They’re the best Anime that 2004 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Memories Off 3.5, Angelique, Futari Ecchi, and more!
10: Memories Off 3.5
Japanese: Memories Off 3.5 [メモリーズオフ3.5]
MAL Score: 6.24
This series is made up of two seperate stories with a few overlapping characters. The first story, Omoide no Kanata e, is about Shogo and his current girlfriend Neo. Kanata, a former girlfriend of Shogo’s shows up one day and causes Shogo and Neo to think about their current situations. The second story, Inori no Todoku Koro, is about girl called Inori and her boyfriend Isshu. They had made a promise to always go to the fireworks festival together, since that was the place that they orginally became a couple. This year, Isshu says he cannot attend because of his work so Inori goes alone and recalls the previous two years.
Japanese: オリジナルビデオアニメーション アンジェリーク
MAL Score: 6.32
Angelique Limoges and Rosalia de Catargena have been chosen as candidates in a Queen Examination – a test to see who is better qualified to be the next Queen of the cosmos. For this special examination, both girls are given their own continent on a planet. The girls must raise the continents into thriving civilizations and environments. Nine Guardians (who control various elements, such as fire, wind, and water) have been chosen to help the girls raise their continents during the Queen Examination.
(manga was released after the game)
The 3 episodes only reflect the viewers how the game/manga itself would look like in anime because the reason the OVA was released is the many requests from people who loved this date simulator game.
No options for spoiler because we get revealed from the start who will be chosen as a queen , so the end revealed from the beginning.
This OVA like the other OVA of angelique talking about the same “symptom”
so called “pure heart” of a little , stupid , without any confidence and self esteem girl who find the “true powers” inside of her and gets the throne/guy.
No action in this OVA , no fighting , killing or any other sort of violence.
This 3 episodes basically nice and fun but without playing the game or read information on the internet will be boring to watch because the OVA was made to be for the view to people who are game fans and not for the watch .
The characters very well developed even in this short OVA and have rich personality
and attitude. The characters look good , colorful and fun to watch.
Angelique based on pure romance so guys mostly won’t like to watch it.
8: Futari Ecchi
English: Step Up Love Story
MAL Score: 6.35
Makoto and Yura Onoda are a newly-wed couple with zero sexual experience. Yura is a shy and naive 25-year-old woman whose good looks grab men’s attention, something that she dislikes because she gets embarrassed very easily. Her husband Makoto is of the same age, but as opposed to his wife, he loves having dirty thoughts about other women. Physically though, Makoto is truly faithful to Yura.
Both of them may be virgins, but now that they are married, they are ready to dive into the world of sex, “practicing” as often as possible. However, the world of sex is complex, so they need all the help they can get to find their way through it. Thankfully, their friends, acquaintances, and porn media lend them a helping hand.
Step Up Love Story (Futari Ecchi) is a four-episode OVA that tells the deeply uninteresting story of two deeply uninteresting 25-year-od newlyweds, Makoto and Yura, who just happen to be virgins. LIKE I CARE. So they get married and start shagging. The end.
Well, okay, a few other things happen. Yura’s slutty sister shows up and causes trouble. Makoto’s sexually frustrated cousin shows up and causes trouble. The student Makoto used to tutor shows up and tries to seduce him (trouble). Yura gets a job as a waitress in a maid café. They go to a hot springs resort. Yes, this show has been beaten half to death with the cliché stick and proceeds to stagger around bruised and bleeding for 100 torturous minutes.
And while Step Up Love Story is billed as a comedy, I found myself neither laughing nor even smiling as much as I had anticipated. Like, not at all. It feels like a kids show with its simplistic characterization and banal dialogue, and only the frequent soft porn scenes (so poorly animated that the participants look like malfunctioning robots) remind the viewer that it’s actually supposed to be for adults. What attracted me to the series in the first place was that the protagonists were both in their mid-20s, but the series left me wondering why they weren’t written as kids straight out of high school, because that’s the level of maturity on display from them. They’re basically 25 year-old children.
There was, however, some entertainment to be had. Imagine my surprise when the credits rolled and revealed that none other than Chiaki friggin’ Konaka did the screenplay. Yes, that Chiaki Konaka, the guy who worked on Lain, Texhnolyze, Rahxephon, BGC 2040, Armitage III, and… you get the idea. I almost did one of those comical anime faints. Almost as surprising is that the Japanese voice actors didn’t use pseudonyms, so the viewer is under no illusions that they really are listening to bad grunting and moaning from Yuji “Keitaro” Ueda and Tomoko “Rosette” Kawakami.
I’m going to be generous and award Step Up Love Story three points because it has boobs, lots of boobs, even though they’re not particularly well drawn boobs. And also because it’s so bad that I’ve resorted to writing this, which has proved a gazillion times more enjoyable.
Makoto and yura are both 25 year old virgins and they just got married and are now realizing “oh shit, I have no idea how to have sex.” Now there’s a line between being a virgin and not knowing alot about what to do, and just straight-up sexual cluelessness and these two are really pushing into the latter category. However these two troopers just keep on trucking (or fucking as the case may be…) and these two crazy kids eventually get the hang of things.
Along the way Yuras younger sister comes along and decides to give some sage wisdom (because shes a total slut ands gone around more than a nascar race), a few others offer advice, and at some point about halfway through they must just figure it all out because by episode three the focus is off of them not knowing what the opposite genders’ sexual organs are, and moves onto all the crazy kinky adventures they can get into.
Time to actually say what I thought, well, I thought it was good. It represents the sexual awkwardness that is very present those first times and how you really dont know a whole hell of alot, and its good for that. It also makes reference to the fact that when you havnt had any or much sex, you feel like everyone around you is a pornstar or something cuz in your eyes theyre experts(yuras sister, her friends, etc.) Yeah though, its good, you might as well watch it since its only two hours of your life.
7: Natsu-iro no Sunadokei
English: Sandglass of Summer Colors
MAL Score: 6.51
Makimura Koutarou has made up his mind: during the summer vacation, he is going to confess his love to the seemingly unapproachable Serizawa Kaho. Yet, on the night before, he has a run-in with a strange girl – an encounter which propels him into the future. There, he learns that not only has Kaho-chan become his girlfriend, but she has also died in a tragic accident. Returning to his own time, Koutarou sets out to change the future and save his love.
I am so happy I was bored enough to find this gem.
Natsuiro no Sunadokei, in my opinion, is what a romance anime should be. I really hate romance anime where the guy is a perverted idiot and the girls are stereotypes who throw their fanservice-prone-selves on him either willingly or unwillingly. Thankfully, Kou has a brain and a heart, and it’s not a harem, although there are some light complications in the love web. Obviously, they couldn’t make a huge mess with only 2 episodes and an overarching plot about time travel, so I’m glad they didn’t try to overdo that part.
The time travel thing is very well done–it shows itself and then doesn’t overstay its welcome, letting time flow for most of the part where you would like it to. This is the kind of anime you watch if you want to feel connected to a guy or a girl in love, since it’s quite easy to do both here.
The sound…well…the OP and ED songs are forgettable but the bgm is pleasant. Voices are pretty good. I must say though, this doesn’t really bring down my score of it much.
The thing that I thought was great is that, like the other guy who reviewed this, it didn’t feel like “just another OVA”. I really felt like I didn’t waste my time with this at all. In fact, I don’t even wish this were longer–in a good way, of course. It didn’t just leave off with a rushed ending or anything; it actually had a fulfilling end, and I won’t say what happens because it rides on that, but…you’ll be satisfied. I thought for a bit in the first ep that there would be some sort of plot hole problem, but I don’t think so. Simply, you just have to enjoy this nice little love story.
Also, Ligene’s faces are amusing. Just another reason to watch it.
I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I will not go into what the story is about because it’s in the summary up at the top, but it’s very different from all those other 2-3 episode long OVAs out there. It is beautiful and different and is very well presented, even though there was only 2 episodes to work with. If it were to become a proper TV series then I’m sure it would be popular :3
Not particularly outstanding. Like most other short OVAs it had rather beautiful art, but it wasn’t that amazing. Some of the characters could have done with a bit more detail here and there to make them pretty much perfect.
The opening song is by Nana Mizuki, and I know this is slightly biased but that automatically made me give the sound a 8/10. My score was then pushed up to a 9/10 because the OP and ED are beautiful, and I know I say this in every review, but they fit so well with the series. They really did.
Not enough character development for some of the characters. However, the main couple and Ai were filled out nicely and weren’t boring standard 2D characters. They had a personality and were different from the other usual OVA characters. Nicely done development for those two, but not really for anyone else unfortunately. If there had been more episodes then I’m sure all the characters’ personalities would have filled out more.
I always skim-watch through short OVAs like these because I just know they’re going to be a repeat of all the others and will be boring. This one, however, is a stand-alone decent OVA. It kept me interested the entire time and I didn’t keep looking at how long it had left, thinking "just hurry up and end". I was really sad when it finished and I wanted more! Absolutely loved it ♥
The OVA Follows as best it can the Kaho Path – It changes a few things here a few things there, and it does change the ending a bit to.
But if you take the OVA for what it is .. 2 episodes – it is well done for that. The characters are surprisingly well done for 2 episodes – as is the general plot explained surprisingly well for such a short ova. (When it was a far longer Visual novel) And the sound track for the OVA wasn’t bad either – Nothing I would go run out and buy, but nothing to scorn either , it fit the mood well , and helped the story along.
All and all I would say this OVA is worth the watch , whether or not you have gone through the visual novel- It can stand on its own and be quite enjoyable (though I recommend you go through both of course)
6: Mahou Sensei Negima!: Introduction Film
Japanese: 魔法先生ネギま! ～introduction Film～
MAL Score: 6.64
Before the beginning of the series, three OVAs were produced for the sole purpose of introducing the characters. The first two were released on DVD bundled with two drama CDs, with the third being sold separately. It is unknown if these will ever be released outside of Japan.
The first OVA is a re-enactment of the first chapter, where Negi first learns of his job as a teacher and is introduced to the students of Mahora Academy 2-A. It ends with profiles of the Baka Rangers (Asuna, Makie, Yue, Ku Fei and Kaede) as well as Ayaka. Asuna is the only girl in the class that doesn’t have romantic feelings for Negi.
The second OVA is a re-enactment of the “love potion” incident of chapter 2, with profiles at the end of Nodoka, Konoka, the cheerleaders (Misa, Madoka, Sakurako) as well as Kazumi.
The third OVA is a re-enactment of chapter 13: Negi’s Mahora tour with the Narutaki twins. The tour shows Negi to several of the students (Yuna, Akira, Chao, Satsuki, Satomi, Chizuru, Natsumi, Zazie) as well as others that he ends up missing (Sayo, Evangeline, Chachamaru, Chisame, Misora, Ako). After being chewed out by Haruna for completely skipping her, a final scene introduces Setsuna and Mana, keeping watch from something on campus.
