They’re the best Anime that 2002 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of RahXephon, Chobits, X, and more!
MAL Score: 7.41
The ordinary life of high school student Ayato Kamina is turned upside down when Tokyo is suddenly invaded by futuristic fighter jets. Amidst the chaos, he encounters a woman called Haruka Shitow who claims to be from a government organization called TERRA. She reveals that he has been living in a time bubble named “Tokyo Jupiter” that was put in place by the Mulians—humanoids from another dimension—in an attempt to isolate and take over Tokyo. TERRA has been trying to break through the barrier surrounding the city ever since.
Unable to process the revelation, Ayato panics and flees. He runs into his classmate Reika Mishima who leads him to a place called “The Shrine of Xephon” where a large egg slumbers. She starts to sing and an unknown power awakens within Ayato, connecting him to a being called RahXephon that breaks out of the egg. Shortly after, Haruka finds him again and tries to make him join her cause of fighting against the Mulians.
Caught between the crosshairs of the Mulians and TERRA, Ayato begins to question his purpose, navigating altered memories and ultimately his very identity in this chaotic new world.
STORY: The story can be the weakest part for some people, it isn’t simple or linear, but, I think, it’s not too, too complicated. You are in Ayato’s shoes at the start, and it’s very understandable to be confused as to what’s going on. With a little faith and some brain power, keep going forward and it’ll all be revealed if you keep your eyes open. The story is woven well and, without giving much away, I’ll say that it’s about Ayato’s journey to learn about: the world he’s in, the real world, who he is/was, who the giant flying robots are, and what his purpose is in relation to the people around him. Vague, right? I know, this area is pretty sketchy, and intentionally so. The story is deep, the story is more than slightly convoluted, and the story is good. Give it a chance. 8/10.
ART: One of the things I instantly liked about this show was the art. I knew this anime hadn’t come out yesterday and, despite being a guy who just has to have what’s new and now, I really liked the animation. The colors are great, everything is well drawn, with special detail to the mechas (which, surprisingly, some mecha animes overlook, go figure). I didn’t find anything that really stood out as bland and there were few- if any- weak points in the animation. It didn’t feel dated at all despite having come out 6 years ago. 9/10.
SOUND: The Opening/Ending to RahXephon really caught my ears, just like the art caught my eye. The ending theme is beautiful, and sent me to sleep (in a good way) more than once while watching the episodes back to back. The music always fits the mood, the sound effects are great, and a lot of the tracks are lovable. Indeed, one of the ‘themes’ of the show is about sound, and there’s a bit about singing, which I won’t get into unless I want to get into spoiler-land, but Sound is definitely one of RahXephon’s strong points. The voice acting is top notch, if you’re someone like me who always wonders whether to bother with the dub, well I loved it. Ayato’s voice was great, the supporting character’s were pretty good, and Vic Mignogna was… well, he’s Vic Mignogna. 10/10.
CHARACTER: Second to Sound, here’s where the series shines the most. And yet it gets an 8- why? Because of the unavoidable connections between Character and Story. The complexities of the Story mixed with the large cast of characters sometimes made it hard to keep track of who was who, something I found really disappointing. Also, aside from Ayato and the main, let’s say other two, it was difficult to tell who the main characters really were. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, but the ambiguity, imo, could have been handled a little better. Nonetheless, the characters themselves, once you’ve gotten to know them, will blow you away. I really connected with Ayato and many of the supporting cast. A lot of them are deep and, over the course of the series go through so many intense emotional periods, the most passionate parts of their lives. You see them at their best and their worst, really getting to know them, and though it can get kind of tricky keeping track of them all, you’ll definitely have an opinion of them if nothing else. 8/10.
ENJOYMENT: I really don’t know what it was. Could it have been the ‘artsy’ undertones? The score, the production, the characterization? Or maybe I’m just a mecha fan underneath who hasn’t come out of his shell, I don’t know, but what I do know is: I really, really liked RahXephon, and I put it up there in my top 3 favorite animes ever. I forget how I stumbled across it, really, but I’m glad I did. What began as a way to kill time ended as really something of an experience. I understand this series has many parallels to NGE (see above), and after watching this I started to understand why NGE fans so vigorously shoved it into my face, for I was doing the same with RahXephon. You COULD say having to watch the series a second time to understand everything counts as replay value, maybe, but who knows? I know I didn’t fully get everything on the first go around (which is really what keeps this thing from truly, truly being perfect). 9/10.
OVERALL (aka: tl;dr version):
STORY: Ayato’s journey of self discovery takes him into his own mind and places far beyond. Well written, but very complex; worth giving your full attention. 8/10.
ART: Fluid, beautifully done, smooth and nicely drawn animations that keep your attention. 9/10.
SOUND: Amazing English dubbing, and the japanese voices are nothing short of what you’d expect either. Spectacular music, OP/ED, and overall great OST/sound effects. 10/10.
CHARACTER: A (perhaps too) large and real cast of characters, very real, very human, that may or may not make or break the series for you. 8/10.
ENJOYMENT: I’m not sure on this one. Watch the first, let’s say 6 or 7 episodes, wait for things to really get rolling, and if you don’t like it/are totally lost/absolutely hate it, don’t watch it. I for one could not stop watching this anime. 9/10.
So how do two 8’s, two 9’s, and a 10 average out to an overall 10? I have no idea, but I cannot recommend this anime strongly enough. It truly is a work of art.
[This was my first review; if you did not find it helpful, please let me know. I’m always happy to talk about this series!]
Where to begin. First the disclaimer: RahXephon is definitely not for everyone. It’s usually best to have little to no expectations so as to not contaminate the experience. With RX there are some things you should, and a lot of things you should NOT, expect.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how significantly challenging of a show it is to get into. You certainly have to be in the right mood/mindset for it. It is easy to label this show as an action, drama, sci-fi mecha romance (or whatever), but what does any of that mean? If you’ve seen Neon Genesis Evangelion, expect this show to have a very familiar… setting. This is usually the first thing people notice (and usually complain about). Mecha is probably the least important aspect of this show however. The story is also very heavily character driven, so the pacing is very slow and the action is sparse. Coupled with this, the sci-fi aspects of the show are limited and more of a sub-plot if anything. At its heart however RX is ripe with drama and romance, but above all else, it is a very well written and a stunningly artistic show.
That being said, if you are the kind of person who likes to analyze things and gestate them and appreciate the fine art in works, then RX has a lot to offer. This is not to say that RX is an intellectual tour de force meant only for the highest of brows, but rather as a hint for people who like that kind of stuff. If this is not your style or what you are in the mood for, then there is a very good chance you will find this show simply boring, meaningless, and/or just an inferior version of NGE.
I initially tried to watch this show with my brother and we were both wondering “when does anything cool happen?” Some months later I tried watching the show again, by myself this time, late at night. Under these conditions I was able to just sit back and enjoy what was going on. So I definitely recommend watching this under similar settings where you have time to view at least a few episodes and focus on them.
There’s not really much to say about the story that isn’t covered in any synopsis. There are elements of mystery that can be confusing at times, but get more or less resolved/explained eventually (with minor exceptions). Some of the temporal ideas they play with are kind of interesting. The way information is revealed is pretty well done. You slowly get immersed into the world(s) and things become more intriguing and entertaining the more you get to know the characters. What’s more, it actually has a conclusive and COHERENT ending, which is more than I can say for the majority of anime. There’s nothing I hate more than getting really into a series only to have it end in some crazy, sudden, ambiguous, and/or arbitrary manner. I HATE THAT SO MUCH. *deep breath* Ok, so, stories with good endings get high marks from me. I can’t really say what it was I liked so much about the ending without essentially spoiling it, but suffice to say I found it very…. emotionally satisfying.
Do not be fooled. Even though the Japanese love to throw robots into almost everything, RahXephon is scarcely a mech show except in the most token of ways. The fights involving mechs are brief and mostly forgettable. They really serve more of a symbolic and artistic purpose than any kind of technical combative entertainment. This is most prominently exemplified in episodes 19 and 26. The sci-fi part of the story is mostly nonsense, but it’s very pretty looking and sounding nonsense. This is what really counts here. It doesn’t matter if the plot is silly or has been done before, what matters most isn’t what is said but HOW it is told. The real story lies beneath the surface of the sci-fi mecha mumbo jumbo, and if this isn’t clear by the end then you’ve really missed something.
NGE vs. RX:
If you’ve already seen Neon Genesis Evangelion then you might be put off by how strikingly similar this show appears to be. It’s true; the parallels between RahXephon and NGE are uncomfortably pervasive. They both have a young male lead thrust into piloting a mech for some organization to fight against abstract enemies. They both have an older female character who introduces and protects/shelters the main character. They both take place, obviously, in (post-destruction) Tokyo and of course are mankind’s last hope against a prevailing alien threat. Coincidences like these will probably catch your eye throughout the show, however, RX is not the blatant ripoff one might think. These common threads are superficial and are no more egregious than two shows having the same “harem of girls fawning over an awkward guy” plot.
Here’s where the shows stop being similar: NGE provided a more realistic mech story with deep psychological overtones and Christian themed undertones; RX centers around capturing a certain… aesthetic more than anything else. So if you are going to watch RX, it is important to bear in mind that the thing you’ll take away most from it is not the “edge of your seat action” or the “mind blowing concepts” but one thing: aesthetics. Here RX triumphs over NGE most magnificently; it is simply and stunningly beautiful.
