Want to see
Area 88 (TV)
Aria - The Natural (TV)
Aria the Animation (TV)
Aria the Origination (TV)
Aria the OVA ~Arietta~
Banner of the Stars III (OAV)
Battle Angel (OAV)
Be Forever Yamato (movie)
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King (movie)
Boogiepop and Others (live-action movie)
CANAAN (TV)
Cat Soup (OAV)
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (movie)
Cross Game (TV)
Death Note Relight - Visions of a God (special)
Demon City Shinjuku (OAV)
Eden of the East: Paradise Lost (movie)
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (movie)
Egao (special)
Fafner (TV)
Fantastic Children (TV)
Farewell Space Battleship Yamato (movie)
Fate/Zero (TV)
Fate/Zero (TV 2)
Fighting Spirit (TV)
Final Yamato (movie)
(The) Five Star Stories (movie)
Ga-Ra-Ku-Ta: Mr. Stain on Junk Alley (TV)
(The) Galaxy Railways (TV)
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (TV)
.hack//GIFT (OAV)
.hack//Liminality (OAV)
Honey and Clover (TV)
Honey and Clover II (TV)
Hunter X Hunter (OAV)
Hunter X Hunter: G I Final (OAV)
Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island (OAV)
Karas (OAV)
Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World (movie)
Kurenai (TV)
L/R: Licensed by Royalty (TV)
Last Order Final Fantasy VII (OAV)
Magic User's Club (TV)
Magic User's Club (OAV)
Mahoromatic: Summer Special
Maria Watches Over Us (TV)
Maria Watches Over Us Season 2: Printemps (TV)
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV)
Memories (movie)
Natsume's Book of Friends (TV 2)
Natsume's Book of Friends (TV 3)
Natsume's Book of Friends (TV 4)
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (movie)
Night on the Galactic Railroad (movie)
Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ (movie)
Polyphonica (TV)
Pom Poko (movie)
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (movie)
(Le) Portrait de Petite Cossette (OAV)
Princess Resurrection (TV)
Redline (movie)
Ristorante Paradiso (TV)
Rumbling Hearts (TV)
SaiKano: Another Love Song (OAV)
Silent Möbius (movie)
(The) Sky Crawlers (movie)
Space Battleship Yamato (movie)
Space Battleship Yamato [2010] (live-action movie)
Space Battleship Yamato: The New Voyage (movie)
Speed Racer (US live-action movie)
Summer Wars (movie)
(The) Super Dimension Century Orguss (TV)
Super GALS (TV)
Taisho Baseball Girls (TV)
Tekkonkinkreet (movie)
Tenchi Muyo Movie 2: Daughter of Darkness
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki (OAV 3/2003)
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki: Final Confrontations (OAV)
A Tree of Palme (movie)
Vexille - 2077 Isolation of Japan (movie)
(The) Weathering Continent (movie)
When They Cry - Higurashi (TV)
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou: Quiet Country Cafe (OAV)

Seen some Rating
Allison & Lillia (TV)
Black Jack (OAV)
Blast of Tempest (TV)
Bleach (TV)
Burst Angel (TV)
RightStuf sent me a nice little Funimation sampler disc with one of my orders that included episode 2 of Burst Angel. Based off that one episode, and comments I have seen about the show, I don't think I'll be going out of my way to watch the rest. I didn't look awful, however, so I'm not quite ready to list it in the "will not finish" category.
Cardcaptor Sakura (TV)
I had this in my "will not finish" category, but was convinced that giving up on it would be a mistake. ;-)
Chihayafuru 2 (TV)
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (TV)
Diamond Daydreams (TV)
Fractale (TV)
Ghost Slayers Ayashi (TV)
Hell Girl (TV)
Hunter X Hunter (TV)
I would never have given this series a second thought, but a couple of former ANN forum regulars who I respect had several times spoken of it in glowing terms. I have now seen the first few episodes of Hunter x Hunter and enjoyed them. Now that's it's licensed I just need to find the time to watch all of it!
InuYasha: The Final Act (TV)
Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing (TV)
Lost Universe (TV)
Mangirl! (TV)
MÄR (TV)
CN seems to have dropped this show so I don't know if I'll ever finish it. It looks like a fun show, but probably not something I would want to buy. I was, however, interested enough to follow it on TV while it was on.
Marine Boy (TV)
Along with Speed Racer, the first anime I ever saw although I had no idea at the time it was even from Japan let alone what anime was.
Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit (TV)
Naruto Shippūden (TV)
Natsume's Book of Friends (TV)
Patlabor the Mobile Police (TV)
Samurai 7 (TV)
Senyū. (TV)
Shootfighter Tekken (OAV) Bad
I only saw the first episode of this, but it was just plain bad. Its only redeeming quality was that it was cheesy enough to be kind of amusing to watch. I should probably move it to my "will not finish" category, but if it ever turned up on TV on a rainy weekend afternoon I might give it a watch just for a few laughs.
Speed Racer (TV) Decent
Along with Marine Boy, the first anime I ever saw although I had no idea at the time it was even from Japan let alone what anime was.
Texhnolyze (TV)
Toward the Terra (TV)
I saw one episode of this when I was on vacation in Japan and I happened to catch it on TV. My Japanese is pretty limited, so I didn't get much out of it.
Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (TV) Decent
I've seen all but a handful of episodes. When Cartoon Network moved it from its Saturday night time slot to 5 am Saturday morning I missed several episodes before I realized it was still being aired and started taping it again. Now that I have the whole series on blu-ray though, I'll definitely finish it someday. I just have to find the time to rewatch it.
Yugo the Negotiator (TV)
Zatch Bell (TV)
For some inexplicable reason, I was enjoying following this show as it aired on CN. I shouldn’t like it so much. The animation quality is not that great, the plot is predictable and has been done much better in other shows, and some of the episodes are just plain weird (not in a good way). It looks like CN has abandoned it now, though, so I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to finish it. It's not the kind of thing I would likely ever want to own so it's unlikely I will be picking up the DVDs.

Sorry I don't have comments on every title. I keep working on my list, so hopefully I'll get around to everything eventually. I'm trying really hard to make sure I comment on everything that I add to the list from now on. On some of these titles I saw them so long ago that I would need to re-watch them before I could comment, so getting the whole list completed will probably take a while!

Seen all Rating
5 Centimeters per Second (movie) Excellent
A-Ko the Versus (OAV) Bad
I watched this on AZN TV. Their website had a synopsis for, and had it listed as Project A-Ko, which I was curious to see having heard a bit about it, but it turned out to be this instead. Not having seen any of the OAVs from the main storyline, starting with an “alternate version” story may not have been the best introduction. On it’s own, this OAV is pretty bad. The plot is unoriginal, poorly thought out, and is full of holes. It can’t seem to decide if it wants to be serious or funny, and doesn’t succeed at either. I’m glad I didn’t waste money renting or buying it, but I’m not even sure it was worth the 2 hour investment of my time.
Afro Samurai (TV) So-so
Afro Samurai is a case of style over substance. There just isn't enough story there beyond the basic premise to make it very interesting. Considering the lack of in depth story telling and character development, to make this a great show it would have had to be something special in terms of animation or music or acting. It wasn't. Despite involvement by some well known actors, the voice acting (I have only seen the dub) was nothing special. The animation was OK, but didn't stand out over any number of other series. The music was mostly forgettable. Given all the hype surrounding it, Afro Samurai turned out to be quite a disappointment.
Ah! My Goddess: The Movie Good
Ai Yori Aoshi (TV) Decent
I had a hard time getting into this series. I think a big part of my problem was that at first I just didn't like Aoi. Someone that seemingly lives their entire life chasing after the dream of marriage to a man they don't even know as an adult, learning to be a housewife to the exclusion of any other personal desire or possibility, was almost creepy to me. The fact that Kaoru more or less takes things in stride when this woman shows up and announces that she's going to be his wife also seemed unbelievable to me. Maybe I'm too much of a cynic. Over time, however, as they actually develop a relationship based on getting to know each other instead of Aoi's fantasy of who Kaoru is supposed to be and his apparent acceptance of that fantasy, the show started to grow on me. The great supporting cast also helps a lot. I like that Kaoru, while he tends to be a complete pushover when it comes to Aoi, has a lot of character, has a good sense of who he is, and is willing to stick up for what he believes in. Aoi also proves to be so sweet that it's hard not to like her even though I still have to wonder about someone who so totally defines her existence based on another person. In the end, I enjoyed the series quite a bit but not enough to rate it among the very best shows out there.
Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~ (TV) So-so
Akira (movie) Very good
The first anime I saw that I actually realized was anime. It’s not my favorite, but it is a classic, and one of the reasons anime has made it out of Japan and become so popular around the world. This is the only anime I ever purchased on VHS, although now I also own it on DVD.
All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku (OAV) So-so
And Yet the Town Moves (TV) Good
Angel Links (TV) Decent
Angel Sanctuary (OAV) Bad
Angelic Layer (TV) Very good
An atypical shounen style anime, some people may be put off by the cute character designs and the premise of battling dolls. To skip this title because of those first impressions would be a mistake. Under the adorable, brightly colored world, middle school aged protagonists, and the tournament style fights between little dolls is a solid story with vibrant characters that deals with themes of friendship, family, self confidence, and what true strength really means. If you are looking for an angst ridden and dark story this is not it. Angelic Layer manages to keep an upbeat, positive feel throughout the series without becoming too syrupy sweet. Good, mostly consistent pacing and really likable characters make this a series that's fun to watch.
Animation Runner Kuromi (OAV) Good
Cute and funny and an interesting, although I’m not sure how accurate, look behind the scenes of the anime world. Perfect when you want something light and fun to watch.
Animation Runner Kuromi 2 (OAV) Decent
Pretty much more of the same as the first OAV, although I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first one. I’m not sure Kuromi is the kind of thing you can successfully turn into a series, but it was fun to revisit Studio Petit for a while.
(The) Animatrix (OAV) Decent
It's hard to rate this overall since the individual pieces are so different in terms of production values, style, and story. Overall I'd say it's decent and I'll give individual ratings to the various parts under their own titles. I suppose if I were a huge fan of the whole Matrix world maybe I'd rate it a bit higher but while I very much like the first movie the follow up films didn't impress me nearly as much. These stories are interesting, but other than their attachment to the Matrix they are nothing terribly special.
Appleseed (movie) So-so
Arcadia of My Youth (movie) Not really good
I enjoyed this, but I think it would be of a lot more interest to someone who is already familiar with the whole Captain Harlock universe. I sort of know who some of the Harlock characters are so it was interesting to see them in this origin story, but I don't have the kind of emotional attachment to them that a fan of Harlock would so much of the impact of this movie was lost on me. Despite the fact that this is the story of how Harlock and his crew come together for the first time, I don't really think it's a great introduction to the Captain Harlock world. In the end, it wasn't a waste of time but unless you already have an interest in these characters I don't think I'd recommend going out of the way to see it.
Area 88 (OAV) Good
I started watching anime pretty late in the game, not becoming a serious fan until the 2000s, so I missed out on a lot of the really good older stuff. I didn't have much in the way of expectations going in to the Area 88 OAV, and I ended up being very pleasantly surprised. The premise of the story struck me at first as being pretty ridiculous. A guy basically gets conned into joining a foreign legion force of pilots against his will, and is unable to leave their service until he fulfills the requirements of the contract he has been tricked into signing. I guess the folks that run Area 88 have enough respect for contract law to hold that agreement binding but don't care much about the fact that it was signed under duress. Once you get past this one silly plot device, however, the show is really quite good. The animation is very nice and has held up well over the years. The dogfight scenes are fantastic. No speed lines in the background or other typical action anime shortcuts are to be found. The story is a bit on the cheesy side, but it twists and turns enough to keep from being completely predictable and overall it's a fun ride. It's always nice to find something to watch that turns out to be better than you thought it would be, and in my case at least Area 88 ended up being exactly that.
Armitage III (OAV) Good
Armitage III: Poly-Matrix (movie) Decent
Unless you just have to hear Kiefer Sutherland as Ross Sylibus I recommend the OAV over this edited together version of the story.
Armitage: Dual-Matrix (movie) Decent
Avenger (TV) Bad
Ugh. I often buy DVDs online based on reviews I have read. I usually avoid anything that gets mediocre or worse reviews from more than one or two sources, but I found this entire series really cheap. “An entire 13 episode series for under $20 – how bad could it be,” I thought to myself. This process usually works out all right, but inevitably I end up with a clinker from time to time. Avenger looked somewhat promising on the outside, but now I know why it was so cheap to buy. Slow pacing is not something I would normally mind. Series like Kino's Journey and Haibane Renmei are among my very favorites, and if a story needs time to develop and say what it needs to say, then that's fine with me. But this show is both bad and slow. There's no substance to speak of at all. There are a lot of panning shots of the character's eyes (for dramatic effect, I guess), characters making important and dramatic sounding statements that don't really mean anything, and the main story for the first 10 episodes or so involves a lot of walking around from place to place for no apparent reason and not much else. I couldn’t find anything particularly likeable or interesting about any of the characters, so it was hard to really care about them. The ending is totally predictable and unoriginal, and really by the time I got to it I was just glad that the series was over. To add insult to injury, it came in a big metal box that doesn’t fit well on my DVD shelves.
Azumanga Daioh (TV) Masterpiece
One of my personal favorites. This series is just plain fun. Comedy anime can be pretty hit or miss for me, but I was laughing out loud a lot while watching Azumanga Daioh. There is no big overarching plot, but the format of following the girls through their 3 years of high school and all the goofy things that happen to them works well. I very much liked the main characters as each one was well developed and all got their moment in the spotlight throughout the course of the series, while the supporting cast also added variety and some great gags. As someone who loved his time in high school, the ending of this series really got to me too. It captured very well the frantic rush to graduation and everything that goes with it -- preparation for college, celebrations with friends, finals, and the bittersweet realization that while finishing high school is a great accomplishment it also means the end of a wonderful time in life where you get to spend every day with friends and don't have all the worries of the adult world pressing in quite yet.
Azumanga Daioh - The Very Short Movie So-so
An interesting extra to the Azumanga Daioh series, but probably not of much interest by itself. The slightly different character designs were fun to see, but everyone just seemed like a hollow shadow of their series counterparts. It does make you realize that without the character development of the show, the gags would not be nearly as much fun.
Baccano! (TV) Good
Banner of the Stars (TV) Very good
After spending some time apart, Lafiel and Jinto are together again and are now entering the war against the United Mankind on their own ship. Banner takes place 3 years after the end of Crest of the Stars but it feels like you haven't missed anything at all as the story picks right back up. This series focuses a bit more on the events of the war and the operation the Basroil is involved in than on the relationships between characters, but the true story here is still the story of Jinto and Lafiel. Part of the feel of consistency between this series and Crest is no doubt due to the very similar production values between the two. The animation and even the musical score is much the same as in the first series, but they were very good in the first series so that's not a bad thing at all. I really do enjoy this series, but just a tad bit less than I enjoyed Crest.
Banner of the Stars II (TV) Good
I really enjoy the whole Crest of the Stars franchise and this series is no exception. I didn't like it quite as much as the first two series, however. To me, the true strength of Crest and Banner is the story of the growing relationship between Jinto and Lafiel. In Banner II that relationship takes a bit of a back seat to the events of the main story. Aside from plot concerns, this series appears to have a slight improvement in the quality of animation over the first two but other than that is much the same, which is to say very good. Only the fact that Lafiel and Jinto spend so much time apart in this series leads me to rate it a little bit lower.
Basilisk (TV) Very good
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (TV) Very good
Berserk (TV) Good
Unfortunately, the most prominent feature of Berserk is its finale. Worst. Ending. Ever. There are shows with awful non-endings. The original run of Inuyasha and His and Her Circumstances come to mind. There are shows that just have terrible endings, like Gilgamesh and Mahoromatic. All of those were anime that I enjoyed a lot but was severely let down by how they ended. Berserk takes it to a whole new level. Not only is the ending horribly incomplete, it's also a lousy way to end a series. Inevitably when talking about the ending to Berserk someone is going to say "oh, you just need to read the manga!" I think that an anime should be able to stand on its own merits. I shouldn't have to read the manga. The anime should be a complete, self contained work. Now, given these comments you might think that I hated the show. I didn't. The rest of Berserk, right up to the end, is fantastic. It has a rich story, with interesting and well developed characters. The characters grow and change as the story progresses. Over time their physical appearances even change, which is something relatively rare in anime. The animation is gritty and dated and could certainly be a minus for a lot of people, but I thought that it suited the story very well. I can't imagine Berserk with a shiny, colorful, modern animation style. The music, though sparse, fits the series very well also, and while I don't think I would want to sit down and listen to the soundtrack on its own, it works within the context of the show. Overall, this was a series that I enjoyed and even with the awful ending I don't regret spending the time watching it. Still, the end takes away a lot. I probably would have rated it "excellent" with even a halfway decent end to the series, but I can't give it more than a "good" rating the way it is.
Beyond (OAV) Good
(The) Big O (TV) So-so
Black Jack The Movie So-so
I've seen a few episodes of the Black Jack OAV and for the most part it's fairly enjoyable. The movie is similar to the several episodes of the OAV I have seen but it seems to be lacking something in comparison. The OAV episodes have a certain style to them that didn't carry over to the movie. It's very hard for me to explain but in the end I think I like the more personal stories of the OAV episodes I saw in comparison the more adventure oriented, big conspiracy storyline of the movie.
Black Lagoon (TV) Very good
Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (TV) Very good
Blood+ (TV) Decent
I watched this series as it aired on TV. I liked the premise of the story and the animation, voice acting (on the English dub), and especially the music were top notch but this is a 50 episode series that definitely did not need 50 episodes to tell the story it tells. It bogs down quite a bit in the middle, and as I watched it from week to week I found that I had very little enthusiasm for each new airing. Even so, I kept with it and was rewarded by a predictable but satisfying ending to what I would say is an entertaining show, but not something I have much desire to watch again.
Blood: The Last Vampire (movie) Decent
I think this movie could be a bit confusing since it's so short and does not do a good job of explaining what is going on. I saw it after seeing quite a bit of the Blood+ TV show though, so having seen the TV series I had the background so that I wasn't lost during the movie. As a stand alone movie I'm not sure how enjoyable it would be. You don't get a good sense of why things are happening except that Saya is fighting monsters. It does a nice job with the action, and the movie also does well at creating the right atmosphere for the story it's telling even though the telling of that story feels so incomplete. The animation is very nice, although I thought the character designs were kind of ugly. I think that although it was made long before the TV series, that this would be enjoyed more by someone who has seen at least some of that later TV series before seeing this movie.
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan (TV) So-so
At only 8 half length episodes you wouldn't think Dokuoro-chan would have time to get repetitive, but really after you have seen the first two episodes there's not much reason to keep watching. As long as you have a bit of a dark sense of humor and a tolerance for a story that's just plain wrong you will get some laughs to begin with. At first, it's kind of fun to watch the nice animation, be amused by how many different mortal injuries Dokuro can inflict on poor hapless Sakura, and watch her catchy little magic spell that brings him back to life, but episode after episode it's just more of the same. The story doesn't really go anywhere since it's only a vehicle for Dokuro fanservice, lots of bloody violence, and (literally) toilet humor. Unless you are just super curious to see the variety of bodily damage that can be done to Sakura, I'm not sure that this series is worth more than a brief glance. At the very least, it's not something you would want to sit down and watch all at one time.
Blue Seed (TV) So-so
Blue Seed Beyond (OAV) So-so
Blue Submarine No.6 (OAV) Good
Boku no Imōto wa "Ōsaka Okan" (TV) Bad
Boogiepop Phantom (TV) Good
Castle in the Sky (movie) Very good
(Le) Chevalier D'Eon (TV) Decent
Chihayafuru (TV) Very good
Chrono Crusade (TV) Good
Clannad (TV) Decent
Clannad After Story (TV) So-so
Claymore (TV) Very good
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV) Decent
As much as I wanted to, I was never able to really get into this show. Normally I would enjoy this type of series, but Geass just never clicked with me. I'm not sure if it was because none of the characters seemed that likable or interesting, if it was because the story always seemed so over the top, or because I watched it on [adult swim] and having to suffer through their schedule changes, preemptions, and poor audio and video quality sucked some of the enjoyment away. I can't help but think this is the type of show that would be a lot better if you could watch it in blocks instead of on a weekly schedule. While I don't think I'd want to buy it, I may rent this at some point so I can rewatch it on DVD and see if I like it better without all the disadvantages of being at the mercy of Cartoon Network's shoddy handling of anime.
Comedy (OAV) Very good
Cowboy Bebop (TV) Masterpiece (dub & sub)
One of my personal favorites. I'm not sure what I can say about Bebop that hasn't been said 100 times already by 100 other people, but I'll just mention why it's one of my very favorite anime. With "Bebop" in the title, you would expect great attention to be given to the music, and that is certainly the case. Yoko Kanno's soundtrack is varied in style but consistent in its high quality. I loved it so much that I actually imported the special 4 CD complete soundtrack boxset from Japan. It ended up costing me more than the anime series did, and is still the most expensive CD set I have ever purchased but it was worth it. I don't normally like a highly episodic series like this as much as I like series that have a continuous storyline developed over the course of their entire run. But Bebop is just so well done and the individual stories are so good that I didn't really mind the format in this case. One thing that I thought was interesting was that during the course of my first viewing of the series I didn't think I had developed a very strong sense of attachment to any of the characters until the last four episodes when I found that pretty much without my realizing it they had woven such complete and compelling backstories that I was fully hooked in and hanging on every moment to see what was going to happen. I love the fact that although the show is mostly episodic that little by little, here and there, they found a way to fully flesh out Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed so that you care very strongly what happens to all of them at the end. The stories that dealt directly with with character development and backgrounds were also among the strongest of the series. I think my very favorite episodes are the two part Jupiter Jazz story that is the midpoint of the series. Of course, no comment on Bebop would be complete without mentioning the ending. All I will say about it is that I thought it was perfectly suited to the story and that the actual execution of the final three episodes are as near to the perfect example of how to wrap up an anime series as you are likely to find.
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Very good
Crest of the Stars (TV) Excellent
One of my personal favorites. Though it is set against the backdrop of a great space opera with entire civilizations beginning to move against each other in a war that will envelop all of humanity, Crest of the Stars is really about the developing relationship between its main characters Jinto and Lafiel, and this is where the series really shines. Jinto has been caught up in events beyond his control his whole life, first as his planet is invaded by the Abh and through no doing of his own he ends up as a member of the Abh nobility, and later as his responsibilities as a member of that class dictate his path in life. Lafiel also as an imperial princess has little control over her own path. Both of them find that people tend to judge them and deal with them because of what they are much more than who they are, and in this common bond begins a friendship that continues to develop throughout the series as they learn about each other and the very different cultures from which they come. Though Crest uses a science fiction setting and the story involves grand political and military schemes, it is at its heart the story of two young people swept up in these events and how they come to rely on each other to get by. I think the story could have worked in almost any setting but the fully realized world of the Abh really adds depth to the atmosphere of the tale and helps to make just a good anime into an excellent one.

As a side note, I have also read the Crest of the Stars novels, and the anime is a very faithful adaptation of the novels. Given the complexity of the world created by the author I do wonder how much is lost or changed in translation to English, but in any event if you enjoyed the anime the novels are worth checking out (or vice versa).
Cromartie High School (TV) Good
My luck with comedy anime has been pretty hit or miss. A lot of things that other people just seem to love like Excel Saga or Elf Princess Rane were not very enjoyable for me. On the other hand Azumanga Daioh is one of my favorite anime. Going into Cromartie I wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard various things about it and was a little bit concerned that it was going to be similar to the pointless and not very funny randomness that is Excel Saga. I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It is pretty random sometimes, but without the annoying hyperactivity and completely over the top antics of Excel. Cromartie High School has a much more deadpan brand of random humor which appealed a lot more to my sense of humor. The assortment of crazy characters also helps to make the series a lot of fun as you get to follow them around while they do all manner of oddball things. There's not much of a story going on in Cromartie, but in this case the anime doesn't really need it. It reminds me of a good sit-com where you just watch to see the antics of the characters and don't worry too much if what they do from episode to episode has any consistency or continuity. I wouldn't say that Cromartie High School is anything terribly special, but it sure is a lot of fun.
Cromartie High: The Movie (live-action) Bad
I liked the Cromartie anime so I had high hopes for this movie. It was a big disappointment. A lot of the running gags that work out over the course of a whole anime series don't translate well to the live version, and some of the really fun stuff from the anime was just stupid cheesy in the movie. In addition to these problems, a lot of the film is downright boring. I couldn't recommend this movie to anyone, neither fans of the anime since it's such a let down nor people who have no prior exposure to Cromartie since it's just not a good movie.
Darker than Black (TV) Good
Dead Leaves (OAV) Bad
I didn't like Dead Leaves much at all. It seemed to me like it was trying to be violent and random and over the top just for the sake of being those things and not because doing so was the best way to present the story. Not everything I watch needs to be Kino's Journey or Mushishi, and sometimes I enjoy things that are mostly action even if they are light on story, but Dead Leaves just plain isn't any good. The animation did nothing for me, the story wanted to be weird and random but wasn't anything special, and while some of the gags were mildly amusing it wasn't ever all that funny. There are certainly better things to spend time watching than this.
Death Note (live-action movie) Very good
I watched this both in English and in Japanese. I really liked the dub of the Death Note anime, so it was fun to hear the English anime voices again in the live action movie, but it gave the whole thing an even more campy feel than it already has. I thought it flowed a lot better in Japanese. One thing that stood out watching dubbed was that the actors' facial expressions were often mismatched with the dub dialogue. Aside from language considerations, I thought the movie did a nice job telling the Death Note story. Unlike the anime, there's no time to get too far side tracked in a single movie, and although this is only half the story it still keeps moving forward at a good pace. There's no way to get in the depth of the anime, but I think it covers all the bases it needs to cover without too much unnecessary stuff thrown in. I really enjoyed it -- maybe more so than the anime, which while I thought was brilliant at times was also seriously flawed in places. I can't wait to see the second movie. Oh, and one more thing. The CG Ryuk looks awful but I got used to him pretty quickly and after that didn't notice too much how badly he stands out.
Death Note (TV) Good
Death Note has an interesting premise and it does a pretty good job of exploring it with interesting characters and some great twists and turns along the way, but the quality of the story telling is terribly inconsistent. When it hits its stride it is a great show that will keep you glued to the screen and wanting badly to know what comes next. At other times, however, some of the story is a bit too contrived and even downright eye-roll worthy at its worst. The animation, acting, and music are all great though they can be a bit over the top sometimes. I saw the English dub and I thought it was quite well done. If you can stand a healthy helping of melodrama and don't mind slogging through a couple of stretches of episodes where the story either bogs down or is just noticeably weaker than most of the rest of the show, then Death Note is probably worth a look. I am glad that I got the chance to see this series, but I'm not sure it's something I'd want to watch again.
Death Note: The Last Name (live-action movie) Very good
Pretty much all of my comments about the first movie apply to this one as well. It continues, and does a nice job wrapping up, the story started in the first movie. The plot makes some significant departures from the anime story line so that the story can be told within the confines of a pair of movies, but if you can let go of expectations that the movie has to be like the anime then I think they did a good job with the alterations they made. As in the first film, the CG looks pretty bad but isn't so awful that it detracted from my enjoyment, and the English dub comes across as much campier than the Japanese. All in all I enjoyed these two movies and I think they do a nice job of telling a slightly altered version of the Death Note story than what is found in the anime version.
Detatoko Princess (OAV) So-so
This show is supposed to be a comedy, but it just didn't work that well for me. It came across as a lot more silly than funny. Even so, it's not a complete waste of time and it does have its funny moments. I expected a lot more goofy humor to develop given the ridiculous premise of the show but it rarely goes completely over the top. It actually reminded me a little bit of Pokemon, not in the plot or characters but in the formula they use of a wandering band of heroes meeting different people and situations as they travel and a recurring "villan" that appears in every episode pursuing their own agenda. I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see this, but it's not terrible.
Detective Story (OAV) Good
DNA² (TV) Decent
DNA² is a fairly entertaining romance/comedy with a sci-fi theme. The premise is ridiculous, but they play it for some laughs and the series ends up being enjoyable overall. It's not without some shortcomings, however. The animation quality is pretty low, and when the show gets serious it gets too serious sometimes and loses the mostly light tone that it usually maintains. There is also something about the idea of women being brainwashed by the Mega Playboy’s super magnetism that plays out a bit on the creepy side, but then it's supposed to. I also specifically did not like some of the things done by the Ryuji character, as I thought that some of his actions were a little too much for a romantic comedy and seemed quite a bit too dark for the overall tone of the show. The series has a somewhat open ended, but still in my opinion satisfactory finish. I did enjoy it, and would not say it's a waste of time, but there are certainly better titles out there to see before choosing this one.
DNA² (OAV) Decent
I thought the ending to the DNA² TV series was fine, but at some point it must have been decided that another 3 episodes were needed to really wrap things up. These 3 episodes pick up directly after where the TV series ends. In fact, in the DVD boxset, these three episodes are actually labeled both as "original video episodes 1, 2, and 3" and also "TV series episodes 13, 14, and 15". The quality of this OAV is pretty much the same as the TV show in terms of animation and music, going so far as to even keep the same OP, ED, and episode break animation. I would actually have rated this one notch lower than the TV series, but didn't think it deserved the "so-so" rating while the TV series doesn't deserve the "good" rating, so I gave them both "decent". The major flaw with this compared to the TV series is that all the comedic elements have been left behind and this story provides a very serious and sometimes angsty ending. It just didn't seem necessary to me, and I'm not entirely sure I like the series better for it getting this more "conclusive" ending than I did with the ending it got after the 12 episode TV series.
Durarara!! (TV) Good
Eden of the East (TV) Good
El Cazador de la Bruja (TV) Very good
El Hazard - The Magnificent World (OAV) Excellent
One of my personal favorites. I will be the first to admit that I probably like El Hazard more than any objective, rational person would, but it just works for me. Looking at some of the individual elements of the show, the collection of tired plot devices seems like a recipe for disaster: people transported to a parallel dimension where they have to help save the world, the childhood friend with secret feelings for the main character, the tough on the outside yet sensitive on the inside girl, the aging woman desperate to find a husband, the princess in distress, a hot springs episode, a harem-type story element, a crazy high school rival, not one but two ultimate weapons of mass destruction, GIANT BUGS…! But somehow, some way, it all fits together to make a funny, touching, and thoroughly enjoyable story. In the end, El Hazard is about overcoming the past, redemption, and not giving up on someone you love, all wrapped up in a wacky and fun package. This is a show that I have watched over and over, and I love it every time.
El Hazard 2 - The Magnificent World (OAV) Good
Not nearly as good as the original El Hazard OAV, but I’ll take any chance I can get to re-visit the Magnificent World. I would not recommend this for someone who has not seen the original. It takes for granted a familiarity with the characters and setting of El Hazard, and would probably not be very enjoyable on its own.
El Hazard: The Alternative World (TV) Good
Not nearly as good as the original El Hazard OAV, but I’ll take any chance I can get to re-visit the Magnificent World. I would not recommend this for someone who has not seen the original. It takes for granted a familiarity with the characters and setting of El Hazard, and would probably not be very enjoyable on its own. One of the things I enjoyed a lot about the original OAV was the interaction between all the crazy characters. In this series, everyone is separated into small groups, and while the individual story lines are pretty well done, I miss the group dynamic that the characters had going in the first series.
Elf Princess Rane (OAV) Bad
There's goofy, and then there's just plain stupid. This is, unfortunately, the latter.
Elfen Lied (TV) Very good
Emma: A Victorian Romance (TV) Excellent
Emma: A Victorian Romance Second Act (TV) Excellent
Ergo Proxy (TV) Good
Escaflowne: The Movie Good
Eureka Seven (TV) So-so
Excel Saga (TV) So-so
Fate/stay night (TV) Good
Figure 17 (TV) Excellent
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (movie) Decent
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (US CG movie) Not really good
Incredible animation, especially for the time it came out still could not save this movie from its mediocre story. I simply didn't enjoy it at all and have never re-watched it since that first time I saw it in the theater. If you want to watch an only moderately interesting story and then be smacked upside the head with a none too subtle "message" ending, or if you want to marvel at what truly cutting edge CG animation looked like from a few years ago then this is for you.
(The) Final Flight of the Osiris (OAV) Good
Fist of the North Star (movie) Bad
I have only seen this dubbed on VHS. It’s possibly the worst anime dub I have heard yet.
Fist of the North Star (live-action movie) Not really good
Actually, it's not good at all, but it's sooooooo cheesy that I can't help but like it a little bit.
FLCL (OAV) Good
Fruits Basket (TV) Very good
Full Metal Panic! (TV) Very good
FMP is a well done series with very nice animation, a story that keeps you interested all the way through, and characters that are a lot of fun. There's nothing too deep or original in this series, but it's just great entertainment. There are a lot of adventure type series out there, but one of the things that helps to put FMP above the crowd is its very likable and memorable characters. It's easy to connect with them and care about what happens to them. I had heard a lot of hype about this series and wasn't at all sure it would be able to live up to its reputation, but in the end it turned out to be very good.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TV) Good
Unlike many people, I prefer the original series to The Second Raid. This sequel is a bit darker and more serious in tone than the first, and while it's also good, I just didn't think it was quite as enjoyable. Kaname and Sousuke spend much of the series apart and one of the things that made the first series so enjoyable for me was their interactions. I do think that if you enjoyed the first series that this is still a must see.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (OAV) So-so
This short OAV just didn't work that well for me. I guess if you are a big Tessa fan then maybe it will be more enjoyable, but to me it just seemed like a fairly pointless and silly excuse for a bit of extra fan service.
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV) Very good
After the first several episodes of Fumoffu I was wondering why everyone seems to think this is such a great series. I was finding it only mildly funny and in most cases much more silly than anything else. I knew not to expect a serious story like in the original FMP, but it still didn't seem to be very good. Somewhere in the middle it changed for me, however, and I ended up really enjoying it. It seemed to take a while to hit its stride, but once it did it became a very funny series. You do have to be able to let go of your more serious view of the characters that you get from the first series, but if you can make that adjustment then Fumoffu is a lot of fun.
Fullmetal Alchemist (TV) Very good
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa Good
This movie provides a wrap up of the series and takes care of many of the loose ends it left behind. From a plot standpoint I guess there's nothing wrong with it, but it just seemed to lack the chemistry between characters and the overall feel of the TV series. Without those important elements it can't quite live up to the same level as the series, but it's still worth a watch if you have seen all of FMA TV.
Garaga (movie) So-so
Gasaraki (TV) Decent
Gasaraki is a bit of a mixed bag. In addition to somewhat being a story about mecha there are really two main story lines, one involving a complex political plot that encompasses Japanese nationalism, manipulation of world economic markets, and infiltration of key positions in the Japanese government. The political story is interesting and well done, if a bit far fetched. The other story is more about the Gowa family, its role throughout Japanese history and the tale of the kais and the Gasaraki. It's this second aspect of the story that seemed particularly weak to me. It was more than a bit muddled and not particularly well resolved. It's too bad, too, because this side of the story started out as quite an interesting idea but instead of living up to its potential it just kind of spirals into a mess. The two stories are intertwined in part through the mecha. The folks involved in the political side of the story see them as integral to their plans since they are super advanced weaponry. The Gowas, who have been a key driving force in their development, have ulterior motives. Another problem is that the pacing seems rather uneven. Despite everything that is going on, some episodes are really quite slow and things don't move along much. Then there will be stretches were a lot of things are happening all at the same time. I think part of the problem many people (me included) have sitting through this series is that either of the two main story lines would be complicated enough on their own, but weaving the two of them together makes things really obscure sometimes and by the end of some episodes you aren't really all that excited to jump into the next one. Also, despite there being mecha in this series, there is a lot of time spent watching people sitting around talking and not any mecha action. The animation and soundtrack are quite nice. The OP is really good, and the opening animation changes as the series progresses which is kind of neat. The design of the world is very much on the realism side of things -- no SD or anime sweatdrops to be found in this series. IIRC, one of the extras on the disks is an interview with the mecha designer which talks about how they tried to create machines that wouldn't look too unrealistic or futuristic. This is a really hard show to outright recommend to someone, even if you are familiar with their tastes. It's just a bit of an odd bird. Given how cheap you can find it even brand new, though, it's a pretty good deal for a 26 episode series. If you do decide to give it a go, don't despair after watching the first episode. It's pretty weird and does not do a good job setting up the series at all. Things definitely get better starting in episode 2.
Generator Gawl (TV) Decent
This really isn't that good of a show, but the dub team realized they weren't exactly dealing with anime gold so they had some fun with the dub. The dub version is worth a watch. The original is not as interesting.
Genshiken (TV) Good
Ghost in the Shell (movie) Very good
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (TV) Very good
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG (TV) Very good
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society (movie) Good
A nice follow up to the TV series, but lacking in a couple of areas, resulting in my rating it one level lower. Like the series, it had the great animation, wonderful music, interesting characters, and complex storyline that are typical of GitS. Unfortunately, the complexity of the storyline may have been too much for a single movie. In the TV series, the complicated plot was developed over the course of many episodes, but with a movie format everything is condensed down considerably. As a result, the story seemed to be crammed into too tight of a container and near the end of the movie there were a lot of scenes of people standing around explaining what was going on to each other. Not the most entertaining viewing. I also like the interesting and large cast of the GitS series, and there is just no way to give all these characters adequate time in a movie. As a result, only the main characters get much focus and while it was nice to see Togusa take more of the spotlight, I like the fact that in a series format the minor characters get their time in the forefront as well. That last criticism may be a bit unfair, as it is to some extent simply a limitation of the movie format, but I still think it's worth mentioning. I also think that this is a movie that, while it could be understood without previous knowledge of the franchise, is much more enjoyable if you are already familiar with the GitS TV cast and their histories.
Gilgamesh (TV) Very good
Gilgamesh is a stylish and engaging show infused with a moody, dark atmosphere. The behind the scenes machinations of various shadowy organizations will keep you guessing about what is really going on. The music, muted colors of the animation, and sort of sedate pacing all lend to the surreal and slightly creepy atmosphere. The character designs are also very unusual and seem to be the kind of thing that you will either love or hate. I thought they were great and added to the overall appeal. The only real problem with Gilgamesh is that it all falls apart at the end and finished up with what I consider to be a dissatisfying and needlessly confusing conclusion. In the case of this show, the journey was really fun, but the destination was a big let down. I still enjoyed it overall.
(The) Gokusen (TV) Good
This show is a lot of fun even though there's nothing terribly special about it. The animation is pretty average. The character designs are a little different that anything I have seen before and they took some getting used to, but I don't think they are supposed to be especially attractive. They fit the story well. That story is mostly episodic and never gets too serious. The main characters are gangsters and school age delinquents, but though they fight and act badly a lot of the time, no one ever really gets hurt. Some of the minor characters, like the school principal, are a riot and their appearances are a nice addition to the antics of the main characters. I picked up this show without knowing much about it and I'm glad I did. It's nothing deep, it won't make you think, it won't challenge you with its complexity, but it will keep you entertained from start to finish.
GoShogun: The Time Étranger (OAV) Good
Grave of the Fireflies (movie) Excellent
Probably the first thing that showed me that anime could effectively tackle serious subject matter and not just be about sci-fi themes and fighting. Intensely emotional and extremely sad, especially if you keep reminding yourself as you watch that in the midst of Tokyo during WWII real people were suffering through circumstances as bad as or worse than Setsuko and Seita. An anti war tale without being judgmental of either side, it simply shows the result of a conflict fought for international political reasons on the normal, everyday people who live in the midst of the conflict. Not a movie you will want to watch often, maybe not even more than once, but one that should certainly been seen.
Green Legend Ran (OAV) Decent
Gungrave (TV) Good
Gunslinger Girl (TV) Excellent
One of my personal favorites.
Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino (TV) Not really good
Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino (OAV) Weak
Gurren Lagann (TV) Very good
.hack//G.U. Trilogy (movie) Not really good
.hack//Intermezzo (OAV) Decent
A nice postscript to the .hack//sign story. The story does not shed any more light on the questions left open at the end of sign, but it does give you the chance to spend a little more time with the characters from the series. I imagine this would hold no interest whatsoever for someone that did not both see and enjoy .hack//sign since it assumes familiarity with the characters and the story itself is probably not enough to hold up under its own weight, but rather relies on the viewer's fondness for the sign characters to add meaning to the plot.
.hack//Legend Of The Twilight (TV) So-so
After enjoying .hack//sign quite a bit, I had high hopes for this series. It was a disappointment. While many of the story elements from sign were used again in LotT, the cutesy characters, less serious atmosphere, and downright annoying leads just didn't work well. .hack//sign relies heavily on its atmosphere to create a mood that helps to carry the story along. LtoT tries to tell a similar story without the wonderful atmosphere that made sign so enjoyable and the result is a series that is not particularly compelling. In a character driven story, it's very important to care about the characters and it's hard to develop any kind of positive bond with Shugo and Rena.
.hack//Quantum (OAV) Good
.hack//Roots (TV) Bad
.hack//SIGN (TV) Very good
I know a lot of people think this series is downright boring, but I really like it. My only major complaint is that the ending leaves so many important questions unanswered. I would have rated it "excellent" if it had a better ending. Of course, the creators wanted people to play the video games to get their questions answered, but I have little interest in the games and feel the series should stand on its own merits. Despite the flawed ending, the story of the main character, Tsukasa is concluded so at least there is some closure. Other than this one large flaw, I love this show. The slow pacing that turns some people off was, in my opinion, ideal for the kind of story being told. The characters spend a lot of time talking about what is going on, so there's not a lot of action, but the mysteries unfolding and the involvement and differing viewpoints of the various characters are interesting and engaging. The animation, although full of BeeTrain's typical low movement panning shots and close ups of people's eyes is otherwise beautiful. The backgrounds and setting of "the World" are simply beautiful to look at, and the character designs and other artwork are so nice that I feel like I can forgive the occasional lack of actual animation. Yuki Kajiura's fabulous music along with the artwork and methodical pacing create a dreamlike atmosphere that is entirely appropriate to the series and is one of the qualities that I most like about it. In fact, the atmosphere of this series is perhaps the most memorable thing about it, and it is one of those shows that when I sit down to watch it I feel more like I am being immersed in the story rather than just viewing it. I also very much enjoy the dub of this series. I almost always watch anime in Japanese given the choice, but in the case of .hack//sign I actually prefer the English version. I think the Japanese actors are a bit too enthusiastic in their portrayal of the characters, while the English actors did a much better job of nailing the sedate, contemplative, and serious mood that this show demands. Despite some flaws, sign is a series that I very much enjoy.
.hack//Unison (OAV) Decent
I suppose for someone that has not played, and does not intend to play the .hack video games that this is as close as we are going to get to a final conclusion to the .hack//sign story. My main complaint with sign was its open ending. It was understandable in light of the fact that the games were designed to answer the questions left open at the end of the anime, and at least Tsukasa's story was concluded satisfactorily, but still it bugged me. So, while this story does not give any additional details beyond what was shown in sign, it does at least show everyone together at the end of it all and let you that things turned out OK. I don't think this would be of any interest whatsoever to someone who had not both seen and enjoyed either .hack//sign and/or the .hack video games, as you would have no idea who any of the characters are and would have no interest in basically seeing them all just hang around being happy to all see each other again.
Haibane Renmei (TV) Masterpiece
One of my personal favorites.
Hand Maid May (TV) Decent
Harlock Saga (OAV) Decent
His and Her Circumstances (TV) Excellent
Human Crossing (TV) Decent
Immortal Grand Prix (TV 2) So-so
This series is plain mediocre in so many ways. It almost seems like Cartoon Network didn’t want to take any chances with their first big anime co production, so they went with the anime equivalent of a paint by numbers kit for IGPX. The story is OK, but predictable, the characters are by the book types, and the last episode is so corny it’s almost painful to watch. The animation does seem pretty nice. I would be curious to see this on DVD, just for the chance to see the better quality video and also to hear the Japanese dub, but not curious enough to go out and buy it. Something about it kept me taping it every week on TV, so I can’t say it’s awful or anything. Having seen it though, I don’t have any desire to go back and watch it again.
Infinite Ryvius (TV) Good
Interlude (OAV) Not really good
Inuyasha (TV) Good
InuYasha is a series that starts off strong and then kind of gets lost along the way. Although the premise of the modern day hero traveling back in time has been done in titles as varied as Twain's A Connecticut Yankee to the film Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, it can be an effective storytelling device. I liked the set up of the InuYasha story. It has interesting characters who you can care about. With the exception of Kagome, all of the main cast has some kind of tragic past they are dealing with and the revealing of these backstories both gives depth to the characters and makes for some good stories. The cast is large and varied, and at the beginning you get the feeling that while the main plotline is the developing relationship between the lead characters, that story and the other side plots are going to play out against an epic adventure. In addition to Kagome and InuYasha, many of the various side characters are quite well developed and each one's story is given ample attention. The animation is pretty good quality for a TV show, including character designs and background settings that I found appealing. The music, while sometimes repetitive, ranges from unobtrusive to excellent, often effectively helping to add depth and emotion to the story, and is overall above average. The problem is that, like many manga to anime adaptations, the animators got ahead of the manga storyline and basically had to start stalling for time with the dreaded filler episodes. This situation isn't uncommon with a series like this, and isn't necessarily the doom of the series, but in the case of InuYasha it creates some big problems. Story development of any kind slows to an excruciating crawl, and the show sinks into a morass of repetitiveness and mediocrity, occasionally relieved by an above average episode that reminds you of the promise it showed in its first couple of seasons. To add insult to injury, the ending is a non-ending, and while I didn't expect any kind of resolution of the Naraku plotline or any major developments in InuYasha and Kagome's relationship, it would have been nice to get some kind of closure on at least a few of the ongoing story lines. I especially liked Sango and Kohaku’s story, and wanted to see some kind of resolution with it, but alas. To me, the long stretch of mediocre episodes and the severely lacking ending are the great failings of what was otherwise an awfully good series. It's a real shame, too, because other manga to anime series like Fruits Basket and Rurouni Kenshin (with the Kyoto arc anyway) show that it's possible to have a decent enough ending to the anime even when the manga is still in production.
Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass Decent
InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler Good
Inuyasha the Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island Good
Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time Decent
Ishida and Asakura (TV) Weak
Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade (movie) Very good
Jing: King of Bandits (TV) So-so
Kai Doh Maru (OAV) Weak
Take a confusing story that seems like it needs a full 26 episode series to tell and cram it into a 45 minute OAV. Then add in some really different animation from a well known studio that, I guess, wanted to play around a bit and see what they could do and you get Kai Doh Maru. Needless to say, I didn't much enjoy it. The story, while not completely incomprehensible is not handled well and I did not like the animation at all. This is one of those DVDs I picked up in a bargain bin splurge at some point and even so I kind of regret not being more careful about finding out a bit more about it before buying. It's not a good sign when the description on the back of the DVD case does a better job of telling the story than the anime itself.
Kakurenbo - Hide & Seek (movie) So-so
It was very pretty to look at, but Kakurenbo just didn't do much for me otherwise. I didn't think it was particularly scary, or even all that interesting.
Kaleido Star (TV) Very good
Colorful, bright animation, fun characters, and a simple but heartwarming story combine to make Kaleido Star a thoroughly enjoyable series to watch. You can't help but root for Sora as she goes after her dream of becoming a star on the Kaleido Stage, sort of the anime version of Cirque du Soleil. The character designs and costumes for this series are super attractive and they do a nice job of animating the acrobatic routines that are featured on the Kaleido Stage and elsewhere. I don't think you should expect much realism from the acts in this show (though I don't really know as I can't claim to know much about it in RL) but they are fun to watch in animated form and make for some great scenes. The show features a large cast and there is sure to be someone for everyone to identify with. Though the story is not particularly deep or complex, I was never once bored while watching this. It's the kind of series where you can be drawn out of the real world and be completely immersed in the nice animation and engaging characters while you are there, even though it's not going to be something you spend a lot of time thinking about when it's over.

The encyclopedia entry is for both the first and second seasons of Kaleido Star combined. Having now seen both seasons, I have to say that I prefer the first over the second. That's not to say that the second season is bad at all -- in fact it's very good -- but it lacks some of the elements that made the first series so enjoyable for me. In the first series Sora's friends play an important part in the story. They are fun characters and helped to make the story enjoyable. In the second series these characters are relegated to more of a secondary role and focus shifts to Sora's rivals and their stories. That's really my only major criticism of the second season. Otherwise it's a great show and is something that I can see re-watching every so often.
Kaleido Star: New Wings Extra Stage (OAV) Decent
Kamichu! (TV) Good
Key the Metal Idol (OAV) Decent
Kid's Story (OAV) Decent
Kiddy Grade (TV) Decent
Kiki's Delivery Service (movie) Very good
King of Bandit Jing in Seventh Heaven (OAV) So-so
The King of Bandit Jing series never really grabbed me much, even after a second viewing, and this OAV is much like a 3 part story from the TV series. I can understand how someone would enjoy it more than I did, but it just doesn't work that well for me. One reason is that the show is pretty lacking in character development and that is one thing that I look for in a series. The OAV story plays out much like each episode in the series did. Jing is off to some crazy place to steal something that is supposedly impossible to steal. A certain amount of action mixed with weirdness occurs, Kir goes all starry eyed over a cute girl, and there you have your story. The good news is that if you haven't seen the series, it shouldn't be a problem if you want to watch the OAV first. In fact, we might get more background information on Jing and Kir in this 3 episode OAV than we do in the entire TV series that came before it. If you did see the TV series and enjoyed it, then you will probably enjoy this as well.
Kino's Journey (TV) Masterpiece
One of my personal favorites. Kino's Journey is a wonderful series of mostly self contained episodes that follow the travelers Kino and the sentient motorcycle Hermes. In traveling from country to country, Kino and Hermes experience many different ways of life, meet diverse people, and generally observe the human condition. This is truly a fantastic series. Each episode presents a story that looks at a different aspect of humanity and without being too preachy or over the top gives the viewer something to consider while at the same time being entertaining. The animation and music are both understated and wonderfully support the storyline. The issues considered during the series are in no way original or unique, but the stories used to examine these ideas are very creative and well thought out. Using Kino and Hermes in the role of observers gives an outsider's perspective on the events that occur, and sometimes the things they take away from their experiences are not necessarily what I would have come up with on my own. I like that this series can entertain while at the same time providing material to ponder and touching on themes that relate to our own world and experiences. It also provides some touching and emotional scenes during the course of its run. While some few people will probably find this series to be dull (if all you want is fanservice and explosions then this is not the place to look) I simply can not recommend it highly enough to anyone that doesn't mind their anime to be thought provoking as well as entertaining.
Kino's Travels: Life Goes On (movie) Good
Kujibiki Unbalance (OAV) Not really good
Kurau: Phantom Memory (TV) Good
Kurogane Communication (TV) Good
Last Exile (TV) Excellent
It’s not without some noticeable flaws, but Last Exile is an excellent adventure story with compelling characters, an imaginative world for its setting, and mostly beautiful artwork and music to accompany a creative story. The CG parts can be a bit jarring when they don’t work well, but there are just as many scenes that are gorgeous. I very much liked the whole visual design of the Last Exile world. Everything from the character designs to the ships to the backgrounds and even mundane items like clothing and the vanship controls just perfectly fit the story. The music is also a big plus in this series. I bought both soundtracks and listen to them often. The ending seemed a bit rushed, and the stories of some of the main characters had unsatisfying conclusions, but overall I loved this show. (A side note -- I recently re-watched LE, dubbed this time. While I usually much prefer the subtitled version of shows, I thought the LE dub was very good.)
Legend of Himiko (TV) So-so
Living for the Day After Tomorrow (TV) Good
Lost Chapter of the Stars - Birth (special) Decent
Love Live! School idol project (TV) Good
Lunar Legend Tsukihime (TV) Excellent
One of my personal favorites.
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (movie) Good
Macross Plus (OAV) Weak
Madlax (TV) Good
Magic Knight Rayearth (TV) Good
Magic Knight Rayearth 2 (TV 2) Good
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (TV) Good
Abenobashi is a crazy combination of over the top madcap antics, laugh out loud comedy, and a mostly coherent storyline that still manages some serious and even touching moments. Unlike shows such as Excel Saga, Abenobashi seems to always know when its out of control randomness is starting to wear thin and is able to switch gears and keep you interested. I wasn't sure what to expect out of this series since I went into it knowing very little about it, but I ended up liking it a lot.
Mahoromatic - Automatic Maiden (TV) Decent
Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful (TV) So-so
(La) Maison en Petits Cubes (movie) Excellent
MAOYU (TV) Decent
Martian Successor Nadesico (TV) Very good
Martian Successor Nadesico: The Motion Picture - Prince of Darkness Not really good
Matriculated (OAV) Not really good
MD Geist (OAV) Awful
Ugh, this show is just terrible. Its only redeeming feature is that it's short. It's not even fun as a bit of bad B-movie cheese because it just plain sucks. I was considering giving it my "worst ever" rating, but then I saw that there was a sequel. What the hell were they thinking making a sequel to this?
MD Geist II - Death Force (OAV) Worst ever
Why would you make a sequel to a show that was simply awful to begin with? As improbable as it is, this is even worse than the original. I have finally found an anime that I feel comfortable bestowing my "worst ever" rating upon. I only have one "worst ever" on my whole list. This is the bottom of my barrel of anime watching. There may be worse anime out there, but if so I have managed to avoid them thus far. My advice would be to skip this one and do something more fun and useful like watching paint dry, or picking your toenails, or memorizing pi to the 50th decimal place.
Mermaid Forest (TV) Good
Metropolis (movie) So-so
Midori Days (TV) Very good
Millennium Actress (movie)
I need to watch this again before rating it.
Moldiver (OAV) Not really good
While not exactly bad, there is nothing about Moldiver that particularly stands out. The animation is average quality at best, the story is fairly straight forward, and the action and comedy aspects are mediocre. All in all a fairly unremarkable title. I don’t think it was a waste of time, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it. One significant problem with the DVD that I have is that is has dubtitles, which I find to be super annoying.
Mon Mon the Water Spider (movie) Good
Monster (TV) Very good
Moyashimon (TV) Very good
Moyashimon Returns (TV) Good
Mushi-Shi (TV) Masterpiece
Mushishi (live-action movie) Bad
My Beautiful Girl Mari (Korean movie) Good
I'm not all that sure what to think of this movie. It's very different. I'm not even sure you can say it has a plot, it's almost more of a visual exploration of a memory -- a moment in the past of the main character, and the feeling those memories bring to him. This is definitely a film I'll be watching again and I'm sure with each viewing that my impressions will change a bit. The animation is quite different from what we usually see in anime, as befits the film's Korean origin, and I liked it a lot. This is one of those films that I think takes a while to digest. Either that or I'm just being dense and missed something obvious, which is entirely possible. :P
My Dear Marie (OAV) So-so
This guy decides to make a android of his supposedly unattainable dream girl. The android has other ideas than just staying at home all day, decides to go out into the world and craziness ensues as the copy (of course) meets the original. At first, the concept sounds kind of creepy, but in the end this turns out to be a goofy and mildly entertaining short OAV that stops abruptly after its 3 episodes. It almost seems like they planned to make more, but perhaps there wasn’t enough interest to warrant more episodes. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it, but it’s not a complete waste of time either, and fits the bill for a short series that can be thrown in the DVD player and watched while the brain is switched off.
My Little Monster (TV) Very good
My Neighbor Totoro (movie) Excellent
Najica Blitz Tactics (TV) So-so
I’m not usually oversensitive to fan service, but even I have my limits. I know that in this series the fan service is supposed to be at least somewhat a gag, but after about 5 minutes it loses any humor value and starts to detract from what could have been an otherwise OK series.
NANA (live-action movie) Very good
NANA (TV) Excellent
NANA 2 (live-action movie) Weak
Naruto (TV) Decent
The disparity in the quality of storytelling and often even the animation between the main storyline and the filler episodes is stark. When Naruto is good, it's a very engaging and fun to watch show. When it's bad, it's a dull slog. Unfortunately, much of the latter part of the series is comprised of filler. I usually don't like to leave a show incomplete if I have a chance to finish it, and while I could see going back and rewatching some of the earlier episodes someday, I wouldn't want to have to sit through the whole series again.
Naruto Special: Battle at Hidden Falls. I Am the Hero! (OAV) Weak
Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel So-so
This isn't a bad movie, and it gives a bit of screen time to my favorite character from Naruto, Shikamaru. It's not much different than the TV series, so if you took a several episode long arc of the show's "filler" episodes and put them all together you might get a similar result to this movie. The good news is that while some of the Naruto TV series' filler is pretty terrible this movie is actually not awful. Yeah, I know that's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it is what it is.
Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow Not really good
Not too shabby, at least as far as Naruto goes. It kind of beats you over the head with the whole "try hard -- never give up -- don't let your dreams die!" theme, but this is Naruto, so you don't really expect it to be subtle. Oh, and it's so nice to finally see Sakura actually kick some butt and not spend most of the show just fawning over Sasuke.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (movie) Masterpiece
Negadon: The Monster from Mars (movie) Not really good
This is kind of a weird show. It's not traditional anime, but rather is a CG effort to tell a short giant robot story. It's made to purposely resemble some of the old giant monster "B" movies. Some of it is nicely done, but much of it just doesn't work well. I think part of the problem is that it's too short so there is little character development and even the story itself has little chance to do much so it ends up being overly simplistic. It's possible to make a short show that is done well, even with a complex story (see the Comedy OAV), but in this case it seems like the concentration was on the CG at the expense of other elements that are necessary to make something that is enjoyable overall.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) Good
Nerima Daikon Brothers (TV) Very good
NieA_7 (TV) Very good
Ninja Scroll (movie) Decent
Nodame Cantabile (TV) Excellent
Noein - to your other self (TV) Very good
I saw Noein as part of Sci Fi Channel's AniMonday block, and it's a title I will definitely be buying on DVD. It has an interesting twist on the impending end of the world story line. The animation, even on TV, was very nice and quite unique compared to everything else I have seen and it makes me want to see the show in DVD quality. I saw this dubbed and the English voice acting is very good. I'd like to see it in Japanese as well. The plot is complicated enough that I am sure I missed things the first time through that would be picked up in a re-watch and the show is good enough that I really want to watch it again. In addition to the nice animation and interesting story, the music is very well done and it suits the story well. Noein is one of those series that starts a little slow and moves along at a fairly methodical pace. While it was airing it wasn't a show that I was just itching to see each time a new episode came out, but it still kept my interest as it went along. The ending, however, really ties everything together and does a great job of bringing the story to a close so this is one of those series that could have gone either way as it got close to the finish but luckily it ended very strong and the last four or five episodes helped take this from just a good series up to something truly enjoyable.
Noir (TV) Very good
Despite uneven pacing, repetitious flashback scenes, bad guys that can’t ever seem to hit anything no matter how many shots they get off, and people who never bleed even if shot multiple times, I really like Noir. There is plenty of good about this series to outweigh the flaws. It has a very good story that keeps you guessing a lot of the time, the development of the relationship between the main characters is well done, and the action scenes are fun to watch. Everything is wrapped up nicely as well – no vague or open ended conclusions in this series. Nice animation and an excellent soundtrack help tie it all together. From what I have read in the forums about Noir people seem to either love it or hate it, and I am solidly in the former category.
Now and Then, Here and There (TV) Excellent
NTHT is one of those shows that is sometimes painful to watch but which at the end you are glad that you endured and made it all the way through. There is so much unrelenting misery and so many horrible things happen during the course of the show that you want to look away sometimes but the story is so well told and the show so well made that you will be glued to it all the way through. The story delves into the some of darker aspects of humanity, but nothing that happens is at all unrealistic or even anything that has not happened time and time again in the real world. Although an older series, NTHT has held up very well and you will be so absorbed into the story anyway that any issues with animation are secondary. This is not a show that you sit down to watch when you want a bit of mindless fluff. Its subject matter and story are very heavy and watching is an emotional and difficult experience but it is very much worth the time.
Oban Star-Racers (TV) Very good
I knew nothing about this show and had no interest in it until the TV station it airs on here ran an all day marathon and I happened to catch an episode. I was immediately hooked in and ended up watching about 10 episodes that day. Shortly thereafter, Comcast moved that channel out of their normal cable line up and I never saw Oban again on TV. Much later, I found the DVDs had been released and I picked them up. This is basically a tournament type show and it is not particularly original in any way but there's nothing wrong with using a tried and true formula if you do it well, and Oban does it very well. One thing of note are the very unusual character designs. The show is a co-production between French and Japanese animators and it has a look that is different than anything else I have seen but it works very well. I found the characters immediately interesting and likable and after each episode ended I wanted to start the next one right away. The music for the show is also very well done, including the Yoko Kanno OP and ED. I especially liked the ED and watched it in its entirety on every episode, something I rarely do when watching a series on DVD. Oban doesn't seem to be that well known with the ANN crowd, or at least I don't recall ever seeing it discussed much, but it's a nicely done series with engaging characters, enjoyable music, nice and unique animation, and a story that will keep you wanting more right up to the satisfying ending.
Oh My Goddess! (OAV) Decent
On Your Mark (movie) Very good
Finding gems like this is one of the reasons I read other people's "my anime" lists (in this case bonbonsrus's list). This is a very well constructed music video that tells a complete story all within about 6 1/2 minutes. Not exactly what I think of as a typical Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli work, though the animation is instantly recognizable. It's well worth watching a time or two at least.
Oreimo (TV) Decent
Orguss 02 (OAV) Very good
Other Worlds (movie) Good
Shinkai never ceases to amaze me with his ability to communicate a mood or a powerful emotion using just the right combination of animation, dialogue or narrative, and music. It doesn't seem to matter whether his format is a full length movie or, as in this case, a minute and a half short. This particular work isn't my favorite Shinkai creation, but it's still very much worth watching and like his other efforts it does a great job of making you feel the story as much as anything else.
Ouran High School Host Club (TV) Very good
Outlaw Star (TV) Good
Paprika (movie) Very good
Paranoia Agent (TV) Decent
Patlabor 2: The Movie
I need to watch this again before rating it.
Patlabor WXIII (movie 3) Decent
Patlabor: The Movie Very good
Perfect Blue (movie) Very good
Phantom Quest Corp. (OAV) Good
I like Phantom Quest Corp. a lot. Although I’m not usually all that fond of a series that follows a monster of the week type format, this show just has a style about it that I like. The main problem is that there is so little of it. There are only 4 episodes, and while a nice job has been done with them it feels like there could have been a lot more. The characters were fun, and the relationships between them were only developed on a superficial level. I would have liked to see this as a TV series instead of a short OAV, but I’m still glad they made what they did.
Photon: The Idiot Adventures (OAV) Decent
Photon is weird. Both the show overall, and especially the main character. The weirdness is part of the comedy of the show though, and it works well. This show features one of the goofiest villains I have seen in any anime, lots of fanservice, and tons of ridiculous situations which are all used to good comedic effect.
(The) Place Promised in Our Early Days (movie) Very good
Planetes (TV) Very good
Pokémon (TV) Decent
I got hooked into Pokemon through the original video game, which was horribly addictive. Even though the show is terribly repetitive and overly simplistic, it has a certain charm. I managed to make it all the way through the original set of episodes, and particularly enjoyed the antics of the hapless Team Rocket duo of Jesse and James.
Pokemon 2000 - The Movie So-so
All the Pokemon movies I have seen just seem like extra long, and usually fairly good, episodes of the TV show but with better production values. While I enjoyed some of the Pokemon games, and have watched a fair amount of the show over time, none of the movies really appealed to me all that much and I have never re-watched any of them.
Pokemon 4Ever (movie) So-so
All the Pokemon movies I have seen just seem like extra long, and usually fairly good, episodes of the TV show but with better production values. While I enjoyed some of the Pokemon games, and have watched a fair amount of the show over time, none of the movies really appealed to me all that much and I have never re-watched any of them.
Pokemon Advance (TV) Decent
I probably should have been tired of it after watching the first Pokemon series all the way through, but I still managed to work my way all the way through Pokemon Advance. I was still hooked on the video game at that point even though later editions were much the same as the original. It's a kid's show for sure, but it does have entertainment value despite the repetitive and seemingly never advancing story line.
Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys (movie) So-so
All the Pokemon movies I have seen just seem like extra long, and usually fairly good, episodes of the TV show but with better production values. While I enjoyed some of the Pokemon games, and have watched a fair amount of the show over time, none of the movies really appealed to me all that much and I have never re-watched any of them.
Pokemon: Jirachi Wish Maker (movie) So-so
All the Pokemon movies I have seen just seem like extra long, and usually fairly good, episodes of the TV show but with better production values. While I enjoyed some of the Pokemon games, and have watched a fair amount of the show over time, none of the movies really appealed to me all that much and I have never re-watched any of them.
Pokemon: The First Movie So-so
All the Pokemon movies I have seen just seem like extra long, and usually fairly good, episodes of the TV show but with better production values. While I enjoyed some of the Pokemon games, and have watched a fair amount of the show over time, none of the movies really appealed to me all that much and I have never re-watched any of them.
Porco Rosso (movie) Decent
Pretear (TV) Good
After reading a lot of positive comments about this series, I was terribly disappointed after the first few episodes. It seemed to be developing into a semi-brainless magical girl show with a ditzy and annoying main character. Fortunately, things changed pretty quickly after setting up the basic premise and introducing the characters. I’m glad I stuck with it, because the show redeemed itself by the end, and turned out to be quite enjoyable.
Princess Mononoke (movie) Excellent
Princess Tutu (TV) Excellent
I'm not the huge Princess Tutu fan that many others here on ANN are, but I still loved it. It starts really slowly and by the end of the first 10 or so episodes I was seriously wondering what all the talk was about. Fortunately I had been warned that it would be a bit of a slog to get through the first part so I stuck with it. I would say that it would be better if it didn't start so slowly, but really the groundwork laid in the early part is completely necessary for what happens later on and I don't see how it could have been done differently without diminishing the overall impact of the later part of the series. Tutu is one of those special shows that is truly different than most everything else that is out there in anime. I think it's also one of those shows where repeated viewings will make it better and better as things that were not obvious early on in the show will now make much more sense and will be much more significant having seen the whole thing.
Program (OAV) So-so
Psychic Wars (OAV) Awful
Bad animation, a simplistic story, cheesy music, and ugly character designs make this one something that I probably should not have wasted my time with.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV) Excellent
R.O.D -The TV- Good
RahXephon (TV) Very good
RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio (movie) Decent
Ramen Fighter Miki (TV) Very good
Read or Die (OAV) Good
Record of Lodoss War (OAV) Good
Reign: The Conqueror (TV) Not really good
Requiem from the Darkness (TV) Decent
I'm not generally a fan of horror stories, in anime or any other format, but I actually liked Requiem from the Darkness. Other than the last couple episodes which are a 2 parter and also pull in some elements from earlier in the series, each episode pretty much stands on its own. Some of the stories are quite gruesome and delve into the much darker side of humanity but they are presented well and overall it's an entertaining series. The animation is quite stylized and different from most everything I have seen. Some of the backgrounds sort of reminded me of Samurai Jack more than anime. The quirky style fits the supernatural nature of the stories very well. The recurring characters are an interesting group and you never quite know what their motivations are. All in all, I was surprised I liked this as much as I did.
(The) Ring (live-action movie) So-so
Roujin Z (OAV) Good
Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise (movie) Excellent
Ruin Explorers - Fam & Ihrie (OAV) Good
Rumiko Takahashi Anthology (TV) Very good
Rune Soldier (TV) Good
I thought this series was a lot of fun. It’s a lighthearted show, and while like many anime comedies it takes a somewhat serious turn later in the series, it never loses sight of the fact that it’s primarily a comedy. It’s nice to see a one guy/many girls story that is not a harem show. In fact, the main characters are not exactly thrilled to have Louie tagging along with them, which is a source of much of the comedy in the series. Melissa’s reactions to his antics in particular can be quite amusing. The show never takes itself too seriously, and stays entertaining from start to finish.
Rurouni Kenshin (TV) Excellent
Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (OAV) Bad
As much as I like the rest of the Kenshin anime universe, this OAV was painful for me to watch. The characters seem very much out of type, and this just didn’t seem to me like an appropriate way to end the story. It’s like the soul of the TV show, movie, and Trust and Betrayal stories was removed and we are just watching the shells of the original characters wandering around. I was extremely disappointed.
Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture Good
Kind of like an extra long episode of the TV show, except with a more serious tone and a lot more blood. If you like the show, you will probably like this too. I was surprised at the poor quality of the animation considering movies usually get a better budget than their TV series counterparts. It wasn't awful by any means, but the animation on this movie actually seemed to me to be a notch below that of the TV show.
Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (OAV) Masterpiece
One of my personal favorites. The prequel to the Kenshin story portrayed in the TV series. No reverse blade sword, no oath of not killing, no Kaoru, Sano, or Yahiko. You won’t see any comedic moments or exclamations of “oro” from Kenshin. As would be expected in a story about an assassin in the midst of war, there is a lot of blood and some very gruesome deaths. This is the story of when Kenshin was the hitokiri battousai, and it lays the groundwork for a much deeper understanding of how he became the man we see in the television series. While seeing the television series is not required to make sense of this OAV, I saw it after watching the first two seasons of the TV show, and I really do think it has more impact that way. After spending time with Kenshin seeing him try to come to terms with his past, the story of that past only glimpsed briefly during the TV episodes is very powerful. The story has a sense of inevitability about it because you already know where Kenshin ends up years later, but while you know in general how things are going to end you don’t know the details of the story. The combination of the plot, animation, and music does a great job of involving you in the tale of Kenshin's early life, and you can't help but develop a strong attachment to the characters and really feel for their struggles and their desire to find just a bit of happiness in a chaotic world. The dichotomy in the pace of the storytelling, which goes from the frantic and well animated fights to the quiet and reflective moments Kenshin spends with Tomoe helps to illustrate Kenshin’s internal conflict. He wants to help create a world where people can live in peace without fear of violence, yet to accomplish this goal he ends up committing repeated acts of horrible violence himself. With this story we get a much better understanding of who Kenshin really is, and his character gains a depth that the TV series alone did not impart. This OAV is a great example of things done right in an anime, and it is the gem in the collection of animated Kenshin works. This show left a big impression on me, and is still one of my very favorite anime works.
S-CRY-ed (TV) Not really good
SaiKano (TV) Decent
Sakura Diaries (OAV) Bad
Samurai Champloo (TV) So-so
Sands of Destruction (TV) Decent
Say "I love you." (TV) Decent
Scrapped Princess (TV) Excellent
Second Renaissance (OAV) Decent
(The) Secret World of Arrietty (movie) Good
Serial Experiments Lain (TV) Good
Shadow Star Narutaru (TV) Weak
Shakugan no Shana (TV) Good
Shakugan no Shana Tokubetsuhen: Koi to Onsen no Kougai Gakushuu! (OAV) Not really good
Shakugan no Shana-tan (special) Weak
Shamanic Princess (OAV) Decent
Shamanic Princess has very nice animation, but a story that is downright confusing. They simply don't explain anything very well, and to make it even more confusing the last two episodes chronologically take place before the first 4 but still don't shed any light on what happened. This show had a lot of promise with an interesting world, great characters, and always the feeling that there's more going on than meets the eye. There was, but unfortunately I couldn't tell you for sure what because whatever convoluted plot the creators of this show had in mind they didn't see fit to share it with us viewers.
She and Her Cat (OAV) Excellent
I love all three versions of this short. I am amazed how in such a short period of time a complete and meaningful story can be told. Sure it's simple and as much is inferred from the visuals and narrative as is actually given to you, but I thought it was quite powerful nonetheless. Very creative and well done.
SHINOBI - Heart Under Blade (live-action movie) Very good
Silent Möbius (TV) Not really good
(The) Slayers (TV) Good
Sol Bianca: The Legacy (OAV) So-so
Someday's Dreamers (TV) Very good
Someday's Dreamers II Sora (TV) Decent
Someday's Dreamers II was one of the best slice of life shows I've seen up until most of the way through episode 9. Until that point, it was heartwarming and charming. The music and artwork are warm and happy, and the combination of animation and photographs for backgrounds give it a look that sets it apart from other anime. Then, towards the end of episode 9 the story goes straight off the rails. There is a huge plot-bomb that is completely unnecessary, adding needless melodrama and a morbid undertone to the rest of the show which ruins the wonderful mood that had been built up until that point. It's such a shame, because this show didn't need some over the top turn of the story to make it great. It would be hard to recommend this even though I absolutely loved the first almost 3/4 of it.

As a side note, it's quite different from the first Someday's Dreamers anime. They take place in the same world, but none of the characters are common between the two shows, and no knowledge of the first anime would be necessary to enjoy the second. That said, if I was going to suggest one or the other of them to watch, it would be the first series.
Sorcerer on the Rocks (OAV) Weak
(The) SoulTaker (TV)
I need to watch this again before rating it.
Spice and Wolf (TV) Excellent
One of my personal favorites.
Spice and Wolf II (TV) Very good
One of my personal favorites.
Spirited Away (movie) Very good
Spriggan (movie) Decent
Spriggan is kind of like one of those Hollywood action movies with a second tier action star playing the main character. It's not bad, it has entertainment value, it's watchable, but it's never going to be considered any kind of classic or landmark effort in it's genre. It has some pretty good action scenes, a plot that is predictable but reasonably well executed, and everything gets wrapped up in a satisfying conclusion. It relies on a lot of standard anime conventions, and almost seems like it was constructed by reaching into the anime puzzle box and just pulling out and fitting together a bunch of pre-made pieces. Throughout the world, there are certain sites that contain incredibly powerful objects and it's the job of our protagonists to keep these items out of the hands of those who would use them to satisfy their own ends. Of course, the US military being the greedy, overreaching, unprincipled, controlling, power hungry bastards that so many anime tell us they are (insert massive eye roll here) they want to get their hands on what appears to be Noah's ark. But as so many anime also teach us, the US military is incompetent, over confident, hubris-filled boobs (insert second massive eye roll) so they can't control their own creations, things go horribly wrong, and the entire world is put at risk. Time for our heroes to jump in and fix the situation! In addition to nice animation and a fast moving plot, the music is pretty good and well matched to the action. There's just nothing terribly special about Spriggan that would cause me to recommend this over any number of other anime movies that could be watched and I certainly don't see this as something that I would go back to again and again.
Star Blazers (TV) Good
Star Blazers: The Comet Empire (TV) So-so
Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko (OAV) Weak
Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko II (OAV) Weak
Starship Operators (TV) Decent
Steamboy (movie) So-so
Stellvia (TV) Good
Strait Jacket (OAV) Good
Strait Jacket has a promising beginning, with an interesting set up, lots of gory action, and a shadowy terrorist organization stirring up trouble. It digs into the bag of pre-constructed typical anime character types a bit too much (good hearted, loner, doesn't play by the rules hero with a tragic past, clumsy but earnest female sidekick assigned to keep him in line, plays by the book established hero who immediately takes a disliking to our protagonist and whose hubris looks like it will be his downfall...) so don't expect anything original or intriguing from the characters themselves. The world of the story is kind of interesting, though. Magic has been systematized and incorporated into daily life, but not without risk. In order to safely use magic people must encase themselves in protective suits. If these suits are defective or become damaged, the magic user will transform into a terrible monster that then goes on a gruesome killing spree. The terrorists end up exploiting this fact by purposely causing these "demons" to be created in order to extort money from the authorities. The action in the show is pretty good. Be warned that there is a lot of gore, with body parts flying in all directions and no one being spared when they have the misfortune of crossing paths with a demon. The main problem with this show and the reason I didn't rate it higher was that after all the nice set up it does, things get wrapped up just a bit too quickly and tidily. The whole terrorist plotline, after being the driving force behind the events that are occurring during the show just quickly goes away so we can get to the showdown between the main character and his rival. The other main storyline, of the hero's tragic past and how his sins continue to haunt him, just sort of winds down to no real conclusion. It almost seems like they were trying to set things up to be continued in a longer series by leaving certain plot elements open, but I'm not sure there was enough material here to create much more. Overall I thought Strait Jacket was pretty good, and not a bad way to spend a couple of hours, but I don't think it's something I'd go out of my way to watch again.
Sword Art Online (TV) Not really good
Sword for Truth (movie) Awful
Tactics (TV) Not really good
Tactics is a bit of a mess. The main story never really gets going until very late in the series and even then it's not very good. I did like the Meiji Era setting of the show. It seems like very few anime are set in Japan during that time in its history (Rurouni Kenshin being a notable exception) and to me it has always been a fascinating era in Japan. Tactics does have moments where it works well, but they are few and far between and there certainly are not enough of them to make this a great series overall.
Tenchi in Tokyo (TV) So-so
Tenchi Muyo Movie 1: Tenchi in Love Decent
Tenchi Muyo Movie 3: Tenchi Forever Decent
Tenchi Muyo! (OAV 1/1992) Good
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (OAV 2/1994) Good
Tenchi Universe (TV) Decent
They Were 11 (movie) Good
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World (TV) Good
After the first disc of this, I was quite disappointed. I had seen good things about it, but it starts off being nothing more than the most formulaic of harem-type anime, with little to distinguish it from any number of other fan-service laden titles. In a series that is just 12 episodes long, they actually manage to fit in a hot springs episode, a beach episode, and a festival episode all right into the middle of the show, with the three episodes running back to back. Fortunately, at around episode 9 the plot really starts to kick in, and it's a pretty good story too. My opinion of the show took a sharp turn rather quickly and in the end I'd have to say that on balance I found it to be an enjoyable series. Looking back, there were a lot of hints of things to come in the earlier episodes (some subtle, some obvious) so it will probably be fun to go back and see what went over my head the first time through. I guess that despite the annoying qualities of the early part of the series, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World ends up being a title that is well worth watching.
Those Who Hunt Elves (TV) Good
Those Who Hunt Elves 2 (TV) So-so
Time of Eve (ONA) Very good
Tokko (TV) Weak
Tokyo Godfathers (movie) Good
(The) Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk (TV) Good
(The) Tower of Druaga: the Sword of Uruk (TV) Good
Trigun (TV) Good
Trinity Blood (TV) Not really good
(The) Twelve Kingdoms (TV) Excellent
Twelve Kingdoms is a fairly faithful anime adaptation of the novels by Fuyumi Ono. Some details of the story from the novels have been changed to facilitate the transition from printed to animated work, but the spirit of the original novels is kept intact. As a result, the story presents a complex tale set in a rich and well developed world with lots of interesting characters. We get thrown right in the middle of things from the start and have to figure out what is going on right along with the characters themselves. I can see how Twelve Kingdoms could be confusing at first since so many details and so many characters are introduced so quickly and the workings of the world are not fully explained. Having read several of the novels before watching the anime, keeping the story straight was not an issue for me so I was able to sit back and enjoy the wonderful world of the Twelve Kingdoms brought to life (well, animated life anyway) on the screen. While prior knowledge of the story might be helpful early on, it's certainly not necessary to enjoy this series. Everything is eventually well explained and although the series contains a number of separate but related story arcs, each one is resolved in due course. I think the anime covers the story from the first 5 Japanese novels and there is more source material, but it does not leave you with the feeling that the ending was incomplete. The animation is very nice. While it's not something that particularly stands out, it does a fine job of presenting the world of the story, which seems to have a blend of Japanese and Chinese cultural elements. The music also fits well and I liked the instrumental opening and ending themes, though with the music as with the animation there was nothing that particularly stood out to me. Overall, this was a very enjoyable series and one that I am glad I purchased on DVD. I can see wanting to watch this again.
Vampire Hunter D (OAV) So-so
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (movie) Good
Vampire Princess Miyu (OAV) Decent
Vampire Wars (OAV) Weak
Vandread (TV) Good
Vandread: The Second Stage (TV) Good
Venus Versus Virus (TV) Decent
Virus Buster Serge (TV) Awful
Wow, this show is awful. It has it all. Bad animation, convoluted and poorly executed plot, ugly character designs, bad voice acting (I saw it dubbed), and unremarkable music. With a show like this you hope that it will be so bad that at least you can laugh at its campy qualities, but Virus Buster Serge doesn't even give you that small satisfaction. It's not just bad, it's boring as well. With as much good anime as is out there I have no idea what possessed Sci Fi to put this thing on TV. I recommend avoiding it. There are very few anime I have seen that I wouldn't rather re-watch repeatedly than being forced to sit through VBS again even once.
(The) Vision of Escaflowne (TV) Excellent
Voices of a Distant Star (OAV) Very good
Volcano High (live-action movie) Decent
I saw, and enjoyed, the re-edited, dubbed version of this movie that MTV created a while back with hip hop stars doing most of the voices, and that led me to take a chance and buy the DVD. I actually like the original version of the movie less, but it’s still OK.
Welcome to the NHK (TV) Good
Whisper of the Heart (movie) Excellent
Wicked City (movie) Weak
Wild Arms - Twilight Venom (TV) Not really good
Conventional wisdom seems to be that video game to anime adaptations usually make for mediocre anime and Wild Arms is no exception. After getting introduced to the main characters in the first episode, the whole first half of the series goes on to be a try to find the treasure of the week scenario. While some of the stories are mildly entertaining, the format is repetitive and there is little character growth and almost no progression of the main storyline. The characters are very much cookie cutter productions, none of them proving to be particularly interesting. The animation is quite plain and lacking in detail and the music during the series is pretty much unremarkable. In the latter half, the plot gradually turns to the main story, but it turns out to be such a convoluted and improbable tale, even for a Sci-Fi story (wasn’t this supposed to be a Western?), that it comes off more silly than anything else. There are some humorous moments sprinkled throughout the show, and it’s not completely bad, there’s just nothing there that would entice me to recommend this to anyone except maybe a big fan of the video game. I know it probably won’t be seeing the inside of my DVD player again any time soon, and only then if I’m very bored.
A Wind Named Amnesia (movie) Decent
Witch Hunter Robin (TV) Very good
Wolf's Rain (TV) Excellent
Wolf's Rain (OAV) Excellent
(The) World of Narue (TV) Good
World Record (OAV) So-so
Yama no Susume (TV) So-so
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (OAV) Very good
Ys (OAV) Not really good
Ys II (OAV) So-so
Yu Yu Hakusho The Movie: Poltergeist Report Decent
Yu-Gi-Oh! (TV 2/2000) So-so
Zone of the Enders (TV) So-so
Zone of the Enders: Idolo (OAV) So-so

Will not finish Rating
Aeon Flux (U.S. TV)
Blue Dragon (TV)
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (TV) Weak
Cyborg 009 The Cyborg Soldier (TV) Weak
Dragon Ball (TV)
Dragon Ball GT (TV)
Duel Masters (TV)
Hidamari Sketch (TV)
MegaMan NT Warrior (TV)
Nodame Cantabile (live-action TV drama)
One Piece (TV)
(The) Prince of Tennis (TV)
Rave Master (TV)
Spider Riders (TV)
Transformers (U.S. TV)
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monster GX (TV)