They’re the best Anime that 1993 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Kouryuu Densetsu Villgust, Moldiver, Cream Lemon, and more!
10: Kouryuu Densetsu Villgust
MAL Score: 6.01
Villgust is a peaceful world that exists parallel to ours. However, now an evil deity has been revived and has sent evil creatures to destroy many countries, which left darkness and terror to rule the world. The peoples’ prayers and cries has reached out to the goddess Windina and in order to free the world from darkness she chose eight brave warriors to defeat the evil deity. Although blessed, these warriors are unaware at the path chosen for them, thus the two groups of Kui, Chris, Fanna, and Youta must meet up with Murobo, Remi, Ryuquir, and Bostov before they can follow the path chosen for them and defeat the evil deity.
This one comes kinda close to being alright by having a nice goofy tone and the kind of generic-but-not-generic fantasy world that was always fun to see in the era before Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest turned all Japanese fantasy stories into the exact same thing. However, the story’s not much to talk about, and a lot of the jokes fall flat in that “ugh anime” way.
Also, the final battle has all of the female characters except for the cat get their asses beat and the men save the day, and I feel like it’s sexist, but only accidentally. Or maybe I’m giving them too much credit.
One final comment of confusion: Is this… based on something? It would appear not, but…. That’s kinda weird, because it feels like an adaptation.
MAL Score: 6.03
Hiroshi Ozora invents the Mol Unit, a device that makes its user invincible. His plans of becoming a super hero are short lived however when his sister, Mirai, accidently modifies the suit configuration. Now she is forced to save Tokyo by herself from the evil Machinegal and his gang of all-female androids.
As I look 20 years back when my dad bought this this anime for me thinking it’s a superhero series that kids. Boy how was he wrong (sort of). For an anime, who wants to create their own superhero and live in it. Here we have Moldiver, let’s dive right in.
Set on a far future world of Japan, here we have 3 lovely family members, The Ozoras. Whose going to have their normal lives turned upside down….. From one of them. Enter Hiroshi Ozora, who dreamed to become a superhero, invented a device, (which looks like of a size of a credit card) called the Mol Unit. Making the wearer faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than steel, Flies higher than a airplane.
….. Pretty much like Superman.
Look at the Speed. Look at the strength.
Powerful like the sun.
A flash of Light! Might for Right!
**Cue awesome theme music**
PLEASE TELL ME that opening theme song is so DAMN GOOD!
Anyway, back to the review.
Here we also have your average teenage high school girl, Mirai Ozora. Trying to pass her classes but also likes to be a model.
And Nozomu Ozora, the youngest child in the family.
Their parents, well, they’re not dead that’s for sure. They’re on vacation of course. A long, LONG vacation.
Okay, okay, enough with the super hero and their lifestyle.
We are going to introduce to “The Villains”
A group of girls that called themselves “The Machinegal” led by an Evil Professor who is hell bent on taking over……
Wow, that’s different!
…..And possibly all of Japan.
The whole story wasn’t very cliché until it gets overused back then. However, There is a nice character development and how everyone reacts with each other. Unlike some animes we have coming out in today’s standards. Overall the story is pretty damn solid with a little bit of plot twist here and there. Makes the whole series watchable.
Plot twists, you better watch out for those.
What can I say about the art style? It’s old but classic and gold. Like, Gundam Wings GOLD for me. Seeing this anime now after 20 years, I can say it aged very well and timeless. Action scenes that has been done here are still pretty damn good.
Makes me want to dive into this world so much more.
The Opening theme for this series is handsdown LEGENDARY! This is one those animes that has it’s own original theme song. So rare to be made one in many anime series today.
C’mon, name at least one recent anime series which has it’s own made theme song?
The Ending Theme as well is also LEGENDARY which I can give it a listen on Love Song Radios all day. To some, it might not make sense or misplaced to have an ending theme like that be there. However, trust me, it will make sense later when you progress through this anime.
Again, the characters in this anime are all likeable. The development between their interactions and chemistry are amazing. Even their small jokes even hit me. It’s funny, how do they got into these terrible situations and find out the solution to the problems.
I have to say the Dub on this anime, the actors have done a pretty solid good job. I even recognized Doug Stone, the voice actor who worked on Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid PSX). I do have a fun time watching this.
This anime is timeless, and it’s a treasure to be added on the collection. The biggest downside I have with this anime is up to 6 episodes max and I would’ve liked more. How it stands right now, I still give it a PERFECT 10/10
My first REAL anime I ever given a 10 to and also proud giving a recommendation of TITANIUM LEGEND! The best of the best!
Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect but this one is rare shining gem to be found.
RECOMMENDATION: TITANIUM LEGEND!
Starts as a goofy romp comedy staring the Japanese game show version of Superman – literally called “Captain Tokyo” – but also ends with mecha babes diving into a caldera, a lightsaber duel in the center of the sun, and Ant-Man style roundtrips to the quantum realm. It is not a typical high stakes conflict that threatens to evelop the future earth that Moldiver takes place in. Instead it feels more like an 80s/90s comedy with a hapless, pedestrian “big bad” destined to be outsmarted at every turn or eventually turned. Speaking of, the main villain (wow those eyebrows bro) and his android harem are hilarious. Around the half-way mark some obstacles of note do begin to impede our OP protagonists. Also, a guy takes a piss on the space shuttle on launch day, and a Britney Spears clone is launched into space on that same shuttle mainly because the retirement-age main villain finds her music “intrinsically horrible” and sees it as a win/win way to draw out Moldiver. Bravo!
