They’re the best Anime that 2001 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Digimon Adventure 02, Brigadoon: Marin to Melan, Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer, and more!
10: Digimon Adventure 02
English: Digimon Adventure 02
MAL Score: 7.23
Taichi Yagami and his friends have moved on to junior high, but by that time, they have lost contact with their Digimon partners. Taichi is therefore surprised to suddenly receive a distress call summoning him to the Digital World. Once there, he learns that Digimon are living in fear of the mysterious Digimon Emperor, who is somehow suppressing their ability to Digivolve!
In the real world, Hikari Yagami and Takeru Takaishi reunite in the same fifth grade class. They share three schoolmates: Daisuke Motomiya, who reminds them both of Taichi; Miyako Inoue, a technical wizard; and Iori Hida, Miyako’s neighbor. When these three children receive “D-3” Digivices, they—along with Hikari and Takeru, who still possess their own original Digivices—comprise the new generation of “Chosen Children” who must save the world once again. With the power of the Armored Digi-Eggs, they must thwart the Digimon Emperor’s plans to spread his influence over the entire Digital World.
Storywise: The storytelling is not bad, but much has changed, including the pace; Digimon Adventure had 5 story arcs, each 10 to 14 episodes long, which allowed it to move at a pace that never felt too quickly or too slow, each arc started and ended properly. Here… not su much; we have 3 story arcs, one of 21 episodes, then one of 17 and the last one of 12 episodes. We find some filler episodes in the first one, some ongoing character problems on the second (I’ll fill that in the next section) and a rushed and convulted final arc that tries to make up for what is kind of a lagging season by bombing us with too much material that never gets developed (Demon, for instance).
Now, don’t be fooled; despite all its flaws the storytelling is still enjoyable, there are still mature themes around and the air of greatness of Digimon Adventure, however the flaws are too notorious and the characters also dragg it down, but I have to admit that they are all thought through, none of them comes out of thin air (give or take the final arc) and they all get somewhat their propper ending.
The plot is not as good as the first Digimon series, but the potential is there. Now, why wasn’t it fully used? Mainly, characters problems.
Character: Here is where Adventure 02 just outright failed. Remember how amazingly outlined the characters from the first Digimon series were? Remember how they were just broadstrokes that got developed into fully fleshed out character and how amazing was that the crest of each character represented the very scent of how they were? Well, Digimon 02 mainly hopes you forgot about all that.
We still have our main 8 characters from the first series, but 6 are downgraded to supporting roles, while 2 remain and 3 new character join (one more joins lare on). Now these 3 characters are the main trouble of Digimon 02.
Daisuke (aka Davis): he is arrogant, he is reckless, and he is a good guy deep down, we have our most stereotypical hero! Of course, that wouldn’t be a trouble with the propper character work, but here there is… none. There is no background to explain Daisuke’s personality, whereas in Adventure we had backgrounds for each character. We know he has issues with her sister, but that never gets developed (not to mention we never get to know his parents). As the series goes forward Daisuke changes and matures, for no apparent reason; granted, being in the digital world fighting monsters does change people, but Daisuke’s change really came without propper building up. He passed from annoying to tollerable, but mainly he was just plot fodder. But he is not nearly the worst character.
Miyako (aka Joley): now here is a character that mostly everyone will hate! Why is that? Miyako is all talk and no action. She is energetic and sometimes you picture her as the optimistic one, but as soon as she get into the real danger she freaks out and it takes her about 5 minutes of screen time to realize she has to fight. As the series progress her character is mostly ignored and she is left with her characteristic energetic self and food lover life personality, with no development whatsoever or any background at all.
Iori (aka Kodi): Want someone as annoying as Miyako? Iori might be the one. He is rigid and barely makes an expression, if any. Unlike the previous two, this character does have a background which is not only in sync with his personality, but actually linked with the final arc and despite being kind of interesting, the character himself remains the same for about the whole show, with no actual changes and nothing more than his usual poker face.
Takeru (TK) and Hikari (Kari): They came from the previous series, so everything should be ok, right? Sadly no; both Takeru and Hikari are mainly ignored in this series. Takeru has about 3 good character moments in the show in the first arc, and then acts as plot fodder later on. Hikari is… well, I wouldn’t know, she really doesn’t fullfil any function here, give or take going to the dark sea world or supporting the rest on battle.
Ken: Here is a character that actually got good treatment; he is given a nice background which is consistent with his personality, he is conflicted, and while shy he is mainly likeable for showing the brave to move forward and attone for his wrongs. He is the only one that actually gets good character moments and a character arc that is mainly involved in the plot. Sadly 1 out of 6 doesn’t make the cut for good character treatment.
Music: Gladly, the OST from the previous series remains here with the addition of some more tracks made just for this one, which are good. The opening theme, while not as amazing as the one seen in Digimon Adventure, is actually pretty good, both endings are also good, and the tracks that plays in the new evolutions moments are quite nice (specially the one when jogress evolution is made). So, yeah, still a 10 if you ask me.
Enjoyment: For all its faults and failures in the character department, I still think I like this Digimon series. It has some very bad moments that made me ask myself “why am I watching this crap?” Followed by some very glorious moments that kept me on the edge of my seat and reply “Oh, yeah. That’s why”. Sure, if I had to grade each episodes, most of them would be on the range of C to B-, but there would surely be straigh As in the ways, but sadly some Ds or Fs too. As a whole, the enjoyment is fair: you get some very clunky, cheesy and boring moments, but you also get profounds and exciting ones (thank you BlackWarGreymon! And Taichi and the rest too for that matter), and as such the enjoyement is in thin line between fair and good.
Stray observations (funny facts and bits of information I got while watching the series):
-Did you know that originally Adventure 02 had 64 episodes, but the order got cut to 50 somewhere around the way because of low rating? Now we may understand why the finale felt so rushed.
-There was supposed to be a rivalry between Daisuke and Takeru, but that gets forgotten at some point and then Daisuke just ignores Takeru; and they want to make us believe they are friends…
-Daisuke and Ken, Miyako and Hikari, all got some good character moments and emotional pep talks previous to achieving jogress evolution. Takeru and Iori got it by having Takeru tell Iori “have faith: well, that escalated pretty quickly
-Demon (being sent to the dark world in episode 45): “you’ll regret this”. Apperantly this was set up for Digimon Adventure 03, which you know ended up being tamer so… no, they never regreted it. Besides, what was his purpose in the first place? We’ll never know.
-Ken (in episode 42): “por favor déjeme entrar” Ken, tu español no es malo, de hecho mejor que el de mucho japoneses, pero no deja de ser raro escucharlo.
-Best character: BlackWarGreymon, surely, as he is a sympatetic villian at first and then a tragic hero. His arc is also the high point of the series, as he wonders for the meaning of life; he surely got the best character treatment, closely followed by Ken.
-Worst character: Miyako, surely, clossely followed by Iori.
-Daisuke (in the finale) “I want to have a ramen shop!” Ken: “I never knew about this”. Nobody did Ken, and nobody even cared.
-Award for most forgotten character from Adventure: Mimi, somehow the writers though sending one of their most developed characters into USA would make the cut. They were wrong. Also, I think Sora was pretty much forgotten too.
That’s it for now! I hope you liked this review
Next up: How Digimon Tamers triumphed by denying it had a past!
No matter how you look at it – you’ll compare it to the first season. Where the first season had 8 original characters, all with an amazing background, unique in every way, this series simply does not have the same amount of effort put into it. Daisuke is even bolder than Taichi was, to the extent of you wanting to smack him in the face. Big time. The same with Veemon. He’s like Daisuke, and thus, annoying as hell. Didn’t grow to either one of them.
As for Miyako – wow. She’s even more annoying. She’s that one girl that nobody really hates, but has no real friends around her either. Comes from a family that runs a convenience store. Not really much to add here.. her Digimon is okay though.
Iori. Iori, Iori, Iori-kun.. back then, I thought Takeru was a crybaby and rather holding the team back. But this guy? Wow. His Digimon is somewhat okay, he reminds me a bit of Tentomon, but a little more childish and adding -dagyaa behind everything he says.
Takeru. Takeru sure has grown up. He’s gotten used to fighting, protecting people, he’s someone you can rely on. Patamon hasn’t changed either. Both in a good way.
Hikari still is the same sweet girl she was back then, only a little bit more mature. Back in Adventure, Taichi said that “she was a person that really didn’t care for herself, always sticking out for others”. That quality seems to have been flying away in this series. Even though that’s the case, she’s still likeable.
Ken – well. I don’t like him. Imagine someone torturing all of your friends, to the extent of almost dying, and then having him join your team because he was crying in a desert. Yeah. THAT kind of guy.
Well, yeah. A Chosen Child that thinks Digimon are just “data”-segments that have no feelings, and thus abuses them? With evil rings? And with a whip he hits his partner with? Okay. The story after the Digimon Kaiser-era (which took up 25 episodes if I’m not mistaken) grew a bit. Not a lot, just a bit.
I immediately resented the bit where Veemon came out of his Digimental, and instantly knew what to do. “YELL DIGIMENTAL-UP YOU BLOODY IDIOT, I DON’T HAVE ALL DAY!” is basically what it came down to. Where the original series was about the actual adventure, finding out what to do, where to go – this series has it all laid out before them.
It was still okay. Not that impressive, but good considering what year it came out in. Design of the Digimon.. well.. to be honest, I quite resented the Pegasus/Sphinx types that Patamon and Tailmon Armor-Evolved into. BlackWarGreymon and Parrotmon were Digimon that shouldn’t have been introduced any further. Parrotmon had its charm because it was, well, just there when the original Digidestined saw it fight.
The music was great. Well thought-through, just like the first series. Music, sounds, nothing to say about those but good things! 🙂
I enjoyed the series, even though there were enough things that bothered me. The biggest of them all was the following:
Remember how in the first series Digimon died all over the place? They wiped out Devimon without a second thought. That happened in the 13th episode. In the new series, the thought of having to “destroy”/delete Digimon, first occured in episode 40. And even then, when it finally came down to it, all new Digi-destined didn’t like the idea. Honestly, someone is trying to kill you, but hey, let’s not try to kill him back? That annoyed the hell out of me big time.
I still give the series a 7/10, mainly for the reason that the old Digi-destined (Taichi, Yamato, Sora, Jou, Koushiro and Mimi) were having a well formed role throughout the whole series. Don’t get me wrong – if you’ve watched the first season, I highly recommend you watch this one, just don’t get your hopes all the way up.
