They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Yume kara, Samenai, Arcade Gamer Fubuki, Magical Suite Prism Nana, and more!
16: Yume kara, Samenai
MAL Score: 4.63
Student Takao is inexorably drawn toward Sao despite class rumors that she has appeared in a porno movie.
I honestly think the anime is too short ot merit a review, but I found it interesting enough to guide people to watch it. It’s refreshing to see the changes in anime since the 1980s. Imagine being asked to smell coffee beans in a perfume shop to recalibrate your nostrils to keep discerning between the floral scents the perfumery keeps thrusting at your face. This anime is the coffee beans in the analogy.
The characters were your average high-school girl and boy. There are rumours of the girl taking part in AVs however, which is sure to put a strain on any burgeoning relationship between the MCs. We also have the MCs generic best-friend and childhood friend who are hindrances to the blossoming love. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are not interesting enough that we are actively rooting for the MCs to get together. We simply know that is the way the anime is supposed to proceed. It is not subtle in its approach at all.
The music I liked. As I said, cheesy 1980s music that had me cringing and then laughing along.
This anime is at best a 6. Nothing unusual, but it is worth watching simply because of how long ago it was made to see how far the anime industry has changed since then. That’s why I watched it and I was not disapppointed.
SHAFT is the studio behind several commercial hits such as the pretentiously surreal Monogatari series, the cute but callous Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and the cynically comedic Sayounara Zetsubou Sensei. If you’ve been around in the anime community for a decent amount of time, you’ve likely heard of at least one of these notable series, if you haven’t already sat down to watch them. The one thing all of these series have in common, aside from their vast commercial success and how highly regarded they are, is a distinctive art and narrative style. If you’ve seen one SHAFT work, you can likely identify another just by taking a look at the front cover. If not by the art, you will be able to tell by the high-octane dialogue, the trademark head-tilts, the constant irritating jump-cuts, and the imaginative but simple symbolism. It is rare to confuse another studio’s work for one of SHAFT’s. However, on the flip-side, there are a number of SHAFT works that you wouldn’t immediately be able to identify as such–Yume Kara takes it a step further and makes it impossible for you to identify it as a SHAFT work unless you were told outright. The artwork is very generic and does nothing but conform to the style of the time. There is nothing that pops in the art, and the animation doesn’t fare any better. There is nothing endearing about either the art or the animation, and it’s difficult to tell whether this was average or slightly below average for the time. If you are a fan of SHAFT’s distinctive cinematography, you will not find it in Yume Kara. While it is hardly surprising, what with it being SHAFT’s very first work, it is still disappointing to discover that Yume Kara’s art style is completely unremarkable, with none of the visual flare of series such as Monogatari.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about the sound work, either. The voice acting is mediocre and the voices themselves are immersion-breaking to hear. This was pretty characteristic of anime back then, and once again, Yume Kara completely conforms to the standard of the time. The soundtrack is mostly unmemorable, though serviceable. The actual sounds themselves, such as the crying cicadas, are somewhat grating to listen to almost three decades later. Whether this is a product of the era or simply another case of Yume Kara falling below standard, the sound work is slightly unpleasant to listen to at best. Don’t expect anything in this department.
Finally, onto the meat of the show: its flimsy narrative and its boring characters. I hesitate to label Yume Kara a character-driven narrative because it doesn’t have much character and there isn’t much of a narrative either. There is a very basic plotline set up solely for the purpose of having the characters interact with each other. The synopsis effectively articulates everything there is to the narrative: the protagonist is interested in a girl who is rumoured to have starred in pornography. That’s all there really is to the first 30 minutes of this OVA, and it only really starts to become somewhat interesting in the final 6 minutes. There is no real conflict in Yume Kara. The students are aware of the rumours surrounding Sao, but the most they do is snicker about it to themselves with her in the room. There isn’t any bullying or lecturing. While that means Yume Kara ends up being quite boring, I feel that it is an accurate representation of the class’s response if that situation were to occur in real life. Most people wouldn’t actually confront Sao about it; they would only use it as a joke to fuel their conversations. Yume Kara is a romance at heart, and the plotline is only really a stage for the characters. Unfortunately, because the plotline is so bland, uninteresting with mediocre execution, it affects the characterisation and development of the characters. There are, fortunately, very few cringeworthy moments. However, there are no hooks in this narrative. It’s something you have to slog through. There is nothing that will make you want to keep watching it, aside from reassurance that the OVA is only 36 minutes long. The final 6 minutes of the OVA is what it had been building up to the entire time, but the payoff is mediocre. It’s an improvement from mediocre to not-completely-mediocre.
The main issue I had with Yume Kara was that it was really, really boring. It was extremely bland all the way through. There isn’t actually that much dialogue in this OVA, but what little there is fails to add any character to the archetypes they are in their introduction. Yume Kara does have romance, but it’s quite dry. On the upside, the romantic development is actually somewhat subtle, which is something I have to give the OVA props for. This brings me to one of Yume Kara’s strong points: everything makes sense. While there are some questionable circumstances, if you look into the subtext, there is a sufficient explanation for the aforementioned circumstances. The characters are flat and mostly uninteresting, but everything they do makes sense. The main leads actually don’t have that much chemistry, but I don’t mind that. To me, this is a story about a lonely girl who uses love as an attempt to cope with said loneliness. There is nothing to say about our protagonist, except that I would have preferred if Sao was the protagonist. Sao was the only character I found somewhat interesting, but they never delved deep enough into her character for me to care about her. If they did end up working on her character, and her motivations surrounding her involvement with AV, she might have even made a compelling character. Hell, that alone would have made this OVA an interesting commentary that delves into the thoughts and feelings of Japanese high school girls that end up participating in AVs. But Yume Kara didn’t do that. In reality, Sao is a character that is never really fleshed out despite having some mildly interesting traits. The narrative, along with the characters that propel it, feels very dry and very bland.
Yume Kara is a slog. It is a dry romance with generic, one-dimensional characters that are never properly characterised. However, there is some decent subtle character development for the female lead throughout. Yume Kara has a generic art style with subpar animation and grating sound work. Aside from the technical aspects, there is one word that perfectly encapsulates everything wrong with Yume Kara’s narrative: inoffensive. Yume Kara is incredibly inoffensive. Despite having a somewhat interesting premise, it only superficially explores it in the most boring, predictable way possible. There is no depth to the narrative. Everything about Yume Kara feels stock or worse. The writing is consistently mediocre throughout. Yume Kara is not the genre-breaking, standard-deviating work that you might expect from SHAFT. It is an uninspired, conformist OVA. What annoys me most about Yume Kara is that it completely destroys any potential the initial premise has with its subpar narrative. And worst of all: it’s boring.
I do not recommend Yume Kara if you are seeking enjoyment–there isn’t anything in Yume Kara to enjoy. The narrative is boring and uninspired, the characters are bland and uninteresting and the art could not be more generic if it tried. In spite of all of its flaws, I do recommend Yume Kara if you are seeking something of a historical piece. Ignoring all of its missteps, Yume Kara is SHAFT’s first ever original work. If you want to see just how far they’ve come since the late ’80s, then Yume Kara is the way to go. Yume Kara is a work to appreciate, not enjoy.
~Other SHAFT Works~
-Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
-Sayounara Zetsubou Sensei
-Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
-Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou
15: Arcade Gamer Fubuki
MAL Score: 5.26
Fubuki Sakuragasaki is a powerful gamer who, with the power of her Passion Panties, climbs up the ranks of the BAG (Best of Arcade Gamer) tournament to become the greatest Arcade Gamer in the world. However, the evil Gulasic Group is out to conquer the world through said tournament, and their gaming skills will prove to be a challenge. Fubuki must team up with the legendary Mr. Mystery to combat the four Gods of Gaming and make the world of arcade gaming safe for all.
Arcade Gamer Fubuki is probably one of the most odd anime titles out there, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. The story itself isn’t weird, the characters in general aren’t weird, the anime does have a story and makes sense over all. So why then do you find an anime title where a girl simply plays video games odd you may ask? Well its the whole way it executes these concepts that is weird.
There really isn’t much of a story to speak of, basically Fubuki takes on any opponent that dares challenge her in video games, and is known to be the best in town. But how she does it is just odd! Basically she has these sort of super panties (which is only used as a gimmick to give this title some unnecessary echii-ness) that gives her powers not only in gaming, but also in her physical speed, which also seems to give her elemental powers as well; like lightning and fire powers from her hands…….ummmmmmm………..yeahhhh. So in a nut shell, she activates these panties and gains gaming skills! Now I know that with comedy anime it’s all based on laugh value, but seriously, what kind of time constraint were they under when they came up with THAT concept??? Not to mention we never even find out how she activates them in the first place, all we see is her closing her eyes and jumping in the air, and blamo…..she gots skills! To the stories credit though, Fubuki does get flash backs about her Dad, and does end up finding him in the end, though the scenes are pretty sparse over all. (until the last episode that is) My main problem with the story is that for a series that is suppose to be about video games and the player’s skills, you would think that would be the main point to the title, seems simple enough and fresh, but no. Both of those concepts seem to take a back seat, as we only get minimal screen plays of games, and it seems that when it all comes down to it, the player with the bigger panties power up wins, and we don’t actually get to see any real skills from the characters themselves. In fact, some viewers may leave with the feeling that the whole "video game" idea was just a passing thought with the creators. You could pretty much change this story to about anything and it wouldn’t make any difference.
Now I have to give kudos to the awesome j-pop opening and ending, the beats are pretty darn catchy……so much so that you may want to find them for your ipod. Can’t say the same for the background music though, the fact that I can’t even re-call any of it is enough to convince me of hoe unmemorable it was. The character voices were pretty well matched with each character I found.
The art style for the title is actually pretty decent, while its not the most colorful or well detailed anime you’ll see, it certainly does the job right. While over all you won’t really see any real actual video game titles, (most are just look a likes to other video games such as: Pac-man, Dig-Dug etc) you will love the fact that you actually do get screen plays from the classic Sega game "Virtua Fighter." Along with "Fighter Maker" as well.
The characters themselves are pretty bland, they do have distinct personalities to a point, but never go beyond that. Basically the way you see them in the first episode, is the way they will act the whole way through, with no real in depth-ness to them. I do relieve that this is a short OVA series, but they could have at least given us something to care about with them. As you might have guessed at this point, the character development is non-existent. As I was watching Fubuki go through some tough challenges, she never gave me any reason to actually care about her winning because the personalties were so cookie cutter basic.
Bottom Line: 6/10
Arcade Gamer Fubuki gets high points for concept here. The comedy it has to offer (while basic, with the exception of the whole video game theme) does an ok job of keeping you entertained. Viewers like myself who are expecting a great anime title about a gamer’s life will be disappointed, because it over all felt more gimmicky. Still, it is an anime based around a video game idea, so if you’re a gamer like me…you may want to give it a peek.
anywho time to continue, i did enjoy this animw however i didnt like some parts, it kinda confused me like “what is this anime about exactly now ?” “trying to win at a game tournament ?” ya it sounds redicoulas but good at the same time cause theres a group the Gulasic Group who want fubuki’s fasion panties thinking it would give them power, i was like “whoa now thats just wierd” and i laugh abit thinking using panties as power thats just silly.
the characters are great the designs are made by the same who did SGT frog AKA keroro gunsou, the character development is good too fubuki and her friend are my fav characters, and as the masked man he is just so funny doing these wierd hero antics jumping around doing these wannnabe poses and leaps and stuff, but Chizuru eh shes Ok i mean she was such a bitch when they first met her but she began to be nice to them ya know, and honey she is cool 😀 i like her lol.
but overral i liked it the comedy was great too, the ending was sad though i sort of cried “sort of” hehe
The animation doesn’t look like a show done in the 21st century at all. It’s more like a vintage version. I so do not get the characters at all, the guy for the first part has what look like large beaver teeth and don’t even look like they are connected to his mouth. The animation is bland and over used a lot. It pretty much feels like a panty shot hentai style artwork.
