiyuus back. Plus, you get to see the manga ending in anime form.
I hate myself for beliving this anime was worth spending my time…And I don’t say because it was bad…I say this because the ending left me hanging the cliff wondering what hapened before…I know is not allowed to rage and all that stuff…but…why in the fuck’s name the producers left the ending so….plain?!? What hapened with Kurei? Did he ever fighted Recca again? Did he became a good guy? or is still the plain “bad guy” type? Did he go to his time again? Wait…What about Kougane’si Kogan Anki [it was suposed to show us the “legendary cool 6’th form” of his madougu…Never shown to us saddly-]…What about Fuuko? Did she find the “main component” of Fuujin’s power? What about Recca? Did he ever tamed the 8’th dragon? What in the bloody hell hapened in the end? [I know that the manga is more complete and all that rubbish…But I only watch anime’s…I don’t like reading manga…so…the producers should at least make the anime just as in manga is suposed to happen-] …aside from that…it really is a cool anime…it seem’s similar to Naruto and Yu Yu Hakusho…the only thing is that this anime is much more better than these…
It have’s the old generation’s art…but still…it had some pretty nice view’s and landscapes…
I really liked the OP…I listened at every episode the opening song and I even downloaded it to my PC [hell yeahhh…all 42 episodes I listened the OP]…as for the ED…I didn’t like it neighter the first one or the second one…
Trully nice drawn characters…Every one of them had unique traits…The only character I hated it was that big muscle brainless Domon;it totally pissed me…his mugg…his atitude…his powers…ALL of him I hated it…And as for the favourite character I choose Kouganei…even though he is a kid he is quitte strong and funny…like’s puzzles and have’s a caring side on him too…
The rest of characters were nice too
I did enjoy this anime…BUT!…the ending of the story I really disliked it…it should’ve worked more how to end the story of this anime the producers…
Except for the part of the story ending…is a cool anime…with ninja’s…dragons…swords…friendship…funny moments…and love…It definetley is a good anime…I would gave a 10 but the ending pissed me too much…So it’s final note is 9
MAL Score: 7.35
Pokemon are peculiar creatures with a vast array of different abilities and appearances; many people, known as Pokemon trainers, capture and train them, often with the intent of battling others. Young Satoshi has not only dreamed of becoming a Pokemon trainer but also a “Pokemon Master,” and on the arrival of his 10th birthday, he finally has a chance to make that dream a reality. Unfortunately for him, all three Pokemon available to beginning trainers have already been claimed and only Pikachu, a rebellious Electric type Pokemon, remains. However, this chance encounter would mark the start of a lifelong friendship and an epic adventure!
Setting off on a journey to become the very best, Satoshi and Pikachu travel across beautiful, sprawling regions with their friends Kasumi, a Water type trainer, and Takeshi, a Rock type trainer. But danger lurks around every corner. The infamous Team Rocket is always nearby, seeking to steal powerful Pokemon through nefarious schemes. It’ll be up to Satoshi and his friends to thwart their efforts as he also strives to earn the eight Pokemon Gym Badges he’ll need to challenge the Pokemon League, and eventually claim the title of Pokemon Master.
Pokemon works with a re-use formula, the story is long, it is repetitive, it doesn’t progress in any way because development doesn’t really happen.
Art and sound is mediocre as it is a mass-produced anime. Production costs would have been sky-high if they spent any more money on it, and it shows.
The characters are pretty two-dimensional. They aren’t deep, you don’t go into their heads, and they’re all about 11-15 years old but all act the same.
But why do I love this anime so much?? I was obsessed with it as a child, and it still has a warm place in my heart. I think it’s a perfect anime for children because it teaches them some good lessons: try to be the best, do the right thing, and your friends and family are the most important people in your life.
Only unfabulously mean people hate on Pokemon. You know they all watched it and liked it as a child, but my, how uppity we have all become. If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to go back to when anime was about adventure and friendship and silliness, then Pokemon is for you. It’s also a harmless, fun anime for your kids, too. So I totally recommend it. Fabulous, it is.
It starts out with a tiny step, like most other journeys. Our hero, Ash Ketchum, has high dreams of becoming the ultimate Pokemon trainer (I’ll refrain from explaining that to you), and he starts out by sleeping in too late! before logn however, he’s gotten his first (reluctant) Pokemon, everyone’s favorite mouse Pikachu, and they’re off on their epic journey!
The shows brings out an epic adventure of friendship, harsh battles and whatnot; everything you’d expect from a shonen that’s aimed at the younger kids. It isn’t that great however, as it gets very repetitive after a while; a Pokemon/person of the day formula with some kind of problem that always ends well. And that’s what most of the episodes contain, with a small bit of getting further on their journey every now and then.
Animation-wise, the show doesn’t feature anything boastable, with flat character designs, okay backgrounds and no spectacular special effects at all. Was it because of budget restrictions (it is a pretty long anime, after all), or was it because the producers knew the kids they were aiming the show at didn’t care anyway? Well, whatever it was, the animation isn’t anything to brag about.
The soundtrack is what you’d expect of such a show; adventurous opening themes, background music that’s supposed to get you into the fighting/comedic mood, and a variety of sound effects to use for all the moves and whatnot you’ll see. The voice acting is decent, but honestly – my unability to cope with dubs in anime pretty much wins over my nostalgia here, and that is the main reason I stopped watching the show some time ago.
The characters are, well, what you’d expect from a shonen. The rash, headstrong main character and his oh-so-arrogant rival, and the people he travels with; the older, more reasonable (mostly) fellow, and of course, the tomboyish girl with whome he argues a lot. Yup, that’s shonen for ya. The main comedic relief of the series, the Team Rocket trio, is actually a pretty entertaining one. Despite constantly neglecting to look over their mistakes and realise that every one of their contraptions fail against Ash and company, they keep on trying, knowing thinking that their boss will reward them greatly of they bring him the Pikachu. I like their stupid enthusiasm a lot, and their scenes are often among amogn the better ones in the series.
So… Pokemon is basically a cliche-ridden shonen with no real thing to make it stand out. Wait… that can’t be right? What about all the kids that love it? And what of all the others that love it? One of the things, I believe, is the adventurous feel of the series; who wouldn’t want to experience such an epic adventure for themselves? (I know I want to, at least!) Not to mention, the great values of friendship, loyalty and trust which are presented to the viewers. That is one thing that makes Pokemon so great, and I’d try to get any kid into the show becasue of that reason alone. And that’s what there is to say about Pokemon, actually.
The animation was great for its time, and the songs were very addictive. It was obvious that everybody that saw the show enjoyed it very much, myself included. And to this day, over 10 years after the debut of Pokemon, they are still able to sell merchandise.
But what created the downfall of the series was that it never ended! The show could’ve easily ended at the end of episode 84, with the end of the Pokemon League. They could’ve said “Since that day, Ash trained hard to be a master.” and then show him as a master. But no, the episodes just keep coming and coming. Johto was cool because of showing new pokemon, but when they repeated the trend of “new pokemon lolz” it got old really quick. And not mention that Ash never matured. He had a birthday one episode and in the 3rd movie he exclaimed that he and Pikachu have been together for a year. But at the start of Diamond and Pearl Ash was mentioned to be 10 years old again. Inconsistency is bad if you want to keep your audience.
It still find myself rewatching the first few seasons of Pokemon and hugging my pikachu pillow. But the new episodes these days just don’t have the same atmosphere as the old show and it is hard to watch it without booing the lack-luster effort that gets put into each episode. But Pokemon will always have an unforgettable place in my heart and (ignoring anything past the Johto season) for that I give it an 8/10.