The plot for this series isn’t much better off either. Digimon Adventure 02 has a more light-hearted mood with nearly half of it focused on the Digimon Emperor arc and having a decent amount of filler. While the idea of the Digidestined taking on a human threat is a unique approach to this series, Ken’s not as convincingly threatening as early villains like Devimon and Etemon since we seen the stakes faced by the Digidestined raised higher in each later arc for the first season and many of the villains weren’t hesitant to take lives. Things got a bit too scaled back with convincing threats in this season. The large length of the Digimon Emperor arc actually causes problems for developments in later episodes of this season as the show tosses in multiple plot developments that are either sloppily introduced, abruptly resolved in the span of a few episodes or rushed through to seemingly force the series to another desired point in its plot. The series also suffers from wasted potential in what it could have introduced or expanded upon with several plot elements that were tossed in such as the Dark Ocean, Kari’s unique powers and the Daemon Corps. Regrettably, these plot elements were instead just tossed in as filler and either were never focused on again or were quickly brushed aside. It looked like this season wasn’t sure what kind of plot it wanted to deliver with how its later episodes are all over the place with developments. I don’t even want to get started with how the series pulls off its final three episodes that reveal who the true enemy threat is and the abrupt happy ending it plays up.
Otherwise, the visuals and other aspects to the plot are about what you would expect of generic titles: average artwork, reused animation clips, plain character designs, the run-of-the-mill ‘evil’ Digimon villains, Digimon being beaten to a pulp before their partners gain the power within to defeat villains and so forth.
Even if you’re a Digimon fan, I wouldn’t waste my time trying to look into this second season to Adventure. The Digimon Emperor arc got too dragged out thanks to having several episodes worth of filler and this results in later episodes being a mess with their developments thanks to having several plot threads being tossed around that are awkwardly handled in their resolutions. Not to mention that other than Ken, the new Digidestined children lack the solid depth and development that the first-generation group underwent in their ordeals. You could watch just the first season of Adventure and you could just pretend this one was never made.
9: Brigadoon: Marin to Melan
Japanese: ブリガドーン まりんとメラン
MAL Score: 7.25
Marin is a typical junior high school girl with a sunny disposition and a loving adoptive family. Her life takes a drastic change when a mysterious mirage is seen in the sky above the entire earth. Killer androids called Monomakia descend to earth from the formation in the sky called Brigadoon and begin to hunt down little Marin. She discovers a blue bottle in a shrine as she seeks escape and from the bottle comes a protector, a sword carrying gun slinging alien called Melan Blue, together they must save the earth and deal with family crisis, school prejudice and the police and come to an understanding of Marins past and Melans unexplained mission, as well as learn to trust each other. Set in 1969 Japan with a colorful cast of friends and enemies.
Brigadoon, I am happy to report, does not suffer the cliches usually associated with certain anime categories or genres. It simply doesn’t belong to any. In fact, It will quietly defy all attempts at categorization and will summarily step on your face if you attempt it.
Brigadoon Marin to Melan’s story revolves around Marin Asagi and a giant humanoid monomakia, Melan Blue. Combining fantasy, sci-fi, action, comedy and drama, it’s a happy mix of everything every anime genre has to offer, all packed into 26 episodes.
First and foremost, Brigadoon’s story is not something you can appreciate by watching the first 5 or 10 episodes and then jumping to the last episode. Despite all the action and the blood and the killing, Brigadoon is, deep down, a love story, brilliant and intricately built over a span of 26 episodes. Marin and Melan’s kiss on episode 26 requires the past 25 episodes to explain; save my keyboard the trouble and just watch all of it.
Second, Brigadoon is not for the faint of heart. Most people will be uncomfortable with a romantic pairing between a 13-year old heroine and a much older-looking hero, and may decide not to even give the series a chance. This is a sad mistake. The most intimate thing that ever happened between Marin and Melan in the entire series was a goddamn kiss, and half the time Melan didn’t know what a kiss was to begin with. It DOES have fanservice, but the pantyshots were far in-between and mostly for humor. It shouldn’t be a hindrance from enjoying an otherwise brilliant series.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on to the review:
STORY: 8/10. Brigadoon’s first few episodes makes it look like your run-of-the-mill, monster-of-the-day anime. Thankfully, it changes its mind and the pace picks up after three episodes. When it finally does, Marin’s brattiness stops and Melan’s slam-bang kick-assery begins.
Melan’s “duty” is heavily fueled by events from Brigadoon’s past, but the series manages to avoid too much flashbacks by letting Lolo narrate Brigadoon’s backstory little by little. However, there are still some confusing points in the series and even as a fan, I found it hard to follow especially at the last few episodes. A more prominent flaw, however, is the deus ex machina ending. I hate this. It’s very abrupt, a little too convenient, and leaves so many unanswered questions that I can’t help but wonder if the makers originally had a sequel in mind. Explaining the motives of the Hensu-chi alone should take more episodes, considering that this is not the first time Brigadoon and earth almost ended because of the Hensu-chi.
ART: 7/10. The fighting sequels were superb. The action shots are tense and speedy, with no repeated cells to make a one-minute fight last five minutes. The character designs for the monomakias were excellent, notably Melan’s and Kushatohn’s. However, I’ve noticed that most people dislike Marin’s character design; She’s supposed to be 13 but she looks everything under 9. And her feet. I’m pretty sure something’s wrong with them…
Anyway, that doesn’t bother me. What DOES bother me is how the animation tended to screw up at the worst possible moments. There were a few bad sequences in the Submaton Color episode [which was the best in the series], and it irritates me to no end that Melan’s first smile in the entire series was drawn by a retard. I actually have to cover half of the freaking monitor with my hands to make Melan look normal! [Thankfully, Melan smiles radiantly in another scene in the same episode.]
SOUND: 9/10. I found Brigadoon’s soundtrack haunting and enjoyable, but I’d admit it’s not for everyone. Most tracks were Celtic-themed acapella singing, balanced by bouncy instrumental tracks and a fun closing theme. The acapella rendition of the opening song, “Kaze no Ao, Umi no Midori” is powerful and heart-wrenching. This provides strong contrast to the catchy ending theme, “Nijiiro no Takaramono”, sung by the actress who voices Marin herself.
ENGLISH DUBBING: 0/10. Just think of the English dub as parody dub, then forget it exists and watch the subbed version instead. The English dub made several changes in the character’s lines, [e.g. Marin never says “Ahaaa~” in the English dub, even though it’s her trademark expression in the series] and altered some scenes altogether [Melan and Marin’s kiss in Episode 15 seemed to have NEVER happened in the English dub.]
And Marin. Ahh, let me see… it sounds like a fully grown woman trying to sound like a cute 13-year-old, the kind of voice you hear when you dream of little girls asking if you want to play, and when you turn around you see them holding knives dripping with blood, and when they raise it in the air you wake up in the middle of the night screaming. I hate it with all my heart.
Tony Oliver’s voice is decent enough, but for a killing machine like Melan its too soft and low, like a whisper that’s JUST barely audible. Somewhat like a commentator for a golf show. I don’t know, but when Melan gets into a huge catfight involving guns and swords and his voice suddenly reminds me of golf, it kinda ruins the moment.
But more importantly, it’s not worth missing out on Melan’s Japanese voice. It’s emotionless and solid, with a metallic twinge that fits his alien character unquestionably. It constantly reminds you that Melan is a huge bulk of steel and alien flesh you shouldn’t mess with. Unless he’s talking to Marin, he’s ALWAYS unimpressed.I… it’s just… perfect. I want to go on, but I can’t think of any other words to describe it.
CHARACTER: 9/10. Though it has more than a dozen characters and only 26 episodes, Brigadoon manages to provide enough ‘camera time’ for most of them. Not enough time for character development per se, but enough for the viewer to grow familiar with and develop empathy towards them. There’s Uncle Onando, who never says anything and just keeps throwing peace signs whenever he’s onscreen. But I like him, and I don’t know why.
ENJOYMENT: 10/10. I’ve watched the series over three times already, and although I am aware of the series’ flaws, it has not stopped me from enjoying it. It’s a pretty obscure anime and it’s a pity people have not enjoyed it simply because they don’t know the series exists. Highly recommended.
First of all, it has the human weapon as male (a rather good looking one at that) rather than female as seems to be the standard in anime, seemingly push this from an ecchi shounen aspect to a more shoujo one. Most series if they want to reverse it, either make the human weapon as some ugly robot, as some monster hybrid or some female cute monster. That’s what attracted me to this series in the first place. I was wondering where they would go with this.
After getting hooked to Melan and wanting to see more of him, it’s then that the story hits. It really doesn’t pigeonhole itself into the “Proxy battle”, “Mecha” affair that it seems like it’s going to shove itself into. The mystery deepens when we find out that Melan is protecting Marin for a reason. You want to find out why. Toss in a magical transformation device and some romance and you really feel for the characters. It’s stops being about a formulaic trope that so many anime base themselves on.
Others have mentioned the ecchi aspect, but really the way it’s done in this series more or lets blends it away. Yes you see Marin’s panties, but she’s underage and they don’t really point to it and say “HEY LOOK!” like every other ecchi and non-ecchi anime does and make it the focus of the anime. You find out that the reason you can see them in the first place, is probably because she’s poor and doesn’t have any money to buy new clothes. Even the scenes of nudity is for a reason and they don’t parade it down the street like it’s the point of the episode. People are simply nude because they have no clothes, or they can’t wear them at the time.
Really over all, the story is VERY original. It doesn’t have an aspect you can plop into a category. Similar to DT Eightron in that respect. The ones who came up with the story actually sat down and probably did some world building versus sit down and go “Yeah let’s make another anime about a harem… with ecchi. Yeah, like those other five hundred out there.” It’s really want I want to start seeing in anime. More original stories that don’t ruin the experience by having ecchi parts all over the place (Umi Neko and a few other mecha shows), toss in a harem aspect for no good reason (yeah, let’s have a bunch of women… for no real reason. If anyone asks… we’ll say it’s SCIENCE!), or simply be on long string of colosseum battles (YuYu Hakusho, Shaman King, Yu-Gi-Oh, Bleach, the list goes on). It even averts the tried and troped “Let’s have a guy… that controls a woman… but she’s really a sword/demon/mecha/killing doll/dingo/familiar!” It really doesn’t want to make me watch another master-slave relationship being played out on TV where the master is male and the slave is female. I see that in real life too much thanks.
There are anime where the master is female of course, but they add so much ecchi to it that is shoves it back into the shounen, ecchi, boin, harem category. This averts it by making the master female and a child and the slave a good looking bio-mecha type where you don’t see the romance coming until the characters start to get closer to each other. It’s played more realistically.
Overall this anime is good, because it doesn’t try to be like every other anime out there. It makes it’s own path in the world and doesn’t rely on tropes and cliche out there to get it done.
