They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Kouryuu no Mimi: Mina no Shou, Power Dolls, Makeruna! Makendou, and more!
18: Kouryuu no Mimi: Mina no Shou
MAL Score: 5.07
Based on the manga by Inoue Noriyoshi, which has also had a Super Famicom game spinoff.
Natsume Kiroemon, the protagonist, was the 45th leader of the Natsume family, and inherit the “Kiryuu no Mimi “, a tool which gave its bearer easy access to wealth and women. As a result of his father’s death, he left the Italian monastery where he’d been training and rightfully took the name “Natsume Kiroemon” as well as the power of the Kiryuu no Mimi. Upon his return to Japan, he fell fatally in love with Kanako, one of the members of the rival Mina family. However, the evil hand of the Mina family attacked Natsume constantly and abducted Kanako. Now Natsume has unlocked the seal, making the Kiryuu’s power surge, and he’s striking back at the Mina family.
17: Power Dolls
MAL Score: 5.39
In 2535 A.D., after decades of oppressive policies instituted by the Terran government, the people of the colony world Omni joined together to declare their independence from the tyranny of planet Earth. Lacking an established military or specialized weapons of warfare, the Omni rebellion seemed doomed to failure. However, by adapting the robotic Power Loaders used for unloading spaceships into man-like battle tanks, the Rebel forces instead introduced a whole new era of mechanized combat. Now, the future of the planet Omni rests upon a handful of young female pilots who serve in the special Detachment of Limited Line Service. Their code name: The Power Dolls!
Art is very standard fare for the 90s but a lot of detail has been put into the mechanical designs and they have been futurized to immerse into the interplanetary setting; unlike the games which depict very contemporary military units alongside the titular Power DOlls. The DOlls themselves are rendered very faithfully, down to the extreme level of loadout options available in the game. It is also fun to see the character portraits in the game fleshed out with surprisingly good facial animations and movement.
There wasn’t as much mechanized firefights as I’d have liked given the screentime. The Enemy mechs turned out to be very mook-like but seeing the flakpanzer gepards (but in space) and the spider mechs in the second ova being taken down by the Power DOlls was quite satisfying. One thing to mention though; the second OVA has a striking artstyle change that makes it more reminiscent of how Silent Mobius/Gall Force Revolution looks.
I can confirm that at least some of the soundtrack are tracks from the games (not even rearranged I think, a testament to how good chiptunes were), its pretty glorious cyberpunky synth fusion jazz. Alas the sort of music the average person would dismiss as 80s cheese.
Overall, only people who like the game or love their fix of MSF anime would enjoy this short ova; appreciating how even a tiny bit of the extreme detail in the games was carried over to an anime adaptation helps too.
16: Makeruna! Makendou
MAL Score: 5.59
Makenko used to be a normal boy—until he was kidnapped by the brain monster Dr. Mud and transformed into a cyborg capable of destroying both the monster and human worlds! On his quest for vengeance, he is inadvertently joined by Makendo, a fellow monster hunter who would prefer not to be, and her little sister Hikari who would like nothing better! Dastardly demons and wacky monsters abound as the trio fight the bad guys to kick some monster butt, and get Makenko’s body back!
Note: Unclear to why a 30minutes duration to the 26minutes i have seen. My guess, 30 was a nice round up number.
-Introduction was a bit confusing of a start. While we did get an idea of the character’s backstory it wasn’t really sufficient. How can the audience root for someone they don’t really know? Then again one could argue it goes along with the police’s database of knowing basically nothing. Although, the past was himself, for he had his own name. His current and possible future lies in the hands of another. So, while the police background concept is an argumentative it only focuses on the current. Therefore, having the main character pre-background setting wouldn’t hurt anything. For frankly based on the little known information it his hinted to have been based on word choice but there could have been a just or good explanation for it. In which case the main character was nothing but good but society made a mistake with him.
-Rest of the story could be grasped easily. Nothing big of importance was left out. You had relationship, you had other character’s backgrounds. You had motives.
-Ending was comical and not plot based which was a shame. Mostly because the comedy level wasn’t that high. Some examples used were over use of jokes, nonsensical actions like the digging scene when a battle had already started. The positive side to not have the ending focused on the plot is that it opens up the idea of a sequel. Although, i don’t think there was enough information or material to make one.
No complaints. I was happy with the use of the credits. Credits can be boring with just words but here they included pictures of the show. Which normally, could have been equaling as boring but instead the pictures you were not from the show but from what i take to be hints on how the story progressed. Sadly, no references were made to the main character.
15: Early Reins
English: Early Reins
MAL Score: 5.90
Early Reins features six beautiful women on a train en route to Sunshine Hill in the early 1800s. When the train is highjacked by robbers and the soldiers on board are caught unawares, another surprise is in store: these lovely ladies can fight! The heroine emerges as Margarette, a young woman determined to become a sheriff although she is somewhat lacking in experience. She gains plenty on this trip, however, and the ragtag team of Western warriors joins forces with another passenger, Spencer, to fight some nefarious bandits and guide the train to safety.
Early Reins is one of the rare anime that is a regular straight up western. Normally when an anime takes influence from westerns, it’s usually just the visual and tonal motifs incorporated along side another genre, such as with Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Gun X Sword, El Cazador de la Bruja, and Coyote Ragtime Show. But with Early Reins, it’s actually set in the actual wild west, and it’s pretty refreshing to see this genre played straight in anime form.
In my research for this review, there does seem to be a few other western themed anime and manga, along with the odd Japanese developed video game, such as Wild ARMs, but it seems to be far and few between. Which is a shame, because there is such an untapped market for western themed manga and anime.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much to say about it outside of it’s basic plot synopsis and to point out that it’s one of the few anime that plays it straight as a western. And since it’s only 40 minutes long, there’s not really room for much plot or character development, along with not much to talk about with outright spoiling a lot of it.
