They’re the best Anime that 2005 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Zipang, Fantastic Children, and more!
10: Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
English: Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
Japanese: ボボボーボ ボーボボ
MAL Score: 7.49
In a futuristic world, the Maruhage Empire is a militant organization out to steal everyone’s hair, and thus their freedom. But a brave man with an afro of gold and nose hairs of steel stands up against their tyranny. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, trained in the ways of hair, rescues a teenager named Beauty from the grunts of the Maruhage Empire. Together, they start on a journey to defeat Emperor Tsuru Tsurulina IV. As Bo-bobo meets new friends and battles foes along the way, so too does he begin his quest to save all the hairs of the world!
Light-hearted and comical, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo details a wacky adventure in which Bo-bobo and his companions fight all sorts of villains and deviants within the Maruhage Empire, all the while having a fun and exciting adventure.
Most of the time this anime doesnt make sense. And the ultimate story is pretty stupid. but like I said it suppose to be. Its like Scrubs to ER…or better example Reno 911 to COPS.
Its inane, everything in it is for pure humor. Its not suppose to make sense. So don’t judge it by its lame art story and characters. Because thats how its suppose to be.
I really thought the ending was something…completely unexpeceted…you must watch to find out..
a strange show following a gang of fighters rebeling against an tyranical army attempting to rid the world of hair. The characters are armed with the powers of nose hair, jelly, gas and lots of other things. there is very little sense to be had. Almost every main character acts in strange ways with even stranger powers.
If that sounds good to you then give it a watch. Its a hilarious and imaginative show.
If not then don’t watch it. It will give you headaches trying to stick with it.
nothing too revolutionary in terms of art and sound but nothing that will push anyone away.
the story is fun but lacks any real strong moments. most of it is just them going from bad guy to bad guy after every arc with no real goal. It is very fun watching it all if you don’t mind the lack of anything that makes sense.
most of the characters are fun,but none of them can really stand amoung the best and they have weak moments.
overall. fun for me but most sane people will be pushed away
Nose hair stands for everything that is deemed disgusting by society, but is still an important part of ourselves. By using his nose hair as a fighting tool against the Hair Hunters, Bo-bobo demonstrates acknowledging your faults and turning them into advantages. Great anime, great message, 10/10.
MAL Score: 7.51
Mirai, an improved Kongou-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, is one of the newest and most advanced ships in the entire Japanese Self Defense Force (SDF). Her crew, also one of the newest, is lead by Capt. Umezu Saburo and Executive Officer Kadomatsu Yosuke. While running scheduled training exercises one day, Mirai encounters a fierce storm that throws their navigation systems into temporary disarray. After a few minutes of recovery, the crew is shocked to discover that they’ve been transported back in time to June 4, 1942—The Battle of Midway, during World War II. Letting history take its course for this battle, they manage to avoid the conflict firsthand and make a vow to remain anonymous, changing history as little as possible. However, when the crew comes across the dying Lt. Commander Kusaka Takumi, XO. Kadomatsu’s instincts to save lives takes over, changing the course of history more than he could’ve imagined.
I personally want to give title “Cliffhanger” to this anime. Like 90% of the episodes ended up with a cliffhanger… Don’t get me wrong, I actually loved this. I kind of regret it aired before I started watching anime, because this anime had enormously huge variety of topics to discuss. Every episode was very different from the previous one and many turnarounds happened. I was sometimes even confused so who’s right and who’s wrong, who’s the ally and who’s the enemy… Great mind games (not as great as Code Geass and Death note tho) were played during the episodes and it was almost impossible to predict what will be their next move.
Basically this anime starts with 21st century’s battle ship leaving the port for some training exercises and encountering some sort of anomaly that sends them back in time to 1942 year (60 years ago). This was the time when Japan were in a war against USA. The next 26 episodes of this anime is how the whole crew struggles to avoid any contact with the people from those years so that they wouldn’t change the history.
However, can you actually avoid everyone when you are in the middle of a war? Obviously not…you need food, fuel and other things to survive… and this is were the fun begins… The battle ship from 21st century has such advanced weapons that are enough to destroy the whole USA army (it’s realistic, in 60 years weapons do advance that much). Moreover, they know the whole history of this war. In other words they know every movement of both Japan’s and USA’s armies and what were the turning points of war and just basically they were overpowered. However, they didn’t want to participate in this war at all, this was not their war, so this what makes the anime so great… Just how they try to avoid any minimal contact with anyone and what happens when they finally get spotted by both Americans and Japanese people…
The realism of this show was incredible if you don’t think about this “time travelling thing”. Zipang did a good job portraying the moral issues and how they were dealt with within the crew and their opponents/allies. However, those 26 episodes weren’t enough to finish the series. They ended up on another big cliffhanger. Of course, there is manga, but… the disappointment of not having a sequel is huge.
In-between well executed naval battles (who doesn’t want to see a modern Japanese warship take out several waves of American fighter planes, followed by their aircraft carrier?) you’ll be entertained by the machinations of the Imperial army and navy, as they try to figure out what the Mirai is, and what its mandate is. Is it a secret project of a rival country? Something from another branch of the Imperial military? Seeing 1940s-era warriors (many of them historical figures) grapple with such concepts as guided missles is both amusing and moving. Indeed, these weapons seem like godlike miracles from a fantasy world, and I’m sure we’d be similarly baffled by future technology from the year 2100.
While I can tolerate the merely adequate art, I ultimately found the story the most disappointing, specifically towards the end of the series. I felt a lot of questions were left unanswered (in a rather typical “life goes on” sort of way). There was little hint left as to what would happen, leaving the feeling that the series simply ran out of money and just opted to roll credits and pack up.
Ultimately, this is an anime designed for war geeks, although anyone with an appreciation for history will be intrigued by the moral issues dealt with by the cast, a group of characters who are interesting in their own right, but largely serve to fill the roles made by the historical debate. It is a solid concept that carries this series, though I imagine in more capable hands, this could have been a masterpiece.
The contrast between modern Japan and that of the 1940’s is stunning. It is a critical look Japan’s militaristic government at the time, at war in general, and at hard moral questions.
Although I feel the facial character designs could have been a little more realistic, they were refreshing in that they didn’t try to make everyone beautiful. The technical drawings of the ships, planes, uniforms, and weaponry is extraordinary. There were have bound to have been errors, but I didn’t notice anything glaring.
Its thoughtfulness and realism isn’t for everyone but it is one of my all time favorites. One word of warning, the final episode does not tie things up with a bow but leaves you wondering. There is a manga but I haven’t taken the time to track it down.
8: Fantastic Children
English: Fantastic Children
MAL Score: 7.53
A group of enigmatic white-haired children has been spotted at different times and places in Europe for over 500 years. Always with the appearance of 11-year-olds, they behave far more mature than they should be, never grow old, and seem to have supernatural power. What they have been seeking is a girl, and the only clue they have is a picture with a crescent moon. Now, in the year of 2012, an athletic boy named Tohma is about to be involved in this centuries-long mystery.
The beginning of the story is part mystery and part adventure, focusing on a group of half a dozen white haired kids making an appearance through out centuries seemingly without aging and the other time focusing on a kid called Thoma who meets some anti-social girl called Helga and a energetic boy called Chitto. I admit the story was a bit underwhelming at first but once the story unfolds in later episode, you’ll be hooked straight away, it turns into something quite epic and unique, there’s so many twist and turns and you’d just watch episode after episode and without even noticing it’s already over.
The art style can be a bit of a turn off for some people, they might even think this is a kids show but fear not this is quite mature even if the first few episodes are light-hearted they’re nothing compared to what happens next.
Anyway, as you get used to the art, it becomes more apparent that it’s done quite well, lots of attractive looking backgrounds and pretty solid animations.
The background music can really manipulate the emotions of certain scenes, they really help make pivotal moments in the story have more impact. The OP fit the series perfectly too bad I had to skip on occasion since I just really wanted to get on with the story, While the ED is sang by ORIGA the same singer who lent her voice for the majority of the GITS soundtrack.
How they made the connections with each character was great, most of the characters had a certain connection to the main plot, the importance of characters become unpredictable that you’d be shocked when the story finally reveals what their purpose are. Honestly every character was interesting and it was nice to see that they all had a part to play they weren’t just some random people thrown in together to make episodes last longer.
A lot of people would probably just ignore it after looking at the front picture alone, which is too bad because it’s a pretty damn good show with a unique and interesting plot along with a great cast and a solid OST, you might not like it as much as I did but I guarantee it’s definitely worth watching, it’s only real flaw is how lame the name is.
At first glance, this looks like some weird story about kids, targeted at kids. But don’t be fooled by the simple character design or the title. This series is actually quite intense, with a memorable and complex plot and good storytelling that will draw older viewers waiting with bated breath for what happens next. It is definitely not a series just for children.
The story revolves around a group of mysterious children who appear every once in a while throughout Europe. Who are they, where are they from, and why do they keep on reappearing? These are some of the questions that are being answered bit by bit throughout the series. At the same time, the story also follows another group of children who have run away from the local orphanage, and are searching for a place they want to go. At first, it seems that these two main plots have nothing to do with each other, but at the middle of the series, the two plots converge, and the viewer discovers that they are closely connected after all.
There are also a couple of sidestories with a few adults involving something almost supernatural. Although these sidestories seem off-track, they are related to the main plot in one way or another, and are tied together in the last few episodes.
The plot is fairly complex and quite involved, but not to a point where it’s confusing. The story is told in a way that it’s pretty understandable if you pay attention to it. The story is full of surprises, twists, and secrets that will keep the viewer guessing and wondering what happens next.
The tone of the series is mostly serious. But there is room for some bits of humour and lighthearted fun. There are also a few philosophical questions subtlely being looked at, such as what makes us who we are as humans, is it our souls or our current selves? In terms of love, there are many types being explored: romantic, family, friendships, unrequited, and broken.
