They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of The Chocolate Panic Picture Show, Yokoo’s 3 Animation Films, Ryokunohara Meikyuu, and more!
32: The Chocolate Panic Picture Show
English: The Chocolate Picture Panic Show
Japanese: ザ チョコレートパニック ピクチャーショー
MAL Score: 4.41
Gainax’s first professional production, The Chocolate Panic Picture Show is a wacky musical OVA based on a manga by Fujiwara Kamui, serialised in Monthly Super Action and partly inspired by Jamie Uys’s The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980).
Follow Manbo, Chinbo and Chonbo as they are flung into a strange, psychedelic world of madness they don’t understand. See them cause chaos through their zany, unpredictable antics in this comical take on cultural imperialism.
This is a short surreal film, probably inspired by stream of consciousness. I can’t say this is for everyone, taking into account a number of different factors, despite its style and age.
The film illustrates what can only be described as the alcohol and heat-induced nightmare of a sun-bather, who is overwhelmed by phenomena occurring on the beach around him, namely naval carriers and aircraft.
Judging by the soundtrack, if you couldn’t discern anything from the overt symbolism, one can concluded improvisation and is the driving force behind the film. Because of this method of story-telling, there is not much be said about the character except that he is borderline and anxious, and the plot leaves its viewer much the same way.
Overall I can’t say I enjoyed this too much, its seems to be an attempt to explore consumerism and militarism, if anything. But I can appreciate the attempt.
Studio Gainax has the highest reputation of any studio on MAL with the possible exception of Madhouse. So…everything they’ve ever made was gold right? Consider that even Madhouse made Junk Boy and Reign the Conqueror. Gainax it turns out has made some bad anime too and Chocolate Panic Picture Show is perhaps the worst.
The year is 1985. Some of the boys at Gainax just got done watching the 1980 film “The Gods Must Be Crazy” followed by some psychodelic European arthouse cinema. This was when Kamui Fujiwara decided to combine those 2 things and create…this…thing.
There is no plot. This is a 30 minute acid trip that combines the finest of appallingly racist imagery with the pretentiousness of an avant garde art film. Imagine 1940s Looney Toons like “Scrub me Momma with a Boogie Beat” or Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips” if they were directed by Andrei Tarkovsky or Ingmar Bergman. Now make it 1,000 times dumber and more boring. That’s this anime.
30 minutes of ear rape. I think there is a nice guitar solo thrown in there somewhere though. I may have imagined it. This anime took a toll on my mind.
Art: See plot above
The good thing about anime like Shitcom or Utsu-Mutsume is that they are under 5 minutes. This piece of shit is like that stretched out to a full half hour. FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
There’s…THIS. I am not sure what you would call this besides bottom of the barrel trash.
The Chocolate Panic Picture Show was made after the Daicon shorts and Studio Gainax became its own beast. I think that the studio was still just three guys in a garage at the time. Obviously, they were still putzing around, still trying to come into their own.
Anyway, I can’t really explain this, since there’s no plot and it’s just a bunch of trippy images. You know those 30-second bumpers that Nickelodeon aired during commercial breaks back in the day? This is like that, but longer, older, less entertaining and Japanese.
So, what do we have here for characters? We have three stereotypical African children playing, and that’s it. There are other people who pop up, but yeah, not important.
As for music, it was occasionally tolerable (I kind of liked the drum roll during the “climax”), but the song that played during the end credits was an assault on the ears.
The art is pretty crappy, which is unsurprising considering this is Gainax’s early days.
I can’t say I got any enjoyment out of this. It was surrealistic, but not the fun kind. It’s dumb, but not the kind of dumb you could enjoy with your friends, or even by yourself.
In conclusion, Gainax is quite the powerhouse in anime, but this is their lowest point.
I would avoid this if I were you…unless you’re a flat earther. I bet flat earthers would get a kick out of this anime’s ending.
31: Yokoo’s 3 Animation Films
Japanese: 横尾忠則 アニメーション集 64-65
MAL Score: 4.64
Three short films by the Japanese avant-garde illustrator and animator. Regarded (unfairly) as the Japanese equivalent of Andy Warhol, these films showcase a distinctively commercial illustration look reminiscent of the current pop art movement of that decade (1960s).
30: Ryokunohara Meikyuu
MAL Score: 5.06
Hiroki and Kanata have been together since they were children. One day Hiroki is caught up in an accident while trying to save a little girl. The next thing he knows, he is looking down on his own body. Seperated from his body, Kanata, and everything else, he tries to figure out just what is going on.
Why is he outside his body which is living on as if nothing has changed, how can he convince Kanata that he is there, and who is the strange girl, Fhalei, who keeps appearing for him?
So, have you ever watched Yu Yu Hakusho? Remember in the beggining, when the story was about Yuusuke trying to get back to life from the Spirit World cause he died to save a random kid from a car accident? Imagine this very same setting, except that this time Yuusuke and Kuwabara are a gay couple and Botan is a yandere who’s trying to break the two apart. Now add in some random 90s anime montage that go on for about 20 minutes, and just a little bit of DEMENTIA. Well, there it is. That’s this OVA. It’s weird, nonsensical and will certainly have you question yourself “what the hell did I just watch?” by the time you finish it. There’s not really more to say about this, and seeing how obscure it is, if you even managed to find it in the first place then that means that, like myself, you’re propably the kind of person that takes a lot of free-time into searching for these bad OVAs from the 80s-90s, so you know exactly what to expect from this. Keep in mind, though, that unlike the likes of Cipher and Garzey’s Wing, I wouldn’t put this on the “so-bad-it’s-good” pile, as it’s just so straight-up weird and boring that I couldn’t even laugh at how bad it is.
Overall, this is just some weird-ass OVA from the 90s. There was no gay kiss scene, not a single Reigan was shot and the subs I watched were all over the screen, so I’ll give it a 2/10.
Yaoi could be a good genre and writers could put effort for their OVA and manga but alas they never do.
This is better than most BL I’ve seen but it got the same problem. A potentially good story but never really fully realized.
Story:(warning: spoiler, do not read second sentence onward if you do not want to be spoilered for this section)
Good idea but bad execution. It’s about this boy, Hiroki who died(his death reminds me of Yu Yu Hakusho but whatever how many protagonists actually dies in the beginning anyway?) and got an evil girl Falir trying to get him for herself while his best friend/boyfriend Kanata isn’t aware as Falir possesed Hiroki’s body to break them up while his spirit tries to stop her and get his own body back.
While this sounds interesting frankly 30 minutes is terribly short to really put much into this. There’s a fair bit of the boys childhood which is pretty cute but then there’s a section which has this really funky music and god knows what of the kids hanging out which has no point.
Then Hiroki somehow managed to tell Kanata about how his body got possessed which in a way is a blow since frankly it could be more interesting for Falir to try to break them up and him never knowing what really happened.
And eventually Kanata has to fight with Falir which is good and all but all of a sudden wham Falir seems to be redeemed which makes absolutely no sense at all since and she merged Hiroki’s soul with his body and helped Kanata prevent his death and all ends well.
It’s pitiful really the public could be treated to a good BL story and this is all we get
I’ll say this is the best thing from this OVA. The art is cute with round faced people with fluffy hair and slim bodies. I’m a bit bothered about the eyes when not in profile view though, they are a tad too big for my liking. Backgrounds are also very nice
Eh I’m never good at judging sound but I like the ending song
Flat. No personality and Falir is the worst for the reason I mentioned on story but the other kids seem to have no point in appearing at all
Still though it’s better than most BL for having no blackmail or abuse from our boys or OMG HE’S BETRAYING ME MOMENTS
7 out of 10. Better than most BL but could do much much better and that’s being generous
29: Bondage Game: Shinsou no Reijoutachi
English: Bondage Game
Japanese: ボンデージ ゲーム -深窓の隷嬢達-
MAL Score: 5.12
Yuu is a girl who has lost her memories. She is mailed into a sadistic house of bondage where she and others are forced (or not) to serve their master, Renji, but there are serious consequences for those who fail.
It’s rated Rx – Hentai for a reason, don’t ignore it – this is absolutely not for anybody who is not into hardcore BSDM
Please note this review may offend some, because of the graphic nature of the OVA, I can’t really dance around what is going on – I am going to be rather frank here.
With that all out of the way, onto the review.
Story – 6/10 – Fair
Well, good enough story – but who actually pays attention to the story in a hentai anyway? All it serves is to get us to the next sex scene, which is what this one does. It could be easily summed up as this – a bunch of girls are trapped inside of a castle, and are forced to commit depraved acts of sexuality on their master and his friends. Good story? Not really. Fair story? Yeah, it gets to the next screwing scene rather quick, so the rather recycled story is forgivable.
Art – 9/10 – Great
Good detail is put into each of the characters, and they look very good. The breasts of the females are detailed accordingly, and their size and shape (most of the time) looks very nice. A few instances happen in which the breasts are blown to giant size, but that is all. The vagina and anus are detailed too, when the girls defaecate it looks pretty good and is detailed. The semen and phallus’ are detailed as well, although they are made so huge that it is unbelievable. The sexual devices are also very nice looking, and detailed. The toys are creative and some of them I had never though of.
Sound – ??/10 – ???
I don’t have sound on my computer, which is where I watched this. Sorry.
Character – 7/10 – Good
The characters are all rather stock, little development is put into them. The girls are all very cute and all have a fetish that they are into, and are treated as such. The male characters are downright scary though. All the females are made very attractive and respond well when they are having sex. There really isn’t much to say here, as in Hentai, and in Pornography in general – the characters don’t really matter besides them being hot. They are hot. So they pass.
Enjoyment – 8/10 – Very Good
This is my first ‘BDSM/Hardcore Fetish’ hentai I have ever watched, and I enjoyed it, although afterwards I felt like a seriously sick person. I wouldn’t rewatch it because at some parts, it just gets downright gross, and it is rather memorable. If you are looking to be shocked (which I was when I found this series) this is the series for you. I will say that 90% of the people who attempt to watch this who are like me and aren’t sexually attracted to this kind of stuff, will probably turn it off within the first ten minuets out of disgust.
Overall – 7/10 – Good
Shock packed hentai that will either leave you begging for more or revolted in disgust. I was the latter. If you are looking for a good shock or are a hardcore compulsive fetishist,this is the series for you. Oh, and this review would not be complete without…
THE CONTENT GUIDE
This hentai contains the following:
…and much, much more! Remember, I warned you.
That aside I enjoyed it very much. I found it satisfying because It was so extreme compared to most hentai anime. The animation and characters were also pretty nice. Although I must admit some of the designs were a bit generic. Definately a must see for the hardcore fans. Other wise Avoid it like cancer.
To say "this hentai sucks" will be easy, I felt like it will take more than a simple phrase to review the most disgusting, demented, " heap of steaming crap" I’ve ever seen.
Getting more into details… As the title insisted, of course, Bondage Game is a BDSM hentai that completes even the most weirdest of fetishes of the Charles Manson nature. Speaking of Charles Manson… The antagonist of the story, Renji, is the most scariest hentai character to date. He literally runs a castle, has a creepy/arrogrant demeanor,and if something don’t go his way- there will be dire consequences… <*sob*>…<*sob*>… Poor Sachie and Yuu’s little sister.
Anyway, the storyline was pretty cliche… For one, these girls supposedly trap in a castle against/under their free-will by a sadist rapist/pedofile who happen to invited friends over for some good ol’ orgy action… Sounds like Koro Ai, but a 10,000 more digusting with senseless acts of violence perpetrated by the antagonist … At least Koro Ai made an effort in their storyline.
Another downside to Bondage Game is it’s not your ordinary BDSM hentai. It crosses line between pure lust and the deep sanctum of horrible debauchery and pleasure-killings. It also boggled the mind and dares to challenges the morality of the audience. In other words, if you not into this… You will stop watching it about little to halfway into the film. But if you have the unpleasantness to review this, like I have, you have to suffer 1 grueling hour watching girls get raped, defloration, humiliation, incest, pedo-fucked, nipple-fucked, beaten, chop suey, drowned, and ingesting steaming heap of crap from a diaper or a toilet tube … DID I MENTION "STEAMING HEAP OF CRAP" BEFORE?!! I THINK I"VE MENTIONED IT BEFORE!!! OH WELL…
Even though someone let the stink build-up in this movie, Bondage Game has it ups. The Animation and artwork holds together pretty well and fluidly. Sound quality is good, but at some points weird (Breast-bulging scene). And most of characters are pretty memorable and you feel sympathy for what the character’s going thru and you gringed at their moments of dispear.
Overall, it’s for b/tards and sick-fucks… If you don’t fall into one of these catagories, you will fall prey to the indecency of this crap-tastic flim and you be saying," Thank you Pink Pineapple, for putting a splinter deep within the nooks and crannies of my cerebral"
28: Digital Juice
MAL Score: 5.56
A series of short animations that show different worlds and different characters. These episodes are designed to take the viewer into a psychological world of fantasy and mystery.
The first is In the Evening of a Moonlit Night. It’s the only good one, thus my 2/10 rating – only 1/6 of the shorts are worth watching, thus 1.67/10 rounded up to being a 2/10. It’s a neat music video about a girl with a deformed chin and fingers for toes – in other words, pretty neat. Go watch it here and don’t bother downloading the rest of the garbage shorts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l2M5K5yk9s
The second is Chicken’s Insurance. Chicken’s Insurance, much like the other four bad ones, is a piece of shit. But it’s worth mentioning because of the song playing in the background. It’s some mediocre hip-hop song with poor vocal delivery. But I noticed one line in it – “come on, girl, let me rock your world”. Right away this stood out at me as a line from the song “Iwatodai Dormitory” from Persona 3. But surely it’s a coincidence, right? That sort of sounds sort of like a generic rap lyric, it’s probably nothing. But then, one second later, I hear “triple brown, triple brown, triple brown meow”. This is a lyric right from the song “Joy” from Persona 3. Here’s proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrL5hTIbQ7o#t=40
This clearly isn’t a coincidence. At first, I thought Digital Juice had just lifted lyrics from Persona 3, but then I checked and the game came out in 2006, while this collection of shorts was released in 2002. What’s going on here? I decided to investigate. After scraping about on the SMT wiki for a bit, I found out that one of the rappers that provided vocals for the Persona 3 OST was named “Lotus Juice”. “Lotus Juice”? “Digital Juice”? There’s something going on. It doesn’t take a detective to see a connection here. But further research turned up nothing. There was no discernible link between Lotus Juice and Digital Juice, or even Studio 4C or any of its employees. Google came up dry. It seems that my search has come to an end.
What is the link here? Was Lotus Juice on staff providing vocals for Digital Juice, possibly even being such an influence to Studio 4C staff that the collection of shorts was partially named after him? Could it be that it’s just a coincidence, and Shoji Meguro, Persona 3’s OST composer, just happened to watch Digital Juice and lifted the lyrics from this random background music for some reason? Or maybe it’s something I haven’t even thought of yet. What really happened? The world may never know. If you ever find any information about this bizarre occurrence, please leave a comment on my profile so I can get some closure to this mystery.
But ultimately, what I’m getting at is this: if the fact that Persona 3 lyrics are in a short section of this short collection is by far the most interesting thing about it, it’s probably because it’s shit. Because it is. Don’t bother watching this.
Part One: KEIKAKU
This segment is basically some sort of trailer for some sort of samurai film. It has an incredibly unfitting soundtrack, is poorly animated, and is basically incredibly odd. Probably the worst segment.
Part Two: Chicken’s Insurance
This segment is considerably better than the previous one. It basically consists of an old chicken attempting to sell insurance to two delinquent chickens. It doesn’t end well. The animation was alright, but certainly not the best the studio has to offer. Overall, it’s a fairly decent segment.
Part Three: TOJIN KIT
This is the shortest segment in the OVA, and honestly one of the best. It has no legible story, but is well animated, and very intriguing.
Part Four: In the evening of a Moonlit Night
Alright, this is, for me, the best segment, hands down. It has little story, but is basically about sexual awakening. The animation is exquisite, the song that soundtracks the segment is great, and the whole thing is enjoyable. Again, easily the best part.
Part Five: Table and Fisherman
To be honest, I did not really get this sequence. I will say that whatever plot it had was interesting, but that’s about all I can really say that’s positive about it.
Part Six: The Saloon in the Air
Again, I didn’t really understand this segment.The animation is not very good at all, and the segment’s plot is about a group of …things in a bar. That’s in the sky. Yeah. That’s it. Pretty disappointing end, really.
So, all in all, Digital Juice is Decent. Decent. That’s really all. I would suggest watching the better parts of it, like In the evening of a Moonlit Night, or Chicken’s Insurance. I suppose the whole thing is worth watching, but it’s really not the best thing Studio 4°C has to offer.
I can understand that for some people liking more linear narratives and classic animation/chara design, this will be appaling and feel like a waste of time. However, if you’re interested by experimental animation and something else than the more polished Studio 4C productions, I’d suggest to give it a try. It’s less than 30 minutes long, and two of them, in my opinion, are quite enjoyable.
Worth watching because it is so short, but probably not a must-see.
27: Yumemakura Baku Twilight Gekijou
Japanese: 夢枕 獏 とわいらいと劇場
MAL Score: 5.67
Originally released as a feature part of Studio Pierrot’s video magazine show Anime V Comic Rentaman (アニメ?V?コミック レンタマン) along with Abashiri Ikka, Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show and Akai Hayate.
26: Psycho Diver: Mashou Bosatsu
English: Psycho Diver: Soul Siren
Japanese: サイコダイバー 魔性菩薩
MAL Score: 5.69
Yuki Kano has it all: fame, wealth, the world at her feet. There’s also something very wrong with her… from time to time, she’s totally unable to sing (which, for a pop star, is not good). Enter Bosujima, a “psycho diver” with the capability to enter people’s heads and straighten out what’s wrong with them. Well, most of the time, anyway.
My quest to watch the obscure and the weird continues with Psycho Diver! This 45 minute, standalone OVA is one of the most skull fucking insane anime I’ve ever witnessed. It has some really good ideas that were pretty damn creative for the time, but the execution is all over the place.
This wasn’t based on a manga. It wasn’t based on a light novel, video game, or anything else. Anime industry veteran Mamoru Kanbe just went to Studio Madhouse with a script and pitched this as a 45 minute OVA. Madhouse accepted and we got this blessing of insanity. In America, it was licensed by Urban Vision, who saw themselves as the “mature” dub studio. Urban liked to exclusively license the darkest, grittiest anime they could get their hands on. Psycho Diver is a psychological horror that certainly fits in the Urban Vision catalog.
