They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Legend of Duo, Bloodivores, Tezuka Osamu no Don Dracula, and more!
29: Legend of Duo
Japanese: LEGEND OF DUO
MAL Score: 4.89
The fate of mankind is doomed in the early 21st century due to losing “purana,” an essence of living force supporting all life forms. Not willing to witness the extinction of mankind, a vampire named Duo disclosed the secret of purana to humans, saving the latter from destruction. However, just like Prometheus in Greek mythology got punished for bringing fire to mankind, Duo is punished for breaking the taboo. The vampire sent to punish him is Zieg, Duo’s best friend, or, more than the best friend.
The animation ALWAYS takes the cheapest way possible (though the design i probably the best thing in the series), the stroy is a mess, the characters are bland and annoying, there is no action whatsoever (though, it makes patetic attempts), the dialouge (which is the core of the series) really sucks and as whole the series never impressed me in any way. Legend of DUO is probably the suckiest show I have ever been unfortunate to complete and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Not even shounen ai-fangirls would like this for the vague "love" between Duo and Zeig, trust me.
If this would have been a part of a visual novel from the mid 90s and maybe then it would have been acceptable but as a standalone series in 05, what the hell where they thinkig? Sure they used some pretty nice effects but they didn’t help at all, it was more like "so yeah I really don’f feel like drawing this character again so lets just add an effect instead to create the illusion that he moves". Im not kidding.
Don’t do the mistake and spend an hour of your life of this, just don’t. It’s not even bad in the way that it is funny (like another horrible show *cough* Root Search). I will pray to god that the makers of this never make a sequel which the "to be continued"-text in the last episode makes us belive.
Where do I begin? For starters, the animation is pretty pathetic. Every single trick in the book is used, and none of them prove to be useful. Still shots and long sweeping pans? Check. Camera shaking? Check. Large supplies of reused stock character images with only the mouths moving? Check yet again. Every visual cue screams low budget. I will, however, give this anime one thing. The static art, which is frequently seen throughout the series, is rather nice and detailed. It’s a shame that it has to be paired with such attrocious animation.
Other low budget anime, such as Violinist of Hamlin, are at least able to make up for the lack of animation with a moving and engaging storyline. LoD, however, cannot accomplish the same, though one can say that this is because each episode is only five minutes long. Too much story is crammed into too little time, making the series feel downright rushed and sloppy in execution. I found myself struggling to care about what was happening to the characters on the screen, not to mention their names afterwords. The music used in LoD did nothing to help, with what seemed like only two tracks being played in each episode: one for intensity and one for drama.
To put it simply, Legend of Duo is nothing short of awful. Never before in an anime did five minutes seem like an eternity. Perhaps this is the reason why vampires don’t make more appearances in anime.
A feast to your eyes, like a fish still twitching with the last breath of it’s life, as you impale it with your mighty fork and then shove it into your eye socket. A true feast, like no other.
Of sound, what a glorious composition, smoothly flowing in the insides of your head, tuning your brain to enjoy. Oh how could they, only one of the voice actors rose to fame, for all of them clearly deserve it. Such a waste.
I have watched Legend of Duo numerous times, and still I find new nuances in it every time I watch it. Marvelous.
It is one’s duty to watch this piece of masters, and it only takes one hour. Not like it matters, because the immersion is so deep, you won’t even notice it.
Legend of Duo is love, Legend of Duo is life.
MAL Score: 5.49
60 years ago, a strange case of insomnia struck the population, forcing them to stay awake for more than a full week. The victims, completely sleep deprived, all went mad. To cure this illness, a new medicine was produced, but the side effects turned the patients into vampires. Humanity went to war against this new species and triumphed, but some of the vampires managed to survive. Born from a Human and a Vampire, the main character Mi Liu, “The Child of Hope,” is to represent the new hope that will connect the two species. Ringleader of a bank robbery, Mi Liu is arrested and transferred to a special prison of the National Defense Agency that monitors Vampires. Trying to break free with Anji, Mi Liu is attacked by strange monsters and he finds out that the prison location corresponds to the birthplace of Vampires, the old capital “Blue Town.” Why are Vampires trapped in Blue Town? What are those strange monsters attacking them? Our heroes must fight to solve those mysteries.
(Source: Emon via ANN)
~~~ SPOILERS POSSIBLY~~~
Lets start with the characters;
Mi Lui: Generic “badass” with a winning personality. He’s so predictable its sad. He also seems to be able to make these leaps in logic that make no sense unless you were the writer of this character.
Anji: The tits of the operation. That’s it. She has large tits and is almost entirely useless.
Chen Fong: Doesn’t wear a shirt. Cries a lot. Looks like a girl.
Lee Shin: An assassin who’s afraid of women? What?
Yaya: Introduced to be… cute? I think? Nothing cute about her. She’s annoying and unnecessary to the plot.
What even is a plot? That’s the question I assume the creator of this dumpster heap asked himself before penning this trash. He takes elements that COULD be interesting and then ignores what MAKES them interesting.
Magic holographic computer that has info about where the characters are? Used twice. Only used the second time to ham-fist the ending into place.
Bomb collars that detonate if you kill another person but give you one more day to live if you kill a monster? Never really touched on.
The MC’s trying to save the orphanage they grew up in by robbing a bank? The orphanage has been closed for a while now and the director died. But whatever.
The prison is a destroyed city displaced in time? MC figures that out in the first day. Also; no explanation why.
Vampires? Lets make them less interesting than Twilight’s vampires!
The quality of the animation is fine, I suppose. Its pretty much what you’d expect of an anime from the 2010’s + time. There are moments when it seems the animation is ‘off,’ like they just could get the animation to match the scene properly.
In the end, don’t watch this anime. Just, don’t. Save yourself the time and watch something that’s worth it. I hope and pray this anime dies in with the first season.
Incomprehensible? A group of vampires with Battle Royale collars around their necks are trapped in a prison with scary monsters, only some of them have secret super powers. I find myself unable to say if there is an overarching plot or if it is just a series of beige set pieces that the characters wander between because that is where the script says they are.
Our main character Mi Lu, is a vampire/superhero/computer. He receives 0 character development. This is reminiscent of the rest of the characters, all of whom sport unlikable personalities, bland design, and little to no explanation of backgrounds or motivations. It’s almost like they skipped this part and were just like “mmm you figure it out.”
There is also the most annoying child to darken a screen since Newt from Aliens. God help us all, she’s awful.
Art: Not that I’ve seen so far.
Sound Design: See “Art”
Enjoyment: A whole bunch. If something is going to fail, it should fail as explosively as this show seems to be doing. I find myself both completely perplexed and thoroughly charmed by the idea that this show got both funded and made. It’s like watching a small child fall on its face: it’s horrible, and you feel terrible about yourself after, but damn if it not entertaining as hell.
Bloodivores is, in my opinion, a beautiful work of half-assed animation that either tried to hard or didn’t try hard enough. Personally, I like the landscapes and inane amount of detail regarding small insignificant things, like the intricate cracks in the cement and old buildings. It makes it feel like someone really worked hard on this series. Sadly, I think that was the only thing they worked hard on.
I will say out right that the concept and ideas behind Bloodivores is intriguing to me. It’s your typical survival game but with quite a few twists. There’s some possible ‘in game’ stuff going on. Some apocalypse feels going on, fantasy, and supernatural all bundled up into this one little package. Had it succeeded, I think it would have gotten an 8 or at the least a 7 on MAL. Sadly, none of these were looked into in depth during the 12 episodes. In fact, the whole thing kind of feels like a mega long series with how slow it develops but it is developing, just, in creepy crawly standards.
Now, for what you’ve all been waiting for- the good, the bad, and most importantly, the ugly! (Totally kidding, but I just had to say it.)
First up – Story/Plot
As I stated before, this series had some serious potential hidden beneath the ridiculous layers of ‘WTF is this’ and other nonsense. Had the time been given to the actual plot and not to the animation (which still pretty much failed in my opinion) I think we could have bumped this series up a few points on the MAL Scale. It pretty much feels like something that got a huge budget but then they didn’t know what to do with all that money so they were just like – “Landscapes?” “Landscapes.” “Spend all the money!” Lots of stuff is going on in Bloodivores and I like that a lot of information is just there and there isn’t a narrative (though I do like those). Sadly, with a hundred theories and ideas going and none actually being proved right or wrong you just end up with this huge ball of possibilities but nothing to honestly work with. There are a million little mysteries in Bloodivores and once you think you’ve figured one out they either drop it like a hot potato (in which you never get an answer) or your theory is completely shut down. There really isn’t an in-between for Bloodivores. You know, you think you know, and you don’t know. End of story.
Number 2 – Art
Moving on. The landscapes and scenery in general were pretty meticulous so it felt like it was a good high quality anime at times however, art is only one small part of an anime and thus just because you have awesome art doesn’t mean you have an awesome anime. Everything else was pretty half-assed. (Spoiler warning!) For instance, that lovely scene with what’s his face walking around with a freaking sword in his shoulder! I cannot even begin to describe my dismay when half the scenes didn’t show any blood on him. Like “whoops guys we’re running out of time here!” “Skip the blood, no one will notice!” “Are you sure, I feel like they’ll notice?” “I’m positive.” (I swear it must have happened.) So, let’s be honest here – no one gets up with a sword in their freaking shoulder and just walks the F around without any grimacing or hunching over! Doesn’t happen! And another thing! I feel like the monsters from this series had been taken from somewhere else, I’m thinking Blood + or something like that, so they weren’t surprising to me (though I suppose occasionally leaving behind a small human shaped concentrated crystal of blood is interesting). Fight scenes could be a bit on the lame side but I felt they were decent enough.
Champion number 3 – Character
Ho, Ho, Ho WTF! I’m all for a good hysterical cry once in a while in a SOL anime or one of those heart-wrenching tragedies like Tokyo Ghoul. As long as I can understand why the hell a character is crying and I can feel that pain with them, I have no qualms. (I mean who doesn’t want to cry when they see beautiful Kaneki carrying Hide down the street, ya know?) Anyways….whopsies…carrying on. The characters are really generic and while there’s a small amount of backstory for one or two there’s nothing for anyone else. You don’t understand what motivates them to do what they do or why they act the way they act. They’re complete strangers that you’re simply observing as they survive this death like game. The MC at least looks and acts a little cool however, I do prefer assassin dude since he’s actually badass. Anju…bitch please…stop crying all the time. The hysterics…OMG no. Just no. Way too much. Helloooo, check for a freaking pulse before you give people up for dead, yeah? Tch. Needless to say, she was a pain in the ass the entire series and honestly I don’t see how the series could have felt her loss, in fact, I know they would have been just fine. I was ecstatic when she died…and then she was no longer dead (seriously you’re worst choice this whole series guys). There is ZERO character development. Anju seems to make a comeback in episode 12 but honestly, she was just as annoying as she was before and since there was no progressive development it feels fake and being the last episode didn’t help matters. It was just an utter fail.
Numba 4 – Enjoyment
Eh. Ehhhhhhh. EEEhh. I can’t believe I just wasted all that time on one series that mounted to a handful of WTFs and an ‘Oh, that could have been cool.’ It was pretty to look at sometimes but overall it was more frustrating. There are lots of ideas and theories going on in the background with Bloodivores but sadly none of them are expounded upon so you end up with a whole lot of possibilities but nothing solid. And seriously, what was up with that after credits BS? You planning on making a second season or something? Let dead things stay dead please…(unless they’re characters I loved, then you’re welcome to bring them back).
27: Tezuka Osamu no Don Dracula
Japanese: 手塚治虫のドン ドラキュラ
MAL Score: 6.09
After living in Transylvania for several years, “Earl Dracula” (as Osamu Tezuka’s official website calls him in English) has moved to Japan. In the Nerima Ward of Tokyo, he and his daughter, Chocola, and faithful servant Igor have taken up residence in an old-Western style house.
While Chocola attends Junior High School, Earl Dracula is desperate to drink the blood of beautiful virgin women; an appropriate meal for a vampire of his stature. However, each night that Earl Dracula goes out on the prowl he finds himself getting involved in some kind of disturbance which leads to him causing various trouble for the local residents. With nobody in Japan believing in vampires, his very presence causes trouble amongst the people in town.
MAL Score: 6.09
In the city of Salta, a place where the sun never shines, a community of vampires lives. Hipira is a little vampire who lives the life of a typical boy, attending school and dealing with bullies along the way. However, he also has a soft spot for exploring, playing pranks on others and having grand adventures! Whether he’s befriending a human soul, scaring his neighbours by pretending day has come or encountering giant frogs and aliens, Hipira is always getting himself into and out of trouble.
Story – 7/10
Hipira-kun’s story is refreshingly simple yet unique. The story centers around Hipira, a young vampire that enjoys pulling pranks and generally acting like a boy his age. Along with his ghostly friend, ironically referred to as Soul, he experiences many exciting events throughout his daily life in the town forever consumed by night, Selta.
Art and Animation – 10/10
Hipira-kun is one of the most visually appealing series I have ever seen. Selta is a city filled with some of the most contrastingly different areas. Houses range from mid-evil castles to small wooden huts, narrow canals act as streets in some areas, and not to mention the giant lizard and fish sculptures that line the city. Throw in some of the most detailed work since 5 Centimeters per Second, and you have a visually stunning background that never fails to draw a viewer in.
In contrast to the amazingly detailed backgrounds, you have the characters. These characters are rendered in CG and have little detail to them. The CG is not the blatantly obvious kind you see in most anime, but a very subtle form of CG that allows the characters to move freely and in excess, unlike many other shows where the characters often stand in one place for a few minutes at a time. This CG style is so subtle, that I often found myself questioning whether it was even CG or not. I have no idea how the studio did it, but this is a very unique form of animation that I would honestly not mind seeing in other shows.
Sound – 7/10
The background music for Hipira-kun is practically nonexistent. However, this is more of a pro than a con. It gives room for the viewer to hear the sounds of the city – water fountains bubbling, clocks signaling the time, and footsteps across the surprisingly empty city streets.
The voice actors are also spot on. Hipira’s in particular is very memorable to the point where I can recognize him from various other series and movies.
Characters – 8/10
Hipira-kun is a show mainly focused on two characters – Soul and Hipira. Hipira is a scamp of a boy, often pulling pranks on his neighbors and being late to class. He symbolizes childish innocence and it’s very easy for anyone to see their past in him.
Soul is his friend who appears to be a tad more intelligent yet naive. He is shown reading difficult things to Hipira, but when it comes to more social matters he is slightly clueless.
Enjoyment – 9/10
This series is lined with childish adventures that you can’t help but relate to. The short but sweet episodes can’t help but enthrall its viewer into coming back for more. Throw in a bit of more subtle comedy that older viewers would be able to pick up, and you have a show that will either lure in viewers looking for a comedy or invoke feelings of nostalgia and happiness.
Overall – 8/10
It was a joy to watch this show. This is most definitely a slice of life show done right, and I would love to see another season. Hipira-kun’s only major flaw is the fact that it only has 10 episodes running at 5 minutes each, totaling to about the length of two average episodes.
If you’re looking for a show similar to the popular Yotsuba&! manga, then this is it. I highly recommend it.
MAL Score: 6.23
The story revolves around Blade, a “Daywalker” vampire hunter who was born with vampire and human blood after a vampire attacked his mother. While visiting Japan on a mission, Blade tracks down Deacon Frost, the vampire who killed his mother. Blade confronts “Existence,” a mysterious organization composed of vampires modified by Frost.
Preset old characters, giving nothing new to the serie, and only thing new in the serie is introduction of different world type vampires. Gargoyles, lamieres, gorgons… All the same, Vampires. As with this “upgrade” Eric is not fighting “humanid” creatures anylonger, ofc there are those pureblood classic vampires, but on the same time blade is fighting with demons and mutants.
Sure, as a blade believer, this series is definetly worth watching, but it brings nothing new to the genre, instead it is using every single mannover there is on the genre. But with anime clash, they added more of the bushido and samurai style to the blades fighting.
And if were mentioning mutants in this, were not again talking about those regular ones, were talking about the marvels supermutant ones. There is serious, unshamefull attempt to bring more mutants to the anime genre so they too could be made for anime series.
If you like monstertype vampire, blade and longed out conversations and dwelling to the characters past lifes made onto continous series, you will probably like the new serie.
The story opens with Blade in Japan hunting vampires. He runs into a few and asks one of them where he can find a four-fanged vampire. His search leads him to a nightclub where a father and daughter pair of vampire hunters is fighting the owner, a vampire named Radu. I’m not sure if they’re referencing a really stupid horror movie series there or not. Anyway, Blade defeats Radu and then the group is attacked by Deacon Frost a vampire with four fangs. It ends with the father sacrificing himself, I don’t recall them ever giving the guy a name, and Frost running off with a sample of Blade’s blood. The story from there follows Blade as he hunts Frost and his vampiric organisation known as Existence. Makoto, the hunter from earlier, chases after him. I will warn you that her initial reason for doing so is really stupid. It’s a simple story but it’s told pretty well. There’s one really good emotional moment towards the end. There’s also quite a bit of back story, which is worked in pretty well. The biggest issue with the story is that a lot of it involves Blade going somewhere in Asia, finding Frost, Frost getting away while Blade is fighting something, and then it repeats. It does get repetitive after a while.
The characters are mostly well done. Blade, Razor, Whistler… I mean Noah Van Hellsing (He’s basically Whistler they just gave him a different name) and Makoto, once she stops being stupid, (to be fair, she only acts like a moron for the first few episodes and it’s understandable in the first) are all interesting characters with depth. Even a lot of the one-shot characters feel like real people. That being said, there are some issues. I’ll start with the more minor one, Kikyo Mikage. Now, this is a Marvel anime original character and he’s terrible. He’s very one-dimensional and his power, retractable full length swords with hilts included that come out of his hands, is one of the dumbest I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen characters with the power to communicate with squirrels and the power to detach their arms. Full length retractable swords makes them seem almost mediocre by comparison. This guy shouldn’t even be able to bend his arms. My bigger issue is with Frost’s motivations. Towards the end they have him give a pretty predictable villain speech where he expounds about all his plans. If that wasn’t bad enough, he has two different and contradictory goals. That’s right, when he starts his speech he says that his goal is one thing. Roughly five minutes later when he’s ending it, he says his goal is something completely different. That’s great continuity right there.
The art is really good. The characters look good (mostly), although don’t expect Blade to look like Wesley Snipes. Which is fine since this isn’t connected to the movie trilogy. He does look similar to another actor though. There’s a variety of vampire types, most of which are interesting and have a good aesthetic sense. The settings are varied and nicely detailed. I did have a few issues though. The first one is going to be really nerdy, fair warning. My first issue is that Madhouse fails at drawing Wolverine. Here’s the thing, Wolverine is supposed to be all of 5’3 and stocky. In this he’s as tall as Captain Blade of the space station DS 9, who should tower over him at 6’2, and he’s kind of scrawny. As I said, it’s a nerdy complaint but it’s still valid. My second issue is with the final variety of vampires. They appear right at the end, there’s a lot of build up and I was wondering what they would do with them. Then they appeared and I burst out laughing. They look really stupid and it just kills the dramatic tension. My biggest issue is with the fight scenes. They almost all follow the same basic pattern. Peons get destroyed with ease, a big baddie shows up, it looks like Blade is getting his butt kicked, Blade does a slow-motion special attack, the fight ends. This is not how you make intense action scenes. The final battle between Frost and Blade… That works. It doesn’t follow that same pattern. Why didn’t they do them more like that throughout?
The voice acting is pretty good in this. Ootsuka Akio and Sakamoto Maaya especially do well. The first two movies had pretty awesome soundtracks, this does not follow suit. The music is pretty dull.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There’s all of one major female character and she doesn’t get any les-yay.
So, how does the Blade anime hold up when compared to the films? It does okay. There’s quite a bit in here that’s done well, but there are also quite a few problems. The characters are mostly really well done, there is a good story hidden beneath the repetition and the artwork, aside from a few things, is pretty good. Really, every aspect of the anime had a lot of good things going for it but there are also negatives to everything. A lot of which just come from laziness. Whether it was repeating plot points, repetitive fights or continuity flubs. Almost all of which could’ve been avoided if they’d put in more effort. As such my final rating is a 6.5/10. If you like Blade as a character, either from the films or the comics, you’ll probably enjoy this but if you don’t care about Blade, it’s probably not going to have anything for you.
Erik Brooks was half-man, half-vampire after his mother Carol was attacked by a vampire named Deacon Frost. He sought assistance from Noah Van Helsing and over time, vampires worldwide fear him as the “Daywalker” or “Blade”. He investigates a vampire organization in Asia called “Existence” starting from Japan all the way to Southeast Asia.
Okay, I know most of you have heard some of this plot before and if you haven’t, you didn’t see the first Blade movie.
Yes, the plot of Blade hunting down Deacon Frost for killing his mother is a part of the first movie but in the series, the killing of said mother takes place in England, which I heard that Blade was originated from in the comics so yeah, Blade is British.
Joining the hunt alongside Blade is Makoto, a female vampire hunter who at first hunts Blade for killing her father, even though she should’ve been hunting for Frost since he turned him into a vampire and Blade was just doing his job and making sure she doesn’t die. There is also Noah Van Helsing, most likely the one who supplies Blade with weapons and for that, he does a better job of that than Shen from the live-action TV series and he has a wolf-dog whose name I don’t know or too lazy to find out.
Most of Frost’s flunkies or either vampires of the High Council are served as easy targets for Blade whether he comes close and it doesn’t seem much of a fight but just as a fly in his face and the weirdest (and dumbest) thing about it whenever Blade finishes an adversary, he calls out a move like it’s a damn videogame move. All the other very minor characters in the series often share their backstories but we as an audience can’t get too close to them since after that episode, that part never gets mentioned again.
So, in the U.S., the show (along the other Marvel Anime) aired on the formerly geek-centric G4 and the dub of this was made by Studiopolis, Inc., an ADR production company who worked on dubs (either anime or Western animation) in the past such as Afro Samurai, Blood+, Bleach & Naruto. The voice of Blade in this effort was Harold Perrineau, whom you know from Lost, OZ & Link from The Matrix Reloaded & Revolutions and he was fairly decent in his part, not better but still better than Sticky Fingaz’ effort.
While the animation by MADHOUSE does look very beautiful and dark to look at but the action scenes animated there rate from sub-par to weak, since I mentioned the calling-out your move when finishing an enemy earlier and the character design of Blade looks……odd in some way but not in a bad way but very strange. The music overall is awful in this series, mostly a generic rock theme for the series that never fits the tone whatsoever and the rest of the music is standard anime music but not exactly being a standout.
FINAL VERDICT (THE ANIME): Very, very uninspired and overall boring. I will say that plot is more Blade-focused rather than going for the other characters’ less important side story and most of Blade’s past in the series has more detail added than the movies but the action gets rather too repetitive too quick and too monotonous. I can’t judge the whole Marvel/MADHOUSE project too quick since those I’ll check out later but for this one, I’ll say watch only once.
24: Phantom in the Twilight
Japanese: ファントム イン ザ トワイライト
MAL Score: 6.42
Set in modern day London, the story takes place in a world where “Shadows” are born from human fear and anxiety. A young girl arrives to study abroad, only to be caught in a bizarre incident as she enters university. In a city with no acquaintances, the helpless girl wanders into “Café Forbidden,” a mysterious café that exclusively opens at midnight. She meets an assortment of handsome men employed at the café, where guardians who protect the boundary between humans and shadow convene.
(Source: MAL News)
For an otome adaptation, this one wasn’t half bad. At least I didn’t loathe the female lead. A little more romance would have been nice but I prefer the lack thereof to the forced romance in many otome.
What I liked about it:
1. The female lead was strong in her own right and not whiny and annoying.
2. The male characters were believable and funny.
3. The story was intriguing if shallow.
What I didn’t like about it:
1. It moved awfully fast. There were times it was confusing because crucial information was left out.
2. There was a lot of kidnapping.
3. The characters weren’t as developed as they could have been.
4. The vampire didn’t drink blood. Kind of a penultimate aspect of being a vampire, and it wasn’t there.
This is much different than the typical otome anime in that it’s not about “which guy will she choose?” It really is just a group of guys helping her and her friend. That was refreshing but I would have liked a little romance at least. There was a hint that there might possibly be romance in the future, but that was it.
There could have been a lot more character development and it would have made the guys exponentially more interesting. I really would have liked to have seen some extended flashbacks of their lives. The hints we were given weren’t enough to make me really get attached.
One thing that was really difficult for me was that once the main character found out “who she was,” she suddenly knew how to do all this very powerful magic with zero training. They also never explained how or why the other female character had magic, what the heck it was, or how she knew how to use it.
The story itself wasn’t well explained either. Some of the villain motivations were explained but they were so trite. It had the potential to be much more than it was. Overall, this wasn’t a bad anime and for an otome, it wasn’t bad at all. But it wasn’t great.
This review was written after seeing all episodes.
At first glance, “Phantom in the Twilight” appears to be a reverse harem in the style of many otome-based anime from the past so many years, but it doesn’t quite fit the bill. The series itself doesn’t seem to know what it’s supposed to be and throughout its short twelve-episode life suffers multiple times from an identity crisis. One episode it seems to be following in the footsteps of otome-based series, the next it’s turned to head down the path of one-episode arcs with an overarching theme to tie the episodes together, and yet another episode it begins to crawl towards a focus in action. If you’re looking for a series requiring deep thought, or even active thinking, this series will bore you. If you’re looking for a series to pass the time and chill, something not requiring much thought or attention to understand, then this series might serve you well. With that out of the way, let’s get into why it received an overall rating of 6.
The story itself is nothing special. Two college-aged girls, Ton and Shinyao, traveled to England to attend school. Ton has always wanted to go to London due to her great-grandmother having left her family to go there. Due to a mysterious incident that happens early in the first episode the two girls become separated, and due to a searching spell which Ton inexplicably knows (you’re supposed to assume she learned it from whatever sources she used to learn of her great-grandmother apparently), she finds herself in a café with individuals whom of course are not human and are male; however, she need not worry, for they have a connection with Ton’s great-grandmother and are plenty eager to assist her. At this point it’s normal to assume that this is a set-up for a bunch of shipping scenes between Ton and all the males, but I’ll give the show credit, it didn’t take the easy route for the relationships (though it would be the logical choice for a show such as this). From the second episode onward the show travels in different directions and doesn’t do an amazing job in any area of the story. The surprises aren’t big, and even when not entirely predictable, simply leave you thinking “okay, no biggie”. After each episode (minus the final) there are little chibi shorts which provide a little insight into the “world” of the show which are a cute addition and are actually be my favorite part of each episode, which isn’t exactly a good thing.
Art: Not going to bother going into any details or rating, nothing special, onward to the next thing.
The voices suited the characters very well, none felt out of place, which is always nice. The opening theme I personally didn’t care for and tried to add to the action vibe of the show I felt. The ending theme more often than not broke character with the final moments of each episode but was pleasant to listen to. Battle music was nothing extraordinary but served its purpose.
Characters are flat, two dimensional, and aside from one of the side characters have no development; even with the side character, the development was foreseeable and nothing special. All the characters, even the villains, fall into neat stereotypes. While decent character growth would be hard to achieve in a short series such as this to begin with, there’s no effort whatsoever to be creative in the character department.
I began watching the show just to watch it if that makes sense. I didn’t have high expectations, so by the end, I wasn’t disappointed… Okay, I was slightly disappointed; the action scenes truly are lame considering how many of them are thrown in. As I mentioned in the beginning, this show works well if you want to watch something casually, but if you’re looking to become engrossed in a series this isn’t the series you’re looking for.
As previously mentioned, this series lacks a true identity. It doesn’t have enough romance or shipping material to make fans of otome-based series satisfied. The action scenes are not worthy of considering this a true action series. The drama is not dramatic, the surprises are not that surprising, but at least the ending is somewhat of an ending. That’s right, the ending does at least provide enough closure where things are settled enough, you’re not left expecting anything beyond this final episode; a mediocre predictable ending granted, but for a mediocre predictable series, this ending works just fine.
Hope this helps!
Based off an original piece of work Phantom in the Twilight is a fantasy and action anime that gives us the opportunity to see what will happen if a pair of transfer students that are freshly arrived from their homeland in the bursting metropolis that is London find that far from being just a city of tiny café’s and rich medieval history the city also plays host to a shadowy world that its population is largely unknown off. A world that not only plays host to a large number of shadowy creatures called Umbra but also serving as the stage in which they would act to protect their rights by fighting against sketchy paramilitary organizations that are determined to stamp them out. This idea of a transfer student becoming involved in a shadow war as she tries to get used to not just the new locale but also of the remarkable lineage and abilities that her beloved grandmother had hidden from her I felt was an interesting one and added in a sense of mystery and discovery to the series action and fantasy-based story. While I been to London plenty of times and I can clearly see the medieval elements that contrast well with the more modern aspects that have grown up around it I always had that thought that what if beneath this modern aspect of the city was another world that houses creatures that society would consider not just unnerving but also scary as well and that they lived in a society that mirrored ours. While Phantom in the Twilight made use of similar themes it instead made use of the parallel world concept in a different way by using the hidden in plain sight view but despite this, I still liked the idea that it chose as its main premise.
Taking place in modern day London the overall story of Phantom in the Twilight follows the adventures of Baileu Ton a transfer student from China who had arrived in London with her fellow transfer student and friend Shinyao in order to attend a university there. However, while transferring to attend a foreign university is one of her main goals beneath this is a more personal matter in that Bai has been searching for the reason as why her grandmother that she had respected a great deal had made such frequent trips to the city and to what purpose. After a bizarre incident leads her to a mysterious café that only opens at night and its equally charming and cryptic staff members Bai is faced with a surprising revelation that revealed that Bai’s beloved grandmother Sha Rijan was far from being a normal woman but was instead one of the handful of guardians that protected the hidden world that parallels her own. A world that is not populated by humans but by shadowy creatures called Umbra who can take forms ranging from vampires to werewolves and a world that only a few trusted people know off and whose reveal will cause nothing but shock to the people of society. As Bai gets to know the members of the café’s staff she realizes that each and every one of them have the utmost respect for her grandmother and each member while having differing personalities and sometimes antagonist relationships with each other all share a common goal in that all desire to create a world where umbra and humans can coexist with each other peacefully. After realizing not just how much her grandmother had fought to create such a team but also how much she and her team aspired to make such a dream a reality Bai decides to join the team after realizing that while there are many umbra that can be malicious there are also many that would help their fellow humans in their time of need despite being a different species.
But their path will not be an easy one as despite the common people not knowing of the world’s existence the shadowy organization Midnight Sun and the mysterious and enigmatic controller that acts from the shadows have their own nefarious plans for the world and the only thing standing in their way is the guardians of the umbra world the Twilights. Joining Bai in her quest to protect the hidden world are a host of characters that include the arrogant but honest Vlad, the laid back but surprisingly perceptive Luke, the carefree but energetic ghost Wayne and the quiet but surprisingly polite Toryu. Together this team would stand and fight hard to protect the world of Umbra’s from all manner of threats whether it’s a paramilitary organization or an evil controller who loves to expand his life by absorbing the power of the umbra. No matter who it is Bai and her team would stand and fight for their beliefs determined to maintain the peace between the two worlds.
Baileu Ton voiced by veteran seiyuu singer Kana Hanazawa of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei and 3 Gatsu no Lion fame is one of the main characters of the series and is the main heroine of the series. A teenage girl that recently arrived in the city of London as a transfer student for one of the cities universities Baileu Ton who prefers to be called by the name Bai in the beginning of the series was a positive, cheerful and determined young woman that firmly believed only in what she can see and understand and was not someone that believed in sketchy things like umbra’s that easily. While positive and determined Bai was also an assertive person that resonated well with her independent and curious nature that often ended up dragging she and her friends to different areas. However, while an assertive person Bai was also someone that was kind, caring and honest and can be surprisingly responsible at times. This aspect of her personality is helped greatly by the fact that Bai is someone that’s both perceptive and understanding and is someone that prefers to act with her heart and the feelings that she has towards something rather than the cold logic that others would expect. An example of this is when Bai tries to understand the underlying issues that are the cause of Luke and Chris’s strained relationship and her attempts to solve them. At the beginning of the series, Bai as a result of her beliefs did not really believe that something as outlandish as umbra existed and as a result, she viewed the team with some degree of exasperation believing that her grandmother may have encountered a band of tricksters. But after not just seeing the fact that Umbra is very much real and after awakening powers of her own this sense of disbelief gradually begins to fade and after realizing both the jobs that the team does and the dreams that her grandmother had inspired within them this is replaced by a desire to help them achieve their dream of creating a world where everyone can live in harmony with each other.
As the series goes on and as Bai see’s not just how diverse the many species of umbra can be but also see the many strong bonds that can form between umbra as they live in the world Bai’s personality gradually changes as she realizes that while different to humans on account of their appearance and abilities the umbra are not naturally evil and that many umbra are just trying to live about their lives like normal people. At first Bai was shown to be slightly hesitant about not just the power that she had awakened but also about the powers that each umbra possessed but as time passed and she got to bear witness to the attempts by the team to use their powers to help others this hesitation began to disappear and instead is replaced by a desire to not just embrace her own powers but learn to use them and help others just as her grandmother did when she led the team. As Bai gradually learned to not just control her powers but also expand on them as well her attitude towards the rest of the team gradually softens as she learns to let go of her preconceptions and learn about each member of the team and in the process forming strong bonds of friendship with them and learning to trust them much like how her grandmother did in the past. At the beginning of the series, it is noted that Bai due to her independent and curious nature is someone that has a tendency of acting without thinking and making rash decisions without considering the wider strategic picture of an encounter. While still present to a degree within Bai after her awakening this sense of misguided bravery is instead complimented by the fact that Bai in addition to having much more control over her powers has also discovered the value of both caution and creativity and easily able to use this to deal with situations in some surprisingly creative ways.
Vlad voiced by veteran voice actor Takahiro Sakurai of Log Horizon and Food Wars fame is one of the main characters of the series and is one of Bai’s allies and teammates within the series. A vampire umbra who takes the form of a young man in his twenties Vlad in the beginning of the series was seen to be a serious, patient and hardworking person that while clearly skilled at his job as the café’s coffee maker was also shown to have a certain level of arrogance about him that many would find out of place for someone of his role. While a quiet person by nature and one that prefers to keep his own counsel, Vlad is also shown to be a capable leader and acts as the overall field commander of the team until Bai arrived. In this capacity, it can be seen that Vlad is someone that true to his lineage of being a descendant of one of the most famous vampires is someone that’s cautious, intelligent, perceptive and level-headed and approaches each situation carefully always thinking of the larger picture and the status of his team. In this state, it can be seen be seen that while Vlad has great pride not just of his skill at making coffee but also in his abilities as a leader that Vlad does actively care about his teammates and rather than just worry about the present also cares about their futures as well. This latter part is seen in the ever-evolving relationship that he establishes with Baileu Ton the descendant of his first master Sha Rijan.
In the beginning of the series it can be seen that while Vlad respects the fact that Bai is both Sha Rijan’s descendent and that she wants to use her newly awakened powers to help their fight against the threats to the umbra world that he is extremely reluctant to allow her as he feels that putting her in danger would not just her life at risk but also potentially cause her demise as well. Indeed, at the start of the series, it can be seen that both Vlad and Bai argued constantly with each other with Bai both surprising him with the growth of her powers and dismay at some of her actions. But as the series goes on and Bai’s powers increase Vlad realizes that Bai’s stubbornness is exactly like that of her grandmother and instead resolves to protect her and watch over her just as he did in the past. I felt that his voice actor Takahiro Sakurai did an excellent job of portraying the character of Vlad.
Luke Bowen voiced by veteran voice actor Nobuhiko Okamoto of Blue Exorcist and A Certain Magical Index fame is one of the main characters of the series and is a fellow team member of Bai within the Twilights. A werewolf umbra that takes the form of a man in his twenties Luke at the beginning of the series was shown to be a bit of a free spirit in that he’s laid back, cheerful and loves playing jokes on people. As a result of this, it can be seen that Luke and Vlad often argue with each other mostly a result of Luke messing with Vlad’s gear. However, despite this apparent antagonism between the two, it can be seen that Luke is someone that cares about his friends and values them immensely and that his arguments with Vlad were simply part of his joking nature. Despite his joking and laid-back nature Luke is someone that’s shown to be both intelligent and fast thinking and able to deduce easily when things are awry which is helped greatly by the unique abilities that werewolves possessed specifically their enhanced hearing and sense of smell and in this its perhaps unsurprising that Luke is often employed as the scout of the team. As a result of his friendly and cheerful nature Luke was one of the first members to befriend Bai and bond with her in her early days when she was still trying to get to grips with the new reality that was in front of her and helped greatly in easing much of her concerns by providing some surprisingly deep advice.
Unlike the likes of Vlad who had not encountered much in terms of prosecution by humans, it can be seen that Luke while maintaining his cheerful demeanor is someone that had experienced the darkness that lies within society and in his case cost him the strong bonds that he had with his brother Chris. However, unlike his brother Luke still held the belief that a world where both umbra and humans can live together in harmony can become reality and tries hard to both locate his brother and convince him that his rage against humans is misguided.
Wayne voiced by veteran voice actor Daiki Yamashita of Re Creators fame is one of the main characters of the series and is one of Bai’s fellow teammates within the team. A ghost type umbra that takes the form of a young human boy Wayne on the surface is a carefree, positive and energetic person that behaves similarly to a kid. Being a ghost and inhabiting a body that’s unsuitable for being used in combat Wayne knows that his role on the team is rather limited but rather than causing him to feel sad about it this instead awakens within him a desire to be useful to the team by feeding them accurate and real-time intel that can be acted upon by the team. This shows that despite lacking the combat focused abilities of Vlad and Toryu and being an entirely different type of umbra to them that Wayne is determined to be useful to them showing not just his loyalty to his friends but to the dream as well. Despite having no combat potential at all Wayne’s ability to enter inanimate objects and look inside them for data I felt was an interesting concept and showed that battles do not necessarily have to rely on brute force to win and that timely intel can also be decisive in securing victory.
Toryu voiced by veteran voice actor Tomokazu Sugita of Kanon and Food Wars fame is one of the main characters of the series and is one of Bai’s fellow teammates within the team. A Jianshi umbra that takes the form of a human that’s in his late twenties Toryu at the beginning of the series can be seen to be a quiet, kind and polite person that approaches each of his tasks with calmness and in a composed manner. Unlike the likes of Luke and Wayne, in the beginning, Toryu was a bit of a loner and preferred to do things on his own rather than involve others. Despite his quiet nature, however, Toryu was someone that was willing to offer his advice to others quite readily, but his advice tends to be on the descriptive side. From the beginning of the series, it can be seen that Toryu was very loyal to not just the dream that the team and Sha Rijan aspired to achieve but also to Sha Rijan herself as too him she was someone that had saved him from a life that would have ended in death. As a result of this at the beginning unlike the other team members, Toryu had a very high opinion of Bai and hoped that she would be a worthy successor to her.
As the series goes on and more of Toryu’s personality is revealed it can be seen that beneath his quiet and efficient surface personality Toryu actually has many struggles that he battles with unknown to the others. As a result of how Toryu came into existence Toryu often saw himself as nothing more than a tool and one that’s only to be used to help others achieve their aims and not share in their victory and thus creating the loner like existence that he presents to the team. As a result of this Toryu, in the beginning, saw himself as expendable and was willing to take heavy risks in order to secure victory to the dismay of the rest of the team. However, after Bai and the team saved him from a precarious situation this changed as Toryu was able to realize that a human heart is not something that only humans can have and that by developing feelings and emotions and forming bonds with others a heart can also be formed as a heart can also be something that serves as a source of motivation for the bearer. As a result of this change, Toryu becomes not just more assertive but also more talkative and willing to contribute to the team more by providing his own opinions and assessments on their actions.
Chris voiced by veteran voice actor Yuki Ono of Granblue Fantasy and Food wars fame is one of the main support characters of the series. A werewolf umbra that takes the form of a human male that’s in his twenties Chris’s most notable trait is without a doubt his white outfit and the fact that he never takes off his sunglasses. A quiet and calm person by nature Chris can be someone that’s considered to be the very image of an ideal loner in that unlike his brother Chris is someone that prefers to act alone and shuns the act of friendship and bonds that most people would aspire to form. However, while fiercely independent and having a visible dislike of humans Chris isn’t the type of umbra that will kill indiscriminately and is instead someone that is kind, considerate and confident and has a surprisingly strong sense of honor that forbids him from killing innocents that he stays loyal to which is shown in how he treated Shinyao relatively well and kept her safe. At the beginning of the series, it can be seen that Chris was someone that viewed humans with not just dislike but also outright hatred due to events that happened in the past.
However, as the series goes on and Chris not just encounters but also befriends humans this attitude of his gradually starts to thaw as Chris starts to realize that like the umbra there are many types of humans and that not all are the manipulative and cunning types that caused him so much pain in the past. key to this development of Chris’s personality is the importance that he places on the value of promises and a willingness for someone to stand by them which is shown in how impressed he was in seeing Shinyao remember the one that was agreed upon between them a fact that helped greatly in convincing him that not all humans are bad ones and that some are indeed kind and caring and willing to aid them if called upon. This is seen in his gradual bonding with Shinyao and the continued protection that he provides to her despite the fact that he could have got her to safety.
In terms of animation, I felt that the character designs for the series were pretty good with the contrast between the main casts umbra selves and their human selves being especially so. The combat outfits that are worn by the team when doing their night job, I felt was pretty well designed as it highlighted the specific species that the team member belonged too in a way so that people would be able to tell what species they were from. Examples of this include the long cape of Vlad the vampire, the loose fitting but easily destructible shirts worn by Luke and the ancient Chinese style outfit that’s worn by Toryu. In terms of locations and settings, I felt the series did a great job of showcasing the setting of London and the various locations the cast visit over the course of the series. Each location while based off a real-world location and was largely faithful to them I felt also made great use of them as settings for the various fights that the cast takes part in. Notable examples of this include Hyde Park and the Tower of London. Combat animations wise I felt the series did a pretty good job at showing the kind of strengths and unique talents that each umbra species has which within the series translates into some pretty well-designed fights that were both interesting and unpredictable with notable examples being Vlad’s rescue of Bai from the department store and the teams fight against Van Helsing.
In terms of music, I felt that the series OST was a strong one that helped greatly in providing some excellent situational music to the various types of scenarios that Bai and the Twilights encounter over the course of the series. In terms of opening’s the series makes use of one opening and ending theme which was Flowery Song by Jiro Wang and Home by May’n respectively. The former I felt created a sense of tension and anticipation in the air thanks to its rock type genre and had the effect of welcoming you to another episode where you get to see Bai and the Twilights continue their fight against their opponents while the latter had the opposite effect being one that reminds you of peace, calm and a time to heal and reflect. These two songs I felt for these reasons contrasted well with each other especially in light of the heavy struggles that the team goes through within the series. In terms of voice acting, I felt that the voice cast of the series did an excellent job at portraying their assigned characters whether these were main ones or supporting ones. In particular, I felt that Kana Hanazawa, Takahiro Sakurai, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Daiki Yamashita, Tomokazu Sugita, Yuki Ono all did an excellent job in portraying the characters of Baileu Ton, Vlad, Luke, Wayne, Toryu and Chris respectively. Additionally, while I didn’t cover their characters within the review I felt that the Junichi Suwabe and Manaka Iwami also did a great job at portraying the characters of Hayshin and Shinyao respectively.
Overall Phantom in the Twilight was an anime I really enjoyed with its main strong points being its interesting premise, strong story, well designed characters, strong voice acting and an interesting take on what can actually be hidden behind the busy metropolis of London a city that while modern on the outside has a long and dark history that provides more than enough negative energy for Umbra to materialize and cause havoc on its unsuspecting populace.
The overall premise of the series which was a transfer student’s encounter with a mysterious café that’s staffed by people that seem to know her dear grandmother well and the revelation that her grandmother despite Bai’s good relationship with her was hiding the fact that she was not just a powerful ability user but also an important guardian and team leader that helps protect the hidden world of the umbra I felt was a strong one that was bolstered by the fact that the very waiters that work in the café were not just her grandmothers former team but also of the fact that they were not human. While the premise I felt was good this wouldn’t itself be enough if the premise isn’t married to a good enough story that takes advantage of not just the rich lore that comes from the world of the umbra but also of the unique struggles that exist within the world unknown to the general population.
The overall story of the series I felt was relatively interesting as while doing a great job of introducing Bai and us to the hidden world of the umbra the story also did a great job of showing the kind of struggles that both the team and the many individual umbra struggle to deal with while living out their lives. This contrast of seeing the important role that the members of the team play in their attempts to maintain peace within the umbra world by dealing with troublesome umbra whose actions if left unchecked would cause not just heavy damage to the world but also reveal it and the personal struggles that they and the umbra have to struggle with I felt was a good one that showed just how divided the world can be. This insight into both the professional duties of the team and into the many personal issues that each team member and their fellow umbra have to wrestle with I felt was interesting as while each team member was very efficient at their role of hunting down and dealing with troublesome umbra was not just mentally fragile but also struggling to deal with the many insecurities and doubts that plagued them while trying to hide it from their companions. These insecurities within the series I felt matched well with the unique personalities that each team member possessed and when used in conjunction with Bai’s development as not just a character but also a team leader and valued member of the team served to not just allow the team and Bai to overcome these insecurities that were holding them back but at the same time allow them to further improve their skills and teamwork as they continue their fight.
This gradual bonding between Bai and the team as they both sought to not just overcome their doubts but also try to improve not just their teamwork but also themselves as they try to protect the rights of the umbra and those that are dear to them from the likes of the midnight sun I felt was well done as it showed their determination to create a world where both umbra and humans treated each other with respect and one where both races could coexist peacefully.
While the bonding between Bai and the team and their gradual evolution into an effective team as they overcome both personal and professional issues form a large part of the series overall story it can be said that without an effective opponent the team’s development would have been for nothing. In this, I feel that the main hostile organization that the team faces in the course of the series which was appropriately called midnight sun was a bit of a mixed bag. While the ideology of the Midnight Sun was something that was understandable, and their motivations clear I felt that their first main villain Van Helsing was a relatively poor one as while his motivations were clear his actions were rather too straightforward, and his actions were too predictable. In contrast to him, I felt that his replacement Hayshin was far more capable as his plans were not just creative but relied on both cunning and his insight into the umbra to make them far more successful than his predecessors plans ever did.
One of the central themes within the series is the interaction between humans and umbra and the forming of not just respect for each other but also bonds of friendship between them. While this was shown well within the story in the form of Bai’s gradual bonding with the members of Twilight and her gradual determination to fight with them to create a peaceful world I felt that this theme was shown best in the interactions that Shinyao had with Chris during the time they were together. While initially hesitant and scared after being kidnapped by him this attitude of her’s gradually evolved to that of trust and understanding and perhaps something more as both got to understand not just their personalities and beliefs but also of the inner darkness that Chris had within him. This latter point I felt was used well in this regard as its gradual disappearance was a great indication of the fact that Chris’s attitude towards humans was slowly improving as a result of his bonding with Shinyao.
Overall I felt that Phantom in the Twilight was an interesting anime that had a unique premise, interesting story, unusual setting in regard to its location, well designed and developed characters, strong combat scenes, excellent voice acting and some interesting themes that were not just intriguing but also used well within the series. While the first arc of the series was a relatively slow one I felt that the second arc of the series more than made up for it by making use of some creative villains like Hayshin and raising the stakes substantially. As a final score, I would say that Phantom In the Twilight deserves a final score of 7/10.
23: Master Mosquiton ’99
English: Master of Mosquiton ’99
MAL Score: 6.51
Catholic schoolgirl Inaho discovers that a vampire, Mosquiton, is feeding off of her classmates. So she stakes him, but he is revived after her blood comes in contact with the his remains. Mosquiton becomes her slave and also a history teacher. Together, along with Yuuki and Honou, the unlikely duo have many escapades and adventures. One of Inaho’s main goals is to find the mythical O-Part to make some money!
The OVA, “Master Mosquiton,” is one of my favorites. It combines great animation, wonderful music, interesting characters, adult humor, nudity, and an ability to draw you in. It was a light-hearted tale of a vampire (Mosquiton) and his mistress (Inaho).
The series takes all of that, dilutes it and stretches it so thin that you end up feeling like NOTHING happened after 26 episodes! I realize that the sex and adult content was removed so it would be seen by all ages on TV, but it was a mistake to do so: Mosquiton was originally an adult dark comedy, and it worked.
[ STORY ]
The story starts very interesting and intriguing but it falls flat after repetitive episodes. The backstory later within the last 5 episodes almost saves the day but ultimately fails to make up for the series earlier shortcomings.
Also, this story is a “re-imagining” from the OVA, which is fine, but it wasn’t as strong a choice. ( OVA: 1920s, Mosquiton ’99:1999) 6/10
[ ART ]
The animation goes from TERRIBLE to fair and back again within the same scene. So disappointing since “Master Mosquiton” had excellent visuals. 4/10
[ SOUND ]
The music is pretty good. The 1920’s big band music that trickled over from the OVA is tops and I very much enjoyed the opening theme and background music. Solid. 7/10
[ CHARACTER ]
Inaho is 100% annoying and vile, which is hard when she’s the main character. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay that she has many less-than-stellar traits, but she should have at least ONE redeeming quality. Mosquiton is also MUCH more of a wimp and lapdog this time around. He’s still an adorable Bishounen (^_^). Yuki and Hoono, the two demons, are one-dimensional but are given more depth when you see their back story in their final episodes. There are also two main characters that are unique to the TV series and not the OVA: Wolf Lady and Frankie. The wolf lady proves to have a great backstory, (She cannot TOUCH a member of the opposite sex without lashing out violently/becoming more “wolf-like”) which includes a great deal of heart breaking backstory. Frankie is boring and has no reason to be in this series.
Camille, Mosquiton’s first wife, who had a HUGE role in the OVA has no pull in the TV series. In the TV series they never establish her as Mosquiton’s ex-wife she’s just a henchman. Totally stupid for them to pass up her interesting story.
The characters would be rated much higher, but the only good moments in their arc are their backstories, which only appear very late in the series. 5/10
[ ENJOYMENT ]
The first 20 episodes (give or take the few that stand out) are boring a strung out. When you get to the last 5 or so, your enjoyment goes up immensely. 6/10
[ OVERALL ]
Final verdict? WATCH THE OVA. It is truly fun, unique and interesting. If you have seen the OVA, and you want more Mosquiton goodness, you may want to watch this anime. It will at least give you some Mosquiton to savor. If you are NEW to this franchise, I would say pass the TV series up. You won’t have the love of the characters already like I did- that’s the only way I got through it. 6/10
Thanks for reading. Hope this gives a good insight as to whether or not to see this show.
The story is a re-imagining of the OVA, it places the characters in different places, in different times with slightly different personality changes. It starts with the greedy Inaho and she finds Mosquiton and forces him to make a contract with her. Every episode starts with her looking or searching for a piece of O-part that fits the key she has which is slightly annoying because that was every episode.
EVERY EPISODE, it was fair but it seemed like you could watch a few episodes for the light-hearted banter between the Mosquiton & Inaho. It seems the darkness/adult-comedy/romance isn’t there anymore, this more of a light-hearted/romance/comedy. Which, even though it IS the same set of characters, the storyline worked a lot better in being a dark comedy rather than a light one.
Some of the character’s backstory is different, like Camille. She’s not with Mosquiton and Germaine or whatever is his name is isn’t just some guy who seemed like the bad guy at the end. I preferred it this way, honestly. Camille in the OVA added something, but her presence here seemed better to me, I don’t know.
The ending episodes are the best, I wish they would have spread them out. The Christmas one was especially my favourite because it reminded me so much of how Inaho acted in the OVA and their relationship.
All in all, the story was fair, kind of fun and made you shake your head at Inaho, so I gave it a 6.
The art was alright for it’s day, I believe that because this has been fan-subbed that the quality has been lost on VCRs. A lot of people complain about older anime because of this, but I don’t fault the art or animation. I am sad that I couldn’t give it a better rating, because the fun use of colour would have been much better and the animation much smoother and less pixelated had there been original dvd releases. So — 5.
Great! They use some of the old OVA music in mixture with some new tunes and some music that makes you feel like “Oh, this is getting good!” I loved the music, I have nothing to complain about! -9
I believe that in a light-hearted scenario that this is how the characters would act because there was honestly no darkness in this anime. Mosquiton was very light hearted and I see how he became very domesticated during the series. They were all the same basically but with two new characters: Wolf Lady and Frankie.
I liked the character’s development here, it’s very touching in the ending episodes. Frankie is often funny and I like his persistence. I think they add something to the series.
THE ONLY CHARACTER I DO NOT LIKE is Akito? Inaho’s cousin? She is annoying, she acts just like Inaho and she reminds me of Sailor Moon? I don’t know, it’s just with Inaho being a frustrating ass, Akito comes in and does the same thing. When they are in an episode together, I just skipped one completely because it was just stupid. Even in the end, she was practically useless. There did not need to be a character to try to hog Inaho’s spotlight by acting just like her, they show no family ties which makes her appearance more annoying.
Enjoyment: If you like Mosquiton, you’ll like this kinda. In my brain, I think of this as a super sequel in my brain where it’s a certain way so I don’t think of Inaho as the same exact one in 99′, because they are different in many ways.
Overall: It’s a little better than decent, I found myself almost tearing near the end because I love Inaho/Mosquiton :] I think you would too if you saw the OVA
22: Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
English: A Dark Rabbit has Seven Lives
MAL Score: 6.57
Taito has been really sleepy lately, and keeps dreaming of a female vampire who says she has given him her “poison.” Sometimes he even thinks he hears her voice when he’s awake. But after surviving an accident that should have killed him, Taito’s world changes drastically and he realizes that his dreams are more real than he thought.
The story is a mess. For a series that is only twelve episodes long, it jumps from place to place a lot. Although the events do have some sort of connections to each other, they seem to come out of nowhere. Even though there are a lot of things happen, the plot hardly goes anywhere. Almost everything that happens is not interesting or memorable. The ending does set itself up for a sequel but here’s the problem, when has Zexecs ever created a sequel to anything? The answer to that question is never, and it’s not just this anime produced by Zexecs that has an ending like this. They have produced a number of anime that don’t have a conclusive ending. However despite having a lot of negatives, the series does have some positives to it. The plot does have some uniqueness to it and it is not as predictable as one may think. The creativeness was there and if the series had been executed better who knows, the plot may have been interesting.
Any series that can develop characters well in 12 or 13 episodes deserves applause because that isn’t a lot of time to really give any character any deep development. Like many other series of that length, it falls short in the character department. The main male protagonist isn’t very bright, he just dives head first into any given situation without thinking anything out. He is nearly immortal but nearly dies on numerous occasions because of his own recklessness but without his reckless nature nothing interesting would happen so it’s understandable to why they made the character this way. He also doesn’t develop much through-out the series, he remains almost unchanged from the beginning to the end of the series. At least he isn’t oblivious or spineless. He does realize the love triangle that he is in even though it is blatantly obvious. The female characters don’t develop much either and they can also get pretty annoying with how clingy they are. They have no depth to their character. The side characters aren’t that much better either, none of the characters really stand out and aren’t memorable at all but since the series was only 12 episodes long, we can’t really expect much.
The art is colorful is say the least. Every character has a different hair color and some have more than one hair color but it looks like they got lazy with the character designs, they look very basic, nothing popping out and two of them even look the same. The animation is pretty average, not bad but not outstanding either, it looks like something you would expect from any other anime.
The sound is pretty average too. Nothing special, the opening is fast which gets you pumped and the ending is very sweet. Both are catchy but nothing special.
The genre of the anime gives the creators a lot of flexibility and because of that, there is a certain degree of expectation. It can be entertaining but at the end of the day the series just falls flat on its face.
Overall the series is very unique but it is lacking in many areas and negatives really overshadow the positives.
*first hour* “Frodon ,you have to destroy the ring.Go to the Mount Doom and throw it into that damn lava so we can screw Soron !”
*Later* “Hey Frodon ! Wanna go to the pool?” “F-Frodon-chan…I..I lo..Lov” “Waaah ! Frodon-san ,it’s so nice that we’re all at the beach for the summer break !”
Disturbing right?…Well ,that’s more or less the same thing with Kuro Usagi.
During the first episodes it is plot after plot after plot after plot ! Everything go ultra supra fast ! Like “This guy is an enemy ! But finally he’s good ! Now he’ll help us against this guy ! And now this guy is not really the worst one ! But we have to take care of that one !…Well finally we’ve deal with that one so let’s take care of…Oh already deal with it ,okay…But Aaaah ! Take care of the PROPHECY !!!” And after that…”Oooh pool party ,yay ! Loli-chan ,wait for meeee ! Aaaah the beach is so nice ,let’s go swim all together !”…Wait what?!
Okay okay I’ll stop it here and I’ll try to make it more clear.What I try to say is that this anime is made on the wrong side.Normally on those kind of animes things go that way :
1 – The hero is an idiot ,he’s useless ,but he want to grow stronger for protecting his nakama.Childhood friend love him.The new girl love him too.He want to protect both of them and prepare for a hard training.
2 – Plot incoming ! As our hero start to train for becoming stronger ,we have the plot who slowly start to appear.Mysterious enemies slowly show their face and are conspire against the hero because they want something from one of the girl ,but you don’t know what or why.
3 – Fanservice time ! Of course ,the plot is in preparation and our hero is in training ,what do we need for making everyone wait and more or less enjoy this waiting? Fan service ! Boobs ,bikini or nude scene where every characters get together at the same place at the same time with no fucking good reason just so we can have a lot of funny ,ecchi scene.
4 – The hero became stronger ,but it’s not enough and as he try to protect the so wanted girl ,he fail miserably and the girl is finally taken by the bad guys.So the hero ask X mysterious person for a special training so he can be even more stronger ,but that training contain risk but our hero don’t give a fuck about risk so he do it because he want to save the girl !
5 – The hero became even more stronger ,beat the bad guys ,save the girl ,which is about to confess or really confess her love to him.The other girl is jealous and do the same.The hero can’t choose between both ,both get angry ,everyone laugh ,the end.
That’s how everythings go normally is those kind of anime.But in this one it’s the opposite.We start directly with a plot ,and a new one ,and a new one ,and a new one again.First you ear about a dangerous “demon” or so who was linked to Himea.So you think that this one is the bad guy.But at the same time Himea is hunted by a bad guy ,Hinata ,getting out of nowhere like a wild Garen get out of the bushes and start raping everyone wih some creepy god-like magics ,so you think that this one is the main bad guy and that the “demon” you heard about earlier will be the main menace later.And…No.Hinata is the bad guy for one episode ,after he disappear and sometimes make some cameo here and there (Seriously I though it was Stan Lee sometimes.).
Two episodes later ,the “demon” appear.Yea ,so soon.But you learn that it’s not a demon but something different linked to Himea.But don’t care too much about it because it disappear one episode later and a new plot come in !…Which is over one episode later again.And now you ear about something called Tenma which clearly when the ass of Himea ,lie he really REALLY want it that badly !..But after a little conversation he doesn’t care anymore about Himea ,he just care about a Prophecy (Oh god how many time did I heard that word in that anime which never gave any information about it !).And finally ,as you begin to heard about the prophecy more often ,Hinata make a new cameo for saying “Hi ,I know much more about the prophecy than you lol !” than disappear.And now ,they tell you that the prophecy is coming…Everything is ready for that…Everyone is here just as keikaku…And now?…Fanservice time ! O.O No really ,it’s totally that.Half of the anime it’s “plotting time” and the other half it’s “fan service #WeDon’tCareAboutTheStory #Yolo time”.So ,my examination :
Story (5) : A lot of mysteries ,a lot of plots ,a lot of questions and…Nothing.The story started greatly and is rushed like hell ,at a point that it’s hard to clearly understand everything because it goes just too fast for that.And finally nothing is answered ,the prophecy is coming but apparently nobody care ,the hero go for some training at the end but we don’t know why.Everyone wanted Himea but now nobody care about her and we don’t know why.So yea ,the story is rushed and confused and it’s sad because it had a big potential ,but wasted.
Art (8) : Artwork is great I have to admit it ,the characters are high quality and a special attention was made for the hairs because all girls have multicolor hairs.Special mention for Himea hair who apparently are full of fireflies…That’s the only explanation I have about all those white moving spot she have everywhere in her hair !
Sound (6) : Not bad ,not awesome ,it’s fair.
Characters (7) : A Useless MC ,a childhood friend ,an immortal vampire witch with fireflies in her hair ,a dark-emo “I-Hate-Everyone” black haired guy ,a loli with a kind of catgirl style (*-*).That’s the casting.But I have to say that when I say “Useless MC” I really mean it for this one.On most shonen the MC is useless at the beginning and at the end he’s Chuck Norris.But nah ,here he start useless and finish useless ,even as he train he continue to be useless and to be saved by Himea or Emo-boy and his loli.But anyway ,useless MC put aside ,the group is a funny one and go well together so I can’t really say that the casting is bad.
Conclusion :…Well…Dear author…The next time…Avoid the plot.Just do a Harem-style anime full of fanservice if it’s what you wanted to do.And if not then start and FINISH your story.But don’t do both when you plan to only do 12 episodes ,because you can’t do both in 12 episodes !…Aaaah.Well…I think that this anime is not really bad ,but it’s clearly not an awesome one.Watch it and make your own opinion ,I’m sure some peoples will hate it ,some will love it ,and some like me will be neutral.
PS : Damn ,I sure have talked a lot ,sorry for that and…Waw…You really have read me to this point?…Really?…You sure have time to loose :3
This was one of those animes that I just found while browsing My Anime List and stumbled upon the recommendation section. I ended up watching the first episode as soon as I found it, despite some of the slightly low-rated reviews I read about it. Now, the thing that stood out the most about this series wasn’t the story, the characters, or even the fight scenes. No, it was how fricking colorful this anime was. Seriously, despite the amount of anime I’ve seen in the past, I have never seen such colorful hair on characters, like, ever. Without further ado, let’s get this review started, shall we?
To start off, let’s get into the story. Upon first glance, this anime is supposedly about a vampire and a human, who met each other years ago. She fell in love with him, and granted him a power which allowed him to have 7 lives every 15 minutes. It sounded interesting, but then stuff happened and the main girl got kidnapped and trapped in another dimension for years and years, while the human boy’s memory was erased. Later on, once he enters High School, he somehow gains his memory back after being hit by a semi truck and healing his scattered limbs. He remembers the vampire girl, and he finds her once again. Then more stuff happens, and the story just gets more confusing as it goes on. To be honest, I still don’t know what the main plot of this was supposed to be. All I know is that it felt kind of similar to pretty much every romance/echii/action anime out there. To sum it up, the story will not completely hook you onto the show.
As I said before, the thing that caught my eye when first watching this was all of the colors. People’s hair were multicolored, the sky was a completely abnormal color (never seen a sky turn bright purple and pink before), it was like I walked into a double rainbow and it suddenly started raining skittles everywhere. It was very strange, but it was decent quality. Most animes these days usually have pretty good art styles, so I was content.
Not much to say about the voice acting. They played their roles well, and that’s pretty much it. Sound effects were good, I liked the Opening and Ending songs. That’s about it for anything sound related…
I think out of all the characters in the show, the one that got on my nerves the most was Haruka. For those of you who have seen this, you will either be all like, “Oh yeah, I totally agree with you” or, “What?! What about Mirai! She was way more annoying!”. To be honest, I liked Mirai a lot. She had loli written all over her, and I liked her energy and enthusiasm. But the thing I didn’t like about Haruka was the fact that she couldn’t let something go, even if it killed her. Obviously the 2 main protagonists are into eachother, but since she’s into the main guy, she tries to steal him from Himea every chance she gets, and it got annoying. What’s worse is that her entire class supported her. Other then that, I liked the main protagonist, Taito, he was pretty cool when he wanted to be. Gekkou was kind of a jerk at times, but he brought some pretty good comedy in the last episode, plus he knows how to handle weapons pretty well. Himea was probably my second favorite character out of the entire cast. With her love and compassion towards Taito, you can’t help but root for her whenever you can.
Now, the main question, did I enjoy watching this? The answer: meh… to be honest, the only reason I continued watching this was because I wanted to just get it finished so I could move on to more anime. I can’t not finish an anime once I’m halfway through it, so overall, it was so-so. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone. I know everyone has mixed opinions about it and that we all can’t agree on everything, but if you were to put this on your list, this might be kind of a last option once you get all the other important anime out of your way.
21: Wild Arms: Twilight Venom
English: Wild Arms
Japanese: ワイルドアームズ トワイライトヴェノム
MAL Score: 6.65
This anime is based on a playstation game under the same title. The story is about four people who travel the desolated land of Filgaea and carve themselves a legendary story while they’re at it. These adventurers are Sheyenne Rainstorm, a gunslinger who holds the legendary weapon called ARMs; Kiel Aromax, a scientist who looks like he should be carrying a sword; Roleta Oratorio the Crest Sorceress, a magic-user who uses cards called Crests to cast spells; and Mirabelle Graceland, one of the Noble Red, which are a family of vampiric creatures who live alongside human beings They also travel with cute little intelligent furry things, from the Popepi Pipepo Tribe, named Isaac and Jerusha.
Basically, here is what it comes down to.
-You HAVE to wait for the story to develop, slow down and enjoy it.
-This is an anime for people willing to look past the art, and more into the meaning and depth of the story.
-Skip the ending song.
In conclusion, I find the anime to be amazing in terms of story, but the amount of fillers really made the score suffer for me. You should be able to find it for cheap anywhere, and I truly recommend picking it up if you can. Give it a chance! Thanks for reading!
The story was decent, but it didn’t tie up loose ends real well. The story was kind of wild west meets fantasy. It was a good blend of action and romance with interesting characters.
The opening song was very good, but I skipped the closing song as it was annoying to me. It’s because the opening song was wild west esque and the closing was futuristic, which clashed with the amazing opening in my opinion.
Those ‘r’ big guns. It’s worth a watch and there is some closure. Just don’t expect a deep storyline or very good art for that matter. It’s an anime that some people will enjoy more than others, for me it was just okay or average.
20: Nyanpire The Animation
Japanese: にゃんぱいあ The Animation
MAL Score: 6.67
A heartwarming story about a stray black cat, who was given blood from a vampire. He was taken in by a girl called Misaki and started to live with her. Nyanpire’s favorite phrase is “Give me blood nya.”
GONZO is finally back in full force after a 2 year break. Now what do they have to show for after these 2 long years? That would be Nyanpire. During these past few years, anime has been filled with pointless moe, excessive fanservice, and are completely lacking of any substance. Because of this, Nyanpire is a bright light of hope for the industry in these dark times.
Moving on to the story. GONZO shows a certain brilliance that has been lacking in anime for quite some time. The ability to use such a simple premise, yet execute it flawlessly has been almost completely lost in today’s world. At the same time, the messages that they are trying to convey are something to be admired. GONZO really does care about the anime industry, and I must say, they are here to save it.
Yet again, GONZO shows that something so simple, if used properly, can become something great. The art style is so very simplistic, it seems like any average person with no prior experience could draw this show. What I draw from this (no pun intended) is that they are telling everyone that the art doesn’t need to be excessive in any way (I’m looking at you, SHAFT) to serve it’s purpose. Now, I’m not saying overly done art is bad, it just doesn’t automatically make a show good, and they prove this with Nyanpire’s art.
Sound, what can I say about the sounds of Nyanpire other than it’s simply perfect. From the Seiyuu chosen, to the miscellaneous SFX used, and even to the ending theme done by Hyadain. It just screams perfection and will not leave you disappointed.
Now, for the main focus of the show, the characters. Nyanpire is truly a tragic character. Left to fend on his own after becoming a vampire-cat by drinking the blood of a vampire. His struggles to find blood to drink so that he may live on will truly fill your heart with sadness and despair, but at the same time, hope. Hope that he may one day get the blood he needs to continue living on in this world that shunned him long ago. The life of Nyanpire will truly strike the hearts of anyone who watches this. I personally cannot wait for the other characters to be introduced so that I may be immersed into this masterpiece more so than I am now. I can already tell things are going to get real heavy once Masamunya appears.
The enjoyment factor of this show, to put it simply, is one that cannot be rivaled within this lifetime. It has everything you will ever be looking for in this medium, and only after 1 episode. If they continue on this course, there will never be a need for any other anime to be made. They will have obtained the unobtainable.
I never imagined this day would come, when something so amazing comes along that it leaves me in complete awe. I’ve gone back to edit my score for this repeatedly, but I just cannot fathom a rating that suits it. A perfect 10 would never be enough. GONZO has finally done it. They’re back and here to save anime with this masterpiece called Nyanpire.
That’s not to say that Nyanpire isn’t exactly what it sounds like: a silly collection of short episodes about a cat vampire and his friends. It’s exactly that – nothing more, nothing less. But Nyanpire takes this ridiculous concept and does it well, managing to fit less than three minutes of deliciously cute story into four and a half minute long episodes. The remaining minute and a half is devoted to an ending theme that is as enjoyable, cute, and ridiculous as the anime itself.
While there was no real overarching storyline (the final episode had the opportunity to set up an actual plot, but instead opted for the cheesy ending), the plots of the individual episodes were executed smoothly enough that I didn’t really mind. Each episode moved along so quickly that I always found myself surprised when it was over, while at the same time feeling completely satisfied that it had been exactly as long as it needed to be.
Combined with the light touches of orchestral accompaniment and adorably simple art, Nyanpire was the perfect short anime to watch between class and while doing work without having to worry about getting completely absorbed for hours. It really is just as it appears to be on the surface, but that’s by no means a bad thing. Compared to anime which try too hard to be philosophical, or go way overboard with plot twists and complex character designs, Nyanpire is refreshingly honest and simple. If you’re not into the cute and silly, then Nyanpire probably isn’t for you. But hey, at less than an hour of total watch time, there’s no harm in giving it a try.
9/10 would make my kid watch someday.
The review ask me to write longer oh no
There is nothing much to say, go watch now! it’s very short and worth it 😀
Suggest from my good meowness friend, Nekorine
Can make you happy 10/10 confirmed
Nani i have to make it longer? OK
The music is good, not really annoying but yeah its good
Story is uh yea nothing much to say but i like it.
Sound? very meowness
a must love character, how can someone hate cat?
enjoyment, yes truly. Maybe i’ll dream about it when i go to sleep
Overall — umm
If you are my close friend, i will make you sure watch this series no matter what it takes!
19: Tenshi ni Narumon!
English: I’m Gonna Be an Angel!
MAL Score: 6.70
Yuusuke was just a normal kid going to high school. Then one day, the cute and behaloed Noelle fell, quite literally, into his life, naked as a baby and every bit as innocent. Before he can even fathom what’s just happened, Yuusuke is inducted into a rather odd family of otherworldly beings.
Papa is a Frankenstein monster with a taste for calisthenics. Mama is a gorgeous lady with a penchant for “round objects” — really! The eldest sister, Sara, is literally invisible; the brother, Gabriel, is a teenage vampire with an attitude problem; and the youngest sister, Ruka, loves inventing things. There’s a disapproving Grandma, who’s a witch to the nth degree, and her vulture familiar. All Yuusuke wanted was for the beautiful Natsumi to even notice his attention, but now he has an angel-in-training to follow him wherever he goes. And Noelle, too, has a guide on her path to being an angel, the mysterious Michael.
Yeah, it’s all over the place. But oddly enough, it works rather well. The comedic episodes are funny, if only in a stupid way. The romantic aspects are well thought out, and the love triangle’s resolution feels amazingly natural. When the serious plot comes in halfway through the series, it begins by being intriguing and only gets better until the end. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that it’s all about identity – what does it mean to be an angel, to be a family, to do the right thing? In all honesty, the only complaint that I can raise about the plot is that many questions are left unanswered, questions that could have been addressed if the plotline had come more into play earlier in the series. Still, Tenshi ni Narumon! is a story of ambition and losses, and the ride is amazing.
Tenshi ni Narumon! was animated via cells, but is still rather recent and, frankly, it’s gorgeous. The character designs are a bit unusual, but fit the comedic nature of the show nicely; the way emotions come across on characters’ faces is especially impressive. Best of all, the color pallet used is vibrant and generally looks great, while darker scenes have their own sort of life. One warning, though: half of the series was released on region one DVD… the other half isn’t. Unless you speak Japanese, the only way to watch episodes 14 through 26 is via VHS-rip fansubs. Even in super-low-quality, the show looks nice, but if you need your anime to be in DVD-quality, you’ll want to avoid this show. Otherwise, though, it’s a pleasure to look at.
The music of this series is great from start to finish. “Datte Daisuke,” the opening theme song, is lively and peppy, starting every episode with a positive spin. It’s one of those songs that can really perk up your mood no matter how you feel. The closing, “Ai wa Umi” is the complete opposite: slow and a bit sad yet hopeful; it’s very pleasant to listen to. The BGM is also a pleasure to listen to and matches the series perfectly, and while it doesn’t stand out much it really enhances many of the series’ scenes. The voice acting is overall very good, and the dub is surprisingly excellent, considering it’s relatively old.
Really, though, the part of Tenshi ni Narumon! that stands out the very most is the characters. The heroine, Noelle, is your standard annoyingly cheerful character, and your enjoyment of the series may depend partially on how much you like her; I personally find her to be cute most of the time. At the very least, she keeps the show’s mood always optimistic. Her love interest, Yuusuke, is another character that’s a bit of a stock personality, as a fairly typical wimpy harem lead. While he may not be very interesting, the rest of the characters certainly make up for it. Noelle’s family, in particular, may be eccentric but they’re all have very distinct personalities and are really very lovable; when their status as a family is eventually threatened you really want them to be able to stick together. Even more interesting are Michael and Raphael, the two men that quickly become Noelle’s friends and teachers, and the many villains of the series. One character who eventually becomes the main obstacle is especially deep, and it’s really interesting just to think about events from her point of view. It’s a big cast, that’s for sure, but one bursting with personality.
In the end, though, Tenshi ni Narumon! is just plain fun. It’s completely stupid at times, but in the way that you can’t help but laugh at. And when the fun is done, there’s a lot of really deep stuff hiding underneath. Don’t give up on the series after watching just a few episodes; stick to it until the end and maybe you’ll see why it’s one of my favorite anime series ever.
Tenshi ni Narumon! is not what I expected, and it’s not what you expect if you only watch the first 13 episodes. A typical romance comedy anime about “girl meets boy” and that is what you get, a cute MC who wants to become an angel for her beloved mixed with love triangles, shenanigans, flamboyant villains getting in the way. That’s what it seems like really.
It’s not that. Tenshi ni Narumon! is an Utena-type anime. Without spoilers it’s hard to explain, but it’s not what you expect. It turns physiological very fast thanks to characters who aren’t the protagonist, Noelle. It reuses scenes which could be a product of a tight budget but it works somehow.
Of course the anime isn’t perfect and leaves much to be desired, unanswered questions and motives, etc. But it does excel in its strange way since it answers the question: Who wants to become an angel? Since the start you believe Noelle is the girl who wants to become an angel, she spends the first episodes doing everything possible to do it. But the twist comes when it isn’t her. Or it is her but just a part of her.
The twist comes from the fact that “I’m gonna be an angel!” is not referring to Noelle, but to her mentor, a character who only appears in the last seconds of the anime. Mikael is the true star of the show and it’s present in how he changes in Episode 13 upwards when his lover and mentor, Raphael visits him. Mikael was a boy always seen smiling and calm who wants to help Noelle become an angel. Boy, does he change. He turns out to do anything to want to be angel, and the only thing he can do to become one is force Noelle even when she wants to stop trying for fear of hurting her family. The best aspects of the show truly come with the interactions between Mikael and Rapahel and Eros and Silky. While Noelle is happy, her other parts of the angel soul are sad, crazed and desperate. Mikael would do anything to become an angel, and Silky would do anything to not become one. It seems the only one who didn’t know they were all part of the same soul was Noelle.
There are many characters that seem like comedy relief (Noelle’s family) and including the most prevalent villain: Muse. Of course, your enjoyment of the show depends if you are fine with this characters, I was because they are exactly what makes this anime special, the characters. If you’ve watched Utena you know that there is a certain character who seems to be only there for strange comedy relief and to be a “villain who always fails” and Tenshi ni Narumon! is no different.
Still, the ending was disappointing. Huge build up only to find Silky disappears without a trace and everything is perfect and good. Many unanswered questions but then again, this was an anime made for enjoyment and not to over analyze. Though I would love to over analyze the complicated character of Mikael.
This anime is about family, about being careful of what you wish for, of love in all its forms, of selfish desires that could hurt other people, what it means to be an “angel”.
It’s a very cute, fun, entertaining but also strangely dark, physiological anime that deals with a variety of themes in each episode. Don’t let the art fool you.
18: Devils Line
English: Devils’ Line
MAL Score: 6.82
Vampires walk among society, existing as part of its underbelly. They do not require blood to survive, but extreme emotions can immensely increase their bloodlust, turning them into uncontrollable monsters. Tsukasa Taira, a 22-year-old university student, learns of the existence of vampires when her longtime friend reveals himself to be one of them after a tense confrontation with Yuuki Anzai—a human and vampire hybrid.
Her friend is arrested, and Tsukasa soon finds herself drawn to Anzai, who reluctantly reciprocates her feelings. However, this unconventional romance may prove too difficult to maintain, as Anzai struggles to contain the part of him that wishes to devour Tsukasa.
It was an alright anime overall. The OP was alright.The ED was awesome never skipped it. There are sometimes after ED scenes so don’t forget to watch’em.
I’d give it a 7 on 10.
For those who are having second thoughts on watching it, please give it a try (like 4 episodes at least). Because, at first glance it gives off twilight vibes and looked like fanservice anime, but it gets really good. .
The story is just really great. Kaneki Ken’s long lost vampire brother wants to drink human blood, but not because he is a pervert or hungry, but because if he does not, he turns into a monster and will kill everyone and anyone surrounding him. Such a real hero this guy. With his moral values he is the real friend of humanity. Unfortunately, all humans are pretty much arseholes who be like “oh no, your literally evils for succkins blood.” except this one girl who be like “vampire prejudices are racistic and this guy dindu nuffin, btw, I also want to bang him.”. At first, I thought this was weird behavior because the dude is a rapist, stalker and murderer, but then it came clear that she is in fact acting like any internet-leftist would. With this mentality, our main dude is also the r e a l victim here. Amazing recapturing of the mindset, I guess? Then these two go on an epic journey. By epic journey, I mean 12 long episodes where absolutely nothing happens.
From its core, Twilight the Animation.. oh sorry, I mean Devils Line, is some sort of 50 Shades of My Vampire Fetishes seinen anime which mainly looks like the combination of multicultural propaganda and Hollywood blockbuster action…. So basically, normal Hollywood blockbuster action. The drama writing on the other hand is so b class it’s pointless to even criticize it because it is so obviously bad.
The art is just cool. I really like how that random hoe who does not have a personality had different colored hair than the other hoe who does not have a personality. Their voice actresses are also not the one and same person which makes telling them apart even easier. Thanks for that. The opening on the other hand is a masterpiece… at fooling people into thinking this show might actually not be utter garbage, which it is.
This show is not even ironically fun. It’s so bad it’s sad. Every vampire romance cliche and trope in one shell spiced with extra sharp edges. On top of that, it takes itself way too seriously for a show which so heavily relies on the given edge. If this show accomplished anything, it is how impressively bad and unenjoyable it is.
There’s a joke out these days that falls in the line of “still a better love story that Twilight”. Devil’s Line does have vampires and some romance elements after all. However, the show itself gives a more mature feeling that is beyond just teenage romance. What Devil’s Line fails to do is make a story that stands out on its own. The story connects a vampire named Anzai together with a college student named Tsukasa Taira. She is saved by this mysterious character after being attacked by a vampire. It also turns out that Anzai is a vampire himself and has to control his bloodlust. The catch is that the show tests his nature as a vampire while also being hunted down by a vampire extermination organization known as the CCC. Sound familiar?
Now the show itself does take itself quite seriously. I say this because there’s hardly any jokes and most of that similar content relies on dark humor even when there’s room to throw in those moments. In essence, you should expect a mature anime that deals with interspecies romance. The main characters, Anzai and Tsukasa are not much alike beyond just their origins. From the start, I can say easily that Anzai is a brooding man without much words. On the other hand, Tsukasa is a type of girl who is very open to others and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. However, she is still very shy and not capable of dealing with dangers on her own most of the time. Anzai has to play the role of a protector in the series. It also puts Tsukasa in danger whenever the two are together because of his own bloodlust. The series adds tension and psychology nearly every episode as we see how he struggles to control his urges. I think on most part, it’s a repetitive gimmick that most vampire series relies on these days. Series such as Vampire Knight and Tokyo Ghoul has done that before. Even real life popular drama TV has done so in the past such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Vampire Diaries. They all carry the burden of a character having to deal with their inhuman nature. Devil’s Line isn’t too different as the show tests the water between Anzai and Tsukasa’s relationship. Unfortunately, it fell flat because of how dry and empty it is. There’s no doubt they have chemistry but their relationship feels unreal and I find it hard to root for them as a couple. The two are hardly compatible either because of their circumstances. It’s a forbidden romance not meant to be.
As a story about two different races, you can definitely expect conflicts to erupt in their society. There are several episodes that involves Anzai being targeted in assassination-style operations. It seems members of the CCC aren’t afraid to take any risks to kill vampires such as the case of sniper Zero Seven (Nanako Tenjo). As a main protagonist, you can definitely expect Anzai to be protected by plot armor. He’s not going to drop like a fly even despite fighting against the odds. Anzai is definitely not “OP” though as he struggles to survive but to me, the show doesn’t make his survivalist role any unique. The plot is stale as we don’t learn too much about his character. There’s definitely some background storytelling in the series for the main characters but none of them felt compelling. Tsukasa is also too human for a character that goes under little changes throughout the series. The only other character that may arouse curiosity would be Kohannes Kleeman, a mysterious white hair man. He appears in the show in later episodes and makes the audience wonder what his real intentions are. Unlike Anzai, he is quite blunt and behaves carefree around others. I’d say that he is perhaps too honest to point where it’s hard to tell whether he is telling the truth or lying. To me, Kleeman is an antithesis of Anzai. He is difficult to manipulate and always seems to be in control of himself. His behavior brings in a lighter side of the show although I really can’t find that appealing. The show is still very moody and pushes the idea of a dark modern fantasy at every chance it gets.
Platinum Vision is a rather obscure studio that I don’t think many fans are familiar with. Their previous work actually includes another vampire series called Servamp although that is far more lighthearted than this anime. Unfortunately, the overall animation quality is mediocre at best. This is my honest impression as the character designs looks generic to the core without any special features about them. The setting takes place in a modern city that you can find in just about any similar shows. Oh but you’re wondering, what about the vampires? Do they look convincing? On the surface, the answer is yes but that doesn’t make them stand out much. The characteristics of these vampires includes fangs and their bloodlust nature that feels like if you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it all. There’s also a lot of fan service that teases the relationship between Anzai and Tsukasa. Some episodes really flirts with the idea of whether they will or will not have sex. Thus, expect a lot of kissing and it leaves some to the imagination. There’s not much censoring in terms of the graphic violence although isn’t never really ventures into the gore territory.
To carry a show like this, you would definitely need some acceptable characters. Anzai and Tsukasa’s voices are a total contrast of each other. Anzai sounds like one with little emotion while Tsukasa’s voice sounds alive. On some instances, I wonder just how much the creator wanted us to accept them. In the meantime, the OST is mostly eerie with a melancholic quiet tune during some of the more emotional scenes. The theme songs are what people would easily designate as edgy. I don’t like using that word around much but it is what it is.
After watching Devil’s Line, I felt like walking out of a theater realizing I could have done something else better with my money. I can literally go around online and find another show under the “vampire” tag. To me, Devil’s Line took the risk of trying to revitalizing the horror genre of interspecies relationship. What ends up happening is a show with few surprising twists but instead loses to underwhelming horror formulas. Maybe someday, we’ll get a memorable horror series of where we can look back and say “that’s pretty cool!’
MAL Score: 6.91
Mahiru Shirota firmly believes that simple is best and troublesome things should be avoided at all costs. It is troublesome to do nothing and regret it later—and this ideology has led the 15-year-old to pick up a stray cat on his way home from school. As he affectionately names the feline Kuro, little does he know that this chance meeting will spark an extraordinary change in his everyday life.
One day, Mahiru returns home to find something quite strange: a mysterious young man he has never seen before. His subsequent panic results in the uninvited guest being exposed to sunlight and—much to Mahiru’s shock—transforming into Kuro! Upon revealing himself as a mere lazy shut-in vampire, Kuro promises to leave once night falls. However, one disaster after another leads to Mahiru accidentally forming a contract with his new freeloader, dragging him into a life-threatening battle of supernatural servants and bloodthirsty beings that is anything but simple.
The story of Servamp follows Mahiru… actually; the main story is pretty much covered in the synopsis, so there isn’t much reason for me to regurgitate the same thing in different words. Long story short, Servamp is really something we’ve seen hundreds of times before; ordinary high school boy meets weird stuff (in this case black cats) and gets caught in a live or die situation with all convenient we’ve come to expect of such story.
Now, in all respect there’s nothing wrong with a premise that is lack of originality. But servamp just feel…. quite empty. The plot is just something you encounter in battle shounen series; if you’re looking for in-depth plot then look further because the show doesn’t had any. Everything in the plot is pretty clear black and white, the bad guy is obvious and the good guy is always on the side good guys. The first few episodes are generally geared towards comedy with little real progression. The actual comedy isn’t too bad and some moments are fairly funny, but hit or miss jokes aren’t enough to make something entertaining. The series then shifts to more of a battle shounen with action, however, the action isn’t that much interesting and feels rushed because most of the time it ended with always ends with one slash. I’d also like to mention the tone is pretty I don’t know… not appropriate? because the show explained that the bad vampires is a creature that kills human, yet everything is feel so mundane and light, there no sense of urgency; it is as if the show doesn’t take the whole the matters seriously.
The characters well… we get to see the major protagonist and the major villain gets a backstory (which is all sad/ tragic story by the way) but somehow it wasn’t full enough to make us sympathize with them. The supporting is even worse, because they don’t even have time due to the short length. One of the prime example is Misono, on which his dreams is to protect people, but it never be explained why he do so considering he looks like some rich boy who doesn’t care with anyone.
Furthermore, due to the short length, many of the questions raised are left unanswered, coupled with an unsatisfying conclusion (not that it concludes anything), which ends just as it seems the real story is about to begin; it told the viewers there are seven servamp based of seven sins yet at the end of the series there are only five present and the ending was cop out and feels like Disney’s ending.
Then there is the art, which is certainly Servamp best area. But even then, it is not above series in at least 2 years back. There are a wide range of colors used for all of the characters, which is nice but it the background are just present I guess. The animation quality is decent. There are a few instances where they turn it up a notch, but this is mostly for action scenes, which rarely last more than two minutes. all in all it is competent to today standard.
The soundtrack was okay. The opening were all right and suited the series but were also pretty generic themes. The opening theme was slightly better as it set up the episodes quite well, and the visuals associated with it were actually relevant to the story of the anime. The rest of the soundtrack, while not being anything noteworthy, matched the mood of the scenes and worded well overall. However, I found the ED to be terrible, but that’s more like luxury than actual criticism.
Servamp is a pretty underwhelming action/comedy series The early couple of episodes maybe mildly entertaining, but as a whole the series is quite frustrating, due to a lack of any real closure. We’re introduced to an extensive cast, but many of them lacked a decent back story. Mahiru, being the main character, wasn’t particularly interesting, but the side characters were, even if most were given very little time to shine. It’s in the middle episodes, where it feels very rushed, that most of the enjoyment is lost. The production values are solid, but nothing to blow anyone away. I would also like to mention, that if you are expecting to see traditional vampires, then you will be generally disappointed.
A forgotten series and probably one of few Josei series that I personally found bad.
This is a setting that many have seen before. Normal High School student is met with the supernatural and pulled into a whole different world. So far, it doesn’t seem like there is anything too amazing about it. However, I have not yet encountered a story in which said supernatural creature is literally THE most lazy person in the show, which often helps loosen the ‘deep’ mood that the story is going for with an amusing comment about how he’d rather take a nap than do anything ‘bothersome’.
The animation is great, and the character design is a very favorite of mine. Bright colors, distinctive character designs so that you don’t get confused about who is who – nothing to complain about here.
I really love the opening by Oldcodex that suits the anime’s darker theme, but also the ending that gives you a more upbeat and happy-go-lucky feeling if there has been a particularly ‘dark’ episode.
The main character is your everyday hero who wants to protect his friends and do everything right, which comes across as a bit generic at times. What really pulled me in was Kuro, the second main character, who (while being one of the laziest people on Earth) still manages to be powerful when needed, and also funny at times.
A few episodes in is when the character development of Kuro starts to happen, when you start getting a deeper look into what has happened in his past.
I really cannot say I disliked watching any of these episodes. I’m always looking forward to the next one, and can’t say that I felt like I wasted time with any of the episodes.
If you’re someone who enjoys an anime with a pretty art style and bright colors, an anime that is somehow ‘deep’ but still manages to bring in funny and amusing scenes (sometimes when you least expect it), then I highly recommend this to you.
If it’s Kuro’s problem, Mahiru has to be there, there isn’t anything to be faced alone. The problem might be Kuro’s but Mahiru is his eve, his partner and his ‘reason’. (as Mikuni had said) And seriously, despite everything, do you guys really want this to be ‘oh I stab the antagonist, he ded, the end’ is that kind of ending what you want? I think the ending was quite nice and peaceful and it wasn’t unpleasant. It was a nice change. I don’t need to see blood flying everywhere and people dying to call it a GREAT VICTORY! =_=
Licht, Lawless, Kuro, Mahiru, Tsubaki and Sakuya are really interesting characters and even though the anime did not best in showing off characters such as the Pride pair and Lust pair, C3 as such, it did made some great show out of the more standing out ones. I enjoy the Greed pair the most (no surprise)
I guess one of the reason I liked this anime is because there are a lot of angst going on in some anime now *COUGHDANGANRONPACOUGH* and not only that, because people now a-days just keeps spamming horror/angst/negative emotions. I really like how this anime turns out despite it’s various flaw.
16: Night Walker: Mayonaka no Tantei
English: Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective
Japanese: Night Walker -真夜中の探偵-
MAL Score: 6.94
Shido Tatsuhiko is not only a private eye… he is also a vampire with no real memory of his past. Joined by Yayoi Matsunaga, a female government agent, Riho Yamazaki, an orphaned teenage girl working as his girl Friday and Guni, a little green imp, Shido must face demonic creatures known as Nightbreed. Meanwhile, Cain, the vampire who made him what he is now, is seeking him…
The anime series is based off of a PC game by the same name, created by TomBoy. The anime series was produced by AIC, and ran on TV from July to September in 1998. Shido is a vampire, and a private detective living in Japan. He’s devoted himself to saving humans, not killing them or turning them to vampires, as the other vampires do. He rocks cool pink hair, and an interesting style of clothing, and hunts “nightbreeds”. Nightbreeds are the name for lesser demons in the series, who need to feed on, or control human beings in order to survive. One of Shido’s “powers” as a vampire, is he is able to turn his blood into a weapon that can kill or harm nightbreeds. Yayoi is a member of a secret organization designed to investigate cases involving nightbreeds, hunt them down, and destroy them and she often works with Shido to do this. Since he is a vampire, he is very powerful, and can use his many skills to accomplish their goals, and solve the many cases. And Riho Yamazaki is the high school girl who just so happens to work part time as a secretary at Shido’s detective agency. At first Riho is blissfully unaware of the dark secrets that are hiding just beneath the surface at this particular detective agency. You see in their world, humans are unaware that vampires and demons exist for the most part. And the reason she ended up working for Shido has to do with him investigating her parents mysterious deaths. Riho starts to develop a bit of crush on Shido, and wishes to help him with his many cases. And although Shido does not want her to get involved in the nightbreed cases, she eventually does many times, and predictably enough she does learns the dark secrets of Shido in due time. And circumstances develop in which a powerful enemy fatally wounds Riho and she must be turned into a vampire, or left to die (I won’t spoil how this happens). Of course she chooses the former. The rest of the series follows those three attempting to solve the many crimes involving nightbreeds within the city. Now there’s a crap load of demons here for them to find, so we’re ganna have to just assume their city has a gateway to hell in it or something, but whatever. I’ll buy it. During each case these three (and of course their gremlin little mascot, Guni) must figure out who exactly is the nightbreed (nightbreeds can take control of human beings), or where the nightbreed is, or even if a nightbreed truly is the cause of the problems in the first place (nightbreeds are also sometimes just called “breeds” for short by the way). And this is where the mystery element comes in, as we don’t know who or what is the nightbreed, and are guessing along with our friends here. Sure some episodes are not set up like this, and are instead pretty straight forward, in that there is a nightbreed, they know where it is, and must fight or chase after it. And these episodes are very good as well. There is also an overall story that develops involving Cain, the vampire who turned Shido into a vampire in the first place, and is the only one who knows Shido’s true past. And Cain becomes the main “bad guy” of the series so to speak. He doesn’t care about human beings, and kills many people to satisfy his thirst. Shido and Riho on the other hand drink blood donated by Yayoi, so no one has to die for their survival. And also the series deals with Riho struggling to come to terms with the recent loss of her humanity, her new thirst for blood and dislike for the sun, and the fact that she will outlive all of her friends, classmates at school, and everyone else she knows.
Ok I’ll admit there’s a lot going on in this series. It even manages to touch on Shido and Riho’s relationship (being more then friends, and maybe lovers?) a bit. It’s difficult to explain all the different aspects of the show very well. But the series handles each part with expertise, and it’s not nearly as complex as it sounds. Each and every episode is different enough as to not get repetitive, and main plot does move along at a great pace. The idea of Shido having to deal with his past with Cain (as his homosexual lover I may add), and also trying to cope with not knowing who he was before he was bitten is quite interesting. And this takes a toll on him, and you can notice this. It’s also another stroke of genius to have the only person who has any idea who he was before he became a vampire be Cain himself. The transition of Riho from human to vampire, and her dealing with this is handled very well. It’s not angsty or anything, because her one wish is to live forever with Shido, and it seems she can now do that, but it’s not exactly “yeah I’m a vampire!! I’m so happy!!” either, and this middle of the road feeling makes a lot of sense. On the one hand she didn’t really want to die, and she does want to live with Shido for all time. At yet she doesn’t really want to be a vampire, and she misses being able to do many human things. This struggle with her loss of humanity and being a vampire is handled very well and is never forgetten about. She is of course aided by Shido, who tries to help her and guide her when he can. This of course parallels Shido’s former relationship with Cain, only he felt humans were nothing but cattle to be used for vampires, while Shido thinks vampires should help humans. Cain made Shido a vampire, and was his mentor, and now Shido has made Riho a vampire, and became her mentor. This is a very interesting way for AIC to handle the series, and I really liked this aspect of the show. And character development for all the major characters, even the little mascot goblin guy, is really well done. They flesh out each and every one of the major characters, and somehow find the time to reveal each of their back stories, and show who Cain really is, all while hunting down nightbreeds or solving cases involving nightbreeds. Kinda amazing they fit all that in there. And many of the mysteries have great twists you won’t see coming.
(***small spoiler*** ) Hell they manage to reveal the entire back story of one character, and part of another WITHOUT you even noticing this until the very end the episode!! That was a great twist! (***end spoilers***)
Even some of the minor characters who manage to stick around a little get some development, which I really liked. However the series probably did try and do a little too much. As some of the “nightbreeds of the week” have very little screen time, so they do seem a little generic. Few of them are really fleshed out. But this is a small problem. A bigger problem is that by the end of the series, the main plot is not really tied up. The series doesn’t end with a cliffhanger or anything, but it feels like there’s more to tell. It’s not bad, but not very satisfying if you want real the main plot to actually come to an end. However I am not bothered much by this, mostly because the last episode is incredibly dramatic, suspenseful, and just very powerful. I know a few people will be bothered by what they do here, but I really loved the way the last episode was handled. Sure they never get to finishing up the main plot, but I’ll be alright with that if that means we get an amazing episode like this. And it is a good episode to end the show on. Oh and I probably should mention the first four episode are very odd. Anime News Network notes that the series started as a 4 episode OVA, and then continued as a TV series were the OVA left off. I’m also willing to bet there was a big change in staff between these episodes as well. As the overall tone, style, and content of the show changes significantly (and for the better I may add). While, sadly, the TV series toned down the blood, gore, and violence, the writing really moved up a few notches. The first 4 episodes were very uneven in terms of writing. One would be all right, the next would be kinda bad, and then another episode pretty good. And then we also have the completely uncalled for nudity in one of the episodes. Look I’m not against nudity or anything, but in a series like this, and the way it’s done, well it kind felt unneeded and stupid. Also I really liked the change in character design between the first 4 episodes and the rest. Perhaps it’s because I started the series at episode 7, so that is what I was used to, but I really like the different character designs much more.
As far as production values go, this is about average for 1998. The animation is pretty good. The artwork is detailed, although very reminiscent of early 90’s or even 80’s anime. I’m pretty sure this was intentional, as it really goes with the music style which I’ll get to in a bit. I really like the style though, and the second character designs are really nice looking. The original character designs manage to make Riho really ugly looking, and I don’t like Yayoi’s hair at all. But when it was an OVA it seemed to have the budget to really pay attention to what all the minor characters looked like, and so all of the earlier minor characters look a bit better. So it evens its self out I guess, although I’d rather my main characters look good and not worry much about the minor cast. As for the music, it’s exceptional. They went with a great jazz inspired background theme, and it really works. If you closed your eyes you’d think you were watching some old crime drama from the 1970’s or 1980’s, and it’s very fitting. The opening theme is distinctive, and the ending theme is very good too. But I really love the background themes! Some themes don’t sound like that however, and instead sound like they are straight out of a 80’s horror flick. So with the 80’s inspired music, I think it’s fitting why the art style looks a little 80’s inspired. And it’s not bad artwork either.
The dub for this was produced at Bang Zoom, in late 1999 and early 2000. And it is a pretty good dub. While not amazing, and it does show it’s age a bit, I really found myself enjoying it. The star of the dub is easily Richard Cansino, who plays Shido quite well. He gives that character a distinct feeling, and really understands where he is going with the dub. I should probably also mention that at times Shido narrates the story, filling us in on a few things here and there. And Cansino’s narration gives the anime a film noir feeling that’s definitely called for and adds to the overall atmosphere. Yayoi is played by Jane Alan. At times Alan does not seem like she’s giving it her all; it’s a little disappointing. She just didn’t seem enthusiastic enough at certain times, and at others like she wasn’t sure what she should be doing or how she should be saying it. Luckily for most of the anime she’s not like this, and does a wonderful job. She fit her character very well. I probably shouldn’t be so harsh on her. Riho is played by Dorothy Elias-Fahn who does a really good job. She gives her character just enough spunk, youthfulness, and playfulness to fit Riho. And she knows when to tone down the happy-go-lucky side of herself when needed. Also I MUST apploud her for her work in the final episode (don’t worry no spoilers). As I already alluded to it’s quite a dramatic episode, and I thought she handled it perfectly. She did a truly great job. Now why couldn’t she be this good in Vampire Princess Miyu?? Cain is played by Lex Lang, and he’s not bad. But I really thought he could have been better. Sandy Fox plays Guni, and I’m assuming they pitched her voice up a bit here. I thought the way they made her sound fit Guni well, and that she was quite good as well. I liked how the main cast here was filled with lesser known actors, and on the whole I liked how different this dub sounded then many other LA dubs of the time. Many of the episidic characters are voiced by better known actors however, like Michelle Ruff, Mona Marshall, and Wendee Lee. And they of course do a good. job. But again many of the other minor characters are played by lesser-known actors, and they too go a good job. So in short, this is a dub worth checking out. Although it’s not really too impressive or anything. It is however a rare LA dub from CPM, since they usually stuck to New York City, so I do find that interesting.
This anime is very well done. It has a great fleshed out main cast, an interesting story, and decent dub. The production values are good, and it’s an interesting mix of genres. If you plan on buying this on DVD, watch out for the dub-only release Central Park Media released (if you don’t want that version that is). I own the 2 volume release from 2004, and it has both an English and Japanese track, along with one extra. The extra feature is a comparison of the storyboard to the finished product and it’s on both DVDs. This was a nice little extra, that they really didn’t need to add on. However I do wish there was something more, like a behind the scenes look at the dub, or a commentary or something. But hey I’ll take whatever extra they throw at me. The small problems with the show, make me subtract a half a star from my rating, but I still highly recommend this title. It’s an under watched gem that could really catch on in my opinion.
Tatsuhiko Shido is the perfect vampire in my mind. He is hunted by his past and looks to set things right though he can’t stop who he is. He drinks blood and can’t go into the sunlight most of the time it seems (Sometimes it seems they forget that as we see him in the sun once in a while). Almost everything about a traditional vampire is in this and they add a few extra things. I love the idea that he can create a sword with his blood though he doesn’t do it all that much.
Yayoi is a rather sexual little thing, and she and Shido have an interesting relationship. She gives him blood in exchange for help on nightbreed cases. Again, we don’t get much from her.
His little fairy girl, Guni, is just a bit to much like Navi in how annoying she is. Most of the time, I just wish she was silent because she just doesn’t do anything for the story. She sits in his hair and barely comes out except to say something annoying.
Riho is an interesting little girl. We really don’t get much of a story line except that she lost her parents in a nightbreed fight. She is turned into a vampire by Shido in one episode and then almost whenever we see her after, she is just trying to cope with the change. We rarely see her but when we do, we get a sad sort of loneliness about her. She loves Shido a lot and has a pretty big jealous streak when it comes to Yayoi.
There isn’t much known about Cain except he seems to have a very sexual obsession with Shido. I guess it might be my yaoi fan girl thing, but it they do not hold back on the sexual lust this guy has for him. I really want to know why he changed Shido into a Vampire but they never really explain much about it.
As you can see, we don’t get much about the characters and so sometimes it is hard to feel for them when they are hurt but I feel even more for Shido. He’s more the only character I connect to. Even the story doesn’t help much. We don’t get a lot about this ‘Golden Dawn’ or about the backgrounds of characters. It seems deep but then it is actually a bit shallow.
The animation is pretty good, though the first 4 episodes are much better and not TV friendly because it was made to be an OVA. At some point, they decided to have a whole TV show of it and the quality dropped. I can somewhat understand since the first 4 don’t really don’t work as just a story, I just wish the animation didn’t suffer for it.
The English voices are pretty good. Shido has this gentle gruff of his voice that’s perfect for a detective and yet also has an air about someone mysterious. It’s pretty much the same with Cain who is voiced with Lex Lang though he does not hand many lines. I really love the music in the opening. It is rather a hunting tune. The ending song is alright, though not the best. It just feels like a sappy love song when there isn’t really all that much love in the show. The background music works well and has a rather detective feel to it both in English and Japanese.
Night Walker follows a vampire detective named Shidou. His personal mission is to protect humans from supernatural monsters called “breeds.” Shidou works with Yayoi, a woman who’s part of a special anti-breed unit, Guni, a green faerie of some variety and Riho, a high-school girl who tags along because why wouldn’t they be okay with that? It’s not like they’re going into danger and she has no training. Okay, I’ll be fair, she starts out mostly hanging out in the office and there’s a reason they start letting her go along with them. The series follows them as they investigate various incidents involving supernatural beings and follows Shidou as he tries to unravel the mystery of his past. He came down with plot convenience amnesia at some point and can’t remember his life before he was turned.
Let’s discuss the flaws of the series. The biggest problem is that the big climax comes far too early. It’s really a waste since everything that comes after is less intense and important. However, it is understandable in this case. Why? Because the series was originally intended to be a four episode OVA and the other two-thirds was added later to make it a series. Still, they should have found something bigger and more dramatic to work towards in those eight episodes. There’s also a problem with consistency. Basically, the fourth episode ends on a very specific note and the very next episode immediately contradicts it in two major ways with no explanation for what happened. It could have worked if there was more time between the events of the two episodes but all indications suggest that there’s not much of a skip. Did this project have an editor? It also bothers me that Shidou gets all of his blood from Yayoi. While it is a nice touch that he takes blood from a willing donor, it really doesn’t make sense for all of it to come from one person. The human body needs time to produce blood. Does he just not drink often or does a vampire feeding off of you make your blood production quadruple in this series? There’s also a major cop-out at the end. I won’t spoil it, but it’s really bad.
On a positive note, the idea of the series is pretty compelling. I like that people know what the breed are and there’s a task force set up instead of the stereotype of having the supernatural elements being completely unknown by the populace and, somehow, covered up. A lot of the individual episodes are pretty interesting too, in spite of them being largely pretty simplistic. The series also does a good job of giving the audience snippets and hints about Shidou’s past in a way that does add to the narrative.
Overall, the characters are pretty generic. They aren’t bad, but there’s also not much to them. Riho is definitely the weakest since she’s the most effected by the inconsistency problem and since her character is pretty much defined by being a tag along. Shidou is the strongest since he has the most going on in his back-story.
The art in this is pretty dated by today’s standards. However, in the context of its time, it’s pretty standard. There are some interesting looking monsters and the action sequences can be nicely done. The biggest issue is that the character designs shift after the first four episodes and I’m not blaming this one on those having been originally intended for an OVA. It’s not like the staff couldn’t have looked back on what they’d done and followed it. It’s not like the second designs are any better.
They got some pretty good actors. Yamazaki Takumi does really well in the leading role. We also get Shinohara Emi, hi Sailor Jupiter, Tanaka Hideyuki, Sakamoto Maaya and Ootani Ikue who doesn’t over-act in this, unlike the role we heard her in last week. Overall, the acting isn’t the best I’ve heard from any of the people involved but it’s pretty decent. The music isn’t bad. It’s not anything special but it’s passable.
There’s a bit. It’s clear that Shidou and Cain used to be involved, that their relationship was less than healthy and that Cain still has the hots for Shidou. Dude really needs to let his ex-boyfriends go.
Night Walker: Mayonaka no Tantei isn’t a bad series. It has some problems and some good things going for it. It’s fairly simple and, in many ways, standard, but it isn’t bad. If you’re interested in seeing a vampire detective hunt monsters and don’t really care about complexity, you’ll probably like it. As for me, I’m calling it mediocre. Final rating is a 5/10. Next week I’m looking at Mars of Destruction because someone suggested it as a horror thing I could look at.
15: Vampire Knight
English: Vampire Knight
MAL Score: 6.95
The cheerful Yuuki Cross and the gruff Zero Kiryuu are members of the disciplinary committee at Cross Academy, which houses two very distinct classes: the Day Class and the Night Class. Their job consists of upholding order between the classes when they switch out. While that may not seem like an especially difficult task, the Day Class is unaware of the truth behind the Night Class—their utterly gorgeous students are vampires.
Ten years ago, Yuuki was saved from a vampire attack by Kaname Kuran, a Pureblood vampire. Now, Kaname is the leader of the Night Class, and Yuuki’s disciplinary committee position allows her to see him again, making her feelings for him grow complicated. Meanwhile, Zero bears a white-hot hatred of all vampires and believes they can never live in harmony with humans. But a secret from Zero’s past soon threatens the fragile peace of all at the academy, and things may never be the same again.
Some aspects of the setup I liked, like the school divided into day class human students and night class vampire students. I would have loved the human heroine who patrols the grounds and night, making sure the vampires are in line, except…Yuki was TOTALLY lame. Episode after episode was her chasing after Zero, stupidly getting herself into danger, being saved by a male lead, and then feeling guilty. Really weak story, with few redeeming features. The characters didn’t grow, events didn’t build up into a climax, and the resolution was contrived and lukewarn. It was very much one of those animes annoyingly full of longing, melodramatic gazes and characters saying each others’ names in quiet, tortured voices.
The art was all right. Yuki was cute, Zero was handsome, and Kaname was gorgeous. The other vampires were pretty lame though, just a bunch of generic bishounen who were totally loyal to Kaname cuz the mangaka said so. I found Yuki’s absolutely massive eyes irritating. I’ve seen a lot of anime by now so I’m used to the huge eyes, but hers actually distracted me at times, maybe because the story had so little pull.
Good soundtrack. Lots of classical, which I enjoyed, and I like both the intro and ending songs.
The characters are what I disliked the most, especially Yuki. She was an extremely boring protagonist. She carried around a cool-looking staff that seemed to have magical properties, but never once used it well. Usually, she’d just bring it out only to drop it when someone said something upsetting or when she tripped. She was then promptly rescued by Kaname or Zero. Maybe the next season will explain why she is in the middle of all of this, but I think season 1 should give the heroine SOME value. Sure, she was very generous with Zero, but I hate shoujo heroines who only stand out because they’re SO good at being martyrs. As for the other characters, they weren’t much better. Zero spent most of his time wanting to die. Kaname constantly rescued Yuki, yet never explained her importance to him. A little mystery is good, but too much “she’s so precious to me but I won’t say why” gets boring and annoying. The “villain” only appeared at the very, very end, and I found their behavior inconsistent and what happened to them way too abrupt and anticlimactic.
I don’t have high standards. I might’ve adored this show, if Yuki hadn’t been such a weakling. What I usually enjoy in anime shows is watching the protagonist learn and grow. It’s okay if the protagonist starts out ordinary or weak or with a massive crush, so long as they become stronger. Yuki really didn’t, though. Kaname kept protecting her without explaining anything. Zero usually pushed her away and also refused to share things. She had a big heart, but I like heroines who’re genuinely strong, not just good at sacrificing themselves. Sorry, but anyone can say, “Bite me.”
Maybe this is a good show for teenage girls, but I think anyone who just finished Ouran Host Club or Hana Yori Dango or other such shows will be disappointed by the heroine. Most shoujo is so entertaining because the heroines are so intelligent, or plucky, or independent. Yuki was none of those things. Of course, fangirls who just want to see a cute big-eyed girl get bitten by various bishounen will still love it.
The story revolves around the students of the Cross Academy, which is divided into the Day Class for humans, and the Night Class for Vampires. The main characters, Zero and Yuki, both have very sad pasts; Zero had his family killed by a vampire, and Yuki’s first memory was a vampire attacking her. These pasts, which are revealed fairly early in the series, make a good base for their relationship and their emotional struggles.
During the course of the story, the characters face one event/experience after another, which makes room for emotional struggles, lots of character development and, of course, some romance (hey, this is a shojo series after all), though the latter is overshadowed by the other stuff.
The artwork is both standard shojo and something else at the same time. We have the pretty bishonen boys in place, complete with all the fallen-head-over-heels girls, and there’s also the standard shojo eyes; large, with pupils that are almost larger than the actual eyes. But since the series has a darker, sadder tone to it, there’s no lack on that end either. The coloring is often very dark, and the occasional lighting effect helps on this aspect of the series.
The soundtrack is good, with sad pieces helping the sad mood, and overall good quality. There’s nothing spectacular about the soundtrack though, and while the OP theme is very good, the ED theme isn’t very cool, though it fits with the dark mood of the series. Voice acting is perfect; the moods are portrayed very well and there’s an overall good quality.
One of the things I love about this series is the characters. I mean, I really love them. They’re very deep, with their pasts and emotional struggles. Off course, there’s superficial characters as well, but they’re mostly supporting characters; the main characters are mostly deep and they have a lot of character development for such a short series. Their relationships with eachother are very deep too, and a pleasure to watch.
Overall, I enjoyed the series very much; this is a candidate for the best Spring 2008 anime. It’s a bit open at the end, but I just read that there’s a second season coming in October, so I’ll accept that, and look forward to it.
To ‘Not ‘ voters (and you ” voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
Also, if you like dark romance or any romance dealing with vampires, I recommend this to you. See if you like it. Though, if you prefer adventures or are not a fan of things dark, or of soap operas, this is not recommended.
No matter what anime it is, the very first question that ever comes to my mind when writing review is this– “Where do I start? What do I say?”
With Vampire Knight, that question never occurred. I know instantly where to start. Since I’m such a freak about certain things, when I write reviews I have to write them in this order– Story, Art, Sound, Character, All in all. but with this anime– JUST this one– I’m going to start with Character, because that is where I know to start and where I feel I need to.
Yes. Here we go. /deep breath/ Vampire Knight’s characters are… awful. Hate me if you wish, but honestly, they’re just annoying. This show isn’t *insanely* popular, but it is well known, and I have a large share of romance anime-loving friends, and each one of them referred me to this. I don’t see why. The characters all have their own tortured pasts and this makes it pretty much uninteresting. It’s ok if people have a hard enough past to make them interesting– and not to mention STRONGER– but Vampire Knight does not do this. They just get weaker because of how hard their past is. I’ll… show you.
The supposed heroine, an amnesiac with the only memory of when she was being attacked by a vampire when she was littler. Anything before that, she does not know. She carries around a weapon and is a night guard of sorts, keeping the Night Class and Day Class separate. Does she do a good job at this? …No. Yuki must always be saved, and whenever she cries someone’s name they will come. The plot and characters were all so predictable that, when Yuki fell over and dropped her weapon, the next thing she’d do would be call someone’s name. That person would then come and completely kick the butt of her attackers. Yay. I predicted this every time, and every time it happened just as it happened in my mind. Yuki was not a heroine, but was nothing more than a weak girl who supposedly wanted to help Zero by sacrificing some of her blood to him. People regenerate blood, vampire (…probably) or human, so it’s not too much of a sacrifice. They’ll just get it back later. Nothing special there. And in return for giving her red liquid to him, Zero would come save her. Her weapon’s only purpose was to be flung around or dropped when she was surprised or something. She irritated me so much that– …No, I won’t say.
…Oh heck. He’s just a suicidal guy who has a “secret”. He’s a vampire. Wooooo. Who knew that was coming? /sarcasm/ All he does is regret his past and be all pathetic over it, and instead of developing he just sits and sighs sadly. Oh, and when Yuki calls out, he rescues her. I think he’s rather torn between liking Yuki or not, or maybe it’s just his oh-so-pathetic-feel-bad-for-me past, but he just bugged the crap out of me. Perhaps I am being much too critical for anyone’s taste, but I feel I need to agree with some of those that gave this a bad review, and point out why. There’s really no character development here, and when the characters are supposed to develop, it actually just makes them more annoying. There are so many things to dislike about this overused type of personality that I won’t even point them out, or nobody would read my review because I could make a book out of it. But I’ll share a few– as I’ve stated earlier, he’s suicidal, yes, but he’s also a bit cold and unsociable and fights with his own emotions. Doesn’t he have another side to him? He never really reveals one. At least not in this series. So far, I don’t think even Vampire Knight: Guilty could bring to life this pathetic show, but I have high hopes for it…
Do I HAVE to talk about him? Auuugh… He’s just your average super strong, top of the class, well-liked guy with a “soft side” for the protagonist, Yuki. It seems that Kaname and Zero’s roles are equal– to “provide drama” (yeah, great job at that.) and save Yuki all. the. freaking. time. Yes, he’s a vampire, and all this other purely annoying stuff, so why does he like Yuki so much? She’s cute? She’s helpless? She’s “kind”? I don’t know, I’m hoping it will be revealed in Vampire Knight: Guilty, but I really don’t know. Though, I’m sure it will, because how could an anime go on like this? He seems so obsessed with Yuki (and Yuki so obsessed with him) that it’s just stupid. Why? I want answers, and I want them in the next season. If I don’t get them, this show will be in my list of “Worst 5 anime I have ever seen”. So, yes, if they reveal some of their secrets, I’ll be… uh, happy. I guess. But for the most part, Kaname is a guy who doesn’t make sense, and he’s too much of a mystery. Mysteries, yes. But I can only take so much of “I’m keeping everything to myself and acting cool yet obsessed with this girl for no reason”. Auuuugh. I just… no. Never mind. If I go further, I’ll be ranting for the entire day, which I don’t have time to do, so let’s move on.
Wait, there were other characters? Wow! I hadn’t even noticed! Oh, now that you say it, I do remember some of them. they were Kaname’s followers, right? And they had such cliche personalities that I could die? Yeah, them! Right… If your brain is working properly, you should already know my opinion of the supporting cast by now.
It seemed to be just slightly unique, and it had many places it could have gone, but it decided to stay as a stupid soap opera. It never really got deeper or darker than that, and the bad guy was sort of non existent until the very end. Weird. I like to be introduced to my antagonist at the very beginning, if possible. This was just one of the thousands of things that disappointed me in this show. Why everyone loves this is just something my brain can’t grasp. I dunno, maybe your brain can’t grasp why the heck I love Higurashi or Death Note, so let’s leave it at this– it’s an opinion. The end.
All in all, it was typical, yet with a darker sense of feeling. It really made me wonder how the heck the creator(s) did this. I mean, how do you take cliche art and give it a darker feeling to it? all in all, it was nice and enjoyable… but then the fight scenes came on. I mean, really? Just because it’s a supposed romance doesn’t mean the movement of the battles has to be completely awful. And trust me, ohhhh– when mistakes in a frame are made, it was dang obvious. Most of the time in anime, I can tell when a mistake is made yet I can’t always place it, but I know it’s there. With Vampire Knight, that never happened once. I always knew where the mistakes were– Yuki’s face was too long. Her mouth was in the incorrect place. Zero’s eye shape is wrong (and no, not because he’s making a different expression, his eye shape is literally wrong). So many other things. So, when it is bad, it is very bad.
I enjoyed the opening, and… I actually have the ending on my iPod. I loved it. I have no idea why. There was something creepy yet mysterious and beautiful about it. It’s not super special, but I liked it, and that’s my opinion. The overall soundtrack for the movie was actually very nice, and I noticed *most* of it. It kind of helped enhance the mood, but most of the time it made it cheesier and more annoying. On its own, though, it’s a fairly good soundtrack. The voice acting for the Japanese isn’t necessarily anything super special– each voice actor fits their role. And you know my opinion on the characters, so sometimes the voice acting was really annoying too. They sulk in the darkness of their rooms, softly calling out the name of the other character, their heart aching– yeah, yeah. It gets annoying. If there’s an English version, I didn’t watch it, so…
All in all, Vampire Knight to me was very annoying and cliche in some of its parts. I hoped that it would go in a different direction since the overall setup of the plot was enthralling, but it went absolutely nowhere– and I could only groan at the screen and slap my forehead.
Depending on your taste in anime, you might or might not like this. I’d say, just to be safe, read the other reviews and build an opinion of your own before you watch this anime. Mostly, read as many reviews that give it a bad score, then read a few that give it an 8 or above. Decide what you want to do, and watch or don’t watch this. If you’ve already seen it, then… good for you. Write your own review. If my review upset you in any way, please read the statement at the very top of this review. 😛
Overall, I just disliked this anime, and I’ll stick with what I usually like. There were so many ways it could have gone, and so many twists it could have taken– but it stayed annoying, predictable, and just… Ugh.
14: Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase
English: Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase
Japanese: 月詠 MOON PHASE
MAL Score: 6.98
Freelance photographer Kouhei Morioka is traveling to a castle in Germany to take photos of paranormal activity for his friend Hiromi Anzai, editor of an occult magazine. Upon entering the castle, he’s confronted by a young girl in a white dress and cat ears who calls herself Hazuki. She takes a keen interest in Kouhei and offers him a kiss, but she instead reveals herself to be a vampire, sucks his blood, and turns him into her slave.
Much to Hazuki’s dismay, however, Kouhei is unaffected by her bite. Hoping to escape the castle and her possessive butler Vigo, Hazuki instead forces Kouhei to help her. With the help of his powerful exorcist cousin Seiji Midou, the two make it out safely. Finally free, Hazuki flees to Japan in search of her mother. Not long after Kouhei returns home, he discovers Hazuki has nested in his home, where he reluctantly allows her to stay. Meanwhile, other vampires set out to find the missing Hazuki.
Equal parts gothic and adorable, Tsukuyomi: Moonphase is a charming and mystical story where two unlikely allies form a unique bond in an attempt to defy a society of immortals.
The plot tends to switch between stretches of seriousness and levity: the first two episodes deal with Hazuki meeting Kohei and escaping the castle, then settling into a silly daily routine before dealing with more villains a few episodes later. The story has some difficulty balancing character and relationship developments with plot progression unless it separates such things into different episodes. Perhaps this is why, despite several of the tragedies that various characters suffer, there is little emotional draw to them. Also, as with many adaptations of unfinished manga, a number of plot threads are left untied with the series conclusion, although the series does conclude solidly enough.
The cast are entertaining, although some people may find a number of the younger females straddle the line between adorable and irritating. Hazuki starts off as a stubborn and slightly spoiled little girl, but grows into more of a kinder, caring person over the course of the series. Kohei is the typical kind-hearted and honest but unimpressive boy with an unusual ability/curse that you’ve seen in so many other series. The supporting cast brings a bit of liveliness to the show. Haiji brings a bit of humor as Hazuki’s cat-like pet, frequently scolding her master’s servant Kohei. Seiji brings a bit of class as the cool-looking and talented relative of Kohei. The best characters, though, are probably Ryuhei and Elfriede, who regularly tease the lead characters, but also connect to each other on a deeper level and share some of the most tender moments in the series.
One can’t really talk about Moon Phase without mentioning it’s stylistic quirks. As with pretty much any work directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, one should expect interesting and different uses of light and color in many scenes throughout. The typical depiction of the house were much of the story occurs is also diplayed much like a dollhouse, opened up so as to see in all the rooms at once. Also, infamously, yellow washpans are known to come crashing down on various characters for comedic effect.
Designs for the characters are crisp, and backgrounds are appropriately detailed. Action scenes may not be breath-taking, but they are more than adequate for the task they mean to achieve. While the initial television episodes did have a few problems during important scenes, these were all rectified in the DVD release.
Voice work for both languages is well done, although Monica Rial can’t quite match the level of cuteness that Chiwa Saito attained playing Hazuki (a minor issue). Background music for the episodes is chosen appropriately for the scene, although it is at times a little overbearing. The dark scenes are supported by haunting and gothic-sounding tones, while the cheery moments are punctuated by spunky and playful tunes. The most catchy song (for good or bad) is absolutely the opening theme, "Neko Mimi Mode De". It’s particularly surprising when it drastically interrupts the gloomy introductory scene of the first episode with it’s bubbly, sugary tune, simplistic lyrics, and bright colors. The song is devastatingly appropriate for the show. A couple of episodes have an alternate opening song, "Tsukuyomi Mode", that is less syrupy and not so overly energetic, but similar. The closer, on the other hand, is slightly melancholy and more subdued, but leaves little lasting impression.
Moon Phase sets out to be a vampire series built around the concept of "moe", and it largely succeeds. At times, it tries to be something a little more, and it is less definitive in its achievement when attempting this, but rarely strays far from its strength. In all, the series is an entertaining diversion for those looking for something just a little different.
Story: The story is quite simple, but isn’t your typical romantic comedy anime. It focuses on the relationship between a human and a vampire, which can become pretty interesting if it can deliver it well. Every anime has its villain, and the bad guys really make the story interesting.
Art: The art isn’t the best, and it doesn’t appeal to the audience. The majority of the anime consists of dark colours, and in some parts the characters and the background look very sketchy. However, the art is still viewable and can still give the audience an entertainment throughout the anime.
Sound: Alright, the OP and ED doesn’t really suit the whole idea of a relationship between a photographer and a vampire or the battle between a good and evil. There aren’t many sound effects that enhance the overall anime but that doesn’t really kill off the entertainment.
Character: Tsukuyomi -MOON PHASE- has it all, from jealous twins, perverted grandpa, cute vampires to evil villains. The character development between the cast is at a good standard but what was a big let down was the relationship between the two main characters. Their development starts off pretty slow, and doesn’t have a ‘climax’ in their relationship, which basically means; their relationship never becomes an up and down one, but rather a steady but repetitive one.
Enjoyment: The whole idea of vampirexhuman gave a pretty good impression on me, but the anime didn’t portray it well enough. Most of the things that were shown felt repetitive and boring. Also you can clearly predict cliché moments. However the anime is still ‘watch able’, but starting from the middle of the series, I just went: "End already, I have better things to watch."
Overall: Overall, Tsukuyomi -MOON PHASE- isn’t necessary a bad anime but nor is it a good one, if you want to watch good and deep romance anime, I would suggest you keep away from this. But if you just want a casual romantic comedy that keeps you busy then pick this up.
Instead of reviewing the latest seasonal, I’m going to take readers back to a dark time in anime’s past. The first days of On-Demand cable. The year is 2004. There is anime on a few channels like Cartoon Network and Sci-fi, but you don’t have a lot of selection. If your local video store didn’t carry a lot of anime, tough shit! Wait till Saturday and watch that rerun of Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star. Then something amazing happened! You could actually go to the On-Demand section and pick from dozens of anime, anytime you want.
So what anime were available? Nearly all the top anime that people were willing to pay for were behind a pay wall. Want to see all the blood and boobs in Gantz? The first 2 episodes are free, then you have to pay 2 dollars an episode! That’s not buying an episode btw, that’s 2 dollars for a 24 hour rental of a shitty anime episode! The anime where we got every episode for free were typically utter trash, and Moonphase was among the worst of the worst.
A loli vampire roams around naked and forces a moronic male photographer, who is a grown adult, to be her slave. This is a loli/echii/ slice of life series. Unless you’re a pedophile, this is one of the most insipid, boring anime ever made. Hell, even IF you’re a pedophile it’s one of the most boring anime ever made. This anime just flat out BLOWS.
Shaft made this schlock, but don’t expect it to look like Bakemonogatari.
Um…I guess it’s ok. If I had to pick the aspect that sucked least, it would be the average soundtrack.
There are MANY problems in the world, but we live in a glorious age for anime consumption. Imagine someone is just entering the anime fandom. “Hmmm…what should I watch first? The internet says Galactic Heroes is really good. I’ll go over to a streaming site and watch that. Maybe then I’ll watch Mushishi and Gintama”. We now live in a time where no young anime fan will EVER have to be SO desperate to watch anime that they resort to watching Moonphase. In some ways, life is good in 2019.
13: Kaibutsu Oujo
English: Princess Resurrection
MAL Score: 7.00
When Hiro Hiyorimi tries to save a beautiful young woman from certain death, he ends up a dead hero himself! However, since the drop-dead girl is Hime, daughter of the King of the Monsters, his “reward” is to come back as a not-quite-living soldier in her honor guard of horror! That means helping fight off the army of supernatural monstrosities Hime’s siblings are unleashing against her in hopes of moving up the ladder of succession.
And if facing off with vampires and zombies isn’t bad enough, how can anyone be prepared for the REALLY weird ones, like were-sharks, pandas and killer dumplings? This sure as hell isn’t the afterlife Hiro was hoping for, but the really sad part is that Hime is the good girl in all of this… or at least as close to good as you can come when you’re on the wrong side of the gates of hell!
Usually I leave the writing of reviews to others, but for some reason I really felt it as my personal duty to share my experience with Princess Resurrection; the story of a naive anime watcher that was lured in, saw his hopes scattered everywhere, and now stands guard to prevent other people from going through the same.
The plot used in this series isn’t something very unique or impressive, but it would have been bearable. Well, that is if the producers actually would have used it instead of recycling the ‘Who is this monster? It is ….’ formula for 23 out of the 25 episodes this show has. The plot is there in the background at the start of the series but isn’t really used until the pre-final episode where the ultimate evil guy is introduced and defeated easily. Hopes scattered.
The art wasn’t really that great, but it was bearable. I have seen anime series that looked like they had backgrounds as if they were done in MSPaint. But art is a vital component of any anime. Of course, art takes up a bigger role when rewatching a series or when seriously paying attention to it compared to the first time where you get used to it. When I look back now I don’t think I can rewatch this again without getting some serious disturbance from it.
The soundtrack maybe had one or two tunes that were fitting the show, or rather how the overall atmosphere of the show should have been. The ‘spooky’ or ‘mystery’ music (dunno the exact name, also plays when Dracul summons those lower-class vampires at his castle) really was a jewel in the rough there. But the rest wasn’t really noticeable. If a soundtrack is noticeable it means it’s either really good or really bad. I know that the soundtrack isn’t usually one of the main reasons why you start on an anime, but its still one of those details that can either make it great or break it. The soundtrack in Princess Resurrection did neither of the two, so I guess it’s somewhere in between them.
One thing that -really- killed this show for me were the characters. The main guys are not interesting to watch at all; they have no significant treats and are rather annoying. The evil guys are all one-day flies; they appear once and disappear afterwards or fill in some cheap fodder role for a few minutes.
The male protagonist…I don’t think I have ever watched a character that took the meaning of the word ‘annoying’ to such an extent. The only thing he can do is throw himself in front of his princess and die, try to fend off enemies with a broom or just yell and be afraid. Except for Hime all other characters is a total waste. No hard feelings, but if a show can make me facepalm, rage and skip over parts of an episode this much something has to be wrong.
Hime, episode 13 and one tune of the soundtrack were the only things that were decent in this series. And that isn’t enough for a show that had the potential to be much, much and much better. I don’t really know what the producers had in mind when they made Princess Resurrection…it couldn’t be entertainment. The show only has three things that belong under that category. Money making? I highly doubt if they made much from this show if anything at all. Maybe a mix of both. If you as producer don’t feel like giving a series the best you have got then why bother publishing it? You only waste your own time, the time of the viewers, cause frustration and provide enough reasons to storm your house.
I started on this show with normal expectations. After 25 episodes, I’ll be frank and say it has greatly disappointed me. Except for the three things stated above this anime has failed me greatly. I have been around in the world of anime long enough to tell when a show is good, and I can assure you that the overall show is Poor at its best. There are numerous shows out there that are better than this one, so do your daily schedule, eyes and me a favor: watch something else.
Story: There’s a story here, but you’d barely know that. Our main character Hiro is killed 5 minutes into the show when some steel beams randomly fall from nowhere, and he pushes Hime out of the way, thus saving her. In return, she grants him half-immortality and makes him one of her servants, as apparently here entire family is trying to kill each other over some right of succession. Not that you’d ever know that though, as you effectively see 4 of the siblings in the show, and there is only a single 2-part arc where any of them seriously fight. So, the show revolves around a war between siblings, that isn’t in the show! Outside of that, it’s truly a random monster of the week format, where they introduce some new monster during each episode that our hero’s have to defeat, and half the time, said monsters are sent as assassins by the siblings that you never see, but are supposedly out there trying to kill Hime. This show never, ever, EVER goes anywhere! There’s no more conclusion to the whole sibling war at the end of the show, than there was at the beginning of the show. Actually, you don’t even know how many siblings there are! There could be a thousand, or five, you never know, but by about a third of the way through, you simply won’t care.
Characters: This show’s one claim to fame is that it sports literally the single most useless character in the history of the world! Hiro, Hime’s first servant in the anime, is your average teenage boy, no powers, no martial skills. For some shows, that’s perfectly fine, but in a show where supernatural monsters are trying to kill your boss, normal teenage boys aren’t particularly useful. The only thing he ever really does effectively is throw himself in front of attacks, and DIE! I actually lost track of how many times he dies, and after a short bit, you simply kinda wait for his inevitable death and resurrection. It’s not like any of the other characters are all that useful either though. Riza, the half-werewolf has about two or three episodes where she’s actually useful, most of the rest of the time, she sucks almost as bad as Hiro. There’s the vampire Reiri, but she’s got a reason not to fight almost every time. And then there’s Hime (who goes by that since she’s a Princess and apparently hates her name) who for the life of me, I can’t understand how she’s survived. She’s got no real powers other than granting half-immortality to others, and the first one she goes and does that for, leads her enemies straight back to her half the time. The robots….ugghhhh…if I hear “Huga” one more freaking time! The bottom line, these characters suck! They don’t progress, there’s no depth to any of them. They each boil down to being a single thought regurgitated throughout the entire series. There’s about a half an ounce of personality between ALL of the characters combined, they aren’t likable, and by the end of the show, I was actually rooting for them to die.
Presentation: The music isn’t good, but it won’t make your ears bleed, so I guess that’s a bonus. There really isn’t much else to say about the sound, it’s passable if you aren’t looking to remember it five seconds after it’s passed. The art is not good, but not terrible. The characters are plain and boring, with the princess being the only character that’s remotely interesting, and only because of her eyes. The backgrounds are flat and uninspired, and the colors are pretty much a complete wash. In the end, I suppose it’s all done with competence, and if this show were put together by college students, it’d be alright. There’s very little to keep you interested from an artistic view point. Also, I think this a good place to point out that I did actually buy these from Sentai Filmworks. If these DVD’s are indicative of their work, I’ll never buy their products again, and I will actually highly suggest people simply get fansubs. If you’re only putting out a subtitled product, then your subtitles had better be good. But these aren’t even ACURATE! Characters names are misspelled, there are mistakes and missing letters in the subtitles, and worst of all, the subtitles aren’t even on by default!! It’s a sub only DVD, and you actually have to turn ON the subtitles. Thinking about this makes my head hurt, so I’m moving on.
Enjoyment: There’s none to be had, at all!!
In the end, this is a show that doesn’t quite veer into my depths of truly god-awful, but it’s certainly bad on almost every level. There’s really nothing to keep you interested in watching this show, as the 20th episode is exactly the same as say the 5th, and that’s not a good thing. The characters are dull and boring, if not downright offensive (Hiro’s naturally huge breasted sister borders on mentally handicapped). Even if you were just looking for mindless fan-service, this show wouldn’t deliver. There’s no real story, no character development, sub-par art and music, and no mind-less fun to be had. There’s really nothing redeeming about this show, so simply avoid it, trust me, you’ll be better off for it.
STORY: As said, most of the anime is filler, but the general basis of the plot is implemented. From there it becomes more of a wacky, whimsical cache of misadventures with Hime, Hiro and friends involving supernatural monsters like vampires, mummies, werewolves and witches. It’s fun to watch in passing, and this keeps it enjoyable as they battle whatever monster has shown up to challenge them. An interesting thing to do is watch for Hime to fight using weirder weapons than before.
ART: The characters are beautifully designed, and the four females Hime, Liza (or Riza), Reiri, and Sawawa are just cute/hot. However, once action picks up, the animation kind of dips a bit. MADHOUSE usually does great animation, but it seems they kind of took a day off and called in the C squad to work on this title when you see some of the fight scenes. Since the show is rated PG, a lot of the violence has been toned down considerably. A mild issue I had at first was Hiro has to drink Hime’s blood to stay semi-immortal, but for the show, it’s the Flame of Life. It kind of waters down the bond Hime and Hiro share a little, I think.
The reason the art gets an 8 despite the less than stellar animation is the atmosphere. Hime’s mansion sitting atop the hill overlooking the quiet and unsuspecting residents of Sasanaki town with it’s ominous swirl of clouds above it just seems like such a classic seasoning of old-school horror movie appeal that quite honestly look great. Especially in the Princess Sacrifice episode.
SOUND: I fell in love with this soundtrack immediately. The opening theme Blood Queen preformed by Misato Aki is very catchy, the ending theme, ALI PROJECT’s Hizamatzuite Ashi Wo Onami, is really twisted and addictive and a lot of the BGM in the show has a dark, haunting melody that gives you an aura of walking through a spooky castle all by yourself.
The voice acting has no english track, but that does not hurt it, by any means. All the voices are terrific and fit each personality to perfection, from Liza’s voice filled with a bold sense of strength and werewolf pride, to Reiri’s light, almost seductive vocals, to even the androids, Flandre and Fransisca’s monotone “Huga”, and Hime’s sense of coolness and calculation when she speaks, there is no flaw in any of the voices in this show. Maybe the crazy vampire doctor, Housei Sanagida, but even thats so over the top annoying that it works.