Even though it doesn’t look like it at first, each character is connected to one another in one way or another, and that connection is revealed piece by piece throughout the series.
The Children of Belfort: This is the name given to seven mysterious white-haired, blue-eyed children who have appeared for 21 times in the last couple of centuries. They’d gather and run away from their homes when they turn 5, and never live past the age of 11. They search desperately for something before their time is up. The way they talk and act make them more like adults than children. At first, they seem cold and distant, and even perhaps malevonant. But as their stories and pasts are revealed, the viewer comes to feel compassion for them, and their mission. Each person has their own stories and own unique personalities that will touch the viewers’ hearts.
Dumas: The mysterious white-haired boy who appears a few times at the beginning of the series. Appearance-wise, he seems to be one of the Children of Belfort, but he doesn’t seem to be working with them. Who he is and his background story will be revealed later in the series.
Helga: She is an orphan who is kind, but seems to be always lonely. She keeps on drawing pictures of a mysterious place that she wants to go, and she would run away from the orphanage to search for the place in her memory. Her friend Chitto is determined to help her get there. At first she seems meek and timid and always in a daze, but as the series progresses, her inner strength is slowly unveiled.
Thoma: He grew up around the Islands, and knows them well. He meets Chitto and Helga by chance, and is drawn to help Helga get to the place she wants to go. He is a determined young boy who is open and shows emotions easily. Little does he know, he’s more closely connected to the Children of Belfort and Helga than he realises.
Dr. Gherta: She is the director and doctor of the mysterious and suspicious organization Ged Group. A brilliant scientist, she’s somewhat single-minded and almost obsessive with her project, which, for most of the series, is unclear and even almost malicious. But the viewer gradually sympathizes with her plight, especially towards the end when she has a few secrets of her own to unravel.
Detective Cooks: A detective who has been investigating the disappearance of these children, he got interested in them because his grandfather was involved with the children during his lifetime, and Cooks became curious of his grandfather’s findings. As more of a spectator, his sidestory gives the viewer some background information and history to the Children of Belfort.
All of the characters are pretty human, and although they main characters are only children, the circumstances that they’re involved in and how they react make them seem older, and thus even an older audience can relate to them. By the end of the series, the viewer is able to sympathize with all of the characters, even if at first they may seem unlikable or malicious.
The character design and art style is certainly unique, though not the prettiest; in fact, the designs could be said to be boring and quite simple. The children are designed more or less short and a bit stubby, and not a lot of details is given in the eye or hair area. The clothing design is also a bit boring, though it has a country-style flavour to it. However, the expressions for the characters are mostly well-done.
The background art is very beautiful, with lots of lush forests and unexplored islands. The setting has a sort of semi-tropical or Central/South American feel to it (the ruins of temples and statues remind me of the Aztec or Mayan ruins, but also has a sort of exotic island feel), or maybe with a dash of exotic Asian feeling too (with some of the statues looking a bit like Buddhist statues, and the colourful and busy marketplace of Middle East). The cities though, take on a more 19th century European flavour (even though the story is set in 2012), with cobble-stone streets and stocky buildings.
In general, the art is just different, and may take some getting used to. Instead of following the latest trend of shiny backgrounds, brightly coloured and detailed character designs, this series is going against the grain by looking back to the style of the older animes. The general colour palette of the series is kind of dark, with mostly grays and greens and blues, with a lot of scenes taking place during storms or at night; it’s not neccessarily drab, but it’s certainly not brightly coloured. There are a few exceptions with the scenes taking place in the forest on the islands, where the colours are contrasted sharply with the darker scences, using lots of bright greens and yellows. But I think this lack of shiny backgrounds and special effects, and simple character design does add to the sadness and longing feeling of the story. And rather focusing on the character designs (and fanservice), the simple art makes the viewer able to pay more attention to the story and character development.
The voices for this series is okay. It doesn’t really stand out anywhere, but it is mostly ear-pleasing and suitable for the characters. And most of the actors do a good enough job bringing out the emotions, especially towards the end, the viewers can almost feel the characters sorrow or joy.
The music is one of the strengths of this series. The opening song "Voyage" by Inori, is dramatic and uplifting, but also gentle and calming, a perfect opening for the series. It is also used as an insert song for one of the episodes, but with a slightly different arrangement, it’s slower, with piano and cello in the background, and adds a sense of sadness to the scene. The ending song, "Mizu no Madoromi" by ORIGA (who sang both of GiTS openings) is sad and nostalgic, as if longing for something, and very fitting to the theme of the series. I would definately recommend getting the opening and ending singles (it’s one of the best I’ve heard).
The background music uses a combination of piano, cello, and a bit of flute. The theme for the Belfort Children is very memorable (with piano and cello), and a bit sad, like the fate of these children. The only downside is that this theme is a bit overused, being played in almost every episode. Helga’s theme (which is mostly flute and cello) is also gentle and pretty, and suits her character well. The background music is mostly soft and sad, with a few upbeat songs for the tenser scenes. It uses raw traditional instrumental sounds rather then edited sound effects, which works well. And I’d recommend getting the OST "Memory of Greecia" as well.
The first half of the series takes place in the current world at the current time, mostly following the adventures of Helga, Thoma, and Chitto, as well as that of the Children of Belfort and the people around them. Then the next couple of episodes focus on the background story and history of the series. Then that last ten or so episodes brings the characters and sidestories from the beginning of the series and tie everything together.
The pace may seem a bit slow for those who are used to action right away and in every episode. Many of the episodes are used to tell the story and advance the plot, or explain the history and background rather than pure action. And because of the complex plot and how everything is weaved together, some parts of the plot may take some time to develop. But I found it interesting enough that it’s not a boring explaination, and it does help to understand the plot much better. And worry not, there are plenty of action interspersed throughout. Personally, I find the pace okay, it’s just that there’s so much to take in and explain that it takes time. I find the plot to be interesting, and not too confusing to understand, and it did leave me wanting to know more after every episode. And in the end, all of the questions that I wanted to ask have been answered, so I find the ending to be satisfying.
Overall, it is an enjoyable series, and I’d recommend it. In fact, I think this series needs more love and attention.
What do I think? I think it could have used a bigger animation budget and could have been cut down from 26 to 22 or even 20 episodes.
Animation is kind of low budget. Fantastic Children looks and feels like it was made in the ’80s. The color palette should have at least been more vibrant. I mean, sure, you have only so much money for your budget. But if you look at, say, Noir, or Requiem from the Darkness, they managed to have some interesting animation without spending a ton of money on it. What if everything looked like the paintings in the ED? OK, maybe that’s impractical, but it’s still possible to look interesting on a budget.
There is way too much time spent on shots of people just standing around, or extended close-ups of people looking surprised. There are a few things where a situation is first explained, then shown. It would have been better if it had just been shown. And, in general, the pacing is just a bit too slow for me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate Mushishi or Kino’s, but that’s not the style of this series. You can almost but not quite just skip a couple of the early episodes. Just don’t watch eps 1-10 when you feel like watching something where lots of stuff is happening.
There are a few pretty silly things. The guys with hats, for example. It’s also a bit disappointing how not all of the characters that a lot of time is spent with get to actually do much.
Voice acting is good. (The characters get intense towards the end, which is tough to do.) Some of the music, like in the last parts of ep 18, is alright too. (Yes I like the ep 18 Russian version of the ED better. So sue me.) The ED is mizu no madoromi, sung by Origa, by the way. But why oh why did they have to have some of the characters try to sing?
So is it worth watching? Does the ending deliver? Overall I’d give it a 7, which means worth watching but not worth buying, and I’d say it’s better than or but worse than or . The drama and action pick up continuously towards the end, so the second half is better than the first. If you haven’t seen, say, Gankutsuou, I’d suggest watching that before this, but Fantastic Children isn’t *bad* and I don’t regret watching it. The characters aren’t cardboard cutouts, and there’s not anything else like that to make me *dislike* it. There are just better series out there. I guess I’d suggest watching it if you like puzzle series and Final Fantasy. Especially Final Fantasy. I’d say it reminds me most of El Hazard the Magnificent World, minus comedy and with somewhat better characters and somewhat slower paced and a bit less coherent and most importantly minus the awesomeness of cat-based armor technology.
Well, I hope this review can help someone decide whether to watch Fantastic Children, but I somewhat doubt it.
7: Doraemon (2005)
Japanese: ドラえもん (2005)
MAL Score: 7.58
Doraemon (2005) is the most recent anime series based on Fujiko Fujio’s manga of the same name.
It is the 2005 version of 1979 series, with certain changes in the animation and other things.
Doraemon is a cat-like robot who appears in the present to steer Nobita/Noby, who is a dumb, naive and clumsy boy on the right path in order to secure his future. Nobita’s love interest is Shizuka Minamoto/Sue, his frenemies are Takeshi Goda/Big G and Suneo/Sneech.
Doraemon is a model for the anime of a slice of life. We all, regardless of our ages, will enjoy it. There is no need to break your head to find this masterpiece translated and arranged. Whether you start with the first episode or the third episode A, you will enjoy. If you do not like limited or lazy animation, Shin I Animation Studio has brought you a series of films with Great animation, and even if you love CJ, the studio has brought you one of the most budget films. In this anime, you’ll find parody ratio, fantastic realistic projections, noble messages, and tackling some social problems like the writer of One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100.
Here you will find carefully written characters and you will find thousands of models of them, especially inside the planet Japan, it is true that they are children, but not the innocent spoiled child who is successful in his studies. He loves his parents and hates violence as portrayed by the rest of the works, especially the American stool, which seeks to spread the nostalgia in children and portray them as the object that does not He must be hurt and must live in peace, peace and a beautiful environment so as not to hurt his feelings…. Some may think that Doraemon’s inventions are just Deus X machines to free Nobita after getting him in trouble, how is this Doraemon machines usually have a glitch and hundreds of episodes are over Nobita got involved without any solution.
