They’re the best Anime that 2009 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Koihime?Musou: Gunyuu, Seitoukaichou no Za wo Neratte Aiarasou no Koto – Ato, Porori mo Aru yo!, “Bungaku Shoujo” Kyou no Oyatsu: Hatsukoi, Makai Kishi Ingrid, and more!
10: Koihime Musou: Gunyuu, Seitoukaichou no Za wo Neratte Aiarasou no Koto – Ato, Porori mo Aru yo!
Japanese: 恋姫 無双 群雄, 生徒会長の座を狙って相争うのこと ~あと, ポロリもあるよ!~
MAL Score: 6.64
OVA of Koihime Musou in a school environment, where factions of 4 individuals fight off in school athletic events to obtain the positions of Student Council seats.
9: “Bungaku Shoujo” Kyou no Oyatsu: Hatsukoi
Japanese: “文学少女”今日のおやつ はつ恋
MAL Score: 6.89
Short episode bundled with the limited edition release of “Bungaku Shoujo” Minarai no, Shoushin.
Amano Touko catches Inoue Konoha spotting her eating paper and she forces him to join the lonely Literature Club. As intriguing as that sounds, if you’re actually looking for a plot, or any hint of it for the upcoming movie, you’d be so thoroughly disappointed you’d say this is a boring boring filler episode.
And that is definitely right, this is a filler episode. Not only is it nicely done, its charismatic characters charmed me throughout the whole episode. Of course, if you get bored easily (mostly out of slice-and-life), this one’s probably not for you but for some it’s a real treat.
I’ve always loved light-hearted and relaxed slice-of-life stuff and this is a gold mine of it. It was fun and totally carefree, think of any series that engages/uses your mind too much, like a really intriguing mystery series that even has pretty dark graphics. Now think of the polar opposite. It would be probably an anime that’s somewhat too light-hearted, relaxed and probably too soft, that is probably Bungaku Shoujo (well, the preview at least).
And a nod to the art; I really loved it. Although it hadn’t stunned me by a lot, it did enough to earn a lot of recognition from me. Looks like Production I.G.’s gone out of its way to produce some good stuff here.
The soundtrack is also very enjoyable. While it’s not incredible, it’s not bad or misplaced either. Each piece was used well and I especially loved the opening and ending pieces for this.
The whole main story here is about Amano Touko telling Inoue Konoha to write her snack, something having to do with a love story and some unrelated objects. As he writes, Touko talks on about the story she was reading, First Love by Russian writer Sergeyvich. Soon he finishes up and lets her eat it which to her dismay had a pretty bad end. Not quite a deep story is it?
People have criticized the move on discussing the book too much but personally I don’t mind, the happy-go-lucky nature of Amano Touko kept entertaining me but I can’t say too much about Konoha as he was never explored too deeply. This gives way to many paths the writer could use for the two and this will probably be explored more in the movie, or maybe this preview was instead a look at their everyday lives in the Literature Club after or during the period in the movie.
Another point that made me love the concept of this is Touko’s taste buds. As someone who enjoys writing stories, having Touko as someone to get feedback from must be really something. Would probably the best book critic ever if she chose to be one.
In short, Bungaku Shoujo no Kyou no Oyatsu ~Hatsukoi~ would be a very enjoyable preview if you love those relaxed, light-hearted slice-of-life atmospheres. Along with this, the fuzzy atmosphere is accompanied by a thoroughly enjoyable charismatic girl, good art and her re-imagining of the stories she’s reading. Its slice-of-life feel may disappoint you or it may entertain you and you may even end up wanting more, as I had felt, but the final judgement should rest on the movie version and not the preview even though I enjoyed it a lot. Thoroughly recommended for anyone and everyone looking for something truly light and relaxing.
Story: There really wasn’t one. There is no beginning middle and end. This is just one episode about a boy who got dragged into a literature club because he catches a girl literally eating a book. Then she wants him to write her lunch. That’s about it.
The majority of the story focuses on the literary works of a Russian author, instead of on the main characters. At first, I thought it was going to be a slice of life story with a little of the fantastical (maybe), but instead, it is a narration of stories that the girl eats like delicacies. Also, there were a few unnecessary scenes that just ended up being filler without any explanation.
I found it boring. But others may like it. (My taste of anime includes romantic comedies or fantastical comedies.)
Characters: I honestly don’t know what to say. There is no character development. You hardly even get to meet the characters. The show spends more time talking about literary works and the stories contain there in instead.
Sound: 6/10 Not much to complain about. Not much to contribute to either. The sound score was soothing, but soothing plus boring script, equals time to sleep.
Art: Pretty. I would give it an 8/10. I liked the art style for the most part, but if you want serious bishie art, this isn’t it.
Basically, in a nut shell, I am disappointed that this is my first review here, because there is nothing much to say about it. The anime just doesn’t have much to it.
8: Makai Kishi Ingrid
MAL Score: 6.94
Dark existences were secretly invading Tokyo, the diabolic city. Behind the success of ninjas of justice called Taimanin, the darkness starts the action… Hell knight Ingrid revealed the betrayal of a diabolic doctor, Sabato Kiryuu, who has belonged to a group of darkness, Kanomado. She follows after him who managed to escape from the spot. However, she gets the counterattack from Kiryuu in a certain hideous church and becomes captive. With vengeance, Kiryuu tries to destroy Ingrid’s noble soul and decoy her boss, Edwin Black the vampire, into coming to save her. He encourages a group of monsters who have the desire for revenge against Ingrid to disgrace her body…
You like seeing women humiliated?
You like pixelated vaginas and penises?
How about seeing women tortured for 4 episodes?
Well Sicko, this hentai is for you.
Unlike many hentai that has either no story or a terrible story, this one is quite good. Although the story mainly consists of torturing these girls for 4 episodes.
Just like Space Pirate Sara, it starts off with a pretty good story, then focuses on torturing the girls and then the story resumes in the last episode.
It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humans have fallen, the city is in ruins, and raping demons run the streets. The only way to live is to have some kind of magical powers.
Our heroine Ingrid has magic powers and she’s a very good warrior. Except for one problem, she shares the same weaknesses that many warrior/magic girl faces in hentai: La Blue Girl, Space Pirate Sara, Sexy Sailor Soldiers, Angel Blade, etc…
THESE WOMEN DON’T WEAR ARMOR, they’re always half naked. Her battle suite is basically a thin thong and the top hardly covers her chest. And the fact that her tits are huge doesn’t help. So yes she’s gonna end up getting raped at some point. In fact when you see the way she gets capture in the hentai you’ll reach to the same conclusion as me: ‘if she was wearing armor that wouldn’t have happened’.
A pretty good villain. Manipulative, clever, smart,…Kind-of like Loki from Thor and The Avengers.