The character designs put me off a little bit in the beginning. There was something so simple and plain about them that didn’t sit right with me. Their colors were too solid and too flat. The designs are definitely different, and after a while I either grew used to them or stopped caring, because everything else about the art in RX is just amazing. The time and effort they put into the backgrounds are absolutely breathtaking. The other thing I liked about RX is that even though the enemies are abstract looking, they’re not just weird floating giant eyeballs or anything obnoxious like that. The abstraction in RX actually retains a certain “realistic” genuine design, they look like something someone might actually build.
I’d say the sound in this series shares in the same spirit of aesthetics. I mean, how could it not? The plot revolves around the idea of a world suffused with sound. If you are spinning a story that is largely character driven and are trying to immerse the viewer in visuals then it is equally important that the music draws them in as well. Some of the melodies are really solid/memorable, but the most important part is that the mood and tones are always set just right. Since music/sound is supposed to be a big theme of the show, it would’ve been nice if there had been more distinguishable harmonic singing as opposed to the mostly tonal chanting that goes on. In this area I don’t feel they really tapped into their full potential beauty and the incessant droning can get a little annoying…
The Op/En themes were alright, maybe a little too tranquil for my tastes. The dubbing was surprisingly good. I usually watch an episode or so dubbed and then watch a couple subbed before deciding how to watch the series, but the dub was so well done that the thought to switch over never even came to me. This is not to say it was flawless, Vic Mignogna’s voice didn’t seem to quite fit, but whatever. Comparing it to the subtitling, I might even go as far as saying that the dubbing was possibly better…
The main character is a refreshing alternative to your typical amoral badass or whiny, obnoxious brat. No stupid sidekicks or comic relief here, no retarded antics and none of the usual cliche archetypes that make up your usual lineup. Most of the characters are really well done, a few of the minor characters could’ve been better developed, but they’re all fairly believable and likable. With the exception of Makoto, who is just an unbelievable prick. It’s never really explained why he’s such an insufferable douche bag either. This ultimately doesn’t matter, some people are just bastards for no good reason, but it would’ve been nice if at least A reason was given. In fact, it would’ve been better if some of the characters motives had been elaborated on more.
If you’ve seen and liked Eureka 7 (also by Bones) then you already have an idea about what a story driven by wonderful characters is like. Of course, having good characters alone is not what makes this show unique. More so than the visuals or the sound, where RahXephon really excels is how heart warmingly romantic it is. I don’t mean this in some cheesy, lovey-dovey, soap opera kind of way. It’s somewhat hard to explain. You can watch this show and not even pick up on it, but that’s part of the magic. It’s not overdone and it’s sort of subtle about it but still effective.
Even the characters are beautiful in a way. I hate stories where characters act or react in ways that have no bearing to real life, so when they interact believably it just makes it that much more enjoyable for me. Let’s take harem shows for instance where the main male lead is either painfully oblivious to (or shows no interest in) any of his would-be female suitors. Or, when there’s some ridiculously breasted female character (and there’s a lot of them in anime) and people just act as if it’s the norm, when you know, YOU KNOW, every single male (and lesbian?) eye would be locked on to that woman all-the-time; everywhere she went. I HATE when shows do that.
So I was SO glad to see RahXephon took that extra step to make the characters feel more real rather than just inundate the viewer with more of the usual idealistic/innocent baloney — and I’ll always love it for that. The characters are so sincere and so genuine with one another that it made watching them gripping. In that same vein of realism, I absolutely loved how… amorous the characters were. You’ll see scenes where cleavage might catch someone’s eye, or where there will be an air of sexual tension, or proximity promiscuity, and all these other sensual elements that were deliciously but tastefully mature. This extra layer made the characters so much more… human. I really loved this about the show, and it is probably what I’ll remember most: just how playful and fun and passionate and real they appeared to be. So by the time I got to the end, it was such a memorable and moving journey that I was sad when it was over. The characters were just so alluring and endearing.
There are a lot of mysteries in the show I never understood like who Kamina’s parents were, or how Haruka found him at that gateway after the disappearance, or the whole clone craziness, or the whole elaborate setup at the end, or why the mu were on earth or where they came from… but none of that really matters. I can’t really do justice to how much I liked this show, but there’s a review of it on ANN that puts it into much better words than I have. This is a show anyone who values substance owes to themselves to watch.
From the very beginning you will be thrown right into the thick of it, knowing very little about the plot, story and overall premise. However as the show goes on it slowly reveals, bit by bit, what it is all about, which is about humanity’s struggle against some weird invaders. The story is told well because everything is straight forward and you won’t feel overwhelmed with the back story and all the terms given. However this anime series may lack some originality because it is not too difficult to spot the numerous parallels between RahXphon and the ever-so-popular Neon Genesis Evangelion. Both series about boys being thrust into a war against unknown beings, plus having romantic interest on the side. Nonetheless, RahXephon does manage to become an anime of its own.
The characters are fairly well-defined and well developed but only Ayato Kamina stands out, as the protagonist. Yet every episode usually focuses on one of the supporting characters, developing them further. Nevertheless there are times when the characters’ actions and thoughts are confusing or just don’t make any sense.
The animation and music quality is the sort of thing to expect from BONES. Even though the animation style is somewhat dated, the way in which everything from the amazing fights to just simple talks is animated so well. Whereas the music adds to the impact of the action and drama, seeing that music is a major element in the show. Yet the music does get fairly repetitive.
Overall RahXephon has proven to be a Mecha anime worthy of being included in any mecha anime fan’s collection. The combat is pretty impressive and so is the musical score, which goes well with the artistic concept. This shouldn’t be a tough show to understand however at times things end up being explained poorly, which can confuse us viewers making the enjoyable to watch. I recommend this anime to anyone who doesn’t have anything against Mecha anime.
MAL Score: 7.42
When computers start to look like humans, can love remain the same?
Hideki Motosuwa is a young country boy who is studying hard to get into college. Coming from a poor background, he can barely afford the expenses, let alone the newest fad: Persocoms, personal computers that look exactly like human beings. One evening while walking home, he finds an abandoned Persocom. After taking her home and managing to activate her, she seems to be defective, as she can only say one word, “Chii,” which eventually becomes her name. Unlike other Persocoms, however, Chii cannot download information onto her hard drive, so Hideki decides to teach her about the world the old-fashioned way, while studying for his college entrance exams at the same time.
Along with his friends, Hideki tries to unravel the mystery of Chii, who may be a “Chobit,” an urban legend about special units that have real human emotions and thoughts, and love toward their owner. But can romance flourish between a Persocom and a human?
The story is simply amazing. It has a bit of everything going from romance to suspense. Although the story is quite slow it doesnt feel like it. Every episode shows the devolopment of the characters in a serious but also a funny way. The first episodes will give you a big laugh, but the mood swings over to a more romantic view the more it develops.
This show is probably something you haven’t seen before, the characters evolution is something quite special. To prevent spoilers you’ll have to find that out for yourself.
The fact remains that the evolution of Chii is the most funny thing in the whole show. It’s like she starts off like a 3 year old child knowing hardly anything about the world and needs to learn everything. And without commen sense she does alot of things a normal person would reconsider.
The style of the picture in this anime is great, they don’t overdo it with drawing to much details but it is simply amazing. Everything you see will draw out the correct emotion that goes with it. The characters are made really well.
Same as the art it is great, going from the intro to the story. The music fits the parts in the story really well.
As I said in the story, the characters develop really good. Sometimes you do feel how something is going to develop but you’re not really sure. The show really does show a few unexpected things but after you see them they are explained thouroughly with a background of "how". This really adds a + to the show.
This show kept me entertained from the start till the end. I finished the show in 1 day because I just couldn’t stop watching it.
If you like a romance with lots of humour but also serious parts, then this is the anime for you. Its a 10+ in every part and will keep you entertained.
This was my first review so i apoligize if there are some parts wrongly explained. Main reason for this is to prevent spoilers 😉
This time, spazes get theirs as loser farm boy Hideki gets to have some robot lovin’.
The story follows an utter creepy wanker who gets a human-shaped computer, he does all sorts of adult things with it, but AH HA HA HA, she’s not a real person–molestation is all right!! Then it learns to talk to him, so he can tell it all sorts of loser things and perv out on it because real girls won’t touch his shorts with a ten-foot pole. The End.
What a load of crock this was.
The characters were DUMB. SERIOUSLY! Hideki has to be the most unexceptional guy ever to be animated. His one talent is being disgusting and bland but so stupid that everyone goes, ‘Aw, he’s so sweet.’ He reminds me of a dog that keeps running into the door–aw, it’s so cute. And Chii had NO PERSONALITY. I am sure moe fans loved her because all she did was stay half-naked and go ‘Chii~’ Right. I can’t understand why any girl would like this. What lesson is this teaching? Girls, the only way a guy would like you is you stay in your underwear and say only one word to him! Preferably that one word will be ‘Panty’.
The only fabulous thing about this was the music. The OP rocks. Other than that, this was an unfabulous trash pile of an anime.
Hideki is way too flat and lack sufficient depth. In addition, he is a joke character, we don’t laugh with him, we laugh at him. Because of this it makes it hard to empathize/engage with a character like Hideki. This is why we have token male side characters who take the joke character role. Shinbo, Hideki’s male friend clearly doesn’t take this role, in fact they should have made him the main character as his story is far more interesting than Hideki and Chii’s. In addition, to Hideki, Chii’s character is no better. There is nothing to her, memory erased and the mentality of a child. She is the default love interest for Hideki and its beyond me as to how Hideki falls in love with Chii. Maybe because she cute? maybe for most, but I dislike the character design for Chii. The blank eyes are what killed it for me. Male designs were fine as well as the rest of the cast.