دورايمون ليس أنمي أطفال بل كومة أفكار الراقية التي تنفع أي طفل، أي مراهق في حياته الإجتماعية من خلال الألاف الوضعيات التي على الأقل عاشها أي إنسان في مرحلة ما في عمره، مؤلف القصة عشت مع أنمياته طفولتي من خلال المخترع الصغير، مغامرات سنبل، و طبعا عبقور (دورايمون) الذي كنت أحبه، في بداياتي في متابعة الأنمي المترجم لم أنسى رفيق دربي في طفولتي فحاولت إكمال جميع الحلقات المترجمة عربيا أو فرنسيا والآن جئت هنا لإنتقاده.
دورايمون نموذج لأنمي شريحة من الحياة فكلنا ومهما كانت أعمارنا سنستمتع بع، لا داعي لتحطم رأسك لتجد هذه التحفة مترجمة ومرتبة فسواء بدأت بالحلقة الأولى أو الحلقة الثالثة ألف فستستمتع، إن كنت لا تحب الأنميشن المحدود أو الكسول فأستوديو شين آي أنميشن أحضر لك سلسلة من الأفلام ذات التحريك الرائع، وحتى لو تحب السي جي فقد أحضر لك الأستوديو واحد من أكثر الأفلام ميزانية، في هذا الأنمي ستجد نسبة بارودي و إسقاطات واقعية رائعة ورسالات نبيلة ومعالجة بعض المشاكل الإجتماعية مثل كاتب ون بانش مان وموب سايكو 100 .
هنا ستجد شخصيات مكتوبة بعناية وستجد منه الالاف من النماذج منها خاصة داخل كوكب اليابان، صحيح إنها أطفال لكن ليس الطفل البريئ المدلل الناجح في دراسته يحب والديه ويكره العنف كما تصوره بقية الاعمال خاصة البراز الامريكي الذي يسعى الى نشر نوسطالجيا عند الأطفال وتصويرهم ذلك الكائن الذي لا يجب أن يتأذى ويجب أن يعيش في سلم وسلام وبيئة جميلة كي لا تجرح مشاعره…. قد يرى البعض أن إختراعات دورايمون هي مجرد ألات ديوس اكس لتحرير نوبيتا بعد توريطه في المشاكل، كيف هذا فآلات دورايمون عادة ماتكون بها خلل ما والمئات من الحلقات إنتهت بتورط نوبيتا بدون أي حل.
Doraemon n’est pas un anime pour enfants mais un tas d’idées haut de gamme qui profitent à tout enfant, tout adolescent dans sa vie sociale à travers les milliers de situations qu’au moins tout être humain a vécues à un moment donné de sa vie, l’auteur de l’histoire I vécu avec son anime mon enfance à travers le petit inventeur, les aventures de Sunbul, et bien sûr Doraemon (Doraemon), que j’ai adoré, à mes débuts en suivant l’anime traduit, je n’ai pas oublié mon compagnon d’enfance, alors j’ai essayé de terminer tous les épisodes traduits en arabe ou en français, et maintenant je suis venu ici pour le critiquer.
Doraemon est un modèle pour l’anime d’une tranche de vie. Nous tous, quel que soit notre âge, en profiterons. Nul besoin de se casser la tête pour trouver ce chef-d’œuvre traduit et arrangé. Que vous commenciez par le premier épisode ou le troisième épisode A, vous vous régalerez. Si vous n’aimez pas l’animation limitée ou paresseuse, Shin I Animation Studio vous a proposé une série de films avec une excellente animation, et même si vous aimez CJ, le studio vous a apporté l’un des films les plus économiques. Dans cet anime, vous trouverez un ratio de parodie, des projections réalistes fantastiques, des messages nobles et la résolution de certains problèmes sociaux comme l’auteur de One Punch Man et Mob Psycho 100.
Ici vous trouverez des personnages écrits avec soin et vous en trouverez des milliers de modèles, surtout à l’intérieur de la planète Japon, il est vrai que ce sont des enfants, mais pas l’enfant gâté innocent qui réussit dans ses études. Il aime ses parents et déteste la violence telle que dépeinte par le reste des œuvres, en particulier le tabouret américain, qui cherche à répandre la nostalgie chez les enfants et à les présenter comme l’objet qui ne le fait pas Il doit être blessé et doit vivre dans la paix, la paix et un bel environnement pour ne pas blesser ses sentiments… Certains peuvent penser que les inventions de Doraemon ne sont que des machines Deus X pour libérer Nobita après lui avoir causé des ennuis, comment se fait-il que les machines Doraemon ont généralement un problème et des centaines d’épisodes sont terminés Nobita s’est impliqué sans aucune solution.
ドラえもんは、スライス オブ ライフ アニメのモデルです。年齢問わず、みんなで楽しみます。この傑作が翻訳されアレンジされているのを見つけるのに頭を悩ませる必要はありません。第1話から始めても第3話Aから始めても楽しめます。限られたアニメーションや怠惰なアニメーションが気に入らない場合は、Shin I Animation Studio が素晴らしいアニメーションの一連の映画を提供しています。このアニメでは、パロディの比率、幻想的でリアルなプロジェクション、高貴なメッセージ、そしてワンパンマンやモブサイコ100の作者のような社会問題への取り組みが見られます.
ここでは、注意深く書かれたキャラクターを見つけることができます。特に、この惑星日本では、彼らが子供であるのは事実ですが、勉強に成功した無邪気な甘やかされた子供ではありません。彼は両親を愛し、残りの作品、特に子供たちに郷愁を広めようとするアメリカの椅子に描かれている暴力を憎み、傷つけられないものとして描写しようとしています 彼は傷つく必要があり、平和、平和、平和のうちに生きなければなりません。彼の気持ちを傷つけないように美しい環境…. ドラえもんの発明は、トラブルに巻き込まれたノビタを解放するためのデウス X マシンに過ぎないと考える人もいるかもしれません。何の解決もなく巻き込まれました。
Speaking about soundtracks, there are many catchy tunes that became the filler song in the series, however, among them, “Friend of the Heart” would be my top favorite, regarded having a funny lyric aside from a fun melody.
It is a series that would be highly recommended for you who like to spend time with your children and having them to learn simple Japanese.
6: Noein: Mou Hitori no Kimi e
English: Noein: to your other self
Japanese: ノエイン もうひとりの君へ
MAL Score: 7.60
During their last summer of elementary school, four friends decide to undertake a test of courage at their local graveyard. Before the test begins, Haruka Kaminogi makes a last effort to pull Yuu Gotou away from his controlling mother. While doing so, Haruka suddenly has a strange vision of blue snow followed by the appearance of an imposing silver-haired man. Later, a similar vision occurs at the graveyard to both Haruka and her friends before they try to escape what they assume are ghosts.
Unbeknownst to the children, the people who appeared before them are Dragon Soldiers: an elite military group from a dimension known as La’cryma. The soldiers have traveled to this dimension to secure the “Dragon Torque”—an entity they believe to be their last hope for survival. However, both the Dragon Soldiers and Haruka are shocked to learn that the Dragon Torque is Haruka herself. She attempts to escape from the Dragon Soldiers as she finds her own last ray of hope—the strange silver-haired man who claims to be another version of Yuu himself.
Most of all, what I truly respected in this series was its character-driven action, as opposed to plot-driven action. The characters were so fleshed out and their relationships and backgrounds so completely delved into, I had grown to feel like they were real people I knew. This was further effective in the juxtaposition that was utilized between future and present selves of these characters (which I will refrain from spoiling further about). The development of relationships between and of the numerous characters in this series, Yuu most of all, was unimaginably compelling and convincing, giving the series an overall true feeling of completion and purpose.
Haruka, most of all, pulled me into the series more and more with the further displays of her distinctive features. Having the ferocity and absolute concern of Hermione from Harry Potter, and the curiosity and strength of Lyra of The Golden Compass, the pleasant down-to-earth character of Haruka was one that you would simply be honored to be friends with. Despite her rough upbringing, her inner strength and selflessness were clear and well-presented in a realistic manner. Yuu, too, was a realistic character suffering from a harsh upbringing and from the effects of strained familial relationships. The relationship found between Yuu and Haruka, and their development, is what I truly believe to be the defining point of this series.
The story, too, gives this series what I believe its distinctness and genius. Carrying across a story filled with Quantum Mechanics, and a great deal of everyday storytelling in a little town in this mix, I believe that the timespaces and parallel universes shown in this series to be an absolutely interesting and entertaining interpretation of Quantum Physics and many of its theories. The unique settings and conflicts only help to improve upon this story.
The only problem I had with the story was the sometimes slow pace of it in the middle of the series. Whereas a lot of information and details given were important, I believed that if I wasn’t motivated enough to finish the series, I might have stopped just because of that slowness.
In terms of art and sound, I believe that Noein also delivers. The art was particularly special (even though there were some parts I believe the CGI to be sort of distracting) with its mix of CGI and line art, and the classical music used was clearly appropriate.
Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable, if not the most, anime series I’ve ever watched. If given the opportunity to watch this series, I suggest and strongly recommend to not let it pass.
Story – 8
I found the story in Noein to be very entertaining, maybe thats because I just love the concept of separate dimensions, different futures with time, and quantum theories in general. This anime revolves a lot around that, and it does it quite well.
Art – 7
The art style is fairly nice, at first its kind of like "man, this stuff looks quite sloppy" but once you learn the purpose of the drawing style you will understand. I found some of the house models to be a bit too FMVish at times, but they did blend in really well.