Killed it. The world is just gorgeous, and the flex is real. Instead of panning around the place explaining it or having fairly static shots of it worked in around key sequences, Moldiver flips the script and uses fight scenes, chase scenes, races to get to people on time, meetups between characters and every other important moment to show you beautiful backgrounds and elements of the world that are compelling on their own while moving the camera around and working with scale so very well. Creative vision bursts out of the open world shots into your brain, and the technology drawn in Moldiver is mesmerizing. VCRs and Formula 1 cars are hobbyist antiques, when asked why he likes Formula 1 racing the main character replies “you’re just too young to uderstand the manly roar of an exhaust and the delicious squeal of rubber on concrete.” The android harem is always being remodeled in interesting ways when Moldiver trashes them, and the hand drawn collateral damage easily outdoes the standard fare of today. A line uttered by the Formula 1 announcer from that episode sums it up – “Massive devastation! It’s a huge collapse! It’s amazing ladies and gentlemen!” A huge number of random hand drawn background characters help to add even more depth to the world.
It has its own original opening with hilarious lyrics. Some of the tracks that are put in here are noticeably apt for that point in the story. There is an impressive range of musical genres woven into the score. Sound effects and voice acting in the dub are great – there’s one scene where a press conference is held and you can hear individual reporters shouting out their questions over each other and they get that just right. Similarly, there’s a scene at the beach (thankfully before the era of fanservice beach episodes) where you hear beachgoers in the background and this just-barely-audible “Hey where’s my towel who took my towel!”. We witness a concert put on by someone who opens with a song that was playing on the radio in the background in the first episode. Little bits of background dub work like this are done super well in Moldiver, and I could see them being bungled and/or absent for fear of being bungled in a less competent production.
No character is bad, a welcome change of pace. All high achievers with noteable strengths and weaknesses, they walk the walk instead of talking nonsense. We’re not insulted with some side character praising the annectdotal achievements of some turd we’re supposed to believe is the world’s foremost “technologist” despite being an adolescent. Instead we’re treated to wall-to-wall servers and notes/papers all over the floor in the room of the inventor of Moldiver technology, work ethic to rival that of the average person in real life on the part of all charcters, realistic goal setting, responsibilities, side hustles and hobbies – yet also delightful insanity that makes absolutely no sense. The main character turns out to kind of not be a main character… really has no clear ambitions at all. The world doesn’t force it upon his shoulders either. No demon fox of destiny living inside him, no montages where the supposed strongest good guys teach him to be stronger than they are or blah blah blah bullshit about how only he can fix this world… NO. This guy just wants to play with his toys, and hardly gives a fleeting fuck about them beyond the eureka phase – but also is not a nihilistic edge lord (because that’s totally the personality that rises to the top of competitive technical fields, right? Yeah, no). So that guy’s sister, and that guy’s little brother end up in the mix – and they’re great too. His high school buddy? Great. The main villain, as discussed, great. His android harem, great. The somewhat narcissistic rival of our female lead, great. It feels like watching one of those sports teams that has no outright superstars, but no weak link go ahead and win the championship. The only slightly odd development is when the little brother decides to enter the fray as some kind of baby genius – other than that felt pretty good to just kick back and enjoy an Anime free of chalkboard cheese graters whining and eeeking and bruh-ing all over the place.
Outdated though it is, if more Anime were made to this standard I would be able to recommend a lot more Anime to everyday folk. I’m not sure how things started out like Moldiver, and ended up like… well, you know. Moldiver is a superhero cartoon comedy with all the same high-quality action we wade through hours of trash Anime tropes to experience in today’s shows, but closer together and drawn into a world that feels far more alive than Japanese Hogwarts or wherever Anime are suposedly taking place today. Also, can sum up the tropes and fanservice in Moldiver on one hand – don’t need a supercomputer. The dub is above average, definitely shows its age at times but is also better than most dubs despite that. Lots of little details in the animation got a ton of love, and the sophistication of the artists beams at you in almost every scene. Moldiver reminds me of South Park or The Boys, it makes you want to hang out with the people who created it because they’re probably legit. A welcome surprise to stumble on, and will be the catalyst for me to check out far older, less mentioned Anime than I would have previously bothered with.
8: Cream Lemon
MAL Score: 6.20
A collection of short stories, ranging from soap opera (the Ami series) to fantasy (Rall series) to horror (Cream Lemon Dark) to parody (Pop Chaser). It does deal with a lot of heavy perversions ranging from S&M, male rape (by a bunch of females, that is), bondage, torture, yuri (lesbian love) and incest.
now: more intrinsic analysis : i’d give 9 to the story but idk i don’t want to. the story was really what gave me the will to stay and see the rest on that summer night on the hub. if it was not for the quality of the writing i wouldn’t be here today writing this review, so this already says a lot about how much good it really is.
the art aswell is very good. like the design of t-t.
the sound is sh*t, sounds like it was recorded from a phone, with a phone, although this might be because i watched it on a “non-official” site, i guess.
i like the characters. i know that red head girl, she’s very pretty. it is not 8-9 because she looks like a minor and i’m not even a pædo bro. (fr)
enjoyment i didn’t know what it meant before, but i researched and what it means is like “like”. so i liked it a lot like i said before!
