They’re the best Anime that 2009 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku, D.C.if: Da Capo if, Hayate no Gotoku!!: Atsu ga Natsuize – Mizugi-hen!, and more!
10: Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku
English: Hey, Class President!
MAL Score: 6.98
Even as he tries to keep the student council president out of trouble, Vice President Chiga-kun finds himself being drawn to the president’s strength and power. Chiga-kun wonders how he, being such an intelligent individual, can be so unwillingly taken with a boy who is so country and simple…
well, i don’t know how to start. haha. there are so many things i want to say, let alone the spoilers i want to place but that’d be unfair :p
please be aware that this is YAOI we are talking about, so if you don’t like yaoi then please head on to your next selection 🙂
plot: the story is quite typical actually. school setting. what makes it special is, let’s see.. there’s a.. *beep* that *beep* his *beep* haha. okay. so technically, there’s no surprise to anything (oh is there? *smirks*) i just like to overrate okay? no harm in doing that.
art: ooh~ art is good! if you watched kirepapa, then that’d give you a concrete idea since the anime was produced by the same company. yeah. i like men long and slender. i watched a censored version of this one so i don’t know much about those *cough* scenes 🙂 (can you believe i watched it CENSORED and there was actually such version?) haha. but better watch it uncensored if you want full satisfaction! (what the hell am i saying?!)
sound: *cough, cough* SOUND?! =__= this is the least i would want to talk about. haha. close your eyes and you’ll definitely imagine what they’re doing. haha! no. i was kind of irritated because one of the characters was saying things syllable per syllable.. and you can actually hear the seiyuu’s breathing. i don’t know, maybe that was intended? yeah. everyone sounded seductive :p
character: nothing special actually. just your usual student council pres and v pres. i like how they look so.. don’t mind my rating 🙂
enjoyment: GAH! who wouldn’t enjoy this? the humor’s light so i think it’s good. haha.
this is the longest review i’ve done so far so does that mean it’s good? well see for yourself! 🙂
That Chiga-guy really hesitate to deny his feeling to Kokusai-kaichou coz Kokusai is to look plain for him hihihihi. But on the contrary, he often feels doki-doki and hug Kokusai without even realize. I really like those scenes, especially when he yelled on his mind “AH HELP ME!”
I guess it also because Sugita Tomokazu whose seiyuu as Chiga. I really like his voice. Really nice-pairing with the cute expression-voice of Toriumi Kousuke as Kokusai. GOOD JOB, GUYS! SUGOOOI !!
The story centres on the student council vice-present, Chiga, who is in love with the president, Kokusai. Kokusai is an airhead and doesn’t really notice a lot of things going on around him (such as people taking advantage of his body). He also doesn’t realize Chiga’s feelings, and not even that he DOES actually reciprocates them.
Ok, so now to the bad points:
-The animation could be better;
-Ok I’m a bit biased because I’m familiar with the manga, but this OVAS doesn’t really have a story. They kind of just stuck with the introductory part of the manga. As someone who wouldn’t mind seeing their entire story told in anime I can’t avoid but to feel like two OVAS are not enough. They came short on story development department;
– Let’s get real here…if you are not going to give us the manga whole story but only two short OVAS, so then give us more smut and fan service as some kind of compensation. I mean, I would understand if there was little sex and a lot of plot…but no, I feel as a viewer we don’t get much of either.
What do I say here besides it was fine, at most?
-It did stick to the first volume of the manga;
– I like the characters. I think both the male leads are charismatic characters, especially Kokusai…I think he is kind of funny;
-I liked the voice actors, I think they did ok;
-It is entertaining if you want just an uncomplicated yaoi anime;
-There are a couple of sexy scenes there. Not the best, but still good.
To summarize Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku is not really bad, but is not really good either. It’s an ok Yaoi anime that will help you pass the time at most. But it probably won’t be making a lot of people’s top yaoi anime lists.
9: D.C.if: Da Capo if
Japanese: D.C.if ダ カーポ イフ
MAL Score: 7.15
This two episode OVA retelling of the first Da Capo series with the “what if” Junichi Asakura were to return Kotori Shirakawa’s feelings.
Da Capo: If is a Harem, Romantic, Comedy, Drama(?) that follows the same old story as its previous incarnations, not sure where it fits into the timeline though. Junichi is a guy who has somehow attracted a large female following. Although this time round the magical aspect is played down and Kotori fans are offered some fanservice, since the all important “what if he ends up with Kotori?” question is answered. Like most of the people who preferred Kotori, amongst the Da Capo girls, I was expecting great things from this short OVA. Yet it comes to no surprise that this turned out to be quite the disappointment. Yet what really surprised me was that the whole thing felt like it was too long and that became its major downfall. The story literally begins with Kotori about to get married and we’re supposed to flashback to see how it came to pass. But sadly the writers decided to pad the story with clichés, you will see coming a mile off and pointless character interactions.
The characters are the same as ever however after sitting through 4 series; seeing the same old faces, with their rather annoying quirks (banana girl) can be more tiresome than paying attention to a dull Math’s lecture. So whatever characters you liked in the previous Da Capo series, you will like here and whatever character didn’t like… just don’t expect shift in your own opinion.
Sadly this is the same case with the animation and soundtrack, as they have both remained unchanged. Not to forget that this is from the style of the Da Capo series & not the Da Capo II series, so everything just looks & sounds older than it should be. At least the die-hard fans of the Da Capo series will get a sense of nostalgia after hearing the 2 insert songs used.
Overall Da Capo If did give an answer to a question that I’ve had on my mind since starting the series… was it a good answer? You tell me. All I know was that it was dragged on with the most trivial issue imaginable; making the drama it was supposed to have, quite laughable. At least the romance was rather refreshing and having a story focusing on Junichi & Kotori was a great idea however one thing I would like to know… what on earth happened to Nemu?
That’s it 🙂
This is a 2 episode OVA that plays with the alternate path where Shirakawa wins, much like the KGNE OVA where Haruka wins. Sadly, this attempt falls short of where I had hoped for it to be. Yes you have your original Da Capo cast and yes the music and scenery all looks familiar, but the awesome, gripping story of Da Capo is all but missing.
The animation style is the same as the original animation and the quality is fairly good. There are one or two places where I noticed an inconsistency in the drawing but otherwise it was fairly well done. The colors/scenery fit the mood quite well and, well, Kotori is Kotori.
An interesting OP and ED (in episode 1)… the OP is new but reminiscent of other Da Capo OPs and the ED is not much. BGM is traditional Da Capo love it or hate it style. VA cast is the same as the original so you get your Yui Horie.
The jumping off point in this show is somewhere in the middle of DC SS, so you should probably watch up through DC SS for much of this to make sense.
The story starts off with the ending of the OVA before jumping back in time (I wasn’t sure at first which was quite confusing) and working forwards again.
It’s known from the start that Kotori is getting her man, but in traditional Da Capo style they throw in a little drama. Sadly, the attempt at drama was a bit nonsensical and the characters’ reactions over the top. Think of KGNE Next Season’s plot twist but over a much more meaningless reason.
The resolution to the conflict is likewise pitifully made up, and it seemed like they just wanted to find a way for Yui Horie to sing a song. In any case, this part was the real downer in this short OVA.
The characters are well defined/developed in the original show by this point so there isn’t too much to be expected here. It’s really difficult to separate characters/story, especially if the character’s development is pretty much the story… But leaving that in the story section, the overall characters were (other than the horrible story) true to their original nature.
There are some cute scenes and moments worthy of the Da Capo name, but the rest of it fell short, leaving much to be desired.
8: Hayate no Gotoku!!: Atsu ga Natsuize – Mizugi-hen!
Japanese: ハヤテのごとく!! アツがナツいぜ 水着編!
MAL Score: 7.33
To encourage Nagi to swim and enjoy summer, Maria invites various friends to their Sanzenin family’s private beach. While everyone is having fun, Nagi hesitates to wear swimsuits and come out because of her small breasts, and refuses to join…
This OVA is considered to be episode 0 for the second season of Hayate no Gotoku!
Story: Being an OVA and preview of the second season you could expect nothing deep would happen. This was mostly a fanservice episode however it did manage to have some great funny moments and get a little serious for its climax. It wasnt spectacular but by all means it wasn’t bad.
Art: This is were most people are talking. Now that JC Staff is in charge of the show the animation has suffered a slight alteration from its first season. Some of the more loyal fans might find this change a little hard to get used to but I however thought the animation was not bad a all and was able to get used to it almost instantly. I dont doubt JC Staff’s animation department since I know they can do great animation.
Sound: Unchanged from season 1 so you know what to expect.
Character: The characters were always the best point in the anime, and there is no difference here either. All the characters that we know and love retain all their distinctive personalities makes this an enjoyable episode to watch.
Enjoyment: I repeat myself here….I liked it XD
Overall: Fanservice episode with good comedy. What else could a Hayate fan ask for? 😛 There is no reason you shouldn’t watch this if you liked the first season
Hayate no Gotoku OVA is a fanservice OVA (o rly?) for the Comedy/Romance anime Hayate no Gotoku, which is best known for its impossible-to-understand-all references and the beautiful and epic voices of Kugimiya Rie and Wakamoto Norio respectively. While seeming to be the obligatory beach episode, the viewers are sure to realize that this show is just mocking those generic episodes. The story doesn’t even try to be unique at all, and how that whole beach and the island can be owned by Sanzenin family is anybody’s guess. Going into a girl’s room while she’s changing, check. Getting stranded on an island, check. Team Rocket, …erm, SPs blasting off again, check. Isumi getting lost, check. The important thing is that the producers know how many clichés they have in this OVA, and uses those for their advantage in a rather successful attempt to make viewers laugh. The story overall, because it wasn’t all that different, got a 7 from me, which is what I would’ve give to the first season if I had reviewed it.
One thing you are sure to notice is the difference between the character designs between the first season and this OVA. Although you probably know it already, this is because it’s J.C. Staff animating this OVA (and the second season that’ll be following in April.) While it may take a few episodes for us to adapt to this drawing style, it surely won’t get in the way of those great parodies to come. Anyway, the drawing didn’t particularly bother me and will continue to be in the standards of a 2009 anime. Maria and Hinagiku-san are as lovely as ever, and have surely didn’t even lose a speck of their beauty. The animation seems even more light-hearted now, with the new choice of sharper coloring. Not trying to be awesome or the best in the world, the art is certain to be befitting and cute. 8/10.
When you talk of sound, you talk about two things, the BGM and the voice actors. Talking broadly, you wouldn’t even notice all the small background noises in a normal slice of life anime (slice of life meaning no action or supernatural thingies involved,) while you are sure to miss it if you ever decide to watch an anime silently. Hayate no Gotoku OVA, while bringing no new and unexpected additions to the BGM, it certainly does not allow you to miss the natural and the usual sound of a slice of life anime. Besides, anything too catchy or exciting would just kill the mood.
When we come to voice actors, that’s where Hayate no Gotoku excels. Two of my all time favourite seiyuu Wakamoto Norio and Kugimiya Rie filling in with their awesome voices, I was sure to like the voice acting, and I surely did. Tanaka Rie, with the voice acting of Maria-san, is always a nice addition to any anime. I am sure that there are other good talents in the show, but none of them seem to be as rememberable as those three. What I want would be a little more of Wakamoto Norio, but any more of the epicness that is his voice would be incomprehensible by any human being and could cause major disorders in the brain. 8/10
There was NO character development in the OVA, which is fine, considering it is just a reminder that HnG2 is coming at full speed in april. The characters, however, were already well developed from the past season. Other than introducing a new Sister-san, whom we anime watchers can not know anything about her at this point, nothing interesting about the characters happens. Then again, we get the re-introduction of all the characters from the original series, just in case of a memory disorder due to unknown reasons. You couldn’t have just forgotten Hayate no Gotoku, right? Right?!? *insert yandere pic here* Yeah, Nice Beach. 8/10
The main aspect, the selling point of this anime is, as 99% of you will agree, the comedy. Due to many references and Nagi-ojou-sama’s cute tsundere’ness, it is impossible to NOT enjoy this pillar of fabulous jokes. I, for one, am a sucker for heavy comedy anime, because my enjoyment from an anime usually comes from how much I laugh. If Wakamoto Norio’s opening sequence wasn’t enough to make you laugh out loud, I don’t know what will. Female viewers (or those who find it excessive) might be turned down from the fanservicey content of this OVA, but using that fact to generate more comedy is pure genius. As a healthy male who does not mind such services and jokes derived from it, the OVA really got me in enjoyment. 10/10
Summing things up, this OVA is an excellent re-introduction of the characters that you’ve surely not forgotten (!) with the usage of fanservice and parody. Serving as a bridge with the first and the second seasons, it is pretty normal for it to contain no character and story development and just better than average soundtrack. It is, however, an OVA that will bring a smile to your face when seeing the superman-esque Hayate, lovely Maria-san and cute Sanzenin Nagi ojou-sama again, accompanied by the famous voice actings (yeah, I worship them) of Wakamoto Norio and Kugimiya Rie. Satisfaction? Guaranteed! 8/10
7: Shakugan no Shana S
English: Shakugan no Shana S: OVA Series
MAL Score: 7.35
Find out what happens when Yuji accidentally triggers a found Treasure Tool while it’s pointed at Shana! Then, Yuji teams up with Wilhelmina to stalk their fiery friend—whose secrecy has become unsettling. Finally, in a two-part special, Shana tracks a Denizen’s trail by sorting through a Torch’s memories for clues. Her sleuth skills reveal a teenage girl’s heartwarming last days and a predator with a serious identity crisis!
This was made to give us Shana fans a nibble before we get thirds not to piss us off. It gives us alot of the humor that this story mold of body-swapping use (Yuji reaching towards his chest when he is in shana’s body was an inevitable moment the second they swapped bodies) and I think the “shana” feel behind it adds new life to the cliche plot.
