They’re the best Anime that 2007 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Murder Princess, Kikoushi Enma, Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sylvarant-hen, and more!
10: Murder Princess
English: Murder Princess
MAL Score: 7.01
In the kingdom of Forland, a coup d’etat occurs which leads to the death of the King. In the last moments of his life, the King sends his second child, Princess Alita Forland to escape. Unfortunately, while fleeing, a life and death situation between Alita and the bloodthirsty bounty hunter Falis causes the two of them to switch bodies. Desperate for the safety of her Kingdom, Alita begs Falis to return and protect the Kingdom, offering herself as collateral. After a swift beating on the rebel forces, Falis resumes the title of Princess of Forland, leading to the birth of the most savage princess in their land, the “Murder Princess.”
Anyway, in moving along, as summaries in the synopsis, Princess Arita just witnessed the death of her king and now fleeing from unknown assassins, she accidentally ran into Falis, a famous bounty hunter and with a twist of fate, they switched souls making Alita the maid and Falis, the princess instead.
As the series moves on, you get to see how Falis adjust her new life in being the princess of Foreland as well as savagely slashing her enemies away with her great bounty hunter skills in order to protect the land and the citizens of Foreland, a promised made with Alita. In additional, there are many mysteries throughout the storyline to keep you entertained other than just slashing and shooting throughout the series like for example the mystery of the dark knight and the past of Princess Falis as known as Alita into why she became a bounty hunter. Ideas like these makes the storyline more captivating.
In regards to the OP theme, beginning it with heavy metal rock music gets you into the mood at the beginning of each episode. It’s like, you know you will get to see some action and they just want you to gear up for it. Ideas like these just makes the series more enjoyable in my opinion.
Overall, a short, fast, action pace series full of adventures and thrills. As specified by the title, it does deliver a ‘killer’ good series.
Being an OVA, the show spares you from the "unecessary" details and goes with a "this is how this universe works so deal with it for now approach." It focuses more on the fighting and drama more than details and common sense. Although they do try to tie up some loose ends with what small time frame they have. But that’s what makes this show so entertaining and fun. For you seasoned veteran anime watchers, the story line and plot twists are very standard and you’ll most likely be able to predict what happens next fairly easily. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that this show is boring at all.
As for the characters, they are a very unique bunch considering the setting of the anime. But in typical anime fashion, there is no reason why they’re there but definitely make for a fun viewing experience. It’ll take a minute to figure out what most of the wierd characters are but they’re of pretty generic types. None of them are very memorable. Theres no real depth to any of the cast with the exception of the princess and her companion, the only source of drama in the show.
When somone thinks of music in an action flick, you generally would assume a smashing guitar rift medley of the hard rock kind. That is exactly what you get from this show. The interesting thing I noticed was that each ‘guitar intrumental’ was different everytime they played it, as opposed to using the same song over and over and over again. The OP and intrumentals all sound like something that should belong in a video game, but somehow they fit this show perfectly. Another strong point is the character seiyus. All though it took me a few episodes to accept Romi Paku’s (Hitsugaya Toushirou from Bleach) rough voice as the princess, but like Hitsugaya, she grows on you as well (especially since the princess is pretty hot). But in my opinon, Chiwa Saito, steals the show. Pay attention to Yuna to find out why.
With so many high quality anime being released in rapid succession, it’s hard to say that the art and animation of this show looks great. For what it’s worth, the art is done very well, but like most of the show it’s drawn with average quality. No real high depth and detail to any of the artwork but its all just fine at best. I would also have scored this show a little higher in the art and animation department if they didn’t skimp (leave out) so much on the action scenes. Theres alot of cookie cutter techniques in the fight scenes, like the famous "blade swipe in the black," or the "blurry punch" technique, and even the "jump to lightspeed" background. Is all used here. Of course they’re all standard cheap action techniques, but the fight scenes do have an above average blood content. Limbs fly off, blood spatter flies everywhere, and even organs occasionally get exposed. The violence may be cheap but at least its graphic.
Overall, this is pretty much another average anime to add to your "completed" list. If you don’t mind lack of depth in your story and just want a pretty fun action experience give this one a shot. If that doesn’t sound like your thing WATCH IT ANYWAY. It’s 6 episodes long and this show does bring a fun experience. Watching an anime about an ass-kicking princess doesn’t come very often.
While my review may sound a touch harsh, I didn’t find the series completely terrible. It just wasn’t great, either. I thought the music was good and really helped moved scenes along. The idea of a killer princess is kind of misleading in this series and has been done better elsewhere. Murder Princess is ok for a one-shot, but really, it could have been better.
9: Kikoushi Enma
English: Demon Prince Enma
Japanese: 鬼公子 炎魔
MAL Score: 7.12
Enma is a character created by the genius manga artist Go Nagai. Now, the popular character makes his appearance in an alluring Japanese horror anime for adults. It’s a hair-raising erotic suspense in which Enma takes on complicated and gruesome incidents caused by demons who lurk in the darkness. But humans have lit up the darkness of the night with neon lights and turned their world into one that never sleeps, so demons now lurk in the “darkness of the human heart.” Unfulfilled hearts, suppressed hearts, despair,…such darkness of the heart is the place they lurk.
Enma is the Demon Prince of the Underworld, a demon “Born of Fire.” His mission is to take back or destroy demons that have escaped to the human world from the Underworld. Along with his partner, Princess Yukihime, “Born of Ice,” and the monster, Kapaeru, Enma sets up “Enma’s Detective Agency.” Tonight, like any other night, they will roam the sleepless city. Horrific incidents that could not possibly be human acts occur one after another. The stench of evil lingers at the scene… Enma’s fire rips through the darkness!
(Source: Bandai Entertainment)
It begins like this: A woman, covered in blood, is walking through a dark maze of alleyways. She’s pursued by a little boy in a dark cloak, and a ghostly young girl in a white kimono. As the boy and girl corner the injured woman, they’re momentarily obscured by a patch of shadows, and when they step out into the light on the other side, they’ve somehow become older; the little boy is now a tall, intimidating man, and the young girl is now a striking silver-haired teen. None of this is particularly new for the horror genre, but it’s executed well enough, and watching it, I was having the comfortable sort of fun which arises from seeing something that’s generic but strongly presented.
That was quickly ruined when a demon fetus covered in blood crawled out of the injured woman’s nether regions and attacked the silver-haired girl, latching onto her chest. The man in the black cloak used a magical staff to blast it with fire, burning it to death and searing off the front of his companion’s kimono in the process. The scene then changed, but not before zooming in for a sexploitive close-up of the female lead’s bare breasts. Real classy. I imagine all of this might be somebody’s cup of tea, but for me, the fun had ended.
What is this “interesting” creation that I’ve described? Well, it’s Kikoushi Enma, a four-part OVA that tries like hell to successfully weave together elements of psychological horror, fantasy, and sexual humor into something worth watching. And if it had a decent story, or characters worth mentioning, it might have even succeeded. Unfortunately neither of those elements are present, and while there’s a good artistic effort from Brains Base, and an acceptable musical score, ultimately this OVA’s writing drags the entire thing down.
The first episode doesn’t waste any time laying the groundwork, and we quickly learn that the man in the black cloak and the woman in the white kimono are Enma and Yukihime, respectively. They’ve been placed on Earth to destroy demons who possess people. Together with their magical hat friend Chapeauji and their toad-duck-monster friend Kapaeru, they pose as a “supernatural detective agency” to draw themselves closer to possible demon-related events.
Two episodes of the OVA are self-contained; one is about a vampire prostitute, and the other is about a doll who kills people. Clearly points for originality are not to be awarded here. I’d also consider it a mistake to place these two episodes back-to-back; they’re so incredibly similar, so formulaic, that it feels like the same story being told with a slightly different supporting cast. Discoveries are made at the same rate, the same conversations occur, and plot twists and violent confrontations happen at exactly the same points in each episode.
The third and fourth episodes are paired together, telling the story of a group of people trapped in a house which seems to taunt them with reminders of their checkered pasts, picking them off one by one and turning them against each other as it does so. Again, we’re treading pretty familiar ground for horror, and the execution here isn’t strong enough to make up for the lack of anything truly new; it’s predictable, without suspense, and altogether pretty darn boring to watch. In addition, the shift from violent, gory fare to a sudden unforeseen attempt at less in-your-face psychological horror is totally without tact or subtlety, and it gives the OVA even more of an identity crisis than it already had. These two episodes also make an effort to create tie-ins with the first two by bringing in several recurring characters and attempting to stitch them into the plot. The overall impression is of something crude and clumsy that desperately tries to create continuity when in fact there is none to be found.
The biggest problem with the story as a whole is the lack of not just an overarching plot, but even a basic explanation of what happened to lead us to this point in time. Several “minor” details, such as where the demons are coming from, and why it is the job of the dynamic duo Enma and Yukihime to destroy them, are left out. It’s tough to care about what is happening, or be intrigued by the actions of the cast, when we’re not given any context to work with. In the rare cases where the writers see fit to give us a clue about the nature of the situation, it’s normally an outright cliché. For example, we learn that the demons “feed on the darkness in the human heart” and that “all humans have darkness within them.” There are also massive plot holes. I won’t spoil it, of course, but suffice to say that at least one major plot point revealed at the end of the fourth episode (which is clearly supposed to be some sort of mind-blowing twist) makes absolutely no sense whatsoever in the scheme of the OVA as a whole. This is an adaptation, and whether flaws this serious are present in the source material or not is beyond me, but they’re definitely present here.
The characters are a perfect match for the story; they’re also paper-thin and without any background. By the final roll of the credits, we still don’t know who Enma, Yukihime, or any of their supernatural companions are, much less how they know each other or why they’re doing what they’re doing. They’re clearly supernatural themselves, so it would be interesting to know what their motivations are for killing other supernatural beings, and how they feel about it. Unfortunately the OVA never answers these questions. None of the cast members have a single identifiable character trait, so it goes without saying that none of them really develop or have any meaningful interactions with one another. There is some weird unrequited romance between Enma and Yukihime, but it’s tough to give them a thought as a couple when they don’t even have a leg to stand on as individuals. Helping the main cast’s problems along is the fact that they’re barely even present in the third and fourth episodes, essentially turning them into a minor sideshow act in their own circus.
The supporting cast isn’t much better. The series has a weird habit of throwing random characters into the mix with no introduction or previous knowledge of their existence. For example, in the third and fourth episodes, five characters are trapped in the haunted house. Two of them—a cop who investigates the doings of Enma and company, and a reporter who does the same—were present in the first couple episodes. However, the remaining three, a creepy perverted teacher and two young girls (go figure) are just suddenly tossed in for what seems to be no reason other than “we needed more characters.” The most interesting character in the entire span of the show is the aforementioned reporter, and several scenes involving her are the closest this OVA ever gets to being genuinely engrossing or suspenseful.
Brains Base as a studio has a good artistic track record, and while this isn’t the best I’ve seen from them, it’s more than suitable for the purposes of the OVA. The character designs for the main roles are generally strong and distinctive-looking. The supporting cast members are a little more generic, but certainly not offensive. Where the art really works is in creating a setting and atmosphere; the use of lighting, combined with the backgrounds, is effective in giving the impression of a dark and slummy city district that’s the perfect home for modern-day demons to take up residence. The lighting does sometimes cross the thin line between “atmospherically dark” and “too damn dark to see anything,” as is a common problem with this type of setting in general, but the damage is mostly kept to a minimum.
Music is generally used to a good effect in this OVA. It typically consists of ominous orchestral tunes, spearheaded by traditional Japanese stringed instruments and booming drums. The use of an older style of music in a modern setting works surprisingly well, given the sense that the conflict of Enma-and-company vs. demons is an ancient one. Sometimes the soundtrack hurts for variety, as most of the songs sound pretty similar to one another. However, the music is used sparsely enough that this doesn’t hurt my impression of it overall. In the grand scheme, it’s not a great soundtrack by any stretch, but it’s a much better one than the story really warrants, and along with the art, it’s definitely one of the stronger aspects of the OVA.
In terms of the spirit of the whole production, the best thing I can compare this OVA to is not other anime, but live-action films in the vein of the “Friday the 13th” franchise. There’s lots of bad jokes, mindless gore and violence, and a pointless emphasis on sex that might entertain the more animal part of the human brain. If that sounds good to you, then pick this one up, because it won’t disappoint you in those regards. But anyone seeking a strong story or memorable characters would be better served looking elsewhere.
I guess you could say the story is pretty typical. A group of people exterminating demons to keep the town at peace [or because it’s their job], but it has a more, how should I say this, natural feel to it. Most of the time an anime with this kind of story tends to be a little too supernatural. Sometimes even making totally impossible things seem possible.
The animation was beautiful the whole way through. It was really detailed, yet sometimes so detailed it was disgusting. I just wanted to skip over some of those deformed faces. There is also a problem with some scenes being too dark. I know this is supposed to be horror, but it made it hard to see what was going on.
I didn’t pay too much attention to this, but the reason may be that there was barely any BGM. It sounded as natural as possible when in the city or a bar. The only time there was some music was during an action scene to make it more exciting.
The main characters made this fun to watch, but there wasn’t much to them. You were never told why Enma has to destroy these demons, how he met Yukihime or how long they have know each other, and what Kapaeru’s true form is. All of the character development was spent on the minor characters. Which in this case is important to better understand the situation they face.
The comedic scenes created by Enma and his group were always entertaining. There were some nice fights as well, but they never lasted any longer than maybe 3 minutes. Some scenes, on the other hand, felt like they were longer than they should be. I’m sure each episode could have been 30 minutes or a little less if they wanted to make this more enjoyable.
In the end this OVA receives an 8. There isn’t really anything else I can say except if you have time and this interests you then give it a shot. I enjoyed it and maybe you will too.
A great little story to watch, It may seem like the classic: Demons appear and all of a sudden a team shows up to combat them, and i guess in a sense that’s true, but there is more to it than that. It has a down to earth feel to it. Although you may think pssh superpowers and demons…. how can that be down to earth? Well Although there are superpowers involved, nothing is overly dramatic and over the top. there is also the human element of the regular individuals who get dragged into the horrors that surround them. All in all, everything is wrapped up pretty nicely and closes off with a somewhat dramatic finale.
Probably the best part of this entire OVA was the artwork. it builds so much of an atmosphere that pulls the viewer into the environment, experience the emotions of the characters, and the thrill of watching what is unfolding on screen. One thing that was lacking a bit was the artwork of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, the characters were decent looking but they weren’t anything special. It seems to stand out a bit more when you compare minorly detailed characters with the highly detailed backgrounds.
Sound: My first impression on this OVA is that probably where this OVA is lacking the most in is sound. I meant that quite literally, there didn’t feel like there was that much sounds going on. Actually looking back on it, and re-listening to a couple segments from the episodes i noticed how wrong i was. There is sounds throughout most of the way, but it feels like it has been incorporated so well into the scenery and what is happening that I didn’t actually notice. I was drawn so deeply into actual going ons of the scene. The dramatic ominous music, was used throughout, but never overused, and was always changing. the other sounds generally consisted of things like characters breathing loudly, screams, and the scenery. I thought that this just added to the dark and ominous atmosphere that was created throughout. Although you could argue well…. there is not too much background music, and there isn’t even an opening. I would agree with most of that. There isn’t much background music, but it is well placed. However the lack of an opening, and the kinda lousy ending song were a bit of a disappointment. Ranking this OVA purely based on sound, its kind of low, in that it although it builds up the atmosphere very well, stand alone the sounds are quite generic.
One thing about this OVA that i was not overly fond of. The main three characters seemed somewhat one dimensional, and we barely learned nearly anything about them. Little to no character development. Motivation- nada, backstories- nada, how they got their powers- nada. Those characters were a bit of a disappointment. On the other hand however the “mortal” characters whom the stories revolved around,we had a little bit more information about them. The characters were a bit better introduced and we learn more about them, but even then, we still only scratch the surface. Overall the largest flaw of the OVA
I found this OVA to be very enjoyable. I found myself constantly leaning forward towards my computer screen just being engrossed into the story. I honestly didn’t notice the 40 min time of each episode until i finished it. Well worth the watch
I do recommend this to most people. Although there is a slight bit of nudity, and ecchi scenes, nothing is over the top and it really doesn’t take anything away from what the storyline does so well to build up. If you can find the time (and i am sure you can) i suggest you to check it out.
8: Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sylvarant-hen
Japanese: テイルズオブシンフォニア THE ANIMATION シルヴァラント編
MAL Score: 7.17
Two worlds exist, both unaware of the existance of the other. In order for one world to flourish, the other will have to perish. On the perishing world, a Chosen one is sent on a journey to restore that world’s mana by awakening the Spirits and becoming an angel. Colette Brunel, the Chosen of Sylvarant, sets out on her journey accompanied by her best friends Lloyd Irving and Genis Sage. As they travel further they meet more friends and even more enemies, while they learn more and more about the truth behind the World Regeneration.
Well, this OVA of course comes from the video game Tales of Symphonia. So, the story is the same, however theres quite a few parts left out. However, I don’t think it is quite right to say that just because of that the story isn’t that good. This is the animation, not the game. Sure, it’s based on it, but it’s not gonna be an exact copy of it.
It starts really being a kind of ‘save the planet’ storyline, as a girl who is the Chosen One and her friends set out for a journey to a tower where she’ll become an angel and rescue the planet. However, after Lloyd (the main character) learns something serious about becoming an angel, the story takes a pretty big twist, which it pretty interesting. The OVA ends really like only about half-way through the game, so it does not give you a feeling of closure whatsoever, but that’s exactly why more episodes are supposed to be made at a later date.
The artwork is similar to the cut scenes from the video game. Which means it’s pretty good. Everything is nicely drawn, and the motions are pretty fluent. It’s more of a simplistic style, which is actually quite nice.
The voice acting really couldn’t have been better. The voices really fit the characters greatly. The background music isn’t spectacular, but serves its purpose and is fairly good. The OP, I feel, couldn’t have been better for this OVA. It, for some reason, just felt so perfect for the overall mood and tone of the show. The ED is actually a song that Collette, the Chosen One, sings in the series, so I guess it was a nice idea to have it as the ED.
The characters are all pretty cool, and each have a different personality, making them very likable. They didn’t really get too develop themselves very much, which is unfortunate and disappointing, but I don’t think it is fair to degrade the show for that, since it’s simply 4 episodes.
Enjoyment would have been a 9 if the battles were better. That’s really my biggest disappointment. The fights were very short and curt, and rarely involved a lot of intricacy or really just intensity, especially the battles against the seals. However, despite that, it’s still a pretty enjoyable watch since there’s a lot of emotion and, well, it’s really just fun to follow it along, even if you haven’t played the video game.
Art: If you’ve played the game, then you’ve seen the movie cut scenes that show up every now and then, and seeing as how Gainax produced those scenes, it’s understandable that it was high end animation. Although Gainax doesn’t produce the OVA, the quality stays. The characters are drawn well, and all the animation is smooth.
Sound: I assume sound means the soundtrack and voice acting, both of which I felt were okay. I enjoyed the voice acting more than I did the music, mainly because of a very good cast. You’ll recognize many of the voices, and I they fit the characters well. The soundtrack wasn’t bad, but nothing memorable, personally, i got kind of bored the OP, and ED.
Character: The characters never had a chance to progress, mainly because the series was so short. There was some progression, such as with Sheena and Lloyd, and change of character with someone else…, but there wasn’t much gradual change. The characters are fun to watch, there are many personalities, serious, nerdy, naive, kind, etc. with all of them complementing each other.
Enjoyment: Ever since I played the game a few years ago, I loved the movie cut scenes, and always said that they should make a series just from this, and now that they did, I had to watch. Although it did not nearly meet my expectations, I did enjoy it, in fact it had me wanting much much more. But as a person who has never played, I’d imagine that they would enjoy this series moderately, seeing as they’ll obviously notice plot gaps, and a pseudo-ending.
Overall: I give this series a 7 mainly because I thought it had an unimaginable amount of potential, but alas, this OVA series seems more like a promotional trailer for the game. And seeing as it is an OVA, it’s too short, making the creators progress the story too quickly. I’d recommend anyone to watch this, and it may even make you want to play the game.
The Short Version:
(+)The music is delightful.
(-)The entire thing feels rushed.
(-)The characters aren’t really fleshed out.
(-)You can tell they just want to get past the beginning of the game in the first episode.
(-)The art quality is below average for its time
The Story (6/10):The story is a simple thing to grasp in this show, one of the main characters is more or less chosen by ‘God’ to become the Child of Regeneration and save this world from it’s own destruction, basic ‘Save the world plot’. But there are points in the story that WILL throw up a “Dafuq?” flag in your brain. An early example is what would be the first boss battle in the game, where some “baddies” have appeared in the MC’s village and threaten the populace, the MC and head baddie duke it out, the hero wins, but then the show cuts to the villages salvaging their burnt down houses, this is the point where I thought, “Hang on, where the fuck did the rest of the baddies go? Did they die? Or did one of them just go, “Well I’m going home, whose coming with?” Then the rest of the lads followed him. There’re a couple of these moments throughout the OVAs but there’s not enough of them to leave you questioning the entire show, just a fair amount of it.
Another thing with the story is that it horrendously rushed, like someone on the development team just said, “Ok, I know we need to make this good, but let’s just get through all of the beginning of the game so we can get to the better stuff A.S.A.P.” If you’re not a fan of fast paced anime, this may very well throw you off, as the entire show for the most part, plays out in this format.
The Characters (6/10): Their are 5 Main Characters in this anime, to get these guys and their relation to each other out of the way for future reference:
Colette Brunel, The Child of Regeneration and childhood friend to Lloyd and Genis.
Lloyd Irving, Male lead and evident love-interest of Colette.
Genis Sage, Child mage and brains to Lloyd’s brawn.
Kratos Aurion, hired bodyguard of Colette and probably knows more about the situation then he’s letting on.
Refill (Raine) Sage, group healer and big sister of Genis.
The characters as a whole are a fine group, but individually they would not hold this show in the slightest. But as a group though, they hold it just enough to keep you going. The love exchanges between Lloyd and Colette are cute, Kratos fills the mandatory badass slot but he pulls it off without also being an asshole, Genis and Raine are there to help Lloyd and Colette along and almost nothing else.
After 4 OVA’s I feel that we know just enough about the characters that we get their emotions and motivations, but not enough to feel for them in any given situation, and another thing I noticed was that there are what I call ‘Houdini’ characters, characters that pop up for a couple minutes then disappear just the reappear later on.
Art and Sound (14/20): Now if you actually read the anime info off to the side, you’ll notice that this anime was in fact animated by ufotable. I’ll warn you right now, don’t expect their Kara no Kyoukai, UBW, level of animation, it isn’t here, but the animation that is there is good for the time, you’re looking at Fullmetal alchemist level of animation, not Brotherhood, just the original series, but with smoother edges. Special note that, even then, they had their 3D revolving on point.
The sound isn’t your everyday fare. The OP is actually rather calm compared to modern day anime and the ED is much the same, and the voice acting is standard but special note to Kratos’ VA, his voice is so good.
What do you think of this anime?
I won’t actively go out a look for a physical copy of this show, I wouldn’t even buy it if I just saw it at JB Hi-Fi and thought, “Yeah lets buy that one.” I would’ve seen this in the recommendations and just streamed it at home.
Would you recommend this anime?
Yeah I would, only for the last stretch of the show, so unless you pre-plan to watch all three parts, you might very well only watch this part but I implore you get watching, you’ll be pleased.
Goodbye my brethren, see you in the next.
7: One Piece: Episode of Alabasta – Prologue
Japanese: 劇場版ワンピース エピソードオブアラバスタ
MAL Score: 7.21
Prologue to the movie, showing the Whiskey Peak arc. Released as an OVA.
Surprisingly, this one stands out as a really solid 15 minutes recap, with beautiful animation, the highlight was, of course, Zoro and Luffy’s dual.
However, abut downgrade was Vivi’s character design, the rest of the characters still felt the same, only with an upgraded quality of animation, but the case of Vivi was totally different, it’s it a whole other character impersonating her, you could tell from looking at her face, she had that special uncanny look at her that makes you rather uncomfortable, she looked okay before, I wonder what made them redesign her.
One other thing was her clothing, it matches the Manga. As some of you might not know, in the Manga, Vivi wore a shirt of different pattern that had explicit circles that exploits some sexuality, so they had to change that on the original Anime adaptation, but it seems they didn’t bother with that here and had her wear that questionable shirt instead. And talking about sexuality, all the females look to have gained a cup size upgrade to an overwhelming extent.
Japanese: 鴉 -KARAS-
MAL Score: 7.40
The world of the humans and the world of the demons (youkai) have overlapped one another, leaving humans to walk the streets of life as they normally would, while demons walk, hidden from the naked eye, down the very same streets. A seemingly young woman named Yurine and her servant, the Karas (from the Japanese word for “Crow”), have long maintained order and balance between the overlapped worlds, ultimately keeping the demons from interrupting the lives of humans. However, humans have come to forget and jest at the existence of demons, and no longer understand the privilege it is to live without fear. Disgusted by this arrogance, an old Karas turns his back on the laws he had once upheld, and in his human form, named Eko, he creates an army of Mikura, or mechanized demons, to ready an attack on the human race.
A young man named Otoha inherits the powers of the Karas and takes his place at the side of Yurine, who claims that his soul called out for her while he lived the life of a human. They live in the world of the demons. It is now up to Otoha to prove himself as a Karas, and restore the balance that Eko threatens to upset.
Meanwhile, a superstitious police officer named Sagisaka and his rational new recruit, Kure, follow the trail of the murders dealt by Eko’s Mikura, as well as the trail of a rogue Mikura named Nue. The prophecy unfolds from here into a grave revelation for all in the city.
ART: Karas is a visual powerhouse with few peers to call its equal. All of the major battle and dramatic sequences are perfectly epic. If you enjoy watching superhuman battles with swords, explosions, lasers, robotics(both big and small), etc., then this is the best that anime has to offer. This OVA is one of the most gorgeous films for its genre, and few shows can live up to this caliber of animation quality. Although animation and art design can’t carry an entire show, Karas’s visual appeal carries a great deal and redeems most of the show’s flaws.
SOUND: Fortunately for the visual production of Karas, the sound develops the already epic, visual appeal into unreal proportions. The voice acting is fantastic for each character. The music gives each scene the appropriate response to each emotion. This is the kind of music that inspires roaring during battle scenes, quiet trepidation during conflicts, and cries of "That was beastmode!" during victory celebrations. The audio portion of the show is no pushover in relation to the visual aspect, but there are a few scenes in the show that need audio editing. Besides these few qualms, the sound is fantastic.
CHARACTER: The character development of this show suffers like the story. There are too many characters, and they all have deep histories. However, the show doesn’t have the time to delve into all but one or two of these characters, and those select few receive the slightest bit of detail. Ultimately, I just didn’t care about anybody other than the protagonist, one of the fortunate characters to receive miniscule detail. It is unfortunate because, like the story, there is so much potential behind the plethora of characters presented. Yet this potential is barely tapped.
ENJOYMENT: Karas is highly enjoyable with varied rewatchability. The battles and epic drive of this series make the experience invigorating, and several post-initial viewings are required to realize the sheer force this epic extravaganza possesses. However, there is very little depth beyond the flash-bang-awesome, and this effect does wear off over time. The initial and second viewings will be the best, and they will be highly memorable. However, there is little to take away from Karas other than, "That was unbelievably cool."
OVERALL: Karas’s production team sacrificed plot, depth, and series longevity for visual, audio, and sensual awe. These balances have noticeable and predictable pros and cons.
Also, Karas displays graphic violence overbearingly at times. To some, this graphic effect may not be a problem. However, the gore in Karas is extreme and may be too excessive for others.
I hope this review has proven beneficial, and I appreciate any feedback, critiques, or thoughts through messages. Happy anime watching!
In my opinion, I thought the story plot was the weakest part of Karas. It took me until two episodes or so to understand what even went on, although once you get the hang of the characters and such, the plot does come together. Perhaps one of the reasons why the plot is so difficult to understand is that the series has been condensed to a mere six episodes. If it were spread out like other anime (13 or 26 episodes), if anything, I think the plot would have been amazing. If you really do pull all the story lines that weaved Karas, they’re very intense, with the idea of what’s good and evil, and the obvious supernatural.
For those that hate complex story plots, but still have the curiosity of watching Karas, I really do recommend that you do, because the art is beautiful. The combination of 2D and 3D animation really makes Karas more than a series, but a beautiful piece of work. The way they fused many Asian cultures together (I swear, I had moments where I thought I was looking at Korean signs instead of a Japanese city, ahaha) for the setting, and the characters are beautifully created. The details are just unbelievable. If you REALLY don’t like the plot, then really… just turn the sound off, turn some intense music on, and just watch it. It’s just that good.
The music for Karas was beautiful, and fit very well together. I found the ending song for the first half fitting so well, sung by RURUTIA, who puts on a very mysterious and ambient air in her song “Selenite”. The background music for the series also was well produced, as it really helped add to the intensity.
The seiyuus were also very well chosen. They really helped bring out some of the personality of the characters that they voiced.
The characters suffered as well as the plot. Due to the whole six episodes only situation, it was hard to really see what they were like, especially since they all have an extremely complex personality and background. It took me forever to understand the situation of Nue and Otoha, two main characters of Karas, and it could just be me, but I found that it was really difficult to follow the characters, and at the same time, follow a very complex plot. It just added to the confusion. But the seiyuus did, like I mentioned before, help bring out some of their personality, but if anything, it was difficult to understand the characters until the very end.
I kind of see Karas as one of those anime where you either enjoy it, or you don’t. Personally, I loved it. It was probably due to the fact that the art really captured my attention, as well as the sound. But if anything, it’s going to be the graphics that will capture you. The fusion of 2D and 3D is something you don’t see, and as someone who has a deep interest for art, it truly was a wonder to see this. The plot on the other hand, I struggled immensely with, due to the confusion, and that took away some of the enjoyment of Karas.
So, I guess you could say that I advise you to watch this, knowing that the plot IS confusing. I don’t care how brilliant you are, it will throw you off a bit, because it’s one of those “in media res” moments.
I advise those that really don’t care much for the graphics, but really the plot and characters to NOT watch this… unless you have some odd love for abnormally complex stories, then in that case, go for it.
But if you’re someone who really appreciates computer graphics and art, as well as sound, then I do recommend watching it, but caution the fact that the plot is hard to follow.
Those who don’t really like blood and gore may want to be a bit cautious to starting this anime, as umm… they definitely took Karas above and beyond with the blood and gore, ahaha, and it may cause some distress for others who aren’t very good at handling graphic violence.
[Just so you know: This is my first review on MAL, so any critique, feedback, suggestions, etc. are greatly appreciated and accepted. Feel free to message me, or leave a comment on my profile. I will be more than happy to hear what you have to say!]
5: Kyou kara Maou! R
MAL Score: 7.45
Life has returned to some form of normalcy after the end of the series, and so His Majesty Yuuri Shibuya travels to oversee how things are going. While doing so, he runs into the king of Small Shimeron–Sararegi. But it seems there may be something more to him than the friendly king he presents himself as. Yuuri go back to Shimaron to relax and meet some friends, when the “king” of Little Shimaron suddenly joins the group and wants the Maou to come to his country. The Original king sends a message to Yuuri’s brother and his friend that Yuuri is in trouble.
I, personally, expected more from this series of ovas but since the anime is mainly a Comedy (shounen-ai notwithstanding) the plot (or its absence) was in every ova rather plain and full of cuteness. BUT don’t let my review stop you from viewing this ovas! For you will without a doubt laugh or at least giggle some.
these little extra side story things are pretty good. each episode has its own kind of sub plot, like aside from the main one from kyou kara maou! if you like the first season im sure you would like the ova’s.
the art in this was just as good in the first season.
also just as good
i like all the characters just as before but i wish there were sertain characters we could have seen more of.
they were really good 🙂
really liked it
4: Saint Seiya: Meiou Hades Meikai-hen
English: Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter – Inferno
Japanese: 聖闘士星矢 冥王ハーデス冥界編
MAL Score: 7.75
Seiya and the rest of the Bronze and Gold Saints who have survived the Sanctuary battle have entered the world of the Dead. They are fighting to get to Hades and defeat him.
It of course picks up exactly where the Sanctuary oavs leave off. This time as opposed to the Gold Saints being the central focus, the main featured characters in this series are Seiya and Shun as well as one certain Gold Saint I can’t mention due to spoiler reasons in relation to the original TV series, though Hyoga and Shiryu aren’t exaclty useless, they are still busy fighting their battles respective battles. And Ikki is still rarely present, but whatever presence he has will be overly significant to what happens in this story. The newer main villains that were introduced in the last oav such as Rhadmantys, are now part of the battlefield as well as a handful of other new characters. And who are some of these new characters? I feel that you have to see it to find out who some of them are, but I can tell you that some of these characters are bad ass.
What also makes this story very great is that it expands the darker tone and atmosphere and still uses intriguing plot twists as it did in the Sanctuary Arc, but I thought what this installment offers I never saw coming many cosmos away. And the ending I thought was a very fitting and suited the themes of bravery, sacrafice, friendship, and brotherhood very well in the tradition of Saint Seiya.
Art and Animation
Well, the qualities that made the animation and coloring in the first oav is still present here. The lighting is still appropriate and I can’t say much. The only negative thing I can say about the animation are the dead bodies serving as slaves to Hades. They look super cheap as hell, but in the end, they really don’t matter.
The new characters featured are really breathtaking to watch. Granted the diversity of the design for some of the main villains is getting weak, they all have their own unique traits and techniques. The features of the armors are appropriate with the underworld-hell theme. And of course there will be some interesting gimmick characters, though these charcters were kind of done before, they were featured in fillers of the original series, but this time, the characters with this kind of gimmick are a Kurumada-sensei original and he adds his own unique detail and feature to it.
The quality of the action is still pretty awesome and the moves that will be demonstrated by the newer characters are very cool and the namings sound kind of weird, but this is one of those instances where such bizarre Engrish phrases can be sweet.
Music and Voice Acting
The most controversial thing about this anime is the changing of the seiyuus from the Bronze Saints and Athena. Apparently, Kurumada-sensei wanted to change everyone except Furuya Tooru because he thought they were too old for their roles, but the only exception is Suzuoki Hirotaka who passed away between the releases of the Sanctuary and Inferno oavs. I heard he especially wanted to change Shun’s original voice actor Horikawa Ryo. Furuya Tooru wanted everyone to stay aboard, and he decided to quit. The fans were very angry about this and tried to petition to Kurumada-sensei to not go with this change, and it got severe to the point where Kurumada-sensei got his legal team to speak on behalf of him to accept the changes.
As for the “too old excuse,” I think it’s flatout bullshit. Furuya Tooru still plays 15 year old Amuro in the new Gundam games and so on. Horikawa Ryo I thought still did an excellent job in playing Shun in the Sanctuary Chapter. I always loved the tone and the articulation he brought to the character. And I can’t speak much for Shiryu’s and Hyoga’s new seiyuus since they weren’t featured enough or gave a certain kind of performance in which I felt they could capture what I think is the essence of their characters. So who was replaced you might ask? Seiya is now played by Morita Masakazu, who might know as the voice of Kurosawa Ichigo from Bleach. But he was casted as Seiya because Kurumada-sensei had him casted as Takane Ryuuji, the main character in the anime adaptation of his first manga, Ring ni kakero. I can agree that Morita does sound appropriately youthful and brings a distinctive kind of energy to the role of Seiya in which it does suit his character, but I think he really lacks this dignified-heroic quality in his voice that Furuya Tooru has and I don’t think he comes across as leaderlike.
But the new voice actor who really won me over was Shun’s, Kazuya Yuuta. The performance that had me convinced was in the second episode about when he “testifies” to the judge about what sins he’s committed and how sin is natural in human nature for such and such reason. He really showed the emotion and compassion necessary that defines the Shun character and I was able to embrace him with that. The only problem I have with the voice is his pitch. It’s soft, but yet still high, while with the original performance by Horikawa, it had the low voice where you could tell that he was a man despite his very feminine appearence. Another performance I liked was Konishi Katsuyuki as Ikki. I thought he captured the character well in his own way by being the lone wolf who sticks out and being the “I do things my own way” kind of guy.
The new opening theme featured is Megami no Senshi by Marina Del Ray, who also sings Asu He No Toushi, the opening theme to Ring ni Kakero. The brief church organs that play is very dark and gets you hooked and then all of a sudden the guitars play and you see the saints running at the screen along with the title in the background and you got something that lives up to the original theme song, Pegasus Fantasy. In comaprison to that song, it’s still pretty sweet hard rock, but it has a certain kind of diversity with the intensity that it has with being gloomy, but yet there is still hope. The imagery, the panning, and the sound effects that go with the panning just add so much to it and I must say that the quality sometimes makes me argue with myself of which is the better theme song between the old and new one. So the opening theme itself is an instant winner.
The background music is actually still the same so I can’t say much about it that I haven’t already have said in my previous reviews.
This OAV will have you pumped up for the next oav and the true ending to the original manga of Saint Seiya. If you want plot twists, then you got what I think is one of the best plot twists in anime history
Whilst quickly going through many of the battles and several Celestial Star Spectres quickly being disposed of allows it to stand out and be less repetitive when it comes to combat with its side villains than the Poseidon Arc was, it also makes them a major disappointment when Terrestrial Star Spectres such as Myu proved a genuine threat to the Gold Saints. Instead of being a true step up in power, only the Judges, Pharaoh and Rhadamanthys’ underlings prove much of a genuine threat. The reveal of Shun’s secret was an interesting twist that explained how he survived his fatal battle with Aphrodite, but it came without foreshadowing from previous arcs and Ikki’s lack of knowledge on it was from as poor a plot device as amnesia. Beyond that, the plot was as typical of Saint Seiya Arcs.
It did have some interest in the setting with it being a mix of both the Greek Underworld and Hell as described in Dante’s Divine Comedy, which led to some nice creative liberties in locations and the theme of life being finite and thus precious was a decent way of making the idea of holding onto hope less generic than usual. However, the regular lives of the Spectres weren’t explored enough for the setting to be more than pretty backgrounds and the theme of hope and finite life weren’t explored too deep, just being a reiteration of Shaka’s words in the first act of this arc.
The characters at least make up for this somewhat. While most of the villains within the arc were bland loyal henchmen, Pharaoh at least had some goals beyond serving Hades that allowed him to at least be more engaging than most of the Marina from the previous arc. Hades also carried himself well in displaying the power of a God far better than Poseidon did in the previous arc where he was defeated twice by Gold Saints. As for the heroes, allowing Kanon and Orphe to have their moments to shine was a breath of fresh air after having two arcs of the Bronze Saints hogging all the glory and prevents it from becoming repetitive. Kanon VS Rhadamanthys also had some pretty good build up in the formation of a rivalry between them. Speaking of the Gold Saints such as Kanon, the ending of this 2nd act carries far more consequence and emotion than any of the previous arcs combined. That said, the character appeal is enough to even out the disappointing elements of the plot and make the writing for this arc average overall.
As for the more superficial elements, even these strong points for the series went a step below its predecessor. While the still pieces of art remain as good as prior, the animation became far more limited with many shots being reused constantly and character movement becoming far less fluid. Even the sound was a step down from before as while the soundtrack remains unchanged and as great as ever, the changes in several seiyuu such as all of the Bronze Saints was something that would be offputting for returning fans who had grown so accustomed to the iconic deliveries of Toru Furuya or Ryo Horikawa, especially when many of the seiyuu had yet to fully become accustomed to their roles.
That said, Inferno is a step down from Sanctuary, though still has it’s moments to warrant continuing the series to it’s climax.
I missed the second of the three installments under the “Hades” arc.
This time it was also entertaining, but I feel that its prequel is still a step higher than “Chapter – Inferno”, since although we have had good moments of drama as the final outcome with the sacrifice of the golden knights, and even history Orpheo. The battles themselves were not too memorable, I feel that the antagonists in this case the “ghosts” left much to be desired and did not give a great sense of danger or depth of characters, with the exception of Radamanthys who was one step above the others. judges of hell.
As for the staging, the art had good moments at the beginning, but already for the last chapters the quality declines enough to the point of having a certain deformity in the characters. On the contrary, the soundtrack continues to have the same charm as always and representative of this title, although its Opening left me to be desired for this occasion.
In short we are in the final stretch of history I hope the best for the closing of this series.
VERSION EN ESPAÑOL:
General: (7,55 / 10)
Se me fue la segunda de las tres entregas bajo el arco de “Hades”.
En esta ocasión también fue entretenida, pero siento que su precuela sigue estando un escalón mayor que “Chapter – Inferno”, ya que si bien hemos tenido buenos momentos de drama como el desenlace final con el sacrificio de los caballeros dorados, e inclusive la historia de Orpheo. Las batallas en si no fueron demasiado memorables, siento que los antagonistas en este caso los “espectros” dejaron bastante que desear y no dieron gran sensación de peligro o profundidad de personajes, exceptuando un poco a Radamanthys que estuvo un escalón por encima de los demás jueces del infierno.
En cuanto a puesta en escena, el arte tuvo unos buenos momentos al comienzo, pero ya para los últimos capítulos decae bastante la calidad al punto de tener cierta deformidad en los personajes. Por el contrario la banda sonora sigue teniendo el mismo encanto de siempre y representativo de este titulo, aunque su Opening me dejo que desear para esta ocasión.
En fin estamos en la recta final de la historia espero lo mejor para el cierre de esta serie.
3: Saiyuuki Reload: Burial
Japanese: 最遊記RELOAD -burial-
MAL Score: 7.81
Taking place in the past it offers a view at the Saiyuuki quartet before their formation and their journey to the west. First OVA starts with Sanzo and his master, also with Ukoku (known as a later Ni Jianyi). Second OVA shows first meeting of Goku and Sanzo. Third OVA considers the events after Hakkai’s sins and his trial (that we know from first season of “Saiyuuki”) and his decision to live in Gojyo’s house.
And if you’ve seen the other three seasons, then don’t go into Burial expecting the light-heartedness and filler that the other seasons were. Burial is very dark, and the light moments are very scarce.
Also, SHOUNEN AI hints. Nothing too bad, but it’s definitely noticeable.
Story: The regular story of Saiyuki is based on Xi You Ji — or, Journey to the West, as known in English. It is an ancient Chinese folktale about a monk, a Kappa [water sprite], a pig demon, and the monkey king going on a journey to India to stop the evil Gyumao.
Saiyuki Burial is the prequel to Gensoumaden Saiyuki, and focuses on how all of the characters met each other, and their relationships.The first OVA focuses on Genjyo Sanzo, the priest in question, as a child. His adoptive father meets a young priest named Ken’yuu that is trying to become a Sanzo Priest (As Sanzo is the title of the highest ranking priest).
The second OVA focuses on a grown-up version of Sanzo, and how he is hearing a mysterious “voice” calling him. He follows the voice to a mysterious mountain far, far away that all of the villagers say that there is, supposedly, a monster sealed up there.
The third, and final OVA, deals with Hakkai and Gojyo. Hakkai is known as a “sinner” for reasons I won’t explain, and Gojyo is a half-breed; half demon, and half human. He has crimson hair and eyes, as all halfbreeds do. He finds an injured Hakkai on the road and takes him in. Then, a year later, an old room mate named Banri appeares….
Art: Compared to Gensoumaden, Reload, and Gunlock, the art was beautiful. I really enjoyed it, especially the shading. It took me by complete surprise.
Sound: I enjoyed the opening song; it fit the theme of the show very well. It was very eerie and it really set my hopes high for the show. The music was eerie when it needed to be, and it helped set the theme of the show.
Enjoyment: I’ve loved these characters for a long time, and although I read OVA2 and OVA3 in the manga, I enjoyed it very much. I always thought it was such a shame that the art was awful in Gesoumaden (Due to its age; it’s rather old), and it really didn’t do the characters justice. I enjoyed learning about Ken’yuu and how he knew Koumyou (As it was hinted throughout the previous seasons), and little Goku tagging along after Sanzo like a lost puppy was just too adorable NOT to love. Hakkai being jealous over Banri was adorable, too.
Overall: Overall, I enjoyed these OVAs and I’m hoping that they will redo Gensoumaden in this art style. I enjoyed re-connecting with the characters and I DEFINITELY recommend this to any Saiyuki fan. After all, kid!Goku is FAR too cute to pass up. :]
Main Characters: Genjo Sanzo, Son Goku, Cho Hakkai, Sha Gojyo
Story: 8/10 – since this will basically be an “introduction” before the Journey to the West, i believe that they did a pretty good job… i must admit i got confused at first since the Sanzos kinda looked the same and the names are pretty difficult to remember (with all those Sha-Cho-Kyo)… i would’ve liked it better if it was extended to at least 5 episodes… the Genjo Chapter was very detailed… it really focused on our blonde priest and his backgound… I was still moved by the Son Goku Chapter and i actually pitied the poor ‘lil monkey… the Hakkai and Gojyo Chapter was rushed, unfortunately…
Art: 7/10 – this was too sharp for my taste since i did not particularly like the long faces… the most weird part for me is that Gojyo’s eyes can be seen behind his red/purple hair… also, characters kinda looked the same… where’s the originality?
Sound: 6/10 – i’ll give this a 6… i did not like the OP/ED songs… BG music is just okay, if there was one…
Characters: 8/10 – loved the character development for Genjo and Goku… i wished they could have done the same with Hakkai and Gojyo… though, if my memory serves me right, Hakkai’s story will be in JttW so i guess that would make it redundant… i like the Genjo-Goku “father and son” relationship… i’ve always wanted to see Hakkai fight w/o his limiters but i was disappointed again… Gojyo for me is still the weakest of them all and he is my least favorite…
Enjoyment/Overall: 8/10 – after i was done wrapping my head around the priests’ names, the faces, and all, i actually enjoyed watching Saiyuki again…
Not really sure if I would be recommending this to people who haven’t heard of JttW… I guess for the Saiyuki fans, yes… maybe for those interested in seeing a gun-totting priest and his 3 youkai friends, then by all means, pick this up since it will give a new light to the JttW TV series… 🙂
2: Aria the OVA: Arietta
English: Aria the OVA: Arietta
Japanese: ARIA The OVA ~ARIETTA~ (アリア ジ オーブイエー ~アリエッタ~)
MAL Score: 8.02
Akari Mizunashi dreams of life after attaining her goal of becoming a Prima Undine, but upon waking realizes that she might not actually have the confidence to run Aria Company on her own. Wary of the future, she seeks advice from her mentor Alicia Florence—one of the three great “Water Fairies” of Neo-Venezia.
Much to Akari’s surprise, Alicia reveals her own struggles of the past, but also shares the steps she took in overcoming her self-doubt of running the company and taking on an apprentice. Finding solace in her teacher’s words, Akari prepares to embrace whatever trials she must overcome on her path toward achieving her dreams.
The main reason for this is because episodic shows like Aria have an advantage over other series with continuous plots in that OVAs never seem out of place. However, whilst this may help additional special episodes be accepted as part of the greater story, it does not automatically mean that the OVA will actually be any good. Once more though, Aria delivers in it’s own pleasantly inimicable manner.
Arietta is essentially a story about Alicia, rather than Akari, and shows how she came to terms with being left alone with Aria Company after Grandmother Akino retired. Now, the story may seem at first to be an attempt at fleshing out Alicia’s character, however it also serves a deeper purpose by reminding the viewer that this situation is also something that Akari will eventually have to face as well.
The artwork, design and animation is exactly what one would expect from Aria, and it’s pleasing to see that the studio took the same care and effort with the OVA as they did with the main series.
Sound is also excellent, and whilst the OVA may not be as “busy” as the main series, it still possesses that clean quality that is representative of Aria, and the music is just as soothing as ever.
Character-wise, there isn’t really much to go into. The OVA does show that Akari and Alicia may be more alike than Akari first believes, and it also serves to strip away some of the “idol worship” view that Akari has of Alicia. As a stand alone episode it’s okay in terms of development, but when included as part of the main series it really shows how different it was from either of the first two series, and gives a hint as to what one can expect from Origination.
I thoroughly enjoyed this addition to the show, and I would advise any fan of the series to watch this (if they haven’t already) – you’re missing out otherwise.
1. Outstanding Animation with scenes that take your breath away.
2. Memorable and quotable characters that you can’t help but root for and can easily relate to.
3. A story that both entertains and satisfies the viewer without leaving a “what the heck” aftertaste in my mouth.
“Arietta” meets all these expectations and then some.
1. The animation as a whole was both familiar and shocking to me. The viewer is still treated to the outstanding visuals that have remained consistent throughout the whole series, with rich textures and attention to detail, but Arietta turned it up to 11, showing much MORE detail than even “Origination”. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two particular scenes that took my breath away. The first was the opening sequence over the song “Nanairo no Sora o”. The rich colors, the use of light and shadow, and the view of the buildings leading up to Aria Company was something that I can safely say I’ve NEVER seen in any anime of this genre. The second scene is during the practice session between Akari, Alice and Aika (A scene I will discuss later when I talk about the characters). While the previous three seasons did an outstanding job showing the rustic beauty of this city, the OVA once again outdid itself and made Neo-Venezia shine even brighter. Every single detail from the cracks in the building to the downright gorgeous reflections in the canal water make this particular scene one of my favorites. The attention to details with regard to shadows and shading also deserves special mention. Character designs remained pretty consistent and true to the earlier seasons, with subtle changes to Akari and Alicia.
2. While it’s true that the story of “Arietta” mostly revolves around the relationship between Akari and Alicia, “Arietta” does an outstanding job of integrating the other characters that we’ve come to know and love. All the characters, even those that don’t have a lot of screen time, shine as brightly as they did during the series and pickup right where they left off. I have to admit, after watching the conclusion of “Aria: The Origination”, it was really heartwarming to see our three gondoliers-in-training practicing on the waters of Neo-Venezia again in that black gondola; Aika forbidding any and all sappy comments, Alice offering her cool commentary on the topic at hand, and President Aria…well…doing what he does best; laying around letting others cuddle him. It’s this, plus the earlier mentioned animation that makes this one of my favorite scenes in this episode with the Campanile scene at the end a very close second. Additionally, the flashback sequence, where we see Alicia, Akira and Athena as new young Primas was a very surprising and well done scene. Overall, it was as though the last couple episodes of “Origination” never happened, and this is just another heart-warming episode.
3. If there’s one thing “Aria” is good at, it’s weaving a good story that leaves the viewer satisfied; “Arietta” is no exception. The story is basically one of self-doubt, knowing when to hold on, when to let go, and finding the strength to carry on. It compliments the ending of “Origination” perfectly. I especially love how every character is integrated into the story, without taking away from the principal characters. Just like the planet Aqua, everyone is connected in some way, shape or form.
In conclusion, “Aria The OVA: Arietta” is the perfect companion to the “Aria” series, combining great visuals, the same interesting and intriguing characters, and a story that leaves you feeling satisfied.
I am so thankful for this OVA. While the last episode of Origination was utterly fantastic and had me on the brink of tears, this truly helped give me closure from the depression I felt immediately after finishing this incredible series – an extreme feeling of loss. I think one of the only problems I had with Aria as a series (and trust me when I say, it’s a very small problem) it’s that Alicia seemed TOO perfect, to the point where she was almost detached from everyone else.
In every episode, she never showed fear or anxiety, anger or pain. And near the end of the series, when she dropped the bomb she was getting married, it seemed almost illogical, because if she was so close to Akari, why didn’t she ever tell her she was seeing someone? It’s funny, because I often wondered how it was possible guys never seemed to approach her. Then all of a sudden near the end, she’s not only been seeing someone, but she was ready to marry him! Why wasn’t he even mentioned? He should have played some part or at least been mentioned in my mind.
That’s the only qualm I’ve ever had with this series: that Alicia didn’t seem to have full humanity – she was basically a goddess. But this OVA, I think, was meant to address this issue. She was sad when Grandma left and she was apprehensive about taking a student but she fell in love with Akari – truly in love as a sister – rather than as a watchful protector. And when you see this episode, you really feel a lot more strength when you think of the last episode of Origination, when Alicia visits Akari after retiring. Before, it felt like that visit would be one of just a handful and Alicia was gone pretty much for good, much like Grandma’s first student, who also married and moved away. But, with this episode, it was more and it really gave a finishing touch to Aria. You know that Alicia won’t be at Aria Company anymore, but she will always be nearby and Alicia and Akari will forever be the best of sisters and friends.
This was fantastic and I would even go so far as to say it is impossible to appreciate the full breadth of this anime series without this last episode.
1: Tsubasa: Tokyo Revelations
English: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE: Tokyo Revelations
Japanese: ツバサ TOKYO REVELATIONS
MAL Score: 8.30
Continuing their journey from Record Country (the place that held the book of memories), Syaoran and company land into Tokyo Country, a blood-filled country under war from opposing factions for natural resources and survival. While reluctantly involved in the race to live, the group faces their own problems as certain revelations are made, changing their journey forever.
A shocking betrayal and a battle that risks all of their lives. After this revelation, they will never be the same again.
I really enjoyed the story. Albeit too rushed: I had trouble understanding at times, though everything’s clear now. I think it could’ve been twice the length it was without really being any worse. Anyway, it was really great, from the original Syaoran’s and the Clone’s awakening to the revelation of Fei Wong’s plans and how much he has actually affected the group’s journey so far.
The animation style of this was… wow. At first, I was surprised to see a completely new animation style, but I soon got accustomed to it, and soon after I fell in love with it. It was a quantum leap in quality, which was most likely due to the fact that it was an OVA. If only the entire series had been like this… Oh, well. At any rate, you’ll most likely enjoy the improved animation.
The music in this series is – and will always be – legendary, at least in my heart. Nay but astounding pieces of music; themes and songs which I could listen to over and over again without growing bored of them (and so have I done). This is how an anime soundtrack should be, and I can almost certainly guarantee that you’ll enjoy the music in this series.
In this OVA, the characters experienced a change for the better; growing much more deeper. The characters were somewhat the same as the original series, but I felt that there were changes to them – both at the start of and during the series. Die-hard fans of the original series might get turned off by the fact that the characters changed a bit, but I felt that they were much more enjoyable, and I’m sure you will too, even though you might require some time to get used to it.
All in all, I really, really enjoyed the OVA; there were many changes for the better, but it also kept the best from the earlier seasons, making this much better. There are some changes you might have to get used to, and the story was definitely a bit rushed, but I can guarantee that you will enjoy this OVA at least as much as you enjoyed the original series.
To ‘Not ‘ voters (and you ” voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
Wonder no more.
Tsubasa Chronicle: Tokyo Revelations is quite literally a godsend, not only for the poor souls that suffered through the uninspired Bee Train adaptation, but also those (myself included) who felt the artwork and pacing for the manga chapters the OVA covers were way off-balance. For the revelations at hand, no one delivers the goods better.
First thing fans are going to recognize is the art style, which is much more defined and fluid than the TV series. The fight scenes are seamless and perfect in nearly every way, and backgrounds are fleshed out wonderfully. Moreso, the series’ shining point, the OST, is abundant here. Unlike the TV series, however, the OVA uses Yuki Kajiura’s compositions minimally and saves the big pieces for dramatic effect. For me, the OST just got better. Also, I adore the melancholy OP.
Of course, Tsubasa has a story and, in this case, one Bee Train decided to ignore completely due to the dark nature of the titular revelations. Production I.G. did not sway. Though some minor plot points are rearranged, everything flows and follows the manga as if you were watching a full-color, audio-enhanced slideshow of the chapter panels. Though these chapters suffer themselves from pacing, the OVA makes things clearer and much less muddled than the manga. Still, too much happens at once and the OVA faults in not giving each revelation enough due reaction with all that’s going on.
Naturally, characters also take some turns as this is the manga’s turning point. And wow, what changes they are! Really, going any further would risk massive spoiler territory, but the OVA crams a series’ worth of character development into these 3 episodes. Phenomenal is an understatement, and the way the seiyuu handle these changes is nothing short of vocal mastery. It is easily the high point of this already excellent OVA.
When everything comes together, it’s definitely something worth appreciating, and one can only hope that more Tsubasa anime will follow from Production I.G. It is very much enjoyable, but it won’t leave a serious impact on you. The only thing I really took from this was "this is Tsubasa done right", but for me that is enough to warrant a high enjoyment rating.
Overall, Tsubasa Chronicle: Tokyo Revelations gets a 9. Best anime adaption of the series to date, and excels beyond the manga in delivering the goods in a way that isn’t horribly confusing.
Tsubasa Chronicle: Tokyo Revelations
This OAV is astounding. The characters have more development then they did throughout the first two seasons. The art style was more defined, more "Mature" in the scope that Tsubasa truely is. Syaoran simply looked taller, more defined and slender, like a cross between Kurogane and Fai, the way a main characters body should look.
Following the manga pretty much to a T, the "Revelations" that are discovered and exposed in the dreary acid rain filled town that once was Tokyo, were mind blowing to me. Each character went through something big in just 3 episodes, and the best part is it didn’t feel rushed.
My enjoyment with these OAV’s was through the roof. Seeing the characters for who they really are. It is indeed a must see if you love anything about Tsubasa.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
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