Seen some Rating
Aldnoah.Zero (TV) Good
Android Kikaider - The Animation (TV) Decent
(The) Animatrix (OAV) So-so
Attack on Titan The Final Season (TV) Excellent
Bakemonogatari (TV) Good
Barakamon (TV) Very good
Bleach (TV) Very good
Btooom! (TV) Good
(Le) Chevalier D'Eon (TV) Very good
Chrono Crusade (TV) Good
City Hunter (TV) Very good
D.Gray-man (TV) Decent
Dai-Guard (TV) Decent
Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (TV) Very good
Desert Punk (TV) Decent
Dragon Ball (TV) Decent
Dragon Ball GT (TV) Not really good
Dragon Ball Z (TV) Good
Eden of the East (TV) Excellent
Elfen Lied (TV) Good
EX-ARM (TV) Weak
Flag (ONA) So-so
Gatchaman (TV) Decent
Gekidol (TV) Decent
Ghost Hound (TV) Decent
Guilty Crown (TV) Good
Gundam Reconguista in G (TV) So-so
Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor (TV) Decent
Haibane Renmei (TV) Very good
Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (TV) Decent
Hellsing Ultimate (OAV) Excellent
Hyper Police (TV) So-so
Intrigue in the Bakumatsu - Irohanihoheto (TV) Excellent
Jujutsu Kaisen (TV) Excellent
Kids on the Slope (TV) Excellent
Kill la Kill (TV) Good
Kimagure Orange Road (TV) Good
KING’S RAID: Successors of the Will (TV) Very good
Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing (TV) Very good
Legendary Armor Samurai Troopers (TV) Decent
Log Horizon (TV) Good
Mobile Suit Gundam (TV) Good
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OAV) Decent
Moriarty the Patriot (TV) Good
Mr. Osomatsu (TV) Very good
Mushishi: The Next Chapter (TV) Masterpiece
Naruto Shippūden (TV) Weak
Otogi Zoshi (TV) Good
Patlabor 2: The Movie So-so
Patlabor the Mobile Police (TV) So-so
Patlabor: The Movie So-so
Please Teacher! (TV) Decent
Pokémon (TV) Not really good
Pokemon 2000 - The Movie Not really good
Pokemon: The First Movie Not really good
Princess Mononoke (movie) So-so
Requiem from the Darkness (TV) Excellent
Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc (OAV) Bad
Sailor Moon (TV) Weak
Saiyuki (TV) Not really good
Sakura Diaries (OAV) Decent
Samurai 7 (TV) Good
Samurai Deeper Kyo (TV) So-so
Samurai Pizza Cats (TV) Good
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (TV) Good
School Rumble: 2nd Semester (TV) Excellent
SD Gundam Force (TV) Bad
(The) Seven Deadly Sins (TV) Good
Shadow Skill (OAV) Weak
(The) Slayers (TV) Good
Soul Eater (TV) Very good
(The) SoulTaker (TV) Good
Speed Grapher (TV) Good
Speed Racer (TV) Decent
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: The Movie (OAV) Very good
Sword Art Online (TV) Good
Tenchi Muyo! GXP (TV) Not really good
Tenjho Tenge (TV) Good
Terraformars (TV) Decent
Texhnolyze (TV) Decent
Trinity Blood (TV) So-so
Voltron (TV) Not really good
Wolverine (TV) Decent
Wonder Egg Priority (TV) Very good
X-Men (TV) Decent
Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (TV) Good
Yukikaze (OAV) Decent
Zoids (TV) Decent
Zoids/ZERO (TV) So-so

Seen all Rating
3x3 Eyes (OAV) Decent
3x3 Eyes Seima Densetsu (OAV) Decent
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (TV) Very good
Afro Samurai (TV) Decent
After War Gundam X (TV) Very good
Art: Artwork is somewhat generic to the other Gundam series, and the Gundams themselves are of the Wing varitey (flashy and colorful). But in fact, I'm actually all for it. UC and Wing designs alike are very appealing to me, and I was never one to discriminate any mobile suit for that matter (aside from some of the silly ones in G Gundam. Overall, though, the character and mech designs do a good job giving this incarnation some kind of individuality from the rest. Colors have a good balance to them as well, not too bright during night or day times and not too saturated on characters, backgrounds, etc. B+

Animation: Again, more of the typical Sunrise fare in that it's consitent, but not overwhelmingly breathtaking. It's about as much as I'd expect from them during the mid to late 90s. Mech movements were actually pretty smooth and people moved as I'd imagine they would. The also didn't reuse too many of the same frames. B+

Music: Very good mix of orchestrated and synthectic melodies. It's actually been a while since I watched it, and I was so caught in the story that I don't remember much aside from the OP/ED songs and the eye-catchers. But I remember that none of the music was particularly bad or unfitting for the scenes. I've always enjoyed a majority of the Gundam sountracks, even the First Gundam one, as full of synth as it is. One thing I really like about any Gundam OST, though, is a lot of trumpets, which this one just happens to have. B+

Plot/Characters: It's a shame the series was cancelled because I really like how it develops. The characters are fun to watch and the villains are great at being what they are. The story itself reminded me a lot of the Nazis during their campaign in WWII; supieriority complexes, crazed dictatorships, racism, and that sort of stuff. Though I guess most, if not all, war anime can be said to be allegorical to real life wars in some sense. This is a big reason why I enjoy the Gundam franchise so much. As generic as some people say it is, it just really comes down to who the particpants are and I'm usually content with how all of these series are presented. A-

Voice Acting: Some pretty good performances. I never expected to hear someone like Takagi Wataru doing a Gundam series, but he works pretty well. A lot of his roles include brash, energetic, and upbeat guys (love Onizuka). This role only goes to show he has a little more range. Morikawa Toshiyuki is great at playing villain roles and does a very good, yet shallowly written, Shagia Frost. Much of the supporting cast could've had some better development and dialogue, though. B+

Overall: Yet another great Gundam series. While pretty forumlaic, it's still enjoyable and maybe even more so than your typical UC or AU series depending on your taste for the characters. It's an underrated series because it was never licensed, and I recommend it for any fan of the franchise.
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Air (TV) Bad
Art: Excellent job in backgrounds, coloring, and just about everything else. However, one of the big things that irked me were the character designs. I've discussed it in the forums before and have been told that this series is NOT a moe title. But regardless, I just could never let myself past the moe-esque girls. Every single female and her sister looked to be no more than 14 years of age, even Haruko (who's suppose to be a mother here). I found all of the girls to be much too cutesy for my tastes. And while I don't necessarily require all characters to look as real as possible, too many of them just felt over the top, even for me. Such a shame, because I've been very impressed by Kyoto Animation's production as of late. B-

Animation: Absolutely no complaints here. With the series only being 12 episodes and being done by Kyoto Animation, production values are very high here. Every little motion from the tiniest strand of hair blowing in the wind to a simple walk across the street is animated to perfection. There's really not much else to say about it. Seeing will be believing. A+

Music: Being based on a video game, a lot of the soundtrack has a very synthetic feel too it. And frankly, I've heard much, much better stuff on Super Nintendo games. With the expection of the opening song and it's insturmental renditions, I found most of the BGM to be very dull and uninspiring. I didn't get a sense of drama, melancholy, or any of the like from such a highly renowned series. Music is the third most important element for me when rating anime. And with such great art and animation values, it didn't matter much since two of the three other categories are getting such low ratings. C

Plot/Characters: Many argue the case that Air is a very sad and dramatic title. The concept of reincarnation and the path of tragedy that befell the persons who are involved in this was a nice conecept too. However, to the reference I made about my dislike of the over-cutesy characters, I again could not stand Misuzu's character. Her mannerisms with the "gao" and "nya~" crap made me want to outright gag at the pretentious and happy overcharacterization of what they wrote her to be. Then you have those "intimacy fits," and if you hate children like I do, then her constant whining will become old very fast. That aside, I enjoyed the little flashback arc much more and thought the ending itself was actually pretty good. But getting back to Misuzu, I still stand by my comments and admit to a wavering opinion on the concept of moe now. I never cared for it too much and was pretty indifferent. But thanks to this, I'm not so sure now... C-

Voice Acting: Voice acting is a very important part of conveying emotions and stories. Bad casting can lead to bad acting, and in this particular series, the casting is the only saving grace from making me completely dislike the series. As frustrating as it was to watch her character, Kawakami Tomoko plays the role of Misuzu very well. Ono Daisuke gives a pleasant peformance outside of his Itsuki from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. And most notable is Hisakawa Aya's role as Haruka. She plays a Kansai accent very well, as I'd never heard it from her prior to hearing it here. All in all, as bad a rap as I give on the series in terms of characters, the dialogue and drama help sustain this title from becoming a complete disaster in my eyes. But damn, I can't stand Misuzu's character and all that crying she does! B+

Overall: I was given a false impression of this series at first because some genius decided to label this a shounen genre when it definitely is NOT. Unfortunately, I was well done with with the series already and hold a bit of resentment towards that person for getting my hopes up, only to leave me severely dissappointed. As moving as some of the scenes are, and as sad as the story is, there was just something about the Misuzu and the artwork that really bogged the series for me. I like to think I'm tolerant of a lot of other anime (I mean, I'm probably the only who regards Angel Links and G Gundam so high, but for some reason or another, this title just wasn't my cup of tea. And because of that, I also do not think I could recommend this to anyone.
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Air In Summer (special) Not really good
Not much to add since it's essentially the same thing as the TV series. I will however say that I liked this much more so than the series because it lacked Misuzu. Unfortunately, for a one-shot episode, it just felt too generic to be anything good by itself.
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Akame ga KILL! (TV) Very good
Akira (movie) Masterpiece
Art: As old as the movie may be, much of the artwork is actually very good compared to even the standards of a TV series almost a decade and a half older. The coloring in particular does a great job depicting the dark and desolate future that is Neo Tokyo and giving a real gritty feel to the sci-fi elements. The character designs are also fairly realistic with good amount of detail to background, mechanical objects, etc. A

Animation: Great job on the motorcycle chase at the beginning. Being a movie with a pretty high budget, it's easy to see the attention to detail in both animation quality and camera control. I also appreciate that most of it is handrawn with very little CG, something a lot of titles just don't do anymore for what whatever reason. Most of the action is well-animated whether it be quick movements or a simple head lift This is definitely a title that will be able to hold its own for the ages. A

Music: Listening to the soundtrack, I find the score to be very eclectic and exotic. If you've read the little insert that came with the Symphonic album CD, there's a nice little interview with the composer and producer of Yamashirougumi Geino explaining the origins and history of where the music came from. It just so happens I was exposed to a little of the same background info during a Music Appreciation class I took in college. There are a lot of Southeastern Asian influences, with one in particular I enjoyed through the track Kaneda and its use of drums and percussion. It really is a special soundtrack if you've got a taste for the exotic, and I'd recommend it for anyone wanting something a little more diverse than most synthed/orhcestrated scores. A+

Plot/Characters: For the time it was released, I can see why this title remains one of the most heralded. It was dark, stylish, almost crude, and fairly violent. I think to the American audience of that booming age of anime fans, this could be called somewhat of the epitome of symbolizing what the general perception of anime was back then. Needless to say, I suppose it also depends on your personal tastes and whether or not they were different back then. To me, a good anime is good regardless of what the times bring and how the industry progresses in terms of production and so on. I enjoyed the story and characters for that classical sense of the qualities I described above. The first time watching it through, I was somewhat confused. But if you watch it a couple of times, things will eventually make sense, and overall it's really not that bad of an action/adventure, sci-fi drama. I also try to avoid hype and usually base my like/dislike soley on the content and quality of a title (well, aside from maybe Evangelion...). A+

Voice Acting: Personally, I think the movie relies more on presentation and script more so than acting. I found the performances, though, to be on-target and contributive to the overall plot and its intrigue. I've only seen the movie once in English, which was the Streamline dub, and that was well over 15 years ago. My second watching was in Japanese, and I felt it was pretty good. I wasn't familiar with Sasaki Nozomu until I heard him as Johan in Monster, but he plays the psychotic and crazed role of Tetsuo very well. The internal conflict he had and that sort of "freaky" mentality he had carried over very well. I've heard many contrasting views about the new dub, but I've yet to really hear it. A-

Overall: Overrated or not, the films production qualities and sociocultural impact alone on both the Japanese and international anime crowd is unmistakeable. There probably aren't many fans out there who didn't grow up in the late 80s that don't know the name. Whether you liked the film for its almost psychadelic outlook or if you just enjoy science fiction in general, it really is one for the ages. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alice in Deadly School (OAV) Decent
Alita: Battle Angel (live-action movie) Very good
Angel Links (TV) Very good
Art: Pretty good efforts on the handrawn stuff. Some of the CG could've been smoother, but is still fairly sleek on some spots. The character designs are wide and varying so that everyone has a distinct look. However, they're not particularly original or unique in any way. Colors are even and make the series feel neither generic or too bland. Overall, it's not quite up to par to its predecessor Outlaw Star, but you have to have something differentiate the two. B+

Animation: A lot of the really small movements seem to be more detailed than the big fast ones. For instance, Meifon's ample bouncing bosom had a lot more jiggle than the a rolling/dodging Kousei. CG integration was also kind of sloppy on the ship battles. The lack of handrawn art is probably a part of it, but then again it was also around the same time a lot of companies were starting to use more computerized methods. Unfortunately, this series seemed to be the guinea pig. Oh, and do note that I've only seen this via bootleg. Though, I enjoyed the series so much, that I do have the official DVDs now, but have yet to watch them at the moment, meaning the art and animation ratings might change after a while. B

Music: A great score by Sahashi Toshihiko. I'm surprised he manged to make two OSTs worth of music. In particular, I like how made several renditions of the opening theme song, All My Soul. There was a string, piano, and mixed orchestral version. Another one of tracks I really like that sounds very similar to JENOVA's theme from Final Fantasy VII. Great use of brass, drums, strings, and percussion for the overall score. Worth a listen even if you haven't seen the series. A

Plot/Characters: The series itself is rather episodic for the first half of the series, then picks up with a pretty good storyline about revenge, and has a tragic ending of sorts. To be honest, the first half is very dull if you decide to give up early. But if you're willing to stick through to the end, it's really not so bad. It was a unique conclusion that I've only seen in maybe one or two other anime. The crew itself isn't as charismatic as the crew of the Outlaw Star, but they have their own little quirks between one another. I enjoyed it a lot. A-

Voice Acting: As surprising as it may be, the performance of Meifon was the genesis of my becoming a fan of Yuzuki Ryoka. She would later move on to play a wonderful and dramatic Arashi in X (TV), and I hold a particularly special place in my mind for her voice and those types of heroine roles (currently looking forward to her as Tokiko in Busou Renkin. The supporting cast is also well backed by the likes of Midorikawa Hikaru who plays decent background conscience in Kousei, and Tanaka Atsuko (the Major) plays an almost equally commanding role to her cyborg-hottie counterpart. The dialogue is a bit cheesy, but gets as good as the drama in the latter half of the series. B+

Overall: For fans expecting the sequel to Outlaw Star, don't expect much. From afar, the series will seem cheap and very rushed. But if you keep an open mind and enjoy the buildup of the characters through the first half, the second half will be fairly enjoyable. And if at all possible, avoid the dub. This is by far the worst Blue Water dub I've heard. To quote a friend of mine, it was like "a book on tape..." Other than that. It really is a fun series if you give it a chance.
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Appleseed (OAV) Decent
Appleseed (movie) Good
Art: It took some getting use to for a few minutes, but I ended up liking it a lot. Aside from the obvious fact that the entire film was more CG/3D than hand-drawn/2D, I feel it brought out a certain quality to the movie as a whole. Being all sci-fi and futuristic, it just goes hand-in-hand to have such an advanced setting animated in an "advanced" (I use that term loosely at this point) method. Thanks to the heavey CG work, a lot of the coloring was very well-balanced where need be. Although, if there was anything bad I'd have to say, it's that maybe the art was too clean at some points. In the many older titles I've seen, I sort of prefer an aged look at times to make it feel more "vintage," but that's just me... On the other hand, anything mechanical looks just about perfect. B+

Animation: If you've seen the extras or are just familiar with motion capturing in general, you'll know how difficult it can be at times to properly intergrate it all into one motion picture. In this particular case, the animation is fluid at times, but can be very inconsistent at others. At first, I thought they were just trying to go for a Matrix affect during a few of the action sequences, but it turns out they just made it slow because that's what it was. I wouldn't call it sloppy because this is essentially the first-ever fully-CGed anime movie I'd seen, but if you watch Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children after this, it just seems like child's play. Still though, not bad for a first-timer. B

Music: To be honest, I can't think of any particular tunes or melodies from the movie right now. All I remember is the high price Geneon is charging for the OST and a little interview in the extras saying how the composer and producers tried to accumulate a wide variety of artists from around the world who were willing to put forth a sort of "international effort" to try and make the movie more diverse. Needless to say, if I can't even remember who these performers were or any of the music, I guess it didn't work. I do, however, remember not feeling particularly annoyed for vexed during any part of the film because of the music, so I suppose it will at least get a Decent rating for that. I'll need to pay more attention the next time I watch it. B

Plot/Characters: The story feels somewhat similar to Shirow's other big-name title (GitS), in that you're sort of questioning the conscience of of computers vs. the present mindset of humans and how that conflicts with the problems of the world. However, this title threw in a lot more drama and emotion between the two main characters, Deunan and Briareos (or however you spell it). While it made for some okay drama, I'd much have preferred they story centralize more so on the theme I eluded to earlier, as that was one of the things I really liked about GitS in the first place. Other than that, though, this was actually a pretty decent action movie on the side as well. B+

Voice Acting: Nothing special here. The movie concentrates more on plot and presentation more so than acting and dialogue, so I wasn't particularaly wowed by any of the performances. It doesn't really add to or detract from the movie, though, so I guess that counts for something. The script and delivery is pretty clean cut and straight to the point. But if anything, I'd have to recommend this with subs, only for the fact that English lip-syncing can be a real mess for these types of films. B

Overall: I never saw the original OAV, so I wouldn't know how well this one compares. But as a stand alone movie, I'd say it's pretty good if you're just a sci-fi fan in general or a follower of Shirow. It's definitely not on the level or depth of GitS, but makes for nice cannon fodder until the TV series starts airing. Hopefully the extended amount of time they have to execute will lead to a more engrossing story or atmosphere (a la GitS: SAC) that isn't just all show.
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Appleseed Alpha (movie) Decent
Appleseed XIII (TV) Weak
Appleseed XIII: Tartaros & Ouranos (movie) Weak
Appleseed: Ex Machina (movie) Good
Armitage III (OAV) So-so
Armitage III: Poly-Matrix (movie) So-so
Attack on Titan (TV) Excellent
Attack on Titan (TV 2/2017) Excellent
Attack on Titan (TV 3/2018) Excellent
Attack on Titan (TV 4/2019) Excellent
Azumanga Daioh (TV) Masterpiece
Art: I like the character designs, cartoony, yet realistic in a sense that it helps to really bring out each character's quirks and personality. Some of the backgrounds during the dream sequences were especially colorful. And speaking of colors, I love how they tried to vary the school uniforms; it's a great way to show time actually progressing, as opposed to a lot of anime that stay around the same time frame. Chiyo-chichi is one of the freakiest looking characters I've seen in anime by the way, but also one of the funniest. Everything just felt real clean from the outlines, to colors, to still frames. I have absolutley nothing to complain about. A

Animation: Much of the motions were simple and didn't involve too much screen movement, but the parts that did were very well-drawn (the culture fest in particular). The dream sequences had a lot of movement as well, but I was too busy laughing my butt off to really pay attention. In terms of small quick movements (chattering teeth, fearful shaking, and woozy spinning) they seemed almost the quality I'd expect in movies of the late 90s, which by TV standards is pretty good, if I do say so myself. No jerks or any other noticeable faults. A-

Music: Great, easy listening. I love that main theme you always hear during the eye catchers. And with that, I have to say the overall score was very relaxing. It gives off a sense of just being lazy, sitting back, and enjoying the atmosphere. On top of that, the quality of the instruments was very authentic. A lot of comedy titles I've watch tend to use a lot of synth work, which isn't bad if you can compose the right tunes, but I always did prefer live instruments. I highly recommend you get the soundtrack if you ever feel like laying down, taking a nap, or just having some easy listening in the background. It doesn't necessarily make you sleepy, but like I said it's quite relaxing. The opening and ending themes were especially cheery. A+

Plot/Characters: The series is pure comedy and a little slice of life, if you can call some of their antics "normal," and I enjoyed the characters and setting a lot. There were lots of different personalities from the absent-minded Osaka, to the uber-cute Chiyo-chan, to the freaky Kimura-sensei. All of them had great chemistry and gave off a certain aura that you could experience in a series such as this, in my opinion. I initially watched it through with friends (all guys) and we thoroughly laughed our butts off. I rarely give comedy titles a Masterpiece, but this one in particular felt pretty unique in terms of characters, directing, voice acting, and all of that jazz. A+

Voice Acting: I find it odd that Japanese seiyuu seem to have such a wide range of versatility for just about any kind of series. They can do action, comedy, drama, romance, all sorts of gernes. And AzuDai was no exception. There are several top-notch seiyuu including the likes of Tanaka Rie, Asakawa Yuu, and Hiramatsu Akiko (who did an awesome job as Yukari-sensei). The dialogue was hiliarous and the Osaka wordplay jokes were pretty clever (though nothing compared to Yakitate!! Japan). A

Overall: It just comes down to your preference of comedy. There's not a lot of slapstick humor in this like in a Ranma 1/2 or Excel Saga. It's a light-hearted comedy about girls in high school and some of their.. "unique" endeavors and life situations. You can watch it in a group or by yourself, and the cultural notes included on the R1 DVDs are a big help (about the only thing ADV can do right), so check it out if you want something easy.
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Azumanga Daioh - The Very Short Movie Good
It's basically a 6 minute retelling of interactions and events from the beginning of the series. It's funny, well animated, and in widescreen. It also retains much of the ambiance that made the series so incredibly light hearted. I gave it a Good, only because it was, well, Very Short.
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Banner of the Stars (TV) Masterpiece
Art: The art remains consistent from the previous series. Actually, I'd say it got a lot better. The colors are a little brighter and you see a lot more mechanical designs, with the continuing war and all. Lots of small things are drawn too such as debris, rockets, asteroids, and whatever else ended up floating around in space. The character designs themselves are a bit smoother in terms of outlining and is really step up from the already excellent artwork of its predecessor. A-

Animation: Taking place during that war (I forget what the actual name is), there's a lot more tactical, spaceship warfare. It's not super fast like a Gundam fight or anything, but use your imagination or something. While character movement is improved, they use a lot of hand-drawn and CG for the ship battles, which seems a little out of place. It's not particularly bad, but it's not good enough to warrant a significant upgrade in the animation when trying to decide whether or not it contributes to the overall work. B+

Music: Same intro and type of music used throughout, though I'm sure most if the BGM is either brand new or just revised from the first one. There aren't any particular melodies that stick out. But like the previous series, the music itself is perfect for every scene and fitting for the whole sci-fi theme the franchise carries. On another note, you get to hear Kawasumi-san sing the ending; beautiful acting AND singing! A+

Plot/Characters: This continuation was a bit more interesting in that it possessed a more dramatic flair in the sense of battle. Taking place three years after the war started in Crest, we find Jinto and Lafiel earning their recognition as officers of the Abh Empire and being assigned to an actual fleet. Their crew is a great cast of supporting characters and only helps further develop an already great chemistry (between Jinto and Lafiel) as well as provide a glimpse of other interesting characters. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the war theme mixed with the exploits of the two friends. Even in what seemed like the most dire situations, you can really get a feel for how important they are becoming to each other, which is great for what they're setting up in Banner II. On the other hand, I also enjoyed people like Capt. Spoor and the Bebous twins for their peculiar personalites and outlooks on the war itself. The relationship continues to develop and the war is just starting, making for some great sci-fi. A+

Voice Acting: On top of the already masterful performances of Lafiel and Jinto, we are introduced to some new supporting characters; crewmen Samson, Sobassh, Capt. Spoor of the (I forgot what number) fleet, and the Bebous brothers. Everyone of them does a great job for their roles in the series. Ohtsuka Akio and Saiga Mitsuki play the strong "conscience-type" of supporting characters for Jinto and Lafiel while aboard their ship. You know, the kind of experienced people you could go to for advice and that sort of thing. People like Capt. Spoor and the Bebous brothers, on the other hand, were a different kind of element altogether. Being top-notch military officials, their roles, while greater in the long run of the plot, but not so much as actual characters, prove to be quite the experience of what you'd expect in fleet commanders. The term "brothers of Spectacular Insanity" is no joke when you see them do their thing. It's a shame the series was so short because I'm a really big fan of Inoue Kazuhiro after hearing him as Kakashi. Great script once again, it really had me wanting more (thank goodness for a part II, hehe). A+

Overall: If you've seen this far, then I take it you liked Crest. I mentioned something about a subtley devloping romance, and you definitely see hints of that in Banner I. If you liked what you saw, then Banner II will definitely be a joy, as it includes the most dramatic part of the franchise I've seen to date. But I did like the more war-like aspect that they depicted in Banner I. It only continues to accentuate the theme of keeping/creating bonds of friendship to get you through tough times.
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Banner of the Stars II (TV) Masterpiece
Art: Art style is very similar here, but the coloring and outlining in particular are notch up. The hues seem brighter and more vibrant, adding slightly more depth resulting in more emotion during the sadder scenes. Mechanical and ship designs are very detailed and backgrounds are surprisingly lush for such one-dimensional locations (space and a prison island). A

Animation: As is the art, with less episodes and most likely a higher budget, the animation is much improved as well. CG blends well with 2D and movements look as normal as one would expect, even though most of the series is dialogue. All that matters is that it's good where it counts. A-

Music: Not much to say here. If you've seen the series this far, the music is essentially the same. The only difference I think I hear is better instrument quality, but I never had a problem with it anyway in the previous scores. A+

Plot/Characters: This particular incarnation really brings out the drama. As you witness Jinto and Lafiel's relationship becoming ever more intimate, it really shows in this one. I won't spoil the story, but it involves a rather emotional life and death situation that nearly had me in tears. It also revealed a side of Lafiel that I really enjoyed, not just because she was able to admit some of her feelings for Jinto, but also to display a certain aspect of the Abh that I find to be very intriguing (she basically gets pissed off and makes a serious threat, not something you see from her or any Abh for that matter). A+

Voice Acting: Again, not much to say here since most of the cast from Banner II is present. There were some new characters introduced for this one's story, and their seiyuu fit those roles well. I'm still in love with the depth of the characters and the dialogue, though. Kawasumi Ayako and Imai Yuuka are magic for this entire franchise. A+

Overall: As a continuance, this series delves much more into the growing relationship of Jinto and Lafiel. It gets really dramatic with the scenario they face and is a wonderful example of how love and hope can sort of overcome things while making you realize just how far you'd go to attain and protect it as well. But in the end, they still manage to give it a good science fiction plot and tie the whole war in at the same time. I hope part III will be as good.
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Banner of the Stars III (OAV) Good
Not much to add from my previous comments. I will, however, say the animation is the best I've seen out of all three. Of course it's an OAV and years after the last BotS, but hey, it works. My only complaint and the reason why I rated this a Good is because it's just so freaking short. 2 episodes and an approximate span of an hour and fifteen minutes simply does not do the franchise justice. The conflict build up, the character interaction, and the resolution that made the rest of the series so enjoyable is rushed, leaving you wanting more. In any case, all we can do is either wait for the novels or for more anime...
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Bartender (TV) Very good
Art: Very, very good effort from the artists in this one. Colors are bright and vibrant, bringing out a sort of dreamy-like essence to Edenhall and the people who sit at the bar. I was especially impressed with the detail to attention for each of the bottles in the background. Lighting is an important element as well in shifting focus around, and they did a commendable job on controlling the brightness and darkness for the given scenarios. Character designs were down to earth, and their facial expressions fit the mood of each story well. Computerized art was very clean in terms of illustrating the clarity and purity of the glasses and bringing out the individual colors of each drink. I've never even heard of this studio, but if they were running on a budget, I'd be amazed to see what they could do without any kind of restrictions. Stupendous effort overall for capturing such a unique calmness. A+

Animation: For a series that focuses more on narration and storytelling, there wasn't much animation to really talk about aside from the pouring of liquids and a few movements here and there. For what it's worth, much of the CG animation for the drinks is very well done, running with crystal clear fluidity that might even make you thirsty at some point. People on the other hand seemed a bit stiff at times. While not that bad, it's certainly still above average given today's standards. It seemed the CG animation was limited mostly for drinks or anything you might consider "special effects" (i.e. rain or running water). Human animation seemed to be hand drawn and still fairly well directed, but I was more so taken by the CG. A

Music: A very important element in capturing a somber and relaxed atmosphere (especially considering the particular setting here) is a good soundtrack. This soundtrack was excellent, using a wide variety of piano pieces and jazzy compositions. As melodramatic as some of the stories may seem, the music does well in capturing just the right atmosphere. The OP and ED songs are also quite catchy (as silly as some of the lyrics are for the OP). I was especially fond of the ED by Natural High and think it sends a nice little message for all those hopeless romantics out there. It was also intersting to see the ED sequence done in live action with the group and a bartender in the background preparing the featured drink. This is a very, very lax soundtrack and I recommend it for anyone wanting some nice, calming BGM to mellow out too as a background distraction. A

Plot/Characters: I'm always up for good drama. Whether it be good fictional writing or pseudo-slice-of-life anecdotes, it's easy to read a lot of life-enhancing qualities from any number of anime (or whatever medium you prefer). In this particular case, Bartender is a great collection of narratives illustrating the stresses and tribulations a lot of people can face (probably more so in Japanese culture, but they seem generally transferable to any industrialized society). The series uses a good mix of prose and anecdotal analogies though fiction (I think) and accounts of history through which certain drinks were created. In retrospect, a lot of these situations feel very enlightening and are good reminders/instances to apply to life. It sort of dictates how alocohol and the role of a bartender can be better made use of as opposed to the commonplace "hey, barkeep, gimme' a beer" attitude you usually see. However, not being a drinker myself, that was the one and only detterent in having me truly empathize for these peoples' stories. The concept in itself seemed like a great idea, though. A-

Voice Acting: Again, being a series that focuses on a lot of narration, there's quite a bit of dialogue. But being episodic and of such short length, there really aren't too many characters you can get accustomed to in that amount of time. But in any case, many of the recurring characters that you did get to hear did a great job. Takahiro Mizushima was excellent in playing a very knowledgable, sympathetic, yet humble bartender. I could feel the warmth and sincerity in his voice and he truly believed in the role (as a caring bartender) that he was given. Narration is also well spoken by Leo Morimoto, with a deep and gentle soothingness to his demeanor. It sort of reminded me of a higher-pitched and Japaense version of James Earl Jones. For such an episodic series, though, many of the one-shot characters did a commendable job, and I really enjoyed how it all played out. A

Overall: This series is very adult in the sense of how it's presented and the themes it contains. Personally, I thought it was a very interseting change-up from a lot of the generic shounen, mecha, or comedy titles I've seen recently. While not a title I'd recommend for everyone, I was able to appreciate the human qualities intricately weaved into the characters and their situations. If I were a drinker, though, I'm sure I'd like it much more. But since I never want to touch alcohol, I'm sort of left on the outside. Oh well, I still enjoyed it, regardless.
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Basilisk (TV) Very good
Art: The artwork for this series was very clean. I particularly enjoyed the color schemes and background illustrations. They did a great job capturing a fantastic, yet believable setting that was to illustrate the beauty of medieval Japan. Character designs were solid as well, aside from some of the male characters sharing similar face patterns, but their overall appearances (hair and costumes) helped in making up for that. I also like the fact that with this being a series full of ninja, not one of the main characters had the stereotypical design of one (dark colors and a mask). Not that I dislike those designs myself, but I felt it was unique in itself anyway. A-

Animation: GONZO has a reputation for wish-washy animation efforts, but they managed to deliver in this series. From the very first episode, they did a great job showcasing a good amount of fluidity within the action sequences, which looks really cool later on. However, there are times when they do some camera panning that doesn't really fit well with the atmosphere. If you're familiar with some of their previous works, they'll have a tendency to use static frames and just have a character move just their head or make some other kind of minuscule movements, but they didn't rely on it too much in the long run. This was definitely one of their better efforts A-

Music: I was a little mixed on what to rate this. There were some really good scores that utilized a lot of traditional Japanese instruments (taiko drums and shamisen, but then they'd use a lot of uninspiring synthesizer work during the more dramatic scenes. They weren't bad compositions by any means, but when playing string instruments (violins and such), I prefer the real thing over electronically copied sounds (and if that wasn't synth work, then they need better instruments). The OP was kind of catchy as well, but the ED songs felt too generically J-Pop-ish. B+

Plot/Characters: The first episode immediately made me interpret this as a sort of Ninja Scroll TV series (haven't seen the actual one, but I hear it stinks). I think the idea and concept of ninja and shinobi are very cool for their fantasy elements and all that, so it was fun to experience a whole TV series predicated by this genre. I won't go into detail about the plot itself since it would very difficult to not spoil the entire thing, but overall I felt it was a very solid series. It had fighting, drama, romance, and the series did a pretty good job in terms of explaining a majority of the characters without the heavy use of flashbacks. Granted there were a few around the middle and end of the series, but for 24 episodes, it's not bad at all. Also, I just want to point out that Tenzen was a really great villain (especially given his power...). A-

Voice Acting: Good effort by everyone. I'm not all that familiar with the cast aside from Fumihiko Tachiki (who unfortunately didn't play that big a role), but I found the efforts of everyone else to be well-acted and with a great deal of chemistry. If you watch the R1 DVDs, they include interview sessions with the cast, and it was interesting to hear their experiences of how to portray their characters from scratch and process of analyzing them through script research and so on. As I mentioned above, though, I thought Tenzen was a great villain, and Sho Hayami did a great job portraying that dastardly, yet subtle conviction of a truly evil person. And on a side note, I thought Kousuke Toriumi sounded a little like Tomokazu Seki at one point, and I was sort of baffled to find out it was neither him nor his sound-alike, Katsuyuki Konishi (who I thought was Seki in Mai-Otome at first). B+

Overall: It was a very entertaining series that manged to put a surprising amount of depth into the characters and story. My initial impression when I first saw it was that the series would turn out to be just one big ninja slug fest with little character development. But by series end, it had exceeded my expectations with some interesting plot twists and some well-directed flashbacks. If you're looking for a shonen series that's a little more dramatic, but with still a good amount of action, Basilisk is worth the watch.
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Bastard!! (OAV) Decent
Batman: Gotham Knight (movie) Very good
Battle Royale (live-action movie) Excellent
I found this to be quite an interesting movie. I heard it's supposed to parody what was, at the time of production, a problem of youth violence in Japanese society and thought it was a very gruesome, yet humorous way of showing it. Not to say I enjoy seeing high school kids killing each other in some twisted version of Survivor, but the message was powerful, only a bit over the top in its presentation. And while I enjoyed this movie immensely, I can already see the hordes and legions of soccer moms, devout Christians, and human rights activists asking for the head of whoever made this film, which would be sheer irony. This movie is certainly not for anyone, and if you're reading this and are actually within one of those groups of people, I didn't mean any harm. A good movie if you're into the more brutal representations of just how screwed up society is. If you've a weak stomach or don't like seeing kids get shot, stabbed, poisoned, do avoid this.
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BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (TV) Masterpiece
Art: The artwork carries a somewhat realistic charm to it. Obviously, it's still a cartoon, but just by looking at it you can tell what kind of presentation they're going for. I've not read the manga, but have seen the art and prefer the anime's style much more (get a load of those lips in the manga!). Coloring seems plain, and almost bland at some times, but I appreciate it as it helps to keep the series well-grounded. You just don't get a lot of that in most anime these days. A

Animation: More Madhouse consistency here. There's not a whole lot of action, and most of the fast movements are concentrated on the band playing. But boy, do they animate it well. Everything from guitar playing, to drumming, to Chiba jumping up and down blurting his lyrics has a very smooth flow. Not much else to say. If you're familiar with their work, then I don't really need to explain. A

Music: This is by far one of the most interesting scores. Being a series about a rock band, their songs basically are the soundtrack. But I must say the soundtrack ROCKS! If you're a fan of this genre of music, you'll be either find yourself, jumping, cheering, or at the very least tapping along with the upbeat tunes. And no, this is not typical J-rock. It's much more westernized (nothing like the actual Beck, of course), and has a bit of a rap to it (Linkin' Park-ish, I guess), but some great bass and electric guitar lines. This anime would practically be nothing without the music. It just adds those extra layers of depth to both the characters and story. A definite must-listen if you're a fan of rock. A+