It consists, mostly, of the replay of multiple situations that took place in Mahou Sensei Negima! (the real TV series). There is some extra footage and pictures that weren’t displayed neither on the OVAs nor on the series, some of them being very ecchi. Some background music is played and the sound effects and character voices are well employed. Art is basically the same as the series itself; just alright, lacking details and shadows. It does expand the viewer’s knowledge of each character, individually.
Again, i’m not sure whether this should be seen before or after the series. If you watch these introductory films before, you’ll know what will happen in some scenes of the anime, but you’ll have better and more expanded knowledge of the characters while watching it; if you watch these introductory films afterwards, it’ll serve as a wrap-up to the events that took place in the anime, and it will explain better the way of acting of each character.
One thing I’m certain of is that if you’re going to watch the TV series, these should be seen as well, either before or after; you’ll enjoy them.
Everything you need to know about this OVAS is right in the title: Introduction Film is a presentation for the 31 females in Mahou Sensei Negima, in preparation for the anime that was about to premiere at that time, back in 2005 (Mahou Sensei Negima, the first animated series).
Introduction Film has three episodes. Each presents a simple situation that serves as a plot, and then the girls are introduced. The presentation is just the names, occupied seat in class, blood type (serious business in Japan), and likes and dislikes. Throughout the montage will see several photos and fragments of the (in that time) future anime (or not… some footage is not used after all), plus some ecchi moments. As a brief summary:
In the first episode, Negi Springfield, a welsh 10 years old wizard, is assigned to teach english in the 2-A course of Mahora Academy (where all the students are girls). In this chapter are introduced Asuna, Makie, Yue, Kaede and Fu Fei, five girls better known as the Baka Ranger (cause they are terrible students). The class rep, Ayaka, is also introduced in this ep.
In the second episode, Negi makes a love potion and gives it to Asuna, so she can use it to attract the attention of Takahata, her former teacher. Konoka, Nodoka, Sakurako, Misa, Madoka and Asakura are introduced here.
The third and last ep is about Negi and the Narutaki sisters (the loli twins of the class) exploring the Mahora campus (which is insanely big). That’s a pretty good excuse to introduce the remaining 19 girls.
Visually, in an amusing (or sad) turn of events, this OVAS are better than the TV series (which is kind of weird, since the former promotes the later). The difference is not that much, since neither of the production are brilliant (actually, the animation and the drawings are pretty average), but here, the character designs is more faithful to the original source (the manga).
The sound is not bad, no opening, nor ending, but the background music is ok, and the seiyus did a nice job.
So, that’s it. If you have heard about Mahou Sensei Negima, and don’t know if you want to spend your time on it, try this OVAS. If the characters or the premise of this videos interest you, then, rather than the anime, I recommend the manga. The anime is not necessarily bad, but the manga is longer, cooler, and smarter.
Todo lo que se necesite saber sobre estos OVAS esta en el titulo: Introduction Film es, justamente, una introducción para las 31 chicas de Mahou Sensei Negima, a modo de preparación para el anime que estaba a punto de estrenarse por ese entonces (Mahou Sensei Negima, la primera serie animada).
Introducción cuenta con tres capítulos. Cada uno plantea una situación simple que sirve a modo de “trama”, y a lo largo se presenta a las chicas. La presentación es, simplemente, nombre, asiento ocupado en clase, tipo de sangre (cosa muy seria en Japón) y lo que les gusta y no les gusta. A lo largo del montaje se van viendo varias fotos, y fragmentos del futuro anime (O no… porque hay partes que después no aparecen), además de una cantidad de ecchi que por momentos es criminal. A modo de breve resumen:
En el primero, Negi Springfield, de 10 años (o 9 años… el autor no fue muy claro al respecto) es asignado para dar clases en el curso 2-A de la academia Mahora (donde son todas chicas). En este capítulo, se presenta a Asuna, Makie, Ku Fei, Kaede y a Yue, mejor conocidas como las “Baka Rangers” (por que en la escuela no pegan una). También se introduce a Ayaka, la representante de la clase.
En el segundo capítulo Negi hace una poción de amor y se la da a Asuna, para que pueda atraer la atención de Takahata, su profesor anterior. Se introduce a Konoka, Nodoka, Sakurako, Misa, Madoka y a Asakura.
En el tercer capítulo vemos a Negi recorriendo las instalaciones de Mahora (que es monstruosamente grande), acompañado por las gemelas Narutaki. Es la excusa excelente para presentar a las 19 chicas restantes.
La animación es, de forma insólita, mejor que la serie que promociona. La diferencia no es mucha, dado que en ninguna de las dos producciones es brillante a nivel visual (la verdad, es bastante mediocre), pero en Introduccion el diseño de personajes es más fiel al original.
El sonido no está mal, no hay opening, ni ending, ni música en general, pero las seiyus hacen bien su trabajo.
Bueno, eso es básicamente todo. Así que, si alguna vez escucharon hablar de Mahou Sensei Negima, y no saben si largarse a verlo o no, pueden probar con esto. Si los personajes o la premisa de estos videos les llama la atención, entonces, más que el anime que promociona, recomiendo que lean el manga. El anime no es malo necesariamente, pero el manga abarca mucho más, muestra mucho más, y pasan muchas más cosas.
5: Sensitive Pornograph
Japanese: センシティブ ポルノグラフ
MAL Score: 6.71
For four young men, love and intimacy are in the air, even though they may not be aware of it. Sensitive Pornograph holds within it two tales of sexual romance for two different couples of men. The first is a tale between two manga artists, Seiji Yamada and Sono Hanasaki. Both are familiar with each other’s work, though upon meeting each other, Seiji is shocked to find out that Sono is actually a man, ten years his senior. Love quickly blossoms between the two, but will soon be tested when Seiji begins to hear rumors about Sono’s past sexual exploits.
In the second tale, Koji Ueno is a part-time pet sitter, hired to take care of a rabbit named Aki for a new client. To Koji’s complete surprise though, not only is there no rabbit in the house, but the only thing in the apartment is a bound and gagged man in the closet who says that he is Aki. More troubling than this is that Aki informs Koji that they are both in danger of upsetting the client, and the only way for Koji to get out safely is for them to make love together.
Two stories, four men, and the one emotion of love that unites them all in the new twists their lives have taken.
Let’s be honest about one thing first off: these are certainly not stand-alone stories. By that, I mean that graphic (no invisi-penis here!) sex scenes aside, the stories, characters, etc, in this OVA are not at all strong enough to stand of their own merits. This is porn, plain and simple. It’s porn blissfully devoid of rape and tentacles and bukakke and the other litany of fetishes that are not my fetishes, but it’s still porn.
That aside, this is one yaoi that is, especially as compared to its contemporaries, blissfully devoid of darqueness and angst. There is no cutting, no suicide attempts, none of that bullshit that, usually, within the context of a yaoi OVA, consists of the meat and bones of a character’s… character. There is a scene about ten minutes in where one of the characters indulges in typical angst (oh, he’s just using me; he’s just a slut), and as soon as the other character confirms that he IS loose, lightning crashes and it starts raining. And I snorted up my cranberry juice. And the second story, with the boy going to pet-sit the "rabbit"–whatever. Said "rabbit", henceforth the nubile and handcuffed Aki-chan, is a DEAD RIPOFF of Ayanami Rei from Evangelion in male form, especially at the end of the story when he is bandaged up and has the same damn head bandage. And I think there was some magical soul-affirming secks involved in there, not entirely sure, though I can see why a sex slave would find it gratifying to realize that somebody cares about HIS pleasure as well. Whatever.
Those foibles aside, I admit I have to bump the OVA up to "above average" just because despite its faults, it avoids so many of the laughably-bad yaoi cliches plaguing the genre. The characters, for the most part, don’t take themselves too seriously and seem to realize that they are involved in utterly absurd situations, which I appreciate–because they are. And, for something that is blatantly porn, that ain’t bad.
I do have major issues with the music. It’s HORRID. It’s this generic synth-acoustic crap that made me want to shut off the speakers. I know porn is not known for its original soundtracks, but DAMN this was bad. It’s like a throwback to everything that was wrong with early-90s anime soundtracks.
Artwork–because let’s be honest, again; in porn visuals are important–is the most solid aspect of the OVA by far. It’s pretty high-quality. It looks like old-school cel-shading done right. And there’s a lack of the ludicrous invisi-penis common to so much yaoi. If you’re going to draw porn, dammit, draw it right. Go big or go home. All the boys look like they need to eat a sandwich or something–the rabbit-boy looks damn near anorexic–but I like slender boys, so this is okay.
All in all, this is one of the most solid titles in the genre for what it is–porn. Gay porn. Men fucking men. That is to say, it isn’t gauge-your-eyes-out / laughably bad. If yaoi tickles your fancy, this is one of the best titles you can find. If it doesn’t, there is absolutely nothing here to interest you. Go home and play Super Smash Bros. or something.
I’m not really sure why that is, except that everything comes together in such a way as to make me want to see the video over and over in its entirety.
The video consists of two separate stories. (That’s two of the seven stories of the original manga.) Although not long, each story is set up and the plot is developed enough to establish an interest in something other than the sex–i.e., the characters and their situations. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of sex of the male-male kind. Although explicit, it isn’t so explicit that you wonder why you’re concentrating on that body part so much, and the emotion of both partners before, after, and during the sex is portrayed in such a way as to be moving. The first story is told from a first person perspective, getting you more deeply into the mind of one character. In the short time allowed for plot and character development that may be beneficial, but you still get to know the other character somewhat as well. Also that means you can directly experience the emotion of that character. The plot is developed adequately, and resolves satisfyingly, but not without some plot conflict, so the path is a bit unpredictable.
The art is attractive and the men are attractive too. One other reviewer did comment that the ukes (especially) look alike, and I agree, but there is significant personality difference (and hair color!) to distinguish them. Everything is given a golden glow which has a romantic effect. The bodies look like men’s bodies, even if somewhat young ones. Maybe one other problem (which is relatively minor in this video compared with other similar ones that I’ve seen) is the use of static images and repetitive sequences, but it’s not too annoying here, and the action still moves along well enough.
I rarely find a problem with sound in these videos, maybe my ear isn’t subtle enough? But there are no overt annoyances, in any case.
The characters are quite well developed for such a short time, and nobody is underage, which is a nice change of pace. All the characters are likeable as well.
Overall I get a really romantic happy feel from watching this video. It’s sweet and sexy at the same time without being sappy. I’d recommend this to all Yaoi fans and anyone else with an open mind.
And see I did. What did I see?
I saw an anime with a weak story–nay, TWO weak stories. But that’s not what was important, now, was it? It’s hentai. We want boy on boy lovin’. And there was a lot of that. One followed a mangaka or a light novelist (I am still not sure of his occupation) and his lover, a sort of whorish but reformed quiet young man. The second story, and my favourite, followed a pet sitter who certainly didn’t have to sit any pets. More like the ‘pet’ sat on him, but let’s not get into that.
The art was all right, I couldn’t really tell the two guys from the first story apart, but the second was better. Also, the art seemed a little inconsistent in terms of the sizes of…stuff. But the animation was pretty good; this is a hentai, so the sex scenes were animated pretty well, from anal to oral and all the stuff in between.
The characters weren’t really developed since this hentai was so short, but at least they weren’t annoying or stupid.
Overall, I think this was a decent hentai with a few moments of unfabulousness stopping it from being very good.
4: Happy☆Lesson: The Final
Japanese: HAPPY☆LESSON THE FINAL
MAL Score: 6.81
When Mitsuki learns that the highschool is going to destroy the old school building, she is saddened at the thought of so many memories being erased. Chitose and the rest of the moms spring into action to stop the demolition. During their efforts, Fumitsuki, Chitose, and Mitsuki finally realize their true feelings.
Art and Sound are as beautiful and intricate as the previous and have no complaints about.
Here\’s how you sum up Happy Lessons, and Happy Lessons: Advance. Chitose Hitose, an angry, young man who lost his family years ago, finds hiimself the "son" of five teachers at his high school. And for 30+ episodes, they are his teachers, and his "mama\’s". Nothing sexual implied (except for the occasional fanservice goodness that even Chitose doesn\’t recognize), nothing implied that their relationship is anything other than a son and his mother\’s. And it did a VERY GOOD JOB! The focus of the story was about family, it was about what the term family meant, and shows that it\’s possible to love someone not-blood related if they were.
And Finals DESTORYS IT! It successfully demolishes what all previous series did well. Everything that happened from the beginng of HL to the end of HL:A is thrown to the way-side and they basically say none of that ever happened. They throw away the premise for an ending to a multiple girls-one guy show that could have turned out to be spectacular, and instead they go with the typical "harem" ending.
Gone. Completely gone. It\’s as if those months of those five treating Hitose as their son never happened, and although personalities stay the same, their attitudes don\’t and it\’s very disturbing.
I couldn\’t enjoy this, because as I keep mentioning, for 30+ episodes I had it EMBEDDED in my mind that their relationship was of mother(s)-son and didn\’t even stray from any other course. And when they end it, all I can go is "But they\’re his mama\’s! EWW!"
I am well aware that this is based off an ero-game, however, that doesn\’t excuse this shoddy excuse of an ending to an otherwise fantastic show. Give or take the previous series, this doesn\’t live up to what HL and HL:A did so well in. If you want your typical "harem" ending, then go here. Otherwise, pretend HL:Finals never happened and make up your own ending to the series.
To me, the story begins with the first episodes of the Happy Lesson series. It’s a very fun-loving story revolving around a young man, Chitose, and 5 women, who are also his teachers, acting as his effective mothers. While many events happen, “The Final” wraps the entire story up. Concerned about his “mother” Mutsuki, Chitose takes it into his and his other 4 “mothers” hands to help her out. Throughout the later episodes of Happy Lesson Advanced, there are hints about the events that transpire in “The Final.” The constant foreshadowing of what is to come keeps you interested and focused on what will happen.
I watched the series on youtube, so I wasn’t too concerned with the art. It is what it is.
refer to above category
I particularly liked the characters of Happy Lesson. To be completely honest, the Women in Chitose’s life would be the same as those found in one of those “Dating sim” type of games. There’s the super strong Satsuki, the sword wielding nurse Yayoi, the super cute art teacher Uzuki, the introverted scientist Kisaragi, and the literary teacher Mitsuki. Of course they would, it’s a Harem style anime. What I enjoyed about the characters is how much they all are genuinely concerned over how they can better Chitose’s life as acting like his mother.
There is nothing incredible about the main character, but his circumstances make for an incredible story.
I enjoyed this series so much. After watching the ending, I can officially say it is one of my favorites. I love endings that are happy and not filled with question or regret, which is why this ending i s so perfect. It doesn’t matter “how” it ends as long as it is happy. This ending made the series that much more enjoyable and would make me want to watch the series more and more.
I gave the overall a 10 because I feel the most important part of watching something or doing something is enjoying it. Since I enjoyed the series so much, I have to consider it for a 10. Though the ending definitely helped.
I really recommend the series to anyone. It really makes you think about family, love, and what is happiness. Being what it is, you can’t help but be drawn in by the events that take place and what the characters feel.
The first two seasons continuously feed us with family themes. FAMILY. So it’s the male lead and the 5 female teachers who decided to be his mothers doing family orientated stuff. Family goes here, goes there – encounters some problems and we have some drama but in the end all is good. And if you’ve watched the first two seasons that basically means over 10 hours in total of this idea being rooted into your head.
In the first two episodes of this final you get the idea that this is how the series is going to end. The great platonic love of a family. Oh boy was I wrong. I wasn’t even remotely prepared for the complete farce that is the 3rd episode. Out of all animes that I’ve watched this one has the absolute worst ending ever.
At the very end you feel cheated because you spend a considerable amount of time watching this series and this OVA tells you that it didn’t mean anything. The whole family theme is gone and instead they replace it with a dreadful, yes, dreadful harem-ish ending. So what was all that platonic love about? Wasn’t so platonic after all eh. The worse thing is there’s no build up to it, you have no idea what’s about to happen – it’s as if the script writer suddenly thought “Well, I’ll just make them fall in love instead. Why the hell not. I’m the writer.”
And so the ending feels out of place, like it doesn’t belong in this series. Moreover, the respectable characters in here that show some dignity are the ones that get slaughtered by the ending. I was really rooting for Nanakorobi but the series’ writer shows no mercy and slaughters her development (or what was left of it at this point) like a merciless troll.
