Seen all Rating Comment
Ah! My Goddess: The Movie Very good 88 - Very very good movie adaptation. The show comprises very little of the goddesses actually using their powers for non petty reasons, while the movie provides a very nice story and background to allow the girls to unload their powers (which I must say is VERY satisfying). One of the best movies based on a series in my book.
Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~ (TV) Very good 84 - I saw this sequel before the original, and despite the fact that I hate harems, I really liked this show. It is a very obvious harem show, but somehow, it just doesn't feel like it. Also rather unpredictable for a slice-of-life romance, which is also VERY welcome in my book.
Air (TV) Masterpiece 96 - A beautifully tragic show that loses none of it's potency upon rewatching it. Some things just get to me emotionally, and it's not entirely predictable. I was moved, but not really crying or anything when I was watching this show at first; but by the end of the show, I was in a heap on the floor with my nose running and my throat choked so bad it was hard to breath.
Air (movie) Decent 62 - A good example of what not to do when making a movie adaptation. The art was inferior to the TV series most of the time and used many very low quality scenes, the character designs weren't anywhere near as endearing, the story had holes larger than most countries, and there were completely illogical actions and reactions by all the characters at times; but the truth is, the source material is absolutely fantastic, and even this hack job made me feel sad at the end (though, there's a very good chance that it is mostly due to the fact that it reminded me of the show). I hope they weren't intending to sell this for money, it gives the Air story a bad name.
Akira (movie) Decent 64 - Although the animation for this movie was fantastic at times, I found the character designs to be atrocious, the plot too convoluded and just plain wierd, the ending too abstract... basically a bust if you ask me. Although the character development for Testsuo was pretty solid, that was really the only thing going for this movie, and that is not really enough for me considering everything else.
Angel Beats! (TV) Excellent 94 - (9/10) - I'm not even sure where to begin. There are some aspects to the show that are hard to swallow, even within the bounds of a series based on such a setting. Club activities like Operation Tornado, or the fact that they even HAVE a huge underground lair where they manufacture guns and ammo (seriously lol, what are they, mole people? who the hell would agree to do all that?) and these huge unending tunnels full of traps... the list goes on. Frankly looking back on it, if I hadn't watched the whole thing at once I probably would have been more bothered by the ridiculousness of some of the stuff they all did.

Still, I don't think there are many better examples of the power of the style of storytelling that anime allows because how much someone like me enjoys a show can have little or nothing to do with what is literally going on but rather on how they're doing it. If I had to break this down into three rough categories they would be: overall story theory/plot, what the characters actually did, and characterization/character drama. As already mentioned the second was a huge failure, but I really loved the first and third points. As for the overall plot of the show, I really really love it, it's a theme that is rarely touched (considering its importance to so much of the world's population anyway... but that's a separate issue) as it is, so to see such wild twists thrown in really left me confused for a great deal of the show (and that pleases me greatly).

Lastly I come to the characters themselves and their expositions/backstories. I can't say I enjoyed most of the gag characters like the "Call me Christ" guy or the "I am god" kid, the former should have just shut the hell up and the second should have disappeared after his scene. I'm glad the writers didn't try to tell everyone's backstory, because I found myself crying at nearly every one of them and if they had tried to fit any more in they either would have failed miserably and I'd be angry at such a shitty backstory or I'd have been too depressed to keep going. That was some seriously messed up stuff. Life is terrible isn't it? Oh right, the review, I haven't talked about the parts of the character drama I loved. No, actually I think I'm done. I don't want to write any more.
Angelic Layer (TV) Very good 82 - Very cute shoujo anime made by CLAMP. Directed at young teenage girls, this show actually had a surprising amount of fights and action, which was a very pleasant surprise. Animation was good, the fights were well choreographed and there was very little obvious filler.
(The) Animatrix (OAV) Decent A compilation of several short movies. Overall, I was quite disappointed with the stories, they were extremely random, and most of them did not seem to have much purpose besides to oggle the oh so deep matrix premise.
Aria - The Natural (TV) Excellent 93 - I can honestly say that I enjoy life more after having watched this show. There's not much I can think of to say though, I think everyone should watch this show. You may already be privy to many of the revelations I had, but the overall message is simple and extremely effective: life is good. Even the most picture perfect idyllic life isn't actually perfect in practice, being "perfect" shouldn't really be the focus of life; it sounds pedantic, but in the end you should really just enjoy things and the people around you for what they are. Also, you can NEVER be too nice. If you watch even half an episode of this show, you'll know whether you like it; and while I can understand that some people may never enjoy this series, I will never truly understand them.
Aria the Animation (TV) Very good 82 - This is why I watch anime. Ok, so it's not flashy, it's unapologetically nostalgic, and nothing ever really happens, but oh man is it relaxing to watch. Where else can I watch a show about people living their idyllic normal lives on a terraformed Mars? I love the atmosphere of the show, but I actually think the music falls rather flat compared to the rest of the series. I'm not sure what the show is missing exactly, but I get the feeling this show could be much better.
Aria the OVA ~Arietta~ Excellent 92 - (2/09) - Yay, more Aria! I love this show, it's indescribably both nostalgic and optimistic at the same time; I don't even know how that's possible.
Avenger (TV) Decent 70 - Very different and interesting style. Post-apocolyptic world where everything is based on fighting? I don't think so, everything else about it is really pretty good though. Unique and kind of haunting music, lots of pretty good fighting, most post-apocolyptic world I can think of, depressing story, the main thing it didn't have was 'drive'. There just didn't seem to be any real feeling behind the action or plot.
Azumanga Daioh (TV) Excellent 91 - Wacky and Zany are the two best words for this show. The show I would equate this most similarly to is Family Guy, but that doesn't even come close to describing this show. The shenanigans that the troupe get themselves into are just hilarious, from Yukari's driving to the penguin suit; some of this stuff is absolutely classic. If this show were a mental disorder, it would be "ADD".
Azumanga Daioh - The Very Short Movie Good 72 - Nothing special here. Just seemed like some clip from the show (with a very different animation style) taken completely out of context (not that there's usually a lot).
Azumanga Web Daioh (ONA) Decent 60 - A VERY low quality clip that seems almost like an excuse for all the characters to make a cameo.
Baccano! (TV) Masterpiece 95 - More booze! Oh boy was this show a trip. There's like 6 or 7 separate stories going on in different times, and they're all thrown at you in the first episode. As the show unfolds the different arcs are shown a little at a time, not chronologically, and yet... it all moves decidedly towards the climax. The cast is awesome, the atmosphere is near perfect, the story is as well told as anything I've ever seen in an anime. The way the story is told is truly hard to believe, every scene seems to be random at first, but by halfway through, you start to see how it is all coming together absolutely perfectly, and not a single moment of screen time was wasted! One thing that makes it so easy to follow the story (and this is very much appreciated) is how each story is so very different in setting that they are easy to almost instantly tell apart, and determine which story is being told. The ONLY complaint I had was that there was a little too much of the mob scene going on for my tastes; but if that's my biggest and only complaint, this show is an absolute winner.
Bakemonogatari (TV) Good 77 - (9/09) - Disappointing. It's the first show in a long time Shaft seems to have taken seriously, and it was a pretty mixed bag. The dialogue was witty, though it was almost too dry for even me to really take to at times, and Senjougahara was FAR too caustic most of the time for her character to be likable. The animation was also remarkably chaotic; almost half of an entire episode was alternating black and red screens, and when the fights WERE animated, they were so disjointed you couldn't even really tell what was going on except for the overall feeling. The art was pretty great, it was crisp and clear, interesting, and pretty. While Senjougahara was pretty irritating overall, several of the other characters were interesting and noteworthy, among whom Kanbaru gets a special mention. The Monkey's Paw arc is easily the most interesting part of the whole show, and almost every scene Kanbaru is in is fantastic. Overall though, it showed a lot of potential and I had high hopes for it, but when it failed to materialize on almost any of them, it's almost worse than if I knew it was going to be bad from the start.
Bamboo Blade (TV) Good 76 - It's seems rare recently that I come across a show so decidedly average as this one and still find it hard to not sit down and watch the whole thing in one sitting. Most of the show is quite stereotypical; all the main characters fit into their generally unimaginative archetype, the plot is almost the definition of a sports shounen, and the main character is (unsurprisingly) one of the strongest in the show. On the other hand, the characters are genuinely appealing, and the show is worth watching just for any one of the three Kirino, Saya, or Tamaki. It's one of the best shows I've seen to put the advantage of stylistic expression inherent in anime in action. Some shows you watch for the action, some for the plot, some for the comedy, this is one of those shows you watch for the characters and you couldn't be happier to do so.
Basilisk (TV) Very good 81 - Well, talk about a shakespearean tradgedy. I know everyone had to die, but the cast really grows on you; I especially liked Okoi. She is probably one of my favorite types of girls, and she is done extremely well in this show for her short screen time. What really dragged down the show was just how incredibly forced it seemed at times; it just seemed so ridiculous to watch them fight when you know how well everyone would get along if they could just get over their pride. It was also very sad to watch all the characters with good intentions die for little to no reason, and it was sad when not one of them was able to go 'above' the situation and not play into history and the government's hands.
Batman: Gotham Knight (movie) Very good 81 - (8/08) - Not bad by any stretch of the word, but at the same time didn't really have many moments where it really excelled either, and I'm not even sure how that is possible. It was definitely "good", but looking back there wasn't much to really keep me on the edge of my seat besides the graphics (which I'll admit were absolutely amazing). The thing that really kept it from being great though is pretty simple: it should have been a normal movie. The stories were too short to get really into depth in them.
(The) Beast Player Erin (TV) Excellent 90 - (2/10) - It's relatively rare to see a genuinely unique fantasy world, so when they do come up it takes a lot for me to not enjoy something. The plot is definitely one of the most unique I've seen, and although it is quite clearly a children's show, there is some reasonably traumatic stuff that goes on. I was also pretty surprised at the amount of palace and political intrigue that went on in the second half of the show; it's no Twelve Kingdoms, but for a kid's show it's pretty awesome that they even bothered to put in all that stuff. It takes a couple episodes to get rolling, but the golden age of the show is the first half, with the sheer wonder of exploring the world and meeting all the characters it's the first show that I couldn't stop watching in several months. When she learns to play the harp was definitely the most captivating point for me, the song combined with the atmosphere of the show really did move me the first few times I heard it (though it gets overused pretty quickly). Unfortunately, being a kid show with a low budget there were some not inconsequential problems. The CGI for the tohdas was laughably obvious and the fight scenes were especially painful to watch. The pacing was also pretty atrocious at times, in the first half where she's just exploring the world it's fine, and perhaps even preferred, to proceed leisurely, but when there's a dramatic fight scene dragging ~5 seconds into two minutes is not acceptable. The last couple episodes were really poorly executed; plotwise there was no real problem, but the pacing, dialogue, and shots were almost pathetic. There were dramatic scenes of people reacting to things that are physically impossible for them to see due to positioning and distance, people surviving shots that were DEFINITELY fatal, and lots of moronic posturing and grandstanding in general. Ugh, rarely do I see something executed so badly that it fails despite a sound premise. Still, overall this was probably one of the best shows airing at the time, and is a really fun trip overall.
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (TV) Very good 84 - Done in a different anime style than most, it grows on you after a few episodes. A very good band story and the trials and tribulations they go through to try and make it to the top. Definately among the more "realistic" of the shows out there and some very dramatic music scenes.
Binbou Shimai Monogatari (TV) Decent 66 - Laying on the cheese. The relationship between the two sisters is so cheesy it's almost too much... almost. It's got a really whiny, but also pretty catchy intro too. Whenever the two girls have a happy moment (there's like a dozen an episode), the background fades away to be replaced with flower petals, the two girls just face each other and giggle without any cares in the world, and it's so sweet it's kind of sickening. The fact that I watched this all the way through shows it's not completely one-dimensional, and even if it is, it's still not too bad.
Black Blood Brothers (TV) Decent 62 - I'm a sucker for shounens, it's true. This show was really not that good, certainly not worthy of a 6/10 in nearly any way I can think of. Everything about this show was predictable and cheesy, EVERYTHING. The dialogue was terrible, the plot was somehow worse; although the plot sounds decent enough on paper... this is quite possibly one of the best examples of how not to do a show if you want it to be interesting and/or unique. The biggest redeeming factor was the blood sucking in eps 4, that shit was hot. That was the one part of the show that couldn't be much better ;P I'm glad they had the balls to make it "better than sex" and they way the blood sucking was treated in this show (although there were certainly many stupid cliche elements such as vampires that didn't even WANT to drink human blood... how stupid and cliche can we be here? >_<;)
Black Lagoon (TV) Very good 87 - The show Burst Angel could/should have been. Done well, great atmosphere, an awesome and realistic main character, lots of action, and the most successfully done badass girl I think I've ever seen. Also home to possibly the best "OMFG, I'm not going to deal with your shit anymore!" moment. If the fight scenes had been more believable at the end (they were in the beginning), and the characters actually fight/get injured like they're mortal, and some of the hoaky moments were tuned down a lot, it would have easily been a 9 or 10 in my book. The best "wild west" show I've seen and simultaneously duplicates my favorite part of Bebop, the 'poor mercenary' feeling.
Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (TV) Very good 88 - Three different arcs this time: the twins arc, the money laundering arc, and the Japan arc. Based solely on the Twins arc, I would have given this a 93 or so... but the other two arcs left me severely wanting in different areas. I felt the second arc was far too comical in nature (exemplified by the dramatic drop in animation quality), and had a number of moments where the gun fights felt about as dangerous as nerf guns, with people firing hundreds of rounds all over the place without any good cover and only one girl even got hurt, but she walked it off. The third arc... I'm not really sure what bothered me so much about it, but it just wasn't as engaging to me as the others; perhaps it was the setting of boring old Japan compared to wild Roanapur, or the lack of real progress between Rock and Revy (even if there really wasn't much of an opportunity for it...), or maybe it was that while I was watching everything unfold, it felt like I'd already seen it all happen before. "Different faces, same story" sort of deal. The first arc was phenomenal, the second was decent (if pretty funny at times), and the third was just pretty good all around.
Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody Good 76 - Actually quite enjoyable to watch. There were the usual inconsistent and nonsensical power imbalances, but at least the last battles were very interesting for most of the characters that we tend to see less of in battle. Some of the battles were short, but perfectly suited to them, something that caught me completely off guard in a good way. The new character was actually fit in quite nicely overall, but as usual, they refuse to let anything of substance happen so she naturally had to go away. A pity, as when she wasn't playing hard to get I really liked her.
Bleach: Memories in the Rain (OAV) Decent 66 - More or less the same scenes from the show, just placed all together as a more coherent background story. I, however, felt it was redundent and probably not worth the effort from the animators; you can take a vacation once and a while, it's ok!
Bleach: The Sealed Sword Frenzy (OAV) Good 74 - I watched this one right near the end of the fillers, when my excitement for the show was building back up again. It was kind of cheesy at times with how obvious it was that they wanted cameos for all the characters; also, the respective strengths of the characters was as ridiculous as any filler. However, it did capture the essence of the shounen aspect of the show, and while it wasn't that good on its own merits, it did very well at reminding me of why I love the series.
Blood+ (TV) Good 70 - This was really not that good. Although it started off looking like an awesome shounen with a badass vampire heroine, it quickly lapsed into a soap opera-esque drama. There were amazingly few good fight scenes (maybe two or three) in the series, considering how many fight scenes it did have; the vast majority of them were rather slow, or unimaginative and lacked any real impact. Saya meets her mortal enemies a dozen or two times and after being beaten by them is mysteriously spared for no reason (I kept hoping there would be one, but there wasn't); seemingly as just some plot device to make the show longer and more ominous the next time they meet and faught. The ending was also horribly anti-climactic, though the last few shots were touching and well done, the rest of it was wrapped up so nicely I felt like I was going to throw up. Also, the music was so over the top in dramaticness (not to mention REALLY overused), it actually killed the mood constantly; not to mention I thought the main action theme was really hoaky. The other major complaint about it is the absolutely completely contradictory power scale in the show: Diva is much stronger than her chevaliers, Diva's chevaliers were much stronger than Saya, and yet somehow, despite the vast vast differences in power, Saya manages to kill Diva and her chevaliers?! I don't think so.
Blood: The Last Vampire (movie) Excellent 89 - Very dark and beautifully animated movie. Lots of really good action, though the last fight scene is a MAJOR MAJOR letdown (at least jump ON to him or something for gods sake). Despite the ending fight, it is a very solid (if short) movie.
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan (TV) Not really good 48 - 'Crude', 'unecessary', and 'stupid', those are the best words to describe this show. I can't believe I even bothered to finish this show. I just feel dumber watching Dokuro cleave him in half repeatedly for things that are obviously not his fault or simply do not deserve ANY punishment (much less death). It REALLY doesn't help that his class also hates him, if they had sympathized with him on what a stupid bitch Dokuro is (instead of giving him shit for no reason), I would have felt much better.
Blue Gender (TV) Decent 69 - Kept me in suspense about what is really going on for much longer than most series. Has by far the most realistic use of mecha I've seen, though the plot turns out to be wierd at best, it actually has some very good concepts. Main character is annoying as hell for a long time, but eventually grows out of it a little too much.
Blue Submarine No.6 (OAV) Good 78 - Extremely odd show. A very detailed and interesting waterworld, and although it was dealt with rather realistically from the human perspective, the enemy and whole circumstances of the show are way more ridiculous than words can describe. If the enemy had been more homogeneous, or the son looked less ridiculous, this could have been a much better show. One man, even a genius, can not accomplish that much in a lifetime without entire countries behind him (and even then it's probably impossible), which he did not have.
(The) Book of Bantorra (TV) Very good 78 - (4/10) - HAMYUTS MESETA. It's been a long time since I was so conflicted on whether or not to describe something as "good" or not. First the good: The world is as unique as they come, I don't think I've ever seen something that resembles it in the slightest, and for fantasy in particular that is high praise. The overall plot was equally unique and was absolutely unpredictable. On the other hand the rest of it seemed to vary in quality between truly epic and fall-flat-on-your-face fail. Most of the characters felt like genuine people most of the time, but some of the characters were literal caricatures of evil and pretty much all of the characters had a moment or two where they would act completely irrationally and out of character. The one thing that was inarguably a failure is the pacing and flow of the story, although there is an overarching story it is deemphasized so much until the end that it's hard to even recognize that what is going on has anything to do with anything else. It's like "here's a bunch of interesting characters, you're just starting to like them and get on board with their story? well now we're going to jump over to this other set of characters and never go back". There's never a feeling of conclusion in any of the arcs; awesome characters like Noloty die in shameful rage inducing ways, which is even more rage inducing because it takes several episodes to happen, and other characters like Enlike are so enigmatic that despite his rather pronounced role in the show I still don't really get him. There was a pronounced lack of character development as well, the only development we really saw was in Hamy, basically every other character was just static throughout the show. The ending was kind of "meh" because of Ruruta's sudden conversion moment, I don't know how else it would have made sense, but it just felt too sudden. Best part about the show, bar none: Hamyuts Meseta, total badass. This really should have been 52 episodes with all of the extra episodes being character development for the characters, that would have made a world of a difference and helped to draw the viewer in, because as it stands there is no energy behind the story when you can't identify and get engaged with an individual's or a groups plight. Probably does/would make an awesome novel.
Burst Angel (TV) Good 72 - Though the CG mech battle scenes don't fit in that well with the animation, it some how manages to fit in decently with the attitude of the show. Meg is the damsel in distress WAY too often, Ami doesn't get nearly enough screen time, Sei is too fanservicy, and Jo... she's just badass. In no way shape or form a "realisitic" show, very eclectic. I watched it almost entirely for Jo.
CANAAN (TV) Good 75 - (10/9) - Almost everything here seemed contrived exclusively for crazy fights, and I have to admit, those fights are not too shabby. The character relationships are kind of silly, the bad guys are pretty nonsensical, and the way everything played out was both unfulfilling and left me with a "well that was all kinda weird" feeling. The ending didn't feel too forced though, and I think I liked it. It's a good action show, and while the superpowers are sort of silly and feel somewhat unnecessary, it has high quality animation and some of the better gun fights I've seen. I wouldn't advocate watching it if you're looking for some great storytelling, but if you like fights this isn't a bad one to check out.
Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran (TV) Very good 83 - Absolutely beatifully done fight scenes. There is relatively little character development, and absolutely no plot: two girls wander around. There is also no hype around the fights at all, very realistic though; the fights are almost SO realistic they're a let down (they're usually pretty short). Definately near the top of the list in pure action.
Castle in the Sky (movie) Very good
Cat Soup (OAV) Complete insanity. It's like some sort of fucked up Escher painting, there are layers of meaning here I can't even begin to interpret.
A Certain Magical Index (TV) Excellent 92 - (3/09) - Hmm, this was simultaneously a very unique show and partly a sickeningly cliche one at the same time. The art style was indescribably generic (aside from the cityscape particulars, like the windmills. which are flavorful, if silly), all the characters were based off of stereotypes, it's got the two opposing factions that are polar opposites, the main character attracts hot interesting girls like flies to honey, and the main character has some kind of unbelievable game changing power. Yet, if that's all you took away from the show you'd be criminally neglecting everything else. The world is rather simple in concept, but the concepts behind it all are far more intellectually deep than most works of fiction, much less anime, ever approach. The main character may have a broken power, but it's completely worthless if he doesn't use his head; his power basically consists of the ability to punch anyone he wants in the face, yeah seriously, it's pretty awesome. The characters may be based off of stereotypes, but they're different enough that they're still interesting. The most obvious way that they're all different is that they're all pretty cocky and willing to fight, even the girls (thank god that is SO refreshing), not because they're dicks who like to beat people up, but just in the sense that they're proud of their abilities and they're not being huge moralfags about not wanting to hurt anyone. It may or may not be known that I am a physics major, but I really do have to give props to this show, this is how sci-fi stuff should be done. I could rave about this one for a long time, but this was one of my favorite shows to talk about in a long long time. Even if the conceptual part of the setting is only presented as an afterthought in the show, which may or may not be on purpose so as to avoid the inevitable troll's calls of "preachy" or "pretentious" or whatnot. It may be cliche at the surface, but there was real effort put into this to change everything up and into forming the world around a conflict of ideology that I find one of the more compelling ones I've heard. Still, even without the background story, this is still an awesome show with a whole bunch of interesting characters and a main character with balls of steel.
A Certain Scientific Railgun (TV) Very good 86 - (3/10) - My biggest complaint was that I wanted more. I really like the series and the world, so while most people were complaining about "lolwallotext" during Index, I was loving it (well, most of it). If it's explanations that flesh out a world that has some thought put into it, I don't really care if that comes in a huge wall of text. Unfortunately though, this show didn't really have that; most of the show was cute girls doing cute things, oh, and they happen to have super powers. There was MAYBE half the show that was actually progressing a story in any meaningful sort of way. The rest of the show was interesting enough in and of itself that I might have enjoyed it even if it wasn't connected to the Raildexverse, but when I had the promise of the Sister's Arc and it was tossed out in favor of episodes like the beach photo shoot I just want to punch whoever thought that was the best way to proceed in the face. One huge prop I have to give is the character of Misaka. She is absolutely unique among anime characters in some key ways that make her seem like she's acting erratically, hypocritically, or has insanely unrealistic expectations if you view her through the lens of typical anime stereotypes, something I had sort of noticed when I saw Index but had not thought through fully. She is someone who got to her position through hard work and is actually incapable of understanding the idea of giving up, that and the fact that she is one of the few characters I would say is truly condescending in nature (in the Old English meaning of the word "condescending", which has a positive connotation rather than a negative one: when it was viewed as an act of grace for someone of a higher class to lower themselves and treat someone of a lower class with respect). I enjoyed it all the way through, but there were definitely parts that made me wonder why I liked it so much in the first place.
Chibits (special) Not really good 48 - Eww, I despised this short clip. They obviously changed the VA for Chii, and Sumomo is hardly a very interesting character, she's about as deep as a kiddie pool. This was more or less just a rehash of one of the episodes in terms of plot, so basically... absolutely nothing new or interesting was added with this clip except having more of the show, which in my mind, could and should have been avoided.
Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief (TV) Good 79 - (2/09) - A main character that reminds me of Kino crossed with cheesy detective novel, a recipe for... I don't even know. There are a ton of things this series gets correct, with most development aspects of the main character and her personality being on the better end; there are even some good plot twists. The problem, is almost everything else. Trying to make a light hearted show about a girl who falls in love with the lifestyle and attitude of a gang of thieves makes it really difficult to take it seriously in the more dramatic moments. There's all sorts of ridiculous coincidences (which are mostly fine for this kind of show, but many of them weren't even needed), the content of the main plot can't even be taken at face value, and the whole show has such a sanitized feeling that attempts at creating a tense atmosphere seem more ludicrous than dangerous. One of the biggest failures to me was one of potential, I had really hoped that the main character would truly come to enjoy doing those sorts of things, but in the end Japan wussed out once again and kept a female character that could/should have been bad ass through and through as just another physically adept innocent-at-heart little girl. I really enjoyed this show, far more than I think I rightly should have, but there's so many things that really should have been done differently I don't feel I should give it a higher score (pure enjoyment would have been around an 85).
Chobits (TV) So-so Mindless and shallow love story in my opinion. Absolutely nothing special about this show and chii's complete lack of personality for a LONG time just kills the mood as the show is really just about him (and as usual, he's extremely boring). Gets better near the end as it gets closer to a normal love story though. Was passable enough to finish at the time, but I could never ever rewatch it.
Claymore (TV) Decent 68 - Oh man, oh man. This show started off so strong, the atmosphere and art style were so cool early on that I was totally drawn in. It used a style that was extremely reminiscent of medieval Europe, and it had this really sort of "hardcore" feeling to it. Unfortunately, this starts to fall apart pretty fast near the end; the atmosphere and everything were still good, but the plot became SOOOOooo repetitive I almost couldn't believe it. Although I didn't realize it at first, pretty much the entire series after the Teresa arc was monster-of-the-week-shounen-leveling-up-sequences. This sort of thing works for an arc or two, but 16 straight episodes of people talking about how impossible what she's doing is? Give me a break. The completely arbitrary power levels don't really help either. As if all of that wasn't bad enough, the end was positively embarrassing starting around the silver-eyed-king arc (the last 4 or so episodes). The show had been formulaic for the last 10 episodes, but these last 4 were actually quite insulting. The ending was one of the most obviously filler, and not-coincidently one of the worst, endings I've ever seen.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV) Masterpiece 96 - Oh man, this show has everything. It's got a great cast (particularly the academy's group, minus Nina, who was a total dumb bitch), a badass plot, good mech action (that I'm not normally a fan of), and a foil that, while being obviously fictional, is extremely interesting. Lelouch is probably the best anti-hero I've ever seen, and that's saying something; he has several motivations for doing what he's doing, and yet... I don't know, it's hard to tell if he's insane or if he's just really smart.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (TV) Excellent 93 - (10/08) - My opinions were swinging around wildly in this season, ranging from being really disappointed and moderately bored during most of the China related stuff to being outright angry and irritated at the long sequences in the world of C to vindication and satisfaction at the ending. Basically, this season was just more of the same show that I loved, with more of the stuff I only kind of liked stuffed in it.
Corpse Princess (TV) Good 78 - This might be the only time I've ever said this, but the action actually made this show worse. I've never seen fights before that made so little sense in an otherwise good show. The character development is not bad, and it's Gainex, so they have the balls to keep the story from being too predictable, but I can't say this enough times: the fights were really really dumb. In almost every series I've ever seen the fights make a certain amount of logical sense, even if they break every law of physics I can think of and the animation can't really keep up; this time though it looks like some office game where they all sat around at a table and then passed around a sheet of paper with the progression of the fight scene on it and each person adds the next shot to the scene. I'm actually quite enjoying watching the show, but it's very awkward to find myself losing interest in the middle of the fight scenes.
Cowboy Bebop (TV) Very good (dub & sub)
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Excellent
D.N.Angel (TV) Decent 68 - Oh god, this show just has me so hot in that "justice" feeling. Nothing felt as good as the romance resolution in this show, easily gave it another point or two in my book. The rest of the show just seemed to drag on longer than it should have, and this show probably would have been best as maybe 18ish episodes.
Darker than Black (TV) Very good 85 - The entire series takes place in two episode arcs, aside from the last three episodes, which is kind of nice for a change of pace. Although the show has a rather unique and interesting over arching plot, they kind of put little pieces into place throughout the show so that they can capitalize on them at the end. I was extremely disappointed in some aspects by the ending, and I was rather upset at first that neither of the girls I liked were able to come out on top... in retrospect though, given the situation and the alternatives, it couldn't have really turned out much better. There's a decent amount of hand waving when it comes to the syndicate's power and influence (no organization could be that powerful and still be a secret, not possible, even in theory), but even so, it remains very interesting to watching things play out. It's a great action show to watch a couple episodes at a time.
Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (TV) Good 73 - A perfect example of why mainstreaming anime is a really bad idea. The production values were high, and everything looked about as good as any TV anime I've ever seen. The character designs were excellent, with almost every character being appealing in multiple ways. Suou's design was particularly appealing at first, though by the end her personality is pathetically bland. All that said, the plot is flatly stupid. It's shallow, not well explained, and hyped up so much more than it deserves I feel cheated after all is said and done. The character interactions were good, but when the plot is so stupid it's hard to enjoy it, what it all comes down to is this: pretty art and animation is no excuse for not putting any effort into the plot.
Dead Leaves (OAV) Very good 83 - Despite the farting and the several other extremely crude and unneccessary jokes concentrated in the beginning, there was a lot of really high quality, crazy action to be found here. It was very "out-there" in a lot of ways, but once you get used to it, it's pretty engaging. The pacing is excellent for its length, the action is top notch considering the animation style. If you're looking for mindless action with crazy characters and a crazy story, this probably fits the bill pretty nice.
DearS (TV) Good 70 - Adequate dub. Has some really really funny moments. Perhaps a little too preachy for its own good, or maybe just a little too slapstick, one or the other. Alien sex slaves? I'm there.
Death Note (TV) Excellent 95 - I love this show, I really do. The battle of wits and foresight in this show is brilliantly believable most of the time. I've never had such a hard time trying to choose who I wanted to win, L or Light. Do I want the guy genuinely striving for a better world or the one trying to stop him? Do I want the mass-murderer or the detective? I ended up wanting Light to win, but I wanted there to be a way for L to make it out fine as well, which is naturally impossible. The end of the show was heartbreaking for me, and it was a little difficult for me to watch, as nothing turned out right. It was also irritating to follow as I repeatedly heard comments by others who watched the show and were convinced that Light was evil to the core, which is such an ignorant and close-minded view that I don't even know how to fight it. Arguing against these people feels like arguing against the people who proclaim "god exists, prove me wrong!", who are obviously not only missing the point, but are completely dismissing large chunks of the series as "meaningless" because it doesn't fit into their prematurely reached view of the series. Those people are clearly set on labeling someone as the "bad guy", because it's obvious to them that no two people can have the same evidence and yet reach different conclusions. Pure and simple ignorance.

Yes, it's true that everyone I've talked to in person for any length has agreed with me, or come around to my point of view after I present evidence that they can't account for, but I can't do that with everyone who watches this show. If you're reading this and genuinely think Light was an evil person from the very beginning, who is killing people solely for his own ego, I pity those who have to deal with you on a daily basis.
Dennō Coil (TV) Very good 86 - This show did a lot of things right, and while it won't appeal to everyone, it's definitely one of the few genuinely unique titles that comes out each year. It simultaneously delves into interesting sci-fi while viewing it all from a kid's perspective. The kids get themselves into some really ridiculous and silly stuff, but when you're watching the show, you don't really think about how silly it all must look to someone who isn't wearing the glasses; which is absolutely perfect, as a viewer really needs to be seeing things from the kid's perspectives where the glasses are just as real as anything else. It's really a pretty awesome look at what things might be like decades or centuries from now. It's hard to write a review for this, as all the really interesting stuff would be considered spoilers, and it's addressed pretty well within the show anyway. If you like pseudo-slife shows with a twist, this is probably going to be something you really enjoy.
Denpa teki na Kanojo (OAV) Good 75 - (3/09) - It's hard to rate something so short, but for what it was it was pretty solid. Interesting characters, decent writing, and the events completely blindsided me. I have to give it props though for not trying to go the PG route that most shows seem to get cowed into, it's fun to watch stuff like this once in a while, I'll definitely check out the next one if it gets made.
Destiny of the Shrine Maiden (TV) Good 79 - Extremely good show except for the mechs (which get way too much screen time for a few episodes). The style of animation is very clean and very attractive. Seemingly very cliche (especially at first), the show keeps itself from being too predicatable and the character interaction (particularly the yuri) is captivating.
Detroit Metal City (live-action movie) Awful 15 - (3/09) - I know this is going to take a little faith, but go with me for a second. There are some things that are SO bad that they're actually kind of good; they're so bad you can't help but have fun making fun of it. Then there are things that are SOOOO bad they're not even fun to make fun of, I didn't even know such a level of terrible existed until I saw this. Ok, so I probably knew it existed in some form in the back of my mind, I had just forgotten. This is that bad, seriously, I felt honestly offended watching it that someone thought this was ok.
Detroit Metal City (OAV) Excellent 93 - (3/09) - Definitely the funniest gag anime I've seen to date, they really have the format down to an art with this one. The antics of everyone in this show, and especially the fans, are priceless. Everything is so ridiculous and awesome I can't do it justice.
Eden of the East (TV) Excellent 92 - (6/09) - I've seen a few shows recently that I've really enjoyed, but few of them were as well thought out as this one. On the face of it, the plot is absurd and many of the character's actions were laughably unrealistic; still, I found the plot to be quite compelling. This is exactly the kind of thing that anime excels at, telling a story about the tale of our time (terrorism) in a manner that tries to address the issue without letting the entire series get so serious that it's no longer fun to watch. I like the sense of humor, stuff like penis jokes are pretty rare in anime, so it's pleasing to watch them not shirk from more adult jokes and concepts. It's definitely a high quality production throughout, what with a carefully crafted plot, solid animation, wry dialogue, and some really dramatic scenes.
Elfen Lied (TV) Good 74 - Very very violent. Shows some of the most cruel scenes out there. The characters in this show have such a tragic past and surprisingly compeling characters for a short show. Lucy really irritated me for how mindlessly violent she was, but her back story was done well enough that I can forgive that. Has very clean and expressive animation, a very straightforward story, decent characters, and probably among the most pointless (at times...) deaths of anything I've seen.
Elfen Lied (OAV) Very good 81 - Takes place between two of the episodes and is an interesting back story behind one event they don't explain in the anime. They made references in the anime that we missed an event and it kind of bugged me, so I'm glad they made this even if it seems like a completely different show.
Eureka Seven (TV) Excellent 90 - Very solid. An epic show in an interesting world. As usual, the main character is a pussy when it comes to advancing the love story, but this show manages to work around it. Very good end that is neither rushed nor drawn out, though it is long it is one of the more conclusive and epic endings out there.
Excel Saga (TV) Decent 66 - Wow... that's.... interesting. In my opinion, it tries way too hard to be wacky and zany. It was pleasant to watch an episode here and there, but there just wasn't enough to keep me at it for hours at a time. Also, this is the ONLY show I can think of where a multi-episode storyline actually DETRACTED from the show imo. (and the last episode wasn't NEARLY as out there as everyone made it out to be)
(The) Familiar of Zero (TV) Good 70 - This barely deserves the 'good' rating... as there was essentially nothing that made this show unique or revolutionary, even the lead voice actors are the same as in Shana. I only am giving it a 'good' because it was just so pleasing to watch, not really "addictive" or anything... just really solid. One thing that I liked about it was how Saito liked Louise... but always found himself talking to Siesta, and obviously really likes her too; not just in a passing fancy sort of way, but genuinely. The ending was extremely hoaky, even more so than I had predicted in some ways. Even though the plot is just about as hoaky as it could be, the fact that the relationship actually does progress throughout the show was very nice and needed. It would have been nice though if Louise had eventually stopped being such a bitch at times.