Plot/Characters: I find this to be one of the best slice of life and "rags-to-riches" story. It's easy to relate to Koyuki and the others if you're young in age or just young at heart; the sweet little romance he has with Maho, the drive and determination to succeed and become great (be it music, or whatever you want to do), and just the overall experience of making some friends/special memories. Whatever it is that you observe, there's no doubt it all will most likely leave you feeling uplifted or just happy you were able to be a part of it. I found the entire cast of characters to be very fun and entertaining. I empathized on a lot of their struggles and roadblocks, and was especially elated in seeing how it all worked out. I guess you could almost call this a type of shounen series, but I think it's portrayed a little too realistically for that. Regardless though, I can wholeheartedly say this is a peculiarly enjoyable series for its mix of realism, drama, music, and overall fun. A+

Voice Acting: Excellent job by Namikawa Daisuke (my first time hearing him) as Koyuki. He carries himself very well and shows great progression in terms of maturity and and just overall development as a character. For some reason, I find it very easy to emp/sympathize for these adolescent male characters (probably because I still am one). But yes, great job on the part of everyone for making solid delivery during all the dramatic scenes. The only bogging factor here is the peculiar choice of inputting Engrish into the script. Not that it detracts from the plot, but some of it just sounds real silly. Still though, I'd have to admit some of these lines are better spoken than other seiyuu I've heard. All in all, it's not as bad as some make it out to be. A-

Overall: I'll say it again. If you like rock music, slice of life, or just want something fresh to watch, you should definitely give this series a try. It's heart-warming (not in the mushy way) and a whole lot of fun. It's very unique and unlike anything I've experience thus far and hope it's a title that will gain a lot more recognition than it currently has.
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Berserk (TV) Excellent
Berserk (TV 2016) Decent
Berserk (TV 2017) Decent
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King (movie) Very good
Bible Black (OAV) Very good
Bible Black Only (OAV) Good
Bible Black Origins (OAV) Decent
Bible Black: New Testament (OAV) So-so
Black Blood Brothers (TV) Not really good
Art: Character designs and coloring are pretty good. Backgrounds aren't anything special as they're no too detailed, but not too bland either. However, the one thing that's been bugging me even before I started watching the series was Jirou's hat. Good grief, that thing is hideous. The Vash/Alucard red color scheme is very noticeable as well and feels a bit hackneyed. I was also fooled by Mimiko's appearance and thought she was a guy at first, but oh well. That stupid hat, though! It's UGLY, and worthy enough for a full rating drop! B

Animation: Pretty fluid animation here. Much of it was hand drawn too, which is a big plus seeing as how many of the newer titles are beginning to stray towards CG now. The action scenes in particular had a good amount of detail, but the more minor movements like walking and talking seemed sluggish here and there, which is real surprising if you think about how the series could've been better budgeted for being only 12 episodes. No real complaints though, as it is still a solid overall production. B+

Music: Great stuff as usual by Sahashi Toshihiko. I'm especially inclined towards his works that involve some good amounts of brass and either guitar or strings. A few of the pieces reminded me of his other fabulous scores such as Angel Links, Full Metal Panic!, and Hunter X Hunter. He does a great job mixing in some action melodies and comedy tunes for an overall balance. The only thing about the music that didn't really impress me, though, were the opening and ending songs. The vocalist for the opening felt weak with instrumentals that remind me of the "GekiGanGar 3" theme from Nadesico. The ending song was nice (also in Korean), but it felt a little too calm and not melancholy enough, which I think it was trying to go for in the first place. But overall, it's a very good soundtrack. B+

Plot/Characters: Let's face it, the concept of vampire stories these days is that we expect bloody or horrifying epic tales full of action and drama. In BBB, we get some of that, but with an unexpected element; comedy. Needless to say, this is the first vampire anime I've seen with such light-hearted humor. While some of it actually did work in places, it still felt really out of place in other scenes. On top of that, being only 12 episodes, the story feels very rushed and disjointed. A lot of the flashback would've made for a pretty good mini arc around the middle of the series, and the present day stuff could've been explained a bit more slowly to allow better exposure. As for the characters, a lot of them lack depth. Jirou seems finicky in his desire to protect Kotarou while trying to be a nice guy, but at the same time very angsty. Kotarou represents the conscience of the innocent, and plays it pretty well. And Mimiko provides some of the comedy relief by use of her chemistry Jirou. The situational humor was not too bad; I like the blood sucking/virgin jabs, and the attitudes of scrutiny and sarcasm were okay as well. But then you get some of the stereotypical slapstick, which just gets old after a while. C+

Voice Acting: With the exception of Sakurai Takahiro, I'm not too familiar with the rest of the cast. But I'd say they did decent job. The innocence I mentioned about Kotarou is represented very well by Minami Omi. I usually find those kind of cute and innocent characters very annoying because they're pretty whiny, but she does a good job portraying him while managing not to overdue it. Nagata Ryoko brings a peculiar sense of cuteness to Mimiko. Design-wise, her character seems a little plain, kind of like the "girl next door," but I think her voice exemplifies it a bit further to make the character more significant. Unfortunately, much of the dialogue was not as impressive, which makes the acting suffer from its full potential a bit. B

Overall: Compared to other vampire series I've seen, I didn't know what to expect at first, but still liked anyway. The comedy threw me off, but there's also enough story and action to keep you interested. The only real deterrent is the series' short length. I wish it could've been twice as long to allow more backstory and character build-up, but it is what it is; a so-so vampire shounen series.
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Black Lagoon (TV) Excellent
Art: Stupendous job on the art. For a world that is so nitty-gritty, it's the perfect style to portray just how rough and beat up it is to be a mercenary. Not that I have any firsthand experience, but it was pretty cool nonetheless. Special props go to whoever came up with Revy's design. She's one hot anime vixen. Colors and shading were excellent for all the light/dark/flashy scenes, backgrounds were clean, and the details on weaponry were especially well-drawn. A

Animation: Typical Madhouse. Being a series with a lot of gunfights and action sequences, of course you'd expect a lot of the budget to spent on these scenes. There were no hiccups I noticed, and everything from bullet fire to hair waving in the wind was flashing and flapping with amazing attention to detial. My favorite parts are during the boat chases in episodes 2 and 3. Trust me, when I say "amazing detail" it's almost as fluid as some of the older anime movies I've seen. A+

Music: Aside from the rocking intro, I don't remember much of the BGM. I believe it consisted mostly of rock and techno tunes without any real sort of melody. It was hard to pay attention because of all the action and the loudness of gunfire/ricocheting bullets, so I can't really say. The ending theme was really slow, and actually a little depressing. But boy does that intro really get you pumped. A-

Plot/Characters: When first hearing of the premise, I knew right away it was going to be pretty fun. After finishing it, I came to the conclusion of putting in the Cowboy Bebop/Outlaw Star style of action/adventure. But the difference is that this particular series was a LOT more violent as well a realistic. Rock and Revy in particular have some of the best chemistry I've seen in a duo. They compliment each other and get into so many fights, but still manage to somehow let by gones be by gones. Some of it is actually quite hilarious, and I found the overall atmosphere to be a fun and exhilirating experience. I just wish it were longer, but thank goodness they're making a second season. A

Voice Acting: Includes some fine, though somewhat underused seiyuu. I'm familiar with their roles (and yes, some of them have been big), but it's nice change of pace to hear them playing such different characters from those roles I remember. Again, Revy is such a babe, and her laid-back, don't take sh*t attitude only adds to that already high sex appeal she possesses. Rock does a great job of transitioning from the wuss in the beginning to the more upfront, in-your-face sidekick. Sure, his "morals" can be interpreted as whining every now and then, but the contrast of his personality from Revy's makes from some good dialogue. Another thing I really liked about the script was the crude and dirty language. Lots of f-bombs and the like are a great choice of words for that nitty-gritty feeling I mentioned. The surprising part is that about half of it is English, then a the other half split between Engrish and Japanese. Still, though, it's real entertaining. A

Overall: It's a very fun series to watch and be a part of. It's episodic in nature, but who cares as long as it entertains. If you're a fan of the action/adventure genre, do not miss this series or its sequel. The characters will grow on you much like the Bebop and Outlaw Star crew and you'll be wanting more when it's all said and done.
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Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (TV) Excellent
Art: Being essentially a continuation of the series, the art retains a lot of the same depth and detail. Colors are clear and vibrant, character designs feel just as nitty-gritty and might've even improved on some of the technical designs. The only difference I might be able to point out is that the overall color tones are a tad darker (as is the mood of this season). Madhouse continues to impress. A

Animation: As much as I loved the animation in seasone one, it looks to have taken a slight drop in consistency. Maybe I'm just too accustomed to notice the difference or something, but it felt like some of the action sequences could've been smoother and more fluid. It by no means detracts from the overall entertainment, of course, but the minor step back really isn't that nocticeable. It's still better than a majority of other titles, and I give 'em props for still managing the great effort. A

Music: It's essentially the same music as season one, or so it felt. Lots of rock, techno, and synth/rave pieces. The only difference here is that the story progresses to Japan, so there's a little more diversity now. I still love that OP, regardless of the incoherent Engrish. Great action soundtrack. A-

Plot/Characters: The adventures of Black Lagoon Company continue. But in addition to shooting up places and encountering more kinds of mercs, this half of the series had a lot more emotion to it. If you're any bit familiar with Rock's character by now, it makes for great drama in the decisions he makes and the way he and the enemies view certain things. I'd also have to say the series gets a lot more violent in this half, so if you're looking for a great action/adventure title, you'll love Second Barrage. And a this point, I'm hoping for a third season. A

Voice Acting: This will be about the only flaw I see in the series. While the cast is great and all, a lot of the implied international presence really screws with the dialogue. Rock is implied to be speaking English to Revy and everyone else. But when they're in Japan, they're speaking Engrish (later understood as Japanese), and the Japanese are speaking Japanese, but still can't understand the Engrish-Japanese, thus leaving Rock to have to translate and those other characters to speak Engrish. A lot of the Engrish they speak ranges from decent to incoherent. But speaking strictly from their "Japanese" the script is actually quite good and delivery not a problem. I'm just hoping they figure out the linguistics for the dub, because I'll probably prefer that if it's good enough. A-

Overall: Plain and simple, if you like season one, watch season two. The plot and characters are so much more fun now that you've had 12 previous episodes to let it sink it. They need to show this on [adult swim] at some point.
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Black Rock Shooter (OAV) Not really good
Blade (TV) Good
Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody Decent
Bleach: The Sealed Sword Frenzy (OAV) Decent
Blood+ (TV) So-so
Art: Good job on the backgrounds, shading, and coloring, but the character and monster designs felt a bit lacking. They reminded me a bit of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, though for some reason I didn't really mind it as much as I did here. On top of that, everything else was very consistent for 50 episodes. B+

Animation: Good amount of detail when it was needed, particularly during the action sequences. It's not on the level of Madhouse or anything, but for a fairly new studio I don't know much about, they did a great job. It's not great, but better than decent. B+

Music: "Wow" is all I can say to describe it. Never would I imagine they'd get people like Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer to compose and produce music for anime. This is easily the most epic soundtrack I've heard in all of my years. If you're any kind of Hollywood fan, the music quality should be instantly recognizeable for that Zimmer aura. I can say with 100% assurance that not a single track is wasted. This definitely adds another dimension to the series and its presentation. The first three endings are a blast, and I really like the gospel-type sound of Nakashima Mika's Cry No More. Honestly, though, you could probably put this soundtrack on any Hollywood movie and have a major success. It exudes everything from action, to drama, to some melancholy happiness, and just what you'd suspect in a grand scale series. Emphatic A+

Plot/Characters: With 50 episodes, there's quite a bit of room for plot or character development. Unfortunately, it takes a while to get into it (19 episodes) and does a terrible job resolving it towards the end (around 42+). If not for that span of episodes in between, which I felt was grade A action/adventure with sprouts of drama in between, this series had SO much potential in going places. It's a real shame how it builds up extremely well and just really bogs down to very lethargic pace that leaves you scratching your head wondering what went wrong. Many of the characters feel one-dimensional at first, and most of them are. There's somewhat of a transition into the last arc of the series, but like I said, the writing just goes downhill a few episodes into that making it one of THE biggest dissappointments in recent memory. B-

Voice Acting: Not too many high profile seiyuu I'm familiar with aside from Kosugu Juurouta and Nakata Jouji, but they play pretty minor parts. Saya was okay, but her battle screams and such sound real unrefined. I also didn't like Kai for the longest time because of how whiny his character was, but I got used to it. Haji did well in portraying the silent (and utterly boring) Chevalier that he is. Although it ticks me off a bit that he'd repeat the whole "if that is Saya's wish" line over and over so many times. I mean, jeez, at least diversify the dialogue. As a whole, everyone sounded decent enough. I just wish the character had a little more depth. B+

Overall: It was such an awesome series from episode 20+ until around the low 40s. I could've eaisly ranked this as one of my favorite action/adventure titles ever, regardless of the slow start. But thanks to some very bad writing towards the end and a not so good ending, I just feel cheated by the way things turned out. I would recommend this soley for those good episodes, though. Just make sure you have something else really good to watch in your lineup afterwards because the last few episodes might leave a bad taste in your mouth.
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Blood: The Last Vampire (movie) So-so
Blue Exorcist (TV) Decent
Boogiepop Phantom (TV) Very good
(The) Boy and The Beast (movie) Excellent
Bubblegum Crisis (OAV) Very good
Burst Angel (TV) Weak
Art: Good if you like fanservice, as the a lot of the girls had had very detailed nipples. Not really good if you're looking for something fresh or just amazingly consistent. The CG and mech designs are also very jagged and lacking in any kind of uniqueness and felt very uninspiring to me. Coloring and brightness were pretty clean, though, sporting a nice contrast to some of the darker-toned plotlines (if you want to call them that). Overall, I've seen much better efforts from Gonzo, but this one was okay. B

Animation: As a series with a mix of 2D and CG fighting sequences, I expected a little better since this actually post-dated the ever-revered Last Exile. Unfortunately, a lot of the animation rages from mediocre to sloppy. Nothing in particular stood out, but nothing was all that bad. The animation was just as generic as the characters. Well, probably better than the characters... B-

Music: The only positive I could find in the series. The music, though heavily relying on synth, has a good mix of western rock and techno beats, particularly the piece with the acoustic guitar playing as the melody (Ryoute ni Juu). I also like the catchy opening with it's mix of J-pop and the brief tapdance intro. Overall, it's a soundtrack with some very good sound quality and just the right tune for any scenario. B+

Plot/Characters: Bland. The characters are very generic and don't have much of a buildup at all. Normally, you'd expect someone to have an intersting backstory or maybe share a cute relationship with another character, but the series just feels too dicey and unfocused. The action is very quick and resovled on an epsiodic basis, leaving very little time to let thing sink in or develop into something that will captivate the viewers. The comedy is cheap and usually relies on situational humor to fit the archetypical characters. And even in the end, you don't get any kind of definitive conclusion (as common with most Gonzo titles). Oh, and that Osaka girl really got on my nerves... C

Voice Acting: A fairly notable cast. But since the characters were so bland, it's difficult to every really get a grasp on any one performance. I didn't like Jo's voice at all, as her seiyuu is much too scruffy sounding. I've seen that type of character before and can think of better ways to portray it. Other than that, everyone is pretty average. C+

Overall: I've seen generic and campy titles before, but this one just didn't connect with me. I thought it had some really good potential, but the story just never became cohesive enough. Too many of the scenarios just threw the whole thing out of whack, and ended up splicing what might've been a very intersting series into something that's a rental at best. It lacks any seriousness, even during the "serious" parts because everything just happens to work out for the better every time anyway. Not Really Good, indeed.
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Buso Renkin (TV) Very good
Casshern Sins (TV) Excellent
Chobits (TV) Very good
Claymore (TV) Good
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV) Excellent
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (TV) Good
Cowboy Bebop (TV) Masterpiece
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Excellent
Coyote Ragtime Show (TV) Not really good
Art: I liked the character designs. They're not as realistic and gritty as Black Lagoon, but are more real than Cowboy Bebop. I'm especially pleased that most of the 12 Sisters are at least discernable in some way. The coloring is very good and helps bring about some of that realism I was mentioning. About the only thing I found weird was Swamp's afro. It reminded me a little too much of a grayless Don King. But other than that, it's some solid artwork. B+

Animation: I've never heard of this production group (ufotable), but they do a decent job here. There were a lot of action sequences in the beginning that had their fair share of gunfire, body movements, and the like. It felt like they slipped a little during the middle of the series, but it picks up to back normal towards the end. Overall, it's nothing special that I can't see or have seen from other companies. B+

Music: If you asked me what particular tracks I liked, I honestly couldn't tell you. Not to say the music was any bad, but I was paying so much attention to the plot and characters that I just never really payed any attention. I will, however, compliment the catchy opening song. It has a somewhat jazzy rock feel to it and reminds me of a song I heard on some old '80s spy movie once. B

Plot/Characters: I wish it were a little longer and more developed. Mister felt like a real intersting character, and his shady past seems like it would've made for some fun flashback arcs. His crew didn't particularly strike me as a group of standout characters, but they compliment his personality pretty well. The whole 12 Sisters thing was kind of cool. I've always been one to enjoy stories involving big groups of assassins/gangs/professional killers or whatever. It's a shame they also didn't develop Angelica much more. I thought she was pretty sexy and deserved more exposure (from a writing perspective). The overall plot was a tad predictable towards the end, but it was a fun ride. C+

Voice Acting: No performances in particular really captivated me, with the exception of Ohtsuka Akio. His deep and scruffy voice added a decent depth of maturity to Mister's character. He's a very level-headed and cool fellow that knows how to keep things under control (Mister, that is). Ohtsuka does a great job balancing the more passionate and caring, almost father-like figure, of Mister while also maintaining a dictative, no nonsense kind of attitude that's somewhat similar to his Battou. I was a bit disappointed, though, that they had cast Seki Tomokazu, but gave him such an insignificant role. That's one guy whose talent should not be wasted. The dialogue was mediocre overall, and no one really got enough screen time to really punctuate on any of the characters. It's a shame, because they had a good cast lined up. B

Overall: It's a short and fun action/adventure series within the genre of titles like Bebop, Lagoon, and Outlaw Star, but lacks any kind of depth or unique quality in presentation that would make it a real big standout. If it were longer, it might've been able to achieve this, but I liked it anyway. If you're a fan of those other series I mentioned, do give this a try. Though don't expect anything all that specutacular.
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Crest of the Stars (TV) Masterpiece
Art: This is a somewhat good example of how artwork can get the job done in the right kind of environment. For a science fiction series, you'd expect some freaky looking extra terrestrials or something of that nature, but fortunately, we're treated to a lot of very humanoid-looking designs that really help bring out a more general sense of humanity through humans and Abh alike. Lafiel and Jinto's eyes were especially well drawn to show their gentle sides, which eventually developed into the relationship of their's that is ever so famous throughout the franchise. Colors and outlining might seem light for some, but I found it to be a great fit for the setting. I'd almost call it nitty-gritty, but I mean it more in a elegant way (and I'm too lazy to use a thesaurus right now). Mechanical designs were decent. The whole concept gives off a bit of a Star Trek: TNG feel. B+

