They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Dragon Fist, Zettai Shougeki: Platonic Heart, Battle Spirits: Ryuuko no Ken, and more!
33: Dragon Fist
MAL Score: 4.44
The story follows Ling Fei-long, a Chinese transfer student living in Japan. Ling is the son of the leader of the White Dragon clan, one of four clans who live in the mountains of China and are descended from mythical beasts. After killing an ordinary human, Ling is banished to Japan so that he might learn about humanity and how to control his powers around them.
First off I should clarify that Dragon Fist is an OVA, which is important because OVA’s generally imply higher budget and higher budget implies better animation/art than a regular anime series, but unfortunately that is not the case with Dragon Fist. This anime simply looks inferior, it does not even have a 90’s series level of quality, much less of a 90’s OVA level of quality. Dragon Fist noticeably uses a lot of budget saving measures such as still frames and only showing the backs of the characters when they are talking. The latter half of the OVA also has lots of fuck ups, especially in the facial department; you will know what I’m talking about if you watch it. The Artstyle of the anime itself is pretty much generic 90’s shounen art, think Yu Yu Hakusho and the like. If you want to watch some neat 90’s high quality OVA action anime, then you are in the wrong place.
Second important thing that I must mention is the fact this anime is an adaptation of a manga by the same name, and while I have not read the original manga (it isn’t even translated) it really shows that it is an adaptation. Why you ask? Because the story does not make sense, the characters do not make sense, and because the plot is all over the place and is extremely rushed in terms of pacing. I could easily see a less experienced anime watcher being confused by what is going on in this anime, so I will briefly summarize the story to help those confused viewers.
The Synopsis of this anime is deceptive since it talks about dragons and the protagonist being a kind of half dragon half human, so viewers would naturally think this is a fantasy anime, right? They would be wrong, because this OVA is actually about cloning and has nothing to do with dragons and fantasy, other than the protagonist being one. So the basic setup is already a mess given that it is some weird mix of fantasy and SCI-FI without any natural cohesion, but it gets only worse. We have 4 named characters in this anime, they are as follows: Fei-Long Ling – The Dragon Boy, Katano Fuyuka – Female lead and Clone, Kaga Naoki – Another Clone, and finally Sugiura – the Villain. All of them are students at the same school; Naoki and Sugiura are the masterminds behind the cloning. And that is really all there is to their characters.
We start with some expositional narrating about the Dragon Clan that lasts for a few minutes, there is really no point to it given the fact that the anime does not deal with the dragons at all, so it counts as wasted screen time in my book. After that we are immediately thrown into a Japanese high-school (because of course), where our Chinese dragon protagonist is being bullied by his Japanese classmates. Why is he being bullied? Who knows. It never comes up again in the OVA, so it is simply inserted there to evoke some kind of pity for the protagonist, but it fails to even do that because it comes out of nowhere and ends abruptly, like every other plot point in this anime.
After the bullying scene we are greeted with a rooftop scene where our dragon protagonist decided to angst and be a loner, coincidentally this causes him to witness 3 nameless goons trying to kidnap Katano Fuyuka, the clone girl. He being the hero of the story obviously threatens the goons to stop, who despite outnumbering Ling; decide to leave with a classic “I’ll not forget this.” This event obviously causes our male protagonist and our female lead to be introduced to each other. Fuyuka immediately reveals to Ling that she is a clone and that she escaped from a facility (and for some reason escaped into a school), Ling does not really react or give a fuck about this revelation, he just takes it naturally, because this is the character quality in this anime. Anyway Ling promises to Fuyuka that he will protect her no matter what, despite only knowing her for about 5 minutes.
Hilariously 1 second after making that proclamation, Ling leaves Fuyuka alone, who is immediately ambushed by Naoki first and then by the 3 same goons from before. This was so hilarious that I couldn’t help but laugh. This anime kind of functions as an unintentional comedy given how terribly constructed it is. Anyway the 3 goons kidnap Fuyuka and bring her back to the cloning facility; Ling who was doing god knows what notices the absence of Fuyuka and heads after her. This is where I’ll stop summarizing the story and start talking about the important matters.
This is easily one of the most rushed anime I have seen, it goes through what seems to be like a few episodes worth of anime material in the span of 40 minutes, which goes horribly with the fact that the anime tries to be very melodramatic in its drama. For example Fuyuka goes from wanting to live to wanting to die in 5 minutes then wanting to live again in another 5 minutes, because reasons. The characters also pretend to have known each other for a longer period of time, despite having only met each other for a day. Fuyuka for example admires Ling and has feelings for him despite only meeting him that day and speaking with him for less than 5 minutes. Naoki and Sugiura also know of Ling despite never meeting him before, because properly introducing the villains to the protagonist is for good anime only. Dragon Fist is also full of “dramatic revelations” that come out of nowhere, except they don’t have any dramatic effects because of how incredibly rushed everything is.
Ling despite being a powerful dragon is somehow able to be pushed around and almost beaten by the 3 nameless human goons, until of course he decides to transform in traditional shounen fashion into his dragon form and beat everyone. Naoki only exists as a plot device character who can stall for time by sacrificing his own life, so that Ling can rescue Fuyuka from the villain, which also makes little sense seeing Ling in his dragon form was super fast yet it still took him minutes to catch up to Fuyuka and Sugiura.
While we are on the note of Sugiura, let’s talk about him and his motivations as a villain. Like everything else in this OVA, he too makes zero sense. It is revealed that the reason Sugiura conducted the cloning experiment was so he could clone his mother who was suffering from heart problems. Both Naoki and Fuyuka were successful clones albeit with defects, Fuyuka escapes the facility and he wastes time trying to recapture her, even though he has no reason to do so. Once he has captured her, Sugiura tortures Fuyuka by revealing the fact that her lifespan is limited, even though he has no reason to torture her. Then when Ling rescues Fuyuka, Sugiura heads after them in order to kill Fuyuka, even though he has no reason to do so, because Fuyuka will die in a couple more minutes even if he doesn’t do anything. As a whole the villain makes zero sense, he just wants to kill the other 3 characters because he is retarded.
The music for Dragon Fist was made by Kenji Kawai, who is one of my favourite Japanese composers, his instrumental performance in Dragon Fist is pretty solid and arguably the only decent aspect of the anime, but I must unfortunately mention the fact that is only true for the instrumental music in this anime. Dragon Fist plays 2 really awkward vocal songs during its run time and they simply feel awkward because they do not fit into their respective scenes and come out of nowhere, further ruining the already messed up tone of the anime.
Who would I recommend this OVA to? Nobody.
As I said the only reason to watch this mess is if you want to see some truly bad anime or if you want to treat it as an unintentional comedy.
The story starts out like the synopsis here, though there is no mention of the main character, Fei Long, killing anyone. He goes to Japan and attends a school where a strange cloning situation is occurring. There’s a few twists and turns in the plot, but there’s a ton of info thrust onto the viewer in a few minutes, the entire story being around 40 minutes total, and everything plays out like a soap opera.
The acting is very cheesy and so are the characters. The art is often distorted, characters looking odd in weird angles with limited animation. The actual designs are okay, though not particularly memorable; you’ve seen these characters playing these roles before.
The two things I did like were the colors used, a nice cool purple theme, and the awesome musick. The sound effects are mediocre, but the songs are great! There are quite a few lyrical numbers too, making this play out almost like a musical (making it even weirder to be honest). But seriously, I enjoyed all of the musick quite a bit and would potentially buy a soundtrack.
I can’t give much praise to the rest of this. It’s worth watching to see how strange this story is and how poorly it’s executed, “so bad it’s good” style.
32: Zettai Shougeki: Platonic Heart
English: Master of Martial Hearts
MAL Score: 4.64
The story centers on the Platonic Heart, a jewel that—according to an old urban legend—can grant any wish when collected. Only a chosen few are allowed to compete in the Platonic Heart hunt, and high school junior Aya Iseshima is one of 11 girls and women who are taking part.
The story had a rather plain and unoriginal plot revolving around a gem that would grant the user any wish she chooses, however, it comes at the price of requiring them to fight for the gem and if they lose the fight, they would go into the “dark realm.” The dark realm is never really explained and once you get to the end of the series you understand why. Now, as I was saying, I started off semi-enjoying this anime until it got halfway through the last episode. Out of nowhere it had more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan movie and like the new M. Night Shyamalan movies, the twists sucked and made no sense.
As another reviewer said, the main character’s sole drive of continuing on this battle for the Platonic Heart is to save a “friend” that she only met a day prior. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t put my life on the line for someone I just met and have no attachment to. Now, the other characters that you meet are plain and you have no interest or feeling towards them what-so-ever. Everything about this anime screams mediocre, from the art style to the characters and most importantly the story. It seemed like whoever penned the story liked the idea behind Sekirei and wanted their own version of it, yet they failed horribly.
I cannot express my frustration with how this anime ended anymore without giving it away. So I recommend anyone that is interested in this anime and feels the need to watch it, to possibly stop halfway through the last episode. You’ll certainly be saving yourself a headache in the end. Overall: 3/10
Why you should watch Master of Martial Hearts:
1. The characters. Simply put, Aya is one of the loveable and well developed characters in the medium. However, great characters can’t exist in isolation. Even Don Quixote needed Sancho Panza. In Master of Martial Hearts, we get to see the astoundingly realistic family life of Aya and her mother Suzuko. The relationship between these two just blows past the mother/daughter relationship in Beast Player Erin. This is family drama on the level of Yi Yi and Tokyo Story.
2. Funimation is well known for their high moral standards. That’s why they chose to dub, mass distribute, and continue to stream this series. Anime has a reputation for being lewd and sexist, but Master of Martial Hearts finally gets the portrayal of women right! This belongs in the pantheon of high brow, feminist anime along with Nana, Rose of Versailles, and Utena.
3. The art. My GOD the art is just beautiful. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the esteemed Studio Arms. A studio most well known for their excellent biographies of prominent 19th century intellectuals including Wordsworth and Gauss. With titles like that, you KNOW it means quality! What other studio would have the artistic merit to make biographies of William Wordsworth and Carl Friedrich Gauss?!
4. Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the ending. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this is hands down one of the most satisfying endings I’ve ever seen in a visual medium. The ending is so clever it makes your jaw hit the floor, but then you feel mad at yourself for not guessing it. The clues were all cleverly laid down all along! When the big reveal happened, I stood and applauded ecstatically for 3 minutes! This is the best ending I’ve seen since the 1973 film The Sting!
If you have friends that turn their noses up at anime and say it’s trash culture, you MUST show them Master of Martial Hearts! Not Lain. Not Texhnolyze, not even Galactic Heroes. FUCK that shit! You show them Master of Martial Hearts and they will immediately apologize for ever questioning your tastes!
So, anime as a whole has the reputation of not only being really, REALLY overblown and stupid but also to not be the greatest example in media when it comes to portraying female characters. Even though the days are long gone when people considered anime nothing but “oversexed teenage girls and tentacle porn”, its ugly reputation as being sexist, stupid and overly violent still resonates. Especially whenever something like… well, THIS hits the shelves.
I don’t even wanna type in the name of the anime because it’s such a disgusting piece of crap. Let’S just call it “Schlocky Ikki Tousen Fanfic”, or SITF for short. It’s not possible for me to accept the fact that really awesome, thought-provoking and just downright beautifully crafted anime like “Now and Then, Here and There”, “Infinite Ryvius” or even just fun, sexy (“sexy” will be a keyword later on, so bear with me on this one) titles like “New Cutie Honey” don’t get a proper Bluray-release here in the west, while Funimation – as it seems – has nothing better to do than to license this… this wretched piece of baboon doo-doo!
Anywho, plot: Aya and Natsume (the subtle Tenjou Tenghe-reference here is the only thing in this OVA that can be described as borderline clever) are totally, like, BFFs and stuff. One fine day they stumble across a sexy stewardess fighting a sexy priest-chick. Aya – herself a sexy schoolgirl – helps sexy priest-chick out and by doing that, she “accidentally” joins the Martial Hearts-tournament. In this tournament, only women with sexy trademarks are allowed to participate and THE PRIZE ™ is that any wish you have will be granted. And from there on out, bitches be fightin’. Bitches be fightin’ in a garage. Bitches be fightin’ in a maid café. Bitches be fightin’ on a busy street. Bitches be fightin’ everywhere. And then an awful, awful twist happens and this thing turns from a shitty anime into something way more sinister and vile.
Let’s get the obvious thing out of the way first: Titties. SITF has lots of titties. Really poorly animated, poorly drawn titties that are shown off in the most unattractive way possible. It’s marketed as “Ikki Tousen without censor bars and with a little more gore”, but they (= Funimation) left out the “… with way less budget”-part.
Resident animu-schlockmeisters and occasional porn producers ARMS – who, I might add, once were pretty damn good in the animation department when it came to sleazy-ass schlocky action-series (see: “Kite”, “Mezzoforte”, “Elfen Lied”) – churn out their worst effort to date. The animation and art quality is complete horseshit all around. Everything looks unappealing and artificial, and despite being an OVA (for which, generally speaking, studios have more budget on their hands to do stuff with) this could easily be mistaken as a shitty generic shonen-panty fighter-series from the 90s.
Don’t even get me started on the soundtrack that might just feature the most awful opening song I’ve heard in anything ever. Imagine Avril Lavigne being really frigging high and just babbling words in a foreign language into a headset-microphone, while some crappy garage band shreds “Smoke on the Water – The Punkrock Edition” in the background – there’s your opening.
The Japanese cast doesn’t even care, everybody just phones their performance in and collects their paycheck – and can you really blame them? The English dub is kinda decent, but the talents of the dub actors are wasted on this dull piece of crap, and you cannot make dialogue like this…
“I WILL CALL THIS DAY ‘BEST FRIENDS DAY’ FROM NOW ON! YAY!”
… sound appealing even if you tried.
To talk about the characters would mean spoiling SITF. And it’s against the guidelines to spoil stuff, so let me put it like this: SITF tries really hard to sell one of the unnecessarily darkest plot twists I’ve seen in quite some time. Emphasis on “tries”, because the anime needs AN ENTIRE FLIPPING EPISODE to explain the twist. The fact this twist exists is not my problem though – I dig the idea, sort of.
But the execution is incredibly baffling to watch. All of a sudden, everything just seems cold and meaningless and doesn’t even start to make a lick of sense. Characters who were carbon copies of crappy character archetypes become even worse archetypes, people die, people try to explain what the heck they’re doing and then SITF just pulls the plug at the end of episode 5 without even bothering to fill the plotholes it left behind, after (clumsily) deconstructing itself and the entire genre it belongs to. And, by proxy, it kinda accidentally shows us what kind of people work at Studio ARMS. And in the industry in general.
Here’s what SITF wants to tell us: Basically, everything is a scam and we’re dickheads for buying into said scam. SITF takes burning itself down into account to drill this into our heads: we’re bad because we watch boobs. Bad us. Bad viewers. Bad Aya for participating in a tournament that fulfills some vage wish. Everything is shit. You’re shit. How dare you?
Too bad it comes from the same goddamn studio responsible – as said above – FOR EXPLOITATION. ARMS animated stuff like…:
– Queen’s Blade
– Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!
– Elfen Lied
– Kite & Mezzo Forte
– Word’s Worth
… but now WE, the viewers, are the bad guys because we buy into their crap. Well, congratulations, everyone – we watched crappy fighting anime after crappy fighting anime as kids, just HOPING for that one shot of the female characters’ titties – but in the end it doesn’t really matter, because we’re horrible people and everybody’s miserable at the end. Woop-dee-friggin’-doo.
And the fact that this message – this ugly, ugly message that harkens back to the “uberviolent underage- and tentacle-porn”-archetype I mentioned above – is basically carried to the west by one of the biggest anime distributors in North America is nothing short of alarming, cruel and a disgrace to the fanbase.
I love anime. I love exploitation. I love sleazy-ass Ralph Bakshi-cartoons. I love Yasoumi “the dude who made Kite” Umetsu, he’s one of my favorite animators and character designers of all time. But I don’t like being scammed. I don’t like being painted as an idiot because I watch animated girls fight each other and getting a kick out of that. I don’t like being painted as such an idiot by the same idiots who churn out “Ikki Tousen”-season after increasingly shitty (but at least fun-shitty) “Ikki Tousen”-season, and seem to judge their viewership OPENLY as such idiots. And I don’t like it when something this stupid thinks it’s smarter than me or anyone who likes exploitation’esque cartoons, by implementing a plot twist this jarring and nonsensical.
31: Battle Spirits: Ryuuko no Ken
English: Art of Fighting
Japanese: バトルスピリッツ 龍虎の拳
MAL Score: 4.82
While trying to rescue a cat, martial artist Ryo Sakazaki and his playboy best friend Robert Garcia unwittingly break into a jewel thief’s apartment. Moments after entering, they witness the thief being murdered by a group of thugs. Despite fighting their way out and escaping, things go from bad to worse when Ryo and Robert learn that the thugs were working for Mr. Big, the biggest crime boss in South Town.
Not only does Mr. Big believe that the two have stolen the “Eye of Sirius,” a priceless diamond, but he has also kidnapped Ryo’s younger sister Yuri, and is holding her hostage. Without the diamond and out of options, Ryo and Robert must fight their way past Mr. Big’s men and save Yuri before it’s too late.
Ok, so the story is basic enough to make sense for sure, it’s just really stupid. Perhaps the dub is inducing problems, but they constantly changed one girl’s age from underage to of legal age for no apparent reason. Even then I can barely remember the story, something about finding a diamond and the one guy’s sister so the other guy can go back to dating her in opposition of her brother. It ends with a pool party and an exploding helicopter. No, it doesn’t make sense and no one who was working on this seemed to care because this was just made as a tie in for a Neo-Geo game that no one probably played anyway (especially not in America where that system didn’t exactly sell).
Even for a 90s anime where everything was still cell animated and they couldn’t just ask the computer to do everything, you can still tell they put minimal amounts of effort into this. Animation appears to be minimal during action scenes and the laws of physics were broken on a regular basis. It only ads to the enjoyment though! And oh yeah, you’ll see some loop animation, don’t worry. Ok, so the special effects and animation aren’t Gundoh Musashi bad, but it’s nothing to be proud of.
Well, the voice acting is terrible, this was dubbed at a time when companies snatched up cheap licenses and just shoved stuff out the door before it could brush its teeth, but the sound effects are sub par and the music is annoying and stupid too. I suppose it’s no nails on a chalkboard, but my god is the sound suck. Even for it’s time, you could tell they had better voice recording technology than they used for the dub.
The characters are just terrible, and I partly mean that they’re terrible people. On more than on occasion, not to spoil anything, the two main characters stand and watch as some random guy is killed [i]before[/i] jumping into action in the opposition of physics. Not that they’re well explored either, not in this short amount of time. And the two characters, despite being friends, attempt to do playful banter with each other but it more comes off as them just hating each other’s guts, who the hell wrote these characters?
Yeah, everything is so bad here that it becomes enjoyable. It’s one of those things! Awful dub and script add to the enjoyment of a terrible story with two terrible lead characters who break into apartments and drink random people’s scotch and go “oh we broke into try and find this cat we were chasing”, an awful story, and the great animation with moments of Engrish to complete the whole package.
Here’s how you play the drinking game, take a drink every time:
-someone defies the basic laws of physics
-everytime someone laughs a horrible scripted and stilted laugh, take two drinks if two characters laugh in unison like this with each other
-the two mains act like blatant jerks to each other
-you see a word of blatant Engrish or misspelling you see on the screen
-everytime the viewing audience all bursts out laughing
And there you go, you’ll be good and drunk with your friends in no time! Enjoy!
This might be on par with World of Destruction, Fight! Spirit of the Sword, and MD Geist: Death Force for being the worst anime title ever made. It’s just a mess from start to finish. I’ve mentioned how big of an SNK fan I am in previous reviews, and even Samurai Shodown (Which I liked, for all of it’s cheesy glory) didn’t do such little justice to it’s video game counterpart. If you changed to title from Art of Fighting to Cops and Robbers, I doubt anyone would’ve had an inkling that this was supposed to be based off anything. Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia, much like Ken and Ryu in the SF2V anime, are potrayed as martial arts lunkheads who can barely produce enough brain cells to breathe right, accentuating the point that unless these guys are punching something, they’re completely useless. After about two sentences, I wanted both of them to die in a fire. Now granted, in the AOF games, they weren’t the brightest crayons in the box, but there’s a difference between writing a charming goofball and clinically brain dead. Padded rooms are too dangerous for these imbeciles.
When talking about a plot for a video game-based anime, you’d think it would be very easy. Even something as simplistic as “rescue the girl” gets bungled up by this drivel. It’s all triggered by kung fu Ren and Stimpy here (They don’t deserve the names Robert and Ryo) when they happen to stumble on JUST THE WRONG PLACE to witness the murder of some guy we don’t know hiding something we can’t care about. To make a short story even shorter, Ren and Stimpy are suspected by the crooks to have what they’re looking for leading to probably the best scene in this. King brings up a profile page of the ‘heroes’ that I assume she had to break into county hall records or steal birth certificates in the eight minutes between scenes, and it lists their names, height, weight, and PERSONALITY TRAITS!! It’s like eHarmony ’96 or something and I howled with laughter. Did Mr. Big keep tabs on every single citizen in Southtown to know if people are meek and shy? This seems useless for these relatively small time crooks.
“Alright, he’s from a rich family! He’ll be our next hit!”
“But Boss, he has an outgoing personality and is very witty in conversation!”
“Drat, that’s way too charasmatic. Type up a search for an upper middle class, soft-spoken female!”
The animation and character designs are putrid. I’ve seen Highlights books in the dentist’s office waiting room with better coloring. Backgrounds are poorly drawn, you can get better fight scenes out of Rock’em Sock’em robots than trying to watch these clunky, almost flipbook-like kicks and punches connect. Certain shots are disproportionate and you can’t tell what you’re looking at or whose striking from what angle. The English dub is impressively bad, as voice actors and I use “actors” in the loosest sense of the word, actually shouting “Hiyaaa!” and “Hawh!” in the most wooden way possible it makes english dubbed hentai sound more realistic. If there were special moves from the game, I didn’t recognize them. Maybe two, but that’s giving it way more credit than it deserves.
IN CLOSING: If you are on a mission to see just how bad anime can get, you can stop and check this out at tyour own risk. It’s a little over a half-hour, so you won’t waste much time, but there is just nothing good about this one at all. I’m not even pissed that another of my favorite fighting games have been bastardized, I’m pissed as to how little effort was put into it. The fact that after the final cut, the director looked at this product and said, “this is exactly how I wanted this to look.”, is inconceivable. And I can’t even blame Masami Obari for it!
ENJOYMENT: 2 (Go build a snowman in August, you’ll accomplish more)
OVERALL: 2 out of 10
PROS: It isn’t Linebarrels of Iron
CONS: Ryuhaku Todoh as a chief of police. Come on, this the Dan Hibiki of SNK, he deserves better than this! He produced Kasumi Todoh, for crying out loud!
Directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi, Art of Fighting is based on the Neo Geo fighting game of the same name. It was one of the arcade fighters competing with Street Fighter II for arcade supremacy, and with the exception of the anime featuring the characters of the game. The movie has absolutely nothing to do with the game at all.
When watching an anime based on a video game. I don’t think it’s very important to follow the source material to the very last detail. Especially, when the video game doesn’t have a great story to begin with; but there’s one key element that should never be neglected and it’s characterization. In regards to fighting games, there will always be a character with at least a handful of fans. Therefore, fans will be looking for someone specific.
I have to beat on the characterization. The two heroes come off as total dimwits, and I couldn’t find a single reason to care about them. They had no charisma, they weren’t funny, there was nothing cool about them at all. There also isn’t a single interesting villain either. Everyone is completely one dimensional, very corny, and just plain boring.
When these types of movies are released fans want to see their favorite characters going at it with special moves included. Something Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and even Fatal Fury 2 did a pretty good job at. Art of Fighting doesn’t even deliver there. The battles are completely unimaginative with the poorest choreography I have seen in an anime since Voogies Angel, and the characters don’t pull off any of their special moves, which is a no-no on the highest level. That’s like watching a XXX porno with no sex.
I doubt anyone is expecting high art when coming into a martial arts anime, especially when it’s based on a game; but the plot really doesn’t have anything going for it besides a few non entertaining fights with incredibly bad dialogue to boot, and I’m almost lost for words when trying to describe the horrendous production values. Art of Fighting isn’t even good to look at. The animation is choppy and very poor on its delivery. The artwork and character designs are also just as bad despite the characters being somewhat faithful to their video game counterparts. Except for Ryo, whom for some reason is sporting black hair instead of blond. Fatal Fury which is also a Neo Geo release turned anime makes a similar mistake, yet it’s nowhere near as awful as this on any level.
The soundtrack is non engaging and uninspiring with bad voice acting to top it off. The movie is seriously bad on every level one can think of and good grief that ending. Ryo uses a diving board to leap about 30 feet into the air in order to pursue an escaping helicopter, which explodes for a reason I still haven’t caught.
Art of Fighting accomplished the impossible by doing everything wrong. Unlike other really bad anime titles that could have been a lot worse; Art of Fighting really couldn’t be any worst. I do not recommend this to anyone. I still do not think I’m qualified to put together a top 10 best or worst list because there’s still more things I need to see, but I’m definitely sure this will still be sitting comfortably at number 1 on the worst, since its still been there for over a decade.
Whenever I get through a very bad anime I always say to myself, “well it’s not Art of Fighting”. This golden turkey is a 46 minute long waste of time. Give this a try if you love to waste money and time, or love to search for some type of enjoyment in very bad movies. Me, I’ll just try to forget its very existence but the alcohol has been failing.
Highs: What kind of animal is that?
Lows: They are in very large supply here.
30: Choujin Gakuen Gowcaizer: The Voltage Fighters
English: Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer
Japanese: 超人学園ゴウカイザー ＴＨＥ ＶＯＬＴＡＧＥ ＦＩＧＨＴＥＲＳ
MAL Score: 5.04
It is the dawn of the 21st century. The cataclysmic earthquake which reduced half of Tokyo to a broken landscape of twisted steel and shattered stone was only the first sign of the impending apocalypse.
Athletic and popular, Isato Kaiza was an otherwise ordinary student. But nothing could’ve prepared him for the day he was given a Caizer Stone by fellow student Kash , alias Hellstinger. Armed with the mysterious crystal, Isato now possesses the power to transform into the armored hero: Gowcaizer!
To save the Earth, Gowcaizer and Hellstinger must join forces against Omni Exist, the manifestation of all negative human desires, and the force behind the recent disasters, before the entity obliterates the human race!
Few anime are quite as infamously bad as Voltage Fighter Gowkaizer. What is wrong with it? What is RIGHT about it? The art is the worst in the history of anime, the story is terrible, the characters suck, the dub is an absolute joke, the soundtrack is lackluster, EVERYTHING is simply awful!
When comic geeks bring up the topic of the absolute WORST comic artist of all time, it is always a fight between Greg Land and Rob Liefeld. However, anime geeks don’t really have an equivalent that all fans universally think is a horrible artist. This is one reason fans of American Comics often dislike Japanese anime and manga. US comic fans believe that the Japanese use a VERY simplistic art style that is easy to draw and the difference in quality between the “worst” and “best” is basically indiscernible.
I have heard this argument MANY times from my fellow Americans. I respond to them with one name: Masami Obari. Isayama the author of Attack on Titan said the Colossal Titan in AOT was taken from the cover of an anatomy text book. Isayama needs to lend that textbook to Obari for the good all that is holy! Bodies are contorted in absolutely inhuman poses, arms are thicker than legs, facial features are distorted even by anime standards etc. If Obari was TRYING to draw a trippy nightmare to disturb the viewer, this would be impressive. Unfortunately, he is being dead serious and is simply a HORRIBLE artist.
The story tries and utterly fails to adapt the already plain story from an obscure fighting game of the same name. I never played the game because it was only released on the Neo Geo: the console that absolutely NO ONE owned. I grew up with a friend whose evil parents bought him a Phiips CDI and forced him to play it because it was an “educational” system. I played those God awful CDI games growing up, but I didn’t know ANYONE that owned a Neo Geo. The main reason is that the system cost over 600$ in 1990 and each game was 300$. Was it simply THAT much better in graphics compared to other game systems as it claimed? Not really. It used 24 bit graphics at a time when other systems used 16 bit graphics. It was a technically superior system in that regard, but not by much. Honestly there isn’t much to say about the story or characters. It is a generic post apocalyptic battle anime that is sort of a mix between Street Fighter and Violence Jack…only way more boring.
The next time you meet some jackass that says Bleach, Elfen Lied, or Angel Beats is the “worst anime of all time” kick the shit out of that guy and make him watch Voltage Fighter GOWKAIZER! This is the standard by which other bad anime should be measured.
Let’s begin with the story, our main protoganist is given a Caizer Stone. Armed with this mysterious crystal, Isato posseses a power to transform in the hero, Gowcaizer. But for the higher purpose, To save the earth, Gowcaizer and his partner in crime, Hellstinger must fight the evil Omni Exist, a manifestation of all negative desires, and of course the source/force after behind the recent disasters.
It’…s a pretty cool story, they brought it well in this anime, actually nothing to say, except is is a good story.
The art is from a lesser level, but hey, it’s old. Aside that it’s a pretty good style to draw, the animation is of the "90s" level too, but it’s extremely good for that time. Same goes for the sound.
The characters, not much to tell there, everythings standard, we have the standard hero with his friend as sidekick, the needed women to bring up the odds and the guy who we think is bad.. but is actually good. As far as the enemy’s go, we’ve got some slime monsters with tentacle’s, the mastermind who’s all powerfull and the needed minions who match the good guys. And of course one character that gets possesed by the evil force and has to be rescued.
Pretty standard right.
But it’s an enjoyable anime, if you like good animation of this time and quality, then it’s not an anime for you, but if you don’t give a shit if it’s old or new, or don’t care about quality, then this old anime is something good to see.
The basic premise of Gowcaizer is about Isato, an ordinary highschool student that one day receives something called a Caizer stone from one of his classmates with whom he now has to fight the evil power called Omni Exist who basically represents all bad emotions of humanity and threatens to destroy earth. This already showed through several catastrophes that point out that apocalypse is about to happen.
This setting already is where the first huge flaws are to be found! Why you ask? Because the viewer basically doesn’t have any idea about it! The movie does a terrible job at explaining itself and the viewer is basically left alone to find out what the heck is going on, which is almost impossible by watching the movie in itself! Personally, I went into the movie without having read the Synopsis and if I wouldn’t have read it half way through it, I probably still wouldn’t have any idea what it is about! However, even if the viewer does know what the movie is about, it really doesn’t help a lot in understanding what is going on! The pacing for the movie is absolutely horrible in every way! It often seems to be dragging on for ages and if it doesn’t, it feels rushed to the point where it’s hard to determine what exactly is happening! Every plotpoint feels completely out of context and none of them get any explanation at all! They’re simply left as they are and as it stands make absolutely no sense! And that pretty much summarizes the whole plot: Nonsense! There’s not a single thing in the show that seems to make any sense, ranging from the physics, to the random Mahou Shounen transformation scenes, to the character interactions and what’s left and actually understandable is absolutely generic! Any plotpoint that actually doea get somewhat clear is part of the typical Genre cliches! From the Shounen Power-ups, to the pseudo-philosophical themes of how humanity are the ones being evil, that get touched once and never again, to the character archetypes used! There’s absolutely nothing that we haven’t seen before and gets boring incredibly fast! Of course the movie is from 1997 and as such from a time where all that may not have been all that overused, but for today’s standards, there’s nothing original about it!
The characters suffer from exactly the same problems as the story! They often enough act incredibly illogical and it at times is really hard to follow their thoughts. Not only that but every single one of them is extremely one-dimensional and have nothing to them but a single character trait! There’s the typical Shounen Main Character that actually doesn’t want to kill anyone, but occasionally does grow a backbone and ends up doing so, the typical clumsy moe love interest that in this specific case actually is able to fight and isn’t all too moe…the antihero kind of character that seems to be evil at the beginning but in the end turns out to actually be the good guy and so on and so on, you get the idea! In general I really don’t have a problem with Anime archetypes as long as they are used well, but in this case they just really aren’t! The character interactions are painfully bad and there’s not a single case of dialogue that is somewhat well written or interesting! This only gets worse through how out of character some of the characters act at times! They suddenly say something that doesn’t fit the character at all only for the sake of advancing the plot and at times they don’t even do it for that, but just to have that one certain moment that every Shounen needs to have! The character development feels the same way! It is incredibly rushed and there is nothing static but characters just take a 180 turn from one second to the other, making them feel like a plot device and impossible tofollow! This leads to them getting even more boring as they originally were already thanks to the stereotypes they all fulfill and don’t step away from. I do give the show credit for at trying to develope the characters, which a lot of shows don’t even attempt to do, but it just doesn’t work having them be completely different this suddenly! Another point that makes this shows characters just absolutely awful is just how unsignificant they seem to be! Some of the characters literally don’t seem to have any purpose and only exist for the purpose of showing their skin and crotch and bouncing their boobs!
The Sound for Gowcaizer may or may not be the only redeemable thing about the show! While both the Opening and Ending is a rather standard for the 90s the Soundtrack is surprisingly enough not all that bad! Some of the tracks even wouldn’t sound all that bad if listened to outside of the show and often enough they fit the scenes really well! However often enough, kind of isn’t enough! The show has places where it horribly misuses tracks in parts where they really shouldn’t be used! One of the character entrances uses a harmonica right within one of the most intense fights of the show and completely destroys the mood of the scene! Often enough, the show doesn’t use any track at all, when it clearly should! While the OST itself isn’t even half bad, it’s the placement that ruined it in total!
Gowcaizer Character Designs
Those character designs actually hurt my eyes….
The Animation for Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer was done by J.C. Staff and let’s say it that way….it isn’t all too glorious! The OVA was rather Low-Budget and for that and considering it is from the late 90s, it doesn’t look all too bad, but it really isn’t good either! There are a ton of scenes in the show where the animation itself isn’t fluent at all and while the fight-scenes are actually animated somewhat decent, the rest is filled with still-screens and so on and it really doesn’t contribute to the quality of the show overall! In fact if that actually were possible it’d make the show even worse! However something else takes that job over already! The character designs: OH GOD ARE THEY AWFUL! I have to be completely honest here and say I have rarely seen character designs that looks worse than this! They are often enough absolutely irritating and honestly probably were one of the worst parts of the show! Art style usually doesn’t concern me too much…I mean I sat through the entirety of Aku no Hana and ended up enjoying that BUT THIS? NO THANKS! The chins are way too long, the eyes either incredibly huge or horribly misplaced, sometimes even both! The other part that made the show even worse was the fanservice! Looking at the Opening I already got to see what I was getting into, giving me more boob bounces, crotch, ass and panty shots than all of Highschool of the Dead. Throughout the whole OVA, women in skin tight clothes were walking around hitting people while sneaking in more panty, crotch, ass and boob shots. It’s incredibly irritating to see all that fanservice shoved into your face like they didn’t even try to make it an actual good thing, but just a silly excuse to get some quick money for giving some guys a good time and that’s what it ended up being!
In the end Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer is a bad excuse for an OVA and has nothing going for it at all! The plot is nonsensical and generic at the same time, a combination of bad things that I didn’t even know was possible but the amazingness of this show has apparently proven it is very much possible to do it! There is no connection between any of the plot points and the pacing is absolutely awful! The same is for the characters they fall completely flat (Altho the characters certainly aren’t flat at all if you know what I mean) due to generic sterotypes and some of the most sudden and nonsensical development in all of Anime history! There is nothing good about this OVA series and as long as you are not a masochist that feels like experiencing 90 minutes of pure pain I definitely would not recommend this to anyone! It’s an abomination and I really don’t see anyone liking this….STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM IT!
29: Hon Ran
English: Crimson Wolf
MAL Score: 5.05
The fate of the world rests in the ability of three untested warriors to defeat an unearthly army of darkness. Sorcery, martial arts and an unrequited love, spanning the centuries, explode in an epic battle at the gates of the forbidden city. Crimson Wolf is an unusual departure for the Anime genre – rooted in real world reference, it makes the fantasy all the more believeable.
The plot as one would expect is a contrived blend of mysticism, martial arts and gangsters though looking beyond the superficial silliness there is a deeper underlying political and philosophical message to the whole tale which is actually a fairly delightful layer of depth to the hour or so of your life you may feel you’ve just wasted. Throw in the obligatory cringe worthy sex scenes and you know you’ve got vintage OVA on your hands.
The artwork has definitely not aged well and it is hard to escape the feeling that this is pulp produced anime, the soundtrack similarly is your standard mix of synths and orientalism which doesn’t really either add to or detract from the whole experience. Even for someone like me who is a bit of an aficionado for this type of less well known 90s OVA I can’t really describe either as a selling point. The English Dub is laughably bad as one would expect, for some this is simply part of the charm of this era of anime but if you’re actually wanting to watch this in any way aside from as a curiosity then I’d definitely recommend the subbed version if you can find one.
In summary this is definitely an OVA for someone who’s interested in watching the more obscure end of the spectrum perhaps even just for that reason. There is definitely something in this however unless you’re really willing to just go with the flow the lacklustre artwork, plot and soundtrack make this something not worth the time to find.
Okay! Is a good sum-up reaction to my stand on the show. A good mixture of Indiana Jones and Charmed(American television show). As the movie progresses i don’t think you will find the movie to be easily to anticipate. Which opens a lot of room to surprise and excitement. On some occasions when a movie becomes unpredictable the writer uses easy(cheeky) explanations with the audience. Throwing the general idea of magic, illusion or dream to explain the unexplained. Here when you are surprised you become educated. While the education i can’t be certain is 100 percent certain it is at least phrased in a convincing manner. Such example would be the plane scene. Not only does the writer/director keep you interest with curiosity there are a couple moments of misdirection. Perfect if watching with family or friends or playing a bet. Don’t you just hate it when someone states out loud what they think to be true only to shortly find out it does. Hate those moments. Probably why i tend to watch movies solo. As for the ending i suppose it is okay. While a true end is not finished it ends in a psychological manner which is good. A true end is where the bad guy loses or wins and the other side moves on. But with a psychological stand for an ending it provokes thoughts and questions. Which in terms opens the possibility for a later on sequel.
If i were to state one drawback the movie didn’t fully cover each character. It stuck with the ones the audience would care for and said screw it to the rest. Even with one character being just as vital in the show as the main couple.
28: Feng Ji Yun Nu
MAL Score: 5.20
2002 OVA adaptation of Storm Riders manhua. Features Cloud, Wind, and Wave characters.
27: Princess Army: Wedding★Combat
English: Princess Army: Wedding Combat
Japanese: ぷりんせすARMY – ウェディング★COMBAT –
MAL Score: 5.25
The story is about Aida Nonoka who is rescued from a drunken attacker by a judoist. She then resolves to become as good as her savior, hoping that one day to recognize him by the scar on his back. She then transferred into a new high school where she meets two older boys who could possibly the person to whom she owes her life and to give her heart.
It made me sick to watch this. We have enough stalkers, rapists and abusive men out there, having an anime like this that celebrates it is pretty sick. Worse is when the main character doesn’t even fight back against it. Strong woman she is not.
I realize this is from the 90s, however shows like these keep being remade, take a look at Kaichou wa Maid-sama where the character is a bit stronger, but still lets the abuser character take advantage of her. Love… it is not.
English: Tekken: The Motion Picture
MAL Score: 5.26
After being thrown off a cliff as a child, Kazuya Mishima enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament to extract revenge from his father, multi-billionaire Heihachi Mishima. Meanwhile, WWWC operative Jun Kazama and Hong Kong detective Lei Wulong also enter the tournament to investigate on Heihachi’s illegal activities involving cloning and genetic engineering. A handful of other skilled fighters are also in it merely to win the grand prize of $1 billion, not knowing of the true purpose of the tournament and fate that awaits them.
Most likely, it would look as cheap as chips, be starved of quality action, and have characters and story that exhibit an uncanny valley quality, where they’re recognisably taken from the game, but something feels off. Of course, it can’t be called “Tekken” (which literally translates to “iron fist”), but probably something similar like “Sekken” (meaning “stone fist” … or “soap” if you use the wrong kanji).
Funnily enough, an atrocity like that already exists! What’s more, it ain’t even a bootleg – it’s the official “Tekken” anime! But while it bears the official name, I’m just going to call it “Sekken”, because the thought that this anime is an approved adaptation makes me want to weep.
[Note: I write this review mostly from the point of view of a fan of the games. Those unfamiliar with Tekken may not get all the references I make to the games.]
As a huge Tekken fan, I went into this anime rather excited, despite reading review after review that ranked “Sekken” amongst the worst anime ever made. For me, the gold standard for fighting game to anime adaptations has gotta be “Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie”. While I harboured little hope that “Sekken” would get anywhere close to the quality of the SF2 movie, I nevertheless found myself unprepared for the level of crappiness that assaulted me. Watching “Sekken”, I get the impression that the makers struggled a lot: they struggled coming up with great fights; they struggled staying true to the game … heck, they even seemed to struggle deciding which game to set the anime in.
Let’s start with the action. An adaptation of a fighting game should in the very least feature great fights. Also, seeing some special moves would be nice cos let’s face it – all we want out of these adaptations is a good fan wank. But “Sekken” is the exact opposite of fan wank material – it’s a gigantic cock block. Most of the lame battles only span a couple of blows, with the problem exacerbated by Kazuya, who’s so overpowered his fights aren’t worth watching. The battle between the Williams sisters – fueled by their legendary rivalry – started off promisingly, but gets rudely interrupted by uninvited guests (the closest “Sekken” got to being upgraded from cock block to cock tease). Besides any semblance of excitement, something else missing from this adaptation is the signature moves of the characters: where is Nina’s “Blond Bomb”, or Paul’s “Phoenix Smasher”? And in the case of some regulars like Paul and Law, you don’t even get to see them fight – you only see them as part of a crowd during a pan shot.