Fate/stay night (TV) Very good 84 - A downright annoying little bitch of a main character (especially for the first half). Saber easily raises this show a good 2-3 notches. By the end of the show, she is one of the characters I cared about the most from any show and I was watching the show purely to see what happened to her. The idea and execution of much of the first half of this show are brilliant for the most part. If the second half could have lived up the expectations of the first half, the main character hadn't been such a prick, and if the character's strength didn't fluctuate by orders of magnitude overnight for no reason this could have been a 10/10 show (a lot of that is the main character). Lots of really likeable characters all around.
Final Approach (TV) Good Actually quite interesting, despite the obviously shallow plot. The character interactions are quite amusing at times and the short length of each episode REALLY helps to keep it from being too drawn out or too preachy. Good ending too.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (movie) Excellent 92 - Amazingly good CG. The story seemed a little forced, but it sticks well to the setting. Unbelievable fun to watch the saviors of the world have an adventure at a strength level befitting of what they did in the game.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (US CG movie) Good 76 - Absolutely breathtaking CG when it was released, but severly lacking in many departments for a FF movie. At least, it seemed that way at the time; but looking back on it, it really did have a VERY FF-esque plot to it. The major problem was probably the combination of the relative lack of action and the ill-explained/probably too complicated plot in the movie. I had to watch it a few times to really "get" it, I don't know why.
Final Fantasy: Unlimited (TV) Bad 28 - The show that killed all brand loyalty in me. I thought: "hey, it's 'Final Fantasy', it HAS to be good!" Oh boy was I wrong. This is overall one of the worst shows I've ever seen, the ONLY thing keeping me from giving it a flat 0 was the gun and the creatures it summoned. I'm kind of ashamed it's even in this "Seen All" category.
First Squad - The Moment Of Truth (OAV) Good 78- (10/9) - I can hardly remember the last thing I saw that was so utterly different than what I had been expecting. I knew there was supernatural stuff, but I definitely wasn't expecting knights; either way, the thing that really threw me was how they kept cutting to the real people. The interviews definitely added to the overall effect of the scenes by making them feel more real, but at the same time they reminded you that you were just watching an anime movie. The interviews also had the much more important effect of COMPLETELY killed all the tension and suspense. The art and animation was beautiful, as is typical for Studio 4C, but it was (also typically) severely lacking in its ability to draw you in and take it seriously. There was good action, and that helps, but the ending was really "... huh?", and to say everything felt rushed is a gross understatement. While First Squad some redeeming qualities, they weren't enough to overcome it's flaws so it sits firmly in the "meh, it was ok I guess" tier.
FLCL (OAV) Crazy, hectic, and just plain "out there" in every sense. Very eclectic show that takes more than one or two complete viewings to really understand. The animation is very good and the themes are very adult based, does not really compare well with other series. A "must see" for any anime fan, if only to experience this end of the spectrum.
Full Metal Panic! (TV) Good 78 - A surprisingly popular title, this show seemed pretty stereotypical to me. The animation was extremely nice and there was a bit of humor, but the bad guy was just way too hoaky for my tastes.
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV) Very good 86 - Oh wow, this was very very funny. I'm not usually a fan of watching awkward guys do their awkward thing, but watching Sagara blow stuff up was hilarious. Much much better than the original in my opinion, though I think it's funnier having seen the original, even if the story doesn't really overlap. Although the Bonta-kun suit was really funny at first, it grew kind of old after a while (at least until there was a squad of them ^_^). I was a little disappointed in the animation quality from KyoAni, but I was probably expecting too much (though there were a number of rather isolated moments that were absolute riveting).
Fullmetal Alchemist (TV) Masterpiece 98 - Absolutely Brilliantly done. There is virtually nothing I can say that is bad about this show; the major grievence I have is that way too much of the cast was left until the end of the show, most of the characters that survived seemed to merely do so as a plot device to avoid any sort of closure. When I first was watching this show and I got to the end of the third episode, I was nearly in tears and thought to myself: "I don't care how long this show is, how depressing it is, how much money I have to spend on it, I will watch this show until it is over." One of the most depressing shounen shows I've seen, but it has a special quality (probably the bond between the brothers) that sets it apart and above any show that may otherwise be compared to it.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Chibi Party (OAV)
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa Excellent 93 - Starts where the show leaves off and ends with a situation that completely blindsided me, I would have never in a thousand years expected it to end up like it did. Good animation, and while it seems like some tacked-on additional ending in some ways, it fits in very nicely in others; hard to describe.
Ga-Rei-Zero (TV) Excellent 89 - The first word to come to mind here is "surprising". When I first watched the show I was pretty darn disappointed. It looked like a substantially below average supernatural government agency with inexplicable high schoolers show; you know, like Tokko or something. I haven't been this pleasantly surprised in a while it feels like. If you're going to watch it, you HAVE to give it to the end of the first episode, but more likely than not you're going to just have to watch the first 3-4 episodes to be sure you know where it's going, and I must say it knew exactly what it wanted to be. The pacing was absolutely perfect, it's been a long long time since I've seen character development this strong, and I can't think of any other show where I've empathized this strongly when something went horribly wrong. Very highly recommended for those who want a short action show that knows exactly what it wants to be.
Gambler Densetsu Tetsuya (TV) Decent 68 - (4/10) - Riveting? No. Slick? No. Well written? Definitely not. Tetsuya is most certainly not one of them high production values shows, on just about any level. The art is terrible, the animation is mediocre at best, the action is predictable, the drama is forced. There's very little positive I can say about the show aside from the fact that it's a pretty unique perspective: the story of a bunch of mahjong cheaters learning to be good cheaters. Still, considering how bad most of the things about the show are, it was still rather amusing to watch, I can't really explain it. Maybe it's that they're playing mahjong, maybe it's the inherent drama of mind games played through games of chance, no idea. The fact that I even watched the whole thing has to mean that they were doing SOMETHING right, but I sure can't figure out what it was.
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (TV) Excellent 91 - Based off of one of the greatest novels ever written, the original material for this show is on a whole different level than most anime. Although it makes good use of the original material, it completely changes the perspective and continuity of the plot, thereby changing it from a betrayal and revenge story into a mystery. Unfortunately, this removes one of the best aspects from the story, the transformation of an innocent happy man into a determined man who is willing to throw away even his soul for revenge. The next best aspect in my mind was not the betrayel itself, as this theme can be found nearly anywhere, but the careful intricate planning executed by the Count over many many years. This planning was considerably dumbed down in the show and was unfortunately restricted almost exclusively to Paris, as Albert would not have known of anything else. It was dumbed down so far as to even go to the point of deliberate lying (to the audience too, not just to Albert) to create a more mysterious atmosphere and highten the tension (these tricks were not needed imo). All things said and done though, it was a very good show and I especially like the character design for Haydee.
Gantz (TV) Very good An almost unbelievably graphic and violent show about people forced to hunt aliens. Nothing is sacred here and it's arguable that that's the moral of the story. This show leaves you with one of the stronger "god life sucks" feelings.
(The) Garden of Sinners (movie series) Excellent 95 - (12/09) - Beautiful. There, review is done. No? Fine. Easily one of the best looking anime I've seen, at least in terms of backgrounds and atmosphere. The pacing is extremely slow, Mikiya is so genuinely incomprehensible that it's hard to even see him as a human, oh so very slow, most of the fights are pretty anti-climactic with Shiki's strength, slow like molasses, there's relatively little content when all is said and done, and did I mention that the pacing is really slow? The entire series could have been condensed to 2/3 the length easily without cutting much character development or set up. Still, while it definitely dragged in the last couple movies some, it was done so artfully that I can't really complain very much. With the beautiful music, fantastically dramatic build ups and wind downs to intense scenes, and the moody backgrounds I can't remember the last time it was so pleasing to watch so little happen. I can completely understand those who don't like this as much as I do, or who can't stand the slow pacing, but I'm not one of those people and even though there is more to it than the presentation, something this beautiful doesn't HAVE to have anything else to make it enjoyable to watch.
Genius Party (movie) Good
Genshiken (TV) Very good 89 - Another great slice of life show that I can really relate to in a lot of ways. I'd never been in an anime club when I saw this, but it really makes me want to go join one. The cast covers nearly all the range of otaku and does so believably; I probably fit in best with Kosaku, though I'm not as spacy. Has some absolutely beyond hilarious moments, like when Saki decided to join the club. ^_^ Starts off very slowly; it doesn't really pick up at all until mid-way through the second episode. Although it was frustrating at times watching Saki absolutely refuse to even give anime a chance, I can completely relate when I look at a lot of the otaku wannabes I know. Earns the relatively rare "100% Realistic" award.
Genshiken (OAV) Good 76 - It's hard to describe why I like this show, it's really not that funny most of the time; Ogiue is a perfect addition to the cast though, definitely my favorite character by far. Pretty much anything with her in it is priceless, the rest of the time it's just amusing. I guess I'm as much a fan as anyone for shows that poke fun at myself, especially the less "mainstream" aspects of the fandom.
Genshiken 2 (TV) Very good 87 - I think almost everyone will agree that this second season is considerably better than the first. It's more of the same Genshiken, only this time there's Ogiue and he closet Otaku angst. Pretty much everything Ogiue does is either hilarious or really really cute. The second season is also quite a bit more mature in nature, and there's an entire episode with extremely unsubtle yaoi going on, but it was such a perfect parody it's one of my favorite episodes. Generally, it's just more of the same... only better.
Ghost Hound (TV) Good 75 - I'm not even sure where to begin. This show is about as pretentious as they come, spouting out dozens, if not hundreds, of scientifically valid terminology in only vaguely related circumstances. One the one hand, it seems to take itself and the psychology it presents seriously, but on the other hand it seems like the terminology was meant only to set the mood and give you a rough approximation of what is going on; translator's notes are essential if you want to understand the terminology. One thing I simultaneously really did and did not like about it was the pacing and the overall plot. The pacing was really slow in overall time frames, and near the end I kept wondering "why not go save her now instead of putting up boards for the typhoon?" since it all seemed really urgent at the time. The plot on the other hand was probably about as realistic (if undramatic) as they come, and if some sort of earth shattering type situation ever were to happen, it'd probably happen like it did in the show: most of the coincidences were nothing more than coincidences, and the situation seemed a lot more complicated than it really was; not to mention that there was plenty of warning, but because it didn't seem like there was any immediate danger everybody put it off until the last moment. Still, while the psychology in an anime probably isn't grounded in science, it was still a very interesting trip in the end. A special note also goes out a few really awkward sexual relationships in the show, the main character is a bit of a lolicon, and one of his best friends (who gives him trouble about liking Miyako) tries to hit on the woman who he saw was in a relationship with his father. Weird, and awkward to watch at times, but believable and interesting.
Ghost Hunt (TV) Excellent 88 - So many great things here. Interesting characters, that manage to stay very refreshing for the most part, despite feeling rather cliche at second glance. Also takes place in an interesting everyday world, where things make far more sense than I feel like they should. It does start off rather slow for the first few arcs, but that doesn't mean they're not good; each arc builds upon the excitement of the one before it while still making perfect sense and feeling perfectly natural at the same time, a characteristic that is surprisingly rare. The biggest thing going for this show however, is that it delivers. I've seen a number of anime that are considered "horror", but every single one of them left me disappointed; most of them do a great job of either building up to the horrific moments, and building the tension OR they're good at giving graphic over the top scenes that should traumatize you by all rights. The problem is that none of them ever did BOTH of those things, but Ghost Hunt does, and it does it in spades (at times anyway). Each arc definitely needs to be watched in one sitting, and there was one or two arcs where I had to turn on the lights and calm down between episodes and contemplate whether I really wanted to finish it that night. The excellent rating is due solely to the fact that this is the best and only real horror anime I've seen.
Ghost in the Shell (movie) Excellent
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (movie) Excellent 90 - There was even more philosophical dialogue in this movie than the first; in fact, I don't know if anything was supposed to not be philosophical. The scene in the movie where Togusa goes "What the hell are you talking about?!" in response to some forensic lady's philosophical rant was priceless and captured my thoughts exactly. In spite of just how much there was, the philosophy on the nature of machines and humans was pretty good, as is typical of the series (though there were naturally one or two of them that were complete bullshit with elegant wording, this too is typical of the series). The art was absolutely amazing though. While the animation wasn't any different from a TV show, the backgrounds were spellbinding. The sheer quality of the CG and the almost indescribably moody, surreal, and sometimes epic backgrounds in the movie frequently caught me staring at them instead of the gunfights or the talking characters. Also a lot of really good action, particularly the end scene on the ship. The plot was interesting, but it really seemed way too "out there", way too much conspiracy going on (then again, everything in the show is like that).
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society (movie) Very good 85 - The execution of this movie was a little too convoluted compared to the others; and the insane amounts of uncertainty may have been kind of realistic, but with the subtitles, it was extremely hard to follow, so I'm not sure exactly how much of that was the actual dialogue and how much was the translation. The idea behind the plot was definitely the best I've seen recently in terms of practicality, it's one of those ideas that is absolutely unacceptable in public, but just sounds so right on so many levels it's hard to completely deny. The Major's character development throughout the different movies is great, with a resolution that doesn't feel forced (which I would have expected given its nature), is completely understandable, and surprisingly human. Honestly, I don't think I understood the last bit of the conversation between the Major and the Puppeteer, I'll have to rewatch it when it gets dubbed. The graphics were nowhere near as good as the second movie, although part of it may have been the rip quality, most of the backgrounds were animated as opposed to being high quality CG meshes.
(The) Girl Who Leapt Through Time (movie) Excellent 90 - While it is very family friendly, and is a very relaxed slife movie overall, it does get pretty heavy for a few minutes near the end, a great choice in my opinion. Extremely well put together in all aspects, this is sort of happy go lucky romance is something the whole family can appreciate (though it is probably a little more aimed at teenagers and up), so long as they're not the kind of people who can only enjoy Hollywood endings.
Girl's High (TV) Decent 66 - Although it initially seems like a shounen show with some fanservice, it seems like neither shounen or shoujo specifically later on with many elements of both. Although the show starts off with some rather crude and vulgar high school girl humor, it thankfully grows out of that and focuses more on the relationships between the girls and the stupid shenaninigans they manage to get themselves in all the time. Eriko and Yuma get a prize for having a serious friendship where they trust each other without questions; not because it's wierd, but because it's rare in anime (and even rarer among anime high school girls) and extremely refreshing to see.
Grenadier (TV) Decent 64 - Had a LOT of potential with a hot badass heroine, but flushes it down the toilet to become almost all fluff. Quite a bit of fanservice, but the action is also very good when they want it to be. Enemies are too hoaky and follows baddie of the week formula too much to be truly great.
Gunslinger Girl (TV) Excellent 94 - Fantastic. You really feel for both the girls and their handlers and the serious ethical and emotional problems involved in the situation. The animation is stellar, the opening is definitely one of my favorites, and the last disc is extremely touching. Basically, there were no weak points in this show, as long as you realize it is a slice of life anime about the girls and their handlers with action taking the backseat most of the time (not to imply in any way shape or form that the action is sub-par, far from it).
GUNxSWORD (TV) Decent 62 - Good show that reminds me a LOT of Cowboy Bebop (main character looks and acts pretty similar in a lot of ways), but has absolutely no energy for a LONG LONG time. The first 10ish episodes are almost complete fillers, but after that the show dives into the story. Still, I can honestly say I didn't give a rat's ass about what happened to anyone in the story until about episode 20 (way too late for a 26 episode series).
Gurren Lagann (TV) Masterpiece 99 - Awesome, in the true sense of the word: awe-inspiring. This show does just about everything right, on just about every level. There's quite a few episodes that are kind of lack luster, but that's probably just because of the other select few episodes they're being compared to. Yes, it's a crazy over the top show... but it's so crazy and over the top it actually works because it embraces it and works with it. It takes a while to get into the show, but once you do, don't be surprised if you find yourself screaming "HELL YEAH" into your screen every couple episodes. It starts off as humble and small scale as any show, but grows faster than I'm sure anyone thought was possible. The first scene in the first episode isn't a spoiler, it's a promise, and they deliver; even more importantly than how big and... well... awesome the show gets, is that it does it in a completely believable fashion that matches the spirit of the show perfectly. At least as of now, I don't think I've ever been as into a show as I was with Gurren-Lagann, which is not to say that I think it is really better than everything else I've seen, but I pretty much stopped watching (unintentionally) every other anime I'd been watching while I followed this one because I found I just didn't care about them as much.

There's really only one word that can describe this show succinctly, and it is completely true in every sense of the word, this show is truly epic.
.hack//Intermezzo (OAV) Good
.hack//Legend Of The Twilight (TV) Decent
.hack//Liminality (OAV) Very good
.hack//Roots (TV) Weak 37 - The art is as good as always from the .hack series, and I was really into this show for the first few episodes. Unfortunately, after a few episodes of going nowhere faster than ever before, combined with all this conversation that continually reminded the viewer they were watching people play an MMO, leads to a truly unwatchable series. This is absolutely the worst series I've seen in a long time. The fact that this show is a toss-up with Gundam SEED Destiny for "biggest unnecessary angst fest" should explain enough. Haseo is arguably the stupidest character I could even conceive of. I really tried to finish this series, but I just can't do it. I feel like slitting my wrists after each episode I watch now.
.hack//SIGN (TV) Very good A very relaxed show about "The World", an MMORPG that captures the feeling of playing one extremely well. Easily has one of the best scores ever written for a show and all the feeling and emotion evoked by the show is exemplified in the music. This show is a beatiful fantasy world where time seems to flow much slower than normal and can either relax the viewer or make him anxious for what is going to happen.
.hack//Unison (OAV) Decent Didn't see this for a long time after I watched the series (several years), but I had forgotten how pleasant it was to watch something to the Sign music. Although the dancing was even more silly than I had imagined, it was just a pleasant and relaxing episode without any subtle tension present.
Haibane Renmei (TV) Masterpiece 96 - This a very intriguing show in many respects. Although the pacing is not very good, there is quite little to hold one's attention, in addition to the fact that you never get to know what is outside the wall (the only reason this kind of bugged me was because they focused so intently on it for a number of episodes), and the character designs being pretty generic (obviously aside from the wings and halo), these were really the only weaknesses. Oh, and the character development was... "weak" to say the least for everyone who's name is not "Rakka" or "Reki", and I feel as if more would have been nice for most of the side characters, but it is true that the story isn't really about them, so I'll get over it. The world was absolutely hypnotizing though; while watching, hundreds of questions popped into my head that normally would not during most shows, because I really just wanted to know more. Although the mood of the show was not as relaxed as some, the story was. I absolutely adored Rakka's character for the first half of the show, and have never seen such an accurate and moving display of true depression before in anime. I disliked Reki as a character for a good part of the show, and was upset at both Rakka and Reki for being so indecisive and wallowing in their own helplessness in the second half(each in their own way), even if it was understandable and I can't truly fault them too much (OK, I can fault Rakka a bit), it still bugs me; however, I believe I may have found someone who was very similar to me in my approach and dealings with others in Reki. There were a large number of twists and turns in the show that really made the show feel like real life. You can never be 100% sure about how the story is going to unfold, there is human strength and weakness, and there is also fate. Every time I thought I had this show figured out and was getting bored, I was surprised by the next scene; it wasn't until the show was completely over that it all made sense and I finally believe I understand it.
Hellsing (TV) Good 80 - One of the more famous vampire shows it aptly stereotypes the badass vampire. Alucard is very impressive and evil, but not nearly enough was shown of Ceres. I kept waiting and waiting for her to truly turn but it never really happened and I was left hanging; this was definitely my biggest problem with the show. Also very low quality animation, and the whole end arc was terrible.
High School of the Dead (TV) Very good 84 - 9/21/10 - Was this "good"? Well no, at least not in any kind of objective sense. 25% character interaction, 25% fighting, 25% fanservice, and 25% zombie apocalypse. The character interaction part was very... ok. Some of the dynamics behind the scenes were realistic and well thought out, but seeing cockroach-tan be such a pitiful human being wasn't amusing to watch at all, even if that really is how a lot of women would react. The fighting was ok at best. The action scenes were way too dramatic most of the time in presentation, though I guess the absolutely LUDICRIOUS things that Saeko was doing were the only part that fit in. It just seemed off trying to make every fight with zombies, of all things, into a dramatic endeavor since all out fighting against zombies is the least scary thing about them, the scary part is the indescribable constant all-encompassing fear. Now the fanservice? THAT is a win. These characters are all extremely hot and they're given PLENTY of time to show off including what seemed like an entire episode in the shower goofing off. Ah yes, we come to the matter of the zombie apocalypse. In the beginning I thought this was handled really well, with genuinely scared people trying to keep it together but panicking under the stress. There's some really awesome zombie stuff in there where people seem to really wrestle with the morally difficult; and then there's some other stuff where people do unbelievably stupid things, which I guess is actually realistic to be fair, that any sort of immersion and constant fear we had was instantly blown away. One thing in particular that irritated the shit out of me was the number of times people tried to form popular uprisings against "the man", it is so literally incomprehensible in that situation that every time it happened I just had to roll my eyes and try not to hate the show with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. If you're expecting a show where you never know how things are going to turn out, this is not the show to watch. If you want a fun show that happens to have zombies in it, this is definitely something to check out.
Hikaru no Go (TV) Excellent 94 - Unquestionably the best game show I've seen. Memorable characters in a completely believable world, the matches are also shown and described in a very true to life way. Though go at first seems like a boring game, the way it is described in this show will surely turn almost anyone into a fan. This show singlehandedly rekindled my enthusiasm for go.
Hikaru No Go: New Year Special Masterpiece 96 - Very very good. As interesting as ever, the matches here are played out very well, and much more realistically than some of the ones during the show. Also satisfying to watch the group engage in some real matches after going pro; there could be 5, 10 or a 100 more episodes and I'd love every minute of it.
Honey and Clover (TV) Excellent 95 - Piercing. Nothing else has captured the very heart and soul of my college experience quite like Honey & Clover, specifically referring to Takemoto's role and mindset. I haven't finished college yet, but like Takemoto, I am currently floundering from a lack of direction. I see all the people around me looking forward to graduating and getting started on their careers, but I do not know what I want to do. I have been hoping for a revelation, an epiphany, or whatever, even though I know one will never come. I was brought to the brink of tears dozens of times from this show simply from how painfully similar all the romantic and emotional problems were. On some levels it is an absolute masterpiece, on others it felt lacking. The thing is, Honey & Clover doesn't come across as an anime, but as a journey, a trip through the minds of young people trying to find their place in life and deal with their emotional and romantic issues that are painfully realistic.
Hoshizora Kiseki (ONA) Decent 62 - Quite enjoyable to watch, despite the rating. Very nice artwork, good directing, some great shots, the major problem was the story, which was very shallow. Nearly no attempt is made to explain the utterly bizarre circumstances that force the kid to wear the space suit; which seems ok in concept for a video of this length, but is just executed clumsily. Also, for some reason the girl doesn't even REMEMBER the guy who gave her her most prized possesion? Hoaky, wierd, and completely unexplained.
Howl's Moving Castle (movie) Excellent 90 - Although I despised the main character for the first few minutes, there was a completely unexpected twist that really surprised and delighted me. She wasn't angsty, or too mellow to be believable. The world is easily my second favorite of Miyazaki's that I've seen so far, and the way the magic is handled with the castle is really graceful. Calcifer was a great character, I really liked him. It does really annoy me though how often in Miyazaki's movies the characters just help their enemies or let them hang around for no apparent reason, despite the fact that everyone just knows they're going to cause trouble.
Hunter X Hunter (TV) Masterpiece 99 - Hard to beat this series, has a main character that is the stereotypical stubborn personality who won't budge on some things, and yet at the same time has a completely realistic outlook on life and his surroundings. This show would be the definition and the goal of every shounen, takes it's time to delve into the world and the Nen that drives the later show. The fact that Nen isn't introduced until the 20s of the series does so much for the world it is indescribable without having seen it. Not long enough.
Hunter X Hunter (OAV) Excellent 94 - The first OAV after the series ends. Not quite as engaging as the other last two if you ask me, mostly because the whole grimy city atmosphere just doesn't really seem to fit well with the show to me.
Hunter X Hunter: G I Final (OAV) Masterpiece 98 - Despite the somewhat silly sounding sports tournament, I loved this set too. The ending, while it left you begging and pleading for more, actually does a good job of wrapping up the premise for the show (or so I thought anyway, until someone shattered my dreams). There were so many unresolved other issues, this show could have gone on forever.
Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island (OAV) Masterpiece 97 - It's probably because I've played an MMORPG obsessively for a year and a half, but the show does an EXCELLENT job of capturing that feel. This show is the epitome of shounen adventure, the combination of my two favorite categories.
Hyakko (TV) Good 79 - The problem with the wasn't so much what the creators DID do, it's what they didn't. The lackadaisical approach and idea of spending nearly an entire episode introducing each character when there are already more characters than episodes is amusing and moderately well done, but the truth is that one of the only characters I really cared about never quite got as fleshed out as she deserved. This show could have much much better if there were 5-6 less girls in the group and more of the interpersonal issues could have been developed more carefully and fleshed out more. As it stood, we had barely been introduced to a character before they were pushed to the back of the line for screen time. The first couple episodes were pretty weak as well. Hyakko is pretty good as it stands, and the later episodes were quite good, but it could have been great.
Ikki Tousen (TV) Very good 85 - Absolutely shameless fanservice, it's great. I went into it with probably the best mindset for this show: the plot is absolutely retarded, and is more less only an excuse to give more fanservice. To be honest though, EVERYTHING in the show is designed around more fanservice, and it does it DAMN well. Best fanservice anime I've seen to date. Biggest way it could have been better is to have simply been a hentai and had more episodes.
Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny (TV) Good 77 - Generally more of the same from the first season: shameless fan service and an incredibly contrived plot. The real weakness to this season is the unbelievably annoying and out of place new toushi that leads Seito. She doesn't seem to belong in this series at all; she's neither badass nor particularly endearing and she looks deceptively like Hakufu when she is using her full power. There should have been much more Nanyo, and a lot less Seito as the only mildly interesting of the main people in Seito was Kan-u. "Fanservice" doesn't even begin to describe the DVD specials, it was basically just 10 minutes of the characters being naked. The biggest way this show could have been improved would have been to not focus on Seito, aside from that though, I have the same recommendation as the first: it should have just been an OAV from the start so they could get as erotic as they wanted.
Innocent Venus (TV) Decent 6? - It's not so bad that I can condemn it completely, as it does do a number of things right and I can see why someone might like it. However, that does not make this a good anime. The plot for the first 1/2-2/3 of the show, but took a turn for the ludicrious with Jin as it completely undermined so much of what the show had going for it. It took the emphasis off of the delicate and somehow extremely believable world and thrust it onto the unoriginal mechs and "unlocking" their secret power that Venus's mad scientist of a dad locked away in the black box core of the device (for whatever generic reason you care to name), but despite the fact that he was so against it being in there (and of course, he is the ONLY one in the world who understands it or knows what it is that was put in the black box... as it is obvious that he hand assembled those dozens of indescribably complicated pieces and components without any help of any sort from anyone else...), and despite the fact that he could refuse to put them in there on a whim, as he is clearly the only one capable of doing it, he built the super powers into the mech devices anyway.... um, ok. Sorry, I can't stand such obviously cliche and unbelievable plot devices. If it weren't for the hoaky bad guys, the last episode, and a few other extremely blatant cliches used throughout the first couple episodes, I'd probably be giving this show an 80ish rating.
Interlude (OAV) Very good
Inuyasha (TV) Good 82 - This show captivated me and brought me back into anime. The first... 60ish episodes were great, and there were many arcs after that that kept me going because they were actually very interesting. However the big flaw... NOONE EVER DIES, even after you'd swear to god they were dead and you get over them emotionally they just come back like nothing happened. The show never resolves anything, if it did it would have been SOOOooo much better.
Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass Very good
InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler Excellent
Inuyasha the Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island Very good
Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time Very good
Kaiji (TV) Good 75 - The first arc was awesome, like, almost amazingly awesome. I'll be perfectly honest and say that I never would have guessed that rock-paper-scissors could be even 1/10th as awesome as it was in this show. It was one of the most interestingly played out contrived games I've ever seen, and everyone I knew thought this show was one of the best of the season. Then the arc ended, and it all went downhill and stayed there. The main character turns out to not be as bad ass as he could have been, and I could have lived with that, but all the shit they had people do was pretty stupid. Walking across electrified I beams, really? The E-card game was pretty interesting too, but not even comparable to the first arc. Even more importantly though, was that the novelty was lost when the same shit kept happening over and over again, you knew how things were going to turn out because you knew how long the show was, it really took away from the suspense. I'd say the first arc was awesome and was absolutely worth watching, but if you skipped the rest of it, I wouldn't blame you.
Kaleido Star (TV) Very good 83 - Sora is a rather difficult to describe character. Aside from her insecurities for part of the second half, she portrays many of the best characteristics that people have, and yet still comes across as a very human character (probably because she's an idiot). She also has some of the absolutely best reactions to events I've seen in a long long time, just see the very beginning and then the end of the first episode for genuinely laugh-out-loud expressions and reactions from her. Although the second half of the show suffers from quite a bit of repeat-itus, it was absolutely necessary in retrospect. Although everything had felt resolved after the first half, something didn't quite feel right, and it would have been a shame if the show had ended there because the feeling just wasn't right even when everything went as it should. Layla's return to the stage was perfectly planned out and executed for what I would consider to be as perfect of an ending as was possible.
Kaleido Star: New Wings Extra Stage (OAV) Good 72 - Meh, its more Kaleido goodness, but it brings the repeat-itus that the main show suffered during the second half to a new level of "wow, I know I've seen this before..." Although it was totally unnecessary in every way shape and form, and the character interactions were a step back from the resolution of the ending of the main show, it was still pleasant to see the characters again.
Kamichu! (TV) Excellent 94 - An absolutely fantastic slice of life show. Some call it "Spirited Away for TV", and I wouldn't say they're that far off (except that I didn't like SA and I do like this show...). It's an extremely relaxed show, and watching Yurie explore her newfound powers and the world she now inhabits is almost hypnotizing. Don't expect some sort of profound overarching plot, it's very episodic, and even hoaky at times; but still it has one of those almost undefinable qualities that is hard to describe in words. The soundtrack is also amazing, it's probably the best one I've heard since Hack Sign; it's a kind of pleasant mix between traditional asian sounds, and celtic melodies.
Kämpfer (TV) Decent 66 - (1/10) - Haha, oh wow. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this one of the most nonsensical premises I've ever seen. I was convinced there was no way this show could redeem itself after how stupid the first episode was, and I was right in every way I thought about. However, I completely overlooked the possibility that the entire premise would be completely ignored for the vast majority of the series, only being dealt with when absolutely necessary, and sometimes not even then. While the plot made less than no sense, that's not really what everyone watched the show for, they watched it for the fan service. The fan service wasn't super gratuitous like some shows, but it was more about indulging a guy's fantasy of what he wishes it would be like if he were turned into a girl with all sorts of other girls fighting over him and/or going gay for him. Visually appealing characters in a setting designed for not purely visual fan service is a strong combination. For a while there it was actually pretty great, and was highly enjoyable to watch, but the beginning and end were obviously really bad. The last episode was an entirely different matter in and of itself, and I have no idea if the animators were trying to imply something or what, no idea how to interpret anything there.
Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (TV) Good 80 - Slapstick used to be the only type of comedy in anime, a term I use loosely as it wasn't funny even when I was 10. Fortunately, the last couple of years have seen a boon in more intellectually stimulating humor, and at parts of this show are among the best. It gets kind of heavy handed at times, especially near the end, far too much so for my tastes and the general atmosphere of the show, but when they're not being all introspective it's pretty great. The plot gets incredibly complicated in extremely believable and consistent ways that lead to incredibly awkward situations. There's not much more to say than: generic supernatural-tinted harem school life comedy, with a good sense of humor.
Kanon (TV 2/2006) Very good 90 - I really want to give this higher... maybe I will after some more reflection... but for now I just can't. There were a number of weak spots with the show, but overall it was done extremely well. There were some scenes that left me leveled with their unpredictability, but far more often I kept guessing what was going to happen since it seemed kind of cliche. The other problem, is that while I found the characters in the middle arcs far more interesting, the story felt like it was exactly the same tragedy playing itself out over again and again. However, the last couple episodes were phenomenal. After watching Air I had expected to be bawling over and over again during this show, and yet I never even shed a tear... and then I heard Ayu's third wish.
Karas (OAV) Very good 90 - It takes quite a bit to impress me with action sequences, even more to impress me with CG, and even more than that to impress me with well blended in CG. Karas has THE most beautiful graphics I've ever seen, bar none. Among the best fighting sequences ever (though it looks clunky at times with them wielding these swords in such complicated ways while wearing a full suit of armor), highly likable characters, a complex (if not deep) plot, and great looking characters. It has nearly everything you could want out of a 6 episode long action series.
Karin (TV) Decent 64 - Another show that seems very unique at first, but quickly lapses into the school romance comedy genre. I almost didn't finish this show as it was just so predictable and boring. The last episode was awesome, but is overshadowed by the rest of the series. Despite the pathetic copout they took with the reset button, the last episode was unquestionably the best.
Kasimasi - Girl Meets Girl (TV) Decent 66 - Disapointing on many levels. A great idea, and excecuted well many parts of it, but the male best friend and teacher had too much screen time for their roles. Also, the decision in the end felt as if the characters were 'cheating', and so I was angry that they got away with it.
Katanagatari (TV) Decent
Kaze no Stigma (TV) Good 77 - Far from revolutionary, this show is perhaps one of the most generic feeling shows I've seen in a while... and yet, somehow, it felt fresh almost the whole way through. It's truly a hard feat to make something with so many shounen cliches and an almost indescribably generic animation style feel so unique. I was hardly waiting every week at wit's end for each episode, I even dropped it entirely for like 3 months, but almost every episode left me really wanting to see the next by episode 10. I guess it's like a warm blanket among shounen shows, it's nothing genre defining, but it's a good way to get more of a good thing without ruining the shows you've seen already. Again, very hard to describe... but this manages to be a very interesting show that I would watch for hours until I'd seen all the episodes I had.
Kiddy Grade (TV) Very good
Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World (movie) Masterpiece 96 - It's been so long since I saw any Kino, I was kind of hesitant to get back into it. As soon as I heard that first chord though, so reminiscent of the show I loved so much, I was hooked. It delved into a country struggling against a power it couldn't effectively fight, who was going to extreme measures to win at any cost, only to lose sight of the goal. The country goes over the top, but it is this sort of very human thought process that is scarily real and surreal at the same time. Only Kino's Journey really seems to capture this, and it does so magnificently. The only slightly negative thing was how the cg and 2d didn't really match at times, it was kind of jarring how bad it was actually.
Kino's Journey (TV) Masterpiece 99 - Amazing on so many levels, there isn't anything I can say to do it justice. This show is tiers above even Haruhi in pure storytelling ability. Kino also takes the title of my favorite philosopher and probably even favorite heroine. I don't know if I could ever grow tired of watching this show. It has also been re-confirmed that 'adventure' is indeed my favorite category of them all.
Kino's Travels: Life Goes On (movie) Excellent 95 - Essentially an additional (slightly longer) episode that explains part of Kino's past. I just love Kino to death, so I'd have a hard time not liking this one too.
Kite (OAV)
Kujibiki Unbalance (OAV) Decent 65 - I really wasn't very sure how to rate it. It's a show designed entirely around cliches. Every speech, every action, every character, all were cliches; so I'm not sure if I should rate it down for not being original, or rate it up for being so deliberately unoriginal. It's a show based off the favorite show of an anime club in an anime, so I'm not really sure how much I expected... but watching this, one has to wonder what kind of freak otaku really loved this that much, but maybe that's intentional. I just don't know.
Kurenai (TV) Good 76 - (8/08) - I've seen a lot of anime at this point, and I've become pretty good at gauging shows based on relatively short clips, but this one threw me for a bit of a loop. Yeah, sure, most of the show was exactly what I expected: Murasaki experiencing normal life. The rest of the show felt kind of silly, as it was about this almost mythically powerful family that continues to practice ancient traditions for no reason beside that they can and they always have. The ending was also pretty stupid and was really awkward to watch, how could Murasaki possibly come to such a conclusion as the best possible ending? The best part of the show was too short, and there was too much fighting with a clearly mediocre budget; the art was all high quality, but the fights were animated at much too low of a frame rate to actually be engaging in any way. The ending and complete lack of development of some really important characters definitely killed my enthusiasm here.
Kyo no Gononi (OAV) Decent 67 - Probably the closest thing to loli smut you can get that's not graphic. It's all really innocent scenes, that are actually pretty realistic for kids, which is a surprise. However, underneath the innocence lies an apparent sexual tension between the kids that not even superman could break. It's really much more amusing than the rating belies, maybe even as high as an 8/10 for amusingness, but I just can't get myself to rate it any higher because it's so innocent.
Last Exile (TV) Very good 88 - This show was lacking in so many ways... the extremely hoaky revolutionary era style military, the complete lack of explanation of what Alvis is and why she is so important, huge number of cliche aspects all across the board... but somehow I managed to get drawn in. I think the biggest aspect was simply the flying, it felt so real, and Claus and Lavie's love of doing it just felt so real it brought out the same feelings from me. I'd always wanted to be a pilot, particularly a military one, and watching them soar in the skys like they do I could completely relate to their love of the sky. Another really nice aspect was that most of the end was quite unpredictable; you knew how it was going to turn out... but you didn't know how, and that was where they got you. Although many of the characters feel extremely cliche at first, many of them take unexpected developments that manage to fit their character very well in retrospect. The very end was rather silly though, and I don't think I really understand what happened. All in all, with the absolute gorgeous visuals (especially when they're flying) and Claus and Lavie's enthusiasm for flying, I think the viewer would be hard pressed not to fall in love with the idea of having a vanship.
Last Order Final Fantasy VII (OAV) Excellent 93 - Very solid. I never finished FFVII, so I'm not sure if the material comes from the game or not, but it's a great recap of what happened and helps to explain the importance of Zack to Cloud. Great action too.
Little Nemo - Adventures in Slumberland (movie) Good 78 - I had completely forgotten about this. I had seen it when I was a child, maybe 7-8, and absolutely loved it to death. I even played the NES game based on it and loved that game too. Looking back it was a pretty stereotypical kid's show, but it was done very well and was a great shounen fantasy adventure.
Living for the Day After Tomorrow (TV) So-so 55 - Life passing you by too fast? Does a 20 minute episode from most shows only feel like 5 minutes? Want to see a show where every episode feels like an eternity while you're watching it; even if, looking back on it, you can't name a single thing that occurred or progressed in that episode? Well then, this show is for you. Seriously though, the concept wasn't terrible, and the atmosphere is actually quite well done; but then there's everything else to consider... the characters are paper thin (aside from Karada), they make huge personality/outlook shifts at just the right time for no explicable reason, they tried to make the ending way too clean and idyllic (but it ends up coming off as a copout), the base attitudes of the characters also feels really contrived, and finally, there's absolutely no plot. I don't mean "there's no plot" as in "a bunch of wacky stuff that doesn't tie to together"... I mean that they don't do anything out of the ordinary. The main character ages 10ish years instantly, and her biggest concern is making cakes and going to the store.
Love Hina (TV) Good 75 - The harem that defines all others. Lots of cute girls, decent humor, as cliche as they get but still one of the better harems. Gets way too repetitive at times as it focuses in on the most boring of all the harem by far, Naru.
Love Hina Again (OAV) Good 78 - I think this one was a little better than the original, though it's only 3 episodes, so it's pretty compact. It has a real story, even if it is pretty hoaky, while the original is pretty much random stuff. I also liked the character design for Kanako, and even if she was a manipulating bitch, she was surprisingly amusing to watch her do it. Much much better animation quality than the original too.
Love Hina Spring Special - I Wish Your Dream Good
Lucky Star (TV) Very good 85 - It's the comedy show without a punchline, the fan service show without any 'fan service', in fact, it doesn't even have a plot. It's a show about a bunch of quirky Japanese high school girls who hang out together, mostly at school. To really put things in perspective, the first 8-9 minutes of the show is about what method they use to eat their snacks. Nearly every conversation in the entire show is small talk, the kind of conversations you have with those around you when you don't have anything else to talk about. Even something like Azumanga Daioh looks like a serious philosophical compared to Lucky Star, I'm not even sure how it works. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, I really liked this show. It was a great show to watch when you just want to sit down and relax and watch something without getting too worked up about the next episode. There were a lot of funny moments, but very few of them had me really laughing out loud. This is definitely a show that has a lot more 'umph' to a serious anime fan with a lot of titles under their belt, as it makes myriad references to other anime, particularly other Kyoto Animation projects like FMP, Haruhi and Kanon. If you're looking for side-aching laughter, this is definitely not the show you're looking for; but if you're looking for a show that you don't have to take seriously in the slightest, can pick up whenever you feel like it, and will keep you amused, this is probably a good pick.
Lucky Star OVA Very good 89 - More of the same, but being an OVA it's really just more of the absolute best parts. The style is much more eclectic, and they play around a lot more. The dialogue is witty, and the jokes are relatively funny, except for the Zero scene, which was painful.
Macross Frontier (TV) Very good 85 - (4/9) - It's hard to believe how much of an impact good music can have on a show, and if there's one thing Macross is unambiguously good at, it's music. The show starts off strong and doesn't dilly dally in introducing the characters and their relationships, which is a relief, since it's boring as hell to watch 20 episodes of "I know I like him, but I don't want to admit it so I'll act like we're enemies". Ok, so there's a love triangle for pretty much the whole series, but it was handled in such a practical way that it didn't really irritate me; if anything I kind of liked it, for which I have no logical defense, it just seemed to fit. While the music, and particularly Ranka's main song, were hauntingly beautiful, even in a show about music there is such a thing as being overused; the song was played in pretty much every episode, sometimes more than once it seemed. The emotional effect of music is lost if you hear the song too often, especially in a short time period, rest for the ears and mind makes it that much more intense when it comes back, and especially near the end of the show the constant singing was kind of distracting and kept breaking the tension by reminding me I was watching an anime. Also, the whole conspiracy angle left quite a bit to be desired, and while the primary antagonists' goals and methods made reasonable sense (even if the motive of proving Ranka's mom wrong seemed implausibly petty) everyone else involved got little to no explanation of why they cared or why they even needed their help to do what they wanted (particularly the guy who assassinated the president, wtf). There was also probably too much allusion to some evil many of the humans are committing, the show acted as though they were being unreasonable, but then never even addressed the issue. Aside from the unnecessary amount of plot armor... overall very solid, it had good space fighting, good music, good characters, an interesting plot, and good pacing.
Even now, more than a year (4/10) after I finished the series, the music continues to be incredibly powerful to me. I am constantly reminded of what is easily in my top three favorite scenes/quotes of all time from an anime: episode 5, 15:58-17:44.
Macross Plus (OAV) So-so Although it seemed good on the first watch, this was almost certainly due to a lack of experience on my part in mech shows. Not a whole lot going for it, though there are some good dramatic scenes that kept me watching, overall this show was quite hoaky (even accounting for the short length).
Madlax (TV) Decent Very abstract presentation, gave me the feeling: "distracted"; as if the story was being told not for my benefit, but just because it was something to do to pass the time. The show gets very psychological near the end (though it doesn't really resolve any of the questions it poses satisfactorly), did have a nice twist though.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (TV) Very good 87 - Absolutely the best mahou shoujo show I've seen, well... it could have been pretty easily. It's probably number 2, that's in spite of the fact that: they stuck completely unneccessary fanservice in the middle of the BEST transformation sequence ever, the show slowed to a grinding halt near the end, and they repeated things way too often near the end. The last 2-3 episodes kind of killed the show just with how slow and overdramatic everyone was, yes yes... it's sad... that's terrible. Get over it. Maybe I was just disappointed because the first few episodes were sooo good. Also had extremely good graphics in the first episode, but where they disappeared to, I know not.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's (TV) Very good 86 - Just as good, if not better than the original in a number of ways, form pacing to the rather interesting aspect that nearly every character was involved for his/her own logical personal reasons, not just 'because they were fated to'. The animation was very good to excellent throughout, and even if the plot seemed fairly generic at first, it was still handled well. The one issue I had was the unfortunate partial use of the 'reset button'. In the first show, absolutely noone with powers even remotely comparable to Fate and Nanoha existed, Chrono was close... but still no match in raw power. In the first one the two girls had so much power when they fought that they ripped a whole in space (...or something like that, I forget); but in this one, they are constantly fighting opponents of equal or greater power and noone seems to think anything of it. It's frustrating to watch the bad ass unchallenged girls go from being what they were in the first show to being 'just another mage' in the second one. That alone garners this show a lower score than the first. The one thing that was very interesting was the constant non-stop use of magic throughout the show, it was awesome at first, but they never stopped using the long drawn out attack charging sequences before each attack; if anything, they got worse. I was actually rather embarrassed watching how hoaky and silly the end battle turned out.
Mahō Sensei Negima!: Mō Hitotsu no Sekai (OAV) Good 77 - (11/10) - Is it "good"? Well, that's a vague question. If the question is "is it high quality"? Then the answer is a definite no. If the question is "did you find it highly enjoyable and you would continue to watch it if there was more"? Then the answer is hell yes. It's no secret I'm a huge fan of the Negima series, so anything and everything related to canon Negima is awesome in my book, even some mediocre OAVs. The production quality was quite low, some of the lowest I've ever seen for an OAV. The actual animation for the fight scenes was pretty decent most of the time, but the choreography was so uninspired that the fights didn't have any tension to them. The animation when they weren't fighting was abysmally sparse and choppy. The other thing that was irritating, as usual, is the amount of awesome stuff they cut out and sped through. All in all it was pretty clear that these OAVs were not an attempt to make a serious series, they're just a bunch of relatively low quality stuff made by the studio's animator rejects to appease the Negima fanbase with more content. They weren't all bad, but they certainly weren't very good from an objective standpoint. I sure hope they take the movie (and hopefully the Yue spinoff) more seriously or I am going to be sad.
Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba (OAV) Excellent 86 - (6/09) - My original exposure to the Negima series was the first anime, and I freely admit that I watched the whole thing. As can be seen from my rating I thought it had some redeeming qualities, but was overall pretty weak. Due to this, I never felt any overwhelming desire to go read the manga, but when I did I was genuinely blindsided by how solid it was. This OAV is definitely not an awesome stand alone piece, but for someone who really loves the series any anime that follows the manga faithfully is a godsend. It was kind of jarring at the beginning of each episode, when they repeatedly cut from scene to scene without any transition because I never really understood the point of showing those shots at all; it would have flowed much better to simply not have them in there at all. While the jarring and random transitions were confusing and definitely detracted from the overall experience, that's really the only main complaint. The animation was quite frankly amazing for a series like this, the art was pretty, it was faithful to the spirit of the manga, and it was generally just a an all around joy to watch something I recently got into being animated with so much care.
Mahou Sensei Negima! OVA Haru Very good
Mahou Sensei Negima! OVA Natsu
Maria Holic (TV) Decent 66 - (4/09) - While certainly not groundbreaking, I give this show a lot of props for how directly it goes for its target audience. The humor isn't very funny, in fact it's downright bland; the characters were the only driving force for me in this show, and the main character was really really repetitive. I kept expecting something more, as though she'd show some development, but at the end it was all still exactly the same as it started out as. I watched the show almost exclusively for Mariya, and throughout I enjoyed just about every scene he was in, but in retrospect I wish I would have watched something else. The production values and style were fabulous for the show, but even those can't make up for such repetition of gags that weren't funny the first time.
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV) Masterpiece 100 - Wow, not much more to say here. Best writing for a series ever, period. Kyon is hilariously sarcastic and while hesitant (and rightfully so) of what is going on around him, he accepts it when he should. This is a seemingly stereotypical school romance series at first glance, but turns out to be much more (in many ways). There are other shows I like more, but this is possibly the only one I would give a score of 11/10 to if I could.
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV 2009 renewal) Very good 84 - (9/09) - ENDLESS EIGHT, that is all. Ok, so this needs a little bit of an explanation. It takes BIG BALLS to do something like Endless Eight, and while it did and does piss me off, I still give them credit it for doing that. The episodes about the making of the film were lackluster overall, and while I could hardly expect them to be as good as the original, it's almost like I'm watching a different show. There were moments of hilarity and craziness, but it's not THAT crazy, so it's pretty anti-climactic when you know how it's going to turn out. It's amusing and worth watching (baring most of endless eight), but it might as well be filler for all intents and purpose.
Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya (ONA)
Midori Days (TV) Decent 68 - Earns itself quite a few cookie points for the clever (if extremely hoaky) plot, that is handled rather well. This was actually a very interesting show at times, and the different relationships were pretty interesting. The end was much better than I'd expected, even if it was exactly what I expected. Although the relationships seemed extremely over the top at times, I felt pretty uncomfortable watching it, mostly because I was that kind of person in high school, I was probably closest to the girl in Seiji's class in terms of attitude. I particularly like how Seiji really liked ecchi movies and pictures, but couldn't watch them when Midori became his right hand (funny how it wasn't his left hand).
Minami-ke (TV) Excellent 92 - "A typical comedy slice of life with three sibling protagonists who don't have any parents." If that was your first impression of the show, you'd be completely right, but completely missing the point. It may be extremely stereotypical in plot, but the writing is really about as good as it gets. Most of the jokes and moments in the show aren't exactly material that makes one's sides ache from laughter, but I certainly found them to be enjoyable in a way that I can rarely find in anime: as genuinely witty. The banter between the characters was (when they weren't setting up a joke for later) really cleverly done, it almost always sounds like the sort of conversations that you can imagine actually going on between kids, at least in meaning if not in their overly/underly developed vocabulary and their overly/underly proper grammar. The nice thing is though, the show doesn't take you for an idiot with their jokes; they'll set a joke up with a seemingly innocuous scene only to tell you the punchline 2 episodes later. The scenes with Hosaka were absolutely priceless as well; originally he had really irritated me, but he grew on my quite a bit by the end.
Minami-ke: Betsubara (OAV) Very good 88 - Yet more of the same. This may as well have been just another episode of Okaeri, with the same strengths and weaknesses aside from the slightly more effort having been put into it as an OAV.
Minami-ke: Okaeri (TV) Very good 84 - (4/09) - If there was one thing this season did absolutely correct, it was that they realized what an abject failure the second season was and tried desperately to mimic the first season. The OP sounds almost exactly the same (despite being a completely different song), the OP animation is nearly identical in theme and quirks to the first season, almost all of the character's personalities were returned to the way they were supposed to be, they didn't just arbitrarily cut entire sections of the cast from the whole show, they DID cut out the shitty character(s) introduced in Okawari, the jokes regained a good deal of the wit they had in the first season, and yet while it still wasn't quite as good it's nothing to scoff at. Once again Minami-ke is a show that deserves accolades for its dry wit. There were a few problems though, the biggest one is that in the first season the show became exponentially more complex, crazy, and funny as time went on with each scene building upon the last; Okaeri is like stagnation, it's just about as good as what came before it, but it's not really getting BETTER. Very amusing, and I love the characters (especially Kana when she's being her troublemaker self), and while it's no first season, nor is it as unacceptable as the second season; this is a winner for those with a dry wit, but it's probably not going to be an all time classic like Ouran.
Minami-ke: Okawari (TV) Decent 67 - Talk about a huge disappointment. I really loved the first season, but this one really was a bait and switch. The studio changed for this season, and they really didn't understand what it was that made the show funny. The jokes weren't as well played out, the situations didn't slowly build to be more and more complicated and awkward, and the characters acted drastically outside of their original characters at times. Kana was no longer the diabolical mastermind of everything that goes down... well... she is, but only through inexplicable force of personality as opposed to being an intelligent girl who simply wants to make things "interesting". IN addition, the distinctly changed personality of Hosaka and the COMPLETE lack of the other Minami family is like a huge kick in the nuts. The show is still kind of interesting, but I certainly wouldn't have finished it if it weren't for the first season.
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (TV) Excellent 91 - Despite the extremely reused shots of the gundams launching, and the amazingly unsatisfying battles (most of them anyway, mechs just don't do much for me), the commentary on war and the psychology of people was quite interesting. A large cast of really likable characters; I especially liked Lacus Clyne, she would be one of those perfect girls.
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny (TV) So-so 55 - The angst, oh the angst; I've never seen a character as bad as Shinn before, and I can't imagine one worse. With the sole exception of Shinn, this is still a pretty bad war drama. Although it feels like some cheesy soap opera at times, I'll kind of forgive it because of the large cast of endearing characters. It makes some very different points than the first show, and many of the repeated events are actually kind of realistic (though most are painful UNrealistic, and make me wanna cry they're so forced). I did particularly like the Lacus duo drama and the decision made by Dullindal (I'm against the idea of course, but the concept is one that fits in very well with the story) for the realism involved in both parts. The unwillingness of many of the characters to admit they are wrong and join the clearly correct side was painful to watch, though at times it was realistic of them to decide as they did, at others it seemed like they were just being idiots for the sake of reenacting the destiny left from the previous show in some way. This show killed the memory of SEED. I don't care how much of a fan of SEED you are, do not watch this if you want to continue liking SEED.
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed MSV Astray (OAV Promo) Awful Oh my god, this was terrible. It was terrible in every way that anything COULD be terrible. Retarded plot, WAY too short to get into the action, too many characters for the air time, poor animation, overall one of the worst things I've ever seen in every way.
Momo: The Girl God of Death (TV) Good 75 - An amazing relaxing show about death. This isn't a show about fighting or anything at all that would get your heart pumping, but it has very good life lessons in how Momo tries to get all the souls under her jurisdiction to live lives of no regret and live their lifes to the fullest.
Monster (TV) Excellent 93 - Extremely disturbing view into the mind of humans. It takes a while to get into the world and the style, but by the 20th episode I could only watch 3-4 episodes at a time as by the end of each run I would be sweating and tired. A show whose genius can only really be discovered by someone who goes into it with no expecations and is willing to watch at least the first season or two.
MoonPhase (TV) Decent 66 - Started out as a possible 10 in my book with the quality of the art work, style, Hazuki's potential to be a bad ass, and score. For some reason though this show turns into a romantic comedy for the next 10ish episodes and then tries to turn back into a serious show for the most part. Sounds cool, but it just comes off as indesicive and weak. Also worth noting is the budget cuts that turned the show into a slide show in the middle, it took me almost 4 months to finish the show after how they butchered its potential.
Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit (TV) Excellent 93 - There'd better be a sequel to this. There's not a lot of action truth be told, but what there is is absolutely GORGEOUS, in every way that it could be. Probably the best non hand-to-hand fighting I've ever seen. Balsa is a very interesting character, and is far too rare in anime for my tastes; she's a badass martial artist female with a realistic perspective on things. I don't know how there could be a sequel to this show, but I hear it's based off of a series of novels, so I'm going to hope against hope. As good as all of that is though, it absolutely pales in comparison to the believability of the world they live in. The animation is beautiful at all times though, not just in fight scenes. The plot is also one that I can't find even a single fault with. Balsa is pretty smart, and the fact that she knew that there was no need to run far away immediately pleased me greatly. Too often in shows the bad guys just automatically know or find out where the heroes are, and the heroes can never get a break or get beyond their pursuer's grasp. Just about the only thing keeping this show from getting an even higher rating is that the pacing felt kind of odd about 2/3 through the show as they focused more than they probably should have on the palace's side of things. Almost the entire length of the show it felt like it was lacking energy, but everything aside from the palace stuff was genuinely interesting and plenty to make up for it.
Moyashimon (TV) Excellent 90 - College life hijinks, awkward sexual first encounters, microbes, and alcohol in every episode... how could it go wrong? Well, it doesn't. The show starts off kind of slowly, but as Tadayasu gets more used to school life, everything gets crazier and crazier, and better and better. The fact that this show takes place in college is also a huge bonus; while high school settings are great and all sometimes... the atmosphere at a university really is almost like a different world. Moyashimon really captures what it feels like sometimes as a freshmen (i.e. feeling like you're running around like a headless chicken), and despite the ridiculous events, it never really loses that feeling.
Murder Princess (OAV) Good 71 - Perhaps the most revolutionary thing about this show is how incredibly unoriginal it is. Just about everything in it is part of the stereotypical fantasy anime cliches. Even so, it really wasn't a waste of time and was enjoyable enough. There was too much insipid romance, and a really hoaky bad guy for the first couple episodes, but in general the show ignores all of that in favor of action and drama. One of the best things about this is the animation quality (it is in OAV after all), so watching Farith slice all the monsters is surprisingly engrossing. It's short enough that it only feels stagnant for an episode or two to lull you into thinking you can predict the end, and I'm sure you can to a limited degree, but there were a few really unexpected moments to be sure.
Mushi-Shi (TV) Masterpiece 99 - Fantastic only barely begins to describe this. This show is so lethargic, so laid back, I actually had to lay down and take a nap after watching some of the episodes. It feels very slow, and very deliberate, and is positively spellbinding. Although it was kind of annoying to watch Ginko know just about everything there is to know about an entire form of life and all its species, the method to his knowledge is eventually explained. The world is hypnotizing in its simplicity and mysteriousness. Even if it is only to Ginko and the viewer, the abnormal is normal, the mysterious is simple in nature and rarely difficult to discover, and the solutions are poetic and realistic. This show is similar to Kino's Journey on many levels, but unlike Kino, the artwork in this show is absolutely the most lush, vivid, realistic, and entrancing I've ever seen. It reminds me of a Western Washington rainforest, and makes me want to go hiking. At times, this show also does perhaps one of the best jobs of delving into the pysche of people and how they deal with trama. Though not as many answers are provided as issues, Mushishi has an undeniable psychological aspect to it. WARNING - If you go into it expecting a revolutionary show, you won't find it. It is a relaxing slice of life set in a mysterious alternate past, and there is not much in particular about the show that is special, aside from the mushi.
My Neighbor Totoro (movie) Good Another Miyazaki fairytale masterpiece... too bad I don't particularly care that much for how childish this movie in particular seems. I love the adventure of his movies, though I personally think this is one of his weakest worlds. I don't remember there being much of any "drive" or serious story in this movie, it's more a sort of playing-around-seeing-what-happens-and-then dealing-with-it sort of thing.
My-HiME (TV) Very good
My-Otome (TV) Very good 88 - I really liked this a lot better than the original My-Hime, and I have almost no idea why. Ok, I have two pretty solid ideas: Arika (whom I liked as a character) and the different endings. The world is a more fantasy version that seems to fit the powers better. It was very interesting to see how they brought back nearly all the old characters and they were very similar to how they were, so no character explanation was necessary. Also much better in that there was no contrived ending! It's not really a groundbreaking show, but I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than I would have thought.
My-Otome 0~S.ifr~ (OAV) Good 71 - (3/09) - None of the hypocritical and irrational power level BS, and they don't waste time trying to hype up every single fight. Every part of the series should have been this straightforward, either the characters are stupidly powerful or they're not, especially near the end it's hard to even call them "fights" when they're so one sided. It was fun to watch, and awesome to watch Rena go off, but they never really explain what's going on with Rena as far as I can tell. Overall it was solid and fun for a fan of the series, but there simply wasn't enough time to develop all the new characters, and that everyone looks like everyone else is really confusing at times, not to mention trying to figure out how completely new characters that look unique fit into the overall plot.
My-Otome Zwei (OAV) So-so 57 - Meh. I was more than a little disappointed with this. The story felt extremely tacked on (to say the least), the power imbalances were as bad as I've ever seen in a long while, and as usual, everyone seems to regard and follow Arika as if she was the strongest Otome in the world for absolutely no explainable reason. Nice to see everyone hanging out... but it's really not the same when Arika is looked at like some force of nature while the rest of the Otome can't do jack.
Najica Blitz Tactics (TV) Good Like panty shots? Well the first shot of the show is one. Averages at least 100 panties an episode I'm sure. Done pretty well over all, but many others have done most of the things better; story wasn't particularly unique either by any means, but still quite interesting.
Naruto (TV) Excellent 90 - There's a lot of things wrong with this show, such as the fact that the main character is the most annoying character in the show. That said, this show does a LOT of things right. It has a huge endearing cast, ninjas, an interesting alternate world, and does a very good job (most of the time anyway) of humanizing the villians while still making their perspectives rather believable. Also, and perhaps more importantly, Naruto has some of the absolute best dramatic moments out there, and some hypnotizing fight scenes that just seem to get better and better as the show progresses.
Naruto (OAV) Bad 28 - Oh man did this feel cheesy and tacked on. I don't care that it's for a game, it was terrible judged on its own merits. The script was almost unbelievably cheesy and forced around whatever goal they had in mind at that moment, the action was extremely low quality (to the point that it can barely be called "action")... essentially, the whole thing was an excuse to cameo all the characters in the show, even the characters that shouldn't be there for any of a number of reasons (like being dead...).
Naruto Special: Battle at Hidden Falls. I Am the Hero! (OAV) Very good Actually quite good. One of the best fillers I've seen for the show, captures many of the best parts of the show, doesn't go overboard, and best of all, doesn't feel like a chore to watch! Very good naruto people! Now if only ALL the fillers were like this...
Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom So-so 55 - Bleh, talk about unoriginal. I know Naruto is a shounen, I know it is really long, and I know it reuses a similar format... but come on. I was really impressed with the overall story idea, and was trying to focus on that aspect while watching, but the incredible cheesiness of the dialogue and fight scenes (with one sole, short, exception) was too much. Come on, a 4-way pinky promise (when two of them shouldn't even be involved at all).... twice?! Way too many cheesy promises, and a terribly anti-climactic end fight. This is one movie that should probably be skipped by all but the most unreasonably obsessive Narutards.
Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel Very good This movie met and exceeded my expectations in all respects until about 10 minutes before the last fight until about 10 minutes after it was over. Those 25ish minutes were absolutely pure torture as I watch the Naruto animators brutally gang-rape another great piece. The first half of the movie deserves a 9 or a 10 imo, but the bad section was actually REALLY REALLY bad and maybe only a 5 at best (at BEST).
Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow Good
Naruto: Akaki Yotsuba no Clover o Sagase (OAV) Bad Wow, this was just so bad, I don't know why they even bothered to make this if they weren't going to use it as a filler on TV (and even then it would have been a TERRIBLE episode).
Naruto: Konoha Sports Festival (movie) Awful 11 - Indescribably bad. It fails on every level that something can fail: emphasizes the most annoying characteristics of an already rather annoying cast, animation so bad it's almost hard to tell what is going on at times, 5 year-old potty humor, a script that looks like it was written by a third grader that was high on LSD for the first time in his life, and no purpose, direction, or resolution to any aspect of the OAV.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (movie) Good 73 - Nausicaa herself is a very very likable character and perhaps the main reason I even LIKED this movie. I didn't really like the other character designs at all, the world seemed a little too forced for me to get into it, the bad guys didn't seem particularly logical about their approach, basically every scene that didn't involve Nausicaa I had to "trudge" through to get to her next scene.
Needless (TV) Decent 69 - (1/10) - On the one hand, it does what it set out to do extremely well. It was more or less exactly what it was trying to be, but that doesn't mean it's what I wanted to watch. I have no idea how character designs get so much more attractive on the whole, but most of the girls in the show, particularly Eve, were just fun to watch in every scene they were in. The first few episodes are without a doubt the highlight of the show, with the characters roaming around the wasteland strategizing against their opponents and having to actually do a little thinking. Everything changes though when they get to the Simeon tower, and the whole rest of the series is nothing but posturing, endless fighting between inexhaustible opponents, and third-grade level banter between the fighters while everyone else stands off to the side doing nothing. I can really get into a series that emphasizes guts and determination being the deciding factors, but this was just stupid. It really didn't help that many of the character's motivations were ludicrously retarded or inconsistent. I was really into the first third of the show, but with the direction the show turned, to put it simply: it turned into crap.
Negima! (TV) Decent 66 - Surprisingly good considering how childish it seems (though there is WAY WAY too much fanservice for a kids show). The last few episodes were REALLY REALLY good, then the last episode more or less undoes all the effort on the subtle plot hints made by the author leading up to the climax.
Negima!? (TV) Not really good 46 - (7/09) - LOLSHAFT. Considering how much I love the manga, I'm kind of blown away that I can dislike this so much. In no way shape or form is it faithful to the source material, either in most of the character's personalities or in the overall spirit of the series. This was basically nothing more than another excuse for SHAFT to do their lolrandum bit, and while I may have found it somewhat interesting in the first series or two of theirs, it gets old very quickly when you want to watch anything with an actual plot. It was nothing more than entire series of all different kinds of fanservice; I watched it because I hadn't seen it and I wanted to watch more Negima, but in retrospect I don't think I would have been sad if I had never bothered.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) Decent 62 - Lot of hype to be sure here. Very screwed up show IMO. I hated Shinji, Asuka seemed like complete brat, Rei didn't have a personality, and Misako was a complete bitch and a hypocrite. Though it attempted to be a deep show into the human mind, it didn't really resolve any of the complex issues it brought up, and brought them up so fast we didn't have time to consider and answer, just enough time to absorb the question itself and how godamn profound it was before they thrust the next question onto you.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth (movie) Decent
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (movie) So-so
Nishi no Yoki Majo - Astraea Testament (TV) Decent 64 - A fantasy fairytale among fairytales. Although modeled after and references many European fairytales, the world is quite unique. The whole ordeal was oddly paced, being very very quick at times, and very slow at others (which isn't neccessarily bad, it's just that at times if you miss 5 minutes you'll miss nothing, while at other times you miss two words and you're lost beyond reconciliation). Very unpredictable, partly because the actions are quite illogical most of the time, and while they seem to make sense at the time, they clearly are just plot drivers upon hindsight. Surprisingly hard to rate, but it is most definitely a shoujo fairytale.
Noir (TV) Good Surprisingly dark tale. Extremely ominous with a few really good action scenes, but they never quite live up to the peak they build themselves to except in maybe one or two fights near the end since nearly all of the battles use guns (and just didn't give the satisfaction I wanted).
Nyan Koi! (TV) Decent 63 - (10/10) - Well, it's been a while since i finished this, so the review is hardly "hot off the press". Still, From what I remember it was a generally enjoyable pleasant romance/hijinks show. There were a few surprises thrown in, but nothing particularly noteworthy. Actually that could pretty much be the entire review: just enough to be amusing, but not enough to be memorable in the slightest.
Nyorōn Churuya-san (ONA)
Oh My Goddess! (OAV) Very good 83 - Despite being one of the first in it's genre I watched and it STILL felt like a cliche, this show was very solid. Although the plot never went anywhere, it was didn't feel like a complete waste of time.
Otaku no Video (OAV) So-so 54 - I'm not sure if this video was supposed to be an objective look at otaku, a critisism, or a show to glorify them. Either way the real life parts were completely at odds with the animated sections in virtually every way they could be. The real sections pinned otaku as completely obsessed spineless cowards who had no social skills. To be honest, I was a little offended since they seemed to be repeatedly claiming with all their "surveys" (wth kind of survey only samples 100 people of questionably applicable nature?) that the people being interviewed were an unbiased and representative look at all otaku. That's the first time I've been offended watching anime of sorts; maybe I just misinterpreted it, but I'm pretty sure I didn't. So, while the RL parts were offending, the animated section got absolutely ludicrous in the second episode and really didn't make any sense at all by the end.
Ouran High School Host Club (TV) Masterpiece 97 - The funniest show I've seen to date, absolutely nothing can compare. Don't watch 5 minutes and turn it off, don't read the show summary, you have to just sit through the first episode. If you still don't like it, then that's too bad; but you won't have wasted your time, guaranteed. A hilarious premise which is best if you don't know what's coming next (and you can rarely guess). The combination of randomness and seriousness is blended perfectly, the plights of the characters and the way their outlook interacts with their surroundings is surprisingly convincing for the most part (ok... Tamaki isn't quite believable with how slow/stupid he can be... but he's hardly a one-dimensional character). The poor jokes seem pretty tacky at first, but once you get used to them, some of them are pretty darn funny. The last episodes are a pure masterpiece of an ending; it doesn't get much better than this in terms of absolutely completely believable silly scenes that you aren't sure if they're there for the sake of the story or for the poetic justice of it all. I was bawling during the last episode it was so touching, I don't even know why; there were so many ways the scenes could have been better (the order of events was rather bad imo), but apparently the scenes worked quite well as is. Results speak louder than theories after all.
Pale Cocoon (OAV) Excellent 93 - I almost gave this a masterpiece, but it gets kind of eclectic near the end, and I was completely confused for a few minutes. Not to mention I also do not at all understand what happened to the guy at the end. However, this is an extremely well done OAV, with amazing CG scenery that looks very realistic and very moody. The mindset of the people is also perfect for the world, and both their outlook and mental processes seem completely realistic and almost expected. This is one of those clips that should make people realize that an apocoplyptic future is just that, even if humans survive the event that destroys the world, we will probably not survive the recovery. Considering its length, this is a must see for sure.
Paprika (movie) Excellent
Paranoia Agent (TV) Good
(The) Place Promised in Our Early Days (movie) Very good 82 - The art... just wow. Absolutely beautiful and worth watching only for that, but there's also a very good sci-fi story underneath it that is at least initially based on good physics; even if it soon abandons explaining itself and turns into a fantasy more or less, the story is quite touching if not adequately resolved in my mind.
Please Teacher! (TV) Good Funny, clean animation, but the main character was pretty annoying. Though the story was pretty original for a romance anime, it seemed too stereotypical to me and it just wasn't nearly as consitantly funny as I'd hoped for. Did get quite a few good laughs though.
Please Twins! (TV) Very good Considerably better than the original for me. Although the story wasn't as good, I was laughing a lot harder, probably due to the awkwardness of the whole situation.
(The) Prince of Tennis (TV) Good 74 - I really enjoyed this show at first, but since nearly every fight follows EXACTLY the same pattern it gets boring after a while of watching people come back from behind every time. Also, the animations for the special moves start out ok, but quickly moves to ridiculous and doesn't really return.
Princess Mononoke (movie) Masterpiece (dub & sub) 97 - The first of Miyazaki's works I ever saw, and by far still my favorite. I love the fantasy world and the epic story behind it all. Not to mention, it's hard not to like a hot smart girl who rides wolves and isn't afraid to fight to defend what she treasures.
Princess Nine (TV) Good 71 - Chock full of adolescent shoujo drama and angst, with far too much emphasis and predictability on the drama, this was a little hard for me to watch at times. I've seen so many sports shows, and they're all so similar that it's hard to take them seriously, regardless of how well they may be done. Basically every character has some sort of drama that they have to overcome at a really inopportune time. Problems inevitably pop up at the worst conceivable time for the character that holds the key to their future as a team, and they inevitably overcome it. It's a tried and true formula, but why watch it when watching it doesn't tell you anything you don't already know is going to happen? Also, there were a few absolute infuriating characters (like Kanako's dad) who just make me want punch my monitor when I watch their sexist close-minded moronic shenanigans. Certainly not spectacular or revolutionary by any account, but solid within the bounds of its genres.
Princess Princess (TV) Very good 84 - Really surprised me, based on the first 5 minutes, I was expecting as extreme a yaoi as Strawberry Panic is a yuri. Thankfully, except for the adoring fans, there was no real yaoi in this show. It was a surprisingly realistic idea once you get used to the idea and let to some EXTREMELY uncomfortable situations for both the characters and me. I felt very uncomfortable even watching this show at times, but things were nearly always resolved intelligently and was just a well done bit of good old crossdressing fun.
Puni Puni Poemy (OAV) Very good 84 - It's like Excel Saga on crack. It's what Excel Saga should have been. The characters talk so fast it's almost unbelievable, I can't even read that fast (not even close in parts). Although there was tons of fanservice (TONS), they should have gone much farther considering it was never even intending to be shown on TV; too much hinting, not enough REAL fanservice.
Ranma ½ (TV) Good Went on way too long for it's own good with too many annoying unchanging characters. The first season was brilliant and absolutely entrancing, the second season was more of what they'd established in the first, but by the end of the third season, when NOTHING had changed I was losing interest; and in the end, nothing ever DID change.
REC (TV) Good 79 - Surprisingly good show about a voice actor. Gives good insight into what being a voice actor is really all about: lots and lots of crappy jobs hoping for the big one and maybe some recognition.
Record of Lodoss War (OAV) Decent 61 - Deedlit was... very hot, and was probably the best part of this show. Incredibly generic Forgotten Realms-ish world, incredibly generic hero saves world from generic evil badguy, basically all the main parts of the series were hoaky. The best part of the show was basically every part that they WEREN'T doing the main quest, and then it was pretty decent.
Rideback (TV) Good 75 - (6/09) - At first I thought "oh god, ballet dancer gets injured, no way am I watching this" but after a while I started to pay more attention to everything else that was going on and I was intrigued by the promise. Maybe it's just the modern day theme of terrorism or whatnot, but I can't help but to find them interesting. Way too much angst, indecision, and explicitly stated DEEP meaning on behalf of the main character was definitely a problem. Still, this show had a lot of things going for it, like a pretty strong plot that really makes the viewer feel like it's something that could almost happen in real life. It does a perfect job of keeping far too many unbelievable coincidences from happening aside from the fighting, and the characters spend a huge portion of the show separated and believably going through their own mental processes. It's hard to get into the action scenes at the end though when they spend like 5-10 minutes talking about the significance of they WAY she's fighting, I don't know, it's probably just that it's ballet. This show could have been AMAZING with only a few real changes, but it was pretty good as is.
RIN - Daughters of Mnemosyne (TV) Good 84 - (8/08) - This is another one of those fantastically brutal and sadistic shows that are really great for what they are. The whole show can pretty much be described as depravity, sex, and violence. The two main characters are immortal girls who are clearly addicted to sex and alcohol, and there's probably an average of 5-6 orgasms an episode between the two of them alone. Despite that though, it's definitely not a hentai; while there are some boob shots and such, that's about where the visual fanservice stops. The story as a whole is pretty lame, but that's probably not why you're watching this show anyway, so it's probably best to think of it in the same way that you think of the story from Ikki Tousen: nothing more than a contrivance. If you like a fun testosterone laden show that doesn't have the same sleek or over-polished feel as most new shows, this is definitely a show to check out. The "good" rating has to do with the narrow narrow niche that it fills, and the terribly contrived plot, though I do really really like the time skips, as I reflected in the 84/100.
Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture Very good
SaiKano (TV) Good 76 - Extremely difficult anime to watch for two reasons. Nearly all of Shuji's actions in the show seem extremely forced, and it was extremely difficult to watch and see them do the things they did, as there is absolutely no way anyone would do most of those things. I got very frustrated at just how incredibly stupid the couple was. They were together not because Shuji liked her, but because Shuji would feel bad about himself if he were to turn her down. How screwed up is that?! Despite that, the show does an incredible job at conveying the emotions of helplessness, regret, and fear that somehow the world might ever come to be such a place. Akemi's role was probably the most touching of them all, and was done done amazingly in every respect, and was absolutely traumatizing to watch.
SaiKano: Another Love Song (OAV) Very good 80 - Involved a number of characters that I had wished were shown in the original series, and sides to those characters that really helps to illuminate the true nature of the issue. I get choked up watching this series, not because of the actual romance between Shuji and Chise I've come to realize, but from empathizing with the entire situation and how unbearable it would be. The other force that drives the two series is Chise, her voice actor specifically. Fumiko Orikasa's voice just tears at your heart with her "Shu-chan"s and her desperate cries for help; more so than any other person I've ever heard, and more than I could have probably imagined.
Saki (TV) Very good 84 - (10/9) - Hell yeah, mahjong playing girls who's power levels seemed determined by how big a lez they are. It's totally silly, but that doesn't mean it's not good at the same time. I love games like mahjong, and I love anime about games like mahjong even more, there's just something that appeals to me about them. Interesting characters, well played out drama, more than its fair share of yuri fanservice, it's really quite solid overall. If you love shows about games, or you just like yuri fanservice, this is one that should at least be checked out.
Samurai Champloo (TV) Very good 85 - A very interesting combination of parody and seriousness. Despite the fact that it takes place in the Tokugawa era, ideas and objects that are CLEARLY not from the era are constantly appearing to either help or hinder the trio in their journeys (normally in the form of some sort of distraction to the journey). Champloo makes no attempt to hide such objects, but the whole manner in which it is done simply doesn't appeal to me much. Although I quite disliked the parody aspect of the show, and aside from character development, the rest of the show was first class.
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (TV) Good 77 - This was far from the 'masterpiece' that some others are trying to make this out as in my anime club. Yeah, it was artsy and unique, with a rather high budget for the type of show it was, but none of those things automatically make it good. The most important thing that would make this show amazing in my mind is a quirky sense of humor that is genuinely clever and funny; and while the humor is indeed quirky, it is far from genuinely clever or funny most of the time, and frequently drags jokes out much longer than they needed to be. There were a number of things that irritated me to no end in the show though, such as the repeated use of the mangaka's face as a censor, or the frequently repeated gag scenes that weren't even funny the first time (like when Zetsubou sensei is grinding his head against the wall in despair).
Scrapped Princess (TV) Very good Another show I just didn't get as into as I could imagine myself doing. I liked it... but I can honestly understand why people would like it a lot more. Fantasy that turns out to be sci fi? Badass in my book. There just seemed to be something really important missing from this show for me to really like it, and I don't know what that thing is.
Seitokai Yakuindomo (TV) Good 72 - (10/10) - There are a lot of anime out there with innocent plots and lots of fanservice, but I can't remember the last show I watched with an explicit plot and content that didn't actually have ANY fanservice. It was a kind of weird feeling to watch a bunch of high school girls take literally everything around them and make it sexual, and then to not have anything visual to accompany it. It's not bad, it's even kind of amusing in its own way to see how far out there they go, but it wasn't THAT amusing.
Serial Experiments Lain (TV) Good 76 - Very interesting, keeps the viewer thinking the whole time. Don't expect anything from this show though, it's definitely one of the most unique out there. The philosophy is pretty interesting, and the pacing of the philosophy is pretty good, the problem lies in the huge amount of silence. There are often 20-30 seconds without a word of dialogue or action, there's even a few scenes where the lack of speech goes on for several minutes (the longest is probably about 5 minutes!). It tries really hard to be deep, and while it succeeds on some level, it fails to be particularly engaging at the same time.
Shakugan no Shana (TV) Very good 81 - Someone described Shana as "moelicious" and they are SOooo right. Incredibly good story idea, executed very well, though there probably could have been more action. The lack of real action throughout most of the story was the biggest detriment besides the lack of any real ending for sure.
Shakugan no Shana Tokubetsuhen: Koi to Onsen no Kougai Gakushuu! (OAV) Decent 71 - Fan service. Nothing more, nothing less. Well, there's not very much Shana, which is a shame. Ogata is basically the main character for this one, which is nice in a way as I liked her as a character. I must also say that the insinuated gay relationship between the guys is hilarious.
Shigofumi - Letters from the Departed (TV) Very good 84 - The first episode of this show had me hooked, it was atmospheric, thoughtful, deep, and yet was still sincere feeling. The first half of the show attempted to follow this model, with varying degrees of success, and I loved it. There were subtle hints about the main character's background that only intrigued the viewer even more, and all the seemingly separate events were slowly revealed to be peripherally connected. This show tries to follow in Kino's Journey and Mushishi's footsteps as a sort of quiet dark show about observing human nature, and while it definitely has a sparkle all of its own, it was obvious from the very beginning that it would never be on their level. The second half of the show was pretty mediocre, it tried very hard to continue being ominous about the main character's history as long and often as possible, but this makes zero sense within the context of what is going on. The drama around Fumika just felt forced, and while I have nothing against a humanized protagonist, it just wasn't done right here. The show is awesome when it's not focused around Fumika, but when it is it just gives the viewer a feeling of disillusionment and makes it hard not to think: "wow, maybe those first few brilliantly crafted episodes were all just an accident". I still liked it all the way to the end, but the quality gap between the beginning and end made it feel like I was watching two different shows.
Shion no Oh (TV) Very good 84 - I definitely have a bit of a weak spot for anime about strategy board games. I really liked Hikaru no Go, and while this one also follows the story of a young Shougi player, it has a plot behind it much more sinister than the "tsuyoku naritai" that I see so much of. This show has pedophiles, murderers, cross-dressers, a mute little female protagonist, and speed lines, what's not to like? Ok, so the way it all played out is pretty unrealistic when everything is said and done, and it's not always a good thing to watch characters be complete dicks and get away with it because "they're really good people deep DEEP down", but I really wanted Shion to get some sort of resolution for her life, so I'll get over it.
Shura no Toki: Age of Chaos (TV) Very good A show about fighting in medievel Japan that lives up to the expectations of a fighting show. Incorporates a lot of different animation styles near the end (which sometimes seem odd or downright bizarre at first) but nearly every interaction is worth rewatching. Fantastic martial arts, it almost makes it believable that a martial arts style without weapons could be that strong.
Sky Girls (OAV) Good 76 - Surprisingly solid considering it's only one episode. Draws very heavily on stereotypes of the genre, and nearly every character is a stereotype of some sort. However, because it draws so heavily on the established stereotypes, it does not need much character development and the viewer feels as though they already know the characters; so by the end of the episode, you're already drawn into the action and worried about what's going to happen to them. Not wondering who they are like you would be under most other circumstances.
Sola (TV) Good 78 - Surprisingly solid, even if it had a few hiccups. Not exactly groundbreaking artistry or animation overall... but it worked very well overall. It was probably the color scheme coupled with the music and the lethargic/mysterious atmosphere, but the anime was extremely soothing to watch. The pacing was just a tad too slow overall... and probably would have been better off with an episode or two less (probably just one less, to cut out all the repeat flashbacks), but it was perfectly bearable to watch in 3+ episode chunks. Lots of good stuff going on here though in atmosphere, Japan has really gotten a good grasp on this whole mysterious/melancholic/lethargic atmosphere that seems to show up more and more. Typically that's a bad thing... but the mood is so powerful and emotional it is hard to get into the first or second time you see it in an anime, and it is just done so well sometimes it's hard to really complain. It can turn what would otherwise be a lackluster show (even if the plot was surprisingly good) into something like this. One big problem that comes to my mind right now was the ending (as usual), why was Aono so much stronger than Matsuri? That doesn't make any sense if Matsuri was a pureblood and was much older... Also, the last battle went on WAY too long to feel natural; it felt like they just prolonged it an extra 5 minutes to get in that tacked-on feeling scene between Matsuri and Yorito and/or to kill time. Oh well, still done pretty nicely overall.
Someday's Dreamers II Sora (TV) Decent 65 - (7/09) - One word would probably describe this series better than everything else I'm about to say: bittersweet. On the one hand, the production values are great. The animation is deliberate in style, the art is fantastic, and is probably among the best mergers of detailed and beautiful backgrounds that made me wonder if they were simply modified photographs (I'd bet some of them were) with animated characters, and the soundtrack deserves special mention. I'm not a music person, so I really don't know if it really classifies as "folk" or whatever, I have no idea, but it's definitely a breath of fresh air in anime. One indicator that I liked the OP was that I would sometimes listen to it even when I wasn't going to be watching the show. On the other hand, the story and character interactions were almost too real for comfort. While I can't say they seemed perfectly normal, they were at least as close to reality as any portrayal out there. Honestly, I think this show scarred me a little; I probably wouldn't have been so shocked if there had been some forewarning, but that scene with the lightning seriously left me so pissed and hurt it ruined my entire day and I almost deleted the show right there. Though the show did at least TRY to redeem itself, and it was certainly touching on some level, I still don't think I can give my forgiveness for that scene.
Soul Eater (TV) Very good 87 - (4/09) - It seems pretty rare that I see anime with a completely different style than anything I've seen before, but I really love it when they do. The Halloween atmosphere is stylistically my favorite of anything I've seen, by far, but that's not all the show has going for it. The characters aren't the most original I've ever seen, it just goes to show that the quality of a show is in its writing; I certainly would have said it would be impossible to take a clone of one of the most irritating personalities ever and make them a compelling character, but I was clearly wrong. The fights were always timely, never more than two episodes long, and they had typical BONES quality animation. The cast was large and endearing, one of the main antagonists was even my favorite character (Medusa), but some of the best characters didn't get nearly enough screen time. The art was fabulous, the action was fast and smooth, the comedy was passable for the most part but occasionally shone through, and the plot was both complex enough that it was interesting and had enough thought put into it that it didn't feel too forced. There were so many things this series does right I really feel bad rating it down some because the bad things were REALLY bad. The ending for example, wow, just wow, I don't even know what to say; I guess the best way to describe it is thus: I literally skipped through 1/3 of the last episode it was so stupid. Overall though, I do take some comfort in that the manga was apparently much more intelligently written than the ending of the anime. It's a bad sign when the viewer can tell almost immediately that the story split off from the source material even though the viewer had never even read the original. An amazing show when it stuck to the manga, but in my opinion it deteriorated really fast when it split right around Stein's disappearance.
Spice and Wolf (TV) Very good 80 - This show was pretty awesome for what it was. It's pretty rare to find a quality fantasy show without some huge epic plot. Lawrence and Horo's travels were genuinely interesting, and Horo was a truly engaging character. The combination of her voice and demeanor really fit her character in a way I wasn't really sure they would be able to pull off. She's probably one of only a handful of female characters who really has that old world feeling and plays it off as completely natural; in addition she's probably one of the only characters I've seen (male or female) who could believably be confused for a god in such a world. If you're looking for a show about a relationship between a normal human and a demi-god of sorts that focuses almost more on the small things than the large ones (without ignoring the big ones), this is the one to check out.
Spice and Wolf II (TV) Very good 80 - (9/09) - More of the same, but being the sequel, a lot of the novelty has worn off. While the series is still one that I would enjoy watching for a long time, and I will eagerly watch season three if/when it happens, I won't be spamming refresh for the subs on the day they're supposed to come out. It's a pleasant world, Horo and many of the side characters are fun to watch most of the time and it gets huge props for the setting and plot elements; being the deliberately un-epic story that it is, it can't have that mesmerizing effect that literally compels someone to squeal at the mere thought of the next episode, but it CAN be very off putting at times when things turn out like they did in the first arc. A nice change of pace, as usual, but it's no masterpiece either.
Spiral (TV) Decent 69 - The first 10, maybe 15 episodes of this show were absolutely riveting for me for the most part. The interactions and mind games Narumi plays with the Blade Children involve tons of psychology and tricks and were fascinating. However the show changes to a slightly different kind of show as Narumi is forced to be McGuiver and all the problems start to have a similar answer and feel repetive by the end.
Spirited Away (movie) Good Another Miyazaki masterpiece, so they say, I was severely unimpressed with it. It was extremely childesh in its approach, and there were just bizarre happenings all over the place for little to no reason from what I can gather. If nothing else, there had to have been a better way to do most of those things.
Stellvia (TV) Very good 88 - Despite a mildly childish animation style, this show has a very realistic premise and execution. Includes many superfluous cliches, but more or less uses them as excuses to have a varied cast. Katase is a very likable character at first, but grows more and more bi-polar so you have a hard time associating with her by the end of the show. In exchange for Katase, the show replaces your attachment with her for your attachment to humanity and it's plight, with a surprisingly fulfilling result. My rating is higher than it possibly should be because I love the setting and idea so much.
Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry (TV) Very good 83 - Man, the first 8 episodes of this show were fantastic. I was so absorbed with this show, I almost rated this show a masterpiece for a time; the plot twists and character development had me on the edge of my seat. I have no idea why it all felt so solid and well written, but I was genuinely glued to my seat. I was surprised time and time again, so I could never be completely sure how things were going to turn out, which is a good thing in my book. The main character was very interesting, as it is somewhat rare to see a girl heroine as resolute and tough as Sara. She was kind of angsty for a while... but she had far more reason to be so than most other anime characters I can think of. The cast of the ship was rather cliche at times, and the two young officers bugged the hell out of me, because every time I saw them, the only thing I could think of was "there is NO WAY they're officers". It's very distracting when something is that unbelievable. The other problem with this show is the last 5 episodes, as the plot is finally explained. The pace of the show lags like molasses, and it becomes pretty predictable in a lot of respects. Another rather annoying thing was the complete unbelievability of the physics and general mechanics of the show, such as when Sara stabs a tumor through the wall of the ship to save her friends, and none of the air escapes from the gigantic freaking hole in the wall. Overall, Sara Werec is awesome and may be one of my favorite strong heroines, and the first eight episodes were fucking awesome; the last 5 episodes.... well, I'm pretty sure I'll never watch them again.
Strawberry Eggs (TV) So-so A funny concept executed moderately well. Nothing spectacular here in any way.
Strawberry Panic! (TV) Good 73 - I knew from the beginning that there was no way for this show to have a 'happy' ending, but I was very disappointed that I was actually able to predict the ending down to the letter from relatively early on. This is most definitely shoujo, and those who say it is not even in the genre because "yuri is aimed at guys" are morons.
Strike Witches (OAV) Weak 36 - The best thing about this was the animation quality, which was actually pretty good. The rest of it was garbage if you're looking for anything unique, interesting, or believable. This feitsh-driven harem of cliche characters proceed to attach some sort of magical technology that looks suspiciously like a missle as a sort of one piece covering over each leg (now they can't bend them) and use them to fly through the air while they wield huge unwieldy weapons with ease. Can't forget the obvious plane noises they make as they fly, despite the fact that there is probably not a single airplane part in the leg rocket thingies.
Sugar: A Little Snow Fairy (TV) Good 70 - Almost the definition of "shoujo", it was surprisingly entrancing to me. While Sugar was pretty annoying, I really like Saga, and the last few episodes were extremely well done.
Sword of the Stranger (movie) Excellent 91 - One of the best mindless action anime I've seen. It's one of those films that can embrace a lot of stereotypes, yet not feel forced in any way. It's pretty much nonstop action and drama the entire length, and the action is absolutely top notch. The best work I've ever seen Bones do for sure, the sword fighting is absolutely top tier and would compare favorably to anything else that's out there. If you're a fighting aficionado or just enjoy a mindless action film for what it is, this is going to be near the top of your list of things to check out.
Taisho Baseball Girls (TV) Good 74 - (9/09) - I love period pieces. Good or bad, period pieces almost compel me to watch them, there's just something about it that really appeals to me on a base level; and this one is a GOOD period piece. The show itself isn't that remarkable, it's a pretty generic type of sports drama for current anime, with tried and true foils. While the show is ANYTHING but unpredictable, the way the time period plays with and manipulates the way all of their problems are resolved still makes it an interesting watch when all is said and done. That it's a show about girls trying to learn a sport they don't even know the rules of is pretty amusing in and of itself, and the first couple episodes are definitely the best. If you love time pieces, this is one that's really fun, as it's a time period that isn't really developed all that well compared to many others, but if you're the kind who doesn't really watch character driven shows this probably isn't for you.
Tales of Eternia (TV) Decent
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee (TV) Decent 66 - (4/10) - It's not very common these days that I make it through an entire anime aimed at young children these days. Letter Bee suffers from a lot of the drawbacks so common to older children shows, such as inconsistent characters that turn from truly evil or standoffish pricks to irredeemably, almost disgustingly nice, people after a chosen point in time. The world also seemed to be a lot more confusing than it was necessary, though looking back on it I'm more than slightly confident that that was a deliberate attempt to make the world appear more fantastical and unknown than it was an attempt to confuse people. What a fucking whiny brat the main character was, dear god there were so many times I'd have to turn the volume down or just skip 30-60 seconds at a time because he was just crying or nothing was happening. What really kept me going was the promise, which is usually what keeps me going in cases of mediocre shows about adventure or fantasy; the rollout of information about the world itself is painfully slow, but I guess it does help you get a feel for the world, which is essential in a fantasy world that is so unique. Overall the show was kind of "meh", the character interactions were pretty stagnant by the half-way point and didn't get any better, the fights with Gaichuu were unexciting to the extreme since you always knew how things were going to go, and there was basically no plot progression until the last few episodes. The last few episodes were an awesome "oh shit..." part (though I'll admit that it's possible it only seems that way compared to the rest of the series) where you really start to wonder if one of the characters is going to die, and then because it's a kids show she recovers miraculously with no explanation... sigh. The very last few moments after the best arc in the show ends and you think the rest of the show is going to be a wrap-up of that arc, oh no, that's when shit really hits the fan. Considering the condescending nature of the story telling up to that point, the last few minutes really took on a different tone, and while another series is clearly needed for plot purposes it could be a really awesome show if they embraced all the other stuff that is going on and had a time skip and took it in a super dark direction.
Tenjho Tenge (TV) Good 74 - Extremely unconventional and ends up being merely ok. About episode 9, right when the characters are starting to really get stronger, it cuts to a flashback for basically the rest of the show to explain why things are the way they are, but the "truth" doesn't explain in the slightest why the characters act the way they do, very disappointing. Good action and "enjoyable" girls, but completely loses all the energy with the flashbacks.
Tenjho Tenge: Ultimate Fight (OAV) Good 75 - Maybe only slightly better than the main series, mostly because it doesn't have the flashbacks. At least it does include a decent ending to the basic plotline of Nagi beating Mitsuomi, though nothing else is really resolved.
(The) Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye (TV) Good 77 - This show had an extremely strong start, and the setting was extremely interesting at first. A couple major major flaws though: there was too much screen time for The Third, and absolutely zero character development or insight is gained from it. The show as a whole would have been much better if we simply had not seen their side of things most of the time and it had instead focused solely on Honoka's perspective. The animation was great at times, but there were significant drops during some episodes, to the point where during one episode, I didn't even recognize the main character at first. It was still very interesting and the animation was still 'good'... it was just COMPLETELY different, which made it hard to adjust until the episode was half over. The plot was also very good at first, but once again, the more the show tried to explain it, the hoakier and more cliche the plot got. Summary: Extremely inconsistent, it ranged from sheer brilliance and masterful execution with the moonlight dragonfly scene to almost being unbearable to watch as they repeatedly brought back cheesy characters like Kanwei (whom I hated from the get go, as they repeatedly insisted on how advanced and amazing he was, but didn't even attempt to give a reasonable explanation as to where the hell he came from or why he was so fucking amazing) and faced cliche opponents like the guy from the Monster Troop. The other thing that kind of bugged me was how stereotypically some of the major arcs concluded, particularly the Rona Fauna arc. The fact that the show managed to be pretty good in spite of all that rather amazes me.
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World (TV) Decent Another underwhelming anime. I was quite drawn in by the first episode (though the transformation thing was SOoo hoaky), and loved Hikari's costume she receives. Although Hikari's transformation to evil bitch was very fun, it lacked depth because of her complete lack of personality before the transformation.
Tide-Line Blue (TV) Not really good Bland show with typical cast of retard main-character, who highly detracts from the show at first. Also, Keel seems to change DRAMATICALLY for no explicable reason. Either way, the novelty of the armaggedon world and the submarine added a lot to the show, too bad it was phased out in favor of dramatic speeches not suited to the show near the end.
Tohai Densetu Akagi -Yamini Maiorita Tensai- (TV) Very good 82 - (4/09) - Mahjong is a hell of a game. Well ok, not really; the game is pretty good, but it sure isn't as awesome as it seems in this show. Having more experience in a particular game doesn't mean you actually think through more moves than a beginner, what it means is that you consider better moves. Take it to the logical extreme and you get someone like Akagi, the fictional sort of person who notices everything and can think through all its ramifications instantly. Oh, and his godly luck is a pretty big bonus as well. Still, it's a ton of fun to watch how the matches progress and I must say I was surprised at how believable the situations the characters were placed in was. Typically the situations are completely unrealistic, and while the consistent quality of the hands was ridiculous and the perfectly timed dramatic moments were perhaps too perfect, this was very well thought out. One definite big drawback for me was how much it dragged in the last few episodes. It tries so hard to be super dramatic that it completely ruins the moment for me. Oh, and the ending was absurdly abrupt, definite loss of points there. Overall quite good, and a ton of fun to watch for the game theory, but there should have been more like the matches in the middle (or beginning) than the ones at the end.
Tokko (TV) Not really good Wow, this was a terrible show. I only watched the last three episodes because I hate to leave a show hanging, unfortunately, watching the last three episodes didn't help me any. The show is left on a terrible cliffhanger, virtually nothing is resolved, the acting gets more melodramatic throughout the show, the animation was really cheap (not to mention low-quality), virtually the only thing interesting was the beginning when you didn't know what was going on.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (TV) Very good 81 - (10/09) - In many ways this is an example of what all anime should be. It's well thought out, well researched, the developments are unpredictable but are 100% believable, the art was good, the animation smooth, it didn't drag except a little in the last couple episodes, and the drama was very very human. This is the only anime with non daily life traumatic elements I've ever seen where I didn't think "yeah, that could happen", but thought "shit like this DOES happen, god I hope it doesn't happen to me". 100% realistic. A real story about real trauma that is far from the impossible, and it is easy to identify with everything Mirai has to deal with. It wasn't the most gripping fantasy tale, and I have to admit it's realness is almost a flaw in that it's hard to get quite as involved in real world issues. Intellectually I really appreciate this, but I do feel like I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I feel like I should have, maybe reality just isn't as appealing, by definition, to human beings.

SUPPLEMENTARY: Approximately 4 months after I watched this a 7.0 earthquake struck the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 people. Watching news coverage of the catastrophe was truly deja vu, as it felt like I was watching news coverage about the anime. The research put into this series impresses me even more in retrospect. I think the only thing that was not covered correctly was the incredible optimism in the speed of basic relief. Still, hats off to this show.
Tokyo Majin (TV) Very good 80 - You have to check out the first episode of this show if you're into shows that can be summed up with the word "brutal". From the animation style to the content, this show's got content from high school girls beating a homeless guy to death with a golf club to a trip into someone's dream where they fight giant teddy bear things. Not much is sacred here, but the problem was with the character interactions of the main characters. They felt way too lovey-dovey (everyone) for the show they were in, even if their individual personalities are perfect (aside from Daigo, who's name I had to look up and has the personality of a wet napkin). I don't know where this show went wrong to be honest, it had just about everything (aside from the sexual aspect) I look for in these type of shows. I don't think just a small part of it is Daigo's presence... either way, it looks like this show gets a second season. I hope they can fix whatever was missing or extraneous next time, this show could really be awesomely badass and fun.
Tokyo Marble Chocolate (OAV) Excellent 90 - It's been a long time since I've seen a sort of generic romance anime that I've really enjoyed, and this one is pretty good. A two shot story where each one episode tells the girl's side and the other the boy's. The way it plays out is pretty interesting, as both sides of the story are quite interesting, but you really need to see both sides in order completely understand why they act the way they do.
Toward the Terra (TV) Very good 87 - This show may look and feel like an 80's anime (because it basically is one), but if you write it off because of that, you're missing out on a heck of a show. While it certainly has a couple cliche plot developments in the middle and a couple of the plot threads end without really feeling resolved, they DO actually sound pretty realistic, and the beginning and end are both fantastic. I don't really know much more I can say about it besides that it's actually very interesting, and is unique among what I've seen in a number of ways.
Trigun (TV) Very good
Trinity Blood (TV) Good 78 - Very odd. Myriad references to extremely obscure ancient people, organizations, and events. Hard to mentally reconcile the technology level with the whole 'pope runs humanity' idea. Good ending, and there are some very nice twists throughout, but the show seems to lack a lot of energy, especially at the begining. Also suffers from a severe case of cliche-itus.
True Tears (TV) Very good 84 - It took me a long time to finish this series, but that really had nothing to do with the show itself. There was a touch more melodrama than I thought was needed, as there were a number of times where everything would have been sorted out in fairly short order if they had only sat down and talked, but that's pretty typical in anime, what wasn't typical was that their reasons and length of stubbornness were pretty natural feeling for the most part. The characters all felt really genuine in their feelings, and it's almost impossible to describe how quickly things got complicated in a completely realistic way. Again, I have to stress that this show pulls off the high school romance aspect in a believable/reasonable way that I don't think I've ever seen before. Additionally, the artistry in this show is absolutely incomparable to anything else in its genre, bar none; the show is positively gorgeous to look at, the OP is very pretty and touching, and virtually every shot in the show with Noe in it leaves me realizing I was staring at the pretty colors instead of paying attention to the dialogue. Not that this was the best looking show I've ever seen, it's not, but it is definitely leagues above other shows in its genre, and the color usage is just a tier below Shinkai. Shinichi's mom deserves special mention as the biggest bitch I've seen in a long time though, even after watching the whole show I'm not entirely sure what her problem was, probably because there is no conceivable rationale that would explain what a bitch she is.
Tweeny Witches (TV) Very good 80 - This was actually quite good. It started off as a really clever, totally wack, eclectic comedy, that is very 'train of thought' oriented with lots of puns made by Arusu (both very good and very very bad ones). By about the 1/4 mark though, it starts to become very serious, and due to the eclectic storytelling style, it almost seems as if too much story occurs throughout the show. This style is very independant film-esque, and experimental. It seemed quite odd at first, but once I got used to it, I really liked it. This show contains many different elements at the same time rather casually, such as the scene where Sheila is casually wearing a giant metal fish helmet while she is spying on her superiors in their quarters looking for the traitor that would destroy the world. Difficult to describe, not very similar to anything else.
(The) Twelve Kingdoms (TV) Masterpiece 98 - Definition of a fantasy show. Has UNQUESTIONABLY the best world I've ever seen, and the character developments, while slow, are the MOST satisfying by the time they're done of any I can think of. This is also my #1 show that I think should have/should be continued (tied with HxH).
Twin Spica (TV) Very good 81 - Extremely innocent show about childhood dreams and how important they are. Quite a powerful show to me because these characters were exactly like me as a child, it always has been a dream of mine to be an astronaut. Biggest problems were inappropriate switching from younger to older character designs for no reason and the severe randomness at times of story material. Also, too much young childhood coverage for my tastes.
Utawarerumono (TV) Excellent 89 - Extremely unpredictable show. Starts off feeling like a very generic Inu Yasha-esque show in every way, but soon turns into a very interesting and fast paced war drama. Has a very large large cast of extremely likeable characters that are introduced slowly and naturally into the thick of things. Unfortunately, many of the bad guys in the show are quite ridiculous, either in looks, attitude, or just sheer unbelievability; they seem like merely plot devices to advance the story. The casualness of the animal-esque character designs was another very large bonus, and added another interesting aspect into it all. Many aspects of the story were frustrating, such as watching Kuuyas role play out. The ending was fantastic, I was completely blown away at how well so many of the mysterious aspects of the show were explained and sounded so natural afterwards. Do not expect anything from this show, that is very important. The unpredictability of this show is probably its greatest strength, and the natural way it deals with tradgedy and sorrow is touching. The developments in the last few episodes, particularly with Kuuya, left me crying and genuinely hurt me to watch that happen.
Uta∽Kata (TV) Good
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (movie) Decent
Voices of a Distant Star (OAV) Masterpiece 98 - Part of me died watching this movie, no joke. From the time I was old enough to know what an astronaut was I wanted to be one, but this movie completely changed my entire outlook on life. EDIT: I just went back and watched the two minute trailer, it took me nearly 10 minutes to stop crying.
Welcome to the NHK (TV) Very good 86 - Very interesting look into the life of a NEET and how and why they might shut themselves away. The comedy was spot on too most of the time, but it often hit too close to home for me to be laughing out loud as I thought "oh wow, I do that..." The romance was also played out very realistically and convincingly. There were also a lot of completely unexpected turns throughout the course of the show, and you may think you know what is going to happen at any given time, but trying to predict even what will happen in the next episode is nigh impossible.
When They Cry - Higurashi (TV) Very good 82 - I really really like this show on many levels, but I just can't get over a few things. There was some absolutely brilliant arcs that tied together so many of the different things that seemed odd at first; Rina, Shion, Mion, Satoko, Rika, all of them were fascinating characters when you get down to who they really are. The way the arcs were told, with many of them overlapping chronologically, but only getting to hear one particular story at a time, were sheer brilliance in many ways. However, the first arc, and the completely nonsensical ending with respect to Keiichi and how he "figures" it all out is ridiculous. The absolutely completely contradictory story elements at times were a complete mood killer once I got over the initial confusion. The story loses so much of its cohesion if the things you see in one arc simply aren't true in another, it makes both of the stories lose their meaning. I would have had absolutely no qualms about rating this a masterpiece, if the stories not directly competed with each other or had had a more logical relationship.
Windy Tales (TV) Good 75 - I'm a sucker for these types of shows, I'm the first one to admit that. The biggest flaw with this show in my opinion is that it wasn't a show about wind-users who were girls, it was about girls who happened to know how to make little puffs of air. Perhaps if they had simply been a little bit better at controlling the winds, or if there had been more 'wind using' in the show, I would have enjoyed it a bit more. The almost completely lack of even any reference to wind using or even references to wind for that matter kind of left me disappointed. The problem was that for such poor animation, the story, dialogue, world or some other aspect really needs to be rock solid, but there really was nothing done quite that masterfully. However, it was a very good slife show in many ways, and I never really considered not finishing it; the slife was very convincing in its realism, if not entirely in its content. I probably would have given the first episode a rating of 90+... but the show just did not maintain the same storytelling quality or energy throughout the length.
Wolf's Rain (TV) Good 79 - There were a lot of fantastic things about this anime. The world was surprisingly engaging for a post-apocolyptic one, the concept sounds ok on paper (though the idea of wolves that just magically can look like people comes off as just plain "out there"), and the story is bizzare at best. Despite the many lackings in story, characters, and energy, the ending was extremely powerful.
W~Wish (TV) Very good Don't get confused by the seemingly stereotypical sounding plot, this is MUCH more than just a harem! Unpredictable, and goes from good to better.
Xam'd: Lost Memories (ONA) Decent 68 - (4/09) - When I saw the first episode, I had no idea how this show could go wrong it just looked so solid. I was quickly reminded that just because I couldn't imagine it doesn't mean it's not possible. It's been a long time since I've seen anything with such a large cast that I hated so ubiquitously and thoroughly. The only redeeming character was Nakiami, from her ability to be badass when needed to her character design from Ghibli to the fact that she was one of the only characters that never made my blood curdle from the rage of stupid illogical xenophobic bigotry. The world looked pretty, but the more that was explained the less sense it all makes, and almost the entire story was a similar pattern of complete failure. The show had zero drive, and despite my attraction to beautifully animated action shows and fantasy I would lose interest in the show and forget about it for months at a time only to come back and wonder why I was even bothering to finish it; I almost gave up on episode 22. My rating would probably be in the 20s or 30s if it weren't for Nakiami, the fantasy world, the music, and the pretty animation; the plot is so distracting due to how nonsensical it is that it's hard to understate.
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (OAV) So-so 53 - I love the manga, really! Unfortunately, trying to animate Yokohama is like trying to describe how you felt when man first landed on the moon, you'll never do it justice. The fact that they didn't exactly have the necessary budget for this really didn't help. A huge portion of the show is filled with still shots, and the animation when just Alpha on the screen seems markedly different and lower quality than when she's on her bike, even though the scene is a lot less complicated. The soundtrack is really good, I like the Latin feel, it's surprisingly fitting for anime. I have no idea where they went wrong with this, but it just comes across as somewhat boring. The voices weren't at all what I was expecting for some of the characters, and that never helps.