Overall it was a great OVA in part 1 and am highly looking forward to the next 3 followed by the long awaited Shakugan no Shana III
Shakugan no Shana (Burning-Eyed Shana) also known simply as Shana are a Japanese light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi with illustrations by Noizi Ito. ASCII Media Works published 26 novels from November 2002 too November 2012 under there Dengeki Bunko imprint.
In fall of 2005 Shakguan No Shana received an anime adaptation and it spawning 3 seasons that aired in different years, 1 movie and a OVA called Shakugan no Shana S. It was produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Takashi Watanabe whom are also directed one of my favourite series called Slayers.
Now what do I think about Shakugan no Shana?
Well I first I hated the series but after a short while I decided too re-watch S1 as well as watching S2 and S3 for the first time and well.
Shakguan No Shana went from being one of most overrated anime series too one of my favourite series in a blink of a eye because it contains great action, a good love triangle a story that gets better as the series progresses, wonderful art/animation and the main theme that Shana presents.
So why are Shakugan No Shana so good you may ask? Well we are going too find out in the course of this review.
Hello Everyone Shawn/TheCodeTrigger and today I will be reviewing all three seasons of Shakugan no Shana and with out of the way lets us begin.
The story begins with Yuji whom are youre average boy whom just graduated into high school. One day as he was going home he comes across a scarlet sealed area where everyone except him are frozen in time and on top of that theyre’s monsters named Tomogara. On top of that the Tomogara are stealing souls from human body and now they are after Yuji soul. Hope are almost lost until a female flame haze comes in and save Yuji as well as defeating the Toomgara. After that the flame haze tells Yuki that he now a torch. A leftover of someone whom has already been eaten by the Tomogara. Usually that you will only have a few days too live at most before disappearing completely but inside Yuki he has a mysterious and unique item that are called Reiji Maigo which every day at midnight he gets his existence replenished. So together with the flame haze which Yuji named Shana they set off too fight Tomogara together too protect the city.
The first 2 seasons of Shakugan no Shana features a lot action, slice of life and a bit of romance which manages too blend well for the most part. I liked too romance and slice bits of the show because they are well in my opinion and they give character development too most characters in like before Shana was just cold hearted tsundere but thanks too slice of life elements she becomes more humane character instead of being that rough main character. The action was just wonderful of J.C staff because theyre were well directed and the fights can get really intents at times.
Now I have too admit the first half of S2 are easily the weakest of the trilogy. It’s not bad by any means but compare too everything else in the trilogy it stick out like a sour thumb of being meh. Unlike most people I actually like the first half because I got too see the great character interactions with each other while they do bunch of slice of life stuff. Then again we have the love triangle hat shouldn’t really happen at all and the one whom brought this love triangle are the character that I hate the most. We get too her later.
The second half of S2 in my opinion are the best of the trilogy because J.C staff managed too show the potenal of series perfectly by giving us great villains, Yuji finally becomes a great male lead and he finally got real character development.
The only problems that I had with the first two seasons are the second villains of S1 which had some messed up insets with each other and the one girl which I will mention in the character section.
Shana S are just more Shana fun for the most part.
The first 2 episode are filler but highly enjoyable filler because of the character interactions were spot on.
The last two episodes are heavily character driven because they explore Shana as a character before she met Yuji. Plus those 2 episodes don’t have any action.
Finally we have Shana final.
This was the season where Shana fans were heavily divided.
I seen people whom Shana final was the shit or people whom thought Shana Final was the worst thing that J.C staff has ever done.
Where do I stand on this? I liked but at the same time I thought it was kinda rushed.
I can see why people hate this because that made that set character into a villain ruining the character development that they had with that set character but for me I found set character becoming a villain was a good move because in my opinion its adds more too the show.
Compare too Shana S1 and S2 Shana final are more action pack and very emotional too the eyes.
The ending of Shana final was good in my opinion because it closes the series in a great way.
The only real complaints that I had with Shana final are not Yuji becoming a different person but are almost all of the new characters that appear in Shana final hardly get any character development whatsoever and it’s really a shame because I liked some of this new characters but they hardly get any back-story or mutations’ of why they taking part of the war.
Besides that I liked Shana Final.
One more that I like too mention are the theme of Shana. You see Shakguan No Shana deals with the theme evolution and the show manages too portray that theme properly because throughout the series you will see characters constantly evolving too become better people.
Overall I really like the story of all seasons of Shakugan no Shana.
The characters of Shakgan no Shana start off generic but as the series progresses they all evolve too great characters.
I first hated Yuji because he stared off a generic protagonist but over the course the series I found him too a well written male lead because he well developed and actually has a personally unlike most generic male leads.
One more thing I will mention Yuji becomes a different person on Shana III and the things he does in Shana are just mind blowing.
Overall Yuji was a good character in my eyes.
Shana are a really good character in my opinion.
Sure she starts off as a rough tsundere but as the series progresses she becomes more of a humane character that can fit with her peers really well. Also by the time you get too Shana final her signs of her Tsunderism are completely gone and she finally evolve too become a light hearted badass whom loves Yuji.
This are how you write a tsundere guys.
Overall I adore Shana.
The rest of the characters are also good for the most part for example I really like the other characters ranging from the badass and mother figure too Shana Wilhelmina, the comic relief and also badass Margery, the rough but chilled Keisaku too the emotionless villain Hecate. In almost any show that I liked theyre are always that one or two character that I don’t like. In Shana case that character are Yoshida. She are a definition of a bad character because not only she’s annoying but she messes up the relationship of Shana and Yuji by adding a unnecessarily love triangle in the first half of S2. I don’t fully hate her as much as other people do but I she was that character that I heavily dislike.
Also I like too mention that some of the villains in S1 were not great they are .Not offensively bad like Yoshida but compare too the villains in the second season and final they are rather forgettable.
Overall besides from Yoshida this character cast was great.
Like with the characters the art/animation continuously evolves as the series progress.
The art style of the first half of S1 feels kinda generic and outdated in a lot of areas but the second half of S1 the art/animation general improves for the better. Shana Final has some of the best art/animation I seen from a J.C Staff because you can clearly tell that they really effort on the characters designs too the backgrounds of the locations.
Not too mention Shana hair on S3 are beautifully animated.
Overall the art/animation are really good.
The OST of Shana are just wonderful listen because it has both the action and romance music that are very memorable plus the show knows too use appropriate songs on each scene.
By the time of this review the Shakugan no Shana OST are one of my favourite OSTs in anime.
All of the openings were good but noting can top Shana III Final opening 1 Light My Fire” by KOTOKO because it’s sounds legendary and it’s more hype for the show. Not too mention it’s one of my favourite anime openings of all time.
The endings are good but nowhere near as good as the openings in my opinion. The only endings themes that I adore are Shana 2 Ending 2 Sociometry” by KOTOKO and Shana 3 Final Ending 1 I’ll believe” by ALTIMA.
Now I only have seen Shakugan no Shana dubbed and I thought it was great dub.
Unlike Familiar of Zero you can tell they put effort of the dub because the voice acting for almost all of the characters were great. Unlike Slayers where two voice actors have too be changed as that series progresses everyone character a new voice actor in by the beginning of Shana Second. I personally enjoyed the new voice actors because I think they did a good job with the roles.
Overall the OST was just masterpiece. The openings, endings and the dub was great.
I really enjoyed the story from the action pack S1, the clam slice of life first half of S2, the more interesting second half of S2 too the wonderful war setting that are Shana 3 final because each season are very different from each other’s and its works really well in my opinion.
I personally enjoyed all of the seasons because of the character cast evolving every season too become better like for example I use too wrote off Yuji are a generic MC but after seeing Final he became a better and more interesting character.
Same goes with Shana because I was worried that Shana will became a another Lousie from The Familiar of Zero but in the end not only she’s a well written tsundere with amazing character development she’s one of the best female leads I have ever seen in a long while.
Shakguan no Shana has been a wonderful ride for me.
It’s a great story that gets better written as the series progresses, the charterers are great and fun too watch, the art/animation just wonderful especially in S3 the ost are amazing and easily one of my favourite anime OST and the dub are great.
Shakugan no Shana has currently maintain a spot in my top 20 favorite anime series.
It’s a much watch anyone whom are looking for a fast pace action anime with some good slice of life bits.
I give Shakugan No Shana this presenting scores for each season below.
Shana S 9/10
My overall score a 9/10 (This series has been one hell of a fun and romantic ride)
My Anime Recommendations
Slayers (for more Takashi Watanabe greatness)
Kaze no Stigma
Anyway this was TheCodeTrigger and I will see you guys next time.
Summary: The 1st and 2nd episodes of the OVA are mildly interesting filler that you could skip without missing much. The 3rd and 4th episodes, on the other hand, are VERY powerful. They give some back story to Shana right before she meets Yuuji and serves as a great and emotional reminder about what it means to become a torch and disappear. These 2 episodes are mostly emotional and character driven and have little to no action. I highly suggest watching it!
I found these to be quite enjoyable and a bit more than filler because they taught Shana a valuable lesson about the relationship between mother and daughter, about family in general, and especially about adolescent romance. I really like how the first episode starts with Shana killing the torch (typical to a standard episode) and then going back through her past and figuring out what happened to her. This approach allowed for a build up of emotion as she got to know the torch and ended with the touching scene between Shana and the torches mother. I also liked how the second episode went into the details of the torches’ relationship with her new boyfriend. The approach of slowly building up her final few days after she is already dead again proves to be very effective (for example finding out the bracelet she likes so much was a gift from her new boyfriend and that the reason she fought with her mother is she caught them kissing in the park.)
One thing that isn’t completely clear until the end of the second episode is that this is a flashback and that Shana is basically just about to approach the town where Yuuji lives. It is ironic how Alastor wonders if she will one day find a human who can interact with her and she replies that it would be troublesome… if only she knew, haha. This episode (similar to the 1st few episodes in season 1) deals with the loss of human life, becoming a torch and disappearing. It is interesting how the show basically drops this concept, instead worrying about the relationships between the main characters. It is refreshing to get a reminder than all of the people who are devoured cease to exist and their loved ones and families will forget them… it really brings home what everyone is fighting for.
6: Mahou Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
Japanese: 魔法先生ネギま！～白き翼 ALA ALBA～
MAL Score: 7.44
OVA episodes that are bundled with the limited edition of the manga volumes 23-25. First episode to cover chapters 176 and 177 of the manga. Second episode to cover chapters 178-180. And third episode to cover chapters 182 and 183.
I won’t even talk about the two OVAs, Haru and Natsu….
Upon hearing of the third iteration of the series, Mahou Sensei Negima: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba, it seemed that hope was not lost for a decent animated version, especially as the story was supposed to follow events from certain chapters of the manga.
Unfortunately that hope was in vain.
The main problem with this OVA is that even though the story is pretty much the chapters from the manga in animated form, it’s not really designed to appeal to anyone but fans of the manga. This is, unfortunately, a poor move as the OVA doesn’t actually enhance the story or develop the characters in any meaningful way, and is little more than eye candy for the existing fans of the manga.
That said, the Ala Alba iis a very good adaptation of the chapters it covers. It’s so good in fact, that the viewer would be able to watch the OVA and skip the relevant chapters, and they wouldn’t miss a bit of the story. As adaptations go, this is up there with the most complete. The biggest problem with it is that it won’t appeal to newcomers to the series, or to those who have only watched the anime versions, as the story is taken from the middle of the manga so there’s no real explanation about events or characters.
As far as animation and design goes, this is actually very well made. The characters, backgrounds and settings are taken directly from the manga, with only a minor alteration here and there. The animation is fluid and the visual effects are well used. However, like the notorious Negima!? and the OVAs, this is a SHAFT production, and whilst they may be a great animation studio, they do have a tendency to do some rather odd things with animation at times. Their penchant for this rears it’s super deformed head in this OVA on several occasions and, more often that not, it serves as a distraction rather than an enhancement.
In terms of sound, the OVA will definitely appeal to fans of both anime series. The OP is a new rendition of the notoriously boppy “Happy Material”, whilst the ED is a slightly more martial take on “Kagayaku Kimi e”. The music used throughout the series has a decidedly upbeat tone which, given the lack of any truly serious events in this section of the story, isn’t a bad choice on the whole. The sound effects are atmospheric and well choregraphed, with the most impressive being the distorted vocals when a spell is being chanted, which is then overlayed by the characters voice. The effect is rather surreal at times.
The biggest plus for the OVA is that the gang is all here. The various (and numerous), seiyuu from both anime series, and the Haru and Natsu OVAs, are all gathered together once more.
One interesting thing that arises because of this though, is how a different look and feel can affect how one hears things. This is especially true for those who have watched either, or both, of the other two series. The characters, as a whole, have become more, or less, likeable in the OVA, although I should point out that this is in terms of individual characters and not as a group. Given that each character is played by the same seiyuu, and is essentially doing the same things and behaving in the same manner as before, I found this changed perception gave the OVA a slightly odd feel compared to the other efforts.
Negima is notorious for having oodles of characters however this OVA, being simply an animated form of certain chapters, doesn’t really have the scope to develop them in any meaningful way. One thing that does get highlighted is the disparity in terms of “power” between the girls that have contracts with Negi, and those that don’t. Aside from that though, there isn’t really anything else.
I did actually enjoy Ala Alba, as it made a nice change to see what the anime adaptations could have been like if they’d followed the manga. However, this is an OVA that will only really appeal to fans of the manga, although fans of either anime series who have yet to read the manga may want to check it out as it will give a taste of that version.
On the whole, it’s not a bad OVA, and it does have some plusses going for it, especially how closely it follows the manga. That said, I would have preferred to see something that added to the overall story rather than a glorified version of chapters I’ve already read.
I honestly had chills running down my spine the whole time.
After the disappointing first animated series (which forgot that it was shonen, minimizing or directly ignoring important fights and characters to the plot, only leaving the harem part of the original work), after a weird (to say at least) second anime, and after two OVAS that were loosely based in some manga chapters, in 2008 we finally got a high quality and faithful Negima adaptation (to some chapters, at least).
Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba is a three part OVA series that adapts from the end of the Mahora tournament until the preparations for the trip to Wales. With that last sentence, most of you probably understand that this wasn’t thought for the big audience: the plot of this OVAS starts in chapter 176 of the manga, while the first anime adapts (again, loosely) only as far as chapter 53. This was made specifically for Negima fans that read the manga, so, if you, person reading this review, aren’t one of those, you can stop reading now. Or don’t, do as you please.
Story: When the Mahora Festival ends, Negi Springfield thinks is time to get serious about that searching dad thing, so, after a talk with Albireo Ima, he decides to go to Wales, where the door to Mundus Magicus is supposed to be. But first thing first: under Eva’s guardianship, Ala Alba (the White Wings, a subtle tribute to Negi’s father team, the Crimson Wings), was born: a special school club with one objective: find Nagi Springfield.
Besides Negi, the new team consists of his seven partners (Asuna, Nodoka, Setsuna, Konoka, Haruna, Yue and Chisame), Ku Fei, Kaede, Asukura (with Sayo), Chachamaru and Kotaro (yes people: after four animated adaptations, the other man in the good guys side make his debut). This elite group is ready to train their asses to become stronger, and accomplish their objective. Unfortunately, Ayaka and the rest of the 3-A girls will discover their plans, and will want to join the journey…
Animation: The quality of these OVA is outstanding. Or maybe is just very good, and it looks amazing only when comparing with the first anime. The landscapes are very pretty, clear and bright (is very noticeable, because most of the action takes place in a beach and in Eva resort), and most important, the character design is faithful to the manga (closest to Negima!? than Mahou Sensei Negima), which means Chisame won’t screw the rules cause she have green hair (somebody understand the reference? xD), no more chocolate for Chamo, and other stuff.
As for magic, there aren’t many fights (these chapters are rather preparation for what is coming), but all the powers used are well made and flashy, especially in the first match of the first episode, and Eva ice powers.
And since this is a close adaptation of the manga, there’s fan service every now and then (but not as much as the first manga chapters).
Sound: The opening of the first anime, Happy Material, is back, less upbeat but more calm (not only is the opening, is the ending of the third chapter). The ending is also the one of Mahou Sensei Negima, Kagayaku Kimi e, and again, this version is a little more serene than the original. All the seiyuus of the first and second series are here, plus Marina Inoue as Kotaro (you may know her as Yoko in Gurren Lagan, or Rei in Highschool of the Dead). They all do a great job (they’re all good seiyuus, after all, they sing their own opening and ending), although the intonation of some is a bit weird, especially Mana (which, frankly, scares) and Asakura.
Verdict: this OVAs are, simply put, the best thing animated with the Negima name (until now at least… I think we all have hopes in the movie), only because is loyal to the original source. That means good drawing (it crush the first anime in this apartment) and good characterization (no weird poems by Zazie nor Yuna playing with tanks, or whatever). This is so faithful, that, unfortunately, only the manga followers (and I really mean followers… the ending has random images of chapters as advanced as 287!) will understand it, cause it start in a very arbitrary point.
That’s a shame, cause, even is this isn’t the more action oriented part of the story, it has lots of humor, and is really funny.
But, like I say: this is very recommendable for persons who read the manga and are dying for something animated. And the continuations are very good too: Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai y Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai Extra: Mahou Shoujo Yue.
… And if for some reason you read this review without having read the manga, I strongly recommend you to read it. It’s one of the best mangas going around right now.
Después de una decepcionante primer serie animada (que se olvido por completo que era un shonen, minimizando o directamente ignorando las peleas que eran relevantes a la trama), de una segunda serie… bastante extraña, y de dos OVAs ligeramente basados en algunos hechos del manga, en el 2008, finalmente, se realizaron trabajos de calidad que adaptaban fielmente la historia de Mahou Sensei Negima… o al menos, una parte. Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba es una tanda de 3 OVAs que abarca desde el final del torneo de Mahora, hasta los preparativos del viaje a Gales. Con esta ultima oración ya abran notado que esto no está apuntado a un público masivo: la trama de estos OVAs arranca desde el capítulo 176 del manga, mientras que el primer anime adapta (de forma bastante libre y salteándose varias cosas importantes) hasta el capitulo 53. Esto está hecho específicamente para los fans de Negima que leyeron el manga, así que si usted, lector, no lo hizo, puede dejar de leer ahora mismo. O no, haga lo que quiera.
Historia: Finalizado el torneo de Mahora, Negi Springfield piensa que es momento de tomarse en serio esto de buscar a su padre, por lo que después de hablar con Albireo Ima, decide ir a Gales, donde se encuentra la puerta al mundo mágico. Pero primero lo primero: bajo la tutela de Eva, se forma Ala Alba (las Alas Blancas, en honor al grupo del padre de Negi, las Alas Carmesi), un club escolar especialmente dedicado a asistir a Negi en su búsqueda. Además de sus siete parejas (o Partners, o como sea que ustedes lo hayan leído), están Ku Fei, Kaede, Asakura (con Sayo), Chachamaru y Kotaro (si señores: después de cuatro adaptaciones animadas, finalmente hace su debut el otro hombre importante del grupo de los buenos), todo un equipo de elite dispuesto a entrenar hasta el cansancio para hacerse más fuertes y lograr su objetivo. Por desgracia, Ayaka y el resto de las chicas del 3-A van a descubrir sus planes, y van a querer sumarse al viaje…
Animación: la calidad de estos OVAs es espectacular. O tal vez sea solo muy buena, y solo resalta mucho por comparársela con el primer anime. Los paisajes son muy bonitos y brillantes (lo que se nota mucho, porque la acción transcurre en una playa y en la casa de Eva), y lo más importante de todo, el diseño de personajes es ahora como el del manga (mucho más cercano al de Negima!? que al de Mahou Sensei Negima), lo que significa, no mas pelo verde para Chisame, no mas chocolate para Chamo, y otras cosas. En cuanto a la magia, si bien no hay muchas peleas (estos capítulos son más bien preparatorios para lo que se viene), todos los poderes usados están bien hechos y son muy vistosos, especialmente en el duelo del principio del primer capítulo, y los poderes de hielo de Eva.
Y como esto es una adaptación híper fiel al manga, hay fan service aquí y allá (aunque no tanto como en los primeros capítulos del manga).
Sonido: Happy Material, el opening del primer anime, vuelve a estar presente (como opening y como ending del tercer capítulo), ligeramente más tranquilo. El ending también es el de Mahou Sensei Negima, Kagayaku Kimi e, y de nuevo, esta ligeramente modificado para sonar más despacio. Todas las seiyuus de las primeras series están presentes, y se incorpora Marina Inoue como Kotaro (Yoko en Gurren Lagan, Rei en Highschool of the Dead). Todas hacen un muy buen trabajo (son buenas seiyuus, después de todo, cantan sus propios openings y endings), aunque la entonación de alguna suena medio rara, como la de Mana y Asakura.