Much of the praise for Chobits is in the comedy, well at least that’s what I hear. For me the jokes were way too repetitive, in particular the jokes at the expense at Hideki. For example, Hideki is a pervert with too much porn/gravure that Chii finds. Hideki thinks perverted thoughts again and is an idiot that over reacts to everything. This extreme lightheartedness and extremely repetitive comedy was made it hard for me to finish the first half of the series.
As for the story itself, I didn’t think there was sufficient foreshadowing. So when the story starts going in the second half it feels a bit tacked on. In addition, they failed to keep up the momentum by jumping from thread to thread. Simply put the plot structure was a bit messy and Hideki and Chii aren’t strong enough characters. I guess if Chobits were to be considered a slice-of-life anime the structures would had worked, however that would require more complex characters.
There were parts I did like, in particular, Shinbo/Shimizu’s and Ueda’s stories. Both showed the sadder side of the theme of the show “love for a robot.” The relationship between Yuzuki and Minoru was touching, albeit not as interesting as the above characters. However, there is something seriously wrong when the side character are far more interesting that the main characters.
Chobits had quite a bit of potential, dealing with interesting and complex themes. Sadly they didn’t use these ideas enough and the Hideki and Chii characters were too weak to carry the show. Its quite hard to get engaged in an anime when you can’t empathize with the characters.
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.
Japanese: ゲットバッカーズ 奪還屋
MAL Score: 7.60
Mido Ban and Amano Ginji are known as the Get Backers, retrievers with a success rate of 100%. Whatever is lost or stolen, they can definitely get it back. Despite their powerful abilities and enthusiastic behavior, Ban and Ginji are terminally broke no matter what they do simply because few people would actually desire to hire them. As a result, the pair of them tend to do dangerous jobs, often leading to unwanted re-encounters with their old (and dangerous) friends.
Animation: Pretty good, it is getting to be a older animation so you will see its age but that shouldn\’t matter.
Sound: pretty good nothing special.
Character: Great characters they have great story\’s to them and they follow there personality\’s to. Very funny to at times.
Enjoyment: I loved this series but it ended so quickly 🙁
Overall: Very good series, if you like action and humor and a good story check it out.
Getbackers is a typical shounen anime about two guys who are said to be able to get anything back, which has been taken. What helps them are their interesting special abilities Amano Ginji with the power to generate electricity and Midou Ban with a 200Kg hand grip and also possessing the evil eye.
The show pretty much starts of like a typical anime, by introducing the main characters and giving them an opportunity to wow the viewers with some action. Getbackers is able to capture anyone’s attention but as the show goes on, this cheesy anime can easily become tiresome to watch. The fights don’t help it at all, with the same fighting methods repeated over and over, without any variety, to the point when even the action sequences get boring. In between all the action are numerous comedy moments, to lighten the mood however this is poorly executed and doesn’t add much to the show. Also another issue is the characters and apart from the two main characters (Ginji and Midou) the rest are poorly developed and it doesn’t help that the have some pretty lame personalities and special abilities/traits. Another annoyance is when the enemies become allies and the allies become enemies so easily that it just makes it all seem pointless.
There’s also the animation that can be described in one word “mediocre”. It’s obvious that very little effort was put into animating this show, as not even the fights seem fluid and all the chibi didn’t help the comedy. Another thing that can put anyone of from watching this show is the horrendous opening and ending theme music, but at least the exciting music during the action can make up for it.
Overall this is a pretty decent anime for the simple-minded anime fan but a somewhat intelligent anime fan would be able to see Getbackers for its many faults. It does manage to incorporate all the standard shounen elements but without adding anything original to make it stand out from the rest. Even though this anime is aimed at teenagers it seems more like a kid’s show, with moderate violence, no blood and sharp objects replaced by bright shining lights. So if you’re over 12 years old then I don’t recommend this.
While it is an interesting plot, I tend to become distracted when I watch it. Maybe the plot was too shonen for a girl like me who would usually prefer girly anime, but then again the fight scenes were a bit exciting. Truth be told, I enjoyed the fillers more, because they always had me laughing. Other than that, some of the arcs were too long, specially the IL arc. 15 episodes are just too much, and at that point watching the anime felt like a chore. I was so happy when I finally finished that arc because the filler episode after the arc was one of the funniest episodes.
It’s another anime with a huge cast of characters, and most of them I like. I think the character I hate the most would be Himiko. She’s a very irritating girl who acts as if she’s good at her job, but she’s not that great. Plus using perfumes as weapons? What a lame power. Kazuki is OK, but he’s a trap. It really surprised me when I found out he was a guy. Maybe he’s gay – 2 guys are fighting over him and I don’t care if boys from their family wear girly kimonos when they haven’t reached their age of maturity yet. It’s just an excuse to justify his cross dressing.
My favorite character is actually Natsumi. I like that filler episode about her when she dressed up as Ban and Ginji. Speaking of Ban and Ginji, I like both of them too. Ginji is just so adorable when he goes into chibi mode, and Ban is one cool guy, even if he’s a bit mean and distant sometimes. Akabane is pretty cool too – even if he is a bit blood thirsty and sick minded.
The animation and art is reminiscent of early 2000s anime. While it is ahead of anime that was from way back then, it still needed work. It tends to be inconsistent sometimes. You could tell if the designs would waver because they were really notable differences – it’s as if the characters have been deformed. Usually, this would occur in filler episodes, and even more so during the second half. I’m a bit disappointed, because if they wanted to make this anime a hit, everything should be almost perfect. The colors tend to clash sometimes too – greens and purples don’t really go well together.
And what about the voice acting? It was actually pretty good. I’m quite surprised that Ginji’s seiyu was actually Shotaro Morikubo, who was also Musica’s (From Rave Master) voice actor. They were two different characters with two different personalities that it’s hard for me to picture one guy who worked with both of them. I guess that’s really impressive. Plus, Ban Midou’s seiyu (Nobutoshi Canna) was also the seiyu for another character I hold dear to my heart, and that is Tasuki from Fushigi Yuugi. Even without that, I still think the dub was quite impressive.
I like the wide variety of music. Every opening and ending theme was different and I liked every single track. It was all contemporary and modern. There was pop, to hip hop, to j-rock. Everything really went well with the series’ feel. I think that’s because the music direction was made by a very capable person. That person would be Taku Iwasaki, whose works are actually quite familiar to me. He also worked on GONZO’s Black Cat, Rumbling Hearts and Yakitate!! Japan, series with equally good music.
Because of boy-boy love premises, I was almost convinced that I was watching shojo. Clearly, Kazuki and Juubei’s relationship are yaoi fan girl bait. Plus the guys are all very good looking, which convinced me even more. I guess that’s one thing I get out of watching the series.
And what’s with the clothes? I noticed a lot of the characters wore clothes that won’t fit them. Hevn would always wear tops that are too small for her, and the guys wore tight pants. Poor Kazuki; His shirts are always so oversized that they would fall to his shoulders.
Even if there was a bevy of good looking guys in this anime, the eye candy wasn’t enough to make me disregard the story. I’m not saying the story was bad, like I said before, the plot was interesting. There were just errors during the execution. It could have been better.
6: 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…
5: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
English: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
MAL Score: 7.77
In the year Cosmic Era 0071, the space colony Heliopolis remains neutral in the great war raging across the galaxy between Coordinators, human beings whose biological traits have been altered before birth, and Naturals, unaltered people who remain on the planet Earth. The Naturals’ deep hatred of the Coordinators drove the advanced beings into space, seeking shelter in man-made colonies.
Kira Yamato is a Coordinator and university student on Heliopolis, when his life is thrown into disarray as ZAFT, the military organization composed of rebellious Coordinators, attacks the colony in an effort to steal a set of five state-of-the-art military mobile suits known as Gundams.
While ZAFT manages to make off with four of the mobile suits, Kira take control of the final Gundam, the Strike. Surviving the battle, Kira and his college friends join the crew of the Archangel, a ship run by the Earth Alliance, and the young soldiers experience the horrors of war and the loss that comes with it.
STORY – At this point, you’d have to stretch pretty far to find a Gundam series with a mindblowingly different premise, so there’s no point in really focusing on the fact that yes, this is another series about teenagers in giant robots fighting a war that’s pretty pointless. There is nothing new about Gundam SEED, but then, it deserves points for being able to stand out despite that very fact. For me, one of the most appealing things about SEED was its very easy-to-understand plotline. The root of the war, while decidedly trivial to some extent, is simple. I’m sure more than a few people were confused, and subsequently put off, by the political madness that ravaged the plots of the original Mobile Suit Gundam, as well as newer classics like Gundam Wing, so it was nice to see something so simple come along.
In addition to the war, one of the strongest story points for me was the conflict between Athrun and Kira. The cruelty and tragicness of pitting friend against friend works very well here, and I know I’ve said before that I’m just a sucker for this kind of stuff. For SEED, this conflict was well done, progressed smoothly, and resolved rather satisfactory. It was pretty neat to see the same conflict mirrored later with Dearka and Yzak too. Also, this series was one of the first in a long time to surprise me so much with things happening in the story. People died. People you really didn’t expect to die died. So many people die that at some point, you kind of started wondering if anyone was actually going to live! But despite the number of deaths, you never got the feeling that it was overdone, or that any of the characters’ deaths didn’t have some significance or meaning, and that’s definitely a feat.
Those two aspects of SEED made up for all the cliches that came with being a Gundam series — white mask’s ulterior motive was nothing amazing, and the ending to the war wasn’t anything special either. But by the end of it all, it isn’t the basics of the story that’s important, it’s all the progress you’ve made with the characters and their own personal resolutions.