6: Jigoku Sensei Nube
MAL Score: 7.54
Nube is a clumsy, easygoing, and very kind teacher, but he has a secret under his glove on the left hand. He has a monster hand, and he also has the ability to sense ghosts and evil spirits. So he protects his dear students from these evil spirits with his monster hand, proving to be very powerful.
Basically, it’s a school story with all the weird and scary things you wish could happen to you in a real school, that is, if you’re into ghosts and that kind of stuff.
Hell Teacher Nube is an anime about a schoolteacher with a demon claw in the place of his right hand, which he covers with a black glove, and all the hilarious and touching and sometimes just weird adventures he has with his students as what seems like the entire pantheon of Japanese lower mythology causes havoc in their school and town.
Nube and the students deal with ghosts, UFO’s, youkai, oni, doppelgangers, curses…you name it, they’ll take care of it.
Urban legends are also incorporated into the episodes…spirits of suicides in bathrooms, ghosts appearing in photographs, odd gods…
What else could you want in a supernatural school anime?
The best part of this anime are the stories. When I watched it, the wonder of all the crazy creatures and the wacky characters was a lot of fun. But what hooked me was that it was my first foray into Japanese superstitious culture. The stories are absolutely great!
Nube is an elementary school teacher who has an Oni sealed into his left hand. During his role as a teacher, he develops a great relationship with his students vowing to always protect them from danger. This is constantly proven when his precious students are attacked by ghosts, yokai, & other supernatural demons. While the series is episodic, it later adds more characters such as Yukime the snow demon & Tamamo a fox sorcerer which increases the quality of the anime.
Episodes contain a blend of comedy & horror, however sometimes its focus will be more on horror which can be very disturbing at times.(Ep31 & 44) Other episodes can be more comedy based or either touch upon an important morality lesson which tend to be some of the better episodes such as ep28 being about xmas. It should also be noted that the main character can vary every episode as some are focused on Nube while others are based on his students.
One of the highlights of this series is Nube himself as he a shonen hero in every respect and is a well written character who shifts from a wise mentor to a comedic love crazed buffoon. I should mention that a love triangle forms in the anime which intentionally was done for laughs but towards the end of the series becomes a very serious subject.
Overall, Hell Teacher Nube delivers in entertainment at times being a much darker version of Goosebumps. It may have a monster of the week formula but it’s not a battle series & provides much more content as a whole. Examples include some of its dramatic storytelling and the good nature of people such as eps (20 &34 aka Nube’s origin) or possibly the best heart touching episodes being 47 & 48. It may take some time to getting into, but you may end up loving this anime. Whenever you finish the anime, I recommend to watching the 2nd movie & the OVAs. The OVA episodes are actually cannon, being based on much later manga chapters with its final episode being the best way to finish the anime series.
Hell Teacher Nube is a supernatural/yokai episodic “monster of the week” show from the mid-90s that is flying under the radar of most anime fans nowadays since it was never really a hit in the first place back then, and as most of the titles that fail to generate a solid initial impact, it couldn’t avoid the fate of being forgotten in time. Debuting in the same year Neon Genesis Evangelion sent bittersweet shockwaves with its controversial last 2 episodes, Rurouni Kenshin became the new fighting shounen attraction after Dragon Ball was quickly running out of steam with Dragon Ball GT, Detective Conan started building its empire drawing the attention of the ones interested in mysteries, the Slayers franchise was getting stronger in the fantasy genre with its second installment (Next), and Sailor Moon, the most iconic and popular magical girl show from the 90s, was saying goodbye with its final season (Stars), among other competent shows that made their debuts in 1996, there was hardly any room left for a fully episodic and simple show like this (which also had to face direct competition in the supernatural genre with the more well-known and established GeGeGe no Kitarou (1996) household series) to make itself a relevant name both in Japan and the West.
I first knew about this show back in 2007, when a local anime specialized TV station started airing it after midnight and I used some of its episodes as background television while I was finishing some of my homework and was preparing myself to sleep, never really paying much attention to it and consequently remembering virtually nothing besides the visuals, character designs and the catchy J-rock opening theme. But there was something about its captivating, youthfully-sinister atmosphere that after all these years did manage to stuck in my mind that encouraged me to revisit it now, 11 years later, with complete dedication. And I have to say that -despite its simplicity- it has been quite a pleasant surprise, and that it’s truly worth the try for those who have no troubles watching old shows with dim colors, simple characters and an episodic monster-of-the-week structure. Watching it has been such a delightful experience, that I just can’t help to try to increase its low awareness levels.
The argument: it follows the paranormal adventures of Meisuke “Nube” Nueno, a kind, funny, lovable and young teacher at Domori elementary school who since birth had an abnormal sensibility to perceive evil ghosts and demons from the spiritual “yokai” world (a faculty that made him an easy target to them and allowed him to evetually become a demon connoisseur and a demon slayer) and the 5th grade naughty students he has in charge, with whom he develops a very close, warm and trustworthy relationship, to the point that he even gets permanently and tenderly bullied by them. Due to a tragic incident (which is told with details in one of the later episodes) before becoming a teacher in that school, he managed to seal a powerful demon in his left hand, which turned it into a monstrous-looking one and which he has to cover with a black glove in order to not reveal his true nature and frighten the people around him. This sealing granted him the ability to fight other demons with said hand, since the power of that demon is at his disposal there.
I have to say that the “horror” tag this show has is kind of misleading. Though it’s about ghosts and demons attacks, it is really not scary or uneasy to watch at all. You don’t watch this to feel frightened, to feel that suspense that true horror works stimulate. No episode will really have you on the edge of your seat nor covering your eyes from shock. It is after all very kid-friendly, there’s no gore, no raw scenes and no body parts flying through the air. There is blood, but nothing that terrible or excessive, and virtually the whole time from the teacher’s part, never from the kids, who are only threatened by the supernatural entities and never physically hurt, so no edgy and cheap child torture here. The tone is really very light, innocent and with lots of goofy comedy the whole time, though it occasionally gets more serious.
As an episodic, “monster of the week” show, most episodes are pretty formulaic with an autoconclusive story; one or some of the students of the class will face –in a certain context- the threat of a yokai world entity (ghost, demon, monster, etc.) that will take advantage of a particular weakness, insecurity, moral fault or dark inner sentiment those children have in order to scare them. When the entity is about to make his act, Nube appears, confronts it and ends up slaying it with the power of the demon he has in his left hand, saving his students in the process, something he is happy to do since he believes it is his mission in this world to protect them from their attacks. Everyone celebrate at the end and the kids learn from the mistakes that allowed the creatures to attack them in the first place.
Despite being formulaic, the episodes still show variety in focus, relevance and tone. Some are very light, while some others are more intense and/or heavy. Some are more relevant than the rest, in the sense that they tackle the backstory and some mild character progression of the characters. Some are just to have simple fun, others to leave substantial moral messages. Some are more disturbing or creepy than the others, or even thought-provoking, like one which involves an artificial biology-class mannequin that started to develop a soul inside and started considering himself as a real normal human being with genuine feelings, a situation that made the class feel uneasy and that led them to face a moral dilemma and to take questionable decisions. And while teacher Nube is the main character and the ones who saves the day, not all the attention is put into him; the show does a good job in giving every character of the class a fair share of focus in terms of number of episodes centered around them (including Nube himself).
