They’re the best Anime that 2006 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Aa! Megami-sama!: Sorezore no Tsubasa, Tsubasa Chronicle 2nd Season, Saiunkoku Monogatari, and more!
10: Aa! Megami-sama!: Sorezore no Tsubasa
English: Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy
Japanese: ああっ女神さまっ それぞれの翼
MAL Score: 7.57
One year after goddess Belldandy emerged from Keiichi Morisato’s mirror and promised to stay with him forever, a new threat to their happiness emerges, one that could end the contract between Belldandy and Keiichi.
The story was very good. Nothing too new from last season but it was still well thought out. The only downside is taht some of the epsiodes were very similar to some of the episodes from last season.
In my opinion the art has definitely improved from last season. The art is more high-quality and better detailed. The only problem I have is the ears o.o those are way tooooo big and stick far out from the head.
Amazing sound! Opening and ending themes were nice, the characters voices fit well with the show (except for Marler’s) and the background tracks were just outstanding!
The characters from last season were developed even further which made them morel ikeable. New characters from this season however were not. They just show up for one episode then disappear. Some do however appear in a few places in the show.
I completely enjoyed this. There were a few episodes every now and then that were so boring to watch that I was almost to tears but I’m glad that I watched this.
If you watched the first season I highly highly highly recommend that you watch this season. 🙂
the animation was average at best and there really is no eye candy colors to be had here.
Probably the only great thing about this series is the opening theme song. The rest of the music played in the show is just boring and does not follow well with the scenes in the show.
There are few character interactions and love triangles that you will encounter, but its not very character driven. The series just gets weaker and weaker the further you get in.
I did not enjoy this by any means, i had a few laughs from keichi but thats bout it. I can’t believe i actually finished this anime, it took me around 3 months to watch the full series. In even 1 episode i paused and even turned it off and wasnt able to finish a complete episode in the same day, i had to watch it 3 times on seperate days. Its really that bad. My advice to you is, if you like Ah my goddess, watch the first one. Its a much more well put together series, still not fantastic though. I can’t say im looking forward to any more AMG’s. This was a waste of my life i could of been watching something better.
The second season of Ah! My Goddess is a great compliment to the first season. With more characters, more romance, and more fun episodes, this series has definitely improved.
Although the anime lacks a compelling, overarching story, I find the 1-2 episode stories to be very fun and entertaining. Each episode seems to center around a different character but shares a common thread of love and the importance of friendship and family. There are many new romantic developments that occur for side characters, but the Keiichi and Belldandy’s relationship does not seem to progress as much as you would like it to. Still, there are plenty of ooh and aww moments as the new relationships are very cute.
Art and Sound
As expected, the art and sound haven’t really changed much from the first season so there isn’t much to add to this section.
Part of what I like about the series this time around is that they made Belldandy’s character more human and imperfect. She gets drunk, her license is suspended, and she gets jealous and upset. Another plus is that they really focused more on relationships and the growth of all the side characters. For example, Otaki, Keiichi’s senpai, was a very random character in season 1, but he actually shows a much softer and caring side when he gets a girlfriend.
I found this season a lot more enjoyable than the first one. With more growth, better comedy, and a lot of touching scenes, it really leaves you feeling satisfied. Without a strong storyline and many characters to depict, the anime really focuses on creating a lot of fun situations so you cannot go wrong in terms of entertainment.
Although this season doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, it serves its purpose well. It is a very entertaining, light-hearted, comedy with plenty of feel good moments. I definitely recommend it to anyone who watched the first season.
9: Tsubasa Chronicle 2nd Season
English: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Season Two
Japanese: ツバサ クロニクル 第2シリーズ
MAL Score: 7.59
Syaoran, Sakura, Kurogane, Fai and Mokona’s journey through to different world’s continue as they search for Sakura’s feathers. The fated journey slowly becomes more complicated for our travelers, as they find themselves diving deeper into more dangerous worlds. Takes place immediately after the first season. Based on the manga by CLAMP.
Animation: This is what I shall always be critical about, I have never liked BeeTrain’s style which tends to drag the story and make everything slower paced than they are supposed to be. Noir and Madlax have been a snore fest for me, Tsubasa Chronicles although having a manga to backup, had almost the same pacing with characters wearing static expressions throughout the episodes with the exceptions of a few gasps and shouts… I mean… they are even lazy to make livelier expressions! And due to NHK restrictions, everything has been toned down. A little more blood and gore like the anime X or as projected in the manga would have propelled this anime to a higher rating, how they tried to make everything bloodless just seemed awkward. Don’t misunderstand, CLAMPs art is still really good, its just the animation that did not live up to standards
Sound: No one has complaints here, Yuki Kajiura’s music continues to excel with some great tracks like Crying Alone, Aikoi and Broken Sword of Justice, in fact, almost everyone would agree that the music is the main factor that still keeps viewers interested. For this season I preferred the ending to the opening, an uplifting, lively song full of hope and happiness, perfectly suited for Syaoran and Sakura’s feelings. The seiyuus gave the same pleasing performances as before.
Story: there were some arcs that were very good, like the Ashura arc, Kurogane’s past and the Piffle arc. Some fillers were quite interesting too while some others like back to ChunHyang’s world were just too repetitive. It was very apparant that they were trying to save the 2nd Syaoran bit as a climax for the next season by dragging out the plot to the extent of turning it into ‘finding one feather an episode’. Therefore as an intermediate bit for the Tsubasa series, this season didn’t leave too strong of an impression, yet it did succeed in leaving some questions and desire for the next season, thanks to the excellent Kurogane arc and the mysterious ‘Syaoran in the tube’ which gave hints to the other side of Tsubasa, a darker and unpredictable plot which was to be unfolded in the future.
Character: The good point of Tsubasa is that the group of main characters are basically lovable, with different personalities and from different backgrounds, yet giving off a feel like they are one big happy family who care for each other very much. Mainly 2 obvious character developments were done in this season, including the background story of Kurogane and most importantly, Sakura does have a bit more development compared to the walking shell in the 1st season. Syaoran, Mokona and Fai were still their usual selves but I never minded that because seeing this group interacting is basically one of the fun moments of Tsubasa. Although thanks to the rigid animation, the characters still gave off a rather stony, lifeless feel. It may just be me but yes, compared to the other animated Clamp works, this seemed too obvious.
I did still enjoy this series, thanks to the excellent music and my love for the Sakura+Syaoran pairing but still I can’t help thinking this could have been handled a lot better with such a strong manga to back it up. In other words, it had potential, but it just didn’t live up to most expectations.
If you are fond of the first season though you might like the second season. However it would be advisable not to read the manga first or you’d get very disappointed with how this anime turned out to be
Tsubasa RESERVoir Chronicle (TRC) – the anime – showed a lot of promise from its very first episode. However, because of the fact that TRC is aired during the children’s hour in Japan, which limits exactly the kind of content they are allowed to put into this anime, and as a result, have disappointed many viewers thinking they would be witnessing a story that was close to what was written in the manga by CLAMP. However, despite all of that, Tsubasa Chronicle still shapes up to be a relatively enjoying series, if you can get through a couple of the more slower arcs and horrendous fillers. The second season is full of more of the same as with the first season, but with more fillers in my mind.
The animation, is pretty much the same as it was with the first season. CLAMP does an excellent job in that department.
Yuki Kaijura has once again put together a very beautiful soundtrack to go along with the second season. He has presented us with more emotional and beautiful scores to go along with the anime and you will find yourself humming a lot of the tunes.
The second season is pretty much a slow continuation from the first season. However, I feel it goes even slower than the first and you just feel like your being cheated out of the potential of a very good anime. However, because it is shown during the children’s hour, that may be a plausible reason that the potential is not being reached. Again, if you have the patience to put up with slow progress and fillers, the relationship between Sakura and Syaoran is what makes this anime worth it.
STORY: CLAMP’s ever so popular (And probably my favorite CLAMP title) massive cross over manga series, Tsubasa, continues on it’s second anime season.
With it’s likable main cast: the determined Syaoran, the kind and sweet Sakura, gruff swordsman Kurogane, the goofy but mysterious Fai, and of course the mascot, Mokona all in toll, most fans are expecting another enjoyable (and hopefully with a faster paced story) world(s) traveling adventure as they continue to collect feathers in order to return Sakura’s lost memories.
And from what I can tell, that’s exactly what the producers were hoping for, that the fans love the characters just enough to watch this season, so they can get away with very pointless episodes, and with little actual story material only follow about three story arcs from the manga that barely cover half of the animes episode span, and the rest of it becoming boring filler episodes (With nine straight filler episodes until its end).
It’s not that these episodes are the most absolutely terrible things in the world, it’s just that the writers, unfortunately, seem to have taken advantage of the traveling to different worlds concept for the sake of being a cash in, with no effort on expanding the story.
And what’s the worse side-effect of a mostly filler season? Little to almost no character development at all.
The cast are simply boring husks of themselves, they don’t develop, they don’t do anything different, they just stay the same.
Going further into laziness, this anime constantly rehashes all of it’s side characters from various other series created by CLAMP, which is another concept that got taken advantage of from the manga, that even fans of other CLAMP titles will tire of these recurring characters. Which was something manga was charming and famous for.
Another noticeable fact is the series main antagonist does little to nothing at all in the story (Less than what what he did in the manga I mean) except a few chats with his female subordinate or a few speeches.
And in the end, hardly any progress is made in the story, that ended up becoming just a waste of time.
ART: Constant low budget animation, that sometimes have obvious quality issues, and Tsubasa deserved better than this, even flipping through pages of the manga looked better than half of the anime, which only adds to the disappointment.
SOUND: But unlike the animation, it appears that they had put effort with a bigger budget for the background music, though there are some techno background music that sounds totally out of place, and the theme music is nothing special compared to season one’s.
The english dub in the first season suffered a lot from the voice actors having to get used to their roles in a slow start up feel, but thankfully in season two it’s not the main problem anymore.
The english cast itself is quite an impressive line up with big name voice actors Vic Mignogna, Chris Sabat, Monica Rial, and Jason Liebrecht voicing the main cast.
Especially Chris Sabat who is well suited for Kurogane and Monica Rial was an excellent choice for Sakura.
But even with the improvements to the english dub, it is still underwhelming.
+ The Tsubasa crew enters in its “second season.”
– Almost no character development at all.
– Very boring filler episodes make up the majority of the season, taking advantage of several concepts the manga has in order to make these episodes.
– Bland theme music and a sub par english dub.
– Disappointing animation.
I feel that by the end of the season many fans will feel that they wasted their time, but not completely hate it, just feel very disappointed that very little of manga’s story made it’s way to the anime’s “second season”.
8: Saiunkoku Monogatari
English: The Story of Saiunkoku
MAL Score: 7.92
Shuurei Kou, the daughter of a noble yet impoverished family, is a clever young lady who dreams of becoming a government official and contributing toward her country. However, her dream is out of her reach as such a position is forbidden to women. While her father works a low wage job as an archivist at the palace, Shuurei has to juggle odd jobs to make ends meet. Then, one day, an unexpected visit changes her life.
Shuurei is called to assist Ryuuki Shi, the new emperor who is known for slacking on his duties and preferring the company of men. Tempted by the generous compensation, she readily accepts the chance to become the young emperor’s consort for six months. Luckily, she is not alone as Seiran Shi, her trusty friend, joins her as Ryuuki’s bodyguard. While tasked with transforming the new emperor into a responsible ruler, court life and politics prove troublesome as Shuurei faces the challenges of her new life.
Set in a fictional country, Saiunkoku Monogatari centers on the idea of meaningful leadership, its adversities and the rewards that come alongside a prospering nation.
At first glance, the plot may seem a bit shallow – a girl becomes the consort of a reluctant Emperor, let the silliness begin! – but wow does it become so much more. Essentially, Saiunkoku Monogatari is an engaging drama filled with political intrigue disguised as a simple reverse harem story. Even the simplest details connect to overall story and the plot becomes more and more developed as the show progresses.
Not much to say here other than Saiunkoku Monogatari does have an overdose of bishies. Don’t let that deter you though. None of the characters are there just for looks.
Pretty well done score. Some of the highlights include anytime Shuurei plays the erhu and the OP/ED themes.
This show has a lot of characters, but they are introduced slowly and all of the major characters have their backgrounds fleshed out enough. Shuurei is easily one of the best female protagonists I’ve come across. She has a girl power! attitude that never comes off as obnoxious. Her interactions with the rest of the cast are entertaining to watch. She has a magnetic personality, but not to the point of ridiculousness (Honda Tohru comes to mind). Though truth is, I kind of like all of the characters. Some stand outs include Seiran (one of my top ten favourite characters ever) and Ryuuren with his crazy flute.
The plot twists, the characters, the everything. I finished this show some time ago, but I wouldn’t mind rewatching it. It’s the kind of show where you miss little details the first time around.
My enjoyment of this show compels me to give it a 10. The story is just so much more than a little blurb of a summary. The characters really grew on me, the soundtrack added to the mood. The beautiful backgrounds always caught my eye. There’s just so much substance to this show – it’s not for someone looking for a simple story. Prepare to be sucked into the world of Saiunkoku Monogatari, I know I was.
The story focuses on Shuurei Kou, a resident of Saiunkoku. She dreams of becoming a government official and throughout the series, we see her chasing that dream, as well as juggling love, friendship and work at the same time.
I greatly admire Shuurei, as well as the other women characters in this series. She\’s definitely not like Miaka, personality-wise (she does look a bit like Miaka). She\’s smart, capable, and courageous; She carries with her all the virtues that women should have, and the story focused more on her qualities rather than her appearance (honestly, the boys are prettier than Shuurei). I believe that Saiunkoku Monogatari is one rare anime that portrays how women can make a huge difference in their societies. First you have Shuurei, who defied all odds and emerged superior in the end. There\’s also Sai Rin, who surpassed her male sibling and became one of the heads of the merchant alliance. There\’s Eiki, who refuses to have anyone tell her what to do.
Even with the slightly feminist theme, I do believe that Saiunkoku Monogatari can gain a male audience. The male characters are also very chivalrous and noble. My favorite would be Ensei and Seiran. Both of them are ready to give up their lives for the future of their loved ones. There\’s also Eigetsu, who is able to accomplish so much at such a young age. If you\’re not satisfied with that, there\’s always the chinese proverbs that are given in every episode (they double as episode titles).
Madhouse never fails to amuse me. I always say that anything Madhouse makes is automatically a must see for me. However, I am a bit disappointed this time. The animation for Saiunkoku Monogatari wasn\’t so impressive (but the last few episodes improved). I noticed that the movements weren\’t so smooth (Fight scenes need work), and I wasn\’t a fan of the color scheme either. It wasn\’t that bad, but it wasn\’t that good either.
Voice acting was very interesting. I actually had a chance to see clips of the voice actors working, and it was very entertaining to watch Houko Kuwashima (Shuurei) and Tomokazu Seki (Ryuuki). I think they did a very good job of portraying their respective characters\’ personalities.
The music wasn\’t that impressive at first either, but in time I started to like it. I even had the lyrics to the opening and ending themes memorized. I guess I didn\’t like it too much because I usually prefer contemporary anime music, but it did fit the theme of the series very well. I think they even used Chinese instruments to produce the music.
Truth be told, I usually prefer anime series that are set in modern time and in the real world. The fact that it\’s set in ancient China threw me off at first, but by watching it I was able to see what a gem it really is. It was very entertaining, educational and even funny at times. Saiunkoku Monogatari was able to sway my preference because it is truly an inspiring tale and it should be seen by everyone (And I can\’t wait for the second season!).
Speaking strictly about Saiunkoku Monogatari, there is an overall plot that contains many shorter stories within it. One of the best things about this series is that it seems spontaneous – one event leads directly to another. However, this shift is never fluid. There are always obstacles that the main character – Kou Shurrei – must overcome. In that sense, it’s much like real life. One of the most consistent obstacles is her being a woman in the "men’s world" of politics. Another main impediment that we can perhaps relate to better, is love. The many men that Shurrei comes across causes her to weigh the importance of work versus love. Being a 17-year-old girl, she is easily confused, and what she decides to do in terms of her relationships is quite a suspenseful part of the anime.
Saiunkoku Monogatari is hilarious, has a plot with amazing depth, components that everyone can compare to, and deals with serious issues in an entertaining way. It’s quite ingenius, and quite frankly, I can’t wait to watch the second season. ^^
7: Kanon (2006)
Japanese: カノン (2006)
MAL Score: 7.98
As a young child, Aizawa Yuuichi had often visited his cousin in the city; however, something drastic happened to keep him away for seven long years. Now, Yuuichi returns, his memories of those days are simply gone.
Settling into the wintry town, Yuuichi comes across several young girls, all of whom are connected to his past. As he befriends them and continues to interact with them, the long forgotten memories from his childhood begin to resurface…
Sure, the concept sounds like just about any other anime based on a visual novel would be. However, despite several other shows of that type, this actually does remarkably well.
Well, to be honest, this show has got to be one of the greater shows I’ve ever watched, no doubt! The story is just so good it leaves me astonished at times. It starts out as a pretty normal show of its genre. You’re also introduced to several of the girls, but it doesn’t touch upon all their stories at once. There’s some comedic moments every now and then.
At first it might seem like it’s just some slice of life series, but the story progresses a lot from its initial stages, and as you’re taken through the individual girls’ story arcs, you’ll be taken away. It has good a lot of good moments, some romantic, some dramatic. However, just about everything that happens in the story later on will base itself on supernatural elements (mostly miracles), which makes a contrast to the earlier parts of it. That’s not really a bad thing though; I at least found it most enjoyable.
The animation in the series is really awesome too; the character designs, details in environments and everything just looks awesome. The lighting which you find in many of the afternoon scenes is pure awesomeness too; it really makes the scenes moody; and very dramatic if that’s what the scene is about.
The characters of Kanon is really awesome. The girls’ stories are just awesome to behold, and Yuuichi’s own background with them is very intriguing, and it ends up making you wanting to know more about it. The main hero, Yuuichi, is also a very interesting character in his own right. To be short about it; they are awesome and you’ll love them (at least one or two of them).
The music in this anime is really great as well. There’s a lot of nice piano themes, so if you enjoy good piano themes you’ll definitely enjoy the music in this series. The show’s got some good music aside that too, and the OP and ED themes are magnificent.
There’s nothing to say on the sounds aside the music, and the seiyuu do a great job on their roles; the characters’ voices are very good.
All in all, this is a lovely anime, a true masterpiece. If you like anime series based on visual novels, you’ll enjoy this. If you haven’t watched any anime series of that kind, watch it anyway, because you’ll love it.
To ‘Not ‘ voters (and you ” voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
Here is the general outline for a Key story arc. First you introduce a little girl. She is supposedly a teenager the same age as our asshole lead male character. However at every single turn we are establishing how childlike they are. They look 6 years old, they act like they’re 6 years old, the male lead constantly treats them like they’re 6 years old and outright tells them they might as well be 6 years old. Each girl has their own little quip that in one girl’s case might as well be her saying “goo goo”.
They are also depicted as fragile and weak and needing your attention. A bunch of them are in the slow process of dying, either through poorly explained illnesses or magical illnesses. They’re emotionally fragile and with each arc fall apart in their own ways. One girl in particular has her own rotary functions and general maturity, what little of it there was, stripped away from her. The reasons for this shift usually comes straight out of the writer’s backsides, such as a character’s mum getting randomly hit by a car because we needed little girls to be more emotionally unstable.
Their emotional instability and life view all appears to come from when the girls were 6 years old (as in actually on this planet for 6 years, not just emotionally 6 years old). The childhood promise is the most powerful force in the world of Kanon, capable of raising the dead and conjuring ghosts. According to the world of Kanon, all relationships are born from before the age of 6 and everyone you meet since then might as well not exist. Nearly all the girls in Kanon are desperately trying to get back to the relationship they had with the male character from when they were 6.
You get the uncomfortable feeling that the writers believe that the 6 year old mindframe for women is the ideal. Not just so you can comfort them as they slowly die, but from a romantic standpoint too, and whenever you try to strip them off this childlike state the show punishes them for it. Kanon operates on horror movie logic where as soon as a girl displays anything resembling romantic feelings it gets stripped from them. Even if their romantic feelings come from a desire to just be together with someone because they’re lonely, as soon as anything resembling romance happens is when the show starts killing them.
That is this nakige formula. Key aren’t the only people who do it, but they’re certainly the most famous. Bring in a female character. Make the male lead belittle her in s’life segments for her immaturity so he can establish his place as above her. Reveal that she may have romantic feelings for her. Then strip the girl of any independence either physically or emotionally and then usually kill her.
Normally a reviewer will say that the worst thing a piece of entertainment’s can do is be boring, but that’s not Kanon’s problem. Certainly it is mind-blowingly boring since practically all the humour and conversations consist of a girl with no mental capacity being told by the main character how stupid she is. But the real reason I hate Kanon so much is the bits after that. The rinse and repeat of taking a little girl, stripping her of all agency and then killing her in order to draw tears from the audience, who invariably fall for it each and every time.
Not that I blame you. The same way I don’t blame people for clicking on buzzfeed clickbait articles on web advertising. They are designed in that insidious way to get you to click on them, and its only once you realise that do you stop supporting this “You Won’t Believe These 8 Ways Miley Cyrus Hates Minecraft Pokemon” headlines by not clicking on them. I know you think Kanon, Clannad and Air are emotional because they made you cry, but punching you in the face and breaking your nose would probably make you cry too. That doesn’t make the punch a 10/10 emotional piece of high entertainment. All they are doing are taking weak creatures and killing them to draw a reaction from you. Stop falling for it. Please.
The development starts out rather slow and silly and can get a bit dull. I was on a hiatus with this series for almost half a year before I started watching again. It is set up like a harem series, but it is different from them, which sets it apart from other harem series. It is not a harem in a story; it is a story with a harem. There is a difference, and Kanon does it extremely well. Look at all the anime out there. Many of them have similar plots, but what makes some better than others? The execution of the story, and this is where Kanon shines. There is a constant air of mystery behind everything: the characters, the setting, the season, and so forth. The story is emotional, dramatic, and even light-hearted at times. With this nice blend, a seemingly simple story of a new boy surrounded by a group of girls becomes a unique tale. The only major problem was that when one of the girl’s arc ended, they completely disappeared in another character’s arc. This style feels way too much like a visual novel, and lacks blending and character interaction.
There is not much to say about the art and animation when it is done by Kyoto Animations because most of it is a regurgitation of what other fans have already said: absolutely amazing, gorgeous, and stunning. The setting and season of winter are extremely well drawn so that it puts the viewers into that setting. Falling snow has never look so good in an anime until now. It does not just fall; it falls in a way that I could watch it forever. The art style, though it’s very clear, colorful and crisp, is a bit generic. The designs are of the eyes, a staple in these types of stories, were a bit too large and I did not like.
Ah, canon, canon, Kanon. There are reasons why this series is called that, and one of the more obvious reasons is the presence of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. Such a lovely piece, especially for one who has already played it. Besides that, the music complements the mood very nicely. When things get dramatic and sad, it is the music that allows those tears to run free. Although I did not find any one track that stood out for me (except for well, the obvious one) the music was nice and fitting. It would not be a soundtrack that I would listen to without the anime playing though. The voice acting was also very good, although every time Yuuichi opened his mouth, I immediately thought of Kyon. It does not help that those two look uncannily similar.
The characters in this series were a bit generic but that’s not necessarily a bad thing with the right development and execution. They did all have their mysteries, problems and development. Every character, from the first time they appear on screen, seems to have a mysterious side. Each of them are different and stands out. And Yuuichi is such an awesome lead. He can be a bit insensitive and playful at times, but he truly is a nice guy and it’s not surprising that he’s so well liked among the girls. The major downside in this series is the lack of interaction among the girls. Once a girls’ story arc is done, they aren’t really seen all that much until the end. It would have fleshed out their characters more if they interacted more.
I enjoyed this anime all right; enjoyed it to the point I cried through episodes nonstop. It might have also been the fact that I marathoned three or four episode at once, so the water works just seemed to never stop. There were times where I laughed out loud, times where I cheered (the ending), and many times where I bawled my eyes out.
Overall, I enjoyed this series immensely. It has a touch of everything: drama, comedy, supernatural elements and so forth. I thought it was a very enjoyable series despite its flaws. 8/10
6: School Rumble Ni Gakki
English: School Rumble 2nd Semester
Japanese: スクールランブル 二学期
MAL Score: 8.01
Continuing right where season 1 left off: Harima still likes Tenma but still runs into obstacles everytime he tries to confess his love to her. To complicate the situation, Class 2-D challenges class 2-C once again and there’s a rumor floating around that Harima and Yakumo are dating as the school prepares for the cultural festival.
Story – Like the prequel, this series barely has a storyline besides Harima after Tenma, Tenma after Karasuma. But the thing i liked about this season was the involvement between Eri and Harima. The involvement between them made this season more enjoyable for me then the prequel.
Art – Just like Ichi Gakki, the art has no real difference. Still beautiful as usual.
Sound – I really love School Rumble’s choice of music. I thought after watching Season 1, they could never find something just as cheerful as SCRAMBLE (Guru Guru Mawaru.. Guru Guru Mawaru) but to my suprise, Sentimental Generation was just as lively and also made you want to get up and sing and dance, trust me i did that once..
Character – The character are the same, i don’t recall any new characters in this one (watched this a year ago, can’t really remember). But one thing i remember very clearly was the character developments. I mean there were still some characters that didn’t change a bit… perfect example is Lala. The character that developed most in my opinion is none other then the Ojou, Eri. (Sorry have to give a spoiler, please do not read if you haven’t watched yet!) From totally disliking Harima, to slightly having good feelings for him, i thought this was the best part of School Rumble overall. <–Spoiler ends here. Also you get to learn much more about each and every characters.
Enjoyment – Again, this series is perfect enjoyment. From pure comedy to pure romance, this series is something that will keep you going after a harsh day.
The only reason i gave a 9 for enjoyment was because there are about 2 fillers in this season that totally were really lame. But this is mainly because there wasn’t enough manga material and 2 episodes couldn’t fill in the next arc for the manga.
Overall – Some say this series wasn’t as good as its prequel, i personally do not think so. I have no right to criticize one’s opinion but i shall stick to my own that this series totally bombed. Overall, if your a really huge fan School Rumble and really want to know more about a certain character, you should really consider watching this season.
Story: Compared to the first season, the story starts off slowly with a bunch shorter stories that don’t seem to develop the overall plot as much. It isn’t until the mid to second half of the anime does it seem to really get back to the main storyline. The story is mainly about the characters chasing after the people they are in love with only to have their attempts fail leaving them to come up with another angle of attack (metaphorically). This anime is a nice follow-up to the first season and overall it continues the plot well.
Animation: Like most anime comedies, there are a lot of visual jokes, so being well animated is quite important. Studio Comet does a good job fortunately and the visual humor comes across quite nicely. Some of the funniest moments I can recall come from the character Harima’s reaction to certain things and situations.
Sound: Nothing much to say on sound. The seiyuu do a good job and the music fits the anime overall. I like the opening and endings.
Characters: In most romance/comedies and in this one as well, there are multiple love webs that exist and are the main motivations for the characters. In the first season of this anime, most of the focus is on the protagonists, Harima and Tenma. However, in the second season the scope seems to widen and greater focus is given to other characters which seemed to have a smaller role in the previous season. I like this expansion, as it makes the plot more complex and intricate.
Enjoyment: School Rumble’s (both the first season and the second) use of random, sometimes absurd comedy and good utilization of the parody help it to stand out in its genre and create many memorable moments. I dub this show a must see for comedy fans. This was one anime where I basically enjoyed every moment.
First let me say I will review this anime as a whole not only the second season and it might contain some minor spoilers!
I will start with the conclusion for those of you who doesn’t want to read the whole review. So here it goes:
Overall/Conclusion – 7.8/10
Have you ever watched one of those spanish/latin soap operas or telenovelas where the characters never really manages to convey their feelings and say what they mean, especially regarding love, resulting in an never ending circle of misunderstandings and drama ? The difference is, in School Rumble, instead of drama you’ve got comedy.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun series to watch from the beginning to the end and the comedy mixed with excentric characters are, probably, the key elements that will get you hooked on this series. However, if you are person like me and if you are more in the series with good story progression and characters development maybe you’ll be a bit disappointed or frustrated. Still that’s not a reason not to watch School Rumble, especially when you are in a mood from something relaxing and mellow.
Art/Animation – 7.5/10
Although it’s nothing you would expect from a recent anime, the art is not bad at all. I like the characters design and I think it fitted well with their personalities. Also I was impressed with the level of animation used is some of the scenes that required more action, although some of them were useless and not needed for this genre. This really shows the animation had more potential but also the fact that the animation buget was poorly used on scenes that don’t really matter. Also, they could’ve work more on backgrounds and characters details but it dosen’t really matter anyway, since you’ll be more frustrated with other things than art in the end, trust me.
Sound – 9.5/10
I think the sound is the best part of School Rumble . The sound is in perfect tune with atmosphere and tone of the series and as a whole it adds great value to this anime. But…man…the most memorable songs are the opening and ending themes from the first season. The feel-good theme of this two songs perfectly complements the first season. and even if you don’t like the show I think it will make you wanting to watch the next episodes just to listen to this songs again and, eventually you will find yourself humming along in no time. Although, at first I didn’t like the opening theme from the second season, after listening to it a few times, I found Sentimental Generation to be as catchy as Scramble from the first season. I can’t say the same thing about the first ending theme for the second season and I’m glad they’ve replaced it later with Futari Wa Wasurechau which perfectly fits the whole second season ending. As for voice actors, besides Lala, which is way overexagerated character overall, all the voice actors were really good and matched the personality of each character. Special mentions goes to Noto Mamiko and Koshimizu Ami for the voices of Yakumo and Tenma – I loved them both.
Characters – 7/10
Here comes the area where I talk about the first problem of the series. There are alot of main and supporting characters in this series and the problem is how they are handled. To be more specific, many of the supporting characters are randomly brought up in the spotlight with some random stories at the expense of the main characters which are sent into oblivion, at times, for 2-3 episodes. This happens mostly on the second season but the first one is no exception. In this way, really few of the main characters get some sort of development or progression and it’s disappointing beacuse I wanted to see more of Akira, Eri and Yakumo instead of some random story with some random support character or even worse a filler.
Story – 6/10 SOME MINORS SPOILERS HERE! Skip if it bothers you!
Unfortunately,this is the weakest part of series and the second problem.
There aren’t so many good things to say here due to the fact that is no real progression or development on the story. I mean the producers really loved to troll us from the beginning through the end, at least regarding the story. When you think something important may happen that will make the story progress, think twice because your are wrong. If something happens, it happens in such a way that the relations between characters are not affected at all in the next episode. In the beginning it’s funny but after a while and through the end this never ending circle gets very frustrating. What more can I say…I think Scramble opening theme describes the best the whole story concept behind this series so…Guruguru mawaru guruguru mawaru!!
Enjoyment – 8/10
If you love the anime in the comedy genre you’ll have a blast watching this one but if you also love any type of development in anime and you want any type of closure maybe you will be a bit frustrated as I’ve been.
5: 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.
4: Ouran Koukou Host Club
English: Ouran High School Host Club
MAL Score: 8.18
Haruhi Fujioka is a bright scholarship candidate with no rank or title to speak of—a rare species at Ouran Academy, an elite school for students of high pedigree. When she opens the door to Music Room #3 hoping to find a quiet place to study, Haruhi unexpectedly stumbles upon the Host Club. Led by the princely Tamaki Suou, the club—whose other members include the “Shadow King” Kyouya Ootori; the mischievous Hitachiin twins, Kaoru and Hikaru; the childlike Mitsukuni Haninozuka, also known as “Honey”; and his strong protector Takashi “Mori” Morinozuka—is where handsome boys with too much time on their hands entertain the girls in the academy.
In a frantic attempt to remove herself from the hosts, Haruhi ends up breaking a vase worth eight million yen and is forced into becoming the eccentric group’s general errand boy to repay her enormous debt. However, thanks to her convincingly masculine appearance, her naturally genial disposition toward girls, and fascinating commoner status, she is soon promoted to full-time male host. And before long, Haruhi is plunged into a glitzy whirlwind of elaborate cosplays, rich food, and exciting shenanigans that only the immensely wealthy Host Club can pull off.
Every character is based with a sterotype near the beginning of the series. The real question though is if the characters actually grow out of their set roles. After watching the whole series that’s both a yes and a no. It all comes down to the fact that the manga is still going and the characters are still maturing in that format; thus, they can only grow so far in the anime without making it a new story entirely. Sure, they stay towards their first impressions but, there are a handful of episodes that explain each Host Club member and their reasoning behind attitude, outlook, and for joining the club in the first place.
A keen example is Tamaki and his feelings for Haruhi. In the beginning, he takes on a father role towards her and the audience is made to believe that this is only part of his nature; however, the viewers should realize that this is because of the feelings he holds for her. Even Tamaki doesn’t understand it and in episode twenty-three is forced to question it. He probably can’t comprehend his feelings in the end, but he seems to establish some understanding towards Haruhi. Really, characters do grow but they tend to have done a lot of growing before the show was established, and quite a few past experiences are explained through-out the episodes. Either way, the audience is given the chance to fall in love with the characters before they begin to change, which adds a nice and smooth transition.
I’ve found people complain at the lack of the details made towards the characters themselves. Then again, how much detail do you want on a character that’s about to turn chibi on your ass? Seriously, the animators did a wonderful job at finding a keen balance between common and glorious so that when a touching moment is needed, the characters have that necessary lovely animation & while during the hyper-active moments, the characters are bouncy and have a jelly-like movement.
One thing that caught my attention after reviewing certain episodes was how detailed the background could be. I hadn’t noticed it on the first run through due to how into the show I was; however, if you pay attention, you really notice how wealthy the animators attempted to make the school look. Look at the ceilings and the inscriptions into it, that’s pretty damn detailed to me.
I was iffy about the music in the beginning. Once I heard the first line of the opening, Sakura Kiss, I felt the catchiness; however, after listening to the whole thing I wasn’t direly impressed. The ending song, Shissou, I didn’t like at all. It just sounded like normal Japanese rock. I was disappointed even more when I found LAST ALLIANCE was the band who preformed it because they could have done a lot better.
Regardless, I gave the music a chance and got a copy of the available soundtracks. While watching the show I found the melody coordinated with many places perfectly, surely in the Ouran world the music full of rich violins, playful piano, and elegant harp was a match made in heaven. In it’s own way everything works… but that ending song.
Since there is no dubbing released, I can’t comment on that; however, the subtitles by Lunar Anime provided on their fansub were wonderfully done. Generally, I don’t like to comment on subtitles because what’s there to say, but what I liked was how many notes were provided to get said joke. It was also produced very nicely for the English audience.
Simply, Ouran High School Host Club is just a fun old time. It’s got the wackiness to pull you into a fit of giggles, but at the same time enough character development to move along with a pretty random plot. I was going to skip this series entirely because I tend to avoid popular shows now-a-days; however, in the end I’m glad I didn’t. This was certainly worth my time and I guarantee it’s worth yours, too. It’s hard to find a character or a part that you plainly didn’t like. So, unless you’re extremely nit-picky, then there shouldn’t be a problem to enjoy this anime.
There are lots of laughs and pretty boys waiting for you at the Host Club so what are you reading this review for?
Ouran High School is one of the best reverse harem anime series I have watched. The first episode really made an impact. It did not start as to be draggy but rather it easily showed the main idea of the story which started when they have discovered that Haruhi is a girl. The story was quite shallow at first which was just showing the different themes of the club and how they entertained the guests but when you continue with the later part of the series, you’ll realize that behind all the smiles of the characters, there is a bitter past. The flow of the story is also good. It starts with the story of a certain character, followed by an episode just for enjoyment, them the story of a certain character and so on which promoted the balanced flow of the story.
The art of this anime is great since they can convene the different effects for a specific situation correctly. The type of animation used was the traditional type of animation (not the 3D or any modern form of animation) which for me, was better since the traditional type of animation was a type wherein the viewers can interpret more using their own imaginations.
The opening song Sakura Kiss (which became my favorite) sung by Chieko Kawabe was really fitting for the series since it was lively and the lyrics can really relate to the main character which was Haruhi Fujioka. The ending song Shissou sung by Last Alliance was great in which it blended with the appeal of the club.
I like the way they treat each other. They treat each other as close friends not some enemy that is to be competed financially or in other aspects (which was the opposite of what their parents really want). Each of the character’s qualities complimented the others that’s why their host club was in harmony. Other characters are also shown who were either supporting or testing the strength of the bond between the host club members.
While watching this anime, I might have looked like i was crazy or something coz i kept on laughing out loud everytime there is something really really funny like the thing that happened during their host club ball and the ever-changing characteristic of Tamaki Suou. The “punch lines” and “Labels” also help a lot in expressing the humor of the series like in the part of Kyouya who just recently woke up from bed was placed title as a “Low Blood Pressure Evil Lord” and Haruhi was labeled “Studious Commoner” and the host club’s “DOG” at the very start of the series.
If you want a lot of laughs mixed with a mixture of romance and a little bit of sadness, or liked boys that are classified as the prince-type, loli-shota type, cool type, devil type or a natural rookie type, then you should watch this anime coz you’ll really enjoy this movie and at the same time understand and appreciate the series as a whole. It’s really great! ^_^
All the characters are uniquely lovable. Each person has their own specific traits, and without a doubt, their own problems they need to overcome. Everyone has their favorites too, so within a few episodes you’ll be rooting for one person to get with the other, no doubt.
Character development and the enjoyment level were the biggest pluses for Ouran. It keeps you entertained nearly the whole way through (except for one or two episodes around 19 or so).
Only weakness I found was the sound. I didn’t particularly care for either the opening or the ending (though the opening wasn’t all that bad I guess).
So, in conclusion, it’s almost impossible to not enjoy this show. The ending is great and the lead up to it is very well done. Want to feel good and laugh at the same time, check Ouran out.
3: Hachimitsu to Clover II
English: Honey and Clover II
Japanese: ハチミツとクローバー II
MAL Score: 8.24
Back from his journey across Japan, Yuuta Takemoto reminisces about his college life so far. He has matured significantly since his second year and is motivated to move forward.
Feeling more confident than ever before, he finally confesses to Hagumi Hanamoto, the girl he has been in love with since their first encounter. However, Hagumi has been confused by her attempts to understand the mysterious Shinobu Morita. Hiding behind a playful demeanor, Morita may be the most burdened by his own potential. Meanwhile, Takumi Mayama has become a full-fledged working adult and has landed Ayumi Yamada several pottery orders through his company in an act of friendship.
The five youths continue to face individual hardships in academics, work, love, and friendship as they push each other toward the paths that they are destined to walk.
Season one ended gracefully, you could accept it as “ending” and it can have a sequel as well. Either way, we’ve got a lot of questions left, like what happened to Mayama, Rika and Yamada, or is Shinobu really that much of an idiot that he couldn’t fight for Hagu, as well as what would be Hagu’s answer after “I’m glad you’re back”. I was literally jumping with joy when they decided to make another season. Everything was concluded at Honey and Clover II.
These kinds of anime is the reason why I still love the medium animation.
Color pastel-type work at its finest. They’re at an art school, after all, so the art should be top-notch. JC Staff is enough said; almost anything they make delivers, and delivers well. I love how they abused the blurry, almost-dreamy look of the show. Some may find it a bit “girly”, but, well, it fits the opus. It stays loyal to the manga’s designs too.
One of the BEST parts of watching Honey and Clover is listening to its wonderful, wonderful music. “Dramatic” and “Waltz” got us in season one, the piano renditions of the songs were especially amazing. Now we’ve got “Fugainaya” and “Split”, which are really blessings to the human ear. I may be wrong, but almost every episode has a different insert song with it, which was brilliantly scored to match the scene it goes with. I especially liked the song at episode nine and the song playing on the last scene. Epic.
The factor that propels Honey and Clover to its fame is its characters, and the story that they individually have, interconnected with each other. It’s a story about growing up, maturity, and coming-of-age (jobs, decisions, etc) after all. Maybe it’s my age, but I find its story stunningly touching and awe-inspiring. Before Honey and Clover, I thought most modern works lost the magic of storytelling. Characters were easy enough to identify with. Themes of unrequited love, talents, ties, lifelong goals, finding oneself, hardships and trials; they’re all there, wonderfully packaged.
Takemoto’s still the unsure, melancholic character that he was at season one but you could see he’s grown up a little and learned more about how life goes. He’s the banner of H&C, he represents adolescence. Morita lost most of his eccentricity and we get to see the deeper side of him, as well as the people he’s closest to. Yamada, well, is Yamada, still with her unrequited love, but of course, with a twist at season two. We get to see more of Rika, Professor Hanamoto, and Mayama. But, definitely, Hagu’s part on the succeeding story is probably the biggest plot point of Honey and Clover II.
What really makes this a modern gem is the way it was presented; it was music, characters, and story weaving in and out of each other in perfect harmony. At times I really find myself asking why is aging this bittersweet. Honey and Clover II is the right way to end the nostalgic series, and if you want to watch something that isn’t flooded with moe, giant breasts or extreme harem, and instead want to see something of a mature slice-of-life anime, see this.
One thing’s for sure. It did have meaning.
As for the drawing style, main plot and voice acting, not much has changed so I’ll only focus on the things that have changed.
The main plot hasn’t changed – it’s still a “coming of age” story for all of the characters, but for this season, the focus has shifted from Takemoto and Yamada’s individual stories to Hagu and Morita. Sure we still get to see the Takemoto’s struggles with his youth and Yamada’s sad love story, but this time, we learn more about Hagu and her strong passion for what she does and what Morita has been doing up until now. Plus there have been some developments with Mayama’s relationship with Rika as well – and for a hardcore Rika hater/Yamada-Mayama fan like me, that’s kinda tough to watch.
Even though I’m glad at how it ended, I still can’t help but shed a few tears because of their parting. I wish that they could stay together and have fun forever (kind of like how I feel now since I’m graduating) but that’s how life goes – you meet new people and in the process you lose some people. I also found myself tearing up more during this season. There were just so many things that are kind of sad and bittersweet.
Generally there weren’t any changes as to drawing style, but Hagu definitely looks prettier. Back in the first season, I didn’t think she was cute or pretty until the last few episodes. Her look during the last few episodes was carried over to the new season and was made even better. CG was still used, most notable in the opening theme sequence, and was complimentary in some scenes as well.
They used some music from the first season, but I think that was only in the first 2 episodes. There was also a variety of insert songs for this season as well, which really complimented the scenes. The opening song and ending song for this season were similar to the opening and ending song of the first season, probably because they were performed by the same artists but I have to say, I like the first season’s themes better.
I’m so sad that I won’t have any more Honey and Clover now. I finally found the meaning to the line “Good things must come to an end”, and I found another favorite to add to my list.
the art design just doesn’t appeal to me. my friend says it’s the most unique art design and stuff, but it looks hideous, especially when their eyes go O.O the character design isn’t too bad in a way.. lots of diversity, but i honestly thought Hagu chan was the prof’s daughter in the beginning.. lol.. in fact i thought so until the love square actually developed.. and i was like “u gotta be kidding me”.. the only character i liked was Yamada. The backgrounds are honestly pretty excellent, but i can recommend so many other animes with mind-blowing backgrounds.
H&C tries to depict life, but keeps on focusing on the love triangles and squares, in which they try to make you tear up at every scene. it’s also ridiculous that there are only 2 main girls(with super complicated relationships), and a ton of guys. I mean, most of u should know how many hotties u can find in the art departments. and yet, 2 students and 1 professor are fighting over a kid. #$%#$@&#$$@!!! the story about Morita was quite fresh, but it wasn’t a very prominent plot in the story. i related so much to Kaoru and i liked the way they depicted the forked road. I think H&C wastes too much time depicting the love drama and never really tells u wat happened, their past and their goals. The only plot which was beautifully depicted was Morita and Kaoru’s, but it was probably thought of by the author as a side-story or something.. The ending didn’t feel much like an ending.. it felt like a cut in the middle.. it also didnt feel like a new beginning, which would have given room for a sequel. it’s like, the couplings are decided, so we end the story here. sheesh.. I thought H&C2 would imply a real sequel, but it’s the same thing all over again. but after seeing the ending, i understand why it isn’t a sequel. there’s just no sequel to make.
Hagu-chan is probably the worst character i’ve seen in a very very long time.. I just don’t understand why a kid has to be the center of the biggest love confusion. what the heck is this anime trying to imply? she doesn’t look 18 at all. fine, some girls really have little bodies because of some defections, but it was never mentioned in the anime, and those guys who like her just seem like lolicons and arseholes to me. the other characters are also very boring and i can’t relate much to them because they seem like they dont have a past at all..
I didn’t enjoy this much in part because i knew i would be disappointed, but i’ve watched animes which i thought at first that it would turn out bad, but actually loving them in the end. TBRH, there’s just nothing much to like about H&C. It seems like one of the most overrated anime of all time to me rather than the best anime of all time as some ppl would say. i just dont see how anyone can really love H&C if they have watched other animes with similar genre. it’s just not as realistic or romantic as it seems. I would probably only recommend this to ppl who would be satisfied with only great art, and very shallow plots. for example, my friend who loves this anime but can’t even finish Higurashi n Monster.
I think it’s essential to compare it with other romance/slice of life animes to see how H&C doesn’t live up to it’s ratings. First of all is ef. There’s no need to say anything about the art style. it just blows ur mind away. the storyline might seem very fantasy-like compared to H&C, but it’s so much more realistic, with lots of side-characters and even a few neutral characters. in addition, the characters are so much more diverse and unique. i also personally like how they depict the monologues in ef. H&C tries to depict it in a romantic way, but it’s just too boring and doesn’t really show how intense the self-debate is. ef, in contrast depicts exactly how ppl spend so much time in limbo during those stages in life.
then, for the more popular genre, we have toradora. ok, it has a chibi too, but at least she doesn’t look like a 10 year old. the art is obviously more popular too, and i haven’t seen ppl complaining about the plot yet, just debate about couplings.
2: NHK ni Youkoso!
English: Welcome to the N.H.K.
Japanese: N H Kにようこそ！
MAL Score: 8.32
Twenty-two-year-old college dropout Tatsuhiro Satou has been a hikikomori for almost four years now. In his isolation, he has come to believe in many obscure conspiracy theories, but there is one in particular which he holds unshakable faith in: the theory that the evil conspirator behind his shut-in NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) status is the Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai (NHK)—an evil and secret organization dedicated to fostering the spread of hikikomori culture.
NHK ni Youkoso! is a psychological dramedy that follows Tatsuhiro as he strives to escape from the NHK’s wicked machinations and the disease of self-wrought isolation, while struggling to even just leave his apartment and find a job. His unexpected encounter with the mysterious Misaki Nakahara might signal a reversal of fortune for Tatsuhiro, but with this meeting comes the inevitable cost of having to face his greatest fear—society.
"Welcome to the NHK" is a kind of collection. Collection of troubles and problems we can meet in our life. It doesn’t perceive as anime. It doesn’t perceive as something fictitious. It is life. Hateful everyday life gets emotional colors and draws a wide reaction with slowly walking real life on the our side of screen.
In "NHK" everyday events are not shown grotesque and mockingly as in parodies and not weightly depressed as in psychological thrillers but somehow chaotically and tragicomicly — you want to weep, smile, think ironically and philosophize simultaneously. Every joke provokes not a roar of laughter but the sad smile as you recognize yourself and your troubles in "fictional" heroes.
Even if you have a job, relatives, interests, it doesn’t change anything. You aren’t able to get rid of solitude if you feel your purposelessness and pettiness. If you laugh, you laughter is insincere. If you cry, you wail. Problem of self-concept and fear of the life is urgent for many people, but the feeling of hopelessness and despair appears only when there is nobody to support you. You’ve got tired from struggle along on your’s own not at once but gradually. It happens little by little but it does. There are no N.H.K., there is no god, there are only nonchalance, loneliness and despair. You think that people around get everything easier and live merrily and sociable but you simply can not see the same as you as they also are dissociated from the world. It is impossible to meet for such humans but only they can understand each other. It is very hard and cruel. In "NHK" it is shown somehow exaggeratedly but the inner life is described entirely faithful. Psychology is described as much as possible faithfully, all the reasons are named correctly, emphases are placed where they needed.
Art and sound do for this work and don’t have any serious shortcomings. All the aspects of this anime are high qualitative.
Such masterpiece anime must be a conspiracy… Conspiracy against what?
More than half of you are probably wondering what a hikikomori is; So that explanation should probably come now before getting into the review of the series. The dictionary definition of hikikomori is “a state or condition of acute social withdrawal”. The number of people living the hikikomori or NEET (Not pursuing Employment, Education or Training) lifestyle are increasing everyday worldwide but they are predominantly concentrated in Japan among the adolescent male population. The hikikomori are basically shut-ins. They feel uncomfortable in presence of other people. They don’t leave their rooms/houses unless they absolutely have to and make just enough money through various means (parents, relatives, jobs that can be done from home, and rarely part-time jobs outside the house) to survive and continue their hikikomori lifestyles.
The main character of the story, Satou Tatsuhiro, is a college dropout. He is a complete conspiracy nut who believes a giant organization encompassing the whole planet called the N.H.K. (Nihon Hikikomori Kyoukai / Japan Hikikomori Association/Society) is working around the clock to ruin his life and make sure he stays a shut-in forever through any means necessary. The origin of his obsession with conspiracies seems to be an upperclassman named Kashiwa Hitomi with whom he spent a lot of time with in high school. Satou realizes that he can’t continue living as a NEET forever and wants to escape the lifestyle and overcome the conspiracies of the NHK but he is too afraid and doesn’t know how to go about it. However, everything changes when one day he meets a girl named Nakahara Misaki who claims that she will save him from his hikikomori lifestyle if he agrees to sign a contract with her and become the subject of her “project”.
The story is about a very serious subject matter but it is still full of humorous moments. The creators of the anime realize that the best way to convert such a serious subject matter into an enjoyable anime that will not only entertain the viewers but also educate them is through humor. That being said, the anime is also full serious and sometimes very sad occurrences. If you happen to be an emotional person, be prepared to shed a few tears or at least feel downright horrible watching some of the episodes of this series. The story progresses at a fair pace with a good mixture of serious episodes and some not too serious ones.
The characters are well designed and although I have never actually met a hikikomori, I would guess that the personalities and lifestyle are fairly depicted. For me, the most notable character in the series is the female lead Nakahara Misaki. She remains a mystery for almost the entire series and refuses to reveal any personal details about herself to Satou. Even when asked directly, she makes up obvious lies in order to avoid divulging anything personal. Her actions leave the viewer wondering and guessing and although that becomes somewhat annoying at times it contributes to the story coming together quite well in the end.
As for the other characters –
Satou is your “typical” conspiracy nut shut-in (or what you would imagine one would act and feel like). While his hikikomori lifestyle doesn’t seem to be as severe as some other people’s, it is bad enough to keep him from functioning as a part of society and most of his ventures to the outside world seem to end with him becoming completely scared and freaked out.
Satou’s only male friend Yamazaki Kaoru is your typical anime/hentai/game otaku. He is obsessed with all sorts of things the most notable of which happens to be echii games. He is very passionate about his obsessions and becomes easily enraged by the smallest things especially if they have any relevance to his obsessions. Needless to say, he is an amusing character to watch.
Satou’s upperclassman (senpai) Kashiwa Hitomi is a complete conspiracy nut like Satou. She seems depressed most of the time and even sees being happy as a sign that she is playing into the conspiracies. She is a supporting character in the series, but plays an important role in the development of the story.
The voice acting is nothing spectacular but the voices fit the characters well. The same can be said about the music. There is no ground-breaking piece of music in the series. There is however a somewhat catchy anime song that is played throughout pretty much the entire series. Do be careful not to get it stuck in your head.
The art and animations are at best average. You won’t find any great-looking characters and the animation can be sort of clumsy at times. I can best compare the art to ‘Great Teacher Onizuka’. However, it looks slightly better and animations are done at a higher quality. That being said, the art style does fit the series quite well. I can’t imagine the story represented with any different kind of art style.
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.
The story ends. That sounds like a weird statement, but most of you know that in many Anime series that doesn’t happen and it’s always a letdown when this occurs. So rejoice; this one actually concludes. It is the ending you will likely suspect part of the way through watching the series with a few twists and turns before it gets there.
In conclusion, Welcome to the NHK is a well-written and well-told story about a serious subject matter. It has a good pace and just enough of both humor and sadness. I enjoyed the series very much and if it is a type of anime you normally enjoy, I am sure you will love this series as well.
Unique, complex, entertaining, slow paced and utterly brilliant. The story of this anime is so beautifully constructed, executed and structured that it took me a while before realizing how amazing it really was. The synopsis is already provided so I won’t be summarizing anything here. In fact, I’d recommend reading the synopsis before continuing to read the rest of this review. The story telling in this anime is such a roller coaster of emotions that it’s honestly pretty exhausting sometimes. Most scenes had me in the brink of tears from either laughing too hard or watching something painfully realistic and relatable. It starts off with a lot more comedy in the beginning, but the further you go, the more bittersweet moments you find. The romance is also pretty realistic in the sense that you’ll NEVER see the main couple be LOVEY DOVEY. I think some people might dislike this anime a lot because it doesn’t necessarily rely on the suspension of disbelief like other anime. True, there are a lot of weird/funny hallucinations the main character sees and hears, but almost all of the situations throughout the anime are believable. Anyway, this isn’t the only anime to tackle on the whole “society is a bitch” idea, but it’s one of the few to actually do it in such an efficient, painful, smart, and entertaining way. Honestly, I could go on and on about the story, but I think you guys get my point by now.
Before judging the artwork of this anime, keep in mind that it was released in 2006, almost a whole decade ago. Although it’s not the prettiest artwork or the most innovative, but I do think the artwork fits the genre and story perfectly well. With that being said, there’ll definitely be moments when you’ll be thinking “wow this anime is a lot more beautiful than I thought”. Just like the themes, the artwork has this extremely grungy, old school, somber feel to it. It also reminds me a lot of Cowboy Bebop for some reason. Which obviously makes this anime that much more awesome. All kidding aside though, there is also a good variety of artwork throughout the anime. You’ll notice a difference of quality in scenes depending on the setting. Scenes where Tatsuhiro is at the beach, the park, or in the city are a lot more visually pleasing than when he’s at home. Facial expressions on every character are also unique and interesting. Overall, the artwork perfectly suits the anime.
The opening and ending songs of this anime are really good. Not my personal favorites, but easily in my top 20. That aside, the quality of the voice acting in this anime is ridiculously high. Each voice actor feels like they’re perfectly suited for their role. The sound effects during hallucinations are great and most of the time extremely hilarious. My personal favorite by far is our main character, but that’s only because he gets the most screen time(duh). Music during scenes are perfectly intertwined with the situations in the anime. With music you sometimes forget it’s there. However, if you’ve watched anime for a while you can’t help, but notice what a big role it plays in most scenes. There’s a wide range of music that vary from playful to extremely sad and depressing. It’s pretty stunning.
This is probably the strongest aspect of this anime. Each character has a purpose. Every character grows, fails, learns, and maximizes their potential as a solid character. There is no such thing as a “weak character” in this anime. It’s actually unbelievable how well written, well developed and well exposed every character is and how that justifies their existence. Not a single character feels extraneous or even annoying. It almost feels like every character has tragic hero qualities.
I LOOOOVVVVVVVVEEEEEE THIS ANIME!!!! It’s definitely on the same level as Toradora, Lovely Complex, Kimi ni Todoke, Clannad/Clannad: After story, Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, etc. It’s worth watching, re-watching, purchasing, and remembering. It was painful to watch, it was hilarious, it was bittersweet and underrated.
Notes: I did write this review a few weeks after watching it, but my feelings and perspectives towards it have not changed. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone looking for something unique and highly interesting. I’m not going to lie, you have to be a little mature to get some references and relate to it fully.
Japanese: NANA [ナナ]
MAL Score: 8.49
Nana Komatsu is a helpless, na?ve 20-year-old who easily falls in love and becomes dependent and clingy to those around her. Even though she nurses ambitious dreams of removing herself from her provincial roots and finding her true calling, she ends up traveling to Tokyo with the humble reason of chasing her current boyfriend Shouji Endo.
Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is a proud, enigmatic punk rock vocalist from a similarly rural background, who nurtures the desire to become a professional singer. Putting her career with a fairly popular band (and her passionate romance with one of its former members) firmly behind her, she boards the same train to Tokyo as Nana Komatsu.
Through a fateful encounter in their journey toward the metropolis, the young women with the same given name are brought together, sparking a chain of events which eventually result in them sharing an apartment. As their friendship deepens, the two attempt to support each other through thick and thin, their deeply intertwined lives filled with romance, music, challenges, and heartbreaks that will ultimately test their seemingly unbreakable bond.
These words are the introduction of the beautiful world of “Nana”. Ai Yazawa is probably the most convincing shoujo manga writer ever. With colourful, realistic characters, breathtaking events and just a pinch of music she creates a world in witch every girl can forget about reality and fall into the embrace of romantic fantasies.
One of the best things about “Nana” are the characters – we can actually see the reflection of ourselves in some of them and believe, that someone like that can really exist. This is proof that you can make a good anime without the conventional tsundere, moe or annoying childhood friend.
One thing I didn’t like though is Hachi’s personality. Her behaviour at times is despicable. Mainly because she has no ideals or dreams (except getting married witch is pretty boring compared to the rest of the characters).
The story is also one of Nana’s strong points. Ai Yazawa worked really hard on it, and did her best to create a realistic world so that the reader can almost become part of it and experience it emotionaly.
Even though the plot is a typical shoujo tearjerker (with a bit of music) it has that magical something that makes you cheer unconsciously for some characters and experience emotionally some events almost as strongly as the characters themselves. Another good thing about the story is that it exposes the hard, cruel reality, which has no happy endings and pure loves. Yazawa-sensei gives her characters a big imagination (especially Hachi) But the world they live in is just like ours.
As for the art, it wasn’t that impressive. It annoys me how all the characters are so thin and tall. Other that that I think the art matched the story pretty well. There were lots of details regarding shadows and highlights. That’s in order to underline the mood of certain moments, mainly in room 707.
Nana has one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard. The openings and endings were songs by the 2 fictional bands in the show, witch was a brilliant idea imo. Olivia Lufkin and Anna Tsuchiya fit the characters perfectly. Nothing much to add here: the music in Nana is brilliant. Period.
Overall, Nana is a must-see position for shoujo-fans. It tells us a lot about life, it’s hardships and also teaches us an important lesson about the mistakes, that we shouldn’t make.
This is my first review, so please don’t be hard on me 😉
For those of you who have watched your share of anime about love/relationships, I bet you could identify somehow with “Bokura ga Ita”, “Kimi ga Nozomu Eien” or “Kare Kano”. Or at least you felt connected with its characters. I have watched them all and know what I’m talking about.
Recently, I finally sat down and watched “Paradise Kiss”. It’s a short (12 episodes) anime that, to make it short, is about relationships and growing up. I was impressed by its maturity. The art style took a while to get used to, but afterwards I loved it. After watching it, I decided to watch “Nana”, which is by the same author and deals with similar issues.
“On board the train to Tokyo to meet her boyfriend Shoji, Nana Komatsu ("Hachi") happened to sit beside Nana Osaki who was traveling to Tokyo to fulfill her dreams of becoming a musician. The vocalist for her punk band "Blast", Nana aims for a major debut for "Blast" in Tokyo where her boyfriend, Ren, is the guitarist for a popular band "Trapnest". Sharing the same name "Nana", both girls quickly form a bond of friendship. Their paths cross again when they encounter each other while searching for accommodation in Tokyo. Eventually they decide to live together in the same unit and this further strengthens their bond as the two "Nana(s)" go through their love lives and career.” – AnimeNewsNetwork
I almost have no words to express how it made me feel. It’s amazing. Incredibly realistic and moving. I started watching it without knowing a thing about it (not even synopsis), though the title “Nana” sounded familiar as something popular among anime fans. The anime was broadcasted in 2006, lasting 47 episodes, but the manga first came out in Japan in 2000 and is still ongoing.
The concept itself isn’t anything too extraordinary. People living together, people falling in and out of love, people trying to make it in showbiz and other stuff. You could say it blends many overused ideas, then twists them around and reinvents them, transforming itself into a completely original and brilliant idea. And it contains romance, drama and comedy, but the transition between them is really well done, so it doesn’t feel weird.
What really makes “Nana” shine is the incredible character development. The evolution of each character’s personality and relationships with other characters. The things we watch them go through seem so real, like we’d probably make the same mistakes and choices as they did. No one is perfect – that’s a fact. We often think to ourselves “If I was [him], I wouldn’t have made that choice”, but the truth is we are lying to ourselves. We are insecure, emotional beings, that often ignore rational thought and make reckless decisions. “Nana” is so realistic that it’ll blow your mind away.
This is a long series, but it’s not hard to watch. In the first episodes, the action often switches between the actual time and many flashbacks, but they really are important to understand a character’s background. At some point you might get the feeling that they’re repeating the flashbacks, but don’t worry. This isn’t a filler-filled series.
In the end I felt that the story was really well told. But they leave you in a sort of cliffhanger… because the manga isn’t finished yet. But they made it more than obvious that at some point there’ll be a second season of Nana, so don’t worry. In fact, I loved watching this and the way it ended wasn’t too frustrating because I’d just experienced an awesome series.
The way the characters look might be a little hard to get used to (at least imo), but I really like the art style. I don’t think there’s anything too impressive or revolutionary about the visuals here… which is a good thing. I think the plot alone would be enough to hold the audience and maybe if they’d done something too extravagant visually (*cough* Air *cough*) the viewer would get sidetracked from the story itself. I think the animation was very fitting for the anime.
The animation studio is Madhouse, which was also responsible for “Beck”, “CardCaptor Sakura”, “Paradise Kiss”, “Death Note” and a bunch of others.
I watched the episodes with the original Japanese voice actors and English subtitles. As for the actors, I think they were perfect for their roles. KAORI gave her voice to Nana “Hachi”, which suited the character perfectly with the childish and girlish tone (but thankfully not an annoying high-pitched voice). For the tough rock singer Nana Osaki we have Romi Paku, who also voiced Edward Elric in Full Metal Alchemist. They knew that “Nana” would be an instant success, so they gave it a cast of famous actors and spared no expense.
At first this seems like an anime about music, but it doesn’t play that much of a part here. I mean, we hear lots of songs, but the story isn’t focused on showing us the making of the songs in detail. Compared to “Gravitation” or “Full Moon wo Sagashite”, music wasn’t as important here.
I loved the songs. The fictional bands’ songs are used as openings and endings. OLIVIA is the singing voice of Reira, and we hear many songs from her. My favourite was “A little pain”. It was the first Ending, and since each episode ended on a relatively sad tone, the song fit perfectly. When I heard the first words of the lyrics (“Travel to the moon…”) it almost made me want to cry.
As I’ve mentioned, the characters are the best thing about the anime. We get the chance to know a bit about each character’s history, motivations, thoughts and desires. They are so realistic that we just can’t help but being sucked in by them.
As the anime progresses, the characters gradually grow. This is a very “slice of life” genre of anime, so we watch them growing up. I love how they all interact and deal with their decisions. I love how they aren’t perfect… but as flawed as humans should be.
I loved this anime and it will definitely become one of my favorite series of all time. I feel like watching it again and again, but since it is 47 episodes long and makes me very emotional, maybe it’ll have to wait until I have more time.
I don’t feel like reading the manga for the sole reason that it is too damn long. If it weren’t for that, I would have already ordered all the volumes. But I gained new respect for the mangaka Ai Yazawa.
There are 2 live-action movies for “Nana”. I haven’t watched them yet, but will soon. I’m curious as to how they squeezed all that plot into 2 movies (I’d say they have enough material to make a whole 11 episode drama or maybe something even longer).
The anime will have a second season… I’m sure of that. But for that to happen, we’ll have to wait until the manga is finished. Hurry up!
Said lack of enthusiasm along with the fact that it’s a relatively long show directed by Morio Asaka aka that flowery director who’s so slow-paced in his storytelling that even the stuff of his I’ve actually liked ended up feeling underwhelming in the end, is the main reason I never watched Nana. But part of said reason was just that I wasn’t interested. I never even cared enough to learn what happens in the show other than the fact that it was about two women named Nana who become friends and deal with relationship issues. And as much as I like the Paradise Kiss anime, part of its appeal was that it was really short. Eleven episodes, which admittedly made manga fans a bit grumpy considering an important male character and some story details got shortchanged as a result, but if it meant less boredom caused by dead space, than I was all for it.
But even with the huge amount of summer anime I keep up with riding my ass like a sexual metaphor that I’m not going to elaborate on because it would be too nasty even for me, I had free time to surf Netflix for new shows to get into. And after my failure to get into the Netflix originals that I tried, along with browsing the anime selection and noticing Nana was on there, I decided it was as good a time as any to watch it and ended up finishing the show in less than two weeks. You have no idea how much free time I sacrificed regarding other activities I could have been doing – like finally playing Bioshock Infinite for one – to accomplish that, especially since I don’t actually love Nana. Not that I don’t think it’s good. It is. But if you were to ask me if I wanted to rewatch in the future, I’d just shove my Paradise Kiss DVDs in your face, and not because I managed to get those really hard-to-find DVDs for a relatively cheap price and want to brag about it. Not just because of that, anyways.
And yes, it is the pacing that’s the problem. I’m okay with taking a break in-between dramatic moments in order to set them up so that they’d actually have some impact, but not breaks that go on this long. The very first episode of the anime introduces our two twenty-year old protagonists, a happy go-lucky idiot named Nana Komatsu and a rock punk chick named Nana Osaki, by having them meet on a train during their move to Tokyo and end up becoming roommates due to various circumstances. I was expecting the next episode to showcase the two getting to know each other whilst revealing their motivations for moving to Tokyo in the first place, until I read the Netflix summaries and discovered that the next five episodes would flashback to their pasts in a “how we got here” sort of way meaning we wouldn’t get any meaningful interaction between them until half a one-cour series has passed. And to top it all off, they rehash the opening episode in Episode 6, which makes me wonder why you needed a prologue to begin with. I mean there’s hooking the audience and then there’s just baiting them with cookies for breakfast. It’s an extreme, but by no means the only example of this sort of pacing dragging the show down. Certainly not the worst example from the show either.
Not that the downtime is dull. It’s just pretty average. If you’ve seen one story about a quirky female trying to make friends and ends meet, then you’ve seen Nana’s light-hearted stretch of episodes. The only thing that makes it tolerable compared to most go-nowhere shoujo series is how despite Nana K trying her hardest to be independent, she’s completely dependent on others, which becomes increasingly problematic on the people surrounding her as well as herself throughout the series. This leads to a decently engaging climax ⅓ of the way through the series when said hypocrisy pushes her boyfriend towards another woman, but I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that I had just watched a romance movie that was the first part of a trilogy and stretched out to three times the length it needed to be.
It wasn’t until Nana O’s circle of friends, including the band of which her former boyfriend is a member of, shows up that the average-to-engaging ratio started to tip more towards the latter. But even then, it has its slow moments. Whilst I appreciate Nana for having buildup so that I could actually care for the “will they or won’t they” part of the story rather than act like a man in his forties who’s desperate to lose his virginity, I could have completed an entire workout routine in the time it took for the buildup to go somewhere whilst still having enough time to cook some meat afterwards.
The absolute nadir of the experience was with the story’s final arc, where after Nana K makes a mistake that causes her and everyone to face their own demons in a heart-wrenching string of episodes that rivals Kids on the Slope’s final stretch in terms of emotional intensity, the show then spends the next ten episodes trying to have the characters go on with their lives with each episode having about 3-5 minutes of compelling drama and 17-20 minutes of “whilst I like these characters, this doesn’t further the story in any real way” I know a bunch of people were sour on Kids on the Slope for skipping an entire volume of the manga – amongst other things – but please explain to me what showcasing the actual process of Kaoru moving on from wrecking his entire life would actually add. Sometimes, some things are best left to the imagination and you just need to end the thing right then and there.
And just to make things worse, nothing even comes out of all that buildup other than a reaffirmation and closure of old plot threads that whilst engaging, don’t really lend any sort finality to the show as a whole. Without giving too much away, there’s this weird and unnecessary use of time skip before it cuts back to the present with the characters just acting like they usually do, even when major events occur. And whilst a hard decision is made in said finale, said decision is undercut by the timeskip showing that everything is going to be alright in the future, rendering it completely pointless. It feels like the anime ended right in the middle of the story, and whilst I understand that Nana’s source material hasn’t concluded even to this day – although the chances we’ll ever get a conclusion from the author at this point are about as likely as Iggy Azalea ever being relevant again after her breakdown – you could have at least had made some sort of big deal out of things. At least achieve a small last-minute accomplishment? No? Alright then, but don’t expect me to read your manga in order to find out what happens next. Especially since there’s a certain car crash that happens later on that I think I’m better off pretending doesn’t exist.
Am I banging too much on how unnecessarily long I found this series? Well it’s the most unique thing I can say about it, because like me, even if you don’t know what happens plot-wise, I’d be very surprised if you didn’t have any idea what Nana was actually about. The whole story is somewhere between Beck Mongolian Chop Squad and a Seo Kouji manga in that the majority of the characters are working towards making it as a punk band whilst dealing with all sorts of heartbreak and truths regarding how complicated relationships can get. All the characters are adults and even the more assholish members of the cast are likable, which automatically makes Nana better than those works. And it doesn’t hurt that it focuses more on the latter than the former, which I prefer because my interest in the inner workings of how a band operates is virtually nil whilst my interest in the inner workings of how a relationship works is higher than the peak of Mount Olympus.
Whilst there are some weird plot contrivances to further the story along, complaining about that in a drama is like complaining they’re emotionally manipulative or comedies are funny. If you don’t like the very idea of them, then you shouldn’t be watching anything from the genre to begin with. You don’t see me watching Bollywood movies for a reason you know. And whilst some of the plot points are eerily reminiscent of Suzuka, they work here because the drama fires in all cylinders rather than play favoritism towards one weak direction. Everything that happens is a result of the characters’ personalities. Events that happen to one character also affects those around them, causing all involved parties to face themselves along with their circumstances. Nobody is a true bad guy, even when it’s clear that one side is more wrong than the other. Even the high school kid who demands money from the girls he sleeps with is a lot nicer in practice than he sounds right no–get out of that chat room! I swear he’s a decent guy…sort of.
And most of all, the romance and relationship stuff is ultimately just a tool for larger issues. Sure we’ve seen said issues addressed before: responsibility, personal luck, inner demons, etc. But those sorts of issues are never going to stop being relevant anytime soon, no matter what your age is. And as long as that remains true and they’re explored in a way that reminds us of said truth, I’m always going to find the stuff that Nana represents intriguing. That is why Nana continues to be remembered as one of the anime greats despite not being popular in this current generation of anime fans. Which makes it all the more frustrating that the show is to romance stories what Monster (sans conclusive ending despite the ambiguity of it all) is to crime stories.
As well-written, decent-looking (although Nana’s actual animation is pretty terrible), nicely dubbed, and overall enjoyable both Madhouse productions are, my desire to ever revisit them is severely tempered by their long lengths and the inevitable dead space and repetition that comes from this sort of serialized storytelling “should have been a movie” format. Maybe if the comedy during Nana’s lower-quality stretches was funny, the pacing wouldn’t have been so much of a problem. But all the jokes come from “How to write shoujo comedy 101”, which is about as funny as a kid from a PBS show throwing a tantrum during the middle of a Lifetime drama. Sure it sounds like a good laugh on paper, but so does page 67 of the Kama Sutra. And don’t blame me if your partner never wants to sleep with you again after that experience.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
2. NHK ni Youkoso!
3. Hachimitsu to Clover II
4. Ouran Koukou Host Club
5. Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven
6. School Rumble Ni Gakki
7. Kanon (2006)
8. Saiunkoku Monogatari
9. Tsubasa Chronicle 2nd Season
10. Aa! Megami-sama!: Sorezore no Tsubasa