This rarely happens to me, but I found myself actually siding with the villain for a while. He’s just a very cool villain.
Heroine/Main Protagonist: Ingrid the Dark Knight (no relations to batman). She is very similar to Sara from Uchuu Kaizoku Sara (aka Space Pirate Sara), which is not surprising considering they share the same producer Pixy.
Secondary Protagonist: Anti-Demon Ninja Murasaki. Also a great fighter but she has the same weaknesses as Ingrid.
Other protagonist, the badass who saves the day: Black Edwin
First of all its censored.
But the animation does get creative; expect to see Evil Faces, with evil grins etc. Characters are well drawn.
There are also some good camera angles during the sex scenes.
Some people might not enjoy this hentai since its 4 episode of two women being tortured. Might have been better if they made the sex scenes shorter and had less episodes.
Story: 9/10. Ingrid was with Black and then Kiryuu uses the orcs to f**k Ingrid. Good Story.
Art: Full 10/10. AMAZING!!! Ingrid and Murasaki look so sexy when tied up together on the DVD boxes. and the other characters look good too.
Sound: 8/10. Ingrid’s moan is so cute. Even Murasaki’s too. The sound is very, very good.
Characters: 10/10. Kiryuu = the villain
Ingrid = the main character heroline
Black-sama = the second hero
Murasaki = the sexy anti-demon ninja
All characters have a great personality.
Enjoyment: The moaning was my enjoyment.
Overall: 9/10. REALLY AWESOME. watch it. This will make your eyes sparkle.
Unfortunately, this OVA is extremely excessive in its graphic depictions of rape and becomes nothing more than a 4-episode shame fest for Ingrid and Murasaki, who is equally as hot yet hundreds of times more naive than Ingrid.
They had a good idea going into this with episode one but pretty quickly it gets tiring. A better idea, in my opinion, would’ve been for them to bring in different girls and focus on them instead.
This OVA could’ve easily been reduced to one episode. If you do decide to watch this, I’d suggest you skip episodes 2 and 3 as they’re nothing more than endless rape sequences.
7: Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile – Episode: Denzel
MAL Score: 7.12
After the three-pronged conflict between tyrannical electric company Shinra, rebel group Avalanche, and the maniacal Sephiroth, the damaged planet slowly heals its wounds. A rural town dubbed Edge sprouts up on the outskirts of Midgar’s ruins. Reeve Tuesti, former Head of Urban Development at Shinra, interviews a young boy named Denzel for potential membership in Reeve’s World Regenesis Organization, a group devoted to the restoration and protection of the planet.
Denzel recounts his tragic history to Reeve, detailing how the aftermath of the heroic Avalanche’s actions laid waste to Midgar and took the lives of everyone the boy knew. Through reminiscing to Reeve, Denzel discovers a newfound purpose.
Enter the world of “Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile – Episode: Denzel.” To put it pretty straight forward, it shows the end results of Final Fantasy VII, but this time we view it from the perspective of an ordinary kid named Denzel, who was caught up in it.
The whole premise of the storyline takes place in flashback sequences, as told by Denzel, who not only explains just how he got where he is at present, but he also wants to join the WRO. Now don’t get turned off by the fact that this OVA ends up being a spin-off, because even though the story does not follow the characters you have grown to know and love, it still manages to capture what really counts in the series…Final Fantasy VII’s heart! Denzel is defiantly not a kid who had it easy, as he continues his tale of love and lose, you will get that deep emotion that the series has been so good at making its audience feel, and thus will truly make you feel like you are viewing the Final Fantasy world through the eyes of this kid. Such emotions like anger, sadness, excitement, and maybe even a little bit of laughs are all present here. Which was nice considering that the whole OVA in its entirety was in fact quite serious. The cast from the original video game is few and far between, but you do get some nice cameo appearances from staple characters towards the end, which was nice at bringing the whole FF feel together. That being said of course, if you are unfamiliar with the Final Fantasy VII universe, then this title can be best described as having lite military themes, and all about showing the reality of war and rebuilding. If you’re not into this style of anime, then I doubt this one will make you change your mind on it, plus some fans of the series may in fact be dissapointed that it doesn’t have familiar faces. All in all though, the heart of the series is indeed in tacked, and contains everything that has made the Final Fantasy games so enjoyable with their story. If you’re a fan that doesn’t mind seeing new faces introduced to the story, then you will enjoy this.
The animation is sharp and well detailed, and many fans will recognize environments from the game and movie. Even though I am not the biggest Final Fantasy fan around, and thus don’t keep up with every sort of version that is made, I still found it quite nice to see some of my favorite places now in animated form. I wouldn’t go on par of saying that it’s the most well animated OVA out there, but they did animate it just like you would have pictured it in your head, and for that reason I really enjoyed it.
Now it could be the fact that I haven’t played the game in some time, but I honestly remember the series sounding much better than this did. The whole time nothing really jumped out at me, with the exception of the ending theme. Background music was appropriate, but nothing really special that will be remembered after viewing it. Voice acting was good, and I think they got the right actors for each role. But they also sounded pretty ordinary, particularly with many of the adult male characters. I feel like I heard their sort of deep voices in many anime before. Still, the sound isn’t shabby by any means, it just doesn’t really have much charm to it overall.
A good cast considering that most are new to the franchise. Since the story revolves around Denzel for most of the time, he is the one that is most important when it comes to this category. He did a good job at making you belive he wanted to help others, and his caring nature was impressive. However, there were certain parts where I felt the emotion he was trying to bring, either felt a little forced, or was missing in general. Even though the supporting cast was not the most varied, they still acted very human and quite believable. The personalities of the cameo appearances done by the original cast were also quite good, I felt not a moment had past since I had seen them last, even if it was only for a brief moment.
Despite the fact that the appearance of the original cast is very brief, it ended up being surprisingly very true to the Final Fantasy universe, and I felt all of the emotion that Denzel felt. That, along with the familiar environments, will really involve the viewer. If you’re not a fan of the series, or don’t care for more serious and/or emotional storylines, then this won’t make you change your mind. Plus some fans may also find this OVA a bit too far fetched. Still, for me this was a nice change of pace from what we are use to seeing in this series. And I feel that if given the chance, this one will end up surprising most viewers as well.
This OVA tells the story of Denzel, a boy who lost his parents by the collapse of the Sector 7 plate. He now wants to join the World Regenesis Organization (WRO) to help other people. Then the story leaps back into Denzel´s past.
The story is really touching and sad.
I loved this OVA. I don´t really like the other Final Fantasy movies, but this was really touching. A must-watch for Final Fantasy fans.
Denzel was the only child of Abel, a worker in the Shin-Ra Company’s 3rd Business Division, and Chloe, a sociable woman who ran her household well. The three of them lived in the Shin-Ra Company’s employee residential area on the Sector 7 plate. Abel had been born and raised in a poor local village, so he was satisfied to have a family living in the upper levels of Midgar. But Abel believed that you always needed a goal in life, something to aim for. So Abel’s new goal became to live in the Sector 5 residential area, reserved for managers and executives. Shortly before Denzel’s 7th birthday,Abel was promoted to head of section. This earned him and his family the right to life in a company house in Sector 5.
One Day,Abel comes to know that Sector 7 is going to be destroyed,he tells Chloe and Denzel abt it.Denzel was shocked,his parents weren’t trying to hold back any smiles this time.Chloe wanted this info to be passed their neighbors,friends.But Abel Disagreed as there was no time for that.So,she told Denzel to go with his Father.She squeezed Denzel’s hand tightly before running off.Suddenly,Abel looked past Denzel, to the outskirts of Sector 6 and Sector 7. A tall man, dragging a heavy looking suitcase was behind him. Abel called out to him. The man rushed towards them.He told Abel that Turks have finished setting the explosives.Having listened to his father talk about it since he was young, Denzel knew quite a bit about the organizational structure in the Shin-Ra Company. All the dirty jobs were done by the Turks.Trying to decipher what they meant, Denzel noticed his father looking at him.Abel asked that man to take denzel to Sector 5.Abel gave Denzel the Key to house no. 38 in the Sector 5 residential area and ran towards Sector 7.The man took Denzel to Sector 5,Denzel came to know through news that Sector 7 was gone.Denzel ran, making his way through the sea of people to get as close as he could to catch sight of Sector 7.There was nothing there. It was as if it had always been like this, that there had always been a gaping void here instead of solid ground, houses, and people.he Sector 7 plate and connection sections were visible in the ruins.
Denzel wandered through the crowds, his mind devoid of any coherent thought, his body numb. He gave no attention to the voices of the surrounding onlookers and people taking shelter.He cursed AVALANCHE.As he walked away from them, the crowds and the noise and the panic, but the piteous voice of one child didn’t fade. He stopped in his tracks, tears running down his face, and he realized it was his own.
Denzel is a quiet kid,who at times can be rude or ignorant. He sees Tifa as a mother and Cloud as a dad since he lost his parents at young age.
Denzel thought that since Cloud was in Army ages ago,which made him stronger.Thats why, even Denzel wanted to be stronger.In order to do so,he now wants to join the World Regenesis Organization(WRO).
Art was gr8.Animation is Detailed,Background(enviroment) is well designed.They Did a good job with animation.
There is no OP and ED theme for this series.Background music was good though.But I was’nt really happy wid music.
Denzel being the main character was perfect.The personalities of different characteres were amazingly well.
Apart from Sound,i liked everything abt the series.Since,i am ff(Final Fanatasy) fan,so i am happy wid release of this series.I suggest it a must watch series if u are into ff.
6: Utawarerumono OVA
English: Utawarerumono OVA
Japanese: OVA うたわれるもの
MAL Score: 7.21
A three part OVA of Utawarerumono. The animation work will be done by the same staff that did the opening of the game the show was based on. The story will cover parts that weren’t shown in the anime series.
(Source: Moon Phase)
The animation actually sometimes looks a like it was done a bit better then the TV show but yet it doesn’t feel disconnected from it. It’s just enough to show this wasn’t done with the rest of it. The opening seems to be a bit confusing if you didn’t finish the TV show. There is a part that will give you a small clue as to what happened at the end that could end up spoiling the show.
The music is one of the best parts because it has the really nice feel just like the TV show. The Japanese dub is rather good as well with the right feeling expressed. I wish they had also tried to do an English dubing of it but sadly I have not found anything about that.
5: Shakugan no Shana S
English: Shakugan no Shana S: OVA Series
MAL Score: 7.35
Find out what happens when Yuji accidentally triggers a found Treasure Tool while it’s pointed at Shana! Then, Yuji teams up with Wilhelmina to stalk their fiery friend—whose secrecy has become unsettling. Finally, in a two-part special, Shana tracks a Denizen’s trail by sorting through a Torch’s memories for clues. Her sleuth skills reveal a teenage girl’s heartwarming last days and a predator with a serious identity crisis!
This was made to give us Shana fans a nibble before we get thirds not to piss us off. It gives us alot of the humor that this story mold of body-swapping use (Yuji reaching towards his chest when he is in shana’s body was an inevitable moment the second they swapped bodies) and I think the “shana” feel behind it adds new life to the cliche plot.
Overall it was a great OVA in part 1 and am highly looking forward to the next 3 followed by the long awaited Shakugan no Shana III
Shakugan no Shana (Burning-Eyed Shana) also known simply as Shana are a Japanese light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi with illustrations by Noizi Ito. ASCII Media Works published 26 novels from November 2002 too November 2012 under there Dengeki Bunko imprint.
In fall of 2005 Shakguan No Shana received an anime adaptation and it spawning 3 seasons that aired in different years, 1 movie and a OVA called Shakugan no Shana S. It was produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Takashi Watanabe whom are also directed one of my favourite series called Slayers.
Now what do I think about Shakugan no Shana?
Well I first I hated the series but after a short while I decided too re-watch S1 as well as watching S2 and S3 for the first time and well.
Shakguan No Shana went from being one of most overrated anime series too one of my favourite series in a blink of a eye because it contains great action, a good love triangle a story that gets better as the series progresses, wonderful art/animation and the main theme that Shana presents.
So why are Shakugan No Shana so good you may ask? Well we are going too find out in the course of this review.
Hello Everyone Shawn/TheCodeTrigger and today I will be reviewing all three seasons of Shakugan no Shana and with out of the way lets us begin.
The story begins with Yuji whom are youre average boy whom just graduated into high school. One day as he was going home he comes across a scarlet sealed area where everyone except him are frozen in time and on top of that theyre’s monsters named Tomogara. On top of that the Tomogara are stealing souls from human body and now they are after Yuji soul. Hope are almost lost until a female flame haze comes in and save Yuji as well as defeating the Toomgara. After that the flame haze tells Yuki that he now a torch. A leftover of someone whom has already been eaten by the Tomogara. Usually that you will only have a few days too live at most before disappearing completely but inside Yuki he has a mysterious and unique item that are called Reiji Maigo which every day at midnight he gets his existence replenished. So together with the flame haze which Yuji named Shana they set off too fight Tomogara together too protect the city.
The first 2 seasons of Shakugan no Shana features a lot action, slice of life and a bit of romance which manages too blend well for the most part. I liked too romance and slice bits of the show because they are well in my opinion and they give character development too most characters in like before Shana was just cold hearted tsundere but thanks too slice of life elements she becomes more humane character instead of being that rough main character. The action was just wonderful of J.C staff because theyre were well directed and the fights can get really intents at times.
