They’re the best Anime that 1992 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Mainichi ga Nichiyoubi, Shin Dousei Jidai: Hawaiian Breeze, Nozomi Witches, and more!
10: Mainichi ga Nichiyoubi
MAL Score: 6.20
Yumi Takeshita is a cheerful lady who recently joined the police force of the Tawagoto precinct. When she was still a middle school student, she was saved from being hit by a truck thanks to a stranger. Several years later, she meets her savior once again while performing her first arrest attempt. He is a magician named Tohru Ichidaiji and Yumi is charmed to finally meet him. As a police officer who is assigned to several odd tasks, she will keep asking for the help of the handy Tohru.
9: Shin Dousei Jidai: Hawaiian Breeze
Japanese: 新 同棲時代 HAWAIIAN BREEZE
MAL Score: 6.20
In this adaptation of a manga by Fumi Shibama, itself a retelling of a 1972 manga by Kazuo Kamimura (the original Age of Cohabitation whose existence is implied by the “new” in this title), Honda has been living with Eri for two years and debates whether or not he should ask her to marry him.
(Source: The Anime Encyclopedia)
Hawaiian Breeze offers one of the more realistic depictions of a relationship I’ve seen in anime. It follows the long-term relationship of a couple living together in Japan. Although their love is genuine, their life goals are totally different. Peter is an illustrator who works from home with aspirations of getting married and having children. Eri has a corporate job and takes her work seriously. She aspires to climb the company ladder and become successful. Because of this, she’s not interested in getting married or having children, despite living with Peter for two years. While most scenes depict a wholesome loving relationship, this difference in perspective occasionally causes some pretty heated arguments. While I disapprove of some of the main characters actions, I appreciated how realistically they depicted the irrational side of love because both of these characters tend to lose control of their emotions from time to time. Furthermore, it’s later revealed that both of these characters are only acting this way as a response to past trauma they’ve repressed. While I won’t spoil their intimate details regarding the nature of these traumas, I will say that I am impressed with the amount of story they could pack into 40 minutes while still managing to create an emotional experience with a complete ending. I’m even more impressed that someone added this particular image of profanity in graffiti into the end credits right after such a solid emotional scene. I’m guessing whoever did this couldn’t read English. My overall score for Hawaiian Breeze is an 8/10. However, I think Hawaiian Breeze might have been the right anime for me at the right time of my life because I felt what these characters were going through. Its MAL rating is only 6.2, which I imagine has much to do with its presentation, so I wanted to review it in hopes that I could shine a new light on an emotional anime that’s been lost in history.
The animation can be nicely described as very limited, the sound is also just pretty ok, enough to not be a bother but nothing stellar.
Their isn’t a lot of music, but it usually is used really well and the lack of it is pretty fitting and gives it more of a sombre down to earth vibe.
The art is simple and pretty subdue, which i really enjoy, but it’s certainly nothing to write home about.
The credit song is a really good thing to end on, as it fits in well with the ending in general.
So if you are not bothered by limited animation and a subdue art style go and give it a watch.
8: Nozomi Witches
Japanese: のぞみ ウィッチィズ
MAL Score: 6.28
Ryoutaro Shiba and his family have just moved into a new housing neighborhood. He soon discovers he is lucky enough to be living next to a beautiful and bewitching girl named Nozomi Egawa. Nozomi is athletic, an actress, and surprisingly more than anything else, she wants Ryoutaro to become a boxer so that he can fulfil her dream. Ryoutaro isn’t exactly sure what Nozomi’s dream is, but he definitely does not want to become a boxer. Unfortunately for Ryoutaro, he finds himself being dragged to the high school boxing club because Nozomi has written a resume for him claiming that he is a boxing genius! It actually seems that Ryoutaro has a special gift for boxing that he has never known about before. Ryoutaro soon finds himself in the winners’ circle. But for how long can he last, and can he really live up to Nozomi’s expectations?
7: Zetsuai 1989
MAL Score: 6.38
Koji Nanjo, a young rock star, falls in love with soccer player Takuto Izumi. Koji eventually learns that Izumi’s mother killed his father out of severe and intense love. Izumi took all the guilt for his father’s murder and refuses to go pro because of fear that his past will be discovered by the media. Izumi detests Koji’s company and encouragement and severely dislikes the attention from the press, but Koji cannot stay away for he soon realizes that his love for Izumi is very similar to the love that Izumi’s mother felt for his father.
The story starts out with a flashback of our hunky lead reminiscing about a football hunk from his childhood. Excuse me will I clean my keyboard after spilling my tea laughing at that statement. I lied; there is nothing hunky about our girly man leads. Back on point, the lead Koji Nanjo is a super famous and popular musician who insists he isn’t gay, despite having these thoughts about this footballer. Coincidently the now grown footballer, Takuto Izumi picks up the passed out and drunken Koji from a rainy alley and nurses him back to health. I’m sure this kind of thing happens all the time. Straight man picks up a drunkard from an alley and takes him home then sleeps lovingly with him on the same bed. What a nice man.
Actually this illness, and let’s call it what it is; IT’S A COLD! It’s not life threatening! For the most part healthy young men do not drop dead after getting wet and developing a small fever and the sniffles. However this is a recurring theme in this anime. I would guess that at least 60% of the story takes place in a hospital or in someone’s sickbed. I know, I know, I am sure this is supposed to drive home some kind of splendid drama or titillate me with the promise of healing buttsecks.
All this being said there is some decent drama beneath all the sickness and gay-angst. Sorta. Kinda. Koji moves from a man who claims he isn’t gay to a flaming symbol of gay pride in the span of 10 minutes. Most puzzling we are supposed to believe that it was the look in Izumi’s eyes that so captivated him when he was younger. Towards the end though the drama is fairly interesting as Koji tries to get his feelings across to the emotionally damaged Izumi. The story doesn’t really end satisfactorily but it isn’t horrible. It doesn’t change the fact though that Koji is an obsessive psycho and there is nothing to make you think either one of them have any real feelings for each other besides what they say. Additionally the sports action and portrayal of the music industry is unrealistic to say the least. Yaoi fans looking for a lot of guy x guy action are also not likely to be satisfied either. There is very little intimacy between the “lovers” and absolutely zero chemistry and nothing that is even close to being called romance.