I couldn’t actually stand the Japanese voices at all, they were way too high pitched and painful. Of course English voices aren’t any good ether but at least they are better. The English at least gives it the same out of control comedy that it should have, but it felt… well, more like Excel Saga in how the voices sounded. Fubuki was really high voiced, her friend sounds like a squeaky Emi Oba from Comic Party. Even the guy that follows Fubuki around sounds off. In the first part, he says BAG in English, and it sounds a lot like Fag instead.
14: Magical Suite Prism Nana
Japanese: まじかるすいーとプリズム ナナ
MAL Score: 6.16
In a future not too distant from ours, Nanagoo City is a beautiful city in Japan surrounded by mountains and ocean-sides. The sensitive, adolescent girls who live there are each opening up doors to their own, unique possibilities. No one wants to forget the path they take to adulthood.
13: Sakura Tsuushin
English: Sakura Diaries
MAL Score: 6.18
A Keio University (one of the top three colleges in Japan) exam candidate, Touma Inaba, is interupted when a cute young girl, Urara Kasuga, arrives at his hotel room door. She later turns out to be his cousin who he barely remembers from his childhood. Urara, who had felt something special for him (an other-than-cousinly-love), invites Touma to live with her since he has no place to stay other than the hotel room. Before taking the test, Touma meets Meiko Yotsuba, a beautiful, sophisticated woman also trying to get into Keio. Meiko gets into Keio but Touma does not, due to a cold Urara had given him shortly before. Although he did not make it, he pretends he does to earn the respect of Meiko. Touma is caught up in a love triangle with Urara and Meiko, while struggling to keep Meiko believing he’s really a Keio student and still be there for Urara at the same time.
Story: 6 (Lots of taboo but its a good love story)
Art: 5 (90’s Cel Art isn’t my thing, looks better than DBZ)
Sound: 5 (Old school sound effects, overemphasize things with sound)
Character: 7 (Relate w/ main character very well, minus the sis-con)
Enjoyment: 8 (Lotta fanservice… she’s not my cousin ^_^)
Overall: 30/50 = 6.0 (Balancing two girls and a double life can be hard)
Sakura diaries is an ecchi drama comedy centered around your typical character failure named Touma Inaba. His problems start right off the bat in episode one when an unknown call girl barges in his hotel room and hinders his test performance. But between failing so much and so many chance encounters with a girl of his dreams. A fairly fun drama unfolds. I would like to emphasize the rating of the show since it is R+ there are nudity but no hentai. So if you do/don’t mind seeing a nipple or two you might have to think twice. For the most part, the nudity serves purpose other than giving Touma nosebleeds and kind of enhances the story further, since Touma is not just a failure but more like a "average joe" kind of failure that im sure some male viewers can relate to.
Thats another reason why i kept on watching this since i can relate to the main character very well, minus all the taboo parts. Well once you realize the taboo situation, you’ll understand why Touma is so torn between these relationships.
…Remember its not taboo unless they’re related by blood right? >_<
On a technical stand point, its pretty average in terms of cel animated shows of the late 90’s But like animations during that time, the emphasis was more into the sound effects instead of the animation. So you’ll get your usual random soundeffects while zooming in at something pretty/sexy/hilarious. For what its worth, it plays out fine, but it still has the ‘old school’ nostalgic feel to it if you know what i mean.
Overall, for a 12-episode OVA, it wasn’t THAT bad. I wouldn’t buy it but it was nice to see a fairly decent drama that didn’t center the plot and cliffhangers on indecisive love. It centers more on juggling love and how to maintain it no matter how inappropriate it might be. If that sounds good for you then pick it up, you might be surprised.
It really is an amazing story touching on taboos, reality and the difficulties of life in general.
The art style is your typical 80’s and 90’s look.
What grabbed my attention was how the artists paid so much attention to detail. The backgrounds were fully drawn, the frequently visited environments did not change at all detail-wise. It’s as if they had a fully drawn out environment for every scene.
There is frequent nudity in this show, although you don’t ever get to see anything “too” revealing or inappropriate.
This show is a very impressive work of art.
The sounds were great. The English dub is surprisingly good for this show. The music was great and sometimes I felt that the voice-actors understood the emotions the characters were feeling. There isn’t a lot of extra unnecessary dialogue and there isn’t paragraphs and paragraphs of explanations, it makes things feel realistic.
The story is outstanding. Tonma goes to Tokyo trying to get into any college or university that he can. But the night before his important entrance exam, he is interrupted by his cousin Urara. She acts like a call girl (because he didn’t remember her), getting Tonma both excited and upset, making him get sick with a cold. He fails his exam and runs into a beautiful woman named Meiko who is also taking the entrance exam. But he doesn’t want her to know that he failed, so he lies and tries to go out with her anyway.
Along his journey’s he will fail in virtually everything from obvious everyday things to big romance and important events. Disappointment after disappointment, it makes me wonder if he’ll ever find love or find what he needs the most.
The main character Urara seemed to get the most character depth in the show. Although she is a high school girl, she is apparently very deep and her love for Tonma is also just as deep. Meiko has a surprising background to her and she turns to not be as bad as I thought she was. The other supporting characters get very little depth. But surprisingly enough, Tonma the main character this show is about, doesn’t get as much depth to him as I wanted. Even until the very end, he seemed like a shallow-shell of a person.
I really enjoyed this show. The love strings were constantly being pulled and making me want to watch the entire show in one sitting.
I literally lost sleep over this.
Overall, a great show, something I wish was longer than just 12 episodes. But what I didn’t enjoy was the ending. It left me confused and wanting more. The show ended with me having so many questions and so many things unresolved. I want more! More! More! More! More!
To be honest i really like the story ’cause it was easy to watch and i really like Urara she reminded of the band ELT(Every Little Thing) to their single Urara and she’s the only reason why i’m watching this anime ’cause i really love her personality she’s strong,kind and lovely the main guy was very lucky to have her even he keeps on rejecting her,urara still have the smile that can light up the world.
The anime have ended 18 years ago so maybe it’s not to late to have a second season or an OVA LOL. We may never know what will happen next to urara will she and touma will end up together? maybe in the manga you can just read it after you watch the anime so that you will know what will happen next ’cause i know they have completed and finish the manga and all the main plot holes will be answered i guess.
Overall: 5 (it should be 7 if they have finish it)
PS: too bad 4me ’cause i don’t read manga’s 🙁
12: Nisekoi: OVA
Japanese: ニセコイ: OAD
MAL Score: 7.07
Bundled with the 21st volume of the Nisekoi manga.
Part 2 of the OVA is “Magical Pâtissière Kosaki-chan!” It essentially builds off from the first half of Episode 8 from the second season of Nisekoi (“Magical Pâtissière Kosaki!”). Here, Chitoge, Marika, and Kosaki use their magical powers once again to battle the evil leader Shuu.
If you’re wondering if the scriptwriting improved, you will be sorely disappointed. It uses the same old antics, but even then, the humor is far drier than its parent story. On top of that, the plot jumps all over the place (and since when did Nisekoi ever have a straight plotline? Good question.). As for the characters themselves, they don’t change much from the second season, which is to be expected since this is just a single OVA.
The art is done well and does not differ much from the second season. The shading is very consistent and the animation is fluid. If you pay close attention, you will also notice that Magical Pâtissière Kosaki-chan! pays tribute to some of Shaft’s other shows, including Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica and Bakemonogatari. Aside from that, I do want to warn some of you that there is some minor fanservice. If you’re not interested in stuff like that, I wouldn’t recommend watching, but if you’re okay with it, go right ahead.
The sound in general is decent, but it is certainly far, far from spectacular. Let’s just say that it suffices for the context of this episode.
Overall, this OVA was pretty poorly done and lackluster. It had its moments, but it ultimately fell flat on its face due to the fact that it was so dry. If you decide to not watch this OVA, don’t worry – you’re not missing out.
(In case you’re wondering, by the way, I gave this OVA overall a 3 because MAL says 3 is “poor.” Which is what exactly this was.)
This OVA is pure Nisekoi, with all its flaws and problems that I have with it. Its story is repetitive, shallow, and lacks any meaning, reason, or pay-off. I was turned off and bored out of my mind.
STORY AND WRITING:
The anime is divided into two separate stories. One is a dream honeymoon sequence, while the second is an adventure of magical girl story. And both SUCK in terms of Script and Writing.
The honeymoon part is essentially a type of dream sequences in which Raku dreams of spending his marriage anniversary with Onodera, Tachibana, Tsugumi and Chitoge, one at a time. These dreams sequences are too short, lasting from 2 to 3 minutes each, and give you no joy or satisfaction at all. They all contain noting more than some greeting, a lit bit of praising, the overused “Dinner, bath, or me” phrase, TOGECHI (yeah, that happened) and a lot of blushing, chinch, and bad comedy. This makes the entire half of the OVA feel empty and uninteresting, short and pointless. This was a great opportunity to show some meaningful romance and payoff, and yet the episode completely butchered it and fell flat on its face.
The magical adventure part picks up from the first half of episode 8 of the 2nd season (Which took me years to force out of my mid, THANKS A LOT OVA!). In this part, the magical girls (Onodera, Tachibana and Chitoge) go on a mission to stop Dr. Maiko from doing, something. Led by the great sage Rurin and the Magical princess (*sign* I really feel like I`m shortening my lifespan by writing this). It`s what will happen if Nisekoi and several magical girls shows from the 90s had a baby. Yeah, only awful things can happen from that. This half is also lacking in any content. Its empty and has noting more than transformations, erotic scene, and yep you guessed it, bad comedy.
The script is dumb and the writing is poor. The stories are uninteresting or fun, but they are so lacking in any real thought or content. The characters are the same, and without even a hint of change. Nearly half of the OVA contain only the intro and outros, with the actual story feeling like an afterthought. The OVA will constantly jump from one scene another, without properly wrapping them up properly. Believe me when I say that I was looking forward to some variety and change in this show`s repetitive and boring story. And this type of story points gave it the opportunity to do so. Yet it still somehow was able to deliver the same type of story that I am sick and tired of. And it even went above and beyond the call of duty. Because the script and writing for this OVA are some of the worst this show has given (I was going to say the worse, but then I remembered that the Tachibana rescue arc happened in the manga).
ANIMATION AND MUSIC:
One thing which Nisekoi could lean on, is its animation and music. It`s animation and music are much better compared to many other romance animes. And when it uses them together, it creates many eyes warming and pleasant to watch scenes, which the anime is filled with.
