They’re the best Anime that 1992 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Hai! Akko Desu, Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai, Robin Hood no Daibouken, and more!
7: Hai! Akko Desu
MAL Score: 6.55
The story follows the daily life of a Akko-chan who is a new young wife.
6: Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai
MAL Score: 6.85
Tsuyoshi Ikawa lives at home with his popular and beautiful sisters. Despite their qualities, his sisters and his mother are horrible at household chores, including cooking, so all these duties are taken over by Tsuyoshi while his father is away due to being temporarily transferred to another city for work.
5: Robin Hood no Daibouken
English: The Great Adventures of Robin Hood
MAL Score: 7.11
A variant of Robin Hood in which all the principal characters are teenagers.
Several centuries ago in Nottingham County, a cruel and greedy baron by the name of Alwine ordered the destruction of the Huntingtons’ castle—from the fire of which Robin and his cousins, Will, Winifred and Barbara, miraculously escaped. The youngsters sought shelter in Sherwood Forest, where, thanks to the wise guidance of the hermit better known as “Friar Tuck,” they managed to face the difficulties of a life in the wilderness as as well as they could; however, in the forest there lived a fearless group of young bandits, led by Little John. Their first encounter with Robin and his cousins was at first rather stormy, as the two groups fought for the destiny of a young, noble maiden named Marian who had fallen into the hands of the bandits during an ambush.
Their bitterness, however, rapidly lead the way to friendship, and Robin and John later realized they were all victims of the same fate. The youngsters thus mutually decided to help one another. Baron Alwine was not merely enemy of the Huntingtons—in fact, a couple years earlier he had forced Little John and his gang to seek protection in the forest to avoid forced labour. He would later seek Marian Lancaster for the secret carved on a cross the girl wore as symbol of her family line.
The girl was to be adopted by the shady Bishop Herfort—Alwine’s accomplice—who sought to attain the Lancaster’s wealth. With all their strength, Robin and his friends were then compelled to fight against the baron’s troops, led by Gilbert—a dangerous and fearless knight. When Winifred and Marian were then imprisoned in the castle’s dungeons, our heroes tried in every way possible to enter until their ardour was finally rewarded with success. Thanks to his noble heart and heed for danger, Robin became rapidly known as the protector of the poor and oppressed. Beloved and highly esteemed not only by the villagers, but also and especially by the sweet and beautiful Marian he was. The boy who never parted from his loyal, magical bow, endlessly engaged in dangerous and unthinkable missions.
This is a tale about Robinhood as a teenager.I liked the way the story was enriched with fillers showing the beauty and the secrets of the Sirwood forest,as well as the radical development of the characters.That’s why the story is more funny and interesting and let’s not forget that this anime is addressed mainly to children.That’s why I still like it 🙂
The art is very beautiful,especially the sceneries of the forest,the village and the castle.Medieval England is accurately shown in this anime. Many beautiful colours are used and the light plays an important role in this.However,the faces of some characters shouldn’t be so round,they needed more attention to detail .
As for the sound,the op/end in its english version is veery catchy!!In the story,suitable sounds are used for the atmosphere of the forest,the castle with its mechanisms and the people who live in it.For the main scenes,the
music that is used is very nice too.
Considering the characters,they developed quite well,although I would prefer to see them later in their adult version too just for curiosity.Lady Marion is a great example of this development.
I really enjoyed this anime,which reminds me of my childhood and I ‘m going to watch it again in the future.When it ends,you just want to take your friends and live in a forest forever!!! xD
4: Mikan Enikki
MAL Score: 7.18
A kitten, abandoned and left for dead along with his siblings, is taken in by Tomu Kusanagi, who nurtures him and discovers that the tangerine cat he so adores is actually a genius who can talk, walk, read, and has even acquired a taste for liquor!
3: Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade
English: Tekkaman Blade
MAL Score: 7.45
Tekkaman Blade takes place in the year 2300 AD. On a certain moment, the Radam attack earth. A few months after the beginning of the invasion, a tekkaman appears, he calls himself Blade and with the help of the Space Knights, Blade starts to fight the radam. But there are a few things that Blade isn’t telling about his past.
But the best quality of this anime is definitely its character development. Initially, there will be characters you will not be able to stand and you wish for them to get what’s coming to them for how they act and treat D-Boy. But as time goes on, the characters do grow on you and show significant maturity where your feelings of them drastically change. Another great point in which contributes to the development is of course the relationships between the characters. It’s about family, friendship and love. Initially the characters egos will be a driving force of internal conflicts, but as time goes on, they will unite and come to accept each other as family and support.
But despite these find qualities, the story overall is still dark and gritty and I felt it was a good foundation to build and develop the characters on. Certain parts of the story will really make you feel sad for D-Boy for what he has to go through throughout the series. Initially he’s this self-centered guy, but comes to learn that nobody can live alone. I feel a lot of the development of the characters and their relationships is a high point because I think everybody can relate to it.
I have to say that the art and animation for an early 90s anime is top notch. I originally thought this anime shared the same character designer of Gundam 0083 because the style of those characters, looked like the characters of this anime, but despite my false assumption, the character designs are done by Kogawa Tomonori, the designer of another personal favorite of mine, Tomino Yoshiyuki’s Aura Battler Dunbine. When I compared the heavy clothing of lets say Aki and D-Boy to Sho’s, I could see the resemblance of how he approaches such things and I have to say the 10 year gap between both series shows a significant bounds of evolution with his art style. I’ll admit the character designs aren’t exactly state of the art with wicked hairstyles, but the art is still complex by exhibiting a lot of the emotion this anime caries with the postures, ways of walking, and facial expressions.
The designs and transformations of the Tekkaman in this installment are of course more sophisticated and very uniquely organic which helps makes this anime stand out in comparison to your typical mech anime nowadays. In comparison to the original Tekkaman, which looked more like a European Knight hence the title Space Knight, Tekkaman Blade’s edginess and angles give a more distinctive samurai look to it and really compliments the style of the action where it’s fast paced, explosive, and agile. Unfortunately, there are moments in the 2nd half of the series, specifically between Blade and Evil where the action gets DBZ-ish, but then again, it was 1992 when DBZ was all the rage so they were trying to capitalize on it, but I guess it does capture the more organic nature of this anime in relation to being a Tekkaman in this installment. But the most bad ass of the fights is of course the use of the Voltekka, Tekkaman’s ultimate attack which was in the original series as well but drastically changed in this version. The special effects will kind of look like a kamehameha but when you see it in action, it’s still really bad ass and appropriate in this anime in context to everything related in it. So it’s a nice touch.
But if there was one thing I didn’t like about the designs, it was the one-dimensional approach to the villains. In the original Tekkaman, you got all kinds of aliens with different gimmicks, while in this one, it’s mostly just the giant alien spiders and the evil Tekkaman for Tekkaman to fight. But other than that, everything else is cool.
The seiyuu cast of this respective series is certainly top notch and has a handful of my personal favorites. D-Boy is played by Morikawa Toshiyuki, the voice of Griffith from Berserk, and Vorg from Hajime no Ippo. In those roles, he was more quiet and calm, while in this role, he was shockingly hot headed and hostile and I wasn’t even able to recognize that it was the same actor after I looked it up. After all the anime I watched in Japanese, I’m pretty good at recognizing seiyuus, but Morikawa really took me by surprise in this one and just saying this should give you an idea of how excellent his voice acting will be as D-Boy when you get to watch this anime. And my favorite female seiyuu, Hayashibara Megumi, the voice of female Ranma, Rei from Evangelion, and Faye from Cowboy Bebop plays Aki. Aki’s design may not really compare to other babes of anime, but I felt Hayashibara’s talented voice acting really brought out her inner beauty and makes you drawn to just her character, and this will really be emphasized in the second half. And I can’t deny the presence of the late great Suzuoki Hirotaka, the voice of Bright from Gundam, Kuno from Ranma, and Seiryuu from Saint Seiya and many, many, many other roles as the voice of Chief Freeman. He really brings out the well intended scheming personality of the character to life and just the way he sounds really makes you think what kind of a character Freeman really is just like how Noal kind of always has his suspicious about him. And one last seiyuu I want to mention is Koyasu Takehito, the voice of Tekkaman Evil. Due to time constraints I won’t elaborate too much on this, but if you’ve seen my review of Initial D 4th Stage, I really praised him for his performance in that anime, but his talent in making his character stand out is present here as well. I really like how he makes Tekkaman Evil provoking and provocative, but still has this mystique surrounding him. There are a lot more names I want to get into, but I have to end it there, so time to move onto the music.
The opening and ending themes are explosive and energetic that really reflect the action intense and relationship based tones of this anime overall and are addictive. The background tracks are all selectively and conducingly appropriate to the mood of the moment whether happy or sad. And the transformation music of Tekkaman itself feels like it was composed by the great John Williams himself.
Even though I have to admit some of the concepts don’t seem to be that new or innovating in relation to the story, I think it’s presentation still gives it a unique flavor of freshness where it does come across as original. To say it in a nutshell, I felt a lot of the features of Zeta Gundam, Gundam Wing, Macross, and the original respective novels of Starship Troopers and War of the Worlds along with some of the new features of the Tekkaman armor were put together to create this masterpiece. Very little can critics and audiences say remakes will surpass the original, and I’ll admit I prefer this series overall the original. But I personally find it impossible to really compare the two series, especially when mech and sci-fi anime overall drastically changed since the broadcasting of these two respective series. Even though they share the same name of Tekkaman, but I feel to compare Blade to the original Tekkaman is like comparing Gundam Wing to Tetsujin 28 or Gigantor. But I’ll get into some of those qualities in my review of the original Tekkaman which you have to stay tuned for.
In each of the five categories (Story, Art, Sound, Character(s), Enjoyment), a score can get 2, 4, 8 or 10. 2 for something I find truly bad, 4 for something that just isn’t good enough, 8 for fairly good and 10 for outstanding.
The sum of the score is divided by 5 and the score is rounded to the nearest integer (More than or equal to .5 rounds it up, less than .5 rounds it down).
A tragic main character, forced to fight. Military men with lots of ambition. Aliens and plants. Romance. A bit of amnesia. Mecha! Sounds like this series doesn’t lack a single thing, right? The story is presented in a typical, episodic monster-of-the-week format, and is one of the better shows using this format.
The animation in this series is very inconsistent. Sometimes, it’s brilliant, sometimes, it’s bad. When it’s good, it’s really good, and the designs are exquisite. If you like mecha in the form of power armor, these designs should have you drooling, but the inconsistency hurts a lot.
Both opening tracks to this series are great, the same goes for tension music and sound effects. One of my favourite voice actors voices the main character, D-Boy. Many will know his voice as Sephiroth’s, while others will recognise him from roles such as Kyosuke Nanbu or Ryu from Street Fighter. Either way, his voice is great.
D-Boy truly is an angsty main character, but rightfully so. And he doesn’t run around whining about it. The main cast, the antagonists and the interactions within and between these groups are well written.
Anyone who didn’t cry oily tears over a certain event towards the end of the series has a heart of stone.
Excellent fights, a captivating story and great mecha designs, not to mention the Vol Tekker, which was later turned into a Pokémon attack exclusive to Pichu’s chain of evolution. I enjoyed the heck out of this show.
48 * 0.2 = 9.6, rounded up to 10.
This is something for people who like action shows with some angst and drama. Though there is romance, it’s not the focus.
It’s a bit more than your run-of-the-mill shounen, though it runs in the same vein, or very close to it. You should also be aware that with this being a rather long shows, it has some slower arcs that may put some viewers off, not to mention dated animation, which some people can’t stand these days.
Before I begin, I know this is usually shunned upon in reviews but I apologize for making this review so long but I really cant sum up what this show does so right and so wrong in a abridged version.
The story of tekkaman blade about one man, who is later named D-boy, whom has the powers to transform into a mech like armor called tekkaman blade in which he uses to fight off an invading alien force known as the Radam as well as other mysterious users with ties to our hero whom also have the ability to transform into tekkamans. After a fierce battle and nearly fatal wound D-boy reverts back to a human body and is found by aki and noel, of the military branch called the space knights. While that may not be the most flattering synopsis the show is way more interesting than both its premise and its initial episodes let on divulging into quite the epic and at times unpredictable storyline. I really have to hold back on giving specifics of what is to come in this storyline as while there aren’t necessarily many twists there are a ton of plot points that surprise and intrigued me when watching and really helped push me to keep watching.
The story does a phenomenal job at utilizing D-Boy’s initially shrouded past and utilizing them in the present plot points and storytelling without relying too heavily on exposition, its a very flashback heavy show but unlike most shows that do this it works quite well in Tekkaman blade. Finding out what happened in D-boy’s past that gave him his powers as well as uncovering what his ties with these antagonist tekkamans that aid the radam is one of the strongest points in the story. There is also a interesting use of not making the radam the central antagonists but rather combining them with a corrupt military which adds a sense of danger to even the more calmer moments of the series when the radam are not attacking. However this interesting corrupt military plot point is pretty much entirely resolved by the shows halfway point and feels like a bit of a missed opportunity but for the most part served its purpose without overstaying its welcome but it still feels like there could had been some more interesting conflicts later on while they still juggled this antagonistic military force on their backs as they start to make their final moves on the radam forces. The 2nd half as well as the entire series suffers from 2 huge issues that truly hold it back more than anything
One of the issues is filler. Unlike what many long running shounens have led people to believe filler can be a really good thing, while not furthering the plot it can be used to get to know the characters, allow them to grow on us by seeing them in a less dire/serious sight as well as develop/build the world. A good filler will let the characters grow on you or at the very least create a more relaxing entertaining experience different than the more action filled events of the main story episodes. Tekkaman blade does filler horribly, residing mainly in the second half the series goes into downright moronic territory, youl find absurd stories of robotic little girls, one shot characters that lack any form of logic in their actions and seemingly cool locations that get absolutely no details about them given past a cool appearance. Not only are these fillers not enjoyable to watch due to their repetitive formula which ends every single of the episodes with random radam attacks that lack any real tension because you know nothing important will happen, but its made worse that these were largely wasted when they could had been good tools to build the characters and world. The 1st half of the story is told through a military perspective going on missions then back to base, the 2nd half has the cast traveling on foot/vehicle across the world, this should had been a great opportunity to build up this world that has survived these attacks by this unknown alien force yet its wasted by only showing hints of cool world-building the never following through on it. you’ll see plenty of really cool looking areas and towns or ruins that all end up being simplified to nothing more than their appearance. Its a huge wasted opportunity that hurts the show. To top this off there are 4 recap episodes 3 of which are in the show’s 2nd half.
The other huge issue that brings tekkaman blade down which ties into its filler issue, its pacing. Tekkaman blade simply should not have been 49 episodes, the pacing at the start is too slow for its own good and only a few of the first 10 episodes felt all that important, Many conflicts that span multiple episodes only needed to be done in merely 1 episode as many of the conflicts are drawn out by unnecessary dialogue from characters not fighting and the filler and the 4 recaps episodes did not need to exist as they only hurt the show rather than help. This should have been only about 26 episodes and would have worked much better that way. The way characters react to certain events is way too sluggish and slow that it really kills the dire mood the show is going for with this conflict. The shows pacing is quite fine from episode 11-24ish give and take a recap and episodes 36-45/46 or so are pretty back on scheduled to the main plot. However despite being a incredibly slow paced series the final episodes of the series are rushed as hell and nearly ruin all the good the 10 episodes before it had done. I cannot get into details at risk of major spoilers but to sum it up characters die anticlimactically for absolutely no reason or purpose other than to make it so D-boy isn’t allied with anyone for the final conflicts, fights are anticlimactic, and the series ends with a bullshit deus ex machina final fight and ending, I was going to give a series a 7 at the time right before watching the finale but the way the show wraps up was so poorly done I had to drop it down the 6 its at now.
One of the most mixed aspects of tekkaman blade is in its characters, The main characters D-boy, while not necessarily having that wide a range of emotions is a pretty well developed characters and I found myself really caring about the guy as the series progressed and really got into following the hardships he is facing due to the past he has and its affect on the present conflicts he faces. Some of the villains are extremely well thought out such as tekkaman evil whom I don’t want to give away anything about this guy but his relationship to D-boy easily ranks up there as one of my favorite rivalries in anime providing the most emotional and exciting parts of the story, whenever tekkaman evil shows up you knew the series would get really good, and with the exception of one conflict later in the series they always delivered. While not the big bad of the series tekkaman evil thankfully acts mainly as the main antagonistic force in the series and appears quite frequently. A few of the other tekkamans such as tekkaman rapier are a more of a fresh breath of air compared to the other tekkamans and 2 particular other tekkamans(axe and sword) have really well developed back-stories and ties to the past that really sell though a emotional connection to the events transpiring. However the remaining 3 tekkaman’s including the big bad are incredibly underdeveloped, tekkaman dagger in particular being the worst, he acts as the first antagonist for the first part of the series and that’s all he was, a guy that got in the way, D-boy recognizes who he was but the ties he has to D-boy are never investigated and after a terribly anticlimactic fight between the 2 he is never once brought up again other than mentions of how D-boy kicked his ass. Tekkaman lance which warning I’m just going to spoil his incredibly insignificant role he had on the series, He is introduced in the 20’s doesn’t show up for 15 or so episodes, then gets killed anticlimactically in the same episode he comes back. Who was he? what’s his backstory? What’s his ties with D-boy let alone any character? NOTHING, he literally just some dude that we know nothing about. Finally there is the big bad whom while he is given an actual tie in to his relationship with D-boy in the events prior to the show that relationship is largely underdeveloped anywhere past just addressing what the 2’s relationship title was. he’s one of those villains that sits in a room the entire series and yells at the people, granted they say why he cant leave the ship he’s on but its still such a boring decision to make the MAIN villain of the series just sit around on his ass the entire show. The heroes are sadly fairly shallow characters, the main heroine aki lacks any real form of a personality and her romance with D-boy doesn’t really get developed past stating she likes him. Noel while at first being kind of a dick is one of the more likable characters and has an actual personality and more wide range of motivations and emotions, Honda, Milly, Freeman, and Levin who make up the rest of the cast are sadly 1 trick pony characters that don’t have anything interesting about them past initial synopsis of them, Honda is just a mechanic with no real personality, milly is the residential cutsy girl usually used for occasional panty shots, freeman is a stereotypical leader character that is more of a plotpoint than a character, and levin is just a gay guy used for ineffective comic relief, one of the best characters in the story is a side character named balzac who has a ton of development and by story’s end is almost a entirely different character than his initial premise. The characters are just a mixed bag but sadly because of the hero’s lack of interesting aspects it ends up really outweighing the good characters in the end since these people are simply not interesting or entertaining to watch.
all that’s really left are the music and animation/art, music is entirely forgettable and has no real interesting tracks, the animation is inconsistent with the art jumping from being well detailed and looking like a 90’s anime should to becoming this really ugly, poorly detailed, and jagged animation that looks straight out of the 1970’s. There are certain points where the series looks great such as some of the tekkaman evil fights but the series is really dampened by a ton of stock footage and poorly animated scenes. The art is also really ugly to look at, despite some cool looking backgrounds they use way too much of an emphasis on drag and dark colors that just make everything look unpleasant, and while this would work when showing the war torn world of this show, when you also use the same ugly color palette for what are supposed to be more pleasant looking areas you only make that lose impact and make the entire series just look ugly. To add on one last time about why this should have been 49 episodes is that if they had shortened the series it could have also allowed them to balance their budget more to make it look less cheap as it does throughout many portions of the series
So should you watch tekkaman blade even with all that’s wrong with it? Despite how much I complained and ragged at many aspects of this series I do honest to god think this is worth your time if your willing to put up with the issues addressed in this review. Its a great series brought down by mishaps but its not a great story ruined by mishaps. If you give the series its time and can put up with its problems you will be rewarded. However if you don’t have the patience to put up with this then you probably are better off passing on tekkaman blade.
2: Hime-chan no Ribbon
MAL Score: 7.46
Erika, the princess of the Magic Kingdom has come to Earth in order to find a human girl who looks just like her. That girl turns out to be Himeko Nonohara, a tomboy’s tomboy. Erika must give Himeko a magical item she has created in order to prove her worth as a successor to the crown. Himeko must test this item, a hair ribbon that allows her to transform into any other person she sees, to see if it is worthy. The series follows Himeko’s adventures and her budding romance with Daichi, the boy who discovers her secret.
Well, it’s the usual magical girl with her loyal companion(s). Every episode is like events that happens in a day. Ah! But don’t get me wrong, each story keeps you interested about what may happen next. They’re all connected somehow. Not many fillers in the middle of the series so it’s all good. For me, I really liked the story of how she can change forms and stuff. I’ve always thought what it was like to do that and now I can imagine it through this anime.
Well, it’s not the best but it’s not as bad. Seeing as how it’s from around 1990 (I wasn’t born yet at that year) or so, the art is quite nice and not bad on the eyes.
Well, I don’t really notice a lot of sound missing and there aren’t any sound overused so I think they did pretty well.
Haha. The character developments are quite fine. Daichi may come off as rude and brash, but after seeing the whole series and how they grow, I don’t think he was that bad at all. Hime’s always a tomboy but we do see some changes in her attitude towards a few things. Some of the characters don’t have many personality change but I think it suits the story and characters just fine.
I really enjoyed all episodes. No matter how angry or sad I get from them, they also bring me joy. I wished it lasted longer.
I cried at the end thinking I won’t be able to see more, but I’m sure if I don’t forget about it then the anime and my memories of it won’t end and it’ll last long!
So, overall, I really enjoyed the anime and the adventures with Himeko, Daichi, Pokota and all the characters!
Ike ike, go go, jump! Hope this was helpful to anyone who reads this and help them decide if they’ll want to see it or not.
I like of HCNR how the novel is in between the Majokko of e.g. Creamy Mami and the more mature romantic shojos: the main character indeed is not a 10yo kid but a Junior High student and the plot has a very strong focus on the sentimental life of her as well as her growing from a tomboy with a sister complex to a more mature girl that accept herself for what she is.
The characters are all interesting for the most, the magical component doesn’t really take over the romantic aspect of the narration but it makes for very nice comical situations, as the magic is not there to change the world but just to try to solve daily issues in Himeko life, and in the end she’s not even able to solve them but rather she creates issues with magic.
My issue is with the anime and not the manga: it’s quite faithful to the manga until the 18th episode (matching chapter 20th of the manga): after that the manga focused a lot on the feelings that Himeko discovers to have for Daichi, while the anime goes on with self-conclusive episodes that are not part of the original story, and even when involving the narration of the manga it takes off some crucial moments (kisses, declarations of love, …) turning into a pure Majokko with the addition of several magic objects that are not present in the manga.
The anime ending is also very mediocre, while the manga one is nice.
Pretty disappointing conversion of a worth manga, hopefully they’ll remake it but being more faithful to the manga (that is not that long, it can be done with 36 episodes or so)
MAL Score: 7.48
High school student Yawara Inokuma lives a completely happy and ordinary life. She aspires to an average lifestyle as a delicate young lady with a handsome boyfriend in the near future.
Unfortunately for Yawara, she has an undesirable prodigious talent in Judo, a modern martial art that is neither feminine nor fashionable. Moreover, Yawara is the only granddaughter of the seventh dan Judo master Jigorou Inokuma, who expects her to become a Japanese Judoka superstar of the ’90s.
Yawara cautiously hides her strength from everyone to maintain a normal reputation but is often pushed to situations when she must exercise her Judo skills. Observing Yawara’s immense potential from the shadows, Kousaku Matsuda, a sports reporter from a substandard paper, is willing to do everything he can to bring her into the limelight.
This is the whole plot of this anime. It is said in the description on many websites that it is a sports anime but in my opinion it is a shoujo’ish slice of life anime with the touch of sports in it. The plot moves along the same track over and over in an eternal loop, “She dislikes Judo, she is going to stop, something happens, she does it, and she wins.” Then the circle starts again. The sport Judo is not the focal point, it is the reason. At the end of 124 episodes you are left with the impression that she doesn’t hate the sports that much anymore but that is it. That is all the real satisfaction you get out of the whole plot of a 124 episodes long anime.
The art reminded me a little of Itazura na Kiss. I am not a giant fan of that style but I don’t hate it either. At least they do have “real” bodies and no matchstick limbs with watermelon sized chest area and giant heads with triangular noses. All the characters are distinguishable and no two characters look the same.
All I can say is, it didn’t bother me. There was nothing outstanding for me, no piece of music I started tapping my foot to or started mumbling the words unconsciously.
If I tell you they annoyed the hell out of me to the point where I started assembling assassination plans for imaginary drawn people, it is an understatement.
Inokuma Yawara: Is the main protagonist. She is a whiny, indecisive, weak and a not very smart girl who wants to have a boyfriend and thinks she cant have one unless she doesn’t do Judo. She gets older but does not really evolve in my opinion during the whole 124 episodes.
The Grandfather Yawara: A manipulative old Judo “God” whose only objective is to gather certain medals through his grandchild. Said grandchild could be Male, femaie, plankton or alien. He is not really prejudiced. As long as that holy Judo family genes and -name bearing being practices Judo. To meet his objectives he is not above or below anything that could help this purpose. Admittedly he does provide a comedic relief now and then.
The mother and the father: Each a piece of work. Father up and left. We really do not know exactly why, even though there are two theories, both Judo related. Apparently he is a wimp and a wuss and a sore loser. He left, either because a five year old bested him once or he lost a practice match to one of his friends/rivals. ONCE. After that, he left his wife and daughter and vanished. He is like yeti, they hear stories about him but he is always elusive. And the mother is the yeti hunter. Whenever there is a story of the yeti-father the mother runs to check it, and doesn’t come back until she knows more. This could be a day, a month a year. Who knows. We don’t.
Love interests.: There are two. One is a playboy, the other is a fan-boy. The playboy gets engaged to the rival. And lo and behold, the Miss goodie 2shoes-protogonist doesn’t really see anything wrong still going out with an engaged man and hanging on to him. The fan-boy gets at some point a bo..bie-wonder attachment, a co-worker who decided they are in love. The guy doesn’t really like her. He says he likes Yawara, but doesn’t really tell the annoying co-worker off, they go on dates, but hey, the guy likes the main character. Same goes for the playboy by the way. But at the end of the day they are both very lukewarm in their pursuit of the girl.
Friends are more or less interchangeable. the main rival is annoying and repetitive at best. And there is no real tension in the air, because she is too mediocre and too lukewarm to be a real villian and yet she is too villainous to become a friend. Oddly enough the only characters that evolve in my opinion are the ones from the judo clubs. Both High school and the College one. But the main characters and the first string supporting characters are always the same. Yawara is whiny, Grandpa is manipulative, mother is a doormat, father is, well, I don’t have a polite word to describe him. So think your own words. The rival and the lover-boys also are always the same. Really, I could go on this raging negative review for 50 pages and I would still be annoyed. And this is coming form somebody who actually got over middle-aged looking middle school boys with supernatural tennis shots and glowing, flying bodies for over 178 episodes with giant plot holes.
In episode 1 Yawara is in high school. She doesn’t have a boyfriend, but she has a few friends. She is real good at Judo and she wants to quit Judo. 124 episodes later: Yawara is in college, she doesn’t have a boyfriend, but she has a few friends. She is real good at Judo and she is kinda sorta maybe ok doing Judo. 124 episodes. And that is all that there is.
Altogether, this is NOT a sports anime. This is a shoujo, slice of life, useless personal angst and drama anime, where sports play a role. I am guessing at the time they were trying to create a hype for the upcoming Olympics in Barcelona but apart from a countdown and an honorable mention at the final arc (About 30 days before the Olympics they START training to join the team. Yes you read it right. I said 30 days and start)
That all said, before I got this anime I checked all around and there are more glowing reviews of this anime than not. I am apparently odd ball out here. Still, if you are searching for a sports anime, watch the first couple of episodes before obtaining the entire series. You know, just to be on the safe side.
Wait! Come back! Before you dismiss “Yawara!” on the basis of its silly title and sports premise, remember this is Naoki Urasawa we’re talking about! While he did write “Yawara!” early on in his career, you don’t need to look hard under the hood to see the interesting details that distinguishes “Yawara!” from a typical lengthy sports anime.
In many ways, “Yawara!” is a subversive take on the sports genre. A typical sports anime would start off by introducing some total n00b that gets attracted to some sport, and it would turn out that The N00b(TM) is immensely talented in the said sport. Early on, The N00b(TM) would meet a rival who is far ahead in terms of skill level, The N00b(TM) would be inspired to work very hard to catch up with The Rival(TM) and they would form a rivalry that runs throughout the show. Etc.
Well, “Yawara!” mostly dumps this formula on its head.
Yawara, the titular character, just wants to be a normal girl. Unfortunately for her, she comes from a family of elite judo athletes. While both her parents are alive (which theoretically puts her in a better position than most anime protagonists), they’re both AWOL so she’s being raised by her grandfather (which effectively puts her in the same position as most anime protagonists). Her grandfather, being a famous judo champ, has trained Yawara hard from a young age in the hope that she’ll also be a champion some day and even win an Olympic gold medal. But Yawara would much rather go shopping and date boys than do judo, and the story essentially revolves around her grandfather and a bunch of other people pushing Yawara towards greatness in spite of her reluctance.
The first thing to note is that this is not a zero-to-hero story: despite not having participated in any tournaments, Yawara’s power level at the start of the show is well beyond even those of a typical rival character in a sports show. Rather amusingly, the show then proceeds to find a n00b rival who has to catch up to Yawara! You can even say that “Yawara!” is a sports show in name only: it takes about five episodes before we even see the protagonist participate in a proper fight. And while the matches are well animated and executed in their action sequences, they’re often over quickly, rarely dragging its feet across multiple episodes as sports anime are wont to do. To top it off, the protagonist doesn’t even like judo, and spends most of the series trying to get away from it.
So what do you call a sports anime that’s not very sporty? In the case of “Yawara!”, I’d probably call it a sitcom. Like all good sitcoms, “Yawara!” provides good entertainment value and comfortable viewing; its comedy brims with warmth and its characters quirk and charm. I find Yawara’s grandfather Jigoro to be especially amusing: a lot of the show’s running jokes involve him, such as his habit of inflating his judo rank and his tireless and shameless promotion of his book. What tickled me the most is how unexpectedly far the anime managed to take his habit of ending all his sentences in “ja”. Amusements aside, many characters of “Yawara!” are also infused with depth, with “Beanpole” in particular going through an incredible amount of development in the course of the show.
Unfortunately, the generally strong and endearing cast of characters only ends up highlighting Yawara herself as rather unlikable. Her constant rejection of judo is taken so far that the show can be teeth-clenchingly frustrating to watch. That said, it does end up providing a lot of food for thought: for the longest time, I couldn’t make up my mind whether the anime’s views about women are progressive or outdated. After all, not only does Yawara harbour no ambitions of becoming a champion, her own lofty dreams consists of going shopping, finding a boyfriend etc, and one of the reasons she rejects judo is because she thinks it makes her less feminine. Also, considering Japan isn’t exactly a shining beacon of progress when it comes to attitudes on women’s role in society, and it’s easy see “Yawara!” in a cynical light. On the other hand, the female characters of “Yawara!” tend to be more successful than their male counter parts, and it’s the men who are playing the supporting parts. For an anime to make this role reversal in the 80s – or arguably even now – it has to be making a pretty powerful feminist statement, right? Is Yawara’s lack of ambition perhaps meant as a critical reflection on a society that nurtures women to do nothing beyond dress prettily and start a family? Whatever the anime’s intentions, this is the aspect of “Yawara!” that fascinated me the most, and I find myself continuing to ponder back on it long after I finished the show.
“Yawara!” also has other aspects that sets it beyond a light-hearted sitcom. Not dragging out judo matches means that the show actually ends up covering a lot of ground in its characters’ lives over the course of its 100+ episode run. Yawara starts the the show in school, then goes to college, then ultimately graduates into the job market. Along the way, the anime takes its characters down surprisingly mature routes such as job hunting and parenthood. Judo may be the topic, but “Yawara” is at least as much about its characters’ hopes and fears, dreams and ambitions, and general lives. However, with so much development going on in so many areas, I was all the more frustrated with the fact that the only notable aspect of “Yawara!” that settles into the status quo is the main romance.
Don’t get me wrong: Yawara’s romance thread isn’t exactly bad, and there are even pockets of tenderness worthy of a great romance anime. The problem though, is that in the big picture, the main romance is locked in a boringly familiar dance of two step forward, one step back, then one step forward, two steps back, never quite going anywhere significant. This displays in stark contrast against other side characters’ love stories, which, like the general trend in “Yawara!”, go further and faster than what you would expect.
It’s a shame, really: the main strength of “Yawara!” is built on its quiet, thoughtful, delightful unconventionality. But the few aspects that remain conventional is what holds “Yawara!” back, and ultimately those are what end up preventing the show transcending from merely being very good to being great.
Personal rating: +1.5 (very good)
The Story talk about “Inokuma, Yawara” a 3rd-year high school girl, She has been practicing Judo since childhood with her grandfather. However, she never played a real judo match ever, so no one knows about her. Until one day a reporter called “Kousaku Matsuda” for the Daily Sports Newspaper discover her talent by accident, and he wants her to play judo and won a gold medal in the Olympics. In the other hand, Yawara does not like to judo, she wants to be a normal girl, having a normal friend’s normal job and most importantly normal love. So the story is about Yawara’s life between judo and having a normal girl life.
The anime aired at 1989, at that time this is the best you can get, however, we are in the present now so it pretty old, the animation is not amazing, however in few episodes you will get used to it, the girls’ characters are not that cute the guys are not so handsome. However, I have to give some credit to the amazing judo fight spatially for Yawara’s fights are so exciting and fun to watch.
The sounds are good, it is an ok sound for both voice acting and the music. The voice acting was done perfectly for the main characters and somewhat fine for the supporting characters. The music is all classics, and it fit the anime moment so much, the opening and the ending were ok, nothing is so amazing but it works.
Characters are the main strong point for this anime, all three main Characters “Inokuma, Yawara”, “Inokuma, Jigorou” and “Matsuda, Kousaku” are well developed throughout the series, Yawara changed a lot in the anime from an average teenage girl to a wonderful woman the you will feel so attached to her. And the way the main love interest in the anime developed was fantastic. When it comes to The supporting characters there are the really good ones that have a great development, and some bad annoying and useless ones.
The main enjoyment of this anime is not the judo but getting to know the characters and seeing their life throughout the series, yes it is a Slice of Life anime that focus on Yawara’s life and how every step she makes lead to a happy or sad outcome. The attachment to Yawara’s life, her school life her friend’s life, her love life is what makes this anime so fun to watch. So if you looking for a good slice of life anime with some romance Yawara is for you.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
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