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Shikabane Hime Aka / Kuro (TV).


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Xanas



Joined: 27 Aug 2007
Posts: 2055

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:48 am Reply with quote
Shikabane Hime: Aka
Shikabane Hime: Kuro

I didn't see an official thread listed in the index or on a cursory search and after watching the ending which was just posted on Friday I had some questions that came to mind.

I was really expecting a more conclusive type of ending, but that just was my impression from the type of show. I didn't know anything about the manga coming into it. I do see on wikipedia (which isn't really recently updated) that there is mention that the manga is ongoing.

I think the ending was pretty good, and overall that the series was enjoyable. It got better as it went along as more characters were added into the mix. The ending left things fairly open, but not so much as to force annoyance if they don't continue. There are still a few unanswered questions at this point for them to continue further if they desired to do so.

I really thought this was a pretty good show overall. It had some really fanservice oriented character designs for secondary characters, but it wasn't totally over the top like some other series. The OP and ED were reasonably catchy, and I thought the fights were fun to watch. The drama in the series also got reasonably serious and I thought was pretty effective.

Did anyone else like the show? I didn't find it to be of the same quality level as Claymore (which is comparable in many ways), but it wasn't too far off. I really enjoyed it and wouldn't mind seeing more of it if there was a future adaptation. I would also really like to see a dub for the show, although the Japanese cast did a good job here.
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Mike On Top



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:39 am Reply with quote
Xanas wrote:
I didn't find it to be of the same quality level as Claymore (which is comparable in many ways), but it wasn't too far off.


Confused No, just ... no. Shikabane Hime is a flat shounen deluxe edition of shipping and fanservice, which actually got the initial attractive action on the bench and eventually made me suffer from its randomness. You know, I watched the series, all two seasons, but I honestly can't share the comparison and the feelings. (I hope you won't get this in the wrong way, really). The story was predictable and especially the second season told the obvious with a horrible and boring pace, it got me leaving it by episode 5. So, Shikabane is what it is, however next to Claymore ..., well, no Very Happy Claymore is captivating and addictive, and interesting, and mature, and superior. (Signed: A Fangirl).
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tehwexxl0rz



Joined: 15 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:31 am Reply with quote
Eh, I really wanted to like it, but I found all the characters to be really flat and generic and the plot wasn't very compelling at all. I quit watching after five or six episodes. I haven't seen Claymore, but to me, the show didn't live up to Gainax's standards. I mean, it's the studio that created Evangelion, FLCL, and Gurren Lagann (to name just a few). Going in, my expectations were high—maybe too high, I'll admit, to give it a fair shot. It's worth noting Shikabane Hime is not an original project of theirs (it was based on the manga, of course) so I'm not sure what Gainax really could've done to save it unless they diverged from the source material dramatically.
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Xanas



Joined: 27 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:06 pm Reply with quote
I did say that it wasn't as good as Claymore, but lets not sell Claymore short on the fanservice. It has plenty of that for itself as well.

The shows share some similarities but also quite a few differences. One thing I didn't understand about the statements made here is that the show is both "random" and "predictable" which to me both of these terms stand at odds with one another.

Something can be not predictable and not be random either (by not revealing details to the viewer), but it can't be random and be predictable. There was a lot of "hinting" about certain events in the series and it went in that direction. So I'd agree that a lot of the plot was not exactly surprising by the time it occurred. (The same could be said of many events in Claymore too though, it's not exactly atypical of shounen anime).

I can somewhat agree with the point about the characters. This show is not strongly driven into character development. You learn a reasonable amount about Ouri and Makina to understand them but not enough to know them well, but everyone else is not really covered enough to make them individualized at all from their base personality types. In all honesty, any action series that's only 26 episodes with this many characters would end up that way though. Ultimately there are only so many base personality types, so making people unique requires getting into raw details and eccentricities which isn't the point of a show like this. If you don't like the type of characters, you are likely to not like this show.

To bring up Claymore, I don't think anyone could honestly say it has a huge amount of "character development" or that it has non-standard character types. Just like plot-lines, there really are only so many types of people. Making them more "3 dimensional" involves really going more into depth which is something an action series typically doesn't do.

I guess I should also clarify my position on this show. I don't think this show is a Masterpiece, or even Excellent. I am somewhere between "Good" or "Very Good" on it. If I watch it through a second time and am not bored doing so then I'll probably rate it the latter.
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Mike On Top



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:55 pm Reply with quote
The predictablitly refered to the plot and characters.
The randomness refered to the action, and more specifically to its quality. I got tired by Makina temperamental and simplistic urges, especially in S2, the other himes remained sketchy and filler-ish, where their presence could be of greater use for the series sake than following transparent dilemmas whether to fall or not fall in love with a shikabane Rolling Eyes Well, I felt that the action could earn a merit in its own, without being there simply to excuse the whole pairing thing, which was no effort to predict, I apologise Laughing
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Mushi-Man



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:03 pm Reply with quote
I'm going to assume your talking about Shikabane Hime: Aka. Yeah, I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. It seemed interesting but there was nothing great about it, it was pretty average over all in my opinion. I did enjoy some of the action scenes but there wasn't to much to enjoy past that. It was enjoyable though, so I guess it's not a waste. Another plus was the opening, I enjoyed that. If it were ever released on DVD I might buy it if it is cheap. As for the ending it wasn't great. But there is a second season (again, I don't know which season your referring to) called Shikabane Hime: Kuro. And I've heard the manga is pretty good. Though I find it harder to get into action manga, I usually like to see the action in motion, but I don't mind them from time to time. Over all I think this series is decent.

And just a side note. spoiler[did anyone ells think that the balloon guy from the Seven Stars group kind of reminded you Lilith from Eva?]
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Xanas



Joined: 27 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:39 pm Reply with quote
The ending of Kuro just came out on Funimation's site/Hulu so I'm referring to the ending of the "whole thing" at least in terms of what has been announced thus far.

I really liked the OP and the first ED.
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Ian K



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:51 pm Reply with quote
I've seen the first season. I'm going to have to join the chorus and say that while it wasn't a bad show by any means, it certainly wasn't that great. There were a few good horror moments, and some good character development, but for the most part the show was pretty mediocre. I think part of the problem was there was no real tension driving the show, it was just monster-of-the-week type stuff.

What surprised me was just how limp the action was. The fights mostly consisted of Makina shooting her guns ineffectively, until the time had come for her to win. Then she would fire her guns WHILE LEAPING THROUGH THE AIR and this time she would be able to hit her target. There was really only one fight that was anything special, imo.

I had decided that while the first season was okay, once I had finished it I would be done with the series - until I got to the last episode. Then we finally had a credible threat to our heroes, and for the first time I found myself actually caring about what happened to them. So now I'm planning on seeing how things are resolved in season two - but it's not very high on my list of priorities.

@Xanas - I'm with you on the OP, it was pretty good. There were a couple episodes where I think it was the only thing that kept me watching the show.
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Mushi-Man



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:59 pm Reply with quote
Ian K wrote:
What surprised me was just how limp the action was. The fights mostly consisted of Makina shooting her guns ineffectively, until the time had come for her to win. Then she would fire her guns WHILE LEAPING THROUGH THE AIR and this time she would be able to hit her target. There was really only one fight that was anything special, imo.


Yeah, I see what you mean. It does get pretty repetitive after a while. I still thought there were a few unique moments of action in the series though. The one that stands out is in the first episode (i think) spoiler[when Makina rams the Shikabane into the billboard and pushes both down into the street while shooting it's head. I though that was interesting.]. But yeah, for the most part the action was the same thing over and over.

Another thing that hurts the show is the fact that they explain what a shikabane and a shikabane hime are every episode. It's really annoying. I'm pretty sure after about the 3rd time anyone would be able to get it, let alone someone who had already been watching the series or had read the manga. It was just pointless.
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Xanas



Joined: 27 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:11 am Reply with quote
Well, later on Ouri gets a little more involved with some of the combat, and so I didn't think it was completely repetitive but I'd be hard pressed to say you don't see the same types of things occurring in many episodes.

The combat isn't it's strongest point. Had it worked in the monks skills more deeply from the beginning and had some more variation there, I think they could have done a lot more with the concept than they chose to.

On the other hand, this isn't the only series to play out new attack combinations/etc. over a long period of time. That's pretty common in shounen anime. Usually only shorter OVAs will pack all of the changes in tightly, and since Makina wasn't the only one to check out in combat this wasn't a huge problem for me.
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tehwexxl0rz



Joined: 15 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:22 am Reply with quote
Xanas wrote:
...everyone else is not really covered enough to make them individualized at all from their base personality types. In all honesty, any action series that's only 26 episodes with this many characters would end up that way though.


Liar! Gurren Lagann—to name just one—had more action and a ton of characters, almost all of whom were well-developed and even evolved over the course of the series. It's certainly not impossible.
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Xanas



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:44 am Reply with quote
Liar???? Over the top much?

I'm coming from my own frame of reference. If you want to call me that you should use one that's in my own anime page instead of Gurren Lagann which I haven't seen. Honestly, I'd have to say that one of those series that's 24-26 episodes might have had slightly more development, but I certainly wouldn't say all the characters were developed. I also think we might define "development" differently. Whole groups of characters "evolving" in 26 episodes sounds very fast paced to me, too quick to be played out where I think I would personally find it believable. I don't think people are quick to change (with exception to those who have a strong desire to change from the outset).

Also... I do not like the art style of Gurren Lagann so unfortunately it's a really bad example to use with me. It may be a great show for you, but it's not something I'm interested in.

I'll go back to Claymore since I know it and it's the same amount of episodes. I don't think anyone could claim that the characters develop a lot in that show. The relationships between characters develop a great deal, but the characters themselves don't. As far as relationships go, I think Shikabane has a good amount of relationship development that occurs between Ouri and Makina. It's not as strong a relationship as Clare and Raki, but it had not only it's ups but it's downs as well.
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randomanimefan



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:29 am Reply with quote
I like this series. Not the greatest anime I've ever seen, but it's a pretty good action show (as long as you don't overanalyze some of the silliness and you can get past the intentional fanservice and some repetitiveness) and the storyline is possibly worthy of a third season. IMHO, Season 2 on the whole is better than Season 1.
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tehwexxl0rz



Joined: 15 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:39 am Reply with quote
Whoa, calm down, Xanas. I'm over the top? Laughing

Why does it seem so far-fetched to you that 13 hours of animation isn't enough time to develop an ensemble cast of rounded characters? I believe that's something many skilled filmmakers do in less than two. Sorry if my refuting your blanket statement wounded your pride; that wasn't my intention. And like I said, I haven't seen Claymore, so i can't comment on that.
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Dorcas_Aurelia
Baka RangerBaka Ranger


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:36 am Reply with quote
tehwexxl0rz wrote:
Xanas wrote:
...everyone else is not really covered enough to make them individualized at all from their base personality types. In all honesty, any action series that's only 26 episodes with this many characters would end up that way though.


Liar! Gurren Lagann—to name just one—had more action and a ton of characters, almost all of whom were well-developed and even evolved over the course of the series. It's certainly not impossible.
If by almost all you mean a half-dozen, then sure, but while that's more than two, it's nowhere near almost all.
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