The animations, character animations in particular, are fluent and colorful. This makes watching the shows regular banter and fake-outs bearable and sometimes entertaining. Season 2 improved those aspects, and it`s carried on to the OVA. The dream with Onodera and Tsugumi, had some good animation pieces. The magical girl section also had some, particularly their transformation one, which takes half of their part`s runtime. But the problem is that there is barely any of that here. Half of the OVA`s runtime is taken up by the 2 intro and 2 outros of the show. There is not enough run time and barely any worthwhile animation piece.
The situation is even worse in the music side of things. Nisekoi has quite a few charming OST pieces, that the OVA refuse to use. The intro and outro of the second season is in here, and it`s as average as I remember. The intro and outro for the magical girl part, somehow, I liked. And combined with the animation, it was pleasant to watch. I`ll raise it a point for that (now it’s all the way up to 4).
CONCLUTION AND VERDICT:
This OVA is extremely bland, boring and at times horrifying to look at. Just like the actual anime, this OVA is determined to frustrate you and waste your time, with no pay-off and satisfaction. It`s plot constantly jumps back and forth, it tries so hard to be comedic and fails miserably, the writing is extremely dumb. Even the animation and music are underutilized. What was suppose to be a chance to give fun and entertaining episode, turned out instead to be an extreme misfire and a very big DUD.
I wasn`t expecting much from this OVA, not even enjoyment. I just wanted to turn my mind off, spend my time, watch something dumb and fun, and don`t think much about anything. And yet here I am, writing this DAMN review because of how much shocked and frustrated I am. I didn`t even remember much about Nisekoi. And looking back at it, I always thought that I was I little TOO hard on Nisekoi. But now I know that it was because I was successful in removing it out of mind. And if this is how I remember the anime, no wonder I was hard on it. If you are like me and don`t like Nisekoi`s writing, then avoid this OVA at all cost.
Thank for reading the review. I wasn`t planning on writing this, but I still gave it my all. Hope you enjoyed it. Goodbye.
11: Negima! Haru Special!
Japanese: ネギま! 春スペシャル!
MAL Score: 7.09
Sometime after all the events which took place during Negi’s first year as a teacher, Class 2-A goes on a school trip to a beautiful island for Spring break. Everything is fine now, but troubles continue for Negi, because he’s still the main atraction of the class. But he has something else to worry about, Asuna is angry at him because he told her she had nothing to do with his studies as a wizard. During the trip, the situation gets intense as Asuna’s friends try to help Negi make up with her.
The story wasn’t amazing, but for an OVA I guess it was decent because it actually had one.
Like the entire series, the artwork remains amazing.
Voice actor/actresses did a really good job once again. Like Ouran HighSchool Host Club, they get a bunch of really popular voice actors/actresses for the series, and they had all my favorites in the show except for 1 which I was ok with though. As for the OP and ED, great.
All the characters are unique in their own way, which is what makes the show great, because you don’t feel like you’re constantly watching the same person the entire episode.
I didn’t like a couple of the scenes, but other then that, I enjoyed the episode completely, got a bunch of laughs in, just really fun to watch.
Recommended for all of those who loved the series. :3
The storyline of this OVA is very weak, it’s about Asuna getting mad at Negi and not wanting to forgive him. In order to cheer Negi up, Ayaka invites him to her secret island, and the whole class ends up tagging along. That’s how they end up at the beach. The art in this episode is better than the one employed in the original serie, with more details and better shadings. The songs and sound effects are very well placed. The personality of every character is refreshed somehow, they act according to how they were in the serie.
Just like the serie, this OVA is fun to watch. It includes ecchi scenes, a bit more explicit than in the serie, and might make you laugh a little. It can be understood even without watching the serie, since the plot is very basic and well explained, but you won’t enjoy it as much since it has many comical scenes directly related to the anime.
If you already saw the anime, watch this special; it won’t hurt!
This seems to be just an excuse to show off the girls. Well, they do a good job of that. The production quality is high. The characters are drawn a little differently than the original series and I’m still getting used to that but the art quality is very good.
This is worth a couple of watches, but not much more unless you’re a total freak.
10: Negima! Natsu Special!
Japanese: ネギま! 夏 スペシャル!
MAL Score: 7.11
Yue and Nodoka are practicing magic, and one spell catches their eye: The Red String of Fate. Supposedly, this spell connects you with your fated partner. Nodoka decides to try it out, and ends up tied to Negi. However, this spell isn’t the Red String of Fate at all, but is in fact just a red string that connects two people. A magical red string that happens to be impossible to sever. Delightful. Meanwhile, Ayaka invites the class to a free trip to her family’s recently constructed spa resort. Tied together for at least a day, will Negi and Nodoka be able to make the most out of this free trip without going too far…?
There’s lots of fanservice which you expect from Negima, and even more than usual because it’s an OVA.
This is definitely worth watching if you’re a Negima fan and will whet your appetite for the whole 2nd season, if you haven’t seen it yet.
This OVA has alot of fan service as I said before. Besides Asuna they have it a little for Nodoka as well, as well as most of the girls there (as for the fact there all wearing swimsuits)
The story was better then the Haru special, I mean it had a bigger plot to the entire episode, so I liked that about it, they could tell an entire story in 1 episode.
The character art remains incredible, I just didn’t really like the background artwork in the bath house too much, it was too weird for me.
Like the rest of the series, the voice actor/actresses and SFX are really good.
One of the reasons I love this series so much, the characters are all unique in their own way so you don’t constantly feel like you’re watching the same thing over and over again.
Fan service was a little bit “Oh wow…”, but I did like it a lot.
Great OVA. Negima!? is one of the few anime series I actually enjoyed the OVAs in. So I definitley recommend this for everyone who enjoyed the series. :3
9: Mahou Sensei Negima!: Mou Hitotsu no Sekai Extra – Mahou Shoujo Yue
Japanese: 魔法先生ネギま! もうひとつの世界Extra 魔法少女ユエ
MAL Score: 7.25
Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai extra episode featuring Yue.
At the time of this writing, this is (sadly) the latest animated incarnation that integrally adapts the Mahou Sensei Negima manga. As you can infer from the title, this OVA is about Yue and what happened to her after separating from the rest of the members of Ala Alba. Just like Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba and Mou Hitotsu no Sekai, this was created for the people who read the manga. Still, from the three OVAs sagas, this is definitely the more self conclusive, and if you are willing to take it as an elseworld, fans of the first two animes can watch it without much trouble.
Story: After the incident in the Mundus Magicus’s portal, Yue is transported and instantly broom-hit by Collet Farandole, a student at the Ariadne academy of magic. Yue ends losing her memory, and to keep an eye on her, she’s accepted in the academy, where, with Collet help, she’ll study to become a magic knight. During one class, the name Nagi Springfield is invoked, and Yue feels it have something to do with her past. But Nagi is not only a historical hero: right now, a young gladiator with the same name (and same appearance) is causing a great commotion in the annual Mundus Magicus’s fighting tournament , whose final will be held in Ostia. And this last thing is important, cause the academy has a contest where the winners will travel as guardians of that event…
Animation: Outstanding, like the other OVAs, though here the computer effects/drawing are a bit overused, especially in landscapes… They’re well done, and maybe it’s just a personal preference, but the two-dimensional drawings seem more beautiful.
It sometimes happened with magic, too.
And just a little detail, when a pactio card is activated, the transformation is similar to that of Sailor Moon xD.
Sound: Both the opening (Magical Twinkle Sky, which has the most comical animation of all the adaptations) and the ending (Good vibration!) are interpreted by the four Ariadne knights: Yue, Collet, Emily, and Beatrix. Both songs are very good, and the work of the seiyuus is impeccable, as we are used to these OVAs (and that’s admirable, since the entire cast, with the exception of Yue’s voice actor, are new to the series).
Verdict: Yue fans, rejoice! This is more than you could have ever imagined, a special devoted entirely to the Blue Baka Ranger. Despite being just one chapter, I have to say it did the best job in this whole manga adaptation project: the story makes sense all the time, no sudden jumps between scenes, and although the end is open, the story itself (of this special) is completed (as opposed to Mou Hitotsu no Sekai, which sadly ends up in one of the very best moments of the manga). This is the only Negima OVA that i could recommend to fans of the first two animes, and not only to the manga readers. As I said at the beginning of this review, if you take it as an elseworld (which it isn’t, since is part of the main story, but it could have been one), you can actually see it without much confusion (obviously there will be details that aren’t gonna be understood, but the action in general can be appreciate).
And the usual recommendation: If you didn’t read the manga, then read it! It’s one of the best things going on right now, if you don’t mind the obscene amount of fan service in its early chapters (later… I wouldn’t exactly say is attenuated, but certainly the focus of the series changes to the fights).
Al momento en que escribo esto, esta es (tristemente) la ultima encarnación animada que adapta de forma integra el manga de Mahou Sensei Negima. Como podrán deducir del título, este OVA trata sobre Yue y que fue lo que le paso después de separarse del resto de los miembros de Ala Alba. Al igual que con Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba y Mou Hitotsu no Sekai, esto está pensado para que lo vean las personas que leyeron el manga. Así y todo, de las tres sagas de OVAs, esta es decididamente la mas auto conclusiva, y si están dispuestos a tomarlo como un elseworld, los fans de los primeros animes pueden verlo sin muchos problemas.
Historia: Luego del incidente en el portal de Mundus Magicus, Yue es transportada e instantáneamente atropellada por Collet Farandole, una estudiante de la academia de magia de Ariadne. Yue termina perdiendo la memoria, y para cuidarla, es aceptada en la academia, donde Collet la ayudara a estudiar y a convertirse en uno de los caballeros mágicos. Durante una clase, el nombre Nagi Springfield es invocado, y Yue siente que tiene algo que ver con su pasado. Pero Nagi no solo es un héroe histórico: en la actualidad, un joven gladiador con el mismo nombre (y misma apariencia) está causando estragos en el torneo de lucha anual de Mundus Magicus, cuya final se celebrara en Ostia. Y esto último es importante, porque la academia tiene un concurso en el que las ganadoras viajaran como guardianas de ese evento…
Animación: Soberbia, al igual que las otras OVAs, aunque acá se abusa un poco de los paisajes hechos con computadora… Están bien hechos, y tal vez solo sea una preferencia personal, pero los dibujos en dos dimensiones me parecen más bonitos. En la magia también pasa esto.
A modo de detalle, cuando se activa una carta pactio, la transformación es similar a la de Sailor Moon xD.
Sonido: Tanto el opening (Magical Twinkle Sky, que tiene la animación mas cómica de todas las adaptaciones) como el ending (Good vibration!!) son interpretados por las cuatro Ariadne knights: Yue, Collet, Emily y Beatrix. Las dos canciones son muy buenas, y el trabajo de las seiyuus es impecable, como estos OVAs nos tienen acostumbrados (y eso es admirable, dado que todo el cast, con la excepción de la vos de Yue, es nuevo en la serie).
Veredicto: Fanáticos de Yue, regocíjense! Esto es más de lo que podrían haber podido imaginar, un especial dedicado íntegramente a la Baka Ranger azul. A pesar de ser un solo capitulo, tengo que decir que es el que mejor adapta el manga: la historia tiene sentido en todo momento, no hay saltos bruscos entre escena y escena, y aunque el final queda abierto, la historia en si misma de este especial, es concluida (a diferencia de Mou Hitotsu no Sekai, que tristemente termina muy cerca del momento máximo del manga). Esto es tan así que es la única OVA de todas las lanzadas que podría recomendar a un fan de Negima que vio los primeros animes, pero no leyó el manga. Como dije al principio de esta review, si se lo toma como un elseworld, realmente puede verse sin mucha confusión (obvio que va a haber detalles que no se entienden, pero la acción en general puede apreciarse).