Admittedly, the personalities of the characters that do feature generally stayed true to the game, with the notable exception of Lee Chaolan. I didn’t like the change with Lee’s personality, but even faithfully portrayed characters did not come off well. At the time, I’d thought perhaps the personalities in Tekken do not translate well to screen, but the more recent Tekken anime “Blood Vengeance”, while also not great, showed enough promise to suggest that isn’t the case.
Then there’s the story. The anime claims “Tekken tournament is a tournament that’s held every year” … what bullshit is this? At the time of “Sekken” coming out, the game franchise had three games released and even the closest two tournaments were set a couple of years apart. “Sekken” then proceeded to mix and match the plot elements from all three games as if buying pick ‘n’ mix. The result was something pretty shit, and if it were going to be shit anyway, I’d rather they’d stayed faithful to the storyline from the games.
“Sekken” doesn’t deliver on the technical front either. The background music features distracting and intrusive rock tracks, but what’s more damaging to the anime is the visuals. One huge problem is that the characters look different from the game. Even with Kazuya, one of the few that looks about right, something’s a bit off about his character model. Most of the other characters are barely identifiable from their facial features alone – I had to guess the taekwondo guy is Baek, and the guy in the Chinese outfit Law, because they look nothing like their game counterparts. It’s hard to fan wank off characters that you barely recgonise, so once again, “Sekken” has delivered a giant cock blocking punch straight to your groin.
The only thing “Sekken” brings to the table is that it provides visualisation for the story of “Tekken”, piecing together and expanding on the bits of background info scraped from the game manuals. For example, I liked the way it interpreted the event of Heihachi throwing Kazuya off a cliff – it seemed ridiculous on paper but the anime made it more believable. Because of these things, the movie might *just* be worth a single watch for the most hardcore of fans.
At the height of its popularity, Tekken, with its “King of Iron Fist” Tournament, may have inherited the crown of being the King of Fighting Games from Street Fighter for a while. But it comes to anime adaptation of fighting games, “Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie” still reigns as King, and it ain’t about to be budged by the likes of “Tekken” any time soon.
Peronsal rating: -2.0 (terribad)
If you lived in the U.S. chances are you have heard the saying or one like it an eye for an eye. A perfect match up for those demanding revenge. This story is meant to show you both stand points on that matter. It is up to you to figure out which makes more sense.
Plain, right down to the ending. A well played out story would have you riddled in some form of emotion. Logic in character’s action needs a simpler play-out. Currently is too complex.
Clear. The characters along with scenery are drawn nicely. Art matches the time period/plot.
Sound-no issues. I did enjoy the music played. Songs used are ones aren’t as commonly heard anymore.
Complexing, from character design to character skills. In terms of design how does a girl with purple hair as a child have brown as an adult. Fails at making scene. Would not care as much but that child moment is referred to a lot so why not have everything match up for an easier connection. As for skills, each character has their own special skill. While some are explained easily others still need clarification. Where did the girl get her skill from? Did it originate from the trauma event?
English: Battle Arena Toshinden
MAL Score: 5.32
For one year, Master Swordsman Eiji Shinjo has been haunted by the memory of his battle with the renegade champion, Gaia – a battle that was cut short by the forces of the malevolent syndicate known as “the organization.”
Denied victory, Eiji left the tournament followed by his opponents mocking laughter. Worse still, Eiji walked away no closer to finding his long lost brother, Sho. But now, a mysterious warrior is hunting down the champions of the previous tournament and using their own moves against them – and it looks like that person may be Sho. Who is this powerful new foe and who is his next target?
Eiji and Kayin, his closest friend and greatest rival, struggle to unravel the mystery before they, too, join the ranks of the defeated. The answer lies at the heart of the Organization and its plans for world domination. At last, the ultimate battle between the greatest fighters in the world will be decided. But if Eiji loses, his friends – Ellis – may Die…
The plot at times can be a bite confusing, basically ever few years or so a tournament is held to decide the best fighter in the world……or at least until the next one anyway. The main villain (Uranus) is creating man machine clones to take over the world, and its up the Toshinden fighters to stop her……..yeah basically that’s it. Now while the story isn’t going to win any viewers to actually play the video game, it does do an okay job of keeping you into the story just long enough before this 2 episode OVA ends. (any longer and it would definitely grow stale) This series does succeed in the action sequences though, while fighting isn’t anything on par with what you would see in the Street Fighter series, the characters themselves move with good fluidity and style. The combat and story walk hand in hand, so you don’t have to worry about one overpowering the other.
The character’s personalities are captured quite nice, its just a shame that we never really get to know about anyone other than Eji, Chaos and Kayin. Most of the other Toshinden warriors are shown well enough, (though some only for a few seconds) but its pretty minimal compared to those three. If you have never played the game, (which is the case with most people) there will be times where you will be wondering just who means what to who, this can be bad since this anime doesn’t do that great of a job describing the relationships between the characters…..other than what the main plot needs you to know. Overall this is something that is unavoidable for a 2 episode series that has many fighters in it.
If your like me and watched a lot of anime in the 80’s and 90’s you will instantly be brought back to that era with its music. While there is sadly no opening theme, the ending one is pretty catchy, though some may argue that its out of place with an action title such as this, as it can be a bit on the happy-go-lucky side. The background music is where I feel this title succeed at, it contains those cool kinda techno beats that were so popular in that era, and it hits good notes at the proper time. The atmosphere the show brings can be pretty in grossing at times, as well as creepy. The music definitely isn’t for everyone, but it does the job and was appropriate for its time.
The artwork I must say is just great, while it does show its age today, back then this was quite a well detailed and stylized title. You’ll most likely find the art different from today’s anime. For example, the eyes drawn on the characters are more slim and don’t contain highlights that we’re all use to seeing. The clothing on the fighters can range from unique to default, but fit the characters well. Though I guess that credit is more deserving to the video game…..and not the anime.
Back in 1996 when I first saw this, I loved it! But I was 14 and never played the game before. Even though everytime I see it now, it goes a tad down for me in what I feel a good action title should be, it still has an over all charm to it…back when anime like this was the cream of the action crop!
Overall Battle Arena Toshinden is an entertaining series! If you are a die-hard fan of the game or action anime in general, then you will probably be disappointed by this title and should bump my overall score down two numbers, as there just won’t be enough back story, combat or appearance from several of the characters to satisfy you. But if you are a casual action fan like myself, I think you will find it descent enough to add to your list, so long as you keep in mind that it was appropriate for its time.
For anyone who carefully perserved their button-mashing brains in Tekken, Virtua Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat back in 1995, you were fortunate enough to pass up Battle Arena Toshinden, an early psuedo 3-D fighting game that’s so bad, it makes Rise of the Robots look like Guilty Gear. This sorry excuse of a game not only managed to get 3 sequels and countless spin-offs for the Sega Saturn (remember that dinosaur?), but a really crappy two episode OVA that does everything possible to ensure that nobody will want to ever play the games ever, brought to us by the Uwe Boll of anime, Masami Obari.
STORY: (2) Um, let’s see, Eiji is haunted by nightmares of losing and Sophia has boobs. An organization has put a hit lists to battle the most generic fighting game characters ever, and Sophia has boobs. Sophia has a shower scene…….This story blows. You’re not really told anything and the plot assumes you already know who these people are and what’s going on. It’s like watching TNA Impact!
ART: (3) Obari’s art style is probably the worst I’ve ever seen back in the early and mid 90’s. All male characters are tall, lithe, and are somehow rippling with muscle. The females are thin-faced, tiny-waisted, and buggy-eyed with enormous, unsexy breasts. The backgrounds are uninteresting, but not really bad. There’s really nothing impressive to look at and the only visually impressive-looking character is Sho, but that’s about it. The art sucks.
SOUND: (4) The music is bland and overdone, the English dub is impressively bad. The only highlight is probably Duke’s seven seconds of overblown victorian dialouge near the end of the show, but it’s not worth it. Everyone else, especially Ellie, just sounds grating and forced.
CHARACTER: Nobody has any personality. As I said eariler, this is about as stale as you can get in terms of cookie-cutter fighting game characters. Eiji and Kayen are Ken and Ryu, Sophia’s the busty, scantily clad sex symbol, Ellie is the pre-teen little munchkin that you want to step on, Fo is old, Sho is mysterious, etc, complete with some of the lamest special attacks you might ever see. These people are pretty much unlikable, underdeveloped and I never found reason to root for anyone of them.
ENJOYMENT: (1) This is about as enjoyable as having your teeth smashed in with a hammer. I’d rather walk through a dark room barefoot and blindfolded with the floor covered in rusty tacks and sharp objects jutting out of every wall. Or you can watch it and keep a notepad and a pen nearby to write down all the other things you can do that would be a better waste of time then watching Battle Arena Toshinden!!!
OVERALL: (2) Toshinden is pound for pound one of the worst titles I’ve ever seen. It’s easier to choke down than the Tekken animated movie, but that’s like saying I’d rather eat a handful of glass shards instead of drinking scalding hot frying medium. It’s boring, annoying, and based off of a franchise that nobody could care less about, but frankly, the world is a better place not acknowledging this one. Out.
Art: The art style was well done! The simplicity in it was the thing that made me love the show!
Sound: I really love the simplicity in sound design in older anime series from the 90s. Having the exaturated explosions, sword clashes and screams are the things that make me look up older series.
Character: I really love how they represented the fighters and how they already knew each other.
Enjoyment: I never played the games honestly. But this show has amazing animation compared to shows from nowdays (I’m looking at you Toei Animations) This was only a short show so it was intended to be a bigger show. I enjoyed it and I hope other people did as well.
Overall: I recommend you to watch it!
24: V.G.Neo The Animation
English: Variable Geo Neo
Japanese: V.G.NEO THE ANIMATION
MAL Score: 5.64
“V.G. Neo” is a legendary battle that has been held over several decades to find the strongest waitress. Asuka Yuu arranges with her brother-in-law to live with him and work in his cafe. Suddenly, the enormous debt she owes to her brother-in-law becomes too costly. In order to repay the money, she joins the “Virgin Goodness League” which is a battle of waitresses set on one of the most enormous luxury liners in the world. An unknown sponsor promises enormous prizes for victory, but the loser will have to bear the ultimate humiliation. The maidens who will change fate cannot lose these one on one matches or they will suffer the consequences.
The first VG anime was watered down “NSFW;” with characters spouting crap about honor and chivalry whilst losing their clothing, being nearly naked, and (OF COURSE, says The Young Turk Cenk Ugyer) fighting the baddies. With VG Neo, you get DA F###ING.
The only character to transfer from old to new is Yuka Takeuchi. But she finds out some (horrible) secret that connects her, new female lead Asuka Yuu, said new female lead’s brother, and that bloodthirsty fighter Anna Fairgold.
The headcount includes yet another “Westerner,” yet another loli, a Chinese “Eyes Wide Shut” girl (which is new then), the “klutz maiden,” and Asuka’s “Ken” (who gets sexed second during this adult anime).
Animation’s not all that spectacular (outside the panty shots and said sex). Fighting animation is sub-par. My thanks go to Critical Mass for dubbing it in English. I’ll recommend this to ya.
Note that there IS a sex scene that featured Yuka, but it’s only in the game based on this title. ;_;
The fights are also mediocre and I prefer the fight scenes of the original Variable Geo, and the condensed plot leaves a lot to be desired and left me asking questions towards the end of the anime, like why was the cloning program in existence and who was behind it, and what were their motives?
All in all, this is your average, run of the mill fighting anime with fanservice and what is a plot device for sex or a cheap excuse to explore it’s dark side.
Personally, I thought Variable Geo Neo was pretty alright, especially compared to some of the other stuff I’ve seen around. I give it a seven out of ten for an overall factor.
23: Youseiki Suikoden
English: Suikoden Demon Century
MAL Score: 5.71
In the early 21st century, an earthquake destroyed Tokyo. Japan lost its center of government and industry, and turned into a lawless territory. Looking for his sister, Takateru Suga learns that she was kidnapped by the powerful Koryukai gang. He decides to ally himself with a drag queen, two ex-mercenaries and a nun to destroy the crime organization and save his sister!
It was well animated, I liked the characters. I have to say that I couldn’t NOT see ‘Gene Starwind’ from Outlaw Star every time I looked at the main character. Must be a previous incarnation.
The sound was a bit of a standout: whoever did the engineering did a great job creating a great ambiance. I don’t generally notice the sound-scape unless it’s particularly good or bad.
Apparently this is based on a series of books, as a sort of teaser. If that’s the case, then this did the trick in getting my interest up. I would like to know where the characters go from this point, and how the story plays out. Now that Tokyopop is out of the game, it seems an English language version is not likely, though.
Tip: watch past the credits; there is a closing scene/teaser.
Unlikely 5 mix of characters battling evil. Mundane in some regard and not in others. Each character stands out differently from the other. If you are a Buddhist fan you will realize there is a far deeper connection they all share that what meets the eyes. An interesting story for sure. Although, not one that is superb.
Nicely done. Perhaps it was just my version but ever now and there i kept seeing what appeared to be division lines in the video. A side effect or VHS tapes? Division lines, i am referring to what you see when an old TV with knobs starts to lose it’s signal. Or for you younger ground see a crude example…
“—-” (idea being lines as shown with picture in play.)
Each character had a good vocalist match
Background was decent for all characters. Even some minor ones.
If you need a testimony to more than meets the eyes or faith’s cards in your life look no further. Glum as you might be right now but as long as your morals stay true who knows what awaits you if you can handle the wait.
The art was ok but there was nothing outstanding about it, I felt like it could have been better, especially with both the production company and art studio behind this one The animation on the other hand was downright outstanding. It’s rare to see something so fluid looking on an OVA from the early I really don’t remember anything outstanding about the sound other than in the copy I watched there was a slightly annoying staticy hiss in the bg in half the scene, but that has nothing to do with the anime it’s self I assume. We only got a short glimpse as to what each character was like, but this was a short action anime meant to sell books, you shouldn’t really expect deep character development from something like this and all the characters were interesting and unique.
Also, here is where I want to point out something, I was really happily surprised by the portrayal of the transgender woman in this anime. It’s rare that you see a positive portrayal of a trans-woman in an anime from this era, let alone one that is a sexy bad ass.
All and all I really liked this anime, it was action packed and had interesting characters even if we only get a glimpse of them.
22: Fuuma no Kojirou: Yasha-hen
Japanese: 風魔の小次郎 夜叉篇
MAL Score: 6.35
Hakuo Gakuin is on the verge of closing down due to students transferring to rival school Seishikan after mysterious injuries happening to students who refuse to transfer. To protect the school and its students they hire Kojiro, a member of the Fuma clan of ninjas. After finding out that Seishikan has enlisted the help of the Yasha ninja clan, who had been rivals with the Fuma for generations, Kojiro gains the help of his fellow Fuma ninjas. Even though they are hired to protect the schools, the two rival clans vow to destroy each other once and for all so that only one clan remains.
After Ring no Kakero, his first great success as an author, Masami Kurumada created another battle shonen series, this time focused on ninja clans (in which, obviously, no member is older than fifteen years old) fighting to death, using ingenious and crazy techniques: Fuuma no Kojirou (FnK). In this series, many elements will be born and reused in what will be Mr Kurumada’s masterpiece: Saint Seiya. Yasha-hen is the first set of OVA, and adapts the first story arc of the manga (there’s also a second set, Seiken Sensou-hen, and a final OVA, Fuuma Hanran-hen). Despite being a series that can be enjoyed on its own, just like Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is specially interesting for Card Captor Sakura fans, or whatever created by Leiji Matsumoto is appealing for Matsumoto fans, FnK is especially attractive for Saint Seiya fans (mostly because Kurumada tends to use the same characters in all his works, just like Matsumoto), so throughout this review, don’t be surprised to see several comparisons between the two series.
FnK’s story shows us that the Hakou High School is having serious problems: bad boys from the Seishikan High never stop pestering (read: beating the crap out) their students! In such situation, Hojo Himeko, the leader of the Hakou, takes the only reasonable conclusion: hiring a ninja clan. Thus, Kojiro, a representative of the Fuuma clan, leaves his desolate mountain and go to the civilization to kick some evil asses.
Of course, Seishikan fellas have their own shinobi clan, the Yasha, so after a few skirmishes, both clans (since Kojiro’s companions arrive shortly after) agree to face their best warriors in a fight without rules, Basilisk style.
That’s basically the plot of FnK. Not a very deep story, and it doesn’t try to be: what’s important here is the excitement and action, and in that regard this six part OVA doesn’t disappoint. There’s a constant succession of battles (especially from the third episode onward, since the first two are introductory and rather slow), in which the most varied techniques are implemented. And something very important, anyone can die in these duels, which makes the result even more exciting (since not always the good ones survive).
On the character department… this is where a series oriented exclusively on combats suffers: there’s practically no character development, since a good chunk of the cast will die pretty fast n_n. The hero, Kojiro, is a pretty common guy, if a bit annoying. But, like Seiya, he’s determined, stubborn and cares for his clanmates. His bokken (wooden sword) skills defy the laws of physics, even for the standards of a ninja show. Also, from the Fuuma clan, we have Ryoma, the Dokugan Ryu (that’s right, he shares his nickname with the legendary Date Masamune, since both characters lost an eye). All in all, he is the more focused and respectful of the clan, and is who challenged the Yasha. His psychic abilities are the strongest of their clan. There are other Fuuma members, but the last one I want to mention is Kirikaze. Not only he physically resembles Andromeda Shun, but he’s also the only member that at least expressed his discontent with the fight. Of course, he still kicks ass, and without much remorse.
On the opposing side, the most important character (by far) is the leader of Yasha, who, ironically, is someone outside the clan: Asuka Musashi. He’s not only ridiculously powerful, but it’s the only one who really has an established background: he fights as a mercenary for the highest bidder to pay the bills from the hospital where his sister is interned. Although not evil per se, he’s very efficient, practical and ruthless: when an opponent is considered especially dangerous, he will kill him quickly, to avoid problems in the future. No hate or honor in the table, just pragmatism. Like Kojiro, his weapon is a bokken that cuts flesh like butter.
The visuals are correct… but it could be better. In fact, it should be better. The manga of FnK is older than Saint Seiya, but these OVA are newer than the anime of the bronze saints. That’s why I can’t understand why the quality is slightly higher in the case of Saint Seiya. Not only everything has a greater brightness and color in SS, but the character design in FnK borders the ridiculous. Kojiro is a clone of Seiya, and that’s fine, since it’s intentional (every Kurumada MC has the same face). The same is true with 95% of the characters, all of which can be homologated with a Saint (Musashi-Dohko, Kirikaze-Shun, etc)… the problem is that the same design is used in various characters. There are three characters that look like Shiryu (Ryoma, Anki and Mibu), and in the future, there will be even more! All the female characters are either Athena or Pandora (who are essentially the same, to begin with), and minor character are so generic it’s scary. This is particularly serious because these are OVA…
Anyways, although (a little) below the expected, it complies by the standards of the eighties. The animation is fluid, the techniques are well animated, and there’s blood everywhere (especially on the foreheads… seriously, no matter what happens, there will be blood on the forehead, and always a few seconds later after the attack, not immediately).
The sound’s fine. An interesting detail is that, while both Kojiro and Seiya anime share some seiyuus, none of them act as the character with the same face. To name a few, Keiichi Nanba is Kojiro’s voice actor, while in Saint Seiya was Pisces Aphrodite and Poseidon (and many other characters, like Ziocite in Sailor Moon, Ryo Hayabusa in Ninja Gaiden, Raoh in Hokuto no Ken, and so on), not Seiya (whose original seiyuu was Toru Furuya). Sho Hayami is Musashi’s voice, and was Sea Horse Baian (and Wolfwood in Trigun, Sairei in Shakugan no Shana III, Akira Hojo in Sanctuary, etc). Hideyuki Hori is Ryoma and Phoenix Ikki’s voice (and Roberto Hongo in Captain Tsubasa J, Ginyu in Dragon Ball Z, Nobuo Tanaka in Memories, and many more). Finally, Kazuhiko Inoue is Mibu in FnK and Ohko in SS (as well as Mamoru Kusanagi in Blue Seed, Anthony in Candy Candy, and Kakashi in Naruto).
As for the music, although not even close in quality to the one used in Saint Seiya (although, to be fair, not many can compare), it goes well with the ninja atmosphere of the series. The opening, Don’t go away, is a calm rock song, and the ending, Good-bye Marry, is a powerful heavy metal song (both are interpreted by Night Hawks).
Anyways, verdict time. I’ll try to be direct cause I wrote more than usual: Fuuma no Kojirou is highly recommended for Saint Seiya fans in particular, and for battle shounen fans in general. Here, you will not find lots of character development or a great story: the important thing here are the fights. And luckily, the combats are fast paced, unpredictable and ingenious, so, in the end, the whole experience is pretty enjoyable. If you liked this, the next logical step would be Seiken Sensou-hen, the second set of episodes of FnK.
Después de Ring no Kakero, su primer gran éxito como autor, Masami Kurumada idearía otro shonen de batallas, esta vez enfocado en clanes ninja (en el que, obviamente, ningún miembro tiene más de quince años) luchando hasta morir, usando técnicas tan ingeniosas como locas: Fuma no Kojiro (FnK). En esta serie, además, nacerían muchos de los elementos que después serian usados en la obra prima del señor Kurumada: Saint Seiya. Yasha-hen es la primera tanda de OVAS, que adapta el primer arco argumental del manga (habiendo disponibles una segunda tanda, Seiken Sensou-hen, y una OVA final, Fuuma Hanran-hen). A pesar de ser una serie que puede apreciarse en sí misma, de la misma forma que Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE es especialmente interesante para los fans de Card Captor Sakura, y lo que sea de Leiji Matsumoto es especialmente atrayente para los fans de Matsumoto, FnK es especialmente llamativa para los fans de Saint Seiya (más que nada porque el señor Kurumada tiene la costumbre de usar siempre a los mismos personajes en situaciones distintas, al igual que el señor Matsumoto), así que, a lo largo de esta review, no se sorprendan al ver varias comparaciones entre ambas series.
La historia de FnK nos muestra que la secundaria Hakou atraviesa serios problemas: alumnos malos de la escuela Seishikan no dejan de molestar (léase, moler a golpes) a sus estudiantes! Ante tamaña situación, Himeko Hojo, la encargada de Hakou, llega a la única conclusión razonable: contratar a un clan ninja. Es así como Kojiro, representante del clan Fuuma, deja su desolada montaña para dirigirse a la civilización y dar una seria y merecida paliza a ese grupo de abusones. Por supuesto, los muchachos de Seishikan tienen a su propia clan shinobi, los Yasha, por lo que después de una serie de escaramuzas, se ponen de acuerdo y ambos clanes (porque al poco tiempo llegan los compañeros de Kojiro) enfrentan a sus 10 mejores guerreros, en una lucha rastrera y sin reglas, bien a lo Basilisk.
Esa es básicamente la trama de FnK. No es una historia muy profunda, ni pretende serlo: acá lo importante es la emoción y la acción, y en eso esta miniserie de 6 capítulos no decepciona. Hay una constante sucesión de batallas (especialmente a partir del tercer capítulo, ya que los dos primeros son más bien introductorios y algo lentos), en las que las más variopintas técnicas son ejecutadas, con resultados muy variables. Y lo más importante: cualquiera puede morir en estos duelos, lo que hace que el resultado sea todavía más emocionante (nada de que los buenos ganan siempre, o no tienen bajas).
Por el lado de los personajes… acá es donde una serie de puros combates sufre: prácticamente no hay un gran desarrollo de personajes, dado que muchos no duran más de cinco minutos n_n. El protagonista, Kojiro, es un chico bastante común para haber sido entrenado en las oscurísimas artes ninjas, y la verdad, es algo molesto. Eso sí: al igual que Seiya, es determinado, tozudo, y quiere mucho a sus compañeros. Su manejo del bokken (espada de madera) desafía las leyes de la física, incluso para una serie de ninjas. También, del clan Fuuma, tenemos a Ryoma, el Dokugan Ryu (comparte su apodo con Date Masamune, dado que ambos personajes perdieron un ojo). Dentro de todo, el es el más centrado y respetuoso del clan, y es el que lanza el desafío formal al clan Yasha. Sus habilidades psíquicas están entra las más fuertes de su clan. Hay varios Fuuma más, pero el último que me gustaría comentar es Kirikaze. No solamente se parece físicamente a Shun de Andrómeda, sino que también es el único miembro del clan que al menos manifestó su desagrado por pelear. Eso no evita que en solo segundos reparta golpes para todos lados, pero bueno, al menos tiene intenciones pacifistas.
Del lado antagonista, el más importante (por mucho) es el líder de los Yasha, que irónicamente, es alguien ajeno al clan: Musashi Asuka. No solamente es ridículamente poderoso, si no que es el único que realmente tiene un background establecido: pelea como mercenario al mejor postor para poder pagar las cuentas del hospital donde está internada su hermanita. Aunque no es maligno per se, si es muy eficiente, práctico, y despiadado: cuando considera que un rival es especialmente peligroso, lo asesina rápidamente, para que no de problemas en el futuro. No hay odio ni honor relacionados, solo pragmatismo. Al igual que Kojiro, su arma es una bokken que corta carne como si fuera manteca.
La animación en si es correcta… pero podría ser mejor. De hecho, debería ser mejor. Tal vez el manga de FnK sea anterior a Saint Seiya, pero las OVAS de Yasha-hen son posteriores (por solo unos meses, pero son mas nuevas) al anime de los caballeros. Es por esto que no se entiende como la calidad es ligeramente mayor en el caso de Saint Seiya. No solo todo tiene un brillo y un color mayor en la serie de los caballeros de bronce, si no que el diseño de personajes bordea lo cómico. Que Kojiro sea un clon de Seiya es intencional, y es parte del encanto de la obra de Kurumada. Lo mismo ocurre con un 97% de los personajes, todos pueden ser homologados a algún caballero (Musashi-Dohko, Kirikaze-Shun, etc)… el problema es que los diseños se repiten varias veces DENTRO de la serie. Hay tres personajes que se parecen a Shiryu (Ryoma, Mibu y Anki), y en el futuro van a aparecer más! xD. Todos los personajes femeninos son o Athena o Pandora (que en esencia, son iguales), y los personajes de menor importancia son tan genéricos que asusta. Esto es especialmente grave porque se trata de OVAS…
Pero bueno, aunque inferior a la media, cumple (para los estándares de los 80). La animación es fluida, las técnicas están bien representadas, y lo más importante de todo, hay sangre por todos lados (especialmente en las frentes… en serio, pase lo que pase, sea el ataque que sea, como mínimo, va a haber sangre en la frente, y solo después de un par de segundos de ejecutado el ataque, como para dar dramatismo).
El sonido está bien. Un detalle llamativo es que, si bien los animes de Seiya y Kojiro comparten algunos miembros de cast, ninguno representa al personaje de la misma cara. Por ejemplo, Keiichi Nanba, la voz de Kojiro, es Afrodita de Piscis y Poseidón (y varios más, como Ziocite en Sailor Moon, Ryo Hayabusa en Ninja Gaiden, Raoh en Hokuto no Ken, y un largo etcétera), y no Seiya (cuyo seiyuu original es Toru Furuya). El rol de Musashi lo representa Hayami Sho, quien fuera Baian de Caballo Marino (y también Wolfwood en Trigun, Sairei en Shakugan no Shana III, Akira Hojo en Sanctuary, etc). Hideyuki Hori es Ikki de Fénix y Ryoma (y Roberto Hongo en Captain Tsubasa J, Ginyu en Dragon Ball Z, Nobuo Tanaka en Memories y varios más). Finalmente Kazuhiko Inoue es Mibu en FnK, y Ohko en SS (además de ser Mamoru Kusanagi en Blue Seed, Anthony en Candy Candy, Kakashi en Naruto).
En cuanto a la música, si bien no puede compararse a la de Saint Seiya (aunque siendo justos, muy pocas pueden), va bien con la atmosfera ninja de la serie. El opening, Don’t go away, es relativamente tranquilo (para los parámetros del Rock), y el ending, Good-bye Marry, es una poderosa canción heavy. Ambas interpretadas por Night Hawks.
Pero bueno, después de semejante parrafada, es momento del veredicto. Voy a procurar ser directo, dado que ya escribí más de lo usual: Fuuma no Kojirou es una serie muy recomendable para los fans de Saint Seiya, y también para los seguidores de los shonen de batallas. Acá no hay una gran historia o un notable desarrollo de personajes, acá hay muchas peleas. Lo bueno es que están bien hechas, y su resultado es impredecible. Además, la mayoría se resuelven bastante rápido, lo que siempre es un plus. Si estas OVAS les gustaron, el paso lógico a seguir es ver es Seiken Sensou-hen, la segunda tanda de capítulos.
Gente que busque un gran desarrollo argumental, personajes profundos o animación de gran calidad, mantenerse alejados.
The story is loosely based on Japanese historical ninja conflicts and rivalry, but sets in an alternative modern day, where ninjas wear high school uniforms, use bokken (wood swords) and have superpowers.
There are two big ninja clans in this anime: Fuma and Yasha.
Kojiro, the protagonist, is one of the strongest members of Fuma clan. He is engaged by Hakuo Academy to support and protect them from a rival school, Seishikan.
On the other side, Seishikan school contacts the strongest Yasha clan members to pick this fight, and so the rivalry between the clans explodes in an 8 vs. 8 battle very similar to Basilisk manga and others in this ninja sub-genre.
Indeed, there is not much story besides this. It is just about two ninja clans fighting in a merciless war. There is not exactly good side and bad side, which is a nice take on the shounen manga.
Actually, you will probably sympathize more with Asuka Musashi (the stronger one from Yasha side) than Kojiro, since Musashi is the only one main character with a background story justifying his fighting.
Musashi is a mercenary that uses his incredible skills to earn money in order to pay the cost of his little sister hospitalization.
Meanwhile, Kojiro is just a stereotype of the carefree hero, so common in shounen, but without a background story to his personality.
But even with the absence of a background plot to the characters – that may move away some viewers –, Fuma no Kojiro has some awesome minor plot twists in its fast fights; but only in the fights.
The last point to highlight here is the enjoyment. There are just 6 episodes, no fillers, fighting happens all the time.
This OVA is very short, so you won’t need to see an entire episode of characters discussing their personal thoughs and life philosophy, trying to find a deeper meaning behind their battle. They just kick each other asses like they are “all out of bubblegum”.
So, if ignore the old and dated animation and the mediocre story, you will have some real fun watching this one.
21: Fuuma no Kojirou: Seiken Sensou-hen
Japanese: 風魔の小次郎 聖剣戦争篇
MAL Score: 6.39
Hakuo Gakuin used to be a prestigious high school, and famous for martial arts. However, because its rival school; Seishikan, has been cowardly luring it’s superior students, Hakuo was going to decline.
In order to recover from the situation, the acting principal of Hakuo; Hojo Himeko, sends Yagyu Ranko to the Fuma Village in search of the famous Fuma ninja clan for assistance. The leader of the Fuma sent Kojiro to Hakuo, there he faces the notorious Yasha clan who fights for Seishikan lead by Asuka Musashi.
Soon Kojiro’s comrades arrive and an all-out ninja war postponed for 500 years begins between the 2 clans. (Source: d-addicts)
Seiken Sensou-hen is the second saga of OVA of Fuuma no Kojirou, one of the not so popular stories of Masami Kurumada, the creator of Saint Seiya. This time, once again, we have various fights, flashy techniques, deaths and lots of bleeding foreheads. So let’s begin… but, before that, a reminder: this is a sequel, so if you didn’t watch the first part, don’t read, since, well, there are a few minor spoilers from part one. Ok, now for real:
SS-h’s story shows us that, almost immediately after the war between the Fuuma and the Yasha, Kojirou clan’s leader, and most of the Fuuma members, were killed. The culprits: a group of warriors called Chaos. The reason: they’re searching for the sacred swords, the strongest weapons in the world. Unfortunately for the bad guys, the only Fuuma that actually had a sword wasn’t at home at the time of the attack. Now Kojirou seeks revenge, and found allies in those who also had sacred swords and oppose Chaos (one of them is Musashi Asuka, the main antagonist of Yasha-hen) triggering, once again, a holy war for the dominance of the swords.
From this, one would though that the development will be very similar to Yasha-hen: two factions collide, 1 vs. 1 fights, and everybody dies almost immediately, for the sake of dynamic battles. While this is true, in SS-h the ninja techniques are replaced by sword techniques. In theory it would be more or less the same, but in practice, the battles end up being very repetitive, even by the standards of a classic shonen. They all follow the same pattern, with only a special attack for character, almost the same sequence of attacks (first the bad dude, then the good guy), and the outcome is the same in 90% of the fights (very different from Yasha-hen, where, except for Kojirou, you’ll never knew who will survive). That’s pretty lame…
As for the characters, they’re in the same league of the fights: bellow the quality of the first set of OVA. Although in Yasha-hen the character didn’t last long, at least the Fuuma members had something similar to a personality, and their crazy ninja skills gave them a special charisma. Now Kirikaze, Ryuho and Shoryu are left completely aside, and only Kojirou and Ryoma do something. The rest of the good guys (I mean, the others that have a sacred sword) hardly have dialogues, and their participation is minimal (This includes Musashi, which all in all, was the most complete character of the previous series). The bad guys are even more one-dimensional, and their leader, Chaos, is only a dark silhouette for five episodes, and when he finally appears he’s as uninteresting as his minions.
The technical level is more or less the same as in Yasha-hen, although the animation is a little below in terms of quality. Even in that SS-h could keep up (and in Yasha-hen wasn’t brilliant to begin with)… but compared to the other issues, there aren’t major complaints.
So, in case it’s not clear yet, Seiken Sensou-hen is bellow what one might expect after seeing Yasha-hen. The plot and technical shortcomings are forgivable, since, to begin with, no one ask that much in those departments, but the harsh reality is that the action (the true soul of this kind of series) takes some time to start, and when it finally does, it’s very, very repetitive. That, and that alone, makes the project to suffer, and makes it hard to recommend. However, while obviously inferior to Yasha-hen, this OVA is slightly entertaining if one has no great pretentions, and it’s necessary to watch the final incarnation of Fuuma no Kojirou (Fuuma Hanran-hen, a 50 min film, way better than this). Conclusion: only for (extreme) fans of classic shonens that really liked the first part, and want to know how this ends.
Seiken Sensou-hen (SS-h) es la segunda tanda de OVAS de Fuuma no Kojirou, una de las historias no tan conocidas de Masami Kurumada, el creador de Saint Seiya. En esta oportunidad, tenemos más peleas, más técnicas rimbombantes, más muertes, más frentes que sangran… Veamos más a fondo… pero no sin antes dar una ligera advertencia: esta es una segunda parte, una continuación directa de la primera, así que si no vieron Yasha-hen, no lean, por que podrían encontrarse algún que otro spoiler. Ahora sí:
La historia de SS-h nos muestra que, ni bien terminada la guerra entre los Fuuma y los Yasha, el líder del clan de Kojirou, y buena parte de sus miembros, fueron asesinados. Los responsables: un grupo de guerreros llamado Caos. La razón: están buscando las espadas sagradas, las armas más fuertes del mundo. Por desgracia para ellos, el único Fuuma que tenía una no estaba en casa en el momento del ataque. Ahora Kojirou busca venganza, y terminara aliándose con otros portadores de espadas sagradas que se oponen a Caos (entre ellos, Musashi Asuka, el principal antagonista de la saga anterior) desencadenando, una vez mas (porque ya van varias generaciones sin resolución), una guerra santa por el dominio de las espadas.
De esto, uno puede intuir que el desarrollo va a parecerse mucho al de las OVAS anteriores: dos bandos chocan, hay peleas de 1 vs 1, y casi todos mueren casi al instante, en pos del dinamismo. Si bien esto es cierto, en SS-h los combates cambian de técnicas ninjas a técnicas de espadas. En teoría seria más o menos lo mismo, pero las batallas terminan siendo muy repetitivas, incluso para los estándares de un shonen clásico. Todas siguen el mismo patrón, con solo una técnica especial por personaje, casi la misma secuencia de ataques (primero el malo, y luego el bueno) y el mismo desenlace en el 90% de los enfrentamientos (a diferencia de en Yasha-hen, donde, excepto por Kojirou, realmente uno no sabía quiénes iban a sobrevivir).
En cuanto a los personajes, es similar a lo que sucedía con las peleas: están por debajo de la calidad de las primeras OVAS. Aunque en Yasha-hen los personajes no duraban mucho, al menos los protagonistas del clan Fuuma tenían algo parecido a una personalidad, y sus locas técnicas ninja les daban un carisma muy especial. Ahora, Kirikaze, Ryuho y Shoryu son dejados por completo de lado, siendo solo Kojirou y Ryoma los únicos que hacen algo. El resto de los buenos (o sea, los que tienen espadas) apenas si tienen diálogos, y su participación es ínfima (esto incluye a Musashi, que dentro de todo, era el personaje más completo de la saga anterior). Los malos son todavía más unidimensionales, y su líder, Caos, es una silueta oscura por cinco capítulos, y cuando por fin aparece, no es más interesante que sus subordinados, ni en diseño, discursos o técnicas.
A nivel técnico es más o menos igual que en Yasha-hen, aunque hay que decir que está un poco por debajo de ella a nivel animación. Ni siquiera en eso SS-h pudo estar a la altura… pero, comparado con lo demás, no hay grandes quejas.
Así que, por si no quedo claro, Seiken Sensou-hen está por debajo de lo que uno podía esperar después de ver Yasha-hen. Las falencias argumentales y técnicas son perdonables, dado que uno no le exige grandeza a este tipo de producción en esos aspectos, pero la dura realidad es que la acción tarda en empezar, y cuando por fin lo hace, es muy, muy repetitiva. Eso, y solo eso, hace que el proyecto sufra, y que sea difícil recomendar. Sin embargo, si bien inferior, estas OVAs son ligeramente entretenidas si uno no tiene grandes pretensiones, además de ser necesarias si uno quiere ver el final de Fuuma no Kojirou (Fuuma Hanran-hen, una película de 50 minutos bastante interesante). Conclusión: solo para muy fans de shonen clásicos (que obviamente son, si vieron la primera parte).
20: Fuuma no Kojirou: Fuuma Hanran-hen
MAL Score: 6.42
After the Chaos war, Kojiro and Ryouma return to earth only to find their clan members killing off each other.
Fuuma Hanran-hen (FH-H) is a fifty minutes OVA that serves as the end to Fuuma no Kojirou, the ninja series made by Masami Kurumada, the creator of Saint Seiya (and Ring no Kakero and BTX, among many other… but these two are the ones worth mentioning). Fuuma no Kojirou has a promising start with Yasha-hen (the first six episodes), then it screw it a bit with Seiken Sensou-hen (the second half of the series, also six episodes)… Does this OVA raise the quality again, or sink the project even more? Let’s see. But before that, if it wasn’t clear enough: this is a third part, a final part, so there are spoilers from the previous incarnations. Go to Fuuma no Kojirou: Yasha-hen to learn if you are interested or not. Now, to the proper review:
Fuuma Hanran-hen, which translates as “The Fuuma rebellion episode” shows that, while Kojirou and Ryoma were fighting in the moon (literally… after that, one could expect anything from this series), the Fuuma clan is immersed in a huge revolt, and the members are killing each other. Soon, the heroes discover that there’s an eye jutsu involved that make the former loyal ninjas to fight their own kind… It’s in the hands of Kojirou and Ryoma, alongside the reintegrated to the plot Shoryu, Kirikaze and Ryuho to realize whats really going on… and by realize, I mean jutsus, swords, and other useful and violent methods to gather information (cause that’s the way ninjas solve their problems).
So, the premise is interesting… but so it was in Seiken Sensou-hen. So, the real question is: it’s well executed? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. For starters, screw the swords, here the ninja techniques are back in all their glory, and that translates in more diverse and better fights. It’s only one OVA, so there’s no time to lose: the battles are fast, dynamic, and anybody could die. I’m serious: this is the last arc, so everybody are expendable.
On the audiovisual department, everything is mostly like the previous OVA, with slight improvements (probably because this is just one long episode). That means, classic late 80’s animation, with the already known Kurumada character designs (besides the overused and omnipresent Dragon Shiryu model, Ophiucus Shaina design is quite abundant… there’s even a team of side characters that looks like her). The seiyuus are the same from the previous works, and there are no complaints. Both opening and ending are pretty good.
So… FH-h meets the expectations one can demand from the end of a series? Yes. The fights are intense, unpredictable and very entertaining. The characters fight and die with dignity. The plot is resolved satisfactorily. No loose ends. If you liked the previous OVA (which I assumed you did, because if not, why are you reading?), this will be a good closure. Highly recommended for fans of classic battle shonens, and especially, for Saint Seiya fans.
Fuuma Hanran-hen (FH-h) es una OVA de 50 minutos que sirve como final para Fuuma no Kojirou, la saga de ninjas creada por Masami Kurumada, el mismo cristiano responsable de Saint Seiya (y también Ring no Kakero y BTX, entre varios otros… aunque estos son los que vale la pena mencionar). Esta historia arranco muy prometedora con Yasha-hen (primera saga de OVAS, seis capítulos), para después caer un poco con Seiken Sensou-hen (segunda tanda de OVAS, también seis capítulos)… ¿Esta OVA vuelve a subir la calidad, o hunde todavía más al proyecto? Veamos. Pero antes de eso, si no lo dedujeron de… bueno, todo lo que acabo de escribir, esta es la tercera parte de una saga, y para colmo es el final, así que hay spoilers. Vallan a Fuuma no Kojirou: Yasha-hen, para saber si están interesados o no. Ahora si, a la review propiamente dicha:
Fuuma Hanran-hen, que se traduce como “El episodio de la rebelión Fuuma”, nos muestra que, mientras Kojirou y Ryoma estaban en la luna (literalmente… después de esto uno podría esperar cualquier cosa), en el clan Fuuma estallo una revuelta, por lo que empieza una matanza entre miembros. Pronto se descubre que hay un jutsu ocular involucrado, que hace que los otrora leales ninjas se vuelvan hacia sus hermanos… está en manos de Kojiro y Ryoma, junto a los traídos nuevamente a la trama, Shoryu, Kirikaze y Ryuho averiguar qué es lo que realmente está pasando, y de paso, sacudir jutsus y espadazos para todos lados, porque así es como los ninjas resuelven sus problemas.
