They’re the best Anime that 1996 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Bakuretsu Hunters OVA, Shamanic Princess, Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach DX, and more!
10: Bakuretsu Hunters OVA
English: Sorcerer Hunters
Japanese: 元祖 爆れつハンター
MAL Score: 6.51
On the “Spooner Continent”, a valiant group of Sorcerer Hunters are the people’s last line of defense against the evil dark magiks unleashed periodically by those who can’t control it. Saving the world and looking sexy while doing it!
The character’s personalities are a lot shallower in this one then the TV, making me wonder just where they were getting the personalities from. It’s like I am watching two different series. The characters from the TV version are a different person then the ones that are here and it’s not that because of personal growth, its just they are shallow. In the TV, I actually was fine with Carrot being a pervert because he had a good heart. In this one though, he seems a little less with a good heart and more of a pervert. They also added two small perverts into the mix and Gateau’s sister who I really didn’t like at all. His sister was just their to pose with her brother to serve for the guys that liked macho girls I think while the two perverts ended up chasing around every girl along with Carrot. When they did have a cute and sweet story, it was to little to late for me as I was pretty much all done with the OVA.
They do sort of bring more of the mysterious nature into the show but never actually explain it beyond being mysterious.
The animation is really interesting, mostly jagged and more closely resembling that of the manga. That said, it also has a lot more naked boobs, skimpy outfits, and Gateau taking his clothing off to try and show how macho he is. I still am not sure how that makes him macho but whatever. So when I say Skimpy outfits, I’m talking about Chocolate’s suspenders over her nipples thing. How those suspenders stay there must be glue or something because they do not move even with her breasts jumping all over the place. There are a lot of things like that besides Chocolate but it shows off with her more and its not really sexy at all, just annoying. The colors are even darker then the TV version, almost like a black layer was over everything.
The opening is actually pretty good, surprisingly a soft song to the show for how crazy the show is. It’s a big change compared to the TV version which is a bit more popish. Where the TV pumped you up, the OVA seems to settle you down in the beginning. The dubbing though is really strange. They changed some of the voices and I am so not so into the dubbing of Gateau. He sounds more like a punk with a nazel problem in this one instead of a macho guy. Some of the other characters also got a slight voice change but I couldn’t figure out if it was just the voice actors doing a different type to the characters or if it really was new voice actors. I think it’s a lot more ‘gimmickie’ in the voices as though they were forcing more of the comedy. I seriously didn’t like the voice of Gateou’s sister’s voice.
I really didn’t like the OVA much. With all the laughter I did get from it, it just also had a lot of problems with the character personalities and the design choices. I read the first Manga volume so I understand partly what they were bringing in but I think they should have stayed with the TV version.
Each of the three episodes deals with something different. In the first, our protagonists find themselves at a hot spring where Carrot is determined to have a night visit with anyone except Tira or Chocolate. Meanwhile, a young boy we’ve never seen before but the characters know named Potee is also looking for a visit and Chocolate plans to sneak into Carrot’s room.
The second deals with them hunting a sorcerer who’s turned a town into zombies so he can have a really shit rom-com about a zombie protagonist. That’s right, he wants to make Kore wa Zombie desu ka. That evil bastard. Actually, he just wants the necronomicon to increase his powers. Which is why Big Momma is sending her hunters out to stop him.
The final episode deals with the group going back to their home town to visit a magic tree during a festival. Naturally, Carrot wants to use the romantic legend surrounding the tree to hit on any girl who isn’t Tira or Chocolate.
The first major problem with this is the focus on comedy. In the series proper there was more of a balance between the generic plot and the comedic scenes, which made them somewhat tolerable, but in this the comedy is pervasive and shite. It’s mostly based around Carrot being a crazy pervert who gets whipped by Tira and Chocolate as comeuppance. There are also “jokes” about Gateau and his sister, Eclair, doing macho poses in their undergarments. Because showing off your muscles is a proud Mocha family tradition going back generations. They may or may not be related to the Armstrongs. There’s also the predatory bisexual guy in the second episode who hits on everyone in the group. Why does bad media never have a bisexual character who just acts like a normal person? They’re always over-sexed. Then again, this is Bakuretsu Hunters where that can describe a whole slew of characters.
There’s also the love triangle to talk about. There’s this stupid thing in the franchise where both Tira and Chocolate have things for Carrot, in spite of him having no redeeming qualities, and he chases after every girl he meets except the two of them. That continues in the OVA and it’s still dumb. We also meet Daughter’s boyfriend and the series treats them as this overly mushy, romantic pairing while also having her say literally the least romantic thing possible to him. “Let’s make a child.” Just, yuck. You’d be less gross telling your significant other “I have severe constipation from that cheese pizza” or just reciting the lyrics to Ninja Sex Party’s Romance Novel.
About the best I can say is that it can be cathartic to see Carrot suffer. It falls short most of the time, but there are a few cases where it works.
It’s pretty similar to the main series. Carrot is trash. Gateau, Marron, Chocolate & Tira are boring. The OVA also adds Potee & Jii. They’re awful, like a child and old man Carrot. We also see Carrot’s dad, who is pretty much just like him in the minute and a half we have with him. They also add the predatory bisexual, Millefeuille, Potee’s mum, Salad & Gateau’s sister, Eclair. None of which are interesting in the slightest.
The biggest issue is still the fan-service and it’s even worse in the OVA. Tira and Chocolate don’t just strip into glorified swimwear in this. Tira goes into bondage gear while Chocolate goes into tiny string straps that only cover her nipples and even then it’s barely. Surely, the most protective outfits to wear when you’re going into battle. There’s also a lot of nudity in the hot springs episode. Aside from that,the backgrounds are fine and the action sequences are functional enough.
The acting is really strong. Xebec got a lot of people who were way too good for this script including Hayashibara Megumi, Madono Mitsuaki, & Mizutani Yuuko. The music is, by far, the best part of the OVA. The theme tunes for this are legitimately really good. Kawai Kenji deserves credit for the composition. Hayashibara Megumi & Mizutani Yuuko deserve a lot of credit for the performances.
There’s a bit. Unfortunately, it’s all gay jokes. In the night encounters episode, Chocolate accidentally glomps Salad in the dark and Salad seems okay with the situation. There are also some gay jokes about Potee and Jii. Of course, there’s also Millefeuille hitting on Carrot and saying he’s also interested in both Marron & Gateau. Which Gateau seems completely okay with.
Areas of Improvement:
Zany humour based off of strong comedic interactions. I think it could work if the characters had strong comedic quirks instead of being largely boring.
Characters who are properly dressed for the weather. Because the fan-servicey outfits are just crass.
Build up your characters. Characters need to have one of two things to work. Depth, or strong comedic quirks that play well off of each other. This franchise has neither. Given that the main series proper was a bit more story driven with attempts at comedic elements throughout, I’d be inclined to say it needs characters with depth who also have quirks that tie into their personalities.
This OVA is pretty bad. It takes everything wrong with the main series and leans heavily into it while ignoring the story elements that had any promise to them. So, I’m giving it a 3/10.
9: Shamanic Princess
MAL Score: 6.63
From the Guardian World, home of mages, Tiara has been sent on a mission: recover the stolen Throne of Yord, the most powerful magic artifact of all. But Tiara finds herself in a dilemma—the Throne has been taken by her former lover, and there is more to the situation than meets the eye…
The story is admittedly confusing, but not to the point that it becomes a distraction. You’ll most likely have to watch it again just to make sense of it all. Basically, an artifact of great power was stolen from the Guardian World, a magical realm. This artifact, known as the Throne of Yord (even though it’s a painting) has captured the sister of its thief. A Guardian named Tiara has been charged with the Throne’s retrieval, only to find out that another Guardian is already on the job.
The art…good lord, the art. I have never seen a better looking anime. Ever. I’ll say it again for emphasis: this is the best looking anime i have ever seen in my life. The town is a quaint European village that had me searching on google to see if a place like that actually exists so I can move there immediately. The architecture is amazing. Everything about it feels refreshing. I never thought that I could feel refreshed from watching an anime, but I swear the air feels cleaner while watching it. You can almost smell the flowers. The character design is equally amazing.
I really liked the opening and ending themes. Both are quite catchy.
Character development is surprisingly deep for a 6 episode anime. The last two episodes are prequels that make up the bulk of the development by letting us know how it all started. The lead, Tiara, can be quite catty, but never crosses the line into annoyingness. She’s also quite badass. There are exactly zero useless or annoying characters which is very rare for an anime of this genre.
It’s a 6 episode anime that i can watch again and again. The art quality is legendary. I loved the story even if it was confusing at first. The characters are all very interesting and you want to know more about them.
Shamanic Princess gets a solid 10 from me. The best part about it is that I got the entire series on a single DVD for a mere 10 bucks! A rare find indeed, but that makes it even more worth it. Of course most people who read this will be downloading it, but in the name of all that is good in the world, download away! It will make your favorites list.
While there, Tiara meets a former friend named Lena who is also assigned to the case and is good friends with Sarah and Kagetsu too. The two battle it off and try to find the missing piece while also putting aside their feelings towards each other also.
It’s a good ova series that will really have you wanting for more and I recommend anyone to buy the series online or download it. Also watch the series too, because i guarantee you, you will love it.
May I add that the artwork is great and the music is simply wonderful, especially the theme song to this lovely anime, which is so far my favorite out of all the animes I’ve watched!
if you get a chance, please watch it, because this is simply a great ova series that should not be ignored! A true classic from the 90’s!
This 6 episode OVA follows Tiara, a special agent from the Guardian World, the home of mages, who has been sent to earth disguised as an ordinary high school student to recover the stolen Throne of Yord, a powerful mystical object which is the source of magic energy in the Guardian World. During her hunt for the Throne of Yord, she discovers that it has a terrible secret when some of her friends and colleagues from the Guardian World fight to keep her from retrieving it.
This series has a lot going for it. It has good animation and art, a decent premise, a great soundtrack by Yoshikazu Suo that is appropriately moody and fits the series well, and has an darker atmosphere and themes that could drag you in if it’s something that especially appeals to you. But as I mentioned earlier, it does have a few problems that just prevent it from being a great series instead of just being an OK one.