CHARACTER – The characters in SEED probably contributed the most to gaining my favor. All of them are exceptionally well done. Yes, even the minor characters, which is definitely a rarity in anime. All of them seem like real people; they’re complex and have emotions, motives, flaws. Both of the protagonists are split between a side that has to fight and a side that hurt because of everything that’s happening. After all the stoic personalities in Gundam Wing, it was incredible for me to see characters that would actually cry. On several occasions, even. In fact, for the first half of the series, it seriously surprised me just how much of a crybaby Kira was. But it worked for his character, so even though he kind of turned into a godmodding, self-righteous bastard later on, it was okay.
Kira aside, for me, Athrun was the most interesting character and had the most depth. Throughout the entire series, he was in conflict. And as soon as one conflict was resolved, another would present itself. The poor guy was in constant turmoil, which was really great to see. He was easy to relate to and never grew out of reach like Kira did. Secondary characters like Cagalli and Lacus were also refreshing to see — female characters that had strength to stand up on their own. Indeed, one might venture to say that our male protagonists depended much more on their female counterparts than the other way around, as is traditionally the case.
It would be exhausting to go through the list of other characters, though many of them are also important and very relevant. Suffice to say that there are almost NO flat characters in SEED. All of them have dimension and depth and develop throughout the series. I don’t really think this happens in many other anime.
ARTWORK & ANIMATION – I rather like the art style of SEED (the same people also did Sokyuu no Fafner); it’s pleasing to the eye and works well for the content of the series. The animation itself is pretty average, and I’m still waiting for the day when explosions in the distance graduate from looking like Pacman, but oh well. There’s nothing else really worth noting, but it certainly isn’t an ugly series.
MUSIC – I… adore the music for this entire series. All three instrumental soundtracks are well worth getting! The battle music is strong and epic! The introspection music is interesting and intriguing! The tragic music makes the already tragic scene ten times more touching. It’s just fantastic all around. After the bigshots Yoko Kanno and Yuki Kajiura, it’s Toshihiko Sahashi that makes it on my playlist the most! And the OP/ED themes are pretty much all top notch as well. I’ve been a fan of T.M. Revolution for a long time, so "Invoke" was perfect for the first opening. SEED introduced the world to Nami Tamaki, and I must say I’ve definitely become a fan since her debut. SEE-SAW and Mika Nakashima are always good as well, and even the lesser known artists in the lineup are pretty awesome.
DUBBING & VOCALS – I saw the first half of this series in English but ended up seeing the second half subbed (because SEED was, for some reason, so unpopular that CN shoved it in a death slot). The dub was nothing spectacular certainly, but it was decent. None of the voices were up to par with their Japanese counterparts, but the only one that seriously annoyed me was Richard Cox, and that was mostly because the man can’t seem to change his voice between characters (and thus, the character he voiced sounded like Inuyasha to me). The Japanese cast, on the other hand, is top notch. Akira Ishida as Athrun remains one of my favorite performances ever, and Souichiro Hoshi as Kira was pretty great too. And of course, you can’t forget Rie Tanaka as Lacus — Lacus has several songs she performs within the series and Tanaka is the one singing all of them. It always pleases me when they’re able to do that and helps reaffirm the fact that the Japanese seem to take their voice acting much more seriously than we do.
OVERALL – I know I haven’t seen all of the Gundam series out there, but of those I’ve seen, this is definitely my favorite. The characters come to life and everything else falls into place behind that. A lot of people cling onto Mobile Suit Gundam as the only good one because it’s the original, but though it was a good series that obviously propelled the creation of all subsequent Gundams, for this generation of anime fans, it’s sorely outdated. I really feel like Gundam SEED should be the series taking its place for the post-2000 generation of fans. That statement may bode well in Japan, as this series was wildly popular, but I’m disappointed to see that it failed miserably in the States. Chalk that up to other factors though, ’cause this series is damn good.
The whole series is basically about an ongoing war between the Natural human race and the genetically superior Coordinators. This may seem like a straightforward plotline, however several things push the plot so it is not as simple as it seems. Throughout the series you are left wondering which side is truly the right side to be on. Throughout the series you get to see both sides of the story as much of the Natural’s justifications are shown with Kira and most of Coordinator’s justifications are shown with Athrun.
Because this is a very old series, the art style is very different from the art style today. It’s not to say that it’s bad, but it might take some getting used to for someone who has only started watching anime recently. The battle scenes have a lot of flashing lights and aren’t choreographed too badly. I would say this area is the weakest point of the whole series.
I thought that all of the opening and ending songs really fit the series as a whole. The best music to me was Rie Tanaka’s singing throughout the series. I was really amazed when I first heard her sing has Lacus Clyne because she sung for her own character. In my experience, many people usually get singers to sing their character roles. So I was really impressed that she sung her own song and that she was actually very good at it.
The characters are the strongest point of this series. This series is built on the interaction between the characters. The battles and action almost seems secondary to me compared to the drama occurring between the main characters. This series has a lot of characters that pushed the plotline forward, but the main characters really shone above the others.
Kira Yamato is the main protagonist of the story. During the beginning of the series he really is a normal person with many weaknesses and faults. However as the series progresses, he grows and matures in order to face the trials given to him. I believe Kira’s growth as a person is one of the things that really grabs a viewer. He grows from a weak school student to a leader that many people can count on.
Athrun Zala is another main protagonist of the story. Athrun enters the story on the opposite side of the war as Kira. Their past history of being childhood friends becomes one of the key factors in the story as Athrun and Kira both fight on opposite sides in the war. Athrun’s emotional struggle continues throughout the series as he tries to figure out what is the right thing to do.
Lacus Clyne is one the main female protagonists of the story. While originally appearing as Athrun’s finance, she later becomes Kira’s love interest. Lacus’s first appearance in the series is as a normal girl who doesn’t hold any importance in the war aside from the fact that her father is the High Supreme Councilor of the Coordinators. However as the story progresses, Lacus quickly shows her strength as she rallies up support against the war in face of great opposition.
Cagalli Yula Athha is the other female protagonist. Although very close with Kira in the beginning of the series, she later becomes Athrun’s love interest. She appears in the beginning of the series as a strong woman who is capable of fighting for what she believes in. Later on in the series her heritage of being the daughter of Orb’s leader is revealed.
Gundam Seed is one of my most favorite series of all time. I would say that this is a must see series for all new, incoming anime fans.
GS was considered to be an updated version of the original Mobile Suit Gundam (MSG) for the 21st century, as it deals with more contemporary issues (ie cloning, genetic modification, etc). So it should be no surprise that GS starts out in a very similar vein to MSG. However, this isn’t to say that GS copied MSG, instead GS took the best parts of MSG and improved it. Well at least for the first half of the series. The pacing was a definite improvement as it was nearly flawless, I can’t really separate the episodes easily as they blended so well together which makes GS ideal for marathoning. The story is also very similar, 2 warring factions, political intrigue, and the viewpoint of both sides, typical Gundam. I don’t need to get in to specifics, in general the crew of the <new advanced ship> attempts to escape/fight off another ship and its crew. This is while trying to get to a specific destination and completing various checkpoints. Sure it wasn’t the most original of stories but paired with its fast pace and execution it was damn entertaining in its own right. However, in the case of GS the characters take a much bigger role. While the 1st half was good and entertaining it doesn’t compare to its 2nd half.
The 2nd half was where GS breaks free from its MSG roots and finds its true self. Here, GS really focuses on the characters, in particular the conflict between Kira and Athrun. Not only them, there was a lot of focus on the various character’s conflicts as well as plenty of character development. Here the action/battles take an even more secondary focus and the characters/narrative clearly becomes the primary focus. The overall structure of the story improved tremendously as it’s no longer linear (from checkpoint to checkpoint); instead GS features a more dynamics story structure. Pacing for the 2nd half moves even faster and GS rides this momentum until the very end. However, its not without its faults. The new antagonist introduced felt like they were introduced for the sake of having Gundam battles/make more toys. This is due to them being extremely one-dimensional. Finally, there were quite a few coincidences and illogical moments throughout. For example, when the odds becomes overwhelming Kira or someone else coming out of nowhere to save the day. Considering the overall quality of everything else, those moments can easily be forgiven.
As I mentioned before there was a much bigger focus on the characters in GS than in MSG. For the most part, the characters are multi-dimensional and likeable, the major exception being the newly introduced antagonist in the 2nd half. Kira in particular has gone through quite a bit of development. The angst Kira goes through in the beginning is often exaggerated by some people. If anything Kira is quite admirable, fighting/doing what he has to despite his fears and doubts. He doesn’t let his feelings get in the way of what needs to be done and the only person he’s complained/confided in was Fray. This is unlike Amuro or most of the cast of Zeta where they do whatever they want for no concern for the greater good. However, Athrun get my vote for most complex and interesting character in GS. Not only does he have to deal with having his best friend as an enemy, he also has to deal with his father, own beliefs, etc. Plus he’s a badass when it comes to all forms of combat.
In terms of purely technical merit, GS features good animation and artwork. Rarely does the quality drop. My only major complaint would be with the constant use of recycled animation, a major pet peeve of mine. Also, the action scenes feel a bit uninspired. Gundam shoots, close up of plot screaming, Gundam does a melee attack, close up of pilot and repeat. What made these mecha battles more exciting was the excellent and powerful music. The ost in general is also well done and features some very good insert songs.
Another interesting thing to note would be the recap episodes. Normally, I hate recaps but in the case of GS there were a few that were worth watching. This is because some of the recap episodes actually add background information to the GS universe. Nevertheless a recap episode is still a recap episode and they had far too many. (Not 1 or 2 recap episodes but 4!)
I also have to warn the viewer that GS features many references to other Gundam titles and the Gundam universe in general. References such as newtypes, Char clones, etc will go over the head of viewers not familiar with the Gundam universe. While its not necessary to watch other Gundams to enjoy GS it will most likely increase one’s enjoyment.
GS is easily one of the better mecha anime titles I’ve seen. The first half was light and enjoyable with a fast paced plot, albeit very linear. It feels like the crew of the Archangel was simply moving form checkpoint to checkpoint. When the 2nd half comes the overall quality increases. This is partly due to GS becoming its own and really focus on the character/narrative. The 2nd half was distinctly more serious and dramatic. Plus it takes its momentum and keeps building and building until the very end. Animation and art were all top notch, suffering from a few thing namely, recycled animation and slightly uninspired action scenes. GS also suffered from too many coincidences and illogical moments. Although, considering the quality of everything else, those things can be ignored. In the end Gundam SEED is fast paced entertaining watch, but the true strength of Gundam SEED can be found in the 2nd half with its characters.
4: Full Moon wo Sagashite
English: Searching for the Full Moon
MAL Score: 7.95
Two years ago, Mitsuki Kouyama’s friend, Eichi Sakurai, moved to America before she could confess her feelings to him. Though she cannot contact him, they made a promise to fulfill their respective dreams: Mitsuki wants to become a professional singer, and Eichi an astronomer. She hopes that one day her music will reach him across the world with a brilliance like that of the full moon.
There is just one catch: Mitsuki suffers from throat cancer, which makes her voice quiet and singing strenuous. Her grandmother, who has a hatred of music, insists that Mitsuki undergo surgery to remove the cancer, but she refuses due to the risk of losing her voice. One day, two shinigami—Meroko Yui and Takuto Kira—appear to tell her that she only has one year left to live. This sudden revelation spurs Mitsuki into action, and she decides that with Meroko and Takuto’s help, she will become a professional singer in the time she has left.
Full Moon wo Sagashite follows the emotional story of Mitsuki and her shinigami friends as they discover what it means to sing—and ultimately, what it means to live.
While Full Moon wo Sagashite may not see like much on the surface — little girl has a life-threatening disease, wants to sing, and becomes sixteen years old with the help of two friendly shinigami — it becomes so much more deeper as the series move on. This anime doesn\’t shrink away from the uncomfortable subjects of death and suicide, and that is wonderfully refreshing. While initially cutesy on the surface, Full Moon wo Sagashite has a deep, moving storyline that touches upon every human emotion. I don\’t think I\’ve ever cried so much while watching an anime, and I doubt any other can truly touch me as much as Full Moon wo Sagashite did.
Many people complain that the first half of the series is comprised of filler episodes. While this may be true when first watching them, I don\’t think the second half would come off nearly as well without those \"fillers\". They developed the characters, showed you who they really were and what they were looking for, and prepared you for the emotional roller coaster that is the second half of Full Moon wo Sagashite. So, even if you\’re bored during the first half, I implore you to see the series to the end. You won\’t regret it.
I initially didn\’t like the character designs all that much, particularly that of Full Moon. After a while, however, the art smoothed out and became even pleasing. So, not the best, but not the worst either.
There\’s only one way to describe the music of Full Moon wo Sagashite: absolutely astounding. Every song (most of which were sung by myco, Mitsuki\’s seiyuu) was wonderful in its own way. While I didn\’t particularly like the two OPs, they grew on me after a while. Still, nothing can touch the four EDs this show has. My personal favorite is New Future, although Eternal Snow is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Another plus of Full Moon wo Sagashite are the characters. Meroko and Izumi have become two of my favorite characters, although Izumi doesn\’t really come into his own in the anime. His soft side is only shown in the last episode, but that moment is definitely worth it.
The one quibble I have concerning the characters is that their back stories aren\’t as fully explained as they were in the manga. Meroko and Izumi\’s pasts are barely brushed upon, which is a real disappointment. Still, Meroko comes off as one of the best — if not THE best — characters in the entire series.
I will never forget watching Full Moon wo Sagashite. It is certainly an experience, especially for the last fifteen or so episodes.
One thing that really struck me was the ending. I\’ve never come across an anime with such a perfect ending. Everything was tied up, and the emotions that came across were just… mind-blowing. I think I actually sobbed the entire last episode.
So, as a parting note, I urge you to give Full Moon wo Sagashite a try. I did, and it became one of my top five anime.
Pros: Incredible story, characters, and music; best anime ending EVER
Cons: So-so character design at times, not enough back story
Story – 10/10
At first, this looks like the typical shoujo series directed at young girls, thanks to all the bright colours and cute characters. From the synopsis, it looks like a sad and depressing anime about death. But it’s so much more than that.
We meet the main character, Mitsuki, who is a young girl with throat cancer and whose biggest dream is to become a great singer and maybe one day meet the boy she loves, but who left for America two years ago. One day she is visited by two death gods (the Shinigami) – Takuto and Meroko, who tell her she only has one year to live. But instead of sulking and feeling sorry for herself, Mitsuki decides that since she only has one year, she’ll make the best of it. Instead of being stuck at home, always worrying about her health, she’ll give it all and try to achieve her dream of a singing career. When she goes to audition, the shinigami Takuto decides to help her a little bit, by transforming her body into a healthy 16-year-old. Against all odds, Mitsuki is chosen at the audition. In that moment, even going against the Shinigami rules, Takuto and Meroko decide to help her with her dream, in the time that she has left.
This series is slightly similar to the "magical girl" genre (examples: Fancy Lala, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne or Pretear), but not exactly. Takuto has the ability to transform Mitsuki’s body into a healthy 16-year-old’s, but she doesn’t gain magical powers. Even though this is a show about a dying girl, it manages to be very positive and inspiring. There’s a very good mixture of comedy and drama, with some scenes that will make you laugh hard and others that will make you cry like a baby.
In the first half of the series there are a lot of filler episodes. I guess they contribute to the development of the characters and to add realism to the story. As Mitsuki progresses in her career, she has to go through photoshoots, sound checks, clothes’ design, interviews, autograph sessions, etc. If you’re patient and watch that, you’ll get to the good stuff.
In the later half, there are considerably less filler episodes. The plot gets much more complex and interesting. The mood changes to a darker tone. The last 13 episodes are really the best ones and will make you stick to the screen waiting to see what happens. There are a few plot twists.
At last, the ending. I’d say it’s the BEST ending in anime that I’ve ever watched. There are no loose ends. Everything gets explained.
Visuals – 8/10
The light colours really make it look like an anime for young kids. I’d compare the overall visuals of this anime to those of Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. The characters were appealing and the shading was well done. Don’t expect something 3D-like. There is little computer animation, only present in a few scenes. But although simple, I though it had good visuals.
Audio – 9/10
Full Moon wo Sagashite has one of the best anime soundtracks ever. Even though you’ll hear many, many times songs like "Myself" or "Eternal Snow", you’ll never grow tired of them. "Myself", "Eternal Snow", "New Future", "Smile" and "Love Chronicle", by the band Changin’ My Life, are sang by Myco, who is Mitsuki’s voice actress. So you don’t have to worry about Mitsuki’s 12-year-old voice being different from the 16-year-old… because they were done by the same person.
I absolutely hated the openings. "I Love You" and "Rock’n’Roll Princess" by The*Scanty. Why? First because they don’t sound good. Second because they make the whole anime look so childish that only 4-year-olds would watch it. Ignore the openings! The anime isn’t THAT childish!
And, best for last, the voice actor for Takuto, Yasuo Saitou. He has a really nice voice and can be very expressive. But best of all, there are scenes where he has to sing… and he does it perfectly.
Characters – 9/10
This anime has all kinds of characters. Some that you’ll instantly fall in love with, others that you’ll instantly hate. And you might even change your opinion on a few of them, once you get to know them better. I really like the character development in this anime. You’ll progressively learn more about each character… it’s motivations or even it’s past. You’ll be impressed! Each character is unique in it’s own way and you can’t apply a stereotype to it. They interact extremely well with each other and you’ll definitely feel connected to them.
Overall – 9/10
I absolutely loved this anime. At first I thought it was really childish, but my friends ASSURED me it was worth watching… so I endured the more boring parts and kept watching… and it was totally worth it. It has become my favourite one. You’ll want to re-watch it many times, even if it does have 52 episodes. I’ve watched the whole thing 3 times, in 6 months.
The anime is very different from the manga, but it’s still faithful. And you’ll find this intersting: when they made the ending for this anime, the manga still hadn’t ended. But still, they made an extremely good ending.
Give it a try! It’ll be worth it! No matter how old you are or even if you’re a guy or a girl, it can be appreciated by anyone!
“Full Moon wo Sagashite” is quite a heart warming anime about a little girl who wants to become a singer, but only has one year to live because of the tumour in her throat. Spanning 52 episodes, it was one of the longest anime I watched at the time. To be honest, I think it could have been amazing if it was reduced to half its length – I found the series as a whole to be a bit of a struggle to get through, as most of the episodes up until about episode 40 are actually disposable, girly fluff. Watching “Full Moon wo Sagashite” will pretty much give you the very definition of what a “filler” episode is, because it contains so many of them. I disagree with people who say that these fillers are necessary for character developments purposes – most of them they don’t really reveal much beyond the fact that Mitsuki is a boringly nice person. I’ve seen anime that’s done waaay more and waaaay better character development in its first THIRTEEN episodes than this anime’s done in its first THIRTY *cough*SeikaiNoMonshou*cough*, which just goes to show you don’t need a mass of filler episodes to do a decent a job. Most of these fillers aren’t even very enjoyable to watch. They’re mostly very generic shoujo material and generally fall somewhere between the “dull” and the “mediocre” sections of the scale in terms of entertainment. This is not to say the first 40 episodes of “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is totally worthless. Some of those episodes do progress the storyline a bit (like, a couple of inches) and there are some pretty good standalone episodes as well, but they tend to be few and far in between.
Another thing I found odd is why everyone seem to rate the music from “Full Moon wo Sagashite” so highly – just because it’s an anime about music doesn’t automatically make the music on it good. To me, the music production for “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is very good at best and awkward at worst. For starters, what’s up with Mitsuki’s singing voice? Her voice sounds nice when she talks, and fits that pure and innocent image that she plays, but when she sings, she sounds completely different, and not in a good way. For one thing, she sounds about 10 years older, and her voice has an irritating sandy quality to it. For another, she sounds like she’s trying too hard to inject emotions into the songs, to the point where she starts to sound really fake and unnatural. I’m really surprised to hear the person who does Mitsuki’s voice is a pop star – I’d never have guessed from her singing. It really says a lot when I much prefer the music box version of “Eternal Snow” to the proper vocal version. In fact I don’t think much of the vocal tracks in general. Normally, it is expected that that music in an anime would supplement the show by enhancing the atmosphere. But some of the vocal songs in this series are so bland that at times, it feels like it’s the anime that’s supplementing *them*, causing them to sound better than they actually are by playing them during emotional moments. In addition to this, a lot songs are criminally overplayed… especially the more mediocre ones, which might have been a good thing in a way, because it took quite a few hearings before I got used to the grating vocals. The background music proved to be far superior than the vocal tracks. From the gentle, warm moments to the occasional eerie, chilling ones, it consistently does the job perfectly whenever called upon.
The original idea behind story’s was good, especially with twists building up towards the end, but it is diluted by the massive amounts of filler episodes and took too long to get going. There are times when any resemblance of realism goes out of the window. Normally this happens when Mitsuki’s talking to her shinigumi friends in a dead loud voice – even shouting at times – with other people standing around. She could at least pretend to whisper, but no, she has to talk in her normal voice and it seems that hardly anyone notices, which really bugs me. An example of how it could have been done better would be in “Hikaru no Go”, where people would actually look at Hikaru weirdly when he gets too noisy interacting with the spirit. There’s also the cancer aspect that’s so wrapped up in sugar coating that it’s totally unconvincing. Like many people, I’ve experienced the pain of losing someone close to me to cancer, and the fact that this anime completely failed to connect to me on this front is saying an awful lot. All they’ve done is have Mitsuki clutch at her throat every 10 episodes or so, and occasionally fall ill at the storyline’s convenience, for the most part there is no sense of urgency, no resemblance of the terrifying progression that’s so typical of the condition. All I’m left with is a sense that it’s just essentially used as a plot device, and not much more than that.
“Full Moon wo Sagashite” has got some good characters, but again, they’re no where near as good as they’re hyped up to be, and they don’t really do much in the early part of the series (when there’s a downpour of the supposedly character developing filler episodes, ironically), and only broke out of their 2D personalities when the plot got going later on. I also have major issues with the relationships that goes on in the anime, specifically with the romance aspect of it. I’m surprised that not many people have said anything about this, but hasn’t anyone else noticed that when Eichi, the boy Mitsuki’s in love with, made his “declaration of love” to her, he was about 15-16 and Mitsuki was about 10?! Is it just me that finds this a “tad” unrealistic, not to mention a “tad” dodgy as well?! I can kind of imagine where Mitsuki’s feelings might come from, but Eichi should know better at his age than to try and seduce a 10 year old 😛 Perhaps Eichi should change his name to “Ecchi”, as that’s more inline with the kind of things he seems to be into. I don’t know why they insisted on making this a romantic relationship – it would have been far more appropriate to play the relationship off as a big brother and little sister one rather than this sickening “ooooh Mitsuki, I love you! Even though I’m nearly a young adult now and you’ve barely entered double figures in terms of age” cack. Those scenes never failed to make me cringe. Also, Takuto was supposed to be 12 when he was in a band (yeah this seems a bit young too, considering his band didn’t exactly look like a kids band), so why is he seen riding a motorbike during one of the flashbacks? Now, the explanation may be because he was in the band for a number of years during which time he’d grown up into an adult and was able to learn to ride a motorbike… but this raises the question of why he started falling for a 12 year old girl if he was already so old when he became a shinigumi?!? I wasn’t under any impression that the anime is trying to portray all the boys in it as perverts. What is this obsession with shoehorning romance into absolutely everything these days? Is it really so hard making a shoujo without resorting to this? It’s because of this apparent obligation to make a love story that we’re stuck with these plot holes and rather contrived relationships.
This otherwise stale series is salvaged from mediocrity by the sheer brilliance of its final ten or so episodes that really breathed life into the show. I always thought there was too much sunshine in the early episodes given the premises of the story, but here, the anime rectifies the situation by taking a darker and more depressing turn. With the previously pedestrian story suddenly breaking into a sprint, and the character interactions suddenly becoming interesting, it’s here that the anime really starts to earn its praise. It’s so good that it’s probably worth wading through the previous 40 episodes just so you can watch the last 10. With so many compelling twists happening in the last part of the story, I was actually expecting something more original than the most cliched ending imaginable that I got, especially considering that it’s so often touted to be “the best ending ever”. Still, I’ll admit it is a very good ending – they’ve taken something pretty predictable and executed it pretty much to perfection – but like the rest of the anime, it’s just no where near deserving its “best” label.
Overall, I think “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is an enjoyable, “feel-good” anime, even if it did need the last ten or so episodes to drag it kicking and screaming up to this level of praise. I think the makers made a pretty cunning decision to save those best parts till last – I suspect the strength of those later episodes made people forget how unremarkable most of the rest of the series is. I however, haven’t forgotten, and I stand by my claim that this should really have been condensed down to 26 episodes, not left at 52.
3: Haibane Renmei
English: Haibane Renmei
MAL Score: 7.98
Born from a cocoon in the village of Old Home, a young Haibane—a being with a halo and small gray wings—awakens to a world she does not understand without memories of her past. Named Rakka for the dream of falling she had while inside the cocoon, she soon becomes accustomed to life in the strange town. However, there are strict rules for the Haibane, such as being forbidden to leave the village or go near the walls surrounding it. These, along with mysterious disappearances of their kind on their “Day of Flight,” begin to unsettle Rakka and the others since they know almost nothing about their own kind.
Haibane Renmei tells not only Rakka’s story but also of those around her, as they live their lives with no memories of the past while trying to break free from their former pain and ultimately find salvation.
Don’t be fooled by the angel-like appearance, by the way. Religion has nothing to do with this anime, and ABe has said before that it’s a purely aesthetic choice, though some do feel that there’s symbolism involved.
That said, it’s provocative and heartbreaking and dreamlike. Pacing is slow, but expertly done. You’ll find that one episode transitions easily into the next. And so much of the story is implied… as well as character backgrounds and the like.
Its art doesn’t try to wow the viewer, and it seems content to just let the setting and soft colors and unique character designs speak for themselves. The backgrounds are gorgeous and detailed. Characters’ personalities are mild and realistic; no character gets shoved into the standard archetypes you so often see in anime.
Also notable is the soundtrack. Every song fits the mood of Haibane Renmei perfectly — especially notable (aside from the opening, “Free Bird,” and ending theme “Blue Flow”) are “Garasu no Yume,” “Ailes Grises,” “Starting of the World,” and “A Little Plate’s Rondo.” Many of them feel like lullabies. Personally, the soundtrack is one of my favorite parts of this series, but looking at the other reviews, it looks like I’m the only one who finds it so breathtaking. Your mileage may vary.
It begins by letting the viewer into the peaceful simplicity of daily life in Glie, allowing insight into the setting and the minor characters, but it grows into a story about friendship and letting go and guilt and forgiving yourself and so much more. The climax of the story is likely to make you cry or cringe or suck in your breath — maybe all three.
At times depressing and at times gently uplifting and feather-soft, Haibane Renmei is unparalleled in beauty, and I wouldn’t hesitate to call it my favorite anime of all time.
One of the first things a viewer will notice when watching this series, is the visual and artistic style with which it is produced. Although the animation does not excel on any technical level, with occasional distortions and simplifications in the cel work, it certainly gets the job done and is more than made up for in the other artistic elements. The background artwork is detailed, scenic and fits the tone of the series perfectly. The character designs are simple but memorable and attractive, particularly Rakka. Most importantly, the series is washed in a soft, water-coloured style that gives it a subtle dream-like quality. The audio aspects of production were also strong, but, especially in the case of the score music, did not excel. Kou Otani (who recently did the score for Shana) handled the music and created a score that was engaging but ultimately forgettable. The main problem is likely that a real orchestra and instruments were not used to create the music, and although her synthetic compositions are strong, the sound ultimately feels tinny and a bit cheap. The OP and ED are very good, particularly the OP, which fits the series perfectly and is an inviting start to every episode.
Haibane Renmei (lit. Ash feather federation), starts off in "Old Home," a small, peaceful village full of enthusiastic youths. The story focuses on a group of five female "Haibane," whom are young girls with tiny wings on their back, and halos floating above their heads. The five eventually become six as a new girl, Rakka, is "born" into their world. From there, Haibane Renmei follows the trials and tribulations of these girls until its stunning climax in episode 13. With little tangible plot to grip onto beyond the premise, Haibane Renmei essentially revolves around the characters’ journeys in confronting their own personal issues, set against the mysterious backdrop of Old Home and the encompassing town. People often have gripes about plot points and settings not being literally explained or explored, but in the case of Haibane Renmei the fact that the surroundings of the Haibane and their circumstances are a nostalgic haze lends focus to their internal struggles. This series makes no mistake about what lays at the core of its tale and, as such, every heart-warming gesture or pang of despair is captured with potency and poignancy.
The characters themselves are benefited from this focus, with the two main characters given a remarkable amount of depth and intensity for a series of this length. The supporting cast are lent a certain weight, but are not completely fleshed out, which is befitting of their supporting roles, really. One great asset the series has is that, perhaps because it appears to be completely unconcerned with pandering to an audience or a market, its characterization feels uniquely sincere. They’re not classifiable as prodigies, tsunderes, role models or heroes, but rather feel like real people with a real heart and soul behind them. Not only does it make the cast likable, but, particularly in the case of the leads Rakka and Reki, this earnestness draws you into their emotional dilemmas and makes you empathize and identify with them. As the characters struggle to come to terms with themselves and their mistakes, it’s hard not to be stirred and affected.
But much more than just a drama with believable characters, Haibane Renmei is hued in a melancholic and languid atmosphere, and dripping with beauty in its symbolism and mystery. Inviting, warm, and ultimately gripping, Haibane Renmei is a series that is nurtured on emotion and thematic overtones, rather than being constructed with plot and action. If you can appreciate that, then it is sure to captivate. Where Haibane Renmei truly succeeds and other dramatic anime fall to the wayside is in its sincerity. Rather than being conceived for audience appeal, one can feel the passion and emotion of the creator seep through. In short, on top of its charm and poignancy, it feels genuine.
This review is the final result of a review team composed of members from the "Critics and Connoisseurs" club. The team members were:
Washi – who composed the actual review
Archaeon – who contributed directly to portions of the review and gave feedback
Seishi – who contributed guidance from his own experience after already writing a review of this show
Here are their individual scorings for the show:
Category – Washi, Archaeon, Seishi
Story – 9, 8, 8
Art – 8, 9, 10
Sound – 8, 9, 10
Character – 10, 8 , 8
Enjoyment – 10, 9, 9
Overall – 10, 9, 10
In the club wide poll held for Haibane Renmei it received an average overall rating of 8.23
Thus begins the hauntingly decorative tale of “Haibane Renmei”
Instantly, “Haibane Renmei’s” inquisitive nature provokes the viewer while simultaneously mesmerizing with an unsettling, yet evocative atmosphere. Aesthetically, Renmei is subtly similar to that of an aged watercolor painting with broad strokes and distinct backgrounds. Musically, the series charms with its mellifluous pieces that refine its forlorn and bittersweet atmosphere with poignancy and care. Thematically, it probes the audience to ruminate indefinitely. Combining all those elements and packaging them in an amicable manner, “Haibane Renmei” manages to weave together a captivating tale with unforgettable characters that will surely capture the hearts of those who give it an honest try.
The story is simple. The series traces the “new” life of Rakka in the quaint town of Glie that is enclosed off from the rest of the world by an impenetrable wall. The bucolic town is home to both humans and haibane—“beings” with halos and char-coal grey wings. Distinctive of something akin to angels, the haibane subtly but distinctly set themselves apart from their physical image and beatific attributes. Rakka with no former memory or traces of her past assumes her new role and life along with her new haibane family.
Although the story seems straightforward, it is equally deceptive because where Renmei lacks in a strict plot, it makes up for infinitely through its substantial style and themes. With that being said, it is important to note that this is a series that capitalizes on maturing with time, making it a slow ride thereby allowing the viewer to appreciate both the artistic and thematic merits that constitute the show. There aren’t any cheap thrills, gratuitous expositions, female and/or male exhibitionists servicing the fans, or flashy fights; rather it’s a simple tale to bring the viewer a thought-provoking and beguiling experience.
As aforementioned, the story is one that may seem simplistic, but under its “no-frills” veil, it’s a labyrinth coated with insightful and empathetic themes. The series is structured in a way that certain, obvious questions are raised. However, while the series provides perceptive themes, it does not supply many answers. Like a distant illusion, a hopeful mirage, the prospect of a potential resolution looms, but never fully manifests. While that can potentially turn away many viewers, this plays to the show’s strengths because it allows room for imagination and speculation while holding true to the essences of the series. Often times there are no answers and in a narrative based around some themes such as self discovery and self truths, churning out linear answers would be clearly unjustified and of poor taste.
“Haibane Renmei” is a tale that inquires, but doesn’t resolve; it’s not to patronize the viewer, but to enhance the experience by showing rather than telling: a technique that’s highly underrated because it’s often misused or overly-done to a point where it can seem conceited or forced. Through Rakka and her fellow haibane comrades, we get to embark on a very special journey; a journey about a once crest-fallen girl who awakens in foreign lands only to discover the greatest truth—one about herself. “Haibane Renmei” illustrates the importance self-discovery, friendship, forgiveness, guilt, salvation, and “truth” in a world shrouded in ambiguity. The haibane almost seem like a nostalgic metaphor, one that eerily resonates with the viewer. Frequently, the closest familiarity lies within the most strangest of places/individuals and through these bizarre encounters do we get the chance to really look into who we are and more importantly, understand who we are.
One of the strongest points of the show is the characters. The developing propinquity between the characters is depicted in a classy manner while also establishing memorable personalities amongst the cast. Most of the themes of the show are actualized within the interactions and through the wonderfully constructed dynamics between the close-knit haibane family, the true importance of relationships shine through with blinding effect. The notion of friendship is crafted with extreme care; it isn’t overdone nor is it overbearing to a point where it becomes a contrived plot-device. Rather, it’s there for a definitive purpose: to engage the themes of the show and direct the characters unto their respective paths while providing the viewer with a filling sense of empathy and endearment. The two main characters Rakka and Reki are idyllic in that sense because their dynamics as friends and individuals are done with principle and relevance rather than characteristics defined by formulaic absurdities that accompany “power of friendship”. Both girls struggle and continue doing so but how they cope with their struggle and try to manifest their true selves through their respective struggles is one of the greatest accomplishments of this series and rightfully so.
The art and music both compliment the series nicely. The characters are designed in a humble manner which can be off-putting to certain viewers, but in all reality, the character design fit well for the purposes of the show. The art is fluid. A soft, pastel palette is used to give life to the rustic town while contrasting with darker tones of blues and grays to maintain the melancholy that lingers throughout the series. There seems to be a misnomer regarding this show’s art coming off as ostentatious and obtuse which could be considered distasteful due to personal preferences but as a whole, the art is alluring, complimentary, and aesthetically appeasing.
The soundtrack is heavily composed of harmonious yet melancholic piano music accompanied by the lilting of a jubilant violin. Although, the soundtrack is sublime at parts, it isn’t a collective masterpiece or something that would compel the viewer to indulge in as a detached element of the show. Conclusively, artistically and musically Haibane Renmei does not disappoint and serves its intended function to augment the atmosphere and setting of the show.
Perhaps it should be noted that this series comes from the unconventional yet brilliant mind of Y.Abe who created works such as Texhnolyze and Lain. Whether that is appealing or detracting, it must be understood that Haibane diverges from the extremely dark and brooding presentation of the aforementioned but maintains the thematic and aesthetic segments exceptionally well, just as the other works by Abe. Consequently, if you’re fan or new to Abe’s works and yearn for something that’s delectably intriguing but its own, Haibane Renmei will fulfill every intended quota.
Haibane Renmei is truly an enchanting series that appeals to the viewer not just as a series to enjoy imminently, but one that forces introspective contemplation afterwards. Truths and answers about the world and self aren’t black and white, but similar to the haibane’s wings–tinted in shades of grey. Immerse yourself in the town of Glie and walk aside the haibane in a world that’s as strange as to you as it is to them; perhaps in the process, you’ll find your shade.
2: Hanada Shounen-shi
MAL Score: 8.00
Ichiro Hanada is a hyperactive little boy who lives with his parents, sister, and grandfather in a rural town. He is always up to some kind of mischief, often teasing his sister or making rude comments to others. Consequently, his mother constantly scolds him, and even the neighbours express disturbance from time to time on how rowdy he can be.
One day, after pulling a terrible prank, Ichiro sprints onto the streets as his mother chases him. He steals a nearby bicycle and takes on a dangerous route, eventually being hit by a truck. Miraculously, he survives the crash, requiring nine stitches to the back of his head and balding for the surgery. However, the near-death experience gains him the ability to see ghosts—the last thing he needs in his life.
Since Ichiro is the only one who can communicate with them, several ghosts of people who have recently died come to him, seeking help to fulfill their last wishes before achieving enlightenment. Each adventure with a ghost leaves the young and curious boy with a different lesson that gradually makes him wiser.
Above all, it’s really, really funny.
While it’s not for the very young (there is some brief nudity, some fairly mature emotional stuff, and Ichiro swears like a sailor at his mother), the many qualities of the show should appeal to a fairly wide range of people.
We meet young Ichiro Hanada doing what he does best – fighting with his mother. He sasses and insults her constantly, and argues with his entire family, who certainly don’t pull any punches with him, either. His happy-drunk father and grandfather often tease him relentlessly. He also really loves to eat. Of course, Ichiro’s selfishness and foul temper make him bring it all on himself. In fact, it’s while fleeing from a fight with his mother that he gets into the accident which sets the story in motion.
Ichiro is hit by a truck, and has a near-death experience. He has a vision of his recently deceased grandmother, who helps him get back to his body and wake up in the hospital, still alive. None of this affects Ichiro’s temperament, however. The only difference is that he now has a scar across the back of his head, which was shaved bald for the surgery. And for some reason his hair won’t grow back.
