They’re the best Anime that 2005 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Mai-HiME, Shakugan no Shana, Tsubasa Chronicle, and more!
MAL Score: 7.44
Thirteen girls, each with the ability to materialize “Elements” and summon metallic guardians called “Childs” have been brought to Fuuka Academy to battle mysterious creatures called Orphans. Each with a different personality and background, they must decide who they truly care about and why they fight.
I watched Mai HiME long before joining MAL so I didn’t know what to say when I first saw the overall rating to be so low. Thus I decided to re-watch the show this past week to refresh my memory and to prepare for this review. If there is one thing my opinion changed about this anime since my first time watching it a few years back, it is the quality of the animation which we will get to in a moment. One short recommendation before we begin the review, get lots of tissue paper when you watch the latter half of the anime, you’ll need it.
Extremely outstanding. Although the first half was somewhat slow to begin with, but the second half just throw you out the window. But without the character introductions and developments in the first half, the viewers reaction will not be as strong in the latter half. In essence, the entire show (episode per episode) was planned so that it can bring out all the emotional effects as it approach the end. That is not to say the anime is boring until the end though. In fact, most of the humorous moments reside in the earlier episodes mixing with some light fan service.
The animation quality is one of the very few things this series could have worked on. As a product made in 2004, the animation level is definitely not the best that Sunrise could have produced.
Absolutely stunning. Mai HiME is one of those rare anime series where the OP and ED are overwhelmed by occasional theme music in between episodes. The soundtracks are so well coordinated that one can truly say the music can play with your emotion.
Due to the large number of casts in the series (there are 13 HiMEs alone, not to mention their “precious” other half), it can get messy the first time watching it. However, once you get past the confusion of knowing the characters, you’ll see how well each of the characters are made. The strong links between each of the HiME, whether it is friendship, hate, or romance, all proved to be an important part of the story.
Enjoyment + Overall:
A must watch. I can’t stress it enough. MUST WATCH! I don’t care if you are a guy, a girl, a homo, an animal, or whatever you may be, I strongly recommend it (don’t forget the tissue for the 2nd half). I hope you get my point on how much I’ve enjoyed this show. As for Mai-HiME’s successor, Mai-Otome, I would recommend it just as much as Mai-HiME. Another definite must see!
At first, it seemed to me that I was getting dragged into another magical-girl-super-happy-fun-time-shoujo-drama bit. But after about episode 3, I realized that there was something…else, a mechanic that seemed to me as cryptically subliminal. I thought, “angst, perhaps?” I indeed did see a touch of dark story that plagued many backgrounds of the main characters in the show. That is what had peeked my interest in the beginning: to continue examining just what made these HiME girls tick.
The company did a very good job of expressing different personalities in all of the characters. Each persona had their own individualism without becoming redundant or too obnoxious. Each girls’ CHILD specifically expressed the more deep, introspective psyche to each of the characters’ personalities (Natsuki’s cool, level-headed demeanor expressed by the ice wolf Duran; Nao’s manipulative, sexual charm demonstrated by the slick and dangerously beautiful Juliet; Mai’s tragic, yet passionate willpower and strength shown by the power of Kagutsuchi, etc…)
When the characters collide in conflict, there is no awkward dialogue (save for some traditional mou and fanservice-y scenes), and it made me feel as though I had some deep, underlying connection to these characters, caring about their own feelings as if we were good buddies. The story that drives the entire plot, basically: “You will destroy all the lives of those around you so only you may prosper, and you will watch the loved ones of those you have defeated die.” Once I took in all of the both large and minuscule details of the plot, I had sunk down so deep into the depths of this anime that I had become enthralled by it.
The dramatic music promotes a heartbroken beauty when watching the incredible art of this show come to life. The use of shadows, flamboyancy of bright and deep color, and the intensity of shading and lining makes this series not so sore on the eyes. Although, like most shows, there are the common examples of “forgetting” to draw in the facial expression or what have you in characters “behind the main scenes”.
I hope that others can come to appreciate this marvel of a series that I have come to love. Either that, or I’m just crazy. Nevertheless, I hope other anime lovers out there will come to see this show the way I see it: Beautiful, dramatic, and addicting.
Characters include the 13 HiME’s, each with a distinct personality and Child – a sort of mecha guardian. Each HiME also has one special person, very important in her life. That makes a main cast of 39 (or 26 if you don’t include Childs). From here, there’s several more main characters related to the plot as well as quite a few sub-characters. Sounds confusing, right? Sunrise does an amazing job of maintaining this large cast – main character names will always remain with you (or at the very least, their faces will be memorable) while the few interesting and comedic sub-characters also prove to be very memorable as well *cough*Chie&Aoi*cough* Main characters have backdrops to their personalities, reflecting their actions and continue to develop through the story.
Animation and Sound are top notch as expected from Sunrise and Kajiura Yuki. The soundtrack’s most prominent pieces feature language-less vocals mixed with various background music (pseudo techno, strings) which will easily stir the emotion tied to the scene. I truly, have never heard any other anime’s soundtrack that can even match the raw power of HiME’s. Although the art style is simplistic for characters, you can really tell the difference between Mai HiME and a lower budget anime. Specifically, the battle scenes prove to out match Gundam war zones.
The most important part – the story. Mai HiME features two very different arcs, the first lasting about 16 episodes and setting the stage for the second. The first is a simple “defeat the bad guys while dealing with school, love and drama,” however, the second changes the story completely. When I saw the change, I nearly choked on my drink. I won’t spoil it, but it’s quite the heart breaker. Both however expand on characters and situations to give a very powerful feeling to watch more – While Mai HiME was still coming out week by week, I literally watched each episode 3-5 times ^^;;
Another great part of the story is how each episode inter-connects with another. Something small may happen in say, episode 5 but in episode 8, that something small creates a greater impact that you’d imagine at first. >.> Sorry about the poor explanation XD. To be able to make the viewer put all the pieces together shows an incredibly high level of planning.
Mai-HiME is amazing at what it does. Drama, action, comedy, romance – if you’re looking for any of these, watching Mai-HiME will not disappoint. Don’t be fooled by the overly comedic appearance though – by episode 8, 15 and 16, you’ll be dying to watch more as you sit through some of the heart wrenching situations the people you’ve seen up till now have to live through.
9: Shakugan no Shana
English: Shakugan no Shana: Season I
MAL Score: 7.49
The world has become a slaughtering ground for the Crimson Denizens, mysterious beings from a parallel universe who thrive on the life energy of humans. These merciless murderers only leave behind scant remainders of souls called “Torches,” which are mere residues that will eventually be destroyed, along with the very fact of the victims’ existence from the minds of the living. In an ambitious endeavor to put an end to this invisible, hungry massacre, warriors called Flame Hazes relentlessly fight these monsters.
One fateful day, Yuuji Sakai ceases to be a regular high schooler—he becomes trapped in a crevice of time and is suddenly attacked by a Denizen. Coming to his rescue just in the nick of time is a nameless hunter who seems no different from an ordinary young girl except for her blazing eyes and burning crimson hair. However, before Yuuji can learn anything more about his situation, he discovers that he has already been reduced to a Torch—merely a scrap of memory waiting to be extinguished.
If you were told the above, what would your reaction be? Sakai Yuji, the male protagonist of Shakugan no Shana, was thrown precisely into this chaotic situation one day while walking home from school. At the same time, viewers were introduced to the main theme of the anime. What if no one will ever remember your existence in this world. Being dead is one thing, but if everything about you will be erased from this world when you die (that includes people’s memory of you), the thought alone could be terrifying to many.
While at first glance Shakugan no Shana may seem like just another anime with the protagonist being thrown into a world he never thought existed. It really make itself standout from the rest if for no other reason than the spectacular introduction to the theme of the story. The story develop itself rather slowly midway through the series as the viewers were taken back in time for some background learning that lead us to understand certain characters better (more on that in the character section). Overall there was no rush to the story as events unfold themselves in a very elegant and comprehensive manner.
It should, however, be noted that since this is just an introductory season to the Shana saga (there is a season 2 to Shakugan no Shana and there will most likely be more in the future), not a lot of questions were answered … but many were raised and leave people in confusion at the end.
Though it can’t be considered a masterpiece in animation, it is in fact still pretty top notch, especially the battle effects (flames for example, were animated in great detail and looked very awesome). If there’s anything to complain about, it would be the over-sized eyes on most characters. But once that’s accepted, everything else about the animation should not hurt your eyes.
While the OP were very catchy, I didn’t quite like the ED much (personal taste). Sound tracks were great as they match well with the intended scenes, some can even help drive your emotion a bit. In addition, the seiyu are quite famous:
Shana voiced by Rie Kugimiya whose famous for her role in Full Metal Alchemist as Alphonse Elric, Nena Trinity in Gundam 00, and Louise Françoise in Zero no Tsukaima. Kazumi Yoshida voiced by Ayako Kawasumi who voiced in Fate/stay night as Saber, Kanokon as Chizuru Minamoto, and Otoha Sakurano in Sky Girls.
Shakugan no Shana also stars Hitomi Nabatame, Shizuka Itou, Mamiko Noto, and many many more talented voice actors/actresses.
Characters are what make this anime shine like a star. Due to the “non-rushing” nature of the show, each character (even the supporting casts) present their own background history and overtime we get to know their personality more and their “behind thoughts”. This result in a very real and believable group of fantastically designed characters (both in terms of the “realism” and the “looks”). Definitely not something you see often in anime these days. The drawback is that some viewers may find it boring or made the stalled the story development.
While not quite a masterpiece level anime, Shakugan no Shana is still a show that is very successful in every single aspect. Personally, this show started out quite a bit like Busou Renkin and Bleach (while others say it is similar to Fate/stay night), but it ultimately delivered a much stronger impression on me than the ones mentioned.
Before I start, let me say that this anime is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people love it, some hate it and some are in between. As for me, I love it to bits so if my review seems a bit biased, I apologise right off the bat.
First off, the storyline, I’m sure there are a few anime out there featuring parallel worlds or dimensions but I really enjoyed the way it’s portrayed in this anime. The main reason for this being that, with such a grim and mature-ish beginning to the anime that gave it such a depth to storyline, the anime does also get lighter by mixing it with some other elements as well and I enjoy these lighter moments as much as the more intense parts of the anime. And mind you, this anime does seem to make the world around the main protagonist, Yuji, to seem hopeless at the start but it grows to become more light-hearted while still maintaining its original premise.
The artwork is rather good in my honest opinion. The characters are reasonably well drawn, although they are of the large-eyed variety as seen in many anime, they are still pretty decent to look at. In my opinion, the artwork shines the most during the fight scenes. The fight scenes never seem to leave you disoriented since it is laid out in such a way that makes it simple and yet, an enjoyment to watch.
For the sound of the anime, I have found nothing I am particularly unhappy about when it comes to the overall sound of the anime. Basically, everything sounds alright, with no flaws or anything that I have found. The voice acting was also pretty decent, and I know some people would beg to differ right here but I liked the way that Rie Kugimiya voiced Shana to be very child-like to mirror Shana’s original age and her true child-like self. I did also really enjoy the opening and ending themes of the series. The animations during these are pretty decent as well.
