They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Suisei no Gargantia: Meguru Kouro, Haruka, Urusei Yatsura OVA, Lodoss-tou Senki, and more!
50: Suisei no Gargantia: Meguru Kouro, Haruka
English: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet: Far Beyond the Voyage
MAL Score: 7.36
A 2-episode OVA for Suisei no Gargantia revealed during an announcement at AnimeJapan 2014.
(Source: MAL News)
Basically, it continues on about Ledo after the events in the main story where he now works as a diver gathering stuff. The first part is basically breaking into the new character and also showing what Ledo did off screen. The second is a continuation, but both sides have a pretty critical point that made me jump out of my seat.
The sound never really bothered me nor did it really help to the story. Honestly, I gave it an 8 only because I couldn’t find a negative point, but nothing stood out.
For a series that is nearly all about boats and water, I was hooked the second I saw how well drawn the characters are and still am. Every scene of action is wonderfully drawn and every character is drawn to catch every part of them.
We see so much into the new character Leena while also getting a true glimpse of Ledo and Amy which was my driving motion for the entire series from the start. It was flawless, every moment.
Just wow. Eternally I see this as one of my series I’d recommend to anyone since despite the somewhat harsh ending on the second episode, it still ended on a high note and was really wonderful to view.
If this series isn’t considered good, I don’t know what I would consider good anymore. It appeals to everyone and you can watch whenever and always enjoy the scenes. The second episode really got to me too so was also really enjoyable.
We get to have a glimpse of the daily life inside Gargantia once more and will see what Ledo is doing after the events of the series. Some clues about the history of the Earth before the colonists left it are revealed. Meanwhile, we get a flashback about an incident in Gargantia when Chamber was around.
The actual story starts only after these events. It has something to do with the new character, but I won’t spoil the details. This storyline is admittedly quite generic, but during its course it allows the viewers to know more about the Earth outside of just the Gargantia. Unfortunately however, it doesn’t focus on it too much and only narrates it in a superficial way. But this is still a great thing because the main series never did that and left it only for speculation.
The battles are not many and they don’t have the same tension as the main series. Depending on which aspect of the series you liked, it is possible that some may be disappointed with the OVAs. So I say watch it with low expectations.
The animation is gorgeous as always but a slight dip in quality is noticeable in the way the waves are animated during some scenes. The soundtrack is great, calming most of the time. These have always been strong points in the show and this OVA is no exception. The OP and the ED fit the overall atmosphere well.
Overall I enjoyed this more than I expected. Most of the side characters stay shallow, but the interesting world makes up for it. Recommended for the fans and anyone who is interested in seeing more of the world of Suisei no Gargantia.
I tried… so hard to care about this two-part OVA, and ended up playing solitaire for half of episode 1. Lima isn’t interesting, and the way her story ends is… so very bad. The mini stories in episode 1 aren’t interesting. The stakes at the end of episode 1 were slightly exciting, I guess? Pinion negging Lukkage and Bellows has never been interesting and it’s not interesting here. The one interesting part was actually seeing more types of ships in the Gargantia fleet to confirm that it is a fleet in the military sense, as well. And then the plot took some extra stupid pills, which even put the main series to shame.
Land is apparently an actual thing, and with multiple countries, no less! To me it’s not so much a plot hole as it’s really the only way a lot of things make sense. Like is it randomly added here? Yeah. But does it actually make the main series less stupid? Yeah. It doesn’t fix most things with the main series plot because the story is still bad in other ways and it sounds like what this new plot thing would fix is not how things work, so… This series is just bad all around, really.
Anyway, there’s a beach episode. …Woo. /sarcasm. I guess you can expect it on a show that’s mostly on the water, but still. In a series that is already quite boring, this really doesn’t help.
On the spectrum of OVAs, I think this one’s budget was really low. A lot of the animation is downright ugly. Not to mention how bad the writing is. But hey, you get a lot of Ledo and Amy hugging, I guess. So on the balance, it’s only… mostly bad.
I do not understand why precisely one commander on the Gargantia is a woman. We don’t even see female underlings outside Lukkage and Bellows’ bikini/short shorts-clad henchpeople. Even Lima appears to be the only woman on her crew. At least Vacation Island has at least one woman in charge, I guess.
Overall… if you’ve gotten this far, I guess it’s worth watching for completion’s sake? There’s nothing new about the music that I noticed – it’s just reused from the main series. Otherwise, skip this. Watch literally anything else. “Macross Frontier” and “Promare” are great for mechs and stupid and drama and good music and fights. Heck, if you want a swimming show, watch “Free!”. Don’t waste your time here.
49: Urusei Yatsura OVA
MAL Score: 7.37
The adventures of Lum, Ataru, Ten, and all the gang from Tomobiki continue in an assortment of new – but no less weird – stories.
Watch as Lum, Ataru, and Shinobu encounter a rabbit-clad youth, enter the Room of Destiny, and get a glimpse into their futures in “Inaba the Dreammaker,” or see Ran’s plans to use a sherbet cone-producing bird to open a sherbet shop one hot Tokyo summer go terribly awry in “Raging Sherbet.” Ataru has yet another bad experience with Lum’s cooking in “I Howl at the Moon”.
Watch order: if you wish to watch all of these OVAs, I suggest you watch them after the 195th series episode and before Movie 5, “The Final Chapter.”
Rating the OVAs together is a bit difficult. “Inaba the Dreammaker” is really the only one that matters in regards to Lum and Ataru’s relationship, the others are very episodic and can easily be glossed over.
Then you have to consider that there are some inconsistencies within the OVA qualities. For example, OVAs 1-3 are very similar in quality to the original series with “Dreammaker” easily being the best of them. 4-11 are just okay, some better than others. “Date with a Spirit” is the best of not just the later OVAs, but all of them.
The quality drop stretches across all categories. Some of the OVAs stories are good, while the majority are just mediocre. The sound is just a bit worse as the music isn’t the best representation of the series’ score. Some characters are absent from the OVAs that were apart of the series, or they just appear as a cameo. Even art seems to suffer at times and most notably changes in OVAs 4-11. They use techniques and styles that just weren’t used in the original series’ episodes.
Some episodes seemed to be more geared towards fan service (around episodes 4-6), something that wasn’t so present in the original series. This wasn’t consistent in the OVAs at all and only limited to a few episodes, so I felt a little confused about why it was suddenly there and then suddenly gone again. I don’t mind fan service if it’s a bit more subtle and seems more natural within the action of the scene, but some of it felt forced and as a result, a little odd. Actually, most of the OVAs were riding on the continued popularity of UY at the time, so in many ways they were just additional episodes giving the fans what they wanted anyway.
Then there’s my enjoyment. Possibly because I watched the entirety if UY in release order, I was generally less excited about the OVAs than the series/movies. Honestly, I suggest you watch the OVAs before “The Final Chapter,” as you’ll likely find no reason to return to the OVAs after. I certainly wish I had done the same and it might have earned a higher score. I got the most enjoyment out of “Date with a Spirit,” OVA 11 and felt “Dreammaker” was good.
In any series there are good episodes and bad episodes, relative to each other. UY is no exception. The series would not have suffered had these episodes been apart of the original 195, but rating the OVAs separately cause the score to lower. That is to say, the “bad” episodes of UY are easy to overlook because they are apart of the rest of the series and the “good” ones make up for them. Yet the OVAs aren’t representative of the best the series has to offer in anyway. They certainly wouldn’t have made it into the top 10 episodes, but a few could have possibly been near the bottom.
All of this being said, if you enjoyed UY as I did (my original series rating: 9), you’ll enjoy the OVAs as well. Worth watching to get the completed achievement for all of UY, but outside of “Dreammaker,” you aren’t missing anything. Just be choosy on watch order when you go to view these.
48: Lodoss-tou Senki
English: Record of Lodoss War
MAL Score: 7.38
Created from the aftermath of the last great battle of the gods, Lodoss and its kingdoms have been plagued by war for thousands of years. As a quiet peace and unity finally become foreseeable over the land, an unknown evil begins to stir. An ancient witch has awakened, bent on preserving the island of Lodoss by creating political unbalance throughout the many kingdoms and keeping any one from maintaining central control. Only a mixed-race party of six young champions, led by the young warrior Parn, stand between this new threat and Lodoss’ descent back into the darkness of war and destruction.
This is a direct-to-video animation series produced back in 1990, which unfolds over thirteen half-hour episodes. Adapted from the fantasy novels of the same name by Japanese author Ryo Mizuno, Lodoss is a classic good-vs-evil story, exploring the chronicles of six adventurers: these include Parn, a young, inexperienced warrior eager to (literally) jump at any chance to clear his father’s tarnished name; Deedlit, a spunky, mystical high elf who tries (with varying degrees of success) to prove her love to Parn; Etoh, a loyal, good-natured cleric; Slayn, a gentle wise mage; Ghim, a gruff and tough dwarf; and Woodchuck, a wanted criminal who nonetheless provides loyalty (and occasional chagrin) to his pals.
The story is hardly original, and the plot tends to "jumps around" from one event to the next (for instance, the first episode starts off in the "middle" of the heroes’ quest; chronologically, it’d be best to see eps 2-5, 1, and then 6-13)–yet the overall show is so engrossing that this fault (in addition to a few others I’ll come to in a moment) becomes irrelevant.
It’s the characters which make Record Of Lodoss War so much fun, and much of the best scenes belong to Parn and Deedlit; especially in a royal banquet episode where she forces Parn to dance with her (one of my favorite sequences from the show). As is typical of a elf-dwarf rivalry, Ghim and Deed bicker about each other’s differences yet maintain a somewhat begrudging level of self-respect. It’s Parn, however, whose plight stays with you long after the show approaches its climax. Eager to discover whether his father died in disgrace or not, he finds a father figure in Kashue. (This gets on Deedlit’s nerves; she continually competes with the king for Parn’s attention–a running gag that plays out unfortunately for only a couple of episodes.) In the latter episodes, we meet two new characters who don’t get much screen time but are no less fully realized. Shiris, the hotheaded young mercenary who vies with Deedlit for Parn’s affections is strongly depicted, as is her partner (and secret love), Orson, the moody Berserker, who becomes an angry, uncontrollable monster at the sight of Shiris in trouble.
Even the bad guys are richly developed. Ashram, as mentioned, isn’t driven so much by malice as he is by what he believes is right; in fact, he becomes the most three-dimensional of the villains for that reason alone. For support, he has a Dark Elf accomplice named Pirotess (the opposite of Deedlit) who’ll do anything to prove her loyalty to him… including sacrificing herself. Karla, incidentally, is no ordinary villainess. Her primary goal is to bring to Lodoss the balance she feels has been so greatly disturbed… yet her psychologically unbalanced persona leads her to cause far worse chaos with deadly consequences. She is shifty, cunning, manipulative — an almost deadly combination. Wagnard, on the other hand, is just plain evil — every bit the equivalent of Kefka from Final Fantasy III who cackles fiendishly as he puts his dark plans into action. When we first meet him, he appears to be a nondescript character, but when he becomes possessed by Kardis, he becomes frighteningly villainous. (Every scene he’s in sends shivers down my spines.)
Its the strength of the characters and their chemistry as well as the compelling (if jumpy) plot that make Lodoss as a whole that one can overlook its occasional shortcomings, notably the animation, which, although gorgeously drawn, uses a low cel count resulting with some stiff movements. Taking into account that this is an older show, however, this doesn’t really detract all that much (although there are some later episodes where some of the same footage is reused, for cost cutting purposes).
No fantasy adventure would be complete without a stirring soundtrack, and Record of Lodoss War delivers this in style. The musical score by Mitsuo Hagita is mostly symphonic, although it is (obviously) generated by electronics. Yet the compositions were so rich and lovely that they eventually grew on me over the course of the show. Equally lovely are the opening and ending theme songs, "Adesso e Fortuna -Now & Fortune-" and "Fantasia of the Wind", both of which are excellently sung in Japanese by Sherry. As a nice bonus, these songs were even translated for the English version; the woman who sings the dubbed songs, Lisa DeSimone, sings with an equally splendid voice.
One aspect of Lodoss often criticized is the English dub, produced by New York-based Central Park Media in 1996, a time when most dubs had a low reputation. I’ve read all kinds of mixed opinions about this English track; some say its fake and/or mediocre while other claims its unbearable, but here’s a better review from one of its several (albeit outspoken on the net at least) enthusiastic fans (that’s me). No, it’s not perfect, and some lines do come off as a bit awkward, but a lot of the voice-overs are really good. In particular, Billy Regan (Parn), Lisa Ortiz (Deedlit), Al Muscari (Slayn), Jacques Le Can (Woodchuck), Simone Grant (Karla & Leylia), John Knox (Ashram), Jayce Reeves (Wagnard), and Alexander J. Rose (Wort and the Narrator), are among my favorites. Plus, the dialog is close to the subtitled script and packed with some memorable one-liners (Parn: "Quick, Deed, what’s this dragon’s weak spot?" Deedlit: "I’m not a dragon expert! How should I know?!") and great chemistry between the actors. I especially loved the interactions between Parn and Deedlit, the banter between Ghim and Deed, and a lot of other things. Which is why it saddens me that some would find all of this "inferior" to the Japanese language track. I listened to parts of the Japanese language track, too, and while I did find it to be of top-quality, I find that the dub still holds its own position decently. Of course, it may be in danger of being overshadowed by some of the better dub productions of today, but for a dub made in 1996, its a rather decent, if unspectacular listen. I’m still fond of it, as a matter of fact, even after hearing some better ones.
Record of Lodoss War has received its share of detractors over recent years, probably due to its cheap production values and/or inconsistent plotting. However, it is important to remember that these "shortcomings" is mainly because it’s an older Anime series. While Lodoss may show its age in places, its infectious appeal and complexity rings true even after other shows of its ilk, and like most classics, it can stand against the test of time.
Record of the Lodoss War was a HUGE hit when it came out in 1990 Japan. It also gained strong popularity among the tiny US anime fandom of the early 90s. Unfortunately, this anime has not aged gracefully. Normally I hate using the phrase “aged poorly”. It’s something that young punks use too often to just shit on anything over 10 years old. In this one instance though, I’m afraid it’s kind of unavoidable.
Record of the Lodoss War was a 1990 OVA based on a Japanese short novel… based an a Japanese tabletop RPG…which was a ripoff of Dungeons and Dragons. Take the most cliche Western high fantasy tropes and they are ALL here in Lodoss War, distilled down to their most basic. The characters go well beyond archetypes and into the realm of laughably generic. The plot was already just a standard D&D campaign in the novel, but the 10 episode OVA had to cut out a LOT of the novel. If Wheel of Time is like bare bones high fantasy, this OVA is like sucking the marrow from those bones.
As I mentioned previously, this OVA was a smash hit and spawned a ton of video games, radio dramas, manga, and a 27 episode sequel! So HOW did it get so popular?! To understand this, we have to go back to the year 1990 and look at it from that perspective. Ring the bell sucka! School’s in session!
Just as it used to take a few years for a Japanese fad to spread to America, it took a little bit for American trends to spread to Japan. In the early 90s, Japan was heavily influenced by American culture of the 1980s. High fantasy was HUGE in the 1980s. The utterly mediocre Wheel of Time books were dominating the best seller lists in America. WOT gained such popularity in the Southern US that Atlanta created Dragon Con as a WOT convention. To this day it is the largest geek convention in the Southeast US! Dungeons and Dragons was an absolute cultural phenomenon. He-Man was the most popular toy in the US. You couldn’t go anywhere without running into Tolkien inspired high fantasy with elves, dwarves, orcs, and all the rest. There were plenty of high fantasy based video games in Japan by 1990, but not really any high fantasy anime or manga at the time to meet this demand. Record of the Lodoss War was created to fill a hole that NEEDED filling back in that time. Today, there really isn’t the same thirst for Tolkien style high fantasy and there are already 100 fantasy anime better than Lodoss War. Keep in mind that Japanese gamers LOVED Hydlide when it hit home PCs back in 1984. Today…there isn’t much of a Hydlide fandom. Lodoss isn’t THAT bad, but at times it feels close.
There is one other reason that Lodoss sold like hotcakes back in its day. Deedlit the Elf chick and her sex appeal. Deedlit was in many ways the first true “waifu” in anime. Before this you really didn’t see lonely virgins collecting TONS of figurines and body pillows of their favorite anime girls. You’ve probably heard lots of people online waxing nostalgic for the anime heroes of the 80s. They all had chiseled muscles, hard jaws, broad shoulders, and looked MANLY! When have you heard people talk about how they want female designs from 80s anime back? That’s right. You haven’t. Look at the top 300 waifus on MAL. You’ll see Yoko Littner, Senjougahara, Rei and Asuka, Lucy Heartfilia, Nami, Erza, Hinata, etc. NONE of these were around in 1990. Even Android 18 and Major Kusanagi weren’t around yet. The only rivals Deedlit had were Lunch from Dragonball and Cutie Honey from the 1970s!
A young swordsman with no parents must team up with an elvish archer, an axe wielding dwarf named Gim, a Wizard, and a thief to go on a long journey and thwart an evil God. Did I mention this series has little imagination of its own? The only creative thing to come out of this series was an evil sword called “Soul Crusher” that took possession of its owner and had a giant eye in hilt. The game Soul Calibur BLATANTLY stole this from Lodoss War. I mentioned this before, but the novel had to be very abridged. In one episode, our heroes decide they need to go meet an old wizard and learn the weakness of an evil sorceress named Karla the Grey. In the next episode, it just announces that they have returned from seeing the wizard and learned all about her. Lodoss has a firm policy of “Tell, don’t show.”
The characters once again are SO generic that I can’t really say much about them. Instead I’ll focus on Deedlit, who is the only character ANYONE remembers from this series. She was drawn with long blonde hair, massive bouncy breasts, and very soft facial features. Deedlit was being drawn by a young Satoshi Urushihara, the KING of breasts! That’s all I need to say. She IMMEDIATELY falls in love with the young swordsman right after meeting him and plays his sexy sidekick. She doesn’t really have any chemistry with our leading hero Parn, but her looks still win her “best girl of 1990”. Fuck Bulma! She was still being a total bitch on Namek at this point.
The art by Studio Madhouse is decent for the most part, but this wasn’t Madhouse’s top performance here. In the 80s and early 90s, Madhouse was at its best with feature films like Wicked City or Ninja Scroll. It could also do 3 episode OVAs like Cyber City “God Damn Vampire” Oedo, which looks WAY better than Lodoss. With a 10 episode OVA, the budget got so strained that we end up with a still image of a dragon getting dragged across the screen in a moment of unintentional hilarity.
The soundtrack is pretty damn limited and plays the same tracks over and over. The closing theme is awesome though and contains the line “please fall asleep on my breasts.”
Lodoss is not an anime that’s going to knock the socks off new anime viewers in 2018. Still, if you are interested in anime history and want to see a neat time capsule of the year 1990, it is worth checking out. Just go into it knowing what to expect and put on your archaeologist hat.
My biggest complaint about Lodoss is that it wasn’t given the proper amount of episodes to expand its story properly. It has such an engrossing atmosphere and massive worldbuilding potential that is squandered terribly due to a lack of time investment. What we’re left with is a marginalized “good vs. evil” approach, thinning the cast of characters to generic protagonists and antagonists. A series with this much imagination needs the proper nurturing to ensure success, and 26 episodes would’ve given it more of a fighting chance. On top of that, they decided to drop the viewers into the middle of what is chronologically after the 5th episode… only leading to the confusion. I don’t know if different mediums of media were trying this reverse storytelling at the time, but it was entirely unnecessary and only confused the hell out of me, and I’m assuming a lot of other people.
You follow Parn (yep, sounds like porn) and his stereotypical group of fellow travelers (a cleric, wizard, elf, dwarf and thief) as they seek to prevent the destruction of the planet by baddies that want to control the universe. Sound intriguing? Well, I can assure you that this is the Dynasty Warriors button masher of plots. Considering the source material is actually written to emulate a D&D experience, the dungeon master must’ve been rather disappointing. The main character transforms from useless fodder to going toe for toe with the most powerful foe on Lodoss (which has definitely never happened in an anime before), all in the course of like 5 episodes. There’s a loose backstory referencing his father and restoring his family’s honor, but it’s unconvincing at best. Generic quotes like “I’ll get you!” and “you’re no match for me!” resonate from his vocabulary on occasion, and you sense there isn’t much there are on his intellectual level. Parn’s childhood friend Etoh, the with perhaps the worst English voice actor of all time, accompanies him as a sworn companion.
Deedlit, a high elf and Parn’s hinted love interest, is a princess that randomly decides to join the adventure. Given the fact that she’s actually of royalty, she naturally drops everything to answer the underlying question of what is happening to her people. And honestly, the rest of the main pack is irrelevant. A gaggle of genericized fantasy tropes, which doesn’t create the best selling point. The most interesting character in the entire series is Ashram, a knight who seeks the highest power, but has some serious self-identification and reflecting to do in the process. He’s initially perceived as a villain, but can actually draw some empathy and understanding as the series elapses.
In addition to being a relatively generic series, Lodoss is littered with bits of randomness along the way. Although the “potential” romantic relationship between Parn and Deedlit never actually develops, there are plenty of awkward exchanges or long stares that force the viewer into thinking there’s something there. I’m just not buying it, there’s almost no chemistry between the two. Not to mention the interest fellow traveler Shiris (the girl with the berserker friend) has in Parn…. something that’s awkwardly left by the wayside. There’s also the evil witch Carla, with perhaps the most unassuming name in anime villainy existence, and another dark elf that sporadically falls for Ashram along the way. The more I get frustrated with the lack of finesse in writing, the more I realize what the anime was modeled after: a D&D quest. Speaking from experience, the element of randomness doesn’t even scratch the surface of the ridiculous stuff me and my friends used to come up with when we played. So…. I guess there’s that.
Sometimes I don’t consider it fair to criticize animation from the 90’s or earlier, because it’s merely a sign of the times. In Lodoss’ case, the art style isn’t necessarily my cup of tea but it’s consistent with the art out at the time in terms of quality. From what I remember reading, the studio actually utilized a sizable budget in order to get exactly what they were looking for in terms of emulating various fantasy elements and characters. Some of the fight scenes are actually quite fluid as well, something that earlier anime had issues with. No choppiness or quality drop during the heavier action sequences, something I can really appreciate. Especially when you consider the issues modern day anime have with frame drops and inconsistent animation, likely without any legitimate excuse.
Did I mention how bad the voice acting is? Central Park Media, a NYC based company took the reigns dubbing Lodoss. It was clear they had no idea what they were doing. Some acting is decent, but others are absolutely atrocious. It’s almost as though when the producers signed off on it they were doing more of a “screw it”, knowing they’d be out of a job anyway. If you’re a fan of dubs due to convenience, I strongly suggest you watch the Japanese version or avoid it altogether. It’s THAT bad. Performances like this employs hopefulness for my future seiyuu career… I digress.
The rest of the music is slightly unfitting, but about what I expect from an early 90’s series. Anime was largely in a learning period, starkly evident by the slow female ballads present in their OPs. For a show so focused on action and fantasy elements, the OP just…doesn’t work. As a standalone track it’s quite present, reminiscent of “Fly Me to the Moon” from NGE, but not an anime fit. The background tracks depict the genre much better. They’re full of orchestral life, and build crescendos left and right.
As much as I disliked certain aspects of Lodoss, I enjoyed it overall. However, one must understand that most of my enjoyment comes from a mix of nostalgia and relatability. I was a HUGE nerd in my high school days, so Lodoss speaks to me in some ways other anime cannot. On the other hand, it’s leaps and bounds from being “good” by any normal definition. Perhaps I would’ve enjoyed it more if I had watched the Japanese dub vice the English, but a generic plot, short run time and forced romance all work to cripple Lodoss, dooming it from the start. I would recommend this series to fans of other fantasy anime or earlier shows, or those just looking for something different. As always, thanks for reading!
47: Tennis no Ouji-sama: Sonzoku Yama no Hi
English: Prince of Tennis: A Day of the Survival Mountain
Japanese: テニスの王子: 存続山の日
MAL Score: 7.38
Echizen and the Seigaku regulars took a day off of their normal routines and went hiking on a mountain, where a tennis resort awaits their arrival. Expecting to do some special training, the team reaches the destination only to find their precious tennis courts taken over by a group of college tennis players. However, Ryoma is more than happy to teach them a thing or two about how to play “real” tennis.
Chihuahua Review(short&sweet): A decent additional episode to the Prince of Tennis series.
——————————>In Depth Review:<————————
STORY: Nothing really special about this episode. Here we have Echizen and his Seigaku headed for a tennis resort where they meet up with some unfriendly college tennis players. As a huge Prince of Tennis fan I was pretty disappointed with this episode. The only tennis match of the episode lasted maybe 3 or 5 minutes and that wasnt really spectacular other than a new shot that really wasnt that new.
ART: Art was well done again the characters looked vibrant and the animation quality is still improving. But still it wasn’t really as great without the high quality EXTENDED tennis scenes. So in my opinion quality was passable for an extra episode.
SOUND: The music is of the same quality of the original series. So if you havnt seen it then dont expect too much. Not bad but not great either.
CHARACTER: Only one character evolved here if u can call his one new shot, development. Inui juice is here XD but then again when isnt it. You wont get to see enough tennis action from the other players to keep you satisfied.
ENJOIMENT: Like i said earlier the lack of tennis action was a little disappointing. This is just one episode so why not add it to your Prince of Tennis collection ^_^
OVERALL:Not really sure why the creators added this episode but since its just an episode its not that bad. If you dont watch this episode, dont worry it has nothing to do with the main plot of the series.
Recommendation: If you liked the original series watch this for sure. And if you liked this watch the National Tournament ^_^ for more some real tennis pwnage.
If you dissagreed OR agreed fully with me on anything feel free to message me and discss it. Always fun. @_@
Story: Nothing special; it’s just your typical non main plot-related episode with tennis-related activities and some humor thrown in. Though, aside from that, you find it quite entertaining and could keep you watching until the end. The only problem is that there isn’t much tennis action, and the longest match could have been 7 minutes or less, but I don’t mind that.
Art: One of the strongest points in The Prince of Tennis series. There is a small improvement in the animation, as expected of a special, and there is minimum amount of frames repeated, which is good.
Sound: You might notice that there is a new set of BGM numbers during the OVA. They are similar to the ones played in the original anime series and were nothing exceptional, but it was cool to listen to something new and refreshing.
Character: There isn’t much development in this OVA, both in traits and tennis style, though we get to see one new move Echizen did. We got to introduce to a few new characters, but most of them (two are excluded) aren’t really special.
Enjoyment: Despite the lack of tennis action, there was humor that could make us giggle and some new tennis tips and training activities that kept me sitting in the chair.
Overall – Prince of Tennis: A Day on Survival Mountain is one of the few OVAs that contains side stories of the series yet reasonably entertaining at the same time. The OVA could be finished in one sitting (of course). In the end, it is a fairly satisfying watch.
46: Yama no Susume: Omoide Present
English: Encouragement of Climb: “Omoide” Present
Japanese: ヤマノススメ おもいでプレゼント
MAL Score: 7.38
On the final day of summer vacation, Kokona Aoba is ready to spend some long-awaited time with her mother, but these plans are unfortunately canceled due to work. Opting to go outside instead, she takes a stroll down a familiar path—one where fond memories appear at every corner.
Later, in the middle of autumn, Hinata Kuraue and Aoi Yukimura are looking through a scrapbook of their childhood. Snooping around in Aoi’s room, Hinata finds that she has kept a strange acorn as a keepsake, but doesn’t remember the reason why. As its discovery dwells on her, a wave of old memories comes forth, causing her to reminisce about a forgotten event from her childhood.
From time spent with loved ones to promises from the past, Yama no Susume: Omoide Present follows the three girls as they cherish old memories while crafting entirely new ones to remember.
It’s sentimental and beautiful. And you couldn’t ask for anything more from an OVA setting us up for the third season. Thematically, it’s perfect for this purpose.
45: Detective Conan OVA 11: A Secret Order from London
Japanese: 名探偵コナン ～ロンドンからの秘指令 (ロンドンからのマル秘指令)
MAL Score: 7.39
Diana invites Kogorou and Ran to London, but since Conan cannot travel with his invented name, Ai gives him a temporary antidote, letting him travel as Kudou Shin’ichi. Together with Professor Agasa they are on a plane to London.
Back in Japan, Ai now lives with Ayumi. Near their apartment, a suspicious man clothed in black named Kurokawa Youji has been trying to track down and now has found Ai. Shortly after Mitsuhiko notices a picture in a magazine of a foreign actress named Grace Aihara, who looks exactly like Ai, Conan calls, ominously instructing Mitsuhiko to keep Ai away from the Professor’s house. And so, Mitsuhiko and Genta go about trying to protect Ai…
MAL Score: 7.43
In the year 2041, mankind created their first space colony on the moon. But after a freak cataclysm devastated human civilisation on Earth, the republic of the moon built a domed megalopolis known as Eden. Now in the year 2267, a boy called Takeru spends his time engaging in hover-craft races against rival street gangs, unaware that he is about to embark in the journey of unearthing Eden’s origin.
