They’re the best Anime that 1994 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai, Blue Seed, Macross 7, and more!
10: Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai
MAL Score: 6.85
Tsuyoshi Ikawa lives at home with his popular and beautiful sisters. Despite their qualities, his sisters and his mother are horrible at household chores, including cooking, so all these duties are taken over by Tsuyoshi while his father is away due to being temporarily transferred to another city for work.
9: Blue Seed
English: Blue Seed
MAL Score: 7.02
Momiji is an average girl until the day she finds she is the descendant of the great Kushinada family. Only she, with her Kushinada blood, can stop the Aragami, demonic plant-like monsters threatening to destroy Japan. Along to help her is the TAC, and a possible love interest in a young man named Kusanagi.
Story: I love the story, early on the show is monster of the week but about half way through it because one straight story. It is mainly about how heritage is ignored in modern society and on this note; they never go overboard and mix in enough action that it is usually moving forwards.
Art: The show’s art is a little dated and the colors seemed to be faded but monster design, animation, and the actual art, such as backgrounds and character designs were done quite well.
Sound: The score of this anime is done by Kenji Kawaii, also known for Ghost in the Shell, if you liked his work there as I have, you will like it here, from the upbeat going to school them, to the tragic theme, it varied and all done masterfully.
The voice acting in the US is a bit bad at first but around episode 3 and 4 all the characters fall into their roles and it works.
The Japanese voice work is done well, highlighted by Megumi Hayashibara as the lead.
Character: From the superstitious gun lover to the obsessed scientist the entire cast is fleshed out over the 26 episodes so that no one fells left out. Everyone gets an episode and even when it is not their episode, they still grow and get development. The two leads also get plenty of time to develop.
Enjoyment: My favorite anime, I really enjoyed it, if you allow yourself to get enthralled you will have a fun, scary, and sometime, sad ride.
Overall: While the art is a little dated, everything else is.
The anime itself came out in 1994-95 with 26 episodes, the art itself improved in the latter episodes, but overall the characters looked very well drawn and their designs matched the personality of the character, such as the conservative appearance of Kaede to the ecchi appeal of Sakura Yamazaki when decked out in her revealing red dress.
I was pleased with the sound of Blue Seed with music by Kenji Kawai, OP song by Takada Band, and ED song by Momiji’s seiyuu, Megumi Hayashibara. Intersting trivia about Takada Band, the male singer of the duo is none other than seiyuu, Fumihiko Tachiki(Gendo of Evangelion, Kenpachi of Bleach). Megumi Hayashibara has worked on other Yuzo Takada projects in lead roles as 3×3 Eyes’ Pai and the title character Nuku Nuku of the Nuku Nuku of the franchise. Other talents include Kazuhiko Inoue as the bad boy male lead, Mamoru Kusanagi, Akio Ohtsuka as the TAC’s leader, Daitetsu Kunikida, Ai Orikasa as the cool Ryoko Takeuchi, Yoshiko Sakakibara as the head scientist Asuza Matsudaira, Kotono Mitsuishi as the gun-happy Kome Sawaguchi(her character in Blue Seed is often nicknamed Sailor Boom due to her seiyuu also voicing Sailor Moon), Yuji Ueda as the computer whiz Yoshiki Yaegashi, and Jouji Nakata as the evil Murakumo.
I felt the characters were really well produced and developed well. I especailly liked how Momiji’s character development was played out. She was presented as a character who doesn’t settle into the role of a damsel in distress, she prefers to be out there fighting and doing her part and doesn’t rely heavily on the others. Momiji does enter into an inferiority phase when it concerns her perfect twin Kaede and thinks her beloved Kusanagi rather be with Kaede than her, and even when she learns what Kaede has in store for humanity, Momiji never shows hatred for Kaede and bares no ill will towards her. So I commend Yuzo Takada in creating a balanced heroine with a strong will, a sensitive nature, and a good heart. Kusanagi is also another great character, although he’s a pervet towards Momiji in the beginning of the series, he is dedicated to her, although he himself has a phase in which he is chasing after Kaede, he loves Momiji and resolves to be with her after settling things were Kaede is concerned. The Kusanagi-Momiji-Kaede story parallels the Inuyasha-Kagome-Kikyo story, but the former is handled much better with the supporting characters maintaining a neutral stance and not taking one side over the other, although Yaegashi himself had a crush on Momiji. Even Yaegashi’s character is treated well as he shows good character development and is paired in the end with someone(usually characters like Yaegashi never get a girl and are left single in the end).
My enjoyment overall was a pleasant experience as it accomplishes what Inuyasha never did with well rounded character leads, a good set of a supporting cast around the leads, and a main villain I could take seriously. It’s a shame that Blue Seed is an obscure title that few people have seen as compared to the runaway hit Inuyasha, as I felt Blue Seed has more likeable characters than Inuyasha and better than Inuyasha in terms of story and romance. I’m proud to be a Blue Seed fan and it is a title I would reccommend to anybody.
Looking past these flaws, the show’s later episodes get into some surprising plot developments once Murakumo is introduced around the middle of the series. Some pretty shocking developments in Blue Seed’s plot come along concerning the motivations surrounding Murakumo, the Aragami and an old acquaintance of TAC which I won’t spoil here. These later developments did keep me hooked to the show for its final episodes and were more than enough to make up for the setup of Blue Seed’s earlier episodes.
Outside of said later episodes, Blue Seed does offer a good amount of fleshing out on many of its characters, counting the individual members of TAC, as you get to learn more of their backgrounds, some of whom are a bit on the tragic side and connected to the Aragami threat. The series also does a solid job at setting up suspense with the various Aragami encounters, as well as exploring the past origins of the monsters and the different means in which they were dispatched. The anime was basically making its own loose take on elements of mythology commonplace in the Izumo prefecture of Japan and Shintoism, particularly the Eight-Headed Orochi and the water god Susanoo.
In terms of animation, Blue Seed is of standard quality for a mid-90s TV anime title with faded colors, washed-out backgrounds, normal use of animation shortcuts and character designs with a decent amount of detail applied to them.
Overall, Blue Seed does make for a solid 90s anime to check out thanks to its fleshed-out cast, supernatural elements and engaging second half. The anime does have some shortcomings from its “monster of the day” setup in its first half and its comedic elements. But otherwise, it is still worth checking out if you are looking for older anime titles to catch your interest.
8: Macross 7
MAL Score: 7.13
35 years have passed since Lynn Minmay had brought peace between the Zentradi and the humans in the events of Macross. Nekki Basara is a guitarist and a singer of the band Fire Bomber. Living in a less-developed part of the flying colony City 7 which is looking for a habitable planet, he composes and sings songs in the belief that music holds a greater power.
During its flight, an unknown alien race appeared and started laying siege upon City 7. However, its attacks are not conventional — instead of trying to destroy them, they steal what is known as “spiritia”, rendering victims unresponsive and zombie-like. During these battles, Basara always goes out into the middle of the warzone, singing his songs and expecting friend and foe to listen and be moved by his music.
1. Music. While obviously a matter of taste, I find most of Fire Bomber’s songs quite enjoyable. They’re one of the few anime soundtracks I will listen to on their own merits.
2. Fun factor. Basara is genuinely entertaining to watch.
3. Nostalgia. There are numerous ties to the original series, and it’s interesting to see how things developed. Most notably, it’s great to see Max and Milia again. Also, it continues the concept of the colony fleets introduced in Macross Flashback 2012.
4. Focus on characters. While ostensibly a mecha series, the focus of the story is on the characters. Fire Bomber’s road to stardom, Basara’s quest to move people’s hearts with his music, Mylene growing up and understanding her own feelings for Basara and Gamlin, reconciling Max and Milia’s relationship, etc. If you avoid mecha shows because they have too much technobabble and focus on the robots more than characters, this is not a problem here.
1. Music. Some people hate it. If you don’t like pop/rock, especially of a Japanese variety, you will be assaulted by it for the duration of the series.
2. Use of stock footage. Especially early on, there is an extreme use of stock battle footage of VF-11’s and Elgarzorenes fighting.