Now for my favourite part, the characters. The characters really do grow on you in this anime. They also really do have some growth, even the less important ones do have some development to a certain degree. The most of development however must happen to the main characters and this series does not disappoint. First off, the main male protagonist, Yuji Sakai, there is a good deal of development especially at the early stages of the series when he is thrust headlong into a reality that seems so hopeless for him, and yet, he grows to understand and accept his situation. Second, there’s Shana, the main female protagonist. Being a tsundere(wiki it if you’re wondering what this means) character, she does have a lot of development as a character in the story throughout the series as she grows less cold toward Yuji, as she originally viewed him as little more than an object, and instead begins to grow more fond of him and these feelings really confuse her as she still has to maintain her duty as a Flame Haze.
Now for the enjoyment factor, I really did enjoy it. Especially in the later parts of the anime, the plot and the characters did leave me feeling more and more attached to the anime. Most of all, I enjoyed watching the development of Yuji and Shana’s relationship together since it’s not your typical boy likes girl, girl likes boy drama, it’s a lot more complicated than it appears.
Overall, this is a great anime to watch with characters that begin to grow on you after a while. I definitely would recommend watching it. And it’s also a must watch for any tsundere fan out there as well.
The initial introduction of the story really got my hopes up; basically about a normal boy who gets pulled into a bizarre battle only to find after words he no longer really exists, and that his entire being will slowly fade away and be forgotten by all of his loved ones. While discovering mysterious powers of his own he is emersed into into the world of magic and battles along with the cute but stubborn Red haired girl Shana who fights off those that threaten humanity.
Despite having an interesting few episodes the plot it stale. It moves very slowly and is predictable for the most part. The anime could have easily been done in half the episodes they took. The battles slowly become tedious along with the story. Also the cheesy romance that develops made it almost unbearable to watch after a certain point. If I were to describe the enjoyment of the story line most of the middle episodes drop down to a 4-5 nearly killing the series…
It was… acceptable. As far as most main stream shows go the art was OK… but it was overall mediocre. It also feels very deceiving that the advertisements and Opening theme for the series has such beautiful animation because its really not that great overall. Some of the battle scenes were well done though.
Character animation wise the most attention is given to Shana; and they do a very good job with her. The rest of the characters on the other hand are uncreative and boring. The main character specifically lacks any real attracting traits that would set him apart from a side character…
Opening and ending songs are pretty good, I especially enjoyed the first ending theme Yowake Umare Kuru Shoujo. The music in show overall was acceptable, but nothing really stands out about it.
The two main characters… try imagining Saber and Shirou from fate/stay night as middle schoolers and that should give you an idea; Although Shana is much more vocally stubborn that Saber ever was.
Shana is the predictable Tsundere character~ The stubborn easily ticked, but deep down shy emotional girl. Her character development is interesting since she doesn’t really understand basic human interaction very well…
Yuji also is the predictable week but good hearted normal kid, who grows up to be more dependable courageous guy.
Perhaps what killed the character development was when they attempted to throw in romance… its just didn’t work for this plot because of their age… and it split what the story really should have focused on.
There are actually alot of other characters in the story… but their development is mediocre or nonexistent…
I don’t really have much else to say about this series other than It was actually painful to put myself through the torture of watching this entire series; and I think anime fans that are looking for something deep, a moving story line, and/or epic battles will be very disappointed unless they have very low standards.
The reason its gets overall higher scores is because it was made for a large viewing audience~ incorporating humor, action, Romance, magical/fantasy and slice of life. They say the Jack of all trades is master of none, and this anime proves this point.
8: Tsubasa Chronicle
English: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
Japanese: ツバサ クロニクル
MAL Score: 7.53
During an excavation at the mysterious ruins in Clow Country, Syaoran discovers his childhood friend Princess Sakura appear on the site with wings that disperse into many feathers. As the feather’s disappear to different dimensions, so does Sakura’s memory. In attempts to save Sakura’s life and restore her memory, Syaoran travels through to another world to find a solution. There’s only one thing left he can do. Travel through to different dimensions to collect Sakura’s feathers. Helping out with the quest is Kurogane, an exiled ninja from Japan Country who wishes to return to his world, the runaway magician, Fay, who desires to jump between each world never to return to his own and the white meat-bun shaped creature, Mokona.
The anime had a very promising first episode and the characters seems well thought out and reasonably likable. I found it entertaining and continued onward.
It goes all downhill from there. The plot starts out strong and then begins failing very quickly. There is a massive amount of what I would claim is filler and you really cannot see much progression at all in the story throughout the entire 1st and 2nd series. (I just found out that the third was canceled >_<)
Basically you could skip episodes 10-47 ish and still know whats going on. The part that really got to me was how often they would play a song while slowly moving frames across the screen to take up time during an episode. I know what the characters faces look like and I don’t need to see close ups of them doing nothing for 10 minutes every episode. They never even bothered to come up with new songs, just replayed them.
If you can sit through 52 episodes of sameness and you enjoy that feel free to watch. I have nothing against the characters or the idea behind the show. It just seems to me that they never went anywhere with it. Maybe the manga is better, I wouldn’t know. Hope this review is helpful and not seen as a hate thread.
First of, in case you did not know, CLAMP decided to \"recycle\" a lot of its characters from Card Captor Sakura and other anime in this show. In essence, you will see a ton of familiar faces, but that\’s all they are – faces. For the most part they have completely different personalities and histories. I don\’t know if that\’s because they ran out of ideas for completely new characters or not, but that\’s just the way it is. But don\’t get me wrong, it\’s definitely not a bad thing.
The animation, as usual from CLAMP, is up to par with today\’s standards and what today\’s viewers expect from an anime. It\’s very crisp and clean and very colorful. The relationship between Sakura and Syaoran is something you could shed a tear witnessing the trials they go through, but once again, the slowness of it all prevents a continuous enjoyment of that.
Yuki Kaijura has once again put together a very beautiful soundtrack to go along with this anime. From the very first time the piece named \"A song of storm and fire\" is played with the anime, that alone will urge you to keep watching this anime. However, this anime does progress extremely slowly at times, especially after the first arc and the fillers (you wouldn\’t think there would be fillers in a 26-episode season, but there are) are extremely boring, possibly with the exception of one or two filler arcs.
Even with all of that, its the animation and music that keeps Tsubasa RESERVoir Chronicles – the anime – alive and what keeps its viewers, in my mind anyway. The story has the potential (well, it does if you read the manga) to be amazing, but the fillers and slow progress prevent it from doing so. If you want to know what happens, pick up the manga and start reading it. You won\’t be disappointed. The anime is something you have to be patient with.
CLAMP, in a move of sweeping lack of creativity, decided to make another franchise by reusing their old characters. I gotta say, smart move, CLAMP–your cash cow is ready to be chopped up and sold.
And this is what Tsubasa Chronicle is: a sell-out.
The story is bland and boring. Dimension-travellers bound together for whatever reasons, but you know, viewers won’t care because they get to see Sakura and Shaoran or whatever his name is go gaga over one another once again and two yaoi-fodder guys vacillate between passion and disgust of one another.
The art was mediocre. It wasn’t good, wasn’t bad. Nothing special. Like the sound.
I cannot give the characters a good rating because they aren’t characters. They are just themselves from the old anime transported to a new one to serve a purpose. They aren’t developed, they aren’t deep, it isn’t good.
I was yawning and scratching a lot while watching this–that can’t be good.
Overall, this is unfabulous crap. Don’t watch it. Unless you’re a CLAMP fan and you won’t listen to me.
7: Fantastic Children
English: Fantastic Children
MAL Score: 7.53
A group of enigmatic white-haired children has been spotted at different times and places in Europe for over 500 years. Always with the appearance of 11-year-olds, they behave far more mature than they should be, never grow old, and seem to have supernatural power. What they have been seeking is a girl, and the only clue they have is a picture with a crescent moon. Now, in the year of 2012, an athletic boy named Tohma is about to be involved in this centuries-long mystery.
The beginning of the story is part mystery and part adventure, focusing on a group of half a dozen white haired kids making an appearance through out centuries seemingly without aging and the other time focusing on a kid called Thoma who meets some anti-social girl called Helga and a energetic boy called Chitto. I admit the story was a bit underwhelming at first but once the story unfolds in later episode, you’ll be hooked straight away, it turns into something quite epic and unique, there’s so many twist and turns and you’d just watch episode after episode and without even noticing it’s already over.
The art style can be a bit of a turn off for some people, they might even think this is a kids show but fear not this is quite mature even if the first few episodes are light-hearted they’re nothing compared to what happens next.
Anyway, as you get used to the art, it becomes more apparent that it’s done quite well, lots of attractive looking backgrounds and pretty solid animations.
The background music can really manipulate the emotions of certain scenes, they really help make pivotal moments in the story have more impact. The OP fit the series perfectly too bad I had to skip on occasion since I just really wanted to get on with the story, While the ED is sang by ORIGA the same singer who lent her voice for the majority of the GITS soundtrack.
How they made the connections with each character was great, most of the characters had a certain connection to the main plot, the importance of characters become unpredictable that you’d be shocked when the story finally reveals what their purpose are. Honestly every character was interesting and it was nice to see that they all had a part to play they weren’t just some random people thrown in together to make episodes last longer.
A lot of people would probably just ignore it after looking at the front picture alone, which is too bad because it’s a pretty damn good show with a unique and interesting plot along with a great cast and a solid OST, you might not like it as much as I did but I guarantee it’s definitely worth watching, it’s only real flaw is how lame the name is.
At first glance, this looks like some weird story about kids, targeted at kids. But don’t be fooled by the simple character design or the title. This series is actually quite intense, with a memorable and complex plot and good storytelling that will draw older viewers waiting with bated breath for what happens next. It is definitely not a series just for children.
The story revolves around a group of mysterious children who appear every once in a while throughout Europe. Who are they, where are they from, and why do they keep on reappearing? These are some of the questions that are being answered bit by bit throughout the series. At the same time, the story also follows another group of children who have run away from the local orphanage, and are searching for a place they want to go. At first, it seems that these two main plots have nothing to do with each other, but at the middle of the series, the two plots converge, and the viewer discovers that they are closely connected after all.
There are also a couple of sidestories with a few adults involving something almost supernatural. Although these sidestories seem off-track, they are related to the main plot in one way or another, and are tied together in the last few episodes.
The plot is fairly complex and quite involved, but not to a point where it’s confusing. The story is told in a way that it’s pretty understandable if you pay attention to it. The story is full of surprises, twists, and secrets that will keep the viewer guessing and wondering what happens next.
The tone of the series is mostly serious. But there is room for some bits of humour and lighthearted fun. There are also a few philosophical questions subtlely being looked at, such as what makes us who we are as humans, is it our souls or our current selves? In terms of love, there are many types being explored: romantic, family, friendships, unrequited, and broken.
Even though it doesn’t look like it at first, each character is connected to one another in one way or another, and that connection is revealed piece by piece throughout the series.
The Children of Belfort: This is the name given to seven mysterious white-haired, blue-eyed children who have appeared for 21 times in the last couple of centuries. They’d gather and run away from their homes when they turn 5, and never live past the age of 11. They search desperately for something before their time is up. The way they talk and act make them more like adults than children. At first, they seem cold and distant, and even perhaps malevonant. But as their stories and pasts are revealed, the viewer comes to feel compassion for them, and their mission. Each person has their own stories and own unique personalities that will touch the viewers’ hearts.