Ichiro soon learns that he can see and hear spirits. He has no idea what’s going on, and gets frightened when the first one appears. It turns out that his accident gave him the special ability to communicate with the spirits of those who have just died but have not yet "passed on" to the other side. They all seem to have some unfinished business keeping them in limbo, and they enlist Ichiro’s help. Naturally, Ichiro hates it, and refuses, and at first the ghosts have to resort to scaring him half to death to get him to cooperate.
Eventually, he gets used to the nagging spirits. They come in all sorts of varieties, and have different reasons for seeking Ichiro’s help. There’s the father who wants to tell his son that it’s okay for his mother to marry again, an old man who happened to die in an undignified position and needs help, and a student who died while still a virgin and wants to see a naked woman before he goes. There’s even a phony medium who, although she used to con people by pretending to be clairvoyant, actually developed real powers as a spirit.
Ichiro goes through a lot of personal trials in the midst of all this, slowly but surely learning not to be such a little monster. He learns a different lesson on life from each adventure with a spirit.
The series ends in a nice place, but the manga is apparently still going. Ichiro eventually grows up, and his ability to see spirits is passed on to his son. It would be great to see some new animated adventures at some point, so long as it’s done with the same care and skill.
What makes this show so great is like Mushishi (which is the depressing mature version of this) its episodic yet doesnt follow the same pattern making it unpredictable and engaging as not every episode has a happy ending, some tragic, some funny and some out right inspirational.
Dont let the cover fool you, this is a seinen anime and gets better after every episode. My only hang with it is the awful opening and eding choices of songs, other than that, this show is flawless
Right from the start we got introduced to Ichiro Hanada, a mischievous boy – as all kids should be. He’s always cursing everyone around him and doing stuff that drive them crazy. One faithful day, he got himself in a traffic accident. Fortunately, he’s safe but after that near-death experience, he found himself seeing ghost and from there the journey of our little reluctant hero begins.
This anime took a very different approach from the usual. It’s very straightforward, aggressive and surprisingly heart-warming. Its story is divided into small arcs when little Ichiro have to deal with the ghost’s problems. And that’s the shining part of this show, the plots of this anime is simple yet engaging, lovely to watch and in the same time, pretty touching. It shows that you don’t need big words or complicated problems to make a good story, keep it simple and close to the heart is what make the experiences watching Hanada Shounen-shi unforgettable.
And then the characters, my god, are lovable. They interact with each other like human beings, not cliched characters we often see on screen nowadays. With Ichiro in the spotlight, this anime succeeded in keeping the viewers in seat. Ichiro is a kind-hearted kid, he might talk a little too rude but he got good intentions with him. He’s also unpredictable. Watching him is such a joy. The humour of Hanada Shounen-shi is often on point with slight moments of offensive.
Overall, Hanada Shounen-shi is a case where you should not judge a book by its cover. You will miss out a lot on this amazing anime with full of heart-touching moments and happiness. I realize how important the people around to me now after watching this show.
1: Princess Tutu
English: Princess Tutu
MAL Score: 8.13
In a fairy tale come to life, the clumsy, sweet, and gentle Ahiru (Japanese for “duck”) seems like an unlikely protagonist. In reality, Ahiru is just as magical as the talking cats and crocodiles that inhabit her town—for Ahiru really is a duck! Transformed by the mysterious Drosselmeyer into a human girl, Ahiru soon learns the reason for her existence. Using her magical egg-shaped pendant, Ahiru can transform into Princess Tutu—a beautiful and talented ballet dancer whose dances relieve people of the turmoil in their hearts. With her newfound ability, Ahiru accepts the challenge of collecting the lost shards of her prince’s heart, for long ago he had shattered it in order to seal an evil raven away for all eternity.
Princess Tutu is a tale of heroes and their struggle against fate. Their beliefs, their feelings, and ultimately their actions will determine whether this fairy tale can reach its “happily ever after.”
There were few reasons for me to watch Princess Tutu, but I still had a strange feeling about it. Today I regret not having watched it sooner for what I saw was one of the most engaging, clever and downright beautiful shows I had ever seen, overflowing with soul and passion.
Story: A unique fairytale which goes far beyond it’s limitations. Masterfully written, the story is a perfect blend of powerful moments, unexpected twists, comedy and romance. The fairytale structure takes the best out of classic ballets and weaves a story that is both coherent and diverse. The endings to both seasons are particularly outstanding.
Art: The series has a stylized and clean art style combined with great animation. Although I felt it fit the series very well, not everyone feels that way. Some believe the art style is a bit too girly or misleading, but it actually fits the fairytale theme very well. The backgrounds are great and the ballet scenes are beautifully animated (although some use too many stills which, even though beautiful, aren’t as good as the animated moments).
Sound: The "coup-de-grace" of the show, the soundtrack doesn’t simply support the show: it is part of the story itself. Each episode is accompanied by a certain ballet suite and takes the most advantage of it. The suites were carefully chosen and superbly performed by a bulgarian orchestra. I had heard many of them before and I was amazed by the quality of the performance. Every single note fits perfectly and sounds delightful, even the songs that were composed for the show. Truly mindblowing, the music adds a whole new layer of depth to it. The voices and dialog are also very good and fitting.
Characters: With such a great story and soundtrack, some would think that the development team wouldn’t be focused on character development. Wrong. All characters are believable, feel real and evolve throughout the story. Even secondary characters show a glowing spirit that many main characters wish they had. If you allow yourself to, you will be able to feel a strong bond and sympathy for those characters, even those you didn’t expect. The multi-layered Ahiru is an amazing and strong main character, and the others will surprise you as well. Not only do characters evolve but they also take advantage of a distinct way to show their "persona": dance.
Enjoyment: A show that you won’t be able to put down until you finish it. The episodes are so engaging and fantastic it’s easy to get sucked in. A surprisingly rich experience you won’t find anywhere else. Surprisingly, I found myself rewatching several scenes shortly after finishing the show. I recommend you to use headphones so that you don’t miss a single note of this visual and musical wonder.
Overall, Princess Tutu is a living, breathing anime that, unlike most magical-shoujo shows, truly feels magical. Yes, I may sound cheesy, lame and corny, but don’t miss out on this unique gem. A true masterpiece.
Story and Characters:
Well, the series starts off a little cliche and trope ridden. In fact, I had subconsciously made a list of every cliche I expected to play out during the series. But boy by the end of that series was I eating that list right back, this series completely redefines how magical girl series can be done. The series frequently takes plot lines and ideas from ballets and other classical pieces of music and then it takes all of them to make its own original and unique thing. And to anyone as concerned with the girly factor as I was, I really didn’t find any of the main plot as overly girly as I was expecting (I found it mildly girly to be fair). The ending has to be one of the best and most rewarding endings I’ve seen in an anime ever, this is a series that definitely delivers, even if you didn’t know what you wanted delivered.
Characters designs and animation are all crisp and beautiful and fit into the world so incredibly well. There’s also frequent CGI at times that is never jarring and fits ever so perfectly. But sound is where is where it was really at for me, having been an already existing fan of classical music. The series didn’t just use common pieces all the time, it used whatever piece fit, no matter how obscure and the series was made better for it. All the pieces that they picked intensified the mood of whatever scene it was in to make a perfect compliment. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find soundtrack usage this perfect again personally. It wasn’t only about having a strong soundtrack, but it was also about using it well.
This is one of my very few 10 series and quite possibly my favorite anime of all time. I think this series should be seen by everyone, you’ll find a lovely diamond in the rough with a great and memorable story. I really can’t think of anything else quite like it, this is a must watch.
Like all good fairy tales, the story is most crucial. It must be whimsical yet cautionary, quickly paced, and tightly-knit. Tutu follows this formula well, though not so much the "quickly paced" bit. This is because Tutu has an episodic monster-of-the-week nature that can become an irritance, and would have been if every episode didn’t, in some way, tie directly back to the main story. Much like director Junichi Sato’s other hidden gem Kaleido Star, the story is broken into two distinct parts, which while seperate, are directly connected. This storytelling works best in that it provides two distinct and memorable climaxes while never feeling rushed or out-of-place.
The main story itself is flawless. A fantastic tribute to the forgotten and oft-dismissed power of fairy tales and ballet, whimsical enough to never forget its true nature, and dark enough to invest interest and revoke the idea of it just being a children’s show.
It’s characters range from the absurd to the sinister and some even manage to play both during the course of the series. The characters alone are uniquely crafted. Though some follow certain Junichi Sato molds, such as Fakir and Mythos, Ahiru stands out as a subversion of the cheerful, determined heroine his works are often known for in that her efforts do not always deem satisfaction, and her ultimate goal is not met with her ideal ending. Everyone interacts sincere to their motives and personalities and no one ever feels like they’re doing something they shouldn’t be.
Of course the art, provided by Sato’s mainstay HAL Film Maker is divine. Every scene is fluid and graceful, especially the dance numbers. Character designs and backgrounds are very imaginative and hold the Germanic fairy tale motif that the series sets for itself.
The accompaniment for the series is a numerous array of classical music and ballet numbers, most of which will be recognizable by ear even if you can’t remember the name of what you’re hearing. Moreso, the music provides a direct parallel to the conflict in each scene it is used, and often scenes are choreographed around the music, making for dramatic impact mostly unparalleled.
Yes, the title is a turn-off, and I’m sure many of you out there think ballet is for 6-year-old girls, but Tutu takes the most universal and respected elements of the things children love and craft something everyone can and most likely will enjoy. Though it trudges in a few places, Tutu never forgets where it’s going. It’s magical waltz always catches up and makes sure it ends on the best note it can.
Overall, I give Princess Tutu a 9 out of 10.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Princess Tutu
2. Hanada Shounen-shi
3. Haibane Renmei
4. Full Moon wo Sagashite
5. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
6. Digimon Tamers