It was all surprising. I mean, ‘Happy Lesson’ was already mediocre to begin with so I imagined things could only get better but the final proved me wrong. What you have here is a classical example of an average series driven to disaster by a confused writer who has no sense of direction as far as story-telling goes.
That’s that for the story and the characters. As for art and sound – they stay exactly the same. Good art and a very good OST. The opening is again very captivating and involves all the main characters but I’m afraid all the artists working on this project have wasted their talents because frankly, the story sucks and drags the whole anime down with it.
Enjoyment? Virtually none – other than a sporadic grin here and there. Personally I will pretend that this OVA never happened and the true ending lies with season 2. I’d advise anyone planning to watch this anime to avoid the final. It should be called “No Lesson at all final – and hey did you know our writer is neurotic?”.
‘Happy Lesson the Final’ gets 3 measly points from me.
3: Cossette no Shouzou
English: Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
MAL Score: 6.83
Eiri Kurahashi is a Japanese art student who works in an antique shop. His friends begin to notice a dramatic, and rather concerning, change in Eiri, as he becomes more absent-minded and his behavior completely changes. They quickly decide to blame their friend’s troubles on a girl.
They may be right, however, as Eiri has begun seeing a beautiful, doll-like girl trapped within an antique Venetian glass that his uncle bought in France. She seems to be living in a strange other world, contained entirely inside this glass, but her image refuses to leave Eiri’s mind. His sketchbook becomes filled with her likeness, and he realizes he has become completely infatuated with this strange little girl. When he recognizes her in a portrait by the mysterious Italian artist, Marchello Orlando, he learns her name is Cossette d’Auvergne, and that she was tragically murdered along with the rest of her family.
One night, as he closes up the shop, he hears a voice asking him not to leave. Finally making contact with the object of his obsession, he makes a deal that he doesn’t fully understand.
With regard to the plot, it would be no exaggeration to state that the same story could have been told within five minutes, nor would it be too much to say that any review of the plot would also most likely divulge what little twist there is. In essence, the story revolves around two artists and a piece of art, the portrait of a young girl, and the two differing outlooks on art these two artists have: one in the end prefers the piece of art, unchanging and everlastingly beautiful, unwilling even to acknowledge the existence of the living, changing ‘original’ girl, while the other prefers his art to be alive in some fashion, even if this means that change and loss exist. It is a story about the love of the artist for his art, a love that is profound enough to accept the necessity of loss, even, if necessary, of the self.
Nowhere is the story explained in as much words as I’ve used above, or are there pieces of dialogue directly concerning this difference in outlooks on art. In fact, there is not that much dialogue at all, nor does the show try to explore the main characters: there is little in the way of actual plot or character development.
This is because Le Portrait de Petit Cossette is a Romantic piece, or, more accurately, a piece of Romantic horror. The plot is a gathering of tropes from the genre, and focuses to a large extent on the passionate love of the main characters without giving much in the way of an explanation for their feelings and behaviour, wholly following the example of the greater pieces of Sturm und Drang literature, where round characters were considered less important than the strength of what little they tried to convey. Even the fact that the plot seems confusing, and that not everything is explained or neatly given a purpose within the story can be fully explained as Romantic horror: from Poe to Lovecraft the actual lack of a full explanation served to enhance the story.
When all is said and done, the story might not be all that original, or contain a lot of development. It is, however, very true to form.
The art is simply gorgeous. A lot of different styles are used, from simple nature backgrounds to what has been described as "bargain-basement Salvador Dali", with an emphasis on portraying scenes in twilight or with light that is filtered, seemingly in order to make the few bright points stand out more. Even though not all styles work out equally fine – especially the more surrealistic scenes tend to be a bit over the top – they do usually perfectly portray the mood of a certain scene.
To this is added a soundtrack consisting largely of semi-classical music that does a wonderful job in strengthening the different moods, ranging from simple, uplifting tunes to a ballad that is beautiful and haunting, even though it is sung in Japanese, which does not really fit the mood.
It is true that this show is pretentious, as is, it should be said, all art, and visual arts have a tendency to be even more pretentious than music or literature: the use of a French title (containing errors in grammar, spelling, and syntax, to boot, as it should have been titled "Le portrait de la Petite Cosette") is in itself proof of this, as is the bundling of a whole bunch of different musical and visual styles. On the other hand, it is quite honest about its being pretentious, and it must be said that, in the end, what matters in visual art is the art, not story, and not character. Anime is visual art, and no matter how good a series is, it will never be better than a solid book in portraying story or characters. What it adds are visuals, and these enhance the story in a way words alone can never do. To me, it is not too pretentious to try and make the story revolve around the art, and not the other way round: in a way, that seems to be what anime should in the end be about.
I won’t lie. I consider Le Portrait de Petit Cossette to be the best piece of film I have ever seen, without a single doubt. As implied above, it is very difficult to make an objective statement on story and art, as you either like the style, or you don’t. To me the different scenes do connect, and portray a story about longing, love, and sacrifice that portray thoughts that can be felt, but not put into words – though they can be shown.
In a way, I am in love with these three episodes like the protagonist is in love with the painting, and, thus, am unable to see anything that could detract from this impression. Perhaps that simple fact is the greatest compliment a show can receive.
Cossette’s story is relatively simple, but for whatever reason, its creators seem eager to make it as difficult to follow as possible. There are frequent changes in setting between the real world and a surrealistic hallucinatory world that the protagonist visits. These transitions take place with little tact, and they give the series a very warped sense of chronology which is only added to by the use of repetitive flashbacks to events that happened only minutes ago. There is little to no explanation offered as to what this surreal world actually represents, and the OVA seems to take it for granted that the audience will be able to interpret the significance (if there is any) of the events that transpire there without much help, a proposition that’s dubious at best and downright foolish at worst. What’s happening in the real world isn’t very interesting, either; the protagonist’s group of age-appropriate female friends are noticing that he’s having a bit of a mental breakdown, they’re all concerned with his well-being, and they take various actions to try to ensure his safety. This story thread ultimately serves very little purpose, and is more or less just a distraction from the central plot. To even understand that plot requires using tremendous amounts of speculation and assumption to fill in the gaping holes left by the writers. I’m confident that I’m a reasonably attentive viewer, and I don’t feel at all embarrassed to say that on the first watch of Cossette, I could only guess at what was happening for at least forty percent of the OVA’s running length. There’s a fine line between minimalistic storytelling and poor storytelling. It gets crossed here, in spades.
I wish I could say that the characters swooped in and redeemed everything, but it wasn’t to be. Our male lead, Eiri, an amateur artist who owns an antique shop, is a neat concept, but he has all the personality of a dishrag, and is little more than a tool used to push an overly obvious thematic agenda on the audience. The same can be said of Cossette, the doomed young daughter of foreign nobility whose soul is trapped in a decorative glass; what a great idea, and what a shockingly lackluster execution. Her lack of character might be explained away by the idea that she is supposed to represent an object of obsession rather than a person, but the fact that she responds in kind to Eiri’s love sort of voids that entire train of thought. There’s an attempt at romance, but I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again—romance holds no meaning when neither character is even identifiable as an individual. Supporting roles, you ask? Welcome to the cast of cliches: A close female friend who is in love with Eiri but has difficulty showing it, two local psychics who give Eiri vague spiritual advice (such gems as “there’s a soul in everything”), a hard-nosed doctor who notices Eiri’s failing mental and physical state, a girl smitten with Eiri who works at a local restaurant. They’re introduced haphazardly and, again, we’re often left to make assumptions about who they even are and what their relationship is to Eiri. Most of them are cardboard cutouts graced with the privilege of about two or three lines of dialogue, and their role in the story as a whole is rather unnecessary. There’s some kind of halfhearted harem drama between the overly zealous friend who is in love with Eiri and the rest of the cast. This element isn’t very well thought out, nor does it have any place in the OVA, and it falls more or less flat.
Artistically, Cossette has a lot of merit. The production values are reasonably high. The character designs are inoffensive. The backgrounds are lovely, ranging from verdant forests to foggy city streets, and the atmosphere created in the bowels of Eiri’s dusty antique store is suitably eerie. Somewhere along the line, though, Cossette trades all of that for a ridiculous amount of CGI, editing, and visual trickery that’s really quite annoying. It turns into a regular slideshow of artistic tricks-of-the-trade. Name a strange camera angle, lighting or filtering choice, or visual distortion, and the odds are pretty good that it’s here. Cossette just can’t resist: A shot through stained glass here, a weird point-of-view through a digital camera there, an overlay of flickering static, an endless pan over a computer-generated landscape. Words cannot even describe the number of techniques in play here, most of which serve no purpose other than as a sort of directorial “hey, look what I can do!” In terms of the technical implementation, they might very well be flawless, but I’ll be damned if I can see a reason for their awkward inclusion. The OVA is actually at its best when none of these are employed. The halls and darkened storage rooms of Eiri’s store, with antiques stacked around him like tombstones, are a lot more unsettling than the tactless barrage of seizure-inducing effects.
If you’re the type to look at the staff listing, you might be able to guess that there’s one aspect of Cossette that is tough to complain about, and that’s the music. Yuki Kajiura does what she does best: Sweeping modern orchestral compositions backed by chanted vocals, intricate piano melodies, soft and haunting atmospheric noise. The soundtrack sounds great both in the context of the OVA and on its own. It doesn’t sound as clear or as polished as her later work, but it’s arguably as good as any other musical score she’s been involved with, and that should say just about everything; it’s grade-A, plain and simple. It’s not terribly difficult to label the soundtrack as Cossette’s strongest element. Imagine judging a dog show where the only contestants are a beautiful golden retriever and a dead possum. That’s the choice I had to make.
Harsh words all around, and yet, that number does say five, which is far from the worst available score. Cossette might have inexcusably poor writing, but it does have some technical merits to fall back on, and I’ll begrudgingly admit that it’s a captivating watch even though the visuals are obnoxious. It’s also a very creative idea, and while that idea ultimately isn’t capitalized on, I can tell that it is trying to make an ambitious statement about art and the nature of human interaction with art. This thematic material isn’t handled well at all, but the fact that there’s even any thematic material worth mentioning in the first place is something. In a word, Cossette is a mess, and I really can’t give it the most enthusiastic praise, but creativity and ambition are present, and if nothing else, it’s certainly a unique piece of work.
She is Essential. She is Beautiful. She is Perfection. She is a Muse.
If the perceived perfection is identified as genuine, is it not irresponsible to allow ne plus ultra beauty to be squandered to the inexorable flow of time? Marchello Orlando, a man obsessed with the unparalleled beauty of his “lover,” believed it immoral to permit such beauty to wither away — even if it required the assassination of the angelic person, whom he professed his adoration. For Marchello, terminating inimitable elegance was paramount in the pursuit of “preserving” his masterwork(s). But art is not an exercise in preservation, rather it’s a rendition of singular moments/conceptions that are ever-fleeting. The art, itself, is preserved, but the transient process is lost to the annals of time. Eiri Kurahashi, a young artist who becomes entranced by Cossette d’Auvergne’s haunting beauty, discovers the ennui of drawing a pseudo preservation of Marchello’s “divine” deed. In a physical and emotional catharsis, Eiri uses his own blood to paint a stunning portrait of his tormenting muse. Signifying Eiri’s denial of Marchello’s notion of preservation, in lieu of acknowledging the muse for what she really is (a human being), and not for what she represents (perfection personified).
The porcelain doll shedding tears of blood, was the surrealistic representation of how Marchello viewed Cossette. It is said that “the eyes are the windows of the soul,” and given that the doll (Cossette) has no eyes, she, invariably, has no soul. By virtue of his blood pact with Cossette, Eiri offers his own soul as a form of reparation for “his” past ill deeds. He is, after all, the reincarnation of Marchello. The man who rejected Cossette’s life, for his own idealistic vision. Of course, Eiri suffers extensively for his “past” transgressions, in a myriad of chilling scenes with hauntingly beautiful artwork. Screeching violins go hand and hand with the gothic aesthetic, creating a melancholic atmosphere to accentuate Eiri’s gruesome retribution.
Cossette, inadvertently, gives inspiration to her “two lovers,” but while Marchello takes her gift and forsakes her for it; Eiri, on the other hand, returns the favor by giving his blood (the necessary fluid of human life) to affirm her existence as valuable, and not merely the object for which one derives self-actualization. Eiri, after 250 years, releases Cossette from her bondage of eternal “preservation,” by rejecting the flawless imposter (the muse, if you will) for the release of the real Cossette from her unsought constraints; thus, allowing her soul to transcend the intermediary world and finally be at peace.
The emancipation of Cossette absolved Eiri from his own misguided idealism. Empowering him to break free from his self-created muse infatuation, and, hopefully, learn to foster an emotionally symbiotic relationship. Eiri (Marchello) deluded himself in the pursuit of capturing impeccable beauty; thus, dissociating himself from the pivotal social interactions of his everyday life.
2: Honoo no Mirage: Minagiwa no Hangyakusha
English: Mirage of Blaze: Rebels of the River Edge
MAL Score: 6.85
Takaya was sent to Kyoto to investigate the re-awakening of Ikko sect and Araki Murashige, a member of the Ikko sect who deserted the clan.With the help of his vassal Haruie, Takaya is finally successful in tracing Araki who hunts down a 400-years-old mandala (Buddhist artifact for meditating) that was made of the hair of the deceased Araki clansmen. Unfortunately, by the time they meet, Haruie recognizes Araki as Shintarou, her lover in her past-life. Takaya orders her to eliminate Araki, who is a threat, but will she be able to do it. Furthermore Takaya finally meets Naoe…
1: Onegai☆Twins: Natsu wa Owaranai
Japanese: おねがい☆ツインズ 夏は終わらない
MAL Score: 7.02
Two weeks have passed since the dilemma between Maiku, Karen and Miina was resolved, but their lives are more hectic than ever. Karen has become possessed in her newly discovered brother and Miina is desperate for attention as well, which leaves little time for Maiku to concentrate on his work. Therefore he decides to head out in the woods and set up a camp, where he can be work in peace. But, as always, we have Morino who is up to no good. To make things a bit more interesting, she organizes a field trip to Maiku’s camp site, and encourages everyone to make some good summer memories.
The plot is pretty straightforward…with subtitles. Karen is over-possessive of Maiku, abandoning the "Love Alliance" formed in the actual series. Of course, Maiku wants to be left alone to do his work, but is unable to do so with Karen all over him. Thus he enlists some help to get a tent by the lakeside where he can get some peace and quiet to do work…or so he thought…I’ll leave the rest of the story for you to watch on your own.
I must say that parts of the OVA do get more than PG-13, but there isn’t that much. Character-wise, this OVA manages to bring in just about everyone from Onegai Twins and Teacher (well at least the slightly more main characters).
Parts of this OVA are pretty funny, but to a certain extent Morino really goes overboard on her spying…
Overall this is a good OVA that only builds on what happened after the conclusion of the series. I recommend that if you have finished the Onegai Twins series, watch this OVA.
There is little point in watching this OVA if you haven’t seen the series, unless you’re a pervert. It’s really just filled with more comedy, fan service and ecchi, but that’s a good thing since it’s much more entertaining than the painfully stretched out series. The art is crappy as always, and that’s disappointing since they had both expanded budget and time frame this time. Still, an enjoyable OVA with both some comic and romantic moments that should be watched if you liked the anime.
The reason why I consider this to be worse is because in their eagerness to mass produce fan service, they completely threw character consistency out of the window. They’ve changed Karen from an introvert into an extrovert filled with incestual lust, and thus destroyed what little character integrity the entire series had. For an extra episode, that is in my opinion, one of the worst you can do to a series, and had I cared about the series to begin with, I might have been quite pissed. But as it is, it’s no big deal, cos the series sucked bad anyway 😛
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Onegai☆Twins: Natsu wa Owaranai
2. Honoo no Mirage: Minagiwa no Hangyakusha
3. Cossette no Shouzou
4. Happy☆Lesson: The Final
5. Sensitive Pornograph
6. Mahou Sensei Negima!: Introduction Film
7. Natsu-iro no Sunadokei
8. Futari Ecchi
10. Memories Off 3.5