They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Manga Edo Erobanashi, Mozu no Nie, Harenchi Koumon Manyuuki, and more!
50: Manga Edo Erobanashi
MAL Score: 5.25
Several tales of old-time Tokyo from well known directors, mainly concentrating on the courtesans of the Yoshiwara and prostitutes in pre-modern Shinjuku but also on the merchants and the impoverished samurai class of the period, with star-crossed lovers, chirpy artisans, and human-interest stories.
(Source: The Anime Encyclopedia)
49: Mozu no Nie
English: House of 100 Tongues
MAL Score: 5.26
The Takashiro family… a traceable Daimyo that leads back to a historical lineage of nobility, has recently been on a shameful course, ruining the image they have had since the old days.
Nanako is the Takashio family’s only daughter. She is in a weak condition, living most of her life sleeping and passing the day hiding her lustful thoughts for Yujiro.
All the while the presence of a dark plot draws near. A rival family has their sights set on taking away the family’s assets, especially the sweet young snatch of the beautiful Nanako. But Nanako isn’t the only female member of the Takashiro’s willing to pay back the family’s debt – her mother is also getting in on the action in a jaw dropping display of eroticism that has the Takashiro women surrendering their bodies to a gang of carpet munching marauders.
Mozu no Nie (House of 100 Tongues) is a single episode hentai ova that tells the story of the downfall of the Takashiro family. The family business is in a downward spiral and is only being held aloft through the efforts of the families adopted son Yushiro. Someone in the house is trying to cause the family business to fail and finds that the quickest way is to remove Yushiro from the picture. Nanako, the daughter of the family, is very ill and spends most of her time in bed; she is in love with Yushiro. Through a series of events we witness the total collapse of the family and see both mother and daughter forced into a life of sexual servitude.
So, this is just a single 30 minute episode and there are a lot of characters thrown around. The show is narrated by an unknown member of the household who is working behind the scenes to cause the family to fail. Overall the story is fairly good even though it is short. Most of the characters are just there as furniture to fill in the story and thus do little more than appear on screen; the maid and butler for example, even though they are introduced by name, never say a single line of dialogue. It should be noted that the very last thing shown is a notice of a sequel, but the story was probably not good enough and a second episode was never produced.
As far as the artwork and animation go, they are fairly well done and appealing. The hentai scenes are well done, but fairly short, and they had quite a few still shots thrown in. This hentai comes fully uncensored and with an English dub available. Sadly the dub is not great and the voice acting of Nanako is just annoying. Other than a bit of rough sex and a gang bang there is no overly objectionable material in this fairly vanilla hentai.
In conclusion, this is a very middle of the road hentai title, neither particularly good nor horribly bad. In all honesty there was a bit too much story for a single episode hentai and it felt that the hentai content was just thrown in on a whim rather than a central element. You can easily skip this title and not feel you have missed anything.
48: Harenchi Koumon Manyuuki
MAL Score: 5.26
Based on Nagai Gou’s manga.
The life of a young heiress is endangered by the will and ambition of Tokugawa Tsunai and his henchmen. The young woman, who calls herself Kurenai Mitanosuke, loves to dress as a samurai. She certainly should be more wary of her two obsessed bodyguards (Kaki and Suki) than of the danger that threatens her because, without her knowledge, her life is protected by a mysterious one-eyed shinobi…
47: Nakoruru: Ano Hito kara no Okurimono
Japanese: ナコルル ~あのひとからのおくりもの~
MAL Score: 5.49
Nakoruru, finally returned to her home Kamuikotan after a long, fierce battle, receives a warm welcome from dear friends and the village children. Her spirit is uplifted by her reunion with companions Manari and Yantamuu. But as the trauma of battle falls away, Rela appears and challenges Nakoruru and the shadow of misfortune creeps closer… Nakoruru is a popular Ainu girl from SNK’s Samurai Spirits fighting game (PC and Dreamcast), now she has her very own OVA series.
The expression that will probably fit best for this show’s story will be “what a loss”. The single episode still manages to give us enough hints about the potential of this anime. And it strikes me as pretty decent – a well build up story, standing on series issues like person’s inner conflict, personal fights and desires, about all the rules we must obey. It really brings this rare debt we see so little of. Perhaps this show was made a bit too personal, excluding many of the other Samurai Shodown characters and a bit too shoujou, but the atmosphere it carries is really great. Of course, if you do not like Nakoruru, or have never played any of the games, you may not be as excited to see it, as I was.
Expressing a lot, the art performance of Nakoruru: Ano Hito kara Okurimono has the biggest merit to the anime’s amazing atmosphere. I just loved the whole look of the show – landscapes, designs, they were all extraordinary. The particular innocence of character designs creates an interesting mixture between the teenage looks and the adulthood strokes in the story. Things like all the blood and nudity – they all seem at place. The music was also fine, but nothing memorable.
Since I am not familiar with the visual novel, I have no idea whether there are going to be more characters of the franchise appearing later in the story, but as far as the single episode goes, all is focused on Nakoruru and Rera. The other appearing characters are just too much in the background. Even the role of Nakoruru’s younger sister – Rimururu, is minor.
Perhaps its unfinished state is what adds a bit more charm to Nakoruru: Ano Hito kara Okurimono, but I think that when a story based on an action fighting game, is made so well and serious, it deserves the check out. Of course, this OVA is another must have addition to the Samurai Shodown fan collector’s items.
46: Oedo wa Nemurenai!
MAL Score: 5.54
We are now in the early 18th century, the Kyouhou era, when the merchant culture was flourishing. In Yoshiwara, the red light district of Edo, there is a popular courtesan with good looks and character, called Usugumo. She in fact is a daughter of a Christianized prostitute and Tokugawa Yoshimune (who was a real historical character and the 8th Shogun of Japan), but the power struggle in these times doesn’t allow her to be with her father. Her fate is about to change when she meets the blond haired thief, Kikunosuke. With Kikunosuke, a doctor named Aoto Touichirou, who uses the yet unfamiliar Western medicine, and her pet cat, Kotetsu, Usugumo forms a thief group, the Kikugumi. In the meanwhile, a member of a mysterious group appears, aiming for Usugumo…
Going in blind to the manga I’ll be objective to the OVA only. Exceptionally average, Oedo wa Nemurenai! Offers a historical setting in 1700s yoshiwara. The famous pleasure district. Our main character is quite a young woman and Oiran and is for some reason important you’ll find out. (also pay attention to that cat!!! What happened there)
Production quality is at most times quite poor, out of sync voice acting, many still/panning shots, and very low movement. This is all to be expected for something low budget. For anyone who has not read the source material the plot is quite choppy as nothing is clear since context is not given for anything. Unclear relationships, confusing cuts etc…
Sound is nothing to write home about either as the music is a mix between win-dings like synth sounds and orchestra garageband samples. Gratefully the voice acting is fine.
The main issue is there is no explanation as to why anything is happening and who these people even are until after it should have been established by some clue. Regardless for a half an hour it is not unbearable and most likely complimentary to the manga. In all honestly it gave me a few chortles as to how ridiculous it was.
45: Kai Doh Maru
MAL Score: 5.60
This story takes place during the Heian Period of Japan`s history, when evil spirits still resided in the forests, mountains and rivers. A girl, accompanied by her loved one, battles against these evil spirits, while she is disguised as man. This brave woman, aka “Kaidomaru”, with a Chinese character “Flame” tatooed on her upper arm, was one of the “Four Devas”. Kaidomaru fights for the honor of her lost love, Raikou Minamotono, who had sacrified his life in order to protect the capital Kyoto, from the evils deeds of a “princess” cursed by a malicious ogre. The princess, whom Kaidomaru used to play with as a child, has now become her ultimate enemy.
(Source: Production I.G.)
Absolutely ridiculous. You can tell that incorporating CG was not something the company that produced this garbage was used to doing. The colors were horrible. Perhaps the art directors were trying to create a specific feel for it by choosing the colors that they did. If they were going for an amateur look that was intended to bore me to tears, then they succeeded well beyond their wildest dreams.
I have NOTHING good to say about this anime.
If anybody likes this anime, or even lists it in their top 1000 anime, then I most definitely do not want to be friends with that person.
Avoid at all costs. This isn’t even one of those where you tell your friends "Hey, you gotta see this, this is SO bad that it’s awesome." No, this anime is so bad that it can’t even be used as a joke. It’s so bad I can’t think of any ways to make fun of it, because every second of this anime was insanely boring and there is nothing interesting that you can reference to.
I’m not sure if i was lost in translation b/c i was utterly confused and bored. A semi-strong female character (raised as a boy, then a soldier) and a crazy female protagonist with two creepy twins. The Lord that saved her, i guess, loves her.
44: Jigen Sengokushi: Kuro no Shishi – Jinnai-hen
English: Black Lion
Japanese: 時元戦国史 黒の獅士 陣内篇
MAL Score: 5.61
The year is 1580. Using an army of soldiers equipped with sophisticated weaponry, Nobunaga Oda is on the verge of ruling Japan with an iron fist. One of his enforcers is Ginnai Doma – a fallen samurai reborn into an indestructible killing machine. As Ginnai continues his killing spree on ninjas and those who oppose Nobunaga’s rule, Shishimaru of the Iga Ninja – going against the Koga Ninja’s plans – pursues a one-man vendetta to avenge the deaths of his comrades and kill the immortal warrior.
Uncle Go: “Okay, okay, dude, get this:… Um, like, so back during the Warring States period, like, frickin’ Nobunaga contacts aliens to get special technology like mechs an-an shit, and he augments his warriors with cyborg parts and nukes and lasers and stuff. So like, these ninjas go after his most hardcore cyborgs so like… They fight and shit”.
Go: “So like, the main ninja dude looks like Koji Kabuto from Mazinger, down to the sideburns.”
Producer: “Christ, dude. I’m puttin’ money down for that.”
So, back to reality. Remember ninjas? The silent assassins that poison people in their sleep, and wear costumes to sneak into enemy fortresses? You know, those cherished fake ninja stock characters? Black Lion has some of the best fake ninjas this side of a Scroll, and they come in spades. No “kah-ghey busshy no jootsues” or goofy furry transformations for these guys. They cut people in half, throw explosives, punch people’s heads off, run really fast, and burn marijuana to confuse their enemies… in homage to the brainstorming sessions that created them.
There is no real plot. Sure, Koji- um, the main character wants REVENGE for the death of his clan by the machines, there are aliens, and it plays out sort of like Predator/Terminator (heh) but why do you care? Limbs are severed, the ground is soaked in blood, and heads fly off; it’s really cool stuff. You don’t need to know anything else, really. The film’s strength relies in how ridiculous the whole ordeal is. Hell, it could have been called “Ninja Koji Kabuto Versus the Cyborg Samurai from Space”, like all of those so-bad-it’s-awesome Go Nagai crossover movies, and it wouldn’t detract from the spectacle at all.
Now, the movie’s real claim to fame is the copious amount of organ meat spilled and thrown around. This OVA is only 44 minutes long, but they on’t spare any time at all: the first FIVE minutes has enough violence to desensitize a small colony of hippie children and Baptist ministers.
I feel like watching it again to count all of the decapitations and bisections that happen (I did. I lost count.). There are so many…inventive ways that some of the characters meet their ends that it deserves a graduate thesis. The fights are fast, brutal, and effing INTENSE. Brains gush out. Ninjas are trampled by tanks. Ninjas dash in a blur of sketchy lines over brush and reeds and rocks in high-pitched battles with absolutely no mercy.
It’s a symphony of blood and guts and eyeballs and whirling intestines and fecal matter that takes off like a rocket from the first headstab and climaxes in the most royally epic bisection of all time. In other words, it’s really awesome.
Now, after re-watching this with the ENGLISH DUB, and actually being able to pay attention this time, I have to say that this is one of the most profoundly awesome OVAs of all time.
No, seriously. The dubbed dialog is pretty badly-written and acted, despite some good voices. However, it just adds another layer of crunchy ridiculousness to the whole shebang. I can’t help but love anything that insists on using the verb form of REVENGE at the most awkward moments.
There are also several whiplash-inducing “whut” moments near the end, and some unfulfilled sequel potential that needs to be addressed.
Whoa. I was so drained for man-freaking over the final battle that I completely glossed this over.