Dumas: The mysterious white-haired boy who appears a few times at the beginning of the series. Appearance-wise, he seems to be one of the Children of Belfort, but he doesn’t seem to be working with them. Who he is and his background story will be revealed later in the series.
Helga: She is an orphan who is kind, but seems to be always lonely. She keeps on drawing pictures of a mysterious place that she wants to go, and she would run away from the orphanage to search for the place in her memory. Her friend Chitto is determined to help her get there. At first she seems meek and timid and always in a daze, but as the series progresses, her inner strength is slowly unveiled.
Thoma: He grew up around the Islands, and knows them well. He meets Chitto and Helga by chance, and is drawn to help Helga get to the place she wants to go. He is a determined young boy who is open and shows emotions easily. Little does he know, he’s more closely connected to the Children of Belfort and Helga than he realises.
Dr. Gherta: She is the director and doctor of the mysterious and suspicious organization Ged Group. A brilliant scientist, she’s somewhat single-minded and almost obsessive with her project, which, for most of the series, is unclear and even almost malicious. But the viewer gradually sympathizes with her plight, especially towards the end when she has a few secrets of her own to unravel.
Detective Cooks: A detective who has been investigating the disappearance of these children, he got interested in them because his grandfather was involved with the children during his lifetime, and Cooks became curious of his grandfather’s findings. As more of a spectator, his sidestory gives the viewer some background information and history to the Children of Belfort.
All of the characters are pretty human, and although they main characters are only children, the circumstances that they’re involved in and how they react make them seem older, and thus even an older audience can relate to them. By the end of the series, the viewer is able to sympathize with all of the characters, even if at first they may seem unlikable or malicious.
The character design and art style is certainly unique, though not the prettiest; in fact, the designs could be said to be boring and quite simple. The children are designed more or less short and a bit stubby, and not a lot of details is given in the eye or hair area. The clothing design is also a bit boring, though it has a country-style flavour to it. However, the expressions for the characters are mostly well-done.
The background art is very beautiful, with lots of lush forests and unexplored islands. The setting has a sort of semi-tropical or Central/South American feel to it (the ruins of temples and statues remind me of the Aztec or Mayan ruins, but also has a sort of exotic island feel), or maybe with a dash of exotic Asian feeling too (with some of the statues looking a bit like Buddhist statues, and the colourful and busy marketplace of Middle East). The cities though, take on a more 19th century European flavour (even though the story is set in 2012), with cobble-stone streets and stocky buildings.
In general, the art is just different, and may take some getting used to. Instead of following the latest trend of shiny backgrounds, brightly coloured and detailed character designs, this series is going against the grain by looking back to the style of the older animes. The general colour palette of the series is kind of dark, with mostly grays and greens and blues, with a lot of scenes taking place during storms or at night; it’s not neccessarily drab, but it’s certainly not brightly coloured. There are a few exceptions with the scenes taking place in the forest on the islands, where the colours are contrasted sharply with the darker scences, using lots of bright greens and yellows. But I think this lack of shiny backgrounds and special effects, and simple character design does add to the sadness and longing feeling of the story. And rather focusing on the character designs (and fanservice), the simple art makes the viewer able to pay more attention to the story and character development.
The voices for this series is okay. It doesn’t really stand out anywhere, but it is mostly ear-pleasing and suitable for the characters. And most of the actors do a good enough job bringing out the emotions, especially towards the end, the viewers can almost feel the characters sorrow or joy.
The music is one of the strengths of this series. The opening song "Voyage" by Inori, is dramatic and uplifting, but also gentle and calming, a perfect opening for the series. It is also used as an insert song for one of the episodes, but with a slightly different arrangement, it’s slower, with piano and cello in the background, and adds a sense of sadness to the scene. The ending song, "Mizu no Madoromi" by ORIGA (who sang both of GiTS openings) is sad and nostalgic, as if longing for something, and very fitting to the theme of the series. I would definately recommend getting the opening and ending singles (it’s one of the best I’ve heard).
The background music uses a combination of piano, cello, and a bit of flute. The theme for the Belfort Children is very memorable (with piano and cello), and a bit sad, like the fate of these children. The only downside is that this theme is a bit overused, being played in almost every episode. Helga’s theme (which is mostly flute and cello) is also gentle and pretty, and suits her character well. The background music is mostly soft and sad, with a few upbeat songs for the tenser scenes. It uses raw traditional instrumental sounds rather then edited sound effects, which works well. And I’d recommend getting the OST "Memory of Greecia" as well.
The first half of the series takes place in the current world at the current time, mostly following the adventures of Helga, Thoma, and Chitto, as well as that of the Children of Belfort and the people around them. Then the next couple of episodes focus on the background story and history of the series. Then that last ten or so episodes brings the characters and sidestories from the beginning of the series and tie everything together.
The pace may seem a bit slow for those who are used to action right away and in every episode. Many of the episodes are used to tell the story and advance the plot, or explain the history and background rather than pure action. And because of the complex plot and how everything is weaved together, some parts of the plot may take some time to develop. But I found it interesting enough that it’s not a boring explaination, and it does help to understand the plot much better. And worry not, there are plenty of action interspersed throughout. Personally, I find the pace okay, it’s just that there’s so much to take in and explain that it takes time. I find the plot to be interesting, and not too confusing to understand, and it did leave me wanting to know more after every episode. And in the end, all of the questions that I wanted to ask have been answered, so I find the ending to be satisfying.
Overall, it is an enjoyable series, and I’d recommend it. In fact, I think this series needs more love and attention.
What do I think? I think it could have used a bigger animation budget and could have been cut down from 26 to 22 or even 20 episodes.
Animation is kind of low budget. Fantastic Children looks and feels like it was made in the ’80s. The color palette should have at least been more vibrant. I mean, sure, you have only so much money for your budget. But if you look at, say, Noir, or Requiem from the Darkness, they managed to have some interesting animation without spending a ton of money on it. What if everything looked like the paintings in the ED? OK, maybe that’s impractical, but it’s still possible to look interesting on a budget.
There is way too much time spent on shots of people just standing around, or extended close-ups of people looking surprised. There are a few things where a situation is first explained, then shown. It would have been better if it had just been shown. And, in general, the pacing is just a bit too slow for me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate Mushishi or Kino’s, but that’s not the style of this series. You can almost but not quite just skip a couple of the early episodes. Just don’t watch eps 1-10 when you feel like watching something where lots of stuff is happening.
There are a few pretty silly things. The guys with hats, for example. It’s also a bit disappointing how not all of the characters that a lot of time is spent with get to actually do much.
Voice acting is good. (The characters get intense towards the end, which is tough to do.) Some of the music, like in the last parts of ep 18, is alright too. (Yes I like the ep 18 Russian version of the ED better. So sue me.) The ED is mizu no madoromi, sung by Origa, by the way. But why oh why did they have to have some of the characters try to sing?
So is it worth watching? Does the ending deliver? Overall I’d give it a 7, which means worth watching but not worth buying, and I’d say it’s better than or but worse than or . The drama and action pick up continuously towards the end, so the second half is better than the first. If you haven’t seen, say, Gankutsuou, I’d suggest watching that before this, but Fantastic Children isn’t *bad* and I don’t regret watching it. The characters aren’t cardboard cutouts, and there’s not anything else like that to make me *dislike* it. There are just better series out there. I guess I’d suggest watching it if you like puzzle series and Final Fantasy. Especially Final Fantasy. I’d say it reminds me most of El Hazard the Magnificent World, minus comedy and with somewhat better characters and somewhat slower paced and a bit less coherent and most importantly minus the awesomeness of cat-based armor technology.
Well, I hope this review can help someone decide whether to watch Fantastic Children, but I somewhat doubt it.
6: Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou
Japanese: バジリスク 甲賀忍法帖
MAL Score: 7.56
For centuries, the Iga and Kouga ninja clans have engaged in a bitter war. But when a ceasefire is ordered by the powerful warlord Ieyasu Tokugawa, the two clans are forced to put down their arms.
Years later, Gennosuke Kouga, heir of the Kouga clan, and Oboro Iga, heir of the Iga clan, have fallen in love. Through marriage, both heirs aim to bring peace to the clans. But their hopes are dashed when flames of rivalry between their clans are reignited, and they are dragged into another war.
Ieyasu’s two grandsons have both claimed to be the next heir to the shogunate. To resolve this dispute, both the Kouga and Iga are ordered to send their 10 best warriors to fight in a bloody battle royale, with each clan representing one of the potential shogunate heirs. Two scrolls with the names of the fighters are given and are to be marked in blood upon the given fighter’s death. The prize for winning is the favor of the Tokugawa shogunate for a thousand years. Torn between their love for each other and duty to their clans, Gennosuke and Oboro must ultimately decide the fate of their clans.
Heartless killing, endless dying. That pretty much made up the story. Almost every character was just blood thirsty, all except this anime’s Romeo and Juliet, aka Gennosuke and Oboro. It’s another story of forbidden love, I suppose. The forbidden love was a foot note for me – I was more engrossed by the fight scenes and the dramatic deaths of the ninjas.
The concept was actually new to me, but I was able to understand most of it. I was familiar with Samurai – themed anime, but I have never watched a serious shinobi anime like this one (that’s right – Flame of Recca doesn’t count). I’m not sure what separates the two, but from what I notice, Ninjas are less moral and are more likely into killing, that’s why the Iga and Kouga ninjas were chosen to fight it out with each other to come up with the decision on who will succeed the third shogun. I am not sure whether or not this really happened (I don’t think so) but there were a lot of historical references that were explained (thank God!). It’s another opportunity to learn about Japanese culture and history!
So the characters ended up killing each other in the way they knew how – using their different techniques of course. They all had unique techniques, from super sticky phlegm to blood sucking skin to deadly glances. These techniques gave spice to the already violent carnage.
Like their techniques, their respective practitioners were equally impressive and different (Although the girls looked alike, and Koshirou and Yashamaru as well). I was sad that some were only shown for a short time, because their personalities and character made it seem like they were going to stick around longer.
I have to commend the voice acting for this one. Even though I’m not that fluent in Japanese, I know well enough Japanese slang to tell that the language they’re using was the one used in that era. They seem to say “Gozaimasu” a lot. Generally, the seiyus brought out the personalities of their respective characters, and that’s always a good thing.
The drawing style was pretty good, but I found that it can be a bit exaggerated sometimes. Body proportions were kinda weird. Everyone and everything seemed to be big. The women had huge, nipple-less chests (Found out from all the naked girl fight scenes). The men had overly large frames, but they are ninjas so I’m not sure about that. The wrinkles on the elders were a bit too extreme. They were kind with Danjou, but poor Ogen. She was so beautiful in her youth and when she got old they made her look REALLY old. There were a lot of hair too – everyone just seemed so hairy. The landscapes and backgrounds were nicely drawn though, and I did detect a hint of CG just to compliment some scenes. I was kinda ticked that a lot of the scenes were in the dark, which made it hard for me to tell what was happening. Oh well, they didn’t have light then anyway. When the scenes were during the daytime, you could tell the colors were done nicely and complimented each other instead of clashing with each other.
I noticed there was a great variety of BGM – most of them were gloomy though. It did fit the series well, but that’s about it. They didn’t heighten the mood of the scene or anything like that. The opening theme singer’s voice (which is actually Oboro’s seiyu) sounded a bit operatic, so I didn’t like the opening theme that much. I liked both the ending songs though, they seemed more current compared to the opening theme. Anyway, all in all the music fit the mood of the anime.
Again I was hesitant with this one – Didn’t really want to watch it at first since I thought it was going to be too serious, but it ended up to be very exciting and likable. Let’s not forget the violence and gore either, It may seem like I like shojo more, but I actually love violent series just as much.
The story is simple – two warring ninja clans kill each other. Don’t let the simple plot fool you though, there is a forbidden love story thrown into the mix aswell, and that is pulled off well. The best way to describe this would be a ultra-violent Romeo and Juliet sort of story. I enjoyed the story very much, but it had it’s flaws. Many of the characters that appear only last for a few episodes, and I felt that they could have been kept along just a bit longer. But, after all, the main premise of this anime is two ninja clans killing each other, so I’m not really that upset.
Art: (10/10) – Outstanding
This is some of the best art I have ever seen in Anime, period. I am not exaggerating one bit. Even if you don’t like the plot, the sound, or the characters, you should watch this Anime just for the art. If I could rate the art eleven out of ten, I would. Simply epic art. Much detail is put into everything that you see. The backgrounds are rich and colorful, but not too colorful, and seem to pop out of the screen at you. The characters are well designed, and convincing. Even some of the CGI, although it is rarely used, is well done. The only bad point I would give the art would be that some of the characters were designed rather oddly, with massive deformations which takes away from the otherwise blatant realism of this Anime.
Sound: 9/10 – Great
There really isn’t much to say about the sound. I watched this series dubbed for the first five episodes then switched over to subtitles. The dub is well done, but it is very strange watching Ninja’s in seventeenth century Japan speaking English. The subtitles are well done, but they were a tad bit small for my taste, although I do have rather bad vision. The one bad point about the sound is that a lot of the characters that are voiced are given very unrealistic voices, and it is hard to see a character in real life speaking that way. Also, some of the sound effects are a bit overdone.
Character: 8/10 – Very Good
The characters aren’t anything special in themselves, but a good amount of character development is done. As said earlier, the two main characters resemble Romeo and Juliet, in a forbidden love scenario. A complaint I have about the characters is also as mentioned before in the art section — many of them are massively deformed with huge tumors and the like. I am not sure if they meant to do this to show that they had no modern medicine, but some of the deformations are so over the top that they would be almost impossible in real life unless the character was suffering from a severe case of elephantiasis. Also, some of the characters are killed off way too soon, and I feel that they could have had use in the plot.
Enjoyment – 10/10 – Outstanding
I watched this show in a matter of three days, which is pretty good if you ask me. This series if very, very enjoyable, one of the best around. If you have some spare time, I would recommend putting aside a weekend and marathoning it with some friends. This anime has a rather good re watch value also.
Overall: 9/10 – Great
This is a very good anime series, and despite some of it’s flaws, is a must see for any fan. I would say that about 95% of the people who watch this will like it. I would say that this series is appropriate for children over the age of fifteen, because it does include violence, scenes of rape, nudity, blood, and mildly suggestive themes. Main Verdict – Buy, rent, or download this anime — it is great!
It is romantic, gory, action-packed, dramatic, deep and beautiful in every way.
The story is a revamp of the old Kouga/Iga ninja conflict. It is interesting and involving. The story is a historical piece, but it becomes so much more because it reminds you that the people involved were PEOPLE, who had lives and loves and everything in-between. The plot follows a bloody death match; there’s execution-style story-telling, and it reels you in from the first episode to the chilling final one.
The art was excellent. Couldn’t do any better. It has a unique style, the colour pallet was amazing, the background art was gorgeous and the animation was astounding (excellent fight scenes).
The characters were deep and three-dimensional. There are more than 10 people you will see who has the focus on the anime on them, but each is interesting and has a backstory to them so it helps us understand who they are.
If you think Naruto is the greatest ninja anime ever, this isn’t for you, because you wouldn’t know quality if it stuck you in the eye with a kunai. There was nothing unfabulous about this anime, so do watch it.
5: Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma
English: Emma: A Victorian Romance
MAL Score: 7.64
Emma has been a maid for most of her life. Working for a retired governess—the strict but compassionate Kelly Stownar—Emma has grown to love her work and has long since accepted her place in society. Beautiful, hardworking, and exceptionally kind, Emma has captured the hearts of many of London’s working men—but their feelings always remain unrequited. Emma is waiting for love, and she finds it in the most unlikely of places.
William is the eldest son of the wealthy Jones household—a family that has only recently been accepted into the gentry, securing their position in high society. He is also the former ward of Mrs. Stownar, and on his first visit in years, he falls madly in love with her maid. His earnest attempts to win her affection, coupled with his good nature and warm personality, have captured Emma’s heart.
But the polite society of 19th century England does not take kindly to the rejection of tradition. As a result, Emma and William’s relationship could not face more opposition. In a world where the class lines are as strongly defended as the borders of nations, does their love have the strength to survive?
Manga/Novels: Victorian Romance Emma began as a manga by self-professed Anglophile Kaori Mori, and ran in Monthly Comic Beam from August 30th, 2002 to April 12th, 2006. The manga won an Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival in 2005. CMX has licensed the manga Stateside, and the fourth of eight volumes was released June 20th of this year. The manga has ended its run in Japan, but Kaoru Mori continues to publish side stories (known as Emma Bangaihen), and is set at eleven side stories, the ninth of which was released recently. The manga is known to have something of a cult following and apparently has an Emma-inspired/themed cafÃ© in Shibuya to it’s name.
Saori Kumi has also done novel adaptations of the manga, and two volumes were released in 2005.
The anime was done by Studio Perrot (famous for Bleach, Midori no Hibi and Blood+) and directed by Tsuneo Kobayashi (who also directed The Twelve Kingdoms), and ran on TV from April 2nd, 2005 to June 18th, 2005. The Right Stuf International announced its Stateside licensing of Emma and it’s second season (Victorian Romance Emma: The Second Act, which is not covered in this review) on June 30th, and plans to release it solely with subs and in a box set; a release date has not been announced at this time.
Story: The story kicks off with William Jones, a member of the gentry, visiting his old governess unexpectedly. Because he stands almost right in front of the door, he gets knocked off his feet (literally and figuratively) by the governess’ maid, Emma, when she opens the door. And I’m betting that you can probably guess what happens based on the series’ title, albeit with some added angles.
But one of the many things that makes this series stand out is the slow pacing of the romance. For some, it’s going to be agonizingly slow (it takes William half the series to offer to take her out somewhere, and just over that for him to actually do so and kiss her while he’s at it, which, at that point, is considered leaps and bounds), but for me, it’s just right, especially with the sweetness and fluffiness of it all. I guarantee that you will be grinning like an idiot as you watch it develop.
With regards to faithfulness to its manga source: I’ve only got the first volume of the series to my name at this point in time, but from what I saw, the series was extremely faithful to the source, down to the angles of certain scenes.
Another thing that makes me absolutely adore this series is the way that the series invests you in every single one of the characters. It’s a rare series that actually makes you feel – really, honestly care — for characters that are clearly supposed to be "in the way". One of the best examples of this is Elanor, a girl of the gentry who is clearly meant to be "the other woman", and one of the the odd ones out in the triangle… square… thingy. But you honestly feel sorry for her, because she’s just as much in love with William as he and Emma are with each other, and it’s her first love, and it just absolutely sucks that it’s unrequited on her end, and that she’s clearly wasting her time with William. And the way that it does Emma’s past would have seemed Sue-ish and annoying in any other show, but doesn’t here.
But the thing that makes this series absolutely shine is the historical accuracy. Apparently, Kaoru Mori hired a historical consultant (Rico Murakami) from the third volume of the manga on to ensure accuracy; Murakami was also hired for the anime, and it shows. The subs I watched also included little historical notes at the end of each episode to explain unfamiliar/obscure things to the average viewer. Murakami and Mori released a companion guide (Emma Victorian Guide) that does the same thing.
And this historical accuracy holds, even in the resolution of the show. Shoujo diehards are probably going to absolutely hate the ending (don’t worry; there’s the second season if you dislike the ending that much), because it doesn’t hold to shoujo standards. But you know what? After how historically accurate the series was, it wouldn’t have seemed right for things to turn out any other way.
Art: This is one of the places where faithfulness to the manga holds. Pierrot’s animation, which is beautiful in and of itself, is barely different at all from the art style that Kaoru Mori used in the manga. As such, it’s just like watching the manga come to life in front of your eyes. Even details down to the angle of certain scenes from the manga hold, which makes seeing your favorite scenes from the manga that much more awesome.
Music: Emma has a unique OP and ED, in that none of them have any vocals to them; it’s all just instrumentals. But the thing is that they’re still very memorable, even without lyrics. I prefer the OP (which is so calming that I’ve been using to get to sleep lately) over the ED (which sounds fairly circus-y).
The music for the series itself consists of a lot of variations on the OP and ED, but has its share of original music, too. And every bit of it is beautiful, especially in the way that it uses strings and piano. And I’d be willing to bet that every bit of it could easily fit in the Victorian Period.
Seiyuu: There aren’t any particular standout roles in this series, but on the other hand, there aren’t any that suck terribly. Just a fairly standard set of voices. No problems on my end.
Length: Twelve episodes seems like a perfect length for this series. There’s not any push to rush the series along, and it doesn’t plod along, even though the story goes at a slower pace than most series. It’s at just the right pace.
For those who didn’t like the ending, or want more Emma, there is the second season that I’ve mentioned throughout this review (Victorian Romance Emma: The Second Act). However, know going into it that subs only go up to the ninth episode, because of its licensing.
Overall: This is far from your standard shoujo series. The historical accuracy, which adds in a defiance of typical shoujo standards, and the way it invests you in every one of its characters make it shine. The slower pacing of the episodes and the romance feels just right, and the faithfulness to the manga source in story and art style are a real treat. The music and seiyuu add the icing on the cake.
This is one of my top five recommended series. See it. NOW.
Overall: 47/50; 94% (A)
(l to r) Hakim, Emma, William, Elanor
Art: The character designs are cute and some of the scenery is nice, but this is definitely one of the drawbacks. The animation wasn’t done that great, it’s kind of grainy and basic. It’s not something I would expect for when it was made, but we can’t always get what we want. Honestly, you won’t pay too much attention to the art anyways, you’ll be engrossed in the story and characters.
Sound: The music is just quaint. It goes really well with the story and pretty much always fits the scenes. The opening and ending themes are especially cheerful and fun. It would have gotten a 10 from me, but it wasn’t amazing music, it just fit really well.
Characters: The characters are one of the strongest points of the series. They’ve all got their different motivations and cover a wide variety of types so it’s always fun. The two main characters, Emma and William, are very laid back characters, they’re not hyper or weird at all… which is very nice. They are extremely interesting people with a multitude of layers behind them. There are a few characters that feel a little out of place for their time, but they are smaller roles so it won’t affect much or be that noticeable/detracting for the story.