overall i give 7 because i had a good time and didn’t cry for 1 week at the end of the ponheta because of this :^)
thank for reading my review on anim
n tenh o vocablario adquedo para expressar o quao incrivel eu achei esta obra de arte (nao anim, pq seria ofendisvo chamar a isto sso). antes de mais so quero estensder os meus agradecientos aos criadores disto e por preencherem as minha viagens ao phub com mais emoçao. nnc m encontreri tao aggaranado a um desenho animado da ponheta como fqieuei a este.
agora: analise mais intrinscea: eu dava 9 a historia mas sla n quero. a historia foi realmente oq me deu ovntade de ficar e ver o resto naquela noite de verao no phub. se n fosse a qualidade da escritura n estaria hoj a qui a escreve ewta reviu. entao isso ja diz bastante sobr o quao boa rlamente é.
a art tmb é bem boa. gosto do design das maminhas,
o som é uma merda parece que foi gravado dum telemovel com um telmovel, as sis secalhar foi pq vi num site “n oficial” i guess.
ogosto dos personagens. sei aquela menina ruiva bem bonita, so nao é 8-9 poq ela parece uma menor e eu nem sou pædofilo bro. (fr)
enjoyment eu n sabia oq era mas fui ver oq significa e é tipo gostar. entao eu gsotie mt, como disse antes!
overall dou 7 mm pq tive um bom aprveitamente e n chorei durante 1 semana no fina l da pionheta po caus diss :^)
obrigado por ler reviu minha no anime
First of all I’d like to get this out of the way; THIS IS PORN. The characters and plot are all there as a set up to sex. This being said, if I only watched it for porn why would I choose to watch Cream Lemon as opposed to millions of videos on numerous websites of an unsavory nature? The reason is that this is much more than porn. With unique and strangely appealing storylines, fantastic visuals, and good audio, Cream Lemon has become a classic of all anime, not just of the hentai genre.
That being said, during the sexually explicit scenes, some of the fetishes (especially the bondage in the Escalation series), can be a bit overwhelming and detract severely from anything that makes this show anything but pornography.
I have only seen the first 16 episodes however, because these are the only ones available (that I could find) with English subtitles. Also this series may prove difficult to obtain and I was only able to find it through torrents.
Cream Lemon is an episodic show with new characters and different settings in each episode with the exception of a few multi-episode series. The stories surrounding each episode are extremely varied ranging from science fiction (Star Trap and Pop Chaser) to World War II era Japan (Black Cat Mansion) to pure fantasy (the Rall series) although most if not all of the other episodes feature some aspects of school in them.
The animation in Cream Lemon is superbly done and even looks good today despite being created in the 80’s. The motion of characters is generally fluid although there are many sex scenes which do not always hold up to this standard. I would like to draw specific attention to the animation in “Black Cat Mansion” (episode 11) which was simply spectacular and brought out the story in very vivid detail. The only episode which was particularly unappealing in terms of design was the first episode of the two-part Mako series in which faces were just plain ugly or expressions were animated rather lazily.
In general the music was enjoyable and featured many piano pieces (especially in the escalation series) but also had some guitar stuff and, of course, had porno music going on during sex scenes.
I can’t really say much about the characters being exciting or anything for the most part as their primary function was to lead to the sexual encounters between themselves and others. Almost all of the characters were pretty one dimensional. Some characters are enjoyable due to their personalities or due to the inherent humor of the episodes.
What I enjoyed most about Cream Lemon and watching it episodically were the differences between episodes. Some could be very funny and a few made me LOL a few times (Pop Chaser, Star Trap and Narisu Scramble). In some of the episodes the plots were so surreal in fact that you could even laugh at the premises of them even if the episodes themselves were not explicitly humorous.
Others had decidedly good plots despite being only to facilitate sex. An example of this is the Ami series which, if there were no sexually explicit scenes, easily comes off as simply a drama, albeit possessing a plot which involves an incestuous relationship. Another is the Rall series which focuses more on action scenes (scenes which did NOT involve sex) and in my opinion had less focus on explicit sex even though there were several scenes in which it did surface. This is about a village being attacked by a great evil (who wants to violate the women obviously) and a mythic heroine who must save them.
Overall this series is worth watching once and I feel that at least one or two episodes would be appealing to the average male (I doubt females would have any interest whatsoever). Thank you for reading 🙂
Ever since things have become increasingly dominated by the streaming format, the industry has lost an experimental approach for the genre but this could also very well be due to how the budget for hentai nowadays has it’s own fixed costs for the purpose of pleasing the consumers that are only interested in that one thing from it.
Although most of the stories in Cream Lemon are absolutely abhorrent, it is certainly worth noting that a multitude of genres are coming together and being integrated here to have us rethink about some old cliches. It seems that what “Cream Lemon” wants to ultimately accomplish is something of a mix and mash; a hentai to be half-satirical half-raunchy; and meanwhile perhaps have us think about what a hentai genre could do as oppose to what it’s normally limited in doing in trying to only please male and female audiences with sex and sex only.