Bien la premisa es interesante… pero también lo era la de Seiken Sensou-hen. Lo que deberían preguntarse es, ¿está bien ejecutada? Si, si, y mil veces sí. Para empezar, a la mierda las espadas, acá vuelven las técnicas ninjas en todo su esplendor, lo que se traduce en combates mucho más variadas que los vistos en la saga anterior. Es solo una OVA, así que no hay tiempo que perder: las peleas vuelven a ser rápidas, dinámicas, y cualquiera puede morir en cualquier momento. Es en serio: este es el último arco argumental, así que ya todos son prescindibles.
A nivel audiovisual, se mantiene más o menos la calidad general ya vista en las dos sagas de OVAS anteriores, con ligeras mejorías (probablemente por ser solo una OVA larga). O sea, animación clásica de finales de los 80, con los ya muy conocidos diseños de personajes del universo Kurumada (como curiosidad, a parte del siempre utilizado modelo del dragón Shiryu, en esta OVA en particular es el diseño de Ofiuco Shaina el que se hace presente en abundancia… incluso los personajes tienen la cara tapada igual que ella) . Los seiyuus son los mismos de las partes anteriores, y no hay quejas. Buen opening y ending.
Entonces, FH-h cumple con las expectativas que uno puede pretender del final de una saga? Si. Las peleas son rápidas, intensas, impredecibles y muy entretenidas. Los personajes luchan y mueren con dignidad. La trama se resuelve de manera satisfactoria. No quedan cabos sueltos. Si les gustaron las OVAS anteriores (lo que es obvio, porque si no, por que estarían leyendo esto?), esta va a cumplir con sus expectativas. Muy recomendado para los fans de los shonens de peleas clásicos, y especialmente, para los fanáticos de Saint Seiya.
19: Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf
English: Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf
MAL Score: 6.43
Jeff Bogard was a master of the Hakkyokuseiken martial arts school and the guardian of its secret techniques. Coveting this knowledge, Geese Howard, the most powerful man in South Town, challenged and murdered him in front of his adoptive sons Terry and Andy Bogard. Under the guidance of their mentor Tung Fe Rue, the brothers dedicate their lives to training in the ultimate art to avenge their father.
10 years later, Geese promotes a martial arts tournament known as the King of Fighters. Terry and Andy join their friend Muay Thai champion Joe Higashi and enter the competition in order to finally face Geese in combat.
Other featured characters are Geese’s henchmen like the staff master Billy Kane and the masked pro wrestler, Raiden and they are transitioned faithfully themselves. On one hand, it’s a faithful interpretation, but the story in terms of being a martial arts flick is a little too cliché.
The character design is by Masami Obari. He has a real distinct style of drawing character faces and bodies. Like Joe Higashi’s built is really like a true Muay Thai fighter’s built being all lean. The clothing of the characters is of course well faithful to the gaming design originally done by Shinkiro. I also like how he gave Terry’s hat a steel plate to it. Makes me wish I want a hat like that because I think it’s pretty cool. Some notable exemptions are of course Andy’s hair color being silver in this one though the sequels will change it to blonde. In common trait to his other works, he does tend to use lots of colors which brings out the resolution and it gave me a feeling of being alert to a lot of details with the characters. Of course other traits of Obari will be well built women but the only featured female character is Lily and she happens to wear something like a Victorian dress but you never see any body parts exposed.
The fights also well utilize the character’s signature moves. It tends to be based more on the games rather than realistic fighting which was the Street Fighter II animated movie approach was. Like Terry will use his burn knuckle and rising tackle. Geese will have his raging storm and reppuken. And so on and so forth. The fights translate very well but the problem is being a 45 minute feature, the fights tend to be a bit short. Though the fights are short, they are still exciting and plenty of action.
First, I would like to talk about the Japanese voice acting and compare it to the dub. I will admit it. These are the rare kinds of anime that I prefer the English dub over the Japanese track. The Japanese voice actors were ok, but they did not have the same passion or intensity as their English counter parts. The voice of Joe from the Japanese version is a famous world champion kickboxer, Masaaki Satake. I have seen his fights and granted he’s a great fighter, but as a voice actor, he sucks. He made Joe who is supposed to be in his early 20s sound twice his age. He sounded like an old man and the voice didn’t really reflect his prankster personality that he has in the games. While Jason Gray-Stanford who plays him in the English version does a great job of making a voice for him that really reflects his usual childish qualities. I also liked Geese’s dub voice because he really sounded intimidating and evil. I really liked Mark Hildreth as Terry because he made him sound like the passionate person that the anime also made him portray. Usually if I ever want to watch this anime, these are the rare occasions I will put this anime in English rather than Japanese.
The music is also pretty cool itself. It has a modern day Hong Kong kung fu flick feel to it. It has a lot of guitars but not necessarily sounding Eastern but still something you’d feel a little Asian. The ending song Fly Away is pretty good. Not really intense but it really helps reflect the ending of the story and what really happens and tells things in the point of view of Lily and Terry.
Well, if you’re a fan of the games or want to watch an action anime, then this anime is for you. It’s not the best, but still far from being the worst. I wouldn’t call this anime in the same league of something as Street Fighter II V or the animated movie, but is still worth a shot for the martial arts anime fan or fans of the video game series. It’s an anime with some stand out flaws and there are sequals which later correct it as they go along the way. And if you’re a person that really prefers dubs, then this anime is perfect for you.
Ten years later, the brothers return to South Town and they reunite with Tung as promised. He informs them that he will teach only one of them a secret technique that can defeat Geese. The two brothers plan to battle each other in the King of Fighters Tournament which is sponsored by Geese, with the purpose of learning the move to avenge their father.-summary
Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungy Wolf is based on the popular SNK video game Fatal Fury, which made its debut in November of 1991. The game featured three fighters as the main characters: The unorthodox martial artist Terry Bogard, his brother Andy Bogard whom uses Koppo-ken, and Muy Thai expert Joe Higashi. All three fighters with some of their opponents appear in the movie. The most notable opponents are the formidable martial artist Geese Howard, a staff fighter named Billy Kane, and the wrestler Raiden.
Fatal Fury caters too much to fans of the video game. Non fans will know what’s going on story wise but may find it difficult to care for this particular movie; and if non fans are searching for martial arts action similar to Street Fighter: The Animated Movie, or good martial arts action in general, then they will definitely come away hating this movie. Fatal Fury is billed as a martial arts anime but you really don’t get much, if any of it.
The weakness in the animation shows in many areas with the action being the most notable. The fights are very poorly choreographed with some bad exchanges. To include, they are incredibly short consisting of one to two hit victories, with only the use of their trademark special moves and some of these techniques come off looking incredibly silly. Terry Bogards “Rising Tackle” immediately comes to mind. Also, the final battle ends up being a very big disappointment, especially when considering how tough Geese is in the game.
Although the action scenes are short they can be kind of bloody; but if you’ve seen enough bloody and brutal anime, then you won’t really be impressed by this at all. The artwork is fairly done with the characters resembling their video game counterparts. However, only Andy appears to be somewhat out of character with his hair being blue instead of blonde. The voice acting wasn’t really an issue for me and I feel it was well acted during numerous key moments. The soundtrack is something I did enjoy which is made up of J-Pop that adds some type of life to the fight scenes, while also making the thin as needles plot easier to get through. This is a good example of a well used soundtrack.
Fatal Fury is also very cheesy too. The romance angle is every bit as unrealistic as it was unnecessary. Terry’s love interest Lily was mainly used as a plot device for Terry to have more of a reason to hate Geese, as if brutally killing his father right in front of his eyes wasn’t reason enough. I will admit that the characters are mildly developed though.
I also give some credit to the writing team. Unlike many video games that make it to film. Fatal Fury seems to be done by those whom have a bit of knowledge of the game. At the very least, there was an attempt to give the fans something.
The production team used what they had to work with. The effort was there, but the end result is what counts and I’ve always been disappointed with this one. Then again, video game to movies have a notorious reputation for being disappointing anyway. I recommend Fatal Fury only to fans of the game and the very easy to please.
Highs: Pretty faithful to video game, good soundtrack
Lows: Bad animation, too short, fights are very unimpressive, may not appeal to non fans
However, I found this Anime to be fantastically enjoyable not as an action film, but as a comedy. Much of the fighting was over the top, the deaths were extremely ridiculous, and the characters were all around fun extremes.
Not an amazing life changing story, but a nice fun film to kill time with at three in the morning.
18: Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Special Anime
Japanese: バキ 最凶死刑囚編SP(スペシャル)アニメ
MAL Score: 6.54
A 15-minute trailer bundled with the limited edition of 14th Baki-Dou manga volume. Despite being bundled with Baki-Dou, it will adapt part of the “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” arc from Baki: New Grappler Baki. The arc features underground ring fighters in the no-rules combat environment of death row convicts.
After reading the manga the OVA really highlights the fight scenes in the manga. The story is about 17 (or 15 I don’t remember) year old Baki and his fight to become the strongest fighter and beat his dad in a fight. When fighting there are no rules; anything and everything is fair game.
The artwork from this preview seems similar to Drifters (aired Fall 2016). But that is about as much as you can get from this short clip.
Overall, this is a short video that highlights the major fights of the manga. There is not much enjoyment to get from it, but it did get me interested in the manga itself. Because of this OVA, I am looking forward to when an actual anime gets released.
17: Ranma : 1994 Music Calendar
Japanese: らんま1/2 1994年ミュージックカレンダー
MAL Score: 6.67
Series clips shown along with the music that freeze-frames when a new move is shown. The writing at the bottom says “Anything-Goes Martial Arts Technique/Trick Picture Scroll”. This was put out by the KAC (Kitty Animation Circle), and so it wasn’t commercially available in stores.
16: Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
English: Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
MAL Score: 6.71
After defeating Geese Howard, legendary fighter Terry Bogard faces German warrior Wolfgang Krauser, only to suffer a humiliating defeat. Depressed by his loss, Terry wanders around the country, wasting his life through drinking. Only a young boy named Tony can convince Terry to go back to his winning ways, conquer his fears, and once again face Krauser.
Based on the Neo Geo SNK video game Fatal Fury 2.
The art is a much improved than the first oav. The designs are more sharper and the colors are brighter. The first oav tended to be a bit more circular with the designs but the designs are still up to date with their game counter parts. Like Terry’s sleeves on his jacket in the first oav and game were rolled up. While in this one, he cut off the sleeves. And of course, Andy’s hair color is switched to blonde. But what I really wanted to talk about is Krauser’s design. In the game, he had a moutache and an X on his head. He sort of looked like Rob Zombie in that kind of way. However, he loses the moustache and the x and has a more youthful look to him. It’s not really a bad thing in my eyes. He looks pretty cool and more intimidating and really looks like a young and hungry fighter. I also like his armor. It really adds more to his built and gives him a warrior king look.
For the fan service fan boys, you’ll love Mai. You don’t get to see her naked but I guess you can really enjoy her flashy clothing.
The fights in this anime have tremendously improved since the last oav. They are more elaborate and not really too reliant on the video games moves like reppukens or raging storms. There is more martial arts emphasis to it and they last longer. The movement of some of the fights are also pretty cool and I like the cinematography of some of the fights.
Again, I prefer the English dub. Joe’s voice in the Japanese version is now played by Hiyama Nobuyuki. He is also known as playing Nakazato in Initial D and Shiro from Gundam 08th MS Team. Granted he’s a great voice actor and gives Joe a much more youthful sound to his voice, he still lacks Joe’s carefree personality which is still done by his English voice actor instead. Much of the voice actors from the English and Japanese tracks that are coming from the first anime are still in. For Mai’s voice in the Japanese version she is played by well known veteran Kotono Mitsuishi. She is best known as playing Sailor Moon and Misato from Evangelion. Out of all the Japanese voice actors, I liked her the best. Her English actress is also pretty good and reflects on the personality of the character.
I also liked Krauser’s English and Japanese voice. In the English version, they naturally gave him a German accent. It sounds a little corny but he does sound intimidating. The Japanese voice actor Hirotaka Suzuoki is also a great actor. He is best known as playing Bright in Gundam, Kuno in Ranma, Shiryuu in Saint Seiya and Min Mei’s cousin in Macross. I guess with Japanese acting standards from my observations, I think Suzuoki was excellent as Krauser. He brought out a certain dramatic element to the character which you would probably assume out his Krauser’s personality. With the additions of Suzuoki and Mitsuishi, the Japanese track makes it much more fun to watch if you’re a seiyuu buff. I never really liked Terry’s Japanese voice that much. He really sounded a bit too quiet in comparison to just being mellow like Mark Hildreth.
The music is also a great improvement. Like the background music when Terry and Kim fights is also pretty sweet. It has more of an Oriental sound to it and really matches the intensity to the fight. I also love the ending song Keep on Calling. It’s not really sad like the first ending song but of course, I love how the ending songs in Fatal Fury really reflect the ending and the build up of the stories. The guitar playing is pretty sweet and the lyrics are really catchy.
This oav is a much higher improvement than the first. It excellently focuses on a lot of characters that are introduced and they get a great amount of screen time. The fights are better and everything is better. The story is not necessarily as cliché as the first one but the story in this one has been done before but I like the modern day twist it has. So thanks to the improvement the anime has.
A few things are tweaked in this OVA for the sake of creating a plot, such as the introduction of the Tony character. Inserting Tony is far more forgivable than saddling Terry with Lily in Legend of the Hungry Wolf, and while he’s a bit annoying, he’s a more useful addition that serves as a driving point to get Terry back on his feet after badly losing his first battle with Krauser. So it’s kind of like Rocky in that regard, which is cool. This shows a more realistic vulnerable side of Terry that fans of the franchise can identify with.
The characters are better utilized as well. Andy is a more well-rounded character, and watching him interact with Mai Shiranui is always a treat. Joe Higashi has played three different roles in the Fatal Fury anime trilogy, but didn’t get as much time to shine in this one in terms of debuting his moves from the video game. And unlike the first OVA, where fighters from the actual roster make cameos without dialouge (Like Hwa Hai and Michael Max getting their asses kicked. Who would know who these guys were if you’re watching this and haven’t played the game?), warriors are introduced and partake in a fight, like Kim Kaphwan, Jubei Yamada, and to a lesser, yet comedic extent, Lawerence Blood and Axel Hawk. These characters worked great in their roles and you feel a bit rewarded in the end. Krauser himself is fantastic in his dual-sided personality. He’s a seemingly gentle aristocrat one moment, but won’t hesitate to kill his opponent. There’s some weird backstory altering to connect him to Geese, but it can be forgiven. I even liked Hopper and Ripper, Geese’s black-suited thugs from the first OVA, making cameos.
Also much improved is the action. The fights are pretty darn cool, making great use of special attacks from the game like Andy’s Hak Don, and one of my personal favorites, the Power Geyser, and don’t feel to forced. Even Tony’s little scrap against the Fatal Fury cos-players in the beginning is entertaining.
[IN CLOSING] This is the best it gets when it comes to making a competent anime about a fighting game and is one of my favortie anime ever. It’s got a simple, yet plausible story to follow, the action is solid, and the cast is used respectively. It’s not perfect, but I can overlook it’s minor errors. Also, if you own or can find the English dubbed version, you gotta hear these four goons attempting to mug Terry. This is impressively bad English voice acting at it’s best and it’s too bad VIZ stopped going to the Ocean Group veterans as often as they used to.
PROS: Great action, near perfect game adaptation
CONS: What plan was Geese talking about?
Fatal Fury 2 really isn’t that bad of a fighting anime. For one thing, it has nothing to do with tournaments and it takes a bit of time to actually tell a story. The pacing is very good as the story follows Terry’s descent into a washed up fighter. There’s quite a bit of background delivered on him through flashbacks, which is meant to play into him regaining his confidence. This at all wouldn’t be possible if not for the addition of Tony, whom actually serves as a useful character. During this time, several fights are squeezed in but I wouldn’t consider any of them breathtaking; should Fatal Fury 2 be compared to Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, then each of these battles would be barely mediocre at best. In truth, Ryu vs. Fei Long from SFII blows everything away in this without the use of a light show.
Despite being the main character. Terry is actually overshadowed by Wolfgang Krauser; he is a pretty good villain. Personally, I consider him to be the best of the main villains out of the three movies. Krauser is also given an ample amount of background which helps keep the movie pretty interesting. The first meeting with Krauser is awesome, and anyone can be fooled into thinking they’re about to be watching a truly great anime.
Now this is where I’m going to straight sink this movie because this is where it’s suppose to excel. The problems for me lies in the poorly animated battles for the most part. The fight scenes have choreography that is barely on an average level and as if this wasn’t bad enough; they either consist of 10 seconds of unseen action, one blow victories, stills, or very little martial arts, with the characters trademark moves being the only attacks used. This is something a fan of the game may find to be very entertaining, but for those searching for a good martial arts anime. This is the definition of mediocrity and I have to call it like I see it.
Terry’s battles with Krauser happen to be the best by far, but when compared to everything else there really wasn’t much competition anyway, and even these battles only manage to get by. The last battle suffered from very inconsistent artwork, sloppy animation, and re-used cels quite a bit. The ending is rather good, but their was very little by way of good martial arts action.
The artwork has only one thing going for it and that’s the character designs. The characters are pretty faithful to the video game with Krauser being the only exception. This really isn’t a bad thing though, because the writers intentions were to portray Krauser as being ten years younger than in the video game; but the artwork declines in quality which can be very noticeable to anyone. Thankfully, the movie has a good soundtrack that mainly works for the battles making them seem better than what they really are.
This movie could have been worse yet it could have been better as well. The plot was there, but when it comes down to a martial arts anime then the action must standout. There is very little here screaming “look at me!”. Over the years a majority of Fatal Fury fans and casuals have eaten this one up, and has even went so far as to consider it great anime. Well, we all have our opinion, and that’s all I can say about that.
I recommend this to fans of the game, casual fans, and just those whom are very easy to please. To others, there are far better action titles to choose from.
Highs: Better action and animation better characters than last OVA
Lows: Fight scenes really aren’t much, bad animation, mediocre artwork
15: Grappler Baki
MAL Score: 6.79
Doppo Orochi sits down to watch the final match of his karate school’s youth tournament. Atsushi Suedou, one of his disciples, faces off against Baki Hanma, a fresh teenage boy breezing through the matches. Intrigued by the boy’s strength, Doppo, alongside another of his disciples—Kiyosumi Katou— visits the notorious Tokugawa underground ring—a hidden freestyle fighting arena that prohibits only weaponry in its matches. Upon arriving, they learn that Baki is set to face none other than Koushou Shinogi: an infamous karate master and user of the lethal Cord-Cutting technique.
So after watching the first season of Baki I decided to check out the older OVA before continuing with Season Two. But let’s review this beautiful piece of art step by step:
Story: 9/10 The OVA covers up the Karate tournament which was animated as well in season one of Baki the Grappler (TV). Nothing outstanding but a simple and great tournament setting which I love and in my opinion one of the best ways to present great fights and Baki is a pure-blooded fighting series.
It doesn’t show anything from the main overall plot of Baki (one day beating his dad) but it decided to focus solely on this Karate tournament. Good choice.
Art: 10/10 As a fan of old school anime I just loved it. It fits way better than the new school animation style. The animation was ON POINT, I was really shocked – in a positive way. Incredibly fluid movements, realistic facial expressions, even minor things like a woman cutting vegetables with a knife; the sharp knife mirrored the cut vegetables. The colors are also perfect, Baki has black hair like his mother in the OVA whereas his hair is red in the TV series like his father. I prefer black hair.
All those things I mentioned are things the TV series unfortunately lacked to some extent probably because of a low budget. Not to mention they cut off the blood in Baki for the most part which isn’t the case with this OVA.
Sound: 10/10 Like the TV series this OVA also has very catchy old school fighting games OSTs which I really appreciate. They fit perfectly into the overall fighting theme. Sound effects were also great and gave out a nice martial arts fighting game vibe. Pure nostalgia for someone whose childhood consisted of playing Tekken and Street Fighter on PlayStation 1&2. What is also mentionable is that Baki screamed Bruce Lee style like in Fist of the North Star which was kinda funny, doesn’t happen in the TV series.
Character: 10/10 In regards to this OVA alone the character have nothing I can complain about. This is a pure fighting show so there is no incredible plot-twisting character development but rather a beastly Baki who looks so happy when he’s fighting. His final opponent is also a very interesting one. Baki doesn’t shine in realistic fights but rather in creative over the top martial arts fights.
Certainly unnatural yet not supernatural.
Enjoyment: 10/10 Nothing more to add, it’s just very fun to watch a martial arts tournament with beastly fighters in an underground arena with great animation and sound. Pure enjoyment.
Overall 10/10 If you love fighting, martial arts, old school animation style, catchy 90s sound then this is for you! You cannot miss this underrated OVA! I was surprised myself but this turned out a great experience. Rewatch-worthy!
14: Koukou Tekken-den Tough
English: Shootfighter Tekken
Japanese: 高校鉄拳伝 タフ
MAL Score: 6.96
Years ago there was an underground match between Pro Wrestling and Nanshin Shadow Stlye (a secret and deadly form of martial arts) to see which form of martial arts was dominant, The Nanshin Shadow style came out victorious in the battle. Now in the present, the man who was defending Pro-Wrestling is back and is out to destroy Nanshin Shadow style in any way he can; however, it is now up to Kiichi, the son of the previous victor to defend the name of Nanshin Shadow style and it is his job to keep it from being completely erased from existance.
Enter Tetsuya Saruwatari! This is the man who wrote Dog Soldier and Riki Oh: The Story of Ricky. He is currently 61 years old and never once stopped being a teenager. This is a man who knows NOTHING about subtlety or pulling punches, and I love him for it! In the early 2000s, he decided to create a manga and 3 episode OVA called “Shoot-fighter Tekken” to try show anime fans how badass Pro-wrestling is!
BTW, a “shoot fight” is an industry term for a match the goes off script and becomes an actual brawl. In reality, these are quite rare. I’m proud to say though that I live only 30 minutes away from the shitty high school gym where professional psychopath New Jack decided to hospitalize his 70 year old opponent because… New Jack.
In the world of Shoot-fighter Tekken, pro wrestlers pretend that wrestling is fake, but that’s only a cover! When the cameras turn off, they participate in underground death matches and are the best fighters in the world! The only martial art that can stand up Pro-Wrestling? Ninjutsu! The heavyweight champion of a Japanese promotion fights a ninja to a draw and years later wants a rematch. However, the ninja wants his son Kiichi to fight and pass the torch to the next generation.
In order to prove himself and take on the wrestling champ, Kiichi must get through 2 deadly opponents! The first is a wrestler who got in trouble for killing his opponents. The 2nd is a guy who practiced Jujitsu so much that he gained psychic powers. Yeah…in Shoot-fighter it’s explained that all psychic powers are just the biproduct of intense jujitsu training. Did you think the government experiments gave Tetsuo his powers?! Nah dog! He just took jujitsu because he was tired of Kaneda’s shit! Remember the psychic girl in the wheelchair from Elfen Lied? She’s only in the wheelchair because her legs got tired from doing too much jujitsu!
Kiichi’s dad is a ninja that has techniques that rape the laws of physics, but this kid is unimpressed! Instead he decides to find an old wrestler to train him, who also happens to be the world’s greatest assassin! Fuck Duke Togo! Fuck Kurosensei! The world’s greatest assassin is Macho Man Randy Savage! OHHH YEEEEAAHH! Get in the garbage can Duke, because comparatively speaking to the Macho Man, you are nothing but garbage!
(watches teleportation) Kiichi: “Lame!”
(watches shadow clone technique) Kiichi: “Yawn”
(watches the Bexploder) Kiishi: “Is it possible to learn this power!?”
I don’t want to spoil the ending, because this is only 3 episodes and the stupidity is well worth checking out! I gave this a 5/10 because I didn’t know whether to give it a 1/10 or a 10/10. Shootfighter Tekken belongs in the hall of fame for “So bad it’s good” anime! This is right up there with such legends as Mad Bull 34, Angel Cop, Plastic Little, and Garzey’s Wing. Even if you hate pro wrestling, this anime is SO stupid it becomes essential viewing!
13: Batman: Gotham Knight
English: Batman: Gotham Knight
Japanese: バットマン ゴッサムナイト
MAL Score: 6.96
Anime-inspired direct-to-DVD anthology film. Comprised of six short stories, from diverse creators, including Academy Award-nominated Josh Olsen (A History of Violence), Batman Begins writer David S. Goyer, and comics scribe Brian Azzarello. It’s planned for a release window of two to four weeks prior to the release of The Dark Knight, and would bridge the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
STORY – It’s kind of hard to review six standalone works all at once while simultaneously trying to be succinct, but I don’t think I have the attention span right now to detail each one individually (and I’m long-winded enough as it is). The shorts collected within Gotham Knight are supposed to take place in between the events of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight; to that end then, they work okay, avoiding major villains and touching on various lesser themes within the Batman franchise. Each short sort of reminded me of a summarized version of an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, especially the first one, Have I Got a Story For You, which I swear was the exact premise for a TAS episode. Each story is self-contained, but vague, and even though it was possible to draw connecting threads between some of them (always nice), such as In Darkness Dwells and Working Through Pain, I wasn’t really wowed by any of them. At best, they were just decent episodes, not good enough for real praise, but not bad enough to trash.
The final short, Deadshot was probably my favorite, if only because it had all the elements of a classic Batman — action, mild suspense, and a demonstration of Batman’s awesome skill (though he is never without weakness). Working Through Pain and Field Test are runners up because they contribute at least a little bit to Batman’s very complex personality and psyche, and as morality and the mind in general are very prevalent themes in Batman, those two shorts felt rather necessary in helping to further develop and prepare the character for The Dark Knight. Bruce’s line at the end of Field Test is especially memorable: "I’m willing to put my life on the line, but it has to be my life."
CHARACTER – There seem to be two central goals in Gotham Knight: one, describing Bruce/Batman’s progression as a character in between the two live action movies, and two, detailing the public’s perception of the Batman as he rises in both fame and infamy. Each of the six shorts meet at least one of these two goals, though I’d venture to say that none of them do it particularly well. The complexity of Batman’s character is one of the main reasons I’ve always been a fan. Sure, his backstory is one tragedy in a world of many, but the determination he has to both make up for his weakness as a child and to grow up past the sadness is admirable. It’s incredibly interesting to see him in conflict with everything that stands in his way — criminals, the police, Gotham’s society, and of course, himself and his own mind. Batman has always been a great character, but the real question is whether Gotham Knight do him justice. The nature of the shorts — basically, the fact that they are indeed short — limits the depth of exploration; they do okay with what they’re given, but they had so much more potential that it just ends up being a little disappointing in the end.
The other characters that make appearances, Gordon, Fox, Ramirez, and Cassandra, get even less time for development than Batman, so it makes sense that they don’t really get any depth. Still, the shorts establish or re-emphasize their relationships to Batman, and for Gordon and Fox, this is valuable as material leading into The Dark Knight since they only just made allies out of the Batman in Batman Begins. It’s passable.
ARTSTYLE & ANIMATION – Each of the six shorts employed their own animation style, but I wasn’t really impressed with any of them. Have I Got a Story to Tell had some gorgeous urban backgrounds, but the characters were depicted in that rounded, lazy-looking style that really contrasted with the detail of everything else. It isn’t bad, per se, but I’m personally not a fan. For Field Test, it was actually kind of disturbing to see Bruce Wayne as a generic bishounen. It’s perfectly understandable, seeing as he’s supposed to be a playboy and all, but that didn’t stop it from being disturbing. Especially with Lucius Fox winking at him every other scene. D8 Other than that, the only real thing to note artwise is the variety in costume design. Batman’s suit does from having actual heavy armor to looking pretty true to its movie design; once again, none of them really struck me as particularly impressive, but none were flat out hideous either.
MUSIC – The usual Batman theme stuff for the most part. Awesome, but nothing really to note.
VOICE ACTING – I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was psyched to see that Kevin Conroy was going to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman for Gotham Knight. His is easily the most definitive and recognizable voice for the character, and it just wouldn’t have been the same without him. For those who don’t know, Conroy started as the voice for the role in The Animated Series, and then went on to play almost every animated appearance of Batman, including roles in the Batman Beyond, the Justice League, subsequent movies, and guest appearances in Superman:TAS and Static Shock. In any case, Conroy does a great job once again; he sounds exactly as he had ten years ago, and that familiarity is really great.
The rest of the cast, while not from TAS, seem to mimic their predecessors very well. For me, since TAS played such a big part in my Batman fandom history, I’ve come to view most of the voices done in the series as "canon," and so when the cast in Gotham Knight seem able to pick up their parts so well, I was happy.
OVERALL – Gotham Knight was good as filler material between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and it’s always great seeing these grand collaborations between American and Japanese companies. But as a standalone work, I would consider it a little disappointing. The technical aspects were all on the high ends of things, but its very specific timeframe gave it little wiggle room as far as story goes, which is really too bad. So yeah, in the end, I guess it just depends on how you look at it. In either case, it’s worth a watch.
The story is not really a bunch of short stories, but instead they are actually just different chapters for the entire story that covers the span of chronological events between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. But each story has it own style of direction, since each story was done by a different Japanese director and worked on by different American writers. Here is a break down of the short stories or "chapters" or episodes:
Have I Got a Story for You
Four youths describe their perspective of what they see as Batman. Each set of eyes see a different side to the being behind the mask. They each tell of their encounters with Batman, and argue over their observations, and each encounter happens to be contiguous with the next story told so it provided an interesting dynamic for the direction of the short story.
The perspective of two detectives under the command of James Gordon which is directed in third person. Local gang wars put some of Gotham’s finest in danger, which is something the Bat does not like. One of the detectives was recruited from another city by Gordon, and he has his doubts about whether he can trust Batman, while the other detective grew up in Gotham, so she has a polar perspective to that of her partner. It situates excellent conflict between the opinion of the partners, and even with the superior officer.
An excellent depiction of the good or "light" side of Batman. Normally his dark side is the one portrayed, but this story shows the truth of the man behind the masks and his kind heart. It also has some insane progressive technology!
In Darkness Dwells
The story features Croc and Scarcrow. Not as much depth as the other stories, but it has excellent action sequences.
Working Through Pain
The best of all six short stories. It is a flash back of Batman’s past where he travels the world and seeks out some Hindu philosophy or Psychology to learn how to bend his pain to his own will. It is an excellent illustration and articulation of the inner conflict within Batman.
Another super villain, Deadshot, is assassinating the commissioners in Gotham. In the episode, Batman protects his social and judicial defender, and link to society, Commissioner Gordon. There is an amazing transition from the previous short story into this one, where Batman comes to a realization about his life as a superhero and the deeper meaning behind his surface motives for defending Gotham city.
A really cool comment on the show is that Kevin Conroy came on to do the voice of Batman. For those who do not know him, he was the voice actor for the original Batman in Batman: The Animated Series. He is a legend among North American voice actors, and his voice is the perfect match to the archetype that is Batman.
Overall the DVD or OVA or "whatever" is one of the finest animations I have watched. The very first scene blew me away with its phenomenal animation and artwork. It starts with a pan across a fog sodden bridge somewhere in Gotham to the top of a building where Batman awaits. Some of the best creators in the world came together for an avant garde production. Avant garde literally means the group of soldiers who would lead an army into battle. It is normally lead by the army’s finest battalion. The figurative connotation of my use of the word, means to push boundaries. The perfection that is Gotham Knight is the result of some of the best production in the world. The task to bring all these brilliant minds together is arduous and costly, but with the perfect hierarchy that is their entire production team, they have been able to produce a taste of perfection in this Anime, Cartoon, Animation, whatever. The whole time as I watched I had inner conflict turmoil inside of me as to whether or not I consider this show to be an anime. But after watching the show, I came to the conclusion that is is neither an anime nor a cartoon and instead is a neoanimation. Whether or not that is actually a word, I could care less. I simply used a modifier on a noun and the semantics work to describe my meaning. All I really know is that this show deserves a place here on MyAnimeList along side of some of the greatest animation of our time.
The story of the six shorts follow the life of Bruce Wayne after he takes up the task of Gotham city’s shadowy protector. Some of the them are closely connected chronologically, while others are temporally isolated from the events of the other shorts. While our hero still has to stop street gangs, old foes, and new enemies alike, the main conflict throughout Gotham Knight is the struggle within Bruce Wayne’s mind between the anguish he suffers both physically and mentally, as well as his faltering belief in what he does under guise of the black mask. These inner struggles paint a image of a hero that is ultimately a vulnerable human being, despite the smoke and mirrors of his strength and heroics. This allows viewers to get a different view of Batman in his lowest moments, reminding us of his humanity. While Gotham Knight could have easily taken the easy route and presented only a shallow action-oriented spectacle, fortunately it delivers a great overarching story that bring to life the inner character of one of the world’s most iconic action heroes. However, it should be noted that not all of the shorts contribute to the overall emotional depth, namely Deadshot and Crossfire, but they are still very entertaining to watch — after all, batman is still a superhero, and having a couple of shorts dedicated solely to the accomplishments of his fists cannot be avoided. However, for a series of shorts only around 12 minutes in length each, Gotham Knight still pulls off an amazing job.
Batman: Gotham Knight is not slouch in the visual and audio department, either — each animator managed to produce slick and stylish imaginations of batman’s characters and the city of Gotham. Though some may find the style employed by Studio 4C in the first short not to their tastes, like the rest of the short it is very well-animated, featuring fluid movements in the action. Throughout the six shorts you’ll find imaginative takes on the aesthetics of batman, haunting takes on Gotham’s streets in the forms of background art, as well as musical pieces that build upon the suspense. Going back to the beginning of the review: yes, the various animation studios certainly do flex their muscles in Gotham Knight, but not at the expense of storytelling.
Be sure to check out Batman: Gotham Knight. The emotions evoked by the powerful yet vulnerable hero and the splendid presentation will leave you entertained and satisfied at the end of the hour long jouney, as well as get you thoroughly pumped up for the upcoming film “The Dark Knight”.
12: Shin Hokuto no Ken
English: New Fist of the North Star
Japanese: 新 北斗の拳
MAL Score: 6.97
In a post-apocalyptic Earth, the water has become entirely toxic, except for some kept safe in a reservoir. A fortified zone has been created by a man named Sanga, he calls it The Lastland. A group of villagers have discovered safe water, and Sanga wants it. He and his band of killers go to kill everyone and steal it. As they do a mysterious man appears out of nowhere, instantly killing some of Sanga’s men. His name is Kenshiro, and he can beat any man with his martial art, Hokuto Shin Ken. Sanga will do anything for the water, and Kenshiro will do anything to try and stop him.
Story: 8/10- it’s a classic, straight up action martial arts anime with a simple to follow story line and lots of violence.
Art: 9/10- A great thing about OVAs is that animation is always brought up a level, with a lot of detail and clarity involved.
Sound: 9/10- I love Gackt (which is the intro & outro songs) plus who doesn’t love “Watatata!!!”
Character: 7/10- Not a whole lotta development for characters, but they’re still likable and you want Ken to succeed in all he does.
Enjoyment/Overall: 8/10- I love this story, action and strength of martial arts, so its an enjoyable OVA for me.
Story: Well, the story simply put is bad, close to unwatchable. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world in which people beat the living crap out of each other with martial arts. Our hero, Kenshiro, is the greatest martial artist on the block because he knows the Fist of the North Star and therefore cannot be injured. Very very weak plotwise.
The beginning of the first episode is where it all starts to go downhill in a hurry, you have to listen to the dialogue which is terrible. I watched the dubbed version so maybe the sub is better but I doubt it, it’s hard to take crap and make it into something good.
However, it must be said that the second and third episodes are distinctively better in the story category but not by much. (1000 times 0 is still 0.) So really, you don’t want to pick up this anime for a good story. No, people out there watch Fist of the North Star for violence, which I’ve got to say, isn’t very good either.
Kenshiro is an unstoppable brick wall and every fight, besides the last, is over in a matter of seconds. He hits a pressure point on their head and then they blow up sending blood and guts everywhere, not much for fighting. Even when they actually do have a real fight, it is still ridiculously unrealistic and it turned me off.
Art: Well, the art’s pretty good. It matches the art of the manga and tweaks it a little bit making it look prettier and more full of colors, except when they go into the 3D look. I don’t know what it is with animators wanted to do things in both 2D and 3D but it turns me off, Fist of the North Star is no different.
Some shows seem to be able to pull off bringing the two worlds of 3D and 2D animation together, but this is not one of them. Everytime it shows the landscape it’s nothing but poorly rendered sand and nothing else, I know that they are in a Post-Apocalyptic world but there would be at least something to break up the monotony every once and a while. However, the makers of this series did a cop out on the 3D so there’s nothing to really see.
It’s truly depressing because without all the 3D that they threw in, I might’ve given this series an 8 or 9 in the animation department but since it had it, and it clashes so badly together, I had to drop it down.
Sound: The sound is right next to being completely and utterly terrible. The opening theme is alright and the soundeffects of people’s heads exploding are well done. But the voices are hideous, mainly because of what they’re saying, and there’s really no music whatsoever throughout the series. Every once and a while a heavy guitar rift will start playing in the background of a fight scene but these always seem to be timed badly and are few and far between.
Character: What character? The characters are severely lacking in the personality department. It’s almost as though they reached into a bag of over-used anime cliches and handed them out to the characters like candy. Kenshiro is the badass strong silent type, who never gets hurt. Sara is the buxom healer. And I can’t even mention all the stupid but powerful henchmen that proliferate this anime. But the list goes on and on. It made me sick.
I guess the character designs are fairly interesting but the characters themselves could have used quite a bit more personality. Throughout the series they just acted like robots, and annoying robots at that.
Enjoyment: If you can’t tell, I did not like this anime. It had a lot of potential for being good but the writing and everything else just tore that potential to pieces.
Overall: I’d say stay away from this anime unless perhaps you’ve seen the other Fists of the North Star, then you might enjoy this one. Your average anime fan however I think will hate this anime almost as much as I did. I guess that if you really have absolutely nothing better to do on a rainy day you could check this one out, although you probably won’t enjoy it at least you get to see people’s heads explode.
The series does have a stable plot overall. At least one of the characters fill his role in pushing the story and delivering a very realistic plot twist. The main character Kenshiro, even though he’s the hero of the story is kind of overshadowed. Kenshiro is mainly present to deliver final justice, by engaging in some uninspired hand to hand battles. However, he is still very easy to cheer for. Kenshiro appears to almost be an antihero with his merciless streak, but when looking at the crimes committed by the villains; their very gruesome and painful deaths are well deserved. He also delivers some pretty good lines before delivering execution. The second main character named Tobi proves to be the most interesting with his transition that I refuse to spoil.
This is a very violent series, this is a point that must be driven home for those whom shun these type of shows. For those that love it brace yourselves, because it maintains the brutal tone almost completely throughout. Fist of the North Star knows what it wants to be and the comedy is kept very low. The fight scenes are very well detailed with its gore. You practically get the whole nine yards: decapitations, bodies chopped in half, brains and guts exploding out of people left and right, brutal deaths by various weapons with lots of blood. I believe this series is a gore hounds wet dream. Plus you get quite a bit of fan service.
The original movie gave some detail but this series somewhat paints a better picture of the misery taking place in this world. The rulers are very evil and abusive to the weak. Plus, you see the negative effects taking place with the people and how it influences their behavior.
The apex of the series to me is the depiction of people’s belief in a higher power. I believe this is the most over looked point of the series. The writers hit the mark to me by displaying the fanaticism in a higher power when people have lost all hope, and their only salvation is to believe in a god; the thing that helps this theme work better is the fact there is a god they can actually see, which helps give them the will to fight and die, because they believe they’re going to end up in god’s hands. This makes their fanatical ways all the more believable.
Animation and artwork is a mixed bag here. As the series went on I noticed a decline in both. The character designs are very good, especially with the women(but then again isn’t it always?), but I did notice it wasn’t consistent. Sometimes characters would appear bigger than what they really were, and there wasn’t too much variety in generic characters. The animation was hurt badly with the use of CGI which ruined some of the backgrounds.
The characters also seemed too stiff and lacked some movement, especially during the fights. The animation didn’t really flow well at all. There are also a large use of stills and some reused scenes. As always, music is subjective but I didn’t find the rock soundtrack to be anything special.
The New Fist of the North Star could have been a very well above average series but several other things dragged it down; such as the ending and the female lead Sara. She served a small purpose, but I found her personality at the end to be too unrealistic. This also goes for Kenshiro as well. I will also mention that there is a non too graphic rape scene.
Overall, I don’t find the series to be bad. It’s good if you’re looking for some gory fight scenes. As a matter of fact, along with fans of the franchise, those are the only people I would recommend this to.
Highs: Lots of action, plot twist, interesting and realistic theme
Lows: Gratuitous violence will put off some, weak ending, sub par animation, missed potential
11: Ranma : Totteoki Talk – Best of Memories
English: Ranma : Best Memories
Japanese: らんま1/2 とっておきトーク ベスト オブ メモリーズ
MAL Score: 7.04
Collections of “Best Of” moments from throughout the series. This one focused on romantic moments, and shifted between the scenes with interviews with Kappei Yamaguchi, Megumi Hayashibara and Noriko Hidaka. Also interviewed are Rei Sakuma, Koichi Yamadera, Saeko Shimazu, and Yuuji Mitsuya.
I’m a sucker for this type of content so I was thrilled when I got the chance to watch it.
Obviously the anime clips are visually dated but that’s to be expected. It will feel nostalgic to those that watched the show a very long time. In my case, I watched Ranma 1/2 back in 2009.
There’s two major flaws that I found with the documentary:
1) when the voice actors are speaking, the soundtrack playing is way too loud.
2) I would love to see Nabiki, Kasumi and the fathers in it. A little bit of Kodachi’s crazy laughter would be lovely, too.
Having said that, if you adore Ranma 1/2’s universe and/or are interested in the seiyuu perspective, you should watch this.
It gets a 7/10 from me.
10: Tenjou Tenge: The Ultimate Fight
English: Tenjho Tenge: The Ultimate Fight
Japanese: 天上天下ULTIMATE FIGHT
MAL Score: 7.05
Continues from where the original series left off. The characters try to settle their conflicts with each other in this 2 episode OAV. Aya confronts her sister Maya about Nagi, while Nagi receives a challenge from Mitsuomi to fight to the death. Meanwhile, Bob trains as hard as he can for the tournament.
Story (Continuation vs. Ending): 7
The story practically continues where the prequel left off, but since it still follows the manga you won´t really get an long-awaited conclusion but rather two nice little episodes that add a little bit of something to the original story yet they once again leave you yearning either for more or an “real” ending, like the prequel did. All in all the story can hardly play a major role in a 2 episode OVA but that doesn´t mean it´s not there or it´s not worth watching.
Characters/Art/Sound (Old vs. Old ?): 8
Airing approximately a year after the original series the OVA retained pretty much all of the previous characteristics. Everything is more or less the same so if you liked how things were in the prequel you´ll be happy to know nothing changed and if you didn´t, well, tough luck. ^^
Enjoyment:(Love vs. Hate) 7- 8
Not much to say actually. I liked it as I did the prequel and the fact that nothing really changed aside the story that goes forward a little bit there isn´t much to either like or dislike. Simply put, it´s nice but nothing to go OMG about.
Overall (Devotion vs. Originality): 7 (objective) / 8 (subjective)
Well, in the end the versus between staying true to the manga and actually bringing something new to the series ended pretty much in a draw. I doubt many people that read the manga (myself included) would enjoy a forced make-belief ending while on the other hand those who never read it will probably always long for that little bit of something to tie it nicely all up in a pleasant ending. To sum up. Until the manga finishes and they decide to continue the trend of being true to its story and finish the anime series in that manner, Tenjou Tenge: The Ultimate Fight will remain a promise of something to come or a remainder of what could have been but wasn´t.
Re-watchability: 2-3 /5
(5)- Anywhere, anytime, as many times as you like!
(4)-Definitely worth seeing more than 3 times…
(3)-Once for regular viewer, 2 (or even 3) times for a fan.
(2)- Seeing once is more than enough.
(1)- Impossible to even reach the end…
9: Hokuto no Ken: Yuria-den
Japanese: 真救世主伝説 北斗の拳 ユリア伝
MAL Score: 7.11
The second part of the new Hokuto no Ken pentalogy. The story of this OVA centers around Yuria.
8: Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sylvarant-hen
Japanese: テイルズオブシンフォニア THE ANIMATION シルヴァラント編
MAL Score: 7.17
Two worlds exist, both unaware of the existance of the other. In order for one world to flourish, the other will have to perish. On the perishing world, a Chosen one is sent on a journey to restore that world’s mana by awakening the Spirits and becoming an angel. Colette Brunel, the Chosen of Sylvarant, sets out on her journey accompanied by her best friends Lloyd Irving and Genis Sage. As they travel further they meet more friends and even more enemies, while they learn more and more about the truth behind the World Regeneration.
Well, this OVA of course comes from the video game Tales of Symphonia. So, the story is the same, however theres quite a few parts left out. However, I don’t think it is quite right to say that just because of that the story isn’t that good. This is the animation, not the game. Sure, it’s based on it, but it’s not gonna be an exact copy of it.
It starts really being a kind of ‘save the planet’ storyline, as a girl who is the Chosen One and her friends set out for a journey to a tower where she’ll become an angel and rescue the planet. However, after Lloyd (the main character) learns something serious about becoming an angel, the story takes a pretty big twist, which it pretty interesting. The OVA ends really like only about half-way through the game, so it does not give you a feeling of closure whatsoever, but that’s exactly why more episodes are supposed to be made at a later date.
The artwork is similar to the cut scenes from the video game. Which means it’s pretty good. Everything is nicely drawn, and the motions are pretty fluent. It’s more of a simplistic style, which is actually quite nice.
The voice acting really couldn’t have been better. The voices really fit the characters greatly. The background music isn’t spectacular, but serves its purpose and is fairly good. The OP, I feel, couldn’t have been better for this OVA. It, for some reason, just felt so perfect for the overall mood and tone of the show. The ED is actually a song that Collette, the Chosen One, sings in the series, so I guess it was a nice idea to have it as the ED.
The characters are all pretty cool, and each have a different personality, making them very likable. They didn’t really get too develop themselves very much, which is unfortunate and disappointing, but I don’t think it is fair to degrade the show for that, since it’s simply 4 episodes.
Enjoyment would have been a 9 if the battles were better. That’s really my biggest disappointment. The fights were very short and curt, and rarely involved a lot of intricacy or really just intensity, especially the battles against the seals. However, despite that, it’s still a pretty enjoyable watch since there’s a lot of emotion and, well, it’s really just fun to follow it along, even if you haven’t played the video game.
Art: If you’ve played the game, then you’ve seen the movie cut scenes that show up every now and then, and seeing as how Gainax produced those scenes, it’s understandable that it was high end animation. Although Gainax doesn’t produce the OVA, the quality stays. The characters are drawn well, and all the animation is smooth.
Sound: I assume sound means the soundtrack and voice acting, both of which I felt were okay. I enjoyed the voice acting more than I did the music, mainly because of a very good cast. You’ll recognize many of the voices, and I they fit the characters well. The soundtrack wasn’t bad, but nothing memorable, personally, i got kind of bored the OP, and ED.
Character: The characters never had a chance to progress, mainly because the series was so short. There was some progression, such as with Sheena and Lloyd, and change of character with someone else…, but there wasn’t much gradual change. The characters are fun to watch, there are many personalities, serious, nerdy, naive, kind, etc. with all of them complementing each other.
Enjoyment: Ever since I played the game a few years ago, I loved the movie cut scenes, and always said that they should make a series just from this, and now that they did, I had to watch. Although it did not nearly meet my expectations, I did enjoy it, in fact it had me wanting much much more. But as a person who has never played, I’d imagine that they would enjoy this series moderately, seeing as they’ll obviously notice plot gaps, and a pseudo-ending.
Overall: I give this series a 7 mainly because I thought it had an unimaginable amount of potential, but alas, this OVA series seems more like a promotional trailer for the game. And seeing as it is an OVA, it’s too short, making the creators progress the story too quickly. I’d recommend anyone to watch this, and it may even make you want to play the game.
The Short Version:
(+)The music is delightful.
(-)The entire thing feels rushed.
(-)The characters aren’t really fleshed out.
(-)You can tell they just want to get past the beginning of the game in the first episode.
(-)The art quality is below average for its time
The Story (6/10):The story is a simple thing to grasp in this show, one of the main characters is more or less chosen by ‘God’ to become the Child of Regeneration and save this world from it’s own destruction, basic ‘Save the world plot’. But there are points in the story that WILL throw up a “Dafuq?” flag in your brain. An early example is what would be the first boss battle in the game, where some “baddies” have appeared in the MC’s village and threaten the populace, the MC and head baddie duke it out, the hero wins, but then the show cuts to the villages salvaging their burnt down houses, this is the point where I thought, “Hang on, where the fuck did the rest of the baddies go? Did they die? Or did one of them just go, “Well I’m going home, whose coming with?” Then the rest of the lads followed him. There’re a couple of these moments throughout the OVAs but there’s not enough of them to leave you questioning the entire show, just a fair amount of it.
Another thing with the story is that it horrendously rushed, like someone on the development team just said, “Ok, I know we need to make this good, but let’s just get through all of the beginning of the game so we can get to the better stuff A.S.A.P.” If you’re not a fan of fast paced anime, this may very well throw you off, as the entire show for the most part, plays out in this format.
The Characters (6/10): Their are 5 Main Characters in this anime, to get these guys and their relation to each other out of the way for future reference:
Colette Brunel, The Child of Regeneration and childhood friend to Lloyd and Genis.
Lloyd Irving, Male lead and evident love-interest of Colette.
Genis Sage, Child mage and brains to Lloyd’s brawn.
Kratos Aurion, hired bodyguard of Colette and probably knows more about the situation then he’s letting on.
Refill (Raine) Sage, group healer and big sister of Genis.
The characters as a whole are a fine group, but individually they would not hold this show in the slightest. But as a group though, they hold it just enough to keep you going. The love exchanges between Lloyd and Colette are cute, Kratos fills the mandatory badass slot but he pulls it off without also being an asshole, Genis and Raine are there to help Lloyd and Colette along and almost nothing else.
After 4 OVA’s I feel that we know just enough about the characters that we get their emotions and motivations, but not enough to feel for them in any given situation, and another thing I noticed was that there are what I call ‘Houdini’ characters, characters that pop up for a couple minutes then disappear just the reappear later on.
Art and Sound (14/20): Now if you actually read the anime info off to the side, you’ll notice that this anime was in fact animated by ufotable. I’ll warn you right now, don’t expect their Kara no Kyoukai, UBW, level of animation, it isn’t here, but the animation that is there is good for the time, you’re looking at Fullmetal alchemist level of animation, not Brotherhood, just the original series, but with smoother edges. Special note that, even then, they had their 3D revolving on point.
The sound isn’t your everyday fare. The OP is actually rather calm compared to modern day anime and the ED is much the same, and the voice acting is standard but special note to Kratos’ VA, his voice is so good.
What do you think of this anime?
I won’t actively go out a look for a physical copy of this show, I wouldn’t even buy it if I just saw it at JB Hi-Fi and thought, “Yeah lets buy that one.” I would’ve seen this in the recommendations and just streamed it at home.
Would you recommend this anime?
Yeah I would, only for the last stretch of the show, so unless you pre-plan to watch all three parts, you might very well only watch this part but I implore you get watching, you’ll be pleased.
Goodbye my brethren, see you in the next.
7: Ranma : Battle ga Ippai 29-nin no Korinai Yatsura
English: Ranma : Huge Battle! 29 Unteachable Fools
Japanese: らんま1/2 スペシャルビデオ バトルがいっぱい29人の懲りないやつら
MAL Score: 7.17
This special, known in Japan as “Batoru Kaiibai 29 Hitou Korinai Yatsura,” was available through the Kitty Animation Circle making it a difficult item to come by. It contained clips from twenty-nine of Ranma’s most memorable opponents from the television series.
6: Hokuto no Ken: Toki-den
English: Fist of the North Star: The Legend of Toki
Japanese: 真救世主伝説 北斗の拳 トキ伝
MAL Score: 7.40
The fourth part of the new Hokuto no Ken pentalogy (3 movies, 2 OVAs).
5: Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sekai Tougou-hen
Japanese: テイルズ オブ シンフォニア THE ANIMATION 世界統合編
MAL Score: 7.46
The third and final OVA series concluding the story of Tales of Symphonia: The Animation.
The Short Version:
(+)A satisfying end to the series.
(+)The characters come full circle
(+)Sound is again back to form
(-)Yet more Houdini characters (They appear then disappear)
The Story (8/10): This is the point were the overarching story that begun in part one and was in the background for the entirety of part two, reaches it’s ultimate climax and my god is it good. Having more modified than change the original objective, the span of the story has increased while somehow feeling as focused as it was in part two. Surprisingly, there is a theme within the story, and it’s a problem that still exists in our actual world. Prejudice. This question makes think for a little bit in-between all the drama and such, and it’s refreshing for this series, that previously didn’t really have a question or meaning at all, tackling a concept that is so prevalent and obvious in today’s society. (Although I have a problem with one scene that has really out of place humor)
The Characters (8/10): With the entire cast already having plenty of previous screen time, each of them individually feel like proper characters (In my review for part one I said, “None of these characters can hold the show by themselves.” I take that back for this part.) As for what comes with the conclusion of any given anime, revelations between characters are made, every secret is revealed, and the villains motives are brought to light, which in the case of this anime are actually rather grounded compared to other extreme examples (I’d compare the final goal to Lelouch’s from Code Geass). The villain himself though believes in ‘the ends justify the means’ approach to things.
The Art and Sound (8/10 & 7/10): The art just keeps getting better as this series wears on, it is much more standard for ufotable if still a bit downgraded, but it is an improvement from the previous entry. (I’m pretty sure this is because the upped their game with their lighting and shadows).
The sound is also an improvement from the last entry, the OP has again to the level of part ones but it’s more akin to modern day OP’s with the momentary rapid score then slowly down to a more steady pace before picking back up as the episode name pops up, the ED is still on the same level as the previous two though, just with up-tempo vocals this time. Everything else when it comes to sound is good enough to be considered standard but nothing really jumped out at me and made me say, “That one part was great.”
What do I think of this anime?
This was a fitting ending to the series, it’s just a shame that you have to go through two lackluster entries to get here. I can not suggest buying this series, it would be preferable to stream the entire show.
Would I recommend this anime?
Yes, without a doubt. I still highly recommend that you go back to the start and work your way back up to this point, but yes. Please watch this show. Just remember, since this is a threequel, you’ll have to watch the first two parts of it in order to get here, and they’re not really the best material to watch.
Goodbye my brethren, see you in the next one.
So, the story of Tales of Symphony focuses on a young man and a girl, who have been friends since childhood. The girl, Colette, needs to perform sacred rituals, for her world to be saved from the destruction. Her closest friends embark on a journey with her to help her complete the ritual and, of course, there will be people that will do everything to kidnap, kill, or even to somehow influence the restoration of the world. And that is the whole story and it will probably sound boring, also it might also look boring for you, when watching the first episodes. However, as the story continues, it becomes much more interesting, there are so many things going on and the most important part about it is that it all makes sense and is quite catchy overall.
Animation wise, the animation was done by Ufotable and whatever they do is always amazing. Action scenes and attacks are splendidly animated and the way the animators paid attention to so many details does make the TV series that enjoyable. OST and music wise, it is amazing how many great tracks this series has. The whole OST fits the series’ tone well and helps you to appreciate the series even more. And not only that! The Japanese voice actors also did one hell of a job voicing their characters, helping the viewer appreciate the series even more, because thanks to their work, the characters they voiced all looked real and quite enjoyable to follow.
As for the characters, they all have intriguing pasts and quite a development. There are so many characters, they are all different, they all have a story to tell and this is amazing. I did not quite appreciate one of the main characters, he is caring, but annoying at the same time. He is the only exception to the stereotype list, but you might even understand him and find him not as annoying as I did. Other than that, all heroes constantly discuss something, make fun of each other and find themselves in awkward situations. The viewer sees not only comedy scenes, but also some well-made melodrama that is not forced and is very enjoyable.
Overall, too bad the TV series did not get enough episodes to show enough development. If you played the game, you should know what I am trying to say. If you, however, know nothing about the game and like great adventures, I am more than sure you will find the anime quite enjoyable. Do give it a try, it is not that long.
Also: I’ll be posting the same review for all three seasons, since I made a general review for the series, not the seasons in separate.
Ok, so if you guys don’t know, Tales of Symphonia is one of my FAVORITE animes, along with the rest of the Tales of Series. After i finished ToS, me and a friend had found other animes in the series as well, which we both love to death.
So my friend said she found an old Gamecube game that her father owned called “Tales of Symphonia.” It was an anime RPG about a girl, Colette, was chosen to be an angel, and the Chosen to regenerate the world. A few days later, I saw she was an anime on YouTube, and it was a good thing a stopped her there, because that was when things got really sad and intense, and she probably wouldn’t have looked that happy in first period that day. But anyways, we started watching the series from episode 1, and we finished the series in a few weeks time. For a short anime, Tales of Symphonia is a very good anime, that is really worth watching and re-watching over and over again. I’ve only watched the series 3 or 4 times, but my friend said she’s seen it around 30, maybe 40 times.
Anyways, let’s get started on the review! Hope you all like it!
WARNING! THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
Ok, so I’m sorry if I’m taking this not hard enough, but like I said before, I LOVED this series. It’s one of those short stories where you rewatch them over and over again. And only for 11 episodes, it surely brings out its potential.
Tales of Symphonia takes place in the kingdoms of Sylvarant and Tethe’alla. where three races of people lived; humans, elves, and half-elves. The half-elves believed that their race was treated unfairly, and formed a pact, called the Desians. The Desians were defeated long ago by the hero, Mithos, and the goddess Martel, but, over time, their power had weakened, and the Desians has risen once more. Meanwhile, Colette Brunel, a 16-year old high-school girl, has been chosen to become the Chosen Angel of Regeneration. Her friends, Lloyd Irving, Genis and Raine Sage, accompany on her journey of regeneration, only to find that out that her journey was more like a sacrifice, if you know what I mean. Now, the gang must try to get her back, while saving the world from hatred. Recruiting a new team of allys, Lloyd and his friends set off to save Colette. and the rest of the world.
Like I said before, this is a beautiful story. I’m not going to go much into detail, due to some really big and sad spoilers, but it’s a really good story to the anime, and I definitley give it a 10/10.
Again, I really feel like I’m being to easy on this anime, it’s just I love this anime a LOT. The art style is beautiful in this anime. The special effects, the battle scenes, the designs, EVERYTHING. And I gave it a 10 for art, because everything was beautiful. I’m sorry I’m giving everything on this a ten, I just really fell in love with this series as a whole, art, characters, everything.
Another thing I really like about the art is the character designs. My favorites are paticualry Sheena’s, Colette’s, and Presea’s. They’re very unique, compared to your typical combat skirt, or suit of armor. Like I said, maybe I’m being to easy on this anime, maybe I’m not. But anyways, another 10/10 for the art.
Ok, I really love the soundtrack to Tales of Symphonia. I have all three theme songs on my iPod and I listen to them ALL the time. It’s just you don’t want to listen to some of them too much, especially right after you finished the series. It kinda stirs up some of the sad scenes from the series (*cough cough* DEATHS *cough cough*) My friend says she hardly ever cries, but this was the first anime that was really hard to watch in public. Even so, there are some themes in the ToS soundtrack that make me smile, while others get me teary-eyed. Whether you see that as a good thing or not, I really enjoyed the soundtrack, even though it gets you in tears at times. So basically, I’m giving it a 9/10, not another 10 suprisingly.
Okay, so like I said before, I LOVED everything about this anime. The cast is AMAZING. Like, theyre the kind of cast that you grow attached to, no matter what kind of character they are. And by that, I mean your characters can range from the pervy and outgoing Zelos, to the quiet and strong Presea. And I’m going to admit, I love each and every one of them. It’s just one of those animes where I can’t choose just ONE favorite character. Like, this is one of those animes where you love ALL of the characters. So yeah, basically another 10 for Symphonia.
Yeah, I know, not really a big surprise here. I said this many a time before in this review, I LOVED this anime a lot, and there’s really no flaws that I saw in it, unlike the past couple of animes I had just given reviews on. And if you’re like me, and loved the series just as much as me, I’d reccomend trying the game if you can afford it, as well as others in the series, like Tales of the Abyss, Zestiria, and Vesperia. Yeah, what I’m trying to get at is that it’s a really good series, and I think at least everyone should at least try it before they bite it. It has a little of everything for everyone; drama, action, adventure, a little comedy and romance… Yeah. Anyways, yeah, a big One-O goes to this anime, its a great anime, and I highly reccomend it for anyone.
4: Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Tethe’alla-hen
Japanese: テイルズ オブ シンフォニア THE ANIMATION テセアラ編
MAL Score: 7.48
The second arc of Tales of Symphonia that takes place in the flourishing world of Tethe’alla. This OVA takes place up to two-thirds of the game, prior to the Derris-Kharlan arc.
If you’ve played the game for this anime, you might be more familiar with the characters, plot, and overall universe, but as for me I had played it only briefly several years ago and didn’t remember much when I started watching this. So don’t think you need any background knowledge: I certainly didn’t need it.
Tethe’alla is an amazing world, bespeckled with grand castles, interesting people, highly advanced technology and something that made me rather excited to see: dragons. I loved the storyline in this world. Lloyd’s adventures to save Colette caused him to come across new enemies and allies, and everyone has their own unique story to tell. At some points the plot took real twists -I would blink in a surprised fashion as I stared at the screen and wonder why someone had done something, or how something had happened. In this way, it became so that I couldn’t figure out what was going to happen next, and for me watching something with unexpected turns is a real treat.
Because Tethe’alla is a chapter only four episodes long, like the first chapter, things are going to be moving at a good speed to keep the plot rolling. There aren’t any unnecessarily long scenes of reflection, and flashbacks are kept concise. Background information on characters is given to us, but we are shown only what we need to know to understand character motivation, so if you like seeing scenes that show more about the character’s life I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. What I really liked was how there could be great action in one moment, and then, only a scene or two later, everything would slow down to give viewers some time to process what had happened while the characters recovered and figured out what to do next.