For some reason, the first four episodes of this series seem to really rush through it’s plot. As if either the series didn’t have the budget or time to properly flesh it out. One scene goes to another without any real transition and doesn’t really give any breathing room, making the pacing of the show just feel off. By the time you’ve realized what’s going on, you’re already half way through the scene. There is even a plot point early on where out main character goes to a human high school to fit in as to not arouse suspicion that goes nowhere. It’s probably why those first four episodes are so confusing and hard to keep track of at first, it’s too busy rushing through it’s own story. Maybe the series could have done with at least one other episode just to give the series a better pace.
My biggest problem with this series are the last two episodes. Those last two episodes contain all of the character development and establishing plot points that lead up to the first four episodes of the series. Which begs the question, why are these last two episodes not the first two episodes? These two episodes feel like they were moved around just so the series could have some sort of twist at the end. If the people behind this series wanted to tell something out of order, they could have had these two episodes be flashbacks placed at certain points throughout the series. At least that way, it would have given the rest of the series a better pace, and it still could have lead up to some sort of “twist” if that’s what the creators wanted.
Shamanic Princess isn’t a bad series by any stretch, but the idea to have the last two episodes be where they are really drags down the series as a whole, making it more confusing than it needs to be, and the series as a whole would have been much better if they were located somewhere else. I’d recommend Shamanic Princess to anyone who like their series with some darker themes and more atmospheric presentation.
8: Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach DX
English: Wedding Peach DX
Japanese: 愛天使伝説ウェディング ピーチDX
MAL Score: 6.66
The 1996–1997 anime OVAs of Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach, also known as Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach DX (Deluxe). These four OVAs were uniquely designed and scripted, and the art style had been changed slightly from the original series as well. Each of these OVAs feature one of the Ai Tenshi along with a season: Wedding Peach—Summer, Angel Salvia—Autumn, Angel Daisy—Winter, Angel Lily—Spring. They are, however, in no way related to each other, except for some indication of previous OVAs by Hinagiku and Yuri. These are the adventures of the four Ai Tenshi, two years after their battle with Reine Devila.
Who is this for? Certainly not for anyone who enjoyed the spirit of the original. The staff must’ve been ridiculously horny or something, it’s actually ridiculous and wholly to the detriment of the show. Like, what even is this?
It feels like 4 random side episodes with strangers who share the faces of the original cast but act nothing like them. I don’t think it’s worth watching at all, it’s not enjoyable.
7: 3×3 Eyes: Seima Densetsu
English: 3×3 Eyes: Legend of the Divine Demon
Japanese: 3×3 EYES聖魔伝説
MAL Score: 6.94
Yakumo has trained and searched for 4 years, following Pai’s mysterious disappearance. However, when he finally finds her, not all is well as her memory seems to be gone. They attempt to return her memory by going to the Holy Land, birthplace of the immortal race of Sanjiyans.
But seriously, the nice thing about this anime is that Yakumo finally comes into his own, having learned how to use his own abilities as a Wu, their roles reverse and he starts to save her rather than the converse.
Its bloody and violent, and of course, as Yakumo can’t die, he winds up splattered all over the place, but he’s lost a little bit of his comic edge having been hardened by his journeys.
The story at times seems somewhat fragmented in comparison to the manga. It tries to rise a bit above the generic random anime-monster of the week, and succeeds a bit better than its predecessor.
Both the art and sound were good for their time, but the art style is somewhat dark and hasn’t aged well.
But in the end its all about the endearing quest of one girl to become human and Yakumo’s inhuman efforts to help her on her way, and these characters help drive this anime. I don’t give it a 10, if only because some of the support characters tend to be a little 2-dimensional.
All in all, it is a journey that is well worth your time.
Four years after the first OVA, Yakumo is wandering alone in search of the missing Pai. He finds her, but she doesn’t seem to remember him and freaks out when he starts chasing after her, treating hi like he’s some strange pervert. After speaking with the elderly couple that she’s been living with, Yakumo finds out that Pai lost her memories. After fighting a monster that tried to reseal them, he sets out for Tibet to find an old monk who knows how to release the seal on her memories. She goes with him, curious about what secrets her past holds.
Let’s start with the big problems with the OVA. The ending is a big one. They had a chance to have a really strong, bittersweet ending, but they screw it up at the very end and opt for something that would be better suited for a cheesy children’s movie than a more dramatic series for adults. There’s also still an issue with the romance elements being pretty weak and, given the amnesia and handling thereof, this OVA doesn’t even ultimately do anything to advance the romance.
There are plenty of good things about the OVA too. The overall story is actually really interesting with a legitimately good twist. The Hindu influence is still strong in the series and it’s still used in an intriguing way.
Only a few of the major characters from the first OVA return, Yakumo, Pai, and Benares. We get an all new supporting cast for this one. I will give the series credit, most of the supporting characters are fairly interesting and fleshed out. The exceptions being the old couple who took Pai in and her friends from school who are just generic. Yakumo’s character develops pretty well. He’s become a lot more capable of things besides just being a human shield. He still has his moments where he takes enough damage that he would die if he was a normal human, but he at least manages to give a good account of himself. On the downside, Pai is actively annoying in this one. When I talked about the first OVA I said that the only thing stopping her from being an annoying character was the Sanjiyan personality. In this series the Sanjiyan has about five minutes of screen time before the very end when she takes over to wrap things up.
Studio Junio puts a real effort into replicating the style that Toei Animation used for the first OVA. And it does hold up pretty well. I will give them the proper credit on that account. It is, however, not as strong as the first series.