Y la recomendación de siempre: si no leyeron el manga, léanlo. Es de lo mejor que hay dando vueltas en estos momentos, si no les molesta la cantidad obscena de fan service que hay en sus primeros capítulos (esto después… no voy a decir que se atenúa, pero decididamente el enfoque de la serie cambia hacia los combates).
8: Nisekoi OVA
Japanese: ニセコイ OAD
MAL Score: 7.39
Episodes released on DVDs bundled with the 14th, 16th, and 17th volumes of the Nisekoi manga.
Nisekoi is a romantic comedy/harem that came out Winter 2014 and I sure miss that series. The Nisekoi OVA, I can say for sure, was a blast to watch and is enjoyable just like the show itself. But even as good as it was, it still has flaws.
There are 3 episodes of the OVA, so let me talk about each one individually.
Nisekoi OVA #1:
The main focus of this OVA is the slight development to Onodera and Raku’s love. (And since I am a big shipper of the OnoderaxRaku thing I really felt that the OVA was adorable) But don’t worry Chitoge fans, because they still manage to keep the comedic relationship between Raku and her. And believe me, it was totally worth it and hilarious.
For certainty, this OVA could be for everyone, but is more directed to the Onodera shippers. Due to it lacking some screen time for the other characters it might be disappointing for others. Nevertheless, I still recommend this OVA for people to watch if you already saw the series.
Nisekoi OVA #2
The first half of the OVA focuses on Marika Tachibana having a part time job at a family restaurant. You may be thinking, “Why does she need a job if she is already rich?” It is later explained in the episode, but the reveal is actually quite sweet and endearing. What I got from this first half was that is showed really great development for Marika.
The 2nd half managed to give screen time to all the characters of the show. It was New Year’s Day and everyone comes to visit Raku’s household. While they are at the house, all the girls got drunk and start being flirtatious with Raku (except Ruri). And by the end, we assume that all the girls did “something” with him. But instead are given an idea that is was all a dream. I felt this one was the weirdest out of all the parts of the OVA but still gave us quite a few laughs.
Nisekoi OVA #3
OVA #3 is a hot spring episode with all the the characters shown. However, all the girls in the series were just there for fanservice. So if you are into that type of stuff, then this episode could be for you. As a person who doesn’t like fanservice I was quite disappointed.
This OVA does have a good thing to it though! We were introduced to new characters that is in Nisekoi season 2, so that’s a plus.
In all, this episode is the one I liked the least. If you like the ecchi type of atmosphere to a harem anime, then you may end up liking this a lot.
Anyways, try checking it out! The Nisekoi OVA’s are something you should at least watch watch if you were a fan of the series beforehand. Though some episodes may not be good as others, they still are enjoyable at the least. If you haven’t watched Nisekoi, then I recommend that you should watch it too. Hope you give it a watch and have fun watching it.
This OVA about relationship Onodera and Raku.
THis can fully be liked if you’re a Onodera fan happy. But I think it’s good who watch the series.. and this ova quite good because RomCom in this anime is there.
This OVA focuses on Marika Tachibana having a part time job at a family restaurant. What I got from this first half was that is showed really great development for Marika. and 2nd focuses a new year party who all character there. And who like harem genre . it’s almost paradise.
OVA 3 :
This OVA can be opening for season 2 who there is new character who will there in season 2
In all, this episode is the one I liked the least. If you like harem type, this ova give you want.
Sound / art : 9
Character : 9
Story : 6
Overall : 8
Thats was my wise decision ever to make. I dont need other explanation, cause the number just put it into the best explain. And i must say a good bye too to the whole series. Becuse i just read a spoiler caption (with no any intention, just being curious) and decide to never go back to this. Yes, i angry because the anime itself can not finished what they started over the whole serie. They decide to just make some bullshit fan-service art, with no any story progress (at first im mad, but then…. I must pull my restrain!). But, nevermind that! All people can have their problem. So be it, and fast move on to another series.
So …. Adios!
7: Mahou Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
Japanese: 魔法先生ネギま！～白き翼 ALA ALBA～
MAL Score: 7.44
OVA episodes that are bundled with the limited edition of the manga volumes 23-25. First episode to cover chapters 176 and 177 of the manga. Second episode to cover chapters 178-180. And third episode to cover chapters 182 and 183.
I won’t even talk about the two OVAs, Haru and Natsu….
Upon hearing of the third iteration of the series, Mahou Sensei Negima: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba, it seemed that hope was not lost for a decent animated version, especially as the story was supposed to follow events from certain chapters of the manga.
Unfortunately that hope was in vain.
The main problem with this OVA is that even though the story is pretty much the chapters from the manga in animated form, it’s not really designed to appeal to anyone but fans of the manga. This is, unfortunately, a poor move as the OVA doesn’t actually enhance the story or develop the characters in any meaningful way, and is little more than eye candy for the existing fans of the manga.
That said, the Ala Alba iis a very good adaptation of the chapters it covers. It’s so good in fact, that the viewer would be able to watch the OVA and skip the relevant chapters, and they wouldn’t miss a bit of the story. As adaptations go, this is up there with the most complete. The biggest problem with it is that it won’t appeal to newcomers to the series, or to those who have only watched the anime versions, as the story is taken from the middle of the manga so there’s no real explanation about events or characters.
As far as animation and design goes, this is actually very well made. The characters, backgrounds and settings are taken directly from the manga, with only a minor alteration here and there. The animation is fluid and the visual effects are well used. However, like the notorious Negima!? and the OVAs, this is a SHAFT production, and whilst they may be a great animation studio, they do have a tendency to do some rather odd things with animation at times. Their penchant for this rears it’s super deformed head in this OVA on several occasions and, more often that not, it serves as a distraction rather than an enhancement.
In terms of sound, the OVA will definitely appeal to fans of both anime series. The OP is a new rendition of the notoriously boppy “Happy Material”, whilst the ED is a slightly more martial take on “Kagayaku Kimi e”. The music used throughout the series has a decidedly upbeat tone which, given the lack of any truly serious events in this section of the story, isn’t a bad choice on the whole. The sound effects are atmospheric and well choregraphed, with the most impressive being the distorted vocals when a spell is being chanted, which is then overlayed by the characters voice. The effect is rather surreal at times.
The biggest plus for the OVA is that the gang is all here. The various (and numerous), seiyuu from both anime series, and the Haru and Natsu OVAs, are all gathered together once more.
One interesting thing that arises because of this though, is how a different look and feel can affect how one hears things. This is especially true for those who have watched either, or both, of the other two series. The characters, as a whole, have become more, or less, likeable in the OVA, although I should point out that this is in terms of individual characters and not as a group. Given that each character is played by the same seiyuu, and is essentially doing the same things and behaving in the same manner as before, I found this changed perception gave the OVA a slightly odd feel compared to the other efforts.
Negima is notorious for having oodles of characters however this OVA, being simply an animated form of certain chapters, doesn’t really have the scope to develop them in any meaningful way. One thing that does get highlighted is the disparity in terms of “power” between the girls that have contracts with Negi, and those that don’t. Aside from that though, there isn’t really anything else.
I did actually enjoy Ala Alba, as it made a nice change to see what the anime adaptations could have been like if they’d followed the manga. However, this is an OVA that will only really appeal to fans of the manga, although fans of either anime series who have yet to read the manga may want to check it out as it will give a taste of that version.
On the whole, it’s not a bad OVA, and it does have some plusses going for it, especially how closely it follows the manga. That said, I would have preferred to see something that added to the overall story rather than a glorified version of chapters I’ve already read.
I honestly had chills running down my spine the whole time.
After the disappointing first animated series (which forgot that it was shonen, minimizing or directly ignoring important fights and characters to the plot, only leaving the harem part of the original work), after a weird (to say at least) second anime, and after two OVAS that were loosely based in some manga chapters, in 2008 we finally got a high quality and faithful Negima adaptation (to some chapters, at least).
Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba is a three part OVA series that adapts from the end of the Mahora tournament until the preparations for the trip to Wales. With that last sentence, most of you probably understand that this wasn’t thought for the big audience: the plot of this OVAS starts in chapter 176 of the manga, while the first anime adapts (again, loosely) only as far as chapter 53. This was made specifically for Negima fans that read the manga, so, if you, person reading this review, aren’t one of those, you can stop reading now. Or don’t, do as you please.
Story: When the Mahora Festival ends, Negi Springfield thinks is time to get serious about that searching dad thing, so, after a talk with Albireo Ima, he decides to go to Wales, where the door to Mundus Magicus is supposed to be. But first thing first: under Eva’s guardianship, Ala Alba (the White Wings, a subtle tribute to Negi’s father team, the Crimson Wings), was born: a special school club with one objective: find Nagi Springfield.
Besides Negi, the new team consists of his seven partners (Asuna, Nodoka, Setsuna, Konoka, Haruna, Yue and Chisame), Ku Fei, Kaede, Asukura (with Sayo), Chachamaru and Kotaro (yes people: after four animated adaptations, the other man in the good guys side make his debut). This elite group is ready to train their asses to become stronger, and accomplish their objective. Unfortunately, Ayaka and the rest of the 3-A girls will discover their plans, and will want to join the journey…
Animation: The quality of these OVA is outstanding. Or maybe is just very good, and it looks amazing only when comparing with the first anime. The landscapes are very pretty, clear and bright (is very noticeable, because most of the action takes place in a beach and in Eva resort), and most important, the character design is faithful to the manga (closest to Negima!? than Mahou Sensei Negima), which means Chisame won’t screw the rules cause she have green hair (somebody understand the reference? xD), no more chocolate for Chamo, and other stuff.
As for magic, there aren’t many fights (these chapters are rather preparation for what is coming), but all the powers used are well made and flashy, especially in the first match of the first episode, and Eva ice powers.
And since this is a close adaptation of the manga, there’s fan service every now and then (but not as much as the first manga chapters).
Sound: The opening of the first anime, Happy Material, is back, less upbeat but more calm (not only is the opening, is the ending of the third chapter). The ending is also the one of Mahou Sensei Negima, Kagayaku Kimi e, and again, this version is a little more serene than the original. All the seiyuus of the first and second series are here, plus Marina Inoue as Kotaro (you may know her as Yoko in Gurren Lagan, or Rei in Highschool of the Dead). They all do a great job (they’re all good seiyuus, after all, they sing their own opening and ending), although the intonation of some is a bit weird, especially Mana (which, frankly, scares) and Asakura.
Verdict: this OVAs are, simply put, the best thing animated with the Negima name (until now at least… I think we all have hopes in the movie), only because is loyal to the original source. That means good drawing (it crush the first anime in this apartment) and good characterization (no weird poems by Zazie nor Yuna playing with tanks, or whatever). This is so faithful, that, unfortunately, only the manga followers (and I really mean followers… the ending has random images of chapters as advanced as 287!) will understand it, cause it start in a very arbitrary point.
That’s a shame, cause, even is this isn’t the more action oriented part of the story, it has lots of humor, and is really funny.
But, like I say: this is very recommendable for persons who read the manga and are dying for something animated. And the continuations are very good too: Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai y Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai Extra: Mahou Shoujo Yue.