The storytelling of present here isn’t something that can be judged based off of the first couple of episodes. While the monster of the week format persists throughout the 1st half, there are other serious elements at play here. What sets Brigadoon’s earlier episodes apart from other proxy battle titles are the actual repercussions that come with a child summoning a monster to combat other monsters. Lives are damaged/destroyed, thus people grow fearful and act on their fear. This is where the more tragic elements come in to play as not only does Marin become a pariah in the eyes of her peers, she is also targeted by the police as well for being at the centre of all the madness she never asked for. This is a series that won’t pull it’s punches and knows how to use shock factor as a means of getting points across.
Once the 2nd half hits, Brigadoon plunges head first into its own strange mythos and slowly reveals elements, those that are both entirely new and those foreshadowed earlier on. The story picks up a greater sense of urgency as well, as its plot-twists suggest that there is more at stake than just the lives of Marin and Melan. Although there are many elements at play within the setting of Brigadoon, some of the more vital ones do not receive much attention and feel pulled out of thin air with last minute explanations during the last episode. Another somewhat annoying trait this series adopts is use of cliffhangers sometimes. Very rarely will there be a cliffhanger that isn’t resolved via disappointingly simple means. It’s these somewhat cheap tricks that put a damper on what is otherwise a rewarding experience.
The true heart of Brigadoon lies in the intriguingly handled relationship between Marin and her alien guardian Melan. It develops from protector/protected, to father/daughter, and finally to the kind of relationship that should by all accounts feel wrong. The progression of their love feels gradual and given their extreme reliance on each other, the destination feels justified. The actual ending as a result gave me what as the “feels” even though the path to that ending came about could have gone smoother, as I’ve already mentioned. The wrapping up of their character arcs as a result feels cathartic enough to bring one to tears. Helping Marin get through her hardships is her makeshift extended family. Their personalities often rely on one-note gags, but the levity they offer is welcome in the face of the looming despair hanging over the story.
Brigadoon’s aesthetic, while dated visually, evokes a feeling of uniqueness not unlike the story itself. Although the visuals are by no means amazing, the overall cartoony style gives the show its own look. The series is set in 1969 and it certainly shows since special attention is given to make the locations give off that kind of vibe. Though the fight scenes are fluid enough, still, the OST is much more remarkable. “Kaze no Ao, Umi no Midori” by Ikuko is a damn good opener with an appropriately sorrowful feel to it. The rest of the track is diverse enough to accommodate for the range of tones that series employs. My only gripe lies with the ending theme, which on its own is pretty decent, cutesy stuff. However when an episode ends with a serious cliffhanger, it only serves to damage the mood with its cheery tune. It’s better to just not watch it once the second half hits.
It’s to easy see why Brigadoon: Marin and Melan incapable of achieving any more then cult status. I believe that the quirky look may have given off the wrong message to many anime watchers as to what this series is all about. It’s a “something for everyone” sort of show to the point where it ends up being an acquired taste, if that makes any sense. Perhaps the best recommendation I can make for this series is that you should watch it if you’re the sort of person who can live with having their emotions jerked about. If so then prepare for a game of Genre Roulette the likes of which you may never see replicated to this success.
8: Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer
English: Battle Doll Angelic Layer
MAL Score: 7.26
12-year-old Misaki Suzuhara has just gotten involved in Angelic Layer, a battling game using electronic dolls called angels. Even as a newbie, Misaki shows advanced skills as she meets new friends and enters Angelic Layer tournaments to fight the greatest Angelic Layer champions of the nation.
We follow little Mizaki, a little girl wanting to see her mother after years and years of being away from her. Upon arriving in the city where her aunt lives, she sees a jumbo vision screen that has two little battle dolls (known as Angles) fighting one on one. She is intrigued by them and decides to try it out for herself, unknown to Mizaki her mom is actually much closer than she thinks. This is the base of the storyline, along the way she meets new friends and rivals alike. To her; Angelic Layer is nothing more than a fun activity she likes to play as a sort of hobby, she soon becomes more involved with it and eventually signs on to a tournament…where her mother is the grand champion. It does good with keeping the tension between her and her mother actually meeting one day, as many episodes have them barely missing each other. The story starts off well with introducing each main and supporting cast roll, and there are quite a few of them. However, during the half way point you may start to notice a filler or two happening ever so often, or battles that seem kind of pointless to the base of the story. Speaking of battles, this is another negative about the series, in that Mizaki is one of those main lead characters that rarely ever loses, which might ruin the anticipation of each battle for some viewers. To its credit though they do end on some nifty cliffhangers every now and then, and do a pretty decent job of making the battles exciting for the viewer. Oh and the ending is just awesome, it concludes very well and doesn’t leave you with any sort of questions. So you need not worry about investing your time in a 26 episode long series, only to have it disappoint in the end, because it doesn’t! Its a good story as a whole, but does lack somewhat being that the only real goal in mind is Misaki meeting her mother.
Angelic Layer shouldn’t contain anything that viewers would find offensive, there are little romance scenes going on, but they are never shown or implied as dirty…since these kids are pretty young.
If you’re familiar with a company known as “Studio Bones” then you’ll notice right away that Angelic Layer is very appealing to look at, even considering the fact that this anime isn’t the newest out there. With very colorful setting and character models. However, the characters themselves (with the exception of Misaki) look pretty standard and generic, I was never really able to find one that stuck out for me. The fighting scenes are cool though, they move swiftly and have nice balance of unique fighting moves and martial arts. Along with some containing actual power style techniques. Almost makes me wish they would bring over a fighting game of this series, heck I would buy it!
The closing themes change twice during the whole series, which helps give good variety to the show. They are pretty darn catchy, as is the opening theme song “Be My Angel.” Character voices were also spot on! I listened to it in both English and Japanese. I felt they were just about equal, but I would give a slight tip of the hat to the Japanese version, as it seemed to match a wee bit better! Regarding the background music, you only really get one memorable soundtrack, it plays this sort or arena style action theme, it fits well with the fighting and builds up the anticipation of each match.
They are varied in their personalities, and you get a pretty good variety of them because of this series’ larger style cast line up. Though I feel that I should mention that the major bulk of the cast are indeed females. Even so they seemed to lack a real sort of depth to them, there aren’t really many episodes where we get a true understanding about the supporting cast or rivalries, usually it will include only a brief flash back or passing mention. But I must say they do interact well with one another, and you get a fair amount of character chemistry too. I would also point out that this title is quite good with its whole “friendship” feature.
Bottom Line: 7/10
If I were a big fan of these “one on one” battle style anime, then I probably would have given it a bit higher of a score. Still, it kept me entertained! If you can make it through some of the filler style episodes, and don’t mind the story dragging on some what, then you will like Angelic Layer!
Genre: Action, Comedy, Shojo-ish
Plot Summary: Suzuhara Misaki moves to Tokyo city in order to attend school and for a hope that she will see her mother, who left 7 years previous to work in Tokyo. After exiting the station, she sees on a big screen two people fighting. However, these are not people – rather they are Angels, which are dolls controlled by a Deus. These dolls are custom made, and they fight in Angelic Layer, which is the name of the sport. She is told all this by the scientist Icchan, who walked up to her and started telling her this stuff. Ignoring the possibibility that he might be a lolicon [AKA, pedophile][He isn’t], she followed him into the Anglelic Layer store, where he went and showed her what to buy to create her own angel. After creating her own Angel, who she called Hikaru [which means Light], and making friends, Kotaro and Tamayo, she enters tournaments and goes on to become the Kiseki no Rookie [Miracle Rookie].
Analysis [Contains Spoilers]
Its a decent enough anime. Its done by CLAMP, which makes some good anime/manga, but I do have some problems with it. Early on in the series, Kotaro developes a crush on Misaki, which is teased upon by Tamayo. However, later on in the series, Tamayo admits that she’s had a crush on Kotaro for a long time. If thats the case, why did she even push him onto Misaki to start with? The other thing I can’t get around is the fact that she is the Kiseki no Rookie. She starts playing, and then she never looses. She only lost once, and that was too Kotaro’s little genius sister, Hatoko. She beat every opponent after that, continuously gaining in strength, without really appearing to. Additionally, the Champion, Shuko, who is her mom, lost to her. When she hadn’t lost to 77 or so other players. Finally, there is the matter with her mom. Her mom, quite frankly, is a wuss. A gigantic one. She’s afraid to see Misaki, because she’s afraid of what Misaki will think of her. She doesn’t want Misaki to see her in a wheelchair. However, by postponing it, isn’t she just making it worse?
End of Spoilers
Analysis [No Spoilers]: Some of the fights are cool. I think that the plot is a bit iffy, but its a 26 episode show expanded from a 25 or so chapter manga. There really isn’t much you can do with it. I think that the comedic moments are great, but sometimes it just pushes it. Some of the fights are good, some are bad. It seems like in order to make a new plot point in the fight, they introduce something, that they can miraculously explain away in all of the previous fights. While sometimes, it works, but other times … I just can’t buy it. Theres only so much you can ignore.
Additionally, when you ‘launch’ angels onto the layer, you say an opening shpeal. Which is kinda lame. And I really dont see how Hikaru can fall like the way that she does in that.
There isn’t really much to the anime except for the tournament. The first 4 or so episodes deal with her starting, and then there is the tournament. The rest of the plot then deals with the tournament. The unimportant matches get an entire episode, and some of the ‘big’ matches, you never see the character again. If you do, its very very minor.
This is a cute anime, and ok for a laugh. Some of the fights are good, while others are meh. Watch it if you want.
review taken from animeruwelz, check my profile for details
Even though I enjoy watching Kodomo tournament anime, I don’t find them to be all that great in actually. Yes, there were a few kid tournaments that were actually good such as Gundam Build Fighters, Cardfight Vanguard Season 1 and Future Card Buddyfight Season 1 many of the kids tournament anime seemed to be meh at best by comparison especially when theses that three shows that I enjoy actually have more things going on outside its tournament nature in terms of story and charterers.
As a fan of the sub genre self I decided to check out other kid tournament anime and the first anime that appeared other than the pretty good Danball Senki series which am currently watching from time of the review is Angelic Layer a 26 episode tournament series done by Studio Bones as featuring the art-style from Clamp. I went into this show with pretty high exceptions as I expected this show to be a engaging tournament show that had a good sci-fi tournament setting and fun and likeable characters.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any of that as show quickly devolves into a generic tournament anime that was filled with cliche characters and cheesy predictable writing that was too much for my tastes. Angelic Layer isn’t a bad series, but I don’t think it’s all that great. It’s a decent anime that is very enjoyable for children as well newer anime fans. However, if you like me who had lots of Kodomo tournament anime in the past, you will begin to see that Angelic Layer has a lot of small cracks which become larger as you progress the series to a point where the series starts falling apart in the end.
Also get use of hearing the word predictable throughout this review.