Speaking about the characters, they are not realistic and most of them are stereotypical. Nube himself represents a virtuous and beloved shounen hero that will protect the ones he loves no matter the costs. Hiroshi, the main character from the children, is a naughty, hyperactive but kindhearted and brave boy, who likes playing football and has lots of friends. Kyoko is an insecure, neurotic but grounded girl everyone likes to bully (I’d say she’s the most interesting among the children because she is the most mature and can see and analyze the situations they face with an adult perspective). There’s also a malicious girl who likes to gossip and brag of her early developed breasts, an innocent, righteous boy, a spoiled rich kid and a delinquent, among others. But being an unambitious formulaic show, I don’t see any trouble in this. You never come to this type of shows expecting realism and lots of character development and stuff. However, this doesn’t mean they are totally static throughout all of the show’s run. As said before, some of the terrifying incidents with the ghosts make the kids learn important life lessons and grow up as human beings, which is effective.
Anyway, watching all these characters interact, having fun with their teacher and living all those thrilling and mysterious ghost adventures in their own school and surroundings is truly the main appeal of the show and precisely why you come for it, because in all honesty, who wouldn’t have liked to live all this during their elementary school days? Scary and everything, supernatural and paranormal activity has always been a subject that has awakened the interest of people trapped in a boring, mundane daily life, even more in kids discovering the world they live in. And this show really delivers in dragging you to those times when you were a kid fascinated with ghost stories. It appeals to that child wish most of us had of living fun and adventurous supernatural experiences along with our friends and classmates. It does an excellent job in making you wish you would have lived all that to make your school life way more entertaining and memorable, in company of an unorthodox, funny, young and close teacher everyone loves that wasn’t just that typical distant person you treat with a lot of respect and fear looking from below.
The art irradiates a particular charm hard to describe that makes this so addictive and the atmosphere so obscurely lovely. The color palette is colorful enough to not give this image of something that is trying to sell itself as very dark and serious but rather kid-friendly and at the same time dull enough to print in the viewer this absorbing feeling of people being menaced by creatures sneaking from the shadows, especially when action takes place at nights. It perfectly suits the overall tone and direction of the show. Anyway, you just have to see it to understand, it’s kind of hard to do so with cold words. All I’m going to add here is that this youthfully sinister and haunting feel is something that you just dont see very often in modern anime with digital coloring and shading techniques and that cel-animation had an advantage when it comes to this matter.
To conclude, Hell Teacher Nube is a show that, while nothing special in regards of being an episodic show which follows a monster of the week formula, it’s still a show with a fascinating, obscure-but-innocent charm, able to delight and entertain almost effortlessly given it’s likable cast, easy-to-watch condition and absorbing atmosphere. Besides, it is also educative, you can use it to learn a lot from Japanese folklore. And while it obviously won’t work for people who have a hard time getting into monster-of-the-week shows, I believe that those who don’t have troubles with them will find this show to be an overall gratifying experience that is worth the try. 7/10.
Some additional tips/comments:
Being episodic, you don’t really “have to” watch every single of its 48 episodes to understand it and you can skip some of them. However, episodes 20 and 34 are essential, since they tackle the past of the main character and explain more who he is and why he feels he has the mission to protect kids from the attack of ghosts. And if you really want to feel the whole emotional impact the heartbreaking last 2 episodes provide, I’d say it is indeed necessary to have watched the whole show so said impact can in fact, materialize in you.
As a show dealing with ghosts with a gloomy, somber (but still innocent) feel, it is highly recommendable to watch it at nights, and ideally inside your bed. That way you will be able to get more immersed in its exquisit and haunting atmosphere, which is precisely the idea when watching a show like this! The same way you enjoyed more scary shows like “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” or “Tales from the Crypt” when you watched them surrounded by the mysterious and menacing feel of the night rather than by the clarity-safety feel of daylight. The feel of this show is such that it just doesn’t work much if watched during the day.
The show gets a little pervy sometimes. You will see some boys conveniently falling into women breasts, some nosebleeds, the teacher fantasizing with naked women, and what may be probably the most annoying issue, an 11 year old girl bragging about her early developed boobs. There’s also an episode where a teenage girl literally suffers from spontaneous body incinerations that burn her clothes leaving her totally naked in front of everyone. But as most of the 80s/90s shows with raunchy stuff, all this is used for more comical rather than erotic purposes, so it’s really nothing that annoying. But if you categorically can’t stand the inclusion of this type of moments in shows involving kids, then it would be better to not try this show.
5: Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar
English: King of Braves GaoGaiGar
MAL Score: 7.82
In the year 2005, a race of alien monsters called Zonders emerge from underground and launch a series of attacks on the city of Tokyo. The only defense against these creatures is the secret agency known as the Gutsy Geoid Guard (or 3G) and their ultimate weapon, the awesome giant robot GaoGaiGar. GaoGaiGar’s pilot, Guy Shishio, is a former astronaut who was nearly killed two years before when the Zonders first crashed to earth. Guy’s life was spared when a mysterious robot lion called Galeon pulled him from the burning shuttle and brought him to Earth. Guy’s father, Leo, then used Galeon’s technology to rebuild his shattered son as a cyborg, in the hopes that he could stop the aliens when they appear. Now, with Galeon as its core, GaoGaiGar fights to protect Earth. He is aided by a team of transforming robots and by a young boy named Mamoru, who has the power to purify the Zonders’ cores, and seems to be connected to the mysterious Galeon.
The over-the-top characters play a big part in this. Guy Shishio is a badass without even trying. He’s a man’s man, who’ll never give up, no matter how difficult the odds. While this kind of character is a staple for super robot shows, Guy takes hot-blooded to new levels with his ridiculous screaming, speeches, and Zonder-breaking. He’s a static character, but he’s so likable that you don’t really mind. I don’t usually faun over voice actors, but Nobuyuki Hiyama (you’ll know him as Viral from TTGL and Link from the Zelda games) does an excellent job. His yells and dramatic speeches have real weight behind them-they’ll blow you away. Guy’s English voice, Michael Sinterhisnameistoocomplicatedtospell does a very commendable job filling out Guy’s shoes-I’d send him a bottle of throat spray if I could.
The rest of the human characters are relatively stock as well, but none of them are forgettable-especially Taiga, the Commander of the Gutsy Geroid Guard’s Japanese branch. You owe it to yourself to watch this show, if only to see his dramatic pointing. Really, that guy can point. Despite the male-oriented nature of the show, there are plenty of strong female characters who play their part in the GGG epic, and aren’t just fanservice, either. Guy’s girlfriend and technical support also plays a role that you won’t expect. One of the few characters that gets some decent development is the magical boy protagonist Mamoru-a refugee from an alien civilization that is the key to victory on more than one occasion. I can hear you groaning already, but trust me-you’ll learn to love him more than you ever thought you would.
Like Transformers before it, the robot members of the GGG (you’re going to see that letter a lot, so get used to it) are characters as well. They’re sentient, and have distinct (and cheesy) personalities, from the ninja police car intelligence agent Volfogg (yes, this is an amazing combination, and unlike vodka and soy milk, it will not give you a headache) to the American-made rock-and-roll bard-class bot Mic Sounders XIII. Even though they’re stock characters and, well, robots, you end up feeling for them.