I don’t recommend watching the entire series but, I do recommend giving at least, a few episodes a try just to see what the absurdness is really all about. It doesn’t have an overarching story either so, you can basically start anywhere you’d prefer. I’d also advise doing some research on what some critics have said to be the strongest episodes. Otherwise, you will be in for a painful experience not enjoying it at all as it is pretty inconsistent and over the top. For me, I like high fantasy so, I stuck with those instead and officially stopped there.
7: 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?
6: Ai Monogatari: 9 Love Stories
Japanese: 愛物語 9 Love Stories
MAL Score: 6.60
An OVA based on the work of Kawaguchi Kaiji consisting of nine independent stories, each animated by a different director. With Beatles music involved, somewhere.
The stories vary from touching and nostalgic, to cheeky and fun and some even develop into a rather bitter ending.
What they all have in common is the focus on male-female relationship in various interesting ways. You may be surprised to learn, that despite being short, these 10 minute animations tell just as much as a full featured movie, if not even more.
Some of them aren’t fully developed, so I can’t give the movie a 10 as a whole, but most of them are quite positive, imaginative and well-crafted. We’ll get into details of each animation in a moment.
Sadly, I can’t tell you anything about the general directors, art directors, the circumstances or the era the movie was created in, because there simply isn’t any information available about it.
It’s a shame, really, because besides Kawaguchi’s charismatic storytelling, the animation is most of the time also quite intriguing and it would be interesting to know about the work process that was behind it.
I was especially taken aback upon seeing “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, and “Let’s Spend the Night Together”. These two have so few colors, to the point of being monochromatic, and yet they are immensely expressive due to clever animation and fitting soundtrack.
Also, several times an interesting effect appears, when the animation switches to a sequence of photographs, overlapped with cells.
In short, about the 9 stories.
1. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” is named after a Beatles song, which plays in the background through most of the animation and also plays an important part in the story.
A boy wants to win the heart of a tough chick(she loves the Beatles), but is too afraid to even hold her hand and confess his feelings. It’s an excellent story and together with music it brings a nice sentimental feeling.
2. “Hero” is all about a couple, once being a part of a high school rugby team, but never confessing to each other. Some nicely animated games in this one.
3. “Let’s Spend the Night Together” is absolutely fantastic, even for the lack of colors. The story is incredibly fun, shady and cheeky, as we’re following an office guy who gets himself in bed with the girl of a local gangster boss.
The visual expressiveness is excellent. Is it even possible to better express the thoughts of a man, who, after a hot night, is asked by his female partner: “Do you love me?” To which he answers with a quick “Yes”, while at the same time the camera shows how he closes the zipper on his pants. Brilliant, I tell you.
4. “Stop the Time” is a bit unfinished(10 minutes is just not enough in this case) and I didn’t fully understand the ending. A man returns to his hometown after a long time, just to find his long lost love, who now has amnesia and can’t remember a thing.
5. “Betrayal in the City” is another cheeky and clever tale about a man who devises a cunning plan on how to dump his girlfriend. The inner monologue creates a funny atmosphere, even though the theme of breaking up is serious.
6. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” is possibly the most average animation in the set, since the story is a bit loose. It tells about a man who has second thoughts before his wedding.
7. “Those Were the Days” is a tad better, but it’s also quite unpolished. A mafia boss wants to conquer a really brave woman, who wants none of it. The rough limit of 10 minutes also shows here, since there isn’t enough time for deeper story and character development.
8. “Lion and Pelican” tells an interesting story about sacrifice and goodness of a woman, who is determined to support a famous sports star all trough to the end of his career.
9. “White Christmas” is the last tale and one of my favorite in this movie. It’s entangled with a warm Christmas spirit, therefore I intend to watch it every year on this joyful holiday xD. What could be prettier than a combination of the famous tune “White Christmas”, snowy evening and love (despite all differences).
If you are interested in mature romantic stories and unique animation, you’ll love Ai Monogatari: 9 Love Stories. It’s not a perfect movie, but it contains some fabulous short animations.
If I were to order those shorts, I would immediately put 2 of them on top :
– « Stop the Time » by Hiroshi Hamasaki (who also directed Texhnolyze among other things). It was one of those moments, a few seconds in and I already knew it was gonna be exceptional. From the hallucinated editing to the use of colours. A story about amnesia (or madness?) that gravitates around a small red ear jewel and a crescent mark. As soon as She speaks, her contact is made dizzying by a brief insert shot. As for Him, he stays haggard in his boat as Her hair floats in the wind, terrifying as black snakes.
– « Those Were the Days » by Takashi Anno (director of Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko’s first OVA), with its characteristic fade outs, fugitive cutaway inserts that imprints on the retina the nostalgic image of a past that has yet to come in the story, the plot presented as a puzzle, plays on lights and the inexplicable, peaceful beauty of this blood pouring in soft geysers. And cherry on cake: a post-mortem moment just like an ending, where Anno creates a sort of experimental clip while Mary Hopkin softly sings the eponymous jazz song. Images flash and twinkle – a trick he will use 5 years later on the YKK OVA. I admit I shivered.
I would also highlight « White Christmas » (by Iku Suzuki), full of a tension that produces a lot of staging ideas, and this conclusion where everything suddenly calms down to the dragging rhythm of the slowest of all Christmas carols.
« Hero » is great as well, thanks to the great Koji Morimoto who animates some great rugby scenes.
« Lion and Pelican » (Koji Sawai) is certainly the most « animated » of all those films, maybe to a fault at times. Characters seem to be constantly on the verge of melting. Anyways, a memorable stylistic venture.