Veredicto: Lisa y llanamente, estas OVAs (y sus continuaciones) son lo mejor que hay animado de Negima, (al menos hasta ahora… creo que todos tenemos muchas esperanzas respecto a la película), solo por ser fiel al trabajo original. Lo que significa buen dibujo (aplasta al primer anime en este aspecto) y personajes bien caracterizados (nada de los poemas raros de Zazie, o Yuna jugando con tanques). Es tan fiel que, desafortunadamente, solo podrán entenderlo los seguidores del manga (muy seguidores del manga… el ending tiene imágenes de capítulos tan avanzados como el 287!), debido al momento arbitrario en el que arranca (además de que los hechos, a veces, saltan muy rápido de uno a otro, pudiendo dejar confuso incluso al publico que leyó el manga). Esto es una lástima, porque, a pesar de una vez más animar una parte en la que no hay mucha acción, si hay mucho humor, y realmente es muy divertido.
Lo dicho: MUY recomendable para las personas que leyeron el manga de Negima, y se mueren por ver algo animado. También son recomendables sus continuaciones: Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai y Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai Extra: Mahou Shoujo Yue.
… y si por alguna razón leyeron esta review sin haber leído el manga, recomiendo vehementemente que lo lean. Es de lo mejor que hay dando vueltas en estos momentos.
5: Nodame Cantabile OVA
Japanese: のだめカンタービレ OVA
MAL Score: 7.46
Yukihisa Matsuda, principal conductor of the Rising Star Orchestra, arrives in Paris to perform Wagner’s Tannh?user Overture as a guest conductor for the Recyl Symphony Orchestra. When Matsuda overhears the orchestra members praising Shinichi Chiaki, the budding Japanese conductor of the Roux-Marlet Orchestra, he can barely contain his contempt at there being another “Black-Haired Noble” in the same city. Freshly dumped by his mistress following the performance, Matsuda catches Chiaki and takes him out to drink under the pretense of discussing career. But much to Chiaki’s chagrin, the subject soon turns to Chiaki’s own special someone.
The upside is that this is an entertaining side story, retaining a lot of the quirky humour and much of the feel of the series. The downside is that the main focus Matsuda who, in addition to not having appeared in the franchise previously and making me wonder “who the heck is he?!”, is a character that simply can’t match the charm exhibited by the majority of the regular cast of the series. Rather than a side story about Matsuda, I’d rather have seen a side story about Nodame or Chiaki, or Mine, or Kuroki, or just about any other more established members of the cast. As it is, there’s a certain emotional detachment about watching this feeble Matsuda guy for the measely 25 minutes he’s in for the entirety of the franchise.
Still, at the end of the day, it’s an enjoyable if not spectacular standalone episode of the franchise, and it’s certainly a lot better than that 10 min DVD special for the first season. But I doubt I’ll be revisiting this when I’m rewatching the franchise…
4: Toradora! Recap
Japanese: とらドラ ポータブル!
MAL Score: 7.47
Recap OVA of the Toradora series included as a bonus with limited edition of Choudokyuu Premium Box release of PSP game Toradora! Portable.
I’ve only watched this without subs, and it seemed like a good recap episode even though I couldn’t understand it. It was mostly clips from previous episodes and the ending was Kawashima’s impressions from when she stayed at Taiga’s house during the stalker arc.
The unsubbed version is pretty hard to find since it only comes with the Toradora portable visual novel, and no fansub groups are planning on subbing this, so I doubt a subbed version will come out soon.
Having not seen the parent show in a long time, this was definitely a refresher to the series although it didn’t cover up the very last portion of the show and stopped somewhere at the Chrismas.
The only issue with this is the lack of English subs if there are any at all.
3: Seto no Hanayome OVA
English: Seto no Hanayome OVA
Japanese: 瀬戸の花嫁 OVA
MAL Score: 7.86
The Seto no Hanayome OVAs are new stand alone shorts with characters from the series and also two new ones. It is now the third year of school, San and Luna’s dads are still being over protective. All the while Nagasumi has his hands full trying to keep everyone around him under control and rescuing damsels in distress.
Seto no Hanayome fans should be pleased with the recent OVA. From the familiar comedy/parody that it is well praised for, to the unexpected heart-stopping horror, AIC and GONZO deliver one of the best OVA of the season. For new Seto no Hanayome fans, feel free to check out my review on the TV series if you are unsure about whether you should watch it or not.
The OVA consists of 4 mini-stories about 15 minutes each. Most of these stories are very humourous and entertaining (albeit a bit all-over-the-place at times), but what is rather lacking is the characters development. In fact, you will be disappointed if you are looking for some romance between Nagasumi and San. In short, most of the relationships between all characters stayed roughly the same since the end of the TV series. This means Luna Papa-san is still trying to bring happiness to his daughter through some ridiculous methods, Gouzaburou is still beating the sh!t out of Nagasumi whenever possible, Nagasumi is still a slave to Luna, and you get the point.
The introduction of the new character Satori (monkey Hideyoshi’s younger sister), was not really well done. While no one expected her to be main star for the show, many of us actually expected something more from her (and perhaps give her more screen time and elaborate on her relation with her brother).
As for sound and animation, both are very well executed especially the OP for both episodes. In particular, I personally find the 2nd OP “Tenshi Ranman Love Power” really addictive. To suit the whacky nature of this show, the animation technique used throughout each mini-story differs slightly from time to time and it is always done in such a way as to maximize the atmosphere to get the viewers to the right “mood”. This is extremely true when one compare the previous mini-stories with the last story in the OVA.
Overall, Seto no Hanayome OVA (Jin + Gi) met the level of expectation from fans and it is without a doubt that it’ll worth your one hour of time watching it.
There isn’t much of a story but this was originally an outrageous Parody, Romantic, Comedy so it doesn’t matter as the main plot remains the same. Each episode is basically split up into two scenarios; where it starts off by quickly setting the scene and all you have to do is sit back relax and see how it all plays out. The first scenario is as follows: it’s the beginning of a new school semester and Nagasumi is forced to move to a class of delinquent students, then we have a date to the movies scenario, followed by a maid café one and to close matters with a horror story. These scenarios may seem pretty ordinary for your average anime but this is Seto no Hanayome, so you can expect an outrageous, original, experience from this short OVA.
The outrageous part stems from the characters and surprisingly all the characters make an appearance at some point, never forgetting to show their usual quirks. There are also two new characters that make an appearance in this OVA but don’t expect any character development, since that was never this series’ strong point.
Although just as you’d expect from an OVA, the production values are quite high. It has the same colourful, comical, designs that made this series so funny but anyone can tell that a lot of effort has been pumped into the outrageous moments and various parodies. The music is also nicely done; with a catchy OP and ED theme for each episode on the other hand the soundtrack is pretty much the same deal.
Overall Seto no Hanayome is one of the few awesome TV series that managed to spawn an OVA that just as awesome. Even though it lacks any form of development and common sense, the fast-paced comedy is what makes up for it and also makes this the most enjoyable OVA I’ve seen in a long time.
It’s not often that an anime comes along and really blows you away the way Mermaid did for me in the comedy department. It’s even LESS common for there to be OVAs for a great series and they add something meaningful or retain the same quality of the original. This is where Mermaid again proves that it’s one of the most hilarious, savvy productions out there.