Lloyd is a fantastic main character. He’s charismatic, determined, strong-willed, and he keeps everyone focussed towards the goal of freeing Colette. I feel like the other characters fill in all the standard group holes: Genis, the cheerful companion who still seems a bit too innocent. Rain, the instructor and sister to Genis, ready to help out where she can. Sheena, the woman who is at first a bit of a mystery, and seems cold and distant, but later she shows that she’s got an amazing heart. All of these guys, and a few more, really come together and make the perfect team.
The music in this anime was definitely not what I was used to. It’s got depth, layers, and it fits the scenes brilliantly, raising tension and setting the tone. If you’re expecting to hear something catchy and memorable, no, it isn’t. To be honest I can’t remember one tune from the show. But that’s what’s different about it: it’s wind instruments, drums, and so on, building up on emotion and just creating a great feel for the story. It didn’t have to be catchy or memorable. The opening and ending themes were fantastic. They aren’t the usual norm, either. If you’re expecting classic J-Pop or J-Rock, no, you’re not going to receive it. The songs are just beautiful. Entrancing. Delicate. …And rather unprounceable. However, I enjoyed them, sincerely.
I don’t know what to tell you that won’t get into the finer details of what you’re considering you might watch. I won’t tell you about the twists, or the ending (although I will say that it ended on a note that left too many loose ends, I believe we’re in for a third OVA to tie everything up). However, I will tell you that in my honest opinion it’s definitely an anime to set aside time for. If it doesn’t captivate you by the opening sequence or by the end of the opening theme, then this probably is not the genre or anime you’re looking for, though I assume you watched through the first four episodes to get here, so why even consider whether you want to see the Tethe’alla chapter? If you enjoyed the first chapter, you’ll enjoy this one, and though it’s an often repeated line it’s completely true.
I have been a die hard fan of this game for a long time, and when i first saw the original series i felt rather, well disappointed, it skimmed through half the game in a an instant, then came along this second season and it put my skepticism to a rest, the Tethe’alla arc ended up not only meeting the quota of the game but it actually topped it by a longshot,
The 2 big changes that the anime did better in the anime appossed to the game for this were the big twist and actually making the romance between lloyd and collete a real romance, i wont spoil the twist but there is a big one concerning lloyd in the final epiosde, in the game it was pretty mindblowing at the time but it wasn’t really placed right and it didnt feel very climactic, the way they do it in the anime was holy shit worthy for anyone who hasn’t played the game, its climactic, makes sense, ad has a very badass fight because of it
and back to the romance thing, in the original game the romance was kinda just there and it had no conclusion it alowed you to pick another girl named sheena aswell but it wasn’t really that good and doesn’t make any sense whatsoever for him to do it, the game just felt like it hacked it on there just because but the anime kinda made it a huge driving force for lloyd and it made a few scenes very emotional, and heres the real kicker thta made me go 100% fangirl, they actually give a conclusion to the romance, keep in mind ive been supporting that ship or 9 years and i finally got something from it, im gonna fangirl like crazy, i honestly think when it happened my penis went back inside me and turned into a vagina, that’s how fan-girl i got when it happened,
but thats not the full reason why i mentioned this, im mentioning it cause it all makes the show overall better, the romance while not HUGE it does take up a bit and really built lloyd and collete as characters, and we also in the anime get to finally meet up with the entire cast fully and they handle them very well, specifically zelos was handled perfectly in the anime version, hes stuck up, jokes around, got kinda of a ego but hes also someone you dont want to fuck with and is hiding something that may screw everyone over, he reacts great with the entire cats though the most entertaining are the ones between him and lloyd and him and sheena, they just work kinda well off each other
One thing that’s just a nice little plus for this, these episodes include small little skits making fun of the anime with he characters themselves and they are very funny, they make fun of things like kratos not getting enough screen time, genis being useless, lloyd being a idiot ext. they are quite funny and a treat to TOS fans out there
if you have not played the game i do suggest watching the anime instead, though the final part is still to come out(will come out this fall)
the show has everything you might want
-and by god even Psychological at points
and do not be dissuaded by the length, even if these are only 10 episodes for both seasons keep in mind they are all longer than a normal show, the original season was 30 min per episode so it kinda ended up being a 10 episode length and this is only 4 episodes but it is the length of 2 normal shows episodes(20 min is normal length) of 40 min, so overall just these 2 season equal the length of a 18 episode series and with the finale on the way it may end up being a 24 episode length,
to summarize this if you’v played the game this will be a treat to watch and if you haven’t its something that anyone can enjoy cause its got borderline something for everyone
The Short Version:
(+)Returning characters feel much more fleshed out.
(+)When the new characters are introduced with more or less the same level as with the returning cast.
(-)Core character downgraded to a plot device.
(-)There’s more Houdini characters. (I.E. characters that appear then disappear)
The Story (8/10): With the carry on from part one, the story having layers stacked upon it now, the connections between the characters and the events surrounding them are becoming easier to tie lines between. The overall feel of the anime has improved as well, where as the first part felt like it was more about saving the world, this one is on a much more personal level, which is why I think that this story is better that part one; it’s a lot more focused. For instance, in part one the show put emphasis on focusing how important the journey is to restore the diminishing world. Part two on the other hand is focused solely on restoring Colette, making the entire show all the more effective when aiming for the feels and there’s a few of those moments spread throughout this part. The show does this while managing to keep the over-arching plot present, which is also another plus.
The Characters (7/10): With the majority of the cast returning from part one, they feel a lot more whole and more like proper characters, with the exception being Lloyd and Colette. I feel like he’s falling into what I call the ‘Classic angry protagonist’ abyss, where the character is trying to do their best with the given situation, but they can’t help but get angry every time they feeling like, “I can’t do anything and that makes me angry and sad. (like for example, Eren from Shingeki no Kyojin.) It was annoying in part one, and it’s still annoying now. Thankfully though, that does change after a while. On the side of Colette she has been demoted from Core Character that actually has a presence, to a plot device that is more of a background prop, bad move series. Bad move.
Aside from the returning cast we have several new characters, again I’m just going to stick with the main cast.
Sheena Fujibayashi: Enemy turned friend and is more vulnerable than she seems.
Zelos Wilder: The Child of Regeneration for Tethe’alla and the red head.
Presea Combatir: A failed by-product of the Exsphere experiments and female lumberjack.
Regal Bryant: The new character who gets the most development and a lolicon.
One thing they did well while developing the new characters is that, while they were developing one character, they were also detailing some of the other ones, going to the extent of even giving one of them an episode long backstory. Of the new characters it’s definitely Zelos that’s the most underdeveloped, all I know about his is that he’s the Child of Regeneration and that’s it, and he stands out like a sore thumb for that very reason.
The Art and Sound (7/10 & 6/10): The art hasn’t really changed between the two entries, although you can start to see more of the famous animation quality from ufotable starting to seep it’s way through, the 3D movement is again improved and the fight scenes feel like a much more basic version of the ones we saw in Unlimited Blade Works. Not exactly the kind of quality I expected from a company at the peak of their game.
The Sound on the other hand has taken a slight dip in my opinion. The OP and ED aren’t as enjoyable as part one’s and they put in what I call ‘Jump-scare queues’ When they suddenly just put in a very loud sound for dramatic effect. Then again, the show’s quiet when it needs to be for the emotional weight of certain situations, and the rest of the musical section is about as good as part one.
What do you think of this anime?
I think that this second part, as a whole, is a vast improvement from the first. The characters are more fleshed out, the art is finding it’s feet, and the story is getting better. I wouldn’t say I’d buy this anime though still after all of its obvious flaws.
Would I recommend this anime?
If you’ve seen part one? Yes definitely. If you’re just jumping in at part two for some reason? No, because you won’t have the same experience as someone who has seen part one. (Thus I highly recommend you go watch part one, then come back to this entry.)
Goodbye my brethren, see you in the next one.
3: Ranma : Akumu! Shunmin Kou
Japanese: らんま1/2 悪夢! 春眠香
MAL Score: 7.52
Twelve years after the final OVA was shown, and the end of the manga, a new piece of Ranma ? animation was made for the “It’s a Rumic World” exhibition of Rumiko Takahashi’s artwork. The new 30 minute special is based on the “Nightmare! Incense of Spring Sleep” manga story from volume 34, and was shown on odd numbered days at the “It’s A Rumic World” exhibition in Tokyo from July 30th to August 11th.
Ten years has to pass for me to finally decide to watch the Ranma ½ OVA, one of the emblematic animes from my childhood (not at the level of Dragon Ball or Saint Seiya, but not that far). And people, I was very, very pleased with what i saw, being equal or better than the original series. Of course, that was because those episodes adapt chapters of the manga, so there was no chance of failure. But one of the best things about watching those old OVA was that, while I was searching for them, I found that, almost three years ago, a new one was created! What can be expected from this new production? Let’s see…
…but not just yet :P. You see, before the start of the proper OVA, there’s a short film in which Inuyasha, Kagome (Inuyasha), Lum, Ataru (Urusei Yatsura) and Ranma meet each other in Tokyo. I’m not going to talk about the plot (for two reasons: first, being a 3 min short, you can’t say much without spoiling, and second, it has its own entry in MAL: it’s called Rumic World), but is both hilarious and awesome. You should totally check it out.
Now, for the proper review:
Ranma ½: Nightmare! Incense of Spring Sleep shows us, once again, how Ranma frustrate one of Happosai lingerie theft (using the classical but always effective technique of: becoming women -> topless -> win!). With revenge in mind, Happosai uses the incense that names this OVA, which is able to sleep the victim until next spring. Ranma dodge the attack of the old man, but unfortunately, is Akane who receives the impact, falling, almost immediately, in a dream… not so deep. The thing is that, although the incense put the person sleep, that person is also in constant alert, so if anybody approaches too much, is brutally beated up. So, Ranma and the rest of his weird companions will have to figure out how to awaken Akane without dying in the attempt.
So, we have a simple yet very effective story, in the lines of what we already saw in Ranma ½. That’s simply cause this is not an original story, but an adaptation of a story from volume 31. Recurring to the original source is always a plus.
The characters are the usual ones, that lovely group of amoral sociopaths that will do anything to achieve their respective objective. All the important characters appear (something very important after all these years, since all the fans want to see the cast in all their glory), from titulars Ranma and Akane, to the rest of the Tendo, Genma, Ryoga (obviously got lost at least once), Kuno, Shampoo (who run over Ranma in her bike, like always), Ukyo (with a boy’s school uniform! :D), Mousse, Cologne and Happosai. Special mention for Gosunkugi (that weirdo with the voodoo dolls) and Hinako (character who appears from time to time in the manga, but in the anime was obviated, and only appears as a teacher in the first released OVA), two (very) side characters that managed to get some screentime.
As for the animation… While everything looks more modern and colorful, I have to say that the characters look weird. Nah, not weird. They look bad. Seriously. Just look at the picture in this OVA page, there you can see that the characters look odd… and in motion is even worse. At first, I thought that the nostalgia was clouding my judgment, that I can’t accept something different… but I didn’t have any problems with the new versions of Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya or Hunter x Hunter… so, no nostalgia nonsense.
With the sound is another story. It’s remarkable that after almost 12 years, they brought back all the original seiyus. And when i say all, is all. Even Kodachi, wich has only two lines, has her original voice! I grew up with the latin dub (which was very good), but the work of the japanese voices is superb, specially Ranma (both male and female), Akane and Shampoo. It’s a shame that there isn’t an opening or ending…in the previous OVA, both op and ed were sung by Ranma, Akane, Nabiki, Kasumi and Shampoo, and they sounded awesome.
So, even if it looks weird (but maybe is just me being an ass… but I really don’t think so), this is Ranma ½ at its best. Delirium, humor, fights, and even Hiroshi and Daisuke, everything is there. Highly recommended for Ranma fans… and for the ones who only watched the TV series, go and watch the previous OVA! Every single one is hilarious and awesome.
Después de más de 10 años, hace unos días me largue a ver las OVAS de Ranma ½, una de las series emblemáticas de mi infancia (no al nivel de Dragon Ball o Saint Seiya, pero por ahí anda). Y qué bueno que lo hice: quede muy, muy satisfecho con lo que vi, siendo igual o mejor que la serie original. Lógico: esos capítulos adaptaban directamente partes del manga, así que no había chances de fallar. Pero lo mejor, fue que al decidirme a ver las OVAS clásicas, descubrí que hace unos tres años, habían sacado una nueva! Que se puede esperar de esta nueva producción? Veamos…
…O mejor todavía no :P. Antes de empezar con la review propiamente dicha, quería destacar el corto que hay antes del capítulo, en el que vemos a Inuyasha, Kagome (ambos de Inuyasha), Lum, Ataru (de Urusei Yatsura) y a Ranma encontrándose en Tokyo. La trama es, básicamente, Ataru acosando a Ranma y Kagome, con las consecuentes reacciones adversas de Inu y Lum. Todo el corto es muy cómico, pero quería destacar el encuentro de Ranma e Inuyasha, en el que el primero le pregunta al segundo en que fosa de Jusenkyo callo, a lo que Inuyasha responde que su voz le suena demasiado familiar xD. Pero bueno, vamos al OVA propiamente dicho:
Ranma ½: Nightmare! Incense of Spring Sleep nos muestra a Ranma frustrando, una vez más, uno de los robos de lencería de Happosai (recurriendo a la clásica pero siempre efectiva técnica de: transformarse en mujer -> topless-> win!). A modo de represalia, Happosai usa el incienso que da nombre a este OVA, que es capaz de hacer dormir a la víctima hasta la próxima primavera. Ranma esquiva el ataque del viejo, pero por desgracia, es Akane termina recibiendo el impacto, cayendo, efectiva y casi inmediatamente, en un sueño… no tan profundo. La cosa es que este incienso hace que, aunque la persona está dormida, este en alerta constante, y cualquier persona que se acerque recibirá una paliza. Así que, Ranma y el resto de sus variopintos compañeros tendrán que dilucidar como despertar a Akane sin morir en el intento.
Entonces, tenemos una historia simple y cómica, bien en las líneas de Ranma ½. Esto es, más que nada, porque esta no es una historia original, si no que adaptada una historia del manga (si podemos creerle a esta pag, es del tomo 31). Eso siempre es un plus.
Los personajes son los mismos de siempre, ese adorable grupo de pintorescos sociópatas amorales que harán lo que sea para conquistar a su respectivo objetivo. Todos los personajes aparecen en algún momento (algo muy importante después de tantos años, uno quiere ver a todo el cast en toda su gloria), desde los titulares Ranma y Akane, a el resto de los Tendo, Ryoga (que obviamente se pierde al menos una vez), Kuno, Shampoo (atropellando a Ranma con su bici, algo infaltable en sus apariciones), Ukyo (con uniforme escolar de hombre :D), Mousse, Cologne y Happosai. Mención especial para Gosunkugi (el tipo raro de las muñecas vudú) y Hinako (personaje que aparece de vez en cuando en el manga, pero que en el anime fue obviada, y solo aparece como profesora en los OVAS), dos personajes (muy) secundarios que se las ingeniaron para hacerse lugar.
En cuanto a la animación… si bien todo se ve más moderno y colorido, tengo que decir que los personajes se ven mal. Muy mal. En serio. Solo miren la imagen que está en la main page, ya ahí salta que los personajes se ven raro… y cuando están en movimiento es todavía peor. Al principio creí que la nostalgia era lo que me impedía aceptar algo distinto, que la serie de los 90 me nublaba el juicio… pero no tuve problemas con versiones nuevas de Saint Seiya, Dragon Ball o Hunter x Hunter, así que… porque tendría que ser el caso con Ranma?
Con el sonido es otra historia. Es muy destacable que, después de casi 12 años, trajeran de vuelta a todos los seiyus. Y cuando digo a todos, es todos. Hasta Kodachi, que solo tiene dos diálogos, tiene a su voz original! Yo me críe con el doblaje latino (que es muy bueno), pero el trabajo de los seiyus originales es soberbio, especialmente Ranma (tanto femenino como masculino), Akane y Shampoo. Una lástima que no hubiera opening o ending para que lo canten, como en los Ovas anteriores (en los que también se sumaban Nabiki y Kasumi).
Así que, aunque se vea raro, esto es Ranma ½ en estado puro. El delirio, el humor, las peleas, todo está ahí. Ampliamente recomendado para los fans de Ranma a los que se les haya pasado esta OVA, y a los que solo vieron la serie… vallan a ver también las OVAS anteriores!
2: Ranma Super
Japanese: らんま１／２ ＳＵＰＥＲ
MAL Score: 7.66
Super OVA 1: Based on a story from vol. 27 of the manga, Shampoo and Ukyo arrange to travel to a cave that is legendary for breaking up couples. They hope they will cause Ranma and Akane to break-up and Shampoo hopes to ditch Mousse the same way.
Super OVA 2: “Jaaku no Oni” (lit. “The Wicked Demon”) was released in 1995. Based on a story from vol. 29 of the manga, an Oni (that wears a tiger-striped diaper just like the Oni of Urusei Yatsura) escapes it`s sealed box and begins to possess people in the neighborhood.
Super OVA 3: This is a story from vol. 31. Ranma disturbs a doll that takes revenge on anyone that shows it disrespect. In order to teach Ranma a lesson, the doll possesses Akane and tries on many occasions to attack him.
The background music and OP/ED themes were also very good (as always with Ranma 1/2) for this set.
1: Ranma OVA
English: Ranma OVA
Japanese: らんま1/2 OVA
MAL Score: 7.74
Ranma Saotome continues his search for a way to become a normal teenage boy again. He gets into many hilarious situations involving the many girls in his life. One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the proposals from others who have found a suitable bride for Ranma. But he has his own worries and must muster up the best of his wits and martial arts to keep his sanity. It’s not easy being desired by so many women (and men) and not breaking hearts of a few along the way. He just might be able to find it in his heart to confess to Akane or simply find another excuse that he can’t marry such a tomboy girl.
This set also has my favourite music of the Ranma 1/2 universe/franchise with some lovely OP/EDs and nice in-episode songs as well.
Despite being merely 6 episodes long this OVA manages to capture what we love about the original series while not getting boring for a single bit. First 4 episodes are a self contained stories that are mainly pandering to the fandom who wants to see cliches from the original series done again but in a higher quality. If you enjoyed the less serious episodes of the original then you’ll love what this OVA has in store for you, all main characters appear for at least a few scenes, the plot is just a pretext for puting the main cast in absurd but fun situation and there are few heartwarming scenes for those who enjoyed those. The story never slows down so you’ll always be entertained. The last 2 episodes tell an interesting story that’ll be enjoyed by those who like the serious side of Ranma (obviously there still many jokes and other comedic elements), the two new characters are mildly interesting, their characters and story works just fine, but what matters most is Akane’s miniarc which is simply amazing, this story explores the side of her that’s not as prevalent in the main series, and seing her work in order overcome the obstacles makes you feel katharsis at the end of the OVA. Overall plot-wise the entire thing is on par with some of the best episodes from the main series and should be watched by everyone who loves the original series.
Given that it’s a short OVA the production is on a really high level, the characters look great and move constantly, most of the fights are really well animated, especially the one in episodes 4-6 where you can really feel the effort put into them. The OVA is also well directed and the entire thing just looks really pretty and is competently made, you can really see the care put into setting this world in motion and making it look as good as it can, both backgrounds and the characters are very detailed, colourful and looking at them is a joy to the eye. There are 3 major new characters and each of them has a great design (my favourite one being Natsume in both of her outfits). The sound design works just fine, there are few interesting tracks but nothing that would stick with me for years, it serves it’s purpose well but doesn’t impress me in any way, obviously the songs from the OG series are amazing but that’s about it.
To sum up, if you love the original series then you should definitely give this one a go, not only will you get to experience fun and interesting stories but you’ll also get to see them in a very high quality. You’ll get everything that you’ll looking for out of it and even more.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Ranma OVA
2. Ranma Super
3. Ranma : Akumu! Shunmin Kou
4. Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Tethe’alla-hen
5. Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sekai Tougou-hen
6. Hokuto no Ken: Toki-den
7. Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sylvarant-hen
8. Ranma : Battle ga Ippai 29-nin no Korinai Yatsura
9. Hokuto no Ken: Yuria-den
10. Tenjou Tenge: The Ultimate Fight
11. Ranma : Totteoki Talk – Best of Memories
12. Shin Hokuto no Ken
13. Koukou Tekken-den Tough
14. Batman: Gotham Knight
15. Grappler Baki
16. Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
17. Ranma : 1994 Music Calendar
18. Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Special Anime
19. Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf
20. Fuuma no Kojirou: Fuuma Hanran-hen
21. Fuuma no Kojirou: Seiken Sensou-hen
22. Fuuma no Kojirou: Yasha-hen
23. Youseiki Suikoden
24. V.G.Neo The Animation
27. Princess Army: Wedding★Combat
28. Feng Ji Yun Nu
29. Hon Ran
30. Choujin Gakuen Gowcaizer: The Voltage Fighters
31. Battle Spirits: Ryuuko no Ken
32. Zettai Shougeki: Platonic Heart
33. Dragon Fist