They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Lime-iro Senkitan: Nankoku Yume Roman, Jinki:Extend – Sorekara, Shin Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru Majinzan, and more!
50: Lime-iro Senkitan: Nankoku Yume Roman
Japanese: らいむいろ戦奇譚 南国夢浪漫
MAL Score: 6.17
After battle in first season battleship Amanohara was serious damaged and need to repair. It land on island where a Gogyou festival just begin. Umakai Shintaro and his five girls student who know as Raimu Unit begin enjoy a peace time in that island. But the enemy still follow them around. How Umakai Shintaro and his five girls student fight against the enemy. Still his five girls student begin try to draw his attention into them.
49: Jinki:Extend – Sorekara
English: Jinki: Extend
Japanese: ジンキ エクステンド 第13話 「それから」
MAL Score: 6.18
Aoba is a young girl who loves to build models of robots. She lived alone with her grandmother until her grandmother passes away. Shortly after she is kidnapped and brought to a secret base where she discovers a huge robot. The piloted robots fight against Ancient-Jinki in The Grand Savanna, but the true meaning behind the fights is hidden. Aoba works hard at the base so one day she can pilot one of the robots and discover these secrets.
If you want to watch the anime DONT watch the manga or you will feel dissapointed with the anime. And if you read the manga dont watch the anime because you will hate the anime industry.
48: Shin Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru Majinzan
Japanese: 真魔神英雄伝ワタル 魔神山編
MAL Score: 6.18
Set a few months after the original series, Wataru is called into action once again!
MAL Score: 6.19
In a world where giant rude robots are common and used to fight wars appears a giant Handcrafted robot that defeats the major armies of the world. Meanwhile in a kingdom where three sisters reign in peace and harmony there is a secret that they keep from the rest of the world until they must use a Doll-looking robot to protect their nation, even when her creator refuses to put her friend in danger.
The characters in general are one of the stronger elements of the show, most of whom are likable cliches that most of us have seen dozens of times in other shows, but for the most part, they prove amiable enough here…did I mention fan service…anyhow.
The story itself is a bit of a throwaway that leaves a lot of unanswered questions, but I found myself not caring too much…you can read ANNs synopsis above to see how important the story is.
The animation, while not my favorite style, may be this show’s raison d’etre (did I spell that right). I often felt the 3D CG mecha fights, obviously meant to be show-stoppers, were a bit obvious and didn’t always fit in with the rest of the art…however, the comic timing of the physical gags was much to my liking and generally kept me smiling through most of the show…granted it’s no Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (thank God) but there was enough to keep me entertained.
The music was good all around, but I really liked the opening and closing songs…although admittedly, I think, they just fit real well with the animated sequences which I found funny enough to watch through all 5 episodes, a rarity for me.
Overall, I enjoyed the absurdity of it all. Not my normal fare but it was quite fun.
46: Iron Man: Rise of Technovore
English: Iron Man: Rise of Technovore
Japanese: アイアンマン：ライズ オブ テクノヴォア
MAL Score: 6.19
The film explores a confrontation between Iron Man and the villainous Ezekiel Stane, who develops new bio-technology that seemingly outclasses the Iron Man armor. After Stane unleashes a terrorist attack and sets Tony Stark up to take the fall, Iron Man must evade S.H.I.E.L.D.’s man hunt and find a way to clear his name.
In his Iron Man armor, billionaire Tony Stark prevents an attack from a mysterious new foe. Unfortunately, innocent bystanders are killed, including his best friend War Machine, Lt. Colonel James Rhodes. Detained for questioning by S.H.I.E.L.D., Iron Man escapes, determined to find the mastermind behind the attack. Pursued by Black Widow and Hawkeye, Iron Man enlists the help of ruthless vigilante The Punisher. But can the Armored Avenger handle what he finds when he catches the person responsible and is forced to face his deadliest weapon, a biotechnology called Technovore that could wipe out all life on the planet?
I would say that it was a bit of a step up from the TV series but they would be 1/50 true as I watched the whole thing, some parts of it felt like it was trying to be philosophical and deep but it ends up being a riddled mess but not with bland or boring expectations, just the really dumb ones that doesn’t answer any questions. I get most fans would upset with this due to their connection or attachment to the comic book but for me, I’m neither attached to those but as an anime film on its own merits, it’s slightly less infuriating but nevertheless amnesiac. For instance, Tony Stark didn’t know the one after him was Ezekiel Stane, the son of Obadiah Stane, his former boss whom he had to kill during the first live-action film and it never occurred to Tony that his son might want revenge but then they said that the son died in a plane crash when he was 16. Yeah, that left me with confusion.
Aside from Iron Man returning (which is obvious, no shit there), also appearing is Nick Fury, Iron Patriot (Rhodey), Black Widow, Hawkeye, Maria Hill, Pepper Potts and of course, The Punisher, who was hyped up during the film’s promo if he played a big part of this but he’s only there for 10 minutes, possibly they’re going to make an anime spinoff of that, who knows? It was all a big dick tease.
Animation for this is fairly so-so from Madhouse, as the colors are very dark-toned and muted; even if some parts that almost seem black and white. Some character designs are often off but not much to put me off of it. The action scenes are pretty standard to weak and forgettable, albeit the weakest ones being the chase from Pepper’s vacation home and that chase with the Punisher. Music is also standard here but I never came across with that as it feels like there isn’t any at all.
Now, I did watch this in the English dub as always but since that episode of Remote Viewing where Cyrus and Brian Salisbury recommended, it is a good thing that I did because I was watching the English dub with subtitles and the subs was just clumsy, making the Japanese version effortless and all for naught. I will say that I prefer Matthew Mercer as Iron Man rather than Adrian Pasdar as I thought he was more convincing in there, even if the charm and charisma of Tony Stark is gone in there. Now here’s the part that doesn’t settle with me, and that is giving Norman Reedus as the Punisher top billing, even though it was only there for 10 minutes. I know the reason why they did it because he’s a well-known name since The Walking Dead but that’s just going to rub fans the wrong way; tricking them to thinking The Punisher is having a big role in there.
FINAL VERDICT: Yeah, this was also underwhelming and just sloppy in execution. You know, if Marvel is keeping going to make these collaborations with Madhouse, they should at least focus on the writing more and avoid the basic anime tropes that put on there. I don’t hate it as much (it’s still bland) but I felt like I wasted my time with this and that I’m not going to watch it again.
But the end? The last third of the movie was a mess. Things weren’t explained, at all, and it felt like they decided incoherent was better than giving the movie another half an hour to properly execute the final scenes. I’m so disappointed they would let a perfectly good film go to waste like that.
All in all, I enjoyed Iron Man and War Machine, Black Widow and Hawkeye teaming up to take down Iron Man, and even the Punisher, although I only know the guy by name.
With a little (or, a lot) of polishing in the end, this would have been a fantastic animated film. As it is, the grand finish was as flat as a pancake, and not nearly as satisfying.
The narrative starts simply enough. Iron Man is planning to launch a satellite that can be used to monitor the entire planet, but totally won’t be used to watch you pleasure yourself, as a crime prevention tool. The launch is attacked by a group of terrorists and War Machine is seemingly killed in an explosion. Though the satellite is launched. The apparent death of his close friend has Tony determined to track down the teenager responsible but Nick Fury doesn’t want him going out on his own because… Metroid Dread is getting released soon. Naturally, Tony doesn’t have time for Nick’s shit and leaves any way.
There are a lot of narrative problems in this OVA. The first big one is that the whole conflict between Tony and SHIELD is very flimsy. It actually reminds me of Civil War when SHIELD decides to arrest Captain America because he says he won’t help them round up his friends. Why do terrible comic writers always force conflicts between heroes by having someone over-react for no reason? It’s like their main plot didn’t have anything to it so they threw in Tony bickering with Nick just to fill time. Seriously, just because Hawkeye and Black Widow started as Iron Man villains that doesn’t mean they need to be pitted against him for no reason.
The antagonist’s plan is also a huge nonsensical mess. We find out in the second half that he needs Iron Man’s satellite for his plan but he tries to stop its launch because… Gail Simone made Catman a respectable character. To make things worse, most of the screen time with this guy is him rambling about either “the evils of technology” or how everyone else is an inferior relic of the pat because his technology makes him superior. Yeah, those two topics totally go together.
There’s also some continuity problems. There’s an injured character who we see with shrapnel literally embedded in his skin and, minutes later, he returns to the fray with no injuries whatsoever. The ending is also kind of shit. I don’t want to delve too deeply into spoiler territory, but there’s an event which should cause one of the major characters to either die or be severely injured but he ends up without a scratch because… Doctor Doom had a secret jetpack belt. The “romance” between Tony and Pepper also bothers me. And it’s not just because the comics rejected a possible romance between them and had her get involved with Happy Hogan. It’s that he’s her boss and the power difference makes it creepy. Even the way they “flirt” with each other is awkward and super uncomfortable. There’s a point where she talks to him like he’s a child and another where he suggests a romantic trip and she asks if it’s “an order.” The whole thing is just very skeevy.
The characterisation is really bad. We have Nick Fury deciding to keep Tony a prisoner aboard SHIELD’s helicarrier for no reason. Tony acts like a smug moron. James makes an offhanded joke about Tony being up late drinking. And if you’re not familiar with the comics and don’t know why that’s a dick move I’ll explain. Tony Stark is a recovering alcoholic. James knows this fact and should be more sensitive to the situation than that since Tony is supposed to be his close friend. Hawkeye, the Black Widow and the Punisher are just boring in this. The antagonist is very inconsistently written with shifting motivations that don’t make sense.
The art is one aspect that I can largely praise. There are some really nice action sequences in this. The characters look good. My only minor issue is that the costumes they have for Nick Fury and Hawkeye suck. Nick Fury traded in his signature blue and white outfit for a black trench coat. Yeah, that’s a more interesting look. Hawkeye has a similar bland downgrade. Instead of the classic purple and blue, he’s sporting a boring black costume with a few red stripes. Now, I’ve said this before when talking about comic adaptations that change the costumes, but it bears repeating. Don’t change a classic costume that looks good for something boring. Just use the iconic costumes.
The acting isn’t that bad. Fujiwara Keiji, Tezuka Hideaki, Yasumoto Hiroki, Sawashiro Miyuki and the others do fine. Especially when you factor in how bad the character writing is. The music is whatever. It was done by Takahashi Tetsuya, who also did the music for the other Marvel anime. And all of them have had boring music.
There is none.
Areas of Improvement:
1. Get an editor who actually cares to check your continuity and make sure it’s all consistent.
2. If you’re going to have heroes fight against each other, you actually need a good reason. Not something incredibly flimsy like in this.
3. Actually read the comics. I have some Iron Man issues from the 70s and 80s that you can borrow to figure out what these characters should be acting like.
This OVA is pretty horrendous. The characterisation is poorly done. The entire plot is a mess. The villain’s motivations are stupid and inconsistent. The writing in general is just a train wreck. If you don’t care about writing and just want to see some cool action scenes, you might enjoy watching it. Otherwise, I can’t recommend it. I’m giving it a 2/10.
45: Madou King Granzort: Bouken-hen
Japanese: 魔動王グランゾート 冒険編
MAL Score: 6.20
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
44: Genmu Senki Leda
English: Fantastic Adventure Of Yohko: Leda
MAL Score: 6.22
For a year and a half, Youko Asagiri has fostered an unrequited love for one of her classmates. To express her affection, she composes a piano solo that she plans to show him when she confesses. When the moment of truth comes, however, Youko is not brave enough to speak to her classmate, and the ground suddenly swallows her up!
In an instant, Youko finds herself in the mysterious realm of “Ashanti.” She quickly makes friends with a talking dog named Lingam, who explains that Ashanti is a sister realm of “Noa,” the realm that Youko came from. The two worlds were once connected, but they were separated long ago by the warrior Leda in order to protect the people of Noa. Now, Youko’s arrival has temporarily opened a path between the realms, which the evil forces of Zell intend to make permanent.
The forces of Zell steal Youko’s cassette player under the belief that it is the mythical “Heart of Leda,” a necessary artifact for their nefarious plans. However, Youko manages to evade their capture by transforming into Leda’s warrior. With these new powers, will she be able to protect the people of Noa and return to her own world?
Since this is only one OVA, I’m not going to do a synopsis of it, but there are elements in this review that do have quite a bit of spoilers.
Because Yohko wrote a song, it’s important to note that the music is an important factor in this anime because she uses this as a catalyst to confess her feelings for her secret crush. There are piano pieces, synth (which shows its age), and orchestra music in this anime which is strange when one considers the mix of sci-fi and fantasy.
The sci-fi is a little out of place in an anime that’s mainly about legends and fantastical beasts. It’s not melded in very well and it’s kind of weird that after learning about Leda, there’s a throwaway line about hopping their robots. Perhaps it’s to help understand how Leda managed to make Master Zell bring Yohko to Ashanti and try to discover the secrets of her stereo. Despite this, though, the random inclusion of sci-fi isn’t terribly distracting or take the audience out of the show. It’s used to help understand how the people of Ashanti live on the land without just saying, “it’s just because of magic”.
Yohko is a very good lead character – she seemed adaptable and definitely capable, though the fact that it’s only one episode hurts her character a little bit. She’s not shown to have some kind of athletic ability until she arrives in Ashanti and starts running, and lifting herself from the vines. It does show that she has an ear for music since she composed the song her self but it’s not too bad.
The other characters, Ringum, the talking dog, and Yoni, the remaining Leda shrine maiden, are very good characters as well. They can stand on their own and they really are interesting in their own rights but they never seemed to overshadow the main character herself. As for the world, it would have been nice to know if there were other villagers in this particular world to show how devastated it actually is when it seemed that Leda abandoned them.
A problem, though, with the characters, including and especially Master Zell, they act as actors playing a certain archetype instead of being actual characters. Usually, this would be a really bad thing, the archetypes, but it’s not as annoying in this OVA. It’s pretty much downplayed as something that someone with an affinity for cheesy 1980s media would enjoy.
The animation, especially for its time, is absolutely stunning! Granted, there are quite a few flubs here and there but it’s not so bad that the viewer wouldn’t be too distracted from it. Certain angles, colors, and the atmosphere of the anime itself is extremely well done and pretty effective. It certainly works with what’s going on and the colors aren’t over-saturated with a singular one. All in all, it’s gorgeous to look at!
As for the magical girl component, well, it’s there. She does get powers and there is a cute mascot. There is a sequence and she does eventually return to her more normal every day life. If there’s an appropriate way to help understand, it’s pretty much a lite version of “Conan the Barbarian” but with sci-fi & magical girl tropes added in.
Would this anime benefited more as a 12-26 episode series rather than a single OVA? It doesn’t necessarily need to have an entire series about the lore, technology, and the characters but it’d be nice if it did. But, as it stands, it’s pretty much good on its own. It’s something to watch when you need some action with little bits and pieces of romance and magical girl. It’s fun and that’s all it is.
It’s really enjoyable and I’d recommend this OVA especially to those who enjoy some lite 1980s anime cheese.
(Part of Project Magic!!)
Genmu Senki Leda is a strange little beast of an OVA movie. It has the feel of a serialized show but is only over an hour long. Managing to do this, have a focused story and characters that would work in such a format is no easy feat to accomplish but they did it with adequate sucess.
The story is fairly barebones but it ties together nicely in the end and manages to carry a few in depth metaphors for the internal struggle that Yohko, the main character, is experiencing throughout her adventure. The lore of the workd of Ashanti is explored and hinted to quite well for being such a short movie. The simplistic story, the metaphorical storytelling along with the “in the background” worldbuilding is quite endeering and brings a hard to find charm to the movie.
The art and animation is not TV-show bad but not full length movie good either. Akira this aint. But the somewhat unique artstyle, very unique and inspirational designs, the vivid and warm colors and the dynamic movement animation, angle and perspective changes make it very pleasing to the eyes and brings out certain warm fuzzy feelings while watching.
The sound design fits the movie well, sound effects are bog standard but what sticks out is the experimental music along with how the effects are used. The movie varies it’s soundtrack from classic piano scores, world sitar accents to 80’s rock and citypop.
This is where the movie fails. While the designs and expressions and emotions of the characters are fun and enjoyable the characters are not fleshed out enough to be more than passable. One great flaw the movie does in this regard is that the protagonist becomes comfortable in her role as a warrior way too fast. The one thing that is actually explored is Yohkos internal love struggle and the corelation between that and the world of Ashanti. Overall very mediocre in this regard.
This is a highly personal topic but i find the movie extremely charming and enjoyable, the pacing is nice, the designs are downright inspiring, the soundtrack is very interesting and for what it is it’s a very charming and fun 1.10 hour ride unlike many others.
Overall score: 7
this is a simple but unique and fun movie and you can tell it’s first and foremost an artistic vision that someone wanted to animate and eventually bring into a series, which never happened. It’s in the end a metaphorical portrayal of an internal struggle of love and the courage of being straight with your feelings and bringing up the courage to confess them told in action adventure isekai form. Definately an artistic dream rather than a cashgrab made for a wide market.
I believe this movie get’s too much flak from people who can’t see how the world and story relates to the characters inner conflict of emotions. It’s a decent enough movie and definately worth a watch, just don’t get too high hopes that this will be the next Wings of Honneamise.
As another review noted, this feels like it was intended as a pilot movie for a magical girl series that was never made. The main character, animal companion, and sidekick are all introduced. The setting is established, and then they have a short adventure. Afterwards the main girl returns to Earth, but they make a point of saying that she can come back. An open ending that was never followed up on.
That said, while the characters, music, and plot are all bog standard 80s OVA anime, the art itself is very distinctive. This is a trippy anime to watch, with surreal landscapes, dream sequences, bizarre animals, and most anything else the artists thought might be fun to try.
It’s not a great OVA, but the art design makes it stand out to an extent.
43: Sousei Kishi Gaiarth
MAL Score: 6.24
Gaiarth – a world devastated by a cataclysmic war, where pockets of humanity struggle to survive amidst the wreckage of technologies made magical by ignorance.
Gaiarth – a world where artificially intelligent machines doggedly pursue their programmed imperatives: to protect, or destroy, humanity.
Gaiarth – a world in which an old and terrible evil has reawakened, threatening to once again bring forth Armageddon!
Gaiarth mixes sci-fi and fantasy genres, featuring individuals jacked into machines, data hidden in city-sized cyberstructures, but also magic spells, (mech)armor and swords, elves and the like. The setting isn’t half bad. Gaiarth could be described as a quirky blend with visual/storyline traces of Appleseed, Bubblegum Crisis, Final Fantasy, Star Wars, Conan the Barbarian/He-Man, Highlander, Heavy Metal and Neuromancer, to name a few. Hell, the movie Knights (1993) is probably a near facsimile of Gaiarth. With power metal blaring in the background during the time of action, what’s there not to like?
Personally I enjoyed the animation quality, which isn’t spectacular for an early 90’s OVA series, but enjoyable nevertheless. Characters were expressive and the action scenes worked out quite well. The wardroid designs look cool as heck! Soundtrack gets a bit repetitive, but is by all means not that bad.
All this may make this OVA series sound better than it actually is. The story is actually well-paced, but leaves a lot to be desired for. In the first episode there are many mysteries waiting to be solved, but the last two episodes never really manage to unravel them in an enjoyable manner. The character interactions and lines get repetitive and shallow, never reaching the full potential of what they could have been: interesting love/hate relationships, realizations of what it means to be human rather than a machine, how should the world go on after experiencing a near-apocalypse in the grip of inevitable war…
Anyway, if you’re up for a neat little trip through magic cyber-spells, power metal and high-fantasy cyberpunk, I do recommend checking out the first episode (and leaving it at that).
Well this is a single three episode ova and although it sees like the usual”kill my friend ,gonna get revenge scenario” the story developed with each new episode contributing to a much larger plot.
The animation was pretty good,with reasonable detail and use of colours.The characters are your usual starch and press personalties.
Ital-Naive tough- guy hero
Sahari- Typical bossy loudmouth
Overall a pretty entertaining anime
42: Choujuu Kishin Dancougar: Ushinawareta Mono-tachi e no Requiem
English: Dancougar: Requiem for Victims
Japanese: 超獣機神ダンクーガ 失われた者たちへの鎮魂歌（レクイエム）
MAL Score: 6.25
The Dancouga team prepares for its final showdown with their arch-enemy Zorbados. The team has to travel to the strange dimension of the alien invaders to once and for all save the earth. Fighting on the home-grounds of the enemy will take all their strength and cunning. The Dancouga will have to fight its way to the strange alien red dimension before it can start its final assault and assure the safety of mankind forever.
Anyway, it was really nice for Ashi Productions to provide a proper ending to the series. It’s disappointing that the length of this ending (when the recap is subtracted) amounts to a mere ~30 minutes. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth that Ashi Productions are saying that they could’ve had the series go on for a meager two more episodes and wrapped it up just as well.
The Death Gaia fight also takes up more screen time than the Zorbados emperor himself, which is just bizarre, and when the battle is settled in one blow it’s… have I said “disappointing” too many times yet?
There are some positives: Ashi Productions didn’t screw around with the budget this time and the only reused frames I saw were character faces, and the frame rate is much improved, as is the art style in general even though things mostly look the same there’s more detail with the shading.
My favorite part about this OVA was Shinobu passing Dancougar’s controls to Ryo, a thing we haven’t seen before that helped make Dancougar feel more like teamwork rather than only Shinobu being at the helm.
Anyway, this is an acceptable conclusion to a good anime, and I’m happy to see a resolution with characters I really like, and suitably there’s a real theatrical atmosphere to the whole thing with the lack of background music. Though I view this as a part of the series it gets a lower rating than it individually for not having the build-up the longer series allowed.
Also, like in my review for the series, this OVA is a good starting point for viewers having trouble watching the show. This OVA tries to nicely condense 38-episodes into an hour then give longtime fans the closure they deserved in the final 30 minutes. Yet, since the new footage is nearly 30 minutes, it makes me question why there could not have been 39-episodes.
Anyway, the new footage goes to embrace its Super Robot roots by busting out a sword and letting Obari show off! Also, the Emperor dies like a vintage Super Sentai villain, as he is super strong but gets killed easily. In addition, there is a neat hidden message during the final explosion on alien homeworld that reads “Thank You for Buying the Video!” Finally, the ending is still a cliffhanger, but it feels more rewarding than questioning on if the CBF won like the show did.
Overall, I enjoyed this OVA more than the series. I actually look forward to watching the other OVAs sometime soon. I hear the next ones range from typical “heroes return” side-story to awesome wrap-up epilogue. So, I am hoping it will wash the bad taste out of mouth.
41: Haou Taikei Ryuu Knight: Adeu Legend
English: Lord of Lords Ryu Knight: Adeu’s Legend
Japanese: 覇王大系リューナイト アデュー レジェンド
MAL Score: 6.26
In an old world clash between light and darkness (as always), the evil Lord Uongadis is sealed away under a gigantic monument called the Earth Blade. 20 years have passed since the wars, and now the threat of evil being brought back is greater than ever as demons try to revive their lord.
The story for this OVA is pretty good. But personally I think that it’s a little disjointed. I think there are many things I wouldn’t have understood if I hadn’t already seen Ryu Knight, plus generally knowing how stories work. Maybe that was just me though. Maybe I wouldn’t have had trouble understanding it if I hadn’t seen Ryu Knight the original first. Maybe I read into it too much. Either way, I was still a bit lost, which doesn’t generally happen to me. Also this story just isn’t as good as I think it could have been, even by comparison to its accompanying shows.
So a 6 on story.
The art is different from the original show, and not as attractive I think. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in some ways the animation for this is better than the original show’s. But it just isn’t as easy to look at. I guess I’m saying that’s colors and angles are distracting.
A 6 on art from me.
The sound effects are fine. They do what they should. Something I will say for this OVA however is that the music is great! “They” wrote a new score for this OVA, a different one from the originals. And it’s really good. I like it as much as the original’s.
A 7 on sound/music from me.
I really like the characters from the original, so it’s hard for me to like the parallel universe versions of them that are in this as much as the original’s. But I can’t say the characters are bad, just different. More serious in some ways I guess, less in others. Kinda of like the OVA itself.