The story follows sixth grader Misaki Suzuhara who has just moved to Tokyo to live with her aunt. When she arrived in Tokyo, she sees two battle between two dolls on a big live-screen called Angelic Layer which is a highly popular game in which players (called Deus) buy and custom-design dolls known as Angels that are moved by mental control when on a field called the “layer.”She soon meets a guy with a lab coat named himself Icchan where he encourages Misaki to purchase and create her own angel. She ended up getting an angel that resembles the protagonist from Magic Knight Rayneth, and she calls it Hikaru. Despite being a clueless of the game in first glance she competes in tournaments and is assisted and watched carefully by Icchan and from there Misaki life as a competitive Angelic Layer player where she has to defeat other players to become the best like no one ever was.
The story on paper was interesting and entertaining however it actual execution the story is boring and predictable. Am not joking when I say this but Angelic Layer is one of the most predictable stories I have ever seen and it’s not for a good reason which falls into the shows cheesy writing which I will talk about in a bit. My problems in Angelic Layer begin with the overall pacing as the series is overall pretty inconsistent as it can go either way too fast or way too slow. It was okay in the first few episodes but it really got out of hand as the series went on as many of the fights seemed to either drag out just to fill the 20 minute mark or fights that are too short where they lasted 2 to 5 minutes. I will admit there were a couple of fights that solidly paced overall but the most part the pacing could have been a lot better.
The pacing seemed to plays along with the shows cheesy writing.
The writing in Angelic Layer is such that many of the dialogue and conflicts are cheesy for the sake of being cheesy. There’s not much self-awareness as the series seemed to ride on the cheese train. It’s gets even worst when the writing goes into full angst mode One of the example of this happens with one match of the tournament where Misaki is fighting a girl who complains about being too tall. Uhhhh what?
On top of the inconsistent pacing and cheesy writing comes in the series of plot holes that ruined the story even more. I won’t mention them here but can easily notice them as you watch the series itself.
The worst thing about Angelic Layer is that is ultimately predictable, but it’s not of a good reason. Personally, I don’t mind predictable shows as long as they good characters that make it up unfortunately with the expectation of two characters which I mention in a bit the characters in Angelic Layer weren’t not all that good. The battles in the Angelic Layer have predetermined meaning thanks to the power of-plot armour that Misaki has she cannot lose an Angel fight. She may lost once an Angel fight in the beginning but after that, she becomes an unstoppable god.
As for the love triangle itself like with the tournament, it’s very predictable and not well executed even though it had potential to be good.
Overall the story of Angelic Layer was underwhelming. It had potential to be fun and interesting, but the predictable and cheesy writing ended up destroying all the shows potential of being a solid kid tournament anime.
The characters, for the most part, aren’t much better as they okay at best and at worst wasted potential. They are not necessarily bad characters it’s just the writing at the various points ruined many of the characters in Angelic Layer.
First up we have Misaki. Out of all the characters in Angelic Layer, she’s easily the worst of the bunch. She’s is a self-insert Mary sue who is simply perfect at everything. She doesn’t much of a personality other that she is kind and clumsy and most of her dialogue was plain boring to listen. She slightly gets better in the final episodes but by then it’s being its way too as she comes off as a bland and unlikable Mary Sue.
Icchi Chan is a pretty cool character While he doesn’t have much depth, his still, a pretty entertaining character who has a lot a charm though at times he does go completely off-rails for my liking at times.
Next, we have Hatoko.
Man what a wasted potential Hatoko was. She was a badass character in the first half but as the series progress, she loses her badassery to a point where she became nothing but cheer-leading fodder for Misaki. It’s such a shame really.
Now we get to my favourite character in Angelic Layer Tamayo.
I really liked Tamayo I really enjoyed of what she did for her character. Despite being a cheerleader for Misaki she was filled with passion and joy. I really enjoyed her tomboyish characters towards the cast especially towards Kotoro and Misaki. Honesty she should have been a main protagonist rather than Misaki because she’s not only interesting character that is filled with charisma but she was only character in Angelic Layer that wasn’t a bore to watch. Thank god!!!
Now we have Kotaro and not gonna lie he’s is boring.
He’s just an incredibly bland character who simply allows Tamayo to do all her karate moves on him like a punching bag. He doesn’t even attempt to counter Tamayo moves and his dialogue was boring as hell.
Finally, we have Ohijro or like who are you again? Apart from being a love interest for our Mary Sue lead as well being a step brother for Icchan he’s was a forgetful character who didn’t do much to the overall plot.
The rest of the characters are very forgetful as they all come and go for plot reasons and they barely leave an impact on the overall plot.
The visuals in Angelic Layer are a mixed bag. On the one hand the series well polished that contains great lighting and cinema-photography while at other times the series can look pretty messy and inconsistent to a point where some of the scenes in Angelic Layer look pretty ugly. The characters designs despite being done by CLAMP were average and not all that appealing to act for the most part. The background scenery is okay as it uses a series of basic sci-fi and urban colour palette for the environments.
The animation itself was fine. While the Angel fights were nicely animated the human characters have somewhat limited animation. While it’s wasn’t bad it just didn’t do much especially when the series likes to use stock footage and animation shortcuts.
If there was one word to describe the soundtrack of Angelic Layer, it would be forgettable. Apart from three to two tracks, I can’t remember the tracks in Angelic Layer.
The opening theme “Be My Angel” by Enomoto Atsuko is a decent opening theme that is upbeat and catchy.
The ending themes, on the other hand, were pretty forgetful and dull.
Now for sub vs dub.
I only saw the first four episodes of Angelic Layer subbed and I thought it was pretty good. Not great but not too dull.
The dub on other hand is pretty weak. Apart from Monical Raial as Tamoyo, the dub, in general, is pretty bad that it’s filled with lacklustre to downright awful performances left and right. Stick with the sub for this one.
I have mixed feelings towards Angelic Layer. On one hand, the premise and setup were very intriguing despite being weakly executed. I liked characters like Icchan and Tamayo as they were a joy to watch and I thought the some of the battles despite being very predictable were fun to watch. Unfortunately, Angelic Layer had a lot of problems that actually hurt it. The soundtrack minus the opening and ending themes were very forgetful and repetitive. Most of the characters apart from the ones that I just mentioned ranged from dull, mediocre, wasted potential to downright awful and the tournament ultimately ended up being tedious thanks to its massive plot armour and predictability.
Your honestly better off watching Gundam Build Fighters as it’s much better version of Angelic Layer that has a better character cast and a more intriguing tournament arc.
Overall I enjoyed Angelic Layer, but I don’t think it’s a good show. It’s a semi-decent series that’s it’s great for people who are under the age of 12 but completely falls for anyone who is over the age of 12.
Final Score 6/10
7: Shin Chou Kyou Ryo: Condor Hero
English: The Legend of Condor Hero
Japanese: 神鵰侠侶 コンドルヒーロー
MAL Score: 7.34
Youka is a young 13-year-old boy. One day, his Uncle, Kakusei, has him follow in his steps of martial arts and has him study the art of Zenshinkyou. After being mistreated, Youka runs away Zenshinkyou. He stumbles on a Forbidden Tomb where he finds a beautiful young woman, by the name of Shouryuujo. After a short time, Youka is eventually accepted by Shouryuujo to study the techniques of the Koboha under her, and thus begins their adventure through martial arts and love.
*Please note that only season 1 was voiced in Japanese but all 3 seasons have been Chinese dubbed.*
Before proceeding with the actual review of this anime, I would like to clarify the name of the story. Based on the original novel written in the late 1950s, this story should be called The Return of the Condor Heroes. But somewhere along the way, the Japanese decided to change the name to Legend of Condor Hero, which to add on to the confusion is the same name as the prequel story to the story that this anime is based upon. So to sum this up, Legend of Condor Hero (anime) does NOT equal to the actual Legend of Condor Hero, but in fact, the anime is the sequel to the Legend of Condor Hero. For those who can read Kanji, check this out and everything should be clear.
The Legend of Condor Hero is, to many Chinese, the Romeo and Juliet of the West. Not because the story have much in common, but rather it is the reputation that it earned over the last 50 years as a romance story. You can literally go walk to a Chinese and ask them the story of Legend of Condor Hero and 90% of the time they will be able to tell you something about it.
The story revolves around Yang Guo and his lover Xiao Long Nu in their adventure against the dominating Mongolian Empire (~1250 AD) under Genghis Khan’s grandson. However, what really captivates viewer to this story is the taboo/forbidden love between the two as one is the master and the other is the apprentice.
While the anime adaptation follows the actual story quite closely, there were some missing characters here and there (for example, Sha Gu played a key role in providing the background story of Yang Guo’s deceased father, but she was completely taken out in the anime). However, I was glad that the production crew did a good job with the crucial Battle of Xiangyang as that was the "heart" of the story in the actual novel.
Since I have personally read the entire trilogy -the official Chinese novels- of the Condor series (The Legend of the Condor Heroes, The Return of the Condor Heroes, and The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber), I was expecting a lot from this anime. It failed me in many ways, from the poor animation quality, to the overly repetitive scenes and soundtracks. All in all, it was fairly decent in terms of story retelling, but for an anime in this day and age it certainly can be a whole lot better.
The OP and ED are addictive.
Hotness: very intense forbidden and pure love.
Bishounen: The main lead is a cutie. He could have been more intelligent and more sensitive though.
After dedicating myself to all 3 seasons , the anime has played a role in showing the realization that best story are not only to be told from Japan, for it can also be found from other countries as well. It is not a simple task to win over this in terms of story plot.
My review of this anime series (all seasons):
Story S1 + S2 10/10
Completely mindblown Jin Yong is a masterpiece. Story flows consistently well from the start until the end. All main and supporting characters plays an essential role, some sticking to the series until the very end, including the big bird in the opening song. Character grows over each seasons. The naive and childish Yang Gua in S1, evolving into a legendary, matured man in S3. Yang Gua and Xiao Lung Nu love to each other: lovely and pure.
Story S3 8/10
Disappointed with the last few episodes.
Animation and soundtracks S1 6/10
Decent designs, just not up to today’s standard. Love both the OP and ED. Japanese dub is average.
Animation and soundtracks S2 + S3 5/10
1)Animation doesn’t look like much effort is inserted. Crushing sea water onto ship looks like mountain emerging from the bottom. 2)Repetitive long flashbacks, flashback of Yang Gua rescuing Huang Rong shown twice. 3)Certain scenes repeated broken soundtracks. OP and ED songs changed yet uses S1 OP animation, doesn’t fit.
Cantonese dub is otherwise, good. Perfectly fits the character. Made me laugh.
Because of the story.
Overall 10/10 (ignoring animation and sound)
Love it. Lots of meaningful messages to the audiences: grow over mistakes, independent life, knowing when to stop, never stop learning, be helpful, be a good example, forgive and forget, etc.
I give my credits to the author Jin Yong for introducing such an amazing story. Also a big thanks to the production staff for making an anime version of the Condor Hero series. Have no regret watching it. One of the world’s greatest ancient chinese story ever told!
MAL Score: 7.37
A strange environmental phenomenon 22 years ago in the Kanazawa prefecture caused the land to split and protrude upwards reaching unprecedented heights, creating the secluded area known as The Lost Ground. Kazuma is a young mercenary who lives in the Lost Ground, looking for any work he can find to sustain his livelihood within the harsh environment. He is one of the few people that are gifted with the Alter ability, which allows him to plaster his right arm and torso with a metallic alloy. When this mercenary encounters HOLY, an order whose purpose is to suppress and capture what they call Native Alter Users, and one of the elite members of HOLY, Ryuho, an epic rivalry begins.
The main theme of the series is their rivalry in particular. No matter what else goes on in this show, it all ultimately boils down to our badass hero and our girly nerd hero wanting to beat the shit out of each other.
But seriously now, Scryed is basically what you’d get if you took Naruto, Bleach, DBZ and Code Geass, cut out the filler, terrible writing, homoerotic overtones and everything else that brings those shows down and put the gold left over into 26 episodes. Speaking of Code Geass, that series is literally just Scryed after Goro Taniguchi got paid tons of money to add Clamp art, school crap, robots and double the series length for no reason.
The pacing’s good. The first half of the series has Kazuma coming to a classic shounen showdown with some of the wildest and most awesome/gimmicky/hateable enemies I’ve ever seen. In the background of all this, the plot develops as the big bad city and its police force comes into greater conflict with the slum people. Of course this all involves dudes with weird superpowers fighting too.
Later on in the show, after Kazuma breaks the universe in half with a flick of his wrist, the series jumps into overdrive and all sorts of awesome shit happens. Scryed shows that it can juggle multiple subplots at once with equal weight(something Code Geass wishes it could do btw), which does nothing but add to how awesome the last batch of eps are. The final episode of Scryed should be duly noted as the best final episode of anything ever. Not even exaggerating here.
Characters? Awesome. Many people confuse Kazuma with a cliche shounen hero, when in fact he’s everything a good shounen hero has never been. Does he fight for his friends? Nah. Does he fight to become a great figure? No way. Does he fight just because he likes fighting? Well, yeah. Obv. But the key difference is that Kazuma does not give a DAMN. Do you have hostages and are threatening Kazuma? He’ll just knock you the hell out with no regards for anyone else. He’s impulsive, selfish, destructive, reckless, totally narrow-minded, PROUD and all the other things heroes are too balless or moral to be. These factors play heavily into his character development, as he becomes gradually more mentally unstable and self-destructive.
Then there’s Ryuho. He’s the polar opposite of Kazuma in every conceivable way in terms of personality, appearance, powers, back story, etc. Such is the point. He’s almost as major as Kazuma, though I don’t feel like typing a lot about him. Just note that he “HATES EVERYTHING EVIL!”
There’s also Straight Cougar as Crispin Freeman. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. Hard to tell. Anyway he’s the best character in the show besides Kazuma and a fan favorite. The whole premise of his person is to live fast and be awesome. He’s actually stronger than both the main characters, but he doesn’t even care enough to show it. That’s how slick this guy is.
Kanami: Loli Narrator
Kimishima: Kazuma’s best bro, third best character right here
Scheris: Boobs(in the manga) with Kari’s voice from Digimon
Mimori: The cancer of the series, we don’t talk about her
Jigmar: Mullet-clad commander of HOLY. sounds like Jelly Jiggler
Urizane: Has mighty watermelon powers
Emergy: This guy actually summons a damn Gundam to fight Kazuma
A humpback whale: The main enemy of the series
Kyoji Mujo: The most wonderfully slick and antagonistic villain ever. He’s actually just a gay elf but whatever.
Other Stuff: Hm… Music. Yes. As with like every Taniguchi show, this series has a plethora of dramatic Mexican trumpets, acoustic guitars, male choruses, etc which liven up action scenes, make dramatic scenes wonderfully Tele-Novela-esque in their cheesiness, etc. A+ OST.
Now let’s shut up for a sec to talk about voices. You don’t watch Scryed subbed. Let me repeat:
###You DO NOT watch Scryed subbed.###
Not only does every sub group for this series suck horrendously in ways you can’t begin to grasp(I hope you’re reading this, incompetent “FIST OF MY EGO!” translators), but the original voices produce a very different series. A boring, desolate series only fools dare to tread where a really aggressive constipated boy does shoddy combat with some losers. A stark contrast to Dub Scryed(the correct title for the series) which follows the antiheroic exploits of a proud man with a prouder fist asserting himself upon dastardly cheesy wrongdoers who are running all up in his house. The scriptwriting in the dub is Pulitzer worthy, as shown by that youtube link above and these gems:
“If it exists, I’ll find it! Even if it doesn’t!”
“Kazuma~! How are you going to get out of this PINCH?”
“You should know the answer… with my fist!!”
Oh yeah, there’s art and animation too. Portions of the first few episodes of the series look very 90’s, but as the series goes on it gets better and better. They actually spent a good portion of the budget on just the final episode, which is considerably smoother than previous ones and even features fully new transformation sequences and no stock footage at all. Not that there’s much of that in the series in the first place.
SUMMARY: It’s the son of G Gundam and First of the North star and the father of Needless and Gurren Lagann. Dub only, sub sucks. This is the only shounen fightan’ anime you’ll ever want or need to watch.
The Lost Ground was created 22 years ago in the Kanazawa Prefecture when an unexplained geological / metaphysical phenomenon occurred which caused the ground to rise up into peaks accompanied by the release of a lot of energy. There were 2 effects of this. Firstly the Lost Ground split off from the Mainland. Secondly about 1% of the inhabitants of the Lost Ground gained special abilities to manipulate matter in various ways, they are called Alter Capabilists, with accompanying “Alter” abilities. If an Alter Capabilist’s ability manifests in the form of a separate entity that separate entity is called an “Alter”.
Politics makes this anime very interesting. There is the Mainland who treats the Lost Grounds as a sort of beggar nation. The city part of the Lost Ground has trade concessions and AID from the Mainland, and is separated from the rest of the Lost Ground by a high wall. Those outside “The Wall” are called Natives, and alter users there are Native Alters.
In order to combat the Lost Ground Native Alters, Lost Ground Admin sets up an institution called HOLD and a special division within that called HOLY which is basically Native Alters who have come to the Admin side in order to suppress other Native Alters from the other side of the wall. It’s sort of like using mutants to fight other mutants. Also note that even within the Admin section of Lost Grounds, Alters are NOT accepted as equal citizens, but they are tolerated if they are members of HOLY.
What a WONDERFUL premise. Special people with powers. Politics. Socio-economic ramifications where the rich live in the city and the rest eke out a beggarly but INDEPENDENT existence outside the wall. Organized government vs. anarchy. Dictatorship vs. Freedom. By the time it hit episode 10, I was thinking “this is GREAT”.
If all these wonderful possibilities had been taken to their conclusion I would have given story a 10, but it goes only part of the way there. I will say that the very last FRAME of the series brought the plot from a 8 to a solid 9. You’ll understand when you see it.
The main protagonist is Kazuma, the stereotypical rebel bad boy with a heart of gold. His alter is the ability to “harden” his right arm with metallic alloy which gives him the ability to smash through anything. At the beginning of the series he is a native alter living with his sweetheart, Kanami, who has masses of long red hair while keeping his identity as an alter “mercenary for hire” secret.
Before long he encounters Ryuhou, rich spoiled scion of an important industrial conglomerate who has emotional baggage from watching his mother die to a mysterous alter capabilist when he was a child. He is the co-protagonist and is the strong, silent, lawful type. He is the most gifted member of HOLY and is charged with suppressing Native Alters, because as everyone quickly figures out, only alters can fight other alters, normal humans don’t stand a chance. Ryohou is ridiculously good looking. In typical aloof hero fashion, he is oblivious to the TWO girls who are in love with him.
Kazuma and Ryuhou start out as enemies but they don’t stay that way as things progress. It all happens very naturally too. Sometimes I was not happy with the “one dimensional” nature of Kazuma as the competitive, I want to be the best/winner guy. It’s too Dragonball Z. Ryuhou matured as the series progressed but even then there are some manly man man things that manly men can’t change.
The cast of supporting characters is very well fleshed out, every single one of them. Straight Cougar is the comic relief but he has a “deep” side and ended up being my favorite characters. Shiree had the most amazing alter. The mainland princess is idealistic and unrealistic. Melon man has his own principles and the rest of the smaller guys you either liked or hated but they weren’t easily forgotten. All in all the characters were very well done except for Kazuma’s character development which could have been done better.
By 2008 standards, this is fairly dated with TONS of frame reuse. Like every episode there’s frame reuse. However to give credit to the artists the transformation scenes are very well drawn with excellent artistic licence, flow, color and creativity. You don’t get bored of seeing the “alters” of various people. If not for this I would have rated Art a lot lower.
The first strains of the opening sounds reminded me of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs”!! Serious!!! The alter sound effects were well done and voice acting was good. Not much else to say, nothing else jumped out at me as horrible or wonderful enough to give this more than a 7 rating.
I didn’t expect to enjoy this series as much as I did. Some parts of it were very predictable, characters fit into anime stereotypes but still with all the variety and interaction and plot driven devices this ended up being a very enjoyable watch. There’s lots of fighting, cool alters, philosophical parts, drama, angst, love, what’s not to like? Slightly better Art, a little more character development with Kazuma and pushing some other plot points to their conclusion would have made this a 10.
The story in a nutshell is set a few years after “The Great Uprising” and this in return sets up the character plots. Alters vs. HOLY. Alters are people who gained certain abilities from the incident a few years back, and they live outside the inner city just trying to survive, but HOLY wishes to either eliminate them all, or bring them to their side.
This show is very enjoyable. A lot of choice words thrown out here and there, nothing anyone hasn’t heard before. If your a fan of DBZ, you’ll most likely enjoy this one too. The story is great, the Animation is fantastic with awesome sound to go with it. As I said, the characters make the show even better, and it’s just all around enjoyable.
Emotion also runs high in this one. A lot of anger from Kazuma, Scheris and Mimori make love a real issue for Ryuhou, and Ryuhou is just one of those lost boys trying to figure out what’s really going on in the world and what really happened in his past. Kanami makes this story enjoyable too. And those are just a few of the most important characters. Cougar is a pretty funny guy too ;] The two main guys are Kazuma and Ryuhou, which in every other episode they’re pretty much punching each other’s faces into the ground, or arguing about something or other.