The voice work is still really good. Hayashibara Megumi, Tsujitani Kouji, and Ootsuka Akio all give strong performances as they did in the first OVA. Ohtsuka Houchu, Canna Nobutoshi & Saikachi Ryuuji all give good performances as well. The one weakness is that the bland side characters have kind of weak performances to go along with them. The music is still pretty spectacular with Wada Kaoru returning to work on it.
There really isn’t any.
3×3 Eyes Seima Densetsu is not as good as the first OVA. It has some strong moments and it does advance Yakumo’s character but it also has some real writing problems, some weak secondary characters and performances. It’s worth watching if you enjoyed the first OVA and it’s still pretty decent in spite of those flaws. My final rating is a 6/10. Next week I’ll look at Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie.
The only redeeming factor is Yakumo actually knowing how to fight for once.
6: Mahoutsukai Tai!
English: Magic User’s Club OVA
MAL Score: 7.06
One sunny day invaders came from space. They weren’t little green men or funny girls wearing school uniforms, though. They were ugly robots which defeated the UN forces in seconds. After that the invaders (known as “eyeballs”) roamed around and observed human society. In fact, they were peaceful unless attacked. They were polite and followed all the traffic laws, too. Still, they were aliens and the people of Earth wanted them to go home. The Kitanohashi High School Magic Club took it on themselves to defeat these foul robots and free the world.
This is one of the few anime with a Petite Ditz as the main character where I did not spend most of the show wanting said ditz to choke. Sae is genuinely adorable and lovable, everything most anime heroines aspire to be. Her over-the-top klutziness is endearing as opposed to hackneyed and grating. She pulls off the old school "Love Conquers All" magical girl beautifully. She seems GENUINE.
For a short OVA that devotes a lot of its time to slapstick, I was pleased with the subtlety of character development and interactions. It really is a character story, in the end, all magic wands and hats aside, and that adds something special. By the end of six episodes I really did care about these characters and wonder about their welfare in the future (to be answered in the TV series), and that is the emotional tie every writer aspires to create between the characters and the reader.
"Mahou Tsukai Tai" is not without flaw, of course. Some of the episodes drag with filler, and sometimes the slice-of-life aspects become dull. This slower pace is truly a relic of 80’s and 90’s anime, almost unseen in modern shows, and in that I find a nostalgic value.
This aside, if you don’t require your anime to feature guns, vampires, or giant robots to enjoy it, and if you are not adverse to overwhelming helpings of cute, I recommend giving this show a try.
Mahou Tsukai Tai (Magical Users Club) is a 6 episode OVA about a group of school members that also study magic, yet oddly enough it is provided by the school itself, in the form of a club! I am not sure if it could truly be considered a "magical girl" title (at least not in the traditional sense anyway) since there are no transformations or any kind of staple magical attack.
As far as the story goes, it centers around a mysterious giant bell that has oddly appeared from space one day. Mankind was no match for it, and thus people now have to live with the fact that this immense object looms over head. To sum it up, about half of the title will contain action sequences with the girls fighting off a monster from the bell, while the other half will usually be about life in school or at home. Sometimes I started to get the feeling that some of the episodes were leaning a bit on the "filler" side, that some parts of the story seemed just a bit pointless to the overall plot. But I think it did a pretty good job of developing the over all story and concept, and they do wrap things up in the end. What makes the story enjoyable, is not the plot itself–but the characters, they really know how to interact with one another well. You also get a pretty decent variety in this, such as: magic, slice of life, comedy, and lite romance themes. My only disappointment is that none of the character relations were resolved, though as anime fans it sadly something we have to get use to in a lot of series in general. I know…I hate it when it ends like that too!
The characters are all fleshed out quite nicely in this anime, yet at the same time nothing new; Sae is your typical girl who doesn’t have the confidence in herself, Nanka has the spunky spirit of the group, and Akane flakes any chance she gets. (yet surprisingly there really is no true moe character in this) With that in mind however, none of the girl’s personalities ever come out as annoying, in fact the only character that ever kind of annoyed me was a boy named "Takeo." He rarely ever acts serious when the time calls for it, and falls more in the category of "goofy" than anything else. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just felt he tended to over do it at times. Oh and the character Ayanojyo? He will most likely crack you up with his hilarious pick up lines on Takeo. The homosexual tension between the two is used as a running gag throughout the series, due to the fact that Takeo is straight. Sae is the one that stole the show for me though, she is the kinda character you just can’t help but root for despite her self consciousness. They are overall a very endearing and lovable cast!
The clarity of the anime definitely shows its age when compared to now-a-days anime (1996 title), but just because its an older title doesn’t mean it can’t stand up against some of the other magic series out there, the character design is what stands out the most as far as art goes, all of them have a good sense of style and appeal…and not to mention color. The backgrounds and environments were pretty decent to look at too, though it was kind of a hit and miss at some points, not all were as detailed as others. The only bummer about the art is the lack of stylized magical attacks. The characters do display some, but they are not very flashy or interesting to look at.
The soundtrack to this title is also quite charming. Both the opening and closing have a nice catchy beat…as does the main BG theme that plays throughout, even though I would say only one was actually memorable. The soundtrack is by no means the best out there in this genera, but it does the anime justice! Surprisingly both the dub and sub form were quite good, both seemed to match the characters pretty nicely. I would give a slight nug to the sub version though, since I found a few of the dub actors a bit standard compared to them.
Overall "Mahou Tsukai Tai" is an endearing overlooked series, and deserves much more attention than it gets. It doesn’t do anything to really stand out among the other magical girl series out there though, and does contain a few filler style episodes. But if you’re looking for a new solid and fun magical series, I recommend trying this one out. I think you will find it a good anime to invest your time in!
Our story begins with invaders from space. They declare themselves in charge and defeat the forces sent against them. They proceed to hang around, doing nothing unless provoked and just kind of observing. They even obey traffic laws. Well, that’s a convenient invading force. They don’t care if we keep governing ourselves and going about things as normal. They just want to hang around. Our protagonists are part of a High School magic club and they accidentally draw the aliens’ attention when they’re going to attack their Bell-like base because their leader wants to impress the girls in the club.
I could poke into all the dumb elements of the plot, but the OVA is ostensibly a comedy. So, the dumb stuff is pretty much by design for comedic effect. What I will criticise the OVA for is that the humour is fairly lacklustre. This is one of those comedies where the best it gets is being “kind of funny” with the potential to be funnier if there was a stronger build up. Take, for example, Akane decide to inflate a dude because he’s, supposedly, being creepy. That’s kind of funny. If they had more set up where we could see what this guy did to deserve being inflated like a balloon, it might have very well been funnier.
And that’s when the jokes are at the high level of “kind of funny.” A lot of the time, they’re just not funny. There are a lot of “jokes” that basically boil down to Takeo acting pervy towards the girls or Ayanojou making unwanted advances towards Takeo. Basically, a lot of shit that’s a bit uncomfortable. At least they don’t delve into full gay joke territory, though they border on it at times.
The characters are pretty one note archetypal. Which would be fine since you don’t need incredibly deep or complex characters in a comedy. You just need characters with strong comedic interactions. Which doesn’t happen in this series. The dynamics are just generally trite and kind of boring.
The artwork is basically passable. It can be overly crass with the fan-service at times and the alien designs are boring. They’re just a lot of circles, mechanical tentacles with eyes at the end of them and vaguely humanoid androids. Other than that, it’s functional.
They got some really good actors like Koyasu Takehito or Iizuka Mayumi but the performances are pretty mediocre. Probably because this is one of those comedies where they try to compensate for the lack of strong jokes with a lot of exaggeration. Oshima Michiru’s music is decent enough. It’s a bit more standard than her tracks usually are, but it’s better than the soundtrack for Kaze no Tairiku, at least.
There’s all the stuff with Ayanojou flirting with Takeo. It’s very clear that it’s one-sided though.
Areas of Improvement:
Stop the fan-service with adolescent girls. Somewhere, some dude named Donald who never bathes, is in his forties and on a government watch list is into that. But it’s still tawdry. Plus, it does limit your audience when you get really fan-servicey with teenage girls. Teenagers may get excited for it. Donald is into it. For the rest of us, it’s just trashy.
Better set ups for the jokes. Having Sae decide she’s going to be less clumsy only to immediately fall over isn’t all that funny. Having her decide she was going to be less clumsy, last a while and then fall over when she’s feeling proud of herself would be funnier. Either way, it’s obvious that she’s going to fail. The second method just gives some build up to it instead of an immediate pay off because they think the people watching this will forget the set up if the joke stemming from it isn’t immediate.
Take more advantage of the magic. For a work with magic as a central element, they don’t do much with it in terms of the comedy. About the furthest they go is Takeo accidentally shrinking himself. And even then they barely do anything with him being shrunk. You could do all sorts of crazy comedic stuff with magic as a tool. And I feel that’s where this OVA could have shined, if they’d done a better job taking advantage of it.
This is another one I can’t really call bad. It has a lot of problems. It’s certainly not good. But it does have its kind of funny moments and it is only six episodes long. So, if you like the idea of aliens fighting wizards, you might enjoy it. For myself, it was sub-par. I’m giving it a 4/10.
5: Fushigi Yuugi OVA
English: Mysterious Play OVA
MAL Score: 7.16
A year after the events of Fushigi Yuugi, Tamahome is pulled back into the book and is sent on a complicated ride through illusion, confusion, and betrayal. Meanwhile, Yui is acting oddly and Miaka is heartbroken over the loss of Tamahome, while Keisuke and Tetsuya try to discover what is going on with the book.
What confused me the most is the time frame – I am not aware of how much time has passed since the last episode of the TV series. Furthermore, how can Hotohori’s great grandchild exist when it’s obvious that Chichiri and Tasuki has not aged at all? Well at least that’s what I understood from Wikipedia. If it is what it is, then it doesn’t make much sense. Yui’s hair length is something to think about as well. From what I understand, it hasn’t been too long from the events of the series. Miaka and Yui had just entered high school, so what’s with the long hair, Yui?
The music is still the same – not exactly the same. It sounds the same, mid 90s style, that kind of music. I only like the opening song. The background music is definitely in the background. I think that’s all I can say about the music.
I still do think that it is worth watching. I am a Fushigi Yuugi fan after all, and I just have to watch every thing related to the series. Besides, there are 3 extras by the end of each episode. It’s about the gang (Along with Keisuke and Tetsuya) going to hot springs, and it turns out only women are allowed so the all the guys dress up like women (Yes people, even Nakago and Mitsukake). I do think that this was the high part of the OAV, and for this reason, it should really be watched.
hopefully they will continue this line in the next one… seems like so much dragging out tho…
Storyline: Basically Tamahome is thrust back into the "Universe of the Four Gods." And while he’s in there he’s mistaken as Nakago which leads to his eventual mental breakdown. Like I said, at first the storyline is a bit confusing and at parts you don’t entirely know what’s going on. However as the story progressed I eventually understood what was happening.
The story really had a very realistic feel with Tamahome wondering, "Am I Nakago or am I Tamahome?" Or was his mind playing tricks on him? Was he going crazy? It also had an extremely emotional feel to it. With Tamahome’s breakdown, with Miaka’s doubt at losing the memories she cherished in the book, with Yui forced to see her friend succumbed to such a state, and Tetsuya and Keisuke who, without their relation to the book, must stand back and read whatever is going on. Truth to say, I’d give the storyline an 8. Mainly because it confused the hell out of me and it took some time for me to get it straightened out. And the fact that, rather than in the manga, everything seemed to be rushed to a resolution.
Art: Beautiful. Although there was a lude scene in there that didn’t exactly need to be placed. Aside from that the drawings were well done and the raw emotion depicted on the characters was breathtaking. All in all, a 10.
Character: We all know the characters if we’ve watched the series. Everyone has their certain strengths and weaknesses that are depicted in the OVA. Each person was in character, however, at a certain point I often wondered how that person resolved something so quickly. But I suppose within the time limit the creators had for the OVA they had to do something. I rate the characters a 9.5.
Overall: Truthfully I loved the series and knowing that there was also an OVA, I was flipping thrilled. But compared to the manga, everything in this felt rushed and nothing really noteworthy happened. Same thing: Bad guy comes to book, priestesses come to book, celestial warriors fight, bad guy beaten, everything somewhat goes to normal. Despite the cliche, the confusing storyline, and the rushed resolution the OVA was all right. In my opinion it’s certainly good to watch if you are an avid Fushigi Yugi watcher. So for my overall impression I give this OVA a 9 out of 10.
4: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars – Hero Club
Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーン セーラースターズ ヒーロークラブ
MAL Score: 7.26
Compilation of Sailor Stars with added narration.
3: El Hazard: The Magnificent World
MAL Score: 7.29
After Makoto Mizuhara agrees to testify against the boisterous student council president Katsuhiko Jinnai for bribing school clubs in the recent student council elections, Jinnai chases him down in an attempt to silence his self-proclaimed rival. Suddenly, during the chase, time stops for everyone—except Makoto. Perplexed, he wanders around the campus until he notices a light coming from the school’s closed-off basement, where an ancient relic had just been uncovered.
Makoto is walking toward the artifact surrounded by strings of light, when out of it comes an otherworldly woman who claims she has been waiting for ten thousand years to see him. Weakened by the passage of time, she uses her remaining power to transport a confused Makoto to another world, which she refers to as El-Hazard. However, others who are still at school are also caught in the spell, namely: Jinnai; Masamichi Fujisawa, the alcoholic teacher; and Nanami Jinnai, the headstrong sister of president Jinnai.
The fantastical and magnificent world of El-Hazard awaits these four individuals where they will become entangled in the story of its inhabitants and embark on an adventure filled with laughter, danger, and even romance.
El-Hazard has all the hallmarks of an excellent series. The story is deep and engrossing, and told well despite the short length. You won’t feel as though you’ve been gypped out of closure due to the lack of episodes. At the same time, nothing is really ‘glossed-over’–though the plot is involved, most everything is well explained.
The characters are memorable and dynamic. While it’s true that most of them have their stereotypes, the series manages to take a little time, sometimes if only a scene or two, to paint most of them in another light–just to let you know there’s more to them. There are two disctinct camps of villains as well, each with their own agenda. If you like dashing, cunning baddies with a web of secrecy, El-Hazard has that. if you prefer your enemies maniacal, biosterous, sometimes silly, and slightly insane, El-Hazard has you covered. The same goes for the protagonists. El-Hazard has your ‘knight in shining armor’ types; your well-meaning perverts; your innocent, ‘didn’t ask to be here’ types; and even your ‘You’re such a $&(*$@, why do you have to be a good guy?’ types.
The artwork won’t disappoint. It’s probably not the best you’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly not the worst. What’s most important is that it’s an enduring enough style that it’s hard to see it as ‘dated’. The sound is exceptional too. The background music really helps to get you into the ‘feel’ of the world you’re experiencing, and the opening score is powerful and memorable. The ending themes are enjoyable, too. ‘Boys Be Free’ (‘Back in Love’ in English) is performed by Alielle, is catchy, fun, and bemusedly suggestive, while ‘Little Flower’ (which takes over as the ending theme after a few episodes) is mellow and somber, in keeping with how it wants to make you feel by that point in the storyline.
One of the most impressive qualities of El-Hazard in my opinion is the exceptional ability of the English dub actors. Yes, we all have our own opinions, but I personally don’t care for dubs, and I can count on one hand the anime I’ve ever seen that I could stand in anything other than the original Japanese. This is one of them. The dub actors get the inflection right and deliver some great one-liners that probably aren’t what the original characters were saying, but are close enough to make the experience that much better for the non-Japanese speaker.
I’ll also give El-Hazard an impressive rewatch value. This is the show I tend to use to get curious newcomers to anime started, and it never gets old after many re-watches.
To be fair since this is a review, if I were to knock anything about El-Hazard, I would have to go with some of the faster animation sequences. The art is great, sure, but whenever there’s a scene where lots of people are moving really quickly all at once (IE, a fight, a bunch of people running, or some acrobatics), they tend to shift about rather strangely, making it look as though some corners were cut on the drawing board. Que sera.
All in all, El-Hazard isn’t long and it’s worth your time to add it in to your anime watching experience. Maybe you’ll even enjoy it enough to catch some of the other series, though keep in mind that ‘The Wanderers of El-Hazard’ is a TV version (so it’s the original story told differently). ‘El-Hazard 2: The Magnificent World’ is the sequel, if that’s what you’re looking for.
So what are you waiting for!? Check out El-Hazard, and trust me, give the English dub a try this time! ^.^
I’ve rewatched it and it hasn’t lost its fragrance.
The art is top notch. Starting from background art to characters, everything is well-defined and has its place in the story.
The story itself may look meh, but, it really isn’t. It is a well thought story. The characters may get sloppy from time to time, but they are well defined and fluid. The plot itself is great and it has its share of everything. Its catchy and it stays catchy. Its funny. Its dumb. Its wonderful. Its original.
The music and the sound is impressive.
2: Ranma Super
Japanese: らんま１／２ ＳＵＰＥＲ
MAL Score: 7.66
Super OVA 1: Based on a story from vol. 27 of the manga, Shampoo and Ukyo arrange to travel to a cave that is legendary for breaking up couples. They hope they will cause Ranma and Akane to break-up and Shampoo hopes to ditch Mousse the same way.
Super OVA 2: “Jaaku no Oni” (lit. “The Wicked Demon”) was released in 1995. Based on a story from vol. 29 of the manga, an Oni (that wears a tiger-striped diaper just like the Oni of Urusei Yatsura) escapes it`s sealed box and begins to possess people in the neighborhood.
Super OVA 3: This is a story from vol. 31. Ranma disturbs a doll that takes revenge on anyone that shows it disrespect. In order to teach Ranma a lesson, the doll possesses Akane and tries on many occasions to attack him.
The background music and OP/ED themes were also very good (as always with Ranma 1/2) for this set.
1: Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
English: Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダム 第08MS小隊
MAL Score: 8.02
In year 0079 of the Universal Century, the Earth Federation initiates Operation Odessa—a full-scale assault to retake a major Ukrainian city from the Principality of Zeon. It is a success, and the remaining Zeon forces scatter across the globe. The Earth Federation gains the upper hand in the One Year War and deploys its ground troops around the planet to hunt down the stragglers.
As part of the deployments, Ensign Shiro Amada is transferred to Southeast Asia to take command of the 08th MS Team—a special squadron of RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type pilots. In their first guerilla operation, Shiro’s team is tasked with distracting the Zeon forces while Federation ground troops locate a mysterious new Zeon weapon. Everything goes according to plan until Shiro runs into Aina Sahalin, an ace Zeon pilot he met in an earlier battle, during a skirmish. Their reunion weakens his resolve to continue fighting, and now the young commander Shiro must prove his loyalty to the Federation—or be branded a traitor.
On the Zeon side, we have Aina herself. She is very formal and obedient to her brother, Ginias, who is a straight out psycho-path. And there’s the bad ass Norris, who is their ace pilot , and is a father figure to Aina. So once again, this Gundam series delivers an all around cast with a well paced story that revolves around solving their issues and developing the characters which was how I viewed it. The Romeo and Juliet thing is a bit cliché’, but not really over the top. It’s used effectively and reasonably, and it also helps the development of Shiro and Aina as well. I will further elaborate on what I feel on what I think the themes are.
The art is just fantastic. The character designs are very diverse and distinctive, and the environments are well detailed thanks to the work of Kawamoto Toshihiro, who has also served as a staff member in other duties such as on Votoms, Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam 0083, and Patlabor. I really like the expressions the faces have in the battles as well as the angles and postures. I will elaborate on how I feel about the battles later, so time to talk about the mechanical designs. The mobile suits are of course still in complimentary of the original Gundam designs, except the pack more heavy fire power and have more of a bulky look to it which suits the nature of the battles which I will now talk about. In comparison to your traditional Gundam where it’s all about space battles, we are now reduced to watching guerrilla jungle warfare, so strategy and tactics play a big part into this series like how it did in the final battle of War in the Pocket. So it brings a different sense of intensity, anticipation, and excitement which helps makes this series stand out in comparison to other Gundams because the characters aren’t of course newtypes where they got crazy reflexes. And you have to watch this anime until the end. The 2nd to last battle is most certainly a top 5 in Gundam battles or fights in general of all time. Due to all of these combined great features I can’t say anything bad on.
The voice acting in both English and Japanese are excellent and top quality. Both languages have actors that equally represent their characters. Even though Steve Cannon was very terrible as Ippo in the English version of Hajime no Ippo, he was great as Shiro. He played someone who was new to his role, but really took it seriously. I thought his higher pitched voice was well more suited to the nature of his character, but the Japanese voice actor, Hiyama Nobuyuki brought a different kind of maturity to the character, but wasn’t really as spirited which I felt was part of Shiro’s character. All-round veterans such as Kikuko Inoue plays the role of Aina, who is dead accurate as someone who looks meek, but is very strong willed on the outside. And believe me, I give this anime one of the best performances ever. I say it’s superior to that of Cowboy Bebop’s.
The music is also well suited to the nature of this show. The background music gives a more traditional military style to really represent the way I described the action with its different sense of intensity and excitement as a result of anticipation. And the opening theme Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite is highly energetic, and the ending theme 10 years after really represents a more campy nature that represents the unity of the team.
Well, I’ll conclude this review with two notes. First of all, I feel the only negative this anime has is its ending. Not really saying it’s a bad ending, but it didn’t really live up to what I was expecting and you’re free to disagree with that. But then again, who said endings had to be happy? I felt the Cartoon Network ending leaves things too inconclusive because the true ending they couldn’t show due to the portrayal of kids in war, which I thought, was a totally ludicrous reason. I felt the true ending was too much out of convenience and really felt out of place, and a majority of the cast was really absent. Maybe that’s because the original director died during the releasing of this oav. I don’t know. But my 2nd note is how I love this movie is about loyalty and trust. It’s a consistent theme throughout this show and it portrays it in a sensible way in the scenario presented in this anime. Even though Shiro is the leader and despite his age, I like how he treats everybody equally and he makes sure everybody lives up to his number one rule, that everybody comes back alive.
This is one aspect that as stated earlier was mediocre. It had so more potential and I beleive if it had been a series, not an OVA, it could have been developed far better. Without divulging to much, the basic premise is that it is a side story to the original MSG and takes place near the end of the War between the EF and Zeon. It follows a rag-tag unit, the 08th MS team, and their various encounters while adding a romantic element with the commander of the team and a Zeon pilot. The zeons pilot happens to be sister to the Zeon Commander in the same area as the 08th team. A noraml ‘Gundam’ thing to do. However where as some Gundams pull it off, this one does not. The overall story is dull, and frankly the ending is unbelivable and bad. Also, and this is where opinions are split, the action is very realistic, or at least as realistic as possible, which I dilike. Some people like this, I personally do not. When I watch Gundam i want to see over the top action and fighting, but in this regard I was let down, which I could have excepted if the story had actuallt been decent. On top of this most Gundams have an overarching political or philosopichal meaning, even if they are obvious, and I like the chance to think about those things, to me the anime gains more meaning that way. The story here is simply a narrative, a story with no meaning, nothing to really pull out of it thematically, so in that regard I feel it fails.
I have nothing bad to say here. The animation was excellent and a large step up from it’s contemporary, Wing. It was gritty, and realisitic looking, and all the MS had details glaour. The art was excellent for it’s time and a joy to see in motion.
The Sound overall was good. The effects were excellent and the voices in Japanese i felt were wonderful, but in English failed as per usual. I did not car for the opening, ending, or sountrack however as it was pretty jazzy, which really isn’t my style.
Oh dear god. This is were my opinion differs the far by most. I could not stand most of the characters is the show, with maybe two exceptions. I did not think they were realistic at all. Their ideal were foolish and childish, and they were often overdramtic. Along with that they were the most rag-tag group of soliders I have ever seen, and would not last very long in an actual Army as they have a lot of trouble following orders.
So, as you can most likely can tell, I had my problems with this series. It is not bad, but i could have watched far better things even if it is only 12 episodes.
Without a doubt in my mind, it was simply mediocre. It was not Bad, but with such a wide range of other, better Gundams out there to choose form, I would not bother. However, if like myself you wanted to watch it as it takes place between the original and Zeta, adn you wnat to watch them chronologically, then go ahead, just don’t expect to be blown out of the water.
The more realistic and intricate fight scenes are great which personally I favor more than the huge overexaggerated fight scenes in wing and seed (which I don’t actually mind though).
Whatever you do, do NOT be put off by the old animation. If i remember correctly, I watched this right after finishing the 2nd FMP series and I consciencely didn’t even notice the old animation style while being swept away by the excitement and pleasure of watching the 8th ms team.
Characters are incredibly likeable and they’re all sound of mind (well, they are compared to the characters in other gundams).
But the factor that just blew me away was the enjoyment. Disregarding any of the aesthetic qualities and originality or blah blah blah of the series, I simply enjoyed the series and ended up watching through all 12 episodes straight through. It was just fun to watch. 12 episodes may seem short for a gundam masterpiece, but it turned out way better than my expectations. This is highly recommended for those who love gundam, or hate it. This is a more action/feel good style of gundam that people who may not be into mecha might most likely enjoy. All of my friends, who never were interested in mecha until this one popped up, agree. A fun, short, sweet, and memorable ride following the determined gundam crew and the struggles & adversity they face…
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
2. Ranma Super
3. El Hazard: The Magnificent World
4. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars – Hero Club
5. Fushigi Yuugi OVA
6. Mahoutsukai Tai!
7. 3×3 Eyes: Seima Densetsu
8. Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach DX
9. Shamanic Princess
10. Bakuretsu Hunters OVA