I know that it seems like my review isn’t exactly all that complimentary towards Early Reins, but I actually really like this short OVA, and I wish there was a few more episodes. Sure, it’s a bit cliched, but it had a certain charm to it that a lot of anime doesn’t. It would have been neat to see our main characters as they went about their daily lives in an old timey western town, with each episode featuring a new conflict for our main characters to deal with.
It wouldn’t even had to have a ton of episodes, maybe ~4-6 episodes in total. But I can only talk about what is available, and what is available is a one episode OVA that’s just OK, which is a shame.
Early Reins takes the best of both of these worlds and is a 2003 anime original OVA that serves as an appetizer to something bigger that doesn’t exist and doesn’t really get a proper ending. Lovely.
The anime stars a cast of six beautiful women on a train in the good old days of the wild, wild west. Sadly, the anime never really gets a chance to expand on the character of more than about two of these women, them being the eye-patched Lola and the sheriff-in-training Margaret. The other four get baseline personalities and never really do anything to stand out on their own. I’m pretty confused as to why the anime even chose to have such a large cast for such a short story in the first place. I guess having more good looking women on the cover would increase sales? That would be the only reason I can think of since besides Eyepatch and Margaret they don’t really do much except shoot some guys in an admittedly pretty cool scene, but I’ll get to that later.
Getting back on track, as far as the characters are concerned the anime is about Margaret’s growth as a sheriff and her rising to the occasion of defending her train along with veteran cowboy Lola. Owing once more to the short runtime the growth is also handled rather haphazardly, but it’s a genuinely good effort and I can’t say I didn’t get at least somewhat attached to Margaret by the end.
Well, I may have gotten even more attached if the dubs voice acting didn’t sound so unintentionally funny and forced. Pretty much every actor in the show tries to pull a hard southern accent, some with more success than the others. Margaret and Eyepatch, the two characters with the most lines are fairly alright in that regard since their actors don’t try way too hard, but oh dear god do some of the other characters sound ridiculous. I especially would like to point out Mona Marshall’s portrayal of a rancher girl that sounds as if someone is constantly strangling her. Well, at the very least the dub’s at least hilariously bad instead of being just bad or downright insulting to the ears.
And speaking of things that are not bad: the story is actually surprisingly fun. It’s a pretty simple train robbery scenario that gets played out over the entire forty minute runtime, but it has enough bits and bobs here and there to at least be fun. If you expecting anything more thought provoking than some good old wild west shootin’ then you’re out of luck. Even though the anime tries to pull a plot twist near the end, it really doesn’t come as any surprise and it’s solved about as quickly as it comes up. And, speaking of the ending, it teases a future story that never came into fruition which actually makes me kind of disappointed because I would love to see what they could do with this setting if the got more time.
Where the real fun lies is in the creative ways in which the anime lets the girls shoot people. Ok, maybe creative is an overstatement, but it’s still quite fun watching a group of horseback riders get mown down by a rich girl turning the crank on a gatling gun from a train. It’s just about as fun as all the more controlled shoot-outs that happen throughout the anime that get solved in one well placed shot and possibly a Max Payne-style jump to the side. It’s all great fun and it’s really what makes the anime somewhat good. There’s not a moment of boredom during the entire thing and the pacing is quite fast chugging along from action scene to action scene lest you get bored by the unimportant plot and occasionally nonsensical dialogue.
However, I will concede that the action is nothing outstanding and that it’s only really fun the first time since there’s not a whole lot of creativity put into it. Even the animation can be rather stiff at times and it generally never looks as good as it could be. There’s even quite a bit of CG used to make birds-eye view shots of the train and some of the buildings in the beginning. The CG really doesn’t look bad, it’s just that it’s clearly noticeable which shouldn’t be the case. Compound that with the lackluster animation and the only thing that sticks out for this anime design-wise are the character designs which integrate your usual pretty anime girls into the western atmosphere quite well, and the western setting itself which not many anime have. It’s too bad that the setting is wasted on such a short romp through it. I still pine for the day when I will see a truly great anime with a pure wild west setting.
To end it all off, Early Reins is a very okay attempt to make a short western anime. It’s got fun shoot-outs, some fun characters and a forgettable story. It’s held back by shaky production and some poor decision-making like trying to have way more characters than they knew what to do with. If you have forty minutes to spare and want something quick to hold your attention or you want to see what an anime with a wild west setting might look like then I recommend you give it a watch. Though the English dub isn’t anything I would call good or even passable so I’d suggest watching it subtitled. Then again, the hilariously botched southern accents were kind of fun to listen to.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see y’all around.
It is an innovative anime, westerns animes are rares, we’re talking about Japanese anime that does not have the habit of speaking his stories in the West.
I’m not a fan of westerns but the story was well told, I liked it, the Japanese knew enjoy the theme.
The artistic part was excellent, have realistic scenarios and rich in detail at the epoch, especially the interior where the details are more visible and realistic.
Lost a little here,missed more involvement and choosing appropriate music, we have so many good artists, could have used better and more elaborate songs.
Highlighting the innovative history and the main characters composed entirely of women. Not every day we see it, the characters are well defined, has personality and behavior according to the epoch, its traits well delineated, i nothing to complain about.
Overall a very good anime, I again emphasize innovation by history and only have women as protagonists, worth checking out for sure!
14: TV-ban Pokemon Special Masara Town-hen Recaps
Japanese: TV版 ポケットモンスター スペシャル マサラタウン編 総集編
MAL Score: 6.04
A summary compilation of the Kanto season of Pocket Monsters.