Sound – 9
The soundtrack of Noein is really good. The music goes in well with whats going on screen, and it blends into the anime really well. Sound effects weren’t bad, and voices weren’t too low, just right.
Character – 10
Character development in Noein is really good, in order not to spoil a single thing, thats all I can really say.
Enjoyment – 10
Noein really had me sucked in the entire series, and I really feel bad for the people who watched this anime weekly. If you’re a sci-fi lover who likes different time-space dimensions chances are you’ll love Noein. If you’re someone who likes good action with a good storyline to support it, chances are you’ll love Noein. If you’re someone who likes character growth and watching characters change due to the storyline, chances are you’ll like Noein.
Overall I slap a 9 onto this anime. It has its moments, and its definitely worth a look into if you fit into any of the categories above.
Noein definitely has a unique look to it, albeit one that’s fraught with inconsistency. The character designs are far from typical, being thinner and slightly more realistically proportioned than the norm. Although it eventually becomes clear that action was not intended to be the core of the series, the animation does have some strong moments, and, particularly in the first half, there’s no shortage of creative futuristic combat. It’s also a CGI-heavy show, with the invading ships from Shangri-La as well as many of the backgrounds being the most noticeable examples. The CGI looks good in general, but there are some painful hiccups. In particular, the model for Haruka’s house sticks out like a sore thumb. In fact, it’s pretty clear that visual quality control is a big issue across the board for Noein—when everything’s working and the show is at its best, it looks fantastic, but the art quality varies on an almost minute-to-minute basis, and at its worst, it looks absolutely dreadful. When I think of the show’s lovely backgrounds and its unusual use of deep, electric reds and blues in its color palette, I want to sing its praises…but then I recall a couple of action sequences that are reduced to stuttering gray messes by lapses in art and animation, and a multitude of moments where the character designs fall noticeably in quality, and it makes me think twice.
The music is acceptable, though lacking finesse. Noein’s plot is an amalgamation of everyday content (like going to school and messing around with friends) and epic sci-fi content (like preventing the universe from disappearing), and the soundtrack strains to accommodate both of these aspects. The former is usually accompanied by tracks in which a recorder is used as the lead instrument, providing a distinctly childish and carefree sound that works well in this context. The more serious content is normally paired with fast-paced orchestral songs and chanted vocals. Both sides of the soundtrack are guilty of going a little over the top at times, and none of the individual songs are particularly memorable, but within the show the score suffices to build the mood.
When it comes to audio track language, I’d choose whatever your preference is, as they’re both more than passable. The English dub contains a nice array of veteran voice actors. Crispin Freeman in particular sounds right at home as the haunted Karasu, his voice carrying his trademark dark edge of emotion and power, but that’s not to leave some others out—Richard Epcar lends a genuinely creepy touch to Noein’s booming, disembodied voice, and Melissa Fahn plays Haruka with conviction. Some secondary characters are not handled quite as well, with some unnatural sounding line deliveries being present. The dub’s script also inexplicably changes a supporting cast member’s gender from male to female, though that’s more of a head-scratcher than a genuine problem. Overall, it’s a very serviceable dub. The Japanese audio doesn’t have a single hiccup that I can note, and if forced to choose at gunpoint I’d probably say that it’s the better track, but it’s a close enough race that you should be fine whether you go with the sub or the dub.
Despite all of the elements of sci-fi and action, it’s evident that character drama is a little closer to the heart of the series. The main cast consists of Haruka, Yuu, and Karasu (who is Yuu, fifteen years in the future). Haruka is the kind of protagonist that’s easy to get behind—kind, level-headed, trustworthy and above all, balanced, not leaning towards any extreme. She’s a pretty open book, not written with a whole lot of complexity, but she projects enough likeability and believability to scrape by with a pass from me. The same can’t be said of the male lead, Yuu, who is neither complexly written nor likeable. He spends most of the series switching schizophrenically between impotently wallowing in self-pity, and courageously risking his life to try to protect Haruka, and his changes in mood aren’t very tactful—you never really know if the Yuu onscreen is the brave, devoted Yuu or the woe-is-me Yuu. Even worse, we don’t know anything about his motivation for going to such great lengths to protect Haruka. A few flashbacks show that the two were childhood friends, but it’s not elaborated on to any significant degree; the show presents their history in the visual equivalent of about three sentences, which makes it tough to give them a lot of thought as a couple, much less the couple that is supposed to be the centerpiece of the show.
Much to its detriment, Noein also has a colossal number of supporting characters. It has a habit of casting one of them into the spotlight for a portion of an episode, then discarding them and never mentioning them or the importance of their actions again. The show struggles to explain even the basic motivations of some of the characters—we never do learn what exactly drives antagonist Atori’s deep hatred of Karasu, why the kids’ elementary school teacher is cool with their dangerous encounters with futuristic beings, or the purpose of the awkwardly introduced love triangle between three members of the Dragon Cavalry. Most of these characters’ pasts and personalities ultimately end up being explained away with a brief flashback detailing a traumatic moment in their lives, and there’s simply no excuse for that. The cast could have been halved, and not only would the series not lose anything, it would probably be better off.
The story, while good on paper, ends up dragging on, and on, and on. I watched intently, but to be honest, that was completely unwarranted; I could probably have slept through a third of the series and still understood the overarching plot, which says a lot about the lack of stringency in the writing. Much as with the characters, the sheer number of subplots that have, at best, a tenuous connection to the story is rather staggering. The show is dangerously lacking in focus, and to quantify that statement a little, I’ll point out that Noein contains no less than two doomsday plots and four love stories, which are all occurring simultaneously in three different dimensions. Sadly, all of those dimensions feel like empty stages rather than worlds worth caring about. In theory, it could be done, but it’s a tall order that the writers here just couldn’t fill, and Noein all but implodes under the workload. The story still has enough interesting content and continuity to be deemed acceptable, but the way that it’s organized and presented is decidedly less than good. Perhaps the worst side effect of this is that some great ideas end up getting buried. I think that a character drama in which children encounter their future selves is a superb concept, but many of the cast’s “future selves” end up being throwaways—one small aspect of a massive conglomeration of plots.
To give credit where it’s due, I actually think that, taken as a whole, Noein is a little bit closer to succeeding than it is to completely failing, and given the amount of elements that it tries to patch together, that’s a pretty big compliment. By all indications, Noein should be an utter disaster, but it isn’t. It’s just not everything that it could have been. In addition, the show feels genuine, and while that’s a pretty vague thing to say, I have to imagine that it counts for something. Though it doesn’t stand up very well to close inspection, Noein has real heart, a lot of outward likeability, and a lot of ambition. It might be a bit of a mess, but it’s definitely not lacking in creativity or artistic vision, and it has at least a couple of powerful moments. So if any aspect of the show interests you, I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and try out a couple of episodes. If you end up disliking it, at least you’ll have satisfied your curiosity, and there’s always the chance you might get more out of it than I did.
5: Aria the Animation
English: Aria the Animation
Japanese: ARIA The ANIMATION
MAL Score: 7.68
Drift peacefully into Neo Venezia, a city on the planet Aqua (formerly known as Mars). By the 24th century, humans have found a way to colonize the previously uninhabitable planet. As futuristic as that sounds, Neo Venezia is still teeming with rustic beauty; gondolas on wide canals and waterways are the main mode of transportation. The city itself is a faithful replication of Manhome’s (the planet formerly known as Earth) Venice.
To make sure that residents and tourists alike get the most from Neo Venezia’s many wonders, companies offering guided tours via gondola were formed, one of which is named Aria Company.
This is the workplace of Akari Mizunashi, a free spirited teenager from Manhome who is now a novice Undine (the title given to tour guides). Join Akari as she becomes intimately acquainted with other Undine, tourists, Neo Venezia’s residents, and even the city itself, learning many valuable life lessons along the way, such as the wonderful truth that there are such things as manmade miracles.
I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show. The synopsis didn’t really give any clues as to what I should expect, and that is probably the best thing about it – it isn’t quite what you expect.
The story takes place on what used to be Mars (the first thing I didn’t expect), in a place called Neo-Venzia (New Venice), and is about a girl training to be an Undine (the story uses the term to refer to a female gondolier rather than a water spirit). The story itself isn’t linear in any way, as each episode is a story in it’s own right. Normally this is a recipe for disaster in the anime world, but it works in this show – I’ll explain why in a bit.
The art and animation are of a very high standard, and the city and it’s surroundings are beautifully rendered – and you will see a lot of the city in this show. The characters are very well depicted, even when they show their chibi side, and the best bit is there’s not a panty shot in sight – hooray!
The sound is one area where this show excels. Everything is there if you listen, from the sound of the waves to the hubbub of of a crowd. The music is ideally suited to the show and, unlike many anime, actually heightens the viewing experience.
The characters are extremely well realised. I can’t think of one character I actually disliked in the entire show. One of the things I liked about the show was how each character actually fits into the story, and the world in which they exist – even the cats have a purpose. One of the other things I liked was the use of fairytale and mythological creatures in the show. The females gondoliers are referred to as Undines, with the top three being called the Great Fairies. The weather is controlled by salamanders, the gravity is controlled by gnomes, etc. One thing that puzzled me was why the female characters names begin with A (except Grandma, however her real name is Akino), but that’s by-the-by.
So the important question is: Will you enjoy the show?
If you’re an action junkie, or into horror or angst, then this is not the show for you (although it never hurts to give it a try). This show is funny and quirky in many ways, without going over the top, but the one word I would use to describe the show is RELAX. It took me two weeks to finish this show and it’s sequel (which is a long time for me by the way), and this is because this show is so relaxing that I was falling asleep whilst watching it. Normally it takes a lot for me to fall asleep, and even boredom doesn’t work, but somehow this show just relaxes you to the point where you just drift off to dreamland without a second thought, and never once was I bored with this show.
Overall this is a show that deserves to be watched, as it has a unique appeal that the like’s of Sketchbook ~full colour’S~ and Kokoro Toshokan just can’t quite match up to. The reason why the non-linear story works well in this show is because it’s so relaxing that you honestly just don’t care about the fact there’s no real plot – which is a rather refreshing perspective to have.
The best way to watch the show? Have a shower, have a good meal, get comfortable, and relax…
Aria the Animation is not for you, who prefers a clear cut and classically constructed storyline that moves from point A to point B with some key events in between. Aria the Animation is not for you, who requires relentless action and constant fast-paced happenings from their anime. And most certainly Aria the Animation is not for you, who finds little to no enjoyment in just sitting back and watching as a close-knit group of girls, not in their bra and panties with guns ablaze, but with their gondolas and oars go through ordinary day-to-day activities instead of epic adventures and intense situations.
But on the good chance you are the type to approach your anime with an open mind and the patience to watch and see the magic in the moment, you are likely to find the company of Akari, Aika, Alice, and the rest of the undines and undines-in-training much to your liking. Because that’s what Aria the Animation is ultimately about: a journey to uncover the joy of the obvious, the excitement behind the mundane, and the possibilities underneath the sorrows.
These scenarios are played out to us by a cast of characters who depict a variety of different personalities. Akari is the naive amateur who treats all she experiences with childlike wonder; through her most of the show’s message is brought across to the viewer. . Aika is her best friend and almost her exact opposite: no-nonsense and feet firmly on the ground-kind of girl who constantly berates Akari for her dreamy ways. And Alicia is their mentor and the big sister-type of character, who’s there to provide insight and help the juniors along the way. They’re surrounded by a pack of friends who similarly have their quirks and qualities defining them and making their role contributing to what the creator is trying to tell us.
You’re right if you argue that the story is boring and seemingly pointless at times. Saying the characters being archetypes of their respective personalities (and almost exclusively female as well!) is cliche and overused is valid. Complaining that having cats as business company presidents is just plain stupid and ridiculous is justified.
But as one who no doubt has already seen quite a bit of anime in their life, you have for sure come across these common failings before. And in case you’ve reached the point of having made peace with them, or feel like challenging yourself to do so, Aria the Animation may prove to be an eye-opening experience for you that anime can be good even if no heavens are pierced.
From what I saw, I’m sure it will.
The first idea I wanted to share in this review is that Aria is a series that speaks for itself. What I’m doing here is merely trying to explain a complex story within a few lines. I would never be able to summarize all the pros/cons of Aria, first because each person will see it in a deferent way, and second because you would need to watch it in order to understand all the comparisons, metaphores and symbolism I would mention.
That said, I’m reviewing it with the sole purpose of bringing more viewers for this amazing chronicle and hopefully introduce more and more people to Aqua and its habitants.
Aria is an anime that everybody should watch, still, it’s not an anime that will work for everybody. Whether or not you will enjoy it, is up to you, your personal interpretation and the mood of the moment. I would say that what matters the most is the timing. If you watch it while in the mood for a thriller, you’ll drop it even before understanding the idea of the story.
“Now, please take my hand”
Is what you would heard from a radiant Undiine while boarding her gondola. With a gentle smile she would gracefully ask you where to and start conducing you trought Neo-Venezia, a city modeled after Venezia in Man-Home (Earth). She would show you turistic spots and you’d start to notice that even being in 2053 the city moves slowly, without traffic jams, rush hour, polution, cellphones, noise pollution… The only evidences that you are really in the XXII century would be the spaceships that are continually transporting passangers from one planet to another. This relaxed athmosphere would start to embrace you while the Undiine continue to show you wonders and misteries from this planet that were once dry and empty and is now filled with water and life.
It’s impossible to not enjoy such cozy enviroment.
Every episode is a kind of fairy tale, filled with cultural values and a sense of friendship, always coming up with a poetic moral in the end. Aria stands out from the average and prove us that the essence of the Slice-Of-Life is not dead. Characters can be lovely and elegant without being “moe”. All the great stories in human history never needed movies or TV series to be remembered, they passed from generation to generation depending only in the power of words and its storyteller. Aria didn’t have a high budget, neither big sponsors, so the quality of the animation could never be compared to a “top” studio, even though, the artwork values itself from this modest simplicity, that even with a medium quality, brings you gorgeous scenarios and handsome characters.
At this point you probably already noticed that Aria raise some questions a regular slice-of-life doesn’t. This is only possible because of two main reasons: The already mentioned storyline progression, that works with a character-driven story and a “not-so-linear” time progression, and the well said characters.
Usually what you see is a cast made of a group of high schoolers in a school enviroment, 99% of the slice-of-life stories are like this. Not saying they are bad, but it only provides a unilateral point of view from a given subject. Of course each character, if well planned, will have a difference in personality and see things in a different way, otherwise it would get boring to watch. Aria on the other hand change things in a “macro” way, and brings a entire community as characters. Works with different generations and people with the most different styles of life and personality traces, bringing to you a much more rich story that resemble our lifes.
It stays apparent whenever or not a studio made an effort to create something special when one of the basic points of a series steals the show. Financial issues or other external factors can put a “barrier” to graphics, effects, art, post-production development, but sound is relatively free from it. Music can be made by anyone, anywhere. Anonymous people can create masterpieces, and some kid can be playing right now a perfect cover of Beethoven. Why am I saying this?
Because Aria’s music deserve to be praised. Wonderful acoustic pieces by Choro Club and Senoo was the perfect match for the enviroment of the series. The entire OST is performed with string instruments (even a rhodes) without any kind of pop song or eletronic. The songs are slow paced, almost hitting a andante and sometimes a vivace, while the vocal collection are mostly ballads. It’s undoubtedly the best choice of OST for a story with the values of Aria.
Can you fell the nostalgia already?
Aria made something special here.
I wish not enter in the merit of originality but it is perceptible that after its publication, lots of other franchises started producing series which bended more to this side of a philosophical slice-of-life with tones of self-discovery on it. One could say the strenght of this series lies into two major standards. The fact that we all wish for hapiness and a calm life, and the philosophic notion that this happiness and this ability to see the wonder in things is already inside of us. You just need to find it.
Being honest, I don’t really mind that Aria is little of a underrated series. If it’s like this, the amount of haters are minimal, there’s no controversy around it, neither people arguing to see “which is the best character”. The way it is, Aria will continue to be slowly recommended from friends to friends, just like in the pace of the anime itself.
As for enjoyment, it sure hits the maximum score. Without any action scene or a suddenly twists in the plot, Aria still managed to amuse me every single episode. There’s no way I would watch one episode and don’t feel refreshed, all warm and fuzzy inside. Meaning-of-life anime? This is definitely one.
I probably went full-philosophic in the last paragraphs, then for a closure to this review, a funny observation:
Aria is not perfect. There’s something pretty annoying on it, that will chase you from the 1st episode to the last of the 3rd season (…) 99% of the characters’ names and/or last names starts with “A”. Aqua, Aria, Akari, Alice, Alicia, Aika, Akira, Athena, Ai, Al, Anna, Akatsuki…
It’s pretty hard to memorize who is who before you get used to them!
I hope I was able to introduce at least a little bit of this great story that is Aria. Now, the rest is up to you.
“Thank you for choosing Aria Company. Have a safe trip! See you again!”
4: Doraemon (1979)
MAL Score: 7.72
Nobita Nobi is a normal fourth grade student. This all changes, however, when a blue robotic cat appears from his desk drawer. Calling himself Doraemon, this robot tells Nobita that his future descendants from the 22nd century live in poverty because of all the mistakes he made. Therefore, they have sent Doraemon to serve as a guide and mentor to Nobita, so that their future may change for the better. What Doraemon comes to learn, though, is that Nobita is the weakest and laziest student in the whole school.
To assist in his quest, Doraemon has a four-dimensional pocket with him, in which he keeps various machines and gadgets from the future. Unfortunately, these often result in even more trouble for Nobita. Will Doraemon really be able to achieve his mission of changing Nobita, or will he remain as he is?
To begin, as much as you wish to believe that Doraemon is about a ne’er do well named Nobita and how his life changed for good from the arrival of Doraemon, the plot of Doraemon actually revolves around the fact that Nobita is a boy suffering from a severe mental disability, and all of the characters, including Doraemon, are the product of his imagination. In real life, Nobita would be a little boy on his deathbed who imagined the entire series in order to keep himself entertained and to ease his pain and depression.
From this perspective, the entire series of Doraemon now becomes a series about the different sensations of human life that the little boy would’ve felt had he not fallen into a mental disability. Every time Nobita becomes depressed in the story because he was bullied by Gian or Suneo, he is probably suffering pain from his mental disease; Gian and Suneo are simply the manifestation of his illness. Every gadget Doraemon pulls out of his pouch in order to save Nobita is a manifestation of something in real life used to relieve him of his pain; or rather, it may be the surgical tools of a doctor, since sometimes the gadgets cause him pain if Nobita goes overboard with them.
The settings also provide concrete evidence to the truth behind the series. The mental capabilities of a child is much greater than that of an adult, yet it is not all powerful; it is not able to create objects that he has never seen. Therefore we see that the neighborhood inside Nobita’s imagination is very small, with a sparse number of houses and even more sparse the types of people that can be met. For example, we can only see Japanese people in the neighborhood, there is hardly any foreigners. Furthermore, when Nobita is walking around, we almost always only see blank walls, side-walks, and telephone poles; when Nobita is flying, we can only see the clouds in the sky and numerous trees and houses, with many of the same structural build-up. There are hardly any miscellaneous people or things walking around, in accordance with the fact that Nobita’s imagination can only support what it considers as important.