A tough, film noir detective named Busujima uses a device to dive into his clients’ subconscious and solve their psychological issues. This came out a full 10 years before Paprika and almost 15 years before Inception! A young singer named Yuki has lost her ability to perform after joining a shady cult. Her talent agency hires a psycho diver to solve her issues, but it turns out the cult has given Yuki dark powers. The psycho diver’s head explodes and the agency realizes they need the best psycho diver in the business, Busujima! At first he refuses, but the talent agency kill his dog in a scene reminiscent of the horse head scene from the Godfather. Busujima gets the message and agrees if they pay handsomely.
Busujima dives in, but nearly gets himself killed after witnessing some End of Evangelion nightmare imagery. He announces he will need better equipment and says he will try again in a few days. It turns out the cult isn’t happy about the talent agents hiring Busujima and send some assassins to kill him. Busujima escapes and hooks up with a lady talent agent. It turns out she was against the whole dog thing and sincerely just wants to help Yuki, whom she considers a dear friend. Some cult assassins manage to brutally murder Busujima’s new lady friend and he decides its time to go deal with the cult. On the way, he runs into the asshole talent agent who is insinuated to have been the dog killer. This sunglasses wearing asshole is actually an agent of the Japanese intelligence bureau and was working as a triple agent to infiltrate both the cult and talent agency! Sunglasses drops some narrative exposition that the cult leader is actually Yuki’s mother and wishes to transfer her psychokinetic powers so Yuki can be the next cult leader. Yuki’s stage manager is her father, who has decided to betray his wife and gain Yuki’s power for himself.
Now it’s time for the final act and things get weird! Busujima and Sunglasses arrive at the cult building and engage in an all out brawl with the cult members, including some minion with a retractable shoe knife. Yuki’s father arrives and murders her mother with a surprise gun shot. Daddy explains that he only hired the psycho diver as a distraction to confuse the cult leader mom and distract from his true intentions. Yuki unleashes her full power and kills her evil father along with totally destroying the cult building. The only survivors are Yuki, Busujima, and Sunglasses. Busujima now decides that Yuki is losing control of her powers and he needs to fix her with a psycho dive. Her first layer of subconscious is the guilt she feels for still loving her mother despite knowing the cult is evil. Our hero dives 1 layer deeper and discovers that Yuki killed a childhood friend with her powers because she was upset after losing a board game. Seriously! All of Yuki’s inner evil manifests itself into a dark Yuki and attacks Busujima. He loses a lot of blood, but finishes Dark Yuki off by pummeling her with a chair until she explodes into sand! The anime flat out turns into Professional Wrestling to deliver one of the greatest WTF moments I’ve seen in anime. You would think that’s the end, but NOPE! The Shoe Knife minion is still alive and kills some lab techs with ninja needle projectiles. Sunglasses shoots the minion right before he can kill Busujima and FINALLY we reach the end. Yuki is now cured from her inner darkness and can sing again. She dedicates her next album to Busujima and his fallen lady friend, along with wishing him to find happiness.
Studio Madhouse rightfully deserves its glowing reputation, but 90s Madhouse was a bit more hit and miss. This anime looks a little rough at times, but is ok overall. This clearly wasn’t a big project and was probably made because somebody lost a bet or owed Mamoru Kanbe a favor.
I highly recommend the hilarious Urban Vision dub. They want to make it like a hard boiled detective movie from the 1940s and it’s glorious! These guys were like America’s version of Manga UK.
God bless Mamoru Kanbe. He may not hit a home run every time, but he directed my favorite anime and he NEVER makes something boring. I’ll once again say that this had potential and a number of great ideas, but was clearly condensed and under a strained budget. It’s a very flawed work, but a deeply enjoyable piece of WTF vintage old anime!
Psycho Diver has a fair art style that keeps things in good proportions for the most part. There’s a tad bit of lacking animation and a bit too many stills for what you’d expect in the mid-90’s, but the art style is moderately detailed. The direction is also pretty good with some interesting scenes, but it does fluctuate throughout the OVA. The sound has some slow and ominous electronics that are at the level of keeping the atmosphere intact, but not to the level of making it that much immersive. However, the sound as a whole is not exactly good for the english dub. I couldn’t find a subbed version, but the english voices themselves are actually not too bad. What’s not that appealing, however, is the english vocalized songs. The background to them is alright, but the vocals themselves are quite distasteful. The thing that makes it even worse is that the story acts like the music is “amazing” and that the viewers are supposed to be impressed. To be fair, there are many series that come to that predicament and I am usually lax to that aspect as if the song was really that good, why would it be in an anime and not all over the radio? But in this case, this song isn’t even average and definitely not something I would seek out afterwards. The songs the vocals are over is R&B, so at times there will be attempted rap singing. It’s not too enjoyable and actually, near the beginning, there’s basically a music video of the singer (not live-action, but the anime character) singing it. She sings it in a prison and throws up some nasty gangsta’ signs, but I can’t say I was convinced. It was almost cringe-worthy as you couldn’t be sure if it was supposed to be a music video at first or just some artsy direction (which would have been horrible), but when it was known it was literal I could breathe a sigh of relief.
So the more superficial aspects of Psycho Diver are somewhere above average, but there’s still that premise it has going for it. First of all, let’s weigh the science fiction of this OVA to the supernatural. There’s a lacking genre listing of supernatural no doubt, but I’d like to argue that this is actually more of that than it is of the sci-fi that it does have listed. So, what’s science fiction about Psycho Diver? Is it set in the future? It may be set in the future, but everything appears much like modern day or more to the time this OVA was released. The only thing remotely science fiction is the laboratory that’s shown at the beginning, and the mind-diving device which would be the only clearly science fiction aspect to be had. To the supernatural, however, we have something very similar to Elfen Lied and maybe a bit of Akira. The story’s actually much like a tamed and a bit more intelligent Elfen Lied, minus some of the horrendous gore (which isn’t a good or bad thing). It’ll be up to the person to weigh whether a machine is more important to the plot than the addition of the supernatural. If the machine had a more persistent role in the OVA, however, than I may have even joined the latter side in supporting the impact of science fiction over the supernatural.
The lack of relevance of the premise was the greatest wast of potential to be found in this OVA. The device is only used twice, and those periods are brief. We don’t get to explore the way the device works much and it’s mainly served as a tool for the supernatural element of the plot. It’s a shame that the supernatural aspect takes the lead, simultaneously taking away most of this OVA’s uniqueness. What’s even more of a disappointment is the addition of rushed romance in attempts to add more purpose to everything, but mostly the main character. With the limited time available, it was a bad idea to use a decent amount of it for that purpose, as it would take at least half of the entirety of the OVA to make the relationship impactful or believable. To be honest, no character here made an impact or settles down enough for the viewer to care much for them. The entirety of Psycho Diver was rushed at a slightly fast pace. If the OVA got its priorities set and didn’t take on too many more-or-less useless elements to the story and just focused on a few instead, the pacing they had may have actually worked out fine. That isn’t the case though, and the premise for Psycho Diver soon becomes an after-thought while the under-cooked love and unexplained, transcendental fundamentals move forward.
Psycho Diver can be seen as a possible motivation towards Psycho Pass in its premise, while on its own feet Psycho Diver doesn’t seem to have felt confident enough in the variable uniqueness it had going for it to develop on it. It should have been psychological in reasoning and to the mind, but only becomes so when one considers the unexplainable supernatural that exists within it. There isn’t any mind games that go on and that’s why it should be considered as a light psychological. The art and direction are workable, but there was definitely too much for this OVA to chew on to make any single facet interesting. The english voices could’ve been better in many places, while the english singing could’ve easily been better than it was. Psycho Diver would’ve worked much better as a series than an OVA with the story it wished to go through with. The title also makes it seem as though this specific story that the OVA tells may have not been the main story of the premise, but just a setup for this OVA that might spur more content down the line. If this was an OVA with the desire to become a series, it really went down the wrong route with its story. It should’ve showed what the premise had to offer and not stick with things that can be found in many other anime. Overall, Psycho Diver is disappointing, but still may be worth the watch as there are some interesting moments.
25: Haitoku no Shoujo
English: Family of Debauchery
MAL Score: 5.70
The girls of the Saegusa family are always on the lookout for a new pet to train, and they have plenty of time as their father is usually gone. At the same time they are hiding their own dark family secret.
The story isn’t very deep, just as the synopsis said, its about two young teens in a family who take pleasure in sex tormenting or exploring others at their huge mansion and estate, which is infrequently visited by their father. Sometimes they seem naughty innocents: just wanting to have a good time or learn new techniques, but at others can be mildly cruel in meting out their “punishment” to their victim.
What’s not listed in the synopis or included in the tags on most of the sites I saw carried the episodes, is that the first one explicitly features bestiality. That wasn’t a shock to me, in and of itself, but it was unexpected. And unlike human sexual parts, the animals were not censored. Let’s just put it that way. The second episode that I saw was uncensored.
Family of Debauchery has its intended affect, at least it did for me anyway. Definitely a guilty pleasure, but it was at least coherent and the art was comparable to an average “regular” anime, somewhat old school. If you are looking to get hot, the action is regular and varied. I’ve actually rewatched both episodes.
The first episode is more dark and focuses on two spoiled kids who sexually abuse their mother with the help of their family dogs. The taboos in this episode can’t compare to the poor voice acting. The mother’s voice could of been done by a newbie porn star, so screechy and annoying. The animation is good but nothing to brag about and is very 90s, almost 80s, in style.
The second episode is the main draw for most people. The kids are back featuring the crossdressing Yuki and his sister playing with their new “toy”. The crossdressing is male oriented, so there no explanation as to why other than “it is what is is”. Luckily, the animation has improved at this point and is uncensored with better voice acting to boot.
Each episode has it perks depending on what you’re into. But this is definitely one of the most notorious hentais out there, due to subject matter rather than execution. It’s slow paced but worth watching at least once.
The overall plot is effectively a messed up rich family likes to effectively break women into turning into enjoying sexual addicts. To do so, they decide that the fastest way is to use a lot of fetishes.
Of course, there may be spoilers, but then again, this is a hentai with almost no plot, so spoilers only reinforce whether this is worth your time.
Art and Animation:
Well, that’s a pretty great start to a hentai! Once the video loaded, I was immediately stunned and surprised by how grand the character design and animation were. They left me surprised as for why I am not watching something with any effort placed into it rather than a mere collage of random FETISHES! The fluids are colored light green instead of a more realistic light yellow/light blue, which was quite a great start…to begin ruining the mood of enjoyment.
However, this was not all that they did to make this one cheap hentai! In between sexual scenes, the camera tends to pan a lot. The animation in general is semi cheap, taking shortcuts when they found a way to sneak one in, including reused shots. Once the trap does take off his clothing, you realize that they decided to not bother to draw a certain thing you see the women have protruding out of their breasts on him! This is a hentai, so the purpose should be to arouse people, not throw a bunch of random fetishes and hope they work without working too much on the art.
However, this is a 2001 hentai, so the poor art quality can be somewhat forgiven, but the animation is still fairly bad.
Sound and Music:
The music is an attempt to sound slightly spooky to complement the messed up theme, but instead ends up just being annoying and forgettable. Despite how awful the soundtrack in Bowman War is, this hentai manages to Trump all other competetors of bad and make you think that this hits a spot of a bad soundtrack. The sound quality is pretty low in the first place, but the voice acting is also as if they didn’t put any effort in recording their lines, just like the animation! You could probably play a good soundtrack in the background while muting the video and enjoy the hentai more than if you kept it unmuted.
The OVA starts by introducing the “sisters” where it is then revealed that they are dominating their mother. The fetishes included in this part are BDSM, Anal, Yuri, Bestiality, and Crossdressing. Rather than focus on one thing, the hentai tries to appeal to as many people as possible in 30 minutes, which results in it failing to appeal to any one individual topic strongly. In the last few minutes they successfully have broken said individual and sent her to fufill other peoples sexual desire.
Now the next victim believes that she will just tutor them, but instead once again is turned into a living sex toy. To transition into the hentai scene, the sister gives the ‘tutor’ a cup of tea with drugs in it, where then she is in bondage. This is where the two siblings perform sexual acts once again, where in the end, it is revealed that the father supports their acts as well.
Overall, I would just avoid this and look for a hentai with better animation and sound quality. It would probably focus better on one or two fetishes rather than try to do 5 in thirty minutes, as non-hentai forms of art have aroused me more than this panderfest. If there was not a trap in there then I probably would have not have enjoyed the hentai in the slightest and would have rather spent the hour looking for art.
24: Down Load: Namu Amida Butsu wa Ai no Uta
English: Download: Devil’s Circuit
Japanese: DOWN LOAD 南無阿弥陀仏は愛の詩
MAL Score: 5.76
An exciting cyberpunk romp directed by Rintaro with veteran animator Kanada Yoshinori about a genius hacker and a gang of hot-rodders.
To be honest, it’s not great. The story, which centers around an email that kills its recipients, is largely forgettable. The main character is an unlikable sex-crazed teen, and he’s accompanied by his formulaic pals Stripper Girl, Tsundere Sister, Gangster Pals, and Nerd Boy. This page tags the show as sci-fi and psychological, but the latter just isn’t true and the former is wasted potential. Instead of a full cyberpunk thriller, this OVA’s definition of sci-fi is a nighttime city and head-mounted computers.
But that’s enough bashing, let’s talk about some of the positive stuff.
For one thing, the music. The decision to make most of the soundtrack honky-tonk American country music is a weird one, but the music isn’t bad by any means, and hey, it’s pretty unique.
For an early 90’s show, the animation is pretty good. I won’t bash the art and details too much; the current releases are low quality so it’s pretty hard to make things out, but that’s no fault of the original work.
All in all, I can’t say that I’d recommend Download. However, I’m still really glad that it was subbed, and I’m sure it paved the way to all of Madhouse’s great shows later on.
23: Sekaikei Sekai Ron
MAL Score: 5.79
Regarding the destruction of the world, the light relation between the world and me.
22: Ra/Radio Noise*Planet
MAL Score: 5.80
A planet with 6 inhabitants only. In order to match the tuning of the radio, the main character walks around and meets the 5 other inhabitants. A strange SF short animation.
21: Yonimo Osoroshii Nihon Mukashibanashi
English: The Truth of Japanese Fairy Tales
MAL Score: 5.82
The horrible truths behind Japanese Fairy Tales from the ancient times are finally revealed! This title includes three episodes: “The Monkey and the Crab”, “Click-Crack Mountain” and “Urashima and the Kingdom beneath the Sea”.
(Source: Official Website)
Yonimo Osoroshii Nihon Mukashibanashi doesn’t try to. Not conventionaly at least. It’s tales are executed in a way that take on a form of ‘external horror’. Or i guess ‘horrific’ to make the viewer understand how terrible things happen in the world and there’s nothing we can do about them.
Each of these tales takes a horrific scenario and pushes it to the far extremes.
I want to note that finding this anime subbed online is quite challenging as it is a very unknown piece of media that’s been poorly documented for foreign audiences. What i’ve done is uncover raw footage and watch that. Fortunately the stories were easy to get the jist of with my beginner Japanese comprehension, combined with their straightforward structure.
– Understanding what they are trying to say – (Moderate to mild spoiler warning)
1. First tale (easiest to watch) introduces us to a wanderer seeking shelter from the terribly warm weather. He shows very little respect and gets punished for his reckless behaviour at the village he thought would be the safe haven he so desperately sought. On first glance it might seem harsh what happens, but if you look at it from the villager’s perspectives he wasn’t much better.
Even with subs they don’t tell you what really goes on at this village, you’re meant to piece it together through visual cues, which you wouldn’t be able to do if you don’t pay enough attention to the scenes and events that take place.
2. Second tale is about “cancel culture”. Minimal spoilers, popular slang of the youths. There you go.
3. Third and last tale was the most ‘psychedelic’ and difficult to understand. To be absolutely fair to it my patience was a little running low from personal life that i didn’t give this one the time it deserved. If i had to make a guess though i’d say it wants to do a commentary on superficial interests and one’s karma.
– Visuals –
Great for their time, they get the job done. And can get experimental and wild during major scenes. But i must warn you, don’t drop this within the first few minutes, what you will be greeted by is not what the tales actually look like. The “watcher” at the video store is only fancy introductory fluff, an interlude meant to smoothly transition you from tale to tale.
Although there’s dialogue that happens during them. It’s sadly lost in translation for me. It can’t be helped.
– Audio –
Unremarkable voice acting however the choice of music is breathtaking. I might sound blasphemic but this is probably one of my favorite anime scores i’ve heard in a while. Haven’t come across anything this esoteric, tribal and sophisticated sounding since Psycho Diver.
If you are fond of unusual scores and instrumental music that fits the themes and ancient eras, your senses will be pleased.
I have to recommend this strange title. I may be biased for loving the soundtrack but i really do think this is something worth looking into if you have time to spare and are able to acquire a viewable copy through whatever means.
There are three short stories, kinda disturbing, but not scary.
I think pointless death isn’t scary at all.
I could write about the plot, but there’s no plot, also you feel sorry for the guys in three stories.
All I can say if you want to be scared this anime is not a good option, if you like disturbing pointless plot, so be my guest.
Japanese: Malice@doll マリスドール
MAL Score: 5.91
Malice, a sex robot living in an abandoned human city, is assaulted and violated by a mysterious creature. Upon awakening, Malice finds out that she has become human and can pass on her humanity to her fellow machines. However, her gift soon becomes a curse when her fellow robots rage out of control after being exposed to the pleasures of life.
The setting of Malice@Doll is in a city devoid of any biological life and populated only by intelligent and self aware machines. These machines and robots (for lack of a better term), go about their daily tasks as they were programmed for despite the fact that most of these tasks are now unnecessary. Some though don’t even have that, which is where the main protagonist Malice comes in. She is a sex doll, and with no human customers, Malice and her fellow dolls pass eternity while their mechanical bodies slowly deteriorate. One day, while searching for the repairer robot she encounters a strange apparition of a girl and is led to a strange device and after being attacked she wakes up to find that she is now a flesh and blood human being. She soon discovers she is able to make the other robots and machines into flesh and blood with a kiss. Soon it the machine world begins to crumble as the machines programming becomes their desires and threatens them all.
It is a surprisingly deep and thoughtful story. The world while looking quite futuristic and strange still felt oddly familiar. The pacing is steady and there is a good amount of action and suspense. I was left guessing how it was going to turn out until the very end. The end itself is a bit obscure and leaves itself up to the viewer to interrupt but I felt it was appropriate. Though everything is not really adequately explained either which makes forming your own conclusions about the ending a bit difficult.
The cast of characters is fairly small with the most important being Malice herself and her fellow dolls. Though in the beginning she is an emotionless robot she is a very interesting character. There is a sadness and despair about her and her other doll robots but it is something they are unable to truly express. Malice limps around seemingly barely able to keep moving because of the degradation of her mechanical body. Many of the other dolls are in even worse shape and it’s a bit heartbreaking even if you know they are just machines, and only sex toys at that. The fact that she is a sex doll is also important to her and the other characters and how they develop in the story. Malice constantly tells other machines she will give them a kiss, because that’s all she can do. If that doesn’t pull at your heart a little bit then you probably just don’t have one.
As I mentioned earlier, Malice@Doll is completely animated with CG effects. Sometimes it is quite spectacular. Malice in her human form is quite lifelike and some of the settings and action are visually stunning. The doll Doris is probably the most amazing looking character in the program though. That can’t be said for everything though, as I felt some character designs were awful and while many of the settings are great looking others look pretty bad. The inconsistency drives down its overall score. The voice acting is good, particularly from Malice. There isn’t a lot of music to comment on, with only background music and a pretty good song at the end.
Overall Malice@Doll is a solid show that I would recommend to fans of apocalyptic and horror/psychological storylines, as well as those who enjoy CG anime. Though I did have problems with some of the inadequacies in the plot and the inconsistent animation quality, I think this show is worth your time.
Malice seems a bit more thought out then the rest of the characters, except maybe Joe who seems to be almost a voice of wisdom to the dolls, a father figure. I don’t really understand the relationship between the two but from what it looked like, it seemed that Malice and Joe were very close although you don’t normally see him around the other sex bolls. I wish I could have seen a bit more of the other characters because they really seemed one dimensional throughout the whole show.
The storyline is really slow for most of it and hard to figure out. It took me a very long time to get a feel of what the story was even trying to say let alone what was going on. They never really tell anyone the history about the area or what actually did happen to the humans, pretty much leaving it open to speculation. Because you never actually see the top world in a sense, you are left to imagine your own answer for why human’s aren’t there. My thought was that the human’s wiped themselves out but others might think that they died off from an illness, they were using sex dolls for their means and never repopulated, or other such things. The show to me really is open to your own ideas and what you get from this show is pretty much all you get.
The only thing I couldn’t get was the ending with how it happened but I won’t spoil it for you.
During this time, CG was just starting out and nothing looked real at all. Characters were all looking plastic and shiny and yet, this show pretty much works pretty well for that. It’s a bit like Reboot if you ever saw that. The characters are odd looking, some looking humanoid and others looking like strange mixtures of man and machine. The animation part is rather stiff and movements are a bit… well, robotic. It works well with the idea of the show but even when they become something more natural, they still are stiff and robotic making it hard to tell if they even changed. The colors are rather dark and steam punk-ish making it sometimes hard to see what is going on.
The voice acting is pretty well done for the most part. The English dub is a bit off though as most sound rather static even when turned humanish. Some points that should have had really dramatic scenes with loud voices sounded more tin like. The Japanese was a little better and had the better feel for the characters personality including Malice.
Without giving away any major spoilers Malice begins to question the tedious everyday “life” of this civilization and although at this point in time she has no true feelings in a human sense we do see Malice early on begin to drip what is referred to as “cooling fluid” from her eyes which is of course very symbolic of actual tears and as the story progresses one will come to realize that this is quite appropriate considering what is to become of Malice in the near future. Malice seeks out a robot that has the function of repairing other machines as she believes that she is malfunctioning and instead encounters a strange creature which is implied to be some sort of symbol of a god of some kind, this proceeds into a scene in which Malice is attacked/violated by this enigma of a “creature” and wakes up with a human body.
After this transformation sequence of sorts we then get to see Malice struggle with the reality that is human emotion and for the first time truly feel sorrow for the state of the world as it is and she is even shown to cringe at the memories of the sexual acts that she once considered entirely normal as she is no longer numb to these sorts of things. Malice eventually realizes that she has gained an ability to create life out of the machines that inhabit the world such as she has become and seeks to change the world by creating as much life as she can without realizing that by creating life she has also created mortality and that she has also caused pain unto others unintentionally by doing so. The rest of the series focuses further on these concepts of mortality, human emotion as well as the confusion with one’s very identity as such changes occur. I would also say that the naming of Malice to the protagonist is quite fitting given her apparent mental state after becoming human and the overwhelming feeling that she has to change the world around her even if that may not necessarily be what is best for the beings around her, thus she is pushing her will unto others which is why such a name was most likely given.
If you can get past the somewhat low quality CGI the story is actually quite thought provoking and well worth the time if you are the sort that enjoys the sort of psychological series that make you think after you have finished watching. The ending especially is interesting and very up for interpretation, the only real qualms I have with the story telling is that there are no explanations for the initial disappearance of humans whatsoever, although I suppose if you delve deep enough you can find some possible explanations but any that I could think of are pretty far guesses, that considered if you are into the sort of thing that makes you want to put pieces of a puzzle together than I would say this is definitely for you.
19: Yonimo Osoroshii Grimm Douwa
MAL Score: 6.06
The truth behind the well-known Grimm’s Tales is cruel and full of blood and lust!
Episode 1: “Hansel & Gretel”: Two brothers lost in the woods were actually criminals…
Episode 2: “The Blue Beard”: The true character of the Blue Beard was a cannibal who was unable to tolerate his wife’s adultery.
Episode 3: “Cinderella”: Actually Cinderella had abnormal affections toward the prince.
18: RahXephon: Kansoukyoku/Kanojo to Kanojo Jishin to – Thatness and Thereness
Japanese: ラーゼフォン 間奏曲 / 彼女と彼女自身と 「Thatness And Thereness」
MAL Score: 6.32
Quon Kisaragi was surprised when she saw an illusion of herself floating in midair. This other “self” of her claimed that she is a fragment of Quon. Thus an existentialistic dialogue began between the two.
17: Twilight Q
MAL Score: 6.34
A Knot in Time
High school students Mayumi and Kiwako are relishing their summer vacation at the beach; however, when Mayumi discovers a presumably lost camera while scuba diving, she cannot help but feel an insatiable curiosity. Upon developing the camera’s film, she is shocked to find herself photographed alongside an unknown man. Enlisting the help of Kiwako’s older brother, the three find out something even more troubling: the camera model has yet to be released. In turn, Mayumi becomes obsessed with discovering the origin of the peculiar camera and its mysterious photograph.
Airplanes have been vanishing from the sky! Even stranger, rumor has it that the disappearing aircraft have been turning into giant carp. Meanwhile, a freelance detective investigates a run-down apartment on the outskirts of town, where he finds a middle-aged man and a young girl with a penchant for fish. Unable to identify the two, the investigator enters their room, only to find it empty save for a document that reads, “This story has been prepared for you, my successor… who should be visiting this room in due time.”
As the title clearly suggests, the OVA is a sort of Twilight Zone anthology, which means the episodes don’t bear any connection plotwise, yet they have similar mysterious atmosphere and employ the same mix of genres that may be roughly described as mystery + sci-fi + mindf*ck. A very good mix, if you ask me.
The first episode called Reflection is based on a story by Kazunori Ito (the scriptwriter for Ghost in the Shell & Patlabor movies), directed by Tomomi Mochizuki (known for his work on studio Ghibli’s Ocean Waves and studio Manglobe’s House of the Five Leaves). One day, a girl named Mayumi dives into the ocean and finds a camera stuck on a coral riff; later, she discovers a film inside the camera and, much to her surprise, the film contains a picture where she poses with some guy she doesn’t even know. Obviously, she decides to find out the truth about the picture’s origins, and so the sequence of enigmatic events begins.
Without spoiling anything, the episode is simultaneously interesting and easy to follow, moving at a fine pace, providing enough twists to keep you intrigued, and offering a conclusive ending while leaving some of the mystery to the viewer’s interpretation. That being said, the story does have a certain problem, as it ends up lacking any distinctive central theme or well-defined message; and even though the episode is tagged as “romance”, it appears to be almost non-existent in the show. Besides, the story incorporates a certain ecological disaster and a certain historical event that, while interesting on their own, remain unexpanded and contribute very little to the main plotline. Eventually, the story turns out well-written and intriguing yet somewhat empty at the core.
The second episode called File 538 is cut from an entirely different cloth. Directed by Mamoru Oshii and based on his own story, it tells about a private detective spying on a father – daughter pair living next door (well, not entirely like that, but I won’t go into detail to avoid spoilers). One summer night, the main character enters the apartment and finds a sleeping girl, a fish, and what seems to be a letter from another detective previously working on the same case. As he sits there reading the message, the mystery unravels before his eyes.
This episode turns out very multifaceted and surreal, as the story seamlessly blends real and dreamy events to show how we are often unable to distinguish illusion from reality and end up getting trapped into dreams; also, it provides an ironic commentary on human existence, full of dark humor and Kafka-esque transformations; and some Christian symbolism may be found here as well, although only a bit of it. In general, the story is very original, multilayered and thought-provoking, with plenty of ideas to infer and a couple of amazing revelations that I won’t spell out to avoid spoilers.
That all being said, the anime also has a very dry & demanding presentation, as the whole story is narrated very slowly by the protagonist while he sits in the room, doing nothing else at all. Thus, the show ends up way too static, not to mention a radical violation of the “show, don’t tell” rule. Thankfully, the story makes sense overall, with the protagonist factually explaining everything in the ending; the problem is, many viewers may have trouble following 20 minutes of ultra-slow & rather complex narration that precedes it.
To sum everything up, the two stories of Twilight Q turn out diametrically opposed in their strengths & weaknesses, as the first is well-presented yet has fairly little substance in it, while the second has plenty of substance and the presentation arguably too challenging for its own good. The only thing they have in common, besides the overall mysterious tone, is that both are far from perfect yet unusual & interesting, each in its own way.
If you look at the staff credits, you will see two very big names in the credits for the 1st episode: the character designs were made by Akemi Takada, who also worked on Mobile Police Patlabor, Kimagure Orange Road, Urusei Yatsura and some other classic shows; and the art director was Shichiro Kobayashi, known for working on Lupin III Castle of Cagliostro, Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, Berserk, Revolutionary Girl Utena and Nodame Cantabile, among other things. Plus, there’re some great animators in there, such as Takayuki Goto, a co-founder of studio I.G Tatsunoko, which was later renamed as Production I.G (the G in the studio’s name comes from his surname, by the way). So, no wonder that the animation in this episode is very nice: it’s very colorful, neat and detailed, with both artwork and motion done right. However, the overall style is just realistic with few unique features, and while Takada’s character designs are nice, as they always are, Kobayashi’s backgrounds don’t stand out as much as they normally do for some reason (that may be only my personal impression though). As a result, it makes the animation pleasant to watch yet rather unmemorable in the long run.
The animation in the 2nd episode is no worse although it appears much more limited at first, showing only the room where the protagonist dwells or some stills & abstract imagery going along with his speech, like airplanes in the sky; view of the city streets with clouds flying above; and other stuff like that. It all may look boring on paper, yet the visuals turn out quite impressive in their own way, which is no wonder when the art director is Hiromasa Ogura – the same man who later worked on Ninja Scroll, Ghost in the Shell, Jin-Roh and FLCL among other famous anime; and the animation director is Shinji Ootsuka – a longtime Studio Ghibli animator who also assisted with key animation for Angel’s Egg, Jin-Roh, FLCL, Millenium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers. In general, the main strength here is the artistic composition that makes some clever use of stills & abstract imagery; and when things actually move, the animation is quite smooth & detailed. Also, the colors are rich, dark and pleasant to the eye, and the overall quality is very good considering the show’s age. The one and only aspect I strongly dislike is the character design of the male protagonist: while it may be a matter of subjective taste more than anything, I think it is way too grotesque, giving him a fairly ugly appearance. Perhaps, Oshii wanted him to look unusual in some way, but that remains beyond my understanding.
Overall, the animation in both episodes reflects their nature and differs the same way as the stories: the animation in the 1st episode is nice to look at yet rather forgettable; the animation in the 2nd episode is quite original & well-done, yet some questionable artistic decisions make it hardly tolerable for some viewers. Nevertheless, both display some genuine quality only hand-drawn anime can offer.
The soundtrack for both episodes by maestro Kenji Kawai consists mostly of keyboard music that isn’t really memorable, and you probably won’t even notice it if you don’t pay specific attention. However, if you do, you’ll realize that the tracks are nicely composed and they do a great job at creating the enigmatic atmosphere of the OVA. I only wish the melodies were more diverse and employed more instruments, but even this way they’re still good & fitting for the show.
The voice-acting in the first episode is fine, with nothing particularly standing out. The protagonist’s voice in the second episode is really weird, and exactly like with the character designs I have no clue why Oshii wanted him to talk that way: maybe, to make him sound mysterious? I don’t know. Well, at least I wasn’t annoyed with his voice although it did sound very strange to me.
The characters in both episodes have no remarkable personalities and few distinctive features in general: in fact, they are just gears used to keep the plot going. However, while the lack of outstanding characters is never a good thing, it may be not too bad in this case, considering the anime’s relatively short length & the very story-driven nature of the mystery genre it belongs to. Taking that into account, I believe the cast is more or less ok for this kind of show… and that’s pretty much it. I wish I could tell you more about them, but there really isn’t much else to say aside from a couple of spoilers.
While far from flawless, Twilight Q is certainly an interesting & innovative anime that may be recommended if you’re into mystery, sci-fi & mindf*ck genres or if you particularly like any of the creators involved in the project. I hope this review helps you set the right expectations before going into the show, and perhaps, you’ll enjoy it more than I did.
Twilight Q follows the format of a sci-fi anthology show like the Twilight Zone or Outer Limits. Which is probably where it gets the name from. Each episode focuses on a different strange scenario. In the Ajia-do episode, we follow a young girl, Mayumi, who happens across a camera that’s probably been underwater and corroded for a long time. When she has her friend’s brother investigate he comes across something strange. The camera model hasn’t been released yet. The Deen episode opens with a plane turning into a fish. We cut to a grotesque fat man and his young daughter eating noodles. The two scenes are tied together when she looks at a plane flying overhead and shouts the word “fish” at it. But what does it mean?
There are two major issues with this OVA in the context of one of those anthology shows. The first is that the characters we follow don’t have much reaction to the strange circumstances they find themselves in. In our first part, Mayumi fatalistically accepts that time travel is a thing and she’s getting a glimpse of the future without it seeming to bother her in the slightest. In the second we follow a nameless private investigator who learns the truth and, with it, the fate in store for him and he pretty much just grins and goes “well, that’s my life now.” You can’t really have stakes or tension when the characters themselves don’t give a shit. You get those things in an anthology when the focus character(s) fight(s) against his/her/their situation. That’s also how you get a compelling conflict, incidentally. Which is another thing this is lacking.
The second big issue is just that the situations themselves aren’t explored very deeply. In the first, we have the time travelling camera. Then we have Mayumi leap to two different time periods for a couple minutes each and then it all gets resolved neatly. That’s not a spoiler, by the way, we’re told pretty much the instant she leaps that it’s all going to turn out fine. Because her non-reaction wasn’t enough of a tension-drainer. We needed to be outright told how things were going to go too. In the second, most of the story revolves around our PI reading an expository note. I wish I was kidding but that is actually what’s in store for us.
About the most positive I can be is to say that the scenarios are strange enough to somewhat keep your attention and there’s nothing in them that’s really bad. It’s more that you never get any kind of strong pay off and the coverage for them remains pretty shallow and lacking in any real tension, conflict or stakes. Which isn’t cricket for this type of series.
You can probably guess what I’m basically going to say already since I kind of covered this when talking about the story issues. The problem with the characters in this comes down to one simple thing, they aren’t believable. Their reactions are just too stoic given the circumstances and it makes them tremendously boring. Kit’s interesting to see characters rage, rage against the winds of fate. It’s interesting to see characters who freak out a little bit when they find themselves in a situation that would challenge anyone’s perception of reality. Even if the character is able to compose themselves pretty quickly we still need something of a reaction. Because doing it this way is just dull.
The artwork is a bit dated. It’s pretty obvious what era it comes from. But it still holds up pretty well. The movements flow nicely and there’s a clear effort put into making the backgrounds and characters look good. The only real issue I have with it is that there’s a decided lack of strange imagery. Our first tale deals with time travel and the transition we get is a little girl on a swing. The only otherworldly sight we get is the plane turning into a carp. That’s the only interesting sight we get. Which is kind of a load of stale wank.
The problem with the acting ties into the big issue with the characters. No one involved ever sounds invested. The closest we get is some lines from Hyoudou Mako. I’m guessing she had to redo them a few times because she was being too expressive and they finally decided that they were bland enough since her character looks unconcerned during them. The music isn’t bad but it is pretty dull and forgettable. Which, I suppose, does suit the series well.
There isn’t any. Which, I’m sure, is completely unrelated to the series not having interesting character dynamics in the slightest.
Twilight Q is an OVA that really wants to be a compelling sci-fi anthology and probably tried to model itself after the Twilight Zone. The trouble it has is that the team behind it doesn’t seem to understand what made that series interesting. They seem to think that all you need is a bizarre situation. You don’t need interesting characters, a strong conflict, tension, stakes or even odd visuals. They thought that they could just throw any bland character into a strange situation and the situation itself would carry the entire thing. And that doesn’t work. I can’t call it a bad OVA since it’s more boring than anything, but I will say it’s weak. It is a sub-par work and I can’t recommend it for your anthology needs when there are much better series out there. The Final rating is going to stand at a 4/10. Next week I’m looking at Dennou Sentai Voogie’s Angel. I’ve heard things, none of them positive. So, we’ll see how that turns out.
What I liked most about this is its naturalness; strange things happen, but everything is told without resorting to the formulas of this type of stories. The colors and the animation are beautiful, the ambiance too, and despite playing with multiple historical moments, the aesthetics of the 80’s is always preserved; it doesn’t play at any time to guess what the future will be like, or how the past was.
Very good, calm, beautiful, with a great soundtrack and a fantastic capture of the summer atmosphere, of vacations, adolescence, with a sun and a wind that you seem to feel. Delightful.
In the usual line of the great Mamoru Oshii, a spectacular animation, beautiful, different, very careful.
And also like always full with dialogues, in this case a single character, a detective, who reads for almost half an hour the letter he writes to another detective who believes he will continue the investigation he has begun.
