Seen all Rating Comment
Air (TV) Decent Based on a video game. The back story about the woman "from the sky" was very intriguing and should have been the basis for a great series (but wasn't). None of it had any satisfying resolution or conclusion. I'm guessing that this was a result of limiting it to the story behind the game. It should have been allowed to develop independently. But still I enjoyed watching it (one time).
Angel's Feather (OAV)
Castle in the Sky (movie) Excellent My only disappointment was in finding that this was not a follow up to Howl's Moving Castle (the original HMC book had a sequel by the same name as this movie). It had many of my favorite themes: alternate (but not dissimilar) reality, ancient culture/forgotten technology, chasing a myth, and ecological preservation.
(The) Cat Returns (movie) Good I watched this since it was a sort of crossover from "Whispers of the Heart" which I really liked. The Kingdom of the Cats was both quite fun and interesting. The main plot complication left something to be desired in my opinion; I would have liked to have seen something of a more fantastic nature.
Clannad (TV) Very good Another series based on a video game. Despite this, I thought it was very well done. It was a very sweet story of a coming of age romance. Most of the characters endeared themselves to me right away. There was lots of humor and sentiment, and the story had continuity and was (mostly) believable. But it took "The After Stories" to bring it to a satisfying and joyful conclusion for me. Be warned: there are some real tear jerking moments.
Descendants of Darkness (TV) Decent The bottom line is that this was a decent story, and I really liked some of the characters. However, the back story was pretty complex, and annoyed me, as well a some of the characters who seemed superfluous and out of place. The main character was depicted as being physically and spiritually powerful, so I thought it seemed odd that he would be such a wuss when interacting with others. Despite all these complaints, I enjoyed it enough to watch, read, and collect the entire series. And I'm really looking forward to the continuation which is currently being serialized in Japan (no idea when we'll get it though).
Divergence Eve (TV) Good This series required that I suspend my belief in the law of gravity, otherwise these women would have spent the entirety of every episode trying (and failing) to prevent themselves from toppling over face forward. There was apparently some subplot involving watermelon smuggling, by the women, which was never discussed. The science fiction and action was very good, albeit a little dark in comparison to the mood set by the main characters. I appreciated how well schooled the author appeared to be in scientific principles. The combination of intelligence and creativity is always a thing of beauty in storytelling. Worth watching at least once, and don't miss the follow up series, The Misaki Chronicles.
Earthian (OAV) Decent Whereas I enjoyed this series enough to purchase both the manga and the anime, I have to admit that it had a lot against it. It had a pretty grandiose back story which just served to make the overly simplistic plot seem that much more lacking. The chapters have absolutely no continuity, and to a lesser degree, consistency. There was no way to fully understand the OVA without having read the manga, and even then, well... Despite this, the main couple was just charming enough to elicit my empathy, and I would have liked to see this series continued, focusing much more on just the story of the couple.
Eden of the East (TV) Very good I found this series to be really fascinating. I didn't like how the heroine seemed oh so timid and yet participated with such gusto. But the main protagonists are generally likable. It had this marvelous way of giving you more puzzles to sort out, each time it revealed some previous mystery. I found the unique story and surprising turns of adventure worth collecting the entire series and both movies. Well done!
Eden of the East: Paradise Lost (movie) Very good It's a shame this wasn't continued as a series rather than as a movie. There was certainly enough material to warrant it. Even though this movie seems to answer larger questions than the series, it still takes so many unexpected turns that you feel as though there is still as much ground to cover as when it began (which is a good thing). Anyone who enjoyed the series owes it to themselves to watch this and the follow up conclusion.
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (movie) Very good You never stop getting the rug pulled out from under you! The plight of the characters makes them seem so vulnerable that it keeps you on the edge of your seat. It reaches a grand conclusion, taking it's time to the very end, and leaves the heroes facing a much less daunting (but just as adventurous) future to face. A very satisfying conclusion to a wonderful story.
Fake (OAV)
Fruits Basket (TV) Very good A very well told story. The characters will draw you in easily, although by the end, there seems to be a bit too many of them. The conflicts don't get too frustrating or too plentiful to get in the way of enjoying the development. And there enough twists and turns to keep you interested to the bitter end without getting confusing. Definitely worth seeing!
(The) Girl Who Leapt Through Time (movie) Very good The obvious sci-fi theme in this is very low key, it's much more of a slice-of-life/coming-of-age movie. Still very well done. Interesting up to the end (except for the baseball, but that's just me). With a good story and characters and quality illustration, it's worthy of adding to your collection.
Grave of the Fireflies (movie) Good An extremely difficult movie to watch, but also a very important one to see. It describes the struggle and misery after WWII in Japan. Parts of it are autobiographical, which makes it all the more touching. Another quality Ghibli film, with a heavy impact. Definitely not entertainment, any more than "The Elephant Man" movie was, and in the same regard, you still need to see this one at least once.
Gravitation (TV) Good A decent yaoi, despite a personal dislike of rock band themes. Several characters are larger than life, mostly to provide humorous contrast to the tension and frustration between the couple (which is abundant). This series would have been more enjoyable if the characters were capable of some level of adult cooperation, but sadly, none was to be had. The follow up OVA (Lyrics of Love) provided a more romantic and pleasant culmination than was given in the series alone (which only resolved at the last minute or two of the final episode).
Gravitation: Lyrics of Love (OAV) Good Like the series, the characters in the OVA still have not learned how big boys and girls learn to work together when they grow up. But still enjoyable, and an important follow up to the series.
Hot Space Cowboys (OAV)
Howl's Moving Castle (movie) Very good If you are a Diane Wynn Jones fan and are expecting this to be like the book, then don't. It has plenty of the same elements and theme, but a very different feel and various artistic liberties. An awesome tale regardless. Adhering to the amazingly high standards of any Ghibli production, it won't disappoint. You'll want to see it more than once, so might as well shell out the bucks and buy it.
I Shall Never Return (OAV)
Junjō Romantica (TV) Excellent Please note: although the rating states "everyone should have it in their collection", this is most certainly NOT TRUE!! It has some VERY adult content which I'm sure lots of ADULTS would find offensive. But if you aren't one of those adults, then it is indeed simply the finest yaoi I have ever seen. Each of the three stories begin with their respective couples getting together, rather than at the conclusion, so their is lots of opportunity for sentimentality and fan service. It has the right mix of wacky and serious, and the characters are inclined to being rational (mostly), which is most refreshing. And another welcome element is that even the antagonists are shown to grow and have their good sides. If you enjoy the genre, you will love this one, without a doubt!
Junjō Romantica (OAV)
Junjō Romantica 2 (TV) Excellent It leaves you starving for season 3; what more can be said?
Kiddy Grade (TV) Good A pretty decent series with a great English dub. Includes sci-fi, shojou-ai, dueling, and political themes. A quality production that will keep you watching all the way through. It's a shame the follow up series (Kiddy Girl And) isn't yet licensed for an English dub.
Kiki's Delivery Service (movie) Excellent What a sweet, engaging movie! A Ghibli film, of course, therefore worth seeing based solely on that criteria alone. A nice coming of age romance (the magic isn't the major theme, more like an enhancement). Even if you don't have kids, you'll want this on your shelf.
Kizuna (OAV)
Kodocha (TV) Masterpiece This is absolutely brilliant. One of the best shojou I've ever seen. Both the characters and the story line are perfectly balanced between wacky and serious. The first three episodes are actually a bit dark, but the end of the third one is deeply touching, and it really gets a lot better from there. Give it a chance and I promise you will fall in love with this little girl before it's all over. It is a profound disappointment that the series did not get the second/final season dubbed in English, but at least you can still get the subbed version online. Don't miss this one, and get the manga too while you're at it!
Level-C (OAV) So-so The characters lack depth, the setting is unconvincing, and the story is less than interesting. But what the heck, it's less than an hour long and more interesting than twiddling your thumbs.
Loveless (TV) Very good Despite the dueling subplot (and I am so very over dueling anime), this series focus is broadened enough to be quite intriguing. It was quite a brilliant idea on the part of the mangaka to add the cat people theme, there's something so charming in that. It enhances the tenderness of the romance between the main characters I've found. This is intended to be a two season series, but the manga serialization was still ongoing when it was released, so a sequel is expected, but not yet in the works. If you like the genre, this is definitely one not to miss!
Mirage of Blaze (TV)
Mirage of Blaze: Rebels of the River Edge (OAV)
My Neighbor Totoro (movie) Good This Ghibli flick was aimed at a younger audience than their usual fare. If there is one thing about a Ghibli Studios production that you can count on, is that it is high quality all the way round. Even though I found my interest level to be much lower for this story than most of their work, the abundant artistry and appealing characters still held my interest throughout. If you have any children, you should especially invest in adding this to your home library.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (movie) Good With it's exceptional artwork and exciting story, this futuristic, ecological tale will keep you in your seats. Although I felt that some of the dub casting wasn't suitable for the characters, it didn't get in the way (much) of the enjoyability factor. Make sure you see this one.
No Money (OAV)
No. 6 (TV)
Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ (movie) Good
Pom Poko (movie) Decent This is a film with a lot of testicles. Sorry, but it had to be said. Picture an army of magical shape changing raccoon who decide the best way to use their power is through bending, twisting, pounding, stretching, and otherwise reshaping their scrotum into whatever form they require. An unusual, if not bizarre, twist in this otherwise great story. Worth watching, unless your kids are around and you don't feel like answering a bunch of sensitive questions. Enjoy.
Porco Rosso (movie) Decent
Princess Mononoke (movie) Very good
Saiyuki (TV) Decent A lot of fighting in this series, and most of it between the main characters. I find no appeal in a story where protagonists fail to grasp the value, or even the very concept of cooperating with one's teammates. I watched it to give my spouse company, who watched it thinking I was the one who was interested in it. I will say that other elements, such as the back story and plot, were imaginative and capable of maintaining your interest.
Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi - The World's Greatest First Love (TV) Excellent This is by the same mangaka who created Junjou Romantica, and it follows the same format, with the same style and appeal. The two series share lots of crossover references, and any fan of either must certainly avail themselves of the other. It is some of the best material the genre has to offer.
Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi - The World's Greatest First Love (TV 2) Excellent You aren't going to want to stop watching it. Season 3 will never be here soon enough.
Sensitive Pornograph (OAV)
Spirited Away (movie) Excellent
Steamboy (movie) Good
Sukisho (TV) Decent Based on another video game. There must be some sort of industry rule that requires such a cross-over to lack in continuity, be less than convincing, and have a weak ending with little opportunity for the couples to engage in a satisfying relationship. Still, it has it's moments. The characters were enjoyable, and I liked the series enough to buy the dvds.
Switch (OAV)
Tactics (TV) Good A good story with great characters and an interesting environment. Despite the genre classification, don't expect much to develop between the main couple.
Whisper of the Heart (movie) Masterpiece A wonderful story and great artwork. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it, since it didn't involve space travel, magic, or a high speed chase, but I did thoroughly enjoy it, and immediately purchased my own copy. The dubbing was particularly good, and I enjoyed how simple and charming the characters were. Easily the best slice-of-life anime I own.
A Wind Named Amnesia (movie) Decent This is an oldie. The artwork is lacking in today's standards, but it is what it is. The story posses an interesting question, and explores it, but the answer to "why" is lacking in substance and credibility. On a 1 to 10 scale of enjoyability, I'd put it somewhere between "homework" and "pizza".