… And if for some reason you read this review without having read the manga, I strongly recommend you to read it. It’s one of the best mangas going around right now.
Después de una decepcionante primer serie animada (que se olvido por completo que era un shonen, minimizando o directamente ignorando las peleas que eran relevantes a la trama), de una segunda serie… bastante extraña, y de dos OVAs ligeramente basados en algunos hechos del manga, en el 2008, finalmente, se realizaron trabajos de calidad que adaptaban fielmente la historia de Mahou Sensei Negima… o al menos, una parte. Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba es una tanda de 3 OVAs que abarca desde el final del torneo de Mahora, hasta los preparativos del viaje a Gales. Con esta ultima oración ya abran notado que esto no está apuntado a un público masivo: la trama de estos OVAs arranca desde el capítulo 176 del manga, mientras que el primer anime adapta (de forma bastante libre y salteándose varias cosas importantes) hasta el capitulo 53. Esto está hecho específicamente para los fans de Negima que leyeron el manga, así que si usted, lector, no lo hizo, puede dejar de leer ahora mismo. O no, haga lo que quiera.
Historia: Finalizado el torneo de Mahora, Negi Springfield piensa que es momento de tomarse en serio esto de buscar a su padre, por lo que después de hablar con Albireo Ima, decide ir a Gales, donde se encuentra la puerta al mundo mágico. Pero primero lo primero: bajo la tutela de Eva, se forma Ala Alba (las Alas Blancas, en honor al grupo del padre de Negi, las Alas Carmesi), un club escolar especialmente dedicado a asistir a Negi en su búsqueda. Además de sus siete parejas (o Partners, o como sea que ustedes lo hayan leído), están Ku Fei, Kaede, Asakura (con Sayo), Chachamaru y Kotaro (si señores: después de cuatro adaptaciones animadas, finalmente hace su debut el otro hombre importante del grupo de los buenos), todo un equipo de elite dispuesto a entrenar hasta el cansancio para hacerse más fuertes y lograr su objetivo. Por desgracia, Ayaka y el resto de las chicas del 3-A van a descubrir sus planes, y van a querer sumarse al viaje…
Animación: la calidad de estos OVAs es espectacular. O tal vez sea solo muy buena, y solo resalta mucho por comparársela con el primer anime. Los paisajes son muy bonitos y brillantes (lo que se nota mucho, porque la acción transcurre en una playa y en la casa de Eva), y lo más importante de todo, el diseño de personajes es ahora como el del manga (mucho más cercano al de Negima!? que al de Mahou Sensei Negima), lo que significa, no mas pelo verde para Chisame, no mas chocolate para Chamo, y otras cosas. En cuanto a la magia, si bien no hay muchas peleas (estos capítulos son más bien preparatorios para lo que se viene), todos los poderes usados están bien hechos y son muy vistosos, especialmente en el duelo del principio del primer capítulo, y los poderes de hielo de Eva.
Y como esto es una adaptación híper fiel al manga, hay fan service aquí y allá (aunque no tanto como en los primeros capítulos del manga).
Sonido: Happy Material, el opening del primer anime, vuelve a estar presente (como opening y como ending del tercer capítulo), ligeramente más tranquilo. El ending también es el de Mahou Sensei Negima, Kagayaku Kimi e, y de nuevo, esta ligeramente modificado para sonar más despacio. Todas las seiyuus de las primeras series están presentes, y se incorpora Marina Inoue como Kotaro (Yoko en Gurren Lagan, Rei en Highschool of the Dead). Todas hacen un muy buen trabajo (son buenas seiyuus, después de todo, cantan sus propios openings y endings), aunque la entonación de alguna suena medio rara, como la de Mana y Asakura.
Veredicto: Lisa y llanamente, estas OVAs (y sus continuaciones) son lo mejor que hay animado de Negima, (al menos hasta ahora… creo que todos tenemos muchas esperanzas respecto a la película), solo por ser fiel al trabajo original. Lo que significa buen dibujo (aplasta al primer anime en este aspecto) y personajes bien caracterizados (nada de los poemas raros de Zazie, o Yuna jugando con tanques). Es tan fiel que, desafortunadamente, solo podrán entenderlo los seguidores del manga (muy seguidores del manga… el ending tiene imágenes de capítulos tan avanzados como el 287!), debido al momento arbitrario en el que arranca (además de que los hechos, a veces, saltan muy rápido de uno a otro, pudiendo dejar confuso incluso al publico que leyó el manga). Esto es una lástima, porque, a pesar de una vez más animar una parte en la que no hay mucha acción, si hay mucho humor, y realmente es muy divertido.
Lo dicho: MUY recomendable para las personas que leyeron el manga de Negima, y se mueren por ver algo animado. También son recomendables sus continuaciones: Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai y Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai Extra: Mahou Shoujo Yue.
… y si por alguna razón leyeron esta review sin haber leído el manga, recomiendo vehementemente que lo lean. Es de lo mejor que hay dando vueltas en estos momentos.
6: Mahou Sensei Negima!: Mou Hitotsu no Sekai
Japanese: 魔法先生ネギま! ~もうひとつの世界~
MAL Score: 7.60
This is a series of OVAs covering some of the Magic World manga arc by Ken Akamatsu, starting with chapters 184 through 188.
This is the second series of OVAs that faithfully adapts the Mahou Sensei Negima manga, and picks up exactly where Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba (STAA) left. These OVAs (and it predecessor) are targeted only to the public who read the manga (it’s not enough just watching any of the first anime series), so If you didn’t, you will not understand what’s happening here.
Story: Ala Alba (plus Anya) arrives to Wales, and, after visiting Negi’s sister (cousin actually), they head straight to the door that leads to the magical world, where the plan is to get as much info as possible about Nagi Sprienfield.
Unfortunately, once in Mundus Magicus, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong: not only five students outside the group ended in the magic world, but, in that exact moment, the magical gate receives a terrorist attack led by Fate Averruncus (one of the villains of the Kyoto saga) and his evil minions. The result: Negi and company end up being sent to different parts of Mundus Magicus. This is when Negi’s priority changes from getting info to find where the hell his students are, and return them to Japan safe. Although the task doesn’t look easy, Ala Alba’s badges have trackers that Chachamaru (the only member that ended in the same place as Negi) is able to locate, so there is hope. Besides searching and searching, Negi will enroll in a fighting tournament (with the winning prize he can release a few of his students), while trying to control Magia Erebea, a dark art able to increase power in a very significant way.
The same way STAA meant Kotaro Inugami’s debut, these OVAs bring us, once and for all, the almighty Jack Rakan. Despite not having much screen time, he manages to demonstrate his insanely powers and amazing craziness. Just for this, it worth the watch.
Animation: Top notch, like the first part. With lot of detail and fluidity, this time we actually got various battles where the animation shines. And it couldn’t be otherwise, people like Fate, Tsukiyomi, Kagetaro, Rakan and Evangeline demand great graphics ;).
And just as there’s more action (which means, more magic, explosions, special effects -or CG, like the characters would say- and blood), there is more fan service than in the first part. It bordering hentai a few times… but classy, though.
Sound: The seiyuus of the first set of OVAs (and the first and second anime), are here, doing an excellent job again. Among the new voices, Rakan’s voice, Rikiya Koyama (Yamato in Naruto Shippuden, the second voice of Kogoro Mouri in Detective Conan) stands. As for the music, Love Drive is a song in the same line of Happy Material, that means is catchy and upbeat, with a very soft and pleasant entonation (by 3-A girls). The ending, Get Chance! is interpreted by Negi, Kotaro, Chisame, Eva, Chamo and Rakan voices, and also sounds good.
Verdict: Like STAA, these OVAs are the best Negima things animated. This time, it animates a bigger number of events, and finally, finally, we have predominant action. Fights vs. Cosmo Entelecheia, Kagetaro and Eva were exactly what we needed, so once and for all Negima could be seen as a shonen with harem elements, and not the other way (at least in the anime territory, the manga proved this a long time ago). The bad point is that the jumps between chapters can be very large. Example: at the end of an episode, we had Negi and Kotaro training. At the beginning of the next episode, they already won 15 fights in the tournament, and were asking for Yuna and Makie to search for them! Just like that. This occurs several times (with boards that try to explain what happened), and it’s annoying, because it omits some interesting parts. But hey, you are supposed to know what’s happening in these OVA, so is not that big of a deal. And don’t let the opening fool you: half of the images you’ll see won’t be adapted (which is heartbreaking… if you pay attention you’ll know why).
In short, this is not recommended for fans of the Negima manga, this is mandatory. Hell, if you know someone who read the manga and didn’t watch this OVAs, laugh and mock him (or show them that these chapters exist. I leave it to your discretion).
… And if for some reason you read this review without having read the manga, I strongly recommend you to read it. It’s one of the best mangas going around right now.
Esta es la segunda tanda de OVAs que adapta fielmente el manga Mahou Sensei Negima y retoma exactamente donde dejo Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba (STAA). Estas OVAs (al igual que las anteriores) están apuntadas solo al público que leyó el manga, así que asumo que las personas leyendo esto lo hicieron.
Historia: Ala Alba (mas Anya) arriba a Gales y, después de visitar a la hermana (prima, en realidad) de Negi, se dirigen directamente a la puerta que los conducirá al mundo mágico, donde la idea es conseguir información sobre Nagi Springfield. Desafortunadamente, una vez en Mundus Magicus, todo lo que podría haber salido mal, salió mal: no solo cinco alumnas ajenas al grupo terminaron entrando, si no que, justo en ese preciso momento, el portal recibe un ataque terrorista por parte de Fate Averruncus (uno de los malos de la saga de Kyoto) y sus secuaces. El resultado de esto: Negi y compañía terminan siendo enviados a distintos puntos de Mundus Magicus. Es entonces cuando las prioridades de Negi cambian de lleno a reunir nuevamente a sus alumnas, y devolverlas sanas a Japón. A pesar de que la tarea no pinta fácil, las insignias de Ala Alba poseen rastreadores que Chachamaru (la única que termino en el mismo lugar que Negi) es capaz de localizar, por lo que no todo está perdido. Además de buscar y buscar, Negi terminara inscribiéndose en un torneo de combate (con el premio podría comprar la libertad de varias de sus alumnas), al tiempo que intentara controlar la Magia Erebea, un arte oscuro capaz de aumentar su capacidad de forma considerable.
De la misma forma que STAA significo el debut de Kotaro Inugami, estas OVAs nos traen, de una vez y por todas, a Jack Rakan. A pesar de no tener mucho tiempo, se las ingenia para demostrar su poder demencial y su locura inherente. Solo por el vale la pena ver esto.
Animación: de primer nivel, igual que en la primera parte. Con mucho detalle y gran fluidez, en esta ocasión si hay varias batallas donde la animación brilla. Y no podía ser de otra forma, porque personajes como Kagetaro, Fate, Tsukiyomi, Rakan y Evangeline exigen los gráficos al máximo ;).
Y de la misma forma que hay mas acción (lo que significa más magia, explosiones, efectos especiales y sangre), hay mas fan service, bordeando por momentos el hentai… pero con clase, eso sí.