Come on, Dynamic Pro guys. Make this happen.
Black Lion is pretty, pretty ridiculous, has tons of gore and ninjas that don’t spend half of the movie weeping about their TRAGIC PAST. I’d say it’s worth a download.
Ladies and Gentleman…It’s GO Time! It’s only February, but Go Nagai’s Devilman Crybaby with Yuasa at the helm looks unbeatable in its quest for Animu of the Year. As far as MAL is concerned, the only anime in its way is the New Galactic Heroes, which is highly condensed and being directed by a guy known only for Koroko no Basket. Basically, Yuasa is just going to easily cruise to victory again like a heavyweight boxer fighting against small children. However, we aren’t here to talk about anime Alan Moore. Even though I think Yuasa, like Moore should be given his own category like “Graphic Novels” to separate him from mere Comic Books.
Nope, today we once again are discussing Uncle Go! Black Lion bares all the hallmarks of a Nagai anime. It’s crazier than a rabid, shithouse rat. It’s fucking retarded. Most importantly, it is GLORIOUSLY hilarious and entertaining for every single second.
Plot and characters:
The plot is that Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga was actually an evil space alien and conquered Japan using laser guns and robots. This minor detail was somehow lost to history. The main antagonist is a samurai whose family was killed by ninjas. Alien scientists transformed him into a cyborg and gave him the order to exterminate all ninjas! Our heroes are a group of Ninja, who are fighting against Nobunaga and must figure out how to kill this unstoppable cyborg. The main male ninja is named Shishimaru and judging from his Wolverine sideburns, he is likely the ancestor of Devil-man/Violence Jack. When Shishimaru’s girlfriend is killed by the cyborg samurai, he happens to find her twin sister and plans revenge! They set the samurai on fire, poison him, use explosives, and stab him dozens of times, but NOTHING will put this dude down. Eventually, they use dynamite to cause a rock slide and this somehow overloads his nuclear reactor. Cyborg Samurai goes BOOM, but our heroes are saved by a rival alien civilization that opposes the one Nobunaga is from. The anime ends with our ninja hero smiling up at a giant spaceship.
The soundtrack is really nothing special and the English voice acting is…questionable. This was one of ADV’s first licenses and they used the same crew as for Ninja Resurrection, and the infamous Tekken Movie. You can instead watch it in Japanese and laugh hard at the fact the cyborg samurai is clearly voiced by the Narrator from Galactic Heroes. Imperial Date: time to kill all Ninja!!!
The animation is brought to you by Nippon Columbia, whom you might recall for their outstanding work on that seminal classic, MD Geist. While the motion and smoothness might be sub-par, at least there is TONS of gore. Cyborg samurai likes to squeeze heads until the eyes pop out and they explode.
This is 45 minutes of sheer, enjoyable schlock. This perfectly encapsulates that trashy, late 80s, vintage MANime that I love so much. This anime also has a special place in the hearts of American anime collectors, because ADV used the villain as their mascot. He appears at the beginning of basically EVERY ADV anime and yells at you to get the ADV Anime Network. Yes, I want to pay 10 dollars a month to a defunct Dub company to watch all 4 seasons of Ikki Tousen! Thanks ADV! God bless Go Nagai and God bless this awesomely terrible anime!
43: Yukiyo Ichiya Monogatari
English: Snow Night Stories
MAL Score: 5.63
This three episode hentai centers around three love stories. Thief: A young woman wed to a much older man, he couldn’t unsatisf her because he finished too fast, one day he leaves to sell some goods, and a Theif enters.
Female Pervert Warrior: During the feudal war era, one small country collapsed. While most of the royal family and relatives were killed, the princess and Shingo, her vassal, escaped. But a harsh fate was waiting for the princess.
Disgraced Bride: Once upon a time, a clan lord was betrothed to and fell in love with a princess. Her beauty made him speechless, and she always looked so happy. However, the lord’s ”affection” for princess Chiho became stronger every day, and she lives like a bird in a cage, constantly receiving the lord’s hard love.
The second episode a perverted female warrior from the feudal war era, when one small country collapse. While most of the royal family and relatives were killed, the princess and Shingo, her vassal, escaped. And finally, the third episode features a disgraced bride, and a clan lord who was betrothed to and fell in love with a princess, with his “affection” for the princess becoming stronger every day.
Since it’s an anthology show, at least there is some mild variety in it’s sex scenes, which is the best compliment I can give to something so poorly put together. I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
Let’s get this out of the way early, the sex is boring, bland, and forgettable. Looking through a thesaurus for more words to describe just how monotonous this is would be a better use of your time, because at least you would have learned something and expanded your vocabulary.
Yet again, this is another hentai that features bad CGI for it’s backgrounds. Just because it’s not as atrocious as something like ‘Heartwork: Symphony of Destruction’ or ‘Pure Love’, that doesn’t stop it from being distractingly awful. Just how many hentai need shitty CGI for their backgrounds? Was it really easier to make than just a regular 2D background? I’m now put of wanking because all I can think about is just how distractingly shit the backgrounds are.
Not that the 2D animation is much better. I know that hentai isn’t exactly going to have a lot of money invested in it, but watching poorly drawn trash is getting tiring. And as always, the English dub is the typical bad hentai dub, nothing new here.
There is no way that I’m going to recommend this over anything else, unless you’ve somehow gained a fetish of bad looking hentai from a youth of desperately trying to find anything you can to masturbate to. I never thought that I would say this about a hentai, bit Snow Night Stories might be so boring that it’s a cure for insomnia.
42: Ooedo Forty Eight
MAL Score: 5.72
The action takes place in Ooedo Japan, when geishas and public houses appeared. Back then, girls raised in poor provincial families had little chances to get married successfully. The only opportunity to improve financial and social status for them was to move to Ooedo, the city of wealthy clans, and to become a servant or a geisha – and, perhaps, a lover of a rich feudal. Young and poor Ushizu has chosen this very path.
Alongside, this hentai is a sort of Japanese Kama Sutra. The end of each part contains the description of sexual positions.
41: Kidou Shinsengumi Moeyo Ken
English: Moeyo Ken
Japanese: 機動新撰組 萌えよ剣
MAL Score: 5.73
Set in the Meiji era, Kidou Shinsengumi Moeyo Ken tells the story of Kondou Yuuko, Hijikata Toshie and Okita Kaoru. These three are the daughters of former Shinsengumi members and, in the same fashion as their fathers were, they get called upon to protect Japan from its current problems. Much of their work deals with vanquishing the mysterious paranormal phenomena springing up ever more frequently in the Kyoto area and defending the city from any other dangers that may arise.
40: Juuza Engi: Engetsu Sangokuden – Gaiden Youzhou Genya
Japanese: 十三支演義～偃月三国伝～ 外伝 幽州幻夜
MAL Score: 5.73
The Juuza. That is the name given to those of the 13th Zodiac: the cat people. Seen as a vulgar and contemptuous race, they live a life of seclusion away from human eyes. However, as the end of the Han Dynasty draws near, the rise of the Yellow Scarves has thrown the land of the Three Kingdoms into turmoil. As armies converge, a young Juuza woman named Kan’u and her village are forced out of their peaceful lives as Sousou and his punitive force press their way into the village.
This appears to be promotional material for some game, it’s connected to Idea Factory (yes that Idea Factory — Skelter Heaven, Mars of Destruction, and many more beloved trash heap OVAs), and it’s not particularly interesting. It’s basically just a flimsy excuse to showcase the main character Self Insert Catgirl Demon (SICD for short) and her expansive reverse harem. It bounces around showing a bunch of different trope characters (a bunch of hot guys and most of them are catboys) with very brief explanations of SICD’s connections to them. A bit of world lore and history is also provided, though the story doesn’t really do anything with it
The way it was written makes me feel like it wasn’t meant to be partaken as a standalone; it feels like it expects viewers to be familiar with the characters and their backstories (rather that satisfactorily introducing any of them). Instead, it just jumps straight into them and their interactions with SICD with flimsy-at-best depictions of how they know her.
There’s no real meat to the relationships either — most of them don’t even have any reason shown to be interested in SICD, and if they do it’s just some trope-y relationship like ‘big stepsister’ or ‘saved my life once’. Nothing even really happens to progress them — it just advertises all of her potential romance paths in the source (or at least I assume), and once it quickly does that it moves onto the next attractive slice of cardboard.
The character designs are alright, and the music is surprisingly good for how slapdash of a production this feels. Unfortunately, the animation itself is somewhat lousy; it’s not anywhere near the worst I’ve seen but it’s still noticeably lazy. The character concepts — while nothing original — could be explored more and become interesting. The world-building is also a little intriguing — the politics surrounding these cat demon people and the warring factions they get caught up in do have potential.
If you’re a fan of whatever this OVA’s source material is maybe you’d get more enjoyment out of this, but as is I wouldn’t recommend watching this to anyone else. It’s far more superfluous than actually bad — for the most part it just doesn’t do anything beyond basic shoujo baiting — but there’s certainly many better ways to spend your viewing time. (For instance, if you’re looking for something with similar character dynamics, setting, and reverse harem aspects I would instead suggest watching Yona of the Dawn.)
39: Karasu Tengu Kabuto: Ougon no Me no Kemono
Japanese: 鴉天狗カブト 黄金の目のケモノ
MAL Score: 5.74
Kabuto is a tengu who has to save a princess from fortress which is full of monster-mecha hybrids in an alternate reality of feudal Japan.
How in the FUCK am I the first person to review this series on MAL?! Raven Tengu Kabuto is only 45 minutes, but this is one of the funniest, most batshit insane examples of “So bad it’s good” anime I’ve ever come across. Strap yourselves in because we’re going on a wild ride!
I feel like there’s something missing in modern anime. We get generic shonen tropes, self referential humor, attempts at genre subversion, and occasionally something artsy and esoteric. What we honestly lack in the modern day is gloriously over the top, stupid, fun, with zero irony or sense of self awareness. Anime has become almost depressingly self aware. Furthermore, the internet and globalization means that Japanese animation studios have finally become aware that the world IS watching. This has led to self censorship and Japanese artists being WAY more self conscious about what they put on the screen. On the one hand, there are some benefits to this. If you’re trying to get your buddy into watching an anime for the first time, modern fans can show off stuff like My Hero Academia or One Punch Man. They don’t have to get real nervous while trying to desperately explain Mr. Popo in Dragonball or the staggering amount of child nudity in Elfen Lied. On the other hand, we no longer see that totally carefree attitude where the anime director CLEARLY thought that only 50 Japanese people were ever going to see this. This means we get a lot less WTF hilarity and “So bad its good” anime have basically become extinct.
Raven Tengu Kabuto is one of those aforementioned awesomely bad anime that could never exist today. That’s because today’s industry doesn’t have writers with the attitude of Buichi Terasawa. Today I’m reviewing his work Kabuto, but Terasawa is most famous for his manga Cobra and its anime adaptions. Back in the late 1970s, when Rose of Versailles was getting praised for its intelligent writing and Joe was tragically dying the ring, Japan fell in love with the cheesy action-adventure Cobra. This was a simple series about a side burn having, cigar chomping, hard bastard with a gun for a hand. He rescued space princesses and kicked ass across the galaxy. It didn’t try to be deep. It didn’t try to appeal to highbrow critics. It was just stupid fun and it became a HUGE international success. Even Osamu Tezuka himself befriended Terasawa! Kabuto takes Terasawa’s approach to writing and condenses it down into 45 glorious minutes. Nothing makes any sense. Nothing has greater meaning. The only thing that matters is that it looks cool and is fucking badass!
The plot takes place in feudal Japan. An evil sorceress has taken over a small feudal state and has enslaved its people. The men toil all day in the mines, while the women were all murdered so their souls could fuel the sorceress’s dark magic. It is up to our hero Kabuto to kill the sorceress, rescue the princess, and liberate the kingdom. Unfortunately, the sorceress has a giant army of robots built by her mad scientist minion. Kabuto is a fucking baller with an 80s mullet, a magic sword, and the ability to grow wings and fly awkwardly as an homage to the Flash Gordon movie. I’m dead serious. He can also summon flocks of ravens for absolutely no reason. After killing a bunch of robot ninjas to some truly kickass guitar solos, Kabuto confronts the sorceress…who gets naked for no reason. It turns out that the sorceress is just a robot that was built by the mad scientist and is under his control! Why is a robot using sorcery? Why does a robot need soul power? Why is the scientist constantly shown begging the robot for permission and being submissive when it is just them in the room? None of these will ever be answered, because this is a Terasawa anime. After summoning the power of bullshit, Kabuto defeats the robot sorceress and that instantly activates her self destruct countdown. Kabuto grabs the princess and casually flies out of the flying fortress, which btw is a hut with a helicopter rotor blades. The fortress explodes, instantly killing the mad scientist and the anime just stops immediately afterwards! Bravo!