3. Lack of focus on mecha. Fans expecting to have lots of cool animation of all the new Valkyrie models introduced here will be sorely disappointed. I recommend you pick up the VF-X games for the Playstation instead to get that fix.
Macross fans should give the series a chance, and don’t give up on it too soon. This is certainly one of those anime deserving of the time honored line "it gets better later." Just be aware of what kind of show this is you’re getting into. Macross 7’s greatest flaw is simply that it isn’t what people expected of a continuation of Macross.
At its core, the story of Macross 7 is about a rock singer (Basara) trying to find his way in the world (or Galaxy whatever) with his singing. Sounds fairly typical fare, but the show introduces so many far-out story elements that you might wonder if the writers were on drugs. Someone once described Macross 7 as “Rock singers flying around in transforming robot planes fighting space vampires with the power of music”, and I find that description is pretty dead on, so if you have trouble swallowing that it is unlikely this show is for you. Most Macross series pride themselves in not taking things too seriously, and Macross 7 not only revels in it but thrives on its weirdness, and that is really the fun of it. The key to enjoying it is to accept the silliness and go with the flow. I do understand that may not be to everyone’s tastes, it reall tests the boundaries of one’s suspension of belief. The show does drag at times, especially in the first 10+ or so episodes where they just seem to repeat each other. At the end it is painfully obvious that they could have done the show with a lot fewer episodes. When the story does pick up in the middle to late episodes, depending on whether you’ve allowed yourself to be immersed in the show’s strangeness, it can turn out to be a fun ride.
Macross 7 has a rather memorable set of characters. They may not be especially deep, but everyone from the main cast to the smallest side character are each built around a unique quirk which allows them to play off each other pretty well. From Gamlin’s relative squareness to Miriya’s hot headedness to unnamed Flower Girl’s unending quest to present flowers to Basara, each of them helps breathe life into Macross 7’s environ giving it a rather organic feel. The only real problem for most is the main character, Basara, who like so many things about the show, you either like or not. A lot of people are turned off by his seemingly pig-headed and abrasive personality, he does not go out of the way to make himself likable. But for me personally, I find that is what makes him rather interesting in the way he effects change in those around him. A welcome change to the standard type of main protagonists we’ve been seeing in other shows in the same genre.
As expected, Music is very integral to Macross 7’s story. The soundtrack mainly consists of Japanese Rock so if that’s not your cup of tea, well then steel yourself for 49 episodes plus plus worth of it. Even then, early on, it does not show much diversity with Basara repeating the same two songs over and over again for the first few episodes until you are sick of them (afterwards he then repeats them so many times you end up liking them again) However this actually makes sense within the context of the show as Basara is still trying to find his voice early on and eventually as the story progresses, each time he achieves some self realization, he gets newer and better songs to play with.
As for the animation, well, you can tell that their budget was rather limited, even for an older show. There is a noticeable lack of big dogfight sequences that characterize other Macross shows, so if you are a fan who is in it for the Itano circuses, you might end up disappointed. Recycled cels means you end up seeing the same Valk being blown up every other episode even till the later end of the show so there is a certain sense of laziness in this department.
As I said, Macross 7 is a show that you need to watch in its entirety to give proper judgment on it as the early episodes do not do it justice. Even I admit that it took me 3 tries before I could move past the first few episodes, but I found myself rewarded with a rather enjoyable and surprisingly engaging ride by the end. Its 49 episode count may seem rather daunting, but I do encourage you to not give up so easily and try to endure it to the end. It is a show you either steer clear or watch all the way to the end. It is Macross at its silliest, and the show knows it. If you acknowledge this, Macross 7 might end up surprising you with a rather fun, and atypical Macross experience.
It took a LONG time to finish this series which already indicates at first glance it’s not all that exciting. It’s all about Nekki Basara, guitarist and lead singer of the band Fire Bomber (what a great band name). The band starts unknown, living and practicing in a hovel on City 7, joined to Battle seven. They’re the mainstay of the colony fleet Macross 7, searching for a habitable planet to live on.
First part deals with character development (boring) then the protodeviln appear. Instead of getting exciting it’s a wash-rinse-repeat of Nekki using his songs to save the day. There are a few plot twists but overall this series though keeping with the Macross themes of Love Triangle and Power of Music … is not done very well and honestly could have been squeezed into 26 episodes. There is a LOT of filler (1 min flashback at the start of every episode) and too much "Basara is a rebel" for my taste. Wakate, wakate, we get it, Basara is a rebel. Luckily the story picks up towards the last 10 episodes but it took a really strong will to continue watching this series!
Dated animation and TONS of frame reuse. Like every episode there’s frame reuse. I hate when it’s done badly enough that I felt like fast forwarding through the same old animation of the same old battles with the same old songs. The mecha look nice but that’s about it.
Shoot me now! The first 25 episodes I *hated* Nikki’s singing. Oh god he’s singing the SAME old song. Again! and Again! and Again! Ugh! Hate hate! Play something else dammit! I don’t know if they did it to save money by reusing the same songs/frames but somewhere around episode 35 I started enjoying the songs and found myself singing along at some parts. Ack! Insidious! So … that was their evil plan! Repeat the song until the viewer starts liking it. Well, I hate to say but it worked. I guess I now have to go download the soundtrack. Grrr!
This is a mish-mash. There are a lot of characters, all with different personalities. I really started to feel for some of them towards the last 15 episodes so I guess you can say this series "grew" on me.
The lead protagonist is Nekki Basara, the cool tough rebellious guitarist/lead singer who has a huge ego and doesn’t care what other people think. He’s also a pacifist who sings instead of blowing up enemies. Of course while he’s singing there’s plenty of innocent people getting blown up by the enemies he won’t shoot. But somehow no citizens protest his peacenik ways getting others killed. I hated this character.
The secondary singer/bassist of Fire Bomber is Mylene, daughter of Maximilian Jenius and Milia Fallyna. Supposed love interest who spent most of the episodes in teenage angst. Mylene is cute, young (14 years old) and spoiled. She treated her suitor, Gamlin, not too well. I hated her too.
The other 2 members of the band are Ray, the ex military guy and 3rd guitarist, and Veffidas the zentradi drummer. Ray was ok but Veffidas was just big and must have had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to drum everything in sight when she isn’t at her drums – car windows, tables, chairs, other people’s bodies etc. Veffidas is the strong, silent type. When she showed her strength and spoke it was with great impact. I loved Veffidas.
Then there’s Max and Milia, the first human and zentradi love connection from the original Macross Series. Max is older and handsomer, Milia got all straight laced. Estranged in this series (he’s the military commander and she’s the civilian’s Mayor) I spent the whole series waiting and hoping for them to get back together. If only Macross 7 was about Max and Milia this series would have scored much higher. I loved them both!
Lt. Gamlin is important and such a nice, honest, man. That’s not good when you start falling in love with a 15 year old girl with no brains and who will likely choose the "bad boy" thus giving birth to the saying "nice guys finish last". I was 15 once and liked bad boys then but now that I’m more mature I wouldn’t marry one. Gamlin is really likeable and he is the only human of 3 characters that really develop over the course of the series (other 2 are protodeviln). This was a well written character and I loved him too.
There’s a whole slew of other side characters. Mylene’s ecchi fan. Basara’s fan who is always trying to give him flowers. Take the damn flowers Basara! Learn how to treat your fans better! I just pitied some of the side characters.
Well I wasn’t enjoying this series at the start (it sucked) but it started changing around episode 33 and by episode 40 it was fun. Just takes a lot of time and patience to get to the good parts, so overall I can’t say it was much more than mediocre.
7: Akazukin Chacha
English: Red Riding Hood Chacha
MAL Score: 7.39
Akazukin Chacha is the story of a young magical girl (Mahō Shōjo) named Chacha. Living with her guardian in a cottage on Mochi-mochi mountain is Seravi, who is her teacher and also the fictional world’s greatest magician. Chacha is clumsy in casting her spells because, throughout the anime, when she summons something, it often turns out to be something that she didn’t mean to cast, for example, spiders (kumo) instead of a cloud (also kumo). At times in the anime when she and her friends are in trouble, however, her spells do work. Living on the same mountain is a boy gifted with enormous strength named Riiya. It is described that Riiya came from a family of werewolves who can instantly change into a wolf whenever they want. Quite far from Mochi-mochi mountain lies Urizuri mountain. Dorothy, also a well known magician in her land, lives in a castle on Urizuri mountain. Living with her is Shiine, her student. Shiine is adept when it comes to casting spells. He is a young wizard and most of his knowledge about magic was taught to him by Dorothy.
The first 2 seasons were originally created by the anime team. Most of the stories in season 3 are based on the manga.
Its that good,dont deplete yourself of a good time,so what if the story isnt fabulously original,your not going to be watching this for plot twists on seat grabbing mindgames. Your gonna watch it because you want to be entertained,isnt this what watching anime is all about? having fun and enjoying yourself,without needing to put to much thought into it
Akazukin Chacha is your friend,dont worry about what your friends think,i bet they like death note and code geass,you can do away with them later
yea man,its pretty much AMAZING,did i mention it has one of the greatest OP’s ever?
This is a pure comedy, so the story isn’t really a focus in any way, but let’s cover everything:
Storyline wise, Akazukin Chacha, or “Little Red Riding-Hood” Chacha, is decent at best. Over the course of the series itself, it attempts to construe a vague, generic demon-king versus royal family/heroes of the land type of story. And it does a very good job of achieving what it set out to do, which is to both have an excuse to fight enemies over the course of the show, and to cause conflict during the episodes, giving the characters something to react to. – 4
Art in the show is arguably pretty good for the date and presumable budget. It takes a lot of money to make animation, and it’s artwork is at a far better level of quality than some more popular anime that came out even a year or two later. (Detective Conan, for example). And it’s about equal to others, like Dragonball.
That said, it’s nothing special. They did a very good job at distinguishing characters, but really they only animated the ones from the manga. It’s obvious they made a good effort for comedic impact, though. Who can forget Principal Urara’s eyes? – 6
For sound, we have some adequate background music, nothing too memorable. It plays in the correct moments and doesn’t feel contrived, so there’s that. There are also the highlights like the “Team Theme” and the “Panda Song”. The opening and ending songs are another story, and are excellent pieces of music. Both the opening, which never changes, and the latter two endings are catchy, fun and upbeat, all in a good way, just like the show’s tone. The second ending is especially good, and extremely catchy, definitely worth listening to on an MP3 player. – 7
The characters are a strong point of this anime. You have the blunt, selfish and frankly “beepy” (Think Ayumi from Conan or Hikase from Nichijou) Chacha herself, who the show would suffer a lot from without. Though that would go for most show’s main characters, heh. Her lines, reactions, blunt and selfish verbal assaults are honestly some of the funniest parts of the show. If you don’t like her, which I find really hard to believe, (maybe you just don’t understand how she is and think she’s coming off as annoying? I pity you if so), chances are you won’t like the rest of the show.
The brave, always hungry and a little dense, werewolf Riiya. His voice actor (someone from a boy band) did a great job, and suited him like no one else ever could have, making him sound at varying times energetic, a little slow on the uptake, lazy, cowardly, and bold.
The wizard in training, the good boy Shiine-chan. (Soujiro and Sera Masumi in the Kenshin and Conan anime series, respectively), is always hilarious. From his vain attempts to show off in hopes of impressing Chacha, his love for work and study, his secret perverted ways, and his adorably-embarrassed side, you’ll probably come to like Shiine-chan.
Then there’s Seravy-sama, the greatest wizard in the world. He’s humorously superior, lacks common sense sometimes, and has a big thing for blonde curly hair and his favorite doll, which might actually be alive, Lizbeth.
From his “just-passing-through” disguises (“I’m only a just-passing-through master pastry chef!”), to his slightly negligent but mostly responsible upbringing of Chacha, and the way they fit each other like a glove, he’s a very likable, enjoyable character that’ll have you laughing along with his antics.
The rest of the characters, Yakko, Marin, Orin, Rascal-sensei (Kindaichi from Kindaichi Case Files), are all characterized well and have matching seiyuu. In fact, I can’t think of one seiyuu that doesn’t fit their role perfectly, and they all seemed to have fun with the show, too, which is another pro. The crew got lucky with the cast, for sure. – 8
The real enjoyment are the jokes. There’s slapstick humor, sure, and plenty of it, but the most hilarious part is the interactions between the characters and the way they react to things. If seeing Chacha tear up because Riiya accidentally called her a fool, and then in the next episode turn around and insult both of her friends like it was perfectly natural like the comicly selfish person she is, or watching kids get drunk and summoning a bunny-dragon to take down the bad guys, or finding out Chacha can rewind and playback memories in slow motion (that was a classic), is not your idea of humor, then the show probably isn’t for you.
If it is, though, you’ll find it absolutely hilarious, because it does an outstanding job at that specific type of humor. – 10
Overall I give this series an 8.
i actually watch this since i was a kid.. i really love it..
I recommend it to the children who loves watching comedies…
6: Aoki Densetsu Shoot!
English: Blue Legend Shoot!
Japanese: 蒼き伝説 シュート！
MAL Score: 7.40
Inspired by Yoshiharu Kubo’s phenomenal performance that led Kakegawa High School to a miraculous victory in a soccer tournament, Toshihiko Tanaka decides to enter the same school as his idol and join the soccer club, hoping to become as successful as Kubo.
Now a high school freshman, Tanaka is devastated as his expectations suddenly start falling apart. Kubo—the captain of the club—is absent due to illness. To make matters worse, the freshmen are not allowed to practice alongside the sophomores or become regulars on the team. The final nail in the coffin is the reluctance of Tanaka’s friends, Kenji Shiraishi and Kazuhiro Hiramatsu, to join him in the club. Although Tanaka and his friends were once known as a deadly soccer trio in their junior high school days, Kenji and Kazuhiro have both quit soccer for personal reasons.
When Tanaka starts to lose hope, an encounter with Kazumi Endo—a girl from his childhood—becomes the unexpected key to his freedom from despair. The disappointed Kazumi wants to see the trio reunite, so she takes matters into her own hands in her mischievous way. Thus, Tanaka’s high school soccer career prepares for the kickoff.
Which if you didn’t know is probably the greatest sports anime ever. That aside, if you’re into friendship, teamwork, dramatic love for both a person and sports this is one roller coaster ride you wouldn’t want to sit back and watch other people ride.
Onto the actual review: Story possibly 9 gonna say 8 though some parts are very cliche and predictable, but that’s what makes it normal, but it has it’s moments where it absolutely shines and just tugs on your heartstrings.
Sound: 10 I love every single song from the anime *spoiler* the best being the Kazumi Endo Ending, my god it still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
Character: 10 Toshi who is the main character not only as a futbol/soccer player does he level up, but as a man and person but he helps everyone around him to grow aswell.
Additionally, the visuals are while standard of 90s anime, charming with the painted backgrounds and manner of how the characters are designed, an aesthetic that gets more endearing/nostalgic as time goes on. To end on this, the soundtrack is banging and one I feel I can listen to many a time over.
5: Magic Knight Rayearth
English: Magic Knight Rayearth
MAL Score: 7.46
Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, and Fuu Hououji are strangers brought together by fate when they meet during a seemingly normal field trip to Tokyo Tower. Accompanied by a great flash of light, they hear a mysterious woman’s plea to save “Cephiro,” and the junior high heroines are suddenly swept away by a giant flying fish. Afterwards, they arrive in an unknown land, where they encounter a man called Master Mage Clef.
Clef informs the girls that they were summoned by Princess Emeraude to fulfill their destinies as Magic Knights, restoring peace and balance in Cephiro. The formerly lively and peaceful land has been in disarray ever since High Priest Zagato imprisoned the princess, who acted as Cephiro’s pillar of stability. The Magic Knights reluctantly accept Clef’s words as truth and embark on a journey to save Cephiro from the clutches of evil.