The titular robot, while not sentient itself (or is it), has a character all its own. In the beginning of the show, GaoGaiGar moves like a creaky, slapped together bucket of bolts-it’s been hastily built to defend the earth from the approaching threat from space, and it shows. The signature combination sequence barely works, and the finishing move, Hell and Heaven, damages GaoGaiGar and is slowly killing its pilot. Even until the end, GaoGaiGar cannot handily defeat any enemy without the help of the other members of the team, and the clever way the writers find a way for it to win despite its limitations serve as a handy way to break up the monotony that usually plagues shows like this.
The silly-looking design aesthetic that permeates GGG (the robot) and the show doesn’t detract from how brutal it can be. GaoGaiGar breaks its enemies in the most literal fashion every episode. Even with the over-the-top antics, the show separates itself from other super robot shows, and the other Yuusha/Brave series by grounding it with a sense of plausibility and strict continuity that you don’t see in a lot of anime. One look at the gorgeously animated stock transformation sequence is proof of the ridiculous attention to detail in GaoGaiGar. While most super robots are known for their “unpossible” transformations, GaoGaiGar is covered in tiny vents, treads, panels and blinking lights that you’ll only catch for a glimpse. Even the inside was completely drawn out in the concept art, and you can see the mechanical designs (even for a pink VW van!), along with fictional specifications in the eyecatches. All of this comes to a frothy, delicious head with the few plot twists and “keys to victory” scattered through the series. When you see some of them, you’ll gasp, and want to go back and look for them in every episode. It gets even more ridiculous when a seemingly useless and innocuous prop becomes the key to victory in the spectacular OVA GaoGaiGar Final! (Seriously, you’ll shit a brick.)
The music is nothing short of a triumph. There’s an amazing leitmotif going throughout, from the “Final Fusion” gattai scene to the GGG’s theme, and of course, Mic Sounder’s amazing power up songs. You’ll be humming them on the way to work or school.
All of the pieces of the show coalesce into something both familiar and wonderful. You know a series is worth watching when you wonder what you ever did before you’d seen it, and GGG is one of the rare anime titles that I’d put up on that lofty pedestal. It’s a true labor of love, filled with fanservice for every stripe. Like the show itself, the message of courage and perseverance might seem cheesy at first, but it not only grows on you, but envelops you, in a way that few other shows can.
It’s must see for super robot fans, and I’d encourage everyone to buy the DVDs. If you know me well, you know that I don’t like paying for anime. Fuck Luffy, I’m the true Pirate King. If you see an anime DVD on my shelf, then you know I think it’s not only worth the money, but one worth celebrating. It’s probably the highest praise I can give any series.
Any effort this grand deserves to be compensated for. I highly recommend it.
When I first began to watch the show I was pretty dissapointed. The early episodes of this series aren’t exactly bad, but they sure are mediocore. The biggest problem in GaoGaiGar is the pacing. The first 25 episodes are barely worth watching, they’re meant to introduce the cast characters I’m sure, but story wise not much happens. Its really formuliac stuff, kinda like you’d expect out of a 70’s super robot show. Each episode follows the same grind of a monster appearing, GaoGaiGar swoops in to save the day and uses a new move.
I wouldn’t blame anyone for missing out these episodes all together. You won’t miss anything, and after episode 25 the story becomes much more fast paced and interesing. Still, the series never quite shakes this monster of the week formula, and if that isn’t your thing GaoGaiGar probably isn’t for you, unless you have a whole lot of dedication.
I was initially put off by the designs in this series. The character designs are very basic, especially the many annoying kid characters, who all look like they’ve stumbled into the wrong show. The mecha designs are something you’ll either love or hate. Their done by Kunio Okawara, who’s well known for doing the designs for most of the Brave series. His designs aren’t anything new, very blocky, and have more of a resemblence to Transformers than the works of Go Nagai like most SR shows have. The titular GaoGaiGar has a nice design, but the rest, especially the villains, were a bit basic for my tastes.
The animation itself isn’t terrible, the best of it ussually saved for those truly epic scenes every now and then, but there is an overeliance of re-used animation. Towards the end of the series I was becoming really bored of seeing the same damn attacks over and over again! I realise that this is common in mecha, but there have been plenty of SR shows which didn’t rely on stock footage nearly as heavily as this series.
They’re isn’t much to write home about in this department. The OP itself is brilliant, but other than that it was pretty bland. Still I can’t say anything harmed my senses.
The biggest annoyance in this categorie were the child characters. They were supposed to be cute, but Mamoru and his friends often come off as more annoying than that. By the end of the series these characters do mature a bit, but they still got way too much screentime throughout the series.
The rest of the cast was pretty mixed. The protaganists are nothing you wouldn’t expect out of a super robot series, and neither are the villains. I only wish they’d spent more time fleshing out some of the more interesting members of GGG, rather than just Guy and Mamoru all the time. Towards the end of the series I found myself appreciating some of the characters more, but over all it was a pretty bland cast.
Obviously, I went into GaoGaiGar with high expectations and was dissapointed. Its not the worst Super Robot show, but its by no means the best. There are moments greatness in this series. The last ten episodes especially are filled with everything I could want out of a series like this, tension, outlandish battles, manly speaches and heroic sacrafice.
But that doesn’t make up for the huge amounts of filler in this show, and the blandness of some of the characters and mecha. Its a fairly enjoyable series, worthy of its place in the super robot pantheon, just be sure to realise that it might not be worth ALL the praise it gets.
The best way to watch this show is in small chunks, on a saturday morning, turning your brain off and just enjoying the many manly screams of
The story is a basic Super Robot anime. It revolves around the members of Gusty Geoid Guard, Or GGG for short, as they deal with attacks from the Zonders, who are an alien machine race. The first 25 episodes are pretty standard monster of week, which mostly serve as a way to slowly introduce new characters and weapons for GGG. Please be aware that this show was meant to sell toys. After that though, the series begins to grow and the real plot begins to unfold, and that is where it really shines.
The Art is very well done for a show done in the late 90’s. It has well defined lines and bright vivid colors which create very crisp visuals. Everything in this show has its own identity and nothing blurs together.
Oh, this is what makes a super robot go from good to fantastic. GaoGaiGar has some of the best sounds and OST in any anime I have watched; and I have heard stuff from aldnoah.zero and Attack On Titan. Every sound from Golion’s roar to the G stone charging up is uniquely its own. I especially liked the sound they use for the machine noises when robots are combining. GaoGiaGar also has a great OST. Evey character has his or her theme song to go with them; the most memorable being GaoGaiGar Final Fusion theme. The voice work in GaoGaiGar is top notch with Hiyama Nobuyuki voicing Guy. I just loved hearing him yell out, “HIKARI NI NARA!!”
With every Super Robot anime the selling point is the robots and GaoGaiGar delivers it in tenfolds. The hero of this story is a cyborg named Guy who is a man’s man boiling to the brim with courage and bravery who is also a symbol of hope to everyone else. Guy is also accompanied by fellow brave robots, the twin rescue brothers HyoRyu, who claim collective and his hothead brother EnRyu who is a shoot first ask questions kind of person. There is also the Ninja Police Intelligence Officer Volfogg. On the human side the most predominate would be Mamoru. Hes a kid with the unlikely ability to purify the Zondar cores. There are many more but you get the idea, its a colorful cast of robots and people that you can’t help but love.
Overall, I really did enjoy GaoGaiGar. It delivers on everything that a Super Robot Show should. Yeah, there are faults. Namely, it takes time to build up to its main plot point. If you can’t stand monster of the week formula, it probably won’t do much for you, but if you enjoy over-the-top crazy robot fights with yelling and more courage than you can handle, this is the show for you.
Gutsy Geoid Guard, Mobilize!
4: Slayers Try
Japanese: スレイヤーズ TRY
MAL Score: 7.82
For nearly a millennium, demons have imposed a magical barrier that has impeded the people trapped within it from reaching the outside world. Now that it is broken, several kingdoms seek to explore the lands that were once beyond their grasp. To this end, they establish a peace delegation to make contact with the inhabitants of the new world.
Meanwhile, the young sorceress Lina Inverse receives a message from a mysterious woman named Filia ul Copt. When they meet, Filia expresses interest in hiring Lina and her friends, having heard of their great deeds, for a certain task that will take them to the outside realm. Despite that, Filia feels the need to put their strength to the test and pits them against a dragon in the middle of the city! After proving themselves, the sorceress and her fellow adventurers set off for the unexplored lands, where many adventures and a worrying prophecy await them.
Another good example is Slayers Try.
Unlike the previous iterations in the Slayers franchise, Try is not actually based on a novel by Kanzaka Hajime, however the author did write the basic outline for the series. This meant that there was far more room for the creativity of other writers to come to the fore, and it’s actually surprising how well Try follows on from the first two series. However, given that many of the production staff are the same as in the previous two outings, and that director Watanabe Takashi is once again at the helm, it should be no surprise that the writers would have a “passing familiarity” with the content.
The story is set several months after Next. The magical barrier that kept the lands isolated has been destroyed, and various kingdoms have decided to send a group of emmisaries to explore and re-establish relationships with the outside world. Unfortunately, Lina and the gang are taking a break in the port city from which the expedition is leaving…
One thing that really stands out about the plot for Slayers Try is the degree to which it progresses throughout the show. While the series manages to retain much of its irrevent humour (albeit in a punchier form), the story is far more focused than in previous outings, and fans of the series may find themselves surprised by the difference.
One unfortunate side effect of this “change” though (although I consider it more of an evolution), is that certain viewers, especially those who are diehard fans of the original two series, consider Try to be the inferior addition to the franchise, partly because it’s not based on an existing novel, but also because of the increase in plot focus.
Whatever the case may be, personally I consider Try to be at least as good as the original series and Next. The plot is well paced and flowing for much of the series, and the increased focus on telling the story only serves to make the humour more precious.
The main aspects that fans of the series will find appealing is the fact that in terms of sound and visuals, Try is without any shadow of a doubt, part of the Slayers franchise. Everything from the character design and animation, to the seiyuu and music are, by and large, the same as in previous outings, and this pays off in a big way in many areas of the show. The animators are far more capable and composed than either of the previous two series, while the voice actors are more self assured than before. The fact that even the same production staff have been used on many aspects of Try gives it an extra dimension that neither the original series nor Next had, and this is because at almost every level of production there is a good deal of experience with the Slayers franchise – and it shows.
In terms of characters, Try is a more than worthy addition to the franchise. After all, the gang’s all here, and this time they have a whole world to play with. Lina and Gourry are just as funny as before, even with the noticeable reduction in jokes involving food and/or eating, Zelgadis is just as moody as ever, and Amelia is still heroically gung ho. Try, however, is unlike either of the previous two series in that the characters are more solid, however this is partly due to the more focused plot. That said, while there is a degree of development for most of the characters, the majority of growth occurs on the part of only one character.
Filia ul Copt is, in many respects, a parody of the stereotypical Dungeons & Dragons “Gold Dragon”, however she is also the character with the most development in Try. Her background, together with the history of her race, make for a solid platform upon which to develop a character, however this seems to be the biggest area of debate, as many viewers feel that Try should have focused on developing the relationship between Lina and Gourry.
Personally, I don’t mind her at all, and I can’t really understand what all the fuss is about. Filia’s personality works well with the other characters, and the fact that she is oft times portrayed as a parody of the D&D Golden Dragon means that she fits in nicely with the ethos of Slayers.
In terms of its content, Slayers Try is very different to either of the first two series and, in all honesty, the show seems to have “borrowed” some of the best aspects of both. Being a fan of the franchise, I found that I enjoyed Try just as much as I did either of the first two seasons. However, the more focused plot may be disconcerting to purists, however much of the humour is retained throughout the show, and this is the area where the Slayers franchise normally excels.
Granted there will be those who simply don’t like Try for one reason or another, and while I can understand the perspective voiced by many nay-sayers, it should be remembered that, like any series, unless there is an effort made to develop the franchise it will simply stagnate. The bigger crime, at least for me, would be to let down the original series and Next by simply re-using the same formula over and over again – such things become tiresome after a while. Granted there is a degree of that in the third series, however Try is also very different to its predecessors because of its tighter story and focused plot.
Try is most definitely a great addition to the Slayers franchise, and while there are those who don’t like the series, there are just as many who do. If you’re a fan of Slayers but haven’t seen Try, then you should definitely mark it as one to watch. The show has all of the appeal of the first two series, yet is unique enough in its own right as well.
That said, newcomers to the franchise are advised to watch the first two series before watching Try, as there are numerous references to previous events and characters.
On the whole, Slayers Try is one of those shows that you should really make your own judgement on. While there is a certain “business as usual” feel to the series, there are plenty of new characters, places and occurences for Lina and the gang to mess with/blow up/steal from, and it’s great to see them given a much bigger “playground” this time around.
Of course and Slayers wouldn’t be slayers without those really strange and wacky episodes and characters which I’m glad to say there are a decent amount but not too much craziness to diverge too far from the plot. Nice little comedic breaks. All the characters have their outstanding personalities and we even dive deeper into a few of the main characters. I love this anime series, mainly because it was the first one I saw, but this season blew me away. I’ve re-watched it 4 times and still enjoy it.
Each season of slayers seems to build more on the storyline (ignoring Revolution and Evolution-R), and Try does a great job of that. It focuses on a lot of different perspectives, and the question of how to define the good guys vs. the bad guys.
The series explores the relationships between Mazoku, gods, those that are neither, and those that are both. Xellos shows his dark side, which makes me love him that much more. And the relationship between Xellos and Filia is hilarious.
The comedy in Try is different that the previous two seasons. There are fewer filler episodes, a lot of suspense, and a lot of action. There are 6 episodes in the season that I found sort of weak (15-20), but the other 20 episodes are by far the best in the series. The series brings out a lot of emotion, and is in my opinion the best of them all.
3: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars
English: Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーン セーラースターズ
MAL Score: 7.92
Like the R Season, Sailor Stars is divided into two arcs:
The first arc (also filler) solves some conflicts from the SuperS season, and also sees the return of the Outer Senshi, Haruka, Michiru, Setsuna, and Hotaru (now reborn as a child).
The second arc is the actual plot from the manga. Usagi bids farewell to Mamoru, who is going to America to study abroad. In his place comes the Three Lights, an idol trio consisting of three boys, Seiya, Taiki, and Yaten. The new enemy is Galaxia, a woman who desires to rule the entire galaxy by collecting the Star Seeds of humans. Three new Senshi appear, the Sailor Starlights, who also intend to stop Galaxia without Sailor Moon’s help.
First of all, let me tell you, I can agree on why Sailor Moon Sailor Stars wasn’t licensed for the american dub version. If you watch this series, you will find out why. But enough with that matter, let me tell you what I thought of this amazing season of Sailor Moon.
I personally thought the story deserved higher that a 6, at that matter. The story was actually well thought out and planned detail to detail. Naoko Takeuchi had really improved since SuperS. I mean, how the new characters incorperated right into the story perfectly. The Starlights added a new sense of different careers in the story and how Seiya tried his/her best to be like a ‘new’ Mamoru for Usagi.
The art had pretty much improved since SuperS, in my opinion. The detail and different colors use to express the characters was amazing. I really thought that the design of the new senshi outfits was absolutly genius! Also, I must say, Sailor Moon’s Moon Tier was really detailed and perfetly executed the attacks every episode.
The sound in the series really got me into the season more and more. The new opening theme really changed the sense of the series after the same theme song season after season. Change was definetly in order. But I must admit, some of the songs the 3 Lights sang weren’t very good in my opinion. I understand they were looking for their princess for a very long period of time but I never got use to the songs they sang.
The Starlights intro into the series really up-ed my opinion on the rating of Character. Yet, in the anime, how they were changed into Male to Female really didn’t make me happy. I’m sure Naoko diefinetly felt the same way. Anyways, away from that matter, I believe that most of the characters didn’t change that much, yet I enjoyed how they comforted Usagi in her hard times.
The enjoyment of the series difinetly deserved a 10/10 in my opinion. The story brought along many happy, sad, romantic, ect., to the series. I think that Naoko did an exceptional job on this season and the manga at that.
Overall, this series deserves a 10/10! The series was outstanding to me and was one of the first anime I watched when I was young. The series always kept me at the edge of my seat and I really enjoyed some humor here and there. If you are in the mood for an amazing series, I highly reccomend this series to any mahou shoujo anime fan out there. The series was excellent to me and I bet any Sailor Moon fan would agree.
There’s plenty of new scouts from other galaxies and other leaded by another princess. It also features a cool idol group as some of the season’s new characters.
This season was the last season of Sailor Moon and it was never dubbed in English during it’s original release. This season may be still new news to some fans who just watched and were familiar with the original English dub.
Break from Mini Moon-
And of course we get a break from Mini Moon. Even though she is still an important character in it’s first episodes, she does get a break and doesn’t appear through the second arc of this season. This could be a relief to some fans after SuperS.
Yes, this season has plenty of hardships, downfalls, and Sailor Moon will be find herself very heartbroken at times.
Villains are scouts-
Yes! I mentioned there was drama. Not only are there new scouts called the Starlights, the villains themselves are also scouts, which makes it hard to know who to trust.
This is all around a super season and is a must watch for fans. Despite the flaws that Tuxedo Mask is absent from the second arc (but it’s for a reason), and the outers appear very little times. It’s still it’s a great season and you won’t be disappointed.
And this last season was the best one (I missed Mamoru-chan but.. ^^).. We saw friendship, love, longing, and also determination and faith.. of course with the sufficient amount of humour ^^ It has everything in it, and it is an anime that I’d show my children..
Everybody should watch this classic, imo. The storyline, the characters, fight scenes.. all of them were 10/10 for me ^^
(Should I begin watching it again?? ^^)
2: Ie Naki Ko Remy
English: Sans Famille
MAL Score: 7.92
Remy, a cheerful and tender-hearted girl, lives with her mother in a French country town. One day her father returns to the town after a long period working away from home in a city. Her father tells Remy that she isn’t their real daughter, and Remy is almost sold to an evil slave trader. It is Vitalis, a strolling entertainer, who helps Remy. Vitalis discovers her talent for singing and decides to take her in with his troupe.
Okay, yes, the 1977 version made by Dezaki is universally considered by fans to be better than this version, the 1997 version. However! That certainly doesn’t mean that the 1997 version doesn’t have anything that’s good about it or that it isn’t a good show in its own right. In fact, I happen to like them both on the same level, but for very different reasons. I really love Homeless Girl Remy for what it is as its own entity, and I think other people should too, if they just look past the source material and the back story behind this production. Everybody knows the story by now, so I’ll talk about the other stuff. For one thing, the animation for this version may be considered low budget compared to the 1977 version, and yeah, low budget is right as some of the later episodes start to look just a BIT funny-looking. But the rest of the show, while it does have the whole nineties look about it, still looks great. The characters look a bit plain and simple, but everything else is great. The backgrounds are rich and detailed, little things are animated nicely, there are some still frames present but they don’t hurt the final product, and the characters’ movements are down to earth and fluid. Plus, because the colors are a bit muted and soft, it’s very easy on the eyes. I seem to like old school cel drawn animation better than digital animation, as it’s easier on my eyes, though a lot of my favorite shows are colored digitally, so I could probably be biased here. I’m not a discriminatory animation lover, though! Check my top 3 to see how varied my animation preferences are! Taking all of this into account, when compared to other shows of its time, the animation is still relatively nice and well done, so I wouldn’t consider it bad or entirely low budget. The creators needed to make do with what they got, and they definitely did, in my opinion.
Now, time to talk about what I feel is the BEST part of the show: the soundtrack. Now, if you’ve read my review of the 1977 version, you’ll have read that I considered that version’s music to be very passe and outdated. Yes, I still hold this opinion to be true, especially now that I’ve finally gotten to finish this version. And wow, the soundtrack for this version is about a thousand times better than the first one! For one thing, the opening and ending themes are absolutely wonderful! They’re both very soft, melodic tunes sung by soft voiced singers, with great lyrics pertaining to love and being yourself and enduring hardship, and they both fit the show to a T. While I did like the opening of the 1977 version, I felt the song was a bit too upbeat, and the ending was even more so, but to a worse and extremely jarring degree. Homeless Girl Remy’s themes are great, soft, warm, fitting, and they match the tone of the show while striking a good balance between dark and upbeat. I love soft songs with singers that have soft voices, so I could be biased here. The background music is another thing that needs to be praised, because unlike other shows where they tend to put the wrong kinds of music in the wrong places, killing tension or ruining poignant scenes (Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, anyone?), Remy’s soundtrack also fits the entire show to a T. I remember the soundtrack for the 1977 version being VERY seventies and I don’t remember liking some of the music that much. However, the 1997 version is full of nice, classical pieces that know when to be subtle and when to be full of suspense and tension, really bringing out the atmosphere and emotions of their assigned scenes. It’s meant to tug at your heart strings, and it definitely tugged at mine when those moments came, making what I feel are great moments in not just this show, but in anime in general. If a soundtrack isn’t used to its full potential and in context, then it could very well feel cheesy and out of place, ruining the show. Thankfully, Remy’s soundtrack didn’t fall into this pitfall.
The characters are the subject to quite a bit of debate in the WMT fandom, as they were subjected to the most drastic changes. Whether it’s for better or worse varies with each character and with someone’s opinion, and WMT anime are known for having very strong, nuanced, three-dimensional, and well developed characters in every single one of their anime, even during times when kids anime were expected to have simple characters who only have one trait and don’t do much other than to entertain kids and preach a bunch of morals, especially in America, which is happily changing in this day and age (especially moreso with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic), albeit slowly. However, while I do adore the characters in this version, I do feel that compared to all the other WMT adaptations, these characters are a little bit weak and underdeveloped. One of the worst offenders is Gaspard, the villain in the second half of the show. He’s really not much more than a walking villain cliche. He’s gruff, he’s mean, he’s pathetic, he’s cruel to everyone he meets, especially the kids he enslaves, all he wants is money money money, and he’ll go to whatever means necessary to get it and use it for his own purposes. If kids don’t do anything for him or do anything he hates, which is basically everything, he whips them and takes great pleasure in doing so. Heck, a lot of the villains in this show are card board cut outs meant to make the good characters look good. I can understand why this is so, however, and while I don’t fault the creators for the circumstances that led to the WMT’s downfall, that’s still no excuse to make a bunch of walking cliche villains who are basically just like every one villainous anime character out there, just not with superpowers or intent to destroy the world, even with a very rushed plot that they had to deal with. The good characters are also subjected to lack of development (Vitalis is the biggest victim of this), but it’s not bad in any way. Remy may have been changed into a girl, but she’s still a very strong and good character who can carry the weight of the show very well, though she isn’t the only one, even though her being compassionate from the beginning has very limited her development, and instead, other characters develop because of her, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but if it gets used a bit much, then characters won’t be able to feel like individuals who can stand on their two feet. Though, with this in mind, try being those slaves under Gaspard’s grubby hand. At least this is justified.