Artwork and Animation: 10
It’s hard for me to rate this a 10, because it really should be 11. The original Mermaid covered a ton of art forms in its parody and spoof elements, and it’s alive and well in the OVA- more pop culture references and other popular anime looks. This time though, the animation got even ‘sharper’! One can tell just from the opening that a great amount of attention to detail was paid to these little extras, which is refreshing for in what most other series would be an afterthought. It’s silky smooth, more colorful than ever, and greatly fleshed out.
Sounds and Voice Acting: 8
Unfortunately, the OVA was never licensed, and so didn’t receive the awesome dub attention that the main series got, but nevertheless, it’s still very effective in conjuring up laughter from the craziness. Lunar and Chimp are probably the biggest standouts in Japanese audio.
Same players, slightly different game. There are two new characters introduced- Saturn- who is one creepy, insane chick. To say more would be spoiling it, but suffice to say that she leaves her mark on Lunar and Nagasumi in a somewhat creepy, but hilarious spoof on the horror genre. The other new character is Chimp’s little sister, Satori- a fiendish little brat who has a thing for “bad boys”.
Given the short nature of the OVAs, (1 hour of total content, but divided up into 4 chapters, or 13 minute episodes) the stories don’t build on each other, but upon the series as a whole. They take place one year after the close of Mermaid season 1, and is the chaos of Nagasumi’s life ever funnier! As I said before, it’s rare that an OVA adds anything meaningful, but we get to see how things are going beyond the close of the original series, with some fun little short episodes that have nearly as much comedy and as many references as a full episode in the original.
In my opinion, the first episode of the first OVA was the best- with an utterly bonkers takeoff of Battle Royale (known to most as the Hunger Games) where Nagasumi is put in a new homeroom for delinquents run by Shark Fujishiro, who organizes a fight to the death amongst them. Nagasumi of course ends up with a garbage weapon and has to fight The Emperor, a middle school student straight out of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure who’s at least 30 years old.
Elsewhere, there’s a new transfer student in Gozaburo Seto’s class… LUNAR PAPA! Yes, he’s still wearing the sailor uniform, and yes, he still kicks a lot of ass.
Enjoyment and Overall: 9
Mermaid is still funny as ever, and some other characters get a little bit of the spotlight in these, particularly Akeno. If you’re looking for another taste of My Bride is a Mermaid after finishing the main show- this is a very worthy bonus!
2: Ookami to Koushinryou II: Ookami to Kohakuiro no Yuuutsu
Japanese: 狼と香辛料II 狼と琥珀色の憂鬱
MAL Score: 7.89
Traveling merchant Kraft Lawrence and wolf deity Holo sit down to have dinner with Norah Arendt, a young shepherdess who helped them smuggle gold. Holo’s dislike of Norah—due to both the latter’s profession and her closeness with Lawrence—prevents her from enjoying her meal.
When Holo falls ill from fatigue, she is cared for by Lawrence, who frets over the health of his dear companion. As she regains her strength, Holo reminisces about the adventures they had together.
Wow, talk about a foreshadowing episode for the upcoming new season of Spice and Wolf. For a “re-introduction” OVA, this short ~22 minute clip is very well made. Not only did it manage to include a fairly detailed introduction to the main characters of the series, but it also let us experience once again the life as a merchant through the usual exchange of dialogues between the characters.
One of the first thing most of us who have seen the first season will be concerned about is the animation. If you still don’t know, this OVA and the upcoming season of Spice and Wolf is produced by Brains Base as oppose to IMAGIN which did the first season. For the most part, one can safely say Brains Base did a great job in taking over the series. While there are obviously some dissimilarities, especially with regards to Horo, overall you should not have trouble getting use to it.
Another concern you may have is with the plot. Will it jump to a random timeline and ignore all the major events that took place in the first season or will it continue precisely from where season one left off? Thankfully it is the latter case … but with a twist. Although it is certain that the unusual merchant adventures will continue for our stars, this OVA (aka chapter 0) gives us plenty of clues that inter-character relations will play a much more significant role in the future. Given how much the pair of protagonists has gone through in the first season already, it should not be strange for the story to steer toward that direction for a change.
Character-wise, as stated earlier, viewers have a brief but valuable first glimpse at our protagonists in this short OVA. Unlike the first season where everything is carried through dialogues, this time we see more “inner” character development (I call it “self realization”) via dreams or flashbacks. This new approach to reintroduce the characters is great in many ways. First off, it will not scare away new viewers with all the wordy exchange of dialogues. Secondly, it is also much more effective in reminding old viewers what type of characters they are and what their current mindset is like, thus preparing us for the upcoming new season. If there is one thing worth complaining about, it is probably with the sudden outburst of the “hidden” feelings between our protagonists. In particular, Horo’s reaction toward Lawrence became extremely evident and her jealousy is also highly entertaining.
Other than the three major factors mentioned above, everything else remain largely the same as the previous season, that includes the music, seiyu roles, et cetera. Fans who wish to see more Horo x Lawrence romance relations will certainly be happy with the OVA. Overall, this is a wonderfully made OVA that serves its purpose well to lead us to the new (and hopefully better) second season.
Story for this OVA is pretty simple. Shortly: we got to see Lawrence nursing Horo who got ill of fatigue caused by harsh events from previous season. Of course everything with addition of their usual quarrels, teasing each other, humor and curtness of our Wolf Sage. But this is not all. In fever Horo is dreaming about her past, her homeland and also about Lawrence and traveling with him. Seeing her dreams gives a short but meaningful glimpse at her feelings.
As easily to predict considering studio change animation and also character design is slightly different from the first season. At first glance looks like Brains Base tried to keep this OVA similar to the previous season but of course it’s not possible. Differences like “camera work” or characters appearance might not be very significant but still easy to notice. Personally I prefer work done by studio IMAGIN.
But there is also a good information. Music remained the same as in first season which helps to maintain its unique climate.
As for characters their semblance isn’t the only thing which changed. Watching this OVA I’ve been feeling that sometimes they act out of character. Lawrence wasn’t his usual self and Horo was oversensitive.
Producing sequel to a successful series with a different studio and staff is a bad idea. It usually results in either inferior series or a total failure with Minami-ke as example. Luckily Ookami to Koshinryou II OVA is only just inferior but still acceptable and enjoyable. As a huge fan of Wolf and Spice I can’t help but feel a little bit disappointed with those unnecessary changes but on the other hand relived that it’s not as bad as it could be.
Overall: Feast for fellow Horotics. I’m sure that even if somebody is highly displeased with different animation and character design it’s nothing compared to love for this show and Horo the Wise ;]
Animation quality was almost unchanged from the TV series considering that this is an OVA. It’s still Spice and Wolf.
It was an enjoyable watch so I gave it a good rating.
1: Tsubasa: Shunraiki
English: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE: Spring Thunder Chronicle
Japanese: ツバサ 春雷記
MAL Score: 8.12
A 4 part OVA released with the limited editions of the Tsubasa and xxxHOLiC volumes.
There are two OVAs for each series, with plots linked together.
They cover the Nihon Country Arc and scarcely some of the Celes Country Arc.
(Source: Official Project Website)
+ Very close adaptation of the original material
+ The actual plot is very interesting and complex
+ Plot twists are sure to surprise some viewers
+ Finally we get xxxHOLiC/Tsubasa connections
– If you’ve only watched the anime versions of Tsubasa (including Tokyo Revelations) you WILL NOT understand the plot fully.
– Manga knowledge is absolutely necessary to understand what is happening.
– Celes and Infinity arcs were never animated (the ones who continue after Tokyo), further emphasizing my previous point.
+ CLAMP style art (if you like it)
+ Production I.G delivers fantastic and fluid animation even during fight scenes
– CLAMP style art (if you hate it)
+ Kajiura Yuki delivers once again
+ a blend of new and old songs makes this very pleasing to listen
+ Great job to all the seiyuus specially Irino Miyo for his Syaoran
– I can’t think of anything (sorry)
+ Great level of character development
+ All the characters are very likeable
– Fai and Kurogane fans might be let down by the lack of involvement of the two during this OVA as they spend most of their time as observers.
Enjoyment: I can say this easily, this 2 episode OVA was absolutely fantastic and I really hoped this would last longer. This was one of my favourite parts of the manga and im glad at how well production I.G has handled it once again. This OVA makes my current top 5 for now. How I wish we could just get a third anime season by I.G ;_;
Overall Tsubasa Shunraiki can be fantastic or annoying depending on how you look at it. As a stand alone OVA adaptation of the manga, it is absolutely perfect. If you try to look at it as a continuation of the series, then unfortunately it is almost a prerequisite to have read the manga to enjoy this fully. If you are a fan of the manga then I guarantee you will not be let down by this, if you have only experience Tsubasa as an anime then I would STRONGLY suggest you read it before trying to watch this, it would greatly decrease the enjoyment factor.
:::The artwork is precise and even if there are only two episodes, you can see the difference in it between the two seasons of Tsubasa Chronicle and the OVAs.
:::The soundtrack is awesome as always and the op and the ending are very nice.
:::The characters are the same for all of you who have watched Tsubasa, but /especially if you are reading the manga/ you can see them more serious and everyone of them with his personal story in the shadows.
:::So I think that this OVAs are one of the best CLAMPs works and you will enjoy them even if you aren’t reading the manga and can’t understand the plot very well [=
With the announcement of Spring Thunder it was no surprise the various CLAMP fanatics began jumping for joy and same with some of the fans such as me. Now after watching both episodes, I have to say, this was a real let down.
Tsubasa Spring Thunder is the bad example of what happens when the original creator of the source material comes to write in the adaption. Nanase Ohkawa (aka Ageha Ohkawa) the principal writer of CLAMP, whom I’ve found to have exceptional screenwriting talent handled this script for this as well as “Tokyo”, having taken over from the TV series writer Hiroyuki Kawasaki. Ohkawa crafted Tokyo so well, I would have handed her the Academy Award for Best Screenwriting of the year. In the case of Spring Thunder I would easily hand her a Razzie award for the Worst.
Ohkawa proves that she and her fellow CLAMP mates are too married to their story that all they can do is tell an animated version of their manga, basically wasting everyone elses time. Spring Thunder proves to be nothing more than a carrot for the loyal fans who have kept reading through the years while basically saying “piss off” to those who have only followed the anime installments. Having only partially read the manga I was beyond confused. As Spring Thunder doesn’t immediately pick up where Tokyo left off.
Production I.G’s motto is, ” to make anime that stands on its own ground without being an extension of manga.” And to me I.G completely threw that motto out the window. The film is cluttered with to many flashbacks to events we haven’t seen and likely never will, and it only leaves the viewer with a real sense of emptiness and endless plotholes that they won’t be able to fill unless they claw their way through god knows how many books there are now. At the very least Ohkawa was still able to make a somewhat-coherent screen story that I could follow at the very least. Still most of the time I was hopelessly lost with no hope of ever returning. It seems the plot of Tsubasa has dissolved to a very epic and thoroughly thought out quest to just mind-bending improv from CLAMP.
Equally disappointing was Shunsuke Tada’s direction. Tada used way to many cuts and hardly got creative, except with the action scenes. Too often than not we are cut into long and pointless exposition scenes that some of us really just don’t care about. I found my self fast forwarding through this more than on the edge of my seat with anticipation of what the next scene holds. And of course Tada follow the old animation creed of “animation first, music second.” Yuki Kajiura’s score is ridiculously forced into the background to the point you even wonder if there is any. Rather than use music to heighten the scene and emotion, Tada makes it feel like it’s just playing on a radio, as basic white noise. I said this in my review for Tokyo, that the use of music is the thing I find much more appealing about Koichi Mashimo at Bee Train compared to anyone else, and this only proves my point. On the one plus side was he finally decided to use more variety of pieces from the Tsubasa OST archives than he did in Tokyo and we were able to get a few new pieces from Yuki, who is understandably busy with a variety of projects.
Yoko Kikuchi character designs while not dreadful aren’t exactly appealing. That being said I do prefer Bee Train’s designer Minako Shiba. The art style is a slab of strangely clashing color pallets dull pastel colors mixed in with dark blacks. It’s almost as though Tada can’t settle on any style. Tomoyo is equally unappealing in her design as she looks like she’s wearing football gear under her robes. There is no continuity to the visual style of this. It’s bright and flowery yet strangely dark, almost filmed like a dark comedy.
The opening animation is just beyond obscure and doesn’t set the mood appropriately for this short OAD series. While Maaya Sakamoto is probably one of the best singers from Japan I’ve ever heard, her themes never seem to ever to match appropriately to anything Tsubasa. Kajiura however has always mastered the theme songs as her ending has fitted a lot more. It’s great to hear FictionJunction YUUKA perform yet again.
The overall animation quality is still very well done for this short production and I didn’t notice any real problems with the animation. The fight scenes were well crafted and well animated which made for some great footage.
If anything else saved this from being the worst video production I’ve seen of all time it was the animation as well as the all star acting from the cast. Miyu Irino has come a long way as an actor, and gives the performance of a life-time for this. The other cast-members also have given it an all star performance and continue to improve as actors.
Spring Thunder isn’t bad or terrible. It’s simply average, boiler plate, run of the mill. It was CLAMP’s little present to their die-hard fans, and leaves anime fans in the dark. It’s now very clear as to why this little production is only being sold with the manga instead of a wide release on DVD as opposed to CLAMP’s other productions.
It makes me think they should give it back to Mashimo and just make another season, or at least maybe go to the movie director Itsuro Kawasaki.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Tsubasa: Shunraiki
2. Ookami to Koushinryou II: Ookami to Kohakuiro no Yuuutsu
3. Seto no Hanayome OVA
4. Toradora! Recap
5. Nodame Cantabile OVA
6. Mahou Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
7. Shakugan no Shana S
8. Hayate no Gotoku!!: Atsu ga Natsuize – Mizugi-hen!
9. D.C.if: Da Capo if
10. Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku