They’re the best Anime that 1995 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Magic Knight Rayearth, Marmalade Boy, Magic Knight Rayearth II, and more!
10: 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.
9: 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
8: Magic Knight Rayearth II
English: Magic Knight Rayearth II
Japanese: 魔法騎士（マジックナイト）レイアース II
MAL Score: 7.52
Soon after Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu return to Tokyo, the three of them meet at Tokyo Tower to talk. Hikaru says that she wishes they could return to Cephiro and do something good for the land that Princess Emeraude protected so dearly. Umi and Fuu agree. Suddenly, a light appears in the sky and they are transported to Cephiro. Clef explains to them that with no Pillar to keep Cephiro peaceful, it has fallen into chaos. Monsters are multiplying and the land is becoming desolate. All the remaining inhabitants of Cephiro have moved into a magical castle. Clef also tells the girls some alarming news; three other countries, Chizeta, Fahren, and Autozam are trying to invade Cephiro and take over the Pillar system for their own purposes. The girls must stop the invaders as well as the mysterious and evil Lady Debonair, who believes she is the rightful Pillar, all the while desperately hoping and searching for a new Pillar to make Cephiro into the beautiful land it once was.
I thought the magic knights were developed enough already and they were able to use their maturity and experience, but they just simply couldn’t develop any further to some extent. To me, at that point, they just hit their peak. If they didn’t go back and have that ending where they are embracing each other and crying, then this story would have worked out better. It’s just my main beef will always be that the ending had an incredible impression on me filled with emotion and resolution But by going back, and then coming back, you truly do see their development of how much they cared about protecting Cefiro.
Along with the characters, we now have a lot of new elements to the series with design. Like the Autozam people represented industrial and robotic technology. Of course with the Magic Knights have those Mashins looking like mechs, the Autozam people have their own mechs like the FTO and the GTO. Their costume designs are pretty nifty as well. It has a descent balance of being fantasy and sci fi features to it. The FTO that Eagle pilots bares a very strong resemblance to the Dunbine from Aura Battler Dunbine which I thought was pretty cool, but had more of a First Appearance Iron Man twist to it. I also like how the other antagonists from Fahren and Chizeta were more cultural looking. Fahren was based on ancient China and Chizeta was more Arabic but they spoke in Osaka dialect. To combat the Mashin’s, Lady Aska brings a drawing that resembles her servant to a gigantic form and the Chizeta twins can use humongous genies.
Which leads me to the action. It is more reliant on the lets say “mech action” and we don’t see much sword play or magic. I guess that takes away from using excessive recycled footage. I really like the action, but I just really miss the approach and how it tried to distinguish itself from other magical girl anime. Now it tries to be more like a mech anime. Granted I do like the designs of the Mashins and the FTO, but giant genies and weird drawings once again comes into why I didn’t like the humor.
And the miniaturization of the characters isn’t really as prevalent as it was in the previous season.
Ferio now being revealed to have royal blood is now dressed up more formally, and lets say Caladina shedded some clothing.
Other than that, it’s the same old CLAMP school of how they draw eyes and faces. It’s a pity thanks to the circumstances of the story, we don’t get to see much of the scenery that the first season had which brought a great imagination element to it.
Well, I couldn’t get past an episode of watching the English dub in the first season, so I never really bothered watching the dub for the 2nd season. But anyway, the cast still remains the same that were initially introduced in the previous series. The original cast still do their roles very well and convincingly. I still love how passionate and emotional Hikaru always comes across. Juurouta Kosugi who played Zagato is also back and this time he is playing his brother Lantis. I don’t think the role really requires his charisma or his dark voice, but character wise, it was important.
Some additions to the cast are Inoue Yo and Hisakawa Aya as the Chizeta princess twins, Tatra and Tetra. Inoue Yo still has that calm voice you always hear in other roles as Belldandy from Ranma and Kasumi from Ranma. But she brings a more humorous tone with how she likes to joke around. Hisakawa Aya who has played Sailor Mercury as Chizeta is not really as recognizable as Inoue Yo. She is more darker toned and tends to sound more angry and serious.
Some of the background music is still the same from the first season. Like instrumental versions of Yuzurenai Negai are still sometimes used and still plays very orchestrated music. A lot of the new background music is well cultural appropriate to some of the characters. Especially that of Tetra and Tarta who represent more of an Arabian kind of background and that kind of music is played to represent them. So I think it’s really well appropriate to the mood as usual.
I can’t really get into the new opening theme, Hikari to Kage wo Dakishimete Mama. Sure it’s still sung by the same singer of the previous song, Naomi Tamura, but because I don’t like the themes of the story, the song also does a good job of telling it but doesn’t have the kind of pacing or the kind of emotion that was appealing that Yuzurenai Negai had. But on the other hand, the video clips does go pretty synch to the song.
Well, in terms of story, on a conceivable sense, it was a great idea. I thought it took a very original and distinctive approach. I really miss the Japanese style RPG like characteristics it had. And as a result, there are no video games based on this particular story arc in considering the fact I do happen to still enjoy the Sega Saturn and Super Nintendo games. And with the art and animation, since the 2nd season aired a week after the first season ended and didn’t have a year break like how other anime seasons do, they really couldn’t do much to have any significant improvement in the design. But the newer characters were fresh, but not really that exciting or distinctive. The music is still alright and didn’t really change too much.
This is emphasized by the three nations invading the crumbing Cephiro, each who have their own reasons for invading, but eventually, two of the three decide the better, and actually help to save Cephiro during the final battle.
Besides the invading nations, there is the mysterious Nova and her “mother” Debonaire. They are, in fact the only real bad guys in the story. The characters from other nations are all likable. It’s neat how they play off of different civilizations too. Even the music matches, which is very good!
The series develops Hikaru more, from the naive hyper girl into a much more mature girl. She also has her first experience with love. What I dislike about this season, however, is that too much time is focused on Hikaru, leaving Umi and Fuu pretty much forgotten about.
It’s also nice to see the bonds that have formed between the former villains of the series. Lantis is an interesting addition, but is far too emotionless. I find a lot of CLAMP’s male characters, especially the tall skinny black haired ones, to be hard to tell apart, and somewhat emotionally dead. But it’s great to see Ferio back, now fulfilling his position of royal blood. And the romance between he and Fuu is shown a little more.
The story is moving, i would say it is even more moving than the first season. While it is missing some of the beautiful scenery, it is made up for by the story.
Besides focusing too much on Hikaru, I also did not like the mecha theme that was there. The knights spend most of their fighting time in their mashins. But the battles where they do use magic and swordplay are good.
The music is amazing, especially the last opening theme. The first opening theme of the season is meant to link the two stories together, each showing scenes from the first season as well as the current. The song kind of sucks. But the last opening theme, Hikari to kage wo dakishimata, is beautiful.
The end of the series is also very emotionally involved, but on a happier note than the first season.
Overall, this season is very good, and if you liked the first season, you should definitely watch this one. (as long as you avoid the dub, then again, I have never seen a good english dub, I don’t even bother anymore!)
If there’s one thing I like is how the show starts off by addressing the aftereffects of the previous Season’s finale. It was not a happy ending to say the least, and the girls are understandably traumatized by the ordeal. Thus their main motivation is to try and do something to try and fix the mess that they made… even though, as all the other characters point out, it wasn’t their fault.
That’s also something I like. It is shown that the problems that arose in the last season wasn’t something that could be attributed to any one particular person, but rather a problem inherent to a much larger system that was the problem. In turn this Season does address that, and at multiple points the stupidity of such a system is pointed out. Hell, the morality in this show isn’t too far off from what you’d see in a Ghibli movie, with it being rather white and gray overall (Bar one small element of it that I’ll take about in a bit). In turn, the storyline has also become far more serialized. No more filler episodes here, folks, this is one long ass storyline that takes its sweet time to develop.
That said, it’s not as if this show is perfect. While an improvement overall, I dare say it does some things WORSE than the previous Season. For instance, while I do appreciate their attempt to give Hikaru a character arc, the actual subplot is hideously drawn out and unnecessary, with it dominating the whole plot during its last few episodes. Also, the previously mentioned morality? Well for some reason they decided to introduce a VERY CLEAR VILLAIN, which just kinda ruins the idea, especially since apparently this subplot wasn’t in the Manga and was instead a replacement for one I find to be much more interesting (At least from what I’ve heard about it. I admittedly haven’t read Rayearth’s Manga). So yeah, while there is a lot of good here, there’s also some very notable bad stuff.
The cast is pretty good, but yet again our main trio is the weak link. Hikaru is better than before, namely as a result of the previously mentioned subplot, but overall she’s still kinda generic to me. Umi is still my favorite overall and this Season does give her what’s quite possibly her absolute best moment, while Fuu… is Fuu, so I don’t really care about her.
The sidecast yet again comes in to save the day. A bunch of new characters are introduced, and I did like most of them (Bar Primera, she sucks). The new cast is quirky, yet there also is more to them than just their quirk. Wether it be Tatra and Tarta and how wonderfully they contrast each other, Asuka and her endless childishness, or Eagle Vision’s calm, polite demeanor, the new characters certainly don’t fail to be entertaining. Hell, even Lantis, despite looking and sounding identically like him, somehow managed to avoid being a blatant copy of his Brother.
That said, the same cannot be said about the final villains. To wit, Debonair is boring, with absolutely nothing going for her other than being the embodiment of fear or some crap like that. By contrast, Nova is just annoying. Look, I don’t mind Yanderes, but the problem is that Nova’s dialogue is extremely repetitive, with her basically repeating the same sentences over and over again, which is not helped by the fact that there is literally nothing else to her. I was quite happy when she got killed off, to say the least.
It’s a slight upgrade over Season 1. In general, everything looks crisper, the movement is far more fluid, and the Animation is just better in almost every way possible. I also have to commend the artists as they did a great job at differentiating the different factions. Characters from Cephiro all look like if they were right out of a traditional fairy tale, Autozam is very clearly inspired by multiple Cyberpunk stories, Fahren is a very clear China expy, and Chizeta is a very nice homage to classic Arabian folklore. Say whatever you want about CLAMP’s artstyle, they sure know how to make their characters varied in terms of design
No Mecha section as it’s basically the same as the last Season. Moving on!
The soundtrack is as good as always, with all the songs fitting their respective scenes and characters. As for the Opening and Ending themes, I did admittedly quite like “Hikari to Kage wo Dakishimeta Mama” and “Itsuka Kagayaku”, but I didn’t really care for “Kirai wa Narenai” and just plain disliked “Lullaby ~Yasashiku Dakasete~”.
Bar Okiayu Ryotaro, the whole cast from Season 1 returns and does a great job as always. This does include Ogata Megumi and Kosugi Jurota, whose characters were killed off back in Season 1. The way they went about it is quite nice, with Kosugi now playing Zagato’s brother Lantis and using basically the same performance, all the while Ogata gets to play into her more usual typecasting as the effeminate yet clearly male Eagle Vision. On that note, Takayama Minami gets a chance to use her huskier voice in this Season due to Ascott getting a growth spurt, which is nice. Beside them there’s Itou Miki, Otsuka Akio, Inoue Kikuko, Genda Tessho, Hisakawa Aya, Yanada Kiyoyuki, Koorogi Satomi, Kakemaru Junichi and Shiratori Yuri.
While not a perfect show, not even a great one, I do feel that this Season was better than the last one. It had its flaws, sure, but I did overall enjoy myself. If you liked Season 1, I’d say you should watch it. If you didn’t though, I would say no, as while it is better, there isn’t enough different so that someone who didn’t like Season 1 would like it. Still though, as far as I am concerned, it was pretty good.
Final Score: 8/10
7: Gokinjo Monogatari
English: Neighborhood Stories
MAL Score: 7.54
The protagonist, Kouda Mikako, is a student of “Yaza Gaku”. Specialising in fashion design, Mikako dreams of becoming a fashion designer with her own brand. Living next to her is her childhood friend, Yamaguchi Tsutomu. Even though they have been close since they were young, they share a platonic friendship. However, Tsutomu has been gaining popularity, especially with the girls, because he seems to resemble a popular vocalist from a band and somehow, Mikako begins to see him in a different light. This is a story about how youths cope with dreams, love and friendship.
Well, as much as I am loathed to put labels on what are clearly three-dimensional characters, here we have a show where Ai Yazawa pretty much presented us with what could be a psychological profile of a tsundere before such a term even came to existence. She’s brassy, full of herself and can sometimes be unfairly cruel, but that is just a front she she feels she has to put up in order to shield her vulnerable side.
Yes, it would be convenient to say Mikako is the way she is because of the childhood trauma of a divorce (and what her Mom did afterwards). But alas, the reason behind her disagreeable personality is artistically anticlimatic. That is simply the way she is, as is evident from the flashbacks from her childhood and later when she becomes “honest with herself.” This is the place where I feel the anime succeeds because we become too used to seeing the lead female character who is cutesy, klutsy, timid, moe or whatever stereotype that is supposed to appeal to the regular anime audience. She is truly one of the more variated full-rounded characters you’d find in any narrative.
The main drawback from this show, like a lot of the shoujo anime that aired around that time (Marmalade Boy, Kodocha) is the number of episodes. I really believe they could have more effectively told the story that they presented if they instead aired around half the episodes. Of course I am talking about filler episodes that sometimes introduced inconsistencies (***spoiler****e.g. why would Mikako be unable to sell her wrong-sized clothes at the second flea market if she was able to sell out all those exact same clothes at the first flea market?***spoiler***), but that is a minor quibble compared to the parade of episodes that occupied the middle featuring a love triangle between three supporting characters. They could have easily settled that matter in a handful of episodes, but they stretched it out over at least ten episodes, padding those with situations based on uselessly masochistic self-abnegations so contrived that my suspension of disbelief almost never recovered.
But thankfully, it didn’t overtake the main story of the show, which was the real draw in the first place. It’s clear the creator had a lot of fun with her inaugural anime adaptation and it shows through her somewhat unconventional artwork and character designs. The whole thing sort of reminds me of “Doug”. The animation certainly shows its age, although it’s pretty solid for what was shown at the time. For those who are expecting the quality put into Yazawa’s other two animes by Madhouse Studio, be warned that you’ve been spoiled.
The music, mostly provided by Mikako’s seiyuu Rumi Shishido might be an acquired taste for some (for those who don’t like unsteady singing voices), but it grows on you, at least it did for me. The story, as long as it focuses on the two main characters, is pretty solid-grade work as it navigates you through the ups and downs of a teenage girl trying to cope with her contrary personality. As for enjoyment – well I wouldn’t have spent at least 62 total hours going over the series if I didn’t enjoy it. So in the end it would have received a higher grade for the story and characterization if it weren’t for the mostly repetitive fillers.
What initially drew me to watch this show was the very unique art style. Everything is done completely with flat colors which made me think of ’70s cartoons. It’s definitely a peculiar look, but fits the show to a tea. There’s a perfect balance between being tastefully retro and progressively modern. Thankfully nothing is really lost with having such beautiful artwork either. It’s similar to Sailor Moon in the sense that the art style at its core is so strong and appealing that the limited animation isn’t as much noticeable, though, that’s not to say that it doesn’t also look great in motion, because it does.
But art only nets you so many points in your favor. I could also mention the music which is absolutely phenomenal and so good that it can almost be a little distracting at times. Take that as you will, I see it as a positive. But the characters is where Ai Yazawa shines and Gokinjo Monogatari certainly doesn’t skimp out on that. Despite being one of her earlier manga, it works because it all feels very personal.
Every character in Gokinjo Monogatari is lovable and easy to empathize with. Even if there were a character you didn’t particularly like or connect with at first, I guarantee you’ll grow to love them during one of their episodes. Yes, while there definitely is an on-going narrative, for the most part it’s pretty casual. There definitely is plenty of drama and romance, but it weaves in and out of relevance rather than being the main focus. And in between that you have a string of really wholesome episodes that’ll tug at your heartstrings. These were some of my favorite episodes and really showcases the show’s wide emotional palette.
With that being said, comedy is one thing Gokinjo Monogatari does not prioritize. Most of it comes from cheeky banter between the characters. It’s more charming than anything, but you won’t exactly be laughing out loud. Honestly I kind of like that though. Makes everything feel a lot more genuine. Every scenario feels like it could’ve been directly inspired from the creators’ lives. It creates this very intimate bond between the show and the viewer. Gokinjo Monogatari is something you watch to invest yourself into these characters’ lives. To see this group of friends figuring themselves out through the hard times, but ultimately sticking together out of mutual love for each other. While some moments hit very close to home and and made me feel the same guilt and anxiety as the characters, at the end of the day it encourages self-improvement and shows you that there are people out there for you. Is it anything life-changing? Maybe, maybe not. It’s honestly more reaffirming than anything. Makes me feel more confident in myself. And I think that’s something everybody could appreciate. Regardless of what you get out of this show, it absolutely will stick with you one way or another.
Now I wasn’t too thrilled with seeing the opening of this anime because it looks so old, the characters are drawn in a funny way, none of the female characters have boobs and the music was kind of blah. But, somehow, you get hooked on the show and start to enjoy it without realizing.
Story is great. I love that everyone is in a Art school. Each character has goals and aspirations that are different from typical anime out here so I enjoyed that. Also because I can relate to most of the characters as well. Mikako wants to have her own brand and sell her handmade clothes. Her friends study, work hard and make everything that they by hand to sell at the flee market. It just goes to show that hard work really pays off! There’s a lot of love triangles that takes place in this anime. It might become too much at times but just follow along. Great story. You see the characters unfold when the time is right and you get to learn a lot from this anime too.
Of course the art isn’t all that great but it doesn’t matter because the story and plot is what keeps you watching. Also, I realized that even though the females are drawn a certain way and don’t seem to have womanly features such as breasts, hips and thighs, they are still beautiful in their own way. Especially with the several fashion ideas and clothes they wear. I kind of liked that because you don’t have to draw a busty woman just to make her look sexy. It’s all about the personality of the person, or in this case, the characters.
Many of you aren’t going to like the music. it took me awhile to get used to it but I grew to like it.
I love the characters mainly because it’s a creation of Yazawa Ai. But also since I am a big NANA lover, i like to think that Mikako is Hachi and Risa is Nana, Risa’s boyfriend is Ren and Yuusuke is Takumi.. But that’s just me and my fantasies lol I grew to love all the characters even though some of them annoyed me. Mikako annoyed me through half of the show because she is actually a tsundere character to the fullest. But I learned to appreciate and love her and her personality because most girls go through the same feelings and thoughts. Everyone has thought of something that isn’t true or loved a person so much but couldn’t tell him so you be mean to them for no reason. Or when you see your lover talking to someone else you get jealous. Mikako goes through so many emotions that you learn to love because she is like most people, even yourself. There’s a lot of ups and downs in this anime and in the end, it will be all worth it.
I enjoyed this very much. I liked the story, I liked the characters, I like how creative everything is and the journey of a young girl trying to sell her fashion brand clothes, with the conflicts of relationships and family. Yet she still tries her best to become successful. Her and everyone else in her group. It’s a bitter sweet kind of anime. The one thing I hate about this anime is the filler episodes and the constant flashbacks. Sometimes it would be so long and so repetitive that it can take up half of an episode! So, its ok when you know when to skip a few minutes but all in all its a pretty good watch.
I was going to rate it a 7 at first but after finishing the show and looking back on it, the story was really great. Especially for an anime back in the 90s with a story like this. I really enjoyed it and to everyone that has seen Paradise Kiss, please watch this anime and watch Paradise Kiss again. You will enjoy it 10xs more because now you fully understand each character and the message being sent about women, aspirations and goals, and conflict with love and family. Thank You.
6: Kaitou Saint Tail
English: Mysterious Thief Saint Tail
Japanese: 怪盗セイント テール
MAL Score: 7.54
Meimi Haneoka, 14, is a normal girl during the daytime, but during the night, she assumes the “position” of Saint Tail, a modern-day Robin Hood who steals from thieves and gives items back to their original owners. She is aided by her friend, Seira Mimori, a nun-in-training, and she is chased by her classmate (and soon-to-be love interest), Daiki Asuka (often called “Asuka Jr.”).
Meimi, of course, is Saint Tail and the young detective trying to catch her is her classmate Asuka Jr. You\’ll have to suspend your disbelief with this one as one impossibility after another keep Saint Tail out of the cops\’ grasp. And another thing – it\’s not as if she actually hurt anybody. Who will persecute someone who steals somebody\’s running shoes and return them to the original owner, anyway?
But as I said, you won\’t really dwell that much on the robberies. Like me, you\’ll probably get hooked on Meimi and Asuka Jr. and waiting for the moment that Asuka Jr. finally catches Saint Tail. Lighthearted and cute, this anime is definitely one of my favorite classics.
like 2 episodes for themselves so I give character a 9. 10 for enjoyment I loved this show so much I reached it immediately, yes a 44 episode show. You may be wondering why I left Story for last, well mostly because it’s the shortest but a complex woven tale. This show really centers around the love story between Meimi and Asuka Jr. this is not a only because it is well established in the first episode there seems to be nothing that stands in the way of these feelings. Knowing this before the watching bears no harmful results on ones enjoyment because this show is a love story woven throughout and everything else is merely a backdrop for it to grow. To quote Shakespeare: Life is but a game, men and women, merely players.
5: 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.
4: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS
English: Sailor Moon SuperS
Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーン Super S
MAL Score: 7.60
SuperS centers heavily on Chibi-usa and the Sailor Team. A new enemy, the Dead Moon Circus, has now appeared. Their motive is to find the Golden Dream Mirror that would be used to rule the world. To do this, the enemy attacks innocent victims for their Dream Mirrors and test their energy. Chibi-usa also has a new ally on her side, Pegasus. This season also sees the Sailor Senshi obtaining new powers.
Story: The story is, I’ll grant not as involved as the other arcs. And the fact that we know Chibi Usa has Pegasus right off the bat kills some of the suspense. SuperS is often criticized for being too light and cutesy. But even though most of the episodes are filler, as with the rest of Sailor Moon, they are rarely boring. It is lighter, but we just had S, arguably the darkest season in the series, and we’re about to get into Stars, which is also very heavy on the angst. SuperS is a welcome intermission. Some of the episodes are very funny, such as when Usagi stalks Rei and Mamoru as the red ninja of love, or when Minako dates two of the villains simultaneously. I also like that it focuses on Chibi Usa, she really comes into her own. She also gets her own romance with Helios, which I think is the sweetest relationship in all of Sailor Moon.
Art: I’m not a big art person. The art is I think better than the earlier seasons, but it’s Sailor Moon. You don’t watch it for it’s animation merit.
Sound: The Japanese voices are wonderful as always. The English is…yeah. Though I will say Helios’ dub voice is really sexy. The score is top-notch, I think SuperS has the best music. Lots of new pieces.
Character: The Inners all develop a bit, Usagi really doesn’t but oh well. Chibi Usa is the one who goes through the most change, SuperS for her is like what Classic was for Usagi. And um, there’s Helios, who is awesome!
Enjoyment: It’s fun to watch, really. I swear.
Overall: I wish this season wasn’t written off so much. It has some wonderful qualities. I never tire of it. I highly recommend you at least give it a try!
While the manga of the SuperS arc gave Chiba Mamoru his due spotlight, the anime version utterly refuses him of this. Chiba Mamoru is once again left to linger in the background of every story (virtually absent in the Star season to come) while Chibi-Usa is given yet again way too much screen time.
The SuperS anime focuses on Chibi-Usa, as if an entire S season of her friendship with Tomoe Hotaru wasn’t enough. Unless you love Chibi-Usa (to DEATH) this may not bother you. Just warning, almost every episode has Chibi-Usa piping in it.
The art value changes randomly throughout this series. Some episodes are of excellent quality but many of them revert back to the cheap animation of Sailormoon R (part I, Doom Tree).
As for sound, Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon is consistant in its good soundtrack, but this season offers almost nothing new.
When it comes to Character Development, an Inner Senshi may have one episode them seems to be about them (namely, when Tiger-eye, Hawk-eye or Fish-eye persues them) but otherwise such expectations go unfulfilled.
The Enjoyment level is Poor due to all the reasons listed above. I for one hate Chibi-Usa and find the entire series grating, frustrating and poor quality. Overall, however, there is some goodness to be gleaned, like the progression of Sailormoon’s powers as well as the Inner Senshi and the knowledge that we won’t have to put up with Chibi-usa anymore in Stars.
Story: One thing that annoyed me about this season, is also an annoying point that the anime did to the first, and Stars seasons. They left out a lot of important manga plot elements. It would have been a much more worthy season if had shown those details instead of leaving them out. It was a cute season, regardless.
Art: I absolutely love how they made Pegasus look artistically. Every one of his appearances had a magical essence to it, so art-wise this season was pretty good.
Sound: No big deal in sound either in this season. No groundbreaking music, a lot of soft melodies were played throughout most of it, so it had a serene feel to it. Not horrible, but not amazing either. The voices though of Pegasus and Nehenlenia were top-notch.
Character: Although I’m not much of a Mini Moon fan, the new character of Pegasus/Helios was a great addition, and actually made me like Mini Moon’s character more. Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask were hilarious acting as parents, but other than that, the main leads weren’t exactly main in this season. It’s all about Mini Moon this time.
Enjoyment: I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed. I would have loved if this season were more like the manga’s story-line instead of just Mini Moon being the main focus. Tuxedo Mask’s origin story was prominent in the manga, instead it was only referenced in this the anime season. The same applies to the quartet villains, who also didn’t get their origin or outcome in the anime explained.
Overall: This season wasn’t the absolute best season, but still it’s worth watching for it’s cute scenes, and romance.
3: Fushigi Yuugi
English: Mysterious Play
MAL Score: 7.63
While visiting the National Library, junior-high students Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo are transported into the world of a mysterious book set in ancient China, “The Universe of The Four Gods.” Miaka suddenly finds herself with the responsibility of being the priestess of Suzaku, and must find all of her celestial warriors for the purpose of summoning Suzaku for three wishes; however, the enemy nation of the god Seiryuu has manipulated Yui into becoming the priestess of Seiryuu. As enemies, the former best friends begin their long struggle to summon their respective gods and obtain their wishes…
Each character for the most part has their own unique use and contribution to the story and they are presented in ways you get to know them. The characters or heck, maybe even one character will grow on you as you watch from start to finish. I would explain this, but it would be a significant spoiler, and if you’ve seen this anime, you know what I’m talking about. Whether that character is good or bad, you’ll love them. Hell, my favorite character Nakago is the primary antagonist and even Yuu Watase, the original manga-ka has admitted that Nakago is her favorite character.
The anime will hopefully satisfy men and women. The story overall is very diverse with its appeal, but it went a little longer than it should have, but it ends in a way where everything is resolved and the characters wonderfully develop. It has romance, adventure, excitement, comedy and action, which I will further get into. However, what will annoy male and female alike is the interaction between Tamahome and Miaka when they really get romantic with each other. It kind of drags and we don’t need that much hugging even if we can appreciate how much they love each other.
Well, the character design today doesn’t really stand out in comparison to most shoujo out there for the most part. The costume designs are a little flamboyant for the setting, but even so, they still compliment the character designs very well where it helps make them stand out a bit more. The action is well coordinated, technical and raw which will appeal to male viewers. The city settings captures the heart of ancient China very captivatingly and truly represents their culture at that time period where they gathered to worship the emperor. However, with the modern day settings, you get a different approach to the school uniform with the blazer and ribbon design you see in lets say Evangelion, than the more mainstream sailor uniform which I thought was unique to anime in the mid-1990s with Magic Knight Rayearth and Sailor Moon being the rage back then with those designs, so its nice to see something different. It is also unique to point out in the real world in Fushigi Yuugi, nobody has crazy color hair, but in the book, you got the typical crazy color anime hair which was somewhat of the intention of Watase and the staff at Studio Pierrot. So overall, the art may be descent, but the character design 100% stand out, but the action, costumes, and scenery makes up for it.
The dub of Fushigi Yuugi does have some credible names, but I don’t think the dub was good. First off, Tamahome is played by David Hayter who you may know as the voice of Solid Snake from MGS. When you hear that voice in relation to Tamahome’s image, it just doesn’t match. He makes Tamahome sound gruffy, though it’s not the voice he uses for Solid Snake, but when he does scream, he does scream like Snake. This kind of casting is to me, for the sake of casting a big name and you’re giving him a character he’s not appropriate for. However, this was a role I thought perfectly suited his Japanese counterpart, Midorikawa Hikaru, the voice of Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing, and Rukawa from Slam Dunk. Granted Midorikawa has played character opposite from Tamahome, he had a different kind of cool that Snake has, but he still has that passion and soft side that really captures him. As a matter of fact, Watase actually wanted him to play Tamahome because he had him in mind when he created the character.
I also enjoyed Kae Araki the voice of Sailor Chibi Moon as Miaka. She does sound annoying with her high-pitched voice, but it was at a certain tone where it really captured the character with all of these emotions whether sad, happy, concerned, or excited. And Seki Tomokazu, my 2nd favorite seiyuu who has played Miyata in Hajime no Ippo, Domon in G Gundam, Kamui in X The Movie, and many others was great as Chichiri, my 2nd favorite character. He is so multi-talented and he demonstrates it very well when you get to know his character more. Overall, the cast is just top notch and they all have great chemistry. Even though the romantic tension between Tamahome and Miaka gets annoying, their seiyuus truly make it believable.
The opening theme song Itoshii Hito no Tame Ni does open with this more traditional approach and then at the right moment, transitions to a more energetic J-Pop song. It’s very unique to me because it captures the cultural and romantic atmosphere of the series. And the ending theme Tokimeki Doukasen has a different kind of energy that is generic but still catchy and semi sexually suggestive in a more innocent sense. The background music is well orchestrated in every sense. Such as traditional Chinese music, more traditional cinematic.
Anyway, I think this is an anime I believe you should try to give a chance even if it may not be your taste. There are all kinds of good qualities this anime has that does make up for its bad ones. Even so, the bad qualities are still there but if you concentrate and stick to what you like, you’ll forget about them. I remember during the days of VHS fansubs, I used to talk to people who cried watching this series. It has all of these great themes such as love, friendship, loyalty, and betrayal and they are presented in a very realistically approachable manner. And believe me, there are moments where you might and I’m not ashamed to admit I have watching this series. The only anime that has achieved me to react like this since is the Kimura vs Mashiba oav of Hajime no Ippo.
Although it is one of my favorite series, there are some parts that to me are considered unsatisfactory. I feel a bit sorry for Chiriko because he was one of the lesser important seishis (the other would be Mitsukake). I am not a fan of Chiriko or Mitsukake, but I do think that they could’ve used more screen time.
I also noticed some discrepancies. It could be due to translation errors, but I’ll say it anyway. There was an episode where Keisuke and Tetsuya go to the Genbu shrine. They went there to see the Byakko miko. One question: why is the Byakko miko in the Genbu and not the Byakko shrine?
I have to mention that I watched the english dubbed version, because I found certain voice dubbers annoying. I hate Tomo’s voice – it is the most annoying voice I have ever heard in my life. Whoever thought of making Tomo’s voice sound that way was nuts and should be locked up in an asylum. Miaka was also a bit annoying. I cringe whenever she would cry out Tamahome’s name.
And now for the positives. I love the story – I think it is well thought of. It was able to mix in elements such as love, friendship, deceit, war, etc. into something really decent and worth watching. I first watched the show 6 years ago, and when I watched it again last month I find myself obsessed once more.
The visuals weren’t bad either – although I can’t say if I prefer seeing genitals on Yui and Miaka. Seeing naked people is bad enough. However, the show is filled with bishonens throughout the show. My personal favorite is Nuriko of course. He is my god. The wonderful art shown at the end of the show via the ending theme was beautifully made and I never grew tired of it.
The music wasn’t bad – most of it were mid 90s music, so I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it. I do like the ending song, "Tokimeki no Doukasen". It’s another one of those nostalgic song for me – everytime I hear it I can’t help but feel reminiscent of the year when I first watched Fushigi Yuugi. Some of the insert songs weren’t bad either. Again they were mid 90s styled, but they’re not so bad. I did get tired of the opening song after a while. Hearing "Maiagare Suzaku" for more than 10 times tends to get on my nerves.
I think one reason why the show was suspended on Filipino free TV was because of mild sex and vulgar language. This is definitely not for kids, but I would say it is a must – see for the 16+ crowd (mostly because I saw the show when I was 16).
Fushigi Yuugi: The Mysterious Play, is about a 15 year old girl Miaka Yuuki, and her best friend Yui Hongo. Miaka and Yui are in the library when Miaka sees a mysterious bird lead her to the restricted room of the library. There, Miaka finds a mysterious book, and her and Yui are pulled into the world. Miaka and Yui meet a mysterious man who saves them from slave traders, but Yui is thrown back out of the book, and the man has left, leaving Miaka all alone in this Ancient Chinese world. Miaka meets with the man again, and they end up at the palace, and through circumstances, Miaka is charged with the duty to gather together the seven senshi of Suzaku, and save Konan from destruction!
I know that makes no sense, but in a nutshell, Miaka fell into Konan, an Ancient Chinese world, where the whole world lives on the idea of the Four Gods in Chinese Mythology. Miaka is in the south, where Suzaku, the Red Bird (Pheonix in some translations) protects the country. Each God has 7 constellations (or in this case, the 7 senshi). So the constellations have taken the form of 7 warriors, and Miaka needs to gather them to summon Suzaku, who will grant her 3 wishes.
The animation itself is smooth, and well done, until about the second season (ep 27+) where the animation seems to take a bit of a plunge at times. The colouring is also very vibrant at times, but others, it’s very muddy looking, and monotone, because everything seems to be in the brown colour tone, except the hair of Miaka’s senshi. The most remarkable thing in the animation, however, is the eyes. When the animators but their mind to it, they draw some beautiful, bright, colourful eyes.
The music in this falls into an olden style theme, mostly Chinese sounding. However, they have their theme, and ending theme that do not fit that theme. And one thing you need to know about Fushigi Yuugi, is if you want to hear more of it’s music, be prepared for trumpets. Lots of trumpets.
Anyways, the theme song is fairly slow at first, but then seems to almost have dance feel to it. It’s nothing remarkable. The ending theme, however, is a dance song, but also has a fairly sad tone to it, fitting the series well, I feel.
The voices, English and Japanese, I have to mention, are wonderful. I love it in both languages. The voices fit the parts perfectly.
There is a whirlwind of characters. Be prepared to remember some names. The main characters are essentially Miaka, Yui, Tamahome, and Nakago, but you have the supporting cast (that consists of atleast 12 senshi, only including the Suzaku and Seiryuu), and about 13 more characters I can name off the top of my head.
While most characters have well-done development, because of the mass amount of characters, some of these character appear almost personality-less, most notably two of Miaka’s senshi, Chiriko and Mitsukake, and two of the Seriyuu senshi, Tomo and Miboshi (I’m not counting Ashitare because he practically never talks, and well… if you want to sure, he has no personality I suppose). Watase herself never really developed these characters, so they continue to suffer, even onto OAV’s, and even in their songs. But for the characters she does focus on, they are all very different, and it’s not hard to pick a favourite.
For all the bad things I have said, this series has an amazing fanbase, and I personally think it has high replay value. Everytime you watch the series, you find something you missed, but I remember the first time I saw this, and I was an addict, most literally. I couldn’t wait for them to release the next VHS (and boy did they have alot… 14). I know of people that do dislike this series, but for the most part, everyone has something about this they liked, and it usually lies in the characters themselves, particularily the senshi.
C’mon, for a series that spawned so much merchandise, character songs, OAV’s, etc, how can it not be enjoyable?
Well yeah, the OAV’s aren’t enjoyable, but the series itself is fun to watch over and over again.
Overall / My Comments / My Feelings
The story is a bit different from the manga, and justifies this beginning a bit more. Miaka and Yui are pulled in to the book world, but they both return (in the anime, it’s only Yui). Miaka gets in an agruement with her mother, and runs back to the library, getting pulled into the book again to set her free of the pressures of her real life. The manga honestly has a stronger beginning, and gives you more sympathy for Miaka as the protagonist.
Even though my above comments aren’t the best, this is me looking at it critically. If you don’t, and just watch it for enjoyment, I can guarentee anyone who loves the romance genre of anime will like this.
Yes, Miaka and Tamahome can be terribly annoying. They are my least favourite characters after all… But the first time I watched the series, I LOVED those two, it’s just been 9 years since my first watching, and I’ve developed a series dislike for their constant crying for each other.
I know I sound negative, but I do recommend this series to anyone. Anyone. It’s a classic, and for it’s time, it was an incredibly original plot. (Yes, we know in Inu Yasha that Kagome travels between worlds, however, Fushigi Yuugi predates Inu Yasha quite a few years. Fy being originally published in the ’92 region and manga, while Rumiko was making Ranma 1/2 still at that time (she published the first Ranma in ’93) so it’s not possible that InuYasha could be more original than FY, because it wasn’t made at the same time. It’s possible Rumiko could have gotten ideas at that point (I can’t find the year for InuYasha)).
ANYWAYS, just watch Fushigi Yuugi. I’m going so off track here, because I like talking about how original the series is, and how much I love the characters. (Me? I’m a Tasuki fangirl)
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. Fushigi Yuugi
4. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS
5. Mobile Fighter G Gundam
6. Gokinjo Monogatari
7. Kaitou Saint Tail
8. Magic Knight Rayearth II
9. Marmalade Boy
10. Magic Knight Rayearth