They’re the best Anime that 1997 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Elf-ban Kakyuusei: Anata dake wo Mitsumete…, Baby☆Love, Bakuretsu Hunters OVA, and more!
10: Elf-ban Kakyuusei: Anata dake wo Mitsumete…
Japanese: エルフ版 下級生 あなただけを見つめて…
MAL Score: 6.21
High school students Mizuho Yuuki and Miko Kamiyama are best friends. Miko likes fellow classmate Tohru Nagase. Mizuho is determined not to get in the way of their budding relationship. But underclassmate Ai Minamizato also likes Tohru. Tohru must decide which girl he likes the most.
Anyhow, on the the actual review. This is the first, of many, attempts by Pink Pineapple to adapt the adult video game franchise Kakyuusei into a non-hentai format, and the second attempt over all, the first being a hentai film from a couple years beforehand. Pink Pineapple is primarily a hentai anime producer, so I believe their motivation was probably that they thought the story of this franchise would fit well into the love triangle/herem anime sub-genre that was gaining popularity at the time and they wanted a piece of that pie.
This anime it’s self makes the idea that this is just a quick cash in all the more solid in my mind. The story is bland, uninteresting, and pulls out every trope of the sub-genre. If this was the anime’s biggest problem then I probably would have thought more of it, but no, the animation it’s self is a complete and utter train wreck.
First lets talk about… well.. the first episode. The first clue that something is off is early on in the episode when we get to a scene were the male lead has hijacked the school intercom system to tell the entire school that he isn’t dating the female lead. In the scene it cuts from the class room the female lead is in, and then the intercom room, and then back to the class room. Though when it cuts back we are greeted with a still shot of nothing but the female class members mid-undressing and looking surprised as if some one has just walked in on them. It lingers on this for many seconds before it abruptly cuts away. My thought is that this HAS to be an animation error that was left in due to no one actually checking the animation before it went out, possibly from a direction they decided not to take the anime in. Anyhow, there it is, staring you right in the face, and confusing you, and forcing you to wonder why on earth it’s there. From that point on the episode continues to be a complete and utter train wreck. The art style flutters all over the place, almost as if the episode is composed of bits and pieces of abandoned projects, one scene will be in one style, another in another. The rest to the series is more consistent, and nothing, other than a poorly done sequence in the third episode that uses silent film era flash cards in place of scenes I suspect they forgot to animate, gets quite as bad as the first episode. Though it is still litered with animation errors here and there and the animators seem to never get a handle on how to convey emotion or draw consistent faces.
The story, as I said before, is extremely on the generic side, to the point where it gets very frustrating. Though there is one part of the story that bugs me in the third episode where the male lead declares that he would need the get to know the female lead better. How does he do this you might ask? Well he takes to her to a love hotel and forced the her to strip for her with the intent of having sex. She breaks down into a mental break down crumpled on the floor. He tries to console her in a generic fashion that ignores the fact that this is essentially mental rape. She ask if he hates her, he never answers, scene ends… This scene is from then on pretty much treated as if it never happened and later in the episode he rescues her from a guy that tries to rape her. There is really nothing more that I can say to this than WTF, seriously, WTF. The final episode is much more well done than any of the rest of the anime and dare say I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, I just wish the rest of this anime could be that well done.
All in all I would say avoid this unless you are a rabid fan of this franchise or this genre.
MAL Score: 6.23
Seara loved Shuhei ever since she was a little girl. Although, Shuhei was three years older and much bigger than her. He told her to come back when she was older and more grown-up. A few years later, Seara grew to look like a high school student and managed to riggle her way into Shuhei’s home. She will now attempt to win his heart, although there might be some obstacles in her path.
Shuhei on the other hand is a clueless idiot who needs to pull his head out of his butt and see what’s going on. She shows him multiple times that she likes him but he seems to wave it off.
The artwork is slightly flawed in that characters seem way too tall and their faces are too stretched out. Lots of times the chin seems really big or that the mouth has pushed up to far. I can understand a high school student looking like a collage student because my brother was rather tall for his age but the elementary girl looking like a high schooler would only happen if she had steroids pumped into her. Not to mention all those around her are actually rather short or look much more like what I would see as a elementary kid. It is rather rare to see this happen so I call BS on that. Still, I got to hand it to the animators that this was done around the time they still did hand cell animations so they did a rather nice job for the time. Lines are normally really crisp and eyes seem to sparkle rather well though they don’t seem as ‘glossy’ as other shows around that time. You can slightly tell this was still made on a medium budget or a high low budget. They did this little thing on one of the scenes where they tried to put a real picture into the mix with just a little airbrushing to it for a background but it doesn’t work at all for how simple the characters are drawn and the shadows that are shown. The characters seem like they are floating because they have no shadow at all on the ground when everything around them does.
The voices are alright and since this isn’t really dubbed, I really have no basic to talk about that. I can see each voice with each character and nothing really stands out much in my mind at being exceptional or lousy. I do think the friends of Shuhei should have a little more diologe but this is what I get for a OVA that’s only one episode. Rai on the other hand sounds like a pervert when he is talking about how cute Seara is. It’s slightly gay to me in a way because he gets really damn excited about an elementary school kid.
I thought this was a good one-episode anime, that was quite funny, in some parts.
I don’t usually like this style of drawing, but I dealt with it to watch this.
I would have liked it to have been stretched over more episodes, instead of being crammed into the one, as it did leave out a bit of detail.
The storyline was a good idea and as I have mentioned before, I do wish they had put in more episodes.
This was a good anime, especially for only half an hour, and overall, a plain brill story.
I would recommend this for anyone who is in-between animes and just wants to relax for half an hour into a quick anime.
8: 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.
7: 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.
English: Photon: The Idiot Adventures
MAL Score: 7.05
Photon Earth is a young and gentle boy with superhuman strength and “Baka” (meaning “idiot” in Japanese) scribbled on his forehead (apparently by his troublemaking friend Aun Freya). One day, he finds himself engaged to the beautiful fugitive pilot Keyne Acqua after writing “baka” on her forehead. And that’s the least of his worries as he must protect both Aun and Keyne from the evil Papacharino, who seeks to steal the secrets of “Aho” (another word for idiot) energy from Keyne’s grandfather’s ship.
Photon is probably the strangest main character I've ever seen in an anime. He's typically not the type of guy you would want as your main character. He's cute and has some amazing abilities, but he's borderline mentally retarded. Despite all of his amazing super powers Photon just never stood out as the main character to me. In my opinion that title should go to Keyne Acqua, as she's the real standout character in the series. But enough debating who gets to bask in the glory of the spotlight, back to the issue at hand; the anime. Since I haven't made myself very clear on how I feel about this anime thus far, let me just say I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I read some reviews on it and saw some screenshots before watching it, and it just didn't really catch my attention, but after watching the first episode I realized it's actually quite entertaining. Now this doesn't mean it's something I would find the time to watch again, but it is certainly something I would recommend to a friend. It's a fairly simple and straight forward series with not too many surprises or confusing plot twists, but I guess this is a given when a series is only six episodes long.
One thing I took notice to is how Photon suffers from the same thing Abenobashi suffers from. At times it tries to be a drama and a comedy all at once, and something about it just didn't agree with me. See, I'm a pretty picky guy when it comes to genre mixing, and comedy and drama are two genres that can't be mixed unless there are certain conditions for it. Photon does not meet these conditions. No anime where characters can survive un-survivable situations and come back without a scratch on them like Wiley Coyote can have a serious plot arc taken seriously, at least not in my opinion. I don't care if it's the last episode, when an anime aims for something like silly comedy it should just stick to it and not look back. One other thing that bothered me a little bit is Keybe's engagement to Photon. It's quite comical how they got engaged (by having 'Idiot' on each others foreheads), but it's a little hard to stomach at times. Now I'm not too sure how old either of the two characters are, but Photon looks no older than eleven or twelve. It's a little bit creepy to see an older woman acting like the wife of a little boy, but I guess I have seen stranger things in animes.
Another drawback in the series is the disappointing anticlimactic ending. It all happens far too quickly and it really manages to take you out of the experience. If you weren't sure how you felt about the series up until that point I'm sure you'll be shaking your head in disgust once it ends. I really hate to sound like I didn't enjoy this anime, because like I said above I did actually enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would, but I can't help but point out the problems that this anime has. It's not a bad anime by any means, and with only six episodes it won't take up much of your time to view it, but you can't forget the fact that Photon is nearly ten years old. Since Photon's release there have been hundreds of animes similar to it that arguably do everything Photon does better. When you have that many years of comedy/adventure to choose from I see little reason to go out of your way to watch Photon. Go check out Magical Shopping Arcade: Abenobashi, KO Beast, or even Excel Saga instead. But if you really want to see Photon I won't stop you. Like I said, it's not a bad anime and I'd recommend it. I'm just afraid it hasn't aged very well over the years.
My Score: 7.0
Version Watched: English Dub
Then add a couple of other stuff, and you get Photon! A hilariously funny and still epic story set in some kind of fantasy future.
Decent. The animation is not the best, but the character designs are great! Nice background details.
Great music, some kind of 80’s rock anthems which I like. Dope voice acting.
What seems like a down-to-earth story, albeit a science fiction one, at the beginning, soon turns out to be a great epic with several unexpected twists. Basically Photon accidently meets a girl out on a quest to find some kind of magical source. She is hunted by the galactic empire, and there you have the basis of it all.
Photon himself is an odd character. He is not clever, but very strong and utterly reliable. Not every anime boasts a main character of this retarded kind.
The girls travelling with him are fun; they constantly squibble over who Photon likes the most which creates some hilarious moments. Plus, Kyne is nice naked, too =)
The villain, Papacha, is the best character in this OVA. His plans to conquer the universe is constantly hindered by his own vanity and hornyness. This is how all antagonists should be! Plus, his cheerleader blobs add to the fun.
The side characters all have their place and help the story go forward. A solid set of fun characters, all in their own way.
This one has it all! Humour, epics, boobies… A must see if you ask me. Again and again…
The Ding Dong Song AMV:
Photon Earth is the main protagonist, he is extremely strong and fights using a quarterstaff made of black crystal. Has the word "baka" scribbled across his forehead by Aun in black ink as he was trying to lead her back home. He’s also able to withstand even the strongest blasts of Aho energy, even when it’s focused directly on him.
Aun Freya is Photon’s spoiled, high-strung, flighty childhood friend, she has the ability to create stasis fields. Humorously, she isn’t immune to her own stasis fields and can paradoxically trap herself (and everything around her) in a perpetual stasis field. Photon is the only one who is immune to her stasis field and also is the only one who can get her and keep her out of such messes.
Keyne Aqua is the rebel space pilot who came to Sandy Planet. Photon inadvertently married her when he wrote the word "baka" in katakana on her forehead in black marker.
Sir Papacharino Nanadan (or Papacha) is the bumbling antagonist. Also quite perverted when it comes to women. He has an obsession with Keyne and will stop at nothing to have her, but is always foiled by Photon’s intervening.
Princess Lashara Moon Known as the "Flower of the Galaxy" due to her beauty, she’s the daughter of the Galactic Emperor. She’s madly smitten with Papacha, but what she didn’t know is Papacha was really going to user her marriage to increase his harem.
Bulan The mysterious servant woman to Lashara, donning a strange looking hat (with feminine lips) and skintight purple attire. Usually moves by hovering on a golden platform and arrives with the princess to Sandy Planet to search out the "Singularity Point". However, she seems to know more about Lashara than she really lets on…
Pochis Papacha’s cute doll-like henchmen. Excluding Pochi #1 (who acts as a leader figure to the others), there are 28 of them, who refer to each other by their number. Though Papacha believes they’re all male, in truth, all the Pochis are really female.
More Reviews: http://teraalpha.com/STA/anime/modules/content/index.php?id=49
5: 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.
4: 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.
3: Saber Marionette J Again
MAL Score: 7.22
Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry, female-like androids called marionettes, have returned to Otaru`s side. The somewhat reformed marionettes of Faust (Tiger, Luchs, and Panther) are sent to stay with Otaru and friends to learn more about being human. Enter a seventh marionette named Marine, who has a mysterious power — and they all possess the special maiden circuit that allows a marionette to feel emotions!
A lot of things has happened in this OVA, but the main story was about a sudden awakening of a Marionette with a serial number NSMX-1, with no memories of who made her and from what country she came from. She met Lime in the forest and thus begun her daily life in the Otaru household together with Faust saber dolls named Tiger, Luchs and Panther. No one knows the impending danger that awaits them and how valuable the role of Marine will be.
Otaru Mamiya matured enough since the 1st season, same for his 3 marionette.Marine former name MSMX-1, is a marionette with a normal attitude except that she hate men. She always follow Lime around thinking that she is her master. Tiger she’s broken in this ova because of the battle in the first season, she’s the first marionette of Faust and love Faust more than anyone else. Luchs, who love to cook like Cherry, except that she’s bad at it. Panther like Bloodberry, is a hot headed one, and have a personality and build like Bloodberry thats why they get along with each other.
Ive seen some improvement in the art since the first season, seems like Otaru’s marionette become more cuter and brighter specially Bloodberry. I’ve change my opinion on her, didnt know she was that pretty, like in the Op song and ED song of J again. They did a great coloring in the character this time.
i really enjoy this one, specially the fight scenes with the “Terminator” like creatures. Its refreshing to see a new marionette and some bad turned good marionettes.
2: 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.
1: Fushigi Yuugi: Dai Ni Bu
English: Mysterious Play OVA 2
Japanese: ふしぎ遊戯 第二部
MAL Score: 7.27
Miaka and Taka (Tamahome’s reborn out-of-the-book self) return to the Universe of the Four Gods to try and restore Tamahome’s memories to Taka. This is not as easy as it sounds, however, when the evil Tenkou shows up to rain on their parade. He manages to thwart most of their attempts at getting Taka’s memories back, and uses his newfound power to summon the Gods outside the book.
The animation is just as good as the TV series, and this OVA give a lot of the background of the Suzaku 7 that isn’t really shown in the TV series. You also finally get to see the white tiger Byakko (one of the 4 gods). If you enjoyed the TV series, I guarantee you will like this OVA.
It kinda continues where it left off in OVA 1. Once again, the story and everything happening was pretty rushed. It had a bit better pacing than OVA 1, but I still felt like it prolonged the emotional scenes and didn’t provide enough for the actual events.
The cool thing about this OVA was that we get to look in detail about some of the Suzaku Seven members’ past like Chichiri and Nuriko!
The thing I didn’t like was that some of them were out-of-character. May be done on purpose to cover for the story, but it was strange and kinda made me start disliking the characters :/
imagine liking a character for a whole 52 episodes just to see their likable personality thrown down the drain. Even if and when they recovered from being out-of-character, they just seemed awkward for the rest of the OVA..
Overall, an ‘okay’ OVA.
But in another hand I really like that, because I have more episodes to watch!!
And this time the art and design it’s better that the previous seasons!
I can get sick of saying this! Every time I watch something related to this anime, I can see the true power of love, the really love story of the main characters and we can get enough of the others characters of the anime.
Of course we love Taka/Tamahome and Miaka.. But how would be story without Noriko, Hotohori, Tasuki and the others??!
I think in this OVA they pay more attention to the others characters and it was a really good choice!
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Fushigi Yuugi: Dai Ni Bu
2. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars – Hero Club
3. Saber Marionette J Again
4. Fushigi Yuugi OVA
5. Mahoutsukai Tai!
7. Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach DX
8. Bakuretsu Hunters OVA
10. Elf-ban Kakyuusei: Anata dake wo Mitsumete…