If you’re going to watch this shitty anime, you will get maximum enjoyment out of watching the English dub. This was an early attempt by Manga UK and it might be the worst I’ve ever heard from those guys. Yes, worse than Angel Cop or Mad Bull 34. It doesn’t have the ludicrous swearing because John Wolskel wasn’t in charge of the translation. However, it does have some of the worst voice acting and attempts at line syncing I’ve ever seen. To further illustrate this point, I couldn’t find a single actor listed for this piece of shit on MAL, ANN, IMDB, or anywhere else. Even the British “Big Green Dub” of DBZ had actor names attached to it. These VAs on the other hand are fucking ghosts. Manga UK must have literally pulled people off the street and given them lines with no context.
If you’re together with friends and have 45 minutes to spare, I HIGHLY recommend watching this train wreck. It is free to watch on Youtube and I promise you will get some serious laughs out of it. My ribs were sore after watching this one.
Japanese: IZUMO [イズモ]
MAL Score: 5.77
A historical fantasy set in third century (i.e., mythical) Japan. It tells the story of Izumo, the young prince of Nakatsukuni. He’s not very interested in studying, unlike his cousin Dekiru; instead, he wants to see the wider world. One day, a mysterious girl named Sanae shows up as a stowaway on an airship. Although nominally from Yamataikoku, she is actually from the Naga, a shadowy people possessing magical powers. Sanae is kidnapped by Takeru, a warrior from the rival kingdom of Akusa, and placed at the mercy of the evil witch Yomihime. Izumo, helped by an orphaned glider pilot named Navi, must now take up the sacred sword of his country, master its powers, and rescue Sanae. However, before that, he must defeat the reawakened eight-headed snake of legend, Yamata-no-Orochi.
(Source: Orphan Fansubs)
37: Alexandros no Ketsudan
English: Alexander’s Decision
MAL Score: 5.79
King Alexander of Macedonia and his troops are at war with the armies of Persia. When he suddenly falls ill, Alexander is faced with a decision: to trust his life-long Persian friend Philip and accept his help or treat him as an enemy because he is Persian.
36: Shounen to Sakura
English: The Cherry Tree
MAL Score: 5.79
In postwar Tokyo, while his mum works, Taichi spends his days alone and misses his dad who was killed in the war. Through his friendship with an old man who tends a seemingly dead cherry tree, Taichi learns about the tree and gradually becomes more positive.
(Source: Treasures of the Heart)
The artwork is serviceable but unexceptional. The story is also simple and straightforward, although maybe a bit maudlin. But even still, it’s a nice and short tale.
One thing to remember is at the time this anime was made, the little boy would be in his forties. The memories of the war and its aftermath were still very fresh in the collective memory of the country, as well as the individual memories of its citizens. You can bet that the people who worked on this drew upon their own memories to accurately portray every little detail about post-war Japan. This was not just some historical story, but this was a personal reminiscence of their own earlier lives.
I really do enjoy the old art styles of anime. I wish more anime nowadays would adapt the oldish art style look into their anime. I give the art a 6 as well.
The sound of this is what you would expect when you watch an older children’s show, bland. It’s nothing too spectacular to really drool over but at the same time it isn’t bad. My rating for sound is 4.
The characters in this show are really neat. I like the Oldman and how he was always in a good mood even after the events you see when you start. I like the boy being curious and learning throughout the show. His mom is also a cool character because of how she works to keep the boy happy at home.
My enjoyment of this show is gonna have to be a four. If this show was a 5 episode series, i wouldn’t finish it; Not because it’s bad, it’s just… boring.
Overall i will give this series a 5 overall. It’s a cool show just not that entertaining.
35: Otome Nadeshiko Koi Techou
MAL Score: 5.91
The story follows a 16-year-old girl who is experiencing her first love during Japan’s Taishou period (1912-1926).
Bundled with special versions of Otome Nadeshiko Love Diary 2 light novel.
Otome Nadeshiko Koi Techou is an anime made for a novel of the same title.
It doesn’t have much plot. Rather, it’s just like a bonus for those who read the novel -an animated version of the first part of the story.
It’s story -if you can call it that- is simple -a girl from a rich family who’s tasked by her father to pick up the money from their family’s school. Along the way, the wind blows her map towards the garden of some house. Voila, it’s her favorite artist’s home. THE END*.
The art, on the other hand, is in the middle of so-so to good. The animation may put off some people, but I actually liked it because it was kind of unique this time around.
Since the story is so limited, there is little to no character development. We are shown about the circumstances of the girl and how she reacts to it. On the guy’s side, we are just shown his art, his friend and a little (too little) on his history.
I can’t really say I enjoyed it, but perhaps, it piqued my interest. The story of the anime is short and cut short, but it has a potential -like how she came to her current circumstances and why the guy draws girls as melancholic. Hopefully, this is explored in the novel.
Overall, tbh, I don’t recommend watching this anime.
*I don’t really consider this as a spoiler, it’s not something that spoils anything anyway.
34: Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki: Heianmuyo! Picture Drama
Japanese: 天地無用! 魎皇鬼 謹製びでお絵本 平安無用!
MAL Score: 5.95
A standalone Tenchi Muyou Ryououki picture drama released as a part of PAC on VHS and seemingly around the same time on laser disc.
The premise of Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki: Heian Muyo! has Aeka, Yosho (in his Katsuhito form), Tenchi, Mihoshi, Ryou-Ouki, and Ryouko in the Heian era (794 AD to 1185) of Japan. Tenchi and Mihoshi are samurai partners on their way to slay a demon, while Aeka longs for Tenchi’s return.
(Source: anime.astronerdboy.com, edited)
It’s not (at the time of this writing) easily found or widely available through online streaming sites, but is probably worth the time and effort to search it out _after_ having watched at least one season of Tenchi Muyo Ryooki, or one of the other main series (possibly excepting Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy or Dual Parallel — not as a reflection on them, but because the other Tenchi series seem more in line with the Heianmuyo characterization, and having first become emotionally invested in those characters would likely give the viewer a better feel of those found in this picture drama).
33: Teito Monogatari
English: Doomed Megalopolis
MAL Score: 5.96
When an evil sorcerer bent on crushing the “greatest city on earth” uses dark powers to awaken the destructive spirit of Tokyo’s historic “guardian,” Taira no Masakado, occultists, children, and scientists become embroiled in a ruinous struggle spanning two decades.
I’ve seen much worse. Much, much worse. This was reasonably solid and had a fair mix of good and bad points. At 3 hours it’s probably a little longer than necessary, and the transitions between leaps in time are a little awkward. Although some cheese is present, it never gets ridiculous enough to where you can’t take it seriously. In fact, part of the reason I kept watching was because despite being fairly silly at times, it still presented itself in a manner that at least made an effort to tell a real story.
Not the most original of stories, naturally, but few seldom are. I always say it’s more important how you tell a story than the particular story itself. A good writer can make even mundane everyday situations interesting. So to that effect, I’d say Doomed Megalopolis brings just enough intrigue with the introduction of plot elements, the development and progression of events, and the characters involved. There were a lot of confusing plot moments, like the ending, where something may get resolved, but you are left wondering, "So what was the point of all that?"
The chars are somewhat interesting, at least there was a respectable balance between realistic and symbolic ones. Not sure any of them are really developed well enough to be particularly memorable, or at least, the more memorable ones are probably the least likable ones…
The art was fine. Typical of its time. Nothing really stood out to me as bad or ugly, however, there was more nudity than really needed. (To make whatever point one tries to make by including nudity that is…) Also, the main villain really looks A LOT like Bison from Street Fighter :p
Mind you, the only version I have is the dubbed. This was probably my biggest problem with this DVD. I had my volume maxed at 100 just to be able to barely make out what the hell they were saying.
The base is there. I mean, it’s based off a novel, so it’s quite literally there. However, it feels incomplete, since it technically is- it’s based specifically on the first four books of the novel (which is around 1/3rd of it). It’s a darker (AKA more violent and sexualized) adaptation of the source material, which I’m okay with, but I can see that driving away potential viewers. The nudity is almost, if not always, unnecessary. Even if you don’t mind the darker aspects of it, you’ll most likely find that the story feels unfocused and even rushed at times. There’s lots of confusing plot elements, which can be explained with the knowledge that this isn’t actually the full story, but that doesn’t help anyone who’s unfamiliar with the novel viewing this for the first time.
Pretty standard for the time. Nothing really stood out to me, be it in a good or bad way. I personally really like this type of old anime styles that are a bit more on the realistic side, but that’s personal preference. Again, too much unnecessary nudity, that’s really my only complaint with it. Some of the animation was pretty good, too.
I watched the original japanese version, and there was an instance where I couldn’t hear what was being said (or sung, in this case)- I thought something was up with either the video or my headphones, but nope. The sound was just meant to be really, really quiet. Other than that, it sounded okay for the most part, keeping in mind that this is an old anime, of course.
None of the characters are fleshed out properly. This is a huge shame, especially with the main antagonist, Katou, and Yukari, another main character. These two are the focal points of the story, but just about nothing gets revealed about their past. The lack of development is a shame, especially in the case of Katou- we get to know he wants Tokyo to be destroyed, but not why, and that left me wanting more.
I know I’ve been complaining for about the entirety of this review, but I actually really enjoyed myself watching this OVA. In fact, there wasn’t really a point where I was bored viewing it. It’s just a shame that when analyzing it further I couldn’t get more than what I saw.
It’s not awful. In fact, I would recommend it to people who are into weird and/or old anime that doesn’t get talked about much. But if you haven’t watched it, don’t set yourself up to be disappointed- it’s fun and short, but it’s nothing spectacular. I can see that there was effort put into it, but it could’ve been better. And hey, it actually left me wanting to read the original story, so I guess there’s that too.
32: Hiroshima e no Tabi
English: A Journey to Hiroshima
MAL Score: 5.96
To spend the summer vacation, junior high school student, Kazuki rides a bullet train to Hiroshima to stay with his aunt. Arriving in Hiroshima, his aunt narrates the tragic past of what happened the day the atomic bomb fell. From the aunt who had to overcome a lot of hardships, he learns the value of peace and to have the courage to lose.
31: Kashou no Tsuki: Aki Kyougen
Japanese: 火宵の月 ~秋狂言~
MAL Score: 5.98
When he was young, Arimasa Tsuchimikado rescued an injured cat and wished for it to become human. The cat, Kagetsu, is actually a member of the shape-shifting Kouga tribe and comes to live with Arimasa.
Years later, Arimasa is an uneasy presence in his village. The villagers despise him for being half-fox, but he is also the only one able to protect the village against supernatural invasion. Meanwhile, Kagetsu is going through a difficult period where he must choose which sex he will live the rest of his life as, a process he can only complete through sexual intercourse.
As pressure from other members of the Kouga clan opposes the wishes in Kagetsu’s heart, Arimasa’s village is struck by a large-scale supernatural attack. With his peaceful life threatened, Arimasa will be forced to make undesirable decisions.
Let me say this first: I’m not disappointed because there was not even a kiss between the alleged couple. The reason why I gave this one such a low score, was the entire enjoyment I could get out of this, and it was close to none.
Story was decent enough to keep me engaged for the two episodes this had to offer. However, for an adaptation, this anime was quite a rushed one (original manga had 14 volumes.. freaking FOURTEEN and all we got was an hour of poor animation). After this I kinda want to read the original though, just so see, if it’s any better.
As I may have mentioned above, the art was truly pathetic. They tried to merge edited real life footage of nature with the animated characters, but the keyword here is “tried”; Every shot with this kind of footage was poorly executed and the characters just look out of place. It just seems like that they didn’t have the budget to pay for more background paintings. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (or The Tatami Galaxy, if you will) did the merging with real life footage much better, even if it was made over 10 years later. However, being released in 1998, or just being old, doesn’t give this one a pass. The animation (or what animation there is at least) is dated to core and fighting scenes are underwhelming. The only thing that looked good, was the opening scene; Everything from there just goes downhill. Seriously: watch something else. For example, Fushigi Yuugi was released 2.5 years earlier (shoujo though) and it looks way more convincing than this; Almost anything does, really.
Sound design was mediocre and didn’t really appeal to me, but at least it wasn’t as painful as the visuals.
There’s also way too many characters introduced, when there’s only two episodes to fill. However, the main characters are interesting enough with good voice actors.
Overall, if you’re not willing to torture yourself, stay away from this!
At first I was surprised by how good the graphics were (pretty good for 1998). Especially I liked how eyes were drawn. To think of it, I might have never seen such wide ones, there was always only that big “cute” eyes. And I also liked those modified images of real wood mingling with the drown ones.
To the story, at first it seemed a bit strange. Later it was confusing. Even later I was wondering what the heck I am watching.
The story itself wasn’t bad or anything, but it would be better if there were more episodes and some things explained. Or maybe I just should read the manga.
Come to the main characters: a half-fox man who endures his inner pain and tries his very best to become part of the society, which does not accept him is parted with young boy unsure which sex he should be. Those two were slightly different and still so much alike. On the other side, the “villain” was almost nowhere to be seen; he got so little space to introduce so that you couldn’t come to like him. I like villains – not this time.
The reason why I’m giving this anime a higher score than I actually planned to give is that there wasn’t any sexual desire within Arimasa, which I find odd but interesting. Just why didn’t he want to embrace the boy who was obviously in love and willing to do anything?
Nah, I’m going to watch it one more time to get into it a bit more.
The story is set in distant past and follows the half-fox shaman accompanied by his apprentice. The two travel and try to get along with the society, each other – and themselves. The latter is the hardest, I guess.
The plot is somewhat incomplete/rushed and leaves a bunch of gaps indeed. I wish there was more time to uncover the nesessary details, the two-episode OVA is obviously not enough. However, the gaps are not that huge as one may think. Much is told through details and visuals. And (the thing I highly appreciate in every anime or movie) there’s some space left for the viewer’s fantasy – along with quite serious philosophical matters raised. Who am I? Where is my place? What am I born for? Kashou no Tsuki gives its own point of view concerning these eternal questions.
So the mood is mostly philosophical and the flow is mostly slow-paced, leaving out some action in between. But action is not the strongest point here, I assume. Still, it is enough to make the climax decent.
Only two characters are somewhat developed – and they are the main ones. While Kagetsu (the apprentice) is more or less evident, his sensei is quite mysterious and much is left for the viewer to think of – and to invent and complement sometimes to kinda put the puzzle together.
Kohryu acted as a typical punk and delinquent, and his inners remain unclear.
The villains were a big disappointment. No decent part, no clear motifs, no any kind of plan – just rushed separate actions all of a sudden. The ending made something clear – but not everything, alas. So…
I consider art to be the strongest point here. The mix of different styles and visual effects (real life pics, negatives, wide outlining at cases, etc.) made the picture look kinda odd and psychodelic and matched the philosophical mood. The design of characters was typical for late 90s, and I liked it. For some reason I appreciate old anime artstyle more than modern one despite the fact I got acquainted with Japanese animation 7 or 8 yrs ago (wasn’t a fan when I was a child, I mean). I noticed the lack of budget too, but the art (being almost 20 yrs old) still remained peculiar and outstanding in its own way.
Can’t judge it as I’ve watched it dubbed.
-Enjoyment and Overall-
Well, Kashou no Tsuki cannot be called a masterpiece, but still I enjoyed it. Despite all cons it stayed pleasant and peculiar and gave me another view on eternal matters. I’m not gonna rewatch it, I guess, however I’ve seen much worse. Real animation shame is, drawing a popular character represented by several sticks and a round head, filling it with stupid jokes and calling the result ‘an anime special done in a unique artstyle’.
The attitude towards Kashou no Tsuki is the matter of treatment and expectations. If you wish action or adventures or boys’ love (hey man, where’s sex?), it’s not a proper watch then. But if you’re into historical shows bound with philosophical and somewhat mystic/dark fantasy, you may give it a try then.
30: Osomatsu-kun: Iyami wa Hitori Kaze no Naka
Japanese: おそ松くん イヤミはひとり風の中
MAL Score: 6.07
VHS released by Nippon Columbia.
English: Eight Clouds Rising
MAL Score: 6.09
Fuzuchi Kuraki is a quiet young high school student blessed with immense psychic powers and an ancient sword. He is searching for other magical artifacts with the help of Nanachi Takeo, a college student with latent powers of his own. They delve deep into the dark magic of Izumo, only to discover the secrets buried within the birthplace of all Japanese mythology.
Eight Clouds Rising or Yakumo Tatsu is a short 2 episode OVA which is based on a manga of Natsumi Itsuki (some might be familiar with her as the creator of the rather popular Hanasakeru Seishounen which was written before Yakumo Tatsu). The manga was serialized from 1992 to 2002 by Hakusensha in the shoujo magazine LaLa. Additionally it was published in 19 single volumes in Japan. The OVA covers only the storyline up to chapter 3 of volume 2 of the manga.
This explains why the OVA will leave you with the feeling that you just watched the introduction to an epic story – the prologue to something bigger and more complex. No use in trying to find the continuation though, nothing more got animated. Who knows, maybe a follow-up project was planned but never saw the light of day?
Story (might contain minor spoilers):
The story revolves around two young men: 20 year old college student Takeo Nanachi living a perfectly normal life in Tokyo and Kuraki Fuzuchi, who is the 16 year old son of the head priest (or rather shaman) who oversees the shrine of a Sword God somewhere (presumably) in the Shimane prefecture.
Nanachi’s family is in possession of an old ceremonial sword left by his dead grandfather, who was a renowned swordsmith. For some reason or other his dad has asked him to get the sword purified. So Nanachi grabs the sword and takes it along while going on a trip with the college theater group to a village in the mountains. Obviously he was told that purifying the sword was possible by visiting a shrine in the vicinity. His arrival at the shrine coincides with the first day of a festival which is held there every 49 years. Upon reaching the festival grounds he gets to see a dance of purification performed by a priestess of the shrine.
When Nanachi and a friend make their way back to the house of the Fuzuchis, where the group is supposed to stay over night as guests, they meet Yasuko, the daughter of the house. Yasuko looks like the priestess they just watched but after inquiring they get the surprising answer that the “priestess” is actually Yasuko’s brother Kuraki. Kuraki is supposed to follow in his father’s footsteps as shaman as well as becoming the 15th master of a special sword technique practiced by the Fuzuchi.
In the course of the story Nanachi becomes involved in Kuraki’s family business and is suddenly confronted with supernatural powers, evil spirits, tragic clan feuds, shamanism and mysterious memory flashes from the past.
I have some complaints here. The character design is quite pleasing to the eye in a generic pretty-boy way – expect lots of sparkly eyes. The backgrounds look detailed and colorful, the animation is fluid, though it is nothing to write home about. The creators make heavy use of panels with only the camera panning or zooming in, which results in lifeless action scenes that fail to wow the viewer.
The (not bad at all) score by musician/composer Hajime Mizoguchi consists of unobtrusive classical tunes performed by the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra. The ED is an instantly forgettable and unsuitable J-Pop song.
Daisuke Namikawa (Nanachi) and Tomokazu Seki (Kuraki) portray the two main characters convincingly. I did not listen to the English dub, so I cannot comment on it. The background and environmental noises are clear and distinct.
In a nutshell:
The OVA offers a glimpse of plot that has the potential to become something interesting but then ends abruptly with only an unsatisfying closure. The watcher is left with the sensation that the really enthralling parts would have started right after the end of the second episode. Although the story feels too rushed, the anime manages to give a good outline to the main characters who, alas, have the tendency to throw angsty fits at the worst possible moment. The anime succeeds in establishing a moody and mysteriously supernatural atmosphere. There is no clear evidence in the OVA whatsoever, but the way the characters interact leaves a vague shounen-ai feel.
If you have an hour of free time with nothing else to do, why not grab some peanuts, your favorite beverage and watch this?
Might appeal to someone who enjoyed X, Mirage of Blaze or Amatsuki
28: Honoo no Alpenrose
Japanese: ドラマチックメモリー 炎のアルペンローゼ
MAL Score: 6.10
Two-part OVA that summarises the entire Honoo no Alpenrose TV series featuring a new dubbing and reworked scenes.
THe story is about a girl who is found with amnesia by Randy who as a child takes care of her giving her the name of Judy becoming lovers as time goes by.
The story then resumes with both of them as teenagers in Switzerland on the years previous to World War II.
In the begining we first meet the arrogant Count Gourmont who forcefully tries to make Judy his lover first locking her on his castle and later pursuing her on her journeys.
Then the story moves on having great dramatic twists when Judy with the help of Randy starts looking for her past, her real identity and her parents, discovering that her parents were part of an anti-Nazi group to protect Switzerland.
The characters, despite being compilation OVAs, are well developed and every one of them play an important role not only in Judy’s story but on Switzerland resistace against the germans.
The story has two sides, one being the drama around Judy and the other the political intrigue around Germany taking control over Europe.
The development of the story is similar to The Rose of Versailles in a lighter tone having more emphasis on the romantic drama.
On a side note is worth to mention that the opening song sounds out of place in the context and tone of the story being more fitting the ending song and a good choice with the maint theme song in the story called Alpen Rrose which is an anti-Nazi song sung on some of the more crucial moments of the story.
27: Zakuro Yashiki
MAL Score: 6.12
The Japanese painter FUKAZAWA Takeshi expresses in pictures the novel written by Honoré de BALZAC “La grenadière”. Over 70 tempera paintings are beautifully brought to life and put together by FUKADA Koji for this Ga-nime that tells us the story of a mother and child in the 19th century, coated in a music that punctuates the whole experience. FUKAZAWA and FUKADA thus succeed in reproducing the ambiance of this mansion so dear to BALZAC, as the artistic pictures call to the imagination and the emotions of the viewer that only be so aroused by a Ga-nime.
26: Detective Conan: Let’s Experience the Jomon Period!
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 縄文体験やってみよう!
MAL Score: 6.13
An educational Meitantei Conan OVA where the Shounen Tantei-dan (Detective Boys/The Junior Detective League) go on a field trip with Ran to learn about the Jomon Period of Japan, which is the earliest historical era of Japan. This OVA was released as a bundle with Shogakukan’s Nijuuisseiki Kodomo Hyakka Rekishi-kan (21st Century Children’s Encyclopedia History Museum). It uses animated characters on top of live-action backgrounds.
25: Eiyuu Banka Koushi-den
Japanese: 英雄挽歌 孔子傳
MAL Score: 6.14
Born in the Chinese state of Lu in 551 B.C., Confucius is raised by his mother after his father dies when he is only three. He marries at 19 and enters the service of the local nobility. At 32, he becomes tutor to the Prince of Lu’s children, eventually becoming a politician at 51. His career peaks are the roles of Lu’s justice minister and eventually prime minister. The land prospers for four years, but Confucius grows disenchanted with court intrigues. For the following 12 years, he wanders the neighboring states, offering advice to their rulers.
(Source: The Anime Encyclopedia)
Zigond, a disciple
Zengzi, a disciple
Shuliang He, his father
Yang Hu, a vassal of the Jisun clan in Lu
Viscount of Tan, a formative influence
Yang Yin, a ruler
Zixia, a disciple.
The OVA was directed by the late Dezaki Osamu, who should need no introduction. He directed many famous anime, including Ashita no Joe and its sequel, Ace wo Nerae and its sequel, the Black Jack OVAs and movie, half a dozen Lupin III TV specials, and Kasei Yakyoku, an Orphan release. His visual trademarks – split-screen scenes, stark lighting, and detailed freeze frames that he called “Postcard Memories”- are on full display in this movie.
