They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Umi no Momotarou, Hinomaru Tarou: Musha Shugyou no Maki, Issunboushi: Chibisuke Monogatari, and more!
8: Umi no Momotarou
English: Momotaro’s Underwater Adventure
MAL Score: 4.73
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7: Hinomaru Tarou: Musha Shugyou no Maki
English: Taro’s Early Training Days
MAL Score: 4.85
The hero Taro attempts to rescue a kidnapped girl from a bandit. Short film from 1936.
Introduction was okay since we had a narrator.
There were some issues with plot choices. Like for example the reward sign. Was that being posted by the family or was that just to express the level of evil of the enemy?
Conclusion had a good sum as well as a clear indicator of the end.
simple black and white. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of flashes nor was the film extraordinarily bright. Some of the animation/drawn images looked a bit funny/off. Like for example the cow’s mid air jump pause and the straight forward view of the main character’s feet running towards the camera.
I don’t think the art did a good job at looking at all angels of each character. Especially the sidekicks or lessors. For example say i am coming toward you with a 3 foot bamboo stick and you have a dagger to defend yourself with. You will be treating like your weapon like a sword like me as apposed to a throwing javelin. How is it that i don’t always bonk you on the head first for i have the advantage of length?
While i appreciate the voice narrative it was unfortunately off key with the drawn lips of the characters about 50 percent of the time.
6: Issunboushi: Chibisuke Monogatari
English: Tiny Chibisuke’s Big Adventure
Japanese: 一寸法師 ちび助物語
MAL Score: 5.06
Dreaming of rising up in the world, Chibisuke the little bonze travels to the city, where he becomes a retainer to a Cabinet minister, who takes a liking to Chibisuke who dances for him in his palm. One day, Chibisuke is accompanying a princess to Shimizu when a mountain devil attacks her. Chibisuke makes numerous surprise attacks on the devil before finally overcoming him, and using a horn of plenty left behind by the devil, he ends up a strapping young man.
(Source: Digital Meme)
Introduction was nicely told through narration.
Conclusion made scene for it referred back to the introduction.
I was not please that their was little in terms of background on the main male character’s origin.
-black and white
-Not only was introduction art drawn nicely as in not too bright or too dark but had a nice symbolic affect. For when watches an anime they are really watching a visual story. Thus quite symbolical and a creative idea.
-There were some loops of recycled art. I can allow that to some regard for it does save time in showing certain moments of life that practically repeat them selves. Like a crow crowing. Not much is going to change from body or lip movement. So, why waste the time expressing slightly different body structure. Although, the recycling towards the end was unappreciated for it hinted at two different out looks at least. What i mean is there is a moment where time seems to have paused and did a quick rewind. That type of artwork is great for certain movies like groundhog day for the plot of time makes sense. But not here. In this case i would have recommended a slight cut of that particular scene to allow a smoother flow.
-artwork was cartoonist for certain characteristics of psychics were used that normally wouldn’t work in real life. Like for example the matches.
5: Maabou no Kinoshita Toukichirou
English: Mabo as Tokichiro Kinoshita
MAL Score: 5.09
A boy works hard to please his lord and gain advancement. Short film from 1938.
The link above is the animation. It has held up very well for a release date of almost 79 years.
Pros: Pretty good animation based off era it was produced.
Cons: Old animation style that i don’t really like and lip syncing was very off.
Tokichiro(translated name in the film) reminds me heavily of astro boy which is still another 14 years after this. A young boy meet a fortune teller who see great things in store for the boy, he warms his shoguns slippers using his body and after a mistake by the shogun he is praised by the shogun for his diligence, and after another shogun destroys one of his castles. Tokichiro volunteers to rebuild it in 3 days and they defeat the other shogun, The End. A very old style and like i said the lip sync is way off in places. Not my cup of tea but worth a watch for most. But only one play through.
English: The Bat
MAL Score: 5.47
Once upon a time, the birds and the beasts fought each other in a war. It was a terrible conflict, and the clever bats would side with the birds when the birds were looking victorious, and then they would become allies of the beasts when that side was winning battles. At last the war came to an end, the two parties reached an amicable settlement, and a great party of friendship was held. But when it came to the turn of the bats to perform in the program, their fence-straddling tactics were exposed, and everyone refused to associate with them. Since that time, the bats have been too ashamed to show their faces during the day, coming out only at night to flit silently around.
The animation is fantastic. One would only ponder over how such smooth animation with very less frame hiccups was possible for it’s time. I can only presume that it must’ve taken quite the number of pages to execute such an art style.
Writing is very well done. Perhaps intended for the younger audience, it still makes me giggle.
“I am Agent Wing-Speed”
The narrator didn’t lack on any front. Delivered with enthusiasm at every second. Here accent for the pig is absolutely adorable.
“Itchy There!” Says the pig as he’s being stabbed by a sword.
The question arises as the conflict proceeds. The cheeky bat, neither a mammal nor a bird. The show humorously compares him to different animals drawing similarities. A must watch if you’ve got the time to spare.
The focus on this short movie is placed upon the Bat; an Animal belonging to neither the beasts nor the birds. The story is simplistic, two factions are at war over an undisclosed reason; each side mercilessly killing the other for simply being different.
This Anime aired in 1930. The animation is ancient compared to today’s standards but its got a certain undefinable charm like most old Anime. The art, animation and voice work isn’t the reason for watching this short movie. The reason is to gain respect for older styles of animation and to glimpse back into the past at what Anime once was and enjoy it.
The story is average but entertaining. It’s a measly 10 minutes and worth watching if you want to hear an interesting tale about a Bat and a moral lesson in discrimination.
Nature is funny.For there is stuff we know and stuff we don’t. Since animals don’t really talk (excluding parrots and such) we can only find out information about them in time. One of the common mysteries some might have is on the concept of bats and how come they only come out during the night. While the animation does not provide a scientific basis behind their logic this anime took this bat mystery and provided a plausible outcome to some regard. Even if it is told in cartoonist form. As for the underlying message behind the story, life needs to be taken in paths. No one person’s journey should be on the borderline of paths. For how can you really understand a path you take unless you reach the end?
-black and white
– Some minor lip syncing flaws in the animation.
-crisp and clear. As in not too bright or dark.
Overall: A lot could be said about this animation and the content behind. While i mention what i thought to be the main context there is still a lot that is discreetly covered with different manners as well. For example if you replace the animals as characters for humans one might see the idea or issue we had with race in the past. I am not saying the anime has a negative tone it is more neutral than anything else.
3: Namakura Gatana
English: The Dull Sword
MAL Score: 5.52
Namakura Gatana, meaning “dull-edged sword,” is a two-minute comedy about a samurai who, thanks to his dull instrument, loses every time he attacks a weak opponent. In order to examine the sword, he tries to attack passers-by, but lower-class townspeople fight back and knock him down.
We are talking about history, Nakamura Gatana’s quality can’t be judged by todays standards, this standards didn’t even exist at the time. I wish this short had a 10 score and to see it’s a 4 is depressing, and tells a lot about the anime community in general. One would never find a review of a Chaplin movie with a 4 because “it looks ugly and has no sound”.
Hopefully trough this year, being the 100 anniversary, more people will find it’s historical beauty.
The animator literally drew every single frame by himself and put them together. It has elements of comedy and action and that is why I am giving this anime a 10/10.
I found the comedy to be particularly delightful. In the anime we see the ‘hero’ go to a swordsmith called “The Dull Sword” and it is implied that both the sword and it’s owner are very dull.
Thank you for creating arguably one of the best animation of your generation, becoming the one to lead the path to the great influence of anime has in the world, and eventually resulting to the creation of the best animus the world has witnessed, such as Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Girls und Panzer, Gochuumon wa usagi desu ka, Kiniro Mosaic, and Spongebob. It is very unfortunate to hear that you have passed away before being able to release ep. 2. But me being the optimistic person I am, have high hopes for season 2 that I believe will be made in collaboration with ufotable, madhouse, j.c. staff, and kyoani.
Love, TheBasedMaki <3 Story: 7/10 That aside, let's go straight to its story. So first off we can see in the video that this thug wanted to test his brand new sword, and the bald blind guy who was minding his own business was his first victim. But before he was even able to unsheathe his sword, the blind man already knew where he was standing. How? if you look closely, before the bald guy looked to where the samurai is, he moved his nose, why? because obviously he was smelling the air, like how a lion knows the smell of meat, he knew that the samurai was there because he knows the smell of a LOSER. And in record time used both of his feet to do the rare no look scorpion kick, directly hitting the samurai right in the chin and making him fly back to where he belong (Bravo, confirmed top 5 best anime fights). Take note, this guy who KO'd the samurai was BLIND, so automatically this makes him at a disadvantage right? (buu buu desu wa!) In fact it was an advantage for him. Because of what he did he wasn't able to see the sorry face the samurai was making after he kicked him. In the next scene the samurai used plan b, instead of attacking the person face to face, he'll ambush them in the forest, right in cue a guy was holding a stick or something and was travelling deep in the woods, but unlike the samurais first attack he was now able to draw his sword and swung it in amazing speed directly at the guy but because of his great misfortune and dullness of his sword, he misses and gets hit directly in the head. What an absolute wimp. After being humiliated by yet again another civilian, and receives some spicy insults as well such as; "you weaaboo, buying a japanese sword in the discount corner of walmart does not make you closer in being a shounen MC". Upon hearing this he picks up his sword, looks at every part of it with straight eyes, while saying, "You have done well my faithful servant, but I guess it's already time for us to part ways and pursue other paths that we can really showcase out true hidden potential, time did really fly from our first meeting but I cherished every second and minute of it... I won't forget you and I hope you do the same to me as well...." as a tear drops from the samurais eye, the screen turns black representing the sadness and loneliness he felt after that loss. Truly 1917's anime of the year and part of the top 10 saddest anime scenes. TL:DR Basically , a samurai bought a very dull sword from a thrift store. Because of its dullness even poor people and unarmed civilians aren't afraid of him, allowing them to go tekken on his weak ass, and making him considerably one of the weakest villain that I ever saw in an anime. Art 5/10 The art is mediocre at best considering the different high quality shows I've watched this past years, but we should also consider the available technology and materials they had during that time, for example how paper cut-outs are used for this anime. It's decent but don't expect too much from it, this ain't Hayao Miyazaki. Sound 1/10 Pure silence. But this could've been better if it was made with a Love Live song playing in the background, I'll pay. #2lit4me Overall 6/10 The show is obviously in the comedy genre based on the shows focus on the defeats and humiliation the samurai receives from the normal towns people. But personally, after finishing the whole 35 seconds of it I did not feel even the slightest bit of laughter to come out of my mouth, maybe because it's not funny enough or because slice of life and idol anime did something to my already shit anime taste (But do not let this distract you from the fact that Slice of Life if the best genre out there). But going back, the feeling of laughter did not really come to me while watching this, but instead a faint feeling of happiness did, why? without the creation of these century old animes like Katsudou Shashin in 1907 and this anime in 1917, we could've not been enjoying the adrenaline pumping shows we see now such as Girls Und Panzer and Kancolle, and the sweet company of our waifus during the cold lonely rainy days. From all the good things that came with it, it also has its own share of bad things, somehow for some reason this anime also sprouted to the creation of anime containing tentacle monsters sexually harassing little girls and titles such as Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai and Haganai (truly disgraceful). Summing it up, it's an average anime really, but thinking about the massive influence this anime did not only in becoming the foundation of the show we see nowadays but also to the nation's culture as well deserves a round of applause. ...but what do I know I'm just Love Live trash. [/collapse]
2: Afro Samurai: Resurrection
English: Afro Samurai: Resurrection
Japanese: アフロサムライ Resurrection
MAL Score: 7.35
After obtaining the Number One headband, which proclaims him to be the best of all warriors, Afro spends most of his days in peace, though his nightmare-filled nights are not so tranquil. His life crescendos into chaos once again when Jinno and Sio, his former friends from long ago, take the headband from him, as well as the remains of his father. Challenged by Sio to don the Number Two headband again and exact revenge on them for their actions, Afro embarks on another journey as the wearer of said headband—an item for which anyone would kill him.
Afro Samurai: Resurrection follows Afro as he fights a second series of battles against all manner of foes, wading through the sea of corpses in his wake so that he may once again quench his never-ending thirst for revenge.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]When i first saw Afro Samurai back in 2008 I was amazed, to be honest I didn’t think a concept like this would work out in the way it did. I mean here you have a black samurai, in an anime, with hip-hop music, unless we’re talking Samurai Champloo this shouldn’t work. But I really liked Afro Samurai, I thought it was sick and it only increased my respect for Samuel L. Jackson, so when I found out that there was going to be a sequel to the series I was over the moon… However little did I know that this sequel would end up like this.
Afro Samurai: Resurrection takes place after the events of the original series with Afro finding peace in the mountains after killing countless people because of his number 1 headband. It seems that after being on this road for so long, Afro seems to be losing his way and it is at this point when Afro is attacked by his old friend/nemesis Jinno and a mysterious female warrior named Sio, who wishes to have the head of the famous number one warrior because of the death of the people he has killed. And that my friends are basic elements of this story for this film and to be honest it sucks. The best thing about Afro Samurai was its originality and I know it’s hard to follow up good material with sequels, but it seems like Resurrection really lost its ‘cool’ factor here, the story is basic at best and the new characters involved are just ridiculous and for some reason you want to kill Ninja Ninja in this anime. I’m happy to report that the animation and art style is still sick and beautiful and while the music hasn’t got the flair of the original it’s still pretty nice.
Overall Afro Samurai: Resurrection really wasn’t the sequel that people wanted, the story is unoriginal and the main female antagonist feels far too simple along with all other new characters. The animation and music however are still pretty good and while it’s still watchable one can’t help but feel sad for the way this turned out and hope that the third installment rectifies this anime’s mistake.
“Afro Samurai 2: the Absurdity Continues”. Honestly that would have been a better title than the insanely overused title “Resurrection”. However, this is the kind of anime where they probably intentionally used a cliche title to pay homage to early, terrible anime like the infamous “Ninja Resurrection”. Afro Samurai is NOT an anime that you are supposed to take seriously! It is basically like Kill Bill the anime…or more accurately Kill Bill the 100% anime since Kill Bill Volume 1 was partly done in anime format.
Story and Characters-
The story begins where the last movie left off. Afro finally got revenge and claimed the title of World #1 swordsman. However, the #1 headband in addition to granting godlike power and immortality also consumes the sanity and soul of the wearer. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 . This quote isn’t actually used in this movie, but since Samuel L Jackson is the main character, I feel randomly quoting scripture is appropriate here. Afro is doggedly pursued by several characters who all want revenge on him for killing their friends and family members in pursuit of his own vengeance. The primary message of the movie is that revenge only begets more revenge. That was also going to be the main plot and theme of Kill Bill 3, but unfortunately that movie will never be made now. Since Samuel L Jackson was the executive producer of this anime and close friends with Tarantino , I wonder if he wanted to make this as a sort of spiritual heir to Kill Bill 3? The people who want revenge on Afro decide to create an absolutely ridiculous plan to resurrect Afro’s father, just to torture him and piss off Afro. Since his father was the only person Afro ever cared about, they figure that the only way to really hurt Afro emotionally is to bring him back and kill him again! Seriously! That’s the fucking plot in this movie! The antagonists hilariously succeed, only to get killed by an insane cyborg version of Afro’s father. Afro then must put his own father back to rest, and continue his journey of wandering. Afro never really learns anything or pays for his sins committed in pursuit of revenge, so the theme is rather undermined. The movie ends with a bullshit cliffhanger and a teaser for a sequel that now probably will never be made.
The soundtrack is once again performed by RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan. If you love those guys, you will love this soundtrack. If you aren’t a fan of the Wu-Tang…you will obviously hate this soundtrack. Personally, I rather like the Wu-Tang Clan. Wu-Tang Clan AINT NOTHIN TO FUCK WIT!
The animation is smooth and gorgeous. It is easily the highlight of the entire anime. The fights look spectacular and are just fun as HELL to watch!
If you liked the first Afro Samurai, you will like this one. It has the same awesome fight scenes, beautiful animation, and pulse pounding hip hop soundtrack. Is it a deep, philosophical masterpiece? Hell no! Is the writing and dialogue Shakespearean? Of course not! Is is a fun action series if you feel like rotting your brain for 2 hours? HELL YEAH! I recommend Afro Samurai 2 to anyone who loves mindless action with LOTS of gore and hip hop!
This OVA begins some time after the original series of AfroSamurai where Afro is tired, sick of all the fighting knowing that it is an endless cycle. “Kill or be killed, there is no option”. We see Afro in a little hut, accompanied only by a Buddha statue and multiple wooden figurines. Peaceful, but lonely.
So, when Jinno appears on a motorcycle and drags Afro by his hair through the tundra, it is appalling. In the previous installment one takes Jinno to be slayed, but he has returned along with is sister Sio who vouches revenge on Afro for making her family, and herself, suffer. For killing mercilessly. To do this Sio takes Afro’s father’s skull and disappears, promising to make Afro tremble by brutally tormenting his father and himself. However, before departing, she takes up Afro’s number one headband and sends him on a journey to recover the second.
The art was similar to the previous episodes, this time portraying Afro as a war-stricken man who seems to have gone through many tumultuous events. The lighting is spectacular, giving you a feel for the scenery and making significant symbols jump as they are supposed to and details are down to a tee. The viewer is never disappointed, the gore assimilating perfectly with every slash and vengeful strike. The sound and music fit the anime down just right. However, it is rather difficult to discern some words that are spoken and takes you a good minute after rewinding the anime to figure out what was said.
Some of the characters, like Afro and his imaginary pal are just as awe inspiring as the previous anime. There is substantial character development but some, like Sio, will end up pissing you off in the end. Sio may look ample and plumped up, but her vendetta ends up driving her up the wall. Over and over again she speaks of revenge for the pain Afro caused and it gets really tiring after a while. After an hour into it, honestly, I just wanted to smack the bitch.
More characters are presented into the story and reveals a little more into Afro’s past.
My enjoyment and overall score would have to be rated a 7. There were times when I just wanted the OVA to end, and there were times when I was anticipating what would happen next. The plot is good but a little used up. Certain things will surprise you, especially the events that happen near the end of the animation. I was rather disappointed by the way the mangaka presented the anime in this sequel, but, all in all, it is not bad to watch.
1: Afro Samurai Movie
English: Afro Samurai the Movie
Japanese: AFRO SAMURAI 劇場版
MAL Score: 7.54
A movie adaptation of the TV series.
It took me many, many tries to actually sit and watch this movie because of the art style. The chiseled faces and almost comic book style characters are incredibly unappealing to me. The action scenes were well animated and flowed well, offering interesting viewing angles. The majority of the movie is in either grey or sepia tones, which make the crimson blood more prominent. The color scheme complimented the dark mood of the movie.
The soundtrack was produced by RZA of the Wu Tang Clan and is primarily R&B and hip-hop. I am personally not a fan of those genres, but the music did portray the mood and gave the movie a more futurist vibe. Samuel L. Jackson gave voice to Afro. Unfortunately throughout the movie Afro only muttered a handful of lines. I was surprised to read he also dubbed Ninja Ninja. Jackson’s legendary bravado is truly lost on that character.
Afro is a very flat, monosyllabic character. You only learn about his personal motivations through his flashbacks and interaction with Ninja Ninja. Ninja Ninja serves as his conscience, often pleading with him not to fight. As shallow as the character development is, the script has a lot of unexpected depth. Through the flashbacks and chance encounters, the viewer really gets a feel for the burden Afro is carrying by following the path of revenge. The quote by the antagonist “Do you think it is coincidence you don’t have a father, friend or master?” summed up the movie in my eyes.
This movie has a lot to offer a broad audience. It will appease those looking for a trendy score and flashy action, but it also has unforeseen complexity.
The Art: Dark and Bloody would be strong ways to describe the movie with animation quality being second to none.
The Sound: Nailed in every facet down to the slashing of body parts or the lines delivered by the cast in the english dubbing. No corners were cut when it came to this area as it offers some of the best sounding and acted works in a long time.
Personally, This movie was fantastic as it fulfills the expectations of Action and gore fans to the utmost. Encapsulated in a gripping tale of strength and will it will leave you will that “Fuck Yea” feeling while maintaining a killer pace from the word GO! to the very end.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Afro Samurai Movie
2. Afro Samurai: Resurrection
3. Namakura Gatana
5. Maabou no Kinoshita Toukichirou
6. Issunboushi: Chibisuke Monogatari
7. Hinomaru Tarou: Musha Shugyou no Maki
8. Umi no Momotarou