Anime Online - The Second Offense

by Daniel Cruson, Jun 28th 2001
     Wow, has it already been two weeks? I'm amazed. Well its not much a surprise that time flew considering I have been preparing for High School graduation. I'm finally free. Anyway I got a lot of good sites this time. I have only been able to review a few so if you don't see your site this time don't worry because it might make it next time. I hope to be sending e-mails to everyone who sent in sites within the next week telling them whether I will use your site or not. Just so everyone knows I'm looking for sites that really aren't all that popular yet. Fan sites that don't get 1000's of hits per day. If they do then they really don't need the promotion they will get from this column. I know that one of the sites I reviewed last time went up by 50 hits per day. Anyway continue to send in your sites to gandalf88 (at hotmail.com). Now on to the sites . . .


General Anime Sites

AnimeBB.org

     This site actually has quite a following already in the anime world. But since most of the sites I got this time around were already popular I decided to use it anyway. Their main page is laid out so that it is pretty easy to navigate. At the top, they list headlines and an intro to the site. As you scroll down you find a list of reviews for each episode in a series (right now it is Fushigi Yuugi). Below that is a download center that at the moment contains episodes of Escaflowne. At the bottom they have their news section. Along the left hand site there is a poll and then links to various sections broke up into categories. The categories are Newsnet, Forum, Member Controls, Features, Anime Realms, Specialty Realms, Site Information, and AnimeBB Network. Under all of this is a list of the staff and then a couple ads. This site is well put together and easy to navigate.

     The news sections main focus is on site updates and such. Once in a while some anime news is posted. Under the Newsnet section of the navigation bar there is a link to submit news to animebb.org. This allows users to get involved in the site. This is open to all visitors. They also offer other features to visitors such as a bulletin board and e-mail. To join the bulletin board you just have to go to the Forum section of the navigation bar. There you can sign up, login, or visit the board itself. This is actually the main focus of the site hence the name animebb.org. The e-mail signup can be found underneath the staff list. This just allows you to get an @animebb.org e-mail address.

     Some other features of the site include reviews, an image database, and episode list, a link database, and different realms. The reviews are announced on the front page and you can get to them from there. Right now the image database consists of only pictures from Dragon Ball Z and Fushigi Yuugi. There is a fan art gallery coming soon though. The anime episode list has about 14 different series listed. Each series lists the episode numbers and the title. It also lists any movies and specials. The link database is exactly that, a list of links to different sites. Finally the different realms are separate bulletin boards devoted to just the show it says. Right now there is one for Dragon Ball, Kenshin, Fushigi Yuugi, and Cowboy Bebop.

     This site is lacking a little on anime content. There isn't really much in the way of reviews and stuff. When I was there the Escaflowne downloads weren't working. The main focus of the site though is their community of anime viewers. The bulletin boards are nice and it allows people to get together to talk about there hobby, anime. This is one of the best sites I have seen for that kind of activity and if that is what you are looking for then this is definitely a site worth checking out.

www.WiredAnime.net

     This site is mostly focused around news and reviews. The Main page is laid out like many with a navigation bar on the left and the rest of the page being devoted to news. The news that they post mostly concerns the site but every once in a while they have news from the rest of the anime world.

     The reviews section has reviews of Series, Movies, OVA's, and Products. The reviews are presented in alphabetical order using a list of links across the top of the page. Each review consists of a short summary and then a break down of what was good and bad about watch series. It ends with a chart of ratings and an explanation of how each rating was chosen. The ratings are on a scale of 1 – 10. This is true for the movie, series, and OVA reviews. The product reviews are pretty much the same except they just review the item, be it anything from DVD to Lunchbox.

     There aren't many more features than those mentioned above. In the features section there is a site FAQ. This FAQ answers the e-mails that the author gets repeatedly. I read through some and it looks like he gets some pretty stupid questions so it is definitely a good idea to read it before you send him an e-mail. The Reviewers section lists the people he has writing reviews for him along with contact info for each. The final section, the System section, just lists what each number means in his review rating system.

     This is really a pretty good site. It would be nice if there was a little more news but his reviews are excellent. The limited number of features allows the author to focus more on specific pieces of the site. This is definitely a site worth stopping and seeing.


Anime Review Sites

www.serc.rmit.edu.au/~ashelton/anime/

     This site falls more under the kind of site I want. This is a site that I have not heard talked about much in the anime community. It's called Anime Meta-Review. It boasts on the front page that it has 574 Reviews, 420 Meta-Links, and 337,258 Words. I have not seen a review site like this since the unfortunate demise of Sci-Fi Channels Anime Colony. The main page gives a short overview of the page and has a navigation bar so that you can look at the reviews. The main ways to look at the reviews are either alphabetical by title or by genre. There are also many other options. You could also look at them by quality or by date they were reviewed.

     Each review is well written and is pretty complete information wise. Each one starts with some basic information about the series. It then goes on to give a short synopsis and then finally the review itself. The review goes over some of the problems with the series but also some of the higher points. After the review there are links to other reviews for the same series by different people. This is nice because it allows you to compare other peoples reactions to the series.

     All in all I thought this was a very good site. The reviews were well written and informative. If you are thinking about watching a series but you aren't sure this is definitely the place to go to make up your mind. The design of the site is kept simple which allows for fast load times even on my slow 56K connection.


     Well here are my three sites for this time. I got a lot of great e-mails and would like them to keep coming. I can always use more site suggestions. Until next time, happy surfing.

Send questions, comments, suggestions to Gollum at gandalf88 (at hotmail.com). Make sure they are constructive not just “I think your column is the worst I have ever read”. ;)

Updated 02/22/02; AnimeBB.net is now located at AnimeBB.org, and all references to the former site have been replaced. The review itself has not been updated, and may now be outdated.
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