CHARACTER: If anyone wanted a reason for me to recommend this show is for the title character herself, Hime. Normally, I’m not too big on main characters, I mostly see them as tools to market the show they’re a part of (Pikachu, Naruto, Doreamon etc.), but Hime is just so calm and calculating that you might pass her off a cold, heartless princess who can toy around with anyone she feels she can take advantage of. But this demeanor she puts on just shows how well she can face adversity in even the most grim of situations without panic or worry, never allowing the enemy to pinpoint her weaknesses. This execution is really a big redeeming quality of this show and I fell in love with her instantly. She’s honest, blunt, cold, and full of mercy all at the same time. Yes I’ve seen it done in other titles, but it just works so well in this show, and in a current state of anime where I don’t think there are many strong female leads, Hime stands out to me, and thats why she’s one of my favorite characters. Also, I’m not too big on the gothic look, but her attire, her blond hair, the crown, her laugh, and her eyes just make her, oddly enough, a combo platter of fan-service that I never expected I would be attracted to. She’s dead sexy, no pun intended.
I probably should mention the others, but there isn’t really too much difference from their manga counterparts. They just arrive and their personalities bounce off one another. There’s no real main antagonist in the show outside of Zeppelli, who I sort of enjoy more in this version. I really like the Sherwood character and was happy to see her get more time to shine in the show than in the manga, so that’s an extra plus. I actually got a kick out of Hiro’s ditzy big sister Sawawa, who’s barely in the manga, but is here to add a bit of cuteness with her love of parfaits. It’s kind of weird, the relation I have with this show.
ENJOYMENT: Most of this show just feels like a trailer to buy the manga, but I think you can find enjoyment in it as a collection of random adventures. It gets a little episodic in the second collection of DVDs, but it’s still fun to watch, but it just sort of stops. The comedy isn’t laugh out loud funny, but it’s pretty amusing in it’s own right. Most of the gore is toned down, yet there is more light-hearted fan service ( I won’t complain, I think these girls are beautiful). The Royal Blood/ Flame of Life change might not sit well with manga fans, but I got over it after a while.
OVERALL: I think if this title stayed true to the manga, it would have been so much better. It’s got a great vibe to it, but since most of the key story points aren’t in it, it’s a bit of a let down. I found some enjoyment out of it, as I am a fan of the personalities and the manga. I would keep my fingers crossed for a season 3, but if not, it’s a decent title that doesn’t have much of a plot.
12: Dance in the Vampire Bund
English: Dance in the Vampire Bund
MAL Score: 7.03
On live television, Mina Tepes, the ruler of all vampires, reveals the existence of her species to the world and states her plan to build a sanctuary in Japan for vampires, called the Vampire Bund. Using her family’s wealth to pay off the nation’s debt, they have agreed to let her build this safe-haven for her fellow creatures of the night. But not everyone is so easily swayed by Mina’s influence, as her announcement brings about conflict with humans who believe that the queen’s quest for peace is a fa?ade.
Akira Kaburagi does not believe in vampires and gets uneasy whenever they are brought up, although he has yet to realize why. Apart from suffering a head injury a year ago, he lives on blissfully until he meets Mina. She triggers within him memories of a life he had long forgotten, and he soon begins protecting her without understanding why. But Akira’s secret is far stranger than he could have ever thought possible—he discovers that he is a werewolf, sworn from birth to protect the vampire queen, even if it costs him his life. Now, as these two dance a rondo of death in the Vampire Bund, Mina and Akira find out just how deep their bond goes.
Mina Tepes, the vampire princess has decided to establish a safehaven for all vampires. Through various means she gains political ground for the establishment of “the Bund.” Of course, exposing to the world that vampires exist and that they will be Japan’s next door neighbor is troublesome and the events told in this story are about them. I think. Mina also happens to own some fancy Japanese High School where our protagonist attends and our protagonist also happens to be a werewolf whose dad works directly under Mina who also happens to attend her own school. Huh? I’m confused too. The story becomes derailed whenever Akira, the protagonist, is focused on, because to be frank, the anime isn’t about him. It’s about Mina Tepes, but SHAFT decided to make the back plot some nonsensical love story (which only resolves with loli-rape – I’m dead serious). Oh, and be warned, there’s most likely a sequel coming.
Oho. SHAFT is one of my favorite animation companies because they always do interesting things with their anime and try and tread new grounds by playing with color or 3D elements or optical illusions. SHAFT is also one of the most underpaid and overworked studios in the current anime market and thus they have an incredibly low budget. The only reason I can make sense of why Bund’s animation quality was so low was because at the same time SHAFT had been working on the eye-candy “Hidamari Skecth Hoshimittsu.” Almost everything about Bund in comparison animation-wise fails. The character movement is repulsive and over-dramatic. Every time a character does something they have a strange angle placed on them, then a zoom onto a random body part, followed by a slowed sentence that it wouldn’t matter if it was even said or not. The only time you really see SHAFT’s personal touch is when they zoom in on the eyes of the characters talking, which by the end of the anime was more of a nuisance than a pleasure. The clarity was also a huge problem. I started watching this anime in low quality TV rips, and then moved up to bigger and better looking files. There was no difference. The entire first episode had this weird green tint to it that made it unpleasing even to look at. The clarity fluctuates too (how fun!), so it’s hard to enjoy when you have to up the brightness of your media player to view the episode normally. Oh, and other than Mina, every character looks boring. The main character looks like every other cliche male protagonist, and there’s nothing even to set him apart from the other characters visually. Yuki, one of the female characters, is almost as interesting as Yuki from 11eyes (Note: Yuki from 11eyes sucks and she looks generic). I still like SHAFT’s animation style, which is a plus for this anime, but the moments of camera genius that often appear in other SHAFT works are definitely missing here.
Nothing to complain about. The opening and ending are both nice but nothing memorable. Character voices are fitting (I enjoyed Mina’s) but once again aren’t anything to flaunt. BGM was quiet and rather uninteresting most of the time, but nothing bad.
Vampires, werewolves, tigresses, oh my! DERP. Mina Tepes is the one interesting character in this entire anime and every other character exists solely to support her. She’s the under-estimated soon-to-be queen of vampires who tries and fights the old traditions of vampires to finally reveal her people to the world so they will not longer be persecuted. Kind of like a Martin Luther King Jr. of vampires, except in the form of a ten-year-old girl and not black. Hey, strong lolita leads are cool in all (Pani Poni Dash! I’m looking at you) but SHAFT needed to realize that there were other characters in this anime. The list includes a Chinese Tigress, a blood-sucking “older sister,” a vampire with massive eyebrows, a priestess, and about thirty five thousand big breasted women. There’s actually very little to say about any of them except that they’re bland. As soon as they’re introduced you know exactly what their personality is. Mina is the only dynamic developed character, and thank god she is, because more than half of the anime is spent following her around. Akira on the other hand manages to grab as much time as Mina and ends up wasting it all. He’s inctredibly undeveloped and the only point of appeal (kind of) is that he is a werewolf. COOL (BUT NOT REALLY). Even when he’s a werewolf he most of the time gets the crapped knocked out of him and that’s when a Deus ex Machina comes into play. Yuki is also an undeveloped annoying “for some reason it’s a harem” bitch who gets in the way of the main “relationship” between Akira and Mina. She has absolutely nothing that separates her from other female characters in any anime ever and could easily be a background character that accidentally wandered onto the foreground.
SHAFT tries to do the impossible and fails when they tried to make a show about political warfare with a touch of “romance” and then ended with a harem and fighting with plot twists as original as “I AM YOUR FATHER”. It’s frustrating seeing how much potential this show had. I can safely say that after such a thrilling experience I wiped the anime off my hard-drive and will have probably forgotten most of it by tomorrow morning.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t worse anime, because hot damn there are. I thoroughly enjoyed when Mina was on camera and thoroughly disliked whenever she wasn’t. The annoying “wait for season two where we explain what the final episode was even about card” is pulled too. The only thing I can say is that for an anime about vampires, this show falls right into the pit with the other ones already out there, and unlike Hellsing, does not bring massive guns or blood. It brings one thing and one thing only – Mina Tepes – and if you don’t like it, then this anime is definitely not for you.
As it goes with most vampire stories, Vampire Bund’s plot revolves around the vampire princess, or vampire queen. However, it’s really the subtle things that impresses me the most. I suppose most people would just pass them off as whims, but SHAFT has a knack at making an impression of the subtlest things which brings the plot together. Most vampire stories seem to forget that time moves, and are always trapped in one time-frame but Vampire Bund is nothing like that. Vampire Bund’s story spans centuries of vampire history and glory, and the darkness within. It shows that vampires are not just creatures sleeping in coffins locked away in the middle ages, but also advance in technology and culture as humans do. It’s an enormous theme and it’s certainly not an easy task to depict it, but SHAFT does a great job. I suppose most people expect there would be a 2nd season because there’s still another last boss and because of the manga, but if I’m not wrong, SHAFT doesn’t intend on making a sequel. It’s a lot better leaving the ending as it is and letting the audience imagine the story after, or just read the manga.
It doesn’t get any better in abstract animation than with SHAFT. They make the simplest scenes look cinematic and grand. It seems they have been slacking a lot since ef, though. Basically, there’s very little movement and lots of shadows. Vampire Bund seems to be lacking in the shadow effect SHAFT loves so much, however. In a sense, it could have been a lot better. However, it’s still very impressive nonetheless.
The OP and ED are not the best you can get from anime songs, but it’s complimentary. On the contrary, the sound effects are excellent, as expected from SHAFT. Many scenes would have been very empty and felt meaningless without the sound effects, but SHAFT always makes it worthwhile with the perfect timing and tone.
As it is, the story revolves around one person, the vampire queen. But this doesn’t mean everyone else are just pawns. Yes, the side characters may seem to have very little screen time, but they make a powerful impression every time they come onto the chess board. Unorthodox as it may be, Vampire Bund never depicts the mains as powerful and unbeatable. Instead it shows that they bleed and feel the pain, and don’t live on their own but are supported by various characters.
Vampire Bund is one of the few animes I’ve managed to finish in just a day. It’s so enjoyable and interesting that I couldn’t take my eyes of it. The conversations, culture, history, philosophy, and action makes every minute worthwhile. I haven’t read the manga, and I probably would in a while, but I doubt I would enjoy it as much as the anime. It’s beyond my mind that the beautiful abstract animation by SHAFT can be depicted in manga form.
I decided to give a summery of the anime because I dont believe the synopsis is fair to it.
A 17 yr old boy has had all his memories erased due to an incident that happened a year and a half ago. What he does remember is a promise he made to this girl seven years ago, to always be together. That girl turns out to be the Queen of the Vampires, who he meets again, and shares a special bond with her. And so the story begins.
The art is beautiful. So much detail, and colors.
The sound is ok. I didn’t really pay any attention to it, to be honest.
Characters: Really well developed considering there was only 12 episodes to work with. If you put attention, you’re not left lost or confused.
Enjoyment: I don’t know why everyone gave it such low ratings. I really liked Dancing in the Vampire Bund. Though, the first episode made me dubious. It’s said that the audience bases their opinions of what they’re watching within the first 10 seconds of their program. Well, I’m glad I gave it till the second episode.
Dance in the Vampire Bund was everything I was looking for. Supernatural with romance and some action (the blood was a bonus).
Anyone looking for a action-packed romance anime, should definitely give this a chance.
Sorry if it’s not the best review, I’m still an amateur at this:P
To all you “Not ” and “” people too, feedback is appreciated. [;
11: Yami no Matsuei
English: Descendants of Darkness
MAL Score: 7.05
Even after death, life is full of paperwork and criminals. Tsuzuki Asato is a 26 year old, happy-go-lucky, and dorky shinigami (god of death) whose job is to makes sure that those who are dead remain dead and stay in their proper realms. Even though he’s had this job for over 70 years, he is in the worst division with horrible pay. He also has a knack for not keeping partners (since shinigami work in pairs), but now he seems to have one that will stick around; stubborn, smart-mouthed, serious and defensive 16 year old, Kurosaki Hisoka. With each case they investigate, they come closer to the conspiracies of the serial killer Dr. Muraki Kazutaka. Tsuzuki’s relationship with Hisoka is growing stronger and closer…but there is a dark past to how Tsuzuki died that will not give him peace.
Descendants of Darkness is based on the manga of the same name. It follows four major story arcs of the manga. Three episodes comprise each of the first three arcs while the last four episodes focus on the fourth. Since the anime leaves off where the manga caries on (the manga isn’t finished either), the ending doesn’t really offer a true conclusion and a lot of questions are left unanswered. Fans of the manga might also be disappointed that a lot of the manga’s characters are either left out or shoved into the background.
Despite these unfortunate circumstances, I think that the anime more than does the manga justice. In fact, I find it to be an improvement over the manga. While some of the humor and silliness are there, the anime takes on a more serious tone, capitalizing more on the angst, mystery, and supernatural element of the story. The art and music are also absolutely beautiful! Descendants of Darkness has a superb soundtrack which is well worth downloading or even buying! Aside from the characters being beautiful, the monsters and magic are also magnificently rendered. Even though it isn’t really a fighting anime, the action sequences should be awesome enough to please those who would otherwise be bored with the drama.
The series consists mostly of fairly mediocre characters, yet it has what I consider to be one of the greatest villains in anime history. Tsuzuki and Hisoka are the protagonists of our story. They are likable characters overall. Tsuzuki is a real sweety despite being a little bit dense and childlike at times. Hisoka has a little bit of an attitude problem at first, but once it becomes apparent where he is coming from, you can’t help but sympathize with the guy. Watari and Tatsumi are minor characters who had significantly larger roles in the manga. For the most part, they are just there. They don’t really add that much to the anime, but they don’t detract from it either. The Gushoshin twins are the only characters that could really be considered annoying. This is mostly because they seem a bit out of place (being two cutesy little talking birds in an otherwise human cast).
Our antagonist Dr. Muraki gets his own paragraph since no couple of sentences could possibly do him justice. He is the subject of much admiration as well as loathing from DoD fans, and he deserves every bit of both. Practically everything he does is just horrific and despicable, but he is so cool and gorgeous and entertaining that you can almost forgive him for being the monster he is. He desires Tsuzuki’s body both carnally and scientifically. The scientific reason is revealed later and it gives Muraki’s character quite a bit more depth, though you are longing for much more once the anime ends.
While the show isn’t technically shounen-ai (gay male romance), it contains a lot of hints and fanservice. It is very easy to read in an attraction between our two heroes. I personally believe in this attraction, but other fans are free to form their own interpretations. Muraki is much less ambiguous and regularly molests Tsuzuki. This lust Muraki has for Tsuzuki is clearly one-sided, but it makes for some rather hot homoerotic material (even though nothing overtly sexual actually happens).
The show masquerades a bit as a mystery series. In reality, the mysteries aren’t really any big puzzle. As the audience, we basically know that Muraki is behind everything (with the exception of episodes 4-6). And while the story isn’t particularly imaginative as far as anime goes, the characters and the art make it more than worthwhile. All in all, I can’t think of any reason to dislike this series unless you’re either homophobic or a hardcore manga snob. But we can’t please everybody, can we?
Our narrative opens with a meeting of Shinigami. There have been unusual deaths in Nagasaki in which the victim’s have been drained of blood and left with twin puncture marks on their necks. The shinigami in charge of that sector, Tsuzuki, is sent to rendezvous with his new partner, Kurosaki Hisoka, and investigate. They find out that there’s a lot going on that isn’t readily apparent and have their first encounter with the villainous Doctor Muraki, which sets the stage for their partnership going into further missions.
The only major complaint I have about the story is the pacing. I will give J.C. Staff credit for trying to cover all the important plot details of the arcs they look at while leaving room for character moments, but it doesn’t always work very well. There are several plot elements that get skimmed over or that wind up being inadequately explained or rushed through. One minor issue I had was with the “horror” classification. While there are some dark and disturbing elements to the series, it’s really not scary in the slightest. Part of it is that it has a lot of comedic moments that are kind of goofy and part of it is that the characters largely face the dark situations with courage and the conviction to solve them. There are certainly times where you worry about them, but it really doesn’t work as horror when the characters have the power ad will to reasonably be able to conquer the problem.
Those issues aside, there is a lot that the series does well. It has a strong sense of dramatic tension, with every arc having some good build up and with the antagonists being legitimately menacing. The humour is also used to great effect. It’s used to wind down from tense moments or for character moments before the action starts rising so it doesn’t clash with the tension. It also helps create a good contrast between the serious, dark content and the lighter moments. Which helps make the dark moments more intense. As opposed to a series where the characters are always needlessly angsty and it has no impact when things turn serious. The series is also good about treating its dark content with gravity and respect.
There are some really great characters in this series. I do like that Tsuzuki is a largely happy guy since it does enhance the effect when things do go wrong and he goes through a difficult time. I also like that he does know when to be serious, particularly when someone’s life is on the line. Hisoka plays perfectly off of Tsuzuki. He’s more serious and mature but not to an extreme point. As such, the two complement one another very well. Muraki is the type of villain who is just irredeemable and infinitely hateable. Rather like Tenzen from Basilisk, but more interesting. On a side note, Tenzen and Muraki have the same voice actor. The side characters have some interesting moments as well, although they are less developed. Watari and Tatsumi are both really good characters with some great scenes. The series also does well at developing the characters who need help from the shinigami so that you do get invested in them and hope for them to get out of their situations safely.
The art is really good. The character designs are spectacular and have unique elements to them without being really outlandish. Particularly characters like Muraki and Tsuzuki who have distinctive eyes. The backgrounds have great details and there are some really strong action sequences. However, there is one issue with the action. Some of the special techniques, though they look cool, do get reused without much change. Rather like the special attacks of a magical girl anime, but in a series that’s a lot more serious.
There are some really good performances in this. Miki Shinichiro, Brotherhood’s Roy Mustang, does a great job as Tsuzuki. Hayami Show gives a very intimidating performance as Muraki. Asano Mayumi, Wolf’s Rain’s Blue, also gives a really strong performance as Hisoka. Really, there are no weak links in the cast. The music is nice and atmospheric.
This series has quite a bit of yaoi. Some of the scenes are screwed up and disturbing, specifically the ones with Muraki. Others are really heart-warming and adorable. Mostly the ones with Tsuzuki and Hisoka. There are also some other guys who seem to have crushes on Tsuzuki. The content isn’t really graphic, but there’s certainly quite a bit. The ho-yay factor is going to be a 7/10.
Yami no Matsuei is a really good series, in spite of a few issues. It has a strong narrative, great characters, amazing art, and good performances. If you’re a fan of supernatural drama it won’t disappoint. My final rating is going to be an 8/10. Next week, horror anime month continues with Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari.
10: Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san
English: Ms. vampire who lives in my neighborhood.
MAL Score: 7.09
Rumors tell about an ageless girl who only comes out at night, living in a mansion in the middle of the forest. Some say that she is a living doll with a soul. Upon hearing these rumors, Akari Amano seeks out this girl, only to find herself lost as she treks through the woods amidst the darkness.
A vampire named Sophie Twilight saves her, turning out to be the rumored girl. However, unlike the vampires told in myths, Sophie does not attack humans and instead orders her blood online. Akari instantly becomes charmed with her doll-like appearance and proceeds to abruptly move in with her, thus starting their life together.
Based on a 4-koma, this anime is easy to recommend but not may not be so easy to appreciate. It’s essentially a slice of life series that focuses more on making fun of the otaku and vampire culture rather than a complex story. I’d say the plot is forgivable at best with each episode tying the overall themes together. But really, don’t try to look for any sort of real story development. The storytelling is more about the misadventures of the character cast than anything else.
With that out of the way, several things to also take note is humor and character connections the cast establishes with each other. From the first few episodes, it became obvious that schoolgirl Akari Amano takes a liking to a 360-year old vampire named Sophie Twilight. While this strikes as an oddball formula to set up for the series, it works with the fact that the creators wanted to establish an important relationship from the start. Not only does Akari and Sophie develop a close bond, they also begin to share similar interests. The most evident involves with otaku culture. But what evokes hilarity is a lack of common sense from Sophie considering her nature. She still has the mind of a child despite being over 300 years old. The creators made Sophie into an antithesis of a vampire. She’s not violent and has no desire for human blood. While she shares common traits of a generic vampire (like being weak to sunlight), Sophie also enjoys interests of an otaku. These include going to comic conventions and collecting otaku goods. It’s something you’d never expect a vampire would behave but the bottom line is that Sophie is nothing like the vampires you’d see in traditional horror flicks.
Oh and she’s not the only vampire. Later in the series, we meet Ellie, a vampire girl who has known Sophie for a long time. One thing noticeable about Ellie is her characteristics that relates more closely to how vampires would behave. The show also pokes fun of Ellie’s personality by making her behave like a brat on many occasions. Still, she’s not malevolent and often acts more like a child similiar to Sophie. Thanks to her new friends, Ellie does learn more about the human society. Beyond that, we also get to meet Akari’s best friend Hinata as she also gets involved with our lovely vampires.
There’s probably not many reasons to watch this show altogether but if you’re looking for a humorous slice of life anime, this is one to aim for. As I mentioned before, character chemistry is important that shows how close characters grow together. Akari and Sophie is the most prominent pair as the two become what seems to be more just friends. While this show isn’t truly a yuri, there are definitely moments that suggests a bit more than subtle romance. Akari’s attraction towards Sophie is obvious that even gets played for laughs when she gets nosebleeds. There are also many moments when Akari makes excuses to see her. For the more distinctive humor, the show plays around a lot with otaku context in particular with Sophie’s hobbies. She’s pretty much an indoor girl who spends her time watching anime, reading comic books, and buying otaku merchandise. As she is a vampire, the show also injects humor about her nature such as drinking blood (non-human), being weak to garlic, or sunlight. But as the title suggests, Sophie is pretty much a neighborhood vampire who really is harmless.
As the art style also suggests, this anime is decorated with fluffiness and charm. The main female character are made as cute as possible with Sophie being the primary example. At someone her age, she looks like a doll that even other characters comments on. Similarly, Ellie retains a youthful appearance that will be deceptive to the naked eye. However, do take notice that the show has some fan service. While it’s nothing explicit, it exists and some scenes can raise some eyebrows considering the appearances of these girls. As someone who has read portions of the manga, the anime does manage to capture the overall look of the show.
This series is probably one that people won’t be talking about for a long time. That’s okay though as I don’t see there’s much really to talk about beyond the character connections and comedy gags. The story really isn’t very impressive from the start and there’s little overall character development. Watching this anime is mostly aimed for those who want to experience a slice of life comedy and a dose of vampiric otaku culture.
Slice of life Check
Tonari no kyuuketski-san/ Ms.Vampire who lives in my neighborhood is a delightful slice of life series with yuri and a bit of supernatural element as one the mc being a Vampire Loli, yes indeed.
Story revolves around a Normal everyday girl called Akari who ls fond of cute things like especially dolls and dresses etc.One day she hears stories about a haunted mansion in her neighborhood and eventually meets up with our Vampire Loli Sophie. Well Sophie looks like any other cute looking loli with cute and beautiful features and precisely a bit like a doll, which immediately makes her take a liking to her and grows affectionate, and has desires of wanting to cuddle with her and dress up in cute dresses etc.
Sophie on the other hand surprised a human isn’t afraid after knowing of her true identity and being in a solitary life is quite not sure how to respond but still doesnt mind being with her and she accepts her friendship and as the story progresses Akari invites herself to live with sophie which was quite surprising as even her parents granted her permission. And Voila Begins the daily Life of a Vampire loli with her new friend who is obsessed over to the point she even drools thinking about all the cute stuff she can make sophie do.
The Daily life story of this anime also pans around how an ancient being sophie is able to adapt to the modern world for example buying Blood online for her daily use, being a small time otaku, surfing on the internet, reading manga’s , sleeping with body pillows which is really amazing , funny and enjoyable to watch.
Other characters such as Akari’s friend Hinata and Sophie’s friend Ellie are really interesting too both having a extra soft side for their respective friends and their parts in the story are really nicely involved and depicted.
Music is really Enjoyable as well as the animation is really well done by Studio Gokumi, AXsiZ.
Overall if you like a nice dose of slice of life, cute yuri, shoujo Ai series with a bit of supernatural element which you can sit back,relax watch and enjoy.
This is really is a Good watch as i personally like these kind of relaxing show which you can watch with a smile.
The interest point of Ms. Vampire is the different lifespans of humans and Vampires. This is a big point of the show and something that it explores in an interesting way. Rather than have heavy drama based off of it, it is true to its slice of life roots and shows the issues with it, and the issues the vampire’s have due to it, without belaboring the point or turning it into melodrama. And while I would have liked the show to focus more on this point, it ultimately did well.
However outside of that the characters aren’t really notable. They are cute, and I do enjoy the very strong yuri tones throughout the show, but they don’t have much depth to them, and they don’t come across as anything notable nor do they make me love them with the sheer power of their character. They’re fairly standard moeblobs. And while that plus the vampire angle is fine enough to make them decent characters it is a far cry from a great characters, which with some developing they could have been.
The show also likes to rest on its gimmicks to much. While at some point it does tone them down the times where it focuses on it can get very tiring. There were a couple of scenes where they went out of their way to make the gimmick come up and have a joke around it. Many times the gimmick implementation suffers from poor writing and it feels like the show is trying to shove it in.
Overall it results in a standard CGDCT with something extra. The art is nice, the sound is nice, and while they aren’t notable they are perfectly fine for the story the show is telling. It isn’t the most notable of CGDCT, and there are lots of things it could have done to be better, but ultimately it serves it’s role in the genre well and adds that little bit more that makes it unique. And personally that’s good enough for me to enjoy.
9: Black Blood Brothers
English: Black Blood Brothers
Japanese: ブラック ブラッド ブラザーズ
MAL Score: 7.12
Ten years after the Holy War in Hong Kong, Mochizuki Jirou, aka the Silver Blade, and the lone hero who fought and defeated the Kowloon Children despite the loss of his lover, returns to Japan with his young brother, Mochizuki Kotarou. The two quickly discover that the Kowloon Children who survived the Holy War are seeking to infiltrate the “Special Zone”, a thriving city protected by an invisible barrier that will not allow Kowloon Children entrance, unless they’re invited. Red Bloods refers to the humans; Black Bloods are the vampires, and the Mochizuki Brothers are Old Blood, the last descendants of an elite clan of vampires. When Kotarou is abducted by one of the Kowloon Children, Jirou has no choice but to fight once more.
Even though I’m not a great vampire genre fan I liked the story of this anime. It has a nice build-up without leaving you guessing too much. The smooth development of the story and the nice cliffhangers keep you interested and because of there are only 12 episodes it’s an easy to watch show. 9/10
The animation style of Black Blood Brothers is a kind of cartoonish, but that really fits the story. This only goes for the shape of the characters, because there movements are fluent and mature. Especially the fights are done very nicely and makes you wanting more. In contrast to most vampire series, the animation of this show is pretty bright, which gives it a less serious look.
I give the animation 9/10.
The OP is "Ashita no Kioku" by Naozumi Takahashi. It’s a nice J-rock song which just rocks.
The ED is "Shinkirou" by LOVEHOLIC and is a typical J-pop ED.
I liked the way the special FX were done in this series. The sounds were very realistic, like the clashing of the swords and the gunfire. Also does the background music fit the action. Because of that you almost don’t notice it. 8/10
The development of the characters is done very well in only 12 episodes. They also have many different sides. The series is pretty serious, but they managed to put in some funny remarks which makes the show not too heavy. Especially the main character Jirou has some funny one liners every now and then. 9/10
This is a short, action-packed, funny vampire series. I really loved watching this show and I hope there will be a second season. This all depends on the DVD sales, so when they are released, please buy them. Since this show only has 12 episodes you don’t need to spend a fortune on just these few DVD’s.
If you like an easy to follow story, action and vampires, this is definitely a show for you! I give Black Blood Brothers an overall score of 9/10.
It’s a story that does indeed focus on a vampire, however the story makes it so that it doesn’t revolve around the vampireness, because it really focuses on Jirou, the main character, going up against the Kowloon Children. The background story is revealed in small tidbits at the beginning of each episode, and is rather enigmatic at the start, however unveils as you progress over the episodes and is completely revealed on the final episode. The story itself really is kinda crappy, however the fact that they managed to fully pack the story and it’s background story into just 12 episodes is somewhat notable I suppose.
The artwork is pretty well executed. The fight scenes are fluently animated. Contrary to most vampire genre series, the overall color to the art isn’t very dark and shady, providing it with a little more lighthearted feel and mood, however still becoming serious when necessary.
The OP is a pretty cool JRock song that definitely suits the series. Good choice for this one. The ED then switches to a light and more melodic tune, giving it a nice contrast. The sound effects work well, and the background music also fits the scenes nicely.
Well, lemme just start off saying that the main character and vampire, Jirou, has really just a cliche vampire look. Long black hair and red garb, particularly consisting of a long trench coat (hmm…sound like Alucard.) But then there’s his brother, Kotarou, who has an appearance that is pretty much the farthest thing from vampire looking.
I’d really like to note though how much I dislike the fact that Jirou seems basically invincible and can defeat anyone with little to no effort, with the exception of the final battle. I don’t really like seeing that in a show, despite how much I like action and shounen series.
The story is bearable, the art and sound’s fine, the characters are fair, but for some reason, I really didn’t find it very enjoyable. It lacked the elements to continuously draw me in and make me want to keep watching. Why? Well, the fights were mostly pretty curt, and as I’ve said, they weren’t that entertaining because Jirou basically kicked too much ass in several short seconds, with the exception of the final match. I believe it was also devoid of the suspenseful attributes that most vampire series usually succeed in. Honestly, if it continued past 12 episodes, it probably would have become incredibly boring. Overall, I do feel it is a decent show for a quick 12 episode short series.
After having seen all the episodes it made me realize 1 thing, I want more!
The art of this anime reminds me kinda of some “classic” animes. In my opinion it told me that it had a great story hidden inside. Just looking at the art alone can make one tell that there has been a lots of thought and devotion to it.
The sound is pretty good, however I don’t judge much to the sound. Overall conversations were very clear, special effects weren’t to loud or exaggerated. It suited the scene in my opinion.
The characters may see a bit vague in the begin, because there isn’t an introduction about them. Rather you willl get to know those characters through flash backs/memories in each episode for about 3-5 minutes. I found it a bit annoying in the begin to be honest, however after finishing it I really have nothing to complain about. The flash backs and the current time get together perfectly. With this the characters, from which some have a noticable background, will be properly explain.
I overall enjoyed this anime a lot! I am eager for more from this series! This is one of the few with a great story that isn’t boring. In my opinion they had enough stuff left for a season 2, however looking at the date of its last released episode it sadly won’t happen. Still this anime is worth watching! Maybe more than once ;).
8: Tokimeki Tonight
MAL Score: 7.16
The main character, Ranze, is a junior high girl with troubles: her father is a vampire and her mother is a werewolf. Ranze has yet to manifest her supernatural powers, and her parents are beginning to get worried she might be normal. So begins the fantasy romantic comedy story.
If you ever wanted an anime version of the Addams Family with your typical shoujo clichés thrown in, this is the closest you’re going to get.
Due to the episodic nature of the series, don’t expect any significant progress. Yes, even after the dramatic events of episodes 25 and 26, everything turns back to normal when the credits roll. Also, don’t be surprised if some clever (at first) ideas get driven into the ground.
The “forbidden” nature of Ranze’s love for Makabe-kun will definitely hit home for some viewers. (More on that later!)
I was rather taken aback by the score on Tokimeki Tonight. The score was quite infectious, to the point that some of it played in my mind while I was trying to fall asleep. A special shout-out goes to the fighting music with the saxophone in it.
Of course, the main draws are the OP and ED. I must admit, this is one of the few series where I liked the ED music more than the OP. However, both are quite catchy and memorable (in accordance with the law of 80s themes).
While there’s no character I like 100% of the time (outside of the shark in episode 32, which, trust me, makes sense in context), the main cast tends to be likable more often than not.
However, there were some I couldn’t bring myself to like, no matter how hard I tried. The rigidness of Ranze’s mother made any scene she was in tough to digest. She wants Ranze to fall in love with a fellow monster and repeatedly tries to sabotage her romantic efforts with Makabe-kun. In fact, her rabid traditionalism even puts Ranze in danger in episode 13.
Yoko, Ranze’s rival in love, is a brat at best and downright treacherous at worst. However, I believe she was intentionally written to be unlikable.
Recurring characters Sand and Prince Aaron are borderline predators and that ruined any enjoyment I could have had of them.
One of the most unusual aspects of Tokimeki Tonight is the background art. While the series presumably takes place in Japan, most of the signs are in English and the architecture has an old European flair to it.
As for the rest of the art, it’s par for the course for an anime made in the early 80s. There was obviously a limited budget, which explains why the coloring is often basic and there’s a lack of detail in the character’s faces (you’ll notice several times throughout the show, characters are drawn without noses). I’m willing to let this fly, as the art isn’t vomit-inducing and anime wasn’t the most fruitful industry at the time.
Tokimeki Tonight is a mixed bag. Sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s good. Some stories are entertaining, while others can be borderline snooze fests. Like most everything else with this series, my enjoyment was about abverage.
While not the worst anime I’ve seen (*cough* Blue Flames), it’s understandable as to why this series fell to the wayside. It’s a 7 at its best and it’s a 3 at its worst. I honestly thought I would have more to see for this, but it’s just-so average. It’s an obvious 5.
So, all in all, I give this series five glasses of tomato juice out of ten.
At first glance the premise is really cool. The protagonist Ranze is an average 15 year old girl except for the fact that her mother is a werewolf and her father is a vampire (It’s sort of like the Munsters if it was a shojo). Ranze’s parents are by far the best part of the show, and if the show was just about vampire dad and wolf-mom I probably wouldn’t have had a problem finishing the series. The problem is I think that’s where it stops being interesting (at least for me.)
For the most part Tokimeki Tonight is your typical 80’s shojo/gag anime. The main focus of the story is the bland protagonist girl, and her infatuation was a slightly less bland boy who won’t even give her the time of day. But this is the early 80’s and this type of plot is a shojo mainstay, especially in the early days so I won’t be too harsh on that aspect. I figured that this was just the type of mind numbing fluff my brain needed at the end of the day so I kept going. The real problem for me (and the reason why I didn’t finish it) is more complicated.
Ranze, as I’ve said, is a 15 year old girl. She’s in love with her classmate Shun. This would be totally fine if that weren’t her only concrete characteristic. The only other female character her age (who gets screen time) is Ranze’s classmate Yoko. It is the dynamic between these three characters that made the series unbearable for me. Ranze doesn’t do anything besides try to win the affections of Shun. She has no hobbies of interest or even any friends. Yoko’s only purpose is to serve as a rival for Shun’s affections. If Ranze had at least one female friend then maybe I could have gotten past her flaws but that’s just it. The only interactions between female characters involve petty jealousy fighting over a guy who doesn’t even notice them half the time. Maybe it’s my modern sensibilities but I can’t watch a whole series where girls do nothing but fight each other like that. All i’m saying is girls shout support girls and this series made me want to watch legally blond to scrub it from my memory. You want a good old Shojo then look to the works of Ryoko Ikeda because this just isn’t it.
Because I hate to end this on a down note I will say that the opening and ending theme songs are absolute bangers and they are the whole reason why I even knew about this series to begin with. Seriously look them up; the ending in particular is way better than it has any right to be.
7: Vampire Knight: Guilty
English: Vampire Knight: Guilty
MAL Score: 7.16
When the missing Zero Kiryuu returns to Cross Academy, Yuuki Cross is relieved to see him safe, but finds that Zero has changed in more ways than one. As a result of choices he made, Zero is plagued by visions, and he seeks to uncover the reason behind them—unaware that the answers may be much closer than he thinks.
Soon Yuuki also begins to be tormented by ghastly hallucinations, and she seeks an explanation about her shrouded past from the only one who can provide clarity: Pureblood vampire Kaname Kuran, who is closest to her heart. But what will happen when the truth is finally revealed?
Better than season 1, but still dismal. I liked Yuki’s post-traumatic stress behavior, which was the reason I gave this season a try. It was a relief having her emotions at the forefront, instead of the previous season where she was constantly consoling the suicidal Zero. I usually enjoy heroines in torment, but they didn’t do much with it. She continued obsessing over Zero and repeating the phrase, “I cannot hurt Zero any more than this” in her monotonous internal dialogues. She also kept on chasing after Kaname, begging him to tell her about her past. This dragged on WAY too long. I can take only so many scenes of Yuki crying and pounding her fists against his chest while he goes, “Yuuki,” in his sad voice. Unlike season 1, there was some buildup to the final events, the villain was decent, and there was some resolution. However, the story was so boring and the characters’ behavior so repetitive that by the climax, I just didn’t care.
The art was similar to season 1. Decent, nothing special. I was disappointed but not surprised by the cheesiness of the monsters and the lameness of the fight scenes. One treat was how cute Chairman Kaien was once he let down his hair and took off his glasses.
Another excellent soundtrack. Just for the music, suffering through the two seasons was worthwhile. I hate the intro, but the ending theme makes up for it.
Yuki was unbearable. She was as weak as ever, but much more intent on protecting everyone, even though she had ABSOLUTELY no capacity for doing so. Watching her chase after the villain and put herself in danger was really irritating, especially because she endangered a lot of Kaname’s lackeys in the process. Kaname did improve somewhat; he was less opaque and we finally understood his attachment to Yuki. Zero and Ichirou also gained some depth. The twins may have been the most powerful, compelling plot element in the entire show.
They shouldn’t have raised our expectations that Yuki would become strong if they weren’t going to deliver. They did nothing with her being the guardian. If the main focus was the love triangle, then they should have put WAY more attention on developing the two relationships. Yuki spent a lot of time with Kaname and Zero, but she didn’t connect with Kaname until the end, and her scenes with Zero were just angsty melodrama. I can’t remember a single romantic scene in either season that I would rewatch, and I’m usually pretty enthusiastic about corny shoujo moments.
I’m truly shocked by this show’s popularity.
As you’ll probably know, VKG continues right where VK left off, retaining much of VK’s good qualities at first. The characters from VK/VKG are very well-built and generally three-dimensional enough for me as an audience to relate to and hence enjoy, with the exception of Kaname-kun, who was so perfect in his prestige, power and popularity that there was no room for him to be anything but an admirable and incomprehensible figure.
The artwork itself was generally quite well-done, although I felt the quality didn’t follow through towards the end of VKG. In terms of sound, nothing stood out as being special but nevertheless, it complimented the plot and character developments.
The one thing that I really want to talk about is the storyline. The reason why VK was excellent in my opinion was its plot. The flow of the story introduces audience to a very different and intriguing world of vampires, and as you journey through the plot progression, mysteries of the world and its creatures unravels itself through introduction of new characters, philosophies and events, that spices up and quenches curiosity of the world whilst requiting the audience a greater interest in knowledge of vampires and their existence.
And so VKG begins with this highly anticipated and built-up plot where most branches of side and main plots from VK was left wide open. However, as the story progresses in VKG, the pace of the story really dies down. Excluding a few snippets of fair back stories to some of the supporting characters, the main plot really felt mundane and hard to trudge through.
Due to an overly pretentious overemphasis on subtle foreshadowing, the climax of VKG comes about in a very poor, but surprising way, which in its own was interesting. VKG was on a road to revival, bringing back the essences that made its preceder a success. Inevitably, due to lack of pacing in the story, VKG ran out of time to wrap up properly, failing to arrive at the respectable conclusion that VKG’s climax opened up for. In all honesty, the conclusion simply felt rushed, as if the writers just ran out of time and whipped up a mediocre ending and forgot about all these other things.
Having enjoyed VK, it really was a pity that VKG did not follow through. VK felt like it created so much potential for VKG, who grabbed a single point of interest and neglected the rest of VK’s successful elements. To sum VKG up, it centralises on one element of a good script, then patched a drawn-out and repetitive build up to its front and a short and undermined continuity to its back.
It was not bad, but the fact that it was a mere shadow of its former annoys me, and so I give it a 6/10 (it’s simply my opinion).
Nevertheless, if you have seen VK, watch VKG with an open mind. (I don’t take into account that I wasn’t in it for a fanciful, mystical tale about pretty boys, which was part of what VK/VKG was marketed to be.)
What started out as a very good continuation of season one, and loyal companion to the manga (which I am sad to say, I did not know, too the exact same turn as transcribed here) ended up being a major disappointment in the way of a Shoujo anime. I don’t normally affiliate with the genre, and this series reminded me why. The abrupt ending of Zero’s affection for Yuuki given the circumstances involving her having been a pure blood vampire this entire time was nothing short of a kick in the teeth. To watch 26 full episodes of them going back and forth with each other in one of the most twisted and abusive love triangles I have ever seen, only to find in the end because Yuuki was never who Zero thought she was he can no longer love her?
Admittedly there is some bias to my words. I preferred Zero over Kaname only because the latter of the two was a self absorbed prick who’s soul intent was roughly the same as Zero’s later on in the series. I don’t really feel that the story for both the manga and the anime were all that in depth as so many things could have been done to prevent the overall conclusion, everything just seemed to happen because one vampire wanted to be strong. For some reason, however, no one ever thought to band up and kill him all at the same time? And why exactly did he need to drink Yuuki’s blood?
Overall, a very bad series that sadly had great potential.
6: Trinity Blood
English: Trinity Blood
Japanese: トリニティ ブラッド
MAL Score: 7.31
Following Armageddon, an apocalyptic war, mankind faces yet another menace: vampires. The continuous confrontations between the races have split the world into separate factions. The race of vampires, Methuselah, are affiliated with the New Human Empire; whereas the humans, deemed Terrans by the vampires, make up the Vatican Papal State. Furthermore, extremist groups like the Rosenkreuz Order strive to rekindle a war, despite the factions’ attempts to avoid direct conflict.
To combat terrorist organizations, the Vatican has implemented the AX unit. Led by Cardinal Caterina Sforza, the AX agents investigate vampire-related disturbances with hopes that the Terrans and the Methuselah will one day achieve peaceful coexistence. Amongst the AX unit is priest Abel Nightroad—a seemingly disoriented but gentle-hearted fellow who is a fierce vampire slayer on the battlefield. Joining the unit as his partner is agent Sister Esther Blanchett, a brave and gentle young nun troubled with a tragic past.
As the two grow closer, they begin to uncover signs of malicious schemes and dark forces working in the shadows. But the path they walk is riddled with misfortune that might just force them to confront the memories that plague their hearts.
Story: Why I say "sort of" is because of how confusing this story can be. It sort of assumes that the viewer has already read and manga and/or the novels. I’ve watched TB with many of my friends and in almost every episode I have had to explain to them what is happening – Why is an episode called "the Iblis" when they never explain what the Iblis is? Why is Abel a Crusnik? Why is the world in the state that it is? What’s with the flashback scenes? Etc, etc. Also the pacing is sort of off – an episode full of action will be followed by an episode of nothing but political intrigue and sitting around talking. I give Story a 7 if only because it is somewhat inaccessable to new viewers, possibly to the point of frustration if you don’t know what’s going on, and also for the pacing issues.
Art and Sound are very good so I give them both 9. The art is beautiful (except for the stupid CG, which there is thankfully not much of), the music is great, and if you’re watching the English dub, the voices are actually not bad at all (except Ion… *shudders*)
Character gets a 10. Lots of character development throughout the show. I’ve heard Abel is similar to Vash, so if you like Vash you may like him as well. Most all of the characters are complex and interesting. Even many of those that seem flat at the start later reveal many sides to themselves. I think that is my favorite thing about this anime, how even minor characters grow and develop as the story progresses.
Enjoyment gets a 9 from me. However, I predict most people would enjoy it at maybe an 8 (or possibly a 7) level, which is why I rate it overall 8. It’s a great story and generally underappreciated, but I do understand that it’s quite inaccessable unless you already know the backstory. So my suggestion is this: Read a synopsis of the backstory first, then watch the anime. Better yet, read the manga or the novels first. Trinity Blood is best enjoyed as a unit (manga, novels, and anime) rather than as just an anime. All three of the storylines are slightly different, each adds its own dimension to the world. As a stand-alone anime TB is pretty good, but taken with the other works it is amazing!
There are several things in the story that, I believe, need to be included into the current synopsis. There are many key details that viewers must acknowledge to fully appreciate the story behind Trinity Blood.
In the series’ current setting, there are two forces: the Terran (Human) and the Methuselah (Vampire). The story is based 500 years after the Armageddon in the future of Europe. The anime does carry much of European architectural design and also displays many notable landmarks that are found in Europe presently.
The Terran population is more resembled upon civilized life presently. They have a monarch approach of government rule that is highly organized and nobly respected. As it seems to the story, the Roman Catholic Church is the foundation of the political and martial power of the Terran including the presence of a Pope. The Terran force is also referred to as the Vaticans.
The Methuselah population was once human. At a time, there was an outbreak of a virus infecting human beings. The virus would feed on the host’s blood cells until they deplete. Soon after, they thirst for more blood to keep themselves alive. Symptoms of the virus include the mutation of their genetic makeup and also to latent superhuman abilities that varies between hosts. With the crave for blood and newfound abilities, they are commonly and ironically called Vampires.
Both the Vatican and the Methuselah forces are engaging an ongoing war. Both of these races have the same motive: to eliminate the opposing race. This does not relate to everybody though. There is a resistance group that wants the Terran and Methuselah to coexist in harmony. This group being called, "Ax". The members of "Ax" include very aristocratic individuals from both sides of the field.
As for the real story review, I think this anime has outdone itself. Trinity Blood has a very rich and deep plotline that is very consistent and also very engaging. Trinity Blood reveals an ample amount of information for its 26 episode season, but is also simple to understand. There are two things that I have to complain about. First being how there are several plot holes in the season about Abel’s past and identity. Second, being what I feel, an incomplete ending. It seems as this anime, though ironically, pushes an abundant amount of information at you, and yet seems to slip some of the more significant essence. If excluding that setback, I’d say this series is nearly perfect.
I truly like Trinity Blood’s style of animation. The style is mostly seen in more action-oriented genres, like Trigun, but possibly a step better in quality. For the animation, there is nothing really to complain about. On the other hand, the CG behind Trinity Blood is quite terrible. For its time in production, I’d expect far better CG. The CG looked very edgy and choppy–also looks, and feels like it doesn’t belong with the standard animation. Being that, I give the Art an Eight out of Ten.
The introductory song to each episode fit in nicely with the opening animation and the overall feel of the anime. Nicely done. The music scores in this anime are nicely done as well. The music was very appropriate at each scene. I gave the Sound portion an Eight because in some instances in the series, the background music was overplaying the voices of the characters, especially during sensitive and important scenes where the characters talk in a soft manner. It just seemed to really bother me.
The main character in this anime, Abel Nighroad, is much like and often compared to Vash the Stampede of the anime, Trigun. They both are very cooperative and kind also somewhat of a pacifist. They also have refused to kill any human at any point of time. They have a lust for food; Abel being tea with 13 spoons of sugar and Vash being of donuts. Also, the two characters have very devastating capabilities with immeasurable potential.
Throughout the series, there is some MAJOR character development. Possibly taking up most of the series itself. There are several flashbacks and isolated thinking scenes that reveal much more of the characters. I personally, was swept up by almost all of the characters which made me have their upmost support.
Character development is, what I think, the real strongpoint of this anime. It is possible the very thing that had me hooked to this anime.
I can’t say that you won’t enjoy this series if you’re not ready to see some very gory violence (blood, severed limbs, decapitation). Though with all the violence, it really makes Trinity Blood more engaging and much deeper. It’s just not the same without it. Trinity Blood is one of the very few series’ where I can freely just literally shout at my computer all my many emotions that go on throughout the series. Very engaging indeed. As I’ve mentioned, or along the lines of, the enjoyment factor is upon the character development–well, for me it is. I would say that I would enjoy this series much more if it had a second season to cap off some of the missing links in the series.
Reason Alpha: What’s on the Screen.
This animated fanfic stars Vashucard, member of the Heavensing organization. She’s a bumbling doofus with glasses who kills no humans, but murders vampires. When she gets mad, she spouts out some babble about releasing safety locks and restrictions, and turns into a drill-haired dame with lipstick and fangs. Joining him are a mary sue in a nun outfit, robo-Piccolo and some other guys you won’t remember because they’re only relevant for one episode.
And those episodes are the only good ones. The fanfic starts by introducing semi-enjoyable characters(aside from the terrible main duo) in one-shot episodes that are never referenced or called back to again. After that 90 or so minutes of collective entertainment, you’re stuck watching some shittilly-paced crossover story about absolutely nothing, with no conclusion. At the end, the viewer gains nothing but the bare minimum of visual entertainment. They walk away with no morals learned or memories of good presentation and writing. It’s a completely worthless, ephemeral experience that lasts 12 hours.
I wish there was more to dissect or rant about, but there really isn’t. I could talk about how Vashucard’s back story is the same as Vash the Stampede’s, or how the series ends the same way Hellsing(the first anime, the bad one) did with random resurrections and shit that never mattered, but then maybe I’d be flagged for spoiling the writings of some dead ass with the imagination of a 11-year old girl? I could talk about the endless camera pan shots and fade-ins that draw in the eyes of girls looking for pretty-colored bishounen, or badly choreographed and unsubstantial amount of action the fanfic offers, but those are self-explanatory.
Reason Omega: What’s not on the Screen.
Have you seen Hellsing? Have you seen Hellsing Ultimate? Have you read Hellsing? Have you watched Trigun? Have you read Trigun? Have you seen or read the dozens of other mediocre vampire shoujo anime and manga that are better than this? How about all them vampire action movies with actual action? If you answered no to any of those questions, fix it instead of watching this. If you answered yes to all of the previous questions, then only watch this to have “that one piece of shit” on your list. There is not a single valid reason to watch this tripe at all.
This fanfiction is a stupid, badly written, boring and unfinished waste of my time, your time and the time of the brave men who made the trek to throw Yoshida Sunao into a volcano.
5: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (TV)
English: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
MAL Score: 7.96
In 1868, Dario Brando saves the life of an English nobleman, George Joestar. By taking in Dario’s son Dio when the boy becomes fatherless, George hopes to repay the debt he owes to his savior. However Dio, unsatisfied with his station in life, aspires to seize the Joestar house for his own. Wielding an Aztec stone mask with supernatural properties, he sets out to destroy George and his son, Jonathan “JoJo” Joestar, and triggers a chain of events that will continue to echo through the years to come.
Half a century later, in New York City, Jonathan’s grandson Joseph Joestar discovers the legacy his grandfather left for him. When an archeological dig unearths the truth behind the stone mask, he realizes that he is the only one who can defeat the Pillar Men, mystical beings of immeasurable power who inadvertently began everything.
Adapted from the first two arcs of Hirohiko Araki’s outlandish manga series, JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken follows the many thrilling expeditions of JoJo and his descendants. Whether it’s facing off with the evil Dio, or combatting the sinister Pillar Men, there’s always plenty of bizarre adventures in store.
Nearly every review of JoJo 2012 praises it as a MASTERPIECE, because it represents a triumphant return for the macho manly anime of the past. I have a slightly different perspective than most critics on MAL, so unsurprisingly my conclusion was a little different as well. If I was born between 1995 and 2000 and grew up during the “sparkling kawaii desu moe” era of anime where every male protagonist is a whiny pussy, I too would be inclined to give Jojo a 10/10 out of sheer novelty alone. However, I was born in the 1980s and I actually remember the GAR days of manly anime. In the 1990s, you watched anime largely by going to the video store and renting whatever anime was available. Almost ALL of it was cheaply licensed, ultraviolent OVAs from the late 80s and early 90s. Were those anime better? Well believe it or not…no, not really. There were indeed some awesome anime like Fist of the North Star (Hokuto no Ken), but for every Fist of the North Star there was absolute garbage like: Genocyber, Violence Jack, MD Geist, Mad Bull 34, Angel Cop, etc. Simply being macho didn’t make an anime good by default back in the 1990s, and that shouldn’t be any different today! I am going to look at Jojo from a fair and objective view rather then simply heap praise on it based on principle alone.
Story and Characters: 6/10
The 2012 JoJo anime adapts the first 2 arcs of the manga, so this is the JoJo series you should watch first sequentially! JoJo is about the Joestar family and their epic feats of badassery over the generations. The first generation of Joestar asskicking takes place in Victorian England with Jonathan Joestar, whom I will call Johnny JoJo. The dumbass father of Johnny JoJo decides to adopt the blatantly evil son of a man who “saved his life” when he had a carriage accident. Even though it is later revealed that papa Joestar knew that Brando was a dishonest man and wasn’t actually trying to save him, he adopts Dio anyway and continuously believes Dio over his own son despite the fact that Dio may as well have “evil” tattooed on his forehead. Dio is a 1 dimensional bully who exists to make Johnny JoJo miserable, steal his father’s affection, and ultimately try steal his inheritance. Dio will perform some act of over the top evil like brutally murder Johnny’s dog, and papa Joestar will instantly believe Dio’s side of the story, simply to frustrate the viewers. This is like that Spongebob episode where Spongebob adopts an evil lamprey as a pet and keeps blaming the obviously innocent Gary the snail whenever anything goes wrong. The difference is that JoJo isn’t a comedy cartoon for small children. It is a Shonen demographic anime that actually expects us to take this seriously! Johnny JoJo discovers that Dio is attempting to poison his father and inherit the fortune, so he goes to find the poison shop where Dio has been purchasing his product. Johnny JoJo proves Dio is guilty, but Dio uses a mystical artifact Johnny has been studying to transform himself into a vampire and start wrecking shit. Dio kills papa Joestar and seemingly gets killed in turn by Johnny, but it turns out Dio survived and wants to create a vampire army to take over the world. Johnny takes some mystical martial arts training to unleash sunlight with punches (just go with it) and goes on a crusade to take out Dio. Unfortunately, that son of a bitch simply won’t stay down and eventually Johnny must sacrifice his own life in manly fashion to save his wife and unborn child.
I’m going to come right out and say it, Dio is a SHIT excuse for a villain. There are many things that can make a great villain: complex motivations, based on a historical figure, or even being extremely evil in an interesting fashion that is fun and frightening to watch. Dio is a cliche bully archetype that gets turned into a vampire, then decides to take over the world because he wasn’t already cliche enough. In a way, Dio does remind me of the villains from oldschool GAR anime like: the bullies in Genocyber that randomly decide to rape a homeless child, or the bully in Devilman who decides to butcher the class bunnies for no reason. However, those bullies were quickly and brutally dispatched because that kind of character isn’t very interesting. They exist to piss off the audience and grant a cathartic revenge fantasy when they get killed. Dio just lingers on and on like a sulfurous fart that won’t go away. Johnny JoJo is a gentlemen and a badass, but his character depth never goes beyond that. He doesn’t have a strong internal struggle or ambiguous goals or anything that makes complex character. I know that isn’t the point of JoJo, but a show aimed at older audiences should probably try to have SOME level of complexity unless the action is so awesome it doesn’t matter. However, JoJo isn’t a non-step action violence fest like Hellsing Ultimate. JoJo actually does take a LOT of time to focus on plot and characters, which is why it is disappointing that the plot isn’t very good and the characters are paper thin archetypes.
After a decent but certainly not masterful arc 1, we get to see the adventures of Johnny JoJo’s grandson: Joey JoJo. Joey JoJo must go to Mexico to fight against the evil vampires that created the mystical mask from part 1. He teams up with the grandson of one his grandfather’s old allies along with a surprisingly friendly Nazi dude named Rudol Von Stroheim. I guess the writer of JoJo meant to use the name “Rudolph” because “Rudol” isn’t even a real German name. Rudol’s catchphrase is German (insert whatever) is the best! Characters with goofy catchphrases can work like Korbowitz in Berserk or Armstrong in FMA, but I wasn’t really feeling this one. Honestly I just found myself wishing this guy would be replaced with Captain Germany the manly werewolf from Hellsing. This second arc does have some pretty awesome action scenes including Joey JoJo punching the vampire leader into Outer fucking SPACE! However, the plot and characters still come WAY short of being called a masterpiece or anything approaching a masterpiece.
The art and animation is heavily stylized and admittedly does a good job creating the look and feel of anime from yesteryear. There are lots of still-shots to recreate the look of cheap animation from the days where anime had extremely limited budgets. There are plenty of “action lines” that the old anime had in abundance especially pre-1990. I think my favorite part of JoJo might actually be the art because it really does recapture and recreate what anime used to look like and now no longer even resembles.
Does JoJo do a decent job capturing what old school anime used to look and feel like? Yeah, and that is why it isn’t a bad show. Does being retro make it a masterpiece by default? Absolutely not. The story may not suffer from pointless “tournament arcs” like so many shonen anime, but the plot isn’t honestly very good. Like the characters, the plot is very simplistic and doesn’t exactly carry JoJo into the realms of truly great anime. The male characters are actually manly and don’t resemble either Keitaro Urashima from Love Hina or Shinji Ikari from NGE, the 2 characters that basically convinced anime executives that Otaku identify more with Beta males and completely neutered anime. However, JoJo’s mediocre action and old school animation doesn’t quite make up for its simplistic and overall lackluster story and characters. At the end of the day, JoJo 2012 is a good anime, but is JUST a good anime. It doesn’t nearly deserve the ratings it has received on MAL, or the praise it receives on 4chan. I WOULD recommend it to younger viewers who want to see what old anime was like, but I caution against the kind of blind praise that has already made this anime absurdly overrated.
Art – 8/10
I suppose I’ll start off with how it adapted the source material. Unlike the OVAs and Phantom Blood movie, there were no cuts in content, and it actually adapted parts 1 and 2 of the manga: Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. The studio, David Production, did what I would consider a masterful job in terms of bringing out Araki Hirohiko’s style into the manga. He is an artist, and you can see his art evolve throughout the long-running JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise. DP hired multiple art directors and tried to incorporate the different faces and builds in body throughout the series. Also, because there is no such thing as “canon” colors for characters, DP, in an unexpected but very innovative manner, used their poor budget to their advantage—by changing color schemes and using colorful abstract backgrounds during monologues and still-frames. I’ll give the art by itself a 10/10, even though sometimes Jonathan and Joseph, the titular JoJos in this series, suffer from Gorilla Face Syndrome, since the BD/DVDs are doing a great job of fixing it.
On still-frames, this is one of TWO flaws I found throughout the whole series. DP was contracted by Warner Bros. and they were given a pretty weak budget to work with. As a result, some might say that there are lots of times where this show is more of a “live-manga” or stream of the manga. The “animated” SFX from the source material, plentiful still-frames, and lack of actual animation at times are what add to this idea. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like every episode is a slideshow; however, there are DEFINITELY times when it feels that way—I’m looking at you, episode 16. Honestly, I feel like DP made it up to us with some episodes that were battle-heavy, like episode 20 and most definitely the final 3 or so episodes. Especially the last one. For this I will have to give the animation itself a 7/10. The distinct art style and use of colors boost it up to an 8 for me.
Sound – 8/10
So-no Chi no Sa-da-me, JOOOOOOOOO~JO! There are two opening themes, JOJO~Sono Chi no Sadame~ by Hiroaki “TOMMY” Tominaga , and BLOODY STREAM by Coda. Both were tailored for their respective Part in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, in both lyrics, atmosphere, and animation itself—we actually get some pretty good CG depicting events in Parts 1 and 2. They were extremely catchy, and I never skipped them. The ending theme was Roundabout by progressive rock band YES, which actually came out in the 70s—and influenced the original manga! and I applaud DP for that choice. The song’s lyrics fit extremely well and it is actually one of Araki Hirohiko’s favorite bands! Also, because it is an 8 minute song, they used different snippets, some soft, some more intense, depending on what kind of note the episode ended on. That was genius and definitely made the watching experience better. If it were up to the OP and ED alone I’d give the sound a 10/10
As for the actual soundtrack, because of the difference in atmosphere between Parts 1 and 2, or at least I assume it’s for that reason, DP hired two composers and gave us two soundtracks per part. Phantom Blood was mostly orchestral, very fitting with the late Victorian feel we get when we think of England in the 1880s. It fit extremely well and I applaud Matsuo Hayato for his beautiful soundtrack. Part 2, being much more dynamic and quite literally “all over the place”, has Iwasaki Taku, who worked with his friends Lotus Juice. The soundtrack he made has soft, orchestral pieces and, well, everything. He has rap/hip-hop, rock, metal, DUBSTEP, and even flutes and drums that bring a middle-eastern feel. Personally, I thought the dubstep was actually very good and tamer than most, and that it fit well the middle-eastern sounds he composed for with the Pillar Men, the main antagonists of Part 2. The sound direction, however, was not as amazing. Iwasaki Taku complained himself, over Twitter, that his songs were not being used correctly, and, after paying close attention to episodes 22 and 23, I can’t say I disagree. David Productions flubbed it when it came to transitioning the music and providing an appropriate atmosphere with the songs in those two episodes. For that reason, although the music itself was superb, I will have to give it an 8 total.
Story – 9/10
Story is pretty simple, to say the least. The original story came out in 1987, in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. Phantom Blood can be pretty much summed up as Castlevania with Hokuto no Ken elements, which shouldn’t be seen as bad in any way. Araki Hirohiko wanted to make a solid base so that he could evolve his work throughout time, and I think he did a pretty good job, taking in the work of contemporaries around him. The first part is hot-blooded, fast-paced, and the definition of “camp”. Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando are probably the most one-dimensional characters you will ever find, but it is because they were so static, they polarized each other and made the fight between them so interesting. Dio Part 1’s main antagonist, from the first episode, is depicted to us as the very definition of EVIL at the age of 12! Although the story is simple, the characters are definitely what make the sure. In Battle Tendency, the story takes a more adventurous route and we see our new JoJo, Joseph Joestar, go from New York, to Mexico, to Italy, to Sweden, and it’s amazing. The main antagonists of this part are a powerful trio of “Pillar Men” called Wham, ACDC, and Cars, responsible for the creation of the stone mask that set the events in Part 1. The continuity is great and you definitely feel time passing as you watch the series, characters like Speedwagon and Erina are shown old, and with every major timeskip you see differences in character design. Story, when it boils down to it, just has to be interesting. I was definitely interested in the stories for Parts 1 and 2 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. They were simple, straight, and to the point, which made it possible to expand more on the character dynamics, arguably the strongest part of this series. There were no long and obnoxious training arcs, the fights are NOT dragged out—probably the most common flaw in shonen battle series—and if there are cliches, they are exaggerated to their extremes. This series does not take itself that seriously, and when it does, you can bet that you’ll be on the edge of your seat. Story gets a 9/10 from me.
Character – 10/10
As for the characters. Araki sure knows how to get you attached to characters. And then rip them away from you. There are definitely deaths in this series and they are dramatic and will definitely tug at your heart. Also, the voice actors are passionate and work admirably together. Takehito Koyasu, with his smooth, deep voice will send chills down your spine whenever Dio is formulating a plot or mocking JoJo. Okitsu Kazuyuki may be a newbie, unlike the slew of veterans in the rest of the cast, but he makes Jonathan Joestar so damn LIKABLE with his passionate screams, calm reassurance, and definitely makes the heart of gold in this character shine brightly. Sugita Tomokazu, probably best known for his characteristic shonen gag voice as Gintoki (Gintama) and serious/apathetic voice as Kyon (Haruhi Suzumiya series), makes a perfect Joseph Joestar, because Joseph embodies the ideal shonen protagonist—smart, strong, funny, and extremely expressive. Basically, where the animation fell short, I believe that the voice actors definitely picked up the slack. Everyone has fun, because this is supposed to be a fun series. I love it. Characters get 5/5 from me. Both as they were written and how they were acted, you can definitely feel the chemistry between all the voices and that made it way more enjoyable.
Enjoyment – 10/10
Enjoyment. I keep on mentioning this when I score each aspect of the show for this review. Ultimately, when you watch an anime, or any show, movie, etc; you do so because you want to enjoy and be entertained. I can almost guarantee that if you go and watch this show with a blank slate and just a pure, unadulterated desire to be entertained, you will not come out disappointed. Just keep in mind that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a series that is 25 years in the making, and this is but the beginning. It is without a doubt my favorite manga series, and this long-awaited anime adaption gives it the justice that it deserves. If you watch it, and enjoy it, like I said you probably will, then I implore to take up the manga. You can skip right to Part 3, the most popular arc in the franchise, but I recommend reading from the beginning, you’ll pick out some tiny things left out that couldn’t be conveyed through the anime, and you’ll see the evolution of Araki Hirohiko’s art throughout the ages.
But first, if you watch the anime, I recommend Muda Muda Muda Subs [MMM] subs or CommieSubs [Commie]. They are the most accurate subs and if you prefer a better script, go with MMM, if you want better typesetting and subtitled SFX, go with Commie. Personally, I used MMM because they are a group that got together solely for this series, released in a timely schedule with accurate subs, took advice/criticism well, and also have better encoding.
I hope that after this review some of you watch this show and develop the same love I have for it!
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is quite possibly the most popular anime on the internet right now, what was once a weird niche show in the west has essentially become the new Naruto, which is ironic seeing as it predates it. Now what do I mean by that? Well tell me if you’ve heard this one before, a mediocre shounen anime that’s mostly popular with teenage boys, that has also infested meme culture, and has become almost impossible to criticize, not because it’s a flawless masterpiece with absolutely no flaws that has changed society for the better (though the fans would want you to believe that), but because its fans will attack you if you so much as say it isn’t the magnum opus the make it out to be. Now seeing as the Part 5 anime has come to an end, I’ve decided to review the first season, and tell you why I personally don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as people say it is.
The problem with reviewing season 1 mostly comes down to the fact that it combines two arcs with completely different settings, tones, plot, and characters, so I’ll be giving each Part its own score in each category (with the exception of art and sound, both parts have the same art direction, animation and music)
Phantom Blood: 3/10
Think of the most generic good vs evil story, think of a story with a boring as hell flawless main character who’s so righteous and good that his only mistake was being too nice (yes really), a bland and inhuman villain who’s just evil for the sake of being evil and who’s sole motivation for being evil is literally “my dad was mean to me”, the most basic and overused 3 act structure, and a supporting cast so cookie cutter and forgettable, that you could switch some of their roles and round without anything changing. That’s Part 1 in a nutshell
To be fair, the first 3 episodes are well paced, the story at first is a generic macguffin story, but it knows how to hold your interest and be suspenseful, then just devolves into Generic Shounen Battle Show Inspired By Fist of The North Star/Dragon Ball #50. It’s quite hard for me to talk about themes, character development or anything because it’s such a nothing story, no one develops (I mean Jonathan gets stronger but in terms of personality he’s the same), the only theme is, I guess, “good will triumph over evil” or some generic bullshit like that, if Jojo had ended hear it wouldn’t even be a footnote in the history of Shounen Jump. I’ll go more in depth on why I think Phantom Blood sucks in the character section.
Battle Tendency: 6/10
Now this is much much better, not amazing but a huge improvement over part 1, and I think the main reason why is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is basically a comedy. Part 1 took itself completely seriously, and as such I had to focus on plot, characters, themes etc first and entertainment value second, with part 2 it’s the opposite, I feel like the series it at its strongest when it’s basically just a comedy, it makes the poor writing, bland characters and unoriginal storylines a lot more tolerable, seeing as the focus is being entertaining and fun, rather than telling a great story.
The story is incredibly generic, it’s yet another story where the villain is an ancient being who was sealed away long ago but has now come back, oh, and his goal is to collect a macguffin that gives him ultimate power, how original. However, again, it doesn’t take itself too seriously so I’ll let it slide seeing as it’s really entertaining, it’s also paced much better than Part 1. Overall if you’re looking for some mindless fun, I recommend Part 2.
Phantom Blood: 1/10
A cliche story can be forgiven if the characters are interesting, unfortunately for Phantom Blood, the characters are some of the most bland and cookie cutter characters I have ever seen, period. Let”s start with Jonathan, Jonathan’s entire personality is that he’s a hero, he has no character flaws, he’s just, the hero, that’s all he is, he never develops he is the same irritating nice guy from beginning to end. Then we have Speedwagon, he’s a thug who tries to kill Jonathan, but then he gets punched in the face and follows Jonathan around, all he does is stand around and tell the audience what they just saw, how did this character become popular, seriously, aside from his design there is nothing noteworthy about him. There’s also Erina, who might as well be a cardboard cut out of a vagina, she has no personality (noticing a trend?) and exists solely to be Jonathan’s love interest.
Then we move on to Dio, quite possibly the most iconic Jojo character, he’s a terrible antagonist, his actions make no sense whatsoever, I mean killing his birth father made sense, he was abusive to Dio and killing him would essentially allow Dio to go from the slums to a mansion, however once he gets the chance to live a life of luxury, what does he do? He tries to kill the man who took him in, why? Because the plot demanded him to. Dio’s goal is to be rich an powerful, but he’s already an aristocrat, so logically he shouldn’t do anything after killing Dario, if Dio just lived a normal life with the Joestars nothing bad would’ve happened to him, Dio caused his own downfall for no reason at all, Dio is stupid, plain and simple.
We also have Zeppeli, he’s Jonathan’s mentor, but not a fun or interesting one like Biscuit from HxH or Master Roshi from Dragon Ball, no, he’s just a guy with, you guessed it, no personality, who teaches Jonathan how to fight and then dies like 4 episodes later, they expect you to feel sad but who’s gonna feel sad for some guy who no personality who they barely knew for 4 episodes.
There are some other characters in Part 1, but they aren’t really noteworthy, the other Hamon masters are just there, one of them tells Jonathan something he already knew, and another fights Joseph in Part 2. There’s also this one kid who tags along Jonathan for 2 episodes and then disappears, I don’t know why he was in the story, he could easily be removed without literally anything in the story being affected.
Battle Tendency: 5/10
Joseph is a huge improvement over Jonathan, in that he actually has a unique personality, he’s an goofy asshole who’s a lot more tactical than Jonathan, he’s not too interesting, but he is really fun to watch, so for an arc that focuses more on comedy, I think he’s a good protagonist, he even develops a little, he’s much less obnoxious and rude at the end, which I know doesn’t seem impressive at all, but trust me, he’s one of the only characters in the entire franchise who actually develops.
My favorite character of the arc, and this season as a whole, is Stroheim, there’s not a whole lot to him, he’s just really over the top and fun to watch, any scene with him is really entertaining it’s also interesting to see a soldier of the most cruel regime to date as something other than a complete monster, Stroheim is a proud and loyal soldier serving the country he believed in, even if that country was one of the only objective bad guys in real world history.
Now I’ve bad praising the characters in Part 2 so far, so why did I give them a 5/10 overall? Well the rest of the characters (besides the villains) are about as bland as the ones from Part 1, we have Smokey, a boy who Joseph saves at the beginning of the arc, he’s set up to be Joseph’s sidekick but is quickly dropped, like the boy from Part 1. Then we have Caesar, another character who’s popularity baffles me, he is pointless, he trains with Joseph and is set up as his sidekick for the confrontation with the pillar men and is quickly killed off, having achieved nothing while he was alive. Lisa Lisa is about as bland as Zeppeli, she’s also revealed to be Joseph’s mother, there’s not much else to talk about, moving on.
The villains are a slight improvement over Dio, and by that I mean, they’re not completely moronic and illogical, their goals and motivations are overly simplistic though, but at least they have some motivation and a concrete goal that isn’t “take over the world”. Kars is a cunning and intelligent villain, a vast improvement over Dio, his motivations make sense, he wanted his race to overcome their weaknesses, but was forced to wipe out most of them once they tried stopping his experiments, he has nothing left but this goal to become perfect and is obsessed with it, and that’s actually sort of interesting. The two other pillar men aren’t nearly as interesting though, they just sort of follow Kars’ orders, they try to make Wammu more interesting but it doesn’t really work, still a vast improvement over Dio though.
The best part is easily the animation, it’s incredible, the lighting, the cinematography, the movement, the Hamon effects, all of it is great to watch, I wish this kind of animation was used on shows with better stories but i’m not complaining here. Some scenes also play around with colour, and that really sets the mood for certain scenes, overall, the animation is great, the only problem is the amount of still shots in the show, otherwise I would’ve given it a 9.
The soundtrack is also great, there are some catchy tunes, such as the Pillar Men theme, Stroheim’s theme and some of the other orchestral pieces. The ops are both incredible, they’re well composed, the vocals are great and they’re really catchy. Same goes for the ED but it’s a song from the 70s so it doesn’t really count
I recommend just skipping to Part 2 if you want a fun action show, you’re not missing much by skipping Part 1, besides he Hamon explanation which you could just easily look up online. Personally I’m baffled this show became so popular, it starts off badly and just isn’t anything that special.
MAL Score: 8.35
Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student, manages to survive a vampire attack with the help of Meme Oshino, a strange man residing in an abandoned building. Though being saved from vampirism and now a human again, several side effects such as superhuman healing abilities and enhanced vision still remain. Regardless, Araragi tries to live the life of a normal student, with the help of his friend and the class president, Tsubasa Hanekawa.
When fellow classmate Hitagi Senjougahara falls down the stairs and is caught by Araragi, the boy realizes that the girl is unnaturally weightless. Despite Senjougahara’s protests, Araragi insists he help her, deciding to enlist the aid of Oshino, the very man who had once helped him with his own predicament.
Through several tales involving demons and gods, Bakemonogatari follows Araragi as he attempts to help those who suffer from supernatural maladies.
“If our opinions clash, let’s talk it over.” (Dialogue from episode 5)
‘Bakemonogatari’, cleverly translated as ‘Ghostory’ or ‘Monstory’, is about five not-so-normal girls that Araragi Koyomi, a vampire himself, encounters and attempt to save from oddities possessing them.
The main characters of ‘Bakemonogatari’ are among the most unique and complex I have yet to encounter.
Heroine Senjougahara Hitagi is a tsundere like half of all modern heroines in anime, but she is also 「ドS」, a sadist to an extreme degree, which is more common for side characters and rare for heroines. Our protagonist, as expected, is rather on the masochist side who takes constant verbal abuse from Senjougahara.
What makes the couple extraordinary, is that Senjougahara is often boke while Araragi is tsukkomi. Traditional Japanese stand-up comedy consists of a duo: One takes the “boke” role who says something stupid while the “tsukommi” role points out the flaws in boke’s argument, often with a violent slap in the head.
Yes, that’s right. Boke is masochist by nature and often not very intelligent, while tsukommi is sadist by nature and often more observant.
The leading couple in this series, on the other hand, take turns with the roles. It is particularly interesting when the sadist and intelligent Senjougahara purposefully take on the boke role and overwhelms tsukkomi. Such as making insulting statements that sound flawed, but when Araragi tries to make a comeback, he realizes what she said was true. Or Senjougahara makes a blatantly flawed statement just to hurt Araragi, and his comeback fall into deaf ears. And of course, plenty of intentional boke or tease spoken with so much authority that Araragi just gives up and let it slide.
The unlikely toggling of comedy roles were delivered extremely well, and this back and forth interaction between the leading couple is a key part of this show’s appeal.
The remaining four main characters are not as complex as the leading couple, but they all have their own unique issues that drive the story,each with distinct personalities that made them memorable.
There are 6 main characters in this series, and total of only 5 side/peripheral characters (Meme, Shinobu, two sisters, and Senjougahara’s father) in the whole series. The limited character headcount made thorough character development possible despite being an arc-based series.
Simply put, half the show is about the romantic relationship between the Senjougahara and Araragi.
The other half is about a constant argument between two values: The rational vs the idealistic, with Araragi as Mr. Nice Guy seeking happy end for everyone. Solution of supernatural oddities as the topic of the argument.
Hachikuji, Kanbaru, and Hanekawa’s arcs developed the relationship of leading couple while offering new topics to the story.
The only flaw in the story in my opinion, is that Sengoku’s arc was pretty much by itself, and contributed very little to the whole series other than loli and moe fan service.
Each arc is an incident focusing on a different girl, but all the arcs combine to show a whole picture of Araragi and Senjougahara closing their personal distances.
“Bakemonogatari” is essentially a verbal performance with visual support. Story is driven by back and forth debate on various issues.
With verbal performance playing such a big role in this show, voice acting is taken to a whole new level in this series.
Every characters’ voices fit perfectly, and not only that, distinct tones and nuance of speech establish unique impressions for every single character. The characters speak so fast in this series with lots of tongue twisters, but the seiyuu cast had done a wonderful job in keeping up. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to describe voice acting in this series as epic.
Music score in ‘Bakemonogatari’ has a generally consistent ambient feel to it with a nice flow. Other than intense music for action scenes, they don’t particularly set the mood or enhance drama as what I usually consider to be strong BGM for anime, but the usually upbeat sounds in the background set the quick pace for dialogue, and make conversations all the more engaging.
OP song “Staple Stable” is one of the best anime opening theme song by a seiyuu, ever. Really memorable tune accompanied by great vocal and lyric by meg rock was simply amazing.
The other four OPs sang by seiyuu of each arc heroines were nowhere as impressive as “Staple Stable”, but offers refreshment value to the OPs, and fits each character perfectly.
ED song’s lyric made little sense at first, but its meaning was unveiled in a conversation between the leading couple in a certain episode, and it turned out to very suitable for the series. The two Senjougahara theme songs (OP1, ED) were masterpieces.
Animation in ‘Bakemonogatari’ mainly serve as a visual aid to the verbal performance, and it proved to be very effective.
Visuals for the anime got somewhat of an “art house film” treatment. There were many abstract and surreal scenes, unconventional cuts, and intriguing camera angles that made the viewing experience very pleasant. It’s the perfected form of SHAFT’s signature style.
Character designs were attractive, and main characters had visually shown a wide range of emotion that further portrays the character’s state of mind.
The only complaint I have with the animation is the use of photographs/videos of real-life imagery. At the risk of sounding like a super-otaku, I would say 3D images do not belong in the world of 2D.
As a fansubber and having seen thousands of hours of fan/professionally translated works, I can tell you that at least 10% of the meaning is lost in translation, no matter how well translated. In conversation/narration driven series filled with wordplay and metaphors, at least 20% of the meaning, therefore enjoyability, will inevitably be lost to non-Japanese speakers.
Still, ‘Bakemonogatari’ is a true masterpiece with experimental production that actually worked. Attention was paid to the tiniest details, and a story well-told. Truly amazing direction by Shinbou Akiyuki left us with so many memorable scenes, and this will definitely be a series to be remembered.
The 8-month wait for the final three episodes were excruciating, but the ending was so satisfying that it almost made it worth the absurd wait. Given the commercial success ‘Bakemonogatari’ has achieved, I will be hoping for the remaining novels in the series to be animated. Possibly ‘Kizumonogatari’ OVA/film and ‘Nisemonogatari’ as a sequel season.
To be blunt, I just enjoyed listening to them… so I want to listen to them more.
Monogatari takes place in a city populated by about 20 people, cardboard cutouts, and kanji characters, and follows the story of Koyomi Araragi as he meets girls who have supernatural oddity-related issues in their lives and tries to help them.
I am not a fan of the Monogatari anime, but I will get into why later in this review.
The characters are all pretty much what you’d expect from a harem anime. There’s the selfless main character, the Tsundere girlfriend, the shy Moe girl who turns out to actually be psycho and manipulative, the smart girl who wears glasses (for a brief time anyway), the little sister(s), the athletic girl, the lesbian, etc.
However, most of them are written with more nuance than what you’d expect, as in, they get backstories, but on a basic level, I don’t feel like it’s any deeper than the character backstories from any other anime. But they do have a bit more depth than what you’d expect from a harem show, meaning they are not in a round-the-clock quest for the main character’s dick. I’m not a fan of the characters (except for Kaiki Deishuu and maybe Meme Oshino), and don’t think they’re very noteworthy, but I do give the writer credit for that.
The dialogue is also the same as what you’d expect from an anime. Talking about motivations, delivering exposition, and bantering whenever there’s nothing going on. The difference is that most the show is just that, talking, with nothing else going on. However, I don’t have that much of a problem with that aspect and some of the dialogue is occasionally funny. Nevertheless, even then, the dialogue often tends to go in circles and isn’t strong enough to carry the whole show in my opinion, but more on that later.
When it comes to the story, however, a lot of the story arcs start out with potential, but then they end up focusing more on the dialogue rather than doing something interesting with the premise, and then end unmemorably.
In my opinion, the biggest example of this is in Monogatari Second Season’s Mayoi Jiangshi arc. In that arc, Koyomi time travels and prevents something from occurring in the show’s backstory. Because of this change he made, a character was unable to help him during the events of a previous story arc in this alternate timeline, which leads to the extinction of humanity via a vampire zombie invasion. I was genuinely pleasantly surprised at the premise of this story arc because it gave new meaning and importance to previous arcs and character interactions. But guess how the story arc plays out. Lots of talking, of course.
Surprisingly enough, despite the first scene of this show being a 15-20 second-long panty shot, there isn’t actually all that much fanservice. However, when there is, it’s rather unappealing.
Two running gags with Koyomi include going out and molesting Mayoi, who is 11, and planning on tricking his little sisters into being molested by him, and he suffers no real comeuppance for it. I’d say it’s refreshing to have a subversion as a change of pace from the typical harem humor where the main character does something perverted by accident and gets beaten up for it, but I don’t think child molestation or incest are funny.
That’s not to mention the rape snake from the Nadeko Snake arc, and two extended scenes from Nisemonogatari, in which Shinobu, who is over 400 years old but is physically 8, bathes with Koyomi, as well as the infamous scene where he brushes his little sister’s teeth and it looks like they’re having oral. I have read an essay analyzing the fanservice in Nise, of all things, and apparently it’s supposed to represent teenage sexuality, or how the girls want to be seen by Koyomi. Okay, but that doesn’t mean that I have to feel it’s worth waxing philosophical about this aspect. Might as well apply that same logic to every ecchi harem out there.
The biggest problem I have with Monogatari, however, isn’t intrinsic to the series in general, since I’ve read some of the light novels and think they’re okay, despite having these flaws.
The animation looks nice and clean (despite the obvious low budget resulting in all these still frames), however, it is also its biggest flaw (besides the fanservice).
Shaft has been using the same visuals for every Shinbo-directed show for several years (10-11 years as of the time of this review), but I feel that when making Monogatari, they rely on their visuals too much.
A lot of the time, during the dialogue scenes in Monogatari, they keep cutting to Dadaist visuals, text screens, weird camera angles, and extreme closeups, which wouldn’t be a problem, except that they focus on them for so long and so often, that it detracts from the experience. They go too overboard with those and fail to build up a good momentum for the pacing.
I don’t judge a show based on the animation, as long as I’m interested in the story and the characters, but this is one case where I have the opinion that it detracts from everything else. In this case, I feel like the animation department is too busy showing off what I already know that they can do while not advancing the story in a significant measure in each episode with little pay-off, and that aspect is what I actually care about in a show. I’ve already seen this exact same type of animation in multiple other Shaft shows previously, so it doesn’t do anything for me anymore, I’m not going to give it extra points.
Imagine if someone made an adaptation of a book, and instead of adapting the events of the book in a visual format, the adaptation entirely consisted of watching some guy sitting there, reading the book out loud. That’s what watching Monogatari feels like.
In conclusion, I think that the Monogatari light novels are okay despite their flaws, but that Shaft’s direction makes the anime boring to watch, and that I would have likely enjoyed the show more if it was made by another studio, or if Shaft hadn’t gone so overboard with the animation to the extent that it detracts from everything else. The only reason I continue to watch it is just because I’m waiting for the moment where it finally lives up to its potential.
Monogatari is a love-it-or-hate-it show, watch it if you want, maybe you’ll like it, but if you end up not liking it, I recommend watching Monster or Mushishi as preferable alternatives.
People have complained that the story is too episodic, too disjointed. However, the virtue of Bakemonogatari’s storyline is that it is so minimal. In all senses, this anime is a character-based experimental, and an elaborate storyline would actually detract from that experience. There are plenty of anime out there that thrive on plot twists and progression that keep the viewer on their seats, but Bakemonogatari isn’t one. The episodic storyline is a brilliant framing device for character development and nothing more, which works out perfectly for this particular anime.
As usual Studio SHAFT splurged on art. This is definitely a series to be enjoyed in high-definition, preferably with the room lights turned off. Anime, by definition, is a genre segregated from realism. The beauty of anime as a medium is that every cut is animated, so that the blemishes, imperfections, and limitations of reality can be omitted in favor of stylized, beautified perfection. Anime art style that attempts to be too realistic are bound to lose that edge and, naturally, pale in comparison to live-action works featuring comparable visuals. Anime that go all in on stylizing can often seem distracting and too detached from reality. With all of that in consideration, Bakemonogatari is one of the few shining masterpieces of the anime genre that hits the sweet spot. Everything in this anime is crisp and beautiful, from the characters to the slightest scenery detail. What would have seemed tacky when drawn are boldly stylized and symbolized, rather than allowed to compromise the atmosphere. For example, people have complained about the cuts to photographs and abstract diagrams that pop up frequently. But imagine if all of those were actually animated; it would have been clunky and distracting from the dialog. For example, Senjougahara’s mother isn’t a character in this anime, therefore having an designed, animated character to her credit would distract from the very small and tight cast. I don’t know how much budget went into this production, but they sure splurged where it was needed (characters, scenery-porn sequences, pivotal action sequences) and were decisive in radically minimizing what would have been superfluous.
There is quite a rave about Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari and Staple Stable, and they are indeed catchy and appropriate opening/ending. Much more underrated are the mundane, ambient sound design of this anime. Just as Bakemonogatari should ideally be viewed in high-quality settings, so it should be heard with at least “nice” audio. Perhaps I had the fortune/misfortune of being an impeccable audiophile and watched the series with headphones that cost me half a fortune, but everyone should at least watch Bakemonogatari with real speakers or decent headphones. This is a series that can only be fully appreciated when the viewer is immersed in it, and laptop speakers simply won’t do.
Having said all of that, the non-intrusive BGM and ambient sounds do a perfect job of accentuating the dialog/situation without, again, distracting from what is really important. Perhaps the best example is in the TV finale, where the BGM swells and fades without the viewers really noticing because they are so perfectly integrated with the ebb and flow of verbal/situational push and pull between the two leads.
The voice acting, without even the need to elaborate, are top-mark. The seiyuu for Koyomi is appropriately serious, jocular, and reflective. I especially enjoyed the sequences and inserts in which Koyomi is thinking selfish/perverted/silly thoughts. Excellent sound designing makes it sound like Koyomi’s voice is really ringing inside my head, adding to the effect and how identifiable his character is. Voice acting for Senjougahara seemed a bit too fragile and breathy at first, but it was revealed to be not the fault of the seiyuu, but part of character development, but more on that will border on spoiling. Let me just add that voice acting for both leads hit the sweet spot at least by the TV finale.
All of the other elements, story, art, and sound, up to now were accompaniments to the brilliant characters of Bakemonogatari. If those elements had their virtue in garnishing the backgrounds of this anime, the characters’ virtue lie in their shocking assertiveness and charisma.
Koyomi – Of all anime leads I’ve seen, he is one of the few truly-believable leads that are likeable. He is objectively decent-looking and decently dressed, not, as are many a blue-haired shounen characters, outrageously flamboyant. He is not an outspoken paragon of bravery and power. He is even a bit of a sociopath. However, the subtle inner stability he shows makes him stronger than Goku or Lelouch in my opinion. He isn’t a social butterfly, but he would never seriously harm another person. Though he is a bit of a pervert, just like the rest of us, the viewers can’t picture him ever being disloyal to his romantic partner. Koyomi’s inner strength and stability are what keeps this series from becoming a typical harem anime, and such qualities of his character are what makes the viewer so strongly and ineffably identify with him.
Senjougahara – First of all, her name is awesome, just phonetically. I read that it means something like “battlefield” in Japanese, but it sounds so feminine and appropriate to her character. With that aside, if Koyomi is the steady, dependable drummer keeping beat to the Bakemonogatari band, Senjougahara is the lead vocalist that captures and enthralls the viewer. Anime is, more than anything, a visual art, so it is of course important that her every frame is perfected and beautified with adoration. Not only is she one of the most flawlessly beautiful female characters in anime, the way she poses and moves is also idealized. Imagine a girl who never does anything unsightly: never makes an unflattering face, is never without makeup (or always looks perfect without one), never goes to the bathroom, you get the idea, and that would be Senjougahara. Again, the creators of Bakemonogatari really cashed in on this aspect of anime to create a visually flawless female lead. Utter perfection, however, isn’t always likeable, as none of us are perfect. Senjougahara, therefore, needs some profound flaw in order to offset her physical perfection, and that’s when her character development comes into play. I won’t say much more on that for fear of spoiling, but she exists not as a perfect, standalone being, but someone who absolutely depends on Koyomi to complete her. That’s why their interactions work, even though they should logically have zero reason to even know each other. Senjougahara is the modern Yamato Nadeshiko, though the usage of that term to describe her may be controversial. The numerous attempts to categorize her as a tsundere/kuudere/yandere/whaeverdere have all failed because her character is grounded not on a trope, but a real-life ideal of feminine beauty. She is the culmination, or rather, an amalgamation, of decades of anime heroines that captured the viewers, male and female alike. Senjougahara and Koyomi have such subtle and inexplicable chemistry because they are both subtle, ultimately mysterious characters.
This is the one category where I admit that the 10/10 is highly subjective. Objectively, Bakemonogatari is a top-quality art form, and I firmly believe that high-profile artists, filmmakers, etc. would appreciate that Bakemonogatari is the epitome of modern anime counterculture (Suzumiya Haruhi being the mainstream crystallization of modern anime). However, you have to be looking for the right thing to enjoy this anime. If the anime you typically enjoy are Naruto, TTGL, etc. (not that they aren’t fantastic either), Bakemonogatari is perhaps not for you. This series is really for people who have watched a lot of anime, perhaps even an otaku, and were drawn to the more sophisticated, post-modern aspect of the genre as a whole. It is, in a way, analogous to how Mozart is universally loved (for a good reason!), while composers like Hindemith appeal strongly to those who have developed a taste in classical music. I personally pick this series as the number one anime of all time (along with NGE) because it had all I was looking for: deep, subtle characters, platonic romance, somewhat surreal atmosphere, idealization only possible in anime, wit, and that pinch of sociopathy shown in each character, as are present in every human being. There isn’t one thing about this anime that is the “hook” (though, if I had to pick one, I’d go with SENJOUGAHARA FASCINATION). Rather, every aspect of it plays its role perfectly to create a gestalt whole. Oh, and by the way, if you’re like me and are desperately looking for non-moe, non-loli (getting harder and harder to find) anime made in 21st century, welcome to Bakemonogatari. This series is for mature viewers looking for a subtle, yet decisively anime experience.
Overall, if you think yourself the discriminating, intellectual beta-component of modern society (who also happens to watch anime), you will love this series. It’s a love or hate type of anime, in my opinion, and if you are the type of person this show caters to, you will come to thoroughly appreciate every aspect of the show, besides just Senjougahara. If you’re not, that doesn’t mean you’re not as cultured or some nonsense; just need to find your anime masterpiece, as I found Bakemonogatari.
MAL Score: 8.46
A peculiar transfer student named Ougi Oshino has just arrived at Naoetsu Private High School. She is quickly introduced to senior student Koyomi Araragi by their mutual friend Kanbaru Suruga, in hopes of obtaining advice regarding a strange discovery she has made. After taking a look at the school’s layout, Ougi notices that a classroom has appeared in an otherwise empty area—a place that should not exist.
Unsure if this is the work of an apparition, Araragi and Ougi attempt to unravel the truth behind this enigma. But Araragi soon discovers, after finding himself locked in with Ougi, that the room holds the memory of an event he had long since forgotten.
For storytelling, Owarimonogatari is divided into three parts. They are known as “Ougi Formula”, “Sodaichi Riddle”, and “Sodachi Lost”. All three parts draws connections with each other that interconnects the story as a whole. Araragi is once again a centerpiece for the story. But that’s not all, there’s also the mysterious Ougi who plays a sort of lead character to guide others. The most pivotal moments of the season involves Ougi’s relationship and conversation with Araragi. Their interactions brings about a battle of emotions and bizarre mystery from two years ago. Ougi Formula covers Araragi’s growth as a character and how he uses his experiences to solve problems. What I also find interesting for the episodes of this arc is the clever geometric usage of the artwork style. Add a bit of mathematics and you’ll feel like it’s back to school.
Sodaichi Riddle takes on a different approach, one that’s more based on personal problems and also pits Araragi with his former classmate, Oikura. The interesting parts about these episodes is the amount of emotional expression. Oikura’s hatred for Araragi is explained based on her past background story that has connections with him. Tsubasa Hanekawa also gets involved that pits her in a unique angle between herself, Araragi, and Ougi. Speaking of which, Ougi’s presence in the show is still the most mysterious. It’s hard to trust or know what her true intentions are. However, her role in the arc is meaningful as she guides Araragi to the truth. Yet at the same time, Ougi’s actions seems to also suggest that she is attacking Araragi’s insecurities. Hanekawa’s role in this arc seems to stand for as an antithesis of Oikura’s character, especially in family values. What the arc ultimately brings is an iconic buildup and execution in Monogatari fashion at its finest.
Sodachi Lost, the final part of the season, brings together the reunion of some of the characters from the Monogatari franchise that fans are well aware of. These include Shinobu, Gaen, Kanbaru, and even Ononoki will feel like a refreshing sight. The arc also introduces some other mysterious supernatural beings that while seems gimmicky can also be unique. Their role in the arc is also very important that makes the story compelling. For fans who are familiar with Bakemonogatari, it will even feel somewhat nostalgic with the strange apparitions that makes their appearances. Do be aware that the timeline and info dumping of this arc can feel confusing at times so it’s better to rewatch some scenes carefully. However, the reward is the distinctive amount of word plays with Shaft’s clever adaptation. Furthermore, there’s some attractive references and facial expressions coming from Araragi. Kanbaru’s role as a comic foil is also fun to watch especially with some of her suggestive innuendo jokes.
That being said, Owarimonogatari is a unique show but definitely not something everyone can get used to. For any new fans, watching this show will feel confusing even with knowledge of the previous seasons. The most enjoyable way I find to watch this season is getting a feeling of attachment with the characters. In particular, Ougi is the most mysterious of the cast and it’s intriguing just to anticipate what she will do next. Her unpredictable behavior will often get viewers thinking what her true intentions are. Araragi’s interactions with the others will show more of his character on a more personal level. Add a bit of comedy and this will feel quite like an unorthodox adventure in Monogatari style. On the other hand, the season does omit some parts of the novel. Not every adaptation can be focus on a panel-by-panel level after all.
As with most Monogatari series, Shaft once again proves that it’s capable of delivering its clever artwork. There are many word plays that works well in conjunction with the dialogues. There is also three different OP theme songs for each of the different arcs that is quite artistic with the style it delivers. Most often, I find a lot of the scenes for this season to be fun to look at whether they are for plot development, comedy, and references. The show appears to be self-aware of its own traits and have fun with itself. Just be aware that there is an abundance amount of sex jokes and suggestive references as some fans may find it uncomfortable to watch at times. In addition, character designs are also fairly unique. Ougi’s black hollow eyes and ambiguous gender is one of the most bizarre character designs I’ve seen. Not to mention, her pendulum-like body movements reinforces her mysterious presence and role overall for the season. Swinging back, swinging forth…
Soundtrack is also a unique feature that I think not too many people notice often. But when examining it more carefully, it’s iconic. The eerie mood of the season in all three arcs can only work with the dynamics of the OST. And to be quite honest, it fits very well. Furthermore, the character voices matches in credibility with the personalities of everyone this season. Again, I have to emphasize that Ougi’s voice is the most mysterious. Kaori Mizuhashi’s performance with her character is to be praised as she is able to step into the shoes of such a character. Finally, the ED theme song has a nice eerie rhythm with its thrilling cinematics.
Owarimonogatari is a fairly unique show for its ability to convince viewers to watch and read at the same time to appreciate the story. By reading, I mean it more like trying to understand what the characters’ roles, dialogues, and word plays mean. It may feel like a brain fart at times but also fairly entertaining to comprehend the story’s intentions. The emotional expressions and character interactions will be what seasoned fans will expect – dynamic and one that continues with a thrilling resurgence with its trend. It’s twisty that’s filled with mysteries and moments that will tear the house down.
Oh Monogatari, a strange one you certainly are. The way I see it is that there are 2 types of reviews for this series – the people praising it for being a complete masterpiece of the modern age with no flaws what so ever and the people that hate it for… what again? Oh that’s right, it’s “devoid of a functioning storyline and character development” as pointed out by some pleb on this website. Now, I respect your opinion and everything but.. you’re wrong.
What’s so special about this series is how it handles exactly that. It doesn’t follow a strict route in storytelling, it just kinda does whatever the hell it wants. Apart from the occasional obnoxious panty shots I think the story is very unique and engaging for the most part. As for the characters – you’ve got our protagonist who while being a borderline lolicon also happens to be a vampire, a sadistic tsundere with a daddy complex, a cat girl, etc. Point is that if not on the most complex side of things (also arguable), the cast is one of the most entertaining I have ever seen. The story combined with these characters and breaking the 4th wall humor makes this show what it is. However while I do praise it, the fact still remains that the Monogatari series is an overrated one.
Pretty edgy, huh? Anyway, Owarimonogatari is the final installment of the Final Season and it focuses on the mysterious transfer student, Ougi Oshino, who is seemingly Oshino Meme’s niece. Ougi has appeared through various arcs of the series but never really got over an episode of screen time as far as I can remember. Something interesting as well is that Kanbaru referred to Ougi as a guy, what gives? So yeah, not knowing a characters gender is pretty mysterious to me. Owarimonogatari is divided into 2 arcs or 3 parts – Sodachi Riddle / Sodachi Lost and Shinobu Time.
The first arc is very mystery driven. It starts off with Araragi and Ougi getting trapped in a classroom. Pretty plain and simple, right? Turns out that a pretty big event took place in that classroom a couple of years ago. Soon after we get introduced to Araragi’s former classmate who seems to hold some kind of grudge against him. To be honest, I thought I was going to hate this character. While I still somewhat do it turns out that she is a lot more complex than I originally imagined. What is her story and how is she related to Arararagi apart from being his classmate? That’s pretty much all that can be said without spoiling. There also happens to be a pretty cool random James Bond reference thrown in there because why not.
Surprisingly enough, even though the 2nd arc is called “Shinobu time” there is no Shinobu to speak off for the first 2-3 episodes. No worries though, the show does compensate. We start off with Araragi meeting up with Kanbaru in the middle of the night in the abandoned school. The possibilities of that scenario are endless but sadly Koyomin is just acting on orders of Gaen, as we knew she wanted to meet with Kanbaru. All of a sudden a strange samurai appears. After seemingly defeating him they realize that it was just an empty suit of armor. The building is then lit on fire but they are saved by Yotsugi. Saying anything else would be getting into spoiler territory so let’s avoid that.
Kanbaru has also gained quite a lot of best girl points from this arc. Every moment with her is just pure gold, she may provide the best fanservice in the entire series actually. “Eat up!” All that was needed was more of Senjougahara and/or Kaiki-chan but I’ll let it slide this time.
The production value is top notch as to be expected from Shaft. The entire Soundtrack is filled with variations of music that work perfectly as the series changes tone and the voice acting is great as always. It might just be me but I feel like this is the peak of the Monogatari series in terms of animation. Everything just looks so smooth and nice to look at. Probably just me though, amazing nonetheless.
So all in all, Owarimonogatari follows the same general formula as all of the other series, filled with witty dialogue, amplified by all the shaft shafting. Should you watch Owarimonogatari? Probably, just keep in mind that it’s not as good as Bake or Second Season and that the 2nd arc is inferior to the first. 6.5, best of the season.
(There will be SPOILERS in my review)
[Story]: (9/10) (SPOILERS)
Owarimonogatari is a sequel to Tsukimonogatari but it does not take place after Tsuki. The first 3 arcs chronologically takes place after Onimonogatari and Nekomonogatari: Shiro and the last arc chronologically takes place immediately after Onimonogatari. The show features Ougi Oshino, an underclassman introduced to Araragi by Kanbaru Suruga.
I thought Second Season was going to be the only Monogatari series that’s better than Bakemonogatari. I mean, out of 6 Monogatari that was released, only 1 was able to beat Bake and that’s Second Season. After finishing Owarimonogatari, it’s safe to say that there are now 2 Monogatari that is better than Bakemonogatari and that’s Second Season and Owarimonogatari. I’m going to explain as you read through the review.
The series is divided into 4 arcs…These arcs are called “Ougi Formula”, “Sodachi Riddle”, “Sodachi Lost”, and “Shinobu Mail. I guess you can count Sodachi Riddle and Sodachi Lost as one arc because these 2 arcs revolve around the same character except both arcs have 2 different mysteries. Just do whatever feels best for you. In this review, however, I’m going to count the 2nd and 3rd arc as one whole 2nd arc.
Now this is where the spoiler comes in. In fact, at this point, it’s going to be filled with heavy spoilers as I’m going to review each arc. Just like I did with Second Season.
The first arc is “Ougi Formula”. Technically, this arc lasted for 2 episodes but this was a one hour episode. So..what’s in this arc? Basically, Ougi and Koyomi are trapped in a classroom and they start thinking of how to get out of the classroom. Is that it? No, that’s just a simple summary. In fact, this is the first arc in the whole series that doesn’t deal with any aberrations. In other words, this arc is like one of those mystery novels. A mystery that’s got something to do with one of Koyomi’s past. The dialogue scenes in this arc are really engaging. This is why I love mystery, it forces me to ask questions about this and that and Ougi Formula also did the same thing for me. I was asking questions such as the relationship between Koyomi and Sodachi, who actually stole the test answer sheet, and et cetera. The mystery of this arc was well thought out. It was actually almost similar to Hyouka’s mysteries with an added Nisio Isin flair in it and the answer to the whole mystery was pretty unpredictable. I mean, first second you thought you figured out the answer, the next second, they throw more information at you that invalidates your previous answer.
Next up is Sodachi Riddle/Lost arc. Just like the first arc, this was also a huge “mystery” arc that doesn’t have to do with any aberrations. The first half of the arc (Sodachi Riddle) basically expands the first arc and starts to ask more questions like “who is Sodachi” and “why does Sodachi hate Koyomi like he murdered her family?”. This arc also visits Koyomi’s past and explains why he is the way he is right now. The second half of the arc explores Sodachi and her parents and what actually happened to her mom.
I honestly DO NOT GET why some people hate this arc. Please give me reasons..One of the reasons why I love this arc is it’s something different from your usual “girl’s abberation problem” arcs that you’ve seen countless times in previous Monogatari series. Another reason is I’m a big fan of mystery. The way the mystery is handled in this arc is just absolutely amazing.
Let me give you a few mysteries that was from the Sodachi Riddle arc. Why did Sodachi begin teaching Koyomi “Math”? Why did Sodachi specifically choose Koyomi and invited him into her house? Why does Sodachi hate Koyomi’s guts?. You think you know the answer? Wrong, you don’t (Unless you’ve seen the show). The answers to these mysteries are not as straightforward as you think they are. The mysteries are so well-thought out that figuring out the answer to said mystery is complicated as hell unless you hear the character’s backstory. Even their backstory might not be enough, unless you’re a smartass.
Lastly, the “Shinobu Mail” arc. Unlike the first 2 arcs, this arc is all about “aberrations” again. It’s not a new “aberration” though. This arc just expands and wraps up on the story Shinobu told to Araragi in “Shinobu Time” arc. The arc took place during (or slightly before) the events of the Tsubasa Tiger arc so they finally showed us where Araragi came from before jumping in to save Tsubasa. Anyways, you remember that first minion that Shinobu was talking about right? You better because he makes a return for this arc. The reason why he returned is actually rather kind of sweet…I think. At first, I thought he had some kind of diabolical plan but turns out, he just wants his sword back and wants to apologize to Shinobu for what he did 400 years ago. There’s a bunch of reasons why I love this arc so much. Firstly, the Araragi and Kanbaru pairing and no I’m not talking about pairing as in love pairing. It’s just like the previous Monogatari series where Araragi and X female character pairs up together to solve a mystery/problem. I love their pairing because it creates tons of hilarious moments. Half of it being perverted. Secondly, I just love the character dynamics between Araragi and Shinobu. If you see these 2 characters together, it creates a ton of best moments. Third and lastly, obviously is the character development for Shinobu and Kanbaru. The only downside to this arc is it felt a bit underwhelming. The dialogue scenes aren’t really on par with the Second Season. However, I’m not saying that the dialogue scenes were bad. They were pretty good actually.
Putting the story aside, I now want to talk about the show’s 3 points. Fanservice, the Pacing, and the dialogue scenes. Firstly, the amount of fanservice scenes in Owarimonogatari is almost the same as Second Season. In other words, there’s a not a lot..Thank.God!. Secondly, the pacing of the show is great. For a 12 episode anime, they managed to have the same pacing as Second Season which I found to be almost perfect. They didn’t go too fast like Bake nor did it go too slow like Hana. Third and lastly is, of course, the dialogue scenes. It’s back which is not a surprise. The dialogue scenes for the first 3 arcs are great and like I said above, the dialogue scenes for the final arc is a bit underwhelming but it’s still pretty good.
The visuals and animation of Owarimonogatari looks great..I mean, if you’ve already seen Tsukimonogatari then you shouldn’t have any problems with the animation as the 2 shows have the exact same animation. The character designs looks great too, especially the way Ougi is designed. To this day, I’m still wondering why her eyes looks different than the rest of the characters.
Ever since Tsukimonogatari, the flashing text that appears randomly on the show has been different. Owari is no different. The way they designed the flashing text resembles the character’s arc. For example, the flashing text in Sodachi’s arc has a bunch of drawings on the background that resembles math and algebra.
Honestly, I was quite disappointed with most of the show’s OP theme song. Before I get into that, I want to get into the soundtrack of the show. Just like the previous Monogatari shows, a background theme would play every time a dialogue scene plays out. So did Owari’s background theme impress me? Of course, it did. It just made the already-engaging dialogue scenes more engaging. Now the OP and ED theme songs.
The OP theme songs are “Decent black” by Ougi Oshino, “mathematics” by Sodachi Oikura and “mein schatz” by Ryuichi Takada. The ED theme song is “Sayonara no Yukue” by Alisa Takigawa. I’m going to have to be brutally honest here..the 2nd and 3rd OP theme song sucks. Sodachi’s VA is a crappy singer and I still have no idea what’s the deal with Shinobu’s VA not being able to sing in an opening. The only great OP theme song for Owari is the first one and it only played for 1 episode. I gotta say though, SHAFT put in a lot of effort on the 1st OP theme song even though it’s only for 1 episode. The ED theme song sounds pretty decent but the Second Seasons’ ED theme song is still better.
Maybe this is just me but I didn’t like Sodachi’s VA that much. It’s not that she’s bad or anything..Her voice just doesn’t fit. She sounds like a 35-40 year old girl. If her voice was a bit lighter then it would have fit. Ougi’s VA, on the other hand, is f*cking amazing. She has that voice that makes her a more mysterious person than she already is. That’s all the VA’s I’m going to review.
[Characters]: (9.5/10) (SPOILERS)
If you were expecting characters like Senjougahara, Koyomi’s sister or even Kaiki then don’t. Senjougahara barely gets any screentime and the last 3 characters I mentioned did not make an appearance at all. I guess it’s only fair. They already got enough screentime in previous Monogatari shows. There were some major characters that made an appearance like Hanekawa (Sodachi Lost), Kanbaru and Yotsugi (Shinobu Mail). I now want to focus on characters such as Ougi Oshino and Sodachi Oikura. I’ll also also get on other characters if I can but I’m going to have to write it shortly.
After making many mysterious appearances in previous Monogatari shows, Ougi finally gets her own arc here in Owari and obviously, some background about her and who she really is. In short, she is a transfer student and is introduced to Araragi Koyomi by Kanbaru Suruga. Even after getting her own arc and being a major character in Sodachi Riddle arc, she’s still the most mysterious and the most creepiest character in the Monogatari series. I mean, why does her eyes look so dead? Just try looking at her eyes for an hour and see if you don’t get any nightmares. What’s more mysterious about her is the fact that she’s as smart as Sherlock Holmes. She’s the one who solved the mystery in “Ougi Formula” and “Sodachi Riddle/Lost” arc. She even provides concrete evidence to support her conclusion. I really want to know which part of the Oshino family gave her that trait because Oshino Meme is a bum and not a smart-ass.
Now that’s out of the way, I’m now going to talk about Sodachi Oikura. Sodachi is a new character introduced in Owari. Unlike most of Araragi’s harem *cough I mean, the girls having an aberration status, Sodachi doesn’t have one. The show instead uses Sodachi not only to build her character but to develop Araragi’s character as well. Turns out, Sodachi had a terrible childhood past. Calling it “terrible” would be an understatement. “Horrific” is probably the word I’m looking for. Anyways, Sodachi didn’t have a great childhood. She had terrible parents, her mother died in a locked room without her knowing (she probably knew) and what’s worse is Araragi forgot the reason why he is what he is today. Basically, Sodachi is the reason why Araragi has loads of friends and why he is great at math.
Last characters that I want to talk about are Hanekawa and Kanbaru. Hanekawa got a fair amount of screentime in Sodachi Lost arc. Instead of Ougi helping out in this arc, Hanekawa helped Araragi out. I will leave the interpretations to you on why Hanekawa helped Araragi out and not Ougi. Kanbara also got a fair amount of screentime in Shinobu Time arc. Kanbaru really surprised me in this arc and might have became one of my new favorite characters in the Monogatari series. If you’ve seen Episode 11 then you know what I’m talking about. That’s right, the conversation between Kanbaru and Shinobu. Kanbaru just put Shinobu to shame with their argument.
I didn’t really enjoy Owari as much as Second Season but I definitely enjoyed the show way more than Bakemonogatari. If “Shinobu Mail” was as great as the Second Season’s arc then I would have enjoyed Owari as much as Second Season.
“Owarimonogatari” is a great addition to the Monogatari series. Owari is definitely on par with the Second Season in terms of great character arcs, pacing, and the characters and Owari is a lot better than Bakemonogatari; making Owari the 2nd best Monogatari series just under Second Season. The only issue I found in Owari is the “Shinobu Mail” arc which felt a bit underwhelming compared to Second Season. It’s still a great arc though.
+Dialogue scenes are as engaging as ever
+Outstanding and Unique Animation
+Soundtrack was not heavily changed
+Main heroines of all arcs are fleshed out and developed
+Second Season’s near-perfect pacing returns
+Fanservice reduced significantly
-2 out of 3 OP theme songs are terrible
-“Shinobu Mail” felt a bit underwhelming compared to Second Season
2: Monogatari Series: Second Season
English: Monogatari Series: Second Season
Japanese: 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン
MAL Score: 8.78
Apparitions, oddities, and gods continue to manifest around Koyomi Araragi and his close-knit group of friends: Tsubasa Hanekawa, the group’s modest genius; Shinobu Oshino, the resident doughnut-loving vampire; athletic deviant Suruga Kanbaru; bite-happy spirit Mayoi Hachikuji; Koyomi’s cutesy stalker Nadeko Sengoku; and Hitagi Senjogahara, the poignant tsundere.
Monogatari Series: Second Season revolves around these individuals and their struggle to overcome the darkness that is rapidly approaching. A new semester has begun and with graduation looming over Araragi, he must quickly decide the paths he will walk, as well as the relationships and friends that he’ll save. But as strange events begin to unfold, Araragi is nowhere to be found, and a vicious tiger apparition has appeared in his absence. Hanekawa has become its target, and she must fend for herself—or bow to the creature’s perspective on the feebleness of humanity.
Everyone wants to hear or tell a story people will remember by. It doesn’t matter if the story is fictional, realistic, sarcastic, humorous, imaginative, mysterious, psychological, speculative, or even twisted as it can be. Stories are created by ideas that are formed from the very thoughts we experience in our lives. In order for stories to be told well, they have to evoke feelings, reactions, and attract audience that appreciates its ideas. Monogatari Second Series – the anime that not only attracted me to its franchise – but also presented it in an extravagant way that takes the art of storytelling to a whole new level.
That level of storytelling was already clearly evidenced from its predecessor that achieved international success. Yes, I’m talking about Bakemonogatari that debuted back in 2009. Its success has later spawned other series in the forms of Nisemonogatari, Nekomonogatari: Kuro, and the soon-to-debut Kizumonogatari . Now, it’s back once again as an ongoing story narrative. Monogatari Series: Second Season is an anime adapted from the novel of the same name written by Nisio Isin with artwork by Vofan. If you’re a fan of the previous Monogatari series franchise, then this should be no shadow of a doubt be part of your watch-list as we are told stories at its most definite form.
Similar to what some people might notice in the past, the Monogatari series presents itself in an unique form of storytelling. The term ‘monogatari’ itself defines as literature. For a series based on storytelling to succeed though usually requires a character base with insightful plot, creative setting, descriptive ideas based on connections, and a strong literal sense of execution. Monogatari series plays on most of these concepts but constructs it like an experiment. Whether you dare to take on the experiment might have different experiences. However, there’s no doubt that this series and its franchise has tested their experiment and succeeded in their message. Indeed, the storytelling of Monogatari mixes itself with visual arts and dialogues. The strength of the series comes from its dialogues that creates humor, sense, and might evoke people’s minds to think its true meaning. Most of the time, the meaning of the dialogues are metaphoric and conveys to many ideas. Its usage of word plays presents its unique art style to attract viewers toward its messages. Through these messages, viewers will find out just how exclusive this shows’ storytelling separates itself from most forms of storytelling.
Monogatari Series: Second Season isn’t just about storytelling though. As mentioned before, a strong character cast will attract viewers to almost any form of genre. Luckily, this show has plenty of that starring our Koyomi Araragi, a high school student whose life has changed forever after a certain incident. Obviously, I would assume that you have seen the original Bakemonogatari to understand this but Araragi makes his return in this sequel. He makes his presence well known as other characters in the series speculate him as many things – a lolicon, dangerous, pervert, just to name a few. However, we know that Araragi is a character of loyalty as seen through his relationship with Hitagi Senjougahara. More importantly though, he is also protective towards others including his friends, family, and even strangers. Some of his actions might be interpreted in the wrong way by other characters but the guy definitely has proven many times that he is the type that others can depend on. He seeks to achieve the endings that allows characters live in peace. However, this often puts a burden on himself as Araragi finds that sometimes, he can’t achieve everything alone. This even puts his own lives at risk many times. But hey, he is that type of that guy that takes risks. From a narrative perspective, his actions are often awarded although he doesn’t always takes everything for granted. Instead, he keeps his more of the ‘it’s the right thing to do’ attitude.
Most of the supporting characters from the novels makes their appearances in the story arcs including Tsubasa Hanekawa, Mayoi Hachikuji, Suruga Kanbaru, Nadeko Sengoku, Shinobu Oshino, and Hitagi Senjougahara. All these characters plays their different roles that fulfills some sort of theme or morality to its title. Each of these titles present a different insight on our characters as we see a sort of journey to embark on. And of course, every journey begins with the first step. There’s already trouble in the beginning as we get a hint of supernatural madness going on. To make matters worse, Tsubasa herself finds trouble with her life as sudden changes occurs.
The first story arc initially reintroduces its narrative aspect to get viewers to familiarize themselves the format of how Monogatari works. Its supernatural themes takes on a more gruesome turn later on but there’s also hope and prosperity. As for the other arcs, each of them has a different theme and plot. Some of these arcs also explores the back stories of our supporting characters. Along with that, there’s character interactions that are dynamic with development. Additionally, each arc contains a similar style of storytelling through word plays, visual presentations, and dialogues. As the series contains supernatural elements as well, expect legends to unfold and discoveries to be made. These include spirit apparitions, vampires, mythic cats, and even Gods. The power of its dialogues enhances the experience with the power of its words. It’s an experience you won’t forget especially with some plot twists like one with a snake a girl.
Judging on another level of the series is its humor. The style of Monogatari invokes humor in a sense that is quite peculiar. By peculiar though, I mean it as as a brilliant way because the show likes to experiment. Its stylish dialogues often mixes in parodies of other genres and themes for experimentation. These accompanied with the expressions of our characters creates a lavish theater of animation.
As good as the series sounds, there’s a few aspects I found to be lacking. Namely, there’s perhaps a bit of too much fan service in the beginning that can be distracting. These don’t seem to have any meaning or dynamics and sometimes may distract viewers from the words play and dialogues. Other times, Araragi’s interactions with some of the other characters might even seem a bit creepy or hard to take for granted. This is especially true in one of the later arcs involving Shinobu that takes itself to a rather defiled way with their interactions. More importantly is the fact that the show sometimes likes to get a bit carried away with its conversations. Some of them might even drag on with small talk that can seem to be mundane. Other times, they flash way too fast to be read that can frustrate viewers in attempting to fully understanding its meaning. (if it has one at some occasions) Finally, there are some recap episodes between each story arc that drags the series together. They might help refresh a bit of its previous predecessors but can also be a waste of time for people who wants the series to accelerate itself.
Shaft handles the production of this series. You know what that means right? If extraordinary is a word that just popped into your mind, then you’re on the right track. By that term, Shaft is known to pull out a variety of series over the past year that have impacted the world. Names such as EF: A Fairy Tale of the Two, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica are just a few that comes to mind. The artwork of Monogatari is in a sense that can be both visually attractive and descriptive the same time. When not presented as comedy, they hold a deeper meaning or metaphor behind them. Other times, they are connected to the dialogues spoken by the characters to convey their thoughts and feelings. Speaking of characters, most of them are designed in a similar way as their predecessors. Araragi still has that noticeable hair-like antenna sticking out of his head while his girlfriend still retains her haircut. Other characters like Shinobu, Nadeko, and Tsubasa all possesses artistic traits similar to their supernatural counterparts.
Soundtrack wise, the series maintains an eerie like atmosphere. During more of the climatic scenes, the series shifts its gears to a more dramatic tone with explosive entrances and executions. Other times, the series likes to keep its more balanced atmosphere along with comedic vibrations. The soundtrack might not be the most powerful device of the show but its various OP & ED songs makes up this department with its various styles. Almost every arc has a different song accompanied by the voice involving the star of that story. Similar to its word plays, they contain a pattern of artistic visuals to brings out the power of its orchestra. With its cast members also lies in the strength of their voices. Almost every characters demonstrates this with their voice mannerisms. These include the cunning Shinobu (Maaya Sakamoto), the kuudere Senjougahara (Chiwa Saito), innocent Nadeko (Kana Hanazawa), the mature Tsubasa (Yui Horie), the playful sisters of Karen and Tsukihi, and Araragi (Hiroshi Kamiya). Because the narrative aspect of the show is so strong with the dialogues, it is important to characterize each of their voices as a focus in order to bring out their best. And yes, I am grateful that these characters all bought forth their best thanks to the talents of their voice actor/actresses.
So,this anime might not be for everyone. That’s something I’m sure most people have heard about the Monogatari franchise before. But if you pass this up for whatever reason, I still would recommend at least giving the first arc a try. That way, it might refresh a bit of experience of what you get out of the other series. However, I highly recommend watching this series only after you have completed its previous predecessors to gain full experience of its presentation. The Monogatari franchise has already achieved universal success thanks to its unique narrative, powerful dialogues, artistic word plays, and unique characters. Its humor will knock you out with high doses of laughter accompanied by its strange twist of stories. It even has bits of action too so violence is not out of the question there for fans looking for some intensity. (that and maybe its goal of achieving anemia with its fan service.) But all in all, Monogatarai series definitely took on the storytelling concept like never before creating an enjoyable experience. Now that is the ecstasy of success.
On that note, the second season (although technically third or fourth depending if you count Nisemonogatari and Nekomonogatari) of the Monogatari Series was promised to be a two cour delivering viewers the excellent experience that the first season, Bakemonogatari, did. Rest assured that if you enjoyed Bakemonogatari, you will not be disappointed by the second season.
Story: (10/10): Monogatari S2’s story is the driving point of the anime itself, the beating heart at its core. The storytelling in this anime is top notch, as it is an almost completely dialogue driven anime. If you don’t like characters sitting down and fleshing things out, exploring the facets of their inner thoughts, strengths and flaws, then you might not enjoy this season. However, assuming that you watched the first season, you probably would have already figured out whether the Monogatari Series was right for you or not. Needless to say if it is for you, you’re in for a treat. The story covers additional stories for Hanekawa, Hachikuji, Shinobu, Nadeko and Kaiki. Most of the characters from the original series make an appearance, although there is a bit of absence of Kanbaru. Shaft’s unique way of organizing the anime leaves the free flowing story to explore the great characters within the story, as well as progress through the life of our lively MC, Ararararararagi. All the arcs seem to have different flavors to them, some being more action oriented, others being a lot more explorative, and some very emotional. Shaft has done an excellent job of succeeding the original series, as the viewer truly never finds themselves disappointed by the story aspect of Monogatari. The arcs only get better and better, leaving with a truly memorable experience in the final arc (Koimonogatari) which I’ll leave you all to discover for yourselves. The fact of the matter, or the conclusion rather is that on the story basis, Monogatari is outstanding, and it makes me sad that I won’t be able to experience the great storytelling until a hopefully additional season comes out.
Art: (8/10): The art in Monogatari S2 is very much like its predecessors. The characters are all well defined, and all have unique aspects to them, however if you’re someone who is very picky about animation and slick transitions, you might feel a little disappointed. Shaft cycles through animations during dialogue, zooming in and accentuating different nuances to the speaker’s body. The famous slow motion head turn and zooming right into their face. It helps to keep the viewer enticed in the dialogue while they are talking, but other than that it does get repetitive. Besides that, the avant garde nature of some of the apparitions and environments (things made completely of Kanji) are always a treat, as the peculiarity only seems to add to the experience. That being said, since Monogatari S2 is such a dialogue based anime, this really isn’t a problem. Besides that the transition slides usually have a bit of text, that you can choose to neglect or to pause and read, and people may find that annoying, although I didn’t seem to mind it as much. As I mentioned before, if you don’t like the way the art and animation is done, you probably would have figured it out in the earlier seasons.
Sound: (9/10): The sound in Monogatari S2 is great at doing what it was made to do. Complimenting dialogue with a good soundtrack is very difficult. Fortunately, it’s done very well in Monogatari S2, as you will find that what would have been a more stale conversation is brought to life a bit more by the beautiful pieces in the soundtrack. The OPs and EDs are some of the best I’ve seen, as the music is always great, as it was in the previous seasons. There’s a few clips of ambient sounds when transitioning to other scenes, but they only add to the experience.
Character: (9/10): The characters in Monogatari S2 really help define what the anime is like. Since it is a storytelling anime, the storytellers should be interesting as to keep the viewers interested as well. Luckily the unique set of characters we have are very well defined and interesting to the end. One of the great parts of Monogatari S2 is the way that it highlights the flaws of people fundamentally. This is through the apparitions that they get latched onto, as the apparitions themselves target weakness and the vulnerable. You have a cast of characters who all have their unique flaws, but all find ways to get through it, and that is the beauty and joy that you will experience through the expert storytelling of Shaft. As expected, the character development is very good, as there are plenty of learning experiences of the characters as they tell their stories. You will grow more attached to your favorite characters, and learn to understand the characters that you don’t like as much. The beauty is, there’s plenty of choices.
Enjoyment: (10/10): Frankly speaking, Monogatari S2 was a very enjoyable experience for me. I loved Bakemonogatari, and watching the series finally get back on track with a two cour season was a delight for me. Picking up on the nuances of the dialogue, and watching the characters retell some amazing stories really never gets old for me. Since this is a sequel, I’ll word it like this. If you liked Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari or Nekomonogatari, you will find something to appreciate in Monogatari S2.
Overall: As 2013 winds down, Monogatari Series: Second Season serves as one of the highlights of the year, allowing fans of the series to rejoice once more in Shaft’s excellent work in creating an atmosphere and story truly unparalleled. You will feel for the characters, you will laugh with the characters, and you will cry with the characters through their toughest and most jovial experience all told amazingly through clever dialogue and plot.
Verdict: A solid 9/10. There are some things that can’t be explained in words, and I definitely recommend this season to fans of the previous ones.
By writing this review, I want to show you my view on this show, not to force you to have the same opinion on it as I do.
As you are familiar with the series (I assume, since this is the review on the SECOND SEASON of Monogatari series), I will skip the intro and get right onto what made me like this anime so bad, and that is definitely the creativity of the story, and the unique way of storytelling. Monogatari Series: Second Season is featuring five new stories (+ and additional Hanamonogatari) showing us, once again, how human mind can be sick and twisted. Nisio Isin is playing with endless possibilities of the universe he has created, as our heroes struggle in this psychological adventure. While the plot in Bakemonogatari was highly repetitive and stereotipical (where Araragi happens to run into a girl in trouble and helps her), Second season is way more creative. Each story is darker, deeper, and more f*cked up than the ones in Bakemonogatari, and through each story you can find a bit more about the characters, their past, relationships, and a mysterious connection with the supernatural entity, while being trapped in a twisted paranormal adventure.
Of course, there would be no story without the characters themselves, having in mind that everything happening in the show, is subconsciously created by the characters themselves. Through this philosophical masterpiece, you can see the protagonists of the Monogatari series in totally different way, discover their backstories, dreams and fears, and even get inside of a parallel what-could-be universe. Also, you can see them changing due to all the paranormal happenings, both psychically and physically. Second Season can probably show the best interaction between the characters in the entire series.
The art style and the background music remain fantastic as they always were, since they are done by the SHAFT studio. The art is even better, and the animation is more fluid, which makes your personal enjoyment more a nd more superior. As the studio is getting used to the show, each segment is being more perfected. Atmosphere remains flawless, either if it is a horrific mystery scene, or the super-hot ecchi scene. It is so enjoyable, that I have finished the entire Second Season in three days.
Keep in mind that this show is not for all the audience, as it contains lots of mature content like gore and nudity, and it can sometimes be really hard to follow the story line, or to read the subtitle and watch the show at the same time. Also, the SHAFT’s way of presenting and animating can be awkward at times, so it can easily cause a headache to ones unfamiliar with it.
If you are fan of the series, and you happen to like it so far, I highly recommend you check this out, as it is by far the best Monogatari yet. If you are somehow reading this review and thinking about watching this series, you should first go check Bakemonogatari, and then find out whether you like it or not. And if you are in a not-so-small group of people that were not satisfied with the first one or two parts of the series, I still recommend you checking this one out, as you might change your opinion.
1: Owarimonogatari 2nd Season
English: Owarimonogatari Second Season
MAL Score: 8.91
Following an encounter with oddity specialist Izuko Gaen, third-year high school student Koyomi Araragi wakes up in a strange, deserted void only to be greeted by a joyfully familiar face in an alarmingly unfamiliar place.
Araragi, with the help of his girlfriend Hitagi Senjougahara, maneuvers through the webs of his past and the perplexities of the present in search of answers. However, fate once again delivers him to the eccentric transfer student Ougi Oshino, who brings forth an unexpected proposal that may unearth the very foundation to which he is anchored. As Araragi peels back the layers of mystery surrounding an apparition, he discovers a truth not meant to be revealed.
Mayoi Hell and Hitagi Rendevous are arcs with essential information that is needed to be build up before reaching the final boss. The final boss known as Ougi has been foreshadowed for some time now. Who is she? Where did she come from? We will have the answers to all our questions in this arc. All the pieces that have been lingering will finally connect.
Mayoi Hell consists of Ararargi going to hell after being intentionally killed by Gaen. If you haven’t watched Koyominonogatari by now you should go back because it is very necessary. As well as obviously watching the rest of the series that has aired beforehand. Visually it is an extremely fun episode and seeing Ararargi and Mayoi banter after all these years is great. We saw them send each other off in the Second Season in a touching moment and in the Final Season, we see the wonderful reunion. The music that accompanies the touching moment towards the end pulls at your heartstrings. Can you call it manipulative? Sure but it sure has hell worked well. The comedic timing can be abrasive and I say this in a positive way. It’s an onslaught of comedy smacking in your face with animation shifting from cartoony back to on model. With sprinkles of deep dialogue, we get a traditional Monogatari script. The most important element of the arc is Ararargi showing his attitude towards life changing but his heart remains the same. He will always want to save people even if he went back and did things again. However, he still shows some regret in the approach he took and how he could have improved on it. Anyone who has been interested in Ararararararagi’s character development will be satisfied seeing him converse with Mayoi. In the second half of the arc, we are met with a character that was first introduced in Tsukimonogatari. To not get spoilers they converse about why Ararargi had to die and come back to life. This arc truly benefitted from the TV Special format because they were a ton of different settings being presented as Mayoi and Ararargi take a journey to meet the man who will bring him back to life. The animation quality was astonishing far better than what we saw in Owarimonogatari season 1.
Hitagi Rendevouz isn’t just a filler date between our main cast and heroine. While Hitagi takes a large chunk of her self-proclaimed arc, Ougi Oshino interrupts to speak about the important implications that were presented in Mayoi Hell. Ougi’s near threatening dialogue and the sound design gives me chills down my spine when hearing her speak to Ararargi. Without having any knowledge of the next arc, Ougi Dark, you feel anxiety throughout. But wait wait wait let’s get back to the date between our main girl and main boy. Hitagi probably looks the most beautiful here than in any other series. While this is obviously a personal feeling I had to put it in the ethersphere. But being beautiful isn’t just about the character design, shaft really kept up with the animation and kept her on model almost throughout. With the obvious exception of comedic animation shifts. The backgrounds are rich and full of life as Hitagi, with her new driving license, takes out Ararargi on a date. The date itself was very charming. The most befitting to a 6 months relationship. To the viewers, it has been 8 years.
Ougi Oshino is Ougi Oshino
What makes this arc very different than most arcs is that it is a bit mature, not as mature as Hanamonogatari was but close. We don’t see much fan service and we see a lot of reflection of the past. Its a somber ending. I am glad we are at the conclusion. But do not fret there are more novels to be adapted which will be. While they might not hit as hard as these arcs in this season it will still be a joy to watch.
Thank you for the best 8 years of my life Nisio and SHAFT.
This review does not contain spoilers. This review is not made by a blind fanatic or a hater who has nothing better to do, this review is made by a person who saw this series for more than 8 years of his life.
I’ll be honest and I’ll go straight to the point. I will not speak with fanaticism in my words, I will write just the truth about these episodes, my truth, nothing more and nothing less. I have no sweet words to these episodes, so if you can’t digest a different opinion than yours I ask you to not continue reading my review.
I want to clarify this before I start, I’m a fan of this series since the day it was released in 2009 and the second season is in my top ten favorite anime of all the time, so you wonder why I did not like this part? and the answer is very simple, I do not like this part because it concentrates everything that is wrong with the last works of the Monogatari series by the acclaimed Japanese animation studio shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbou, oh wait a moment is not even him who directed these episodes, that makes so much sense and at the same time so little, Shinbou why do you disappear when the fans of the old times need you more than ever? oh, I see you’re a captain who does not sink with the ship, intelligent move on your part, traidor.
One of the clearest problems is the speed with which the story advances, being so fast does not create a sense of importance in the events that occur in the story, at one point we are with a scene that pretends to be emotional and full of stress and the next moment the protagonist is making jokes about the underwear of a minor and you can tell me that that always happened with the Monogatari series but this time it is in a more clumsy, notorious and completely out of place way.
It is really depressing and insulting for a lifelong fan to see that the mistakes of the past have not been corrected and not only that, but that the problem has been aggravated in such a stupid way that you can not do anything more than pretend that you did not see anything. I was the best accomplice of this series and I did not give importance in the past but I got bored of the same grotesque joke again and again, which leads us to the following problem with these episodes, which is the repetition of the same old material, these episodes only repeats the same jokes and ideas that in previous seasons, these episodes did not innovate at all and you know what is worse than that? is that the people behind this work does not even try or care about the fact that they are just recycling the old stuff over and over again, they are hitting your head over and over again with the same old ideas and jokes until you say enough and I’m a fan who got tired of this deal, it is no longer funny, it is not innovative anymore, it is not even artistically pleasing as it was before. It’s just an endless number of memes that died a long time ago. They pretend to be funny when it’s just a lot of trash that they’re recycling to not create anything new. Why strive to create something new if the old is accepted as something with some value.
These episodes suffer from not giving much explanation to some important events that occur in the life of the characters, how convenient is to not explain anything and just move forward as if this were a race but the production team can take the time to do the same joke again and again, so it is not a problem of time, they simply do not care in the desire of the fans, “give us your money and go away”. Also includes many characters that are only present for a brief and insignificant moment, this is an insult to the characters themselves and fans of these characters, an absolute disgrace. In other occasions the characters act as if they were a stereotype of some very obvious program and they make clear what are their intentions although the series wants to generate an atmosphere of mystery, but is not a mystery if you are telling me everything directly or at least is not a good mystery.
These episodes are the clear sign that studio shaft loves to play safe and just want the easy money of the fans who are hungry for more material, for more empty dialogues and characters pretending to be talking about something deep when it’s just about the panties of a little girl. The fans are many, they will eat whatever it is, they must create something that many will like, easy to eat and bring it to their tables as fast as possible and the result is a hamburger. this is a hamburger that instead of having interesting dialogues full of new ideas is full of the greed of the people who are in the production studio, instead of having witty and provocative comedy has jokes about the tits of a little girl and instead of taking the time to develop the characters and be careful with their emotions has recycled material fresh from the trash.
I firmly refuse to accept this insult to my loyalty for this franchise, I refuse with all my love to accept this mistreatment of my patience and I refuse with all my passion to remain silent, these episodes were the worst I saw in the whole series and it’s sad that everything has ended in this mediocre way. Each movement of the characters was predictable, each word was said in the past and every joke was repeated so many times that it is no longer funny.
Sweet dreams my beautiful monogatari series, you are no longer what you once knew to be. I have admired you for over 8 years, I laughed with your first jokes and I identify with some of your characters but after more than 68 episodes, 3 movies, 2 ovas, you’re not longer what you used to be.
I do not need buzzword like say “masterpiece” every 4 words to describe my feelings, I just let the heart speak and this review was made with heart and passion so I hope you understand that I do not hate this series at all, I just wish everything was better… Every moment, every word, every plot change in the story did not live up to expectation and the name of these series.
Rest in peace.
From a real fan who was waiting for this moment for more than 8 years.
This is the final puzzle piece from the Monogatari series. In this series every little detail from the other series that were left unexplained was revealed to its audience. Another worth praising writing style from the author who knows damn well how to leave intentionally plot holes who are gonna be filled later in his future works. This is why the flaws are what makes Monogatari a great piece from the storytelling medium.
Once again Shaft managed to use the visuals in perfect harmony with the current action of the characters and dialogue lines to emphasis the message for its audience. As an example I will mention the fantastic and beautiful association of each character from monogatari with a star constellation during Ougi’s explications .The dialogue is well used for the characterization and plot helping with the progression of the story.
As we all know the minor characters from Monogatari are so well used for the plot and characterization of the main characters and in this series doesn’t disappoint us at all . Who taught that Tadatsuru a minor character from Tsukimonogatari would had such a impact across the story in Owari 2. Let’s not forget Oshino Meme disappearance after Bake which had a purpose after all and finally Gaen who is the shining star from Owari 2 using again her brilliant mind to solve a problem. Fantastic!
Owari 2 also manages to give screen time to the two main characters from Bake Senjougahara and Araragi. It’s always a pleasure to see Senjougahara verbal abusing Araragi but caring for him deep down in her heart proving once again why her actions are unpredictable and her personality unique. What I am trying to say is that in this series we finally see the choices that those decided to take as a couple for their future after their long fight with their own problems.
One of the main themes that needs to be mentioned is about change, portrayed through the actions and choices Araragi goes through . As for each part from Owari 2 they each have a different plot and message but they are all connected to the main story from Owari 2.Mayoi Hell is the preparation stage for Ougi Dark and Hitagi Rendevouz is the bridge that connects them . In Ougi Dark everything comes together giving a conclusion to the Monogatari series and presenting how the actions and choices the characters made influenced their lives .
Trust me you will not regret any moment by watching Owari 2 , you will experience a lot of emotions through each arc and the conclusion will leave you in tears of joy and sadness.
This series managed to give a conclusion to all of the other series from Monogatari and answer all the left questions.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
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