They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Juuza Engi: Engetsu Sangokuden – Gaiden Youzhou Genya, Wild Adapter, Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku: Kinetograph, and more!
4: Juuza Engi: Engetsu Sangokuden – Gaiden Youzhou Genya
Japanese: 十三支演義～偃月三国伝～ 外伝 幽州幻夜
MAL Score: 5.73
The Juuza. That is the name given to those of the 13th Zodiac: the cat people. Seen as a vulgar and contemptuous race, they live a life of seclusion away from human eyes. However, as the end of the Han Dynasty draws near, the rise of the Yellow Scarves has thrown the land of the Three Kingdoms into turmoil. As armies converge, a young Juuza woman named Kan’u and her village are forced out of their peaceful lives as Sousou and his punitive force press their way into the village.
This appears to be promotional material for some game, it’s connected to Idea Factory (yes that Idea Factory — Skelter Heaven, Mars of Destruction, and many more beloved trash heap OVAs), and it’s not particularly interesting. It’s basically just a flimsy excuse to showcase the main character Self Insert Catgirl Demon (SICD for short) and her expansive reverse harem. It bounces around showing a bunch of different trope characters (a bunch of hot guys and most of them are catboys) with very brief explanations of SICD’s connections to them. A bit of world lore and history is also provided, though the story doesn’t really do anything with it
The way it was written makes me feel like it wasn’t meant to be partaken as a standalone; it feels like it expects viewers to be familiar with the characters and their backstories (rather that satisfactorily introducing any of them). Instead, it just jumps straight into them and their interactions with SICD with flimsy-at-best depictions of how they know her.
There’s no real meat to the relationships either — most of them don’t even have any reason shown to be interested in SICD, and if they do it’s just some trope-y relationship like ‘big stepsister’ or ‘saved my life once’. Nothing even really happens to progress them — it just advertises all of her potential romance paths in the source (or at least I assume), and once it quickly does that it moves onto the next attractive slice of cardboard.
The character designs are alright, and the music is surprisingly good for how slapdash of a production this feels. Unfortunately, the animation itself is somewhat lousy; it’s not anywhere near the worst I’ve seen but it’s still noticeably lazy. The character concepts — while nothing original — could be explored more and become interesting. The world-building is also a little intriguing — the politics surrounding these cat demon people and the warring factions they get caught up in do have potential.
If you’re a fan of whatever this OVA’s source material is maybe you’d get more enjoyment out of this, but as is I wouldn’t recommend watching this to anyone else. It’s far more superfluous than actually bad — for the most part it just doesn’t do anything beyond basic shoujo baiting — but there’s certainly many better ways to spend your viewing time. (For instance, if you’re looking for something with similar character dynamics, setting, and reverse harem aspects I would instead suggest watching Yona of the Dawn.)
3: Wild Adapter
English: Wild Adapter
MAL Score: 6.22
Makoto Kubota wandered through life, not taking things too seriously or looking too deep within himself. His job as the head of the Izumo Group’s youth gang kept him pleasantly occupied with yakuza wars, mahjong and assassinations… Until the day he stumbled upon a strange drug called Wild Adapter that produces bizarre side-effects—including death. Forever changed, Kubota becomes entangled with a drifter named Minoru Tokito, and the two form an unlikely companionship that draws them deeper into the mystery of Wild Adapter…
Rather than combining the gritty world built in the manga with violence and philosophy, this seemed to take only the action aspects. I understand that trying to tell a story in just two OVAs is difficult but it disappointed me in this aspect.
The art was kind of lacking – the stark contrast from the manga was missing. Overall I would recommend it to people who have already read the manga and want more material.
I give this anime a score of 6 out of 10. It wasn’t something that made me leap for joy, but it wasn’t absolutely terrible either.
The anime is an action [b]shounen-ai[/b] (not yaoi) anime.The storyline is your typical action/hero plot where a loved one has been kidnapped, and the guy goes forth to save the day. The atmosphere is quite serious. There is little to no humor in this, so if you like a more serious type of anime, you’ll like this. Although the main sort of focus is on the love interest being kidnapped, the ‘shounen-ai’-esk relationship is not really emphasized a great deal in this first episode, as the MC is still struggling to find out what his feelings towards the guy really is. So if you’re watching this solely because of the BL relationship, I would say, it’s first an action anime before it’s a shounen-ai one. However, since this is still the first episode, things may escalate a bit in the second episode, but obviously not to the level of a yaoi, so it’ll probably still be somewhat light.
As for the art-style, it matches the anime’s atmosphere. You have dim colours used, and the characters are drawn pretty normal-like…what I mean is that there are no like big eyes, or outrageous hair colours, everything is pretty normal.
All in all, it was an okay action anime, with the main relationship being a shounen-ai. The plot was semi-enjoyable, and the characters were ok. (the problems with short OVAs is that you don’t really get a character development or develop a strong bond for the characters…so I can’t exactly fault the anime for this because…it’s an OVA and you can’t really do much about it). I would say this anime is best suited for those who like short action animes and who may also be looking for (or don’t mind) a light shounen-ai relationship. enjoy 🙂
2: Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku: Kinetograph
Japanese: 華ヤカ哉, 我ガ一族 キネトグラフ
MAL Score: 6.40
During the Taishou period of early 20th-century Japan, Haru Asagi is sent to work as a maid to support her struggling family. The Miyanomori family, which she serves, is highly influential across Japan and consists of one of the nation’s top magnates and his six sons—but power and money have brought out the cruelest in these brothers.