Enjoyment: Simply put, it’s a really fun series. It’s great watching the characters change throughout the story while dealing with their feelings and society. Everything is just done right, it’s not over the top or lacking at all. I’m not one for romances usually, but this one could hook anybody I believe.
… first review, be gentle. When I write more I’ll try to write better.
It’s a classic romance that seems to stray from the cliches that abound in typical anime, mostly because of the style and the setting. The series takes place in 19th century Victorian London and seems to be quite accurate in it’s portrayal. You also won’t find any green or blue hair here, many of the colors of the people and the setting are subdued with shades of tan and brown.
Emma took a couple of episodes to draw me in, but I was hooked after that. I found the historical context of the setting to be pretty intriguing, and mostly I just wanted to find out what happens between William and Emma and if they can overcome their obstacles.
I did have a little bit of difficulty finding something to like about Emma, she was a little too reserved and bland to warrant the attention that William gave her. The most interesting character imho, Hakim, could probably stand to have a little more scene time to liven up the series a bit. Animation is good, but nothing to write home about. As there really isn’t any action going on here, there isn’t much need for dynamic pans and ultra-fluid movement. DVDs are in subs only, which is perfectly fine with me as I always watch subs anyway, but it could pose a problem for dub fans. Finally, as this affects my review score, [SPOILER ALERT] the ending leaves a bit to be desired, I suppose they were paving way for the second series, but I didn’t find it too satisfying after investing the time to watch the series. [END SPOILER]
4: Paradise Kiss
English: Paradise Kiss
Japanese: Paradise kiss
MAL Score: 7.84
On her way home from school, Yukari Hayasaka is approached by a weird-looking guy who starts looking at her body intently. He’s got blond spiky hair, a spiked choker, and multiple piercings on his ears and face. She wants nothing to do with him, and runs away, only to bump into a very tall and beautiful purple-haired woman with a flower pattern around her eye. Yukari faints from shock and wakes up later in a strange place called the Atelier. It turns out that these strangers are fashion designers who attend the most famous art school around, Yazawa Art Academy, and their group wants Yukari to model for their brand in Yazawa Academy’s upcoming show.
Yukari turns down their offer and escapes the Atelier, but unknowingly leaves her school ID behind. George Koizumi, the head designer, later sees it and immediately knows she would be the perfect model for them and will not stop until he gets what he wants—and he wants her. Yukari had never considered something as frivolous as modeling before, but could life among these eccentric designers actually prove to be fun? Or will Yukari lose herself in this world of art and passion?
Cool is what rules in this anime. Everything in the artwork, characters, attitude, and even the story just emanates cool and they even do it with an attitude. As you already know it’s about a girl named Yukari thats not to sure about her future. Just by a chance encounter on the street gets discovered by the most unsuitable of characters.
Story – (Outstanding)
The story is a typical love drama, but the setting, characters, and personalities are what make this completely different from the rest of group. It takes a more realistic approach toward drama. Something you’d see out of a prime time drama show on TV would be more comparable than any other anime. They take life and their hardships and don’t really "anime coat" it. Things like arguing, love, and brainstorming are done with a minimum of two people, its never one sided. When i mean ‘anime-coating,’ i mean like areguments are hardly ever one sided, both persons actually prove a good point. Love is also a good point, it actually gets some resolve and doesn’t stay in "should i confess to him" anime-limbo. But already, I’m saying a bit much but since the anime is a short and fast 12 episodes, it makes sense for it not to drag such emotions like love and friendship. It defintely has the feel of a western drama instead of an anime drama.
Art – (Outstanding)
The art work is also something that surprised me. Like any average viewer, they’d get wierded out if they start seeing their anime characters with proportionate body parts (i.e. normal sized eyes, mouth, and even a nose). Once the shock of adjusting to the art style, this is easily one of the best looking show’s i have ever layed eyes on. It’s also centered around pop-culture and style, so everything they wear is completely trendy and detailed. From safety pins as piercings, hair stylings, makeup, and even clothing are displayed with insane detail. At any one time, you can count all the earrings on one characters ear, or how many necklaces one is wearing, and even the type of fabric is on their scarf. Every character actually dresses different every episode and thats quite a refreshing take as opposed to the same-school-clothes-everyday-look of other dramas. My favorite part of the show (and what you should notice) is how they manage to make Yukari even more beautiful than before every episode. You’ll notice the subtle changes in not her clothing but her attitude and demeanor as well.
On occasion, some anime are only able to survive with great artwork and have a horrible storyline but this manages to have both an outstanding artwork and story. On top of that having to put real world product placement (Jaguar, Benz, Sony, Zipper, etc) just increases the detail tenfold.
Sound – (Outstanding)
The sound effects are nothing spectacular but you will notice one thing. There is a rather large lack of it. And that is how it should be in a drama. Nothing should interfere with the drama unfolding on the screen. So all that you’re left with is the top notch, tear jerking, believable voice acting and environmental sound effects. The music is placed very skillfully as well. For the most part, they’ll be played on jukeboxes, radios, and the like. And they’re actual j-pop songs playing instead of just instrumentals. And speaking of j-pop, the OP was just perfect for for the show, as it had the feel of a Madonna-ish song which gave it a ‘glamorous’ feeling to set you in the mood of watching it. And the ED song by Franz Ferdinad is just pure fun. Especially how they manage to blend it with the end of the episode to the credits and don’t just do a quick cut to the credits like normal.
Character – (Outstanding)
The characters are something to believe as well. Once all the characters are through with the introductions you will notice one thing right away. They are all so carefree and believable. I even had a nostalgic feeling seeing how the characters would talk amongst each other and just enjoyed the moment. Of course it doesn’t the story doesn’t stray too far away from Yukari since she is the star of this show. They all play their role so believably I can’t help but have this feeling of amazement that there ARE anime that can pull off such intriguing drama.
Enjoyment – (Outstanding)
This show is unlike any other drama anime I have seen to date (top right). Rather, its more comparable to things like the likes of Greys Anatomy, the O.C., or even Party of Five. If you like or enjoy shows such as that I highly recommend giving this eye candy of an anime a try. I even found this A LOT better than Lovely Complex. Don’t be fooled by the artwork if you find it a turnoff, its one of the best anime drama’s I’ve ever seen.
Xinil said it best: "it’s for a mature audience. It doesn’t cater to narutards"
…thats the truth
Meet Caroline, the girl who doesn\’t really know what she\’s doing with her life. She happens upon a group of college students that need her to be their fashion model. Interesting premise, and doesn\’t sound too farfetched from what might happen in real life. Good ending that actually makes some sense too.
A little funny looking at times, but the art is definitely nice. Sexy looking females. Thumbs up from me.
Awesome opening (freakin\’ awesome) and great ending theme (U.S. band). Can\’t see how you wouldn\’t like the music throughout the anime.
Caroline x George are definitely my favorite characters. Great personalities from each of them and the story really makes you understand why they are the way they are.
Enjoyable, quick, and happy. 12 episodes of some laughter and some teary scenes.
Basically, you can\’t go wrong with this anime. If you\’re into romance (not some angst crap though), and you like non-stupid anime, check this out.
Paradise Kiss accomplishes so many things in just 12 episodes that it can almost leave you thirsting for more but deep down you know that there can be no more. The story itself is the centerpiece of everything and drives itself forward with meaningful interactions and tense drama that thickens the plot as it unfolds. What is most notable about the series is it’s realistic approach to drama and how it refuses to sugar coat things and drag out emotions across all 12 episodes. If I recall the main characters quickly start their relationship by about the 2nd or 3rd episode. This anime may seem impatient, but in reality it’s just not going to wait around for the fun to start. The show steps into deep waters and treads where most others would not. It goes much farther than I had anticipated and shows how much its characters develop over the course of the series.
The main character goes from being this tense study bug to being a care-free fashion model. Her transformation isn’t this instantaneous change that happens at 15 minutes into episode 6 or something; but rather it takes place over time. The first thing that happens is a hair cut. I actually commented out loud as I was watching and said “she actually doesn’t look all THAT pretty here…” But I stuck it out and to my surprise she seemed to get prettier every episode. Her style changed, her hair changed, her personality blossomed into something new and exciting, and she becomes someone who is definitely worth watching.
The show tackles a handful of sub plots but doesn’t loose control of them or allow them to impede on the main story’s progress. the majority of the side characters have stories of their own and are all expertly told in a very short amount of time. In some cases characters stories aren’t discussed in the show but rather in the manga and there’s even a scene where a character tells you that you can “read more about him” in a particular manga.
The art and sound weave together to create this tapestry of pop-art that seamlessly mixes with the characters. The opening and closing theme were chosen so expertly and serve only to set the mood for the show. The ending theme is even mixed in with the last 10-15 seconds of the show so that it seamlessly transitions into the credits.
This anime is quite possibly the most enjoyable anime I’ve ever seen with an ending that didn’t disappoint. Instead of having this storybook happily ever after ending you are quickly faced with reality. Sure the characters kind of succeeded in what they were trying to do, but reality has to set in at some point and the show reminds us that we live in the real world. The ending however does tie up any and all loose ends and leaves almost nothing to the imagination. It also doesn’t leave room for a second season so there’s no chance of a spin-off brought on by money grubbing producers. Never have I been faced with an anime that literally left me in a daze after its credits rolled on episode 12.
Overall this anime is a masterpiece in its own genre. It masterfully and skillfully tells a straight forward, but complex story complete with sub plots, exciting drama, and cool music to boot. I also liked that characters didn’t spend 10 minutes arguing in tense situations. Example: man is holding a gun pointing it at another character(lets call him teppei kun). Teppei kun gives this long monologue about his life and how he’s always been alone and blah blah blah. In reality the guy would’ve just shot him for talking way too much.
ok. I’ve talked for far too long now. This anime is a masterpiece. Watch it!
3: School Rumble
English: School Rumble
MAL Score: 7.91
Just the words “I love you,” and everything changes—such is the nature of the bittersweet trials of high school romance. Tenma Tsukamoto, a second year, is on a quest to confess her feelings to the boy she likes. Kenji Harima, a delinquent with a sizable reputation, is in a similar situation, as he cannot properly convey his feelings to the one he loves. Between school, friends, rivalries, and hobbies, these two will find that high school romance is no walk in the park, especially as misunderstandings further complicate their plight.
School Rumble is a high-octane romantic comedy full of relatable situations, as Tenma and Kenji both try to win the hearts of those they desire.
As the story goes on, it becomes more and more hilarious! I wished my high school was as fun as this. It portrays as guys being very pathetic and always going after girls, this makes them very funny to watch! The jokes are very humorous; some is just silly.
The animation is very beautiful, although it has more beautiful girls and the boys are all very weird. The animals drawn are very cute and the main character is such a klutz, her face turns fat all the time.
The background sounds are funny, adds comedy to the scene. The soundtrack is just as good, the music is very soothing. The voice characters are just funny and the voices are exaggerated very much, which give the impression that the character is very dumb.
The characters are very distinct; I get confused sometimes because there are many characters and a lot of names to remember. I only remember Harima Kenji because the English version of this name is Harry McKenzie. But his character was the funniest out of all the boys in the class, he is supposed to be a delinquent but then turns all soft and lovey dovey, and the girl he falls for is an average looking slow girl, which makes it all so much funnier because he is dumb as well.
This is very enjoyable if you like to watch comedy genres, and don’t mind the occasional half naked scenes. There were many scenes where I was cracking up; this anime has to be the funniest I’ve seen and the most random.
Highly recommended for boys more than girls because it has a lot of big breasts involved. It’s just too damn funny!
School Rumble is basically the story of a love triangle. The hyper, slow-witted, dense and yet extremely nice and lovable character Tsukamoto Tenma is in love with her strange and seemingly dull classmate Karasuma Oji and at the same time the misunderstood delinquent Harima Kenji is madly in love with Tsukamoto Tenma to the point that he has been transformed into a new man because of it.
The series best fits in the comedy genre and anytime you feel the story is about to take a serious turn, it swings back to its comedic nature faster than you can blink.
The characters are probably the best part of this series. While there is really only three or four main characters, on numerous occasions, the series turns its attention to some of the backgrounds characters and lets the viewers get to know them better through some interesting side stories. Tsukamoto Tenma is extremely cute and lovable, Harima Kenji is a brooding delinquent you will love to root for, and Karasuma Oji is the character you will love to hate. The background characters such as Tsukamoto Tenma’s sister, Yakumo (quiet, reserved, and gorgeous girl that almost all men fall in love with at first sight) , Sawachika Eri (the seemingly shallow rich blonde girl sought after by many guys), Suou Mikoto (the athletic and cool tomboy that seems to be good at just about everything), Takano Akira (the quiet, calm, and mysterious girl that seems to know everything) are also very well developed and quite entertaining to watch. There is a character type to suit any viewer’s tastes.
The Japanese voice acting is absolutely fantastic and the voices match the characters well without exception. The most notable are the voices Tsukamoto Tenma which is done brilliantly by Koshimizu Ami (The very talented voice actress who does the voices of Kallen in Code Geass – Hangyaku no Lelouch /R2 and Horo in “Spice and Wolf”), and the voice of Harima Kenji which is done by Takahashi Hiroki (the voice of Kikumaru Eiji in Prince of Tennis and Hisoka in Hunter X Hunter). I can’t comment on the English voice acting due to the fact that I have not watched the dubbed version of the series (…and I have no intention of doing so).
The art and animations are not quite as noteworthy as the character design and voice acting. The art is average and the animations are done well most of the time with a few exceptions here and there. That is about all that needs to be said about the art and animations.
The story itself and the way it’s developed are both very interesting. However, I did find it quite irritating at times where I felt the story should perhaps take a more serious turn. The show is a comedy and above all else it should be funny and in that area there is definitely no shortcomings. The show is absolutely hilarious. However, while it is a comedy, its subject matter is not, and I would have found it quite refreshing if the writers had not shied away from including some serious elements as a complement to the comedy. Instead, they chose to completely slam on the breaks and put it in reverse whenever there was even the slightest danger of any serious development. The only part where things get even in the least bit serious is in the final two-episode OVA where they attempt to conclude the story.
Another area where this show suffered a bit had to do with filler episodes. There are not too many filler episodes and some of the fillers even contribute a little bit to the story. But, fillers are still fillers. While they are not abused to extremes as with some other shows such as Bleach, their presence still adds some annoyance for the viewer.
ATTENTION: The next paragraph talks about the ending. While I will not include any specifics about what happens at the end of the series, I will talk about the style and quality of the ending. If you feel this might spoil things for you, skip over the next paragraph.
This is where the show lost the most points from me. While, I did not know the specifics of the ending, I had a very close guess formed by the second or third episode of the first season regarding how the show would conclude. I knew I was in for at least a bit of a letdown at the end simply based on the nature of the show and how it completely shied away from getting even slightly serious. The ending doesn’t really leave you hanging which is good. However, I did not get the ending I wanted and I am fairly certain most people who have watched the series in the past and those who will watch it in the future have felt and will feel the same way I do about this. It will not catch you off guard. You will know it is coming fairly early in the series. But it is still a letdown. Perhaps, an alternate ending episode might have remedied this.
The two places this series lost marks from me were the filler episodes and the ending. Without the fillers and with the correct ending this show would have scored full marks.
Story – Basically, School Rumble has no real storyline besides Tenma going after Karasuma and Harima going after Tenma, thats basically it. But the thing about School Rumble is, even if it barely has a storyline it still appeals to many many people, which is something i believe is unique.
Art – I adore School Rumble’s beautiful design of characters. Even though its a 2004 anime, it still has considerable good graphic maybe even better then some animes in the year 2007. Also one thing i find quite different in the art of school rumble is how KJ ( Kobayashi Jin, creator of school rumble) hides the good-looking appearance of some of the characters such as Harima and Hanai.
Sound – School Rumble has one of the catchiest and most addictive OP any anime ever had ‘Guru Guru Mawaru Guru Guru Mawaru….’ this song just makes you want to get up dance to the melody. The ED was also very catchy as well, School Rumble’s ending is one of the ONLY ones i’ve watched for all of the episodes. Side from the OP and ED, the voice actor/actress fitted the role very well, from cute and loving Tenma to the complete pervert Imadori, there voice seems to be made for the character. Also Horie Yui is one of my favorite voice actress so i guess that adds up to the score as well.. hehe.
Character – Wide range of entertaining characters all which make you literally laugh out loud. They are all entertaining but they all have very unique personality from the Tsundere Ojou to the Semi-yandere Yakumo. I highly doubt you will hate any of these characters because i certainly didn’t!
Enjoyment – If i could give bonus points for enjoyment of this series, i would. First off, as stated before, this series literally makes you laugh out loud. A series that can actually make someone laugh out loud is something I’d think is freaking hilarious. Hilarious = Enjoyable… therefore School Rumble is really hilarious and enjoyable. (Yes that was lame..)
Overall – Overall, this series is definitely something you should watch if something is really bothering you and you want to watch something fun and laugh all the pain away. Even if you like really serious stuff like Death Note, you should still try this, you never know you might actually like this genre of anime.
2: Hachimitsu to Clover
English: Honey and Clover
MAL Score: 8.04
Yuuta Takemoto, a sophomore at an arts college, shares a cheap apartment with two seniors—the eccentric Shinobu Morita, who keeps failing to graduate due to his absenteeism, and the sensible Takumi Mayama, who acts as a proper senior to Takemoto, often looking out for him.
Takemoto had not given much thought to his future until one fine spring day, when he meets the endearing Hagumi Hanamoto and falls in love at first sight. Incredibly gifted in the arts, Hagumi enrolls in Takemoto’s university and soon befriends the popular pottery student Ayumi Yamada. Ayumi is already well acquainted with the three flatmates and secretly harbors deep feelings for one of them.
Hachimitsu to Clover is a heartwarming tale of youth, love, soul-searching, and self-discovery, intricately woven through the complex relationships between five dear friends.
Based on the manga by Chika Umino, Honey and Clover follows the lives of five fledgling artists and their journey through the exciting and simultaneously terrifying world that we know as college. Through the eyes of these five students and observe them them growing, affected by the years of challenging experiences through which they have gained many cherished friendships and also come to know the agonies of unrequited love.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the series is the animation. The bold, hard lined style you see in most anime will not be found here. Instead, animation studio J.C. Staff takes a wholly different approach by using a faded watercolor palette and soft sketched character designs. The style may not appeal to everyone, but it best reflects the true nature of the characters and their setting. Aside from the color palette, the animation goes through various perspective changes so subtly that it can even make the simple shot of a single character interesting. In essence, it is like art in motion.
Naturally, the audio needs to work hand in hand with the visuals and Honey and Clover has quite a robust soundtrack. Many of the insert selections worked well to heighten and sharpen the on-screen emotions. However, not all of the songs fit each scene like a glove and at times it felt like maybe there might even be too many songs they had tried to fit in. Despite that complaint, the songs themselves were all very good, even the instrumental tracks, and “Waltz” may hands-down be one of the best ending themes of any anime ever.
One aspect that may be universally agreed upon about this series is that the characters definitely make the show. Honey and Clover, like many other slice-of-life series, falls back on the characters to help carry the series and all five of the main characters do so phenomenally. Throughout the series, the perspective changes so that we see, hear, think, and occasionally feel what any given character is going through at that time. Depending on a viewer’s past experiences in college or even just life in general, certain characters will become more appealing and easier to relate to than others. Someone who has never been torn between someone they love and a close friend who loves them will have a hard time relating to a character like Mayama. Also, while a character like Takemoto may be more accessible to the male audience, Ayumi may be a better focal point for women.
The most important thing to realize is that just about anyone who watches this show will find a character who they can directly relate to in some way or another. From Takemoto’s indecisiveness about his own life, Morita’s slacker appeal and almost unfair success, Hagumi’s torn desire between being a success she’s not proud of or a failure she can live with. These are not just character struggles, these are struggles we all go through and we begin to see these characters as our friends and companions as we make our way through our own ordeals.
As said already, Honey and Clover is a slice-of-life series, which means it could take place anywhere at anytime with anyone inside the world as already is. It is a balanced and yet lively blend of romance, drama, and comedy without going too overboard on any single element, much like life itself. The story moves forward very quickly, skipping weeks, even months at a time between episodes. This could be viewed as slightly unrealistic as viewers may believe the characters should change faster than they do. Regardless, the character development is there, and does proceed at a realistic pace relative to the length of the series. Though the ending is inconclusive, those who enjoyed it to the end can take solace in knowing a conclusive second season awaits them to tie up all the loose ends.
Much like how Azumanga Daioh is called “the anime you should watch if you’ve been through high school”, Honey and Clover is the anime to watch if you’ve been through college. Graduates who watch this will probably feel a good amount of nostalgia. At the same time, those of us who haven’t been through college or are still going through it will enjoy a realistic simulation of where we might be going and how we might deal with it. By empathizing with the characters and relating to them, you’ll come to see Honey and Clover as more than an anime; It’s a life experience.
This review is the final result of a review team composed of members from the "Critics and Connoisseurs" club. The team members were:
Katsup – Contributed to and edited the review
Splitter – Wrote the review
Here are their individual scorings for the show:
Category – Katsup, Splitter
Story – 9, 9
Art – 10, 9
Sound – 9, 8
Character – 10, 10
Enjoyment – 10, 9
Overall – 10, 9
In the club wide poll held for Honey and Clover it received an average overall rating of 9.00
What a wonderful story. It’s a good mix of bittersweet growing pains, salty teardrops, and huge doses of soul searching, all brought about by Love. Ah yes, Love. That is what defines the plot of Honey and Clover. Through this anime, we see how love can go both ways – it can send you flying in the sky, or it can leave you with a knife in the back.
I can relate to mostly everyone in the story, and this is also why it was so easy to understand for me. Yamada’s frustration over unrequited love, Takemoto’s fear of the future and time quickly passing by (believe me, time in this anime is fast-paced), Hagu’s feelings of pressure from everyone around her, and of course, the loneliness that everyone felt from time to time. The ability to relate to each and every one of the characters made Honey and Clover such a good watch for me, and I’m sure it will be the same for everyone who will watch this series.
Despite the serious tones, there are still moments that are quite funny. Most of the comedic relief comes from Morita, who is actually one of my favorite characters. His idiosyncrasies are what made him great to watch. I love that scene where he accepted the Mochademy Award (A nod to the Academy awards) for best CG. There was also this great episode where Morita and Takemoto played some sort of twister game until their limbs were intertwined. Of course, you can’t forget chapters L and F which were both funny as well.
I liked most of the characters because they were all so relatable and they were all managed effectively. At the end of the series, you know everything that goes/went on behind their facades. They all had well thought of histories and wonderful unique personalities that go so well together. It’s almost like an anime version of FRIENDS. I already mentioned that I like Morita, but my other favorite is Mayama. I kinda developed a crush on him too; I actually see what Yamada sees in him. I was kind of annoyed that he picked that old hag Rika over Yamada. I really hate that woman; she’s only out to hurt Mayama. I’m definitely on team Ayumi “Tetsujin” Yamada (Even though she tends to ramble on a lot)!
Drawing style was something new. It reminded me of old school anime with a new twist. It had the same look and feel of 80s anime with except it was updated and fresh. It was probably because of the coloring technique – the colors were just lovely, they weren’t vibrant, like how I usually would like colors to be, but they were done well and the colors didn’t clash, so I actually liked it. It reminded me of water color paintings, a trend I noticed from watching JC Staff series. Usually the illustrations are done well, they barely change or if there are any changes it goes unnoticed. Although I did notice a huge shift in Hagu’s appearance – She was a lot prettier in the first episode compared to the rest of the series. Her look was done well though – she had beautiful eyes and hair (same thing with Yamada).
There were different animation techniques that were used. I like the use of stop motion, I’m guessing the first opening theme sequence was made using stop motion and clay figures. There was also the use of live action, which was for the second opening theme sequence (The poodle was just adorable). Some scenes had a more weathered look, and there was even an instance were vector art was used. Of course, there was the use of CG. CG is always good if it’s used to give depth to animation.
Voice acting was actually pretty good. My favorite seiyu for this series is Tomokazu Sugita, Mayama’s seiyu, who was also the seiyu for Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, another favorite of mine. I also like Morita’s seiyu, Yuji Ueda. I think it’s funny when his voice turns soft. The other seiyus, such as Keiji Fujiwara and Mikako Takahashi were already familiar to me, since I’ve watched/currently series they worked for before, and what they did for Honey and Clover were splendid as well, but as for Hagu’s seiyu, I’m a bit indifferent. Based on the information I saw about her, she seems to be a newbie (I think she’s only 18) and Hagu Hanamoto is probably her most notable role. Anyway, everyone did a good job because they brought out their character’s personalities really well, and the dialogues were easy to follow.
I’m surprised that most of Yuzo Hayashi’s work was for Sailormoon. I actually thought the music for this anime was done well – everything was modern and contemporary. I like the wide variety of insert songs that were used as BGM, and of course, the opening and ending themes weren’t bad either. At the end of the series I found myself humming and bopping my head to the catchy music of the series.
Thank goodness for the second season, plus the extra two episodes. If it weren’t for that, I Probably would be close to tears by now. This is undeniably one of the best series (Thank God to no fan service!) I’ve ever watched, and will watch again.
1: Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven
English: Eureka Seven
MAL Score: 8.08
In the backwater town of Bellforest lives a 14-year-old boy named Renton Thurston. He desires to leave his home behind and join the mercenary group known as Gekkostate, hoping to find some adventure to brighten up his mundane life. However, stuck between his grandfather’s insistence to become a mechanic like him and the pressure of his deceased father’s legacy, the only excitement Renton finds is in his pastime of riding the Trapar wave particles that are dispersed throughout the air, an activity akin to surfing.
Everything changes when an unknown object crashes through Renton’s garage, discovered to be a Light Finding Operation—a robot capable of riding the Trapar waves—specifically known as the Nirvash typeZERO. Its pilot is a young girl named Eureka, a member of the Gekkostate, who requests a tune-up for the Nirvash. Their meeting sparks the beginning of Renton’s involvement with the Gekkostate as he takes off alongside Eureka as the co-pilot of the Nirvash.
– [ Intro ] –
While enduring one of my anime-deprivation periods, I saw Eureka Seven with a high rating. I said why not and proceeded to get all of its 50 episodes. I started watching it only recently, after going through Ergo Proxy. Upon opening the first episode, I went o_0 then 0_0 instantly! Eureka Seven has a great OP and accompanying music! This promised to be a great anime. I could not resist going on after seeing the first episode. I can say I went through the episodes like a breeze, almost refusing to stop!
So, let me just say it here, loud and clear: Eureka Seven is DEFINITELY THE BEST ANIME I HAVE SEEN! It was a total addiction to me, and it still is!
Bear with me, this review will be quite lengthy! Eureka Seven (E7) really deserves it anyways!
– [ Animation = Excellent = 10 ] –
The animation of E7 is really, and I mean it, really impressive! The characters are extremely well drawn. Not your general, wide-eyed anime models but they are definitely well made. Their features are very well-detailed and their appearance is very good. Their clothes are futuristic and kinda cool in a way. E7 involves mechas, and as you could expect, they are quite stiff and roughly drawn. NO! They are the opposite! Their designs are well-polished and smoothly drawn. Here too, the features are very well-detailed. The motion of both characters and mechas are extremely smooth and not glitchy, specially considering that E7 involves something called “reffing” which resembles snowboarding. Even at the apex of fast-paceness, the motion is real smooth. The characters’ movements are natural and not robotic and their poses are very human-like. Granted, the mechas look a bit like Evangelion’s or perhaps even RahXephon’s. But in E7, they are well coloured, and in my opinion, better designed. In a way, the way the characters were designed represent their personality. I’ll leave it at that without elaboration. Go find out for yourself!
Now, the backgrounds and sceneries of E7 are again impressive. Well detailed, well drawn, good play on lighting and atmosphere gives them a truly unique feel. You won’t be seeing much scenery anyway, as most of the scenes will be above clouds. But when you do see real scenery, it’s nice! They vary from the lively towns, to lush and wild nature and colourful flowers, to the dark and grungy industrial zones and to the dark, moody and emotional scenes. The transition between these scenes is so smooth that you rarely notice that you have suddenly changed decors! The light works was well done and will give more life and vividity to scenes. Notice the rock textures and how light is used to bring out the relief. The people at BONES have done something very good here.
The greatest part of the animation lies in the battle and action scenes, particularly those involving the characters “reffing”. The action is so smooth! There are no robotic movements, even when the action is at its climax and everything is going fast. No blurs, no glitches and no flaws! Great!! And also, there are almost no frame re-use except for flashbacks (there are not many). Take for example, in Shaman King. Yoh is always seen summonning Amidamaru and this scene is in most episodes. Here, you won’t find such repeating scenes often. Even if there are some repeats, they are different in their own ways.
– [ Sound = StoryWriter wins! = 10 ] –
I don’t usually pay much attention to sounds and music in animes. Story, characters and animation usually get my attention. With E7 however, things are different! The OST for Eureka Seven is much varied from hard rock to electronic music! The OP music was great and I really enjoyed the music. However, the best song according to me, remains Storywriter by Supercar! I long to hear it again and again, and it has made it to my top favourites! It makes a really great accompaniment for action scenes, trust me. Yeaaaahhhhhh! The techno beats you hear during fights or the rock you hear during major events are g.r.e.a.t!!!!
E7 makes heavy use of music since there are lots of action scenes. However, for every scene, whatever it is (emotional or fast paced), the music chosen is right! It really highlights the scenes and make them so much more interesting! Definitely a good choice of music in E7, and definitely worth a listen! Sound effects too are present and nicely integrated into the scenes. Notice the wind “whoosshhh” when the chracters are reffing, and the sound of flapping clothes. It gives added realism to the scenes. Sometimes, you can hear accompanying explosions after a major bang! It’s nice to note these, just for added realism.
The voice actors did a pretty good job too! However, for some characters like Anemone or MoonDoggie, you can have some difficulty to understand them, due to their accents. Anyway, it’s not a real problem if you got fansubbed episodes, or subbed DVDs.
– [ Story = Complexity and Details = 9.9 ] –
Eureka Seven starts with our main male character, Renton aged 14 in his hometown of Bellforest, enjoying his life, albeit 14 years of boredom as he mentions. One day, a huge robot (an LFO) crashes in his grand-father, Alex’s workshop. Out of it emerges a beautiful young girl, our main female character, Eureka. Dumbfounded by her beauty and mysteriousness, Renton is immediately love-struck. However, the millitary was pursuing Eureka. Eureka is a member of GekkoState – a sort millitia/anti-government, non-conformist reffers group, led by Holland. Eureka must return to GekkoState at all costs. However, Holland had another mission – to get the Amita Drive from Alex, a device developed by Renton’s late father and world hero, Adrock Thurston. To help in Eureka’s escape, Renton grabs his reffing board and tries to deliver the Amita Drive to Eureka who is now escaping in her LFO, the Nirvash. Inspired by his all-time hero Holland, Renton would like to join GekkoState to train as a mechanic. Holland, accepts (although not very gladly), and so Renton becomes GekkoState’s youngest member, and his adventures and romance now start.
Some main characters are Talho, main pilot of GekkoGo. Holland, the commander. Ken-Goh, the weapons expert. Stoner, photographer and editor of Ray=Out magazine which is very anti-government and was hence banned. Hap, second commander and Holland’s friend. Misha, the on-board doctor. Jobs and Woz, the ship engineers. MoonDoggie, catapult operator and secondary pilot. Gidget, communications operator. Hilda and Matthiew, LFO pilots. And Renton and Eureka, Nirvash pilots and main characters. And also, the Nirvash LFO can also be considered a character at the end of E7.
Ok, my description is not very great but story is really one of the greatest strengths of E7. The plotline is really complex and deep. Agreed, you have one main plotline that runs through the entire series. However, what is interesting is the way that plotline is explored from various angles and according to various characters’ point of view. This gives an added understanding of the plotline. You will also see many innovative things like Trappar Particles, LFO’s, Reffing, Amita Drive, and Coralians! Indeed, it’s a very elaborate plotline. Interestingly enough, you will sometimes find the plotline diverging to explore various side characters’ stories eg. William B. Baxter’s story. Don’t worry, it’s here for a purpose – that is of explaining the global situation from different people’s perspective.
The story runs very deep, exploring such things as war and conflicts between friends, companionship, unfaltering loyalty, indomitable will to protect, duty, love, sense of justice, and the loss of close-persons. Sometimes, the emotions get real heavy and the sensitive views might be moved to tears, no joke! It can become very heavy and emotional sometimes, specially scenes involving the above-mentioned. It’s a very well detailed plotline, with many interesting twists that add spice to an already very interesting story. It’s a good blend of romance, action, mecha and adventure. Definitely my type!
Through the course of the story, you will have the opportunity to explore the characters’ past and get to know them better. You won’t find many loopholes or dark points here as everything is well explained. Expect emotional warfare, painful pasts, jealousy, self-sacrifice, the death of companions, inter-crewmate conflicts and resolutions of conflicts by various ways according to the characters, added to some good philosophies about love and the other things I mentioned! It’s a nice lesson in a way.
However, expect a major change of pace after Episode 26. You will be seeing more adult-related things, like blood and death more often. Just a warning. Mind you, many weird and frankly, strange things are awaiting you from Episode 31 and onwards! You would think you are in some kind of toon movie! 😀
The plotline offers no boredom since the characters constantly change and adapt, specially on the emotional level. I like the way the twists in emotions are introduced. It’s subtle, but really present. E7 is really a great piece of work and you will see lots of unexpected things. Pay close attentions to the play on words. The GekkoState assault on Capital Hill really got me stuck.
One thing to hate is the presence of Maeter, Linck and Maurice! Damn! These 3 kids know how to ruin the mood and atmosphere! In my opinion, they got no place in E7! Another is the complexity of some plots! You don’t understand anything at first, but it’s revealed after. Although there are some minor things which are left unexplained, or are not given enough elaboration, it cannot beat the greatness of E7. (Except only one which needed more elaboration). Anyways, if you use your brains a bit, it’s not hard to figure out those un-explainations! 😀
Overall, E7 has a real smooth way for proceeding with the story, smooth and sweet! Just what I’ve been looking. No rush, no incessant/useless main character deaths, no plotholes, no fillers, just pure delight. Good job, E7! Frankly, it has the damn B.E.S.T ending I’ve ever seen so far, surpassing even my previous “favourite ending”, Last Exile. Eureka Seven devoted almost one episode just for ending, a weird (and surreal) ending! Talk about a good finisher! 😀
And now, for a bit of selfishness (shared selfishness IMHO): I WANT EUREKA SEVEN MOVIE TO EXPLAIN EVERYBORY’S ENDINGS! 😀
P.s. Why 9.9 and not 10? Because some important events got left out of the explanations. You could guess what they were, but an explanantion would have been easier. That’s why I substracted 0.1 marks!
– [ Characters = I like the name “MoonDoggie” :p = 10 ] –
Ok, it’s not *just* because I like the name “MoonDoggie” but it’s still a very hilarious name! The characters really deserve that 10. I’ve really seen such a diverse and complex cast of characters. So I think it’s better that I introduce some of the main characters first. I can’t do that for all of them since there are so many (25-like main characters! Sugoi! :S)
Anyways, let’s start by our main character, Renton. He’s what you will call a normal guy. No super-powers a-la-Bleach here. No, he’s just normal, leading a normal life. However, he is still the son of Adrock Thurston, the guy who saved the world. Quite a name to carry around. Renton gets accepted on GekkoGo (GekkoState’s ship). Now, this is not what he expected. Holland is kind of a slave-master! He kinda get beaten up, get used as a.. duh slave, and things like that. Life’s not all pleasant for him, all because Holland is… jealous! LOL! No joke! Anyways, E7 beautifully illustrates his development through it’s 50 eps, going from a not-worth-anything to the.. (Spoiler. Cannot tell you!). He’s got much ahead of him. I really cannot say more without spoiling major things.
Eureka. Beautiful, quiet, mysterious. Love-at-first-sight for Renton, who would do anything to protect her. Her development is well-presented too. Mind you, strange things are awaiting you at the end of E7, be ready for it! This girl has many secrets and lots of potential. Although, she appears to lack emotions (which Renton teaches her), but she’s an adept at LFO combat. Enough here, cuz spoilers are coming if I continue.
On with Holland. The master of reffing and Renton (and all kids’) all-time god (hero/idol) and commander of GekkoState. Holland appears to be a fun character, and somewhat stern. However, Renton was badly mistaken. Holland is just the opposite of what he seems to be. He is like a father for GekkoState, protecting everybody and self-sacrificing for the sake of others. Midway through E7, he undergoes dramatic changes, all for the best.
Talho! The captain of Gekko-Go. She is the leash for Holland, restricting his impulses and setting him in the right direction. She has a secret (ok, not so secret) crush on Holland.
Hap, the everything-doer. Not much to say, but he still has quite a role in E7. Similarly, Woz (strange hat man!), Jobs (Hitman’s son?), Gonzy, Gidget, MoonDoggie (Doggie Nii-san! LOL!), Stoner and the others have their respective roles to play, but they are very diverse from each other, and each’s development is well planned and well presented. Their emotional developments are very well introduced, smoothly and at the correct pace, giving the viewer time to digest the changes and appreciate them.
There are characters on the other side (bad side) if you want, like Dominic, Anemone, the Sages the millitary and Dewey. But I can’t explain about them without spoiling. Expect something Gundam Seed Destiny-like with Dewew. The others are not so bad, but take soooo long to realise it.
The hierarchy is: Sages -> Dewew -> Millitary -> Dominic -> Anemone. Or something like that.
As you can see, there are literally lots and lots of characters in E7, and that goes without mentioning important side characters like Diane Thurston, William B. Baxter and the others. They have important roles to play and are here to reveal parts of the E7 plot to us, in a subtle way. It allows the viewer to get a global view of E7 and from different perspectives. There is literally lots and lots to tell about E7’s cast, but I leave their discovery to you. I can’t spoil the fun furthur.
– [ Value and Enjoyment = YEAH!!! = 10! ] –
If you haven’t guessed by now, Eureka Seven is just great and I really enjoyed my watching experience. I am now going to rewatch it, just to get a clearer view of it. In fact, Eureka Seven is one of the rare anime that I have ever rewatched. And frankly, it deserves it. I would rank the rewatch value as “Very High”. At the end, you will want to rewatch it from the beginning, just to watch the characters and story’s evolution again, from a new and enlightened perspective. And to gain a better understanding of E7’s magnificent story of course!
I really, really enjoyed Eureka Seven and it is now my top favourite. It deserves this space. Eureka Seven is a masterpiece, take it from a fellow fan.
Now, E7 might have some plotholes and some things that weren’t elaborated extensively, just as any other anime have. But the positive aspects of E7 fully compensate for these small (tiny) losses. You won’t even feel them. Nothing is perfect, but I believe E7 approaches perfection up to its nose!
As summary: Rewatch Value? Very High. Enjoyed myself? I kinda went overboard! Was E7 good? Na, no good. It is simply a masterpiece!
– [ Conclusions ] –
Go watch Eureka Seven!! That’s all there is to say. You won’t regret it. I know some people will be dissatisfied with my review, but I am just expressing my opinions. And I consider Eureka Seven to be a true success! Go watch it and draw your own conclusions. I do not think you would regret it. And I am not joking, it really deserves these “10”‘s from me!
Now, I sincerely await a movie. Not because was bad (in fact, it was great. Strange but great!). But because I really want to see more of Renton and Eureka, of Holland and Talho, of MoonDoggie and of Dominic and Anemone. I would like more about their endings, and what has become of them. The mere glances I got at the end is not enough to satisfy my hunger! I hope the creators of E7 can hear me! 😀
Thank you for reading my review. I know it was long. If something needs elaboration, contact me. I will amend the review where needed. Sayonara and go enjoy Eureka Seven!
The show’s supreme craftsmanship provides the spoonful sugar for its less-than-tasty story. It’s easy to watch these fifty episodes when the characters and their world are as creative and eye-popping as “Eureka 7’s.” Bolstering the shows designs and animation is one of the best soundtracks to bless a show; most impressive is the music’s ability to capture each of the story’s emotions with a perfectly mellifluous track.
“Eureka 7” suffers mainly from an identity crisis that ends up degrading the overall story. It begins as a really fun, rebels-versus-establishment adventure set in a world where skaters and hipsters reign as the supreme good guys.
I wish they creators would have stuck with this tone; it’s original and fun and would have lent itself perfectly to a. However, the show soon veers toward a melancholy, internal drama, and, before the fifty episodes are over, “Eureka 7” takes another sharp turn toward silly romance.
Maybe I’m too harsh, though. “Eureka 7” is targeted at teens, and if you can successfully put yourself into the mind of a naïve, romantic teen (see every teen), it’s easier to forgive the show for its flourishes.
Less forgivable, however, is the fragmentation of the story and characters caused by the shifting focus from adventure to drama to romance. Running in so many directions causes “Eureka 7” to roll its ankle, and the show never achieves any emotional impact. This is particularly disappointing since many of the characters had great potential to connect with the audience. Unfortunately, with the changes, the characters lose their original luster, drastically degrade into one-dimensional stereotypes, or drop from the story entirely.
As critical as I may be, please note that I watched “Eureka 7” nearly continually at every chance I got. It is, for the most part, an enjoyable series. To best enjoy this show, appreciate the audio-visual experience and always remember the target audience is young teenagers.
I’m sure you’ve read the synopsis so I won’t be mentioning that here. The story moves quicker than what you would expect from such a long series and this is a good thing as it minimizes any time where it would seem to be boring. This is even more impressive when you realize that there is next to no filler and what filler there is was entertaining and worth watching. The context of the story and the way it evolves isn’t over the top or unbelievable, it unfolds at a steady pace the entire time and doesn’t ever feel rushed or drawn out either. I see that a couple others have said that at times it is hard to follow but that isn’t the case at all if you’re paying attention and overall its an enjoyable journey with a satisfactory ending even if it left you wanting just a couple more answers.
The art is definitely above average, the animation is smooth and the colour scheme works well. It is a great support for everything else and the variation in quality across the span of the series is minimal. There were times when a certain lack of shading was noticeable but they quickly passed. Its not the best around but it is very good and considering the length makes it all the more impressive.
The sound is the only section i’ll score a perfect 10, it really is outstanding. The music from the openings to the endings and everything in-between is enjoyable and not something you’ll get sick of. Every track seems as if it could have been made to be used here and truly makes part of the show what it is. Sound effects and the like are perfectly acceptable, definitely above average. I haven’t heard the dub so I can’t comment on it but the Japanese voice acting fit well and no characters voice felt out of place. Overall a very pleasing experience.
The characters are great, you won’t see any cardboard cutouts here, each character is multi-dimensional and all add to the story. Eureka at first seems distant and not quite developed but thats exactly how she’s meant to be, you find yourself waiting for scenes where she and Renton interact with eachother for this is where alot of entertainment comes from. Seeing her grow as a person from that is quite something. That leads me to Renton, an average kid by all means, at times its downright annoying how naive and childish he really is but he learns from it and by the end you can truly see how he has grown. With all of this you may be asking why I rated it only an 8, thats because of the three kids, maybe I just dislike kids altogether but they cry at the drop of a hat, mess things up due to their own selfishness and are just a plain annoyance, I found myself becoming slightly irate everytime they were on screen. However i’m sure thats how people sometimes feel around real kids as well so if they were given just a little less screen time I guess I could have brushed it off. Overall the character development is really great especially concerning Eureka and Renton, further more apart from the kids I didn’t find myself disliking any character which is a testament to how well made they all really are.
I watched the series in three days and it never felt like it dragged on, I was always eager to see what came in the next episode and overall I really did enjoy this series. It just has the feeling of being enjoyable, taking you on a ride and you find it hard to leave. Once again I felt the kids detracted from this but whatever shortcomings they bring are immediately made up for by the rest. Enjoyment level for this series is high.
In the end its an interesting, enjoyable and great series. Don’t let the length put you off, if you watch anime then this is something you should see.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven
2. Hachimitsu to Clover
3. School Rumble
4. Paradise Kiss
5. Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma
6. Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou
7. Tsubasa Chronicle
8. Fantastic Children
9. Shakugan no Shana