They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Macross F: Choujikuu Gekijou, Baldr Force Exe Resolution, Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu: Owarenai Natsuyasumi, and more!
10: Macross F: Choujikuu Gekijou
Japanese: マクロスＦ 超時空劇場
MAL Score: 6.33
A new short CGI movie and a short extra anime bundled with the special edition of the game Macross Triangle Frontier.
9: Baldr Force Exe Resolution
Japanese: バルドフォース エグゼ レソリューション
MAL Score: 6.45
Any network runs all over the world, and the development of the information network reaches its acme. In this age, there are two developed worlds; “the real world” and “wired”, or the virtual network world.
Soma Toru belongs to a hacking group, Steppen Wolf, which runs around the network world freely. They attack the database of the UN forces as their last work. During this attack, he loses Nonomura Yuya, his friend as well as the team leader. Toru is arrested by the army. In exchange for letting him free, he has to work for an anti-hacker organization, the first squad of the UN Security Force Information Administration Bureau.
Working for them, he is looking for the person who killed his friend, while the other members also have their own reason to fight.
The three-way fights of the terrorist group, the security enterprise, and the army, continue every day. The various events occurred during the fight seem to be independent of each other at the first glance, but they’re converging on one event as if they were attracted by something.
Based on the game by GIGA.
Things start out pretty well as we are introduced to a future world where a virtual reality internet is a huge part of society. This network is called WIRED, and people can do about everything you can think of in this online world. The world is populated by hackers and network terrorists and the corporations and police forces that try to stop them. The world gives the show a perfect opportunity to have robot battles because anime loves itself some Mecha’s. The hackers, terrorists, and police do battles online in virtual reality mecha suits but the catch is if you are killed in the online world, apparently this causes your brain to explode into a bloody mess in the real world. Fans of exploding heads are sure to be thrilled!
Overall it’s a fairly interesting premise for a plot but the show manages to fall flat on its face pretty early. It makes the mistakes of other short series by trying to have too much going on. There are too many subplots involving other secondary characters to be fair with any of them. While it does a good job with the main story, which is the most important after all, it would have been better to have just stuck with the basics. The motivation of the main character in the beginning is, to put it bluntly, stupid. Toru is a hacker who after being arrested by the police is giving the option of jail or joining them. But apparently he would rather go to prison because his only reason for accepting is to get revenge on the person with the police who killed his friend. While on the surface this would seem like it’s not such a bad reason, considering they were breaking the law and also trying to kill the police in return, is it really that fair to expect your might get yourself killed? Considering how many other people Toru kills himself over the course of the series, if those peoples friends took things the same way the world would be filled of nothing but revenge hungry sociopaths.
My main source of irritation with this series is the characters. Toru was an incredibly irritating character and I disliked him a lot. I found him to be an egotistic nut job that is singularly focused on killing the person responsible for his friend’s death. Having to suffer him made this anime largely a pain in the ass to watch. Unfortunately there aren’t any supporting characters to redeem the series either. They are for the most part two dimensional and boring. Ayane was the only character I felt any empathy towards and she was the most cruelly treated.
The reason for me watching this show in the first place was the music of Kotoko and Mami Kawada. They both deliver a couple very good songs which make this the one bright spot of the series. The artwork is really not that good when you consider how recently this was made. The CG effects are very drab and ordinary looking. Generally I am not a fan of CG animation and this certainly won’t change my view. A lot of the backgrounds though are very nicely done, but this really felt like a show much older than it is.
I didn’t get much in the way of enjoyment from this anime. It was a painful 2hrs to finish and thus I find it difficult to recommend to anyone. I suppose if you really love CG or Mechs and must see every title out there that has those themes you could check this out. Overall it’s just very mediocre.
The series is about a man, Tooru, who has lost everything (won’t spoil ;p) and joins up with a kind of team, or company, called FLAK. The series is set in a would-be Japan, where the "wired world" is part of everyday life. People are able to literally plug themselves into certain computers and spend time in this new cyber world.
It is quite a difficult concept for the writers of this OVA to get across well in such a small amount of time, but they do it brilliantly.
Nothing to complain about here: the characters are drawn very well, the backgrounds are fantastic, and the Mecha and Wired World, which are usually done by CG, are fantastic.
The music was absolutely incredible. KOTOKO sings the opening theme and the lyrics fit so well with the series, and Mami Kawada sings the ending, which is beautiful but sad at the same time. Luckily for me, these two are actually my favourite singers.
The characters in the OVA could have done with a lot more development, excluding Tooru, but since the series was so short character development was kind of out of the question. However, each character is still able to be unique.
Except for the events of episode 2, I really enjoyed watching this series, as it was such an experience to watch. For an OVA, it went far deeper than I would have imagined and OVA could.
I was so close to giving BALDR FORCE EXE Resolution a 10/10, but episode 2 really put me off – I thought it was unneeded. However, I reccommend this to everybody ^^
The beginning starts off with the usual routine of investigating in the cybernetic world. As the FLAK was doing their normal routine, they encounter this special girl and things take a nasty turn for a couple of FLAK members. As the story moves on, Souma Tooru becomes one of the new members in the FLAK new devision but he joined not to relive his glory days as \"Steppen Wolf\" but for solely one purpose. You will have to watch to know why. ^_^
In conclusion, one of the best CG anime series I (and maybe you) will ever watch. Its full with a big plot to follow and an action pack sequence where it may amaze you from time to time. Its recommended for the mature audience but in general its for everyone who enjoys a bit of drama, action and adventure.
8: Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu: Owarenai Natsuyasumi
English: The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan: I Cannot Let Summer Break End
Japanese: 長門有希ちゃんの消失 第17話「終われない夏休み」
MAL Score: 6.73
Extra episode of Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu bundled with the limited edition of the 9th manga volume.
This OVA takes place during the summer break and we basically see them having fun together, while Kyon is struggling to find time to do his homework, exactly like in the infamous Endless Eight arc…
Thanks to Sugita’s hilarious acting and Koizumi’s weirdness I wasn’t too bored througthout the 24 minutes of this OVA but that’s it.
This is watchable, not even remotely enjoyable, like the whole Nagato Yuki spin-off.
I’m not a fan of the new character design either and I don’t like the OP or ED songs. Call it nostalgia or whatever but it was way better when Aya Hirano sung them, instead of Minori Chihara (her singing voice sounds like a duck), and much more interesting when Haruhi was the heroine.
If you survived the endless eight then this is a fun reworking of that story. It has a much bigger focus on the homework session which had some fun sequences – like the card game. Overall, if you have a soft spot for the series then this is a big warm hug.
It doesn’t add much to the series other than showing how comfortable the characters are with each other and they all get their own screen time with Haruhi, Kyon’s sister and Asakura taking the lion’s share. But with the story being ‘Endless Eight’ it doesn’t give you any new plot.
7: Sousei no Aquarion OVA
MAL Score: 7.07
In a distant future there is an organization called Deava which had to fight against the so called “Shadow Angels”, creatures that had survived for over 12,000 years whose only purpose was to destroy humanity. Apollo, a seemingly normal human, was in fact the reincarnation of a fallen Angel called Apollonius, who in turn had to fight against Touma, a Shadow Angel, along with his comrades in order to prevent the destruction of the Earth.
Even-though the premise is the same, the story has been re-vamped. This is what makes the OVA a better watch than the series. While watching the series, I experienced a bit like too much was going on. The revisions in the OVA fixed that for me. Yes, it’s a post-apocalyptic that is similar to the likes of Evangelion, Escaflowne & RaXhephon, but there’s a different fight here. Most have not seen this because they are too wrapped up in the fact that it resembles older titles. In a sense, I could even say it is similar to Voltron. This title like the others, has a specific fight. Like I don’t give away the story (because others have already), I would recommend a watch of the OVA as it is only 2 episodes. If you are curious to know the difference of the series, see if this holds your attention well enough, then check out the series. Also, find the true battle in this story.
Story: 8/10. The basic premise is a battle between angels and humans. The battle is based on the fact that the two races just don’t see eye to eye: the angels want to eradicate the humans and the humans want to survive. Go figure. BTW, I refer to the angels as a race, because they are just jerks with wings that I wouldn’t characterize as angels.
The setting is 12,000 years after an Angel of Massacre falls in love with a human warrior chic with big breasts. I mean with how many shots they dedicate to his eyes focusing on her chest, you don’t have to even wonder what he really fell in love with her for.
Then their best friend kills him. Sorry, that’s not a spoiler; that’s a flashback. You get that information in the first five minutes of the movie. The real story doesn’t even start until years later.
The plot then revolves around the reincarnation of these three individuals and how manipulative the angels are about trying to use their once friendship against them.
The story does have romance within it, in fact, the romance is the premise instead of the typical mecha theme. But this doesn’t fit in the romance genre either. So it is what it is. A mecha movie with romance as a theme.
Characters: 8/10. I liked the characters for the most part. Apollo is great. Typical but great. He does have some development, even it is minor. But what do you expect from a two episode OVA? He’s hot headed, but protective and loyal. The main girls Silvia and Reika are great too. But I won’t go into details of their characters, because that would be dipping into the realm of spoiling… since the story revolves around his relationship with the two of them.
The side characters for the most part are a little bland, but not too bad. The commander is great though.
The end is mildly disappointing though. Not too bad, but not what I was hoping for. That’s because my taste leans more towards the romance side of things.
Art: 6/10. I have to admit that I have never seen an anime pendulum swing back and forth between beautiful artistry and something off an afternoon comic. It is though the in-between artists had no idea what the main capture artists had in mind. One moment the art is fantastic and the next it looks shabby like two different studios were creating the artwork. In addition to that, there are elements of CG, which at moments outshine the regular animation.
There are some bishies for the bishie fans. And there is fan service for those type of fans.
Warning for people with children: there is a good amount of barbie doll nudity of both male and female characters. There are some minor sexual insinuations. Also there are a couple of bath scenes, one of a male character and the other of a female character. One more nude scene and I was going to deem this anime unwatchable.
Sound: 7/10. No complaints, but there was nothing grand about it either.
Overall: It wasn’t half bad.
If you’re a die hard mecha fan, this anime might not satisfy you. If you are a die hard romance fan, then this won’t satisfy you either. But if you like both, then you will be satisfied.
6: Fairy Tail x Rave
MAL Score: 7.16
While on a mission to find and defeat a troublesome mage, several members of the Fairy Tail guild are split up in an unfamiliar town. At the same time, Haru, Elie, and the rest of their group are also separated. In a fortunate turn of events, Elie runs into Lucy and Happy, who are looking for Natsu. Meanwhile, Haru stumbles upon Natsu, who is struggling with motion sickness. Although she seems friendly, Elie matches the description of the troublemaker that the Fairy Tail members were assigned to locate. To make matters worse, Natsu learns of Haru’s relationship with her and suspects them to be accomplices.
In this crossover between two popular series, Fairy Tail x Rave follows the two groups as they discover their similarities with each other. As the miscommunications add up, they are pitted against one another in a heated clash of powers, but will have to work together against a common foe.
*Fairy Tail x Rave takes place sometime after the Oración Seis arc in Fairy Tail and the Blue Guardians arc in Rave Master.
*If you’ve watched the Fairy Tail x Rave trailer then this should be spoiler free.
Story- As this is a crossover don’t expect much story. The way the chain of events played out was decent but its not really the focus of this OVA anyway. Both Dark Bring and Magic are referenced throughout the show.
Art- No different than the usual Fairy Tail animation. There wasn’t enough time to cover lots of moves typical of both Fairy Tail & Rave but what was there was done well. I especially enjoyed the animation on Haru’s abilities.
Sound- The scores and VAs from both the Fairy Tail and Rave return and mix really well. There is an emphasis on FT’s soundtrack but scores from Rave still do appear and are paced very well. I’ve always thought FTs sound track was excellent and FTxRave is no exception.
Characters- Even though it’s not in a logical setting its an enjoyable experience to see some of my favorite characters mix together. With it being 25 minutes long there isn’t enough time to cover each character thoroughly but regardless what is there is enjoyable. Nastu/Haru, Gray/Musica and Lucy/Ellie to an extent share characteristics so naturally mix together well. For Let, Julia and Wendy they all share Dragon-like abilities and its nice to see the brief companionship between them.
Enjoyment- Being a fan of both Rave and Fairy Tail I really enjoyed this. I was more excited to see the Rave characters animated with modern animation than anything else and it doesn’t disappoint.
It might just be the feeling you get from watching crossovers, but seeing how your favorite characters interact with each-other, in an otherwise impossible situation is something thoroughly enjoyable. Natsu and Haru are very similar in characteristics and several other members of Fairy tail and Rave get along with their similar characteristics.
As this is only a single episode, I can’t really give much info. But I can safely say, that whether or not you’re a Rave or Fairy tail fan (or Both) you will definitely enjoy this episode.
Story: 7/10 For an OVA the story is quite good. Its an action packed experiece and at times funny too.
Art: 8/10 The art is especially attractive. Well Fairy Tail art was good to begin with. And good art is one thing that makes a shounen anime worth the watch.
Sound: 9/10 The battle music is charming. Also the voice actors and actresses are in perfect sync with the characters. All the all the sound quality is something you can praise the anime for.
Enjoyment: 8/10 well yeah. Enjoyment is a 100%. You don’t feel like leaving the screen even for a moment. Personally I am a great fan of Fairy Tail so I may be biased but I tried to be as much liberal as possible.
Overall: 8/10. For action and fanservice lovers a must watch 🙂
5: Fairy Tail OVA
Japanese: フェアリーテイル OVA
MAL Score: 7.49
When the members of Fairy Tail aren’t destroying towns or defeating powerful foes, they’re attending school, travelling back in time, visiting water parks, and taking on odd jobs from strange clients. No matter where they go, a fun adventure always awaits, sometimes in the most unexpected form!
Fairy Tail: Youkoso Fairy Hills! is a series of special episodes 26th, 27th and 31st volumes of the manga. If you’re a faithful fan of FT, then you’re in the right place. The four episodes incorporated does not much have story by themselves but they do have one thing: entertainment. Hell, most people who’ve seen the original series would know that Fairy Tail is one of few series in the anime industry that has watchable fillers. And of course, these OVA episodes are watchable as well.
That’s right, Fairy Tail isn’t always about battles but sometimes is about fun, fun..and fun.
These five OVAs are standalone episodes that are nonlinear. In other words, there is no direct story or expansion from one episode to the next from this bundle. Don’t face palm yourself yet though because they all are all amusing to watch in a variety of reasons. In fact, comedy is one of Fairy Tail’s greatest aspects and it shines through in these episodes. (only in terms of comedy though…not else worth more adding)
The OVA themselves contains characters from the original series consisting of Team Natsu –
The outgoing Lucy
The over hyperactive Natsu
The naked Gray
The tough and boss Erza “Titania” Scarlet
All of them get their moments in these episodes ranging from being a bunny girl, wearing a cat/neko costume, the school uniforms, being a kid all over again, and beach fan-service. Speaking of which, the fan-service does shoot off the charts occasionally in these episodes. Unlike ecchi series though, they are for comedic purposes. Like I said before, Fairy Tail brings out laughter, fun, and entertainment rather than the typical “accidental shower walk-ins”.