13: Highschool Aurabuster: Hikari no Mezame
Japanese: ハイスクール オーラバスター 光の誕生[めざめ]
MAL Score: 6.07
Animation of a very popular novel series by the writer WAKAGI Mio (若木未生), also adapted as a manga by MORI Makoto (杜 真琴), serialised in LaLa. The novels feature illusatrations by KOUGA Yun (高河 ゆん), and the character designs for the anime are based on these. The OVA is an original story that includes the early parts of the novels.
Long ago… going back several centuries, there was a war between the Kuu no mono (空の者) and the You no mono (妖の者) that divided the heaven and earth. 900 years ago, the commander of the Kuu no mono, Kara-ou sealed in the commander of You no mono, Kuna-hi, sacrificing his own life to do so. And this present day, when You no mono has begun to be active again, Kara-ou is reborn as Shinobu Saiga. Coming back to earth, he has begun to make his move again to subdue the You no mono with his aide Kiba.
Ryosuke Sakiya is a first year student attending Kouryo High School who has extraordinarily strong psychic powers. He was always hearing and seeing things ordinary people could not. He has a special aura around him and perhaps because of it, he ends up being targeted by the You no mono. One day, when he is on a date at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, he is attacked by a strange power and is saved by the Jutsusha (術士 lit. “skilled ones”) Jukyuro Satomi and Kisara Izumi. Jutsusha are people who have inherited supernatural powers of Kuu no mono to subdue You no mono who harm people. Ryosuke escapes without any injuries, but cannot resist becoming involved in the battles between these two forces.
12: Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi Zero
MAL Score: 6.09
Sometime in the distant future, Kurumi, Saki and Karinka share an apartment with another girl named Excelia. One day, after school, Kurumi tells everyone that she is in love with a man she met named Michihito Kagura, but she doesn’t know when she will see him again.
What did I get? Well, definitely not what I expected. First and foremost, the point of view never leaves the apartment that they live in. That rather disappointed me.
Second, no action whatsoever. It’s just a straight up drama. This could be enjoyable to some, and the original did have some drama in it, but it contained so much more comedy and action to balance it out that Zero simply lacks.
Third, Excelia isn’t at all like she is in the manga. She’s basically in Zero in name only. Not much of a point, but given that she’s my favorite Steel Angel from the manga, it’s kind of a letdown.
Actually, that sums it up perfectly. Steel Angel Kurumi Zero is kind of a letdown.
Steel Angel Kurumi Zero is a tale about love and how much of a struggle it can sometimes be, but there is clearly a bigger plot swirling around underneath it all. What it is, exactly, isn�t something I can put my finger on. Steel Angel Kurumi Zero seems to have some fairly strong philosophical undertones, and the extremely strange–almost biblical–ending supports this theory. One problem I had with Steel Angel Kurumi Zero was that its short length made it hard for me to understand the potentially interesting storyline to the fullest. The anime didn�t make many things clear, and simply used visual markers and character expressions to help emphasize some of the bigger plot points. This doesn�t work too well in my opinion, and once it�s all done and over with you�ll probably be left with a lot of questions that seemingly have no answer. For instance, what is a �Holder� and what do Angels have to do with it? I have made plenty assumptions as to what a Holder might be, but I can�t be sure if any of them are right because the anime doesn�t take the time to explain it. From the way Zero describes it, I think a Holder sounds like nothing more than a person suffering from clinical depression, but it�s obviously a much bigger deal than that. The term Gamma is also used without explanation, and is only said to be the one thing that can cure a Holder. So, does that make Kurumi a Gamma? I don�t know, so don�t ask.
Steel Angel Kurumi Zero is about as short in length as they come. Sticking to the old ways, each episode is only fifteen minutes long. This makes it one of the shortest animes I�ve ever seen, and easy to squeeze into your schedule. One thing I should mention though is that Steel Angel Kurumi Zero takes place in the same room for the entire running time. This could bug the hell out of Kurumi fans and sci-fi fans alike who want to see more of the futuristic outside world. The only thing that bugged me though, was how little the new girl�s character got developed. Excelia seemed like a rather interesting female computer nerd that I wouldn�t mind getting to know more about, but sadly there wasn�t enough time to even give her a proper introduction.
If there is one thing I loved about Steel Angel Kurumi Zero it was the music. I�ve always been a big fan of piano melodies, and Zero is full of them. The music throughout the series can only be described as beautiful. The ending theme (Miracle’s Start) is strangely uplifting, and at times I found myself helplessly humming along to it. Since Zero is currently unlicensed outside of Japan I had to settle for the Japanese audio, and mostly due to Kurumi�s new attitude I preferred it this way. The animation in Steel Angel Kurumi Zero is also pretty good, but doesn�t take much advantage of the futuristic setting. Since the entire anime takes place in the apartment during cloudy skies, you can forget all about the colorful palettes that Steel Angel Kurumi is famous for. This works perfectly for the kind of anime Zero is though, so you can�t very well knock it down because of it. Character designs are essentially the same as before, but with the trademark costumes gone it�s easy to feel like you�re looking at a totally new cast of characters.
While watching Steel Angel Kurumi Zero I was reminded of the movie Bicentennial Man. When watching a series like Steel Angel Kurumi and seeing time progress hundreds of years with the Steel Angels being the only cast members to remain, you have to wonder how much loss Kurumi, Saki and Karinka have had to deal with over the span of their lives. By the time of Zero, everyone that they�ve encountered previously is dead. Nakahito, Nako, and everyone that had a significant role in their lives are nothing more than memories. These three girls will be forced to walk the Earth practically forever as everyone they love or come close to dies over and over again. Depressing? I�d say so, and maybe that�s why I had no choice but to respect the new dramatic tone that Steel Angel Kurumi Zero was sporting, even if the anime itself wasn�t nearly as good as its predecessors. After the first episode I had chills. After the second episode I had goose bumps. After the third episode, however, I had a headache. Steel Angel Kurumi Zero works well as an atmospheric anime that gives you a feeling that�s hard to duplicate, but when it comes to storytelling and answering questions it fails miserably. As a stand-alone anime, Zero isn�t even worth watching on your lunch break. Unless you�re a huge fan of Steel Angel Kurumi, I see little reason to check out Steel Angel Kurumi Zero. It�s not a horrible anime, but it serves little purpose by itself and to the Kurumi series.
My Score: 6.0
Version Watched: Fansub
11: Pokemon: Utae Meloetta – Rinka no Mi wo Sagase!
English: Pocket Monsters: Sing Meloetta – Search for the Rinka Berries
Japanese: うたえメロエッタ リンカのみをさがせ
MAL Score: 6.18
Meloetta has throat trouble, Pikachu and Snivy search for the Rinka Berries for her throat cure. Meowth and Wobbuffet run after Meloetta.
The 23rd Pikachu short, bundled with the August 2012 issue of Shogakukan’s Ciao shoujo magazine.
10: Buttobi!! CPU
English: I Dream of Mimi
MAL Score: 6.24
Embarrassed to be the only member of the Electric Brain Study Society who doesn’t own a computer, Akira Takaoka is thrilled when an electronics store advertises a PC9821 for only ninety-eight thousand yen. The deal is limited to the first five customers; unfortunately, by the time Akira gets there, the PCs are sold out. However, a mysterious man in the back alley offers him the exact same deal. Akira takes the deal, only to realize that this PC is not a 9821 version, but a 2198 version instead. It turns out that the PC2198 is an advanced bio-type computer that needs a nearly constant input of sperm to function!
The PC2198, named Mimi, now has to defend Akira from the evil Apple Nacintosh sisters who want to take over the entire Japanese PC market. Will the embarrassed Akira be able to supply Mimi with what she needs to win?
If you have seen Chobits, this show is going to feel really familiar though Buttobi CPU is far more perverted. The basic premise of the show is Akira buys what he thinks is a new desktop computer from a shady salesman but ends up with a naked android girl he later names Mimi. Basically all of Mimi’s operations require some kind of sexual act. From her initial memory download to the pretty humorous memory upgrades (which require sexual intercourse to increase). Loading various programs is done with data discs, and I think you can probably guess where they are inserted. If you can’t figure it out then you’re too young to watch this. I have to say it was surprisingly well done and I found myself laughing quite a bit.
Because of this series length though developing any kind of good story is impossible. The overall plot eventually develops into the Japanese android models fighting against American models, hilariously called Nacitosh’s and obviously taking after various 90s versions of Apple products. The action is pretty good and does a good job of mixing in humor, echii, and entertaining battle scenes. The ending is also quite funny. There is also a lot of what I would call “computer humor”. Older computer geeks who used some of the computers being parodied in this series will probably get an extra few laughs. A lot of the technology references will also probably go right over the heads of most people watching this. Computer technology has changed a lot since the mid 90s after all!
Characters are definitely the strongest point of this series. Mimi and Akira are really funny, and make a cute couple. Mimi has a little tsundere in her but she comes across as a surprisingly interesting character. Unlike a show like Chobits where the main has a limited vocabulary that seems to consist of one really annoying word, Mimi comes fully functional and makes for a much more enjoyable character. Akira is pretty typical for what you would expect for a show like this but he isn’t a complete loser. He still manages to be quite entertaining though as he is forced into various echii and sexual situations with Mimi. Also trying to keep his friends from finding out about what she really is gets pretty funny as well. The supporting characters don’t get a lot of depth but are still pretty enjoyable and funny. The highlight here is the three “Nacintosh sisters” who are the primary villains, the two older ones in particular.
Visually this series is quite dated. As with most 90s shows the colors seem to be washed out and the animation is not as crisp and detailed. Still it is a lot better than most shows I have seen from this era. The music is also very dated feeling, though is still pretty cute. The acting is spotty, some of it feels pretty good but at other times… it sounds like porn actresses. Oh and DO NOT, I repeat NOT listen to the English audio track if you value your sanity. You have been warned!
Overall though I thought this show was pretty funny, in particular the last two episodes. If you like echii comedy I would recommend this series too you. People though looking for hentai are going to be disappointed. In the end this series was worth the 90 minutes or so it took to watch.
The art is what you would expect from a classic 90’s anime, the animation is stunning and detailed, that was not a surprise for me after leaning that the studio, OLM, was also behind the original Pokémon, Berserk and Yamato 2199.
The protagonists, Mimi and Akira, are great. They make a cute and believable couple from the start.
The whole gag with technical jargon, computer specifications and manufactures is quite entertaining and made me laugh in every episode.
It’s a light watch with a lot of ecchi fan service, comedy and action.
It’s a shame this OVA has only three episodes, it certainly deserved more.
English: Ogre Slayer
MAL Score: 6.24
There was once an ogre (oni) mother who gave birth to a human looking child. Instead of an ogre’s horn, this child was born with a sword in hand called the “Onikirimaru” or Ogre Slayer. He has no name and is only referred to by the name of his sword. Though he appears human, he is pure ogre. Believing that he will become human once all of his kind have vanished from the world of humans, he sets out on his destiny to slay all of his kind. Even now, in the mother world of Japan, he is still out there slaying ogres.
Onikirimaru is about an “ogre” who looks exactly like a human. His duty on Earth is to slay all of his “ogre” brethren so that one day he may become a real human boy. This is the story of the JAPANESE PINOCCHIO except his nose doesn’t grow longer when he lies, and he also carries a sword… Whatever let us continue with the review.
My experience with this OVA is pretty poor. Due to the fact that I do not speak or understand Japanese, I was force to watched Onikirmaru in subtitles. This was pathetic because the subtitles were pretty POOPY. For instance, in the subtitles they called the “ogres” ghost, which to me makes more sense than calling them “ogres”. What would made it more precise if they were just called demons because I am pretty sure that “ogres” are able to move through walls, come out of a women’s, or become gas-like beings. I also understand that in Japanese “Oni” means ogre so yeah… fuck me!!!
Also I was confused for awhile how the “ogre” slayer was named Onikimaru, but then his sword was call Onikimaru, but it’s was just the fact that he had no name and took the name of his sword.
Animation: The animation/art in Onikirmaru was pretty average for it being about 20 years old. So I can’t really complain much there except for one thing… RANDOM BEWBS!?!?!?!
In every episode, there is always a female being possessed by an demon(ogre), and some FUCKING how they always stripped naked revealing their BREAST. Boobs are cool and all but really, do we need to see every girl exposed when an “ogre” pops in. Like no joke, the only time when you see boobs is when “ogre” is like ‘Ey yu mine now GURL, YEAH GIVE a taste of dem MELONS’ then WOOSH clothes GONE!
Music/Sound/ Voice: Onikirmaru’s music is nothing special, but you can kind of feel how outdated the sound of the OVA’s ending song. The sounds are also nothing to talk about that much also. The voice acting I got to say is pretty GOOD because I don’t understand Japanese so everything in a foreign language sound legitimate.
Enjoyment: Overall, this anime has been OKAY. It is sad that the concept of the story wasn’t explored much more than it should have by the studio producing it.
Onikirimaru creates a world where the personal of what is (likely) to be humans watching is contrasted by that which, externally at least, is perceived to be not human, except if only actions are considered both the familiar and ogres run parallel.
A Shinto kind of aura pervades the anime, where a spiritual type of barrier is able to prevent the ‘hideous’ sort of nature that ogres emanate, shields that only function on such creatures… but what if reality isn’t as binary?
These oni tempt humans to a point where their desires and even will can be overcome, where instinct is rendered useless by curses. The four episodes contain tales that can be seen as exploring extremes, whether love or hate (less of the former), friendship or friendlessness, even the very idea of non-existence when conflicted with the overwhelming force of the oni.
They are interesting, mostly stand-alone narratives; notice how the oni exploit emotions, this seems to be a feature of interaction with Japanese mythological creatures, like a kitsune who uses deceit.
Arguably the most pathos-filled of Kei Kusunoki’s adaptations, it would have helped if characters didn’t last just a single episode, but they are nonetheless stories with a start and end, which also could function as a commentary on a more in-depth thought than most anime with swords normally sustain. Most of the manga wasn’t seemingly animated, though what remains still complements Youma’s atmosphere.
8: Mizuiro (2003)
Japanese: みずいろ (2003)
MAL Score: 6.37
Brother and younger sister-in-law live in the house which parents are often away from. Yuki who is the younger sister is secretly yearning for Kenji who is the elder brother. However, one girl came to show up from the closet in Kenji’s room after a certain night. Moreover, her body is transparent, and she looks like the ghost. Her name is Hiyori. She is a friend in their childhood. They are pleased with reunion though Kenji and Yuki are perplexed with the way of Hiyori’s strange appearance. However, Yuki gets the mind shaken as Kenji and Hiyori become intimate, and the pain in her mind in the childhood is recalled.
At the childhood, Yuki was going to pass the light blue toy ring which Kenji had had to Hiyori in exchange for Hiyori’s yoyo. However, because Hiyori became sick, and had moved, the promise was not an accomplishment. Their events in the childhood seem to be related to Hiyori’s showing up in front of them.
A painful love story of Kenji and two girls progresses.
Next, Mizuiro makes it obvious where it came from… However, after the seemingly mandatory cameos the main story starts when Hiyori pops out of the closet….
The plot revolves around the love triangle with Kenji, Yuki, and Hiyori and their past. While the story is pretty standard it is nevertheless very touching and charming. However, it doesn’t have enough time to really flesh out the characters and its plot. For the time it was allotted the character development and characterization was remarkably well done. The plot itself didn’t suffer too much from the short length, since they decided to only tell a small part of their lives. Even after it ends you’re not screaming "what happens next!?!!?"… well at least I didn’t. I thought it ended nicely however they could have easily went on.
Mizuiro’s length is its one fatal weakness nevertheless, Mizuiro was very well done despite it’s short length. If it was given more time, Mizuiro would have easily ranked among my personal favorites. Nevertheless, Mizuiro gives me this warm and happy feel every time I watch it, recommend to those that want something short and sweet. Now if I can only find the ost…..
It gave me a sweet, fuzzy feeling when I watched it. The soundtrack is really great and fits the atmosphere of the OVA very well.
The OVA itself isn’t appealing and outstanding, but does a good job when it comes to entertainment and enjoyment.
Don’t expect something deep full of drama and development of story/characters. It’s short, simple and very enjoyable.
7: Pokemon XY: Odemashi Ko Majin Hoopa
English: Pokemon: Hoopa, The Mischief of Pokemon
Japanese: ポケモン ザ ムービーXY『おでまし小魔神フーパ』
MAL Score: 6.37
An anime short for the Pokemon XY series. It is available in Japan along with the purchasing of a ticket for Hoopa and the Clash of Ages movie, which this short ties into.
6: Pokemon: Pikachu no Fuyuyasumi (2001)
English: Pokemon: Pikachu’s Winter Vacation (2001)
MAL Score: 6.42
Pikachu’s Winter Vacations are three series of videos, each composed of several Pikachu shorts. All shorts deal with winter and Christmas. This is the third and last series and contains Delibird’s Dilemma, Snorlax Snowman & Trouble in Big Town.
5: Pokemon: Pikachu no Fuyuyasumi (2000)
English: Pokemon: Pikachu’s Winter Vacation (2000)
MAL Score: 6.43
Pikachu’s Winter Vacations are three series of videos, each composed of several Pikachu shorts. All shorts deal with winter and Christmas. This is the second series and contains Winter Games & Stantler’s Little Helpers.
4: Pokemon: Pikachu no Fuyuyasumi
English: Pokemon: Pikachu’s Winter Vacation
Japanese: ポケットモンスター ピカチュウのふゆやすみ
MAL Score: 6.51
Pikachu’s Winter Vacations are three series of videos, each composed of several Pikachu shorts. All shorts deal with winter and Christmas. This is the first series and contains Christmas Night & Kanga Games.
Ok, Ok, I’m just kidding there, now for the real review. This is a Pokemon Christmas special that focuses on the Pokemon themselves rather than the Trainers. It is basically the Pokemon getting into all sorts of cute hi-jinks. There is no deep story, and the animation and art is about as good as you’d expect from anything from the Pokemon franchise. I am not a fan of Pokemon at all but I enjoyed this quite a bit. It’s cute and entertaining. It really isn’t something that needs your full attention, which would make it ideal for putting on while you and your kids wrapped presents or decorated the Christmas tree. All and all a bit of inoffensive holiday fun that kids and Pokemon fans are sure to enjoy.
3: Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi Encore
English: Steel Angel Kurumi Encore
Japanese: 鋼鉄天使くるみ 25-28話
MAL Score: 6.68
Four additional short stories of the Steel Angels: Saki becomes a film actress, Karinka goes on a blind date with Kamihito, Kurumi practices the art of becoming a traditional Japanese woman, and the rest of the Steel Angels engage in a contest to win Nakahito’s heart.
And when i mean all the other steel angels, I MEAN all the other steel angels. The last episode involves all the angels in a contest to win Nakahito’s heart.
The sound is standard SAK quality and the 5.1 surround is second to none. The japanese voices are your usual chibi-style voices but my favorite is the English dubbing of the show. The english voices are still chibi-esqe but they have a much bigger emotional range towards everything (i.e. Happy Karinka or angry Karinka)
The Writer/Director Steven Foster (Ugly Yet Beautiful, Gilgamesh, etc.) Really does a bang up job for the entire Steel Angel Kurumi Series. Theres nothing funnier than a foul mouthed Karinka.
If you Enjoyed the great story and antics of the first season and want to see more stories of your favorite angel, go ahead and get this ASAP. BUT if this is your first foray into the Steel Angel Universe, GO RIGHT AHEAD! theres no continuity issues at all (although the reccomendation is to watch this after S1 and before S2).
Even though the stories in each episode were short, I enjoyed every last one of them. It was just plain fun to see all of the characters back at their typical routine of arguing with each other and pining for one another. This is what I thought Steel Angel Kurumi should be all about. Forget the storyline; this is a robot maid anime we’re talking about. Just give me humorous situations and quirky characters for my enjoyment, and I won’t say a word. Steel Angel Kurumi is just the kind of anime that even if you could take seriously, you don’t want to take seriously. Encore helped Steel Angel Kurumi feel fun again, so in turn I was able to have fun again. Episode four–or twenty-eight, depending on how you look at it–was easily my favorite episode of Encore. It was entirely nonsensical, but it was also entirely fun to watch. Seeing a bunch of women compete for a kiss from the shy and young Nakahito was a lot more enjoyable to watch than you would think. Kurumi trying to become a traditional Japanese woman was also rather interesting. I found it funny how the most powerful Steel Angel on the planet–faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound–has a total meltdown when she tries to become a prim and proper Japanese housewife. Now I know Kurumi’s limits, and I also shed a tear for Japanese housewives everywhere. Like I said before, none of the stories really felt like they could fit into the storyline of Steel Angel Kurumi, but that’s part of what makes Encore worth watching. It’s too bad that, with Encore being so short, it had the misfortune of ending abruptly and leaving a bad taste in my mouth because of it. I was thirsty for more Steel Angel Kurumi sweetness, but I was left high and dry.
Audio and animation-wise, Encore is on the same level as Steel Angel Kurumi. The intro song is the same as before, Kiss Kara Hajimaru Miracle, but the ending song is a new piece called Suki-suki-suki-suKisu Shite! and is a welcomed change from the original, as it better compliments the primarily comedic subject matter of Encore. Unfortunately I was forced to stick with the Japanese audio while watching Encore because I didn’t have access to the English dub. This wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t already gotten used to the English voices, but I have to admit it hindered my experience a little bit. The Japanese audio isn’t bad by any means, but I still prefer the English cast over the Japanese cast. Animation in Encore is exactly the same level as Steel Angel Kurumi. Lush scenery with bright colors, and very smooth animation. Character designs also haven’t changed, but it is nice to see characters wearing different outfits from time to time throughout Encore. I especially liked the old fashion dress that Saki wore while on the set of her movie. Minor adjustments here and there perhaps, but nothing really noticeable in the audio and video quality of Encore when compared to Steel Angel Kurumi.
There are few animes out there that are as short and sweet as Encore is. Most short animes leave you wondering what the hell just happened, while others make you ponder as to why such an anime needed to exist in the first place. However, Encore survives as being just another installment to a popular series, and it’s sure to be a welcomed addition for Kurumi fans. Steel Angel Kurumi Encore is just what the doctor ordered if you’re a fan of the first twenty-four episodes of Steel Angel Kurumi. Its short length and basic comedic content make it an easy watch for even the busiest of people. It’s short, sweet, and fun to watch. If you can’t get enough of Kurumi’s trademark squeal, Karinka’s constantly running mouth, and uh’Saki’s incestuous obsession with her sister, then be sure to check out Steel Angel Kurumi Encore.
