Seen some Rating
Durarara!! (TV)
Golgo 13 (TV) Good
(The) Legend of the Legendary Heroes (TV)
It's hard to describe the actual plot. There's this fictional country that keeps warring with its neighboring city states. However, in the focus kingdom, Roland, there's a half noble who manages to become king. His name is Sion. Then there's Ryner who possesses the "alpha stigma" a god-like magical ability. And Ferris who is a sword wielding bodyguard. All three know each other, but Sion's story branches out from Ryner and Ferris' due to his being king. The story jumps between the three mains, and other important supporting characters from there. It can be hard to follow.
S-CRY-ed (TV)
Space Brothers (TV)
(episodes one and two) - Family ties, dreams, life’s hardships, and space: I love that romantic stuff. I was hooked from the first episode, about half way through. There is something compelling about this one. Maybe its because, as an adult, its easier to identify with adult anime characters. Or maybe its because space seems like this far away place, that is somewhat attainable if one sets their mind to it. I’m reminded of a quote from Apollo 13 (the movie): “From now on, we live in a world where man has walked on the moon. And it's not a miracle, we just decided to go.” Having just recently finished Planetes, I’m ready for another well-written space opera. But, something tells me this is going to be more about the hard work and tears involved in getting to space. Whatever path Space Brothers leads, I’m so there.

Seen all Rating
Air (TV) Weak
Air (movie) Weak
Air Gear (TV) Decent
This anime needed a second season, but never got one. Basically its just another shonen series, but it uses roller blades instead of special ninja moves, or what have you. Weird, but it works. Too much fanservice for me, but its usually portrayed in a humorous light, and that works better than in your face tits. I did read the manga up to volume 13 I believe. I found the manga much easier to get through because you really see all the detail the author went to. For example, every main, or even supporting character has their own "speciality" air treks. That is pretty sweet.
B Gata H Kei - Yamada’s First Time (TV) Very good
This little underrated gem gets a "very good" because I thought it was going to be nothing but a fanservice laden show, with a story thrown in. I still don't know why I decided to watch it, perhaps I was just curious as to how offended I would be. But, after that first episode, I was hooked. This show, while more heavy handed in the fanservice than other high school shows, is at its roots, a comedy. And not what I would strictly classify as a "romantic" comedy. More like, screwball high school comedy- revolving around a boy and girl. I suppose that's a terrible way to explain it, but that's how I see it. Yamada (who has no first name) is the girl. The girl who wants to lose her virginity so she may graduate to have one hundred "sex friends" (I translate that not as "friends with benefits", but as having one hundred sexual experiences...all with different guys). Anyway, she decides that in order to look good, she must choose for her first sexual experience a boy who is also a virgin. That way she won't come off as an inexperienced loser. She runs into Kosuda at the bookstore. Now the show is off and running, because as fate would have it, Kosuda also attends Yamada's school, and they're in the same class! What were the odds? From there its all laughs, like when Yamada first notices Kosuda's bulge and girlishly squeals running away, to when they are about to have sex, only to have Kosuda thrown from the bed because it spins out of control (It must be noted that they decide to go to a "love hotel" for their first time, and that is why the bed does something like spin). Just remembering that scene brings a smile to my face. I will be adding this show to my collection.
Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts (TV) Very good
A funny little show. This had a comedic moment which literally had me spitting my tea across the room. I consider myself easily amused, but even that doesn't happen too often. So, this is basically a school/romantic/screwball comedy anime. That's right up my alley, so I've got no complaints. The avatars the kids summon are super cute! I think Youji's is my favorite. This show has some really pretty scenes too. The creators make the most of rainbow colors, whether they be vivid or pastel. I like the polka dots used to shadow everything. That's even used for the characters shadows themselves, and everyone has their own color too. It's obviously to help identify them, but I think it makes the show prettier. Oh, I also like the equal amount of fanservice for both guys and girls. Especially the scene where we see Youji's naked behind. That is fantastic. This story parodies a lot of different anime, most of which I'm sure I missed. But, it didn't detract from the viewing experience. Anyway, cannot wait until season two is dubbed.
Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts 2 (TV) Good
Same premise as the original, with the exact same cast. There were some very funny moments here, but I found myself laughing less. There was much too much emphasis on the girls constantly punishing the boys for being "pervy". Also, there weren't as many class battles. Actually, there were hardly any class battles. I still think the shows strength is when class F gets to show up other classes in very cute avatar escapades. Finally by the end, things seemed to be getting better in that regard. I like it when Yugi is using his brain to actually solve problems. I couldn't care less who's gonna get Akihisa or why the little girl is in love with him, or German girl's background. Although Shouko and Yugi's flashback was very well done.
Basilisk (TV) Decent
Another one that was so hard to get through. Very Romeo and Juliet, just as harsh and cruel. I didn’t care for how the half the cast is blind at some point (not really half, but whatever). The characters in this one go fast, so don’t form any attachments. It’s almost horrifying how the clans kill each other off with no remorse. On a bright note, I thought the character design for this was superb. They actually look like Japanese people, even the women. Definitely a nice touch.
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (TV) Excellent
This is about as real life as it gets, with high school students that form a band, and get their fifteen minutes of fame. It sings to the heart with the struggles and heartbreaks. I love it! Plus, I don't think enough people know about this little gem. They see "slice of life" and back away. But I just want to say, that this story is told through the perspective of a junior high/high school boy. And he is very down to earth. You watch him struggle to learn the guitar, get beat up a lot, see him form friends, lose them, gain them back, and develop even mutual respect from a rival. And for me, the outdoor festival of music, Grateful Sound, takes me back to going to concerts in high school.
(The) Big O (TV) Good
- season one - Loved it. It seemed to borrow heavily from Western influences. I saw a big tie-in to Batman in the character of Roger Smith. He has the gadgets, black car (also equipped), the butler, and an alias of sorts. Not to mention the big penthouse he lives in. Then there's the Dick Tracy aspect of Roger Smith. He's a negotiator, but does a lot of sleuthing too. And, from the the many detective novels I've read, P.I.'s have a wealth of informants at their disposal: i.e. major Datsune from the military police, and "headphones" from the bar. Continuing the Western trend is the art style. With the exception of the mecha (which is the most recognizable Japanese element), Big O barely looks like anime. And, I must state that I love the art. Its highly stylized right down to the pointy fingertips and the long, low carriage of the cars. The character designs aren't really attractive, but blend in with the asthetic of the show. Moving on, the animation is sub par. The mecha fights are about the only fairly consistent scenes. I feel like most of the budget went into them. Everything else looks stiff, and there are shortcuts everywhere. The story itself is fairly episodic, which I have no problems with. Though the characters are a little one note. But, I chalk that up to being adults, and having already decided who and what they themselves are. I like the whole "amnesia" twist, except its used more as a crutch to keep from explaining the more difficult questions. The two things that I dislike about this show: 1) the mecha battles in every, single, episode. That "battle of the week" device cheapens the overall story. 2) The dub is weak do to cheesy one-liners and so-so performances. I have not watched the subbed version. Finished up The Big O last night. I burst out laughing at the end. Definitely not what I was expecting. Still not sure what best guess is that everyone's memories were reset minus Roger, Angel, and Dorothy. I already waxed on about how much Big O reminds me of western cartoons. But there is a lot of themes at work here: mecha, genetic engineering, androids, human psychology (always a personal favorite), world war, foreigners, and to a lesser extent - big business. It makes for a fun ride/watch. I'm not sure if I'd rank it on my top anime list. It most likely will get re-watched at some point next year. Then we'll see how it stands up to my (more) mature self. *Just a quick fan-girl note* Crispin Freeman as Alan Gabriel stole every scene he was in. I just love his psychopath voice. It makes me squirm and giggle. Strange, I know.
Big Windup! (TV) Very good
I never thought I'd be interested in a sports anime. But, I find myself vaguely surprised that I enjoyed Big Windup enough to rate it as Very Good. There is a lot of internal thought process here. And when it came to the two games Nishihira played, I found myself getting a little tired of the constant analyzing. At the same time, I found myself getting excited, wondering if they would win, how many strikes they'd get, would Mihashi end up collapsing from nerves or exhaustion? I was clapping and cheering whenever the boys would get a run. It was fun for me, almost like being at a real game...almost (I was missing the hot dogs). The thing is, I was sold after the first two episodes, and by episode four (Funimation only has the first four dubbed eps on Hulu) I went out and bought the whole series. The character building that took place in the first four episodes was great. Now, normally I'm not interested in the crybaby protagonist (and Mihashi is one if ever there was). But he's almost immediately paired up with Abe, the calm, cool, collected catcher. And once their relationship starts its all good. Abe recognizes a talented, yet hard worker in Mihashi, and Mihashi sees a reliable teammate in Abe. Its all mushy stuff, maybe, but I'm a woman, and I like that. Its nice to see characters bonding and supporting one another. One cannot forget to mention the dub. It was refreshing to hear an almost entirely male cast. I love Greg Ayres nonchalant Abe, and Sean Teague's quirky Mihashi. Everyone else does an excellent job, and I think Funimation stuck pretty close to the original script for this one. Tajima is my favorite though, a bundle of energy indeed, and voiced by Todd Haberkorn. That makes my day, but I do believe Cynthia Cranz gets my highest praise. She does a stellar job as the coach, Momoe. A tough, calm under pressure lady, she handles those freshmen boys really well. Cranz pulls off the same attitude, without being too butch or brutal. And the rest of the supporting cast, and opposing teams are all nicely voiced. The main bulk of Funimation's talent were obviously cast as the main team from Nishihira. But that's only to be expected. You still hear a lot of voices not usually given much screen time, like Kevin M. Connolly as Abe's old pitcher, Haruna.
Black Blood Brothers (TV) Decent
Ah, another vampire anime. I like the fact that the story isn’t afraid to note how much pleasure a woman receives from having her blood sucked. That is nice to see because I find that its a common thread in vampire stories, but barely touched on. The story is well crafted, even the flashbacks at the beginning allow the viewer to put the pieces together. However, it ends so abruptly, with a new story arc to pursue. I really dislike it when anime does that! The costumes for these characters leaves a lot to be desired. The main vampire, Jiro, is cool, but his hat? Never gonna be that way. I also like the snappy dialogue between the characters.
Black Butler (TV) Not really good
How can I put this? This series takes on the demon/human relationship, or contract, if you will. But instead of setting it in the usual location i.e. Japan, namely Tokyo, the story is set in Victorian England. This makes it worth watching for me because I love that era in British history. A time of Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, Scotland yard, Charles Dickens (some fictional, some not, but it all blends together nicely in my minds eye) etc. All these elements are put into play in Black Butler. The other reason I've enjoyed the series so far, is due to the butler himself, Sebastian. This character is actually the demon, but we never see much of his power, except that he his super strong, fast, highly intelligent, and talented at whatever he does. The reason I like him is more because of how he acts and speaks. His smile, for example, is animated in almost a caricature-like way, so that when he does smile, I don’t. When I see him smile, I feel the goosebumps prickle on my arms, and my stomach turn. This series is sadly lacking in many other ways though. I don’t care at all for the implied sexual undertones to the butler and his master’s relationship. And one may say that Sebastian isn’t really after the boy, but his soul, however I can do without it. Even this dialogue is lacking in the fact that it really isn’t banter at all. There are times when Ciel provokes Sebastian, only to receive a cool and imbued response. Where is the terrific, wise ass provocation shot back and forth at lightspeed between the two mains? Is it because the writers are trying to keep the sense of master and servant in tact? I don’t know really. Therefore, due to these lacking aspects, I have classified this as a guilty pleasure only.
Black Lagoon (TV) Very good
Welcome to the harsh, cold, violent world of the underground. This story isn't for the faint of heart. I did enjoy watching it. The story is gripping, to say the least. Revy's got the title “badass” down though. I like that a woman is given the “tough as nails” role in this. Its a nice change from the ditzy, helpless, big chested anime chick.
Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (TV) Very good
The story “finishes” here. There really is no real ending as per usual for anime. A lot of this storyline takes place in China and involves some sort of mob family. I actually was lost for the last few episodes.
Blade of the Immortal (TV) Very good
I love samurai anime! This one is bloody, worldly, and graphic. Most of the characters are shady. The male lead is a murderer even. What makes this anime so cool is that it is very well executed. I love the fighting, and the story. I really wish they would have made this either a 24 episode series, or done a second season. It probably wasn't that popular though.
Blood+ (TV)
Overall, a decent show. Very dramatic and dark, with little comedy, or romance. However, I only watched about half of the fifty some episodes. I saw the beginning and the end ones in completion, but most of the middle I missed. And you know what? It really didn't matter. My husband kept me abreast of the current events, due to the fact that he watched the entire two seasons. I'm glad they gave this show a proper ending, however, I don't quite agree with the ending. Kai has got to be the most frustrating character. He finally admits he loves Saya, only after she falls back into her 30 year sleep. Ugh, not cool, not cool at all. However, now that she's gone, maybe he'll be able to find a normal human chick. But I doubt it. Its so obvious that he's jealous of Hagi's relationship with Saya, and yet he is still too much of a pansy to do anything about it. But, whatever, that's his problem, and while I hoped that he would get over Saya, that never happened. I didn't give a crap about Diva (Saya's evil twin sister) because she was a tried cliche trotted out to give Saya a reason to exist. And also to give the story a focal point, I guess. I will say that Kai is one of the better looking male anime characters. He's not bishounen by any means, but his good looks are more normal, without being cookie cutter. The dub acting was sub par in my opinion. Everyone seemed really subdued, and didn't give much life to their characters. Plus, why was Crispin Freeman in three roles? One main, and two supporting. Hey, I love his voice as much as the next fan girl, but its annoying to hear him playing different characters, sometimes in back to back scenes. That's another reason why I don't care for the GTO dub. But, that's a minor complaint.
Blue Gender (TV) Good
This could have been a twelve of thirteen episode series easily. It was very drawn out to the point of being boring. Yugi (the protagonist) is a spineless crybaby for the first three to four episodes. And even after he grows a pair, he continues to say things like, "Why was I awakened? I want to make a difference! What does all this mean?" It makes for annoying times, trust me. The basic premise is that Yugi is from the past and wakes up in the future to find that giant "bugs", called blue, have taken over the Earth. He meets up with this team of humans who now live in outer space on Second Earth. Their job is to exterminate the blue. However, this is proving to be difficult. So for six episodes Yugi joins up, and he and Marlene (the only survivor of her company) try to get back to Second Earth. Once in space this is where the story starts to take shape. The bigger picture is beginning to form. Yugi was put to "sleep" in the past due to a disease he had that couldn't be cured. Come to find out Yugi (and others like him, all called "sleepers", how original), has the cells that somehow connect him to the blue. These cells heighten his senses, etc. making him a killing machine. But there's all sorts of downsides, including losing one's mind. Then there's a couple of added tropes, like military control, science and questionable practices, who's really to blame for the blue infestation, etc. But, like I said, that takes ten episodes to get started. There's lots of blood and death in here. Case and point just about every character we meet in the first episode are killed off by the second. That is a recurring trend throughout the story. Then there's the blue. They are disgusting! Their "mouths" look like vaginas with teeth, and some "drool" or leak a fluid which looks a lot like semen. Whoever designed them either had crazy fetishes or just wanted to make them as weird as possible. Lots of holes in the story too. I found myself asking questions like "Why didn't they just kill off all the female blue to keep them from reproducing? Why not invent a pesticide? Why not introduce sterile blue so that they could slowly wipe out themselves? None of these points are addressed. The only thing I gleaned about the blue is that they evolved as the humans kept killing them, their only weak spot is a "core" located somewhere on their body, and they existed to wipe out humans because of our over population, pollution, and destruction of the planet. Go green, huh? Okay, I get the picture already! The production values are poor to say the least. A lot of scenes that are shot from a distance look particularly bad. The characters are lumpy, and backgrounds are sloppy. In one scene, a female character appeared to have kankles. Plus, character designs themselves varied from episode to episode. In particular, their noses changed a lot. At one point in time, Yugi has a long pointy nose in profile, then its gone the next. Very frustrating.
Blue Submarine No.6 (OAV) Decent
Not much to talk about here. Guy who's bored with life is recruited by his old navel unit. Why he was dismissed/left in the first place is never fully explained. It's implied that his best friend (?) was captured, and that pushed our reluctant protagonist over the edge. Whatever, that's not important. But then, nothing really is in this six episode show. Our protag comes to the rescue of Myumi Kino, who predictably falls in love with him. Earth has been almost completely submerged by some phenomenon that was caused by a "mad" scientist. But is Zorndyke (terrible name btw) really all that crazy? Or is he trying to prove a point about mankind and stuff? In the end, protag and Kino confront Zorndyke in a very predictable way. Obviously the conversation between the three is a "mortals addressing God" take. What with questions being fired off by protag and Kino like, "Is this a test?", or "Why'd my family have to die?". But there's also the theme of evolution and acceptance of these "new creations" that Zorndyke made. The last episode feels like too much of an info dump, and there really isn't a message besides, "take care of Planet Earth". Yeah, I get that from Ghibli films all the time (and better delivered). Not worth my time, or anyone else's.
Bodacious Space Pirates (TV) Excellent
Started off pretty promising, but has dwindled down to "cute girls in space", which is what I feared would happen. I'm sticking with it, and will purchase the DVD or BD whenever its released. I love the crew of the Bentenmaru, they're mostly one shots, but likable all the same. Marika is the best character by far, and I've stuck with the show this long, because of her. She's a confident, unassuming, teenage girl. Its refreshing to see a young and intelligent girl who's not being used as a pandering ploy. Oh, I love the soundtrack to this, and the opener is pretty good too. Well, it redeemed itself by the end. I think this could have easily been 12 or 13 episodes, as some of the arcs just felt like filler. However, that aside, BSP deals with some tough issues in a mature manner, but never is bogged down in too much drama. There is always a happy ending, but maybe not in the way one might have hoped it would go. I like that because that is real life, folks. One can find the good in just about every situation. I take an example from the yacht race episodes. Ai loses her computer navigation through an accident. Does she quit? No, she uses the stars to guide her to the finish line. She doesn't win (or even place), but she does finish. That right there is the moral of this show. Keep your chin up, use your head, and never let misfortune get you down.
Brain Powered (TV) Not really good
So, in a alternate reality Earth there is the "thing" called Orphan. There's also a ship called Novis Noah. Then there are discs (called plates) that "revive" mecha that are either "Gran Chers" or "Brainpowereds". And that's pretty much it. The viewer is kinda thrown right into the story. Novis Noah is the foil to this "Orphan" thing. The Gran Cher mecha are hunting around looking for "plates". During the first episode, we meet several of the reoccurring characters plus the two leads. Although the viewer doesn't know this, it being the pilot episode and all. Anyway, after the first episode, the show skips forward one year. It opens with Yui Isami fleeing Orphan with a Brainpowered that he's been caring for. Somehow or other, Yui ends up working with Novis Noah. Almost all these episodes are filler. There's mecha battles, terms like "B plates", "organic energy" and the destruction of Earth are thrown around each time. But nothing is really explained. Is Orphan an enemy? Or a woman? Or a creature from space? What about Novis Noah? What about the two different kinds of mecha? In the end, nothing too tragic happens (although many people are shown dying because of Orphan's movements). And all becomes right with the world. The general message I took away was "war is bad" and "don't hate your family". Now then. The dub for this is te-rri-ble! It must've been literally the basic, basic translation. The actors sound like they are just reading off the script; no emotion, no feeling, wooden performances. The only one that sounded okay was Jonathan Glenn aka Kirby Marrow. But, his character is pretty one note anyway (and a total tool) so it's not too hard to play that kind of personage.
Brave10 (TV) Good
Twelve episodes was just right for this little series. Again animators took on the whole Edo/Tokugawa/samurai/ninja storyline and had a little fun with it. That time period must be for Japan what Camelot is for England. Anyway, I liked this. It's a pretty tightly woven story, and doesn't bother to beat around the bush with lengthy character intros, or a lot of baddies to match the number of good guys. Very shounen-esque with fighting/battling going on in pretty much every episode, and names being called out i.e. "Saizo!" over and over again. As always, that is a sign of poor writing, but I went into this not expecting more than a fun romp with little else to be gleaned from it. I will say I liked Saizo and Isanami's dynamic. They make a good pair, and made the story better by being so comfortable with each other. Although Saizo comes off as a cocky bastard he's quite smart, and very capable. I like that he was given that development because without it the story would have been less entertaining. The animation seemed on par, perhaps a little below average. I noticed that some things didn't look right, and CGI was fairly easy to spot mixed in with the animation. The character designs were all gorgeous (men and women). Isanami is about as cute as can be, with the majority of the men being "manlier" bishounen. However, I will say that Saizo has been added to my list of best looking animated males (18+ years old). He is just plain sexy.
This show tries very hard. It tries to be artistic what with the whole photography angle. It tries to think about the bigger picture with the whole revenge/hatred angle. But the only thing it has going for it is flashy action sequences (even those aren't edge of your seat), a storyline that feels way to drawn out (its thirteen episodes, but could have been condensed down to six or eight at the most), and characters that I never connected with. Canaan herself is a one note singularity. Her hair is colorless and so is her personality. I think she was wrote to be stoic, but she just comes off as unfeeling. Then there's Maria. Is she in love with Canaan? Or are they just friends? It seemed as if the writers wanted them to be more than friends, but didn't have the balls to go all the way. Overall its a sad little tale, depressing, long, and boring. The only highlight of the show is Yun Yun. She is the only character that is given some life and tenacity. Even Maria needs to be rescued all the time, and is pretty helpless. Oh, and the whole superhuman aspect of this show could have been left out and it wouldn't have changed anything that much, nor would the story have lacked anything. Hell, Alphard, Canaan's rival doesn't even have any "super powers". This makes no sense to me. Now for a few words on the english adaptation. I noticed a lot of swearing littered throughout, plus throwaway dialogue that really didn't need to be included. Not too mention, but some of the lines were awkwardly worded. That made me curious. I heard the same comments about High School of the Dead and that was due to the script being written by Stephen Foster. So I check who did Canaan's and sure enough, there's Foster's name. Now at least I understand why people don't care for his adaptations. They aren't the greatest.
Casshern Sins (TV) Very good
This show starts off rather slow. I nearly stopped watching around episode four. But I have a rule: I have to watch any 24 episode show until episode six. I developed this guideline for this very reason: some shows start off slowly. So, once I got to episode six things were cooking alone nicely. This anime deals with death and the meaning of life. Casshern wanders around wondering who he is, what sort of purpose he has in life and why he can't die. By the end, he self proclaims himself the reaper, and will kill those who begin to think that life isn't worth living. Or something like that. I'll admit that by the end of the show I wasn't really paying attention to people's motivations or speeches. I rated the show so highly because one, the animation is fan-tas-tic. The battle sequence's where Casshern either fights a bunch of robots, or Dio (his nemesis of sorts) are wonderful to watch. During one of the final episodes, Casshern and Dio are duking it out and Casshern manages to correct his position in mid air. Ah, that was so beautiful I had to view it again. Number two are the visuals. This includes background art and character designs. This desolate world that they inhabit is so impressively depressing that it gives me chills just staring at it. The character designs are all unique, with the except of the horde of "bad" robots and villagers. Number three is the music. Its either sweet or beautifully sad, setting the mood perfectly. And that's what I really enjoyed. The writing itself is okay, but there were things I thought could have been left out or intergraded better. Like an episode involving Lyuze. Its nothing but her having a waking dream and dealing with her developing feelings for Casshern and her guilt for betraying her sister's wishes. That could have easily been weaved into the overall story, instead of giving her a one shot. It felt out of place, forced, and meaningless, even though its an attempt to develop her character.
Castle in the Sky (movie) Very good
So, there’s this girl who’s inherited a pendant from her parents. But, she always was taught “magic spells” by her grandmother. But her parents die and she lives all alone. Then one day these men come and take her away. There’s a particularly nasty guy who is definitely interested in her pendent. But, this info is all dropped during the halfway point of the movie. The story opens with our heroine already captured. “Sky pirates” show up, with super duper dragonfly-esque ships. They board the Hindenburg the girl is on and take on her guards. Eventually, she breaks free of the guards and pirates only to fall out of the window into the clouds. However, this pendent activates and lowers her ever so slowly to Earth. There she lands in the arms of the boy. He takes her home, and treats her nicely. It turns out the boy is really interested in finding the “castle in the sky” aka Laputa. The pirates and guards show up, and there’s some action and a trip into the bowels of the Earth. Then the girl gets captured by the guards. The boy teams up with the pirates and they rescue her. But not before discovering that everyone is looking for Laputa. The girl and boy join the pirates and everyone heads for Laputa. Once there they battle some more and the baddies are defeated. I love this movie! I’d have to say it is my second favorite Ghibli. I especially like it because the girl and boy don’t stay on Laputa. They leave it as the found it (as much as they can anyway) and go back to earth. Another thing I love about this is the character Vera. She’s the captain of the pirate gang. And she’s old, complete with wrinkled face and gray hair. But damn, if she just doesn’t get the job done. She’s not afraid of danger and grabs adventure with both hands, grinning like a fool. Finally, there’s the machine designs. Castle in the Sky aircraft and otherwise lends itself to a certain whimsy. A combination of da Vinci, wind power, steam and original Wright brothers designs. The opening credits display these designs the best, but it’s also a treat to see them brought to life via animation.
Cat Planet Cuties (TV) So-so
This was an okay show. Harems can be tolerable to a point for me. One thing I specifically didn't care for was all the female frontal nudity. Seemed liked just about every episode had at least one of the girls topless. I guess that's hot? But as a woman, I really could care less. Honestly about 3/4 of the way through I stopped watching. Whenever the princess/heiress and her maids became the main staples of the cast. My husband was the one who actually kept watching (I wonder why?) and I just happened to be present. Another thing that really bugged me was the absolutely unfeasible plot lines. Like when they have to build a rocket ship with the store-all inside the bell. I understand that this story is fiction, but that's a type of fiction I'm not familiar with at all. They set up all this impossible situations, but they are really easy to solve in all actuality. The only really refreshing thing was that the two human girls and the kitty alien come to an agreement to "share" the hapless hero. I've never seen a harem that ends like that. Usually its open ended or the guy picks only one girl. Decent, but its so forgettable, that I almost didn't write up a review for it.
Cat Planet Cuties (OAV) Not really good
See above.
(The) Cat Returns (movie) Very good
A fun little story. Although similar to Pom Poko with the "cute animal" concept, it's quite different otherwise. Haru is a typical teenage girl who thinks her mundane problems are causing her life to miserable. However, after a trip to the cat kingdom, Haru quickly realizes that her life isn't so bad, and she desperately wants to get back to it. That about sums up the story. Along the way, Haru talks to some cats, and a doll that's come to life. That whole concept of man-made creations coming to life I would have loved to see explored more. However, it is quickly mentioned and then dropped. Whatever...moving on. I loved the cats walking upright and talking. I loved the procession down Haru's street, with the cat's and the cat king. I loved the dub! A lot of big name, veteran actors and they all sounded great; very natural. There are all the little touches that are pretty much standard for a Ghibli production. Examples include, the body guard cats, Haru losing her shoe in her rush to school, the last shot is a long pause looking at the chair where Mutta just vacated. I like stuff like that, it makes the movie all the more fun to watch.
(Le) Chevalier D'Eon (TV) Excellent
Okay, so I finished this, and it did not disappoint! I loved everything about this series. I'm going to have to add it to my personal collection at some point. The fight scenes (mostly/all saber/fencing sword fighting) were clean and smooth with consideration to the speed. I'm usually wary of political stories, but since this is "historical" and loosely based on an actual individual I was highly satisfied with the story. It was paced well, and didn't drag. Also, I couldn't find any plot holes, and the writing remained consistent. Though, most of it was not action-packed, it didn't need to be. I really liked watching an anime that focuses more on relationships and characters than anything else. Hell, that's my number one qualification for an anime to be either "okay" or "above average". Besides, there's plenty of things to keep one entertained. From dark passageways, candlelight rooms, decadent surroundings, and beautiful scenery, the show is high quality. And there are subtle aspects that I learned to watch for, a sideways glance, a creased brow, or a momentary pause, all have a point. The best example is when D'Eon and Robin escape the pub with the new found Durand. As they head up the stairs, Robin stops at the top and draws his gun. Durand passes him, and from Robin's perspective we see Durand's expression as he goes by. Its little bits like that, that make this anime excellent in my opinion. My only beef was that the characters wear the same costumes the majority of the time. Granted the four Frenchmen are traveling and probably don't have a change of clothes. But in the palace? I think the ladies especially should have more than one outfit. I do have one more thing I didn't care for and that was that Lia and Maximillion turned out to be siblings. That is so over used in anime. Its practically a cliche by now. It would have been more original to have them not be related.
Chihayafuru (TV) Excellent
Ah, another series that made me cry. Actually, I was so moved by this series that several times I found myself laughing and crying at the same time. That hasn't happened to me in years. I was very invested in these characters, not only Taichi, and Chihaya, but the entire karuta team, and Arata too. Even their instructor! There is a lot of love put into this show, and it comes through loud and clear. As it is, Chihayafuru is classified as a sports anime. But, it is more a character study than anything else. It also rings of a slice of life anime, because it shows the daily goings on of these kids. The story doesn't rush, it spends nearly four episodes in the beginning simply telling the backstory of Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata. Their friendship is very important in setting up their characters motivations, passions, and challenges. I must say, I was hoping for more romance, but there was enough story to handle without it. Taichi just breaks my heart because he is the best friend who is being looked over for the mysterious, stoic guy. Oh well, I love this show, I wish/hope it will be licensed for release here. Watch it!
Chihayafuru 2 (TV) Very good
Chōyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi (TV) Good
Not sure who had the wonderful idea to bring *some* of the Hundred Poems to life, but they should get a raise. This was a delightful little show. Historical fiction is some of the best. It's basically actual people/historical figures, but massive poetic license is taken with their lives. Even though most of these literary pieces are old, they come right to life, and make some very interesting points. Like life in the palace wasn't all its cracked up to be. Or that women still had to decide whether to choose love or their career. Or that some women didn't have much of a choice. There were all these different aspects: social status, family ties, etc. I expected a fluffy, sugary, lovey-dovey anime. However, while there is romance here, there is just as much heartache. The show looks good too, like pictures out of a storybook. Nothing too bright, or too stylish. However, they do some interesting things in regards to precipitation.
Chrome Shelled Regios (TV) Decent
Story-wise this show is average at best. The are these roaming cities that have "personalities" manifested by fairy-like creatures. Then there are the "bugs" that are highly aggressive and destructive. Humans lives in the roaming cities, and sometimes are forced to fight bugs. Then there's our hero, Layfon, who used to be a Heaven's Blade. Which means he used to protect the Queen. However, he was disgraced, and left one roaming city for another. He's just a kid, naturally, but is really strong. But, my favorite parts of the episodes were the movie-like clips or flashbacks. These were all done in sepia tones, with heavy, dramatic shadowing, with the air of an old hollywood black and white. The subject matter was highly stylized and very well done. I came to look forward to seeing each one. They never really explain what those bits refer to (if anything at all). Its probably explained better in the novels.
Clannad (TV) Good
This is a misleading series. On one hand, it appears to be the usual moe nonsense. But on the other hand, you find a guy who goes around helping and befriending some of the girls at his school. I think one of the nicest little tidbits in this series is the cute reference library chick. She doesn’t have any designs on the lead guy, but is always happy to see him, and his friend. She even helps them out once in a while. I think its a shame that we never see her outside of her post. I would love to know what she does after school, and what her home life is like. For me, that's what really sold this story. It might be strange to base my liking on this fact, but it just makes it seem more real to me than some other moe shows.
Clannad After Story (TV) Good
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV) Very good
Doing a re-watch of this. Came to the realization that Lelouche is a brilliantly written character. He's the "star" of the show. But, he's an anti-hero if ever there was one. I mean, you love to see this guy fail, but at the same time, it's fascinating to see what plan he's going to come up with next. In many ways, Lelouche is still very much a child, and his ideals are very teenage-like. However, since he does have a genius intellect and the Geass power, this makes him very dangerous. Lelouche has his own set of morals and is able to completely justify his actions, which is a sign of mental instability btw. So basically his character is a sociopath. So someone said, "Hey let's write a story where a genius teenager has this power and plans to take over the world." A brilliant concept really. Code Geass is definitely in the same vein as Death Note plot-wise.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (TV)
I couldn't muster up enough enthusiasm to re-watch the second season. Honestly, all I remember is that nearly everyone has Geass, Nunnally ends up as Vice Roy of Area 11, and Lelouche dies. Personally, that's all I need to know. Oh, and Kallen finally confesses her feelings to Zero/Lelouche, and C2 continues on. Also, there's less Floyd this time around, and since he's my favorite that disappointed me greatly. Anyway, I won't be rating it or re-watching it.
Coicent (OAV) Good
I'm really diving into OAVs and movies lately. I think they're easier to get through because they only require one to two hours tops. Plus, my husband is more willing to sit through a short film (or feature picture) than twelve to twenty-six episodes. I am too, mostly because the weather is getting really nice outside, and I want to spend less time indoors, and more in the sun! But I digress. This is part of the bundle Sentai put out that also includes another OVA Five Numbers. However, I'll just review this one, since they are listed separately and all. Very cute little story, with a happy ending. I liked the bright colors and the deer that had a key supporting role. The boy and girl are suitably cute, and the story outlandish and over-the-top. However, being a thirty minute OAV there are numerous plots holes, the animation is so-so, and the music is lacking. That being said, the short provides a fun little romp that I enjoyed.
(La) Corda D'Oro - primo passo (TV) Decent
I picked this anime up after reading the first manga volume. It follows the life of Kahoko Hino, a general studies student at Seshio Academy. Seshio is a very special school we soon learn. The man who founded it befriended a fairy long ago. In gratitude for the man's kindness, the fairy, Lili, promises to bless the man's new school with the gift of music. So, Seshio Academy is born. It features a prominent music division, and the regular "General Studies" sector. Kahoko has never played an instrument in her life. However, through a very predictable turn of events, Lili gives her a magical violin. Anyone can play it, but one still has to produce the music, "from the heart". Basically that's the overall message "Music should be fun, and heartfelt". This anime is not only shoujo, its also a reverse harem, as the other contest members are bishounen. There is one other female contestant, Kahoko's friends, and a nosy reporter to round out the estrogen division. I was surprised to find very little romance here. Sure, there's some teasing, and one or two "awkward" moments. Overall, the music and competition are the main focus. Any romance or would-be love is a mere side note. Kahoko isn't a clueless heroine (she realizes all the boys are gorgeous), but that doesn't fluster her. The only love she gives is to her violin. Technically, this show is very bland. Anytime a character plays their instrument, there's barely any movement of the hands. And mostly its stills scrolled over. There's a lot of the same shots used over and over as shortcuts. There are more outfit changes than I would have thought, but sometimes the boys are wearing nearly the same shirt, just different colors, etc. For an anime about music, this falls flat. Sure, the songs are all classical pieces, but they don't really reach you. I didn't tear up once watching this. And music usually moves me deeply. Kids on the Slope was much more emotionally invested in its musical score.
Cowboy Bebop (TV) Masterpiece
Top of my anime list! I love everything about this anime, the music kicks ass, the story, while not unique in the bounty hunting aspect, still provides terrific entertainment, superior voice acting, and lovable characters, truly a classic. I set my bar here when I begin to watch a new anime. I ask, does it have characters I can connect with? Is the story well thought out? Does it bother to engage me through plot? Or does it just throw stuff at me in a vain attempt to keep me entertained? Suffice to say I own this series, and re-watch it at least annually.
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Masterpiece
Coyote Ragtime Show (TV) So-so
Finished Coyote Ragtime Show. Meh, it was okay I guess. I think I liked the music most of all (minus the opening and closing songs. They were so-so). However, the story seemed to combine a lot of elements together. There's the cute girl with a past, the grizzled veteran, the hot police/investagator babe, the madam who's nuts, and a whole slew of android maids. And lest we forget - spunky sidekicks who back up the grizzled veteran. Then there's the story. There are a few different backstory's I would love to have been fleshed out more - like madam Marciano's. Mister (the protag) mentions at the very end she used to be a coyote (outlaw/pirate) a "long time ago". Uh huh, well that's great and all, but where was that line say, when her character is introduced? Even with that passing mention, I still don't know or understand what she was truly after. It seemed she had a vendetta against Mister and Bruce (Franca's father and pirate king). She did kill Bruce after all. But Marciano's character is never fully explained to my frustration. And that last "head to head" battle with Mister is just laughable, in my opinion. Anyway, Franca, the cute girl is utterly forgetable and a true throwaway character. The only reason to have her around is because she has a pendant around her neck that has documented footage of the greatest heist ever. But, it doesn't contain a map, or anything else. Swamp, Bruce's right hand man, possesses the map. Franca is therefore a standard issue cute girl and seems to represent only those who like that sort of character. Sure, she's all upset about her father's death. And at the end she see's footage of him and her together. She cries, but all I didn't feel anything. I really didn't care for this anime. It would have been better if they could have focused on one storyline, and trimmed the fat regarding the excess characters. Or, made the show longer.
Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth - The Animation (TV) Good
In 19th century France, a tiny Japanese girl named Yune comes to live and work. She is brought to Paris by Ocsar Claudel, a retired ironworker/sign maker. Oscar has a grandson who has taken over the business. His name is Claude Claudel. Yune is immediately regarded with suspicion and distrust by Claude. He's always telling her to go away, or wondering about her customs, and strange sayings. They bicker a lot over how to handle the same situation. A good example is when Claude catches Yune befriending an urchin child. He doesn't approve, telling Yune that he'll just come back. Yune is willing to help the little boy because she feels unwanted like him. Every episode usually allows Claude and Yune to see the good in each other, and slowly Yune worms her way into Claude's heart. The ending is a little mushy, but, other than that, these 12 episodes play out nicely. I thought this was a nice, straightforward story. Yune is as cute as she can be, and stands out in contrast to the entirely European setting. There is a limited budget here, as the same settings are used over and over. The Claudel's shop, the Blanche's household, and the Galerie itself. There are a couple episodes that include a trip to the park, and the town marketplace. Although a small setting, it looks good. There's not a lot of action going on, but characters move easily, and all have attractive, or average designs. Claude's eyes did wear on me. They seemed cat-like, which was odd, but I think they were supposed to be that way to convey his narrow-mindedness. The music was soft, and subtle. I really enjoyed the French spoken intro. I would have liked a French language track for this with subtitles. But, the Japanese was decent, with Alice's VA being the exception. Her voice was so high-pitched and annoying, which was probably the point.
D.Gray-man (TV)
Dance in the Vampire Bund (TV) Not really good
I actually liked the first half, right up until Akira and Mina have their boss battle. Not only was that so over-the-top, it just felt out of place. I was excited to watch Akira defy his master. It looked like he was truly going to kill her too, right up, the last five or so minutes of the episode. Instead he takes a stake (albeit a wooden one) through the chest/abdomen. Suddenly Mina and Akira are holding each other and confessing their feelings for one another. Yeah, I almost stopped watching it then, but decided since the anime is only twelve episodes long, I figured I'd finish it. It didn't get any better. And as sat, rather numbly, and watched, I came to one conclusion: I find the character of Mina completely unsympathetic. Oh dear, but she's just trying to help, and trying to spare her people persecution, and trying to keep from getting pregnant because...I'm not even sure! More often then not, she comes off as a spoiled brat, unable to do anything without her many, many, many minions. Plus, she uses fear to cause obedience in others. Now, if a male character was written that way he'd either be portrayed as a brat or a psychopath. Mina doesn't receive such treatment, and it makes my blood boil. Case and point: Mina becomes absolutely furious with Yuki (the human girl who has a big thing for Akira). Mina tells her to stay away, that Akira is hers, blah, blah, blah, etc. However, once Akira finally "decides" to stay by Mina's side (that itself is a conundrum. Akira had already become the servant of Mina beforehand. So, it doesn't seem as if he chose anything because it was already preordained), Mina becomes all friendly toward Yuki. Now, I know that if this were truly a good story about vampires Yuki would have been killed as soon as Mina found out about her relationship with Akira. But, nope, it wasn't so. They all are friends afterword, and everyone lives happily ever after...sigh. I was hoping for a story with more backbone than that. One where Akira decided to betray his promise to Mina, flees, and spends the rest of the show trying to bring her down. That's how I would have written it. Something else I noticed: Akira is supposed to be some kind of stud. Mina wants to jump his bones, as does Yuki and Mei-Rin (who was my favorite character). Add a few more cute/hot girls and this would have been a harem show involving vampires. Okay, I will give positive marks for the look and feel of this show. It is gorgeous! Every shot is eye candy whether it involves the toe to head shots of the school girls, or the insane close ups of Akira's or Mina's eyes. Close ups are used to excess here, as is the melodramatic score. Mina's blond hair swirls in slow motion around her almost in every shot. Its all very rich and excessive. The colors don't just pop out, they stand up and yell in your face "See me! Look at me!" I enjoyed those aspects for the entirety of the anime. Not once were they distracting, in fact, they seemed only to add to the show. And high marks for Monica Rial's performance on the dub. She was excellent as the vampire princess, Mina.
Darker than Black (TV) Excellent
While the idea of humans with superpowers is not unique, the story that the writers crafted for this anime is. It tells of humans who have entered into a contract, so in order to use their powers they must pay a price. Some of the prices are mild, while others, like breaking your own fingers, are harsh. The main character is a dark, mysterious man, who some might find a hard time connecting with. But his awesome power makes him cool. I have to admit that I was lost when I first watched the series. This threw me at first, because I didn't think that the writers took enough time to explain about contractors, specters, dolls, etc. And it was that sloppiness in writing that caused me to wonder if the show was even worth my time. But the second time around, I had pretty much figured it all out. It ended up being well worth my time.
Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (TV) Decent
This is a great show production wise. Everything is clean, well-done, from the character designs to the animation, to the background art. The CGI is a little obvious, but what else is new? However, that’s the only good point. The story focuses heavily on a new character, Suou, who is a twelve year old girl. She is the daughter of a scientist and has a twin brother, Shion. So, there’s this thing called the “meteor core” that everybody is seeking: the CIA, M-I 6, Section 3, and the Russian government. Lastly, we have Hei, who is working for a buxom blond who seems to know everything (its never fully explained who she really is. I guess she worked for the Syndicate at one point). A few of the usual suspects are thrown back in the mix like July, the little British boy who worked with April and November 11. April is back, but only for the first episode as Hei kills her off when there is a raid on the father’s lab. Hei is as cold blooded as ever, with stubble and longish hair too-boot. Through some obvious circumstances, he ends up throwing Suou over his shoulder, and running off with her. Section 3 is pursuing them, and end up taking away Hei’s contractor abilities. This is done with a compact version of the device that was almost set off at the end of season one (I’m drawing a blank on its handle). At the same time, Suou is granted contractor powers. And what is her ability? A super long sniper rifle appears from her chest cavity with one bullet in the chamber and five more in her pocket. That right there threw me. It was then that I started to think, “This show might not be so great.” So the second half (episodes 7-12) was way better than the first (episodes 1-6). Things finally move forward. I did like how the writers managed to tie a lot of what happened in this season to the first season. Even if they were loose ties, I give them high marks for making the effort. While the writers did a decent job of linking seasons, they do a piss poor job of explaining things this go round. Yin has developed into some kind of contractor killing machine that will give “birth” to a monster of sorts. Yin, as we know from the first season was a doll. And that’s it. She obviously developed feelings for Hei (what woman didn’t?) and he her. But that’s it. Now, between the first and second season, about two years have gone by, and a prophecy about Yin has been discovered. Yin has been captured and taken away from Hei, and he’s made up his mind to kill her. Yeah, that still doesn’t make sense to me, but whatever moves the story along. I feel like instead of concentrating on Suou’s backstory, there should have been at least one flashback to Yin and Hei’s past that connected some of the dots. Another thing is this “meteor core” that was a hot item in the first half of the second season. Never mentioned again until the last episode. Again, poor writing. Its like they were so proud of themselves they said, “We linked the first and second season, there’s no need to pay attention to any of the new information we’ve added in the second season.” I’m still not sure what role Suou played in all this, or her brother, Shion. The moon, which was really a second earth appeared, Yin awoke, Hei killed her, Suou, Shion, and July died and the monster was born. Oh, and the “moon” faded away. Wait, what? Is there some symbolism in there I’m missing? Now for character commentary: Suou is basically useless. The show could be written entirely without her and still stand alone fine. I was so happy when she finally bit the dust. She is one of the most annoying characters, but, again, I chalk that up to poor writing. She could have been a lot more sympathetic, but she comes across as a brat most of the time. Then, there’s the fact that they show her naked, in a school girl uniform, swimsuit, and cosplay, plus her everyday clothes. I mean, please. I get the point, you’re playing up to the demographic that likes under developed teens. Gotcha. The music was very theatrical for the first episode, and the second. Often times its thrown in when not necessary. Durning certain scenes, it would have been better to not have any music, because it draws attention away. An example would be when the professor is warning Suou to stay away from her twin, Shion. There is this tinkling piano in the background that just distracts, softening the urgency behind his message. Mao is back, for some barely explained reason. Now, I feel silly for crying when I thought he’d “died” in the first season. This show features all this killing, but then keeps the cute character. Mao is even in a different body this time, a flying squirrel, which is just a rip-off of Fuu’s pet from Samurai Champloo. Although, later on, we get to see what his human form was like. That made me smile. Some previously used characters are brought back, including Misaki the police babe. I love her character! She’s intelligent and a go-getter. What I missed this season was the flirtation between Hei and Misaki. They have a couple of cute scenes in the first season. However, the only time they were together on screen was for about five minutes and Hei attacked her, laying her out. Anyway, speaking of camos, Gai and Kiko make an appearance in episode nine! That was worth waiting for, their dynamic hasn’t gotten stale. I just wish they could have had more screen time. Oh well, perhaps they are in the OVA? I have yet to watch that.
Desert Punk (TV) Excellent
Outrageous anime! Funny, crude, and just crazy. Despite a pair of unbelievable huge tits, this anime has very little fanservice. This anime doesn’t hesitate to make fun of itself and everyone has an attitude. I'm not sure how to describe what it is that sold this anime for me...but I'm pretty sure it was the writing for the English dub. I've heard that its nothing like the Japanese version, and that is fine with me. Because lines like "I'd like to split her like lumber" just made me want to die laughing.
Devil May Cry (TV) Decent
This isn’t the best anime ever, in no way, shape, or form. However, I love it! The character of Dante appeals to my bad boy needs. He is smooth, cocky, and talks like Clint Eastwood, with a deep, breathy, but very masculine sound. The story is full of holes, and questions or impossible situations. Like “how do the people know about the demons?” “Where did they come from?” etc. But who cares! This is an alternate reality, obviously, where a girl from an orphanage can leave whenever she chooses and play poker on a cruise ship. Yeah, that makes sense. Since I've started re-watching this, I need to make some alterations to my comments. Okay, the story is still full of holes. But what I noticed is the clean look and feel of this series. The quality of this anime could have been really, really poor to say the least. After all, its just a 12 episode promotion for Devil May Cry 4 video game. That being said, I'm noticing the rich colors, and clean looking character designs. Even Morrison, who shows up very little, consistently looks good. Another point that made me appreciate the show more is Patty's outfits. She wears a different one in just about every episode. Very unusual.
Eden of the East (TV) Excellent
Decided to try this show because everyone says watch it. It is excellent. The story is fasinating and the characters intriguing. The background art and animation are also very well done. The backgrounds are beautifully detailed, but not to excess. And the animation is top notch. Akira, the hero, is great. I love his laid back easy movements and his up front attitude. He just takes things as they are and moves on. Plus he seems to be completely at ease with himself. All these qualities are very rare in an anime hero. He reminds me a little of Spike from Cowboy Bebop actually, and that is a good thing. I like the relationship between Akira and Saki that develops throughout the first couple of episodes. The only complaint I have is with the character design. The female lead, Saku, is supposed to be 24 years old, but looks much younger. She appears more like a high school student than college age. But oh well. This anime is definitely up there in the fact that it is a really good show that has come out recently-ish.
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (movie) Excellent
Ah, I was so surprised to find this listed on Netflix instant play already. True, it came least a couple of months ago, but still. Funimation continues to baffle me. Its a love/hate relationship with that damn licensor. On one hand, they do something like this (thank you!) on the other hand, they can't get the entire original cast back together for the Trigun movie. WTF??? After that I saw red, and swore I'd never buy/watch anything from them again. That was short lived to say the very least. One thing's for sure, I'm never a fence sitter about these guys. Yeah, so I'm supposed to leave comments about the anime...right. So, very well done production wise...same as the original. I still don't care for Saki's design, but that's a small point. The character herself is very nice and is appealing as before. As is Akira, he still eludes this easy-going charm that makes him, for lack of a better word. Even the way he listens to Saki explain everything to him, he doesn't just brush her off. He takes everything at face value, constantly living in the moment. It makes his character very likable. The two(?) new Selecao that are introduced to seem interesting if not...strange. The film director especially has issues. Juiz is more pronounced this time around...her attitude actually varies from Selecao to Selecao. The only thing I'd have to say that wasn't up to par was when the secondary characters at Eden, just sat around and talked about the whole mess. This was when the "political" aspect of the story was being discussed, but how it was handled made it boring.
Excel Saga (TV) Very good
I almost forgot to write a review! If anyone is every curious what anime on drugs is like, here's the best example. This is basically a parody of every anime genre ever. It covers sports, gangs, super power-ups, drama, romantic comedy, slapstick, schtick, yeah the list is endless. I really enjoyed it everything. Menchi is the cutest little dog ever! If I owned a business I'd want her for a mascot (not that I could what with copyright and everything, but still...). Nabeshin is my favorite character, which goes without saying. Shinichi Watanabe is one of my favorite directors. He makes the outrageous incredibly funny.
Five Numbers! (OAV) Good
This is the second part of the bundle Sentai released. The first being Coicent. I wish there had been more of this story! The ending really threw me, and I still don't understand what happened. Besides the whole "cat plague" being re-released. That sucks, so sorry people of earth. Anyway, being an OAV, this only could do so much with a very limited storyline. It almost felt as if it was being told like a fairy tale, with some sort of moral. But, I didn't pick up anything like that by the end. Perhaps I was just too confused as to why there were multiple kids/android clones running around. Again, I would have loved to see this story beefed up a great deal.
FLCL (OAV) Masterpiece
If I had to classify this series it would be "Hard Rock Anime". One of the funniest anime out there. A must see for first timers, or even for people who want to experience some serious laughs. And while that's not all there is to the story, that's what I get out of it. Because I think if one tries to make sense of this show, their brain might explode. FLCL is a show that you just take at face value, and enjoy the ride.
Freedom (OAV) Good
So here’s my problem with the story. It complete suspends my powers of belief. When Takeru and crew are leaving the moon for the first time, they magically know how to launch and operate the spacecraft. Um, doesn’t that take years to learn? Not too mention, don’t you have to be in tip top shape to handle the g-forces and whatnot? So, that scene was laughable really. The same thing applied when the earthlings built a rocket of their own. True, they had two years to get it done, so it was easier to swallow. One more thing: the “saving the rocket” bit with Rickie, Ao, and Takeru was so overdramatic I was gagging. I know they had to hurry up and connect these characters, but I felt like I was being force fed. Not a fun experience. I had no problems with the overall message of the story. Kids are the future, out with the old, big government is corrupt and constrictive, etc. That’s all been done to death already. If I were some young upstart of a teenager, this story might have appealed to me more. As it is, I can only rate it good.
Fruits Basket (TV) Excellent
There is nothing like pretty boys to make an anime sparkle. And its refreshing to see a storyline that allows characters to grow and develop. There isn’t much bad to say about this terrific piece of heartfelt eye candy. Toru actually reminds me of myself when I was an innocent teenage girl. I would have had no idea why Haru took the student council president in the bathroom to prove that was his natural hair color. :)
Full Metal Panic! (TV) Good
Finally got around to re-watching this. Its entertaining, but not enough to add to my collection or view again. I like how the military and high school aspects are combined. Its like there's a little something for everyone. Mecha action, military stuff, school girls and their uniforms, slapstick, drama, etc. There's even fanservice too! However, there are too many cliches, and plot holes to really call this very good. Like the whole Sousuke transferring to Kaname's high school in order to "protect" her (that's so overused). Also the whole "love triangle" between Tessa, Kaname, and Sousuke. It feels contrived just to appeal to that sort of viewer. Also, Kaname's constant beating of Sousuke whenever he screws up gets old fast. But there's also these "whispered" people. Their origins, background, etc. are never fully explained, nor are their abilities really all that necessary except when the story calls for it.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TV) Good
A rare find where I like the second season more than the first. This ups the violence factor, sexual factor, and well, the action stays pretty much the same. Its clear these 13 episodes are meant to focus on Sousuke and his ultimate pass or fail with the Landa (sp?) driver. There is much less time spent with Kaname, and the whole love triangle thing has been dropped in favor of Sousuke and Kaname. However, there are still points of contention with this half. Like the Whispered have practically been forgotten about in favor of concentration on Landa technicalities. Then there's the lesbian twins, total throwaway characters, as is Tessa's brother, whatever his name is. He's only there to look and sound cool, and steal Kaname's first kiss (in a total, "I saw that coming" moment). One more thing quickly, episode twelve has this meet up with Sousuke and Guaron (evil face guy that wouldn't die). Anyway, that scene is all together too long, and used very poorly. Basically, Guaron gets Sousuke to go back to his soulless personality...for all of two minutes, then Kaname shows up and pommels him a little, and Sousuke is back to normal. But whatever, I still preferred Second Raid to the original. It just felt more grown up, less focused on fanservice, and generally tighter story wise.
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV) Good
This wasn't as funny the second time around. I remember thinking it was really hilarious the first time I watched it. However, now that I've seen more comedy anime, this has gone down in my opinion. First there's the constant hitting/beating Kaname gives Sousuke all the time. That's only funny once. I'm all for slapstick, but that's just too harsh. Although, it kinda works because Sousuke is so stoic about his punishment. There are some episodes that are just weaker than others too. The ones dealing with the rugby team and yakuza come to mind. They are basically copies of one another with a couple different elements thrown in. For instance, in the rugby episode Sousuke himself goes DI style in training the team. However, in the yakuza episode it's still Sousuke training the troops, but Kaname is the one giving out the insults since Sousuke has to stay in his Bontacoon suit. Also, when Tessa comes to visit, and there's some rivalry going on between her and Kaname. That falls flat because Sousuke is simply too stressed and dumb to figure out what's really going on. Some of the better episodes are when Kaname explains what flirting is to Sousuke. His face turns white like he's terrified of talking to a girl face-to-face. That is a brilliant reaction. Then there's the "Full Monty" biohazard episode. Very well done, practically classic in it's comedy. However, the hot spring episode tops them all, if only because we get to see Kurtz naked bottom. :)
Fullmetal Alchemist (TV) Excellent
There is so much I can say about this series. I remember back in high school all my buddies talking about it and how excellent it was/is. It was one of the first anime I watched, so I will always feel sentimental about it. However, there are other reasons I like it. The story is engrossing, and well done. The characters are thought out, and fleshed out as the show progresses. Not too mention, but this anime employs suspense to help aid the storyline, instead of just relying on in-your-face explosions or gimmicks. It plays like a book; every time you turn a page the mystery deepens, but you know you're getting closer to the truth.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (TV) Excellent
A beautiful story, really. I loved nearly everything about this show. I was hesitant to watch it because the original release I already hold in high regard. However, I'm glad I took the plunge. Perhaps the first dozen episodes are hard to get through for those who have seen the original. But, I didn't think so, because they are presented in a different way. Maybe not that different, but enough so to keep one interested. Plus, there is some new information added in these twelve episodes. Anyway, this version is darker, much more dramatic, even though it has a bit of humor too. I don't care for the "swallowing God" aspect, or having "defeated God" as Ed seemed to do (I found that scene incredibly cheesy. Seriously? Beating God/Almighty Ruler/Ultimate Authority figure, is such a juvenile concept.) But I liked that Ed did have to sacrifice something in order to bring Al back. I'd forgotten just how good all the dubbed voice actors sound. They all give excellent performances here, but special credit goes to Maxey Whitehead as Alphonse. Sometimes she sounds exactly like Aaron Dismuke from the original. I did miss Dameon Clarke as Scar. There was just a hollowness he projected onto that character. Tatum is really good at being angry though, and this version of Scar is much more that way. So, it all works out.
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa Excellent
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (TV) Excellent
Wonderfully done. Naturally, I was already familiar with Dumas "The Count of Monte Cristo". Its a classic story of friends, lovers, betrayal and revenge. It also deals with the aristocracy and how much of a show they put on. Dumas writing always seemed to involve some kind of bureaucracy. This anime is bare bones the same tale with a couple extras, like the futuristic setting and Gankutsuou, the demon-like being. Anyway, there is a happy ending to this tale, which I don't quite recall. I think Dumas original ended with everyone dying, but maybe not. I'll Cliff Notes that later. There is quite a bit of CGI in here, which usually blends in as best it can. It's still pretty obvious, but that was not distracting to the overall blend. The animation is very unusual. All the backgrounds, clothes, and static objects like sofas, look like a collage. At best I can call it "art deco" but I'm sure that's not the right term. Anyway, it is very nice and quite refreshing really. I found myself gasping at how individual and beautiful each shot could be. Especially those that involved the sky, or ladies costumes. I really liked that the final episode is dedicated to wrapping up all the loose ends, even the little blurb about Cavalcont and the drunk.
Ghost Hunt (TV) Very good
A tidy little anime that gives you a peek at some amazing powers during the last FIVE minutes of the entire show! I usually find anime endings disappointing, but this was just downright frustrating! How could the writers do this? I want to see more, but oh no, the shows over! What???? I still love the show, the story relies on suspense much of the time, which is refreshing. However, the constant shots of startled expressions get tiresome after a while.
Ghost in the Shell (movie) Very good
Okay, this is definitely a "classic" anime. Anyone who is "into" anime needs to view this and the subsequent versions. I'm working on the latter, but looking forward to them. Now I rated this only as Very Good, because the shows concepts like computers becoming self aware, governments using hacking software for their own benefits, and general politics, all have been down before. I refer anyone to Issac Asimov's I, Robot as the former's example. That being said, Ghost in the Shell was no less enjoyable. I thought several things made this anime worthwhile. One, using the garbage men to hack the system. Two, the repeated sightings of the basset hound (on posters, pictures, and on the bridge). I'm wondering if that becomes relevant later on. Third, Neo-Tokyo looks REAL, what with all the signage, people just everywhere, and the huge buildings. The only thing missing is the subway. And fourth, water obviously plays some sort of symbolic role. Its everywhere, whether its raining, flowing or simply pooling. Oh yeah, one more thing communicating telepathically=sweet!
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (TV) Excellent
This kicked butt! Is that an "old school" saying now? I loved all the characters, how each episode is contained, and still carried the laughing man case throughout. The animation is well done. I liked how clean the fighting is when it comes down to hand to hand combat. I enjoyed the dubbed version, and wondered why some people don't consider this one of the best dubs. Oh well, one of those things I guess. Now, when I watch something, I prefer to be entertained first, and if there's a moral...sweet...if not...whatever. This anime definitely wants the viewer to consider the bigger picture. There's a little antidote at the end of each episode, a "what if" or "how can that be?" or "what's it all about Alfie?" moment. I believe that I enjoyed this so much because these morals aren't forced down your throat. Its more like, "take away what you will, but know there is always something else to be gleaned from this." That's how I feel anyway. Overall, the anime is solid throughout: animation, music (Yoko Kanno, I bow before her awesome talent), backgrounds, CG, acting, and writing, which weaves a tight, thoughtful, story.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG (TV) Excellent
Not as the good as the first season, but still excellent in its own right. All the artistic aesthetics are still as good as ever. The storyline and plot were also high points, well written and driven. However, I freely admit that I was lost for a while with all the political, computer, and scientific terms being thrown around. It didn't damper my viewing experience one bit. But by the end of the show I'd figured out what was going on. The battle in Dajima with the refugees in the last couple of episodes was by far my favorite part. I loved how the Tachkomas sacrificed themselves, and shed a few tears at their "death".
Grenadier (TV) Good
This show isn't stand out in any way. Not unless you count the huge tits flopping everywhere, but I've seen that before too. Breasts are fun in this thirteen episode anime. This show is about changing someone's will to fight. Its a fantasy take on samurai and Japan. Because there's guns in here along with swords, lances, armored cloth, and some sci-fi gun that shoots high powered wind tunnels. I enjoyed the ride. There's a buxom blond who teams up with an equally attractive rebel samurai guy. They form a cute pair and for about seven episodes its all banter and flirtation. Then, the writers did a stupid thing: they added another member to the twosome, a prepubescent girl. That ruined the chemistry between the man and woman, or put a damper on it. Oh well, it still didn't change the outcome of the story. And I very much enjoyed the ending. There is one other thing that impressed me about this show. It doesn't cover up the fact that women are well aware of their influence over men, especially in regards to physical attraction. The heroine is very confident in her body and takes everything in stride. At one point, a man is squeezing her breast and she just giggles. She doesn't get all enraged at punch him in the face. Also, there are no nosebleeds coming from any guy in here.
GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (TV) Very good
I love this show! Just re-watched it with my husband last week (9/16/12). Laughed a great deal, loved the english dub, cheered for Onizuka more than once. What I like best about this show is, how the unlikeable characters become likable as more and more is revealed about them. And sometimes there isn't a complete turn around, or recovery, as one would hope. And that makes the writing all the more real. Of course, Onizuka manages to get away with a lot of nonsense, but that's a minor detail.
Guin Saga (TV) Good
I do like this series. It is gorgeously designed, the story is exciting, and very romantic (not just in the lovey dovey sense). However, the english script is terrible! Oh my god I have yet to watch a dubbed anime with this terrible a script. I thought s-CRY-ed and GetBackers was bad, but Guin Saga tops them all. Some of the lines are so poorly worded that when spoken in all seriousness I found myself laughing. Now that is just sad.
Hanasaku Iroha - Blossoms for Tomorrow (TV) Very good
I blew through this one. Like a good book, it was hard to "put down". The show is gorgeous first of all. The art work very true to life, especially regarding the scenery around the Kissuiso. Very lovely, sometimes just a shot of the sky or hillside gave me pleasant shivers. I was immediately drawn to Ohana, and all her naivete, sweetness, and brashness. She is one of the better developed (young) female protagonists. The rest of the staff at Kissuiso along with other supporting characters were all very approachable. If I didn't like any of them when they were introduced (Takako), by the end I was cheering for them as well. However, the pacing took a slight dip after episode twelve. The obligatory "beach episode" and the fan pandering in it cheapened the show (and characters) in my eyes. Not once before then had I thought this show was made with a certain demographic in mind. It was jarring, and I nearly stopped watching. Also, some subject matter was rehashed during the next few episodes after the beach one. As a viewer I felt like I was being talked down to. But that's the only criticism I have. The show redeemed itself in the end. I didn't cry at the finale, but felt an overall satisfaction with how events turned out. One more thing; what sets this show apart is all the little details. There were many (I didn't note all of them down unfortunately). But, when I'd catch them, the show became all the more real for me. Just a few examples: Minchi shaking her hands out after carrying the heavy grocery bags, shadows being cast as clouds move past the sun, Ohana pouring the cola in slowly to wait out the fizz.
Heat Guy J (TV) Very good
Very well done series. Dice’s overly large motorcycle is waaaaay over the top, but it can be overlooked. Even the ending was fairly clean, plus I loved that way events resolved themselves between Dice and Kyoko, the pink haired office girl. I think this anime is one that is overlooked. It isn't blow your mind in anyway, like Eden of the East, but it can hold its own. Since Cowboy Bebop is my standard, but this anime holds its own against it. However, I really like all the characters, and found myself being drawn into the story. I like the way just about every episode wraps up neatly, instead of carrying over. This also reminds me of Bebop, they way things resolve themselves, while still allowing the underlying story to continue, in the shadows.
Hellsing (TV) Masterpiece
I never thought I would care for an anime about vampires, but this? I just have one word: wow. Bloody, graphic, this doesn’t pull its punches. It shouldn't really. Because if you think about it, a show about vampires should be violent. The characters are tough, and powerful, each in their own way. Even Ceres Victoria holds her own. Alucard (Dracula, anyone?), has got to be one of the most powerful anti-heros ever. He is a vampire, sure, but what else? His abilities are god-like, yet he allows himself to be controlled. He is foreboding, evil, a monster. Most characters in anime have a shred of attractiveness about them, but not him. I wouldn’t want to be within 10 feet of him, ever. I just want to mention that I love the english dubbed version. If you watch this, do yourself a favor and watch it in english.
Hero Tales (TV) Good
Extremely predictable action/adventure show. Everything in this show is average: music, animation, story (and that drags in some parts). It has a happy ending, which I also saw coming a mile away. One thing that intrigues me, they never show Kero dying. Taito attacks him and they both vaporize. But at the very end, Taito is still alive. It makes me wonder if Kero somehow survived as well. In any case, this is one series I probably won't rewatch on my own. Not bad, but not terribly good either. An observation: there seems to be a lot of subliminal fanservice here. The male characters are shown with their shirts off a lot (seems like every episode), and in their loincloths about every three episodes. And its not like its important to the story that they need to be half naked.
High School of the Dead (TV) Bad
Last night my husband marathoned High School of the Dead. I half watched it, since I'd already seen the more famous clips from the show. It varied from poor to downright terrible. The dub was atrocious, furthering Steven Foster's shaky reputation. One thing I didn't find too bad about the extensive re-write was the inclusion of swearing. Personally, I think dumb high school kids (boys in particular) would be talking just like that. But that's neither here nor there. The story itself could have used more time spent on the zombie plague and less on boobs. The episode where the little girl's father is killed outright is dark. If the show could have stayed with that plot it might have made a very interesting commentary on humans and survival. As it is, the show just can't be taken seriously when breasts jiggle and panties are flashed in every shot.
His and Her Circumstances (TV) Very good
Ah yes. A sweet little romantic comedy. I love this kind of story, where most of it focuses on developing the characters. Its older, and barely what I would classify as animated. Most scenes involve stills that are panned over by a camera. A lot of it isn't even colored, just simple black and white. There are a ton of shortcuts liberally taken. But, like I said, its more about the story than anything else. So, there isn't really a need to animate a whole hell of a lot. There's no high octane action sequences. I think the most "action" involves characters chasing after one another. The only critque I have is that the music is sometimes too much. The score often times detracts from the mood instead of setting it. That's all really. This is a feel good story, that is a lot of fun to watch. Side note: give me Liam O'brien as Asaba any day. His flamboyant characters are hilarious.
Honey and Clover (TV) Excellent
Super cute and sweet, understated anime. Full of humanism, and drama. I have never seen a better story of unrequited love. It is so sad, you just want to reach for the girl and pull her into your arms. There are quite a few moments of hilarity, but the story goes a long way to develop the characters, except that at the end, nothing really has changed.
Honey and Clover II (TV) Excellent
Thirteen episodes of more dramatic goodness. This time the series manages to reach a resolution, however its a heartbreaker. I wanted to cry when the bittersweet credits rolled. There is no real happy ending, just more feelings left unsung.
Howl's Moving Castle (movie)
Inuyasha (TV) Good
While there is a lot of fighting that goes on, this particular anime is told from the girl’s point of view. Plus, there is a handsome half human half demon man that is interested in her. The story is fairly simple; a young girl in present day Japan falls through a time portal into Feudal era Japan. There she has a bunch of adventures with Inuyasha, the aforementioned demon/man. The whole time traveling girl is a bit of a stretch, but at the same time it sounds like a game that grade schoolers would make up. Or a story parents might tell their children. The one character that sticks out in my mind however is the bad guy, Naraku. He is absolutely evil. And when I say evil I mean in the slimy, brooding, manipulative, perverse way. Very much like Orochemaru from Naruto series. This character sticks out in my mind, because he creeps me out, but at the same time, I like seeing a character with no redeemable qualities. This seems more real to me, especially in a fantasy story. The bad guy should be bad absolutely.
(The) Irresponsible Captain Tylor (TV)
Jyu-Oh-Sei (TV) Decent
I wouldn't say this anime is worth it. But that being said, I do like it. The characters are clean, gorgeous men and women. The storyline leaves a lot to be desired though.
Kamisama Kiss (TV) Good
Very typical shoujo with helpless, hopeless (and homeless) heroine who falls head over heels for the main guy (who she hates at first). But the thing that carries Kamisama Kiss is its humor. Nothing is taken too seriously, even love. There’s some gag or cutesy stuff just around the corner. Even in “serious flashback mode” the reactions from Nanami can be hilarious. I liked all the gorgeous men...err...demons, but my favorite is Kurama who always had the best entrances. Not too mention he had some of the best comedic moments as well. Whoever decided to play his theme song whenever he appears is a genius. Anyway, a great little show, easy to get through and entertaining.
Kaze no Stigma (TV) Very good
Again, humans with superpowers, over used, but I really liked this series. The dialogue between the male and female leads is fabulous, and I like how Kazuma interacts with Ayeumi. It just seems much more natural then the majority of the other love interests I’ve seen. Super cool, cute, kick ass. The ending leaves something to be desired, but what anime doesn’t? Plus there are some holes in the storyline. A woman tries to kill you one day, and you're going on a date with her the next? My aren't we overconfident.
KenIchi the Mightiest Disciple (TV) Good
A very cute little action anime. At first glance it just seems like a typical shonen action series. However the hero character, Kenichi, is more like a whiny, cowardly, no talent hack. In fact his whining gets rather old fast, and I have to say the first few episodes are long. But after the fourth or so, things start to roll along. The different sensei are pretty neat, but not very fleshed out. I would like to see some backstory on them. Naturally, this show boasts big tits on all the girls. This is hard to believe because large breasts get in the way of doing anything athletic. I think the author only put ‘em in to make fun of them. But whatever, that is tolerable because the main girl is an attractive power babe who, I think, has a lot of hidden talents. However, the only bad part is that the first season ends just as the really interesting characters are being introduced! And to top it all off, Netflix doesn’t have season two available online yet! What’s up with that?
Kids on the Slope (TV) Excellent
What a terrific story. I loved everything about it, and was pleased at the happy ending. I especially like how the Catholicism angle played out with Sentaro becoming a priest. It's refreshing to see religion portrayed in a positive light. The characters were all beautifully designed, and realistically written. Kaoru was obviously the protagonist, but Sentaro was my favorite. He just makes you want to wrap your arms around him. Brother Jun was by far the sexiest, but he had issues. Ritsuko was a bit of a let down. She seemed one-dimensional, but cute. However, in the end, she turned into the usual Japanese characterization of a high school girl. Yurika was a little better, because she had more spunk. But, she threw herself after Jun, and broke Sentaro's heart, so she had issues too. However, everyone got their happy ending. I think the show focused more on healing through music (especially jazz) because there were a couple of potent scenes that just involved instrumentals. Powerful stuff - I cried. Excellent pacing and direction, Watanabe directs another wonderful anime. I hope the manga gets licensed over here too!
Kiki's Delivery Service (movie) Very good
Since seeing The Secret World of Arrietty, I've decided I must catch up with my Studio Ghibli viewing. And with that, I've just finished watching Kiki's Delivery Service. It's a very sweet story. I think the best part is Kiki's struggle to fly her broom properly. I'd start feeling apprehensive every time she went for the thing. The whole losing her magic part felt kinda forced. Then after she comes to terms with the situation, Kiki goes off with the artist chick for some kind of spirit quest. She comes back and there's a disaster unfolding. Suddenly she re-discovers her magic and saves the day. Easy, cheesy. But, it is a children's story after all. I'm sure if I saw it when I was younger that plot twist would go over better. I think this one is a good Ghibli to show to my ten year old nieces. Gotta get 'em hooked while they're young.
Kokoro Connect (TV) Decent
This started off strong. They pulled off the "body-switching" arc and "inner urges" arcs well. Humor and drama were pretty well balanced, especially during the "swapping". That could have easily dissolved into immature and off-color territory, but didn't. Even though it is a show about high schoolers, it was nice to see a nice level of maturity. However, by the end of "inner urges" arc, things were cooling off. Kokoro veered into harem territory with both Inori and Inaba falling for Tachi. Then, the last arc barely covered anything. The characters start changing into children, and old memories surface. Too much time was wasted on the kids hanging out in this abandoned building trying to sort out what was happening. Btw, this "body time travel", started occurring when the kids were on winter break. That's a nice coincidence, right? Also when things went haywire and they were all randomly changing they had to stay there almost a full day. I'm sorry, but my mother would've been calling the cops, or coming to get me. It's things like that that brought the story down. I wish the show would've only covered the body swapping, and nothing else.
Last Exile (TV) Excellent
Ah, this is a series I could talk on and on about. I love it for many reasons. The unique storyline about two van ship pilots living their fathers’ dream. The aerial battles with huge airships resembling a cross between a battleship and a Hindenburg ballon. The Guild, a self serving race, dipping their fingers into the bowl of humanity, only because they wish to. And the Guild’s technology, vast, beautiful, magnificent. The Grand Stream, a living being, but designed like a vortex of wind and machinery. The van ship races, the first one a sweet hometown affair, the second, much, much more. The politics and the death and destruction. Then there are the characters: Clous and Lavie, the van ship pilots; sweet, tough, determined, and together they fight. Captain Alex Rowe (voiced by Crispin Freeman; I love him!); calm, angry, tough, intelligent, and under it all a sad, lonely man. The first officer, Alvis; a great example of a power babe: intelligent, witty, tough, and tender. Alvis, the young girl dumped on Clous and Lavie. She holds a whole batch of secrets to the Grand Stream, and she is wanted by everyone. The entire crew of the Slyvania, lovable, loyal, fierce. And the young Guild boy, who is eventually accepted by the crew. His story is sadder than anyone else’s. In the end, he is turned into nothing more than a brainless idiot. That made me cry. I would watch this series again and again.
Level E (TV) Very good
This story isn’t quite what I was expecting. The way it opens, you figure its going to be about this... but it finishes that story in about four episodes. So, a whole new chapter is opened. Some episodes are spent on that, then there’s another two part story. And finally, one more. The ending is rough, almost too rushed, but there’s enough explanation so one can keep up. Basically, there’s this alien prince. He purposely comes to earth to investigate. Then, liking what he finds, he stays and causes all sorts of mayhem. But it’s not chaos that the ordinary human would pick up one. Fortunately, almost all the characters are “in the know”. That means they either know that aliens exist, or they quickly catch on. This is a fun, fresh, fast paced show. It definitely garners a re-watch.
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (movie) Very good
My second foray into the Lupin universe (I'm currently watching the Lupin the III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine). I've seen this highly recommended on these very forums, so I decided to check it out. I was laughing most of the time. It came across more as a screwball comedy than a thriller or mystery. The bad guys were suitably bad, Lupin crazy as ever, Fujiko calm, confident, sexy. Goemon suitably stotic. Jigen was the only one who was different than what I expected. He was cracking jokes left and right, and didn't let Lupin get away with anything. However, he had just as much a wild streak as Lupin. It was a fun romp, very entertaining, suitably Ghibli, and wonderfully done. I got a big kick out of the end when Lupin struggles to leave the pretty (and young!) princess behind. He really had to think about that one....poor guy. And Fujiko keeps him on his toes at all times. I'm finding myself even more attracted to her character. Whatta woman!
Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (TV) Excellent
Stunningly/awesomely animation and artwork, but I’m not an expert in the field so I have no idea how to begin to describe it. Its just fun to watch really, animated eye candy, if you like things “artistically rendered”. Anyway, I thought it was cool. The story definitely is intriguing, and as I’m a novice to the world of Lupin, but found this version completely accessible. I dig Lupin himself, over the top, but aloof all the same. Fujiko Mine herself, is just as interesting a character. And as for the whole nudity deal? Well, the intro doesn’t need it, but as for the rest? She’s using her body to get her work done, simple as that. She’s also pretty smart and a straight-shooter. Really happy with the way this ended. Mind control, falsified memories, drugs, etc, are all dark stuff. However, in the end it was all wrapped up beautifully. Very classy, and I hoped FUNimation dubs this one. I want Colleen Clinkenbeard as Fujiko.
Macross Plus (OAV) Excellent
Here's one for the "older" crowd. I always smile when I say that because I grew up watching old black and white westerns, and various other genres of film. In other words, I grew up with an appreciation for things not only from my generation, but others as well. I sometimes think that's why I'm drawn to anime from the mid to late nineties. Not all of it is my cup of tea, but I find most of it to be more entertaining than some of the "stuff" produced today (or even in the earlier 2000's). But I digress. To my review, Batman! I rated this show excellent due to numerous reasons. Top of the list is the story, and how it develops with ease in only four episodes. Its an old, old tale of a love triangle, best friend rivalry, and sci-fi action. However, that doesn't mean its boring by any means. The end was predictable, but I still like the humanity that is embedded in this world of technological advancements. Let's face it, it could be the year 3000, and human nature wouldn't have changed. Oh, our concerns might be different, but will two guys still fall in love with the same woman? Hell, yeah! Next up is the music supplied by the ever great Yoko Kanno. What else is there to say? That woman has a true gift. She has this talent of making any kind of musical composition. The song "Voices" reminds me of an Irish ballad; so sad and bittersweet. Finally, a couple of things that stood out as I watched the series: the Terrasour that flies over at one point is shown in contrast with a large flock of birds. That is a nice touch because it gives the viewer a real idea of how big that creature is without relying on statistics quoted by a character. Also, I like the way Sharon Apple is drawn when "in the buff". Instead of throwing her tits in the viewers face she's always a transparent being (she is an AI after all). And while she has nipples, they are very subtle, so that the focus in more on her face and expression than anything else. Overall, this short series is focused, and driven yet still allows for tenderness and wonder. Classy is the word I choose to label it with.
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (TV) Good
Mars Daybreak (TV) Good
Worth seeing, but nothing to write home about. Gram, the protagonist, ends up joining a crew of pirates (sci-fi pirates that is) complete with mecha and they go a-treasure hunting. There is a big problem here with pacing. This show has too many filler episodes. And, while they help to develop some of the supporting cast, overall, they could have been dropped. Could have easily been a twelve or thirteen episode series. The main objective is never quite clear. Was it to find this ultimate treasure (left by the laughably named Mars aborigines) or to expose the Mars government, or what? All I know is Gram ended up with his sweetheart in the end, and nobody died. The crew of the Ship of Aurora sailed into the sunset, and everyone discovered something important about themselves, which may have been the point of the show. The dialogue is rather sticky and downright silly in certain scenes, "Get off the pot you nimrods!" *cringe* Mars Daybreak obviously wanted to be a combination of a mecha anime, Last Exile (the whole "key" to the treasure thing), and Captain Harlock-esque. At least the characters are engaging and relatable. I do give the writers props for not going the obvious routes with a couple of filler episodes. There is very little fanservice during the obligatory "hot tub" scenes. Later in another episode, when Ester and Enora strip, they are tastefully covered in towels, that go completely past their bottoms. There is another interesting development that is handled very strangely indeed. Another pirate, Kuberness, who is also looking for the same treasure as the Ship of Aurora. He deliberately takes in Gram's sweetheart, Vess. However, he doesn't *force* himself on her. His intentions are never clear, besides the fact that he wants to help her beat Gram, (at this time Vess is trying to kill Gram, basically because she's mad at him). Kuberness seems indifferent when Vess leaves to challenge Gram, but he does tell her not to go. In the end, their "relationship" never amounts to anything. It was like, the writers didn't want Vess working with the military so they had her hook up with Kuberness as the next best thing. One thing that was both surprising and annoying were the strong willed female characters. Vess starts off as a bitch, becomes obsessed, then a lover. Enora is outspoken, and a real hell cat who mistakes her crush on Gram as sisterly feelings. The captain of the Ship of Aurora, Elizabeth, is butch and badass, and her first mate, Ester, is stubborn and loyal. There really is no weakness to be found in any of these women, besides the soft spoken Megumi, (who has a neat ability but we never find out about her backstory, naturally).
Mass Effect: Paragon Lost (movie) Good
I have no experience playing Mass Effect video games. I only know Shepard by name. I did watch my husband play the first (?) game, but not much. So, going into this I had no idea about the world, or the characters. However, I was able to follow along pretty easily. I think I only had one question, but that was answered eventually. In any case, being an “outsider” to the franchise, I rather enjoyed this. I didn’t cry at the end, so the story pretty much failed to engage me emotional. Which means that I take points away. I bought the DVD mostly because my husband asked me too. But, I’ll keep it and perhaps re-watch it on a rainy day or something.
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV) Very good
So there's this high school girl. But she's more than that. She's what you call eccentric. That's our heroine Haruhi Suzumiya. She wants to meet aliens, vespers, and time travelers. She wants to have crazy adventures. She wants a lot of stuff. So, she starts high school, and this guy (and our narrator) Kyon, falls in with her. Haruhi wrangles some members and they form a club: the SOS brigade. But, it turns out that everyone else in the club (minus Kyon) is a little "different". There's Yuki who's an alien. There's Mikuru, a time traveler, and Koizumi a vesper. Over the course of a few episodes we learn that Haruhi may not be all she seems either. Koizumi manages to shed the best light when he takes Kyon to this "other dimension" that has been formed by Haruhi under stress. While in this dimension, a goo monster appears and destroys a lot of stuff, although it's basically harmless. However, Koizumi leaves Kyon with this warning: Haruhi has the ability to wish things into being. Therefore if she wished the world to start anew, it would, etc. Now, all this is sounding dark and foreboding. However, the show is basically a love story. Haruhi has "chosen" Kyon to be her partner, so to speak. She favors him as Yuki, Mikuru, and Koizumi all tell him. In the end, Kyon manages to save the world (as we know it) from Haruhi's stress monster. And how does he do it? By kissing her of course.
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV 2009 renewal) Good
So continues the adventures of Haruhi Suzumiya and friends. There's a quick jump to the past wherein Kyon realizes he might be the one responsible for causing Haruhi to join the high school she did. Also, he just may have inspired her invested attention in ESPers, aliens, and time travelers. Maybe. Then there's the Endless Eight. Ugh, summer vacation episodes will never be the same. That's the biggest time waster ever. What was accomplished? What even was the point? Beats me. I felt pity for the voice actors having to read the same lines over and over. Then it's the school's arts festival (should be called a cultural festival, but whatever). The last five episodes show the filming of the movie that's played during the first season. And during the filming Haruhi goes overboard and things get weird. Lasers shoot out of Mikuru's eye. Then the BB guns shoot water bullets. Cherry blossoms bloom in fall, a cat begins to talk, and other stuff. Anyway, I really enjoyed when Kyon and Haruhi make up after their fight. Oh, and when they have to edit the film. But the best part was the ending when Kyon tells Haruhi that her closest friends all have special powers. Her reaction isn't anything spectacular, but somehow works.
Metropolis (movie) Good
First of all, the cheesy Disney-esque character designs were hard for me to get over. The slim knees accompanied by thick calves and cankles, plus the cupie doll eyes, and big boy slicked hair. Its all a bit too silly in a movie that’s trying to be mostly serious. The second roadblock to my overall viewing experience was the soundtrack, especially that insert song when the Ziggurat is being destroyed. I laughed, I admit it. And as for the plot, I'm guessing that when the 1949 manga was published its ideas were novel. However, by the time I watched the movie, I’d gleaned some cliches from other media along the way. It was pretty obvious that: 1) the government was corrupt, and 2) the computers/robots would eventually gain sentience, deem the human race unfit and set out to destroy the world. So, already armed with that knowledge, I found Metropolis to be predictable. My end reaction was, “Well, at least I’ve watched it. Now I never have to again.”
Mezzo (TV) Very good
This show consists of three main characters who specialize in “dangerous jobs”. This show is fairly episodic. There are certain supporting characters that keep reoccurring, and they turn out to be pretty important in the final episodes. This show is merely fun, colorful action. Lots of shooting, a little bloodier than I remember, but still good. It’s only 12 (or 13) episodes, so it goes fast, and honestly, I can’t imagine it being 26+ episodes. However, I think the thing that the thing that adheres me most to this show is the english dub. This was dubbed by ADV back in the day (now it falls under a Sentei/Section23 title). The dub is loose, fluid, and snappy. Mr. Kurokawa aka Boss is the best representation, and most of his lines are quite different from the sub. But, I just love the three mains interaction.
Mezzo Forte (OAV) Decent
Definitely not as good as I remember it being. Not nearly as funny/witty, with much more gore. Although...I think Mezzo DSA has just as much brutality. I just don't retain it because the show's dialogue is a lot better (and so are the performances). But, it was good to re-watch this. The art and animation are dated, so it has a gritty feel to the tale already. Basically, there are these three partners; a girl, Mikura who's good with guns and hand to hand combat. Then there's spiky hair, who's name escapes me right now. He's good with tech stuff, and building androids. Lastly, there's "pops" aka Kurokawa. He's an ex-cop and their leader (sort of). Together they are a group that specializes in dangerous jobs and getting them done in a professional manner. Anyway, they are hired by a man to kidnap a big time mob boss. Well, things don't go as planned there's a lot of shooting and blood, and impossible situations, but all's well that ends well (just not for all the characters). Some things are hinted at - that the mob boss's crazy daughter might be related to Mikura (half sisters), or that spiky hair might have romantic feelings for Mikura. Or that "pops" didn't have a dishonorable discharge from the police force. But none of that matters in this 2 episode OVA. All in all a good show. But now that I've a clearer picture of it, I don't think I'd re-watch a third time.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (OAV) Decent
I honestly remember very little of this anime. There’s this newly recruited commander who is flown in to lead a gundam unit. He’s sharp, intelligent, and charming. However before landing on earth he meets a girl who’s working for the “other” side. Not sure who is the bad and good guy. By the end, I wasn’t paying much attention. I do remember that the girl and guy end up together and it seemed to be a happy ending. Gundam just isn’t my style, really.
Moonlight Mile (TV) So-so
I tried to explain this anime to a co-worker. It was harder than I thought it would be. Basically there’s these two friends who are “dare devils”. They’ve climbed every peak on earth. So, they decide to go into space. However, since one guy is Japanese and one American, they take two different roads. I think the show has the best dynamic when both guys are together. There’s some good space scenes here, and some good points made. I liked watching them train underwater to simulate anti-gravity. The animation is okay, but unimpressive. The character designs are rather ugly, with everyone being muscle bound. Even the women lack feminine qualities, but all have gigantic breasts. A very average show, and doesn’t add anything to the space operas that have been done better ie Planetes.
Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit (TV) Excellent
Classy anime. This one doesn’t rely on flashy tricks, or flowery dialogue. Its a straight up story. I love the main character, a tough chick, who looks every bit the part. She’s not one to beat about the bush either. Not too mention the artwork is superb. It seems so real at times. Even the spirit world is detailed and lush.
Murder Princess (OAV) Decent
My husband "made" me watch this. He kept saying how great it was, with this bad ass killer babe, and cool looking characters. So, I saw it - and wasn't impressed. This was a bad story. Perfect princesses kingdom comes under attack. She flees runs into the bad ass, their souls switch bodies, and now bad ass has to "become" the princess. Naturally, there is more to this than meets the eye. Pretty soon, the prodigal prince returns, and he's working for the bad guys. The princess' body is actually a key to this ultimate destruct weapon. So the prince tries to use her, which he succeeds in doing, and in order to turn the machine off, the price is that these half cyborg/robot creations will disappear from the world. Its supposed to be sad, and all heartfelt, but its not. There's no time to connect with any of the characters, because they are all one-dimensional. Bad ass, weakling who's good at planning, henchmen sidekicks, cute lolis with bad attitudes. Tropes up the wah-zoo...and not a good one among them. Oh well. It was only six episodes, so it doesn't count as a waste of my time.
My Bride is a Mermaid (TV) So-so
Finally finished this with my husband. It was okay, but the ending was majorly forced, although I was happy that Sun and Natsumi ended up together. However, I wonder why this show was 26 episodes. It could have easily been 12 or 13. This strikes me as a goofy, screwball comedy. It sort of wants to be romantic, with the whole boy meets mermaid thing, but basically fails. It definitely speaks to my funny bone more than anything. I've watched what I could dubbed via Hulu, and was taken aback at the foul language used in Funimation's reversioning. Now, I'm no stranger to this, I love Desert Punk and its full of swearing and potty mouth stuff. But, I was thinking My Bride is a Mermaid would be a little more...tame. But, the yakuza father, he is always getting enraged (go figure) and has the most "colorful" lines, if you will. Not that that took anything away from my viewing pleasure, just was surprising. Anyway, the rest of the attributes, art, music, animation all seem pretty standard. I take that back, the animation in this show is horrible. Just about every shot uses some kind of short cut. Its like a budget on top of a budget. Not that I really care about those things. If the characters are interesting enough, then the art can be sloppy. But I've got to have people I want to see and care about. One side note, Chris Sabat uses the best voice for the bodyguard. Kind of southern, in that deep sexy tone. Honestly when I heard him I about died. That sold his character for me right away.
My Little Monster (TV) Good
First off, I love shoujo anime, so I'm naturally bias to these style of shows. Needless to say, I was very happy with how My Little Monster turned out. Firstly, it concentrates more on comedy than romance. Secondly, it focuses on how it feels to have feelings for the opposite sex. Thirdly, it really addresses what it's like to have said feelings and be a teenager. That mostly makes for hilarious situations, but there is an element of drama too. Haru's possessiveness and jealously in regards to Shizuku. Yamaken's frustration at being attracted to Shizuku, yet wondering why he feels that way. Natsume's annoyance at being approached by teenage boys (who she considers immature) and her growing crush on Haru's cousin. Human relationships are fascinating, and there's plenty to go around here. Although My Little Monster never goes as deep as it could, it still provides a fun, yet intriguing ride.
My Neighbor Totoro (movie) Excellent
This simply was a too cute tale of sisters living life. Satsuki and Mei are both so lovingly constructed. They are what they are, nothing more, and the take everything in as it comes at them. Their father is another great character. He handles them so well, again, taking in whatever they throw at him, all in stride. No raised voices, no hovering. Obviously, Totoro, Cat Bus, and the other spirits are very charming. The big smiles, bug eyes, and round bodies. Its almost as if they were designed by kids. I could see myself drawing something similar when I was in grade school. Anyway, loved this, probably my favorite Ghibli thus far.
Nabari no Ou (TV) Good
Ninja anime, with smooth animated fighting sequences, powerful characters with already realized abilities. I don’t care that Funimation decided to cast a female in the lead role of a middle school boy. I mean, how does that work? The kid is supposed to be at least fourteen, so shouldn’t he have a man’s voice? It is so obvious that its a woman doing his voice too! But that’s a minor pet peeve of mine. Normally anime never ends well, or properly, but this definitely hits the mark. The ending made me cry, even though through the whole series you know what's going to happen in the end. A couple of things that I didn’t care for: one the tenensu or whatever their called. A group of four “special ops” kind of characters. They go in, do the job, and get out leaving no traces. They are thrown in the second half of the anime, and are only “filler” characters. They might have had more depth or background in the manga, but in here they are just annoying. Over all the show is refreshing because its ninjas without all the action and more conversation and depth. Some of it is pretty predictable, but since I’m an adult that’s more often than not the case. I’m thinking teenagers might be more surprised by the storyline than I was. The background art must be made note of. Every shot looks like a watercolor painting with blurry lines, and soft coloring. Very attractive and unique, at least I’ve never seen that before. I also liked the music at the very end. The strings added just the right blend of sadness with beauty. Very nice indeed.
NANA (TV) Excellent
Another anime that makes me cry. I connected with this one on many levels. I found myself telling the characters, (out loud), that they were making stupid decisions. I could relate to finding that someone who you could be more intimate with than a lover. And I felt that pain when their relationship began to crumble. It made my heart ache. But it is also worth noting that the music in this show is on a level of its own.
Naruto (TV) Good
The only long running show that I am currently keeping up with. Like I said in my comments on Bleach, we all pick one shonen series to follow. Mine is Naruto. I can't say why though. I almost immediately was drawn to it, even though Sasuke is an emo kid and Sakura is a helpless chick for almost the ENTIRE first season. Plus Naruto's "Believe it!" got old, really, really fast. Still, I liked all the ninja moves and stuff. Maybe that's what it was.
Natsuyuki Rendezvous (TV) Good
Was Rokka really responding to Ryuosuke in the end? Or was she only thinking of her dead/ghost husband, Shimao? This was my line of thinking during the final episode. In a way, I felt sorry for Ryousuke because it seemed like Rokka settled for him. I was all ready to except the fact that Rokka wouldn't end up with either Shimao or Ryousuke. In fact, that might have been better. Overall, Natsuyuki Rendezvous was a letdown. It seemed to have potential, but definitely lost its way when storybook land appeared. Honestly, that was six episodes of nothing but fiddle farting around until the ending was needed. Visually, the show is a treat. Everything looks great, the animation is high end, and the characters all unique identifiers. I think it's rare to see a heroine with a pixie haircut. The music is good, loved both the opener and closer too.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (movie) Very good
This is an impressive first attempt. I can see why it was this movie that put Studio Ghibli on the map. It takes on the horrors of war, the environment, and the importance of protecting it, as well as, avoiding conflict and trying to preserve peace. I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this movie. I liked Nausicaa right away, plus the valley, and the whole world. I thought her discovering that the earth's entire soil was polluted was very cool. Little touches like that were intriguing, but in the end, the story couldn't make up its mind. After Nausciaa dies, I would have been perfectly happy with that ending. She sacrificed herself and thusly saved her people. But no, the Oohm, have to heal her (how they possess such power I don't know, nor is that explained). So, we get the self sacrifice, plus the happy ending. I would have preferred one or the other. The story is good, and nothing beats a hand drawn explosion.
Nerima Daikon Brothers (TV) Not really good
So, what's my reasoning for watching this? Well, one day I was on Rightstuf!'s website, rummaging through the bargain bin. I happened to notice this title listed at the rock bottom price of $9.95. That peaked my interest, so I read the little description. Wacky, comedic, happenings? I'm there...or at least I'll give her a go. In any case, I like to try before I buy (I know its only ten bucks, but I'm poor, so I can't risk even being out the ten bucks). Let me put it this way, if this anime were listed for more than $10, I wouldn't even consider owning it. However, its not so, in that case, its worth my money. The story is fairly episodic. The last four episodes actually continue over from one to the other, and they feel a little forced. But I'd say the first eight were funny and entertaining. I understood that this was an anime about a band, but I didn't realize it was done musical style. At first that threw me. But I do enjoy musicals, so I kept going. The rewrite for the dub is more like a complete overhaul. The lip flaps hardly ever match the actors. But, I didn't care so much about that. This show is just silly anyway (Shinichi Watanabe is my second favorite director). There's absolutely nothing in the anime that is supposed to be taken seriously. Its all fluffy and crass at the same time; perfect for classifying as a guilty pleasure, and good for a laugh.
Ninja Scroll (movie)
No. 6 (TV) Good
In a future world, the earth as we know it was destroyed (flooded, yet again. Hasn’t anyone in Japan read the Bible?). So, there are six cites that were “spared” from this terrible fate. Our story takes place in the sixth city; No. 6. This tale focuses mainly on two male character, who through fate have intertwined lives. Rat (yes, that’s his name. Future people aren’t very creative) is from the underground. He’s dark, and rather scary. Or supposed to be. To me, he came off more mysterious. Sion is a “perfect child”. A genius who’s being cultivated to become... a proper citizen? That last part is a little unclear because those plans never come to fruition. Sion befriends Rat, and thusly he and his mother are stripped of their privileged life and now live in a suburb of the city. This city is supposed to be a “utopia” but is much less than that below the surface. Rat is out to prove what No. 6 really is. And after a few years he and Sion meet up again. Sion ends up fleeing for his life this time, and Rat rescues him. They are both branded “dangerous criminals”. They begin to live together in Rat’s home, outside the city wall. Here its a seedy world, and Sion’s innocence is slowly shaved away. He possesses the forgiveness and love that Rat either lost, or replaced with hatred and distrust. In the end, the wall is destroyed and the corrupt underbelly of the “utopia” city exposed. This story tackles issues like class distinction and what truly is perfection. I could have had the yaoi elements removed. In fact, there didn’t need to be any romance in here at all.
Oh! Edo Rocket (TV) Good
A fun show that mixes just the right about of clever wit with historical drama, at 26 episodes, its a little long. That being said, I enjoyed this quite a bit. The comedy was like a wink-and-a-nod. Not heavy handed or clunky. My only nit-pick was that the story sometimes "got away" from the writers. Sora and Seikichi's relationship was supposed to be loving right? But Sora never seemed to develop feelings for Seikichi, or not ones that I noticed. I know she was trying not to [spoiler]split her consciousness,[/spoiler] but that made her a little one-note for my taste. Still a good character, but I think the love angle could have been left out entirely. Loved all the voices, but especially Greg Ayres as Seikichi. Oh, and Chuck Huber as Akai. Also, one of my favorite scenes was when Tenho, Tenten, Seikichi, and Sora [spoiler]are all turned into cats.[/spoiler] That song they sing is fantastic! I was in stitches. Akai and Ginjiro were my favorite characters. And, if I were just rating the dub, I'd give it an excellent. Loved all the voices, but especially Greg Ayres as Seikichi. Oh, and Chuck Huber as Akai. Also, one of my favorite scenes was when Tenho, Tenten, Segichi, and Sora are all turned into cats. That song they sing is fantastic! I was in stitches.
Ōkami-san & Her Seven Companions (TV) Good
I have to say, I find it cute. There isn't much going on here, besides the usual nonsense involving high school students. The Otogi bank club memebers are all precious. I think I would cosplay as Majolica given the opportunity. Love that hat she wears! However, what I'm enjoying most so far are: the two leads, Ōkami-san and Ryoushi. They are somewhat typcial tough girl and helpless boy, but at the same time not. Ōkami-san is able to admit she likes cute/girly things without punching a bystander (most of the time). And Ryoushi spoiler confessed that he loves Ōkami-san in the very first episode. Plus he's got some serious skills with a sling-shot and obviously has hidden strength. Also, the narrator. When I previewed the first two episodes via hulu, I didn't care for the way she talks over the character dialogue. However, this time around I'm much more tolerant, probably because the characters aren't saying anything all that important. Finished this up last night. This show is only 10 episodes long really. Number 11 is completely filler, and doesn't develop the characters at all. A love rival (I forget her name, Match-girl, I guess) confronts Ōkami-san about her true feelings for Ryoushi. Ōkami-san can't even say she likes the guy! Ugh, major cop-out. To be fair, she does mutter something about "don't wanna..." I guess we are supposed to take that as Ōkami-san doesn't want to lose Ryoushi to anyone? That's was the show assumes for us, but I don't like it. I've never liked underhanded plot. Give it to me square, or bugger off. Still, the show was fun and worth watching, but I'm glad I didn't purchase it for my home library.
Orphen (TV) Good
I guess I'm a sucker for humans with magical abilities. Its story is a familiar one: lone wolf guy teams up with cute, brassy girl, equally cute young kid (male in this case), and they go on a quest. Girl might be in love with main guy, and cute kid might be more powerful than he seems. Naturally there are two dwarfs thrown in the mix as comic relief. Volkan and Dortin may be construed as annoying to some, but I found them humorous as soon they were introduced. The sheer fact that they somehow survive all Orphen's spells is alone worth having them involved. I do believe in the second season, Hartia, Orphen's fellow sorcerer friend mentions that its amazing those two haven't died yet. There is the predictable plot, and much melodrama involved (Seriously, why did Azalie turn herself into a dragon just cause Childman rejected her? Over the top much?). And Orphen's obsession with finding Azalie becomes rather tiring, but at the same time is part of what makes his character tolerable. The animation is from the late nineties, so I also find that another attractive point. I'm still not sure why I find nineties anime so appealing. It can be rather "rough" even at its best. However, the character designs with their sharp lines, pointy nose and chin, impossibly large eyes (with a million light refractions), and (sometimes) high cheek bones, plus no mouth all add up to what I find attractive. As for the background art it doesn't do much for me, and often is the same scene just over and over again perhaps with different coloring. I really liked the episode with the nutty robot gardener. When the flowers all bloom and disperse all sparkly, I felt all happy inside, and wished magical things really existed. One more thing: I thought the dub for this was pretty good. Okay, the writing could have been better, but the actors themselves deserve credit for pulling it off. To me, it just sounds as if they are having fun. Especially John Swasey and Hilary Haag would played Volkan and Dortin respectively. Those two make my day every time I hear Swasey's annoying rants or Haag's scratchy rendition of Dortin's complaining.
Orphen: The Revenge (TV) Decent
Not as good as the original. This time around the show focuses much more on a new character Lycoris. I found that extremely annoying and wondered often why the show had Orphen in it at all (besides to look cool, cast a few spells, and save the girl). The rest of the main cast returned, including Volkan and Dortin. The show tries to be funnier this time around, but often winds up being stupid. I'm not sure it that is because liberties are taken with the dub, or what. Most of the time, I didn't find the jokes funny on any level. For instance, in the very first episode Orphen wakes up after having a nightmare about Cleao. He then realizes that she is in bed with him (OMG!). He jumps out of bed as she groggily awakens and takes in what's going on. Its then that Cleao also gets out of bed and promptly tells her wolfen cub to attack Orphen, thereby blowing up half the hotel. The next we see, Orphen and Majic are "repairing" the damage. Orphen's pissed, and Cleao is pretending like nothing has happened. I kept wondering, what was that all about? Yeah, Cleao likes Orphen, but really? Then, in the very next episode, Orphen wakes up and yet again finds Cleao in his bed. That turned out the same way the first mishap did. Then we see them at breakfast arguing. How is that funny? Is it even supposed to be funny? I was more confused by what the writers were trying to convey. Or were they trying to get anything across at all? To me, it seems like they were beating into the viewers skull that Cleao likes Orphen. But, wait, we already knew that from last season, or so I thought. This whole second season felt thrown together at the last minute, and not planned out at all. Even the animation seemed to suffer a bit. One bright note in the whole series is the episode in which Volkan decides to conquer the moon. It opens with a shot of the moon, and we hear him talking. Next we see, Volkan and Dortin sitting in their hand carved wooden "spaceship". Its upright, held between two slim trees that are going to act like a slingshot to launch the damn thing. As soon as I saw that, I laughed so hard my husband told me to shut up. All I could think of was that old silent movie where the spaceship lands on the "moon's" eye. I wanted so badly to see how this would turn out and I wasn't disappointed. The next shot, Volkan launches their "rocket ship" and they are flying upwards and into the night sky. I almost died laughing, really. If I ever considered re-watching this anime it would only be that episode.
Ouran High School Host Club (TV) Excellent
Excellent story and delivery, colorful, classy, funny, with beautiful male leads, I like the concept of an “ordinary” heroine too. I have such a good time watching this anime! The first time I viewed it I couldn't stop laughing. Call me easily amused, but at least I'm being honest. This is an anime that falls under my guilty pleasure viewing list. I watch it whenever I'm having a bad day, or feel that life is just too much. This show definitely brightens my day.
Outlaw Star (TV) Excellent
Another late nineties anime. I really don’t think this show is as appreciated as it should be. But because the basic premise is so similar to Cowboy Bebop, I think that brings it down. However, I have to say that even though Bebop is my standard, Outlaw Star really shines in its own respect. I like the bright colors, outrageous characters and even the soundtrack isn't too bad. Plus, there are some really funny moments as well. The story is not as thought out as it could be (space battling with robot arms? Isn't that like, impossible?) and the animation is well, older, so its not the best quality. Still, I would recommend this title to anyone that wants a good time.
Ozma (TV) Decent
Here we have the recipe for a perfect adventure story: the spunky hero (male in this case), the mysterious/beautiful woman, the band of misfits (in this case, pirates/bandits), the bad ass captain of said band of misfits (female in this case), the shady bad guys complete with masked leader (the military) and even the token best friend/gal pal/sister figure to compliment our spunky hero. There’s something fun about watching an adventure tale. Well, this story dissolved faster that sugar meeting water. The low point was at the end of episode five. Obviously Gido had Dick's body. But they overplayed that fact so bad. Then, in the final ep many, many things went wrong. "Dick" managed to regain his personality long enough to have a cheesy dialogue with the captain (who was also his ex, naturally). Then he gets to play the hero by disabling OZMA (who was going bonkers even though Maya already merged with it). Gag me with a spoon! I'm all for romanticism and stuff, but that was too melodramatic even for me. Also, the end was predictable, so it wasn't dramatic at all. Its supposed to give the viewer a message of love, and simplicity, and grass before guns, etc. But, I really couldn't get into it. Honestly, a Ghibli film (all 120 minutes) will have me feeling more amazed/sentimental/passionate then these six episodes. Plus, just because OZMA is renewing the planet, doesn't mean things are going to get better. There are still the majority of inhabitants to deal with, not too mention the "Ideal Children" who are body transferring like crazy. Sure, they'll die out, but not soon enough before more blood will be spilled, I'm guessing. There are a lot of elements borrowed from other anime at play here. Mostly though, I see direct connections to Last Exile. A guy (and gal) "meet" this mysterious female. They get a ship and crew involved, fight the powers that be, meet up with a ship which is actually a living being (the Grand Stream, obviously), and restore their world. Yep, I knew I'd heard this story somewhere before! And Last Exile handled it much, much, much, MUCH, better.
Paradise Kiss (TV) Excellent
I have never seen a more beautifully drawn anime (Moribito comes close). Since the focus is fashion the artists took great care to make everything in this show as detailed and rich as possible. Even the characters are so clean looking its hard to believe. I love everything about this series. The ending makes me want to cry and scream at the same time. The heroine appeals to me because I feel her struggle and empathize.
Peach Girl (TV) Weak
Yes, I watched the entire thing. I’m not sure how I managed to make it all the way through this anime. Its very hard to stomach, even with the pretty boys in it. Plus some of the situations the girls get into in this are a little hard to believe. But maybe I’ve lead a sheltered life. I can't say I even enjoyed this show.
Phi-Brain - Puzzle of God (TV) Good
Puzzles can kill people. At least, then can when created by the "wrong" hands so to speak. That's basically the principle at work here. The show is shounen style, with puzzles and "genius" solvers and givers as the protagonists and antagonists. There are many flaws with the story line, and it's never very smart. I think it skews to the younger crowd, which isn't bad because there's also very little fanservice. The moral of the story is love conquers all, be yourself, and yes, your friends can save you. All the stuff they drum into your head as a kid. I watched the show because I enjoyed the dynamic between the characters. Also, I wanted to see just how far they would stretch the whole "killing puzzle aspect". They did a pretty good job. However, there was a resolution of sorts, but now there's a second season. I'm afraid these puzzles will go on and on. However, if this is ever dubbed and released stateside, I'll pick up a copy.
Planetes (TV) Excellent
Even when this show took an idealist nosedive during the last handful of episodes, I still loved it. The terrorist attacks seemed very real to me, if only because that is how extremists think. Its amazing they had the resources to pull off something like that, but whatever. A minor bit of sloppy writing in an otherwise very enjoyable show. I was immediately drawn to the characters, right down to the manager and chief, who are rather silly most of the time. They could have easily been throwaway pieces, but were integrated into the story so that they even had their chance to shine in the final hour. Man, seven years is a long time to wait for your sweetheart to come back, but I suppose that could be the ultimate test of your love. Personally, I wouldn't have gotten married until after he came back. Anyway, loved the story and the show, very well executed for a space drama. Paid close attention to make sure I didn't hear any sound effects during any space scenes. Except for the very beginning, when that passenger ship is cruising across the screen, there was nothing else I picked up on. The show deserves high marks just for that alone. Like I said, the idealism is a bit much in places. And Ai's "wake up" from her school girl ideals in only one episode was kinda shaky, but once that was out of the way the story moved along pretty well. I like how Hachimanki's romance/relationship with Ai never felt forced, nor was it the only focus of any single episode. There is plenty else going on that kept those too busy. Just like real life, or adult life, not high school stuff.
Pom Poko (movie) Good
Another Ghibli to check off my list. I did have my doubts about this one though. I'm not a fan of cute animated animals as the main storytelling device. But the story turned out really good, and as a bonus the raccoons could transform. After that initial "battle" scene, I was sold. However, my favorite part had to be the ghost and goblin parade. It was fun seeing all the spirits and specters from Japanese folklore. And they were animated not in a scary way, but colorfully and fun. The ending had me crying and smiling in turns. It was bittersweet, but still worth watching.
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (movie) Good
Another Ghibli down! Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea, this time. I watched the blu-ray version. Every shot looks like it was taken right out of a children's storybook. I could even see the different colors that made up the shading of inanimate objects like fence posts and sides of buildings. One of the things I appreciate most about Ghibli movies is the richness when it comes to scenery. The opening minutes of the film are void of dialogue and heavy instrumentals. There is a light melody and nothing but under the sea action. Fish! Jellyfish! Whales! Sharks! Shrimp, lobsters, crabs, all swimming contentedly to-and-fro. Just fabulous. I love how fluidly Ghibli manages to animate everything. Not just the animals either, but the people and machines. Nothing every looks stiff and unrealistic. Anyway, Ponyo is a much happier take on the classic tale, "The Little Mermaid". A fish who wants to be human meets a boy. They find themselves mutually attracted to one another, and want to be together, no matter what. Naturally the girl's father is against this. "You can't be magic and human," he warns her. But Ponyo is stubborn. She runs away and causes one of the most awesome typhoons ever. The boy and her end up together, Ponyo becomes human and everyone's happy. It's quite a simple story really. The moral being that to truly love someone you must love every part that makes them who they are. Oh, and humans are disgusting and pollute everything, including the ocean. While I liked it, Ponyo did not beat out My Neighbor Totoro as my favorite Ghibli. I could see myself showing this to my kids (if I had any) or my nieces when they were younger. Good, but not the best.
Porco Rosso (movie) Good
I'm making my way through the Ghibli vault. This was another good turn out, focusing more on the ravages of war, and a solider with a past. This "curse" of his is never fully explained. He used to be a man, but sometime between the end of the war and the present he turned into a "pig". His physical appearance is that of an actual pig, but he stands upright, wears clothes, speaks english, etc. However, by the end of the movie its hinted that he no longer is a pig, but returned to human form. I'd have liked the story to focus more on those aspects and less on the pretty girl and dog fights. But it is a Ghibli film, and the machinery and adventure tend to come first. I'm starting to notice similarities in the musical scoring too. I do believe the same composer did all the early Ghibli films. In any case, I like John Williams and most of his scores sound similar, so I have no problems there. A good effort, but not one of my favorites.
Pretear (TV) Good
So, why can't reverse harems always be like this? Well, I'd rather have them all like Ouran, but I digress. Right away we are introduced to the spunky heroine, Himeno. She's cute, funny, a bit of a klutz, and already has a very well formed personality. Nowadays, most reverse harem include a heroines who is a flat, one-dimensional creature (I'm looking at you Hiiro no Kakera!). Right away, the show went up in my esteem. Honestly, I didn't expect much out of it, and I really didn't get that much. Most of Himeno's Leafe knights were useless, and we never got any background on the majority of them. The moral of the story is something along the lines of don't piss off a woman because she'll try and make you pay in the most horrible way imaginable. Naturally, the "princess of disaster", aka Takako, wasn't a very evil villain. Just an angry, rejected girl. And I must say I was rather disgusted with Takako's character by the end. She's supposed to be in love with Hayate. But when Sasame confesses his love and sacrifices himself for Takako, she suddenly develops feelings for him (even though she's been telling Sasame she's not in love with him). Basically, she'll take anyone so long as they are willing to love her. That makes her weak in my opinion. Anyway, there's a happy ending for everyone, which is what every reverse harem should have. :) Btw, the dub wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. That being said, it was damn cheesy in parts and the acting pretty laughable. Really, Luci Christian as Himeno was the only decent one.
Princess Jellyfish (TV) Very good
I found this a really sweet story (or some of one). It ends with no "real" ending, only more adventures to continue. However, that's pretty much the norm for anime. I'm used to it, but it doesn't change the fact that it sucks. Oh well, that's beside the point. I must say that Tsukimi is allowed to develop somewhat over the course of these 11 episodes. However, she can regress faster than anyone I've ever seen. Kuranosuke was my favorite character by far. He was mostly self aware from the start, the only growing he does is when he befriends the otaku girls, and becomes attracted to Tskumi. He's confident, outspoken, brass, and beautiful. Not too bad all around. The points made about how girls are supposed to become princesses, are pretty insightful. I was never subjected to that sort of treatment by my mother (or anyone else) thank God. There is some truth to how women are supposed to act or be viewed by society. Females should be well dressed, take an interest in their appearance, and be happy, pretty creatures. The dub is pretty solid. Monica Rial really gets into the part of Mayaya and its fun hearing her ham it up. But Josh Grelle steals the show as Kuranosuke. He sounds very convincing as a woman, often times switching between his masculine and feminine sides during the same episode.
Princess Mononoke (movie) Good
The most striking Ghibli movie by far. Definitely takes your breath away, because the level of violence is not what you’d expect from this studio. I’d say the action is on par with Nausicaa though. Visually impressive and old enough to still be hand drawn animation as opposed to digital. Nice to look at and the musical scoring is without question. There’s this prince who is infected by this poison which will slowly suck out his life force. However this substance is man made, and needs to be “investigated”. So, as his final mission, the prince leaves his village in search of answers. He finds them in a town near this huge, magical forest. There the prince sees that man is destroying the forest and animals in his quest for power. The prince meets Mononoke who defends the forest and the creatures that live there. In the end, the prince nearly dies, but the “great spirit” of the forest revives him. And the baddies manage to steal the spirit’s power, but the ramifications are quite serious. The prince and Mononoke return the spirit’s power and all’s well that ends well. There is a lot of death and destruction here, and even though there is a happy ending, there is a grave message about the environment and the humans role in protecting and respecting it.
Princess Tutu (TV) Excellent
Once upon a time... there's this duck. But the duck has human consciousness. So, a man named Drosselmeyer gives "Duck" a magical pendant. With this pendant she can turn into a human girl, and a magical ballerina named, "Princess Tutu". But, that's not the whole story. Duck wants to be "Princess Tutu" so she can help the prince. The prince is Mytho. Mytho is a prince directly from a story. He's lost his heart in order seal away an evil raven (who also escaped from the same story). Mytho has a knight, Fakir, and a girlfriend, Rue. Drosselmeyer is the one to keep in mind though. For he is the storyteller, and has "arranged" all these events in order to bring about a dramatic, tragic, and terrible end to the original "Prince and the Raven" story. However, things don't turn out the way Drosselmeyer planned. The characters in this tale decide what they are going to do with these lives they've come to appreciate. And so, the raven is defeated and so is Drosselmeyer. Everyone gets a happy ending. I loved this show! Its story is well thought out, and is fairly filler free. During the first thirteen episodes, it focuses on Princess Tutu and her quest to return heart shards to the prince. However, during the final thirteen episodes events take a turn for the worse, with the prince struggling between a light and dark side. The audience is finally introduced to the real raven (we had been lead to believe that Rue was it). The raven keeps demanding a human heart so he can revive. Fakir realizes that he is not a knight, but a direct descendant of Drosselmeyer. Therefore, he has the same ability to write stories that come to life. He struggles with that right until the end. Rue, who believed herself to be a child of the raven, discovers that she is merely a human. And Duck ends up sacrificing her human form in order to save everyone. Overall, the themes are love, self sacrifice, and hope. All motivators I fully support. Ballet is used beautifully here. Each episode opens with an excerpt from certain ballets (Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty). These sort of lead the theme of the whole episode but with a twist. The story always manages to tie the "Princess Tutu" tale in with the particular ballet the episode is based around. It's a very clever, and tricky storytelling device, but executed oh so well. I watched this dubbed, and Luci Christian nails the role of Duck. Chris Patton is okay as Fakir, but I've heard him do better. Jessica Boone was a surprise as the vulnerable yet cruel Rue/Kraehe. The weak spot was Jay Hickman as Mytho/the Prince. Honestly, I've never heard him do a decent role. He has that breathy voice that makes him sound weak or gentle. But when he tries to toughen it up, it just doesn't work. If I had anything to criticize it would be the character of Mr. Cat (who's damn annoying).
Pumpkin Scissors (TV) Good
Nicely done anime. I read the first volume of the manga, and the anime follows it fairly closely. Naturally, the anime ends before the manga was completed, so as it finishes one arc it preludes to another. Very neat how much detail is put into the military vehicles and weapons. The author really knew what he was talking about. I like all the characters, and the animation isn't half bad.
R.O.D -The TV- Good
Very cool anime, interesting concept as to how people develop superpowers, plus, I love the idea of women who can use paper as an offensive or defensive tool. Music isn’t half bad either.
Read or Die (OAV) Excellent
Prequel to the TV series. Just as good as the series if not better.
Redline (movie) Very good
Finally watched Redline. Just as visually impressive as I expected. What else would it be, really? It's obvious that a lot of time and effort was put into making this movie look terrific. However, the story isn't anything to write home about. Supposedly this tale takes place in a not-too-distant-future. So, while there are humans running around, there's aliens, and space travel, and stuff. That's it too, there's no background on any of these things. It is what it is, so to speak. Redline is the "most dangerous race". So, crazy people like JP (our protagonist) and others enter to win. Not sure exactly what they, right? I'm not sure why the powers that be decided to have this Redline race take place on the Roboworld planet. The Robo government people were pissed because they have secret technology they don't want broadcast all over the galaxy. So, when the race begins, the Roboworld troops attack the racers, in like every way possible (There's even a biological weapon/monster thrown in for good measure). That could have been easily left out. I guess it was thrown in to make the movie feel more exciting, but I just felt like I was stuck in a bad video game mash up. Also, I didn't care for the fact that [spoiler]JP and Sonoshee already knew each other. That's like a big crutch so the writers didn't have to develop a relationship between them. Because, they [i]always[/i] had feelings for one another. They just never got the chance to confess them.[/spoiler] That's what I took away from that bit. Still, Redline looked great and was a fun watch. I'm giving it a Very Good rating, only because fans of animation should really watch it (on blu-ray, if possible).
Revolutionary Girl Utena (TV) Very good
A girl meets a prince. He "rescues" her and bestows a rose crest ring on her ring finger. The prince tells the girl that this very ring will lead her back to him someday. However, the girl is so inspired by this man that she decides that when she grows up she, herself, will become a prince. Just the introduction is different. In so many shoujo anime the beginning is eerily similar with the only difference being that the girl merely waits for her prince, or goes to the same school she thinks he attends, or joins the business/military/workforce where she believes him to be. She does all this in a manner that says she's merely "following" her prince. Revolutionary Girl Utena takes that major shoujo theme and turns it on its head, in the first few minutes of the first episode. If one misses that, then the rest of the show may not make sense either. I'm not going to bother listing off the various characters and what happens to them. Basically over the course of the three arcs, the main and supporting players are given a chance to grow and change. Most of the do, some are harder to pin down. Utena and Anthy go through the most change though. Both struggle with their desires and fears as well as their love/lust for Aiko/Dios. In the end, Anthy becomes the main character because she is able to free herself from her brother, the dreaded Aiko/Dios. Which brings into question whether she loved him at all. This show definitely tackles teenagers and sex, but not in a pornographic way. There's obvious hints of sexual activity between both guys and girls, along with experimentation, homosexuality, and incest. None of it is painted as either good or bad. What I like is that sexuality is seen in a realistic light. Sex is a very serious act whether its played at or not and emotions are definitely involved. It's shown as simple curiosity all the way down to peer pressure. There is little love involved, and in fact most of the time its merely hormones or misplaced affection driving the characters toward one another. The fairy tale aspect is heavy handed in symbolism, which is one of my least favorite subjects. Luckily most everything is explained as best it can be. There is a certain magical element here that is inexplainable and that everyone takes in stride. Things like swords being pulled from chest cavities, the illusion that was Anthy, etc. Those things were just there as parts of the story and must be taken as such.
Rosario + Vampire (TV) Decent
Yet another cheesy moe-esque show. This one reminded me a little bit of Maharabo. What with the magical elements and school setting. But, its a harem show with a little bit more drama thrown in for good effect. There are the usual tropes: lolita witch, the quiet one, the big boobs/spunky loud mouth, sweet but naive, and badass. Naturally, they all fall for the average joe guy. The premise is a little different I suppose. Plain Jane dude transfers to Yokai Academy, which happens to be a high school for monsters, and all sorts of the super natural. Personally, I enjoyed Death's school in Soul Eater. That was much more interesting than a place where there are girlies running around with school uniform skirts that don't cover their asses. Obviously this show is designed with males in mind. Fanservice, fanservice, fanservice, well, one gets the point. In any case, I did laugh a few times, but more often than not, I found myself rolling my eyes. The plot was obvious from the start, not that there wasn't much to the story to begin with. Most of the time its just monster of the week show downs. Tskune rips off pink hair's cross, she turns badass and kicks some butt. Then the little bat thing appears with something like "This episodes show down lasted a mere seventy-five seconds". That bat was the best thing about this show. He was the only thing I looked forward too every episode.
Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise (movie) Excellent
I loved watching this. The animation is! I still rated it excellent because of the animation. That is fan-freakin'-tastic, and really stands up on its own level. Naturally, this is a movie, so a I'm guessing it had a bigger budget and more time involved in making it. I really need to read the little booklet that came with it. The launch sequence is fantastic. As for the story, its more "meh". It comes of as extremely idealistic, which is fine, but not my particular cup of tea.
Rurouni Kenshin (TV)
Sacred Seven (TV) Decent
A high action show. I wouldn't say this wasn't worth it (I don't consider anything that's 13 episodes or under time wasted because it doesn't take a long time to view). The animation, character, and mecha (?) designs are the highlight. I usually don't pay attention to action sequences unless they involve hand to hand or swords. But the fighting here was extremely well done, even flashy sometimes. It made for edge of your seat moments. The characters are all scrubbed clean looking, even Naito the "dark horse" if you will. The females tend to look way younger than their actual age, but that's a small nit pick. Plus, the "suits" or mecha or whatever, are all unique looking, lending a different feel to each character. Now for the real reason this show doesn't deserve a higher rating. While the action is intense, when the story slows down and tries to "tell" sucks. For example, the whole Ruri/Alma romance? Yeah, it felt forced and contrived. Like, because they were connected through the stones that meant they would end up together...naturally. But see, because the writers made that assumption, they barely bothered to develop Ruri and Alma's relationship at all. To me, it just seemed as if Ruri had a fan girl crush on Tandoji and he merely feel in love with her because she showed him he wasn't alone. But that's not true because Wakana, the rock otaku, was the first one to reach out to him. She approached him every chance she got. I thought that she and Tandoji would end up together. It seemed that he was more interested in her anyway. And that's just one example. A lot of the cast failed to be developed anymore than the usual sentiments. Like Naito and how at the end, he was pretty much given no other choice than to become a light stone. That bugs me. He should have had the option whether or not to remain as he was, or change. Therefore did his character change because he is no longer a dark stone? Oh well, we'll never know because now the show is over. At least Sacred Seven never touted the fact that they were trying to make a deep, lasting point, or impression. If this is dubbed I may look into it again, just to compare perhaps. But if not, I won't be buying it.
Saiyuki (TV) Decent
Lots of action, cute male leads, too much cleavage! I love the dialogue, even if it is cheesy. All the voice actors for the four male leads do an excellent job. This is supposedly based on an old Chinese fable, but I wonder how much political license was taken? In any case, I enjoyed the series, even the first half, which is said to be worse than the second. (Honestly I prefer the first half, but to each his own)
Samurai Champloo (TV) Excellent
The music itself deserves special note (pun intended). I would have never thought that hip hop/rap would be a good choice for a series about samurai. But it just works here, I think in part, due to the stylized nature of the anime itself. Its colorful, fast-paced, and funky. And if you want to witness some awesome fighting scenes, this should be your first choice. People say that shortcuts are taken in every single animated fight. Yeah, well, watch this series first before you decide that. I just love the three main characters too. Plus Fuu is one of my favorite lead females ever. Okay, she’s a ditz most of the time, but damn, she pulls it off so well. Plus I love how she gets fat after she pigs out. That is classic!
Samurai Deeper Kyo (TV) Decent
I found this too much like Rouroni Kenshin, but less blood actually. Normally, I enjoy any show about samurai, but not this one. Something was just off putting about it. There were quite a few characters, but none of them really grabbed me, and not much was done to flesh them out. More emphasis was put on the journey to find and retrieve Kyo's body. Its hard for me to like a show when the creators don't give enough attention to character development.
Sands of Destruction (TV) Good
I generally enjoyed this series. Its short and sweet (only thirteen episodes), is lovely to look at with pleasant, pleasing backgrounds, character designs and animation. There's nothing really standout about the story. Girl with mission ends up gaining two traveling companions who join her for their own reasons. This takes place in an alternate world where beasts have evolved so as to rule over men. It makes for some very intriguing characters such as the Eagle master, and the dragon girl...I can't remember her name right now. But, the ending felt forced and rather...silly. Basically the girl (who has a big chip on her shoulder) is carrying around what she thinks is the "destruct code". Which is a literal name: this baby supposedly can destroy the world. Turns out the spineless guy traveling with her is the actual destruct code. He placed his memories in the orb, then lost the thing, thus losing his identity. So during the last episode he takes back his memories, show off his badass powers, and starts to destroy the world. I mean, that's what the girl wants, right? She's been so hellbent on causing the planet's destruction. But at the last minute she gets cold feet, reconsiders all the good times she had with her road trip buddies, and relents. Thus the world is not destroyed and we get our happy ending...yes! That is very sloppy storytelling in my book. It feels like the writer(s) just said, oh shit, the shows ending in the next episode, we need to come up with some sort of plausible, but not really, finale. To be fair, I think this anime is based on a video game or online game, so there is probably more to the story if you play it. But, that is no excuse for taking shortcuts in the show's script.
Say "I love you." (TV) Good
This show takes a more dramatic look at relationships and high school life. I found it interesting because of the views on bullying, especially relating to girls. In Japan, its common for girls with large breasts to be considered “sluts”. So, there is some cultural differences, but it still made for good watching. Our heroine, Mei is extremely shy on account of some harsh bullying from her past. However, she’s not above defending herself, and that’s how she catches the eye of the most popular boy in school, Yamato. They start dating and along the way face hardships and make friends (or in Yamato’s case, more friends). I didn’t care for how condescending Yamato was to Mei in one episode (he was basically speaking for her). But, considering I used to be a very shy person, I totally understood where she was coming from. The girl needs to speak up! I’ve resolved that same situation, by saying to the speaker, “Hey, I’m right here! There’s no need to refer to me in the third person!”
School Rumble (TV) Excellent
One of the funniest anime I have ever seen! The story has the perfect blend of ridiculousness, and high school romance (which can be funny all on its own). I love Tenma! She is the cute friend that every girl deserves. And this series is oh so quotable! I am a big fan of comedy anime, and I would have to say that this one tops the chart for extreme humor. In every episode I find myself laughing at something crazy that's happening.
School Rumble: 2nd Semester (TV) Excellent
Just as funny as the first season, with more gags and comical situations. The episode with the “masked comet” is my favorite out of all.
School Rumble: Extra Class (OAV) Excellent
More laughs, more good times.
(The) Secret World of Arrietty (movie)
The music is fantastic! I was sold from the opening theme, all the way until the end. Perhaps that's why I felt more connected to the overall story. Just a good instrumental piece can cause me to feel every sort of emotion. I actually teared up when Arrietty and Shaun parted ways, but just a little. Then again, I'm easily moved. I even felt sorry for Hara, who just seemed misguided in her actions. But, I can totally see humans acting like that if little people existed. As for Shaun and Arrietty's "deep" conversation in the garden, I believe that should have been left out entirely or beefed up more. It's like that dialogue had to take place so that the story would have its moral. To me, the whole point of the story is that life is full of meetings and partings. Loved the art and animation. It was great just sitting there watching Arrietty and her father trek through the house. But my favorite scene had to be when Arrietty finally enters the house properly. Of course its the kitchen she experiences first, and the sound effects are perfect there. I thought that was a nice touch. Side note: when the crow attacks the cat, that was fabulous. I like that after the bird flies off, the cat puffs itself up, and growls.
Sengoku Basara - Samurai Kings (TV) Good
Also known as "Samurai Kings". Anyway, this was a nice watch. I love, love anything involving samurai or ninja's or both, so this appealed to me right away. I liked all the action, the musical score, and the animation. There were a couple of different ways that the fight scenes were animated. I especially noticed this between episodes 1 and 2. I liked how all the title characters were super bad ass, and each in their own way. Very strange costuming choices for all the characters, but that didn't stop the show from being very enjoyable. The story was a pretty simple one, all these clans are fighting over Japan during the Feudal period. But one general, Oda, decides to be an ass and crush everyone. That means that all the other generals or lords, must unite (temporarily of course) to take down the bad seed. Now for my critique: where were all the women in this? Yeah, I know there's the ninja chick (what an outfit :P) and there's Odin's wife (crazy bitch) and there's Odin's sister (helpless, hopeless). Um, samurai stories, I'm used to seeing women serving the lords at the very least. But nope, that seems to have been considered extra fat here, and trimmed off. But to me, it doesn't make sense. Because I know that these generals are eating, sleeping, and taking their tea. So where is the female servant providing all that, well, service? Ugh. Next up, having to keep up with all the traditional Japanese titles was confusing at first. The characters identify themselves plenty, but I was still lost for a while. I like it better when they just refer to themselves by their surnames. So much easier that way. Lastly, didn't care how at one point it seemed as if two of the main characters had been killed off. But wait! What's that? They're not dead? Well, golly gee. In a show about samurai I expect carnage. I want the death of at least one of the main people. Okay, so Oda was defeated in the end, but I saw that one coming. Okay, enough nitpicking. One more item. I adored the dubbed version. All the voice actors gave above average performances here. But it did help that the majority of them are all old hands by now. I'm all for bringing in fresh blood, but when you get right down to it, nothing beats a professional with serious experience. This is my case and point.
Sengoku Basara - Samurai Kings (TV 2) Good
Same as above.
(The) Slayers (TV) Good
This is another “classic” anime. Naturally, its from the 90's and I find that immediately appealing. The animation itself is jarring and corse. About the only thing that’s done fairly well is the constant billowing smoke from the many explosions. But this series is old enough that they use all the "old school" sound effects for the different magic tricks. And naturally the characters call out their attack names EVERY time. That doesn’t annoy me so much as amuse me. (Sometimes when I’m home alone I try it out myself. It makes for a good time). Anyway, the story is nothing special. Sorceress meets up with pretty boy, and gains various other traveling companions along the way. They journey fighting various bad dudes and thugs as they go. This show isn’t meant to be taken seriously, as it even makes fun of itself. I love it when an anime does that. It makes the viewing experience so much better. One thing I’m not too pleased with is the dubbed version. While Crispin Freeman does Zelgaudis' voice about halfway through the first season, the rest of the cast is definitely lacking. I would like the see this re-dubbed.
(The) Slayers Evolution-R (TV) Good
(The) Slayers Next (TV) Good
(The) Slayers Revolution (TV) Good
Only writing another comment about the Slayers because this continuation was produced ten years after the Slayers Try (the third installment). The first thing I noticed were the bright, clean colors. Hello digital revolution! Nothing really suffered for this change...that I could tell anyway. However, the character designs did have softer edges. For instance, in the "older" version (ha!), Lina's cheekbones are pointy and have less outline. In the "newer" one her outline is thicker, but less sharp. That may not make sense, but its what I picked up on. Other than that difference, I thought this was the best one out of the bunch. Funimation managed to wrangle the original voice actors back for this. Anyway, I loved these thirteen episodes. From the very beginning the jokes were better (besides the overused "flat chested" bit), and the effects were higher quality. Of course there were the usual filler episodes, but what Slayers isn't "complete" without a hot spring, island, wild goose chase, side story? This one hit the spot. It just seemed that the creators finally hit their stride. Of course, they just had to bring back Rezzo...damn guy won't stay dead. That would be my only complaint with the plot.
(The) Slayers Try (TV) Good
Soul Eater (TV) Very good
If I decided to cosplay, I think my first choice would be Medusa. The animation, and design for this series is spectacular. Its surreal, gothic, even punk (I think). The colors are bright, vibrant, and remind me of classic American cartoons. The story is not special really, typical shonen stuff. However, I was delighted with most of the characters enough to watch the whole thing. Honestly, Black Star gets on my nerves, but the rest are passable. When Lord Death goes back to his "old" self that's pretty nifty. I can't say I was too impressed with the english dubbed version. I never would have cast a woman to play Black Star, and I can't say as I see (or hear rather) Laura Bailey as Maka, who starts off as a "good girl" then breaks the rules. She does a good job voicing the character, but she just comes off as a little too sweet.
Steamboy (movie) Weak
Tales from Earthsea (movie) Decent
Not the best Ghibli by far. It starts off very slow, showing off the lovely artwork over and over again. We are shown this palace and there's something about dragons being sighted, and unbalance, and a prince named Aaron. Then we see Aaron kill his father (the king), take his sword and run off. Obviously this kid has issues. Next thing we know Aaron teams up with a wizard, Sparrow Hawk. They travel to a city where Aaron experiences the "real world" so to speak. Then they end up at a woman's house in the countryside. Then there's the baddie who is named Cob of all things. He's trying to gain eternal life. He has a beef with Sparrow Hawk, naturally. Aaron is somehow connected to Cob, or something (I'm not really sure). Then there's the girl Teru. She's killed by Cob, only to come back to life and transform into a dragon. She crisps Cob's ass, and that's it. Then she turns back into a human, and life goes on as before. I can't begin to express my frustration with this story. It barely explains anything, and has huge holes. The only constant is the artwork. It's very nice, and some of the background art is quite beautiful. When Teru is talking to Aaron while they are inside Cob's castle, it sounds like a councilor trying to help someone with depression.
Tenjho Tenge (TV) Good
Straight up fighting anime, quite a bit of fanservice in this one, but I like the story so I put up with it. However, the massive tits are actually kind of distracting to the overall beauty of the girls. Honestly, if their breast weren't so large, I think the females would all be much more attractive.
Tenjho Tenge: Ultimate Fight (OAV) Good
Those Who Hunt Elves (TV) Excellent
This is another anime that just gets passed over. The only reason I have seen it is because my husband owns it. Otherwise, I probably would never have heard of it. And its not a bad series! I think its worth your time if you want something funny and entertaining to watch. Don't expect in big ideas, or morality plays. This show is just for fun, but its a blast! Its basically about an alter-reality with elves and magic and stuff, but the world is pretty much the same as ours. So these three people are pulled from our world into the elves world. Long story short they need to collect some spell fragments in order to return home. This is just yet another excuse created in order to get certain characters to go on a journey (this method is even used in Samurai Champloo). But here's where the fun comes in: these humans must inspect the bodies of nude elves to find the fragments. One might say, "Just how is that funny?" but you'd have to watch the show to find that one out.
Those Who Hunt Elves 2 (TV) Excellent
I actually didn't care for this half as much as the first season. It still retains the original characters and whatnot, but the story is a little more crazy, and less funny.
Tide-Line Blue (TV) Not really good
A very below average show. Basically, the overall message is that war is bad. Also, talking is the best way to solve problems. Literally, the final episodes involve a U.N.-like sit down wherein the old lady begs and pleads and somehow manages to convince every single person there not to go to war. Oh, and to share the rest of Earth's resources, peacefully. This is very idealistic and not really applicable in the real world. But, still rather a good point to try and make, although not done very well. However, there is a lot this show is very lacking in. Several points are left unanswered: What caused Eden's Hammer? Where did Scar and his crew go after launching the nukes? How did Teen and Keel's dad survive in a satellite for 4 years? Who impregnated Isla? However, I liked the childbirth scene and subsequent baby raising scenes. That's something one doesn't see in anime very often.
Tiger & Bunny (TV) Excellent
Okay, season one is over. Now for the review...but where to start? This show is freaking awesome! Yeah, that's a good enough place. While it started off with the very intriguing concept of super heros sponsored by corporations, Tiger and Bunny boiled down to an anime about people. And if its about people that means their relationships as well. The character developments and the story that is molded around them are what drives this show. Sure, there are some badass fight scenes, rich artwork, and crisp CGI. But it all pales when compared with the characters themselves. It draws one in by giving one someone to root for, someone who is relatable, who is human to the very core. And its not afraid to pull out the stops and even takes a turn for the worse at one point. But through all this the creators maintain a sense of humor, even if its just a small smile (like when Maverick is trying to get Kotetsu to drink the drugged tea. That scene is so well orchestrated one might just feel sorry for Maverick). I could go on and on, but in the end, perhaps I just have a soft spot for buddy flicks. However, I will say that it is hard to find anime out there with a story like this. I'm sure some will find it lacking, and hell, everything has its flaws, but Tiger and Bunny comes damn close to being perfect. I hope this is released (with a dub!) very soon.
Tokko (TV) So-so
Only 12 episodes is not enough. The ending sucks because it starts a new arc! WTF? I do like the dialogue because it feels natural. However, I didn't care for the voice acting at all. Some of the performances are so bland its hard to take. I wish I could give a comment about how I felt about the subbed version, but I don't watch subs for the most part.
Trigun (TV) Masterpiece
The story is brilliant, as in the main character. Vash the Stampede is one the the coolest, weirdest, most awesome male anime leads. The rest of the characters are all worthy of mention, Meryl, Millie, Wolfwood, the gung ho guns, Legato, BDN, the cats that make a cameo in every episode. This story is science fiction, but only in the strictest sense. Mostly it focuses on Vash and the way he approaches people and ideas. He's what really can be defined as a hero: good, honest, straightforward, simple, sweet, and trustworthy. I love everything about this show, even the soundtrack (which I have on my computer and ipod). I also like the old west theme this series has going on. Its all very appealing.
Trigun: Badlands Rumble (movie) Very good
A nice stand alone piece. One doesn't need to be familiar with the original TV series to enjoy this. There are a few things that impressed me. One, all the bounty hunters/hired guns - every character design is unique. Love that attention to detail. Two, the show looks good. It still has the gritty quality of the first one, but the animation is smooth, and has a "higher polish", if you will. Three, the music has been kicked up a notch in favor of resounding guitar strumming (whether acoustic or electric) *side note: I will be buying the soundtrack*. And four, JYB does an excellent job in his return as Vash. He's loving getting to reprise that role - you can hear it in every line. The story is good. It was a little cliche, what with Amelia being Gasback's daughter and all, but there's always gotta be that element right? I liked the ending, I liked the way Meryl and Millie interacted with Vash. Although Wolfwood did refer to Vash as "needle noggin" a few too many times. I especially loved the part on the sand steamer when Vash and Amelia take on those thugs. But I was sold when Gasback stole the plant. That was fantastic! And maybe that part was predictable as well, but I was so caught up in the story that I didn't even notice. Okay, so I still don't like that FUNimation was unable to get the original cast back together. But, I'm willing to overlook that because Meryl, Millie, and Wolfwood don't have all that much screen time. Also, FUNi did a great job casting those roles, so that the VA's sound pretty damn good. I was pleasantly surprised at any rate. Btw, I went into this one with expectations, low ones. I'd heard that it wasn't all that great, that the movie didn't utilize the staple cast that well, that the new villain wasn't that exceptional, etc. So, I was expecting a pleasant romp and nothing more, but was gladly proved wrong.
Trinity Blood (TV) Not really good
So, here’s another vampire anime. I really enjoyed the voice acting more than the story. That's about all the good things I can say about this show. I read the manga, which I found much more appealing.
tsuritama (TV) Excellent
Gorgeous was the word that kept running through my mind while watching this. The artwork is splendid, I love the overly bright colors. A very solid effort. This was just a pleasure to watch. I looked forward to it every week. Twelve episodes was just long enough, and I think they were plotted out nicely. Although, I prefer the male bonding/fishing tips/lessons learned story to the whole "saving the world" angle. This was very tastefully done with terms like "jerking", and "rod" being thrown around. I hope it gets a dub and blu-ray release because I want to see this art on BD!
(The) Twelve Kingdoms (TV) Excellent
Really terrific story. This is the way to tell fantasy. I know it's a light novel adaptation, and the novels are based off a Chinese legend. But, I like that. Legends and myths sometimes have some of the best characters (protagonists and antagonists). And there's even a good moral most of the time. I loved Yoko, although she started out wimpy and whiny like most female protags, she quickly improved. By the end of her arc, she was becoming a force to be reckoned with. The show looks great on blu-ray, the people shiny and clean, the backgrounds painted like watercolors. The animation was pretty good from what I could tell. There were a couple of places I noticed discrepancies, but they were very few. I like the mixture of Asian strings and Irish/Scottish wind instruments. Although, the score seemed intrusive at times, and the same cords were repeated frequently. The opener and closer never changed though, which seems strange with a show over 40 episodes long. I did find myself a little lost with all the terminology and different kingdoms. However, these things were repeated enough times that I learned what everything meant fairly quickly. I wish that all the novels could have been adapted, that way I would have learned what happened with Taikei's story, and a few other loose ends. The dub was fair. A lot of the same voices were used for numerous characters. And a few performances were only so-so. On average everyone sounded fitting.
Ushio & Tora (OAV) So-so
The dialogue in this cheesy and waaaay dramatic. Its hard to take seriously, but I do get a big kick out of the relationship between the demon and the boy. Other than that, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Utawarerumono (TV) Good
Don’t bother to try and pronounce the name. Besides that’s just a side note in a cool story. This one left me scratching my head a lot of the time. I stopped watching at one point because I wasn't sure if I really liked it or not. There are some great characters, although the male lead is a little hard to like. He’s just so, blah. But the rest of the cast makes up for it, although they are all a little one dimensional. This also makes it hard to get close to any of them.
Vampire Knight (TV) Good
I have to smile when I type this. I decided to try this anime on a whim. Then I became so addicted that I watched the first season within a day. Now I am currently reading the latest manga volumes. It is about vampires only in the strictest sense. Mostly its about two guys who are desperately attracted to the same girl. Normally I don’t go for love triangles, but something about this gothic fantasy appeals to my darker nature. It would be at the top of my "guilty pleasure" list.
Vampire Knight Guilty (TV) Good
Ah vampires. I love, love watching this juicy title. What is it about this one? Who can say? Maybe its the gothic art, maybe its the mystic vampire lore, or hell, maybe its just the unbelievably attractive male characters that sells this for me. One thing for sure I know, I do enjoy the characters, even Rido that bastard. But when I watched both the first and now the second season I realized something: Kaname hates, HATES Zero. I understood that Kaname disliked Zero, but only after finishing this did I grasp just how deep the loathing runs. He is overwhelmingly possessive of Yuuki and yet, Kaname allows Zero to drink her blood. Naturally, he had a reason for letting those two carry on, but still...I wouldn't want to step on Kaname's toes. I was upset that Yuuki "chose" Kaname in the end. It was pretty obvious that she would, and that makes my pity for Zero deepen. I was surprised that his character was not killed off, but since the manga is still continuing that isn't going to happen...yet. We need twisted love triangles like this one to make us squirm in our seats. At least I do :)
Virus Buster Serge (TV) Not really good
This story fast forwards through a lot of (important) details. Often times I'd find myself saying, "How in the world do these characters know what they are talking about?" Especially regarding Serge, the protagonist. He's introduced to us as a rough looking tough guy. He tries to kill the captain, Raven, then ends up in a cell after failing to do so. Raven gives him a collar and Serge joins there little group called STAND. Anyway, after that, Serge is some sort of calm, smart guy. He waxes poetic about all sorts of issues that STAND is dealing with. I think Macus says to him at one point, "When did you learn all this?" and I found myself nodding in agreement. I'm guessing that the viewer is supposed to be hypnotized by the muscle men and the busty women so that logic never enters one's brain. Sorry, I can't do that. In any case, the story manages to explain a few things in the last episode, but that's all pretty much obvious facts by then. I especially loved the intro which was a man and a woman laying out the problem and plot of the show. That's a cheap shot if I've ever heard one. I could go on, but suffice to say this is not a show I'll be re-watching. It gets points for having a happy ending, but the dub was terrible.
(The) Vision of Escaflowne (TV) Good
Overall, this wasn't a bad story. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. I liked the characters, especially, how Hitomi retains her selfish, innocent, teenage girlish-ness. The floating fortresses were pretty sweet (now I know where Last Exile got that idea from). And, I'm not big into mecha, but when Van first pilots the Escaflowne, we see the gears, and hear them whirring. I thought that was nicely done. Overall, the story had the right amount of action, romance, heartbreak, deceit, and political statement. The pacing didn't drag except in a few flashback episodes (the one were Hitomi discovers Van's past comes to mind). The story, although it involves war, mainly focuses on relationships both past and present. Okay, now for the reasons I only rated it as Good. A lot of the plot twists were predictable. I for one saw the whole deal about Allen and his illegitimate son from a mile away. Also, I figured that Folken was Van's brother. And naturally, Folken wasn't a bad guy per se, just misguided. The back to back episodes where Van, Allen, and Hitomi all are pulled away felt rushed and out of place. Another bit a pacing that feels off is Van's sudden "feelings" for Hitomi. He's all brash, and basically ignores her for the first few episodes. The next thing we know he's saving her because he's realized that she's done the same for him. In other words, its his duty. It feels unnatural to me. A few more perhaps petty things that I didn't care for. One, the bag followed! What, really? Do you think I was born yesterday? And that bag never plays an important role...NEVER. Two, the coliseum in Alystair or however its spelled. That was pretty obvious reproduction...although the whole city looks like Venice. Three, the fainting on Hitomi's part gets old really fast. I'd be more inclined to believe it, if she was wearing a corset. Fourth, the dub acting was bad to put it mildly. Some were worse than others. Dilandau for instance was just annoying after a while. It's like the actors are lacking any emotion. Their just putting on a show, but not really thinking about it. I'd love to see this redubbed and rewritten for english. There are some throwaway lines in a couple episodes that have no meaning whatsoever. They easily could have been left out. Fifth, the ending sucked. I was all set to give this baby an Excellent rating, but the last episode just killed it.
(The) Wallflower (TV) Very good
The girl in this series is absolutely anti-hero if I’ve ever seen one. The boys that are her "trainers" have no idea what to do with is socially awkward duckling. I laugh so much watching this show, that often I miss all the dialogue. The screaming between characters can be a bit much, but it only adds to the ridiculousness of it all. The story is hit and miss. Some of the plot I didn't agree with, plus the characters designs make the boys so beautiful they actually look more like women. I don't find that attractive in the least.
Welcome to the NHK (TV) Good
Another show that had some really good parts, but failed to impress me in the end. This show is good when its delving into the realm of hardcore otaku, gal-games, and hikkomori. However when it veers into the suicide realm, I take issue with that. The best episodes involved Satou's downward spiral into otaku-dom, becoming obsessed with MMORPG's, and getting swept up in a pyramid scheme. Also, his turning point when he discovers how to stop being a hikkomori. That was all handled with wit, and logical reasoning. However, the suicide angle was not. Especially in regards to Satou and Misaki's relationship. Everyone knows that one cannot solve their suicide problems by blaming others or depending on others. It has to come from within oneself. And that takes counseling and sometimes medication. I can't believe that Misaki was able to be saved by Satou's crazy antics. Perhaps she's seeing a therapist on the side? Also, it seemed as if Misaki and Satou were going to be an item, but their relationship just kind of fizzled until he became her tutor. Not sure why there was romance to begin with then. Needless to say, some episodes I enjoyed more than others. And I really liked Yamazaki, Satou's next door neighbor and classmate from high school. He was a good kid, even if his obsession with hentai and anime was a bit much. I will say I thought Chris Patton did a stand up job as Satou. Probably his best role, that I've heard anyway.
Whisper of the Heart (movie) Very good
Wolf's Rain (TV) Excellent
Okay, so my opinion includes the OVA episodes. I can see how many people would be unhappy with this series having only seen the 26 episodes. Here's this great story with a very, very disappointing ending (if one can call it that). But! I did see the "complete" collection and so my rating stands at excellent. This is a moving, compelling tale. I cried at the end at least two times, perhaps more than that. I think I shed some tears around the midway point as well. Any show that makes me cry immediately goes up in the ranks. What it means to me is that I was so caught up, that the story just touched me. There's two different themes I see at work here. One, death and the end of the world. But there's also rebirth. When the planet thaws it blooms, growing lush and full of life. So, even though the characters die off, its kind of bittersweet more than anything else. They were willing to sacrifice themselves for the end result. Anyway, asthetically, the show isn't visually astounding. I think the most memorable animation/art was the path of lunar flowers, the fake paradise Kiba encounters, and the fields of flowers blooming. The moon always managed to look big and full, but wasn't very spectacular. On the other hand, I loved the character/wolf designs. Everyone was either gorgeous, or had their own unique appearance i.e. Quint. And the music, ah, I've stated many times that Yoko Kanno is my favorite composer, so there's really nothing much else to say. The dub was very good, probably one of the better ones I've heard.
xxxHOLiC (TV) Very good
Very cute little anime. Love the dub acting! Todd Haberkorn is awesome! I don’t know exactly when he joined Funimation’s team, but I hope they hold on to him. He’s practically the only reason I enjoyed the anime. Well, one of the top three reasons, the other two being- Colleen Clinkenbeard as the madam, Yuko Ichihara, and the comedic timing of some of the dialogue. I like the relationship between the madam and the boy, Kimihiro Watanuki. It never is like a cougar trying to seduce a young boy. Sometimes it may seem that way, but Watanuki is not into it at all, which I approve of. The character designs in here are downright strange. Each person is a long drink of water (long torso, arms, legs, neck). Its not very attractive, and that threw me at first. But I learned to focus on the eyes, because that is where I found the closest connection to the character. I adore the different costumes that Yuko wears, especially her kimonos. They are so intricate, just beautiful.
You and Me. (TV) Very good
This is an under appreciated series. Or perhaps because of the slow start of its first episode, too many were put off. I know that can be a killer getting through the pilot. But that just holds up my tried and true system of giving anime at least six episodes. Naturally, I haven't done that for all series i.e. Black Cat, Golden Boy, Blassereiter. But in my defense, those shows rubbed me the wrong way from the get go. Anyway, back to Kimi to Boku. Firstly, I am really happy this is getting a second season. Secondly, the writing displays a clever wit that I've yet to see in an anime. It really hits home with subtlety. If one cannot pick up on the little hints laid like breadcrumbs, then I can see how this series would look like a bunch of guys doing random things. The animation is very lazy however, with the characters either walking, standing, or sitting. For boys they don't roughhouse too much, but just enough to come off as little munchkins. Its all very sweet and unassuming. I wouldn't mind dating one of the twins, or having a buddy like Chizuru.
You and Me. Season 2 (TV) Very good
Just completed the second season today (Monday). Very good, just as well done as the first season. This show just takes it's time and tells little stories every episode. I like that pacing, and enjoy all the characters. I wish this could get licensed over here, but I'm sure that only five people would buy it. Too bad, because there are very subtle undercurrents to these characters. And when all is said and done, even the loud mouth Chizuru is way more mature than he comes across.
Yu Yu Hakusho: Eizou Hakusho (OAV) Good
Yu Yu Hakusho: Eizou Hakusho II (OAV) Good
Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (TV) Excellent
This anime holds a special place in my heart. I think its because it is one of the first series that I watched. The first season is my favorite, because I love watching Botan and Yusuke play off each other. However, the second season with the Dark Tournament is the best part of the series. Nothing but characters doing battles, and for some reason I never found that tiring in this anime. Maybe its because by that time I had begun to form attachments to the cast. I wanted to see them fight. I remember getting all excited and yelling "That's right! Show 'em who's boss!" or something to that effect. Yes, I admit to that. Its pretty lame, but that's who I am.
Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie Good
I was really looking forward to this release when I heard Funimation finally acquired the re-release rights. Now, I figured that this would be the same length as other anime movies i.e. Cowboy Bebop's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" or even Trigun's "Badlands Rumble". In other words, anywhere from 60-90 minutes. This didn't even come close, at thirty minutes, and cutting out credits, its the same damn length as a TV episode! Kinda disappointing, I'm not gonna lie. Perhaps I set my standards too high? In any case, the tiny story they managed to cram into this "movie" is entertaining. Yusuke and Kuwabara are kicking butt when Botan shows up. Koenma's been kidnapped and, as spirit detective, its Yusuke's job to go rescue him. Kuwabara tags along, and a quick stop in spirit world (the simplicity of that name gets me every time) gets the rescuers up to speed. Then the threesome rushes out, only to be held up by demons along the way. *Note* The demons conveniently appear because, as ransom for Koenma, the kidnapper demanded a stamp that belongs to King Yama *end note* Naturally, the demons want the stamp because its POWERFUL and stuff. So, while Botan, Yusuke, and Kuwabara fight it out with the demons, Kurama and Hiei show up. Naturally, they volunteer to take care of the low level stuff, while Yusuke and friends continue on. Yusuke and the others reach Koenma and his captors. Naturally, the guy who took Koenma isn't the true bad guy. The minion is, and he's been quietly waiting in the shadows. Oh, and what's he waiting for? That damned stamp! Yusuke proceeds to have a boss battle and wins. But not before Botan, Kuwabara and Koenma call out his name at least once each. In the end, both Koenma and the stamp are returned safely. All in a days work for the spirit detective. This is a fun, very short romp that basically will give anyone the jist of a basic shounen plot line. That being said, its not all bad. I've always enjoyed ninties animation and character designs. And Yu Yu Hakusho is my top shounen anime as well as my number two anime. I guess that means I'd like anything else in this series by default, unless the creators screwed around with the story. But they didn't, so yea! Besides finding this entertaining to watch there are two things I wanted to point out specifically. First: Yusuke, Botan, and Kuwabara when running along to get to Koenma. These scenes involve constant motion, even as they stop to fight off demons, or rocks are falling, whatever. I like that sense of urgency. That seems to show that the creators are making the most of the story by trying to convey it in every shot. Although, I didn't understand why Botan didn't just fly Yusuke and Kuwabara there. I guess that wouldn't have given them the opportunity to kick ass. Second: the voice acting and casting. Since Yu Yu Hakusho is a Funimation title, I never doubted that they would have the original cast back. But my two favorites from this little movie are the kidnappers. They're played by the Ayres brothers, Chris and Greg. When they get to voice these goofy shounen baddies I really get the feeling that their just having the time of their lives. And that makes the show more fun for me.

Will not finish Rating
Accel World (TV) Decent
I do believe that Kuroyukihime’s avatar costume will be a cosplay staple by next year (if not later in 2012). But, I also hope that Accel World doesn’t become bogged down in nothing but battling. At this point, I see this show quickly dissolving into fight of the week nonsense. Hell, by the end of episode one they’ve already spiffed up Haru’s avatar and he’s being “forced” into a duel with some scary ghost rider-esque dude. What’s up with that? I want more down time explaining this neuro concept and virtual world, and to see whiny/insecure Haru carefully cultivated into a well-rounded person. So, a couple more eps and we’ll see if this is a follow or drop. Nope, this show hit a low after episode four. I'm all for characters being killed off to motivate the MC. However, this story is suffering from lazy writing. The Cyan Pile character is "best friend" Taku, who has been barely soon up to this point. I'm not invested in his character enough to care about what his motivations are for attacking Kuroyukihime. (Its probably something stupid too, like, "she destroyed all my brother's points in the burst link game!") Anyway, I'm done.
Agent Aika (OAV) Bad
Older anime, with fan service at every turn. It is almost disgusting how much is littered throughout the first episode, not too mention the whole thing. Consequently I didn't finish the series, only viewed about half the episodes. Also worth mentioning that the voice acting is terrible for the dub. Just not worth my time.
Amnesia (TV) Bad
This anime is based on a VN or visual novel. It's otome based, so it's geared for the female player. There's all these bishounen that fawn over the protagonist and whatnot. This has been done to death lots of times. In this case, the unnamed heroine has amnesia allowing her to "be with" the various good looking men and still have the story make what little sense it does. I was enjoying watching each storyline involving the different dudes. However our heroine has little going on. Because she has amnesia it seems that the creator's took that to mean she has no backbone at all. From the way the guys describe her forgotten personality, she was quite the firecracker. Now though, she's little more than mush. But, I was willing to look aside that fact in order to figure out what in the world happened to her and her memories. However, with this latest airing episode (number 9) I have lost all interest. The orange haired "beautiful man", Toma, has crossed the line. He convinces "heroine" to live in his apartment, steals her cell phone, drugs her, and in the final moments locks her in a 'effing cage! Now, I'm a fan of shoujo manga, and that can encourage some bad relationships, etc. However, I've never, ever, seen anything that goes this far! I was absolutely disgusted, and have thusly dropped the show.
Aquarian Age - Sign for Evolution (TV)
Aquarion (TV)
Watched first episode.
Arjuna (TV) So-so
Baccano! (TV) So-so
I tried it, but it didn’t take. There are too many characters; its hard to settle on just one to like, plus the way the writers start the story is very hard to take. I have heard nothing but good reviews for this series too which makes it all the more difficult to mention that I just. don’t. like. it. In retrospect I did add it to Netflix so that I may finish it if I ever want too.
Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman (TV)
Baldr Force EXE (OAV)
Slogged through the first episode. This relies too much on shock factor (heads exploding and such) and less on story. From what I saw it was some sort of cross between mecha and sci-fi, but with a heavy focus on CGI, and fairly poor animation. I know its only six episodes, but I'm not interested enough to keep watching.
Black Cat (TV)
I can’t really give a good review because I only watched the first episode. I did not like who was cast as the lead character, so that just ruined the whole thing for me.
Blassreiter (TV)
Only managed the first episode, way too much CGI, and it doesn't blend in nicely either. It sticks out like a sore thumb, and that was too distracting for me.
Blast of Tempest (TV)
Bleach (TV) So-so
This series is typical shonen nonsense. I made it all the way to episode 30 before I quit. It focuses on fighting and adding more and more and more and MORE characters that NEVER die! Plus, I'm of the thought process that one must choose one long running series to follow and that's it. Naruto is mine, not Bleach.
Crest of the Stars (TV)
DearS (TV) Bad
Have not seen the complete series, and probably never will. Lots of reasons this anime threw me: big tits everywhere, and “awkward” situations, usually involving naked women aka fanservice. While I'm okay with fan service in small amounts, this was way too much!
Death Note (TV) Weak
I tried the first couple of episodes, because I started reading the manga first. I was curious to see who was cast as who in the english dub. However, I didn't care for any of the voice actors, so I quickly stopped watching. This is the rare series where I enjoyed the manga much more.
El Cazador de la Bruja (TV) So-so
Like Canaan, this story features two female leads with low lying yuri undercurrents. Honestly, I don’t care enough about that. Neither girl connected with me, and I couldn’t finish the story. There’s this one girl that everyone is tracking. She ends up traveling along with this bounty hunter chick. They have adventures, do some good(?) and I think I stopped watching around episode 10.
Elfen Lied (TV) So-so
Opening credits aside, this anime just blew my mind. But still, I couldn't get into the story enough to care about what was going to happen, or who these characters were.
Fractale (TV) Good
Honestly, I don't see why other people say that you need to read other sources to figure out what is going on here. Pretty straightforward with the usual themes: hiding behind your computer warps you, rich affluent people are disgusting. Men are pervs, and obsessed with the "perfect" woman. Oh, and be yourself, and every life is worth having etc. It's not really my kind of show. Honestly, I've seen these themes portrayed in a far more grown up way. The characters didn't really touch me either. I can't say I felt connected to any one of them. Even Nessa, who's super cute (and voiced by Luci Christian, who only increases the cuteness), didn't move me.
Gantz (TV) Bad
It's been a while since I've seen this, so nothing really sticks out in my mind about it. Besides the monkey sex scene...and super sized temple gods making people's bones melt. I made it all the way up to when every character is killed off besides the main dude. That's about the point where I was like, "Um, nope, not for me." Also worth mentioning that the main character is a total tool, except when he's fighting. Then he's all bad ass and stuff.
Getbackers (TV) Good
Love the idea of this anime. However the dub just doesn’t do it justice. Its another one about people with super powers, which is almost overkill in the anime business. The dub, I believe, tries to stay too close to the Japanese version, so that things are translated word for word, making the English dialogue sticky and awkward a lot of the time. I was about halfway through when I stopped watching. There are some very cool characters however, especially the guy with the snake’s eye, Ban. I would have loved to see more of that, but couldn’t stomach the dub anymore. One day I may try the subbed version.
Golden Boy (OAV)
Watched first episode.
Guilty Crown (TV)
Watched first episode.
Gurren Lagann (TV)
I knew I would like this show from only watching the intro. Its my kind of anime, mecha, some fanservice, rough looking animation, fun and bright colors and characters. However, by the end of episode eight I was done. With Kamina's death I was horrified. They killed off one of the three original characters? WTF!? Yes, I cried. And that was that. In retrospect, killing off one of the supporting cast in order to stimulate character development is a very good storytelling device. I can appreciate that, but it doesn't mean I have to keep watching. I invested waaaay to much emotion in Kamina. It just makes me sad to think about watching more. One last note, I love Steve Blum as Leron. He makes me giggle like a little girl.
Hellsing Ultimate (OAV) Excellent
Unfortunately at this time, this series is not fully dubbed. One thing I have to say is that I’m so glad they retained the same English voice actors for this version. Had they not, I wouldn’t have been able to watch it. This version is supposedly the exact same as the manga. I find Alucard a little “prettier” in this one, but maybe its me. He’s still gives me the shivers. I cannot wait until the series is finished! I really hope since Funimation rescued the license that they get on the ball and bring in the same people who did the original English dub production.
Heroic Age (TV) Not really good
This show reminds me of Star Wars with all the space travel, space stations and big cruiser style ships. It is supposed to be about the savior of the human race, a boy named Age. There are four tribes, Silver, Bronze, Heroic, and Iron. Then there were the Golden tribe who called forth the others. The Heroic tribe became obsessed with their power, subdued eventually and split up amongst the other tribes in order to serve them. The most powerful was bestowed on the Iron tribe (aka humanity). This series would be better if they spent more time on story, less on action. In the six episodes I’ve watched thus far, there has been at least one big battle in each. They all end the same way with Belfore saving them and showing off his god-like power. However, I wish that instead of giving us narration in the beginning of each episode, the writers would have laced that in the actually story to use it as a jumping board for the episodes, or overall tale. But that is just me. At this point I’m not sure if I will continue watching. I like to give anime at least four to six episodes to see if I really will get into it, or if the story gets better. I do really dig the melodramatic musical score. This also reminds me of Star Wars, because instead of doing a rocking soundtrack, they keep it really classy with some beautiful orchestration. One really nitpicky item I want to address: I don’t care at all for J. Michael Tatum as Age, the hero. His voice is not what I picture for the wild child image that the series paints him in. I do love Tatum’s voice, but I prefer him doing a smoother, more languid tone like as Kyoya in OHSHC, or Sebastian in Black Butler. I even prefer his Jiro from Black Blood Brothers as opposed to Age.
Hetalia - Axis Powers (TV)
I watched one episode and laughed the entire time while shaking my head. My thoughts after seeing more: If I were a history teacher I would so make my class watch this :)
Hiiro no Kakera - The Tamayori Princess Saga (TV)
Sausage feast for those who love that sort of thing. However, even reverse harem stories can be done well. This one is not, unfortunately. And with no story to really engage me with (and too many of the popular tropes trotted out), I'm done.
Hunter X Hunter (TV) Bad
Tried it, but didn’t like it. I’m usually a fan of nineties anime, but its hard to get into this one where all the young boys are voiced by women. Sorry, that's just too distracting.
K (TV)
(The) Knight in the Area (TV)
Tried out the first episode. Via reading spoilers, I know all about what happens to the MC's brother. I understand that's used as a character development tactic, however, in this case it seems kind of lazy. I would have much rather had the brother remain alive, and built a healthy competition around that. Like in Space Brothers. I never made it past the first episode because of this fact.
Linebarrels of Iron (TV) Not really good
I have decided that this is a show I will not finish. I don't make these decisions lightly either. But, every time I scroll down my Netflix queue, I'll stop and argue with myself. "Well, maybe I should finish this show up. I only have seven more episodes. Yeah, okay." So I'll go to the episode list and stop at the next one. Then I pause, and say, "Nah, I really don't wanna watch it." I have done this every time thus far, and have just decided to give up. Honestly, I don't care enough about ANY of these characters to continue the story. The first six episodes of this series suck because our “hero” is a narcissistic asshole who randomly gains this awesome power via a huge mecha. But instead of realizing that this power is to be used for the good of others, he goes on this “ally of justice” rampage. This is to no end annoying. I kept waiting for him to get the wake up call he needed (in the form of a swift kick in the ass, hopefully). Finally, his best friend ends up dying in a most violent manner. And that is the turning point. As the show is progressing he’s becoming more mature. Naturally there is a ton of fanservice in here, most of the women are large chested too. However, I don’t think that the character designs are that attractive. Even the males leave something to be desired as far as appeal goes. And as a woman, I find the constant war/fighting mecha battles to be rather tiring. I would much rather focus on character development with a little battling thrown in. In this show, there is a battle in every episode so far, or even preliminary fighting before the big battle in the next episode. Plus, I have to wonder, how do cities keep affording to rebuild after these mechas come in and literally obliterate parts of town? Too many questions, not enough character development, plus the "hero" really pissed me off in the beginning, so its hard to connect with him by now. Ugh...yeah, that's all I got.
Love Hina (TV)
Watched first episode.
Maburaho (TV) Bad
Could not even finish this one. I dislike moe anime to no end. This one is no different, and is especially unrealistic.
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (TV)
Watched first episode.
Mysterious Girlfriend X (TV) Decent
I wasn’t going to watch Mysterious Girlfriend X, but I tend to watch what Zac either finds repulsive, or fantastic. Let’s get this business out of the way first: the sucking/swallowing/licking the cum-esque drool. That didn’t trip my “ew” factor too badly. Its more like I felt uncomfortable the first time I saw it, but after the initial shock, it wasn't so bad. That being said, when Urabe vomited up all that “saliva” I could have done without that. Major yuck. If that starts to happen more often, I’m out. Moving on, I sometimes feel this show is like a romantic comedy. I loved it, during episode two, when Urabe yanks a pair of scissors out of her panties, and uses super ninja moves to do cut-outs. This is her hobby, she tells Akira. It’s still a little strange in concept, but compared to spit covered fingers, tame. I’ll add that I was immediately attracted to the character designs, and I love the voice actress who portrays Urabe. Whoever made the decision to stay away from the typical high school girl voice is a genius. Anywho, I’m going to stick with MGX for at least a couple more episodes. Its supposed to get weirder, and I’m kinda willing to see just how weird it can be.
(The) Mystic Archives of Dantalian (TV)
Watched first episode.
Needless (TV) Weak
I started this series thinking it was going to be great. It has this awesome cartoonish quality that shows through the opening credits. The characters are flashy (think BDN from Trigun only with colors from a Crayola box), the music rocks, and the dialogue= funny. The english dubbed voice actors are all favorites of mine, and although the chicks are all every geeks fantasy, I was willing to look aside that point. However two things turned me off after episode six or so. One, the lesbian fan service credit end. I could always fast forward that, or overlook it, but that rattled me. Two, the male lead, Adam Blade, a very cool, stylish, hip character has one weakness - underage girls. And while this is portrayed in a humorous light, I don’t find it funny. I have had bad experiences myself as a young teen with lecherous men. Believe me, it is not fun. And while the anime girls never seem to mind (what do they ever mind about really?), I do. Will not continue watching.
Night Raid 1931 (TV)
Yeah, this show really should have made up its mind about whether it wanted to by a superpower anime, or a historical/political thriller. It could have gone either way, and done really well. However, it decided to mash the two concepts together (which I have no problem with), and failed at being able to get either right. Now, I've only watched five or six episodes. Since that's my cut off limit, I don't feel bad for setting this aside. Where I'm at right now, I still don't care enough about the characters to warrant more viewing time. Its like they don't have any personalities, even Aoi, who's supposed to be the flamboyant one. He's majorly subdued, making the other three even duller in relation. And the superpowers? Psh, these guys barely use them, and its not like they are even necessary in most cases. This show focuses on the politics and has characters talking more than anything else. Every episode the four have a meeting with their "boss". And they last interminably long. Its a shame too, because visually Night Raid 1931 is very appealing. And the animation is top notch. Oh well. I might finish it someday.
Nobody's Boy Remi (TV)
Now and Then, Here and There (TV)
This is listed on Netflix so I decided to give it a shot. Its "older" anime, so I figured I'd immediately be drawn to it. However, this baby is hard to stomach. Its violent (which I knew was coming because of the Manga Entertainment logo), but its just a kid's worst nightmare. Cold, cruel, insane grown ups torturing, raping, and murdering children, against their will of course (do I need to add that?). I think I've made it to episode three, but after seeing the girl getting molested (well, it actually happens off screen, but its pretty clear what's taken place), I'm not sure if I will continue. I want to see if the kids will be able to overcome all the hardships, or if they'll all just die. But, I just don't see any redemption for them at this point.
Oreimo (TV)
Watched first episode.
Peacemaker (TV)
Watched first episode.
Persona 4: The Animation (TV)
I may re-visit this via the dubbed version.
Phi-Brain - Puzzle of God: The Orpheus Order (TV)
More silliness and over-the-top puzzles and villains. I still love the characters though, and look forward to watching their trials and achievements. Scratch that...I just can't get behind this show anymore. Its concept is fun and all, but it's just a little too silly.
Sket Dance (TV)
Watched first episode.
Speed Grapher (TV) Not really good
I found this anime to be offensive in like, every way. The only thing I can think of, while watching is that the creators are obsessed with sexual perversions. No, I wouldn't limit it to just sexual perversions, but any kind of fetish. The "club" that the main character discovers in the first episode is proof of that. I guess the anime relies a lot on shock factor...about the only item they keep off the screen is a "lolita" relationship between the main characters. I really have no idea why that is kept from us...because they are trying to preserve the "innocence" of the girl? Oh, and that girl! She is more annoying than anything. She's finally showing some spunk in the last episode I watched. However, before that? She was just clinging to the photographer as her savior, plus the creators painted her as the "poor, little rich girl," which I have never found attractive, or pitiable, or anything. Honestly, I don't care what happens to her character. The things that have been done to her; brainwashing, memory altering, stifling of her menstrual cycle (WTF), are not enviable by any means. In that sense, I feel bad for the kid. But, its still hard for me to connect with her. Maybe its because I have a hard time believing that a society could do that to someone. And I get all the underlying messages: choose to be free, money is the root of all evil, everyone can be bought, etc. I just don't care for how its put together. Not my cup of tea.
Spice and Wolf (TV) Decent
Well, I made it through six episodes of Spice and Wolf. And...I'm done with it. Let me state this first: There is nothing per se terribly wrong with the show. It is pleasing to look at, has some nice music (I love the ED song), and has a unique premise (what with the whole economics angle). However, I never liked economics. It's boring, and I barely survived learning about it in school. That, and I'm not finding myself attracted, or interested, in either Lawrence or Holo. Holo comes off as very witty sometimes (which I like), but considering she's an ancient god, I expected her to behave much differently. In the last two episodes I watched, Holo's cryed about being lonely, and about being ashamed. In my book, gods don't care about those things. And poor Lawrence, he's about exciting as a merchant can be, I guess. Sure, he's not bland...but he's lacking something that gives him more "umph". Nope, this show just isn't for me.
Squid Girl (TV)
Watched the first episode only
(La) storia della Arcana Famiglia (TV) Not really good
Ugh, no dueling as promised. And after episode 5 it was hinted that there wasn't going to be any dueling at all. Something about it being a ploy by the heroine's father to motivate her. I could put up with the terrible dialogue and story if there was going to be actual fighting. As there is not, I'm out.
(The) Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk (TV)
Watched first episode.
X (TV) Decent
Meh, at twelve episodes in, I probably should just finish it. But at the same time, I cannot see myself finishing this. I don't care enough about the story, or characters to keep watching. Its basically a yaoi covered up with child of destiny, end of the world ploy. Not interested, and there you have it.

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