When the head of the family announces his retirement, the six Miyanomori brothers are left to vie for his position. With 18 years of experience separating the oldest and youngest brothers, frustration and competition are rife. As a result, Haru is left to deal with each of the vastly different siblings and explore the depths of their true selves. All the while, a greater conflict lies in wait with the potential to destroy everything their father has built for them.
My patience was immensely tested throughout the span of these two episodes; I kept watching hope against hope that there would be a spark of brilliance of plot twist or character development. But all I seemingly did was watch a young girl fall, break things, cry, and apologize repeatedly for two hours, and the men around her acting without the decorum that suits their high status. The first few minutes of the first episode tricked me into thinking this will be a glamorous, multi-tiered family drama. Boy, had I been disappointed.
I feel sympathetic towards the artists and designers who had to deal with this.
I love the idea of this anime. I hope they make another to fill up a BUNCH of cliff-hangers and plot holes. This is a great anime to watch when you’re bored and want to watch some sort of romantic anime.
Story – 4 (mostly for its potential, and not actual story)
The potential was there in buckets. Set in a historic period, there could’ve been more elements weaved into the plot. The anime starts with the announcement of the head of the Miyanomori family looking to retire in 10 months time. He wants his six sons (each with a different mother) to compete for the title of the next head of the clan. Not unique, but interesting story, right? … Except, nothing more happens from it! Randomly, there’s an assassination, and two suspicious characters are introduced in the second episode, but none of them are addressed by the end of the second episode.
Art & Character – 5
I’m a sucker for ikemen so I had to give a passing grade. Every brother looks like a character out of another anime, but I’m okay with that. They were fine to look at, so no complaints. They also tried to make each a different trope, and were semi-successful with that. Because each brother lacked airtime, we never get to really know any of them, and thus, never fall in love with any of them. The main character is marginally acceptable. Her clumsiness (which really makes her career choice a bad one) is a bit overdone, but she does kind of stand up for herself when it matters. For this cookie-cutter of a story/anime, you can’t really expect a stellar female lead. You can have the cake, or you can eat the cake. Alas, I will continue in my quest for a good reverse harem with both the ikemen and a strong, independent MC.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this anime even if you super dig ikemen. There are tons more with good looking fellas that offer much more than this anime did. I’m sorry. I wish I had better things to write about it. (On another note, should this game be offered in English, I’m all for it. =D)
1: Saiyuuki Gaiden
MAL Score: 7.83
An OVA adaptation of the climactic part of Saiyuuki Gaiden.
Kazuya Minekura’s Saiyuki is a fabulous manga, but due to publisher switches and long hiatuses, it has never quite made it to the world of animation without some major confusion.
The manga is composed of four series: Saiyuki, Saiyuki Reload (which continues from the end of Saiyuki), Saiyuki Reload Blast (which continues from the end of Saiyuki Reload), and a Prequel series called Saiyuki Gaiden which stars the previous incarnations of the series’ main characters.
Confused yet? We’re only getting started.
If you are coming to the Saiyuki anime for the first time, the place you’ll want to stay is Gensoumaden Saiyuki (or just Saiyuki), the original anime. It is based on Saiyuki (the manga) and includes roughly the first half of Saiyuki Gaiden.
The next anime series, chronologically, are Saiyuki Reload and then Saiyuki Reload Gunlock, which cover up to the middle of the Saiyuki Reload manga.
These OVAs you’re currently on are just the ending of Saiyuki Gaiden. (Likewise, the Saiyuki Bural OVAs are simply a manga arc that was not included in any of the anime series but was a fan favorite so I guess it got OVAs.)
Basically, tldr, if this is your first taste of Saiyuki in any form, you’re gonna be very, very confused. These OVAs are mostly for established fans of the manga.
That said, as an established fan of the manga, I’ve never been satisfied with the anime adaptations. For one thing, as you can see, they’re overly confusing and brimming with filler. I also have noticed that Minekura’s art seems difficult to adapt to anime–the animation is horrendous at worst, vaguely weird at best. Saiyuki Gaiden is some of the best animation Saiyuki has gotten, but it still looks kind of off, as if her anatomy isn’t quite made for moving. Not my favorite.
That said, I do recommend the manga whole-heartedly.
The anime however, is not as good as the manga but still a great watch. The Gaiden arc actually starts in Saiyuki episode 40 and 41. So you should watch those two episodes before watching these OVAs. Other than that it is not necessary to watch Saiyuki or any of the sequels before this, though I suggest you do because the whole series is great 🙂 Saiyuki Burial is next in chronological order.
Given that this was an OVA, the pacing is fast and can be somewhat chaotic if you’re not totally concentrated. Personally, I would recommend watching at least episodes 40 and 41 from the original series. Though if you really want to be a sobbing puddle on the floor, the whole series. Long story short, I need emotional help now.
Overall rating: 9
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Saiyuuki Gaiden
2. Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku: Kinetograph
3. Wild Adapter
4. Juuza Engi: Engetsu Sangokuden – Gaiden Youzhou Genya