Overall, s-CRY-ed is one anime your not going to want to miss out on. The art is beautiful, the plot gets thicker and thicker as you get into further episodes, and you really have to pay attention in the beginning to understand everything to the fullest. This one isn’t an anime you have to read the manga for either, so there’s a plus. The manga goes into more details about the story, but oh well.
s-CRY-ed gets a 10/10 overall from me. Make sure to watch it sometime.
Japanese: X エックス
MAL Score: 7.42
His destiny has finally arrived as the young Shirou Kamui returns to Tokyo after 6 years. A powerful psychic, Kamui vows to protect the happiness of his childhood friends Fuuma and Kotori, even if it means avoiding them. But fate is cruel, whether or not Kamui wants to be involved; he holds the future of the world in his hands, given the choice of becoming a Dragon of Heaven or a Dragon of Earth. The Seven Seals gather, and so do the Seven Angels; all individuals who have their destiny carved out as one who would battle for the fate of the world. What future will Kamui choose to become reality?
STORY – Honestly, X has a pretty decent story, even if most of its themes are far from original. It is, essentially, another battle between humanity and the planet they live on, of man against nature. This conflict has been addressed over and over again throughout history in century-old novels and vintage films, in addition to a wide splattering of anime and manga. Mostly-unexplained supernatural powers and angel/demon parallels, both rather characteristic of CLAMP, aren’t very new either, and really, even combining the two doesn’t add a particularly intriguing angle. Nevertheless, X’s story is solid. It has everything a story needs: a clear theme, a clear point, a clear hurdle, and a clear goal. And actually, the final, deepest concept may even be controversial enough to be original. So what then, went so horribly wrong?
My main issue was pacing and bad storytelling in general. Despite having tons more time to deal with themes, issues, and characters compared to the disastrous X OAV, the anime still doesn’t seem able to utilize this time effectively. The first few episodes are heavy and fast-paced, tossing the audience into the crazy complex details of the conflict with little preamble. Then it cools noticeably and a lot of the macabre and shock is diminished. You kind of wonder what all the hubbub was about. The entire middle of the series seems to slow to a snail’s pace. There are frustratingly long scenes depicting nothing more than a man walking down a path. We really don’t need to watch Subaru walking in silence for five straight minutes and passing the same shrine multiple times. At least the Lucky Star girls were talking about something for five minutes.
Those slow episodes were attempts to delve into the individual backstories of our fourteen plus relevant characters (seven Dragons of Heaven, seven Dragons of Earth, plus supporting roles), but they fail to give much attention to these characters’ connections to the overall plot and theme, making them pretty useless in the grand scheme of things, especially since many of these personal struggles are never resolved. The story used to be clear and have a point, but after trudging through a half dozen of these character-centric episodes, you stop caring. Oh, right, we were concerned about the fate of the earth right? Morals and stuff, what about that again? The last few episodes are forced to pick up speed again, but it happens in that disorganized and rushed way where nothing really makes sense; they explain very little, and the ending leaves you more confused than anything else. And being a non-canonical ending doesn’t help either. Personally, I prefer the X OAV’s ending, even if the rest of it sucked. Clearly, the anime isn’t much better.
CHARACTER – I never did like Kamui much, even in the manga. Like many other things in the series, his backstory seemed uninspired and recycled to me. Typical cute childhood. Typical teenage sobstory. He is oversensitive, and all attempts to shape and transform his character never seem to go very far. The ruthless demeanor he tries to put on for the first few episodes doesn’t last long, and he ends up seeming pretentious rather than complex. I just found him incredibly hard to sympathize with, which is never a good thing. Fuma further seemed like a cheap shot at tragedy, and after a while, he was nothing more than yaoibait. Kotori? How many other "girl from my childhood who I’m in love with"-type characters have you seen? Typical shoujo.
The rest of the cast is a little more forgiving, if still despairingly typical. Of the Dragons of Heaven, Arashi fills in the role as priestess girl. Sorata is the endearing comedic. Karen is your religious character; Seichirou, your nice guy. Nekoi filled the cute school girl role, and Subaru was crossover material because CLAMP loves crossovers. Of the Dragons of Earth, Seishirou is also crossover filler, Yuto was amusing, and Satsuki reminded me of Lain. Nataku did not interest me at all — a clone just seemed unnecessary, but it was yet another archetype. Kusanagi, another nice guy, and Kakyo… eh. I’m indifferent. Hinoto and Kanoe are more of the same. All of these characters, more than anything else, seem to represent dozens of anime and manga archetypes, which limited my general interest in them. Their personal stories were intriguing at times, but were never explored to the depths that they were in the manga, and it was difficult to become attached. They were okay: not good, not bad.
As morals play a huge role in the series, each characters’ personal views and beliefs are the most interesting part of them. Those whose views come to shift and change, those who grow to question things, and those who have complicated relationships with others are the ones that are fun to watch. Nekoi’s relationship with Kusanagi. Subaru’s relationship with Seishirou. Kamui’s with Fuma. Seichirou’s with Karen. All the crossing of relationships over enemy lines was fun — like one giant, strange concoction of Romeo and Juliet-esque drama! Including all the sudden love! Sadly, while a few of the characters do manage to develop a little (read: Kamui), most don’t. They just don’t have enough time between when they’re introduced, when their backstory is explained, and the end of the series. Abbreviated depth when translating characters from manga to anime is nothing new though, sadly.
ART & ANIMATION – It seems to me that there are a lot of series weak in story and character, but strong in the technical aspects. X is beautiful. One day, I’ll figure out why CLAMP’s style of noodley bishounen and wide-shouldered biseinen is just so damn appealing. All the characters have wonderful and memorable designs, many of which highlight their clear personalities. Kanoe and Karen are both confident women. Kakyo and Hinoto are fragile and delicate. There’s a very clear connection between a character’s visuals and his or her substance. Backgrounds are impressively detailed, and I’m always enthralled by animated cityscapes. Rooftops and bridges all looked great, as did all the explosions and magic, all of the blood and macabre. For an anime series, X is definitely full of eyecandy.
MUSIC – I. Love. X’s soundtrack. It’s what I like most about the entire series, hands down. All of the music in the series is beautiful and distinct, especially the leitmotif. There are beautiful piano themes and much wilder, energetic battle themes, including a few very chaotic mixes charged on adrenaline. A lot of the sounds are reminiscent of more traditional Japanese music as well, giving a unique sound. There are also a few tracks that remind me of Native American and perhaps even African tones, adding even more to the blend. Seriously, X’s music is worth listening to even if you don’t see the series. The opening and end themes are both relevant to X’s themes and echo the kinds of sounds that present in the soundtrack. Good, good music all around.
VOICE ACTING – The change of cast between the anime and the OAV was disappointing in general, but the worst of it was trading Tomokazu Seki for Kenichi Suzumura as Kamui’s voice. It wasn’t so much that Suzumura did a bad job though, so if you haven’t seen the OAV (don’t), then it probably doesn’t matter very much because there’s no benchmark. As most of the characters fitted nicely to archetypes, most of the cast just seemed to give a generic voice. Tough guy sounded tough; cute girl sounded cute. Nothing special. Nothing to critique. Nothing to praise. I haven’t seen the dub for X, but I don’t imagine that it’d be much different.
OVERALL – In general, I dislike the idea of trying to make an anime out of a manga that hasn’t finished, but it is possible to do so without failing utterly. Fullmetal Alchemist is probably the best example, at least up until the last few episodes. So the fact is that X could have been handled much better. Trying to explore more than fourteen characters in twenty-four episodes while still orchestrating a main plot is hard. Instead of that, I think it would have been better to compress some of the smaller storylines or to get rid of them altogether, especially the ones that never got close to any sort of resolution. The main story was about morals, priorities, and the fate of humanity and earth. They never seem to explain that very well though, and things got confusing as a result. I, personally, didn’t like the ending, but I think that’s more because it was poorly executed than because it was actually a bad conclusion.
Still, it has become one of my favorites, because it has exactly those things that appeal to me in an anime show: a good storyline with enough twists and changes, excellent animation, a great soundtracks and amusing and diverse characters.
Of course the series has CLAMP all over it, which shows mainly in the characyer design and story, both of which are on par of the average CLAMP series, meaning they’re good. The animation in action sequences is fast-paced and intense, and the soundtrack accompanies each scene well, drawing you in even further.
As I stated in the beginning of this review, the plot is decent and there are enough twists and turns in the plotline, with the most important one taking place halfway through the series; I usually see these things coming, and while all the clues were there, spread out very obviously, I was still surprised.
What follows after that is a dive into the various main characters backgrounds and pasts (heroes and villains alike), and while that could’ve been drawn out a little more, it adds a bit extra..though not much.
The ending is… a bit less intense that I personally would’ve hoped for, but it still fits the series; still, it’s a non-canon ending, and I wonder how the actual series will end now…
A nice series to watch; if you like action with a touch of fantasy in a modern setting, then X is a nice show for you to watch.
The Story focus on the first episodes on Kamui who wants to get a sword that belongs to him, passed down from his mother, but gets drawn into a fight of the destiny of the earth. With him as the key to it apperently.
When put like this it doesn’t sound like much but add to that some very interesting twist and turns that can glue you to the screen and you get something that you want to see the end of no matter what.
The art is done very well, with nice backgrounds that don’t draw to much attention away form what is actually happening and very nice details which together make this anime very nice to look at
the music in my opinion is chossen very well in the dramatic moments, but the fight music is at best anticlimatic and sounds like your playing some videogame sometimes, but only when you have a fight that hasn’t some kind of drama in it. again drama-moments are very well done in this one.
The characters are split in two categories: in one can we put the to main chara’s… with development, emotions and all that portrait so realitic and believable that it can overshadow the, rather poor, suppourtcharaters that the authors were trying desperatly to give some dept but faild half way through.
All in all the anime is really worth it to at least watch once in your life, even if you aren’t a fan of emotinal animes and such.
4: Salaryman Kintarou
MAL Score: 7.47
The story follows Kintaro, former leader of a widely feared and respected biker gang, who decides that its time to “straighten out” and become a “salaryman” since his wife died and he has to take care of his young son.
If you have watched GTO, and you’ve liked it, you’ll love this one. I’ll analyze some parts:
The story is amazing, you’ll like every single part of it, because you have a lot of stories in it. You only can watch the businessman story, the flashbacks, the romance story, the conspiracy…seriously, amazing. It’s one of the best plot I’ve ever seen in an anime, why? Because it’s realistic, there are no angels, demons, mages or wizards, there is just one thing which keeps the world moving: Money. And this single man, will fight with only his reputation and his hardworking.
This is not a new series, It has some bad feeling on the art. Furthermore, the way the characters are designed, is very interesting, they look like real japanese, I dont usually like the anime where there at least five blond guys who are “japanese”…
Anything remarkable at it, not bad, not excellent. It wont disturb you.
Here is the story relies it power. Like I said, THIS IS A SEINEN, we dont have a laim protagonist and pathetic who is a wimp, but we dont have either the perfect guy… We have one of the best main characters I’ve ever seen, it’s almost at the level of Onizuka. Why? He keeps changing, improving or getting worse, he is wrong or right, he has his own moral but he also knows when to be quiet…He is a guy who despite losing his lover, follows liking women, and he treats them as a real man should not as a wimp. (In this, he wins over Onizuka). He has a patternal side also…Seriously, amazing.
On the other side, we have several badass, a manipulating “Oba sama”, an amazing female lover (OH MY GOD, I felt in love with her when I see her), a boy who acts as a boy, a funny workmate, a lot of funny ex-riders…
For me the story is a 10 only because of its complex net of characters.
The enjoyment is something subjective as everything else, but what I can assure you is : This is not a waste of time, this is worthy.
And for me is:
An amazing Anime.
His personality clashes with several individuals and the few who don’t sympathize with his nature in a corrupt bureaucratic world create many obstacles he needs to face.
The story is about morals and how a single man can raise through hard work in a field hes inexperienced, features some comic moments but is mostly serious, the dramatic scenes are abusively exaggerated ruining the involvement in the story, grown men crying like babies over small issues tries to display how deep their feelings are for each other, witch is impossible in such short time, leaving a phony feeling in those scenes.
The music doesn’t help much, old japanese classic themed music doesn’t create the intended effect feeling misplaced and badly chosen, at least for the ocidental viewer like myself, I suspect it was more appropriate for the japanese viewers.
Despite its shortcomings you still want to see what will happen ahead keeping you interested throughout the show.
Overall its an entertaining show with some nice happy scenes leaving that "feel good" sensation on the viewer, the development is quite fast and so isn’t boring. The ending is slightly abrupt but leaves an idea of what happens next. Definitely not a must see but still interesting enough to avoid being forgotten.
It’s one of those series that stuns you with an incredible balance between drama and ambitions, and it feels deeply rooted and natural, just what you want from a Senien show.
Kintaro is as good as a main character could get. It’s incredible to watch how his aura and ideals affect all other characters around him, and how that affects his life and career in Yamato construction in the most unpredictable ways.
The plot is unfortunately only 20 episodes long, but it’s very well written and all episodes are connected nicely. You’re gonna love all the original characters Kintaro meets along his rocky career.
If you’re a classics guy, and appreciate courage and manly tears, you don’t want to miss on this.
3: Gensoumaden Saiyuuki
Japanese: 幻想魔伝 最遊記
MAL Score: 7.57
Many years ago, humans and demons lived in harmony. But that unity ended when demons started attacking humans and plotted a mission to unleash Gyumao—an evil demon imprisoned for thousands of years. Now, Genjo Sanzo, a rogue priest, must team up with three demons—Sha Gojyo, Son Goku, and Cho Hakkai—and embark on a perilous journey to the west to stop these demons from resurrecting Gyumao and restore the balance between humans and demons on Earth.
Story: 5 (another "Journey to the West" spinoff)
Art: 6 (Pretty above standard fare for its time)
Sound: 7 (English voice acting was impressive don’t miss it)
Character: 8 (first male team that didn’t make me feel gay)
Enjoyment: 9 (Main characters made this show great)
Overall: 35/50 = 7.0 (Didn’t mean to make the score look like that)
Ever since Dragon Ball, there have been a large influx of anime basing themselves on the "Journey to the West" epic piece. It’s storyline is perfect for an anime iteration, but then again, any idea can become an anime. Well what I’m getting at is that this is another iteration based on that epic. And in my opinion, this is the best iteration of that tale that I have seen so far.
It’s not historically accurate at all. If anything, it follows the story extremely loosely. I mean the names are partially the same and their personalities match (i.e. monkey, priest, etc) but thats about it. Their opposition are literally monsters and their goal is to reach the west. They use guns and have a dragon that transforms into a jeep. So you can’t take this seriously. But there is one thing that this show has and the other anime does not: attitude. The four travelers, Gojyo, Sanzo, Hakkai, and Goku, are all badass and their chemistry between each other are hilariously cool.
Now I enjoyed the English dub of this show simply because the banter between the four was actually more believable in a realistic friendship sort of way. When they make fun of each other it sounds like something I would say to my friends. No matter how much they sound like they hate each other guts and despise each other but when it comes down to it, they will follow each other to the ends of the earth. That is something that is often attempted in anime but rarely executed very well.
All the adventures they encounter are your typical random shonen encounters that they have to overcome. I would have cared less if their teamwork wasn’t so awesome and macho even under stressful conditions. No matter what they faced, they still managed to accomplish it in a virile manner.
Overall this show, like many others like it, can not be fully appreciated unless you’re ready to accept the fact that its story is very very vague. Secondly, I highly recommend the English dub since they sound much more badass than the Japanese dub and really made this show from okay to pretty darn good.
My only complaint about this anime would be the animation. There are a lot of “still shots” used during the battle scenes, but you can overlook that. The animation is also not as clean as I would like to be, but I think, maybe, it was intended that way, to go along with the story.
The characters are PERFECT. They don’t get any better than this. Sanzo, the ‘renegade priest’ who swears, smokes, drinks, weilds a banishing gun, and has a tongue sharp as a razor. Goku, the lovable little monkey king, who is always hungry, and whiny, but kicks butt during the battles. Hakkai, the soft-spoken, sympathetic demon, with a heart of gold, and a tragic past. Finally, my personal favorite, Gojyo, the drinking, gambling, swearing, skirt-chasing pervert of a water sprite, who just makes you laugh out loud almost everytime he opens his mouth.
All of the characters have a tragic past (with Hakkai’s probably being the worst), that is revisited from time to time to help you understand why they are the way the are.
The music in this anime is great, especially the OP songs. I would actually buy the OST if I could find it.
Even though the goal of the entire series is to prevent the resurrection of the old demon, and the entire series works towards that goal, this is basically an episodic anime. Enjoy!! ^_^
Story: Based on an old Chinese story, the story of Saiyuki is addicting and entertaining. The simple idea of four total opposites finding a way to travel together on a journey to "save the world" is kind of hilarious. Now, the story itself isn’t quite as interesting as the comedy or the characters, but with an "evil" group trailing the Saiyuki boys, a few crazy demons here and there, and a huge secret from the past on their backs, it does keep you interested to the very end.
Art: The art style for Saiyuki is done in a way that it preserves the original manga style. While at times the drawings appear a little weird (and maybe disproportionate), the overall style is amazing. Each character design is different from the next. I like the art style. It’s unique and in a way, beautiful.
Sound: The music for Saiyuki is catchy. Each background song is nice and fits almost perfectly with the mood. The openings and closings are addicting to listen to. As for the voice acting, nothing better can compare (for both Japanese and English). The Japanese version is as good as any Japanese version made, with the talents of Souchirou Hoshi and Akira Ashida (along with many more). The English dub, however, goes almost above and beyond. With Greg Ayres as Son Goku (and in his first major role), Vic Mignogna as Kougaiji, and David Matranga as Genjo Sanzo, the dub itself rocks! Considering it was translated a few years back, the acting beats that of most of the newly translated dubs of the current years (such as Bleach, Death Note, etc.). To finish, the sound for the series is perfect.
Character: The characters for Saiyuki are amazing. With Son Goku (the monkey king), a fiery boy with a knack for being loud and a love for meat buns. . . With Cho Hakkai, the calm and laid-back man with a tragic past. . . With Genjo Sanzo, a priest with no care for following the rules and a cigarette always in hand. . . With Sha Gojyo, a perverted half-demon with a love for smoking, drinking, and woman. Each of the four main characters are unique in their own way. Even the bad guys are interesting (with the Kougaiji group being just as cool as the Saiyuki boys)!!! All in all, the characters are definitely a part of what makes the series addicting.
Enjoyment: Oh, where to start? From the action-packed adventure to the slap-stick comedy that continues throughout the entire series, the enjoyment is absolutely outstanding. The interactions between characters, the awesome voice talents, and the beautiful art style. . . All add up to a great watch that makes you want to finish all 50 episodes as soon as you can.
Overall: The series is amazing, something to watch over and over without growing bored. I might be giving it a little too much credit, but then again, I personally think Saiyuki is one of the best. Hopefully others (such as those who might possibly read this review) will enjoy it as much as myself.
2: 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…
1: Fruits Basket
English: Fruits Basket
MAL Score: 7.68
After the accident in which she lost her mother, 16-year-old Tooru moves in with her grandfather, but due to his home being renovated, is unable to continue living with him. Claiming she will find someone to stay with but also fearing the criticism of her family and not wanting to burden any of her friends, Tooru resorts to secretly living on her own in a tent in the woods.
One night on her way back from work, she finds her tent buried underneath a landslide. Yuki Souma, the “prince” of her school, and his cousin Shigure Souma, a famous author, stumble across Tooru’s situation and invite her to stay with them until her grandfather’s home renovations are complete.
Upon arriving at the Souma house, Tooru discovers their secret: if a Souma is hugged by someone of the opposite gender, they temporarily transform into one of the animals of the zodiac! However, this strange phenomenon is no laughing matter; rather, it is a terrible curse that holds a dark history. As she continues her journey, meeting more members of the zodiac family, will Tooru’s kindhearted yet resilient nature be enough to prepare her for what lies behind the Souma household’s doors?
At first glance Furuba is just another Shoujo manga with nothing different to it; the average, beautiful, kind girl getting all the pretty boys. Okay so it really is that, however there’s a special touch to the way the series develops itself and how you watch each character grow and interact with each other as the story progresses.
The story starts with Tohru Honda, your as average-as-you-can-get japanese girl who has lost her mother in an accident and was living alone in a tent in the Sohma’s property. Of course she wasn’t aware of that until they told her, to her surpirse they take her in in exchange for her doing all the housework (it was her who suggested not staying in the house ‘for free’). It’s when she’s there that she discovers the family’s biggest secret… The family has been cursed by the vengeful spirits of the Chinese Zodiac animals and when they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex they transform into the animal they were cursed by. When Tohru comes in their life they all learn to open up their heart more and realize that not all the people in the worlds are bad; this girl affects each one of them in a unique way.
It’s a beautiful Anime with heart-touching subjects, there is much you can learn from it and definitely worth buying if the chance should present. There is just about everything in this series:bishonen, angst, drama,comedy, romance, shounen-ai hints and a light-hearted, kind bishojo showing us the way.
The character designs are beautiful and would characterize everyone in the series a bishonen and bishojo. The colors of the hairs and eyes of the Sohma Family match with the animal they were cursed by and it gives each one of them a unique touch.
Tohru’s design is supposed to be as average as possible since she represents a normal japanese girl.
There’s is also a ‘big abuse’ of Super-Deformed characters (Ex. Chibi form) but it just serves to highlight the emotion they are expressing and make the show even more funny.
The music is simply beautiful, although the 26-episode long series only has one opening(For Fruits Basket) and one ending (Chiisana Inori) (both performed by Ritsuko Okazaki) it serves it’s purpose leaving you with a serene calm sensation!
The soundtrack used as background music is delicate and simple
However if you haven’t watched the series and just purchase the soundtrack for the sheer pleasure of it you will be disappointed since it is nothing special by itself, you must see the anime first so you can relate each short song to a scene.
As far as the seiyuu’s gone they all seemed to fir their character perfectly. Tohru’s voice was Yui Horie who also voiced for Love Hina’s Narusegawa Naru. Her sweet, sharp voice goes in tune with Tohru’s personality perfectly.
You won’t find a boring episode in this series. Each one develops and focuses’s on a character’s situation. Although the series was cut short abruptly and much ends were left untied (the manga is still running) seeing by itself will leave you satisfied (if not with a small crave for the continuity of it).
As mentioned before there’s much you can learn from this anime since it deals with how we must see our own beauty and not be jealous of other’s (among other important themes).
I decided to watch Fruits Basket after seeing how high it is rated. I wouldn’t normally watch a shoujo series, since I find most of them exaggerated and unrealistic – that’s why, I expected Furuba to really change my opinion regarding them. Instead, I found Furuba to be exactly what I mostly disliked and avoided in this genre – with a really more unnatural and forced tone. Do not get me wrong; I do not hate Fruits Basket; yet I really couldn’t feel anything else besides disappointment the moment I completed it, and this review explains why.
Furuba’s story is surrounded by a dramatical and emo[tional] darkness upon which Tohru shines like a ray of redemptive hope. Because of that, 50% of the story is actually made up of Tohru’s (and sometimes other characters’ too) internal struggling monologues that pretty much unfold along the lines of “Is is right? Isn’t it right? Is it wrong? Isn’t it wrong?”. The other 50% of the story might actually trick the viewer into believing that something happens – when it’s usually just a repetition of the same overly used gags. There’s no beginning, no development, no ending. It doesn’t get anywhere.
To put it simply, Fruits Basket doesn’t have a plot. Its entire ‘story’ could be summed up through the following sequence of (randomly ordered) events: Tohru acts dumb yet unbelievably nice which, in turn, causes other characters to also act this way, even though it isn’t part of their personality, repeat; Kyo and Yuki fight, repeat; cliché and unfunny member of the Sohma family appears, repeat; Kyo and Yuki fight again, repeat; irrelevant episodic character that barely says a line throughout the whole series has an entire episode dedicated to themselves, repeat; Kyo and Yuki fight yet again, this time in a more dramatic light. Repeat.
Another bad aspect of the story is that it’s ridiculously sweet, to the point that it loses all the bits of realism it could have had. It’s clear that the creators wanted to have a mixed show, that doesn’t only focus on the dramatical solving of tragic events, but also contains its funny moments. This in turn causes Furuba to have serious flaws, both in terms of execution and logic. Many times, the scenes change too quickly from overly-serious to (attempted) pink surrounded, humorous gags that pop up out of nowhere. Other times the events just don’t add up. A clear example of this is Tohru living in a tent at the beginning of the series because she doesn’t want to ‘bother’ anyone [thing which the viewer should find utterly amusing]. Apparently, she has a lot of people that care about her (grandfather, friends) yet they never check upon how she’s doing. Yet somehow, the rest of her relatives actually go through the trouble of hiring a detective to find out where she lives when they could have simply followed her from school or asked her.
And lastly, in terms of storyline, Furuba is really stretched out for the amount of events it has to offer. Perhaps, had Furuba been a 13 episodes series and not a 26 one, with the same amount of story, it would have actually been entertaining. It’s not just the slow pace that pretty much puts you to sleep; there’s also the fact that sceneries, lights, wind are constantly emphasized just so that there’ll be something to fill the gap and make an entire episode of something that could have been summed up in 5-10 mins.
Fruits Basket’s characters are clear examples of shoujo genre gone wrong. Not only are they cliché, predictable and pretty much one-dimensional; they give off the feeling of being unnatural. There’s something forced into them, whether it’s the personality, the way they interact or their role. They seem to just be there for the sake of existing; therefore they don’t have any apparent purpose or impact upon the viewer.
Tohru is a girl who’s gone through a lot in her life, as it is clearly shown since the very beginning of the anime. Considering the amount of bad events she experienced, you’d expect her to be really introverted and (perhaps) pessimistic. Yet Tohru completely overthrows that, by not only being happy-go-lucky all the time, but also exaggeratedly clueless and nice to everybody, no matter the circumstances. There’s a thin line between being inhumanly selfless and being ridiculously dumb, and Tohru seems to be stepping on it quite often. Because of that, most of the other characters seem to half divinize her. There’s also another particular thing about Tohru. She doesn’t seem to have any ambition for herself whatsoever, so she never asks for help – which brings up the question, is she really weak or is she really strong? Perhaps both, but she certainly isn’t realistic or enjoyable.
Yuki is the least enjoyable out of the entire cast. Now, traps are one thing, effeminate characters other – but when some random character in the shows says: “Oh my, there’s an interesting young person out there, but I can’t tell whether it’s a guy or a girl – isn’t it exciting?”, that’s a totally different thing. According to most of the other characters throughout the show and even himself, Yuki is a guy, though his personality, voice and appearance certainly don’t show that. Why he was built that way is uncertain – there are a few attempts of making fun of this, but the humor fails, as usual.
Apart from when he’s annoyingly correct by being the right person in the right place, Yuki is barely noticeable. However, his existence does seem to serve two purposes. First one is a Fruits Basket must: have a tragic, unexplainable and never actually detailed past that makes him dark and gloomy, which in turn asks for one of Tohru’s miraculous healing techniques. Second is to serve as an opponent for Kyo – which is one of the most reused and unfunny gags throughout the show.
Kyo is probably the only character that actually suffers some sort of development. In the beginning, he’s presented as a violent, leek-hating, anti-social idiot. In the end he’s still violent and idiotic (though to a smaller scale), but at least he isn’t lonely anymore and he’s eaten leeks. Despite the fact that Kyo is also a cliché character, he’s at least enjoyable, because he’s a bit more realistic. Kyo has a lot of personality flaws, but there’s one thing that compensates them: he at least sees Tohru as being weird and unhealthy for herself (which all the other characters seem to be blind to). Unfortunately, Kyo is never actually allowed to speak for himself since he’s an outcast. It’s clearly stated throughout the anime that the other Sohma members can’t stand him; yet, as usual, it’s never quite explained why. Despite this, Kyo could have had a lot of development and story going on around him. Unfortunately, the ending spoiled everything.
Sohma members+ Tohru’s friends:
The rest of the Sohma family members and Tohru’s friends were created so they would be as weird and different as possible, yet they all share the same characteristics. Their past is dark and tumultuous so they anchor around Tohru; on top of that, they are all one-dimensional commonly encountered types of characters. Shigure is the pervert, Kagura is the good-willed yet always screwing up girl, Momiji is the cute shouta boy, Risa is the sweet innocent girl and so on. But that’s the end to it. There’s nothing more to them; yet countless of repetitive unfunny gags are made of their only side. In the end, they are all too many and too similar to remember or enjoy.
ART AND SOUND
Furuba’s art and sound are certainly nothing exceptional – yet they’re not bad either. They all add up to the unrealistic, sweet and pink impression the show is trying to leave. There seems to be specific effort put into backgrounds and into the (often really big) eyes. The voice actors capture the personalities of the characters they portray really well (maybe sometimes too well, but it’s in the series’ nature to be exaggerated), especially during monologues or conflicts. The OP and ED were some of the very few generics that I constantly skipped – they were too slow-paced and fluffy for my taste. The background music also didn’t really stand out – but is wasn’t unpleasant.
Furuba really isn’t enjoyable, unless you’re a fan of slow-paced, warmth and fuzzy feelings inducing series that stretch too much and don’t get anywhere. I expected something funny like Ouran or Yamato Nadeshiko before watching this; yet I was thoroughly disappointed. The whole anime seemed to be a mixture of randomly thrown in characters trying to act dramatic and special, but not leaving any particular positive impression. They were predictable, boring and irrelevant. Also, I really couldn’t get over the few logic flaws (like Japan leaving its orphans to suffer in tents, Tohru being able to magically teleport herself from the forest to the cemetery and back to the forest [during the last episode] or the too sudden mood changes from tragic to overly happy).
Even though Fruits Basket had a pretty good premise to start from and quite the numerous cast of characters, it really couldn’t get past the “Everything is so sad, oh! Let’s bring Tohru in so it’ll be nice and shiny” feeling. Furuba is a series that doesn’t leave any positive feelings while watching and certainly not after being completed. The viewer is basically left where it all started from – no plot or character development whatsoever, nothing explained, nothing major accomplished. Therefore, it really doesn’t get past the state of being a mediocre series with nothing special.
The anime is centered around a young girl by the name of Tohru Honda, an amazing high school girl who is kind and honest. At the start of the anime she is still struggling to survive after her mothers tragic death. She is taken into the house hold of the cursed family, the Sohma’s.
Is decently done, it is done beautifully but the main attraction of this anime is not the art but rather the story and the characters.
Again decently done, the intro and ending songs are a credit to the singer and composers. I’d keep them on my MP3 player. Other then that the rest of the sound track is well placed but doesnt reach out like a few other animes I know. Again decently done, but not the reason I love this anime.
Oh so many things I wanna type here. But I dont want to spoil anything. (I stongy feel that no review should even come close to touching a spoiler) Each character is amazing and wonderful. I cannot say more than each character has made me laugh, smile, cry, and think.
Story and Enjoyment
Each characters past and story is touching to discover and moving to watch. Each one is orginal, sad, and tragic. Can Tohru help break there curse, can Tohru bring happiness to this strange tragic family? If your like me you wont be able to stop yourself from watching to find out! If I could rank higher than a 10 for enjoyment I would!
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Fruits Basket
2. Digimon Tamers
3. Gensoumaden Saiyuuki
4. Salaryman Kintarou
7. Shin Chou Kyou Ryo: Condor Hero
8. Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer
9. Brigadoon: Marin to Melan
10. Digimon Adventure 02