Dense, complex, visualy wonderful. Only the end is a little below.
16: Hello Harinezumi: Satsui no Ryoubun
English: Domain of Murder
Japanese: ハロー張りネズミ 殺意の領分
MAL Score: 6.44
One stormy night, a young woman is shot to death on a cliff; her body is found floating in the waters below the next morning. She was last seen with a man who is now being sought not only for her death. Meanwhile, an estranged wife hires Goro, a private investigator, to find her husband. Alongside another member of law enforcement with his own motives for finding the man, Goro sets forth on a trail of tragedy and intrigue to find the reason and connection behind the murders and missing husband.
(Source: Anime-Planet; edited)
This OVA is based off of the popular seinen manga “Hello Hedgehog”. Sadly the OVA did not become too popular, but lucky enough for us, Central Park Media licensed it for some reason, and even gave it a good dub a few years later. Anyway the story is very interesting. It’s a classic detective tale, but the mystery behind it is very interesting. The story starts out with Detective Goro (nicknamed “Hedgehog” due to his hair) being asked to find a lady’s long lost husband. He ran away from the family years ago, and she beleived him to be dead. But a recent wanted poster she found (how cliche) has a picture of him on it. There’s a different name on the poster, but it’s definitely his picture. This lady wants the detective to find her husband, so she can talk to him once more before he goes to jail. It’s an odd request, but Goro takes the case ( a little reluctantly at first). The case leads him to the other side of Japan, and while investigating there are many twists and turns. The plot is pretty much a regualr mature detective drama, something we’d be more used to seeing in an American Live Action Movie, or TV series then in anime, but the change in medium is well welcomed. The mystery is very good, but not without it’s faults. I wouldn’t go as far as calling them plot holes, but there are some real problems with the story. Many things that unfold are very unlikely, which is normally a little forgivable in an anime, but I’ll hold them to it for this, since they are trying to be very realstic. For one thing, why does this one man make so much more progress on the case the the entire police force? Another thing, why the HELL didn’t the police grab this man when he was about to get on the ferris wheel (toward the end of the OVA), or one of the many other times they could have grabbed him at the amusement park!? Look I know they are trying to “protect” his son, but they are putting him in (physical) harms way by not taking him away from his father! Trying to protect him from mental scares is not a good enough reason to gamble with hsi life! Real life police don’t act this way, and least I sure hope they don’t. If an officer ever made the same choses that the officers make in this anime, I would expect them to be fired! They make some real stupid descisions toward the end…but I digress. Anyway because they allowed him to get on the ferris wheel, an illogical scene occures, which is a pivotal moment in the anime, and due to this it feels forced and illogical and loses it’s point. The part with the husband/father in the bar also has some problems to it, and feels a little off. More time should have been speant explaining exactly what went on there. There are also some real leaps of faith needed to believe that the car crash scene would ever happen in real life. It doesn’t even make sense that the family is magically holding on to a vine, when they were just in their car folloing down a cliff! Of course the father is the only one holding on to the vine and the kids are holding on to him, too! But besides the multiple problems with the plot, it’s actually pretty good. The ending was decent and it told a good story. If your forgiving, and willing to not question a few major scenes, this is a very good mystery anime. Perhaps I’m a little to hard on the plot anyway. It’s not that bad.
As Justin Sevakis says in his “Buried Treasure” review of the OVA, I wouldnt call the animation/artwork ugly and cheap looking, I would call it realistic and detailed. The backgrounds are great looking! Ok so it’s not Cowboy Bebop, or Paprika, or something, but the backgrounds are very good for 1992. It didn’t blow me away, but it’s above average. As for the character designs, I really enjoyed them. Some would call them ugly, I would call them real looking and seinen inspired. They all have a rustic, personal look to them I’d say. I wish a few more anime series looked like this. It’s not top level work, but it’s not cheap or anything at all.
While many of the characters actions (and non-actions) are very illogical (esecially the sons and the police forces actions, but even th e husband/father and wife/mothers toward the end), I still would give this about an 8/10. Many of the characters are realistic and interesting, despite problems with the others. They really show us a little bit of the way they live, and let us into their world a little. We learn a lot about these people in a short amount of time, which I think is a real feat. Although many of the characters feel tacked on and a little useless at the end, there’s no one I really hated in the story, and I felt sympathetic to all of the. I felt like they were all decent or good characters.
I agree with Justin Sevakis on this one. It’s so rare to see an anime like this make it to the US that the flaws are easily forgivable. It’s really enjoyable, esecially if you don’t sweat the small stuff (and think too hard about many of the major scenes). It’s easy to like this OVA, and I’m very glad that I did. I think I may have been a little to hard on this OVA, because I really did enjoy it.
Now to sum it up. The story is great, with an interesting mystery, and great characters. There are problems with the plot, and illogical characters do harm the OVA, but it still comes out looking very nice. The music is decent, but forgettable. The artwork is great, and the character desings interesting. It’s a good detective drama, with an attempt at realism, but does comes off a little forced. Great suspense story, and a good watch. This is not going to become your next favorite OVA, but you will probally enjoy it. I know I did!
Domain of Murder – Buried Treasure Review: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/buried-treasure/2009-03-05/domain-of-murder
story: The story is about a private detective working for a firm taking on a case to find a disturbed killer. This story about the killer has a twist I have never seen in an anime before or anything else in matter of fact. It makes you think would we have done the same thing if we were in his shoes or what would we have done different. it might have not been the right thing to do but was it really wrong?.Is it fair for us to judge him on the decision he made. It will make you question your moral values and makes you think what did the victim feel when the killer had to make the tough decision. I know I am very vague about the twist behind the killer but I cannot ruin the little the story has(for the few that decide to watch it because of this review), since it is only 51 minutes. 8/10
Animation: The animation has the old school feel. It kind of feels low budget but the animation is clean. It being low budget does not take away from the anime at all because I believe it goes well with the detective story. None of the characters are pretty or cute which makes ova seem more realistic. It also animated some great scenery from a couple of Japan’s cities. 7/10
Sound: I can’t say I remember much but nothing annoyed me. Sub and dub both are done well. Decent background music. One thing I do remember is that they changed the dialogue and accents from the background characters, when Goru travels from Tokyo to another city. It is easy to recognize in the sub and probably not at all in the dub, but is mentioned in both. 6/10
Characters: The main character is Detective Goru he is a private detective and works with other private detectives for a firm. To me it seems the other detectives and the people that run the firm are main characters from the manga but only make a small appearance in this ova and that is probably due to them only showing one case from the manga. The killer and other people involved in the case get well developed for the case so the audience gets a real feel of what these characters are going through. You get to know more and more about Detective Goru’s personality as the ova progresses . 7/10
I did enjoy it nothing really bored me when I was watching it. I wish they had done at least a few more ovas and maybe we could have gotten introduced to more of the main characters from manga. Like I said earlier it is really just a random case from the manga adapted into animated form. To me I think it is probably not even the best case or story the manga had to offer. I could just tell by watching this ova that the manga will have more interesting stories and cases to show. I haven’t read the manga and don’t plan to read it, but that’s just because I don’t really like to read.
I watch a lot of anime and I don’t really watch any american TV even though I live in America so I can’t say for sure if the twist has not been done before. but I have not seen it before. I think you should give it a watch especially if you like some detective mysteries.
With some believable characters and good English actors, it was just a shame that the detective case itself didn’t end up with the same genuine taste in the mouth. The issue with it is that there are far too many assumptions that lead to the case’s resolution. Some of these assumptions that are made are also inherently based on nothing, and are even biased into making one think a certain way about a situation that a detective should still be critical about – not finding every possible twist to lead the conclusion in the direction they see the culprit’s motives and mentality from personal feelings. However, the assumptions do go in the detective’s favor of course, but I never really felt impressed by his work. The only thing the detective really did as a solid move forward was finding a person related to the suspect to get information, along with finding an explanation for an angle of a wound. From there, further information was given by that same related person when it benefited moving the story forward – one moment literally being the related person to the suspect calling the detective right as the growing thought of a potential turn to the case brews in his mind, only happening to solidify his hunch for him to move forward with it. That type of scenario happens twice, but that isn’t the only type of victorious assumption that is made. Two other assumptions are literally never backed with anything and are simply of the detective rebuilding scenarios in his mind to understand what happened – but with no real evidence to lead to his twisted conclusion of supporting how he hopes everything will turn out. There is also one, without a question, stupid decision that is made by the detective and the police near the end – and it happens so continuously that I almost want to say it was multiple stupid decisions. This decision leads to a bad situation that could’ve been prevented, but evidently leads into a nice conclusion with regards to why the whole case happened. And while that conclusion does feel good at being conclusive, the previous out-of-nowhere stupid decisions leading to it make it feel potent of contrivances. I would say some of the assumptions leading to developments as fueled by contrivances as-well, with regards to random information being fed from nowhere to make new thoughts feel plausible real-time.
Overall, “Hello Hedgehog: Domain of Murder” was enjoyable and in-a-way better than I thought. I have been looking for something like “Monster” for quite a while and can safely say this isn’t that, although the similar art style was nice along with the surprising work that went into this in visuals and voices. I feel that more adaptations of this manga would’ve been cool as there is no telling if there’s better stories than this, but even if this were the average level – a show like that would still be enjoyable.
15: Cossette no Shouzou
English: Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
MAL Score: 6.83
Eiri Kurahashi is a Japanese art student who works in an antique shop. His friends begin to notice a dramatic, and rather concerning, change in Eiri, as he becomes more absent-minded and his behavior completely changes. They quickly decide to blame their friend’s troubles on a girl.
They may be right, however, as Eiri has begun seeing a beautiful, doll-like girl trapped within an antique Venetian glass that his uncle bought in France. She seems to be living in a strange other world, contained entirely inside this glass, but her image refuses to leave Eiri’s mind. His sketchbook becomes filled with her likeness, and he realizes he has become completely infatuated with this strange little girl. When he recognizes her in a portrait by the mysterious Italian artist, Marchello Orlando, he learns her name is Cossette d’Auvergne, and that she was tragically murdered along with the rest of her family.
One night, as he closes up the shop, he hears a voice asking him not to leave. Finally making contact with the object of his obsession, he makes a deal that he doesn’t fully understand.
With regard to the plot, it would be no exaggeration to state that the same story could have been told within five minutes, nor would it be too much to say that any review of the plot would also most likely divulge what little twist there is. In essence, the story revolves around two artists and a piece of art, the portrait of a young girl, and the two differing outlooks on art these two artists have: one in the end prefers the piece of art, unchanging and everlastingly beautiful, unwilling even to acknowledge the existence of the living, changing ‘original’ girl, while the other prefers his art to be alive in some fashion, even if this means that change and loss exist. It is a story about the love of the artist for his art, a love that is profound enough to accept the necessity of loss, even, if necessary, of the self.
Nowhere is the story explained in as much words as I’ve used above, or are there pieces of dialogue directly concerning this difference in outlooks on art. In fact, there is not that much dialogue at all, nor does the show try to explore the main characters: there is little in the way of actual plot or character development.
This is because Le Portrait de Petit Cossette is a Romantic piece, or, more accurately, a piece of Romantic horror. The plot is a gathering of tropes from the genre, and focuses to a large extent on the passionate love of the main characters without giving much in the way of an explanation for their feelings and behaviour, wholly following the example of the greater pieces of Sturm und Drang literature, where round characters were considered less important than the strength of what little they tried to convey. Even the fact that the plot seems confusing, and that not everything is explained or neatly given a purpose within the story can be fully explained as Romantic horror: from Poe to Lovecraft the actual lack of a full explanation served to enhance the story.
When all is said and done, the story might not be all that original, or contain a lot of development. It is, however, very true to form.
The art is simply gorgeous. A lot of different styles are used, from simple nature backgrounds to what has been described as "bargain-basement Salvador Dali", with an emphasis on portraying scenes in twilight or with light that is filtered, seemingly in order to make the few bright points stand out more. Even though not all styles work out equally fine – especially the more surrealistic scenes tend to be a bit over the top – they do usually perfectly portray the mood of a certain scene.
To this is added a soundtrack consisting largely of semi-classical music that does a wonderful job in strengthening the different moods, ranging from simple, uplifting tunes to a ballad that is beautiful and haunting, even though it is sung in Japanese, which does not really fit the mood.
It is true that this show is pretentious, as is, it should be said, all art, and visual arts have a tendency to be even more pretentious than music or literature: the use of a French title (containing errors in grammar, spelling, and syntax, to boot, as it should have been titled "Le portrait de la Petite Cosette") is in itself proof of this, as is the bundling of a whole bunch of different musical and visual styles. On the other hand, it is quite honest about its being pretentious, and it must be said that, in the end, what matters in visual art is the art, not story, and not character. Anime is visual art, and no matter how good a series is, it will never be better than a solid book in portraying story or characters. What it adds are visuals, and these enhance the story in a way words alone can never do. To me, it is not too pretentious to try and make the story revolve around the art, and not the other way round: in a way, that seems to be what anime should in the end be about.
I won’t lie. I consider Le Portrait de Petit Cossette to be the best piece of film I have ever seen, without a single doubt. As implied above, it is very difficult to make an objective statement on story and art, as you either like the style, or you don’t. To me the different scenes do connect, and portray a story about longing, love, and sacrifice that portray thoughts that can be felt, but not put into words – though they can be shown.
In a way, I am in love with these three episodes like the protagonist is in love with the painting, and, thus, am unable to see anything that could detract from this impression. Perhaps that simple fact is the greatest compliment a show can receive.
Cossette’s story is relatively simple, but for whatever reason, its creators seem eager to make it as difficult to follow as possible. There are frequent changes in setting between the real world and a surrealistic hallucinatory world that the protagonist visits. These transitions take place with little tact, and they give the series a very warped sense of chronology which is only added to by the use of repetitive flashbacks to events that happened only minutes ago. There is little to no explanation offered as to what this surreal world actually represents, and the OVA seems to take it for granted that the audience will be able to interpret the significance (if there is any) of the events that transpire there without much help, a proposition that’s dubious at best and downright foolish at worst. What’s happening in the real world isn’t very interesting, either; the protagonist’s group of age-appropriate female friends are noticing that he’s having a bit of a mental breakdown, they’re all concerned with his well-being, and they take various actions to try to ensure his safety. This story thread ultimately serves very little purpose, and is more or less just a distraction from the central plot. To even understand that plot requires using tremendous amounts of speculation and assumption to fill in the gaping holes left by the writers. I’m confident that I’m a reasonably attentive viewer, and I don’t feel at all embarrassed to say that on the first watch of Cossette, I could only guess at what was happening for at least forty percent of the OVA’s running length. There’s a fine line between minimalistic storytelling and poor storytelling. It gets crossed here, in spades.
I wish I could say that the characters swooped in and redeemed everything, but it wasn’t to be. Our male lead, Eiri, an amateur artist who owns an antique shop, is a neat concept, but he has all the personality of a dishrag, and is little more than a tool used to push an overly obvious thematic agenda on the audience. The same can be said of Cossette, the doomed young daughter of foreign nobility whose soul is trapped in a decorative glass; what a great idea, and what a shockingly lackluster execution. Her lack of character might be explained away by the idea that she is supposed to represent an object of obsession rather than a person, but the fact that she responds in kind to Eiri’s love sort of voids that entire train of thought. There’s an attempt at romance, but I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again—romance holds no meaning when neither character is even identifiable as an individual. Supporting roles, you ask? Welcome to the cast of cliches: A close female friend who is in love with Eiri but has difficulty showing it, two local psychics who give Eiri vague spiritual advice (such gems as “there’s a soul in everything”), a hard-nosed doctor who notices Eiri’s failing mental and physical state, a girl smitten with Eiri who works at a local restaurant. They’re introduced haphazardly and, again, we’re often left to make assumptions about who they even are and what their relationship is to Eiri. Most of them are cardboard cutouts graced with the privilege of about two or three lines of dialogue, and their role in the story as a whole is rather unnecessary. There’s some kind of halfhearted harem drama between the overly zealous friend who is in love with Eiri and the rest of the cast. This element isn’t very well thought out, nor does it have any place in the OVA, and it falls more or less flat.
Artistically, Cossette has a lot of merit. The production values are reasonably high. The character designs are inoffensive. The backgrounds are lovely, ranging from verdant forests to foggy city streets, and the atmosphere created in the bowels of Eiri’s dusty antique store is suitably eerie. Somewhere along the line, though, Cossette trades all of that for a ridiculous amount of CGI, editing, and visual trickery that’s really quite annoying. It turns into a regular slideshow of artistic tricks-of-the-trade. Name a strange camera angle, lighting or filtering choice, or visual distortion, and the odds are pretty good that it’s here. Cossette just can’t resist: A shot through stained glass here, a weird point-of-view through a digital camera there, an overlay of flickering static, an endless pan over a computer-generated landscape. Words cannot even describe the number of techniques in play here, most of which serve no purpose other than as a sort of directorial “hey, look what I can do!” In terms of the technical implementation, they might very well be flawless, but I’ll be damned if I can see a reason for their awkward inclusion. The OVA is actually at its best when none of these are employed. The halls and darkened storage rooms of Eiri’s store, with antiques stacked around him like tombstones, are a lot more unsettling than the tactless barrage of seizure-inducing effects.
If you’re the type to look at the staff listing, you might be able to guess that there’s one aspect of Cossette that is tough to complain about, and that’s the music. Yuki Kajiura does what she does best: Sweeping modern orchestral compositions backed by chanted vocals, intricate piano melodies, soft and haunting atmospheric noise. The soundtrack sounds great both in the context of the OVA and on its own. It doesn’t sound as clear or as polished as her later work, but it’s arguably as good as any other musical score she’s been involved with, and that should say just about everything; it’s grade-A, plain and simple. It’s not terribly difficult to label the soundtrack as Cossette’s strongest element. Imagine judging a dog show where the only contestants are a beautiful golden retriever and a dead possum. That’s the choice I had to make.
Harsh words all around, and yet, that number does say five, which is far from the worst available score. Cossette might have inexcusably poor writing, but it does have some technical merits to fall back on, and I’ll begrudgingly admit that it’s a captivating watch even though the visuals are obnoxious. It’s also a very creative idea, and while that idea ultimately isn’t capitalized on, I can tell that it is trying to make an ambitious statement about art and the nature of human interaction with art. This thematic material isn’t handled well at all, but the fact that there’s even any thematic material worth mentioning in the first place is something. In a word, Cossette is a mess, and I really can’t give it the most enthusiastic praise, but creativity and ambition are present, and if nothing else, it’s certainly a unique piece of work.
She is Essential. She is Beautiful. She is Perfection. She is a Muse.
If the perceived perfection is identified as genuine, is it not irresponsible to allow ne plus ultra beauty to be squandered to the inexorable flow of time? Marchello Orlando, a man obsessed with the unparalleled beauty of his “lover,” believed it immoral to permit such beauty to wither away — even if it required the assassination of the angelic person, whom he professed his adoration. For Marchello, terminating inimitable elegance was paramount in the pursuit of “preserving” his masterwork(s). But art is not an exercise in preservation, rather it’s a rendition of singular moments/conceptions that are ever-fleeting. The art, itself, is preserved, but the transient process is lost to the annals of time. Eiri Kurahashi, a young artist who becomes entranced by Cossette d’Auvergne’s haunting beauty, discovers the ennui of drawing a pseudo preservation of Marchello’s “divine” deed. In a physical and emotional catharsis, Eiri uses his own blood to paint a stunning portrait of his tormenting muse. Signifying Eiri’s denial of Marchello’s notion of preservation, in lieu of acknowledging the muse for what she really is (a human being), and not for what she represents (perfection personified).
The porcelain doll shedding tears of blood, was the surrealistic representation of how Marchello viewed Cossette. It is said that “the eyes are the windows of the soul,” and given that the doll (Cossette) has no eyes, she, invariably, has no soul. By virtue of his blood pact with Cossette, Eiri offers his own soul as a form of reparation for “his” past ill deeds. He is, after all, the reincarnation of Marchello. The man who rejected Cossette’s life, for his own idealistic vision. Of course, Eiri suffers extensively for his “past” transgressions, in a myriad of chilling scenes with hauntingly beautiful artwork. Screeching violins go hand and hand with the gothic aesthetic, creating a melancholic atmosphere to accentuate Eiri’s gruesome retribution.
Cossette, inadvertently, gives inspiration to her “two lovers,” but while Marchello takes her gift and forsakes her for it; Eiri, on the other hand, returns the favor by giving his blood (the necessary fluid of human life) to affirm her existence as valuable, and not merely the object for which one derives self-actualization. Eiri, after 250 years, releases Cossette from her bondage of eternal “preservation,” by rejecting the flawless imposter (the muse, if you will) for the release of the real Cossette from her unsought constraints; thus, allowing her soul to transcend the intermediary world and finally be at peace.
The emancipation of Cossette absolved Eiri from his own misguided idealism. Empowering him to break free from his self-created muse infatuation, and, hopefully, learn to foster an emotionally symbiotic relationship. Eiri (Marchello) deluded himself in the pursuit of capturing impeccable beauty; thus, dissociating himself from the pivotal social interactions of his everyday life.
MAL Score: 6.84
Haru and Natsu are not human. They do not know what it means to be anything but a robot.
Abandoned by their previous owner, Haru and Natsu are taken in by a scientist named Masa. Haru wants to feel, wants to understand how to act human, and wants to know what it means to love. Natsu is just afraid that they will be abandoned again. With Haru striving for positivity, his companion is left alone to drown in his own negative thoughts. Over and over, they ask the same question: what is love?
For such a short anime, Robotica is really amazing. It looks very very beautiful, the characters are simple but interesting and it deals with really important things. “What is love?” is the question what the characters try to solve.
This OVA has only 3 characters. Two robots; Haru and Natsu and their new owner Masa-san. Natsu is afraid of being abandoned again. Haru and Natsu are trying to find out the meaning of love. What is it? And can robots love?
And a few more words about the art. I love the fresh and colorful look of Robotica * Robotics. Soubi Yamamoto has a very unique way of making anime. It’s like colorful manga moving with lots of different textures and colors. I love the way it looks.
I find this OVA really amazing. It’s really heartwarming and nice. Loved it~
It starts off simply enough. Two abandoned robot boys and a surly professor who has taken them in. ‘What is love?’ Haru asks. Immediately the phrase ‘baby don’t hurt me…don’t hurt me…no more’ pops into your head.
Goodness how you wish that came true and that this OVA did not totally destroy you in the most painful way possible.
It’s a common enough premise for a story, an AI who wants to feel love and be a human (see: Pinocchio). But usually, it’s as Haru says; robots who want to feel love and happiness. But what about Natsu? Yamamoto tackles the negative emotions that accompany the loneliness and futility of human emotions by having Natsu. Natsu does not ask what love is. Instead he is held down by negative emotions. It’s a stark realisation; would robots in these stories want to become human because of all of these negative emotions?
It’s at the end that we receive our answer, and at that point would also be nice to receive a bucket of ice cream and a kitten to soothe the pain.
It’s at the end that Haru realises what love is. It’s then when Natsu realises that not all emotions are bad, and that Haru and Masa are worth the pain that he has suffered both emotionally and physically.
Haru’s childlike naivety grated on me until the climax of the animation. That’s the only thing I would mark down on, really. There was no real character development/heavy insight into their pasts, and Masa still remains a mystery, but seeing as it’s a ten minute short, I’m willing to overlook this. However, Haru’s naivety was what got me the most. His realisation at the end of the film of what love is to him; simple, comfortable, happiness, and the way that he simply states it caused something to well up in my from the inside and spill out of my eyes in the form of tears and from my mouth in the form of a sound more akin to a dying whale.
The art was beautiful, as usual from Soubi Yamamoto. As one of her earlier works, her proportions are still a bit skewed, and angles too sharp, but she retains her charming style of art and quirky animation through the captions littered across the short and patterns and real life photography contrasting with the exaggerated cartoon motion.
When I speak about the track played at the end of the short, I have to speak about that scene. All of that scene.
The music played is a quiet and slow piano piece, a simple arrangement of chords which lets the dialogue between Haru and Natsu shine through. The piece maintains its quiet melancholy even through the violent event that rips through the climax of the short, and maintains it still through choked out sobs and a simple realisation of what love is. When it started playing, it really did sound like a finality. Haru and Natsu, lit by the sun, walking hand-in-hand and that track emphasises their comfortable happiness that they share in that moment. Haru grieving, that track just emphasises his loss and his emotion. And finally, with the appearance of Masa, the notion of a ‘home’ and the realisation of love; a bittersweet relief that their search for the meaning of love had ended.
At the end, I did not cry from grief. I cried from happiness that finally, two cruelly abandoned robots had a loving home. From the happiness that at last, they knew the despair and joy of human emotion.
Perhaps you watch it, fully invested in this fictional world, but it will hit you. Seeing what were two empty shells filled up with human emotions when they were not programmed to do so did something to me.
You finish watching and you ask yourself; ‘what is love?’
The entire short was a reminder of being human. Of feeling. And that’s what I love about Yamamoto’s scriptwriting. Her take on the human condition and the philosophies adopted by her characters is thought provoking and touching, and you’ll find yourself thinking about that question long after you have watched this short.
‘What is love?’ you think.
Thinking about it makes you cry more, so you quickly abandon the thought in favour of a family sized bucket of ice-cream and a blanket in an attempt to stop your tears.
This 10 minutes anime is possibly the best I have ever seen. After watching almost all of her work, I have fallen head-over-heels in love with Soubi Yamamoto’s work. It holds such depth and raw beauty.
Robotica*Robotics starts with two little robots, Haru and Natsu, sitting on an old couch with a sign, Junk attached. Then we meet Masa, the Shady Middle Aged Man, and he asks the two what they would do if he killed himself.
From there things grow and we have one simple question we must answer by the. What is love? Haru constantly asks this, and neither Natsu nor Masa can give him a solid answer. Half way through I found myself asking, What is love? Is it real? Is it fake? What exactly is it? I still can’t figure it out, and I love that. Not only is this story touching, adorable, lovable, and heart-wrenching, but it also makes you think.
How she fit all that into ten minutes amazes me.
My favorite part of Soubi-san’s work! I love the creativity and vibrant colors with that underlying darkness. I read an interview describing how she loved the ability to add colors that made thing pop and were so bright in anime.
Her style is so unique and elegant.
The characters are drawn with a lanky and bright pattern, something that never gets old. Her eyes also fascinating, from Kakashi of This Boy Can Fight Aliens black mess of swirls to Isaki of This Boy Caught a Merman’s vibrant highlighted eyes. In R*R I love Haru’s eye; I feel they express him so well.
The art style continues to amaze with its borderline childishness and realisticness. I’m sure many would disagree with the latter, but I feel like it captures the raw emotions and feelings in a realistic manner. With a mishmash of colors and swirls and scribbles its just so amazing.
I love the music that they use. It has a great simplicity and elegance. It also managed to add to the mood and pulled at my heartstrings just the right way to make me tear up. I watched the dubbing (plan to watch sub soon) and I loved the casting. Haru’s voice was so chilling to me, the perfect amount of child like curiosity and emotionless-ness. Natsu had just enough human emotion.
Haru and Natsu are complete opposites yet they are so right for one another. Haru is so childish and series at the same time, while Natsu is the mature sturdy one. The development, especially of Natsu, is amazing. I only give this a 9 because I would have loved to see more development for Masa. But other then that I just love them all.
It made me think. I love that. It also made me tear up, giggle, scream, squeal, and just so many other emotions in ten minutes. How can someone be so amazing? Soubi-san is my hero!
Yep it gets a straight up 10!
13: Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaimono
Japanese: スーパーダンガンロンパ2.5 狛枝凪斗と世界の破壊者
MAL Score: 7.17
At Hope’s Peak Academy, a school full of extraordinarily talented individuals, Nagito Komaeda is an ordinary boy with no special traits or interesting skills to speak of—except for his incredible unluckiness. Just walking to school in the morning leads to a number of unfortunate accidents, which only escalate as the day goes on. Despite this, Komaeda leads a relatively normal life and is satisfied with his modest slice of happiness.
But everything changes when a mysterious boy who declares himself the “Destroyer of the World” arrives to shatter this hopeless paradise.
A lot of Danganronpa fans will be pissed, I can tell you this much already.
This short OVA presents one of the events that took place after Super Danganronpa 2, most likely during the events of Danganronpa 3- Mirai-hen. More specifically it showcases exactly how did the rest of the 77th class got out of the Neo World Program. Without spoiling anything, it’s a pretty reasonable explanation of both what happened with the people eliminated from the game and how did they get out, but it does have its own share of plot holes, which was unavoidable. I’m glad that they did this, rather than leave the fans creating theories forever, but, from what we’ve seen in Danganronpa 3, we already know they don’t care all that much about believability.
The art style is the same as in the anime that it’s a part of (Danganronpa 3), and the music consists of tracks from the second game, such as “DIVE DRIVE” and “CROSS SWORD”, that weren’t used in the previous anime installments. It’s nice to hear them being brought here, even if they’re just pretty short, fan service cameos.
With all that being said, any Danganronpa fan should watch this, just for the sake of it. If you want to know how did the author explain himself from the massive plothole, this is it. It’s always good to have more Danganronpa, especially when Nagito is the main character. Be sure to give it a shot.
As a big Danganronpa fan, I was highly interested in the events that happened after Hinata Hajime and the others woke up from the Neo World Program and what happened to the others that were still asleep. I’ve read with all honestly, many fanfictions that had the ‘What happened when they were still sleeping and what did the others do to help them wake up’- topic. And I swear, all of them were overall better written and more logical than this OVA, that we even have to accept as cannon.
But with no further adue, I will get to the category ratings that MAL wants me to do.
I wouldn’t even call this a story. It shouldn’t even be called a script. It is just a half-done script made into an anime. This shouldn’t even be called an anime. It is just moving art. With voices.
It is just a premise that was executed. Poorly to that.
Danganronpa 3 didn’t have bad art. It actually had decent art, and animated it actually looked pretty cool. I am also used to better work from Lerche. The art doesn’t look bad on its own, but at some points, I was just baffled at how different a character suddenly looked from a time difference of mere seconds. The Danganronpa characters already looked very different from their ingame ego, but here they look especially different. In a bad way.
Danganronpa, especially Danganronpa 2 is very well liked for its OST. While listening to this OVA I identified many of the well-known and also well liked OST of the games. But it is distracting. At some point I even thought the background sound was too loud and overplayed the by the way terrible voice acting. If that was on purpose may or may be not the case.
For the voice acting they at least managed to get all the voice actors of the characters of the game. Too bad that the lip sync isn’t in sync with the voice acting most of the time. The voice acting felt also very soulless. It just felt the actors wanted to get done with it. Megumi Ogata can do better, I know this.
This is not a category MAL wants to be rated but I have to talk about it. Directing is the choice where to put the camera and how it moves. In this OVA we get the typical mediocre Directing. Characters faces are seen up close 90% of the time, while the camera just swipes to left and right. Sometimes there are still shots. This is all in favor of keeping the budget/work as low as possible. And it feels like it.
Too bad the art looks bad so when there is a still shot it all just looks ‘meh’.
The characters featured in this OVA are Komaeda, Sonia, Souda, Kuzuryuu and a little bit of Pekoyama. We also get a little comedy act at the beginning of the OVA for OOC Naegi and Maizono. To this OVAs luck, Sonia and Kuzuryuu are my favourite characters from the game, and at least their Komaedas dream persona is not too OOC and actually acceptable. The only characters who act OOC are Komaeda – which is in favor of the ‘plot’ – and Naegi and Maizono. We get to see other characters from the Danganronpa game Another Episode and the Novel Danganronpa Zero too. But these are just very few seconds of screen time, without them doing anything significant. In a still shot.
Enjoyment and Overall Opinion
This OVA is as significant as Danganronpa 3 Despair Arcs Kamukura Izuru. He existed. He did something. But it was overall worthless, boring, terribly executed and nothing we couldn’t have written a better fanfiction of. It is just a little fanservice for the fans. Is this something bad? Not really, but it is baffling to the fans who actually wanted something out of the little bit of story left, that wasn’t ruined by the letdown that was Danganronpa 3 – The anime, yet.
Overall my Enjoyment was a 4/10.
But on a critical level this OVA is worthless and skip able – therefore a 2/10.
Hope is a concept that can’t be defined in a few words, or articles, or even books, it’s something than changes depending on the person who posess it. Nothing can match hope when it comes to the feelings that can influence someone’s life and change the person’s perspective on it , but did you ever imagine what hope would look like if it was a person ? Probably not, because neither did I , But if you ever felt like it , well watch Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaimono, because Nagito is the person whom you’re looking for.
-Story : 7/10
The plot set of Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaimono doesn’t matter that much, unless you played danganronpa 1 & 2 , or you love hope , you can’t understand what’s going on . But if that’s the case , you should know that hope is more of a lifestyle than a state of mind because it contorls your actions , your likes and your dislikes . Altough I bet you didn’t ever read the title of the anime because it’s very long , oh wait ; you don’t understand japanese ; neither do I .
-Art : 7/10
Pretty much like the story , the art is not the strongest thing in Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaimono , so if you only watch anime because you consider it as work of art , you should rather go and watch ghibli movies or something .
-Sound : 10/10
The soundtrack of the danganronpa series , composed by Masafumi Takada is lit , and they used some of it here , so it’s good obviously.
Or should I say character , Nagito is objectively the best character in the danganronpa universe full of great characters , let alone an anime where he’s the only character (I’m talking of course about Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaimono)
Like I said earlier , If you like Hope and Nagito , you will like Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaimono , Because hope is a purpose of life whether you like it or not , and there’s hajime too .
Hope can also be considered a double edged sword , so if you obsess over it , you might become like Nagito , and I’m not talking about his homeless hair, but your beliefs and thoughts will all be related to hope , not only yours but also the hope of the people around you . Roses are red , violets are blue , hope is amazing , and this anime is too .
12: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku: Outbreak
Japanese: ひぐらしのなく頃に拡 アウトブレイク
MAL Score: 7.22
It is 1983, and Hinamizawa is under quarantine. A mysterious and deadly virus has been discovered within the small village, and its residents—such as teenager Keiichi Maebara and his friends Mion Sonozaki and Rena Ryuuguu—are left confused and frightened by the situation.
As the villagers begin to search for a way to stop the affliction from spreading, some make drastic plans, which leaves Keiichi and his friends looking for a way to escape the village. But when tensions reach an all-time high, some of his group may not make it out unscathed as they fight for their lives against enemies both seen and unseen.
Basically you can think of it as another world where things went bad but this time you will see how everything continued until the end I guess. Who knows how will it end. We can meditate about it.
The style is similar to the previous Higurashi series but different from OVAs that were more like parodies. Kaku is very serious and you can see again everyone (yeah especially Rena and her insane face) covered in blood. You will meet all the already known characters and see the good old Hinamizawa again. Hmm yea, not good at all but you know what I mean… 😀
The OVA is about 50 minutes long so it’s like two anime episodes in one. I actually didn’t believe in the end that it is already over. It really got me so I forgot about time etc. Don’t wanna say that it’s the best anime OVA ever, some scenes and moments in the plot are a bit childish and naive I would say and could have been done better. (don’t wanna spoil much) However, I got caught by this OVA and I am sure that every fan of Higurashi will feel the same way. The plot is very fast (of course, just 50 mins for all the stuff in there) thus it’s not boring and it ends in the best. In other words there is no time for boring scenes.
This OVA also helped me a bit to understand more about the whole mysterious plot. Especially Hanyuu and Rika’s short dialogue is very interesting. To tell the truth, we never saw any of the paralel world coming that far as this one.
Btw, you know the song called “Dear You” from the Higurashi game? I remember tons of comments on the Internet that this song should be used also in the anime. Well, some dreams that may seem impossible sometimes come true. Thanks Oyashiro-sama.
The result? If you liked previous Higurashi series (and felt that you need more of Hinamizawa), definitely watch this OVA. No more to say. Even if you ignored the rest of the OVAs that were just weird parodies made for fun, this one is different.
Considering how disappointed I was with a large proportion of Kira, I was trying my best not to get my hopes up for this OVA but upon seeing the trailer, I found it difficult not to. It looked serious, it looked exciting; Rena had her cleaver and Keiichi is armed with the bat. What’s not to instantly get excited about?
In general, it was an interesting episode and longer than your typical episodes so that it is about the length of a double episode. It did however have a few flaws that with some careful thought about the plot could have been easily smoothed out.
This may be an obvious point but you should have watch series 1 and 2 before watching this.
Story: In general, the story is interesting. It deals with the ‘Outbreak’ (unsurprisingly) of the “virus”. I will avoid going into too many details but it deals with the action from external groups and more importantly the reaction of the villagers themselves. The plot-line is very reminiscent of the original Higurashi episodes. It is dark, there is plenty of violence and you can see the connection between the club members.
Character: With a couple of exceptions, I felt this is where the episode really fell down. It was without… ‘love’. Both Rena and Keiichi in particular seemed to do things that had very little emotion attached to them – unlike in the previous series, their violence seemed a little… like a spree rather than for any particular reason.
Actually Rika, despite her small part in the episode as a whole, gets me applause. Everything from her expressions and her ‘Bern-esque’ voice got me. I’m pretty sure there may have been some gentle underlying suggestions about the links to Umineko.
Overall: Overall I enjoyed it despite the little character flaws, it made a nice change from Kira and the ‘happy-happy-love-love’ Higurashi to something just that little bit darker. There seems to be doubt as to whether this is the last episode or whether there will be more. It seemed to me that the episode lent itself to a little more storytelling.
– Director: Alright staff! Lets recup: What did the audiences like in the Higurashi series?
-Staff 1: I know, I know! The mystery and never really knowing what’s going on.
-Staff 2: How human and full of flows the characters were. Even the killers had times when they were afraid, confused and in complete disarray about their emotions.
-Staff 3: How the community was a quiet, eerie place on the surface, full of dark secrets and people who moved in the shadows in the background. Also how cut it was from the outside world!
-Staff 4: How the characters are slowly slipping into insanity, starting to doubt if what they’re seeing is real?
– Director: Excellant! Excellant! You pointed out everything that we will NOT do in the movie!
– Staff1: But wouldn’t that just piss off all our viewers and send our ratings skydiving without a parachute? I mean we already fucked up with the OVAs…
– Director: Exactly! Now on to create a zombie apocalypse movie!
Yes, yes, it’s not EXACTLY a zombie apocalypse but, come on! The similarities are waaaay too obvious. The madness that covers the whole village takes the form of a plague that the world goverment is afraid of, there are killers walking around the streets missing a lot of brain cells and our protagonists go all Rambo on said killers. Oh and I do mean “all Rambo”
Supposedly EVERYONE in the world already had parasites living inside them which were the cause people became divided in religions, countries etc, depending on the parasite type. (Really movie? We’re going there?) And suddenly these become actively hostile towards the different variations of parasites meaning people go into a mindless manslaughter against people with different parasites. Well, that’s towards the middle part of the movie and the end. The movie actually begins with the world goverment putting the whole village our protagonists live in under quarantine. Yes, with tanks, soldiers, etc etc. Don’t you remember how you just loved seeing the world outside the village interract with the people in the village blowing away all the eerie atmosphere?
Anyway the people of the village consider Satoko the source of the evil curse that has befallen them and prepare to sacrifice her to the local deity. So the club members decide to rescue her! Aka Mion gets K.O.ed in an instant and is effortlessly moved around as a package by the protagonist’s family, while Keiichi and Rena singehandedly rescue Satoko. And oh, my God! There are over 100 people wondering around with guns and other weapons looking to kill them! How will the Keiichi and Rena manage to sneak past them? (Since… You know, they’re humans. With no super powers whatsoever. And they’re not Batman.)…Sneak past them? Man up you cowards! As Keiichi brilliantly puts it before grabbing his baseball bat : “A hundrend? Only a hundrend?”
Yes, I’m dead serious. Keiichi and Rena easily slaughter 100 people on their own while being cocky as f$”% about it. Are you starting to see the problems of the movie? It’s NOT HIGURASHI. Hell, even the OVAs were closer to the original Higurashi than this. It’s like making Sadako from Ringu a news reporter. The fact that she has something to do with TV doesn’t mean she fits there!. Same goes with the Higurashi cast. The fact that zombie apocalypse is a type of horror and Higurashi also belongs in the horror genre doesn’t mean that the Higurashi cast fits in a zombie apocalypse!
In the end they manage to rescue Satoko, escape the city through one of Mion’s family secret passages and Rika decides to stay behind and wait for civilization to begin again… Directors, if you can’t axe-off a cast member DON’T invent some stupid reason to get them seperated from the rest. I mean, there are writers who can pull that off, but clearly you’re not among them. If you can’t kill them let them stay. Anyway… Our protagonist go outside the village, into a world destroyed by the sudden mania the parasites have caused (boy we sure skipped fast through that one).
To sum up: It’s not Higurashi! Not even a fun spin-off. Stupid, uninspired, terribly written and doesn’t have anything that made you like the original series.
11: Tokyo Ghoul: “Pinto”
Japanese: 東京喰種 トーキョーグール【PINTO】
MAL Score: 7.23
Shuu Tsukiyama is a “ghoul”: a creature who eats human flesh, and he likes to enjoy his meals to the fullest. One night, while relishing in the premeditated murder of his dinner, Shuu’s much anticipated first bite is disturbed by a sudden flash of light.
The flash turns out to be from the camera of high schooler Chie Hori, who presents Shuu with the perfect picture capturing his true nature; the extremely clear shot of a bloody corpse and an overly excited Shuu threatens to expose his ghoul identity, thus Shuu needs to sort out this situation quickly.
After Shuu discovers that Chie attends the same high school as him and is even in the same class, the reason behind his feelings of obsession changes from self-preservation to morbid curiosity. As he grows closer to the absent-minded and extremely odd photographer, he challenges them both to learn more about each other’s conflicting worlds; Shuu promises that Chie will come out of this experience with a photograph superior to the one she already has.
So here we have an interesting little side story from Shuu Tsukiyama’s high school days when he met photographer, Chie Hori.
There isn’t much to this story but it was interesting to say the least – it revolves around Tsukiyama meeting this “oddball”, Chie Hori, who randomly takes a picture of him feasting on a meal one night; Tsukiyama’s immediate response to discovering her was to devour her however he is distracted by her camera flashes as she takes some pictures, then all of a sudden Tsukiyama develops some lima syndrome and decides to “befriend” her instead which was an interesting choice.
As expected, with Tsukiyama’s brilliant personality, he is extremely popular with the ladies in high school which brings some jealousy among the men however this idea isn’t remotely touched upon as Hori immediately cuts into the scene. This story is mainly about Tsukiyama trying to find the reason why he didn’t feast upon Hori that night.
Not the best, but definitely not the worst. It is acceptable to the point where it just flows and you don’t immediately notice any flaws.
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant – Tsukiyama’s excellent choice of vocabulary, exhilarating french accent and orgasmic screams alone make up entirely for the enjoyment of the show.
We have a good contrast between Tsukiyama’s extremely vivid design and Hori’s bland/modest yet still interesting “oddball” – the sighs Tsukiyama makes towards Hori conveys so much of a lighthearted feeling in them.
Personally I enjoyed this short OVA quite a bit, not much as much as Tokyo Ghoul: JACK, but still on quite a high level. The voice acting of Tsukiyama is just superb in all ways.
If you’re a Tokyo Ghoul fan, you definitely need to watch this.
This show isn’t as terrible as the first ones.
It’s about Shuu Tsukiyama, the weird guy from the original meeting a little girl, Chie Hori, who took his picture while he was eating one of his victims. This girl is an oddball. The only thing that interests her is photography. She’s not at all shocked about the fact that Shuu is a ghoul and this surprised him. So they become “friends”. He then takes her to a hospital, tells her to sneak in some old man’s room at night and take pictures of what she sees inside. Long story short there’s an abusive nurse, Shuu comes in and eats a bit of the old man, then threatens to throw Chie out the window, then actually throws her, but finally catches her at the end.
The story isn’t anything special really. Same old Tokyo Ghouls, so 3/10
Not much to be said here really. the art is ok. Nothing special but still looks good. 6/10
The music was pretty ok too. I liked the orchestra music when Shuu was eating the old man. 5/10
Shuu is the same old weird guy and Chie is somewhat of a dandere. I found their interactions kinda boring and the characters uninteresting however not annoying and irritating as some of the characters from the original (eg: Kaneki). I did enjoy the sheer insanity and random mood swings of Shuu though. And the nurse was fun as well. 4/10
I like this one more than the original so far. The story’s the same and the characters aren’t great but as I already said they’re not as terrible as the original ones. 5/10
Not the worst so far. I’ll continue watching it.
10: Ou Dorobou Jing in Seventh Heaven
English: Jing: King of Bandits – Seventh Heaven
Japanese: 王ドロボウ JING in Seventh Heaven
MAL Score: 7.28
Jing, the infamous King of Bandits, finds himself and his feathered partner Kir behind bars in Seventh Heaven, the most notorious prison complex in the world. There, they seek to steal the Dream Orb from the convict Campari. But before doing so, they must escape from the prison of dreams that Campari has conjured for them.
The art in the OVA is excellent as it merges with the sound. This anime OVA (original video animation) ova means it was sent straight to video and skipped TV airing, it brings new meaning to Edgar Allan Poe’s words, “Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream,” because that is what this ova is about. It deals with if you had someone else’s dreams or memories what would you do with them, would you even want them, and if yes how much time would you devote to them. We can probably all agree that our lives are interesting and difficult enough, but how important is escapism, knowledge, and wisdom to you. May I suggest, if you can apply it it is very important.
If you can get this English dubbed get it, it’s worth the investment and time. The dub is very good I wouldn’t watch it otherwise though (it’s fast moving). It’s an anime ova that encourages deeper thinking, but says have fun doing it (and does it well).
9: Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai!
MAL Score: 7.28
The Yomota family is small and typical: father Kinekuni (42), mother Tamiko (38), and son Inumaru (17). One day, a beautiful girl appears at their front door, calling herself “Maroko Yomota,” granddaughter of Inumaru who travels back in time with a time machine to visit her ancestors. Even with Tamiko’s strong objection, Kinekuni and Inumaru welcome her to stay with them, and the structure of a happy family has begun to collapse.
Nonetheless, when approaching the charms and disillusionments of any show, our vision is rarely able to cope with the bigger picture, and to prove a point we must, more often than not, focus our attention in the specifics. In those details that for some might be of scarce relevance, but that in great measure have the potential to make a difference, both in a good and a bad direction.
There is really no other way to start referring to Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai! than by mentioning its unique conception of staging. In this matter, the setting is eminently static and simple, most of the times simulating an actual theatrical mise-en-scène. This becomes particularly noticeable thanks to the certain use of props, the blatant repetition of trademarks, the measured use of lightning and noted visual gimmicks such as superposition. Admittedly the elements are not many, yet they are consistently deliberate.
The role of the characters fits consequently, when even the setting gets a thematical importance, their existence consists of several layers. Are they actors? Are they puppets instead? Or are they simply the people the story is telling us they are?
As it turns out, all the previous options are correct, giving them room to question what is happening from various perspectives. Their actions and expressions are clearly dramatized, with abundance of gesticulation; and, narratively speaking, the use of soliloquies to directly refer to the audience. Their appearance, closer to that of puppets, is more of a themed importance and reflects in the same roles they’re playing.
Put together in the late 80s by Studio Pierrot, this production is noteworthy for being the result of a collaboration from many interesting names from the industry. Heading them all is a pre-Ghost in the Shell Mamoru Oshii, directly afterwards his role with the 1st Mobile Police Patlabor OVA alongside with the rest of the Headgear group. This series presents us with his more comedic manner of scripting, which might be not the most popular of his facets, but certainly one worth of recognition. The musical scope is composed by Kenji Kawai.
When it comes to old school OVAs, odds are you’re not precisely going to be delighted with what you see. They won’t ever be the paragon of originality and they frequently got discontinued midway. Gosenzo-sama is a refreshing proof that this was not always the case, and will remain as an entertaining option for those who don’t mind to dig a little bit deeper.
Thanks for reading.
The anime starts off by a doorbell ringing. Followed by a 10 minutes long debate over who should open the door. When it’s finally opened, a person claiming to be a timetraveler is standing behind the door and declares she is the future granddaughter of the house owner’s son. This is accepted by the father, and by the son (upon prove), but not by the mother. This breaks the family apart, and starts off a story so tragicomedic it could as well be originating from ancient Greek.
An aspect similar seen in titles such as Zaregoto, Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei and Jinrui -where the main characters are nameless personas such as I, Watashi and Boku- is introduced. What Babanzai does is on whole other dimension, however. It creates a character called “Audience”, which is -you guessed it- the viewer itself. With this, the series starts addressing all sort of issues related to family, life, society, future, past, and even to issues such as how helpless it is for the characters to take controll of their own lives when they come to acknowledge that they are indeed puppets controlled by the creator of this anime. Is it okay just to give up? Maybe the viewer can offer some help?
In case this review got your interested, a word of warning. This series took me off guard so hard I had to watch it twice just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. In case you plan on trying it, make sure to come with an open mind and mindset ready for a different type of adventure.
Their normal life starts to collapse after the arrival of a mysterious girl, Maroko, who claims to be Inumaru’s granddaughter from the future. Even though she has a hereditary star-shaped birthmark on her buttock, Tamiko refuses to acknowledge her as Yomota. So, she leaves her husband and son, and hires a private detective, Bannai Tatara, to reveal the true identity of the uninvited guest.
Driven by self-irony and absurd, slapstick humor, a twisted, paradoxical story is directed in the vein of the French New Wave masters, with a short metaphorical mockumentary in which different kinds of birds and humans are compared, at the beginning of each episode.
An otherwise linear narrative rooted in its own logic is deconstructed, as Oshii plays with both the characters’ and the audience’s expectations. However, his anarchic shenanigans are not meaningless and they do follow some rules – no matter how strange it may sound.
Utterly aware of the fact they are nothing but marionettes controlled by a merciless puppeteer, the protagonists still try to manipulate the events in order to turn the situation to their own advantage. Occasionally, they burst into “karaoke soliloquies” under the spotlight – and not only figuratively speaking. With the most essential props and the minimalist backdrops on one hand and medium-related “deviations” on the other, “Gosenzosama Banbanzai!” is simultaneously stagey and filmic.
After all this spectacle you are left wandering through this labyrinth of ideas, hoping to find the answer to a question asked since the beggining of human life: “Who are you, only a puppet?”
8: Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko
English: She and Her Cat: Their Standing Points
MAL Score: 7.31
It was on a rainy spring day that Chobi became a young woman’s pet cat. Though he immediately fell in love with the beautiful and kind person who took him in, he can never hope to fully understand the complex world of humans. Over the course of their first year living in the same apartment, Chobi and his new owner live in their own separate worlds?—standing alone yet close together.
Being that there is no color in She and Her Cat adds to the OVA rather than ruins it. This could’ve happened because of the popular belief that cats see in black and white (they really see in color), but it really makes this 5 minute story stand out that much more. There are many freeze frames in the OVA, with the most animation coming from the background images, but this makes the story more involved and focused on and therefore it seems to fit the mood.
As with the simple, but highly detailed animation comes the sound. Chobi’s voice is constant in this OVA; he gives his side of his conversations and tells everything from a narrative point of view other times. There are a few other sounds such as sound effects, but the soft background songs in it are great and soothing.
There are just three characters in this: Chobi, She, and Mimi, the cat that Chobi dates in the summer. The unamed girl She is shown as a lonely person who’s only true friend in life is Chobi. While Mimi, on the other hand, is a cute kitten who wants to marry Chobi. Chobi disagrees; he thinks it is a false promise due to her just being a kitten and that he loves the more ‘adult’ woman instead.
Overall, She and Her Cat was delightful. Very rarely can you tell a great story in just 5 minutes, but Makoto Shinkai pulled it off very well for being his first project. While maybe a little rushed, it was still a wholesome work of art. It’s short, it’s sweet (yet dark on some levels), and it has just a bit of innocence everyone needs once and awhile. And even if you think you won’t like She and Her Cat, just try watching it once. 5 minutes is all you need.
The animation is, simply put, incredible. Beautifully drawn black and white scenes that are contrasted against detailed backgrounds – this could even remind someone of an old live-action film (as improbable as that sounds, just watch it yourself). Everything looks incredibly realistic except for the cat, but it was purposefully drawn in a simplistic way to put emphasis on its persona and plight.
There was very little music that I can remember but I liked the cat’s calm, quiet, maybe even melancholy, voice. Although the main character is a cat, he speaks like a wise scholar.
The story…well, there’s actually none, but that hardly matters since the fluid, interesting narration was the meat and bones of this OVA and more than made up for its lack of plot. She and Her Cat is about a cat’s romantic love for its owner and how it sees life. Sounds a bit boring to you? You’ll be surprised and impressed at how much thought Makoto Shinkai put into this. The cat’s remarkable intelligence and subtle narration actually made me contemplate about my own life, and all the mistakes I made throughout it. For such a short piece, is nothing short of astounding.
There are only two characters here: a cat and its owner. You’ll learn an impressive amount of information about these two, even though this anime is so short. I was actually able to relate to, and feel sympathetic for, the cat’s wistful love for his owner, and his heartbreaking desire to have a lover that was more like her. For everyone who has ever loved someone who was unattainable, this will definitely strike home. As for the cat’s owner, you’ll learn through the touching monologue why the cat loves her so.
Overall, an excellent use of 5 minutes. You will not be disappointed in the slightest. If only a third of all anime series were as profound as this…
There doesn’t seem to be a story beyond ‘I am a cat. This is my opinion of the world.’ That by itself makes for a philosophical short with an interesting take on life. Anyone who’s owned a cat has wondered what goes on between those ears, and I believe that if cats could talk they’d agree with everything that this cat does.
The art in this OVA is rather interesting – it’s done in a black-and-white, simplistic, somewhat grainy manner. Despite the fact that the human is very realistically done and the cats are simplified and ‘chibi’, it still maintains an intriguingly real appearance.
Perhaps I am biased, but I had a hard time with the sound. Although it is nicely done, the sound effects and music are much louder than the vocals and detract from the overall enjoyment.
Although you never quite become bonded close enough to the human of the series to feel for her, you do bond very quickly with the cat and his quirky philosophy. Although the cat feels somewhat flat, anyone who has dealt with a cat will quickly recognize the "I’m so smart" face they try to put on.
Overall this is a very enjoyable, and quick watch for someone looking to have a ‘Five-Minute Philosophy Break’, or who is just looking for a quirky anime.
English: Cat Soup
MAL Score: 7.32
The main character, a cat named Nyatto, embarks upon a journey to save his sister’s soul, which was ripped in two when Nyatto tried to save her from Death. She trails after him, brain-dead. They encounter many brilliant, mind-bending situations, beginning with a disturbing magic show.
Through the film, we follow the cat Nyatto on his quest to reclaim his sister’s lost soul. They embark on a strange journey filled with mystery, darkness and disturbing obstacles. There isn’t much more to say, really.
Nyatto and his sister – and also a few other characters – were all in Nekojiru Gekijou, the series this film spawned from. Although this story takes place in the same world as the original series, this is not similar to it at all. All the black humor that Nekojiru Gekijou was built upon have been replaced with a dark and disturbing tale.
When people watch a movie such as this that blends surrealism and symbolism into a lovely mix, they usually react differently. The writer might not have had any ideas behind all of it, and there’s a possibility that there are no real answers to the mysteries. In other words, you’re free to interpret it as you like. That’s what made David Lynch’s "Eraserhead" so popular amongst some, while being hated by others.
The only thing I don’t like with Cat Soup is that it’s a tad too short. There’s potential for so much more. One can only hope for some kind of sequel in the future.
Moving on to the technicalities, they do their job well, but they aren’t enough to entirely save this work. The characters and the visuals look appealing and distinctive enough to differentiate them from other works, as is the case with all Yuasa works, but that really doesn’t excuse it’s redundant and unimaginative cat design. The soundtrack is fine as it is, and a short experimental movie of this type needed a minimalistic soundtrack to work and achieve some of it’s cryptic undertones, even when no track particularly stood out.
If this Anime had an end goal in sight, or knew what it was going for and what it wanted to accomplish from the very beginning, then it would have been excused and given a good rating. Unfortunately, interesting visuals and ideas cannot save a meandering work. In fact, the more the ideas the more it’s chances of failing succeed due to becoming more and more pointless throughout, as a quote once said “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”
Good: Simple and deep
The story is basically about two cat siblings with Nyako, the brother, searching for some way to resurrect, Nyatta, his dead sister. The opening minutes of the short film are about as direct it’ll get. Beyond that point, it becomes a journey into the abstract. Filled with a visit to the circus involving seeing a magic act of a woman getting completely chopped into pieces, discovering an elephant made out of water in a desert, and the ocean becoming completely frozen to name few odd things you’ll see. As odd some of these descriptions are, they do get across simple ideas. For example, when the cat siblings visit the circus Nyako firmly believes he can fully resurrect his dead sister after seeing a circus act performing a seemingly impossible act. It is a simple moment that is straight to the point.
Virtually non-existent dialogue, the story is told in a way that the few lines of dialogue aren’t needed to understand the story. It’s a risky decision, but pays off to give off the vibe of being in a strange dream. Nothing is given a direct explanation when going from one event to the next. Instead of stopping in one area to explain the significance of a scene, it goes straight to the next odd scene. Its story is quite simple to get behind, but whether or not it has any meaning is never confirmed within the work itself.
Good: Once again, simple and easy to get behind
It’s a single OVA meaning the protagonist motivation is kept at a basic level. Being more than enough to follow Nyako on his journey. His simplicity makes him appealing and immediately thoughtful. Simply seeing his parents’ negligence towards him and his sister in the household says allot about the bond he has with his family. With that said the story is essentially what you see is all you get. Allowing the viewer to form their own interpretation on everything that unfolded.
The supporting cast is filled mostly with anthropomorphic animals with some humans. Whenever a human character is on screen, it usually leads to trouble. They’re only given one purpose which is entirely fine since it’s going for more showing than actually telling. The only true negative to the characters is there is not much to analyze or sink into. All the characters are straightforward without ever diverting from their set path.
Good: Even the technical side of it is odd
On the animation side J.C. Staff succeeds in creating a dreamlike feeling. Anathanpromorbic animals are given simple design that makes them look cute to greatly contrast against the cruel action. Humans are drawn like humans, though they don’t appear much in the OVA and often use a blank expression. It has a muted color palette that seems off visually making it seem as if life has been taken out of it. Emphasizing the whole surreal nature of the world where all the oddities belong can belong together. By design, it at times looks hand drawn and at one point even begins to look like a kid’s coloring book. Whatever J.C. Staff used to color their images in this OVA it looks as natural as coloring by hands instead of a computer.
There’s virtually no voice acting in the OVA. When there is dialogue it’s presented through a speech bubble that adds more to the dreamlike feeling than adding to the story. In the sound department stuff like footsteps, water flowing, ticking clocks, squeaky toys, and a dozen other effects make up the sound department. The music is split between sounding light hearted and welcoming which soon become interrupted by eerie static like noises. It fits the OVA perfectly giving an eerie, unsettling atmosphere in the darker scenes. It can also be sweet when in use during scenes where nothing out of the ordinary happens to simply show the cat siblings taking care of one another. The closing credits uses the most editing with a music box to close the OVA. Combining both childlike wonder and an eerie presence by looping the music box in at random moment.
On the DVD there’s an audio commentary track that is not exactly helpful to say the least. Director Tatsuo Sato explains that many of the scenes do not have an underlying meaning or if there was one, he forgot what it was. Admitting he had no intention in mind when putting the film together. So pretty much you make of what you see.
Personal Enjoyment: I liked it, even if it’s possibly meaningless
It was an oddity about half an hour long so even if I did dislike it the short length would be a saving grace. I like seeing strange stuff no matter how weird it gets. I’m just in shocked J.C. Staff actually made something I would call smart. In general, J.C. Staff doesn’t come across as a studio to take risks or stray off from their comfort zone with anime that are heavy on the slice of life elements or attempting to duplicate their previous success with a Shakugan no Shana clone. This short film doesn’t change my views on the studio as anything other than being average, but it has earned them more of my respect by creating something out of their comfort zone.
Technical (Animation, Music, Sound Effect, ect.): 3/3
Personal Enjoyment: 1/1
Cat Soup/Nekojiru-sou is like a collection of episodic shorts splice together into a 32 minute OVA with any true meaning to it left with no answer from what the material provides. It’s a short film with virtually non-existing dialogue that’s reliant on visuals alone by combining cute, simple designed characters in bizarrely dark situations to tell its story. This OVA is very much a visual experience that’s intriguing for the creativity it display in a short length. Watch it for the visuals and creativity, leave with your own meaning.
That concludes the review portion of this review. The remainder is simply a paragraph on my interpretation of the OVA. After that, it’s five paragraphs of what I learned about Chiyomi Hashiguchi, the mangaka of Nekojiru-sou. MAL has their own biography on the mangaka, but it was rather short so I wrote what I gather. With that written, continue if you like.
Bonus Passage: My Interpretation on the film (SPOILERS, SPOILERS HERE)
Based on my opinion and what I gathered. Nyako is sister is dead. Living alone with his drunkard father and mother who did not care. Nyatta was the only one who he had and he chased a miracle to rescue her. Catching god of death himself, Nyako took half of her soul, returning it back. However, she was not whole. He tried to find the other part half, and there is where the deeper part starts. The main idea of this anime is nobody can decide the lives of the others which can be seen in every person they have met. Old hag who made people from spare parts, being patched up herself. Guy who killed others, getting his again. Merciless, selfish circus which destroyed the whole world in the end and in the end Nyako never saw that his desires were actually selfish and that he opposed the God, who showed him how easily he can manipulate time and that only something like God can bring life back. When Nyako in the end saved his sister, because he was mortal it brought a total disorder to the Universe, literally canceling everything, making it vanish. This anime also brings up a topics like natural order, and that we all are part of the circle which is life and death. And that it’s nobody’s fault, that’s just how it is. In the end, God is just laid back dude who eats watermelons and sometimes turns back the time when he drops it down. Or in plain English, it’s likely represent the mangaka husband trying everything he can to save his wife by projecting his feelings onto the characters he and his wife created.
Condense Information I gather about the mangaka:
Chiyomi Hashiguchi, or Nekojiru by her pseudonymous pen name, was the author of a manga called “Nekojiru Udon” published in Garo magazine. “Nekojiru Udon” were based around her own bizarre dream experiences. In Hashiguchi diary (going by reproduced scrawls) reveals a very a fascination with communication breakdown and bodily malfunction, objectively noting every unpleasantry from vomiting dogs to accident victims.
With only the book, “Jusatsu Sarecgatta Boku” (some direct passages from the book), by Yoshiaki Yoshinaga to go on for information my knowledge on Chiyomi Hashiguchi is dense. According to those who knew Chiyomi Hashiguchi personally found her to be somewhat plain and misunderstood, but also unpredictable, mysterious and seemingly fragile if not for shadowy side of her internal personality which she expressed so vividly in her manga. According to the book Chiyomi was diagnosed with manic depressions as well in several occasions being heard saying “I’m not afraid of death”.
At the peak of her popularity in 1997-98, her once relaxed working atmosphere was no more as she had to produce large quantities of work which was out of character. Further reading reveals Chiyomi and her husband, Hajime Yamano (the artist of the manga) didn’t turn down a single offer for work meeting deadline after deadline. At this point in the book, it says many of the scenes depicted in “Nekojiru” were a blend of Chiyomi dreams and what she saw in real life. It’s rather unclear on the details of how to separate what were part of her dream and what she actually saw since she couldn’t separate it herself.
Overworked, she began to drink heavily from being overworked. It stopped being fun for Chiyomi to do her work and now was only a matter of making the deadline. Eventually Chiyomi had run out of ideas, but she had deadlines to meet, and did the best she could manage. She had a strong sense of responsibility, and always found a way of come through in the end. More than once, she found herself cornered by several deadlines and had to push herself to the brink of collapse to finish everything. Having was trying to commit suicide in the past, Nekojiru had written wills on a number of occasions. Her last extant will dated from several years prior. She committed suicide on May 10, in 1998 with the cause of her suicide unknown. The accounts of how it affected her friends were also in the book.
After some research on Chiyomi Hashiguchi doing a simple review wasn’t satisfactory for me. As depressing as it might have been reading the book knowing her tragic end I couldn’t find bring it in me to leave out what I learned about her. The book goes into detail about how she was as a person from accounts from those who her whereas I simply condensed the information I read. In turn, after learning all of this it has made me look at the short OVA in a different way. It’s depressing reading about Chiyomi Hashiguchi and what happened to her, but this OVA is proof she has not been forgotten which in a way makes me happy about its creation no matter what feeling the viewer will have after watching it.
6: Mirai Nikki: Redial
English: The Future Diary: Redial
MAL Score: 7.35
Yuno Gasai lives a normal life as a first-year in high school. She gets along well with her parents and even has a small circle of friends. However, she cannot help but feel as if someone is missing from her life, someone so important to her that it was as if she had lived another life trying desperately to stay with them.
After a class trip to the beach, Yuno returns home; but in the middle of the night, she receives strange messages from a voice only she can hear. The voice informs her of the person she is desperate to meet and that she must find him. Soon, she finds herself in a mysterious realm, her only goal being reunited with the person she cannot remember. Though obstacles stand in her way, Yuno will stop at nothing to meet her beloved once again.
This will be a review for Mirai Nikki Redial and WILL contain spoilers.
Mirai Nikki Redial is about a few seconds over 30 minutes long. This OVA seems to focus mainly on Gasai Yuno as well as other loved characters. In this OVA, we see almost every character living a happy life, apart from Eleventh who plays the roll as a villain of comedic value and Eighth who we do not see.
Redial is not anything of great status on it’s own. However, after watching Mirai Nikki, it was extremely refreshing to hear all the wonderful voices of wonderful characters.
I have always asked my self a question about Mirai Nikki. Is Yuno really insane? To answer that question for myself, I think not. She is just a shy girl who wants nothing more than Yuki’s love. This is proved by her strong will to remember. In the first few minutes of Redial, she turned to see Akise and thought it was Yukiteru.
I see this as two halves. The first half of Redial was a beautiful part of various scenes containing small hints of fanservice, which can always be nice. It also serves as a comedic use in which we see many funny moments between characters like Mao and Twelfth.
The second half focuses on a more serious subject and seems to be main point of Redial. Yuno is trying to reach of certain person. She does not know whom she is trying to reach until she regains her memories due to receiving something from Murumuru.
The story ends nicely with Yuno finally finding Yuki and re-uniting beautifully. The last few moments really got me when she said she wanted to see the stars with him.
After all those good points, there is one bad thing about Redial. It left me wanting to see more Mirai Nikki and left me in a sad mood.
In conclusion, Mirai Nikki Redial is definitely worth the time and achieved many thing. Happiness, Sadness, Laughter. Redial made all those things happen.
Perhaps you wanted a better conclusion, perhaps you’re a completionist. Whatever your reason may be for watching this OVA, you will soon find that you were mistaken from the start. Mirai Nikki is not only filled with betrayals, but it is betrayal in and of itself. This OVA is its final betrayal to you, the hapless viewer.
So, this OVA kicks things off with that camera girl groping the tomboy girl’s breasts at the beach. Every anime needs at least one filler episode at the beach filled with fanservice, right? How foolish we were to think this could be an exception! Meanwhile, Yuno is feeling something is missing in her life. She has flashbacks of Yukiteru and she has an inexplicable longing for him.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold it! Not the damn plot holes again!
1. This is world 3. World 3 Yuno. In the story’s timeline, her parents are still alive and she has thusly never met Yukiteru. This is the Yuno who was going to be murdered and replaced – the whole fucking basis of everything.
2. She should not have any memories of world 2’s Yukiteru. They have nothing to do with each other and they never spent any time together!
3. There is a Yukiteru in world 3. Why wouldn’t there be? Seriously, what the fuck? Why did they just write him off? If she feels like she’s forgotten anyone, it should be him, not the Yukiteru she could not have possibly met! Yuno 1’s memories are confined to Murmur’s red crystal – there is no reason why they should be leaking into Yuno 3’s head.
Overall, this is nothing but fanservice and a convenient happy ending for world 2’s Yukiteru (while disregarding um… everything else). Not just ecchi type fanservice, but simply fanservice in that it shows us all of the characters throughout the series for the sake of letting us see them. Uh… except for that punk with the pompadour, for some reason they excluded him even though he was one of the only decent characters. It seems he is also no longer in a relationship. Why? He was supposed to meet his girlfriend what, like 10 years ago? How did changing the events of 2 years ago change that at all? Seriously.
This OVA adds nothing to the series – it basically only cheapens it further. Whoever said THIS OVA IS AMAZING is obviously biased. Turn back before it’s too late. )-:::
Mirai Nikki Redial? Let’s just Mirai Nikki Hang Up Since I have Call Display.
Plot holes – A gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot
I’d like to draw attention to the latter half of the definition, now what qualifies as blatant omission of relevant information?
For me to consider something as a plot hole, there has to be a blatant omission of relevant information, and said omission has to pass two tests, not just one, but both.
1. Information essential to the story’s outcome has been omitted.
2. There is no plausible explanation for the event that had its relevant information omitted.
Now there is a reason why the word blatant was chosen, the reason is because a simple omission does not count as a plot hole. As long as a plausible explanation exists, it is not a plot hole. Mirai Nikki Redial does not contain plot holes and it also does not leave the viewers short of theorycrafting opportunities.
Redial also explores some interesting themes like love by using a world that mirrors the ideal dream world in which Yuki was trapped in in the prequel, with Yuno being the one trapped in the “dream world” this time. In the prequel, Yuki was able to break free of the illusion due to his love for Yuno, and in Redial we get to see something similar happening through the eyes of Yuno.
We get to see more detail of the changes caused by Yuki in the 3rd world as well, how the diary owners in the 2nd world would have behaved if they didn’t become diary owners. I especially liked how we were given closure in regards to Akise’s feelings for Yuki. Not knowing who to trust has been one of the issues for Yuki in the prequel. With Yuno proving herself to be reliable time and time again, and having been through thick and thin together, despite multiple setbacks in their level of trust, Yuki eventually chose to believe Yuno instead of Akise towards the end of the prequel, which was ironic because she was actually the one tricking him. Having feelings for Yuki as well, Akise felt somewhat betrayed and resents Yuno for what she did to Yuki. Despite that, Akise was able to come to terms that Yuki has chosen her over him.
The OVA wraps up with a very nice ballad that accurately portrays the mood of the scene before it. I only wished that they showed more relevant scenes while playing the OVA instead of the random scenes we were shown.
Despite having way more casual content than it should, Mirai Nikki Redial makes up for it with substance in the second half. So, if you have just finished watching the prequel, definitely do give this one a go, especially if you are a fan of the prequel!
5: Imawa no Kuni no Alice (OVA)
MAL Score: 7.40
Ryouhei Arisu is a high school student with no ambitions and just wants to escape from what he feels is a meaningless reality. One night when he is with his two friends Daikichi Karube and Chouta Segawa, they see an abnormally large firework shoot into the sky, an event which signals a permanent change in their lives.
Blinded by the incredibly bright explosion, the three find themselves transported to what is known as the Borderland. The only inhabitants of this world are participants of a deadly game where specific tasks must be accomplished if they wish to survive. As the three begin playing to determine how they can get back home, Ryouhei finds himself feeling alive for the very first time in his life.
I started watching this cuz I heard the netflix versions was really good so i chose to watch the anime first. the plot is really good its an amazing idea id like to see more off (so ill probs watch the netflix version).
The art is standart nothing special
The emotional songs are really good in this anime
I loved all the characters mainly Chouta.
This anime really has you on the edge of your seat the entire time, mainly episode 3.
I’d recommend this anime a lot, if it had more episodes it would probs have become one of my fav.
Actually Alice in Borderlands is one or my favorite manga, I enjoy reading each chapter, it has been a while since I read the manga, so I wanted to see these 3 ovas to see how good they are, after all for my Alice in Bordelands it was a great and I knew that, despite being 3 ovas, it could be a good thing from there (well, I was wrong).
The story does not change much, Arisu Ryohei, tired of his life and with an inferiority complex by his brother, appears in another world with his 2 friends after seeing some fireworks, in the “new world” (which is equal to the Earth, but without many people) there are some survival games in which Arisu will have to participate to survive, the plot is simple, but it can unleash many possibilities, but the pacing is terrible, the plot rushes so much that we can not get to Psychologically understand the characters or their actions, the ovas only take advantage that they are a game of death to play great and develop them well (that is a good point that the ova have at least) and then forget everything else, it shows due to the emphasis to make each game fit a game and making their preparations, which does not work because the grace that the games had was to see how the protagonists faced the games in a psychological way and in a way Inamica, while here they only focused on making the game great, leaving a kind of “style over substance”, since the reflections and deductions of the characters completely dislodge due to the inconsistency that the ovas had to prioritize and retract the games ( it takes very little time to explain correctly and dynamically).
The last game was the one I gave the most hope, but the flask forward (as opposed to flask back) that were recurrent in the chapter made the majority of the chapter’s dialogue meaningless and explicitly let you understand that something wrong It was going to happen (which is a simple way to put tension although with everything, this game was the one that best treated the tension), without the need to resort to psychological immersion, which generates, although all the games are raised in a way correct, the latter in particular could have developed in a great way, but the little immersion with the characters and the fact that we could not get into their mentality makes their deaths do not feel like something emotional or that has weight (although the soundtrack did a good job in general), so, despite the good approach, the development was mediocre.
The characters are where the ovas weakest, in the manga the characters are undoubtedly their best element (especially Arisu), due to the duration of the ovas the characters are very poor, you can not get to emphasize with any due to the emphasis that is only given to the games and in the ingenious way to solve them, it is not at the end of the third game where you can get to understand the feelings of the characters, but that only serves to generate an emotional scene where friends of Arisu die, if not for that reason the characters never managed to express themselves correctly, the exposition of deep themes is very superficial and pretentious (we never really get to know much about Arisu’s past or why Chouta feels a loading, they are only vague themes presented in a superficial way), so the exposition of themes is superficial and does not complement the characters due to their poor presentation in the chapters (although I always I talk about character designs in other reviews, here I have nothing to say, it is normal), the characters besides being poor do not get to express their personality well nor can we see great relationships with each other (which is a contradiction taking in mind that they are best friends), so outside the protagonist the other characters become very boring due to their little time on screen (it provides very badly the exhibition of characters, something that did not happen in the manga).
The animation is normal, although the scenarios are very muted and low in color that they use to express more the dark tone of the ovas themselves, outside of that the transitions are mediocre and the facial gestures too, the animation does not help to focus the viewer on certain aspects, at least the animation is not as bad as you might think at the beginning, it just does not meet decent standards.
The end of the ovas only leaves the viewer anxious, forcing him to read the manga, which makes it a concise ending, but with clear intentions, I really find that these ovas were totally wasted, the manga being a work that gives much emphasis to psychological aspects and the ingenuity of the games, the anime only gave emphasis to the “ingenuity” of the games (since the few that appear are not the big deal), well, a short review, if I don’t talk about other aspects of the ovas it is because it is irrelevant, I really would not recommend these ovas to anyone, or to someone who would like an anime about people in a survival game because in the end and seeing it in retrospect it is likely that there are not many things either good to get out of this animation
The Story has elements of suspense and drama, but ultimately is a coming of age type of story. Missing an ending.
Protagonist is definitely one of the most fleshed out characters I have ever seen. His internal conflict is one that many face, and the anime does a great job of detailing his character in such a concise amount of episodes. The supporting characters are memorable, but for the most part cliched.
Art and Sound are good Quality, with the art being outstanding in terms of direction and audience engagement.
4: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei
English: When They Cry: Rei
MAL Score: 7.42
The infamous series of unexplainable murders in Hinamizawa have been solved and the chains of fate have broken due to the efforts of Rika Furude and her friends. Rika believes she has finally obtained the normal and peaceful life she desired with her friends; however, she is proven wrong when the wheels of fate begin turning once again after an unfortunate accident.
Rika suddenly finds herself in a “perfect” world, the constant cycle of brutal killings having never taken place, where all of her friends are content and satisfied. Not wanting to abandon the world that she fought so hard for, she learns she must destroy an essential “key” to get back. But can Rika abandon the faultless world she is given the chance to live in, after all of her battles have brought her this far?
This OVA is broken into two basic sections: Silly episodes (the first and last) and plot episodes (the middle episodes).
You will likely not enjoy the silly episodes if you did not enjoy the silly/cute side of Higurashi. If, on the other hand you liked the antics throughout Higurashi, the silly episodes will probably just make your day. (They were the highlight of the OVA for me, though that’s just personal taste).
The plot episodes have more of a traditional Higurashi feel to them – suspense and mystery are essential elements, though it’s a different sort than we’re used to, I would say it’s much more ‘subtle’ than the main series. I can’t say I enjoyed these episodes quite as much as the main series, but I felt that they were still entirely worth watching, and were very well-done considering the options open to the storyteller at this point in the story.
In short – If you watched Higurashi, you should enjoy this. (If you didn’t like the silly stuff, just skip the first and last episode).
Even if you haven’t watched Higurashi, the first and last episodes are still entertaining.
Be advised: The first and last OVA are nothing like the rest of this short series. They serve as comedic buffers to the main storyline in which humor makes virtually no appearances at all. In light of this, some viewers may see these episodes as out of place and understandably so. If you are a fan of the brand of humor Higurashi had at the beginning of its arcs, then you’ll be right at home here. Both episodes are full of pretty good laughs, and that’s saying something for a series that is more known for shocking its viewers. If it’s not your cup of tea, then feel free to skip them. The remaining episodes make little to no reference of either one, so critical information won’t be lost.
With that out of the way, the focal point of this OVA can shine. The Dice Killing Arc, which consists of the middle three episodes, is everything that Kai could have and should have been. The storytelling displayed here is done exceptionally well, as everything moves at a decent clip. There isn’t an opportunity to slow down due to the short length of this arc, so each event cuts to the chase and moves on without having to resort to pointless dialogue or reiterated ideas to fill the gap. Despite the increased pacing, Rei never loses track of itself or advances too quickly to the point where information is lost. A note also has to be made for the vastly improved art and animation. Rei takes full advantage of an OVA’s increased budget and sports some very vibrant colors and smooth frame rates throughout its run. It’s nice to finally see a chapter of this franchise rendered with more attention to artistic detailing.
Suspense can be a tricky storytelling element to use; if it is used too much, then the story can drag for unnecessarily long periods of time and become tedious to watch. Thankfully, Rei handles this aspect wonderfully. No time is wasted between each reveal, which keeps things fresh on the plotline. As each pro or con of the new world is revealed, the situation becomes more engrossing, and the viewer is pulled even further into Rika’s shoes. The ultimatum that she faces is one that anyone would have trouble answering. This new Hinamizawa is Rika’s equivalency of the Garden of Eden; it is the world without sin or tragedy that she has desired for her entire existence without the sacrifices that had to be made to get it. Watching her agonize over which world is the correct one to choose left me hanging on the edge of my seat and made me wonder what I would do in her situation. That kind of connection with a character is a strong device to use, and it is used perfectly.
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Rei takes the pacing of the first season, the suspense of the second season, and combines them both in a neat, little package that doesn’t fail to deliver a solid story. With or without the first and last episodes, this series still brings some redemption to the franchise and vaults itself high on my list of recent OVA releases at the same time.
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Rei [Rei] is the third installment of the Higurashi series based on the games created by 07th Expansion. Like the game, Rei covers the events after Furude Rika had finally escaped the meandering halls of fate, breaking the cycle of repetition.
Rei serves as more of a side story, giving small view into life after reiterating summer. The first and last episodes of the set OVA’s are for purely comedic purposes. Nothing really happens and the only insight we get into any of the characters is that Rena finds Keichii’s ‘sea-bear’ cute. Yes folks Higurashi went there… they implied our brunette buxom wanted Maebara’s little friend.
The episodes in-between, 2 through 5 or the Dice Killing Chapter, serve as a more serious side story. Rika one day wakes up in yet another world where everything is seemingly perfect. Everyone she sees is spared of their sin’s from previous realities, their souls not torn into shards waiting to be duck taped back together.
It’s an interesting setup, but it fails in it’s execution. The three short episodes lack any sort of engaging drama, and the story is squeezed down your throat in slabs of monologue. I commend the tale for trying to shade in some background on Hanyuu, Rika’s goddess companion, but I didn’t find myself caring.
Rei is more of the same. The art hasn’t improved much from 2006 when the original Higurashi premiered. The animation was cleaned up a bit, and the colors a bit more vivid. It’s somewhat disappointing considering this is an OVA.
The sound work is still the same. The seiyuu remain untouched and the music is largely forgettable. The OP didn’t really set an ominous tone like the first two shows did. No special effort seems to have been made in the production of Rei.
Watchability and Enjoyment
The two comedic episodes are hilarious. Funny has always been a part of the Higurashi formula, and it was refreshing to watch an episode focusing on Humor.
Rika’s side story on the other-hand is about as engaging as wading through a swamp filled to the brim with molasses compared to the first season. Though it made the fifth episode all the more entertaining. After the dull chapter, the comic finale let me leave the realm of Higurashi with a sweet taste on my lips.
The Dice Killing chapter, through all it’s faults, posed an interesting dilemma: Which world would you pick, one you toiled endlessly to create yourself or a perfect one handed to you on a silver platter. The reality you molded from fate is imperfect but yours, you own it. Which do you keep?
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Rei is a mixed bag. If you enjoy Higurashi’s brand of comedy then check out Episodes 1 and 5. I couldn’t recommend The Dice Killing Chapter except to the most rabid fans who care to know even the palest of brushstrokes on Hinamizawa’s canvas. But if your that crazy your better off getting the sound novels.
3: Black Jack
English: Black Jack
Japanese: ブラック ジャック
MAL Score: 7.73
Kuroo Hazama, also known as “Black Jack,” is a legend in the medical world. Famous for being one of the best, as well as not having a license, Hazama and his assistant Pinoko save countless lives that other doctors cannot… for a price; an exorbitant price, in fact, which causes many to view the genius as greedy and heartless. Despite these claims, however, none can deny his skill and the lengths that he will go to treat his patients. This dark medical drama tells the story of the ominous and mysterious world of underground medicine as Black Jack risks his life to cure some of the most bizarre diseases imaginable, even if it means breaking every law in the process.
Black Jack is known as the surgeon with the hands of god as he can accomplish difficult feats in medical science. The appeal of this doctor is his lack of a license therefore asking for huge sums of money & often dealing with shady customers such as mafia & the like. While his motivations can be unclear at first, it all comes full circle once the operation proceeds. This character best represents Tezuka’s own beliefs & background as he did study for medical practice. Each episode is own tale ranging from medical epidemics, environmental issues, the consequences of war & the study of human emotions. Most tales are quite tragic questioning whether things were meant to be or could we learn from our past mistakes.
While the original manga was more humorous & kid friendly such as Black Jack Tv, this OVA places emphasis on a seinen tone where nothing is sugar coated to hide the dark truths of society. Tezuka has always believed that life & peace are sacred, & Black Jack is the closest to a representation of those beliefs. While the world can be gray, there’s always a shred of humanity that endures the struggle to eventually find solace on this Earth.
Episodes can be hit or miss (definitely ep 6 & 3 was a bit out of place for me) but pull through & you’ll see Tezuka’s skills as a writer. Also Black Jack Final(eps 11 &12) are 2 recently made episodes from 2011 being the lastly made Black Jack material thus far. If you enjoyed this series then I highly recommend the following:
Black Jack The Movie (1996)
Black Jack The Two Doctors of Darkness
Black Jack TV
Black Jack 21
The story follows Black Jack tackling many cases. Each episode follows a different case.
So, unlike the Black Jack TV show that came out in the 2000s, this “Black Jack” series is much darker. It is not family friendly.
For a 90s anime, the art is outstanding. It’s got that neo-noir kind of feel. They had a lot of OVAs that came out in the 90s, then they stopped for a bit, I believe. And they resumed in 2011, and they pretty much kept the same art style. I’m amazed that after all those years, they managed to keep the same art style and modernize it! So, the art is amazing and I really respect them for being able to keep the same art style while also modernizing it!
The series has four openings and four endings: Just Before Sunrise by Rhodes, Kioku no Kimi eby Another Moon, Moon Shadow by The Orange Vox, Rebirth by Kudo Eiko (openings); I’ll Be Back Again — Moonlight by Rhodes, Kono omoi tsutaerareru (I Thought I Could Convey This Feeling…) by Another Moon, Black Jack by The Orange Vox, HOPE — Not to be defeated, not to cry, and not to be daunted by Kudo Eiko (endings).
I really like how they changed up the openings and endings depending on the episode. The reason I gave it a 9 out of 10 is because I thought ending 1 wasn’t the greatest ending because it’s pretty much a rock song and all their openings are pretty much rock songs, and at the end of each case, it’s sad so I thought the best ending would be a mellow song and ending 1 wasn’t a mellow song. But overall, the soundtrack is just great.
So, if some people recall my review of the Black Jack TV show in the 2000s, I said that a bit of an issue was that the TV show didn’t really go in-depth on their patients. Well, in the OVA, this issue is fixed. Not only do they go in-depth on how Black Jack views his patients, but they also go in-depth on the patient’s past. We also see Black Jack interact more with his patients and grow a bit closer to them even. Also, Pinoco does not follow Black Jack in the OVA series, but in the appearances she made, they are good. I honestly prefer Black Jack alone rather than with Pinoco (Pinoco always follows Black Jack in the TV series).
I honestly couldn’t really find flaws with the OVA series. Everything is just good and the show keeps me intrigued and I feel some sense of sadness out of each case. I mean, this is a dark OVA, so it’s suppose to make you a bit sad at times. But, I overall really enjoyed this OVA series.
To me, this series is just perfect in so many ways. I really can’t find a flaw. So now people may ask, which one should I watch: The OVA series or the TV show? Honestly, watch both! They’re both really good, they just have a different tones. If you’re looking for something really dark and edgy, then watch the OVA series. If you’re looking for something fun, watch the TV series. But, honestly, I recommend both. To me, the OVA series was a bit better, but it honestly comes close ’cause I also really like the TV series. But, I really recommend both.
Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts on this review and any feedback you may have for me. Until next time!
2: Wolf’s Rain OVA
English: Wolf’s Rain OVA
Japanese: ウルフズ レイン
MAL Score: 8.02
As the world accelerates toward its own destruction, Kiba and Cheza—with the help of Tsume, Hige, Toboe, and Blue—race to reach true paradise before the entire world is rendered uninhabitable. Now reunited, Cher and Hubb decide to accompany the wolves in hopes of seeing the journey through to its end, while a distraught and confused Quent wanders aimlessly into the wasteland with his mind fixated on revenge.
Meanwhile, Lord Darcia the Third has finally put his plot into motion and pursues Cheza, pitting him against the pack. As everything falls apart yet simultaneously falls into place, the wolves struggle to survive in an increasingly dangerous environment. Though the end draws near, paradise seems further away than ever before.
It becomes STUNNING!
Intense, emotional, and gripping, the OVAs are the climax of Wolf’s Rain. This is where Nobumoto really shined… a good shounen series, but with a seinen-class masterpiece of an ending. The story is given proper closure and the action is at its flashiest, but the characters are beyond what I can describe. It brings them alive and pulls you in, and I found myself near tears for people I hadn’t even cared about before.
Make sure you set aside time to really watch this. Prior to watching this, I thought Wolf’s Rain was overhyped. That notion has now disappeared.
In order to “finish” the series in just four more episodes, the pace is fast and to the point. The constant attention to detail and new developments is enough to make people watch.
Granted, this ending is better than what people got with episode 26, but it is still open-ended makes you feel that they didn’t accomplish much. It gives the sense that Wolf’s Rain is a never-ending series, though this is implied.
Anyway, if you love Wolf’s Rain, you’ll most likely love this OVA as well. There really is nothing to bad here unless you really hate endings that are not as solid as a concrete wall.
1: xxxHOLiC Shunmuki
Japanese: xxxHOLiC 春夢記
MAL Score: 8.07
For the appropriate price, your dearest wish can be granted at the shop of the peculiar Yuuko. Kimihiro Watanuki wishes to be rid of his ability to see spirits, and so as payment, he works for Yuuko doing whatever she needs him to do, from cleaning to errands to even helping out Yuuko’s other clients. In xxxHOLiC Shunmuki, Watanuki and his friend and rival Shizuka Doumeki enjoy a meal with their friend Kohane Tsuyuri and her grandmother, reminiscing about how they have changed since meeting each other.
Later on, Watanuki has a dream in which he is visited by Doumeki’s grandfather Haruka, who needs him to find some things in the family temple storeroom. Accompanied by Doumeki, he finds that this task is more akin to a treasure hunt, with each item leading them to another, and another, guiding them to an unexpected yet inevitable ending.
Story: Watanuki and Dōmeki enjoy meal and drinks with the fortune teller, where Kohane is staying. There, it’s explained that everyone changes with every meeting they experience with others, and that all four there, and even Yūko, have changed from meeting Watanuki. Later on, Haruka and Watanuki meet in a dream, in which Haruka asks Watanuki to look for something in the temple’s storeroom. However, as they look around, they might step into the realm within the books by accident… Also, Watanuki acts like he appreciates Dōmeki for once. In the 2nd part Watanuki and Dōmeki continue to search for the four items that Haruka requested. Watanuki unlocks a fifth item that leads to an encounter with someone close to him. Later, Watanuki vows to grant Yūko her wish
Art: Everything you could expect from the xxxHolic series is here and thank goodness there was still lots of WatanukixDomekixHimawari.
Sound: The Score is very important for a filim in the super natural realm and captures the reflective mood of the protagonists amicably.
Character: Yuko was the central character and with Watanuki his “rival” Domeki and his love interest Himawari the movie represents a glimpse at their life.
Enjoyment: The OVA although short at only 2 eps leads us to the dream of sorts but is the weakest part of xxxHolic to be honest, but that’s mostly because the others were simply that good. Mostly building up for future OVAs.
All in all it is still an awesome mystery-drama that even though it has nothing to do with the continuity, stands out with really imaginative visuals and very naturally evolves and lets the viewer guess what the heck is going on.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. xxxHOLiC Shunmuki
2. Wolf’s Rain OVA
3. Black Jack
4. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei
5. Imawa no Kuni no Alice (OVA)
6. Mirai Nikki: Redial
8. Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko
9. Ou Dorobou Jing in Seventh Heaven
10. Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai!
11. Tokyo Ghoul: “Pinto”
12. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku: Outbreak
13. Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaimono
15. Cossette no Shouzou
16. Hello Harinezumi: Satsui no Ryoubun
17. Twilight Q
18. RahXephon: Kansoukyoku/Kanojo to Kanojo Jishin to – Thatness and Thereness
19. Yonimo Osoroshii Grimm Douwa
21. Yonimo Osoroshii Nihon Mukashibanashi
22. Ra/Radio Noise*Planet
23. Sekaikei Sekai Ron
24. Down Load: Namu Amida Butsu wa Ai no Uta
25. Haitoku no Shoujo
26. Psycho Diver: Mashou Bosatsu
27. Yumemakura Baku Twilight Gekijou
28. Digital Juice
29. Bondage Game: Shinsou no Reijoutachi
30. Ryokunohara Meikyuu
31. Yokoo’s 3 Animation Films
32. The Chocolate Panic Picture Show