My Score: 8.5
Version Watched: Sub
2: Queen Emeraldas
Japanese: クィーン エメラルダス
MAL Score: 6.86
The story revolves around a race that seeks to dominate the galaxy. A lone mysterious female warrior, known to others as Emeraldas sails the endless planets of the universe- in her Seas of Star ship- fighting the tyranny of that merciless race. She is tormented by the memory of her lost love.
First off, the few good things the series has:
1. The story. Despite the shortcomings of basically everything else, the story itself is actually quite good. The series has great pacing, fun characters, and an interesting overarching plot.
2. The action sequences. Although a little uninspired the fighting throughout is some of the best in Harlock. There are cosmo guns, gravity sabres, cloaking fields, energy shields, lasers, missiles, space battles, and a giant robot horse.
Now, onto the bad:
1. It’s not actually about Emeraldas. Despite what the title may have lead you to believe the series is actually about a young boy named Hiroshi who dreams of building his own spaceship. Emeraldas acts as his watchful guardian and that’s about it. If you were thinking you’d get to finally see a series with some focus on Harlock’s most alluring and mysterious ally you were wrong.
2. Being an OVA you might assume its self-contained, well it’s not. The series doesn’t end on a cliff hanger or anything but it’s pretty obvious the plot was intended to continue on.
3. The animation sucks (kind of). The first two episodes are pretty solid but the studio was switched halfway through and the latter 2 episodes are visibly worse. Especially the characteristic Leiji Matsumoto eyes which the second studio never seemed to get right. The series also has a penchant for 90’s 3D animation which I assume was all the rage at the time but now looks hilariously bad.
4. The dialogue is terrible. By the end of this 4 episode OVA I estimate you will have heard Emeraldas say “I am Emeraldas” about 14 times. I don’t know what happened but the show really fell flat in this regard.
Ultimately this is a series that you should only watch when you’ve exhausted all other Harlock options. In that regard it’s enjoyable enough, I certainly didn’t hate it but it leaves a lot to be desired. The real tragedy however is simply pondering what could have been. Emeraldas was a fairly underdeveloped character before this OVA and she continues to be afterward but it’s obvious they were setting up for something big. I’ll let you see how it plays out but there’s a lot of foreshadowing and then it seems to end before it even really gets started.
The Leiji Matsumoto pattern has made it clear that a young and ambitious male protagonist is likely to emerge whenever a story needs to be told and Queen Emeraldas proves to be no exception. This time, the tale concerns Hiroshi Umino who ironically gets more screen-time than the titular character herself. Basically, the story is comprised of a series of coincidental encounters these two characters have with each other and the opponents they more or less face co-operatively as Umino aspires to grow stronger and explore the universe in the liberal spirit he shares with Galaxy Express 999’s Tetsuro.
I’d like to make it clear that this OVA seems to exist in order to provide some background information on a popular heroine and as such does not bother too much on developing its narrative. There is a troublesome lack of continuity present and it seems like Umino’s repeated meetings with Emeraldas are just random plot devices created to establish a friendly relationship based on coincidence. All in all the story is not particularly strong but comes off as decent.
For the first time I got to witness a Leijiverse title with detailed scenery, fluid movement and wonderful character designs. A most welcome delight! Queen Emeraldas applies a few instances of horrible CGI but generally maintains a great and stylistic approach that qualifies to the contemporary standards.
Emeraldas was apparently deemed awesome enough to get her own theme song and, musical appeal aside, it does match her personality and epic characteristics quite a lot. The rest of the soundtrack is decent but seems to be a lot more timid.
As far as voice acting goes, the two protagonists are portrayed in praise-worthy manners and Emeraldas in particular has the virtue of being voiced by the same woman who starred as Oscar from Rose of Versailles.
Sigh. Assigning a 7 to the “character section” of an anime in which one of my favourite characters of fiction resides doesn’t quite seem right. However, as much as I’d like to call Queen Emeraldas character-driven, even that term feels strangely out of place. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the characterization, it’s just that there isn’t any in abundance. We get to witness Emeraldas’s inner feelings; her motives and a past that has shaped her as the cynical heroine she has become. But those who watched Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express already knew those things about her and little of the material is actually new. Then there’s the modernized Tetsuro and a few diabolic villains that create a diversity that’s not as amazing as expected.
All in all, the characters in this OVA aren’t bad at all (look at the 7 damnit!) but given that most titles in the Leijiverse seem to be character driven, it certainly doesn’t reach the standard.
Despite my harshness I’d like to emphasize that I greatly enjoyed this title as an opportunity to watch one of my favorite heroines show off in a story that seems to be designed in favor of her awesomeness. It quite accurately falls into the “Guilty pleasure” category with a heavy focus on space battles and fencing but still reaches at least mediocre heights of story-telling and disappointing yet sufficient character portraits. Recommended to somewhat initiated Matsumoto fans but might not work quite as well as a gateway drug.
1: Gunsmith Cats
English: Gunsmith Cats
Japanese: ガンスミス キャッツ
MAL Score: 7.29
In the dangerous suburbs of Chicago, skilled bounty hunters Irene “Rally” Vincent and “Minnie” May Hopkins run Gunsmith Cats, a firearms store of questionable legality. One day, Bill Collins, an agent for the Chicago branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, blackmails Rally and May into working with him on a case. The stakes are high, but Rally’s gunmanship and May’s knowledge of explosives are unmatched. As Rally and May unravel the secrets of the case, the two will need to use guns and grenades while being faster, stronger, and better than everyone else in order to stay alive.
What it has is Rally Vincent and Minnie-May causing havoc in Chicago in their Mustang GT500 via their trusty guns and bombs.
Watching this OVA after reading the manga is preferable as if you dig the manga then watching it animated after 9 volumes of guncrazy magic, is nice. Another reason is that 9 volumes doesn’t translate into 3 episodes, so you’re only getting a small percentage of the glorious fun that is Gunsmith Cats.
The OVA feels like its set either during or after the manga and doesn’t bother following anything in the source material or setting up character relationships. It just jumps right into the lives of Rally and Minnie-May, so casual viewers will either fall on board or check out swiftly, and manga readers will begin enjoying it immediately, just to keep Gunsmith Cats alive for a bit longer.
Unfortunately there is a noticeable lack of certain characters in the manga, such as Roy the friendly cop who is relegated to a cameo, Misty the thief who is absent, and there’s a gaping black hole where Bean Bandit should be. Becky’s way too nice and Minnie-May appears much younger here also, like a ten year old which makes her hijinks with bounty hunter Rally even more ludicrous, and with absolutely no hint of sexual deviancy that was so rampant in the manga.
So yeah, this is filler but like the manga it has an attention to detail with the city of Chicago as a backdrop and other miscellaneous aspects that at least keep the anime somewhat in reality, when every scene with Minnie-May threatens to blow it into fantasy. The OVA is also full of call-backs to the manga that uber fans will recognise and grin at (prosthetic guns anyone?) so the OVA is going to be an acquired taste.
The animation is pretty average but the design is good, cars, guns, gorgeous Rally herself, it’s all watchable so don’t let the year of release put you off. The music is nothing to shout about unfortunately, as is the direction, editing, writing, ok so other than the brand name this is just standard entertainment.
But then the OVA at least does something that the manga did excellently. That is to say: have an awesome car chase! A definite highlight of the OVA and one of the best in anime, with kinetic visuals, edge-of-your-seat thrills and all based in reality, with no physics-breaking stunts.
And finally the story. Oh yeah, story? Bunch of generic bad guys shooting and blowing crap up, what else? If you’re going to watch this, watch it because you’re a completist, and watch it for that car chase. They say cats have nine lives, well the gunsmith cats just lost one with this OVA; time to reload.
Time to review a nostalgic classic! Be warned that this anime is VERY cheesy, but it is also quite fun! This is what you might call a “guilty pleasure” anime. Gunsmith Cats almost entirely revolves around 3 fetishes: guns, the 1967 Mustang GT, and tits. I have never seen an anime that seemed to try SO hard to pander to American rednecks. This is basically the anime Dukes of Hazzard! Too bad Rally’s car isn’t as cool as the General Lee. Firstly, the 69 Dodge Charger is cooler than the 67 Mustang. Secondly, Rally’s car isn’t painted an absolutely garish orange featuring the Confederate flag. Lastly, no Dixie horn. sad face.
Plot and characters: 3/10
Our heroes are 2 chicks that illegally sell guns in “gun free” Chicago in order to combat oppressive gun control laws. They are also bounty hunters, because hired guns are better than a police force. Small government FTW! The Cats must protect a crooked DC politician (aren’t they all) from an evil Russkie Commie named Natasha Radinov. You may be wondering why she would incorrectly have a male last name and not the feminine form Radinova, but this actually isn’t a mistake. She is also a “bull dyke” stereotype in addition to being a dirty commie! Did I mention this was a redneck anime? What happens next are plenty of ridiculous car chases and shootouts. The Gunsmith Cats jump off many ramps, but unfortunately it never cuts to commercial break mid jump ala Dukes of Hazzard. Speaking of crazy driving scenes…why was this set in Chicago where it is physically impossible to drive fast without hitting another car? Dukes was set in rural Appalachia BECAUSE it is a region with virtually no speed cops and you actually can drive really fast! This is actually still true in 2015, which I know because I live next to Hazzard country Kentucky, where Dukes took place until the county sued the TV studio for defamation and the studio changed the setting to a fictional Hazzard county in northern Georgia. Gunsmith Cats: the only anime EVER that will make you say, “this is pretty good, but I think I might rather watch Dukes of Hazzard re-runs.
Art and Sound: 5/10
The art is pretty good for an early 1990s OVA, but will obviously look a tad dated by today’s standards. Be grateful that all the porn from the original manga was cut out! You won’t have to watch the loli character suck a single dick in this anime…unlike the fucking manga! The soundtrack is almost entirely Jazz music, which creates mood whiplash and was honestly a terrible decision.
Dropkick your brain out the window and enjoy this ludicrous bullshit! Don’t question anything. Just be amazed that this fucking idiotic show somehow exists for your endless amusement!
Why would I rate a show like this so high? Because it’s hilarious! Gunsmith Cats is a great little hidden gem and highly enjoyable for people that like old school anime from the 80s and early 90s.
This anime, a good vision of Kenich Sonoda’s manga, is unique because of the production team’s eye for detail, making many trips from Japan to get accurate locale scenes – even going as far a visiting the Illinois Police Academy and an actual gunshop, a rarety in gun-controled Japan.
The only sad thing about this that it’s not a FAITHFUL version of the manga – no Misty Brown or Goldie Muso. But hopefully, with the release of the manga series ‘Gunsmith Cats BURST’, that might change.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Gunsmith Cats
2. Queen Emeraldas
3. Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi Encore
4. Pokemon: Pikachu no Fuyuyasumi
5. Pokemon: Pikachu no Fuyuyasumi (2000)
6. Pokemon: Pikachu no Fuyuyasumi (2001)
7. Mizuiro (2003)
8. Pokemon XY: Odemashi Ko Majin Hoopa
9. Buttobi!! CPU
11. Pokemon: Utae Meloetta – Rinka no Mi wo Sagase!
12. Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi Zero
13. Highschool Aurabuster: Hikari no Mezame
14. TV-ban Pokemon Special Masara Town-hen Recaps
15. Early Reins
16. Makeruna! Makendou
17. Power Dolls
18. Kouryuu no Mimi: Mina no Shou