« I Wanna Hold Your Hand » is a simple yet pretty love story with a missed timing and a soundtrack by you-know-who. Great beach scene, with hands that never meet. As for « Betrayal in the City », it goes on a way more tongue-in-cheek fashion, using mostly split-screens to show a guy’s internal monologues as he hatches a plan to break up with his gal. Both are directed by Tomomi Mochizuki.
« Let’s Spend the Night Together » (Mamoru Hamatsu) is fun and notably offers lots of great car animation as the bulk of the story happens as a yakuza pursuits a young couple across town. Characters are particularly expressive as well. You can tell that they didn’t have the rights for the original song of the Rolling Stones though…
« I Can’t Stop Loving You » (Hidetoshi Omori) is the only one I definitely won’t remember. Nothing remarkable really, apart from maybe the interesting design of the lead female character.
5: Choujikuu Seiki Orguss 02
MAL Score: 6.69
Years of political tension and mistrust between the two rival nations of Zafran and Revillia escalate to the point of war. Each nations solution: to gain possession of Decimators, the same ancient robots of war that nearly ended all life on the planet 200 years before. As the war ensues and the leaders of both nations become reluctant to surrender, only the desperate plan of Lean, a young cadet, and Nataruma, a psychically gifted young woman, to alter the timeline of events 200 years before stands the chance between humanity’s survival or absolute destruction.
Orguss 2 is (at least superficially) Mecha. The central conceit of a pre-modern world excavating readymade mecha to use them as weapons without really understanding them seemed really fresh to me back then, and in fact, while it’s perhaps not as original as it once was, it’s still a pretty unusual and striking idea. I say superficially because, well, it also seemed a pretty mature way of storytelling, to rustle up this grand concept but use it pretty sparingly for much of the time, not really focusing on the mecha at all, but on people. I suppose both of those things aren’t really that amazing, but they definitely work pretty well. I have to see this in terms of my first impressions, though, and back then I was really surprised that a cartoon would do any of this stuff.
Orguss 2 is sci-fi, and like the best sci-fi, it’s as much about ideas and allegory and making you think as it is about entertaining you with cool stuff. So the fact it’s got this interesting carte blanche for ideas with all the time-bending, mecha-excavating, future-crashing setup that’s gone on makes it a bit aggravating when you realise there’s not enough time to really play with the ideas properly in only six episodes. It does develop, but not a great deal. Then again, maybe it’s best that it doesn’t overstay its welcome by pushing the idea too far; shows like Allison and Lillia are proof of how that can go wrong.
Orguss 2 is also big. The sense of scale here is very important to the plot, and the fact that it’s done almost deceptively well is very impressive. Of course, it wasn’t to my teenage self; I just didn’t get anime at first, and I remember thinking ‘wow, if this was live action it would be amazing!’. What a noob I was. Big mecha, big world, big events, big setpieces. It would be unbelievably expensive to do in live action, and it wouldn’t work as well anyway, at least not with the current state of the art in terms of technology or creative artistry.
Orguss 2 is nicely visualised. The animation is good – as you might expect from relatively early-period JC Staff – clearly better than contemporary TV standards, and the design work in particular is very well executed, giving distinct looks to each distinct aspect/era/system of technology; it’s always clear where things are, who people are, what things belong to which place or time. The look is particularly notable as, just for once, nothing is a clear pastiche of any single world culture. Elements from everywhere are pulled together for the rival cultures, but visual themes like architecture and machinery are consistent, creating a pretty convincing and original atmosphere. Character design is pretty good too; the Revilian royals in particular are appropriately opulent, decadent and memorable, with the real stand-out being the queen, whose revealing robes of state immediately prompted me to think of her as Princess Breasts.
Orguss 2 is relatively blessed by good characterisation, though. The main male protagonists are relatively unremarkable to look at, but well-rounded and developed in terms of personality. Lean is something of an archetype, a young hero making good after he is thrust into someone else’s fight, but is pleasingly bright and resourceful. Manning is a great character, a charismatic, womanising, profiteering and rather ruthless officer who manages to constantly be genuinely unpredictable without seeming nonsensical or even particularly contradictory. I changed how I felt about him rather a lot across the series, which to me is the mark of genuine and well-realised character development. Nataruma, the female protagonist, is also a finely crafted character, a strong female character who is genuinely strong and independent, as opposed to the more common type who is ostensibly independent but frequently needs a man to rescue her. Nataruma and Lean, who spend a lot of the series together, complement each other well. Behind these three, a number of less prominent characters are also well crafted. Voice acting is good across the board, with special mention going to Sakakibara Yoshiko as the aforementioned Princess Breasts (actually called Miran, but never mind), who gives the role a superbly dangerous stillness.
Orguss 2 is surprisingly nasty. Not in a gory way, although some of it is rather gruesome, but in terms of the rules of the world. Oddly, having rewatched it recently I was struck by how similar it is, in a limited sense, to Game of Thrones. Sure, it’s not got such a huge ensemble of characters, and in place of the unremitting medievalness there are mecha with axes and lasers, but the brutality of the characters and their general level of malice and malevolence, plus the internecine plotting, the epicly dysfunctional and depraved families, the sharply observed gaps between noble opulence, military severity and common desperation – it’s all in there. Only two opposing sides here, but plenty of factions within them, easily enough to keep things relatively surprising. Perhaps a big difference is that while Game of Thrones tends to make human suffering rather incidental, not a lot more than a yardstick of what its characters want and how far they go to get it, it’s really foregrounded here. The suffering of people in general because of war, and due in particular to the unworldly attitudes of those in authority, is kind of the main point. Come for the mecha fights and sexy blue-haired cover girl, stay for the realistically portrayed firestorms, intra-community betrayal, battlefield triage, nukes and chemical weapons.
Orguss 2 is something else, which rather gets overlooked: it’s 2. The fact it’s a sequel to something that so far as I know has never been available outside Japan in its intact form should, you would think, mean it’s largely incomprehensible, but it’s not. It is actually a side-story, occurring 200 years after the original series, rather than a direct sequel, and I suspect it’s rather different in tone and focus; the fact that the title refers to a Mech which takes three episodes to appear and is only really important once rather supports this. No, as a stand alone work it makes perfect sense, everything is pretty much self-contained, and while I’ve no idea if any of the characters or indeed any other aspects of the series are carried over from the original, it transpires that the characters and the story all work fine without the influence of the original.
It’s worth mentioning in passing that the music is largely dreadful, but probably Orguss 2’s greatest problem is the structure. It establishes a consistent style and direction but starts to fall apart a little at the end (like this review, in fact); I suspect the makers intended to make another episode or two but had to end early, resulting in plot compression in the final stages – not an uncommon problem with multi-part OVAs. Too many things happen in too short a time, certain twists are made predictable and the somewhat thoughtful tone and pace of the earlier episodes evaporates in over-frenetic boss fights. Still, what exists is decent, and even with the guessable twists, it’s certainly not without significant surprises. Perhaps most importantly, the series was in fact finished and the story resolved, avoiding the worst fate of any narrative, failing to end.
There’s no way I can pretend to be even remotely objective about this OVA. One of the things I love most about it is how surprising that first watch was, on a number of levels. If I were to see it now, with all the knowledge of anime tropes I now possess, I very much doubt that much of it would still have that power. I know it’s not as special as it seems to me, but as my first knowing encounter with anime it’s specifically special to me, and despite its flaws I will defend it as a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work.
4: Koko wa Green Wood
English: Here is Greenwood
Japanese: ここはグリーン ウッド
MAL Score: 6.82
Hasukawa Kazuya is in a terrible bind. His brother’s new wife is also the woman that Kazuya secretly loves. Determined to avoid them both, Kazuya leaves home to live in the student dorm called Greenwood. There, he hopes to find peace of mind. Unfortunately for Kazuya, stability and peace are the last things one might find at Greenwood – home of the weirdest characters on campus.
I fell in love with this show when I was a teenager. It holds a dear place in my heart. So my review is incredibly biased but then again aren’t all reviews?
The best thing about Greenwood to me with how fun it was to watch. Even though there are only six episodes I felt they did a great job with theme selection per episode. Each episode minus 5 and 6 have their own unique story. Because the characters are likable, they work very well regardless of theme or story. I know my review is a bit vague but I don’t believe delving into the details matter. This is a comedic, light hearted, slice of life Anime. It’s not for everyone but if that’s your thing then I would suggest giving it a go.
The episodes feel really rushed, making things confusing. It’s like we are reading Kazuya’s journal and he’s not too good at writing it. A lot of the time, they seem to be saying ‘go read the manga’ which of course is something I hate about these animes. I really don’t get the episode that they have a ghost in it. It just seems like a bit of a stretch to do that.
Other then the episodes and the odd characters, one thing it has is pretty much a lot of is understanding of feelings. All the characters have problems with something in their lives. The way they show off these issues helps make them understandable. Sadly, we don’t get the whole story as again, this is only 6 episodes and they skip so much that’s in the manga.
The animation is pretty much on the low side, I think partly because of being vintage and partly because of the low budget. It’s pretty boring animation and nothing really stands out.
The English voices are really off for the women and the men feel a little un-emotional most of the time. I can’t stand Sumire’s voice. It’s really high pitched and annoying. I also don’t understand why she keeps saying Ya as well. Is she supposed to be Chinese or something? There really was no music that stood out to me at all. Normally its way to quiet to get any music or it’s just so standard that there was no change in it.
The show is basically just bland and doesn’t stand out but it is still worth a watch.
I found the characters really nice in general, and there were some great lines in here. Nagisa was super funny at times, although I’m sure some viewers would find her annoying, and Shinobu’s bluntness also made for some great comedic moments. The main character is pretty bland in contrast to the characters around him, which is probably half due to him being the straight man of the series, and half due to MC Syndrome. All in all, the characters are pretty good!
The art in the show looks great to me – classic 90s style – and I especially enjoyed the character design. Side characters actually had relatively elaborate design, at least compared to the faceless blurs that are often seen in anime. Overall, I think the show looks great!
However, since the show was released in the early 90s, there are some parts that don’t age too well, which may catch some off-guard to begin with, but there’s nothing glaringly problematic, so, at least to me, it remains a good watch even now.
3: Aa! Megami-sama!
English: Oh! My Goddess
MAL Score: 7.31
When college student Keiichi Morisato dials the wrong number while ordering for some food at his dormitory, he accidentally gets connected to the Goddess Hotline and a beautiful goddess named Belldandy appears out of a mirror in front of him. After getting kicked out of the dorm, Keiichi and Belldandy move to an old shrine and soon afterwards, Belldandy’s sisters Urd and Skuld move in.
If you’ve seen even a few romance titles you have most likely already seen a similar plot before. Though in its time this may have been pretty original. A college student Keiichi dials a wrong number trying to order food from his dorm and is accidently connected to a Goddess helpline in which a mysterious girl Belldandy appears in his room promising to grant him any wish he wants. The girlfriendless guy asks for someone like her to be by his side forever and thus the story begins.
Usually in these kinds of stories there is a lot of echiiness but there is none of that here. So if that sort of thing bothers you and just want to see a haremesque romance without the boobs and panty face plants then you will likely find this series appealing. The relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi is the focal point of the series. It’s for the most part sweet and satisfying despite the lack of any real intimacy. This is always a peeve of mine in anime and I think it has something to do with the Japanese mindset. The story does a great job of building chemistry and romance between the pair but they don’t act like a couple that is in love as much as we are lead to believe. Not that I ever seem to expect it anymore but how can you be in love this much and get embarrassed still about holding hands and cuddling together, let alone kissing, after living in the same house for nine months? It detracts overall from my score despite me liking this series a lot more than my score may reflect.
The story’s pacing also fluctuates and skips around quite a bit. Many months will pass with really no way of even knowing this is happening without the dialogue telling us or from just visually seeing the seasons pass by. But you would never know it from how little progress the leads make in terms of their romance. The shortness of the series doesn’t make having a really intricate plot feasible but it doesn’t really feel like its going anywhere until the last episode. I don’t know how closely it follows the manga since I haven’t read it but overall the story and the ending are satisfyingly concluded.
Keiichi is your standard male anime lead. By standard I mean he’s not all that special. Like almost all romance series the male love interest is usually uninteresting, weak, and not very manly. Despite Keiichi being in college he looks like he should be starting the 8th grade. Now this is played up in the story as to why he doesn’t have a girlfriend but still if you’re going to make a show around college aged people then make them look that age at least. However despite not finding him very satisfactory as a leading man he does tend to man up at the key times and grow during the course of the story.
Belldandy is basically your perfect Japanese girlfriend/wife. She’s moe for starters though not to the degree that we see in today’s anime. She’s beautiful, a perfect cook and homemaker, and great at school. Though the revelation of her attending school with Keiichi was a bit confusing since they just suddenly dropped that on the audience without any real explanation. That’s another issue I have with Belldandy. Of course I loved her, who wouldn’t? But she lives for Keiichi and everything she thinks of and does is only for him. There seems to be no will or drive of her own. I know this anime is intended for guys, but well I think guys need to see things that are more realistic as well. We don’t live to serve you; a relationship should be a partnership.
The rest of the cast is pretty small and of the supporting cast there are some memorable characters. Frankly Urd and Skuld steal the show and are much more interesting characters than either of the leads. I thought they complimented each other nicely, with each being very different personalities. Additionally I was pleasantly surprised that as they grew into the harem of pretty girls surrounding Keiichi they didn’t try to become love interests. Keiichi’s sister Megumi had some early promise but she faded from the story pretty quickly. Most of the rest of the characters are forgettable and don’t get much screen time.
The artwork and animation quality is very good. You would honestly never know that it was made in the early 90s without being told so. The characters are very detailed and realistic looking. My only issue with the characters would be the much to youthful look for Keiichi. This is a minor annoyance though. The magic and special effects are well done as well whenever one of the Goddesses uses her powers.
The voice performances are the weakest link of the OVA. Keiichi’s weakness is brought home by his un-masculine voice. Also Belldandy’s voice is a bit irritating on the nerves too. While I have enjoyed Kikuko Inoue’s roles before there is just something I don’t like about the way she voiced this character. Again Urd and Skuld steal the spotlight in the category as well. The OP/EN music were good however and fitting.
I was pleasantly surprised by my enjoyment of Ah! My Goddess. If you’re looking for a little light romance that is high on sweetness with a dash of comedy and very little perversion then I would recommend this series to you.
So lets get down to it. You got Keiichi, Belldandy, and the rest of the gang. In fact, all the main characters show up with the exception of Marller. You got the ‘sittin-at-home-waitin-for-a-phone-call-and-oh-shi-its-a-babe-in-the-window’ inciting incident. After a little fast forwarding they get their temple house set up and then everyone begins to make their entrances.
This is where the aforementioned discrepancies begin. Sayoko and Belldandy meet on a beach five months later instead of at the university. In the same episode they pull the love potion Keiichi, Sayoko, and Belldandy story while switching out Marller for Urd as the antagonist of that situation. If that weren’t strange enough, the third episode has them drag racing against Toshimas club for a bet that apparently be one-sided here.
But its in the fourth episode where the story really breaks down. There is some kinda crazy that keeps Belldandy and Keeichi from being near one another. Whats worse is that Belldandy has to go back to the Heavens in three days time and probably won’t be coming back any time soon. The source of all their problems? Some goofing looking tree that has a connection to both Keiichi and Belldandys childhoods. Hmmmm, I’m sure I don’t remember any of this in the rest of the franchise.
But thats not all. They even took a couple chances on changing characters. Take Keiichi for example. He is usually very shy, gentle, and understanding. Here he is more courageous and confrontational. Belldandy is pretty much the same, though I would say her “strong” moments fell short, and Tamiya and Ootaki seemed to be dialed way down.
As you can see, the OVA starts out as a missable re-tell, goes into a chopped up fast forward presentation, and finally evolves into a brand new story all its own. The names and setting remained the same, but the events and even the characters changed at least a bit.
So if you’ve skipped this in the past, re-think it. If you’re looking for a different twist to the AMG series, check it out. The only thing you have to lose is about 2 and a half hours.
Compared to the new adaptations.
+ Belldandy doesn’t behave like the perfect Mary Sue or is naive.
+ The romance is much more intense.
+ Belldandy really looks more attractive in some scenes than the new design.
+ Opening (sung by the voice actors!!!)
– There are large gaps between OVAs. If you don’t know the manga or haven’t looked at the newer adaptations, you can quickly lose the orientation.
– In general, the image quality is worse (with a few exceptions as mentioned above.
– There are no humor or jokes like in the new adaptions.
2: Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki: Omatsuri Zenjitsu no Yoru!
English: Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki: The Night Before The Carnival
Japanese: 天地無用！魎皇鬼 SPECIAL お祭り前日の夜！
MAL Score: 7.35
After his recent battle in space, Tenchi Masaki believes that his fighting days are over. Unfortunately, his life is far from peaceful since Aeka Jurai Masaki and Ryouko Hakubi—the two women giving him the most grief—cannot seem to get along, continuing to fight over who gets to be Tenchi’s lover.
Since their usual romantic strategies fail, Aeka and Ryouko decide to research how to woo a man. After spending hours going through shoujo manga, the two decide to act like the girls they’ve read about and put Tenchi through various scenarios, with the hope that he will fall in love with one of them.
Tenchi Muyo Ryo-Ohki: The night before the carnival.
Story: No spoilers. You just need to go in and experience this last little rollercoaster on your own.
Art: The animation team did not slack off on character designs and even made some cool new additions.
Sound: Hm…think a bit more bombastic but still more of that classic Tenchi sound.
Character: This is all about the girls. Not action. Not threats. Just the cast being themselves.
Enjoyment: It was fun to see this little epilogue. I laughed and laughed and was curious to see how things went on their little ride.
Overall: The Night before the Carnival is an epilogue to the first OVA and is like that last ride before closing shop until next year.
8/10. Be sure to send them off with a smile.
1: Ranma OVA
English: Ranma OVA
Japanese: らんま1/2 OVA
MAL Score: 7.74
Ranma Saotome continues his search for a way to become a normal teenage boy again. He gets into many hilarious situations involving the many girls in his life. One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the proposals from others who have found a suitable bride for Ranma. But he has his own worries and must muster up the best of his wits and martial arts to keep his sanity. It’s not easy being desired by so many women (and men) and not breaking hearts of a few along the way. He just might be able to find it in his heart to confess to Akane or simply find another excuse that he can’t marry such a tomboy girl.
This set also has my favourite music of the Ranma 1/2 universe/franchise with some lovely OP/EDs and nice in-episode songs as well.
Despite being merely 6 episodes long this OVA manages to capture what we love about the original series while not getting boring for a single bit. First 4 episodes are a self contained stories that are mainly pandering to the fandom who wants to see cliches from the original series done again but in a higher quality. If you enjoyed the less serious episodes of the original then you’ll love what this OVA has in store for you, all main characters appear for at least a few scenes, the plot is just a pretext for puting the main cast in absurd but fun situation and there are few heartwarming scenes for those who enjoyed those. The story never slows down so you’ll always be entertained. The last 2 episodes tell an interesting story that’ll be enjoyed by those who like the serious side of Ranma (obviously there still many jokes and other comedic elements), the two new characters are mildly interesting, their characters and story works just fine, but what matters most is Akane’s miniarc which is simply amazing, this story explores the side of her that’s not as prevalent in the main series, and seing her work in order overcome the obstacles makes you feel katharsis at the end of the OVA. Overall plot-wise the entire thing is on par with some of the best episodes from the main series and should be watched by everyone who loves the original series.
Given that it’s a short OVA the production is on a really high level, the characters look great and move constantly, most of the fights are really well animated, especially the one in episodes 4-6 where you can really feel the effort put into them. The OVA is also well directed and the entire thing just looks really pretty and is competently made, you can really see the care put into setting this world in motion and making it look as good as it can, both backgrounds and the characters are very detailed, colourful and looking at them is a joy to the eye. There are 3 major new characters and each of them has a great design (my favourite one being Natsume in both of her outfits). The sound design works just fine, there are few interesting tracks but nothing that would stick with me for years, it serves it’s purpose well but doesn’t impress me in any way, obviously the songs from the OG series are amazing but that’s about it.
To sum up, if you love the original series then you should definitely give this one a go, not only will you get to experience fun and interesting stories but you’ll also get to see them in a very high quality. You’ll get everything that you’ll looking for out of it and even more.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Ranma OVA
2. Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki: Omatsuri Zenjitsu no Yoru!
3. Aa! Megami-sama!
4. Koko wa Green Wood
5. Choujikuu Seiki Orguss 02
6. Ai Monogatari: 9 Love Stories
7. Nozomi Witches
8. Cream Lemon
10. Kouryuu Densetsu Villgust