They’re the best Anime that 2002 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Groove Adventure Rave, Wagamama☆Fairy Mirumo de Pon!, Shin Chou Kyou Ryo: Condor Hero, and more!
10: Groove Adventure Rave
English: Rave Master
MAL Score: 7.24
Fifty years ago, malevolent stones known as Dark Brings brought about the “Overdrive,” a calamitous event that destroyed one-tenth of the world. In the present day, the nefarious organization Demon Card seeks the Dark Brings’ power for their all but innocent intentions.
Haru Glory, a sword-wielding silver-haired teenager, inherits the title of Rave Master: the person who wields the power of the legendary Rave Stones, artifacts capable of destroying the Dark Brings. However, the many Rave Stones were scattered across the globe as a result of the Overdrive, allowing Demon Card to continue their malpractices.
Groove Adventure Rave follows Haru, his strange dog Plue, the fiery blonde Ellie, and the infamous thief Musica, as they embark on a great journey that will take them around the vast world, searching for the Rave Stones that will finally end Demon Card’s injustice.
The genres include: shounen, comedy, action, adventure and drama.
Groove Adventure Rave doesn’t have the most original story. It’s roughly like this: Haru Glory, a 16 years old “Rave Master”, must collect all five Rave-stones to prevent the world from being destroyed by the terrifying power of Darkbring, which caused Overdrive, a huge explosion which destroyed 1/10 of the world 50 years before. So, basically Groove Adventure Rave seems like your average collect-’em-all anime where the main character grows with every item he finds. And, yeah, that’s basically it, but there are also very interesting back stories and under it’s stupid upper layer, there is an interesting story for the ones that start watching “Rave”, but I can’t go into it further without spoiling.
The art for Groove Adventure Rave is above average. It’s nice and fluid, but the producers didn’t think much about the backgrounds that sometimes look pretty awful. They stuck to the original designs by Mashima Hiro very well, and the art catches the goofyness of the anime.
Not much to say here. The BGM is pretty bland, and the OP’s and ED’s are pretty boring. The voice actors on another hand were very good. Especially Tomokazu Seki as the main character Haru Glory.
The characters for Groove Adventure Rave are very good.
The main characters are Haru Glory: the Rave Master who has to collect the five Rave-stones to save the world (he is pretty much your average shounen male lead who gets stronger and stronger in order to beat the bad guys), Elie: the mysterious beauty with amnesia trying to remember who she is (the most interesting character whose past is unknown), and Musica: a Silver Claimer (meaning he can bend and shape silver as he wants) who is searching for a very special ship (your regular, arrogant cool-looking guy).
Despite it’s lacking story, I really enjoyed Groove Adventure Rave. The last arc was not as good as the others but is still very good. I was entertained the whole way and I definitely recommend Groove Adventure Rave to anyone who’s just looking for a fun anime to watch.
Groove Adventure Rave is a shounen-anime, and a good one at that, but it’s not the best one ever. Remind yourself of that before watching it. Still, Groove Adventure Rave is a very good anime and will keep you glad for a while.
I hope you found my review helpful, and if you didn’t please tell me why, so I can improve myself until next time.
Elie has lost her memory and she is trying to retrace her steps to get her memory back. Both characters awkwardly meet and agree to help each other out.
The drawing is not all there but the story and gags kind of help in my opinion, as you will understand once you watch it that some scenes seem as though they are from dbz and some are just too far fetched.
All in all I give it an 8 and it is worth watching in my opinion. Just don’t be too picky.
The story is very typical as its just a certain boy who is destine to go and stop a great evil but must collect something in order to get stronger and stop it. So why is this enjoyable? I’ll tell you why its because of its back story and how the plot progresses. There is so much back story that explains what going on and goes deep to make this not bland and shows a lot of time is put into this. As the plot goes on, the objective changes. Collecting rave stones is still there but its how they collect them that is change and that I’m not gonna spoil it, but lets just say its surprising even to me. This clearly show that this is gonna last like 100 more episodes but then they end it with a cliffhanger. I ask why!? How come this show doesn’t get more episodes like fairy tale as that still ongoing and lets not forget this is base off the manga of the same creator who made the fairy tale manga that the anime fairy tale is base on. I should also say that the anime is a little different to the manga which might disappoint some people who read it but to me its not a huge deal as I expected this but at least give it a non open ending! Now I know people might say its glad to end it because it might of drag like the other ongoing shonen jump titles and I can understand that but not to me. Also if you wan’t all the answers to certain plot points they mention, you’ll have to read the manga and I hated when they do that! So overall the plot I say its good but could of been great if they ending wasn’t so open and gives the answers to are questions.
The art is generic but is above generic. The characters looks is just like the manga which is nice. The animation is also very fluid and seems to be done well. But the backgrounds looks very crappy as not a lot of detail goes into them. So overall the art is very good and fits well.
The score is pretty decent. The BGM is pretty bland but fits when it comes to humor and serious moments. The ops and eds are good and can be pretty catchy. In the english dub version we don’t get but the score use really show they care. The BGM in that fits since the anime is goofy and seems to go well in the scene but its still pretty bland. The op they use is just one of the best dub themes I heard. Well to me anyway. So I give both of the music a score of 8 as they both might have some music you’ll like.
English dub vs english subs:
Now the subs is really well acted as Tomokazu does a good job of being Haru as he captures his personality very well. There is also Ayako who voice Elie which really capture her sprite and dignity even when she doesn’t know who she is. The rest also did a good job so no need to go in detail but what about the dubs. For one thing it is very corny almost to the point of bad and seems to be for kids(which is no surprise since this is licence by Tokyo pop and this aired in cartoon network) but thats the charm of it. The actors manage to work around it. And I notice that one of them is voice by Tom Kenny who voice spongebob and he fits so well with the scripts he is given. Also I notice that the jokes are very funny to make a teen laugh. So I say check the dub but if you can’t stand those kinds dub then stick to the subs.
Winner: English dub if you are into funny goofy stuff, Or Subs if you wan’t well acted voice works.
Now the characters are pretty generic at first. They all basically follow a certain shonen stereotype as we seen in many other shonen anime. But as the plot goes on, it give lots of development for are characters. Plus there is also some things we don’t know about them which keeps us hook to these characters and hope we get the answers. One example is Elie as the more close she wants to know who she is, the more we wan’t to know. The villains show a lot of threat and plus some show that they might be good but we don’t see that until its shown. But there are some characters we don’t get the full knowing of them which is a shame because I’m really interested into these characters. So overall the characters are not as generic as you think and you’ll probably have one of these as your favorites.
Rave master is a shonen anime you should check out. It will keep you happy but its not great do to some lacking in areas like in plot. But give this a watch as this is one of the better shonen animes out there.
Overall:8/10 This is the greatest anime
9: Wagamama☆Fairy Mirumo de Pon!
English: Mirmo Zibang!
Japanese: わがまま☆フェアリー ミルモでポン!
MAL Score: 7.29
Kaede is a cheerful and energetic eighth grader. When it comes to boys, however, she is hopelessly shy.
One day, on her way home from school, Kaede walks into a mysterious shop and buys a colorful cocoa mug. When she reaches home, she casually peeks into the bottom of the mug and discovers an engraved note, which says, “If you read this message aloud while pouring hot cocoa into the mug, a love fairy (“muglox”) will appear and grant your every wish.” The skeptical but curious Kaede follows the directions and announces her wish to date Yuuki, the class heartthrob. Suddenly, the adorable blue Mirumo appears! We soon find out, however, that this cute little muglox would rather eat chocolate and create mischief than help Kaede.
Mirumo, it seems, is prince of the muglox world. Horrified at the prospect of having to marry Rirumu, his princess bride-to-be, Mirumo has escaped the muglox world. Hot on his heels, however, are Rirumu, Yashichi the bounty hunter, and a cast of hundreds of muglox ranging from the good to the bad to the nutty. This gang of adorable troublemakers will see to it that school life for Kaede and her friends is never the same…
Wagamama Fairy Mirumo De Pon is one of my most favorite Animes, of all time!! When I was younger, I would quickly change the channel into where Mirumo De Pon is airing. If I don’t watch a single episode in one day, I’d cry (Lol i’m too dramatic, huh?)
Anyway, this anime made me enjoy my childhood days. It’s the first reason why I would finish my homework before the episode starts.
Although I hated some of the characters (like AZUMI & HARUKA..) but I enjoyed it very well. I first wanted to have my own muglox. LOL.
Overall, I enjoyed it. I hope to see more anime like this!
A few days ago, I decided to watch around 12 episodes again. A few episodes from each season. They were still as fresh as ever, although I found it hard to find the still-working links. The story was mainly about the antics of our gang, along with their cute coffee-cup fairies that changed their lives forever.
After a few comparisons of anime from a few years ago, I noticed that it was pretty solid for its time. The “Moe Revolution” was still climbing, so it was a little ahead of its time, so to speak. Although I don’t think it would appeal very much nowadays.
The sound was also pretty nostalgic. I remember the feeling of dancing to the theme song of Mirumo, and also joining the dance along when he transformed. I could tell from it’s own OP and ED that it was meant for kids, so I don’t think it would appeal to teenagers, unless your like me, who had grown up with Mirumo. But just as the art, it would probably not appeal as much anymore, as it did back then.
*sigh*… I can’t really seem to put off my own personal experience with Mirumo as I write this, so I don’t think it would help that much. But anyway, the verdict. I wouldn’t really recommend this now, since there are a bunch of other anime that would be a better watch, but if your just looking for a cute little piece of history to pass the time, then go ahead.
8: Shin Chou Kyou Ryo: Condor Hero
English: The Legend of Condor Hero
Japanese: 神鵰侠侶 コンドルヒーロー
MAL Score: 7.34
Youka is a young 13-year-old boy. One day, his Uncle, Kakusei, has him follow in his steps of martial arts and has him study the art of Zenshinkyou. After being mistreated, Youka runs away Zenshinkyou. He stumbles on a Forbidden Tomb where he finds a beautiful young woman, by the name of Shouryuujo. After a short time, Youka is eventually accepted by Shouryuujo to study the techniques of the Koboha under her, and thus begins their adventure through martial arts and love.
*Please note that only season 1 was voiced in Japanese but all 3 seasons have been Chinese dubbed.*
Before proceeding with the actual review of this anime, I would like to clarify the name of the story. Based on the original novel written in the late 1950s, this story should be called The Return of the Condor Heroes. But somewhere along the way, the Japanese decided to change the name to Legend of Condor Hero, which to add on to the confusion is the same name as the prequel story to the story that this anime is based upon. So to sum this up, Legend of Condor Hero (anime) does NOT equal to the actual Legend of Condor Hero, but in fact, the anime is the sequel to the Legend of Condor Hero. For those who can read Kanji, check this out and everything should be clear.
The Legend of Condor Hero is, to many Chinese, the Romeo and Juliet of the West. Not because the story have much in common, but rather it is the reputation that it earned over the last 50 years as a romance story. You can literally go walk to a Chinese and ask them the story of Legend of Condor Hero and 90% of the time they will be able to tell you something about it.
The story revolves around Yang Guo and his lover Xiao Long Nu in their adventure against the dominating Mongolian Empire (~1250 AD) under Genghis Khan’s grandson. However, what really captivates viewer to this story is the taboo/forbidden love between the two as one is the master and the other is the apprentice.
While the anime adaptation follows the actual story quite closely, there were some missing characters here and there (for example, Sha Gu played a key role in providing the background story of Yang Guo’s deceased father, but she was completely taken out in the anime). However, I was glad that the production crew did a good job with the crucial Battle of Xiangyang as that was the "heart" of the story in the actual novel.
Since I have personally read the entire trilogy -the official Chinese novels- of the Condor series (The Legend of the Condor Heroes, The Return of the Condor Heroes, and The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber), I was expecting a lot from this anime. It failed me in many ways, from the poor animation quality, to the overly repetitive scenes and soundtracks. All in all, it was fairly decent in terms of story retelling, but for an anime in this day and age it certainly can be a whole lot better.
The OP and ED are addictive.
Hotness: very intense forbidden and pure love.
Bishounen: The main lead is a cutie. He could have been more intelligent and more sensitive though.
After dedicating myself to all 3 seasons , the anime has played a role in showing the realization that best story are not only to be told from Japan, for it can also be found from other countries as well. It is not a simple task to win over this in terms of story plot.
My review of this anime series (all seasons):
Story S1 + S2 10/10
Completely mindblown Jin Yong is a masterpiece. Story flows consistently well from the start until the end. All main and supporting characters plays an essential role, some sticking to the series until the very end, including the big bird in the opening song. Character grows over each seasons. The naive and childish Yang Gua in S1, evolving into a legendary, matured man in S3. Yang Gua and Xiao Lung Nu love to each other: lovely and pure.
Story S3 8/10
Disappointed with the last few episodes.
Animation and soundtracks S1 6/10
Decent designs, just not up to today’s standard. Love both the OP and ED. Japanese dub is average.
Animation and soundtracks S2 + S3 5/10
1)Animation doesn’t look like much effort is inserted. Crushing sea water onto ship looks like mountain emerging from the bottom. 2)Repetitive long flashbacks, flashback of Yang Gua rescuing Huang Rong shown twice. 3)Certain scenes repeated broken soundtracks. OP and ED songs changed yet uses S1 OP animation, doesn’t fit.
Cantonese dub is otherwise, good. Perfectly fits the character. Made me laugh.
Because of the story.
Overall 10/10 (ignoring animation and sound)
Love it. Lots of meaningful messages to the audiences: grow over mistakes, independent life, knowing when to stop, never stop learning, be helpful, be a good example, forgive and forget, etc.
I give my credits to the author Jin Yong for introducing such an amazing story. Also a big thanks to the production staff for making an anime version of the Condor Hero series. Have no regret watching it. One of the world’s greatest ancient chinese story ever told!
MAL Score: 7.41
The ordinary life of high school student Ayato Kamina is turned upside down when Tokyo is suddenly invaded by futuristic fighter jets. Amidst the chaos, he encounters a woman called Haruka Shitow who claims to be from a government organization called TERRA. She reveals that he has been living in a time bubble named “Tokyo Jupiter” that was put in place by the Mulians—humanoids from another dimension—in an attempt to isolate and take over Tokyo. TERRA has been trying to break through the barrier surrounding the city ever since.
Unable to process the revelation, Ayato panics and flees. He runs into his classmate Reika Mishima who leads him to a place called “The Shrine of Xephon” where a large egg slumbers. She starts to sing and an unknown power awakens within Ayato, connecting him to a being called RahXephon that breaks out of the egg. Shortly after, Haruka finds him again and tries to make him join her cause of fighting against the Mulians.
Caught between the crosshairs of the Mulians and TERRA, Ayato begins to question his purpose, navigating altered memories and ultimately his very identity in this chaotic new world.
STORY: The story can be the weakest part for some people, it isn’t simple or linear, but, I think, it’s not too, too complicated. You are in Ayato’s shoes at the start, and it’s very understandable to be confused as to what’s going on. With a little faith and some brain power, keep going forward and it’ll all be revealed if you keep your eyes open. The story is woven well and, without giving much away, I’ll say that it’s about Ayato’s journey to learn about: the world he’s in, the real world, who he is/was, who the giant flying robots are, and what his purpose is in relation to the people around him. Vague, right? I know, this area is pretty sketchy, and intentionally so. The story is deep, the story is more than slightly convoluted, and the story is good. Give it a chance. 8/10.
ART: One of the things I instantly liked about this show was the art. I knew this anime hadn’t come out yesterday and, despite being a guy who just has to have what’s new and now, I really liked the animation. The colors are great, everything is well drawn, with special detail to the mechas (which, surprisingly, some mecha animes overlook, go figure). I didn’t find anything that really stood out as bland and there were few- if any- weak points in the animation. It didn’t feel dated at all despite having come out 6 years ago. 9/10.
SOUND: The Opening/Ending to RahXephon really caught my ears, just like the art caught my eye. The ending theme is beautiful, and sent me to sleep (in a good way) more than once while watching the episodes back to back. The music always fits the mood, the sound effects are great, and a lot of the tracks are lovable. Indeed, one of the ‘themes’ of the show is about sound, and there’s a bit about singing, which I won’t get into unless I want to get into spoiler-land, but Sound is definitely one of RahXephon’s strong points. The voice acting is top notch, if you’re someone like me who always wonders whether to bother with the dub, well I loved it. Ayato’s voice was great, the supporting character’s were pretty good, and Vic Mignogna was… well, he’s Vic Mignogna. 10/10.
CHARACTER: Second to Sound, here’s where the series shines the most. And yet it gets an 8- why? Because of the unavoidable connections between Character and Story. The complexities of the Story mixed with the large cast of characters sometimes made it hard to keep track of who was who, something I found really disappointing. Also, aside from Ayato and the main, let’s say other two, it was difficult to tell who the main characters really were. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, but the ambiguity, imo, could have been handled a little better. Nonetheless, the characters themselves, once you’ve gotten to know them, will blow you away. I really connected with Ayato and many of the supporting cast. A lot of them are deep and, over the course of the series go through so many intense emotional periods, the most passionate parts of their lives. You see them at their best and their worst, really getting to know them, and though it can get kind of tricky keeping track of them all, you’ll definitely have an opinion of them if nothing else. 8/10.
ENJOYMENT: I really don’t know what it was. Could it have been the ‘artsy’ undertones? The score, the production, the characterization? Or maybe I’m just a mecha fan underneath who hasn’t come out of his shell, I don’t know, but what I do know is: I really, really liked RahXephon, and I put it up there in my top 3 favorite animes ever. I forget how I stumbled across it, really, but I’m glad I did. What began as a way to kill time ended as really something of an experience. I understand this series has many parallels to NGE (see above), and after watching this I started to understand why NGE fans so vigorously shoved it into my face, for I was doing the same with RahXephon. You COULD say having to watch the series a second time to understand everything counts as replay value, maybe, but who knows? I know I didn’t fully get everything on the first go around (which is really what keeps this thing from truly, truly being perfect). 9/10.
OVERALL (aka: tl;dr version):
STORY: Ayato’s journey of self discovery takes him into his own mind and places far beyond. Well written, but very complex; worth giving your full attention. 8/10.
ART: Fluid, beautifully done, smooth and nicely drawn animations that keep your attention. 9/10.
SOUND: Amazing English dubbing, and the japanese voices are nothing short of what you’d expect either. Spectacular music, OP/ED, and overall great OST/sound effects. 10/10.
CHARACTER: A (perhaps too) large and real cast of characters, very real, very human, that may or may not make or break the series for you. 8/10.
ENJOYMENT: I’m not sure on this one. Watch the first, let’s say 6 or 7 episodes, wait for things to really get rolling, and if you don’t like it/are totally lost/absolutely hate it, don’t watch it. I for one could not stop watching this anime. 9/10.
So how do two 8’s, two 9’s, and a 10 average out to an overall 10? I have no idea, but I cannot recommend this anime strongly enough. It truly is a work of art.
[This was my first review; if you did not find it helpful, please let me know. I’m always happy to talk about this series!]
Where to begin. First the disclaimer: RahXephon is definitely not for everyone. It’s usually best to have little to no expectations so as to not contaminate the experience. With RX there are some things you should, and a lot of things you should NOT, expect.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how significantly challenging of a show it is to get into. You certainly have to be in the right mood/mindset for it. It is easy to label this show as an action, drama, sci-fi mecha romance (or whatever), but what does any of that mean? If you’ve seen Neon Genesis Evangelion, expect this show to have a very familiar… setting. This is usually the first thing people notice (and usually complain about). Mecha is probably the least important aspect of this show however. The story is also very heavily character driven, so the pacing is very slow and the action is sparse. Coupled with this, the sci-fi aspects of the show are limited and more of a sub-plot if anything. At its heart however RX is ripe with drama and romance, but above all else, it is a very well written and a stunningly artistic show.
That being said, if you are the kind of person who likes to analyze things and gestate them and appreciate the fine art in works, then RX has a lot to offer. This is not to say that RX is an intellectual tour de force meant only for the highest of brows, but rather as a hint for people who like that kind of stuff. If this is not your style or what you are in the mood for, then there is a very good chance you will find this show simply boring, meaningless, and/or just an inferior version of NGE.
I initially tried to watch this show with my brother and we were both wondering “when does anything cool happen?” Some months later I tried watching the show again, by myself this time, late at night. Under these conditions I was able to just sit back and enjoy what was going on. So I definitely recommend watching this under similar settings where you have time to view at least a few episodes and focus on them.
There’s not really much to say about the story that isn’t covered in any synopsis. There are elements of mystery that can be confusing at times, but get more or less resolved/explained eventually (with minor exceptions). Some of the temporal ideas they play with are kind of interesting. The way information is revealed is pretty well done. You slowly get immersed into the world(s) and things become more intriguing and entertaining the more you get to know the characters. What’s more, it actually has a conclusive and COHERENT ending, which is more than I can say for the majority of anime. There’s nothing I hate more than getting really into a series only to have it end in some crazy, sudden, ambiguous, and/or arbitrary manner. I HATE THAT SO MUCH. *deep breath* Ok, so, stories with good endings get high marks from me. I can’t really say what it was I liked so much about the ending without essentially spoiling it, but suffice to say I found it very…. emotionally satisfying.
Do not be fooled. Even though the Japanese love to throw robots into almost everything, RahXephon is scarcely a mech show except in the most token of ways. The fights involving mechs are brief and mostly forgettable. They really serve more of a symbolic and artistic purpose than any kind of technical combative entertainment. This is most prominently exemplified in episodes 19 and 26. The sci-fi part of the story is mostly nonsense, but it’s very pretty looking and sounding nonsense. This is what really counts here. It doesn’t matter if the plot is silly or has been done before, what matters most isn’t what is said but HOW it is told. The real story lies beneath the surface of the sci-fi mecha mumbo jumbo, and if this isn’t clear by the end then you’ve really missed something.
NGE vs. RX:
If you’ve already seen Neon Genesis Evangelion then you might be put off by how strikingly similar this show appears to be. It’s true; the parallels between RahXephon and NGE are uncomfortably pervasive. They both have a young male lead thrust into piloting a mech for some organization to fight against abstract enemies. They both have an older female character who introduces and protects/shelters the main character. They both take place, obviously, in (post-destruction) Tokyo and of course are mankind’s last hope against a prevailing alien threat. Coincidences like these will probably catch your eye throughout the show, however, RX is not the blatant ripoff one might think. These common threads are superficial and are no more egregious than two shows having the same “harem of girls fawning over an awkward guy” plot.
Here’s where the shows stop being similar: NGE provided a more realistic mech story with deep psychological overtones and Christian themed undertones; RX centers around capturing a certain… aesthetic more than anything else. So if you are going to watch RX, it is important to bear in mind that the thing you’ll take away most from it is not the “edge of your seat action” or the “mind blowing concepts” but one thing: aesthetics. Here RX triumphs over NGE most magnificently; it is simply and stunningly beautiful.
The character designs put me off a little bit in the beginning. There was something so simple and plain about them that didn’t sit right with me. Their colors were too solid and too flat. The designs are definitely different, and after a while I either grew used to them or stopped caring, because everything else about the art in RX is just amazing. The time and effort they put into the backgrounds are absolutely breathtaking. The other thing I liked about RX is that even though the enemies are abstract looking, they’re not just weird floating giant eyeballs or anything obnoxious like that. The abstraction in RX actually retains a certain “realistic” genuine design, they look like something someone might actually build.
I’d say the sound in this series shares in the same spirit of aesthetics. I mean, how could it not? The plot revolves around the idea of a world suffused with sound. If you are spinning a story that is largely character driven and are trying to immerse the viewer in visuals then it is equally important that the music draws them in as well. Some of the melodies are really solid/memorable, but the most important part is that the mood and tones are always set just right. Since music/sound is supposed to be a big theme of the show, it would’ve been nice if there had been more distinguishable harmonic singing as opposed to the mostly tonal chanting that goes on. In this area I don’t feel they really tapped into their full potential beauty and the incessant droning can get a little annoying…
The Op/En themes were alright, maybe a little too tranquil for my tastes. The dubbing was surprisingly good. I usually watch an episode or so dubbed and then watch a couple subbed before deciding how to watch the series, but the dub was so well done that the thought to switch over never even came to me. This is not to say it was flawless, Vic Mignogna’s voice didn’t seem to quite fit, but whatever. Comparing it to the subtitling, I might even go as far as saying that the dubbing was possibly better…
The main character is a refreshing alternative to your typical amoral badass or whiny, obnoxious brat. No stupid sidekicks or comic relief here, no retarded antics and none of the usual cliche archetypes that make up your usual lineup. Most of the characters are really well done, a few of the minor characters could’ve been better developed, but they’re all fairly believable and likable. With the exception of Makoto, who is just an unbelievable prick. It’s never really explained why he’s such an insufferable douche bag either. This ultimately doesn’t matter, some people are just bastards for no good reason, but it would’ve been nice if at least A reason was given. In fact, it would’ve been better if some of the characters motives had been elaborated on more.
If you’ve seen and liked Eureka 7 (also by Bones) then you already have an idea about what a story driven by wonderful characters is like. Of course, having good characters alone is not what makes this show unique. More so than the visuals or the sound, where RahXephon really excels is how heart warmingly romantic it is. I don’t mean this in some cheesy, lovey-dovey, soap opera kind of way. It’s somewhat hard to explain. You can watch this show and not even pick up on it, but that’s part of the magic. It’s not overdone and it’s sort of subtle about it but still effective.
Even the characters are beautiful in a way. I hate stories where characters act or react in ways that have no bearing to real life, so when they interact believably it just makes it that much more enjoyable for me. Let’s take harem shows for instance where the main male lead is either painfully oblivious to (or shows no interest in) any of his would-be female suitors. Or, when there’s some ridiculously breasted female character (and there’s a lot of them in anime) and people just act as if it’s the norm, when you know, YOU KNOW, every single male (and lesbian?) eye would be locked on to that woman all-the-time; everywhere she went. I HATE when shows do that.
So I was SO glad to see RahXephon took that extra step to make the characters feel more real rather than just inundate the viewer with more of the usual idealistic/innocent baloney — and I’ll always love it for that. The characters are so sincere and so genuine with one another that it made watching them gripping. In that same vein of realism, I absolutely loved how… amorous the characters were. You’ll see scenes where cleavage might catch someone’s eye, or where there will be an air of sexual tension, or proximity promiscuity, and all these other sensual elements that were deliciously but tastefully mature. This extra layer made the characters so much more… human. I really loved this about the show, and it is probably what I’ll remember most: just how playful and fun and passionate and real they appeared to be. So by the time I got to the end, it was such a memorable and moving journey that I was sad when it was over. The characters were just so alluring and endearing.
There are a lot of mysteries in the show I never understood like who Kamina’s parents were, or how Haruka found him at that gateway after the disappearance, or the whole clone craziness, or the whole elaborate setup at the end, or why the mu were on earth or where they came from… but none of that really matters. I can’t really do justice to how much I liked this show, but there’s a review of it on ANN that puts it into much better words than I have. This is a show anyone who values substance owes to themselves to watch.
From the very beginning you will be thrown right into the thick of it, knowing very little about the plot, story and overall premise. However as the show goes on it slowly reveals, bit by bit, what it is all about, which is about humanity’s struggle against some weird invaders. The story is told well because everything is straight forward and you won’t feel overwhelmed with the back story and all the terms given. However this anime series may lack some originality because it is not too difficult to spot the numerous parallels between RahXphon and the ever-so-popular Neon Genesis Evangelion. Both series about boys being thrust into a war against unknown beings, plus having romantic interest on the side. Nonetheless, RahXephon does manage to become an anime of its own.
The characters are fairly well-defined and well developed but only Ayato Kamina stands out, as the protagonist. Yet every episode usually focuses on one of the supporting characters, developing them further. Nevertheless there are times when the characters’ actions and thoughts are confusing or just don’t make any sense.
The animation and music quality is the sort of thing to expect from BONES. Even though the animation style is somewhat dated, the way in which everything from the amazing fights to just simple talks is animated so well. Whereas the music adds to the impact of the action and drama, seeing that music is a major element in the show. Yet the music does get fairly repetitive.
Overall RahXephon has proven to be a Mecha anime worthy of being included in any mecha anime fan’s collection. The combat is pretty impressive and so is the musical score, which goes well with the artistic concept. This shouldn’t be a tough show to understand however at times things end up being explained poorly, which can confuse us viewers making the enjoyable to watch. I recommend this anime to anyone who doesn’t have anything against Mecha anime.
MAL Score: 7.42
When computers start to look like humans, can love remain the same?
Hideki Motosuwa is a young country boy who is studying hard to get into college. Coming from a poor background, he can barely afford the expenses, let alone the newest fad: Persocoms, personal computers that look exactly like human beings. One evening while walking home, he finds an abandoned Persocom. After taking her home and managing to activate her, she seems to be defective, as she can only say one word, “Chii,” which eventually becomes her name. Unlike other Persocoms, however, Chii cannot download information onto her hard drive, so Hideki decides to teach her about the world the old-fashioned way, while studying for his college entrance exams at the same time.
Along with his friends, Hideki tries to unravel the mystery of Chii, who may be a “Chobit,” an urban legend about special units that have real human emotions and thoughts, and love toward their owner. But can romance flourish between a Persocom and a human?
The story is simply amazing. It has a bit of everything going from romance to suspense. Although the story is quite slow it doesnt feel like it. Every episode shows the devolopment of the characters in a serious but also a funny way. The first episodes will give you a big laugh, but the mood swings over to a more romantic view the more it develops.
This show is probably something you haven’t seen before, the characters evolution is something quite special. To prevent spoilers you’ll have to find that out for yourself.
The fact remains that the evolution of Chii is the most funny thing in the whole show. It’s like she starts off like a 3 year old child knowing hardly anything about the world and needs to learn everything. And without commen sense she does alot of things a normal person would reconsider.
The style of the picture in this anime is great, they don’t overdo it with drawing to much details but it is simply amazing. Everything you see will draw out the correct emotion that goes with it. The characters are made really well.
Same as the art it is great, going from the intro to the story. The music fits the parts in the story really well.
As I said in the story, the characters develop really good. Sometimes you do feel how something is going to develop but you’re not really sure. The show really does show a few unexpected things but after you see them they are explained thouroughly with a background of "how". This really adds a + to the show.
This show kept me entertained from the start till the end. I finished the show in 1 day because I just couldn’t stop watching it.
If you like a romance with lots of humour but also serious parts, then this is the anime for you. Its a 10+ in every part and will keep you entertained.
This was my first review so i apoligize if there are some parts wrongly explained. Main reason for this is to prevent spoilers 😉
This time, spazes get theirs as loser farm boy Hideki gets to have some robot lovin’.
The story follows an utter creepy wanker who gets a human-shaped computer, he does all sorts of adult things with it, but AH HA HA HA, she’s not a real person–molestation is all right!! Then it learns to talk to him, so he can tell it all sorts of loser things and perv out on it because real girls won’t touch his shorts with a ten-foot pole. The End.
What a load of crock this was.
The characters were DUMB. SERIOUSLY! Hideki has to be the most unexceptional guy ever to be animated. His one talent is being disgusting and bland but so stupid that everyone goes, ‘Aw, he’s so sweet.’ He reminds me of a dog that keeps running into the door–aw, it’s so cute. And Chii had NO PERSONALITY. I am sure moe fans loved her because all she did was stay half-naked and go ‘Chii~’ Right. I can’t understand why any girl would like this. What lesson is this teaching? Girls, the only way a guy would like you is you stay in your underwear and say only one word to him! Preferably that one word will be ‘Panty’.
The only fabulous thing about this was the music. The OP rocks. Other than that, this was an unfabulous trash pile of an anime.
Hideki is way too flat and lack sufficient depth. In addition, he is a joke character, we don’t laugh with him, we laugh at him. Because of this it makes it hard to empathize/engage with a character like Hideki. This is why we have token male side characters who take the joke character role. Shinbo, Hideki’s male friend clearly doesn’t take this role, in fact they should have made him the main character as his story is far more interesting than Hideki and Chii’s. In addition, to Hideki, Chii’s character is no better. There is nothing to her, memory erased and the mentality of a child. She is the default love interest for Hideki and its beyond me as to how Hideki falls in love with Chii. Maybe because she cute? maybe for most, but I dislike the character design for Chii. The blank eyes are what killed it for me. Male designs were fine as well as the rest of the cast.
Much of the praise for Chobits is in the comedy, well at least that’s what I hear. For me the jokes were way too repetitive, in particular the jokes at the expense at Hideki. For example, Hideki is a pervert with too much porn/gravure that Chii finds. Hideki thinks perverted thoughts again and is an idiot that over reacts to everything. This extreme lightheartedness and extremely repetitive comedy was made it hard for me to finish the first half of the series.
As for the story itself, I didn’t think there was sufficient foreshadowing. So when the story starts going in the second half it feels a bit tacked on. In addition, they failed to keep up the momentum by jumping from thread to thread. Simply put the plot structure was a bit messy and Hideki and Chii aren’t strong enough characters. I guess if Chobits were to be considered a slice-of-life anime the structures would had worked, however that would require more complex characters.
There were parts I did like, in particular, Shinbo/Shimizu’s and Ueda’s stories. Both showed the sadder side of the theme of the show “love for a robot.” The relationship between Yuzuki and Minoru was touching, albeit not as interesting as the above characters. However, there is something seriously wrong when the side character are far more interesting that the main characters.
Chobits had quite a bit of potential, dealing with interesting and complex themes. Sadly they didn’t use these ideas enough and the Hideki and Chii characters were too weak to carry the show. Its quite hard to get engaged in an anime when you can’t empathize with the characters.
Japanese: X エックス
MAL Score: 7.42
His destiny has finally arrived as the young Shirou Kamui returns to Tokyo after 6 years. A powerful psychic, Kamui vows to protect the happiness of his childhood friends Fuuma and Kotori, even if it means avoiding them. But fate is cruel, whether or not Kamui wants to be involved; he holds the future of the world in his hands, given the choice of becoming a Dragon of Heaven or a Dragon of Earth. The Seven Seals gather, and so do the Seven Angels; all individuals who have their destiny carved out as one who would battle for the fate of the world. What future will Kamui choose to become reality?
STORY – Honestly, X has a pretty decent story, even if most of its themes are far from original. It is, essentially, another battle between humanity and the planet they live on, of man against nature. This conflict has been addressed over and over again throughout history in century-old novels and vintage films, in addition to a wide splattering of anime and manga. Mostly-unexplained supernatural powers and angel/demon parallels, both rather characteristic of CLAMP, aren’t very new either, and really, even combining the two doesn’t add a particularly intriguing angle. Nevertheless, X’s story is solid. It has everything a story needs: a clear theme, a clear point, a clear hurdle, and a clear goal. And actually, the final, deepest concept may even be controversial enough to be original. So what then, went so horribly wrong?
My main issue was pacing and bad storytelling in general. Despite having tons more time to deal with themes, issues, and characters compared to the disastrous X OAV, the anime still doesn’t seem able to utilize this time effectively. The first few episodes are heavy and fast-paced, tossing the audience into the crazy complex details of the conflict with little preamble. Then it cools noticeably and a lot of the macabre and shock is diminished. You kind of wonder what all the hubbub was about. The entire middle of the series seems to slow to a snail’s pace. There are frustratingly long scenes depicting nothing more than a man walking down a path. We really don’t need to watch Subaru walking in silence for five straight minutes and passing the same shrine multiple times. At least the Lucky Star girls were talking about something for five minutes.
Those slow episodes were attempts to delve into the individual backstories of our fourteen plus relevant characters (seven Dragons of Heaven, seven Dragons of Earth, plus supporting roles), but they fail to give much attention to these characters’ connections to the overall plot and theme, making them pretty useless in the grand scheme of things, especially since many of these personal struggles are never resolved. The story used to be clear and have a point, but after trudging through a half dozen of these character-centric episodes, you stop caring. Oh, right, we were concerned about the fate of the earth right? Morals and stuff, what about that again? The last few episodes are forced to pick up speed again, but it happens in that disorganized and rushed way where nothing really makes sense; they explain very little, and the ending leaves you more confused than anything else. And being a non-canonical ending doesn’t help either. Personally, I prefer the X OAV’s ending, even if the rest of it sucked. Clearly, the anime isn’t much better.
CHARACTER – I never did like Kamui much, even in the manga. Like many other things in the series, his backstory seemed uninspired and recycled to me. Typical cute childhood. Typical teenage sobstory. He is oversensitive, and all attempts to shape and transform his character never seem to go very far. The ruthless demeanor he tries to put on for the first few episodes doesn’t last long, and he ends up seeming pretentious rather than complex. I just found him incredibly hard to sympathize with, which is never a good thing. Fuma further seemed like a cheap shot at tragedy, and after a while, he was nothing more than yaoibait. Kotori? How many other "girl from my childhood who I’m in love with"-type characters have you seen? Typical shoujo.
The rest of the cast is a little more forgiving, if still despairingly typical. Of the Dragons of Heaven, Arashi fills in the role as priestess girl. Sorata is the endearing comedic. Karen is your religious character; Seichirou, your nice guy. Nekoi filled the cute school girl role, and Subaru was crossover material because CLAMP loves crossovers. Of the Dragons of Earth, Seishirou is also crossover filler, Yuto was amusing, and Satsuki reminded me of Lain. Nataku did not interest me at all — a clone just seemed unnecessary, but it was yet another archetype. Kusanagi, another nice guy, and Kakyo… eh. I’m indifferent. Hinoto and Kanoe are more of the same. All of these characters, more than anything else, seem to represent dozens of anime and manga archetypes, which limited my general interest in them. Their personal stories were intriguing at times, but were never explored to the depths that they were in the manga, and it was difficult to become attached. They were okay: not good, not bad.
As morals play a huge role in the series, each characters’ personal views and beliefs are the most interesting part of them. Those whose views come to shift and change, those who grow to question things, and those who have complicated relationships with others are the ones that are fun to watch. Nekoi’s relationship with Kusanagi. Subaru’s relationship with Seishirou. Kamui’s with Fuma. Seichirou’s with Karen. All the crossing of relationships over enemy lines was fun — like one giant, strange concoction of Romeo and Juliet-esque drama! Including all the sudden love! Sadly, while a few of the characters do manage to develop a little (read: Kamui), most don’t. They just don’t have enough time between when they’re introduced, when their backstory is explained, and the end of the series. Abbreviated depth when translating characters from manga to anime is nothing new though, sadly.
ART & ANIMATION – It seems to me that there are a lot of series weak in story and character, but strong in the technical aspects. X is beautiful. One day, I’ll figure out why CLAMP’s style of noodley bishounen and wide-shouldered biseinen is just so damn appealing. All the characters have wonderful and memorable designs, many of which highlight their clear personalities. Kanoe and Karen are both confident women. Kakyo and Hinoto are fragile and delicate. There’s a very clear connection between a character’s visuals and his or her substance. Backgrounds are impressively detailed, and I’m always enthralled by animated cityscapes. Rooftops and bridges all looked great, as did all the explosions and magic, all of the blood and macabre. For an anime series, X is definitely full of eyecandy.
MUSIC – I. Love. X’s soundtrack. It’s what I like most about the entire series, hands down. All of the music in the series is beautiful and distinct, especially the leitmotif. There are beautiful piano themes and much wilder, energetic battle themes, including a few very chaotic mixes charged on adrenaline. A lot of the sounds are reminiscent of more traditional Japanese music as well, giving a unique sound. There are also a few tracks that remind me of Native American and perhaps even African tones, adding even more to the blend. Seriously, X’s music is worth listening to even if you don’t see the series. The opening and end themes are both relevant to X’s themes and echo the kinds of sounds that present in the soundtrack. Good, good music all around.
VOICE ACTING – The change of cast between the anime and the OAV was disappointing in general, but the worst of it was trading Tomokazu Seki for Kenichi Suzumura as Kamui’s voice. It wasn’t so much that Suzumura did a bad job though, so if you haven’t seen the OAV (don’t), then it probably doesn’t matter very much because there’s no benchmark. As most of the characters fitted nicely to archetypes, most of the cast just seemed to give a generic voice. Tough guy sounded tough; cute girl sounded cute. Nothing special. Nothing to critique. Nothing to praise. I haven’t seen the dub for X, but I don’t imagine that it’d be much different.
OVERALL – In general, I dislike the idea of trying to make an anime out of a manga that hasn’t finished, but it is possible to do so without failing utterly. Fullmetal Alchemist is probably the best example, at least up until the last few episodes. So the fact is that X could have been handled much better. Trying to explore more than fourteen characters in twenty-four episodes while still orchestrating a main plot is hard. Instead of that, I think it would have been better to compress some of the smaller storylines or to get rid of them altogether, especially the ones that never got close to any sort of resolution. The main story was about morals, priorities, and the fate of humanity and earth. They never seem to explain that very well though, and things got confusing as a result. I, personally, didn’t like the ending, but I think that’s more because it was poorly executed than because it was actually a bad conclusion.
Still, it has become one of my favorites, because it has exactly those things that appeal to me in an anime show: a good storyline with enough twists and changes, excellent animation, a great soundtracks and amusing and diverse characters.
Of course the series has CLAMP all over it, which shows mainly in the characyer design and story, both of which are on par of the average CLAMP series, meaning they’re good. The animation in action sequences is fast-paced and intense, and the soundtrack accompanies each scene well, drawing you in even further.
As I stated in the beginning of this review, the plot is decent and there are enough twists and turns in the plotline, with the most important one taking place halfway through the series; I usually see these things coming, and while all the clues were there, spread out very obviously, I was still surprised.
What follows after that is a dive into the various main characters backgrounds and pasts (heroes and villains alike), and while that could’ve been drawn out a little more, it adds a bit extra..though not much.
The ending is… a bit less intense that I personally would’ve hoped for, but it still fits the series; still, it’s a non-canon ending, and I wonder how the actual series will end now…
A nice series to watch; if you like action with a touch of fantasy in a modern setting, then X is a nice show for you to watch.
The Story focus on the first episodes on Kamui who wants to get a sword that belongs to him, passed down from his mother, but gets drawn into a fight of the destiny of the earth. With him as the key to it apperently.
When put like this it doesn’t sound like much but add to that some very interesting twist and turns that can glue you to the screen and you get something that you want to see the end of no matter what.
The art is done very well, with nice backgrounds that don’t draw to much attention away form what is actually happening and very nice details which together make this anime very nice to look at
the music in my opinion is chossen very well in the dramatic moments, but the fight music is at best anticlimatic and sounds like your playing some videogame sometimes, but only when you have a fight that hasn’t some kind of drama in it. again drama-moments are very well done in this one.
The characters are split in two categories: in one can we put the to main chara’s… with development, emotions and all that portrait so realitic and believable that it can overshadow the, rather poor, suppourtcharaters that the authors were trying desperatly to give some dept but faild half way through.
All in all the anime is really worth it to at least watch once in your life, even if you aren’t a fan of emotinal animes and such.
4: Tenshi na Konamaiki
English: Cheeky Angel
MAL Score: 7.46
Megumi-chan is a girl with a secret past. She used to be a boy until she met a person she thought was a magic user. This person gave him/her a magical book from which a genie appears to grant one wish when blood is applied to it. Megumi made the wish to be a man in a man’s body but the genie has a twist: he grants wishes backwards so he turns Megumi-kun aged 9 to Megumi-chan. Years pass and Megumi enters High School where she immediately beats up the school bully who of course falls in love with her. She is looking for that book again to be able to reverse the spell placed upon her.
When Megumi was nine years old, (s)he came across a magic book with genie inside it. When Megumi, a rough and tumble elementary school boy, wished to be "the manliest man in the world" the tricky genie granted his wish backwards! Megumi transformed into a woman, and everyone around her seemed to forget she had ever been a boy at all. The only ones who remembered her past life as a male were herself and her best friend, Miki Hanakain.
Now, six years later, Megumi is a gorgeous High school student whose still stuck on being a boy. She’s loud, rude, violent, and too blunt for her own good. Miki tries her best to make Megumi into an upstanding lady, but her efforts are in vain: Megumi’s determined to stay in touch with her manly side!
Unfortunately for Megumi, her looks get her into more trouble than she can handle. First, the notorious school bully, Genzo Soga, falls head over heels in love with Megumi, transforming from a bad-boy into a blathering love-struck idiot. Then a group of well-meaning boys form "The Megu Group" in order to help protect Megumi from anything. And she’ll need protecting! Megumi gets into more trouble than any teenage girl should! (Mostly because she picks fights with anyone who goes against her "manly" code of honor.)
Tenshi Na Konamaiki is a shonen comedy anime with a romantic undertone. It’s abundant with jokes, action, and sweet moments between characters. At first, I had a lot of trouble classifying this anime because it did so much at the same time. Shonen? Shojo? Comedy? But I soon realized that Tenshi was pulling off all three at the same time, and quite effectively.
What really makes this series stand out is the cast of characters. All of them are insanely endearing — from "average" Fujiki to the sweet best friend Miki. Genzo, an annoying weirdo who would get on anyone’s nerves in real life, is fabulously fun to watch. I genuinely felt for Genzo as he tried to get Megumi to like him by being a "true man". Each character has many levels of development, and Miki-chan, who starts out as the normal "best friend" character grows into one of the most dynamic characters on the show.
The romance is done very well — it isn’t shoved in your face with a bunch of "omg!squee!" moments, but is instead built gradually, like a real relationship. I felt as though I really was watching these characters become closer and closer with each episode until they were inseparable. There’s something about watching a group of best friends that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And I always felt, before the romance, friendship was the first priority for the "Megu-Group". Even the villains are done well – some are hilarious while others are downright sinister.
The music for this show was really done well, especially the classic "heart-wrenching moment" track. God, that gets me every time. While the BG music is fabulous, the opening and ending themes vary in quality. There are a total of two opening themes and four ending themes. Of these, Grand Blue, the first opening theme, and Tears Go By the third ending theme, were my favorites. The others weren’t bad songs, just uninteresting — the kind you skip through.
There was actually a fair amount of action in this show — Genzo and Megumi were beating up bad guys at least once every other episode. And Megumi kicks major ass by the way. Her super-powered kicks send bad guys flying. But the rest of the Megu group hold themselves pretty well, including street legend Genzo and Samurai-in-Training Kobayashi. Even Miki has her moments of bad-guy-butt-kicking. The fight scenes are animated very well.
Speaking of animation, the style of animation is actually very detailed and well-done. The style is a little accosting at first, but you get used to it rather quickly and even find it endearing after awhile. Megumi’s long hair is also animated gorgeously, with plenty of highlights and motion effects. And the many moments of Chibi-Genzo are so adorably drawn. (I especially love the little board meetings that go on in Genzo’s mind, where the many sides of his personality meet to discuss a current problem. Oh Genzo, you adorable dork.) I found that the animation actually got consistently better as the series went on. Might just be my imagination though.
The voice acting is great. I can’t really comment on Japanese voice actors in terms of acting skill, but the voices for the characters were all enthusiastic and fit their personalities fabulously. My favorite Seiyuu was definitely Genzo’s — he gave Genzo such a wide range and put 100% into every line. Megumi’s seiyuu, Megumi Hayashibara, (ironic, no?), was also one of my favorites. She gave Megumi a tomboyish sounding voice that fit her perfectly.
As for the plot, I’m not going to deny that there are a few holes in the story. I’ve heard the manga clears up some plot points a lot better than the anime does. For instance, the secret behind the magic that turned Megumi into a boy is a little fuzzy. And apparently, the ending in the anime is slightly different than that of the manga. I really should pick it up sometime. It’s licensed by ViZ and all 20 volumes are out right now.
Also, sometimes, I will admit that the plot slows down for a good ol’ fashioned pointless romp through fun-times. Now, while this is perfectly acceptable from time to time, I felt that in the beginning Tenshi had far too many "filler" episodes if you will. I really wanted to know more about Megumi’s curse and I felt the series took a bit too much time to get there. But I’d say, after episode 13, I got totally hooked. There are parts of this show where you will literally not be able to stop watching. Happened to me around three or four times, where I watched around four episodes in a row just because I needed to know what was going to happen next. This happened especially towards the end. Episodes 39-50 are must-see-right-nows (I watched these eleven episodes in the span of two days. No joke. It’s been a long time since I stayed up until 1:30 AM watching anime.)
The ending of the series was cute — a little rushed — but certainly cute. It was very open-ended, which is something I usually don’t like in animes. But at the same time, I felt satisfied enough by the ending and felt that it just enough open for interpretation.
What I really love about this show are the themes it addresses: what is it to be a man? What is it to be a woman? How do we decide who we are on the inside? What is "manly" — standing up and fighting or letting go? I love the issues with gender that are brought up here as Megumi struggles with her identity. It’s just so interesting to think about as you watch our heroine go through her trials.
This show is currently unlicensed, but I can see why. It’s very Japanese. It has a lot of Japanese puns and Japanese culture references, and just the way the characters act is very Japanese. It would be a challenge for any company to bring this over for an American release without butchering the content. A dub of this series would have to write around all the corny little Japanese puns — no easy task. I don’t really mind though. Although this series might be cute in English, the Japanese version is fine as is.
Actually my first impression for tis anime is not that good. After watching first 5 episode here is my thought “the art look so old fashion, the music sound so classical and i wonder if this anime is worth watching. Plan to drop it,
and then i give 2nd chance to myself and continue watching episode 5,6,7,8 and as a consequence i CANOT STOP watching until episode 50. The story start to develop/expand, become more and more interesting after one another. Every episode is so ADDICTING !!You will become absorb to the story line till the last episodes(tats why i rate 10 for story).
In the end, im shouting to myself, dont judge book by its cover!!This is really a good anime with strong storyline and i want more episodes 🙁 i love tis anime.
Not many people know about tis great anime and if they do, i believe this anime can become top 100 anime of all time. 1 of under-rated good anime.
great show overall i enjoyed my time watching it! <3 [/collapse]
3: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
English: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
MAL Score: 7.77
In the year Cosmic Era 0071, the space colony Heliopolis remains neutral in the great war raging across the galaxy between Coordinators, human beings whose biological traits have been altered before birth, and Naturals, unaltered people who remain on the planet Earth. The Naturals’ deep hatred of the Coordinators drove the advanced beings into space, seeking shelter in man-made colonies.
Kira Yamato is a Coordinator and university student on Heliopolis, when his life is thrown into disarray as ZAFT, the military organization composed of rebellious Coordinators, attacks the colony in an effort to steal a set of five state-of-the-art military mobile suits known as Gundams.
While ZAFT manages to make off with four of the mobile suits, Kira take control of the final Gundam, the Strike. Surviving the battle, Kira and his college friends join the crew of the Archangel, a ship run by the Earth Alliance, and the young soldiers experience the horrors of war and the loss that comes with it.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]Gundam SEED started off as just another Gundam series for me. I watched it because it was airing and convenient… I didn’t expect it to become my favorite Gundam series of all time.
STORY – At this point, you’d have to stretch pretty far to find a Gundam series with a mindblowingly different premise, so there’s no point in really focusing on the fact that yes, this is another series about teenagers in giant robots fighting a war that’s pretty pointless. There is nothing new about Gundam SEED, but then, it deserves points for being able to stand out despite that very fact. For me, one of the most appealing things about SEED was its very easy-to-understand plotline. The root of the war, while decidedly trivial to some extent, is simple. I’m sure more than a few people were confused, and subsequently put off, by the political madness that ravaged the plots of the original Mobile Suit Gundam, as well as newer classics like Gundam Wing, so it was nice to see something so simple come along.
In addition to the war, one of the strongest story points for me was the conflict between Athrun and Kira. The cruelty and tragicness of pitting friend against friend works very well here, and I know I’ve said before that I’m just a sucker for this kind of stuff. For SEED, this conflict was well done, progressed smoothly, and resolved rather satisfactory. It was pretty neat to see the same conflict mirrored later with Dearka and Yzak too. Also, this series was one of the first in a long time to surprise me so much with things happening in the story. People died. People you really didn’t expect to die died. So many people die that at some point, you kind of started wondering if anyone was actually going to live! But despite the number of deaths, you never got the feeling that it was overdone, or that any of the characters’ deaths didn’t have some significance or meaning, and that’s definitely a feat.
Those two aspects of SEED made up for all the cliches that came with being a Gundam series — white mask’s ulterior motive was nothing amazing, and the ending to the war wasn’t anything special either. But by the end of it all, it isn’t the basics of the story that’s important, it’s all the progress you’ve made with the characters and their own personal resolutions.
CHARACTER – The characters in SEED probably contributed the most to gaining my favor. All of them are exceptionally well done. Yes, even the minor characters, which is definitely a rarity in anime. All of them seem like real people; they’re complex and have emotions, motives, flaws. Both of the protagonists are split between a side that has to fight and a side that hurt because of everything that’s happening. After all the stoic personalities in Gundam Wing, it was incredible for me to see characters that would actually cry. On several occasions, even. In fact, for the first half of the series, it seriously surprised me just how much of a crybaby Kira was. But it worked for his character, so even though he kind of turned into a godmodding, self-righteous bastard later on, it was okay.
Kira aside, for me, Athrun was the most interesting character and had the most depth. Throughout the entire series, he was in conflict. And as soon as one conflict was resolved, another would present itself. The poor guy was in constant turmoil, which was really great to see. He was easy to relate to and never grew out of reach like Kira did. Secondary characters like Cagalli and Lacus were also refreshing to see — female characters that had strength to stand up on their own. Indeed, one might venture to say that our male protagonists depended much more on their female counterparts than the other way around, as is traditionally the case.
It would be exhausting to go through the list of other characters, though many of them are also important and very relevant. Suffice to say that there are almost NO flat characters in SEED. All of them have dimension and depth and develop throughout the series. I don’t really think this happens in many other anime.
ARTWORK & ANIMATION – I rather like the art style of SEED (the same people also did Sokyuu no Fafner); it’s pleasing to the eye and works well for the content of the series. The animation itself is pretty average, and I’m still waiting for the day when explosions in the distance graduate from looking like Pacman, but oh well. There’s nothing else really worth noting, but it certainly isn’t an ugly series.
MUSIC – I… adore the music for this entire series. All three instrumental soundtracks are well worth getting! The battle music is strong and epic! The introspection music is interesting and intriguing! The tragic music makes the already tragic scene ten times more touching. It’s just fantastic all around. After the bigshots Yoko Kanno and Yuki Kajiura, it’s Toshihiko Sahashi that makes it on my playlist the most! And the OP/ED themes are pretty much all top notch as well. I’ve been a fan of T.M. Revolution for a long time, so "Invoke" was perfect for the first opening. SEED introduced the world to Nami Tamaki, and I must say I’ve definitely become a fan since her debut. SEE-SAW and Mika Nakashima are always good as well, and even the lesser known artists in the lineup are pretty awesome.
DUBBING & VOCALS – I saw the first half of this series in English but ended up seeing the second half subbed (because SEED was, for some reason, so unpopular that CN shoved it in a death slot). The dub was nothing spectacular certainly, but it was decent. None of the voices were up to par with their Japanese counterparts, but the only one that seriously annoyed me was Richard Cox, and that was mostly because the man can’t seem to change his voice between characters (and thus, the character he voiced sounded like Inuyasha to me). The Japanese cast, on the other hand, is top notch. Akira Ishida as Athrun remains one of my favorite performances ever, and Souichiro Hoshi as Kira was pretty great too. And of course, you can’t forget Rie Tanaka as Lacus — Lacus has several songs she performs within the series and Tanaka is the one singing all of them. It always pleases me when they’re able to do that and helps reaffirm the fact that the Japanese seem to take their voice acting much more seriously than we do.
OVERALL – I know I haven’t seen all of the Gundam series out there, but of those I’ve seen, this is definitely my favorite. The characters come to life and everything else falls into place behind that. A lot of people cling onto Mobile Suit Gundam as the only good one because it’s the original, but though it was a good series that obviously propelled the creation of all subsequent Gundams, for this generation of anime fans, it’s sorely outdated. I really feel like Gundam SEED should be the series taking its place for the post-2000 generation of fans. That statement may bode well in Japan, as this series was wildly popular, but I’m disappointed to see that it failed miserably in the States. Chalk that up to other factors though, ’cause this series is damn good.
The whole series is basically about an ongoing war between the Natural human race and the genetically superior Coordinators. This may seem like a straightforward plotline, however several things push the plot so it is not as simple as it seems. Throughout the series you are left wondering which side is truly the right side to be on. Throughout the series you get to see both sides of the story as much of the Natural’s justifications are shown with Kira and most of Coordinator’s justifications are shown with Athrun.
Because this is a very old series, the art style is very different from the art style today. It’s not to say that it’s bad, but it might take some getting used to for someone who has only started watching anime recently. The battle scenes have a lot of flashing lights and aren’t choreographed too badly. I would say this area is the weakest point of the whole series.
I thought that all of the opening and ending songs really fit the series as a whole. The best music to me was Rie Tanaka’s singing throughout the series. I was really amazed when I first heard her sing has Lacus Clyne because she sung for her own character. In my experience, many people usually get singers to sing their character roles. So I was really impressed that she sung her own song and that she was actually very good at it.
The characters are the strongest point of this series. This series is built on the interaction between the characters. The battles and action almost seems secondary to me compared to the drama occurring between the main characters. This series has a lot of characters that pushed the plotline forward, but the main characters really shone above the others.
Kira Yamato is the main protagonist of the story. During the beginning of the series he really is a normal person with many weaknesses and faults. However as the series progresses, he grows and matures in order to face the trials given to him. I believe Kira’s growth as a person is one of the things that really grabs a viewer. He grows from a weak school student to a leader that many people can count on.
Athrun Zala is another main protagonist of the story. Athrun enters the story on the opposite side of the war as Kira. Their past history of being childhood friends becomes one of the key factors in the story as Athrun and Kira both fight on opposite sides in the war. Athrun’s emotional struggle continues throughout the series as he tries to figure out what is the right thing to do.
Lacus Clyne is one the main female protagonists of the story. While originally appearing as Athrun’s finance, she later becomes Kira’s love interest. Lacus’s first appearance in the series is as a normal girl who doesn’t hold any importance in the war aside from the fact that her father is the High Supreme Councilor of the Coordinators. However as the story progresses, Lacus quickly shows her strength as she rallies up support against the war in face of great opposition.
Cagalli Yula Athha is the other female protagonist. Although very close with Kira in the beginning of the series, she later becomes Athrun’s love interest. She appears in the beginning of the series as a strong woman who is capable of fighting for what she believes in. Later on in the series her heritage of being the daughter of Orb’s leader is revealed.
Gundam Seed is one of my most favorite series of all time. I would say that this is a must see series for all new, incoming anime fans.
GS was considered to be an updated version of the original Mobile Suit Gundam (MSG) for the 21st century, as it deals with more contemporary issues (ie cloning, genetic modification, etc). So it should be no surprise that GS starts out in a very similar vein to MSG. However, this isn’t to say that GS copied MSG, instead GS took the best parts of MSG and improved it. Well at least for the first half of the series. The pacing was a definite improvement as it was nearly flawless, I can’t really separate the episodes easily as they blended so well together which makes GS ideal for marathoning. The story is also very similar, 2 warring factions, political intrigue, and the viewpoint of both sides, typical Gundam. I don’t need to get in to specifics, in general the crew of the <new advanced ship> attempts to escape/fight off another ship and its crew. This is while trying to get to a specific destination and completing various checkpoints. Sure it wasn’t the most original of stories but paired with its fast pace and execution it was damn entertaining in its own right. However, in the case of GS the characters take a much bigger role. While the 1st half was good and entertaining it doesn’t compare to its 2nd half.
The 2nd half was where GS breaks free from its MSG roots and finds its true self. Here, GS really focuses on the characters, in particular the conflict between Kira and Athrun. Not only them, there was a lot of focus on the various character’s conflicts as well as plenty of character development. Here the action/battles take an even more secondary focus and the characters/narrative clearly becomes the primary focus. The overall structure of the story improved tremendously as it’s no longer linear (from checkpoint to checkpoint); instead GS features a more dynamics story structure. Pacing for the 2nd half moves even faster and GS rides this momentum until the very end. However, its not without its faults. The new antagonist introduced felt like they were introduced for the sake of having Gundam battles/make more toys. This is due to them being extremely one-dimensional. Finally, there were quite a few coincidences and illogical moments throughout. For example, when the odds becomes overwhelming Kira or someone else coming out of nowhere to save the day. Considering the overall quality of everything else, those moments can easily be forgiven.
As I mentioned before there was a much bigger focus on the characters in GS than in MSG. For the most part, the characters are multi-dimensional and likeable, the major exception being the newly introduced antagonist in the 2nd half. Kira in particular has gone through quite a bit of development. The angst Kira goes through in the beginning is often exaggerated by some people. If anything Kira is quite admirable, fighting/doing what he has to despite his fears and doubts. He doesn’t let his feelings get in the way of what needs to be done and the only person he’s complained/confided in was Fray. This is unlike Amuro or most of the cast of Zeta where they do whatever they want for no concern for the greater good. However, Athrun get my vote for most complex and interesting character in GS. Not only does he have to deal with having his best friend as an enemy, he also has to deal with his father, own beliefs, etc. Plus he’s a badass when it comes to all forms of combat.
In terms of purely technical merit, GS features good animation and artwork. Rarely does the quality drop. My only major complaint would be with the constant use of recycled animation, a major pet peeve of mine. Also, the action scenes feel a bit uninspired. Gundam shoots, close up of plot screaming, Gundam does a melee attack, close up of pilot and repeat. What made these mecha battles more exciting was the excellent and powerful music. The ost in general is also well done and features some very good insert songs.
Another interesting thing to note would be the recap episodes. Normally, I hate recaps but in the case of GS there were a few that were worth watching. This is because some of the recap episodes actually add background information to the GS universe. Nevertheless a recap episode is still a recap episode and they had far too many. (Not 1 or 2 recap episodes but 4!)
I also have to warn the viewer that GS features many references to other Gundam titles and the Gundam universe in general. References such as newtypes, Char clones, etc will go over the head of viewers not familiar with the Gundam universe. While its not necessary to watch other Gundams to enjoy GS it will most likely increase one’s enjoyment.
GS is easily one of the better mecha anime titles I’ve seen. The first half was light and enjoyable with a fast paced plot, albeit very linear. It feels like the crew of the Archangel was simply moving form checkpoint to checkpoint. When the 2nd half comes the overall quality increases. This is partly due to GS becoming its own and really focus on the character/narrative. The 2nd half was distinctly more serious and dramatic. Plus it takes its momentum and keeps building and building until the very end. Animation and art were all top notch, suffering from a few thing namely, recycled animation and slightly uninspired action scenes. GS also suffered from too many coincidences and illogical moments. Although, considering the quality of everything else, those things can be ignored. In the end Gundam SEED is fast paced entertaining watch, but the true strength of Gundam SEED can be found in the 2nd half with its characters.
2: Full Moon wo Sagashite
English: Searching for the Full Moon
MAL Score: 7.95
Two years ago, Mitsuki Kouyama’s friend, Eichi Sakurai, moved to America before she could confess her feelings to him. Though she cannot contact him, they made a promise to fulfill their respective dreams: Mitsuki wants to become a professional singer, and Eichi an astronomer. She hopes that one day her music will reach him across the world with a brilliance like that of the full moon.
There is just one catch: Mitsuki suffers from throat cancer, which makes her voice quiet and singing strenuous. Her grandmother, who has a hatred of music, insists that Mitsuki undergo surgery to remove the cancer, but she refuses due to the risk of losing her voice. One day, two shinigami—Meroko Yui and Takuto Kira—appear to tell her that she only has one year left to live. This sudden revelation spurs Mitsuki into action, and she decides that with Meroko and Takuto’s help, she will become a professional singer in the time she has left.
Full Moon wo Sagashite follows the emotional story of Mitsuki and her shinigami friends as they discover what it means to sing—and ultimately, what it means to live.
While Full Moon wo Sagashite may not see like much on the surface — little girl has a life-threatening disease, wants to sing, and becomes sixteen years old with the help of two friendly shinigami — it becomes so much more deeper as the series move on. This anime doesn\’t shrink away from the uncomfortable subjects of death and suicide, and that is wonderfully refreshing. While initially cutesy on the surface, Full Moon wo Sagashite has a deep, moving storyline that touches upon every human emotion. I don\’t think I\’ve ever cried so much while watching an anime, and I doubt any other can truly touch me as much as Full Moon wo Sagashite did.
Many people complain that the first half of the series is comprised of filler episodes. While this may be true when first watching them, I don\’t think the second half would come off nearly as well without those \"fillers\". They developed the characters, showed you who they really were and what they were looking for, and prepared you for the emotional roller coaster that is the second half of Full Moon wo Sagashite. So, even if you\’re bored during the first half, I implore you to see the series to the end. You won\’t regret it.
I initially didn\’t like the character designs all that much, particularly that of Full Moon. After a while, however, the art smoothed out and became even pleasing. So, not the best, but not the worst either.
There\’s only one way to describe the music of Full Moon wo Sagashite: absolutely astounding. Every song (most of which were sung by myco, Mitsuki\’s seiyuu) was wonderful in its own way. While I didn\’t particularly like the two OPs, they grew on me after a while. Still, nothing can touch the four EDs this show has. My personal favorite is New Future, although Eternal Snow is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Another plus of Full Moon wo Sagashite are the characters. Meroko and Izumi have become two of my favorite characters, although Izumi doesn\’t really come into his own in the anime. His soft side is only shown in the last episode, but that moment is definitely worth it.
The one quibble I have concerning the characters is that their back stories aren\’t as fully explained as they were in the manga. Meroko and Izumi\’s pasts are barely brushed upon, which is a real disappointment. Still, Meroko comes off as one of the best — if not THE best — characters in the entire series.
I will never forget watching Full Moon wo Sagashite. It is certainly an experience, especially for the last fifteen or so episodes.
One thing that really struck me was the ending. I\’ve never come across an anime with such a perfect ending. Everything was tied up, and the emotions that came across were just… mind-blowing. I think I actually sobbed the entire last episode.
So, as a parting note, I urge you to give Full Moon wo Sagashite a try. I did, and it became one of my top five anime.
Pros: Incredible story, characters, and music; best anime ending EVER
Cons: So-so character design at times, not enough back story
Story – 10/10
At first, this looks like the typical shoujo series directed at young girls, thanks to all the bright colours and cute characters. From the synopsis, it looks like a sad and depressing anime about death. But it’s so much more than that.
We meet the main character, Mitsuki, who is a young girl with throat cancer and whose biggest dream is to become a great singer and maybe one day meet the boy she loves, but who left for America two years ago. One day she is visited by two death gods (the Shinigami) – Takuto and Meroko, who tell her she only has one year to live. But instead of sulking and feeling sorry for herself, Mitsuki decides that since she only has one year, she’ll make the best of it. Instead of being stuck at home, always worrying about her health, she’ll give it all and try to achieve her dream of a singing career. When she goes to audition, the shinigami Takuto decides to help her a little bit, by transforming her body into a healthy 16-year-old. Against all odds, Mitsuki is chosen at the audition. In that moment, even going against the Shinigami rules, Takuto and Meroko decide to help her with her dream, in the time that she has left.
This series is slightly similar to the "magical girl" genre (examples: Fancy Lala, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne or Pretear), but not exactly. Takuto has the ability to transform Mitsuki’s body into a healthy 16-year-old’s, but she doesn’t gain magical powers. Even though this is a show about a dying girl, it manages to be very positive and inspiring. There’s a very good mixture of comedy and drama, with some scenes that will make you laugh hard and others that will make you cry like a baby.
In the first half of the series there are a lot of filler episodes. I guess they contribute to the development of the characters and to add realism to the story. As Mitsuki progresses in her career, she has to go through photoshoots, sound checks, clothes’ design, interviews, autograph sessions, etc. If you’re patient and watch that, you’ll get to the good stuff.
In the later half, there are considerably less filler episodes. The plot gets much more complex and interesting. The mood changes to a darker tone. The last 13 episodes are really the best ones and will make you stick to the screen waiting to see what happens. There are a few plot twists.
At last, the ending. I’d say it’s the BEST ending in anime that I’ve ever watched. There are no loose ends. Everything gets explained.
Visuals – 8/10
The light colours really make it look like an anime for young kids. I’d compare the overall visuals of this anime to those of Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. The characters were appealing and the shading was well done. Don’t expect something 3D-like. There is little computer animation, only present in a few scenes. But although simple, I though it had good visuals.
Audio – 9/10
Full Moon wo Sagashite has one of the best anime soundtracks ever. Even though you’ll hear many, many times songs like "Myself" or "Eternal Snow", you’ll never grow tired of them. "Myself", "Eternal Snow", "New Future", "Smile" and "Love Chronicle", by the band Changin’ My Life, are sang by Myco, who is Mitsuki’s voice actress. So you don’t have to worry about Mitsuki’s 12-year-old voice being different from the 16-year-old… because they were done by the same person.
I absolutely hated the openings. "I Love You" and "Rock’n’Roll Princess" by The*Scanty. Why? First because they don’t sound good. Second because they make the whole anime look so childish that only 4-year-olds would watch it. Ignore the openings! The anime isn’t THAT childish!
And, best for last, the voice actor for Takuto, Yasuo Saitou. He has a really nice voice and can be very expressive. But best of all, there are scenes where he has to sing… and he does it perfectly.
Characters – 9/10
This anime has all kinds of characters. Some that you’ll instantly fall in love with, others that you’ll instantly hate. And you might even change your opinion on a few of them, once you get to know them better. I really like the character development in this anime. You’ll progressively learn more about each character… it’s motivations or even it’s past. You’ll be impressed! Each character is unique in it’s own way and you can’t apply a stereotype to it. They interact extremely well with each other and you’ll definitely feel connected to them.
Overall – 9/10
I absolutely loved this anime. At first I thought it was really childish, but my friends ASSURED me it was worth watching… so I endured the more boring parts and kept watching… and it was totally worth it. It has become my favourite one. You’ll want to re-watch it many times, even if it does have 52 episodes. I’ve watched the whole thing 3 times, in 6 months.
The anime is very different from the manga, but it’s still faithful. And you’ll find this intersting: when they made the ending for this anime, the manga still hadn’t ended. But still, they made an extremely good ending.
Give it a try! It’ll be worth it! No matter how old you are or even if you’re a guy or a girl, it can be appreciated by anyone!
“Full Moon wo Sagashite” is quite a heart warming anime about a little girl who wants to become a singer, but only has one year to live because of the tumour in her throat. Spanning 52 episodes, it was one of the longest anime I watched at the time. To be honest, I think it could have been amazing if it was reduced to half its length – I found the series as a whole to be a bit of a struggle to get through, as most of the episodes up until about episode 40 are actually disposable, girly fluff. Watching “Full Moon wo Sagashite” will pretty much give you the very definition of what a “filler” episode is, because it contains so many of them. I disagree with people who say that these fillers are necessary for character developments purposes – most of them they don’t really reveal much beyond the fact that Mitsuki is a boringly nice person. I’ve seen anime that’s done waaay more and waaaay better character development in its first THIRTEEN episodes than this anime’s done in its first THIRTY *cough*SeikaiNoMonshou*cough*, which just goes to show you don’t need a mass of filler episodes to do a decent a job. Most of these fillers aren’t even very enjoyable to watch. They’re mostly very generic shoujo material and generally fall somewhere between the “dull” and the “mediocre” sections of the scale in terms of entertainment. This is not to say the first 40 episodes of “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is totally worthless. Some of those episodes do progress the storyline a bit (like, a couple of inches) and there are some pretty good standalone episodes as well, but they tend to be few and far in between.
Another thing I found odd is why everyone seem to rate the music from “Full Moon wo Sagashite” so highly – just because it’s an anime about music doesn’t automatically make the music on it good. To me, the music production for “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is very good at best and awkward at worst. For starters, what’s up with Mitsuki’s singing voice? Her voice sounds nice when she talks, and fits that pure and innocent image that she plays, but when she sings, she sounds completely different, and not in a good way. For one thing, she sounds about 10 years older, and her voice has an irritating sandy quality to it. For another, she sounds like she’s trying too hard to inject emotions into the songs, to the point where she starts to sound really fake and unnatural. I’m really surprised to hear the person who does Mitsuki’s voice is a pop star – I’d never have guessed from her singing. It really says a lot when I much prefer the music box version of “Eternal Snow” to the proper vocal version. In fact I don’t think much of the vocal tracks in general. Normally, it is expected that that music in an anime would supplement the show by enhancing the atmosphere. But some of the vocal songs in this series are so bland that at times, it feels like it’s the anime that’s supplementing *them*, causing them to sound better than they actually are by playing them during emotional moments. In addition to this, a lot songs are criminally overplayed… especially the more mediocre ones, which might have been a good thing in a way, because it took quite a few hearings before I got used to the grating vocals. The background music proved to be far superior than the vocal tracks. From the gentle, warm moments to the occasional eerie, chilling ones, it consistently does the job perfectly whenever called upon.
The original idea behind story’s was good, especially with twists building up towards the end, but it is diluted by the massive amounts of filler episodes and took too long to get going. There are times when any resemblance of realism goes out of the window. Normally this happens when Mitsuki’s talking to her shinigumi friends in a dead loud voice – even shouting at times – with other people standing around. She could at least pretend to whisper, but no, she has to talk in her normal voice and it seems that hardly anyone notices, which really bugs me. An example of how it could have been done better would be in “Hikaru no Go”, where people would actually look at Hikaru weirdly when he gets too noisy interacting with the spirit. There’s also the cancer aspect that’s so wrapped up in sugar coating that it’s totally unconvincing. Like many people, I’ve experienced the pain of losing someone close to me to cancer, and the fact that this anime completely failed to connect to me on this front is saying an awful lot. All they’ve done is have Mitsuki clutch at her throat every 10 episodes or so, and occasionally fall ill at the storyline’s convenience, for the most part there is no sense of urgency, no resemblance of the terrifying progression that’s so typical of the condition. All I’m left with is a sense that it’s just essentially used as a plot device, and not much more than that.
“Full Moon wo Sagashite” has got some good characters, but again, they’re no where near as good as they’re hyped up to be, and they don’t really do much in the early part of the series (when there’s a downpour of the supposedly character developing filler episodes, ironically), and only broke out of their 2D personalities when the plot got going later on. I also have major issues with the relationships that goes on in the anime, specifically with the romance aspect of it. I’m surprised that not many people have said anything about this, but hasn’t anyone else noticed that when Eichi, the boy Mitsuki’s in love with, made his “declaration of love” to her, he was about 15-16 and Mitsuki was about 10?! Is it just me that finds this a “tad” unrealistic, not to mention a “tad” dodgy as well?! I can kind of imagine where Mitsuki’s feelings might come from, but Eichi should know better at his age than to try and seduce a 10 year old 😛 Perhaps Eichi should change his name to “Ecchi”, as that’s more inline with the kind of things he seems to be into. I don’t know why they insisted on making this a romantic relationship – it would have been far more appropriate to play the relationship off as a big brother and little sister one rather than this sickening “ooooh Mitsuki, I love you! Even though I’m nearly a young adult now and you’ve barely entered double figures in terms of age” cack. Those scenes never failed to make me cringe. Also, Takuto was supposed to be 12 when he was in a band (yeah this seems a bit young too, considering his band didn’t exactly look like a kids band), so why is he seen riding a motorbike during one of the flashbacks? Now, the explanation may be because he was in the band for a number of years during which time he’d grown up into an adult and was able to learn to ride a motorbike… but this raises the question of why he started falling for a 12 year old girl if he was already so old when he became a shinigumi?!? I wasn’t under any impression that the anime is trying to portray all the boys in it as perverts. What is this obsession with shoehorning romance into absolutely everything these days? Is it really so hard making a shoujo without resorting to this? It’s because of this apparent obligation to make a love story that we’re stuck with these plot holes and rather contrived relationships.
This otherwise stale series is salvaged from mediocrity by the sheer brilliance of its final ten or so episodes that really breathed life into the show. I always thought there was too much sunshine in the early episodes given the premises of the story, but here, the anime rectifies the situation by taking a darker and more depressing turn. With the previously pedestrian story suddenly breaking into a sprint, and the character interactions suddenly becoming interesting, it’s here that the anime really starts to earn its praise. It’s so good that it’s probably worth wading through the previous 40 episodes just so you can watch the last 10. With so many compelling twists happening in the last part of the story, I was actually expecting something more original than the most cliched ending imaginable that I got, especially considering that it’s so often touted to be “the best ending ever”. Still, I’ll admit it is a very good ending – they’ve taken something pretty predictable and executed it pretty much to perfection – but like the rest of the anime, it’s just no where near deserving its “best” label.
Overall, I think “Full Moon wo Sagashite” is an enjoyable, “feel-good” anime, even if it did need the last ten or so episodes to drag it kicking and screaming up to this level of praise. I think the makers made a pretty cunning decision to save those best parts till last – I suspect the strength of those later episodes made people forget how unremarkable most of the rest of the series is. I however, haven’t forgotten, and I stand by my claim that this should really have been condensed down to 26 episodes, not left at 52.
1: Princess Tutu
English: Princess Tutu
MAL Score: 8.13
In a fairy tale come to life, the clumsy, sweet, and gentle Ahiru (Japanese for “duck”) seems like an unlikely protagonist. In reality, Ahiru is just as magical as the talking cats and crocodiles that inhabit her town—for Ahiru really is a duck! Transformed by the mysterious Drosselmeyer into a human girl, Ahiru soon learns the reason for her existence. Using her magical egg-shaped pendant, Ahiru can transform into Princess Tutu—a beautiful and talented ballet dancer whose dances relieve people of the turmoil in their hearts. With her newfound ability, Ahiru accepts the challenge of collecting the lost shards of her prince’s heart, for long ago he had shattered it in order to seal an evil raven away for all eternity.
Princess Tutu is a tale of heroes and their struggle against fate. Their beliefs, their feelings, and ultimately their actions will determine whether this fairy tale can reach its “happily ever after.”
There were few reasons for me to watch Princess Tutu, but I still had a strange feeling about it. Today I regret not having watched it sooner for what I saw was one of the most engaging, clever and downright beautiful shows I had ever seen, overflowing with soul and passion.
Story: A unique fairytale which goes far beyond it’s limitations. Masterfully written, the story is a perfect blend of powerful moments, unexpected twists, comedy and romance. The fairytale structure takes the best out of classic ballets and weaves a story that is both coherent and diverse. The endings to both seasons are particularly outstanding.
Art: The series has a stylized and clean art style combined with great animation. Although I felt it fit the series very well, not everyone feels that way. Some believe the art style is a bit too girly or misleading, but it actually fits the fairytale theme very well. The backgrounds are great and the ballet scenes are beautifully animated (although some use too many stills which, even though beautiful, aren’t as good as the animated moments).
Sound: The "coup-de-grace" of the show, the soundtrack doesn’t simply support the show: it is part of the story itself. Each episode is accompanied by a certain ballet suite and takes the most advantage of it. The suites were carefully chosen and superbly performed by a bulgarian orchestra. I had heard many of them before and I was amazed by the quality of the performance. Every single note fits perfectly and sounds delightful, even the songs that were composed for the show. Truly mindblowing, the music adds a whole new layer of depth to it. The voices and dialog are also very good and fitting.
Characters: With such a great story and soundtrack, some would think that the development team wouldn’t be focused on character development. Wrong. All characters are believable, feel real and evolve throughout the story. Even secondary characters show a glowing spirit that many main characters wish they had. If you allow yourself to, you will be able to feel a strong bond and sympathy for those characters, even those you didn’t expect. The multi-layered Ahiru is an amazing and strong main character, and the others will surprise you as well. Not only do characters evolve but they also take advantage of a distinct way to show their "persona": dance.
Enjoyment: A show that you won’t be able to put down until you finish it. The episodes are so engaging and fantastic it’s easy to get sucked in. A surprisingly rich experience you won’t find anywhere else. Surprisingly, I found myself rewatching several scenes shortly after finishing the show. I recommend you to use headphones so that you don’t miss a single note of this visual and musical wonder.
Overall, Princess Tutu is a living, breathing anime that, unlike most magical-shoujo shows, truly feels magical. Yes, I may sound cheesy, lame and corny, but don’t miss out on this unique gem. A true masterpiece.
Story and Characters:
Well, the series starts off a little cliche and trope ridden. In fact, I had subconsciously made a list of every cliche I expected to play out during the series. But boy by the end of that series was I eating that list right back, this series completely redefines how magical girl series can be done. The series frequently takes plot lines and ideas from ballets and other classical pieces of music and then it takes all of them to make its own original and unique thing. And to anyone as concerned with the girly factor as I was, I really didn’t find any of the main plot as overly girly as I was expecting (I found it mildly girly to be fair). The ending has to be one of the best and most rewarding endings I’ve seen in an anime ever, this is a series that definitely delivers, even if you didn’t know what you wanted delivered.
Characters designs and animation are all crisp and beautiful and fit into the world so incredibly well. There’s also frequent CGI at times that is never jarring and fits ever so perfectly. But sound is where is where it was really at for me, having been an already existing fan of classical music. The series didn’t just use common pieces all the time, it used whatever piece fit, no matter how obscure and the series was made better for it. All the pieces that they picked intensified the mood of whatever scene it was in to make a perfect compliment. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find soundtrack usage this perfect again personally. It wasn’t only about having a strong soundtrack, but it was also about using it well.
This is one of my very few 10 series and quite possibly my favorite anime of all time. I think this series should be seen by everyone, you’ll find a lovely diamond in the rough with a great and memorable story. I really can’t think of anything else quite like it, this is a must watch.
Like all good fairy tales, the story is most crucial. It must be whimsical yet cautionary, quickly paced, and tightly-knit. Tutu follows this formula well, though not so much the "quickly paced" bit. This is because Tutu has an episodic monster-of-the-week nature that can become an irritance, and would have been if every episode didn’t, in some way, tie directly back to the main story. Much like director Junichi Sato’s other hidden gem Kaleido Star, the story is broken into two distinct parts, which while seperate, are directly connected. This storytelling works best in that it provides two distinct and memorable climaxes while never feeling rushed or out-of-place.
The main story itself is flawless. A fantastic tribute to the forgotten and oft-dismissed power of fairy tales and ballet, whimsical enough to never forget its true nature, and dark enough to invest interest and revoke the idea of it just being a children’s show.
It’s characters range from the absurd to the sinister and some even manage to play both during the course of the series. The characters alone are uniquely crafted. Though some follow certain Junichi Sato molds, such as Fakir and Mythos, Ahiru stands out as a subversion of the cheerful, determined heroine his works are often known for in that her efforts do not always deem satisfaction, and her ultimate goal is not met with her ideal ending. Everyone interacts sincere to their motives and personalities and no one ever feels like they’re doing something they shouldn’t be.
Of course the art, provided by Sato’s mainstay HAL Film Maker is divine. Every scene is fluid and graceful, especially the dance numbers. Character designs and backgrounds are very imaginative and hold the Germanic fairy tale motif that the series sets for itself.
The accompaniment for the series is a numerous array of classical music and ballet numbers, most of which will be recognizable by ear even if you can’t remember the name of what you’re hearing. Moreso, the music provides a direct parallel to the conflict in each scene it is used, and often scenes are choreographed around the music, making for dramatic impact mostly unparalleled.
Yes, the title is a turn-off, and I’m sure many of you out there think ballet is for 6-year-old girls, but Tutu takes the most universal and respected elements of the things children love and craft something everyone can and most likely will enjoy. Though it trudges in a few places, Tutu never forgets where it’s going. It’s magical waltz always catches up and makes sure it ends on the best note it can.
Overall, I give Princess Tutu a 9 out of 10.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Princess Tutu
2. Full Moon wo Sagashite
3. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
4. Tenshi na Konamaiki
8. Shin Chou Kyou Ryo: Condor Hero
9. Wagamama☆Fairy Mirumo de Pon!
10. Groove Adventure Rave