Now, a little bit about the series itself. At this point, if you continue to believe that Doraemon is about how Nobita’s life changed for the better because of the arrival of Doraemon, you will continue to enjoy Doraemon only as a remnant of a great series of memories, and possibly, a great childhood. However, considering the complexities of the plot as analyzed, Doraemon is actually a chilling insight to how the mind will react when driven to extremities of solitude. It is painful to consider how lonely and hopeless it must be for a child on his sickbed without being looked after by a friend, and possibly abandoned by his family for good. With this in mind, the boy now proceeds to indulge in escapism in order to run away from all of the emotional and physical pain that he is experiencing. We laugh at how silly it is, and gaze in wonder at the impressive gadgets that Doraemon can pull out of his pouch, yet behind the facade of happiness and wonder, behind the cover of the moral lessons, behind the desire and personality of an ordinary school boy, there exists a background of such darkness, such that in rereading the series, one cannot help but wonder at how strong a fortitude a child can possess.
Nobita’s friends are also very important in finding just what exactly the series is trying to do. In the beginning, we know that Nobita is very interested in marrying Shizuka, but becomes very agitated when he learns from his great-grandson that he instead marries Jaiko, Jaian’s little sister. Therefore, immediately in the second episode, he tries to change his fate by imagining himself traveling to the future and then… [I will not write a spoiler]
The changes that Nobita makes because of the arrival of Doraemon gives us a clue that Nobita indeed hasn’t given up hope of his recovery, and wishes to live long enough to give birth to the next generation. However, the fact that Nobita never changes the present from his imaginary excursions with Doraemon to the past and the fact that his own manifestation in his imagination reveals that Nobita accepts the fact he cannot change his sickly body, and is not afraid to face his circumstances head on. A line from the original opening of Doraemon:
How wonderful this is,
if only it would come true.
This dream, that dream,
so many of them.
but really, this is a good anime that teaches children lessons, and probably a classic if you enjoy classics. It’s a long anime, sure, but worth it. Every episode is completely stand alone, and easy to pick up, easy to put down without being confused because there really is no story in each of them.
3: 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.
English: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
MAL Score: 8.16
In the year 5053, French aristocrats Viscount Albert de Morcerf and Baron Franz d’Epinay attend the festival of Carnival on the moon city of Luna. While Franz is just looking to have fun, Albert is seeking something more to fill his life—but he finds more than he bargained for in The Count of Monte Cristo, a mysterious and charming self-made nobleman who meets his gaze during an opera performance.
Through a few twists and turns, Albert befriends the Count and introduces him into French society. The Count, however, has more on his mind than just friendship; he plots to finally unleash his vengeance on those who wronged him years earlier. Gankutsuou follows Albert and the Count’s intertwined destinies and the ultimate price paid for enacting revenge.
In most reviews I’d start with perhaps the characters or the story, but now I must truly start with the art. The art itself was disorientating to me at first, I looked at it and found it hard to concentrate too long on the screen, things blended together so well that at times I found it hard to believe the entire scenery wasn’t part of the character I was watching. But after the first few episodes the art was something else altogether, it seemed to take a new life. I watched it and was captivated by it, at times I even had to rewind because I had missed several lines of text because I couldn’t tear myself away from it all. The art simply leaps off the screen and at first it may seem a little jarring but eventually you’ll ever wonder why you questioned the design of it all. While the art itself is beautiful there are some places it lacks, although the rest more than makes up for it. Some of the characters I found to be too plain in certain situations, however it was a miniscule thought, it did not detract from the visual experience of the show in the least.
Now for the proverbial meat of it all, story. The anime is a loose adaptation of, what is called by some, the greatest story of revenge ever told. Coming in to that there are many expectations that must be lived up to in order for this story to truly hold it’s own and it lives up to them beautifully.
As I stated the drive of the story is revenge, everything else within it are simply unfortunate souls that get caught up in the bloody, sadistic revenge of the man known as the Count of Monte Cristo. But although The Count is what the story revolves around it is told from the perspective of the naïve, and often downright foolish, Albert Morcerf. The story begins with a meeting of destiny between our protagonist Albert and someone I can’t quite call an antagonist, The Count. With his charming words, devilish smile and warm eyes he quickly wins his way into our naïve Albert’s heart and becomes an important figure in the boys life. He continues to pursue his friendship with The Count despite the nagging of the, obviously smarter, Franz Epinay, Albert’s best friend. As the story continues the happiness of our hero is bombarded by the darkness and despair brought about by circumstances that might have been prevented.
Story is everything for an anime such as this, if you lack it you’ll produce a piss-poor adaptation of a great piece of literature. Being able to make your heart break one moment and your blood boil the next, able to leave you breathless in your seat with your heart pounding in your chest, these are proof that you’re watching something amazing. It is clear that Gankutsuou, if not at least meeting your expectations, it will blow them away and leave you speechless.
This will perhaps be the shortest section of the review, simply because the sound played no part in my heightened or lessened enjoyment of the show. Do not mistake my words, the music within the show is very fitting and very well done, however it does not simply jump out and grab you. It does not make you stop and go “I have to listen to that once more.” However that is within the show itself, the opening and ending themes are a different matter. It was almost strange to see them both, it honestly seemed as if someone had goofed and mistaken the ending for the opening. However after two episodes I was humming along with the tune to both and even downloaded them to put on my mp3. The songs themselves are so good I’ve almost started singing along with them out in public. There really is nothing more to say than, the music worked well, it was subtle, let you know it there but didn’t make any bold statements.
I’m tempted to simply write “flawless” and call it a day here but that would be an insult to the greatness of each. I will not list them all here, of course, but I shall list those that I think play an important role and need to be looked at in the spotlight. But let me state that although I do not talk about all the characters, I believe none are truly “secondary” for they all have their own role that drives the story, they all have their own flaws and a depth you wouldn’t expect from characters you rarely see. Now, onto the spotlight
The Count: Was everything that he needed to be and then some. He could be the hero of the piece or the villain, whichever role he was playing at the time all eyes were glued to him. Charming, subtle, seductive and kind he played them all so well and then there were times where we all saw the darkness he brought with him. He was a strange maze of understanding, never knowing what he was going to do next simply because he didn’t know what role he’d slip into. The Count is truly one of the most dark and captivating characters I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Albert: I have a desire to scream idiot here and be done with it, but again that is not true. He is not an idiot, he is simply naïve and often childish in his decisions. He refuses to see the bad in people, which can be good but not all the time. He’s hard headed and stubborn, but he’s a character that you feel for, he bears the most humanity of them all and when his heart breaks, so does yours.
Franz: The best friend that everyone wants, loyal, caring and willing to do whatever necessary to keep his friend safe. He’s stubborn as well but he is the voice of reason in Albert’s and his relationship. He is the first to be skeptical of The Count and one of the first to pursue information about the mysterious man.
While there are other characters that perhaps deserved the spotlight I felt that, mostly, these three characters were the most important simply because they were around for almost every single event that drove the plot. The others characters, however, are not to be dismissed, they each have good character designs as well as wonderful personalities and even flaws. Some even evolve throughout the show, which can be rare for a character deemed “secondary.” But they all fit together and play off each other so well it would take too long to praise them all.
I truly doubt there is a single thing I did not enjoy throughout my entire watching of this show. There are a few minor things but they’re so miniscule when compared to the good things that they’re just overlooked and swept under the rug, still there but completely forgotten. I found myself completely captivated by this show, every emotional twist made me feel what it was supposed to, every mystery kept me guessing and theorizing and wondering. I ranted and raved about things that had happened when I wasn’t watching, I sometimes found myself balling my hands into white knuckled fists at the more infuriating scenes and crying like a child at others, I truly believe I went through almost the entire emotional spectrum while watching this show. And that is truly a mark of my enjoyment of it.
In the end this can only be summed up as something that you need to watch, that is said a lot in reviews but it is truly something that will be appreciated (even if you haven’t read the novel). It’s compelling story, beautiful artwork and in depth characters will drag you into the world and never let you go, even after you’ve finished the final episode The Count of Monte Cristo will still have you under his spell.
-To those who vote "Not " if you could message me to tell me what you disliked I could improve on this and future reviews, thank you.-
Those familiar with the novel will know the basics of who the characters are and what the general outcome of the story will be, much like how anyone who knew the basic plot of Romeo and Juliet could easily predict what fate would befall the title characters in the anime Romeo X Juliet. To keep things fresh and interesting, the story gets an extreme makeover by catapulting the plot three thousand years into the future and onto the moon. The story is also told through Albert Morcef’s perspective, rather than the Count’s, allowing for a new take on the story and minor characters in the novel, such as Franz D’Epiney become more developed and are given a larger role.
The story follows the main themes of the novel though; love, betrayl, revenge and redemption. It is an intricately woven story throughout the 24 episodes, each one ending in a cliff hanger making the viewer want to jump right into the next episode. Elements of mystery and suspense are used so effectively, I was compelled to watch the whole anime in one sitting, something I have never done with any other anime before.
The visuals are beautiful and innovative, using textures rather than solid colours. While this can be disorienting at first, especially with layers of brightly coloured textures flashing across the screen, it does make for some of the most beautiful and creative scenery I have seen in any film media. The style is something unique to this anime and the CG components are excellent. Music is a mix of orchestral piano pieces, brooding techno, waltzes and the beautiful ballad ‘We Were Lovers’ for the opening theme. These combine the classical roots of the story with the futuristic elements wonderfully.
Characters in Gankutsuou are given little grey area. While some characters, such as The Count, motives and morals remain in the grey, most are clearly good or bad, making it heart wrenching when the good, and often innocent characters are pulled into the anti-hero’s deadly revenge plot. The audience wants to see the bad guys punished by the man they betrayed, but at the same time want the innocent bystanders who are pulled into the plot have a happily ever after ending. Albert, the main character, is an idealistic and often rash, privilleged young fifteen year old. His angsting, naivite and rashness might grate some viewers, but at the same time his actions are believable for an average fifteen year old, unlike many shonen series. It also makes him more vulnerable to the more wily characters, as a child his age might be. Many of the characters are not all powerful, having both strengths and weaknesses, making them much more human and believable.
One aspect that won me over though was the portrayl of a character who is very strongly hinted at being homosexual. The Seiyu of this particular character confirmed his belief that the character he portrayed was indeed a homosexual. Rather than being slotted into a stereotype or cliche, this character is shown to be very capable, loyal and above all arguably the most rational individual in the series. He is not shown to be flamboyant, perverted, or visually offputing like many gay characters added in for laughs. This character was fleshed out, and in my opinion a very positive representation of a gay character. In fact he takes on many of the Japanese ideals of a homosexual lover, including beauty, brains, strength, sensitivity and above all loyalty. Bravo for this!
I would reccomend this anime for fans of drama, mystery, and suspense. Fans of the original novel; beware of deviations and creative liscense. This is not a completely accurate retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ work, if you couldn’t tell from the giant robots and space ships. The series contains alcohol and hints of drug usage, incest, hints of sex (both consensual and nonconsensual), human trafficing, violence, nudity, frightening imagery and character death. If any of this offends or upsets you, you may not want to watch this one (though you’re really missing out on an awesome series).
Overall: This is the best anime I have seen in a very long time. It is the first anime that has compelled me to watch the whole thing in one sitting. The art is innovative, the story is intricately woven, the characters are believable, and the suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting more. This one is a must for your ‘completed’ list.
Manga/Anime/Both: Anime series, 24 episodes, ran from October 5th, 2004 to March 29th, 2005 in Japan, licenced by Geneon, with six of six volumes released. A manga is currently running in Japan in Kodansha’s magazine Afternoon, and has yet to be licenced over here.
Story: And now, the hard part… There is no simple way to sum up Gankutsuou’s story, although I’ll try.
Gankutsuou is based off of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. I say "based off of," because in the later part of the series (Episode 18 and thereabouts), the series takes a major divergence from the book. Plotwise, though, Maeda slightly alters whose point of view we see this from and some sideplots; most notably are the Valentine/Maximilien and Cavalcanti plots. The most notable change is the setting, time-wise; Gankutsuou takes place in Paris for the most part, but about two, three thousand years in the future, and on another planet at some points. Also, characters that are barely mentioned in the book get major screentime. However, for the most part, the anime sticks close to the book. If you’re a Dumas purist, though, stay far away from this series.
Also, there are slight shonen-ai overtones; it’s nothing explicit, and only implied, but you can tell that it’s there. And there’s crossdressing on numerous accounts. Again, if this any of this offends you, stay away.
Story Critique: For the most part, if you know the original Dumas story, you have a good idea of what’s going to happen in Gankutsuou. Maeda has taken his liberties, though; and after Episode 18, as I said before, the series takes a completely different direction, and will make the purists want to hunt him down with pitchforks and torches.
However, I’m really happy with Maeda’s changes; the only gripe I have is that he altered the Valentine/Maximilien and Cavalcanti sideplots the way he did, and that he killed off one of the characters he did. For the most part, though, the alterations only add to the sheer awesomeness of the series, and lets some characters shine in ways that they didn’t get to in the book.
This story will keep you on the edge of your seat and hooked till the bitter end. I didn’t get bored with the series at all, as I usually do at the halfway point; in fact, I watched this series pretty much in under a week. I’ve always thought that The Count of Monte Cristo was prime anime material, considering the serialistic way that it was written.
EDIT: There have been complaints lately saying that Gankutsuou isn’t for everyone. And admittedly, it isn’t. If you think that Bleach and Naruto are the epitome of anime, then you should probably stay away from this show, as this and that are worlds apart. It WILL take some effort on your part to follow the story, which, yes, means using your brain as you’re watching this, unlike the typical mindless shonen problem/monster-of-the-week plot seen in both shows I’ve previously mentioned.
Art Style: This is one of the integral parts of the series. The art style will turn some people off; in fact, when Maeda was first screening Gankutsuou, the most frequent complaint was that the art style made viewers’ eyes hurt.
Maeda uses a unique 2-D animation technique, most notable in regards to characters’ clothing — the technique makes it look like the characters’ clothes are moving, but the characters themselves are not. It’s really noticeable in the first few episodes, but by the fourth or fifth episode, you become used to it. This technique is used to great effect not only in the clothes that the characters wear, but in the trippy sequences involved with the plot.
CG animation is also used heavily in this series; it’s mostly used for some backgrounds and vehicles. At times, the juxtapostion of traditional/the new technique of 2D/CG can be jarring, but it takes some getting used to, as well. The backgrounds are where the CG animation really shines though.
This combination is definitely a step into the unknown for Gonzo, and has a tendency to polarize viewers; either you love it, or you hate it.
Music: There are two types of music in Gankutusou: original compositions and classical music.
The classical music has a tendency to become easily associated with certain moods and event types, not to mention become grating. There’s one piece in particular (I can’t remember the name at the minute ><) that, by the third episode, will become associated with DEATH AND IMMINENT DOOM. The music that doesn’t become mood-associated is usually used in connection to one main character’s musicianship, and isn’t heard that often.
The original compositions are by both Kasamatsu Kouji and Jean-Jacques of the band The Stranglers; he also does the opening and ending. The original compositions tend to also become associated with mood and event types; however, there are enough different ones, and are used sparingly enough that they don’t become grating. The opening and endings are absolutely awesome; ask FMS how much I was spazzing after getting the full versions. XD The opening is a sentimental song accompanied by piano and strings, and the ending is a raging rock number with a full band and strings that’ll have you on your feet by its end; both have a lot to do with the plot.
Voice Seiyuu: The voices for this series are simply amazing. Every seiyuu matches their respective character perfectly, and no voice seems out of place. The real standouts for this series, for me, are the seiyuu for the Count, and Mercedes; Joji Nakata, and Kikuko Inoue, respectively. Both capture their characters perfectly, and you can hear the dynamic between them, which is a major factor in the series.
Dub/Voice Actors: The first I saw of this series was on the October or November (can’t remember which again) DVD sampler for Newtype; dubbed was the only option available. After watching the one DVD I have subbed, and then dubbed, I can say that I really don’t have a problem with the dub at all which, for me, is rare. I know that Himura hates it when people do this, but the Japanese and English VAs for these series are easily comprable. The standout voice for the dub is the Count, once again; I don’t know his VA, but he does a superb job of capturing his character.
Length: Perfect. Shortening the series by a few episodes wouldn’t have hurt the series, but character development would’ve definitely taken a major hit if they had. Had they added more episodes, it would’ve been too long. However, I would like to see an OAV on the backstory of the Count; we saw brief flashes that explained a lot, but not quite in depth as Dumas’ original story.
Overall: This anime is one of the best of 05. You will be sucked in the moment you start watching it, and it will not let you go.
To sum it up, a line from the promotional trailer from the first DVD:
Tell me; why am I so fascinated by you?
Art Style: 10/10
Dub/Voice Actors: 9/10
Overall score: 56/60; 93%
1: Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
English: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
Japanese: 攻殻機動隊 S.A.C. 2nd GIG
MAL Score: 8.53
Following the closure of the “Laughing Man” case, Section 9 is re-established by Japan’s newly elected Prime Minister, Youko Kayabuki, to combat the persistent threat of cyber-terrorism.
A group calling themselves “The Individual Eleven” has begun committing acts of terror across Japan. While Motoko Kusanagi, Daisuke Aramaki, Batou, and the other members of Section 9 investigate this new menace, the Japanese government faces a separate crisis, as foreign refugees displaced by the Third World War seek asylum in Japan. But as the members of the special-ops team continually encounter Gouda Kazundo—a leading member of the Cabinet Intelligence Service—in their hunt, they begin to suspect that he may be involved, and that the events of the refugee crisis and The Individual Eleven may be more connected than they realize…
One of the keys to creating a successful story is innovation, in particular, creating something that is both interesting and relevant, but approached from a different perspective. Of all the genres of the storytelling medium, science fiction is the only one that holds up a mirror to a possible future be it good or bad. It’s for this reason that the genre is often lauded and derided, sometimes by the same person, as science fiction is predictory by nature, in other words, it posits how humans would behave in certain circumstances.
During the last twenty years there have been numerous sci-fi tales in one form or another, many of which came about because of the end of the millenium. Some of them were simply terrible, whilst some were only average. Of the good ones, only a few had a lasting influence on the stories that came after. One of those is Ghost in the Shell.
Following the phenomenal success of the original movie and the TV series Stand Alone Complex, director and chief writer Kamiyama Kenji, together with the staff of Production I.G., formulated the direction in which the story would progress. What they needed, according to Kamiyama, was a completely different direction to the first series, with new goals, a new focus, and a chance to explore the world of GitS. After discussions with Oshii Mamoru it was decided that, in light of the events of 9/11, the issue of war could no longer be avoided.
This decision ultimately paved the way for a sequel that is not only superior to the original, but one that is also far more relevant to modern society.
Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig is set several months after the end of Stand Alone Complex. At this point in time Section 9 is training, however the changes to the Special Forces bill mean that they are still not a legal force, and their status is akin to that of a terrorist organistion. The chief, Aramaki Daisuke, is attempting to resolve this but, like any modern society, the paperwork needs to be in order (gotta love bureaucracy).
During this time, a new Prime Minister hascome to power, and she has promised to fix the problems caused by crippling taxes and the waves of Asian refugees who are coming to Japan because of the Fourth World War (or, the Second Vietnamese War).
One of the areas where 2nd Gig deviates from SAC is that the story is based far more on world events and history than before. SAC is essentially the platform from upon which this series stands, and it’s advisable to watch that series first before watching this one as the viewer is then familiar with the characters and the work of Section 9. Unlike SAC, the focus in 2nd Gig isn’t on the work of Section 9, but rather on the society itself. I mentioned in my review of the first series that the phenomenon of Cyber Brain Sclerosis was also a metaphor for the gradual deterioration of society, and while SAC alluded to this, here it is made all too clear.
2nd Gig is nothing if not brutal in a certain sense. The series has a more defined sense of plausibility than anything before, and also a sense of inevitability. The power plays, politics, machinations, plots and plans are as complex and devious as they were in SAC, however here they have more of an edge to them because of the parallels with real world events. There is a lot of action in 2nd Gig, however like SAC, the action is not the important part of the show. The focus is on political and social movement, so when the action happens it’s usually the result of a series of circumstances or plans. Here, taking action is an effect for the most part, not a cause, and this is one of the key plot elements in the story as the “reactionary” mentality of society is tested by the Individual 11.
As with SAC, and any other GitS project for that matter, the pacing and flow of the story is excellent. Each aspect of the plot is very clearly covered, used and acted upon. Each element of the story is involved and well thought out, especially in relation to other elements. In this respect the series shares a few things with SAC’s Laughing Man Arc, however this aspect is carried here for 26 episodes with almost no let up.
One interesting point to note is that the history given in 2nd Gig is the same as that given in the Appleseed Databook. This suggests that both stories take place at different times in Earth’s history and, when one considers the technology used and applied in Appleseed, it gives the entire GitS story a slightly different perspective.
In terms of visuals, 2nd Gig is nothing short of excellent. The animation is ever so subtly better than SAC, especially the blending of 2d and 3d, with movements and actions flowing as freely as they did before, but without any of the clashes that occured from time to time. The colour scheme is extremely well suited, and reflects the grim reality of the story, while the level of detail in the back and foregounds pushes the bar even higher than it was before. The visual effects are also excellent, and way above those used in other sci-fi series.
In addition to this, the art direction is superb throughout the series, especially in the smaller moments before action is taken. In one episode the team from Section 9 is seen gearing up to respond to a hostage taking. The animation and detail in this one sequence in particular, highlights the level of detail and quality, as well as the sense of realism that Kamiyama was aiming for.
Sound is, once again, way above par. The effects are extremely well used and, whilst some people may be a little overwhelmed by some of the explosions, most will find them quite satisfying. One thing I do like about the effects in both series is that of the bullets fired from different guns, as they do sound different to the naked ear (because they are).
As I’ve already talked about the voice acting in my review of SAC, I’ll skip that part as the acting in 2nd Gig is at least equal to the first series, and the main roles are essentially the same. I will, however, mention Koyama Rikiya (who plays Hideo Kuze), as he gives the character a kind of reserved charm that is very much in keeping with the story.
The music is, once again, composed by the one and only Kanno Yoko, and her style and flair is such that the series just wouldn’t be the same without her compositions. The OP, “Rise” (sung by Origa once again), has actually split opinion as to which of the two is the better song – “Rise” or “Inner Universe” (personally I love them both). The ED, “Living Inside the Shell” (sung by Steve Conte), is also a great track, but I have to admit that I prefer “Lithium Flowers” from SAC.
One thing to note about the OP and ED for 2nd Gig is that it actually has three of each. The original broadcast featured the two tracks mentioned above, however the second, terrestrial, broadcast featured two different tracks. The second OP, “Christmas in the Silent Forest” (sung by Illiara Graziano), is a more haunting track than the martial “Rise”, and has a very Bjork-esque quality about it. The ED, “Snyper” (sung by Iliara Graziano and Steve Conte), has much the same feel as the OP.
The third OP and ED, “Torukia” (sung by Gabriella Robin), and “I Do” (sung by Iliara Graziano), only appear in the final episode.
As far as the characters go (and it’s pretty damn far to be honest), they are simply astonishing. Because of the groundwork laid by the movie and SAC, the each member of Section 9 is an almost complete persona from the start of the show. Now, hardcore fans of character development probably won’t like what I’m about to say next, but the truth is the truth. Sometimes character development gets in the way of the story proper, something which we have all seen happen in other anime. The fact that almost every character is not only an adult, but also an almost fully realised characterisation, means that there is nothing to hold back the story. Granted there are times when the characters come into sharp focus, but the series deals with these times with aplomb, grace, and sometimes violence.
I have seen, on occasion, people remark that the episodes that focus on a particular character are often slow and boring. I disagree with this view as, in any story, there are occasions when a character becomes more “audience friendly” and accessible. These “slow” episodes also help modify the pace of the story as a whole, and invite new routes down which it could progress.
I will freely admit that I actually prefer 2nd Gig to SAC. This isn’t because I found SAC inferior though, it’s simply because I related more to the events, action, social and politcal movements and impact, and overall sense of realism in the second series. Where SAC focused on both society and individuality, this also did the same, but from a slightly different angle. One of the things that I have been impressed by in both series is how, in the main story arcs, the “bad guy” isn’t quite as evil and bloodthisrty as we initially believe him to be, something which calls the definition of “evil” into question.
This is, like every other part of the GitS franchise, a superb anime. The blend of action, drama (both political and otherwise), intrigue and mystery is on a completely different level to most other anime.
As with SAC, 2nd Gig continues to be an intelligent series for intelligent people. In addition to that it is also a scathing criticism of how wealthy nations have coped with the global refugee crisis, as well as a visionof how bad things can get if society is not more aware of it’s own failings.
Just when one thought that with ‘Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence’ and ‘Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex’, this franchise had reached its pinnacle, Studio I.G. came up with GiTS: SAC 2ng Gig.
It carries over the same qualities that made the first series such a brilliant watch – an excruciatingly complex plot with conspiracy, intrigue and plenty of action and smashing music. The reason why this tops the first season is the more personal feel. Character development, that was mostly sidelined in the first season, is present aplenty in the 2nd gig. You feel you’re delving into the lives of the men and woman of Section 9. You get a glimpse of the pasts of the clandestine characters all while maintaining the cloak-and-dagger mystery.
The series also explores several political and moral issues of governance and right and wrong. It does not preach, there are no absolutes, and there is no such thing as a perfect political set up. The series maintains a hue of grey on all these matters, and tastefully so.
If you liked the first series, you absolutely must watch the 2ng series. If you haven’t I recommend you watch the 1st gig before embarking on this one. The series ends in a perfect set-up for the new GiTS: SAC Solid State Society movie, which by the way, was quite disappointing, but nevertheless a great addition to the GiTS family. I’m not going to review SSS because if you’re already hooked onto Stand Alone Complex, you won’t be able to resist watching it.
We open with Section 9 on standby, waiting for the official order that will allow them to go back into action. A group calling themselves the Individual Eleven has stormed the Chinese embassy and taken hostages. Aramaki manages to get the Prime Minister’s approval and the group moves in, cementing their resurrection. Shortly thereafter, the refugee issue begins becoming more and more of a problem and the Individual Eleven name seems to keep popping up in disparate incidents relating to the refugees in some way, along with a strange mark that only a select few know about. Section 9 sets out to discover the truth behind these incidents and try to assuage the tensions with the refugees, before they turn into a full scale war.
I have two issues with the narrative here. The first, and lesser of the two, is that its big climax retreads one of the big tragic moments from the first series. The execution is different and the moment is still good but it is a bit cheapened as a consequence of being a variation of something we saw in the last series. Then we have the implied history betwixt the Major and one of the major antagonists, Kuze. Narratively, there’s not much reason for this to be there. It barely comes into play within the story. It feels like a thinly veiled excuse to have Motoko be distracted and even that is only important for one major scene. Overall, that element is just a bit sloppy and mostly pointless.
Aside from those aspects, the story in this is really strong. It emphasises a more cohesive narrative in contrast to the first series’ more stand alone, largely episodic missions where the main plot came into play for some episodes and not for others. This does have the benefit of letting the situation develop and worsen a lot more noticeably while building on the pre-established tensions. It takes quite a few twists and turns that keep you really invested. The pacing is actually really good too. The series never feels like it’s dragging or like it’s overly hectic. It’s also really compelling to see Section 9 struggle to try and gain the upper hand against our main antagonist.
The series retains a strong cast. The more minor characters from Section 9 get to develop a bit more. The major characters are still really compelling and well developed. The various minor characters that get added to the roster have verisimilitude. Honestly, the biggest problem is with the major antagonists. While they do feel like actual people, they’re also a bit under-developed. Especially when you compare them to the Laughing Man from the first series. Which is odd since he got significantly less screen time.
The artwork and animation are amazing. The visual effects are stellar. The action sequences are intense and really radical. Even the hacking sequences are really visually intense. The various set pieces, futuristic tech and the like are all really well designed. The character designs are good and the Major’s absurd one piece bathing suit/ leather jacket combination has been banished to the Gamindustri Graveyard, or wherever it is stupid outfits go when they stop getting used.
The actors do a fantastic job. Saka Osamu, Ootsuka Akio, Tanaka Atsuko, Yamadera Kouichi and the various other actors all give superb performances. The music is great, adding to the atmosphere for the series.
Motoko’s girlfriend from the first series doesn’t really show up in this. Nor do they give us any other type of ho-yay. So, we don’t get any.
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig is not quite as good as the first series. It suffers from some relatively minor narrative problems and some slightly under-developed antagonists. That being said, it’s still a fantastic series. My final rating is going to be a 9/10. Next week I’ll continue looking at requests with One Punch Man.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
3. Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven
4. Doraemon (1979)
5. Aria the Animation
6. Noein: Mou Hitori no Kimi e
7. Doraemon (2005)
8. Fantastic Children
10. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo