They’re the best Anime that 2002 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of GetBackers, Digimon Tamers, Full Metal Panic!, and more!
Japanese: ゲットバッカーズ 奪還屋
MAL Score: 7.60
Mido Ban and Amano Ginji are known as the Get Backers, retrievers with a success rate of 100%. Whatever is lost or stolen, they can definitely get it back. Despite their powerful abilities and enthusiastic behavior, Ban and Ginji are terminally broke no matter what they do simply because few people would actually desire to hire them. As a result, the pair of them tend to do dangerous jobs, often leading to unwanted re-encounters with their old (and dangerous) friends.
Animation: Pretty good, it is getting to be a older animation so you will see its age but that shouldn\’t matter.
Sound: pretty good nothing special.
Character: Great characters they have great story\’s to them and they follow there personality\’s to. Very funny to at times.
Enjoyment: I loved this series but it ended so quickly 🙁
Overall: Very good series, if you like action and humor and a good story check it out.
Getbackers is a typical shounen anime about two guys who are said to be able to get anything back, which has been taken. What helps them are their interesting special abilities Amano Ginji with the power to generate electricity and Midou Ban with a 200Kg hand grip and also possessing the evil eye.
The show pretty much starts of like a typical anime, by introducing the main characters and giving them an opportunity to wow the viewers with some action. Getbackers is able to capture anyone’s attention but as the show goes on, this cheesy anime can easily become tiresome to watch. The fights don’t help it at all, with the same fighting methods repeated over and over, without any variety, to the point when even the action sequences get boring. In between all the action are numerous comedy moments, to lighten the mood however this is poorly executed and doesn’t add much to the show. Also another issue is the characters and apart from the two main characters (Ginji and Midou) the rest are poorly developed and it doesn’t help that the have some pretty lame personalities and special abilities/traits. Another annoyance is when the enemies become allies and the allies become enemies so easily that it just makes it all seem pointless.
There’s also the animation that can be described in one word “mediocre”. It’s obvious that very little effort was put into animating this show, as not even the fights seem fluid and all the chibi didn’t help the comedy. Another thing that can put anyone of from watching this show is the horrendous opening and ending theme music, but at least the exciting music during the action can make up for it.
Overall this is a pretty decent anime for the simple-minded anime fan but a somewhat intelligent anime fan would be able to see Getbackers for its many faults. It does manage to incorporate all the standard shounen elements but without adding anything original to make it stand out from the rest. Even though this anime is aimed at teenagers it seems more like a kid’s show, with moderate violence, no blood and sharp objects replaced by bright shining lights. So if you’re over 12 years old then I don’t recommend this.
While it is an interesting plot, I tend to become distracted when I watch it. Maybe the plot was too shonen for a girl like me who would usually prefer girly anime, but then again the fight scenes were a bit exciting. Truth be told, I enjoyed the fillers more, because they always had me laughing. Other than that, some of the arcs were too long, specially the IL arc. 15 episodes are just too much, and at that point watching the anime felt like a chore. I was so happy when I finally finished that arc because the filler episode after the arc was one of the funniest episodes.
It’s another anime with a huge cast of characters, and most of them I like. I think the character I hate the most would be Himiko. She’s a very irritating girl who acts as if she’s good at her job, but she’s not that great. Plus using perfumes as weapons? What a lame power. Kazuki is OK, but he’s a trap. It really surprised me when I found out he was a guy. Maybe he’s gay – 2 guys are fighting over him and I don’t care if boys from their family wear girly kimonos when they haven’t reached their age of maturity yet. It’s just an excuse to justify his cross dressing.
My favorite character is actually Natsumi. I like that filler episode about her when she dressed up as Ban and Ginji. Speaking of Ban and Ginji, I like both of them too. Ginji is just so adorable when he goes into chibi mode, and Ban is one cool guy, even if he’s a bit mean and distant sometimes. Akabane is pretty cool too – even if he is a bit blood thirsty and sick minded.
The animation and art is reminiscent of early 2000s anime. While it is ahead of anime that was from way back then, it still needed work. It tends to be inconsistent sometimes. You could tell if the designs would waver because they were really notable differences – it’s as if the characters have been deformed. Usually, this would occur in filler episodes, and even more so during the second half. I’m a bit disappointed, because if they wanted to make this anime a hit, everything should be almost perfect. The colors tend to clash sometimes too – greens and purples don’t really go well together.
And what about the voice acting? It was actually pretty good. I’m quite surprised that Ginji’s seiyu was actually Shotaro Morikubo, who was also Musica’s (From Rave Master) voice actor. They were two different characters with two different personalities that it’s hard for me to picture one guy who worked with both of them. I guess that’s really impressive. Plus, Ban Midou’s seiyu (Nobutoshi Canna) was also the seiyu for another character I hold dear to my heart, and that is Tasuki from Fushigi Yuugi. Even without that, I still think the dub was quite impressive.
I like the wide variety of music. Every opening and ending theme was different and I liked every single track. It was all contemporary and modern. There was pop, to hip hop, to j-rock. Everything really went well with the series’ feel. I think that’s because the music direction was made by a very capable person. That person would be Taku Iwasaki, whose works are actually quite familiar to me. He also worked on GONZO’s Black Cat, Rumbling Hearts and Yakitate!! Japan, series with equally good music.
Because of boy-boy love premises, I was almost convinced that I was watching shojo. Clearly, Kazuki and Juubei’s relationship are yaoi fan girl bait. Plus the guys are all very good looking, which convinced me even more. I guess that’s one thing I get out of watching the series.
And what’s with the clothes? I noticed a lot of the characters wore clothes that won’t fit them. Hevn would always wear tops that are too small for her, and the guys wore tight pants. Poor Kazuki; His shirts are always so oversized that they would fall to his shoulders.
Even if there was a bevy of good looking guys in this anime, the eye candy wasn’t enough to make me disregard the story. I’m not saying the story was bad, like I said before, the plot was interesting. There were just errors during the execution. It could have been better.
9: Digimon Tamers
English: Digimon Tamers
MAL Score: 7.62
Digimon Tamers takes place in a world where the popular Digimon franchise is all the rage, consisting of a cartoon, video games, and the trading card game. Takato Matsuda is a huge Digimon fan that’s particularly obsessed with the card game, and constantly daydreams about the universe therein. One day, he finds a mysterious blue card, which he slides through a scanner toy to use in the popular battle game. His toy suddenly glows and transforms into a Digivice, and Takato’s fan-made design, Guilmon, materialises in front of him. Thrilled by the prospect of having a real-life Digimon, Takato embraces his new partner, and his adventures as a Digimon Tamer begin.
Takato quickly discovers that being a Digimon Tamer is not all fun and games—in reality, it’s much more dangerous than the card games he’s accustomed to. Wild Digimon have begun to appear all across Japan, causing rampages that result in chaos and mayhem. Armed with his Digivice, which can scan trading cards to strengthen Guilmon, Takato and his new partner set out to combat the rogue Digimon. They are tasked with protecting the world from Digimon attacks, whilst a mysterious organization determined to eliminate all Digimon and their Tamers lurks in the shadows…
Let’s face it, the idea that ENIAC, the world’s second computer, was capable of twisting space-time and created parallel dimension where computer data took physical form and gained sentience on its own, and then interacted with human kids’ emotions to reconfigure the data to combat monsters, was quite silly, and the show mostly served only commercial purposes. (This creation of the Digital World is explained in the Wonder Swan games relating to Digimon Adventure 02.) The plot of the first season also was quite nonexistent, fighting one big bad with world-domination fantasies after another.
Then, after many years they decided to air Digimon Tamers in the kids’ weekday morning program slot. I hadn’t seen it back on the good old years because I didn’t know Japanese, didn’t want to watch English dub and subs were not available, which was quite surprising, considering Digimon is, or once was, very popular franchise around the world. I started to watch it mostly for nostalgy. Digimon Tamers however turned out to be much more actual cyberpunk than kids’ show.
Digimon Tamers’ plot is built upon the concept of unintentionally created artificial intelligence. It is, too, a bit strange idea, especially given that it’s creation is timed in 1984. But then again, Digimon Tamers officially is stated to take place in different universe, so we can assume some technology had advanced asynchronously. Or perhaps the same quantum phenomena that affected the creation of the Digital World played a role here. Anyway, the backstory is not fully explained in the show, there’s a novel called Digimon Tamers 1984 which would be a good companion to watching it, but it hasn’t been translated either to my knowledge.
Tamers is loyal to the original ideas of Digimon however, and the fact they made them believable, even if eccentric, is one of the things that make it so good. The childrens’ ability to interact with the Digimon in unique ways and the fact the main character actually CREATES his own Digimon are justified with the concept of DigiGnomes – programs that were originally intended as a part of a children’s toy, designed by a group of programmer students at University of Palo Alto in the 80’s, until the project was cancelled.
The art of the physical world is decent, but when we get to the Digital World it’s amazing, acidic. We have packets of garbage data running around deserts in coils, our physical world’s information networks manifested in the sky as a huge shining globe with greatest data streams arranging around it like debris rings of a planet, and all your classical Digimon weirdness – mansions inside glass bubbles underwater and completely monochromatic old-skool town etc. The CGI and normal animation in this show are in perfect balance. Some evolution scenes (basically those from adult stage to perfect stage) aren’t very cool, they could be much better, and that’s about the only actual complaint.
I’ve always considered all incarnations of Digimon to have excellent soundtracks, and Tamers is not an exception. The second ending theme ‘Days ~aijou to nichijou~’ is so sweet and dreamy I have on many mornings after not sleeping the night (like was the case at the time when Tamers aired here on kids’ mornings) listened to it on loop about ten times and got a really good feeling. After that it temporarily loses it’s charm, but on the next morning it’s restored. The opening ‘The Biggest Dreamer’ is really groovy too. Tamers has more futuristic and/or digital sounding BGM’s than the other seasons, fitting it’s themes and atmosphere perfectly. The first evolution sequence music, ‘Evo’ is probably the coolest Digimon evolution music ever, but the others send chills to the spine too. Try listening those in Youtube even if you don’t plan to watch the series.
Characters are better developed than in any other Digimon incarnation, and some have relatively dark backgrounds. Our main hero is way far from typical shounen hothead with big ego and exaggerated goals and bad manners. He’s what you’d call an artistic soul, and his development into a sort of knight on a white (though it’s really red here…) horse is interesting. The Digimon also have distinquishable personalities that aren’t paired with their owners’ personalities in any typical – balancing opposites nor overly similar – fashion. We have serious adventuring group drama here where half of the ‘people’ just happen to be artificial intelligences gained physical creature-ish manifestation via quantum physics.
Also, the Digimon aren’t initially friends by default. Wouldn’t you be surprised, confused if you just happened to encounter a talking battling mutating video game creature? Their slowly developing bonds are quite serious. And we get to explore the differences and similarities of humans and Digimon. At the beginning, most Digimon are guided by their basic instinct to battle, absorb the opponents data, convert it into utilizable form for self, and evolve, bestowed upon them by humans themselves. Neither is there any over-the-top world-saving premise – the characters become involved with it through pure chance, bit by bit, through their own choices.
Our main villain is, unlike the Digimon, an emotionless program. Originally created to keep the numbers of copies of data files in given limits, in order to prevent viruses from spreading themselves that way and collapsing the budding 80’s Internet, he has now gained physical form too, and become what you could call an ‘eco-fascist’, calmly launching plans to reduce the numbers of humans after calculating there’re too many of them for the planet to withstand. This is an interesting, thought-provoking concept really.
We don’t have big bad guys who are bad just for the sake of it here. Sans the few rogue monsters in the beginning that serve only as ways to initiate character conflict, every villain has understandable motives for whatever they do, and most turn out good after some serious misunderstandings and political or religious differences crossing the border of two different worlds have been cleared. The question whether or not we are gods and masters of our creations is also explored in many episodes – even if our creations believe in gods completely of their own.
And the final battle is on par with Gurren Lagann’s. No, I’m not kidding. They have many things in common in fact, as one Digimon’s final form is like giant green dog-faced mecha, and both involve quantum physics you actually have to think a bit for them to make sense.
Overall, it’s weird, trippy, cool and enjoyable to both children and adult science fiction fans. Not everyone is going to like it of course, mostly probably because it has lots of monster battles, the beginning is slow, and because some things of the backstory are left a bit obscure. Also some have called it Evangelion’s child, which in turn has pissed off some fans of Evangelion, which I think is completely justified – indeed it doesn’t go to same depths over same subjects. Some have called it a bad Evangelion-wannabe, but I don’t think they have much in common. Both are good though, so let’s not start an argument over this one.
If you watch Tamers expecting it to be like Evangelion, you’re going to be disappointed and probably hate it. So don’t do that. Tamers is worth liking it. It doesn’t try to be a ripoff of ANYTHING, it’s honestly completely its own kind of work.
There simply isn’t anything like Digimon Tamers out there.
Story wise: We have three arcs in this series and all of them are quite different in themes and quality.
First, the tamers beginning: this is a kind of prologue that goes from episode 1 to 13. Most episodes are just fine, with some really good characters moments. Every single Digimon series have always started a bit slow, but that’s only so we can get to know our characters and so it is understandable. Here we are presented the concept of cards, which is an amazing support system so that the human can aid their digimons in battle, as well as we start to understand the dynamic of this series; it is darker than the previous two, we don’t have chosen children, we have children who happen to become tamers, so there’s no actual deux ex machina to keep them safe and so the danger feels quite real. Even while in this first arc there is not such an extreme danger, the feeling is there in the air and it will pay off later on.
Second, devas: it goes from episodes 14 to 36 and here is where Tamers hit the lowest of its quality (except for episodes 33 to 36 that act as an introduction to the final arc); devas are the worst villains I’ve seen in any digimon series (and maybe in any given anime). Their motivation is poor, their design is dreadful and they are just plot fodder and not actual characters; we spend so much time with them that they just fall flat to make any impression. The worst episodes of the series features them, they are extremely boring or passable at best. Yet, when you ignore the devas, what happens around is fine or even good to great, as luckily our main characters are treated quite better, and such it is not a deal breaker. There are only 3 or 4 crappy episodes in this long arc, about 2 or 3 memorable ones, and the rest are just fine or slightly good. When you ignore the devas and focus on the rest of the characters everything is fine, but as soon as they appear they drag the show down.
Third and final, D-Reaper: Here is when Tamers shines; it is the best arc of the series and Tamers shows us it’s not afraid to go dark. We see the worst of some characters and the best of them; we get to feel fear and despair. Remember how I told you earlier there is no deus ex machina? Well, just 3 episodes before we enter this arc one of our character’s digimon dies (permanently) and a digivice breaks, something we’ve never seen before in a digimon series, allowing us to peek at the darkest of two characters just before it pays off for both of them, showing their best character development. As this arc starts both worlds, digital and ours, enter in such a huge crisis that is almost impossible to predict how it’s going to get resolve, and to do so everyone have to work together, not only the children and the digimon, but the adults as well, and so we get into a full set war against the new enemy that is filled with despair, but also some moments of hope to make an incredible smartly shaped finale. Everything we see here has been foreshadow before handed, and as such every moment feels earned, it’s not rushed nor convoluted, it’s just greatly structured and when you add that to some great characters you get one hell of an anime.
If just there was no devas, this could have been just as great as Adventure (or even better)
Characters: Mostly the character work is great; however there are some misses too here. But let’s see each character:
Takato: here I just have to applaude the writers. Takato started as a crybaby and a coward, but slowly he became more and more brave, accustomed to fighting, he became considerate, but he never stopped feeling like the same character. Though he changed he still felt like the same Takato. There is a moment when the writers just wanted us to hate him, around episode 32 or so, and though I did hate him quite a lot, I have to say that I loved to hate him, and I also was pleasantly surprised by how they handled it to make a character that came from annoying to likeable to hateable to be likeable again; it’s not something any person can pull, and by the end of the series, Takato’s character treatment is fairly the best and something that should be praised.
Ruki: A close second for best character treatment, just behind Takato, as she comes from ice cold with an “I don’t care about anyone” attitude to someone who cares deeply about her friends, is dependable and never stops being cool and badass. Her changes are slow and gradually made, and as such it’s never rushed and feels naturals. As she says by the end “humans don’t change that easily” and those words fits her perfectly. Her character is just outright awesome!
Jenrya: Here the writers made many, many mistakes! Though he is never annoying he is never all that relevant. Sure, he has his moments, but he never gets fully developed; we get just a bit of background in earlier episodes and no more, and he just feels like a character that acts as plot fodder rather than being a fully fleshed out one. Still, he will never be bothersome.
Impmon/Beelzebumon: here’s another character that started as a broadstroke and got amazingly developed. His background is consistent with his personality and he takes some courses of actions that largely impact who he becomes later and he must endure the weight of the choices he makes. He is by definition the “conflicted character” and when you use a conflicted character right in a show, it adds more layers of deepth to it, and as such this character gets it right!
Juri: I’m amazed that she came from annoying girl to what she became later on. I won’t enter on details, but after episode 33 we got to really explore the darkness of her character and shows us how even kids can hold up some very hurtful stuff; by the end of the series these conflicts get resolved, yet it is amazing to see someone who was so cheerful in the beginning (to the point it was outright annoying!) showing her darker self and overcome it. Kudos to the writers!
The three main digimon: It’s important to say that all the three digimon have fleshed out characteristics that makes each one feel real. I won’t enter into details, but I can tell you that Guilmon is loveable, yet silly in the beginning and he grows smarter and deeper as we progress, while never losing his cuteness. Terriermon is a relaxed type of digimon who learns little by little to take things more seriously and Renamon is a digimon that rather stays on the background, but just as Ruki she warms up to the rest gradually, while never letting go her characteristic self of staying in the background.
Other supporting characters: Tamers have several! It takes focus on others tamers as Ryo, Hirokazu, Kenta, Shuichon, the families of our main tamers and a group of adults trying to save the world, and develops them at their fullest while keeping them at the background. Ok, maybe not Ryo, but the rest all get as developed as they can in the limited screentime they have, and that’s something to praise, as not many shows care to do so.
Sound: Outstanding. There was a very well made decision here; some of the themes from the previous series were kept while also adding new ones, more techno that goes along with the sci-fi air this series have. Songs like “Slash” fit that really well, and the opening theme “The Biggest Dreamer” is just amazing and fits the series general theme.
Enjoyment: As I said earlier there are moments that are a real drag, quite bad to just outright awful, while there are also magnificent ones, specially coming from the last story arc. Still, as a whole most episodes are just good, but considering how extremely satisfying the final arc was, I decided to upgrade it from “good” to “very good”, ergo the 8 score.
Tamers stands as my third favorite Digimon series behind Adventures and Savers. It made many, many mistakes (I’m looking at you devas…), but as I re-watched it I realized it was worth to keep up with it and to endure the worst of it, because the highlights of the series are extremely good. As such, we can’t see this as the masterpiece Adventure was because it is not as consistent as that one, but it surely aimed for the greatest, it was filled with potential and it managed to explode more or less some of it, but not all. Still, it is a great Digimon series, and one worth re-watching. Also, it made possible the herculean task of delivering a finale as good as Adventure did, and that’s not a small feat.
Stary observations (funny facts and bits of information I got while re-watching, which might contains some spoilers):
-Juri to Takato (episode 11): “Always talking about Digimon”. Well, I’m 21 years old and I’m here writing these reviews so… yes, always talking about Digimon.
-Guilmon (episode 16): “I can do a handstand” Isn’t Guilmon the cutest digimon ever made?
-There was a ravel callback in episode 18! It was the ringtone from Nami-sensei! I thought it was worth writing it as it was an important song in both previous series.
-There are multiple foreshadows: for instance Juri becoming a tamers gets mentioned before Leomon appears, the Ark becoming Grani is also mentioned beforehanded, and so the theme of magic vs data in early episodes, among many others. This shows how much thought and effort there was on this series!
-There was a moment in episode 29 where a dog bullied Culumon. I won’t even try to understand it.
-Kenta (in episode 31): “Sukamon fits Hirokazu” I thought the same!
-Episode 45: “Justice Kick” worst ultimate attack ever! xD
-Episode 51 (finale): when the digimon left I couldn’t help but cry. Also, I smiled when Takato found the gate to the digital world.
And that’s it! I hope you liked this review! There’s much more to say about this, but I won’t make you endure it any longer. See you!
Next time: Digimon Frontiers took the risky concept of human becoming digimon and failed to keep an audience, almost killing the franchise.
Riku was more of a lean mean ass kicking machine who was relentless and gave no mercy, she thought of Digital Monsters as nothing but pieces of data.
The other characters beleive in the power of digimon and them as real creatures. This becomes obvious very early on in the anime.
There are three main digimon / heros of this unlike the other series where there we’re countless. Basically these evil things coming to try destroy all Digimon, these have to be stopped.
Through out the series you follow the paths of these three main character who are very well animated for their personalities…Their look reflects their attitudes greatly. I really liked the art and sometimes there was some really nice visuals and the sound make this quite an emotional trip through the characters eyes you may feel sad or angry at the events or actions of characters but overall it’s pretty amazing.
Just watching the journey these people come on is a great experience by itself, especially following the path of Riku.
This is my first review so I hope it made sense lol…hope you enjoy the anime too..I really enjoyed this anime and think it has a really high rewatch value…
8: Full Metal Panic!
English: Full Metal Panic!
Japanese: フルメタル パニック！
MAL Score: 7.63
Equipped with cutting-edge weaponry and specialized troops, a private military organization named Mithril strives to extinguish the world’s terrorism and all threats to peace on earth. The organization is powered by the “Whispered,” individuals who possess intuitive knowledge and the remarkable ability to create powerful devices and machinery.
Seventeen-year-old Sousuke Sagara, a sergeant working for Mithril, has been assigned to protect Kaname Chidori, a Whispered candidate. He is ordered to join her high school class and be as close to her as possible to prevent her from falling into enemy hands—that is, if he can safely blend in with their fellow classmates without revealing his true identity.
Sousuke, who was raised on a battlefield and has very little knowledge of an average high school student’s lifestyle, must adapt to a normal school life to safeguard Kaname. However, enemy forces have already begun making their move, and Sousuke is about to find out that the adversary coming for the Whispered girl may be a lot more familiar than he expects.
This series follows a member of the Mithril organization, Sousuke Sagara. He has been assigned with the task of protecting a high school girl, Chidori Kaname, from terrorists and other bad people. To do this, he has to enroll in her high school. Of course, when Sousuke is a stiff with no experience or knowledge whatsoever when it comes to socializing with other people, trouble is predestined to arise.
The story of this anime series is pretty good. In one moment, you’re watching an intense and serious battle situation, where giant robot fights it out with futuristic technology, and in the next, you’re watching a really good high school comedy. This series changes between those two a lot, and it’s done well, because you get a mix of genres, varying from mecha to high school comedy at its best. This makes the story really enjoyable. There’s one flaw, however, and that’s the all to open ending of the series. But then again, it has a sequel, so I’m okay with that.
I really loved the animation style in this series. It didn’t have a lot of unique features, if any at all, so I can’t and won’t give it a top score. There was however no noticeable flaws, and some very cool CGI at times (usually I’m not a fan of CGI in anime, but it was done pretty well here).
The soundtrack of this anime was, well, pretty average. It can boast about good OP and ED themes, but aside that, it’s not very much to listen to at all.
The series feature a lot of various characters, from the un-killable bad guy to the stiff, no-experience-in-socializing military kid and the ever so normal teenage girl. There’s a lot of other various characters (like a pacifistic girl who’s the leader of the good guys’ organization (at least she’s the captain of their main submarine)), and the woman-loving, easy-going guy. Yes, the characters can seem very unoriginal, but I still enjoyed watching them. There was not a lot of character development present; aside a teeny bit on Chidori and Sousuke’s part.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable anime series, and I’m keeping my hopes up for the sequel, as well as the spin-off. If you enjoy some good action as well as high school humor, you should definitely watch this series.
To ‘Not ‘ voters (and you ” voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
Despite not being much of a mecha fan, I decided to check this series out after a lot of strong recommendations from friends and online sites alike. I was expecting a compelling story, jaw-dropping action scenes, and decent humor. Those predictions went zero for three.
Instead, I got a series which seems to have no clue what kind of story it wants to tell. Is it a romance story framed around action and comedy? Or is it an action series with comedy and romance thrown in? This synthesis can work, as long as the director is talented enough, and as long as putting these different elements together actually makes sense. Here, it doesn’t.
It’s ridiculously contrived; there’s no logical reason for a secret military organization to protect a Japanese schoolgirl, there’s no explanation for why they would do so by any means other than kidnapping her, and there’s no attempt at justifying a valuable military agent being used for that purpose. The whole pay-off here is supposed to be the humor in a naive member of the Special Forces going undercover in a Japanese high school.
Now, if this set-up was treated as something absurd in its own right, with the fourth wall being broken, it could work. But therein lies the problem. It’s treated seriously, just like a 14 year old, pink-haired, cute girl with giant eyes and a soft voice being the supreme commander of our secret military organization is treated with stone-faced sincerity, also.
Then, the viewer is suddenly expected to care when the show takes a serious turn, and our Japanese schoolgirl heroine Chidori is kidnapped by an evil terrorist. It just doesn’t work together; either stick with a humorous, light-hearted comedy approach, or go with a suspenseful action series instead.
Worse still, neither the comedy, action, nor the romance in this series is particularly good.
The humor was bland. A lot of canned, frequently repeated jokes from live action films, and too much of it based on a clueless military protagonist who doesn’t understand civilians, a running gag which wears thin quickly. Most disappointingly, the show at no point mocks its own absurd premise.
The cast is filled with shallow, cliche characters, stereotypical and retarded anime conventions (high school girls beat up a highly trained military operative), and perplexing and unreasonable events. One can’t make a solid romance in such circumstances, either.
The action was marginal at best, and an awful, mailed in job at the worst. The hand-to-hand fighting was stiff, awkward, and is worse than at least half the action anime from the nineties, let alone this decade. The mecha action was worse than any Gundam series from the mid 90’s onward.
The positives of the series is that it has good pacing and at least tries to inject some comedy into the work. The animation is also nice. That’s about it. Don’t believe the rest of the hype.
Basically, Sargeant Sagara Sousuke, from the anti-terrorism organization Mithril, goes undercover to protect Chidori Kaname, a girl who holds the key to "Black Technology" and is targeted by a terrorist and mastermind criminal. The twist is that Sousuke is socially retarded and he enjoys using his military knowledge in everyday life which causes all kinds of problems and hilarious situations. This definitely was not one of the more believable shows I’ve encountered. How could one of the world’s most feared and professional military units have a 16 year old commander who tolerates abuse from her peers and subordinates? If you can get past this (I did), the storyline was pretty good.
As expected from GONZO, the animation was good. The character and mecha designs weren’t the most original I’ve encountered. One good point worth mentioning was the contrasting choices of colors. The battle/war scenes were expectedly dark and brooding, whilst the naïve and cheerful school environment was vibrantly bright. It was very nice and clean, and very colorful with the variety of characters’ hair colors.The unimpressove cg for the submarine was the only thing that bothered me though. Most of the animation was pretty good, but it didn’t really leave a big impression on me.
The OP and ED were extremely pleasant songs. The ED was especially serene. Even though I didn’t listen to it in full after all 24 episodes, it definitely was near to that. The voice actors also really fit their characters. From the emotional Chidori to serious Sousuke.
This is the forte of FMP. Each and every character is distinct and very likeable. It would be hard not to find a character in this show that you would not like. Also, the chemistry between Chidori and Sousuke really drives the plot forward. My favorite characters have to be Chidori, Sousuke and Testarossa. Chidori looks like an angel but can be a tough opponent the next moment. Enter Sousuke the professional teenage soldier who has no clue how to live as a normal student. Hence he keeps seeing a terrorist in almost every person, leading him to save her many times from things harmless. It was a joy to watch their relationship develop. I can’t quite put my finger on why I like Testarossa but her being there added something to both Chidori and Sousuke characters that would otherwise be missing. She is also a solid character by herself, caring for her crew and trying to do the right thing but she is clumsy to the core and I suspect a hopeless romantic.
Great series and theres still more! Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid still awaits and it has a bundle of surprises just like this series. I couldn’t stop watching this series even if my arms were cut off. Pretty grotesque but thats how fun this anime was. I loved the bipolar nature of this series. One episode a light-hearted high school comedy, the next a serious action adventure.
I would recommend this without any hesitation. A fun, enjoyable and entertaining watch.
7: Daa! Daa! Daa!
Japanese: だぁ! だぁ! だぁ!
MAL Score: 7.64
Miyu is an 8th grade girl, whose parents have been hired by NASA. They take off to America leaving Miyu with Mr. Saionji. Later, Mr. Saionji decides to go on a 1 year long trip to India leaving Miyu alone with his son, Kanata. More complications rise when an Alien baby and his babysitter pet crashes/lands in their house. To make things worse, alien baby starts calling Miyu and Kanata Mom and Dad, also showing ESP power and floating around.
Story & Characters: As strange and uninteresting as I thought this would turn out, I found it to be sometimes quite captivating and leaving me dying for another episode. Miyu and Kanata are both fairly normal characters, which makes them the perfect backdrop for the chaos which takes over their lives upon the arrival of the two aliens. Wanya provides for a wonderful character foil for both Miyu and Kanata as they scramble about trying to fit Ruu into their lives and properly take care of him. There is a large cast of supporting characters, including Miyu’s two friends, Aya (who is obsessed with writing plays) and Nanami, Kanata’s friend Santa (who at first appeared to be a typical class "weirdo" but proves himself different in that his interests exceed your every day bizarre hobbies (one of which is a strange affinity for faces in wood…) and adds quite a bit of hilarity to some episodes), and Christine (the pink-haired "princess" who goes on a rampage whenever she sees another girl close to her crush, Kanata, resulting in countless instances of hilarious slapstick comedy).
The relationship that develops between Kanata and Miyu was refreshing to watch, as instead of developing with feelings of tension like relationships in other shoujo anime, their immature bickering and joint efforts to take care of Ruu lead to a smooth, gradual development that takes quite some time. They remind me a bit of Ranma and Akane from Ranma 1/2. 🙂
Audio: The openings are bouncy and energetic, as appropriate for this type of anime, and the endings are sweet (but not both are slow) and pleasing to the ears. The background music is simple without becoming plain and repetitive, but complex enough to emphasise and heighten feelings in scenes. The characters’ voice acting was more than acceptable, and I was relieved that Miyu had a softer-voiced seiyuu (voice actor) rather than the usual squeaky, girl voice that seems to be so popular. Ruu’s voice was extremely adorable and fitting, and everyone else’s voices fit their characters well.
Character & Animation: The character designs are mostly loyal to those in the manga, and they actually change into different outfits when at home. I was particularly pleased that this extra detail was added as there are definitely a few anime shows out there where the characters wear the same exact outfit every episode.
The animation was consistent, never choppy, and perfectly acceptable for the type of anime it is. The colours were bright enough to radiate a happy and cheerful feeling without burning anyone’s eyes.
Conclusion: Almost every episode I watched left me feeling refreshed and good inside, even though emotions in episodes varied from being happy to sad to playful or comedic. The series manages to keep you hooked while never laying on too much tension and never leaving you bored. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the anime, and definitely recommend it to those who are looking for a light-hearted comedy that can be both touching and romantic.
Yes, it’s really really old and the art and sound is not even comparable to modern anime. But considering for how it was for it’s time, this deserves a 10. Even so, the story is great. Sure, it’s silly and a lot of scenes are cliches. But the basis of the story plot and the design is very original, and the characters are all wonderful in playing their part. Everyone is very distinctive.
This anime does not follow an intensive story plot which connects episode to episode, so it’s great for rewatching when you want to just pick a little portion out of it. But at the same time, it does have a slow story which progresses.
I would highly recommend this anime if you want to take a break from the modern anime series with intensive plots and much harem. If you don’t… I recommend it anyway because it’s great for laughing and story.
Though it mostly focuses on entertaining kids as a kids show , I’d say it can be enjoyed by everyone tbh if u r looking for a light show without heavy elements in it other than having a good time watching it. Well done by J C Staff.
6: Shaman King
English: Shaman King
MAL Score: 7.77
A battle is about to begin in Tokyo: the Shaman Fight, a tournament held every five hundred years where shaman—those who can command spirits—confront each other in combat. The victor of this contest becomes the Shaman King and the only one who is able to contact and control the Great Spirit, allowing them to reshape the world as they please through its immense power.
During a late night walk, Manta Oyamada runs into his classmate, the carefree You Asakura, who invites him to come stargazing with some friends, who, to Manta’s horror, turn out to be ghosts from a local cemetery! However, the knowledge that Manta possesses—a rare sixth sense that allows Manta to see these spirits—endears the boy to You. So when You finds out that his new comrade has been beaten up by a local gang, he decides to avenge him with the help of Amidamaru, a samurai ghost whose tomb was broken by the gang leader.
Soon Manta uncovers more about the world of spirits, including the Shaman Fight, in which his new friend You aims to claim victory.
Overall I’d recommend this show to anyone who likes shows with awesome characters, lots of humor, awesome battles and a great storyline.
Children can and do appreciate good anime though. For this review I’ll consider the Japanese version.
The lowest score, 8, has to go to art. As a grown-up I’ve seen top notch quality and you do not expect SK to demonstrate excellence in terms of art. People, spirits, places and backgrounds are moderately well designed. There are a lot of moments with great visual impact. Considering their immense number, action sequences are animated okay.
The dialogues and the story-line are well done until the very end of the anime and the ending may leave a lot of people unsatisfied, therefore I couldn’t rate the story 10. I thoroughly enjoyed how it all moved forward, how conflicts were resolved and how the single one threat of Hao loomed closer and closer to build it all up. Characters were introduced, developed and interacted with one another beautifully. The tournament became a means to explore underlying themes of friendship, hatred, forgiveness, hard work, hope and destiny. Comedic aspects were well balanced with drama and the epic action.
The effort poured into the voice acting and soundtrack of this series is certainly not widely acknowledged, but the series include two bombs like Romi Paku and Megumi Hayashibara who are very talented, along with many other skillful actors that brought characters to life. I even fell in love with Ren Tao – seriously I made dozens of drawings, I even dreamt about him. Anyway, the music is very varied and was used purposefully, blending with various scenes in harmony. I can still recite the two openings and a few other songs from memory. 10.
Characters! Who can forget Yoh’s goofy smile, Ren’s fits of anger, Ryu’s gigantic thumb and pompadour, Horohoro’s cute spirit Kororo, Anna’s scary eyes, Manta’s brave soul? Nah, they and the rest are unforgettable. Each has their own unique personalities, dreams and lessons to teach us. I grew up with them as they grew up with each other. 10. 11. 12.
I remember rushing home everyday from school, telling everyone to shut up and turning on the TV to watch Shaman King. The series would glue my eyes to the screen. I remember feeling miserable when Yoh lost to his opponents. I remember falling of my seat laughing when Chocolove pissed off Ren. Enjoyable all the way. 10.
I acknowledge that this series has its own shortcomings. I know it is not perfect. Maybe the sweetness of my childhood is interfering with my judgement.
When I have a child, though, he or she is watching this.
To properly criticize Shaman King, I want you to understand that Shaman King came out from an era where shounens were the determined bread winner, and there were plenty of attempts of random shounen being released. At the same time, things like Naruto, Inuyasha, Hajime no Ippo and Hunter x Hunter were airing or finished airing and plenty of other commercial shounens were being released or about to start in that craze. I wouldn’t call Shaman King succesful, as the way I have stumbled upon it I consider bizarre.
It started airing at 10 PM on a cartoon channel. What’s bizarre about this is that it and Naruto, are the only two anime, that ever did that in my country. Naruto, understandably was a cashcow, it makes sense, but Shaman King was the experiment before it. No knowledge of it being an anime, aired quite late at night, signifying that it is intended to older audiences, and it did well. I stayed up every night to watch it and talked to friends about it and we enjoyed it. Outside of Dragon Ball and Yu-Gi-Oh, which aired on some random completely different channels, for most of the kids I knew, this was our first shounen experience, at an age where we could actually understand it. I expect that Shaman King was a cheap bargain for the audience my country tried to hit with it, and that it worked out quite well. Because Shaman King was really enjoyable and really enjoyed.
The reasons it was enjoyable for are that there finally was a cartoon that tried to define the characters as persons, and explain their state. It also kept all the familiar traits of other cartoons that we were seeing, which were in its humor, and had themes that weren’t really explored here, but worked in other countries for their young audiences. No cartoon that I’ve watched at that point really attempted to create character development, or any overarching plot, and instead were mostly one offs. Shaman King did do that, maybe not that a level that I would consider commendable today, but it did do it. It was comedic, but it played off based on the personality of the characters, and also how they changed. Their actions did matter past the scope of the episode, and that really won me over. The fact that the world can get more complex, the characters can evolve, and the fact that story was going somewhere. There were pretty few examples of other shows that even managed to do an attempt at this at the time for me.
But its problem today is a simple one. Due to the competitive scene at the time, Shaman King falls short to almost every show, and pretty much any modern show, can easily outclass it. I mean, it had poor production values, with each fight having some still frames and barely enough contact was ever done between characters. Most of the budget was spent on making sure the designs and characters are consistently colorful and have enough details, but there really isn’t any fighting choreography, which is a detriment of the series, and in action scenes the characters may sometimes look remarkably choppy. The story doesn’t really have a pace or a clear structure, so that might mislead a lot of people into drawing conclusions about the series, which won’t work in its favor, due to how laidback the attitude of its characters can be, or how many liberties it will take in its structure. It is filled with character archetypes and tropes that are across most shounen anime. And its overall theme is the power of friendship. Based on what I enjoy now, I can say for certain that if I came across Shaman King today, I would not care much for it and think it was bad. The factors that made it good at the time are that everything else didn’t really have any sort of direction, when Shaman King did and I didn’t really have a lot of the criterias of comparison I have to other shows now, that making Shaman King pure novelty to me.
This doesn’t make Shaman King necesarily bad, it just means that it is hard for someone to determine whether they would like it or not, and that it is hard for it to get any sort of notoriety when there’s far better looking options, and the fact that it is a shounen might turn off a lot of people because it is one. I personally don’t consider it bad. While I think most of the fights were dull and uninteresting, with a few exceptions, what has driven the fights was the dialogue and the progression they went towards. The actual fight itself for me being dull was easy to overlook based on the fact that Shaman King knew how to properly state why what was on screen was happening, what was the goal, and where the character has to get to win. The quality of the fights in Shaman King will vary. Sometimes they can be really interesting, like a certain fight where someone led the main character into discovering a new power, and sometimes they can be really dull, which is when the characters simply win by showing their powers and doing some movements in order to meet the quota of “this is an action shounen”.
I wouldn’t honestly call Shaman King an action shounen as much as I would call it Final Fantasy XV. A group of guys, travelling around, getting powers, and enjoying off the road they are on is what I mean. It is often comedic and playing off the personalities of the characters, but it can also be serious whenever there’s a “protecting my friends, family, morals, ideals etc” type of shounen shtick to be presented. It can be mature and well executed when the situation calls for it, but it can take its time with comedic moments insignificant for the overarching plot or simply go in a serious direction out of nowhere. Due to Shaman King bouncing too much between where it is going and where it wants to go, it can sometimes seem slice of lifey, and this made its overall pace to suffer, as the stakes were constantly being toyed with, and as a result of this, where Shaman King was moving towards wasn’t 100% certain at all times. I know this is an odd thing to say when the series is titled Shaman King, in a series about people fighting each other to become Shaman King, but the story takes a lot of random detours or restructuring of how it goes about things, while mostly keeping the reward of being the Shaman King as ambiguous and potentially anything, this leading to an odd type of progression in the story, where you didn’t know what the stakes were, until Hao happens.
Unfortunately, the execution of the villain, Hao, is not particularly good, as he is defeated through the power of friendship and he is portrayed as a generic edgy cartoon villain. So the series doesn’t really benefit too much from having him as a villain as much outside of him being just a reason for the characters to become more serious. This villain is pretty much where Shaman King becomes a chore to suggest anyone to go through with it, since he becomes an important part of the anime, his manga counterpart is a lot more human and developed, and this counterpart doesn’t really have any traits that make him that. He is a threat for the sake of being a threat. He doesn’t completely weaken the series’ high points, but since he’s the focus, Shaman King becomes less entertaining as he becomes more and more prominent. Which doesn’t really make me sell Shaman King in terms of the story, despite of having various elements well executed, and well implemented humor that plays off various character traits very well.
But still, my view of them today, with my view of them back then, isn’t exactly in sync. For instance, the introduction of a major character in the series astonished me due to the fact that this was the first time I ever saw a guy being introduced by chopping a car in fucking half for absolutely no fucking reason out of nowhere. Today, the same scenes of him made me laugh my ass off, because of the fact that he gave me the impression of an edgy little troglodite upset at the fact that his parents never bought him Hot Wheels ™. The fact that he afterwards rants about he is a superior being while looking at some cars in traffic strengthened that remark. I might be more fond of the characters due to the fact that I’ve experienced them while being young, but I still think their personalities were executed quite well and that their motivations are quite understandable. In addition to that, the personalities they have play off each other well. While I don’t think they singlehandedly are unique characters or have any particularly unique character arcs compared to other shounens, I do think they are executed well due to the fact they are simple. Partially is due to the adaptation not really adapting some of the parts that gave more depth to some characters, as the anime focuses more on making it a truer shounen.
I can’t really recommend Shaman King on any other basis than curiosity. It is a story about some kids going through a tournament to become God and fighting each other with not particularly well done animation. The themes it has are common and you’ve probably seen something else similar to it at this point you would draw comparisons too. The only real praise I can give Shaman King is that in smaller circles, in places where its main competitors were gone, it could stand out. It managed to be a shounen and if you seek that, as long as you don’t expect much in terms of fight scenes, it can do the work quite well. But note, it doesn’t have any lasting impact or build anything unique of its own. It just executes the aspects of a shounen to a decent level.
MAL Score: 7.95
Moments prior to Naruto Uzumaki’s birth, a huge demon known as the Kyuubi, the Nine-Tailed Fox, attacked Konohagakure, the Hidden Leaf Village, and wreaked havoc. In order to put an end to the Kyuubi’s rampage, the leader of the village, the Fourth Hokage, sacrificed his life and sealed the monstrous beast inside the newborn Naruto.
Now, Naruto is a hyperactive and knuckle-headed ninja still living in Konohagakure. Shunned because of the Kyuubi inside him, Naruto struggles to find his place in the village, while his burning desire to become the Hokage of Konohagakure leads him not only to some great new friends, but also some deadly foes.
The concept of this show isn’t that hard to follow. It’s an alternate world in which ninjas live. The ninjas fight by using various skills, and they have this power flowing inside of them called chakra. Chakra is used to perform powerful attacks which (usually) belongs to either of the five traditional elements of earth, fire, water, air and lightning. Of course, since they are ninjas, they fight with weapons like shuriken and kunai as well as hand-to-hand combat. As expected of this kind of world, there’s evil people, having different goals and reasons behind their evil.
The story follows Naruto, one of these ninjas, as he grow as a ninja, from being a stupid little prank-playing brat to becoming a fine ninja. Along the way, he interacts with and makes friends with many fellow ninja, fighting his way towards his dream of becoming Hokage (the leader of his village).
The story isn’t nearly as good as the concept would indicate. Sure, a lot of the characters has some nice background stories, won’t complain about that, but they manage to drag out everything so much. It really annoys me. Some fights take several episodes when they could’ve been done them just as good in one or two. There’s also way too much fighting. The story goes like fight, fight, background story, fight, fight, even more fight, half an episode’s worth of resting or journeying, fight, fight, and so on. I mean, it’s cool to watch fights, but there are just way too many fights, and they drag most of them out to unnecessary lengths. The only really enjoyable fight was the one between Sasuke and Naruto right before the fillers began. Which brings up another thing…
Fillers! Agh, I normally don’t mind fillers, but Naruto had some really, really stupid ones. Sure, there was the occasional diamond among the charcoal, but that doesn’t excuse the high amount of bad fillers. I mean, just because they are fillers doesn’t mean that they have to make them bad. Several shows have actually made decent and at the same time long fillers (especially Bleach, with its 40-episode long Bount arc), but Naruto failed horribly here.
Also, I feel that Naruto is very silly at times. Silly is usually good, but not when it’s immature silly. And guess what+ Naruto is silly in an immature way. It’s so dreadfully stupid at times that I had to close my eyes, take a deep breath and wait until it got serious again. Now, it did have some good comical moments, but those were far and wide between.
Another thing I feel like releasing my rage on is the animation. It barely manages to get the description “average” to me. At its best, it’s slightly above average. However, a lot of time it’s slipshod galore with the animation. I still have many very bad memories from having to watch lots of errors in the animation, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get rid of those memories. While the amount of errors decreased as the episodes passed by, at least every second episode before the 100s had one or more moments of slipshod animation. Wonder if they ever considered firing the animators.
As a side mention, they should do something about Rock Lee – even though I’ve slightly gotten used to his horrible looks, I still feel a burn in the back of my eye every time I see him.
The music is pretty good, though. A lot of great tunes (especially the sad ones are great), and the first few OPs and EDs were pretty awesome. It has some really bad music parts too, like the tribal voice-ish song, and sometimes they could’ve used better themes during the fights. As the series progressed, the quality of the OPs and EDs decrease too.
The characters are fairly okay, I guess. Some of them are really annoying, like Naruto, because he’s so stupid. Agh, he annoys me to no end! Some other characters are annoying too, because of things like their looks (Gai and Lee), or because they are failed attempts at comical relief (at least in my eyes, you might find them funny), like the all too perverted Jiraiya.
That’s the negative about them. However, they have some really nice background stories, some which are elaborated more upon than others. Many of the characters also get fair amounts of screen time, which for some people can seem too much, whilst others will be content with it, because their favorite character from the show gets an episode for him/herself.
I also like the fact that most of them have dreams or aspirations, and motives for what they are doing and how they are acting (usually it’s tied together with their background stories). The growing relationships between them is also nice, their maturing, and how Naruto is slowly getting accepted by more and more people through hard work.
Basically, they’ve portrayed the characters very well, and not too over the top, but some of them act stupid and silly from time to time, which drags the character rating down.
I have some mixed feelings for the show, which kind of drags down on the enjoyability factor of it. Great concept, not as good story, both good and bad music, horrid animation at times, many characters with background stories, some of them great and some not-so-great; it’s hard to completely make up my mind, but I believe the ratings I have given shows my feelings towards the different aspects of the show.
Of course, even though there was things I didn’t like, I can easily see why this show is so popular as it is; it has humor that the kids may find funny, as well as lots of fights which appeal to the teenagers and adults. I personally didn’t like it that much, though. I’m looking forward to Shippuden, because I’ve heard it was much better… I really hope so!
To ‘Not ‘ voters (and you ” voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
When I was 13 years old, I remember watching and loving this anime. I had never seen any other anime shows, and I thought the concept was original and amazing. When I found out that others animes literally had all that Naruto had plus a lot more, I was… bored with all the fillers. At the time the anime was great, but it really does get old.
Then again, the anime is not absolutely horrible. It has the essentials, with a somewhat unique story and art style. The characters are cliche, and enjoyment is there but short and sweet.
What I truly love about Naruto is the great soundtrack. It seems that all the OP and ED are just fabulous, and the music just fits within the series. I would have liked a bit of a change over the course of the show, but hey, it almost never happens.
All in all, it was a good show. Just good. So basically: Shame on those people who watch 10 episodes and immediately come here and write a review. Also shame on people who give this show all 1’s because everyone else loves it. It’s OK, but ive definitely seen better.
What I love bout naruto is the whole “Ninja aspect” of the show. Every technique had substance, quality and all of the training arcs really shown the defining elements of how ninjutsu worked within the naruto universe. These qualities are something I will soon not forget. I know alot of people complain about naruto being a half ass wit that can’t do nothing Or perhaps sakura being useless. But in away I look at the series as being a little different, especially in the developing of characters.
Kishimoto did not intend to create the story with a “bad ass” character right from the start, toppling villains one after the other, no. Naruto was set up in a way that much resembles an ordinary life and the tribulations and tests you must go through. Death is at every corner and naruto is a kid that is trying to fit in with the rest of the shinobi and be “recognized” I think that was one of the main defining elements of the original series. Kishi wanted to show here is a character that no one likes because he has a living breathing monster inside of him. You can only wonder what he is thinking, being in his predicament.
Watching him grow up as a monster and trying to be known as a famous shinobi and protect his friends, but realizing that he is in a world fraught with danger at every corner. Watching his friends die before him or getting hurt. The degree of emotion in the series was something I really enjoyed. It was really powerful. I remember hearing people spout nonsense in the discussions boards “omg to much drama, get on with the fighting already” But I actually liked how naruto had that drama, it fit in with the entire theme of the series. It kind of brings a whole different realism to the show compared to other shonen series. I won’t state any names.
One of the things that kishi really focused on in the original was friendship, and bonds. Thats one of the major theme’s watching this team 7 grow up together, learning from kakashi and becoming great ninja in the process, learning the ways of the ninja world. This show explores themes of revenge, hate, bonds and sorrow to a very astounding degree.
The characters in this series were in every sense of the word children, growing up in a world full of adults that were much more talented ninja’s both skills and combat. That is not to say the show was made for children. Just that kishi wanted to show the younger generation as the main characters of the show and the older generation as the training shinobi. They had to learn the ropes of what being a ninja is like. After their pre training sessions, they were finally put to the test of just how grueling the world is and how they must use every ounce of there being to survive and also protect the people they love.
10 years ago people viewed naruto very different to how people view it today.
Perhaps maybe the reason I love naruto so much and the reason it feels very nostalgic to me, is because I was around when I watched it first aired and I remember the fanbase during that time of the original series. It was one of THEE most popular anime series on the net and not a single person had anything remotely unscrupulous to say about it. Suddenly after the 100 episode filler arc, or the not so appreciated “shipuuden” it lost its reputation and became a show just muddled by idiots that call any one narutards for watching it. I have seen how the fanbase has changed significantly over the past 10 years of watching naruto. It is quite sad really.
I still consider naruto to be one of my favorite quality anime series, regardless of where it’s going. Perhaps maybe its because im very infatuated with ninja’s and like the unique way that kishi has created this ninja world. Similar to how i really love pirates in the one piece world. Every arc is something new and fresh so kishi can develop on that and expand upon the show in various different ways. One piece had some of the greatest character back stories and cast I’ve seen in a series, but it did suffer from story progression a bit thankfully naruto does not. It has a pretty solid pace and some of the most ground breaking plot twists.
I guess it’s all a matter of personal preference and what you like to see in a show. I my self im not a huge fan of typical shonene tropes that are used consistently, but i love how the original series gave us a much more powerful emotional impact to the show. In away it felt more humanized as apposed to the more generic super power elements of shipuuden.
4: Full Moon wo Sagashite
English: Searching for the Full Moon
MAL Score: 7.95
Two years ago, Mitsuki Kouyama’s friend, Eichi Sakurai, moved to America before she could confess her feelings to him. Though she cannot contact him, they made a promise to fulfill their respective dreams: Mitsuki wants to become a professional singer, and Eichi an astronomer. She hopes that one day her music will reach him across the world with a brilliance like that of the full moon.
There is just one catch: Mitsuki suffers from throat cancer, which makes her voice quiet and singing strenuous. Her grandmother, who has a hatred of music, insists that Mitsuki undergo surgery to remove the cancer, but she refuses due to the risk of losing her voice. One day, two shinigami—Meroko Yui and Takuto Kira—appear to tell her that she only has one year left to live. This sudden revelation spurs Mitsuki into action, and she decides that with Meroko and Takuto’s help, she will become a professional singer in the time she has left.
Full Moon wo Sagashite follows the emotional story of Mitsuki and her shinigami friends as they discover what it means to sing—and ultimately, what it means to live.
While Full Moon wo Sagashite may not see like much on the surface — little girl has a life-threatening disease, wants to sing, and becomes sixteen years old with the help of two friendly shinigami — it becomes so much more deeper as the series move on. This anime doesn\’t shrink away from the uncomfortable subjects of death and suicide, and that is wonderfully refreshing. While initially cutesy on the surface, Full Moon wo Sagashite has a deep, moving storyline that touches upon every human emotion. I don\’t think I\’ve ever cried so much while watching an anime, and I doubt any other can truly touch me as much as Full Moon wo Sagashite did.
Many people complain that the first half of the series is comprised of filler episodes. While this may be true when first watching them, I don\’t think the second half would come off nearly as well without those \"fillers\". They developed the characters, showed you who they really were and what they were looking for, and prepared you for the emotional roller coaster that is the second half of Full Moon wo Sagashite. So, even if you\’re bored during the first half, I implore you to see the series to the end. You won\’t regret it.
I initially didn\’t like the character designs all that much, particularly that of Full Moon. After a while, however, the art smoothed out and became even pleasing. So, not the best, but not the worst either.
There\’s only one way to describe the music of Full Moon wo Sagashite: absolutely astounding. Every song (most of which were sung by myco, Mitsuki\’s seiyuu) was wonderful in its own way. While I didn\’t particularly like the two OPs, they grew on me after a while. Still, nothing can touch the four EDs this show has. My personal favorite is New Future, although Eternal Snow is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Another plus of Full Moon wo Sagashite are the characters. Meroko and Izumi have become two of my favorite characters, although Izumi doesn\’t really come into his own in the anime. His soft side is only shown in the last episode, but that moment is definitely worth it.
The one quibble I have concerning the characters is that their back stories aren\’t as fully explained as they were in the manga. Meroko and Izumi\’s pasts are barely brushed upon, which is a real disappointment. Still, Meroko comes off as one of the best — if not THE best — characters in the entire series.
I will never forget watching Full Moon wo Sagashite. It is certainly an experience, especially for the last fifteen or so episodes.
One thing that really struck me was the ending. I\’ve never come across an anime with such a perfect ending. Everything was tied up, and the emotions that came across were just… mind-blowing. I think I actually sobbed the entire last episode.
So, as a parting note, I urge you to give Full Moon wo Sagashite a try. I did, and it became one of my top five anime.
Pros: Incredible story, characters, and music; best anime ending EVER
Cons: So-so character design at times, not enough back story
Story – 10/10
At first, this looks like the typical shoujo series directed at young girls, thanks to all the bright colours and cute characters. From the synopsis, it looks like a sad and depressing anime about death. But it’s so much more than that.
We meet the main character, Mitsuki, who is a young girl with throat cancer and whose biggest dream is to become a great singer and maybe one day meet the boy she loves, but who left for America two years ago. One day she is visited by two death gods (the Shinigami) – Takuto and Meroko, who tell her she only has one year to live. But instead of sulking and feeling sorry for herself, Mitsuki decides that since she only has one year, she’ll make the best of it. Instead of being stuck at home, always worrying about her health, she’ll give it all and try to achieve her dream of a singing career. When she goes to audition, the shinigami Takuto decides to help her a little bit, by transforming her body into a healthy 16-year-old. Against all odds, Mitsuki is chosen at the audition. In that moment, even going against the Shinigami rules, Takuto and Meroko decide to help her with her dream, in the time that she has left.
This series is slightly similar to the "magical girl" genre (examples: Fancy Lala, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne or Pretear), but not exactly. Takuto has the ability to transform Mitsuki’s body into a healthy 16-year-old’s, but she doesn’t gain magical powers. Even though this is a show about a dying girl, it manages to be very positive and inspiring. There’s a very good mixture of comedy and drama, with some scenes that will make you laugh hard and others that will make you cry like a baby.
In the first half of the series there are a lot of filler episodes. I guess they contribute to the development of the characters and to add realism to the story. As Mitsuki progresses in her career, she has to go through photoshoots, sound checks, clothes’ design, interviews, autograph sessions, etc. If you’re patient and watch that, you’ll get to the good stuff.
In the later half, there are considerably less filler episodes. The plot gets much more complex and interesting. The mood changes to a darker tone. The last 13 episodes are really the best ones and will make you stick to the screen waiting to see what happens. There are a few plot twists.
At last, the ending. I’d say it’s the BEST ending in anime that I’ve ever watched. There are no loose ends. Everything gets explained.
Visuals – 8/10
The light colours really make it look like an anime for young kids. I’d compare the overall visuals of this anime to those of Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. The characters were appealing and the shading was well done. Don’t expect something 3D-like. There is little computer animation, only present in a few scenes. But although simple, I though it had good visuals.
Audio – 9/10
Full Moon wo Sagashite has one of the best anime soundtracks ever. Even though you’ll hear many, many times songs like "Myself" or "Eternal Snow", you’ll never grow tired of them. "Myself", "Eternal Snow", "New Future", "Smile" and "Love Chronicle", by the band Changin’ My Life, are sang by Myco, who is Mitsuki’s voice actress. So you don’t have to worry about Mitsuki’s 12-year-old voice being different from the 16-year-old… because they were done by the same person.
I absolutely hated the openings. "I Love You" and "Rock’n’Roll Princess" by The*Scanty. Why? First because they don’t sound good. Second because they make the whole anime look so childish that only 4-year-olds would watch it. Ignore the openings! The anime isn’t THAT childish!
And, best for last, the voice actor for Takuto, Yasuo Saitou. He has a really nice voice and can be very expressive. But best of all, there are scenes where he has to sing… and he does it perfectly.
Characters – 9/10
This anime has all kinds of characters. Some that you’ll instantly fall in love with, others that you’ll instantly hate. And you might even change your opinion on a few of them, once you get to know them better. I really like the character development in this anime. You’ll progressively learn more about each character… it’s motivations or even it’s past. You’ll be impressed! Each character is unique in it’s own way and you can’t apply a stereotype to it. They interact extremely well with each other and you’ll definitely feel connected to them.
Overall – 9/10
I absolutely loved this anime. At first I thought it was really childish, but my friends ASSURED me it was worth watching… so I endured the more boring parts and kept watching… and it was totally worth it. It has become my favourite one. You’ll want to re-watch it many times, even if it does have 52 episodes. I’ve watched the whole thing 3 times, in 6 months.
The anime is very different from the manga, but it’s still faithful. And you’ll find this intersting: when they made the ending for this anime, the manga still hadn’t ended. But still, they made an extremely good ending.
Give it a try! It’ll be worth it! No matter how old you are or even if you’re a guy or a girl, it can be appreciated by anyone!
“Full Moon wo Sagashite” is quite a heart warming anime about a little girl who wants to become a singer, but only has one year to live because of the tumour in her throat. Spanning 52 episodes, it was one of the longest anime I watched at the time. To be honest, I think it could have been amazing if it was reduced to half its length – I found the series as a whole to be a bit of a struggle to get through, as most of the episodes up until about episode 40 are actually disposable, girly fluff. Watching “Full Moon wo Sagashite” will pretty much give you the very definition of what a “filler” episode is, because it contains so many of them. I disagree with people who say that these fillers are necessary for character developments purposes – most of them they don’t really reveal much beyond the fact that Mitsuki is a boringly nice person. I’ve seen anime that’s done waaay more and waaaay better character development in its first THIRTEEN episodes than this anime’s done in its first THIRTY *cough*SeikaiNoMonshou*cough*, which just goes to show you don’t need a mass of filler episodes to do a decent a job. Most of these fillers aren’t even very enjoyable to watch. They’re mostly very generic shoujo material and generally fall somewhere between the “dull” and the “mediocre” sections of the scale in terms of entertainment. This is not to say the first 40 episodes of “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is totally worthless. Some of those episodes do progress the storyline a bit (like, a couple of inches) and there are some pretty good standalone episodes as well, but they tend to be few and far in between.
Another thing I found odd is why everyone seem to rate the music from “Full Moon wo Sagashite” so highly – just because it’s an anime about music doesn’t automatically make the music on it good. To me, the music production for “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is very good at best and awkward at worst. For starters, what’s up with Mitsuki’s singing voice? Her voice sounds nice when she talks, and fits that pure and innocent image that she plays, but when she sings, she sounds completely different, and not in a good way. For one thing, she sounds about 10 years older, and her voice has an irritating sandy quality to it. For another, she sounds like she’s trying too hard to inject emotions into the songs, to the point where she starts to sound really fake and unnatural. I’m really surprised to hear the person who does Mitsuki’s voice is a pop star – I’d never have guessed from her singing. It really says a lot when I much prefer the music box version of “Eternal Snow” to the proper vocal version. In fact I don’t think much of the vocal tracks in general. Normally, it is expected that that music in an anime would supplement the show by enhancing the atmosphere. But some of the vocal songs in this series are so bland that at times, it feels like it’s the anime that’s supplementing *them*, causing them to sound better than they actually are by playing them during emotional moments. In addition to this, a lot songs are criminally overplayed… especially the more mediocre ones, which might have been a good thing in a way, because it took quite a few hearings before I got used to the grating vocals. The background music proved to be far superior than the vocal tracks. From the gentle, warm moments to the occasional eerie, chilling ones, it consistently does the job perfectly whenever called upon.
The original idea behind story’s was good, especially with twists building up towards the end, but it is diluted by the massive amounts of filler episodes and took too long to get going. There are times when any resemblance of realism goes out of the window. Normally this happens when Mitsuki’s talking to her shinigumi friends in a dead loud voice – even shouting at times – with other people standing around. She could at least pretend to whisper, but no, she has to talk in her normal voice and it seems that hardly anyone notices, which really bugs me. An example of how it could have been done better would be in “Hikaru no Go”, where people would actually look at Hikaru weirdly when he gets too noisy interacting with the spirit. There’s also the cancer aspect that’s so wrapped up in sugar coating that it’s totally unconvincing. Like many people, I’ve experienced the pain of losing someone close to me to cancer, and the fact that this anime completely failed to connect to me on this front is saying an awful lot. All they’ve done is have Mitsuki clutch at her throat every 10 episodes or so, and occasionally fall ill at the storyline’s convenience, for the most part there is no sense of urgency, no resemblance of the terrifying progression that’s so typical of the condition. All I’m left with is a sense that it’s just essentially used as a plot device, and not much more than that.
“Full Moon wo Sagashite” has got some good characters, but again, they’re no where near as good as they’re hyped up to be, and they don’t really do much in the early part of the series (when there’s a downpour of the supposedly character developing filler episodes, ironically), and only broke out of their 2D personalities when the plot got going later on. I also have major issues with the relationships that goes on in the anime, specifically with the romance aspect of it. I’m surprised that not many people have said anything about this, but hasn’t anyone else noticed that when Eichi, the boy Mitsuki’s in love with, made his “declaration of love” to her, he was about 15-16 and Mitsuki was about 10?! Is it just me that finds this a “tad” unrealistic, not to mention a “tad” dodgy as well?! I can kind of imagine where Mitsuki’s feelings might come from, but Eichi should know better at his age than to try and seduce a 10 year old 😛 Perhaps Eichi should change his name to “Ecchi”, as that’s more inline with the kind of things he seems to be into. I don’t know why they insisted on making this a romantic relationship – it would have been far more appropriate to play the relationship off as a big brother and little sister one rather than this sickening “ooooh Mitsuki, I love you! Even though I’m nearly a young adult now and you’ve barely entered double figures in terms of age” cack. Those scenes never failed to make me cringe. Also, Takuto was supposed to be 12 when he was in a band (yeah this seems a bit young too, considering his band didn’t exactly look like a kids band), so why is he seen riding a motorbike during one of the flashbacks? Now, the explanation may be because he was in the band for a number of years during which time he’d grown up into an adult and was able to learn to ride a motorbike… but this raises the question of why he started falling for a 12 year old girl if he was already so old when he became a shinigumi?!? I wasn’t under any impression that the anime is trying to portray all the boys in it as perverts. What is this obsession with shoehorning romance into absolutely everything these days? Is it really so hard making a shoujo without resorting to this? It’s because of this apparent obligation to make a love story that we’re stuck with these plot holes and rather contrived relationships.
This otherwise stale series is salvaged from mediocrity by the sheer brilliance of its final ten or so episodes that really breathed life into the show. I always thought there was too much sunshine in the early episodes given the premises of the story, but here, the anime rectifies the situation by taking a darker and more depressing turn. With the previously pedestrian story suddenly breaking into a sprint, and the character interactions suddenly becoming interesting, it’s here that the anime really starts to earn its praise. It’s so good that it’s probably worth wading through the previous 40 episodes just so you can watch the last 10. With so many compelling twists happening in the last part of the story, I was actually expecting something more original than the most cliched ending imaginable that I got, especially considering that it’s so often touted to be “the best ending ever”. Still, I’ll admit it is a very good ending – they’ve taken something pretty predictable and executed it pretty much to perfection – but like the rest of the anime, it’s just no where near deserving its “best” label.
Overall, I think “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is an enjoyable, “feel-good” anime, even if it did need the last ten or so episodes to drag it kicking and screaming up to this level of praise. I think the makers made a pretty cunning decision to save those best parts till last – I suspect the strength of those later episodes made people forget how unremarkable most of the rest of the series is. I however, haven’t forgotten, and I stand by my claim that this should really have been condensed down to 26 episodes, not left at 52.
3: Azumanga Daioh
English: Azumanga Daioh: The Animation
Japanese: あずまんが大王 THE ANIMATION
MAL Score: 7.97
Chiyo Mihama begins her high school career as one of the strangest students in her freshman class—a tiny, 10-year-old academic prodigy with a fondness for plush dolls and homemade cooking. But her homeroom teacher, Yukari Tanizaki, is the kind of person who would hijack a student’s bike to avoid being late, so “strange” is a relative word.
There certainly isn’t a shortage of peculiar girls in Yukari-sensei’s homeroom class. Accompanying Chiyo are students like Tomo Takino, an energetic tomboy with more enthusiasm than brains; Koyomi Mizuhara, Tomo’s best friend whose temper has a fuse shorter than Chiyo; and Sakaki, a tall, athletic beauty whose intimidating looks hide a gentle personality and a painful obsession with cats. In addition, transfer student Ayumu Kasuga, a girl with her head stuck in the clouds, fits right in with the rest of the girls—and she has a few interesting theories about Chiyo’s pigtails!
Together, this lovable group of girls experience the ups and downs of school life, their many adventures filled with constant laughter, surreal absurdity, and occasionally even touching commentary on the bittersweet, temporal nature of high school.
It wasn’t so bad story wise – usually I’m all for “anything goes” anime. The problem I had with it was that it wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be. I had a few laughs now and then, mostly thanks to Osaka, but there were times when I thought the jokes were too corny for my taste. Even thought I’m not a fluent Japanese speaker, I got the jokes, but I didn’t think they were that funny (I definitely saw funnier before). I guess it’s a matter of taste, and it must be a huge hit in Japan.
Every time I would watch it I kept waiting for it to get better, since for the first few episodes I didn’t think it was funny. I kept wondering why people like this anime so much, and why they speak so highly of it. I seriously think it’s not that funny, like I said there were a lot of corny jokes, and sometimes the jokes lasted too long. There were scenes wherein there was nothing but silence. Some people may think that’s funny, but if it lasts for about a minute I tend to get bored.
I like the characters though. My favorites are Kagura, Osaka and Chiyo. Kagura’s just one cool chick. Osaka is weird but funny, and Chiyo’s adorable. Seeing her in that penguin (?) suit made me squeal like Sakaki armed with 100 furry and friendly cats and Speed. Tomo was a bit irritating, and I can’t help but think in a few years she’ll end up like Yukari-sensei. I didn’t like Kaorin either. She’s like some annoying extra and I felt her character wasn’t that important. Kimura-sensei is one of the weirdest characters I’ve ever seen. His mouth is open all the time, and he has a dirty, school girl lovin’, mind.
The character is simplistic, and for this anime, simplicity was the way to go. It wasn’t as detailed compared to other JC Staff series I watched in the past (although it did have at least one buxom character, like all JC Staff series I’ve watched). I like the fact that the characters all had different body types, which is in a way, realistic. I like the colors too. They were really nicely done and contrasted nicely. There were no clashes in color whatsoever.
The voice acting was done well, because the characters’ personalities were brought out through their dialogues effectively. I like Kagura’s (Houko Kuwashima) tomboyish tone, Osaka’s (Yuki Matsuoka) soft Kansai-ben accent, Tomo’s (Chieko Higuchi) loud and upbeat speech and Chiyo’s (Tomoko Kaneda) tiny voice. I was also surprised to find many well known names among the cast, such as Rie Tanaka.
Despite the fact that the opening song made barely made sense, it was still catchy. It really fit the anime’s mood, which was carefree and random. I liked the ending song better, I thought it had the charm of a folk song, I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because of the instruments used and the singer’s soft voice that was sort of telling me a story. Generally, the BGM was nicely made and beautifully crafted. A lot of the tracks were upbeat and fit the mood of the series.
My one sentence review would be “I yawned, I laughed, and I’m glad to have watched it.” While it may not be the best for me, anything that ends in a heartwarming beat is good enough for me.
The story is basically a slice of life anime basically meaning it a Seinfeld-esqe sitcom surrounding high school girls. Theres no real story element, and thankfully no multiple part episodes are around here. Just short simple and hilarious situations that can be finished in 30 minutes ^_^ Even the oav’s are hella short! But at least they get the points across and they do it hilariously! The way they create their characters are really one of a kind. You’ll actually want to know more of how these girls happen to befriend each other before/during high school.
Character progression is really good. Each character has their own role to play for every other character and you can really tell by how they react to eachother and try (or don’t try) their best to make it past high school.
Animation is very simplistic as are most high school comedies are. Most of the time, they’ll only draw the girls and make silhouettes of all the other students. Theres tons of emotes abound in this show as each girl gets embarrassed, frustrated, scared, etc. The emotions animations are very simple as well yet for the most of the times, they REALLY get the point across. Even so much that you’ll pause the show just to stop laughing. I never realized not adding color or drawing people all squiggly would be so funny. They’ll also flip back and forth between normal anime to chibi anime quite alot. Some times the chibi-ness isn’t needed but for the majority when its implemented it makes the scene that much funnier.
The seyiu are great in this show. Even tho some sound like you’ve herd the same before but with the animation and the little sound effects here and there make the entire experience an enjoyable one. And the music is pretty simple but you’ll be singing the op over and over again because of the catchyness of it. Speaking of the op you’ll also realize most of the scenes in the op will make sense after about ep22 ^_^ But overall the sound is your usual high school sound effects… crowds in the cafeteria, groaning in unison in the classroom, and cheering during sporting events. All the usual sound fare 🙂
All in all everything about this show SCREAMS mediocre from the sound to anime to even the characters. But this is proof that just as long as you have a killer story and a staff that can illustrate the desired effect your show will be a runaway hit ^_^
Azumanga daioh is one of the funniest anime i have ever seen PERIOD! 9/10
Story : This is a slice of life anime, and what that means is, there generally isn’t any story. But I’ll tell you what there is. Skits. Alot of skits. Hilariously over the top skits. Such as their teachers terrible driving, the way the other students see the beautiful, athletic and mysterious Sakaki, without knowing of her love of cute animals, Tomo’s innuendo and curiosity about the “love life” and Kimura sensei’s love for minors. But there are realistic events as well. The new years, studying for exams, trying not to fail school, athletics, snowball fights. This show can be completely realistic or mind bogglingly over the top.
Art : Originally, I wasn’t too fond of Azumanga Daioh’s artwork. But as I watched the show it grew on me, and then I began to recognize how brilliant it is! The artwork in this show is clean while remaining detailed. But most of all, it’s hilarious! Seeing the expressions of the characters as they react to the situations they are in is incredibly funny! The way the artists portray the situations in their clever style is always fun to watch.
Sound : The music in Azumanga Daioh fits every situation very nicely. The music is very unique. It is a nice combination of surprising instruments that I certainly didn’t intend to hear. But they all work, and they make the situations funnier. There is also an odd use of a car horn that lasts throughout the show… The “ding ding” noise whenever someone realizes something, or Ayumu’s slow, sleepy voice [They honestly couldn’t have chose a better voice actor], are all used properly and to humorous effect.
Characters : The characters is where this show really shines! From the grudging Yukari, to the cute and innocent Chiyo, to the energetic instigator Tomo. The characters in this show are varied, and all very likable. Even creepy Kimura is likable! Honestly though, as anyone who has watched it will tell you, the real star here is Ayumu. Anything she says is funny, no matter what the context, where she is, or what she’s doing. She often makes a mistake doing such trivial things, has incredibly weird daydreams (she once dreamed that Chiyo’s ponytails controlled her and gave her the ability to fly) and has probably one of the best voice actors I have ever heard matching a character. Honestly, there couldn’t have been a better voice actor. Every single character in this show is likable, no, LOVABLE, to the point that you will be thinking about them years after this show has ended.
Enjoyment : You will watch this show over and over and over again and still laugh!! The jokes are all well thought out and hilarious. Even when the characters are just standing around, not talking and staring at each other you will laugh. Why? Because the way they are set up is just so brilliant! The gang of Azumanga Daioh will forever be in your heart after this show, and that is exactly why you should watch this show. I can’t recommend this enough to fans of the slice of life genre and comedy genres.
*At the time of this writing, it has been months since I have watched this show, I plan on re-watching it soon, though.
2: Hanada Shounen-shi
MAL Score: 8.00
Ichiro Hanada is a hyperactive little boy who lives with his parents, sister, and grandfather in a rural town. He is always up to some kind of mischief, often teasing his sister or making rude comments to others. Consequently, his mother constantly scolds him, and even the neighbours express disturbance from time to time on how rowdy he can be.
One day, after pulling a terrible prank, Ichiro sprints onto the streets as his mother chases him. He steals a nearby bicycle and takes on a dangerous route, eventually being hit by a truck. Miraculously, he survives the crash, requiring nine stitches to the back of his head and balding for the surgery. However, the near-death experience gains him the ability to see ghosts—the last thing he needs in his life.
Since Ichiro is the only one who can communicate with them, several ghosts of people who have recently died come to him, seeking help to fulfill their last wishes before achieving enlightenment. Each adventure with a ghost leaves the young and curious boy with a different lesson that gradually makes him wiser.
Above all, it’s really, really funny.
While it’s not for the very young (there is some brief nudity, some fairly mature emotional stuff, and Ichiro swears like a sailor at his mother), the many qualities of the show should appeal to a fairly wide range of people.
We meet young Ichiro Hanada doing what he does best – fighting with his mother. He sasses and insults her constantly, and argues with his entire family, who certainly don’t pull any punches with him, either. His happy-drunk father and grandfather often tease him relentlessly. He also really loves to eat. Of course, Ichiro’s selfishness and foul temper make him bring it all on himself. In fact, it’s while fleeing from a fight with his mother that he gets into the accident which sets the story in motion.
Ichiro is hit by a truck, and has a near-death experience. He has a vision of his recently deceased grandmother, who helps him get back to his body and wake up in the hospital, still alive. None of this affects Ichiro’s temperament, however. The only difference is that he now has a scar across the back of his head, which was shaved bald for the surgery. And for some reason his hair won’t grow back.
Ichiro soon learns that he can see and hear spirits. He has no idea what’s going on, and gets frightened when the first one appears. It turns out that his accident gave him the special ability to communicate with the spirits of those who have just died but have not yet "passed on" to the other side. They all seem to have some unfinished business keeping them in limbo, and they enlist Ichiro’s help. Naturally, Ichiro hates it, and refuses, and at first the ghosts have to resort to scaring him half to death to get him to cooperate.
Eventually, he gets used to the nagging spirits. They come in all sorts of varieties, and have different reasons for seeking Ichiro’s help. There’s the father who wants to tell his son that it’s okay for his mother to marry again, an old man who happened to die in an undignified position and needs help, and a student who died while still a virgin and wants to see a naked woman before he goes. There’s even a phony medium who, although she used to con people by pretending to be clairvoyant, actually developed real powers as a spirit.
Ichiro goes through a lot of personal trials in the midst of all this, slowly but surely learning not to be such a little monster. He learns a different lesson on life from each adventure with a spirit.
The series ends in a nice place, but the manga is apparently still going. Ichiro eventually grows up, and his ability to see spirits is passed on to his son. It would be great to see some new animated adventures at some point, so long as it’s done with the same care and skill.
What makes this show so great is like Mushishi (which is the depressing mature version of this) its episodic yet doesnt follow the same pattern making it unpredictable and engaging as not every episode has a happy ending, some tragic, some funny and some out right inspirational.
Dont let the cover fool you, this is a seinen anime and gets better after every episode. My only hang with it is the awful opening and eding choices of songs, other than that, this show is flawless
Right from the start we got introduced to Ichiro Hanada, a mischievous boy – as all kids should be. He’s always cursing everyone around him and doing stuff that drive them crazy. One faithful day, he got himself in a traffic accident. Fortunately, he’s safe but after that near-death experience, he found himself seeing ghost and from there the journey of our little reluctant hero begins.
This anime took a very different approach from the usual. It’s very straightforward, aggressive and surprisingly heart-warming. Its story is divided into small arcs when little Ichiro have to deal with the ghost’s problems. And that’s the shining part of this show, the plots of this anime is simple yet engaging, lovely to watch and in the same time, pretty touching. It shows that you don’t need big words or complicated problems to make a good story, keep it simple and close to the heart is what make the experiences watching Hanada Shounen-shi unforgettable.
And then the characters, my god, are lovable. They interact with each other like human beings, not cliched characters we often see on screen nowadays. With Ichiro in the spotlight, this anime succeeded in keeping the viewers in seat. Ichiro is a kind-hearted kid, he might talk a little too rude but he got good intentions with him. He’s also unpredictable. Watching him is such a joy. The humour of Hanada Shounen-shi is often on point with slight moments of offensive.
Overall, Hanada Shounen-shi is a case where you should not judge a book by its cover. You will miss out a lot on this amazing anime with full of heart-touching moments and happiness. I realize how important the people around to me now after watching this show.
1: Princess Tutu
English: Princess Tutu
MAL Score: 8.13
In a fairy tale come to life, the clumsy, sweet, and gentle Ahiru (Japanese for “duck”) seems like an unlikely protagonist. In reality, Ahiru is just as magical as the talking cats and crocodiles that inhabit her town—for Ahiru really is a duck! Transformed by the mysterious Drosselmeyer into a human girl, Ahiru soon learns the reason for her existence. Using her magical egg-shaped pendant, Ahiru can transform into Princess Tutu—a beautiful and talented ballet dancer whose dances relieve people of the turmoil in their hearts. With her newfound ability, Ahiru accepts the challenge of collecting the lost shards of her prince’s heart, for long ago he had shattered it in order to seal an evil raven away for all eternity.
Princess Tutu is a tale of heroes and their struggle against fate. Their beliefs, their feelings, and ultimately their actions will determine whether this fairy tale can reach its “happily ever after.”
There were few reasons for me to watch Princess Tutu, but I still had a strange feeling about it. Today I regret not having watched it sooner for what I saw was one of the most engaging, clever and downright beautiful shows I had ever seen, overflowing with soul and passion.
Story: A unique fairytale which goes far beyond it’s limitations. Masterfully written, the story is a perfect blend of powerful moments, unexpected twists, comedy and romance. The fairytale structure takes the best out of classic ballets and weaves a story that is both coherent and diverse. The endings to both seasons are particularly outstanding.
Art: The series has a stylized and clean art style combined with great animation. Although I felt it fit the series very well, not everyone feels that way. Some believe the art style is a bit too girly or misleading, but it actually fits the fairytale theme very well. The backgrounds are great and the ballet scenes are beautifully animated (although some use too many stills which, even though beautiful, aren’t as good as the animated moments).
Sound: The "coup-de-grace" of the show, the soundtrack doesn’t simply support the show: it is part of the story itself. Each episode is accompanied by a certain ballet suite and takes the most advantage of it. The suites were carefully chosen and superbly performed by a bulgarian orchestra. I had heard many of them before and I was amazed by the quality of the performance. Every single note fits perfectly and sounds delightful, even the songs that were composed for the show. Truly mindblowing, the music adds a whole new layer of depth to it. The voices and dialog are also very good and fitting.
Characters: With such a great story and soundtrack, some would think that the development team wouldn’t be focused on character development. Wrong. All characters are believable, feel real and evolve throughout the story. Even secondary characters show a glowing spirit that many main characters wish they had. If you allow yourself to, you will be able to feel a strong bond and sympathy for those characters, even those you didn’t expect. The multi-layered Ahiru is an amazing and strong main character, and the others will surprise you as well. Not only do characters evolve but they also take advantage of a distinct way to show their "persona": dance.
Enjoyment: A show that you won’t be able to put down until you finish it. The episodes are so engaging and fantastic it’s easy to get sucked in. A surprisingly rich experience you won’t find anywhere else. Surprisingly, I found myself rewatching several scenes shortly after finishing the show. I recommend you to use headphones so that you don’t miss a single note of this visual and musical wonder.
Overall, Princess Tutu is a living, breathing anime that, unlike most magical-shoujo shows, truly feels magical. Yes, I may sound cheesy, lame and corny, but don’t miss out on this unique gem. A true masterpiece.
Story and Characters:
Well, the series starts off a little cliche and trope ridden. In fact, I had subconsciously made a list of every cliche I expected to play out during the series. But boy by the end of that series was I eating that list right back, this series completely redefines how magical girl series can be done. The series frequently takes plot lines and ideas from ballets and other classical pieces of music and then it takes all of them to make its own original and unique thing. And to anyone as concerned with the girly factor as I was, I really didn’t find any of the main plot as overly girly as I was expecting (I found it mildly girly to be fair). The ending has to be one of the best and most rewarding endings I’ve seen in an anime ever, this is a series that definitely delivers, even if you didn’t know what you wanted delivered.
Characters designs and animation are all crisp and beautiful and fit into the world so incredibly well. There’s also frequent CGI at times that is never jarring and fits ever so perfectly. But sound is where is where it was really at for me, having been an already existing fan of classical music. The series didn’t just use common pieces all the time, it used whatever piece fit, no matter how obscure and the series was made better for it. All the pieces that they picked intensified the mood of whatever scene it was in to make a perfect compliment. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find soundtrack usage this perfect again personally. It wasn’t only about having a strong soundtrack, but it was also about using it well.
This is one of my very few 10 series and quite possibly my favorite anime of all time. I think this series should be seen by everyone, you’ll find a lovely diamond in the rough with a great and memorable story. I really can’t think of anything else quite like it, this is a must watch.
Like all good fairy tales, the story is most crucial. It must be whimsical yet cautionary, quickly paced, and tightly-knit. Tutu follows this formula well, though not so much the "quickly paced" bit. This is because Tutu has an episodic monster-of-the-week nature that can become an irritance, and would have been if every episode didn’t, in some way, tie directly back to the main story. Much like director Junichi Sato’s other hidden gem Kaleido Star, the story is broken into two distinct parts, which while seperate, are directly connected. This storytelling works best in that it provides two distinct and memorable climaxes while never feeling rushed or out-of-place.
The main story itself is flawless. A fantastic tribute to the forgotten and oft-dismissed power of fairy tales and ballet, whimsical enough to never forget its true nature, and dark enough to invest interest and revoke the idea of it just being a children’s show.
It’s characters range from the absurd to the sinister and some even manage to play both during the course of the series. The characters alone are uniquely crafted. Though some follow certain Junichi Sato molds, such as Fakir and Mythos, Ahiru stands out as a subversion of the cheerful, determined heroine his works are often known for in that her efforts do not always deem satisfaction, and her ultimate goal is not met with her ideal ending. Everyone interacts sincere to their motives and personalities and no one ever feels like they’re doing something they shouldn’t be.
Of course the art, provided by Sato’s mainstay HAL Film Maker is divine. Every scene is fluid and graceful, especially the dance numbers. Character designs and backgrounds are very imaginative and hold the Germanic fairy tale motif that the series sets for itself.
The accompaniment for the series is a numerous array of classical music and ballet numbers, most of which will be recognizable by ear even if you can’t remember the name of what you’re hearing. Moreso, the music provides a direct parallel to the conflict in each scene it is used, and often scenes are choreographed around the music, making for dramatic impact mostly unparalleled.
Yes, the title is a turn-off, and I’m sure many of you out there think ballet is for 6-year-old girls, but Tutu takes the most universal and respected elements of the things children love and craft something everyone can and most likely will enjoy. Though it trudges in a few places, Tutu never forgets where it’s going. It’s magical waltz always catches up and makes sure it ends on the best note it can.
Overall, I give Princess Tutu a 9 out of 10.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Princess Tutu
2. Hanada Shounen-shi
3. Azumanga Daioh
5. Full Moon wo Sagashite
6. Shaman King
7. Daa! Daa! Daa!
8. Full Metal Panic!
9. Digimon Tamers