Animation: Again, being a series that I feel is primarily based on artwork, music, character interaction, and dialogue, I don't place much importance on animation. Get to the animation, though, it was fairly consistent, but isn't anything to brag about. It works where it's needed and I can say none of it felt out of place or awkward. If it were better, I'm sure the spaceship battles could've been a lot more thrilling, but they were fairly short scenes anyway. B

Music: In the spirit of my Star Trek: TNG reference above, I love the music in this series as well. A lot of brass and strings are always good for making an epic score, and there's no shortcoming of this in the Seikai series. Most of this feeling comes straight out of the intro and sort of carries the rest of each episode by setting a the whole exploration/discovery theme I love so much about ST:TNG. Granted, the Seikai series is more about drama and character interaction, but if you're a Trekky, you'd know TNG is just about the same in a lot of cases. A+

Plot/Characters: Hm.. where to start. For only 13 episodes, there are a lot of things I'd like to mention, but I've been typing so much I'm afraid I'll forget most of it. Getting to the plot/characters though, I have to say this (the first installment) was the beginning something real special. A tale of war outbreak and even betrayal of sorts if you watch the first 2 episodes, then gradually developing into a story of friendship (Jinto meets Lafiel) and their adventures, explorations, and experiences together. I wouldn't say it was heartwarming (that's too mushy), but I got a real sense of amazement and subtle fullfilment from seeing those two go through all sorts of events. Or maybe I'm just subconciously wishing for the same kind of relationship? I'm an only child, so I'm used to it, but I like to observe this kind of self-discovery and enlightenment among other people whether it be in fiction or reality. Both Jinto and Lafiel are very likeable characters, and I commend Morioka Hiroyuki for writing such a splendid story. A+

Voice Acting: Being a series that relies on a lot of dialgue, it'd be nice to have some seiyuu that are up to the task, and it's pulled of perfectly by the likes of Kawasumi Ayako and Imai Yuuka. I was first introduced to Imai-san through the Saber Marionette series and really liked her role as Otaru. It proved she had a flair for the dramatic and it shows very well in the Jinto's character. Her voice was as gentle, caring, and genuinely honest in all of her lines. And Kawasumi-san, wow. I believe this was the first time I'd heard her, and she has spectactular radiance to her voice. It's not soft and cute like Noto Mamiko per say, but it has its own sense of beauty in just the way she carries herself. It's disciplined, yet innocent and very sincere (well, just like Noto-san, I guess, but without the softness ;p). But yes, I love that tone in her voice and anyone that should ever dub over her better be pretty darn good herself, but I'm hesitant to even think she has an English equivalent. The dialogue itself is great in implying very subtle hints of romance in between all of the war stuff going on at the same time. It all makes for an excellent sci-fi drama. A+

Overall: I seriously would not recommend this for everyone. As I said about two or three times already, the series is very dialogue-heavy and those of you who can't stand lots and lots of talk will probably not like it. There is a war present, yes, but the focus was always on the relationship of Jinto and Lafiel and the theme of "how friendship conquers all" and how it will eventually turn into love, but that's way later. If you like Star Trek:TNG-ish kind of drama, you'll like this a lot.
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Cromartie High School (TV) Very good
Darker than Black (TV) Excellent
Darker than Black - Kuro no Keiyakusha: Gaiden (OAV) Excellent
Death Billiards (movie) Good
Death Note (live-action movie) Good
Death Note (TV) Excellent
Art: Not too shabby. But then again, it's Madhouse, right? I liked the color scheme they used, as it has a nice dark feel to it, but the character designs didn't seem as sharp as the manga's. There was also some inconsistency in the way they were drawn, which normally doesn't bother me, but I actually read all of the manga first before watching an anime for once, so it seemed a bit more noticeable. However, the artwork is still very, very good by today's standards in comparison to a lot of other titles. A-

Animation: With a majority of the series being dialogue-driven, there's not a lot of room for animation, but boy did they do a great job on the notebook sequences! I've never seen people write stuff down so.. dramatically. On top of that, the series also had some excellent camera work, which only added to the drama and overall mystique of the unfolding plot twists. Generally, the art is very consistent, but not without faults. The frame rate is noticeably lower on the less important scenes, looking choppier than it needed to be. But at the time of production, I believe they were working on several simultaneous, so it's not surprising there'd be an occasional drop in quality at some point. A-

Music: Epic! Well, not so much for Hideki Taneuchi's compositions, which were cool and rocking in themselves. Actually, I rather liked his mix of rock, pop, and synth work. In particular, I really like L's theme with piano and progression into electric guitars. But good God, after hearing his work in Ouran Host Club, Yoshihisa Hirano is already among my favorite composers. This man clearly has a background in classical and orchestral music going all the way back to, at least, the Baroque period. His compositions in Death Note make up for well over half of the drama and suspense, in my opinion. With a powerful chorus and bone-chilling string work for Kira's theme, this is by far my favorite aspect of the anime adaptation and definitely worth a purchase of the soundtrack alone. A+

Plot/Characters: After reading the manga, I was completely blown away by the detective work and writing style. Plot twists just seem to keep stacking on top, one after another, till the very end, making for some masterful dialogue and scenarios. However, as much as I love the manga's ending, the anime failed in achieving the same effect. Not only did it feel watered-down, but they also omitted many of the subtle details from the second half of the series, making it feel a bit rushed. I won't spoil the ending of the anime, but it definitely left me unsatisfied, and I'm still shaking my head even now just thinking about it, which is difficult to understand since the manga had already finished well before the anime ever started. Oh, well. It's still a pretty accurate adaptation, aside from that. A

Voice Acting: As was mentioned about this series being very dialogue-heavy, one would expect a top-notch cast. And thankfully, we get just that. Mamoru Miyano delivers a flawless performance as a very suave, manipulative, and cunning Light Yagami, varying his voice between sinister and "the good son on the side of justice." Meanwhile, Kappei Yamaguchi portrays a surprisingly commendable role as L, being serious, yet in his own way, also very quirky, which is the epitome of his character. I was especially impressed with the supporting cast as well. Having made the voices up in my head while reading the manga, I didn't really know what to expect after I had been keeping up with both mediums at the same time, but a majority of the voices I had imagined were actually quite close to the seiyuu casted in the anime. I'm hoping the English dub will sound as great when the series eventually comes out in North America. But being from my favorite group, Ocean-Vancouver, I'm sure I won't be disappointed. A+

Overall: I find the franchise to be a very interesting take on the shounen genre. Instead of the usual themes like friendship, teamwork, and "becoming stronger to overcome obstacles," Death Note is, on the contrary, a fairly dark world and battle of wits and intelligence, rather than physical strength like most other titles, making it very unique. I highly recommend this for both, shounen fans and those looking for a cleverly written story of intricate style and execution, in a most literal sense.
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Demon City Shinjuku (OAV) Good
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (TV) Excellent
Devil May Cry (TV) Good
Devilman (OAV) Good
DEVILMAN crybaby (ONA) Excellent
Dimension W (TV) Decent
Disgaea (TV) Decent
Doomed Megalopolis (OAV) Decent
Dr. Stone (TV) Very good
Dragon Ball Super: Broly (movie) Very good
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (movie) Good
Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly (movie 11) Weak
Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound (movie 9) Decent
Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming (movie 10) Decent
Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan (movie 8) Good
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (movie 5) Good
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (movie 1) Decent
Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (movie 12) Decent
Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug (movie 4) Not really good
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' (movie) Very good
Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13! (movie 7) Good
Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks (special) Good
Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler (movie 6) Good
Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (movie 3) Decent
Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest (movie 2) Good
Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon (movie 13) Decent
Drifters (TV) Excellent
ERASED (TV) Masterpiece
Ergo Proxy (TV) Masterpiece
Art: First and foremost, I love Real Mayer's character design. I've never really paid attention to gothic-themed girls, but if this is what people claim it to be, then it's a pretty hot theme. Her facial features and hair just go so well together. And those eyes, wow! Such alluring eyes that I can only call beautiful or any other kind of synonomous term. But getting to the overall artwork, I really like how dark this series is. Lots of black, grey, and haze. However, it's all surpisingly vibrant for such a desolate setting. My only complaint is that Real's design seems a bit inconsistent at some parts. That's a real downer too because I think she deserves better. A

Animation: From the animators of Champloo comes another excellent animating effort. What awed me in Champloo was the action, but aside from the first episode, there wasn't a whole lot to animate here. For what it's worth, though, the animation is still miles better than some of the more generic titles from semi-big or even big-big name companies. I only wish if they had cut corners on the animation that they would've transferred some of it the art. A-

Music: Great mix of synth, orchestral, and vocals. For a stylish and very murky series, the soundtrack uses a variety of drums, strings, synth work, and the occasional Gregorian chant. Ike Yoshihiro does an excellent job in setting the mood and building an atmosphere that is highly dramatic, yet somewhat melancholy. Not melancholy to the point of depressing, making it unbearable to listen to. It just gives off this very unique vibe befitting of a dark and desolate sci-fi drama. And of course you can't go wrong with Radiohead in the ending credits. A-

Plot/Characters: Yeah, now this is the aspect I enjoy the most. Much of the premise didn't make sense to me before I started watching the series, but it all turned out to be one heck of a ride. Reminiscent of the original Ghost in the Shell, a little I, Robot, and End of Evangelion this series started off feeling like a potentially good science fiction drama. But to my surprise, they threw in some masterfully written psychological scenarios and symbolism. I won't go into detail so as not spoil things, but this material covered a few particular aspects I found to be just plain out fascinating; the Anthropic Principal, a case of Dissociateve Identity Disorder (aka Multiple Personalities), and the notion of death/rebirth within a life cycle. I found these episodes and plot points to be absolutley stunning in their presentations and really respect when people can effectively portray such complex ideas so smoothly. The characters had a subtle, but very good chemistry as well. Episode 16, as bland as it may feel at first, is a prime example of how to display that subtltie in a most entertaining fashion. It's one of the best I've seen in portraying the kind of friendship (and intimacy of sort) that really makes you feel good about the entire concept. Big A+

Voice Acting: At this point, I've only heard it in Japanese. While I prefer most anime in this language for aesthetic purposes, I sometimes tend to lean towards English dubs pending on the cultural contexts. For the most part, though, the Japanese cast does an excellent job in portraying their characters and creating a certain repport with one another. I'm a little iffy on just how things should be pronounced, given that most of the names aren't even close to Japanese, so I'll reserve final judgement until I've had a chance to hear both tracks for a better comparison. But for now, the seiyuu cast is excellent until proven otherwise. A

Overall: I get this feeling that series is somewhat underappreciated, licensed or not. I would hope my small review here sparks a little interest for you to at least rent it and experience the greatness that is Ergo Proxy in anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital. I can't really compare it to any other anime aside from GitS, though I've heard many people state that this series is also very similar to the live action movie Blade Runner, (haven't seen it myself). But if you like science fiction drama in dark, desolate worlds and with a little psychology/rhetoric on the side, I highly recommend you check this out.
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Escaflowne: The Movie Very good
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (movie) Excellent
Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (movie) Excellent
Excel Saga (TV) Very good
Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle (special) So-so
Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf (special) Weak
Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture Excellent
Art: Excellent character designs. I especially like the area around peoples' eyes. Everything from retina, to eye shape, to eyebrows and lashes are very well drawn and appeasing. Yes, even the guys (well, except for Geese). Character designs as a whole were also well portrayed. I'm a big fan of the games and feel everyone in the group got their just dues. Coloring is nice and vibrant, backgrounds add a nice eclectic touch with all the traveling they do, and brightness is at just the right level for that theatric feel. A

Animation: For a 1994 production, I feel it's very good. As you'd expect in a fighting game anime, there are lots of fast motions and heavy hitting. The animators are adequate in making a lot of the action very fluid in the high-paced scenes and detailed in the slow motion sequences. I'd even say it's close to imitating that particular Madhouse quality I enjoy so much in action/shounen titles. A

Music: When I first watched this as a rental from Blockbuster, I was still fairly new to anime and was amazed by how everything flowed together so well. Being the young kid that I was, fighting and violence was of peak interest, and this title certainly helped in satisfying a good part of that. But one of the really special qualities at that time was the music. I'd never pay much attention to the scores of anything, but the soundtrack sounded so cool and epic during my initial viewing that it just blew me away. Because of this score, I became a big fan of Sahashi Toshihiko for years to come. A very good mix of orchestral and synthesizer to bring out a good deal of emotion whether it be during the action, comedy, or dramatic scenes. I just wish they had produced an actual OST CD. A+

Plot/Characters: Reading this, I know most of you will probably burn me or find fault in my beliefs, but I sincerely enjoy the heck out of this movie. Like I said, I'm a huge fan of the game, and I feel it does a tremendous job capturing just the right personality and subtle qualities of each character. It has action, drama, and romance with a great sense of appeal and character chemisty that is simple to understand. Of course it won't make as much sense unless you actually ARE a fan of the franchise, but that's just me talking. Great, great movie for all that it's worth. I will never get tired of it. A

Voice Acting: This is one of the few anime I'll occassionally switch to English because I'm a big supporter of Ocean. I practically grew up hearing them in DBZ, Gundam Wing, and Ronin Warriors. But the Japanese cast is just as great, almost better actually, if not for Japanese Terry's lackluster attack screaming. I never got a sense that he really aquired the right mentality or voice inflection to portray the older Bogard brother. His lines were okay, but boy was his voice absent of any intensity during fights. I also thought Matt Hill's younger voice for Laocorn made for a better, more rebellious villain. I love Shinichiro Miki and all, but given Laocorn's young and brash character, he just sounded to gentlemanly, and Laocorn defintiely does not act like a gentelman throughout this picture. A-

Overall: This is one of my favorite action flims. It's short, simple, and contains content that I'm very familiar with. Production values are excellent, and I'd recommend this to any general shounen fan. If you're as into the Fatal Fury and King of Fighters games like myself, I'd recommend you have it in your collection. If you like the games, but don't like this, then I don't consider you a fan of the franchise to begin with. It really does capture the characters and atmosphere with great detail.
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Fate/stay night (TV) Very good
Art: Just excellent values here. The coloring in particular is rich and vibrant on all of the characters, yet dark in all the right places and backgrounds to give an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. I've not played any of the games, but I've seen pictures and it would seem Studio DEEN got all the character just right. I espeically like Saber and Archer's designs. Saber with her elegant armor, blond hair, green eyes, and beautifully mesmerizing figure are sight for sore eyes. Archer exudes a hip and stylish (I guess would be the words) aura with his spikey white hair and gothic looking outfit (thought I've never been one for black leather pants). A lot of the artwork is very well done and maintains the high standards I've come to expect from Studio DEEN these last few years. A

Animation: Much like the art, the animation values are just as high. The animation really shows during scenes of intense action, particularly when there's a lot of wind or energy resonance (which essentialy creates bursts of wind, I guess). There's also a little CG for special effects, which I feel does a pretty good job mixing into some of the 2D artwork. I found very little to complain about in this deparment and am glad they were able to maintain this level of quality for the whole 24 episodes. A

Music: As illustrious as Kawai Kenji has been in both anime and live-action soundtracks, I never gave much attention to his work. But having the chance to listen to this soundtrack by itself, I feel bad that I didn't pay as much attention prior to. The sound quality has a very natural feel for the most part, but even the synthesizer pieces sound excellent as well. In this score, he uses a wide variety of instrumental sounds and that synth work to compose a some very majestic/dramatic/captivating melodies and vocals. My favorite tracks would have to be Unmei no Yoru (the main melody and Saber's theme) and the battle music (when fighting Gilgamesh). Oh, and super job on the clarinet. I don't feel like enough composers use that these days. A

Plot/Characters: This is one of my favorite fantasy titles. The mystique of the servants and their relationships to their masters, the Holy Grail plotline, and the way it all interconnects is a nice little story for those who are into magic/fantasy. It's also nice to see the main lead roles being shared by both a male and female protagonist who are actually able to fight together (not on common terms, of course, but fighting to achieve or protect, nonetheless). A lot of people give Shirou flack for his occassional whininess and inability to really do anything, but I feel his presense and interaction is essential in truly understanding and ultimately building Saber's character. It's a very subtle romantic relationship, really, and I feel it's a very pleasant one to see develop. The ending was a tad weak and predictable, but I still enjoyed a majority of the series greatly. I just wish I could at least play the games to get a full understanding (when someone decides to license it or release some kind of English patch). A-

Voice Acting: Great cast of seiyuu here. One of my all-time favorites in Kawasumi Ayako plays the main female lead as Saber, with one of me growing favorites in Sugiyama Noriaki as Emiya Shirou. A lot of people complain that his voice is very whiny, but I think his tone is well-suited for the conflicted, yet stubborn and bull-headed kind of protagonists. It's apparent by his actions and the script that he fits this role to a T, and I especially liked the emotion he puts into his screams. As for Kawasumi, I've practically been in love with her acting ever since I heard her do Lafiel in the Seikai. Her very disciplined and stoic, yet gentle voice in parrallel to Sugiyama is also well-suited for subtley self-conflicting characters. Her uneasiness in coming to resolution with her own emotions and so on are great in developing her as both her historic counterpart and as the woman, albeit a coy one, that's simply falling in love. Er.. enough about that before I spoil the plot... A

Overall: This is a great series and I highly recommend it for those who are into fantasy or feudal/magic-themed titles. The story makes for a nice adventure with some equally enjoyable character development on the side. Excellent production values and voice acting all make it meld into a very watchable experience.
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Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower (movie) Excellent
Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel II. lost butterfly (movie) Excellent
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (movie) Good
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) Excellent
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV 2) Excellent
Fate/Zero (TV) Excellent
Fate/Zero (TV 2) Excellent
Fighting Spirit (TV) Masterpiece
Art: While the character designs may seem gaudy and a little too masculine for some, I absolutley love them. The boxing world is obviously a gritty and hard-nosed life, and it only makes sense to see all of these clean cut and buffed up boxers (until they get beat up of course). The only thing I might complain about in this aspect, though, is some of the lighting. When watching the series, I got a sense that the screen seemed a bit hazy at times, but it could just be because of the fansub quality. Being a Madhouse production, however, I'm sure if I were to watch it again and pay more attention (it's hard not to pay attention the characters and music), then I'll probably bump the rating to perfect. I especially want to commend the bumps, bruises, blood, and facial expressions on the fighters during their matches. It's done in excellent detail and really gets you into the fight. A

Animation: As I mentioned above, this is a Madhouse production. And whenever you have Madhouse, you're sure to have some quality animation. Spanning 76 episodes, a TV special, and an OAV, Hajime no Ippo (yes, the actual name and not the lame English title "Fighting Spirit") really stands out in being able to sustain such fluid motion and the intricacies of boxing movements. A lot of shounen series these days learn to cut corners by reusing footage or getting real cheap during certain scenes. In Ippo, however, I'm friggin amazed at the sheer amount of consistency and work put into maintaining the same level of animation throughout the entire thing. While it's not movie or Kyoto Animation quality stuff, I definitely give props to the animators for putting for the effort and presenting to the audience such a wonderful series. Awesome, awesome stuff. A

Music: Ah, Tsuneo Imahori. Ever since I found out he and Yoko Kanno were good friends around the time of Trigun and Cowboy Bebop, I've always kept an eye out for anything this guy works on. Needless to say, this easily my favorite solo Imahori project out of them all. If you know or are familiar with any of his work, you'll absolutely love this soundtrack. His mix of rock guitars, drums/percussion, synth, and a little bit of woodwinds is amazingly addictive to listen to and really gets you into the mood of cheering for the series. All of the OP and ED songs are also very well done. While full of some odd Engrish, the two OPs by Shocking Lemons have a very upbeat and enthusiastic rock tune. The ED songs are a bit more mellow and do a good job letting you sort of reflect and think about the characters a bit. OP #3 by Imahori is also very reminiscent of his Trigun OP, H.T.. I swear listening to some of the sountrack while exercising is a must. If you get into the characters and even hear the slightest bit of Imahori's work, you'll want to train just as hard as Ippo and company. A+

Plot/Characters: To be honest, I was never a fan of boxing. I saw a bunch of half naked guys on TV punch each other until the ref decided the winner or someone got knocked out. I saw the original Rocky a looong time ago, but don't remember much of it. If I had to compare Ippo to something, though, I'd say it's literally the Rocky of anime (then again, I don't know of any other boxing anime). It's a great story of wimpy to manly, rags to riches, or whatever other analogy you want to make. From Ippo's first step to getting bullied, developing a love for boxing, and just being the really positive and likeable guy he is, the series is just a very feel good story with a cast of characters you can empathize or laugh at for the pure and utter enjoyment of it all. This is why I love shounen series -- for their positive outlook on things and illustrating that notion through great storytelling and entertaining characters. Every episode left me wanting to see the next, very similar to GTO (Wataru Takagi is in this, by the way). If you're any kind of shounen fan or just want to see a fun and inspiring story (would work especially well in a group viewing, in my opinion) please give Hajime no Ippo a chance and tell everyone you can about it. A+

Voice Acting: As I mentioned about really enjoying the story and characters, much of it due to the tremendous effort on voice acting. Kouhei Kiyaus is the bright and cheerful Ippo, capturing the innocence of youth, but doing a great job portraying his maturity as the series progresses. He sounds like "that little guy" that always seems to be present in a group of friends that no matter how much people pick on or make fun of him, he somehow remains the one and ever-so-positive center of attention. His supporting cast his also complimented by various talents such as Tomokazu Seki as the quiet, conflicted, yet friendly rival in Miyata. And Ippo especially has a great chemisty with his gym buddies. Rikiya Koyama as Takamura plays the mentor/senior above Ippo, and it's hilarious how he keeps making penis jokes. Wataru Takagi and Keiji Fujiwara also compliment the comedy relief with their respective roles as Aoki and Kimura. And of course there's Issei Futamata as Ippo's trainer, Kamogawa, who really plays that role to perfection. If you ever wanted an old guy to look up to that gives tough love, this would be the perfect voice for that kind of fellow. There are so many supporting characters I wish I could comment on, but take my word that it's truly an amazing cast that you'll grow to love. A

Overall: At this moment, Hajime no Ippo is my second favorite shounen series only to Kenshin. The characters are a joy, the drama and comeptitive spirit of boxing and life is enthralling, and if you like any of these aspects in your shounen titles, I guarantee you'll like this if you put in the time to give a try.
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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (movie) Very good
Flame of Recca (TV) Weak
Art: Had some very good artwork during the important fight scenes, but was generally very bland on everything else. A lot of the villains had some generic designs as well, and Mori (Kurei's "father", good God. I've never seen such a lame-ass villain. All you'd have to do is look at his face once and you'd laugh your butt off at just how stupid he looks. For that alone, I'd lower the art rating two notches. C+

Animation: Much like the art, the animation values are very good when they count, but for the most part are very inconsistent. The important fight scenes are animated very well, but the cutting corners approach is EASILY noticeable. Not to mention the extremely cheap CG during the dragon summons. Animation is usually not that important, but when you give so many off and on efforts, it really bogs the overall presentation, which is a shame because they did some of those scenes with a good amount of detail. C+

Music: Awful. I love Honma Yusuke's work in GTO but the synth-work in Recca is terribly out of place and cheesy. Much of it is too upbeat and not very fitting to the mood at all. To make matters worse, the opening sounds very fruity totally killing the idea of what should be cool fights, ninja mystique, and the rest should be like. D

Plot/Characters: As I was watching it, I thought it had a lot of potential. But the planning, writing, and execution are horrible. It felt so out of pace because of how things would start off real fast, then slow down, then speed up, then speed WAY up at the end. And my biggest gripe besides the music and bland characters designs is the one-dimensional characters. Everyone from the good guys and bad guys are very shallow and lack just about any kind of depth next to what you're given through the course of events. I didn't find myself rooting for any of the heroes much of the time and the villains feel very stereotypical and uninspiring. Regardless of those faults, though, ninja are still a cool concept and liked some of the madougu aspects as well. I may look into the manga someday in hopes of getting a fuller story, since they also seem to rush the ending. C

Voice Acting: Good cast of seiyuu here. This is probably the only thing that stands out to me from anything else. Kousuke Okano does a great job playing a very firey Recca. His voice has a lot of passion, energy, and a certain spunk that exudes confidence. But aside from his performance, the supporting cast just doesn't get enough screen time or good scripting to create a well-molded chemistry or anything. Akiko Hiramatsu is pretty spunky as Fuuka, but something about the atmosphere and presentation just never really brings out the cast's full potential, which is real waste because there are a lot of seiyuu I really like on that list. C+

Overall: Cool concept, but it feels very rushed and ill-paced. There's also a surprising amount of fanservice, though I'm sure there are much better shounen series with the like. I'm a tad eager to see if the manga expands the story a little further and with more detail. But for the moment, this is a below average shounen series. And trust me, I can just about always find the positives of these titles. It's unfortunate that this one wasn't handled properly.
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FLCL (OAV) Excellent
Full Metal Panic! (TV) Very good
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory (TV) Excellent
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TV) Excellent
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (OAV) Very good
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV) Excellent
Full Moon o Sagashite (TV) Bad
Fullmetal Alchemist (TV) Decent
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (TV) Excellent
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa Very good
Fushigi Yugi (TV) Very good
Fushigi Yugi (OAV) Decent
Fushigi Yugi (OAV 2) Decent
Fushigi Yugi Eikoden (OAV) Bad
Ga-Rei-Zero (TV) So-so
Galaxy Fraulein Yuna (OAV) Not really good
Galaxy Fraulein Yuna Returns (OAV) Not really good
Gangsta. (TV) Very good
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (TV) Masterpiece
GATE (TV) Excellent
GATE (TV 2) Excellent
Gate Keepers (TV) Very good
Gate Keepers 21 (OAV) Very good
Genshiken (TV) Excellent
Ghost Hunt (TV) Excellent
Ghost in the Shell (movie) Very good
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (movie) Good
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (TV) Masterpiece
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG (TV) Masterpiece
GTO Drama Special (live-action special) Excellent
GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (TV) Masterpiece
GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (live-action TV) Masterpiece
GTO: The Movie (live-action movie) Awful
Gungrave (TV) Decent
Gunslinger Girl (TV) Very good
Art: I enjoyed a lot of the artwork and animation. Madhouse has long been one of my favorite studios because of their consistency and ability in making their titles look almost cinematic. The character designs were very distinct and down to earth. Each girl and their handler had their own unique features, and even many of the sub or one-shot characters stood out. In particular, there was a great amount of detail to the way weapons and backgrounds were drawn. Being a title about assassins and taking place throughout Italy, much of the exoticness was brought out well in the various street and country settings. If there was anything for me to complain about, though, it would be the lighting. I'm not sure if my eyes were just tired, but a few of the scenes felt like they had an occasional overuse of brightness. Perhaps it was to illustrate different kinds of moods or whatever, but for some reason or another it didn't sit too well with my vision at times. Other than that, it seemed nearly flawless. A

Animation: As much as the concept of this series will fool you, the series was actually pretty split between action and drama. For the most part, the action was well done. Gunfire is smooth along with their empty shells hitting the ground, blood splatter and bullet entry was kept much less gory than I expected, and tactical movements were smooth and fluid for the most part. However, there were a few problems every now and then where something as simple as walking seemed rigid spinning bodies seemed to be the result of frame speeding, which detracted a little from the overall continuity. But the camera work easily makes up and sometimes even supersedes those mistakes with some very poignant and dramatic angles, especially during the dialogue-heavy scenes. Most of those mistakes are only noticeable around the beginning of the series and eventually fix themselves by mid-series, so overall it was an excellent job. A

Music: The series itself is very bittersweet, thanks to a fabulous symphonic score by Toshihiko Sahashi. Normally, he's had the tendency to mix his orchestral style with a little bit of synth. But in Gunslinger Girl, the synth is absent, making for a wonderfully dramatic and almost melancholy soundtrack. He used a variety of string and piano pieces, which if you think about it is quite fitting given the setting and circumstances of the story. The OP and ED songs also worked well for the series. The Light Before We Land, in particular, gave me a sense of quaint, yet somber fulfillment every time I heard it. It was just another excellent effort overall by Sahashi with the addition of The Delgados. A

Plot/Characters: Interesting premise turning young girls with essentially no lives left to live into cyborg assassins for the Italian government. There's a good deal of espionage and intrigue in the episodic nature of the series with some very cool action sequences and gunfights. But don't let that fool you into this being a flashier (more interesting) version of Noir. Contrary to the plot, there's actually some very poignant, though subtle, depth to the girls and their handlers. Themes of living a good life and valuing what life you even have, the nature of children (yes, they're still children) and just how fragile they really are, special circumstances aside, and all sorts of other philosophical ideas really made the series more worthwhile than I originally thought. I just wish it would've gone beyond 13 episodes. If it had been say, 26 instead. I might've even give this a Masterpiece, pending on that additional material. But still, it was very solid writing and a great concept here. A-

Voice Acting: As was mentioned by the philosophical intricacies, a lot of the dialogue is also very subtle here. Not having any kind of real main characters (I guess Henrietta would qualify, but just barely), you still get a good amount of conversation here and there between each girl and their handler. In particular, I'm a big fan of Hidenobu Kiuchi and really enjoyed his fatherly gentleness as Giuse (Jose?). But like I said, because their was never really a main character, I decided to give the overall VA rating an A- for the sole fact that no one really stood out. It just a great script and solid effort by all of the seiyuu. A-

Overall: I would recommend this if you like a mix of action and drama. Actually, this more drama than action, but I feel that only adds more depth. It's a beautifully produced series with above average technical merits (typical Madhouse) and a peculiar outlook on some of the things you probably never stopped to think about when it comes to violence, or maybe even life in general.
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Gunsmith Cats (OAV) Good
GUNxSWORD (TV) Very good
Gurren Lagann (TV) Very good
(The) Guyver (live-action movie) Decent
(The) Guyver 2 (live-action movie) Weak
(The) Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor (OAV) Decent
.hack//Legend of the Twilight (TV) Bad
Art: Good coloring and smooth outlining, but the character designs were a bit too chibi for my liking. The backgrounds also seemed more bland in comparison to //SIGN. You'd think with a shorter series' length, they could've put more budget into that, instead? Nothing really stuck out, nor did anything really seem bad either. B

Animation: I've never thought of .hack as having very fluid animation. Most of the series is still art with a panning camera, so you don't get much movement. I'm not that big of a Bee Train fan either, so it's not like I expected much. Decent animation for the most part, I suppose. Not much happened to really warrant this aspect as being very important. B

Music: Straying from the more dramatic side of things (and Yuuki Kajiura, obviously), the score was a big change of pace from a darker to a lighter side. Lots of choral.. uh, scant-singing? Doo-doo-dee-dum, doo-doo-dee-dah, ooh-ba-ba-bum, or whatever. I like the opening, as Roundtable f/ Nino is pretty catchy, but that's about it. Even now, I can't remember much in terms of any kind of melody. It sounds decent, but in retrospect doesn't really add any extra depth to the series. C

Plot/Characters: Again, since the mood is completely different from //SIGN in that it's a comedy, I found it really hard to make the transition. While this title was good for a few chuckles, that's pretty much all I got. The jokes were repetitive, the action was slow and too drawn-out, and the drama felt predictable. Shuugo's tooth falling out was the only real highlight. C-

Voice Acting: Not too many notable seiyuu I'm familiar with (at the time of watching this), and the fact that there was that one scene where Shuugo kept calling "Reina~~!!!" didn't help. The performances were medicore by a lot of the main cast. The script was also quite bad and never came close to keeping me all that interested. Much of the dialogue is pretty cookie-cutter and doesn't provide anything very memorable in terms of the story. After a while, all of that "Reina~~!!" just really grates at you ears. C-

Overall: Definitely the worst .hack anime right now. It takes a complete 180 away from the drama and mystique that makes the franchise so intriguing to watch/play. The comedy is lame, the characters are bland and unemotional, and the overall execution just feels like a waste of money from both the production and consumer viewpoint. I can't believe I wasted my money keeping up with it..
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.hack//Roots (TV) Very good
Art: Very clean, as expected from Bee Train. While I'm actually not that big on them because of Noir, I absolutely love their artwork and coloring on all of the .hack anime (even LotT, as bad as it was in terms of content). This particular installment had a darker feel to it (maybe more so than //SIGN). The CG intergration was also a tad better and series is full of exotic backgrounds, though the characters didn't seem as original (probably because I'm already used to them, or the fact that they didn't have as many as //SIGN). But regardless, the overall quality is excellent. A

Animation: Also common in the .hack anime series is the sparse use of fast-paced movements. Although this is probably the most action-oriented of the three TV series so far, most of the action isn't animated to level of a Madhouse or even Gonzo. I did, however, like a lot of the panning camerawork. It added a lot of dramatic effect to the more serious plot points. Nothing real special hear, but consistency is never a bad thing. A-

Music: This was my first ever exposure to Ali Project's fully composed soundtrack. I've heard, maybe, one or two vocal songs by them prior watching this series. And after doing some research and viewing Maria-sama ga Miteru at the same time of keeping up with this series, I found their work to be quite impressive. Learning that Katakura Mikiya was adept at composing classical/orchestral music and that Takarano Arika had a "lolita goth" image going, I felt it relfected the atmosphere of the series very well. Much of the BGM and insert songs are very well-composed and performed, exuding a very similar "mystic" ambiance to the likes of //SIGN. A+

Plot/Characters: I found the story to be a little boring at first, but that's just about how any .hack starts. However, it gradually progressed into a more dramatic and mysterious fantasy tale, worthy of the .hack label. If you thought Tsukasa was too emo, then Haseo might seem like a little too much around the middle of the series. But if you liked the mystery and intrigue behind conspiracy theories, etc., then it's actually pretty good. I did, however, find Tabby to be very annoying at some points, but just about anyone would. I can't stand helpless and pathetic sympathy whores that act so childish as to keep running away from their problems. Though thankfully, she doesn't get much screen time. The only one thing I dislike about this is that it makes you want to play the game, which I don't really feel like putting the effort towards. A-

Voice Acting: A pretty good array of actors here. Sakurai Takahiro plays a very angsty and unstable Haseo well, similar to his Cloud (from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children) and Yamazaki (from Peace Maker Kurogane). His character becomes very brash and irrational around the midway point, and with such a good portrayal that you really just want to punch his character. Supporting roles include a very under-used Touchi Hiroki as Ovan, who displays yet another bad-ass personality that just isn't all talk. Overall, there weren't any standout performances because of the lacking chracter depth and more attention to story. And with the exception of Tabby (who I still can't believe plays Revy in Black Lagoon, a very contrasting personality), many of the characters play their roles well. A-

Overall: It's not as strong as //SIGN, but still an entertaining series nonetheless to fans of the .hack franchise. What it lacks in character development (though I really liked Phyllo's presence), it makes up for in story. Unfortunately, the story might feel a bit incomplete unless you're willing to put forth the effort of playing the games. Good art and animation, GREAT music, and a pretty good story.
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.hack//SIGN (TV) Excellent
Art: Excellent job on the backgrounds and coloring. The character designs weren't too excessive either (aside from Helba), but their costumes did a good job in matching their personalities and such. The CG wasn't overused either, though a lot of the painting looked very digital. But for a series that takes place in a video game, what do you expect? A

Animation: Bee Train never struck me as very good animators. Of all the .hack I've watched as well Noir, their animation was always decent enough, though nothing to rave about either. In this case, there wasn't much panning motion (where the camera has to move, or whatever the term is), so I guess that helped out the budget a bit. In the end, it was slightly better than decent. B+

Music: Um, wow. If you're an RPG fan, then you can't HELP but love this soundtrack. Many, many european elements and influences, as typical of Kajiura Yuuki. A lot of her other stuff to this point follows a somewhat similar formula for each series, but this one really stuck out to me. I guess it's because Emily Bindiger did a lot of the vocals, and I LOVE her songs in Cowboy Bebop. Kind of makes me wonder what the series would be like if Kanno did the music. Ha, no way. This would be the only instance I'd prefer Kajiura over Kanno. A+

Plot/Characters: This is a very melancholy series. Lots of talk, some intially shallow characters, a few good mysteries, and one heck of an angsty protagonist. In fact, I would group Tsukasa in the "annoying as Ikari Shinji" division. Granted, Tsukasa's case is a bit different, but nonethless, it was frustrating to watch at times. The plot itself was just like something you'd see in a video game (go figure), but I'm a sucker for fantasy RPGs. I enjoyed a lot of the "older" characters like Crim and Bear for their wiser personalities, and even the moe-infused Subaru was easy to sympathize for. Overall, it's not the most exciting story, but the interaction was very fitting for the kind of World this took place in. A

Voice Acting: Lots of great seiyuu in this one. It was the first major role of Saiga Mitsuki I got to hear, and it turned me into a fan of hers. Everyone did an excellent job, with the ever consistent efforts of Miki Shinichiro as Crim. The series itself is very dialogue-heavy, so the acting was key in bringing out the drama and suspense (and there was a lot of it). A-

Overall: It's an excellent fantasy series, but only if you can stand something with more talk than action. Even then, the action isn't all that much, but drama and plot twists are fairly rampant throughout. Personally, it was more of an attraction to the atmosphere and with the story and stuff on the side. I have that amazing soundtrack to thank for it. If you want fantasy with action, try Berserk, Record of Lodoss War (OAV), or Vision of Escaflowne.
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.hack//Unison (OAV) Bad
All they do is assemble and dance in Cyber Slum to "Obsession" for about 10 minutes. Not much to say, other than this is a complete waste of time... The only reason I'm not giving it a Bad rating is because I like that song.
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Hajime no Ippo - Champion Road (special) Excellent
Hajime no Ippo - Mashiba vs. Kimura (OAV) Excellent
Hajime no Ippo Rising (TV) Masterpiece
Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (TV) Masterpiece
Hell Girl (TV) So-so
Hellsing (TV) Very good
Hero Mask (ONA) Decent
Hikaru no Go (TV) Excellent
Hikaru No Go: New Year Special Excellent
His and Her Circumstances (TV) Masterpiece
Honey and Clover (TV) Masterpiece
Honey and Clover II (TV) Masterpiece
Hunter X Hunter (TV) Masterpiece
Hunter X Hunter (OAV) Excellent
Hunter X Hunter: G I Final (OAV) Weak
Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island (OAV) Weak
Hunter × Hunter (TV 2011) Masterpiece
Hunter × Hunter: Phantom Rouge (movie) Decent
Inuyasha (TV) Very good
Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass Good
InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler Very good
Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time Decent
InuYasha: The Final Act (TV) Excellent
Iron Man (TV) Good
Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (OAV) So-so
Jikū Bōken Nūmamonjaa (OAV) Weak
I don't have much to say here since it was so short in length, not to mention a very worn VHS copy. It was a little funny to watch as well as a bit of nostalgia since it's my all-time favorite SNES game. But other than that, what else can you say?
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Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade (movie) Excellent
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (TV) Excellent
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable (TV) Excellent
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (TV) Excellent
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Battle in Egypt Arc (TV) Excellent
Jubei-Chan 2: The Counterattack of Siberia Yagyu (TV) Good
Art: Much smoother character designs comapred to part one. Colors were very solid and vibrant for the characters and background. If you like swordsmen/ninja, you'll love Jiyuu and Freesia's Yagyuu modes. They were very sleek and even well-maintained during the really fast fight scenes. If you're a fan of School Rumble, you'll also like Kito's design, as it looks a lot like Harima (minus the facial hair). On a negavtive note, I was getting a little tired of that snot always hanging from Ayunosuke's nose. A-

Animation: Now this is what I've come to expect from Madhouse; fast and furious action at a very fluid rate. Having a lot more action than its predecessor, J2 does an excellent job conveying this new atmosphere through some gorgeous animation. From panning up to a standing Freesia and her twirling blade to the mindblowing (maybe 2-3 minute) sky fight while falling off a cliff, many of the subtlties were taken into consideration, and it felt so refreshing to see this franchise getting a bit of a facelift. A

Music: Much like the animation, the music is bit revamped as well. After 5 years and a lot of Naruto in between, Masuda Toshio did a great job in rejuvinating the other half of the series with some better sounding instruments and a little less reliability on the (new) main theme. Granted, they still play that theme 2-3 times an episode, but at least they have different arrangements in this one. And I'll say it again, I LOVE Masuda-san's ability to compose such catchy beats with taiko drums! B+

Plot/Characters: Unlike J1, J2 strays off the comedy and is inclined more towards action and drama. In fact, I'd say J2 was even a bit dark during the latter half of the series. Unfortunately, Nanohana Sai is still present, so it's not like I can give that high of a rating. Needless to say though, I found the roles to be a lot more character-personality specific such as how Shiro and the Ruffians were comedy, Freesia as (a pretty good and bitchy villain), and Sai as, well, an annoying, stubborn, and bull-head fool. I really wish I could rate this higher... B+

Voice Acting: I don't know Russian, so I'm not sure how they did with the accents and pronunciations, but I'd like to say I'm fairly familiar with the sound of Japanese, and everyone did fairly well (aside that ass of a father). I seriously can't stand his seiyuu. I'm not sure if it's the way his character is written or what, but everytime I hear him start to preach or stand up as the "good father," I get this hint of arrogance and mindless anger that just seem SO misdirected because of his OWN failures and mistakes. On a positive note, Horie Yui was a pleasant change of Jiyuu's voice, as I think she sounds much cuter. B-

Overall: This series is worlds better than part one and I really wish it could've been 24 or 26 episodes instead of near half the amount. Some new characters or advancement of older ones would've been nice too, but I still found J2 to be fairly enjoyable for what it's worth. If my review of J1 scares you, you can skip it and probably still be entertained by J2 without that prior exposure. I would almost go as far as to call this series a bit underrated, but it does have it's flaws (like the damn father).
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Jubei-Chan The Ninja Girl - Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch (TV) Decent
Art: Generic character designs. Nothing really stuck out in terms of flash or subtleties either. Even Juubei-chan's design felt a little lacking despite the fact that she was supposed to be really curvy. Colors were a bit on the pale side during daytime scenes and bland for the nightime ones. Oh, and there was that one villain that looked like Mickey Mouse... what was that about? B

Animation: As much as I like Madhouse, I didn't care too much for the animation in this one. It was fairly consistent, but the overall effort lacked any real depth. Just some quick, short movements for the sake of comedy or action, and that's all there really was too it. They also reused a lot of the same frames for transformation, but at least it wasn't too blocky overall. B

Music: The intro was an instrumental piece and was only like, 20 seconds long. I at least would have preferred some kind of J-tune about how "I'm gonna do my best" or "don't give up your dream", but instead they give us a really short piece with a J-Pop beat and a violin for the melody. By the way, you'll hear it 2-3 times an episode every time Jiyu transforms into Juubei. On the positive side though, Masuda Toshio is great at using taiko drums. B-

Plot/Characters: I made the mistake of expecting a big comedy/parody of the legendary Yagyuu Juubei, but was dissapointed by a weakly-directed shounen series. The pacing is horrible and it feels like they tried too hard to make it both funny and dramatic. For a good shounen series, I usually prefer action and drama with comedy on the side. This title did not do a good enough job balancing it, in my opinion. All the characters were as generic as their designs. On a low note, I absolutely can't stand Jiyuu's father. He's overprotective like any other parent, but his demeanor just really grates on me. Just his presence alone is worth two negative notches in the ratings. On a positive note, Koinosuke was hilarious in the scene when first encountering Mikage. B

Voice Acting: Nary a single great performance among the bunch. Even with someone like Ueda Yuuji, there just wasn't a character that wowed me with their acting. Starting from So-so, there's minus one notch for Shiro/Hajime for sounding like a wannabe Midorikawa Hikaru, and minus two notches for the every annoying Nanohana Sai for being one of the most annoying characters in my history of anime. While I don't mind the warm father figure, his voice sounded too raspy and deep (almost drunk, at times) to be that kind of character. Terrible, terrible inflection and just a bad performance. C-

Overall: I felt like I was forced to endure the whole thing just so I could watch the second series with a full knowledge of what's going on. Thankfully, J1 is only 13 episodes. I wish it were longer so they could've ironed out all the things I disliked, but at least J2 is a LOT better than this. If you're looking for a comedy/drama/shounen series, this would be near the bottom of my list. It's just too inconsistent with how the combine the elements, and I don't think it's really worth the trouble. However, if you're really open to.. unique.. kinds of anime (not to say this one is any special, aside from the fact that it's kind of a cheesy, almost magical girl-type title), I would only recommend you watch this because it ties in VERY well with J2.
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Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (TV) Good
Karas (OAV) Very good
Kemonozume (TV) Excellent
Key the Metal Idol (OAV) Good
(The) King of Fighters: Another Day (ONA) Not really good
Kingdom (TV) Excellent
Knights of Sidonia (TV) Very good
Kurau: Phantom Memory (TV) Good
Last Exile (TV) Excellent
Last Order Final Fantasy VII (OAV) Good
Love Hina (TV) So-so
Love Hina Again (OAV) Not really good
Love Hina Spring Special - I Wish Your Dream So-so
Love Hina X'mas Special - Silent Eve Very good
Lunar Legend Tsukihime (TV) Good
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (movie) Very good
Macross Plus (OAV) Good
Macross Plus Movie Edition Good
Made in Abyss (TV) Excellent
Maria Watches Over Us (TV) Excellent
Art: Absolutely gorgeous. Each girl from the Roses down to even the incidental students in the background are beautifully drawn. Every one of them has a humble complexion, thin lips, and very detailed hair. But what sticks out to me the most are their big and beautiful eyes. On top of that, each girl's frame is also much more proportionate as opposed to the kind of girl I see in a lot of other series. I also like the coloring and backgrounds. Originally, I thought the scenery was just out of focus. But after a few episodes and the realization of the opening theme's name, "pastel pure" I came to the conclusion (or maybe just something I made up) to label the art as having a sort of pastel essence on its own. All of it melds toegther very well and gives off a distinct sense of aesthetics I've never realy felt in anime before. A+

Animation: Being a shoujo drama/romance, I wasn't expecting much movement at all. In fact, I'd say Studio DEEN might've even cut some corners, which might explain why the art is so stunning. However, the animation is pretty good when it's needed such as the comedic scenes or when a quick sprint occurs. The "cut corners" I mentioned were mostly in small, simple moements like body motions. But like I said, the series doesn't rely on it too much anyway. The camera also does a lot of panning as well, and I personally like it for the aesthetic/dramatic effect. A-

Music: The soundtrack, much like the art, has a certain appeal to it as well. The orchestral mix of strings and trumpets gives entire series a grandeur, almost majestic feel. I especially love the piano in the intro and find it to be a very peaceful and relazing piece. The ending theme has a sort of 18th century French aura to it and compliments the tone of th eseries very well. But what surprises me the most is the fact that it's all composed by Katakura Mikiya, the composer of Ali Project. Having only heard "Copellia no Hitsugi" from Noir and their current work in .hack//Roots I'm pleasantly surprised at the particular classic style he went with here. The quality itself sounds very authentic with little synth. This would make a great CD to listen to for relaxing or sleeping. A

Plot/Characters: Prior to veiwing this I hadn't seen very many shoujo titles, let alone somethign that wuld have shoujo-ai. Interestingly enough, I find this series to be a very warm and touching story. It does an excellent job conveying the uncertainty of making new friends, the tribulations of discovering oneself and fitting the results into this relationship, and finally, the many emotions that accompany an established and ever-growing friendship. At first, I thought the series would rely too much on the romance/melodrama card. But it turns out there were some cute and funny moments towards the end to balance it out. Like any group of characters, you start to become more and more accustomed to their presence as time passes by, and MariMite displays this very well. I found myself liking and empathizing for a lot of the girls, even though I'm just a guy and probably don't have the lightest clue as to why I did. Actually, I think this series affected me more than I might be aware of. I've always been a fan of the friendships you see in shounen titles, but seeing this I had a kind of epiphany, then started to question and think about shoujo elements a lot more, thereafter. Unfortunately, 13 episodes feels way too short fot the potential this series could've had if it'd used a few more narratives or flashbacks from different perspectives to really get in-depth with the characters. It's still enjoyable, though, and it gave me a lot of sentimental value in opening me up to this genre a little more. A

Voice Acting: I think I've made this review long and enough so I'll try to wrap it up with less detail on this aspect. I love the seiyuu in this series. From Yumi to Sachiko to the souer grandeur (I think that's what the term was), they all did a wonderful job capturing the elegence and beauty that's expected of a maiden. I especially enjoy the contrast of Rosa Gigantea's more "free spirit," yet solidly dignified persona underneath that rebellious exterior. And Noto Mamiko... wow. I am totally in love with her voice. That soft and sweet inflection she always has is just too perfect for a series like this full of bishoujo! It took a few episdoes to get used to the names and terms (Rosa this-and-that and the French terms for big/little sister), but the dialogue is flawless, as far as I'm concerned. A+

Overall: I can honestly say that enjoyed this series. Of course I wouldn't recommend it to everyone since not everyone can get into shoujo-ai. Not to mention I haven't seen much shoujo in general at the time of typing this so I'm not totally sure what "typical" shoujo should be like in the first place. However, I still like what I saw and that's all that should matter, right?
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Maria Watches Over Us Season 2: Printemps (TV) Very good
Martian Successor Nadesico (TV) Good
Master Keaton (TV) Excellent
Master Keaton (OAV) Excellent
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV) Masterpiece
Millennium Actress (movie) Masterpiece
Mind Game (movie) Masterpiece
Mob Psycho 100 (TV) Excellent
Mob Psycho 100 II (TV) Excellent
Mobile Fighter G Gundam (TV) Very good
Mobile Suit Gundam - The Movie Trilogy Excellent
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (TV) Very good
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season (TV) Very good
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (OAV) Good
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (TV) Excellent
Art: Prior to viewing this, it had been a long time since I'd watched any Gundam series. Needless to say, when I first saw previews of SEED, I thought the transition of hand drawn to computerized art/animation would be interesting. It turned out to be interesting to a point, but wasn't as impressive as I had hoped. Part of the problem SEED has is the overuse of computer graphics and digital paint. I like it when the artwork is clean and everything, but there is such a thing as too clean. The colors felt a little too vibrant and needlessly flashy at times, which at times became distracting. On top of that, Hisashi Hirai's character designs were quite repititive, providing very little diversity. Honestly, if you take away everyone's hair and eye color, you essentially have one character model as the basis for every character, only with different clothes, accessories, and all of that. Backgrounds and mechanical designs made up for some that, and I thought some of the Gundam designs were good, but just lacking in a bit of detail. Many argue they support the U.C. designs, but I've never really been one to discrminate since it's the plot and characters that really count. And on a positive note, a lot of the art/animation does improve towards the end of the series. B+

Animation: As was mentioned by the whole transition to digital animation, it took some getting used to. There was a lot of attempts at CG integration, but it never quite worked for me. Along with the very digital picture quality, you also had a lot of camera panning over still imagery. Crewmen or objects would just stand or float in the background and the camera would just pan over from the side or do some zooming. It looked very cheap and sloppy, but as also mentioned, gets better towards the end. In addition, SEED also recycled a lot of stock footage, Lt. Ramius' jiggling boobs, a mobile suit launch from a hangar, Freedom Gundam's N-Jammer Canceller lock-on, and a lot of other things. I don't mind recycled footage too much, but the fact that it didn't look to great to begin with is what bothers me. Some of it gets very sleek at the end, but it's a shame they couldn't maintain that kind of quality from the beginning. B

Music: I've always been a big supporter of Toshihiko Sahashi. He's consistent, but never really captured me since his work on Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture. However, he really outdoes himself in this one with a grand epic of a score. His particular affinity for composing brass pieces is my favorite quality. In addition, he uses a mix of string, piano, and drum accompaniment to create an astounding soundtrack that really adds to the overall drama and intrigue. While not completely symphonic and with the occassional use of synth, it still captures much of the moment when each piece is played. The OP and ED songs are also quite good, with maybe the exception of Vivian or Kazuma's Moment. Every song is catchy and upbeat J-Pop with that certain flair, and I especially liked the insert songs. Meteor by T.M.Revolution did a good job providing a sense of hope and determination during its play, and I was especially moved by Fiction Junction YUUKA and Yuuki Kajiura. It's a very emotional song with a lot of meaning during some of the more dramatic scenes. That song alone hooked me in rating the overall music with an A+.

Plot/Characters: A lot of the Gundam fanbase seems to be divided among hardcore U.C. supporters and everyone else. I've seen most of Tomino's work and other U.C. titles, and I don't mind at all that a majority of A.U. titles keep re-using the same idea. For SEED in particular, I really enjoyed the story, plot twists, characters, and overall directing. While not perfect by any means (nor is any Gundam, in my opinion), I just try to enjoy each one I watch for what it's worth. If you keep a mindset that portrays these A.U. titles in a negative light, then you've already negated some of the potential enjoyability. A lot of the character deaths are meaningful and very emotional at times (especially for the good guys), and the themes of racism, war, and politics serve as a nice and subtle philosphical outlook on things as well. This is definitely something I'd recommend to newer generation Gundam fans. A

Voice Acting: Great cast of seiyuu. Many of the characters have solid performances with just the right balance of military jargon and dialogue to diversify the script. In particular, I really liked Toshihiko Seki as Rau Le Creuset. While you don't hear him too much until the end, the conviction in his voice and delivery in his lines really brought out his character as a crazed villain. I was sort of pessimistic in hearing Naomi Shinoh's Cagalli the first time as well, thinking she'd be just another butch heroine, but she did a great job finding the balance that made her more than just a sassy girl. The only real negatives I had were some of Kira's crying and those Three Stooges from Blue Cosmos. I think Souichirou Hoshi went a little overboard and tried to hard during some of those crying scenes, and the one pilot of that mobile armor with the reflector just plain out has a crappy voice. I laughed and mocked him every time he said something and had a lot of fun with that. So many characters to compliment, but not enough time... A

Overall: Having been over a year since I've actually seen any Gundam title, I can honestly say SEED has revived a bit of the passion I once had with the Gundam universe. Althought the art/animation is only decent, it's still an entertaining and highly dramatic series with good writing and empathizeable characters (aside from that b**ch Fllay). Excellent series for Gundam fans, new or old.
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Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny (TV) Awful
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt (ONA) Very good
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt (ONA 2) Very good
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower (movie) Very good
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky (movie) Very good
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (TV) Good
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (OAV) Excellent
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (movie) So-so
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (OAV) Good
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Miller's Report (movie) Good
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (TV) Very good
Monster (TV) Masterpiece
Moyashimon (TV) Very good
Mushi-Shi (TV) Masterpiece
Art: "Fantastic" might be a good word for it, but I'm sure that doesn't describe even a fraction of what it should be called. In terms of character design, everyone that isn't Ginko looks pretty generic with the exception of Adashino-sensei. This type of mundanity, however, does a great job keeping the series very down-to-earth. Ginko himself with his pure white hair, pale skin, and green eye, seemed a bit creepy at first, but I actually like him a lot now after learning the purpose of those traits and Western-influenced clothes are to differentiate him from the norm. I mean, just any normal looking person can be a specialist, but you'd expect something a bit different from one who specializes in Mushi, right? I also love that stern and stoic expression he usually has (it'd be great for poker), and I get a kick from his "surprise" looks during the offbeat comedy. But what makes the art so amazing, in my opinion, are the coloring and backgrounds. The artists give an outstanding effort in combining the simple elements of nature (trees, mountains, bodies of water, etc.) with the extraordinary ambiance that is the presence of Mushi. The colors and shading emit a real sense of exoticism for even the most seemingly bland settings such as climbing hill or a quiet bamboo forest. I'm not sure if it was the sound effects or something else, but every single aspect seems to blend in perfectly for this kind of theme. Big A+

Animation: To this day, I still haven't figured out how anime budgeting works. If you save money by drawing bad art, does that mean better animation or music? And if one of those is crap, does that mean you get better of something else? Then again, I suppose it also depends on the studio and type of production. In this case, Artland does a stupendous job in balancing still frames and high motion sequences. There isn't much action to begin with, but when they draw it, they draw it almost flawlessly and at the level of an OAV or even movie level. From the eye-lid Mushi in episode 2 to the waves during a typhoon, it all remains surprisingly consistent. A

Music: Hard to believe this score is from the composer of Naruto, but this one really helped in solifying Masuda Toshio's reputation among anime musicians for me. The soundtrack consists of many traditional sounding instrumentations. It's not quite traditional in a "classic" Japanese way, but it exudes a peculiar Japanese feel for the audience. I just wish I knew more about the types of instruments and their names because they sound quite pleasant. One characteristic I'll always know Masuda for, though, is his keen sense of using taiko drums. He does a great job of naturally incorporating them into a series for all the right scenarios. However, for this show in particular he uses a much calmer and more subtle style. Being a series not high on action, a lot of the pieces use a mixture of chimes, bells, and strings to control the pace, but with no real melody. I know melodies can make for more memorable compositions, but I feel the very nature of the music is perfect for such a naturally flowing atmosphere. A lot of the pieces give off this serene, yet creepy vibe that I haven't heard much of in anime. But the problem usually faced in other scores is that they include either too much synth or more upbeat tunes in their overall placements. The music of Mushishi defies that notion by keeping a solid and steady style throughout the entire series. As for the opening, I can't think of a better song to fit the theme. The Sore Feet Song is perfect for the kind of personality and demeanor of Ginko, though if you've ever heard the song in its entirety, that's a different story... A+

Plot/Characters: While episodic in nature, the storytelling is astounding. Every episode feels like a fantastic fairy tale with its supernatural theme and sometimes moralistic/philosphical undertones. Though it might not seem too obvious, Mushishi is actually categorized as a horror title. It's not particularly violent or scary, per say, but there's a very subtle shock value in each episode, which really is a great change of pace compared to so many other anime with linear plotlines. As for Ginko, he's excellent at adapting to the circumstances of each new village or persons/Mushi he encounters, which I find very entertaining. Some people argue his omniscent knowledge of Mushi is a bit of a deterent in limiting any kind of conflict, but I personally feel it adds to the overall intrigue. A lot of the one-time characters are interesting as well. It helps that the series is every open and not completely focused on just one or two aspects (Ginko and the Mushi). To this point, I've not seen a single Miyazaki film yet, but I hear a lot of people comparing and praising this title as being very similar in presentation (and kind of makes me want to see his movies now). A+

Voice Acting: It's difficult to pinpoint one specific character since most to all of them are only seen once with the exception of Ginko and Adashino-sensei. However, I found every single voice and line to be read to perfection. The dialogue is simple and to the point and character interaction is such a breeze that I would find it perplexing to hear if anyone didn't understand each episode's story. I have absolutley no complaints for this aspect. A+

Overall: I love this series It's very fresh with knack for presenting things in a conventional way, but with an unconventional theme (well, "unconventional" if you're not used to the supernatural) In the aspect of the fantasy genre, this is easily my favorite title to date. It's not high on action, but not all talk either. The individual plots make for some nice little adventures, and the nature of the setting gives off a rather unique aura. I would not recommend this for those expecting a high-paced atmosphere. It's all very subtle and pretty crafty. If you like free-flowing, episodic adventures with great art and a supernatural theme, you're guaranteed to enjoy it.
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My-HiME (TV) Very good
My-Otome (TV) Not really good
Naruto (TV) Very good
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (movie) Excellent
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) Very good
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth (movie) Decent
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (movie) Good
Night Warriors - Darkstalkers' Revenge (OAV) Decent
Nighthead Genesis (TV) So-so
Ninja Ryūkenden (OAV) Weak
Ninja Scroll (movie) Masterpiece
No Guns Life (TV) Very good
No Guns Life (TV 2) Very good
Nodame Cantabile (TV) Excellent
Noir (TV) So-so
Oh My Goddess! (OAV) Decent
Okko's Inn (movie) Excellent
One Punch Man (TV) Masterpiece
One Punch Man (TV 2) Masterpiece
Ouran High School Host Club (TV) Masterpiece
Art: Very bright (cheerful) and colorful series. The artists do a stupendous job all around on character design, backgrounds, coloring, lighting, and every other aspect you can think of. I am especially fond of the smoothness in the characters' frames. I'm not big on bishi people, but for some odd reason looking at all of the students and by-standers envokes this certain calmness within me. It's very quaint, but then again it might just be some kind of subconcious attraction I have for shoujo and romance. Nonetheless, great effort by the art staff. A+

Animation: I'm not all that familiar with BONES. I've only seen maybe 3 or 4 of their productions, but from what I recall, they all looked very consistent. In the particular case of Ouran, there're a lot of small details involved like hair or petals blowing in the wind, shaking bodies, and the like. It's a very concerted effort, and while the series doesn't depend on a lot of movement, it's extremely good where it counts (mostly for the slapstick moments). No complaints at all, other than the underuse of it. A

Music: Superb instrument quality. I love a good orchestra-based score, and Hirano Yoshihisa does wonders with the sound quality and diversity of styles ranging from waltzs, to string quartets, to a concerto (well, not quite, but it feels like it could be a part of one). I'm just amazed that he'd use a harpsichord. It feels like ages since I've heard one back in my high school choir days. Every single instrument group is utilized to perfection here and if you're any kind of fan of classical/orchestral music, you'd be missing something really good if you didn't pay attention to the soundtrack. As for the OP/ED songs, they're quite enjoyable as well. Sakura Kiss is fun and upbeat and does a good job setting the mood for each episode. Shissou is a contemporary J-Rock tune that also serves in lightening your spirits on a high note after some of the more comedic/dramatic unfoldings. It's a very light-hearted soundtrack that reflects the series perfectly from all aspects. A+

Plot/Characters: When I was first watching the series, I thought it was pretty funny. But like a lot of other romantic comedies I've seen, I wasn't sure if it would actually expand beyond that comedy and actually give something more conclusive in terms of romance. Needless to say, in addition to the fun and whacky parody of the shoujo genre, the series executes both to perfection. The Host club group has a hiliarious and often heart-warming chemistry, and all of the hinted romance you'd love to cheer for actually works itself out. Of course you don't get the whole story since it's only a 26 episode series, but the ending will leave you just as elated as when you started (in fact, probably more if you're anything like me). A very joyous rollercoaster ride, indeed. A+

Voice Acting: Excellent cast and effort on acting. It's been a while since I'd heard Sakamoto Maaya do any voice acting, and she does plays a very convincing tomboy-ish Haruhi. I attribute much of the Characters rating to the seiyuu here. Everyone from Tamaki, to Kyouya, even that cute little brat Hani did a great job. I found myself laughing and becoming more and more drawn into the characters as time passed by. And while the series does an equally good job in dividing screen time for each character, they did so well that I even started to miss hearing them after so long. The character chemistry is top-notch and vital part to enjoying the series, in my opinion. We are not dissappointed by any of the Host club members' energy. Even the supporting characters were fun to hear. Big ups on casting Ueda Yuuji and Koyasu Takehito in there. Splendid peformances by all! A

Overall: This has become one of my favorite series in terms of the comedy, romance, and shoujo genres. It's refreshing to see a light and high-spirited series that manages to both, poke fun of some of the elements within its own realm, while at the same time making and reflecting it to such an entertaining degree. And as many laught-out-loud fangirls as I've encountered, I'll admit there's a part of me that can relate to that sort of giddiness as well (but don't tell anyone...).
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Outlaw Star (TV) Very good
Overlord (TV) Excellent
Overlord II (TV) Excellent
Overlord III (TV) Excellent
Paprika (movie) Masterpiece
Paranoia Agent (TV) Very good
Parasyte -the maxim- (TV) Excellent
Passage of the Stars - Birth (special) Good
Peacemaker (TV) So-so
Art: Character designs were a little above average. I liked a lot of their faces and costume, but their eyes could've been better. Colors were rich and vibrant, though a bit too solid. Not that I mind solid colors, but given my preference on color-mood correlation, I would've like some variation in the hues, contrast, and darkness of the many colors that were on screen. It just seemed too clean for me, and that's a big surprise given the period of history this took place in (the Bakumatsu). B+

Animation: I've always liked Gonzo for their animation, despite the hiccups pointed out in other series. But the way I see it, animation in a lot of older titles was never a detterent for me in the first place, so it's not like I look for these kinds of things. Overall though, the animation wasn't as sleek as say, Madhouse, but it was consistent and fitting in its own right. If I had to point out a negative, it'd be the panning of the camera on static frames (when a person moves, but the background stays still or whatever the tech. term is). Great animation during the final battle sequences at the Ikedaya. B

Music: Lots of synthetic sounding instruments. And while I'm a big fan of that piece with the taiko drums, I was a big opposer of those electric guitar pieces that just sounded too Western and out of place for a period piece that was in the midst of bloodshed and chaos (and in Japan, no doubt). Sure, Kenshin used a lot of Western sounds as well, but the difference here is the quality of the instruments and the melodies themselves. Kenshin did a much better job in terms of variety, whereas PMK seemed a bit more montonous in its array of tunes. C+

Plot/Characters: I read Vol.1 of the manga before I started watching the anime, and I must say there was a notable difference in atmosphere. The manga appeared to be way into the story already, while the anime seemed to basically start from scratch. After some research, I found out that the anime had actually taken material from the original manga, Shinsengumi Immon Peace Maker, and botched it all together with the seuqel, Peace Maker Kurogane. And with that, the anime appeared to be a bit weak in terms of melding and re-writing all of that continuity to make a single series with so many differences. I wish I could read the original SIPM then continue it with the PMK manga for the whole story, but thank ADV for being idiots and licensing the PMK manga only. In fact, I don't even know if they plan on releasing the last volume of PMK at this point... Anyway, the saving grace was in the action and drama around the beginning and end of the series. The middle was very boring and very childish, but not even in a good way. There were also a lot of plotholes I wish that could've been explained, but again ADV are idiots, regardless of their statement to think about the fans... B-

Voice Acting: If you're familiar with the seiyuu world, you could go so far as to call this an all-star cast. With Koboyashi Yumiko as the lead and the likes of Imai Yuuka, Ueda Yuuji, Saiga Mitsuki, and Nakata Jouji as backups, you'd think there was potential for some great drama, right? Unfortantely, their were so many characters that it just didn't seem to work out. In order to give screen time to the many, many characters that there are, it was a bit dissappointing that so much talent went to waste and were limited only to how those certain characters came out to be. Tetsunosuke was a half-assed loser for a majority of the series, Tatsunosuke was the whiny and overprotective big brother that overreacted on every little thing, Okita was the.. flamboyant.. though secretively troubled voice of reason, and Hijikata was the big bad wolf with an unknowingly warm and gentler side underneath. And what's with the Sakamoto singing the Star Spangled Banner in Engrish!? Though I have to say, Suwabe Junichi's voice makes for an awesome villain. C+

Overall: I was really intrigued with the whole BakumatsuMeiji time frames of Japanese history thanks to Kenshin, so I thought this one would be cool too. Unfortunately, what might be a pretty good story in the manga is spliced up into this cookie-cutter of an anime and with no legal way for me to know the whole story thanks to ADV's stupidity in the licensing and marketing departments of their manga division. It's not really a bad series though, but I'd recommend this only for those who are willing to watch this with a grain of salt. The story itself has lots of continuity problems, but from an entertainment viewpoint, the action and drama are good in spurts.
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Perfect Blue (movie) Excellent
Princess Blade (live-action movie 2001) Awful
I give this an Awful based on the fact that I watched it in English, which was downright terrible. Live action titles should never be dubbed. I found the content (story and action) to be pretty decent. But again, I was really distracted by the low-volume, incoherent dubbing. I'll buy the DVD someday and give it a rewatch.
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Psycho-Pass (TV) Excellent
Psycho-Pass (movie) Good
Psycho-Pass 2 (TV) So-so
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV) Excellent
Pumpkin Scissors (TV) Very good
R.O.D -The TV- Good
RahXephon (TV) Excellent
RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio (movie) Excellent
Ranma ½ OAV Good
Ranma ½ (TV) Good
Read or Die (OAV) Very good
Record of Lodoss War (OAV) Very good
(The) Rising of The Shield Hero (TV) Very good
Rozen Maiden (TV) Not really good
Rumbling Hearts (TV) Excellent
Rurouni Kenshin (TV) Masterpiece
Art: Great job on the colors. There was always the right amount of hue and shading for the appropriate scenes. Nothing seemed to hazy or oversaturated, giving homage to Watsuki-sensei's original designs. However, I noticed a lot of blockiness on the characters around the beginning of the series, most notably during the Oniwabanshuu arc. There were several cases where Aoshi's hair didn't seem quite as sharp or his face was too rounded during zoom outs of the camera. I also didn't like Kenshin's hair going cherry red when he turned semi-Battsousai on Jin'ei. Aside from those minor quibbles, though, the artwork really picks up and stays extremely consistent throughout the entire Kyoto arc. The character designs in the filler of season one weren't so hot either; I couldn't stand that monkey boy in the Pirate arc... A

Animation: I keep wondering why I hardly see anything animated by Studio Gallop anymore. Perhaps they spent all of the companies money on this series? But seriously, the animation was very good on all accounts, especially if you consider the length of the series. In fact, I'd say it progressively got better as the series went on. I'm sure they cut a lot from the budget in season one, what with all the filler, because Kyoto was amazing (and is also where they needed it most). And best part is, it was all hand drawn. A-

Music: I'm a big fan Asakura Noriyuki for his work in the Tenchuu games. His style has always been great mix of Western instruments with a particular emphasis on Spanish guitar, strings, piano, drums, and trumpets. While season one's score had a lot of synth work, I still enjoyed the main melody of "Anata wa dare mamoteiru" and all of its different arrangments using violin, gut guitar, and so on. A lot of the music was very uplifting and cheery as well, especially the Kamiya Dojo theme. The rock pieces seemed a bit out of place, but I feel it was a great way to differentiate the magnitude between the more upbeat season one and latter, darker, more melancholy season two. Now the Kyoto arc, that was some fine composing. Much of my fervor and fandom originates from the ever so famous season two, and with just cause because of the many pieces of music that, in my opinion, reflected the tone of entire situation to perfection. From "The Last Wolf Suite" to "Oniwabanshuu: Kyoto Investigation Team", I was absolutley mesmorized not so much by the quality of sound, but the way each melody really fit the situations. I can listen to the OSTs all day an never get tired of it. Ever. A+

Plot/Characters: There's so much for me to say, I'm probably going to lose some sleep time right now. First, I love the backstory, a once feared hitokiri among all hitokiri said to be the deadliest and most skilled of all Imperialists, doing his job during the Bakumatsu killing and assasinating at the whim of his own beliefs and suddenly dissappearing at the end of the chaos, only to re-emerge as the strong, yet gentle (and bumbling) rurouni. His new purpose: to repent by for those that he had slain during the Revolution by protecting and preserving the happiness and peace that he fought so hard to achieve for the people of Japan. Many a times in various shounen series, you see the main character attempting to carry some kind of huge burden. Well, in the case of Kenshin, if you know the whole story by now or can guess what it eventually turns to be, you can't help but either sympathize or cringe at the turn of events that eventually became the man known as Himura Kenshin. All of the build up that happens from his meetings and experiences with Kaoru, Yahiko, Sanosuke, and the whole Kyoto arc just connect so well, the story is nothing short of spectacular. Granted, season one is spliced with filler here and there, and season three is a complete and utter shame to the franchise. But if you're smart and know enough about the franchise already, it should be easy to simply ignore that crappy "Tales of Meiji" and piece together your own line of continuity, making the entire series just as enjoyable (with or without the season one filler, of course). Regardless of what faults you choose to accept/ignore, the story is and still remains my favorite plot of any shounen series to date. The character interaction, melodrama, plot twists, and every other conceivable part of the main story is, quite frankly, unmatchable. A+

Voice Acting: Being my favorite anime of all time, there are SO many roles I want to compliment. Suzukaze Mayo does a superb job of balancing both, the silly/gentle and the unrelenting/determined rurouni that makes Kenshin, by far, one of the most likeable protagonists in all of Shounen Jump. Her ability to balance the tone and inflection of both the light and serious side of Kenshin impressed me a great deal, and cannot praise her enough such a well-rounded and versatile performance. Every line, breath, and subtltie is executed without fail, leaving me to wonder just why exactly she hasn't been asked to do any further roles. Fujitani Miki is an excellent Kaoru; young, innocent, yet aspiring and inexperienced enough in life that it really helps to bring out the kind of lonley girl that's willing to learn from and care for those that are dearest to her. Tominaga Miina plays a spirited and spunky Yahiko, filled with pride and a sense of courage that really helps reach out to the younger folks that may be watching. Ueda Yuuji solidifies himself (to me anyway) as an elite seiyuu for his role as Sano. He captures the firey emotion that makes the resident of Ruffian Row so charasmatic perfectly. The chemistry he displays in being Kenshin's right hand man (no Futae no Kiwami pun intended) does wonders in balancing both a conscience and instinct for the audience to enjoy. I can't even begin to praise all the sub characters during the Kyoto arc from Saitou to Hiko to Okina to Misao to all of the Juppongatana. Every single one of them has one me over with their performances that I will hold on to and remember for as long as I live. With such a story of epic proportions, my expectations are met with an equally sized effort of genuine theatrical peformance. A+

Overall: I cannot praise and recommend this series enough. The premise is such a joy, the characters interact so well, and I LOVE swordsmen themes. Not only does it strike me as an adventure, but the morals mean a great deal to me as well. Never give up hope, live on and repent your mistakes, be happy for the present and look forward to the future, cherish the things you come to experience and enjoy the presence of the people you meet. There're just so many things you can interpret from the story! But I'll be humble and know that I've said enough for now. I can only hope there are as many fans out there that've enjoyed this franchise as much as myself.
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Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (OAV) Awful
Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture Decent
Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (OAV) Masterpiece
Art: While some fans are unhappy with how the character designs stray from the originals, I personally found them a lot more realistic and fitting for the kind of stroy being told. They help in conveying a sort of melancholy tone that resonates both sadness and beautry. In comparison to the manga, I'm especially happy with the change in Tomoe's design. With the admittance from Watsuki sensei himself about her resemblance to Evangelion's Ayanami Rei, I was pleased to see the OAV's artists differentiate her appearance a little further. The outlines on peoples' faces were more rounded as opposed to the sharp and angular style than the originals, which again, I thought brought a more mature and realistic feel to the characters and overall presentation. Colors weren't too vibrant, which is actually a good thing. For such a dark time of when Kenshin was still Hitokiri Battousai, I feel it's the perfect contrast to the much lighter TV series and a great way to really capture even the "casual" anime fan with that sort of presence. A+

Animation: Being an OAV, I can rest assured that the animation quality will be very good at the least. Being an OAV by Studio DEEN, I can rest assured that the animation will be flawless. All movements are extremely fluid from a simple walk to the strides, dodges, and cuts of the final battle between Kenshin and the Shogunate's assassins. A lot of the scenes use little camera movement and mostly do jolts (or whatever the technical term is) and panning for the slower moments that give the audience a chance to revel in the story. While it obviously won't be as high-budget as a movie, it should obviously be enough for the sake of telling this sad, yet inspiring tale of the former hitokiri. A+

Music: Holy moly, this is instantly my 2nd favorite anime OST ever, only to Blood+. Iwasaki Taku clearly separates himself and the OAV's very nature from the TV series with this epic score. The main theme "One of These Nights" is one of the most melancholy tunes I've heard and really brings out that sense of depression and hopelessness, yet at the same time is so well-composed you can't help but fall into its gentle and relaxing sound. The same can be said for the piano version of "Quiet Life" for its easy and mellow ambiance. On the other hand, Iwasaki-sensei contrasts these pieces brilliantly during the action sequences, particularly through the ones titled "War of the Last Wolves" and "Shades of Revolution". The foreboding strings leading to an up-tempo drum line gives off the perfect aura to reflect the chaos of the Bakumatsu along with Kenshin's beliefs and willpower to fight for them. His use of strings and brass for the melodies and accompaniment are truly an inspiring work of art and is easily his best composition I've heard thus far. A+

Plot/Characters: While it's unfortunate Jinchuu didn't get fair treatment, Tsuiokuhen more than makes up for it. I first saw the OAV before the TV series, but fortunately took a long enough period of time to forget most of what I saw (and heard in that terrible dub). After watching the series, though, I was still so high from the rush of the Kyoto arc, I was ready for just about anything. When I watched Tsuiokuhen afterwards, I was amazed and shocked (in a good way) at how different the OAV seemed. The transition from much more light-hearted TV series to this now dark and (very) violent OAV was something I didn't expect, but loved to experience, nontheless. The sad and gruesome tale of Kenshin's childhood, his early exposure to bloodshed, and the ultimate realization of losing his happiness is so well presented here, that it's no surprise that anime ranks number one on ANN's to top anime (and for a while too). A+

Voice Acting: Suzukaze Mayo reprises her role as Kenshin, but in a much different light. She does an excellent job displaying the cold and stoic hitokiri that made Kenshin so feared among the Bakumatsu. As the story progresses, it's easy to notice the change from the once emotionless assassin to the kinder and gentler side that easily becomes nostalgic of the rurouni so many people would come to know in the TV series. Iwao Junko does a splendid job playing the quiet, but very essential role of Tomoe. While those who know the story also know her eventual purpose, her taciturnity fits the mood quite well and displays a genuine sense of warmth and honesty for her character. The dialogue is very subtle and doesn't really stand out as one would expect from such a dramatic piece. But being a 4 episode series, it works very well in gradually allowing the viewer to see Kenshin's character, almost systematically, bud into a person that is much more than just a hitokiri of the Isshin Shishi. A+

Overall: I suppose it's hard to deny that Tsuiokuhen carries a sort of mystique to it, being a violent, yet well-crafted production of the story of a boy, his hardships, what he thinks is the answer to satisfying that hardship, only to gain an ultimate sense of peace and tranquility, and lose it all in the end. However, in the spirit of the TV series and franchise as a whole, it's all about realizing our mistakes and having the will to do something about it in the end. It really is a touching story, but like anything in life, not everyone can reach the same conclusion. Although in this case, a majority of people out there would probably disagree with that notion (statistically speaking, that is). It's not ranked number one for nothing.
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Saber Marionette J (TV) Excellent
Saber Marionette J Again (OAV) Decent
Saber Marionette J to X (TV) Very good
(The) Sacred Blacksmith (TV) Decent
Samurai Champloo (TV) Excellent
Samurai Girl Real Bout High School (TV) Awful
Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture (special) Worst ever
School Rumble (TV) Excellent
Art: Lots of bright colors for fittingly cheerful series. The character designs were good enough to give everyone their own unique look. But overall, none of them were really unique in the sense of being something new. If you've watched a lot of high school comedies/romances, they'd all look pretty typical. However, their looks fit their personalities very well, and that's what should really count. Oh, and they did a great job on the shadowing (whatever it's called when they zoom in and shade a character's fact to make them look scary). A

Animation: Nothing special. As expected from this kind of theme (high school comedy), you get a lot of slapstick in the form of megaton punches on the head, in the face, or into the sky, but there's a lot of parody humor in this series as well (a la The Matrix bend or DBZ fights). It's not spectacular or anything, though it is very consistent. A-

Music: No particular piece of music stuck out to me aside from the opening and ending songs (a VERY catchy opening, by the way), but a lot of the BGM fit the situations very well and there's really not much to complain about other than it sounded a bit too synthectic when I gave the OST a listen. But yeah, love that intro! I'm giving one level boost just for that! A-

Plot/Characters: The term to describe this series is "romantic comedy" with emphasis on the "comedy" part. I say this because despite the fact that the first words spoken by Tenma are "suki... mahou no kotoba", translated as "love... a mysterious word" they only manage to tease with the entire romance theme the entire time. What makes the series so fun though is how they play around with it. Goofed up confessions, getting caught in compromising situations, and many hilarious misunderstandings make it all worth hours and hours of well-written, upbeat comedy. It's a very fun series and the multiple match-ups are a great compliment to the already wacky atmosphere. A

Voice Acting: Lots of great seiyuu in this one. They all do a tremendous job on portraying the right kinds of personalities for all their characters and I really had fun listening to them. I just can't think of anything negative to say about anyone or any part of the script. It felt perfect. A+

Overall: It's a very light and good-natured series with lots of comedy that never really takes the romance too serious. Ironically, they write the romance parts out well enough to make you think it'll all go somewhere, but that remains to be seen in future anime renditions. I highly recommend this for some good laughs.
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School Rumble: Extra Class (OAV) Excellent
Being only two episodes, I'm not going to comment much. Everything is the exact same aside from better animation, so I found it to be just as enjoyable as season one. There's a little more fanservice than you'd see in the TV series too.
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Sengoku Basara - Samurai Kings (TV) Excellent
Shakugan no Shana (TV) Very good
Shakugan no Shana SP: Koi to Onsen no Kōgai Gakushū! (OAV) Decent
She, The Ultimate Weapon (TV) Very good
Shion no Oh (TV) Good
Spriggan (movie) Good
Steamboy (movie) Very good
Steins;Gate (TV) Masterpiece
Street Fighter Alpha (OAV) Very good
Street Fighter II V (TV) Decent
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie Not really good
Summer Wars (movie) Masterpiece
Suzuka (TV) Excellent
Sword of the Stranger (movie) Excellent
Tekkaman Blade (TV) Excellent
Tekkaman Blade II (OAV) Decent
Tenchi Muyo! (OAV 1/1992) So-so
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (OAV 2/1994) So-so
Terror in Resonance (TV) Excellent
Tokyo Ghoul (TV) Decent
Trigun (TV) Excellent
Trigun: Badlands Rumble (movie) Excellent
Twilight of the Dark Master (OAV) Good
Vampire Hunter D (OAV) Decent
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (movie) Very good
(The) Vision of Escaflowne (TV) Excellent
Voices of a Distant Star (OAV) So-so
When They Cry - Higurashi (TV) Excellent
Art: Lots of variation in color, but what bothers me the most are some of the unproportionate character designs. They all have skinny bodies and what seem like HUGE heads, with the one exception being the Sonozaki twins where in addition to huge heads, they also have HUGE breasts. The best aspect of the artwork, however, is the lighting. A good horror anime should always have good lighting to increase the obscurity and mystery of things, as well as accentuating the element of surprise and the unexpected. Other than the proportionality issues, it's an excellent effort. A

Animation: At the time of typing this, HiguNakuni is the first Studio DEEN production I'd seen in a while, and their production values remain the same. Nothing in particular caught my eye in terms of technique or presentation. Although I will say they do a great job on the camera work. Another vital element in creating good horror is getting the correct angles. If you pan too much, it seems dawdling. if you zoom in too much, then you lose dramatic effect. HiguNakuni provides some of the best photography I've experienced not only in terms of horror, but all of TV anime. A

Music: Ironically, the last Kawai Kenji composed series I watched was yet another Studio DEEN title in Fate/stay night. Here in HiguNakuni, though, you have a much more chilling soundtrack as opposed to the magical and less mysterious F/sn. The element I feel is most crucial in providing good horror atmospheres is music and sound effects. I wasn't as spooked as say, something with a supernatural horror theme, but the score had me feeling pretty suspenseful for a majority of the series. Great job incorporating the sound effects into the music. Everything from sharps to crescendos and beyound does an excellent job in creating a very uneasy mood. A

Plot/Characters: At first glance, I knew this was a horror/mystery title, but I didn't know it was lacking the supernatural element I like so much. Regardless, though, the level of depth in the story and cast of characters is crazy enough that I didn't care. And when I say "crazy" I mean CRAZY. This series is one of the most twisted and sadistic titles I've seen to date. The degree of violence isn't so gory, but it's magnitude of psychological stress that these characters feel and the trial of mystery and shocking deduction that they experience that gets to me. Some of the story towards the end tends to become less logical than the preciding majority of the anime, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. A fine murdery-mystery title, indeed. A

Voice Acting: Getting back to the crazy part. I simply must commend Yukino Satsuki for her best performance ever in portraying the extremely psychotic Sonozaki twins. On top of having them talk to each other, her acting for Shion evokes so many emotions ranging from anger, to bewilderment, to praise for the sheer scope of her brevity and manaical cackling. I mean, geez Louise, I've seriously never heard anyone crazier in my 15+ years of viewing anime. The cries and screams of agony, the glazed and dumbfounding hypnosis of Nakahara Mai's Rena (in psycho mode), and the creepy transition tone of Tamara Yukari's Rika all contribute such wonderfully ominous auras. Big A+

Overall: This is truly a horrific series when you get down to the jist of things. And to think the mystery part is only the side item. It's a very dark atmosphere despite what little bits of comedy they insert throughout. Dismemberings, suicides, toruturings, and the like are all present, creating a very distorted, and almost immoral title that is fitting of the disjointed nature you will experience from just the first four episodes.
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Witch Hunter Robin (TV) Good
Wolf's Rain (TV) Excellent
X (TV) Masterpiece
X OAV Decent
Yakitate!! Japan (TV) Masterpiece
Art: A great mix of light and dark colors for the many scenarios. All of the main and supporting characters have very distinct designs (especially the manager) and they fit everyones' personalities perfectly. Amazingly enough, even the bread was very detailed, which is something you wouldn't expect in such a lengthy series. Excellent job by the staff in sustaining this kind of continuity, especially in some of those parodies. A

Animation: Sunrise is usually pretty consistent, but never spectacular. However, in this case I was very impressed at the fluidity they were able to peform during the more comedic and parody scenes. Waving arms, twittling fingers, and all sorts of miniscule details were animated extremely well, and on top of that, it never died down for the entire length of 69 episodes. I'm just baffled at how well they could keep up these kinds of high production values for every department. A

Music: Yay, Iwasaki Taku! I absolutley loved his string compositions in R.O.D. and his brass and drum work in Kenshin, and Y!!J's score doesn't stray off his usual brilliance one bit. Being a comedy title with bits of drama in between, Iwasaki-sensei utilizes a good number of tunes that vary from upbeat jazz to melodramatic orchestral. All of his pieces work in every type of situation you can think of, and I really wish they'd have made a third OST. As for opening and ending songs, I liked them all. Not quite as inspiring like a lot fighting shounen series, but uplifting, nonetheless. I got a great sense of that "never give up" attitude that lot of these series try to convey. I suppose my favorites would be (OP) "Houkigumo" (I like RHYTHEM for their melodies) and (ED) "To All Tha Dreamers" (very catchy with that ending animation, hehe). A+

Plot/Characters: Aside from that rushed last episode, I still have to admit this is one of the most unique series I've ever seen. Thanks to the people who fansubbed this I learned A LOT of interesting factoids about bread, different kinds of food, and Japanese culture. For a series about "baking bread," you wouldn't expect much in terms of any kind of story or whatever, right? Well I'm glad I was wrong, because the series is hilarious. The shounen aspect works amazingly well and is a great change of pace from all the fisticuffs and violence you see in every other series of this genre. The characters were very enjoyable with all of their quirks, especially Kuroyanagi with his reactions and Kazuma with all his -isms of misinterpretation. Kawachi and his Kansai dialect, Manager Matsushiro with all of his blatant disregard, Pierrot and his wacked-out clowning, and of course all the wordplay; it was just so fun to be a part of. And those reactions... wow. If you can't laugh at some of those parodies, you're a very close-minded or boring person, and I'm sorry you had to turn out that way. But maybe some Japan will fix you up right! A

Voice Acting: Lots and lots of great seiyuu in this one that pulled off their roles to perfection. Koyasu Takehito was a stupendous critic with no regard for his subjects and gave some very firey descriptions/comments about everything you'd expect his character to do. His off the wall style of exclamation during his reactions is some of the funniest dialogue/jokes I've ever heard. In particular, I became a big Touchi Hiroki fan, as this was my first exposure to him. I skimmed the credits before watching the series to get a feel of who would be acting in this and saw Nakata Jouji. At first, when I heard the narrator in the intro, I thought it was Nakata-san, but later realized it was Matsushiro's voice. Not only does he sound like one of my most favorite seiyuu, but his voice itself has a unique inflection on its own. I really hope to hear him in a lot of other series to come. Also, special props for Seki Tomokazu in his ever-continuing career of diversity for his role as Pierrot Bolneze. His high pitched zaniness and balance for the dramatic only solidifies his place among my top seiyuu in terms of being one of the most highly experienced and versatile actors around. Kazuma and Kawachi had a great chemistry and played the word jokes with a lot of fun, and Tachiki Fumihiko plays yet another great Gendou-looking/sounding character through his role of Kirisaki. Argh, too many characters to compliment... A+

Overall: In case my ranting above wasn't enough, I'll say it again and tell you this was unexpectedly enjoyable series. Everything from the art, concept, music, and voice acting work so well together and in such a unique way that I couldn't help but fall in love with such a light-hearted and brilliantly written series has so many elements that can appeal to a number of audiences. If you don't like comedy, then of course you won't like it, but don't just take my word for it. The point of watching anime is to enjoy it. If you end up enjoying this, then great. If not, then it's just not your taste and no harm is done. For myself, I had many a laugh and learned so much information I never thought I could from an anime and just found it all to be a freshly baked creation that could only be the result of a certain boy's Solar Hands.
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Zipang (TV) Excellent
Art: Being a military title, there's a lot of detail needed to depict the mechanical designs for ships, guns, planes, etc. I wish I could say I knew what they should all look like, but unfortunately I'm not a war buff. As an anime fan, though, they all looked pretty good to me anyway. The character designs were somewhat rigid, and some of their eyes had no whites, but that didn't bother me. Actually, the lack of whites was somewhat nostalgic of the old Popeye cartoons (yet another sailor, go figure). A

Animation: As of late, I've been watching more and more titles by Studio DEEN, and I have to say they're pretty consistent. With a theme like WWII, you'd expect a few skirmishes and battles to occur, and they did a great job with the CG. Although, there was one scene I saw with Kodomatsu rolling backwards that looked kind of jolty, but that was only for a few seconds. But yes, the plane motions, gun turrets, torpedoes, and missles were all well-animated. A-

Music: One of my favorite composers, Sahashi Toshihiko, is in the regins and he does an excellent job mixing the score up with upbeat tunes and melancholy war music. I especially liked the main theme music with the saxaphone melody. He has a penchant for using a lot of brass, which I really like, and it's especially fitting if you consider the epic scale of the story being told. A

Plot/Characters: Again, I wish I could say I was a war buff because there were so many historical references, and regardless of how accurate or inaccurate they were, I would like to at least have known so I could either be in awe for how it was portrayed, or maybe know enough to say "hey that's not right." But in any case, the drama itself was still extremely entertaining. I was expecting more talk about Butterfly Effects and all, but they surprisingly turned away from most of it can kept the attention centerted on how history would be affected from that point on on (the present of the past), and not how the future would turn out. I'm also a bit dissapointed that the series was only 26 episodes, as it stopped right on a cliffhanger, a la Berserk.. However, as open as they left it, I'm sure they'll make another season after the manga progresses a bit further. If not, then I hope the manga gets licensed soon. A

Voice Acting: Lots of solid seiyuu in this one. Not so much in terms of how prolific they are (aside from Ueda Yuuji), but overall acting was very well-done. Since watching Yakitate!! Japan and .hack//Roots, I'm becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Touchi Hiroki, who did a very convincing Kusaka for the role of a cunning and intelligent "visionary" of a character. After this, I'd also like to see more voice acting opportunities for Inada Tetsu. His performance for Kodomatsu was very powerful and invigorating, and I think this sort of character fits his voice extremely well. Many of the supporting cast did a great job as well. As usual, Ueda Yuuji does a fine role for just about any character he plays. Although in this case, it was refreshing to see him play a somewhat older character. The low kind of grumble in his voice is very soothing, yet commanding at the same time depending on the character and script. I really liked it a lot in this one. A

Overall: Overall, I was really impressed at the presentation of the series. I thought it might come to display some sort of nationalistic tone when I first read the plot summary, but it wasn't so much a view from any particular angle, just a story about a crew trying to preserve the course of history and their right to live at the same time. The journey of the crew and the historical experiences of the war itself were all very entertaining and great drama. I'd love to give this a Masterpiece, but the series is just too short. I wish it could've been longer for more character and story development, but we'll see where they go from here. It's a great historical piece as well as a miltary drama if you're looking for a title that doesn't have the word Gundam in it.
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