The Fairy Tail atmosphere is still there though with some action scenes and the OST. Hiro Mashima likes to play with some of his typical battle shounen scenes often from the original series. In these short episodes, he brings out his skills of creating humor and that he did quite so-so from my perspective. It’s a welcoming aspect from the original series that has high levels of energy to induce entertainment rather than the more serious fighting scenes anime fans watches in so many long running shounen today. It’s not something serious to take into light.
The artwork of the series remains generally the same. Beyond the fan-service, the characters are drawn like from the original series with similar edges, proportions (including those boobs), and backgrounds. It’s sort of like the typical shounen artwork you see in many of today’s anime series. Fairy Tail doesn’t have the best art but it gets the point across.
The soundtrack of the OVAs remains generally the same although two different OP and ED songs are used. Aya Hirano and Tetsuya Kakihara does their roles and gives their songs a magical rhythm . It’s not too exciting but it gets to the point that reflects on the FT atmosphere.
All in all, these Fairy Tail OVAs are a fun watch. Don’t take it serious. Just don’t. If you do, you won’t enjoy this as much as some other fans. The original main characters return in this so it makes it worthwhile to watch them all have their fun, awkward, and entertaining moments.
If you’re having a bad day, watch this to brighten it up.
If you’re bored with your life, watch this to make your life more fun.
If you’re tired of waiting for the latest FT episode from the original series, watch this to pass some time.
If you’re frustrated about today’s other onsen/”beach” OVAs in other anime series, watch this to laugh at them
If you want to just enjoy some typical Fairy Tail entertainment, watch this to appreciate.
Ultimately though, these OVA episodes connected together are just of something amusing to watch but don’t expect much out of it, even if the above are how you felt before watching.
Basically, these are slightly longer filler episodes, with the second one an AU setting (they’re all in high school, without any magic) and the third one a nifty little time-traveling adventure, which also managed to squeeze in a little character development.
The art and sound weren’t anything memorable, but didn’t distract by being terrible either. Very middle ground in my opinion. The story, being filler episodes, was a way to throw in jokes they probably couldn’t fit into the main show.
TL;DR-If you like Fairy Tail, watch these. If you didn’t, don’t.
Short Story, After the Oracion Seis Arc which is episode 68 you must watch the first 3 Episodes of this OVA, then continue with the Daphne Arc until the start of Grand Magic Games Arc, watch episodes 151 and 152 after them it is perfect time for OVA 4 the Beach Training, after this episode continue with the Touranment Arc up to midpoint Episode 170 is the last, after it you must watch the Fifth and Last Episode of this OVA. after you completed this OVA continue watching the series till the End of Magic Tournament Arc episode 201 after it, start watching the Fairy Tail OVA (2016) episodes, about them in their review.
Now stories in thise OVA are good, the just go to the other side, and show you how our beloved characters could look like in completely other situations which are not typical for the series.
Like expected from Fairy Tail the Art, is really good.
This OVA are an amazing choice, to just watch and relax.
It’s a true must watch.
4: Macross Zero
English: Macross Zero
Japanese: マクロス ゼロ
MAL Score: 7.54
Taking place one year before the Zentraedi arrive on Earth, Macross Zero chronicles the final days of the war between the U.N. Spacy and anti-U.N. factions. After being shot down by the anti-U.N.’s newest fighter plane, ace pilot Shin Kudo finds himself on the remote island of Mayan, where technology is almost non-existent. While Shin stays on the island to heal his wounds, the tranqulity of the island is shattered by a battle that involves the UN’s newest fighter – the VF-0.
Macross Zero is set in the year 2008, and chronicles the final days of the conflict between U.N. Spacy and the Anti-U.N. forces on Earth. The story takes place in the South Pacific, in an area where an alien spacecraft crashed nine years before, and both sides are looking for it with the hopes of gaining a technological edge.
Kudou Shin, a pilot with U.N. Spacy, is downed by an enemy aircraft with the ability to transform, and crashes onto a remote island. When he regains consciousness he finds that his injuries have been tended by the natives, a peaceful tribe who want no part in the conflict.
Macross Zero is a big departure for the franchise in terms of it’s story, being at times more brutal and less forgiving than other outings. In almost every other Macross series, the enemy has invariably been alien, but here the enemy is other humans, and because of this there is a certain harshness to the tone of the series which is actually rather refreshing. The franchise has always had a slightly sugary aspect to it’s stories, so it’s nice to finally see a Macross tale that has some teeth, and that allows the characters to behave more like humans instead of an ideal. That’s not to say that characters from other Macross series are bad, simply that they have a bit more realism to their personas and actions in Zero.
The OVA is extremely well scripted and paced, and although the story has an element of predictably to it (it’s Macross after all, so some things will automatically be included ), there is a distinctly fresh feel to it because of the premise and plot. There are also a number of surprising elements that actually explain several aspects about the entire Macross universe, especially Frontier.
In all fairness, Zero could actually be considered as not simply a prequel, but also a re-envisioning of the entire Macross franchise. Granted there are the staple plot elements of variable fighters, music and love triangles in the OVA, however these actually play second fiddle to what is a truly gripping story.
As with any Macross series there is a certain standard to the quality of the art and animation, and Zero is no slouch in this department. The OVA is possibly the best looking of any Macross anime, and contains some truly remarkable designs and visual concepts. The colours are vibrant and bold, and Zero features some of the most fluid animation seen in the franchise. At times the animation is good enough to put even the mighty Frontier to shame, and nowhere is this highlighted more than in mech combat.
The character designs are one area where Zero truly deviates from other Macross series, with almost every character possessing a certain realism which even extends to items of clothing and jewellery. Blue hair may be a norm in anime, but the lack of it can change the whole feel of a show, sometimes for the better.
One thing that Macross is famous for is music, in particular, songs and singing. Zero is no exception to this, and while the general music is familiarly orchestral (and more than a little martial), the all important singing is very different to what Macross fans will be used to. The songs in Zero have a distinctly tribal tone that is brought about because of the importance of the native islanders to the entire Macross universe. The OVA, unlike other Macross series, actually downplays the popular music element that is prevalent within the franchise. Because of this, the singing has a far more peaceful and natural feel to it, something that also plays a part in Macross Frontier.
One thing I did like about Zero in particular was the quality and timing of it’s sound effects. Although there are times when almost everything else is drowned out by explosions, the effects are generally very sharp and clean.
Voice actingis another big plus for the OVA, especially with regards to the lead roles. Suzumura Kenichi performs extremely well as the troubled Kudou Shin, whilst Kobayashi Sanae is truly excellent as the proud Sara Nome. The rest of the cast are equally good, and are able to give their respective characters a greater sense of purpose than I’ve seen in any other Macross series.
As for the characters themselves, there is really very little to complain about. The lead characters are all individuals to a tee, each with their own problems, goals and ideals. Possibly the most interesting aspect is the internal conflicts that Sara, Mao and Kudou struggle with which, at various points in the OVA, promote some surprising developments in their relationships with each other.
Because the story is set during a period of conflict there is a certain amount of predetermination with regards to their development, which is actually the main weakness of the series. The viewer can almost predict how a given character will react in certain situations. This is, however, an unfortunate necessity because of the length of the OVA. At only five episodes there simply isn’t enough time to offer the majority of characters any substantial development. so any that does occur is normally on the formulaic side.
Macross Zero is a surprisingly unique addition to the franchise, and one that will invariably cause some arguments among the more hardcore fanbase. For the average anime viewer though, it is an entertaining and sometimes thought provoking series that isn’t afraid to try a new approach. The setting and time period, together with the more realistic tone of the story, also mean that it is more accessable to those who want to give the franchise a try.
Arguments notwithstanding, fans of the Macross franchise should be pleased with this addition, especially with regards to the recent Macross Frontier. Of all the Macross series’ that have been released thus far, Frontier and Zero have the closest ties, not simply because of the infamous movie in Frontier, but also because it is suggested that Sheryl Nome is actually the granddaughter of Mao Nome, who we see as a young girl in Zero. There’s also the “Birdman” link between the two series, and in all honesty fans of Macross Frontier should definitely watch Zero as it is not only a prequel to SDF Macross, but also the true beginning of Macross Frontier.
The Macross saga has it’s detractors, and rightly so as there have been times when the franchise has simply not delivered.
Thankfully, Macross Zero isn’t one of those occasions.
The plot of Zero is noticeably more grounded than its predecessors. Instead of narrating conflict between humans and extraterrestrials, Zero’s plot revolves around the war between the UN and Anti-UN forces, as well as the inhabitants of Mayan Island’s struggle with the introduction of the outside world, which they have mostly avoided until now. As a result, the story becomes much less detached from reality as other Macross series’, and viewers are able to relate to themes such as globalization and the environment. Zero is able to provoke a number of thoughts on these themes without being preachy or detracting from the overall entertainment value. The romance element is amazingly well-developed for a short series such as this. It is convincing and touching without a heavy stench of melodrama.
Of course, the success in the romance department would not be possible without great characters. Zero’s cast of main characters, like the romance, is also well developed. From Sara’s inner struggle with the encroachment from the outside world, to Shin’s exploration of the ways of the Mayan Islands, to the sheer Charisma of Roy Focker, the characters go beyond being merely caricatures, but rather breath life to the story as interesting and likable human beings, which makes the conflict and romance all the more engaging and satisfying. However one minor gripe on the subject of characters would be the lack of development for the antagonists. Though lightly alluded, the stories behind them are never revealed, therefore the antagonists of Zero exist solely to get in the way of the heroes. But for a five-episode series, this flaw is easily forgivable, given with the limited screen time.
The art and animation of Macross Zero are undoubtedly its strongest points. The character designs are clean, the background art is as detailed as it is beautiful, and the CG animations of the variable fighters are nothing short of breathtaking. Without feeling too out of place in a 2D anime, the 3D jets are superbly rendered. Trails of air adorn the fighters as they pull off amazingly choreographed dogfights. Missiles dance across the screen gorgeously in true Macross fashion, and the superb use of camera further heightens the exhilaration of the aerial combat. The attention to technical detail must also be noted in the movements of the thrusters, rudders, and the transformation sequence of the variable fighters. The sounds of Macross Zero compliments its visuals well with booming explosions during the fights and lovely singing during… well, the songs. However, in the department of background music, though certainly not bad, Zero did not offer any particularly memorable pieces for me.
Overall, Macross Zero is an incredible entertainment package that combines a great story, superb art, and mouth-watering mecha action no fan of the genre can resist. If you enjoy the Macross franchise or mehca series’ in general, Macross Zero is without a question a must-watch. Even if you aren’t, Macross Zero is still an amazing experience, and at only five episodes, it’s a great investment for your time.
The story of Macross Zero isn’t hard to digest: A war is on-going between two halves of humanity. On one side is a pilot called Shin, a rookie who learned about war the hard way as a child and got involved in order to stop the fighting. During a battle he ends up getting his plane badly damaged, forcing him into an emergency eject. When he wakes up later, he finds himself wrapped in bandages and inside a strange hut with bird images around him. He soon discovers that the island he’s found himself on is inhabited by primitive people, and the leader of these people, Sara, wants him to leave as soon as possible in order to avoid him bringing a curse on her people. However, with the war taking place near the island due to an ancient life-form having been discovered underwater close to it, things soon take a turn for the worse…
For some reason, I like stories that involve a primitive race of people having to come to terms with the realities of the modern world, or the reverse. Macross Zero showed a primitive group being forced to experience the pain and suffering of war AND had the main character, to a certain extent at least, become one with nature. I haven’t seen this type of story in anime before and that semi-original vibe allowed me to get even more out of the experience. Putting originality aside for a second, it’s a good thing when mecha series are grounded in reality by a plot element because it prevents the story being too far-fetched and allows people to connect to the story and characters on a real world level.
Another impressive aspect of the show is its multiple love stories. Macross is well known for its blend of romance, singing and sci-fi, and Zero didn’t let me down. The romance never came across as fake or forced, which surprised me a little given the short length of the story. The relationship between uptight Shin and primitive Sara was very touching, and it had a very funny beginning since Shin unknowingly threatened Sara with what the Mayan people think of as being equivalent to love letters. The other major relationship, between Aries and Roy Focker, wasn’t quite so moving due to them having been together (and later splitting apart) prior to the start of Macross Zero, with the events of the story pulling them back together, but it had its moments and, like with the other relationship, their relationship created a fairly amusing scene or two.
As for the visuals, Zero looks fantastic. The art/animation is up to the standard I expected an OVA series of a huge franchise to be at, but the CG aerial battles blew me away. They were a little difficult to follow at times due to the frenzied pace aerial battles move at, but I never lost track of who was shooting at who. And, unlike with lower quality anime that features CG, the CG blended excellently with the animation.
The music was less impressive than the other aspects. There were a few decent songs here and there but, overall, nothing stood out as truly special. Off the top of my head, I can’t even remember any of the BGM music right now, which is an indication of how much of the soundtrack caught my ears. I don’t feel the soundtrack was bad (I’d be being far more critical if that were the case), I just felt it lacked something in comparison to everything else.
All in all, I loved the series. I enjoyed it so much that it got a rare 10/10 from me and has gone straight into my top five (edit: many months later, I changed my scoring system, and Zero got a 9/10 on my list.) For someone as critical as me to rate something 10/10, it has to be brilliant, and Macross Zero had every element an anime needs to be as close to perfection as humanly possible. It’s hard for me to imagine a better blend of reality, mecha and a sci-fi ‘God’ story. If this series never gets released outside of Japan it’ll be a crime – every (and I mean every!) anime fan should see it.
3: Air Gear: Kuro no Hane to Nemuri no Mori – Break on the Sky
Japanese: エア ギア 黒の羽と眠りの森 -Break on the Sky-
MAL Score: 7.60
First episode is based on the 16th volume of the manga. Features Ikki vs. Ringo.
Second episode is based on the 23rd/24th volume of the manga. Features Kogarasumaru vs. Sleeping Forest inside Inorganic Net.
This OVA is basically a random part of the story, many chapters after the anime ended. The art is really close to the manga art as well, so that’s why it’s different from the original anime.
After watching the OVAs again, I just wish they remade the entire anime, and continued it to the end.
Pretty cool to hear and see Kururu in an anime for the first time.
Air Gear: Kuro no Hane to Nemuri no Mori or more awkwardly known as, Break on the Sky, is a collection of 3 OVA’s that take place after the storyline of the animated series…I think; it looks like it is supposed to be more in tune with the manga which would explain why it didn’t make a lot of sense.
Essentially, it is about Ikki and his team, Kogarasumaru, trying to enter a tournament that will help them to reach the top of the trophaeum. Ringo, as a member of Sleeping Forest, is now an enemy of sorts, and the team, for some bizarre reason, has to fight the original Sleep Forest team…..in cyberspace…I am not joking. The story seems like an after thought because they clearly didn’t bother to introduce the audience to a slew of new characters that I assume are from the manga. It feels like a vessel for a ton of pandering.
Now to talk about something good, the art. The art is actually quite stunning and done infinitely better than the original, which is no surprise seeing we’re comparing OVA’s, made in 2010, to a series, made in 2006. The detailing of the characters looks great and where it really shines is in the aerial battles, which are undoubtedly the best part of the OVA’s. Character’s move fluidly, are well detailed, and fly around beautiful backdrops and settings.
Music is typical, nothing that stood out really. It does fit into the whole “Air Gear feel” though which is nice. One thing I do have to mention is the laughably bad moments where the voice actors say a line like “All for one and one for all.” in English; they clearly haven’t had a lot of experience with English.
It was strange for the producers to release an OVA that requires a fair knowledge of the manga. I’ve never read the manga, but I’ve seen all of the anime series; you would think that would be enough, right? The characters don’t act like you would expect from the anime series because of this. Ringo is a lot more outgoing and Ikki is one giant douche….well more so than in the series.
On a visual level, it is awesome and I’d definitely recommend it for that. I would say it’s for the type of person that say, watches Highschool of the Dead for the reason it was made. If your looking for something deep and meaningful, avert your eyes.
I personally think, that the art wasn’t that good… I expected much more from the anime that took my hear away *crying* but it didn’t meet my expectations.
Story: Okay, the story wasn’t bad… i mean, it just follows 2 battles out of the manga and so for many neutrall viewers it may seem like some “Amazing Fight”
Overal: As a fan of Air Gear i will give 10 (because they diserved it) and say one thing : Except for the art that was some crazy ass fight. I rewatched it severall times and it’s just the best. I can’t wait for the second season (Oh god, please give them money so that they can make it!) because just this 3 OVA (especially the 2nd and 3rd)
2: Hellsing: Digest for Freaks
Japanese: HELLSING I OVA DIGEST FOR FREAKS
MAL Score: 7.65
This OVA is a summary of the first three episodes of Hellsing, with the animation style of Hellsing Ultimate and following the events of the Hellsing manga.
Hellsing I: Digest for Freaks Might just be a recap for those three episodes, but it’s also just another short of reused animation for the first episode of Hellsing Ultimate, nothing more, nothing less. Everything about this was just another re-phrasal of Hellsing Ultimate, os to avoid making this a Hellsing Ultimate review I’m sparing it for now.
1: Hellsing Ultimate
English: Hellsing Ultimate
Japanese: HELLSING OVA
MAL Score: 8.38
There exist creatures of darkness and evil that plague the night, devouring any human unfortunate enough to be caught in their grasp. On the other side is Hellsing, an organization dedicated to destroying these supernatural forces that threaten the very existence of humanity. At its head is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who commands a powerful military and spends her life fighting the undead.
Integra’s vast army, however, pales in comparison with her ultimate weapon: the vampire Alucard, who works against his own kind as an exterminator for Hellsing. With his new vampire servant, Seras Victoria, at his side, Alucard must battle not only monsters, but all those who stand to oppose Hellsing, be they in the guise of good or evil.
In a battle for mankind’s survival, Hellsing Ultimate proves that appearances are not all they may seem, and sometimes the greatest weapon can come in the form of one’s worst nightmare.
It has all the flash and gimmicks to trick you into thinking it’s good. It has vampires, action, blood, swearing, violence, gore, sexuality, darkness—everything that’s just “cooool” and “matuuure.”
Let’s not forget its “badass” hero Alucard—whose name is “Dracula” spelled backward, by the way. Goddamn that is so fucking cool I’m hurting. He’s so powerful no one can beat him. Except… that is the problem. Because none of his enemies can even touch him all his fights are boring filler. You’re actually left rooting for the villains.
The main characters are supposed to be the one putting up a struggle, not the other way around. The only time I was excited about a fight was when the villains felt like they could pose a challenge. But then Alucard whips out a power up, and I’m left saying “Oh.”
For a show with gorgeous animation and fantastic action it’s dull and forgettable. It’s like an attractive person without a personality. There are pacing issues where it slows down to be melodramatic and rambles about nonsense philosophy. I get that you need to let us know character motivations, but giving 10 minute speeches isn’t exactly keeping me awake. It also tries to be funny with some lighthearted, cutely animated moments, but it only ruins the mood.
I still actually recommend watching this but only if you’re slightly interested. It’s helpful to watch good and bad shows. It’ll give you an instinct on why something is good or bad. I enjoyed this my first time, but I certainly wouldn’t watch it again.
It has often been said that I like Hellsing Ultimate. My friends, I like Hellsing Ultimate…NO. Friends, I LOVE!! HELLSING ULTIMATE! I love the dark animation, I love the gore, I love the action, I love the charismatic characters, the accents, I love the bombastic plot and dialogue! I love any like-minded quality anime that can exist upon this Earth!
I love watching ghouls, vampires and mercenaries clashing in an all-out VAR within the Victorian hallways of the Hellsing estate. My heart leaps with joy whenever a soldier’s limps are blown off followed by screams of agonizing pain. And there is nothing like a British vampire chick dual wielding artillery canons to rain hell upon the mightiest engines of war, UND the feeling that comes when a vampire runs away screaming from Alucard only to be slaughtered in the most gruesome way imaginable… is such… an exquisite feeling. Like when ranks of mercenaries sign up to hunt vampires and ghouls using silver bullets. It moves me deep within my heart to see an entire squadron of innocent SWAT forces butchered mercilessly by none other than the MC in their final moments of shock and despair. The sight of haters being made fun of on the forums for their ridicule subjective criticism is an irresistible pleasure. And there is nothing more arousing then the major’s awe-inspiring war-speech which is still resonating with grandeur in your heads at this very moment. When a band of pitiful resistance fighters make their final stand with nothing but small arms only to have their city destroyed and their guts disemboweled by a thousand paratrooper vampire Nazis, I’m in ecstasy. I love it when my favorite factions are ravaged by enemy Nazi bastards. It’s so sad to see characters I had held onto dearly meet their tragic fates, their friends and comrades ripped in half gasping for their last breaths. I love to be squashed under the heel of the Nazi and Vatican war dogs, the humiliation as my men crawl around like vermin, hiding and taking cheap shots from walled corners.
Gentlemen, all I ask for is more Hellsing Ultimate. An anime so grand as to make hell itself tremble. Gentlemen…I ask you as fellow brothers in arms what is it that you really want? Do you wish for further anime like this as I do? Do you wish for a merciless bloody anime? Anime whose fury is built with iron and lightning and fire? DO YOU ASK FOR ANIME TO SWEEP IN LIKE A TEMPEST, LEAVING NOT EVEN CRITICS TO SCAVENGE FROM THIS EARTH!!!
To start off with the characters, our hero Alucard feels like the epitome of what it means to be a mary sue. Does he have character traits which define him? Of course not, since he is nothing but an underdeveloped, unbeatable, one dimensional mary sue who does what he wants and what he pleases because the plot said so. Is he able to be beaten? Yes, but only when the plot needs him to stray away for a while, then after that he comes back because he is supposed to be an immortal vampire who never dies because of plot, even when the other characters beat him fair and square through a smart strategy they had developed early on. Speaking of the other characters, they exist just for the sole purpose of moving the plot forward all the while being one dimensional archetypes themselves. You’ve got the central villain, Major, whose only character trait is to be evil and speak in a funny German accent just to get some cheap laughs from the viewers. You’ve got a woman who owns Alucard and is supposed to be his master, and her character is never developed other than her being his master, and to drink wine and speak in a posh accent I guess. She was so forgettable, to the point where I forgot her name. The other characters are the same, they either exist for the sole purpose of telling an unfunny joke, or to progress the plot forward without gaining any real characterization in the process. Reading some of the reviews here, they rave about the greatness of the characters, yet they never go into specifics as to why said characters are so great. I wonder why…
As for the unfunny jokes, this Anime is filled to the very brim with them. Were you hoping for a serious and grim Anime about vampires and soldiers fighting each other to the death? Jokes on you, we’ll give you the silliest, most addlebrained “comedy” Anime that ever tried to take itself seriously. Even when it should be funny and invoke laughter out of the audience, it doesn’t do anything of significance nor does it succeed in getting said laughs. Moreover, the juxtaposition between comedy and seriousness completely breaks the audience’s immersion in the plot, as one cannot be invested in a serious scene because the Anime breaks the viewer’s immersion and the serious tone that it was going for with unfunny jokes that come out of nowhere. Seriously, the comedy displayed here is worse than that of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, and that is genuinely saying something. To put it in simpler words, the Anime does not know what it wants to be, because if it’s goal was to be a hysterical parody of vampires, then it has certainly failed in it’s goal, since it neither is funny nor does it not break that rule by trying to take itself seriously half of the time.
Moving on to one more problem that this unfunny sack of underwhelming doodoo suffers from, it is that the episode length is long. There is a reason one watches Anime, and that is because while it not being the best medium out there, it at least makes up for it by not torturing the viewer for more than twenty minutes at a time. What does Hellsing Ultimate do? It lengthens it’s twenty minute run per episode into forty slow and lengthy minutes, which boggles the mind since ten minutes of this catastrophe were unwatchable, much less forty. Even when sped up, it doesn’t help either since you are constantly seeing characters you dislike being shoved right into your face all the time. You can’t escape this terrible catastrophe no matter how hard you tried, as it is inherently bad by itself.
Overall, there isn’t much else to say about Hellsing Ultimate. It is boring, trite, unfunny and at the end of the day it is meandering. Why is it meandering you ask? Because the main character is an unbeatable mary sue who barely shows any emotions and the outcomes therefore become predictable.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Hellsing Ultimate
2. Hellsing: Digest for Freaks
3. Air Gear: Kuro no Hane to Nemuri no Mori – Break on the Sky
4. Macross Zero
5. Fairy Tail OVA
6. Fairy Tail x Rave
7. Sousei no Aquarion OVA
8. Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu: Owarenai Natsuyasumi
9. Baldr Force Exe Resolution
10. Macross F: Choujikuu Gekijou