Now I have too admit the first half of S2 are easily the weakest of the trilogy. It’s not bad by any means but compare too everything else in the trilogy it stick out like a sour thumb of being meh. Unlike most people I actually like the first half because I got too see the great character interactions with each other while they do bunch of slice of life stuff. Then again we have the love triangle hat shouldn’t really happen at all and the one whom brought this love triangle are the character that I hate the most. We get too her later.
The second half of S2 in my opinion are the best of the trilogy because J.C staff managed too show the potenal of series perfectly by giving us great villains, Yuji finally becomes a great male lead and he finally got real character development.
The only problems that I had with the first two seasons are the second villains of S1 which had some messed up insets with each other and the one girl which I will mention in the character section.
Shana S are just more Shana fun for the most part.
The first 2 episode are filler but highly enjoyable filler because of the character interactions were spot on.
The last two episodes are heavily character driven because they explore Shana as a character before she met Yuji. Plus those 2 episodes don’t have any action.
Finally we have Shana final.
This was the season where Shana fans were heavily divided.
I seen people whom Shana final was the shit or people whom thought Shana Final was the worst thing that J.C staff has ever done.
Where do I stand on this? I liked but at the same time I thought it was kinda rushed.
I can see why people hate this because that made that set character into a villain ruining the character development that they had with that set character but for me I found set character becoming a villain was a good move because in my opinion its adds more too the show.
Compare too Shana S1 and S2 Shana final are more action pack and very emotional too the eyes.
The ending of Shana final was good in my opinion because it closes the series in a great way.
The only real complaints that I had with Shana final are not Yuji becoming a different person but are almost all of the new characters that appear in Shana final hardly get any character development whatsoever and it’s really a shame because I liked some of this new characters but they hardly get any back-story or mutations’ of why they taking part of the war.
Besides that I liked Shana Final.
One more that I like too mention are the theme of Shana. You see Shakguan No Shana deals with the theme evolution and the show manages too portray that theme properly because throughout the series you will see characters constantly evolving too become better people.
Overall I really like the story of all seasons of Shakugan no Shana.
The characters of Shakgan no Shana start off generic but as the series progresses they all evolve too great characters.
I first hated Yuji because he stared off a generic protagonist but over the course the series I found him too a well written male lead because he well developed and actually has a personally unlike most generic male leads.
One more thing I will mention Yuji becomes a different person on Shana III and the things he does in Shana are just mind blowing.
Overall Yuji was a good character in my eyes.
Shana are a really good character in my opinion.
Sure she starts off as a rough tsundere but as the series progresses she becomes more of a humane character that can fit with her peers really well. Also by the time you get too Shana final her signs of her Tsunderism are completely gone and she finally evolve too become a light hearted badass whom loves Yuji.
This are how you write a tsundere guys.
Overall I adore Shana.
The rest of the characters are also good for the most part for example I really like the other characters ranging from the badass and mother figure too Shana Wilhelmina, the comic relief and also badass Margery, the rough but chilled Keisaku too the emotionless villain Hecate. In almost any show that I liked theyre are always that one or two character that I don’t like. In Shana case that character are Yoshida. She are a definition of a bad character because not only she’s annoying but she messes up the relationship of Shana and Yuji by adding a unnecessarily love triangle in the first half of S2. I don’t fully hate her as much as other people do but I she was that character that I heavily dislike.
Also I like too mention that some of the villains in S1 were not great they are .Not offensively bad like Yoshida but compare too the villains in the second season and final they are rather forgettable.
Overall besides from Yoshida this character cast was great.
Like with the characters the art/animation continuously evolves as the series progress.
The art style of the first half of S1 feels kinda generic and outdated in a lot of areas but the second half of S1 the art/animation general improves for the better. Shana Final has some of the best art/animation I seen from a J.C Staff because you can clearly tell that they really effort on the characters designs too the backgrounds of the locations.
Not too mention Shana hair on S3 are beautifully animated.
Overall the art/animation are really good.
The OST of Shana are just wonderful listen because it has both the action and romance music that are very memorable plus the show knows too use appropriate songs on each scene.
By the time of this review the Shakugan no Shana OST are one of my favourite OSTs in anime.
All of the openings were good but noting can top Shana III Final opening 1 Light My Fire” by KOTOKO because it’s sounds legendary and it’s more hype for the show. Not too mention it’s one of my favourite anime openings of all time.
The endings are good but nowhere near as good as the openings in my opinion. The only endings themes that I adore are Shana 2 Ending 2 Sociometry” by KOTOKO and Shana 3 Final Ending 1 I’ll believe” by ALTIMA.
Now I only have seen Shakugan no Shana dubbed and I thought it was great dub.
Unlike Familiar of Zero you can tell they put effort of the dub because the voice acting for almost all of the characters were great. Unlike Slayers where two voice actors have too be changed as that series progresses everyone character a new voice actor in by the beginning of Shana Second. I personally enjoyed the new voice actors because I think they did a good job with the roles.
Overall the OST was just masterpiece. The openings, endings and the dub was great.
I really enjoyed the story from the action pack S1, the clam slice of life first half of S2, the more interesting second half of S2 too the wonderful war setting that are Shana 3 final because each season are very different from each other’s and its works really well in my opinion.
I personally enjoyed all of the seasons because of the character cast evolving every season too become better like for example I use too wrote off Yuji are a generic MC but after seeing Final he became a better and more interesting character.
Same goes with Shana because I was worried that Shana will became a another Lousie from The Familiar of Zero but in the end not only she’s a well written tsundere with amazing character development she’s one of the best female leads I have ever seen in a long while.
Shakguan no Shana has been a wonderful ride for me.
It’s a great story that gets better written as the series progresses, the charterers are great and fun too watch, the art/animation just wonderful especially in S3 the ost are amazing and easily one of my favourite anime OST and the dub are great.
Shakugan no Shana has currently maintain a spot in my top 20 favorite anime series.
It’s a much watch anyone whom are looking for a fast pace action anime with some good slice of life bits.
I give Shakugan No Shana this presenting scores for each season below.
Shana S 9/10
My overall score a 9/10 (This series has been one hell of a fun and romantic ride)
My Anime Recommendations
Slayers (for more Takashi Watanabe greatness)
Kaze no Stigma
Anyway this was TheCodeTrigger and I will see you guys next time.
Summary: The 1st and 2nd episodes of the OVA are mildly interesting filler that you could skip without missing much. The 3rd and 4th episodes, on the other hand, are VERY powerful. They give some back story to Shana right before she meets Yuuji and serves as a great and emotional reminder about what it means to become a torch and disappear. These 2 episodes are mostly emotional and character driven and have little to no action. I highly suggest watching it!
I found these to be quite enjoyable and a bit more than filler because they taught Shana a valuable lesson about the relationship between mother and daughter, about family in general, and especially about adolescent romance. I really like how the first episode starts with Shana killing the torch (typical to a standard episode) and then going back through her past and figuring out what happened to her. This approach allowed for a build up of emotion as she got to know the torch and ended with the touching scene between Shana and the torches mother. I also liked how the second episode went into the details of the torches’ relationship with her new boyfriend. The approach of slowly building up her final few days after she is already dead again proves to be very effective (for example finding out the bracelet she likes so much was a gift from her new boyfriend and that the reason she fought with her mother is she caught them kissing in the park.)
One thing that isn’t completely clear until the end of the second episode is that this is a flashback and that Shana is basically just about to approach the town where Yuuji lives. It is ironic how Alastor wonders if she will one day find a human who can interact with her and she replies that it would be troublesome… if only she knew, haha. This episode (similar to the 1st few episodes in season 1) deals with the loss of human life, becoming a torch and disappearing. It is interesting how the show basically drops this concept, instead worrying about the relationships between the main characters. It is refreshing to get a reminder than all of the people who are devoured cease to exist and their loved ones and families will forget them… it really brings home what everyone is fighting for.
4: Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari
English: Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar
MAL Score: 7.80
Kenshi Masaki has been kidnapped and brought to the world of Geminar by a mysterious group. To get back home, he agrees to help them assassinate the newly crowned empress of the Shtrayu Empire, Lashara Aasu XXVIII, using a giant robot called a Sacred Mechanoid.
As her army fights them off, Lashara takes note of Kenshi’s abilities and demands that her attacker be captured alive, only to find out that the pilot is male which is extremely rare on Geminar. Believing it to be a waste to kill him, she makes Kenshi her attendant.
As the empress’ new servant, Kenshi is required to accompany Lashara to the Holy Land, an academy where Sacred Mechanoid pilots hone their skills. His arrival attracts attention, but Kenshi is unaware that something sinister is brewing within the academy and it could plunge the entire world into war.
The overall story line of this anime starts a bit stereotypical, but the development is excellent.
Not to mention that the main character is an overall bad ass with a kind, although a little too innocent, heart.
Although sometimes a little cliche, this anime is found very enjoyable and one is left with other regret there is not more of it!
As a personal bit: WAHANLY IS THE BEST! 😛
Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari was my first time watching an OVA series that comes out every month rather than every week. As such, I was not prepared for the gnawing impatience I felt at the end of every episode.
At first I wasn’t really absorbed with this series and just started watching it while waiting for one of my downloads to finish. However as the1st episode progressed, I slowly found myself getting drawn into the story. The basic storyline wasn’t anything new. It had the same premises as some other fantasy series with the main character getting thrown into an unknown world in order to fight the villain. However the other elements of the series helped bring the story to life.
I thought that the art was very well done and really brought out the attractive aspects of nature and the wild. While watching Kenshi out in the open, I found myself wishing to be in his shoes in order to feel the wind in my face and the grass beneath my feet.
The op and ed for this series wasn’t anything too special. Both pieces of music fit the series and was enjoyable to listen to. However they weren’t anything people would go nuts about. The voice acting for this series was well done. All the voice actors brought their characters to life and carried the characters’ feeling across to the viewer.
Being of the harem genre, the female characters were very diverse in terms of personality and looks. However unlike other harem series, I actually found myself liking all of the main female cast. Many series have at least one female lead who I just can’t stand, whether it’s because they’re all whiny because they can’t get their feelings across or because they’re insecure about themselves. In this series I found myself laughing at all the comedic situations between the female characters and Kenshi and didn’t find myself displeased one bit.
Kenshi was also another reason why I enjoyed this series. (Maybe it’s because I recently started watching School Days and quickly got tired of Makoto’s unappealing character.) Anyhow I really enjoyed Kenshi’s confident and bright personality. He started out in the story as a strong protagonist and ended the story as a strong protagonist. He didn’t really have to grow in character because he was already a likable character from the beginning.
With many harem series, I usually find myself cursing at the last episode if it ends in an open ending. However with this series I thought that the ending actually fit and didn’t resent the producers for not choosing a concrete female lead for Kenshi to end up with. This is probably because romance was not the main point of the series. You could tell that many of the female cast had feelings for Kenshi but the way the story unfolded, you never really expected for Kenshi to become lovey doey. This series was mainly focused on the comedic situations between Kenshi and the other characters with the mecha fighting thrown in as a bonus.
This series was very enjoyable for me to watch and I never felt like skipping ahead in any of the episodes. Rather, I felt that the episodes were too short as I wanted to see more of Kenshi. Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari was a great series for me and I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone to watch it
This does contain some spoilers, but it will not impact the series in any way. Anyone who has not watched this should not have a problem with the spoilers as it does not reveal any plot twists, etc(except episode 1, but what the hell, it’s episode one haha).
The graphics and battles were top notch. However, the entire series was literally a land fill of fillers all the way until at least episode 9. Episodes 2-9 were just Kenshi meeting girls and getting into harem themed situations. Granted the situations were funny at times, it got repetitive, dragged out and ultimately ruined the entire series for me.
All the plot holes also tested my patience with this anime. I never drop animes but this one seriously had me contemplating on it. An example would be why? Why is the Holy Island getting attacked? Because of your ‘ideologies’? Would you at least take some time to tell us instead of bombarding us with panties and breasts? Also, as would be expected, no one dies in this anime. They just keep on coming back and back and back and back.
Another one would be that the timing on the music is horrible. Though the music (BG music) itself is not bad, the timing is horrible. Did I just say that twice? Well let me say it again. The timing is absolutely horrible in this. I could tell when they tried to make a ‘situation’ seem serious or dire only to be ruined by the music. An example of this would be on episode 13 when the students of the Holy Island are trying to take back the land. There’s some fluffly music playing that could easily be used during one of Kenshi’s Harem situations. Everyone is laughing and having a good time even though it’s the last episode. Instead of laughing and smilling, at least try and keep a serious face.
I can say after finishing this OVA series that there was literally no character development. The only ‘development’ I saw throughout were characters becoming tsundere and just becoming an outright harem.
For me, the only time this anime for me gave off a sense of seriousness was when Kenshi’s seikijin went black and white and went berserk. That and in the beginning of episode 1 when Kenshi was on the swan trying to kill that princess. Not even the climax could be taken seriously. Kenshi wasn’t even breathing hard during the final battle even though Gaia was many times stronger then him and he wasn’t even trying his hardest until Chiaia threatens to take away his gems??? What the hell? He had a harder time compressing his sword then fighting Gaia. Mediocre until the very end.
After the Holy island is taken over, for some reason NO ONE cares that all their material possessions, everything they’ve owned is being pillaged by the thieves and all they care about is catching Kenshi’s attention and being infatuated with him. Completely ridiculous. I know this is an anime, but can you at least make an attempt in trying to make the situations they’re in at least seem realistic, having some type of impact on the characters?
This anime, barely being able to keep my attention I may have skipped on some points but I’m pretty sure I nailed the major flaws in this anime. Giving this anime even a 5 would be too much. I rated this a 2, which seems just about right when the plot is a complete mess, riddled with plot holes and too many fillers. I seriously can not recommend this to anyone. However, if you’re into harems and don’t give a damn about plots or character development, then go ahead and watch this train wreck of an anime.
3: Ookami to Koushinryou II: Ookami to Kohakuiro no Yuuutsu
Japanese: 狼と香辛料II 狼と琥珀色の憂鬱
MAL Score: 7.89
Traveling merchant Kraft Lawrence and wolf deity Holo sit down to have dinner with Norah Arendt, a young shepherdess who helped them smuggle gold. Holo’s dislike of Norah—due to both the latter’s profession and her closeness with Lawrence—prevents her from enjoying her meal.
When Holo falls ill from fatigue, she is cared for by Lawrence, who frets over the health of his dear companion. As she regains her strength, Holo reminisces about the adventures they had together.
Wow, talk about a foreshadowing episode for the upcoming new season of Spice and Wolf. For a “re-introduction” OVA, this short ~22 minute clip is very well made. Not only did it manage to include a fairly detailed introduction to the main characters of the series, but it also let us experience once again the life as a merchant through the usual exchange of dialogues between the characters.
One of the first thing most of us who have seen the first season will be concerned about is the animation. If you still don’t know, this OVA and the upcoming season of Spice and Wolf is produced by Brains Base as oppose to IMAGIN which did the first season. For the most part, one can safely say Brains Base did a great job in taking over the series. While there are obviously some dissimilarities, especially with regards to Horo, overall you should not have trouble getting use to it.
Another concern you may have is with the plot. Will it jump to a random timeline and ignore all the major events that took place in the first season or will it continue precisely from where season one left off? Thankfully it is the latter case … but with a twist. Although it is certain that the unusual merchant adventures will continue for our stars, this OVA (aka chapter 0) gives us plenty of clues that inter-character relations will play a much more significant role in the future. Given how much the pair of protagonists has gone through in the first season already, it should not be strange for the story to steer toward that direction for a change.
Character-wise, as stated earlier, viewers have a brief but valuable first glimpse at our protagonists in this short OVA. Unlike the first season where everything is carried through dialogues, this time we see more “inner” character development (I call it “self realization”) via dreams or flashbacks. This new approach to reintroduce the characters is great in many ways. First off, it will not scare away new viewers with all the wordy exchange of dialogues. Secondly, it is also much more effective in reminding old viewers what type of characters they are and what their current mindset is like, thus preparing us for the upcoming new season. If there is one thing worth complaining about, it is probably with the sudden outburst of the “hidden” feelings between our protagonists. In particular, Horo’s reaction toward Lawrence became extremely evident and her jealousy is also highly entertaining.
Other than the three major factors mentioned above, everything else remain largely the same as the previous season, that includes the music, seiyu roles, et cetera. Fans who wish to see more Horo x Lawrence romance relations will certainly be happy with the OVA. Overall, this is a wonderfully made OVA that serves its purpose well to lead us to the new (and hopefully better) second season.
Story for this OVA is pretty simple. Shortly: we got to see Lawrence nursing Horo who got ill of fatigue caused by harsh events from previous season. Of course everything with addition of their usual quarrels, teasing each other, humor and curtness of our Wolf Sage. But this is not all. In fever Horo is dreaming about her past, her homeland and also about Lawrence and traveling with him. Seeing her dreams gives a short but meaningful glimpse at her feelings.
As easily to predict considering studio change animation and also character design is slightly different from the first season. At first glance looks like Brains Base tried to keep this OVA similar to the previous season but of course it’s not possible. Differences like “camera work” or characters appearance might not be very significant but still easy to notice. Personally I prefer work done by studio IMAGIN.
But there is also a good information. Music remained the same as in first season which helps to maintain its unique climate.
As for characters their semblance isn’t the only thing which changed. Watching this OVA I’ve been feeling that sometimes they act out of character. Lawrence wasn’t his usual self and Horo was oversensitive.
Producing sequel to a successful series with a different studio and staff is a bad idea. It usually results in either inferior series or a total failure with Minami-ke as example. Luckily Ookami to Koshinryou II OVA is only just inferior but still acceptable and enjoyable. As a huge fan of Wolf and Spice I can’t help but feel a little bit disappointed with those unnecessary changes but on the other hand relived that it’s not as bad as it could be.
Overall: Feast for fellow Horotics. I’m sure that even if somebody is highly displeased with different animation and character design it’s nothing compared to love for this show and Horo the Wise ;]
Animation quality was almost unchanged from the TV series considering that this is an OVA. It’s still Spice and Wolf.
It was an enjoyable watch so I gave it a good rating.
2: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete
Japanese: ファイナルファンタジーVII アドベントチルドレンコンプリート
MAL Score: 7.94
Two years after saving the world from a cataclysmic event, the members of the activist organization Avalanche have gone their separate ways. Tifa Lockhart opens a new bar, and her childhood friend Cloud Strife starts up a motorcycle-based courier service. Although most of their former allies have fallen out of touch, Cloud and Tifa live in fragile peace with their two young wards Marlene and Denzel.
Their life together begins to crumble as a contagious plague and overwhelming grief pull Cloud away from his newfound family. While distancing himself through his work, Cloud is attacked by three silver-haired figures in black uniforms who bear a passing resemblance to his bitter rival, Sephiroth. As the antagonistic trio stalks Cloud and brings harm to his loved ones, the former mercenary struggles against his own demons while fighting to protect his family and prevent the will of Sephiroth from returning to the planet.
Final Fantasy Advent Children Complete (FFACC) is like its title says: “Complete”. This movie is what the original should have been.
Well the story is pretty much the same as the original. However is it by far superior as most major holes have finally been filled. Instead of characters just appearing somewhere, the movie actually shows them getting there (or planning to). Vague events that were hard to understand are given more detail and are better explained. Instead of random characters appearing out of the blue and becoming main characters, we get to see their background. Denzel’s background for example is now explained and he’s not just some random kid who lives with Tifa for no reason.
There are now enough explanations in the movie for a person who has never played Final Fantasy 7 to actually understand what is going on. Although having played the game would still be highly recommended.
Only major flaw that remains in plot now is that Cid, Barret, Yuffie and the rest of the gang were once again very abruptly introduced. (Also a minus on characters)
Not only was all of FFACC animation remastered to look spectacular in HD, but with the addition of many new scenes which were made with current-day technology, the movie is once again the top of the top in the animation industry. Anyone who doesn’t watch this movie in HD has no idea what they are missing out on.
The music score is done by Nobuo Uematsu who also does the music for the games. Perfect as always.
The sounds of swords clashing, guns firing and explosions during intense action scenes were very satisfying.
Denzel is no longer some random kid who teleported into the world of Final Fantasy. All the characters have more screentime now. Zack now plays a larger role which should satisfy Crisis Core fans.
Major flaw in characters is that the three “baddies” seemed to have had a very vaguely explained entry into the movie. Still was an improvement over the original movie however.
Being the big Final Fantasy fan that I am, I very much enjoyed this movie. Especially with all the epic action and fight scenes that barrage the viewer nonstop after a certain point. Anyone who isn’t particularly interested in Final Fantasy would likely find this movie enjoyable for the action alone.
This movie was what the original movie should have been. Most flaws have been erased and there is plenty of new material to satisfy anyone who has already seen the original movie. Highly recommended to all Final Fantasy fans.
-FFACC has roughly 30 minutes of additional content compared to the original movie. The location of the new content is not all bunched up but rather spread throughout the entire movie.
-All scenes have been remastered to look great in HD. However, the newly added scenes seem look sharper than the remastered scenes from the old movie.
-Denzel actually helps out now and isn’t a waste of pixels.
If you’ve seen the first one, you know it has alot of fan service by having all their favorite characters in the movie. It still has that and more, it fills all the plot holes and unanswered questions and other things that made you think “wtf?” All in all the story is well told.
CGI graphics have never looked better than they do in Advent Children Complete. Let me just say that Blue-Ray DOES make a difference.
Is situational, I have a surround sound system that made it seem life like, but as I said before it’s all situational.
In Advent Children Complete, the characters are more developed then they were in the original. Take Denzel for example, in the first one he is a completely new character with no background. In Complete they bridge that gap by explaining how and why he’s living with Cloud and Tifa.
The fight scenes are amazing! They’re extended a little more than in the original. The story is easier to follow and the graphics will keep you in awe the entire movie.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children by and large is nothing but fan service. If you’ve never even played through the PS1 game (let alone looked up the plot details on the Final Fantasy wikia if you can’t be fucked to play through a 3-disc game from 1997), you’re not gonna understand a lick of what’s going on and chances are you’ll probably hate it. What I fail to understand is how the blokes at Square Enix thought it would be a good idea to make a FILM sequel to a VIDEO GAME. Did Final Fantasy VII become the .hack// franchise overnight or am I missing something here? Why couldn’t we get a video game sequel in the first place? Oh well, what’s done is done and there’s no changing that now is there?
My biggest gripe with Advent Children is that it feels like Square Enix just hastily slapped this together and threw it out to the fans because they knew that Final Fantasy VII fanboys and fangirls will buy it and eat it up without a second thought. Say what you will about the PS1 game but there was a lot of thought and effort put into making it and for the time, it was revolutionary. You’d think that such a game would get a fitting sequel, right? Well no, it’s just a sequel for the sake of being sequel. The story feels like fan fiction to such a large degree that it’s not even funny. Sephiroth has a fanclub consisting of three “brothers” who want to revive him with the remains of JENOVA, they travel on motorbikes, and get into a swordfight with Cloud because why the fuck not? It looks cool, right? That’s just one example, by the way.
Honestly, I could forgive this were it not for the fact that Square Enix in their infinite wisdom decided to omit around ~30 minutes worth of footage from the original DVD release of the movie and only decided to include it in the “complete” release on Blu-ray. Way to screw fans out of their money, guys. What’s next? Are you guys gonna slap together a clip show made entirely out of clips from the original video game in a vain hope to get people who didn’t play it to understand the story? Wait… they actually DID do that. Come on! Why couldn’t you guys just make a 30 minute summary of the game with updated animation that matches the rest of the film’s?! That’s just a gigantic middle finger to anyone who actually bought the movie, especially given how Square Enix went all out with the rest of the movie’s budget.
If there’s one redeeming quality that Advent Children has, it’s the production values. Seriously, this movie came out 10 years ago and it’s still unmatched in terms of production values. Not even the third Berserk movie can come anywhere close. The English dub of the movie’s also quite lovely to say the least, but it does have one nasty little problem: a REALLY bad case of lip-lock. Remember how Akira had the voices pre-recorded before Katsuhiro Otomo et al began animating the film? Well, Square Enix in their infinite wisdom decided to do that. Whilst the ADR crew did their best to make the performances feel natural, you can kinda tell that they slipped up every now and then. Aside from the fact that some lines don’t quite match up with the mouth movements, there’s also a few rather odd translations thrown into the mix. If you want to know what I’m talking about, the Japanese onomatopoeia for a zipper is translated to “dilly-dally, shilly-shally” (which never ceases to make me cringe when I hear it). I don’t think I need to go any further than that, really.
Now where does this leave Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children? Honestly, it’s mediocre entertainment for the sake of being mediocre entertainment. If you’re in the mood for a senseless action movie with great production values, this certainly fits the bill but then again, movies like Akira, all three films in the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc trilogy, and Ninja Scroll already fit the bill there and then some. Plus, you don’t have to play through a ridiculously long PS1 game to properly understand what goes on in those movies either. Fans of Final Fantasy VII have been voicing their thoughts on this movie for years. The bulk of them enjoy it, but there are people like me who don’t particularly care much for it anymore. Whether or not you’ll enjoy it is a matter for you and you alone to decide. Anyway, that’s all for now. Feedback is always welcome, and with that I’m out. Peace 🙂
1: Tsubasa: Shunraiki
English: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE: Spring Thunder Chronicle
Japanese: ツバサ 春雷記
MAL Score: 8.12
A 4 part OVA released with the limited editions of the Tsubasa and xxxHOLiC volumes.
There are two OVAs for each series, with plots linked together.
They cover the Nihon Country Arc and scarcely some of the Celes Country Arc.
(Source: Official Project Website)
+ Very close adaptation of the original material
+ The actual plot is very interesting and complex
+ Plot twists are sure to surprise some viewers
+ Finally we get xxxHOLiC/Tsubasa connections
– If you’ve only watched the anime versions of Tsubasa (including Tokyo Revelations) you WILL NOT understand the plot fully.
– Manga knowledge is absolutely necessary to understand what is happening.