Disappointment came in when I learned that Otomo was only designing the characters and the technological look of the series rather than writing the stories. However, after watching this OVA series with 7 episodes, I can now say I was impressed, although it could have been so much better plot-wise.
Freedom is set in 2267 in the moon colony Eden, after the Earth has been left uninhabitable due to an ecological disaster.
The world of the series really is impressive. There are no giant mechas or spaceships travelling at the speed of light. Instead of relying on useless fantasies, Freedom goes beyond your average anime series and presents us with a more realistic world, where people work and live in. And besides, you never see anything happening on the moon so that is definitely a plus.
The biggest fault in Freedom lies, without a doubt, in the plot.
Screaming Akira, this series follows a group of teenagers, led by Takeru, who spend their time racing and working on their “vehicle”, a three-wheeled motorcycle. Whenever they get in trouble, they are assigned to community service, or “volunteer work”, as the CAC calls it, which basically consists of walking along a tube on the lunar surface to check for leaks. It is during this tedious duty that Takeru witnesses a satellite smash into the Moon’s surface nearby and within discovers a photograph of a woman standing over a group of children on what looks like Earth. We will basically follow Takeru in his search for this woman.
It takes two episodes (out of only 7) for the story to take that important twist that moves things forward and, even after that, things seem to progress rather slowly. There is, in fact, too much talk and not enough plot.
Another negative aspect is that there was too much Cup Noodle product placement. Although Freedom was originally made as an advertising campaign, it doesn’t look good. If this was a TV-series, it would be alright, but not as an OVA.
The artwork and animation are two of the strongest points of Freedom.
The artwork is like an evolved form of Akira, since the style is basically the same.
Animation is amazing, but it might require getting used to. Freedom is one of the very few anime (that I know of) to be made totally in 3D cell-shaded CG. Most people will probably need to get used to the style, but once you can look beyond this, you’ll be rewarded by a great series.
The quality of art and motions is really well done. Their awkward motions are vividly portrayed. The racing scenes look like an upgraded version of the bike-chasing scenes in Akira, and they are also excellent.
The opening is fantastic. I specially like how they associate things, like the vehicle with a kid’s tricycle. And the race sequence is like a manga brought to life and evolves as important events take place along the series. Truly amazing.
If you’ve seen Ergo Proxy, you’ll probably detect resemblances in the soundtrack. Yes, the author is the same (Ike Yoshihiro) and the music style is also similar. I shouldn’t need to say anything else. The soundtrack is spectacular.
The opening was one of the best ones I’ve seen. The song matches perfectly with the animated sequences. The singer’s name also speaks for itself (Utada Hikaru). As for the ending, despite being just instrumental, it strengthens the powerful climaxes on the first three episodes.
As for the voice cast, it’s not outstanding, but gets the job done (except maybe Sanae Kobayashi, who had a rather mediocre performance as Ao).
The characters are the biggest strength of this series, although they’re just a group of hot-headed teenagers. Freedom is what a shounen anime should be. Shounen animes often forget that every teenage boy is an idiot. Freedom portrays that in a pretty realistic way, as their personality is consistent throughout, as opposed to the regular shounen with random idiotic “filler” scenes that are used not as part of the character, but simply as comedic relief. This is much better than your regular lead who just wants to become the best in the world, which just leads them to brainless directions without any real goal in mind… not really that interesting for me.
Flaws in the character department mostly appear in the last episode because the creators decided to be too epic for their own good, and some characters become a bit unrealistic for the sake of a more “epic” ending.
The enjoyment department is incredibly subjective but, personally, Freedom has its moments. Those moments are usually action scenes and the climaxes of the episode, which are, without a doubt, breath taking. Past those parts, most of it is average.
Overall, Freedom is a very good sci-fi anime with great characters, a nice OST and a powerful animation and it’s definitely a must watch for fans of the genre.
43: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Operation Meteor
English: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Operation Meteor
Japanese: 新機動戦記ガンダムＷ オペレーション メテオ ODD＆EVEN NUMBERS
MAL Score: 7.43
Two video releases recapping events from the Gundam Wing TV series. Each Operation Meteor video contains an ‘Odd’ episode and an ‘Even’ episode. The ‘Odd’ episodes feature Heero, Trowa and Wufei, while the ‘Even’ episodes feature Duo and Quatre. The episodes also featured brief new footages of the characters after the final episode of the TV series.
42: Mahou Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
Japanese: 魔法先生ネギま！～白き翼 ALA ALBA～
MAL Score: 7.44
OVA episodes that are bundled with the limited edition of the manga volumes 23-25. First episode to cover chapters 176 and 177 of the manga. Second episode to cover chapters 178-180. And third episode to cover chapters 182 and 183.
I won’t even talk about the two OVAs, Haru and Natsu….
Upon hearing of the third iteration of the series, Mahou Sensei Negima: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba, it seemed that hope was not lost for a decent animated version, especially as the story was supposed to follow events from certain chapters of the manga.
Unfortunately that hope was in vain.
The main problem with this OVA is that even though the story is pretty much the chapters from the manga in animated form, it’s not really designed to appeal to anyone but fans of the manga. This is, unfortunately, a poor move as the OVA doesn’t actually enhance the story or develop the characters in any meaningful way, and is little more than eye candy for the existing fans of the manga.
That said, the Ala Alba iis a very good adaptation of the chapters it covers. It’s so good in fact, that the viewer would be able to watch the OVA and skip the relevant chapters, and they wouldn’t miss a bit of the story. As adaptations go, this is up there with the most complete. The biggest problem with it is that it won’t appeal to newcomers to the series, or to those who have only watched the anime versions, as the story is taken from the middle of the manga so there’s no real explanation about events or characters.
As far as animation and design goes, this is actually very well made. The characters, backgrounds and settings are taken directly from the manga, with only a minor alteration here and there. The animation is fluid and the visual effects are well used. However, like the notorious Negima!? and the OVAs, this is a SHAFT production, and whilst they may be a great animation studio, they do have a tendency to do some rather odd things with animation at times. Their penchant for this rears it’s super deformed head in this OVA on several occasions and, more often that not, it serves as a distraction rather than an enhancement.
In terms of sound, the OVA will definitely appeal to fans of both anime series. The OP is a new rendition of the notoriously boppy “Happy Material”, whilst the ED is a slightly more martial take on “Kagayaku Kimi e”. The music used throughout the series has a decidedly upbeat tone which, given the lack of any truly serious events in this section of the story, isn’t a bad choice on the whole. The sound effects are atmospheric and well choregraphed, with the most impressive being the distorted vocals when a spell is being chanted, which is then overlayed by the characters voice. The effect is rather surreal at times.
The biggest plus for the OVA is that the gang is all here. The various (and numerous), seiyuu from both anime series, and the Haru and Natsu OVAs, are all gathered together once more.
One interesting thing that arises because of this though, is how a different look and feel can affect how one hears things. This is especially true for those who have watched either, or both, of the other two series. The characters, as a whole, have become more, or less, likeable in the OVA, although I should point out that this is in terms of individual characters and not as a group. Given that each character is played by the same seiyuu, and is essentially doing the same things and behaving in the same manner as before, I found this changed perception gave the OVA a slightly odd feel compared to the other efforts.
Negima is notorious for having oodles of characters however this OVA, being simply an animated form of certain chapters, doesn’t really have the scope to develop them in any meaningful way. One thing that does get highlighted is the disparity in terms of “power” between the girls that have contracts with Negi, and those that don’t. Aside from that though, there isn’t really anything else.
I did actually enjoy Ala Alba, as it made a nice change to see what the anime adaptations could have been like if they’d followed the manga. However, this is an OVA that will only really appeal to fans of the manga, although fans of either anime series who have yet to read the manga may want to check it out as it will give a taste of that version.
On the whole, it’s not a bad OVA, and it does have some plusses going for it, especially how closely it follows the manga. That said, I would have preferred to see something that added to the overall story rather than a glorified version of chapters I’ve already read.
I honestly had chills running down my spine the whole time.
After the disappointing first animated series (which forgot that it was shonen, minimizing or directly ignoring important fights and characters to the plot, only leaving the harem part of the original work), after a weird (to say at least) second anime, and after two OVAS that were loosely based in some manga chapters, in 2008 we finally got a high quality and faithful Negima adaptation (to some chapters, at least).
Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba is a three part OVA series that adapts from the end of the Mahora tournament until the preparations for the trip to Wales. With that last sentence, most of you probably understand that this wasn’t thought for the big audience: the plot of this OVAS starts in chapter 176 of the manga, while the first anime adapts (again, loosely) only as far as chapter 53. This was made specifically for Negima fans that read the manga, so, if you, person reading this review, aren’t one of those, you can stop reading now. Or don’t, do as you please.
Story: When the Mahora Festival ends, Negi Springfield thinks is time to get serious about that searching dad thing, so, after a talk with Albireo Ima, he decides to go to Wales, where the door to Mundus Magicus is supposed to be. But first thing first: under Eva’s guardianship, Ala Alba (the White Wings, a subtle tribute to Negi’s father team, the Crimson Wings), was born: a special school club with one objective: find Nagi Springfield.
Besides Negi, the new team consists of his seven partners (Asuna, Nodoka, Setsuna, Konoka, Haruna, Yue and Chisame), Ku Fei, Kaede, Asukura (with Sayo), Chachamaru and Kotaro (yes people: after four animated adaptations, the other man in the good guys side make his debut). This elite group is ready to train their asses to become stronger, and accomplish their objective. Unfortunately, Ayaka and the rest of the 3-A girls will discover their plans, and will want to join the journey…
Animation: The quality of these OVA is outstanding. Or maybe is just very good, and it looks amazing only when comparing with the first anime. The landscapes are very pretty, clear and bright (is very noticeable, because most of the action takes place in a beach and in Eva resort), and most important, the character design is faithful to the manga (closest to Negima!? than Mahou Sensei Negima), which means Chisame won’t screw the rules cause she have green hair (somebody understand the reference? xD), no more chocolate for Chamo, and other stuff.
As for magic, there aren’t many fights (these chapters are rather preparation for what is coming), but all the powers used are well made and flashy, especially in the first match of the first episode, and Eva ice powers.
And since this is a close adaptation of the manga, there’s fan service every now and then (but not as much as the first manga chapters).
Sound: The opening of the first anime, Happy Material, is back, less upbeat but more calm (not only is the opening, is the ending of the third chapter). The ending is also the one of Mahou Sensei Negima, Kagayaku Kimi e, and again, this version is a little more serene than the original. All the seiyuus of the first and second series are here, plus Marina Inoue as Kotaro (you may know her as Yoko in Gurren Lagan, or Rei in Highschool of the Dead). They all do a great job (they’re all good seiyuus, after all, they sing their own opening and ending), although the intonation of some is a bit weird, especially Mana (which, frankly, scares) and Asakura.
Verdict: this OVAs are, simply put, the best thing animated with the Negima name (until now at least… I think we all have hopes in the movie), only because is loyal to the original source. That means good drawing (it crush the first anime in this apartment) and good characterization (no weird poems by Zazie nor Yuna playing with tanks, or whatever). This is so faithful, that, unfortunately, only the manga followers (and I really mean followers… the ending has random images of chapters as advanced as 287!) will understand it, cause it start in a very arbitrary point.
That’s a shame, cause, even is this isn’t the more action oriented part of the story, it has lots of humor, and is really funny.
But, like I say: this is very recommendable for persons who read the manga and are dying for something animated. And the continuations are very good too: Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai y Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai Extra: Mahou Shoujo Yue.
… And if for some reason you read this review without having read the manga, I strongly recommend you to read it. It’s one of the best mangas going around right now.
Después de una decepcionante primer serie animada (que se olvido por completo que era un shonen, minimizando o directamente ignorando las peleas que eran relevantes a la trama), de una segunda serie… bastante extraña, y de dos OVAs ligeramente basados en algunos hechos del manga, en el 2008, finalmente, se realizaron trabajos de calidad que adaptaban fielmente la historia de Mahou Sensei Negima… o al menos, una parte. Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba es una tanda de 3 OVAs que abarca desde el final del torneo de Mahora, hasta los preparativos del viaje a Gales. Con esta ultima oración ya abran notado que esto no está apuntado a un público masivo: la trama de estos OVAs arranca desde el capítulo 176 del manga, mientras que el primer anime adapta (de forma bastante libre y salteándose varias cosas importantes) hasta el capitulo 53. Esto está hecho específicamente para los fans de Negima que leyeron el manga, así que si usted, lector, no lo hizo, puede dejar de leer ahora mismo. O no, haga lo que quiera.
Historia: Finalizado el torneo de Mahora, Negi Springfield piensa que es momento de tomarse en serio esto de buscar a su padre, por lo que después de hablar con Albireo Ima, decide ir a Gales, donde se encuentra la puerta al mundo mágico. Pero primero lo primero: bajo la tutela de Eva, se forma Ala Alba (las Alas Blancas, en honor al grupo del padre de Negi, las Alas Carmesi), un club escolar especialmente dedicado a asistir a Negi en su búsqueda. Además de sus siete parejas (o Partners, o como sea que ustedes lo hayan leído), están Ku Fei, Kaede, Asakura (con Sayo), Chachamaru y Kotaro (si señores: después de cuatro adaptaciones animadas, finalmente hace su debut el otro hombre importante del grupo de los buenos), todo un equipo de elite dispuesto a entrenar hasta el cansancio para hacerse más fuertes y lograr su objetivo. Por desgracia, Ayaka y el resto de las chicas del 3-A van a descubrir sus planes, y van a querer sumarse al viaje…
Animación: la calidad de estos OVAs es espectacular. O tal vez sea solo muy buena, y solo resalta mucho por comparársela con el primer anime. Los paisajes son muy bonitos y brillantes (lo que se nota mucho, porque la acción transcurre en una playa y en la casa de Eva), y lo más importante de todo, el diseño de personajes es ahora como el del manga (mucho más cercano al de Negima!? que al de Mahou Sensei Negima), lo que significa, no mas pelo verde para Chisame, no mas chocolate para Chamo, y otras cosas. En cuanto a la magia, si bien no hay muchas peleas (estos capítulos son más bien preparatorios para lo que se viene), todos los poderes usados están bien hechos y son muy vistosos, especialmente en el duelo del principio del primer capítulo, y los poderes de hielo de Eva.
Y como esto es una adaptación híper fiel al manga, hay fan service aquí y allá (aunque no tanto como en los primeros capítulos del manga).
Sonido: Happy Material, el opening del primer anime, vuelve a estar presente (como opening y como ending del tercer capítulo), ligeramente más tranquilo. El ending también es el de Mahou Sensei Negima, Kagayaku Kimi e, y de nuevo, esta ligeramente modificado para sonar más despacio. Todas las seiyuus de las primeras series están presentes, y se incorpora Marina Inoue como Kotaro (Yoko en Gurren Lagan, Rei en Highschool of the Dead). Todas hacen un muy buen trabajo (son buenas seiyuus, después de todo, cantan sus propios openings y endings), aunque la entonación de alguna suena medio rara, como la de Mana y Asakura.
Veredicto: Lisa y llanamente, estas OVAs (y sus continuaciones) son lo mejor que hay animado de Negima, (al menos hasta ahora… creo que todos tenemos muchas esperanzas respecto a la película), solo por ser fiel al trabajo original. Lo que significa buen dibujo (aplasta al primer anime en este aspecto) y personajes bien caracterizados (nada de los poemas raros de Zazie, o Yuna jugando con tanques). Es tan fiel que, desafortunadamente, solo podrán entenderlo los seguidores del manga (muy seguidores del manga… el ending tiene imágenes de capítulos tan avanzados como el 287!), debido al momento arbitrario en el que arranca (además de que los hechos, a veces, saltan muy rápido de uno a otro, pudiendo dejar confuso incluso al publico que leyó el manga). Esto es una lástima, porque, a pesar de una vez más animar una parte en la que no hay mucha acción, si hay mucho humor, y realmente es muy divertido.
Lo dicho: MUY recomendable para las personas que leyeron el manga de Negima, y se mueren por ver algo animado. También son recomendables sus continuaciones: Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai y Mahou Sensei Negima! Mou Hitotsu no Sekai Extra: Mahou Shoujo Yue.
… y si por alguna razón leyeron esta review sin haber leído el manga, recomiendo vehementemente que lo lean. Es de lo mejor que hay dando vueltas en estos momentos.
41: Kyou kara Maou! R
MAL Score: 7.45
Life has returned to some form of normalcy after the end of the series, and so His Majesty Yuuri Shibuya travels to oversee how things are going. While doing so, he runs into the king of Small Shimeron–Sararegi. But it seems there may be something more to him than the friendly king he presents himself as. Yuuri go back to Shimaron to relax and meet some friends, when the “king” of Little Shimaron suddenly joins the group and wants the Maou to come to his country. The Original king sends a message to Yuuri’s brother and his friend that Yuuri is in trouble.
I, personally, expected more from this series of ovas but since the anime is mainly a Comedy (shounen-ai notwithstanding) the plot (or its absence) was in every ova rather plain and full of cuteness. BUT don’t let my review stop you from viewing this ovas! For you will without a doubt laugh or at least giggle some.
these little extra side story things are pretty good. each episode has its own kind of sub plot, like aside from the main one from kyou kara maou! if you like the first season im sure you would like the ova’s.
the art in this was just as good in the first season.
also just as good
i like all the characters just as before but i wish there were sertain characters we could have seen more of.
they were really good 🙂
really liked it
40: 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.
39: 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.
38: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken OVA
English: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime OAD
Japanese: 転生したらスライムだった件 OVA
MAL Score: 7.48
The episode bundled with the 13th volume is about the Sumo competition that held at Tempest for the first time, suggested by Rimuru.
The three-part OVA bundled with the 14th, 15th, and 16th manga volumes is an original trilogy written by Fuse.
Rimuru has been teaching Shizue’s students at Ingracia Kingdom’s Freedom Academy. The time has come for the school’s annual outdoor training event, where the students will test their combat skills in the field. Rimuru is determined to win the competition and take home the prize money, but he is challenged by Jeff, an honorary teacher who sees Rimuru as a rival. The competition is underway when suddenly an unexpected enemy appears!
(Source: MAL News & ANN)
the second episode was the first one to air, and then a pause that spanned almost 4 months was issued until the second episode finally aired. That’s when I was able to move along with my life, and start anticipating the wrap up of a sadly, average screening.
Taking away everything that made the parent series so popular and lovable, the massive world-building, the built-up confrontation and the breathing surrounding the world, these two episodes enticed their gaze and provided manufactory fan service that fed the ominous thirst some of the characters give off. I’m looking at you, Shuna.¨
Two whole episodes of mindless guilty pleasure, what really sales most of the shows from this genre. I would argue that the second episode was the better one, screening the awaited “beach episode”, while the first one had an erotic display of sumo wrestling, going as far as involving with butt-sumo-wrestling which couldn’t stop me from thinking about Keijo!!!!!!!!. Trash only leads to trash. Either way; you can’t really be harsh on an OVA, it was still fun and enjoyable. A lot of humor and “cultured” sightings. There is a huge audience for that.
Albeit it has taken a pretty long time to get all these OVA’s it is a great marketing tactic before the next season to keep the show fresh in mind.
The 5 OVA’s are all very enjoyable and meet the expectations as you want without interfering directly with the main story so that season 2 can start where it wants to start. In theory season 2 could time skip and it would still work.
The art is a great level that is wonderful on the eyes to see. Although edges of faces and such can be a bit crude at times it is generally visually spectacular. Especially the user of magic which looks great on screen.
The sound continues on with the spectacular SFX used. ‘Dragon Buster’ by Milim for me as part of the series as a whole remains an example of the effort put into the show. Generally, other sounds have improved slightly too.
The characters all continue development as expected from before. It is nice to see more of the ways of the world and progresses that can be made whilst seeing some joyful and hilarious moments from the cast. Milim remains my favourite character for her over the top attitude although most others contribute too.
As it is what it is I would recommend watching this if you wanted to see the second season and if you are new watch it after season 1 but all before season 2.
This anime really represents all I wanted for in an anime,a perfect (for me) combination of Isekai and SoL (maybe for the 1st season) where you can enjoy every seconds watching it, a story where you unites different kind of creatures spesifically monsters (of course I wanted them to be goodlooking:). I really like the anime’s concept (game system + isekai), there’s so many skill and there isn’t any level for the skill’s power, which I find simple and enjoyable. Also, I think the rich in diversity of the creatures is the main reason I liked this anime. I liked how they work together to create a world where different kinds of creature can live happily together. And for this OVA, I think it doesn’t move the story so far, it just tell Rimuru’s daily life which they skipped it at the 1st season.
After all, it’s just my personal opinion, thank you for reading:)
37: Detective Conan OVA 04: Conan and Kid and Crystal Mother
Japanese: 名探偵コナン: コナンとキッドとクリスタルマザー
MAL Score: 7.50
Once again, Kaitou Kid has a target in mind: the Crystal Mother, Europe’s largest topaz owned by Queen Selizabeth of the Principality of Ingram. He intends to steal this jewel while the Queen is stuck on a train from Tokyo to Osaka. However, Kid’s abilities are put to the test, as the Queen has already concealed the gem somewhere aboard the train.
Conan Edogawa, who is among train’s passengers, suspects an attack from the phantom thief and begins investigating on his own, while Inspector Ginzou Nakamori is ready for a new confrontation against the elusive jewelry robber.
The art is very typical Detective Conan and like a normal episode of the tv series.
Like the art the music is also typical of Detective Conan and it fits the story well.
If you are a Conan fan then you will most likely be disappointed since he is not center stage for this OVA. Instead Kaitou Kid along with Aoko, Inspector Nakamori, a queen, and young prince are the main characters fort he OVA. The story did a good job explaining the background of the queen and young prince in the short amount of time and also showed believable growth for both the queen and her son.
I loved Kaitou Kid so I enjoyed this OVA immensely. I would love to see the young prince return in a future OVA since he was adorable.
The art is about on-par with the early Detective Conan TV series. It’s good, I enjoy the character designs, and everything moves well enough… but there isn’t any overly impressive or flashy sequences. Above average and gets the job done, but it’s nothing special overall.
Audio is about the same, but it’s boosted a little bit higher because of the great soundtrack and solid voice cast.
The returning cast are just as fun as they are in the main series, but the new characters that were introduced for this OVA are also fairly well done, which was surprising. All of the new characters don’t really have the time to get too well developed over the course of 25 minutes, but the OVA still tries to give them a little bit of depth. By the end of it, I still managed to enjoy the moments the new characters had on screen… and I’d definitely like to see some of them return in future episodes.
Overall, I really enjoyed this OVA. Parts of it definitely seemed somewhat average, but it really shined in other parts. Out of the Detective Conan OVAs I’ve seen (That is, the first four), It’s definitely my favorite so far.
I give this OVA a 7/10
The caper isn’t complicated, the character motivations are basic, there’s no interactions between Conan and Kid. If you want an extra 30 minutes with Kid and a few scenes with between Aoko and him, this delivers on that.
Oh, also, the thing about the cat’s eyes was a reference to a Lupin III Part I episode I watched recently. I got a kick out of that.
36: Golden Kamuy 2nd Season OVA
Japanese: ゴールデンカムイ OAD
MAL Score: 7.50
OVAs bundled with the 17th, 19th, and 23rd tankoubon volumes of the Golden Kamuy manga.
The first episode is the story of how Shiraishi escaped from multiple prisons in the search of the love of his life.
The second episode tells a story of our main characters “Monster hunting”
And the last episode includes great amounts of bestiality (sexual intercourse between human and animal) which you may find disturbing, just as a heads-up.
35: Kaleido Star: Aratanaru Tsubasa – Extra Stage
English: Kaleido Star: New Wings Extra Stage
Japanese: カレイドスター ～新たなる翼～ EXTRA STAGE
MAL Score: 7.51
Sora Naegino has finally consolidated herself as Kaleido Stage’s greatest star ever, and a new star starts to shine as Rosetta Passel is selected to participate in the next attraction in a main role. But when things start to go wrong in the rehearsals, Rosetta starts to question her abillity to take the role, as her own capacity to remain in Kaleido Stage. Meanwhile, Fool also struggles with his demons from the past.
That said, the Kaleido Star OVA has an inferiority complex.
The original series integrated explosive, illuminating, all-consuming fervency with sophisticated, soul-searing psychological drama. It explored an array of ideologies and thematic elements while maintaining an aura of carefree innocence. It interweaved a melange of literary references, some blatantly obvious and others deceptively subtle, into the individual arcs of its characters, enhancing the cast as a whole. It presented each episode as something essential to the overall story and it always ensured that each episode would be notable in its own fashion. It was marvelously entertaining, structurally outstanding, and near-perfect in every facet. It was so for virtually all of its 51 episode run. In short, Kaleido Star showcased some impossibly high standards for the OVA to achieve.
Whether or not the OVA reached the original series’ expectations depends entirely on how you feel about Rosetta (voiced by Serena Varghese). In the original series, Rosetta was an aspiring circus performer with prodigious talents that viewed Sora Naegino (Kaleido Star’s lead) as both a role model and a friend. Good-natured and charitable yet incredibly stubborn at times (almost as much as Sora), Rosetta came across as a likable character, if more than a bit generic. Sure, she possessed a few highlights (namely her staged showdown with Sora in her first appearance) and she performed fairly well as the centerpiece of a few episodes but at no point did you think that Rosetta could be the star of the show. After all, there have been plenty of occasions where someone else outshined her as a character,
You can’t condemn me for being surprised at Rosetta headlining an OVA all by her lonesome.
“Does Rosetta do well in this OVA?” you might ask. Well, I have to say that while ther are new layers to her personality that are introduced, it’s ultimately not enough to justify Rosetta being the OVA’s protagonist. The other characters fare no better. While the original series provided nuance, purpose, and development to its cast, the characters here are given barely visible slivers of screen time, tossed aside like a ragdoll in humiliating fashion. Leon Oswald, a tortured man of mystery, the infamous “God of Death”, Kaleido Star’s ultimate Byronic Hero, is briefly seen twisting his body in an unnatural position and uttering indecipherable noises while iconic characters like Layla Hamilton, Kalos, and Yuri Killian are resigned to a few meager lines. Outside of Rosetta, the only cast members that (sort of) matter are May (her sole contribution is criticizing Rosetta), the Fool (I’ll get to him later), and Sora. Excluding Rosetta, she contributes more than anyone else but ultimately Sora’s impact is hardly worth remembering.
In the technical areas, the Kaleido Star OVA is a reasonable resemblance of the original. Its color palette is as dynamic as ever and the backgrounds are unsurprisingly stellar. Musically speaking, it’s a joy to listen to (The opening “Blanc et Noir” is particularly soothing). However, it’s not enough to compensate for the OVA’s shoulder shrug of a storyline. The plot is centered on Rosetta’s emergence as Kaleido Stage’s leading lady as well as the Fool’s backstory. While the OVA presents a few glimpses into the fan favorite’s past, it’s ultimately not enough to be compact. From what I’ve gathered, the Fool was a court jester in the Middle Ages that was driven to erase the sadness of his lover (a Rosetta look-a-like princess). For some reason, the Fool was forcibly separated from the princess and wasn’t able to fulfill his mission. What could’ve been a fantastic plot element is marred by a lack of developing anything beyond that point as well as an inability to create a resolution.
“Cop-out” is the perfect word to describe the Kaleido Star OVA. It doesn’t care about characterization. It doesn’t care about a storyline. It doesn’t care about endings (The spiderweb scene (a classic deus ex machina moment) and the jarring conclusion is proof of this). It doesn’t care, period. To claim that this OVA falls short of the original series’ brilliance would be a glorious understatement. “The Amazing Princess Without a Smile” is deprived of so many positive qualities that a smile is the last thing it needs to worry about.
34: Area 88
MAL Score: 7.52
Shin Kazama, tricked and forced into flying for the remote country of Aslan, can only escape the hell of war by earning money for shooting down enemy planes or die trying. Through the course of the series, Shin must deal with the consequences of killing and friends dying around him as tries to keep his mind on freeing himself from this nightmare.
In the last couple years, Area 88 has seen an explosion of popularity here on MAL. This makes it a rather tricky title to review. It used to be criminally underrated, but now it’s actually in danger of becoming overrated. While Area 88 is a strong OVA and does a number of things really well, it also has some aspects that really bug me.
The Psychological Effects of War:
Area 88 is entirely devoted to showing the horrible effects that war has on the human psyche. It’s not just PTSD or even the dehumanizing effect of how soldiers learn to see their enemies. Once you go to war, it’s immensely difficult to adapt back to civilian life. Soldiers have a hard time relating to civilians, who have never been in real danger and can’t possibly understand what they’ve been through on the front lines. This leads to social isolation, depression, and often suicide. Many former soldiers become mercenaries because they feel they don’t have a home outside the battlefield.
Literature devoted to this topic bloomed after World War 1 with the writers of the “Lost Generation” like Hemmingway, Wilfred Owen, Remarque, etc. In the Western world and especially the United States, these themes made a huge comeback in films, shows, and literature of the 1970s and early 1980s following the Vietnam War. It was this second wave that directly inspired Area 88. The mangaka, director, and anime writer had never been to war themselves, but they saw the critical success of American movies like Deer Hunter, First Blood, Platoon, etc. They wanted a piece of that pie, so we got this anime. To be fair, it’s pretty damn good and handles the topic with respect. Unfortunately, the plot is…kind of a mess.
Plot: (Spoilers Ahead! Skip plot section if you don’t want anything spoiled)
Shin is a Japanese commercial airline pilot who is in love with the daughter of an airline CEO. Unfortunately, the CEO is an evil asshole and collaborates with Shin’s traitor “friend” to create a ridiculous scheme to get rid of Shin. Do they put a Yakuza hit on him? Nope. Do they pay off a waitress to falsely accuse him of rape and fire him? Nope. Do they get him drunk and trick him into joining the Iranian Air Force during the Iran/Iraq War? If you guessed that last one, congratulations! You win!
I’m dead serious, that’s really what they went with. Now they can’t call it Iran for legal reasons, but it’s a Middle Eastern War raging in the 80s with Soviet fighter planes vs. US fighter planes. It’s clearly supposed to be the Iran/Iraq War. Shin of course rejects this once he sobers up, but the Iranians absolutely REFUSE to let him back out. The fate of the war clearly hinges on this commercial pilot with zero experience piloting fighter jets, doesn’t speak a language anyone understands, and has no desire to be there. It turns out the Iranians were smart like a fox because this airline pilot is immediately the best fighter pilot to ever live…for no reason! Even Erich Hartmann and Manfred von Richthofen bow down to Shin. Oh and he can instantly speak Farsi or they all learned Japanese…or the writer wasn’t thinking.
Shin becomes a super successful pilot and gets all over the news as a modern fighter ace. This infuriates evil CEO, so he commences what might be the most pants on head retarded sub-plot I’ve ever seen in anime! He flies to France to hire the Italian Mafia to steal an F-16 and fly it into Iranian airspace to somehow find and shoot down a specific pilot! Jesus fucking Christ! This is “galaxy brain” shit! Shin keeps surviving while his co-pilots all die. He’s able to get out of the war, but can’t adapt to civilian life. Instead, he decides to return to the battlefield and go out in a dramatic blaze of glory! That last part honestly feels like something Hideo Kojima would write…minus the nanomachines.
The dogfights are well animated and well choreographed. This is some beautiful, hand drawn 80s animation that has aged very well. The character art has kind of a Leiji Matsumoto feel, but it works. I don’t have anything negative to say about the art, it’s pretty spectacular.
So here it is. The anime that MAL’s own beloved Snob said was one of the best war dramas of all time. I feel like I’ve been unfairly, overly harsh on this anime, but it’s really not an all time masterpiece of war fiction! It’s not even as good as Rambo 1 AKA First Blood. Maybe this would work better if it were set in the modern Congo with 2 grizzled mercenaries meeting. One is an American soldier who fought in Iraq and the other is a Russian soldier who fought in Chechya. Area 88 is beautiful to look at and has all the potential in the world, but the show we got is more a flawed diamond in the rough than it was a flawless masterpiece. That’s just my thoughts on it though. I would still definitely recommend watching it!
STORY… The plot revolves around a man named Shin Kazama who ends up in an Air Force Mercenary Guild somehow (You have to watch, if you want to find out.). In order for him to reclaim his freedom, he must keep working until he reaches a certain amount of money. We all know what mercenaries do, right? They kill. But here’s the thing- Shin isn’t a true born natural cold-blooded killer. (I’ll talk more about Shin later in the CHARACTERS category.) Basically, the plot is more about an inner struggle within Shin as he tries to retain his humanity. How can one not undergo character development when he’s doing what he is required to do? The plot tears at your emotions eventually and you can’t help, but feel emotions for Shin by the end of the series. There is another part of the story which is a tragic romance part, but I feel that it really is insignificant compared to the magnitude of Shin’s story. His story will really have you paying attention from start to finish.
ANIMATION… The visuals are surprisingly good, despite being so old. The character designs look typical of old school, but where the visuals really shine is during the battle scenes. Fighter planes are drawn with good detail and when they fire at each other, huge explosions are everywhere which at times bring awe to your viewing experience. Also, wherein the visuals excels is during the expressions of the characters. They really look do human enough. If you can tolerate old school art design, then there will be no problems at all when you’re watching this.
SOUND… The sound is perfect. The voice actors fit their characters, but more importantly it’s the background music that greatly adds to the atmosphere of Area 88, making it endearing to watch. The background music comes in at the right moments to add that emotional effect, which grips the viewers emotions. The songs are perfect for the series’ theme.
CHARACTERS… This is the bread and butter of Area 88. As mentioned earlier, Shin is not a natural cold-blooded killer. He has a soul. He has a heart that cares. In essence, he’s just a man with an innocent and kind soul. He just wanted to pursue his dreams and live a happy life with his woman. What makes Shin so captivating is he goes through what we all must eventually go through- the loss of innocence. It’s like this- the world sometimes puts us in situations where in order for us to gain something, we are forced to do something we don’t like, or in Shin’s case, despise. And when we do the things we dislike, you can’t help, but feel as if a piece of your sanity, humanity, and dignity was taken away from you. But there’s no other way because you must absolutely gain what you so desire… This is an idea of what Shin undergoes throughout the whole series. I’d like to delve more, but you really should just watch this to see what happens. I can assure you it gets interesting. There are also a number of side characters which are realistically human as well, and by the end of the series, you’ll eventually like them as well. These guys are mercenaries, but they still retain their humanity… Somehow. Some will provide laughter, some you may dislike, but you’ll understand where they’re coming from. If you ask me, a splendid job in the CHARACTERS category.
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10= Awesome
+ Great cast of characters with an emotional gripping main character in Shin Kazama.
+ Plot will have you interested from start to finish.
+ Good visuals despite being old.
+ Ending could make you say, “What a tragic fate.”
– Some plot threads prior to ending left and felt unfinished.
– Incomplete ending. (You’ll have to resort to the Manga to finish this series.)
Note: Once again, this is a “substance over style” type of Anime. If you can tolerate old school animation, you won’t be disappointed with Area 88. It delivers what most Anime of today’s generation could not- a great story which tugs at your emotions from the start until the very end. Definitely recommended for any serious Anime watcher.
As someone who really enjoys war-themed stories, especially when the conflict has a gray morality to it and none of the warring factions are portrayed as heroes or villains, just two sides with different ideologies fighting for what they believe in, I had fairly high expectations for Area 88. I mean, apparently Area 88 is “easily the best war drama ever made in anime” according to some well-known pleb’s review I found out there in the internet, and since this guy is known for being such a patrician genius of critiquing who analyzes anime objectively and has very high standards due to how cultured he is, I assumed Area 88 would be great then.
No, it’s not. Area 88 is fucking dumb as hell.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against dumb anime, I even enjoy watching some of them for a laugh. Hell, one of my favorite anime is Code Geass, and that show has plenty of dumb-as-fuck moments. But do you know what Code Geass has that Area 88 doesn’t? Self-awareness. Code Geass relishes in its absurdity, the series knows how ridiculous it can get and deals with its camp-factor in such a flamboyant way that it becomes incredibly fun to watch, as well as having many likeable characters and tackling some heavy themes at the same time. Area 88 has none of that, it desperately wants you to take it seriously with its “realistic” characters and overblown drama as it makes some kind of commentary on the harsh reality and psychological effects of war, but unfortunately it lacks the good writing to back those intentions up.
So, what is Area 88 about? There’s our main character, Kazama Shin, a japanese airline pilot who was tricked by his “friend” Kanzaki Satoru into joining a group of mercenary war pilots whose headquarters is located at an air force base in the middle of the desert called Area 88, they’re engaged in some kind of civil war going on at a Middle Estern country named the Kingdom of Arslan. Shin can fight until he gets enough money to free himself from Area 88 or attempt a desertion, and left with little choice, he goes on to kill for his survival in the hopes of returning to his normal life in Japan and seeing his love, Tsugumo Ryoko. Will Shin be able to withstand the horrors of war and still be himself in order to lead a peaceful life among society again?
Indeed, this seems like a good set-up for a war drama, but unfortunately the way this is all executed is stupid beyond belief. First of all, the main villain of this story, Kanzaki, is one of the most moronic villains I’ve seen in any anime ever! No, seriously, just look at this guy’s plan: He’s jealous of Shin because he’s got the girl he likes, so he comes up with a plan to get Shin killed, and this plan is… To get Shin drunk and make him sign a paper that forces him into becoming a war pilot for the Arslan forces.
Does that sound balls-to-the-wall retarded to you? Because it is. Not only there are many other less-convoluted ways for this dude to get rid of Shin, but there’s also the question of… Why the hell did the Arslanians agree with this if Shin doesn’t even have any experience with piloting war planes or anything like that? I have no idea, but they want Shin to enter their army so badly that they even threatened his life when he attempted to back out of this contract. But hey, turns out Shin is actually a damn awesome war pilot even though he has zero experiences with war, because he’s kicking all sorts of asses in the dogfights from the get-go! You know, realistic stuff! Shin is so good at dogfighting that he becomes a enough of famous ace pilot to even appear in japanese journal papers, and that makes Kanzaki so fucking mad that he goes to the mafia and hires them to go all the way to Arslan and kill Shin…
… No, I’m not making this shit up, I swear, this is actually how it goes. Why didn’t our genius mastermind of a villain here just hire the mafia to kill Shin in the first place instead of coming up with this overly complicated scheme? I dunno, I guess that would make too much sense. I mean, Shin actually becoming this amazing dogfighter even though he had no prior experience is already absurd, but Area 88 still manages to make an already dumb plot even dumber as it goes by. The whole story is basically proceeds like this: Shin engages missions with the co-pilots he gets to known in the base, one of them dies during the mission, Shin kills their enemies and completes the mission, then back at the base he whines ’bout how terrible it is to kill people in war, how he wants to go back home to see Ryoko and yadda yadda, some side-characters talk about how hard it is to get accostumed to normal life after you go to war.
Then we get to see how things are going at Japan with Kanzaki trying to profit Ryoko’s pussy now that Shin is not around anymore, but every single scene between these two follows this pattern:
Kanzaki: Yo hottie how about you open up those legs and lemme smash like I never smashed before
Ryoko: I miss Shin…
Kanzaki: Goddammit that fookin’ bastard Shin I hate him so much
He eventually tries to get Ryoko to have sex with him under the promise of saving Shin’s life later, and she was actually willing to go that far if it will get Shin back to her. Some investigation happens offscreen and I guess Kanzaki gets arrested? I don’t know, I guess even the writers thought this sub-plot was too stupid even for this series, so they just rushed to resolve it already instead of wasting more screen time on it. Why does everyone even love Ryoko so much? She’s such a bland-ass character, and aside from her undying love for Shin, there’s nothing interesting about her. I mean, Kanzaki is also an uninteresting one-dimensional villain, and I guess I could say most of these characters besides Shin are pretty shallow in general, and very few of them are actually likeable.
Even Shin isn’t all that great, despite being the best character out of this bunch, his constant whining gets annoying quickly and the most memorable scene (in a positive way, at least) he got to me is that one with him preparing his ramen to eat, it was pretty cute, even charming. But otherwise, he’s just your typical emo anime protagonist and the “development” he’s apparently gotten in the end of this series makes no fucking sense: The guy spends all this time crying about war and going back to his waifu, but when he actually gets back to Japan and calls her… He just fucking dumps her and goes back to Area 88 because apparently he’s changed so much that it’s now impossible for him to adapt to society again. Like… What? Did Shin really change all that much? He never really stopped whining about the exact same things he’s been doing since the start of the series, so where the fuck did THAT come from? This ending was so forced and unsatisfying that it single-handedly dragged down what was going to be a 4/10 score to a 3/10, it made me get the feeling that this entire series was a waste of time and went fucking nowhere. Sure, it’s a good concept and I can see it working and being emotionally-charged if done well, but… It’s not done well. At all. Not only did I not care about any of these characters, but the twist happens way too suddenly to have any impact.
Despite all the shit I gave the plot and the characters in this, I have to say the dogfights are really cool to watch despite Shin’s obvious plot armor, especially since they’re actually hand-drawn planes flying around at high speeds and blasting each other in the skies and not CGI like it happens nowadays, it’s an aspect of older anime I absolutely love and it’s no different with this one. The character designs can get a bit ridiculous, but nothing I can’t get used to, and the art is good enough, this is a good-looking series overall, which is a weird thing to say considering this was made by Studio Pierrot. The opening themes and soundtrack in general are also pretty fantastic, some may find it cheesy or dated, but I caught myself tapping my foot to a lot of the tracks that played during the dog fights, they sound like stuff you’d hear in 80s action movies and there’s literally nothing wrong with that.
I don’t think I need to say that I’m hugely disappointed with Area 88, I truly did not expect to dislike this series as much as I ended up doing, I even feel a little bad writing this because it could have been a great war story. Instead, what I get is a contrived mess of a plot that fails at almost everything it tries to do and takes itself way too seriously for its own good. No, Area 88, you are not a good study on the horrors of war, or politics or the worst aspects of humanity. You certainly tried and presented some good ideas, I’ll give you that, but you need to be more mature and nuanced in order to pull this kind of thing off effectively. Maybe this is a crappy adaptation and the manga is actually a much better and more different story? I don’t know, but I don’t feel like checking that out unless someone manages to convince me to do it.
The dogfights are still fun to watch, though.
33: Detective Conan Magic File 2: Kudou Shinichi – The Case of the Mysterious Wall and the Black Lab
Japanese: 名探偵コナンMagic File 2 ～工藤新一 謎の壁と黒ラブ事件～
MAL Score: 7.52
Magic File 2 was sold at select retailers (7-11 branded equivalents) in Japan, along with PPV episodes of the show (episodes released long before, such as the NY case). The first disc housed the Movie 12 Side-Story OVA, which features Kudou Shinichi and details a bit of the backstory from the upcoming movie. The second disc was the one with the PPV episodes.
(Source: DCTP Forum)
The story centers around Shinichi in his Middle-school and a case he is solving by himself. Whilst investigating, he gets into a fight with Ran because of her superstitions and they stop talking to each other for a week.
Of course, Shinichi ends up solving the case. His parents are also featured which I enjoyed very much. I simply love the Kudo family, they are so funny and do not appear enough in my opinion. Though I know this isn’t canon material I still enjoy seeing what Shinichi was like before his transformation to Conan.
The art is somewhat strange to look at but overall a nice magic file for the fans of DC.
32: Macross Zero
English: Macross Zero
Japanese: マクロス ゼロ
MAL Score: 7.54
Taking place one year before the Zentraedi arrive on Earth, Macross Zero chronicles the final days of the war between the U.N. Spacy and anti-U.N. factions. After being shot down by the anti-U.N.’s newest fighter plane, ace pilot Shin Kudo finds himself on the remote island of Mayan, where technology is almost non-existent. While Shin stays on the island to heal his wounds, the tranqulity of the island is shattered by a battle that involves the UN’s newest fighter – the VF-0.
Macross Zero is set in the year 2008, and chronicles the final days of the conflict between U.N. Spacy and the Anti-U.N. forces on Earth. The story takes place in the South Pacific, in an area where an alien spacecraft crashed nine years before, and both sides are looking for it with the hopes of gaining a technological edge.
Kudou Shin, a pilot with U.N. Spacy, is downed by an enemy aircraft with the ability to transform, and crashes onto a remote island. When he regains consciousness he finds that his injuries have been tended by the natives, a peaceful tribe who want no part in the conflict.
Macross Zero is a big departure for the franchise in terms of it’s story, being at times more brutal and less forgiving than other outings. In almost every other Macross series, the enemy has invariably been alien, but here the enemy is other humans, and because of this there is a certain harshness to the tone of the series which is actually rather refreshing. The franchise has always had a slightly sugary aspect to it’s stories, so it’s nice to finally see a Macross tale that has some teeth, and that allows the characters to behave more like humans instead of an ideal. That’s not to say that characters from other Macross series are bad, simply that they have a bit more realism to their personas and actions in Zero.
The OVA is extremely well scripted and paced, and although the story has an element of predictably to it (it’s Macross after all, so some things will automatically be included ), there is a distinctly fresh feel to it because of the premise and plot. There are also a number of surprising elements that actually explain several aspects about the entire Macross universe, especially Frontier.
In all fairness, Zero could actually be considered as not simply a prequel, but also a re-envisioning of the entire Macross franchise. Granted there are the staple plot elements of variable fighters, music and love triangles in the OVA, however these actually play second fiddle to what is a truly gripping story.
As with any Macross series there is a certain standard to the quality of the art and animation, and Zero is no slouch in this department. The OVA is possibly the best looking of any Macross anime, and contains some truly remarkable designs and visual concepts. The colours are vibrant and bold, and Zero features some of the most fluid animation seen in the franchise. At times the animation is good enough to put even the mighty Frontier to shame, and nowhere is this highlighted more than in mech combat.
The character designs are one area where Zero truly deviates from other Macross series, with almost every character possessing a certain realism which even extends to items of clothing and jewellery. Blue hair may be a norm in anime, but the lack of it can change the whole feel of a show, sometimes for the better.
One thing that Macross is famous for is music, in particular, songs and singing. Zero is no exception to this, and while the general music is familiarly orchestral (and more than a little martial), the all important singing is very different to what Macross fans will be used to. The songs in Zero have a distinctly tribal tone that is brought about because of the importance of the native islanders to the entire Macross universe. The OVA, unlike other Macross series, actually downplays the popular music element that is prevalent within the franchise. Because of this, the singing has a far more peaceful and natural feel to it, something that also plays a part in Macross Frontier.
One thing I did like about Zero in particular was the quality and timing of it’s sound effects. Although there are times when almost everything else is drowned out by explosions, the effects are generally very sharp and clean.
Voice actingis another big plus for the OVA, especially with regards to the lead roles. Suzumura Kenichi performs extremely well as the troubled Kudou Shin, whilst Kobayashi Sanae is truly excellent as the proud Sara Nome. The rest of the cast are equally good, and are able to give their respective characters a greater sense of purpose than I’ve seen in any other Macross series.
As for the characters themselves, there is really very little to complain about. The lead characters are all individuals to a tee, each with their own problems, goals and ideals. Possibly the most interesting aspect is the internal conflicts that Sara, Mao and Kudou struggle with which, at various points in the OVA, promote some surprising developments in their relationships with each other.
Because the story is set during a period of conflict there is a certain amount of predetermination with regards to their development, which is actually the main weakness of the series. The viewer can almost predict how a given character will react in certain situations. This is, however, an unfortunate necessity because of the length of the OVA. At only five episodes there simply isn’t enough time to offer the majority of characters any substantial development. so any that does occur is normally on the formulaic side.
Macross Zero is a surprisingly unique addition to the franchise, and one that will invariably cause some arguments among the more hardcore fanbase. For the average anime viewer though, it is an entertaining and sometimes thought provoking series that isn’t afraid to try a new approach. The setting and time period, together with the more realistic tone of the story, also mean that it is more accessable to those who want to give the franchise a try.
Arguments notwithstanding, fans of the Macross franchise should be pleased with this addition, especially with regards to the recent Macross Frontier. Of all the Macross series’ that have been released thus far, Frontier and Zero have the closest ties, not simply because of the infamous movie in Frontier, but also because it is suggested that Sheryl Nome is actually the granddaughter of Mao Nome, who we see as a young girl in Zero. There’s also the “Birdman” link between the two series, and in all honesty fans of Macross Frontier should definitely watch Zero as it is not only a prequel to SDF Macross, but also the true beginning of Macross Frontier.
The Macross saga has it’s detractors, and rightly so as there have been times when the franchise has simply not delivered.
Thankfully, Macross Zero isn’t one of those occasions.
The plot of Zero is noticeably more grounded than its predecessors. Instead of narrating conflict between humans and extraterrestrials, Zero’s plot revolves around the war between the UN and Anti-UN forces, as well as the inhabitants of Mayan Island’s struggle with the introduction of the outside world, which they have mostly avoided until now. As a result, the story becomes much less detached from reality as other Macross series’, and viewers are able to relate to themes such as globalization and the environment. Zero is able to provoke a number of thoughts on these themes without being preachy or detracting from the overall entertainment value. The romance element is amazingly well-developed for a short series such as this. It is convincing and touching without a heavy stench of melodrama.
Of course, the success in the romance department would not be possible without great characters. Zero’s cast of main characters, like the romance, is also well developed. From Sara’s inner struggle with the encroachment from the outside world, to Shin’s exploration of the ways of the Mayan Islands, to the sheer Charisma of Roy Focker, the characters go beyond being merely caricatures, but rather breath life to the story as interesting and likable human beings, which makes the conflict and romance all the more engaging and satisfying. However one minor gripe on the subject of characters would be the lack of development for the antagonists. Though lightly alluded, the stories behind them are never revealed, therefore the antagonists of Zero exist solely to get in the way of the heroes. But for a five-episode series, this flaw is easily forgivable, given with the limited screen time.
The art and animation of Macross Zero are undoubtedly its strongest points. The character designs are clean, the background art is as detailed as it is beautiful, and the CG animations of the variable fighters are nothing short of breathtaking. Without feeling too out of place in a 2D anime, the 3D jets are superbly rendered. Trails of air adorn the fighters as they pull off amazingly choreographed dogfights. Missiles dance across the screen gorgeously in true Macross fashion, and the superb use of camera further heightens the exhilaration of the aerial combat. The attention to technical detail must also be noted in the movements of the thrusters, rudders, and the transformation sequence of the variable fighters. The sounds of Macross Zero compliments its visuals well with booming explosions during the fights and lovely singing during… well, the songs. However, in the department of background music, though certainly not bad, Zero did not offer any particularly memorable pieces for me.
Overall, Macross Zero is an incredible entertainment package that combines a great story, superb art, and mouth-watering mecha action no fan of the genre can resist. If you enjoy the Macross franchise or mehca series’ in general, Macross Zero is without a question a must-watch. Even if you aren’t, Macross Zero is still an amazing experience, and at only five episodes, it’s a great investment for your time.
The story of Macross Zero isn’t hard to digest: A war is on-going between two halves of humanity. On one side is a pilot called Shin, a rookie who learned about war the hard way as a child and got involved in order to stop the fighting. During a battle he ends up getting his plane badly damaged, forcing him into an emergency eject. When he wakes up later, he finds himself wrapped in bandages and inside a strange hut with bird images around him. He soon discovers that the island he’s found himself on is inhabited by primitive people, and the leader of these people, Sara, wants him to leave as soon as possible in order to avoid him bringing a curse on her people. However, with the war taking place near the island due to an ancient life-form having been discovered underwater close to it, things soon take a turn for the worse…
For some reason, I like stories that involve a primitive race of people having to come to terms with the realities of the modern world, or the reverse. Macross Zero showed a primitive group being forced to experience the pain and suffering of war AND had the main character, to a certain extent at least, become one with nature. I haven’t seen this type of story in anime before and that semi-original vibe allowed me to get even more out of the experience. Putting originality aside for a second, it’s a good thing when mecha series are grounded in reality by a plot element because it prevents the story being too far-fetched and allows people to connect to the story and characters on a real world level.
Another impressive aspect of the show is its multiple love stories. Macross is well known for its blend of romance, singing and sci-fi, and Zero didn’t let me down. The romance never came across as fake or forced, which surprised me a little given the short length of the story. The relationship between uptight Shin and primitive Sara was very touching, and it had a very funny beginning since Shin unknowingly threatened Sara with what the Mayan people think of as being equivalent to love letters. The other major relationship, between Aries and Roy Focker, wasn’t quite so moving due to them having been together (and later splitting apart) prior to the start of Macross Zero, with the events of the story pulling them back together, but it had its moments and, like with the other relationship, their relationship created a fairly amusing scene or two.
As for the visuals, Zero looks fantastic. The art/animation is up to the standard I expected an OVA series of a huge franchise to be at, but the CG aerial battles blew me away. They were a little difficult to follow at times due to the frenzied pace aerial battles move at, but I never lost track of who was shooting at who. And, unlike with lower quality anime that features CG, the CG blended excellently with the animation.
The music was less impressive than the other aspects. There were a few decent songs here and there but, overall, nothing stood out as truly special. Off the top of my head, I can’t even remember any of the BGM music right now, which is an indication of how much of the soundtrack caught my ears. I don’t feel the soundtrack was bad (I’d be being far more critical if that were the case), I just felt it lacked something in comparison to everything else.
All in all, I loved the series. I enjoyed it so much that it got a rare 10/10 from me and has gone straight into my top five (edit: many months later, I changed my scoring system, and Zero got a 9/10 on my list.) For someone as critical as me to rate something 10/10, it has to be brilliant, and Macross Zero had every element an anime needs to be as close to perfection as humanly possible. It’s hard for me to imagine a better blend of reality, mecha and a sci-fi ‘God’ story. If this series never gets released outside of Japan it’ll be a crime – every (and I mean every!) anime fan should see it.
31: Nanatsu no Taizai OVA
MAL Score: 7.54
OVA bundled with the 15th and 16th volume of the manga.
15th volume DVD will feature the sin of greed as the central character.
16th volume DVD will feature side stories of the main characters in omnibus format.
(Source: MAL News)
Those folks are WRONG.
WATCH these 2 OVA episodes no matter if you have or haven’t read the manga. I have not read the manga; I only watched the anime. And I loved these side stories! They did a great job filling in any questions you may have had after just watching season 1.
Man, I really hope that the announced new release for next year is a season 2, and not a remake.
It’s nothing spectacular, especially if you’ve already seen the main series, but it is entertaining in its own right. It’s something that fans of the series should check out.
30: Drifters (OVA)
MAL Score: 7.55
Despite the Ends’ attack on Verlina being successfully repelled, the war has not yet ended. With the monster armies regrouping, the Black King tightens his grasp on the already conquered territory. New conflicts erupt all across Orte, as its remaining forces struggle to retain control over long-oppressed demi-human races.
While Ends grow more potent each day, Toyohisa Shimazu remains unconscious after heavy injuries suffered during the Battle of Verlina. Facing enemies on every side, humanity’s fate is still on a knife’s edge.
Did you like the series Drifters?
Would you like to watch some more Drifters?
If you answered yes, then you probably should watch this OVA/Specials/Extra Episodes/whatever. It’s largely more of the same, continuing the story and revealing more things about certain characters, particularly the main villain. The story still doesn’t reach a conclusion and just kind of abruptly ends. But if you just want more Drifters, here it is.
And if you didn’t like Drifters…
Then don’t watch this. You probably won’t enjoy this either. Or give it a try anyway, you crazy lunatics.
Also, another great factor was that we were able to see Toyohisa for only a little bit.
29: Mahou Sensei Negima!: Mou Hitotsu no Sekai
Japanese: 魔法先生ネギま! ~もうひとつの世界~
MAL Score: 7.60
This is a series of OVAs covering some of the Magic World manga arc by Ken Akamatsu, starting with chapters 184 through 188.
This is the second series of OVAs that faithfully adapts the Mahou Sensei Negima manga, and picks up exactly where Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba (STAA) left. These OVAs (and it predecessor) are targeted only to the public who read the manga (it’s not enough just watching any of the first anime series), so If you didn’t, you will not understand what’s happening here.
Story: Ala Alba (plus Anya) arrives to Wales, and, after visiting Negi’s sister (cousin actually), they head straight to the door that leads to the magical world, where the plan is to get as much info as possible about Nagi Sprienfield.
Unfortunately, once in Mundus Magicus, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong: not only five students outside the group ended in the magic world, but, in that exact moment, the magical gate receives a terrorist attack led by Fate Averruncus (one of the villains of the Kyoto saga) and his evil minions. The result: Negi and company end up being sent to different parts of Mundus Magicus. This is when Negi’s priority changes from getting info to find where the hell his students are, and return them to Japan safe. Although the task doesn’t look easy, Ala Alba’s badges have trackers that Chachamaru (the only member that ended in the same place as Negi) is able to locate, so there is hope. Besides searching and searching, Negi will enroll in a fighting tournament (with the winning prize he can release a few of his students), while trying to control Magia Erebea, a dark art able to increase power in a very significant way.
The same way STAA meant Kotaro Inugami’s debut, these OVAs bring us, once and for all, the almighty Jack Rakan. Despite not having much screen time, he manages to demonstrate his insanely powers and amazing craziness. Just for this, it worth the watch.
Animation: Top notch, like the first part. With lot of detail and fluidity, this time we actually got various battles where the animation shines. And it couldn’t be otherwise, people like Fate, Tsukiyomi, Kagetaro, Rakan and Evangeline demand great graphics ;).
And just as there’s more action (which means, more magic, explosions, special effects -or CG, like the characters would say- and blood), there is more fan service than in the first part. It bordering hentai a few times… but classy, though.