Sonido: Las seiyuus de la primera tanda de OVAs (y de los primeros animes) están presentes, haciendo un excelente trabajo nuevamente. Entre las voces nuevas, se destaca Rikiya Koyama (Yamato en Naruto Shippuden, la segunda voz de Kogoro Mouri en Detective Conan), la voz de Rakan. En cuanto a la música, Love Drive es una canción en la misma línea de Happy Material, o sea, movida y pegajosa, con una entonación muy suave y agradable. Y el ending, Get a Chance!, lo interpretan las voces de Negi, Kotaro, Chisame, Eva, Chamo y Rakan, y también suena bien.
Veredicto: Al igual que STAA, estas OVAs son lo mejor que hay animado de Negima. En esta ocasión, se anima una cantidad de sucesos todavía más grande que antes, y por fin, por fin, tenemos acción de forma predominante. Peleas como las de Cosmo Entelecheia, Kagetaro y Eva son lo que hacía falta, para que de una vez por todas Negima pueda consolidarse como un shonen con elementos de harem, y no al revés (al menos en el terreno animado, en el manga lo había demostrado desde hacía bastante). El punto negro es que los saltos que pega entre capitulo y capitulo pueden ser muy grande. Ejemplo: al final de un capitulo tenemos a Negi y a Kotaro entrenando, y al principio del otro ya habían ganado 15 peleas en el torneo, y le piden a Yuna y a Makie que los busquen!. Así, de golpe. Esto ocurre varias veces (con las pizarras que intentan explicar que fue lo que paso), y es molesto, porque omiten partes interesantes. Pero bueno, se supone que el que está viendo sabe que es lo que pasa, así que no es muy grave. Y que el opening no los engañe: la mitad de las imágenes que ven no van a ser adaptadas (lo que es una puñalada al corazón, si prestan atención sabrán porque).
En resumen: esto no es recomendable para los fans del manga de Negima, esto es obligatorio. Es más, si saben de alguien que valla al día con el manga y no vio estas OVAs, señálenlo y búrlense de el (o indíquenle que estos capítulos existen. Lo dejo a su criterio).
Y no olviden ver el especial de Yue, que es lo último adaptado a la animación.
… y si por alguna razón leyeron esta review sin haber leído el manga, recomiendo vehementemente que lo lean. Es de lo mejor que hay dando vueltas en estos momentos.
5: Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Bangaichi
Japanese: 懺さよなら絶望先生 番外地
MAL Score: 7.79
A new Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei OVA.
[+] “Shampoo” from Ranma on a shampoo bottle
[+] Full version of the opening theme (Ringo Mogire Beam!)
[+] Nice artwork, as usual
[+] Some amusing details in the background
[+] More fan service than usual
[+] I didn’t feel like pausing to read all the text that’s shown briefly
[+] They didn’t seem to blow things way out of proportion as they usually do
[+] It amused me a little, but didn’t make me laugh
[+] Hard to understand a lot of the references
Maybe I’m just harder to impress these days. Indeed, things can lose their appeal to a person who has seen those things time and time again!
*Re-runs of your favourite show
*Due to fans constantly showing obsession with N*ruto, you hate it even though you don’t know what it’s about
*Pizza is no longer a treat if you have it every night
*Politicians promising to act in public interest
*Modern technology is treated as obsolete as soon as something better is available
*You only read the highest rated reviews on MyAnimeList
I’m in despair! This world where things lose their appeal has left me in despair!
4: Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai
English: The Kubikiri Cycle
Japanese: クビキリサイクル 青色サヴァンと戯言遣い
MAL Score: 7.81
Due to a mysterious disease, the genius Iria Akagami has been forced by her family to stay in a mansion on the isolated Wet Crow’s Feather Island with only a handful of maids. To keep herself entertained, Iria invites a variety of fellow geniuses to stay as guests in her home, including computer savant Tomo Kunagisa and her unnamed assistant, skilled fortune-teller Maki Himena, famous artist Kanami Ibuki, academic scholar Akane Sonoyama, and renowned cook Yayoi Sashirono.
These visits progress as normal until one of the guests is found gruesomely murdered in the night without a single clue as to the identity of the killer or a possible motive. Tensions rise between those on the island as the killer remains at large, and Tomo’s assistant takes it upon himself to uncover the culprit’s identity before the murderous events progress any further.
Little of significance happens during this time: character introductions interspersed with surreal ‘SHAFT-ness’ (this should be coined as a word if it hasn’t already) and philosophical discussions about the meaning of life and why the protagonist is apparently such a big fat loser. Cool, so everyone is a weirdo, and the setting makes no sense, but why are we supposed to care, again? I expect most people who are not already fans of Nisio Isin or SHAFT anime will lose interest somewhere during this time and potentially drop the series altogether.
Which would be a mistake, because the third to eighth episodes are an absolute joy to watch, and constitute some of the best content SHAFT has produced in years.
Zaregoto (Kubikiri Cycle) is, rather, a murder-mystery anime, which those familiar with the Danganronpa series will find quite similar. The unnamed protagonist, trapped on a solitary island with a dozen others, must wrack his brain to solve a bizarre string of seemingly impossible murders. The natural response would be to call the authorities and let the professionals do their job, but circumstances prevent the police from being called to the island. And so begins a traditional battle of logic: the construction of alibis, theories to be argued out, and proof to be sought— and sought desperately.
Those well-versed in the mystery genre will find it relatively easy to work out the culprit’s identity via the clues left behind, but the actual process through which the murders are committed, and especially the culprit’s motives, are a bit harder to predict, if largely because they contain elements that would be implausible in an actual real-life incident. So, if being surprised by absurd events is more entertaining to you than an ordinary, realistic murder case, you will be in for a fun little ride. And conversely, those seeking something plausible will be a bit more exasperated. But I am not sure you would be coming to a SHAFT anime in the first place if you were expecting realism. I mean, hell, in the final episode, with 200 cars exploding into an atomic-bomb sized ball of fire, directly behind the characters during their peaceful car drive, with them not so much as even acknowledging it (what?), it became clear to me that this show ain’t based in our universe. The SHAFT universe is indeed a strange one.
If surreal artwork and mystery was all Zaregoto had going on, perhaps it would merely be an average, albeit fun series. The debates between the characters at the round-table aren’t particularly compelling, with the protagonist and his opponents simply going through the motions of a mystery story: a theory and an inevitable rebuttal. Compared to the Danganronpa games, which made things much more complex and interesting by means of characters speaking in red herrings and complete untruths (even when they are innocent and have nothing to be gained from lying), in Zaregoto’s case, there just isn’t a whole lot to applaud.
So it’s a good thing there is more to Zaregoto than mystery. The frequent philosophical discussions between the protagonist and his opponents, characteristic of Nisio Isin’s catalogue, make even the moments where the story is at a standstill a pleasure to watch and listen to. There are a couple scenes that veer towards preachy or even arrogant territory (“this is my, Nisio Isin’s, way of thinking, and other perspectives on life do not and cannot exist”), and a scene involving one of the maids uttering the most disparaging comments that could possibly be uttered to another human being (ending in them, literally, no joke, telling the protagonist he should kill himself), when said maid has only known the protagonist for a grand total of three effin’ days, was quite… nay, extremely uncomfortable to watch. But by and large, the philosophical discussions in Zaregoto add an extra bit of flair, a more cerebral quality that many anime lack, even if the themes of these discussions aren’t necessarily new or profound.
With a dozen characters and only eight episodes (and constituting only the beginning of a much larger light novel series), naturally, the characters are developed to wildly varying extents, with some being relegated to the sidelines and existing as little more than one or two-note tropes. The cook, Yayoi, is particularly guilty of this, being some incredible genius in the kitchen and capable of differentiating hundreds of thousands of tastes (how the heck do you even count that in the first place?), yet we see nothing of her cooking or her character besides her blowing her gasket at one point before withdrawing to the shadows again. Maki, defined largely by her love for wine and her verbal abusing the protagonist, is perhaps the most mature and intriguing member of the cast, which makes it a shame how little was seen of her. Instead, we get to see Tomo a million times… cute she is— especially in her twintail incarnation— but ‘cute shut-in savant girl’ is a trope I’ve seen seen more times in anime than I want to. The unnamed protagonist— or Ii-chan, I guess we could call him as Tomo does— is unsurprisingly the one with the most depth, a sort of darkness, a depressive nature hidden inside him that is teased but little revealed throughout the series. Mature and logical, he stands his ground in arguments, keeping his emotions tucked away inside himself. Though I wouldn’t go as far as to claim him ‘fun’ or ‘likeable’, he’s completely inoffensive and is one of the more compelling protagonists anime’s mystery genre has birthed.
Yes, Zaregoto looks, sounds, and feels like a typical SHAFT anime, a visual cross between Madoka and the Monogatari series. Surreal artwork, embracing style over realism, is ever-present, particularly in the final episode which is SHAFT cranked up to eleven and completely and entirely visually incomprehensible. The surreal artwork coheres with the story, considering the ridiculous supernatural skills most of the characters possess, but at times the artistic and sound design becomes overbearing. No, the characters do not need to do the trademark SHAFT head-tilt, and no, we don’t need the protagonist’s inner monologues sounding like he is talking in the bathroom of some abandoned house. It’s as if SHAFT is incapable of letting go, of letting the story take the lead and the artwork being complimentary, as it should in Zaregoto’s case. There’s an almost arrogant nature here, and, honestly, after over a decade of the same thing, it’s about time the studio experiments with a new artistic style. But, yes, look and sound pretty Zaregoto does, especially with its background music and tight transitioning between opening sequence and story.
Zaregoto is a thoroughly enjoyable, if unfortunately brief experience. It is also obscure: obscure in the sense that mainstream audiences— those who are not active fans of Nisio Isin or SHAFT— will not be aware of its existence. It is, after all, an OVA series. It didn’t air on TV. It is an adaptation of a series already fifteen years old. It went straight to disc, the only choice being to buy it or not. In Japan, where streaming services and illegal downloading aren’t half as much a thing as they are in the west, this has made Zaregoto completely and utterly impenetrable to newcomers.
And that’s unfortunate, because Zaregoto deserves to be watched.
Zaregoto is a Nisioisin show. Who ever told you it was a mystery probably told you PMMM is a kids show, and Shokugeki No Soma is a cooking manga. Bottom line, if you like that Nisioisin flavor you’re gonna like this OVA, if you don’t, well, at least ep. 7 has a beautifully animated scene directed by Akiyuki Shinbo that’s worth the 8 ep. price of admission.
Without reading any of the other reviews I can tell you what they’re gonna say. Zaregoto is a slow build. The main character is an edgelord. It’s a little bit too much of a stale whodunnit? without a sense that something tangible is at stake. Yeah, forget that noise. Like Monogatari, the big flashy genre set-pieces are sideshows, the character drama is the main event. All the mansions and murders and mauve color palettes only really matter to the extent that they give us greater insight into the characters themselves, the demons they’re wrestling with, and whether or not they can actually overcome them. Deep breath. So yeah, the story starts with a lot of talking heads and not a lot of lopping heads. That’s the point. When the characters and the hidden forces that drive them are the meat of the story its natural to spend 2-3 episodes listening to them subtly unveil the workings of their inner psyche. Of course, this is what makes Boku (MC-kun) seem like a member of the edge nobility. You already know him, he’s the world-weary hoodie-donning teenager who abuses his privilege as narrator to preach his profound-as-a-puddle philosophy of not caring. Thankfully the show knows better. Half the fun of Zaregoto is watching the people around him pick away at his shell. He’s a moaner, but he’s not trash. You genuinely hope he’ll evolve into a better person by the end of the series.
What are you waiting for? I gave you the bottom line in the first paragraph. Stop reading reviews and just go watch the thing!
While I don’t like how pretentious saying this sounds, I still have to say it:
This isn’t some ‘Whodunnit’-rhomp you can watch after work or school while being half asleep. To truly get most out of it, I recommend really focusing on it as much as possible.
That, or get drunk and enjoy the pretty pictures and lovely sound.
I’ve been guilty of that too occassionally.
Now on to what you can actually expect.
Zaregoto is a character study donning the guise of a murder mystery, with some good indulgent waifu material, as is Nisioisin’s law.
Now, one could say that this sounds a lot like the Monogatari series, which is also a character study pretending to be a ‘Girl-of-the-week’ harem, but there’s differences beyond the genre.
While The Kubikiri Cycle certainly has a good cast of characters, the main developmental focus is actually cast on our protagonist, Boku (or refferred to as Ii-Chan, by his friend Tomo), which alludes to the entire story being told in his perspective, as it was in the novel. Not once does anyone actually say his name.
Throughout the story, the anime touches on themes such as one’s place in the world as well as society, the blessings and curses that come with being a genius/savant, one’s calling in life, the dependancy upon other people and lots of other tough to swallow subjects you’d probably rather hear about in school than anime.
I’d say, though, that it’s precisely what’s so interesting about this OVA. You can easily read into it as much as you want, you can just enjoy this as a surface level murder-mistery (even if it falls a bit flat on that level) or you could even get an epiphany and become the next Buddha.
We’re not quite sure yet if Nisioisin is that smart or if he’s just good at pretending to be smart.
Anyway, if that managed to catch your interest, I’ll now cut to the dry part of my review and talk about the subcategories specifically. Ready? Cause I aint.
As alluded to before, the actualy murder mystery is quite solid. Nothing amazingly new, but it utilizes the classic ‘Locked Room’ mystery quite well.
It also doesn’t fall into the more modern trap of not actually giving the audience the hints they need to figure stuff out themselves.
You’ll know as much as the protagonist, guaranteed.
One thing to be critiqued especially, is that the entire cast sometimes just doesn’t think about something every person who’s familiar with mysteries would think about. People lying about alibis? The murderer didn’t act alone? The persone we think is suspicious doesn’t actually have a decent motive?
Yeah, it’ll take a while, if at all, for the cast to even consider these questions at times.
Still, solid like I said, and it’s more of a vehicle to make our characters encounter new experiences and question themselves, so it’s not key to the enjoyment.
This is highly subjective, but I’m a sucker for Shaft’s Monogatari-style directing, which they heavily used for this title. Head-tilts, eye close-ups, supremely intricate and beautiful backgrounds, colour-shifts, it’s all here.
Even without the directing though, I think it’s needless to say that the art is just extremely nice.
I’ve heard people say that the characters look a bit too ‘plastic-y’ at times thanks to the lighting, which I think is a fair point, but I can’t say that I dislike it.
The sounds was for me, especially in the first few episodes, phenomenal in complimenting the atmosphere. It constantly creates an atmosphere of unease even before the murder(s) and keeps you on your toes.
As the episodes went on, however, I noticed the soundtrack less and less. Not that it ever got bad, just not as obviously good as before.
I’ll have to note though, that this might be because I binged the series, so maybe I just lost focus as time went on.
Shoutout to both OP and ED, as they’re really good songs.
Usually, on any other Nisioisin production, this is where I’d praise him for cleverly subverting character stereotypes, but with Zaregoto I really need to commend him on writing characters that complement his main goal, which is to explore Boku (and to a lesser extent Tomo) as characters.
Every character pretty much stays true to what you’d think they’d be like. But only in this circle of very defined and rigid characters can an undefined character like our protagonist truly shine.
In that sense, I can see how giving this section a 10 could be controversial, as I’m praising the choice and usage of characters, and not the characters themselves.
If it’s any comfort, can I say that I really liked all of the characters, both personality and design? Especially my girl; sleazy, drunkard fortune teller, Maki Himena.
I really shouldn’t have written all the stuff before my ratings, as it’d fit better in here, now that I think about.
Trying to find any closing words, I’d have to go with the following:
If you enjoy the idea of analyzing something again and again, and want to see just how far anime as a medium can be pushed, then you’ll really like the Monogatari Series.
And if that’s too much time investment or a bit too big of a plunge (or I guess you already consumed everything Monogatari, but want more), then watch this OVA, cause it’s a great start to Nisio’s writing and Shaft’s directing while not outstaying its welcome.
3: Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
English: Goodbye Mr. Despair OAD
Japanese: 獄 さよなら絶望先生
MAL Score: 7.84
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei OVA.
*below are some spoilers coming atchu.***
Story: Just like any old Zetsubou Sensei material, there will be mindless plots, random explosions, and a bunch of ADD worthy material mentioned. But be warned: this anime requires a lot, I mean a LOT of anime and Japanese knowledge to be funny. I mean, a parody of Code Geass, Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, and cosplaying all at the same time?! Come on! thats crazy! But it is just how this anime works. Despite this, I think SHAFT failed to make the OVA as good as its sisters, but, you know, its and OVA, they tried their best, and it worked. -7
Art: I have nothing to say about this not because I’m blind, but because Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei never, EVER changed its art style in its 3 runs. And that is fine… please, if there will be a 4th season, keep the karuta-style openings.
Sound: Rhumba and Marionnete and both used in Zoku, so there really was no show of any interest in new music. Too bad, I like the first season’s first opening better. -6
Character: Crazy random hyperactive and uncontrollable little girls playing at a suicidal guys feet and making sudden threats to him is just about how I’d describe the characters. Unpredicable!
Enjoyment/Overall: to many, it will have you in stitches, but for many others, it will leave you snoring as your cup ramen slowly turns into udon. If you are the kind of guy that laughs about parodys that involve zombie jacksons and random penguins popping out of the most randomest places then this is the anime for you. As for the normal people, we’ll hang out in that corner over there… -8
2: Hidamari Sketch: Sae Hiro Sotsugyou-hen
Japanese: ひだまりスケッチ 沙英ヒロ 卒業編
MAL Score: 8.08
The anime centers on the graduation of Sae and Hiro.
A masterpiece, this series will cure your depression and teach you that life is worth living. The first few seasons are slow paced and calm, allowing you to warm up to the characters and the way the episodes work. Then the pace picks up and the days get more excited and there is literally sunshine everywhere.
If you haven’t watched this series yet, there’s no good reason why not.
Not that often do you see a freaking comedy last over fifty-two episodes. Hidamari Sketch is notable in that, not only do you just feel for the characters throughout the whole thing, but it is one of the very few comedy anime out there that retains the same production crew throughout its entire run.
Its visuals become astoundingly better as it progresses, specifically on the way they draw the characters, but the progression feels much better knowing it is not a new team at any given point working on it. I know that another certain anime did this for EVERY season and that was a major turnoff, but I digress.
I am not writing an entire review for this anime right here, as that is for the season three review. As I said in my first one that was written for the first season, each review counts both seasons. So, the first counted 1-2 and, once I get to it, the third one will count 3-4 as a whole; mainly cause they are pretty similar. However, I could not wait and, after finishing it right now, had to write a review on these OVA specials first. So, this sis more of a summary of my opinion on the entire series, well the next one will be centered on the prior two seasons. Prepare to cry if you, too, watched all of it and are reading this.
Heartwarming is not the only word I have to use for this, not at all. From Miya comforting Yuno during the graduation when she was collapsed over the thought of not seeing Sae and Hiro for a long time, to the opening featuring every single character that ever had a major appearance in the anime. It was all just so painful to watch, but in a good way. It reminded me that the buildup was fast approaching and that, after this, the anime would be no more. It is a comedy, but it gives me feels unlike no other comedy before it that I have seen.
And, not gonna lie, due to her already minor appearances, I was thinking this would be solely centered on the main girls and that it would not have any major roles for minor characters. But, Natsume got me more than anyone else in these OVA specials. I wish it lasted longer, but what they did for her still made me tear up more than any other sad moment in these specials. So much so that the entirety of Natsume’s character unfolded in front of my memories as I was watching it and I could not hold it in anymore. And, though I was not exactly streaming down the face, my eyes were filled to the brim.
For the first time, I saw a tsundere character break entirely out of their mold; their comfort zone, to be precise, which is normally what they have whenever they are not around other people. Natsume broke down, and I mean hard, in front of Sae. Her tear ducts were welting and she was breaking down to Sae how she would find a way to meet her again; basically saying that she did see her as a friend the entire series.
This was finally realized by Sae during the finale of the fourth season, as Natsume confessed to reading Sae’s books; albeit on accident, her synopsis on the story was exactly what Sae wanted to hear from one of her readers and she promptly booted out after mentioning it.
Sae approached her as she blabbed on about what they were going to do, grabbed her shoulders and said she did see her as a friend, too. And, entirely out of character, Natsume instead embraced Sae, rather than running away, as she knew this would be the last time she would see her.
The scene could have been longer, but it makes sense that it was short due to how minor she was in the anime. But, her progression in that one scene where she actually confessed her feelings and did not do the generic tsundere thing where she brings up a good point or two really hit me hard.
Given how used I am to it and how much knowledge I have of the stereotype to make a healthy assumption that the sad scene would have fallen short, it was surprisingly adequate and Natsume embraced Sae until she calmed down, rather than doing it for a little bit and running or, well, dashing away at all after any of the lines she said.
She normally avoids contact with Sae for long periods of time, but she wanted this time to be the longest she ever spent with her; and that moment alone can give anyone whom appreciated her character a hard smack in the heart and have you at least watering a little bit in the eyes. Perhaps, cause Natsume did not hesitate once when she was saying her goodbyes.
It really is enough to make you appreciate her character development; especially when you go all the way back to season one, where she literally appeared one time and was originally a comedy character that was meant to provoke Sae during the festival. Then, she became a recurring character in the next season, where she had significant development among any other character in their school and, despite being minor again in the final two seasons, her development was at its peak during these seasons and the last of these two specials just released her everything.
If there is somehow a brief OVA spin-off series where we see Sae and Hiro beyond college, if not in it, then I hope Natsume has some significant development during them. She deserves it after the ending of these specials.
My apologies for delving into Natsume a lot, but I just appreciated her involvement here; little as it was. And, I did not capitalize on much else cause most of the other characters had pretty minor goodbyes and it followed a few generic cliché bits with the singing during the ceremony, the goodbyes to the minor characters we never saw at all in the entire series and so forth.
If I had to pick one more goodbye that struck me, that was even shorter than Natsume’s own, it was with the landlady. When she brought up the “Sunshine at Hidamari Apartments” or whatever that flyer said on it as she put her arm around Sae and Hiro, it was the zoom before the next scene that hit me hard; showing them all crying, as the landlady had been with them throughout their entire high school years.
This was truly a beautiful conclusion and this anime had a worthy amount of episodes. I hope one day I do get that spin-off OVA series.
A perfect end to an amazing anime series. (I hope it’s not really the end) =(
It was so great to see Hiro and Sae graduate. The composition of frames set up during the entire second episode for the OVA was so well done. SHAFT did an excellent job showcasing how much Yuno-chi was being affected by Hiro and Sae graduating and eventually having to move out. Yuno was moved, as were as all the other girls and as such, I too was moved . . . to tears.
To recap from all the other reviews I have done about Hidamari Sketch. A story about 4 girls (then 6), Yuno-chi (Main Focus), Miya-chan, Hiro, Sae, Nori and Nazuna who live out their lives in an apartment right across from Yamabuki High. We have characters of many spectrums: shy/reserved, timid, nervous, eccentric, simple minded, caring, loving, motherly; honestly so many terms could be used to describe the girls.
It’s a slow rolling adventure about essentially nothing: eating foods with your friends, going to school, going to the bath houses, just celebrating life and all that occurs within it. All the girls except for Miya-chan have some sort of problems that they face, whether it’s Hiro’s weight problem, Yuno-chi’s lack of direction, Sae’s confidence etc. etc., they all feel real and are handled very well through all 4 seasons. Yoshinoya-sensei continues to be cute all the way throughout and Natsume will forever remain the girl with a crush so great, she can’t do anything about it. I’m really glad that Natsume had more screen time in x Honeycomb and her scene in the OVA too; really shows how much she cares for Sae. The only thing I wish we could have seen more of was Chika-chan, Sae’s younger sister. She is incredibly cute, with an attitude and personality that is quite different from Sae herself. I honestly thought that she was going to join her sister and live in the Hidamari Apartment when she became a high school student.
The art style that SHAFT uses is so adorable and cute, polka dots and great art, blending in real life items with their style, pastel colors and vibrant ones too. Never once did I feel the colors or art style were too aggressive or boring, I love it. I love all the outfits that the girls used when not in their school uniforms, I love how the outfits always had this layer drawn on-top that, when the outfits moved, more of that “on-top” layer would be shown. I have no idea how to call that technique, but it’s so mesmerizing. The entire series showcases how the art style of a company matures and becomes greater than ever before, I think.
The music used throughout the entire series is quite amazing. Background music is played when it makes sense, always lending more emotions to the scene at hand. The openings and endings used are all fantastic, with the openings always being peppy, cheerful, quick to bring excitement to you, where as the endings are always slower in pace, use a more relaxing melody and have beautiful singers for your ears to experience. Music from Hidamari Sketch alone is quite amazing to listen to and when combined with the art style, the show goes past the stratosphere becoming an amazing series of music and art.
Hidamari Sketch…. as a whole entity, is without a doubt a fantastic and great slice of life. The girls, the slice of life story, the relationships, the entire thing…. just so good ~.The way the episodes are played out, throwing the viewer into relationships already built and confusing us, works so well in the end. Reason why Hidamari Sketch is out of order!. By the end of this series, I felt so connected to the characters and story that was occurring, it was incredible.
10/10. I love this anime. So glad I was able to experience it.
1: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden
MAL Score: 8.15
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden is the first of two OVA adaptations of side stories from the Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu novel series. This first adaptation follows the achievements of Reinhard von Müsel and Siegfried Kircheis of the Galactic Empire before the fateful Battle of Astarte.
The Silver-White Valley
Reinhard and Kircheis graduate from their military academy and are immediately sent to the frozen frontier planet Kapche-Lanka. Unbeknownst to them, their new superior schemes to kill Reinhard on behalf of a rival of Reinhard’s sister Annerose von Grünewald.
Dreams of the Morning, Songs of the Night
Reinhard and Kircheis are assigned to the Imperial Military Police, where they uncover the corrupt and oppressive practices of the Empire’s law enforcement. They are soon ordered to investigate the murder of a student at their alma mater.
As Reinhard awaits the bestowal of his new title of Count von Lohengramm, he sends Kircheis to the artificial resort satellite Kreuznach III for a vacation. Restless from the lack of work, Kircheis assists the local police with a drug trafficking case related to an attack on a disgraced former Vice Admiral.
A Hundred Billion Stars, a Hundred Billion Lights
While Reinhard is still a commodore in charge of only a single squadron, he laments the incompetence of his superiors during a battle against the Free Planets Alliance. Amassing military successes under the direct command of Vice Admiral Richard von Grimmelshausen, Reinhard repeatedly clashes with Hermann von Lüneburg, a commodore and former regimental commander of the Alliance’s infamous Rosen Ritter.
The setup, as fans already know, is epic defined. Having had his sister sold to the empire’s ruler by his deadbeat dad, Reinhard has vengeance in mind, but coupled with his genius intellect, it’s a vengeance that spans the galaxy, rather than through crosshairs via an assassination. This man wants to dispose of his nemesis in as grand fashion as possible, to not only save his sister, but to ensure it’s not a suicide mission, to prevent his tragedy from ever occurring again to any other. To do this he needs to usurp the ruler himself. His personal desire is dressed in a noble mission of reformation, which adds to the fascination of Reinhard’s character.
Prequels are generally designed to be viewed after the work they’re meant to be set before, this way the viewer can gleefully spot foreshadowing moments and discover insight into characters they think they already know. A Hundred Billion Stars OVA is no different in this regard. Though lacking in any big revelations for the first 13 episodes, it is admittedly more of an exercise in filling-in-the-blanks. However that’s not to say there’s nothing of worth here, because although the first 13 episodes have not much bearing on the main story of the saga, there is still quality writing involved when it comes to character and dialogue.
Seeing how Reinhard began his military career and observing him in the front-lines of the war, dealing with numerous death threats from pissed off aristocrats and embarking on a murder mystery as a member of Military Police is all very entertaining. It’s like constantly dodging bullets, what could have been terrible filler that betrays everything that came before, ends up being a work that is in honour of its predecessor, a supplement; more nourishment for the fans and viewers of anime in general.
The anime is interestingly, and successfully, split into segments. There are a total of four arcs of varying lengths, each with its own chapter numbering. This avoidance of one long narrative is successful because it prevents the anime from hitting slumps where the TV writers make up meaningless ‘filler’ type material to stretch the show to its allocated episode count. Instead we simply jump from one point in Reinhard’s life to the next; a greatest hits of his youth, if you will. His first battle for survival on a harsh planet, a stint in the Military Police, and then what we’re really itching for: a full-on naval/planetary battle against the Alliance with cameos galore. This last arc is what justifies the OVA.
But ok, I just lied about the anime avoiding hitting a slump. The third Kircheis-centred arc is extremely boring, clichéd, has the weakest link to the franchise (replace all the character names and you’ve more or less got a different show) and is populated by irritating characters. Reinhard has about five minutes screen-time, which kind of defeats the purpose of the OVA. It is the only time I have been bored in the entire LotGH viewing experience, and that includes the Golden Wings movie so that’s saying something!
Back to that last arc though, the longest segment and the one to introduce big revelations and become something more than an exercise in filling in blanks. It’s a character study that reveals aspects of a few characters and their relationships to others that we only had a hint of in the main OVA. It cements their mythology for good. What you thought you knew about them before isn’t turned on its head, its instead unabashedly celebrated in this arc, and even better that every aspect of the arc is of the highest quality. The direction, visuals, pacing, and plot, all superb. The biggest antagonist of the arc is a guy you really hate, but for all the right reasons, because he is generally a well-rounded character with intelligence and motive.
The animation isn’t drastically different from the main OVA, but being that it was produced in 1998 it’s smoother; with nice flowing hair moments. Character designs and scene composition is slightly higher of the standard the original OVA set. It’s all acceptable and does the job. It’s not going to win a lot of awards for its looks, but the story and characters are so strong, it doesn’t need to. The music also remains similar to the main OVA, all timeless classical bombast.
What this OVA also asserts is that Reinhard can’t form relationships with other human beings unless he is deemed, or feels, superior to them. This fact is extremely fascinating about the character, and the fact that he’s so damn charismatic and honourable means we simply accept this narcissistic character-flaw of his, whereas in any other anime we’d feel repelled against the character.
Sometimes it’s easy to be swayed by Reinhard’s superior attitude and presence, it’s easy to forget his struggle against the nobility. The OVA reminds us that the character had to fight his entire youth and early career against an entire system, a way of life. And this OVA contributes to his mythos in showing just how difficult and dangerous it was to ascend the ranks by dodging bullets, persecution, intrigue and insults to his dear sister all the way. It makes him one of anime’s greatest characters because he didn’t have everything given to him, he had to earn it.
He also had to earn our respect and admiration via a great voice actor, character design and most importantly characterisation, all of which are in full force in this OVA. I give it a 9 and not a 10 because you need to see the original OVA to complete the experience, and plus one arc wasn’t up to standard, but for all fans of LotGH this OVA is essential viewing.
A low-level nobleman’s son can claim he’s going to rule the universe, yet no one will care about the ridiculous dreams of a rebellious youth. For every rank that child rises, however, the possibility grows more and more real. Old aristocrats always talked about Reinhard and Kircheis’ swift rise in rank, some crediting his sister’s favor with the Emperor, and others noting his significant military accomplishments. In truth it is no small feat for a talented person to come into power. This feat is magnified in a despotic state ruled by incompetent party-goers, as is the case here.
While that struggle is a big focus, arguably more attention is given to the friendship of a blond conqueror and his red-headed guardian. Theirs is perhaps the truest and most positive connection in Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
Kircheis can see Reinhard’s considerable dreams, and admires them; however, Sieg himself is content with small things. He is loyal to a person, not ideals, such that if key people are belittled Kircheis loses his famous morality. Like Reinhard, his views have an inevitable paradox: even if the noble ideals of someone inspire you to follow them, the attachment you form can create a monster, if broken or threatened. Kircheis never blames his master for these issues, preferring to consider what justice can be had from his dire circumstances, a conclusion befitting his reasonable nature.
Reinhard is as charismatic here as in the main series. His aura is a little different; more childish, and unable to contain himself while serving others. He is so definitely a Lord that, as an under-18 junior officer, Reinhard feels perfectly fit to hold galactic Fleet Admirals in full public contempt. Not a single social injustice or corrupted passes him without a sharp rebuttal, and hardly an advantage isn’t capitalized on. His story really does lie ahead though, so what’s seen here is through the eyes of Kircheis: a blond hero whose future is bright, and whose life we follow.
Compared to when the franchise began, the animation has seen a huge improvement. Movements are more fluid, and some scenes look rather stunning, in particular those of the first 4-episode arc. The sound is consistent with the main series: brilliant voice acting (though the passing of Yang’s actor should be mourned), an operatic score, and typical sci-fi sound effects.
I always found the English opening to be questionable, and this one at first was no exception; after some time, however, I found myself never wanting to skip it. The art is beautiful, and the dynamic camerawork is atypical of this series. More than that, the images capture a picture of Reinhard and Kircheis at their purest, while the music and lyrics hinted at a melancholic rejection of how their lives turned out.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden
2. Hidamari Sketch: Sae Hiro Sotsugyou-hen
3. Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
4. Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai
5. Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Bangaichi
6. Mahou Sensei Negima!: Mou Hitotsu no Sekai
7. Mahou Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
8. Nisekoi OVA
9. Mahou Sensei Negima!: Mou Hitotsu no Sekai Extra – Mahou Shoujo Yue
10. Negima! Natsu Special!
11. Negima! Haru Special!
12. Nisekoi: OVA
13. Sakura Tsuushin
14. Magical Suite Prism Nana
15. Arcade Gamer Fubuki
16. Yume kara, Samenai