They’re the best Anime that 2003 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of D.N.Angel, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Uchuu no Stellvia, and more!
Japanese: Ｄ Ｎ ＡＮＧＥＬ
MAL Score: 7.18
Daisuke Niwa is a clumsy, block-headed, and wimpy middle school student who has few redeeming qualities. On his 14th birthday, he finally decides to confess his love to his longtime crush Risa Harada, but is rejected.
In an unexpected turn of events, however, Daisuke finds himself transforming into Dark Mousy, the infamous phantom thief, whenever his mind is set on Risa. Though Daisuke is unaware of this strange heritage, his mother is certainly not: since before the boy was born, his mother had been planning for him to steal valuable works of art and let the name of the elusive art thief be known.
With doubt and confusion constantly clouding his mind, Daisuke finds himself struggling in his relationships with classmates and family. And it is not long before Daisuke realizes that he is not the only one with a fated family legacy—his greatest adversary could be the one classmate he is most unwilling to fight.
That aside, I have never read the manga, so take into account that my review is written without knowledge of the story manga-style.
Fantastic! This anime is truly amazing! I want to start by telling you this:
The reason that this anime is so great is the innocence and purity of the romance. Most animes lack this, in fact every other anime I have seen doesn’t come close to this. Now this could be because I haven’t seen enough romance animes, but D.N. Angel touched me in such a way that still leaves me impacted, one year after viewage. (Yes, I know that’s not a word.)
Great story, I’m mainly grading by how engaging the story is, not how inventive it is. Its actually a very simple story, but its this simplicity that makes it beautiful to watch. To boil it down to the essentials, its just a story about a boy who is confused about love. As the story progresses, he slowly finds his way, and begins to understand more about his life.
I love the art, its unique yet not too forcefully new. Its very refreshing, and the smooth textures really blend in with the moods of the anime. I’m not a very artsy person, but a big thumbs up in this section.
The OP is just amazing, I can never get it out of my head. It sounds a bit weird at first, like the vocals are a bit weak, but the more you listen to it, the more it will be stuck in your head. The in-anime music is also fantastic, great great job here too.
This is where D.N. Angel really shines. The characters are simple, some cliche, but these are the characters I have found myself being attached to the most in any anime. The focus ends up being confusion and misunderstandings, and how the characters deal with these. And instead of turning into some dum fanservicey, ecchi, borderline hentai situation like most modern semi-romances do, the characters are forced to turn away from each other and they think long and hard about their feelings. Through this process, you really start to develop your own feelings toward each character. I really really got into this anime after about 13 eps or so, I became slightly obsessed… whoopsie 😀
Nothing much to be said here; I kinda already said it. It’s really great to see such innocence on the screen when other things like violence and fanservice are in high demand. Not that I mind either of those, but D.N. Angel puts those concepts to shame. Shame shame shame, this anime is so good.
I am definitely going to have to rewatch this anime when I run out (like that’s gonna happen…). But this anime has something that others lack, and its probably its ability to draw the viewer deep into the romance, and you can really see and develop feelings and attitudes during the episodes. Please, you don’t want to miss D.N. Angel for the world.
The story of D.N.Angel is relatively original as you don’t see other anime shows adopting what D.N.Angel has – an angel stealing artwork in hopes of preventing world destruction, if you put it in very simple terms. In a nutshell, the Niwa family has long been the bloodline that holds the dark-winged angel, Dark, in their male children and every 40 years or so, it is time once again for Dark to re-emerge and once again steal the artwork or art pieces from the Hikari family, who also houses an angel of their own, Krad <– Dark spelled backwards if you guys did not notice that immediately. The town that the story takes place seems like it was taken somewhere from Italy and they simply just inserted Japanese speaking people there. ^_^ But don’t worry, the town setting perfectly suits D.N.Angel as soon enough, you will be wishing that you were living in that quaint, little town.
A very important part of the plot is the triangle romance between our protagonist, Niwa Daisuke and the Harada identical twin sisters, Risa and Riku. At first, Niwa has a crush on Risa (the prettier of the two sisters) but as the anime progresses, we see a change in Daisuke’s heart. And its rather very interesting how the change comes about. The romance is such an integral part because in essence, that is what brings out Dark from Daisuke – his love for Risa. To understand exactly what that is about would be giving away too much. You should watch the anime. ^_^
The animation is actually quite interesting. There are a few scenes in some of the episodes which you’ll believe *have* to be computer animated, but amazingly enough, it isn’t. In addition, the quality of the animation is crisp, clean and smooth and is up to today’s standards, given that the anime is a few years old.
The music to D.N.Angel is very good, however, it does fall short of being exceptional. There are many scores that you will find enjoyable, but some of them just sound too much of the same. The introductory song is fantastic (True Light), however, it is sung in the same pitch of voice, and if you’re a big music person who understands that, it may or may not get on your nerves a little.
Character development is a integral part of D.N.Angel as the relationship between Risa, Riku and Daisuke is the overall focal point of the anime. Satoshi Hiwatari is Daisuke’s rival in a sense, however, as Daisuke embraces his counterpart in Dark, Satoshi is seen to reject his. The Niwa and Hikari families have been battling each other for centuries over these artworks and Satoshi is adamant in capturing Dark without his counterpart. Its interesting to watch his relationship with Krad throughout the series.
There is no doubt in my mind that everyone who is looking for a cute romance and an interesting plot will enjoy this show immensely. The only qualms that I have with it is that there are not enough battle scenes in the show that is seemingly advertised by the introductory song and the pace of the anime seems a bit slow in some of the middle episodes. The ending was also very abrupt and easily could have been stretched a bit longer, given us more information and more battles. But looking back on it, once can say that it was sufficient enough. However, once you get passed those two or three episodes that do seem a little too slow, you’re in for quite a treat. If you’re a sucker for romance, look no further than D.N.Angel.
What makes this anime truly stand out is how the story, the characters, and the romance are all serious and pure. This is not another silly anime where the characters degenerate into loons or crack stupid jokes. They take their lives seriously, which in turn allows you to take them seriously, and eventually get sucked into their world.
Though most episodes are captivating and fun, the show does stagnate in places. For example, I remember the snow painting episodes near the end being especially painful to get through. The beginning half also might seem a bit routine and slow, but just wait for the romance that eventually develops with Daisuke halfway through. It was presented very well with a lot of heart, and will keep you coming back for more. Wait for it.
However, keep in mind that this was marketed toward younger viewers, so dialogue, scenes, and characters might come off a bit childish. If you’re young at heart though, you may actually enjoy this point!
9: Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
English: Rumbling Hearts
MAL Score: 7.21
In the warmth of a golden sun, timid high school student Haruka Suzumiya confesses to Takayuki Narumi, the boy she admires. Takayuki accepts Haruka’s confession and the two become a couple, supported by their mutual friends Mitsuki Hayase and Shinji Taira. All is well for these friends—until tragedy strikes.
One of them is sent to an unenviable fate, lying dormant in a coma. Three years later, they awaken, but their sudden reappearance in everyone’s lives threatens to test the limits of these friends’ bonds.
Disclaimer: It is impossible to completely review this anime without giving up some minor spoilers. If the above paragraph convinced you to watch the anime, then please do so without reading on. If it did not, then you can read on; no major spoilers are present.
If I had to pick the anime with the best plot, it would have to be Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. Not only does the plot draw you in captures your attention, it is also unique in many ways: It takes on life during and after a relationship, not so much two people trying to convince themselves that they like each other for 20 episodes. In this way, the audience does not need to any unnecessary funny introductions or excessive blushing, but rather, the first episode sufficiently provides all the information needed to move on.
Just when the anime was starting so look like a typical high school romance, disaster strikes, deeply affecting the four friends. This is when Kimi ga Nozomu Eien enters a three year time skip, frequently revealing what happened during that time through short flashbacks. The plot from here on is very unsettling and highly subjective, exploring many major themes such as friendship, betrayal, love, aspirations, endeavors, and escaping from reality. All of this comes together at once, consistently driving the story forward to the very end.
Art: 9/10, Sound: 10/10
Although the art was only decent, the 9 rating goes to the portrayal of human emotions. As you can expect for a drama series, this aspect is very important and crucial to complementing the dramatic plot. All of this was done brilliantly in accompany with great background music. I can relive, in my head, half of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien’s final episode because the series integrates the aspects of art and sound so well that the events becomes memorable.
Music alone deserves a special mention. For the first and second episodes of the anime, there were no opening sequences. That doesn’t mean that the anime did not have an opening. The opening starts out with a scene with Mitsuki swimming and Haruki watching, Takayuki and Shinji talking under a tree, and all of this was accompanied with soft, soothing music. The ending for the first episode was nothing except Mitsuki silently listening to the Haruka’s voice on the answering machine as the credits roll by. In fact, it wasn’t until the second episode that there was an ending. This ending sequence, called Rumbling Hearts, is the second best ending sequence I have ever seen; it continues the story from the second episode in an amazing way. The best, however, is Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, the ending for the 14th episode. It is an emotional sequence, summarizing the entire series with the lyrics of a song. In my opinion there could not have been a better way to end the series, and the conclusion of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is probably the reason why the series is still my number one favorite.
Three of the four original high school students were presented with the utmost detail. The fourth, however, was not. While some people did not like this, I am very comfortable it. Even though the story is technically about the four high school students, the plot was only between three, so the (dis)appearance of Shinji for some time was understandable. He did play a very big role later on in the plot, although it did not explore much more about him that we couldn’t already assume in the first two episodes. I agree with this decision to turn Shinji into a supporting character because it clarifies the plot without leading it into confusing territories.
With this anime specifically, supporting characters are one of its most important elements, maybe even more so than the main characters. It was the main characters’ actions that created the plot, but it was Akane, Shinji, Fumio, and others that actually drive the plot forward. And then there’s Ayu and Mayu, the well-needed comic relief of the series. The balance of character development in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien was perfect down to the very last character, neither too excessive or lacking.
The first time around this series will be excrutingly painful. No matter which female lead you like, there will be moments where you feel very sad and sorry for a character, and it is just not a story you will want to sit through and enjoy. Even though I’m a pretty tough guy, I was teary for certain scenes of the final episode. It doesn’t really have a great re-watching value either, but one time watching through it is all you need. You will end up watching specific scenes over and over again though, so you can be prepared for that. It is enjoyable once it’s over, but it might not while you’re watching it.
All that aside, it is an excellent series that you have to watch and experience. It is not for everyone; people who haven’t watched a drama or romance series should not start with Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. There are several memorable moments, such as the train station in episode two, Haruka telling the story of the fairy in episode fourteen, and Akane reading Haruka’s story in episode fourteen. If you are looking for a deep yet concise drama/romance that doesn’t drag on endlessly, then Kimi ga Nozomu Eien for you. I highly recommend it to all who can stand a little bit of drama.
Akane: “Heave-ho, heave-ho, heave-ho. This is how Haru found the real treasure.”
Hontou no Takaramono (The True Treasure)
What this anime seems to accomplish like no anime before it is the amount of fake thrown at your face. It shows some promise in the first couple of minutes, but in the end, all it ever does is puke insincerity and exaggeration at your shoes. Taking this anime seriously for but only a second is a tedious and difficult task. I wouldn’t recommend trying it to anyone, my suffering is enough alone.
A story? Come on, that is the last thing that this anime accomplishes to establish. A lovey-lovey sugar sweet drama with all sorts of different and complex conflicts? Please, if anything, you will laugh at the complete idiocy of it all. Fake fake fake! If anything even remotely similar would happen in reality I would be the first one to praise its uniqueness. As if the protagonist wasn’t false to the bone enough, most conflicts could be handled just by communication alone. I’m left to wonder if there could actually be someone as stupid as him – as if that wasn’t enough, I’m almost crying my eyes out silly that; of course, if a boy has a girl buddy in fiction, they automagically hook up. Seemingly, fiction seems to imply that males cannot have female friends without having a "thing for them". If you dare call this a good drama I’m left to pity you – go read Shakespeare’s Othello. Whilst this anime has a thing for conflicts it executes them poorly and you’re left confused with how this can even slightly relate to reality. It amuses me how people can call this slice-of-life when the relations are perfect, the conflicts are perfect, the setting is perfect, and the other seemingly non-important people are perfect; and of course, the ending is "perfect". Yes, all perfect conflicts have perfect solutions, that’s why you sure as hell can call this anime slice-of-life. You’re not left amazed and flabbergasted of how this perfect story hangs you on the edge of the cliff with such an astonishing suspense. No, it has a suspense indeed – but it’s a suspense of stupidity. Half of the suspense would wither away if only the protagonist wasn’t so foolish. You could cut more than half of this anime by destroying the perfect settings and the perfect supporting characters. Doing this would actually be reasonable and actually add to this anime’s credibility, but then everyone would see through this pile of sickening goo, that adds nothing but laughs and tears to the wonderful genre that is drama.
To put all of that short; this anime tries violently to be something it never was, and never will be.
Pitiful and shockingly disgusting to watch. I can not say anymore, as it was fail to begin with. Of course you need some big round oh-look-at-the-five-light-sources eyes to achieve empathy with the characters. Amusingly, this relates to the story and proves a poor attempt at making an anime you’re supposed to feel sympathetic towards. It was nothing short of awkward to watch.
Oh, I’m quite confident that all people have those cute lullaby voices. I have to be honest and confess something, at one point in this anime, at one of those supposedly heart-warming tear-jerking scenes I was about to reconsider this anime’s good points, when suddenly I’m bombarded with cutey comments that reek of incredibility in my ears. I could not stand the voice-actors, and even less the opening. What the opening succeeds to do is show you smiling girls and remind you of how fantastic the story is. The originality stuns me. The music broke through at some moments but was left unmemorable, which is far from a good thing in this context, disappointingly.
One of the extreme downsides of this anime, my dislike of the protagonist should seem obvious but that’s actually not the worst. Yeah, are there worse? Oh, believe it.
Aside from the perfect relationships that are foolish, the protagonist who is nothing short of foolish, there is the rest of the cast who are pure fools. Alongside the protagonist the other two -main-characters show little integrity thought capability. It’s like you’re watching a show of puppets. Whilst the Muppets is also fake at least they manage to show some original personality – this show only again proves that it can’t do anything but fling out perfect personalities that is just so short that you’re supposed to feel rapport with them, whilst still understanding that this sort of personality can lead to conflicts. If you haven’t realized by then the extreme improbability of this anime, you should at least by the time the characters are introduced.
Is it even possible?
Probably one of the worst drama slice-of-life I have ever run across. It puts a dent on these genres that might never be repaired.
The animation isn’t too bad, but it isn’t great either. I felt the character designs were great though. Kiminozo also has some pacing issues. There were some moments where it just felt too dragged out and not much was happening. However, if you’re the type who enjoys slow and painful dramas that continuously builds, then you’ll enjoy this aspect of Kiminozo. Another problem focuses on two co-workers of Takayuki that provide comic relief. I felt that they did an excellent job with the comic relief since after painful, dramatic, and depressing scenes, the anime usually focuses on the two co-workers to lighten up the mood, but most viewers would say that these scenes of comedy ruin the impact of the sadder moments. The ending itself also left me feeling unsatisfied. After watching this emotional rollercoaster, I expected the ending to be nothing short of spectacular, but instead it was just a ‘good’ ending.
Some other stuff I would like to point out is that the first two episodes serve as an introduction to the main story. I would highly recommend to continue watching until at least the third episode. The first episode gives the impression that it’s going to be a bland, generic, ‘highschool life’ anime, which this is definitely not. After watching the second episode though, most everyone continues watching to see what happens next. Personally, I absolutely loved this anime and I’m incredibly bias towards giving this a perfect 10. However, that wouldn’t be fair to those who are actually using this review to decide whether or not to watch KGNE, so I have pointed out some of the faults this anime has. Overall, I would say if you enjoy dramas, then I would recommend this wholeheartedly. However, if you’re more action oriented, expect explosions, and do not particularly enjoy the ‘slice of life’ genre, you might not enjoy KGNE, but I would still say check this out.
+ Good, realistic character designs
+ Interesting story with a good theme tying it all together
+ Excellent depiction of human emotion
– Some pacing issues
– Some misplaced comic relief
9 out of 10
8: Uchuu no Stellvia
MAL Score: 7.37
The year is 2356 A.D. – 189 years after a distant supernova caused a global catastrophe that wiped out 99% of the world population. To keep track on all space activities, mankind has built colossal space stations called “foundations” all over the Solar System. After passing the Space Academy entrance exams, Shima Katase embarks to the Earth-based foundation Stellvia to fulfill her dream of seeing the galaxy and to prevent another interstellar catastrophe from destroying Earth.
Stellvia of the Universe reminds me of several different animes. The school life portion of the series gave me some serious Azumanga Daioh vibes. There is actually a lot of charm and humor that comes with watching Shima Katase and Arisa Glennorth bounce comments back and forth, and when you throw in a bunch of other interesting students and instructors it only adds to the fun. The serious portion of the series, which involves space training and combat, reminds me quite a lot of series’ like Vandread. While the outer space scenes don’t pack nearly as much action as fans of the genre would expect, they aren’t boring to watch either. Stellvia is more of a psychological anime than it is an all-out sci-fi action one. Even though there are a few tense and exciting moments of high speed space action, the majority of the series takes place inside of the cockpit where we get to see the emotions of the individual pilots. This was an interesting route to take, and it works greatly to Stellvia’s advantage. As the series goes on emotions begin to flare, so unlike Azumanga Daioh, Stellvia of the Universe does get serious, and tears are shed on more than one occasion.
Speaking of tears, Shima Katase wins my vote for ‘Biggest Drama Queen in the History of Anime.’ Shipon (the nickname Shima respectively earns early on in the series) manages to cry more times in the course of Stellvia than I care to count. To be completely honest, I can’t remember a single episode where she didn’t have tears running down her face at least once, including the very first episode. At first I was able to sympathize with her, but after seeing her pouty face a dozen or more times I felt the urge to leap into my television and repeatedly punch her in the face. While the entire human race is facing the biggest threat they’ve ever encountered this girl bitches and moans over the littlest of things, which includes not being as good of a pilot as her boyfriend (boo-friggin-hoo). While this sort of angst-ridden lead character is what helped ruin Neon Genesis Evangelion for me, Stellvia of the Universe provides the audience with plenty of characters to fall in love with and enough plot developments to keep the focus off the annoying drama queen. Although it is worth mentioning that the Shipon character does redeem herself towards the very end of the series, thankfully.
Stellvia of the Universe is a very character driven series, with well over a dozen different characters all with distinct personalities and agendas. If you don’t like one character, there is a good chance you’ll like somebody else. This is what made Stellvia so enjoyable to me, that I was able to attach myself onto several different characters in very different ways. Stellvia also doesn’t have any true villains, a void that is filled mostly by fierce rivalries between some of the students. I guess it can be said that the real villain of the story is the cosmic disaster mankind is pitted up against; a faceless, mindless, merciless monster that will eradicate the entire solar system without a second’s thought unless the genius preparatory students (Shima Katase and her boyfriend Kouta Otoyama) do something about it.
Stellvia of the Universe does get a little carried away later on in the series, and goes in a direction I least expected–aliens. Yes, during the latter half of the series aliens are introduced into the storyline. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your outlook) these aliens remain mostly hidden in the background of things, although there is one major character revealed to have connections with the aliens later on. As some of you may know, I’m a big fan of aliens and alien/human conflict, but the introduction of aliens in the story of Stellvia felt rather unnecessary to me. I guess if we’re ever going to see aliens in real life it would be during a time of galactic crisis like the one presented in Stellvia, but going so far as having an alien masquerade as a high ranking human official is stretching things a bit too much for my comfort. In an anime that is otherwise pretty grounded, the aliens of Stellvia might manage to make a few eyes roll.
If you’re a real die hard science geek you may also find it hard to swallow the plot that Stellvia of the Universe revolves around. The idea that mankind can survive a gamma ray burst from a nearby star is certainly a romantic one, but not very likely. With the ozone layer destroyed it would take many years before people could just walk around the planet as if it were a normal day, and the radiation levels would be so high that even people hiding in shelters would be swiftly killed. Also, a gamma ray isn’t going to act like a nuclear bomb and blow buildings down as if they were made of straw. And don’t even get me started on the ‘cosmic fracture’ introduced later in the series. But, they don’t call it science FICTION for nothing.
I simply loved the audio in Stellvia of the Universe. The OP song, Asu e no Brilliant Road (Brilliant Road to Tomorrow), is one of the best OP songs I’ve heard in quite some time, and I had trouble bringing myself to skip the opening scene during the start of each episode because of it. The various ED songs, Kirei na Yozora (Beautiful Night Sky), The End of the World, and Dear my best friend are all pretty good as well, with my favorite being Kirei na Yozora; it has that really catchy J-Pop factor, which resulted in me struggling to stop myself from humming it while in the shower. All of the theme music is done by Angela, so I’ll be sure to check out her work from now on. The voiceovers in Stellvia are quite good as well, but I can’t comment too much on the Japanese audio since I didn’t listen to much of it. The English audio is nice though, with all of the voice actors playing their roles respectively. If I decide to ever watch this series again I’ll consider watching it in the Japanese audio, since I hear the Japanese voice actors did a truly superb job.
The animation in Stellvia is a nice blend of traditional drawings and computer graphics, and it’s pleasant to see that an anime like Stellvia can pull off CG without looking too dated or generally awkward. Character and scenery designs are all great, with each character animated to perfection with their corresponding personality traits, and with each location looking distinct from each other. I actually felt like I was aboard the Stellvia myself while watching, as the anime takes you everywhere from the dorms to the air ducts. The only way to see more of the fantasy space station would be to obtain the blueprints. There is a few recycled sequences here and there, but not really enough to take your attention away from the good stuff.
Stellvia of the Universe is what I would consider a hidden gem. It’s not the kind of anime I would expect my friends to bring up during a conversation, and when asking people online for their opinions on it I constantly got the same reply: ‘I’ve never heard of Stellvia.’ This is a real shame, because Stellvia is exactly the kind of anime there isn’t enough of. Where are all the sci-fi animes that take themselves seriously without being dull, or having a dull cast of characters? Or for that matter, how many animes have you seen where literally dozens of characters are properly developed, and who are each likable or unlikable for their own reasons? In my experience an anime with such qualities is rare. Stellvia of the Universe isn’t perfect by any means, but if I said it wasn’t one of the best anime experiences I’ve had in a while I’d be lying. Overall, Stellvia of the Universe is a well crafted piece of entertainment, one that you shouldn’t avoid.
My Score: 9.5
Version Watched: English Dub
It has romance, action, unexpected twists, I think it is definitely worth watching but the first episode explains everything so it might be a little boring for some people.
And for those who love space, pretty images of the universe, you’ll get a huge dose of it 🙂
Original Airdates: 4/03 – 9/03
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Mecha, Romance, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
The year is 2356 A.D. – 189 years after a distant supernova caused a global catastrophe that wiped out 99% of the world population. To keep track on all space activities, mankind has built colossal space stations called "foundations" all over the Solar System. After passing the Space Academy entrance exams, Shima Katase embarks to the Earth-based foundation Stellvia to fulfill her dream of seeing the galaxy and to prevent another interstellar catastrophe from destroying Earth.
So when I saw the first few episodes of Stellvia, I was thinking… "This is WAY to cheerful to be a post-apocalyptic anime". Well considering the other post-apoc anime I had seen was Evangelion… I wasn’t wrong to think so. So the first 8 episodes do a really good job of establishing the universe that Stellvia was situated in. By episode 13, here is what i noticed
– It had some really interesting characters
– A romance that nearly everyone would appreciate
– Plenty of character development
– A beautiful storyline and animation
– Limited by heartpounding action
Had it ended on ep 13… it would probably tied with Gurren Lagann as my favorite anime… Unfortunately… Stellvia took a downturn heading into the 2nd half… the characters that we were interested in suddenly started to get annoying. The romance goes nowhere. And the character development gets muddled in frequent crying outbursts.
The only thing that didn’t go downhill was the animation and the action. The epilogue was also kind of anti-climactic.
Overall.. this anime would’ve worked really well if it were split into 2, 13 episode seasons.
As for my reccomendation… watch it for the first half, expect to be dissapointed by the 2nd half
1st half: 10/10
2nd half 6/10
– Eureka Seven
For the same reasons listed above
– Neon Genesis Evangelion
Post-apocalytic… and Shima develops a "Shinji-complex" towards the end.
7: 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]
6: Ashita no Nadja
English: Tomorrow’s Nadja
MAL Score: 7.59
This story takes place about one hundred years ago. Nadja is a bright, cheerful girl who was raised in an orphanage near London, England. Nadja was entrusted to the orphanage when she was a baby. So she thought her father and mother were dead. But before her thirteenth birthday, she found out that her mother might be alive..
Nadja sets out on a journey to find her mother! With all of Europe as the stage, Nadja’s exciting adventure begins!
Nadja was one of my early childhood anime back in the early ’00s but I don’t seem to remember how it ended or how the story progresses. What I remember is the main plot itself when it aired on my local television network. It’s been more than a decade since I watch it, so I decided to finally pick it up and make a full series rewatch on it last year. I was happy that I did. Because I am surprised the anime gave me a sort of diamond of the ruff impression about it. A good TV series for what it is from start to finish. This review will discuss further why this show is a hidden gem of its time and what makes Nadja a good show.
(Story/Plot/Writing) (7/10: Good) (Spoiler Free)
Starting off the Review Ashita no Nadja or commonly known as Tomorrow’s Nadja for international audiences, the story follows the Adventure of Nadja Applefield. Traveling around European Continent in search of clues of her mother’s whereabouts while meeting friends and learning different cultures along the way. Nadja plays out like your classic late-century adventure stories where the protagonist needs to travel to new places to progress the story. We have lots of story like that in animes based around western literature that is aired during the 80s and ’90s.
But sadly starting around the 2000s this type of story in the anime medium got a steady decline. In 2003 anime releases Nadja is the only show that uses the formula, thus making it very unique alongside the other series that was airing at the time. 2003 is flooded with a lot of shows with a variety of genres, with different target demographics ranging from adults, teenage and younger audiences. Nadja aims for much more younger viewers but it cannot compete with the more rule of cool focus shows that even younger kids want to watch. It’s quite common that nobody actually remembers or talks about this show even today. This is where my review comes in.
For an Adventure Story, I shall confidently say it’s well written and good. It has a beginning and an ending. Everything feels connected and consistent until the end of the show. Usually, for a children-oriented series, a lot of shows will make a lot of unnecessary filler episodes, especially if the show is around 50+ episodes. But in Nadja, the writers took an effort in connecting each individual episode. It makes each episode important in Nadja’s journey.
The story has a rather slow exposition, pacing and each of the first episodes only give small fractions of information for the main plot. The main story doesn’t kick start until around episode 33. The initial episodes are all about establishing the characters and structured world-building by introducing various regions in Europe. The episodes focus on exploring the people in the region and cleverly describing people’s lives. Nadja is also a very good example of a slice of life series. But for its credit, it gives us enough time to breathe and digests the characters and story overall.
The Setting is set to place between 19th and 20th Century Europe. It’s lovely to see that this anime has a lot of educational content that feels natural for the plot. As Nadja learns new things as she explores new places, the audience learns from it by simply watching this show. Feels like a fun tour of 19th or 20th Century Europe. As if the Audience is also tagging along with Adventure. There is a sense of connection and pay-off. As Nadja travels around each country, new characters and new stories are introduced that complement the setting and the entire story feels layered in a way.
(Characters/ Main Supporting) (8/10: Very Good in My Opinion) (Contain Some Minor Spoiler)
When it comes to characters the show shines the best. Nadja is a dancer of the Dandelion Troupe, a Small Group of Circus Entertainers, which makes a living by moving town to town to provide entertainment for the locals in the area. Each Troupe member has their own unique personality and appealing side story to share. Some are ok while others have some really good back story to boot. Aside from Nadja and Her Troupe Family, there are also some supporting characters that have their own appeal, own story, and ambitions that shape the entire narrative. Some characters, for the most part, reappear in later episodes. Revealing their own character growth and development in the process made the show even more exciting as it continues.
There is some antagonist in the show that moves the story forward but there are some very despicable moments in the show that might ignite audience emotion into the wall. If you wondering how nasty are the so-called villains? I recommend you guys to check it out from start to finish to understand what I am talking about. This show knows how to give a really bad time experience for our main heroine.
Now moving to our main heroine, “Nadja AppleField”, for a classic late-century female protagonist, there isn’t much anything special to say about her. She is good for what she does in her role, serving as a mediator for the character’s conflict, the voice of reasons, and the eyes and ears of the audience in exploring the world surrounding her. The only gripe I have for Nadja as a person is that she sorts of lacks an interesting personality. Sure, she got the looks of the main character, she is very beautiful, but she is very reactive in a lot of situations. There are moments in the show that her kind-hearted nature sometimes results in people taking advantage of her kindness. I consider this annoying. Luckily her flaws are corrected by supporting characters that compromise her weakness and save the day.
But Hey that’s what makes her likable in the first place. An innocent pure-hearted maiden that only wishes the best in a person. To me, I refer more proactive and dynamic heroines that plan ahead and knows when a person is taking advantage of her good intentions.
(Technical Stuff) (Art & Animation 7/10)( Music and Sound Design 7/10)
In the technical aspect of the show, for a 2003 anime, it’s good and well polished. Given that this a 50 episode series where the art style and animation remain consistent. The aesthetic is pleasing though some character designs are rather dull. The only character that stands out, when it comes to design, is Nadja’s design and the clothes she wears.
If you are wondering why it seems like the Key Art Style and Animation have heavy resemblances to some very cutesy style common in 2000’s magical girl series like example: Precure or Doremi look so similar. Then you are not wrong in making that assumption. Seeing in was made by Toei Animation Studio. Toei has a habit of making specialized departments to work on specific aspects of their other shows. In Nadja’s case, they used their magical shoujo division to create Nadja’s Design and other characters.
Music I think it’s good for what it is. But wouldn’t say it’s worth saving in your MP3 song list. The OP and ED are good for what they supposed to function. When it comes to the background music and sound effects it’s Ok. Nothing special but classical music always works on the show set in the late century so it’s a pass.
(Enjoyment/ Bias Personal Opinion)
(7/10 Good and Memorable, But Doesn’t Give a Hard-Hitting Impact for Me as Person)
This is the section I will say both my positive and negative personal comments about the show base on my own flawed reference. There are things that I found amazing in the show that I don’t see much on other shows and at the same time, there are some very boring and jarring moments in the show that I wish the show will continue giving me that magic. The show has some very cheesy cliché and a number of plot conveniences but I know myself that Nadja is a simple show that has its own strength and weaknesses. And to be fair there are more good moments in the show that far out weight the bad ones. And for an anime aim for kids. It far exceeded what I supposed to expect it to be.
Back then when I was a kid, Nadja was like another Saturday Morning Cartoon for me. Now as an adult I see it as one of the good series the 2003 era has to offer. It has far more meaningful moral content that can be applied in real life. I can appreciate the people who made this has some good intentions in mind. Personally, I think it’s a good show that worth recommending to everyone that shares the same interest as me.
(Final Thoughts) (Overall 7.4/10 A show worth recommending to a few)
In summary, the show is all about Nadja Apple Field’s life story but magnificently built upon collective stories of unique individuals from distinct places, cultural traditions, and social standing. You are given a variety of viewpoints to create a moral ground of what is good or bad with an added heartbreaking plot twist I wouldn’t expect on a show for kids.
I like that the anime’s main moral lesson teaching follows the Japanese tradition of teaching children “omoiyari” or showing empathy to others, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In short caring for others. Which by the way, mature adults in the show teach Nadja when she creates a one-sided opinion on a person.
In a simple line of dialogue.
“Not all people are 100 percent good or evil. Everybody has their reason”
This line really hit me hard. Because this idea remains steady throughout the entire show. Most kids teach the younger audiences what a good guy and a bad guy look like but in Nadja. It teaches you to think and understand a person’s situation. It encourages people to not draw out selfish conclusions in defining what a person is. A lesson that is more relevant today because of the advent of social media spreading wildfire of conspiracy about groups and specific individuals.
I might add, I didn’t expect this show to have complicated romances, social class conspiracy theory, and critical commentary about 19th and 20th Century mentality that seemingly controversial if ever talk about or look upon during that era.
I like the charm of the show is a mixed bag of sharing meaningful moral content and unnecessarily wackily looney quirks. Huge respect for this anime-original where the studio is making an effort to write a complete story entertainment for people to enjoy.
I hope when people watch Tomorrow’s Nadja, the Inner “Noblesse Oblige” will surface in their hearts.
“With great wealth comes the responsibility to give back to those who are less fortunate than oneself”
“But Noblesse Oblige is not always giving material wealth”
“Everyone can give back in different ways, on any shape or forms that will truly help people to stand up in life”
Thanks for Reading.
The story involves the backdrop of Nadja trying to find her mother. As she travels with a troupe of entertainers she encounters many different personalities, stories, dances and gains clues on who her mother maybe. The story is also comprised of many testing factors for Nadja such as friendships, betrayals, love triangles, greed, noblesse oblige and loss- all of which keep the episodes interesting and entertaining until the very end. The story really develops and gains pace after episode 35 though, before that’s its mostly character building.
The animation is the only technical aspect in my opinion which is a slight let down but after a while I got used to it- maybe that’s how it was intended to be; to be unique from the other animés?
The characters are charming in their own way. Expect some vile female characters though and some dodgy suspicious men. Most of the characters have at least an episode to themselves but of course development is more one the main ones than the supporting characters.
It was an enjoyable series for me. The comedy isn’t hilarious but the romance is nice. I was moved towards the end and I never expected that to happen! It’s a good watch: Ashita no Nadja ~
A very recommended show to everyone, and a must watch for lovers of epic dramas, romances and adventure.
Nadja is a young orphan girl who sets out of her orphanage to seek her family origins around europe of the early 20th century, armed only with her mother’s party gown, journal and heart shaped brooch. She joins a traveling performance group and mutually falls in love with a young nobleman whom she meets along the way.
Nadja’s personal and private journey is about to end up as an affair to fascinate all of europe, royalty and working class alike. But two steps back – as opposed to the later half of the series, it begins in a rather light note which seems to be radiating, easy going, cheerful and impossibly optimistic – all flows out of the titular character’s beliefs and way of view.
Some of those episode might be misleading as the show’s main core is very hard, almost ruthless intense drama. Some viewers might need to hold themselves down while the show sets up its world and premise, but they would be rewarded beyond compare.
The writers, and voice actress Ami Koshimizu, made an excellent work with fleshing out Nadja’s character. I found her fascinating and a character to look up to, she is very strong willed, brave, thoughtful, humble and kind hearted. I was surprised at how deeply her ideals and beliefs are tested and challenged as the series progresses.
While Nadja is the most examined character throughout the show, she is accompanied by an impressively large cast of unique characters from different countries, social classes and economic levels.
There are almost no stock characters or stereotypes, each background character stands by its own right and almost all of them are being treated as seriously as a main character in a every other show. They have strong dilemmas and a distinctive take on life, they easily receive amazing closures, conclusions and catharsis.
Other than the excellent writing, the direction is also very precise. Each frame is carefully crafted and there’s an impressive weight to light, shadows, colors and compositions. Takuya Igarashi (Ouran High School Host Club, Soul Eater) is the one to be thankful for and now everything he touches is automatically in my watchlist.
To sum it up i can not stress enough how amazing this show is and how important it is for it to be more known and popular. If you’re thinking even a little about trying it out then by all means GO FOR IT.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your journey.
5: Chrno Crusade
English: Chrono Crusade
MAL Score: 7.64
The 1920s was a decade of great change and upheaval, with monstrous demons appearing across America. To combat this menace, the holy organization known as the Order of Magdalene was established. The organization’s New York branch is home to the young and reckless Sister Rosette Christopher, as well as her partner Chrno. Tasked with the extermination of demonic threats, the renowned team is excellent at their job, despite causing extensive collateral damage on their missions.
However, both Rosette and Chrno are driven by their dark pasts. Through exterminating demons, Rosette hopes to find her lost brother Joshua who was taken by the sinner and demon, Aion, with whom Chrno also shares a bloody history. The two of them must fight off the increasingly dangerous demonic menace and discover its source, while continuing to search for the truth behind Joshua’s disappearance.
I first watched Chrno Crusade without any expectations for it whatsoever. After completing the first episode (weeks before I completed the series), I wasn’t really fascinated with it at all. For the time, I just thought this anime was pretty generic and somewhat dull.
I was wrong.
After a few weeks, I was led to completing the series. To make the most general and the most appropriate statement: It was captivating! The story behind Chrno Crusade is very intricate with numerous characters, subplots and details. The story is brilliantly put together with no holes in the story and also a very complete ending (sniffles). Chrno Crusade is full of action, comedy and romance; the key ingredients of a great production. The general plot is nothing unordinary and is usually played out as other anime have, but there is just something about this anime that I thought really set this one apart from the others. Unfortunately, I am unsure of the reason myself; or am not able to explain it in words. As you watch Chrno Crusade, I am sure you will understand what I mean. –and I apologize for the slightly unclear story briefing.
As for the art in Chrno Crusade, it would have to say that it is brilliant! The art gave me a very strong sense of familiarity. The animation is very similar to many series’ such as Full Metal Panic and Kaze no Stigma because they’re from the same animators. The kind of animation that Gonzo offers is my all time favorite. Everything is greatly detailed accurate lighting and shading. Skin tones look very natural and give the characters physical depth (they don’t look so 2-demensional), and best of all, the character’s eyes aren’t the size of my monitor. In the series, there are barely any CG and most of the time, it’s very unnoticeable.
Most of the time, I prefer subtitles over dubbing because usually the English voice actors talk like they’ve been deprived from their souls; emotionless and doubtable. In the case of Chrno Crusade, I very much enjoyed the English dubbing. One, because the voice actor for Rosette talked very fast and her pitch was very high (much like Excel from Excel Saga). Second, because my favorite English seiyuu, Hilary Haag (Teletha “Tessa” Testarossa from Full Metal Panic) was acting for Rosette. And lastly, because the series is set in America it would make more sense for it to be in English. The dubbing included uses of slang back in the late 1920’s which was when the series takes place. As for the opening song, it was very enjoyable and blended well with the opening animation that also suited the anime flawlessly. And the ending song…well, quickly became one of my favorites (it is actually playing on repeat as I write this review). Entitled “Sayonara Solitaire”, the song expresses feelings of sadness, loneliness and hope. The animation for the ending was beautiful too. The ambience of the ripples gave an awkward feeling of loneliness and at the end of the credits; the animation showed the watch that Rosette bore as a drop of water ran down from it while the ending song was closing with a small string orchestra. Having thought of that drop was a tear and by the knowledge of what that watch really represented in addition to the sad music made it easy for the viewer to cry. That short section at the end also gave a hint of foreshadowing that was just even sadder to accept. SAD but not depressing; which is all I can say.
What I thought while watching Chrno Crusade was that the real essence of this series were the characters. Character development is a strongpoint in this anime and the process of it takes on most of the series itself. Each character is unique in their own way; even for the supporting characters. They all have their own personality and individuality. That effort from the producers made a real difference for me. The cast in Chrno Crusade are all affable; even the villain. Rosette (awkwardly) reminds me of Naruto. They are optimistic, earnest, hard-working, and both have the drive and potential to reach their ambitions. Rosette was just so lively and full of energy which made watching the series more or less pleasant. Chrono is depicted to be a very modest, kind and selfless character though he is a devil. Rosette and Chrono’s relationship are like of best friends if not more. They are both very close to each other, not hesitating a second to protect one another. Their partnering gives off such a deep feeling of fulfillment in your heart. They are both lovable and enjoyable to watch which makes the ending of the series even more melancholic.
Chrno Crusade has quickly and easily made it into my top anime list. At first, as I’ve stated, I wasn’t really fascinated with it. Until a few weeks later, I found myself completing the whole series in less than a day. Every episode was captivating as I watched one right after another. There were a few episodes where it felt as if it were a filler, but I thought it was good to have a few fillers here and there to take a break from the story. Character development was not something I expected from Chrno Crusade, but it turned out to be my favorite point of the series. The rating I gave for Chrno Crusade went from an Eight out of Ten to a Ten out of Ten during the last two episodes. These two episodes are notorious for making viewers cry. Honestly, I cried for about 10 minutes straight; coming from a guy who hasn’t cried like that in over 5 years. The last episode had such an astounding impact and because of that, Chrno Crusade had earned the right to be on my favorites. This series has been very memorable and also very rewatchable. It is PERFECT.
I recommend anyone to watch Chrno Crusade. From the average otaku to an early anime watcher, you can’t go wrong with this series. If you plan to watch it, at least watch the first 3 episodes. Do not do the same mistake I have and nearly dropped it on the first episode; which I deeply regret doing. Give it a try.
I created this review, because unlike the one other CC review, I’ve seen the whole thing, and I appreciate it. Sooo, here’s my opinion.
Rosette Christopher, and her little brother, Joshua, two little orphan children, are exploring, when they come across a mysterious cave. Within, a devil named Chrno was living, but the two young children befriend Chrno easily.
One day, Joshua is driven insane by the powers he had already had, and the horns on Chrno, given to him by Aion, and puts all the other children of the orphange into a temporal stasis, where they are frozen for four years. Aion than takes Joshua away, as one of the 7 apostiles.
Rosette, devestated by the loss of her brother, makes a contract with Chrno. She is given a mysterious time-piece, where when she opens it, Chrno feeds off her soul to gain power.
As Rosette and Chrno try to find her brother again, Rosettes life is ticking away from her pack with the devil.
There is something I love about this animation, I can’ even explain it. Unlike a lot of other action anime, this one does not cut corners with the shakey-screen effect. It’s beautifully designed, with vibrant colours, and flows so nicely. I can’t even explain it, as I said earlier. The best animation is definitly in the opening sequence, though.
Again, I just love the music. It’s hard to explain. The ending and opening fit the series so well, it’s perfect. The music within the series is awesome, with it fitting every scene perfectly. I especially love one of the songs, that usually occurs after commerical breaks in the first few episodes. It gives off a very mystery/horror sound, which I feel the series has a bit of, deep down.
I love the characters. All but one.
Chrno was my personal favourite. He is a cute little devil, but can change into his awesome true form. He is such a nice little thing, and I can’t possibly see anyone not liking him.
Rosette, while being a typical annoying female, I still loved. She is emotional, yes, but she’s not helpless like so many other leads. For the first few episodes, she is doing the majority of the fighting. Of course, towards the end, she gets a bit helpless, but it’s not like she didn’t try!
I like Azmaria, for some odd reason. Just a cute little girl that admires Rosette. And I swear, that song she sings, I’ve hear somewhere… J
oshua was so adorable as a child, and just cool as a nut-job.
Aoin was pretty neat, having more layers than the “I want to destory the world” thing.
The only character I wasn’t fond of Satella, and it was probably because I watched it in English, and I could barely understand her accent. It hurt.
I watched this series in 3 days. I couldn’t pull away. When I wasn’t watching it, I was thinking about it. I was obsessed. I was Chrno Crusade sick. When I finished it, I cried. The ending was sad, and it was over, so I cried. Than I went to work, and I told everyone about this awesome anime I discovered. I proudly told them all I cried. I hummed the theme, until I went home. I am listening to the theme now.
I think that could qualify as I enjoyed greatly.
Overall / My Comments / My Feelings
I love this series, and I’ve owned it for 4 days, so far. I am a sad, sad girl. The ending was such a depressingly happy ending, that I cried. Sure, they… umm..
Anyways, I highly recommend this series. I love it for reasons unknown (maybe just Chrno? He is named after a game I love…) but anyways, I suck terribly at explaining the story, but believe me, it was awesome. Awesome, I say. Go out and buy this series, don’t just download it. It needs to be enjoyed from your cozy couch, where you can cry into some blankets.
Because of the originality (in a sense) and the religious undertones that make you question things intently, and because the character development is very, very intrepid. This has one of the most meaningful story arcs that i have ever come across. Every single episode means something. Making you empathize with a character, understand them, or even pity them. Even though there are flashback sequences that can sometimes be confusing, as long as you pay to the subbed dates, you will enjoy this series more than any other 24 episode anime, i guarantee it.
Beautiful. The action sequences use the "shaky camera" effect, but not to an overdose such as certain animes i have watched. The colors are always fitting for each of the episodes, and the blood is all the more gruesome with the contrast between the scenes
SOUND – 8
I LOVED the music. The openings and endings were amazing, i watched each and every one (i usually skip), but the music was captivating and well suited for the genre. The ending theme (for the last ep) was utterly perfect, too. Well-sung.
CHARACTER – 9
The contrast of character personalities makes this an a-typical anime. The main protagonist being a female with a very outspoken and agressive personality, the main male protagonist being very drawn back and selfless, and side characters that make you believe that there’s either faith in humanity or lose your faith in humanity. The development is amazing too, you see between each episode a character grow stronger, or weaker, and the comparison is there.
ENJOYMENT – 10
This is one of those animes you can’t stop watching. Just looking at the preview for the next episode makes you want to say "Eh… i’ll go to bed at 11:30pm tonight." Then, the next previews make you watch another episode, etc. By the time you’ve pulled an all-nighter you’re still fulfilled and energized to watch the next, and call in a sick day to work.
Overall – 10
I have finally completed the entire series, and i have to say, this has the most meaningful ending and perfect flow that makes Chrno Crusade one of the only animes that has PERFECT length and timing. This has amazing art, amazing characters, and an amazing message. One of the things lacking from most anime now is the artistic value and philosophical value. Sure, it’s nice to have a good laugh every now and then, but if you’re looking for a great series with characters that are funny, deep and intriguing, look no further. Chrno Crusade is a great series.
I enjoyed watched the subbed versions better, and have all together stopped watching the dubbed versions. There are too many scenes where the laughable accent of Satella has gotten in my way. Though i do love Rosette’s dubbed voice, i had to part ways with it.
4: 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.
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.
3: 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.
2: 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.
MAL Score: 8.29
In 2075, space travel is no longer just a dream, but an everyday reality for mankind. Advancements in science and technology have led to the colonization of the moon, the commercialization of outer space, and the formation of large space corporations. Ai Tanabe, an upbeat woman whose interests lie in the cosmos, joins Technora Corporation as a member of their Debris Section, a department dedicated to the removal of dangerous space junk between the orbits of the Earth and Moon.
However, Ai soon discovers how unappreciated her job is. As the laughingstock of Technora, the Debris Section is severely understaffed, poorly funded, and is forced to use a dilapidated spaceship nicknamed the “Toy Box” for debris retrieval. Undeterred, Ai perseveres and gradually becomes acquainted with the strange personalities that make up the Debris Section’s staff, such as the bumbling but good-natured chief clerk Philippe Myers; the mysterious and tight-lipped temp worker Edelgard Rivera; and the hotheaded and passionate Hachirouta Hoshino, who longs for a spaceship to call his own.
Planetes is an unconventional sci-fi series that portrays the vastness of space as a backdrop for the personal lives of ordinary people—people who may have been born on Earth, but whose hopes and dreams lie amongst the stars.
With that being said, on with the review.
Story: Planetes starts off rather slow. In fact, the "main" story doesn’t even really pick up until about episode 10 or so. Before that, you’re introduced to character personalities and dreams/motives. This is absolutely necessary though, because without this strong intro, the latter part of the show wouldn’t have had nearly the same kind of effect.
Animation: The animiation is pretty well done. CGI is used in quite a few scenes and I didn’t notice any problems. My only beef is that I didn’t fall in love with the character designs too much. They’re good, but I think a few characters got shafted.
Sound: Probably the most lacking area in the series in my opinion. The intro is decent, but hardly anything special. The background music throughout the show is bland and never really stands out. The only music that ever really caught my attention was the ending theme, and it’s not wonderful either. I should mention that the Seiyuu’s did an excellent job though.
Character: Characters are definitely the biggest plus to Planetes. Hachimaki and Ai are excellent leading characters. The other crew members are nearly equally as interesting as them too. Everyone, like most shows, has their own problems and own ambitions. Planetes does a great job at detailing each character.
Enjoyment: Took me 4 days to complete the show (could have done it sooner if school wasn’t taking my time). 26 eps in 4 days usually constitutes hard core enjoyable watching. 🙂 This is a feel good Anime (well, most of it is at least), so what’s not to enjoy?
Overall: This needs to become more popular! It deserves better than only a couple hundreds watchers. Take the time and watch it.
Planetes starts about how you might expect a show with such an odd premise to begin. It’s a very quirky show, practically a comedy/sitcom type show. The first 13 episodes or so are all episodic, there’s lots of laugh, and the show rarely takes itself too seriously. At this point I would call the show very good. It was entertaining, but, I never felt compelled to watch the next episode immediately after finishing one. I’d be fine to wait a while before booting up a new episode.
And then, the second half of the show begins. This is where arcs begin to start, the show starts to have more continuity, and basically, it becomes more of a serious space drama show. This is when the show really kicks it up a notch and becomes the masterpiece I think it is. The second half of the show offers some incredibly intense moments, lots of philosophical talk about whether space development is really needed for mankind, and some awesome character development.
In fact, all 26 episodes of Planetes have some amazing character development. All the characters on the space debris crew have at least one episode where they get a decent amount of focus. In fact, pretty much everyone who gets a decent amount of screen time gets fleshed out. It’s actually pretty amazing. All the characters are also very real feeling. I think I could see a lot of these characters in real life. And because of that, you see most of the characters good sides and ugly sides. There may be times when you dislike a character that you once liked, especially with the main character, Hachimaki. This as a whole makes the characters feel even more authentic though.
The most interesting thing about Planetes characters isn’t just how they develop, but how they interact. Events happen, and over the course of the show, almost all the characters change in some ways. In a lot of shows, despite character development, all the characters seem to interact with each other in mostly the same way, but in Planetes, all the interactions become different as characters change and know each other better. They even realize when someone has changes. It’s a cool dynamic and adds a lot to the show.
Planetes is pretty short, and I never thought it got stale at all throughout the whole ride. I think it helped a lot that the show was more of a comedy in the first half. When the switch is made to more of a drama, the change of pace helps things to never get boring.
The best part of Planetes as a whole though is the way it makes you think. You will find yourself thinking a lot about this fictional world, and also about how it applies to the world today. The messages the show sends are kind of “in your face”, but they are only in your face when it comes to the world Planetes is set in. It takes some thinking to really apply it to our world today, so I don’t think anyone will really be put off by it.
Planetes art and sound are also pretty fantastic. I thought all the animation was pretty crisp and they do a good job crafting characters that look just as unique from each other as their personalities are. The sound is really awesome too, the opening theme is especially cool. The only flaw is that, the ending theme is very happy and perky, which worked perfectly for the first half of the show, however, in the 2nd half of the show, when the show gets serious, it gets flat out awkward. For example, someone will be pointing a gun at someone, the episode ends, and then some of the happiest music you could imagine comes on. It’s not a big deal, but it can kind of ruin the intensity that the episode just left you with.
Despite the lack of action, I think this is a show almost anyone can enjoy. It’s smart, has great character development, and can be very intense. I highly reccomend it to anyone.
One of the greatest strengths of Planetes is that just like the content it covers, the story it’s wrapped up in is also progressive, despite what the sheep’s clothing it wears would have you believe. It doesn’t try to maintain a status quo like most shows tend to but instead is constantly expanding, going through methodically built up stages of change, both in its plotting and character involvement. Upon my initial viewing, I thought I was going to watch a simple tale of the daily lives of garbage collectors, and while the 1st handful of episodes fooled me into taking on that presumption, what I walked away with was something far more ambitious. An undertaking rarely achieved in storytelling of this magnitude.
The 1st half of the show places all of its characters in a container and shakes it up to see what type of interactions would blossom when their ideals collide, while also giving us insight into their motives for joining the trash collecting division. These build up episodes are essential since they set in motion the continuous metamorphosis we’re treated to as the narrative threads converge to create the bigger story. Dealing with themes of pro-ecology, corporate hierarchy, and geopolitical ethics, to name a few, the show never skittishly avoids taking on material that others would actively divert its content away from. It could have quickly just dealt with the everyday life of living in space and called it a day but because it bothered to show all sides, both pros and cons of societal expansion, it ended up embracing all truths of what a space inhabited humanity would become. If we carve up imaginary borders on Earth, it stands to reason that that selfish mindset would only seep out as we conquer the heavens as well.
In the hands of less capable creators, this could have easily become an overzealous, preachy “let’s make love, not war” kind of narrative. All it would have taken was a blatant “EVIL CORP” conglomerate pumping toxic fumes everywhere while laughing maniacally on their misdeeds or any other forceful narrative turn that someone like Michael Bay would incorporate with a copious amount of cleavage and explosions. From the macroeconomic relationship between 1st and 3rd world countries to the individualistic struggles of our characters navigating their way through a changing world, everything here was handled responsibly. Planetes is a show that knows when to unwind but never forgets to deliver its messages during pivotal moments.
For any other show, just being able to pull this off would have been enough, but for Planetes, that’s only the main course meal, as it also manages to treat us to dessert with a heartwarming romance that grows along with the narrative the further we plunge forward. And since the core characters involved are comprised entirely of adults, this romance bothers to go somewhere, unlike the typical high-school drama shows that does a “would or wouldn’t they” scenario to only end it with a confession. Of course, this isn’t to say that Planetes delivered the best romance for your price of admission but rather, for a show where romance was never the core focus, to begin with, what we got was still conclusive and satisfactory. Effectively making it a better love story than other shows that are primarily just that, which was more than I ever expected from it.
Another surprising turn of events was just how well the art and animation held up.
The attention to detail was just superb. Just the little things included that would usually go unnoticed by the untrained eye, like the emphasis placed on the widgets, body mechanics in the environment of space, and the functionality of devices used, all helped in turning this piece of fiction into something science-plausible. It all added to the practicality of the scenarios we were introduced to, giving off this feeling that the people behind the show’s creation truly cared about immersing the viewer into the project. The color choices were also utilized well, with monochromatic layouts used to emphasize the isolation and vastness of space, to the vibrant hues of luminescent blues used to give off a sense of warmth that radiated from earth. It’s little things like this that brought the show to life. Of course, since it was made back in 2003, a time when animators were still tinkering with new digital technology, there were some influxes in quality-control to be found; like the usage of CGI in certain scenes and some characters being drawn off model. But overall, the title aged incredibly well, especially when taking into consideration other shows made during the same period. With a telling eye for detail and proper understanding of color placement, Planetes has bought itself a longer shelf-life than many of its competition.
And for a show as far-reaching as this one, a soundtrack of equal proportions was also needed. Thankfully, that’s precisely what we got.
With booming brass sections, choirs humming along to percussion wizardry and string instruments that never missed a chance to join in; the music was a real treat, even deserving of a stand-alone listen. I can’t help but think of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey when I sit back and listen to it (as smarmy as that may sound). It’s just a score that grows on you the more you listen to it, made even more memorable given the title it’s attached to. What’s probably more surprising than the technical proficiency of it is that it never oversteps its boundary during the show’s run-time. Instead of drowning out any given scene, it instead operates as a companion piece; only there as a tool to punctuate the message. Some may think it’s being underutilized, but I believe it’s the creators knowing when to let the tunes elevate the material and knowing when to practice restraint. From the more boisterous tracks to the subdued ones, they were all used accordingly. The opening theme was also catchy and fit the overall feeling the show gave off. Although not much of a favorite for me, it was still memorable and one I rarely skipped.
And with all that Planetes had going for it, ultimately what sold the experience for me was the cast itself.
Characters often serve as the audience’s gateway into a show’s universe and can often be what makes or breaks the experience, even if everything else is fine-tuned. Without characters that we as viewers would like to latch on to, immersion is usually harder to achieve. With that being said, Planete’s cast was nothing short of amazing and arguably the show’s greatest highlight. And since the show spanned across vast distances, due to the content it chose to cover, the cast was equally as big to compensate for that. For the sake of brevity, I’ll only cover the two main leads.
Hachirota Hoshino, or Hachimaki, as his peers call him, can best be summed up as an ambitious, yet abrasive delinquent. When introduced, he’s made out to be your garden variety of schmuck who feels stuck in a dead-end job. Of course, as the show goes on, we get to learn about him as an individual and what formed him to be the person he is today. And what initially started out as a debut for a simpleton upon first encounter was gradually revealed to be much more as things shifted into focus. Exposing a latent animosity that was spurred on by reckless ambition, Planetes slowly divulges into the self-reflection of a man who was at first negligent to his complacency, accepting the cards that life dealt him, until being placed in a corner where that way of thinking was no longer viable. As the narrative of Planetes expands, so too does Hachimaki, as he explores parts of himself he didn’t know was there in the first place. What makes him compelling as a character was these very blemishes that he tried desperately to ignore. He isn’t some Gary Stu that has everything handed to him on a silver platter but just a regular person who dreams big but often limits himself in fear of not reaching his goals. Planetes understands the crushing defeat of life—and with Hachimaki being used as its conduit—never shies away from addressing it.
And to counterbalance Hachimaki’s personality, we’re given a 2nd lead that stands as the antithesis of him.
Ai Tanabe is your uber-idealistic individual who’s naivety is apparent from the moment she makes her grand entrance. Her bold and often stubborn conviction frequently causes her to butt heads with Hachimaki. Although her character type has seen many times before, Planetes makes an active effort in assuring that she goes through the proper character growth that comes with the drastic life change she decides for herself. But possibly the most significant draw to her as a character is seeing the gradual relationship form between her and Hachimaki. Often tested by circumstances around them, their relationship can be seen as a direct reflection of the narrative’s twists and turns.
The gradual development of the leads was also well paced and stayed constant with the progressive themes of the anime. It showed that anything worth striving for requires effort. It’s a show that bastardizes complacency by either having the characters move forward or be left behind by the changing times. Whether it be an external goal like with our protagonist Hachi or an internal one like Ai’s challenged conviction, nothing was left to just stagnate.
Big or small, every characters’ roles helped define Planetes and everything the show stood for. Every story beat, character moment, big displays and quiet moments, coalesced into a theatrical display of the endeavors we all collectively go through in pursuit of the unknown lying beyond the ether.
The repertoire of what I consider to be masterpiece-level titles is quite small, and Planetes has easily found its place among them. Bold and triumphant, this anime is one that resonated with me in ways that many others could only scrape at. Very few shows successfully celebrate the future of humanity in the way this one does, but perhaps even better, the need to combat complacency through the pursuit of greater ambitions.
Planetes is a title that demands more exposure than what it currently has and hopefully this review would encourage a few others to give it a try. It’s thematically well-structured but never overly-complicated; it’s easy to watch but contains excellent social commentary; it wraps everything up nicely, but the implications leave you in awe, thinking long after the credits roll. The build-up may seem a little slow to some, and the constant shifting of character and narrative motion may not register well with those that like perpetual stasis, but if given a chance, this anime could be a crowd-pleaser like no other you’ve experienced before.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Princess Tutu
3. Full Moon wo Sagashite
4. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
5. Chrno Crusade
6. Ashita no Nadja
7. Tenshi na Konamaiki
8. Uchuu no Stellvia
9. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien