They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Hitsuji no Uta, Bronze: Kouji Nanjo Cathexis, Natsuki Crisis, and more!
50: Hitsuji no Uta
MAL Score: 6.20
Kazuna’s family has a history of suffering from a disease that creates an uncontrollable vampire-like thirst for blood. Knowing none of this, Kazuna was sent to live with the Eda couple as a child. As the sickness begins to show signs of being present within himself, he comes into contact with his older sister, Chizuna, who has been suffering from it since early childhood. Knowing that the sickness incurs a heavy weight upon those that suffer from it, Chizuna tries to ease her brother’s burden, to help him learn to control his urges, but…
A sort-of non-traditional take on vampires. Kazuna and Chizuna are vampires, but vampirism is more of an illness and a hindrance than it is anything else. It’s quite a sad story, following how the illness ultimately destroys their lives. The anime’s ending differs from the manga, however, as well as leaving out a couple side characters entirely, but as the story (in the anime) is focused mainly on Kazuna and Chizuna’s interaction, it’s not a major issue.
– The backgrounds/settings are rather gorgeous. The muted palette overall reflects the melancholy tone of the show, and the style the characters are drawn in make them all the more striking, in my opinion. The eyes, especially, were haunting, and I particularly liked the dark outline for the noses (rather a change from the disappearing noses that are standard anime fare).
– Doing more than an OVA with such a character driven story would have been a mistake, but it wouldn’t have hurt to give it a bit more cash for the four episodes. Man did I get sick of Kazuna’s "attacks" (they looked like someone splatted some blood patterned brushes on a multiply layer in Photoshop), the wind chime, the moon, and (omg) the RED moon, not to mention the picture of Chizuna as a little girl, and a bunch of other reused shots/frames/misc. The obvious lack of budget inspired a drinking game in which the viewer would pass out from alcohol poisoning within the first episode if they were to actually put it to practice.
I give it a 7 for animation because, despite all the reused visuals, the visuals that were presented were rather pretty. Woulda been nice if things you know… moved more, though.
– The ED is really hauntingly beautiful, and sad. It’s actually one of my most played on iTunes. I’m a sucker for sad songs, what can I say? ^.^;;
– Woulda been nice if they had coughed up the cash for an OP, or even just better background music. The only real saving grace is the ED, music wise.
7, if only because I fricking love the ED so much.
Like I said, what this series is entirely about. Very well done, I thought. Chizuna was probably my favorite, but all the characters resonated emotionally, I think.
This series isn’t so much about a "story" or "plot-line" as it is about Chizuna and Kazuna, specifically. More of a slice out of their lives, than anything else.
7. It’s all coherent, and there are a few decent "twists".
Well, if you can’t get over the lack of budget, not much. But if you like a good story, with good characters, and some… a lot… a whole bunch… of angst, then this show is totally for you. If those things aren’t your piece of cake well… *shrug* For me, an 8, leaning towards a 9. 10 if I count how fun it is to rewatch and make fun of for it’s lack of budget. Or how Kazuna totally wants to do Chizuna.
Hitsuji no Uta is a retelling of the story told in its manga counterpart stuffing 7 volumes of well developed plot and characters into 4 episodes of rushed anime with poor animation. I wont be getting into the plot or characters because if you haven’t read the manga or don’t intend to; you have no reason to know of the existence of this OVA series. Even as a fan of the manga (which has its flaws) this OVA is completely pointless. The story skips so much that you cant really understand all of whats going on, i mean the deeper elements that actually require thought process while reading the manga. the animation is also poor; i expect more from madhouse and looking at still images of this anime youd think its got proper animation but it doesent. the framerate is choppy, characters can become disproportionate with large heads at times, they take plenty of shortcuts with animation such as dialogue over still images of characters who are supposedly talking or stock animations of trains. all in all this ova series should have never been made. fans of the manga series will find this painful to watch, anyone else wont enjoy it. the manga is only 7 volumes long so just go read it or look it up to see if youd like it. dont base any of your opinions on the story by what you see with this ova.
Hitsuji no Uta is an interesting anime, and if it had more time to develop it would have been really good. The anime as it stands at 4 episodes manages to tell a good story, even though it is short. What I found cool about it was that, instead of the low budget taking away from the enjoyment, it actually added to it. The repeated images and switching between black and white and color make the anime a little more stylized, rather than hindering the interest of the story. The way they show Kazuna’s attacks also adds quite a bit of tension to the experience.
The art style looks good most of the time, but sometimes ends up looking a bit off from the way you see it normally. This only happens in a few scenes, and it doesn’t really disturb the presence of the theme. And like I said before, the low-budgetness of the anime actually stylizes it and makes it unique.
Really, there’s not much here. There’s about one song plus the ending theme. The one song in the anime actually fits in most of the situations, so even though there’s not a large variety, it adds a familiar atmosphere when certain events are happening.
The characters weren’t that developed, mostly because there wasn’t enough time to get to know them all. But by the end, you have a feel for the personality and ideals of most of the important characters.
Enjoyment & Overall
I enjoyed Hitsuji no Uta quite a bit, and because it’s so short, the story doesn’t get distorted and twisted around until it’s unrecognizable. I would recommend it to anyone; I’m sure anyone could find something to like about it. Even if you don’t like it a ton, you’re only with it for 2 hours of your life, so you can watch it and add it to your repertoire of anime knowledge without too much effort.
49: Bronze: Kouji Nanjo Cathexis
Japanese: BRONZE KoJI NANJo cathexis
MAL Score: 6.20
A 30-minute OVA composed of five Koji Nanjo music videos, featuring never-seen scenes between Takuto and him, with an original art gallery by Minami Ozaki at the end.
Being just five (5) music videos, each one of them tell us a different tale based on koji and takuto. If we know just a bit about what is zetsuai or the characters itself are, we can see a passionate way of each one of them, mostly over koji nanjo.
The video clips are totally Surrealist, harsh, a very personal way of presenting the persecution of koji over takuto, we can see strong selfish feelings of love.
I guess the most particular of this is how we can differenciate both character as an entity, they are so unique with that powerful personality, is sadist watch how they fight against each other, with a kind of invasive personality, they can wrap us with the most sad and painful expression as anger and passion.
The five music videos are represented by different phantasies; The Rock
Idol star tale. The religious-angel tale. The studio tale, centred on koji nanjo recording a theme and watching the artist life view. The vampire hunter tale. The last music video is i guess the most strange of them, the most personal and sad over the characters, as lovers, the crash point of view.
This is very familiar to those 70’s – 80’s old music video clips, surrealism of lover and different meanings, abstracts stuffs. some scenes are a bit shocking and rude, contains romantics scenes as agressive scenes.
The music videos themselves are quite dark, surreal, and artsy looking, with good enough animation, nothing too special.
The majority of my enjoyment came from the songs themselves, which I actually thought were pretty (and surprisingly) good. This is what made my rating higher. I’ve only *watched* this anime about once, but I’ve listened to it about 3 times. The songs can best be described as interesting, weird, and catchy. They won’t be everyone’s style, but I enjoy them and see myself going back to them every so often.
48: Natsuki Crisis
MAL Score: 6.21
Natsuki is the top female karateka in her high school. Beautiful and cheerful, she charms most people she meets. Most of the young men in her class would dearly like to be the object of her affection but she saves her passion for karate. Unfortunately, all the big ugly thugs she comes across want to fight her so she’s always finding practical application for her karate skills. As the series continues and her opponents get grimmer, Natsuki learns techniques from Akido and Judo and develops a special Ki energy blast that doubles the strength of her punches. She may not be able to smash walls like some of her opponents but her special N.G. Bomber usually sends her opponents flying.
Oh, I almost forgot, there’s a healthy amount of up-skirt shots during fights as well. Enjoy!
47: Midnight Eye: Gokuu II
English: Goku II: Midnight Eye
Japanese: MIDNIGHT EYE ゴクウII
MAL Score: 6.24
Goku, the lone wolf private detective is back, contracted by Yoshiko, a mysterious, beautiful and very afraid woman, to find and save her brother, Ryu. Will Goku be able to protect Yoshiko from her step father’s soldiers long enough to find her brother? Meanwhile Ryu, the unfortunate subject of a military experiment gone bad, leaves a trail of bodies behind him and has no intention of being found or saved by anyone. Will Goku have to kill the man he is supposed to save? Will even his omniscient cybernetic eye and sceptre be enough to help him defeat this indestructible killing machine?
The action in Midnight Eye II is good but merely standard and not strategically spaced out throughout the runtime for maximum impact. To add insult to injury, the villains are split between the evil military officer and his bioengineered psychic weapon experiment, who is not clear cut evil. These Yoshiaki Kawajiri ovas do not work so well against a sympathetic enemy like this and as mirrored by the characters deliberation on whether to kill the psychic bioweapon, leads to a less focused plot overall.
What lets the action down is the incompatibility of the main character’s powers and abilities (or at least the underutilization of his hacking abilities) against the militaristic nature of the villain whilst still sticking to the solely action focused formula of the first ova. We dont see mech suits or gunships being deployed against the hero, only soldier goons. It would have been far more satisfying to see Gokuu overcome more insane odds with use of his hacking powers. The final encounter with the psychic enemies is more up to par but the damage is already done, the ova has already suffered from a lack of exciting enemy encounters that keeps these ovas engaging from start to end.
The finale however is great, with a nice plot twist and the use of a novel weapon whose blueprints was stolen from the pentagon by Gokuus hacking abilities. A very nice piece of cold war contextualising for some subtle sociopolitical commentary and worldbuilding. If only there was more of this exciting action throughout more of this ova!
And no, the origin of the Midnight Eye is still not explained, though that would probably be opening another can of worms.
This psychic military experiment premise was done better in another Yoshiaki Kawajiri work, the second ova of Cyber City Oedo which is much more focused thanks to its mindless cyborg enemy and greater focus on bureaucratic intrigue and has far more spectacular setpieces. Midnight Eye II is worth a watch as a high production retro ova with gorgeous art but is ultimately an average action sci fi anime of the time.
SUMMARY: Goku Midnight Eye 2 starts out just as goofy and fun as the first part, but devolves into a way more grim and frankly unpleasant watch that was not my cup of tea. If you like 80s style anime gore without a deep story or characters, and just like the action as animated by Madhouse, this is the OVA for you. If you want something in the vein of the fun and goofy action from the first OVA, you will be very disappointed, as this one contains way less (unintentional?) comedy and way more questionable drama.
Goku Midnight Eye 2 starts off with what’s basically a “cold open”, a sequence completely unrelated to the main story. Here, we get a stakeout in an exclusive rooftop club, and soon enough a hilarious chase sequence ensues where our protagonist and the sleazebag mafia man he’s after slide around on rooftops. It’s directly in the tone of the previous movie, and I really like it.
However, if you are like me and you came for the 80s OVA goofiness, then you should seriously stop watching after this sequence and just pretend it was a short. What follows is a main story that really wasn’t what I expected or hoped for, and ended up being a serious buzzkill. As so often, your mileage may vary, but in my opinion Part 2 of Goku Midnight Eye isn’t nearly as enjoyable as Part 1.
Part 2’s tone quickly shifts to a far more grim and dark one. While Part 1 had a good balance in my opinion to keep things fun, Part 2 goes for a proper overtuned noir story with more gore, a darker backstory and more graphic violence against women in particular. The plotline follows a woman asking Goku’s help to save her brother, who turns out to have been subjected to intense brainwashing and medical experiments. He’s a complete killer machine, and the amount of gore and violence has gone up as a result. Later on, a prostitute is basically raped to death. ‘Nuff said.
The movie’s animation has also changed as a result – We see way less of the colorful, moody Cyberpunk aesthetic and more drab backgrounds and colors. The action is toned down in its fun romp-like quality and gets way more serious and gorey. The plot is still nonsense, but instead of being made to enable a goofy, fun time like the first OVA, it feels more as a very basic setup to excuse more brutal scenes. Absolutely not my cup of tea. I don’t need every story to be deep, but gore for the sake of gore is not for me.
BOTTOM LINE: I personally cannot recommend this part of Goku Midnight Eye. The dreary art, the way harsher tone and the excess of violence and gore for the sake of it really didn’t do it for me. I found some of the scenes outright appalling. The story makes no well executed attempts to justify its brutality – It feels like a proper exploitation movie, and that’s not my thing.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Plenty of gore, brainwashing and medical torture, explicit portrayals of rape and murder, more sexism than the first OVA too.
46: Saint Beast: Ikusen no Hiru to Yoru-hen
Japanese: セイント ビースト～幾千の昼と夜 編～
MAL Score: 6.27
Long ago there was a war in Heaven which resulted in Judas and Luca – two of the six specially-chosen, talented and strong Saint Beasts – being cast out and imprisoned in Hell for leading the rebellion. But before that Heaven had been a peaceful place where the angels happily lived their lives. In this time, Judas, Luca, Goh, Shin, Rey and Gai are adolescent angels in Heaven who, on the day of Benediction, are made into adults by the supreme god Zeus. With each of the six having their own special abilities and new adult bodies to get used to, opportunities to meet each other arise and new friendships are formed.
On the plus side the art is very good and the slice of life style of the ova can be somewhat alright, though not enough to be considered a decent plot. It’s basically just eye candy, pretty men hanging out with their friends.
Theres so many characters and i got confused who was who half the time . Theres was pretty much no plot and it was basically just pretty boys hanging out with their mates or crushs or whatever with a few bad angels kicked out of heaven or something which i didnt really follow either.
So i guess i reccomend that if you really want to watch this ova watch the parent anime first so you can actually follow the story line.
45: Mamono Hunter Youko
English: Devil Hunter Yohko
MAL Score: 6.28
Yohko Mono is a regular girl making her way through high school–until she learns that she is the 108th successor to a line of warriors charged with defending the earth against demons. Eventually she must fight her ultimate battle against the demon who started it all.
We have enough people on this site reviewing the new shit like “Is this a Zombie?”, Highschool DD and Btooom. I am continuing in my noble quest to enlighten younger viewers on the forgotten anime of the past. Mostly shitty old anime, because those reviews are both more amusing and honestly much easier write.
This was at one point a famous or rather infamous title back in 1990. Firstly, it was the first ADV (the company that brought over Evangelion) VHS release in the US. It was also probably the first Etchii genre anime ever to see American release. This was in the year 1990. The US had received gory anime like Akira and Vampire Hunter D. There had also been a very limited release of hentai like the infamous “Legend of the Overfiend” found in the back of seedy video stores. There was no internet at this time, so the only people that had ever seen a hentai were those with enough of a “I don’t give a fuck” attitude to walk into a porn store and buy a horribly dubbed cartoon porn much to the laughter and redicule of the store clerk. I was born in 1988 of course, so by the time I wanted to see anime titties around age 10 or 11, the internet had thankfully been invented. The Echii genre for those that don’t know is a lowbrow genre that has lots of tits and ass, but isn’t actual hentai. It is essentially softcore and includes shows like Ikki Tousen, Seikon, Desert Punk, and Highschool of the Dead. This is the grandfather of all those shows. The trunk of the sleazy Echii tree! It featured copious blood and nudity without having to buy it in a porn store. This made it a somewhat popular title back in the early 90s. Let’s see how it stacks up today!
Plot and Characters: 2/10
As you might imagine the plot and characters are very lacking in this one since the only reason it exists is for pointless gore and erotica. Yohko is one of a long line of demon hunters and each episode must fight a new monster, which will inevitably tear most of her clothes off before she can kill it. The original writing was terrible to begin with I’m sure, but the English dub is laughably horrible. The dub actually tries to make “Bitchin” into Yohko’s catchphase. How is that a catch phrase!? The only character I liked in this series was Yohko’s insane mother that in the first episode hands her condoms and tells her to go out and enjoy as much sex as she can! Apparently “devil hunters” must be virgins, but they don’t lose their powers unless they get pregnant. They can have protected sex and still count as virgins. This plothole allows us to see Yohko bang and yet still keep her powers for fighting demons in the next episode. As Yohko would say, “Bitchin!”
Art and sound: 3/10
The art obviously looks extremely dated, but the animation isn’t horrible like most 80s OVAs. This isn’t MD Geist where a character’s body will randomly disappear and leave a floating head and cape. The blood also looks a LOT better than most other shitty OVAs of that time period like Angel Cop or Mad Bull 34.
This is interesting as a historical relic, but as an anime it sucks. Vast improvements in animation quality and a boom in the echii genre has led to hundreds of superior softcore ero titles. Unless you are interested in anime history, there is really no reason to ever watch this piece of shit. Unless of course you just want to laugh at ADV’s early dubbing. That is always worthwhile entertainment!
I love the art. The eyes aren’t big and watery, the costumes are cute, and the monsters are scary lookin’. The music isn’t anything special and the theme song isn’t very memorable. What stands out most is the main character. If you like women tearing though giant demons, chanting ancient transformation spells, and general magic-girlyness, you will love Yohko. The stereo typical teenage ditz, she tries to lead as normal a life as possible, but always manages to go from school girl to fierce warrior when the situation calls for it. Overall, I’d say it’s worht your time. Furthermore, if it weren’t for the nudity and language, I’d also reccommend it for younger siblings and kids, cause I had lots of fun playing “Devil Hunter Yohko” on the playground. XD
44: Arata naru Sekai: World’s/Start/Load/End
English: World’s End
Japanese: アラタなるセカイ WORLD’S/START/LOAD/END
MAL Score: 6.29
Four high school girls in uniforms walk silently on the barren earth. These girls are time travelers who had been sent 6000 years into the future, from their present in which the same day is endlessly repeated, in order to evade human extinction.
They studied time travel in school, were examined by the aptitude test, and were sent to the future as told. What should they do now? They had no idea. The only thing they could take with them from the present was a light, toy-like cellphone. Of course, it receives no signal here.
As the girls are walking, they see strange birds flying in the sky, and a discolored river in the distance.
Then, one girl finds an abandoned house, and recognizes the name inscribed on the front gates.
And i have NO idea how this happened but even though i totally didn’t get what was going on, by the end i was pretty much bawling my eyes out. Now i personally think its extremely unfair that i was so ’emotionally abused’ by this 30 minute anime movie that didn’t even make sense! I mean i have a general ‘idea’ but basically everything was so vague that it wasn’t something i would consider an ‘enjoyable’ experience.
However reading other reviews, I’ve heard people say that you have to read the manga and light novel or something to fully understand. But i didn’t and maybe thats why for me it was so confusing. So if you wanna give this a go, you may wanna try the manga (apparently it covers the past–why the day kept repeating) and the light novel (apparently covers the present–making of the movie)
Anyway i think thats too much of a hassle for someone who just wants to check out a simple anime movie that caught their eye only to be confused as hell because they never got the memo to read the manga & light novel beforehand. *sigh* seriously they should have just fit all that into the movie. Had they done so, maybe i wouldn’t feel so emotionally abused, for crying my eyes out over a story i didn’t even get.
Animation was beautiful. Sound was good too. Ending song was a blur for me since by then i was pretty much drowning in my own tears and frustration. But i know it was pretty much something that encouraged the tears.
Im not gonna even try and explain the ‘story’ (*mumbles* whatever the fuck that was supposed to be about) but you can read the synopsis and that is basically all i understand from this anime movie since i have not read the manga/light novel.
So as you can probably tell if you actually read all that emotional ranting–I’m not so great at reviews, but I’m trying to get better hence why I’m writing this. Haha no. actually thats a lie. Im just writing this to rant my emotional stress after watching the movie. I needed an outlet and I’m using this and passing it as a ‘review’. ok, so thats that. And with that my rant is now over. *phew* AHHH that feels so much better. 😛
Have you ever been thinking how the future might affect your past and viceverse? Well, what this 1 episode OVA tries to do is to sort of make your brain twist around 360 degrees and make you think once again about how the future possibly could be like, aswell how it could affect your past and how the two are connected to eachother.
The story is in my opinion slightly mindtwisting due to my previous statement but does however do well considering that it infact is only 30minutes long and the creators actually manages to deliever a message which I believe is rather hard to do in such short amount of time.
It’s hard to really review the story without spoiling anything so it’ll be a rather short one.
It is basically a story about 4 high schoolgirls who has leapt through time, 6000 years from their current present time into the future. They are stuck in that very loop of time without any sign of any other mankind.
I didn’t really get what their goal was or what they were trying to achieve but nonetheless it got me interested and I sat hooked to it throughout the whole OVA since they brought up some interesting ideas on how future and past could be connected to eachother.
It’s fine, pretty much today’s avarage anime quality.
I found that they really had put alot of work into the quality of sound, aswell as having a good amount of sounds and effects, suiting every situation really well.
For the characters they aren’t really anything to mention, there is no introduction to them except for Yakusa whom seems like the main protagonist of the story, overall they are just like normal high school girls.
Hence I found the story aswell as their theories quite interesting and all of the sound fitting to each and another event, which hooked me to it.
I think people should give this OVA a chanse because it has some really interesting stuff to “tell” you.
PS. I’m sorry if you find the parts of the review repetetive and if there are some errors in there, but it is as said, my first review here on MAL. 🙂
This anime is actually a really good short but its one major flaw is the fundamental one – the plot line. Every other aspect is either average or good like the animation (one of the better ones I’ve seen) or the sound (particularly good.) Actually one of the better aspects I liked was how the voices of the characters suited the characters. Yes they were the typical, short-skirted school girls but they way they spoke and what they said just seemed, in some weird odd way, absolutely befitting. I can say no more of this.
On an emotional basis, you’re pretty much on your own. Some cry, some don’t but this anime just seems to be in the grey. Once finished, I felt some weird mixture of sadness and was slightly unsatisfied. But that’s not a total turn off. If you’re in to questioning the “vision of the future” and the future of mankind, go for it but if you’re not, that cool too because even though the anime is essentially centered on that, it doesn’t bombard you with so much existential questions that you have to go re-evaluate your life.
Personally, I though it was a slice-of-life anime. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but not completely distasteful either. Look, long story short, you’re gonna be confused and emotionally weirded out by yourself. This review was more a weird string of thoughts than an actual review but, you know, que sera sera.
43: Zetsuai 1989
MAL Score: 6.38
Koji Nanjo, a young rock star, falls in love with soccer player Takuto Izumi. Koji eventually learns that Izumi’s mother killed his father out of severe and intense love. Izumi took all the guilt for his father’s murder and refuses to go pro because of fear that his past will be discovered by the media. Izumi detests Koji’s company and encouragement and severely dislikes the attention from the press, but Koji cannot stay away for he soon realizes that his love for Izumi is very similar to the love that Izumi’s mother felt for his father.
The story starts out with a flashback of our hunky lead reminiscing about a football hunk from his childhood. Excuse me will I clean my keyboard after spilling my tea laughing at that statement. I lied; there is nothing hunky about our girly man leads. Back on point, the lead Koji Nanjo is a super famous and popular musician who insists he isn’t gay, despite having these thoughts about this footballer. Coincidently the now grown footballer, Takuto Izumi picks up the passed out and drunken Koji from a rainy alley and nurses him back to health. I’m sure this kind of thing happens all the time. Straight man picks up a drunkard from an alley and takes him home then sleeps lovingly with him on the same bed. What a nice man.
Actually this illness, and let’s call it what it is; IT’S A COLD! It’s not life threatening! For the most part healthy young men do not drop dead after getting wet and developing a small fever and the sniffles. However this is a recurring theme in this anime. I would guess that at least 60% of the story takes place in a hospital or in someone’s sickbed. I know, I know, I am sure this is supposed to drive home some kind of splendid drama or titillate me with the promise of healing buttsecks.
All this being said there is some decent drama beneath all the sickness and gay-angst. Sorta. Kinda. Koji moves from a man who claims he isn’t gay to a flaming symbol of gay pride in the span of 10 minutes. Most puzzling we are supposed to believe that it was the look in Izumi’s eyes that so captivated him when he was younger. Towards the end though the drama is fairly interesting as Koji tries to get his feelings across to the emotionally damaged Izumi. The story doesn’t really end satisfactorily but it isn’t horrible. It doesn’t change the fact though that Koji is an obsessive psycho and there is nothing to make you think either one of them have any real feelings for each other besides what they say. Additionally the sports action and portrayal of the music industry is unrealistic to say the least. Yaoi fans looking for a lot of guy x guy action are also not likely to be satisfied either. There is very little intimacy between the “lovers” and absolutely zero chemistry and nothing that is even close to being called romance.
The cast for Zetsuai is small and pretty much keeps to its two leads. They are both underwhelming as characters. Izumi attempts to be played as this macho and manly athlete. But he comes across as a heartless brooding asshat. Yes, he’s had it rough. He is haunted by the murder of his father by his mother and her attempted murder of him. Because of the societal rejection of him as the son of a murderer he is understandably scarred emotionally and distant from people. He is moderately sympathetic as a character because most of what happens to him or has happened in his life is really through no fault of his own. I suppose the most inspirational thing about his is as a warning to people on why you shouldn’t pick up strangers in the street and take them home with you.
Koji on the other hand is equally passionless. Though what exactly he is messed up about is anyone’s guess. I find it quite laughable that someone with so little interest in anything could ever become a successful musical artist. The only time he shows any real passion about anything is in playing the pining man-wife type, while he tries to force himself on Izumi. He is a complete psycho and his antics get more and more over the top the more desperate he becomes.
What can I say about the art? Well it is without a doubt one of the most horrible things I have ever subjected my eyeballs too. This kind of thing is precisely why I don’t watch this genre. If you want to see two women together why not just watch a yuri anime? It seems 99% of yaoi artwork is a rip-off of CLAMP designs. The guys are way too feminine, with long girlish nails and fingers, long silky hair, and thin faces with knife like pointed chins. Either the artist really loves Jay Leno or this is supposed to be attractive. Additionally the characters are supposed to be 16. Despite the silliness of that when it comes to the story, these guys don’t looks like they are 16. No way in hell. It’s not just the character designs that are hideous, the backgrounds and settings are just as bland and uninspired. I suppose I should give it a bit of a pass being that it is from almost 20 years ago but I can’t see this looked good ever. Even a cave artist would have thought this looked like shit.
Perhaps the only thing worse than the art is the music. Wow. I can’t believe we used to listen to this trash. If you want to reminisce to the good old days of hair bands and trite lyrics and corny keyboard sounds then maybe you will get a smidgeon of value. As hair bands go Mötley Crüe rocked, this is more like listening to Nelson. The acting performances are equally uninteresting and unmoving.
Overall Zetsuai 1989 is an anime that should be avoided by all but the most undiscriminating viewer or yaoi fangirl. I would say you could watch it for the lulz but you should love yourself more than that. The only thing it really has going for it is that it’s a million times better than its epically shitty sequel.
seen via english sub.
To be honest the cover art and yaoi genre through me for a loop. Both i did not expect to be what i ended up seeing. The emotions and drama that went into this movie caused my emotions to stir. The passion, the strength of will really could connect to the viewer. Sure at first the story portrays a kind of screw you (hate you) kind of moment. However, had it not have been would the same ending have been reached? The cover art is there to show the stone cold emotion/emotionless feeling. The genre is there because both main characters are both strong roles. I am not saying a woman can not be as strong. Women can even be stronger but they are known for there emotions not there muscles. Hard truth but it is the truth.
Along time ago i heard from an unknown source fight fire with fire. How can you do that if your love has been involved in a murder? making matters worse your parents are both the murder and victim. How can one recover from that? This writer found a way that i thought there would be none. The murder weapon needed to be in the hands of the innocent but how? How was the question.
The music from this OVA is wonderful, I still listen to the extra soundtrack to this day. I guess because I am nostalgic for an era that I’ve never witnessed. If you like cheesy 80’s music like me then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too. I was in the closet when I watched this as a teenager and this anime helped me cope with being closeted. Especially when Nanjo who was mostly a player with the ladies suddenly realizes the girl he’s been searching for all along is a boy his age. The boy, however, resents Nanjo and rightfully so because he’s not sure why Nanjo looks at him that way and why he won’t leave his life.
It’s a cliche storyline. Rocker pretty boy falls in love with an athletic pretty boy, but athletic pretty boy doesn’t reciprocate those feelings back until one day their life turns around and everything changes. You know that sort of cheesy thing. As a young cold-hearted homosexual, this anime definitely pulled several heartstrings. Therefore this anime will always have a special place in my heart and was one of the reasons why I decided to come out.
42: Otogi Juushi Akazukin OVA
Japanese: おとぎ銃士 赤ずきん
MAL Score: 6.45
Long, long time ago there where both science and magic in the human world. But God became afraid of the Human’s unlimited potential, so he divided the world into two and sealed them apart. One world with magic and the other one with science.
Suzukaze Souta is a normal boy except that he has the Key in his body to break the Seal. The evil witch Cendrillon want that power and tries to take it. Akazukin and Val, a silver wolf, came from the magic-world to prevent her from that.
A grand story of a boy who will lead a checkered life and girls in fairly lands has just begun.
41: Midnight Eye: Gokuu
English: Goku: Midnight Eye
Japanese: MIDNIGHT EYE ゴクウ
MAL Score: 6.46
Furinji Goku is a detective who has an “eye of god”.
While he was investigating the murder case of his colleague when he had been an officer, he was pressured to stop it by the police executives. However, he continue investigating, and he lost his left eye. When he was about to be killed, a mysterious group helped him and transplant an artificial eye. The eye was a super technological device that connected to the whole computer network in the world, and enabled him to control any computers.
Let’s get this out of the way: Goku is a standard action movie, albeit one that has all the style and flair you’d expect from director Yoshiaki Kawajiri. If you go into it expecting any more, you’ll be disappointed. There are no thought provoking themes or deep characterization here. But despite that, Goku manages to tell an entertaining story. Which I will now spoil, for this is the only way to convey its greatness.
An investigation is being conducted into the activities of a businessman the police suspect of being an arms dealer. But one by one the officers involved in the surveillance operation are taking their own lives. Enter Goku Furinji, a wisecracking private detective with terrible dress sense. A tie draped over his bare chest, he positively exudes manliness. As an ex-cop who was friends with the dead men, Goku takes a personal interest in the case, despite warnings from his old boss to keep out of it.
Goku is, of course, far too manly too manly to be deterred, and decides to take matters into his own hands. After a brief encounter with a naked female android who shoots a laser from her mouth and has motorcycle handlebars mounted on her back, he faces a naked woman with a plume of hypnotic feathers and ends up with no choice but to stab his own left eye in order to save his life. Then he drives into a river. What a man.
If you’re not yet having trouble suspending your disbelief, keep reading.
Duing a dream sequence, a booming voice informs a Goku that he has been given a cybernetic eye to replace the one he lost. He wakes up, inexplicably, on a park bench and soon realizes that it wasn’t a dream. The eye is, quite frankly, shit-hot. Not only can it access any computer in the world, it can CONTROL them. Suddenly, Goku is practically invincible.
Why was he given this eye? Who gave it to him? Where did the technology come from? Pfft. If you’re the kind of viewer who gives a crap about these kind of details, you probably wouldn’t be watching this show in the first place. Suffice it to say, he wants revenge, and goes about it in the most manly way possible: by jumping from a helicopter and using his infinitely extendable staff to pole-vault through a window several thousand (possibly) floors high.
I’m a huge fan of Kawajiri and his unique style is evident throughout Goku: Midnight Eye. Like his earlier Wicked City, the show takes full advantage of his ability to create a dark, oppressive, gothic urban environment, and it’s populated with a cast of elegantly designed characters. The animation is similarly impressive, with fluid action scenes and minimal reliance on shortcuts. The cheesy 80s synth music, however, does little but ratchet up the camp factor, which may or may not be a good thing. I can’t quite decide.
So what do we have? A stoic, indestructible hero. Unspeakably evil bad guys. Plenty of random nudity. Gorgeous design. Yep, it’s an 80s OVA, it’s great fun, and it’s the kind of show that doesn’t get made any more. And I think that’s a real shame.
I would dig deeper into this subtlety but it does not seem intentional as the plot is about as standard and ass kicking as Cyber City Oedo or Wicked City are.
My only complaints are its lack of resolution, especially when the two aforementioned ovas are such tight, well crafted packages. Neither the Midnight Eye’s benefactors nor the fate of the heroine is made clear, as if these threads were inconsequential, which is frustrating. Even the heroic deaths that female characters often get in Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s other works would have given so much closure.
The lesser emphasis on standout bizzare/aweing sci fi or supernatural imagery means Midnight Eye does not quite attain the legendary status of other Yoshiaki Kawajiri works but because of this, presents us with the purest form of his badass wisecracking hero prevails over insanely bizzare death encounters formula; and its absolutely top notch entertainment. A must watch classic ova that reaffirms everything great about the awesome style of anime fans dub MANime!
SUMMARY: If you love cheesy, goofy late 80s anime shlock with a genuinely well done cyberpunk/noir setting, this is the OVA for you. If you expect an actually good or deep story that doesn’t go totally off the rails, look elsewhere.
Goku Midnight Eye is a 1989 OVA based on the manga of the same name. There are two OVA episodes made, this being the first one, and in my humble opinion far and away the better of the two.
Fair word of warning: I’m a big, big fan of B-movie type stuff, cheesy shlock and all sorts of things that are unintentionally hilarious. With Goku Midnight Eye, I personally feel like I’ve landed a real hit for my growing list of material for B-movie nights. As a result, if you expect a review that takes this OVA 100 percent seriously, then I’m afraid I can’t help you.
On the surface, Goku Midnight Eye has all the makings of a really solid action romp. The animation, courtesy of Madhouse, looks fluid and outright impressive at times. The 80s Cyberpunk setting is very well done, and it’s no wonder clips/gifs from Goku Midnight Eye show up in a lot of 80s aesthetic collections. Some scenes and moments really do look great, and have a great sense of color and mood. Some of the music also works quite well to round this out.
However, and I cannot beat around the bush any longer … Goku Midnight Eye is also complete and utter cheesy nonsense that I found impossible not to laugh at. I’m a huge fan of serious Cyberpunk stuff and man, this OVA is not it. It is however genuinely great fun, especially with friends, if you are open to a lovably goofy time. (Bonus points if you pick the dub for this)
The story is about a smarmy, dirtbag noir cop utterly coated in cliches who thinks of himself as the coolest dude in the universe. He tries so hard to seem like a total badass, and I thought it was hilarious. The dub only cranks this feeling up to 11, because in typical 80s OVA fashion it adds a ton of swearing and goofy language.
Our “hero” investigates a dangerous case, comes across a sexy gal and an evil villain, things get violent, then midway-through the story acquires the titular “Midnight Eye” implant as a, spoiler, *literal gift from God*. This is never explained. Gods and other such powers were never even mentioned up to this point. It just happens, and is never discussed again. It allows our protagonist to literally hack anything in the world. It’s as goofy and incredible as it sounds, and just one of many moments of fun action paired with hilarious cheese in this OVA.
I’ll not spoil anything more, especially not the villain’s master plan which is easily one of the funniest and most incredible villain plans I’ve ever seen. At some point, there is a fight against a naked woman that is half motorcycle. If that doesn’t make you want to watch this, nothing will, really.
BOTTOM LINE: I overall give Goku Midnight Eye a 5, since on more objective levels I just don’t think it’s a particularly well executed OVA. The story explains very little, the characters are cliches, particularly the English dub has a ton of smarmy one liners. There is nothing of real substance there. However, it’s also such good silly fun that it gets laughs out of me every time. A great watch for similiarly minded friends.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Strong violence against women, bunch of exposed boobs, moments of gore, assorted 80s sexism. It all comes across as more harmless and dumb than anything else, since the subject matters aren’t treated with any sort of depth, but it still felt worth mentioning.
40: Yuugen Kaisha
English: Phantom Quest Corp.
MAL Score: 6.48
In a country where companies are categorized into many subdivisions and corporations, only one of them is a ghost corp—the Phantom quest corp. When otherworldly supernatural phenomenon threatens the city and its populace, Ayaka Kisaragi and her employees are on the job to fight any and all supernatural menace.
In first two episodes music looked nice, but later a got bored of same backround music. Also you can hear backround music whole time, so this is a bit frustrating too.
Actually I don’t have any complains about the animation. I liked the animation, because it’s very simple and a bit oldskool.
The main reason I didn’t liked this anime alot is enjoyment. Sometimes I smiled, but most of the times I was sitting with the same dull face. The jokes were not funny for me.
Overall, this anime is worth watching if you don’t have anything better to do or watch. That’s it !
Peace out !
Story: How did the intro narration go like? Of all the registered businesses in Japan; only one is categorised as ‘supernatural’ – something like that! Its been several months at the time of writing this review XD
The super spunky and very irresponsible Ayaka, the detective Karina and her co workers deal with all sorts of trouble such as vampires, laser turrets in a surgery room, haunted exhibits and worst of all; serious financial debt! As heroic their deeds are, Ayaka’s collateral damage or spending sprees always seem to put them back to square zero! The stories may be standard but the sheer energy the characters bring as they progress the plot is anything but! 7/10
Art: This is a slightly above average looking 90s ova featuring brilliant colours and (supposedly bland?) very likeable character designs! So good that even with the underdevelopment of half of the characters; you cant help but… love em! The action scenes are also standout with the final rooftop duel being so well choreographed that it almost looks like rotoscoping! (or maybe it is XD). 9/10 not like Patlabor 2 good but the next thing down!
Sound: Standard um… 80s style pop synth if I remember? entertaining I suppose but not particularly good? Uses a bit of orchaestra for action themes in keeping with its horror themes too. 7/10 The ending theme is somewhat above average for an 80s anime pop tune.
Character: The main character is the fiery and gorgeous action girl type that will drive an anime singlehandedly and make it entertaining; no matter how poor everything else may be (it isn’t). The focus on the MC is however rather prominent, meaning that some characters get an underwhelming amount of development (the teen pyropsyker and the big exorcist guy in particular) the character designs give off charm on their own but I wished these two got more screentime (they were only introduced in the 2nd OVA) to fully realise that charm. The real strength of this anime is the perfect use of body language in the animation (a lot of exaggerations too!) as the ultimate expression of characterisation. 9/10 Its so adorable seeing our characters react to the disaster of the day!
Enjoyment: lively animation, a beautiful colour palette and super charming characters all set within a monster mix of classic western and oriental horror mythos. Something fun that most people can enjoy; especially fans of retro anime OVAs. 9/10
Rating: Tweens and up. Some deaths, some spooky monsters and an unfortunate nip slip at the end that stops me from recommending this anime to even younger audiences.
Story wise it’s sufficient. Being only four episodes it doesn’t have much time to tell much of a story arc, and it’s very episodic. Each episode tells a simple story, that is enjoyable, but doesn’t leave much impact. The series is a bit dependent on cliches. This doesn’t detract a lot of the series, but don’t expect anything new that will blow your mind.
The characters themselves are pretty stock and aren’t developed much. This is forgivable considering that it only had four episodes to introduce them. Each character does have enough personality to make them interesting, but nothing good enough to stand out much. The best part of the series would be Rika Matsumoto’s performance as the main character. She brings a lot of energy to the role, and makes it quite interesting. It’s a shame that Pokemon is eating up all of her time, because it would be really nice to see her more often.
Overall Phantom Quest Corp doesn’t have much to offer, but isn’t something to avoid. It’s not spectacular enough to seek out, but if you get the chance to give it a watch it’s worth the time.
39: Anime Koukyoushi: Jungle Taitei
Japanese: アニメ交響詩 ジャングル大帝
MAL Score: 6.48
Actually, that 1991 date is misleading. The Symphonic Poem originated with the music Isao Tomita wrote for Jungle Emperor in 1965. He re-worked his music into a long form which tells a story by itself. (This form of music was termed “symphonic poem” or “tone poem” by composers in the late Romantic era.) So music that was written originally to enhance visual story telling became the story teller.
Tomita’s symphonic poem was recorded in the mid-60s and issued on LP in Japan. More than once, in fact. It has also been on CD more than once.
In 1991, Tezuka Productions turned the process upside down and created new animation to illustrate the symphonic poem. The story is basically that of the first Kimba episode. We see the peaceful animal kingdom under Panja, the coming of the hunters, Eliza’s capture and Panja’s death. Kimba is born and escapes back to Africa. All this told without a single word spoken. The style of the Symphonic Poem’s animation is unique. It draws heavily on the style of the 1989 TV series, but Kimba looks different from the way he looked in any other production.
38: DNA2 OVA
Japanese: D N A2～何処かで失くしたあいつのアイツ～ (1995)
MAL Score: 6.54
Junta’s great granddaughter goes back in time in order to make Junta stay as the Mega-Playboy so she can continue to exist. Along with her comes an old man with the intention of making Junta stay as the Mega-Playboy forever for his own purposes.When Junta starts getting attacked, he has no choice but to return to being the Mega-Playboy in order to protect his loved ones.
37: Takarajima Memorial: Yuunagi to Yobareta Otoko
MAL Score: 6.54
A short story during Jim’s adventure at sea. He encounters a man at a bar who told a tail about a one-legged man. Thinking it’s Silver who the man is referring too, Jim later asked him for details. The man told Jim that, near the coast Maratoran, Silver left the ship they were on went to the island on a small boat. Jim, who couldn’t go at the time, left for Maratoran six years later. He met Silver’s wife and son there.
36: Trava: Fist Planet
Japanese: TRAVA FIST PLANET
MAL Score: 6.55
Ace pilot Trava and his personal mechanic buddy Shinkai, on their way to mark an out-of-the-way planet, pick up Mikuru, a girl with no memory. The three are about to discover that the planet is more than it seems.
Well, the story is quite basic, we start off with two characters, Trava and Shinkai, on board of a spaceship. They are freelancers, and their current job is to travel and survey an unknown planet. They find an object drifting in space, and locate a girl inside of it who seems to have lost her memories. Sound familiar?
The story doesn’t start off partcularly exciting, but it’s enough to keep you interested. Eventually, the trio ends up landing on the planet and realise that there are some crazy things going on there. The problem is, the story does seem random, while that can work, like in FLCL, here it feels a bit awkward. The show explains that Trava and Shikai hope to collect money to be able to enter a sort of mecha suit battle tournament, but the anime ends before any of that takes place. It seems like they had more story to show us, but ended up just wrapping up the show in 4 short episodes.
Best part of the anime. The art is really creative and different, kind of a mix of a Aeon Flux and Mind Game. This will turn off some people, but if you value art and like creative applications of it, this OVA is for you. The character designs are very funky and sometime silly(the female character’s huge hips) but i found them very interesting. Overall, i found it to be stylish and eye catching.
Fair for the most part. Nothing really memorable here, but it works and none of the music felt out of place. Pretty solid overall. The voice acting was very good and fit the funkyness of the characters.
Well, this one was hard to judge. There is no character development here, but in some cases that can be a good thing. We are introduced to several eccentric characters and, in the end, it is fun to observe their actions and mannerisms, so i decided to go with a positive score.
I liked this overall, but it could have been much more, it’s simply too short to be impressive. Now, short anime can be wonderful, but here it felt like a 12 episode anime cropped into a tiny 4 episodes of 13 minutes each. If you don’t care about art, or don’t like this kind of animation/character design, subtract two points here.
Overall score: 7
To make it clear. This is a story of two dorks saving a princess.
And this story has all charm of “Jay and Silent Bob” comedies, it has almost Quentin Tarantino’s dialogues and it has… well, really dope animation, but WHO CARES. The main characters at the most part of their screen time just chilling and smoking and talking anyway. While some serious science-fictional sh*t is going around. Hilarious!
These kind of stories will always have a special place in my heart. Rephrasing George Denis Patrick Carlin: “The Universe is fine. People are f**ked”.
I feel like I’d have enjoyed this way more, except that this only had Hungarian subtitles, and the English ones refused to load. Some of these characters were real big mumblers, I’ll tell ya that. Very hard to understand mumbling. Speak up!
35: Piyoko ni Omakase pyo!
MAL Score: 6.56
Leave it to Piyoko! Move over, Di Gi Charat!
Piyoko and the Black Gema Gema Gang star in this new OVA series. From the Planet Analogue to Earth, the Black Gema Gema Gang try to kidnap Dejiko and hold her ransom to find their dream of a prosperous home!
Overall and Enjoyment: 10
I couldn’t find subs, so I was forced to watch the dubs. But the dubs were actually pretty good. I love Piyoko-chan, she’s REALLY cute! I liked this anime because it was cute, funny, and overall entertaining. It doesn’t take a long time to watch, and it’s really cute, so I think you should watch it! Thanks for reading!
Leave it to Piyoko has the same absence of story as Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat. The basic premise is that Princess Piyoko, one of the antagonists from Di Gi Charat, accidentally destroys a large portion of her planet and flees to earth with her Black Gema Gema Gang with the plan of kidnapping Princess Dejiko and holding her for ransom. They then proceed to go through several, incredibly random scenarios, most of which don’t even involve their plan. The main difference between Leave it to Piyoko and Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat is that Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat has humour that generally works pretty well and Leave it to Piyoko just relies on complete randomness and the fact that the gang is incompetent. It’s not randomness structured in an amusing way, it’s just random and the gang being incompetent isn’t played up in an amusing way. It’s just them being incompetent. There are very few humorous moments in this. The fifteen minute episodes just feel like a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.
The characters remain fairly flat. One thing that does work are the interactions between Piyoko and other characters. The way she interacts with her upper level gang members and Princess Dejiko provides some cute moments.
The art is lazy and schizophrenic. The tone shifts frequently and with little reason. There isn’t a usual method as a result. It creates a unique atmosphere, but that’s really not a good thing.
The voice acting still tends towards over the top and somewhat grating. They get good people, like Hayashibara Megumi and Sanada Asami, but none of them do their best work, in all likelihood because of the direction. The music is just boring.
I’m going to give it a yuri factor of 3/10. There are some moments that could be read as homoerotic, but the characters involved are all of eight and ten years old so I wouldn’t read it that way.
My final rating is a 3/10. The few charming/humorous moments can’t make up for the overall lack of humour. The voice acting is still sub-par and the art is a lot worse in this than it was in Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat. I know that it’s intended for children, but I really don’t think most children are going to be entertained by it.
34: Vampire Hunter
English: Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge
MAL Score: 6.61
The world is a dark, brooding place populated by humans, but ruled in reality by powerful beings known as the Darkstalkers, and there is constant conflict between them as they try to determine who is the most powerful of them all. Zombies, vampires, werewolves – all of them compete in contests of strength and sheer will to attain their own personal goals.
All of this becomes moot when a race of Aztec robots called the Huitzil decide that humanity isn’t worth saving, and start waging war on the world, while in the sky, a solar god from outer space plots the conquest of Earth. And the Darkstalkers must become unwilling allies in order to save the world.
As I’m not an aficionado of the games myself, having played them only every now and again, it’s somewhat difficult for me to say whether or not the anime really ties into the games, so this review will mainly focus on the OVA as is.
As might be expected from an anime based on a fighting game, the story is the weakest point. By and large the main plot consists of a human world that has been ruled for some time now by monsters and creatures of legend called Darkstalkers (mainly Demitri Maximoff, for those who know the games) having evolved too much, giving rise to an invasion of robots (Huitzil/Phobos) that are programmed to wipe out advanced civilisation, while at the same time some universal overlord (Pyron) descends on the world to find someone who is strong enough to oppose him. As could be guessed, this someone of course shows up, in the guise of a man tormented by his being half human, half Darkstalker (Donovan). Or, to put it even more simplistic, it boils down to "Hero battles Villain".
Moreover, the plot takes itself far too seriously for something based on what is in fact a somewhat goofy, over-the-top series of fighting games, resulting in overly dramatic scenes tied to a plot that is paper thin and clichéd at best.
In the meanwhile, a few other characters from the game appear with their own back stories, which are touched upon and sometimes played out for a bit, but these stories are only very loosely, if at all, tied to the greater plot. This in effect means that the story becomes a garbled mess, with many a character running around seemingly without a purpose.
On the other hand, the presentation of the characters themselves is not half bad. Most anime based on fighting games opt to pick one main hero and one main villain and have them duke it out, with all the other characters dropping in for a cameo at one time or another to please the fans, leaving the uninitiated utterly confused as to who this or that new guy that never reappears was. Vampire Hunter, on the contrary, picks up about half a dozen of the characters, and expanding a bit on the background of each of these. Running for 4 episodes with a total length of about 160 minutes, Vampire Hunter seems to have found the ideal length for its approach: each of the characters is given a fair amount of time to be introduced and play his or her plot line, while none of them are given too much screen time. Characterisation itself is based heavily on the snippets of information given in the games, making the characters have somewhat distinct (even if largely clichéd) personalities, and having them act on these.
What makes the characters all far more interesting is the way they are portrayed. Now, the art is without a doubt the high point of this OVA. Like in most OVA’s of the time, backgrounds range from quite good to simply gorgeous, often giving the impression as if they were hand-drawn. The setting in general shows quite a few distinct locales, and the colorisation is very good: as could be guessed, use is made mostly of the darker colours of the palette, with much of the story taking place under a darkened sky or in the shadows. Brighter colours are generally more subdued, with the occasional dashing reds if the situation warrants it.
The characters are all very well animated. Not only do they move fluently and have a wide range of facial expressions, they all follow the designs from the game very nicely. Not only are all characters very different in basic design, but many of them sport different styles of drawing and animation, again following the differences in style from the games closely.
This being a fighting series, it should come as no surprise that the main attention of the show, and thus the art and animation, is on the fights. These are done very well. As far as I can say, the animators have copied many of the fighting styles and moves from the game, making each fight and each fighter distinctly different. This not only applies to the special moves, or whatever name you would give those, but also, and perhaps even more successfully, to the basic attack patterns, many of which are a joy to watch, being far more interesting than the special attacks, in fact. I’m sure the real fans will notice differences between the anime and the games, but for the rest of us it seems as if the anime follows the games closely.
Being generally cautious of animated versions of fighting games, I have to say this one is by far one of the best I’ve seen to date. The story is ridiculous, pompous, and far to self-important, but this major downside is more than offset with the fairly decent character introduction and development and the more than decent art and fighting direction.
Most games never survive the transition to another medium. They are usually universally terrible and this would be the first adaptation I’ve seen that I liked. I was surprised when within the first few minutes of watching I thought "hey, this doesn’t completely suck…" By the end I had concluded "yeah, that wasn’t bad". I’m not a huge Darkstalkers fan, but I played enough of it to think "ehhh, what the hell, why not?" I think even if I wasn’t vaguely familiar with the characters I would’ve still enjoyed this. I watched all 4 eps in a row fairly painlessly and could’ve easily watched more (see Characters below).
Make no mistake about it, this is definitely a show for people who like shows about fighting. If you don’t like fighting games or shows like DBZ or Yu Yu Hakusho or Kenshin or even Bleach/Naruto then… I have no idea why you are even reading this. Otherwise I thought the story was about as good as anyone could expect for a show about a fighting game. To try to criticize the story beyond that misses the point and does a disservice to its accomplishment.
There’s a lot of repetitive use of the word "dark" (you could make a deadly drinking game out of it) and the general setup is fairly generic, BUT, the OTT plot is perfectly suited for the show, considering fighting games are OTT by design. I’ve seen much worse excuses to get characters to come together to beat each other up.
In fact, I thought the premise that ties them together was actually pretty good as far as these kind of shows go. They actually make some kind of effort to explain the presence of "the dark" and make interesting use of what would otherwise be a cliche mix of "something from space", "an ancient race", and "something from another dimension". Which was already a lot more than I was expecting.
I actually liked that it kept itself kind of serious (I’m tired of anime with goofy/wacky sight gags and comic relief). It gave it a dramatic feel but not so much that it lost sight of being an anime about people fighting.
I really liked how they centered the story around Donovan/Anita. They could’ve gone many ways with this: It could’ve been another ambitious story about an overpowered vampire and his quest for domination or some trumped up tournament to see who is the worlds strongest. I feel their choice in a "protagonist" was probably the best one they could’ve made of all the characters available. Sure the "half-demon" thing is overused, but in a world where humanity is being devoured by darkness, something about the virtue of a man who is constantly at war with his (literally) inner demon and the traumatized little girl he has vowed to protect just seemed right.
The ending was a little disappointing, mostly because I think it crossed that line of cliche over-the-topness, but eh, I’ve also seen much worse and more frustrating endings, so…
The characters have some questionable dialogue sometimes, but otherwise I thought it was surprisingly solid if not pretty good. Again, experience had me already expecting much worse. I thought they captured the characters unique personalities pretty well and didn’t go too overboard with any of them. I thought they did a good job with introducing Donovan, Anita, Demitri, Morrigan, Huitzel, Pyron and the sisters. Felicia, Talbain and Bishamon showed promise. Lord Raptor was pretty much just an odd cameo, so aside from him, I liked how they were handling use of the characters and not just rushing/stuffing everyone into the story in some contrived and insipid manner. For this reason I actually felt the story was too short. I would’ve liked to have seen this as a series and see them try to include all the characters and somehow tie them into the epic confrontation with Pyron.
I actually didn’t think the art was that great for an OVA. I did like how they didn’t get overly retarded with the designs and stayed mostly faithful to the game (both in characters and combat). So for that it still ranks high with me.
The sound was fine, more surprisingly however was that the dub didn’t make me want to gag. Considering how cheesy and potentially disastrous the dialogue probably was, I thought they delivered it well. I assume the dialogue was cheesy only because I’ve watched enough fighting anime to tune out all but the worst of hammy speeches.
Our story opens with Demitri planning an invasion of the demon realm. He’s stopped by Morrigan who challenges him to a match because she’s bored. Yes, really. Their fight is interrupted when a legion of Phobos robots appear. They spread across the planet seeking to exterminate all life forms. Meanwhile, Donovan, a half-vampire vampire hunter (How very original,) is on a journey of self-discovery when he encounters young Anita, a girl with a mysterious power who decides to follow him. While this is going on Felicia is going on tour, Lei-Lei and Lin-Lin are on a journey to save their mother’s soul and… Yeah this OVA has a ton of sub-plots. I know that there are a lot of characters, but maybe it would’ve been a good idea to just stay focused on a small group. Especially when you’ve only got four episodes to work with. Most of the important plot elements revolve around Donovan, Anita, Lei-Lei and Lin-Lin anyway. Felicia’s subplot in particular ends up being entirely pointless. Morrigan and Denitri ultimately contribute nothing either. They’re pretty much only included because the fans love them. Now, I do understand wanting to make your fans happy, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the story. Honestly though, the story wouldn’t be good even without the tangled mess of sub-plots, just less cluttered. It would still be largely derivative with too many flashbacks. The story mainly serves to take the characters from one fight to the next. That being said, a lot of the moments are kind of enjoyable just based on how over the top and cheesy they are. The ending in particular.
As much as I enjoy the Darkstalkers games, most of the characters aren’t very well used in this. Part of the problem is that the focus is on Donovan, quite possibly the dullest, most generic character in the franchise. There’s also Anita, who has little personality in this and ends up serving as a maguffin rather than a fleshed out character. The only major characters in this I kind of like are Lei-Lei and Lin-Lin. They do get some really good moments and they have a lot more personality than Donovan or Anita. Morrigan, Demitri, Felicia, Zabel Zarock and Gallon could have been interesting but they’re barely in the OVA and their appearances don’t really contribute much. Speaking of under-used characters, Anakaris, Rikuo, Sasquatch and Victor all appear in this for a few seconds before being unceremoniously killed off. That doesn’t seem like a very good idea when trying to appeal to your fans or were they deemed unpopular enough that no one would care?
The art is rather varied. They incorporate a lot of the fight mechanics from the games into the actual battles, which usually leads to some strong, fluid action sequences, but there are some moves that just don’t lend themselves well to animation and end up looking stilted and awkward. Particularly Morrigan’s drill kick attack. Madhouse also does an excellent job drawing the characters as they are in the games. That being said, a lot of the designs were just poorly done to begin with. So, while I’m not going to fault the OVA for it, I am going to take a moment to rant about the designs in Darkstalkers. For example, why is Felicia largely a normal looking woman with cat elements while Gallon is more of a humanoid wolf? We’ve also got Donovan who just looks incredibly silly. We also have Zabel Zarock who brings some of the worst part of 90s comic design to mind He just needs a bunch of random pouches and shoulder pads to make the look complete. We also have Demitri’s hair that is overly-gelled to make him look as much like a conehead as possible. Yeah, as much as I like the games the character designs leave much to be desired. That rant aside, the art in this is pretty solid. The only real issue, aside from the occasional stilted fighting move, are the facial expressions. Anita’s nose disappears in a lot of shots, Morrigan’s eyes get crossed a few times and her hair turns purple once, I think they’re doing shading effects at the time but it just looks odd.
One thing that’s a bit odd is that the vocal cast from the games don’t reprise their roles in the OVA. Still, the cast they did get does a good job. Miyamura Yuko does well as Lei-Lei. She may also be familiar to fighting game fans as Chun-li in the Alpha/Zero games and Seung Mina in Soul Edge. That’s a strange coincidence. Okamata Maya and Yukana are both really good as well. The music in this is just great.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There’s no yuri here.
So, how is Darkstalkers’ Revenge? Well, it’s a goofy little OVA with some unintentionally funny moments, a story that’s complete pants and well done fight scenes. It’s certainly not good, but I wouldn’t call it bad either. My final rating is going to be a 5/10. If you’re a Darkstalkers fan you’ll probably enjoy it well enough if only for the fight scenes. Otherwise I could really only suggest it if you just want some mindless action or if you have some friends over and want a good series to watch MST3k style.
33: Highschool of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead
Japanese: 学園黙示録 HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD ドリフターズ オブ ザ デッド
MAL Score: 6.62
After escaping the zombie-infested mainland, Takashi Komuro and the gang find themselves on a remote island off the coast of Tokonosu City. While scavenging around the island for supplies, they encounter a small seaside shack that provides them with clothing and a place to rest for the night. After a day’s work of collecting food, they begin to cook what they have gathered.
As they wait beside the campfire, a light haze begins to form around them and makes them nauseous. Confirming it to be caused by hydrangeas—a type of poisonous plant that can cause hallucinations—the group attempts to escape from the powerful odor.
For all the hype that H.O.T.D received in 2010, you either were ‘anti- or for’ the franchise and all I can say after watching this short 16 minute episode is that for those who were anti-; Drifters of the Dead is just going to add fuel to your fire.
Drifters of the Dead DOES NOT add to the story. It DOES NOT continue from where they last left off in the TV series. What it does give us is a short clip of the cast being drifted to an island where we get to see more breasts jiggle then a tub of jelly.
As an alpha male, I see nothing wrong with that. I knew what I was going to get into after having seen the TV series, and I was pretty much correct after seeing some nipple action in the first few minutes of the clip.
So how does the OVA fair?
Am I being generous? VERY.
I mean, I guess I enjoyed it… but there is no story line anywhere in this OVA.
Okay, so technically there was a story line, but it’s somewhat difficult to extract.
The odd thing is that if I tell you the story line, I spoil the OVA.
Well, I’ll try.
Yes, I gave it a one.
The group comes to an island where they’re supposedly safe from the zombies.. typical, right? In this scenario, you would expect to see, a la the conclusion of Dawn of the Dead, that there are zombies in their haven, but zombies play no part in this episode.
They play a very, very, very small part toward the end, but that’s not what this episode is about. As I’ve said, it’s very, very difficult to specify any plot worth mentioning.
The art isn’t exceptional, but it’s certainly not worth faulting either.
I’m somewhat attached to the opening theme. Highschool of the Dead has a decent OP.
Unfortunately, I can’t say much more than that, as neither of the above played a strong part in this episode.
I guess there was a little girl (Alice Maresato)… but wait, where did she go?
In this episode, there’s no character development. Nobody changes, and there’s really nothing to differentiate any of the females from one another. Granted, Saya Takagi stands out as the reluctant, tough-as-nails personality of the group (euphemism for being a total bitch), but really… if you’re expecting a character masterpiece, don’t come here.
Why did I enjoy this? I almost feel bad for it, but there were times when it was moderately humorous. And there were boobs. And I got to see the awesome boobage they censored in episode 6.
And despite having no character development, no real plot, and leaving me wondering what I just watched, this was moderately enjoyable.
Nevertheless, I like my anime to have an actual plot, and I’m sad that they’re not doing anything with this anime when there’s so much potential. I’m not saying don’t watch it. I’m only saying be wary.
Drifters of the Dead is basically the studio behind the most titillating non-hentai-anime in recent memory going ‘maybe we didnt deliver enough on the boobs?’
And then they made a beach episode.
So we can have even less plot and even more fanservice than in the regular series. Sure, why not.
Story – 2
Does this OVA continue the open ended story of the series? Nope.
Is it relevant to the plot ? Nah.
Is it worth watching at all? Well, its only sixteen minutes long, so you may as well.
Its all lighthearted and there are some jokes, but i feel as if the ‘secluded island+zombies’ setup coudve been used for something cool and it wasnt. Actually, there are no zombies anywhere in this episode, except for a very short scene in the end where they are used for a somewhat unsettling joke.
Characters – 3
The characters are as stereotypical as ever and of course there is no character developement at all, but hey, at least you might get a kick out of it if shipping Komuro and Busujima is really important to you for whatever reason.
Art – 7
Its all pretty solid. The colors pop nicely and the general artstyle is clean and nice to look at. Of course it doesnt have some of the impressively animated action scenes of the regular series, but otherwise there isnt much to complain about. Also, boobs.
Sound – 6
The OP is still pretty good and the voice actors do a solid job. Not much to say really.
Enjoyment – 5
Its just about the right length for a short wank. And there are some mildly funny scenes.
Overall – 4
Watch it if you like the regular series or anime boobs or if you are really really bored.
32: Tokyo Babylon
MAL Score: 6.71
Subaru Sumeragi is the 13th head of the Sumeragi Clan and a most powerful onmyouji. Subaru is hired to exorcise a construction site, but his employer mysteriously died. The only suspect is a man who repeatedly walks away from situations in which he should have died. Then Subaru meets a young woman intent upon cursing the man, saying that he killed her brother. Subaru must figure out how his employer died and fight the evil spirits that are protecting the man with the help of his friend and twin sister, Seishirou Sakurazuka and Hokuto Sumeragi.
If you are a huge Tokyo Babylon fan, see this episode. If not, just read the manga and you’ll be happier. Or watch some episodes of Tsubasa and X if you want to see Subaru and Seishirou come to live in anime style.
Years later, I finally remembered this anime and after finding out that it was made by one of my favorite manga artists (Clamp), I immediately set out to rewatch an anime that allowed me to keep a solid foothold in the world of anime.
The story is of a boy named Subaru Sumeragi, who is the head of a clan called Onmyoji(?) (Spirit Mediums as the English dubbed called it) and his sister, Hokuto, who designs all the cool and sleek outfits that she and Subaru wear throughout the anime. And let’s not forget their friend, Seishiro who is a veterinarian with some supernatural powers of his own. Anyway, this two-episode ova series is about Subaru solving some Supernatural mysteries and phenomenon around Tokyo, but that’s pretty much it.
I’ve never really read the manga so I can’t really compare it to its manga counterpart in terms of how close or accurate it is but I can tell you that what I used to think of a “wow” factor as a kid didn’t quite age well. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the story and I like the idea behind it but it didn’t really hold my interest very well. Just from the first ova episode alone, the plot seemed to be all over the place and while it did manage to tie up all the frayed plot points tossed into this first “case,” I found the very little screen time Subaru shares with his sister and Seishiro to be a little distracting or maybe there wasn’t enough? I mean, Hokuto and Seishiro’s personalities didn’t get to shine through and it was hard for me to figure out what was going on. But it wasn’t too bad if everything was resolved nicely.
If it’s anything to go by, the art is Tokyo Babylon’s biggest draw. I’ve always been a big fan of Clamp’s works and art style so watching Subaru in action as he chased after or ran from the bad guy was very enthralling. And Hokuto definitely seemed very expressive in the very few scenes I saw of her. The scenery of Tokyo is something to look at but sadly, old 90’s animes don’t seem to age that well sometimes. But I still enjoyed seeing the art in this ova.
Considering i watched an English Dub, I have to say that the song that played somewhere towards the middle (or a bit closer to the end) was a bit distracting but then again, 90’s English dubs were always (in)famous for taking out the original Japanese songs (Which were often superior!) and putting in their own weird out of place songs. But other than the odd out of place English song, everything was beautiful and clear and the sounds set the emotions during the more serious scenes.
Like I said before in the story, I didn’t think there was much to the characters. Given that I didn’t read the manga (which I should go read it soon), the characters didn’t seem to have enough time to develop properly. I mean the interactions between the Sumeragi siblings and Seishiro felt a bit… awkward? and maybe a bit forced. If you don’t mind very little character development (besides the side characters because the side characters like the main villain and the victims got the best development) then you might enjoy this.
I still got some enjoyment from watching Tokyo Babylon, I mean I didn’t feel the magic and awe factor I felt when I was a kid, but I still enjoyed the show overall and it’s prompting me to check out the manga.
I give this series a 6/10 because it’s still one of Clamp’s earlier works and it does work as an introduction to the manga so that’s all! A decent series that hasn’t aged that well, but I still recommend it if you want to take a peek at what Clamp has to offer in one of their darker animes and mangas.
31: Hi no Tori: Yamato-hen
English: The Phoenix: Chapter of Yamato
Japanese: 火の鳥 ヤマト編
MAL Score: 6.76
At his father’s command, Oguna, the youngest prince of Yamato, sets out to kill Takeru Kawakami, the leader of Kumaso. However, upon arriving in Kumaso territory, he is injured by the stray arrow of a young local woman named Kajika who is hunting game. Eager to compensate for the terrible mistake, she escorts Oguna to her village to treat his wound. But as the two rapidly fall in love, the prince makes a disturbing discovery: Kajika is Takeru’s younger sister!
Conflicted between his newfound love and family duty, Oguna seeks advice from the Phoenix, a legendary immortal bird that serves as Kumaso’s guardian. Compelled to make a decision, will the Yamato prince betray his own for the woman he loves, or will he murder Kajika’s brother as commissioned?
Inspired by the Yamato Takeru Japanese legend, Hi no Tori: Yamato-hen chronicles the tragic story of an ill-fated couple, showing how true love can conquer hate and adversity even among the greatest of uncertainties.
30: Mermaid’s Scar
English: Mermaid’s Scar
MAL Score: 6.80
Legend has it that when you eat the flesh of a mermaid, you would live forever. Yuta and Mana are living proof of this… Together, they journey to various places trying to find meaning for their existence, or perhaps even a “cure” for their situation. One day, Yuta and Mana meet Masato, a little boy who seems terrified of his mother Misa. It seems to Yuta and Mana that mother and son have a very unusual relationship. What happens when Yuta and Mana decide to discover the dark secret Masato and Misa are hiding? And what about those monster-like creatures that have been appearing?
Mermaid’s Scar has a fairly simple plot. Mermaids exist and eating their flesh either makes humans immortal or, far more likely, turns them into amphibious monsters. The story begins with two seemingly young people named Yuta and Mana heading to a new town on the same bus as a small child. At this town they hear rumours about the child’s mother coming back from the dead and begin to suspect that she’s eaten mermaid’s flesh. But there are things going on that they can’t predict. Things that could have dire consequences for both of them. The story is pretty well constructed and it feels complete, even though it’s the middle of the series. The only real issues are that some of the twists don’t make a lot of sense and the action isn’t set up very well.
The characters are pretty flat. The majority of them have only a few personality traits, leaving them very flat. The only character who actually gets pretty fleshed out is the antagonist.
The art is dated and, unlike 3×3 eyes, it hasn’t aged too well. The backgrounds are bland and the characters have very forgettable looks. It’s not terrible, but it certainly doesn’t have a distinctive or interesting look.
The voice work is okay. Yamadera Kouichi and Takaya Minami both do good jobs overall. The only problem is that they get overly melodramatic at times.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. This is another series where the female characters barely even interact with each other.
My final rating for Mermaid’s Scar is a 5/10. The writing is good, but the flat characters, bland art and mediocre voice work all make for an average series. Honestly, if the concept sounds intriguing to you, I would check out the Manga instead. Is the full length anime any better? I haven’t seen it so I can’t judge. What I can say is that the Mermaid’s Scar OVA is just average.
29: X OVA
English: X: An Omen
Japanese: X -エックス-第零話 予兆
MAL Score: 6.83
In this prequel to the “X” TV series, a beautiful, young, bedridden dreamgazer named Kakyou remembers the life and death of a remarkable young woman whom he met in dreams. He also recounts his dreams of a tragic future in which the fate of the Earth will be decided.
28: Kamen no Maid Guy: Ano Natsu, Ichiban Yutaka na Chichi.
Japanese: 仮面のメイドガイ あの夏, いちばん豊か乳。
MAL Score: 6.83
An unreleased episode containing scenes that could not be aired due to “ethical regulations.”
27: Honoo no Mirage: Minagiwa no Hangyakusha
English: Mirage of Blaze: Rebels of the River Edge
MAL Score: 6.85
Takaya was sent to Kyoto to investigate the re-awakening of Ikko sect and Araki Murashige, a member of the Ikko sect who deserted the clan.With the help of his vassal Haruie, Takaya is finally successful in tracing Araki who hunts down a 400-years-old mandala (Buddhist artifact for meditating) that was made of the hair of the deceased Araki clansmen. Unfortunately, by the time they meet, Haruie recognizes Araki as Shintarou, her lover in her past-life. Takaya orders her to eliminate Araki, who is a threat, but will she be able to do it. Furthermore Takaya finally meets Naoe…
26: Galaxy Angel S
MAL Score: 6.86
Galaxy Angel 3 TV special that contains 2 stories.
25: Ichigo 100% OVA
English: Ichigo 100% Original DVD Animation
Japanese: いちご１００％ オリジナルDVDアニメーション
MAL Score: 6.89
Further continuation from the Ichigo 100% TV series. Four episodes in length, comprised mostly of side-story elements such as a Spring Festival featuring Cosplay, Junpei’s adventure to return a notebook to Yui’s friend who atteneds the All-Girl Oumi Academy, summer work at Sawayaka to help cover production costs and last, but not least.. the Strawberry ‘Pantsu’ Invaders. This OVA features two new characters.
(Note: Best if viewed after the Jump Festa 2004 OVA, or in other words.. “last”, but could be substituted and watched prior to the Jump Festa OVA.)
And the story between the girls and Munaka Jumpei continues. The same style of comedy with more ecchi than you could see on the prequel TV series and on the 2 specials. It was pretty good actually (if you forget the fourth episode of this series).
In the three episodes you can enjoy the plot seeing very funny situations where you can laugh a lot. Moreover, in the second episode you can see Ichigo 100% in “his best shape”: for me really was the best of the entire anime.
Being this anime made at Madhouse studios, you can expect great art with outstanding animators, that causes people to focus on the story and not in the format / animation of the characters themselves. And that is exactly what happens in this serie. You can enjoy the story without seeing huge mistakes in the design of the characters.
Both the opening and the ending is fine, despite prefering the opening, not only because the music is more stirred, but because of the voice as well. But that is about personal taste and I guess it isn’t that important. Furthermore on this kind of anime since there aren’t those actions moments that need a strong music to make some kind of impact on the viewer.
The characters are really unique, and considering that this series was made in 2005 it’s obvious that another series was kind of inspired on the spirit of the characters presented in Ichigo 100%.
Starting by Munaka Jumpei, he’s just the normal highschooler that isn’t popular. However there are some personality traits that make him special to the girls who are with him every day, like his sincerity and humility towards the girls that confess to him, or even before confessing.
About Toujo there are some qualities that make her different from the other girls that Munaka know: her shyness and the way she adopt in order to be “low profile” combined with her great skills at school and the same interests about moviemaking make her a person who Munaka can talk about his dreams and future.
Mishino is a popular girl that every guy would like to date, but her conservative personality causes her to keep firmly to her principles and to her first love whom she dated in the previous serie: Munaka.
Yui it’s like the younger sister that Munaka saw growing up since they are childhood friends, she hasn’t such a big role on this OVA comparing the importance that was given to her in the TV series.
Regarding Satsuki, she is a girl that tells whatever she thinks and that keeps her loyalty towards Munaka, despite being the possessive type, she is kind and pretty, skills that make Munaka completely excited.
I had so much fun with this OVA, even in the last episode, that was kind of weird, I had tons of fun. It was worth to see this and I really recommend this anime to everyone, even the ones who think that the episodes is kind of “always the same”. The situations are so different one to each other that makes even the most serious and angry people laugh a lot!
It was a serie that made me be continually hooked for 2 days (refering to the all Ichigo 100% episodes). This 2 days were marked by intense fun and huge laughs and a feeling that I wanted more of this. I really really really recommend everyone to watch this serie because it’s worth it!
Overall, the quality is similar to the TV series. Detail and clarity could be better but Satsuki and Toujou make up for it somewhat. Again, expect lots of ecchi situations and expect your screen to be covered by panties quite a bit.
The OPs/EDs are different (there’s a ED for every one of the girls) but I think I liked the ones in the series better. The BGM is the same and the VAs are the same. The VAs do a great job again so fairly good overall.
Each episode is essentially a stand-alone filler episode, each one featuring Junpei and one of the girls in a precarious position… To be exact- Satsuki x 1, Toujou x 2, Nishino x 1. Sadly, these are truly filler episodes which just displays Junpei’s inability to choose. In all, expect a minimal story and no conclusion to the series whatsoever.
No new developments on any of the characters take place here. Just finding our protagonist on top of different girls in different episode. It really gets annoying when he decides whichever girl he is on top of at the moment is the one he likes best, then at the beginning of the next episode he decides on another girl and repeat x 3.
Overall, the girls are fine but this just reinforces how horrid of a lead we have.
If you’re all for ecchi situations, this is your watch. If you’re looking for closure to the series, stay away unless you just want more of the characters in general. Quite a few close scenes between Junpei and the girls but I went into it looking for him to make a choice and he just utterly disappointed. Onward to the manga…
24: Galaxy Angel Music Collection: Shouen to Shien no Cassoulet
Japanese: ギャラクシーエンジェル ミュージックコレクション 硝煙と紫煙のカスレ
MAL Score: 6.93
Forte suddenly asks for leave for the day, leaving the Angels, Ranpha in particular, thinking she’s off for a date. Meanwhile, Forte meets up with an old acquaintance who wants to ask her opinion on a rather pressing matter of life and death.
23: Hi no Tori: Uchuu-hen
English: The Phoenix -Space-
Japanese: 火の鳥 宇宙編
MAL Score: 6.96
In deep space, four astronauts discover that their colleague Makimura has mysteriously died shortly following a cryptic note about his imminent murder. Though horrified by the news, the inoperable state of their spaceship leaves the crew no time to grieve, and they evacuate via escape pods. Determined to identify the culprit, the survivors begin to suspect fellow crewmate Kizaki, on account of a rivalry between himself and Makimura regarding the only female team member, Nana Ichinomiya. However, to their bewilderment, they notice Makimura’s pod following them, yet failing to respond to attempts at contact.
As the astronauts try to interpret their perplexing circumstances, they learn there are more inconceivable stories about their lost teammate, one involving the Phoenix, a mysterious bird said to have the ability to grant immortality. It is not until they crash into a seemingly deserted planet that the crew will finally uncover the sinister truth behind Makimura and his suspicious pod.
Set in a distant future, Hi no Tori: Uchuu-hen illustrates the cruelty of human beings passionately in pursuit of their own desires without any regard to the consequences.
It’s 48 minutes of the most baffling decisions I’ve ever seen an anime make. For that reason alone, it’s worth watching. As a serious product, it’s dreadful. Its redeeming qualities are few, and mainly only centered around the great visuals. As an unintentional comedy, however, it’s a perfect 10.
As soon as I saw that one guy’s nose, I knew the cheese factor was going to be off the charts with this one. So if you love cheese and jank as much as I do, I think it’s worth investing 5 minutes to see if this one is for you.
22: Batman: Gotham Knight
English: Batman: Gotham Knight
Japanese: バットマン ゴッサムナイト
MAL Score: 6.96
Anime-inspired direct-to-DVD anthology film. Comprised of six short stories, from diverse creators, including Academy Award-nominated Josh Olsen (A History of Violence), Batman Begins writer David S. Goyer, and comics scribe Brian Azzarello. It’s planned for a release window of two to four weeks prior to the release of The Dark Knight, and would bridge the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
STORY – It’s kind of hard to review six standalone works all at once while simultaneously trying to be succinct, but I don’t think I have the attention span right now to detail each one individually (and I’m long-winded enough as it is). The shorts collected within Gotham Knight are supposed to take place in between the events of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight; to that end then, they work okay, avoiding major villains and touching on various lesser themes within the Batman franchise. Each short sort of reminded me of a summarized version of an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, especially the first one, Have I Got a Story For You, which I swear was the exact premise for a TAS episode. Each story is self-contained, but vague, and even though it was possible to draw connecting threads between some of them (always nice), such as In Darkness Dwells and Working Through Pain, I wasn’t really wowed by any of them. At best, they were just decent episodes, not good enough for real praise, but not bad enough to trash.
The final short, Deadshot was probably my favorite, if only because it had all the elements of a classic Batman — action, mild suspense, and a demonstration of Batman’s awesome skill (though he is never without weakness). Working Through Pain and Field Test are runners up because they contribute at least a little bit to Batman’s very complex personality and psyche, and as morality and the mind in general are very prevalent themes in Batman, those two shorts felt rather necessary in helping to further develop and prepare the character for The Dark Knight. Bruce’s line at the end of Field Test is especially memorable: "I’m willing to put my life on the line, but it has to be my life."
CHARACTER – There seem to be two central goals in Gotham Knight: one, describing Bruce/Batman’s progression as a character in between the two live action movies, and two, detailing the public’s perception of the Batman as he rises in both fame and infamy. Each of the six shorts meet at least one of these two goals, though I’d venture to say that none of them do it particularly well. The complexity of Batman’s character is one of the main reasons I’ve always been a fan. Sure, his backstory is one tragedy in a world of many, but the determination he has to both make up for his weakness as a child and to grow up past the sadness is admirable. It’s incredibly interesting to see him in conflict with everything that stands in his way — criminals, the police, Gotham’s society, and of course, himself and his own mind. Batman has always been a great character, but the real question is whether Gotham Knight do him justice. The nature of the shorts — basically, the fact that they are indeed short — limits the depth of exploration; they do okay with what they’re given, but they had so much more potential that it just ends up being a little disappointing in the end.
The other characters that make appearances, Gordon, Fox, Ramirez, and Cassandra, get even less time for development than Batman, so it makes sense that they don’t really get any depth. Still, the shorts establish or re-emphasize their relationships to Batman, and for Gordon and Fox, this is valuable as material leading into The Dark Knight since they only just made allies out of the Batman in Batman Begins. It’s passable.
ARTSTYLE & ANIMATION – Each of the six shorts employed their own animation style, but I wasn’t really impressed with any of them. Have I Got a Story to Tell had some gorgeous urban backgrounds, but the characters were depicted in that rounded, lazy-looking style that really contrasted with the detail of everything else. It isn’t bad, per se, but I’m personally not a fan. For Field Test, it was actually kind of disturbing to see Bruce Wayne as a generic bishounen. It’s perfectly understandable, seeing as he’s supposed to be a playboy and all, but that didn’t stop it from being disturbing. Especially with Lucius Fox winking at him every other scene. D8 Other than that, the only real thing to note artwise is the variety in costume design. Batman’s suit does from having actual heavy armor to looking pretty true to its movie design; once again, none of them really struck me as particularly impressive, but none were flat out hideous either.
MUSIC – The usual Batman theme stuff for the most part. Awesome, but nothing really to note.
VOICE ACTING – I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was psyched to see that Kevin Conroy was going to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman for Gotham Knight. His is easily the most definitive and recognizable voice for the character, and it just wouldn’t have been the same without him. For those who don’t know, Conroy started as the voice for the role in The Animated Series, and then went on to play almost every animated appearance of Batman, including roles in the Batman Beyond, the Justice League, subsequent movies, and guest appearances in Superman:TAS and Static Shock. In any case, Conroy does a great job once again; he sounds exactly as he had ten years ago, and that familiarity is really great.
The rest of the cast, while not from TAS, seem to mimic their predecessors very well. For me, since TAS played such a big part in my Batman fandom history, I’ve come to view most of the voices done in the series as "canon," and so when the cast in Gotham Knight seem able to pick up their parts so well, I was happy.
OVERALL – Gotham Knight was good as filler material between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and it’s always great seeing these grand collaborations between American and Japanese companies. But as a standalone work, I would consider it a little disappointing. The technical aspects were all on the high ends of things, but its very specific timeframe gave it little wiggle room as far as story goes, which is really too bad. So yeah, in the end, I guess it just depends on how you look at it. In either case, it’s worth a watch.
The story is not really a bunch of short stories, but instead they are actually just different chapters for the entire story that covers the span of chronological events between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. But each story has it own style of direction, since each story was done by a different Japanese director and worked on by different American writers. Here is a break down of the short stories or "chapters" or episodes:
Have I Got a Story for You
Four youths describe their perspective of what they see as Batman. Each set of eyes see a different side to the being behind the mask. They each tell of their encounters with Batman, and argue over their observations, and each encounter happens to be contiguous with the next story told so it provided an interesting dynamic for the direction of the short story.
The perspective of two detectives under the command of James Gordon which is directed in third person. Local gang wars put some of Gotham’s finest in danger, which is something the Bat does not like. One of the detectives was recruited from another city by Gordon, and he has his doubts about whether he can trust Batman, while the other detective grew up in Gotham, so she has a polar perspective to that of her partner. It situates excellent conflict between the opinion of the partners, and even with the superior officer.
An excellent depiction of the good or "light" side of Batman. Normally his dark side is the one portrayed, but this story shows the truth of the man behind the masks and his kind heart. It also has some insane progressive technology!
In Darkness Dwells
The story features Croc and Scarcrow. Not as much depth as the other stories, but it has excellent action sequences.
Working Through Pain
The best of all six short stories. It is a flash back of Batman’s past where he travels the world and seeks out some Hindu philosophy or Psychology to learn how to bend his pain to his own will. It is an excellent illustration and articulation of the inner conflict within Batman.
Another super villain, Deadshot, is assassinating the commissioners in Gotham. In the episode, Batman protects his social and judicial defender, and link to society, Commissioner Gordon. There is an amazing transition from the previous short story into this one, where Batman comes to a realization about his life as a superhero and the deeper meaning behind his surface motives for defending Gotham city.
A really cool comment on the show is that Kevin Conroy came on to do the voice of Batman. For those who do not know him, he was the voice actor for the original Batman in Batman: The Animated Series. He is a legend among North American voice actors, and his voice is the perfect match to the archetype that is Batman.
Overall the DVD or OVA or "whatever" is one of the finest animations I have watched. The very first scene blew me away with its phenomenal animation and artwork. It starts with a pan across a fog sodden bridge somewhere in Gotham to the top of a building where Batman awaits. Some of the best creators in the world came together for an avant garde production. Avant garde literally means the group of soldiers who would lead an army into battle. It is normally lead by the army’s finest battalion. The figurative connotation of my use of the word, means to push boundaries. The perfection that is Gotham Knight is the result of some of the best production in the world. The task to bring all these brilliant minds together is arduous and costly, but with the perfect hierarchy that is their entire production team, they have been able to produce a taste of perfection in this Anime, Cartoon, Animation, whatever. The whole time as I watched I had inner conflict turmoil inside of me as to whether or not I consider this show to be an anime. But after watching the show, I came to the conclusion that is is neither an anime nor a cartoon and instead is a neoanimation. Whether or not that is actually a word, I could care less. I simply used a modifier on a noun and the semantics work to describe my meaning. All I really know is that this show deserves a place here on MyAnimeList along side of some of the greatest animation of our time.
The story of the six shorts follow the life of Bruce Wayne after he takes up the task of Gotham city’s shadowy protector. Some of the them are closely connected chronologically, while others are temporally isolated from the events of the other shorts. While our hero still has to stop street gangs, old foes, and new enemies alike, the main conflict throughout Gotham Knight is the struggle within Bruce Wayne’s mind between the anguish he suffers both physically and mentally, as well as his faltering belief in what he does under guise of the black mask. These inner struggles paint a image of a hero that is ultimately a vulnerable human being, despite the smoke and mirrors of his strength and heroics. This allows viewers to get a different view of Batman in his lowest moments, reminding us of his humanity. While Gotham Knight could have easily taken the easy route and presented only a shallow action-oriented spectacle, fortunately it delivers a great overarching story that bring to life the inner character of one of the world’s most iconic action heroes. However, it should be noted that not all of the shorts contribute to the overall emotional depth, namely Deadshot and Crossfire, but they are still very entertaining to watch — after all, batman is still a superhero, and having a couple of shorts dedicated solely to the accomplishments of his fists cannot be avoided. However, for a series of shorts only around 12 minutes in length each, Gotham Knight still pulls off an amazing job.
Batman: Gotham Knight is not slouch in the visual and audio department, either — each animator managed to produce slick and stylish imaginations of batman’s characters and the city of Gotham. Though some may find the style employed by Studio 4C in the first short not to their tastes, like the rest of the short it is very well-animated, featuring fluid movements in the action. Throughout the six shorts you’ll find imaginative takes on the aesthetics of batman, haunting takes on Gotham’s streets in the forms of background art, as well as musical pieces that build upon the suspense. Going back to the beginning of the review: yes, the various animation studios certainly do flex their muscles in Gotham Knight, but not at the expense of storytelling.
Be sure to check out Batman: Gotham Knight. The emotions evoked by the powerful yet vulnerable hero and the splendid presentation will leave you entertained and satisfied at the end of the hour long jouney, as well as get you thoroughly pumped up for the upcoming film “The Dark Knight”.
21: Supernatural The Animation
Japanese: スーパーナチュラル ザ アニメーション
MAL Score: 7.00
Monsters walk the earth. While some may refute their existence as myths or urban legends, the Winchester brothers—Sam and Dean—know all too well what dangers lurk out there in the dark. Driving around in their 1967 Chevrolet Impala, these brothers have made it their life’s mission to destroy anything supernatural that would threaten human lives.
From shapeshifters to werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and even demons, the Winchesters track down and kill every evil being they can find, while also searching for the creature that caused them so much personal tragedy.
The story is simple and easy to follow. It is about Sam and Dean, two brothers who hunt demons and evil spirits. Most of the episodes are following the “monster of the week” formula… but there is a general plotline that advances slowly throughout the series. There is also a main villain and the Winchester brothers have a personal score to settle with him. Unfortunately, there are a few filler episodes with weak story and unoriginal enemies.
The personalities and the interaction between the two brothers makes the difference between Supernatural and other similar TV and animated series. Sam and Dean are not perfect and flawless superheroes, they are normal persons. They can make mistakes, they can be paranoid, confused or angry and they always argue with each other. Because of that, they are a more realistic type of protagonists and the viewers can relate more to their problems and challenges.
Sound and animation: 8/10
The animation is decent, but not perfect. Some things bothered me, like the awkward looking faces… but if you deal with demons, your face will probably look strange too. There are also some good ideas, like the excessive use of black ink in every frame, which creates nice contrast and the camera movement during some of the action or driving sequences, which almost makes you feel the action. The music includes some nice and slow themes, which create mysterious atmosphere. The good sound effects (like the Impala’s engine) and the occasional scary noises enhance the whole experience and should also be praised.
Supernatural has interesting heroes (and villains) and manages to create a scary and tense atmosphere, through good use of sound effects and music. There are a few great and very dramatic episodes with some interesting plot twists. The ending is above the average. It leaves the story open, but also gives some sense of completion. What hurt the whole experience is the lower quality of the stories created especially for the anime. I also expected Supernatural to be a bit darker and scarier.
If you are not familiar with the series, the flashbacks in the beginning would be confusing and meaningless. However, little by little the background story and the important details are explained. Basically, Supernatural feels more or less complete on its own and watching the TV series before starting the anime is not an absolute must. It may even have a negative effect, as some fans of the TV series hate the anime, because “it is not exactly the same”. You can be smart and ignore them. Supernatural is a great series for any fan of the mystery/horror anime.
The art style is rather interesting, almost a cross between anime and American comic book style. The characters are hard edged, and a lot of dark lines and heavy shadows that pretty much are black. Everything has a nice vintage feeling, sort of grimy in a good way. The characters look like the characters from the live-action as well which is what I would wish to see unlike some of them. Sadly, some of the images are pretty frozen, still images that feel like cop outs, especially when this was made in 2011.
The English voices don’t feel up to par with the animation, and feels a bit forced and doesn’t match the lip sink most of the time. They talk when the mouths are closed and part of it might be to get information out since this is shorter then the actual show. Even then, it just feels rushed and makes it a little hard. I really love the ending song though. I never thought I would hear “Cary on my Wayward Son” by Naoki Takao fit so well.
EDIT: I have now seen the live action show, I really like it as well. The show has the same creepy feeling and the same slowness that the animation has. The stories are altered slightly from the original but that’s partly because they were putting a 1 hour episode into a half a hour one.
So, the story is definitely interesting. Two brothers hunting down all kinds of monsters thought to be just fictions of mythology and legends does sound appealing. The series includes remakes of the original episodes and anime-only episodes, too. As far as the latter is concerned, I believe they fitted with the original series. But the 22 episodes just wasn’t enough to explain the plot thoroughly. Many questions arise and, honestly, I am not sure if I would understand the story so well if I was not familiar with the live-action series.. Lastly found the ending fair enough, I repeat for someone who is not familiar with the original.
The art was a real fit. I mean the intense black in the frames fitted well with the mysterious style of the story. And, the characters were decent. But, I cannot restrain from commenting on Bobby’s appearance. Man, what did they do to him???? (sorry about that).
I haven’t watched it in Japanese so I’ll comment on the dubbed version. Okay, the voice actors have risen huge complaints. Why Jensen Ackles is not in the show? What’s wrong with the voice actors? And bla bla bla… Really, the voice actors were not that bad. They could have been better and having the original cast would be sweet but we should try being just a little objective. Also, the music and the sound effects created the mysterious-creepy atmosphere the series needs.
What I found a bit disappointing were the characters. I can’t be objective here because I know the potential of the characters. They are not as flat as the anime portrays them. They are more deep than that. Also, many characters and monsters had to be there. What about the guys from the Harvelle’s Roadhouse and the shape-shifters? However, we cannot expect that much from a 22-episode series while the original is 10 seasons! If you are new to the supernatural world I think you will like them as they are. They are not some kind of heroes, they have flaws and make mistakes.
If you like this kind of stuff -demons, vampires, werewolves, etc.- you will definitely like Supernatural. Even if you don’t have a particular interest in those, I believe you will still enjoy it. It is a great anime and leave us, grumpy fans, complaint. It should be treated with respect and it is a great anime for the mystery/ horror fans out there!
20: Chihayafuru 2: Waga Miyo ni Furu Nagame Shima ni
Japanese: ちはやふる２ わがみよにふるながめせしまに
MAL Score: 7.03
The cultural festival is one of the most important events on the academic calendar. Just like all other clubs, Mizusawa’s Karuta Club is preparing to participate as well. Due to previous circumstances, Team Captain Chihaya Ayase is temporarily absent during the team planning. First year student Sumire Hanano is intent on taking advantage of this occasion to fulfill her dream and finally make her teammate, Taichi Mashima, fall in love with her. A play based on Genji Monogatari might be just the thing she needs to enact her plan.
The good parts of the OVA were that it had a good touch of comedy and the art was beautiful. The ending was kinda hilarious too.
Lastly I would like to say that if you are watching the OVA for seeing chihaya in action don’t. The OVA is a comedy and a bit of romance.
NOTE: Well I like Chihaya and Arata as a couple better. 🙂
Basically, as the club discusses what to present in the culture festival, Hanano pushes for performing a stage play, hoping to act in a romantic scene with Mashima, but things don’t go exactly how she wants.
There you go, the entire plot in a single sentence.
The OVA adds nothing to the actual plot so if you’re not the type of person who enjoys these fillers, you might as well just skip to the third season.
Sound and art are good but note that as far as I know the episode was only released on DVD, so no HD version is available.
Obviously, as an OVA, the quality isn’t as high-caliber since this is just meant to be a side-story. However, I do think the little character developments for Taichi regarding Chihaya and Hanano were nice. It was a nice highlight for that small love triangle that sort of exists between those three. It wasn’t something huge, but it was there, and I liked that.
Other than that, the humor in this episode is very Chihayafuru, so if you enjoyed the main series’ comedic bits, then you’ll enjoy this episode. Like I said, it was fun to hang out with this characters in a completely comedic way rather than the drama that we get in the anime. We don’t come to OVA episodes for quality, we come to have fun, and you certainly will with this episode.
19: Tenjou Tenge: The Ultimate Fight
English: Tenjho Tenge: The Ultimate Fight
Japanese: 天上天下ULTIMATE FIGHT
MAL Score: 7.05
Continues from where the original series left off. The characters try to settle their conflicts with each other in this 2 episode OAV. Aya confronts her sister Maya about Nagi, while Nagi receives a challenge from Mitsuomi to fight to the death. Meanwhile, Bob trains as hard as he can for the tournament.
Story (Continuation vs. Ending): 7
The story practically continues where the prequel left off, but since it still follows the manga you won´t really get an long-awaited conclusion but rather two nice little episodes that add a little bit of something to the original story yet they once again leave you yearning either for more or an “real” ending, like the prequel did. All in all the story can hardly play a major role in a 2 episode OVA but that doesn´t mean it´s not there or it´s not worth watching.
Characters/Art/Sound (Old vs. Old ?): 8
Airing approximately a year after the original series the OVA retained pretty much all of the previous characteristics. Everything is more or less the same so if you liked how things were in the prequel you´ll be happy to know nothing changed and if you didn´t, well, tough luck. ^^
Enjoyment:(Love vs. Hate) 7- 8
Not much to say actually. I liked it as I did the prequel and the fact that nothing really changed aside the story that goes forward a little bit there isn´t much to either like or dislike. Simply put, it´s nice but nothing to go OMG about.
Overall (Devotion vs. Originality): 7 (objective) / 8 (subjective)
Well, in the end the versus between staying true to the manga and actually bringing something new to the series ended pretty much in a draw. I doubt many people that read the manga (myself included) would enjoy a forced make-belief ending while on the other hand those who never read it will probably always long for that little bit of something to tie it nicely all up in a pleasant ending. To sum up. Until the manga finishes and they decide to continue the trend of being true to its story and finish the anime series in that manner, Tenjou Tenge: The Ultimate Fight will remain a promise of something to come or a remainder of what could have been but wasn´t.
Re-watchability: 2-3 /5
(5)- Anywhere, anytime, as many times as you like!
(4)-Definitely worth seeing more than 3 times…
(3)-Once for regular viewer, 2 (or even 3) times for a fan.
(2)- Seeing once is more than enough.
(1)- Impossible to even reach the end…
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.
17: Tetsuwan Birdy
English: Birdy the Mighty
MAL Score: 7.10
Tsutomu, an average middle school kid busy studying for the final exams to enter high school runs into a man running from someone and gets caught up in the chase. In all the confusion he gets accidentally killed. Luckily Birdy (an interplanetary agent) knows a way to save him, unfortunately that means joining bodies to become one. So now he is stuck with this officer and along for the ride capturing criminals and saving lives.
Well, I’m back again with another obscure, bargain bin title review, this time: Birdy the Mighty.
Birdy the Mighty 1996 is a precursor to the more popular BTM: Decode series, which aired more recently. Masami Yuki, a guy who’s done literally nothing else of note, started Birdy way back in the mid 80s, which he mysteriously and abruptly stopped writing. (it was probably the cocaine, that he along with everyone else back then did, ‘the 80’s, mannnn’.) Well, Birdy was turned into a 4 episode OVA series by everybody’s favorite studio MADHOUSE!
Unlike their peer Production IG, who had an absolute turd of a show in 1996 called “Panzer Dragoon” (we daren’t speak that name), Madhouse delivered a quality animation. Unfortunately, the licensing in NA was handled by Central Park Media, known for their schlockiness and giving dubs a bad name.
Artwork and Animation: 8
Madhouse, true to form, delivers a very high quality, fluid, and fast moving product that looks great for a mid 90s show. This came before the big CGI boom in the late 90s/early 00s, so we’re saved from those horrors, and blessed with some very slick hand drawn animation. While there are some lazy moments with stillframe, the action was as good as it was going to get for a show of this budget, and it is very easy to watch.
Sound and Voice Acting: 3
This is where the problems begin, and it’s mostly on the voice acting front.
My biggest problem with this is on a technical level, and it’s partially a result of the technology at the time, and partly because they used junk equipment. When there’s no music (which is usually mixed at a higher level than the voices anyway, making it hard to hear), there’s a slight static that everything made before the digital age has. It’s there, just trust me.
Well, when the actors are speaking, you can hear hard mic cuts, where the only sound mixed is that of their voice, then it cuts back to “silence” which resumes the static scratching sound, which is a bit jarring. They also apparently didn’t know what pop filters were, and you can hear their lips smacking together as they talk.
Half the VA sound really bored, or phoned in, it’s just this side of bad cheesy, but not bad enough to laugh at, since it takes itself seriously. A lot of the music sounds like it came straight out of Super Mario Kart, but the ending themes are pretty groovy.
Being that Birdy the Mighty is incomplete, it’s natural to say that it’s got a poor story, but I disagree. It’s “fair”. The first episode is just an intro to Birdy and Tsutomu, but 2-4 cover the plot. It’s nothing original- an investigation into a growing series of crimes perpetrated by an intergalactic criminal intent on creating psionic soldiers with which to destroy the intergalactic police organization hunting him. The mastermind has created a serum through a series of genetic tests on himself and others which turns the recipient of it into a hulking reptilian psionic rage monster (think Akira- it definitely had some influences here). There is another villain who is explored , but not resolved, which hurt the show, but in a way left it open ended for an eventual revisitation.
Characters: 7 —*minor 1st episode spoilers*—
Tsutomu is a weenie and a giant loser who lucklessly happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up dead while the Intergalactic supercop Birdy is chasing a criminal. As punishment for ending the poor kid’s pathetic life, Birdy is instructed by her giant Radroach of a boss to ressurect Tsutomu by morphing bodies with him. They’re able to switch at will, and both have their own lives to attend to, which often leads to some pretty funny results.
Birdy herself is a confident and capable fighter, but impulsive and hot-headed, a trait she vehemently denies, then tries to fight someone over for saying, hah. She’s tough, and she don’t take no crap- which sometimes ends in billions of dollars in destruction of property, but she makes sure to kick enough intergalactic ass to cover the bill.
I picked this up on a whim, like most of my obscure titles, and while the first episode was pretty boring, the 2nd-4th were really good. There’s some brutal action including arm and leg breaks, and several awesome sequences- one where an entire skyscraper is taken down in a battle, and a second where there’s a telekinetic fight that ends with an oil tanker being thrown into a character who crashes through a 6 foot thick concrete wall! There’s a few cheeseball lines of dialogue to snicker at too.
It has some over the top moments, but overall it’s a good twist on the typical superpower shonen. A handy female protagonist who shows the beta male how it’s done, and a fun concept of the body switching made for a good little show.
Sure. It’s a nice change of pace, and at 120 minutes runtime, not a big investment.
Birdy the Mighty is largely episodic with our title badass taking down a new threat in every episode. There was supposed to be an overarching plot about Birdy chasing a famous alien criminal hiding out on Earth for unknown reasons, but the anime was scrapped after just 4 episodes! What is amazing is that Birdy actually had the makings of a decent show, but was never given a chance. Why? There are anime out there WAY worse than Birdy that are actually popular and have multiple seasons! Ikki Tousen is one of the worst anime I have ever seen and I believe that piece of shit has 4 seasons now! Several attempts were made to reboot Birdy, but none of them caught on in popularity. Perhaps because Birdy is a very shonen action series, but broke the rules by having a female main protagonist? I’m honestly not sure why this show did so poorly with Japanese test audiences.
Tsutomu is a bland, beta male that is easily forgettable. The character that is actually interesting is obviously Birdy herself. I love how she grins from ear to ear while tearing apart her opponents with her bare hands. She is gleefully psychotic and is sort of like a female Alucard, or if Revy from Black Lagoon was actually likeable. It is too bad we have likely seen the end of Birdy and her reckless police work.
One possible reason for Birdy’s failure in the US was that it was adapted by the dreaded Central Park Media. Of all the companies to licence anime in the United States, no one had a reputation worse than the now thankfully defunct Central Park. This was a company that adapted the absolute WORST anime that NO ONE wanted to see, simply because they didn’t have to pay very much money to adapt and bring over Z tier anime titles to the US. This was the company that gave us MD Geist, Mad Bull 34, Angel Cop, and probably 8 of the top 10 worst anime ever to see an American release. Like all Central Park titles, Birdy suffers from HORRIBLE voice acting and cheesy music inserted in. However, I didn’t honestly think Birdy suffered that much from these flaws. It kind of made it nostalgic and fun.
Birdy the Mighty was obviously not a cinematic masterpiece, but it certainly deserved more than 4 damn episodes before getting axed! Sometimes for whatever reason, good shows get screwed and cancelled WAY too early, while shitty shows somehow stumble on season after season. Birdy is one of those decent shows that had some real potential, but failed to find an audience and was never given the chance it deserved. Of all the garbage that Central Park Media dumped on to American audiences, this was EASILY one of their best titles.
16: Nasu: Suitcase no Wataridori
English: Nasu: A Migratory Bird with Suitcase
Japanese: 茄子 スーツケースの渡り鳥
MAL Score: 7.11
Team Pao Pao Beer travel east to participate in the Japan Cup in what is very likely to be their final season together. Pepe Benengeli and teammate Jean Luigi Ciocci face an uncertain future and are also yet to come to terms with the suicide of one their heroes, Marco Rondanini. What follows is an introspective into the important things in life from the perspective of the professional cyclist.
While it does have a smattering of comedy, in certain reactions to situations, I think it has more drama than anything. It touches on some heavy topics too, throughout… something which in Andalusia they didn’t do, but it is counteracted by some comedy, particularly in the race itself, which is a welcome addition to the minimum requirement for such a genre, something its predecessor suffered from. Both, though, are under an hour long, and as such there isn’t quite much time to get acquainted with the characters and their situations.
I did, though, appreciate how they animated not just beautiful views of the cities and green open spaces, but characters’ interactions so fluidly that, in some instances, it reminded me of how Ghibli does its art. The ‘trembling’ due to someone’s ‘aura’ e.g. is similar to how Chihiro reacts at one point in Spirited Away; not saying this has the same calibre of animation, narrative, or variety as in that film, just that some instances are reminiscent, despite being a Madhouse production.
I liked, mostly, how the narrative ended up about existentialism in multiple places, as opposed to its predecessor which had much more sport in the ratio, this one added some interesting drama at certain points. Not at all as much as, say, SE Lain had, but if ‘shounen’ wasn’t its genre I’d say it had about the same level of ‘culture’ and introspection as the Chimera Ant Arc from HxH… if shounen battles were replaced with cycling races, of course… and kept much more realistic.
That is, in fact, another factor about both of these… sometimes, perhaps, a bit too realistic, but often that is a positive… with regards to the animation itself, the characters and background landscapes are as realistic as possible, and also feature the appropriate culture in context of the place it’s set in… except, in this one mostly, I didn’t notice much in terms of Japanese music, since that is where it’s set, and still reminded me of Spain, its previous location. It did, though, have shrines and Kannon to reflect the Buddhist aspect… from this angle it reminded me of Inuyasha, particularly as there was also an old man cleaning his shrine (who looked like the bar owner from the previous movie, but it wasn’t made clear if he relocated or something).
Ultimately, though, despite all these factors, some of which make it a definite improvement over the one in Andalusia, there isn’t any single one which ‘shines’ through… kind of like Kuroko’s comedy wasn’t as ‘powerful’ as Slam Dunk’s, and the ratio perhaps not as well adjusted… in Nasu: Suitcase No Wataridori I was satisfied with how this ratio was settled on. The first part, especially, resonated quite well… it was, by itself, powerful… but the second part, apart from some comedic bits (which by themselves weren’t as ‘strong’, in my opinion, the drama is also lessened somewhat), wasn’t anything extraordinary. Still, an enjoyable ‘ride’ nonetheless.
15: ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka – Regards
Japanese: ACCA13区監察課 Regards
MAL Score: 7.16
Set in the capital city of Badon one year after the events of the TV anime, Jean and the rest of the ACCA department are preparing for the one-year anniversary of the establishment of the new order. For the characters — caught between rumors of unrest, unchanging days, new crossroads, gazes remembered in memories, and days of new beginnings — time once again begins to move forward.
As usual, like the series, everything in ACCA – Regards, is smooth, and I’m not even joking: no stiff animation, nice and gentle OST, authentic and crisp atmospehere showing in practically any located background, adjectively level-headed characters introductions and interactions, o hell even the plot is smooth. In fact, remarkably, the only thing that kept me from writing this is because my big empty head couldn’t keep up with thinking about using any word that can replace “smooth” or “gently”, but damn I’m gonna keep trying my best, and worst at the same time. Let me tell you why these are all as what I told you.
Right off the bat, we can see Madhouse just mad flexin’ as usual. Good flex is when you know what you’re doing is relatable to the target audience. Even if this is the same studio which helped the production of God-must-be-crazy anime such as Vampire Hunter and One Punch Man, they know exactly what ACCA is supposed to be. Not everything have to be mega-bombastic and ACCA is one of the anime which shows that. So to start off, we begin our pre-title sequence with a simplistic jazzy piano playing joyfully behind a crowd of fully-handed government civil workers preparing for the anniversary of ACCA, after a dramatic attempt of coup d’etat against Kingdom of Dowa viewed in front of the whole world. Quite a simple plot.
Basically, this OVA could pretty much be the only continuation following after events in previous season’s episodes. All I can say is, even if I’ll be told this wouldn’t get a second season, I’m glad that they’re making it not to be too looking like a try-hard effort, simply just showing what ACCA is in the first place in its essence: a simple drama anime, essentially.
All the key characters are still showing up, revealing what they have in mind even after the conflictious event in previous season. Obviously being the afterward of coup d’etat, suspicions arise here and there, and a slight hint of unsafeness could be seen in the form of whispering winds. The involved characters like Jean Otus might be very cool-headed, but for something grand to be revealed, even the higher-ups like The Five Chiefs would be very careful.
The ambitious youth would be the worst case, for they often fret over the future anxiously and might as well try to find out about any unseen zephyr. Who should worry and who shouldn’t, no one can guarantee the sure answer. Yet again, for those who are just living a life like Jean Otus, a slight breeze could still be enjoyed simply as nature at work. The peaceful daily lives of people still go on. Not just in Dowa, that applies for all, even The Five, Head of ACCA Director Mauve, and surprisingly the coup’s malefactor. Suspicion is merely an unrenewed piece of mind. Worry is a misuse of imagination. Quietly living life amongst the unnoticable is not an exaggeration. It’s just life as it is.
We can still talk about the animation. Some look like still images, others are fluidly well-done, but none of them seem remotely close to being stiff, because that’s just exactly what Madhouse is. As I said before, being ACCA, this is the only anime in which I can absoutely appreciate the very vibe I’ve always been digging in: a slow-but-surely, serene and soothing vibe at a steady pace that brings my relaxed self wonders. They gave good choice of soundtracks with good timing and nothing is off, because that’s just exactly what Madhouse is.
I’ve always wanted to come back to the series and write my review, but I really don’t know how to word out the anime as a whole. It’s a special guilty pleasure, but also memorable. It’s probably why I haven’t make a review about it yet. However, this isn’t something you should just pass. How boring it sound, give it a chance. Take a break from any anime mayhem that you’re not interested at the moment and spend just 48 minutes of them to watch this light entertainment. I guarantee you a nice experience from it.
It’s basically regarding Lotta and Parrot’s new beginning into the working world and the anxieties and uncertainty that comes with it, for both the younger person and the older mentor. Lotta gets advice from her principal that used to teach Nino, who both he and Jean are concerned about her and what they should do. That’s on Jean’s domestic side, and on his work side he’s with a rookie named Parrot who works hard and is dedicated to the job, is a product of the coup attempt and is rightly paranoid about the ex-Chief Officers and Furawau’s own plans. And in the end despite, some very good editing and film techniques to make it seem sinister, nothing bad comes from it because in this world intelligence agencies and governments are more calm and rational.
I’m giving this an eight like the main series because I’m not so head over heels about it, but I think this OVA did a much better job taking everything that worked well in the main series and put it all together here. It’s honestly not bad just by itself but if you liked the main anime at all I would really recommend watching this.
14: Cyber City Oedo 808
English: Cyber City
Japanese: CYBER CITY OEDO 808 (サイバーシティ オーエド ハチマルハチ)
MAL Score: 7.18
It is the year 2808. Three convicts are recruited as members of the Cyber Police to keep major criminal activity in Oedo (formerly Tokyo) in check. In return, their life sentences will be reduced by a few years for every mission accomplished. However, to ensure that these convicts are doing their job, the police have secured special collars around their necks. If they attempt to remove their collars or fail to meet the time limit of their mission, the collars will self-destruct.
Thus, along with a rocking guitar riff to introduce the absurd acronym title ("Oriental Electric Darwinism Oasis 808", apparently), we are introduced to our three protagonist anti-heros: Sengoku, a hardened criminal who must have decided at an early age to commit as many crimes as humanly possible, currently serving a sentence of 375 years for a plethora of crimes, with a generous 0.005% chance of parole; Gogul, a computer wizard with a Geordie LaForge-style visor and a tendency to swear like a disgruntled sailor, serving a 310-year sentence with a 0.013% change of parole; and Benten, a silver-haired effeminate embezzler working through the start of his 295-year sentence. Chance of parole? 0.008%.
So, what possible adventures could these three get up to? The situation of no chance of escape, the possibility of parole slimmer than Kate Moss’ middle finger, not to mention being encased in solitary confinement for centuries on end does not lend itself well for three half-hour episodes of fast and furious futuristic frolics.
That is, until you learn about their special dispensation.
Hasegawa, a man of questionable power and sombre disposition, has enlisted the help of these three ‘cyber criminals’ – and here’s the deal – for every grade A criminal that they bring into police custody, they get a couple of years knocked off their sentence. What’s the catch? Well, aside from the fact that each mission they undertake comes with a time limit that (triggered by Hasegawa’s cigarette lighter, no less), when expired, will explode the collars around their necks ‘Battle Royale’-style; nothing. To be honest, I’d rather rot in a titanium alloy cell, gazing at the stars and singing old country & western songs to myself and for the benefit of nearby inmates with their hearing still intact; but these three know how to take care of themselves, and are desperate to stretch their legs again after a prolonged period in the can.
The feature is split into three episodes, and though all of the protagonists feature in each episode, it is clear that each half-hour slot is dedicated to allowing the audience to get to know the three criminals individually.
First up is Sengoku’s chapter, where we get to know VARSUS, another insane acronym, this time describing a bulky robot on wheels who acts not only as an aid for when Sengoku needs vital information, but also to warn him against the dangers of alcohol, correct his grammar, and generally irritate the living Jesus out of him. You tend to lose count of the amount of times Sengoku tells VARSUS to reproduce with himself, and not always in such eloquent terms.
Which brings me to one of the main features in OEDO 808: swearing. The dubbed English versions feature an absolute overabundance of bad language. "Fuck off" is used in the same vein as "good morning" for much of the feature – and while many Mary Whitehouse-minded viewers will find it moronic and immature, I confess to enjoying it somewhat. Though I freely admit that I am at my basest level a vulgar excuse for a human, often finding fart jokes to be the highest form of wit, I found the continuous stream of curse words a joy to behold, bringing forth the immoral and felonious characteristics of the law-breakers-turned-upholders into the mind’s eye of the observer. My personal favourite highlight is the utter pointlessness of the line in the first episode where Gogul, sat in front of a computer, is trying to isolate the location of a hacker in an attempt to stop him from accessing a huge satellite laser cannon: "Come on, where the fuck are you, you cocksucking son of a bitch?".
Anyhow, back to the show. Sengoku is sent into a building (though ‘building’ is an understatement, I believe the literal Japanese translation is a ‘Mega Skyscraper’: it stretches into space, just in case you were becoming jaded by the relative realism after the captives are freed from their orbital incarceration) that has been completely overrun by a mysterious hacker, who has not only trapped everybody in the building, but is working on other, entirely more sinister plans too. I’m not going to give any of these away, suffice to say that they rather predictably involve high-tech weapons, large explosions, and a lift falling 100 floors in 10 seconds.
The animation is for the most part impressive as well as functional, somewhat akin to an ultra-modern ‘Ninja Scroll’ (probably owing to Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s direction). The only minor gripe would be a few poor choices of wipes to denote scene changes. In one scene after Sengoku, trapped in a confined space, has just shot a maintenance droid who was bearing down on him at some speed, the screen fades to bright blue and then back to the next scene. The first time I saw it, I thought he had died. Still, this is a very minor grievance, and as a general rule the dynamism of the animation is upheld pretty pleasingly.
Character interaction in this episode is exciting and definitely worthy of note. It’s always good when three people are working together towards a common aim and still have the audacity to rip the living piss out of each other at every opportunity. Benten dodges a corridor full of lasers for the best part of an hour while Sengoku takes the maintenance shaft; and on his way out of their common destination, seeing Benten a couple of yards away, Sengoku laughs, "Is that as far as you got? Shit!"
An interesting incident of note in this episode is at the end: the chapter ends just before Sengoku jumps through the window of Hasegawa’s office. Apparently in the original he ran inside and was killed, but due to the overwhelming popularity of the first episode, they decided to resurrect him in preparation for the other two. So there you go.
The second instalment of the OEDO 808 series is dedicated to Gogul, and features a mysterious robot killing machine created by the military that is not only close to indestructible, but can harness psychic power and tear the limbs off people from fifty yards away. The army’s plan is, after successful testing, to replace the entire police force with these monstrosities, including the special cyber criminal unit of which our three ‘heroes’ are a part.
Inevitably, Gogul ends up fighting it.
This is by far my favourite episode, featuring gore, protracted fight sequences, the never-ending futuristic anime obsession of the struggle between man and machine, not to mention no end of personal satisfaction when you spend the entire episode wondering whether this insane psychic carnage appliance has any kind of weakness at all. Beautifully animated and crafted, with an amusing and practical script (and still plenty of swearing, abuse fans).
The third episode, however, soon made me wish that I had pressed stop on the video player after Gogul’s chapter. My main beef with this episode is the main character – Benten. In the two previous episodes Benten’s solitary purpose had been staring up into the sky and saying "The stars are not in alignment – it’s a bad omen". Besides the fact that it’s a vague and superfluous line, it’s the fact that it’s some androgynous gimp with long white hair, a pointy nose and glittering earrings that’s saying it. In fact, until Benten spoke, I was actually under the impression that ‘he’ was a ‘she’.
The storyline starts out as a murder mystery, and soon becomes twisted in the supernatural, toying with the ideas of vampirism and immortality. Though the last 5-10 minutes are inherently viewable (due to the fact that there’s a fairly insane fight going on), the rest of the episode is fairly rudimentary, and the script definitely suffers from Benten’s flagrantly bisexual tendencies (the only reason I didn’t say homosexual is because he kisses a girl right at the end). In my humble opinion this is the only reason why this 3-part series doesn’t achieve a better score, as the other two episodes are no only involving, but at times extremely funny, too. Benten’s affair tries its very hardest at being moving, appealing to the heart instead of depicting it being splattered all over the walls; unfortunately there is not enough basis to form any kind of emotional interest, and, coupled with the distinct lack of likeability of Benten’s character, fails to entertain.
All in all, however, there is plenty to see here. On the whole OEDO 808 is involving, fun to watch, and has a few moments that may well stay with you forever.
The German phrase Zeitgeist translates to “spirit of the age”. This anime perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the 1980s even better than Fist of the North Star…despite the fact that Oedo was actually released in the 1990s and was laughably dated upon arrival. Despite how goofy it often gets, Oedo is freaking awesome and well worth checking out!
The 1980s were a truly bizarre decade in terms of film. The year 1980 saw the release of Heaven’s Gate, one of the most boring, pretentious, shitty art films ever made. It bombed so hard it is legendary to this day! At the same time, the wildly popular American President Ronald Reagan placed value on the average American Joe and showed disdain for snooty elitists. The European film critics of this time were busy hyping up art films from France, Sweden, and the USSR that Americans and frankly most average folks neither appreciated nor enjoyed. It was time for a revolution! It was time for a massive backlash against snooty elitists and “highbrow” taste. The 1980s were the decade in which no writers were saying things like, “let’s cut that out, people will find it too corny and cheesy”. We embraced the corn! We embraced the cheese! Having shit taste basically became a badge of pride in those days! It meant you weren’t a god damned Communist! People came out in droves to see big, cheesy, idiotic action movies like never before or since, despite what ALL the critics said. Films that in any other decade would be scorned or laughed at were cheered un-ironically. Rocky 4 became the highest grossing sports film in American history adjusted for inflation. It was this background of over the top excess, style over substance, and complete lack of care for snarky nitpickers that forged anime like Fist of the North Star, MD Geist, and today’s topic of Cyber City Oedo.
The visual aesthetic of Cyber City Oedo is ENTIRELY inspired by early 80s/ late 70s Glam Rock. Expect tons of Jerry curls, mullets, and FABULOUS nails. The 80s were the decade in which the flamboyant, metrosexual look was all the rage. Just look at Michael Jackson, Prince, Def Leppard, Queen, Sweet, Kiss, Wham, Michael Bolton, Rick Astley, and almost everyone popular during that decade. It was like you had to look at least X percent gay in order to be cool.
The final piece of background you need to be familiar with is a dub company called UK Manga Corp. They were the British subsidiary of the infamous Central Park Media. UK Manga Corp saw all anime as “adult cartoons” and tried to add as much swearing as possible to reflect “maturity”. This often led to some of the most forced and unnatural swearing sessions in the history of the English language. Let’s sample some of the many gems from Cyber City:
Terrible Brooklyn Accent: “Heeey Benton, don’t shit ya pants if ya see a vaaampire out there!”
Monotone voice: “Get lost…you wouldn’t recognize a goddam vampire if one jumped up and fucking bit you on the end of your fucking dick!”
Terrible Brooklyn girl: “Eat this ya dick splash!”
Whiny Voice: It’s past your bedtime MOTHERFUCKER!
The plot is that 3 criminals are given the opportunity to reduce their sentences by killing other criminals. The trio of criminals are fitted with explosive dog collars by the government so that disobeying isn’t an option. It’s basically a shameless ripoff of the late 1980s comic series Suicide Squad. The 3 criminals are named Sengoku, Merill, and Gabimaru in the Japanese dub. However, the English dub changed Merill to Benton for some reason and Gabimaru was renamed Gogol. The Gabimaru name change actually has a reason. In one scene he is seen reading a novel with the Cyrillic title “Мальчики” which means young boys. Gogol was a Russian novelist who was famously gay. UK Manga Corp, when they aren’t adding swear words for no reason, they are apparently providing really random in-jokes for Russophiles. Each episode features 1 of the 3 criminals and explores a bit of their backstory. However, there is no resolution to the main plot and each episode can be watched independently or out of order without any issues.
Sengoku is the pompadour wearing goof who drinks heavily and provides some of the funniest swearing dialogue. He isn’t that bright, but he can fight and always finds a way to win. Gogol is the brains of the trio and is an expert hacker in addition to being a badass cyborg. Benton is the pretty boy who has the most impressive fight scenes. He is sort of like if you combined Kurama and Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho…I don’t mean in THAT way fangirls! Hasegawa is the dickish government guy that makes life hell for our 3 heroes and constantly threatens to kill them if they don’t complete the mission on time. That’s pretty much all you need to know for these characters.
It has some gloriously cheesy synth music, but I was VERY disappointed by the lack of glam rock! Central Park should have spent the money and licensed music like “Poor some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard or “The Action” by Sweet!
The art in this anime is actually pretty top notch. Who the hell animated this obscure nonsense anyways?…Studio Madhouse!? Well that explains it.
Cyber City is quite cheesy and goofy, but it provides some great action and plenty of laughs. It is a great anime to watch with friends or alone if it is late at night and you want to watch something ridiculous.
If that sounds amazing, go watch now and have fun. Seriously, you can work out if this is for you from what I’ve just said. This is not a complicated anime. Go watch the UK dub now if it appeals.
3 cyber criminals in space prison (they literally call it that) are offered the chance to do dangerous police jobs in exchange for their sentences being shortened. If they fail, their hated boss will blow up the rings round their necks. Each episode focuses (not at all exclusively) on one of them. To give you a sense of how fun each character is, I have had each of them as my favourite at some time. First there’s Sengoku, who is grumpy and very enjoyably foul mouthed. I fell for his profanity. Then there’s Gogol, a huge man with amazing hacking skills and the most enjoyably hammy american accent possible. He goes with the flow, and I fell for his really nice personality… and the way he says ‘cocksuckers’ and calls people he hates ‘limp dicks’. His swearing is less frequent but it’s probably the most pleasing. Then there’s Benton. Oh Benton. He is a straight-talking cool femme guy with a razor wire for a weapon. He’s just so femme. I’m down with that. I’m very down with that. And the razor wire is very cool.
I like robots. Varsus, a sassy yet straight edged supporting robot character, is my 11th favourite fictional character of all time. You won’t feel similarly, but just know that.
This is 80s trash at its coolest and best. The animation is very 80s, vaguely similar to Goku Midnight Eye and Golgo 13 The Professional (my favourite kind of animation). If this style of animation is your thing, you will love this. Upon the first watch you’ll think the episodes get progressively worse, but for me rewatches reversed that. It is very cyberpunk, but for the most part on the trashy end of cyberpunk.
Watch the UK dub. It has riotous swearing, dubbing equal only to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (good for very different reasons), and the UK version of the dub has a heavy rock soundtrack which fits the series perfectly.
Don’t believe me about the swearing being enjoyable? ‘Get lost. You wouldn’t know a goddamn vampire if one jumped up and bit you on the end of your fucking dick.’ It’s all like this – just lots of unnecessary swearing. It’s beautiful. Not convinced? Right. Watch the second episode – there’s a pun off. If I haven’t enthused you, probably don’t watch this.
(please do let me know yours feelings about this review via private message!)
13: The Cockpit
Japanese: ザ コクピット
MAL Score: 7.21
About a Luftwaffe pilot who must choose between his duty to his country: to guard a bomber loaded with Germany’s final hope of victory… the world’s first atomic bomb… or his duty to the world: to let it fall in flames to enemy Spitfires and be a footnote in history. Of course, things are complicated by the plane’s other cargo… the woman he loves.
2. Sonic Boom Squadron
Near the end of the war, Japan has implemented a new weapon — a human-piloted rocket-propelled flying bomb. Aboard a bomber carrying one of these, young Ensign Nogami awaits his chance to die as a “cherry blossom”, a suicide pilot. In a few hours, he will die. The date of his death is set: August 6, 1945.
3. Knight of the Iron Dragon
Two soldiers attempt to reach an air base in order to fulfill a promise despite the fact that it might have been rendered moot in the reality of war.
Time to review another obscure OVA! This time we’re looking at The Cockpit. This 1993 OVA had EVERYTHING going for it, but still somehow managed to wind up terrible. It was written by Leiji Matsumoto, who also did the character designs. The director was Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who directed such classics as Ninja Scroll and Vampire Hunter D. This was also made by Madhouse on an impressive budget. The plot is WW2 from the eyes of Axis fighter pilots.
So I went into this expecting something like Das Boot. Many of the Axis soldiers will be humanized and realistic, while also being staunchly anti-war and pointing out all the atrocities on all sides. Nope! Well maybe it will be like “Blonde Knight of Germany” the biography of ace pilot Erich Hartmann. It will focus on just one figure on the axis side and lionize him while still not turning into Nazi propaganda. Nope! This is split into 3 episodes and they’re all kind of mess.
A German ace pilot (who happens to look like Harlock), is given a very important mission. He must defend a secret German bomber plane that’s carrying an atomic bomb and heading towards London. To add some melodrama, his girlfriend is a nuclear physicist and was the one who designed the bomb. To add even more drama, she is being forced to ride on the plane carrying the bomb so she can witness its destructive power! Remember when America forced Robert Oppenheimer to ride on the Enola Gay and witness the atomic bombings? I sure fucking don’t! The physicist girl begs German Harlock to shoot the plane down. He must not let Hitler use atomic weapons to exterminate the people of the UK, US, and USSR. “Any country that would use atomic weapons is a country that has forever lost its soul!” Yes Matsumoto! We get it! Nuking people is bad! German Harlock shoots down the plane and we get this gem of a quote. “I may be remembered as a coward and a traitor, but Germany’s honor has been spared. Germany refused to sell its soul”. Yep, if any country ended WW2 with its reputation intact and its national honor unsullied it was Germany. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuL6cJPz3Nk
We get to hear the tale of a noble Kamikaze pilot and his co-pilot the blob person…who looks like the Schmoo. The main pilot is a selfless and noble character who simply wishes to defend his country by any means necessary. This means piloting the man guided missile known as the Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka into an American aircraft carrier. Throughout the episode, Americans are astonished by the speed and technological marvel of the Ohka. These Yanks are just shitting their pants at how awesome the thing is. Our hero pilots the Ohka into a capital class Aircraft carrier and just annihilates it, killing thousands of American soldiers in 1 glorious blow. Here’s the problem with this. The Ohka was a complete failure and an utter piece of shit. Americans laughed their asses off at it. In fact, the whole tactic of Kamikaze in the Pacific was an utter failure. Japan lost 2,800 planes and pilots to kill a mere 4,900 American soldiers. No American carrier or capital ship was EVER sunk by a Kamikaze, certainly not a fucking Ohka. The Germans killed almost ten times that many Americans just using land mines. This anime is like watching a German war film that is 1/10th anti-war and 9/10ths celebrating how fucking AMAZING the Panzer ViII Maus was. Americans see it and just defecate in fear before 1 Maus kills 100,000 American pig dogs. The fact that it had 1/5th the horsepower required for its weight and was so inefficient just made it SO cool! How about a Russian film that spends all its time celebrating how AMAZING the LaGG-3 was? From a historical viewpoint I just fucking hate this anime so much!
Some Japanese soldiers are the only 2 left on an island and must decide what to do. They make the logical choice and charge American machine guns in order to go out in a blaze of glory. Oh and Matsumoto decided to draw the 2 Japanese characters as monkeys for some reason. Maybe it was supposed to symbolize something, but it looks like he saw some of those old racist Loony Toons drawings of Japanese and said “Hold muh beer!”
Art and Sound:
The art for the most part is spectacular, especially the first episode. The soundtrack by Kaoru Wada is at least acceptable and does its job. This is a fairly well made film in terms of production values, which just makes it all the more sad.
I really wanted to like this movie. I generally enjoy Matsumoto. I love Kawajiri as a director. Hell, I own Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D, and Cyber City Oedo on DVD. I love old school Studio Madhouse from the late 80s and early 90s. This anime though was just balls. The ludicrous historical inaccuracy, chest thumping patriotism, needless anti-Americanism, and Axis propaganda bullshit was all just too much. If you want to watch an Axis propaganda film, just go watch Triumph of the Will from 1935. Watch Olympia from 1938. Don’t watch this piece of dog shit.
There are no spoilers in this review
I just completed the three part OVA The Cockpit. An anime about three different theoretically possible World War 2 scenarios.
The story for each episode is independent from each other and is focused on the characters feelings of war and what they do to hold their own sense of honor during one of the most bloody wars in History.
It’s interesting to watch these as an Australian as the story focuses on Axis Power soldiers. One German fighter pilot, one Japanese Ohka pilot and two Japanese infantry soldiers. It’s interesting to see a perspective which I never could comprehend on my own. I really like the story.
It’s amazing how much the writer put into each episode without making it feel rushed.
I’m not sure what the quality of animation was like at the time this was created, being 1991. But the lowest points of the anime is the tech side. I think the only reason it is because of it’s age. But it’s art does something better than allot more modern anime does and that is nose, face and profile shots.
The Japanese characters tended to have their faces drawn weird for some reason but the other characters art style was something I really liked.
I would like to see a rebuild of this with a modern quality but still have the same style for the characters.
Overall though the sound, art, est where primitive and that’s just a reflection of the time.
I think I have really said what I wanted in the story section so I’ll be brief. The characterization was great. I liked all the characters allot.
I really liked this. It’s relevant to my interests and is well executed. There is room for improvement but I was glad to have seen this. I’d say it should be an anime everyone see’s at least once. At least for those who have an interest in history. I’m surprised at how good this turned out.
This episode could be the only one you watch and you are not missing anything. This is my personal favorite out of the three. It makes me wish that this episode alone evolved into it’s own short 6 episode anime, with more backstory. You get a Nazi viewpoint of WWII and you end up caring for the main two Nazi’s. The ending is very satisfying but a little emotional.
It is a great aviation short!
#2-Sonic Boom Squadron:
This episode is alright, it has an interesting story. The only factor that throws me off is the design of most of the Japanese characters. A lot of the pilots look very deformed and almost as if they were “inbred”; and it really takes away from the serious tone. (Though the Americans look great) You follow a pilot whom pilots a suicide missile/plane hybrid; as he struggles to find the right time to launch. The aviation battle scenes are what keep this episode “above the water”.
#3-Knight of the Iron Dragon:
Ok, this is the worst episode, the serious tone only lasts for maybe a minute. All of the characters now have the goofy “inbred” look to them, again, except for the few Americans in this episode. This episode can honestly be skipped, as none of these episodes relate to one another. You follow a boy and a kind solider as they try to retake their home base. Like the others, the ending is quite sour as well, but i had little-to no emotion for what happens to these characters.
The art style of the characters ruins this episode, and the whole “aviation” them is not present except for a quick plane encounter. No aerial dog-fights present at all.
Overall, I feel like episode #1 was too good when compared to the last two and lead to them feeling underwhelming. I would highly recommend episode 1, episode 2 is all-right, but dont waste your time with episode 3.
12: The Animatrix
English: The Animatrix
MAL Score: 7.30
1. Final Flight of the Osiris
The crew of the Osiris discover an army preparing to invade Zion. While one crew member races inside the Matrix to get the message to Zion, the others try desperately to buy her enough time while fighting off an onslaught of Sentinels they can’t possibly defeat.
2-3. The Second Renaissance Part 1 and 2
Humans have created the ultimate AI, which is just as smart as they are. But complications arise when these robots and the humans try to exist peacefully, and eventually all-out war breaks out. The humans ultimately lose the war, and become trapped in the Matrix as seen in the live-action films.
4. Kid’s Story
A young man discovers that his world isn’t real, that it’s a computer-generated fantasy land created by robots using humans for energy. He escapes with the help of the hacker Neo. Based on the Matrix trilogy.
Cis and Duo engage in battle in a virtual recreation of Feudal Japan.
6. World Record
While running the fastest race in his life, a champion track star breaks free of his computer-generated world for a small period of time. When he goes back to the real world, he has no memories and is placed in a nursing home. Based on the Matrix trilogy.
While looking for her lost pet, a young woman meets up with some kids in Tokyo to play in a “haunted house,” which is really a glitch in their computer world. Based on the Matrix trilogy.
8. Detective Story
A detective named Ash is called upon by a mysterious organization to hunt down the notorious hacker Trinity.
A group of scientists capture a robot and place it in a surreal fantasy world. When the robot’s friends come in and kill most of the scientists; however, the robot and the last scientist remaining face isolation in the computer-generated world. Based on the Matrix trilogy.
The secret for the Animatrix’s success is the talent that was poured into it. Some of the creative minds that worked on it include Mahiro Maeda (Gankutsuou), Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll), and Shinichirō Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop), in addition to some up-and-coming talents as well.
While the Matrix sequels devolved into mysticism and spectacle, the different pieces of the Animatrix give us new spins on the ideas that first made this world so compelling. Each segment gives us something completely different while still remaining true to the thematic elements of reality and identity that are at the heart of the Matrix. And these differing visions are captured in a kaleidoscope of visual styles, making the experience an enriching one for the brain and the eyes.
Of course, in an anthology work such as this, everyone will be drawn to different parts. I certainly have my favorites, but I found that each segment had some to offer – with one exception. The first segment, The Final Flight of Osiris, made by Square (who you might know from Final Fantasy:Advent Children), features remarkably realistic CG but has such a poor story that any sense of wonder is lost, and the overall effect is rather one of boredom. Fortunately, this misstep is quickly forgotten as it is eclipsed by the equally pretty and much more interesting works that follow it.
Until now. I never watched the Animatrix, I don’t think I had any intention to after Revolutions. So now, years later, allow me to break down the pieces that comprise the Animatrix and tell you which are good and which are bad.
Final Flight of the Osiris-Written by the Wachowski brothers and animated by Square, this nine minute segment looks like the opening cutscene of a PS2 game. It starts with an entirely pointless fight where two characters cut the clothes off each other. They are suddenly pulled out of the simulation as Sentinels are chasing down their ship in the real world. What follows is a six minute sequence ending in a climax that isn’t satisfying, nor really matters. This entire short is nothing more than an introduction to the style of The Matrix rather than pulling us in early on. The writing is lame, the CG is very dated, and you’ll find nothing of value here.
The Second Renaissance Part I-The second short details events before The Matrix, namely the divide between humans and machines. What you’ll find here is an interesting background story about humans and machines having a schism that leads to animosity and violence. The machines build their own nation, wind up creating better technologies and having more valuable currency, which doesn’t make humanity happy at all. This is all visualized stunningly, with many disturbing images as well as copies of real life historical moments such as the tank running a robot down a la Tienanmen Square. A fan of the movies will enjoy this history lesson.
The Second Renaissance Part II-While containing some of the fantastic visuals of part one, part two is a lot less compelling. The humans put a dome around the Earth so the machines can’t operate on solar power leading to a war that ends with the machines realizing they can harvest energy from human brains. Thus the Matrix was born. This part was pretty stupid. While the first part set up the idea of a smart science fiction story, the second reveals how ridiculous the plot of the series really is and how much the Wachowski’s love to ruin good ideas with nonsense. If you watched the first part, watch the second, but be forewarned, it’s stupid.
Kid’s Story-The first visually appealing short from an artistic standpoint, Kid’s Story is directed by my biggest adversary in the directing world, Shinichiro Watanabe. A high school kid realizes he’s inside of the Matrix, leading to agents coming after him while Neo guides him toward escape. While not the most impressive in plot, the animation is gorgeous. For style alone, I’d suggest this segment. It’s the best of the bunch.
Program-A shorter piece, this one is another visual feast that concentrates on two people fighting over ideologies in a feudal Japanese setting. The action here is crisp, the dialogue is pretty smart, but it, penultimately, doesn’t matter. I feel that to have a good short here, you need a beginning, middle, and end, not just a singular idea that doesn’t go anywhere. Program is nice, but I still don’t see how this is enriching me any further in the world of The Matrix.
World Record-Here is the story of an Olympic racer who runs so fast he breaks the Matrix while some agents go after him to keep him locked within the program. That’s it. The animation isn’t that great, the story isn’t exciting, and I think this may have been the weakest segment so far.
Beyond-A pretty good short about a group of kids discovering a glitchy area in their town and exploiting the glitches for fun. While again not telling a compelling story this one does give us an idea of the process that is gone through to repair problems in the Matrix. It has good animation and ideas, but it’s an otherwise unremarkable piece.
A Detective Story-Another piece from Shinichiro Watanabe, this one is a noir adventure about a detective who is recruited to track down the hacker known as Trinity. From the outset you can see and hear the style (of course, very typical of Watanabe). This one’s a good short with an actual plot, neat design, and it ties into the movies, making it feel more relevant.
Natriculated-This one is made by the people who gave us Aeon Flux and is another eh on my part. It’s got the trademark style of Flux but I wasn’t impressed by the story nor did I find it to be exciting in any regard. As a finale, it’s weak.
The Animatrix is a very mixed bag. There are a couple of notable segments but it’s just about as underwhelming as the actual Matrix movies. If you’re a fan of the movie series, then you’ll find some enjoyment here, but if not it’s an lame grab bag of great talents producing mostly half-assed shorts.
Hard not to like this anime. For those not aware you have an animation sequel to the popular film The Matrix. It has 9 stories. Each story is very different from each other.
Like i said among the 9 stories the plot and art differed quite a bit. The artists did a wonderful job in blending the art to a way that best matches the story. For example, if you think of a detective movie. I mean a real good one. what comes to kind other than the trench coat? Black and white. Which is what they did and more. Sure, they matched the story but they did not drop from character. The ride presented within each story was a virtual roller coaster ride that placed you in the seat of the action. Never once tilted you too far out of your seat.
To make matters better even though the stories were different they all came back to the anime’s origin.
11: Space Pirate Captain Herlock: Outside Legend – The Endless Odyssey
Japanese: SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HERLOCK OUTSIDE LEGEND ~The Endless Odyssey~
MAL Score: 7.34
On an archaelogical mission to the end of the known universe, Professor Daiba unwitting unleashes an ancient horror from its confines. Five years later the malevolent alien force sets in motion a plan which reunites the various crewmembers of the Arcadia to sail the stars once more as well as bring Tadashi Daiba to meet Harlock for the first time (again).
The characters of Harlock are beautifully designed with a semi-sloppy art style that flows well into the atmosphere of the show. It’s a show about a universe where nothing new happens. All of the space pirates are gone. No new planets are being discovered. However, it’s still a manly man’s world with plenty out there, but everyone is in an eternal rut, until a scene of some old men in a bar decide to go pirating again in a scene beautifully directed in that the lights in the bar are stage lights that go on suddenly, and go out smoothly for whichever character is talking. It cut to Daiba, our main character, beating the crap out of two guys. Then his dad dies. Harlock appears out of nowhere with an ultimatum off manly destiny. He tells Daiba that real men hang out on space ships and explore doing what they want. Then, EARTH IS STOLEN!
In the end, this is the best Harlock rendition yet. It’s great. Watch it, whether you’re a Harlock fan or not.
Here’s how I think the pitch meeting went down. In 2002 Madhouse presumably thought that anime fans wouldn’t be interested in going back to watch a series that was over 20 years old at the time, if such a thing was even available to find at the time that is. I’d say that was a correct assumption. Especially considering the negative attitude most current anime fans has against pre-2000’s shows. Instead this series is squarely aimed at people who had seen the original 1978 Captain Harlock series. Not a bad idea I suppose. Make a bit of money of some nostalgia. I’m sure Leiji Matsumoto wouldn’t mind some licencing money so he could buy a ship in a bottle or some hair extensions for his wife. So what could go wrong?
I can only presume that whoever wrote this had never actually seen the original series. But instead had a drunken friend describe the show for him. Everything is explained to him in a series of half remembered plot points, vague explanations of the majority of the cast, a need to stress that manliness is one of the core aspects of the show and an extremely enthusiastic need to emphasize that Captain Harlock is a pretty cool guy. When the writer presses him for more information about Harlock and what makes him such a cool guy he had already passed out.
Endless Odyssey would claim to be a sequel to the original show. The Mazone invasion and the ending is referenced. Despite this Tadashi is not a former crew member. His father Professor Daiba is still alive somehow too. So it’s kind of a continuity snarl I guess. But that’s not exactly a deal breaker. On the surface everything looks like it checks out. A darker take on the original to reflect the fact that whoever caught the show when it originally aired was around their mid to late 20’s when this came out. A pinch of horror atmosphere to go with that nostalgia. It’s just a shame the plot is really dumb. The Earth is stolen(?!) by Cthulhu-esque horrors. None of that can faze Captain Harlock of course. He can just stare them down or whatever since he’s such a cool guy. You’re kind of pushing it here guys. The supernatural twist isn’t really working.
But hey. What would a captain be without his crew? Well. Unfortunately they get the short end of the stick. Because all of the lovably crew of the Arcadia are criminally mishandled and underused. They’re used for cheap nostalgia moments or callbacks. When they show up for the first time you’re supposed to go “yaaaay!” ( Ok maybe I did get a bit excited when Miime first showed up. ) and then? They do pretty much nothing. None of them have any impact on the plot at all. A great supporting cast just squandered. And before you ask. No, Captain Harlock isn’t bringing his A-game to carry the show. At best he’s on auto-pilot. At the very worst he’s grossly mischaracterized perhaps to make him seem more “cool”. You’re not expected to follow orders? Yeah it’s not like he’s the captain of the ship or anything. Fuck off. Yeah he let the crew do what they want when they were off-duty in the original. But they were all expected to follow his orders when it was go-time. Get this personality-free body snatcher off my screen and bring back the real captain. Even the voice actor for him is totally wrong. Sorry. Makio Inoue is the definitive Harlock. Anyone else just sounds like a pale imitation.
I will give Madhouse some credit though. The art is just wonderful. It is very faithful to the original work and lovingly rendered although with that modern shininess of course. The cast has never looked better though! Quirks of the original show such as the tall, slender women with long hair and the cartoonishly deformed small people are all accounted for. The Arcadia also looks great which is obviously of huge importance. I have no doubt that whoever drew this was a big fan. So I can only hope he never actually watched this. To match the “darker” tone and horror posturing the art is suitably dark. But good art can only get you so far. And for being an OVA the animation is nothing special. Pretty much just TV quality. Still I would call this show a visual treat. So it has something going for it.
I will also give it credit for a kind of interesting ending. And a relatively understated sense of masculinity. A breath of fresh air in an era where manliness is relegated to a post-ironic and over the top sideshow in anime. Don’t think I need to name any examples there. You know what I’m talking about.
If you want to get into Harlock I’d suggest starting with the lavishly produced Arcadia Of My Youth movie and go from there. Endless Odyssey is for completionists only.
10: Chi’s Sweet Home: Chi to Kocchi, Deau.
Japanese: チーズスイートホーム チーとコッチ, 出会う.
MAL Score: 7.34
Chi meets someone new at the park and tries to befriend him.
Chi’s Sweet Home is incredibly cute and wholesome, which is great for anyone watching a very dark/heavy anime! Cutting it with this show is just -chef’s kiss- the right forumla to keep you sane. XD
I absolutely adored both seasons of Chi and after having searched for a long time a user gave me valuable information in finding this OVA. And man, I’m glad I finally got my hands on it!
Chi’s family tries to fit her new collar on her, which if you have a cat, can be a very daunting trial. XD So Chi soon escapes from them to the park and meets a silly terriotorial kitten. He’s trying so hard to say the park is his but once he gets into the grove of Chi’s playfulness they have a ton of fun just chasing each other.
The new kitten is very cute and very Bakugo-esque (BNHA), and it hurts to see that he’s most likely without a home. The all knowing and mammoth of a cat, Blackie, makes a lovely appearance! And Chi is still her incredibly sweet and naive self!
Its a 13 minute episode so you get a bit more feel for a story than the usual episodes, so that was nice as well.
This OVA was a good last look into Chi’s world and I wholeheartedly had a good time with it!
9: Urusei Yatsura OVA
MAL Score: 7.37
The adventures of Lum, Ataru, Ten, and all the gang from Tomobiki continue in an assortment of new – but no less weird – stories.
Watch as Lum, Ataru, and Shinobu encounter a rabbit-clad youth, enter the Room of Destiny, and get a glimpse into their futures in “Inaba the Dreammaker,” or see Ran’s plans to use a sherbet cone-producing bird to open a sherbet shop one hot Tokyo summer go terribly awry in “Raging Sherbet.” Ataru has yet another bad experience with Lum’s cooking in “I Howl at the Moon”.
Watch order: if you wish to watch all of these OVAs, I suggest you watch them after the 195th series episode and before Movie 5, “The Final Chapter.”
Rating the OVAs together is a bit difficult. “Inaba the Dreammaker” is really the only one that matters in regards to Lum and Ataru’s relationship, the others are very episodic and can easily be glossed over.
Then you have to consider that there are some inconsistencies within the OVA qualities. For example, OVAs 1-3 are very similar in quality to the original series with “Dreammaker” easily being the best of them. 4-11 are just okay, some better than others. “Date with a Spirit” is the best of not just the later OVAs, but all of them.
The quality drop stretches across all categories. Some of the OVAs stories are good, while the majority are just mediocre. The sound is just a bit worse as the music isn’t the best representation of the series’ score. Some characters are absent from the OVAs that were apart of the series, or they just appear as a cameo. Even art seems to suffer at times and most notably changes in OVAs 4-11. They use techniques and styles that just weren’t used in the original series’ episodes.
Some episodes seemed to be more geared towards fan service (around episodes 4-6), something that wasn’t so present in the original series. This wasn’t consistent in the OVAs at all and only limited to a few episodes, so I felt a little confused about why it was suddenly there and then suddenly gone again. I don’t mind fan service if it’s a bit more subtle and seems more natural within the action of the scene, but some of it felt forced and as a result, a little odd. Actually, most of the OVAs were riding on the continued popularity of UY at the time, so in many ways they were just additional episodes giving the fans what they wanted anyway.
Then there’s my enjoyment. Possibly because I watched the entirety if UY in release order, I was generally less excited about the OVAs than the series/movies. Honestly, I suggest you watch the OVAs before “The Final Chapter,” as you’ll likely find no reason to return to the OVAs after. I certainly wish I had done the same and it might have earned a higher score. I got the most enjoyment out of “Date with a Spirit,” OVA 11 and felt “Dreammaker” was good.
In any series there are good episodes and bad episodes, relative to each other. UY is no exception. The series would not have suffered had these episodes been apart of the original 195, but rating the OVAs separately cause the score to lower. That is to say, the “bad” episodes of UY are easy to overlook because they are apart of the rest of the series and the “good” ones make up for them. Yet the OVAs aren’t representative of the best the series has to offer in anyway. They certainly wouldn’t have made it into the top 10 episodes, but a few could have possibly been near the bottom.
All of this being said, if you enjoyed UY as I did (my original series rating: 9), you’ll enjoy the OVAs as well. Worth watching to get the completed achievement for all of UY, but outside of “Dreammaker,” you aren’t missing anything. Just be choosy on watch order when you go to view these.
8: Lodoss-tou Senki
English: Record of Lodoss War
MAL Score: 7.38
Created from the aftermath of the last great battle of the gods, Lodoss and its kingdoms have been plagued by war for thousands of years. As a quiet peace and unity finally become foreseeable over the land, an unknown evil begins to stir. An ancient witch has awakened, bent on preserving the island of Lodoss by creating political unbalance throughout the many kingdoms and keeping any one from maintaining central control. Only a mixed-race party of six young champions, led by the young warrior Parn, stand between this new threat and Lodoss’ descent back into the darkness of war and destruction.
This is a direct-to-video animation series produced back in 1990, which unfolds over thirteen half-hour episodes. Adapted from the fantasy novels of the same name by Japanese author Ryo Mizuno, Lodoss is a classic good-vs-evil story, exploring the chronicles of six adventurers: these include Parn, a young, inexperienced warrior eager to (literally) jump at any chance to clear his father’s tarnished name; Deedlit, a spunky, mystical high elf who tries (with varying degrees of success) to prove her love to Parn; Etoh, a loyal, good-natured cleric; Slayn, a gentle wise mage; Ghim, a gruff and tough dwarf; and Woodchuck, a wanted criminal who nonetheless provides loyalty (and occasional chagrin) to his pals.
The story is hardly original, and the plot tends to "jumps around" from one event to the next (for instance, the first episode starts off in the "middle" of the heroes’ quest; chronologically, it’d be best to see eps 2-5, 1, and then 6-13)–yet the overall show is so engrossing that this fault (in addition to a few others I’ll come to in a moment) becomes irrelevant.
It’s the characters which make Record Of Lodoss War so much fun, and much of the best scenes belong to Parn and Deedlit; especially in a royal banquet episode where she forces Parn to dance with her (one of my favorite sequences from the show). As is typical of a elf-dwarf rivalry, Ghim and Deed bicker about each other’s differences yet maintain a somewhat begrudging level of self-respect. It’s Parn, however, whose plight stays with you long after the show approaches its climax. Eager to discover whether his father died in disgrace or not, he finds a father figure in Kashue. (This gets on Deedlit’s nerves; she continually competes with the king for Parn’s attention–a running gag that plays out unfortunately for only a couple of episodes.) In the latter episodes, we meet two new characters who don’t get much screen time but are no less fully realized. Shiris, the hotheaded young mercenary who vies with Deedlit for Parn’s affections is strongly depicted, as is her partner (and secret love), Orson, the moody Berserker, who becomes an angry, uncontrollable monster at the sight of Shiris in trouble.
Even the bad guys are richly developed. Ashram, as mentioned, isn’t driven so much by malice as he is by what he believes is right; in fact, he becomes the most three-dimensional of the villains for that reason alone. For support, he has a Dark Elf accomplice named Pirotess (the opposite of Deedlit) who’ll do anything to prove her loyalty to him… including sacrificing herself. Karla, incidentally, is no ordinary villainess. Her primary goal is to bring to Lodoss the balance she feels has been so greatly disturbed… yet her psychologically unbalanced persona leads her to cause far worse chaos with deadly consequences. She is shifty, cunning, manipulative — an almost deadly combination. Wagnard, on the other hand, is just plain evil — every bit the equivalent of Kefka from Final Fantasy III who cackles fiendishly as he puts his dark plans into action. When we first meet him, he appears to be a nondescript character, but when he becomes possessed by Kardis, he becomes frighteningly villainous. (Every scene he’s in sends shivers down my spines.)
Its the strength of the characters and their chemistry as well as the compelling (if jumpy) plot that make Lodoss as a whole that one can overlook its occasional shortcomings, notably the animation, which, although gorgeously drawn, uses a low cel count resulting with some stiff movements. Taking into account that this is an older show, however, this doesn’t really detract all that much (although there are some later episodes where some of the same footage is reused, for cost cutting purposes).
No fantasy adventure would be complete without a stirring soundtrack, and Record of Lodoss War delivers this in style. The musical score by Mitsuo Hagita is mostly symphonic, although it is (obviously) generated by electronics. Yet the compositions were so rich and lovely that they eventually grew on me over the course of the show. Equally lovely are the opening and ending theme songs, "Adesso e Fortuna -Now & Fortune-" and "Fantasia of the Wind", both of which are excellently sung in Japanese by Sherry. As a nice bonus, these songs were even translated for the English version; the woman who sings the dubbed songs, Lisa DeSimone, sings with an equally splendid voice.
One aspect of Lodoss often criticized is the English dub, produced by New York-based Central Park Media in 1996, a time when most dubs had a low reputation. I’ve read all kinds of mixed opinions about this English track; some say its fake and/or mediocre while other claims its unbearable, but here’s a better review from one of its several (albeit outspoken on the net at least) enthusiastic fans (that’s me). No, it’s not perfect, and some lines do come off as a bit awkward, but a lot of the voice-overs are really good. In particular, Billy Regan (Parn), Lisa Ortiz (Deedlit), Al Muscari (Slayn), Jacques Le Can (Woodchuck), Simone Grant (Karla & Leylia), John Knox (Ashram), Jayce Reeves (Wagnard), and Alexander J. Rose (Wort and the Narrator), are among my favorites. Plus, the dialog is close to the subtitled script and packed with some memorable one-liners (Parn: "Quick, Deed, what’s this dragon’s weak spot?" Deedlit: "I’m not a dragon expert! How should I know?!") and great chemistry between the actors. I especially loved the interactions between Parn and Deedlit, the banter between Ghim and Deed, and a lot of other things. Which is why it saddens me that some would find all of this "inferior" to the Japanese language track. I listened to parts of the Japanese language track, too, and while I did find it to be of top-quality, I find that the dub still holds its own position decently. Of course, it may be in danger of being overshadowed by some of the better dub productions of today, but for a dub made in 1996, its a rather decent, if unspectacular listen. I’m still fond of it, as a matter of fact, even after hearing some better ones.
Record of Lodoss War has received its share of detractors over recent years, probably due to its cheap production values and/or inconsistent plotting. However, it is important to remember that these "shortcomings" is mainly because it’s an older Anime series. While Lodoss may show its age in places, its infectious appeal and complexity rings true even after other shows of its ilk, and like most classics, it can stand against the test of time.
Record of the Lodoss War was a HUGE hit when it came out in 1990 Japan. It also gained strong popularity among the tiny US anime fandom of the early 90s. Unfortunately, this anime has not aged gracefully. Normally I hate using the phrase “aged poorly”. It’s something that young punks use too often to just shit on anything over 10 years old. In this one instance though, I’m afraid it’s kind of unavoidable.
Record of the Lodoss War was a 1990 OVA based on a Japanese short novel… based an a Japanese tabletop RPG…which was a ripoff of Dungeons and Dragons. Take the most cliche Western high fantasy tropes and they are ALL here in Lodoss War, distilled down to their most basic. The characters go well beyond archetypes and into the realm of laughably generic. The plot was already just a standard D&D campaign in the novel, but the 10 episode OVA had to cut out a LOT of the novel. If Wheel of Time is like bare bones high fantasy, this OVA is like sucking the marrow from those bones.
As I mentioned previously, this OVA was a smash hit and spawned a ton of video games, radio dramas, manga, and a 27 episode sequel! So HOW did it get so popular?! To understand this, we have to go back to the year 1990 and look at it from that perspective. Ring the bell sucka! School’s in session!
Just as it used to take a few years for a Japanese fad to spread to America, it took a little bit for American trends to spread to Japan. In the early 90s, Japan was heavily influenced by American culture of the 1980s. High fantasy was HUGE in the 1980s. The utterly mediocre Wheel of Time books were dominating the best seller lists in America. WOT gained such popularity in the Southern US that Atlanta created Dragon Con as a WOT convention. To this day it is the largest geek convention in the Southeast US! Dungeons and Dragons was an absolute cultural phenomenon. He-Man was the most popular toy in the US. You couldn’t go anywhere without running into Tolkien inspired high fantasy with elves, dwarves, orcs, and all the rest. There were plenty of high fantasy based video games in Japan by 1990, but not really any high fantasy anime or manga at the time to meet this demand. Record of the Lodoss War was created to fill a hole that NEEDED filling back in that time. Today, there really isn’t the same thirst for Tolkien style high fantasy and there are already 100 fantasy anime better than Lodoss War. Keep in mind that Japanese gamers LOVED Hydlide when it hit home PCs back in 1984. Today…there isn’t much of a Hydlide fandom. Lodoss isn’t THAT bad, but at times it feels close.
There is one other reason that Lodoss sold like hotcakes back in its day. Deedlit the Elf chick and her sex appeal. Deedlit was in many ways the first true “waifu” in anime. Before this you really didn’t see lonely virgins collecting TONS of figurines and body pillows of their favorite anime girls. You’ve probably heard lots of people online waxing nostalgic for the anime heroes of the 80s. They all had chiseled muscles, hard jaws, broad shoulders, and looked MANLY! When have you heard people talk about how they want female designs from 80s anime back? That’s right. You haven’t. Look at the top 300 waifus on MAL. You’ll see Yoko Littner, Senjougahara, Rei and Asuka, Lucy Heartfilia, Nami, Erza, Hinata, etc. NONE of these were around in 1990. Even Android 18 and Major Kusanagi weren’t around yet. The only rivals Deedlit had were Lunch from Dragonball and Cutie Honey from the 1970s!
A young swordsman with no parents must team up with an elvish archer, an axe wielding dwarf named Gim, a Wizard, and a thief to go on a long journey and thwart an evil God. Did I mention this series has little imagination of its own? The only creative thing to come out of this series was an evil sword called “Soul Crusher” that took possession of its owner and had a giant eye in hilt. The game Soul Calibur BLATANTLY stole this from Lodoss War. I mentioned this before, but the novel had to be very abridged. In one episode, our heroes decide they need to go meet an old wizard and learn the weakness of an evil sorceress named Karla the Grey. In the next episode, it just announces that they have returned from seeing the wizard and learned all about her. Lodoss has a firm policy of “Tell, don’t show.”
The characters once again are SO generic that I can’t really say much about them. Instead I’ll focus on Deedlit, who is the only character ANYONE remembers from this series. She was drawn with long blonde hair, massive bouncy breasts, and very soft facial features. Deedlit was being drawn by a young Satoshi Urushihara, the KING of breasts! That’s all I need to say. She IMMEDIATELY falls in love with the young swordsman right after meeting him and plays his sexy sidekick. She doesn’t really have any chemistry with our leading hero Parn, but her looks still win her “best girl of 1990”. Fuck Bulma! She was still being a total bitch on Namek at this point.
The art by Studio Madhouse is decent for the most part, but this wasn’t Madhouse’s top performance here. In the 80s and early 90s, Madhouse was at its best with feature films like Wicked City or Ninja Scroll. It could also do 3 episode OVAs like Cyber City “God Damn Vampire” Oedo, which looks WAY better than Lodoss. With a 10 episode OVA, the budget got so strained that we end up with a still image of a dragon getting dragged across the screen in a moment of unintentional hilarity.
The soundtrack is pretty damn limited and plays the same tracks over and over. The closing theme is awesome though and contains the line “please fall asleep on my breasts.”
Lodoss is not an anime that’s going to knock the socks off new anime viewers in 2018. Still, if you are interested in anime history and want to see a neat time capsule of the year 1990, it is worth checking out. Just go into it knowing what to expect and put on your archaeologist hat.
My biggest complaint about Lodoss is that it wasn’t given the proper amount of episodes to expand its story properly. It has such an engrossing atmosphere and massive worldbuilding potential that is squandered terribly due to a lack of time investment. What we’re left with is a marginalized “good vs. evil” approach, thinning the cast of characters to generic protagonists and antagonists. A series with this much imagination needs the proper nurturing to ensure success, and 26 episodes would’ve given it more of a fighting chance. On top of that, they decided to drop the viewers into the middle of what is chronologically after the 5th episode… only leading to the confusion. I don’t know if different mediums of media were trying this reverse storytelling at the time, but it was entirely unnecessary and only confused the hell out of me, and I’m assuming a lot of other people.
You follow Parn (yep, sounds like porn) and his stereotypical group of fellow travelers (a cleric, wizard, elf, dwarf and thief) as they seek to prevent the destruction of the planet by baddies that want to control the universe. Sound intriguing? Well, I can assure you that this is the Dynasty Warriors button masher of plots. Considering the source material is actually written to emulate a D&D experience, the dungeon master must’ve been rather disappointing. The main character transforms from useless fodder to going toe for toe with the most powerful foe on Lodoss (which has definitely never happened in an anime before), all in the course of like 5 episodes. There’s a loose backstory referencing his father and restoring his family’s honor, but it’s unconvincing at best. Generic quotes like “I’ll get you!” and “you’re no match for me!” resonate from his vocabulary on occasion, and you sense there isn’t much there are on his intellectual level. Parn’s childhood friend Etoh, the with perhaps the worst English voice actor of all time, accompanies him as a sworn companion.
Deedlit, a high elf and Parn’s hinted love interest, is a princess that randomly decides to join the adventure. Given the fact that she’s actually of royalty, she naturally drops everything to answer the underlying question of what is happening to her people. And honestly, the rest of the main pack is irrelevant. A gaggle of genericized fantasy tropes, which doesn’t create the best selling point. The most interesting character in the entire series is Ashram, a knight who seeks the highest power, but has some serious self-identification and reflecting to do in the process. He’s initially perceived as a villain, but can actually draw some empathy and understanding as the series elapses.
In addition to being a relatively generic series, Lodoss is littered with bits of randomness along the way. Although the “potential” romantic relationship between Parn and Deedlit never actually develops, there are plenty of awkward exchanges or long stares that force the viewer into thinking there’s something there. I’m just not buying it, there’s almost no chemistry between the two. Not to mention the interest fellow traveler Shiris (the girl with the berserker friend) has in Parn…. something that’s awkwardly left by the wayside. There’s also the evil witch Carla, with perhaps the most unassuming name in anime villainy existence, and another dark elf that sporadically falls for Ashram along the way. The more I get frustrated with the lack of finesse in writing, the more I realize what the anime was modeled after: a D&D quest. Speaking from experience, the element of randomness doesn’t even scratch the surface of the ridiculous stuff me and my friends used to come up with when we played. So…. I guess there’s that.
Sometimes I don’t consider it fair to criticize animation from the 90’s or earlier, because it’s merely a sign of the times. In Lodoss’ case, the art style isn’t necessarily my cup of tea but it’s consistent with the art out at the time in terms of quality. From what I remember reading, the studio actually utilized a sizable budget in order to get exactly what they were looking for in terms of emulating various fantasy elements and characters. Some of the fight scenes are actually quite fluid as well, something that earlier anime had issues with. No choppiness or quality drop during the heavier action sequences, something I can really appreciate. Especially when you consider the issues modern day anime have with frame drops and inconsistent animation, likely without any legitimate excuse.
Did I mention how bad the voice acting is? Central Park Media, a NYC based company took the reigns dubbing Lodoss. It was clear they had no idea what they were doing. Some acting is decent, but others are absolutely atrocious. It’s almost as though when the producers signed off on it they were doing more of a “screw it”, knowing they’d be out of a job anyway. If you’re a fan of dubs due to convenience, I strongly suggest you watch the Japanese version or avoid it altogether. It’s THAT bad. Performances like this employs hopefulness for my future seiyuu career… I digress.
The rest of the music is slightly unfitting, but about what I expect from an early 90’s series. Anime was largely in a learning period, starkly evident by the slow female ballads present in their OPs. For a show so focused on action and fantasy elements, the OP just…doesn’t work. As a standalone track it’s quite present, reminiscent of “Fly Me to the Moon” from NGE, but not an anime fit. The background tracks depict the genre much better. They’re full of orchestral life, and build crescendos left and right.
As much as I disliked certain aspects of Lodoss, I enjoyed it overall. However, one must understand that most of my enjoyment comes from a mix of nostalgia and relatability. I was a HUGE nerd in my high school days, so Lodoss speaks to me in some ways other anime cannot. On the other hand, it’s leaps and bounds from being “good” by any normal definition. Perhaps I would’ve enjoyed it more if I had watched the Japanese dub vice the English, but a generic plot, short run time and forced romance all work to cripple Lodoss, dooming it from the start. I would recommend this series to fans of other fantasy anime or earlier shows, or those just looking for something different. As always, thanks for reading!
7: Diamond no Ace OVA
Japanese: ダイヤのA[エース] OAD
MAL Score: 7.59
One hundred boys, each of them in love with baseball, represent the Seidou High School baseball team. On any team, the Ace is the star of the game. Besides the main heroes, others are striving to attain this position, and each of them has their strengths, weaknesses, and emotional journeys that they have to undertake to become the best that they can be.
Ryousuke Kominato is known in Seidou not only for his impressive fielding skills but also as an intimidating presence despite his small stature. While together with his partner, Youichi Kuramochi, they are the cornerstones of the team’s defense on the field. Youichi is shadowed by his younger brother, Haruichi, whose admiration for Ryousuke is only matched by his own skills at the sport. Together with Yoichi’s roommate, Eijun Sawamura, the players reminisce about their path to Seidou High.
The second episode is more entertaining, as it follows Kuramochi’s path from a delinquent who was rejected by all the high schools he wanted to attend because of his behavior, to being chosen by Rei to join Seidou. This was the funniest of the episodes.
The third episode was kind of a snoozer like the first episode, as it shows Kawakami struggling to believe in himself and Miyuki, Azuma and some of the management and staff helping him to believe in himself. I’ve never been a huge fan of Kawakami, as he’s more of a “Yamcha” character to me, so I wasn’t really all that interested. Besides, Kawakami’s character arc in the main anime is still pretty much the same. A guy with decent talent, a fourth-stringer, struggling to believe he belongs. But, let’s be real here, the guy is a supporting character playing the same position as the two main characters in Sawamura and Furuya. He’s pretty bland, nothing much stands out about him, and he’s easily overshadowed. He’s Yamcha behind Goku and Vegeta. He’s Kiba behind Naruto and Sasuke. He barely matters, which is evidenced by the fact that most of the time he pitches in the main series, the episode just skips past it and let’s you know he closed out okay. Even they know you don’t care. But, he got his own episode in this, so that pretty much lets you know how crucial this filler is.
You don’t need to watch it and you won’t miss anything if you don’t. It’s not bad, but it’s just some mailed-in flashback episodes.
6: Diamond no Ace: Second Season OVA
Japanese: ダイヤのA[エース]～Second Season OAD～
MAL Score: 7.60
OVAs bundled with 4th and 5th manga volumes of Diamond no Ace Act II.
An epilogue of the Diamond no Ace series.
So, the first episode is material we don’t get from Ace of Diamond or Act II, so I enjoyed it a lot. The off-season is something I didn’t really think we’d ever get to see in the main series, so I’m glad that this episode showed us what it’s like and how it shaped the characters going forward. In that vein, you get to see Miyuki post-injury which actually allows for some character development on his end. In a way, we get to see a Miyuki that we haven’t gotten to see before, which was really nice. The first episode, I felt, was true a epilogue to the series, and it did its job well.
The second episode was alright, but not exactly the same. It spends half the time following Jun and, subsequently, the third-years post-Inashiro loss up to right before the Spring Invitational. It does provide some character development for Jun and insight into the third-year’s thought process when watching Seido make it to the Invitational, so if that’s something that’s interesting to you, you’ll probably like this episode. I, personally, didn’t find a lot of extra information through listening to Jun’s story that I felt was necessary for enrichment of the plot, but it was still interesting. The last chunk of the episode was stuff we got from the end of Ace of Diamond and the beginning of Act II, so there isn’t much to comment on.
As far as these two episodes go, it was really fun to see parts of the plot that aren’t available to us otherwise, and it does serve to lead us into Act II; all in all, it’s a good set of episodes to watch. I’m off to rewatch Act II in all its glory while waiting for more to come out, so I’ll see you there one day!
5: One Punch Man: Road to Hero
Japanese: ワンパンマン OVA「ロード トゥ ヒーロー」
MAL Score: 7.71
Before Saitama became the man he is today, he trained and fought endlessly to become a hero. While every scuffle leaves his tracksuit uniform in tatters, he always has it mended for free thanks to his local tailor. One day, however, the tailor informs him that he must close up shop due to pressure from a local gang. Saitama decides to help him out—and gains something irreplaceable in the process.
Story (6/10) Fine
More Specifically (6.5/10)
The story for Road to Hero is simple and fine it’s basically showing the struggles Saitama had to go through back when we assuming he’s doing his Training through out the years he said he did to became the beast we all know him as and with the fact that he still has his hair this entire episode you can come to this conclusion fairly quickly. It also shows how he got his outfit and a couple of other interesting things.
Art and Animation (8/10) Very Good
The Art and Animation for this stand alone is very good it looks just as good as the other episodes. The isn’t anything high budget related taking place in this episode and barely any fights are even seen so barely anything high maintenance on the animation side of things where shown in the episode but like I said it looks identical to the other 12 episodes when nothing super crazy is happening so that fine by me.
Sound (8/10) Very Good
Same thing with this section everything sound very good, Opening and Ending are present no really differences between this and the 12 episodes everything is very good here too.
Characters (8/10) Very Good
This episode revolves around Saitama mostly and secondly his friend who creates the icon One Punch Man outfit for him. His character is very good as we see his struggles of keeping his store afloat good character development for the old geezer as he *SPOILER* ends up giving in to his age and the times for retirement.
Enjoyment (7/10) Good
Obviously the highest enjoyments when it comes to the series One Punch Man are the over the top and hype moments the series brings to the table, after that enjoyment lays on to the comedy aspect and then the actual story. So since this is based on Saitama before he went bald all the hype hype moments are really present for the episode. As for comedy there are a few funny moments in the episode but nothing that made me laugh my ass off like the other episodes. And so we are down to story and learning about what Saitama had to go through to get to where he his as far as his outfit and where he’s living is interesting and enjoying enough to an extent for one episode.
Overall (7/10) Good
More Specifically (7.50/10)
This was a good episode you can definitely consider this a flashback episodes which now these days aren’t really liked around here but it was good for what it was. Nothing too crazy and amazing but more on the funny/informational side of things when it came to One Punch man this is a good watch if you want to just know more about Saitama.
This is a standalone arc that offers some brief insight into Saitama and his humble beginnings. There isn’t nearly as much action in this OVA compared to the actual series, but the comedic moments are still present and the overall atmosphere of the One-Punch Man universe is well intact. I know that at the time of this writing the series hasn’t concluded, so this should be a nice treat to hold you (me) over until the next episode airs.
We don’t have people running around, screaming and flexing their muscles. Praising a show for a lack of things doesn’t get you anywhere though. That’s like praising a show for not having plot holes, or for not being racist.
The story is pointless. We learn how Saitama gets his suit, and there’s no satirical bite to how ridiculous heroes customes are. Saitama being appalled at a samurai custome is just one joke. The story is actually about going to beat up a bad guy who’s an asshole because he’s an asshole.
If that sounds like every other One Punch Man episode, that’s because it is. The difference between this OVA and the series is that Saitama has no characters to interact with. The series’ strength was that it gave the characters other traits than being powerful. Saitama is entertaining also because of his casual view of things, how he doesn’t pretend to be anything else than a hobbyist.
Without Genos to play off from, he doesn’t do much but beat up people. Our antagonist is as boring as they get. You think a series that wants to be wild and crazy would have interesting visual ideas. The antagonist is a dude with a fish-head and a BDSM outfit. This is less exciting than you think.
The world of fiction is full of quirky villains who end up more popular than the heroes. One Punch Man always failed in that department, and this OVA relies on the eventual conflict. Aside from seeing Saitama with hair and one punchline, this OVA has no reason to exist.
4: Master Keaton OVA
MAL Score: 7.75
Taichi Keaton is a man of many talents: father, historian, frequent traveler, negotiator, archaeologist, former survival instructor, and all while working as an insurance investigator for Lloyd’s of London. While his methods may seem a bit unorthodox, he gets the job done when needed, but not without a little something to learn or teach in the process. Through all of his adventures, some people call him a quack. Those who know him well call him a master of life…
Master Keaton, the now almost 18 year old predecessor to Urasawa’s Anime classic “Monster”, is a massively overlooked show.
Just like the original season, this OVA shares a lot of the creative staff with its younger brother, Naoki Urasawa having illustrated the original Master Keaton Manga and even supposedly written a large proportion of it
(which is hard to say for certain, given co-writer Hokusei Katsushika sadly passed away in 2004).
The premise of this show is a simple one, telling short adventure stories from all around the world of the 1990s, usually in some connection to historical and/or criminal themes. I will not say much more than that.
The setting is very western and in that way, I might add, very well researched.
It is a bit different from the usual anime, but if you know “Monster” you will realise what you are getting yourself into.
Due to the episodic nature of the show a lot of the focus is on the characters.
Most of the One-shot characters are given just enough depth to provide the chapter with a satisfying conclusion, but naturally the spotlight would be on the main cast:
Anyone who has seen the first season will be very familiar with the main character Taichi, our japanese, part McGuyver, part Indiana Jones, part Sherlock Holmes, ex-SAS, professor of Archeology, globetrotting investigator and master of life, in short “Master Keaton”.
He is in fact so amazing, that there never is any time in the story for suspense to build up, because we all know “our Taichi” will probably find the optimal solution to any problem by the end of the episode.
He however does have some flaws, and those especially come to light in his personal life. His father, the zoologist and bona fide ladykiller Taihei, shares Taichi’s fate of being divorced,
and his teen daughter Yuriko never fails to remind him of what his reckless lifestyle is costing him. However the whole family does share that same childish passion for adventure, making episodes focused around Mr. Keaton’s family still fun to watch, albeit slightly more light-hearted.
Then there is Taichi’s partner, the very easy going and maybe careless insurance investigator Daniel. He is also nicely explored, taking the spotlight in a couple episodes and he makes a fun duo together with Keaton.
Production values and Directing:
It is easy to assume that this show was meant to be a direct sequel to the first season of “Master Keaton” (it being a 15 episode OVA), and that production was cut short for lack of funds.
Do not expect a series that will blow you away visually, expect a series that sometimes looks good, but never offensively bad.
The direction seems to be taking a quite practical approach, showing everything that needs to be seen. You will have difficulty finding many memorable shots, but looking for flaws would be futile.
The soundtrack is lovely, high quality, mostly consisting of acoustic instrumentals, some being inspired by traditional scottish music (most notably the blasting bagpipes from the opening of course), some being more orchestral.
The sound directing never appears too assertive (like in other episodic shows e.g. Bebop), together with the western style of the music just adding to the character of the show.
I personally highly recommend the English Dub, since Japanese audio would only take away from the atmosphere. It is an internationally set series after all.
All the different languages and accents are certainly a bit “funky”, however not in a non-entertaining way, so I have to give a massive plus for effort in that regard.
It bugs me, that this series is so overlooked. Sure, there is nothing extravagant and the explored concepts are never that grand, or especially remarkable,
but there seems to be a bit of meaning to every story, which makes it very, very satisfying.
In comparison to the first season of Keaton, I even think that the OVA is somewhat more consistent in creating interesting episodes.
Especially in a time of so many mediocre new releases, “Master Keaton” has such an old-school, reassuring quality to it, making it recommendable to pretty much anyone.
I would not consider this a must-watch like Urasawa’s marginally younger work “Monster”.
Nevertheless, considering just how easy to watch this OVA is, you really have no excuse not to consider it next time you want to sit back with an episode of anime.
One episode of “Master Keaton” is 25 min of your day well spent.
Yes, I would place this in the same realm as other episodic shows like:
And even absolute classics like:
Finally, in consideration of the fact that “Master Keaton OVA”:
-certainly does not stick out in terms of animation, cinematography, soundtrack and characters,
-still is of such a consistently high quality, that I would do it injustice calling it anything but flawless,
my final score for it is a very good 84/100.
Originally a manga drawn by the famous Naomi Urasawa, the mastermind behind Monster and 20th Century Boy, there is a certain level of expectation for me going to this anime and gladly it didn’t disappoint. As the title suggested, this anime follows the life of Taichi Keaton-Hiraga, a man at first glance is anything but extraordinary. But what lies inside him might surprise you deeply…
Due to its episodic nature, each episode is a different story and because of that, they covers various of topics: wars, love, hate, betrays, revenge … And as expected of someone who wrote Monster, we’re treated with a lots stories from WW2, what a cruel time it is. But stories that I especially love are those of everyday life, very peaceful and heart-warming. And no matter the stories, they are handled with carefulness and love, that’s what make the experiences watching this anime unique, as unique as its main character, master Keaton.
Not only a skillful soldier, Keaton is also a scholarly historical academic, a passionate archaeologist, a surviving specialist, a successful insurance investigator and above all, a loving father. He remarkably reminds me of Sherlock Holmes, a true gentleman of a long lost time. Who’s always giving a hand for the weak and bring justice to life. And man, I do love Sherlock to death, so no wonder, I like Keaton very much. He carried the anime on his back, makes even the most normal thing become somewhat interesting. He’s one character that I never got tired of seeing and that’s something very rare for me.
So if my review in a way persuades anyone to watch this hidden gem, I would be very happy. Master Keaton needs more love.
3: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen Prologue – Sakura to Futatsu no Kuma
Japanese: カードキャプターさくら クリアカード編 プロローグ さくらとふたつのくま
MAL Score: 7.78
After the conclusion of the Sakura Card Arc, life is going back to normal. There are no more mysteries, no more disturbances of evil, no more tests of strength. Everyone is moving on with their lives and Sakura feels a sadness in her heart. Even through the goodbyes, Sakura perseveres to keep everyone and a special someone, dear to her heart.
For those who haven’t read the manga, the anime (and second movie) had a different ending, so this is how Cardcaptor Sakura manga ended.
I’m really glad that they made an OVA for this: the art, the eyecatch, the soundtrack, the VAs are all the same as in the old series, it really took me back in time.
If you enjoyed Cardcaptor Sakura you have to watch this OVA, forget episodes 69-70 and watch this. It wraps up everything nicely and it’s the perfect prologue for Clear Card arc.
I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait for 2018 to watch the next arc! (even though I’m reading the manga)
Firstly, I could not understand what was up with the art, the animation and the character designs. The blank chibi characters, the overuse of cut-away flowery overlays/backgrounds and random inserts like faces and text were so jarring. I think this is one of the cases where they were trying to be WAY too accurate with the adaptation for it to flow well in animated format because the pacing felt off for me as well. I don’t remember any of these techniques being used in the anime version at all (at least not to this extent). It was more cognizant of the medium it was in and adjusted its storytelling to fit. What with the greater emphasis on melancholy, silence and overall uneasiness while ending on an uplifting note with Sakura realizing and accepting her feelings, symbolized by the creation of her first original Sakura Card. But I digress. Essentially, I felt that the entire OVA lacked subtlety. It felt like they needed to make crystal clear what the emotions of all the characters were with in-your-face visual metaphors.
Also, I really did not see a point to this OVA. Like, at all. If you are a fan of the manga, I guess it’ll be a really great experience? I guess they were they trying to get anime-only fans acquainted with the manga canon? For me, it was just a rehash with less emotional weight. Does this mean that the Clear Card Arc will invalidate everything about the second movie? The one where everything concluded perfectly with Sakura confessing her love to Li? I really don’t know how to feel about that.
This goes beyond a simple unnecessary continuation of an old franchise. What does this mean for the Clear Card Arc anime? If they’re going to disregard the anime canon and the second movie and continue with the manga canon, I don’t think I’ll be able to get invested in it at all. Only 19 Cards? No Meiling? Oh dear… In fact, they might as well have gone the whole Sailor Moon Crystal route and completely rebooted it as this is pretty much tantamount to that. Maybe worse, as anime-only fans like myself will feel this disconnect as elements don’t add up. If you ask me, if they had wanted to make it a continuation, they should have adapted it to fit with the anime canon. As-is, it’s like they didn’t even attempt to make it similar in feel to the original anime.
Honestly, as a fan of the anime, I feel betrayed. They took part of what I loved and said… NOPE. It didn’t happen. But I guess this must how manga fans must have felt when the original anime came out. What comes around goes around, huh? (^.^’) At least I can just renounce this like I did with Digimon tri. and save all that cash on merchandise. (Or maybe I’ll fall in love with it regardless. We’ll see.)
Firstly, who is it intended for? I assume those solely who read the manga because anyone coming off of the anime if going to have one jarring experience. Even if you put the change in art style the direction and pacing aside, this is nothing like the original series and it doesn’t even try to fashion some kind of coherency between the series and the OVA leaving a good chunk of audience lost along the way.
Secondly the art design, I was worried when I saw the promotional material before the OVA and it seems my worries came true because every poster they released made Sakura and Tomoyo look like card board cut outs everything felt so stiff and sure enough I got the exact same feeling from the OVA, now I know that the original series spent most of its time on still frames (Most anime does in all fairness) but just about everything felt stiff, it’s like in a plea to be just like the manga they had to have everything as picture perfect as possible, I mean there are people posting screenshots of the OVA and the manga side by side for comparison and it’s practically identical, but that isn’t the point of animation the point is to adapt the manga not become the manga itself.
And to top it all off everyone had this weird fucking shine on them 24/7 like I was half expecting when the perspective panned out away from Sakura it was going to expose a person standing there with a lightbulb inches away from her face and they just followed her around the entire thing over saturating the fuck out of everything and everyone. The effect worked when there were darker scenes like when it’s evening or when we have that really cool representation of Sakura’s card possession, but that was because they effect had enough contrast in those scenes to make it pop.
I Just….I feel like this was rushed HEAVILY, and I prey to god that the series isn’t going to have this annoying stilted and over saturation problem when it officially releases.
2: Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail
English: Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail
Japanese: BLACK LAGOON Roberta’s Blood Trail
MAL Score: 8.03
Roberta, the terrorist-turned-maid that made her appearence in the first season of Black Lagoon, returns in this five-episode OVA series—and this time, all bets are off!
Roberta’s benefactor, the patriarch of the Lovelace clan, is murdered during a political rally. The assassin’s trail soon leads back to Roanapur—so now she has returned on a mission of vengeance! However, close behind her is the new patriarch, Garcia, as well as Roberta’s apprentice (and maid), Fabiola Iglesias. As the body count of Roberta’s bloody rampage mounts, forces from within the corrupt island (which includes the Lagoon Company), as well as overseas converge on what threatens to escalate into all-out war!
Our tale starts with a public bombing orchestrated by a contracted group of US Marines killing the head of the Lovelace family in Venezuela, leaving the family heir Garcia orphaned and under the care of his maids. At this point, we also learn of Roberta’s career prior to her joining the Lovelace family as a maid, where she was a revolutionary in a group that ruthlessly killed anyone that got in their way.
After the marines kill the head of the family, Roberta goes to Roanapur for revenge in what is easily the most entertaining OAV series to come out in recent memory.
Roberta’s Blood Trail follows the titular supersoldier maid on her quest for vengeance, involving everyone in Roanapur and several outside forces in a drug fueled battle that could escalate in an all out war to end all that Roanapur is. It’s not a complex story that’ll shake the very foundation of storytelling, but it has its fair share of intrigue, particularly with Rock participating and running the course of actions from the sidelines. Revy and co take a back seat to Roberta as far as plot focus go, and it ends up all the better for doing so.
If this OAV does have a weakness, and it has plenty of noticeable ones, it’s the constant shifts in perspective between the groups going after Roberta and Roberta herself. For two episodes, this creates a narrative that’s spread extremely thin, developing nobody and raising more questions than are answered. You have Roberta on her own, the marines and drug trafficking forces hounding her, Revy and the group of psychopathic mercenaries that she contracts to help her, Garcia and Fabiola on a mission to bring her back with them, Rock scheming while occasionally contacting Mr. Chang and berating him with passive aggressive language, Balalaika and her cohorts…
If you think that’s a long list, that’s because it is, and it gets hard to follow in some parts. Everything gets resolved, but many of the factions seemingly drop off before being brought into the game again just to be eviscerated by either Roberta or Revy and her group.
Even with Roberta as the main character, there’s effort made to characterize some of the bit players a bit more, which in the end does more harm than good. Roberta’s given plenty of time to develop, and that time is relished completely due to the utter insanity of Roberta (Even almost killing her master in a hallucinogen induced hysteria) being an utter treat to watch. However, it’s when they begin to delve into Fabiola’s hypocritical stance against unnecessary violence and Rock’s slow transition from victim to influential figurehead for Roanapur that the cracks start to form and widen.
In a story with such a large number of groups, you’d expect a lot of memorable faces to make appearances. And fortunately, you’re entirely correct. The only three noteworthy survivors of the manhunt for Jane are along for the ride (Za Uizaado, Shenhua, and Sawyer), Balalaika and her crack team join in on the hunt for Roberta, and Garcia is back from Season One to bring Roberta back. Even Eda the corrupt nun is along for the ride, reporting to her higher up as events unfold.
It’s a colorful cast that’s a delight to watch as they shoot, impale, slice, and run their way through Roanapur’s back alleys and slums to find the berserker maid. Even if none are characterized exceptionally well, they lay their parts well as far as entertainment and badassery go.
Black Lagoon has never been one to make a point, but has never been afraid to give the otherwise gleefully murderous cast the occasional moment of somber introspection. It’s these slow moments that really let the gravity of the situation sink in, from Revy’s monologuing about her past on the sunken sub in the first season to Fabiola arguing with her over her corrupt ways.
Even Roberta occasionally takes a break from her rampage to reflect on the ramifications of what she’s doing, or just how her past has caught up with her.
Despite how much they add to the series, I don’t think that these moments are always implemented properly. Very often they’ll follow an intense, engaging fight where the characters won’t even have a moment to clean off the blood that has sullied their outfits. It’s not much of a gamebreaker by any means, but in a show that’s almost fetishistic with the level of action that it uses, it can seem a bit out of place most times.
The only ones that ever really feel appropriate are when Fabiola and Revy butt heads over each others’ personalities. The two have a volatile chemistry that makes their anger fueled arguments a marvel to behold. What’s even better is these escalate each time as they learn that the other isn’t going to budge in their stance.
On the animation front, Black Lagoon’s always been a step above average. The environments always look lush yet sinister, helped by fantastic lighting and keeping things from remaining completely static. The characters are rarely off model and are animated very fluidly. It helps that the violence is done very smoothly, making the bloodbaths that give the fights life even more enjoyable than they would be if done even just a little more poorly.
Being an OAV and thus having a larger budget, things are done to even better effect. With the lack of censorship helping things out even more, the team finds itself able to do stunts with viscera of multiple varieties that would make even the most avid horror fan give pause.
The music is a hard bumping, hard thumping soundtrack of electronica and hard rock, each episode opening with a remix of the delightfully Engrish Red Fraction by MELL and each episode ending with an orchestra version of Johnny Comes Marching Home, pumping you up for the next episode of blood and butchery. The seiyuu cast is appropriate, well rounded, and excellent in almost every case, special mention going to Roberta and Lotton “Za Uizaado”.
The best, or least fortunate part depending on your tolerance for it, is the distinct lack of groan-worthy Engrish. It was amusing in Second Barrage, but ultimately came across as too clumsy to take seriously. By eliminating that entirely, Roberta’s Blood Trail lent itself an air of somberness that Second Barrage ultimately failed to attain in the last arc.
Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail is a competent, compelling, and superbly well coordinated OAV that does much to impress. It has plenty of flaws, particularly in the middle with all the different groups after Roberta and the violence never catching a break, but it ends on a very satisfying, open ended note that leaves enough room for more seedy goodness in a possible sequel.
If you like action series or have watched and enjoyed Black Lagoon before, Roberta’s Blood trail will be right up your alley. If not, as long as you have no objection to sexualization and violence in overwhelming amounts, Roberta’s Blood Trail will be well worth your time.
Of course some prior knowledge through the anime or manga will be beneficial to enjoying it, but I think the idea of a Terminator-esque maid making mincemeat of an entire town of criminals is an interesting enough premise on its own.
It’s a fun, occasionally nauseating watch with more than a little wit helming it, and I for one enjoyed nearly every second of it. And if you’re anything like me, you will too.
Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail
The third part of Black Lagoon eps. 25 to 29 after three years 5 OVA, 1 eps. every 2 months and a half, i can’t imagine how the people watching at that time felt waiting so long for this, and for this big of a story, it should have been longer and better developed for the time they had.
Just a little better than the previous parts, focused on one single story rather than in three, a story with flaws but entertaining in some way, bloody and dark, sad and disgusting at times, this time focused more in Rock and his little change to orchestrate a plan, a plan that i undestood completely in ep. 28 and i knew he wasn’t transforming in the likes of Chang or Balalaika, it was a great plan that upsetted the ones involved, but it was the only way and i knew Revy admired and was attracted to Rock, when she gets an explanation from Rock himself about the plan, she got mad because she wants him to save her, just like Fabiola said, she knows he’s not like them but he’s starting to adapt to Roanapour and she doesn’t want that to happen, but like Fabiola said, she’s afraid to get closer to Rock because she doesn’t want to lose her hope for him; (Eda asks again if they banged earlier in the anime, and she as before changes the subject because she is atrracted to him but part of her reaction is because of what happened in her past) The thing is that he saved people with that plan, something that Fabiola didn’t understood or Revy, he planned the outcome of Roberta’s outburst to a crazy full of drugs in her system Robot like, immortal (?) Roberta; Rock saved the day and he wanted to clean Roanapour too, happy ending for everyone, but it ended like a normal ep. just like previous parts for a path to a new season/part 4, very good story and Eda’s identity and half of her goal is revealed, something that i claimed an answer in Second Barrage. This was a very good story.
Art & Animation
3 years has passed, but little changes been made, almost the same very good animation, but they could made something a little better, but i didn’t care that much, more bloody and gorier than before.
Just like with the animation, still it’s very good, great VA, great sound effects, the same OP song with a remix, it sounds amazing with a different video clip, great like before but i was expecting to pause at sec. 36 like in the previous ”seasons” i couldn’t see my cute Revy… oh and a different ED song, just normal, the sound in general is great.
Just like in every ”season” some characters are missused but still, the ones that are there are interesting, like the comback of the kid Garcia and her new maid Fabiola is interesting and a smartass towards Revy and almost skillful as Roberta but obviosly not like her.
-Roberta comes back, the story is about chasing her to stop the revenge that Garcia never wanted, while we get her perspective too, my mind was changing towards her, because i liked her a lot in the first ”season” and i wanted them to save her, but then i changed my mind, it was her own fault looking for a revenge that Garcia never wanted and what she was doing was too much, so i didn’t care if she was killed later on, but because of Rock i still had hope for her to recover.
-Rock has a bigger role this time, he had to come with a plan that prevented a war requested by Mr. Chang because they don’t want U.S. to find out about how things are in Roanapour, but that wasn’t his only plan and because of that Rock had to use a different plan, he wanted the opposite of what Chang wanted, it worked but didn’t have an effect at the end (that part of the plan at least).
-Revy has a minor role than before, but is there to be with Rock and help him, we even see one of her bewbs while she showers while Rock convinces her to help him, and Fabiola confronts her about stopping Rock’s crazy ideas and starts sayig things that Revy doesn’t deny but that makes her mad because it’s true and then we get to see something that really made me a little mad, it was her flashback that appeared in ”season” 1 and 2 about her like a kid, this time was complete, i felt more empathy with her and disgusted to see that scene, i was mad, poor Revy, she didn’t do anything wrong or bad, that’s why she always change subject ot gets mad at Eda when she asks if she and Rock banged (maybe not a big part of the reason) but i didn’t wanted to know tho, since the beginning i knew it was a bad childhood, but this one, i wish i didn’t saw that part, in other animes it bugs me not to know characters past, but i knew i didn’t wanted to know Revy’s past, now i hope not to associate that image with Revy.
-Eda is like a double agent, it was a little complicated to know where side she was more related with, but she is a great character now.
There are characters that comes back like that Lotton guy, who is in the wrong bussiness and lives together with the sexy Shenhua and the emotional Sawyer after saving them, they appear again to find Roberta, Mr. Chang is a bastard whose ideals were like Rock’s ideals but now he’s a bastard and we get to see why Balalaika is in debt with Black Lagoon, the thing is that they don’t appear much, because there are little eps. to develop them more but for the ones that are there it was very good.
I enjoyed a little less this one but still i got a very good enjoyment from it, and this time more because of the story, i just wish it wasn’t Madhouse the one distributing the anime, they tend to release only one season in a lot of cases and milk them releasing specials or OVA while people request second seasons, just like the animes that i have seen from them with endings without conclusion and screaming for second season, like Shigurui as a big example, for me that didn’t have an ending just like with every ”season” of Black Lagoon but that’s a discussion for other forums.
The only thing i am gonna give this show a credit for is art
other than that it was all a waste
I am actually quite glad that my previous reviews of black lagoon part 1 and 2 were of similar proposal
and all in all the show in itself sucked, the characters sucked, the director failed to deliver a sense of realism to it(sure everyone can die in the unforgiving hell of Roanapra but not one fucking main character dies how convenient), the tragedy implemented was a joke
and to top it off (U.S) army major actually cares about some stray kid with a grudge due to a past operation (what a load of bullshit)
Revy is useless, i honestly don’t see why such a character even existed
Rock is so boring he makes you wanna kill yourself while watching
Roberta is just pathetic, (after she kills off nearly all the american soldiers, they let her go because the drama says it is ok)
AND YET she cannot kill neither Revy nor the Chinese (yes it is) woman when she is mad or whatever
totally unreliable story-telling, totally un-interesting scenario, and a major fail for all the action scenes that started with a splash of blood, only to end up in a happy (no worries the heroes are ok) ending
absolutely hated it, I’d rather watch Inazuma Eleven
1: Hellsing Ultimate
English: Hellsing Ultimate
Japanese: HELLSING OVA
MAL Score: 8.38
There exist creatures of darkness and evil that plague the night, devouring any human unfortunate enough to be caught in their grasp. On the other side is Hellsing, an organization dedicated to destroying these supernatural forces that threaten the very existence of humanity. At its head is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who commands a powerful military and spends her life fighting the undead.
Integra’s vast army, however, pales in comparison with her ultimate weapon: the vampire Alucard, who works against his own kind as an exterminator for Hellsing. With his new vampire servant, Seras Victoria, at his side, Alucard must battle not only monsters, but all those who stand to oppose Hellsing, be they in the guise of good or evil.
In a battle for mankind’s survival, Hellsing Ultimate proves that appearances are not all they may seem, and sometimes the greatest weapon can come in the form of one’s worst nightmare.
It has all the flash and gimmicks to trick you into thinking it’s good. It has vampires, action, blood, swearing, violence, gore, sexuality, darkness—everything that’s just “cooool” and “matuuure.”
Let’s not forget its “badass” hero Alucard—whose name is “Dracula” spelled backward, by the way. Goddamn that is so fucking cool I’m hurting. He’s so powerful no one can beat him. Except… that is the problem. Because none of his enemies can even touch him all his fights are boring filler. You’re actually left rooting for the villains.
The main characters are supposed to be the one putting up a struggle, not the other way around. The only time I was excited about a fight was when the villains felt like they could pose a challenge. But then Alucard whips out a power up, and I’m left saying “Oh.”
For a show with gorgeous animation and fantastic action it’s dull and forgettable. It’s like an attractive person without a personality. There are pacing issues where it slows down to be melodramatic and rambles about nonsense philosophy. I get that you need to let us know character motivations, but giving 10 minute speeches isn’t exactly keeping me awake. It also tries to be funny with some lighthearted, cutely animated moments, but it only ruins the mood.
I still actually recommend watching this but only if you’re slightly interested. It’s helpful to watch good and bad shows. It’ll give you an instinct on why something is good or bad. I enjoyed this my first time, but I certainly wouldn’t watch it again.
It has often been said that I like Hellsing Ultimate. My friends, I like Hellsing Ultimate…NO. Friends, I LOVE!! HELLSING ULTIMATE! I love the dark animation, I love the gore, I love the action, I love the charismatic characters, the accents, I love the bombastic plot and dialogue! I love any like-minded quality anime that can exist upon this Earth!
I love watching ghouls, vampires and mercenaries clashing in an all-out VAR within the Victorian hallways of the Hellsing estate. My heart leaps with joy whenever a soldier’s limps are blown off followed by screams of agonizing pain. And there is nothing like a British vampire chick dual wielding artillery canons to rain hell upon the mightiest engines of war, UND the feeling that comes when a vampire runs away screaming from Alucard only to be slaughtered in the most gruesome way imaginable… is such… an exquisite feeling. Like when ranks of mercenaries sign up to hunt vampires and ghouls using silver bullets. It moves me deep within my heart to see an entire squadron of innocent SWAT forces butchered mercilessly by none other than the MC in their final moments of shock and despair. The sight of haters being made fun of on the forums for their ridicule subjective criticism is an irresistible pleasure. And there is nothing more arousing then the major’s awe-inspiring war-speech which is still resonating with grandeur in your heads at this very moment. When a band of pitiful resistance fighters make their final stand with nothing but small arms only to have their city destroyed and their guts disemboweled by a thousand paratrooper vampire Nazis, I’m in ecstasy. I love it when my favorite factions are ravaged by enemy Nazi bastards. It’s so sad to see characters I had held onto dearly meet their tragic fates, their friends and comrades ripped in half gasping for their last breaths. I love to be squashed under the heel of the Nazi and Vatican war dogs, the humiliation as my men crawl around like vermin, hiding and taking cheap shots from walled corners.
Gentlemen, all I ask for is more Hellsing Ultimate. An anime so grand as to make hell itself tremble. Gentlemen…I ask you as fellow brothers in arms what is it that you really want? Do you wish for further anime like this as I do? Do you wish for a merciless bloody anime? Anime whose fury is built with iron and lightning and fire? DO YOU ASK FOR ANIME TO SWEEP IN LIKE A TEMPEST, LEAVING NOT EVEN CRITICS TO SCAVENGE FROM THIS EARTH!!!
To start off with the characters, our hero Alucard feels like the epitome of what it means to be a mary sue. Does he have character traits which define him? Of course not, since he is nothing but an underdeveloped, unbeatable, one dimensional mary sue who does what he wants and what he pleases because the plot said so. Is he able to be beaten? Yes, but only when the plot needs him to stray away for a while, then after that he comes back because he is supposed to be an immortal vampire who never dies because of plot, even when the other characters beat him fair and square through a smart strategy they had developed early on. Speaking of the other characters, they exist just for the sole purpose of moving the plot forward all the while being one dimensional archetypes themselves. You’ve got the central villain, Major, whose only character trait is to be evil and speak in a funny German accent just to get some cheap laughs from the viewers. You’ve got a woman who owns Alucard and is supposed to be his master, and her character is never developed other than her being his master, and to drink wine and speak in a posh accent I guess. She was so forgettable, to the point where I forgot her name. The other characters are the same, they either exist for the sole purpose of telling an unfunny joke, or to progress the plot forward without gaining any real characterization in the process. Reading some of the reviews here, they rave about the greatness of the characters, yet they never go into specifics as to why said characters are so great. I wonder why…
As for the unfunny jokes, this Anime is filled to the very brim with them. Were you hoping for a serious and grim Anime about vampires and soldiers fighting each other to the death? Jokes on you, we’ll give you the silliest, most addlebrained “comedy” Anime that ever tried to take itself seriously. Even when it should be funny and invoke laughter out of the audience, it doesn’t do anything of significance nor does it succeed in getting said laughs. Moreover, the juxtaposition between comedy and seriousness completely breaks the audience’s immersion in the plot, as one cannot be invested in a serious scene because the Anime breaks the viewer’s immersion and the serious tone that it was going for with unfunny jokes that come out of nowhere. Seriously, the comedy displayed here is worse than that of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, and that is genuinely saying something. To put it in simpler words, the Anime does not know what it wants to be, because if it’s goal was to be a hysterical parody of vampires, then it has certainly failed in it’s goal, since it neither is funny nor does it not break that rule by trying to take itself seriously half of the time.
Moving on to one more problem that this unfunny sack of underwhelming doodoo suffers from, it is that the episode length is long. There is a reason one watches Anime, and that is because while it not being the best medium out there, it at least makes up for it by not torturing the viewer for more than twenty minutes at a time. What does Hellsing Ultimate do? It lengthens it’s twenty minute run per episode into forty slow and lengthy minutes, which boggles the mind since ten minutes of this catastrophe were unwatchable, much less forty. Even when sped up, it doesn’t help either since you are constantly seeing characters you dislike being shoved right into your face all the time. You can’t escape this terrible catastrophe no matter how hard you tried, as it is inherently bad by itself.
Overall, there isn’t much else to say about Hellsing Ultimate. It is boring, trite, unfunny and at the end of the day it is meandering. Why is it meandering you ask? Because the main character is an unbeatable mary sue who barely shows any emotions and the outcomes therefore become predictable.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Hellsing Ultimate
2. Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail
3. Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen Prologue – Sakura to Futatsu no Kuma
4. Master Keaton OVA
5. One Punch Man: Road to Hero
6. Diamond no Ace: Second Season OVA
7. Diamond no Ace OVA
8. Lodoss-tou Senki
9. Urusei Yatsura OVA
10. Space Pirate Captain Herlock: Outside Legend – The Endless Odyssey
11. Chi’s Sweet Home: Chi to Kocchi, Deau.
12. The Animatrix
13. The Cockpit
14. Cyber City Oedo 808
15. ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka – Regards
16. Nasu: Suitcase no Wataridori
17. Tetsuwan Birdy
19. Tenjou Tenge: The Ultimate Fight
20. Chihayafuru 2: Waga Miyo ni Furu Nagame Shima ni
21. Supernatural The Animation
22. Hi no Tori: Uchuu-hen
23. Batman: Gotham Knight
24. Galaxy Angel Music Collection: Shouen to Shien no Cassoulet
25. Ichigo 100% OVA
26. Galaxy Angel S
27. Honoo no Mirage: Minagiwa no Hangyakusha
28. X OVA
29. Kamen no Maid Guy: Ano Natsu, Ichiban Yutaka na Chichi.
30. Mermaid’s Scar
31. Hi no Tori: Yamato-hen
32. Tokyo Babylon
33. Highschool of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead
34. Vampire Hunter
35. Piyoko ni Omakase pyo!
36. Trava: Fist Planet
37. DNA2 OVA
38. Takarajima Memorial: Yuunagi to Yobareta Otoko
39. Yuugen Kaisha
40. Anime Koukyoushi: Jungle Taitei
41. Midnight Eye: Gokuu
42. Otogi Juushi Akazukin OVA
43. Zetsuai 1989
44. Arata naru Sekai: World’s/Start/Load/End
45. Mamono Hunter Youko
46. Saint Beast: Ikusen no Hiru to Yoru-hen
47. Midnight Eye: Gokuu II
48. Natsuki Crisis
49. Hitsuji no Uta
50. Bronze: Kouji Nanjo Cathexis