While I do praise the creators for at least trying to make do with what they were given considering the inevitable circumstances, there are still some jarring flaws. One of them appears at the end of the show, but it’s not too spoiler filled so I’ll go with it: one minute Gaspard loses sight of Remy, then when it looks like she escaped and outran him, he somehow manages to catch up to her with absolutely no explanation whatsoever! How was that even possible?! Plus, it does seem to want drama a little TOO badly, because you’ll know right away when something bad happens to Remy in any form, and you’ll be able to predict more from a mile away, and even with 26 episodes, there’s still a tiny bit of filler, and considering the circumstances, the show came out very rushed as a result, leaving a bit of a cheesy and rushed ending, but I liked it for what it was, and I’ve seen worse endings so I’ll let it slide. Plus, there’s a good lesson in that no matter how hard things are, you have to keep moving forward and everything you’ve gone through will bring about a positive outcome in the end, and that’s an anvil that really really REALLY and SERIOUSLY needs to be dropped more often in this day and age where kids are being bullied to the point of drugs, alcohol, murder, and even suicide because they feel there’s no way out and no hope for them. Not only that, it also provides some very heartwarming and refreshing romance in a sea of cliche shoujo anime/manga. What I especially liked about this was that in terms of some things happening, characters actually talk about their feelings and problems instead of bottling them in, which is an oh so common pitfall for most anime and manga nowadays. Wanna know the best thing? NO NARRATOR! I don’t remember being annoyed by the narrator in the 1977 version, but he talks and reveals important secrets in EVERY SINGLE episode, so I can see that being very annoying for many people, as some of what he says is really unnecessary. The 1997 version doesn’t have a narrator, thank God. Plus, even with the show’s warm and idealistic nature, the dark, cold fist of reality crashes down on the characters, and nobody is spared. I think children’s shows need more dark and scary moments instead of trying to hide them out of fear of parents complaining. I don’t see the point of hiding the fact that bad things can and will happen to anyone. This is why I like Japan’s shows, because they don’t conform to political correctness like we oh so sadly have and they take their animation very seriously, their kids shows included (most of the time). I think scary and sad moments in children’s shows/movies are good once in a while because those will actually teach them to be good and kind, and…really, bad things can, will, and do happen to people in real life anyway, so why not show them in advance so they’ll learn how to deal with it that doesn’t involve drugs, alcohol, or anything of the sort?
People, don’t revile this show simply because it’s not the source material or because it’s not perfect. That’s not a good attitude to have. I love the 1977 version, but I love the 1997 version just as much for what it is as its own entity. If one can just look past all the flaws and acknowledge what it DOES do well and right, then you’ll be treated to a great, heart-tugging, heartwarming, nice little shoujo anime. Sure, it’s not the best anime in the world, and not the most polished adaptation, but so what? It did its best and knew what it wanted to be. I know this show will have a place in my heart, and if it ever gets dubbed in English (which is likely never unless some brave and bold person steps up to the challenge), I’d absolutely LOVE to show this to my family, friends, and even my future kids one day! So cut the crap and watch this, and acknowledge it for what it is, not for what it should have been!
Ie Naki Ko Remy is a classic Nippon Animation anime, another one of the “Word Masterpiece Theater, and highly praised by many.
Well, the first half of this anime is fantastic. But the problem comes after Vitalis dies.
Why is the anime not good after Vitallis dies? Well, that’s simple: It’s ILLGICAL AND NO NOTION.
After Vitalis dies, Remi goes home to Gaspard, who forces homeless children to work and bring him money. This is literally the biggest problem of this anime.
Remi is not a dumb girl, but she “becomes dumb” after going to Gaspard’s house. Remi has to run away with everyone, so as not to be mistreated by Gaspard, but the script does not let her.
The children get enough money to survive, but these children prefer to stay in the house of a man who mistreats them, and if they all stayed together, they would have a much better life on the street.
Mattia is a smart boy, and he could manage all the children. Even Remi could run away with all the children to Mrs. Milligan’s house, who is her real mother, but she doesn’t know it.
Anyway, this anime was a wasted potential, because the second half is really bad and clueless
Most of the characters are good, they fulfill their function.
I don’t even remember the OST, just the OP and ED which I like a lot.
The animation is ok.
I was disappointed with this anime because it clearly would be one of my favorites if it followed a good plot like the first half. Unfortunately the second half is just a lot of nonsense, as I explained, for the sake of the script trying to force a drama.
This review I decided to talk more about what made me dislike this anime. Because, as I said before, the first half is really good. It’s really a shame that it didn’t stay at the same level until the end.
1: Kenpuu Denki Berserk
MAL Score: 8.51
Born from the corpse of his mother, a young mercenary known only as Guts embraces the battlefield as his only means of survival. Day in and day out, putting his life on the line just to make enough to get by, he moves from one bloodshed to the next.
After a run-in with the Band of the Hawk, a formidable troop of mercenaries, Guts is recruited by their charismatic leader Griffith, nicknamed the “White Hawk.” As he quickly climbed the ranks in order to become the head of the offensive faction, Guts proves to be a mighty addition to Griffith’s force, taking Midland by storm. However, while the band’s quest for recognition continues, Guts slowly realizes that the world is not as black-and-white as he once assumed.
Set in the medieval era, Kenpuu Denki Berserk is a dark, gritty tale that follows one man’s struggle to find his own path, while supporting another’s lust for power, and the unimaginable tragedy that begins to turn the wheels of fate.
But the main elements, the magic that made the epic manga what it is are all present in the animated version. Guts, The Black Swordsman, is still the hapless avenger wandering in search for revenge and peace of mind. The world in which the story is set is still that medieval realm right down to the brilliant castles with their greedy landlords, the disadvantaged common folk, and the never-ending wars. And, perhaps most importantly along with the characters, the story is still the same tragedy of fate, friendship and love.
Perhaps one point of criticism for some could be the outdated artstyle. Having aired more than ten years ago, the art and animation will inevitably seem rough and simple for those (like me) who’ve discovered anime rather recently, through recent shows with more high-tech appearance. Upon closer look, however, I’d say that instead of a shortcoming, Berserk’s old-school animation works exactly in the shows favor. The story is, after all, rough by nature and set in an age long gone, in which case the ancient animation actually accentuates the overall mood quite nicely. I wonder if the series’s impact would’ve been the same had it been done in the 2000s, closer to this day. I dare doubt it.
An avid listener of music though I am, I rarely pay much attention to the tunes played in anime. But whereas most shows fail to catch my admiration with their musical score, Berserk did so in spades. Far more than once I found myself being chilled to the bone as the horror scenes rolled in, aided by terrifyingly fitting ominous sounds without which the anime’s horror elements would’ve lacked greatly. In comparison, the joyful tunes of bonfire festivals, the musical elegance of the upper class’s dances, and the emotional pieces of the more waffy scenes all help to highlight the sentiment of each situation. 10/10 score for this department; a true rarity given by me.