Eiyuu Banka Koushi-den sheds a warm and positive light on one of the great thinkers in human history, one much less well known in the west than his near contemporary, the Buddha. You can get the movie from the usual torrent site.
24: Kakumei no Wakaki Sora
MAL Score: 6.30
The life of the French poet André Marie Chénier during the period of radical social and political upheaval in France.
23: Tsuki ga Noboru made ni
MAL Score: 6.32
A father and daughter in Japan climb to the top of a ridge to watch the moonrise. As they wail, an old man tells them his story. An adaptation of Tetsuya Takeda’s story about the relationship between a Japanese child and an American soldier.
(Source: The Anime Encyclopedia)
I had a mixed feeling watching this short movie. The title was nothing relevant on its main story. Its just a simple setting to set them up into a real story. The story itself was about a kindness, regardless of ethnic differences they had, a mental state they felt, and a bad situations of their surrounding that might stressed them out. However, when its talk about the humanity, a respectable path could explained how kind people in responding the situation that happened to them. Yeah, that children and the american soldiers on his story, were a good simplicity to described that meaning.
Idk about my decision, either this is an example of a good or a bad movie. But, one thing for sure, this is just a simple movie about the man and its daughter that wanted to watched a full moon but ended up hearing a nice story afterwards. The story itself, for me, was not so great. But its had a good moments on it. Its simple, by showing a real deal after the postwar period. Eventhough, they were in a war state, the humanity was not lost at all from their pure soul. Yeah, like i said much in the first paragraph, and strengthening it by a few words on this paragraph.
For the sake of story’s simplicity, and a relaxing ending to enjoy, i decided that this show was a fine for me. The deep meaning on its main story, made me adding more scores ti simply give my respect. If only there was some relatable meaning behind the two different factors, the moon, and that old man story, i may surely give the show a complete 9. However, so far for me, since i don’t find any relations between the two different theme, rather being a complete setting, i am just pointing out this one at my 7/10 list. Thats it.
For details, the storyline had its 7 scores for the sake of a good meanings behind those stories. Art, and animation details were a classic exposures. 6 at most of the time, because its just fine for me. Soundtrack kinda catchy and suit well with the theme, made me pointing out a 7 as my pure satisfaction point toward this show. Characters was 6. Nothing more to explained, because the main story had nothing related with their main characters. Enjoyment goes to 8. Because its simply i am enjoyed this, to relax my wound hearts about the world war II. Eventhough, there were fight each others, when they talked about humanity, nothing could burden their kindness. No war could stop a kindness on a kind people. A solid messages to solidified my 8 levels of enjoyment.
Overall, like i said above, its just a 7/10 for me. Thats it.
22: Onihei: Sono Otoko, Heizou Hasegawa
Japanese: 鬼平~その男, 長谷川平蔵~
MAL Score: 6.39
The OVA will center on Heizou’s character, otherwise known as “Oni no Heizou” (Heizou the Demon); the man feared among the thieves and rogues during the Edo Period. A young man traces the stories surrounding Heizou’s early days and their “dogs (spies)” from his admirers Kumehachi, Hikujou and Omasa. After hearing from them, the young man heads for Heizou’s private residence in Mejirodai and also learns from his wife Hisae. What is the connection between the young man’s motive and Heizou?
(Source: MAL News)
21: Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku: Kinetograph
Japanese: 華ヤカ哉, 我ガ一族 キネトグラフ
MAL Score: 6.40
During the Taishou period of early 20th-century Japan, Haru Asagi is sent to work as a maid to support her struggling family. The Miyanomori family, which she serves, is highly influential across Japan and consists of one of the nation’s top magnates and his six sons—but power and money have brought out the cruelest in these brothers.
When the head of the family announces his retirement, the six Miyanomori brothers are left to vie for his position. With 18 years of experience separating the oldest and youngest brothers, frustration and competition are rife. As a result, Haru is left to deal with each of the vastly different siblings and explore the depths of their true selves. All the while, a greater conflict lies in wait with the potential to destroy everything their father has built for them.
My patience was immensely tested throughout the span of these two episodes; I kept watching hope against hope that there would be a spark of brilliance of plot twist or character development. But all I seemingly did was watch a young girl fall, break things, cry, and apologize repeatedly for two hours, and the men around her acting without the decorum that suits their high status. The first few minutes of the first episode tricked me into thinking this will be a glamorous, multi-tiered family drama. Boy, had I been disappointed.
I feel sympathetic towards the artists and designers who had to deal with this.
I love the idea of this anime. I hope they make another to fill up a BUNCH of cliff-hangers and plot holes. This is a great anime to watch when you’re bored and want to watch some sort of romantic anime.
Story – 4 (mostly for its potential, and not actual story)
The potential was there in buckets. Set in a historic period, there could’ve been more elements weaved into the plot. The anime starts with the announcement of the head of the Miyanomori family looking to retire in 10 months time. He wants his six sons (each with a different mother) to compete for the title of the next head of the clan. Not unique, but interesting story, right? … Except, nothing more happens from it! Randomly, there’s an assassination, and two suspicious characters are introduced in the second episode, but none of them are addressed by the end of the second episode.
Art & Character – 5
I’m a sucker for ikemen so I had to give a passing grade. Every brother looks like a character out of another anime, but I’m okay with that. They were fine to look at, so no complaints. They also tried to make each a different trope, and were semi-successful with that. Because each brother lacked airtime, we never get to really know any of them, and thus, never fall in love with any of them. The main character is marginally acceptable. Her clumsiness (which really makes her career choice a bad one) is a bit overdone, but she does kind of stand up for herself when it matters. For this cookie-cutter of a story/anime, you can’t really expect a stellar female lead. You can have the cake, or you can eat the cake. Alas, I will continue in my quest for a good reverse harem with both the ikemen and a strong, independent MC.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this anime even if you super dig ikemen. There are tons more with good looking fellas that offer much more than this anime did. I’m sorry. I wish I had better things to write about it. (On another note, should this game be offered in English, I’m all for it. =D)
20: Takarajima Memorial: Yuunagi to Yobareta Otoko
MAL Score: 6.54
A short story during Jim’s adventure at sea. He encounters a man at a bar who told a tail about a one-legged man. Thinking it’s Silver who the man is referring too, Jim later asked him for details. The man told Jim that, near the coast Maratoran, Silver left the ship they were on went to the island on a small boat. Jim, who couldn’t go at the time, left for Maratoran six years later. He met Silver’s wife and son there.
19: Kasei Yakyoku
English: Nightsong of Splendor
MAL Score: 6.67
The story takes place in old Tokyo, the Tokyo of August-September 1923 (Showa 12). At this moment in time, the city is a mixture of extremes… past and present, rich and poor, good and bad. This is a city where we see both horsecarts and motorcars, swords and pistols, lords and businessmen.
A wealthy woman from an upper-class family finds herself attracted to a handsome young man, Taka. He and his younger brother seem to be allied, perhaps not entirely willingly, with some of the city’s criminal underground (Yakuza). The lady’s lovely young maidservant, Sara, meets him too, and a conflict ensues which can only lead to tragedy, passion, and dishonor. But, as events move on, and the days pass, the viewer sees a terrible date coming closer… that unforgettable day of September 1, 1923, at 11:58, when the Great Kanto Earthquake and tidal wave struck Tokyo, causing the death of almost 100,000 people, one of the greatest disasters in human history.
(Source: The Technogirls)
How much sacrifice are you ready to consent in the name of love? It is a simple question Kasei Yakyoku offers to answer through the pang of four characters, during a tumultuous era of Japan. KY [thank you to banish on the recess of your mind any salacious joke in relation to a certain brand of condoms] is a original Josei tale geared around the very idea of emancipation. Indeed, the personal dilemma of Taka, Akiko, Sara and Kiyokuni hinges around it. Akiko looks to escape the confinement of the prestigious house of the Marquis Hasho, her father. At the light of the first wave feminism ideal (which is in vogue at the time) she thinks of the traditional Omiai as a dusty matchmaking device, to the dismay of Kiyokuni. Her assertive femme du monde composure breaks like a shell past the harrowing reality check, after she first interacted with the man she fell for. As for Kiyokuni, the heir of a solid banking company, he occupies an unique place in this tale for he is the only one to relinquish any vague desire of self made independence. He thinks of his arranged marriage as a necessity as much as a benediction. It highlights his complete unselfishness and then an attitude improper for a healthy romantic relationship. As for Sara, the maidservant and childhood friend of Akiko, she embodies the old-styled maiden ideal. She wants to owe nobody but ends with manifold predicaments due to her ingenuity in regards to the cruel world she steps in. Taka, the main protagonist is simply prisoner of his situation as a high-ranked mobster, whose talent to dispatch “wordly” affairs is much coveted by his organization’s boss. It pretty much forged his seemingly reserved and detached character. As you notice, there is an interesting quator to weave a compelling story around. KY’s success is heavily dependent on a right dramatization. So, does it deliver at it? Yes, it does!…
This success can partly be attributed to the solid direction of Osamu Dezaki. Properly efficient at conveying a melancholic atmosphere to his pre earthquake disaster love tale, it unfolds with drawling gravity, earnest key dialogue lines and Dezaki’s trademark use of pastel freeze frames, which accentuates a transient and yet etched intensity. While it lacks foreshadowing regarding certain questions (as how and when exactly Taka fell for his assistant’s sister), the story holds itself well together with the limited available length it has. Probably due to time constraint, the animation can somewhat look stilted at times, which is particularly noticeable during certain action scenes. Also, the cuts to earthquake’s countdown information would have gained in being inserted into the screenplay, rather than being simply shown with a drab static card. However, these are minor concerns and overall the cinematography aged finely thirty years later… Art direction in itself is lavish, particularly in the wake of the introduction. The establishing sequences, brimming with Jazz age imagery, are a sight to behold… Akiko climbing down the stairs, donned with her slanted sequin dress and her headscarf, takes one back to a dated and yet charming ambiance. A clear disruption is noticeable past the first OAV, as to signal a clear disruption between the happy-go-lucky modernity of the roaring 20s and the ever lingering Japan of traditions, holding people captive of its desiderata. The soundtrack, a low-key one, is at the image of this dichotomy with a dominant sway in favor of traditional instrumentation. It fits the mood perfectly, as a more ostentatious sound-design would have made the dramatization too overbearing.
Stylistically, the chara-design opts to go for what could be called a Gekiga approach, if this term ever applied to animation. The obvious concern is to graphically convey maturity, rather than blooming innocence. Tonally, a last word has to be addressed in defense of the open ending: KY is all around rounded as a period drama. Providing a decisive ending would be as arduous as unnecessary. How Sara is supposed to find back Taka when the only clue she has is that he is alive? How the ex-yakuza can possibly reach for his lost half when he has to lay low because of a bounty on his head? How can it end in a significant way for Akiko as her sentiments are as unrequited as Kiyokuni’s? What is usually considered as taunting cliffhanger does not apply here. It is a conclusion more in the style of Kayako Ebina’s biopic, Ushiro no Shoumen Dare. Just like a harshly smite Tokyo recovers, the scarred protagonists hold on as good as they can. That’s how life naturally goes, with its share of dead ends and wasted opportunities.
If you are set to watch a period drama/romance series capped off in a bittersweet way, you cannot go wrong with Kasei Yakyoku. It is mature, paroxysmal, elegant in spite of some cheesy melodramatic accents. It is going to leave you hanging, and that, is the evocative magic the underrated studio of Satoshi Dezaki prides itself in.
Praise be unto Sacred Geometry~
..| Colophon |..
This section is dedicated to content indication in order to inform audience in a practical way. On the next paragraphs, the potential spectator gets hints about the title’s strong suits and drawbacks.
Ketchup meter: Violence mostly permeates from the unfulfilled distress of the protagonists. The action scenes aren’t too racy even though the conflagration in Hanai’s house shows some teeth.
xXx meter: There are bare breast scenes. They’re not staged through a voyeuristic lens though, as they are there to evidence a couple’s sincere passion or in the case of Akiko and Taka’s pair the glacial, loveless reception of sexuality.
Fishing scene(s): None.
+ A rare Josei tale foreshadowing a little known Historical disaster
+ Osamu Dezaki’s literate cinematography
+ Care for characterization and cast interactions
+ Tonal consistency in complete favor of tragedy (without gratuitous misery pornography or jarring bits of comedy)
– Lack of build up regarding certain key plot elements
– Somewhat campy lines, here and there
– A slightly unlined editing at times (instance: the love scene between Sara and Taka. It’s as if it had two different takes and the staff was unable to choose one so included the two redundant together)
It shows faithfullness and pure love despite hard circumstances and poverty , and that love can’t be bought or forced …
It also shows the sadness of both poor and reach people (how poor people have to work hard to live and not choose the easy way to earn money by throwing away their dignity and selling their bodies, and how rich people have difficulties to live free of the family obligations and formalities and to trust people…)
The end was clever, it wanted to show that people can begin from zero and chage themselves to be better and change (for the sake of the loved one), exactely like did Japan after the disastrous earthquake…
The development of the characters was good (compared to the number of episodes).
It’s an old animation, but it has beautiful art (the same as “oniisama e” …).
There’s no comedy at all.
The problem is that it’s not available on net (I found it subtitled to arabic).
I really recommend it, it’s a touching and a realistic story.
18: Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi Encore
English: Steel Angel Kurumi Encore
Japanese: 鋼鉄天使くるみ 25-28話
MAL Score: 6.68
Four additional short stories of the Steel Angels: Saki becomes a film actress, Karinka goes on a blind date with Kamihito, Kurumi practices the art of becoming a traditional Japanese woman, and the rest of the Steel Angels engage in a contest to win Nakahito’s heart.
And when i mean all the other steel angels, I MEAN all the other steel angels. The last episode involves all the angels in a contest to win Nakahito’s heart.
The sound is standard SAK quality and the 5.1 surround is second to none. The japanese voices are your usual chibi-style voices but my favorite is the English dubbing of the show. The english voices are still chibi-esqe but they have a much bigger emotional range towards everything (i.e. Happy Karinka or angry Karinka)
The Writer/Director Steven Foster (Ugly Yet Beautiful, Gilgamesh, etc.) Really does a bang up job for the entire Steel Angel Kurumi Series. Theres nothing funnier than a foul mouthed Karinka.
If you Enjoyed the great story and antics of the first season and want to see more stories of your favorite angel, go ahead and get this ASAP. BUT if this is your first foray into the Steel Angel Universe, GO RIGHT AHEAD! theres no continuity issues at all (although the reccomendation is to watch this after S1 and before S2).
Even though the stories in each episode were short, I enjoyed every last one of them. It was just plain fun to see all of the characters back at their typical routine of arguing with each other and pining for one another. This is what I thought Steel Angel Kurumi should be all about. Forget the storyline; this is a robot maid anime we’re talking about. Just give me humorous situations and quirky characters for my enjoyment, and I won’t say a word. Steel Angel Kurumi is just the kind of anime that even if you could take seriously, you don’t want to take seriously. Encore helped Steel Angel Kurumi feel fun again, so in turn I was able to have fun again. Episode four–or twenty-eight, depending on how you look at it–was easily my favorite episode of Encore. It was entirely nonsensical, but it was also entirely fun to watch. Seeing a bunch of women compete for a kiss from the shy and young Nakahito was a lot more enjoyable to watch than you would think. Kurumi trying to become a traditional Japanese woman was also rather interesting. I found it funny how the most powerful Steel Angel on the planet–faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound–has a total meltdown when she tries to become a prim and proper Japanese housewife. Now I know Kurumi’s limits, and I also shed a tear for Japanese housewives everywhere. Like I said before, none of the stories really felt like they could fit into the storyline of Steel Angel Kurumi, but that’s part of what makes Encore worth watching. It’s too bad that, with Encore being so short, it had the misfortune of ending abruptly and leaving a bad taste in my mouth because of it. I was thirsty for more Steel Angel Kurumi sweetness, but I was left high and dry.
Audio and animation-wise, Encore is on the same level as Steel Angel Kurumi. The intro song is the same as before, Kiss Kara Hajimaru Miracle, but the ending song is a new piece called Suki-suki-suki-suKisu Shite! and is a welcomed change from the original, as it better compliments the primarily comedic subject matter of Encore. Unfortunately I was forced to stick with the Japanese audio while watching Encore because I didn’t have access to the English dub. This wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t already gotten used to the English voices, but I have to admit it hindered my experience a little bit. The Japanese audio isn’t bad by any means, but I still prefer the English cast over the Japanese cast. Animation in Encore is exactly the same level as Steel Angel Kurumi. Lush scenery with bright colors, and very smooth animation. Character designs also haven’t changed, but it is nice to see characters wearing different outfits from time to time throughout Encore. I especially liked the old fashion dress that Saki wore while on the set of her movie. Minor adjustments here and there perhaps, but nothing really noticeable in the audio and video quality of Encore when compared to Steel Angel Kurumi.
There are few animes out there that are as short and sweet as Encore is. Most short animes leave you wondering what the hell just happened, while others make you ponder as to why such an anime needed to exist in the first place. However, Encore survives as being just another installment to a popular series, and it’s sure to be a welcomed addition for Kurumi fans. Steel Angel Kurumi Encore is just what the doctor ordered if you’re a fan of the first twenty-four episodes of Steel Angel Kurumi. Its short length and basic comedic content make it an easy watch for even the busiest of people. It’s short, sweet, and fun to watch. If you can’t get enough of Kurumi’s trademark squeal, Karinka’s constantly running mouth, and uh’Saki’s incestuous obsession with her sister, then be sure to check out Steel Angel Kurumi Encore.
My Score: 8.5
Version Watched: Sub
MAL Score: 6.75
A lonely exchange student meets and falls in passionate love with a dancer. A girl who falls into madness when she learns her lover is going home to make his life.
The wanderings of youth on the stage of 19th century Berlin. The legendary novel of Meiji writer Mori Ogai, “Maihime (dancing girl),” adapted by Ga-nime “School Girl” producer Oku Shutaro who shows us his illustration talent and appoints Ms FURUYA Akisa for the booklets, slide shows, and animation of this Ga-nime. Over the background of a foreign country, we discover all the pathetic, poetic feelings of this elegant story as the wind of fresh artistic images brings it to life.
They are usually more sophisticated and enriched from series, because the creator wants to pass his thoughts effectively and has no time to digress.
And if you think about it, in case the result is not satisfactory, you don’t lose but a few minutes…
So, I bumped into this.
A young man narrates his story, about when he travelled to Europe for working and studying. There he met a girl with whom he fell in love with, but their relationship eventually became overshadowed by his business life. I got a little impatient at first, because I wanted to see where it was going to, but the story advanced quite well. I was moved and a little depressed at the end.
This anime is of a certain type, which does not appeal to me anyway. It is called ‘ga-anime’ and this is the definition that I found on the internet:
“A crossover between a picture book, a radio play and an anime.
The art is static but of higher level than the average anime. The images change in a slow pace carried by music and voice, with small animation tricks.”
Soundtrack and sounds where engaging and fitting the atmoshere of the anime.
I liked the way the narrator described himself and his feelings.
I was very interested to see what will happen next. And I experienced emotions of sadness, which in my opinion made it an effective and good anime.
Such brief and meaningfull stories should be given more attention. Maybe someone who read this review will give it a chance.
16: Hi no Tori: Yamato-hen
English: The Phoenix: Chapter of Yamato
Japanese: 火の鳥 ヤマト編
MAL Score: 6.76
At his father’s command, Oguna, the youngest prince of Yamato, sets out to kill Takeru Kawakami, the leader of Kumaso. However, upon arriving in Kumaso territory, he is injured by the stray arrow of a young local woman named Kajika who is hunting game. Eager to compensate for the terrible mistake, she escorts Oguna to her village to treat his wound. But as the two rapidly fall in love, the prince makes a disturbing discovery: Kajika is Takeru’s younger sister!
Conflicted between his newfound love and family duty, Oguna seeks advice from the Phoenix, a legendary immortal bird that serves as Kumaso’s guardian. Compelled to make a decision, will the Yamato prince betray his own for the woman he loves, or will he murder Kajika’s brother as commissioned?
Inspired by the Yamato Takeru Japanese legend, Hi no Tori: Yamato-hen chronicles the tragic story of an ill-fated couple, showing how true love can conquer hate and adversity even among the greatest of uncertainties.
15: Honoo no Mirage: Minagiwa no Hangyakusha
English: Mirage of Blaze: Rebels of the River Edge
MAL Score: 6.85
Takaya was sent to Kyoto to investigate the re-awakening of Ikko sect and Araki Murashige, a member of the Ikko sect who deserted the clan.With the help of his vassal Haruie, Takaya is finally successful in tracing Araki who hunts down a 400-years-old mandala (Buddhist artifact for meditating) that was made of the hair of the deceased Araki clansmen. Unfortunately, by the time they meet, Haruie recognizes Araki as Shintarou, her lover in her past-life. Takaya orders her to eliminate Araki, who is a threat, but will she be able to do it. Furthermore Takaya finally meets Naoe…
14: Kaze to Ki no Uta Sanctus: Sei Naru Kana
English: The Poem of Wind and Trees
Japanese: 風と木の詩 ＳＡＮＣＴＵＳ－聖なるかな－
MAL Score: 6.87
1887, at a remote, elite boarding school in France: Serge Battour returns after his graduation, and remembers the days of his youth…
1880, at the same school: Son of a viscount and a Roma prostitute (both deceased), Serge is intelligent, sweet, talented, and alienated by his family due to his heritage. Upon being sent to his new school, he rooms with Gilbert Cocteau, a gorgeous loner of a boy who sells his body for reasons unknown. Serge’s attempts to reach out to Gilbert fail spectacularly, and yet there is something in both of them that attracts them to each other.
Kaze to Ki no Uta is an epic boys’ love tragedy oftentimes labeled as the first boy’s love manga — this is untrue, although KazeKi’s mangaka also wrote the real first BL manga, a oneshot called “In the Sunroom”. It was, however, the first to contain explicit sexual content, including rape, pedophilia, and incest (oftentimes all at once), although all of this is treated with care in the manga and doesn’t come up all that much in the manga. But historical significance aside, this is the story of one Serge Battour, the kind and talented son of a French viscount and a gypsy prostitute, and one Gilbert Cocteau, a gorgeous boy selling his body for reasons unknown. The anime covers several volume of the manga, starting when Serge and Gilbert become roommates at the elite boarding school Lacombrade Academy and following them as they initially clash and slowly begin to understand each other. Their problems are many — Serge, due to his mixed-race heritage, is bullied by his classmates; Gilbert’s promiscuity often gets him into dangerous situations; while Serge intends to make friends with Gilbert, Gilbert refuses… it’s a story with all the beginnings of an amazing romantic tragedy, and while the anime doesn’t come close to finishing the story, it’s a great overview of the full tale.
But the biggest draw of Kaze to Ki no Uta is not its significance or plot, but its characters. There’s a delicious variety of personalities, including not only the leads but the supporting cast. Serge and Gilbert have an amazing dynamic all throughout the story; Serge is absolutely adorable and easy to cheer for from beginning to end, and Gilbert’s remarkable combination of frigid and manipulative is a powerful contrast. While side characters don’t have time to get their chances to shine, even their minimally-developed personalities are great fun — the religious rule-bearer Karl, the playfully rebellious Pascal, the strong-willed and elegant Rosemarine… KazeKi has a very likable supporting cast.
While the style of this OVA doesn’t come close to the beauty of the manga’s art and atmosphere, it’s quite a good representation. The music is more or less unobtrusive, but beautiful when one takes the time to listen to it. It’s a very classic style, full of piano, violin, and the like; elegant and pretty and very much appropriate to the content of the anime. While mangaka Keiko Takemiya’s soft and elegant art style has been greatly simplified (very much for the worse) in order to be animated, character designs are as a whole faithful to the original. Effeminate boys run rampant and every character, from main to background, is always on-model. The background art is similarly detailed and attractive, using the historic setting to further create a distinct atmosphere.
The Kaze to Ki no Uta OVA is a fantastic introduction to an even more fantastic manga; everybody I know that has watched it has gone on to read the manga and become a fan. Even this small bit of the story is intriguing, emotional, and beautiful and downright lovely to watch. While this title may not often catch the eye of anyone except boy’s love fans looking through the history of the genre, the fact is that not only is Kaze to Ki no Uta — manga and anime — one of the greatest boy’s love titles out there but one of the greatest shoujo titles and tragic manga. Those who can’t stand their anime to be slow, character-driven, and dramatic should look elsewhere, but for fans of gorgeously painful romances, deep shoujo, and unique and significant anime, Kaze to Ki no Uta is the perfect series. Honestly, the only shortcoming of the anime is it’s length.
Basically, this anime uses a prestigious French school as its setting where our protagonist, the virtuous and talented Serge, meets his new room-mate and polar opposite in the manipulative Gilbert who uses his body to gain various favors from other men. Unlike some other anime of the same genre I know of, the story takes place in a world with enough regard for realism to avoid an ideal depiction of same-sex relationships and instead aims to depict some of the obvious cons; the most prominent one being the lack of consent the ones involved might face in their environments. Make no mistake though, plenty of scenes are reserved for the sometimes unnerving worship of the male body and intense homoerotic events that I fear might ruin a lot of the appeal for viewers not looking for such things.
Furthermore, the characterization stands fairly well for an OVA of merely an hour with reasonable amounts of development and a good foundation for occasional melodrama. Unfortunately, the anime is based on a manga of 17 volumes and lacks the time to include proper explanations for some bizarre plot points revealed later on which causes some confusion. This is not the major issue though as the narrative as a whole eventually ends up in a pit of glorified masochism only to wrap things up in a beautiful, intense and somehow redeeming scene with enough sense to rely on sensuality rather than sexuality.
In the end this is a fairly decent watch, with fairly standardized technical merits. The soundtrack is the most impressive part of the OVA, but the animation remains somewhat mediocre despite certain moments of beauty and great character designs. It suffers from the same problems shared by a lot of shounen-ai (it would seem) such as glorifying certain themes like masochism which are made all the more disturbing by the youth of the characters but is undoubtedly very palatable in its depiction. Despite the mediocre score, I was somewhat impressed by this title and will consider giving more titles within the same genre a chance; romanticized adolescent melodrama has its perks as long as it doesn’t drag I guess.
13: Front Innocent: Mou Hitotsu no Lady Innocent
English: Another Lady Innocent
Japanese: フロントイノセント ～もうひとつのレディイノセント～
MAL Score: 6.87
During the Civil War, the powerful landowner Carson had a beautiful daughter with an innocent heart. As Faye enjoys an intense sexual relationship with her friend John and her servant girl Sophia, the end of her innocent days draws near. The mysterious Lord Mark has set his eyes on her and will stop at nothing to get her.
The story made… no sense. In fact, I would never have understood it without the synposis. But who watches hentai for the good storyline?
Actually, I do. Sometimes. But this time the art got me absolutely in to it. This is the most detailed anime I have seen, ever. Every tree has all of it’s leaves showing, the rooms have different wallpapers, the pavement has texture. And not to forget, the characters were stunning. I have never seen such detailed hair and eyes, nor detailed sex. It’s very believable besides the fact that no guy ever comes, only the girls (and many times at that!).
The soundtrack was pretty nice actually. Not a big fan of music DURING sex, but only because it was dramatical. But the overall impression was good, no whiney voices.
The characters were… interesting. One girl and her servant and this other guy who I cannot seem to grasp what their relationship was, besides sexual. But whatever, they all looked mighty fine, One girls dad is in it, and this other long-eyelashed guy, they looked kind of disturbing with all of the face detail and ruined it for me, since they barely had any screentime and "contributed" to the "plot" (?)
But I did enjoy it, if only mostly for the art, but because the sex was detailed and nice, and also varied. Even with the horses in the background, this is probably my favourite hentai ever.
12: Arslan Senki
English: The Heroic Legend of Arslan
MAL Score: 6.91
In the medieval kingdom of Pars, young Prince Arslan confronts the hostility of his father and the disinterest of his mother, and yearns to learn more about the world. Despite being surrounded by poverty and slavery, Arslan persists in seeing the possibility of a nobler world. Everything changes when the neighboring nation of Lusitania invades Pars, and Arslan is forced to grow up in an instant.
Arslan Senki follows Prince Arslan to war, where he struggles to save his nation and family with the help of a small but devoted circle of advisers. Along the way the young prince finds secrets around every corner and faces enemies who hate him because of what he is, but also finds friends where he least expects them. The story of nations at war, Arslan Senki is also the story of one boy’s quest to stay himself in the most trying of circumstances.
Great story if your into fantasy and some sword play, I only wished the series was a little longer and more fleshed out but I loved in none the less.
The originial english voice actors at the beginning are quite good, no idea why they changed the VA’s towards the end… I think it was a long time between releases.. but still, watch it in japanese and you should be fine if you hate inconsistencies there.
Shame for them to do that otherwise i’d give it a perfect score.
Definately reccomended to the old skool anime-goers.
From there Arslan allies a handful loyal companions around him and marches to castle Peshawar at the border to plan his strike on the capitol to retake and free his parents, the King and Queen. With a few side-stories going on, this anime never got me bored and always got me hooked for one more episode, although I was running late for work.
The art and sound sure are not near up-to-date, but to be honest, I don’t care. In the end you have to judge something by the standards of that time. Otherwise you could claim to be better than Galileo Galilei, because now we know more than he did.
The story, characters and the overall enjoyment were outstanding. This isn’t just a companion-rallying medieval fight-anime with some magic to it. No, it has deep political (how he got that elephant-riding troop to join him and other very clever moves), deep moral (his childhood and therefore his hatred for slavery and some other things, but don’t want to spoil), funny (Gieve/Guibu always making me smirk with his highly intelligent and eloquent verbal punches towards anyone), and of course captivating, because this story is well-written.
I would have liked to see more than 6 episodes, but I think leaving the rest to the imagination of the watcher isn’t half-bad either. I liked how Gieve/Guibu started picking on the people in the castle and left the party after that, because as a ministrel/bard he is just too much of a free spirit to be “caged” inside a castle for too long. I am sure in other anime, they would have made him stay or even not pick up fights, but this anime is very authentic and that is one of few factors, which made me give this anime 10/10 and boost it on the top of my list.
10/10, most favourite anime!
IN SHORT: If you like a nice old fashioned adventure- epic, with fantasy, a mystical art style, and a mostly character centered plot, then you will probably enjoy Arslan Senki. The designs and art are unique, and the story is interesting and captivating.Give this one a shot! It won’t take you long, it’s only a six episode OVA.
Positive: The animation is not that great, and animation and budget are limited, but the art direction is brilliant! There were many beautiful shots and artistic sceneries. One of the little touches that stood out to me was the way in which fire was animated throughout the ova. The fire is off the chain in this one!
Negative (small): Sometimes the action didn’t make much sense, and a few fights seemed unrealistic (within the context of Arslan Senki’s universe).
Positive: I loved the story! The scope was broad and the sense it gives off is that of an epic journey. You see the main character grow into a more mature man and capable ruler. It’s all about the underdog and how his quest to gain power and regain his position. Yes, the show is about war and politics, but it spends most of its time on Arslan’s development and telling the stories of its characters.
Okay: I liked the variety of characters who were all interesting in their own way. Excluding Arslan and a few others the characters weren’t the most nuanced or multi-dimensional characters ever, but they were still a step above flat, one dimensional, archetypal characters. So all in all, they were pretty good, not the best, but still good.
Negative: The start was a bit boring, but the story continuously becomes more engrossing as it progresses. I would say this is something you need to sit down, relax, and give yourself plenty of time to watch. As someone who gets bored of shows very quickly (look at my “dropped” list), I’d say the slow start isn’t unbearable and still has enough interesting moments on its own. Overall, the story and the plot have a more laid back feel to them. (Which isn’t necessarily a problem, it’s just the OVA’s style)
SUMMARY: If you like a nice old fashioned adventure- epic, with fantasy, a mystical art style, and a mostly character centered plot, then you will probably enjoy Arslan Senki. The designs and art are unique, and the story is interesting and captivating. Give this one a shot! It won’t take you long, it’s only a six episode OVA.
MAL Score: 6.97
An educational anime about the history and founding of the Hinamatsuri holiday in Japan.
10: Arslan Senki (TV) Gaiden
Japanese: アルスラーン戦記 外伝
MAL Score: 7.01
It has been announced that Hiromu Arakawa’s Arslan Senki manga will bundle OVAs in the fifth and sixth volumes, to be released on May 9 and November 9 respectively. The first OVA will include an original story supervised by Hiromu Arakawa, while the content of the second OVA has not been announced yet.
A particularly great ova story? Nope.
Are you missing out by not watching this? Nah.
Lots of fun? Quite.
Waste of time? Well, you wouldn’t miss anything by not watching this, but it’s hella fun though.
Regret watching? Nope.
Like it? Yes!
Overall, it’s just here for you to have some fun and get a look at the characters again. If you like the characters and don’t mind that it’s totally silly and just want to go with the flow without any expectations, it’ll be quite enjoyable. It’s also pretty hilarious.
9: Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: Tonari no Gokudou-kun
MAL Score: 7.12
The characters of Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun return for an anime original story in a parallel universe.
In addition to the characters being ‘off’, the plot is weak, and resolved multiple times by what I assume are blatant and intentional Deus ex Machina resolutions. You my find the nonsensical/quirky outcomes humorous (I think that was the intent), but in comparison to the original series, this episode is a bit of a let-down to say the least.
I don’t know why they made this. It’s not horrible, but it’s not very good either. It was probably created as ‘light-hearted’, intentional nonsense- but doesn’t quite pull it off.
Watch it if you want, just know it presents as a ‘proper (but bland) story’ for about 2/3rds before spiraling into insanity/obscurity. There is a reason the main series is ranked around 500 (good), and this one ranks in around 1700 (nowhere near as good). The reason is they are two completely different anime.
Promote ‘helpful’ reviews by actually pressing ‘helpful’!
Any reviews I write which get a ‘helpful’ rating under 30% I retire.
This OVA was overall just fun to watch; the whole time switch thing was iffy but opened room for randomness which had me laughing out loud a few times. Up until the half way point I was loving this, the way they were doing things was really working; I was thinking 10/10, but then things really went down hill and made you look back and think “was this really the whole plot?” and you look at it completely differently. The very end was quite strange and you wont see it coming from a mile away, it redeemed itself somewhat from the last minutes leading up to it but overall was not an ending I was hoping for, though the ending would have been superb if the conclusive ending was so stupid.
Overall 8/10, it was great starting out, ruined by a terrible plot, then partially redeemed with the final scene that should have been the plot the whole time.
The characters are stereotyped with their most memorable characteristics, and this is actually a really funny fact about the OVA, the comedy part you know?
The story starts great, but the end is absolutely bad. It’s really pushy to be funny, and because of that, the story is ruined and it was, at least for me, not funny.
I absolutely love the art and sound from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, nothing to complain about it, it is really good, but not the best I’ve seen, but it’s still a really good point in it
It is a pretty OK OVA, not bad, not good, but at least we have an end, differently from the anime LOL
8: Fushigi Yuugi OVA
English: Mysterious Play OVA
MAL Score: 7.16
A year after the events of Fushigi Yuugi, Tamahome is pulled back into the book and is sent on a complicated ride through illusion, confusion, and betrayal. Meanwhile, Yui is acting oddly and Miaka is heartbroken over the loss of Tamahome, while Keisuke and Tetsuya try to discover what is going on with the book.
What confused me the most is the time frame – I am not aware of how much time has passed since the last episode of the TV series. Furthermore, how can Hotohori’s great grandchild exist when it’s obvious that Chichiri and Tasuki has not aged at all? Well at least that’s what I understood from Wikipedia. If it is what it is, then it doesn’t make much sense. Yui’s hair length is something to think about as well. From what I understand, it hasn’t been too long from the events of the series. Miaka and Yui had just entered high school, so what’s with the long hair, Yui?
The music is still the same – not exactly the same. It sounds the same, mid 90s style, that kind of music. I only like the opening song. The background music is definitely in the background. I think that’s all I can say about the music.
I still do think that it is worth watching. I am a Fushigi Yuugi fan after all, and I just have to watch every thing related to the series. Besides, there are 3 extras by the end of each episode. It’s about the gang (Along with Keisuke and Tetsuya) going to hot springs, and it turns out only women are allowed so the all the guys dress up like women (Yes people, even Nakago and Mitsukake). I do think that this was the high part of the OAV, and for this reason, it should really be watched.
hopefully they will continue this line in the next one… seems like so much dragging out tho…
Storyline: Basically Tamahome is thrust back into the "Universe of the Four Gods." And while he’s in there he’s mistaken as Nakago which leads to his eventual mental breakdown. Like I said, at first the storyline is a bit confusing and at parts you don’t entirely know what’s going on. However as the story progressed I eventually understood what was happening.
The story really had a very realistic feel with Tamahome wondering, "Am I Nakago or am I Tamahome?" Or was his mind playing tricks on him? Was he going crazy? It also had an extremely emotional feel to it. With Tamahome’s breakdown, with Miaka’s doubt at losing the memories she cherished in the book, with Yui forced to see her friend succumbed to such a state, and Tetsuya and Keisuke who, without their relation to the book, must stand back and read whatever is going on. Truth to say, I’d give the storyline an 8. Mainly because it confused the hell out of me and it took some time for me to get it straightened out. And the fact that, rather than in the manga, everything seemed to be rushed to a resolution.
Art: Beautiful. Although there was a lude scene in there that didn’t exactly need to be placed. Aside from that the drawings were well done and the raw emotion depicted on the characters was breathtaking. All in all, a 10.
Character: We all know the characters if we’ve watched the series. Everyone has their certain strengths and weaknesses that are depicted in the OVA. Each person was in character, however, at a certain point I often wondered how that person resolved something so quickly. But I suppose within the time limit the creators had for the OVA they had to do something. I rate the characters a 9.5.
Overall: Truthfully I loved the series and knowing that there was also an OVA, I was flipping thrilled. But compared to the manga, everything in this felt rushed and nothing really noteworthy happened. Same thing: Bad guy comes to book, priestesses come to book, celestial warriors fight, bad guy beaten, everything somewhat goes to normal. Despite the cliche, the confusing storyline, and the rushed resolution the OVA was all right. In my opinion it’s certainly good to watch if you are an avid Fushigi Yugi watcher. So for my overall impression I give this OVA a 9 out of 10.
7: Dantalian no Shoka: Ibarahime
English: The Mystic Archives of Dantalian: Ibarahime
Japanese: ダンタリアンの書架 荊姫
MAL Score: 7.17
A DVD containing an all new, original anime episode bundled with the fifth volume of Chako Abeno’s Dantalian no Shoka manga adaptation.
Dantalian no Shoka: Ibarahime (also known as The Mystic Archives of Dantalian: Ibarahime) is a special all new original episode contained within the fifth volume of Chako Abeno’s Dantalian no Shoka manga adaptation. For any die hard fans of the original series, this special episode should be a special moment.
Though it has been long, Dalian returns as her usual self. From the very beginning, she begins complaining just about…everything. And of course, her stomach speaks for herself just like from the original series. Just give her a candy and she’ll shut up. Then, there’s also Huey who returns in his usual role and maintains a calm composure despite Dalian’s 24/7 complaining.
Being known as part of the supernatural mystery genre, this episode brings forth some mystery. Surprised? You might be. That’s because most OVA or special episodes these days are often one of those beach, onsen, summer festival cliches. Yet, Dantalian sticks with its style of mystery and doesn’t fall into the cliches. That’s just one of the little gadgets that makes this special episode unique in its way.
However, let’s remember that the original series wasn’t exactly a hit smash, or at least in my opinion. It lacked smoothness and tries to characterize its characters too much. Needless to say, the characters’ personalities does not balance although they sure bring out entertainment by just watching Dalian and Huey battle it out and about verbally using non magical words. But drop the arguments in this episode because a new character brings forth some trouble for the duo. Working together, the duo once again delivers just deserts.
As for the animation, it’s just alright. Gainax once again is in charge here but nothing much has changed. The episode retains its 1950s feeling of the old English Ages that brings out some realism. The Victorian like dress that Dalian wears retains its original design while Huey still wears his signature hat (see the promo poster if you don’t believe me).
The music/soundtrack doesn’t change much either in this episode. It still has the usual choir music tone and the English style soundtrack. It retains its classical style and I do have to admit, it brings back some nostologia of the old school music. It is definitely well choreographed with the ED song being once again a smash hit in the strangeness department.
Overall, Dantalian no Shoka: Ibarahime is one of those episodes that gives the fans a heads up that the original series is still something to treasure like words in a book, the words written from our memories, or the words delivered by our feelings. However, it once again lacks story or characterization just like the original series. The art is also nothing special to take notice of despite its subjective realism. On the other hand, the soundtrack is quite pleasing to the ears that is appealing and gives off the audio tone which reflects the classical style of the English Ages. It’s difficult to say if this is enjoyable for me or not as it lacks originality (aka the Gosick clone theory). However, it brings back some nostologia and I’ll leave it at that. Whether you’ll like the episode or not is up to you to decide. Maybe, you can write your thoughts and record them in a book, come back later, and then think about it.
6: Golden Kamuy OVA
Japanese: ゴールデンカムイ OAD
MAL Score: 7.21
The 7th Division’s Private Hyakunosuke Ogata and former Shinsengumi Vice Commander Toshizou Hijikata find themselves on opposite sides of a gang war in Barato after hearing rumors of the Hidoro gang possessing an escaped prisoner’s tattooed skin. With a lead to the hidden Ainu gold close at hand, the two gladly take up arms but a betrayal will force both sides to think twice before carelessly jumping the gun.
Now that I got that out of the way I must say this OVA was pretty good, it was jam packed full of gunfights and was entertaining the whole way through. Frankly with that information and the fact that it is mandatory to watch I don’t see any reason to skip this.
5: 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.
4: Hybrid Child
Japanese: ハイブリッド チャイルド
MAL Score: 7.62
The skilled craftsman Kuroda created artificial humans called Hybrid Child—creatures who are neither machines nor dolls, but rather a reflection of the love shown to them. While they can feel human emotions and have their own consciousness, they are not real humans and require love to grow.
Kotarou Izumi is the young heir to the noble Izumi family, so it is frowned upon when he brings an abandoned Hybrid Child he found in the garbage into their household. His family even attempts to throw away Hazuki—Kotarou’s name for the Hybrid Child—multiple times when he is not paying attention. But through overcoming these obstacles, their love and the bond connecting them grow stronger. However, ten years pass before a horrifying realization dawns on them: a Hybrid Child might not have an endless life span.
Hybrid Child is a collection of three short love stories, depicting the relationship between the artificial humans and their owners.
The story is somehow different, I’m used to yaoi being placed in a much lighter atmosphere so hybrid child presented a pleasantly different feel than the other shows.
The show focuses on three different stories that are not connected to each other, each one of them tell us more about the relationships between men and their hybrid childs. The first one was a good start to the show, I found it very sweet and it brought tears to my eyes. the second story wasn’t as good, but as it progressed a bit I sympathized more with the characters. The best story has to be the third that tell the story of the maker of the hybrid child, I spent the last two episodes in tears really.
All in all, the stories were nice and though they were short we learned enough about the characters and their back-stories.
If you’ve watched Sekaiichi Hatsukoi and Junjou Romantica then you will be familiar with the art style. A Major flaw is that all characters have the same face XD But It’s not a major problem for me because I’m pretty much used to it. As for the quality of the art, it’s actually better than SIH and JR.
The OVAs have no opening, only an ending which goes well with the overall mood of the show. The ost was appropriate as well and the seiyuus were all amazing.
Although the characters were, in certain aspects, very similar to Nakamura-sensei’s other works, they still have their own backgrounds and stories to tell. The characters are a very strong point of this show. There wasn’t any annoying characters or ones you would hate or dislike. They are easy to relate to characters and I believe you’d come to like them all.
Enjoyment and overall (10)
Having just finished the OVAs for the third time already, you can pretty much tell I enjoyed it, though I’m not really sure if enjoy is the right term, as the story is a true “tear jerkier” Nevertheless, among all the other shounen ai/Yaoi series out there, Hybrid Child, is indeed a special one and you couldn’t go wrong watching it, whether you were a Yaoi fan or not, because you will be swept away by the beauty of the story and relationships this show offers.
The hybrid child is a doll that grows older when their owner shows him (because the dolls we are shown in the anime are, of course, male due to the yaoi aspect) love. In this anime, we are given three stories of their owners loving their Hybrid Child.
The three stories effectively show the bonds between humans and their hybrid child. In the final story, it becomes more of the bond between two human men, one of whom is the creator of the hybrid child. We get a sense of how his project really grew to be his life, and how it changed the lives of the two men in the previous episodes.
The characters are all different from each other, as is the relationships between human and hybrid child.
Kotarou and Hazuki in the first episode bicker and banter, but when Hazuki’s life is at stake, you see how strong their bond is and how far Kotarou is willing to go for him. The additional story within the episode of how the two came to know each other is especially touching.
In the second episode, we have a young hybrid child and an older man. This is not a perverted story, mind you; this one is about the hybrid child, Yuzu, questioning why, after all the time he’s been with Seya, he hasn’t grown yet. Does Seya not love him?
The last story is without a doubt what makes the story: this is the story of Kuroda, the creator of the hybrid children, and how his love for Tsukishima drove him to create all of these hybrid children.
The art is something one would expect from a yaoi when it comes to the characters: they do share the same facial shape. Think of the characters from Junjou and Sekaiichi (all by the same author) and you’ll understand. However, the backgrounds are superb. I found myself pausing every so often to admire the scenery, as it’s very well done. I appreciated the attention to detail.
The OP and ED aren’t noteworthy. There’s classical music throughout the anime, helping to evoke emotion within scenes. It’s used effectively and upon second viewing I did find myself enjoying and appreciating the music more.
I enjoyed myself a lot. Just like with Junjou and Sekaiichi, I will add Hybrid Child to the list of things I will watch over and over again.
a) this anime doesn’t have too many reviews
b) everybody’s gushing way too much over it.
As a casual yaoi fan, I can see why this anime would excite fujoshis – it’s everything they would want, without the smut and cheap tactics animators often stoop to using to please their fan base. I went in completely blind, not knowing what the anime was and it pleasantly surprised me. I would suggest you to go in blind as well; that’s the best way to enjoy it.
But if you’re still interested in knowing what it’s about, here it is (without spoilers):
Set in late 19th C Japan, the stories revolve around Hybrid Children (neither human nor machine) who look, walk, talk, grow and feel exactly like humans, except for the fact that they aren’t really human. They’re owned by their respective masters, who inevitably forge strong bonds with them. The first 2 stories focus on two different masters, their bonds with their Hybrid Children, their circumstances etc. The third story focuses on the creator of these Hybrids, his background and the reason he chose to create these dolls.
Much like most of these reviews mentioned, I didn’t expect the stories to be so, well, dark. Yaoi is not something you associate with death and destruction, you know. So that was something that made me appreciate the anime a little. Some of the scenes were beautifully done, esp in ep 4; they conveyed the mood of the protagonist’s mind beautifully without putting it into words. The dialogues, even though fanmade subs, were pretty moving and I imagine they sounded even more beautiful in Japanese. The music too added beautifully to the entire atmosphere of the anime.
The biggest gripe with this anime was its art form. First off, not a fan of the Junjou Romantic style of art. Second, pretty much every face in this anime was the same. Sometimes the hair and eye colours of different characters were the same, which ended up making me wonder if I was watching a continuation of the previous eps, or if this really was a new character. Poor animation on part of the animators. Apart from that, I found that story of ep 2 lacking a little. It focused more on emotions, while the plot moved very, very slowly. Another issue with the anime was how the jokes or funny moments were incorporated with chibi art forms. Really? When you’re making an anime with such serious topics (or at least, non-frivolous topics) this chibi style of art form only takes *away* from the seriousness of the entire setting you’ve painstakingly built. They were jarring and completely unnecessary.
Even so, at the end of the day, if you’re a casual yaoi fan like me or a hardcore fujoshi – you’ll like this anime because it really is something different that you seldom get to see in the yaoi genre!
PS. Eps 1, 2 and 4 have after credit scenes. Don’t forget to watch them!
3: 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.’
2: 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.
1: 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.
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.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
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