The new characters I generally like. Some more than others. But they’re solid characters that are believable.
a 7 on character.
I enjoyed watching this a lot at the time. If only because it was more of my favorite show. Looking back I’m not sure that it was really worthy of how much I enjoyed it. But it’s really a good OVA, don’t get me wrong.
A 7 on enjoyment.
I would say that this OVa makes for a good watch. It has everything thing it needs. I’m not sure it’s for everyone, I really think you’ll like it better if you already like Ryu Knight the original to begin with. But for those who did this is a must see.
A 7 overall.
40: Eureka Seven AO: Jungfrau no Hanabana-tachi
Japanese: エウレカセブンAO -ユングフラウの花々たち-
MAL Score: 6.28
An original video anime, released on Blu-ray in a combined Hybrid Disc that also hold an Eureka Seven AO game for the PlayStation 3.
The OVA is set between episodes eight and nine of the series.
First of all info states that this 30 min special is actually set between the 8th and 9th episode of its parent anime. I quite disgusting that studio Bones have to waste it’s time making some OVA that should have been included a part of the parent anime’s episode, it is also a waste of time for us audience that we’re made to wait for a little bit longer for the parent anime’s last 2 episode and this stupid studio wants us to watch an OVA which should have been shown along with the parent anime’s episode. Wtf was going on within the mind of Tomoki Kyoda’s the director of Eureka 7 Ao? Frankly to make such a meaningful review of this thing would be useless, since it would be nothing more that being in a forum, and this review ain’t a review but more of a rant against studio Bones and the director Tomoki Kyoda.
Story: Mediocre 5.
Since this OVA is more like a filler episode to compensate for the much awaited last 2 episode of its parent anime.
Art: Mediocre 5.
Isn’t obvious, btw, I hate the idea that Ao was made to dress up like a girl and the swimsuit fanservice sucks.
Sound: Mediocre 5.
No comment here.
Character: Mediocre 5.
Since most of the characters are still there prior to Ao’s used of the quartz gun.
Enjoyment: Fair 6.
Ok, so this OVA as a filler was a bit funny after seeing Ao, Fleur and Elena on a trip to attend some cosplay festival in Switzerland, but have dodge a pesky reported, and that’s as good as it gets.
Overall: Pathetic 1.
The introduction of this OVA is simply a case of too little, too late…….unless of course one would wanna buy a blu ray disc of this anime. The studio should have just proceeded with the parent anime’s last 2 episode instead of making us audience wait till November, studio Bones really sucks.
39: Juusenki L-Gaim III: Full Metal Soldier
Japanese: 重戦機エルガイムⅢ フルメタル ソルジャー
MAL Score: 6.33
A side story taking place somewhere before the second half of the series, prior to Daba acquiring the L-Gaim Mk-II. Daba’s comrade Leccee is captured by Poseidal’s forces, and Daba and his rebels attempt to save her.
38: Casshern: Robot Hunter
English: Casshan: Robot Hunter
MAL Score: 6.35
In the near future, robot technology has advanced to the point of self-awareness. Under the leadership of the “Black King,” machines have decimated the human population and conquered the world. Those who survived the early holocaust have been enslaved for life. But throughout the hardships, a lone hero appears as the savior of mankind. He is Casshan – a fusion of man and machine driven to combat Black King and his forces to the end.
CRH story is about a boy named Tetsuya Azuma, he and family envisioned a world where machines called “NEOROIDS” help civilizations ecological state. The man known as Dr. Azuma, Tetsuya’s father, creates a powerful Neoroid called Andriod BK-1 (or known as Andriod Black King-1). BK1 closely resembles CSins “Braiking Boss” – it could in fact be the same machine. Andriod BK-1 begins to learn of ways far beyond that of measure, and in turn sees humanity as a primary reason to why he was created. That aspect, in turn, makes him subjective to rid all of mankind for good (for he see’s NEOROIDS as the superior benefactor). He kills the Azuma family, and assumes power over all of what Dr. Azuma had created. In turn, he rules over most of the world with powerful armies of NEOROIDS that can atk in different ways.
Tetsuya survives one of BK-1’s onslaughts, but must bond with a suit that gives him superior strength and speed. He loses certain human organism/aspects that keeps us human and becomes Casshan, earth’s last best hope from BK-1. His dog, lucky, is also turned into NEOROID better known as Friender. In this OVA, as I mentioned, Luna is a human girl that works with militias in order to stop the NEOROIDS. At this point, it is Casshan that is the “godlike” entity and not her. Though she recognizes Casshan as Tetsuya whom from when she had known before he had even became “Casshan.”
This OVA was centered in the mid 90s, so however the viewer see’s it as a good or bad thing is but a preference. I will say though, that the actions scenes and fights in this OVA are simply incredible for its time. There were fights where I was extremely impressed by the visuals and presentation. Certain themes are catchy, but overall most of them sound pretty bland and plain. Many times in this OVA you’ll be wondering when is the next Casshan fight, and become bored with necessary story development that takes place throughout the OVA. If you are familiar with NHC, then this problem is extremely noticable because you’ll already have a jump start to what CHR is about.
Coming off CSins and jumping into this one is not recommended. Overall, I would suggest starting with NHC and working your way up from there. Fans of Casshan(Casshern, etc.) will see this as a must have, others will probably watch it once and forget all about it. It doesn’t have the re-watchable intangibles CSins has, but again very solid action scenes.
In this world Dr. Azuma built a super android called BK-1 and instructed the android to protect earth and nature, the robot to fulfill his duties began to kill and tyrannize all the human race, because afterall the human race was killing earth. BK-1 then renames himself as Black King Boss. Tetsuya, Dr. azuma’s son, after watching this massacre is left with no other choice than that of merging himself with his father latest android becoming the legendary immortal Casshan.
I’ve entered this Casshan world by the Cashern Sins series, so please bear that in mind. The story is pretty different to that of Cashern Sins. Here Cashern is named Casshan, Braiking Boss is Black King Boss, but this could possibly have been a bad English translation. Luna is actually Tetsuya Azumas girlfriend, the scientist that built Casshan was his father, etc…
The animation was what was to be expected in terms of animation from the middle nineties, sometimes it’s pretty cool and sometimes average.
The OVA is entertaining in it’s way, but I was left with the impression that the longer and original series must have been more conclusive and in depth (this is a four episode OVA after all while the TV series have 35 episodes.
I might be lucky oe of these days and I may see some fansub picking the original series, afterall, the new Cashern series have been gaining some cult following recently.
It also is a definition of ‘crap got wierd’.
One of the weirdest animes I ever saw.
I saw the english dub.
The english dub is good. Casshans voice is very good.
The story is all over the place. It does’t explain some things well. Or at all.
A lot of the time, you sit there going, WTH?!
Some of it is cheesey.
The end is not explained well.
It takes a turn into mad science with how Casshan becomes a cyborg.
Seriously, there is a machine that looks like the teleporter from The Fly!
Luna is one of the worst dressed characters in anything!
She looks like a freaking clown. Or like she’s insane!
It’s a short bolero, over a topless corset leotard, over shorts, with a wimple, with a ear covering headband, with earrings on, socks, and ankle boots.
She looks like a insane cosplayer.
When she get’s cold, she puts on a odd puffy coat.
There are times, when Casshans supposed to be sad or confused, or have memory problems, etc, because of the becoming a cyborg, when he’s with Luna.
But the result is he looks like he’s going
‘What the hell is she wearing?!!!!!’
There are also time he looks like he’d rather be anywere but with her.
He looks like he’s trying to escape the anime, rather than be seen with this insanely dressed woman.
Once, she wears a sensible outfit. A sailor suit with a blouse, short skirt and ankle boots. That’s fine. If she’d just keep on it, it’d be great. But no, she puts her insane outfit on again.
She also wears a sensible travelling outfit at the start. Takes it off once she’s inside.
Casshan also comes across as a bit of a masochist.
Yes, becoming a cyborg was done when under siege. But that machine was planned to be used that way.
Casshan is also very emo. He really goes for the emo, ‘I’m a hero’, thing.
Not the good sort. A character does stuff and is badass. And others say they are a hero.
He does ‘I’m a hero’, in a really emo way. Complete with unnessessery posing.
There are a lot of sensible characters, in sensible outfits. You get the feeling that they could win the war, without Casshan and Luna.
The world is good. A well made world. Very functional.
The artsyle is a ok to good. But the faces veer off into the uncanny valley sometimes.
And there is wierdly broad chests.The gap between the breasts of both genders is really wide.
The motivations for the villain are grindingly cretinous.
And they don’t even do something as basic as kill him or treat him properly at the end!
The end is very predictable, when it comes to the villain.
There is the works for a good anime and story in there. And it shows. But there is some seriously wierd stuff!
37: Burn Up! W
English: Burn-Up W: On the Case & In your Face
MAL Score: 6.36
When crime and terrorism go out of control in Tokyo, the police unleash Team Warrior – a band of highly-skilled and completely reckless band of female cops. Featuring loose cannon Rio, triggerhappy Maya and ace hacker Lilica, Team Warrior will get the job done, regardless of the budget of the mission.
This four episode OVA is hard to review since the first two eps are completely different the the second two but here goes.
first off, the art is pretty typical anime style, but they did a good job with it. The characters arn’t plain at all, and the colors and overall artwork a really good.
These first two episodes are solely for introducing the characters and getting to know them. They are definately comedies with minimal amounts of action, but within all this, there is a plot building in the background which will come into play later.
There is no character development or any intricate interactions, relational or otherwise, these episodes or more or less just some fan service and entertainment.
This is where the anime turns into something cool. These episodes build upon the plot that was revealed in the first couple, and which will come about later in the full series. These two episodes are packed with action and fighting and death.
The series takes on a serious and dark tone and makes it all the better. Still no character development but who cares, this show IS about babes with guns. This show probably doesn’t actually deserve a 9 rating but i though those last two episodes were pretty bad ass.
Girls and guns, fun to watch but dont expect a masterpiece.
and as a note, i definitely recommend the sub since the dub is pretty crappy.
This review of Burn Up! W is spoiler free!
Synopsis: When crime and terrorism go out of control in Tokyo, the police unleash Team Warrior – a band of highly-skilled and completely reckless band of female cops. Featuring loose cannon Rio, trigger happy Maya and ace hacker Lilica, Team Warrior will get the job done, regardless of the budget of the mission.
The first act of the series begins with Mr. Negishi’s prowess for good-looking sakuga, as well as his notorious, ecchi-filled taste in humor! Rio is dropped from a helicopter, in place of an idol, as a body double in a nude bungee jump! The following episodes, before the climax, center around Burn Up’s referential comedy, with a touch of Robot Carnival’s mechanical brand of existentialism. Rio gets explored more intimately than ever, as well as Nanvel, which is implied to be a transsexual! Or a hermaphrodite! The show doesn’t go any further than the lecherous Yūji making a bewildered expression when her dress flies up.
Excess excelled in expositing the characters to the viewer and creating an atmosphere to laugh along with their crazy hijinks, but W is much more about the hardships of being an underpaid cop with gruesome missions towering over one’s daily life. There’s an arc where Rio goes to sell her underwear to a seedy shop and her roommate has a touching moment with her, when she asks her to have more integrity in herself. I can’t dive any deeper into this, without giving away a few of the most scathing cuts that this OVA has to offer!
The framing of friendship and sentimental scenes like that is what hit this OVA out of the ballpark, boosting it up from a 6/10 to a 7! Like how the visual iconography of Gall Force would compel someone to buy a t-shirt that has blobby moe girls with guns, the scenes of W carry that same kind of paradoxical phenomenon that would inspire an avid fan to collect the memorabilia like hotcakes! The fighting scenes are vivid and create an intense amount of satisfaction as the girls battle Cerberus!
Hiroshi Negishi (director)
* Ai Tenchi Muyō
* Bounty Dog: Getsumen no Ibu
* Chōon Senshi Borgman, localized as “Sonic Solider Borgman”
* Divergence Eve and Divergence Eve 2: Misaki Chronicles
* Kei Ō Seiki Bīsuto Sanjūshi, localized as “K.O. Beast”
* Legend of Duo
* Makyō Gaiden Le Deus, localized as “Ladius” (OVA)
* Nanako Kaitai Shinsho, localized as “Amazing Nurse Nanako” (OVA)
* NG Knight Ramune & 40
* Mahoraba: Heartful Days
* Venus Versus Virus
* Weiß Kreuz (OVA)
Commentary: Upon reading what Mr. Negishi has done other than this iteration of Burn Up! I can easily say that his collective filmography is a mixed bag. I really liked Divergence Eve and Nanako Kaitai Shinsho, but Maburaho and Ai Tenchi Muyō are among some of the worst series that I’ve ever seen. With this series particularly, some of his best visual staples are employed, like his psychedelic, color-wash overlay that he’s known for using during dramatic, action scenes. He also has perfected what I like to refer to as the “anguished moe face,” he has similar shots of Misaki from Divergence Eve; Negishi usually angles the perspective to where the character looks doleful from the viewpoint of a profile shot.
John Ledford (executive producer), ADV dubs that he produced:
Good Dub: ✅
Bad Dub: ❌
The series that I haven’t seen in English are left blank.
* Ah! My Goddess: Sorezore no Tsubasa, localized as “Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy” ❌
* Abashiri Ikka, localized as “The Abashiri Family”
* AD Police
* Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach DX
* Air (series) ❌
* Air Gear ❌
* Akame ga Kill ✅
* AKB0048, and AKB0048: Next Stage
* Akihabara Dennō Gumi, localized as “Cyberteam in Akihabara”
* Angel Beats!
* Aozora Shōjotai, localized as “801 T.T.S. Airbats”
* Appleseed (movie) ❌
* Appleseed Alpha
* Aquarion Age: Sign for Evolution
* Arc the Lad
* Arcana Famiglia (series)
* Area 88, and Area 88 (TV) ✅
* Aura: Maryūinkōga Saigo no Tatakai, localized as “Aura: Koga Maryuin’s Last War”
* Azumanga Daiō ✅
* Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto (series), localized as “Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto”
* Bannō Bunka Nekomusume, localized as “All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku”
* Black Bullet
* Blue Drop: Tenshitachi no Gikyoku
* Blue Seed, and Blue Seed 2
* Bōnen no Zamudo, localized as “Xam’d: Lost Memories”
* Break Blade (series)
* Bubblegum Crisis 2040 ❌
* Buki yo Saraba, localized as “A Farewell to Arms”
* Burn Up! (series) ✅
* Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru, localized as “5 Centimeters per Second” ✅
* Can Can Bunny Extra
* Casshern: Robot Hunter ❌
* Chameleon (OVA)
* Chrno Crusade ❌
* Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! (series), localized as “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions”
* City Hunter (series)
* Clannad (series) ❌
* Colorful ❌
* Comic Party (series) ✅
* Compiler (series)
* Cosplay Complex ❌
* Coyote Ragtime Show
* Crying Freeman
* Devil May Cry (series)
* Diabolik Lovers
* DRAMAtical Murder
* ef (series)
* Eiyū Densetsu: Sora no Kiseki, localized as “Legend of the Heroes: Trails in the Sky”
* Elfen Lied ❌
* Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya (series)
* Final Fantasy: Unlimited ❌
* Gachaman Crowds
* Gekkan Shōjo Nozaki-kun, localized as “Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun”
* Genei Tōshi Bastof Lemon
* Ginga Kikōtai Majestic Prince
* Gintama Movie 1: Shinyaku Benizakura
* Girls & Panzer
* Gokujō Seitokai
* Gokukoku no Brynhildr ❌
* Golgo 13 (TV) ❌
* Guin Saga
* Gunnm, localized as “Battle Angel Alita” ✅
* Hakkenden: Tōhō Hakken Ibun
* Hakuōki (series)
* Halo Legends
* Hamatora: The Animation
* Hi no Yōjin
* Highschool of the Dead (series) ❌
* Hiiro no Kakera (series), localized as “Scarlet Fragment”
* Hitsugi no Chaika
* Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Ten no Haoh ✅
* Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo, localized as “Children Who Chase Lost Voices”
* Hotaru no Haka, localized as “Grave of the Fireflies” ❌
* Hyakka Ryōran
* I: Wish You Were Here
* Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaō
* Ikoku Meiro no Croisée: The Animation
* Innocent Venus ✅
* Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō
* Inu x Boku SS
* IS: Infinite Stratos (series)
* Jigen Sengoku Shi: Kuro no Shishi Jinnai-hen, localized as “Black Lion” ❌
* K-On! Movie
* Kagaku Ninja-tai Gatchaman
* Kaibutsu Ōjo, localized as “Princess Resurrection”
* Kaichō wa Maid-sama! ❌
* Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai (series), localized as “The World God Only Knows”
* Kami-sama Dolls
* Kami-sama no Memo-chō, localized as “Heaven’s Memo Pad” ❌
* Kanon (2006)
* Kidō Tenshi Angelic Layer ❌
* Kill Me Baby
* Kiseijū: Sei no Kakuritsu
* Kokoro Connect
* Kono Danshi, Ningyo Hiroimashita (series)
* Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imōto ga Iru!, localized as “My Little Sister Is Among Them!”
* Kotetsu no Daibōken
* Kotonoha no Niwa
* Kyōkai no Kanata
* Kyōkaisenjō no Horizon
* Le Chevalier D’Eon ✅
* Little Busters!
* Mahō Sensō
* Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!
* Mardock Scramble (series) ❌
* Maria†Holic (series) ❌
* Mawaru Penguindrum ✅
* Mayo Chiki!
* Medaka Box (series)
* Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sō Desu yo?
* Mōretsu Pirates
* Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
* Nazo no Kanojo X
* Neon Genesis Evangelion ✅
* No Game No Life ✅
* No. 6 ❌
* Nobunaga the Fool
* Nyan Koi!
* Oda Nobuna no Yabō
* Outbreak Company
* Persona 4: The Animation
* Phi Brain (series)
* Queen’s Blade: Rebellion
* Queen’s Blade: Utsukushi Tōshi-tachi
* Ra/Radio Noise*Planet
* Red Garden (series) ❌
* Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre
* Rurōni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Roman-tan—Shin Kyoto-hen ❌
* Saiyūki Gaiden ❌
* Sakamichi no Apollon
* Sakigake!! Cromartie Kōkō ✅
* Seisenshi Dunbine
* Sekaikei Sekai Ron
* Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox
* Senkō no Night Raid
* Shin Angyo Onshi
* Shin Hokuto no Ken
* Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan ❌
* Shinsekai Yori ❌
* Short Peace Opening
* Sidonia no Kishi ❌
* SoniAni: Super Sonico The Animation
* Special A
* Tamako Market
* Tasogare Otome x Amnesia
* Tataku Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
* Tears to Tiara
* Towa no Quon (series)
* UN-GO ❌
* Vampire Hunter D ✅
* Venus Versus Virus ❌
* Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!, localized as “No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!” ❌
* Yumekui Merry ❌
* Yūgo: Kōshōnin
* Yūwaku Countdown
* Zettai Bōei Leviathan
Commentary: Since W is less off-the-wall funny, there’s less creativity with the ADV script. Still, a really tight rendering of the original material though!
Yūji Ikeda (animation director, character design)
* Arslan Senki (art director)
* Please Save My Earth (art director)
* Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: Fūin Sealed Card (art director)
* CLAMP School Detectives (art director)
* Di Gi Charat (art director)
* Dragon Ball (character design)
* Dragon Ball Z (character design)
* Fushigi Yûgi (art director)
* Gensōmaden Saiyūki (art director)
* Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai! (art director)
* Great Teacher Onizuka (art director)
* Kōtetsu Tenshi Kurumi 2 (chief animation director, character design)
* Yū Yū Hakusho (art director)
Commentary: Mr. Ikeda has very crisp, memorable designs. I wasn’t sure if I was particularly going to like the style in this series, because the protagonist Rio, has the big-hair syndrome that is prevalent in a lot of other series. But, coupled with the animation style and the angling of the shots, the designs are very charming and expressive.
Toshifumi Takizaki (script)
* Big Wars (director)
* Crusher Joe OVA (director)
* Cyborg 009 (episode director)
* Densetsu Kyojin Ideon (episode director)
* Dirty Pair (director)
* Dirty Pair: Flight 005 Conspiracy (director)
* Samurai 7 (director)
* Seisenshi Dunbine OVA (director)
Commentary: Mr. Takizaki is a very big name in the industry, mainly known as working on storyboards for really famous mecha series, like Sōkō Kihei Votoms and Kidō Senshi Zēta Gundam. The writing and the storyboarding in this series is very clean and succinct, it goes to show that having a veteran in the industry on a project can bring a series to life.
Mitsuyo Suenaga (script)
* Cobra: The Animation (script)
* Cross Game (script)
* Patalliro (script)
Commentary: From the series I’ve watched, that he’s had involvement with, Cobra: The Animation and Paralliro both have snappy comedic timing and a certain quirkiness in their scripts. Burn Up! Excess conveys that same kind of snarky humor.
I watched Burn Up! Excess with the ADV dub, so I will list the Japanese seiyū, but comments will be on the performances of the English voice actors. An interesting tidbit about this particular series is that it also has an Italian and Spanish dub!
Yuka Imai as Rio Kinezono, notable roles:
* Scarlet Ohara, Wedding Peach
* Renamon, Digimon Tamers
* Marie Ange, Doki Doki PreCure
* Yū Hayakawa, Final Fantasy: Unlimited
* Eiko Randō, Geobreeders 2
* Misaki Matsuya, Excel Saga
* Nabuca, Now and Then, Here and There
* Yuki, Ojamajo Doremi
* Futaba Āsu, Puni Puni ☆ Poemii
* Otaru Mamiya, Saber Marionette J
* Junior Virey, Saber Marionette R
* Eden Orion, Saint Seiya Omega
* Jinto Linn, Seikai no Monshō
* Wakaba Shinohara, Shōjo Kakumei Utena
* Tomochika Shibuya, Uta no☆Prince-sama♪
Amanda Winn Lee as Rio Kinezono, notable roles:
* Mimiru, .hack//SIGN
* Momiji Fujimiya, Blue Seed
* Reimi, Burn Up!
* Pandy, Dead Leaves
* Mika Seido, Geneshaft
* Gally, Battle Angel Alita
* Rally Vincent, Gunsmith Cats
* Rei Ayanami, Neon Genesis Evangelion
* Yukiko Amagi, Persona 4: The Animation
* Titaniva Mu Koshigaya, Plastic Little
* Nancy Makuhari, R.O.D: Read or Die
* Saki Asamiya, Sukeban Deka
Commentary: Amanda Winn Lee has always been a favorite voice actor of mine. She always gives a clear, heartfelt performance and her role in Burn Up! Excess is no different. Rio is a lazy, good-for-nothing, self-serving jerk—who’s likable, despite her insufferable demeanor. Watching her character interact with people and the world is like watching an episode of Seinfeld. Ms. Lee makes the character true to her vices, but immensely likable and funny, at the same time. Great performance!
Maya Okamoto as Maya Jingu, notable roles:
* Megumi Amano, Chōjin Densetsu Urotsukidōji
* Lambda Nom, Haja Taisei Dangaiō
* Haruka Minato, Kidō Senkan Nadesico
* Fanna, Armed Dragon Fantasy Villgust
* Liza Hoyly, Macross Dynamite 7
* Emma Sheen, Kidō Senshi Zēta Gundam
* Orihime Soletta, Sakura Taisen
* Yuki Saiko, Silent Möbius
Lani Minella as Maya Jingu, notable roles:
* Dolce Saito, Geneshaft
* Rouge the Bat, Sonic the Hedgehog
Commentary: Ms. Minella is very good at making Maya have a fractious, tougher than nails, tomboyish demeanor with a slightly Southern tinge to it. I didn’t understand the casting choice completely, until Episode 4: Gokudō Father, where it reveals that Maya is a country yokel, whose father heads a biker gang. Lani Minella did a good job of expressing the subtle inflections of the character’s voice. Great job!
Sakura Tange as Lilica Ebett, notable roles:
* Sakura Kinamoto, Cardcaptor Sakura
* Jack the Ripper (Assassin), Fate/Apocrypha
* Nero Claudius (Saber), Fate/Extra: Last Encore
* Mill Varna, Maze☆Bakunetsu Jikū
Kimberly Yates as Lilica Ebett, notable roles:
* Yuka, Burn Up!
* Leena, Dirty Pair Flash
* May Hopkins, Gunsmith Cats
* Azusa Kanzaki, Mamono Hunter Yōko
* Yomiko Readman, R.O.D: Read or Die
* May Jessica, Sol Bianca
Commentary: I was less impressed with Ms. Yate’s performance than some of the others. Her voice just sounded like a Monica Rial-esque, nasally high-pitched character impression. I typically am not a fan of the simplicity used to voice feminine, or young-sounding, characters in English dubs. Though, Rial did a really good job voicing Lumière in Kiddy Grade.
Yuri Amano as Nanvel Candlestick, notable roles:
* Berthier and CereCere, Sailor Moon
* Mother Togashi, Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai!
* Kallen’s Mother, Code Geass
* Kawai Kawai, Iczer-Girl Iczelion
* Aki Kokonoe (Rin’s Mother), Kodomo no Jikan
* Alcyone, Magic Knight Rayearth
* Rain Mikamura, Mobile Fighter G Gundam
* Yuriko Star, Musekinin Kanchō Tylor
* Sayo, Mushishi
* Lashara Moon, Photon
* Lorelei, Saber Marionette J
* Kiyone Makibi, Tenchi Muyō!
* Makiko Nagi, Tenjō Tenge
* Asaka Nakamura, Ushio to Tora
* Moemi Hayakawa, Video Girl Ai
* Keiko Yukimura, Yū Yū Hakusho
Carol Amerson as Nanvel Candlestick, notable roles:
* Sayoko Mano, Devil Hunter Yohko
* Hikari Horaki, Neon Genesis Evangelion
* Nakoruru, Samurai Showdown
Commentary: I prefer Nanvel being voiced by Keith Allison in Burn Up! Excess, but that may be because I’m a huge fan of Ms. Allison as Misato Katsuragi in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Ms. Amerson being cast as such a sassy, cute science nerd is kind of plain, when you compare the two. Especially, with Allison jubilant performance commanding the attention of viewers in Excess.
Mami Kingetsu as Maki Kawasaki , notable roles:
* Nagisa Shiozaki, Yume de Aetara
Tiffany Grant as Maki Kawasaki, notable roles:
* Suzume Sakurajosui, Akihabara Dennō Gumi
* Moffle, Amagi Brilliant Park and Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
* Kaori Azumanga Daiō
* Chocolate Misu, Bakuretsu Hunters
* Koume Sawaguchi, Blue Seed
* Maki, Burn Up!
* Stella Harvenheit, Chrno Crusade
* Daichi Sawaguchi and Densuke, Dennō Coil
* Kanato Sakamaki, Diabolik Lovers
* Asuka Langley Sōryū, Neon Genesis Evangelion
* Sella, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya
* Mai Tokudaiji, Ginga Ojōsama Densetsu Yuna (Galaxy Fräulein Yuna)
* Laura Bodewig, IS: Infinite Stratos
* Nōmi Kudoryafuka, Little Busters!
* Kuriko Kazetsubaki, Maburaho
* Rika Anju, Magikano
* Christiane Friedrich, Majikoi!
* Susumu Tsukumo, Wandaba Style
* Ellyse Aldomordish, Plastic Little
* Haruka, Sister Princess
* Morgan, Tears to Tiara
Commentary: I enjoy Tiffany Grant as Maki Kawasaki, more than Carol Amerson voicing her in Burn Up! Excess. Whenever Maki would say anything sarcastic or satirical in Carol Amerson’s rendition, it would just sound like a woeful teacher scolding a child, while Ms. Grant’s version comes off as lively and playful. I am biased though, because I grew up with the ADV dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
* Emi Shinohara as Ruby, notable roles:
* Makoto Kino, Sailor Moon
* Mokuren, Please Save My Earth
* Kaho Mizuki, Cardcaptor Sakura
* Ophelia, Claymore
* Mari Īmura, Hajime no Ippo
* Michiru Satomi, IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix
* Kagero, Ninja Scroll
* Migiri Yasuri, Katanagatari
* Sanae Araki, Kaze no Youjinbō
* Kekkō Kamen, Kekkō Kamen
* Yōko Mizuno, Maria-sama ga Miteru
* Kushina Uzumaki, Naruto
* Biko Daitokuji, Project A-ko
* Angel Rosewater, The Big O
* Natsuhi Ushiromoiya, Umineko no Naku Koro ni
* Charlotte Elbourne, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
* Arashi Kishu, X/1999
Paula Tiso as Ruby, notable roles:
* Ouka, .hack/Legend of the Twilight Bracelet
Commentary: I have the same opinion of Ms. Tiso’s role as Ruby, as I did when I watched .hack/Legend of the Twilight Bracelet. She sounds too old for her role. Paula Tiso is typically cast as sexy character, but the roles sound very low energy, rather than vivacious and heartfelt.
Conclusively, Burn Up! W is recommended for fans that miss good ‘ol hard-hitting, cyberpunk OVAs! I would give a more concrete recommendation if you’re a fan of Divergence Eve, Neon Genesis Evangelion, or My Dear Marie; there’s an entire episode full of Evangelion references: Episode 2! W fulfills the obscure, robot-shaped hole that has been left by the lack of proper alternatives in the genre. Not to mention, impressively adhering to the “badass girls fighting battles and looking cute” niche! Definitely give this one a try, if you haven’t already! I give Burn Up! W a 7/10!
Other Burn Up! Rankings:
Burn Up! ★★☆☆☆
Burn Up! Excess ★★★☆☆
Burn Up! Scramble ★☆☆☆☆
36: Twin Signal: Family Game
English: Twin Signal
Japanese: TWIN SIGNAL~ファミリーゲーム~
MAL Score: 6.36
Signal, a robot companion built for Nobuhiko, is attacked by Pulse, one the its creator’s previous prototypes. Reprogrammed by Dr. Otoi’s mysterious rival, Pulse is loaded down with weapons and sent on a mission by Otoi: steal the most recent robot technology, and obliterate anything that gets in his way.
I can’t even begin…..it’s just the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Go watch it, it’s hilarious!
Main Character: Signal (Chibi Signal), Pulse and Nobuhiko Otoi
Overall , I would rate Twin Signal as 7…
Story-wise, it was silly and predictable but original enough for a 90s anime… it revolves around a powerful albeit somewhat defective robot named Signal… well, all the robots are defective here – Pulse is nearsighted, Elara is clumsy and Epsilon is a wreck…
The art had a Rayearth/Inuyasha/Ranma feel to it… think of it as Inuyasha having long limbs… it was cute (kinda dreary) but nothing really special…
Characters are okay and sometimes funny, though they tend to overreact at times… Chibi Signal was still adorable… i liked how Signal acted to protect his brother Nobuhiro… the others have their own personalities but were not very memorable…
I can’t bring myself to rate it as 6 – it was not that entertaining but it wasn’t that boring… I am sure that the creators tried their hardest during the 90s to make this click… so this would still be “Good”…
For those who like good, clean fun, pick this up but do not expect too much… 🙂
35: Madou King Granzort: Saigo no Magical Taisen
Japanese: 魔動王グランゾート 最後のマジカル大戦
MAL Score: 6.36
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
34: Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam: Keito no Kioku – Namida no Dakkai Sakusen
Japanese: 銀河漂流バイファム ケイトの記憶 涙の奪回作戦!!
MAL Score: 6.36
The story takes place in Kukto in D.C. 2060 – a year after VIFAM. Ypserlon has been restored to peace, though there still remains occasional skirmishes. The Thirteen are invited there for a ceremony by the new Kukto government (its members are formerly the rebels). As two unexpected people appear, they develop a new story. It is a quest for memory.
33: Red Garden: Dead Girls
English: Red Garden: Dead Girls
Japanese: レッドガーデン デッドガールズ
MAL Score: 6.37
In the future (subsequent to the events of the television series) Kate, Rose, Rachel and Claire divide their immortal lives between study and vigilantism. Their past link to the red garden on Roosevelt Island comes back to haunt them after mysterious transfer students Louise and Edgar seek out their friendship.
Anime: Gonzo did the production on this again (known for their work on Saikano and Gankutsuou) and Kou Matsuo directed as well (known for his work on all seasons of Rozen Maiden and the OVA). Dead Girls is a 45-minute OVA that was released on August 8th, 2007. As far as I’m aware, Dead Girls has not been licensed, either by ADV, or Funimation (who currently holds the original series’ license).
Dead Girls picks up about 300 years in the future in NYC, where Rachel, Rose, Kate and Claire are pretending to be high school girls as cover for bounty hunting, because hey, why not? They apparently don’t have any memories of the original series, as they were warned previously in the original series. But the new transfer students look quite familiar and may mean trouble for them…
Okay, so, first off, it’s interesting to see what 300 years of having a seventeen year-old’s body has done to the girls. There are some pretty obvious 180s in peoples’ personalities, but there are pretty decent reasons given for it, which is really appreciated here. It’s more fun seeing what the girls are like now than it is watching the actual plot of the thing, which isn’t the greatest or most interesting and gets resolved in a pretty lame way. Again, though, director of Rozen Maiden, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise in terms of lack of resolution and plot quality.
As for art, it’s the same style as the series, but with some added caveats. There are a lot of reused character designs from the original series, either for continuity or because the designers were lazy, take your pick. Also, there’s the typical Gonzo mech added, and it’s quite nicely done and doesn’t seen all that out of place.
Music is pretty much what was used in the series, with a song being sung in horribly out of tune voices (yay for realism?) to the main theme. Ehhh, this kind of loses points with me. But otherwise, pretty solid.
Seiyuu are same as in the series, with seiyuu reprising their roles for similar looking characters from the original series; again, continuity or budget saving, who knows.
Length here is pretty solid. 45 minutes, which was more than I expected. Just about right, actually, though it did drag at the end.
Overall, this is a pretty solid OVA. There’s a few issues of laziness versus continuity, but otherwise, a solid follow-up that’s worth a watch.
Overall: 38/50; 76% (C)
Dead Girls takes place years after the end of the original series. Our four heroines are, naturally, still alive and without memories of the first seventeen years of their lives. Not knowing who they were or why they can never die, they’ve stuck together, traveling to new places every few years so nobody realizes how odd they are, and have begun working as bounty hunters (known as, appropriately, the dead girls) by night. When an opportunity for learning about their past arises, they take it… and that’s about it. I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s a generic one that tells us (and the girls) little and fails to even infuse meaning into our state of uncertainty. While it’s nice to know what happened to them, and the choice to set the OVA far into the future rather than immediately after the series was an interesting one, there’s a massive amount of potential lost and the OVA ends up feeling completely pointless.
An opportunity for character development is similarly lost with all four of the girls. Naturally, after hundreds of years, they’ve changed dramatically, and yet we never get a peek into how and why they’ve changed. Its alluded to that they choose to take on different traits as the years go on and they move to new places, cutting off ties from both old peers and old personalities, and that could in and of itself make a great OVA if it were used to explore their characters, their deepest needs and desires, or even the nature of personality as an overall concept. But Dead Girls doesn’t do that, opting to simply treat everything as normal and expecting the viewer to nod along. Disappointing, to say the least.
At the very least, this OVA has the same art and musical style of the original series. The singing is back, although (at least in the English dub) the fact that the songwriting and singing are weak is amusingly lampshaded by characters. Art and animation are very nice, unique without being overly bizarre, which fits the show nicely. However, I would have enjoyed seeing more thought put into the physical setting, however; it has a generic futuristic look without any real “oh cool!” moments that really aren’t that hard to add when making up technology (or even fashion) for the future. The way it looks and sounds don’t particularly make up for the story and characterization, though; it looks and sounds nice, but not nice enough to distract you from that.
Red Garden: Dead Girls is a disappointment that does little for the plot or characters of the original series, but at least it still looks nice. Recommended for completionists who saw the TV series only.
Also, the theme song is pretty bad.
32: NG Knight Ramune & 40 EX: Biku Biku Triangle Ai no Arashi Daisakusen
Japanese: NG騎士ラムネ&40EX ビクビクトライアングル愛の嵐大作戦
MAL Score: 6.38
Lamune has returned to Earth with no memory of his adventures on Hara-Hara world and Doki-Doki space. The remains of Gobuhriki find their way to Earth, and awaken the spirit of Don Harumage. While Cocoa builds a fighting vehicle with stuff she finds around Tokyo, Milk and Leska set off to find Lamune and Da Cider to save the day before the new Gobuhriki is revived and destroys the Earth.
31: Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh (1992)
Japanese: 絶対無敵ライジンオー (1992)
MAL Score: 6.40
Continues the story of the TV series.
30: Sakura Taisen: Sumire
English: Sakura Wars: ~Su~Mi~Re~
Japanese: 『サクラ大戦』～神崎すみれ引退記念～「す み れ」
MAL Score: 6.41
Set after the time of Sakura Taisen 4 (game), Kanzaki Sumire, during a training session was noticed that her spirit power (rei-ryoku) has dropped tremendously, below levels required to pilot the Koubu-nishiki. She decides to retire from the Kageki-dan while she still holds the position of “top star” in the dai-teikoku gekijyou.
29: Sakura Taisen: Le Nouveau Paris
English: Sakura Wars: The New Paris
Japanese: サクラ大戦『ル ヌーヴォー 巴里』
MAL Score: 6.43
After Ichiro Ogami’s departure, the girls of the Paris Flower Defense Force are left debating who will be the next captain, while a centuries-old threat surfaces.
28: Detonator Orgun
English: Detonator Orgun
Japanese: デトネイター オーガン
MAL Score: 6.43
Fleeing from his own race, Orgun—an alien being with superhuman abilities and unearthly weapons—travels to Earth to find an answer to his origin. There, he bonds with a young man named Tomoru to defend Earth against the Evoluders, who seek nothing but destruction of other civilizations.
In a far far future where you can turn on/off the tv or the lights by snapping your fingers (wow), a young man named Tomoru is having some disturbing dreams in the last days. In one of these dreams he encounters a robot named Orgun and other mechanical aliens. The dreams would turn out premonition given that an alien robot is attacking the city. Meanwhile, in a military lab, we see a robot that was rescued on the moon and that was rebuilt by Professor Kanzaki, a smart young woman, who is trying to find out what it actually is, when it breaks out from the lab and sets out to stop the other alien. This Robot, who is actually Orgun from Tomoru’s dreams finds and asks to merge with him so they can beat the hostile robot. By merging with Orgun, Tomoru gets some information about it and the enemies. Once they defeated the hostile robot, Tomoru tells Professor Kanzaki and the military that robotics invaders are actually an alien race called Evoluder who intend to destroy the Earth. Orgun is this alien race’s defector who traveled here to protect Earth.
The story begins a bit slow, in the first episode the protagonist has almost exactly the same dream twice and only by the end of the episode he met with Orgun.
The anime works with cool sci-fi ideas like human evolution and space travel. But unfortunately these ideas are not very well explored. There’s a lot of stuff going on and some irrelevant characters with a considerably amount of screen time. The OVA being so short it felt really rushed and underdeveloped in many parts.
The main character Tomoru is bland, he has no clear motivations, even when he understood Orgun and the threat of enemies, he spend the whole second episode bitching about piloting the mecha (get in the robot, Shinji). The dialogues with him are always boring and confusing as he is always indecisive and empty of any purpose. The only thing we understand about him is that he likes things from the 20th century’s stuff. And the anime is CONSTANTLY reminding you of that, his two dreams in the first episode had this weird WWII setting, he seems to have a obsession with the local museum, once its shown him in the movie theater watching a WWII film. There is even one scene in the first episode where in the middle of an alien attack, he is almost hit by Professor Kanzaki’s vintage car by accident and after almost dying the first thing he says is “Woow, the 1962 Jaguar E”. What’s the point of all this? None, they never explored / explained why these things are important to him.
Professor Kanzaki is the best character in this. She is the military scientist who is working on Orgun and, with her super computer I-Zack, is investigating the mystery behind the alien race. She is actually an artificial human created meant to have superior intelligence and abilities so it would to be exploited in times of war. She says she first resent these abilities, but then starts reflecting on overcoming the brilliant scientists who created her and now she wants to see what she is capable of. There is a romance between Professor Kanzaki and Tomoru that might have been good if it wasn’t for the lack of focus of this anime. They had like 3 short scenes together by the end of episode 2 and this was still played like a big thing in the final.
There’s this other woman, Yoko, who is an Earth’s military commander, but honestly she is not relevant at all. We don’t know many things about her she is not a crucial character, bt she is always there wasting screen time that could be better spent in any of the other things the anime was trying to do. She kisses Tomoru in the second episode, out of nowhere for no good reasons, so I think we have a love triangle now. Thanks anime, another pointless thing.
There’s this other kid who is an esper and is always is telling the future in TV. Later she becomes able to communicate with the aliens, and at the last battle she manages to move the sun because it would be somehow convenient to Orgun defeat the aliens. This felt like absolute bullshit, even for this anime. Also, she can move the damn sun, why the hell can’t she defeat he aliens by herself
The animation is quite good for its time and the last battle had really beautiful action scenes. The Orgun has a pretty cool design, it’s not a giant mech, is slightly bigger than a human, so it disassembles Tomoru’s body to fit him inside. It creates some tension when it’s revealed if Tomoru spend too much time merged with Orgun he might not be able to come back. But why his body come back to normal after being disassembled inside Orgun is never explained, they simply say that maybe there’s something special with him.
The music is good, I loved the closing songs. It is expected since it was composed by Susumu Hirasawa, known for his work in Berserk and some of Satoshi Kon’s anime.
Detonator Orgun is a cheesy anime with some audiovisuals and interesting ideas, there are many bad things about the story and characters but I can’t say it was boring. If you really are into Mecha and Sci-Fi stuff you might have some fun watching this.
27: Baldr Force Exe Resolution
Japanese: バルドフォース エグゼ レソリューション
MAL Score: 6.45
Any network runs all over the world, and the development of the information network reaches its acme. In this age, there are two developed worlds; “the real world” and “wired”, or the virtual network world.
Soma Toru belongs to a hacking group, Steppen Wolf, which runs around the network world freely. They attack the database of the UN forces as their last work. During this attack, he loses Nonomura Yuya, his friend as well as the team leader. Toru is arrested by the army. In exchange for letting him free, he has to work for an anti-hacker organization, the first squad of the UN Security Force Information Administration Bureau.
Working for them, he is looking for the person who killed his friend, while the other members also have their own reason to fight.
The three-way fights of the terrorist group, the security enterprise, and the army, continue every day. The various events occurred during the fight seem to be independent of each other at the first glance, but they’re converging on one event as if they were attracted by something.
Based on the game by GIGA.
Things start out pretty well as we are introduced to a future world where a virtual reality internet is a huge part of society. This network is called WIRED, and people can do about everything you can think of in this online world. The world is populated by hackers and network terrorists and the corporations and police forces that try to stop them. The world gives the show a perfect opportunity to have robot battles because anime loves itself some Mecha’s. The hackers, terrorists, and police do battles online in virtual reality mecha suits but the catch is if you are killed in the online world, apparently this causes your brain to explode into a bloody mess in the real world. Fans of exploding heads are sure to be thrilled!
Overall it’s a fairly interesting premise for a plot but the show manages to fall flat on its face pretty early. It makes the mistakes of other short series by trying to have too much going on. There are too many subplots involving other secondary characters to be fair with any of them. While it does a good job with the main story, which is the most important after all, it would have been better to have just stuck with the basics. The motivation of the main character in the beginning is, to put it bluntly, stupid. Toru is a hacker who after being arrested by the police is giving the option of jail or joining them. But apparently he would rather go to prison because his only reason for accepting is to get revenge on the person with the police who killed his friend. While on the surface this would seem like it’s not such a bad reason, considering they were breaking the law and also trying to kill the police in return, is it really that fair to expect your might get yourself killed? Considering how many other people Toru kills himself over the course of the series, if those peoples friends took things the same way the world would be filled of nothing but revenge hungry sociopaths.
My main source of irritation with this series is the characters. Toru was an incredibly irritating character and I disliked him a lot. I found him to be an egotistic nut job that is singularly focused on killing the person responsible for his friend’s death. Having to suffer him made this anime largely a pain in the ass to watch. Unfortunately there aren’t any supporting characters to redeem the series either. They are for the most part two dimensional and boring. Ayane was the only character I felt any empathy towards and she was the most cruelly treated.
The reason for me watching this show in the first place was the music of Kotoko and Mami Kawada. They both deliver a couple very good songs which make this the one bright spot of the series. The artwork is really not that good when you consider how recently this was made. The CG effects are very drab and ordinary looking. Generally I am not a fan of CG animation and this certainly won’t change my view. A lot of the backgrounds though are very nicely done, but this really felt like a show much older than it is.
I didn’t get much in the way of enjoyment from this anime. It was a painful 2hrs to finish and thus I find it difficult to recommend to anyone. I suppose if you really love CG or Mechs and must see every title out there that has those themes you could check this out. Overall it’s just very mediocre.
The series is about a man, Tooru, who has lost everything (won’t spoil ;p) and joins up with a kind of team, or company, called FLAK. The series is set in a would-be Japan, where the "wired world" is part of everyday life. People are able to literally plug themselves into certain computers and spend time in this new cyber world.
It is quite a difficult concept for the writers of this OVA to get across well in such a small amount of time, but they do it brilliantly.
Nothing to complain about here: the characters are drawn very well, the backgrounds are fantastic, and the Mecha and Wired World, which are usually done by CG, are fantastic.
The music was absolutely incredible. KOTOKO sings the opening theme and the lyrics fit so well with the series, and Mami Kawada sings the ending, which is beautiful but sad at the same time. Luckily for me, these two are actually my favourite singers.
The characters in the OVA could have done with a lot more development, excluding Tooru, but since the series was so short character development was kind of out of the question. However, each character is still able to be unique.
Except for the events of episode 2, I really enjoyed watching this series, as it was such an experience to watch. For an OVA, it went far deeper than I would have imagined and OVA could.
I was so close to giving BALDR FORCE EXE Resolution a 10/10, but episode 2 really put me off – I thought it was unneeded. However, I reccommend this to everybody ^^
The beginning starts off with the usual routine of investigating in the cybernetic world. As the FLAK was doing their normal routine, they encounter this special girl and things take a nasty turn for a couple of FLAK members. As the story moves on, Souma Tooru becomes one of the new members in the FLAK new devision but he joined not to relive his glory days as \"Steppen Wolf\" but for solely one purpose. You will have to watch to know why. ^_^
In conclusion, one of the best CG anime series I (and maybe you) will ever watch. Its full with a big plot to follow and an action pack sequence where it may amaze you from time to time. Its recommended for the mature audience but in general its for everyone who enjoys a bit of drama, action and adventure.
26: Choujuu Kishin Dancougar: God Bless Dancougar
English: God Bless Dancougar
Japanese: 超獣機神ダンクーガ ゴッド ブレス ダンクーガ
MAL Score: 6.51
After destroying the Zorbados Empire, the Jyusenki-tai/Cyber Beast Force has expanded and are training new recruits. But after failing to stop a monster that seems to be a remnant of the Zorbados Empire from destroying a city, the CBF is thrown in jail. Now the CBF have to escape from jail and find out what was behind the monster they fought.
But to give credit where credit is due, God Bless Dancougar retains the special qualities of the original series that make it a standout of its time, to the point many of them are still palpable today. Though peace on Earth has finally been obtained, terrorism has become somewhat common and citizens are restricted by the overseeing government and master central computer. The Cyber-Beast Force are busy training new recruits when they’re called in to fight against another enemy. When the mission goes awry the team is framed and discovers many things that are the exact opposite of what they seemed.
As a fan, there were two major reliefs as soon as I started God Bless Dancougar. One, the budget is now higher than ten dollars. Two, the realistic dialogue and banter between the team that was the series’s best quality is completely intact. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly the focus. I found myself enjoying the movie the most in the beginning when there was no plot and time was spent celebrating the team’s return to the fans, reminding us why we liked the characters in the first place and being happy they’re back. When the conflict comes all time is spent on exposition and action, leaving characterization and dialogue behind. Shinbou and Sara were always the most focused-on members of the team but the balance is downright unfair here. Ryo has a moment or two, and though Masato has a small important part in the plot it’s pretty much all he does and it’s not relevant to the viewers based on anything we knew about him before. The Dancougar series did a great job at making the team actually feel equal, and while the individuals are as competent and likable as they always were two of them don’t really get the chance to show off.
Seeing Dancougar with decent animation is almost surreal. Though there are still framerate issues and lazy movements it’s almost unnoticeable after getting used to the series, and for 1987 it all at least looks very nice and movie-worthy. So color me shocked because I have no complaints here. The music is the same quality, featuring many of the same theme songs while the new ones fit in perfectly because they all came out of the same era as the series.
If you want a recommendation then this is absolutely worth seeing for the fans. For reasons that’ll make sense once you watch it, it’s a much better send-off than Requiem for Victims. The Real Robot series traits of some hard science and drama are still here, the characters are intact, the action is now serviceable with solid animation, and this is pretty much just Dancougar the series but “more”. That’s part of the problem, really. After the beginning this just feels like an extended special episode. Maybe the best Dancougar’s ever had, but if all the good qualities of it can be attributed to it being so close to the series then so can the bad like a lackluster gutless storyline. When all’s said and done, it did deliver Dancougar, and Dancougar makes me happy.
25: KO Seiki Beast Sanjuushi
English: KO Century Beast Warriors
Japanese: ＫＯ世紀 ビースト三獣士
MAL Score: 6.53
The series is set in the distant future in which the Earth is split in two. The southern hemisphere is placed in another dimension while the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere are able to morph into beast-like humanoids. Eventually the humans of the southern hemisphere, led by Uranus, attack the Beasts.
The Three Beasts, Wan Derbard (Wan Dabadadatta) of the Tiger Tribe, Bud Mint (Baado Mint) of the Bird Tribe, and Mei Mer (Mei Mah) of the Mermaid Tribe, are taken prisoner along with Mei Mer’s companion Tuttle Millen (Mekka Mannen, also of the Mermaid tribe), but manage to escape thanks to a little girl named Yuuni Charm Password. Together they seek Gaia, which they believe to be a fabulous treasure, but they are pursued by Uranus’s minions : V-Darn the vicious mage-knight, V-Sion the warrior woman and Akumako, V-Darn’s sadistic imp-like partner.
The story is set the future, at a time when the Earth has been split in half. Humanity has fled to the Southern hemisphere, and the Northern world is now ruled by the Beast Tribes. However, humanity is now attempting to reclaim the planet in an attempt to find the mysterious treasure known as Gaia. In order to facilitate this, Uranus (leader of humanity), sends V-Dan and V-Zhon, along with their sidekick Akumako, to capture the heirs of three of the main Beast Tribes – Tgier, Mermaid and Bird. Enter then, Wan Dabada, Mei Mei and Badd Mint, three of the strangest (and in the case of Wan and Badd, dumbest), prisoners/hostages in anime.
Now, some of you will have noticed that the names I’m using are different from those on MAL, Wiki, etc. Well there’s a good reason for this. The names are taken from the original AnimeUK release of the OVA. The names were changed slightly in the US release some time later. Of the two versions though, the UK release is by far the funnier, for a number of reasons.
One of the reasons why this is a very strange anime is because the show can’t make up it’s mind. The OVA begins as a straightforward combat comedy, however it then heads off down a mecha route, with added touches of mysticism, science fiction, and fantasy. In all honesty, while the story isn’t particularly bad, the lack of any coherent plot direction means that the reasons for events and actions sometimes gets confusing.
But that’s only if you’re taking this show seriously.
KO Seiki Beast Sanjuushi is, above all else, a comedy show, and it provides that in abundance (especially the AnimeUK release with it’s dodgy accents). The puns and visual gags are quick and punchy, and while the comedy is a little dated in comparison to shows like Gintama, the OVA still has the capacity to make you giggle.
As far as looks go, this is a fairly well animated show, especially for it’s time. The colours are bright and bold, and while the character designs are a little on the spikey haired side, they’re not as bad as some I could mention. The characters move well for the most part, however the animation does suffer from little oddities in a number of places, in particular during the hand to hand action sequences (surprisingly enough, the mech action sequences are pretty decent).
The music for the OVA matches the visuals fairly well, however the tendency to switch from happy-boppy to overly dramatic can cause some confusion, especially when it happens before any dramatic event. The OP is a bit confusing because there’s two to choose from. The revamped US version features a heavy rock track called B-O-M-B-E-R, which isn’t a bad song, but I actually prefer the original, annoyingly catchy J-Pop theme tune that began “Wandabadabadabdatta, Wandabadabadabadabadatta datta”. The original track is so annoying in fact, that you’ll find yourself humming it decades later, even if you’ve only heard it once.
As for the voice acting, oh my, where do I begin. The revamped US version of the series is nowhere near as funny as the original AnimeUK release, and while the UK version only covered three episodes, they were a damn sight funnier because of the voice acting than the later version. That’s not to say the voice actors were good though, as the acting is fairly mediocre in either release (I have, sadly, yet to find the Japanese version), however the UK release had one major advantage – accents.
Much like the notorious accents found in the original Catgirl Nuku Nuku OVA (which, ironically enough, also came out in 1992), KO Seiki Beast Sanjuushi featured a range of differing accents, from fake cockney (also known as mockney), to American, and a whole bunch in between. It’s because of these accents that the original release had a charm that just wasn’t present in the US re-vamp.
The characters are, on the whole, a bit hit and miss. The main three in the UK release, Wan, Mei Mei and Badd, are pretty fair as comedy leads, with V-Dan and V-Zhon being suitably evil and funny as well. Unfortunately, the US version loses a lot of what made the characters funny, especially as the emphasis in that version is not on comedy, but on action. Because of this the characters, who are underdeveloped anyway, go from being decent comedy roles to mediocre action heroes/villains. The characterisations simply aren’t strong enough to support this shift in perspective, so the viewer is left with relatively hollow characters that, while not being bad, will never be good either.
To be completely honest, I prefer the original AnimeUK release to the American remake. The UK version has a charm about it that is missing from the later version in particular because a lot more thought was put into the dialogue, but one can’t ignore the impact of those accents.
That said, there will be many people who may not ever get to see the UK version, as it is a rarity in anime these days. The US version, being easier to get hold of, isn’t a bad show on the whole, and I will admit to a degree of bias in my preference for the UK release, however the flaws are more obvious in the US version because of the emphasis on action.
This, like most anime, won’t appeal to everyone, although comedy enthusiasts and fans of mecha may enjoy it. It may also appeal to people who just want something odd and funny to watch, although there are some better choices these days.
Given that there’s more comedic diversity in anime now though, imagine what it was like trying to find funny anime in 1992.
24: Bubblegum Crash
MAL Score: 6.54
The saga of the Knight Sabers continues as the group tries to find out who or what is behind the recent string of robberies, murders, and Boomer malfunctions which are somehow related to the creation of an advanced artificial intelligence. Furthermore, it seems that the Knight Sabers may be breaking up.
Crash is basically a direct continuation of the original OVA and it’s completely obvious. The animation and everything in that aspect is the same, with many improvements because it’s newer – this made me second guess myself after saying I liked the redesigned characters in 2040, because Priss, Nena, Linna, and Sylia all looked really cool in this one. The cyberpunk setting is still very grim, dark, heavily detailed, like it rightfully should be! The music also retains its awesomeness from the original OVA, great 80’s hair metal that you can’t help but love if you grew up in the age. The BGM fits the mood and is great too. Oh and the opening is just downright awesome, timeless stuff!
I’ve head some complaints about this one mainly geared towards the plot being a little contradicting against some events in the OVA. The only issue that might bother me here is that Priss could be a little out of character, with her constant attitude and decision with being a Knight Saber and fighting Boomers changing – but I have to ask, do you really go in watching Bubblegum Crisis for an in depth story and thought provoking characters? Not exactly, if you ask me… that aside the characters reminded me a lot of how they act in 2040 pretty often. Priss can be pretty hotheaded, Nena is cheerful and weary that the Knight Sabers are breaking up, Linna is just all over the place, and Sylia is her mysterious self but shows a little more character towards the end. They’re all fun and enjoyable characters.
The three episodes do connect in the end. They’re a little episodic, but 40 minutes pure episode isn’t bad. The horrible events in episodes 1-2 eventually lead up to the finale, where a previous villian is brought back (one of the best ones from the OVA, with that being said some can maybe make a guess as to who that is). Though the show does get a little silly towards the end kind of like 2040 did, it tries a little too hard to be overly weird and thought provoking. But it’s just part of the episode, rather than an entire story arc … so it’s not a huge complaint.
Overall Bubblegum Crash is simply put, more Bubblegum Crisis, more Knight Sabers kicking ass, great cyberpunk settings, awesome old school music. It’s always been something you shouldn’t take TOO seriously, but if you go in just looking for some quick enjoyment with action/comedy this should deliver. If you’re a fan of the OVA, 2040, and still haven’t seen this – definitely give it a shot sometime.
THAT ALL SAID – I enjoyed Crash a fair deal. No where near as much as Crisis, but it certainly is not awful. Continuity errors aside, each episode’s story is fairly interesting and the four Knight Sabers are as fun to see as always. It also provides an actual conclusion to the story, which gives Bubblegum an actual sense of closure after Crisis had its mother of all non-endings. There’s still a few good cheesy songs as well (though nowhere as many as in Crisis) so the spirit is still there. All in all, Crash isn’t a bad way to end the series on, and for all its flaws its still an enjoyable watching. At 3 episodes long, its not even that time consuming either, making a quick fast watch.
Bubblegum Crash had a lot of features that would make it a cool sequel to )one of) the Cyberpunk Epic(s) of the 80’s, Bubblegum Crisis. It has a spetacular Opening, with great visuals and an awesome song. It had improved animation, whichi could only add for its awesomeness. But it lack one little very important thing: It lacked memory. It did not remember its own story. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Mother of all Trainwrecks is here. This is the sequel that contradicts its original story. I have never heard of something like this before. This thing here gave birth to my first Anime-Impulsed Facepalm.
It’s possible that you think that I am overreacting, since Bubblegum Crisis was created mostly as an action show, and for many people, plot is secundary. Well, you won’t think so when you hear about what happens here.
Story: 3 of 10
You know what? The story wouldn’t be that bad… If it weren’t for the fact that it contradicts the story of the show it is supposed to be a sequel of. And not just any part of the story: IT CONTRADICTS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE SHOW!!! Let me break it down for you.
1 – Boomers, GENOM’s creation, are Cyborgs which are a junction of cybernetics, biotechnology and nanotechnology, that have multiple purposes. They have varying degrees of Inteligence, with many of them reaching sentience. This is particularly true for sexaroids, but present elsewhere. They are widespread, specially, it seems, in the Multiethnical Japan of 2032. Several of them go out of hand, and the Knights Sabers (our protagonists) are there to fight them, among other opponents). One of our protagonists (Priss) eventually befriends two of these (sexaroid) boomers, and fans will probably speculate about the relationship with one of them (probably just fan wank, though). These friendships are actually a key point in the story’s most important arc.
2 – The Big Bad, the leadership of the MegaCorp GENOM, is heavily present in the story. One of the villians from this corporation eventually transfers his consciousness to a Boomer body, and gains a God Complex. This is also a key point in the story’s most important arc.
There are other points to the story, but these are enough for what’s about to come. So, how does our beloved sequel treat these facts? Here’s How:
1 – In 2034 (Crash setting), a top secret experiment consists of the first sentient boomer, who looks like a tin can… If I recall it right, in 2032 and 2033, SENTIENT BOOMERS ALREADY EXISTED, could be confused for Human, and in several cases, had artificial blood deposits. Now people could come to me and say: ”They were probably referring to the first sentient boomer that is entirely artificial”. No they’re not. They only mentioned boomers, and the fact that you could confuse this boomer for a human being on the phone was considered impressive… 🙁 What just happened here? So, technology is lesser in 2034, and everyone forgot the previous years? First Facepalm.
2 – Priss, one of out protagonists, befriended two sexaroids in Crisis. One year later, as if she hit her head somewhere, she doesn’t seem to recall them, and outright claims to hate boomers. She has a change of heart with tin can later, but… What happened to Sylvie and Anri (the sexaroids)? And nobody else seems to remember anything either. Second Facepalm, in result of the first.
3 – GENOM, so important to the narrative of Crisis, controler of even the Japanese Government, is absent from the story altogether, leaving only its gigantic tower behind. Never is the name GENOM uttered, nor is Quincy, the CEO ever mentioned again. Also, the city, with a notable divide between rich and poor, is suddenly cleaner… What happened in here? Third Facepalm.
4 – But hey, if you think the main villian of Crisis woudn’t show up, you’re quite mistaken. The member of GENOM who resurrected as a boomer with a God Complex, who persoaded one sexaroid boomer that he would free boomers, and who fought Priss with said sexaroid nearby… IS BACK!!! And according to his words, he’s back to settle unfinished business… WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!? This is too much to take in. It’s messing my mind up as I write this review. It’s awful. Fourth Facepalm, in virtue of all the others.
And you know what’s the worst part? There are parts of this story that were actually usable. What a waste.
The art was spetacular. It was the sharpest art in all of the early Bubblegum Crisis franchise. It was awesome. Bright colours, a well drawn cyberpunk setting, great action animation, etc. It even has a spetacular Opening Animation. It still doesn’t make up for anything though.
It brings us an awesome OP song, and three forgettable ones. It has a mostly unimpressive soundtrack… The OST is a shadow of Bubblegum Crisis’ diverse OST, which is awesome to have. Also, while Crisis’ cast was fine before, which even some seiyuu who would appear in other prominent roles, in Crash, Priss’ seiyuu is replaced, and her work wasn’t that great. Still, she sang the awesome OP and with some effort, she would’ve made it. She just didn’t, though. No offense to her.
I mentioned Priss’ amnesia regarding 2032-2033, right? Priss’ unexplainable hatred of boomers. I shall also mention how Priss dropped her interest in Rock music, disbanded her band, and… tried to record a pop album… Yeah… Also, Linna, another protagonist, seems to not have evolved her character after past events, but because such events were not mentioned on this review, lets not go any further… This is just a part of a whole. Everyone’s ”amnesia” decreases their worth as characters. Sorry, that’s how it goes.
The action saves it from a mediocre rating, and so does the Opening and the Animation… But for all the reasons above, it doesn’t go above 6.
Overall Score is 5. A sequel that kills everything the original was is too lucky for having such a high score.
23: Sakura Taisen: Ouka Kenran
Japanese: サクラ大戦 ~桜華絢爛~
MAL Score: 6.57
The year is around the 1920’s and the darkness of the demons have arrived. Now, only the people with large amounts of spirit energy can save the Earth. The Flower Division is now going to be sent out destroy the demons for they’re our only hope for survival with their new steam-powered machines and unique fighting techniques.
Back in 1996 a phenomenon occured in the console games market. Making a game that had anime style graphics wasn’t a new thing at the time, and the trend has continued to this day. No, the phenomenon wasn’t based on how the game looked, it was based on the fact that, for the first time, there was a game that blended several popular elements into one new and shiny whole. The game in question mixed tactical wargaming with dating simulator, samurais with steampunk, theatre with demon hunting.
That game was the first in the Sakura Taisen series.
Released by Sega for their Saturn console, the game enjoyed immediate success, and the re-release for the Dreamcast only served to cement it’s place in the gaming world. It’s success was such that in the year it was originally released only one game was considered better – Final Fantasy VII. Since then the game has placed #13 in Famitsu’s Top 100 Games of all time, with the following three games also taking places within the top 100. Sakura Taisen V was the best selling game in Japan in 2005, and the latest installment has become the most wanted game of 2009.
So with all this success and popularity, where are the reviews of the series? There aren’t any, so is it really that good?
The anime (OVA), version, released in 1997, follows the formation of the Imperial Assault Force – Flower Division, a group of young women with high spiritual energy who work on the front line, defending the city of Tokyo from attack by demons. These women work by day as actresses and singers in Imperial Grand Theater, beneath which is their base of operations and the place where they store the tools of their real trade – the dual powered steam/spirit armour developed by Kanzaki Heavy Industries.
Okay, the premise doesn’t sound too bad and, to be honest, the whole story is pretty decent (and a damn sight better than much of what’s around today). The plot is reasonably well paced, especially because this is an OVA, however it can feel like it drags from time to time. One nice thing about the show is that rather than simply lifting straight from the game, the anime is actually set within it’s timeframe (the last epsiode takes place around the middle of the game), so watching the series only enhances the gaming experience (unlike a lot of game tie-ins).
One of the things that originally set the series apart was the fact that it wasn’t just a supernatural series, but that it was also one of the early attempts to include steampunk in anime. This set it apart from almost every other sci-fi series of the time, and even now there are still only a few anime that fall into that category (Steamboy being a recent example). The mecha designs were taken straight from the game, with a few minor revisions, but the essence of the game remains within the OVA. The characters from the game are also directly transferred to the anime, again with a few minor revisions. Now, one would think that this would hinder the design aspect in certain ways, but the fact is that the original game was well thought out and designed from the start. This meant that the character designs were pretty decent to begin with, thus making any “tweaks” easier to do.
Animation is good for the entire series. The game featured very little actual animation (compared to modern games), but the animators took their cues from that reference material, as well as their own experience. The characters and mechs move in a free manner that is great to see, but there are occurrences of unnatural body positions and sometimes overly “clunky” mech combat. The backgrounds are colourful and nicely detailed and, as with the costumes, are highly reflective of the alternate 1920s setting.
The voice actors are a bit of a sticking point with me, in particular, the English cast. The Japanese dub had a certain “je ne sais qua” that made the comedy work and added some weight to the more serious scenes. The English dub, on the other hand, was a complete failure as far as I’m concerned. The English cast, while being pretty good in terms of acting ability, managed to really ham up the show. Many of the scenes in the English dub suffer from wooden or over acting, all the while maintaining a distinctly juvenile attitude.
The unfortunate thing about this is that by the time the OVA was released inthe West, we already knew that anime could not only be dubbed well, but that it could actually be made into something better and more accessible to us. The Western reception ofthe OVA was far from favourable because of the dub.
Musically the series is actually pretty good. The fact that the show is based around a theatre troupe adds a whole new dimension to the musical possibilities, and those that were chosen for the OVA are well used and often add some depth to the scene. The effects follow much the same pattern as the music, with many being well suited to their purpose, again enhancing the atmosphere of the show.
Characters for the OVA are a big plus, but also a big minus as well. The characters are individuals in almost every sense, however they are also stereotypical in many repects. This isn’t a bad thing as many shows have used stereotypical characters and still turned out to be good. The problem here is that this is an OVA so there is no room to become involved with the characters, so they feel shallow and underdeveloped. On the positive side though, the mass appeal of the game meant that most of the people who originally watched the OVA were already familiar with the characters, something which the producers were hoping for.
As a slight aside, I’m going to touch on an issue that should be raised. Because the OVA ties in directly with the game there should be no need to devlop the characters over the course of the anime. That said, no one actually expected the franchise to be as popular as it is (yes, it’s still one of the most popular anime and gaming franchises), but this is only within Japan. Most viewers outside of Japan will have little knowledge of the game or it’s impact, and this means that they will watch the OVA without any background information. When viewed from this perspective, the flaws with the OVA are exacerbated, and most viewers may find the series unsatisfying.
However, if you’re a Dreamcast owner then there’s a good chance that you’ll have at least heard of the series. Likewise fans of the games for both the Saturn and the Dreamcast will need no introduction to it.
Sakura Taisen presents me with something of a quandary. The obvious flaws with the scripting of the OVA preclude the unfamiliar from fully appreciating the series, yet it is still a good introduction to the franchise. The fact that it’s a game tie in should prevent it from having a decent plot, story and design, yet it does. The English dub makes you want to scream, but the Japanese dub has you paying attention. The OVA has so many contradictions that at times it seems a bit unfair.
It’s not easy to recommend this to any but the hardcore mech fans and Sakura Taisen junkies, yet I will. Although the series has it’s problems, it also has action and drama, and in these two areas Skaura Taisen is up there with the best of that year. Unfortunately the cons outweigh the pro’s in this series, something which is only really forgivable and less relevant if you have played the games.
In the end it’s up to you if you want to watch this, but if you do then you should remember that this OVA only really tells half of the story.
And for those of you who are wondering about the score, I’ve based it on knowing the game rather than the other way around. If I had no knowledge of the series, then the score would be slightly lower.
22: Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade OVA: Burning Clock
English: Tekkaman Blade: Burning Clock
MAL Score: 6.57
The first OVA, Burning Clock, tells the story of the Aiba family, goes into further detail about Shinya and Takaya’s rivalry.
21: Bannou Bunka Neko-Musume
English: All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku
MAL Score: 6.68
Ryuunosuke Natsume is the son of genius inventor Kyusaku Natsume and overbearing Akiko Natsume, CEO of Mishima Heavy Industries. Using funds from his wife’s company and the brain from his son’s beloved cat, Kyusaku creates a revolutionary android called Atsuko “Nuku Nuku” Natsume. To Kyusaku’s disgust, Akiko wants to use her husband’s technology to create weaponized robots for her company’s customers, resulting in Ryuunosuke getting caught within the explosive fights between his parents
The android Nuku Nuku tries to live as a normal high school student, adopting the role of Ryuunosuke’s elder sister, but usually ends up acting as her family’s protector. Nuku Nuku will do anything to protect the ones she loves.
The story begins with a father and his son running away from a hovercraft Young Ryunosuke finds a kitten in an alley and decides to take it with them. They crash into a pile of junked cars which causes the hovercraft to lose sight of them. Frustrated, the pilot opens fire into the pile of cars. The father and son are both okay, but the injured kitten is dying. That’s when things move away from being serious and get really silly. The father transplants the cat’s brain into an android body. It turns out that they were being chased by employees of Ryunosuke’s mother who were trying to get him back from his father. The series launches into a group of loosely connected episodes dealing with Nuku Nuku’s difficulties fitting into a human society and the bickering between Ryunosuke’s parents which frequently involves giant robots. The overall story continually leads up to the two fighting less frequently and learning to understand each other which eventually culminates in them having to work together. If you’re wondering about the science facts just remind yourself of two things. One, it’s a comedy. Two, they never pretend that the science makes sense. As a comedy it actually holds up pretty well. The scenario has lots of good moments especially given its time limitations and the few serious moments generally work pretty well within the structure. The fight scenes are entertaining and most of them are pretty funny. It’s a high energy farce that’s fun for those old enough to appreciate the more mature humour used in certain parts.
The characters are very well done. Both of Ryunosuke’s parents can be pretty terrible, but it makes them seem more genuine and human. The fact that they both have horrible and sympathetic moments makes them three dimensional characters. Ryunosuke can be a brat, but he’s also a character who’s usually very sensible. Nuku Nuku is just a very amusing character. Her extreme naivete and innocence make sense and they provide an interesting contrast when compared to the failings of the human characters. There are a few side characters who are somewhat developed, Eimi, Kyouko and Arisa, but, probably due largely to time restraints, they never get completely fleshed out.
The art is pretty dated. It’s a lot like the art of other works of the early 90s like Ranma 1/2. It’s fine in the context of its time, but it hasn’t aged particularly well and there are several moments where the art is used to exaggerate the emotions of the characters that don’t really work. My one big gripe is that there are a few too many fan-service moments.
The voice work is really good. Hayashibara Megumi, Shimazu Saeko, Ikura Kazue, and Kamiya Akira all do a good job. They all exaggerate on occasion, but it’s not like Baka to Test where lines get exaggerated indiscriminately, there’s always a reason for it. The music is excellent.
The yuri factor is a 3/10. Kyouko and Arisa get some pretty homoerotic moments, and they’re shown as living together but nothing is ever confirmed as being between them and those few moments aren’t really enough to judge.
My final rating for All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku is an 8/10. The plot is really used for setting more than an actual story, the art is dated and the science frequently doesn’t make sense but the humour works really well, the energy is good and the audio aspects are really strong. And isn’t that what’s really important from a comedy? If you find yourself in the mood for a good laugh, give it a try. All six episodes hold up really well.
When they arrive in a city to stop for refueling, find the boy (the son) a kitten and will keep it.His father says that it is too dangerous to bring a cat, and it does not take long for Helpers to his wife finds them and the hunt continues.
They run into a trash place where there are many damaged cars. Unfortunately, they crash the car into many other cars, and they fall over the car they are sitting in. Helpers to his wife starts to shoot, but they think for one moment that they are dead. They’re wrong.
When the father asks his son if he’s alright, he sees the boy cry. They did not hit them when they fired, they hit the cat.Since her son was so upset, his father decided to build a robot that was half “human”, half cat. She was called Nuku Nuku.
Nuku Nuku is not a normal robot. She is like a mother to the son; helps him up when he have to go to school, clean etc.. But she got also sort of superpowers. She can run very fast and are wow so strong, but I guess it good to have one of thoes when you got an angry mother after you!
Although her mother is out to get quality time with her son, she always follows him through satellite or something. When he is at school, she is always home to contrive out plans to get her son back, but the color works
as a teacher in the same class as his son.
So the rest of the anime is just about the mother who tries everything she can to get some quality time with his son. This may sound terribly boring, but it is actually very funny!
If you ask me, I think this anime is very funny! It is not exactly exciting, unless you are curious about how the anime will end.
I give this anime: 8 / 10
20: Choujikuu Seiki Orguss 02
MAL Score: 6.69
Years of political tension and mistrust between the two rival nations of Zafran and Revillia escalate to the point of war. Each nations solution: to gain possession of Decimators, the same ancient robots of war that nearly ended all life on the planet 200 years before. As the war ensues and the leaders of both nations become reluctant to surrender, only the desperate plan of Lean, a young cadet, and Nataruma, a psychically gifted young woman, to alter the timeline of events 200 years before stands the chance between humanity’s survival or absolute destruction.
Orguss 2 is (at least superficially) Mecha. The central conceit of a pre-modern world excavating readymade mecha to use them as weapons without really understanding them seemed really fresh to me back then, and in fact, while it’s perhaps not as original as it once was, it’s still a pretty unusual and striking idea. I say superficially because, well, it also seemed a pretty mature way of storytelling, to rustle up this grand concept but use it pretty sparingly for much of the time, not really focusing on the mecha at all, but on people. I suppose both of those things aren’t really that amazing, but they definitely work pretty well. I have to see this in terms of my first impressions, though, and back then I was really surprised that a cartoon would do any of this stuff.
Orguss 2 is sci-fi, and like the best sci-fi, it’s as much about ideas and allegory and making you think as it is about entertaining you with cool stuff. So the fact it’s got this interesting carte blanche for ideas with all the time-bending, mecha-excavating, future-crashing setup that’s gone on makes it a bit aggravating when you realise there’s not enough time to really play with the ideas properly in only six episodes. It does develop, but not a great deal. Then again, maybe it’s best that it doesn’t overstay its welcome by pushing the idea too far; shows like Allison and Lillia are proof of how that can go wrong.
Orguss 2 is also big. The sense of scale here is very important to the plot, and the fact that it’s done almost deceptively well is very impressive. Of course, it wasn’t to my teenage self; I just didn’t get anime at first, and I remember thinking ‘wow, if this was live action it would be amazing!’. What a noob I was. Big mecha, big world, big events, big setpieces. It would be unbelievably expensive to do in live action, and it wouldn’t work as well anyway, at least not with the current state of the art in terms of technology or creative artistry.
Orguss 2 is nicely visualised. The animation is good – as you might expect from relatively early-period JC Staff – clearly better than contemporary TV standards, and the design work in particular is very well executed, giving distinct looks to each distinct aspect/era/system of technology; it’s always clear where things are, who people are, what things belong to which place or time. The look is particularly notable as, just for once, nothing is a clear pastiche of any single world culture. Elements from everywhere are pulled together for the rival cultures, but visual themes like architecture and machinery are consistent, creating a pretty convincing and original atmosphere. Character design is pretty good too; the Revilian royals in particular are appropriately opulent, decadent and memorable, with the real stand-out being the queen, whose revealing robes of state immediately prompted me to think of her as Princess Breasts.
Orguss 2 is relatively blessed by good characterisation, though. The main male protagonists are relatively unremarkable to look at, but well-rounded and developed in terms of personality. Lean is something of an archetype, a young hero making good after he is thrust into someone else’s fight, but is pleasingly bright and resourceful. Manning is a great character, a charismatic, womanising, profiteering and rather ruthless officer who manages to constantly be genuinely unpredictable without seeming nonsensical or even particularly contradictory. I changed how I felt about him rather a lot across the series, which to me is the mark of genuine and well-realised character development. Nataruma, the female protagonist, is also a finely crafted character, a strong female character who is genuinely strong and independent, as opposed to the more common type who is ostensibly independent but frequently needs a man to rescue her. Nataruma and Lean, who spend a lot of the series together, complement each other well. Behind these three, a number of less prominent characters are also well crafted. Voice acting is good across the board, with special mention going to Sakakibara Yoshiko as the aforementioned Princess Breasts (actually called Miran, but never mind), who gives the role a superbly dangerous stillness.
Orguss 2 is surprisingly nasty. Not in a gory way, although some of it is rather gruesome, but in terms of the rules of the world. Oddly, having rewatched it recently I was struck by how similar it is, in a limited sense, to Game of Thrones. Sure, it’s not got such a huge ensemble of characters, and in place of the unremitting medievalness there are mecha with axes and lasers, but the brutality of the characters and their general level of malice and malevolence, plus the internecine plotting, the epicly dysfunctional and depraved families, the sharply observed gaps between noble opulence, military severity and common desperation – it’s all in there. Only two opposing sides here, but plenty of factions within them, easily enough to keep things relatively surprising. Perhaps a big difference is that while Game of Thrones tends to make human suffering rather incidental, not a lot more than a yardstick of what its characters want and how far they go to get it, it’s really foregrounded here. The suffering of people in general because of war, and due in particular to the unworldly attitudes of those in authority, is kind of the main point. Come for the mecha fights and sexy blue-haired cover girl, stay for the realistically portrayed firestorms, intra-community betrayal, battlefield triage, nukes and chemical weapons.
Orguss 2 is something else, which rather gets overlooked: it’s 2. The fact it’s a sequel to something that so far as I know has never been available outside Japan in its intact form should, you would think, mean it’s largely incomprehensible, but it’s not. It is actually a side-story, occurring 200 years after the original series, rather than a direct sequel, and I suspect it’s rather different in tone and focus; the fact that the title refers to a Mech which takes three episodes to appear and is only really important once rather supports this. No, as a stand alone work it makes perfect sense, everything is pretty much self-contained, and while I’ve no idea if any of the characters or indeed any other aspects of the series are carried over from the original, it transpires that the characters and the story all work fine without the influence of the original.
It’s worth mentioning in passing that the music is largely dreadful, but probably Orguss 2’s greatest problem is the structure. It establishes a consistent style and direction but starts to fall apart a little at the end (like this review, in fact); I suspect the makers intended to make another episode or two but had to end early, resulting in plot compression in the final stages – not an uncommon problem with multi-part OVAs. Too many things happen in too short a time, certain twists are made predictable and the somewhat thoughtful tone and pace of the earlier episodes evaporates in over-frenetic boss fights. Still, what exists is decent, and even with the guessable twists, it’s certainly not without significant surprises. Perhaps most importantly, the series was in fact finished and the story resolved, avoiding the worst fate of any narrative, failing to end.
There’s no way I can pretend to be even remotely objective about this OVA. One of the things I love most about it is how surprising that first watch was, on a number of levels. If I were to see it now, with all the knowledge of anime tropes I now possess, I very much doubt that much of it would still have that power. I know it’s not as special as it seems to me, but as my first knowing encounter with anime it’s specifically special to me, and despite its flaws I will defend it as a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work.
19: Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: Gravity of the Battlefront
Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダム ＭＳ ＩＧＬＯＯ ２ 重力戦線
MAL Score: 6.69
MS igLoo 2 goes back to the first MS igLoo and tells the story of the Federation soldiers side that has to fight against the monstrous Zakus. Each episode tells a story of a different federation soldier that is cursed by a Death God that came down to earth with the Zakus and shows the desperate struggle against mobile suits with only conventional weapons such as tanks and missiles. Each soldier, fueled with revenge, and a Death God looming over their backs, fights against the odds that is the terrible might of a Zaku.
Story and Characters
The year is Universial Century 0079 at the start of the war when Zeon has just landed on earth. These 3 OVAs are the stories of 3 common soldiers, their weaponary and revenge as their motivation in fighting for the Earth Forces during the period.
OVA1’s protagonist is the conflicted Ben Barberry, notorious as a death god for sucking the life out of his unit but somehow surviving. At the start of the war, Zeon’s Zaku’s held the tactical advantage and Ben’s anti tank unit is hastily renamed the anti Mobile Suit unit with their weapon of choice being a modified bazooka that fires (larger) anti Mobile suit missiles. Ben and his new unit of fresh recruits are sent to hunt Zaku’s while providing cover for the Earth Forces Retreat – in other words, a suicide mission.
OVA 1 was reminiscent of world war 2 movies where everything is in black and white – the color, the landscape, good/bad, right/wrong, strong/weak. You felt like you were there with Ben struggling to survive and keep his men alive, and if nothing else it drove home 2 messages for me. First, it SUCKS to be ground troops against Mobile Suits. Second, technological superiority DOES matter.
OVA 2 had the most tactics as it was a cat and mouse game between two old enemies. Earth Forces tank Ace Herman Yardell survived against the Zaku ace Elmer Snell, the “White Ogre” and has sought revenge since. Both men have somewhat of a bushido code, wanting to fight only the best, and go to great lengths to achieve it, including feigning mechanical failure to get out of “Boring” fights.
At this stage in the war, earth forces tank has clearly somewhat bridged the technological gap to the Zakus and it is a pleasure to watch the genius Yardell (who is nuts) fight.
OVA 3 is the story of Arleen Nozen, a technical lieutenant unjustly imprisoned for leaking information to Zeon on the RTX-440 Ground Assault type Guntank. Arleen lives for revenge against the true informant, her ex (lover) because he not only betrayed her but the information leak resulted in her guntank program’s development being halted with only 3 being produced. The Evil General offers a chance of amnesty to 3 prisoners in exchange for fighting in the battle of Odessa – Arleen accepts. By Odessa, the earth forces now have their own mobile suits so Odessa is the battle to push Zeon back into space.
Of the 3 OVA, this one had the best weapon. I thought the Guntank was phenomenal in it’s flexibility! It had awesome maneuverability, high speed, ability to transform into 3 form factors and a TON of armaments to boot! Oh my god, information on this is truly worth stealing. If development continued this would surely have become a Mobile Armor. This OVA as a standalone would deserve a 9 because of the beautiful plot twist at the end.
All 3 ovas had easily identifiable and likeable characters developed in a short period of time, one could even consider their weapons as characters which grow in importance from OVA 1 to 3. The OVAs succeeded in making me cry. However, I felt like the death god theme was misplaced or could have been left out and the story would have been much better. The death god certinly wasn’t “needed” and it seemed like it was put in just to showcase the beautiful animation of this character.
The Animation was incredible from a technical standpoint (10) but weak in characterization (6) for an average score of 8.
One thing that cannot be denied is CGI has made great strides in a short time. I am continually amazed by the level of detail rendered – you can see individual strands of hair, eyelashes/eyebrows, even the pores on the skin of an individual’s face! Compared to MS Igloo I they’ve also made great improvements in movement and explosions, these no longer look chunky/block/fake but are instead smoother, rounder and more realistic.
The problem is with characterization. The shots of a character acting surprised by widening/opening their eyes bigger is overused and looks artificial. Cel drawings don’t have the same issue as we are accustomed to exaggerated facial reactions. Igloo 2 suffers from this problem because the art is so good you tend to compare it with what real life people would do and if it isn’t a realistic reaction or expression in live action it looks artificial in CGI. Now, the women are rendered very lovingly and their expressions are for the most part realistic, but not so for the men in OVA1 and OVA2.
Igloo 2 has no OP, but 3 different EDs, all of which tie to their stories so I thought this was inventive and clever. The voice acting wasn’t as good as I hoped, some of the voices just didn’t seem to mesh with the character personalities.
Enjoyment and Overall
I loved how realistic this was. Each OVA was a look through the eyes of a small common soldier, but the overarching theme is Earth eventually caught up with Zeon’s technological superiority and the entire course of the war changed. All things being said I really enjoyed this anime and would recommend it to anyone. I hope to see more MS Igloo.
What I liked:
– Better animation. MS Igloo 2 boasts very nice looking mobile suit animation, and a lot of love went into characters’ hair. The shinigami looks great with long flowing locks.
– Cooler Mobile Suits and fights. The original MS Igloo suffered from a dearth of interesting Mobile Suits and relied on weird new designs like the Oggo to draw Mobile Suit enthusiasts. Fortunately MS Igloo 2 has possibly the coolest Guntank yet, as well as plenty of incredible Zakus, GMs and other assorted weaponry. The battles are dynamic, strategic and fun to watch. Since all the fights are on land it’s a lot easier to understand everything’s relative location, which was harder in the original when most fights were in space.
– More personal plots. MS Igloo 3 focuses on three individual stories with plots very personal to the main characters. This makes the series more emotional than the original (although that’s like saying it’s more emotional than a rock).
What I didn’t like:
– The facial animations. Little has changed in this department. Facial expressions are distorted and ugly, to the point of ridiculousness. This can ruin suspense and make serious scenes look very silly. The female characters interestingly don’t suffer as much, while still displaying strong emotion.
– Extremely unlikable characters. Many of the characters are snide, aggressive and rude to each other. Some of them even seemed verging on insane. I would have preferred a more creative take on the emotional toll of war.
– The contrived shinigami aspect. The shinigami felt very out of place in MS Igloo. The UC timeline, especially events like the one year war, are known for being more realistic and technology driven than later timelines, so throwing a god of death in there felt like an odd choice.
Should you watch MS Igloo 2?: Yes, but only if you’re a diehard Gundam fan. My preferred watching order would be:
– episode 1 of MS Igloo: the Hidden one year war for that sweet Char cameo
– then skip the rest and watch MS Igloo 2 in its entirety
18: Kikaider 01 The Animation
English: Kikaider 01: The Animation
Japanese: キカイダー０１ THE ANIMATION
MAL Score: 6.75
Ever since the fall of the DARK organization, Jiro has been wandering everywhere and wondering if he would ever see Mitsuko again or not. During his journey Jiro meets a beautiful girl named Rieko who is protecting Akira, a little boy from the evil Professor Gill. Ironicly, he’s the son of Professor Gill, but he is also the key to Gill’s menacing secret weapon and his plans to conquer the world.
Read the synopsis up please.
I already review the artwork in kikaider.
Soundtrack is once again masterpiece tottaly surpass first one espeacially the final 4th ova creadits is just jaw drop….
Lets get quick with the new characters in the series. First 01, very likeable, fun and fights but very rash at times, great backup for jiro. Rei is the silent cool type and boy, does he fight like a tnk in the anime. Bijinder and her um…i wont spoil it but has the second sadest moments in the anime. Akira the kid dosent talk until the last episode. The most character development in the series goes to jiro struggle and learning dark side of being a human. The main villian professor gil is very evil sadistic guy, u just cant wait until someone kicks his butt and that means a great villian people.
I really enjoy the ova more than the first, man…i nearly cry at the end. jiro you a true hero.
First off, I have to say visually and sonically the show is on par with the tv anime. Which of course means that the art, music, sound and animation are all really well done. Where this falls flat is the story, it all feels a bit half baked. There are themes and plot lines that are never fully explored. I would have liked to have spent more time with the interactions between the robot companions for one thing. Also, this time around Professor Gill’s intentions are never fully explained. In the first anime Dark was a mafia like organization and he wanted to extend his reach and become a defacto dictator. This time he just wants to build a giant robot and destroy the world for…. reasons…. we never really get to know what exactly his motivation for doing this is, last show he was a power hungry egomaniac, this time he’s been reduced to generic bad guy that want’s to do bad things.
It also veers way too much on the side of the overly melodramatic “edgy” style anime story that was popular among anime studios around the time this was made. While the TV series did go in this direction a bit it never fully dipped it’s feat in it, there was always a glimmer of hope, a feeling that everything wasn’t going to end in pure desperation, that everything will be all right. You don’t get that here. Gloom and doom fully takes over by the end and you are told that the meaning of being human is despair.
All and all this is an anime that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny or time and I feel like it’s an unfitting end to a semi-modern classic.
17: Gate Keepers 21
MAL Score: 6.77
Thirty-two years have passed since the initial defeat of the Invaders. A.E.G.I.S is all but dismantled now and has become an underground organization consisting of only a few Gate Keepers left to save humanity. One of the members, Ayane Isuzu, is sick of society as a whole, though she continues to defeat the Invaders out of spite for her father. Suddenly, she learns of the revival of Machine General (Kikai Shogun) and Devil Count (Akuma Hakushaku), but a mysterious ghost girl now accompanies them. It is up to Ayane and the remnants of A.E.G.I.S to stop them and save humanity once again.
The characters were less charismatic as well. Ayane and Miu were OK, they reminded me of Megumi and Reiko, but the only character I truly liked was Satoka Tachikawa. She’s just one cool chick and her gate power is really interesting. I also like how characters from the original series made an appearance. I won’t be specific just to avoid giving out spoilers.
And since some characters reappeared, Tomokazu Seki and Masami Suzuki came back to play their respective characters once more. Even Takahiro Sakurai made a cameo appearance. Once again, they impressed me with their voice acting.
While it looks the same, Gate Keepers 21’s animation improved a bit. First of, the invaders had an upgraded design. I think there were more invader types compared to the original. Things were gory visually too, since there were scenes that showed how humans transformed into invaders. Before they just put on shades and they would become invaders, right? It’s a lot different this time. There were even scenes of limbs being disemboweled. Of course, the CG was still good as ever.
As for the music, it was OK. The song “Ima, Egao ga Areba” sung by Sakura Nogawa was similar to the opening of the original Gate Keepers, “Asu no Egao no Tameni”. As for the other song, “Haneoto” by Junko Watanabe, it’s not something I like. It was really gloomy and kinda boring. The same goes for the BGM – The BGM became more eerie and dark as well.
I would give it a “Good” rating. It’s not as good as the original series, but I’m glad to have watched it anyway. It’s definitely worth it, and it’s a good way to end Gate Keepers.
Is that all? Well, the short answer is: No.
Seeing the genre-eviscerating Madoka★Magica shake the mahou shoujo fandom today makes me wonder even more as to why GK 21, being nine years older and attempting basically the same thing, went barely noticed. Perhaps because no one had expected that a follow-up to a light-hearted shounen/action/adventure/harem series would be a gloomy mahou shoujo deconstruction. Yet it’s exactly this. Enjoy.
So, there are Invaders. And there are Gate Keepers. They do kick Invaders’ asses using their cool superpowers and pavement-melting mobile phones. So simple… Wait, but why someone who possesses a superpower would need some extra gadgets?.. Pardon, these superpowers _what_?.. Sorry, _how many_ Gate Keepers?!.. And those Invaders are… WHAT??! Oh sh**.
The first thing that strikes in GK 21 is the perfectly undefinable genre and tone. The ‘mood pendulum’ swings violently between horror and parody, the most cruel and disgusting scenes getting exaggerated to the point of ridiculous, pathetically bombastic action sequences being run over by dramatic introspections, gags and puns thrown in every now and then… However, the more facts about the setting are revealed, the less room for humour remains. This is a dark and serious genre deconstruction. Accept it and welcome the Apocalypse.
As for the series’ connection with its prequel… Are there any references to GK TV? Yes. Does one need to watch GK TV to enjoy GK 21? No. GK 21 is good enough as a standalone work, one can understand what’s going on without knowing any facts from the prequel.
Gonzo did a great job. The series abounds in computer-generated imagery, yet it doesn’t seem too ‘artificial’. The dark atmosphere to fit the plot is skillfully created by subdued colors and weird camera angles. And there are quite a few showy battle scenes. As for character design, it’s quite typical for Gonzo. Some do like their style (me too), some don’t (well, tastes differ).
Sound effects are really well thought-out and performed. Plane jets and car engines, big city noises and eerie distant sounds in abandoned streets — everything sounds very realistic. Background music, though hardly being something very special, fits the action quite well. The neo-classical opening song is fascinating, the upbeat ending theme is also not bad. As for voice acting, the whole cast did a good job, but Mamiko Noto (Ghost Girl) is the true star of the show, so believable as if being a crazy ghost were her full-time occupation.
In the beginning, Gate Keepers look like a bunch of rather typical characters. Given the series’ length and number of fighting scenes, one could assume that they would not change till the end. And that would be a mistake. Each of the Gate Keepers gets her share of character development, and relationship between the two main protagonists, Ayane and Miu, changes dramatically through the series. And on the other side there’s Ghost Girl, the most convincing mad villain. So much human, her feelings quite understandable — and still totally mad and dangerous.
I liked GK 21 the moment I’ve seen the trailer for the first time, and I still enjoy rewatching it years after. This short series is definitely worth giving it a try.
Just one remark: use official subtitles, as fansubbers often tend to turn GK 21 into a total mess. And even with decent subs, google ‘Manyoshu’. Ancient Japanese poetry is important to the story, make sure that it makes sense.
16: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Ore no Gurren wa Pikka-Pika!!
Japanese: 天元突破 グレンラガン 俺のグレンはピッカピカ!!
MAL Score: 6.77
A special episode bundled with the Nintendo DS game based on the series. Envious of seeing how Simon keeps his Lagann clean and neat, Kamina asks the mysterious Chitori to clean up his Gurren for him, unaware of her true intentions.
In a 12 minute episode nothing to developed would happen, but it was a fair episode nonetheless, same art as in the series, it’s just an extra to watch.
15: Bakuretsu Tenshi: Infinity
Japanese: 爆裂天使 -Infinity-
MAL Score: 6.78
These events occur in Westland, New York, during the 21st century. With a sharp knife, a murderer is indiscriminately killing people… A girl witnesses one of these murders, and the knife is turned on the helpless girl shaking with fear.
Meg returns to this town with Joe to celebrate the “birthday” of Shirley, who used to live with Meg. Orphans, they had decided that the day they first met would be her birthday. In the past, Meg had taken care of three little children, including Shirley, just before meeting Joe. The children were then adopted by a police officer, Sam. He possessed a strong sense of justice and they are supposedly living happily together now.
Meg and Joe happen to help a person and receive a reward. They buy a present for Shirley with the reward money and go to meet Sam. However, they notice him acting strangely. Upon questioning him, he explains that Shirley was assaulted by a murderer and seriously injured. Joe says to the grieving and angry Meg, “Let’s exact revenge on the murderer for Shirley.”
However, the murderer gradually approaches them from behind. The cruel black eyes fall on Meg and Joe… To make matters worse, a dark plot casts its shadow over Meg, Joe, Sam, and the whole town.
Acting as a prequel to the original series (and a sequel to Episode 14) is a fun story full of action, a bit of mystery and a few laughs along the way. It can be a little rushed given that it’s only around 25 mutinies long and it doesn’t really add anything to actually series itself so fans of the series won’t miss anything big if they do skip this.
A noticeable difference between this and the series is that there is more blood and gore scenes then before, and the plot is very dark at points. Unlike the original series which sometimes failed at adding darker themes to the show, they actually succeed in this and the plot benefits from it a lot.
Jo and Meg are the stars of the OVA and they are as brilliant as they were in the main series, the only problem is that there is very little in terms of character development and it just feels like a little filler episode in character terms.
The animation is a big step up from the series; it seems more polished and clearer then before and this is especially true with the smooth character animations and the brilliant CGI.
The incidental music is the same as the series, which isn’t a bad thing at as it adds menace to the darker side of this story. Watched it only on Sub so far but the cast are just as great as before.
All in all, this is a short but brilliant slice of Burst Angel action that fans shouldn’t miss.
14: 30th Gundam Perfect Mission
Japanese: 30th GUNDAM PERFECT MISSION
MAL Score: 6.83
30th Gundam Perfect Mission is a short original video animation (OVA) officially released by Sunrise in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Gundam metaseries. It features all the titular and mascot gundams of the main series in a non-cannon conjoint mission.
(Source: Gundam Wikia)
Overall: 9/10 (no story, no character, one music, total fun).
For more information, this clip was for the 30th gundam anniversary, it shows all the gundams from each universe including the ones outside from the Universal Century.
It starts off with the RX-78-2’s core lander coming from earth all the way to space trying to avoid something from behind, they never really show that this something is because all the gundams are pretty much trying to protect it from that one thing… if it was just a Zaku II I’d shit myself because seriously, you’d need all the gundams from every universe to protect you from a grunt unit? Nonetheless still a spectacular array of visual goodness, if you are a gundam fan then you should definitely check this out.
The art is really new, and considering it’s only like two and a half minutes long it’s no surprise that they made the animation as crisp and clean as possible.
the sound effects are exhilarating, although you can’t really hear the music but if you listen carefully it builds this escalating buildup for the final gundam they display which is the original RX-78-2, it does the last stand pose, with all the gundams around it and it ends.
It’s only two and a half minutes and I guarantee you that you wont regret watching it, pure awesome.
The animation is good as expected of Sunrise Studios, the audio has all the classic Gundam sounds, and seeing the old series suits done in modern style is great.
Overall it is really fun to see all your favorite suits gather together in one animation even if it is a short one.
Fans of Gundam should definetally check this one out.
13: Sakura Taisen: Gouka Kenran
English: Sakura Wars: The Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms
Japanese: サクラ大戦 轟華絢爛
MAL Score: 6.86
The end of the demon wars has ended and now the Flower Division has been able to rest up after their fighting. The second Sakura Wars developes studies on every Flower Division Combatee in every episode while they go on their miscellanious adventures around Japan.
Released in 1999, Sakura Taisen: Gouka Kenran is set between the first two games and follows the lives of the members of the Imperial Assault Force – Flower Division. The Demon Wars have ended, and the members of Teikoku Kagekidan Hanagumi are finally able to rest, recuperate, and focus on their work in the theatre.
Unlike the first OVA though, Gouka Kenran (which actually translates to The Radiant Gorgeous Blooming Flowers – the first OVA was called The Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms), focuses on the characters in a much more direct manner. Because of this, the second OVA is often called a “character study”, and while there are nods in that direction, in truth this is nothing more than a secondary introduction to the characters. Each episode is about one or more of the characters, and contain a mixture of drama and comedy, with little in the way of action over the course of the OVA.
Deviating slightly from the main review here, there is one major factor that affects every aspect of this OVA, and it needs to be mentioned. The second OVA is not simply a sequel in the same sense as something like the Aria series, and the main reason for this is because of the owners of the franchise – Red Entertainment and Sega. The success of the game and first OVA caused them to try and capitalise on the franchise. Unfortunately they decided to do this by changing not only the series director, but the animation studio as well. This change has played a pivotal role in the creation of the OVA, and for those who have watched Ouka Genran, the differences are obvious and, at times, extreme.
Going back to the review, there is a distinct lack of focus in Gouka Kenran. The decision to replace the original director, Ishiyama Takaaki, with Kudo Susumu, was a poor one indeed. That is no criticism of Kudo’s skills as a director however, it simply means that it would have been preferable to have someone familiar with the characters at the helm. The change from one director to another impacts greatly on the pacing and style of Gouka Kenran, in particular the elements that made Sakura Taisen such a popular series. Kudo has tried to stamp his mark on the series whilst remaining true to the original game and OVA, and it’s unfortunate that it hasn’t worked for the most part. The plot tends to drag, or be overly dramatic at times, and without any real action to balance it, the OVA can become a chore to watch for some.
Another aspect that has been adversely affected by the produciton changes is the art and animation. Where the orginal OVA was produced by Madhouse, Gouka Kenran was made by ANIMATE, and the difference is telling. The animation in the second OVA is a definite step down for the series, especially as the characters move in decidely rigid, and at times robotic, manner. The colours are as bright and cheery as they were in the first OVA, however the backgrounds have a far more “cartoon” feel to them. The only thing that couldn’t really be changed was the character design, however the implementation makes them look odd at times.
It’s strange, but the one area that seems not to have suffered from the production changes is the sound and music. This may be partly due to the fact that the cast from the original OVA reprised their roles in the sequel, but on the whole the sound throughout the anime is of a decent standard. The music is well chosen, although some of the comedic scenes could have done without the comedic music. The effects are well used for the most part, however there are occasions when the vocals take a back seat.
On the whole though, the sound is reasonably good.
One would think that, given that this is supposed to be a character study, there would be some good characterisations and development. Unfortunately this is not the case. The fact that the series tries to focus on almost all of the members of Teikoku Kagekidan Hanagumi precludes any substantial development for any of them, and is the reason why I called this more of a secondary introduction rather than a study. If the intent was to study the characters, then the series should have been at least 26 episodes instead of 6 as there just isn’t enough time to go into any kind of detail. That doesn’t mean that the characters are bad though, as they are all likable in their own way. No, the problem is that there just isn’t enough time spent with each character to make the audience relate to them.
As with the original OVA, this is a tough one to recommend to any but fans of the franchise. It’s unfortunate, but also true, that one should watch the original OVA before watching this as well, as this way the viewer will at least have an idea of what’s going on, who each character is, and why they are in the anime. Although it lacks the same kind of pace and punch as the first OVA, the fact that the characters are effectively allowed to “step out” of their roles is an interesting approach that, due to time issues, doesn’t actually work out.
Ultimately though, the entire OVA is effectively all “filler”, which is a shame as it could have been so much more.
12: Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade OVA: Twin Blood
English: Tekkaman Blade: Twin Blood
MAL Score: 6.98
Twin Blood is an alternate version of Blade and Evil’s first battle, with drastically different character and mecha designs from the rest of the series. Blade/D-Boy does not need Pegas to transform and the armor more closely resembles the Radam humanoids from Tekkaman Blade II.
English: Photon: The Idiot Adventures
MAL Score: 7.05
Photon Earth is a young and gentle boy with superhuman strength and “Baka” (meaning “idiot” in Japanese) scribbled on his forehead (apparently by his troublemaking friend Aun Freya). One day, he finds himself engaged to the beautiful fugitive pilot Keyne Acqua after writing “baka” on her forehead. And that’s the least of his worries as he must protect both Aun and Keyne from the evil Papacharino, who seeks to steal the secrets of “Aho” (another word for idiot) energy from Keyne’s grandfather’s ship.
Photon is probably the strangest main character I've ever seen in an anime. He's typically not the type of guy you would want as your main character. He's cute and has some amazing abilities, but he's borderline mentally retarded. Despite all of his amazing super powers Photon just never stood out as the main character to me. In my opinion that title should go to Keyne Acqua, as she's the real standout character in the series. But enough debating who gets to bask in the glory of the spotlight, back to the issue at hand; the anime. Since I haven't made myself very clear on how I feel about this anime thus far, let me just say I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I read some reviews on it and saw some screenshots before watching it, and it just didn't really catch my attention, but after watching the first episode I realized it's actually quite entertaining. Now this doesn't mean it's something I would find the time to watch again, but it is certainly something I would recommend to a friend. It's a fairly simple and straight forward series with not too many surprises or confusing plot twists, but I guess this is a given when a series is only six episodes long.
One thing I took notice to is how Photon suffers from the same thing Abenobashi suffers from. At times it tries to be a drama and a comedy all at once, and something about it just didn't agree with me. See, I'm a pretty picky guy when it comes to genre mixing, and comedy and drama are two genres that can't be mixed unless there are certain conditions for it. Photon does not meet these conditions. No anime where characters can survive un-survivable situations and come back without a scratch on them like Wiley Coyote can have a serious plot arc taken seriously, at least not in my opinion. I don't care if it's the last episode, when an anime aims for something like silly comedy it should just stick to it and not look back. One other thing that bothered me a little bit is Keybe's engagement to Photon. It's quite comical how they got engaged (by having 'Idiot' on each others foreheads), but it's a little hard to stomach at times. Now I'm not too sure how old either of the two characters are, but Photon looks no older than eleven or twelve. It's a little bit creepy to see an older woman acting like the wife of a little boy, but I guess I have seen stranger things in animes.
Another drawback in the series is the disappointing anticlimactic ending. It all happens far too quickly and it really manages to take you out of the experience. If you weren't sure how you felt about the series up until that point I'm sure you'll be shaking your head in disgust once it ends. I really hate to sound like I didn't enjoy this anime, because like I said above I did actually enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would, but I can't help but point out the problems that this anime has. It's not a bad anime by any means, and with only six episodes it won't take up much of your time to view it, but you can't forget the fact that Photon is nearly ten years old. Since Photon's release there have been hundreds of animes similar to it that arguably do everything Photon does better. When you have that many years of comedy/adventure to choose from I see little reason to go out of your way to watch Photon. Go check out Magical Shopping Arcade: Abenobashi, KO Beast, or even Excel Saga instead. But if you really want to see Photon I won't stop you. Like I said, it's not a bad anime and I'd recommend it. I'm just afraid it hasn't aged very well over the years.
My Score: 7.0
Version Watched: English Dub
Then add a couple of other stuff, and you get Photon! A hilariously funny and still epic story set in some kind of fantasy future.
Decent. The animation is not the best, but the character designs are great! Nice background details.
Great music, some kind of 80’s rock anthems which I like. Dope voice acting.
What seems like a down-to-earth story, albeit a science fiction one, at the beginning, soon turns out to be a great epic with several unexpected twists. Basically Photon accidently meets a girl out on a quest to find some kind of magical source. She is hunted by the galactic empire, and there you have the basis of it all.
Photon himself is an odd character. He is not clever, but very strong and utterly reliable. Not every anime boasts a main character of this retarded kind.
The girls travelling with him are fun; they constantly squibble over who Photon likes the most which creates some hilarious moments. Plus, Kyne is nice naked, too =)
The villain, Papacha, is the best character in this OVA. His plans to conquer the universe is constantly hindered by his own vanity and hornyness. This is how all antagonists should be! Plus, his cheerleader blobs add to the fun.
The side characters all have their place and help the story go forward. A solid set of fun characters, all in their own way.
This one has it all! Humour, epics, boobies… A must see if you ask me. Again and again…
The Ding Dong Song AMV:
Photon Earth is the main protagonist, he is extremely strong and fights using a quarterstaff made of black crystal. Has the word "baka" scribbled across his forehead by Aun in black ink as he was trying to lead her back home. He’s also able to withstand even the strongest blasts of Aho energy, even when it’s focused directly on him.
Aun Freya is Photon’s spoiled, high-strung, flighty childhood friend, she has the ability to create stasis fields. Humorously, she isn’t immune to her own stasis fields and can paradoxically trap herself (and everything around her) in a perpetual stasis field. Photon is the only one who is immune to her stasis field and also is the only one who can get her and keep her out of such messes.
Keyne Aqua is the rebel space pilot who came to Sandy Planet. Photon inadvertently married her when he wrote the word "baka" in katakana on her forehead in black marker.
Sir Papacharino Nanadan (or Papacha) is the bumbling antagonist. Also quite perverted when it comes to women. He has an obsession with Keyne and will stop at nothing to have her, but is always foiled by Photon’s intervening.
Princess Lashara Moon Known as the "Flower of the Galaxy" due to her beauty, she’s the daughter of the Galactic Emperor. She’s madly smitten with Papacha, but what she didn’t know is Papacha was really going to user her marriage to increase his harem.
Bulan The mysterious servant woman to Lashara, donning a strange looking hat (with feminine lips) and skintight purple attire. Usually moves by hovering on a golden platform and arrives with the princess to Sandy Planet to search out the "Singularity Point". However, she seems to know more about Lashara than she really lets on…
Pochis Papacha’s cute doll-like henchmen. Excluding Pochi #1 (who acts as a leader figure to the others), there are 28 of them, who refer to each other by their number. Though Papacha believes they’re all male, in truth, all the Pochis are really female.
More Reviews: http://teraalpha.com/STA/anime/modules/content/index.php?id=49
10: Mazinkaiser SKL
Japanese: マジンカイザー SKL
MAL Score: 7.06
Prior to the events of the anime, three factions—the Garan Army, the Kiba Army, and the Aira Army, battle for total dominance of Machine Island. The island is basically a prison, isolated from the rest of the world. The island contains a vast amount of resources, allowing the three factions to create an infinite supply of giant robots for their respective armies.
The world government learns that the island’s power reactor has become unstable and will explode within 66 hours, destroying all of life and Earth itself. The government sends the Death Caprice squad, composed of mercenaries Ken Kaido and Ryo Magami to solve the issue, along with their giant robot Mazinkaiser, but was that a good idea?
The story goes like this: The world is modernized and awesome, giant metal buildings, highways through the sky, all of that. That’s not where the show takes place. SKL’s tale of gallant heroism resides on an island that’s permanently stuck in an 80’s metal video. The shit that goes on on this island is so metal, in fact, that it’s threatening to destroy the world via a catastrophe which I can only imagine will involve no less than 4.7 billion wailing guitar solos. So, like an old couple calling the cops on a noisy garage band, the modern people send a bunch of dudes to the island to make them calm their party down.
There was one survivor.
Said fairly hot survivor girl finds out that the island is cut into three(or rather, four) armies that’re zapping the planet of all its energy because they’re making too many giant robots or some shit. There’s Team A: the one that’s led by Nobuyuki Hiyama and his team of Road Warrior-esque dudes in their quest for more bitches. A noble endeavor. Then there’s Team B: led by a big majestic samurai dude in a Japanese castle all covered with spikes and cool shit. He’s not relevant until episode two. And then we have Team C: a big serene fortress inhabited entirely by young women in togas with huge boobs, who have similarly huge boobed giant robots to defend their castle with. Isn’t this grand? Finally, we have the most import team: Mothafuckin’ Mazinkaiser. Or rather, “that skull fuck”, as Team A’s leader puts it. One robot piloted by two dudes who have no reason to be on the island other than the fact they like to wreck shit. Easily the most just cause out of everyone here.
And now we have the characters.
-MAZINKAISER: The most badass robot of the year, it looks like something Dethklok would think up. It’s piloted by two badass dudes gone rogue, via a cockpit that vertically spins around to let one guy break stuff while the other puts his feet up and kicks back. It’s hilariously cool.
-BADASS PILOT 1: Kaido. Hotblooded Kaido pilots Mazinkaiser by crushing and slashing shit to pieces with giant swords and rocket fists.
-BADASS PILOT A: Magami. Coldblooded Magami pilots Mazinkaiser by shooting and stabbing shit to pieces with tomahawk guns.
-Yuki Tsubasa: Creatively named female who was the only survivor in mankind’s feeble attempt to make the above characters and armies calm the fuck down.
Art and animation?
u kidin me?
Let’s just move on
Watching animu rarely gets more fun than this. “It’s fucking awesome” is generally an overused term, but this is the sort of thing it was always meant to describe. Mediablasters is bringing this to the US on BluRay(worth it) in a few months, but since that company is godawful, don’t expect to see a single ad or notice that it’s out. So try to remember this.
Go watch it. This is the kind of anime that needs to be supported.
Story : 6
While the story doesn’t satisfy the ones looking for details,it still somehow serves its purpose,which is the prevalence of chaos and the commencing of a long and bloody battle.
Art : 7
Art development is very good,however,the scenery where the series takes place (a deserted area) is uniform,thus giving the viewer more and more of the same rocky environment.
Sound : 8
Japanese Metal music…awesome!I’m not a fan of metal music myself,but I really enjoyed the musical piece of Mazinkaiser SKL,which suited the anime’s tone just fine.
Character : 7
OK,the main characters are two sons of mothers and a brave but shy girl,which serves the anime right.The hellish attitudes of the two guys is what gets them in battles-to-death all the time,which helps the series progress and is most enjoyable to watch.
Enjoyment : 7
Mazinkaiser SKL is the anime one might look for in order to storm away.Full of mindless violence for its most part,the show is bound to help you cool off If you’re nervous,or make you feel really energetic after finishing watching it.
Overall : 7
It’s a nice anime to kill your time.It will definitely won’t bore you,and I’m sure all hardcore people out there will have a good time watching it.However,If you’re the kind of viewer that looks for substantial plot and a reasonable order of events,please look elsewhere.
It’s very straightforward and has a simple story. But is well written.
It’s very metal. Always good. A fun film.
It’s very manly and straight to the point.
The male leads are awesome and extremely badass.
The girls awesome.
If they made a anime series after this, starring those leads, I’d watch it!
Awesome robot! Kaiser is pure awesome! Wingle is also awesome.
The robot designs are all good.
Good female robot designs.
It’s so metal, the island is like a mix of all things metal.
With a toga clad lady group, road warrior group and a samurai warrior group.
And they are all equally strong and capable.
Despite being very metal, it is’nt sexist. The females and males are all equal, when it comes to the leads and mains.
Every single main or important character is a hardcore badass of the highest order. The swear filled speech by the ultratough Captain Scarlett is hilarious.
They are all badass, but they are written properly. They are convincing.
The male leads are crazy, badass, and dark. But they are also well rounded and have enough very small amount of weakness, to make them work, but not enough to make them emo.
They ar’nt so crazy they don’t follow orders and will do as ordered.
The girl has a good mix of toughness, and intelligence. She can fight, and is’nt weak in any way.
The others don’t need as much characterisation, but they have enough to make them convince.
The characters get things done, in a straightforward way, and they are all proffessional or good at their jobs.
If it comes to doing something, they do it. No messing about.
The stories a bit light on details, but it get’s the point across. It hints at things, but does’nt explain fully, sometimes.
Take it on face value, this is a giant robot that looks like a demon, robot armies, exploding island. And it’s fine.
The end makes Kaiser even more metal.
The music is japanese metal. Awesome.
The art is good.
It is a good film for chilled and lighthearted watching.
You should definately watch this.
9: Shin Getter Robo tai Neo Getter Robo
English: Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo
MAL Score: 7.07
Years after the defeat of the Reptilian Empire, Getter Team has begun training on a new super robot, Neo Getter Robo. But a surprise attack from the Empire’s revived leader forces them to recruit a street fighter named Go Ichimonji as Getter One’s pilot. Faced with an enormously powerful foe, the new team’s only hope for victory may lie in the resurrection of the lost weapon of humanity, Shin Getter Robo.
The basic outline of the franchise: The Reptilian Empire (a race of dinosaur-man hybrids) attacks humanity after leaving the underground for the first time in millions of years. A Reptilian mecha is captured by the humans, modified and used time and time again to foil their plans. That mecha is the Shin Getter Robo.
Sounds familiar? You’ve seen this concept in just about every mecha anime that followed. Heck, studio Gainax practically cited this as an influence for Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. And it shows, because where else would that drill symbolism have come from?
The story is nicely paced for a 4-episode OVA, albeit a very short series that might have very well been given a higher budget and released into cinemas as a feature film. Though I don’t blame the director and crew, since this is a sequel to the original series’ movie. On the other hand, being the first of the franchise that I had ever viewed, I quickly realized that by the end of the first episode I had enough background on the original series’ formula to get a grasp at what was going on.
Since this is an OVA, only four characters had more on-screen time than anyone else: Gou, the hot-headed, macho wrestler, Shou, the quiet female pilot, and Gai, the tubby supporting pilot, and Ryoma Nagare, the original team’s leader. The three new characters are stand-ins for the original team and quite possibly the next generation if any future sequels are produced.
Despite very little character development, if any at all, the hot-headedness of the male pilots practically provides the humor when appropriate – you can even see where Gurren Lagann got it’s ‘GAR’ from. That, and the cringingly-funny Engrish spoken when the two American pilots are introduced up the humor to eleven.
The mecha designs are where SGR vs NGR truly shines. The Reptilian Empire’s mecha are biological and bleed, whereas the Shin Getter Robo is part biological and part mechanical (Evangelion, anyone? AND YES, I know Evangelion was released 5 years before this OVA, but the original Getter Robo came out in 1974). The American team’s mecha has to be seen to be believed, or taken seriously for that matter.
The rough and vicious look of the characters echoes Go Nagai’s manga and earlier anime works, and juxtaposed against beautifully drawn backgrounds is a nice touch.
The animation is pretty outstanding for an anime that was produced in 2000. It’s fast, brutal and despite showing age still stands out to anything covered in excessive CGI (and Macross Frontier still comes to mind – don’t get me wrong I LOVE the Macross franchise).
The music is also quite atmospheric and sets the feeling of each scene quite appropriately. The sound effects are cinematic and add more to the action and drama. The opening theme ‘Storm’ by JAM project is a catchy number, though by the standards of something like ‘A Cruel Angel’s Thesis’ is not too special.
I’ll be forward and straight on this: this was Gurren Lagann before Gurren Lagann. If you watch carefully, there are a number of similarities between Getter Robo and TTGL. However, most of these feel like tributes from the latter, and I’m respectful to the separate universes of both franchises.
SGR vs NGR is a fun OVA. It’s not very coherent at times if you hadn’t seen the original series, but that wouldn’t stop a new fan (like me) from going back to watch the original series or read the original manga. It’s chaotic, loud and brutal but at the same time you get a good amount of fun for 4 episodes.
In general, SGRvNGR is an alternate reality version of the original Getter Robo franchise. Without spoiling much of the original Getter Robo, it shows what might happen if Musashi (the original Getter 3 pilot) sacrifices himself to destroy the Reptilian Kingdom before the unfortunate event that changes the original Getter Robo from a regular fun-filled, monster-of-the-day anime into a story that made the 12 years old me loses all faith in humanity (not really, but you get the point).
If the second act of Getter Robo, and its canon, Getter Robo Armageddon, shows a darker side of Go Nagai, then SGRvNGR portrays a lighter story akin to Mazinger Z where good people stays good and justice always prevail in the end.
The story itself is nothing special. The story circles around Ichimonji Gou, the new candidate for the newly developed Neo Getter Robo: A safer and stable version of Getter Robo that is developed by the previous pilot of Getter 2, Jin Hayato to combat the upcoming threat from the newly reformed Reptilian Empire.
Where’s the high review score came from then? The answer is simple: It’s highly enjoyable. Due to its 4 episode-long nature, SGRvNGR presents its story in a fast paced, comprehensive manner with a lot of action in every episode. In just four episodes, it manages to:
– Throw cameos from most original Getter Robo characters.
– Shows Neo Getter Robo in all of its three glories.
– Tease just enough of Shin Getter Robo to make it interesting.
– Introduce a fun super robot sidekick to the Getter Robo universe.
– Made the kid in me shouts “Getter Change!!!” from the bottom of my lung.
Therefore, here’s my review for SGRvNGR:
What’s in it : Super Robot, hand-to-hand fight, giant axe, and lots of cameos.
What’s to like : Action packed story with excellent pace and enjoyment.
What’s not to like : Typical story with no character development.
Mood needed to watch : Mood for a light and fun, no brainer kind of story.
Overall score : 9 (Great)
As an added bonus, the music and sound effects are surprisingly good and complement both the action and the story well. Try and watch this using a good sound system and you’ll see what I mean.
In short, SGRvNGR is something that you might like to watch after a long day’s work just to relax for two hours. I can almost guarantee that you’ll end the session with a big grin on your face and an urge to start every sentence with the word “Getter”. With all that in mind, “Getter See You Later And Watch This Anime NOW!!!!!”
English: Battle Angel Alita
Japanese: 銃夢 GUNNM
MAL Score: 7.09
Doc Ido, a doctor and mechanic who lives and works in the hellish, postapocalyptic “Scrapyard”, finds the—miraculously preserved—remains of a female cyborg in a junk heap. After he revives and rebuilds her, the preternaturally strong, amnesiac “Gally” begins to forge a life for herself in a world where every day can bring a fight for life. Adapts the first two volumes of the “Battle Angel Alita” manga.
The series began as a manga by Kishiro Yukito in 1990, and after a short time the OVA was produced and released to Japanese and Western markets in 1993.
This is where the ambiguity comes in. To many who have read the manga, the story appears to be incomplete at first glance, especially given the numerous changes that have been made in the OVA. To those who haven’t read the manga, there seems to be nothing too wrong with the plot, aside from the odd inconsistency that is. Where the ambiguity occurs is in the consideration of the plot – is it good or not? If you’ve read the manga then you can readily pick faults with the OVA, however there is one important point that is missed from this perspective. Likewise, if you have only seen the OVA, then you may be under the impression that the story doesn’t really go anywhere.
I should mention before continuing that another source of ambiguity is the fact that the OVA has been released by both ADV and Viz Media (only in the UK, Europe and Australia though), and that both releases feature different nomenclature for certain characters and places.
Now here’s the important bit. The Battle Angel Alita OVA was never intended to be a standalone tale. It’s only purpose was to serve as an introduction to the manga, much like 3×3 Eyes or, more recently, Ga Rei: Zero. The OVA is simply a compressed (and altered), form of the first tow volumes of the manga after all, and when one considers that the whole thing was simply one big marketing tool, then the question becomes “Did it make me want to read the manga?” (which I’ll answer in a bit).
The OVA is split into two episodes, the first being Rusty Angel, followed by Tears Sign. As stated, these episodes are nothing more than compressed and altered version of the first two volumes of the manga, however, I found that they worked rather well in their own right. The changes that were made actually served to hold the plot together, and whilst purists may argue that it should have stuck firmly to the manga, it’s surprising how often playing fast and loose with the original can actually improve the new version. Battle Angel Alita is one of those titles that, whilst having it’s own plot problems, is able to hold it’s own against the manga.
The artwork for the OVA is very good indeed, especially as this is an early 90s anime. There is a penchant for pointy chins, however this can be overlooked given the atmospheric nature of the scrapyard city. Animation is also a big plus for the OVA. The action sequences are very smooth, and character movements are surprisingly well executed on the whole. The character designs tend to stay close to the manga, something which allowed the creators to concentrate on other areas of production.
The sound is also good for its time. The music is generally very good throughout the OVA, however there are moments when the action and the music don’t mix too well, giving the scenes in question an incomplete feel. The sound effects are well used, but can be a little on the “clunky” side. The voice actors in both the Japanese and English dubs are pretty good on the whole, although I have to say that I prefer the Japanese version nowadays, although this is simply a matter of choice rather than any comment on the quality of the english dub.
The characters are well done on the whole, but are also another source of ambiguity. There are characters whose roles have been upscaled or downplayed, who have been removed altogether, combined into one, or who have been brought in as completely new. This is the main reason why I feel the OVA should not be judged on the basis of the manga. Rather, I prefer to view the OVA as an alternate beginning to the manga.
The main character, Alita, was originally called Gally in the manga. She is an amnesiac cyborg who whose head and upper torso was found in stasis on a scrap heap by her surrogate “father” Ido Daisuke. Because of her amnesia, her character appears innocent, almost angelic at times, one of the reasons for the title. The other “main” character in the OVA is Yugo, a local boy who is acquainted with Ido.
The most interesting aspect of the OVA, and one which was successfully transposed from the manga, was the development and deterioration of both Alita and Yugo respectively. The OVA is effectively a baptism of fire for Alita, however it is quite the opposite for Yugo. It’s nice to see that the producers decided to keep the core of the story whole, something which helps to develop both Alita and Yugo during the course of the anime.
The other characters only really receive minimal development, however given that this is only a two part OVA, and is nothing more than an introduction to the manga, this can be excused.
I found that I enjoyed this immensely. The action was very good, and whilst some of the drama was clearly hammed up,the characters were rather refreshing, especially as I was unfamiliar with the manga when I first viewed the OVA.
This is a good effort on the whole. It does have its issues, however given that it is simply an advert for the manga (something which should be kept firmly in mind when judging this show), these are understandable. That said, the producers have made the effort to ensure that the OVA can stand on its own, and what they have produced is a rather charming, quirky, and somewhat violent piece of work. The dystopian future envisioned by Kishiro Yukito has transposed well to anime, and the fact that the producers have decided to be creative rather than staid has helped to produce something which is more than an advert.
My hope now is that this OVA, along with 3×3 Eyes, will go the way of Tetsuwan Birdy.
Altogether now……….. REMAKE!
Why? Well let’s start with the good.
Well, I do like the themes and the concept of the story. It’s a post-apocalyptic world where the poor are literally forced to live in the garbage dumps of the rich. While the aristocrats live in a rich, floating city, the poor are forced to live in a brutal, criminal ridden underworld where murderers, assassins, and bounty hunters thrive.
The art and animation are definately great. The character designs seem to have heart and soul in them, unlike many of the newer animes today, in my opinion… There’s just something about these earlier animes, where the imperfections and flaws don’t really seem to detract from the style. Certain liberties that artists are given visibly contribute to an intimately crafted feel. For example, when Galley screams, the details in her face evoke a more rigid, less manufactured expression of emotion than many other animes.
However, what I don’t like, is how rushed the story is, and how underdeveloped the world and characters are. Many scenes could be added to develop the characters. Characters are introduced, and then minutes later, you are supposed to care about them. Also, this 2 episode OVA is nowhere near long enough to tell the entire story from the manga. Like Berserk, this anime is unfinished.
The music sounds very 80’s and is mostly ambient droning to add to the mood of the scenes, much like Vampire Hunter D (1985). So the effectiveness of the music will most likely be a matter of opinion. Personally, I kinda like it.
The best thing about this anime is the concept. The sci-fi world that the anime is set in is so unique, original and amazing that it could have had so much more potential. While the anime is ultimately a dissapointment, it’s still a decently entertaining action movie.
You can watch my video review of Battle Angel HERE on Youtube.
Yugo’s dream of reaching Tiphares (which may represent one’s goals in life) swiftly coming to an end and after risking his life, and eventually lose it, in order to obtain what he dreamt for, he realised that what he really needed was at arm’s reach. However he ended up losing even that – something which happens often nowadays. On the other hand, Alita, who had nothing in life (she was raised from the actual scrapyard) learnt to appreciate life and those things she experienced everyday. This can be seen clearly when she asks Yugo why does he really want to visit Tiphares. Her question is full of pity, somehow knowing that he would lose everything on his road to obtain his dream. This feeling can be seen even better in the manga where Alita risks her life for Koyomi in her battle against Makaku.
The cyberpunk era is strongly depicted with metal, scrap and cybernetic implants dominating the world. The atmosphere of broken dreams, mortals using unnatural enhancements to try and improve their lives and alienation roam throughout the whole OVA.
Although the OVA seems to be as if it was cut short, and I guess many would have wished for further sequels, it was carefully done as not to ruin the mood of the story. It was this particular ending which made me buy alll the manga.
7: Mazinkaiser: Shitou! Ankoku Dai Shogun
English: Mazinkaiser: Deathmatch! General Dark
Japanese: マジンカイザー 死闘！暗黒大将軍
MAL Score: 7.12
Koji is on holiday when the 7 generals from Mikene attacks the world, under the leadership of the general of darkness.How will Koji be able to stop them…
This is drastically different in tone from most Mazinger works. Though Mazinkaiser did get more serious in its finale, it never got as violent. In this movie, in addition to several long-time characters dying, many people are literally decapitated with blood galore. It feels similar to a recent Getter Robo anime in that respect, even with certain frames as they’re filled with thick outlines and sharp, sketchy movement like some of Getter Robo Armageddon. It seems like it could’v been a direct inspiration. Anyway, if you want to see apocalyptic Mazinger this is about the closest you’ll get, though I don’t think it transcends the Mazinkaiser OVA. That one felt interesting as a modern Mazinger update in the spirit of the original TV series. Whereas Shin Mazinger was much more of a drama, Mazinkaiser still placed a large emphasis on (effectively funny) humor and a light tone that escalated properly during the finale. The Mazinkaiser movie storms right out of the gate with violence and plot, but that’s all it is: an over-the-top fireworks show. The final battle with the Great General of Darkness is even a letdown, being extremely short and simple for how long it took to get to it. If you view this as an extension of the Mazinkaiser OVA it’s easier to justify it, but as a stand-alone work it has less charm and diversity. JAM Project’s music is great besides the opening song which is a rip-off of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” even to the point of including the song’s title during the chorus. This a must-watch for Mazinger fans anyway, especially now that it’s properly subbed.
This final addition to the Mazinkaiser franchise has the much needed depth in drama, and gore, that the Mazinkaiser Ova lacked
I feel so bad having to post-pone this amazing movie thinking that it was just the same as the series, but boy have I wronged myself
Right off the bat you are greeted and spoiled with scenes you cannot imagine being incorporated into the Mazinger universe
As a long childhood fan, I loved this addition to the series, I could feel it expanded the audience’s taste while at the same time maintaining that classic lustrous feel that all the mazinger fans came to apprecaite and love
Ps: Do watch the series before the movie, that way you don’t miss out on some of the events 🙂
That said, I can’t recommend this as a stand alone since when I watched this I thought this was the conclusion to the OVA series and not a separate series which is why I had a high enjoyment of this so much because of the way it seems to be saving the Mazinkaiser OVA series in general.
The premise, action and events were so good (for a Super Robot lover) that despite the poor boss battle scene at the end, I rate the story a 10 but that last battle scene is still something that needs to be watched out.
I can’t speak for all Super Robot fans but I think most of us have been desensitized by the crappiness of an end battle because we’re so used to seeing classic Super Robots killing off their opponents eventually so if you’re not used to do this the story could even sink down to a one just because of the ending.
Everything else though is so gripping and suspenseful which is rare for a Super Robot series and despite the predictability it can be forgivable because of the destruction and premise that surrounds this series compared to the OVA before this. This is simply one of those series that you need to have bundled with that longer OVA series or else the whole Mazinkaiser series doesn’t feel as epic as it is.
Still, this is a 7 mainly because there are better “epic” Super Robot plots out there but seeing as I haven’t even read most of them, it’s hard to really gauge how subpar or exciting this is but general fans of Super Robot shows won’t be hurting themselves from watching this show to the end as long as they don’t get too hyped up around the prospect of Mazinkaiser having an OVA (which if you watched the OVA series before this will already tone down any excitement you may originally have for Mazinkaiser)
6: Irregular Hunter X: The Day of Sigma
English: Megaman X – The Day of Sigma
MAL Score: 7.19
The year is 21XX. Reploids are commonplace now, after Dr. Cain rediscovered Dr. Light’s old lab and based several designs off of Dr.Light’s original, called “Megaman X.” X, meanwhile, has joined the Maverick Hunters, and works with unit leader Zero under the command of General Sigma. It is their job to terminate rogue reploids, those who have become violent.
The story is pretty simple. It’s about how Sigma went from being a maverick hunter, to the head maverick. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the games, reploids are robots with the power of self determination. Occasionally some of them go “maverick” and try to harm others or just go berserk. If you’re a fan of the X franchise it’s an interesting look at the way things were before Sigma’s treachery, even if you already know how things are going to end.
The Day of Sigma does do a decent job of fleshing out some of the characters a bit more than what you see of them in the games, especially Sigma and Vile. It avoids throwing in a bunch of characters from the games in order to keep things fairly clean and focused. Which does work to its benefit.
The art is deliberately reminiscent of the games. The characters look good and the battle scenes, though short, are nice and intense. Unfortunately, the backgrounds are kind of dull.
The voice acting is pretty well done. Sakurai Takahiro, Okiayu Ryotaro and Mugihito especially give strong performances. X is Cloud Strife, I just had to point that out. The music is pretty weak and forgettable. It could have benefited from doing more with the background music.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There’s only one female character and she has a small role.
My final rating for Maverick Hunter X: The Day of Sigma is an 8/10. If you’re a fan of the Megaman X franchise you should definitely see it. If you aren’t you should probably skip it since there’s really nothing to appeal to non-fans.
With that being said my only disappointment is the lack of a sequel and further coverage of the Megaman X timeline. There are dozens of un-answered about the crossover between the original Megaman and Megaman X. And even the Megaman Zero and Megaman.exe worlds.
I had hoped that this would be the point of starting to fill those holes in and I feel like this did an ok job of explaining the world leading into the first Megaman X game and covered the state of the world very well.
If you are a megaman fan and love the franchise then watch this movie.
5: Robot Carnival
English: Robot Carnival
Japanese: ロボット カーニバル
MAL Score: 7.27
9 of Japan’s leading animators were asked to create a short segment that followed the theme of “Robots,” for their inclusion in this film. Essentially, this “movie” is 9 short films, all independant of one another. The common element is human interaction with robots, namely the consequences of creating life with one’s own hands, played in nine very different ways.
1: Opening (Atsuko Fukushima and Katsuhiro Otomo)
2: Franken’s Gears (Koji Morimoto)
3: Deprive (Hidetoshi Omori)
4: Presence (Yasuomi Umetsu)
5: Star Light Angel (Hiroyuki Kitazume)
6: Cloud (Mao Lamdo)
7: A Tale of Two Robots (Hiroyuki Kitakubo)
8: Nightmare (Takashi Nakamura)
9: Ending (Atsuko Fukushima and Katsuhiro Otomo)
30 years before Hollywood, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen hawking fear mongered the hell out of AI, these brilliant writers and animators theorize and demonstrate multiple short stories as how the AI/Robot singularity may playout, from beginnings, to present to future and post human worlds.
These films each have their own theme and tone. You might up in deep thinking, dreading, laughing and crying in this one sitting.
Enjoy these short films as they depict the struggles and joys AI/robots will face as they walk the same path as “us.”
4: Bubblegum Crisis
MAL Score: 7.29
The year is 2032, seven years after the Second Great Kanto Earthquake decimated Tokyo. Now, the city is reborn as MegaTokyo, built from the labors of mechanical beasts known as “Boomers.” Originally created to benefit humanity, the mysterious corporation known as Genom now produces Boomers with incredible destructive power as a new type of advanced weaponry, capable of disguising themselves as humans.
The AD Police is a new special unit to counter the ever-increasing Boomer-related crimes. Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of crimes and disparity in strength, the AD Police poses little opposition to the Boomers. A mysterious vigilante force known as the Knight Sabers, wearing powersuits more advanced than the military, is the citizens’ only hope for protection. Led by Sylia Stingray, Priscilla “Priss” Asagiri, Nene Romanova, and Linna Yamazaki, these beautiful girls take out any Boomer that steps out of line.
Science fiction, ever the barometer of public fear, reflected this in books and film. Alien, in 1979, brought the world a vision of space travel in the future that for once was filthy and corrupt and run by giant corporations with no morals. The seminal Blade Runner stunned 1982 with the visually amazing concept of a huge, grimy neon tech-sprawl future LA of totally mixed ethnicity and robots that behave more like humans than humans do. And William Gibson’s famed 1984 novel Neuromancer gave the world a fevered, lavish nightmare of clashing technology and humanity embroiled in a tale of global tech businesses up to no good, in the process giving this burgeoning genre a name: cyberpunk.
Where one media succeeds, others will follow. Cyberpunk anime was as inevitable then as live action western versions of anime have become now. Bubblegum Crisis was the leading edge of that cyberpunk anime, taking the elements that worked for the rest and expertly marrying it with many of the elements that make anime unique. Today, Bubblegum Crisis is one of those \’classic\’ titles that anime fans need to know about, a Terminator or Star Wars of the anime canon. Even though its popularity in Japan was only a fraction of the reception it enjoyed overseas, it’s my contention that without Bubblegum Crisis there’d have been no Akira film.
But is it any good? On one hand, detractors can say that this is a messy blending of many things that have already been done; a Blade Runner city with a flavour of Neuromancer-come-Alien-come-Aliens dystopian griminess and high-tech evil and full of Terminators and Robocops, filtered through that anime staple, mecha. This is largely true, but doesn’t matter. Outside anime, nothing so ambitious could ever work; but within the totally created universe that’s only possible in animation or CGI, and only really practical in animation, it not only works but excels.
Originally planned as a series of 13 OVA episodes, it eventually ran to only 8 episodes, and some key plot points were altered because of this. Another 3 episodes were released later in an OVA series called Bubblegum Crash, using elements of the 5 unmade episodes that never made it originally. Each is largely self contained, but both multi-episode arcs of storyline and a loose overall plotline are also present. Being an OVA, the time period and hence staff is not as fixed as can be seen with a TV series, the net effect of which being that pretty much every episode is different from each of the others, with different emphases and different priorities. On top of this, half way through, some key decisions were reversed about the planned death in episode 5 of a character who, in hindsight, clearly stands out as the main protagonist. Plus, the eventual premature demise of the series stemmed from the two owners of the franchise, Artmic and Youmex, taking each other to court. DVD releases nowadays seem so snarled in legalities that the horrendous dubtitling is almost forgivable. So, it’s a total mess, basically.
But like I say, this doesn’t really matter. What Bubblegum Crisis does so well, well enough that it relegates these things to positions of secondary importance, is cool. BGC may not have a very sure idea of what it wants to be and do, in a general sense, but it does it with irrepressable style; everything about BGC is very cool. Kenichi Sonoda, who went on to be the man behind Gunsmith Cats, designed the characters impeccably, including their incredible sleek hardsuit armour, which look like what Lamborghinis and Ferraris would look like if they were shaped like women. Various other mechanical designs, by Aramaki Shinji, later to be mechanical designer for Evangelion and director of Appleseed 2004, largely borrows from much of early \’80s sci-fi, and frankly looks fantastic. There’s a very brash, colourful, in-your-face ‘80s vibe also driving the general design ethos, which might sound ghastly but is in fact perfect for crumbling, self-digesting neon dystopias. Much of the visuals are, as mentioned, lifted from Blade Runner and run through a series of anime design quirks. Animation is by no means stunning generally, but gets the job done, and when you factor in the fact that this is from 1987, it really has some very nice touches.
No review of Bubblegum Crisis is remotely complete without mention of the music. BGC is famous for its music almost as much as it is famous for popularising women kicking arse. Synth-rock songs that are as artificial and processed as the nutrasweet in diet coke, tunes painstakingly designed to be catchy and memorable, are the order of the day; it is hard to express how much raw fun it is. It\’s also archetypally \’80s, overblown and brash – and outside of BGC, I generally hate \’80s stuff. The songs especially manage to encapsulate that B-movie feeling; like the irrelevant pop songs at the end of a film that was cheesy but still really entertaining, they are driving, infectious ballads with amazing powers of mood-lightening. Many have noted the similarity between the opening of the first episode and the start of the 1984 film Streets of Fire; but the integration of the music into the story in BGC is much smoother. And, while I love the music, it\’s immediately obvious it\’s the kind of thing that\’s likely to provoke strong responses that won\’t be positive for everyone – a gamble any series that relies so heavily on music must make. Even if you\’re not keen on the sound, though, there\’s no mistaking the skill, high production values and copious amounts of effort behind it.
By having the rock singer character as one of its toughest protagonists is a move that trumps Streets of Fire\’s equivalent role in every way. BGC\’s other characters are far from original by modern standards, but it\’s worth remembering that they set many of those standards themselves. These are archetypes, not stereotypes; those that set the trend, not those who follow them. No-one looks down on Dirty Harry, just because he spawned a thousand maveric cop characters.
It can\’t be denied that there are some fairly major things wrong with BGC. For one, it\’s almost totally episodic, with no real overarching plot and little other than the strong, well rounded characters to link one episode to another. For another, the characters may be strong and extremely charismatic, but they don\’t really change much or develop like they should. For a third, it suffers from the lack of an ending; the last story just stops like any other, and you reach for the last disc…and it\’s just music videos (also real fun). These problems are at least addressed in the 1999 remake, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, but at the expense of design, music and general coolness. What the remake did not fix, however, is the basic implausibility of the whole thing. Bloodsucking robots, transforming motorbikes and mecha-tentacle beasts strain one\’s suspension of disbelief unpleasantly at times.
Nonetheless, Bubblegum Crisis, or, to give it its full title, \’Bubblegum Crisis MegaTokyo 2032: the story of Knight Sabers\’ (yes, BGC was in fact the origin of the now-common phrase MegaTokyo – another example of its wide influence), remains immensely enjoyable popcorn anime, and remains fascinating for anyone interested in the history of anime. After 20 years, that\’s pretty damn impressive.
Immediately Ghost in the Shell comes to mind, some scenes look almost identical, the Oshii vibe so thick, the possible influence on the man (and even Shirow himself) is made more and more questionable throughout the OVA with many stylistic choices bringing the GitS franchise to mind.
After the introduction of the various comings and goings of the city, a concert suddenly begins, introducing a blonde wigged character Priss, and is intercut with the appearance of a boomer wrecking havoc. The direction and editing, and hell even the music are all excellent and ensure the OVA gets off to a cracking start. 80’s cyberpunk at its best!
The story follows four plucky young women with nothing better to do in their spare time than to don cyber-outfits and blow crap up, preferably those pesky rogue boomers who keep appearing all over the city. The combined IQ of these four women finally figures out that Genom corporation, which apparently ”accounts for 68% of the world’s cars”, might have something to do with these incidents and so Bubblegum Crisis delivers 8 episodes of pure unadulterated fun in a way only 80’s anime can.
Mega-Tokyo, 2032. This is the future, but seen from the eyes of the 80’s. Each decade’s vision of the future is idiosyncratic, and so each decade produces strange and brilliant works of genius or garbage, with Bubblegum Crisis firmly in the strange and brilliant camp, albeit lacking both genius and garbage, though still retaining quality production and vision. Plenty of great directorial choices, POV shots, pans, zooms, it’s all dynamic and makes up for the dated, yet still decent, animation.
No matter the humour or clunky dialogue or 80’s sprinkled aesthetics in hair styles and clothing, this is cyberpunk at its peak. Everything associated with the genre is present, the connective nature of society, the paranoia of having satellites hovering above your head with the capability of blowing you up, biotech suits, corporate power run amok. In a sense Bubblegum Crisis is more cyberpunk than a lot of cyberpunk anime out there which sometimes jettison a lot of the genre’s traits and settle for dystopic hijinks with the occasional robot AI thrown in. Bubblegum Crisis revels in the genre and doesn’t leave anything out.
The anime came out at what might be seen as cyberpunk’s peak of influence and exposure in the mainstream, and as such is worth a watch for its historical significance, in terms of impacting the genre of cyberpunk in anime and also being a window to the time. It’s so classy it even has time to throw a shout out to The Third Man!
It’s flawed, but packed with so much creative ideas and flair, you can’t help but bop along to the 80’s tunes. Each episode starts with a cinematic musical montage of 80’s soft rock/pop and narrative-advancing imagery. This isn’t on-par with cyberpunk like GitS, you have to accept the humour and gaping plot-holes as part of the charm, or you’ll just not be involved and will tune out. The AD Police are written as what a 12 year old imagines the NYPD are like, complete with the gruff black police captain arguing with the rookie cop.
There’s lots of subtle visual flair in this OVA, the directors knew what they were doing. (Except for episode 5 and 6. That director probably went to the school of Koichi Mashimo, though he wasn’t helped by the screenwriter for those episodes either) Too often in post-millennium anime there are tons of ‘arty’ shots that are meaningless and the camera either flies around the place like a steadicam-operator on crack, or pans laboriously across the screen as if directed by an old age pensioner, but back in the 80’s/90’s they knew how to pace episodes just fine while choosing narrative-coherent viewpoints to the action. I guess I’m harping that old cliché of modern day anime being too shallow with emphasis on looks rather than content, but considering that this anime is packed with very clichéd jokes that were old even back when this was released, the argument is kind of moot.
If you want to go extra deep you could propose that Bubblegum Crisis is yet another exploration of the relationship between man and machine and clearly veers on the side of external mechanics and views bio-implementation, or to be simple about it: cyborgs, as a threat to the world. Even though boomers are technically robots, though the distinction is rarely made clear especially when they all have such charming personalities, their humanoid form isn’t a random creative decision. Boomers, anyone associated to them, and augmentation in general are clearly bad for your health and the only way to make the world a better place is to jump into exoskeleton mecha-suits and be a master of cybernetics, not a slave to them. It’s possibly an archaic almost Luddite philosophy, especially in the 21st century where bio and nano-technology is getting more and more traction. Yep, I just analysed an anime with ‘bubblegum’ in the title.
But you get the gist, Bubblegum Crisis is consistently entertaining and has very good direction to boot, and its shortcomings can be seen as part of the package; a conscious decision and not a by-product. You’re meant to laugh at the ridiculousness of the entire premise, especially the glorious last episode’s tribute to the character of Nene, and you’re meant to lap up the universe presented because you’re a cyberpunk fan. The damn anime’s called Bubblegum Crisis!
If you’re not grinning while watching this, you’re in a crisis of your own and I suggest you chew some gum to get over it.
However at the same time, being a fan I think i can give you a true reflection of the series, being able to mention things that other reviews are missing because they glossed over the series and did not give it the attention it deserved. I think in some ways a review that the reader can relate to can sometimes improve their watching/re-watching of a series.
So onto the matter at hand Bubble Crisis 2032, an OVA series which 3 top notch studios (AIC, Artmic and Youmex) gave their all towards in the 80s and in my opinion really raised the bar when it came to what you could achieve in animation and also among all of these talented people was none other than legendary designer Kenichi Sonoda. Unfortunately the downside of having so many good chefs, is the inevitable arguments over who owns what, which in the end was the downfall of BGC.
First lets talk about story, BGC gets a lot of flak over its story, many arguing that it is poor or lacks any real overbearing plot. Now i have a problem with this, yes you could say that if you’re comparing it to syndicated series which run with week by week episodes and are produced much quicker, but BGC was not produced in that manner and was never intended to be, its release of 8 episodes was staggered over 4 years due to the amount of work it required to do it to the level of technical quality wanted. At the time most of us never were able to see all episodes back to back like people now get to do, the producers knew this and focused on trying to convey EMOTIONS in each episode. The dying of a loved one, loyalty and vengeance for a friend, saying goodbye for a last time, fighting a losing battle, all of these concepts were tried to be portrayed using a situation and an fitting background song, right up to the end credits music and background image the directors were trying to convey a feeling with their story above all else. And i think that was a good approach, since the episodes had more impact on me and i was not simply waiting to see the next episode like i do with anime nowdays, i was instead thinking about the episode i just watched, which was a very good thing since the next episode was likely weeks if not months away. A lot of money was put into this series, and it was risky even for the time but im grateful they decided to do it this way as it leaves a lasting impression on most that watch it, sometimes subconsciously.
The characters themselves were a revelation, they were a new breed of tough woman leading the fight in mechanized combat suits. That was barely common to have only woman as leads in the action genre.
Though with only 8 out of the 13 episodes completed they did what they could with depth, but its what the characters represented that was most special.
They covered a broad spectrum of female heroines, Priss a tough, bike riding, battle hardened fighter who happens to be a singer, Linna the represented average aerobics girl of the 80s but with the ability to be able to tranform that athletism into fighting prowess, Sylia a smart weathly elite who isnt a afraid to drop the high class lady act and dirty her hands when she needs to, and lastly Nene a computer and electronics specialist willing to put herself in the battle zone.
What made them even more special though was they all had their weaknesses, and the designers wanted us to know they were not perfect individuals and this added something to the characters that was largely absent in other action movies of the time.
Priss is poor and has had a rough life, its also implied that she never was well educated but she does what she can to get by and enjoy her life and improve the life of people she knows…or at least exact justice on their behalf.
Sylia is seen as the cool headed leader, but secretly she has an immense hatred for Genom Corp inside her which is strong enough to impair her judgement and cause her to lash out at others.
Linna although generally up beat is not living the life she wants, she would love a glamourous life and a great boyfriend but she is stuck in the mediocrity of being a below middle class person in Megatokyo, a cycle she cannot break out of. Then theres Nene, she desperately wants to be more physically imposing and it frustrates her that she isnt given much respect, she doesnt just want to be known as a computer geek at a police department and really would like people to know what shes really capable of.
Art and character design, I think the series gets its deserved ratings here. Personally i think its a masterpiece of its era, using methods an approaches that will never been done again since they would be unfeasible today. Its a testament to what human artists are capable with just simple tools and hundreds of hours of painstaking work that they simply poured to their hearts into. If you’re an artist or have ever worked with professional artists you will understand it and appreciate it for the true paramount achievement that it was. If you’re not an artist, just look at it like this, BGCs artwork is very much like a Ferrari F40, its not the best car ever made, but its a representation of what was achievable by the experts of that era, and for that it will never be replicated again because the technology changed, people have changed and the mindsets have changed. For that reason its look will always be unique and special.
The sound, for me the music production was the best id ever come across, in both English and Japanese the production quality was supreme, the musical ability of the producers and the vocal ability of the singers is as good as it got for any form of entertainment in the 80s, and that’s saying a lot considering how great an era for music and movies the 80s is considered as being.
Lets talk about the english version music first, since for me its unbelievable to say there are some tracks that are actually better in English (Rock me & Don’t Forget). Now if any of you are familiar with older anime, you’ll know that how botched english versions can be, but with BGC they really gave excellent attention to it so it could stand alone as an equal in quality.
Though the Japanese version is better overall as expected, Ohmori Kinuko really giving a vocal performance that’s as good as it gets.
Voice acting though is just average for both English and Japanese versions. Nowadays we have near Hollywood quality (or Japanese film industry quality) voice acting in games and anime. So BGCs voice acting is a couple notches below, it just lacks the substance that you get with newer productions that really drive home the characters intentions. The relative background silence you get during speaking is typical of the sound production of the time, that is one area I am glad is gone these days.
In terms of enjoyment, if you’re a person of the era there is no way you would say this is anything less than a 9 (i say 10), because you simply hadnt seen anything like this at the time, especially if you were outside of Japan. Taking nostalgia out of it and looking at it just as an Anime fan…a knowledgeable anime fan would certainly understand what was achieved here and in that case its an 8 or even 9 still. (If you got this far i want to thank you for reading this rather long review)
Overall, its a 9/10 for me and if you grew up in the 80s and are an anime watcher you absolutely must watch Bubblegum Crisis.
MAL Score: 7.32
Dr. Hell and his Mechanical Beasts are back, and they’re more dangerous than ever before. Kouji Kabuto and Tetsuya Tsurugi fight a fierce battle against these hellish machines, which are under the command of Baron Ashura. Unfortunately, they are defeated, with Kouji’s Mazinger Z being captured and Tetsuya’s Great Mazinger seriously damaged by the enemy.
The devious Dr. Hell quickly converts the captured robot into Ashura Mazinger and uses it to attack the Photo Power Lab. At the same time, Kouji is missing in action, which leaves Testuya to defend the lab in the damaged Great Mazinger. But the forces of Dr. Hell are too strong, even for a brave pilot such as Tetsuya, and all seems to be lost.
The battle seems to be drawing to a close, until an overpowering blast fired by an unknown robot destroys the entire Mechanical Beast army. Could this mysterious robot be the legendary Mazinkaiser, and who is piloting it?
It has been actually one of my big childhood favorites
and although it doesn’t pack any seriousness behind its plot or drama (if there’s any) it does have its own lustrous style
Mazinkaiser takes the viewer to the ultimate Mazinger Z form of robots, being an advanced form more even than the Great Mazinger, it provides amazing fight scenes and marvelous drawing, that will keep you excited and on edge throughout the whole series
I certainly loved it, and loved how they re-introduced the beloved characters (villains or heroes) of the Mazinger Z universe
If you’re a fan of Mecha anime in general or Mazinger Z in particular you cannot miss this show, you can never go wrong when it is a Mazinkaiser show 🙂
I just can’t view it that way because this is how it is for classic Super Robots and this remake could be considered as elevating the quality of these normally tedious Super Robot stories.
If anything had Mazinkaiser been further modernized as having an over-arching plot it will only worsen the depth of the characters involved in this series.
That said, Mazinkaiser primarily failed in my opinion because it wasn’t able to elevate the same euphoric feeling the original SRW Mazinkaiser had which was a design that was so good that if you are just a bit interested in classic Super Robots could make up for everything else about the robot’s premise.
The biggest weakness of Mazinkaiser was that it didn’t build up enough of the justification for Mazinkaiser’s appearance and instead of opting for a foreshadowing set of events, the scenes were more along the lines of trying to ride the appearance of Mazinkaiser and by doing so the series gives up many potential opportunities to build up both the characters and the mechs – opting instead to be more of a fanservice show that even if you know nothing about the original Mazinger still seems like a weak and not so exciting arc about a Super Robot.
2: Suisei no Gargantia: Meguru Kouro, Haruka
English: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet: Far Beyond the Voyage
MAL Score: 7.36
A 2-episode OVA for Suisei no Gargantia revealed during an announcement at AnimeJapan 2014.
(Source: MAL News)
Basically, it continues on about Ledo after the events in the main story where he now works as a diver gathering stuff. The first part is basically breaking into the new character and also showing what Ledo did off screen. The second is a continuation, but both sides have a pretty critical point that made me jump out of my seat.
The sound never really bothered me nor did it really help to the story. Honestly, I gave it an 8 only because I couldn’t find a negative point, but nothing stood out.
For a series that is nearly all about boats and water, I was hooked the second I saw how well drawn the characters are and still am. Every scene of action is wonderfully drawn and every character is drawn to catch every part of them.
We see so much into the new character Leena while also getting a true glimpse of Ledo and Amy which was my driving motion for the entire series from the start. It was flawless, every moment.
Just wow. Eternally I see this as one of my series I’d recommend to anyone since despite the somewhat harsh ending on the second episode, it still ended on a high note and was really wonderful to view.
If this series isn’t considered good, I don’t know what I would consider good anymore. It appeals to everyone and you can watch whenever and always enjoy the scenes. The second episode really got to me too so was also really enjoyable.
We get to have a glimpse of the daily life inside Gargantia once more and will see what Ledo is doing after the events of the series. Some clues about the history of the Earth before the colonists left it are revealed. Meanwhile, we get a flashback about an incident in Gargantia when Chamber was around.
The actual story starts only after these events. It has something to do with the new character, but I won’t spoil the details. This storyline is admittedly quite generic, but during its course it allows the viewers to know more about the Earth outside of just the Gargantia. Unfortunately however, it doesn’t focus on it too much and only narrates it in a superficial way. But this is still a great thing because the main series never did that and left it only for speculation.
The battles are not many and they don’t have the same tension as the main series. Depending on which aspect of the series you liked, it is possible that some may be disappointed with the OVAs. So I say watch it with low expectations.
The animation is gorgeous as always but a slight dip in quality is noticeable in the way the waves are animated during some scenes. The soundtrack is great, calming most of the time. These have always been strong points in the show and this OVA is no exception. The OP and the ED fit the overall atmosphere well.
Overall I enjoyed this more than I expected. Most of the side characters stay shallow, but the interesting world makes up for it. Recommended for the fans and anyone who is interested in seeing more of the world of Suisei no Gargantia.
I tried… so hard to care about this two-part OVA, and ended up playing solitaire for half of episode 1. Lima isn’t interesting, and the way her story ends is… so very bad. The mini stories in episode 1 aren’t interesting. The stakes at the end of episode 1 were slightly exciting, I guess? Pinion negging Lukkage and Bellows has never been interesting and it’s not interesting here. The one interesting part was actually seeing more types of ships in the Gargantia fleet to confirm that it is a fleet in the military sense, as well. And then the plot took some extra stupid pills, which even put the main series to shame.
Land is apparently an actual thing, and with multiple countries, no less! To me it’s not so much a plot hole as it’s really the only way a lot of things make sense. Like is it randomly added here? Yeah. But does it actually make the main series less stupid? Yeah. It doesn’t fix most things with the main series plot because the story is still bad in other ways and it sounds like what this new plot thing would fix is not how things work, so… This series is just bad all around, really.
Anyway, there’s a beach episode. …Woo. /sarcasm. I guess you can expect it on a show that’s mostly on the water, but still. In a series that is already quite boring, this really doesn’t help.
On the spectrum of OVAs, I think this one’s budget was really low. A lot of the animation is downright ugly. Not to mention how bad the writing is. But hey, you get a lot of Ledo and Amy hugging, I guess. So on the balance, it’s only… mostly bad.
I do not understand why precisely one commander on the Gargantia is a woman. We don’t even see female underlings outside Lukkage and Bellows’ bikini/short shorts-clad henchpeople. Even Lima appears to be the only woman on her crew. At least Vacation Island has at least one woman in charge, I guess.
Overall… if you’ve gotten this far, I guess it’s worth watching for completion’s sake? There’s nothing new about the music that I noticed – it’s just reused from the main series. Otherwise, skip this. Watch literally anything else. “Macross Frontier” and “Promare” are great for mechs and stupid and drama and good music and fights. Heck, if you want a swimming show, watch “Free!”. Don’t waste your time here.
1: Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar Final
English: GaoGaiGar Final
MAL Score: 8.08
Following Gutsy Galaxy Guard`s victory over the Zonder Empire and the 31 Primevals, a new threat makes their appearance on Earth. GGG – with Guy Shishio and the newly-constructed GaoFighGar – team up with their French counterpart Chasseur to battle the evil organization BioNet. Among Chasseur`s ranks is Renais Cardiff Shishioh – a former BioNet cyborg with the relentless pursuit of destroying those who took away her humanity. But as GGG and Chasseur fight the BioNet, GGG`s bases around the world are suddenly attacked, and the recently-discovered “Q-Parts” and the original Gao Machines are stolen by Mamoru Amami, who has been abducted and cloned by an even greater threat known as the “Eleven Kings of Sol.” Evicted from Earth by the United Nations, GGG must now travel to the far reaches of the galaxy to battle the Eleven Kings of Sol and save Mamoru before it`s too late.
The plot of Final takes place, I’d estimate, roughly 6 to 12 months after the final events of the original series. I’d spoil the whole thing if I delved even into the slightest detail, but let me just say this: The story resembles that of the original’s second half, totally getting rid of the “Villain of the Week” formula. You should know what you’re getting yourself into. Let’s just say the main antagonists were to be activated after the Zondars and the 31 Primevals had been defeated before hand.
The design and art of Final have vastly improved over its predecessor. Not only that, but the animation has been revamped and is superior in fluidity. The mechas are colorful and detailed, though some transformations could use a bit of work. As for the environments, they are superb, especially if you consider when this was drawn. You’re taken to India, China, France, and multiple real life areas where (oh my god) real life monuments are seen! Overall, a vast improvement over the original, which was subpar even in the color department.
Musical scores are spot on with the tone of the episode. They managed to fit it well with the scenes. My major complaint is that I felt the background music could have been more varied instead of rewashing the same one over and over. You have to consider they use mostly the same background music from the original, but I guess that could be considered a plus to some people. Sound effects have improved, but not dramatically. Most of the robot movements have been given the “UC Gundam” startup sound, if that makes any sense. You’ll hear it when you hear it. I don’t recall it being in the original, but regardless they’re in Final. As for the voice acting, most of them were great (Guy, Soldat J, Renais, etc.) but some were just outright annoying. Atleast Mamoru definitely improved.
For the most part, Guy is the most memoriable of all. Shishio Guy is very hot-blooded and proves himself time after time after time. Soldat J is heroic as usual, and yeah you get the idea. All of the returning characters have the same thought processes from the last few episodes of the original. As for the new characters, well they’re great addutuibs. Renais is a cyborg similar to pre-final Guy, who was raised to be some sort of human weapon (literally.) Her owners were part of a criminal organization called BioNet, which was the antagonist of the first episode. Her personality resembles that of a tsundere to some extent. The two new “Ryu” robots are awesome! First off, they’re female! That’s right, female robots! Really, that’s all you need to know.
If you’ve seen the original series, you’ll find this add-on to be superior in pretty much all regards. Excitement is rampant and neverending; you’re sure to enjoy this sequel.
I certainly got all of that, but I wouldn’t say it had the charm of the original. The TV series is approximately 25 episodes of classic super robot plot updated for modern audiences with plucky kids, brave heroes, talking robots and masses of explosions and shouting, followed by another 24 episodes of a more arc-based plot with its own exciting story and charm. It’s a good solid show for anyone who loves or loved the classic super robots of the 70s and 80s.
The OVA tries to be more edgy and adult, with the stakes raised to massive levels and the villains more “mature” in design. As a case in point – GGG TV had for its villains a train conductor, a masked pilot, a ballerina and a sailor. Then it had a clown and a team of mutant enemies themed on body parts.
GGG Final has a dominatrix, the Grim Reaper, a doctor who injects himself to become more powerful and a plethora of creepy kids and other misfits. When you’ve got a PVC and spikes clad villain chaining up the female heroes and “disciplining” them, or an oversized doctor using his “Doping” powers, it’s not quite as charmingly pulp as what you’ve come to expect. There’s also a lot more nudity and fanservice, and to be honest it doesn’t really work.
The battles tend to be inconclusive as the show saves itself for the final hour-long episode, something that mecha OVAs and movies sometimes fall prey to (Char’s Counterattack seems to come to mind) and even then the fight relies on fakeout deaths and stalemates until its climax, at which point it’s all over. The real problem is how it’s set up in terms of power-ups. The intial fights, which pit GaoGaiGar against itself, are great. However, then the villains need to be shown as more powerful than the planet-sized Z Master who capped off the TV series – and this means the heroes need another couple of power-ups which only serve to make GGG more ridiculously tough and (in my opinion) a lot uglier than its original form.
The ending of the OVA also bears discussion – it attempts at the same time to be hopeless ala Zambot 3, and have a noble sacrifice, while also leaving it open for a sequel. As a result, it doesn’t really work at all. When you’ve raised the stakes as you have, the ending either needs to be full-on heroic or actually tragic, rather than inconclusive.
All in all, GGG Final is a beautifully animated follow-up to the TV series which unfortunately misses what made the series so good. Overpowered robots and massive stakes do not instantly equal quality – as any Russell T Davies Dr Who finale, Godmars and Gundam SEED Destiny all prove. Similarly, the villains are dull for all their “extreme”-ness – I’d rather have plainer designs like the Zonderians, but at least they had personality from Penchinon’s creepy laughing to the actually quite sinister behaviour of Primada.
It’s worth a watch if you’re a completist or a fan of the show, since the fights are well-choreographed, but in this case bigger doesn’t equal better – and GGG could happily have been left at the ending of the series.
STORY… Not much has changed in this category, but you get a sense of nostalgia when you see the heroes of 3G back again. There’s still villains wanting to rule the universe, but where it gets interesting is the methods used by the villains. The methods carried out by the villains inflict absolute despair on the heroes that it had enough SHOCK VALUE to make me say, “No way… Did that really just happen? Whoa, the heroes might actually lose this time.” But then I suddenly remembered that this is GAOGAIGAR, the heroes ALWAYS find a way to win. And with that, lies a flaw- While watching this, I never had the sense that the heroes of 3G would lose in the end= slight sense of predictability. But as I got towards the end, I was finally given a befitting ending that left me satisfied. Watch it for yourself to find out.
ANIMATION… This is one of the strong points of the series and also where I explain why kid viewers will have to wait until they’re teenagers. The robot designs definitely look fresher, crisper, and much cooler. There are definitely those heavy GAR moments when power-ups are achieved and when transformations are done. The battle scenes are splendid- seeing mechas go at it, as bits and pieces of their armor break apart and lots of sparks flying everywhere with each intense collision. Not to mention, over the scale screaming of emotions of the pilots. Definitely fun to watch. It was enough to make me say wow. It’s just that awesome. Haha… To my surprise, there is a lot of nudity and ecchi themes like huge breasts jiggling and seeing panties under the skirts of women. They even focus on it for like 1-2 seconds, sometimes 2-3 seconds. I thought this was a kids’ show!? Anyways, let’s go on- there are still the over exaggerated movements for the simplest of commands, and luckily, you don’t see as much of that stuff anymore, (not like in the first season, wherein, every episode it’s loaded with that junk) so you’ll be more amused rather than annoyed. I also applaud the designers for making the villains look more menacing and dangerous. They weren’t lazy this time. I commend them for that.
SOUND… Not much can be said in this category, there’s still the same opening theme song, but with a “grander” feeling about it. Maybe it’s because it’s the finale? I guess so… I didn’t particularly like the ending theme song. In essence, it’s still basically the same soundtrack.
CHARACTERS… The same heroic 3G group is still here, but early on, the series lets you know that most members of the original crew have all moved to different places and different people have replaced their old positions. For example, remember how Mr. Chief use to give the approval for Final Fusion with wild energy and emotion? The new guy who replaced him is so relaxed, and so laid back that it is outrageously funny watching him give the approval for Final Fusion (because it’s something you’re not use to, if you watched the first season). There are also the introduction of a few new side characters, like the new sister robots of Enryu and Hyoryu, and Renee, who is Guy’s cousin. But I ended up not really feeling for them because this is about the original 3G and their final battle. It feels as if they were just put in there because the number of villains turned out to be extra, so the directors needed an opponent for the villain. Surprisingly, Mikoto Utsugi was given a stronger role in the story, which I found to be respectable and likeable- refreshing. The directors finally made full use of the cast, which resulted in a better story.
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10= Awesome
+ Still conveys the wonderful message: “Anything can be overcome with courage.”
+ Has SHOCK VALUE.
+ Full use of cast characters.
+ Excellent Animation. (Especially mecha battles loaded with GAR moments.)
+ Finally delivers an appropriate ending GaoGaiGar should have had a long time ago.
– Predictability still exists.
– Too much unnecessary nudity and ecchi themes.
Note: I can’t really say whether you should watch this or not. If you watched the first season, then why not watch it for closure? (It’s what I did and I was rewarded.) But if you didn’t watch the first season, then you don’t have to bother with this one. Remember, tell the kids they’re going to have to wait a few years before watching this. I recommend this for GaoGaiGar fans and for regular viewers who happened to watch the first season.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar Final
2. Suisei no Gargantia: Meguru Kouro, Haruka
4. Bubblegum Crisis
5. Robot Carnival
6. Irregular Hunter X: The Day of Sigma
7. Mazinkaiser: Shitou! Ankoku Dai Shogun
9. Shin Getter Robo tai Neo Getter Robo
10. Mazinkaiser SKL
12. Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade OVA: Twin Blood
13. Sakura Taisen: Gouka Kenran
14. 30th Gundam Perfect Mission
15. Bakuretsu Tenshi: Infinity
16. Gate Keepers 21
17. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Ore no Gurren wa Pikka-Pika!!
18. Kikaider 01 The Animation
19. Choujikuu Seiki Orguss 02
20. Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: Gravity of the Battlefront
21. Bannou Bunka Neko-Musume
22. Sakura Taisen: Ouka Kenran
23. Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade OVA: Burning Clock
24. Bubblegum Crash
25. KO Seiki Beast Sanjuushi
26. Choujuu Kishin Dancougar: God Bless Dancougar
27. Baldr Force Exe Resolution
28. Sakura Taisen: Le Nouveau Paris
29. Detonator Orgun
30. Sakura Taisen: Sumire
31. Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh (1992)
32. NG Knight Ramune & 40 EX: Biku Biku Triangle Ai no Arashi Daisakusen
33. Red Garden: Dead Girls
34. Burn Up! W
35. Twin Signal: Family Game
36. Madou King Granzort: Saigo no Magical Taisen
37. Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam: Keito no Kioku – Namida no Dakkai Sakusen
38. Casshern: Robot Hunter
39. Juusenki L-Gaim III: Full Metal Soldier
40. Eureka Seven AO: Jungfrau no Hanabana-tachi
41. Haou Taikei Ryuu Knight: Adeu Legend
42. Choujuu Kishin Dancougar: Ushinawareta Mono-tachi e no Requiem
43. Sousei Kishi Gaiarth
44. Genmu Senki Leda
45. Madou King Granzort: Bouken-hen
47. Iron Man: Rise of Technovore
48. Jinki:Extend – Sorekara
49. Shin Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru Majinzan
50. Lime-iro Senkitan: Nankoku Yume Roman