Basically we follow three high school girls who get sucked in an alternate dimension, and need to defeat the main enemy oppressing the land, and thus make it home in one peace. Its pretty straight forward in that regards, but along the way they end up meeting endearing friends and allies that assist them in their mission(s). You will also be treated to nice little back stories on a majority of the main characters, and learn their strengths and weaknesses alike. There will also be little side quests that the girls have to go on, that steer way from the main plot in order to keep things a bit more fresh and preventing it from growing stale. The plot twists that happen are pretty surprising as well, both with the over all storyline as well as with the characters, but I won’t say what because I don’t wanna spoil it for ya. The ending, while not truly epic or anything like that, is a most satisfying experience. The action scenes are also pretty nice, very fluid and thought out, even if it may show a bit of repetitious during some of it. However it is not all without its flaws; the most frustrating thing I found with the story is that it tended introduce one too many fillers at some points, and at those times I just wanted them to get on with it already! They also implemented a bit too many characters for this number of episodes, some of the villians we never really got to know much about, and seemed to be their only to keep the cast number large. Wasn’t that bad and they worked out a majority of the character’s story sequences as much as possibly could. So while it does have a few fillers and may tend to drag on a bit. It has great character interactions, moving moments and good action scenes. I feel I should mention that although it does have a good number of combat and action scenes, it does play about 30% or more of the series in a somewhat more cutesy and comical approach. Nothing too major, but they are there.
As far as offensive material goes, there is some blood in this title. Now while a good portion of the episodes can get away without showing any of the red stuff. There still are a few scenes where the girls get stabbed and blood is dripping down from them, or running along their wound. It never really comes off as exaggerated, but is still there none the less.
Most people may frown when looking at the clarity of it today, but the colors and detailed background were truly at their best when this came out. Nothing ever feels truly over done with it, and does make you feel attached to the scenery. The character design is also pretty charming to look at, they each have a scenes of style and flare to where you can tell that Clamp (makers of it) really made an effort to give them a nice appeal. My only complaint with it was the facial expressions, they seemed a bit too stiff at times, and I sometimes found it hard to connect with what they were feeling during the appropriate moments.
Like the artwork, it does show its age as well. Most of it does match well with what is going on, and does have an ere to adventure and struggle, even though the only real main memorable background music plays during the battles, all else of it is pretty discrete and sparse. I loved the opening and closing to this, both are sung by the same singer and are played out like a high pitched kinda of bouncy magical girl beat. I can tell you now though, it certain won’t appeal to all, as some may find it a bit too cheesy and girly. Now regarding the voice actors, I think they did a pretty good job of giving the right girl the right role. While some voices may feel a bit over exaggerated, (especially regarding some of the villains) I think they pulled it off pretty well.
I really dug them, they each have a certain amount of depth and likeness to each. As the story progresses you get to know them more and more, along with what their greatest attribute is, as well as greatest fear. They compliment one another very believable-ly, and you really get a sense of the friendship they all share, as they struggle to make their way home! Nobody ever comes of as a pest or cliche, which really make you believe the story that it implements. Again I only felt that they added a tad too many people for its episode length.
Bottom Line: 8/10
Magic Knight Rayearth remains a good solid watch that should still appeal to a well rounded majority of anime fans out their, while it does contain a few filler style episodes and a few repetitive fight scenes, if you can get past that then you’ll be fine. It overall remains a fun and enjoyable little series that will satisfy you once it ends, all while leaving you with a sense of remorse because its over.
Please keep in mind that this review was regarding the first season of Magic Knight Rayearth, the second one is a whole new ball game, and I felt it just didn’t live up to the first one. Just so you are aware of which one I was speaking of.
When I say relying on their own natural fighting abilities I mean things such as Hikaru with Kendo, Umi with fencing, and Fuu with archery. It’s not like Sailor Moon where she is managing to avoid a fight until she finds an opening to use her signature move of the season. With Fushigi Yuugi, its girls are transported to another world and they are seen as the savior. But these girls in MKR are chosen to be warriors and not celestial priestesses and have to fight their enemies themselves with minimal help from time to time. As for Aura Battler Dunbine, it’d be a spoiler if I explain it to you but if you see at the every end of the opening credits, you’ll get an idea of what I mean.
In the end, with the way the story progresses, it’s as if you are watching an old school Japanese style RPG game.
The art is of course by Clamp, so you’ll be able to recognize the way they draw the size of the eyes and the distinctive style to them. The eyes are the only thing that just looks alike but the characters have good variety to their design such as their uniforms, shapes of their faces and bodies. But in terms of other factors like hair styles and what not, it’s typical what you see in other animes like natural colored blue hair and what not so that’s always been a basic acceptable standard in anime. Because the majority of this anime takes place in another world, it is at liberty to allow more types of fictional creatures like Innova with his ears and have wicked costumes like Caladina’s skimpy gypsy outfit and Zagato’s heavy armor. The armor and the costume designs are very captivating and the environment of Cefiro is really breath taking and something out of Final Fantasy almost with floating continents and more in a world of middle ages but with monsters and magic.
Of course like other magical girl animes a lot of recycled footage is used such as when they use their magical powers. Like every time Hikaru uses her flare arrow or something, it’s the same animation sequence with a red background and so on and so forth. But this was made in mid 1990s and a certain percentage of anime was like that and acceptable. But for those of you that more new into anime, this might annoy you more than it did with me because I got into this anime when it first came out. Then sometimes for humor’s sake, characters get miniaturized. I say this it to keep it appealing to the kids and to give it some humor. I can handle it, but for some people, they might find it annoying. Other than that, when they are not relying on magic to fight, the use of their natural fighting abilities plays out well and gives more exciting build up with the fights and makes it more enjoyable like that.
The music is very excellent and beautiful. The opening theme Yuzurenai Negai meaning an Unyielding Wish is one of my favorite opening songs of all time. I like how it builds up very slow in the first few seconds and then bam, it becomes more like rock and pop. It has a good sense of tempo and pacing and the lyrics are a great way of telling the overall theme of having a strong will and always stick to your dreams. In other language versions like the English and Tagalog versions, they try to keep the song faithful. I know the Sega Saturn version in English has a different tune to the song from the anime version though. The ending theme Asu He No Yuuki or the Courage to Tomorrow is more pop-ish but shares the same things in a more light hearted context.
The background music especially when the next episode recaps the previous is very intense because the situation of the show is presented that way. The music has a variety of ways of setting the atmosphere and tends to be more orchestral because of the setting in a more midevil world.
The voice acting in the Japanese version is perfect. I really love the cast. I like Ryotaro Okiayu as Innova. Just perfect. Same with Juurouta Kusogi as Zagato perfectly matches his look. The English voices on the other hand, not too great and is why some anime fans hate dubs. Personally, I thought the Saturn game’s dub cast was much superior and more faithful to the characterizations. Such as Hikaru being tomboyish and rowdy, Umi being formal, and Fuu being intelligent. The regular anime dub just didn’t cut it for me.
This anime is more universally appealing that other magical girl animes because of the action and story isn’t all that feminine in comparison to other predecessors. Before the anime and manga came out, there was the Saturn game that came out in late 1998. It was the last Saturn game to come to America. It comes with some great stickers and high quality box art. The game itself is like the old school Zelda games like Link to the past except you have control of 3 characters. The graphics are still excellent in terms of background but the game play style has the characters chibi-ized like in Zelda. It offers great challenges and the story itself still faithful to the original material, but offers an alternate story with more characters and development. It’s a high recommendation for Saturn owners. You’ll enjoy the anime for the characters, action, and unpredictable story.
Our narrative opens at Tokyo Tower where three different schools have all come on a field trip at the same time. That seems a bit convenient, but I’ll let it go because I honestly have no idea if that’s actually a thing that happens for Tokyo Tower. It is a famous landmark, maybe it’s a perfectly normal occurrence for multiple unrelated schools to visit at the same time. In a flash of light three girls, Fuu, Umi and Hikaru, appear in a strange world with floating stones. They meet a tiny man who calls himself Clef, the master mage. He tells the girls that to return to their world they have to revive the Rune Gods, become magic knights and save their land called Cephiro. Their princess and the pillar of their world, Emeraude, has been kidnapped by a villain called Zagato. But Clef’s exposition dump is interrupted by the arrival of Alcyone, one of Zagato’s minions. Clef buys time for them to escape, telling them to find Presea, a master blacksmith who will forge weapons for them. So, the girls set out on their quest to stop Zagato and save Cephiro.
Let’s start with the story issues. The biggest one involves a character death. I won’t spoil who dies, but I will say that at this point it’s been established that Fuu has healing magic and while this character is dying she doesn’t do a thing. Later, they tell you that she tried her healing spell off-screen after the events you see, but there’s still the problem of why she didn’t do it sooner. Why wait until this other character stopped talking and moving to try and help them? Was she worried that she’d interrupt their speech by acting while they were still talking? It just makes the magic knights seem pitifully slow to react and incompetent. The worst part is that there are two easy ways to fix it. Method one, Fuu gets knocked out in the battle and doesn’t wake up until it’s already over. Method two, the character in question dies instantly. No time for a death speech or for healing magic. Honestly, the fact that they have the scene and only explain quite a bit later that Fuu did anything at all just makes it look like the writers forgot she had the healing spell or didn’t think of having her use it at the actual critical moment, only realising they’d screwed up later on.
There are some more minor issues too. For example, the magic knights spend way too long fighting the same few minions. Zagato is shown as having five major underlings and more than half the series is spent with two of them. Which results in the other three having really rushed conflicts with the knights and most of them not getting much screen time or room for development. The story is also pretty predictable since it relies heavily on cliches, but it’s also intended for a pretty young audience so they’ll probably find the events somewhat surprising, at least.
So, what does the series do well narratively? Well, it is good at foreshadowing the events that are coming, which will give the intended audience a good head’s up and some sources of tension. The heroes journey element is also done fairly well with a nice, steady progression. The romance elements, though not exactly good, are better than what you’d expect from Clamp’s usual works. For one thing, only one of the girls gets a love interest, although the sequel might change that. For another thing, he is important to the plot and, in a rare move for Clamp, he’s not far too old for her nor is he related to her. Granted, that’s only a positive because Clamp is usually pretty pants at writing romance, but I’ll give them credit for writing one that isn’t gross or overly intrusive. I also do like that all three of our heroines do share the focus pretty evenly with all of them getting the spotlight at times, their own subplots and their own shining moments.
The characters are pretty mixed. Hikaru, Fuu and Umi do get a respectable level of development and are somewhat fleshed out. However, the side characters are pretty weak. The vast majority of them follow a very basic and common character type with nothing to distinguish them from any other character who follows that type. They aren’t terrible or offensively written but they also aren’t good or interesting. Even the love interest is just your typical charming rogue character. They try to make the villains sympathetic, but most of that just involves using the lazy “they’re doing it for love” excuse without putting any actual effort into making them the least bit compelling or three dimensional.
I won’t lie, the series does not look good. Yeah, it was made back when everything was hand drawn so it’s bound to be a bit dated by today’s standards, but even when comparing it to other anime that came out around the same time, or earlier, it looks pretty bad. I will grant that there are some interesting designs, both in terms of characters and environments, but the animation is choppy and there are a lot of really noticeable art errors, usually having to do with drawing faces.
Our main three are voiced by Shiina Hekiru (Hikaru), Yoshida Konami (Umi) and Kasahara Hiroko (Fuu). All of whom give competent performances, albeit not the best of their careers. You could say the same thing of the acting as a whole, it’s competent but not anything special. The music is… there. It’s not bad but it’s not really good either. It’s okay.
There’s a bit. The series does have a lot of moments where Hikaru, Umi and Fuu strengthen their relationship and some of those seem to go beyond the realm of friendship. Still, it’s obviously not deliberate and nothing comes of it. So, I’m calling the ho-yay factor a 3/10.
Magic Knight Rayearth is a pretty standard series. It has some things that are pretty well done and others that are pretty badly done, but most of it is in between the two. All in all, it’s average. If you’re curious about it then it won’t hurt you to check it out but you also won’t be missing anything if you skip it. My final rating is a 5/10. Next week we’ll continue the month with a look at Umi Monogatari: Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto.
4: Marmalade Boy
English: Marmalade Boy
Japanese: ママレード ボーイ
MAL Score: 7.47
Miki Koishikawa is a high school student who enjoys a very simple life. However, her ordinary life is about to be turned upside down, and she may not be able to handle everything that is coming her way.
After a very “fun” holiday in Hawaii, her parents have decided to get a divorce. As if this wasn’t enough of a shock for the poor girl, she also discovers that they will soon be re-marrying and swapping partners with another couple who they met on holiday. In order to include Miki in this shocking turn of events, they ask her to give the new couple a chance, and set up a dinner date with everyone. Miki may have tried to be emotionally prepared for her new parents, but what she was not expecting was their handsome son Matsuura Yuu.
Miki develops an instant crush for Yuu. What starts off as a lovely friendship between them soon develops into romantic feelings which they are both finding hard to control. But more trouble is ahead in their relationship, as both Miki and Yuu have admirers of their own who are trying very hard to keep them separated.
About 2 years later, I took the plunge and decided to give an actual try…and I think it’s safe to say that I’m glad I did. Marmalade Boy is a classic shoujo series from the 90’s, and it’s influence is probably seen in just about every other shoujo manga ever since. There are love triangles galore, angst, hormones, crying, everything you’d expect from a show like this! But what makes MB stand out is the fact that it plays out like a Soap-Opera– In that it’s twist come at such fierce speed that you can’t help but go”Wait…what?”, and boy is like crack. MB turned out to be one of the most addicting animes that I’ve seen in quite some time, you can never really comprehend how or why the melodramatic ‘drama’ entices you so to keep on going.
Miki Koishikawa is your average highschool girl, aside from being rather at first embarrassed by her parents’ eccentric and illogical behavior by switching spouses from another couple, then all together moving into one big house, bringing daughter Miki and son(from the second couple of course) Yuu with them. Miki and Yuu soon fall in love together though, and their relationship is challenged and manipulated many times by jealous ex’s. There will not be a single moment where you don’t think”Why are some of these kids so damn selfish?”, but then you realize that that’s the point of MB in the first place. It’s about young men and women falling in love for the first time, and acting on their emotions, not logic. What makes MB work is that it’s so addicting in it’s own indulgent little way, but at the same time it shows an innocent and honest side to the human heart.
The animation and art can be an acquired taste– this is an anime from 1994, and it shows by rearing it’s low budget head pretty often, but it’s quite manageable once you get used to it. The ost also fares well, my only complaint regarding it is that they use/reuse/remix the main theme way too many times, making the song too tedious to listen to outside of watching. Regardless, I have to say that the final ending theme(“Yoake no Etude”) really complimented on the events of the final half.
While I may have have enjoyed it quite a bit, like all shoujo– It’s probably not for everyone, especially people who nitpick and complain about as many illogical fallacies they can find in a show. Because frankly, there will be too many to really even count. The best example would have to be the New York City arc that pops up during the 3rd quater of the anime. These kids will infuriate you, baffle you and annoy you at how stupid they can act by being so self-absorbed. But like I said earlier, MB continued to hold a charm that kept me from losing my composure. It may sound like it’s not even worth a shot, but in an odd way, it’s still worth plowing through.
MB really was a wild ride in the end, so much that after the final episode was complete, and the final credits rolled, I couldn’t help myself but feel saddened that I had to say goodbye to this cast of folk that I soon found myself attached to. And I’m confident to tell you guys that I thought the ending tightened up all the loose ends we wanted tightened by the end, so no annoying cliffhangers.
While the final arc can get pretty twisted, and the irrational behavior will baffle some people. I also believe that it’s fantastic as it still provides a lovable cast, and shows us a very sweet and sincere look at growing, learning and falling in love with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. With an open mind, and despite some of it’s issues with the wonky mindsets, MB is a very enjoyable watch for both women and men.
And certainly one that’ll go down in my books as one of my personal favorites.
The story was written by Wataru Yushizumi (Ultra Maniac belongs to her too).
The art is very nice, but the animation is actually not that good (an anime from 1995, what do you expect?) but you can live with that.
The OST of the anime is very good. In some ways it is very childish (the opening theme, for an example), but mature too (some songs).
Most of the melodies in the series are actually kind of karaoke of the songs. The voice actress of Miki, the main female character, sang many songs in the series.
The love story in the anime is very original and displayed to us, the watchers, by a point of view that makes us cry with the characters, laugh with them and even be angry and more. The events are very realistic, the characters and the relationships between them too.
The only bad thing in the series is that in some episodes the events are… not make sense. I won’t say what they are, but I am not the one who thought so…
With the series there is a 25 minutes movie, which is a a point of view of somebody else, that made you understand the things better. [though it is not existed in the manga XD]
Why did I love the anime? Because of the childish atmosphere, the point of view and the plot itself.
Well, I could say 1000 good things about it, but I will shut up. Go watch!
Fantastic Cast of Characters; has good humor; fascinating Relationships
Overused Themes; very predictable; unlikable lead character; a season too long
This one was quite the adventure. It took me a significant amount of time to complete this anime and for the most part I was fairly pleased. Spanning 76 Episodes, Marmalade Boy is your standard high school romance, with a twist. Our two main characters have two parents who switch spouses that force them to live together. This alone was an interesting concept.
There are many other strengths in this anime. For one is the wonderful cast in Marmalade Boy. Almost each and every one of the characters is memorable and have marvelous, fleshed out personalities. The cast is truly what makes Marmalade Boy special. Of course, with great characters, come the intricate relationships. Sprinkle the great character interaction, with an icing of great characters and a dash of humor; you’ve got yourself the recipe for success.
Although, as the series progressed the story seemed to run out of fuel, as Marmalade Boy is clearly a season too long, as the same themes keep bring revived…only with different characters. The “I love you, you have a lover” theme is played out so much, it’s almost ridiculous. This sort of repetitiveness also leads to another flaw, Marmalade Boy’s occasional predictability. If you pay enough attention, you can basically build the conclusion for yourself and find that you were mostly correct, if not completely correct, which I must stress, not a good thing. The last season could’ve easily been written out and still have left a strong anime behind.
Nevertheless, Marmalade Boy is a good entry in the Romantic Humor category. With it’s exceptional cast of characters, it’ll be sure to catch your attention, just don’t be surprised if you figure out the ending before you even watch it.
Wriiten by AlterGenesis-X
August 8th, 2005
3: Mobile Fighter G Gundam
English: Mobile Fighter G Gundam
MAL Score: 7.56
In the year Future Century 0060, the many countries that once comprised Earth’s surface exist as separate colonies floating in space. Their home planet now uninhabitable, the ruler of all of the colonies is decided by their unanimous participation in the intergalactic Gundam Fight Tournament—a series of battles between the champions of each colony to determine who is most fit to reign over them all.
Neo-Japan’s champion is Domon Kasshu, a man who accepts the role with some ulterior motives. Domon searches the galaxy for his brother, a criminal who allegedly murdered their mother and made off with the Devil Gundam, a highly advanced weapon with the power to unleash mass destruction across the galaxy. In his quest to bring his sibling to justice, Domon travels from colony to colony, meeting many of the fighters who will become his allies and enemies in the forthcoming Gundam Fight Tournament.
Armed with the strength of the Shining Gundam, Domon battles to uncover the truth behind his tortured childhood, suffering great betrayal and crushing blows on his quest toward personal and national triumph.
The presentation of the culturally diverse cast is of course where the Ring ni Kakero influences come into play. Certain portions of the characters are stereotyped or portrayed in what Americans would find not politically correct. I mean, the Russian is a prisoner? The Japanese portrayed as righteous? The American portrayed as strange and arrogant? And the list goes on. If you’re not offended by that kind of stuff, then you’ll probably laugh because it gets to you in that kind of way. Because the Japanese are oblivious to the concept of political correctness, they can of course get away with doing something like this in their own country. In addition all religious referenes such as Domon’s future Gundam, known as the God Gundam, or G Gundam for short is changed to Burning Gundam; and the Devil Gundam would be renamed to the Dark Gundam.
I really enjoy the characters because of their personalities and they each bring in different elements to the show. Domon is the quiet and anti-social super powered guy; while someone like Chibodee is the obnoxious loud mouth comic relief character. Even some of the minor characters like Alleby have their own contribution to the advancement of the story as well and has some touching moments that I don’t want to get into because it would be a spoiler.
Along with a whole new set of story, setting and characters, you also get new Gundams. For traditional purposes obviously, a huge majority of the Gundams will stick to the grill face, have either the green and yellow eyes, and still maintain the iconic red, white, blue, and yellow color scheme. But they add new details to certain Gundams to make them look more culturally authentic to each country. Like Lumberjack Gundam of Neo-Canda is literally meant to resemble a Candian lumber jack. The Gundam Spiegel piloted by Schwartz has a skinny frame to give it the agility and speed that gives blitzkrieg-esque assaults.
The human characters on the other hand were really meant to have the old school style of design from the 1970s mech anime. The character’s slim builts, the pointness of the chins and faces, the shapes of the eyes, the hairstyles and side burns, and some of the clothing designs gives some indication of that. Plus, it’s not Gundam vs army anymore. Prior to Gundam, mech anime was always the main mech against another bad guy’s mech of the week and G Gundam’s story was meant to present that kind of narration so they bring in all of these Gundams for one one one battles which I will now get into.
The battles are also distinctive because it’s not about lazers, guns, and beam saber fights. It’s hand to hand combat and as Daigouji Gai from Nadesico would say, that a mech is most idealistic for such kinds of battles and is the best means of proving who is the man. Granted certain Gundams are bulky, but the heavy blow action makes up for it. While the smaller Gundams like Spiegel and Nobel Gundam have speed and agility and they move like Spider-Man. So you’re getting martial arts mixed with mech. Despite the lack of convenient war fare weapons, the Gundams of course have special powered moves. Like Domon’s finishing move is the shining finger where he turns gold Super Saiya-jin style and then emits a large beam of light to his opponent.
Of course there are also times we get to see the pilots fight outside of their mechs. Afterall, you need to be a legitimate accomplished fighter to be legible to compete in the tournament. The fights are DBZ-ish with the speed but not of course where they power up and fight for a long time and do fire balls. The fights are still intense and fun. So, the art and animation of G Gundam for it’s overall unique use of character and mech design and intriguing battle.
Tomokazu Seki also happens to play the main character Domon Kasshu who has played other notable roles like Keisuke from Initial D, Miyata from Hajime no Ippo, and Kenichi from History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi. He uses a rough and loud voice, but not high pitched. He can make the character sound cold and calm when he’s not in battle, and yet sound crazy when he’s in a fight. Speaking of the dialog in fights, I just love how dynamic the acting and dialog is in the middle of battle. Like before a fight starts, to officially commence the fight, the fighters have to say “Gandamu faito!!! Rediiii Goooo!!” It’s something you can say is as synonomous as John McCarthy’s “Lets get it on” when he signals to start a fight in the UFC. It’s just that awesome.
And it’s real funny in the Japanese version, Chibodee, played by Hochu Ohtsuka, the voice of Jiraiya in Naruto and Yazan in Zeta Gundam brings a funny tone to his voice and really brings the comedy out of him with his Engrish and how he calls Domon “Japanese.” And Saisaici is played by Yamaguchi Kappei, the voices of Ranma and Inuyasha, and the voice of L from Deathnote. So the Japanese version has a top notch voice cast. As for the dub, I have not seen it in years, but I just feel with the Japanese version, you’re getting the accurate dynamic delivery you need to most enjoy it because I don’t think this anime isn’t fun without the silly Engrish.
The music itself is pretty good. The opening themes Flying in the Sky and I Trust You Forever are really good songs that have a type of passion and feeling to it. Though it doesn’t have a warriors feel like Ring ni Kakero’s or Ashita no Joe’s, the songs still reflect on its semi-unintended campy nature.
G Gundam was mixing old school Shounen Jump, old school mech, and the moderninzing of Gundam all into one. It brings its own unique story that excellently mixes a diverse cast of characters in not just culture, but in personalities; top notch unintended comedy if you’re not Japanese; and high octane action
But simply being different isn’t enough to be good and that doesn’t change the fact that the end result is nothing short of a nonsensical battle shounen that thinks an excessive amount of plot twists and shouting equates to actual quality.
The story can be split up into 2 parts, the first being a revenge tale and other a long winded battle tournament. Set in the future where war is abolished and a new system is put in place, each nation takes part in a battle royal to determine who will obtain supremacy of the universe and the other colonies. These fights are carried out by a Gundam pilot of their choosing and is the driving force behind most of the show’s conflict. It’s through this battle royal that we meet our core group of characters, with our lead obviously being Japan’s representative Domon Kasshu. Using the battle royal as cover Domon’s true objective is to find and defeat his brother Kyoji who has come to poses Dark Gundam, which objective is (you guessed it) to destroy the world.
Now the core story itself isn’t bad on paper but where the problem starts is how it’s presented. Being that it takes a shounen approach, it should come to no surprise that it also obtained the issues commonly found in the shounen demographic. Containing everything from poorly conceived asspulls and powerups to questionable plot twists, G Gundam’s storytelling is just all over the place. Another glaring issue is it’s regurgitation of needless exposition and plot conveniences. And despite the constant bombardment of nonsense like a mermaid, a mummy and windmill Gundam or gundams going super saiyan, it still ask of the viewer to take it seriously. This wouldn’t have been a problem if it was going for a self-aware satire but sadly it never took that route. What we get instead is a show trying too hard to angst and too hard to be cool while coming across as a laughable concoction that you’d think up as a child while playing pretend with your toys.
Now if there was ever an area where G Gundam deserves recognition it would be with it’s production values. The Gundam franchise has always been proclaimed to being ahead of its time, with titles like Zeta Gundam that was leagues ahead of other anime titles of it’s era in terms of cinematography and choreography. But with titles like Double Zeta and Victory Gundam it had seemed that the franchise was finally losing it’s luster. But G Gundam brought on something like a Renaissance for Gundam, bringing with it the familiar levels of animation quality found in OVAs like War in the Pocket and Stardust Memory.
Being that the story focused on mecha fights a great deal of effort was placed into making all the battles to feel grandiose when called for it. And with a introduction to a new way of piloting the mechas by body synchronization, the aesthetics and easy to read body mechanics were ahead of it’s time. The attention to detail really made it an entertaining watch that never felt hindered by the time period it was made. It even looks good for today’s standards. But of course corners were cut with reused scenes and still shots but given the effort placed into everything else it’s easily forgivable.
NOW the same can’t be said for the mecha designs. To put it bluntly half of them are beyond idiotic. Everything from a evil clown to a windmill, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the poorly thought up designs. It’s like the artists all got drunk and doodled up any nonense that popped into their heads. But given the cheesiness of the story they may just help heighten your B-movie experience.
“so bad it’s good” is the best phrase used to describe the voice acting of G Gundam. This is schmaltzy over acting taken to a new extreme. Every one liner is delivered with so much ham that you can’t help but chuckle as they’re delivered. That said I highly suggest watching this dub to optimize the effect. The soundtrack itself works well with the show’s content. Delivering the right amount of “oomph” when needed and adding to the overall 90s vibe.
The characters all felt like they’ve been ripped right out of the pages of cliches. With a spiky hair protagonist that think yelling and “talking with your fists” is the only way to solve problems, it borderlines obnoxiousness at times. The rest of the cast follow the same 1 sided personality with one predominant straight that forces them to be marginalize as typical archetypes. May that be the pretty boy “man of honor” or the strong dumb brute, all of them exhibit the behaviors of easy to write and even easier to read characters.
But being typical characters aren’t necessarily bad per say but the way the writers go about using them is where it really becomes a problem. Everyone is flimsily handled to the point where their personality can flip flop from friend to foe with no proper build up. It’s like they were manipulated in order to serve whatever objective the plot was going for at the time. This result in too many role reversals to be taken seriously and also a sad attempt to try to add depth and complexity to a cookie cutter cast that were only surface deep.
Now without a doubt G Gundam is entertaining. Due to many factors but mostly contributed to the time period it was made, G Gundam has aged into a campy b-movie romp that offers cheesy one liners, laughable plot twists and hammy moments throughout. This b-movie experience is even heightened further if watched dubbed, with a vast array of schmaltzy voice acting performances that deduces genuine bouts of laughter. It’s truly among the pinnacle of cheesy 90s entertainment and those simply seeking dumb fun should look no further.
G Gundam is the ultimate 90s cheese experience. Idiotic plot twists, nonsensical mecha designs and over the top voice acting. It’s the pinnacle of anime cheese but a face palming journey that can’t be forgiven. For everything it had going for it, it always took 2 steps back. It was an experimental attempt to do something different with the franchise that led to half-baked results. For fans of Gundam this might be a fun time waster but this isn’t a something recommended to any newcomer trying to see what the franchise is all about.
The story takes place in an alternet setting, not Universal Century. This new world is called Future Century. In Future Century, nations from around the world leave their homes and begin to live in space, in the newly formed space colonies called the Neo Nations. Even though many have left Earth, it’s still a vitial resorce, and to prevent any further wars the Nations declare that every four years there is to be a Gundam Fight. The Gundam Fight determines which Neo Nation will take Earth into their hands. After each Nation selects one of their best fighters and locks them down on Earth, the battle begins.
In this story, it is now the 13th Gundam Fight. A Martial Artist from Neo Japan, Domon Kasshu, is sent to Earth. With his newly earned title of King Of Hearts, he brings fear upon his opponents, but Domon’s true intensions is to search for his brother, which mysteriously disappeared after an incedent in the space colony of Neo Japan. Now the only remaining member of his family is his father which has been frozen as pusnishment for actiing against the Neo Japan Government. And to release his father, Domon must fight and win the Gundam Fight.
Eventually Domon realizes that he’s not the only one that is willing to go the distance as he meets many formidable foes. Chibodee of Neo America, George of Neo France, Sai of Neo China, and Argo of Neo Russia all have their reasons of fighting within the tournament. They soon become friends after facing a menacing foe known as the Devil (Dark) Gundam.
The story is pretty good. It’s not what I really expected from Gundam, and it was a completely new twist to things. I can rewatch it a few times and still enjoy it. Although, the birth of this series pretty much brought an unnecessary evil to the Gundam Franchise. With all the spoofs of Gundam Wing, Gundam War X, Gundam Seed, and a few other Super Gundam legacies, I can’t help but get mad that because of this one show it had made Gundam into a Super Hero Five show. In the long run, its an okay show, not one of my favorites of the Gundam series, but Gundam Seed wasn’t any better. So if you really want to see what started the Gundam Wing and the Five Gundam concept, this is what you are looking for.
2: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S
English: Sailor Moon S
Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーン S
MAL Score: 7.86
The Sailor Guardians and their leader, Sailor Moon, continue their duty of protecting Earth from any who would dare cause it harm. However, Sailor Mars’ apocalyptic visions and the appearance of two new guardians—Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus—signal that a new battle will soon begin.
These newcomers seek three Talismans that are inside the Pure Heart Crystals within human beings. Once brought together, these objects form The Holy Grail, a magical relic with extraordinary abilities. They want to use the Grail to save the world, but an evil organization known as the Death Busters seeks its power for their own desires.
The removal of a Talisman from a person’s Heart Crystal will cause their death, something that Uranus and Neptune see as a necessary sacrifice to form the Grail, while Sailor Moon and her group deem it unforgivable. But can any sacrifice be worth the cost if it saves the lives of the entire human race?
It has always been a peeve of mine when a story develops to a point and then mystically finds itself reverting back. Sailor Moon S suffers from the introduction of some pretty unlikable characters plus the reintroduction of an annoying one. The later is Chibi-Usa, the future daughter of Usagi and Mamoru who pointlessly returns from the future, apparently to just become a pest. The progress made in the relationship between Usagi and Chibi-Usa apparently is meaningless as we are again treated to constant arguing and disrespect shown to her “mother”. Honestly the whole time I just wanted Usagi to take her over her knee and throttle her back to the future. Even more inexplicable is Chibi Usa’s constant interference in Usagi’s and Mamoru’s relationship. I mean she does realize if they aren’t together she won’t be born… right?
The other new characters are the introduction of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. A pair of completely unlikeable, cruel, and arrogant girls who never do answer for their own crimes as they ruthlessly pursue their own goals. Their rude and despicable attitude towards Usagi and the other guardian senshi despite being saved by them multiple times made them, for me at least, difficult to like.
For the most part these are my early impressions, and made it hard to get through the series until it starts to reach its climax. Chibi-Usa does become less annoying and she really isn’t in the series as much as it appeared she was going to be by the end. Though my dislike for Uranus and Neptune remained until the end. The story is pretty good but really not as strong as the first two series. The motivations of the villains don’t feel as defined as in previous seasons and the plot really feels repetitive for almost three quarters of the show. The weaknesses of the first two series remain, though the action is a little better. Mostly because of the addition of the new warriors the numbers of combinations increase which makes the battles a little more diverse. Though they are still pretty boring. I also felt that the Inner Senshi characters that are really important took too much of a backseat to the unlikable Outer Senshi. While each girl does have a couple episodes devoted to them it does feel like they have been mostly neglected. Also the romance elements were almost nonexistent in this series, which was a major disappointment for me. Despite all these things, the ending arc is very well done and I did enjoy the whole Sailor Saturn/Mistress 9 part of the story.
The art is probably the best it has been up to this point. Though there are a number of issues I had with the animation. Mostly this has to do with the really silly and overly long cut scenes, the biggest offender being Usagi’s use of her special attack. Really was all that dancing around and spins necessary? Also the music really suffers here as well with the introduction of some of the corniest anime music I have ever heard. Now when the sailors transform we get treated to individual songs for each girl. I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh or cry when listening to it.
Overall though I still did end up liking this series, and it is particularly saved by the last arc involving Sailor Saturn. It has a number of flaws but it is still the Sailor Moon I know and love. It seems to know when you are really getting annoyed or frustrated with something and stops in time before you want to turn it off. Fans of the first two seasons will still enjoy this but you will probably be a little let down, particularly on the romance side, like I was.
Now I think this is one of the precious animes I have ever seen because it is funny un childish in its sort kind of way, it is romantic and a little bit nude but isn’t too pervert to show to children, it shows different kind of situations that could happen in real life too (mostly metaphorical of course) and it shows that bravery and good friends are most valuable think in world.
It is good anime because of these situations which teaches us to be brave and never give up. At least from this anime I learned that and now I never give up and continuing to be brave when it is needed.
We open with a new threat. One that gives our heroines a cold sweat. They call themselves the Death Busters. Emerging from deep dimensional clusters. At the same time new soldiers appear. Representing a new era, we have Uranus and Neptune, both quite queer. I don’t mean that in any kind of demeaning sense. So please don’t take offence. It’s quite literally true. These girls quickly cause yuri to ensue. The Death Busters are seeking talismans for reasons unknown. The Sailor Soldiers seek to make them atone. First, however, they must discover the talisman’s locale. As well as Uranus and Neptune’s motivations and rationale. Can they stop these villain from stealing the crystals of people’s hearts? What’s the best way to bring down these upstarts?
There’s only one real narrative failing. At times the story seems to be flailing. Rather than pushing forward and progressing with the story. Fighting further monsters gives them glory. In all fairness, filler episodes are nothing new. The positive side to it is that they allow the characters to develop their dynamics without much ado.
On to more positive aspects. The narrative works in many respects. The battle against the Busters has some high tension. The whole conflict with Uranus and Neptune, revolving around differences in outlook, adds dimension. This is also the funniest the series has ever been. With plenty of humorous episodes and many a comedic scene. There’s also some strong romance. Not betwixt Mamoru and Usagi, they’ve already blown their chance. The romance between Uranus and Neptune is really strong. You can tell that together they belong. There’s also a budding romance when Hotaru and Chibi-Usa meet. It’s really very sweet. The climactic battle is very intense. Containing several factors for suspense. It makes for quite interesting viewing. Seeing the plans that have been built up and the attempts at their undoing.
The cast in this works really well. Adding Haruka, Michiru & Hotaru really helps it excel. The three all get fleshed out back stories. Which help elevate them above simple categories. The villains are also quite interesting, I must profess. The way they’re written has finesse. Like the other villains we’ve seen, they’re quite sympathetic. They aren’t just evil for the evils and unapologetic. You actually feel for them and hope to see them mend their ways. Before they find themselves going out in a blaze. Our favourite soldiers all make a triumphant return. Complete with more facets still for us to learn. I also have to admit that Chibi-Usa is vastly improved. With her more annoying attributes from the last series virtually removed. The character dynamics are very strong. Especially given that the cast has become a veritable throng.
The artwork in this looks quite dated. It’s not bad but it’s also not to be venerated. It has the usual over-used stock footage attacks. It also spends too much time with the transformations and those are facts. That being said, the backgrounds can look pretty nice. The series also has some more active action sequences that help add spice. All things considered, it all looks decent enough. Albeit it can be a bit rough.
The series brings back its already stellar cast. With additions for the new characters amassed. Ogata Megumi, Minaguchi Yuko & Katsuki Masako all make their appearance. Fitting in with perfect adherence. All the acting is quite terrific. With many actresses prolific. The music was composed by Arisawa Takanori and it’s really good. Helping convey the mood and build the atmosphere as it should.
S has more yuri than the first two series of Sailor Moon. In that area,, the addition of Haruka & Michiru is quite the boon. These two have les-yay with all five main sailor soldiers, Haruka especially. There’s even a scene where Ami, Rei, Makoto & Minako compete over which of them will dance with her when she’s back from dancing with Usagi, freshly. That being said, it’s their dynamic together that’s truly a sight to behold. It just gets cuter as we watch it unfold. We also get Chibi-Usa and Hotaru’s relationship. It’s certainly no stranger to skin-ship. There’s also a nice little scene where Ami gets jealous seeing Rei with another girl. Only to have really obvious relief when she discovers that it was perfectly innocent and not a romantic whirl.
That’s it for Sailor Moon S, how does it hold up? Well, it’s quite strong in terms of set-up. The characters get fleshed out and developed well. Their relationships are certainly swell. The artwork holds up the least. The rest of the attributes are surprisingly uncreased. Of the three I’ve looked at so far, I’d say this is the best. Being a definitive cut above the rest. In terms of rating, a 9/10 is how I’d rate it. Although I’m sure, like the first series, the English dub is shit. Starting this Sunday I’ll go into this year’s film festival week since it seems like good timing. Although those reviews will be sans the rhyming. I’ll start with Kara no Kyoukai Mirai Fukuin since starting with a KnK film has become a habit. So let’s see what’s in store for the world they inhabit. Thanks for sticking with me for three hundred reviews. I hope my words have helped amuse.
1: Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai
English: Galaxy Warring State Chronicle Rai
MAL Score: 7.92
Rai is a space opera that fuses feudal Chinese and Japanese customs with vast galaxy spanning empires and space-going societies. The story follows the life and times of the samurai Rai, and the quest of several spacefaring factions for control of territory and, of course, the Empire.
The story never slows down and keeps us always interested even if it change sometimes the mood going from light comedy to serious war drama.
And look out for the opening and ending one being a very heroic animation and song and the other sad and dramatic animation and song.
I love how the story went on. It will not give you any chance to be bored. The setting may not be your usual setting because its like the old history meets the sci-fi setting which kind of unique. Even though that this primary tackles war, the development was not dragging and will keep you interested with different other things like a little comedy on the side and depths of the characters.
Since this is an old anime, the art is quite good comparing to the anime that was shown in the same year.
One thing that I always remembered about this anime is the opening song. I recalled that every time the TV starts to play the opening song, whenever I am in the house, I will definitely rush in front of out TV set, and I even compete with my classmates in singing its opening and ending songs.
The things that I love the most here are the characters. I believe they are well developed. The characters was able to justify the story and they did what they supposed to be doing, keeps the audience interested. I remembered that I did shed tears when one of the main characters died.
As you can see, I really did enjoy this anime, if you’re looking for classic kick ass anime, I really recommend you watching this.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai
2. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S
3. Mobile Fighter G Gundam
4. Marmalade Boy
5. Magic Knight Rayearth
6. Aoki Densetsu Shoot!
7. Akazukin Chacha
8. Macross 7
9. Blue Seed
10. Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai