They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Mayo Elle Otoko no Ko, The iDOLM@STER Live For You!, Cyborg 009 VS Devilman, and more!
10: Mayo Elle Otoko no Ko
MAL Score: 5.04
Located far from town, standing on a headland, is Ginga Private Academy. The school buildings are refined and graceful, and waterways wend through the grounds. It is a large facility with 600 students in primary, middle, and high school sections, all studying the performing arts.
One spring, a certain boy transfers in…
9: The iDOLM@STER Live For You!
English: THE IDOLM@STER Live For You!
Japanese: アイドルマスター ライブフォーユー!
MAL Score: 6.20
On the day before the 765 Productions Fan Appreciation Event, each of the idols prepare to head home. However, Chihaya Kisaragi, uneasy about tomorrow’s events, decides to have a last minute personal rehearsal. One thing leads to another as Chihaya, Miki and Haruka are dragged from one exciting situation to the next. What is the truck driver’s true destination? What is the secret behind the old house? Will the girls make it in time for the event? Watch as Miki, Haruka, Chihaya and the other idols join together for their biggest adventure yet!
8: Cyborg 009 VS Devilman
MAL Score: 6.30
After discovering the existence of demons in Tokyo, the original Cyborg crew led by Dr. Gilmore find themselves in conflict with Devilman, a strong demon believed to be in league with the war-profiteering terrorist organisation, Black Ghost. Meanwhile, a bigger threat emerges when Dr. Adams, a Black Ghost scientist unleashes his new line of high teen Cyborg models against 009 and his friends.
Some background first: A young Go Nagai (Devilman) initially worked with the creator of Cyborg 009, Shotaro Ishinomori as an assistant for about 2 years before his own professional debut. As such, Nagai had high respect for the legendary artist. This collaboration is born out of genuine love for both series.
On the surface, this might seem to be just a simple crossover between Cyborg 009 vs Devilman, but it’s more than that. It actually involves a plot involving high teens cyborgs (Cyborgs that were made after 0013) that are unleashed upon our heroes by Dr. Adams. Add Devilman and co to the mix, and you have a completely original story with completely original characters, and yet the OVA still manages to insert itself into both manga’s canon, without hurting each other.
The art and animation is crisp and clear as day. It has a few QUALITY moments, but overall, the production value was good.
Sound was good too. The opening by JAM Project is particularly a joy to watch and listen to, , but the marvel-like ending was amazingly done. It was essentially a montage of scenes taken directly from the source material (The manga of both Cyborg 009 and Devilman).
This was one of my highly anticipated anime of the year, and I wasn’t disappointed.
However the only negative thing I could think of is that this series was made for the fans of the original comics, and its appeal might be lost on newcomers to both franchises. That said, if you’ve never read Cyborg 009 or Devilman, I still suggest you do give it a try if you can find a subbed copy. (Unfortunately, the anime still is not subbed as of 2015)
The characters unfortunately lack character and are just there to make you feel nostalgia – “oh my god! it’s the whole crew!”. It just didn’t feel right; they all just pull off a move or two and then their role is pretty much done. So, character development is non-existing. It was also disappointing, that the whole voice crew (at least the 009 side) was totally a re-cast and some of the voices didn’t match the faces.
The plot itself seems forced and lacks surprises. The ending was quite underwhelming as well. And to those who liked the last fight I say: that was some silly shit. I MUST SPOIL THIS! The last move Joe/009 pulls off should have killed him, since it pretty much is the same thing that gets him dead in the cyborg soldier -series. I would let it slide if this was taking place in another universe, but it isn’t; The movie clearly takes place between the Mythos arc and the last arc of Cyborg Soldier (with the human clones, Zattan/Zartan etc.), which brings me to another weird point.
For some reason this movie takes the original characters from the Mythos arc and Artemis is not present at all and is replaced with the original Helena; However they used the same model which is used as the design of the 5 cloned sisters in the CS series so it got me confused a little bit, since during the arc that takes place after the movie should include all the cloned sisters, that look exactly the same as Helena (though she shouldn’t be confused with Helen in CS). Thus this movie can and can’t be placed in between those arcs. They should’ve used another design for her since most of the other characters (including her brother Apollo) got their appearance re-touched – it could have saved some people from the confusion, if they haven’t seen or read the versions before CS. In short, it was disappointing not to see Artemis, since on my opinion she is a lot more interesting character than her original counter part Helena.
Overall it was fun to look at but it doesn’t give me the impression to encourage other fans of the series to watch this. A good try, but nope.
If you do not know nor seen either of Devilman and Cyborg 009, then you should look up the source material since this crossover will only give you a short introduction.
Not to mention that this crossover is special as it both series are hardly owned by the same company or person. The few things they do share is their message of war and that their authors where buddies and some times assistans on different projects.
This story is straight forward, as both series tend to be. The cyborg team notice demons where spotted in Japan. They go investigate. Devilman does he usual brutal hunt for said demons. Cyborgs discover a plot to merge demons with cyborgs and they stumble across Devilman. They fight, retreat and both goes separately to the villains and team up at the last act. It feels like it’s more focused on the Cyborg and they give them more of a chance. However, it’s understandable since they not only cover most of the cast, but they drive the plot forward.
One thing I do give it credit for is that they do fight seriously against each other. This is not like other crossover with ‘vs’ in the title just so that they can have a friendly sparing. Furthermore, unlike other crossover, we have tie but with only a hair breeze.
The side plot is welcomed as this is 3 OVA episodes.
The Design for both cyborgs and demons are on point of each respected series. Cyborg team does look like the 2000 but with some redesigns. Devilman himself is the best of them all as he is now bigger and more intimidating than before. His design is a mix between the 70’s and late 80’s Devilman. The only problem is the humans where both Akira and Ryou looks too shounen, and the final villain or boss which is rather dull.
Anything beside the opening and ending is not that noticeable. Some tracks do sound the same, but they are good samples for reviews.
The opening and the ending is a duality with the opening have the energetic of Cyborg 009 while ending is more rock/Devilman.
The new voice actors for each character in Japanese are fine, with the exception of 006 who originally voiced Ryou in the previous Devilman OVAs.
The dub is also okay, although expect names to be pronounced differently and Devilman to sound like a bear.
By far this is the best part of the crossover. Most character act as they did in the source material, probably even better. Unlike the rest of the Cyborg movies, where they sit on the bench most of the time, they act as a team even with their leader not around.
Devilman character are entertaining as always and do a good job with the time they are on screen.
You will be satisfied if you are either on team cyborg or on team Devilman. With Devilmans brutality, he will make guts and blood rain from an open fresh wound.
Cyborg team spirit, they will act with each other and do funny lines while they are at it.
This is not supposed to be deep or anything, just plain fun with a message of holding on to your humanity.
This crossover was great, but mostly bittersweet when you consider the possibilities for expanding the series for newer generation. However, if this crossover does help other projects, crossovers or even Devilman related, then this crossover might see more important than what it is right now. But I doubt it since Production I.G are already making another cyborg movie and no further news after one year of its release.
Go watch it if you want to see cyborgs fighting demons, OR SEE DEVILMAN WRECK SOME SHIT!
And look forwards what’s coming up next.
7: eX-Driver: Nina & Rei Danger Zone
Japanese: エクスドライバー Nina&Rei Danger Zone
MAL Score: 6.46
The story takes place on a world 100 years in the future, a few years before Lisa and Lorna joined eX-D organization. The world where people drives computer-controlled electrically powered “AI cars” which automatically take you where you want to go. However, one AI car mysteriously start to run amok. Now Nina and Rei, as the main driver for ex-D organization have to solve the mystery behind the AI car with evil plot and trap awaiting for them…
Note: The cover shot depicted here is not relevant to this particular anime. It might be from the movie or the Ova but not this.
-How often do you find yourself cursing out? How often do you blare that horn? No longer will you worry about such matters at least not as much. Thanks to some improvements (which we are starting to see now a days in real life) we have self driving vehicles or a.i.’s. Although, even with this kind of luxury doesn’t prevent certain issues from happening. For there is really no stopping improvements no matter how efficient the current ones are. Perhaps, that is due to the American way on how bigger is better.
-Intro is classy and somehow as a somewhat familiar intro song, can’t seem to place it. Perhaps one you viewers will tell me why the start of the song sounds so familiar to me.
-Conclusion was okay but the art was clever.
-In terms of how the conclusion are was clever the artists took what we see for almost everyday and tweaked it to suit their needs. A real clear approach. An example of this kind of approach would be a dead end sign only to have the car drive off thus ending the film. Not a very good depiction but understandable when you see the actual film.
Each main character has what the other lacks. A good common match up. A good ideal scenario when one is depicting a partner scenario.
While others may write this off as any ordinary action comedy show i beg to differ. Perhaps it was just this show but the writer and the director seemed to agree to save the audience the frustration. The frustration i am referring to is the headache caused by too much tension. We get the idea we behind it. On how it is good marketing and allows for character connection but in truth sucks. For what is stopping me from walking away from the annoyance. Here this animation is very straightforward. An understandable wait period from one point of the movie to the next.
I watched this before the original series as this is the prequel. This one-shot is based on the minor characters from the series named Nina and Rei. This was an ‘OK’ for me.
This feels like a buddy cop movie, we have 2 good looking girls driving in a tricked out Mazda Miata and an angry police chief. Personally I would’ve loved to seen Rei being a badass on her Ducati like her appearance in the main series but, they had her riding shotgun for Nina and being a techy (I love Miatas but, I’m a biker and love Ducatis more).
The story and the villain are what didn’t do it for me. I was hoping to see the villain from the last 3 episodes of the main series who was a former eX-Driver. I wanted to see his work as an eX-Driver and his relationship with the chief, Nina and Rei but, instead got a Nina fanboy.
I would recommend this if you have some time to kill and if you have already watched the main series and are curious to watch something else than rewatching the main series again, otherwise you’re better off watching a new anime and exploring something else altogether.
I could break this up and talk about each individual aspect, but I honestly didn’t like this OVA enough to care. The only thing that saves this score is the sound. Acting is very good (English dub) and even better than many, car sounds are good and well done. The acting only suffers sue to the poor scrip writing and change of the two main characters when compared to the original series.
The story is bland and that’s because it dumped the charm of the original series and movies by changing the main characters to Nina and Rei. Quite honestly, this would have served as a filler in a full fledged show and not even a good one at that.
I know both Nina and Rei are supposed to be quite a bit younger than they are in the series, but neither acts like was previously established or in any way consistent with how they would become.
I actually wished that this show would end at one point. Looking back, had you replaced Nina and Rei with the original crew, it might have been quite salvageable. Had you given me a reason to care about Nina or Rei, maybe I could feel different about the story. However since none of that ever was achieved, we’re left with a stand alone OVA that had no bearing on the original series and is better off skipped.
6: Ai Shimai 2: Futari no Kajitsu
English: Immoral Sisters 2
Japanese: 愛姉妹2 ～二人の果実～
MAL Score: 6.49
Rumi and Tomoko’s father has returned, but he seems to have developed an uncontrollable urge for Tomoko, after seeing her all grown up. He tries to fight off his urges, and Takedo, in order to keep the family together.
Loved the first one, and liked this one as well. The story is better in the first one,.
But other than that, everything I liked in the first one applies to this one as well, though maybe not as much as in the first one. But I liked it a lot. From the sex scenes and art, to the fact that each character is unique in its own way and behave differently from each other.
I find this still really hot to this day, even after so many years have passed. And would rewatch some scenes anyday.
Happy there is hentai out there with a lil bit of story you can actually enjoy, not just reasons to have each other have sex.
MAL Score: 6.71
Ex-Driver is set in the future, when all transportation is easily controlled by AI. Though like all machines they tend to break down or lose control or re-programmed. This is where three high schoolers with non AI cars, Subaru WRX, Super 7, Lotus comes in to save the day and make sure the public is safe at all times.
story-it simple to get.full of action,filled with comedy,new feelings of romance also drama to explain things properly it was a complete package after watching you can raise your finger and say “hey they missed something here”everything is explained fully and “i love it especially because this plot and this story could actually become a reality in near future not that far away from us.”i love it,this much because of how realistic the story is”the technology that is used and the things happening in the series can happen to us.especially is very simple to understand and complicated enough to make you guess “that’s why this is a balanced show”there is nothing unimportant happening.
animation and art -well is was done in the 90’s and it was the art that i loved and fell for in the fist place so it was superb for that time.everyone had unique looks to them”you know everyone didn’t look the same”they were so different from each other.from looks,facial expressions to fantastic personalities.also my favorite character “soichi” was soooooooooooooooo……..cute and sexy.i just wish they made more episodes.
sound-i remember every beat of every song that was playing in the show.opening theme song get you pumped up and in the mood for the action to come and comedy to come.op theme says everything that has to be said about the show and what are the characters like.ed theme was so great making you to watch more.
characters-i love “soichi” he is my favorite.Lisa is awesome Lorna is fantastic.they make this show a success.this team is so great.the things they do,the things that happens to them is so unreal sometimes you worry for them and sometime you burst out laughing that cant be stopped and you miss some of the dialogs because of it and you repeat things.(well it happen to me)there is romance blooming if you take notice and you will.love in this is very enthusiasm after all they are kick ass drivers and they are good.how i know this? is beaus of the great animation.it was swift and beautifully done so you know “how good the riders are” the technical terms used are very accurate and done very well as well.it end ended the appropriate way too i have to mention this because some animes mess the ending but this was just pure gold just like the beginning.
dialogs-i always forget to mention this the dialogs were hilarious at times but sometimes it give you an impotent message.also the dub actors were just like “icing on the cake”they were brilliant.
i loved it years back,i love it now and always will love this story for days to come…i already miss the characters so much.”they were like a sun shining after a gloomy rain”.i just hope you will watch this epic anime story that is easy going but at serious when it needs to be..so go and enjoy it wont take you long its only 6 episodes of Action,comedy,fun and love which makes me say again “i wish there were more episodes” so enjoy :3
Story: A future where cars are controlled by computers, and a team of gasoline powered classic car drivers chase them down when they go haywire, sounds like a very repetitive plot. But it turn out it’s not, I wont ruin the plot, so ill just say there’s events that keep the plot going.
Art: The animation has a very ‘mid-90s’ feel to it, which isn’t a bad thing. The thing I like most is the cars. The animators did very well making the vehicals realistic.
Sound: Now, I don’t know if it was the copy I had or the series itself, but the quality at times was, not the best out there. To me it sounded fuzzy and almost like the voice actors where talking through a thick foam pad. But like I said I don’t know if it was my copy or not so don’t take the sound to seriously.
Characters: Each character has there own defined personality and unique style to how they get the mission done. (Not much to say on that one)
Enjoyment: For a six episode series (plus a movie) it’s not a bad watch in your down time between other anime.
Set at some point in the 22nd century, people no longer drive cars themselves, instead relying on an artificial intelligence to drive for them. But when the AI systems in these cars started malfunctioning, causing the cars to lose control, a team called eX-Drivers (or eX-D for short) are formed, driven by actual drivers, chase down the cars that have gone crazy. I don’t know why the group of people who actually drive cars are the ones called eX-Drivers, but whatever.
The series follows three such eX-Drivers, Lorna, Lisa, and new addition to the group, Soichi. Soichi is the youngest of the group at 12 years old, and the other two are in their teens. I imagine that making them younger was to appeal to a younger audience, and I don’t really mind having three kids as the main characters, but it just raises questions to me, like how does a 12 year get a license, especially for such a dangerous job. But I’m guessing this is going off of Pokemon rules, and that’s how the series universe works, and the characters never actually get into any serious danger.
EX-Driver does bring up some neat concepts to explore, such as an underground mentioned in the first episode where characters have a boost button in their car and have modified the cars programming, and later in the series, there are characters with gasoline cars that can’t be tracked by the same system as the AI cars and are off the grid. It would have been neat if the series explored this stuff, but unfortunately due to it being only 6 episodes, it never really gets to do that.
And that’s not taking into account other stuff that it could have brought up. Is there no one would doesn’t trust the automated systems of the cars, and even cites statistics of AI failures, or at least talks about all of the news stories of failing AI as a reason to not have an AI car? Or even just dislikes the idea in general, based purely on personal preference. What about people who simply can’t afford the AI cars, or simply don’t care about what car they drive, and just want a way of getting to where they’re going? And I’m pretty sure there are car enthusiasts out there who would want to drive, tune, and build their own cars, or just want to buy and deal with classic cars.
There could have even been an episode where the characters didn’t have access to cars, like being stranded somewhere where they didn’t have access to the system, or being forced to take a break since the job is clearly stressing them out, and it ends up being a bonding experience. There was enough here for it to expand out to a 12-episode series at least, but unfortunately we got stuck with what we have.
All of these could have been good ideas for episodes, and could have easily broken up the monotony of the series.
Which is unfortunate, because the series clearly shows off Kosuke Fujishima’s love of cars, and by extension, motorcycles, and it seems like such a wast to not let him use his love of said vehicles and let him stretch his creativity a bit. If this couldn’t have been continued as an anime, it would have been nice to see Kosuke continue it as a manga at least.
The only interesting thing about this series is just how predictive of self-driving cars it was. But since it never goes that in-depth with the concept either, so there’s no real reason to watch the series based on that alone.
While eX-Driver is nowhere near the worst thing that I’ve watched, I doubt that anyone is clamoring for a re-release, but I’m pretty sure that Discotek might pick it up at some point. Unless this get some sort of new series that actually expands on the concepts of the series, I can’t really recommend it.
4: Tales of Phantasia The Animation
English: Tales of Phantasia
Japanese: テイルズ オブ ファンタジア THE ANIMATION
MAL Score: 6.80
Tragedy strikes the lives of Cless Alvein, a young swordsman, and Chester Barklight, a young archer, as they return to their village of Totus to find it razed to the ground by the mysterious Black Knight. To take over the world, the Black Knight seeks to claim the power of the Demon King, Dhaos—sealed away by the ancestors of Cless and a young cleric named Mint Adnade. Dhaos’s reawakening signals not only the end of the Black Knight, but potentially the world. Cless and Mint must now journey a century into the past to rally allies capable of vanquishing the Demon King for once and for all.
Tales of Phantasia The Animation follows Cless and Mint’s journey through time to long ago, where they forge an alliance with the half-elf sorceress Arche Klaine and the summoner Klarth F. Lester. Together, they strive to defeat Dhaos and his army in saving the past as well as the years to come.
Tales of Phantasia should be a prime example of this. Should be …
The story is basically the same as that of the game, barring a few minor differences of course. A band of heroes must defeat the evil sorcerer Dhaos, with much in the way of fantasy action shenanigans along the way.
Surprisingly, the whole anime actually works rather well as the plot doesn’t really let up at any point, and because of this, watching Tales of Phantasia is more like watching a good action fantasy movie. In essence, the series is nothing more than an abridged retelling of the game’s story, and while there are some minor differences, the essential points remain the same. The show doesn’t really try to portray itself as anything that claims to have a degree of substance, and to be perfectly frank, this works far better than a faithful 13 or 26 episode adaptation.
Like many adaptations though, Tales of Phantasia looks and sounds better than it actually is, however unlike most others, the difference here is marginal. The designs are taken from the game, again with some minor alterations, so there’s no real creative skill involved there. Where the show does shine though, is with the smoothness and fluidity of the animation. There is a lot of action in Tales of Phantasia, and the animation level never really drops in speed or quality throughout the show.
As for the sound, the music is either taken from, or inspired by, the game itself. Once again, the fact that this is an adaptation places certain creative restrictions, however the choreography is very good, especially during the more frenetic scenes. In addition to this, the acting is actually pretty decent throughout. Since the original game didn’t really feature any voice acting, there was a certain amount of freedom in choosing the right actors for the roles. While the are some minor niggles here and there, the seiyuu are generally good in their portrayals of Cless, Mint, and the rest of the gang.
To be honest, I wasn’t at all sure I would enjoy this the first time around as I hadn’t played the game at that point (I have done so now though), however I found that this didn’t really stop me enjoying the show as long as I didn’t try to treat it as anything more than a decent action fantasy. In that respect, it works surprisingly well as entertainment, in particular because there’s usually something interesting going on in the show, one of the advantages of the abridged format.
While I know that there are numerous people out there who will decry Tales of Phantasia for “not having enough plot” or “not developing the characters”, I should point out that if one is watching a show in order to be entertained, then such things are not always necessary. In the case of this OVA for example, the length of the series prohibits any serious development, yet the fact that the whole tale has been compacted into an easily watched anime means that the story is accessible to a far greater audience than before.
Tales of Phantasia is a rarity in game adaptations, not simply because it really is entertaining, but also because it’s easy to watch (there’s a difference you know). Like any game adaptation though, the creative limitations sometimes leave one wishing for something with more bite.
This OVA, in my opinion, is heavily targeted towards the audience who have played the game. For a 4 episode anime, it clearly does not cover many significant aspects of the actual story, as you would expect. Many reviews, including external resources out of MAL, disregard this important matter and criticize and how lacking the anime is.
For fans who have played the game, such as myself, it is an extra treat. Tales of Phantasia could easily be seen as one of the best Tales series out there, but you won’t get the appreciation out of it through the OVAs, but through the game.
The animation is great, especially the battle scenes. The theme songs, especially the ending theme, “Prayer” by Masami Suzuki, really gives you a very emotional feel that will leave you feeling mixed emotions of sadness, hope, and tragedy; at least that is what I felt. I really love the song.
As I have played the game, I know the actual story, and I truly appreciate this story and animation.
Some people say that the characters are typical cliche fantasy characters, but these characters are, undoubtedly, very well presented. As you may have guessed, do not expect to see much character development; you get all of that in the game.
So in summary, if you have played the game, I greatly suggest you watch it, but do not watch it for the story, as the OVA is very slightly different than the game itself. Watch it for a recap and to appreciate the characters coming to life as it is very well illustrated and it creates a truly memorable “Tales” experience.
For those who haven’t played the game, but still wish to watch it, go ahead. This animation has the qualities of a great anime, but being only 4 episodes long, the plot is greatly reduced, and is heavily ignored/criticized by people who have not played the game. It is truly a shame.
I give the ratings I give only because I have played the game, which makes my rating biased. But I also believe it is because I watched this anime expecting it to be a recap and only to see the characters coming to life, not as a series.
If you have the time, I suggest you play the game. The Super Nintendo (SNES) version you can find is the Japanese version of the game with unofficial translations, but the translations are cleverly done and quite enjoyable. The GBA version of the game is just horrible,voice acting especially, although the graphics may be a little better. I suggest the SNES if you do wish to play. Do not underestimate this game just because it is old.
1) For fans of the game = Must-watch
2) For people who have not played the game = Highly recommended to appreciate the animation, but not the plot, as it is rushed.
The story in the OVA is close to the story in the game. A demon lord named Dhaos is revived at the expense of two villages and two young people, Cress and Mint, are sent back in time to find two magic users to bring back to their time and defeat him. If you’ve played the game then you can probably spot some difference there. That’s why I said “close to” rather than “exactly like.” The OVA does leave some stuff out, mainly for the sake of time, it’s only four episodes. For those of you who are curious about the OVA but aren’t interested in playing the game, as little sense as that seems to make, I’ll talk about how it stands on its own. It’s a really fast paced adventure. The story is a lot of fun and they manage to get quite a bit of complexity into it. Really, there are two issues. The first is that the pace is hectic. There’s a lot of story in the game and they fit as much of it into the OVA as they possibly can. The result is that things progress really quickly without much time for things to wind down or the action to fall. The other issue is that there are some scenes that only make sense if you’ve played the game. Without that background they seem to be kind of pointless. Now, these are pretty minor problems for anyone who’s played the game, but they could bother you if you haven’t.
Tales of Phantasia has some spectacular characters. The OVA keeps their personalities intact. It also fits in the most important aspects of their backstories. The only real exception is Suzu who barely plays a role in the OVA, showing up in only a few scenes. One thing that the OVA does do better than the game is fleshing out Dhaos’s character. In the game his motivations are barely touched on and he comes off as being randomly evil for the evils until the very end. In the OVA they actually make him a really sympathetic character which makes the conflict much more three dimensional and interesting.
The art is pretty good. They manage to copy the monsters really well. The action scenes are exciting and have a grand scale. It looks similar to the cut scene art in Lunar 2. My only real complaint is that the noses look bizarre. They’re barely there in most scenes, although they occasionally become more pronounced for no apparent reason. It’s a minor complaint but it bothered me.
The voice acting is really well done. Kusao Takeshi does really well in the hero’s role, almost like he’s played a similar role before. Which he has,several years before Tales of Phantasia he played the role of Adol Christin in the Book of Ys OVA, I may get to those eventually. Kanai Mika, Inoue Kazuhiko and Itou Kentarou also do really well. Morikawa Toshiyuki is well suited as a villain. In fact, I think I’ve heard him do it before in a different video game based anime. Admit it, you looked it up. The background music is really similar to what you might find in a game, appropriately enough, and the theme music is… not particularly memorable, sorry to say.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. I’ve always thought that Phantasia would be a better game with some yuri, not that it isn’t awesome anyway, but the OVA did not change that.
My final rating for Tales of Phantasia is an 8/10. This is a great anime, especially for fans of the Tales games. You will probably like it better if you’re a fan of the game, but it’s still enjoyable if you just like a good fantasy story. Either way, give it a try.
MAL Score: 6.92
Two newbies at the Narcotic Control Department in Japan, Haru and Kai, struggle against: drug dealers, gangs, murderers, psychopaths, mysterious organizations, and mad people in general. The gentle and caring one of the group, Kai, who has problems of his own, has the tendency of turning into a lethal killing machine in certain scenarios. The way he acts changes like that of a “switch”. As the two do their job, answers of what is behind Kai’s strange behavior and who exactly he is, is revealed.
Unfortunately for this anime, it’s just too hard to pack a strong plot line into two episodes, however, this OVA did a surprisingly good job at conveying a captivating but not excessively complicated plot in only 1 hour. In terms of mystery/detective stories, I can’t say that the plot is very unique – undercover agents trying to expose a malevolent drug-dealing organization – but it is executed nicely with a clean few plot twists that are not too contrived or predictable. I can actually say that the execution of the plot is quite perfect, it’s simple enough to be conveyed in one hour, yet complex enough to keep you interested and captivated. The producers made the (right) decision to end the show with a little bit of mystery rather than trying to explain everything in the last few minutes, which, while it does leave me a little unfulfilled, it also leaves me satisfied with the developments the story has taken.
While I was expecting it to be a rip-off of Death Note, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the plot did a pretty good job at staying independent. There are certainly similarities (to be expected of the shared genre) and there are some attempts to mimic the dark, tragic, and mind-game aspects of Death Note, but Switch manages to hold it’s own fairly well in this regard. My only complaint is that is seemed to make a subtle hint at the supernatural in the end, but I may have been mistaken. If it ends up being true (in the manga) I’ll probably be disappointed (Death Note only got away with the supernatural aspect because of how well it was explained and incorporated into the series) The ending is slightly unsatisfactory in that it leaves many loose ends, but I prefer that to them being hastily and messily tied together like too many other short (and long) shows do. I rather like the feeling of mystery it leaves us at the end, and it’s actually making me want to read the manga.
The art/colors/animation/composition is definitely reminiscent to that of Death Note, without a doubt. However, despite my cringing at the clear similarities (and my fear that one of my favored series might be tainted by a crude copycat) I grew to really appreciate the quality of the art and the attention to detail. They may have imitated the art style, but they did it well, and if I had never watched Death Note I know I would definitely say that the art and animation is excellent, so I’ve given it a 10.
The OP is pretty good, I’m rather picky when it comes to music, but I can say that I did like it within reason. The ED (which you only hear once) is also pretty nice. As a 2 episode OVA I can’t say that they really matter much, as you only hear them twice at most. My biggest beef is with the OST. Another noticeable similarity to Death Note is the heavily orchestrated soundtrack. I have to say that Switch did not to such a great job at incorporating this type of music into the show. While the music was good, there were times when it stood out too much and it was clear that they were trying to capture the same classical dramaticims that Death Note was so flawlessly able to do. Unfortunately, operatic an Orchestral music is very refined and possessed great potential, likewise, it is must be used carefully and be specifically tailored to the situation. There were certainly good parts, but I would have been more satisfied if the producers tried a little harder to find something that would work better for them. I like the idea of using orchestral music in a modern-drama-mystery-suspense, (especially compared to some other types of music) but the execution could have been better, though it was by no means bad, and in some parts quite enjoyable.
The Seiyuus on the other hand were very good, I really don’t have any complaints in that regard. The Seiyuu lineup is actually pretty impressive.
It’s pretty hard to develop a character in just 1 hour, but there is a shade of character development, if you’re careful enough to catch it. In one hour we still have much to learn about the characters, much less give them room to develop, but we do have some clever plot-twists that shed new light on our main characters at different points in the show. I thought the characters were very well made, they all seem quite realistic, and even the “bad guy” is pretty likable (I can’t stand it when the “bad guy” is pinned as evil and given an unrealistically horrible personality) None of the characters are too contrived, though they aren’t particularly unique as far as anime characters go – but that is also part of their success. Nothing is over-the-top, the characters are relatable, intelligent, and well-designed (you can actually tell the characters apart!) and they all act like real human beings (which is sometimes rare in anime)
Overall, I really did enjoy this show, and it’s short enough that I’d probably watch it again. It’s by no means perfect, but I’m very impressed by the work put into it. I don’t view it as so much of a series in and of itself (it’s not) but as more of an introduction to the characters, story, and ideas that I will probably follow up on by reading the Manga. When I look at it that way, it’s an excellent piece.
Perhaps my rating of 9 is a little generous, but in terms of enjoyment (or perhaps it was just surprise) I give it a 9, and I definitely suggest you give it a try. Make it past the (slightly cliche’d) intro and OP, and try not to get too cynical about the similarities it has with Death Note. Just keep an open mind and enjoy the show 🙂
Here’s the deal: I am in a love and hate relationship with the series.
The story was intriguing enough to grab my attention and continue watching till the end however there are just too many unanswered questions left by the time it ends.
For me, as for someone who has not read the manga beforehand there were just too many unanswered questions left there. So many that I am heading to read the manga right away.
I understand this is not a proper review. Heck it’s not a review at all. But I really wanted to share my thoughts.
In the end I got hooked and yet was left really frustrated.
Story Rating: 5
The story is just your basic police story. Just a bunch of cops trying to stop some kind of drug and weapon possession. Basically, they did something bad. You can have no clue on what these guys did to get in trouble with authorities and you’ll follow it easily. Basically, the story is just kind of bland but probably the only thing that tried to hold this anime together.
Art Rating: 4
Being an ‘old’ anime, I didn’t expect much for the animation portion. The colors are extremely muted and the art style is pretty generic. Nothing stands out to make it look like anything new or spectacular. It’s just like animation backwash. Then again, I didn’t expect much.
Sound Rating: 1
TIME FOR WHAT I F*CKING HATE ABOUT THIS SHOW!
For the voice actors, a lot of these people actually went on to do more note worthy roles so, i’m glad they got a job after this. However, none of them had any situation to give it their all. I guess they did their best with what was handed to them. Maybe except one actor who had to have their voice so high they sound like Alvin in the goddamn chipmunks. Yeah, you’re suppose to take this anime seriously.
Now, the music….THE F*CKING MUSIC! I hated it so much! It’s what made the show practically unwatchable. It was placed at parts that were so unneeded and played in scenes that were so boring yet, they make it sound like a dramatic war movie or something. Again, you’re suppose to take this anime seriously. How the all sweet lords of hell am I suppose to take it seriously when you play someone banging on piano keys over two people talking about FLOWERS!
Character Rating: 3
I probably would have liked the characters a lot more if they one; made more episodes of the series or two; actually gave these characters some time together to actually work off each other. That’s what makes a character, a character, to see their personalities work off or with other personalities. There’s a few scenes with our main characters but they go by so fast you can miss them. How am I suppose to get invested in these characters if you don’t show them having any personality. Kai, I guess would be the only exception. I actually kind of cared about him through out the episodes. Everyone else, EEEEHHH Fuck ’em!
Enjoyment Rating: 1
This anime was…so….BORING, and stupid, and bland. Just a forgettable, waste of time. It’s so disappointing. You expect something good like with something ‘Psycho Pass’ did or maybe like ‘Death Note’. But, it doesn’t even try to be anything new or inventive. It’s just something to pass the time with, in a very lame way.
Overall Rating: 3
Overall, this anime is not worth your time to watch. I didn’t hate it and I might read the manga since I hears it’s much better (andIdonthavetolistentoanyfuckingoverthetopmusic), I just got disappointed much like in the way ‘Mirai Nikki’ did.
Unless you want to be the kind of Otaku who has seen every. single. anime. ever! I say this one you can definitely skip. It may be short but, going through an hour of this just isn’t worth anything.
2: Mazinkaiser SKL
Japanese: マジンカイザー SKL
MAL Score: 7.06
Prior to the events of the anime, three factions—the Garan Army, the Kiba Army, and the Aira Army, battle for total dominance of Machine Island. The island is basically a prison, isolated from the rest of the world. The island contains a vast amount of resources, allowing the three factions to create an infinite supply of giant robots for their respective armies.
The world government learns that the island’s power reactor has become unstable and will explode within 66 hours, destroying all of life and Earth itself. The government sends the Death Caprice squad, composed of mercenaries Ken Kaido and Ryo Magami to solve the issue, along with their giant robot Mazinkaiser, but was that a good idea?
The story goes like this: The world is modernized and awesome, giant metal buildings, highways through the sky, all of that. That’s not where the show takes place. SKL’s tale of gallant heroism resides on an island that’s permanently stuck in an 80’s metal video. The shit that goes on on this island is so metal, in fact, that it’s threatening to destroy the world via a catastrophe which I can only imagine will involve no less than 4.7 billion wailing guitar solos. So, like an old couple calling the cops on a noisy garage band, the modern people send a bunch of dudes to the island to make them calm their party down.
There was one survivor.
Said fairly hot survivor girl finds out that the island is cut into three(or rather, four) armies that’re zapping the planet of all its energy because they’re making too many giant robots or some shit. There’s Team A: the one that’s led by Nobuyuki Hiyama and his team of Road Warrior-esque dudes in their quest for more bitches. A noble endeavor. Then there’s Team B: led by a big majestic samurai dude in a Japanese castle all covered with spikes and cool shit. He’s not relevant until episode two. And then we have Team C: a big serene fortress inhabited entirely by young women in togas with huge boobs, who have similarly huge boobed giant robots to defend their castle with. Isn’t this grand? Finally, we have the most import team: Mothafuckin’ Mazinkaiser. Or rather, “that skull fuck”, as Team A’s leader puts it. One robot piloted by two dudes who have no reason to be on the island other than the fact they like to wreck shit. Easily the most just cause out of everyone here.
And now we have the characters.
-MAZINKAISER: The most badass robot of the year, it looks like something Dethklok would think up. It’s piloted by two badass dudes gone rogue, via a cockpit that vertically spins around to let one guy break stuff while the other puts his feet up and kicks back. It’s hilariously cool.
-BADASS PILOT 1: Kaido. Hotblooded Kaido pilots Mazinkaiser by crushing and slashing shit to pieces with giant swords and rocket fists.
-BADASS PILOT A: Magami. Coldblooded Magami pilots Mazinkaiser by shooting and stabbing shit to pieces with tomahawk guns.
-Yuki Tsubasa: Creatively named female who was the only survivor in mankind’s feeble attempt to make the above characters and armies calm the fuck down.
Art and animation?
u kidin me?
Let’s just move on
Watching animu rarely gets more fun than this. “It’s fucking awesome” is generally an overused term, but this is the sort of thing it was always meant to describe. Mediablasters is bringing this to the US on BluRay(worth it) in a few months, but since that company is godawful, don’t expect to see a single ad or notice that it’s out. So try to remember this.
Go watch it. This is the kind of anime that needs to be supported.
Story : 6
While the story doesn’t satisfy the ones looking for details,it still somehow serves its purpose,which is the prevalence of chaos and the commencing of a long and bloody battle.
Art : 7
Art development is very good,however,the scenery where the series takes place (a deserted area) is uniform,thus giving the viewer more and more of the same rocky environment.
Sound : 8
Japanese Metal music…awesome!I’m not a fan of metal music myself,but I really enjoyed the musical piece of Mazinkaiser SKL,which suited the anime’s tone just fine.
Character : 7
OK,the main characters are two sons of mothers and a brave but shy girl,which serves the anime right.The hellish attitudes of the two guys is what gets them in battles-to-death all the time,which helps the series progress and is most enjoyable to watch.
Enjoyment : 7
Mazinkaiser SKL is the anime one might look for in order to storm away.Full of mindless violence for its most part,the show is bound to help you cool off If you’re nervous,or make you feel really energetic after finishing watching it.
Overall : 7
It’s a nice anime to kill your time.It will definitely won’t bore you,and I’m sure all hardcore people out there will have a good time watching it.However,If you’re the kind of viewer that looks for substantial plot and a reasonable order of events,please look elsewhere.
It’s very straightforward and has a simple story. But is well written.
It’s very metal. Always good. A fun film.
It’s very manly and straight to the point.
The male leads are awesome and extremely badass.
The girls awesome.
If they made a anime series after this, starring those leads, I’d watch it!
Awesome robot! Kaiser is pure awesome! Wingle is also awesome.
The robot designs are all good.
Good female robot designs.
It’s so metal, the island is like a mix of all things metal.
With a toga clad lady group, road warrior group and a samurai warrior group.
And they are all equally strong and capable.
Despite being very metal, it is’nt sexist. The females and males are all equal, when it comes to the leads and mains.
Every single main or important character is a hardcore badass of the highest order. The swear filled speech by the ultratough Captain Scarlett is hilarious.
They are all badass, but they are written properly. They are convincing.
The male leads are crazy, badass, and dark. But they are also well rounded and have enough very small amount of weakness, to make them work, but not enough to make them emo.
They ar’nt so crazy they don’t follow orders and will do as ordered.
The girl has a good mix of toughness, and intelligence. She can fight, and is’nt weak in any way.
The others don’t need as much characterisation, but they have enough to make them convince.
The characters get things done, in a straightforward way, and they are all proffessional or good at their jobs.
If it comes to doing something, they do it. No messing about.
The stories a bit light on details, but it get’s the point across. It hints at things, but does’nt explain fully, sometimes.
Take it on face value, this is a giant robot that looks like a demon, robot armies, exploding island. And it’s fine.
The end makes Kaiser even more metal.
The music is japanese metal. Awesome.
The art is good.
It is a good film for chilled and lighthearted watching.
You should definately watch this.
1: Girls & Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu!
English: Girls & Panzer: This is the Real Anzio Battle!
Japanese: ガールズ&パンツァー これが本当のアンツィオ戦です！
MAL Score: 7.71
After a brilliant victory over Saunders University High School, girls from Ooarai now have to face Italian-themed Anzio Girls High School in the second round of the 63rd National High School Sensha-Dou Tournament. The high-spirited girls from Anzio, led by the charismatic Chiyomi Anzai, advance toward the battle equipped with baffling tactics and a secret weapon.
Ooarai will soon find out that what seemed to be a mere formality might take an unexpected and possibly disastrous turn. Whether they will win the match, or lose and doom their school to a closure, is still on a knife-edge.
The story takes place during the battle against Anzio, a “Japanese-themed Italian school”. Be prepared for a lot of deliciously animated pasta.
Just about all the elements you loved about the show are here. The characters are up to their usual antics – Mako sleeping on the job, Saori being an air-head, and of course Miho whipping up moments of tactical brilliance when it matters most. Technically the outcome of the battle is already known to begin with, but this doesn’t really take away from the watching experience.
Anchovy brings a (highly tongue-in-cheek) Italian flair to the mix, and there is plenty of humor to be found throughout the 40 minutes of screen-time. One of her generals is even called Pepperoni… Feel like a pizza yet?
The lead-up to the battle is plenty of fun and Yukari’s recon mission is a highlight. However, the OVA really shines when it’s time for the main event.
The battle is shown from multiple perspectives, and there’s a plethora of strategy and mind-games going on as usual. This is the real magic of the Girls Und Panzer franchise: It’s written in a way that balances comedy and action like almost no other. The viewer gets treated to a comprehensive view of the battle, and the quality of animation is even better than it was during the original series. The time and effort taken into making this OVA look and feel beautiful very noticeable and rewarding, particularly during the more intense moments of the battle. It must be difficult to balance such a vibrant colour palette with gritty tank warfare but somehow it all works.
As usual, tank otakus will probably relish the more intricate details to be found over the course of the OVA. There’s also a fairly good balance of screen time for the main girls, so your favourite character will almost certainly get the time and attention that only you know she needs.
In short: This OVA is a treat. Side-effects may include a heightened enthusiasm for Italian cuisine, but it all goes away after you eat a good pizza. Panzer Vor!
“Well, you know, we were going for the split 1-cour release. It could be a thing.”
“So what were you girls doing during those weeks where you weren’t broadcasting?”
I suspect that the production staff actually wanted to do the second round match, but because time/budget was tighter than expected, they basically cut the entire thing out except for the final white flag. It worked as a punch line, but if you enjoyed the series and wanted to see the completed second round match, here it is with the lead-up and aftermath.
The “old friends” subplot involving Caesar is cute, but a bit meh for my tastes. It’s good to see the show putting a little spotlight on someone other than Team Anglerfish for once, but I guess Caesar was selected this time around because Rome/Italy.
As for the Italian-themed team, like the other teams, the jokes are stereotypical: the general ineptness in combat is a callback to the failed invasion of Greece (the Germans then had to clean up their mess), the “we had to save up to buy a P40” is a shout out to Italy’s economy (such as it is), etc. The biggest thing that revealed the staff’s ignorance of Italian culture is Pepperoni’s pasta recipe (Italians, unlike the Japanese, don’t mix eggs and tomatoes as a general rule), but that’s nothing worth writing home about. Fortunately for those who get wound up over their home nations getting stereotyped like this, they do it to Japan in the movie. Heh heh.
As always, the scenario is ridiculous: why in the world would you put tankettes like the CV-33 into the match? The answer, of course, is so we can see them flip over and over when hit, and we want to see Team Duck and Team Rabbit score some kills for once– the Type 89’s gun is so bad that the CV-33 is probably the only thing it could reliably penetrate, and while the M3 Frankentank wasn’t as good as the Sherman, it still held its own historically.
Without spoiling the story, I love how the show explains why Anzio wasn’t spectating the final match. Delightfully in-character and unabashedly pulling on Italians’ chains.
The main additions to the already excellent soundtrack are Le Fiamme Nere, Funiculi Funicula, and a new BGM for Yukari’s covert ops scene featuring “drunken clarinets” as I like to call them.
In conclusion, hilarious episode, but this one’s mainly for fans of the show.
Well I don’t really have much to say for this. It’s pretty much character introductions for the new lads which will later on be in the Girls & Panzer Movie.
Other than that, it’s back to some more lolis in tanks blasting each other!
Girls & Panzer is just so fun to watch. I actually nearly cried several times because of how fun it was. Tears of joy, 0 depression.
I do have plans to see the 6 movies but as only 2 are out by now I don’t think it’s appropriate to start seeing it now. I might as well wait for all 6 of them to come out then binge the whole thing.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Girls & Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu!
2. Mazinkaiser SKL
4. Tales of Phantasia The Animation
6. Ai Shimai 2: Futari no Kajitsu
7. eX-Driver: Nina & Rei Danger Zone
8. Cyborg 009 VS Devilman
9. The iDOLM@STER Live For You!
10. Mayo Elle Otoko no Ko