Sound: The seiyuus of the first set of OVAs (and the first and second anime), are here, doing an excellent job again. Among the new voices, Rakan’s voice, Rikiya Koyama (Yamato in Naruto Shippuden, the second voice of Kogoro Mouri in Detective Conan) stands. As for the music, Love Drive is a song in the same line of Happy Material, that means is catchy and upbeat, with a very soft and pleasant entonation (by 3-A girls). The ending, Get Chance! is interpreted by Negi, Kotaro, Chisame, Eva, Chamo and Rakan voices, and also sounds good.
Verdict: Like STAA, these OVAs are the best Negima things animated. This time, it animates a bigger number of events, and finally, finally, we have predominant action. Fights vs. Cosmo Entelecheia, Kagetaro and Eva were exactly what we needed, so once and for all Negima could be seen as a shonen with harem elements, and not the other way (at least in the anime territory, the manga proved this a long time ago). The bad point is that the jumps between chapters can be very large. Example: at the end of an episode, we had Negi and Kotaro training. At the beginning of the next episode, they already won 15 fights in the tournament, and were asking for Yuna and Makie to search for them! Just like that. This occurs several times (with boards that try to explain what happened), and it’s annoying, because it omits some interesting parts. But hey, you are supposed to know what’s happening in these OVA, so is not that big of a deal. And don’t let the opening fool you: half of the images you’ll see won’t be adapted (which is heartbreaking… if you pay attention you’ll know why).
In short, this is not recommended for fans of the Negima manga, this is mandatory. Hell, if you know someone who read the manga and didn’t watch this OVAs, laugh and mock him (or show them that these chapters exist. I leave it to your discretion).
… And if for some reason you read this review without having read the manga, I strongly recommend you to read it. It’s one of the best mangas going around right now.
Esta es la segunda tanda de OVAs que adapta fielmente el manga Mahou Sensei Negima y retoma exactamente donde dejo Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba (STAA). Estas OVAs (al igual que las anteriores) están apuntadas solo al público que leyó el manga, así que asumo que las personas leyendo esto lo hicieron.
Historia: Ala Alba (mas Anya) arriba a Gales y, después de visitar a la hermana (prima, en realidad) de Negi, se dirigen directamente a la puerta que los conducirá al mundo mágico, donde la idea es conseguir información sobre Nagi Springfield. Desafortunadamente, una vez en Mundus Magicus, todo lo que podría haber salido mal, salió mal: no solo cinco alumnas ajenas al grupo terminaron entrando, si no que, justo en ese preciso momento, el portal recibe un ataque terrorista por parte de Fate Averruncus (uno de los malos de la saga de Kyoto) y sus secuaces. El resultado de esto: Negi y compañía terminan siendo enviados a distintos puntos de Mundus Magicus. Es entonces cuando las prioridades de Negi cambian de lleno a reunir nuevamente a sus alumnas, y devolverlas sanas a Japón. A pesar de que la tarea no pinta fácil, las insignias de Ala Alba poseen rastreadores que Chachamaru (la única que termino en el mismo lugar que Negi) es capaz de localizar, por lo que no todo está perdido. Además de buscar y buscar, Negi terminara inscribiéndose en un torneo de combate (con el premio podría comprar la libertad de varias de sus alumnas), al tiempo que intentara controlar la Magia Erebea, un arte oscuro capaz de aumentar su capacidad de forma considerable.
De la misma forma que STAA significo el debut de Kotaro Inugami, estas OVAs nos traen, de una vez y por todas, a Jack Rakan. A pesar de no tener mucho tiempo, se las ingenia para demostrar su poder demencial y su locura inherente. Solo por el vale la pena ver esto.
Animación: de primer nivel, igual que en la primera parte. Con mucho detalle y gran fluidez, en esta ocasión si hay varias batallas donde la animación brilla. Y no podía ser de otra forma, porque personajes como Kagetaro, Fate, Tsukiyomi, Rakan y Evangeline exigen los gráficos al máximo ;).
Y de la misma forma que hay mas acción (lo que significa más magia, explosiones, efectos especiales y sangre), hay mas fan service, bordeando por momentos el hentai… pero con clase, eso sí.
Sonido: Las seiyuus de la primera tanda de OVAs (y de los primeros animes) están presentes, haciendo un excelente trabajo nuevamente. Entre las voces nuevas, se destaca Rikiya Koyama (Yamato en Naruto Shippuden, la segunda voz de Kogoro Mouri en Detective Conan), la voz de Rakan. En cuanto a la música, Love Drive es una canción en la misma línea de Happy Material, o sea, movida y pegajosa, con una entonación muy suave y agradable. Y el ending, Get a Chance!, lo interpretan las voces de Negi, Kotaro, Chisame, Eva, Chamo y Rakan, y también suena bien.
Veredicto: Al igual que STAA, estas OVAs son lo mejor que hay animado de Negima. En esta ocasión, se anima una cantidad de sucesos todavía más grande que antes, y por fin, por fin, tenemos acción de forma predominante. Peleas como las de Cosmo Entelecheia, Kagetaro y Eva son lo que hacía falta, para que de una vez por todas Negima pueda consolidarse como un shonen con elementos de harem, y no al revés (al menos en el terreno animado, en el manga lo había demostrado desde hacía bastante). El punto negro es que los saltos que pega entre capitulo y capitulo pueden ser muy grande. Ejemplo: al final de un capitulo tenemos a Negi y a Kotaro entrenando, y al principio del otro ya habían ganado 15 peleas en el torneo, y le piden a Yuna y a Makie que los busquen!. Así, de golpe. Esto ocurre varias veces (con las pizarras que intentan explicar que fue lo que paso), y es molesto, porque omiten partes interesantes. Pero bueno, se supone que el que está viendo sabe que es lo que pasa, así que no es muy grave. Y que el opening no los engañe: la mitad de las imágenes que ven no van a ser adaptadas (lo que es una puñalada al corazón, si prestan atención sabrán porque).
En resumen: esto no es recomendable para los fans del manga de Negima, esto es obligatorio. Es más, si saben de alguien que valla al día con el manga y no vio estas OVAs, señálenlo y búrlense de el (o indíquenle que estos capítulos existen. Lo dejo a su criterio).
Y no olviden ver el especial de Yue, que es lo último adaptado a la animación.
… y si por alguna razón leyeron esta review sin haber leído el manga, recomiendo vehementemente que lo lean. Es de lo mejor que hay dando vueltas en estos momentos.
28: R.O.D: Read or Die
English: R.O.D – Read or Die
Japanese: R.O.D リード オア ダイ
MAL Score: 7.65
Yomiko Readman is a lovable, near-sighted bibliomaniac working as a substitute teacher at a Japanese high school. Her real identity, however, is that of a secret agent for the British Library Special Operations Division. Her codename: “The Paper.” The moniker denotes her supernatural ability to freely manipulate paper into any object she can imagine, including tools and weapons in her fight against the powerful and self-serving IJIN (Great Historical Figure) Army! Along with her partner, the enigmatic “Ms. Deep,” Yomiko travels across the world in attempt to solve the mystery behind the reincarnation of historical figures and their attempt to control the world.
The story itself is very farfetched and out of this world, but its a story that everyone should experience at leat once. Reality may be limited as paper can stop bullets or take down giant insects, but the cute and clumsy Yomiko and her friends will keep you watching with great intent. Being a three episode ova, there is little back story to all what is happening and it leaves the backstory up to its viewers imagination. Which is fine because all that leaves room for is high quality action only an anime can portray.
When I mean high quality action I mean high framerate action sequences coupled with great coreagraphy and amazing attention to detail. Things like paper sticking to a hand or scouring an old bookstore littered with books and dust really show how much hatd work and effort it took the artists to make such amazing detail come to life. Nothing impresses me more than attention to detail esepecially in rooms/buildings. On top of the OVA quality artwork, this show just oozes cool from the James Bond-esque themesong and sexy girl credits to the crazy steampunk gadgets and flashy magic spells, its a pure sensory overload for me.
Speaking of sensory overload, the female supporting cast were quite an eyeful. All of them were either beautiful or cute, very easy on the eyes. And for the girls, the guys are all quite burly military men in stature and can give up quite a good fight. The enemies, on the other hand, are pretty outrageous incarnations of storytime characters (Genjo anyone?) Crazy badguys do lend themselves quite easy to some fun and crazy battles. Not much can be salvaged in terms of backstory information for most of the characters, but the chemistry between all the support characters and Yomiko are quite believeable in an anime sort of way.
Not much can be said in terms of negative aspects other than sloppy animations and some silly situations, but the overall experience is just too fun if you’re really into the fantasy action genre. Don’t get me wrong, its not the greatest OVA of all time but it is well worth your time (read: Good). If you’re a sucker for a glasses-moe like I am (think Yuki Nagato or Miyuki Takara), you’ll love this show. And if you love this show, I’m sure you’ll love the R.O.D. TV series.
I cannot recommend this show highly enough. It is well-worth your hour and a half.
I found it amusing how much the US president looks like Dubbya, and how much of an absolute trigger-happy pussy he is. He wets his pants at least three times when things get tough, and at one point he flips out and instead of proceeding calmly through a tight spot, tries to pound the ‘nuke them all’ button. Political commentary much? You must recall this vintage 2001, a very familiar year in his political history.
Nerdy Yomiko Readman is obsessed with books. As “Agent Paper,” she works for a secret branch of the British Library, where her power to telekinetically control paper helps her on missions to retrieve rare manuscripts and protect the world from evil. But all Yomiko really wants to do is read her new book. Unfortunately it has been stolen by the I-gin, clones of historical figures who believe Yomiko’s book holds the key to unlocking Beethoven’s lost “Death Symphony.” Anyone who hears the tune is compelled to commit suicide, and the I-gin intends to broadcast it all over the world. Only Yomiko, along with fellow super agents Drake and Miss Deep, has a chance at stopping them.
OK, I’m just going to say this……I had fun with this anime and as much as the plot doesn’t go that deep, but then again, it is a three episode OVA clocking in at 96 minutes. The plot may seem silly and nonsensical to most people, but it isn’t too distant from reality, it’s not like “GAINAX!! OMG!! CRAZY SHIT!!” type of nonsensical; it’s much like a good action film, whose purpose is to entertain us with how unreal it is without being bored and easily distracting itself from its plot. I will say that using paper as weapons more powerful than they appear are a plus in my book, because after seeing that, I imagine somebody challenging someone to a gunfight and someone made a drawing of a gun and then it came in paper form and it did the job of a regular one, but more deadlier.
Characters in here are a delight to watch as I really love the main character of Yukiko Readman or “The Paper”, as she is called here to be equally adorable as a nerdy bookworm character and capable of her being in a fight, especially that part, and considering not many of those exist in much anime….at least the ones I watch. There’s also Nancy Mukahari (or Miss Deep, which does sound a porno name…..and yes, even in the OVA, they reference that.), the token bad-ass female character with a shady past and Drake Anderson, the lone male member of the team. The dynamic budding relationship between Yomiko and Nancy is actually the only thing I see in character development and progression. Some of the other characters like Joker (not the one you’re thinking), Drake, and the other super villains don’t really stay in our heads and some are just unimaginative characters like Joker is stereotypically posh and English and Drake is the no-nonsense American soldier. They are fine characters just nobody I would give a shit about.
Studio DEEN’s print is on the animation here and knowing their reputation of shows, the animation is solid for most parts here, as I often see a few hiccups even during the paper manipulating scenes. I wouldn’t count it as vintage, maybe even for it being 11-12 years old since its release in 2001 or ’02. I did like the opening theme and sequence of the show, as I’ve said; it brought out this James Bond / superspy tone that fits perfectly into the OVA.
The dub by Manga Entertainment is a fine dub with some good performances with Kimberly Yates, a relatively unknown voice actress, did capture the kindness and bookworm’s attitude of Yukiko. Amanda Winn-Lee, who also directed the dub, was good as Nancy, delivering in the deadpan humor within the character and of course, Crispin Freeman playing the not-so-subtle Joker and you can tell he was hamming it up and having fun in his role.
FINAL VERDICT: You can check it this OVA. It may not go deep within the plot that much but as you watch it, you start to not care that much, that is if you’re enjoying it but if you didn’t, then I shouldn’t recommend it to you. For those you have liked it, the series is available to get, although you might have to pay some high prices and something else to go with it…….but we’ll get to that later.’
27: 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.
26: Drifters: Special Edition
Japanese: DRIFTERS Special edition
MAL Score: 7.68
Bundled with the fifth manga volume.
25: Change!! Getter Robo: Sekai Saigo no Hi
English: Getter Robo: Armageddon
Japanese: 真(チェンジ!!)ゲッターロボ 世界最後の日
MAL Score: 7.70
Dr. Saotome returns from the dead after being seemingly murdered by Getter pilot Nagare Ryoma and threatens the world with his ultimate creation: the Shin Dragon. Ryoma reluctantly teams up with his former co-pilots Jin Hayato and Tomoe Mushashi to combat Dr. Saotome. The pilots must also deal with the mysterious Invaders, aliens that have the ability to possess humans and warp their flesh to form hideous creatures.
(Source: Nihon Review)
Getter Robo Armageddon is a show about giant robots thrashing the shit out of everything with glorious high quality animation. It could also totally kick Jupiter’s ass.
Getter Robo Armageddon – You have to be insane to enjoy this show.
I’m not going to lie to you, the story is awful. It consists of all the typical BS you expect to find in anime and then some. There is incoherent babbling about evolution, a massive explosion that wipes out a good chunk of humanity, the “good guys” saving the Earth from the forces of evil despite the fact that almost all the Getter pilots are chaotic and insane (which according to the manga is practically a requirement to pilot Getter), some tidbits of SCIENCE which nobody actually cares about, and of course the solution to all of life’s problems, which is to have a giant robot and be more awesome. Fortunately the story being so awful is what helps to make it entertaining. How am I supposed to enjoy characters being able to pull guns out of thin air, giant robots duking it out with other giant robots, aliens, or Jupiter, YELLING WHICH IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE FORM OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MEN BESIDES THEIR FISTS, and explosions when there has to be a good reason for them? Exactly.
There are four types of characters in this show. The first is ordinary people. They are rare and should be kept away from the action unless you want to have to deal with zombies. The second is awesome people. These are most of the people involved in combat, which means most of the cast. The third is evil people. These are people who are easy to distinguish because of their ridiculous laugh and the fact that they won’t freakin’ die when they’re killed. The fourth and final type is Ryoma. When you see Ryoma you know that someone is about to enter a world of pain. In summary, if you’re looking for a show where you can’t describe basically everyone with the word “badass” and the character development consists of more than a character going from “awesome” to “more awesome” this is not the show you’re looking for.
The art in this show is very gritty and ’80s anime-ish, except pulled off a lot better than most ’80s anime. For the most part it does a great job of staying true to the look of the various installments of the Getter Robo manga done by Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa, meaning that the robot and character designs range from goofy and childish to tough looking and cool and that there are huge grins and crazy eyes galore. The animation is also surprisingly good. The range of motion is lacking compared to the best of stuff today, but there still tends to be a good amount of motion without the art quality being sacrificed in the progress. Thus it goes without saying that the high quality of the art and animation combined with the crazy mecha action elements makes for one of the best looking mecha shows available, despite the series being over a decade old now.
The soundtrack leaves me with few complaints. Both the opening themes are likable and hot-blooded and the typically rock/metal oriented tracks within the show fit the action well. I wouldn’t actually listen to the soundtrack on its own, but the same goes for 99% of soundtracks out there. The voice acting is mostly very good, with everyone clearly knowing that if you aren’t going way over the top in a super robot show you aren’t doing it right. Dr. Saotome sounds a little too comically evil for my tastes, but then again the show basically turned him into Dr. Hell so I can’t really fault his voice actor for that. Other than that I can’t think of any problems I had with the voice cast considering everyone fit their roles well as opposed to sounding like they were picked due to their popularity like a lot of stuff nowadays.
According to the credits there were three different directors for this show over the course of the 13 episodes, but the main one was Yasuhiro Geshi who did the 2nd episode and episodes 6-13. Since doing this show he has directed a couple of episodes of GitS:SAC, New Getter Robo episode 8 (one of the best episodes in that great series), and Gurren Lagann episode 20 (Yoko/Yamako-sensei episode). While I wouldn’t say his directing in this series was great necessarily, I can say that the guy knows how to direct some exciting action sequences. It certainly didn’t hurt that he had a bunch of great animators to work with, but there clearly is a love for the material here that gives the show the type of soul and value that would’ve been lost had the directors not cared and simply phoned it in.
Of course then the question is raised, did he really direct the 2nd episode and did one of the other credited directors do episodes 1 and 3? This doesn’t seem to be the case, or if they did they were solely the episode directors, as initially super robot enthusiast Yasuhiro Imagawa was the main director of the project. Due to some sort of undisclosed disagreement he was taken off the project after episode 3 however, which infuriates some of his fans. While I can agree that Imagawa probably would’ve helped the story make a lick of sense, I don’t think the show would have been any better/worse had he stuck around as the insane action and high quality animation are really the driving force behind the quality of the series.
It really does take a special kind of crazy to be a fan of Getter Robo Armageddon. There is even a screenshot from the series floating around of Ryoma pondering, “What the hell is going on? It doesn’t make sense at all!” If you can manage to fit into that mold of insanity even a little however, there is a ton to enjoy here as GRA is one of the most nonsensical, brimming with action, mind blowingly awesome anime series out there. Don’t think, feel.
Everything about this, it’s the climax of getter robo, it’s gritty, hot blooded and so inspiring it spawned TTGL. Everything from HEATS to the end credits, to the very last scene is absolute, 100% what anime SHOULD be like. It makes it really hard to justify this not being one of, if not my favorite anime of all time
The story itself can be a little confusing, but after watching and reading other parts of getter robo, things should fall into place for exactly what we have here. Every line of dialogue is memorable, and the characters are spot on. I cannot recommend Getter Robo enough, but don’t start with this one seeing as it’s the last part of the story.
24: Noragami OVA
Japanese: ノラガミ OAD
MAL Score: 7.74
Hiyori Iki is excited to start high school alongside her two middle school friends, but “Delivery God” Yato seems to have other plans for the day. Will Hiyori be able to make a good impression on her first day? Or will Yato cost her a happy high school life?
On another day, Hiyori decides to take advantage of the beautiful weather and invites a number of people to gaze at the cherry blossoms, including the fearsome combat god, Bishamon. But how long will their blissful day last when Yato and his old rival Bishamon start to drink together?
Additionally you won’t be able to understand the deep meaning behind these scenes under the cherry tree.
As many over OVAs, this one, too, is aimed at the manga readers and not the anime audience.
It is a very precise adaption from the manga. This goes for both OVAs. They both take place between two arcs in the manga, thus there is no thick plot but instead they show hilarious scenes from the everyday lifes of the characters which sometimes have a deeper meaning if put into the correct context.
The art is as good in the OVAs as it is in the anime series.
No complaints here.
Opening and Ending are great, the voices fit the characters. The OST is used throughout the OVAs in a fitting way.
Well, I absolutely adore most of Noragami’s characters. They are very unique – which is shown best by Yato in these two twenty minute OVAs. Every action is just such a typical thing for him to do.
I’ve loved it in the manga and I still love these scenes in the OVAs. The Second OVA was hilarious but sad at the same time, considering the previous events.
It’s nearly perfect, but – as expected of an OVA – it does not have any real plot.
So, enjoy watching the Noragami OVAs, guys~
– Story (7.5/10):
Pretty decent side stories for fun, no particular big plot surprise or anything aside from containing spoilers of the first 6 episodes of Noragami Aragato.
The first OVA resolves around Yato taking over Hyori’s body while he goes into a carefree spree around her school doing all sort of stuff in her name, with the rest of the folks trying to stop him.
The second OVA contains some major spoilers, but let’s say the crew in its entirety goes on in a picnic, and have some actual fun until Yato pulls off a surprising highly-wished-for stunt.
– Art (8.0/10):
The same slick and smooth art style and animation from the first season, really, nothing too spectacular and beyond decent I’d say.
– Sound (8.0/10):
I’m more happy to hear the first season’s opening and ending theme songs, these OVA focused on a more comedic light hearted stuff, so there was no inclusion of the fantastic dark soundtrack, but the comedy makes up for that.
– Character (8.5/10):
I love the cast of these OVA, all lovable characters. and Hyori isn’t as annoying as people see here so often. Everybody was easy going and invested in the comedy, good days to remember.
– Enjoyment (9.0/10):
Ahh, the time went by like a fly, and that only happens when you’re having fun. I really liked these side stories and hopefully, I get to see more of these soon because nothing can make up for the sad fact of you ending a spectacular show like this than having to see some extras.
– Overall (8.2/10):
I could actually highly recommend watching these, not like most OVAs who provide dead content, these ones had a lot to offer, and I’m specifically talking about a certain moment on the second OVA, god bless.
The first episode just fucks up the series royally and after having watched the series it is hard to see that as canon.
The second episode is a bit better but in the end still feels off-canon and weird. Also, it includes spoilers since it skips quite a few volumes.
If you like Noragami, do yourself a favour and don’t watch this till you’ve watched everything else.
Since this review was supposedly still not long enough, I’ll have to write some more.
I really don’t understand for who the second episode of the OVA was meant for since it was in the middle of some situation which the viewer who came straight from the series wouldn’t know.
23: Saint Seiya: Meiou Hades Meikai-hen
English: Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter – Inferno
Japanese: 聖闘士星矢 冥王ハーデス冥界編
MAL Score: 7.75
Seiya and the rest of the Bronze and Gold Saints who have survived the Sanctuary battle have entered the world of the Dead. They are fighting to get to Hades and defeat him.
It of course picks up exactly where the Sanctuary oavs leave off. This time as opposed to the Gold Saints being the central focus, the main featured characters in this series are Seiya and Shun as well as one certain Gold Saint I can’t mention due to spoiler reasons in relation to the original TV series, though Hyoga and Shiryu aren’t exaclty useless, they are still busy fighting their battles respective battles. And Ikki is still rarely present, but whatever presence he has will be overly significant to what happens in this story. The newer main villains that were introduced in the last oav such as Rhadmantys, are now part of the battlefield as well as a handful of other new characters. And who are some of these new characters? I feel that you have to see it to find out who some of them are, but I can tell you that some of these characters are bad ass.
What also makes this story very great is that it expands the darker tone and atmosphere and still uses intriguing plot twists as it did in the Sanctuary Arc, but I thought what this installment offers I never saw coming many cosmos away. And the ending I thought was a very fitting and suited the themes of bravery, sacrafice, friendship, and brotherhood very well in the tradition of Saint Seiya.
Art and Animation
Well, the qualities that made the animation and coloring in the first oav is still present here. The lighting is still appropriate and I can’t say much. The only negative thing I can say about the animation are the dead bodies serving as slaves to Hades. They look super cheap as hell, but in the end, they really don’t matter.
The new characters featured are really breathtaking to watch. Granted the diversity of the design for some of the main villains is getting weak, they all have their own unique traits and techniques. The features of the armors are appropriate with the underworld-hell theme. And of course there will be some interesting gimmick characters, though these charcters were kind of done before, they were featured in fillers of the original series, but this time, the characters with this kind of gimmick are a Kurumada-sensei original and he adds his own unique detail and feature to it.
The quality of the action is still pretty awesome and the moves that will be demonstrated by the newer characters are very cool and the namings sound kind of weird, but this is one of those instances where such bizarre Engrish phrases can be sweet.
Music and Voice Acting
The most controversial thing about this anime is the changing of the seiyuus from the Bronze Saints and Athena. Apparently, Kurumada-sensei wanted to change everyone except Furuya Tooru because he thought they were too old for their roles, but the only exception is Suzuoki Hirotaka who passed away between the releases of the Sanctuary and Inferno oavs. I heard he especially wanted to change Shun’s original voice actor Horikawa Ryo. Furuya Tooru wanted everyone to stay aboard, and he decided to quit. The fans were very angry about this and tried to petition to Kurumada-sensei to not go with this change, and it got severe to the point where Kurumada-sensei got his legal team to speak on behalf of him to accept the changes.
As for the “too old excuse,” I think it’s flatout bullshit. Furuya Tooru still plays 15 year old Amuro in the new Gundam games and so on. Horikawa Ryo I thought still did an excellent job in playing Shun in the Sanctuary Chapter. I always loved the tone and the articulation he brought to the character. And I can’t speak much for Shiryu’s and Hyoga’s new seiyuus since they weren’t featured enough or gave a certain kind of performance in which I felt they could capture what I think is the essence of their characters. So who was replaced you might ask? Seiya is now played by Morita Masakazu, who might know as the voice of Kurosawa Ichigo from Bleach. But he was casted as Seiya because Kurumada-sensei had him casted as Takane Ryuuji, the main character in the anime adaptation of his first manga, Ring ni kakero. I can agree that Morita does sound appropriately youthful and brings a distinctive kind of energy to the role of Seiya in which it does suit his character, but I think he really lacks this dignified-heroic quality in his voice that Furuya Tooru has and I don’t think he comes across as leaderlike.
But the new voice actor who really won me over was Shun’s, Kazuya Yuuta. The performance that had me convinced was in the second episode about when he “testifies” to the judge about what sins he’s committed and how sin is natural in human nature for such and such reason. He really showed the emotion and compassion necessary that defines the Shun character and I was able to embrace him with that. The only problem I have with the voice is his pitch. It’s soft, but yet still high, while with the original performance by Horikawa, it had the low voice where you could tell that he was a man despite his very feminine appearence. Another performance I liked was Konishi Katsuyuki as Ikki. I thought he captured the character well in his own way by being the lone wolf who sticks out and being the “I do things my own way” kind of guy.
The new opening theme featured is Megami no Senshi by Marina Del Ray, who also sings Asu He No Toushi, the opening theme to Ring ni Kakero. The brief church organs that play is very dark and gets you hooked and then all of a sudden the guitars play and you see the saints running at the screen along with the title in the background and you got something that lives up to the original theme song, Pegasus Fantasy. In comaprison to that song, it’s still pretty sweet hard rock, but it has a certain kind of diversity with the intensity that it has with being gloomy, but yet there is still hope. The imagery, the panning, and the sound effects that go with the panning just add so much to it and I must say that the quality sometimes makes me argue with myself of which is the better theme song between the old and new one. So the opening theme itself is an instant winner.
The background music is actually still the same so I can’t say much about it that I haven’t already have said in my previous reviews.
This OAV will have you pumped up for the next oav and the true ending to the original manga of Saint Seiya. If you want plot twists, then you got what I think is one of the best plot twists in anime history
Whilst quickly going through many of the battles and several Celestial Star Spectres quickly being disposed of allows it to stand out and be less repetitive when it comes to combat with its side villains than the Poseidon Arc was, it also makes them a major disappointment when Terrestrial Star Spectres such as Myu proved a genuine threat to the Gold Saints. Instead of being a true step up in power, only the Judges, Pharaoh and Rhadamanthys’ underlings prove much of a genuine threat. The reveal of Shun’s secret was an interesting twist that explained how he survived his fatal battle with Aphrodite, but it came without foreshadowing from previous arcs and Ikki’s lack of knowledge on it was from as poor a plot device as amnesia. Beyond that, the plot was as typical of Saint Seiya Arcs.
It did have some interest in the setting with it being a mix of both the Greek Underworld and Hell as described in Dante’s Divine Comedy, which led to some nice creative liberties in locations and the theme of life being finite and thus precious was a decent way of making the idea of holding onto hope less generic than usual. However, the regular lives of the Spectres weren’t explored enough for the setting to be more than pretty backgrounds and the theme of hope and finite life weren’t explored too deep, just being a reiteration of Shaka’s words in the first act of this arc.
The characters at least make up for this somewhat. While most of the villains within the arc were bland loyal henchmen, Pharaoh at least had some goals beyond serving Hades that allowed him to at least be more engaging than most of the Marina from the previous arc. Hades also carried himself well in displaying the power of a God far better than Poseidon did in the previous arc where he was defeated twice by Gold Saints. As for the heroes, allowing Kanon and Orphe to have their moments to shine was a breath of fresh air after having two arcs of the Bronze Saints hogging all the glory and prevents it from becoming repetitive. Kanon VS Rhadamanthys also had some pretty good build up in the formation of a rivalry between them. Speaking of the Gold Saints such as Kanon, the ending of this 2nd act carries far more consequence and emotion than any of the previous arcs combined. That said, the character appeal is enough to even out the disappointing elements of the plot and make the writing for this arc average overall.
As for the more superficial elements, even these strong points for the series went a step below its predecessor. While the still pieces of art remain as good as prior, the animation became far more limited with many shots being reused constantly and character movement becoming far less fluid. Even the sound was a step down from before as while the soundtrack remains unchanged and as great as ever, the changes in several seiyuu such as all of the Bronze Saints was something that would be offputting for returning fans who had grown so accustomed to the iconic deliveries of Toru Furuya or Ryo Horikawa, especially when many of the seiyuu had yet to fully become accustomed to their roles.
That said, Inferno is a step down from Sanctuary, though still has it’s moments to warrant continuing the series to it’s climax.
I missed the second of the three installments under the “Hades” arc.
This time it was also entertaining, but I feel that its prequel is still a step higher than “Chapter – Inferno”, since although we have had good moments of drama as the final outcome with the sacrifice of the golden knights, and even history Orpheo. The battles themselves were not too memorable, I feel that the antagonists in this case the “ghosts” left much to be desired and did not give a great sense of danger or depth of characters, with the exception of Radamanthys who was one step above the others. judges of hell.
As for the staging, the art had good moments at the beginning, but already for the last chapters the quality declines enough to the point of having a certain deformity in the characters. On the contrary, the soundtrack continues to have the same charm as always and representative of this title, although its Opening left me to be desired for this occasion.
In short we are in the final stretch of history I hope the best for the closing of this series.
VERSION EN ESPAÑOL:
General: (7,55 / 10)
Se me fue la segunda de las tres entregas bajo el arco de “Hades”.
En esta ocasión también fue entretenida, pero siento que su precuela sigue estando un escalón mayor que “Chapter – Inferno”, ya que si bien hemos tenido buenos momentos de drama como el desenlace final con el sacrificio de los caballeros dorados, e inclusive la historia de Orpheo. Las batallas en si no fueron demasiado memorables, siento que los antagonistas en este caso los “espectros” dejaron bastante que desear y no dieron gran sensación de peligro o profundidad de personajes, exceptuando un poco a Radamanthys que estuvo un escalón por encima de los demás jueces del infierno.
En cuanto a puesta en escena, el arte tuvo unos buenos momentos al comienzo, pero ya para los últimos capítulos decae bastante la calidad al punto de tener cierta deformidad en los personajes. Por el contrario la banda sonora sigue teniendo el mismo encanto de siempre y representativo de este titulo, aunque su Opening me dejo que desear para esta ocasión.
En fin estamos en la recta final de la historia espero lo mejor para el cierre de esta serie.
22: Master Keaton OVA
MAL Score: 7.75
Taichi Keaton is a man of many talents: father, historian, frequent traveler, negotiator, archaeologist, former survival instructor, and all while working as an insurance investigator for Lloyd’s of London. While his methods may seem a bit unorthodox, he gets the job done when needed, but not without a little something to learn or teach in the process. Through all of his adventures, some people call him a quack. Those who know him well call him a master of life…
Master Keaton, the now almost 18 year old predecessor to Urasawa’s Anime classic “Monster”, is a massively overlooked show.
Just like the original season, this OVA shares a lot of the creative staff with its younger brother, Naoki Urasawa having illustrated the original Master Keaton Manga and even supposedly written a large proportion of it
(which is hard to say for certain, given co-writer Hokusei Katsushika sadly passed away in 2004).
The premise of this show is a simple one, telling short adventure stories from all around the world of the 1990s, usually in some connection to historical and/or criminal themes. I will not say much more than that.
The setting is very western and in that way, I might add, very well researched.
It is a bit different from the usual anime, but if you know “Monster” you will realise what you are getting yourself into.
Due to the episodic nature of the show a lot of the focus is on the characters.
Most of the One-shot characters are given just enough depth to provide the chapter with a satisfying conclusion, but naturally the spotlight would be on the main cast:
Anyone who has seen the first season will be very familiar with the main character Taichi, our japanese, part McGuyver, part Indiana Jones, part Sherlock Holmes, ex-SAS, professor of Archeology, globetrotting investigator and master of life, in short “Master Keaton”.
He is in fact so amazing, that there never is any time in the story for suspense to build up, because we all know “our Taichi” will probably find the optimal solution to any problem by the end of the episode.
He however does have some flaws, and those especially come to light in his personal life. His father, the zoologist and bona fide ladykiller Taihei, shares Taichi’s fate of being divorced,
and his teen daughter Yuriko never fails to remind him of what his reckless lifestyle is costing him. However the whole family does share that same childish passion for adventure, making episodes focused around Mr. Keaton’s family still fun to watch, albeit slightly more light-hearted.
Then there is Taichi’s partner, the very easy going and maybe careless insurance investigator Daniel. He is also nicely explored, taking the spotlight in a couple episodes and he makes a fun duo together with Keaton.
Production values and Directing:
It is easy to assume that this show was meant to be a direct sequel to the first season of “Master Keaton” (it being a 15 episode OVA), and that production was cut short for lack of funds.
Do not expect a series that will blow you away visually, expect a series that sometimes looks good, but never offensively bad.
The direction seems to be taking a quite practical approach, showing everything that needs to be seen. You will have difficulty finding many memorable shots, but looking for flaws would be futile.
The soundtrack is lovely, high quality, mostly consisting of acoustic instrumentals, some being inspired by traditional scottish music (most notably the blasting bagpipes from the opening of course), some being more orchestral.
The sound directing never appears too assertive (like in other episodic shows e.g. Bebop), together with the western style of the music just adding to the character of the show.
I personally highly recommend the English Dub, since Japanese audio would only take away from the atmosphere. It is an internationally set series after all.
All the different languages and accents are certainly a bit “funky”, however not in a non-entertaining way, so I have to give a massive plus for effort in that regard.
It bugs me, that this series is so overlooked. Sure, there is nothing extravagant and the explored concepts are never that grand, or especially remarkable,
but there seems to be a bit of meaning to every story, which makes it very, very satisfying.
In comparison to the first season of Keaton, I even think that the OVA is somewhat more consistent in creating interesting episodes.
Especially in a time of so many mediocre new releases, “Master Keaton” has such an old-school, reassuring quality to it, making it recommendable to pretty much anyone.
I would not consider this a must-watch like Urasawa’s marginally younger work “Monster”.
Nevertheless, considering just how easy to watch this OVA is, you really have no excuse not to consider it next time you want to sit back with an episode of anime.
One episode of “Master Keaton” is 25 min of your day well spent.
Yes, I would place this in the same realm as other episodic shows like:
And even absolute classics like:
Finally, in consideration of the fact that “Master Keaton OVA”:
-certainly does not stick out in terms of animation, cinematography, soundtrack and characters,
-still is of such a consistently high quality, that I would do it injustice calling it anything but flawless,
my final score for it is a very good 84/100.
Originally a manga drawn by the famous Naomi Urasawa, the mastermind behind Monster and 20th Century Boy, there is a certain level of expectation for me going to this anime and gladly it didn’t disappoint. As the title suggested, this anime follows the life of Taichi Keaton-Hiraga, a man at first glance is anything but extraordinary. But what lies inside him might surprise you deeply…
Due to its episodic nature, each episode is a different story and because of that, they covers various of topics: wars, love, hate, betrays, revenge … And as expected of someone who wrote Monster, we’re treated with a lots stories from WW2, what a cruel time it is. But stories that I especially love are those of everyday life, very peaceful and heart-warming. And no matter the stories, they are handled with carefulness and love, that’s what make the experiences watching this anime unique, as unique as its main character, master Keaton.
Not only a skillful soldier, Keaton is also a scholarly historical academic, a passionate archaeologist, a surviving specialist, a successful insurance investigator and above all, a loving father. He remarkably reminds me of Sherlock Holmes, a true gentleman of a long lost time. Who’s always giving a hand for the weak and bring justice to life. And man, I do love Sherlock to death, so no wonder, I like Keaton very much. He carried the anime on his back, makes even the most normal thing become somewhat interesting. He’s one character that I never got tired of seeing and that’s something very rare for me.
So if my review in a way persuades anyone to watch this hidden gem, I would be very happy. Master Keaton needs more love.
21: Detective Conan OVA 10: Kid in Trap Island
Japanese: 名探偵コナン ～KID in TRAP ISLAND～
MAL Score: 7.77
In this entirely new story produced specifically for the DVD, Conan leads a group of young detectives against the phantom thief Kaitou Kid, who has his eyes set on a jewel at a hotel on an isolated island.
There’s not really a mystery or a heist so much as there’s a framing device for the mistaken identity, and there’s no explanation at all as to why the Detective Boys are where they are. So they just end up in a dangerous situation with Kid for very little reason, and it is resolved with very little fanfare.
20: Saiyuuki Reload: Burial
Japanese: 最遊記RELOAD -burial-
MAL Score: 7.81
Taking place in the past it offers a view at the Saiyuuki quartet before their formation and their journey to the west. First OVA starts with Sanzo and his master, also with Ukoku (known as a later Ni Jianyi). Second OVA shows first meeting of Goku and Sanzo. Third OVA considers the events after Hakkai’s sins and his trial (that we know from first season of “Saiyuuki”) and his decision to live in Gojyo’s house.
And if you’ve seen the other three seasons, then don’t go into Burial expecting the light-heartedness and filler that the other seasons were. Burial is very dark, and the light moments are very scarce.
Also, SHOUNEN AI hints. Nothing too bad, but it’s definitely noticeable.
Story: The regular story of Saiyuki is based on Xi You Ji — or, Journey to the West, as known in English. It is an ancient Chinese folktale about a monk, a Kappa [water sprite], a pig demon, and the monkey king going on a journey to India to stop the evil Gyumao.
Saiyuki Burial is the prequel to Gensoumaden Saiyuki, and focuses on how all of the characters met each other, and their relationships.The first OVA focuses on Genjyo Sanzo, the priest in question, as a child. His adoptive father meets a young priest named Ken’yuu that is trying to become a Sanzo Priest (As Sanzo is the title of the highest ranking priest).
The second OVA focuses on a grown-up version of Sanzo, and how he is hearing a mysterious “voice” calling him. He follows the voice to a mysterious mountain far, far away that all of the villagers say that there is, supposedly, a monster sealed up there.
The third, and final OVA, deals with Hakkai and Gojyo. Hakkai is known as a “sinner” for reasons I won’t explain, and Gojyo is a half-breed; half demon, and half human. He has crimson hair and eyes, as all halfbreeds do. He finds an injured Hakkai on the road and takes him in. Then, a year later, an old room mate named Banri appeares….
Art: Compared to Gensoumaden, Reload, and Gunlock, the art was beautiful. I really enjoyed it, especially the shading. It took me by complete surprise.
Sound: I enjoyed the opening song; it fit the theme of the show very well. It was very eerie and it really set my hopes high for the show. The music was eerie when it needed to be, and it helped set the theme of the show.
Enjoyment: I’ve loved these characters for a long time, and although I read OVA2 and OVA3 in the manga, I enjoyed it very much. I always thought it was such a shame that the art was awful in Gesoumaden (Due to its age; it’s rather old), and it really didn’t do the characters justice. I enjoyed learning about Ken’yuu and how he knew Koumyou (As it was hinted throughout the previous seasons), and little Goku tagging along after Sanzo like a lost puppy was just too adorable NOT to love. Hakkai being jealous over Banri was adorable, too.
Overall: Overall, I enjoyed these OVAs and I’m hoping that they will redo Gensoumaden in this art style. I enjoyed re-connecting with the characters and I DEFINITELY recommend this to any Saiyuki fan. After all, kid!Goku is FAR too cute to pass up. :]
Main Characters: Genjo Sanzo, Son Goku, Cho Hakkai, Sha Gojyo
Story: 8/10 – since this will basically be an “introduction” before the Journey to the West, i believe that they did a pretty good job… i must admit i got confused at first since the Sanzos kinda looked the same and the names are pretty difficult to remember (with all those Sha-Cho-Kyo)… i would’ve liked it better if it was extended to at least 5 episodes… the Genjo Chapter was very detailed… it really focused on our blonde priest and his backgound… I was still moved by the Son Goku Chapter and i actually pitied the poor ‘lil monkey… the Hakkai and Gojyo Chapter was rushed, unfortunately…
Art: 7/10 – this was too sharp for my taste since i did not particularly like the long faces… the most weird part for me is that Gojyo’s eyes can be seen behind his red/purple hair… also, characters kinda looked the same… where’s the originality?
Sound: 6/10 – i’ll give this a 6… i did not like the OP/ED songs… BG music is just okay, if there was one…
Characters: 8/10 – loved the character development for Genjo and Goku… i wished they could have done the same with Hakkai and Gojyo… though, if my memory serves me right, Hakkai’s story will be in JttW so i guess that would make it redundant… i like the Genjo-Goku “father and son” relationship… i’ve always wanted to see Hakkai fight w/o his limiters but i was disappointed again… Gojyo for me is still the weakest of them all and he is my least favorite…
Enjoyment/Overall: 8/10 – after i was done wrapping my head around the priests’ names, the faces, and all, i actually enjoyed watching Saiyuki again…
Not really sure if I would be recommending this to people who haven’t heard of JttW… I guess for the Saiyuki fans, yes… maybe for those interested in seeing a gun-totting priest and his 3 youkai friends, then by all means, pick this up since it will give a new light to the JttW TV series… 🙂
19: Magi: Sinbad no Bouken
Japanese: マギ シンドバッドの冒険
MAL Score: 7.82
Not so long ago, mysterious structures called Dungeons began appearing all over the world. No one knows what they are or how they came to be, but adventurers and armies around the world instantly took interest in them. Thousands set out to explore the Dungeons, but so far, not a single person has returned.
In a Parthevian port, a young boy is about to make a name for himself. Sinbad is good-natured, strong, and craving adventure. A kind deed leads to his meeting with Yunan, an enigmatic traveler who is far more powerful than his frivolous personality lets on. Yunan instructs Sinbad to attain the “power of the king” and change the world—by conquering a Dungeon. The eager boy readily accepts, setting out on the grand adventure he so craved.
Taking place 15 years before the events of the original series, Magi: Sinbad no Bouken chronicles Sinbad’s youth as a Dungeon conqueror. Along the way, the budding adventurer and merchant will have to face many obstacles, but anything is possible with the power of a king.
Like anything to do with Sinbad, the oh great and glorious conqueror of the Seven Seas, it’s mostly the same but they add some depth into the way he goes about his life and how he got to where he is.
With the third OVA released I couldn’t wait to watch it and I did straight away, even being in area with little to no internet, I loaded the episode and watched it when it was done and man did I enjoy it! It was everything I wanted (well except the cliffhanger :/).
It’s all about SINBAD! when it comes to these OVA’s, hence the name. It goes through early life troubles of himself, his family, his village and his comrade Drakon. The story works well and they show everything needed and it’s very easy to understand which is good if you’re looking for a easy and relaxing OVA to watch.
The story for the new OVA is about one of Sinbad’s eight generals in his early life and he must prove himself as a man in front of his sister by slaying a sea monster, while on the verge of death, Sinbad comes outta no where and slays the beast and saves them. He gets invited to their isolated icy village and hears about a new dungeon and he warns the village not to go and that he must do it so no one else would get killed. With Hinahoho getting false credit for slaying the beast, he wants to prove himself and goes to the dungeon.
It’s the complete same as the normal anime so their won’t be any surprises when you watch this, there’s detail on characters that don’t need a lot of detail for them so that’s a good touch.
The art always amazes me and with the third OVA it still did, to me it just added the icing to the cake after the long wait for this.
Just like the normal anime so if you enjoyed the sound in that, you’ll enjoy it in this :).
They don’t go into very much detail with any character, a little with Sinbad but other than that, no. Sinbad was born with great power, oh cool, and cliché. With the rest of the characters, they’re just military people and want power, not much of a big surprise. On the other hand Yunan is a mysterious character with little known about him.
In the third OVA they introduce Hinahoho and his little icy village, along with a few more characters such a his sister, father, etc. With all the new characters added, I thought they did well with giving us enough information about them all and made it a very good watch.
I thought that this was a great watch, mainly because I get to watch more Magi.
I have enjoyed all of the OVA’s that have been released so far and with the 4th one being announced, I just can’t help myself to get excited. I can’t wait.
I hope this review was helpful.
(With this being newly updated for the third OVA, I will be updating it again for the earlier episodes and adding more to the review).
The first OVA begins on a dark, stormy evening with the screech of a woman in the midst of an excruciating labor which just happens to be occurring during a magical, mystical, wondrous night full of shooting stars, glowing genie lamps, and the classic array of oddities that only happen “once every thousand of years”. If this were any other anime, this would be an irritating (and frightful) way to start off the episode but because it’s Magi and it blends together legends with just the right amount of originality, I gave it some leeway. After all, the intro music was fantastic, and if you’re a Magi fan already, at this point you’re cracking your knuckles cause Sin’s finally in town! There’s no way this can go-
..wrong…And before you know it, the producers have dragged you into one of the most cliche, overdone story lines known to fairy tales. Sinbad’s portrayed as the classic hero, complete with a tragic background story, the help of a supernaturally gifted stranger, and everything else that serves as the pedestal upon which this adolescent’s destiny sits- awaiting his overbearing greatness. While the main character’s traits are clearly established alongside the antagonists’ and a clear goal is conveyed, the origin- the story behind the very essence of Sinbad’s character is unfortunately, not the work of just his own hands, but of the imperious power of ‘destiny’ that he was assigned from birth.
The second episode of the OVA consists of Sinbad and Commander Drakon’s meeting, and together, they face the creatures of the dungeon. While this episode is action-packed and amusing, it fails to retain any hold on reality when Sinbad flips the bird to every law in physics. Another irk is that Yunan can be officially branded as the deus ex machina magi when he appears out of nowhere to do nothing but act like Sinbad’s personal magician. The final moments of the episode are drenched in a vat of cliche tropes.
The third OVA, however, redeems this series more than I hoped. It finally introduces a brand new character and hurries along the plot to a possible dungeon fight that may occur. This episode brings back the classic excitement that often accompanies the tales of Sinbad. If the series is ever continued or revived separately, any episodes from here on out will surely lead to a better telling of Sinbad’s adventure and it may finally give his character the depth it deserves.
The art is just as amazing as it was in the series- perhaps even more so. Details are not shirked and even minor characters are given diverse facial features that go beyond the usual haphazard sketches. The quality of the other two episodes is similar, yet not quite on par with the extraordinary display of the first. Nevertheless, the animation itself is enjoyable overall.
As is the soundtrack- the only two notable bits of music being at the beginning and ending of the first OVA, the ending rock instrumental that rolled with the credits at the end of the second OVA, and everything else flows on the waves of equilibrium.
Here’s where they stopped hammering the nail in halfway through the script.
With a dead father, a sick mother who feels guilty for worrying her son, a village jam packed with kids and adults alike who absolutely adore Sinbad because he’s just so NICE, so speshul, so won-der-ful!~
He’s everyone’s favorite guy!
Everyone’s awed and inspired by him,
And it’s not hard to see why,
Cause no one’s slick as Sinbad,
No one’s as quick as Sinbad,
No one’s hair is incredibly long and luxurious as Sinbad’s!
For there is no other teen in town half as heroic,
Perfect, a classic archetype!
You can ask any Natsu, Lelouch, or Levi,
And they’ll tell you whose team they prefer to be on!
There’s only just one guy in town who’s got it going on,
And his name is SINBAAAADDD!
Unfortunately, Sinbad’s characterization falls flat. They might as well have inserted the song montage in the background to accompany the numerous occasions that validated the glorious, inherent valor of Sinbad who- around the age of four, ‘somehow’ supernaturally directed his father which way to row their boat to get out from under the raging storm. He all but rowed the damn thing himself- which, of course, would have been far too absurd to show. It’s understandable that the directors want to stick to the conventional tale but Magi’s been about deviating from the given plot line and spicing it up. I honestly looked forward to the twisting of Sinbad’s tale into something thrilling-perhaps about a boy who wasn’t meant for greatness, but instead I was met with the same old generic set-up for a child’s play of heroism.
As for less familiar characters such as the traveling magi: Yunan, or the ruthless military commander leading the next dungeon raid: Prince Dragul, and his childhood family friend: Princess Serendine- they all attempt to squeeze their personas into trope coffins as if the entire point of their existence is to offset our main character as the ‘good guy’ who always knows the right thing to do. By the time we reach the second OVA, the characters still lack depth. The third OVA, on the other hand, redeems itself by introducing new ones that gain depth through the hurried narration of events- which fits the pace at which Sinbad leads his adventures. Although the episode ends as a cliff-hanger, it holds much more potential than the first two stints.
All in all, the three-pack episodes of Sinbad’s adventures are mildly amusing. The art is superior to that of the series itself and the soundtrack appears new- making it a worthy watch if only for the sake of aesthetics. However, the plot line itself is lackluster in comparison to the series due to the standards (of the original series) that it’s held against. At the very least, the OVAs can be viewed as the classically cliche retelling of the animated version of Sinbad the Sailor with the conjunction of Magi’s take on magic- making the shortened tale an entertaining ride till the very end.
18: 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
17: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!: Kono Subarashii Choker ni Shukufuku wo!
Japanese: この素晴らしい世界に祝福を！ 第11話 この素晴らしいチヨーカーに祝福を！
MAL Score: 7.86
While exploring Wiz’s magic shop with his party, Kazuma Satou finds a magical wish-granting choker and decides to try it on. Only then does Wiz tell him that the choker strangles its wearer to death in four days unless their desires are fulfilled. This wouldn’t be a problem if Kazuma knew what his wish was. Fearing for Kazuma’s life, Aqua, Megumin, and Lalatina “Darkness” Dustiness Ford all agree to do his bidding in order to satisfy his desires and hopefully grant his wish, no matter what he asks for…
Apart from a few funny lines and visual gags, this OVA, like most, was just filler garbage. Nothing really too special or worth-while about it apart from some tiny character developments for Megumin.
Lots of fanservice that detracts from the overall ideas behind the show. Not much creativity put into the premise and the story falls flat more than once. This is backed up by a messy structure that jolts from premise to premise.
If there’s one positive thing to say is that the physical humor here was better than a lot of the main shows. As stated before, Megumin received minor development with a small look into her past group endeavors but that doesn’t provide enough to save a horribly meandering story.
– minor spoilers henceforth –
You can consider this episode more of a stand-alone episode – in terms of plot, it is not connected to any part of KonoSuba’s first season. To summarize quickly, our four favorite wanderers – Megumin, Aqua, Darkness, and Kazuma – enter Wiz’s shop one day, where we meet Yunyun, Megumin’s self-proclaimed rival. As they bicker among each other, Kazuma puts on a magical device that can grant any wish. If the wish isn’t granted within a four day period, the user dies. Since Kazuma doesn’t wish for anything (or so he thinks), he uses the next four days to make Megumin, Aqua, Darkness, Yunyun, and Wiz to do whatever he wishes. Hilarity ensues.
– end spoilers –
Simply put, this was a nice and fun OVA to watch. It’s difficult to critically analyze OVAs since they tend to be short (only 20 minutes long) and don’t follow the main story, so I’ve spared you the trouble. But in terms of the script itself, the writing is highly consistent with the execution of that of the first season. The humor hits you just at the right moment, and the writers of this OVA have delivered a surplus of it, that’s for sure.
So, should you watch this? Well, for one, if you’re expecting something really deep or meaningful, you have come to the wrong place. Or perhaps you think the characters will be more tolerable despite the fact that you found them bland and irritable during the first season – well, unfortunately, they’re exactly the same, so I would not recommend watching this OVA if you hold that opinion. On the other hand, if you liked how KonoSuba’s comedy played out during the first season, you’ll probably like this too. And, finally, it should be noted that there is some combination of fan service, crude humor, and lewd humor present – and, at times it was on the level of what we witnessed in the infamous Season 1 Episode 9 (“God’s Blessing on this Wonderful Shop!”). So if you found yourself cringing throughout Episode 9, maybe this also isn’t for you.
All in all, this was a humorous time-killer. Fortunately, in case you haven’t heard, there is a second season in the works right now. But for now, this will have to do until it’s released.
(Side note: As with all other reviews that I write for OVAs, overall rating reflects enjoyment only.)
Anyways, back to the OVA. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything big with plot, but at least something interesting involving the original ideas for the show. I mean, perhaps they ran out of ideas towards the end of the first season, which is kind of silly considering it’s only 10 episodes, but I hoped they didn’t fall into a pit of despair where they gave up on the idea and just threw a bunch of nude girls to the audience and hope they got good ratings.
I guess I was wrong.
This OVA was pure fanservice. I already saw the direction it was going when a half nude girl was introduced to the show. The plot appeared to be written by a horny 12 year old who just wanted a way to justify naked girls on television. The characters were basically made fun of because they showed no resistance, and the MC turned into a terrible human being who was definitely different than the show. The original plot basically ceased to exist, so they might as well be anywhere because it apparently isn’t important anymore. This, unfortunately, confirmed my belief that the second season will probably be similar to the end of the first season and this OVA.
I understand that fanservice is sometimes good and that ecchi elements can produce humor, and that this show in the first season used some of that to their advantage. I do agree. However, this is definitely not the same show I watched the first season. It was all just for fanservice, and that makes a show absolutely terrible. The art and sound were both great, but know for sure this isn’t the same show anymore.
There’s not much else to write, except that I’m ashamed the producers allowed the show to stoop to the level of a typical ecchi harem series. Watch it for the ecchi, however, don’t watch it for the plot. It’s a completely joke.
16: Noragami Aragoto OVA
Japanese: ノラガミ OAD
MAL Score: 7.88
Hiyori Iki goes on a skiing trip with her parents and happens to bump into Yato and Yukine. After a short while, they find the other gods who are there for a company vacation. But amidst all the fun, someone is plotting a heinous crime, and Yato is the primary target.
On a different day, Yato’s been able to make a small fortune from his last job and decides to take Hiyori and Yukine to Capyper Land. Although she agrees without knowing the destination, will Hiyori actually enjoy the day considering what happened on her last visit?
The first OVA is all of them going on a ski trip thing, and the second is all of them going to Capypa Land~
I would have to say the second OVA in this is the best out of all four of them in total~
But both of these are really funny and amazing.
And both have adorable Yato moments >w< Although these are mostly just comedy, it's adorable and makes me really happy~ especially the second one - all my ships in one place <3 Yato, Hiyori, Yukine, Bishamon, Kazuma, Kofuku, Daikoku . . . even Ebisu is here! Having all of them together feels so special >///< I loved these OVAs so much and they are a must watch~ [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews2:”]The second OVA is amazing! One of my favorite aspects of Noragami is the humor and this OVA is full of it. I also just think Capypa land is a hilarious concept so the characters finally going there was perfect. Plus some romance thrown in there... I was dead. I have watched this specific OVA back several times now whenever I need that "Noragami feel" again. The first OVA is great too. While it doesn't really contribute anything to the main plot line or anything like that, it's a fun side story that brings all the main characters we see in the series together. It was fun to see how they all interacted with each other together since usually we just see yato, yuki and hiyori interacting with all those characters individually. 10/10 would recommend. Love it [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews3:”]Sometimes, you just can't help but order an extra dose of sauce to compliment your fries, some people would say fries are not eatable without any sauce, but others while thinking it's okay, a little sauce won't hurt. replacing the fries with Noragami Aragato, you can't really deny to not want any extra content to seal off your hunger for more screentime. but Noragami Aragoto OVA was a hell of a quality dipping sauce indeed! - Story (7.0/10): The plot of these two OVA episodes are very much a variation of a slice of life with the comedy switch turned on. There is really no heavy plot whirlpools or anything of that depth, just our characters going through some fun. With the first episode having the whole crew go on a skiing vacation where some mysterious fella tries to kill Yato, while the latter spends time trying to capture his killer. The second OVA episode focuses on the crew going to Capypa, while Hiyori is still having nightmares from what happened there the last time she went, with Yato trying to cheer her up. - Art (8.0/10): I can at least thus far say, the viewers can rest assured, and not worry about the quality of the animation, because it remains consistent throughout the 23 minutes couple of episodes, nothing to bash or drag way too much here, here's an above average work of animation, just enjoy the plot. - Sound (8.5/10): Aside from the fabulous opening and ending theme songs nothing stands out in a very memorable manner. Again, it was really great having to see those work of arts once another time. The voice acting was really well done for a comedic atmosphere. - Character (8.5/10): As I said before, the whole gang had the focus of this OVA, all of your lovable characters, I like how nobody was by any chance annoying. Everybody had some sort of screentime, they had the chance to speak some words and just be there for the sake of having a good time. - Enjoyment (9.0/10): The last season's OVA was fantastic, but this one was way more fun to keep up with, both episodes are very wholesome and engaging, I really need a third season and a good complimentary OVA too. - Overall (8.2/10): I would differently recommend this OVA for the parent's show's fans, especial the people into comedy, I've had some great giggles every here and there. [/collapse]
15: Ookami to Koushinryou II: Ookami to Kohakuiro no Yuuutsu
Japanese: 狼と香辛料II 狼と琥珀色の憂鬱
MAL Score: 7.89
Traveling merchant Kraft Lawrence and wolf deity Holo sit down to have dinner with Norah Arendt, a young shepherdess who helped them smuggle gold. Holo’s dislike of Norah—due to both the latter’s profession and her closeness with Lawrence—prevents her from enjoying her meal.
When Holo falls ill from fatigue, she is cared for by Lawrence, who frets over the health of his dear companion. As she regains her strength, Holo reminisces about the adventures they had together.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]*Heads up for a more romance-based second season of Spice and Wolf.*
Wow, talk about a foreshadowing episode for the upcoming new season of Spice and Wolf. For a “re-introduction” OVA, this short ~22 minute clip is very well made. Not only did it manage to include a fairly detailed introduction to the main characters of the series, but it also let us experience once again the life as a merchant through the usual exchange of dialogues between the characters.
One of the first thing most of us who have seen the first season will be concerned about is the animation. If you still don’t know, this OVA and the upcoming season of Spice and Wolf is produced by Brains Base as oppose to IMAGIN which did the first season. For the most part, one can safely say Brains Base did a great job in taking over the series. While there are obviously some dissimilarities, especially with regards to Horo, overall you should not have trouble getting use to it.
Another concern you may have is with the plot. Will it jump to a random timeline and ignore all the major events that took place in the first season or will it continue precisely from where season one left off? Thankfully it is the latter case … but with a twist. Although it is certain that the unusual merchant adventures will continue for our stars, this OVA (aka chapter 0) gives us plenty of clues that inter-character relations will play a much more significant role in the future. Given how much the pair of protagonists has gone through in the first season already, it should not be strange for the story to steer toward that direction for a change.
Character-wise, as stated earlier, viewers have a brief but valuable first glimpse at our protagonists in this short OVA. Unlike the first season where everything is carried through dialogues, this time we see more “inner” character development (I call it “self realization”) via dreams or flashbacks. This new approach to reintroduce the characters is great in many ways. First off, it will not scare away new viewers with all the wordy exchange of dialogues. Secondly, it is also much more effective in reminding old viewers what type of characters they are and what their current mindset is like, thus preparing us for the upcoming new season. If there is one thing worth complaining about, it is probably with the sudden outburst of the “hidden” feelings between our protagonists. In particular, Horo’s reaction toward Lawrence became extremely evident and her jealousy is also highly entertaining.
Other than the three major factors mentioned above, everything else remain largely the same as the previous season, that includes the music, seiyu roles, et cetera. Fans who wish to see more Horo x Lawrence romance relations will certainly be happy with the OVA. Overall, this is a wonderfully made OVA that serves its purpose well to lead us to the new (and hopefully better) second season.
Story for this OVA is pretty simple. Shortly: we got to see Lawrence nursing Horo who got ill of fatigue caused by harsh events from previous season. Of course everything with addition of their usual quarrels, teasing each other, humor and curtness of our Wolf Sage. But this is not all. In fever Horo is dreaming about her past, her homeland and also about Lawrence and traveling with him. Seeing her dreams gives a short but meaningful glimpse at her feelings.
As easily to predict considering studio change animation and also character design is slightly different from the first season. At first glance looks like Brains Base tried to keep this OVA similar to the previous season but of course it’s not possible. Differences like “camera work” or characters appearance might not be very significant but still easy to notice. Personally I prefer work done by studio IMAGIN.
But there is also a good information. Music remained the same as in first season which helps to maintain its unique climate.
As for characters their semblance isn’t the only thing which changed. Watching this OVA I’ve been feeling that sometimes they act out of character. Lawrence wasn’t his usual self and Horo was oversensitive.
Producing sequel to a successful series with a different studio and staff is a bad idea. It usually results in either inferior series or a total failure with Minami-ke as example. Luckily Ookami to Koshinryou II OVA is only just inferior but still acceptable and enjoyable. As a huge fan of Wolf and Spice I can’t help but feel a little bit disappointed with those unnecessary changes but on the other hand relived that it’s not as bad as it could be.
Overall: Feast for fellow Horotics. I’m sure that even if somebody is highly displeased with different animation and character design it’s nothing compared to love for this show and Horo the Wise ;]
Animation quality was almost unchanged from the TV series considering that this is an OVA. It’s still Spice and Wolf.
It was an enjoyable watch so I gave it a good rating.
14: Detective Conan OVA 09: The Stranger in 10 Years…
MAL Score: 7.93
This OVA takes place ten years in the future and chronicles the possible events if Conan Edogawa and Ai Haibara do not take the antidote to APTX 4869 and grow up alongside their friends Genta, Mitsuhiko, and Ayumi, while still maintaining their detective endeavors.
now i been watching alot of Detective Conan waiting to see what might happen to him and the black organization, while think of the Case episodes more like fillers but i still enjoy watch most of them of it and waiting for an episode like this.
even though it just a what-if-episode i still love it
and any Detective Conan fan should see it.
So I started watching it, expecting an adult version of Conan (along with his friends) getting caught up in another case like we are used to from the manga or anime. After all this serie isn’t called ” ‘Detective’ Conan” for nothing, right?
Wrong! Instead we get a 7 min explanation of why we are going to seeing all the characters 10 years older with Conan, Ran and the others still being their normal age.
These 7 min could have been better spend, especially considering that the ova is only 23-25 minutes long.
Okay, after these boring first minutes we get to see the adult Conan followed by an appearance of nearly every other closely involved character with around 1-3 min screen-time. Doesn’t sound like much, but believe me when I say that this is more than enough, seeing as the only thing that was changed were their age.
Usually you would expect at least a little change in personality over 10(!) years but all of them are the same and only look older. It’s okay by those like Kogoro but why the hell are Ayumi, Genta and Mitsuhiko still acting like when they were 8 years olds?
Maybe I’m the only one who thinks so or it was just that we only saw them for a short time, but that was how I saw it.
Taking this into account and the whole set up of this so-called “What-If”(because for me a what-if is when you show how a character progressed in an alternate way than originally planned) I have to say that this OVA has absolutely no point.
Despite the lacking story or any kind of development the Art and Design of all the adult (or older) versions were actually rather believable.
So, all in all if you have the urge to see what Ayumi or Genta or any other characters would look like 10 years later go google a picture, takes less time and brings the same results.
Despite the lack of any mystery in the story, I still thought this was a pretty interesting one in terms of the characters, and seeing how this what-if scenario plays out is a pretty intriguing concept to begin with, however, there’s not really much depth to the actual story.
The main focus really are the characters, which end up feeling similar to their younger selves, but also feel just different enough that you feel like ten years actually have passed. The changes are subtle, but they are there, and it was enough to keep me intrigued throughout.
The art and sound design is about what you’d expect, and is on par with the quality of the TV series in 2009. No surprises here.
Overall, this was an interesting, yet somewhat flawed OVA that had a lot of wasted potential, due to the inconsequential and uneventful nature of the story, but still ultimately ended up being somewhat interesting, especially if you are very interested in these characters.
13: Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas – Meiou Shinwa
English: Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas
Japanese: 聖闘士星矢 THE LOST CANVAS 冥王神話
MAL Score: 7.98
A Holy War, from ancient mythology, where the Goddess Athena and Hades have fought against each other while defending the earth repeatedly over the span of 200 years. The story takes place in 18th century Europe, 243 years prior to the original “Saint Seiya” Three small children, Tenma, Alone, and Sasha have all shared a very happy childhood together. Tenma who is quite aggressive but upstanding has moved to Sanctuary to become a saint. It is there that he is reunited with Sasha who is the sister of Alone and learns that she is the reincarnation of Goddess Athena. Alone, who is kind, gentle and loves painting was chosen for the body of enemy King Hades. Tenma eventually becomes a saint of Pegasus and engages in a fierce battle with his best friend Alone, the King of Hades. Pegasus Tenma, King Hades, and the Goddess Athena and through the twist of their 3 fates merge together which unfolds a prologue to the original Saint Seiya.
(Source: TMS Entertaiment)
Despite this, this anime made me enjoy myself pretty much.
Story – 9/10
Simple but catching. The War between Hades and Athena and some dramatic inserts of the two to make it even more enjoyable. Include Pegasus in all this and you get a perfect mix of fights, drama and betrayals.
Art – 9/10
What can I say about it? The art was one of the elements that made me watch this series so you can guess form that how much I enjoyed it xD The design of the characters were fitting and the panoramas were just gorgeous.
Sound – 8/10
I didn’t really like the opening song. My inner self was just screaming “Japanese people! stay away from English please!”. Besides that it felt way too ..errr…children-series type of song, thing that’s wrong since SY – Lost Canvas is a pretty dark series overall.
I have nothing to complain about the ending though. It was pretty and moving.
The insert songs between the scenes were good enough to make the right atmosphere so again, nothing to complain about it.
Character – 9/10
This is one thing that surprised me about this anime. Some of the characters, like Pieces and Virgo Gold Saints, even if they appeared in only 2-3 episodes of the series, that was enough to make me fall in love with them. The character development of the characters in such a short amount of time was outstanding.
The same with Yato, which I only thought will be a secondary character that everybody will forget once he gets off screen. I was wrong! lol xDD
Another character that surprised me was Alone, that despite everything he continued to cherish his past memories with his friends, deep inside his heart, even in his condition. The relationship between Alone, Tenma and Sasha was also really moving thinking about their present roles. So thumbs up to it.
Enjoyment – 8/10
I just gave it an 8 because of some fighting scenes that seemed awkward to me.
Overall – 8/10
8 because of the same reason as above but overall I really, really enjoy it and I am looking forward to the next season.
Obviously in comparison to the original series, Lost Canvas cuts right to the last story arc. Not only is it a prequel, it’s a very excellent addition and extension to the original source material. I thought some things in the last Hades OAV arcs to the original series needed to be elaborated on and Lost Canvas expands on certain specific aspects. I’d talk about them, but they’d be spoilers to both Lost Canvas, and oavs to the original series. On the outside, Tenma is a lot like Seiya, but has his own unique distinctions and qualities. In the original series, Seiya is portrayed more as a leader and it was kind of more of a team concept. However, Tenma isn’t exactly a lone wolf, but he does have some help. To compare the two characters in a nut-shell, Seiya is more like Son Gokuu from Dragon Ball, while Tenma is more like Ranma and Inuyasha with their personalities. They’re both fighters, but they express it in those kinds of ways.
What I also found interesting is that the current incarnation of the Unicorn Bronze Saint, Yato, has a lot more use in comparison to the original series, Jabu. The relationship Yato and Tenma have is kind of like a Ranma and Ryoga/Inuyaha and Kouga kind of one. They are very similar and yet they are always at each other’s throats. Despite that, I found it very surprising how their relationship develops in the course of this series from bitter rivals, to cooperative partners that will always have each other’s backs.
The series for this season is pretty well evenly paced and I like how it focuses on certain characters in certain episodes, and it’s not just exclusively about Tenma. Some of the Gold Saints have their own central episodes and you get to learn about them. Though they will only have short appearences, they do make a significant contribution to the progression of the story.
The villains are still pretty much the same from the Hades OAVs, but still have their own unique personalities and qualities in which they all stand out. The OAV ends at an understandable place and of course a sequel has been confirmed and the way it ends just makes you wish to watch that sequel already. I say this is a very good introduction in the same way the Hades Sanctuary Arc respectively was.
Art and Animation
As one can see, the original art design isn’t done by Kurumada Masami. However, he allowed a Shoujo author, Teshirogi Shiori, to do the art for this respective title for the original manga. The anime respectively follows that art style faithfully from what I’ve seen of pictures on the internet and magazines, and I’m of course saying this because I have yet to read the manga of Lost Canvas. The anatomy of the characters are still for the most part pretty slim with some buff guys here and there. The costume designs are of course very faithful to the original material so nobody can fault that. The hairstyles are thinner in comparison to Kurumada’s style, but it still works in contrast to the bodies, faces, and heads. The design of the villains are just as dark and yet still glossy as the Hades Chapter OAVs, but yet some of the characters have their own unique move sets and gimmicks.
As for the action, it’s much more fluid and there is more emphasis on direct hand-to-hand combat as opposed to relying on special moves. However, with a much lesser character roster, the match up appeal isn’t really that present here except in just a couple of fights. Of course Tenma will have the Pegasus Ryuusei Ken and it’s presented in a different angle and not much recycled animation is abused in this. The action is still explosive and exciting, and like I said before, doesn’t go to a point where it gets ridiculously over the top.
Music and Voice Acting
What really took me by surprised is the opening theme “The Realm of Athena” by EUROX. Of course in the tradition of Saint Seiya, it is rock with a good set of guitars as a hook, but the song itself is in perfect English. And the qualities in terms of lyrics in what made Pegasus Fantasy and Megami no Senshi so presentable and catchy, and reflects what the show is about, and it’s not just some song that’s promoting the artist or song, it’s about the show itself, and Saint Seiya is one of the rare products to have music like that. It’s a very good anyway and has its own distinct energy that relfects the overall atmosphere of the series. The general background music is of course new and is very intense at the right times and very acoustic during softer moments. A lot of the percussions and those acoustics used is also very appropriate to the setting in context to the time and place in a cultural sense so that’s a nice touch.
As for the voice acting, I’m not at all familiar with the voice actors of Tenma and Alone. Kakihara Tetsuya, Tenma’s respectice seiyuu, does a great job in making Tenma that arrogant but yet caring fighter. It really reminded me of Suzumura Ken’ichi’s portrayal of Taitou from Jushin Enbu Hero Tales, a character very similar to Tenma. Shimono Hiro as the voice of Alone/Hades I think has to be the performance that has to get the most credit. You’re playing who is supposed to be the most purest person on Earth, and then all of a sudden, becomes the God of the Underworld. He does a great job of a guy who for one minute is convinginly someone who believes in non-violence, and then the next moment is a God that doesn’t care about life.
However, a familiar name that most new school fans should know is the voice of Hirano Aya, the voice of Suzumiya Haruhi, as the voice of Sasha/Athena. Of course in comparison to Haruhi, she is a leader and takes charge, but in a more serious situation, she is very authoritive and commanding as that character, but also compassionate and caring to Tenma. She’s very serious, but yet calm. The influence of Han Keiko’s original performance is also there, but of course the overall voice cast will still never compare to the original no matter how hard they try.
Well, to overall conclude, do you need any previous experience with Saint Seiya? It does help a lot. You can watch this with a fresh mind and still enjoy it. I say on the downside, it can potentially spoil the original series in some respective aspects. But as I said before, if you do have some familiarity, a certain aspect will be elaborated upon and I thought it was a nice touch. By the time you finish this part of the series, you feel like it’s truly beginning. I can’t say the characters develop tremendously in an individual sense, but this is made up for by the relationships the characters develop and try to maintain. The original series had a good balance between developing the characters individually and the relationships, but the original series easily had those opportunities. Hopefully when the next installment comes about, there will be a bit more emphasis on that.
Indeed this is only for Saint Seiya fans. Its basically a remake of the Hades saga but in an alternate universe. There are major changes in the plot composition though – enough changes to make it unpredictable enough. The characters cast are very different and fans will get an appreciation of the characters which have been traditionally left out or marginalised in the canonical Kurumada’s original Saint Seiyas animes.
Effectively this seems like a reaction to fans’s eternal complains about certain characters e.g. Jabu of unicorn, Aldebaran and Aphrodite of Pisces among others who are always, so to say, left out of the big picture. Here we do get a better appreciation of these Knights and their abilities, and also a fair amount of airing time is devoted to the other Gold Saints too.
The series seems to revolve around the previous holy war between the Hades camp and that of Athena, and often devolve into mini stories exposing the powers and personality of each Gold Saint and other important characters.
For Saint Seiya fan this will not fail to be a 10. But those who have not watched the whole of the Saint Seiya saga will somewhat lack the appreciation needed to fully enjoy this and could be bit lost and probably might find the battle meaningless and boring since they can’t relate well to the characters.
12: One Piece Film: Strong World Episode 0
Japanese: ワンピース フィルム ストロングワールド エピソードゼロ
MAL Score: 7.98
Set over 20 years prior to the main One Piece story, this limited release OVA chronicles the confrontation between Gold Lion Shiki and Gold Roger as well as other events around the world around the time of the Pirate King’s execution.
What it covers are confrontations between Roger and Shiki. Shiki’s capture and escape. Glimpses of nearly most of the characters big or small whether it be one of luffy’s crew or a side character and ended with the start of the movie that follows.
This episode to me felt like it showed the starting point of what is to be and what has become. I fell like I may have said too much so i’ll leave it at that.
Enjoy the episode.
other than that we get a quick great recap of who Shiki is and what he really is. we see a lot of characters as young that is quite cool as well.
Overall great OVA with a rather great ending that opens up your curiosity.
11: Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
English: Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダム 第08MS小隊
MAL Score: 8.02
In year 0079 of the Universal Century, the Earth Federation initiates Operation Odessa—a full-scale assault to retake a major Ukrainian city from the Principality of Zeon. It is a success, and the remaining Zeon forces scatter across the globe. The Earth Federation gains the upper hand in the One Year War and deploys its ground troops around the planet to hunt down the stragglers.
As part of the deployments, Ensign Shiro Amada is transferred to Southeast Asia to take command of the 08th MS Team—a special squadron of RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type pilots. In their first guerilla operation, Shiro’s team is tasked with distracting the Zeon forces while Federation ground troops locate a mysterious new Zeon weapon. Everything goes according to plan until Shiro runs into Aina Sahalin, an ace Zeon pilot he met in an earlier battle, during a skirmish. Their reunion weakens his resolve to continue fighting, and now the young commander Shiro must prove his loyalty to the Federation—or be branded a traitor.
On the Zeon side, we have Aina herself. She is very formal and obedient to her brother, Ginias, who is a straight out psycho-path. And there’s the bad ass Norris, who is their ace pilot , and is a father figure to Aina. So once again, this Gundam series delivers an all around cast with a well paced story that revolves around solving their issues and developing the characters which was how I viewed it. The Romeo and Juliet thing is a bit cliché’, but not really over the top. It’s used effectively and reasonably, and it also helps the development of Shiro and Aina as well. I will further elaborate on what I feel on what I think the themes are.
The art is just fantastic. The character designs are very diverse and distinctive, and the environments are well detailed thanks to the work of Kawamoto Toshihiro, who has also served as a staff member in other duties such as on Votoms, Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam 0083, and Patlabor. I really like the expressions the faces have in the battles as well as the angles and postures. I will elaborate on how I feel about the battles later, so time to talk about the mechanical designs. The mobile suits are of course still in complimentary of the original Gundam designs, except the pack more heavy fire power and have more of a bulky look to it which suits the nature of the battles which I will now talk about. In comparison to your traditional Gundam where it’s all about space battles, we are now reduced to watching guerrilla jungle warfare, so strategy and tactics play a big part into this series like how it did in the final battle of War in the Pocket. So it brings a different sense of intensity, anticipation, and excitement which helps makes this series stand out in comparison to other Gundams because the characters aren’t of course newtypes where they got crazy reflexes. And you have to watch this anime until the end. The 2nd to last battle is most certainly a top 5 in Gundam battles or fights in general of all time. Due to all of these combined great features I can’t say anything bad on.
The voice acting in both English and Japanese are excellent and top quality. Both languages have actors that equally represent their characters. Even though Steve Cannon was very terrible as Ippo in the English version of Hajime no Ippo, he was great as Shiro. He played someone who was new to his role, but really took it seriously. I thought his higher pitched voice was well more suited to the nature of his character, but the Japanese voice actor, Hiyama Nobuyuki brought a different kind of maturity to the character, but wasn’t really as spirited which I felt was part of Shiro’s character. All-round veterans such as Kikuko Inoue plays the role of Aina, who is dead accurate as someone who looks meek, but is very strong willed on the outside. And believe me, I give this anime one of the best performances ever. I say it’s superior to that of Cowboy Bebop’s.
The music is also well suited to the nature of this show. The background music gives a more traditional military style to really represent the way I described the action with its different sense of intensity and excitement as a result of anticipation. And the opening theme Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite is highly energetic, and the ending theme 10 years after really represents a more campy nature that represents the unity of the team.
Well, I’ll conclude this review with two notes. First of all, I feel the only negative this anime has is its ending. Not really saying it’s a bad ending, but it didn’t really live up to what I was expecting and you’re free to disagree with that. But then again, who said endings had to be happy? I felt the Cartoon Network ending leaves things too inconclusive because the true ending they couldn’t show due to the portrayal of kids in war, which I thought, was a totally ludicrous reason. I felt the true ending was too much out of convenience and really felt out of place, and a majority of the cast was really absent. Maybe that’s because the original director died during the releasing of this oav. I don’t know. But my 2nd note is how I love this movie is about loyalty and trust. It’s a consistent theme throughout this show and it portrays it in a sensible way in the scenario presented in this anime. Even though Shiro is the leader and despite his age, I like how he treats everybody equally and he makes sure everybody lives up to his number one rule, that everybody comes back alive.
This is one aspect that as stated earlier was mediocre. It had so more potential and I beleive if it had been a series, not an OVA, it could have been developed far better. Without divulging to much, the basic premise is that it is a side story to the original MSG and takes place near the end of the War between the EF and Zeon. It follows a rag-tag unit, the 08th MS team, and their various encounters while adding a romantic element with the commander of the team and a Zeon pilot. The zeons pilot happens to be sister to the Zeon Commander in the same area as the 08th team. A noraml ‘Gundam’ thing to do. However where as some Gundams pull it off, this one does not. The overall story is dull, and frankly the ending is unbelivable and bad. Also, and this is where opinions are split, the action is very realistic, or at least as realistic as possible, which I dilike. Some people like this, I personally do not. When I watch Gundam i want to see over the top action and fighting, but in this regard I was let down, which I could have excepted if the story had actuallt been decent. On top of this most Gundams have an overarching political or philosopichal meaning, even if they are obvious, and I like the chance to think about those things, to me the anime gains more meaning that way. The story here is simply a narrative, a story with no meaning, nothing to really pull out of it thematically, so in that regard I feel it fails.
I have nothing bad to say here. The animation was excellent and a large step up from it’s contemporary, Wing. It was gritty, and realisitic looking, and all the MS had details glaour. The art was excellent for it’s time and a joy to see in motion.
The Sound overall was good. The effects were excellent and the voices in Japanese i felt were wonderful, but in English failed as per usual. I did not car for the opening, ending, or sountrack however as it was pretty jazzy, which really isn’t my style.
Oh dear god. This is were my opinion differs the far by most. I could not stand most of the characters is the show, with maybe two exceptions. I did not think they were realistic at all. Their ideal were foolish and childish, and they were often overdramtic. Along with that they were the most rag-tag group of soliders I have ever seen, and would not last very long in an actual Army as they have a lot of trouble following orders.
So, as you can most likely can tell, I had my problems with this series. It is not bad, but i could have watched far better things even if it is only 12 episodes.
Without a doubt in my mind, it was simply mediocre. It was not Bad, but with such a wide range of other, better Gundams out there to choose form, I would not bother. However, if like myself you wanted to watch it as it takes place between the original and Zeta, adn you wnat to watch them chronologically, then go ahead, just don’t expect to be blown out of the water.
The more realistic and intricate fight scenes are great which personally I favor more than the huge overexaggerated fight scenes in wing and seed (which I don’t actually mind though).
Whatever you do, do NOT be put off by the old animation. If i remember correctly, I watched this right after finishing the 2nd FMP series and I consciencely didn’t even notice the old animation style while being swept away by the excitement and pleasure of watching the 8th ms team.
Characters are incredibly likeable and they’re all sound of mind (well, they are compared to the characters in other gundams).
But the factor that just blew me away was the enjoyment. Disregarding any of the aesthetic qualities and originality or blah blah blah of the series, I simply enjoyed the series and ended up watching through all 12 episodes straight through. It was just fun to watch. 12 episodes may seem short for a gundam masterpiece, but it turned out way better than my expectations. This is highly recommended for those who love gundam, or hate it. This is a more action/feel good style of gundam that people who may not be into mecha might most likely enjoy. All of my friends, who never were interested in mecha until this one popped up, agree. A fun, short, sweet, and memorable ride following the determined gundam crew and the struggles & adversity they face…
10: Wolf’s Rain OVA
English: Wolf’s Rain OVA
Japanese: ウルフズ レイン
MAL Score: 8.02
As the world accelerates toward its own destruction, Kiba and Cheza—with the help of Tsume, Hige, Toboe, and Blue—race to reach true paradise before the entire world is rendered uninhabitable. Now reunited, Cher and Hubb decide to accompany the wolves in hopes of seeing the journey through to its end, while a distraught and confused Quent wanders aimlessly into the wasteland with his mind fixated on revenge.
Meanwhile, Lord Darcia the Third has finally put his plot into motion and pursues Cheza, pitting him against the pack. As everything falls apart yet simultaneously falls into place, the wolves struggle to survive in an increasingly dangerous environment. Though the end draws near, paradise seems further away than ever before.
It becomes STUNNING!
Intense, emotional, and gripping, the OVAs are the climax of Wolf’s Rain. This is where Nobumoto really shined… a good shounen series, but with a seinen-class masterpiece of an ending. The story is given proper closure and the action is at its flashiest, but the characters are beyond what I can describe. It brings them alive and pulls you in, and I found myself near tears for people I hadn’t even cared about before.
Make sure you set aside time to really watch this. Prior to watching this, I thought Wolf’s Rain was overhyped. That notion has now disappeared.
In order to “finish” the series in just four more episodes, the pace is fast and to the point. The constant attention to detail and new developments is enough to make people watch.
Granted, this ending is better than what people got with episode 26, but it is still open-ended makes you feel that they didn’t accomplish much. It gives the sense that Wolf’s Rain is a never-ending series, though this is implied.
Anyway, if you love Wolf’s Rain, you’ll most likely love this OVA as well. There really is nothing to bad here unless you really hate endings that are not as solid as a concrete wall.
9: Saint Seiya: Meiou Hades Juuni Kyuu-hen
English: Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter – Sanctuary
Japanese: 聖闘士星矢 冥王ハーデス十二宮編
MAL Score: 8.05
Hades is planning to take over the world, to achieve that goal, he sends out deceased Gold Saints to take Athena’s head. Seiya and the other Bronze Saints come to help but their help isn’t appreciated by the remaining Gold Saints that are still alive.
It’s my first review so don’t expect to much…
Story is back on tracks, i mean the sanctuary ;] personally i think it was best party of series, and now Athena sanctuary is back.
Like in every arc or movie new god want to kill Athena, and now it’s hades turn. Underworld lord get back to life dead Gold Saints and send them to get head of their goddess, on their way will stand the Saints that were alive after sanctuary arc with help from Bronze Saints.
Plot maybe isn’t great in outline but it’s very enjoyable. It gives continuation in Hades inferno, and gives place to prequel of all series Lost Canvas.
Toey Animation renewed overall art and gave some 3d effects ( which in my opinion are unnecessary). Characters have more motion, and fights aren’t now just exchange of super attacks, between 2 standing men (yeah they’re moving).
Art overall isn’t amusing, but it’s nice to watch more detailed characters ;]
All i can say about this section is “Chikyuugi” by Yumi Matsuzawa. It’s awesome, really even my friends who aren’t into anime or Japanese find this song very addicting.
This anime is very good back to the series. I know that many of you watched saint seiya in your kid years and if you want to return to that days, Saint Seiya: The Hades Sanctuary Chapter will give you this opportunity, and people who didn’t watch series i recommend it to you also maybe you’ll start to watch this great series.
Wish you great time with this anime
Before I go onto the review part, I want to say for those who have not seen the original TV series, you will be unable to have a complete understanding to the significance of what goes on in this oav. Yes, the original TV series may be 114 episodes long, but it’s worth watching to get to this point and it will make the story a lot more exciting. But if you don’t want to go through the TV series or read the manga, I heard there is a recap special that summarizes the anime series and I suppose if you can find it, you can watch that instead.
But moving on, what makes this story great are the very edge at your seat plot twists. Things will keep you guessing, and things just come out of no where, and it’s one of those moments where it’s just really cool to the audience, and it’s not one of those stupid lame ass deus ex machina out of no where twists. There is so much I want to say what makes the story itself awesome, but it’d be spoilers if I gave any significant examples, so it’s one of those instances where I really have to say you have to watch it yourself if you want to see how deep and far the story can go. What I can also say is that the story compared to the other arcs from the TV series is much, much darker and very intense, but when you consider who the new main enemy is, the atmosphere is very appropriately reflective of that.
The pacing is very even and the presented characters each have their time to shine. Speaking of the characters, it’s really cool that the Gold Saints are the featured characters of this part of the Hades OAV series. And one thing that I’m willing to reveal to give my opinion on why this installment is so awesome is the usage of the character, Aries Mu. You finally get to see him fight and I must say he has some pretty bad ass moves. I just have so much to say why I love this oav, but if you watch it with what I said, then hopefully, you’ll love it too.
Art and Animation
The character design and art overall is still faithful to how the original series did it. Of course being made after 2000, the obvious things we call praise it for is more detailed coloring and more fluid animation. Also take in consideration of the story’s atmosphere and it mostly takes place at night, the lighting is accurately executed. What’s also distinct about this series is of course the inclusion of computer graphics with some of the buildings and techniques. This movie was released during a time when CG was still in the early stages of anime, and for its quality, its pretty excellent. For most of the series, the armor of the Bronze Saints will still show battle damage from the last fight with Poseidon and I like how it shows this consistency through the majority of the series.
And the fights themselves are very breath taking. It’s still central around the usage of special techniques, but the new techniques presented are very mind blowing and like I said in my review of the TV series, they demonstrate a really kind of super cool destructiveness but not to the point where it gets ridiculously over the top. It still uses recycled animation, but it’s not as abusing as it was in the original TV series.
The design of the newer characters presented are very deep and detailed in their own unique way. But these newer characters won’t have much more presence until the later OAVs.
Music and Voice Acting
What’s really sweet is that this anime uses two opening and ending themes. The new opening theme is Chikyuugi. It’s not as in your face or intensive as the original song, Pegasus Fantasy, but it’s softer tone reflects it’s darker atmosphere, but also symbolizes the themes of hopes and dreams of this series overall. As for the other opening theme, after they play Chikyuugi, it goes to Pegasus Fantasy, and I can’t complain about that and neither can any fan who loves Saint Seiya. I’m happy they didn’t remix it. And not only is Pegasus Fantasy and Eien Blue part of the soundtrack, the original background music track from the old series is still utilized as well such as the orchestrated versions of Pegasus Fatnasy and Dream Warrior and so on. So it feels like even when there was a 10 year gap between the ending of the tv series and the release of this oav, that Saint Seiya still has this distinctive feature with it’s soundtrack.
Also returning is the original voice cast for the Bronze Saints. Furuya Tooru, Suzuoki Hirotaka, Horikawa Ryo, Han Keiko and so on reprise their respective roles, but of course some of the characters from the original show were changed, but for the right reasons. Mu is now played by Yamazaki Takumi who replaced Shiozawa Kaneto who died a couple of years prior to the release of this. I think Yamazaki did an excellent job in emulating Shiozawa’s original performance, and adds a great twist by making him sound more aggressive considering the situation he’s in this series. Another character was re-casted due to the passing of another terrific seiyuu, but revealing that would be a spoiler. But one change that really got to me was the changing of Milo, originally played by Ikeda Shuuichi. This time, he is played by Seki Toshihiko, the voice of Mousse from Ranma 1/2, Duo Maxwell from Gundam Wing, and more interestingly, he also plays another masked Gundam antagonist, Lau La Cluset from Gundam SEED. I don’t know why Ikeda Shuuichi of all people was replaced, but I thought Seki Toshihiko did a great job in capturing the character in his own way, though it doesn’t compare to Ikeda Shuuichi’s.
Like I said, if you have seen the TV series or read the manga, I say this is certainly a must see. I feel if you choose to watch this installment without any knowledge of Saint Seiya, I still believe that the audience can still feel the bond that the saints have with each other and you do get to know the characters in an individual sense. But I feel you’ll get a better understanding if you’ve already seen the TV series. But as a Saint Seiya fan, not only I reccomend this oav, but the franchise as a whole.
However, things start to lose steam with the plot twist revealed in the last two episodes which causes the majority of the arc’s plot to be one giant act. I don’t see it as being too damaging, given the circumstance made it understandable and the actions and statements of certain characters made it apparent things weren’t what they appeared to be at surface value, but it still means the sense of loss and conflict wasn’t as great. That said, whilst the plot didn’t live up to it’s own hype, it was overall still above average.
Character writing was also decent. Focusing more on the Gold Saints than the Bronzes was a nice change from the previous arcs that feels well deserved and makes things far more interesting than seeing the same five characters stealing the limelight. Nobody was outstanding other than Shaka and maybe Saga, plus the anime lessened one of Shiryu’s highlights in the arc, and the villains were all bland but character writing was overall decent.
When it comes to superficial aspects, this series is nearly a masterpiece. Aside from the CGI, which is still far less dated than most modern anime, the art of almost every frame is outstanding in detail and the animation is as fluid as you’d expect of an OVA series. With the possible exception of the 1986 Hokuto no Ken movie, this may very well be the best looking work Toei has ever produced. The sound is also excellent and can be considered nostalgia done right. From reusing Pegasus Fantasy as a secondary opening, the reuse of the classic ost and the return of many of the original seiyuu such as Toru Furuya, this OVA was a great service to fans of the original series. Unfortunately, sound and art are nowhere near as important as plot and characters, so it won’t factor much into the overall score.
In conclusion, the Sanctuary segment of the Hades Arc acts as a good introduction to the arc beyond the twist to make things typical. Unfortunately, things go downhill from here in the next two OVA series as the arc hyped itself too much to deliver.
Overall ranking – 5.5/10
8: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2: Kono Subarashii Geijutsu ni Shukufuku wo!
English: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2: God’s blessing on this wonderful Art!
Japanese: この素晴らしい世界に祝福を！2 この素晴らしい芸術に祝福を！
MAL Score: 8.05
Kazuma meets a novice adventurer called Ran who claims to be Kazuma’s fan. A quest is proposed to Kazuma and his party in front of Ran, so he accepts the quest to look good in front of his fan; after some convincing, they all go to fight the metal golem.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 OVA is an isolated episode about well Kazuma showboating to a newbie adventurer by the name of Ran and the dysfunctional main party goes adventuring due to this with their unusual quirks and hijinks.
By all means this OVA has the typical hilarity and comedic edge as the 2nd season of Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, that hasn’t changed in this OVA neither is Kazuma’s karmic luck and how even by LA even stating LA’s first statement to this review that something is up. But even by the structure of this OVA with each quest the main party takes on having more to an increasingly weirder “threat” as well as information pertaining to these quests being linked in some way. Besides that, this OVA does give us something in terms of plot that ONLY refers back to a certain incident in the first season but LA won’t obviously spoil on that on.
In terms of animation, the animation done once again by Studio DEEN is done by the typical KonoSuba’s enforced low quality animation but the animation shines in terms of focus on detail in some animation to it’s fluidity in some scenes. Nonetheless Studio DEEN’s specialized take on their animation on KonoSuba is expected quality as per usual.
In terms of voice acting, well it’s top notch once again especially from Jun Fukushima’s adlibbing-esque and reactionary talents that makes this OVA bearable, heck Aqua is also bearable due to her being a catalyst to Jun and two words for Sora Amamiya made this OVA *ahem* “GOD requiem…” Overall, the voice acting is great and to be expected from these voice actors playing their roles for 2 seasons.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 OVA is a nice isolated OVA with a nice reference back to the first season and just typical hijinks antics from the dysfunctional party to a nice karmic payoff as the ending.
Its like hanging out with your friends without a worry in the world, thats how I describe this show, and thats why I love this show.
And the OVA of Konosuba season 2, has ended, so what???????
Mediocre 5, story:
Ok, so the usual plot, the usual scenario, the usual bad luck were Kazuma’s party were still experiencing it , frankly this OVA can qualify as episode 11, in fact Studio Deen should have included it with the regular airing of Konosuba season 2.
Mediocre 5, Art:
Let me see, the same character illustrations, the same situation where we don’t see any good fanservice except for Aqua’s commando butt and frankly Rem’s butt doesn’t count as well, , it goes to show that original creator, Natsume Akatsuki is an assman.
Mediocre 5, Sound:
Well, you guys are smart, so go figure it out as to why I give it such score.
Poor 3, Character:
The thing is, in this OVA Kazuma went from funny to boring as well as the rest of his harem, Rem and that Big Boob Luna didn’t do much except make Kazuma’s character worse, also their jokes and gags were pretty much worn-out, to the point that I find Aqua, Darkness and Megumi as irritating than funny.
Decent 4, Enjoyment:
Frankly the only part I enjoy here is Rem, who was seemly trying to punked Kazuma, were she did, but end up being found out together with Luna by the stupid latter and got to have their panties stolen………..yeah, he did used the “Steal” spell, but, I would have wish that the two would have gave Kazuma a good beating, it may have add some laughs, too bad Studio Deen didn’t thought about it.
Poor 3, Overall:
Everything were already worn-out, and frankly the OVA was rather boring, it’s like eating curry for the 4th time in a row.
7: Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar Final
English: GaoGaiGar Final
MAL Score: 8.08
Following Gutsy Galaxy Guard`s victory over the Zonder Empire and the 31 Primevals, a new threat makes their appearance on Earth. GGG – with Guy Shishio and the newly-constructed GaoFighGar – team up with their French counterpart Chasseur to battle the evil organization BioNet. Among Chasseur`s ranks is Renais Cardiff Shishioh – a former BioNet cyborg with the relentless pursuit of destroying those who took away her humanity. But as GGG and Chasseur fight the BioNet, GGG`s bases around the world are suddenly attacked, and the recently-discovered “Q-Parts” and the original Gao Machines are stolen by Mamoru Amami, who has been abducted and cloned by an even greater threat known as the “Eleven Kings of Sol.” Evicted from Earth by the United Nations, GGG must now travel to the far reaches of the galaxy to battle the Eleven Kings of Sol and save Mamoru before it`s too late.
The plot of Final takes place, I’d estimate, roughly 6 to 12 months after the final events of the original series. I’d spoil the whole thing if I delved even into the slightest detail, but let me just say this: The story resembles that of the original’s second half, totally getting rid of the “Villain of the Week” formula. You should know what you’re getting yourself into. Let’s just say the main antagonists were to be activated after the Zondars and the 31 Primevals had been defeated before hand.
The design and art of Final have vastly improved over its predecessor. Not only that, but the animation has been revamped and is superior in fluidity. The mechas are colorful and detailed, though some transformations could use a bit of work. As for the environments, they are superb, especially if you consider when this was drawn. You’re taken to India, China, France, and multiple real life areas where (oh my god) real life monuments are seen! Overall, a vast improvement over the original, which was subpar even in the color department.
Musical scores are spot on with the tone of the episode. They managed to fit it well with the scenes. My major complaint is that I felt the background music could have been more varied instead of rewashing the same one over and over. You have to consider they use mostly the same background music from the original, but I guess that could be considered a plus to some people. Sound effects have improved, but not dramatically. Most of the robot movements have been given the “UC Gundam” startup sound, if that makes any sense. You’ll hear it when you hear it. I don’t recall it being in the original, but regardless they’re in Final. As for the voice acting, most of them were great (Guy, Soldat J, Renais, etc.) but some were just outright annoying. Atleast Mamoru definitely improved.
For the most part, Guy is the most memoriable of all. Shishio Guy is very hot-blooded and proves himself time after time after time. Soldat J is heroic as usual, and yeah you get the idea. All of the returning characters have the same thought processes from the last few episodes of the original. As for the new characters, well they’re great addutuibs. Renais is a cyborg similar to pre-final Guy, who was raised to be some sort of human weapon (literally.) Her owners were part of a criminal organization called BioNet, which was the antagonist of the first episode. Her personality resembles that of a tsundere to some extent. The two new “Ryu” robots are awesome! First off, they’re female! That’s right, female robots! Really, that’s all you need to know.
If you’ve seen the original series, you’ll find this add-on to be superior in pretty much all regards. Excitement is rampant and neverending; you’re sure to enjoy this sequel.
I certainly got all of that, but I wouldn’t say it had the charm of the original. The TV series is approximately 25 episodes of classic super robot plot updated for modern audiences with plucky kids, brave heroes, talking robots and masses of explosions and shouting, followed by another 24 episodes of a more arc-based plot with its own exciting story and charm. It’s a good solid show for anyone who loves or loved the classic super robots of the 70s and 80s.
The OVA tries to be more edgy and adult, with the stakes raised to massive levels and the villains more “mature” in design. As a case in point – GGG TV had for its villains a train conductor, a masked pilot, a ballerina and a sailor. Then it had a clown and a team of mutant enemies themed on body parts.
GGG Final has a dominatrix, the Grim Reaper, a doctor who injects himself to become more powerful and a plethora of creepy kids and other misfits. When you’ve got a PVC and spikes clad villain chaining up the female heroes and “disciplining” them, or an oversized doctor using his “Doping” powers, it’s not quite as charmingly pulp as what you’ve come to expect. There’s also a lot more nudity and fanservice, and to be honest it doesn’t really work.
The battles tend to be inconclusive as the show saves itself for the final hour-long episode, something that mecha OVAs and movies sometimes fall prey to (Char’s Counterattack seems to come to mind) and even then the fight relies on fakeout deaths and stalemates until its climax, at which point it’s all over. The real problem is how it’s set up in terms of power-ups. The intial fights, which pit GaoGaiGar against itself, are great. However, then the villains need to be shown as more powerful than the planet-sized Z Master who capped off the TV series – and this means the heroes need another couple of power-ups which only serve to make GGG more ridiculously tough and (in my opinion) a lot uglier than its original form.
The ending of the OVA also bears discussion – it attempts at the same time to be hopeless ala Zambot 3, and have a noble sacrifice, while also leaving it open for a sequel. As a result, it doesn’t really work at all. When you’ve raised the stakes as you have, the ending either needs to be full-on heroic or actually tragic, rather than inconclusive.
All in all, GGG Final is a beautifully animated follow-up to the TV series which unfortunately misses what made the series so good. Overpowered robots and massive stakes do not instantly equal quality – as any Russell T Davies Dr Who finale, Godmars and Gundam SEED Destiny all prove. Similarly, the villains are dull for all their “extreme”-ness – I’d rather have plainer designs like the Zonderians, but at least they had personality from Penchinon’s creepy laughing to the actually quite sinister behaviour of Primada.
It’s worth a watch if you’re a completist or a fan of the show, since the fights are well-choreographed, but in this case bigger doesn’t equal better – and GGG could happily have been left at the ending of the series.
STORY… Not much has changed in this category, but you get a sense of nostalgia when you see the heroes of 3G back again. There’s still villains wanting to rule the universe, but where it gets interesting is the methods used by the villains. The methods carried out by the villains inflict absolute despair on the heroes that it had enough SHOCK VALUE to make me say, “No way… Did that really just happen? Whoa, the heroes might actually lose this time.” But then I suddenly remembered that this is GAOGAIGAR, the heroes ALWAYS find a way to win. And with that, lies a flaw- While watching this, I never had the sense that the heroes of 3G would lose in the end= slight sense of predictability. But as I got towards the end, I was finally given a befitting ending that left me satisfied. Watch it for yourself to find out.
ANIMATION… This is one of the strong points of the series and also where I explain why kid viewers will have to wait until they’re teenagers. The robot designs definitely look fresher, crisper, and much cooler. There are definitely those heavy GAR moments when power-ups are achieved and when transformations are done. The battle scenes are splendid- seeing mechas go at it, as bits and pieces of their armor break apart and lots of sparks flying everywhere with each intense collision. Not to mention, over the scale screaming of emotions of the pilots. Definitely fun to watch. It was enough to make me say wow. It’s just that awesome. Haha… To my surprise, there is a lot of nudity and ecchi themes like huge breasts jiggling and seeing panties under the skirts of women. They even focus on it for like 1-2 seconds, sometimes 2-3 seconds. I thought this was a kids’ show!? Anyways, let’s go on- there are still the over exaggerated movements for the simplest of commands, and luckily, you don’t see as much of that stuff anymore, (not like in the first season, wherein, every episode it’s loaded with that junk) so you’ll be more amused rather than annoyed. I also applaud the designers for making the villains look more menacing and dangerous. They weren’t lazy this time. I commend them for that.
SOUND… Not much can be said in this category, there’s still the same opening theme song, but with a “grander” feeling about it. Maybe it’s because it’s the finale? I guess so… I didn’t particularly like the ending theme song. In essence, it’s still basically the same soundtrack.
CHARACTERS… The same heroic 3G group is still here, but early on, the series lets you know that most members of the original crew have all moved to different places and different people have replaced their old positions. For example, remember how Mr. Chief use to give the approval for Final Fusion with wild energy and emotion? The new guy who replaced him is so relaxed, and so laid back that it is outrageously funny watching him give the approval for Final Fusion (because it’s something you’re not use to, if you watched the first season). There are also the introduction of a few new side characters, like the new sister robots of Enryu and Hyoryu, and Renee, who is Guy’s cousin. But I ended up not really feeling for them because this is about the original 3G and their final battle. It feels as if they were just put in there because the number of villains turned out to be extra, so the directors needed an opponent for the villain. Surprisingly, Mikoto Utsugi was given a stronger role in the story, which I found to be respectable and likeable- refreshing. The directors finally made full use of the cast, which resulted in a better story.
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10= Awesome
+ Still conveys the wonderful message: “Anything can be overcome with courage.”
+ Has SHOCK VALUE.
+ Full use of cast characters.
+ Excellent Animation. (Especially mecha battles loaded with GAR moments.)
+ Finally delivers an appropriate ending GaoGaiGar should have had a long time ago.
– Predictability still exists.
– Too much unnecessary nudity and ecchi themes.
Note: I can’t really say whether you should watch this or not. If you watched the first season, then why not watch it for closure? (It’s what I did and I was rewarded.) But if you didn’t watch the first season, then you don’t have to bother with this one. Remember, tell the kids they’re going to have to wait a few years before watching this. I recommend this for GaoGaiGar fans and for regular viewers who happened to watch the first season.
6: Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas – Meiou Shinwa 2
English: Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas 2
Japanese: 聖闘士星矢 THE LOST CANVAS 冥王神話 2
MAL Score: 8.10
The sequel to Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas – Meiou Shinwa.
For starters, it’s worth mentioning, that although the series has been up as an OVA for more than 2 years now, we are still only half-way through. This is because at the time the first episode was aired, the manga was still ongoing and only recently came to a spectacular end (at least for those we have no experience with SS franchise), therefore the animators took their time to polish Lost Canvas OVA instead of come up with poinstless fillers, like most people would do. Thank you dearly for that. I believe that it’s a good thing, that the series is split into 13-episode-long seasons which end at crucial moments in the series. By doing so, the studio managed to pace the title just exaclty right and omit adding extra content or re-cap episodes just to buy some time for the manga to gain the distance. However, now that the manga is finished I’m sincerely hoping that the two final seasons will be delivered sooner than the previous ones. Otherwise those will be really painfull 4 or so years…
The story may appear a bit cliched with straightforward shounen backtracks at the first glance, but if one looks just a little bit deeper it may appear that the initial thoughts are somewhat invalid or distorted by the fact, that shounen series these days offer very little and in consequence blunt our-the viewers’ hopes for new franchise(s). The grieveness of this idea is multiplied by the sincere lack of anything that would only little go beyond the accepted cliches of good guys fighting against bad guys. In Lost Canvas this small glimpse is represented not so much by the plot but by the characters and their overlapping development over the course of events. The authors are not scared by the fact that they have to deal with so many people (if we only consider the Golds it’s 12 people already!!) and this accounts for supreme control over the content which appears on the screen. Every character gets his or her 5 minutes (the leads of course more), most motivations are solidly backgrounded and although some situations may apper too ‘captain-obvious’-like, it’s still refreshing to see the characters struggle not so much to defeat the enemy, but rather to survive in the end. Of course, this appears to be rather difficult in the rough SS world (sorry for the abbreviation, it’s Saint Seiya obviously :] ) and people really die when they are killed, but it’s for the best: we can move with the plot and grieve for all those who lost their lives, not necessarily reminiscenting about them every moment possible in every flashback possible (Hello there Naruto bozoos!).
The characters’ strength lies in their difference. Even among the Saints or the Specters you will rarely find the two alike characters. Sure, the Golds are obsessed with fighting (you can tell just by their spiky hairstyles though :> ) and the Specters are obsessed with killing the Golds (this, well, you can tell just by looking at them :] ). Both the teams fight for their own leaders though, and although I do understand why 12 men wearing gold pants are into a lovely 18-year-old goddess from the Age of Myth, I still find it difficult to accept the other side of the fence admiring a dark-haired boy who loves to lick blood from the floor or play with his puppy-of-a-cerberus.
I also like the main character – the Pegasus Saint Tenma. He’s a much better folly then his 20th century counterpart – Seiya, more decisive, less annoying and definitely more intelligent. He also appears to be slightly more talented than Seiya, which comes across as being crucial in some of the battles and saves his life on occasion. As we will learn from the upcoming seasons his background is also more solid than Seiya’s and includes much more twists and wicked characters. Through the 90s’ series Seiya appeared to be more of an ‘accident’ of a Saint, than a fated warrior whose destiny is to aid Athena in her final battle against Hades. Tenma is…, well exactly this definition with the small add-on: ‘Oh Gods, I carry a torch both for Sasha and her brother Alone, who, erm, happen to be the Athena and the Hades’. Aside of that, he’s a perfect protagonist. He shows up occasionally, isn’t omnipotent and is far from being strong, even by the end of the series. He also understands, that since he cannot bring Alone back, he will have to take him down eventually.
The other characters are also a far better counterparts to their younger brothers and sisters from Saint Seiya the original. That may be, because we live with these people and most of them serve as not only mentors for Tenma, but also a rather eloquent battle subjects. The original was, at this particular point really scarce. At least half of the Sanctuary warriors died in the initial battles against the Bronze, only to be later revived by Hades – thus we know very little about them in general.
Another kudos should belong to two other protagonists: Sasha aka Athena and Alone aka Hades. They both play their roles splendidly, while introducing a more complex twists into the plot. Although you may find Sasha to be a bit too kind and extraverted at first, her ‘alter ego’ – Alone, is exactly the opposite. Cruel, decisive and a bit emotional version of one of the darkest and most well-known villains in the Mythology and yet you nearly believe in the world he’s pointing at: without wars, killing and cruelty. The only problem is, this also means the world without humans.
Graphically and soundwise the production nearly reaches perfection. Of course, it’s an OVA, anything lower than perfection is unacceptable, but the studio put so much care and heart into making this beatifully drawn manga into something of this quality, that it cannot remain untold. Every aspect of it, starting from extra smooth animation, detailed drawings and beautiful backgrounds to nearly non-existent CGI is a work of art. There is not a single episode of a less format than it should be, and that’s good. It’s the kind of enjoyment many of us have been waiting for for nearly a decade. The graphics also prove, that making the series into OVA rather than regular TV show was a much better solution. By doing so, the animators could retain the original concepts and beauty of the manga without rush and with more money to spend. Action scenes are really good and some could easily become a good show-off for all those, who aim at superb quality but end up doing rubbish instead. Special attention is required when we want to discuss the way the Cloths (armors) look. It’s a completely different level from the ones availbile in the old series. Although I do like the old designs, the new cloths, while retaining the spirit of the originals, are far better looking, slicker and more modern.
The music is composed by Kaworu Wada, who made the entire OST for D-Gray man. Back in that show, I loved his creations and Lost Canvas is no different. The music is for most part fantastic, climatic and well suited with the tone of the series and the development of the characters. For some scenes you don’t really notice it’s there but for others it’s crucial and without it the moment wouldn’t be even half that good.
A separate paragraph should also follow the opening and ending sequences – those are fabulous. At first, I didn’t quite like them as I’m not a fan of the Japanese artists singing English lyrics. This time around, however, what I usually assume to be something weak turned out to be so good, that I tend use my utter singing abilities to perform it occasionally in bath :] (a joke). The Realm of Athena, obviously, is a living proof of the Japanese using English consciously and nearly flawlessly – and for only that, you should check it. The ending is also good, but it gets old pretty fast, on the contrary, The Realm of Athena is a neverending feat that, when pops up on my playlist, reminds me of this great series instantly.
Voice acting is definitely the weakest part of the OVA, and although the studio hired pretty well-known people to do their work as seiyuus (Hirano Aya, Hiro Shimono, Tetsuya Kakihara) some parts just don’t go too well with the epicness of the scenes. I tend to like Aya-san which voices Sasha and Tetsuya-san as Tenma, though. These two seiyuus really did their best to input as many emotions into their animated characters as possible and it paid off.
It’s really difficult to credit something which is still on-going, but I’ll try to pass the final verdict. Lost Canvas is a v.good OVA series, mainly because it follows the manga consequently and consistently leaving aside no room for fillers or recap episodes. Therefore it borrows all the good and bad parts of the manga, while retaining the general idea intact. For a shounen it sure is refreshing, to see the series which ends in 200– chapters rather than a thousand or so, but I still can’t get this odd feeling off, that it’s a sheer rip-off from the original series. Although you do get a lot of new characters, a more developed protagonists (Saoru from Kurumada’s manga was very very weak) and a better development of the other Saints beside the Pegasus and his henchmen it still is a good old Saint Seiya show. Thus, if you have nothing against battles that end in one-two attacks, overpowered and shiny armors and are into beautiful animation, epic ost and memorable characters – the series is for you!
SS Lost Canvas, is like a dreamed SHONEN adaptation, nice animation, a real war, no plotkai. Shonen series should imitate lost canvas
Im a classic Saint Seiya fan, but I consider Lost Canvas as the superior one.
Now, first I will introduce people about saint seiya:
This anime tells the story of the previous Holy War, taking place in the 18th century, 250 years before the original series, in the Saint Seiya universe. The story centers on the relation between Tenma, the Pegasus Saint and his beloved friends, Alone, who eventually becomes his greatest enemy, Hades and Sasha who became Athena.
You don´t need to watch the original SS series.
Characters 8 of 10. Tenma starts as the generic shonen hero, but the setting and certain events will turn Tenma in something different. The good thing about LC, is that the side characters the Gold Saint receive a lot of attention, they have interesting backgrounds, you will care about them. The specter (hades army) represent the opposite you will hate them, but they are awesome too.
Alone is a hit or a miss, (wont spoil).
Animation 9 of 10: Great Backgrounds, awesome character and cloth (designs), fluid combat scenes. Saint Seiya is more “skill based” and “shout my hax move type” than melee brawl.
Soundtrack 8 0f 10: Good tunes, reall fits. But inferior to the original anime soundtrack.
Setting 10 of 10: If you like mythology, unique clothes, badasses, also bishies (for the female fan).
Epic holy war, there´s no clear victory, for both sides, BOTH SIDES HAVE LOSSES, something nowaday shonens don´t have
The 3 gold saints are Manigoldo, the Cancer saint, El Cid, the Capricorn saint, and Sisyphus, the Sagitaurrius saint. And even though their respective original series counterparts didn’t really have much screen time as lets say Saga, Mwu, or Milo did, these characters do a whole lot and demonstrate how fucking bad ass they are. Formally speaking, they really go in-depth with these characters and explore why they became saints and why they fight.
Hypnos and Thanatos and are given a bigger role as opposed to their original series counterparts. Thanatos is still portrayed as brash, arrogant, and sadistic, and Hypnos is still calculating, manipulative and patient. Those qualities were shown with them in the original Saint Seiya manga, but they were more expanded upon in this season and the screen time in this series makes them more credible villains this time around since they really did almost nothing. OK, they did destroy 5 Gold cloths. That was cool and impacting for what little time they had last time.
Tenma still maintains the archetypical qualities of a shounen hero but I like how these qualities are put in a much darker context. It shows he’s very caring, can be an idiot, and he may be idealistic but yet understands the hard side of life, and yet those qualities are why he doesn’t give up hope. He does have his moments in this series, but this installment belongs to the three gold saints and I don’t mind that. But the series ends at a cliffhanger, but when it ends, it gets really, really exciting because it comes to a point where even though they won a huge battle, the stakes are starting to get higher than ever before and it leaves you wanting for more. And I hope that a new installment is made soon now that the manga is over.
The art and animation is more or less the same, but what really improves is the action. The action this time is just simply bad ass on a level that is just a few leagues below Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Granted it is balls to the walls, but it relies a lot on wit, strategy, and being a man. From beginning to end there is countless tension and intensity. The fights perfectly mixes physical, psychological, mystical and spiritual demands to make the action consistently exciting. The characters are placed in battles where it’s the equivalent of a 60 year old Rocky Balboa taking on a young Apollo Creed, young Mr. T, young Hulk Hogan, an Ivan Drago on every performance enhancing drug imaginable, a loaded Tommy Gunn, and a hungry Mason Dixon all at once on the mean streets of Philly and yet chooses to fight on. Even though Saint Seiya is a re-telling of Greek mythology, the characters demonstrate a good combination of the spirit of the ancient Japanese samurai warrior with the all-American million-to-one underdog. Yeah, they may lose, but the fact they choose to face such a challenge is what makes it more admirable. This is most demonstrated with El Cid. Remember that Rocky analogy I made a few seconds ago, El Cid is who I was talking about and what he does is what made him my favorite character in Lost Canvas so far. Hell, he’s way cooler than Shuura in my book.
Well, the style of the music and the songs used are still the same and I can’t go wrong with Realm of Athena, the best English anime song of all time that’s in the Japanese version. But early on in the series, I like how this organ song was more integrated into the action. At first, you think the music it is setting the mood, but it is of course not doing that for the audience, but for the victim in the TV screen itself. I like how this featured villain was playing an organ to manipulate people and it just really intensified the mood.
The seiyuu cast is still appropriately splendid. I really can’t say anything about it that I already said in my review of the last season. The performances perfectly reflected the nature of their characters. I like how Hirano Aya is Athena/Sasha can’t always act as this school girl who needs to be in the remedial classes and shows she can be this leader in a time of war. I
Well naturally, you do need to watch the first season first to get an understanding of the establishment of the main cast, specifically Tenma, Sasha, and Alone. But this season does a good job of re-establishing these characters in a certain way that may not be familiar to new audiences, but I do recommend watching this series from season 1 to get a better idea of course how the stakes got higher and how the danger gets more intense.
Once again, I do like to state that you don’t really need any previous exposure to the original Saint Seiya series though it will help a lot. But at the same time, the previous exposure does add more. But hey, this series still defines what makes Saint Seiya awesome; explosive action, thrilling adventure, and awesome music that grabs you by the balls.
5: Tsubasa: Shunraiki
English: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE: Spring Thunder Chronicle
Japanese: ツバサ 春雷記
MAL Score: 8.12
A 4 part OVA released with the limited editions of the Tsubasa and xxxHOLiC volumes.
There are two OVAs for each series, with plots linked together.
They cover the Nihon Country Arc and scarcely some of the Celes Country Arc.
(Source: Official Project Website)
+ Very close adaptation of the original material
+ The actual plot is very interesting and complex
+ Plot twists are sure to surprise some viewers
+ Finally we get xxxHOLiC/Tsubasa connections
– If you’ve only watched the anime versions of Tsubasa (including Tokyo Revelations) you WILL NOT understand the plot fully.
– Manga knowledge is absolutely necessary to understand what is happening.
– Celes and Infinity arcs were never animated (the ones who continue after Tokyo), further emphasizing my previous point.
+ CLAMP style art (if you like it)
+ Production I.G delivers fantastic and fluid animation even during fight scenes
– CLAMP style art (if you hate it)
+ Kajiura Yuki delivers once again
+ a blend of new and old songs makes this very pleasing to listen
+ Great job to all the seiyuus specially Irino Miyo for his Syaoran
– I can’t think of anything (sorry)
+ Great level of character development
+ All the characters are very likeable
– Fai and Kurogane fans might be let down by the lack of involvement of the two during this OVA as they spend most of their time as observers.
Enjoyment: I can say this easily, this 2 episode OVA was absolutely fantastic and I really hoped this would last longer. This was one of my favourite parts of the manga and im glad at how well production I.G has handled it once again. This OVA makes my current top 5 for now. How I wish we could just get a third anime season by I.G ;_;
Overall Tsubasa Shunraiki can be fantastic or annoying depending on how you look at it. As a stand alone OVA adaptation of the manga, it is absolutely perfect. If you try to look at it as a continuation of the series, then unfortunately it is almost a prerequisite to have read the manga to enjoy this fully. If you are a fan of the manga then I guarantee you will not be let down by this, if you have only experience Tsubasa as an anime then I would STRONGLY suggest you read it before trying to watch this, it would greatly decrease the enjoyment factor.
:::The artwork is precise and even if there are only two episodes, you can see the difference in it between the two seasons of Tsubasa Chronicle and the OVAs.
:::The soundtrack is awesome as always and the op and the ending are very nice.
:::The characters are the same for all of you who have watched Tsubasa, but /especially if you are reading the manga/ you can see them more serious and everyone of them with his personal story in the shadows.
:::So I think that this OVAs are one of the best CLAMPs works and you will enjoy them even if you aren’t reading the manga and can’t understand the plot very well [=
With the announcement of Spring Thunder it was no surprise the various CLAMP fanatics began jumping for joy and same with some of the fans such as me. Now after watching both episodes, I have to say, this was a real let down.
Tsubasa Spring Thunder is the bad example of what happens when the original creator of the source material comes to write in the adaption. Nanase Ohkawa (aka Ageha Ohkawa) the principal writer of CLAMP, whom I’ve found to have exceptional screenwriting talent handled this script for this as well as “Tokyo”, having taken over from the TV series writer Hiroyuki Kawasaki. Ohkawa crafted Tokyo so well, I would have handed her the Academy Award for Best Screenwriting of the year. In the case of Spring Thunder I would easily hand her a Razzie award for the Worst.
Ohkawa proves that she and her fellow CLAMP mates are too married to their story that all they can do is tell an animated version of their manga, basically wasting everyone elses time. Spring Thunder proves to be nothing more than a carrot for the loyal fans who have kept reading through the years while basically saying “piss off” to those who have only followed the anime installments. Having only partially read the manga I was beyond confused. As Spring Thunder doesn’t immediately pick up where Tokyo left off.
Production I.G’s motto is, ” to make anime that stands on its own ground without being an extension of manga.” And to me I.G completely threw that motto out the window. The film is cluttered with to many flashbacks to events we haven’t seen and likely never will, and it only leaves the viewer with a real sense of emptiness and endless plotholes that they won’t be able to fill unless they claw their way through god knows how many books there are now. At the very least Ohkawa was still able to make a somewhat-coherent screen story that I could follow at the very least. Still most of the time I was hopelessly lost with no hope of ever returning. It seems the plot of Tsubasa has dissolved to a very epic and thoroughly thought out quest to just mind-bending improv from CLAMP.
Equally disappointing was Shunsuke Tada’s direction. Tada used way to many cuts and hardly got creative, except with the action scenes. Too often than not we are cut into long and pointless exposition scenes that some of us really just don’t care about. I found my self fast forwarding through this more than on the edge of my seat with anticipation of what the next scene holds. And of course Tada follow the old animation creed of “animation first, music second.” Yuki Kajiura’s score is ridiculously forced into the background to the point you even wonder if there is any. Rather than use music to heighten the scene and emotion, Tada makes it feel like it’s just playing on a radio, as basic white noise. I said this in my review for Tokyo, that the use of music is the thing I find much more appealing about Koichi Mashimo at Bee Train compared to anyone else, and this only proves my point. On the one plus side was he finally decided to use more variety of pieces from the Tsubasa OST archives than he did in Tokyo and we were able to get a few new pieces from Yuki, who is understandably busy with a variety of projects.
Yoko Kikuchi character designs while not dreadful aren’t exactly appealing. That being said I do prefer Bee Train’s designer Minako Shiba. The art style is a slab of strangely clashing color pallets dull pastel colors mixed in with dark blacks. It’s almost as though Tada can’t settle on any style. Tomoyo is equally unappealing in her design as she looks like she’s wearing football gear under her robes. There is no continuity to the visual style of this. It’s bright and flowery yet strangely dark, almost filmed like a dark comedy.
The opening animation is just beyond obscure and doesn’t set the mood appropriately for this short OAD series. While Maaya Sakamoto is probably one of the best singers from Japan I’ve ever heard, her themes never seem to ever to match appropriately to anything Tsubasa. Kajiura however has always mastered the theme songs as her ending has fitted a lot more. It’s great to hear FictionJunction YUUKA perform yet again.
The overall animation quality is still very well done for this short production and I didn’t notice any real problems with the animation. The fight scenes were well crafted and well animated which made for some great footage.
If anything else saved this from being the worst video production I’ve seen of all time it was the animation as well as the all star acting from the cast. Miyu Irino has come a long way as an actor, and gives the performance of a life-time for this. The other cast-members also have given it an all star performance and continue to improve as actors.
Spring Thunder isn’t bad or terrible. It’s simply average, boiler plate, run of the mill. It was CLAMP’s little present to their die-hard fans, and leaves anime fans in the dark. It’s now very clear as to why this little production is only being sold with the manga instead of a wide release on DVD as opposed to CLAMP’s other productions.
It makes me think they should give it back to Mashimo and just make another season, or at least maybe go to the movie director Itsuro Kawasaki.
4: Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island
Japanese: HUNTER×HUNTER Greed Island
MAL Score: 8.19
After the battle with the Spiders, the search for Ging continues as Gon and Killua decided to once again attempt to purchase the rare game “Greed Island”. However, Gon came up with a better plan, which was to volunteer to complete the game for the billionaire who owned it. But some training must be done, as Gon and Killua’s abilities are still at a developing stage and “Greed Island” is no simple game for anyone to play with. It is the infamous game that could easily lead to one’s death. Based on the manga by Togashi Yoshihiro.
Similar to the first OVA and the Hunter x Hunter series, the animation is what we\’re used to – good but not fantastic. The sound is great even though by now it\’s really predictable. Opening and ending themes are interesting though.
The story is fantastic. Greed Island is a special NMORG (Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) for Nen-users, and if a player\’s nen isn\’t good enough they will \"game over\" (DIE!). The premise seems simple but it\’s actually really exciting to play. Everyone competes to be the first to \"clear\" the game by collecting 100 cards. Cards can be acquired in a number of ways – questing, helping others, trading or … well, player robbing/killing. Not only is the world dangerous, but so are the opposition players!
Well, the start of this is very exciting. After watching this you\’ll want to go out and buy a Greed Island game also. As a gamer I was hooked. Much to my NON-surprise, it seems some company capitalized on the success of the anime and made a Greed Island game.
The story and development are great. This OVA is when Gon and Killua finally develop their signature Ultimate Techniques. The Greed Island OVA also introduces a very interesting new character, Biske (Biscuit?), who looks like a young girl but is much more than meets the eye.
* Can Gon and Killua qualify to play the game?
* Will they be taken advantage of as newbies?
* Are they going to be able to cope with cute, threatening or plain weird monsters?
* How will they deal with other players with different motivations? Will they have a strategy to they survive player killers?
* Can they win?
Don\’t miss another exciting installment of Hunter x Hunter, Greed Island OVA 2!
6th Arc: Greed Island Arc (Episodes 71-78):
This OVA by itself is fighting an uphill battle. It only covers the very beginning of the Greed Island Arc, right before the actual plot gets going. It also suffers the problem that 1999’ slow pacing comes back with a vengeance. This OVA is egregiously slow paced, with it feeling more like four episodes that were forcefully dragged out into eight. It legitimately takes until episode 4 for the actual game of Greed Island to begin.
On the plus side, once the actual game begins, the plot actually begins and ends up being pretty decent. The rules are very well explained, and overall, everything is done rather well with what little they have. Yeah, the pacing is still bullcrap, but hey, you have to take the good with the bad in things like this.
In turn, this Arc is also responsible for introducing one of my favorite characters so far: Bisky! I love her so much. Not only is she a legal Loli (And when I mean legal, I mean it! She’s legitimately 57) and she serves as an effective mentor to Gon and Killua, being similar enough to Wing to realize the relationship between the two, but different enough so as to give her an identity of her own.
There’s also a subplot about the Phantom Troupe trying to find any clues for what could help Chrollo, but sadly, due to the OVA cutting off when it does, it’s never quite allowed to resolve said subplot. That’s really this OVA’s main issue: Nothing is given a proper resolution. I get why they had to do this (This was around the time Togashi started going into his infamous hiatuses) but the point still stands.
Wow! Talk about a downgrade! After the gorgeous Yorkshin Arc, this Arc just comes across as dull. See, due to the way early digital Animation worked, people were forced to work with far brighter colors than before. Now some of the best shows of this era like FMA 2003 made excellent use of this limitation and stood the test of time. Hunter X Hunter did not. It’s especially notable that even with the brighter color scheme; they still do everything and anything in their power to have said colors be as dull as possible.
Overall, while the soundtrack is still good, none of the tracks are used quite that well. The only exception to this is the Opening theme “Pray”, which is probably my favorite Opening so far. By contrast, I really didn’t care for the Ending Theme “Popcorn”.
This would end up being Gouda Hozumi’s last shot as Leorio. Overall, while I didn’t care much for his Leorio, I do wish he could’ve gone on a higher note than this. Beside him, for some reason Machi’s VA changed. Before, she was voiced by Namiki Noriko, but now she’s voiced by Umeura Takaro. Needless to say, I much prefer Namiki. That said, I did quite like Higuchi Chieko as Bisky.
Don’t get me wrong, this OVA isn’t bad. However if I could describe it in one word, it would be soulless. It’s like if the Studio didn’t really care for this Arc, so they just put a much lower effort to this as usual. We’ll see if the final OVA series is able to make up for this, but as far as this is concerned, I didn’t care much for it, but I did ultimately enjoy myself.
Final Score: 7/10
The story is the same as the manga and the new adaptation. For new viewers, it’s just a lot of MMORPG fun. The classic ‘sucked into the game’ ritual. It’s Sword Art Online, but a million times better and with an actual plot. Honestly, this is probably my favorite HxH arc besides York New. It’s got a good balance of everything. Especially concerning the plot, it has humor and serious moments that really push the story forwards. On top of that, the logistics of the game itself are very well thought out and make it an interesting ‘world’ for our main characters to play in.
For the time, the art is actually quite amazing. There are times where the characters are drawn a little strangely and seem a little disproportionate, but the animation is scarily smooth and fluid, and so much effort went into every single aspect of it. Believe me, you will forget that it’s even an old anime at some point.
I usually don’t like the opening and closing themes of old anime. Honestly, I didn’t like the openings and closings of some of the other OVAs in the old adaptation. But the ones in this OVA specifically were actually really good. They called to mind some sort of nostalgia that reminded me of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, almost. They are reminiscent of struggle, hard work, and growth somehow. It’s a strange way to describe an anime opening, but it’s really what it felt like to me.
The characters overall are the highlight of this show, besides the world-building. Both aspects shine in this OVA, but the characters undergo the most development. Gon and Killua are shown to not be invincible, but they are definitely on their way there. Watching their childish foolishness is quite heartwarming and realistic, as is their honest conviction towards the game. HxH has a great talent for portraying every character, whether they be a saint or a mass murderer, as likable and somehow relatable. Truly amazing writing.
Overall, this was so much fun to watch. I can never get enough of this show!
I would recommend this if you: have read the manga, have watched any of the old adaptation, have watched the new adaptation, like ‘superpower’ anime, like anime about naive children becoming super strong, like traditional shounen, like immersive MMORPG anime
I would NOT recommend this if you: did not enjoy other HxH material, don’t like ‘video game’ anime
In all honesty, if you are a Hunter x Hunter fan, you definitely will not be disappointed by this. There absolutely no way.
So I hope you watch and enjoy this. Have a great day everyone!
3: Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island Final
Japanese: HUNTER×HUNTER G I Final
MAL Score: 8.27
Continuing with their adventure at Greed Island, Gon and Killua train furiously under the guidance of Biscuit for better preparation at attempting the game. With their abilities vastly improving and the threat of player killers menacing Greed Island, Gon and company continue the game despite the dangers that they will face with the game activities and encounters with other players. Based on the manga by Togashi Yoshihiro.
I might as well get it out of the way and say that the art and sound are exactly like what you\’d expect from the previous OVAs and the 62 episode Hunter x Hunter episodes. Serviceable, great action scenes, and everything the watcher is already used to. Killua does get cuter in this OVA but maybe that\’s just me getting attached to his character.
The ending theme of this OVA is really good, which bumps the sound score up a notch. It is titled \"Moshimo Kono Sekai de Kimi to Boku ga Deaenakatta Nara (If You and I Never Met in This World)\". I am still not 100% sure who the song is referring to. Is it Gon thinking about his father? Killua thinking about Gon? Or some other characters (Leorio?).
The character development in this OVA is, dare I say it, even better than I expected (and I had high expectations!). For a while, our 2 heros train under Biske (Biscuit?), who may look young but is an even better trainer than their previous nen teacher, Wing. That is to be expected because, well, she outranks him (watch and find out).
The training episodes are a lot of fun, and will serve their purpose later on. Killua leaves the game midway to take care of some \"unfinished business\". What transpires(with him) during his short absence (*GAH! I must not spoil the OVA*) made him my absolute favorite character in Hunter x Hunter. You\’ll understand after watching the second episode of the OVA.
I was worried that Gon and Killua were spending too much time on training and may have forgotten their goal of finishing the game but my fears were soon allayed. When they start collecting the cards, they really went all out. To be honest, a small part of me was very proud of them for doing all the card collection the \"HARD\" way (i.e. with no spoilers or information from other players).
There are 3 key .. mini arcs that make this OVA great. They\’re not just great from a storyline perspective, but showcase subtle character development. It\’s so seamlessly done that the viewer won\’t feel that character development is being shoved down his/her throat.
The first is the attempt(s) to get Tsubo of the Coast. All I can say is besides being totally hilarious, Razor rocks!
The second is a FANTASTIC fight between Gon, Killua and Biske against the Bomber and his 2 buddies. I can\’t pick a favorite, all 3 were awesome!
The third and last is the final card. It just goes to show that after all the action, it\’s the brains of a character that count the most.
The ending made this OVA perfect. I have never read the manga but I did catch a glimpse of the hair color of the man in the last frame. Very … interesting. This is a definate must watch if you\’ve seen any Hunter x Hunter.
Although Greed Island Final ties up the loose ends of OVA 3, there is still a lot that can be done. So far there have been 62 episodes of TV series, 8 episodes OVA1, 8 episodes OVA2 and 14 episodes of OVA3. That\’s 92 episodes. Is it enough? NOOO! We must have more!
I for one will be waiting for the day when the manga writer comes back and finishes this series, so they can make more Hunter x Hunter anime for fans like us. Even though I\’m impatient for new stories to emerge, I will give 100% credit to the mangaka for writing this amazing series filled with action, comedy and friendship. Please finish the rest of the manga!
The story wasn’t as good as the other parts of the Hunter x Hunter franchise because it was somewhat rushed to the conclusion, and there wasn’t much development, more like just an appearance of powers with not too much effot.
The art maintained from the series and other OVAs, not impressive, but good enough.
The sound, personally didn’t impress me, i didn’t think Hunter x Hunter had a good soundtrack, not that it was bad, but it didn’t make me want to listen to it again.
Here is where the OVA truly fell short compared to the others. Gon and Killua were my favorite characters, but all of a sudden, Killua is kicked to the back burner, and becomes, i think, a little part of the story. and Gon, he started out as a naive boy that would never give up, until he couldn’t go on, that’s perseverance. But there’s a thin line between that and stubborness, and he crossed it indefinitely. he started to bug me so bad, i actually wished he would lose a fight or something, knock sense into him, a character never annoyed me so badly, when at first they were one of my favorites. if you’ve watched the other Hunter x Hunter stuff, you’ll notice the difference.
enjoyment, i didn’t enjoy it oo much, but enough to finish it, since i wanted some sort of closure.
Overall i gave it a middle grade, because you should watch this OVA after all the others, you don’t want to leave it undone, but be warned, this might change your opinion of the rest of the franchise as well
2: Tsubasa: Tokyo Revelations
English: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE: Tokyo Revelations
Japanese: ツバサ TOKYO REVELATIONS
MAL Score: 8.30
Continuing their journey from Record Country (the place that held the book of memories), Syaoran and company land into Tokyo Country, a blood-filled country under war from opposing factions for natural resources and survival. While reluctantly involved in the race to live, the group faces their own problems as certain revelations are made, changing their journey forever.
A shocking betrayal and a battle that risks all of their lives. After this revelation, they will never be the same again.
I really enjoyed the story. Albeit too rushed: I had trouble understanding at times, though everything’s clear now. I think it could’ve been twice the length it was without really being any worse. Anyway, it was really great, from the original Syaoran’s and the Clone’s awakening to the revelation of Fei Wong’s plans and how much he has actually affected the group’s journey so far.
The animation style of this was… wow. At first, I was surprised to see a completely new animation style, but I soon got accustomed to it, and soon after I fell in love with it. It was a quantum leap in quality, which was most likely due to the fact that it was an OVA. If only the entire series had been like this… Oh, well. At any rate, you’ll most likely enjoy the improved animation.
The music in this series is – and will always be – legendary, at least in my heart. Nay but astounding pieces of music; themes and songs which I could listen to over and over again without growing bored of them (and so have I done). This is how an anime soundtrack should be, and I can almost certainly guarantee that you’ll enjoy the music in this series.
In this OVA, the characters experienced a change for the better; growing much more deeper. The characters were somewhat the same as the original series, but I felt that there were changes to them – both at the start of and during the series. Die-hard fans of the original series might get turned off by the fact that the characters changed a bit, but I felt that they were much more enjoyable, and I’m sure you will too, even though you might require some time to get used to it.
All in all, I really, really enjoyed the OVA; there were many changes for the better, but it also kept the best from the earlier seasons, making this much better. There are some changes you might have to get used to, and the story was definitely a bit rushed, but I can guarantee that you will enjoy this OVA at least as much as you enjoyed the original series.
To ‘Not ‘ voters (and you ” voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
Wonder no more.
Tsubasa Chronicle: Tokyo Revelations is quite literally a godsend, not only for the poor souls that suffered through the uninspired Bee Train adaptation, but also those (myself included) who felt the artwork and pacing for the manga chapters the OVA covers were way off-balance. For the revelations at hand, no one delivers the goods better.
First thing fans are going to recognize is the art style, which is much more defined and fluid than the TV series. The fight scenes are seamless and perfect in nearly every way, and backgrounds are fleshed out wonderfully. Moreso, the series’ shining point, the OST, is abundant here. Unlike the TV series, however, the OVA uses Yuki Kajiura’s compositions minimally and saves the big pieces for dramatic effect. For me, the OST just got better. Also, I adore the melancholy OP.
Of course, Tsubasa has a story and, in this case, one Bee Train decided to ignore completely due to the dark nature of the titular revelations. Production I.G. did not sway. Though some minor plot points are rearranged, everything flows and follows the manga as if you were watching a full-color, audio-enhanced slideshow of the chapter panels. Though these chapters suffer themselves from pacing, the OVA makes things clearer and much less muddled than the manga. Still, too much happens at once and the OVA faults in not giving each revelation enough due reaction with all that’s going on.
Naturally, characters also take some turns as this is the manga’s turning point. And wow, what changes they are! Really, going any further would risk massive spoiler territory, but the OVA crams a series’ worth of character development into these 3 episodes. Phenomenal is an understatement, and the way the seiyuu handle these changes is nothing short of vocal mastery. It is easily the high point of this already excellent OVA.
When everything comes together, it’s definitely something worth appreciating, and one can only hope that more Tsubasa anime will follow from Production I.G. It is very much enjoyable, but it won’t leave a serious impact on you. The only thing I really took from this was "this is Tsubasa done right", but for me that is enough to warrant a high enjoyment rating.
Overall, Tsubasa Chronicle: Tokyo Revelations gets a 9. Best anime adaption of the series to date, and excels beyond the manga in delivering the goods in a way that isn’t horribly confusing.
Tsubasa Chronicle: Tokyo Revelations
This OAV is astounding. The characters have more development then they did throughout the first two seasons. The art style was more defined, more "Mature" in the scope that Tsubasa truely is. Syaoran simply looked taller, more defined and slender, like a cross between Kurogane and Fai, the way a main characters body should look.
Following the manga pretty much to a T, the "Revelations" that are discovered and exposed in the dreary acid rain filled town that once was Tokyo, were mind blowing to me. Each character went through something big in just 3 episodes, and the best part is it didn’t feel rushed.
My enjoyment with these OAV’s was through the roof. Seeing the characters for who they really are. It is indeed a must see if you love anything about Tsubasa.
1: Hunter x Hunter: Original Video Animation
Japanese: HUNTER×HUNTER Original Video Animation
MAL Score: 8.32
After reuniting with Gon and his friends, Kurapika explained to them the risks he bears because of his abilities. Believing that his target of revenge is no longer alive and the search for his fallen comrade’s eyes could truly begin, Kurapika soon after receives a message informing him that all the Spiders still lived. After much discussion between his friends, Gon, Kurapika and company decided to hunt after the one Spider member who’s ability could ultimately result in Kurapika’s defeat and death. Based on the manga by Togashi Yoshihiro.
Similar to Hunter x Hunter, the art is good but nothing special although it does continue in the same vein as the original anime so viewers will be used to it. The soundtrack reuses a lot of themes that we’re familiar with from the anime also.
It’s hard to review this OVA without going into spoilers, but here goes!
The story is wonderful! In my opinion this is the best story among the 3 OVAs. There are twists and turns galore. Added to which the cast of the spiders is amazing – here are bad guys you really want to find out more about. The ending was also … a surprise! It was a fitting resolution but it leaves the possibility for further plot development open.
Every other episode I find myself thinking “Wow, now THAT is a gifted writer” (who wrote the manga) as he managed to pull together everything perfectly – the pacing, the character development and plot twists!
If you enjoyed Hunter x Hunter you won’t want to miss this.
Fans of the original series will note that Hunter x Hunter is not a terribly fast-paced anime, and tends to build the story around the characters and their interactions with one another, rather than with action. It lures the audience in by showing them all the interesting depths of the characters -their goals, their dreams, their struggles- and makes us root for them when they hit dirt. This OVA does so much more than that. Following up on the hints we were given with the original series, the OVA gives its audience a much deeper look into Kurapica’s emotions and hardships, while also managing to show the heartfelt friendship between him, Leorio, Gon, and Killua.
Kurapica’s character, I feel, was for the most part just a supporting character originally and wasn’t given too many layers that really fleshed him out and gave the audience much insight into his emotions. Suddenly this problem is completely rectified: he becomes so much more of a main character than I thought he could be, he shows new and interesting sides of himself that I didn’t know existed, and he draws you into loving his character so much more so than before. Furthermore, the OVA builds on his friendships and shows the trust, loyalty and support between them.
The Spiders are given stronger personalities and I feel they are much rounder characters than they were before. Each one has a unique relationship with each other and with Kurapica, and you really start to play favourites as he lays out his plan to dissolve the organization.
All in all, for me character was a 10.
The story is these episodes is a bit more fast-paced than what fans are used to (which is a given considering the number of episodes). However, this is what I found so exciting in this OVA. There’s a lot of mystery in this plot, and Kurapica’s planning skills with his limited number of resources is superb. Just when things start to fall apart, he critically analyzes the situation and pulls everyone through the trouble. I love all the problems Gon and Killua run into, and those two pulled a few stunts to get through them, even surprising many of the Spider members. I must say without a doubt the story was a 10.
As far as art goes, I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference between the OVA and the original series. The lines could be cleaner, but that’s probably just my preferance rather than the quality of the art. To me it wasn’t bad: 8. For sound, in terms of music: it wasn’t spectacular but it wasn’t terrible either. The opening and ending themes definitely aren’t the best, I would say they were average. Background music and sounds were acceptable (but it isn’t shinobi battle music, if that’s what you’re expecting). 7/10 for sound.
To summarize in one short sentence…
This OVA is everything you were expecting and more.
STORY-this was amazingly brilliant.it didn’t felt like a OVA at all and i love that feeling.we had lot of unanswered questions left hanging in the series well look no further it will be solved right here right now.this 8 episodes felt so intense because right at the beginning everything was like a chess game who had their knight,queen and king on their side and how to use it for their advantage.when both sides make their plan,their CAT AND MOUSE CHASE BEGINS and it gets so exciting filled with all information that where left out your heart will start to pound faster and BELIEVE ME YOU WILL FORGET TO BLINK.
CHARACTERS-we get to see out favorites in action in none stop drama with a pinch of comedy and there are surprise guests that will make the plot twits that will keep you guessing until the very end you get to see hisokas excitement for the full extent :3 i wont say more.
SOUND-was superb as expected it makes it more fun and get you on the mood to the action that is about to come,great job,was true to it self to the very end.
VOICE ACTORS-oh boy i feel like this is my punishment for not speaking about the dub actors before in my previous review for hunter x hunter but i know that’s not the case as you know this is not dubbed so i missed the dubbed actors so much…specially for killua and gon.they weren’t bad in the sub still i missed the dubbed voices only a bit though so that’s great because the sub did a good job.with gon when i listen i thought that i heard this voice before and just by listening i thought to my self it sound like Naruto and i was absolutely right im glad about that being a huge Naruto fan.ok i enjoy this to the max kurapica is the bomb he is the man.all of them is a superb a team who kick bad butt so what are you doing go watch it right now and i am going to continue on the rest of the OVAS cant wait…so enjoy this amazing thrilling anime masterpiece :3
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Hunter x Hunter: Original Video Animation
2. Tsubasa: Tokyo Revelations
3. Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island Final
4. Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island
5. Tsubasa: Shunraiki
6. Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas – Meiou Shinwa 2
7. Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar Final
8. Saint Seiya: Meiou Hades Juuni Kyuu-hen
9. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2: Kono Subarashii Geijutsu ni Shukufuku wo!
10. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
11. Wolf’s Rain OVA
12. Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas – Meiou Shinwa
13. One Piece Film: Strong World Episode 0
14. Detective Conan OVA 09: The Stranger in 10 Years…
15. Ookami to Koushinryou II: Ookami to Kohakuiro no Yuuutsu
16. Noragami Aragoto OVA
17. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!: Kono Subarashii Choker ni Shukufuku wo!
18. Saiyuuki Gaiden
19. Magi: Sinbad no Bouken
20. Saiyuuki Reload: Burial
21. Detective Conan OVA 10: Kid in Trap Island
22. Saint Seiya: Meiou Hades Meikai-hen
23. Master Keaton OVA
24. Noragami OVA
25. Change!! Getter Robo: Sekai Saigo no Hi
26. Drifters: Special Edition
27. Ranma Super
28. R.O.D: Read or Die
29. Mahou Sensei Negima!: Mou Hitotsu no Sekai
30. Drifters (OVA)
31. Macross Zero
32. Nanatsu no Taizai OVA
33. Area 88
34. Detective Conan Magic File 2: Kudou Shinichi – The Case of the Mysterious Wall and the Black Lab
35. Kaleido Star: Aratanaru Tsubasa – Extra Stage
36. Detective Conan OVA 04: Conan and Kid and Crystal Mother
37. Golden Kamuy 2nd Season OVA
38. Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Tethe’alla-hen
39. Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken OVA
40. Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sekai Tougou-hen
41. Kyou kara Maou! R
42. Mahou Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
44. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Operation Meteor
45. Detective Conan OVA 11: A Secret Order from London
46. Lodoss-tou Senki
47. Tennis no Ouji-sama: Sonzoku Yama no Hi
48. Yama no Susume: Omoide Present
49. Urusei Yatsura OVA
50. Suisei no Gargantia: Meguru Kouro, Haruka