The cast for Zetsuai is small and pretty much keeps to its two leads. They are both underwhelming as characters. Izumi attempts to be played as this macho and manly athlete. But he comes across as a heartless brooding asshat. Yes, he’s had it rough. He is haunted by the murder of his father by his mother and her attempted murder of him. Because of the societal rejection of him as the son of a murderer he is understandably scarred emotionally and distant from people. He is moderately sympathetic as a character because most of what happens to him or has happened in his life is really through no fault of his own. I suppose the most inspirational thing about his is as a warning to people on why you shouldn’t pick up strangers in the street and take them home with you.
Koji on the other hand is equally passionless. Though what exactly he is messed up about is anyone’s guess. I find it quite laughable that someone with so little interest in anything could ever become a successful musical artist. The only time he shows any real passion about anything is in playing the pining man-wife type, while he tries to force himself on Izumi. He is a complete psycho and his antics get more and more over the top the more desperate he becomes.
What can I say about the art? Well it is without a doubt one of the most horrible things I have ever subjected my eyeballs too. This kind of thing is precisely why I don’t watch this genre. If you want to see two women together why not just watch a yuri anime? It seems 99% of yaoi artwork is a rip-off of CLAMP designs. The guys are way too feminine, with long girlish nails and fingers, long silky hair, and thin faces with knife like pointed chins. Either the artist really loves Jay Leno or this is supposed to be attractive. Additionally the characters are supposed to be 16. Despite the silliness of that when it comes to the story, these guys don’t looks like they are 16. No way in hell. It’s not just the character designs that are hideous, the backgrounds and settings are just as bland and uninspired. I suppose I should give it a bit of a pass being that it is from almost 20 years ago but I can’t see this looked good ever. Even a cave artist would have thought this looked like shit.
Perhaps the only thing worse than the art is the music. Wow. I can’t believe we used to listen to this trash. If you want to reminisce to the good old days of hair bands and trite lyrics and corny keyboard sounds then maybe you will get a smidgeon of value. As hair bands go Mötley Crüe rocked, this is more like listening to Nelson. The acting performances are equally uninteresting and unmoving.
Overall Zetsuai 1989 is an anime that should be avoided by all but the most undiscriminating viewer or yaoi fangirl. I would say you could watch it for the lulz but you should love yourself more than that. The only thing it really has going for it is that it’s a million times better than its epically shitty sequel.
seen via english sub.
To be honest the cover art and yaoi genre through me for a loop. Both i did not expect to be what i ended up seeing. The emotions and drama that went into this movie caused my emotions to stir. The passion, the strength of will really could connect to the viewer. Sure at first the story portrays a kind of screw you (hate you) kind of moment. However, had it not have been would the same ending have been reached? The cover art is there to show the stone cold emotion/emotionless feeling. The genre is there because both main characters are both strong roles. I am not saying a woman can not be as strong. Women can even be stronger but they are known for there emotions not there muscles. Hard truth but it is the truth.
Along time ago i heard from an unknown source fight fire with fire. How can you do that if your love has been involved in a murder? making matters worse your parents are both the murder and victim. How can one recover from that? This writer found a way that i thought there would be none. The murder weapon needed to be in the hands of the innocent but how? How was the question.
The music from this OVA is wonderful, I still listen to the extra soundtrack to this day. I guess because I am nostalgic for an era that I’ve never witnessed. If you like cheesy 80’s music like me then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too. I was in the closet when I watched this as a teenager and this anime helped me cope with being closeted. Especially when Nanjo who was mostly a player with the ladies suddenly realizes the girl he’s been searching for all along is a boy his age. The boy, however, resents Nanjo and rightfully so because he’s not sure why Nanjo looks at him that way and why he won’t leave his life.
It’s a cliche storyline. Rocker pretty boy falls in love with an athletic pretty boy, but athletic pretty boy doesn’t reciprocate those feelings back until one day their life turns around and everything changes. You know that sort of cheesy thing. As a young cold-hearted homosexual, this anime definitely pulled several heartstrings. Therefore this anime will always have a special place in my heart and was one of the reasons why I decided to come out.
6: Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf
English: Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf
MAL Score: 6.43
Jeff Bogard was a master of the Hakkyokuseiken martial arts school and the guardian of its secret techniques. Coveting this knowledge, Geese Howard, the most powerful man in South Town, challenged and murdered him in front of his adoptive sons Terry and Andy Bogard. Under the guidance of their mentor Tung Fe Rue, the brothers dedicate their lives to training in the ultimate art to avenge their father.
10 years later, Geese promotes a martial arts tournament known as the King of Fighters. Terry and Andy join their friend Muay Thai champion Joe Higashi and enter the competition in order to finally face Geese in combat.
Other featured characters are Geese’s henchmen like the staff master Billy Kane and the masked pro wrestler, Raiden and they are transitioned faithfully themselves. On one hand, it’s a faithful interpretation, but the story in terms of being a martial arts flick is a little too cliché.
The character design is by Masami Obari. He has a real distinct style of drawing character faces and bodies. Like Joe Higashi’s built is really like a true Muay Thai fighter’s built being all lean. The clothing of the characters is of course well faithful to the gaming design originally done by Shinkiro. I also like how he gave Terry’s hat a steel plate to it. Makes me wish I want a hat like that because I think it’s pretty cool. Some notable exemptions are of course Andy’s hair color being silver in this one though the sequels will change it to blonde. In common trait to his other works, he does tend to use lots of colors which brings out the resolution and it gave me a feeling of being alert to a lot of details with the characters. Of course other traits of Obari will be well built women but the only featured female character is Lily and she happens to wear something like a Victorian dress but you never see any body parts exposed.