– Celes and Infinity arcs were never animated (the ones who continue after Tokyo), further emphasizing my previous point.
+ CLAMP style art (if you like it)
+ Production I.G delivers fantastic and fluid animation even during fight scenes
– CLAMP style art (if you hate it)
+ Kajiura Yuki delivers once again
+ a blend of new and old songs makes this very pleasing to listen
+ Great job to all the seiyuus specially Irino Miyo for his Syaoran
– I can’t think of anything (sorry)
+ Great level of character development
+ All the characters are very likeable
– Fai and Kurogane fans might be let down by the lack of involvement of the two during this OVA as they spend most of their time as observers.
Enjoyment: I can say this easily, this 2 episode OVA was absolutely fantastic and I really hoped this would last longer. This was one of my favourite parts of the manga and im glad at how well production I.G has handled it once again. This OVA makes my current top 5 for now. How I wish we could just get a third anime season by I.G ;_;
Overall Tsubasa Shunraiki can be fantastic or annoying depending on how you look at it. As a stand alone OVA adaptation of the manga, it is absolutely perfect. If you try to look at it as a continuation of the series, then unfortunately it is almost a prerequisite to have read the manga to enjoy this fully. If you are a fan of the manga then I guarantee you will not be let down by this, if you have only experience Tsubasa as an anime then I would STRONGLY suggest you read it before trying to watch this, it would greatly decrease the enjoyment factor.
:::The artwork is precise and even if there are only two episodes, you can see the difference in it between the two seasons of Tsubasa Chronicle and the OVAs.
:::The soundtrack is awesome as always and the op and the ending are very nice.
:::The characters are the same for all of you who have watched Tsubasa, but /especially if you are reading the manga/ you can see them more serious and everyone of them with his personal story in the shadows.
:::So I think that this OVAs are one of the best CLAMPs works and you will enjoy them even if you aren’t reading the manga and can’t understand the plot very well [=
With the announcement of Spring Thunder it was no surprise the various CLAMP fanatics began jumping for joy and same with some of the fans such as me. Now after watching both episodes, I have to say, this was a real let down.
Tsubasa Spring Thunder is the bad example of what happens when the original creator of the source material comes to write in the adaption. Nanase Ohkawa (aka Ageha Ohkawa) the principal writer of CLAMP, whom I’ve found to have exceptional screenwriting talent handled this script for this as well as “Tokyo”, having taken over from the TV series writer Hiroyuki Kawasaki. Ohkawa crafted Tokyo so well, I would have handed her the Academy Award for Best Screenwriting of the year. In the case of Spring Thunder I would easily hand her a Razzie award for the Worst.
Ohkawa proves that she and her fellow CLAMP mates are too married to their story that all they can do is tell an animated version of their manga, basically wasting everyone elses time. Spring Thunder proves to be nothing more than a carrot for the loyal fans who have kept reading through the years while basically saying “piss off” to those who have only followed the anime installments. Having only partially read the manga I was beyond confused. As Spring Thunder doesn’t immediately pick up where Tokyo left off.
Production I.G’s motto is, ” to make anime that stands on its own ground without being an extension of manga.” And to me I.G completely threw that motto out the window. The film is cluttered with to many flashbacks to events we haven’t seen and likely never will, and it only leaves the viewer with a real sense of emptiness and endless plotholes that they won’t be able to fill unless they claw their way through god knows how many books there are now. At the very least Ohkawa was still able to make a somewhat-coherent screen story that I could follow at the very least. Still most of the time I was hopelessly lost with no hope of ever returning. It seems the plot of Tsubasa has dissolved to a very epic and thoroughly thought out quest to just mind-bending improv from CLAMP.
Equally disappointing was Shunsuke Tada’s direction. Tada used way to many cuts and hardly got creative, except with the action scenes. Too often than not we are cut into long and pointless exposition scenes that some of us really just don’t care about. I found my self fast forwarding through this more than on the edge of my seat with anticipation of what the next scene holds. And of course Tada follow the old animation creed of “animation first, music second.” Yuki Kajiura’s score is ridiculously forced into the background to the point you even wonder if there is any. Rather than use music to heighten the scene and emotion, Tada makes it feel like it’s just playing on a radio, as basic white noise. I said this in my review for Tokyo, that the use of music is the thing I find much more appealing about Koichi Mashimo at Bee Train compared to anyone else, and this only proves my point. On the one plus side was he finally decided to use more variety of pieces from the Tsubasa OST archives than he did in Tokyo and we were able to get a few new pieces from Yuki, who is understandably busy with a variety of projects.
Yoko Kikuchi character designs while not dreadful aren’t exactly appealing. That being said I do prefer Bee Train’s designer Minako Shiba. The art style is a slab of strangely clashing color pallets dull pastel colors mixed in with dark blacks. It’s almost as though Tada can’t settle on any style. Tomoyo is equally unappealing in her design as she looks like she’s wearing football gear under her robes. There is no continuity to the visual style of this. It’s bright and flowery yet strangely dark, almost filmed like a dark comedy.
The opening animation is just beyond obscure and doesn’t set the mood appropriately for this short OAD series. While Maaya Sakamoto is probably one of the best singers from Japan I’ve ever heard, her themes never seem to ever to match appropriately to anything Tsubasa. Kajiura however has always mastered the theme songs as her ending has fitted a lot more. It’s great to hear FictionJunction YUUKA perform yet again.
The overall animation quality is still very well done for this short production and I didn’t notice any real problems with the animation. The fight scenes were well crafted and well animated which made for some great footage.
If anything else saved this from being the worst video production I’ve seen of all time it was the animation as well as the all star acting from the cast. Miyu Irino has come a long way as an actor, and gives the performance of a life-time for this. The other cast-members also have given it an all star performance and continue to improve as actors.
Spring Thunder isn’t bad or terrible. It’s simply average, boiler plate, run of the mill. It was CLAMP’s little present to their die-hard fans, and leaves anime fans in the dark. It’s now very clear as to why this little production is only being sold with the manga instead of a wide release on DVD as opposed to CLAMP’s other productions.
It makes me think they should give it back to Mashimo and just make another season, or at least maybe go to the movie director Itsuro Kawasaki.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Tsubasa: Shunraiki
2. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete
3. Ookami to Koushinryou II: Ookami to Kohakuiro no Yuuutsu
4. Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari
5. Shakugan no Shana S
6. Utawarerumono OVA
7. Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile – Episode: Denzel
8. Makai Kishi Ingrid
9. “Bungaku Shoujo” Kyou no Oyatsu: Hatsukoi
10. Koihime Musou: Gunyuu, Seitoukaichou no Za wo Neratte Aiarasou no Koto – Ato, Porori mo Aru yo!