One might wonder why I’ve so far mostly talked about aspects many would consider minor in comparison to an anime’s story and characters. Well for one, both animation and music contribute so much to the show’s overall score that there’s nothing minor about them in this instance. As for the other reason, if I’d start to go on detailing bit by bit what makes the story and characters of Berserk so unfathomably excellent, we’d all soon be looking at a review of more than 10,000 words. And since reading all of it would be that much more away from your Berserk-watching (or reading) time, I’m going to keep it simple. Just imagine a story so compelling and layered you’ll truly find yourself gasping at times, a cast of characters so real you actually start to care for them though they don’t even exist, and a high-fantasy medieval world so immersing you can almost feel the reality around you blur away.
But an adaptation from a manga as this is, there’s no way to escape the shadow of the original work. An no matter how excellent an anime this is even forgetting the manga, fact of the matter is that Berserk is the greatest MANGA ever made, and the anime is just a colorful side-kick next to it. At the beginning of my review I said the anime loses to the manga in nothing but length and detail. True. But ponder on this: the anime is one of 25 normal length (a bit over 20 minutes) episodes. The manga is one of over 300 and still going on chapters. The conclusion being, Berserk anime loses A LOT to the manga in length and detail. I didn’t even care to count all the scenes an details of the original work that didn’t exist in the anime, and now as I’m doing so for the sake of writing this review, I can’t help but note that, again, A LOT is lost when such a number of details that helped understanding the characters in the manga, for example, are nowhere to be seen in the anime. To refrain from writing a novel-length review, again, let’s just say that even though Berserk manga had nothing but text and black and white drawings to reach me, I never felt nearly as immersed by the anime as I did by the original.
Be that as it may, Berserk is truly one to deserve the title “epic” in the history of anime. It is an obligatory watch for anyone who likes Japanese animation. It is a classic right there among Evangelion, Miyazaki’s works, or any other anime one might deem ageless and undying. It is right there among them, shining in their midst as the bloodiest gem of them all.
One of those people is a young man called Guts, who we find introduced as The Black Swordsman. Along the way we’ll find out how he came to be a warrior more powerful than any other human, with death more than just nipping at his heels from his very birth. He isn’t merely your average war-torn soul—he embodies the desire to live on the battlefield, choosing to relentlessly face his fate head on and swinging a sword that might as well be a tombstone as tall as a man. His dogged ferocity endears Griffith, compelling him to draw Guts into the Band of the Hawk. Here he also meets Caska, a dark and fiery-tempered woman second only to Griffith in terms of skill and leadership; second to none in terms of honor and loyalty. And thus our tale truly begins.
It is a story about a world full of evil and brutality, of dreams and despair, where people struggle to find themselves in the midst of it all and define the meaning of their existence. Friendship and love are slow to come, but when it’s there it’ll bring tears to your eyes, for the relationships forged in Berserk are more meaningful than almost any you’ll find in anime.
You will soon learn that there are no limits to Griffith’s ambition, nor to his charisma. A leader that seems to grace his era as if stepped right out of a painting, his Band of the Hawk serves him faithfully, offering their own hopes and aspirations to his “bonfire of dreams”—for simply being near him seems to promise glory. He is also in possession of a strange relic—an egg-like pendant bearing ominous notions…
Berserk is not for the faint of heart (or the very young), brimming with violent battles and head-to-head confrontations resulting in dismemberment, bodies sliced entirely in two, blood and entrails by the bucketload, and some very intense sexuality including rape and molestation.
The quality of the animation here varies somewhat from time to time, but it is always good enough, and frankly needs no real mention because it is so overshadowed by every other quality here. That said, there are some pretty stunning moments of gorgeous animation—particularly during the action scenes—but most will likely think it looks somewhat bland by today’s standards. I urge you not to let this deter you.
I’ll make note of the music, since that is certainly one of the most enjoyable things about Berserk. Some viewers might recognize Hirasawa Susumu’s very distinguished sound from other anime like Paranoia Agent and Paprika, and it is all extremely memorable. You will find yourself whistling along when “Forces” chimes in, and various other tunes are used to delightful effect, heightening the emotional impact of already emotional scenes.
Berserk’s finale is one of the most notoriously shocking cliffhanger endings in anime history. The story arc covered by the anime is known as the “Golden Age” of Miura’s manga, encompassed by volumes 4-13. One might even advise a newcomer to skip the first episode (a flash-forward that takes place beyond the ending) and save it to watch after the 25th, but this might not even be necessary—anyone who is truly drawn into this tale will feel compelled to read the manga afterward. This is such a layered and powerful story, filled with so much ugliness and beauty, that you will almost inevitably be drawn in. Berserk is a true classic.
There are three major themes that mark this series: (1) MEDIEVAL, (2) GORE, and (3) PHILOSOPHY.
This is why I think this is a great series: this combination of themes, which is already rare in anime, are very well incorporated together as a complete story.
The (1) MEDIEVAL theme brings the setting of the story. creating an atmosphere where the gore and philosophy can develop together. This also sets the pace of the story based on the technological circumstances of medieval culture. The slow nature of this large-scale medieval story allows enough time to unravel the deep characters.
The (2) GORE theme accents the philosophy, reinforcing characters and foreshadowing the character progression by their behaviour in battle. This is a real treat to see the battle behaviour contrasting with the respective characters you’ve watched develop (Most notably the main protagonist).
The (3) PHILOSOPHY theme is a major feature to the characterization in the main characters. The characters and their actions are defined by their varied internal philosophies. With a very distinct difference in character philosophies and a heavy story focus on them, central story events are marked by relationships between these philosophies.
SOUND: At first glance, the soundtrack seems to be lacking with only 11 songs (Including intro and outro). However, the placement and feeling (And sometimes repetition) of these soundtracks is well done, giving the story great fluidity and emotional propulsion. Voice acting and sound effects are well done, even on dub. Voice acting most notably reflects the characters well, save for some of the demons.
ART: A rough art technique is used in this series, with unique design. Both of these accent the themes by reinforcing and elevating the serious nature of this anime (As opposed to the chibi art design). At times there is an over usage of scrolling single pictures in place of animation, which works as both an advantage and disadvantage. The advantage: it is reflective of the pacing of the anime. The disadvantage: it can be too slow (Especially in the beginning when the story is slower).
STORY, CHARACTER: Probably the greatest strength of this anime are it’s story and characters. The story and characters grow simultaneously making the world of Berserk very lively. Most of the typical anime cliches are steered clear of here (with the exception of one blatant one), which really improved the effectiveness of the story and characters. With a unique and lively world, Berserk captures a lot of realism for an anime.
OVERALL, ENJOYMENT: This is definitely not a lighthearted anime. It can be embraced to the extreme of obsession (Like me) because of the interesting, deep perspectives that operate in the story. The good development quality only makes it further enjoyable. But this anime is truly for a certain crowd because of its extremely deep nature and depictions of extreme brutality. This is going to be a ‘hate it or love it’ sort of anime.
(Updated August 2008: Touched everything up a bit; explanations should be clearer now. =] Thanks for all the positive feedback.)
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Kenpuu Denki Berserk
2. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars
3. Ie Naki Ko Remy
4. Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar
5. Slayers Try
6. Jigoku Sensei Nube
7. Rekka no Honoo
9. Saber Marionette J
10. Yume no Crayon Oukoku