The fights also well utilize the character’s signature moves. It tends to be based more on the games rather than realistic fighting which was the Street Fighter II animated movie approach was. Like Terry will use his burn knuckle and rising tackle. Geese will have his raging storm and reppuken. And so on and so forth. The fights translate very well but the problem is being a 45 minute feature, the fights tend to be a bit short. Though the fights are short, they are still exciting and plenty of action.
First, I would like to talk about the Japanese voice acting and compare it to the dub. I will admit it. These are the rare kinds of anime that I prefer the English dub over the Japanese track. The Japanese voice actors were ok, but they did not have the same passion or intensity as their English counter parts. The voice of Joe from the Japanese version is a famous world champion kickboxer, Masaaki Satake. I have seen his fights and granted he’s a great fighter, but as a voice actor, he sucks. He made Joe who is supposed to be in his early 20s sound twice his age. He sounded like an old man and the voice didn’t really reflect his prankster personality that he has in the games. While Jason Gray-Stanford who plays him in the English version does a great job of making a voice for him that really reflects his usual childish qualities. I also liked Geese’s dub voice because he really sounded intimidating and evil. I really liked Mark Hildreth as Terry because he made him sound like the passionate person that the anime also made him portray. Usually if I ever want to watch this anime, these are the rare occasions I will put this anime in English rather than Japanese.
The music is also pretty cool itself. It has a modern day Hong Kong kung fu flick feel to it. It has a lot of guitars but not necessarily sounding Eastern but still something you’d feel a little Asian. The ending song Fly Away is pretty good. Not really intense but it really helps reflect the ending of the story and what really happens and tells things in the point of view of Lily and Terry.
Well, if you’re a fan of the games or want to watch an action anime, then this anime is for you. It’s not the best, but still far from being the worst. I wouldn’t call this anime in the same league of something as Street Fighter II V or the animated movie, but is still worth a shot for the martial arts anime fan or fans of the video game series. It’s an anime with some stand out flaws and there are sequals which later correct it as they go along the way. And if you’re a person that really prefers dubs, then this anime is perfect for you.
Ten years later, the brothers return to South Town and they reunite with Tung as promised. He informs them that he will teach only one of them a secret technique that can defeat Geese. The two brothers plan to battle each other in the King of Fighters Tournament which is sponsored by Geese, with the purpose of learning the move to avenge their father.-summary
Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungy Wolf is based on the popular SNK video game Fatal Fury, which made its debut in November of 1991. The game featured three fighters as the main characters: The unorthodox martial artist Terry Bogard, his brother Andy Bogard whom uses Koppo-ken, and Muy Thai expert Joe Higashi. All three fighters with some of their opponents appear in the movie. The most notable opponents are the formidable martial artist Geese Howard, a staff fighter named Billy Kane, and the wrestler Raiden.
Fatal Fury caters too much to fans of the video game. Non fans will know what’s going on story wise but may find it difficult to care for this particular movie; and if non fans are searching for martial arts action similar to Street Fighter: The Animated Movie, or good martial arts action in general, then they will definitely come away hating this movie. Fatal Fury is billed as a martial arts anime but you really don’t get much, if any of it.
The weakness in the animation shows in many areas with the action being the most notable. The fights are very poorly choreographed with some bad exchanges. To include, they are incredibly short consisting of one to two hit victories, with only the use of their trademark special moves and some of these techniques come off looking incredibly silly. Terry Bogards “Rising Tackle” immediately comes to mind. Also, the final battle ends up being a very big disappointment, especially when considering how tough Geese is in the game.
Although the action scenes are short they can be kind of bloody; but if you’ve seen enough bloody and brutal anime, then you won’t really be impressed by this at all. The artwork is fairly done with the characters resembling their video game counterparts. However, only Andy appears to be somewhat out of character with his hair being blue instead of blonde. The voice acting wasn’t really an issue for me and I feel it was well acted during numerous key moments. The soundtrack is something I did enjoy which is made up of J-Pop that adds some type of life to the fight scenes, while also making the thin as needles plot easier to get through. This is a good example of a well used soundtrack.
Fatal Fury is also very cheesy too. The romance angle is every bit as unrealistic as it was unnecessary. Terry’s love interest Lily was mainly used as a plot device for Terry to have more of a reason to hate Geese, as if brutally killing his father right in front of his eyes wasn’t reason enough. I will admit that the characters are mildly developed though.
I also give some credit to the writing team. Unlike many video games that make it to film. Fatal Fury seems to be done by those whom have a bit of knowledge of the game. At the very least, there was an attempt to give the fans something.
The production team used what they had to work with. The effort was there, but the end result is what counts and I’ve always been disappointed with this one. Then again, video game to movies have a notorious reputation for being disappointing anyway. I recommend Fatal Fury only to fans of the game and the very easy to please.
Highs: Pretty faithful to video game, good soundtrack
Lows: Bad animation, too short, fights are very unimpressive, may not appeal to non fans
However, I found this Anime to be fantastically enjoyable not as an action film, but as a comedy. Much of the fighting was over the top, the deaths were extremely ridiculous, and the characters were all around fun extremes.
Not an amazing life changing story, but a nice fun film to kill time with at three in the morning.
5: Spirit of Wonder: China-san no Yuuutsu
Japanese: ザスピリットオブワンダー – チャイナさんの憂鬱
MAL Score: 6.46
Sometime during the late 19th century, a young Asian girl has made a place for herself in a seaside town as the owner and operator of the Tenkai restaurant and boarding house..
Yet “Miss China,” as the locals call her, is in the dumps. She’s got a Mad Scientist named Breckenridge living upstairs who is chronically late with the rent, and she’s pining for Jim, a handsome watchmaker’s apprentice whom she mistakenly believes is pursuing the local flower girl.
But this isn’t our world. It is a world that has the Spirit of Wonder, where every so often, just occasionally mind you, amazing things happen. The Mad Scientist actually has come up with an incredible invention, and Jim has an unbelievable plan to use it to give Miss China the most beautiful ring in all the World.
The story is about China-san or Miss China and her mad scientist tenant that never pays rent. His assistant Jim is also introduced and plays a large part in the story. Without going any further in explanation as it will spoil the story. It’s a quiet and relaxing story that will surely provide you with a warm memory.
4: 3×3 Eyes
English: 3×3 Eyes
MAL Score: 6.75
3X3 Eyes is the story of a young man named Yakumo Fuuji, who through a strange series of events becomes the immortal slave of the last of a race of 3 Eyed demons. The demon absorbs his soul to save his life, making him immortal in the process. Now, he begins a journey with the female demon in an attempt to find a way of becoming human. Of course, there are many complications along the way, not the least of which being that the demon is a female with a split personality, one achingly cute and the other being no-nonsense destructive power, and the romances that develop between.
3×3 Eyes is a series most older anime fans have heard of, but relatively few have actually seen. The manga is a 40 volume epic that ran from 1987 to 2002. In the United States, Dark Horse adapted the first few volumes of the manga thanks to some generous financing by rock musician Rob Zombie. Thanks Rob! Unfortunately, nobody bought it and Dark Horse soon cancelled. Basically, this was never a very popular franchise in America despite the best efforts of a certain Hellbilly. On the other hand, 3×3 Eyes was a huge hit in Japan and I guarantee you’ve all seen tropes that this series started.
I mentioned the manga was 40 volumes, but guess how long the anime is? Just 7 episodes! The first OVA is 4 episodes and the second is 3 episodes! Both OVA series were made long before the manga finished, so the anime just kind of ends with no real conclusion. It also has a VERY rushed feeling. It doesn’t have any time to really build up its characters or explain the little details. In the first episode, the demon girl Pai runs into a drag bar and meets our main character. He claims he’s not a transvestite and only does this for money, but nothing further is explained. How the HELL did he stumble upon this job of all things? Why is he so desperate for money? The manga has time to explain stuff like this, but the anime just wants to cover as much plot as it possibly can. You’ll have a million questions and the answer is always “Go read the manga”.
Plot and characters
Deep in the mountains of Tibet, there was once a powerful race of demons. These demons were immortal and immortality tends to lead to eventual insanity and endless suffering. So, the demons created a magical statue that turned them human and gave them the gift of mortality. Unfortunately, one of the demons wasn’t present for the ceremony and has spent 100 years searching for the statue and trying to become human. This last member of the 3 eyed, Tibetan demons is a girl named Pai. A Japanese archeologist discovers Pai and promises to help her, but soon contracts a fatal illness. On his death bed, he sends Pai to find his son Yakumo in Tokyo, so that Yakumo can carry out the promise in his stead. Too bad for Pai, other species of demons desire her powers and pursue her relentlessly. One of these demons quickly kills Yakumo, but Pai absorbs his soul and saves his life by making him an immortal undead. Now he’s bound to Pai as her immortal servant and together they need to search for the statue, which could potentially turn both Pai and Yakumo back into mortals.
While only 9,000 people on MAL have seen 3×3, around 250,000 have seen “Is This a Zombie”. That series was basically created as a spoof of this one. A magical girl turns a hapless guy into her immortal undead servant. Remember Highschool DxD? That was ALSO created as a complete ripoff/spoof of 3×3. Familiar of Zero? Also wouldn’t exist without 3×3.
However, 3×3 wasn’t just a huge influence on a sub-genre of echii. Pai’s immortality caused her to lose her sanity and develop an extra personality she talks to. Whenever Pai is in danger, she switches between her sweet and innocent persona to her bad bitch persona. Both Chobits and Elfen Lied were originally created as tributes to 3×3 Eyes. While almost nobody outside Japan has seen this series, almost ALL anime fans have seen something it directly inspired.
The art is actually some solid work by Toei, which is something I rarely get to say. This was a 1991 OVA and Japan still had plenty of money for generous animation budgets back then. 3×3 effectively uses a dark color palette to create a moody and gothic atmosphere. The character designs are pretty neat, although it’s kind of weird to watch an anime where everyone has teeth. Every time somebody opens their mouths, they have teeth and prominent incisors. It’s shocking for me to not just see an upside down red triangle that flaps open and shut.
It’s a Kaoru Wada soundtrack. Have you seen Inuyasha? Have you seen Ninja Scroll? You’ve basically heard this soundtrack.
While far from a perfect adaptation, 3×3 is a pretty decent OVA and is fascinating for fans of anime history. Before watching this series, I had no idea how incredibly influential it was on other anime! Since this is only 7 episodes, I highly recommend giving it a try!
3×3 eyes is about Yakumo, a sixteen year old student, who is working in a gay bar, as a cross-dresser in order to make ends meet. He meets Pai, an immortal, who has been sent by his estranged and now dead father from Tibet to help her become human. To really make sure he follows through with this, Yakumo is turned immortal himself and the only way to turn back is by helping Pai. This is the first episode and the basic premises of the plot has been set, you are already pulled into the supernatural world of monsters, immortals and magic with Yakumo. Usually something like this would come off a bit unnatural due to the fast pace of the story and all the elements being introduced so quickly, but somehow it works, especially when you watch all the OVA. The four episodes gives you a good idea of what type of story of 3×3 eyes is and also leaves you on a bit of a cliffhanger at the end just to leave those who haven’t read the series to want more.
I thought what was quite well done is after their little adventure in the first episode was how Yakumo still found the whole thing quite unsettling, since he couldn’t just get up and leave his whole way life like that. It is realistic for anyone in his position, as it isn’t the easiest thing to go off and leave your friends and your whole way of life to go off on an adventure with someone to become human. Most series of this kind have the protagonists suffer this kind of dilemma, but they related it very well to a major point of the series: what’s so great about being mortal, or better said what’s so great about being human? They tie this in quite nicely.
The art is quite nice and has certainly stood against time and each character is realistic looking, Yakumo actually looks like a Japanese boy. How many times do you get a Japanese boy actually looking like, well, a Japanese boy in anime? Yakumo’s eyes is a good example of this, they are mostly closed since they are supposed to be slit eyes, you know the eyes Japanese actually do have. The animators uses the art also to show the split personalities Pai has, by making her have more gentle features to represent her cheerful and child-like personality. The second personality is not only distinguished by the opening of her 3rd eye, but also alter her whole face expression to represent her arrogant and cold personality.
I’ll give a special mention to the background of Hong Kong, I loved it! The grittiness of the markets in the final episode is tastefully done.
There is very little to say about the sound, nothing too out of order. A bit dated, but typical of its time, 90s background music with synths thrown in for good measure. It suits the mood of the anime, as it’s quite dark, especially the main theme.
Our two protagonists are both interesting characters, who don’t fall into the trap of cliché anime characters. Yakumo is a good-hearted sixteen-year-old, who means well. It was nice to find an anime character, who I thought I could actually be friends with. He is just very likable. (Seriously people, most of characters in anime do you think you could actually handle them for more than 10 minutes in real life?) Pretty much by the end of the series, most of his body has been broken in some kind of way, good thing he’s immortal, isn’t it? So you’d want to like him.
Now, Pai really is up there with one of the most original characters in anime, a schizophrenic girl: one personality is sweet and innocent, the other is stoic and ruthless. Both have their merits and neither of them irritate you, even the colder persona grows on you, unlike another schizophrenic in another series I could mention! Her multi-personality is also reference to the Hindu deity of Parvati, since firstly that’s the name of her second personality, who was known to have several personalities. This was another favourable aspect of the series since they used some culture background to help create characters and certain plot devices, but neither wholly relied on it that you suddenly needed to start picking up textbooks or wikipedia -(ing) on the Hindu religion.
The other characters each proved their worth and were all likable. I had a little soft spot for Lee Ling Ling, deputy editor for an occult magazine, but doesn’t believe in the occult and just uses it as a vice to make money. And she can really kick ass!
So why did I give it 8 instead of something higher, well, the problem was 3×3 eyes isn’t my cup of tea. So why all these positives you may ask? It did everything well and everything I’ve stated here is the truth, but you see it still does not make me want to go off and read the manga. 3X3 eyes is quite a classic and is something every enthusiast of anime and manga should read or watch at some point, as it’s the first to use this storyline and do it better than most. I did want to know some more at the end of the series, since the audience is left on a cliffhanger and I’ll definitely go and watch the second set of OVA, but I’ll spare myself the manga. This is simply something to do with my taste of anime and manga rather than with the series. I would recommend a watch (it’s only 4 episodes long) and see how you fair this!
The 3×3 eyes OVA gives us a good idea about what to expect from the manga and the producers use the 4 episodes to introduce the series quite well without trying to outdo itself. It does what it set out to do and you couldn’t ask for anymore than that!
The contents of “3×3 Eyes” reminds me slightly of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, as it involves a couple of people going around killing weird monsters, but it’s more bloody than Buffy. The action scenes are pretty awesome, but the storyline’s pretty thin: they slay monsters in order to obtain this statue of humanity thing. And then in the next episode, the statue gets lost again so they end up having to do it all over. Yeah… not exactly the most intricate of plots. Just to top it up, it had a pretty crappy ending too. I didn’t really like the humour contained in the anime either. The anime’s saving grace lies in its central pair of characters – they were very likeable and it was interesting watching their relationship grow.
That pretty much sums it up I think – there’s really not much more that can be said about an action heavy OVA that only has 4 episodes. 😛
3: Ai no Kusabi
English: Ai no Kusabi
MAL Score: 7.10
On the planet Amoi, a person’s status is primarily dictated by the color of their hair. This society is run by the AI supercomputer known as Jupiter and its governing board of perfect blondes, referred to as Blondies, living in the capital city of Tanagura. However, the darker-haired humans live out their lives in the golden “pleasure city” of Midas and its outlying slum Ceres. They are known as “mongrels,” and most cannot progress out of the slums.
Three years ago, a boy named Riki disappeared from the slums of Ceres. Once the revered leader of the gang Bison, a sudden encounter with an elite Blondie, Iason Mink, forced Riki to abandon everything he had cultivated. The boy was snatched from his home and forced to become Iason’s pet. Riki has spent the past three years enduring numerous blows to his pride, his time in Tanagura nothing but a form of torture.
Now that Riki has returned, Bison once again rallies behind him. The risk he finds himself in, however, is much greater than ever before—there is always someone ready to sell him out.
I was expecting a not too heavy yaoi story involving hot boys in chains, but I got so much more. The story is pretty intense to sit through but its worth it. It has characters whom you actually feel for and a story that fits the old adage of leaving you wanting more.
By the end I was quite taken aback at how good the story was, don’t mistake it for a shallow or superficial anime, at its core this is one of the best love stories I’ve ever seen. Regardless of gender, genre, live action/animation, the story has enough integrity to hold its own as a love story.
The art is very earlier nineties style so its a bit nostalgic but if thats not your thing, try to see past it for the sake of the story.
It’s a little slow starting but give it a chance, there are some very hot scenes in this short anime & I’d recommend it to anyone who’s willing to watch it.
I am now looking forward to seeing the remake when it comes out.
I was looking through the recommendation on my Youtube channel, when I saw the latest remake of this. I tried it, but I found it…unsatisfactory. On the related video column, there was this AMV with a song twilight so I watched out of pure curiosity, and it turns out to be this version, 1992, and believe it or not, that mini video caught my interest more than the 2012 version of Ai No Kusabi.
Story — Absolutely outstanding. On the AMV that I watched, they showed alot of steamy scenes, and I honestly thought it was going to be a plotless Yaoi anime filled with sex sex and sex. To my surprise it was more than that. Oh the ending…I can’t even begin to describe how I felt watching the ending…it certainly irked me, to think after all they went through they would get such ending? Don’t get me wrong, it was satisfactory, and I thought it fit their character because truth be told, if that ending didn’t happen, they wouldn’t have been able to be open about their love in public anyway because it was taboo. So I thought, although the ending was sad, and depressing, it fit perfectly.
Art– I prefer the art in the older version, Iason Mink was much hotter in this than the latest version. But that’s just a personal preference. Their character development was also very well done. On the last OVA, towards the end, when Riki asked Iason to take Guy with them, there was hesitation in latter’s eyes, but he knew if he refuse, Riki’s heart would only be much further to reach. And when they were on that bridge, when the world was literally shattering around them, Iason told Riki to go with Guy because he’s legs had been cut off, and although Riki didn’t want to leave, it seemed like he felt indebted to Guy, so he saved him, but in the end he went back to be with Iason.
Enjoyment — I rated this 9 because on the first OVA it was a bit tedious, but also because I was crying my eyes out watching the second OVA.
Overall, I absolutely recommend this because it’s an amazing Anime, and it will definitely shock you. The plot is really intense, and the ending isn’t the usual ‘happily ever after’ which I think conveys what love really is. Not everyone get their happy ending, and even more so in that kind of society. Aside from the whole different planet thingy, I think this Anime was very realistic. I mean, not to sound racist, but in the past the white, blue eyed blonde has always been favoured more, and not just that, the world is also infested with racist scums, and those who proclaim themselves as superior compared to everyone else. To find true love, you have to look pass social status, appearance, and skin colour.
The entire plot of this anime is disgusting… and yet I enjoyed it. While the show was pretty much about a sex slave, there wasn’t THAT much sex in it. The show focused more on the plot rather than sex and I think that made the show a whole lot better.
What I wasn’t expecting was the ending, oh god that ending. I thought that after all Iason and Riki went through that the show would have ended differently. The ending touched my heart in a way that made me cry – which is unusual for a yaoi to make me feel that way.
If you’re looking for a yaoi anime that is more plot than sex then this is the one for you.
2: Video Girl Ai
English: Video Girl Ai
Japanese: 電影少女 VIDEO GIRL AI
MAL Score: 7.20
After a crushing rejection, the heartbroken Youta Moteuchi trudges home. On his way, a dimly lit video store catches his eye, and he ends up purchasing a “video girl” tape meant to ease the hearts of lonely men. However, when he tries to play it in his broken VCR, a beautiful girl leaps out of his TV and lands on his bed. Calling herself Ai Amano, she looks like a golden opportunity for Youta to finally experience true love—that is, until her personality, now troubling thanks to the broken VCR, shows through. Despite her flaws, however, Ai wholeheartedly promises she will ensure Youta finds happiness and true love in his life.
Video Girl Ai follows the daily life of a teenage boy and his pursuit of a fulfilling romance. With the help of his virtual guardian angel, Youta sets forth to find the girl of his dreams.
Another storyline where the impossible becomes possible, giving hopes to a guy who seems to have no luck, this storyline is pretty original and really sucks you into the relationships as it goes along. The seriousness of this anime mixed with the relationship is utterly astounding. A good storyline base and the story just becomes better and better.
For the time it was made this anime is amazing, truly a classic.
Soundtrack is great, character voices are outstanding, really do fit the characters.
The characters are amazing, and really makes this anime cream of the crop. The characters all become well loved and you feel for them through the harsh and happy times.
Why did I like this anime?
I would say this anime is one of the best, it’s love triangles are one of the reasons this anime is so great. The anime is a classic giving you ‘Ah I want this to be me’ kind of feeling. The plot is good and the relationship bonds that strengthen over time are just a sight to see. If you have a chance, read the manga for this short lived anime just makes you want more. I am still hoping for the day some production crew will remake this anime expanding onto the other manga plot lines. The manga is outstanding aswell so be sure to check it out. This anime is hands down one of the best romances and is purely a classic.
Time for another episode of highly obscure anime reviews! Today I am going to talk about Video Girl Ai, which is one of those instances of a show or movie that had a small cult following for a couple years after it was released but quickly became forgotten. The movie equivalent of Video Girl Ai in terms of small, cult films that became highly obscure with time would be something like “Zorro the Gay Blade” or “Buddy Holly: Six String Samurai”.
The plot starts out with the cliche premise of a hapless loser named Yota trying to get a girlfriend and constantly failing. Yota is in love with a pretty girl named Moemi, who overlooks Yota because of his sub-par appearance and only has eyes for the handsome jock, Takashi. Yota realizes that Moemi won’t ever love him, so he tries to hook up Takashi and Moemi so that at least they can be happy. This is sort of reminiscent of the famous French play Cyrano de Bergerac, but the anime quickly moves on to rip off other things instead. While walking home depressed, Yota notices a mysterious video store he has never seen before and goes inside to rent a “Video Girl tape”. Basically, in 1990s Japan there were VHS tapes (18 up) that would feature a hot girl talking to the screen in order for lonely guys to pretend they had a girlfriend. This particular video store is run by a mysterious old man who lends out magical tapes to youth in desperate need. These magic tapes will change the life of the troubled youth and help them mature and grow. I’m pretty sure this old man must be the brother of the old man that runs the magic bookstore in The Never-Ending Story! Yota goes home and plays the VHS, causing the beautiful girl Ai to come flying out of his TV! Ai attempts to help and comfort Yota, while also trying to get him together with Moemi. However, Ai herself begins to fall for Yota and this angers the mysterious being named Rolex, who created the video girls and is actually the one in charge of the magical video store! The anime has one of the most abrupt tone shifts I have ever seen starting late in the 5th of only 6 episodes! The series goes from being a romantic comedy to being a surprisingly dark and surreal artsy series at the drop of a dime. The anime has a very bittersweet and open ending, while the manga has a conventional happy ending. I actually kind of prefer the anime’s ending because it stays with you longer and leaves more of an impact on the viewer.
Edit: It actually becomes a happy ending if you wait after the credits on the DVD. I watched this series on youtube when I wrote this review. My buddy offline recently pointed this out.
Yota starts out as a very generic romantic comedy protagonist, but he actually does grow throughout the series and is willing to put others before his own needs. It is frustrating to watch Yota chase after the wretched character Moemi, but the viewer quickly realizes that he has fallen in love with a highly idealized, fictional version of a bad person and this is sadly something that often happens in real relationships. Moemi is one of the most obnoxious characters in anime history! She is the ONLY person that never realizes that Yota likes her and perpetually uses him as a tool to try land a handsome guy with no interest in her. Yota himself is guilty of being dense in terms of Ai’s feelings for him, but Yota is also very kind to Ai and as previously mentioned is frequently willing to put the happiness of others above his own. Moemi on the other hand, never ONCE thinks about anyone other than herself. Along with being highly selfish and oblivious to the suffering of others, she is also extremely superficial and only values physical appearance. Ai starts out as a tomboyish comedy side kick, but her struggles with identity and whether or not she should have the capacity for love is interesting. Ai develops as a character in only 6 episodes and is a compelling heroine. The only character I would really criticize, since Moemi was intended to be insufferable, is the villain Rolex. In the manga, his motivations and origins are clearly explained. In the anime, he just sort of shows up without explanation and we never learn ANYTHING about the guy other than he created the video girls and doesn’t want them to fall in love. This is entirely due to the short, 6 episode running time of the OVA. However, they could easily have spared us 15 minutes of Moemi being an airhead and given time to flesh out Rolex and give at least his basic origin and motives. I kind of have to fault the anime director for this poor use of time management.
Animation and music:
The animation actually looks pretty damn good even by today’s standards! This anime was made in 1991, so that is saying something about the timeless quality that the artwork has. The music is also excellent with both the opening and ending themes being quite catchy.
Although this is a condensed adaptation with a few flaws, it is very much worthy of seeing for yourself. At times this series can be quite slow and it can also be painfully frustrating to see our hero chasing the insufferable airhead, but it also does some things well. This series gets the viewer emotionally invested and provides some truly tear jerking moments. The characters actually develop in a short run time and go from generic to actually interesting. The old-school but high quality art is an absolute joy to see! Basically, there are a LOT of romantic comedy anime, but most are extremely forgettable. Video Girl Ai stands head and shoulders above the average of its genre. I give it a well deserved 6/10.
1: Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
English: Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダム0083 STARDUST MEMORY
MAL Score: 7.28
It is the year 0083 of the Universal Century. The rebellious Principality of Zeon has been defeated in the One Year War by the Earth Federation. However, a faction of Zeon remnants led by Aguille Delaz fled from the final battle, hiding themselves away. After three long years, they attempt to rise up once more, sending Delaz’s ace pilot, Anavel Gato, to infiltrate a Federation research base to steal one of two secretly developed prototype Gundams along with its deadly nuclear warhead.
Threatened by the rogue Gundam suit and seeking to retain peace, the Earth Federation mobilizes the newly developed Albion carrier to recover the stolen unit. Manned by the remaining test pilots, with rookie pilot Kou Uraki piloting the remaining prototype Gundam, the Albion and her crew are determined to stop Gato, retake the stolen Gundam, and prevent the Zeon remnants from starting another war.
The premise 0083’s story is very promising at first glance. The valiant and desperate attempt of the Zeon remnants to pave a road for the future of its beliefs and its people makes them commendable antagonists, and the thus viewers are able to sympathize with both sides in the struggle between Federation and Zeon. However, upon closer inspection, one finds the story riddled with the juvenile rivalry between Uraki and Monsha, as well as the thoroughly uninteresting romance between Uraki and Nina, which derails the focus from the promising overarching conflict to rather petty squabbles. When the story of 0083 is in high gear, it is quite rewarding, rife with exciting battles and unexpected twists. The problem is, like an aged car, 0083 often finds itself stuck on its low gears in terms of storytelling.
Much of the faults concerning the plot of 0083 can be blamed on the main characters themselves. Uraki is a painfully generic mecha protagonist without much, if any, redeemable qualities. Angsty and lacking confidence, the story does not provide much room in which the view can sympathize with him, even considering the challenges Uraki faces over the course of the story. Nina’s role as Uraki’s love interest only manages to evoke either terrible boredom or the gag reflex; it is bland and devoid of any trance of genuine emotion. Gato, though certainly better than the aforementioned pair, also gets somewhat tedious from his own over-zealousness — he is a character who seems to gobble up the very propaganda he spews, which in turn makes it more difficult to hold respect for the character.
Fortunately, 0083 excels in the animation department. Each and every fight is smoothly animated with hand-drawn frames, be it a small training skirmish or a grand space battle. This OVA series features detailed and technical background art and some of the most exciting action scenes from the gundam franchise to date, especially those of the last battle, which can only described as epic in proportion. 0083 also features superb mecha designs not only in the form of the gundams themselves, but also the various grunt suits used by both factions. Even after seventeen years, the visuals of 0083 are still more than enough to lure the gaze of any mecha fan.
The sounds of 0083 are standard fare. Typical gundam sound effects are to be expected here, which is just fine, as they serve their purpose well. The catchy opening theme "Men of Destiny" is full of that nostalgic 90’s feel — it gets the viewer in the mood for some giant robot action.
In the end, the flaws of 0083’s plot and characters limit the enjoyment of the OVA series exclusively to fans of the mecha genre. However, mecha fans will be able to find plenty of what they love: superb sci-fi action, and mobile suit battles they’ll remember for a long time to come, provided they can manage to endure through the other aspects of 0083, which may feel agonizingly long and difficult.
Kou and Anavel do have good chemistry as rivals, but isn’t really that epic in comparison to that of Char and Amuro. Not saying it’s a bad thing, but you really can’t top that. The cast does ok in standing out, but I just don’t feel they have the kind of impact that an Amuro, Captain Bright, or another cast member from the original Gundam can have. But both Kou and Gato are likeable characters in their own right and you can see things in their points of view. Kou just has something to prove to himself and to his peers, while Gato is doing it for duty and patriotism to his nation.
The only thing that bothered me was the Nina and Kou story arc. I felt it was thrown in there too much for convenience and I felt for the sake of giving it an all around story by adding in that element, which I felt was unnecessary. Yes, I will admit that Nina and Kou do have a good chemistry as well, but I just felt it was really useless and doesn’t really advance anything and felt the twist to that relationship was anti-climatic. But anyway, the development is basic and the pace is moderate.
I think the art design is really excellent for its time. It represents a certain transition era of how anime is done today to how it was done back then. Like if you’re familiar with my other reviews, I always talk about how in the 1980s, anime was more circular and in the 1990s and now, it’s more angular. Well, this anime was done in the early 1990s and you get a balanced mixed of those styles and they mesh excellently. I say Kou’s circular design really represents he’s still a kid, and Gato’s more angular look shows more dignity and maturity and higher status to him. So I really like that use of those art styles to contrast those two in my personal opinion.
The mobile suit designs I think are my 2nd favorite of all time. After all, the great Shoji Kawamori himself does the mechanical designs; you can’t deny his presence and credit. I like how detailed and articulate they are. Though the mobile suits tend to look more packed and bulky, the skills of the pilots that are portrayed justify their agile mobility and fast speeds. The action is explosive, fast paced, and electrifying. Plus, the GP02A like some other Gundams sort of breaks the tradition with the head design of being more rectangular and not having the grilled mouth, which I thought was cool and looked intimidating. I really loved the features all the mobile suits have and you get overall variety.
OK, I will state that I have no familiarity with the dub with this anime so I can only comment and score on the Japanese. Forgive me for not mentioning the dub since I have never seen it. I was shocked to learn that Horikawa Ryo, the voice of Vejita from Dragon Ball Z, happens to voice Kou Uraki! In comparison to Vejita with this role, he’s more humble, childish, and developing. I thought he did excellent in portraying such a character. And I also enjoyed Ohtsuka Akio’s performance as Gato. He also voices in Solid Snake in the Japanese Metal Gear Solid and is also famous for playing Batou in the Ghost in the Shell installments. He brings a unique kind of appropriate charisma to the character where you can also feel the passion he his motivations.
The majority of the music is also highly energetic and suits the high-octane atmosphere of this series. The opening theme, The Winner is highly addictive and goes along with how I just described the soundtrack and atmosphere in an overall sense. And the first ending theme, Magic, is a unique George Michaels esque love song that is sung in perfect English. It’s about wanting that moment with that girl now and forever and want to always make it special. Gundam 0083 does have some romance, so I felt it was an interesting touch.
I say 0083 is more for the dedicated and hardcore Gundam fan. Those not familiar with the Gundam franchise will probably not understand some of the basic concepts such as who Giren and Kycilia are who are briefly mentioned in the intro to the first episode, and about why Sydney is under water. But if you want to watch it for the action, then you’ve come to the right series. Also, if you want to watch cool looking robots, then you still came to the right series. The plot isn’t necessarily the best, but I don’t think it’s flawed enough to be considered bad or below average. Granted some things about it do get annoying, but in the end everything works out. Once again, I still say those who are familiar with the original Gundam, and especially Zeta Gundam are going to understand the story best considering the purpose of this anime.
Gundam 0083 gets started with a bang in the very first episode and the momentum carries through all the way to its dramatic end. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked and waiting for what’s to come. Both drama and action are given equal screen time and presented with equal intensity.
For an OVA from 1991, the animation quality in this series is simply amazing. In fact, Gundam 0083 still shines by today’s standards. The design of the artwork itself is also a highlight with great detail being put into backgrounds and things such as uniforms.
There is quite a bit of the typical background music you’d expect to hear in a war story. However, also included are some well-composed atmospheric pieces that set the mood for certain dramatic scenes. The opening themes are upbeat and catchy, with the second in particular being a highlight with it’s brilliant guitarwork. Both endings are slower ballad type numbers. The contrast works well here as it fits with the anime’s ability to balance dynamics. In terms of voice acting, the main vocal cast cast does a great job conveying the emotions of their characters. The English dub is also surprisingly well done and on par with the original.
We are the shown the perspective of both the Zeon and Earth Federation with the main focus being on Anavel Gato and Kou Uraki, respectively. The characters of Gundam 0083 are all adult which makes this series stand out from most other Gundam stories. Don’t take that mean there ins’t as much room for character development though, as plenty of growth occurs during the course of the OVA.
As the series progressed, I was drawn in more and more by the characters and found myself torn between the two warring sides. Every episode left me in anticipation of the next.
As someone who isn’t extremely fond of mecha series in general, Gundam 0083 was able to keep me entertained and make me wish there were more shows like it.
9.5 out of 10
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
2. Video Girl Ai
3. Ai no Kusabi
4. 3×3 Eyes
5. Spirit of Wonder: China-san no Yuuutsu
6. Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf
7. Zetsuai 1989
8. Nozomi Witches
9. Mainichi ga Nichiyoubi
10. Shin Dousei Jidai: Hawaiian Breeze