If you are interested in this list there is something you may want to know before you start reading any of my comments here. My comments are essentially just a few of my thoughts on each series. They are not really reviews and are definitely not summaries. If you need a summary, you can usually get one if you click on one of the titles and go to its encyclopedia entry and you can get reviews from ANN or just googling the show in question. I may be a little selfish but my comments here are for my own use. They help me remember things about the shows I’ve seen so I apologize in advance if they aren’t very helpful to you.

Seen all Rating
Aa Megami-sama: Tatakau Tsubasa (special) Very good
There are elements in this show that are really neat. The storyline with Lind and her single winged angel and how that unfolds is pretty darned decent. One problem with the show is Keiichi and Skuld sometimes playing nothing more than comic background, and then in the blink of an eye playing a deeper part; it's a bit confusing and unnecessary. If they are to be put in a more important role there isn’t a need to fill space with cheap comedy. Leave that for more overall comedic episodes in the franchise. I give it a Very Good overall because it is interesting and much of it is entertaining but it could have probably been a lot better still.
(The) Adventures of Mini-Goddess (TV) Good
I mentioned in my comments for one of the other Goddess anime, I hate rating these because I know that the animation is not the best and neither are the stories, but I just have so much fun watching them all! Mini-Goddess is a double exception because it doesn't even follow the lovable Belldandy. This story for the most part follows Skuld, Urd, and Gan-chan the rat. Every episode is zany and if you look closely you can spot parodies of other well known anime and Japanese films. I'm having such a fun time remembering it right now that I'll probably go back and catch a few episodes after I'm done writing comments.
Afro Samurai (TV) So-so
Ok, I'm not as impressed as I thought I would be with Afro Samurai. Aside from some decent action scenes and occasional noteworthy artwork, this story doesn't bring much to the table. It's pretty darn predictable except when it loses the pacing on its own and breaks continuity, so that just makes it worse. Also, the dialogue is pretty darned cheesy; dialogue between two characters is supposed to sound like a conversation not just like people trying to recite witty lines. And the action is mostly just bloody. Not that I can't stand bloody shows, Berserk and Basilisk are both among my favorite blood baths, but this show doesn't add the depth behind the ‘slice anyone and everyone forefront’ that really makes those others well worth watching. It’s sad that the back-story is better than the main story, and that it is still not good enough to give any real meaning to the present plot. Yes his father got killed but for crying out loud a character needs depth, not just a reason. And because of that there wasn’t enough suspense built for the finale and it ended a little flat. It wasn't horrible but nothing really special either.
Ah My Buddha (TV) So-so
Yeesh. What the hell is the point of this show? Plot? Barely enough to somewhat justify the fact that I finished the series, however each time something remotely interesting came up it was soon forgotten as if the potential plot had occurred accidentally, and to top it off the show didn’t even have an ending. Comedy? The series doesn’t look like it even tries to be funny, just expects itself to be... it’s not. Action? Pfft. Really the only thing the series does well is fanservice and even this it ruins by not adding an attractive personality to any of the girls. Whoever wrote this apparently doesn’t have a high enough opinion of women to at least attempt to show anything other than their bodies in good light. What this does is makes the characters unlikable. I kept watching thinking that something would happen, that the show would turn itself around at some point and introduce an interesting element. I mean the premise sounded like I might like it; a monk with dormant spiritual powers that can only be awakened when highly aroused. I seriously thought going into it that it would involve some guy honestly seeking enlightenment but having to deal with a troublesome inner self. That might have made an interesting story at least. However as bad as the female characters are, Ikko really isn’t any better. There’s no point to what he does, no motivation. How can someone really pull for a guy like that? All in all this show isn’t really that terrible, perhaps, I did watch it all, but I know it isn’t good either. I’m about to watch the second season, I’m not sure if it is just that I’m feeling masochistic this week or if I still think something interesting may happen (well at least it seems slightly better rated, but then again a lot less people watched it according to the encyclopedia). However this first season, I’ll not likely watch again.
Ah! My Goddess (TV) Excellent
I really enjoyed watching this series. I knew I was going to like it because I had really liked the OVA, movie, and even Mini-Goddess is more than just a guilty pleasure for me. And yet right from the opening music I knew this series was going to be special for me. Of the OVA and this series I don't know which follows the manga closer but I liked the set up for Keiichi's call to heaven better in the series. So much was happening to the guy that I started to honestly hope something great would happen soon, even though I already knew what was coming. It has a really nice feel to it because it is not just incredibly sweet and romantic, but it is well written and introduced. I often get lost in this fantasy world of Goddesses and all the silliness along with the few dramatic moments. For me it is definitely a pleasure to watch and revisit often. This is truly one of my favorite anime without a doubt.
Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy (TV) Good
Ah! Goddesses! The goddesses are still living with Keiichi and this series continues to crawl forward, but what's more to expect from another romance that moves at a snail's pace. Still, along with all the other Goddess anime, I really enjoy watching this. There are still the cutesy moments, and of course new characters to enjoy, the storylines still do not shatter the earth, but the series is very entertaining. The last two episodes in particular take the series into some surprising conflicts that are a bit beyond what this series has done previously (Even if the last episode has more loopholes than I can list, "watch it for the entertainment not the science," I say). I mean we are not talking Dante here, but for this series it was enough to give it a bit more range. Overall it is still overall uplifting and fun so we never lose any of that either. Another thing that amazes me here, that I didn’t mention with season one though I should have, is the music; the opening and ending themes are what I’m talking about, they just fit the story so beautifully that sometimes I ended up listening to them over again after watching an episode. Will this series and my favorite seiyuu cast be back for yet another run? I really hope so, even an OAV series would be fabulous.
Ah! My Goddess: The Movie Very good
This movie is a nice follow up to the Oh! My Goddess OVA series. The animation was better than the OVA set and the story was a little deeper, but still definitely well worth watching. There were a few parts that I thought were a little cheesy, even for an AMG anime, but I still enjoyed it very much. I think all the different Goddess products are hard for me to rate because I know that the aninmation is not the greatest and that the storylines are not the deepest but I can't watch enough of them.
Ai Yori Aoshi (TV) Very good
This was an interesting series for me. I like romantic stories that have a nice build up with good characters. The problem I had with this series was that there wasn't a good pay off for me. I kept expecting more from the characters which I really grew to enjoy because they were well developed, but it did not really come. However it is not to say I did not enjoy the series, because like I said, the characters are all interesting, especially the leads, and it is very different from most harem anime in that you actually get a good background and a well developed lead male in Kaoru. And Aoi is a character that is incredibly hard not to like, always trying to go that extra mile to make those around her happy, especially Kaoru. Even without the big pay out, this series is very enjoyable.
Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~ (TV) Good
I got this series in my long anticipated wait for something bigger to happen in the romance between Aoi and Kaoru but was left feeling rather cold. Most of this series feels like filler, no one moves forward and nothing truly important happens. The only good part about this is that I started the manga to get more from the characters and I am already more than satisfied with that, and actually having read the manga it makes this series worth going back to so much so that I went back and changed my opinion and rating for it.
Air (TV) Masterpiece
What a beautiful yet terrible story. I laughed and cried and sometimes I even cried when I should have been laughing. This is one of the few series out there that you can actually see and understand all the deeper meanings behind everything without needing long explanations that ruin those beautiful moments. This may sound cheesy but this title is truly a wonderful story of friendship, family, and the ties that bind. I fell in love with all the characters and had my emotions torn to shreds at certain points by their circumstances. The stories are incredibly original and brilliant but I am not sure if I could have watched much more. It is definitely one of the best series I have ever seen but like with anything that is cruelly beautiful, as much as you love it, it is hard to watch more than once.
Air (movie) Excellent
Absolutelely wonderful and no less from an alternate retelling of the series. It was incredibly well pieced together and tells its story as well as the series did. The characters were also just as beautiful as they were in the original series, although you can easily catch the differences in the character designs, especially in Misuzu who looks a bit older and acts a slight less childish than in the series but she is still beautiful and is not so different that she loses any of the traits that make her such a terrific character. Actually all the characters were great, even the ones who were portrayed differently, although I would have preferred to hear Daisuke Ono as Yukito again, who did such a memorable job in Air TV. If it wasn't for a couple of inconsistencies within the story and losing the pacing a couple of times I wouldn't have hesitated to give this story a masterpiece rating, however that doesn't mean I didn't absolutely love it. Again though, with endings like this it's hard for me to say I'd watch it again too many times. It wasn't a bad ending, quite the opposite, but it was just a bit heart wrenching to sit through.
Air In Summer (special) Good
Not much to say really. A beautiful extension to Kana's story that would have fit in perfectly in the corresponding arc in the series. The characters are just as brilliant, the story is told just as well, and the animation was just as beautiful. I think what may be the one downfall is that this is supposed to be a spin off, but it doesn't tell it's own story, rather it just adds to the existing part of the series. I think a true spin-off with it's own distinct plot could have been possible, and probably brilliant judging how the series was able to handle so many different side stories and never lose anythig in the way of context. SO basically scoring it as part of the series it would not affect the rating I gave the series, but it doesn't stand well on its own, so I can't give it a higher rating. I recommend it to anyone who is already watching Air TV though, it'll just give you more to love.
Aishiteruze Baby (TV) Very good
This turned out to be a true gem. I was expecting this to be all sugar no spice, but came away surprised and pleased. Why the surprise? Ok, I like cute shows and after watching a really angsty show, I just wanted to sit down to a bowl full of cuteness and relax. Well I got that, but I also got some surprisingly deep storylines that served a purpose. The only parts that I didn’t enjoy were just one or two moments where it seemed a writer didn’t know how to handle a conflict and the resolution looked awkward. But that was very rare, you notice it when it happens but doesn’t distract much from 26 episodes of goodness. Actually the strongest point of the plot is that it handled this subject matter in a plausible and real way. It didn’t try to cheat you or cut corners, it basically lets you know, “yes, this happened but life goes on.” The characters are wonderful; I love the romance that grows between Kokoro and Kippei it was actually very well done and yet still heartwarming. I don’t even have to mention Yuzuyu, but I will; probably one of the cutest most adorable characters I have ever watched. But she’s not just cute; I think it is very important to this story that it often followed Yuzuyu exclusively in her own everyday life and showed a brilliant portrayal of a young child’s life away from home at school. And above that, love doesn’t just grow between boyfriend and girlfriend, there is also the innocent love that grows between parent and child and if anything the love between Yuzuyu and Kippei outweighs anything in this series. This was a very smartly done and definitely a feel good show that leaves you wanting more.
Akane Maniax (OAV) Good
I watched this because it was a sequel to Rumbling Hearts and expected to see more of the same. While that was not the case I did enjoy the incredibly wacky Jouji and all the craziness that seemed to fill his head. This was definitely not as dramatic as the series that it spinned off from, but actually turned out to be a nice change of pace.
Akira (movie) Very good
As many will say this was a very important movie for pioneering anime in the US. I never got to see it originally but I do remember quite a bit of fuss about it when it came out and now that I have seen it I can see why. The story is more than impressive, along with the animation I can just imagined how it must have looked to everyone at the time of the original release. Heck the animation is better than most even by today's standards. It has an air of suspense and foreboding and sometimes even spooky, which is all hard to produce in animation The characters are pretty amazing as well, not perfect beings, but rather human and yet also interesting. I had heard horror stories about the original dub so I'm glad I had a chance to see it in the remasteres re-translated edition and that I saw it subbed because I have seen bad dubs and I probably would have hated it. However as I saw it this movie is well worth sitting through and I would recommend it to anyone for more than just its important history.
Allison & Lillia (TV) Not really good
This is a show that reeled me in very well in the first episode. However the problem with first episodes is that they don’t always represent a whole. Now this series wasn’t horrible, I mean I did watch it all, but it is not really what it was set up to be. The first episode gave off this pulse of true mystery and big adventure but that isn’t right. The stories told are a lot more simplistic and predictable than what I thought. It seems like there is a set order and a set way to get from point to point, or in short, a formula. There is maybe a just another hint of excitement here and there, but nothing that would inspire the Wachowski brothers to make a movie out of. There are no big plot twists or nail biting climaxes either. And the characters might seem nice at first but a lot of them get tiring to watch, particularly the males. Most of them are made out to be the grand courageous heroes, but they are closer to cheap lying cowards; especially Wil and Treize, the two main males. Near the end I was following it just to see if anything would finally be revealed to Lillia, because she of all people lives behind everyone else’s lies without even being aware of anything. All the other character’s show how much they ‘love’ her by not telling her anything about herself or, in Treize’s case, themselves either. This is magnified by the lies being so completely idiotic and lacking in trust. How can you love someone and then, along with everyone around you in that person’s life, make that life a complete sham. Whoever created this has a really warped way of thinking and I can not believe how many people actually like these stories. Needless to say I will not watch this again.
Amaenaide yo!! Katsu!! (TV) Decent
Well this series at least attempted at telling a story unlike the first season. It wasn’t told well and wasn’t all that interesting but it made it easier to sit through. It also made some work towards character introductions. The problem with that is character introductions should have happened during the first series and then actual development in the second, but whatever. At least now there is some sort of motivation for the characters, although none of this is ever really clearly defined anywhere rather. It’s almost like the creator’s knew they were missing loads of stuff during the first season and as soon as they made a move in the right direction they hesitated and ended up not following through all the way on anything, even the ending. When the series is over you get this feeling of bleh. This series ended up slightly better than the first one and even made me chuckle occasionally but it still wasn’t enough to qualify for me to say I’d ever watch it again.
Amatsuki (TV) So-so
This show had a chance at being really intriguing but the problem there is that it isn’t very good at it. It has a lot of problems, especially early on. Every time it seemed like it might go into something that is potentially interesting it looked like it changed its mind and instead tried to plays it as mildly amusing. And the show isn’t very predictable; but there’s good and bad in this too. There are quite a few things that look like they were just thrown out there for the sake of not being predictable, but other things sort of work to a certain point. It is not hard to pick up that the biggest problem with everything is consistency. The characters are not easy to relate to or understand either. It was hard to really gage them for the most part. Even when they try to show you a bit more about them or their backgrounds it does it in the same style as the plot, it just looks like things are thrown out there, and it doesn’t always seem important enough to go and try to pick out what’s important. And the “ending” just does more of what made the series hard to sit through. It concludes the current issue at the time and then just tries to sum up and start a few other things that it doesn’t have enough time to even explain properly. An open ending is not always bad but there isn’t really a point to showing new developments at the same time as trying to somehow bring the show to a close. In fewer words: you can’t open and close a door at the same time. It looks foolish and awkward. However because I did follow the series through, I’ll probably watch the sequel, which I think is what they are actually trying to set up in the final episode, to see if they might do a better job of tying up the story, because I still think the concept can be good.
Angelic Layer (TV) Excellent
Well this is truly surprising. Even with all the praise and recommendations I have read for this series I was still surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I mean when I think about it objectively, this is basically a show about girls (and some boys) playing with dolls, taken to an nth extreme. I would’ve thought it would be impossible to really make it that good. However this series overcomes it with great storytelling and animation that makes the doll battles much more exciting than they probably are. I actually found myself leaning into the TV in anticipation when the dang dolls were fighting, but that’s how good this part of the story can grab you. It’s like someone took all of the battling fun from the first couple seasons of Pokemon (and yes, in my opinion, those first two season were pretty fun; the superfluously repetitive continuation is what really hurt that franchise), redirected them to dolls rather than pocket monsters and added them to an already solid show. I mean with the fantastic characters, the wonderful interactions between them, all of their own well developed side stories, and the beautiful drama and dialogue this story would have probably been very good even without the battling dolls. Actually I would’ve thought that battling dolls would probably weaken a show, and yet here it just adds this additional excitement that just made it all the more enjoyable. And then to top things off quite nicely the series goes off and even has a good solid ending, which just added to the long list of things I didn't expect. It took me a long time to force myself to sit down to watch this series, but now that I have I don’t think it will take that long to convince myself of a re-watch.
Arashi no Yoru ni (movie) Excellent
This was a really nice story. In essence all it is is a story of a wolf and a goat and the friendship that they forge despite being natural predator and prey. And it is really simplistic. However the simplicity of it is what makes it such a charming and touching story. Gabu and Mei are a wonderful pair, their personalities are what make the story. Those moments when Gabu looks at Mei and starts drooling provide a telling conflict but his own acknowledgment that it is better to go hungry for a bit rather than lose, no betray a friend, help serve as constant reminders of the different worlds they come from and just how much they have to overcome. I really enjoyed almost every aspect of this story and I hope this is licensed and dubbed someday so that I can show it to the kids in my family because I’m sure they would love it every bit as much as I did if not more.
Ayakashi (TV) Decent
This series starts out with a pretty darned good set up. The first 4 episodes open up a solid foundation of intrigue, suspense, and of course mystery. The characters are built up the same way. You can see honest and interesting traits built up with also hints of something hidden waiting to be revealed. However as the main body of the plot starts to unfold it wavers. In episode 5 the series made an interesting choice. It could have very easily continued the structure it had begun to build but instead goes for a flashier approach which not only doesn’t really fit but also sort of falls flat in the presentation. Once this even which continues into the following episode passes it seems the shows break in consistency was a bit too much to recover. Instead of the mystery unfolding upon what was built different elements are brought up to which no clues were previously given and cheap resolutions are quickly pieced together for matters that would have been stronger if left untouched. And in adding the extra elements it completely forgets others that were left unexplained. The characters also end up in similar positions. Instead of any forward true character development characters begin to merely act different or just simply louder near the end. Heck, even the animation starts to look shoddier in the second half. And eventually the ending also comes with plenty of cheap, underwhelming, and anticlimactic resolutions. Which is an overall shame; if it weren’t for all the problems the show has with following through it probably had a chance of being really good. For what it was it wasn’t a total waste but I wouldn’t watch it again.
Ayumayu Theater (ONA) Good
This show can be funny, laugh out loud funny, and it can also be cute. There are a few dull moments here and there but at only 6 to 7 minutes per episode they don’t last long. So it is just mostly fun, but at the 5 minute marks it doesn’t really have time to anything special either so it’s sort of a wash. If you are a Rumbling Hearts fan and you enjoyed all the next episode previews with the chibi versions of Ayu and Mayu then you’ll get as much a kick out of this show as I did. If you hated those comedy routines between the angsty drama then you’d probably do well skipping this show. Me? I’ve already seen a few of these 2 or 3 times, the really funny ones, so I know I’ll watch them yet again sometime.
Azumanga Daioh (TV) Masterpiece
What can I say about this series that would really do it justice? It would belittle it to call it a comedy or slice of life or school life anything else really; all those categories just sound to bland for this show. It is incredibly cute, almost so cute that it can make you sick, however if you pay close attention you can also be drawn into these wonderful characters; all these unique girls who each have their own dreams ideas and insecurities, and yet they never once stop moving forward. All the random stories are wonderfully written along wioth the incredibly cute jokes that would usually be annoying and yet in this context always actually left me bemused and smiling. This is one of the series that I re-watch very often and still cannot get enough. Whenever I want to feel good I think of these stories, and even if I'm not near my dvd player, just thinking about it can bring a smile to my face.
Azumanga Daioh - The Very Short Movie Good
Not much to get from this in 5 minutes, but it was still a cute little story that could have fit in any of the episodes.
Azumanga Web Daioh (ONA) Decent
I honestly only watched this because it's like 3 minutes long, it wasn't particularly amusing and it was irritating to hear a different voice cast, but it didn't take up a lot of my time.
B Gata H Kei - Yamada’s First Time (TV) Good
This was actually a pretty funny and silly pervy show. The premise is pretty audaciously straightforward, but I think they managed to produce something worth watching. I heard so many nasty things being said abut this show but I wonder if the people who were saying them really gave this show an honest show to amuse them. B Gata H Kei is pretty good at that, being amusing. It also does a good job telling the story of a clueless girl who sets quite a ridiculous goal for herself but endears herself to the viewer as she clumsily goes about everything the wrong way and is dumbfounded as she starts experiencing things normal girls enjoy. I'm not saying this show will ever be in a list of best all time anime in any category, but it isn't a waste of anime and I did enjoy watching it.
Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts (TV) Good
This was actually a pretty clever way to make an absurd gag anime about a group of idiots. At first I was worried that this would turn into some type of feel good story about a bunch of kids who work hard to get to the top and a lot of weak emotional material with a message to always do your best and study. This is one of the furthest things that this show is actually about and that is good. The show really isn’t about anything. There is a group of kids who aren’t really apt at studying, don’t look like they are interested in it anyway, but have a lot of fun in a slew of quirky ways. They occasionally feel like participating in the school activity of wars between the classes, which never amount to anything, even when they win, but they are carefree having ridiculous experiences and facing absurd issues and for the most part don’t seem to mind their position in the school. That is what I think makes the show truly fun to watch, knowing that these fun characters are rarely disappointed in not getting a prize but just take everything as part of the ride. And a crazy ride it is with all the jokes and gags and surprises that come up. I really was hesitant to watch this show because of what I thought it might turn out to be, I watched it in the end to make sure I wasn’t outright dismissing it since it was getting licensed, and now I’m failry certain I’d buy this and watch it again.
Banner of the Stars (TV) Excellent
This was a great sequel to Crest of the Stars. Where as in the previous series was more of a personal journey between Jinto and Lafiel only in this series we get a lot more into the war that has erupted. I mean it is natural since both of them have now moved on to official positions with the service. However this also gies the series a different feel so it does not become stale. One of the things that I only caught a bit of in the first series was how much more sense the space battles make in these series than any other sci-fi story in most mediums. The whole sending out mines first rather than just charging in with people or more important commodities is brilliant, especially as this series shows how versatile a fight you can put up with just the mines. And it still makes for some pretty exciting warfare. Military strategy is another thing that comes into play and we get to see so many sides of this with all the different commanders and their first officers. The Bebous were particularly intriguing, although if I were in the force I’d rather serve under Spoor. And to show that there is still a personal side the focus in all of this is still the growing relationship between Jinto and Lafiel who continue to grow into such wonderful characters. And along with them we now also get the crew of the Basroil who add different levels of complexity to the character interactions. Another great show. Although as with the first series, still my only qualm is all the narratives. It even increases in this series. Sometimes you have last episode summaries and then narrations, and then a plot narratives, and then episode introductions and so forth, and it seems it happens to an even greater extent when you just want the story to move on so you can know what happens next. If it wasn’t for all of that talk that sometimes tend to ruin good moments, I would definitely rate this show a masterpiece.
Banner of the Stars II (TV) Excellent
So the franchise finally abandons all the needless babble before and during episodes and it happens to be in this story. Now don’t get me wrong it is still a very good story but it just wasn’t as great as the first two series. It is lacking in importance or relevance as opposed to the previous series. But it wasn’t just that the storytelling is what drops in quality. Despite only being 10 episodes there were a few moments were I started getting bored watching it and that is something that only happened in the previous series during the endless mindless narrations. So it loses the narration but the storytelling quality drops a bit. However this also tells a pretty important story along the way. In keeping up with Jinto and Lafiel we needed a time when they are apart to finally advance their personal story a bit further. Thanks to the wonderful romantic ending this series, like its predecessors, gets an Excellent from me despite those few dull moments.
Banner of the Stars III (OAV) Good
This series still holds a lot of the same charm from the previous two. All of the characters still stand out a lot and some of them even get a chance to a show a different side to their personalities. At the top of course, Lafiel and Jinto show that they are still on their own personal journey as well. What is not as good as the previous parts is that there really is never a solid story built up with a proper resolution following. The one conflict was resolved in a no resolution really needed sort of way and then it ended. Certainly the light of the previous series has been that they not only show us a lot of the human side but also on a journey that we as viewers can also take in this world created. Well if anything it leaves enough open where I now want to look up the original novels so I may get my story there. However regardless of that this is another chapter in the lives of Jinto and Lafiel of which I am a fan now so it was still more than well worth watching.
BAOH (OAV) Very good
This is one that I saw ages ago but recently managed to find again. While the plot may sound a bit corny by today's standards, when I first saw this video it was definitely one of the better anime videos of its time. A chemically engineered superhuman who never really falls into the control of his creators, Ikouro, has a lot to handle especially as he was not even aware of what they had done to him. I still enjoy watching this video more for more than just reminiscing. The characters are interesting although a bit tame and the plot is a little more than just a showcase for action sequences. It may not have the most unique story but it portrays it in a unique way.
Basilisk (TV) Very good
Well it has taken me a long time to finish this series and my thoughts at the end are different than they started out. The series is not bad by any means, in fact at some points it is absolutely brilliant. The reason I couldn’t really watch it continuously was how intense and bloody it is, although I did marathon the last few episodes because it got incredibly good down the stretch. The story is written and told well; even the politics of the clans were pretty interesting to me. And the plot is a tad predictable but there were enough twists at the end to also help keep it interesting. However the intensity of the situations and drama and the sheer bloody violence didn’t leave much room for breathing. I often watched episodes of the cutest shows I have after watching an episode of Basilisk just to clear my head. For fans of blood this is probably a must see, this series is ‘lob off a head at the jawline’ violent. It did have a few tiny moments where it lightened up, and actually a whole episode was dedicated to this, no outrageous humor or anything that would have killed the pacing of the story but I think it was done because the creators probably realized the mood had to be lightened just a tad. And the characters are all very interesting and their techniques are more than unique. I loved all the episodes where they showed more about some of the players because I actually wanted to know more about their motives. The animation was also above par, it had a lot of nice backgrounds and of course the action sequences were superbly animated. I will be buying this series, because it is that good, and I do want to watch it again but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sit down and watch it from start to finish in one go.
Berserk (TV) Good
One of the better dramatic fanatasies I have ever seen. Guts is a well developed character who, though he claims not to, really understands himself better than anyone. He lives in a world of battles, kingdoms, magic, and even demons and he understands better than anyone what it means to survive. I also really enjoyed the romance that was built with Casca, from their early days when Casca really despised him, until she began to finally understand him. The story is a bit complex and probably would've been helped a bit more with either a series to prequel or sequel it, or by removing some episodes. I am not usually a fan of gore but this is a story for whicvh it is necessary and I can appreciate it, but the mistakes with the plot I can't really rate it higher.
Big Windup! (TV) Decent
I suppose I’ve been interested in other baseball related anime and manga since I watched Cross Game became a Mitsuru Adachi fan so I’ve been checking out a few other stories and it was hard to miss this one with all the attention it gets. This show doesn’t come close to the level of storytelling that Adachi showed in CG but it does tell a nice baseball tale. You get to see this group of character’s come together and form a team and then you get to see them grow together. It really isn’t bad. What probably brings the show down to average level is that the creator seems to really try to keep the story as normal and plausible to real life as possible. When your aim is ‘normal’ it will always be hard to be better. Still it really never gets boring so I did enjoy watching it.
Binbō Shimai Monogatari (TV) Good
This show had got me hooked, although it did take about 4 episodes to get there. It was much too short but when I think that way, that I want more, that’s when I know I have seen a good show. I was a little indifferent after watching the first episode, to me it seemed like it was trying too hard, but after seeing the second two I have to say I have definitely changed my mind. These characters have grown on me and the story is very cute yet still meaningful. I mean there are some moments that still feel bit forced, but as I became more attached to the characters it stopped being annoying. I would have liked this show to continue for at least a few more episodes and to cheer these girls on. It definitely left me wanting to see more.
Birdy the Mighty (OAV) Very good
After I caught an episode of the new series I went to look it up and found that it had a predecessor, and this is it. I’m a sucker for these types of late 80’s and 90’s sci-fi OAV series as it is and this one is entertaining, amusing, and even interesting as well as a bit corny. It was enjoyable through all four episodes, the story was told well although it really didn’t have enough time to properly delve into everything. The characters are also pretty endearing and the villains are interesting. The show does a good job of presenting the characters but it is always tough to do proper character work in short series like this. There was nothing really outstanding about it but I couldn’t see anything I didn’t like either. The few shortcomings are obviously no fault of the creator’s, with the time available, and I hope the new series, though vastly different, can do a good job in that because I can see that there is more to this than what is show here. I’ve already put an order for a DVD pack that includes this show so it is safe to say that no matter how the new series turns out, I liked this OAV enough that I’ll watch it again.
Birdy the Mighty Decode:02 (TV) Very good
The sequel doesn’t stand up to the original in certain aspects but it doesn’t fall far behind ether. Instead of being a story of Tsutomu and Birdy, Birdy now takes center stage and we learn a lot more about her and her past. There is still a good story being told but I think what’s missing is the balance the first series had between all its different aspects. In the sequel the jumps between the drama and suspense and sci-fi and the rest aren’t as fluid as they were in the first show. However it isn’t really bad, just slightly noticeable at times. Surprisingly, even though this is Birdy’s story, the plot is actually more personal than the full-on action and the wildness one would expect from the leading lady, but it is good. And you get the ending you’d expect but it doesn’t disappoint from being predictable and is quite well done. I don’t usually harp on animation one way or another but I guess another disappointment was the obvious budget cuts in especially the big action sequences. They try to make it look a bit artsy, as if it is on purpose, and some of it actually works because they also don’t distract from the personally story being told, but it does make those parts a slight less enjoyable. Overall though, this is still a very good show and it would be on my ‘to buy list’ right after the first series if it is ever brought to the US. I’d have absolutely no problems watching it again.
Birdy the Mighty: Decode (TV) Excellent
This supposed to be an alternate telling of the Birdy Manga which has already had an anime adaptation, a 4 episode OAV from ’96. If anyone has seen that you’ll know that this series is already vastly different. The character designs are made a bit more modern and it tells more; it takes the entire first episode to get to more or less where the OAV was at after just 10 minutes. It also has a lot of elements that were not present in the OAV; there are more characters and some of the existing characters have different aspects and more behind them. And it all works. I think the best thing about the show is that it just feels so fun and fresh. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that the show is original in every way, but it plays out so well that I didn’t get a sense of staleness in any part of it. The direction and storytelling have a lot to do with that. The show balances the sci-fi and action elements really well and is able to mix in some humor and drama at the right parts making the show really enjoyable to watch. As far as the sci-fi elements go, no, it doesn’t all make sense, but hey, there are aliens involved so it doesn't really have to. I also really enjoy the characters, again not original, but they interact real well and are also part of the balance in the story; I honestly wanted to watch and get to know them. And it has just enough fanservice, well you can never have even enough, but meh. I’m really glad I stumbled across this show and I actually already can’t wait to watch it again and really look forward to the sequel. This will definitely be a show I buy if licensed without hesitation or waiting for a box set or any of the usual silliness. I’d even pay Japanese prices for a Blu-ray release.
Black Cat (TV) Very good
This show is surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because all I had heard since I started buying the series until I actually watched it wa that it uses a lot of clichés, it is boring, and that the storytelling is either rushed or confusing. I'm glad that I found the show doesn't nearly own up to those descriptions. Yes the story is not incredibly original and it uses some clichés but what anime doesn't nowadays. The storytelling is actually pretty good and, along with some interesting, entertaining, and endearing characters, sets up some action scenes that are pretty neat to watch. And I think the action is exciting. Anything from sword versus gun fights to spears to any other creative use of weapons provide some interesting fights to watch. Add to that; buildings collapsing, explosions, some neat footraces, and exciting chases all aide in keeping a pretty fast pace of action that helps drive the show. Sure it might not be the most original of shows and the final climax leaves a bit to be desired but it's a fun ride getting there so I think it is well worth checking out if you are an action anime fan.
Black Lagoon (TV) Excellent
This is a show I’ve been kicking around since Geneon went under. I had really wanted to watch it but I was waiting to have all the DVDs, including The Second Barrage, together so I could just watch it all together. Well my order for the special edition volume 1 of TSB will be forever pending, but I finally dug these DVDs out to watch. I had a feeling it was gonna be good, and it turned out even better than anticipated. Despite a somewhat episodic nature (some stories do carry over for an extra episode), the story is where the show really surprised me. It carries some great consistency throughout and yet rarely wavering on intensity. There is one moment where a maid gives a speech about her life which sort of felt out of place, which Revy also quickly jumped on afterwards, but that is about the only time I felt the story stumble. The action is also pretty intense, especially when Revy is involved, but everything else as well. There are sea battles, car chases, foot chases, explosions, and people escaping by the hair on their heads; all types of action and all fun to watch. The characters are also surprisingly deep for this kind of show. The character development really delves deep into human nature without being either annoying or incongruous to the show. I found myself enjoying almost all the characters sinister or not, friend or foe. My one complaint with the series is if they were gonna split one show into two different series with two different titles they may have given the first 12 episodes a big ending. Not that the closing arc was boring, far from it, but, it lacked style, for lack of a better term, in how a series should end. Regardless of that it is incredibly, exciting, and fun to watch and I did download TSB to watch next so I guess it is not really like it needed a true ending anyway. I’d watch this show again any time.
Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (TV) Excellent
This series has every bit as much excitement and action as the first season and also continuing a lot of the great character interactions and development but also a bit more. Well I guess I really shouldn’t count them as series 1 and 2 when it really is just one series, but the creators did it so I guess I should play along. I was a bit hesitant about the initial arc, after seeing the previews for it seemed somewhat odd to me to have a vampire arc added in because it just didn’t seem to fit with the show’s style in my opinion, but even this really impressed me, especially with all that comes from it including the emotional drama at the end of the third episode. But the story it developed for that arc just proved how good the series is at storytelling overall and added an even greater aspect of versatility to an already multifaceted show. And even took it further from there as the rest of the series can really make you laugh one minute and then make your blood rush with excitement the next. It’ll keep you in suspense in one scene and have you really drawn into the drama of the next. It is just a great show all around. The one complaint I have is that I expected the big ending I didn’t see at the end of the first series, but it didn’t really come. It didn’t end badly, it does somewhat excuse itself in reminding the viewer that the story continues forward and the closing arc was as good as the rest of the series. However a fan would expect something even bigger to close out the show. Still I’ll definitely watch this again sometimes and I’ll be on the lookout to see if anyone takes over the license to continue the US release. In the meantime I will dive right into the manga release which is upcoming from Viz.
Bleach the Movie: Fade to Black Good
This was not as good as The Diamond Dust Rebellion, but it was still a pretty decent movie and it should be fun to watch for nearly any Bleach fans. I say “should be” and “nearly any” because at this point in time there are quite a lot of Bleach fans that are probably quite sick of original stories that have nothing to do with the main canon story line. But I’ll leave the rest of that gripe for my comments on the series. This movie has a pretty decent story which may have worked better if they would have made the background to the conflict a bit better; it was pretty anticlimactic and not so interesting when this part is revealed. However there was still quite a bit of action and all around humor that Bleach is famous for and the spirit of that was actually kept pretty true to the feel of the original work. That helped make the movie worthwhile and I don’t think I’d have any problems watching it again.
Bleach: Memories in the Rain (OAV) So-so
Considering this was just a flashback show it was alright. Sure it was just redundant if you've already seen the episodes it was taken from, but it told it's particular story well, and if you haven't seen the early episodes in a while it's pretty cool to look back at this particular important moment in Ichigo's life. However the downside of watching back like this is that it just shows in contrast how dreadful the current filler episodes are.
Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion (movie) Very good
This is probably the best of the Bleach movies. I think they did well in featuring 10th squad captain Hitsugaya because he seems to be pretty popular and it’s interesting to see something about him outside of the poorly written filler episodes where he plays soccer or participates in high school kempo. The story is pretty neat, although even if Ichigo is the main character in Bleach I think they could have gotten away with featuring Hitsugaya more as the stories hero than they did. Ichigo doesn’t have to be the main one to save the day all the time. If for no other reason watching this particular cast in much better quality than the usual tv episodes, but that’s not to say the movie is bad either. It has a bit of good drama behind the main part of the story and some good action.
Bleach: The Sealed Sword Frenzy (OAV) Good
The one thing I don't understand is if they can come up with a story like this why the hell do they continually offer nothing but crap while producing the filler episodes. The villain in this one, Baishin, was 10 times more interesting than any of the new characters and villains wasting space in the fillers. And the story was much better too, alm ost as good as some of the episodes in the Soul Society arc, and even had good ending along with some really cool fights along the way. Man, they could have turned Baishin into at least a min 10 epsiode arc and then some with some intros and giving all the shinigami some screen time. Again, another OVA to show me just how horrible the filler episodes are, and just what they have the capabilities of producing, which wouldn't be crap. Bastards!
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan (TV) Decent
Looking for an intelligent well woven tale about the deeper intricacies of the meaning of life? Well you can't come closer to the opposite with this one. It's sort of sad that the title alone is enough to tell you what the entire series is about. No, there is really nothing more to it, unless you count extreme bathroom humor as a bonus. If nothing else Dokuro is enough of a lunatic to make this story somewhat entertaining and there were a few moments where I caught myself laughing out loud. It's not Steinbeck but it wasn't a total waste of time either.
Blue Gender (TV) Not really good
This is not a good show. There is not a moment in this show that remotely contradicts that statement. It’s decent at points, but never good. It is just not entertaining. The biggest problem is that the plot is just a series of points at which the story contradicts itself. I think, and I really may be mistaken this show isn’t good as I mentioned, but I think they were trying to create plot twists but they just really sucked at doing it. A twist in the plot is supposed to be a turning point in which something unexpected happens, but still believable within the boundaries of the plot. In this show all of these moments involved contradicting something that had previously been established in some way earlier.

The same can be said for the characters as well. At some points it seems any character in the story is a potential contradiction waiting to happen. And sadly the show is even bad at contradicting when it comes to the characters. Sometimes a character will say he believes something for a certain reason, in another episode that same character will believe in something slightly different but similar for a completely different reason. The again another character will sometimes believe something for a certain reason and later state he or she believes something completely different for the same reason. This show is a headache waiting to happen for anyone who has the ability to think. The biggest fault the show has when it comes to the characters though is Yuji. Yuji is an idiot. He isn’t even a loveable idiot; he is your run of the mill hard headed dumb ass. This makes him extremely hard to like. After a few episodes I didn’t really care what happened to him or what he was yelling about next, and when you can say this about the main character it just goes to show how bad the show really was.

All around this show just wasn’t interesting. It had potential to be interesting at times but it couldn’t maintain a plot because of all the contradictions so I lost interest several times while watching it. Then, mostly because Yuji is the main character, the show isn’t entertaining either. It never had much of a chance at entertaining. Add that to an anticlimactic climax and generic closing scenes and you have an anime that is not good. It wasn’t the worse show I’ve ever seen but it isn’t a show I would recommend for any reason. I finished it through to the end simply because I bought it but I can honestly say I would not watch it again. It was not worth the money or more importantly the time it took to watch it.

Boku wa Imōto ni Koi o Suru: Secret Sweethearts - Kono Koi wa Himitsu (OAV) Decent
This is not really a bad story but it isn’t anything really outstanding either. It could probably have worked best at about 3 episodes or so. The problem is that they try to slowly tell a story and allow the audience to work out for themselves all that is being left untold. This normally isn’t a bad thing but when you don’t imply enough to allow the audience something to work out the untold parts it ends up being pretty shallow. There just isn’t enough development in characters or story for this to really mean something. That’s a bad thing when it appears the entire point of the story is to tell an incest story in a meaningful way. Because the story is only partially developed the rest of it lacks impact. I wouldn’t say watching it was a waste of time but I wouldn’t see it again.
Boogiepop Phantom (TV) Excellent
This is one of the few Horror/Mystery series that I really enjoyed. I liked the story as was told by each individual and how it all pieced together. It was sort of like a puzzle that you have to look at all the pieces before you can see the whole picture but is fun to see what it is going to form. The characters were interesting enough to keep following the series and the story is original. A good sign with a type of show like this is that the suspenseful moments do get your attention and I think Boogiepop does this well. I may not watch too many other Horror anime series, but this one was definitely worth the time.
Brave Story (movie) Very good
What a wonderful surprise this movie is. It creates a certain atmosphere and I expected it to flounder at any moment, and yet it just kept going and told an enjoyable story along the way. The reason the early moments had me a bit doubtful is because once the story turns to Vision it starts playing like something out of a video game or RPG, and those types of stories usually leave me yawning or irritated by the second act. That was far from the case with Brave Story which really captured my attention and drew me in through the entire journey. I also enjoyed the characters, so many different personalities, and I can tell there is a larger story behind each one, I only wish I could read Japanese so I could read the Novel and find more. The animation as with most of today’s modern works was really beautiful, however there were some minute annoyances with the CGI. While I respect that CGI allows for more amazing effects, the character designs didn’t always fit in the backgrounds, however it wasn’t really enough to really distract from the overall story. And more than that in Vision the work really led to some beautiful visuals, especially with the local citizens and some of the larger beasts were amazing. There is worlds more good than bad with Brave Story and I’d recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the fantasy/adventure genre.
Broken Down Film (movie) Good
Ok, I have to admit this movie was a bit more than amusing; actually chuckled a couple of times while watching it. Not the funniest and not incredible but still fun. I think I'll leave it at that, it's one of those that you'll understand if you take a look, and only 5 minutes so it won't waste a lot of your time if you give it a shot.
Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 (TV) Good
This is a pretty fun high energy show. The story is pretty basic, but it moves forward well enough. Actually when it runs into problems is when it tries to get too complicated. When it tries to go beyond it is range it seems to have to come up with some contrivances to make up for the gaps it can’t explain and it can get pretty annoying. However aside from being fun another thing that saves the show is the characters. Like the story they are not incredibly complex but fun. The girls and some of the supporting characters are really likable and it makes you want to keep watching. The show does not really excel in any areas but does manage to cover its weaknesses with the energetic feel and how just plain fun it manages to be. It won’t ever be among my favorites but I can though it again and not feel like I’m wasting my time.
Buso Renkin (TV) Good
Busou Renkin doesn’t really do a lot of bad things, but the problem is that it doesn’t do a lot of great things either. For the concept behind it, a much better story could have been written behind it to make it special. The characters are very good. I like the development and build up but the way the story is told it also makes it hard for them to really shine at any point. One of the reasons the show is really worth watching is the relationship between Kazuki and Tokiko. It is rare enough for any show to actually give you a pay off between love interests so it is sad that there wasn’t a stronger show for these characters to really thrive in. Another great hindrance the show had was dragging things way to much when something finally starts to happen. I appreciate a certain level of anticipation but when something begins to happen at the end of an episode not getting back to that same starting point until at least halfway through the next episode (much less any new development) is really annoying. For the tale that’s told the series is pretty good, the characters raise the level a bit but a bit more balance to the story and better storytelling could have made it great.
CANAAN (TV) Very good
This show was actually quite fun and exciting to watch. There was hardly any point in this show where something wasn’t going on either visually, as far as action, or plot-wise and so it certainly was not ever boring. It may have been a bit too busy at a couple of key points and it muddled the story a bit, but with the overall product these were easy to overlook and get past. Well I say easy but I had to replay the scenes at this point so I could make sense of everything, but the fact that I was willing to do that instead of just skipping the lapses shows that the story had my full attention and I wanted to know it all. The characters were also fabulous; there were likeable heroines, unlikable villains, good and sometimes fun and interesting supporting characters. And it was interesting how they took a handful of the supporting roles and made them more important at key points without making it look awkward. I think the people that put it together did a really good job all around and if they could have put it all in a few more episodes to avoid the parts where it felt a bit rushed it could have even been extraordinary. For what it was though, it was still really darned good and I’d definitely watch this again.
Cardcaptor Sakura (TV) Excellent
There isn't a heck of a whole lot to this show but I think that is what makes it excellent. The characters are not very multifaceted, but they are well introduced and developed, and for the simplicity of this story, they are perfect. Saying this story is simple is by no means a knock, the simplicity just adds to the overall charm, and oh boy is it charming! There are just so many different elements in this department that you can’t just discount the overall product for the sugar and spice cutesiness because there is so much more. These simple and predictable stories have a level of craftiness that makes them completely un-ignorable. You can see how everything will turn out but watching it unfold is so much fun that you just keep watching. And even this is at a different level because how things unfold is where the fun really lies and it even adds a good deal of suspense. This series is definitely cute and cuddly with beautiful moments or romance, but there are also occasional messages that are just beautiful real world wisdoms. Overall it is just wonderfully put together and I’m glad I finally got to see this entire series with subtitles, this is definitely my favorite shoujo magical girl story and I don’t see any other taking its place.
Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card Excellent
As the first movie this movie again had excellent quality in production but also a lot more. Not only is this movie pretty to look at but it is as fun as the series and also quite exciting. When I finished the series I didn't feel there were any real loose ends except for the minor formalities, but this movie is wonderful addition. It combines a nice well written two hour story with the same lovable cast from the series and manages a wonderful encore. And not only does it magage the same level of cuteness and craftiness that keep you watching but it even adds a whole new level of excitement with some great action sequences. Everything in Cardcaptor Sakura is just a joy and I'm glad I got a chance to watch it all.
Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie Good
This movie holds production values that were not even a thought during the series. The animation, artwork, editing, and music are very good, but unfortunately this is the only area where it is better than the series. I mean it had some really nice moments and it was fun to see a whole different story with Sakura, mainly one that did not involve hunting Clow cards, but it just wasn’t as fun as the average episode in the series. I’m not saying it wasn’t enjoyable, because it was; I don’t know maybe it was just that it felt that they were trying for something more serious and didn’t know where to go with it. However it is overall still a fun show and a must if for anyone who is already in love with the series and the characters (like me).
Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran (TV) Good
This is a very entertaining series. It doesn't have a continuous storyline, mostly episodic, but each story does have its own purpose and they are all told well. I like the characters a lot, both Ran and Meow are interesting and fun to watch even though we never really learn a lot about their backgrounds. And many of the supporting characters are interesting as well, they are introduced pretty well and in a way that actually made me understand them even in short appearances. The action is also very good, I enjoyed watching all the fights despite that they were mostly one sided in Ran's favor. And the comedy is also pretty good, I think almost every episode made me chuckle at some point or another. I think this series is pretty similar to Ranma 1/2 in many aspects and that is probably why I had so much fun watching it. It really made me wish there was more and that is always a sign of a good show, too bad there isn't even a manga series to get more of these stories.
Casshern Sins (TV) Decent
For being the third remake of a show from the 70’s you’d think they could do a better job with making the story consistent and not just trying to get by with some pretty animation. It sets up real well at first, a lot of the scenes and sequences early on had me reeled in and ready to bite down on the next plot point or twist, but instead in the mid to last episodes the show starts to fall apart and instead of trying to tighten up it tries to get fancy at times so instead ends up flying apart and even faster. It seemed like a waste. I liked that old sci-fi feel that the show had going for it early on and had hoped it would turn out like one of those classics from long ago but it just didn’t really work. It’s also a shame in that it did some pretty good character work and development with Cashern, Ringo, and Lyuze, only to have the story become so inconsistent that it distracted me from enjoying, at the very least, the personal journeys of these three. Overall it isn’t a horrible show, it still comes out as something watchable, but it really could have been better.
Castle in the Sky (movie) Good
I’m having a hard time writing something about this movie; it seems almost anything I write will just feel like a redundancy with the Miyazaki movies that I have seen. The storytelling is outstanding; which is just something I have come to expect from these films. It’s fun and interesting but it also has its share of thrills and suspense. The characters are absolutely wonderful, both Lucita and Pazu are a joy to watch together and when they are struggling for each other’s sakes. Actually most of the character interactions are done pretty well. The only faults I see in this movie is that it has a couple of those incredibly awkward moments when it takes the time to explain something which it has already shown us or is painfully obvious. I also don’t like the presentation of the villains; they are a bit dry and uninteresting which kills the story a bit at times. However despite the minor flaws, overall, the movie is fun and definitely re-watchable.
(The) Cat Returns (movie) Very good
Ah, completely fun and delightful. This is now one of my favorite animatewd movies. It may not stack up to something like Princess Mononoke in terms of production values, but judging it from the standpoint of pure entertainment it is definitely a cut above, and not just because it is fun. The story is very cleverly told and the animation really works. I know it may not be the best but like the story it is very clever. There were moments where I thought that the animation was losing some continuity only to discover it was done with purpose and worked beautifully. Most notably when Haru visits the cat Kingdom I thought she was being drawn smaller to be lazy and fit all the characters in the frames only to discover what was to come. And the chracters are all fun and very likable, I was genuinely surprised by the two familiar cats. And Haru is just fantastic, she's so real, you can tell whjat she is thinking without the dialogue, and something about her makes me want to root her on. I'm so glad I was able to watch this, it's so charming and entertaining, not usually my type of story but it's great.
Ceres, Celestial Legend (TV) Weak
Weak, weak, weak, and when I say weak I am mostly talking about the romance. It was completely contrived and left me with a feeling that if romance really were like this then the majority of good people would all die alone in this world. Luckily that is not the case, but who actually acts this way? I did not like either of the main characters and thought the anime would work so much better with more focus on Ceres and Yuuhi, in my opinion the only two likable characters in the series. The plot was sort of ok but it was not nearly enough to save this series. This show is more annoying than interesting and I won’t watch it again.
A Certain Magical Index (TV) Good
What a neat show. There’s really nothing that is truly outstanding but it is almost completely nice and fun to watch. It’s just one of those shows that does so well in storytelling that you can forgive almost all the parts that seem a bit generic or overdone. And the characters are all generally likeable so I kind of went right along hoping to see what would happen next and how Touma would shatter the illusion with his extremely unfortunate right hand. At times the dialogue seemed to come straight from a shounen/tournament series and at others from a visual novel, but I can’t say that it bothered me all that much because ‘I like the characters so they can speak however they want,’ one of those types of things. The only annoying points to the show were the few times when it would stop to unnecessarily explain something when it was quite obvious and it could have just gotten straight to the action. But those moments really were few and I for the most part I was able to just sit back, not think a whole lot, and enjoy the heck out of the show. I’d definitely watch it again and also buy if licensed.
Chi's Sweet Home (TV) Good
This is a charming little show. Chi wanders away from his mother one day and while lost ends up in the home of a nice family whose only problem is that their apartment does not allow pets. So the family struggles through searching for a home for Chi while Chi struggles with a short attention span. And actually that's making sound a lot more complex than it is most of the time. Still most episodes of this series will produce a smile or two for fans of cute little animals. Well, not just that. The show actually manages some nice endearing and occasionally even sad moments as Chi struggles with different issues. Chi’s Sweet Home will never be mistaken for an epic masterpiece but it entertains in its own sweet way.
Chibits (special) Decent
A cute little side story, nothing really gained or lost. I guess when you have the cute little persocoms it can't be helped but to show them off one more time. It was a fun little chase, although I think they could've at least come up with a different premise to set it up rather than in reintroducing the 'panty' theme.
Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief (TV) Very good
I have to say that this show is pretty cool. Nijū-Mensō and Chiko, the thief with manners dressed in a stylish suit, with this aura that he probably can get whatever he wants, and the child heiress who is being brought up by relatives seemingly in the lap of luxury and yet seeking a way to freedom. And then they come together, Chiko sort of being kidnapped and also rescued all in one, then heads to a new life which doesn’t like it will be boring, to say the least. Suddenly she’s learning new things like fighting, safe cracking, knife throwing, and how to escape trouble, all the while cleaning and doing laundry, which I really don’t get. But still it’s really fun to see her learn and grow as a character as well. I also like that the series really focuses on Chiko because the alternative would be Nijū-Mensō, who is just too perfect to be a main character. So by following Chiko we get to see this world and be spectators with front row seats to the highjinks of the master thief and company. I like the setting too, not modern in any way, but a bit classy, like an old gangster film. The plot is also well weaved. It’ll build just enough to give you a general idea and then let you just follow the rest along with the characters. When I first started watching it I liked that it had potential to do a lot of different things but it turns out it is even more versatile than I thought. The show also has a really good handle on tragedy and drama that isn’t apparent in the early episodes. And it works the tragedy in suddenly, as such things should and do happen, making it a shock for the viewer as much as it is for the characters. Knowing how suddenly this show can shift makes it that much more exciting when it gets near the end. Through the good and bad I can’t say I really disliked anything about this show and I’m looking forward to some Chiko DVDs at some point.   ** This was the 400th anime I added to my Seen All list.**  
Chobits (TV) Very good
What a surprisingly good story. I was pretty sure I would enjoy it because these are my type of series, but still I guess what surprised me was that this series is not just a romantic comedy; It has real depth with quite a few levels of it. Of course I do love that it can be super cute and tender with a few laughs, as any romantic comedy should, but it can also make you think about just what this world is; the world with persocoms walking around looking human but not natural. The story can be dramatic, without going overboard, and even a bit dark and suspenseful which was another surprising aspect. The series has a few patchy points but overall it is put together fairly well and those patchy moments are not really distracting. Also, Chii has become one of my favorite anime girls, she is adorable, of course, but this is a character that, even as a viewer, I had to learn to accept because at first I simply thought of her as a machine, but I then began to see her as a real character an appreciate her. How’s that for a story drawing you in? Actually most of the characters are well formed and helped even more by the superb voice acting. I'm sure I will be seeing this one again.
Chobits (OAV) Decent
This is much like the other recap episodes. For the most part it is a large clip show and these usually don't amuse me much. However once in a while it's ok to get an extra feel good moment after everything.
Chrono Crusade (TV) Excellent
This was just wonderful from beginning to end. At first I was caught unawares, it seemed like a very light story would build, but the characters are very likable so I was into it. A few episodes later and I could not put this series down. I marathoned it without ever intending to, because I just couldn’t wait to see what happens next. If they had done just a bit of clean up on dialogue and character interactions, they weren’t bad just sometimes generic (typical Gonzo), but if they’d done that this would have easily been a Masterpiece. Those are the incredibly few complaints that I have with the series. The plot moves forward at a pace I hadn’t anticipated and it did a great job of just luring me into this fascinating story with a well crafted plot. I was also surprised by the use of religious aspects. They still make up a lot of stuff, but what dogma they use directly from catholicism and the bible is surprisingly accurate. And the show is also very exciting; I mean the action sequences are not really anything to write home about, although the visuals are nice, but it can create levels of suspense that kept me at the edge of my seat with the story alone. And the best part is the build up actually leads to a good climax; nothing was shortchanged at the end with this. Some would call it a sad ending I call it a good one. And let me not leave out the characters. Wonderfully developed and enjoyable characters showing us their motivation and weaknesses, villains you can actually hate, and a supporting cast that isn’t just around to be part of the background, this show just didn’t cut a lot of corners anywhere. Chrono Crusade is just a fantastic series and I will definitely watch it again, and even again if possible.
Chu-Bra!! (TV) So-so
Yeah, this was, erm, well whatever the heck it was. It’s hard to really write anything about this show because it is really just… See that’s the thing I can’t even come up with a word. The characters were cute, the storytelling was linear, and there were some situations that may have been touching. But what washes away anything that this show had a chance to do well is that the main theme of the entire series was underwear. Seriously. I’ve been known to praise a show with a weak concept before as long as it had some of the other variables, likeable characters, decent storytelling, and heartfelt moments for instance, but underwear is just… See words elude me again. I think the reason words are eluding me is that they don’t want to be associated with describing this show either, so I’ll just leave it at that. Would definitely not watch this again; heck, I’m not sure why I watched the whole thing even once.
Claymore (TV) Excellent
This is a really great show. It is bloody as hell, gushing, limbs tearing, heads rolling, guts splaying everywhere, but there is some fantastic storytelling that keeps the show from being one dimensional. The story weaves around each concluding arc telling enough so that you understand what’s going on but not so much as to give anything away. It’s almost brilliant in the way it accomplishes it. The character work is also outstanding. Clare’s back story, her current story and her future fate are all built up and blended so that we not only see the warrior fighting but also the misgivings and the motivation. All the Claymore have a history and the show takes special care in telling how and why these girls came about becoming what they are. We even see the issues behind some of those that have awakened and what brought them to their fall. I’d love to see this anime continued someday. I was really drawn into this world and would love to see a conclusion. Not that it ended poorly, the final episodes were actually very well put together and helped cap the story to the point it leaves off, but it’s clear there is a lot more to be told. I’ll definitely watch this again and would love to see a North American license and DVD release and before then I might settle for reading some of the manga.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV) Very good
There are a lot of really absurd things that happen in this show but surprisingly it really doesn’t drag the story down too much. At the core the plot is inventive and intriguing and once you start watching it it is hard to stop. The complete conquest of one superpower over another nation is a nightmare that the real world has been fought, lost, and won, several times, at the beginning of this story this is a fact. Of course since this is anime this history plays out in a Japan that has been taken over and reassigned ‘Area 11’ by the nation of Britannia. The Japanese are made to forget their pride and submit; no longer Japanese but now called 11’s by their oppressors.

In an already insane world the man who rises as the one to end the oppression is a brilliant but mad and selfish highschool student who for the most part uses the Japanese people’s hopes of freedom for his own aims. This is what would pass as the story’s protagonist, Lelouch, who happens to be a son of the ruling side. So in the utter absurdities to follow his evil sometimes produces a good outcome and when he tries his hand at good he sometimes causes insane evil. It’s hard to know whether to root for him or not.

However his opposite is a man who is of Japanese descent who pretends to ally himself with his oppressors for good, Suzaku. It is evident that the story often tries to paint him in an empathetic way but despite how much he tries to show that he wants good to come without blood loss, he is even harder to like. A man who not only abandons his people but will fight against them to avoid rebellion is nothing more than a dog. Once I found his true Ideals I don’t believe there was a moment afterwards where I did not seriously hate him, actually. No matter what his struggles were or what he lost, he is as easy to hate as the villains of the story.

In the rest of the cast there are some intriguing players but a lot of others who are plenty useless as well. Of course at the head of the intriguing ones would be the mysterious C.C. We never really find out what she actually is, though there are hints but then again this show doesn’t end with the end of this series. Then you have your oppressors, and the resistance, and the normal characters. Among the normals would be the Japanese trying to survive and find hope, and the Britannians trying to overlook the fact that what they have has come at the great expense of the former.

I talk a lot about the characters because in this story the main points would be missed if one overlooked the motivations of the players. Despite the scale of the background, this story is vastly character driven, which is probably what hurts it at times, but being what it is this aspect can not be ignored. It is because of the conflicts in feelings that so many of the absurdities take place. And this is the show’s ‘meat and potatoes.’ The only problem really is that it sometimes goes overboard in trying to get one more shock out but it was still very intriguing in that most of the time you really don’t know what is going to happen next. You can have a somewhat warm reunion one moment and a massacre in the very next.

I guess it is pointless to say how much I have enjoyed the show so far, seeing how much I’ve written already. I do think the show does have maybe 3 or 4 too many giant unnecessary twists which hinder the flow of the story, but I really am into it. I was surprised at the ending especially, or the lack there of, but I’m glad there is a sequel already in place and look forward to seeing where this all ends.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (TV) Excellent
After watching Code Geass I couldn’t very well wait another year or more for the continuation and eventual conclusion that is R2. With a promise to myself that I would buy the second series even if it sucked I downloaded it. This show does not suck and I’ll spend my money happily.

The show takes a step up in quality in almost every aspect in this second half. Character development and interactions reach masterful heights as everyone makes their decisions on what has to be done. Even Suzaku who is just as hateful as he was previously finally reaches his point of awakening and takes his own steps towards what he now truly desires. Of course Lelouch, our now clear protagonist, exceeds his own thinking progressively throughout until he finally reaches his final metamorphosis and makes his own choice for what needs to be done. I could continue on about these two but I would give away too much of the plot if I did. Suffice to say that both become worthy of their roles and I could not keep my eyes off either of them at the end.

The majority of rest of the cast also goes through a lot of things; changes in goals, philosophies, and even ideals. The really fascinating thing is that I was intrigued by every one. With a large cast in other shows I usually spend a lot of time upset about why I have to watch someone go through whatever every one else is going through when I just want the show to get back to the story. I could not remember a single time in this show when I didn’t care to know what was happening to any of the other characters. Good or evil, or in some cases hard to tell, I really wanted to know what every side was going through and felt it was all important to the story rather than a distraction.

The story telling also reaches new heights as I was continuously drawn on by the drama and intrigue. The only complaints here are that there were still too many plot twists, sometimes multiple ones in single episodes. This killed the mood for me a few times because instead of being surprised by a new development as I should have been, I was sometimes thinking, ‘ah, here we go again.’ There were a lot of important twists, of course, but there were also a few that were very likely unnecessary and these did distract my enjoyment of the show at times. However that really didn’t kill the show for me, obviously. While sometimes bothersome, because everything else going on was so interesting, it was fairly easy to overlook the unnecessary ones because I knew the show would quickly return to its high pace engaging storytelling.

The action also picks up more. The energetic battles and fights at times were more than enough to keep my eyes glued to the screen. I don’t know if I am becoming a fan of mecha fighting but I do know that all the fights here were really entertaining. I even thought all the modifications to the ones that were around previously and all the new mecha and machines of war were actually pretty neat.

Thinking about everything, which takes some time, I believe that despite how great a lot of the aspects of this show are, my favorite after finishing the show is the ending. It was a bit predictable once you get to down to about the last 4 or 5 episodes but it was still great. It may not be an ideal ending for a lot of people, but it really was an outcome to everything that happens leading up to it. There was no vague understanding of that

Comedy (OAV) Excellent
Can a brilliant story be told in under ten minutes? I think if it can, Comedy would be the proof. Pieced together brilliantly well, and with patience. That was probably the most amazing thing; even though it is such a small package, an amazing world is created and shown but it was never rushed. Everything was unfolded in its time and when completed there is not much left unsaid.
Comic Party (TV) Very good
I really didn’t know what to expect out of Comic Party going into it, but I did like it. The story is pretty simply and often silly but is told well. In the end it is just a story of a guy with a bit of artistic talent and through help from others learns how to make use of it through doujin work, even if reluctantly at times. There are some things that are never fully explained properly, but it takes what it has and tells it in a way that keeps one entertained. The humor keeps the story from being stale and will make you chuckle occasionally. I enjoyed the characters, each has their place, even if a silly place at times, in this show and though not very multidimensional, you can see where they’re coming from and what motivates them. I wasn’t blown away by the show but I was entertained and I’ll watch it again sometime.
Comic Party Revolution (OAV) Decent
For what is supposed to be an alternate retelling this story does not even consider spending time on introductions. It jumps straight into a story which feels like it is already in progress and if I can see where if I didn’t have a clue about the story already having watched the original Comic Party I’d be at a loss most of the time about what’s going on and why the characters are trying to do what they are doing. So if you don’t know the manga or the original series I’d suggest not watching this or the continuing series. The stories in these 4 episodes are basically one shot stories each featuring one of the girls. Which is pretty much a given considering they are OAV episodes and especially considering they are 4 OAV episodes which were originally intended to be just 2. I like the upgraded animation and seeing the characters again after a while but this show really doesn’t do much in the way of actually telling a story or plot development and so ends up a little dry. Still fun to watch though.
Comic Party Special (OAV) Decent
This is a pretty silly little after-story to Comic Part. It is ridiculous an nonsensical, what with the interstellar and prehistorical emergence of doujin, but it is also kind of cute and funny. This is a little bit of an extra, like the extra pages on doujin, that gives us a bit of service with the ladies donning swim wear. Nice to watch after watching the series but easily forgettable. I doubt I'd remember to watch this again if I ever watch Comic Party again.
Cowboy Bebop (TV) Excellent
I was weary of watching this series because it is space related and I really do not like too many of these. However just a few episodes in and I was completely tied into this very beautifully animated series that has plenty of symbolism and meaning as well as quite a few choice plot devices that an old dinosaur like me could appreciate. Yes, I still own a working Beta console. All the characters in this are terrific, especially the crew of the Bebop, and they all have shady pasts that when brought to light work incredibly well to give them an amount of depth that almost makes them seem real. The plots were all enjoyable to watch, I loved the music throughout, and there were some beautiful visuals throughout. It was just a wonderful blend of so many elements that it was hard not to really like this series.
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Excellent
I rarely like a movie as much or better than a series but this is one of the exceptions. What wonderful imagery, animation, and music. This is one of the few anime that I actually sought out the soundtrack for, and it was well worth it as well. I love the crew of the Bebop and this is one more adventure I get to replay when I get down about missing the characters in this series.
Crest of the Stars (TV) Excellent
This is a great show. It has a wonderful way with storytelling and with character development that is pretty rare for a space show. It introduces the stories and characters in the same way, they just appear and then you get to know them. In this way you never get bogged down with introduction and can be directed right into the thick of the plot. Once there almost anything can happen, from sweet quiet moments between Jinto and Lafiel to space battles to high speed car chases to dashing escapes it seems that the creator doesn’t mind where his characters go as long as there is a story to be told and that it entertains. I would very easily rate this as masterpiece if not for all the unnecessary dialogue, narration, exposition, sudden monologues by minor characters, resolution, and yet more narration. It often came close to ruining some perfectly good moments, particularly at the end. The show ends really well, there was no need for so many minutes of dialogue at the end. However this is the only qualm I have with the show, everything else is along with the orchestrated music and wonderful adventures make this show a definite must see.
Cromartie High School (TV) Very good
This show is a blast! Everything about it is just outrageous and even when you come to expect anything to happen, you still laugh out loud when it comes. ‘Thugs inadvertently trying to act normal and failing abysmally’ is probably the best way I can put it. There is not even a hint of a linear storyline, everything is random, and yet some things just keep popping up and then reverting in later episodes as if it were perfectly normal or af is it never happened in the first place. But in any case it is comedy gold. The characters a re a bunch of 2 dimensional characters who show off ‘depth’ only when the current scene warrants it. And they are pretty outrageous mix too; everything from the guy who does not belong in Kamiyama who somehow manages to take the lead somehow, to a vast assortment of hoodlums, to the only character who seems to have common sense but is a gorilla, to the robot who is not only a high school student but also a thug, to the ageless nameless man from origins unknown, the cast is diverse to say the least. And with that mix, the ‘putting thugs in situations no thug would ever really find themselves in,’ is the key of the series so nothing has to make sense and the best part is that nothing ever tries. Certain times comedies try to justify the comedy or the jokes and that’s when it stops being as funny. This series just started, happened, and ended without excusing itself on the way. I don’t even know if I could pick a favorite scene or episode almost everyone had me laughing loudly at certain moments, but I do know I’m watching this again, sooner rather than later.
Cross Game (TV) Masterpiece
Before having watched a single episode I underestimated this show. All I knew of the show was that it was rated highly, there was a baseball theme, and it looked like it may have some cute character designs. Heck I didn’t even bother to read the encyclopedia entry for it here. With just that I watched the first episode.

Anyone who has seen this episode will probably know how I felt at the end of it not knowing anything at all beforehand of what was going to happen, and because of that I feel that I am fortunate. I got a chance to experience this story as it came without having any clue of what was coming or any outside influence one way or other about it.

Saying this show is about baseball is like saying Hajime no Ippo is a show about boxing, or that Honey and Clover is a show about art school, or that Haibane Renmei is a show about a girl with wings. Those who are fortunate enough to have seen these shows may understand how badly I underestimated this show. The story and storytelling beginning to end is absolutely amazing. Scenes flow masterfully from one to another giving a true image of the characters lives. By that I mean the everyday aspects that really show who they are and not what they are. And for the most part the relationships between all of these characters are important to the overall, which is something else that was done well.

However, what makes this story truly special is that amazing storytelling. This is the type of anime that proves you don’t need high cost CG action scenes, magic, giant robots, and ridiculous moves to completely capture a viewer’s attention. After watching it once I was left so impressed by this aspect that I re-watched it almost entirely 3 times within just a couple of weeks, read the manga, and also read a few other Mitsuru Adachi manga in order to have a better understanding of the brilliant work I saw. The main story is simple enough that young children could watch this without complaint but for anyone older it offers that and a heck of a lot more. The complexity of how the plot comes about is crafted beautifully behind well placed symbolism, hidden meanings, clever clues, and an abundance of hints found in various scenes.

Near the end I was on edge to know not just what the final scores would be but, maybe more importantly, in what direction these characters futures would begin. That really is the heart of the matter. Any great show usually leaves you wanting more when it is done and this one has me imagining a lot more. However, I saw the protagonist achieve his true goal and where the new beginning is, how he can finally move forward, and that was a wonderful ending to this wonderful show. I did not feel cheated in any sense by how the show ended, which I have heard, is where many people think this show failed. I assure you, it does not and I will definitely watch this one again.

On a final note, I don’t often recommend anime for people to watch anymore, but for anyone who has not seen this I have a simple message, and maybe a plea, “It doesn’t matter what kind of anime you like or what genre of story you prefer, watch Cross Game.” My second recommendation is, “after you’ve seen it, watch it again.” I never though I would watch a show that would oust Ranma ½ as my # 1 favorite, but this show has. Especially after seeing how no matter how many times I watch it I am no impressed and more often than not even more impressed in subsequent viewings.

Daiakuji - The Xena Buster (OAV) Decent
I'm always looking for an excuse to watch hentai...j/k. No actually, just like with any anime, I will only watch hentai when I read good reviews and recommendations for them. If I'm going to just watch porn with no story I'd rather it be live action. And surprisingly this series delivers in the story telling; it's not the best plot, but it is not bad at all. The story actually works well and incorporates the sex acts into it, rather than just leading to them. The characters are surprisingly interesting and fun too, especially Akuji and Satsu. The last volume does a nice job of closing out the story and even gives us a fun and sometimes tender surprise but awaited relationship, so it even ends well. So along with Kite, I have now seen a grand total of 2 hentai titles I would recommend.
DearS (TV) Very good
This is my kind of series; romantic, sweet, and funny. Of course it seems to follow a trend of other series; boy inexplicably meets girl that is a thousand times to good for him and yet they form a bond. In this case the girl being an alien who doesn't understand a lot of Earth's formalities is where a lot of the wackiness ensues. But not all the wackiness, my favorite comedic sequences here involve the super stimulated teacher who flies past the border of sexually harassing her students was absolutely hilarious, and even more surprising that Kikuko Inoue, the sweet voice behind AMG's Belldandy and Ranma's Kasumi, is the seyuu behind this character. I really liked this series, for more than the laughs; the characters are more than just likable especially the leads, Ren and Takeya are perfect guides into both sides of this world, and the plot, though a bit cheesy at times, is light and refreshing and most importantly well written. This is another series that'll definitely go into my re-watch pile.
Death Note (TV) Very good
I really enjoyed what I saw through the first 13 episodes or so. The characters introduced and right away I could see that there is something behind everything, especially with Light and L. And I love that the story not only tells but also shows so that you can judge for yourself. It doesn't try to tell you who or what is right, but it clearly gives you enough arguments for all sides. And it is not just about what's wrong and right or good and evil, very early this series sets up a wonderful mysterious atmosphere and along with all the dark animation and mood, it really turns into a thrill ride full of suspense and great imagery at every corner. That being said the first dozen or so episodes are really the highlight of the series. After that the story starts to try to outdo itself the rest of the way and a lot of times it ends up out-thinking itself at times instead. There are still some great episodes but a lot of it is a little overdone. However not to say it is bad, it is still interesting enough to finish but with the teaser of that first third of the series it feels like the show could really have been something incredible if it would have just built upon that foundation instead of trying to recreate it.
Den-noh Coil (TV) Excellent
What a pretty anime, by many accounts. The artwork first of all is pretty; pretty scenery, pretty backgrounds, appropriately dark at times, and surprisingly consistent throughout. The characters were pretty too. I like the fact that the character designs are sort of cartoonish because it adds a bit more of a childlike effect, which is important to the series. However the character work merely begins in the design. These are children, and are written as such. Some are hyper, some are thoughtful, some are mean, and some a bit shy. It is incredibly important to the overall effect that these children are living in this cyberspace world, sort of a symbol for a real child’s imagination, and yet what they experience isn’t all just drivel which should be ignored by adults. The story is also wonderful. It sets up this nifty little mystery and it’s up to the viewer as much as the characters to go step by step to see what’s behind it all. The sci-fi element is very neat. Having this entire cyberspace world sitting parallel with the real world; it’s just an interesting concept and obviously adds a lot to work with in that story. There are very few complaints from me for this show. It does go a little bit too far at times when trying to show the “mundane”-ness of the children’s lives so it does slow down the plot a bit and the ending, though quite good, does drag just a bit too along. But with all the good stuff those are things that are pretty easy to overlook. I really liked this show and can’t wait for a US license announcement so I can add it to my DVD collection.
Desert Punk (TV) Decent
This is an interesting show. It is definitely different from anything I was expecting when I decided to purchase it but not necessarily in a bad way, just different. Early on the way the story sets up you just get a glimpse of these characters and just when you think something intense is about to happen it turns into a joke. Not that they’re bad jokes, I actually find this incredibly humorous, I just wasn't aware that the show would be so downright silly. And then little by little as you start to know the characters more and more, you first realize that the humor is not always appropriate to the type of story that’s playing out and secondly that it’s not always joking. However this is one of the faults. This show decided to do a story, and made a decision as to how to make it play out, and then seemed to reconsider at some points and pull back a bit or add a joke at an inappropriate time. Still watching it, you get what’s going on, you get to really know Kanta, and it does manage to portray the feeling that you are supposed to get from him, but again with those lapses and inconsistencies the story often stumbles leaving behind a good show where it could have been incredible. Especially when you get to the climax which was handled surprisingly well, although I can see where some may have a hard time getting a handle on it the way the story is so inconsistent early on. Still the ending was worked in well if a tad rushed; I felt there should have been two more episodes at the end to allow everything time to play out in rhythm. Overall I have to say that the show is not what it seems on the surface, if the creators had been a little more confident it would have been incredible, but it is still good. And if you watch it my only caution is, be prepared for some pretty crass humor and don’t expect a warm endearing story.
Digital Juice (OAV) Very good
This is actually a really fun and intriguing series of shorts. Handling topics from religion to love and sex to the uniquely absurd and life itself, it can really make you think; and yet if you watch it for no other purpose than entertainment, it accomplishes that too with some interesting animation and a nice musical score to give everything a little more life.
(The) Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (movie) Masterpiece
It’s been a while since a movie has made me sit at the edge of my seat and literally cheer at certain points and just amazed at others. I am a Haruhi fan; this movie puts an exclamation point at the end of this statement in bold 72 point lettering. The plot is crafted beautifully, with the usual Suzumiya Haruhi points, and is probably the accumulation of the author’s experience to now. The previous storylines were good and getting better and then this one comes a long and reaches a much higher ceiling. I followed Kyon through the story with the same level of shock and confusion he must have been feeling and was carried along the same as he was throughout. Kyon has pretty much always been the character and narrator that has guided us through Haruhi’s world and has been someone we can relate to. In this movie he takes this role and I could at times feel I was actually him. Also, seeing him come to certain conclusions, especially the most important while in a bout of self discovery, I couldn’t help but step back then and simply be awed by him. Not his situation, or an outer occurrence, but Kyon’s character, in a few moments, becomes an awesome character. And that is also part of what makes this movie terrific. If you are a fan of Haruhi, this is a must watch. If you are not a fan of Haruhi, then become one, so that this movie will amaze you too.
Dojin Work (TV) Very good
I don’t know what possessed me to watch this show. I had not heard any really outstanding things about it and the title alone is a bit off putting. I’m not really a manga fan to begin with so doujin are far lower on the ladder for me. So I figured that a show with so little fan fare about a subject I don’t assume to be entertaining was not for me. But I watched it, and I’m glad I did. The show is not very long to begin with and being just 13-14 minute lengths per episode does not take a lot of time so I assumed this would help me get past it. However I was not prepared to find a show that is as honestly humorous and refreshing as this which also showcases such nice storytelling. The characters are just a mixed bag of typical role fillers but they are upbeat and fun so keep the show entertaining through the duration. I’m not going to say that it is the funniest ever, but it was funny, and I’ll very likely watch it again.
Don't Tell Mother Maria (special) Good
Chibi Yumi-chan is even cuter than normal sized Yumi-chan; I didn't think that was possible. These are just chibi comedic shorts but they are also absolutely adorable and often hilarious. I don't ever mind when they decide to do spots like this as long as they keep them short and these don't waste any time. I thought I'd seen them all but actually I've seen 14 so far and now I think there will be 4 more, however this is a fun series to follow along with the actual series. A great "little" treasure for Maria-sama ga Miteru fans. I've seen all the episodes through the OAV releases but with a new series coming up I'm sure there'll be more Maria-sama ni wa naisho to come as well once there are some DVD releases.
Dragon Ball (TV) Very good
My favorite of the Dragon Ball series is the original, and not by a small amount. This series lived up to all of my expectations about the coming of age of a young martial artist who just happens to have a tail. I think this is the only Dragon Ball series that really developed a martial arts feel, especially noticeable in the early sagas when Goku went on his training journeys. I also like the way the characters are portrayed in this series much more than in the sequels. They may seem a bit more two-dimensional but I believe they can only seem this way if you don’t really take an interest in them, and that they lose a lot of the depth in the continuing sagas. The story may be formula but it had a clear direction and enjoyable. This is the only DB series I ever re-watch.
Dragon Ball GT (TV) Not really good
The last DB series and the worst. I would not recommend or ever watch this again. I only made myself sit through it so I can see the series to its end, I wish I would have stopped watching at DBZ. The storylines are a joke, and not an amusing one either. The characters are dragged even further towards two-dimensional mediocrity and overal the series fails at achieving any of the sense of adventure that was refreshing to see in the original Dragon Ball and even somewhat apparent in DBZ.
Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy (special) So-so
Thius wan't a completerly bad addition to DB GT. It was a bit interesting to see where a potential future based story would go, starting all over with the quest for a dragonball. I think a neat look is seeing this new character as one named after Goku and yet being so completley different in character. It will never be among my favorites but I suppose it wasn't as big a wastew of time as the series. Aside from all those neat looks the story wasn't incredibly well written so it loses points there too.
Dragon Ball Movie 1: Curse of the Blood Rubies Not really good
I don't remember much about the s movie because I watched it so long ago, but I know I didn't enjoy it as much as the series. I think it was mostly the fact that the story wasn't as entertaining. The characters were there and they are the main reason I enjoy the series so much, but this movie somehow lacked the overall charm that made the series good. I don't know, but I don't think I'd watch it again, so that's something.
Dragon Ball Z (TV) Decent
Not nearly as enjoyable as DB, but still had enough good action and the same great characters to keep me watching till the end. The fighting was sometimes really good and the music during the fights, particularly during the cell saga kept me watching till the end. Ah, and it was also fun to see the evil demented little Buu. I was actually sort of rooting for him at the end. However overall the story lost a lot of the treking and adventure that really made the original fun to watch and a lot of the characters started to fail not just as warriors but as entertaining players in the story. Too bad it is so long because I would love to sit down and give it another viewing sometime.
Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku (special) Very good
I have to say this was a very good show. I really enjoyed big chunks of DBZ and things like this special I really enjoy. The characters are just really well thought out and presented along with this story of Bardock. You can just see where Bardock comes from and what he's about. But you can also see him struggle with himself after his unheeded ability begins to show itself. This is where I started liking the original DB, in the characters, and this story though not a fun one like DB, is very character driven and it does it well. I also like that in the flashba-..uh, forward sequences there are clips not just from DBZ but also way back into the first episode of DB. Good stuff.
Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly (movie 11) Weak
Not good this one. It's hard to find any good points to this one. Only cool character in this one is number 18, aside from that we get Goten, Trunks, and Mr. Satan who is my least favorite DBZ character, by a lot. Krillin makes an appearance as always but like in most the DBZ movies he doesn't do anything. The story is convoluted, Broly is somehow back, again, well a bio-replica anyway, very melty, and this half-arsed group takes him on. The movie is one big waste of time and I wouldn't recommend it to even hardcore DBZ fans.
Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound (movie 9) Decent
Meh, this one's alright. It didn't start out well, what with a martial arts tournament and whatnot. Almost all the characters make appearances here and almost all of them get their tales whipped. Goku's dead at the moment but even he makes a cameo when Bojack and company are taking it to Gohan. Oh and badass Gohan makes an appearance, he's my favourite DBZ character, I'm fairly impartial to whiny Gohan and wimpy Gohan is weak, but I love to watch him because he'll occasionally make his his return to his badass form; more powerful than even Goku.
Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming (movie 10) So-so
This was Broly's second appearance and again he gave one hell of a fight. Trunks, Goten, and Videl appear for the first time in a DBZ movie and wouldn't you know it they are the first ones to encounter Broly. Gohan comes to the rescue and the big fight starts. Only other character here was Kuririn, with Piccolo and Goku making appearances as apparitions or flashbacks only. Not really much to the story it was fun at the start and then just one long fight, but as with any DBZ the fight was cool.
Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan (movie 8) Good
This is one of my favorite DBZ movies. It's the first appearance of Broly, and I don't know, the story seems to flow pretty well in it. The action is up to DBZ par, the comedy is actually funny unlike the previous movies, and it's pretty supensuful at times. That's something that is hard in DBZ, because you just know Goku will always find a way, so when it gets a bit suspenseful you know you're getting into it.
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (movie 5) So-so
Ok so we've met Frieza and so of course a family member has to make an appearance at some point so why not now. Cooler is out seeking revenge for his brother who he hated anyway so that's kind of a stumbling block. There was no purpose to the plot in this one just on that premice, but at least the fighting didn't tone down. DBZ will always be watchable just because of the fights.
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (movie 1) So-so
**Note** First of all, about DBZ movies. I do not recommend any of them to anyone who is not a DBZ fan already. If you don't like the series you are not going to like the movies. Heck even if you are a DBZ fan you might not like these because they have absolutely no place in the series as far as chronology. On to the comments:

This was not completely terrible but there wasn't really a lot to it. As far as characters both Goku and Piccolo make appearances and while this helps it's not enough to really make this movie good. The story was sort of all over the place and never really got to a cohesive point, and this was probably the biggest problem along with the inconsistencies from the original series. They just needed a tighter grip on the stroy and it would have at least been presentable.
Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (movie 12) Decent
Not a masterpiece by any means of the imagination, but it was actually a bit fun. If anyone hasn't seen it but remembers Trunks and Goten learning fusion, well just picture Goku and Vegita trying to get it right.. good stuff. Other than that not much to the movie the story kind of went in to many places and lost track of where the focus should be sometimes. That's about it.
Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug (movie 4) Decent
Shorter than I though it would be, but at least it follows a trend from the previous movie; actually having a plot. Now, not the greatest plot, but anything at all as far as a storyline makes these easier to watch and enjoy. This time Lord Slug has come and is taking the earth for himself. Other sayans have made appearances so why not... I'll leave it at that. Fighting really picked up with this movie, the fast paced action also adding to the overall entertainment.
Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13! (movie 7) Decent
Just by looking at the characters you can tell about what saga they were in when this movie was made. We get Trunks's first movie appearance and they are fighting androids. Again not much to the story but they did keep it linear again and the action was good too. I always like when the Z warriors get their cans cleaned one after the other and it happenned here too. Also continuing the finishing trend, which is a bit annoying, but this time they changed it up just slightly.
Dragon Ball Z: The History Of Trunks (special) Good
Another great special. Always amazing how they can drag one fight out over numerous episodes but can turn out a great history or alternate history in a single special like this or the Bardock one. Very nice storyline that follows trunks in the alternate universe where Goku dies from illness. Showing us more of what happened and what led Trunks to come back in time in search of Goku's help. The characters were really well written here; Bulma, Trunks, and Gohan all showing how good a character driven subplot can add to an action story. And the action was pretty good too, the fighting sequences all choreographed in true DB style. Re-watching this sort of makes me want to go back again and re-watch from this part in the series.
Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler (movie 6) So-so
So Cooler comes back.. yeah. It's always funny how as long as there is at least some physical or sometimes just metaphysical sense of a villain remaining they're able to get back somehow. So just as convoluted as the other movies but also still good fighting, well for the most part, they could've definitely ended it better with some otherworldy battle but, meh. Oh yeah, Cooler goes to Namek. Why? Who knows. Maybe the creators thought the Namekians weren't gettin enough screen time, not that they really gave them any in the movie but oh well, just a change of scenery I guess.
Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (movie 3) Decent
Completley convulated and contrived, but unlike the first two movies this one managed to keep a storyline from beginning to end and that alone made it much better. New sayan appears and his underling plant the tree of might on the Earth and the heroes must defeat the new baddie. Still, I don't like the inconsistencies in the movies from the series. I mean I know that with 276 episodes its hard not to contradict yourself sometimes but they could have at least made an extra effort when they made the movies.
Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest (movie 2) Not really good
Very typical of a DBZ story without the fun. Well it tried to be fun, but it would have worked a lot better if they hadn't just tried to carbon clone certain scenes from the series. No they didn't use clips from the series but they made scenes that were almost identical, they should have just come up with something fresh. Even if it had been weak it would at least have been different. And of course the plot was formula too; evil strong opponent wants to take over the world, fighting, power ups on both sides, and then its over. At least the fighting is good as usual in DBZ stuff.
Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon (movie 13) Good
This was a pretty good movie. The story was actually well composed and followed through. No jumping around trying to fit too much in like in some of the other ones. The only qualm I'd have is that in the last movies there was no appearances from the original z warriors and while Gohan is cool I never really enjoyed Trunks and Goten as characters and would've preferred to see Piccolo again. Still no use complaining so long after it was made anyway.
Drop (movie) Decent
This was an interesting little short. I think that it was impressive that it could actually carry a message in such a short time. I hate giving anything away when it is only 4 minutes long, but I think it's safe to say that a deep thirst can cause a man to lose sight of what's around him.
Egao (special) Very good
This is a cute little video with a nice little song to accompany it. There's really not a lot more to it than that. There are a lot of images of a cute hamster playing around, the the images turn to memories. Perhaps these are memories of the young girl's life as she's lived it until now. It is not long but it does bring out some emotions and it is nice to watch.
Elfen Lied (TV) Masterpiece
Phenomenal. Beautiful, dreadful, painful, wonderful, horrible, emotional. How can one 13 episode series have so many adjectives to describe it? Well this one does. I asked myself while watching this, "How can I watch this?" and could only reply, "How can I turn away?" All the characters were so real yet likable, I guess that is weird to say in this type of series, but I am talking about the way they behave and react to their surroundings. The story is just amazing to follow and even with the gore and violence this show quickly became one of my favorites. There are just a couple inconsistencies but they are easy to overlook with everything else going on. This is one of those stories that is so versatile that it can make me laugh out loud one moment, make my stomach turn the next and quickly bring me to tears. And the animation really completes the story; it’s a vast gallery of both beautiful and horrible imagery with an overall impressive craftiness to it all which makes it pretty incredible overall.
Elfen Lied (OAV) Very good
Nice addition to the series and a very cute side story. This is a short story that is hidden within the series. It is fun to watch on its own but also to watch the series and try to fit it in between the two episodes during which it takes place. Amazing that while a bit more humorous it still follows at the same pace as the series. I tried to find a way to watch it in within the series but some of the events take place at the same time as another episode, I guess I'd have to try and edit it together into one show, but then it just wouldn't work as well. Very nice OVA.
Escaflowne: The Movie Decent
The movie was ok but no where a good as the show. The story wasn't as clever as the series and also had some very noticable lapses and continuity issues that were pretty annoying. The characters were also pretty bland in comparison; Hitomi in particular was not as well developed and it was hard to relate to because she just didn't seem to have any motivation for her actions. Also while the animation was better the artistry was not nearly as good. Escaflowne in particular was very dull. I don't like mecha, but in the series I actually enjoyed seeing them but in this movie they were pretty much the ideal mecha that I greatly dislike. While it was ok to watch I don't think I will be making any real effort to watch it again.
Eureka Seven (TV) Very good
I don't really know where to begin with this series. Some of the concept designs might not be entirely original but Eureka 7 tells its own story, and tells it a lot better than those other series tell theirs. Actually the story is on a different plane altogether than most series no matter the genre. It is woven so well that it not only draws you in but leads you to the right conclusions and it doesn't cheat you when it gets there. The characters are all incredibly well done too, human and yet likable enough where you just want to continue watching their story to see what comes next and keep hoping good things for them. The music and animation are also well above average, a lot of nice images and wide variety of music just make the journey that much more fun. Honestly I could have rated this series higher just based on all the good things, but considering good chunks of the story revolve around air surfing mecha, I just couldn't do it. Not that I think it is a waste but it is odd to have such a well rounded series involve such a lame concept as giant mecha surfing through the air. Still this did nothing to really ruin my enjoyment of the overall series and I'm glad I watched it... despite the air surfing mecha.
Excel Saga (TV) Very good
Zany adventures, outlandish plots, and wacky characters; this series has a bit for anyone who likes random humor. It can turn almost anything and everything into a joke and is highly original. I have never seen a series where a running joke is a dog being kept because it is emergency food. However my favorite parts were the ongoing Pedro saga and the genre of the day format. I laughed out loud many times even despite myself; I kept thinking, "I really shouldn't be laughing at this," but it was hard to hold it in. I can’t really say a lot about the story because this wasn’t the focus of the show anyway, but I had a great time watching this, especially considering the only reason I bought the set was the warning label on the side of the box. I won't list it but look it up if you haven't seen it.
Fafner (TV) Good
This show s decent for what it is; a mecha show about young kids who are the only ones who can pilot the mecha in order to protect the human race. Yeah I think this sort of story is overdone enough but at least this one focuses more on the human side than on the mecha battles. Actually there are some episodes where the battles happen off camera which is also a positive. And the situation is also not very unique, but the way the story is told really helps a lot. The story really helped me care a lot more about what was happening and so I started to get really into it during some of the highpoints and start to care about the characters. Too bad that the situations had to make me care about the characters instead of the characters themselves. Well they weren’t all bad but there are just too many who are a bit stale and too predictable for me to really get attached to them. So a bit better character work would have really made that human story side that I liked, much better, and maybe a more clever reason for the whole subject and mecha wouldn’t have been too bad either, but despite that the show is still good overall for what it is.
(The) Familiar of Zero (TV) Very good
There is not a lot to this story but as with too few others, that is what makes it good. It has so much to tell that it would be easy to lose track of the story, or break continuity, or lose the pacing, but this story does such a good job of keeping it all simplified that it never runs into these problems and always keeps the story moving forward. With that said, it is still too much to tell in such a short time, even though it does really well in keeping the story wrapped up it still would have been better at about 24-26 episodes. Although I may just be saying that because it is so enjoyable that watching the thirteen episodes seemed much too quick and left me hoping for more. The story is well told, the storytelling may be simplistic, but the plot good. And the characters are really likable, I think there was a bit too much service for a story like this, but the overall character designs were also good. I like the seiyuu; using the same two leads from Shakugan no Shana was interesting as the characters are actually similar and just as enjoyable. Some of the backgrounds and creatures might resemble other popular works from other mediums and people like to point this out, but those popular works also copy most of their ideas from others before them, so I won't knock this series for that. What I will say is that I had fun watching Zero no Tsukaima and I'll be looking for a sequel.
(The) Familiar of Zero: Knight of the Twin Moons (TV) Good
This show showed a lot of potential of far outstripping the first season but unfortunately it floundered just as all the potentially interesting story lines. I’m not saying it was bad it was actually pretty funny at times and really peaked my interest at others. The problem was that it never found a proper balance between the two. One of the shows I always compare Zero no Tsukaima to is Shakugan no Shana for obvious reasons. But one thing that Shana does really well is separate the silliness from the serious very well. This is this and that is that. Zero mixes it all up and ends up destroying potentially great plots by going back to the slapstick and often raunchy humor too quickly or not allowing separation between the humor and story. The void magic book story was lost, the ever present war storyline is never given enough time to properly develop, and the honestly tender moments between Louise and Saito are usually either dropped or lost amongst those confusions. The show provides enough to make it worth watching and actually be good but it really loses things that could have made it pretty damned awesome.
(The) Familiar of Zero: Rondo of Princesses (TV) Good
In the beginning this show, just like the first episode for the second series, showed an awful lot of potential. A story is set up and though the characters aren’t really developing, they are at least seemingly getting closer so that’s some change. However there was also just as much room to think that the series would try to do too many things and not properly balance the story again which takes a lot away from the things the franchise does well. So in order to better enjoy it I decided at first was to not have any expectations whatsoever and just enjoy the good parts when they came. Well this worked for me but aside from my low expectations the creators actually do a better job with this series than the first sequel. The show doesn’t try to create a story that is so large that they would not be able to handle later. At the same time it is able to balance the humor a lot better because it doesn’t try to overcomplicate a plot that really should remain simple for a primarily humorous story. The ending does leave something to be desired so I wouldn’t be surprised to see either a follow up OAV or maybe even one more series. I would watch this show again and another sequel if it comes.
Fantastic Children (TV) Decent
Wow, what a waste. This show has such a strong plot that it is really wasted in such abysmal storytelling. It starts really impressive; you get a good deal of mystery both in the story and from the characters and it is really interesting to think just what might come. But then the story starts to play out and most of the good really gets to the point where you hardly care something happens. The biggest thing is that the show is too damn predictable. Heck that’s putting it vaguely; this show blatantly points to how things are going to play out and then still goes out of its way to make it a “big” turning point in the episodes when things are revealed. Seriously, by these points I was just thinking, “I already know this show me something different damn it.” And because of this a large portion of the show is tedious to sit through. It almost put me to sleep at several points and when I jerked myself awake, several minutes later, I sadly realized that I missed nothing. Then near the end, apparently knowing things were predictable, it does something that comes completely out of nowhere. And that is nothing bad usually, except in this case it involves something that was given some of those blatant clues to be something else, and not the slightest hint whatsoever of what actually was. Or in other words it looked to be exactly what it was, a desperate attempt to recapture the audience, and cheaply done at that. Just as cheap as the last half of the finale where it quickly puts a few things to try and get some sentimentality from the audience. Too little, way too late. And I’d like to say the characters were interesting, because they might have been, but as the plot the creators didn’t seem to know how to handle proper character development, or heck forget development, they sometimes seemed to have trouble with simple characteristics and behavior. The fantastic children, in particular, were personalities that I really could not bring myself to like. I actually disliked them a bit more each time I discovered something new about them. Helga wasn’t such a great character either, hard to get attached to someone who struggles to crack a personality even occasionally. Thoma was probably the only character worth following but in an ensemble cast this large one strong character can’t save the lot. In the end the show is not really horrid, it did still had some good moments along the way, and when it was good it was pretty darned outstanding thanks to that basic foundation it originally had to work with which is also why I won’t rate it lower, but the show really does a lot more bad than good. Watching it wasn’t really a total waste of time but I could not imagine myself ever sitting through it again.
Farewell Space Battleship Yamato (movie) Excellent
This is the best Battleship Yamato movie made. This story was retold pretty well in The Comet Empire, though it was considerably different, but it works so much better in this movie. The storytelling is masterful, everything used to build up to the next part. Sometimes, if you ignore the uniforms, you can easily forget what year this was made in as it was so well done. And the characters were great as well. Of course already having met them in the earlier works there wasn't much need for developement for me, but I wouldn't recommend this for anyone who has not already seen Quest for Iscandar.
Fate/stay night (TV) Very good
This was a darned good show. It had a few problems with continuity occasionally but the plot was still well developed and intriguing at times. The continuity issues occur when the show suddenly jumps to an unexplained tangent, usually when threatening to turn into a harem style show, but past that it always got right back to business and moved forward. I also actually liked a lot of the characters in the show. Well Shirou early on is too incredibly stupid to like, and that early development didn’t really help endear him to me (there were times when I was hoping he’d get beat and someone else could be the protagonist), but the majority of the other characters all do well in moving the story through its paces. The only problem with the cast is in the character development. They should have spent a bit more time showing us the bigger players and what motivates them to their goals. There were often times a character would suddenly do something out of character and we are told why their doing it, but just being told why doesn’t really provide enough to really make one believe he or she would actually do something like that. But, as I said, aside from the few hitches the main story is actually very good. The ending was actually very well done too, but I can see where some might feel like something is missing, heck even I feel like that even though I understand why it ended like it did. I might now really spend a lot of time rewatching the show, but it’s not because I didn’t like it. Actually it’s too bad the ending doesn’t leave room for a sequel without completely contradicting the rules of this world because I sure would want to see these characters again, just not really in this story again. Maybe someone can produce an alternate story like with Mai-HiME/Otome, I’d definitely watch it.
Fighting Spirit (TV) Masterpiece
This show is really awesome. I had said once I didn’t want to watch it but I was told that for a fan of shounen this series could not be missed. Trusting the source of those words I took a chance on the show and I am glad I did. This show goes beyond the scope of a typical shounen/tournament series. The storytelling alone qualifies it for a much higher place. It builds up points of interest and intensity to a point that when the stage is set and the action begins I found my own heart pounding in anticipation of what was to come. Climaxes in particular are never a let down, no matter what the outcome. The drama is also wonderful and the humor, although a bit silly at times, helps balance things out without taking anything away from the show. The series also does an amazing job with character work. A lot of shounen shows fall into a trap of finding ways for the characters to get stronger but forget about developing their personalities and maturity levels. Hajime no Ippo doesn't have that problem as it is clear to see episode by episode how much Ippo grows as a person in his quest for self identity. And it doesn’t stop at Ippo. All the supporting characters have a value beyond their archetypes and in essence have their own roads to follow. I also enjoy how almost each new contestant, even if they only appear in a single episode, gets their own background story told before the fights. This is something that the person who recommended me also told me about but I didn't know how it would be used. In essence it is just simple character work that adds more intrigue to each upcoming fight and a lot of personality to the story overall. I also love how they refer to actual boxers and signature moves in the show. I have been a boxing match in the past, so a lot of the things or boxers they refer to I actually know about already. However that just makes watching it even more interesting. I suppose I could go on and on about the show but suffice it to say that I thoroughly loved it and even though it is so long I know I’ll be watching a lot of it again.
Flame of Recca (TV) Decent
This show is a pretty typical representation of fighting shounen amine. There is the young, enthusiastic, and brash hero, Recca, who suddenly discovers that his lifelong obsession with ninja is more than an ambition but a reality. Suddenly he has this great power and soon discovers that some of his friends also have unique abilities and they end up striving to become stronger so they can defeat the strongest of the baddies and save the world and themselves. And along the way there are power-ups and hidden abilities and more of the clichés and contrivances that almost every title in this genre apparently cannot flourish without. Still the characters, though a bit one or two-dimensional, are quite fun and likable and the series as a whole also has that fun feeling that makes it easy to sit through. The comedy is not overdone, the fighting is pretty cool, and overall it is entertaining enough to stomach all those clichés and contrivances.
FLCL (OAV) Masterpiece
Insane! This is close to the most fun I have ever had watching anime. It's hard to describe so if you haven't seen it, give it a try it is only 6 episodes long. From the various tributes and parodies from any number of shows from Cutie Honey to South Park and pop culture blurbs of almost anything including music legends from different eras alone this show would be an interesting watch, but this is just the edge of the surface. I watch this over and over and cannot get enough. The characters and situations are just on a different track than what I expect and even when I think I finally have a hold on it, I discover that it is actually on a track that I didn't even see before. There is just incredibly deep and masterful storytelling here. Despite all the madness and fun there are several unevenly stacked layers beneath the surface and wonderful characters to boot. In fact depending on your mood while watching and whether you watch the English dub or Japanese with subtitles you can pick different vibes from the series ranging from zany and wacky to deep and intense; in fact I’m surprised how it can also be really dark, especially if watched in Japanese with subs. It is just brilliant overall and worthy of many re-viewings. Oh, and to top it all off this has my favorite soundtrack in any anime series, OVA, or movie; The Pillows are an awesome group and the music used here fits this series perfectly.
Foxy Nudes (OAV) So-so
The naughty scenes are kind of hot, but lean towards the disturbing side. Watching Etsuko prompt a rape just so she can get some ratings is what I mean by disturbing. I mean if she was allowing things to happen to herself that’d be one thing; you could then just chop it all up to a naughty girl being naughty, but not so cool when the victim is someone else. But then I don’t know maybe that is just me as I never enjoyed watching rape scenes, no matter how hot the girl may look. Story is sort of interesting though so not a complete waste of time but I’ll skip a second viewing.
Freedom (OAV) Excellent
This is actually a pretty good story. What I mean by that is that this was done pure and simple to show off some incredible animation work, and for the most part when you do something like that often times the quality of the story doesn’t grade up to the quality of the animation, especially in something like this where the entire thing was created as a marketing project. This story has an interesting plot with a bit of an otherworldly feel to it. It’s not exactly amazing but it really keeps one interested. And I have to get into the animation for a bit as well. It is phenomenal. It is pretty, it is detailed, and it does its job well. The only things that lack in the animation are the character designs. They aren’t bad, far from it, but they suffer due to the great detail. There seems to be too much head bobbing and movement without purpose and it is a bit annoying. I used to coach/teach acting and I would always tell my students, don’t move for the sake of movement, move only with a purpose in mind, no matter how big or small, purpose is needed to make the movements natural. Here, I understand the they just wanted to show off just how much the animated characters could do, however it is often clumsy; so much bobbing, lolling, undulation, arms swinging, and many other things when the character would have been best being completely at rest. The biggest times this gets troubling is during important dialogue where instead of paying compete attention to what is being said you end up watching that continuous unneeded motion. Aside form that, they are drawn extremely well and are also developed well for a short series such as this. You can see the characters’ motivations which make it easy to relate to them, despite the fact extreme circumstances the story is set in. Aside from the animation this series might never really be considered a big deal or a great accomplishment but I definitely enjoyed watching it, especially as each episode seemed to improve from the previous ones. It is definitely a series that gets better as it goes. Also, I can’t wait for that Blu-Ray box set to be released, I definitely want to watch it again all together instead of a single episode every 2 to 4 months.
Fruits Basket (TV) Excellent
I found a lot of info and recommendations for this series here and what surprised me is that the show lives up to the hype. I was engaged by all the characters and how all were so multi-faceted and real. This was a wonderful feel good series and a great testament to overcoming personal hardships. I loved the fact that even small moments were clues to greater events. This is a series you have to be careful to not let all the crazy cutesy moments engross you or you will lose the bigger meanings which are all part of this very engaging plot. Overall the series is great fun, it’s kind of weird to say this after the box of tissues I went through watching it, but it really is refreshing and enjoyable. I’d like to see a short OVA series after the manga is finished to give the anime a proper ending too.
Full Metal Panic! (TV) Excellent
This was another surprising series for me. I had been staying away from mecha shows for a while mostly because of the big Evangelion disappointment but also because for the most part mecha shows are boring and un-watchable. This is not a mecha show and it is completely watchable. The story centers around Kaname and Sousuke as each one grows in life and learns to accept things as they are, as well as that hint of the growing feelings for each other which really adds a nice touch. For the most part things come with hilarious plots but even when the show gets serious it is good to watch. Oh and even the mecha aren't annoying. The story is just well written and is so well rounded that you have a little bit of everything a long the way and the ending does some amazing things that I have seen other shows attempt but not get it right as this series does. It is incredibly refreshing, interesting, and enjoyable.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TV) Excellent
I was trying to wait for this on DVD but just couldn't help it so I downloaded the fan sub and I am glad I did. Getting to see Kaname and Sousuke again was wonderful enough, although a large part of the story has them separated; they are fun to watch separately as well. However this was within the well written plot that takes a much more serious approach than even the original Full Metal Panic. This story is more dramatic and has more action than the previous ones, along with a highly insane villain who has a large bag of quirks that serves well in the lack of time for character development. It was very interesting to watch especially with some of the outstanding imagery which, though incredible, also has show us some, er, questionable moments. However all in all it was still more than just merely entertaining, After my 4th re-watch I realized that I had this rated too low and so I now bump it up to Excellent because it truly is, mecha and all. **EDIT** I have since started purchasing the DVDs and they are really worth it.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (OAV) Very good
Since I went as far as getting the series I though I should also take a look into this OVA. This is a very terrific story. It is more like a spin-off than a sequel. Following the events of the captain, Teletha, who is so cute and adorably clumsy she is hard not to like. It gets a little fanservicy, especially a moment with Mao that was both ecchi and hilarious at once, but you could tell that it was all in fun and it takes nothing away from the story. I also liked that in Tessa's travels through her own submarine, we encounter a few moments with some of the other Mithril members in some outlandish storylines. Al (the Arbalest) telling Sousuke to gather his courage and pursue after his own encounter with Tessa, and Kalinin making borsch were just a couple of scenes that I think I played over again at least 3 or 4 times. This was a wonderful additional OVA to the series.
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV) Masterpiece
I was a bit reluctant to give this show a Masterpiece rating but I figure I love it so much that to me it is. It is hilarious and totally entertaining and yet the characters are not completely off the wall zany. You can still see them as real and multi-dimensional characters, being able to see their sensitive and human side along with that side that makes you say "huh?" and start cracking up. You can see the romantic feelings between Kaname and Sousuke continue to grow and you can also see where there is still oh so much room to grow, but if things were perfect it wouldn't be interesting. I have honestly not liked a series this much since my favorite of all, Ranma, and very surprising since the four discs were sitting on my shelf for 4 months unopened along with the first season of Full Metal Panic, just because I didn't want to watch a mecha show. I am so glad I opened this, if they do make a fourth season, I hope it is "Full Metal Panic?" and not "Full Metal Panic!"
Fullmetal Alchemist (TV) Excellent
Great series. I like the fact that the series really centered on not just actions but consequences. This alone made in vastly different and more interesting than other series. Even when he knew he was not doing the right thing or going about things the wrong way, Edward always understood the potential consequences to his actions and accepted the responsibility. The imagery and use of symbolism are beyond the reach of most anime and the family bond with Al also gave the story a different side. I also think this series probably has one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard in an animated series, all the openning and closing title sequences in particular are great to listen to. Very well done overall.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Chibi Party (OAV) Decent
All these shorts are just fun little sequences that don't really have any bearing on the story, anyone who takes the series seriously and expects more out of them will probably be dissapointed. I like the Chibi Party, it was just a bit of random humor bunched up together with all the characters chibi, of course, and they're having fun celebrating the movie, well almost everyone is having fun; some characters are a bit mopey, understandably of course. Chibi Lieutenant Hawkeye was just adorable.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Kids (OAV) Good
This was another kind of fun and somewhat interesting little story. Sort of a futuristic 'what if' which was also used as a good way for the company to plug its own product within its own product. I guess you have to see it to know what I mean. But still this was another little trip that while adding nothing to the original series if you don't take it seriously it is not a waste of time, especialy at just 3 minutes.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Seven Homunculi VS State Alchemists (OAV) So-so
This one probably tried to add a little for the fans of the series who liked liked the action more than the 'what ifs' or the comedy. Just an alternate universe little battle between the alchemists and homunculi, which maybe needed a bit more sunstance to really play out well. Still again, just a short little random trip with the characters from the series for anyone who just wants to see them one more time.
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa Decent
This movie was alright I suppose, what I did not like is that this was supposed to be a sequel to the series which sort of cheapens the series. The story was no where near at the level of the series and the concept was not really that strong. I think what kept the movie from being a complete disaster was that it still featured the characters that I learned to love in the series, however it doesn’t really take away from the fact that the plot is weak and the story is second rate. I think the story would have been best left without this weaker effort.
Fushigi Yugi (TV) Good
This was an entertaining series. I liked all the characters, especially Chichiri, and I thought the story was pretty well written as well. The fantasy aspect was good and I like the use of the Chinese mythology involving Suzaku and Seiryuu, as well as the other gods which weren't really mentioned much. If anyones is interested you can find a short and almost completely accurate entry in Wikipedia about these constalations. I liked that the creator did a good job in researching this, but having been the second anime I have seen based on the works of this creator, I am left to wonder if she really does not care about her supporting charactors. Often they get hurried story arcs that tell us a bit more about them, but nothing that really gives them any sort of real depth. Being that in these types of fantasy tales my favorite characters are usually found in the odd ball supporting cast this is a bit of a dissapointment.
Fushigi Yugi (OAV) Good
This OVA wasn't too bad, however after watching it I think it would have been best to leave the series and ending alone. It is not that they completely ruined it, but they did not really add anything to the original story and by adding these shows, that were a bit contrived, it somewhat lowered my respect for the overall story.
Fushigi Yugi (OAV 2) So-so
This one exceeded the original in taking away rather than adding anything positive to the original series. I got all the OVA series together so I watched them but I now feel I should never have seen the OVAs. In a lot of cases OVA series are taekn directly from manga and enhance a series by providing a better story. I don't know the manga, but even if these were taken directly from it, they just cheapen the series. I won't type details because writing about it will spoil parts of the ending to the original series.
Fushigi Yugi Eikoden (OAV) Weak
The worst and most contrived of the OVA series. Again, not only does it add nothing it continues to cheapen a good series. The story was weak, the new characters were never developed and the dialogue was bad. It is hard to believe that a story this bad can be written using most of the same likable charcters from the original series.
Futakoi Alternative (TV) So-so
Was this show any good? I’m still not sure. It wasn’t really bad but I’m not sure it that is enough to qualify it as good. I liked the characters; that’s one thing I’ certain of. They weren’t really deep, despite whatever it was the series was trying, but they were fun to watch most of the time. The problem is in the story. It jumps around trying to incorporate too many aspects. This probably wouldn’t really have hurt if it has stuck to just random comedy; the nonsense could then become welcome. But the show tried to play a bit dramatic as serious at times as well. And I have seen other shows do both well but this one just did not have the knack for that sort thing. It almost could, but then it tried to throw a lot of psychological stuff in the mix and it ended up pretty much throwing the entire show out of any kind of coherency. It was fun and interesting at certain points but nothing really gelled. The show did end up telling the last few episodes decently well but it wasn’t anywhere good enough to save the rest of the show. Watching this wasn’t a complete waste of time but I wouldn’t watch it again.
Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight! (TV) Very good
This might seem like a really typical generic show but it does have some interesting things to offer. It is a futuristic school life series that has enough of its own charm and personally to stand out a bit. I've read complaints about the character designs but I think they suit the show well, very childlike almost like chibi characters, but for these girls who choose to go to school and continue to be children in the world they live in where more and more opt out of education to work instead, the childlike appearances really suit them well. Even though it is futuristic the plot doesn't really dwell on that, it prefers to stick to the school life side of things. The tiny futuristic type things I saw were interesting but the primary stories being told, though sometimes mundane, are fun to watch because of all the nice character interactions. Especially once it gets to the school festival storyline. Beginning here and through the end the story does a nice job of portraying the girls’ battle for there youth. Like the show, the characters might seem very reminiscent of the molds that appear in most school life series, but in this environment and though their individual parts they show that they are more than typical and more than that, they’re enjoyable to watch and easy to like. Manabi Straight might not be the greatest show ever but I think it's really good and I’ll want to see it again.
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (TV) Good
More than I expected from a futuristic sci-fi series based on the Count of Monte Cristo. I truly thought this series would be a disaster and was pleasantly surprised. All the connotations, and the betrayals, with every truth being upheld by several lies; the story was just well written which is actually surprising considering they didn’t really stay true to the plot of the original book and even turned it into sci-fi. I did hate the mecha-sequences and a few nagging lapses in continuity that were somewhat distracting. However the characters were intriguing the art was unique and overall I enjoyed the journey. It was just a very smartly done show.
Genshiken (TV) Very good
This was a really interesting show. I mean there isn’t anything really mind blowing or spectacular but it is done really well. The story is done well and the pacing follows a good awkward rhythm that matches the subject. And it doesn’t really have to be anything outrageous because it is geared towards an audience that really understands it. And even a non-otaku could probably sit and watch a lot of it because the story also has the outsider character that can help even oblivious watchers relate to someone in some way. I really enjoy the characters in this show too. They all have their own roles to play and while no one is emphasized above the rest I think this also adds to the same endearing awkwardness that really makes this show nice. It’s a story about otaku probably made for otaku and it’s fun to watch.   ** This was the 300th anime I added to my Seen All list.**  
Genshiken (OAV) Very good
This OAV is every bit as charming in the awkward character interactions as the series. That’s what really makes this series. The character interactions are done so well when you consider the subject matter. They are a bunch of otaku so they’d be a little off the norm so you can’t expect them to be able to have seamless conversations and interactions even with each other. However that is also the nice thing about Genshiken, the series and OAV, even though they are a bit awkward it isn’t so horrible that you don’t want to look. It is just off enough where you can relate to the characters and the situations. And actually this OAV probably even handles it a slight better than the series. The disappointment is that it doesn’t follow the storyline that the series ended on which would have made it a more fluid continuation. Still overall the OAV has enough of that nice stuff to make it worth watching. Maybe the second series can tie up some of those loosish ends.
Genshiken 2 (TV) Excellent
This was a great sequel. It continues all the great things that made the first series so endearing plus it does a lot more as far as the subject matter. Somehow it actually does what I expected of the first series in terms or portraying the characters in their roles in life outside of their otakudom and how they handle it. The character development in this area is terrific, especially with Sasahara. And the story is still told in that very common way that also makes it easy to just enjoy, even when the subject matter gets into some disturbing yaoi fantasies from Ogiue. I highly enjoyed it and can’t wait for the US release so I can start collecting them. The only thing that bothered be was that in the closing episodes there seemed to be some things left out or undone and after reading the manga I found I was right. I wish they had included it but I hope this just means a nice OAV will be on its way sometime soon. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the manga, you won’t be disappointed and it’s a great read anyway.
Getbackers (TV) Good
This is a pretty typical shounen series but it is pretty entertaining. The one difference from usual shounen shows is probably that there are two heroes who seem to be equal partners rather than the one hero and his sidekicks/friends. I like the characters and how the series doesn’t take itself very seriously, which is a good thing. Without the likable characters the story doesn’t stand too well on its own. It is just too standard and predictable. Something comes up and it becomes a mission; in this case recovering things for the rightful owners. Along the way enemies stand in the way and the heroes, and sometimes company, have to battle there way to the top. And also typical in that sometimes the villains aren’t truly villains and will end up on the side of good; even if the good is really just a repo service. And this show is set up where the different groups and characters can actually go against each other again at some point. Problem is that when you watch an action series you really don’t want to see the same people go at each other more than once, especially if almost every fight seems to end in some type of lighthearted terms of awareness. It also starts too get too typical to be enjoyable anymore near the end. When not only the plot but almost all the upcoming dialogue can be easily predicted, it is really too much; which is probably why the series got stopped after 49 episodes. The majority of the show before this though was entertaining and the humor, more often than not, was good, so I can’t really say the show was bad either. The proof is that the feel good closing sequence after the last episode, despite being obligatorily cheesy, was fun to sit through.
(The) Girl Who Leapt Through Time (movie) Very good
This was an interesting movie. A lot happens and it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what can really happen when someone begins to mess with fate but I think that is where this movie works. An average girl gains the power to go back in time and she spends it quite frivolously. But even here there are consequences. The story is told in a pretty laid back way that doesn’t really dig in to any of the great possibilities but it does entertain fairly well. The characters are no big heroes or tragic characters; they just seem like average people and keep an average lifestyle. Near the end it does open up a bit bigger realm in both plot and romance however there isn’t really a substantial pay off in either. I think that at least a better ending would have made the movie as a whole even better, but as is it is still very good.
Girl's High (TV) So-so
This is a bit like a harem show without the central male figure and on the opposite end of the spectrum from a show like Azumanga Daioh. While the random humor and sight gags in Azudai are refreshing and amusing, in Girl's High they are generally in poor taste and unamusing, with a few exceptions. The series can be cute at times but it's also much more fanservicy than a show like this should be. Some of the episodes do provide a plot that is actually interesting and not merely an excuse for fanservice or ecchi humor but there is not enough of this to really warrant a second viewing. There were some parts that I really liked though, like the short but fabulous Shimotakatani/Ayano moments; clutsy nerdy cutesy love at its best. And my favorite episode was the one where Shimotakatani goes to met Ayano's family, that was hilarious and unexpectedly original. I guess there are some characters in almost any anime that I can get attached to.
Girls Bravo (TV) Decent
A show like this, despite its mediocrity, can sometimes really piss me off. The reason for that is that there are so many times that it shows something really honestly good and then, as if to prove that it doesn’t care, it will immediately return to utter foolishness in the next frame. And that would actually not be bad I like foolishness sometimes, but this show just does so many things stupidly. If there is an honestly touching moment it ruins it with a bad sex joke. If there is a really humorous scene it ruins it with a bad punch line. And on and on. Heck in the final episode there is this fight scene between girls that looks like it was choreographed by a Hollywood producer; however a few frames later it is thrown into the mud in lieu of showing a couple frames of dozens of girls rushing in and each doing stupidly awkward fighting movements. The characters are the same, sometimes fun and enjoyable and the next instance doing something ridiculous that makes you roll your eyes. And then it takes the most annoying character of all, Fukuyama, and makes him look like the main character through the better part of the last half of the show. It felt like the creators were actually trying to avoid people enjoying watching the show. Despite my rant, though, the show isn’t really bad, what makes me angry is that in consistently showed flashes that it could have been really good. However those flashes aren’t nearly enough to warrant a second viewing.
Goku Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei (OAV) Very good
I was a bit disappointed with this OAV. It’s not bad, not nearly, but it is just not as good as the two TV series. It’s still a high speed ride down a road of the mundane and often ridiculous, but it is a bit too much. While the series barely give you a chance to take it all in, this show breaks down that last barrier. In simple terms, it is too much material. They could have easily done 6 episodes with all the material they crammed into these 3 and it would still have been high paced. Because there is so much in such a short period often instead of seeming fast paced it just looks rushed. I still think the writing is brilliant but it was difficult to process most of this, even with pausing and rewinding. The comedy and gags, well what I could catch, were also as funny as anything from the show but the rushing also takes away a bit of this enjoyment. All that said it was still a very good show. It was still really interesting, even if watching it does make me a bit dizzy, and I know I’ll watch it again at some point, if for no other reason just so I can try to catch and few more things I missed, but I didn’t think it really measured up to the lofty standards of its predecessors.
Golden Boy (OAV) Excellent
Ah! What can I say about Golden Boy? It's funny... But also so much more. It has a really refreshing feel to it, especially considering how old it is. But it really works well. Each story is cleverly put together and has its share of fun characters for Kintaro to play off. And what a great character he is. So down to earth and at the same time completely out of this world; Eikichi Onizuka, is the only character that I can honestly make a comparison to. That attitude that is so full of life and yet just enjoying life as it goes, it is perfect for a story like this. It makes me realize just how much great anime I have seen that a beautiful piece like this can't find itself in my top twenty list, but that is not a knock on this series. It is a very wonderfully fun work that I'm sure I'll enjoy again and again.
Grave of the Fireflies (movie) Very good
This movie was really well written and portrayed. I couldn’t help but smile with Seita and Setsuko when they did, despite the situations they were in. However, even in animation you could see the sad look in Seita’s face, especially when he was trying so hard to be brave for his little sister. It was very easy for me to get drawn in to this very human story, incredibly well written. I can finally see why so many have said this is a must see, although I would imagine it would be hard to watch again.
Green Legend Ran (OAV) So-so
This show has an interesting concept and set up and along with that it also has a pretty solid linear story to tell and can back it up with some unique visuals and scenes; all considering the time when it was made, of course. However where this show fails is in the follow through. Instead of letting the story flow naturally from one end to another it heavily relies on deus ex machina to solve even the simplest of situations. I do not see where something has to just happen when within the context of the story a logical resolution could have come forth. But logic and reasoning isn’t a strong point of the show either. Some Characters fail from an extreme naiveness while others show an extreme omniscience, especially in climactic situations where it seems the creator was too lazy to put even a slight bit of thought in doing the thing right. How can a character while being told one thing very bluntly think it means the opposite? I’m not sure, but this show expects you to believe it. For all the good the story does most of the time it really ruins everything rather effectively when it comes to a conflict or climax. This was a show I bought merely to fill an order requirement for a sale and it ended up costing a mere $5, I'm not sure if it is really worth that price. I mean it is not terrible, it even starts out good, but it just seems like the show had an urge to ruin itself.
GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (TV) Masterpiece
What a wonderful story this turned out to be. I was starting to get disappointed after 8 or 9 episodes, but I am glad I had the patience to keep going. This is the type of series that slowly grows on you and before you know it you are emotionally invested. I would guess that if I went back and watched those first episodes now, I would enjoy them a lot more than when I first had that dissapointed feeling, I guess the difference would be, that once I was vested in Onizuka as a character I learned to appreciate what he does and why. The story has a delicate balance to it and that is where patience was necessary to allow it to come into bloom. Onizuka is revealed slowly as the series continues and it makes it sort of special when I am rooting for him now to know there was a time when I was a bit indifferent to him, kind of like meeting an acquaintance and becoming friends. However once I got to know them the characters seemed special to me and even the occasional silly story was nice to see along with all the wonderful stories filled with life’s lessons. The story even had plenty of the cheesy moments that are necessary for a story about a teacher and his students and it played them well. The ending left some to be desired but the journey was terrific.
Gungrave (TV) Good
This really is not a bad show. It starts out in a pretty typical way, well typical for a show about a man in a cowboy hat taking down monsters with giant guns. But you see the action, you get a glimpse of the players, you see a bit about where they are and short blurbs about where they may have been in the past and the associations that probably were. Yu can pretty much figure out the protagonist and the villain and the simple part. Then it takes a giant step back in time. It starts to tell the tale of how it all got to this point and you actually get to learn about everything glimpsed and blurbed in the beginning. When this started after a few episodes I started to feel like it was a bit too long just to set up the story but it was intriguing enough that I didn’t really mind. And the more that was told the more I got into it. The story of Brandon Heat’s past, the relationships he had and what type of person he is and of course the weaving tales of those around him, the bonds, the lies, and most importantly, the betrayals. By the time we switch, or rather catch up, back to the period where the show started we go in with a full understanding. To me at least, this did wonders. I discovered, rather late for a person like me who claims to know storytelling, that all those episodes of “background” are actually the real meat of the story. And that story gives the show a really solid base and a strong backbone to the ridiculously violent, though sometimes silly, zombie and monster fighting that comes later. As a whole this is all very well put together, though some may wonder why there needs to be so much dialogue in a monster killing show, it just wouldn’t have been as interesting without all that talking that tells why and how it all came about. The biggest problems come from character development. Brandon is such an interesting character to follow at times but he just never grows. Doesn’t matter what stage he is at, or even after, he pretty much runs on ice in terms of character growth and it is frustrating. As a viewer you see him as the main focus and he is not a bad guy so you want to see more from him, not the same. Other characters had similar issues as well. Overall this show was really great at times, but because of the lack of character work and the tedious last couple of episodes I can’t grade it too high. It’s a real shame because this show could have been one of my favorites.
Gunslinger Girl (TV) Masterpiece
I haven’t given a masterpiece rating in a while, and while I might often be liberal with these types of ratings(12 so far) this series earns it. I think there is a misconception about this show, it is not a series about young assassins, this is a series about young girls, the fact that they happen to be assassins is secondary. Many probably watch this series expecting nothing but action, gore, killing, and young girls who show no mercy, but this is wrong. Sure it has a few instances of this, the girls are assassins, it has to happen at least occasionally; but if anything it just adds more levels of depth. However if I had to compare it to another show it would not be another assassin or hitman story, it’d be story like Haibane Renmei or Air; a well written story of young girls charting unknown waters and living life as best as they know how with what they have. The stories are fantastic and emotional, although mostly tragic; all the characters are deep and truly wonderful from the sensitive girls to the dreadfully inept father figures. There is just a level of depth and meaning to everything that is hard for other shows to reach. Even the music is special; the opening theme is probably one of the best I have ever heard in anime. And to ice the cake, the artwork which I usually overlook, is brilliant. The only thing I am dissapointed in is myself for holding out so long in seeing this show.
Haibane Renmei (TV) Masterpiece
A truly wonderful series with many different aspects to it. I love the whole concept of children being born or maybe even reborn into a whole new world with an unknown purpose. Some parts troubled me very deeply at first until the series allows us to know more about the characters and why they do what they do, for instance working to earn their own way in this world. Just what does lie beyond the walls is the greatest mystery and I actually like the fact that it allows us to imagine it for ourselves. It was just a well designed and written story with adorable characters that are impossible not to like and very original and artistic without being flashy or annoying. I know I’ll be watching this again and again and I’ll probably see something new each time.
Hajime no Ippo - Champion Road (special) Very good
This was a nice follow up special. It had a lot of the great characteristics that made the series so wonderful.. but it was a bit lacking in the same intensity and character work. I don’t know why, maybe because it was too short a time compared how it followed each bout in the series, but it just wasn’t as heart pounding. I mean it was good, I enjoyed watching it, I just wasn’t on the edge of my seat. Ippo still maintained his great character development from the series but there just wasn’t enough time to give the supporting cast more than typical roles and the show lacks for it. The romance aspect seemed like it would have taken a bigger leap from what the opening moments suggested but it also ended just a bit flat. The match and opponent were interesting and well animated but it just seemed like it missed something. I don’t know. It seems like I’m ragging on it but it was a very good special, when you compare it to the series it doesn’t measure up as well, but it is very good and enjoyable to watch.
Hajime no Ippo - Mashiba vs. Kimura (OAV) Excellent
Watching this OAV made me realize what was lacking from the Champion Road special. This show holds up that wonderful personal element that makes the series so great; showing the complex feelings of the characters as they move through the story. It is also nice to get a Kimura story as he is sometimes the forgotten one. I mean he is a pair with Aoki, but Aoki stands out a little more for being the louder of the two. And with him as the main character this show is another display of the wonderful storytelling that the series does so well and any Ippo fan should find it a great treat.
Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (TV) Very good
This is probably the weakest Ippo anime to date. What’s scary is that it was still pretty damn good. This series goes over one of the weakest parts from the manga; the Hammer Nao arc, but the show still manages to to tell some really impressive stories around it. I didn’t like that it ended on the David Hawk arc either. Although that is one of my favorite fights from the manga I think in an anime about Ippo shifting the focus of the climax to Takamura, even if his accomplishment was on a whole other level, really downplays Ippo’s main ongoing story. Aside from those two nitpicks I also disliked the use of CG in the actual fights and the lacking in the background music. It is true that the fighters here sometimes end up using some ridiculous techniques, but the CG made them sort of look cheap compared to the standards set by the original anime. It was sort of the same with the music. In the original series the music alone was often enough to get me into the mood of a particular scene, while the music in this series often barely worked as background filler. However, all of that aside, it was still fun to watch more animated Ippo and I really hope there is more still yet to come. I know it would take a whole lot of anime to tell even the majority of just the main story from the manga, very telling considering how much this show alone left out, but I can get as much of the story as I want from the manga, I just think it is nice to watch it animated and voiced. I wouldn’t recommend this anime too much to an Ippo newbie, but die hard fans like myself will probably enjoy it for the same reasons I did. I don’t think I’d have a problems at all re-watching it even.
Hand Maid May (TV) Good
This series has its moments. It is not incredibly hilarious, the romance is not perfect, and the dramatic parts left much to be desired, but despite that this series does hold its own. As with other series I think what helps a lot is the great characters; the majority of thecharacters are really fun and likable so they add a lot overall. It also had a nice amount of anime sci-fi, where nothing really gets explained but it is interesting to think about. So while the series doesn't do any one thing extremely well it does have its moments, and aside from that it is definitely fun to watch.
Happy Lesson (TV) Decent
This is a pretty typical harem style show that has a pretty atypical plot. Most of the girls surrounding Chitose are vying to be a mother figure. Sure there are still plenty of ecchi moments, albeit with surprisingly sparse fanservice, but that twist makes it a bit different. And the story really isn’t outstanding but it is different enough to keep the whole thing entertaining. The characters are the usual mix of personalities but no one really stands out enough. All in all this is a pretty fun show but nothing extraordinary in any way. The cop out ending doesn’t help much either but I think a bit better storytelling and maybe a bit more character development would have been nice but as is it is still pretty ok and sometimes surprisingly cute and fun.
Happy Lesson (OAV) Decent
I watched this after the series thinking it was a sequel as listed in the encyclopedia here but it looks like it came before the series and the series is probably more of a retelling than anything. The first episode for instance is near identical to the first episode of the series. All that aside it isn’t much better and possibly slightly worse considering the lack of storytelling. However there are some good bits like the buildup to Mina’s introduction not as Chitose’s sister but as a childhood friend who can possibly be more. But that story plays out in a very predictable clichéd sort of way so it really doesn’t add that much more depth to it. It really isn’t a good show but there are some nice parts to it.
Happy Lesson Advanced (TV) Decent
I watched all of Happy Lesson out of order because of the way it is listed in the Encyclopedia here, but this ended up a good thing because I saw this series last instead of “The Final” OAV which I thought really ended the whole franchise on a sour note due to quality and content. So having watched this last I have pretty much gotten some of that bad taste out of my mouth. One of the nice things about this series is that the harem is somewhat unique in that the females living with the protagonist are all trying to be mother figures rather than lovers and in this series that shows up well. The story line is not as loose as the first series and the characters are a bit better off as well. The sort of weird sibling rivalry sometimes makes for some interesting as well as entertaining moments. I still can’t say that this is a great or even a very good show but it is the best of Happy Lesson. If anyone watches this, and it is not too late, I suggest avoid watching The Final which will just ruin many of the good things the first two series actually manage.
Happy Lesson The Final (OAV) So-so
I think I watched this out of turn as well as the first OAV. Going again by the encyclopedia here I watched this after the OAV which was supposedly a sequel to the series and yet turned out to be an original telling of the story in the first series. This I think might be the last part and maybe a sequel to the second series I’ll find out when I watch that I suppose. In any case… The first two episodes were working into a really nice story that would have probably been the cream of the Happy Lesson crop and then the final episode just completely takes anything that may have been good about it and cuts it into really stupid absurdities with a bunch of scenes which I am imagining were supposed to be humorous that instead come out really bland. And the finale itself is a really bad ending, more so because I believe this is supposed to be a wrap up of all Happy Lesson. The finale really cheapens some the few good points in the series.
Hatsukoi Limited (TV) Good
This is an interesting show in that it doesn’t just tell one type of romance. Because of this most people will probably find at least one story that they’ll enjoy. My own favorite pairing was Kusuda and the younger Enomoto, and not just because this is the one that was the most prominent in that it got the most screen time, but because there were actually a lot of tid bits throughout that showed these two falling for each other despite the big differences in their backgrounds and appearances. My least favorite was the Yamamoto and Yuuji Arihara because it was the least realistic in how she falls in love with him. The show impressed me in that the creator was the same guy that did the crap that is Ichigo 100%; it really surprised me that he could actually write a romance story that does not suck. I mean it did have quite a few flaws that reminded me of how unskilled he can be, but overall it was pretty much worth watching. It won’t really go on my re-watch list, but I would not be surprised if I did sit down to watch it again some time.
Hayate the Combat Butler (TV) Good
This is a long show that is surprisingly easy to watch. It’s a lot of fun and though it won’t make you strain your brain there is enough material to keep nearly all ages entertained. And that’s another odd thing about this show; despite being fun, the comedy isn’t often all that funny and quite frankly, often lame. However the show has a certain aspect about it that makes me not mind all that much. I do enjoy the characters, so that is probably the most of it. I’ve always been a fan of characters that face the most absurd of situations in a dead pan manner and then panic like idiots in a situation that probably isn’t as dire. And that quality is abundant in the show’s two main characters, Hayate and Nagi. But it’s not just that either. They are just very refreshing to watch somehow and that above almost anything else really endeared them to me. And the same can be said about nearly the entire cast. It’s rare to watch a show where I didn’t find at least a few characters annoying. And though I wasn’t always a big fan of the comedy it was interesting to see just how many gags and absurd situations this show could fit into each episode, which is another side to it that kept me watching. I don’t think this show will ever qualify as a masterpiece but I can say that I enjoyed it enough to warrant repeat viewings. It’s definitely a worthwhile show.
Hayate the Combat Butler!! (OAV) Decent
If you have a love comedy series, especially one that doesn’t ever go anywhere and randomness is more important that the love part, or even the comedy at times, and you are going to do an OAV then it is very likely going to be a fanservice episode. Swimsuits or hot springs, one or the other, in this case swimsuits at the beach. It’s missing some of the charm that the series seems so abundant in, probably because the characters are written specifically for a fanservice episode. Your not missing much if you skip this episode, if you’ve been watching Hayate up to this point your probably a fan already and won’t lose much for watching it either.
Hayate the Combat Butler!! (TV) Very good
It sort of stumbles out of the gate, but once it gets past the first couple of episodes this show works pretty darned good. And I can’t even remember why this first two to three episodes lagged a bit anyway so it doesn’t matter. This series does a lot better job of being a love comedy that the original series and that also helps make it a bit more interesting to watch. It is still chock full of random goodness but it also has a bit of depth to it that makes it more interesting and enjoyable. It was like I could finally make out a plot to Hayate no Gotoku. And I haven’t read it so I’m just guessing here, but I’m thinking JC Staff wanted to be a bit more true to the source manga. There were a few episodes that were nearly identical to episodes in the original series but the differences in which characters were involved and the situations sort of made me think so at first, and then following the series to the end, seeing how the characters were a bit more consistent to themselves throughout sort of gives it away a bit more. Like the show itself, the characters are as fun and likable as the original series but with a bit more depth. I really did enjoy this show and I hope that like with the first series, this will be licensed in the US sometime because I’d definitely purchase it.
He Is My Master (TV) Decent
The show is probably best for fetishists of just about anything, although I don't think I ever saw a cat girl so that's one fetish out. The series is not really harem, there are a few cute girls but they are not really all vying for the guy's affection. They all have their own way of looking at him, but nothing to do with romance. And that's probably for the best as the guy in the center of it all is not only a loser, but also unlike harem shows, he is a rich jerk with no redeeming qualities. It is a bit scary that it looks like Izumi starts to have some feelings for him that one can confuse with, well not really love, but interest. I don't know the entire set up is scary, as I said before, it just looks like the show was made so we can get to see the cute lolis in maid outfits. Most disturbing when the youngest sister Karin also dons the outfit. However it does have enough amusing moments where it at least kept me entertained so I can't say it was really a bad show.
Hellsing (TV) Good
I like the series just because of the very creative usage of vampires. There are so many vampire stories today and they all try to take their own place, and this one does a good job in its own right. There are some timing and continuity lapses which are distracting but the concept is enough to still enjoy the series. The characters are interesting though not incredibly likable, but I guess that is the way they were written to be. There are some interesting visuals that are both well placed and add to the mystery behind Alucard. There could have been a better introduction to the story but these are some of the reasons they are reintroducing the story in the OVA series.
Hidamari Sketch (TV) Good
I had previously rated this show lower but then something happened that made me enjoy it a lot more on a second viewing; I watched Hidamari Sketch x 365. Why this helped tremendously is that my main complaint about this show when I first viewed it was that the characters didn’t hold enough presence. Something was lacking and I couldn’t really get into their story. What the second series does well that changes this is opens these girls as characters. It shows their hearts and made me really like and endear myself to them. Because of this I was able to sit back and enjoy their antics a lot more. Now appreciating the characters a lot more I can come back to the first series and enjoy this show nearly as much because I already know and like the characters. I still can’t rate it as well as x 365 because this show didn’t have anything to do with the character portrayals that made me like these girls so much in the first place so I can't give it that credit, but I genuinely enjoyed this show the second time around and I'm sure it won't be the last time I visit the Hidamari Apartments.
Hidamari Sketch (special) Very good
See, now this is what I’m talking about. Although it doesn’t have everything I thought was lacking in the series, this special packs a pretty good comedic punch. Random and a bit insane at times; this is closer to what a show directed by Akiyuki Shinbo is supposed to be. This show definitely provides some genuine laughs and will even make you give a double takes on a couple things you think you saw, but aren’t quite sure (yes, you did see that... maybe). I also like the self advertising with the girls occasionally watching what looks a bit like Zetsubo Sensei. And just enjoying the show more thanks to the power up in the funny department also helps me enjoy the characters more and completely forget about the lack of any poignant story. And actually it is not just that the show is funnier, the girls really are more interesting and likable. Instead of just watching them like I did during the series, I wanted to watch them, which helped make the second episode really enjoyable. This is a much better show overall, even if only two episodes, but I enjoyed it and now I’m actually psyched about Hidamari Sketch × 365.
Hidamari Sketch × 365 (TV) Very good
It almost feels like this is a complete do-over with different stories. However that is not necessarily a bad thing. This series is similar but different enough in just the right places that it is refreshing. The cuteness is magnified in the characters somehow. I can’t really explain it well I think, but it is like you can see them more as real characters. You don’t just see what they are and what they do, but you see who they are. The comedy also flows better, probably having to do with the choices in direction, and it makes it more than merely amusing. I also like the animation better, somehow rougher and a bit more raw, but it has a lot more elements and it also looks a lot more fluid. And it is interesting that even the parts that tie directly to the first series sort of make me wish they'd go back and re-do all the original episodes. I don’t want to use a cliché term like “night and day,” but this show is so well executed. My heart really has warmed to these for girls and I really can not wait for another series or at least an OAV. Also, despite all of my comments so far about the contrasts between this and the first series, I actually found that because of this show and how well it portrays the characters it makes watching the original series more fun than it was the first time. I hope the shows are licensed at some point because I’d definitely love to own some Hidamari DVDs.
Hidamari Sketch × Hoshimittsu (TV) Very good
This series wasn’t really as good as x365 but it wasn’t far behind. The same lovable girls still pretty much act the same way and get into similar situations. So that alone makes it worth following for any Hidamari Sketch fan, but the twist now is that the girls get new neighbors in the form of 2 new first year students and tenants at the Hidamari apartments. Of course the new girls have their own small flavor to add to the show but are just as fun and lovable as the existing characters. That’s a stretch to take in this type of series where there are hardly any major issues or challenges, that the producers sometimes introduce new characters just to have something new, but it works out here and that’s a good thing. Where it loses some points is that with the now larger cast and still trying to keep up with everyone and even devoting a little time here and there to non-regular characters, Yuno sometimes isn’t featured as much which, for me anyway, is not as good. As much fun as most of the characters are in HS, Yuno is still the character that really drives this series so I always want to see more of her. However it is not like she is in the shadows now or anything just disappears in a few more scenes tan before and even from an entire episode during this sequel, so she’s definitely around more than not. The series is still definitely worth another viewing and maybe more than that.
Higurashi no Naku Koroni Gaiden Nekogoroshi-hen (OAV) Decent
This ended up being somewhat interesting but is lacking. The show plays out like one of the thruway parts from the chapters/cycles in the series, but unfortunately not among the better parts. Play a game, losers get punished, parade around and then we get into the true heart of tale. However even though it was somewhat interesting, as I mentioned, it has barely any relevance to the series and so falls sort of flat as a stand alone episode. The strength of the show is how even small parts play a larger role towards the overall product. The parts themselves are just that, parts. This OAV play out like a part that doesn’t fit nor has any importance to the overall so doesn’t do well on its own, worse still in that nothing really happens. Watching it wasn’t really a waste but I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it again.
Higurashi no Naku Koroni Kai (TV) Excellent
It took me entirely too long to come back to this show. I really liked the first series and just knew there was more to it, but for some reason I just kept putting off the sequel. After watching it I regret the waiting even more. As the first series closed there was this feeling that the cycle would continue but it doesn’t really give a lot to work with. The reason for the cycle also remained a mystery. Here the story tackles the reason and the cycle itself in a very well put together plot. Just as there was this incredible sense in the different chapters of the first series were all tied and related to each other, as the mystery finally begins to unfold and the chapters start to shed off some of the cycled events, the revelations are just as impressive as the storytelling that led to them. The biggest reason is that it is not just brought out of nowhere to merely have a way of creating an ending; you can actually look back to each chapter and find all the clues that would bring you to these conclusions. The story doesn’t cheat and that is probably the most impressive thing about it. When the cycle resets at one point about halfway through it actually goes back and shows a lot of the past events that are merely talked or hinted about in the various arcs. It is a bit tedious to sit through knowing mostly what is going to happen but it is important to learn. Here we can see a lot more of what’s really going on, where the truths and illusions lie, more than even the characters know, which adds a level of anticipation to the closing arc. You get to see how deep the rabbit hole really is. The series also finally drags a large weight of character development, which was also necessary, as in the beginning many main characters were still not very multidimensional. But I suppose it would have been harder to do in the first series without giving away a whole lot. Putting both series together as a whole almost qualifies the story to masterpiece status. I even enjoyed the ending, but won’t say much more than that. It was what it was although it could have been different is all I’ll say. The only real nitpicks I have, as with the first series, is that the show still tends to drag at points between cycles; there are a few moments where it could very easily shortened things up. However as a whole, the bad is far outweighed by the incredibly clever storytelling and plot weaving I would definitely watch it again. Maybe next time I’ll marathon both series back to back.
His and Her Circumstances (TV) Very good
This is a series that I got into while searching for new romantic comedies. I really liked it, all of it just wish there was a proper ending to it. I loved Yukino and all her crazy antics as well as all the different layers to her. She was a fake but she new what she was and she was ready to face the consequences, how unlikely that one incident broke her out of her shelf into a whole new world and the person most responsioble seems to be sinking deeper into his own shell in the process. This is another series I considered reading the manga for because so mush was left unexplained, and it seemed like there would be some dark moments to come.
Honey and Clover (TV) Masterpiece
The passage of time is unavoidable; if you are not frugal with it you may end up with regrets. I love how this series handles time; it flies by in large chunks so that as viewers we are aware of it and even threw in constant reminders of it, so that we truly understand how the characters underestimate it. All the beautiful symbolism is apparent of this. Actually this is just an amazing series overall. Everything about it impresses me with every single episode. For starters, I have seen some great comedies that have some incredibly good dramatic moments, and I have seen some amazing dramas that have some impressive comedic scenes, but I have never seen one before that is amazing at both equally, not just a few moments. The story is so well crafted that it often carries a comedic moment flawlessly into a dramatic one without there being a contradiction between the two and melding into something that is so simple and real and yet more than that. It’s almost like life this way. I also enjoy how it can use what appears to be a simple progressive gag and turn it into a beautiful moment. This show is also often frustrating, but in a way that makes you want to root for these beautiful characters, never in an annoying way. The characters are all impressive; not developed from scratch but introduced to us in a way where we eventually discover them for ourselves. And the music; anything from a light piano to a more jazzy number to a light rock tune always accompanies the story beautifully. This was just a beautiful incredibly well-rounded story and I know I'll be watching this many more times.
Honey and Clover II (TV) Very good
The story here was still outstanding as it was in the first season. Actually I hated it at various times which is an emotion that is hard to produce, so it really did some things well. It also had the same level of depth and was craftiness. Of course needless to say the characters were still outstanding, although not as likable in this one. I don’t know, even though a lot was still great, it just didn’t reach the first one in many ways. It was awfully frustrating like in many parts of H&C, but unlike its predecessor this one managed to get annoying at points, it also deviates from the plot several times for less important arcs, and the characters were themselves but seemed out of character more than a few times. Another annoyance is that the comedy didn’t mold as wonderfully, there were a lot of times where it looked out of place and didn’t fit the current mood. It was just not as enjoyable overall; I think that even though it was a mere 12 episodes it probably would have worked a lot better at 6, my thinking is that the great parts would not be weighed down by the annoying portions which never seemed to fit the story anyway. It was still entertaining and worth watching, especially the wonderful yet disheartening ending, but just not nearly as enjoyable as the first series.
Hotori - Tada Saiwai o Koinegau (special) Very good
In writing, some say it is best to capture your audience’s attention from the first line. Since there are so many famous opening lines from books I’d say this is very well true. In a visual art I would say the equivalent is to capture your audience’s attention from the opening scene. This show does that. What it does after that is shows that the creators really understand a lot more than just that about a relationship with an audience. We’re told a story of an unlikely friendship which we sort of know will end badly, but also sort of think it may not, based on that important opening scene. As the story progresses we are given treats; the story allows us to discover things about the characters for ourselves before it tells us. For those with keen eyes it also lays a few other things, subtle symbolism, plot devices, and sometimes small images that tell even more of what’s going on. Yet in the end all we really come away with is a touching story of friendship, fond memories, and hope, although I won’t say which way it ends. However even at that most simplistic way of looking at it, this show is good. I will watch this again some time.
Howl's Moving Castle (movie) Excellent
This is probably one of the more versatile Miyazaki films, the story is not just very interesting but also a wonderful combination of action, adventure, magic, and a wonderful romannce. It is also incredibly unique in how the main character's plight is told and unfolds. I don't think I have ever seen anything like it and the incredible animation it really takes it to another level. You can see how Sophie's features chyange and what happens at those moments. It's also interesting that not only is this film not unecessarily repetative, it also allows us to figure some things out for ourselves rather than delve into what would probably turn out to be some really cheesy dialogue. I also can't state just how much I enjoyed watching the characters, they all had so many interesting qualities. I'll definitely be watching this one again.
Human Crossing (TV) Good
This series has a way of fooling you into thinking it is amazing at times. The storytelling in some of the episode looks like it really captures you. However this is just an illusion. While not bad in any way, it is not as great as it wants you to think it is. The stories are not bad, well not most of them, and the really good ones are the ones that can hook you in and make the storytelling look better than it is. Bu tit tries to follow a certain formula between introduction, set up, body, climax, and conclusion that not all stories needed to be forced into. Some of the best stories may have been truly great if they’d just been told naturally. The characters, however, are sometimes bad. Many characters are introduced just for the sake of playing a certain role in the story but not being given anything outside these roles to fill. And I know that with each episode being episodic they don’t really allow time for character development outside of the main player, but they don’t need development, just personalities to be better parts to their stories. I’ve seen other episodic shows where there weren’t many characters at all who didn’t fit in. However because the stories are mostly good and it is refreshing to occasionally watch a show without some greater than life theme, I cannot call this a bad series overall. Despite my complaints, I did enjoy it and will likely watch some of the more enjoyable episodes again sometime.
Hunter X Hunter (TV) Masterpiece
Wonderful. That was the word that left my mouth when I finished watching the last episode. I can’t even think of anything to write about this series. It was just so wonderful to watch; it’s fun, exciting, suspenseful, and thrilling. I loved all the main characters and even some of the villains. Actually the only character that I truly detested was one that never appears, but I don’t want to spoil anything. This series is an example of terrific storytelling from start to finish. Everything led from one thing to the next and drew me in perfectly. I was glued to the screen even when it left the main characters out for large chunks near the end. It was fun at times and then followed by some terrific action and followed up with some wonderful suspense; the creators really knew what they were doing here. Even the music was fun and the seiyuu were all superb. My only real complaint with this series is that it was never licensed in the US; I’d really love to own this series on DVD.
Hunter X Hunter (OAV) Good
This was an interesting continuation but I felt it had to major downfalls. Even though it is a continuation of the series and picks up at about where it left off, you can tell it is missing something, it is almost like if it was done in a completely different style. Now while it is not unusual for an OVA to be done in a different style, it is not an alternate story or sequel, it is a continuation and therefor feels a bit awkward to watch after the series. And because it is not a continuation, the series can't really stand alone as an OVA set. You have to watch the series to know what's going on in the OVA. Also, it never really has that same energy that was everywhere in the series. Still, it was not a complete waste as it does provide that much needed next chapter in this story, and the story is still well told, it just lacked that special ingredient that made the series outstanding.
Hunter X Hunter: G I Final (OAV) Very good
Ok so that's the last of it, huh? Hmm, this is yet another continuation of the overall HXH and I suppose this one rates at about the same as the previous two. It still lost a lot of the intensity that made the series outstanding, but it was enjoyable and even had a good bit of suspense. However it also started to drag on with the typical shounen contrivances that first began to really be apparent in the 2nd OVA set, which is always a dissapointment. But I guess once you go past a certain point it's hard to keep the original momentum going. The characters were again fun in this, I especially liked a brief appearance by Hisoka, who I wished would have been more prominent. There are too many side stories that never cam to fruition, but I'll have check out the manga to see if there is any more or see if it ends differently. Still, this series was worth watching and if you have seen HXH up to this point then there is no reason why you shouldn't just see it through.
Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island (OAV) Good
Hmm.. not sure what to really sayd about this second OVA set. It can't stand alone because the set up depends entirely on the previous one and the ending leaves no choice but to continue to the next one because it doesn't really complete anything. But as part of the overall HunterXHunter, it's pretty good. A lot of the fun aspects that were left out of the first OVA set are present again here, and actually it feels more like the series than the other OVA, which seemed like it was presented in a different style. However this set doesn't carry the same intensity as the previous one so it also loses out. I guess it is really hard to judge these individually when they are all a continuation of the same story, and yet it is easy to tell where each one fails the original series. At least this story finally brings us back to what I had been most interested in and that is Gon's story, you know the main character that was almost forgotten at the end of the series and previous OVA. Although here the story starts to include some of those contrivances that I dislike from typical shounen titals. However overall, the story is still told well and it is fun to watch and is better that the original OVA.
Hyakko (TV) Decent
This was an OK show but it had a bit more potential. I imagine the manga is the same way too. Early ion it is fairly fresh and the comedy is sometimes ‘laugh out loud’ funny but the show manages to get away from what it does well. Most of the characters are really likeable, though generic. Having seen shows like Azumanga Daioh, Strawberry Marshmallow, Hidamari Sketch, School Rumble, and on and on, it’s really easy to catch the character roles in this show, which is not nearly as good as any of those. But Early on it is still fun; you get to know the four main girls and their quirks. If they’d stuck to that type of program it would probably have been good all the way through.

Where this show starts to fail is that it gets into this mode where it just tries to force feed Torako, the main character, more and more. The excessiveness may still have been passable but the more I got to know Torako the more I disliked her. I mentioned first that ‘most’ of the characters are likeable because I never found Torako to be very likeable. And yes, I get that she’s the stupid happy go lucky girl who is wild and blah blah blah, and I don’t have anything against the character type in general, but Torako is rude and overbearing to a point beyond annoying. I honestly never found how any of the girls would seriously want her as a friend; much less hold her in such high esteem. Near the end when it’s discovered that Torako’s past was a bit tragic and oh so sad, I couldn’t really get myself to care a whole lot. With a tragic past you’d think she would have learned to be a bit more considerate towards others. But she’s not, and since this really is her show, I ended up not enjoying it as well as I thought I would at first. I can’t really like a show a whole lot when I dislike the main character. I would not watch this again even with the fun scenes with the other characters scattered around.

I Dream of Mimi (OAV) Decent
This was a neat little story. The pervy jokes were actually funny and the characters were fun to watch too. I don't know, none of the cliché things bothered me as they usually do and I think it was because the story was so darned amusing. I have seen a lot of anime about robot/android girls, and considering this was an erotic story, it was still a pretty good show.
Ichigo 100% (TV) Bad
I told a friend that I like romance anime and comedy anime and he recommended this title. So I watched it and became less amicable towards my friend for a few days for not understanding what I enjoy and for believing this to be a good romantic anime series. The only character who is likeable is Toujou, and as the entire series is spent on the completely unlikable Junpei and how all these girls including Toujou seem to be head over heals for his no redeeming qualities having person, it was not very fun to watch.
Ikki Tousen (TV) Good
A good fighting series, although it does have way too much fan services; more than any series really needs. You'd think the fight scenes alone would make up for the fanservice but oh well. One of the good things for me and this series is that I watched it after watching Tenjho Tenge, which I really disliked; I don't think I would have like this series as much if I had watched something I really loved right before it. Still the storyline was decent enough where you’re not just watching fighting scene after fighting scene with no purpose or direction. The characters were mostly likeable even if a bit one or two dimensional at times. It’s not the deepest or profound series by any means but worth watching.
Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny (TV) Good
This was a bit better than the first series in a lot of respects. It gets better points for fighting scenes, story and plot. The only thing it took a step back in is in characters. Well actually I’ll be fair, for the most part the characters are interesting to watch I just didn’t like Ryuubi and since she is the main character in this one, it just seems like it was a step down for me. Especially as the main reason I enjoyed the first season at all was because of Hakufu. The show is still loaded with fanservice of all kinds, but it adds enough to make it worth watching even if one isn’t looking for only that and I wouldn’t even mind watching it again and I’d even buy it if licensed. Good show.
Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians (TV) Decent
Looking for great drama, intrigue, and a well woven tale that speaks to your heart? Yeah, you won't find anything remotely close to that here. As always with Ikkitousen you will find a lot of silliness, fighting, and I don't really think I need to mention FANSERVICE. Yes these kids still fight hard and still can't afford clothing rugged enough to keep up with them and Sonsaku is still insane and an idiot so no need to worry that the show will suddenly make you think. It had a good vibe through the first half or so when it seemed more like an odd school life comedy. It was actually pretty amusing and fun watching these characters, which are usually involved more in drastic battle sequences and over dramatized plots, just hanging out and being quirky. The story takes a down turn when it tries to slide into that usual area more so than usual because this time it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If it had kept to the same mood from the first episodes throughout it would have made a pretty fresh addition to the Ikkitousen franchise before going into the next series which I’m sure will involve some form of plot for total conquest and again push a lot of the good humor into the background, or sometimes forget it all together, again.
Intrigue in the Bakumatsu - Irohanihoheto (TV) Good
This show at times is almost brilliant. The storytelling is often almost abnormally good as it weaves this mess as best it can. Oh, yes I hadn’t mentioned the mess that the plot is. For all the great storytelling this show displays it also has a fault in actual plot construction. It seems to fail particularly bad when it is time for a turning point or climax. I think the biggest problem is how much it wanted to tell. From the war to the supernatural elements to all the side plots with individual characters I’m amazed the series actually managed an ending. It wasn’t a great ending, actually left quite a sum to be desired, but it did somehow conclude in a way that wasn’t too confusing. The characters were mostly good. They all had some interesting buildup and tales of their own, but it was a bit crowded with the already voluminous plot, so character introductions or twists often made the show a bit more complicated to follow than it really needed to be. Overall if you pay close attention the show is actually pretty good, but if they would have toned some things down, shaved a few inconsistencies and plot points, it probably would have been something special; especially with that wonderful storytelling.
Inuyasha (TV) Very good
I’ve reached the end of Inu Yasha. This is another series that is so long and different at different points that it is hard to rate honestly. Some of the filler would barely get a so-so from me standing on its own, however the majority of this story is based straight from Rumiko Takahashi’s characters or inspired by her storytelling and wonderful way with character interactions so I think it deserves to be graded more on this. All the wonderful characters and how well they respond to one another are part of what makes Takahashi so great and it is all in abundance and then some in Inu Yasha. What’s more there is some great suspense and action throughout the entire series adding more flavors to the big Inu Yasha pot. I know that the ending isn’t even close to appropriate but I get the feeling a few years down the line we may get a nice OAV series to finally close the series out. Even if not, I will pick up the manga and read it through in time, and that will help close out this story for me that would not have left me wondering if it wasn’t so good.
Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass Very good
I liked this movie more than the first. It had some really great action and an overall feel of excitement. There was some nice work put into the storyline and it never felt like just an exhibition to put Inu Yasha in film format. It stumbled just slightly near the end but overall it was interesting and made for a good movie. The character interaction were also nearly as good as the early part of the series and even showed some nice romantic moments that never seem to come to light. It wasn’t the best of movies but a really worthwhile watch.
InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler Very good
This was easily the best Inu Yasha movie so far although I’ll reserve judgment until I see the last one. The story starts out with a good premise going back in time to let us see a bit more of Inu Yasha’s, or more importantly for this movie, his father’s past. And from there it just takes off, with plenty of action and suspense. Always an interesting moment and even some fun stuff for fans. The characters sometimes played slightly different roles and yet were never out of character. And of course, I have to love the Sesshoumaru, Rin, and Jaken love, my favorite side characters are all a big part of this movie and it only helped me like it more. Good plot, lovable characters, nasty villain, nice climax, and a well done ending, this movie was good all around and I’d recommend it to even non Inu Yasha fans.
Inuyasha the Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island Decent
This was alright, not the best of the movies, actually probably the worst of them, but it was still good. There was more action in the movie and it was done well, but the story was a bit lacking. It still had it's fun moments, but it had some problems in the storyline. There were a lot of things that seemed to be included just for the sake of inclusion. I like Sesshoumaru, Jaken, and Rin, but the plot made a very weak effort to show why they were a part of this story. I guess overall the movie was just an effort to make a bit more money from a dying franchise, but it was done well enough to be interesting and worth watching. I just don't recommend watching it if you are looking for some type of closure to the story, the movie didn't even hint at anything from the series.
Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time Good
This was a good movie that does a good job of using the great characters from the series and at the same time telling its own story. And the story was not just told well it really is good, even if it is a bit formulaic of action movies it still manages to drive a decent plot with some terrific action and well executed twists. I also liked that even though it tells a separate story it doesn’t deviate or contradict the existing material in the series. I also love the use of the characters, of course the main characters all had to be in but the creative inclusions of Sesshoumaru and Kikyo were both good in their own ways. I always liked Sesshoumaru, and I always thought with Kikyo that less is more, so it worked out for me. This movie will never “wow” a hardcore movie critic, but it's fun, and for an Inu Yasha fan like myself, it is gravy.
Inuyasha: Meguri Au Mae no Unmei Koiuta (special) Very good
I'm not sure why this is listed separately in the Encyclopedia as it was a special that is part of the series, but I don't think that it does not deserve its own place either. It is a nice change of pace in the last arc which is chock full of weak filler, so this special, like a few other episodes down the final stretch, was like a big breath of fresh air when I got to it, even being filler as well. I loved seeing what amounts to a prequel showing some events that I had been curious about while watching the series. They always alluded to the events before Inu Yasha being sealed and Kikyo's death but it was never told in detail and it was done really well in this special.
Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu (OAV) Excellent
I'm a real sucker for these types of stories and usually end up more torn than anything in the end. And on top of it all this story is really well told and even adds a few things to sort of stand apart from the norm in the romance/drama genre. That of course being the unknown fight against aliens or whoever, I'm not sure if it is ever made clear. However that story is in the background for the most part until the last moments when it has an expected influence on the ending. The principle characters are both enjoyable, and Asaba in particular is easy to relate to, but then if these characters weren't good the story of their romance wouldn't work. They don't have a lot of development and they don't have a long time together but it really feels like their feelings are genuine. The few special effects I should also metnion are actually pretty darned good, but as I said most of that flies in the background of Irya and Asaba so it isn't and shouldn't be the focal point of this story. I can't say more without really giving away a large part of the plot. I'll just end with saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this small story even though I shed a fair share of tears, but I'll definitely watch it again someday.
(The) Irresponsible Captain Tylor (OAV) Very good
Ok first of all, for those who don’t know: this is not one whole series but two separate ones, divided by the first two episodes in one series and the other eight making up the second one. I should be able to rate them separately as well but as I can’t I’ll just say here that I rate the first two episodes as ‘Excellent’ and the other series as ‘Good.’ Due to the lopsided number of episodes in each one it shouldn’t really average ‘Very good’ but I say it is an average of two series.

I really enjoyed the first series. It really does feel like an after story to the series. The feel of the storytelling and Tylor’s behavior are pretty much what is expected. There are just a couple inconsistencies, but nothing that would really be too important. For a fan of Tylor this pretty much is just another story in the saga, but with better production values.

Once it gets into the second OAV however everything is noticeably different, including the character designs. The first 6 episodes are sort of side stories each featuring a different character or faction from the Tylor universe. These are somewhat humorous but not as comedic as you’d expect a character special to be. They depict the lives of the characters involved as they start progressing personally or in their field. Some just start to gain a new found sense of responsibility while others are just trying to keep up with advances that their work might entail technologically or just in a different field. And while they might seem to stand alone, each proceeding story adds another hint of the growing troubles that are to come. This of course is then detailed in the “final” 2 episodes.

I actually liked the different feel, often darker and more dramatic, in this series as opposed to the tv series. It didn’t matter much to me that the key figure, Tylor himself, is actually just a side character in this new saga. I even enjoyed the story build up, even if it did feel awkward at some parts when the final 2 episodes begin. However the toughest thing of all to accept is that just as it starting to come to this crucial moment the series suddenly ends. Not only is there no resolution but there wasn’t even a continuing development to what the story was at the point it was cut off to even hint at how it may have ended. If it had truly ended, even badly, I would have rated this show a lot higher than “Good.” I mean heck that is a pretty high rating for me to give, considering, so that says how much I enjoyed it leading up to this. However I can’t say I’d watching this OAV again because of that bad taste in my mouth, and I would only recommend the first 2 episode OAV series to Tylor fans wanting more.

(The) Irresponsible Captain Tylor (TV) Very good
So what is this show? Is it a comedy? Parody? Just plain silly? Or is it a space opera? Sci-fi? Like Justy Ueky Tylor himself the show might seem like an enigma, but it is well done and tells a good story. I'm not sure if I would go so far as to call it brilliant, but it has some wonderful moments. The only thing I can say for certain is that it is really entertaining. I think what surprised me the most is that the show above all is about its title character. Sure it has its funny moments and action and space battles and a little bit of drama, but the real story is about Captain Tylor. The most telling thing is that what one would assume is the climax, the final battle, is not where the show ends. The story continues more into the life of Tylor past this moment and into place where I, along with the crew of the ship, kept wondering what was going on with him. It ends surprisingly well and, though I was kept wanting more, I was left with a feeling of completion. I know that the story continues from here for a bit, but for now I can truly say that I enjoyed this journey and will no doubt come back to revisit it again.
ItaKiss (TV) Excellent
This show is probably a bit of a guilty pleasure but I absolutely adore it. My favorite parts are the character interactions, which early on play out a little less than what I’d expect, especially when it gets into the romance, but it moves really fast so you actually get more than you’d expect out of this type of show. That is not to say the show can not be irritating at points with the pacing and progress. However it is never really irritating in a bad way, more in a ‘let you anticipate the good moments’ and in that addictive ‘makes you want to yell at the characters way,’ especially at Irie. What a stuffy guy he is, but it is neat that you can also see some of his weaknesses and that he can be taken down a notch occasionally. Kotoko is a bit of a ditz but I think that helps me like her more and want to root for her. Not all the characters are great, most of Kotoko’s friends are sometimes annoying, but the leads make up for it and then some. Aside from what happens between the leads there is not a lot more to the story but I think this helps the show be able to make huge leaps in time without having to leave a lot of loose ends between periods and allows you to just concentrate on the main plot. And I do like that it moves forwards and things happen. You normally do not get any plot advancement in shows like this but here you get to see what happens next and even later. It gives you the ‘I wonder what happened to them after’ so your not left just imagining what might have been when the show ends. I’ll definitely look out for a licensing so I can get it on DVD.

The show actually ends at episode 24. The last episode is more of an OAV, sort of getting one more story in, but it has barely any relevance to the main plot. It isn’t really a bad little episode, but the characters are a bit out of ‘character’ as it were, but it is still at least holds true to the fun part of the show.

Jiburiru - The Devil Angel (OAV) Decent
I watched Magical Kanan and I suppose I was still in the mood for some hentai magical girl action. This one has some neat characters and an almost interesting story. The animation isn't bad for hentai and the character designs are pretty darned cute. I wouldn't recommend it to any fan of deep storytelling but for someone who likes fun shows, hentai, and magical girls, this is probably right up your alley. It wasn't so great that I'd watch it again, but interesting enough that I'll probably watch the other Jibril someday.
Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade (movie) Very good
This is a good movie, it could have been a great movie, but nonetheless it’s very good. It’s not really what I thought it would be, which is a good thing, and it really delivers with some great intrigue and suspense. I really enjoyed the flow through most of this movie; it had a real human drama side to it, with some very good characters to play it out for us. And that is where my surprise came in, I was expecting this military drama, which I though I was probably going to sleep through, and instead I got an engaging and sometimes touching character driven plot. And the story is intriguing and draws you in for a about ¾ of the movie as well. But then there are some twists at the end that weren’t really needed to drive this one home. When the first one came I was a little perplexed, not by the twist, but by the decision to include it at all, and by the second one which was mercifully near then end, I lost some of the high attachment I had to the movie throughout. Not that it killed the story, because the twists were somewhat intriguing, but it did take what could have been a masterpiece and lowered it to the level of just any other well done production and even the emotional last scene wasn't enough to lift it back to a superior status.   ** This was the 250th anime I added to my Seen All list.**  
Jumping (movie) Decent
An interesting short. Not really much to say about these things when they don't take a lot of your time. It had some interesting concepts, strolling through the world a leap at a time and showing a variety of images. It wasn't mesmerizing but it doesnt take a lot of time to watch, and the time it does take it doesn't waste.
Jyu-Oh-Sei (TV) Decent
Hmm.. bit hard to rate this series. It has some good elements but sometimes they overlap with the bad. The action is pretty darn good, but the fights are almost dull, especially at the scale they are supposed to be on. The characters are very interesting and can show you several faces, sometimes you don't know if even Thor is really a good guy, so they are very well done. But the character interactions, like important conflicts, are weak, and the romance particularly is subpar. The story follows somewhat like a videogame, which is normally a bad thing; you have to get here to go there, you have to meet this guy to get the info to do this, you need to beat the next guy in line to get to the top, and yet the way the story is drawn it interesting to follow. It's just a tough show to rate. I'll leave it at good since it was entertaining, actually had some suspense near the end, and even pulled off a decent ending.
Kamen no Maid Guy (TV) So-so
The show started out a lot more promising than where it is in terms of comedy. It uses a lot of overly done fanservice gags but it was actually not bad at first. However as is the case with most of these shows it starts to get stale unless they do something really outrageous or work the characters into something interesting. Still, there is a semi-interesting plot and can still make me laugh occasionally. I was actually hoping they would do something with the characters because some of them showed good promise early on, especially maid guy, but the show keeps them all pretty one dimensional. That lack of depth behind anything is what really keeps this show from being good in any specific area. It still works as mindless entertainment so it wasn’t really a chore to finish, but I wouldn’t watch it again.
Kamichama Karin (TV) Decent
Sheesh, I don’t know where to begin. This show is a bit of a mess. Not so bad that it is unwatchable, but enough to be slightly annoying. What exactly is the show supposed to be? There are moments that are so silly you’d mistake it for a parody. The character designs are so cute, you’d think this is merely another cute magical girl show. From the opening sequence you’d expect a bit of interesting storytelling. But there is not set standard. There is not really one thing that drives the show through out. Nothing in the rest of the series, aside from a couple of unimportant flashes near the end, ever really make more or build on those interesting developments in that opening scene. The supposed villain acts so silly the majority of the time, along with the magical chants from the heroin and hero, that it really turns into nothing but parody somewhere in the middle of the story. But then they try and end it on a deep dramatic and mysterious note, which was never set up, and thus not really appropriate as an ending, so it confuses the entirety of the show even more. In the end I’m still not too sure about this show. I would have preferred the cutesy magical show, or the parody, or even and overall interesting and mysterious show, not a weird jumble of all three and then some that couldn’t hold any kind of coherence. It did hold my attention at various times so it really wasn’t a waste, and I couldn’t honestly call it bad either, but I’ll likely not watch it again.
Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (TV) Very good
This was a nifty show. I got a lot of the fun stuff I was expecting, I didn’t much of the bad stuff I was expecting, and I got a lot of good stuff I wasn’t expecting at all. I thought the show would have some silly humor and maybe some naughty stuff and I got that. The humor was always ‘laugh out loud’ funny but I had a smile on my face nearly every episode and it was nearly as naughty as I thought it’d be; this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was also expecting a lot of the not so good stuff that comes with a typical harem anime and while the show does lean at times towards harem it didn’t really drive this aspect above the main storyline and kept it to a level that was well below annoying. I think that because of the plot, which was the unexpected good, as a viewer while interested in these romantic and sometimes naughty parts it wasn’t bothersome because not only are all the girls likeable but they all have key roles in the plot. I really couldn’t pick a favorite and felt I didn’t need to, if Jin chose any of the main three I think the story would work well regardless. Not that the plot was at masterpiece level, but it was surprisingly good. Actually, not just ‘good’ either, it was more than I could have expected. It had some good mystical elements, a bit of drama to keep all the humor from going stale, and a lot of just nice moments that made the whole experience of this show even more enjoyable. I really wish that there will me more of this story later at some point, because it does leave a whole lot of things unfinished, and I’ve read about the stuff going on with the mangaka so I know why it isn’t finished, but I still can’t say this show does nto work well enough on its own either and I’d definitely watch it again.
Kanon (TV 1/2002) Very good
In all the time I have devoted to this hobby, this has somehow crept up to be one of my most favorite types of anime. Not in that it was based on a game but rather the style in storytelling. So it surprises even me that I waited so long before watching Kanon. Heck as I’m writing this the new Kanon remake from 2006 is already one disc away from completing a US release; that’s how long it took me. But I had always decided that I wanted to watch this first anyway. I’m not incredibly impressed but I am impressed. The stories, despite sticking to its game roots a bit too much sometime, are actually pretty good to follow. It can be cute and it can be funny and, the staple of this style, it will bring a tear or two. The continuity and pacing leave a bit to be desired, sometimes things happen or characters will do something without any warning or proper motivation shown, but I suppose that might be part of why they decided they needed a remake as well as the animation. The characters don’t jump out of their roles to be truly multidimensional, but they are fun to watch and easy to get attached to, and all the girls are cute, which is also important in these types of series. It did sort of muddle the ending a bit, but it wasn’t very bad either. I suppose there’s nothing really amazing about this show, but I can say that I honestly enjoyed watching it and might even watch it again, despite the fact that I have 5 of those 6 new Kanon remake DVDs on my shelf, or maybe it’ll depend on how that version is.
Kanon Kazahana (special) So-so
What do you do when you finished up a pretty good anime to which you sort of muddled up the ending for? Apparently you make a special, not to try and un-muddle things but to nothing at all, or if anything, muddle it even more. Along the way make sure you get at least one more scene from each girl, real, here, there, imagined, whatever… There didn’t really seem to be a point to where this special went, and it didn’t seem like it cared. None of the feel or magic from the series was present and it didn’t focus in any area long enough to tell anything at all. Yes, it shows where they are now, but since “now” is almost immediately after or actually in the same time as the closing minutes from the anime, it doesn’t seem all important. “I wonder where they are now?” is a thought that is best answered in terms of the future. However this show felt it was best to answer in the immediate vicinity and so doesn’t really tell us what we don’t already know or could not have guessed, or in other words, ‘it was mostly pointless.’ If I do watch the original Kanon again someday this OAV will not be included with the re-watch.
Karin (TV) Good
This is a terrific show. The vampire premise had me a little wary but like with MoonPhase I am glad I took a chance. It has a wonderful blend of comedy, drama, and even nice creative, though made up, supernatural elements, however this story is a romance primarily, and it is a nicely done one too. I could actually see the characters grow to like each other as each episode came and went. Usui and Karin are wonderful characters that are both developed nicely with solid background stories that give them that extra depth, and both are incredibly likable. There are some parts of the series that were a bit annoying. When Winner is introduced I could immediately tell he is a bungling idiot, but these characters are best used in occasional appearance whether it’s for comic relief or to move the occasional story arc along, somehow they decided to spend entire episodes on him which were not interesting, enjoyable, or helpful to the overall plot. Things like this are a bit distracting when trying to enjoy the series, and having filler episodes in the first season of a show does not bode well especially as these seemed awkward and out of place. However the overall product was very enjoyable and the climaxes were well introduced and suspenseful, although the ending to the last fight left A LOT to be desired, still I wouldn't mind a second season.
Kasimasi - Girl Meets Girl (TV) Weak
This show hasn't really gotten my attention as much as similar shows. The premise is there, the first episode drew me in quite nicely, but the rest of this this series seems to do things in a manner that is not as interesting as it should be. As I said it has a good premise, but instead of attacking from that focal point outward, there are weak mentions from the big event, then we are just supposed to go straight in to the romance and all girl love triangle and then some, without need for more story than that. It just doesn't work. Many of the characters, especially the ones that are supposed to be support and comic relief, do nothing for the overall plot or are not quite amusing. The theme is nice and there are a few, too few, truly wonderful romantic moments but most of the romance is done really poorly and in a fashion that really left me feeling empty. With such a good concept to start with this show could have done so much more, it was a big let down.
Kasimasi - Girl Meets Girl (OAV) Decent
I guess I should start off by saying that the reason I saw this despite my less than stellar rating of the original was because I suspected a story like this. The series was a bit empty and I wanted to see if they would at least plug some of that, but more than that I wanted to at least see a nice romantic moment that the entire series just teased. And although it is lacking in a lot of the same areas as the series, too much expected to just be accepted, this little simple side dish was alright, but it added an even bigger disappointment. Despite that both this and the original story try to focus on making choices and moving forward, this story lays a big cop out and in a way it is disappointing. I will say this now also as a warning, for anyone who liked the ending to the original series, “you will probably dislike this one.” Overall despite the downfalls, this story was a bit fun and I guess when I stopped expecting anything huge, I could enjoy it because it is somewhat fun.
KenIchi the Mightiest Disciple (TV) Good
I found the Kenichi manga and got so into it that I decided to try the anime as well. Neither one will ever be anything close to a masterpiece but they are darned entertaining. It’s a typical shounen series so there isn’t a great amount of development but what there is really gives the characters value and makes one want to root for them, which is important for these fighting type shows. Kenichi is a bit of a mystery because he is such a coward and yet really believable as the hero, which is odd but interesting. The story has a little of the Hajime no Ippo formula where there really aren’t any super powers on display with a hero who is merely seeking strength for his own beliefs. Well there are a few power ups near the end that do go a bit far, but for the most part it is just Kenichi learning different martial arts. However it doesn’t really have the heart that a show like Ippo does and so it doesn’t really pull away from the typical fighting shounen pack. Still it is entertaining so I’d likely watch it again and even buy if it got licensed here. Even though the production values aren’t good enough to make for really good action sequences there are definitely fights worth watching, the comedic stuff works more often than not, and as I said the characters are pretty darned likable so it’s well worth watching for any shounen fan.
Kiddy Grade (TV) Good
First of all this show is mostly sci-fi, space, and mecha none of which are genres I particularly look for, at least it goes easy on the mecha. The story is good but it lacks certain fluidity, it's a pacing problem that gets a bit distracting. There are also moments when it lays down clues for what's coming but it does it in a clumsy way where it ends up actually drawing attention to them, which is not the way clues are supposed to behave. The main characters are both cute and likable, Eclair the loud energetic one and Lumiere the quiet intellectual, but there are a couple of moments where the pacing makes them look a bit awkward, and there is a bit too much meaningless fanservice which is not necessarily a bad thing but it’s a bit tasteless at times. However, the climax points are well done and even a bit suspenseful, despite the predictability. The concept is amazing and could have been presented a bit better but the show is still interesting and worth watching.
Kiki's Delivery Service (movie) Excellent
I have loved this movie since I first saw it and I like watching it with my young niece. I don't have a lot of anime that is suitable for her to watch and I am glad that there is this great movie which tells a very nice story about a young witch for me to share. The story is very original and considering it is just a movie it has a lot to show. All of the characters are delightful in their own way and I can’t help but root for this young witch every time I see this movie. It is probably the best feel good animated movie I have seen.
Kill Bill Chapter 3: The Origin of O-Ren (movie segment) Decent
It was an interesting part of the movie. I don't really know how I can comment on something like this. It was an interesting thing to go from live action to animation to do a flashback, but there wasn't really enough of the animation sequence to say much about it.
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien ~Next Season~ (OAV) Bad
This is bad. I can’t believe that I actually managed to sit through this. Mitsuki is probably the only character worth watching and rooting for and in this series I am forced to see here belittle and blame herself for the actions of two whiny little bitches. And both Haruka and Takayuki are exactly that, presented even more clearly in this OVA series than ever before. I guess they do deserve each other, but a love story about how two whiny bitches get together, especially at the expense of an interesting and strong character, does not a good, or even interesting, story make. I thought the third episode would be the end of it so I watched it only to learn the creators think so highly of this crap they extended it. I knew it would be tedious but I watched the 4th episode too and that just drew the last straw. Haruka acting mature and giving advice and then turning around and being her usual whiny self before overcoming yet again the same weakness which she had already passed earlier, it was craptacular. I almost threw up in my mouth a little at the ending. Obviously this is a show I will not watch again, I watching the original again next to try to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
Kimi ni Todoke - From Me to You (TV) Excellent
What would happen if you were to mix together High School Debut, The Wallflower, and Angel Densetsu? Well with a few components taken out, it’s likely to be Kimi Ni Todoke. I say this a lot but all things considered this really was a surprisingly refreshing show. It is full of sugar and spice but there is enough plot and drama to keep it from ever being dull. And I love this cast of sometimes typical but believable characters. They are fun and sincere and the character development is such that the show doesn’t necessarily have to always focus on our heroin to entertain. The show as a whole is pretty well thought out, well the manga that it was drawn from is really good material, and I know I’ll be watching the show again. Heck, as soon as it ended I went back to re-watch a few episodes already so I know I’ll watch it again.
Kino's Journey (TV) Excellent
This was a good series to watch. The stories are all well told and put together; it is a bit, or more, different from what I had expected but still worth the time. Kino is one of the more interesting characters I have ever seen. She has this mental disorder, which is easy to accept when you consider where she comes from, and yet always moves forward. Her reactions to situations tell worlds about experiences we never see on screen, there’s just not more that one can expect from character development. The only problems that I had in the stories is that they were terribly predictable, which while it doesn’t hurt it as far as entertainment it could have helped in terms of turning a great series into a masterpiece. And it is odd that the situations are so predictable because the stories are so original, it’s just the way they are handled that gives up the plot before it happens. The only exception to this was the last episode, which was absolutely golden. I haven’t seen too many episodes in any series that are a match for the ending here. As with all the previous episodes, I though I had it figured out by the 5 minute mark but then it just turned me completely around. That episode was brilliant and it showed just how extraordinary the entire series had the potential of being. Still overall this was very good and time very well spent.
Kino's Travels: Life Goes On (movie) Very good
This was an interesting little story to tell us more about Kino after she ran away from her country and before she bagan her travels. I think the only reason it was made was for those who were curious to know more about Kino's lesson's as the series cuts us off right when it is being explained, so to that purpose it works out well. The story wasn't as good as those in the series but it worked well and served its purpose well. And it even included a little Kino no Tabi moment as a sign of some things to come in her subsequent travels.
Kirameki Project (OAV) Very good
This turned out to be a surprisingly fun and entertaining series. I knew there’d be mecha parody, what with the giant robot girl on the cover, but I didn’t expect it to be as well rounded as it was. Yes it has humor and silliness and fanservice and giant robot girl underpants fanservice, but underneath it all it also tells a human story of two different characters. And that particular story is done in a rather nice and sometimes touching way. Overall the show sort of snags at points because it si just to short for all that it tries to do and tell, but these are small flaws that are easily overlooked with all the things the show does well. And not just that but at only five episodes I know I definitely won’t have a problem watching it again.
Kite (OAV) Good
I am not really big into hentai, but this two part OVA was actually pretty good. Grant it I call it hentai because I only have the unedited version but I hear the edited non-hentai one is superior but, meh. I hadn't seen it in a while but I took a second look at it because I was trying to remember a scene from it and while I was watching it I realized the plot is actually pretty decent and it hooked me in for a full viewing. The characters are also actually pretty strong and clear in where they belong and their motivations. I hadn't thought that I would ever watch this again, but the story proved me wrong, it's not the best story, but I'd say it's really good and that along with the character development makes this definitely worth watching.
Kodocha (TV) Excellent
I’m just gonna start by saying, “fabulous!” This series is just so much fun that it was hard to break a grip from it. It’s interesting that when I started the first two episodes I was really not at all impressed with what I saw. I was looking for something in particular in the episodes otherwise I may have waited before seeing more but then during the third episode there was this pretty silly moment where Sana runs face first into a wall or something and it made me chuckle. I don’t really know if that was some type of key but I enjoyed the rest of the episode and then watched more and before I realized it I had gone through more than a dozen episodes in one day. I just love the zaniness and the refreshing high energy feel the whole show has. And what’s more surprising than anything is that it is not just random nonsense; the entire series has spectacular moments full of great drama, suspense, romance and any number of other elements that are just done so incredibly well and somehow fit the show perfectly in spite of the randomness. And the characters are just so incredibly likable and surprisingly deep at times. Again, it is just amazing when you can see some incredible character development behind the façade of all the silly humor. Except maybe Naozuni who just comes out looking like a whiny little bitch, all the characters are pretty fantastic and are developed fairly well. Sana in particular has this incredibly wonderful character growth throughout that is very noticeable from when she first appears until the final moments. I just really fell in love with this show completely and would give it a Masterpiece rating if it didn’t have a few really cheesy moments that aren’t really unbearable, but they are noticeable, but then again it is a shoujo series, it’s bound to happen. In any case though the show is just terrific overall and I would not hesitate to recommend it to almost anyone.
Kodocha (OAV) Decent
This wasn’t a bad show at all but I couldn’t really call it good either. Being familiar with both the manga and the TV series makes it easy to find faults with this. Firstly it is just to short for the story it tries to tell. Things get skipped and others rushed to get the background laid out as quickly as possible to get to the story here. And the story with Akito’s family is one of my favorite parts of Kodocha but I can easily see where I would probably be a bit confused with this OAV if I wasn’t already familiar with all that happens before it gets to this point. And prior knowledge isn’t too bad in this case either because when it got to the meat of the episode all the feelings got across pretty well, but I really can’t give it credit since it doesn’t build to that moment on its own. I watched this OAV because I love Kodocha but I can’t say I’d watch it again, not having the better original manga and better anime adaptations readily available, but this show isn’t bad so I can’t say it was a waste of time either. Kodocha fans will be amused by this if they haven’t seen it, as I was I suppose, if they can get their hands on the fansub somehow.
Koi Kaze (TV) Excellent
How many different ways are there to express the word 'wow?' And then add how many different ways can you define the interjection 'wow?' When I watch something really good or unique (again, take any and every definition of the word 'unique'), a 'wow' often escapes my lips. The different between other shows is that I usually know what that 'wow' is for; can't say the same for Koi Kaze. I will say that it is incredible, and by that I mean, powerful, entertaining, and good. The story is told so well that you can't help but feel for the characters no matter what your stance may be for the subject matter. I think the main reason for that is that it takes a very delicate and difficult subject and tells it tastefully and intelligently. The characters are also wonderful, the story is character driven so it really lets you into their thoughts and feelings, allowing you a view from their side. But more than that the leads are original characters that are honest, and likable, and fun, they seem like people you'd want to invite over for tea. I really don't know what else to say or express about this series, what I am trying to leave out of this comment is my personal feelings for the subject matter and allow for an objective view, which I hope anyone takes with them when they watch this show, because no matter what side of the fence your view lies, this show will be well worth your time. I'm gonna take my 'wow' with me and give it some more thought, perhaps I'll figure out what my 'wow' meant after watching this show.
Koihime Musō (TV) So-so
This show is not really great in any way and it is pretty generic fare in the action/fantasy genre but it is occasionally fun and even cute. The characters aren’t very original either but they are all pretty likeable. There is not a whole lot of character development and growth; this show pretty much tries to thrive on fun and ecchi character interactions. That is not really a bad way to go, when that is the focus, but the show isn’t really exceptional at it, so often it is just pretty bland a lot of times. Not that it doesn’t have some good moments, it has enough of these where I can’t really say I wasted my time watching it, but I doubt I’d watch it again, especially when there are much better shows in this genre.
Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku o - Yōkoso Tsugumi Ryōhe (TV) Not really good
This is an anime that never forgot its game roots. That is not nearly a compliment. The show is as generic as it comes. The characters are generic, the situations are generic and the outcomes are generic. To top that it is as formulaic as a game. Two episodes per girl, and never mind that sometimes the individual plots contradict each other, and then an episode at the end to try and draw a conclusion. A conclusion from what, I'm not sure. The first 15 minutes of the final episode is spent on a new plot-line that pretty much goes no where and looks like it was just filler so that they would have enough material for a final episode. This show is not good. There are other anime based on bishoujo games that are better than this and there are a lot of original harem style anime that are also a lot better, so if that kind of thing is what you're looking for, go for one of those and avoid this one.
Kurenai (TV) Excellent
This is a great show. It started out as simply my favorite show from the spring 2008 but it very quickly moved up to one of my favorites, period. My love for this show starts and ends with the characters. You have a reluctant tragic hero and then you hand him an incredibly cute charge (cute as in 'aww how cute,' not as in 'OMG sexy!' she's 7 years old, perverts). I just love the character development and interactions between Shinkuro and Murasaki. It may be a bit cliché to have the two lead characters who come from different worlds to get attached and really learn and grow from their experiences together, but this show does it really well. And I also love how much involvement all the other characters have, personal or otherwise. I was expecting this show to be a bit more action oriented, however I am definitely not bothered that it isn’t. The story is actually very human though handles drama and suspense really well too; but it is all about Shinkuro and Murasaki. It started in the first half where we are allowed to just watch them interact and even have fun with them, what with the fun opening the show used before it stopped using any, and the fun musical episode. Then it followed through with witnessing how each behaved when pulled apart. I’ll stop there because I don’t really want to spoil the show for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Without spoiling I’d say to me personally the ending is a little bit flat, but it wasn’t bad really, just uncommon. Despite that the show is still great and from what I understand the light novels are still ongoing so maybe there’s hope for a bit more to come. I hope this gets licensed and released in the US soon. I think it’s fair to say I’d watch this show again considering I’ve already watched all of the episodes except the last one at least twice.
Kyōran Kazoku Nikki (TV) Excellent
Pointless fun is always... well, fun. This show isn't ridiculously funny but it is ridiculous. A catgirl who is also a self proclaimed goddess might be the end of humanity, but so might a talking lion, what a appears to be an electric jelly fish, an overly hormonal gay boy, something that looks like it came out of the Alien vs Predator franchise, or an innocent and normal looking young girl (I've seen Men in Black, my money's on the girl). The way to sort things out is by marrying the catgirl to a paranormal detective and having them adopt the rest of the lot. Makes sense... in a way that doesn't in the least. What does make sense is the show’s remarkable story telling. Though the subject occasionally touches on something oddly real and disturbing, and handles it surprisingly well, for the most part the plot in this show is basically fluff. However in almost every episode I am surprised by how well the fluff is presented and by how well it can layer and give depth and sometimes real emotion to the story. There are many non-comedic shows that don’t even come close to matching the level in storytelling, which is sad because those shows tend to depend on the storytelling much more than here. In a comedy like this it does, however, add another dimension that makes the show interesting as well as amusing to watch and helps set it apart. I’m really impressed with the show so far and I’ll definitely give it another viewing, at least.
Last Exile (TV) Excellent
Whew! What an exciting series. This will definitely go down in my list of favorite action adventure, ranking right up there with any of them especially in the aerial action department. Along with those phenomenal aerial battles, small and large scale, there is racing, war, distant lands and so much more. And the best part is that the series doesn’t try to just live off of those, the storytelling is also darn good. It does try to outdo itself a couple of times and fiddles to come back, but other than the few missteps it just keeps moving forward with a proper blend of drama, humor, and suspense. The characters are also outstanding; I’m in love with all of them. It manages to build and sustain a rather large cast and yet everybody is portrayed realistically, allowing you to see both strengths and vulnerabilities, and it just helps bring the series to a whole new level. I also enjoy the music; the score is done perfectly, always playing an appropriate background to fit each mood. And the animation is pretty good too. I don’t think I have ever seen such detail in a pigeon’s foot. The series has a couple of lapses but overall it is just too fun and exciting not to love the heck out of it.
Leave it to Kero! Theatrical Version (movie) Decent
This was a very nice little short with Kero and Spinel. I usually like these little shorts and this one is no exception. There's really not a lot to it other than a cute little adventure chasing after takoyaki, but it's extremely fun and a great way to introduce the last movie. I guess there's not much more to say it's really short, but also really fun.
Library War (TV) Excellent
I’m not sure where exactly I would categorize this show but otherwise it really deserves to be on one of my top lists. Even though I watched just about every show that came out in the spring 2008, I didn’t start this show right from when it first came out. I have to admit that the name sounded a bit cheesy; however some positive comments in the forum somehow lead me back to Toshokan Sensou. I’m glad they did. The first thing that got my attention were the characters. They are not highly original but it doesn’t take long for them to grow on you in one way or another and that’s a good thing. Not worlds of character development in the few episodes I’ve seen so far but you get quick things; motivations, personalities, quirks, and other things all brought out early to help give an impression. I appreciate a show that isn’t afraid to waste a few seconds here and there for the sake of character work. And the story, which I thought would be the toughest part to swallow before I started watching it, is actually interesting and occasionally suspenseful and gripping. Even though I was satisfied enough with the ending I was a bit sad that there’d be no more to follow so I dearly hope for a future sequel or at least an OAV release, and this will definitely be on my shelf if it ever gets licensed.
Living for the Day After Tomorrow (TV) Good
I thoroughly enjoyed this series beginning to end. There was never an earth shattering or history making moment, but there was a nice story told from beginning to end. Forgetting that this is another magic induced “yeah right like that could ever happen” type of a series it managed to keep things simple and tell a quaint little story in a very slow moving lazy way that was pretty darn delightful. I also enjoyed the nice characters. All introduced in their own time and subtly playing their roles in the story playing out; they just all worked really well in this series. This was not the greatest of stories and it cheats you a little at the end, but it manages to entertain well in a simple and yet delightful way.
Looking Up At The Half-Moon (TV) Excellent
It's hard for me to comment on a story like this because it's hard to justify how I feel about it. This is probably one of the best dramatic pieces I have ever seen. It honestly touched me and it didn't have to pretend to be more than it was to do it. The story is honest, not once did it feel pretentious, and I think that is very important in this genre. The events never took a grand scale, but they feel like they were, and they always retained that honesty. "Would I do anything different in such a situation?" continuously resounded in my mind, even when the events showed the ugliness of human nature, I couldn't honestly answer to myself. The characters were wonderfully developed and incredibly human, so much so that I immediately wondered what they might be doing now as soon as it ended. The only problem that I had were the few instances where the humor turned too silly and outrageous which did not fit the mood of the story; it could have been a bit more toned down and real, and with that the story would have been amazing beyond almost anything I can imagine. But this is a small flaw and even though the story is not as amazing, it is still very much amazing, incredible even.
Love Hina (TV) Very good
What a fun ride. I like this series because of the crazy characters, the crazy ideas and all the anime parodies they make. I've seen the odd couple but this was more like the odd household. Almost every episode is a parody of something and they work well individually. There are big lags in the story, however, that are distracting and sometimes it is a bit too juvenile, and yet again it is still fun to watch. I think what makes it that way are all the different characters and how they each take their place in this household. Each one has their own thing going on and yet when you put them together it’s fun to see them bounce off each other. Of course the romance is probably the best part of this; my only problem is that whenever Naru is seen showing some of these feelings she suddenly turns into a weak person, however this doesn’t last long and she is back to being the strong character that she is. This series is a blast and entertaining despite the few downfalls and I re-watch it surprisingly often.
Love Hina Again (OAV) Good
I know a lot of people do not like this last OAV, but I really did like it for one reason. Clear cut happy ending for Naru/Keitaro. I know that it gets boring and cheesy if everything has a happy ending, but since so many creators try to sway from this concept for this same reason you just don't see it much anymore, so occasionally, like here, it's refreshing.
Love Hina Final (special) Decent
It's a clip show, not much to say about it when it is just a clip show.
Love Hina Spring Special - I Wish Your Dream Decent
Another great ride and another great anime parody, I guess with so many different anime out there Love Hina could have just parodied concepts indefinitely.
Love Hina X'mas Special - Silent Eve Good
Christmas time and typical anime style our hero, Keitaro, works hard to get a present for the one he loves. This is something I never get tired of, the feel good Christmas show.
Macross Frontier (TV) Excellent
Action, suspense, excitement, thrills, drama, and a little bit of the human touch; this series has got it all. I’m not a huge fan of mecha series and even though I’ve not watched a lot of the original Macross I did grow up a Robotech fan, and though not really the same, I can feel a lot of same feelings I felt first watching it as a kid only magnified. Wonder and awe. Also add to that a healthy dose of respect for making an idea that has been done and sometimes over done over the past couple of decades and making it seem fresh. Some of that has to do with the fantastic CG and animation but I also think a heavy dose of credit has to go to the creators and writing staff. I think my favorite thing about this series is that things happen. What I mean is that I’m so used to waiting and being patient with anime just waiting for something to happen, but with Macross Frontier, things happen. Whether it is the part of the show where the girl is aiming for her dream of stardom, or the part where the young pilot is being a hothead, or when that pilot is out on the town with the celeb, things happens. And it is always interesting and one part of the story never really distracts from another, rather they combine well together to make a better whole.

All that good stuff and when I got to episode 7 I knew this show really was special. Something big happens here. There is this huge space battle that would make most big moments in even large budget Hollywood sci-fi films look like a game of paddy cake. It was tense and exciting and was a great preview of things to come. The rest of the season just follows suit. Going from the political scheming, to the more underhanded schemes of a certain individual, to the continuing romantic side (actually the show seems to have difficulty with the romance side, so maybe here is where it loses points), to more of those spectacular battles and action sequences, it really is a treat to watch.

The finally is a pretty interesting mix of a lot of things, action, music, visuals; which are all good but a lot of it also helps sidestep a couple of issues that are left pending at the end and other smaller parts that seemed to have been forgotten all together. But yeah, the action the music, the visuals (almost like a long music video), villains and friends revealed, as well as other unexpected revelations, and finally rounding out most of the major plot points; it was well enough where the ending doesn't really drag down what was a great series. I'd like to say I'm looking forward to the movie but this show didn't have a storyline simplistic enough where I can see it condensed without a ridiculous amount of butchering to re-tell in movie form; maybe a trilogy, but not a single movie. How about a sequel? I'd be all for that. Whatever does come, this show remains just great to watch from any standpoint.

Macross Zero (OAV) Excellent
The line between sci-fi and fantasy is often blurred and you can see the elements fade into each other, sometimes rather bluntly, when you watch certain shows. Macross Zero is one of those rare shows where there is no line to blur because the elements of both are not quite independent of each other and have a really great balance between them. It is surprising and yet also nice to watch. Before I watched this show I knew 2 things only, “Macross” and “prequel,” so I came in with some set expectations and I’m more than content to see how much the show had no intention of meeting expectations rather than telling a good story. Heck, I’m not sure how much of this can even be considered prequel because the events really don’t have much that would lead into Macross, but I suppose it’d be difficult to label it as otherwise (a chronologically backward spin-off?). Well aside form the surprising blend of the fantasy level of super/other-natural elements, the show is good. I like the character work, the story-telling, the fact that like all Macross shows it is not afraid to show the ugly part of fighting and war and yet doesn’t throw it in your face either, and many other things. It is a well rounded 5 episode series and I’m sad that this will be one in many Macross shows I won’t have the opportunity to purchase in the foreseeable future. I’ll keep the fansubs to re-watch until this finally comes around.
Madonna (OAV) Decent
I bought this DVD once on an order for only $2.99. I didn’t know anything about it other than it was cheap and would just barely fill my order for free shipping. After watching it I can’t say I’m astounded in anyway but I am surprised. The series is a sports comedy that features a group of delinquents and a naïve teacher who can’t help but get over her head. So as it follows a typical sports story format there really isn’t any type of uniqueness to it. Even the way it tries to have an ending that isn’t typical, is typical. However the characters.. well they aren’t ever really likeable but they’ll grow on you. And it can be amusing and even made me chuckle out loud a couple of times. Of course there’s plenty of bad to it. The show loses focus a few times and despite being fun the characters are rather weak and it just drags a few things a bit too long. However while I don’t believe this will ever be a title to go down through the ages but I don’t think I wasted my time on it. Especially after spending just $2.99 to save myself from at least $10 shipping, this was a win/win for me.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (TV) Very good
This series takes a lot of existing concepts and still manages to pull off a really entertaining story, despite being somewhat unoriginal. It's almost formula for a magical girl series, well it seems like it at first, but it does do enough to stamp its own spin on the genre. One of the things that sticks out immediately is that for a magical girl series, this one has an edge to it that you normally don't see. Sure the girls are cute, the magic is magical, and some of the animals talk, but it also catches you with some really nice action and battle scenes, which aside from the typical transformation sequences, really do an impressive job of making it exciting. And the characters, you have them all, heck when some of the supporting characters were the main characters from Triangle Heart (an OAV that I really liked), you have to make the ones pushing them far into the background credible and more likable, and it does. So while you have a genre that sometimes feels overused, this is a show that can do its own thing and entertain its audience with superb storytelling. I recommend it to anyone, fan of magical girls or not.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's (TV) Very good
This is a continuation of the first series and yet it’s also a real sequel that carries its own story and tells it just as well as the first season. It still dishes out some intriguing characters; both villains and our regular heroines are well introduced and very likable. Heck at some points you don’t know which side to root for until you get a clearer picture of what’s going on. The action sequences are still very good, and help carry the story that could have bogged itself down with all the new characters bouncing around everywhere if it wasn’t for the fast pacing. I also really like the ending, I am not sure if this will be where they jump into for the third season, but it was some interesting happenings for a closing sequence. If you watched Nanoha, watch Nanoha A’s, and if you haven’t seen Nanoha then it is probably better to watch that first, but this is definitely a worthy follow up.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS (TV) Very good
I’ve watched everything in this universe beginning with the lesser known but also good Triangle Heart and have fallen in love with the previous Nanoha series, so needless to say I had been anticipating this show for weeks before it started. I was trying to figure out just what they would and could do with a 26 episode series and the actual show sure isn’t disappointing in the least. It introduced a lot of new characters but with all the extra episodes it as able to properly introduce and even do some moderate character development on most of them. And they weren’t added characters just to fill space either; they were all interesting and added their own part to the story. It was also nice to see that they added some developing to the returning cast which are all suddenly in adulthood now. They couldn’t obviously tell us all that happened in the past years but they showed a lot of good and sometimes pivotal and touching moments which help the audience get reacquainted with the now older mages. It is particularly nice to see all the great character interactions my favorite being Nanoha as an adoptive mother. Along with the fantastic cast work the series maintains the high paced high energy excitement that makes all the Nanoha series so special in the magical girl genre. The plot develops nicely from pace to pace and includes the epic battle in the end which is also typical Nanoha but also more reminiscent of great action epics as you see all the different battles played out in different places in the final episodes. The show does not lose at all to its predecessors and in my opinion is the best of the lot, I’ll definitely be watching this again and keep hoping for DVDs in the near future for all the Nanoha series.
Magical Kanan (OAV) Decent
I don't know, I like magical girl shows so it just seemed inevitable that I would watch a magical girl hentai at some point. Not a mind blowing story, a little too much tentacle action for my tastes, actually any tentacle action is too much for my tastes, but it wasn't horrid. Actually the story has a concept that does seem interesting so it doesn't surprise me that they made a tv series based on it. It wasn't a mind blowing story, pretty predictable actually, but it wasn't boring and fun to watch. I can't say that I'd watch it again but it wasn't a waste of time either.
Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba (OAV) Very good
This is definitely the best Negima anime. I kind of wish that they would have gone back and started from the original anime series, well to right before the last few episodes anyway, but I suppose that would have required another entire tv series and they probably didn’t really want this project related to that original series too much. Maybe they’ll go back at some point to do the cultural festival at some point, which is one of the better parts from the manga, but this here sets up a whole other large story arc, well this and probably the other coming OAV. However this show is definitely a winner, even if you do have to be caught up to the manga to really know what’s going on. Speaking of which, this OAV is also the truest to the manga than any of the other anime offshoots, which is probably to be expected sine Ken Akamatsu is actually involved in the project. The story is natural, the characters are fun, and with Shinbo still on board the comedy is good. Oh, and also… “Fanservice, Banzai!” Well, I exaggerate; the series is not really crawling with fanservice but Negima!? Felt a bit unnatural considering it is based on an Akamatsu work. All in all I enjoyed this set up and I’m looking forward to the continuation which will finish setting up what will probably and hopefully be another TV series… one that will hopefully be really good if/when it comes.
Mahoromatic - Automatic Maiden (TV) Good
This was a fun show. It had quite a few flaws but it was fun and enjoyable and that made it worth watching. The story could have been better with a little clean up in continuity. I think the plot sometimes bounced around a bit too much as if it couldn't settle on which story to tell. However the ones that were told were interesting and also also provided some very sweet moments. The characters were not all spectacular but Mahoro is so adorable and such a wonderful character that it's easy to overlook how ordinary the rest of the cast is. And the overall product is enjoyable so I'm pretty sure I'll be watching this again.
Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful (TV) Very good
Wow, this series had me fooled and then chewed me up a bit at the end before finally spitting me out. It starts out a bit silly, there's all these dumb but fun story lines and it had me believing that it was just going to be like that. After seeing enough anime I should have known better. The last couple of story arcs turned into something very worthwhile, allowing for plenty of action and suspense that more than balance out the overplayed silliness of the first part and also added some moments I wished they'd taken back because it bites a bit hard with the drama near the end. Not in a bad overplayed way, just in a really good but difficult to watch way. The last episode is also a uniquely done ending that while a bit forced at times also tells its own tale rather well. I guess that is one of the main things that made the series better than the original, it still had plenty of stories to tell but managed to reign them in and keep them moving forward a bit more and still maintained a lot of what made the original fun, actually it has some moments that are absolutely hilarious early on. It still leaves some massive holes at the end but it was much better made overall. Makes me want to read the manga though I don't know how much more it would fill in at only 8 chapters.
Mahoromatic: Summer Special Decent
I don't know for an entire OAv just to tell the story about a war for Suguru's rights to porn I suppose it was alright. It is a fun story but not really a lot to it. It was also nice to see the entire cast again most of whom were left out of the last part in the second series. So I don't knwo it doesn't tell a major story, it doesn't add anything to the series, but I guess it doesn't really take anything away either.
Mahou Sensei Negima! OVA Haru Good
Not that I can completely judge from this random OAV alone, but I’m a big fan of Shinbo and can clearly see how at the least his style adds a favorable element to Akamatsu’s Negima. This particular OAV actually takes a story from the manga and while it leaves a few things out, I found myself enjoying the show more than I might have otherwise thanks to Shinbo’s added style. The few things I dislike are the same complaints I have against Negima as a whole; there are just too many characters, and while most of them are entertaining, the large cast continuously distracts from the main storyline. The small central story to this OAV is often drowned in that sea of characters. I probably would have this more if it had more focus on the plot along with the madness created by Shinbo’s comedic mind. But still I did have a few laughs and was able to decipher the story trying to be told so I can’t call it a dud and I might even watch it again.
Mahou Sensei Negima! OVA Natsu Decent
This OAV is almost a complete fail. At least the Spring special had a somewhat established story behind it. This show tries to create an original story and flops. It probably would have been best to really leave it plotless and have Shinbo’s expertise in random nonsense just take over, then it would have made it easier to just sit back and enjoy the comedy and fanservice without rolling my eyes and sneering whenever the show went back to the unimaginative plot. But those comedic elements and fanservice keeps this show from being totally unwatchable at least.
Major (TV) Good
This series was a real adventure in good and bad ways. Luckily the good did outweigh the bad. My favorite thing is that this is one of those long anime that actually makes an attempt at following the main character as he grows up, from child to near adulthood. And in each faze he generally faces challenges and difficulties that are apt for his age. It was pretty neat. Now there were some story lines that were just too far out there and sometimes made me lose interest, like when he first goes to Kaido, but for the most part it really did a good job of just maintaining an interesting perspective. I’m not saying everything else was realistic, but sometimes it bordered on ridiculous and not the kind of ridiculousness I like.

Yet the series made it through a long stretch of time telling Goro’s story along the way and this was what makes this anime. The baseball was always Goro’s main priority but you get too see so many other aspects and struggles that come with his chosen path that it keeps you wanting to know where his story continues. Sadly for a show that took the long route to show us each phase, it immediately skips 8 years to give us a long awaited ending during the closing credits but there was enough of a journey for me to be fairly satisfied in the end.

In the end I liked the show and would recommend it to sports anime fans, but I can’t honestly say I would watch it again. It’s not so much the length, as I have a tendency of watching long series even multiple times. But with this show it was a feeling that once was enough, those few moments that dragged it at times are too apparent for me to go through them again.

Make-Up! Sailor Senshi (movie) Decent
This was a fun little special. I mean it was more like clip show of the Sailor Senshi but it was fun to watch, especially as a lot of the clips were from the first series. There’s really no plot or storyline, just Usagi eavesdropping on a couple of girls who happen to be talking about the Sailor Senshi, but nothing that added to the story in any way. But, like I said, it is fun to watch, but only if you’re a Sailor Moon fan.
Male (movie) Decent
Not exactly outstanding but it is interesting. Annoying cat telling off his owner, while the owner loses his mind, and there is a bit of a twist at the end.
Maria Holic (TV) Not really good
I really wanted to like this show but there just wasn’t much to like about it. And it didn’t really have a lot going for it, even before I started watching it. It just has a bad concept. Normally I wouldn’t have even started a show like this much less watch the whole thing, but with Akiyuki Shinbo directing I thought that it would somehow be good. Unfortunately even he can’t work with a story like this. The story is bad and the characters are not likeable, so with the primary parts dragging it down it doesn’t look like any other influence could somehow make this show worthwhile. It’s supposed to be a comedy but most of the parts I found humorous were quite obvious Shinbo inventions and not anything that was from the original source, and those were very few. I did like the priest, Kanae, but he only appears in the final two episodes and was only featured in the second to last. I’m not sure that the show would have been better if he were more of a focus throughout regardless so those few scenes near the end were far too little to save this show. It’s not like I think every show Shinbo is associated with is outstanding but before this he’s never directed in one I really disliked so I gave this series the benefit of the doubt, but now I feel I’ve wasted my time and I really would not watch this again.
Maria Watches Over Us (TV) Excellent
This series is definitely exceptional, though I don't recommend it to anyone who doesn't have the patience for a snail paced dialogue driven story about proper young ladies. The plot is completely dependant on the dialogue but as it is written it works out very well. One of the reasons this works so well is because the characters are so wonderful that it is easy to just sit back and let them tell you the story as it goes. I actually found myself caring about both the simple matters as well as the bigger issues just because of how these girls were affected by them. All of them just show such distinct and interesting personalities and are portrayed so well that it is fairly easy to relate to them and what they are going through. The character designs are also probably the most beautiful I have seen from any shoujo series. Yumi in particular looks incredibly cute in a dainty yet gorgeous way; I can’t remember an anime girl who I think is prettier. And all the other characters are simply beautiful as well, each with their own wonderful features. I never thought that a show like this would interest me but this one has done a great job of getting my attention with its simplistic charm and I cannot wait to see more.
Maria Watches Over Us 3rd Season (OAV) Very good
The first episode starts off a bit shaky. Even though they had such a long time to work on this I was concerned that it wasn't going to live up to the standards of the two series, but near the middle and by the end the story had come together and gave me another terrific Maria-sama show. I just thought that at the beginning they didn't have to re-hash parts from near the end of Haru that were already supposed to have been bygones, but the story didn't dwell on that and moved forward awkwardly at first and then lovely as always. Yumi-chan showed a few moments where you can tell she has matured, but still had her Yumi moments which I like watching so much. Actually the one thing the show really does not lose is character development which is pretty key for this franchise. Overall I liked it, there were a few moments that looked out of place but easy enough to overlook when I’m getting my Yumi fix. Can’t wait for more.
Maria Watches Over Us 4th Season (TV) Excellent
This is the best series in the franchise. Sure the Pizza Hut plugs were a bit iffy but other than that the show is wonderful in every aspect. The writing in this show especially sets a whole new standard that I hope it can keep up if they continue the franchise. The plot is laid out really masterfully as it moves from the smaller issues and then plunges into the main point. And it really was important for this show especially that it be handled well because fans have been waiting long enough for Yumi to finally become a big sister. I’m really glad it didn’t disappoint. I was completely into it from beginning to end and was really at the edge when the climax approached. It’s odd to say that about a dialogue driven series that moves at such a casual pace but that shows just how well it was done. I waited to watch it until the series had completed to make sure that I would not have to wait weeks to see what happened next, but I did not expect that I would be so enthralled that I would watch the whole show in one sitting, but I did. Another big reason I loved it so much is because, while the franchise has always been good with character development, it reaches yet another level here in this aspect as well. And not just development as in growth but as in change as well. Feelings, attitude, and self reflections are all touched on and it was wonderful to have an even better understanding of these girls’ hearts. I am so glad this show is licensed already as well because I’m looking forward to owning it and watching again as soon as possible.
Maria Watches Over Us Season 2: Printemps (TV) Excellent
I’m not sure I can say what I want about this second season, but here goes. Beautiful? Most definitely; the characters are even prettier at times, although the animation does waver at certain points too, however overall it is just wonderful to see all these characters again and continue to marvel at how beautiful they are. I don’t have enough praise for the original creator and character designer. And it is nice to see that the character development does not falter in the second season, we still continue to see these girls grow and sometimes revert which is all just part of life. The story goes a little back and forth. It starts out a bit rocky and it tries to go in too many directions at once. It is not told badly, it just tries to tell everyone’s story but there just wasn’t enough time, although I wish there was, all the episodes that gave more insight to the other characters were nice and I’d like to see more. Yet, at the same time it takes screen time away from Yumi-chan which is bad because I still think she is the prettiest animated character I have ever seen and on top of being pretty also my favorite from this series. The final few episodes really take you into Yumi’s growth as a character, insecurities, fears, hopes, and learning to adapt and grow. How terrible that at this point is when the series had to end because I would have loved to have seen even more of this Yumi-chan. The story does not end badly, in fact it has a rather good ending, I just want to see the Yumi character more and more, now that I have grown so attached, those upcoming OAVs cannot come soon enough.
Martian Successor Nadesico (TV) Excellent
This is such an enjoyable show on so many different levels. The humor, the character interactions, the plot that has a wide and wild range; I am glad I was finally able to watch this. And that’s not even mentioning the characters. The assorted cast that is varied as much as the story are incredibly enjoyable too. It seems like every character contradicts themselves in one way or another at some point, some of them at all times, and yet when the crew is assembled they all just fit so well. And as much as I like the humor it is really nice how it can go just a shade towards dramatic or even dark at certain points and how these moments are so well blended in the story that nothing ever feels like it goes out of place and, since they are done well, instead add flavor to the overall series. There some truly incredible episodes among the last 9 or 10 that are great examples of that wonderful blending this series does in several areas, and the show even has a good anding to boot. This will definitely be a series that I'll watch again sometime.   ** This was the 350th anime I added to my Seen All list.**  
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV) Excellent
This was a nice little series. All the charcters were very entertaining and the storyline had few lapses. It wasn't the best ever but it got a little extra push by having the events out of chronological order; it made things seem a bit more out there which fit very well with the plot. I liked the Kyon character, the sarcastic character that tells it like it is, and yet no one listens to, never gets to be the lead male; good for him. The story was also pretty good and cleverly written, which was a must for the order to work properly. Also the animation which I usually overlook was really good, great attention to little details that grab your attention. After a third viewing I realise that I had in fact rated this series too low, while I still don't think it is a masterpiece, I do believe it to be excellent.
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV 2009 renewal) Excellent
I’m probably one of the very few people to have seen this show and think it might be better than the first series. Yes, seriously. There is just so much more communicated from the characters that, while making them a bit vulnerable to the audiences distaste, put them on a higher plane than they were in the first series. The vulnerability, actually, is probably what moves them up a notch. The plots and situations are also taken up another level. Yes, I’m sure other people just don’t think it’s as clever, but I assure you this show is clever well beyond what it showed us when the first series first aired. What this show does a bit different than it did before, and probably the reason a lot of Haruhi fans won’t like it as much, is that it doesn’t just throw how interesting and clever it is right in your face, like series 1. This show has matured to being clever without always having to explain how clever it is. It gives the viewer the benefit of the doubt that they will “get it” on their own without a big visual explanation. And yes, I suppose I have to mention the Endless Eight episodes. I’ll just say this, even knowing by the second or maybe third one, just how long this was going to play out, I watched each one in anticipation of what new information I’d learn and to see how the characters were coping. Yes, the episodes were all about the exact same events, but they kept me watching, and in a probably even more attentive fashion than I watched the others. So, yes, I liked them too; it would have been hard to like this series if I hated more than half of it. So overall I did very much enjoy this show and I hope that despite the mixed reactions it has gotten, that it will be licensed and brought to the US so I can buy it. Needless to say, I’ll be watching this again.
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya (ONA) Good
For the most part this series is really cute and a lot of it is funny. I didn’t expect that at all but the show really was good. My favorite part is the saga involving the mini Asakura and Yuki, which was actually more than a part, it was probably the majority of the show, but a lot of the other episodes worked well too. It’s always judge a show that is stringed together by 4 minute or so episodes but this one did a good job of being humorous and involving and established cast of characters. I’d still rather have more of the actual series, but this was fun and the episodes are so short I’ll likely watch a few of them again.
Memory (movie) Decent
An interesting little film looking at the male sense of memory. I'm saying that just to get out the point that this is from a male's perspective and you can somewhat get an idea bout what it's about. Everything from work, to relationships, to war and the female body. It has some amusing moments and it has some interesting ones but there's really not much else to it.
Mermaid (movie) Good
This starts out as a little pretentious artsy film, but it grows on you. You start to see the the value of the story, and it ends up pretty interesting and entertaining. This has probably been one of the better shorts I have seen, not nearly as good as She and Her Cat or Comedy, but it holds its own.
Mermaid Forest (OAV) Good
Let's see, I had made a brush off comment on this but it was all wrong. It had been so long since i have seen this that i forgot that it actually wasn't really part of the TV series, but if I remember correctly is directly related to the manga just like the series. In any case I remember enough to know that even the vague memory of enjoying this was what led me to want to see the series. I'll try to find a copy somewhere so I can watch it again and comment properly.
Mermaid Forest (TV) Very good
I really enjoyed this series. It is a fascinating retelling of the mermaid flesh myth and it also has a very human side to it, as I would expect from an anime that was conceived from the manga of Rumiko Takahashi. Well, as much as I do enjoy this story, it isn’t without its lapses either, but these are not distracting. The characters are well developed and seem very real, you get to see them be selfish and childish and not just showing simplistic feelings. I wish this story would have been continued at some point but the story as it is here is still entertaining.
Mermaid's Scar (OAV) Good
Whew. It has been a long long time since I have seen anything Mermaid related. The story here, if you know the different anime, is pretty typical and it’s pretty good too. Yuta and Mana come to a stop in their travels to earn their living and, of course, trouble arises, and there is a twist. The twist here is pretty predictable, so that could have been done a bit better, but the show is still interesting to watch. The villain probably could have been a bit creepier once revealed, and that would have probably made this show much better. However I can not say watching this one shot story was a waste in any way, and I might watch it again once I have finally found the Mermaid Forest OAV and can finally watch that again.
Miami Guns (TV) So-so
I can’t in any way call this series good. I think that the main problem is that the story is dull and the wackiness is not funny enough to make up for it. The show also doesn’t put enough work into the characters to make any of the things that happen to them really matter, so when it occasionally tries to be touching or dramatic it just ends up making the show drag even more. This is especially notable when it tries to be dramatic during the final episodes. And I think the creators noticed it wasn’t working so ended up adding some more jokes as twists which failed because the balance was so bad by this point that it just looked like a mess. There were a few genuinely funny moments scattered here and there but they was a noticeable gap between them. And the fanservice is nice but you can’t really carry a show with just that. I wasn’t completely bored watching this so I can’t say it was a waste of time but I don’t think I’d watch it again.
Michiko & Hatchin (TV) Very good
This is not a pretty show. It’s almost as if someone was seemingly bent on showing every ugly side of human nature. At times it’s a bit much... but this is not a pretty show. It’s also difficult to follow the plot. However that is not a fault of this show. Hatchin is very likely the protagonist in the story but she’s an overly realistic example of a normal girl. She tries to survive and live as best she can, but since there is nothing special about her rather than being able to drive the story she ends up being pushed and dragged and tossed along by it the same as she is by the adults in this show. In another story there would be something special about the main character; a special ability, above average intelligence, a great intuitiveness, or something that can help them cope with the world he or she lives in. Sadly that’s not Hatchin. She is young and impressionable and naïve; an overly normal girl.

And the adults in her world are ugly inside, savages. There are no heroes in this story. Michiko may be the closest thing that Hatchin now has to parental figure but this only makes Hatchin more sympathetic as a character. Michiko is one of the savages in this story, probably one of the worst. To top her off she is also naïve and emotionally attached to a man who apparently wants nothing to do with her. He is not smart but a bit clever and a bit is all one needs to stay ahead of the other savages. Outwardly he is not savage, but he is a weak coward who does not even begin to try and cope, much less help, with any situation that can potentially be a bother. Turning ones head away from someone you can help, even a little, has a savageness of its own. This is Hatchin’s father.

And the other players? Gangsters, thugs, hoodlums, kidnappers, corrupt cops, bad cops, and worse than those as well. None of them really have direction. They also just live their own lives the way they know how. There are no big showdowns or sudden change of hearts or heroic actions. There is violence and murder and casualties and things that may be worse. The show isn’t completely violent; there are moments when nice things do happen to our young Hatchin. But for the most part these moments seem to be petty visions of hope. But what choice does she have? She can’t decide anything because no one gives her a chance and she doesn’t have any ability that would help her change her world. All she can do is try to keep moving in a direction she thinks is forward and live. This is not a pretty show. However one thing the show is is really good. It really does go a bit far at times trying to add that extra shock value, but I can not say that this show is not good. I’d watch it again and even buy it should that become an option.

Midori Days (TV) Excellent
I had a lot of reservations about watching this show as I am sure anyone does after hearing about the concept, but I am so glad I was talked into giving the show a chance. What I thought would be a lame storyline instead turned out to be one of the best stories I have ever seen. The way everything is handled, the plot, humor, drama and especially the romance all come together to form an incredibly charming story that really grabbed my attention. I think that and the interactions and relationships between the characters are so well done that it overcomes what at first seems like a ludicrous concept. And the characters are special and incredibly likable but more importantly almost every one has their own role to play and isn’t used as just fillers. You can clearly see where each interaction becomes important to the overall story. And the series as a whole is episodic, but if you look at that whole, there is no doubt it would not have worked as well without each piece. This is just a wonderful show and I can watch it anytime at all.

For anyone who finds this show and loves it as much as I do, you need to do yourself a favor and find the manga. Some of it is Out of print so you may need to look for it used, but find it! Read my comments on the manga if you wanna know why I say this.

Millennium Actress (movie) Masterpiece
Brilliant! Automatically my favorite animated movie upon watching it. The story is told superbly well and it almost has an aura of being at a completely different level, like something supernatural. It was just so very cleverly and uniquely well told that it it's hard to find faults; even the humor blends in perfectly and appropriately to the story, which is where a lot of dramatic anime fail. The characters are much like the story, incredibly real but also more than that. I don’t know how to describe it; with Chiyoko especially, you don’t just see her motivation, you actually feel her emotions along with her, as if you are also along for the ride. If this movie had been made in live action it could not have been better. This will sound repetitive but be it so, the animation has a great level of realism and yet not so, but then that is always the charm of animation. However, like with most of my favorites this movie does a great job of completing the story with the animation not just allowing the story to happen in it. Everything I mention and then some was pieced together incredibly well all the way through the beautiful ending.
Mind Game (movie) So-so
I would say this was a complete artsy and pretentious load of dung if it wasn’t for the fact that it has a couple of amusing moments. Well not just that, I guess; you can really tell that the movie tries to do something special, however merely trying doesn’t always lead to success. It was creative in how it tried to cover up the lack of story with inventive visuals and themes, but visuals and themes are supposed to support a story not be the meat of it. The characters at least worked, if they had been set in even a semi-functional plot that was supported by those visuals this movie may have been great. As it stands, well I won’t say it was a complete waste of my time, but I won’t ever watch it again. A film can be artistic but when that is all that it is, it doesn’t make for a very interesting or entertaining time.
Momo: The Girl God of Death (TV) Good
I have to say this was an interesting series. I like the way they centered the stories primarily on the ones left behind which is a unique look. The problem here is that with every story it felt like an even greater story was being left untold. Actualy with the series overall it felt this way, like there was something more and we hadn't even caught a glimpse of it. Because of this the stories that were told seemed a little empty. However I did like the series despite that. The stories that were told may not have been the most important but they were interesting and entertaining. The characters were also introduced and portrayed well, which is important for a series like this where characters don't have a lot of time to be developed. I really liked the subtle romantic moments among a few of the characters, and a few other moments were played out very nice as well. It wasn't the greatest ever, but it was good all around and I'm sure there were things I missed so I wouldn't mind watching it again.
MoonPhase (TV) Excellent
This show made an impression on me in a good way. I watched it because I really enjoy romantic comedies and was very surprised by how honestly dark, mysterious, and suspenseful it can also be. I was thrown off right from the start, actually. In the opening sequence of the first episode there are all these eerie images and a suspenseful atmosphere, for about 20 seconds I though this show was not going to be what I thought it was. But then it goes into the opening theme; a really catchy beat with a lot of cute images and the cutesy matching lyrics, now I really didn’t know what to expect, but this show did a good job of balancing everything. I love that kind of versatility; it can go from being dark to dramatic (without taking itself too seriously; watch out for falling pans, tubs, kettles etc), and then immediately back to sweet and funny all the while still keeping the plot moving forward. Oh, and the use of scenery was fabulous, like the way they show the house through the fourth wall, it was a bit like watching a stage set in a play, very well done and creative. The characters are all fabulous as well, and the main two Kohei and Hazuki, particularly, are both delightful and have good depth, but the entire cast is a great fit too. If it wasn’t for the ending I may have rated this even higher, but with the manga still in progress I don’t suppose they could have seriously ended it properly. However overall it was very entertaining.
Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit (TV) Excellent
I wasn’t really planning on watching this show when I started it. I forgot that I had a couple of episodes on my DVR from back before they stopped broadcasting it in the US and decided to check it out before deleting them. I am really glad I did as it ended up instantly becoming one of my favorite fantasy series. I liked it so much that I ended up doing the naughty thing and downloaded all the episodes so I could watch the rest. The story is just told really well, which is the most important thing for a fantasy story. I think my favorite part of the plot is that not everything ever really works out like it’s supposed to. There are so many fantasy shows where the hero comes and defends and fights and somehow manages to get everything done. This show is a bit more realistic in that not everything comes out alright but people find a way to cope with the bad and continue on. This makes for great character work because you just don’t see development but also perseverance. And I did enjoy the characters quite a bit. I loved seeing learning about them and what drives them and watching them move forward. The show slows down a bit at times, which is probably my only complaint, but for the most part I was so into it that it really wasn’t a big deal or even a small deal. I definitely look forward to seeing this again.
Mushi-Shi (TV) Excellent
Mushishi is a series that is probably not well suited for those who are not amused by snail paced plots; however it is a really fine series. It has a few minor weak points, a few inconsistencies and contradictions between some spaced out episodes, a bit too much predictability in other episodes, for what is supposed to be a mystery, and it can get a bit pretentious at times too. Despite that, however, it manages to tell some well woven and often truly intriguing tales with some incredibly well incorporated supernatural elements. Every episode is worth watching, and there are actually some episodes that are absolutely brilliant in story, episode 18 “Clothes to Embrace the Mountain,” comes quickly to mind. And even though it is episodic by nature, it still weaves a full plot into every show. I love that it always gives you enough information to understand what’s going on, even if a bit too much sometimes; I think the better shows are the ones that truly left me wondering, “What happened next?” I also loved the humor that was used, it was never outrageous or something that just grabs you, but just enough to lighten the mood every so often, and actually if you are not used to the type of humor you might miss some of the jokes. I also think the animation is nice, however it looked like a lot of reused footage episode after episode, a lot of mountains, hills, trees, what look like the same buildings over and over, any of it occasionally smattered with fog or mist; yes everything is very pretty, but after a while I started to wonder why such wonderful animators could not change the scenery, just a tad, every so often. I did love the music though; the score accompanying certain scenes was wonderful and the opening theme in particular really fits the series really well, in a weird way. As for the characters, Ginko is a good guide into this world, but some of the characters from each story are truly memorable. I will definitely try to watch it all again sometime, and since the episodes don’t tie together I can always catch some of my favorites any time.
My Brother's Wife (OAV) Weak
This is a simplistic story which is told just unrealistically enough to make it a pretty poor show. What I mean by that is that it is not so unrealistic that it makes the naughty scenes sort of dull. And when that happens in a hentai anime then it would at least be up to the story to make it watchable but since it is both simplistic with a lean towards the unrealistic, the plot isn’t interesting either. It’s too bad too because it has some pretty nice character designs for the women in the show so it is sort of a waste. This is not worth a second viewing, or actually, it really wasn’t worth a first viewing.
My Neighbor Totoro (movie) Good
This was another fun movie from Miyazaki. I hate to say this because it is so redundant for these movies but the animation was really outstanding. The story was also enjoyable, not as strong as some of his other films, but still plenty fun. I think, though, that this movie was aimed towards smaller children more than any of his others, the simpler story and brighter colors are very indicative of this, and I would recommend this more to anybody with kids, although it is entertaining enough for older kids and adults as well. The characters are also really fun and believable; often too believable, I‘ve met an awful lot of brats like Mei and they are not always as fun as she is portrayed in this film ;). But still not a lot bad to say about this movie, I’m glad I had a chance to watch it.
My-HiME (TV) Very good
This show was well planned, researched, and developed, but it is more than merely clever. The show has a way of flying by jumping from humor to action to drama to suspense without breaking pace and all the while it developing an interesting and entertaining plot that one can just watch and enjoy without worrying about any of it. I’ve seen the show multiple times now and I think it is great that I don’t get bored by it even when I know what’s coming. I also enjoy a lot of the character development. And I like the way all the characters are given characteristics based on the histories of the origins of their names, but that is just the beginning of the foundation. You get to really see the characters, the good sides and the bad and can decide for yourself who you like and don’t like. There are too many series out there that almost seem to force the viewer to like one character or another by consistently smattering the story with how great that character is. That’s not the case with My-HiME. I know I spent a large part of the show not liking Mai but also acknowledging the choices she made. I think the only character that I never liked or felt for even once is Tate, probably because he really is the most useless and annoying person in this cast. But aside from him, as with Mai, I really enjoyed seeing everyone else and seeing what drives them and who they are. I did enjoy the ending, well more so as it ends with the director’s cut of episode 26 as opposed to the original*, but it was a bit disappointing that it didn’t really leave room for a sequel without really contradicting itself. I really saw a lot of potential for more in the show. Well, I guess with My-Otome my yearnings are actually pretty much fulfilled, especially as it gets better with each installment, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting more of the original as well. It really is darned good.

*The director’s cut is very nearly identical to the original episode 26 except for an important small difference that made it more enjoyable to me. But a lot of people may not really care one way or the other.

My-Otome (TV) Very good
This is a really fun show, with a lot of high energy, fun, and action. I guess I can’t really talk about it without comparing it to Mai-HiME so that’s the direction I’ll go in. Although I waited about a year after seeing Mai-HiME it was still reminiscent whenever I saw another character behave almost exactly as they did in the original, however that did not distract from the fact that Mai-Otome stands very well on its own. I rate them both about the same although they do different things very well. One of the weaknesses I saw in MH were character interactions which at times seemed a bit, unfulfilling, I still haven’t figured out what was missing; however in MO this is probably the strongest part. Great fun characters with wonderful fun interaction with one another always made it very easy to watch this show. However on the flip side in the character department while MH had some incredible character development, in MO this was sometimes left a bit lacking, which was disappointing considering the large fun cast that made me want to know more about them. Also while the story in MH was incredibly well crafted with detail and intricacies, in MO they added just enough to move the story forward and make way for more fast paced scenes, whether they be action of comedic. And again that faster pacing kept the show high in energy and so easier to keep pacing throughout, which MH sometimes failed in. Overall though I do like the story in MO and also think it is really fun. It’s not really better than MH, but it is different in a lot of ways and so it stands very well on its own despite any comparisons.
My-Otome 0~S.ifr~ (OAV) Excellent
From the first episode you can tell this is as exiting as any of the Mai Otome series. Up beat characters, fast paced action, and an interesting plot, everything comes together as it usually does for this franchise to make another entertaining product. I was a bit doubtful when I found this would be a prequel just because prequels often fail in laying down what is supposed to be a proper foundation for and established story, but there was nothing to be doubtful about. The story is written very solidly and is backed up by a cast that you can’t help but like. And I already mentioned the action but this show really is the most exciting of the franchise. All the fights and chases and explosions almost seem continuous as this show burns its way from the opening to the great climax and then a good ending to boot. If you are a My-HiME/Otome fan, this is another can’t miss installment. Even if you’re new to the franchise this show will probably spark an interest in the other shows. So far this is the only My-Otome not licensed in the US but it was so good that I have faith in Bandai to bring us another great special edition release.
My-Otome Zwei (OAV) Very good
This was a good OAV. It keeps the same fast paced high energy pacing from the series and then adds even better suspense and intrigue. From the beginning it had some mystery and some interesting conflicts that it kept up throughout the series and really kept me looking forward to each new installment. The main characters also start to show better growth and development. It is interesting that a lot of times when there is a continuation for a series there is usually a point of separation between the characters. Usually when this happens the story usually slows down for me as I have a difficult time watching my favorite characters be apart when I’ve grown so accustomed to seeing them together. In this show the characters are separated for periods of time and because it does such a great job of portraying the characters feelings I found myself engrossed in the separation and wondering how they will reunite rather than upset. It's sad that it is only four episodes but I know there will be more to come later and I’m looking forward to it.
Nabari no Ou (TV) So-so
This show is just not what I expected. The biggest problem early on is that for a show about ninja, there very little action ninja action. And I get that the show does not want to just be all about action but there's really not much else that it can grab either. The story itself is pretty typical shounen fare, well except that the hero isn't really going willingly. Actually there have been series where the hero is somehow dragged into action against his will, but I guess this one is a bit different here in that the hero doesn't seem to car one way or the other most of the time. But that alone doesn't give the series any real uniqueness or something to grab hold on. The humor is pretty good when it comes, it's pretty funny to see Miharu give a damsel in distress look or make large cute eyes when he wants to get out of something or use something similar to get back at someone or just to be sarcastic. I mean I've seen female characters that do this, regularly but the male lead in in a shounen series I'll admit is a first for me. But it isn't like there is enough humor to call this show a comedy either.

If anything the show tries to play toward the dramatic more than anything but I think one of the real weaknesses is that it tries to make everyone a tragic character no matter what side they’re on. Not to say that idea is bad in itself, other shows have used it well, but Nabari no Ou is not X. It doesn’t know how to build characters well and often when it pauses to tell someone’s tragic past it just makes them either look stupid or pathetically villainous in that they do their deeds without any real reasoning, evil or just.

Near the end and it seemed like it just wanted stretch things out rather than start anything that might be interesting. Even the occasionally humorous moments from early on now look annoying when they come because you can see they are just trying to fill time. Maybe they should have just kept the show to about 14 episodes total if they didn’t have enough story. Or money for that matter; the animation, which never seemed good to begin with, is pathetic in the second half of the series. The backgrounds in particular often looked not like the artistic water color look the show seemed to aim at, but more a crayon and construction paper resemblance.

In the final episodes there are a lot of revelations which don’t make sense and don’t add any intrigue either. Characters take certain stands that seem to have no real reason behind them, except allow the character to make a “surprising” change of heart or mind or whatever later on. And the action sequences which looked decent early on, looked more and more sloppy as the show got towards the latter episodes. Add it all together and you get a climax that is anticlimactic, and final scenes which didn’t really excite. And I suppose overall the show isn’t as terrible as I make it out to be, but it doesn’t have a solid base for the plot or the characters so it isn’t really good either. The show is being licensed in the US; my advice is save your money and buy something good. There is a box set release for Basilisk out, that will get your ninja fix without having to pay and also sit through Nabari no Ou.

Najica Blitz Tactics (TV) Very good
Panty shots? Yes, almost everywhere in every episode. However you can’t let yourself be distracted by the fanservice in Najica because then you’ll be missing an interesting story with some occasionally good action. You’ll also miss the few subtleties in the Lila and Najica relationship that makes that worth watching as well. The stories aren’t always great but the storytelling helps make up for it by making things interesting that shouldn’t be. Heck with some work on the plot this series could have been phenomenal, even with the fanservice, just because of how well each episode flows through the direction and storytelling. I won’t say I’m surprised that this show is not rated higher, because people will always hate shows with a lot of fanservice, but even if it isn’t you’re thing, if you can look past it you’ll end up watching a pretty darned good show. If fanservice is you’re thing, as I said before, don’t let it completely distract you from the other good points either. I honestly didn’t know what to expect before watching it because of so many conflicting views of this show, but I’m glad I picked it up. The ending does leave a lot to be desired but overall the show does several things well and I would and probably will watch it again.
NANA (TV) Masterpiece
I love this show! There is just a certain simplicity to the storytelling that makes it overwhelming. It is incredibly addictive from episode to episode. I especially love how just when it looks like its going to do something expected it goes in a different direction. That makes the show really special. Or rather the way it does it, because whether you are expecting the moment or rolling your eyes at what’s about to happen, it doesn’t get there but instead just follows through the moment in a slightly different, and yet more realistic, way. Sort of like life in that things don’t always go as you expect and though more often than not it is heart wrenching, it’s not always bad, and sometimes just different. Everything is built up beautifully from scene to scene with some wonderful character interaction. And those interactions are built from some endearing characters that almost want to stretch themselves to something larger than life and yet when looked at more closely it is just that they’re human. I really don't know what else to say except that I cried and cried throughout this series. Near the end I was left in tears at the close of every single episode, even the ones that weren't sad, and regularly wanting to shout, "That just can't be right!" I was a basket case especially during the final episodes which open up even more questions than answers. A few loose ends are tied up but I'm definitely going to have to start reading the manga and praying for another 50 episodes when the manga ends. This world of NANA; sometimes it made me smile sometimes it made me laugh, it often pissed me off, and as I mentioned brought more tears than I could have imagined. It'd be a huge understatement to say that this show left an impression on me. It was just beautiful... and terrible.
Natsu no Arashi! (TV) Very good
Shinbo had disappointed me with Maria Holic, but I would still give him the benefit of the doubt because he’s bounced back from bad anime with good ones before. Jin Kobayashi had thoroughly disappointed me with the non ending to School Rumble and pouring salt in the wound with the false hope he created when he announced School Rumble Z, but I can not deny he has a gift for storytelling, even if I can never have faith in getting a proper ending from him ever again. With all that in mind there really wasn’t a way that I could keep from watching Natsu no Arashi. Kobayashi’s talent for storytelling and great sense for comedy coupled with Shinbo’s flare for adding just that little something extra to an already enjoyable show with his own flare for comedy; and even with that expectation, this show did not disappoint. It wasn’t an all out masterpiece, but it was enjoyable, interesting, fun at times, dramatic at others, and over all amusing.

The storytelling I was expecting comes out in a nice way and is balanced well by the supernatural elements and the plot itself which alone would have made for an interesting anime. The character’s are also fun and enjoyable to watch and you get to see different sides of them in tiny moments which allowed me to get to know them while not ever slowing the pace of the show. And then you get all the styling and random nonsense on the part of Shinbo along with all the fun references to his previous works, and here adding references from School Rumble when available, along with the usual plethora of pop and Japanese cultural references and there is never a moment that the show does not offer something entertaining, whether visual or spoken. (Keep an eye on the restaurant’s customers in particular.) Even if I say I really can’t look forward to any possible future ending this story might offer, I can say I enjoyed this show, I’d definitely watch it again, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

Natsume's Book of Friends (TV) Excellent
I had certain expectations before I started watching this show. The first episode tore apart those expectations and because of that I then underestimated it. The show seems at first utterly simplistic and at times childish but there was something about it and so I kept watching it. The stories that followed kept that simplistic style but I discovered a complex plot in each episode that actually exceeded the original false expectations I had. And it wasn’t just the storytelling that won me over the more I watched, but I even learned to love the animation and parts of the show that seemed childish at first. The show is more of a fairy tale or folk tale than anything else I can describe it as, and it does an excellent job of telling its tales. Once my mind was open to the show and I could see what it is I found myself being able to simply sit and enjoy each episode and have a sort of odd pleasant feeling from my experience in watching it. I know I’ll watch the show again and would definitely buy it if it becomes available.
Natsume's Book of Friends (TV 2) Excellent
Overall the show is even better than the first series. The feel of wonder and discover isn’t as pronounced, however I think that has to do with the fact that I already knew more or less how the story tends to unfold. And that is just a minor fault considering how much better this series really starts to show Natsume’s character. You can really see Natsume and how he is changing as well as how he is starting to find himself as he begins to open up and interact more to those around him. The plots still follow a simplistic style but the personal side begins to be more complex. I thought the sequel might just be a continuation of what was already happening, and it does that just fine, but I was happy to see a better product and hopefully there’ll be more of this franchise to come so I can see just what Natsume will discover and choose about himself.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (movie) Excellent
This was really a terrific film. The storytelling was really amazing, it just makes yo foolow as it goes without giving much away. The action was really good and the suspense was incredible. The characters were also very well introduced. A movie doesn't have a lot of time for character development, but this movie really shows how to portray characters in a way that tells worlds about them in a short time. You can see the villains' evil and you can see Nausicaä's will. The only small complaints I have are with the dialogue being redundant at times and few contivances but they don't really hurt the film overall.
Nee, Chanto Shiyō yo! (OAV) Not really good
This is pretty much just a random hentai anime that I sat down to watch. There isn’t much to really say. The plot is pretty much as unimaginative as is typical for hentai shows and there really isn’t anything about the characters that makes them stand out in anyway either. A guy is away comes back and somehow gets to live with his older sisters again. All of the sisters are of course completely different so that you get just about every body type and personality, of course this is so the H scenes do not get repetitive and there is something for everyone, and of course the long lost brother gets to do it with all of them. And that is pretty much it. I probably could have found a better hentai anime to watch, but I wasn’t really looking so I watched this. I’ll very likely not watch it again.
Negima! (TV) Decent
I don’t really remember what it is that I expected from this show when I first heard of it. My expectation honestly could not have been too high to begin with considering it took me so long to finally watch it. So what comes from finally watching it? Well a mixture of a whole lot of things. The show is a bit inconsistent to say the least. There are a few episodes that look rather pointless in terms of storytelling and entertainment. On the flipside there are quite a lot of episodes that work well in terms of character introductions, I mean there is a whole classroom of girls so it takes a while to get through the introductions; actually I’m not sure this how could have handled it well even if it were 50 episodes. The cast is simply too large to get to everyone and it still has to get to the plot occasionally. This is why most school based series feature just a few people in the class instead of trying to tackle the job of getting everyone involved. But still what they did get to was mostly important and sometimes really good. You get to really enjoy some of the characters and want to see them all do well. The plot suffers at times from getting sidetracked so often and this is where most of the inconsistencies come from. Honestly I think every aspect of it is important so I can’t fault the makers as I don’t know how I would handle it if I were producing this though. It isn’t all this way however; some of the episodes near the end start to tighten up the story and it actually gets pretty good on both the dramatic and excitement levels. In the end I could see where the show wanted to go throughout, it’s too bad it didn’t find that balance until near the end. Maybe why they decided to remake it. In any case I can’t really say I hated watching the show, it is a good story buried underneath it all and though I might not watch it again, it did peak my interest in that story enough to want to pursue the new series and maybe even the manga*.

*I’ve read up on the manga since I saw this show and it surprises me how for the most part the show is actually very similar the manga, even in the inconsistencies. What surprises me more is that one of my favorite parts of the show, the episodes near the end, aren’t even related to the manga. It leaves me even more confused about what to think of this series.

Negima!? (TV) Good
I went into this show with a completely false expectation. I probably should have read up on it a little before I started it. I thought it would be an alternate retelling of the story so at first I kept expecting it to hit certain points. I started to get a little confused when it didn’t get to any of them before I finally opened my eyes. This is not Negima. Instead of calling ti Negima!? It may have been more appropriate to call it Akiyuki Shinbo’s Negima. Once I figured out what this show was I was able to take it for what it is and actually enjoy it. This is a good show. It’s interesting that I’m always complaining that the large cast of characters often hurts Negima, but in this show that doesn’t matter. The majority of the cast is turned into a very simplistic almost two dimensional form where the characters simply take on their most distinguishing traits as their entire personality. The majority of the time they are merely background fun that not only do not distract but ensure the show never slows down or drags. Because of that the important parts of the story are left to unfold. Two bad that some of the more interesting storylines weren’t made more prominent because this show could have been even better. The key storylines were ok but lacked a bit of intrigue and intensity. This stands out a bit more because the series starts with the Evangeline arc which foretold a much better show. However as is it was still fun to watch and I wouldn’t mind watching it again if I find the time and interest.
Neko no Shūkai (special) Decent
As with most shorts there really isn't a lot to say about this. This one's a bit clever and a bit humorous but you could say the same about some television advertisements. Slightly amusing and clever doesn't really cut it when you are trying to really catch a viewer's imagination in about the length of a single minute. I'd describe it but, again, it's only a minute long, if you are interested look it up. Even if you hate it it's nto liek it'll realy take a big part of your day.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) So-so
Decent is about the best way for me to describe it. Not that the series did not have it's good moments, after all I did watch the whole thing, but I guess what it boils down to is I am not a fan of mecha and that is what mostly turned me off about the series at first, and then the last two episodes. This series could have ended so much better if the director did not try to get too artistic and nearly dumped the entire story for this purpose at the end. The point could have gotten across much quicker. I think the last 2 or 3 episodes would have worked great if wrapped up in a single episode. Bu the pacing isn't the only thing that was annoying. The series is very pretentious and yet it has no cause for being that way. It pretends to be clever but it isn't, it pretends to be intelligent but it isn't, and it pretends to be psychological but it doesn't work well with its very limited knowledge of Freud; forgetting for a moment that Freud was a quack to begin with, the story here doesn't really know how to delve into the issue and doesn't seem to understand the topic it tries to engage. It would probably have worked best if it had focussed more on its strong points at the end and used more action and kept it simple, at least then it would have been overall entertaining, but it still gets a decent vote from me because the first 20 or so episodes are pretty entertaining.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth (movie) Not really good
It's a long clip show of the series. I don't like clip shows to begin with, but when it is a long clip show of a series I did not particularly enjoy, it was twice as painful to watch. Why did I watch it? I saw this and the End of Evangelion movies because I was still hoping to see that greatness that I so often hear associated with this series. I never found it. It was just more of the annoying pretentiousness that is abundant at the end of the series.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (movie) So-so
More of the same from the series, nothing really added or gained. Actually probably more lost if anything. Basically more stumbling through a topic the creators do not understand for a purpose that is never revealed.
Nerima Daikon Brothers (TV) Good
By the end of the first episode of this show I was thinking how fun and imaginative it was, what with the whole musical thing going and the witty gags. I was sure I was going to continue to have fun with this. However, when I finally finished the first volume I was thinking I should take a break and watch something else and get back to this later. While I wasn’t exactly bored, I could see the repetitiveness continuing and that the all the songs are mostly accompanied by the same handful of tunes and knew this could get old fast. As fun as it is at the opening, and even having some good bright spots throughout the rest of the show, I think Nerima Daikon Brothers would have worked best as a movie or a 3 to 4 episode OAV series at the most. They could have had better production values and really made use of the few melodies they had without the danger of them getting stagnant. I say that because the show is actually good and at times hilarious and I particularly enjoyed Marina Inoue hamming up her role at times, but you either have to have a short memory or watch this slowly over a period of time so that the repetitiveness doesn’t get annoying. It probably would have been Nabeshin’s masterpiece, or at least his best work, if he’d kept it to a movie or short OAV. However, because this was good, and really funny at times, I don’t suppose I’d have a problem watching an occasional episode again in the future.
Nobody's Boy Remi (TV) Excellent
How does an anime series become a classic series? The point might be argued from different aspects and I’m sure many people have an opinion on it but I think watching this show has giving me my own answer. This is without a doubt truly a classic anime. It is a snow that has withstood the test of time and can be enjoyed in any generation by any demographic. Well I guess how exactly this show can be ‘enjoyed’ would also be scrutinized. For the most part this really is not a happy show; not much joy at all. Remi faces many trials in his journey. Halfway through I was seriously pondering just how much can happen to one young boy. But everything is an experience as much as a trial for Remi. More and more throughout the show it is even clear that Remi doesn’t even have a tangible goal, he is just moving forward. He experiences happiness along the way as well as sadness and despair, and in those few moments is when his heart is shining out for all to see. It is a warm and pure heart, and it makes you want to cheer him on and urge him to “march forward.” At the end of his long journey, Remi finally reaches an understanding. It’s not an understanding of the trials he faced or an understanding that his journey has brought him to an end but something a bit beyond that, and I could see it clearly as well. The series is not without its faults but the good really does outweigh the bad here. It is after all an older show so a lot of those faults can be overlooked regardless anyway so it doesn’t really matter much if a few segments are just a bit too melodramatic or if the occasional character is just a bit too one dimensional. It took me a long time to watch this show. It really is a terrific show but there is just so much hardship a person can watch in a week, however that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t watch it again. It is too good a show to leave on the shelf just because I don’t want to see bad things happening to Remi. It’s also sad that the distribution of the show is on hiatus because I don’t think this show has reached as many people as it should.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu (TV) Very good
This show may be pretty much just fluff but it is fairly easy to watch and fun too. I was expecting a bit more so it threw me off at first, but as the show went along there wasn't a lot to it but it made me chuckle here and there and before I knew it the first episode ended. Not much happened, outside what is in the plot summary, and it is really really really cliché, but I wasn't bored watching it. Now I know that really isn't high praise, but that really is a lot more than you can say for a lot of the school life comedies that have come out recently. And the characters are kind of fun too. At first you don’t get to know a lot about them except a few glimpses of the lives they lead, but you do find a bit more about them as it goes and they are enjoyable to watch and the cast is pretty darned good. There's a bit of fanservice, to be expected from the same company that produced Kodomo no Jikan, so that might push a few more away as well; that and the moe... However, the show doesn’t really fixate on that, especially as it progresses, it is interesting to note that no matter the circumstances this show really is about the sort of innocent romance between Yuuto and Haruka. This does leave a lot of unexplored storylines high and dry, but because of how honestly sweet it is, it overshadows all the shows downfalls. And it has plenty of downfalls starting and ending with all the cliché storytelling and ho hum plots. But the show remains, as someone said, a lot more fun than it deserves to be, because of how nice it really is to watch Yuuto and Haruka together. They really grew on me from early on and before I knew it this show was at the top of my weekly queue, so that is saying something. The show does not have enough strong points elsewhere to really qualify it as an outstanding series, and I probably rated it higher than it deserves, but I can’t say I wouldn’t watch it again or even buy it if licensed.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Purezza (TV) Good
In the 2009 wrap up “Anime in America” column here at ANN, Carl Kimlinger referred to Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu as a “living fossil” and I thought that describes these shows well. They are old style shows with a goofy main character and a large cast of good looking girls. But this show, even in this sequel, continues to have a charm of its own that helps set it apart from the typical shows of this genre and it’s somehow fun and refreshing to watch. Sure a lot of the situations are so typical you know what the whole show will be about by watching the first 10 seconds, but it does it in its own style, that while not exactly being original, does just enough to make you enjoy watching this particular turn of events for the 80th time since you started watching anime. Well it does for me anyway. And because of that I would even re-watch this show and I’ll be on the look out for another sequel.
Now and Then, Here and There (TV) Decent
What a cheap show. It’s not really a bad show, but it is really cheap and I had expected more from it based on all the reviews I’ve read. It uses a lot of scenes and plot devices just for the shock value. You could tell the story wouldn’t be much different without them but because it seems the creators and writers are slightly inept. I could tell that because one of the most frustrating things about the show is that it tries to tell sort of a mature story, but it tells it like if its entire audience is young children. That’s probably also why the characters don’t quite seem o match what’s going on as their dialogue has all the logic of what and 8 year old would come up with. And I get that a lot of the characters are children but it’s the adults that sound far more childlike at times. The villain, Hamdo, is the worst in the bunch; I get how he is probably supposed to just look evil and insane but instead he just appears silly and it does not at all fit the actually evil acts that are going on by his orders.

It’s also frustrating in that you can see a good story trying to tear out of this immature shell and instead it has to suffer along with the audience through the silly and simplistic story telling. And once it runs out of ideas again and the show starts to bog down it throws in another shock visual so that the audience still thinks it is watching something great. There was this one scene near the climax where it went into utter slow motion after two shots were fired and there was blood spilling; I almost got a headache watching the ridiculousness of it and was hoping at that point the show would end quickly.

There was another episode left however and I’d gotten that far so I did continue watching. And, as I said, the show does have a decent story behind all the crap so I kind of wanted to see how it ended anyway. And wouldn’t you know it, it ends well. The final episode is almost like an episode from a completely different series based on the same story. There is a good climax and words well spoken and the only annoyance is the silly villain who still seems out of place. The ending was enough for me to upgrade the entire show to a decent ranking. I still don’t think I’ll ever watch it again though, there is just too much crap and muck to get through before that ending.

  ** This was the 450th anime I added to my Seen All list.**  

Nurse Witch Komugi (special) Decent
I could have probably skipped this special and not missed much. AS much as I was surprised by my enjoyment of Nurse Witch Komugi, this episode/special sort of stalled my fun a bit. It’s not that it is much different than the rest of the OAV series, but it is somewhat less fun. If they had just had an episode instead of trying to focus it around all the music I think it would have worked a bit more. Of course the show is random and nonsensical as it is so I don’t really know what else they could have done that would have made a “special,” but the music stuff just didn’t work all that well.
Nurse Witch Komugi (OAV) Good
This was actually a fun show. Coming off watching The SoulTaker I was weary that this would end up being a series of nonsensical episodes without much entertainment value. I was partially right. This is a series of nonsensical episodes but in the style that I actually prefer, random comedy. There is no set up or background, the show starts gets a head of steam into a series of off the wall nonsense and humor that is actually funny for the most part. I found myself enjoying the sudden placement of remolded personalities of all those originally gloomy and often boring characters from SoulTaker, in upbeat and silly environments. It is like they took all the stuff in ST and re-styled it to fit and revolve around the one silly character that occasionally provided bright moments in that show, that being Komugi of course. While this wasn’t exactly a masterpiece or rip roaringly hilarious, it did often make me laugh out loud and was surprisingly refreshing.
Nurse Witch Komugi-Chan Magikarte Z (OAV) Decent
I really don’t know what they were trying to achieve with this, probably just making more money, but it didn’t really add anything. There was more nonsense, but it wasn’t as fun as the previous OAV. It was more like nonsense for the sake of nonsense rather than trying to achieve a comedic effect. It had a few occasional moments but overall nothing that really turned my head or made me chuckle out loud as its predecessor sometimes did. If I do watch Komugi again sometime I’ll likely skip this sequel.
Oh My Goddess! (OAV) Good
This was my first visit to the world of AA! Megami-sama. I instantly liked this feel good story that somehow always puts a smile on my face. I enjoyed the series and also the voice acting; this is my favorite voice cast highlighted by my favorite of all, Kikuko Inoue, who plays Belldandy. I am also very glad they went back to make the currently running series, this OVA series was good but left me wanting more, and that they managed to keep the main part of the cast together.
Oku-sama wa Joshi Kōsei (TV) So-so
This show can be amusing at times and some of the characters are fun, but other than that is sadly does not have a lot going for it. But then again, with that title I actually didn’t expect much to begin.. well that’s a positive right, I got what I expected. I mean it isn’t horrible and some of the humor is actually pretty funny, which is why I won’t rate it lower, but it is lacking. Where? Development. Story development, to begin with; I mean sure Asami tells us at the beginning of each of all twenty-six 12 minute episodes what the set up is, they are married and it’s a secret, but why the hell are they married? Why do they love each other so much? These are the questions the story should have dealt with early and then all the situation where we see them struggling would seem more important and about tenfold as interesting. And then add to that, character development. Who are these people? What are their backgrounds? These are questions that need to be at least hinted at when introducing a character in order to make a viewer vested in that character or at the very least be able to relate to them and hence be entertained. This is not a drama/mystery where we run into the mysterious stranger, this is a romantic comedy, and we need to know the players. So what if the plot follows formula after that; midterms, cultural festival, onsen trip, athletics festival, trip to the beach, fireworks, summer festival, and even the requisite snowfall made its appearance at the end, without any importance given to the characters or story it was just another random generic series, with healthy spatterings of fanservice all throughout, probably to make sure they kept just a few more viewers. Even the fansubbers added in the closing credits something like, "we're glad you enjoyed watching it as much as we hated subbing it. Couldn't you have watched something better."
Otaku no Video (OAV) Very good
This was a very interesting story. Presented in a form that is very mockumentary and yet it was entertaining. I like how this story developes as Kubi falls into this word of otaku. I thought that it was smartly done that they even show how his everyday life is afected by it little by little at first, giving up his tennis losing his relationship with Ueno all leading up to the peak of obsessiveness. I also thought the mock live action interviews were done very well, it gave it that extra documentary look. It was even funny at times and suspenseful at others, but for the most part it was just plain interesting and enjoyable to watch.
Otoboku - Maidens Are Falling for Me! (TV) So-so
This is not a special series in any sense. It has a few moments here in there but overall it was a good concept that is never taken to even near its potential. The storytelling is average at best, but what hurts it even more is that it too often focuses on the most mundane of topics. It is natural for a story such a this to build a story around small issues and events, but in order to be effective you either have to find a purpose or build a great plot that leads to a larger development and a proper resolution. So when you choose mundane things it is even harder because by definition these are not interesting to begin with, so when you add in the below average storytelling, weak dialogue, and also often end it with mundane resolutions to the conflicts, and sometimes some great contrivances, you have a very weak show. The characters are also not interesting, once again when you start off with a concept that can almost create rich characters without much effort and then end up with characters that are often flat, it doesn’t reflect well. Overall it doesn't help that it looks like the writers even completely forget about the original concept for entire episodes. This is just a very bland show and, it has a few pretty moments here and there but they don’t do enough to add any true flavor. Oh, why did I watch till the end? It is only 12 episodes and actually manages a decent ending.
Ouran High School Host Club (TV) Decent
This show was interesting and sometimes very funny. There are some episodes that are too slow at the beginning, it may have worked better at 12 episodes, but it was still somewhat entertaining. I liked Haruhi, but I didn't like some of the situations she was forced in. And I did like most of the characters except Tamaki, he was a bit irritating and that led to me not liking other aspects of the show. Overall the story was mostly enjoyable and I liked the way it could make fun of itself or that it didn't take itself seriously. However the one thing that this show really lacks is re-watch value. I watched it once and liked it a lot, had it rated at ‘very good’ at first. However due to some circumstances I had to re-watch it several months later and then again two weeks after that and each time it looked worse. The third time I watched it I was even somewhat irritated by it and made myself stop watching despite my reasons before I ended up really hating it.
Pani Poni Dash! (TV) Very good
Absolutely absurd random nonsense. But boy is it fun to watch! There isn't anything even remotely resembling a plot to this series but I think that is the point. Even within individual episodes there is nothing in the way of a true storyline that can get in the way of all the fantastic madness. What there is is incredibly fun sightgags and parodies along with what seem like hundreds of pop culture, movie, television, anime, and manga references, and just a dash of salt and a pinch of fanservice (well maybe more than a pinch I think the series covers just about every fetish), for seasoning. The characters are incredibly two-dimensional but again I believe this is the point of this series, there is nothing to hold back all the ridiculous things that happen without warning around every corner even when there isn't a corner. Just when I think it is about time for this to get old and stale it does something else unexpectedly that cause me to break out laughing. It is just fun anyway I look at it, there is nothing else I can say about it, and I'm sure I'll be re-watching the occasional epsiode when I need a laugh.
Paprika (movie) Excellent
This is the first anime I have seen in Blu-Ray Hi-Definition and the first thing I have to say is that Satoshi Kon’s movies truly belong in HD, and Paprika is the perfect example. All of Kon’s movies are driven by visuals as much as they are by plot and characters and to see them so vividly is incredible. Kon really makes sure that there are no wasted elements when telling a story and that is probably truer in Paprika than in any of his previous works. And as one of the master storytellers of our time in any medium he does his job, masterly as ever, here as well. The one small problem I had with Paprika is that the plot is not as suited for its contents and for Kon’s storytelling as his prior works. It has limitations and this I would consider a weakness when Kon is directing. I can see where the story wanted to really break out but was unable to due to the confinement of having to go in a certain direction. And I know that sounds odd for a movie about dreams and that they eventually start top merge with reality, it seems like there wouldn’t be a limit at all; however that is just what the story has, not what it is about. What it is about is as human as his previous movies, which is not nearly bad, but it is also a tale surprisingly simpler in its content than his previous works. There is an introduction, a body, a climax, and a conclusion. Most stories work this way but it is too formulaic for Kon’s style and no matter how brilliantly he told the story with the visuals, and the story, and the music, and his characters, it sort of fenced him in just a tiny bit. Another thing this did is it gave this movie as opposed to his previous works is predictability. However despite that, the story was still brilliant and it will dazzle and even thrill you at points. And as always it also has some terrific use of characters and symbolism, and the music is phenomenal as well. Heck, this is Kon’s worst project to date and yet it is still better than the majority of all other animated films. I’ll definitely watch this again and I’d recommend it to anyone. I also can’t wait to see if there’ll be rerelease in Blu-ray for his previous films, I’d especially get hyped for a remastered edition of Perfect Blue.
Paranoia Agent (TV) Masterpiece
Amazing? Yes this series definitely qualifies. It starts with an intricate plot. Everything is pieced together so as to draw you in and at the same time continue to create doubts about what it shows with each passing scene. Just when the story hands you a giant clue it promptly reminds you that you aren’t even close. Very reminiscent of Perfect Blue in that sense, that it can move the story along masterfully and still keep you guessing at every turn. And, like with the other Kon works I have seen so far, the use of symbolism is amazing. Even characters are used to represent different aspects or themes even though still remaining players in the story being told. And what a unique cast, large yet very well developed and represented, you see vulnerabilities and strengths and you see darkness and hope. And the animation is wonderful, I love the use of colors, again in a symbolic sense and also to help carry the mood of each passing scene, whether rich and vibrant, flats or pastels, bright and cheery, or dark and eerie, almost the entire spectrum is used to help mold plot devices and settings that tell almost as much as the dialogue about the situations occurring. And the music is another terrific addition to help complete the creation of mood. More than merely background and not loud enough to be noise or distraction, the soundtrack uses almost perfect beats and sounds to help put the view in pace with the story even when it changes from one extreme to another. All the elements combine brilliantly to create an intriguing product. Sometimes absurd, often dark and creepy, and occasionally amusing but always phenomenal, Paranoia Agent is a series I will be watching again.
Passage of the Stars - Birth (special) So-so
This wasn’t too long but it is also not very fun to watch. It’s not terrible but since the story revolves two Abh it is hard to be really interested. What I mean is that the main characters are both so arrogant that it is difficult to find anything at all endearing about them and so had a hard time caring about what they were doing or what would happen to them. What makes the Crest/Banner series so great is the wonderful personal relationship between Lafiel and Jinto who is grounded and so balances the stories really well. The situation is somewhat interesting so it doesn’t come off as terrible, just not something I would watch again or recommend to anyone. It is not important to the series so you don’t miss anything if you skip it.
Patapata Hikōsen no Bōken (TV) Not really good
This is a story that has a terrific concept behind it but it just never materializes on screen the way I would have expected form an anime that bases itself out of classic works of fiction. In other words, the story is there all they had to do was a decent portrayal and it sort of fizzled. Still, I was dissapointed that it didn't do more with what it had, but I didn't think what they did was completely worthless. Something that helped is the cute characters although sometimes too one dimensional to really help move the story in any clear direction. I guess it is a few too many holes to fill but I guess it’s ok when your looking for a series that doesn’t require a lot of thinking.
Peacemaker (TV) Good
I really had doubts going into this show, and though some of those doubts were justified, I actually enjoyed watching this show and was even highly impressed with 3 or 4 of the episodes. This show is not a formulaic shounen series, however it may have helped reign in a plot that was a bit jumpy if it were. Great concept, interesting characters, and a lot to work with, which is what made it enjoyable, but it seemed that they were unsure if the story should be more dramatic or not and in the end it came up just a bit mild. Somehow what I felt would have been the better concept to deal with, the idea of the “Peace Maker,” gave way to too much else. I did enjoy the story even as it went on its twisty road, and I enjoyed the occasional twists and terse moments, but it seems they only partially introduced and occasionally toyed with the idea of the “Peace Maker.” And the characters were impressive, mostly fun and likable, and adequately developed, however, like with the story, they were a bit wishy-washy. It never seemed that they knew exactly what to do with them so they were sometimes deep and serious and then occasionally zany, which is ok normally, just that in this case it just lacked fluidity and instead of making the characters look multi-faceted they come out weaker for it. However overall this is a fun, sometimes interesting and exciting series, and I don't really regret buying it, but it could have been so much more.
Perfect Blue (movie) Excellent
This movie starts out pretty slow and you think you know what’s going on but it has some very interesting turning points and plot twists that leave you wondering almost until the very end. If I were to have rated this movie halfway through I wouldn’t have given it a very fair rating at all. By that point I was still thinking that it was utterly predictable and far from unique, but once I hit that first turning point, it is a scene where Mima is filming a scene in a club (I don’t want to spoil anything), for me during this scene is when I caught a mere glimpse of what was to come. After this point I kept trying to settle myself by saying that they and given too much away too early or that they had rushed things only to be taken to a completely different place. It was brilliantly done. And I did figure it out but I think there was only 15-20 minutes left by this point and the ending was still intense and suspenseful. And the characters were really well done too; you think you have a grasp of them only to find out you are only half right. Mima was very well developed and portrayed; I rooted for her and hated the situations she was put in for her sake, that’s when I realized how much I liked this character. Primarily horror anime is not really my thing, but this is one of those that is definitely worth it; just a great movie overall.
Pet Shop of Horrors (TV) Very good
I really loved this series. It was absurd and it had a really original way of depicting mythical and mystical creatures, as well as the human drama. I am glad to have this in my collection. I love animals and pets but I don't know if I could ever muster the courage to visit Count D's shop. You never know what you might learn about yourself or what you might lose. The stories were just brilliantly clever and believable, well within the realms of anime, and they rarely give me a chance to catch up. As for the characters, well how should I put it, sometimes despicable enough to be human, and at other times not worth pity. I haven’t seen this in a while but I think it really does deserve at least a second look, and I recommend it to anyone regardless of what type of genre you prefer.
Photon: The Idiot Adventures (OAV) Decent
I got this for just $7 so I wasn't expecting much to begin with. The story was sorta cheesy and the characters very two-dimensional an but it wasn't without it's moments. Photon the character was actually pretty funny sometimes with the whole being the strongest ever, being a kid and suddenly being married to full grown alien woman. I never expected this story to be otherworldly but for the price, it was fairly entertaining.
Please Teacher! (TV) Very good
More than I ever expected from a story based on the concept of an alien posing as a teacher and falling in love with her student. I actually became fond of the characters and rooted for them as the story progressed, I also like that this is another one of those 1 in 100 series with a nice happy ending and they even give you an extra OAV afterwards just as icing on the sugar coated ending. I'm glad it was a short series, something like this would have been harder to swallow at 24-26 episodes but worked welll in this length, and kept me entertained all the way through.
Please Teacher! (OAV) Good
More of the same from the series, nothing gained or lost.
Please Twins! (TV) So-so
I watched this in anticipation of seeing another cute story like in Please Teacher and came out disappointed. The story did not match the original in any aspect and came out looking a bit too forced. I also disliked the ending, they put so much effort into showing us how good either of the girls would have it as the stranger and would be lover, that the 2nd prize of actually being related did not seem like much of a consolation and I didn't want either of the girls to have to be that one. They should have given us more to show just how great it would be to be related and have a family so not to feel bad for what seemed more like the loser at the end. This was so much more of a letdown considering the show starts out with the girls coming into the picture wanting to be related in the first place.
Please Twins! (OAV) So-so
More of the same from the series, nothing gained or lost.
Pokemon 2000 - The Movie Good
I thought I wouldn't list any of the Pokemon movies I have seen as they are pretty much usually just part of the series in my opinion, but I recently re-watched this one with my nephew and I forgot that it is actually well worth watching. The storyline follows a good pace and has som egood elements to it. The characters are pretty much the same ones from the series but the pokemone in this one, Lugia and the three elemental birds, are actually pretty cool. Watching their airbourne battles was neat. And while it has a similar pokemon style ending it was not horribly contrived as with most of the other ones I have seen like the first movie or the Mew-two returns ones. I think this is a good watch for even non Pokemon fans.
Pokemon 3 - The Movie So-so
Ok so the group finds themselves in yet another adventure with another legendary Pokemon. This one was alright but I don't remember much from it so it couldn't have been that good. If I remember it had a couple of exciting moments and Entei was pretty cool, but nothing much more to this one than another formula movie for the Pokemon franchise.
Pokemon 4Ever (movie) Decent
This one I liked. Celebi is an interesting, mysterious creature, and not just cause they tell us. I liked how a lot of different elements came into play in this one, a little bit of learning about the environment, and just a hint of excitement. Not something that will ever be a classic but well worth watching.
Pokemon Heroes - Latias & Latios (movie) So-so
This was another legendary Pokemon appearance. It wasn't "god-awful" or anything but again if I remember correctly it was just another very formulaic movie. The fact that I can't remember much tells a lot of the story in my opinion. Again nothing to lose sleep over if you've missed it, even for Pokemon fans, I'd imagine.
Pokemon: Mewtwo Returns (special) So-so
**Note** Ok I realized I was being a bit stuck-up about Pokemon when I have actually sat through more episodes than the average non-fan and thanks to my nephews have sees several of the movies. So since I have seen these, and in an effort to be less stuck up, I now add then to my seen all list. I mean honestly I have seemed some crap and as weak as some of these are, they don't come close; for instance I'd much rather admit to watching Pokemon than crap like Tenjho Tenge or Ichigo 100%. Oh, and comments are short due to not having seen them in a while.

This was pretty much a throw away as far as Pokemon movies. It just seemed like, and probably was, an effort to make money on a known commodity without actually giving away much. Many fans of Pokemon enjoyed the first movie with Mewtwo, and so they make another one. But this time with not a lot of work into the story or any effort into doing anything original.
Pokemon: The First Movie Decent
This was the first movie I saw and how fitting that the title is "the First Movie." I honestly won't say it was better than the others however since I did see it before the others I didn't have any prior experience with the Pokemon movie formula yet and so that's probably why I enjoyed it more. However I don't think that this movie was without its own merits either. There was a bit of sci-fi and some fan pleasers in finally seeing some of the bigger Pokemon face off.
Pokemon: The Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon (special) Weak
I honestly don't remember a whole lot about this one, which is bad for it considering it was the Pokemon movie I have seen most recently. I do remember that the villain was pretty weak and generic, and the who idea of the "mirage" Pokemon turned out pretty lame. This was probably the worst effort from the Pokemon makers, as my nephews weren't even into this one. Can't be good if even children won't sit through it.
Porco Rosso (movie) Decent
Ok, this is the first Miyazaki film I have seen that didn’t really grab my attention too well. I mean it is still ok and the animation is great as always, but the story is a bit of a let down. It was a bit like watching a Disney movie when it is plainly obvious that they never really had a story to work with. Porco was not a very interesting character to me at all. I mean there were one or two instances that could have changed my mind if those particular moments had been properly explored and developed but they never were. In the other Miyazaki films I have seen a large part of the cast is also incredibly interesting and involved but this one just doesn’t get it done. I mean the film wasn’t a waste of time but it also definitely isn’t something to gush over either.
(Le) Portrait de Petite Cossette (OAV) Good
The story here is has a very good concept; it wins points just from having an interesting story to tell. The characters are very interesting and engaging, they make you want to know their story and this is also a huge plus. Actually with a few minor glitches the character interactions are outstanding, you really get to see each other’s side of things and what motivates them in those directions. The artwork is also very nice; the animation all around helps tell the story with each scene and sometimes looks absolutely beautiful. However there are just a couple of things that are not as good. Even though it has a good story to work with, the way it tells it is not as good. There are a few unnecessary things that slow the story down rather than helping the story move forward. This also has to do with the pacing which was my other complaint, sometimes it would have been better to just let the story continue as it was going than force a scene that doesn’t add anything. However this was still a very interesting story and I would have no problems seeing it again, if only to try to catch some things I may have missed.
Pretear (TV) Very good
This was a really fun show to watch. Any show that can carry a wonderful comedic set up through some potentially difficult plot points, show some nice touching moments as the dramatic parts unfold and carry it through a nice ending, rarely losing pace and keeping continuity, is well worth it. Or to make it short, it is very versatile. The characters are fabulous as well, all carried and revolving around Himeno and yet still adding their own flavors to the story, whether they be sweet or bitter. I don't know, there really isn't a lot more that I can say about this show except that I honestly had a lot of fun watching.   ** This was the 200th anime I added to my Seen All list.**  
Princess Mononoke (movie) Excellent
I had been weary of watching this movie because it generates so much hype that I thought there was no way it could possibly live up to it, I'm delightfully surprised to knwo that it does. It's just a beautiful piece of storytelly from start to finish, the story never loses track, always moves forward and never has those annoying instances of repetitiveness that usually ruin a story like this, and it just goes to show they are nto necessary as I never lost the meaning of what was going on. The characters are just as good a match for the story, they are well introduced and portrayed and you really get a feel for their motivation. Everything was pieced together very well and I'm sure I'll be seeing this again and again.
Princess Nine (TV) Decent
This turned out to be a disappointment. Since I first heard of Princess Nine I was interested; imagining it to be a tale of girls overcoming great odds and proving themselves to be the equals to any boys. And the show starts somewhat along this path as the girls are all introduced one after another and we learn their backgrounds and motivations, and I was along for the ride. And obstacles come and the girls try to make their way by each one. This is where the show started letting me down. There was too much melodrama that had nothing to do with the initial concept of girls playing baseball. I would have loved to see a show about baseball feature baseball at least a bit. And not only that but we get to see the girls falling apart at times over boys; which is what really started to annoy me. It’s not so bad to have romance in a sports series because it usually just adds flavor, but in a show which is supposed to show that girls can overcome as much as boys, seeing them at their weakest because of insecurities about a certain boy really makes the whole point of the story rather worthless. When the show finally gets back to baseball and it is interesting again, what do we get but a couple of girls unwilling to move on because of the boy and the heroine only able to come alive because of a love confession and the encouragement of the boy, and a predictable irritating conclusion, finished completely souring any hope I had left that the show might at least end on a positive note with her finding a way to keep moving forward on her own. As much as I complained this really isn’t a horrible show, but it was annoying that it could have been so much better had it taken the high road. I won’t watch this show again.
Psychic Squad (TV) Good
I say that quite a few shows are “guilty pleasures” but I don’t think any of them are anywhere near that compared to how much I’ve enjoyed Zettai Karen Children. The story is pretty typical and unoriginal but it does get ridiculous enough, or some of the villains do, that it is pretty easy to sit through. Some of the jokes and gags really shouldn’t be funny but they make me laugh more often than not and I’m still not sure why. The characters aren’t very multidimensional but they have enough quirks to make them enjoyable to watch. I don’t know, there really isn’t a whole lot to this show but for some reason I was always excited when a new episode was released. I’d like to say that it’s just that I like to watch a mindless show occasionally, which I do, but I seriously pay attention to this series. I enjoy this enough that I’d even buy it on DVD if licensed so there must be something to it. Maybe I can figure it out after I re-watch it some more, and I will re-watch it and await a sequel.
Puni Puni Poemy (OAV) Decent
It's like the Excel Saga on cocaine, faster paced but not as sharp. Some of the gags were funny but even an animates series needs to slow down enough to allow the viewer time to digest the material. The fast pacing was more of an annoyance sometimes than comical. However it was somewhat entertaining.
Puppet Princess (OAV) Very good
This was actually a sweet movie. The animation could have been better, but the story of a princess who lost her father to his creations, lifesized puppets that one could manipulate to do any number of things including fighting battles. He loved these more than his own daughter and even proved it in the way he created his most prized puppets, a truly gruesome idea. These same puppets are the ones she carries with her today to try and resolve an issue with the tyrant who took her fathers life-work and his recipe for puppetry.
R.O.D -The TV- Very good
This series was just about as delightful as the OAV in its own way. It didn’t have all the high paced energy but that would be hard to keep up in 26 episodes. What it does have is nice storytelling with some wonderful character interactions and a good bit of suspense and intrigue. I think where it loses just a bit is in the uniqueness that added a lot of charm to the OAV, but makes up for it in a lot of depth, both in story and character, that the OAV could not match being just 3 episodes long. And the characters are all a lot of fun and interesting both, and the villains are truly despicable and unlikable. That is always a sign of good story telling. I think the only thing that really hinders the series is that it does drag a bi8t in the near mid series episodes and the ending is not as strong as it should have been. With the wonderful climactic scenes near the end it shouldn’t have been too hard to end it well, but it sort of stumbles. However the journey throughout is enjoyable to look past a couple snags and I enjoyed the series enough to know I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.
Ramen Fighter Miki (TV) Very good
This series is absolutely outrageous, but it is also brilliant. It's a comedy, however it really delivers its own brand and style; even when doing parody it manages to stay original because it can easily jump from parody to slapstick to just random humor with incredibly good timing and even stays refreshingly clean. And it does parody incredibly well, heck sometimes it even parodies a particular subject/show/genre but just to have an excuse to add its own jokes, which is something that really caught my attention. The comedy is also random and repetitive which would normally hinder a series, but it manages to keep things fresh, in fact, I found myself laughing even more in later episodes. The characters are one and two dimensional, but just incredibly fun and really perfect for a show like this. Miki is incredibly interesting; she comes out at first as this fireball of energy, not always nice and yet still remarkably likable. But there is another side; near the latter episodes she somehow starts to seem like an entity or a presence instead of a character. It's like all the other characters start to steal the show, but since it is Miki they all revolve around, she remains a presence. It is somewhat hard to describe what I mean, however the fact that the show primarily follows them for a while speaks volumes for how great all the side characters are, particularly Kankuro Nishiyama who became my favorite in this series- nya. I am excited that this show has been licensed as I can’t wait to see it again, and possibly more.
Ranma ½ OAV Masterpiece
I loved all of these even more than the series if that is possible. Some of the episodes come from later in the manga, including my favorite of them all, the Reawakenning Memories two part story of Shinosuke who Ranma thinks he might lose Akane to. Ranma's true feelings come more into focus than during any other saga or story.
Ranma ½ (TV) Masterpiece
This is my second favorite series no doubt about it. It has everything one could hope for; comedy, martial arts, drama, romance and a huge cast of vastly different and often zany characters. The stories may not be other-worldly and the characters do not have higher purposes, but I cannot remember too many episodes where I was not entertained. The large diverse cast and outlandish martial arts combined with the Ranma/Akane moments all keep me watching even years after completing the series. Ranma and Akane will be married someday, and they will be happier than anyone on earth, though they will not admit it, even to themselves.
Ranma ½: Big Trouble in Nekonron, China (movie) Very good
**Note** I'll say this about all the Ranma movies, for me, a true die hard Ranma 1/2 fan, they were very entertaining additional stories involving my beloved characters. But if you are not a fan of the series you will probably not like these. The movies are more icing to the Ranma cake for fans than for the enjoyment of non fans. Well they are a bit more than that, the stories are alright considering they don't come from anywhere in the manga and don't exactly add to any plot from the series or OVA, but what makes them fun is the Ranma cast, the majority appearing all at once as they seldom do in the series. Might not be superior movie making but I still watch them all again when I have a chance or just get the Ranma itch. On to the comments:

This one had a nice story to it, the Seven Lucky Gods appear and the leader takes Akane wanting to make her his wife so of course Ranma chases off after and the whole crew tags along. The openning is really fun with a big chase that is something like a parade of characters running amok. Of course there are also martial arts, in this case the Seven Lucky Gods display their unique talents. And there is some good Ranma and Akane moments. Overall it was really fun just as I expect any Ranma movie to be, but it also had a few more things for flavor.
Ranma ½: Nihao My Concubine (movie) Very good
The whole crew is together again, this time in search of a vacation spot and of course things don't go as planned. This time all the girls are kidnapped and its up the the bungling guys to get them back. Plenty of hilarity ensues, of course, and eventually we get some nice romantic scenes. Particular moments to watch are the Moose/Shampoo scene near the end and Ranma's daring rescue of Akane brings about a near perfect moment. I think I have watched this one more than the other movies.
Ranma ½: One Flew Over the Kuno's Nest (movie) Good
This one is not really a movie, not in length or quality at least, which is probably why it was released with the OVAs, but it is still entertaining. Kuno in his ever searching endevour to defeat Ranma ends up with more than he bargained for when he finds a phoenix egg. Well Ranma is sort of responsible and as always hilarity follows. This would have fit more as just one of the random hapennings during the series than as a movie, but it was still fun to watch. I say this about a lot of characters from thwe Ranma series but Kuno is one of my favorites as well and it is always enjoyable to see him prominent in the plot.
Read or Die (OAV) Excellent
This is just an incredibly high energy blast of a show. The story starts off with a typical character introduction as we follow Yomiko through what is apparently an average day for her, which is anything but typical unless you know or are an extreme book worm. But this serves a purpose too; this show does a great job of emphasizing character traits so we can understand their motivation in other moments, not just with Yomiko. And the plot, once it gets going rarely slows down. It carries a fine story as it progresses allowing for dialogue, action, exposition, and foreshadowing leading up to the plot twists and climaxes. And the series does have some great action scenes as well as good build up, intrigue, and suspense. There is a bit lacking at the end but it is just an instance with Nancy where I couldn’t really see a motivation for a certain action. But this was a tiny blemish in an otherwise wonderful show and even despite it it had a very solid ending. I know I’ll definitely be watching this again sometime.
REC (TV) Excellent
Pretty. This was a really wonderful little story. Everything from every minute was taken into considertaion and pieced together well. But then at 12 minutes per episode they didn't have room to falter. I really enjoyed these charcters and the portrayals. Their relationship was almost too real, two people struggling in their own worlds until fate brings them together. It was truly a well crafted romance from any stand point. I also enjoyed how the story was completely about them, showing their lives and struggles and telling us why they belong together not just that they do. I can't dislike this story no matter which way I look at it and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a really good romance.
Requiem from the Darkness (TV) Excellent
Quite a unique and interesting series. I enjoyed almost every single moment in it, even when there was nothing going on I could spend quality time taking in all the visuals. It is very cleverly crafted, from the storyline to the animation to the characters; it is almost enough to overwhelm the senses and yet balanced well enough where I had enough to take it in. Not to say that I don't want to see it again because I am sure there are plenty of things that I missed and the series practically demands at least a second viewing. I know that a lot of times people talk about unique characters but with this series it isn't just talk, every character has so many levels to them that it is hard to discern true intentions, much like with real people. The stories are filled with quality build up, sure there is plenty of shock value, but it is justified in the plot, not just something to grab one's attention. The animation almost tells its own story; all the warped imagery and character designs along with some creative use of colors suddenly changing from overly rich to flat and sometimes inverting, it doesn't just add to the story, it completes it. It is much more than just worth watching.
Revolutionary Girl Utena (TV) Good
A very original story with a diverse cast and a little something for everyone; dueling, fencing, hilarious comedic episodes, hidden truths and side plots; this story offers a lot and it was fun watching. The only failings in the story are the occasional lapses in the story that get a little annoying, something to do with pacing, that can really bug you. The music is also sometimes highly annoying especially after you hear the theme to the entrance more than twice. The characters, however, are not a shortcoming. All very complex and intriguing with a dark side they’d rather not show. Still as diverse as the series is, and while I don’t think it was a waste of my time it’s not on my re-watchable list, once was enough.
Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie Awful
Craptacularly craptacular. Made up words are the only things that can truly describe my experience viewing this movie. I think I read somewhere that it’s better to watch the series first otherwise you won’t understand what is going on in this movie. That’s wrong too in my opinion. This movie doesn’t have a clear plot or plot relevance so there is nothing to try and piece together. If you watch the series first you'll just have an understanding of what should be going on more or less. 'Watch the series because it is good, and don’t watch this at all,' would be my advice. Where to begin.. I’d continue with the plot but everything is just a lot of contrived scenes that don’t have a clear point; it’s not interesting, it’s not amusing, and it is not remotely entertaining. Character designs seemed to be made with 2 year olds in mind, large overemphasized features are best for children who can not pick up subtleties in gestures. The problem is that this isn’t a children’s anime. It seems to me the artwork and animation tries to be artistic but all it does is takes good concepts from the TV series and overly exaggerates them turning them into garbage. Symbols used for symbolism need to be symbols not giant in your face obstructions. God I hated watching this; I still don’t know why I didn’t just shut it off at some point, probably because I bought it, but this is now in a garbage bag outside awaiting pick up next Tuesday (seriously, I tossed it the second it came out of the DVD player along with the case). And needless to say I won’t even consider watching it again. I’d have to be paid to do something so insane.
Rizelmine (TV) Good
This series more than merely borders on inappropriateness at times, but it is so very cute, sometimes incredibly sweet, and very often hilarious. I'm a fan of random humor and this series has it in large doses, and when you add in the incredibly cute Rizel, it's just that much better. It also has one of the catchiest opening themes I’ve ever heard, well most of the music actually works well and it really adds to the series. The story itself is really honestly humorous and usually more ‘cute’ than risqué so it makes it easy to look past those very objectionable moments and keep watching. And it is not really a world breaking original; it doesn't have an earth shattering plot, but it's still fun to watch. I think a large part of it is that the characters are really likable, even the grumpy Tomonori; the seiyuu do a great job here, I think quite a good cast was put together. Overall it is just a totally fun, I’ll very likely look into it again sometime.
Robotech (U.S. TV) Decent
I grew up watching Robotech so I can't say anything bad about it at this point. I liked the characters much more in the original saga and didn't like the Southern Cross saga too much, but overall, again, it is hard to knock something you liked watching growing up. I rate this as decent, had it as good but that is just too high, but decent is about right, more from the memories watching it than anything I would think about it if I saw it all again now.
Robotech II: The Sentinels (U.S. movie) Bad
This was just plain hard to watch and I should've never have picked it up. The story was contrived, I think it was just made to give Robotech fans the wedding they assumed we wanted to see, but they could have just made a short 30 minute OVA about that, no need to make a horrible story that did not entertain in the least.
Rosario + Vampire (TV) Good
This was a cute show. I can’t really give it a lot of praise but for what comes from a monster of the week/fighting/harem/romance/comedy this was pretty entertaining. It’s predictable by nature, if you know all the genres and themes involved, but it still maintains a level of fun by introducing a lot of likeable characters, most of them really attractive girls, throwing in a healthy dose of gags and random nonsense, and most importantly not taking itself seriously in any of the genres or themes it encompasses. Well that and there is a ton of fanservice involving those attractive girls. But it also keeps the comedy and harem aspect from getting stale by adding in that weekly monster fight and the occasionally cheesy drama, which fits right in, again, because of the nature of the show. I originally had no intentions of watching this show because it sounded at first like it would be a real disaster, but now I’m glad I did take the time to watch. It may not be the best at any of the things it does, heck it doesn’t even do some of the things very well at all, but it is fun and entertaining and sometimes that’s all a show really needs to be. I would both re-watch and buy if it becomes available.
Rosario + Vampire Capu2 (TV) Good
This wasn’t an improvement over the first series but it wasn’t a let down either. It keeps the fun aspect adds a few more comedic elements and still throws in the occasional cheesy drama and fighting to keep the series from becoming stale. It still doesn’t have anything that would leave anyone in awe but it’s both amusing and entertaining and, as I’ve said before, that’s really all that is needed sometimes. I still enjoyed almost everything the show offers, including the fanservice, and I’d be all for a third series. After all, no one’s really won yet and they have also hinted at one or two mysteries that haven’t been touched on yet and from what I understand the manga still has some stuff that hasn’t been animated yet, so there is room to keep going. I’d watch this again, heck I’d likely even buy DVDs if this show is ever licensed in the US.
Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise (movie) Good
This movie was not really what I expected but it turned out to be pretty good. It has a good story to tell and some enjoyable characters to do it with. I thought there were a few choppy moments, a couple of continuity issues that irritated me a bit, but it was able to recover, continue, and end its story well. Actually, at first the ending sort of caught me by surprise, not because of a major turning point or plot twist or anything of the sort, but more that it came suddenly. It was like I was expecting more that didn't come, but at a second glance I sort of liked the way it did it. I may watch this one again to see if I missed anything.
Rozen Maiden (TV) Decent
This isn’t a bad series by any means. It has some problems but generally it is pretty darned entertaining. The plot is good when it is centered on the household and the dolls running amuck or just some random bit of fun. My favorite episodes where, the one with the big fight they were having over the strawberry cake and the one where they were doing Snow White. What is probably supposed to be the main storyline, the dolls and their purpose, is sort of flat and uninteresting. The fights especially don’t add anything positive to the story. I don’t mind that the dolls have to get rid of each other in the “Alice games” that can be done right, but these boring battles just don’t cut it. There was only one exciting moment that came from any of that and that doesn’t happen until the last episode, so all the fighting until that 20 second instance is pretty worthless. I really don’t know how it could have been done better, but this was not good. However aside from this the story is fun and interesting enough to watch despite it. The characters are also pretty neat, not the best and not the best character designs, unless you like chibi loli dolls, but regardless, interesting and fun enough to keep one watching. Well except maybe Jun, it is always hard to relate to a character when you agree with all the bad things background characters say about him. He needed to be a bit stronger or at least have a better reason for his current state, but he gets abused a lot so it almost works out. Oh, and the music really stands out in this show, I like all the different beats and background music went well with the scenes. This show is not something that will really blow away expectations, but it’s definitely not bad and mostly fun.
Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre (special) Very good
This was a really great special. It is interesting that with Rozen Maiden I enjoy it more and more with each new part. Just as I find that Träumend has a lot that was lacking in the original story as far as story development, Ouvertüre adds even more as far as intrigue and character development. I love the way this short in between story plays out, giving us that added level of depth and importance that gives the entire Rozen Maiden franchise much needed background. And best of all it is interesting. My full attention was given, watching Suigintou’s struggles early on was a highpoint for me, seeing as she is one of, if not, my favorite character in Rozen Maiden and I have always thought she had more depth as a character than any of the leads, maybe it is just the amazing voice acting, but she always seems deeper, like there is really a story there that had not been told, and now here it is. If I re-watch any part of Rozen Maiden again in the future I know I’ll want to keep this special high on the list.
Rozen Maiden: Träumend (TV) Good
Ok, this was a better attempt than the first series. By focusing more on the actual lives of the dolls they made every aspect of the story interesting, including the Alice game plot. The entire story is good, it can get amusing and silly like the first season, but when it switches gears there is actually an air of suspense and intrigue that was lacking in season one. And I think that a lot of it was helped by the Ouvertüre special, which adds some much needed depth. A hint for all future watchers is, watch both Ouvertüre episodes after episode 9 of Träumend. Aside from the better story, while I still think the dolls are fun, character development did soar in both this series and the special. You can actually see a sense of importance and motive behind the characters that makes it easier to get lost in the story. However Jun is still too weak of a character to care much about and he doesn’t get abused as much in this series so he tends to be more annoying than interesting. The animation again was nice, I still would have preferred a bit better character designs but aside from that all the art work was nice. And I don’t know if they had anyone differently designing the battles but these were also much improved over the dull sequences found in the first series. And the music again was really fun and carried each scene nicely no matter if it was one of those fast paced battles or a silly moment with Kanaria. While the ending is a bit lacking, this was much more enjoyable overall than the first series and I would probably buy this one before the first season if licensed.
Rumbling Hearts (TV) Excellent
This was yet another surprising show for me. I had various thoughts on each of the characters and even though the series was short I progressed along with them. I learned to love characters I hated at first and I grew to dislike characters that I liked at the beginning. Quite the emotional rollercoaster ride. Even though the pacing seems a bit off at some points it does not really distract from the story much. This is a terrific romantic drama. It is one of those series that proves anime does not need martial arts, mecha, and magic to be great.
Rumiko Takahashi Anthology (TV) Excellent
I love all the different stories in this set with all the different characters. Everything from everyday life to the supernatural to unexpected occurrences, this series has it all. Also, considering they are all single episodes, it never felt like I was watching an underdeveloped story or character. Each story has its own unique and well crafter plot with its lovable and interesting characters, which is to be expected from something based on Rumiko Takahashi's work. I also love the occasional cameo a character from one story will do in one of the others, it's fun to pick these scenes out. And they might be a bit cheesy but I love the openning and ending themes, they just fit incredibly well with this mish mash of a series. And since all of the episodes are independent of each other I can always watch one here and there at random. Overall it is just incredibly entertaining and fun.
Rurouni Kenshin (TV) Masterpiece
This is my one of my favorite series mainly because Kenshin is, well, Kenshin. One of the wisest figures I have ever seen in anime and how incredible is that, considering he seems so young. A master with his reverse blade sword, but more honest and human than anyone can really be, even in real life. I love his adventures and although I'm sad there were no more, I'm always happy to revisit with Kenshin when I have time. Overall, the stories mostly well written, the characters are all well developed, even the villains, and the action is terrific. The last saga 'Tales From the Meiji' is not really great, but the first two, especially the 'Legend of Kyoto,' are enough to earn this spot. That second arc is where this show really shines. The unfolding plot as Kenshin moves closer and closer to his goal. The intensity of each passing sequence as it gets closer to the climax. The action that I can not take my eyes away from no matter how many times I watch it. The drama that stands above everything. The ‘Legend of Kyoto’ really lifts Rurouni Kenshin to near legendary status and it is also the main reason I really can’t watch this show enough.
Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (OAV) Excellent
So I had this experiment, a friend challenged me to read the Ruroken manga because I was still insistent that this OAV was better than the first and my favorite of the series and he insists it sucks ass and no one should watch it. So I read the manga and then re-watched the OAVs. First of all I think the closing arc of the manga, the Jinshu arc, is pretty darned good. However I do think that it takes some contrivances that don’t quite live up to the best Kenshin story the Kyoto arc. That being said it wasn’t necessarily better than the reflection OAV. My reasoning is that this OAV is not supposed to be the animation of the Jinshu arc, which is where many people’s qualms tend to begin. This is a sort of alternate telling primarily from Kaoru’s point of view. It’s sort of like a flashback story, again, not a direct telling of the manga. And since it has already established itself as its own story it takes liberties which are done quite well. Standing alone I think this is a solid story, a true romantic drama, with a lot of bumps and turns. It was also nice to catch glimpses from regular characters form the series at a different age. But the most important part was the love of Kaoru and Kenshin, and how they fought to keep what was almost an impossible promise. I got emotional so many times while watching this that I had to keep pausing it before I continued; a truly amazing story. Unlike the TV series which I still consider a masterpiece as the Kyoto arc in particular was told brilliantly and surprisingly better than the mange, and again, while I still don’t think that Reflection loses to the Jinshu arc of the manga, reading the manga and finding the flaws in that story also helped me to see the flaws in this one, and so I do bump this slightly down in my rating from ‘Masterpiece’ to still very much ‘Excellent.’
Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture Good
More of the same from the TV series, another adventure to see Kenshin and company in is not necessarily a bad thing.
Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (OAV) Masterpiece
The first Kenshin OVA set after what many labelled a very dissapointing ending to the series. I am sure that everyone who first braved to see this OVA was greatly surpised by how wonderful and deep the story was. It never had the running comedic moments that the series had but it was a brilliant way to reintroduce the character Kenshin Himura as he braved his first steps into what would end up being a life of a legend, despite being a lost child who is clumsy in love. Incredibly powerful and emotional, I can see why it ranks near the top of a lot of people's favorites lists.
Saber Marionette J (TV) Very good
This is probably as shounen as shounen gets; adventure, action, sci-fi, space, fighting, giant robots, harem, fanservice... it’s pretty much all there. But there is another side to this series too which made it very worthwhile to me. It is incredibly entertaining, fun, and charming in a way, and this outweighs all the shounen stuff. The stories are not incredibly original but they are woven together with these characters to make something that is enjoyable to sit through. Also the comedy us not overdone, it has a lot of random humor everywhere but it sits well with the series. There are also some really nice and touching episodes near the end along with some good suspense in the final arc which definitely adds to the overall charm. The characters are one and two-dimensional on the surface only; they are actually pretty well developed and will show a new side when it is least expected. But again, the more important thing is how fun they are, the marionettes and Otaru are all very likable and it adds to the pleasure of watching this show. The voice cast overall did an excellent job with these simple characters and lines and I think this is probably what adds so much to the characters’ personalities. I’m very glad I picked up this series.
Saber Marionette J Again (OAV) Good
SM-J Again is actually a very nice addition to the series. It tells a story that happens after the series without contradicting anything important and it still keeps that fun and charming quality. The story in itself is actually pretty smartly done with this tale about the mysterious marionette that also has an otome kairo (maiden circuit). Overall it doesn’t have the versatility of the series but with only 6 episodes to work with it would be difficult to manage, but it still goes from funny to action to suspenseful without ever losing the pace of the story arc. There is also some really nice CGI artwork, especially for the year it was made in, but sometimes it’s a bit distracting as it doesn’t always blend well with the rest of the animation. However there really is not a lot to complain about in this entertaining and fun OVA series.
Saber Marionette J to X (TV) Good
This was a harder series to follow than the SM - J or SM - J Again. I think the reason is that it might be too long at 26 episodes, it may have done better at about 13 or 14. The reason for this is that it had some episodes that were a bit too random and broke up the pacing early on. There were also some rather frustrating episodes near the end that could have been more effective summed up in fewer shows; this made it lose a bit of that charm that was abundant in the first series. Still overall once I got to the fianl climactic episodes it was well worth watching through some of the muck. The ending was unexpected and so it kind of made up for the earlier problems. As a whole the series was interesting and entertaining; though not as fun as the previous parts it certainly added a level of intrigue and explored some new themes, epecially in the final epsiodes, that really made it worth watching.
Saber Marionette R (OAV) Excellent
I saw this after watching SM – J, Again, and SM – J to X, and I ‘m not sure if it is necessarily a bad thing. Firstly this is a story that merely takes place on the same planet in the same universe, it does not have any connection to the other series, despite that the marionettes have the same names. Now, while the story was made before any of the others, it surpasses them in quality in almost every aspect, despite being just 3 episodes. The story is not as comedic or versatile but it is fun and also wonderfully smart, suspenseful, and even dramatic; in certain respects it has a certain edge that the other series do not match. The characters are also more impressive here, they are not as over the top as the SM – J characters. They are more down to earth but not remotely boring and still incredibly likable. And the action sequences are just top notch, especially the fighting scenes in the last episode, just great visuals all the way around. Even the animation was better which is rare for a series that is the predecessor. This was just a great show to watch overall.
Sailor Moon (TV) Good
I liked this series. I don't exactly know anything about when the series was produced but it looks like it was taken in some different directions before the ending. It started out silly, but fun, and it did keep a lot of this as the story developed, but it also seemed like the story was recreated at some point. The story took on some new aspects that were interesting and made it a bit stronger. It still had some flaws and inconsistencies but the series was still better for those changes, although there was a bit of jam up near then end. When the series entered its final arc it was sort of brisk and plotted rather dully; the last three episodes were a bit of a mess, but at least the last few minutes were done fairly well and helped leave the story open for more chapters. The characters were all likable and very fun, I think this is another thing that helped my enjoyment and I honestly want to see the rest of the franchise because of how much I enjoyed them. I really love Usagi/Sailor Moon, I love the clumsy, dumb, unladylike qualities about her, which also make here different from any other lead in a magical girl series, and I also like her good natured-ness which because of her personality doesn't come off as pretentious. Still I think my favorite Sailor Senshi is Minako/Sailor Venus, something about her grace and also that well rounded personality about her is really nice. And really, all the Senshi are not typical, because they are so multi-dimensional, they really make me want to see more of their stories and honestly root for them. The series is a bit too long to warrant a complete re-watch, and it honestly would have probably been better at about 26 episodes, but I know I will re-watch some of my favorite episodes again sometime.
Sailor Moon R (TV) Decent
Ok this show was still pretty good. There were some things that it did better than the first series, but the places where it broke down a bit hurt it more than season 1. As far as storyline it maintained a pretty good grip by spacing out three separate arcs that still managed to tie in together. In the original series, the story jumped around all over the place and the finale just seemed to jump out of nowhere so this was good. The first arch was pretty decent, but it could have been much better. They had a great set up from the season 1 ending and yet they rushed the initial reintroductions where they could have taken their time and really made it look both precious to keep their lives as normal girls and that would have made it look even more important for them to return. I liked the villains I liked the story, but it was way too rushed. The Second arc was ok, not good but not bad. And the last arc was way too long, seemed like it dragged, and once again felt like the writers did not know how to make a decent climax. Still the characters kept it fun and interesting enough to follow. Didn’t like the new transformations and powers, but did like the little bit of additional character development for each. Chibi-Usa is cute but her role could have been cut a bit more, this show is sugary sweet enough sometimes without the cute grade-schooler. But like I said, overall still pretty fun and the characters are still likable enough form me to want to watch the next series.
Sailor Moon R: The Movie So-so
I don’t know. There are some good spots but the movie just doesn’t do anything really special. The story wasn’t incredibly interesting and just followed a lot of the same formulas as some parts of the series, and I still didn’t find that the franchise can handle a climax properly. But all the characters are here and there are some touching moments between them so this alone made it watchable. Still some things seemed like they just happened for no reason and the pacing was a bit off. I don’t think I’ll be seeing this one again.
Sailor Moon S (TV) Very good
This is definitely my favorite Sailor Moon so far. This series not only had the best story thus far, but it also told it really well; very few continuity issues and the pacing was almost entirely spot on. You can see everything unfold and how each part leads to the next moment and I really got into the build up of the entire story. It was both fun and silly and yet could turn dramatic and exciting in a very nice manner, and the climax was actually done superbly well, which is where the first 2 series were really lacking. I would have rated it much higher except for a few minor annoyances, more sailor senshi meant more transformation sequences, and near the end we not only get longer attack sequences from Sailor Moon but also double transformations. As good as the high points and climaxes were in this story I hated to have it all paused while we waited for Sailor moon to transform then attack then transform again and then attack again; they could have definitely cut some of this down, but other than that the story was completely engaging. The characters were all still fun, lost a few of the original sailor senshi a few times near the end when the action followed mostly Moon, Neptune, and Uranus, but it still brought back the importance of the group at the end. Even Chibi-Usa was much better presented and blended into the group, didn’t annoy as much as in the second series. Also, those new senshi, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto, were also very interesting, if not as likable as the originals, and that also made for a good change of pace. I even liked a lot of the villains in this series, whether for strong villainy or for those occasional silly moments that helped add some fun to parts that could have turned dry. I would definitely go back and watch the entire series again if I had a chance.
Sailor Moon S Movie: Hearts in Ice Good
This movie was actually very enjoyable. It follows a lot of the formula as the Sailor Moon R movie, unknown enemy from space and whatnot, but it was a lot better done. There was a good plot to it, with a nice subplot with Luna (it was nice to see more of Luna, the oft forgotten character. There were just some very interesting moments here and there and it kept it fun and still exciting like the S series. It doesn’t really have a place in the series anywhere but it stands well on its own; a good watch for any fan of Sailor Moon.
Sailor Moon Sailor Stars (TV) Very good
Alright, before anything I want to say this was definitely my favorite Sailor Moon series. It started it with possibly the best arc of the entire franchise, even if only 6 episodes long, and even though the story starts to follow SM formula again directly afterwards things still remained a bit fresher than it did before, especially compared to SuperS. I think that introduction of the Stars and the absence of Tuxedo Kamen probably had something to do with it. However formula alone would not have made this series great. As the plot progresses, it just finds a terrific mix of humor, drama, suspense, and action that just allow the story to build to its eventual climax. And the climax in the final arc was fabulous, everything that I complained about with the first two series was non existent here; as the franchise came to a close it showed everything it had. This series also had pretty good handling of the characters, except again, Moon’s original partners who sometimes got lost in the mix, which really wasn’t the best thing since I really wanted to see all 5 shine and grow together. Still the new characters were interesting and still kept the plot entertaining. I really enjoyed some of the minor villains here, Sailor Iron Mouse and Sailor Aluminum Siren in particular really added to the overall enjoyment of the early arcs; I cracked up each time Iron Mouse got annoyed at how Moon’s speeches just dragged on and on as I often felt the same way. Overall I really enjoyed this ending to the franchise, and I enjoyed the franchise as whole too; I’m not sure if I would ever take another month to watch it all again, but I definitely don’t feel that I have wasted my time.
Sailor Moon SuperS (TV) Decent
This was a journey just in watching, and a test in patience. After the wonderful series that was Sailor Moon S, and the way it had progressed from the first series to then, I had an expectation that the show as a whole had finally found direction and would really show me something now. Yeah, that wasn’t quite the case. Anything that was set up at the end of S seemed to be completely forgotten. At the beginning the show had absolutely no focus. The story was not interesting and the characters were just mulling around, and things just happened out of no where apparently. Then we had this emergence of Chibi-Usa, not the smartest of moves, and with a second shot at the runway introducing Pegasus and it started to crawl forward. The story was still in a bit of a flux and I was about to give up on the series. After about 18 or so episodes, the series finally found a focus and started to become interesting again, unfortunately half the series had already passed by. But at about this point or a bit later, we finally get some progressions with the characters, both Senshi and Villains, although they do change henchmen just when the Amazon trio was starting to become really interesting, and the series sailed much easier the rest of the way and even had an interesting climax and nice final episode. Along the way though the problem remained that Chibi-Usa was suddenly a principal character, which the character is not nearly strong enough for, and with that there was suddenly double transformations and an incredibly long extra ridiculous attack that was quite irritating; I mean I know I have to have patience for these types of things in magical girl series but this one is horrible. Though the other four Senshi finally did get some new moves that looked cool at least after being left so far behind with Neptune and Uranus in the previous series. It had its bad and it had some good, and it gets a decent for the strong second half.
Sailor Moon SuperS (special) Decent
This was a fun little special, well mostly. The first part was a neat little clip show of the series to this point, and I got to see my favorite Sailor Moon transformation again, the first one. Though they rushed it a bit after showing highlights of the first series they really fasforwarded through two and three. Then a weird little part with Uranus and Neptune, which kind of came out of no where and without reason. And of course a battle at the end, just so we can see that ultra-long ridiculous Moon/Chibi Moon double attack. Ok, I said it was mostly fun not all of it.
Sailor Moon SuperS Movie: Black Dream Hole Very good
This was good. Surprisingly the best Sailor Moon movie followed what I thought was the worst series. The story was intriguing and best of all told well. From beginning to end the plot was handled well and never stumbled through; even the Moon Gorgeous Meditation attack was kept mercifully short. The movie didn’t actually tie into the series at all but it was still surprising to see how well it was done. The characters were even more pleasant and lively than during SuperS. Although Chibi-Usa was still a principle character this movie showed the right way to do it. The story here was a great set up for a child character; it even felt like a fairytale at some points. I really enjoyed this fun movie and I won’t be surprised if I do sit down to watch it again sometime.
Sailor Moon SuperS Plus - Ami's First Love (special) Good
This special confirms my suspicions that even though all of the characters act crazy at some point or other the truly insane one is sweet quite studious Ami. This is a fun little story with Ami and her obsession with her studies. Ami really deserves her own special even if it is pretty silly; she plays the quiet on so often ends up lost in the mix. It was also nice to see her pick up a new attack, that harp rhapsody thing was kind of cheesy compared to the other girls attacks. Not really much to this story but it was fun to watch and easy to re-watch at only 15 minutes.
Samurai 7 (TV) Very good
Not nearly as enjoyable as Akira Kurosawa’s original Seven Samurai, but still a very worthwhile series. I wasn’t annoyed by the differences in the plot or the liberties the series takes with the story but the do tend to drag the story down. This series had a chance to be almost as much a masterpiece as the film it’s based on but I think some of the turns in the story are what hinder it. And I know that they couldn’t just make an exact duplicate animated version of the film, but the story in the film is incredible without having to have an epic or higher purpose, and I think that simplicity is part of the charm that makes it so wonderful; just seven samurai working to save one village from bandits. I didn’t need care for all the mecha and futuristic tale that included a plot by an emperor to take over the world. To me this just makes the whole thing a tiny bit cheesy and par for the course for a Gonzo work. And I did enjoy the characters both the ones based on the originals and the new ones, but again I didn’t enjoy the generic character designs which were poor even for Gonzo. I think if they took so many resources to make those giant aerial battles and incredibly detailed mecha they could have at least done a bit more with the characters who are the main focal point of the story. However despite what I see as flaws Samurai 7 is still an enjoyable tale, and the changes in story are not bad just not as good as the original, but I still really enjoyed watching this show.
Samurai Champloo (TV) Masterpiece
This is another wonderful saga set in early Japan with a twist; beatboxing and breakdancing Samurai and food eating contests, it’s insane but fabulous. I don't think I have ever smiled so much while watching such a violent series, but that is just how versatile this one is. The journey is an amazing trip through Japanese history with momentary stop offs at the bizarre and absurd. This was just an incredibly well written, or a better word would be ‘crafted,’ series that just tells a story and it does it in unique and brilliant ways. The characters, especially the leads, are also incredibly well developed, outstanding, and fun to watch. The character designs as well as the portrayals are truly amazing in this series. I think this show is just incredible every which way.
Samurai Harem (TV) So-so
Boy what a wasted concept. A modern day samurai who knows nothing of the real world gets thrown into a harem situation with a lot of attractive girls around; I mean the possibilities were there. This could have been an all out comedy or it could have even gone into a decent dramatic situation and the possibilities for action could have been pretty much endless as well. The story in any direction could have pretty much written itself. Unfortunately the story and characters were instead made incredibly generic to the point that that good concept became uninteresting by association. It didn't even need to be completely original but the depths how generic this story played out was too much for it to be entertaining. It had a few moments where I laughed or the story actually caught my attention but these scenes were the exception. Overall it really wasn't a complete waste of time but I can not say I'd ever watch it again.
Sands of Destruction (TV) Good
My opinion of this show actually varied a few times throughout. It started out a bit shaky, especially the plot, but as it begins to tie down it is easier to enjoy the show as a few clues start to unravel and things are revealed. Leave it to production IG to turn a show that could have really sucked and turned it into something interesting and more importantly entertaining to watch. Now I’m not saying the show is going to be known as an all time great, because the initial shaky premise and what the plot really boils down to cannot be completely veiled by good storytelling, but it is enjoyable. I ended up really enjoying the characters despite myself. There is not a lot going on behind them, but they come out true to themselves and that just makes them really likeable. Toppi being a teddy bear is always going to stick out like a sore thumb and was probably the only thing in the show that I really found stupid, but even his role is interesting and adds to the story. I can’t say anyone would really be amazed by this show, and if they are they have incredibly low standards, but I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone enjoyed this show because I sure did and I’d probably even watch it again.
Sasameki Koto (TV) Decent
While watching this show I couldn’t help but feel that it would all just be a big tease. Nothing would happen and the experience would leave me feeling a bit empty. At the end of the final episode it confirmed everything that I had thought. This show is a tease. And while a lot of series, particularly slice of life shows and this show does not qualify as such, can be very beautiful in just showing a series of cut out events, a show like this needs some payoffs to actually be good. Not to say it was really bad either; even though I knew it would end in that fashion I still watched every episode and was entertained mostly and sometimes I was able to laugh honestly at the humor. The series does have a certain way of storytelling that leaves an impression; it just needed something to actually happen, for better or worse, to really give it substance. The characters were really enjoyable too, which makes it all a tad more frustrating but I suppose there is also a sense that the story is still going on and maybe another future sequel can finally bring about that much needed occurrence. Because of that I’ll look forward to that sequel if it comes.
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (TV) Excellent
This is just a weirdly fun show. I'm always up for a good comedy and while this one is not exactly the style I normally watch (aside from all the randomness the humor is... well.. on a different level) it sure has gotten my attention. I even found the weird prolonged gags humorous. I also like the invented/assumed/imagined problems that the characters have to face/ignore/deal with, and the zany round about way it goes about actually managing to somehow/sort of end each episode. I think overall the greatest strength of this show is just the incredible sense of timing. Even when I found myself rolling my eyes at another episode devoted to a pretty mundane topic it managed to entertain and make me laugh despite myself. I seriously hope this show gets licensed here at some point and I'm definitely down for a look at a second season.
School Rumble (TV) Very good
I don’t know how I missed this show until now but I’m glad I finally found a chance to watch it. What it is is my favorite type of series; random comedy and romance. It is not always off the wall and so zany that it is hard to keep up but it is chock full of refreshing gags and very inventive side tracks all lead to some incredibly funny spots. You even have to keep an eye on the opening theme and animation. Sometimes it’ll misfire and you end up with a mini episode before the show even starts, and in one episode the opening theme didn’t even play until the end. The ending is less elusive although there are occasionally mini-episodes after so you have to be careful when using the skip button. The characters are all very much fun and likable. Tenma and all the girls are actually more than just typical two-dimensional characters usually found in this type of show. They show many sides including some vulnerable sides that really help keep the romantic part of the show nice and subtle. The male characters are less developed to a degree except for Harima. I never thought I would root so much or feel so much for a delinquent but Harima just goes through a bit too much at times. The poor guy really does deserve a break but it doesn’t mean he’ll get it. And the stories are all fun to watch. I like how there are occasional tense, romantic, and endearing moments among the characters but it never takes a step far enough to be really good in this department. Overall the show is fun to watch regardless of what is happening and I’ll definitely be watching this again. On to the sequel!
School Rumble Sangakki (OAV) Good
Confused yet? Yeah, there are actually a couple things that led to the walking festival that is going on in episode 1. Actually there are quite a few big things that happen during the walking fest, but we just jumped into the tail end and probably one of the biggest School Rumble moments in the next episode. This first episode is surprisingly close to the end of the manga and the last episode jumps almost as much as the manga did in the closing chapters right to the end. So for all those who are not manga readers, you won’t get all the good stuff which was presumably supposed to be in episodes 1-24 of San Gakki, but in exchange you get to feel just as frustrated as us manga readers are with the ‘turn around and resolve nothing’ ending. School Rumble really is a wild ride and this OAV is a good representation of that. Too bad it is too short and in too big a hurry to really show everything that goes on during these moments because reading it was pretty intense, even if the ending comes up sort of lame. But for any SR fans just seeing the characters is fun enough which is why I can’t say that the OAV is in any way bad. It might be short but it makes you want to know and see more.
School Rumble: 2nd Semester (TV) Very good
This series starts out a bit flat. There are still occasional moments that are pretty priceless but not really as good as the first season balances things out. There is a moment when things are actually looking pretty interesting from episode to episode and at the climax of that short arc we are then given two pretty ridiculous episodes that don’t fit anywhere. And they do add some scenes throughout at certain points that tend to kill whatever mood is currently set up be it serious, comedic, or romantic. Yes this is supposed to be random comedy but there’s a difference between random and ridiculous; we did not need an entire episode dedicated to magical Mai or Hanai's journey into some weird tribe. However those nice moments in between and throughout are enough to keep watching and the show starts to hit a good pace near the end which adds some incredibly interesting moments. However character development is lacking a bit at times. Harima of course has to try three times as hard as anyone being a delinquent and with all that he goes through it is expected that we see different sides from him. Too bad even he gets lost in those ridiculous scenes and episodes. Well I should be fair, Eri, Yakumo, and Mikoto have a lot of growth as well. Interesting that it is mostly the female characters that have a lot to do with Harima. Tenma though is starting to get a bit annoying in how stale her character is. Never changing and never progressing. How sad for poor Harima that he cannot see beyond her to where he could end up with one of the two best girls, Yakumo or Eri. There are also new characters or characters that take on larger roles but none of them, except maybe Ichijou, really add anything interesting. The comedy, as I mentioned, gets ridiculous at times but otherwise, when it hits its stride, it is still very funny. Overall the show earns a “very good” from me based on the good which outweighs the bad. There are a couple episodes I won’t ever want to watch again but it is interesting enough where I would watch most of it again sometime; probably when the R1 DVDs come out. The ending is pretty much a false ending anticipating more or another sequel, but it doesn’t look like it is actually going to happen, however I’m vested enough in what happens to Harima and the others I mentioned (I’ll probably be disappointed) to want to know what happens next so I’ll be picking up the manga soon as well.
School Rumble: Extra Class (OAV) Good
This is a nice little OAV. Both the episodes provide some funny moments and weird scenarios on their own so as to tell at least a partial story and it is also neat that they fill in a few blanks for certain scenes in the series. There is not a lot of room for anything real but there is some interesting moments in the second one between Harima and Yakumo. Nothing big happens of course, that would end the show, but it was nice to see that some of my thoughts about the two somewhat confirmed. Also, don’t skip the ending animation on the second episode as it is a pretty nifty reversal on the usual ending from the series.
Scrapped Princess (TV) Very good
This is a very intelligent fantasy story that also has some surprising yet intereting sci-fi moments. I liked the main characters and even some of the smaller roles, they were all well developed and so were the plots. Very creative and really lets you get lost in this interesting world, of course if you have seen it you may not actually want to be a part of this particular world. Overall I enjoyed watching this, it gave me plenty of laughs and a few really surprising tears. The ending was also well done and I guess you could say that this series was just overall surprising for me.
Serial Experiments Lain (TV) Very good
I’ve seen anime that try to be artistic, and some that try to be psychological, and then again those that try to be philosophical. Usually when I see an anime like that I think how pretentious it is to just expect people to buy that crap with no real substance, and the worst part is a lot of people do buy it. Well, that is one of the primary reasons I have held off from watching Lain. I have heard that it is similar to those shows which I dislike, and how glad I am now to know it’s wrong. Not that it can’t be artistic, psychological, or even philosophical, because it does them all, but it does them well and it uses those elements to support a very intriguing story that could have stood quite well on its own. And the plot is not only interesting but very well put together and you actually don’t have to be an expert at any of the topics to really appreciate it, because at the base the story is what holds everything together and those themes and the visuals are there to simply support the story. I also like that the story can actually work quite well even in long stretches with little to no dialogue, and that the characters themselves are each an extension of the story being told and yet also unique and interesting. Nothing works against each other. The few downfalls are that the story does seem to want to jump to those artistic moments a bit too often and though pretty, don’t always help move the story forward and sometimes slow the pacing down too much. However the end project is one that is methodically well crafted and I won’t mind watching it again, and not just to try and catch what I may have missed.
Sexfriend (OAV) Decent
Another in a line of hentai I've seen with decent story telling. The whole point to this one is still just sex but it is in a semi more believable environment. Just a fun little story about two high schoolers who start a sexual relationship and other sexual encounters. It also shows some interesting thoughts as Takabe ponders just how he really feels about Hayase. Again, not the greatest story but fun enough to watch for those who like some storytelling with their hentai.
Shakugan no Shana (TV) Excellent
This is a wonderful series, I'd like to read the manga sometime to get more background information on some of the ideas and characters, but the anime also stands well on its own. A few minor annoyances in the names of the Flame Haze and Guze no Tomogara, which were for the most part ridiculously long, and if that wasn't enough, someone had to call them by their full name every time they made a screen appearance. Another was that the lead male character Yuuji is a bit underdeveloped for a lead. Still the plot is very interesting and unique. It literally takes you to another world and tells the story incredibly well. Shana is a fantastic character, she's likable but also incredibly interesting and well developed. I really enjoyed this and wouldn't mind seeing another season.
Shakugan no Shana (movie) Very good
This was an interesting bit of cut and paste. It added some things from the first novel that the series never touched on like Yuji being able to see the pulsing of the torches. However it also adapted a few things from the series, and then went out of its way to make characters fit where they didn't appear before, like introducing Margery Daw without Rami the corpse collector. And it did it all without making the whole thing look like a big collection of ill fitting pieces. I also liked the suspense it was able to build up at the climax. It definitely did that much better than the series. It actually used some parts from the novel and made it looked good. I wasn't really expecting the movie to go back and reintroduce some of the things the series left out but it did them very well. I especially liked that Yuji is a lot less useless than in the series. Although I think they could have pretty much left Yoshida out completely. There was really no point in any of her parts at all, none of it got any screen time in the important parts and there was no resolution or even mention of it at the end. It was just space filler. That screen time could have been used instead to build up the real plot more instead of distracting from it and making the early part of the movie drag somewhat. But I did like the movie. The ending made up for the lagging moments at the beginning and the final battle was a lot more exciting than it was in the series or the novel. I'll definitely buy this if/when it comes out in the states.
Shakugan no Shana Second (TV) Decent
This starts out with a couple of interesting episodes, or just more of the same, depending on how you look at it, but then takes a drastic turn and heads straight downhill for the next 9 episodes or so. I sometimes forgot this was Shakugan no Shana and not a show called, “things happen and Kazumi Yoshida gets sad.” She was a bit annoying in the first series but completely in the way in this one. She is not an interesting character and instead of being pushed into the background or as comic relief, like her type of character should be, she gets thrown right in the way slowing down almost every episode that had a chance of being at the very least entertaining during the first half of the series with her complete lack of purpose. A few bright spots in this part of the series are the episodes where Margery tells a story from her past. Once we get past this, starting with the appearance of Pheles, the series starts to move quite a bit better. We get some exciting moments, a bit of drama, and great battles as the plot finally starts going forward. However even here, appearances by Yoshida sometimes threaten to drag the show back into the mud. However enough goes on in the second half that it is often easy to ignore her presence and just enjoy all the good stuff. There was even a decent climax at the end of a big battle and all was good. Although Yoshida almost ruined the ending by appearing again; it’s interesting that in a show where someone’s existence can be completely eliminated I often wish this characters existence can be eradicated from my memory of watching this show. Honestly without Yoshida this show would have earned an excellent rating from me. However her character does exist and for whatever reason is being made a bigger part of this franchise, I just hope they find a way not to make her so utterly useless and boring in a part 3 if it comes. Just when Yuji is finally beginning to become a likable character we get another even more annoying, for being useless, person to muddle up an otherwise good story.
Shakugan no Shana SP: Koi to Onsen no Kōgai Gakushū! (OAV) Decent
As the title suggests this special is just a comedic episode that doesn’t really allow for much insight. And from ‘Onsen’ being in the title, its right to assume there will be some fanservice. Well I guess the series did not include the requisite visit to an onsen so they had to show it somewhere. I don’t know, there isn’t really much more to it than this, really. The series really shines on the terrific action and the concept of the flame haze so without that it’s not very special. It wasn’t horrible or anything; the same lovable characters from the series are all there to make it enjoyable, but you don’t miss any major developments in the story. It is fun though, and it’s not like the writers do a bad job with humor, so for what it is it’s pretty good.
Shakugan no Shana-tan (OAV) Good
Just a short little look at the world of a chibi sized Shana and her adventures in melon pan eating. And of course telling Yuji to shut up. Nothing really special but it is funny and a treat for any Shana fan.
Shakugan no Shana-tan Returns (OAV) Good
Chibi Shana is back but this time parodying scenes from the series, but of course from the perspective of tiny Shana. Nothing phenomenal but it is an additional treat for Shana fans.
She and Her Cat (OAV) Excellent
Truly beautiful, something like a poem. A simple story but with a real meaning that you don't have to try to find hidden in the contect. You can almost watch this pretty little video without the language track or subtitles and still understand and enjoy it. I've always thought that a short work really couldn't do anything extraordinary but this piece proved me wrong. I'm sure to watch it again and again, which will be easy since it is so short. Really nice.
Shuffle! (TV) So-so
This is one of those shows that I should probably rate a bit higher, because if I’m being honest it’s actually pretty good; I’m not saying excellent or not even ‘very good’ but sort of good. The thing is, I’m tired of watching harem style shows or romance stories where the devoted, loving, hard working, and most importantly most deserving person gets dumped and sometimes dumped on by not only the love interest in question, but by the writers; the guys here nearly turn the girl into a monster to try and justify why she wasn’t ‘worthy.’ So I really just didn’t like how the story went.

If you are reading this you might be thinking I just spoiled the story, but apparently the types of shows where the devoted long time friend actually gets the guy or girl are not popular, which is why most creators shy, or in most cases fly like a bat out of hell, away from telling them, so I suppose for the majority or popular rule I haven’t given anything important away. There are still plenty of flashy girls who came out of no where and have really done nothing, despite what the shaky logic in the writing might try to make you believe, to be the one but one of them gets chosen anyway so rest assured I have only spoiled that this show does not go against what is popular.

So that out of the way… The show starts off as typical as harem could get. I guess you can say that the twist is in the god and devil stuff, but since that part is never emphasized or properly explained then it doesn’t really matter much. It starts to change a bit and there are some actually good moments but with all that went on, which also brought on my rant to open these comments, by the end I didn’t really care one way or another what happened. This is sad because since I made myself finish it, having bought the series, I could tell that some of the better writing in the show went into the last few episodes; predictable but still better (well, except the closing scenes after the climax, that was just dumb). I’d say, "what a waste," but I suppose since my views lean towards the unpopular side, there are probably a lot of harem style fans out there who probably like this a lot. I won’t watch this show again.

Sky Girls (OAV) Decent
Let’s see the Earth is being wiped out by worms, almost all of the fighting age men have been destroyed, so the only ones left to fight are cute prepubescent girls. Wouldn’t you first try to find adult girls or at the very least late teens? That aside they have to fight in open hatch mecha, and wear swim suits in order to use those mecha. In their off time they wear bikinis that can hardly cover anything and yet get embarrassed when they have to wear the far less skimpy full piece swim suits to pilot the mecha. This show is a large contradiction when it comes to anything story related or character related. This is merely another short OAV with some sort of fetish involved and simply an excuse for fanservice. You don’t believe me? Compare the girls’ character designs to any of them men. All them men are extremely ugly and very generically drawn to where it’s a wonder their mouths even flap when they are talking, and the girls are very cute and dainty and animated very well. The thing gets a decent from me for attempting to have a story and surprisingly cool action scenes.
Sola (TV) Very good
This series starts off very cliché–ish for it’s genre and if you’ve seen these types of shows as regularly as I do you may roll your eyes for a moment or you may think to yourself that it’s just gonna be another one of those. However after seeing the last few minutes and the bit of a twist you’ll probably stop as I did and decide to continue and see where the heck this show is going. And yes there are those utterly predictable moments and more clichés, but it also does a really neat job of telling its own story. The characters which also seem almost carbon copies of characters of those that appear in other series will also surprise at times as the story hits its twists and turns. It also has some surprisingly good bits of action that came out of nowhere; not a lot but enough to give it yet another layer. Now I’m not saying the series is the greatest ever, but it is very good and even has a pretty good ending to close it all up. I certainly enjoyed the series and I’ll definitely put it in my re-watch pile.
Someday's Dreamers (TV) Good
I’m a sucker for these ‘slice of life’ type shows so I’ll go out of my way to watch them when I can. Someday’s Dreamer is not nearly the best in one I’ve seen, but it isn’t nearly the worst either. In much fewer words: it is average. And it is odd that it is so. All the characters are actually very likeable and the theme, though not original, is pretty good too. I think that what kept this show from being more than what it is is that it tries too hard to keep the story ordinary. And I know that the concept is usually to keep the events ordinary even if some of the themes are about something extra-ordinary, in this case magic, but this show is just too ordinary. And I have seen great anime where nothing extra-ordinary ever happens, so I’m not saying there should have been a great giant climax or a huge twist or anything extravagant, but just something a bit more. However as it is it is still a very watchable show and I’m glad I finally made the time to watch it.
Someday's Dreamers II Sora (TV) Very good
So this is a show based on a manga that was a spin-off of a spin-off of another manga. It’s good. Well that is sort of an understatement. The show has that magic to it that doesn’t have anything to do with the magic in the story but that draws you in to its tale. It’s the type of magic that makes these shows special. It’s hard to explain but it’s the sort of thing that when I sit down to watch an episode those 23 or so minutes disappear because it doesn’t seem I’m in my own time but in the very story itself. I enjoyed the characters and the road paths they walked in that casual pace these series thrive on. The only reasons I don’t rate it a bit higher is because I think the character development is a bit rough and it completely telegraphs what is going to happen in the end. The ending wasn’t bad at all, but it was a shame that you could see it coming. But the complaints are not that big a deal, really, the show stands on its own really well and I can definitely see myself watching it again.
Sora o Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (TV) So-so
This show has a good concept but that’s about all the good. It’s not bad either but it just doesn’t live up to the type of story it is trying to tell. The first few episodes are… well they aren’t very entertaining. It tries to play too much to the human element in a fantasy tale and forgets to be interesting in the process. I could tell what they were going with it, human spirit and all that jazz, but it’s mostly boring to watch. The climax for the first story arc also doesn’t do very well either. It’s more anticlimactic than what it should have been. I’m not saying there should have been a legendary battle between good and evil right at the center part of the tale, but a light bit of drama, or action, or well, anything would have been nice. It doesn’t help the story that the characters are also kind of bland. I didn’t hate any of them but I couldn’t really get behind them either. Their sense of motivation is either non existent or without much sense so it was hard to really care about much that happened to them. Heck there are a few characters that don’t even get introduced but are thrown in the mix just the same.

The second arc actually has a nice set up for a couple of episodes as well as some decent drama and action, but then near the end is where the show decides to also throw any sense of timing out the window for good measure. There was this scene where someone’s about to die and the worlds are collapsing but the heroine decides to indulge the locals a bit and then stop and have a bit of lunch with her friends before deciding to finally get going; that was more than a tad irritating. Because of that when she finally made it I pretty much stopped caring, not that it mattered anyway as the final episode was pretty much full of lame nonsense dialogue which really didn’t follow up on anything the show even tried to build up to there. Or basically the story gave up continuity as well; well that or the creator just didn’t know how to end it. I won’t be watching this again.

Soul Eater (TV) Masterpiece
“Ridiculous but somehow charming,” if I had to describe this show in just a few words that’s what I’d say. The show is mad as a hatter but it has quite a few other surprises as well. Just as Shinigami mentions in the next episode preview at the end of episode 1, "action, gags, surprises," also some fanservice, and a lot of other things he doesn't mention. Things like a plot that could be explained in like a minute or two and yet is still interesting, outrageous characters that sort of fall on one end of the curve or the other, interesting artwork some of which looks like it was designed by a genius and some by an imbecile, all of it wrapped up in a really clumpy and ill formed package. The introductory episodes had me believing all sorts of insane things were to come, and they have. However something that really surprised me is how good the individual episodes are put together. There is a plot hidden behind the veil of madness and is very often a good one. It’s not always about how to fit in the next gag, it could occasionally turn somewhere else; dark, exciting, silly, dramatic, emotional, and many other avenues. Above all, and probably my favorite thing about this show, is that even when the story suddenly gets cheesy or lame it doesn’t even bother me because I am so into it that I even enjoy those moments, heck I even liked the outright stupidity of the Excalibur episodes. When I can find good in the worst moments of a show I know I’ve seen something special and I know I’ll watch this show again sometime; probably as soon as the DVDs start being released.
(The) SoulTaker (TV) So-so
This is a really.. well… maybe I can call it a spectacularly mediocre show. The eventual story is far too simple for all the bangs and whistles that are done with the animation in this show. Even the storytelling is sub par. For all the intrigue and mystery it had the potential to create, because of the lackluster style whenever a turning point or revelation came I found myself not caring enough to be interested. The characters are not at all interesting enough to make up for the lacking in other areas. It starts with the main character. Kyosuke is built up interestingly enough but the motivation behind his character is somehow shallow and doesn’t make me want to root for him as I’d want for the protagonist in a story. Most of the supporting characters are a little glum and the villains don’t have enough intensity. Interestingly my favorite character's, Komugi’s, personality is so out of place in the story, being upbeat and fun, that I really couldn’t enjoy her very much either. Maybe they made the spin off about her because she does stand out just enough in this mess of a story. The only really impressive moments for me were the occasionally exciting action sequences, but either way, I watched the whole show, although it took a long time to do so, simply because I purchased it, and I can’t see myself ever picking it up again.
Spice and Wolf (TV) Excellent
This was a pretty magnificent show. I thought it’d be hard to really make an interesting story placing a plot about trading goods in a fantasy setting but this show does it well. It will probably not be liked by those who don't like slow paced dialogue driven plots but I really loved it. The stories are surprisingly both interesting and believable. Nothing is ever done to turn into a major epic, but because of this the show keeps itself grounded and never out thinks itself. However that is not to say that it doesn't have some good drama because the show naturally develops into these types of moments really well. The ending arc is particularly good in this way. It gives enough action and visuals to make it fitting to be a climax but without trying to outdo itself it keeps the pacing from the series and comes out strong despite not being a true ending. Actually for an ending to a series that still has more to tell later this was done really well. Aside from the pacing and story development, I also really enjoyed the characters. Horo and Lawrence both are introduced and developed well and it makes them easy to watch. I also liked how the story can turn any other character into either ally or foe despite what they may appear when first introduced without making any of it seem convoluted. I suppose there isn't much that I disliked about this show. I'll definitely look for a US release and will probably start the manga as well.
Spirited Away (movie) Masterpiece
This is another brilliant piece of animated movie making. First of all, I rarely harp on animation as it is not something I really care about but when I see something amazing it really gets my attention. Other than Kiki's Delivery Service I actually I had not watched any Hayao Miyazaki films until very recently but I have to say that they are all incredible in the animation work. So why do I mention that here? Because this one, I think, is by far the most eye-catching visually. There is just this feel of magic everywhere you look and you honestly never know what will pop up next. Actually, in my opinion, from the animated movies I have seen, Japanese or otherwise, only Millennium Actress is better, and I think that is saying a lot. But this movie doesn’t live on the animation and artwork alone, the story itself is magical and compelling, and is incredibly well crafted and written, and it makes watching it tremendously fun and exciting. And of course the animation and story make up a great setting for these wonderful and sometimes outlandish characters to live in. On top of everything this movie is incredibly enjoyable, and I can only complain about myself for not watching it much sooner.
Star Blazers (TV) Excellent
This was the first anime series I ever saw and as with many of my favorites I still watch again when I have time. Even though it is a sci-fi space anime this is what I enjoyed as a kid, and why I think I revisit this series so often even today. I like seeing the space battles and still think the Yamato is the coolest space ship ever. One of my fantasies as a young child was being the gunner and getting to fire the wave motion gun. Well I guess that is suitable since this series was more fantasy than sci-fi and probably the reason I like it so much.
Star Blazers: The Bolar Wars (TV) Decent
I don't enjoy this series as much as I do the first two, but it wasn't a complete failure. The action still follows at near the pace of the first two, but I think something that really bothers me is that I saw all of Star Blazers dubbed and they changed the voice cast for this series and the second cast was pretty horrendous. I bought the series so I could have the complete set but i can't say that I'll ever watch the Bolar Wars again. I know that the original Japanese dub is out there some where and I only have the set on VHS, but if I don't think the series has re-watch value, I definitely do not consider it re-buyable.
Star Blazers: The Comet Empire (TV) Very good
More of the same from the first series and it was truly wonderful watching it as a child. All the new ship designs they made for this series, well I remember seeing them for the first time in awe. As a child you can be amazed by any number of things and when you consider when I first saw this Empire Strikes Back had not yet been released, for me this was the ultimate in space sagas.
Star Ocean EX (TV) Bad
I bought this from someone who sold it very cheap, and I didn't know why until I saw it. To this day I still do not know why I watched it all except probably that I was intent on watching it just because I spent money. This series develops like a video game, probably because it is based on one, the biggest problem being that at least in a video game you get the entertainment of actually playing the game. I do not recommend this horrible, horrible anime series.
Stellvia (TV) Good
This show has a very interesting concept behind it. The entire idea of a world that has rebuilt itself over time after a catastrophe and unites in order to avoid a new one just has so much potential behind it. And then again it also has this back story to it where it is also a school life story. And it is done well enough but the story telling and balance are a bit off and it turns what could have potentially been an amazing series into an average one. There is a big difference in levels behind the events happening and how it is told. The characters are interesting enough. The have a moderate amount of development and enough personalities to allow for different perspectives. But again there is a problem with the level some of the main characters themselves. Shima is an interesting character that had the potential of being a really strong female character except in the way she was portrayed. It would have been possible to show here as the same unique character with vulnerabilities that she must overcome without making the main object of her instability her desire to be worthy of boy. I don’t know if I phrased that right but it just makes her a weak character that she wants to better herself for the sake of being closer to the level of Kouta. It would have been worlds better if they were portrayed as equals. Near the finale it changes somewhat but it is the issue of being too little too late. And the other problem with this relationship is Kouta being such an incredibly boring character. I understand they wanted to make him a closed off character but to also hide his motivation from the viewer makes him uninteresting and hard to relate to. Or rather he had me not really caring about him much. Some of the secondary characters where interesting but weren’t developed enough to make them stand out enough. The ending was decent but this is a show where it would have been ok to have a nice epilogue scene or even episode that shows what happened to a lot of those secondary characters. Overall the show was good but my problem with it was the potential for it to be great that never comes about.
Step Up Love Story (OAV) Decent
Pretty simplistic story, but I think that is where it is enjoyable to watch. The characters are just going about their paces exploring their own sexuality and each others. I think it is kind of neat that it is a story pretty much removed from the more usual completely perverted stories out there. The story is also a bit realistic and that's where it sort of keeps you watching. I enjoyed watching characters and situations that didn't always explode into a create your own fantasy. Oddly enough the only situations like that were fantasies or daydreams, which is also realistic. It's not a story that'll really grab hold of you and knock your socks off, but it is nice in its own way.
Strawberry Marshmallow (TV) Good
This is a simple show, the stories are simple, the characters are simple and the style is pretty simplistic. Despite all that the show is incredibly fun and at some points made me laugh out loud despite myself. It just has a really good comedic touch and proves that you can still make clean jokes that are amusing. The characters, though simple in design, are incredibly cute and very likable, which I think is important for a show that doesn’t have a heavy plot, it has to keep your attention with the characters and it does this very well too. I think my favorite is Ana, the English girl who speaks very bad English and has a vast knowledge of Japanese culture and yet wants people to think of her as English; seems like a lot but actually is an incredibly neat character that I couldn’t help but keep watching. I don’t know, it isn’t phenomenal but it is very entertaining, fun, and cute (I said this in the forum but I think it's the best explanation I can give, the show tries hard to be cute but makes up for it by actually being cute).
Strawberry Marshmallow (OAV) Very good
I could almost call this little fluffy OAV series fabulous. I haven’t seen the series in a long time but I think these three episodes truly capture everything that is good about the series; all the cuteness and fun and all the random little things that these girls do. The story is not anything that could ever be called deep or meaningful, but it entertains. You don’t have to think much when watching a show like this, although the few thoughts you do have might make you feel a bit guilty. But when you set these thoughts aside you can go back to just enjoying the cute girls doing cute things and the insanity that is Miu, as she continues to make sure that each day is anything but ordinary. I would definitely watch this again.
Strawberry Marshmallow Encore (OAV) Decent
This wasn’t bad but I just couldn’t really get into it as much as the previous shows. It’s too Miu heavy and she is by far my least favorite character in this show. I just can’t stand rude bratty children and Miu takes brattiness to a level that is just too annoying. I probably should rate this worse actually, but the other characters are all so lovable that it is hard to hate any show they appear in. But still, I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch this again willingly, if anymore shows are to come, I really hope they tone down the most annoying aspect of the show instead of featuring it.
Strike Witches (OAV) So-so
Not really a lot to this show, it looks more like a few random minutes taken from an episode in a longer series. The story isn't really solid, basically it is a post apocalyptic world and the only ones left who can fight are young cute girls. The characters... well, the characters are just an excuse for fanservice. You could say that the girls here are a fetishist dream, you get girls of every type and nationality, you load them with big guns, and when they strap on their flying apparatuses (boots) they sprout animal tails and ears of a variety of species. So basically, if you just want to see short images of cute girls with animal ears and tails holding big guns while flying with their propeller like boots, check it out.
(The) Super Dimension Fortress Macross (TV) Very good
Like many I watched Robotech long before I had any idea of what Macross was. And I did watch a couple of episodes when I did finally learn about the original out of curiosity but I never felt like I really wanted to watch the whole thing. But I have now and I have to say first of all I didn’t know how different the feel of the story would be. The plot itself is not completely different but the few differences are important. For one thing the continuity and consistency is much more constant without the editing. This helps one enjoy the show itself more without trying to figure out why certain things just seem to happen out of nowhere. It also helps the romance part of the story because the characters’ feelings, or what’s behind those feelings, are clearly shown. You can see what drives each character and how they really are so it just makes them easier to like, or in some cases dislike. Well I guess I really shouldn’t turn this into a comparison of the two especially when it has been years since I have seen the Robotech Macross saga, but I suppose that’s where my thoughts are while writing this. Without comparing anything Macross is a really solid show. I enjoyed almost every aspect of it, including the cheesy parts, and I’d be surprised if I didn’t go back and watch it again sometime.
(The) Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (movie) Good
When they make a movie version of an entire anime series they usually call it an "alternate" story or re-telling. In actuality they are usually just hacked and chopped up versions of the series they were spawned from. Because of that they end up really bad because they obviously do not have enough time to seriously re-tell the entire series and end up leaving out a lot of important elements and character development. Knowing all that of course I was hesitant to watch any of the Macross movies for fear of the inevitable. I took a dip on a whim however and was pleasantly surprised that this movie is almost completely none of that and is closer to being a true alternate story. Because of this it wasn’t hard to watch at all and actually very enjoyable at places. They still tried to put a bit too much so it feels rushed at times but for the most part it really is done well. It still wasn’t as good as the series but I was pleasantly surprised to find my favorite character, Misa, still very much herself. As much as I liked it, however, it still doesn’t make me optimistic that movie versions of full long series will ever really be as good as the shows themselves, but this was good.
Suzuka (TV) Good
Suzuka is a pretty decent representative of its genre. It does a few original things that do separate it some but in the end it is nothing really special on its own. The characters aren’t really original either; you can probably find their carbon copies in quite a few other similar works. But they are likeable for the most part. Watching the story unfold around them was not really a waste of time and good for the most part. I usually dislike leaving vague comments, but this anime doesn’t exactly inspire a lot either. There were times when it was exciting, but many where it was predictable, and quite frankly it was good, just nothing special.
Sweet Blue Flowers (TV) Excellent
It may sound cliché but this show was truly delightful. From the first episode I got this warm sense of knowing I was entering the lives of characters who, maybe a bit embarrassed about it but, would welcome me wholeheartedly into their world. The show may never reach a huge dramatic climax or an earth shattering twist, but the more down to earth story it tells in a more realistic way keeps the whole thing grounded, and centered on Fumi and Akira who are some of my favorite characters in a while now. I’m very glad I picked this show up and now I can’t wait to see if someone puts it on DVD for those of us here in the states so I can buy it and enjoy it once again.
Taisho Baseball Girls (TV) Very good
I really have a soft spot for cute, refreshing, and uplifting shows like this; and I enjoyed this one start to finish. This is not a complicated story, but it is interesting enough that the show probably would have worked even without any of its other aspects. However it does offer more than just a story. It also has fun and endearing characters (which just happen to be a group of really cute girls; also an added bonus) that sort of just leap into the viewers heart. Especially as move forward into unknown territory at first and then discover within themselves a determination, which surprises even them, to push much further. Aside from this there is also some drama in the background as these girls must not only deal with that uncharted territory but the repercussions from their existing world and families that are mostly not yet ready to accept their journey. Also, to add a bit more flavor to the mix, we also get glimpses in to some very subtle romances, as some of these girls also experience this delicate side of themselves, and how it comes to be in this very reserved era. This show may never be considered an important work in the realm of anime, but it does have quite a lot of good things going for it that make it both interesting and enjoyable to watch. I’ll definitely have this ready to watch again some time.
Tales of the Street Corner (movie) So-so
Very obvious where the inspiration for this came from; the story is chock full of ideas from Merry Melodies but it does have enough of its own ideas to keep it somewhat original. It's pretty difficult to tell a story without dialogue and watching this can give you an idea of it. Though you can see the story it becomes sort of uninteresting at about the halfway mark. This is probably why the Merry Melodies series kept the episodes to about 10 minutes. At 38 minutes, even if you can see what is actualy going and come to a realization of what just happenned, you actually honestly don't care much at the end.
Tayutama - Kiss on My Deity (TV) Decent
This show was not planned well at all; it had huge problems with continuity, pace, and flow. It starts to fail right at the introductory episode. It tries to set up the story and explain the origins of why this is about to happen, and you can tell it’s going to be important in setting up the story, but it tries to rush through the key points while spending a bit too much time in areas that could have been explained as the story went along and in the end it ended sort of half assed and jumped right into the plot. And the story is sort of interesting, which is what really bugs me abut how this show goes about telling it. It’s like the creator’s didn’t have a set agenda and where just coming up with things as they went.

And as I said, the story is interesting but the comedy isn’t bad either and the romance could have pretty much evolved on its own if everything else was balanced and progressed well but this was the are where the pace and flow break down. The show just couldn’t balance the three major elements in any clear way. And I have seen other shows that handle silly comedy with supernatural themes all with a bit of drama and romance and do it well, but this show looked like it wasn’t even trying for a balance and instead was just settling for having unattended variety.

Nothing really fit appropriately but the forced romantic elements were probably the worst cases. The show didn’t even know what type of romantic story it was trying to produce. You could see a harem style plot being set up, but most of the girls were left out of the plot for long periods of time without explanation. Then you could see it try to shift itself into a love triangle, except it never properly set up such a plot so this was a failure as well. After that it tried to go towards a tragic romance except this sort of came out of nowhere as well so it was hard to figure anything from that.

I know I’m making this show seem horrible but it wasn’t truly horrible. The reason I complain so much is because, as I have mentioned is some of my other comments, what really puts me off about a story more than anything is wasted potential. This is another one of many shows that had a good central concept and if it had developed it well it could have been really good, it just never did. In the end I found the show slightly entertaining and, though I don’t plan on doing so, I would not have a huge problem if I had to watch it again, especially because a lot of the characters are pretty fun to watch. However such a poor effort by the staff does put me off some.

(The) Telepathy Girl Ran (TV) Not really good
I sometimes underestimate a show based on the early episodes but in this case I seriously overestimated it. It turns out that the best thing about this show, by far, is the opening theme song. I think the fact that the show sort of had this child like innocence is what threw me off the most early on. I figured that there wouldn’t be anything severe that happens but at the same time a nice yet interesting story would be told. Instead, I got this utterly predictable formulaic show. Once you get past a couple storylines you can pretty much guess what happens in the following ones. If that weren’t bad enough, most of the bad guys just telegraph what they are doing and yet we are supposed to believe that it is actually difficult to figure out. It gets worse as the villains actually start to get more cheesy as the show progresses and the resolutions go a bit far. By the second time the characters managed to float themselves out of a major disaster I was rolling my eyes sky high and just waiting for the end. I had visions of a show sort of like Denno Coil with the innocence of Cardcaptor Sakura after the first couple of episodes but instead I got Scooby Doo, without the talking dog. The mysteries are lame and the resolutions too often pathetic. The sad part is that when the show sticks to a lighthearted story it isn’t really all that bad. It just fails so miserably as the mystery program that it usually attempts to be. I got to really dislike or disregard most of the characters after a while because of that as well. They may be a happy go lucky group but after a while it sickened me whenever they would merrily go about when they knew someone was in serious danger. Stuff like, “Oh no, she’s gonna die, we should split up and find clues. Everybody, lets play janken to decide how to split up and crack some jokes while we’re at it. Yay! Ha ha ha,” and a lot more stupid actions at critical moments. The characters are often far from responsible. Those good parts are too few and too far in between and dampened too much by the characters’ personalities to say they make this show worthwhile in any way. As for the ending… well let’s just say they leave the lamest for last. I don’t recommend it and I certainly would not watch it again.
Tenjho Tenge (TV) Weak
Horrible contrived plots, main characters that I did not care about, and bad romance, I can shoot this series down all day. The only character I liked in the series was Masataka Takayanagi, and they even turn him into comedy relief near then end, it was enough for me to dislike it even more. I did not really pay attention to the final episodes too much and actually watched the OVAs hoping that the story would redeem itself a bit, and deep down hoping Nagi, Aya, and Maya would all die, I won't say if this happenned as it would be a big spoiler, but sufficed to say the story remains crap.
Tenjho Tenge: The Past Chapter (special) Weak
See entry for Tenjho Tenge (TV)
Tenjho Tenge: Ultimate Fight (OAV) Weak
See entry for Tenjho Tenge (TV)
Tokyo Godfathers (movie) Masterpiece
This is simply wonderful. Everything from beginning to end is fun, entertaining, and just fabulous. If you can call a movie about hobos fabulous that is. But this movie has it all; it starts with the story, finding the abandoned baby and the search to bring it home. And I mean it’s simple enough but when you add that a long the way it masterfully uses some incredible symbolism and unique plot devices to carefully develop this into a story to truly care about is amazing. And character development is incredible as well; slowly allowing you to see these characters, looking at their vulnerabilities and just completely revealing them in doses as they make their way through their plight. It’s simply marvelous, and not just because of that but because they are such fun and unique characters that I couldn’t help but be vested in their story and see where they went next. This is just a wonderful movie all around and another that I will recommend wholeheartedly to anyone, anime lover or not.
Touch (TV) Very good
Well this was quite a treat to watch. I became a Mitsuru Adachi fan after watching Cross Game and after that I immediately began looking for translations for the Cross Game manga. After reading that I was just simply amazed and intrigued by this author that I’d never before thought about. So I read as many of his manga as I could find translated and Touch was one of them. Touch became my fourth favorite overall, but for an Adachi manga that is still very high esteem.

I held off watching the anime because it was not completely fansubbed yet and I wanted to make sure I could watch it all at once. I learned reading the different Adachi’s manga that I would go insane if I did not have the entirety available. And sure enough I finished this in a week because it held me so. The story is typical Adachi, although still rough, it blends fantastic characters with incredible storytelling that keeps you interested, and a storyline that probably has a different meaning to each viewer.

The relations ships between the characters and the way they change as circumstances change often taking the spotlight away from the baseball and yet when it is happening the baseball scenes are incredible as well. Also typical of Adachi is the character designs that probably leave some to be desired. If you have seen Cross Game you might notice it is nearly impossible at times to see the differences between Kou and Tatsuya. However the simple designs are far outweighed by that incredible storytelling.

The only thing that holds back touch from being in the same neighborhood of greatness as the much later work, is that the story itself, though told well, has a few holes. Adachi just left a few too many things to the viewer that needed to be cleared up in the story. The blend between the characters’ actions and their motivations isn’t as uniform either at noticeable moments. Also lastly, while this anime actually is very true to the story, it fails further in the ending. I like Adachi’s ending much better as I know it is done a certain way with a purpose, and the anime creators made some changes for the worse. But it probably ends in a clearer way which may have been a bit more satisfying to some.

Normally when I watch an anime that has any sort of follow up or sequel, if I like it, I’ll also watch the continuations to keep seeing where it goes. I won’t with Touch. The movies or specials made after the show can not nearly compare to the original ending of the manga, or what the author allows his audience. I won’t talk about the ending more for this anime or the manga as I hate to ruin anything, but I will say it borders on stupidity to create an original story to follow an Adachi work. There is just no one in manga today who can create an atmosphere in any way that could at least be comparable.

Triangle Heart: Sweet Songs Forever (OAV) Very good
This was actually a lot better than what I’d expected. Actually I am not sure what I did expect but I do know there was definitely more. There was a very nice story that included drama, comedy, and even some intrigue and suspense. It had a few inconsistencies but it was pieced together rather well. There was some really good action, and a couple fighting scenes that seemed entirely too short, but probably because of how well they were done. The music was really nice, but I guess you can’t cut corners when part of the title says “sweet songs forever.” The characters were very nice and interesting, and even the villains were more than dressing. I think the one problem was the abundance of characters for a four episode OAV did not leave a lot of time to get to know many of them well. I guess overall this show was just surprising and interesting in many ways and I’m glad I had a chance to see it.
Trigun (TV) Excellent
A wonderful series that starts off as a comedy but then slowly lures you into the real heart of the story. I really enjoyed the action, the gunfights are all very well done and both Vash and Woldfwood have some great shoot offs. I think Vash the stampede is a character most people might like, he has his very wacky moments, but it is also very interesting to see him get serious as his past is revealed in small doses. The story moves in this way which just draws you in further with each episode. Overall it was greatly entertaining for me and I enjoy seeing over and over again.
True Blue (OAV) Decent
This is a pretty disturbing rape related hentai. Or maybe it is just disturbing to me. Well then again, I’m not one for rape hentai to begin with. I followed this story to the end to see if it would at least end well with a happy ending for the girl, Aoi, or a severe punishment for the guy assaulting her, Shoda. But as with most of these stories it doesn’t work out that way and it adds insult in watching the girl’s childhood friend, Akito, whom she called out to several times previously for help, be shunned by the girl in favor of her assaulter. The story was actually interesting because of this, which accounts for my sort of high rating, but overall the show sort of left a bad taste in my mouth for having seen it.
True Blue Gaiden (OAV) Not really good
With the follow up episode the show tries to go for some added disturbing scenes. This time a girl who has a crush on Akito, who has already been left to the wayside, has to go through a series of molestations from someone who's blackmailing her before also falling victim to the same sexual predator as Aoi. One tiny small saving grace is the second right before the credits roll as the new girl is also giving herself up. This episode wasn't as well written or told as the first one. It adds something, but doesn't really do anything on its own.
(The) Twelve Kingdoms (TV) Excellent
This starts out a bit slow and tentative but once it gets a running start it starts to show off some amazing storytelling and it’s quite hard to stop watching. This is probably one of the best crafted stories I have ever seen, anime or otherwise. There is just so much to it; intrigue, suspense, action, adventure, politics, and much more is all blended to make these amazing fantasy plots. In fact the only complaint I have with the story is that too much seems to be left unsaid and some chapters, like Sea God of the East, Azure Sea of the West, really look like they were rushed too much. I know it is weird to say about a 45 episode series but it was way too short, this is one of those series that would probably have been perfect at about 70 episodes. And as it is it is still incredible, and A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn was a chapter that would normally have earned the whole thing a masterpiece by itself if it wasn’t for those few but important flaws. They were probably dealing with time constraints and I can understand that but the series needed that room to develop even more beautifully and to complete the stories that leave us in the dark. Despite those flaws though this series is quite exceptional. Characters and character development in particular are outstanding. You really have a look at some of these characters and get to know their strengths and weaknesses and even get to see them as they grow and mature. Actually the whole this is just exceptional overall and I am looking forward to buying my own set sometimes soon so I can watch this again sometime.
Utawarerumono (TV) Good
There are moments when this series is really special, and then there are moments when this series is really lacking, the good however does mostly outweigh the bad. The story is typical shounen style, almost methodical, however there are is enough unique material that it never really seems completely unoriginal. The characters are very much the same, not very original but really fun and likable and with enough of their own quirks to give them there own identity. What makes the story special at times is in the telling, the way it is woven keeps it moving forward and that makes it fun and interesting. But then what makes the story weak at times is that when it sometimes falls into weak traps when it appears to be at a loss for where to go next, particularly at the end. And also that they sometimes try to add to much meaning to things, they show us why something or someone is important and later add a scene that tells another different reason for why that same person or object is important, it was just trying to do too much. I think they often would have been best off knowing that they already had a great story and just told it rather than trying to re-justify it. The action and fights are very cool too, unfortunately the show falls into another trap of re-using footage in fights too much which becomes annoyingly noticeable. However despite the bad the series is mostly excellent and I'll probably check it out again sometime.
Vampire Princess Miyu (OAV) Good
This is pretty good. I can see why they went to remake it, but this also has a couple of strengths that went missing in the TV series. I think this is a bit better told story-wise though the plot still has a few inconsistencies. However though the character development was given a bit more attention here I enjoy the eternal and serious Miyu from the series. This sometimes giggly Miyu just doesn’t seem as interesting. But the story does tell more about her particularly in the final episode which was very well done. Another thing this has over the TV series is that it actually has an even darker and more mysterious overall feel, which the TV did do quite well, but it was better here. Just because of this, despite the character flaws, I think this is a tad better than its successor. Now that I’ve finally had a chance to see them both, I want to watch the TV series again so I can make a better comparison, but from this end the OAV is the better show and I will probably also want to watch this again sometime.
Vampire Princess Miyu (TV) Good
This was a series that was difficult for me to watch. Not because it was horrible but because of how indifferent Miyu seems to be, she is definitely not the type of person I'd want to meet, and not just because she is a vampire. The story was actually well crafted and some of the situations were quite disturbing, I guess the biggest issue is that although in most Horror stories the disturbing parts mostly come from the villains in this show, Miyu herself is very disturbing. Not to say that she is not interesting, in fact all the characters in the story are all intriguing. Still I can't really see myself watching this series again. It took me three viewings just to make up my mind about it and that was more than enough for me.
Vandread (TV) Very good
What a fun show. It is a typical Gonzo show so it is a little bit on the generic side, but just like almost all Gonzo shows it is also entertaining. It showcases a variety of high energy fun characters with personalities on just about every point of the spectrum and sets them all a journey of discovery. And that is where the plot kicks in. This part of the show is interesting on its own but what the characters learn along the way, not just about the mysterious enemy, but about themselves and the way the evolution of the ship and the symbolism behind how the Van and Dreads merger works to emphasis this. Now the show really is not deep as that but it is a very interesting addition to the story. In the end this is really just another fun gonzo show. It had a lot of sci-fi, a lot of silliness, a lot of action, a dash of drama and a hint of romance. And it is just a hint of romance; the show focuses on males and females coming together for the first time in generations of being at war against each other, so it is not surprising the men and women do not know what to do with each other when they have to interact on a daily basis. That might just be something to watch for in the sequel which I’m getting to next. In the end this show reminded me of sci-fi shows that are 10 years or more older than it in the way the story was presented, but it was good enough on its own for me to like it not just for the nostalgia. I honestly enjoyed it and would have no problems watching it again.
Vandread: The Second Stage (TV) Very good
So this ended up being better than I thought it’d be. I enjoyed the first season well enough so it’s not like I had low expectations to begin with, it is just that I was expecting a sort of wishy-washy vanilla ending and it actually did pretty good for itself in the sequel and the ending. It was still silly when it needed to be, but the show also made sure it did change the pace enough so that it would not just look like more of the same with this series. There was a bit more drama and a bit more work done on the development of the plot. It didn’t always flow entirely smoothly but it really had me into it and wanting to see what would develop and what more was to come. And then the climax draws near and there is a great big battle with some nice looking effects (considering the year it was made) and the ending was a bit cheesy, yeah, but it wasn’t vanilla and was pretty good. Overall I ended up having quite a good time watching both Vandread series and I’ll probably watch it all again sometime.
Video Girl Ai (OAV) Very good
I really enjoyed this OAV set. I thought it was a really neat concept and the story really did it justice in the telling. I really loved the characters and the interactions, sometimes these would go from zany to real in a blink and it made it interesting and fun at the same time. I like how they played the romantic feelings of the characters, it made them seem a little more real and easier to relate to. The ending could have been a little cleaner but overall this really was enjoyable and definitely worth watching.
Virgin Night (OAV) Decent
Definitely add this to the list of Hentai undeadben recommends. It's interesting that on the title alone this is a show that I would very easily overlook, I mean it just looks like it'd be the run of the mill sex show, but it's not. I took a look because I found an interesting thread on a forum out there, that shall remain nameless, discussing hentai with good stories. Almost every single person posting about this mentions the same thing I did, 'surprise.' So I looked it up, even though the title still bothered me. What I found is a pretty nice story of a young couple getting together and stumbling through the first stage of sexual intimacy. The entire story is this anxious anticipation on both sides. Even though we don't get a look at what Azumi is thinking, the character tells some subtle unspoken thoughts that are easy to pick up on. This is almost a 'slice of life' hentai. In any rate it is not the most amazing story ever told but it is a nice watch, although if you are into hentai only for the sex, this is not the one to watch; no extremely graphic full out intercourse in this one.
(The) Vision of Escaflowne (TV) Very good
This was surprisingly good. I had a lot of reservations about sitting down to watch this because it is a shoujo/mecha series. I usually go out of my way to avoid any mecha shows so I was even wearier of a shoujo one, but this show was definitely good. The story is a wonderful fantasy that really manages to pull a lot of different elements together; science fiction, dragons, knights, romance and more are all woven together really nice in a story that is good enough not to rely on any of them. There were also some really clever aspects and plot devices particularly around "Isaac," which were very interesting. The characters are also well introduced and very believable. Not a lot happens in this story that just comes out of nowhere and that is always the best way to go; I always love it when a show either tells me what is going on or give me enough clues to figure it out, and this show does a great job of both. I even liked the artwork here, it might be an older show but the scenery, the bizarre characters, the dragons, and even the mecha were all nicely designed and it all added a lot more to my enjoyment of the story. As I said, I don’t like many mecha shows, but this is one I will be watching again someday.
Voices of a Distant Star (OAV) Decent
This was an interesting OVA, It had a good concept behind it and told the story well. Actually it was pretty well crafted with what was being presented overall. I had a bit of a problem with the character development, I know it was under 30 minutes and not much time but they just weren't presented well enough at the start. At least with Mikako we see and get to know about her through her words and thoughts so I understood her by the end. But with Noboru I wasn't ever clear on what his motivation was so this hurts the story. However because of the interesting topic and good storytelling I still think this is worth watching once.
(The) Wallflower (TV) Very good
I was really into this series through about halfway into it. The characters and story were all great fun and interesting. The series had the same wonderful comedic and sometimes uniquely moving moments that really made me fall in love with the manga. Then came the first complete filler episode. It was pretty grueling to watch. It is interesting that it is a story about possession that really didn’t work out well, and yet the manga story where Sunako is possessed, which was actually pretty good, was never animated. And normally filler episodes just fall in the cracks of a series but somehow Wallflower was never able to fully recover afterwards. The story continued and it wasn’t really a let down, i STILL RATED IT “very good” but it lost some of the charm that it held through the first half. However, there are a lot of good things along with the first half of episodes that still make the series worth watching. Yukiko Takaguchi’s voice as Sunako surprised me at first it was actually a near perfect match for the character. She has a wonderful range that adapts incredibly well to all of Sunako’s moods, insecurities, and delusions. And the rest of the voice cast woks great as well. The animation, while not spectacular, does capture the images in the series well also and it also helps really bring about some of the scenes that don’t work as well in black and white. Though the series could have been even better I’ll always still prefer the manga, but I did enjoy it, and I’ll very likely watch it again.
When They Cry - Higurashi (TV) Excellent
Ok, I took this show entirely too lightly going into it. This series does some interesting things with character designs; they may seem a little weak however they work well for this show. They take these ultra cute overly emphasized characters that are animated a bit differently, and put in some refreshing looking scenes to goad you in before hitting you hard. Actually the way they are animated helps with the extreme contrasts in facial expressions when their behaviors change from one extreme to another. The plots are not just for shock effect or merely an excuse for gore and blood either; they are all masterly crafted with a purpose of truly telling a story. It does a really nice job of building suspense with each chapter; you just have to be careful not to be drawn in by a pattern because you will miss something important if you blink. And I like how it does that; it tries to throw you off, leading you in a certain direction that follows similar pacing as a prior scene or having a character fall into a similar role or situation. And the characters are all done and portrayed incredibly well too; you love them in one scene, hate them the next, and are just horrified by them in the one after that. The supporting characters are also more than just filling space, once you start to learn their individual roles you start to anticipate the potential impact they’ll have as they are introduced in each new chapter. The animation is not the greatest, but despite the fact that it sometimes seems choppy or poor, I think it works really for this twisted tale. The music is also very good; I think I got hooked into this show with that opening title sequence alone. Some of the stories tend to drag a bit but are overcome with the really strong outcomes, and it does out-think itself a few minor times. The ending is a tad weak and leaves something to be desired, but that just leaves room to anticipate the next series as the cycle continues.
Whisper of the Heart (movie) Excellent
This was just a very charming and pretty story. I loved how everything was overtly simple and still managed to keep my attention for throughout. The story was well done, never trying to hard to do anything that would cheapen it and still somehow seemed bigger than it was. Maybe that had soemthing to do with the animation which was captivating in itself. I loved the characters and their subtle yet beautiful romance, which was just superbly done, it so completely realistic and true to heart that it almost made me wish I could experience something like it too. I find it amazing that such a simple story can be so absorbing. I guess this movie proves that you don't need a world blowing idea to tell a beautiful story.
Witch Hunter Robin (TV) Very good
This is a story that I had to have patience for. To begin with I am not a big fan of psychological stories and the first few episodes were interesting but not much more so than other unrelated series, however once I got past a certain point and the main story arc started coming into focus for me, I found I could not turn my attention away for too long. Robin was a very interesting and unique character and it was fun to see her grow throughout the series. The ending wasn't really spectacular, for my own taste, but the journey in itself was well worth keeping up.
Wolf's Rain (TV) Excellent
This was an excellent series. First a disclaimer though, if you watch Wolf’s Rain stay away from disc four. Do not watch disc 4, episodes 15-18 are among the worst waste of disc space I have ever seen. Briefly, it is four episodes of recaps from the previous 14 episodes. Nothing new added to the series at all, just a waste of time before continuing the story.

Ok now that that’s out of the way, despite it’s lackluster middle the show is great. Well ok the first episode is not the best either, sort of goes in a couple of different directions and it makes it look like it'll just be too predicable or something. However the last couple of minutes of it sort of just caught me and really made me think about exactly what kind of show I thought I was expecting and what I actually got. After that the rest of the disk was easy, and really drew me in for the rest of the story. I honestly did not know anything about the show before jumping in, but it is actually pretty remarkable, especially when I think that it is a post apocalyptic show about wolves. It's sort of fantasy mixed with some fables and a little bit of sci-fi, and it's quite fun. I also like the characters and character designs, especially for the wolves, probably some of the best I have seen. I don’t know, ever noticed how a show that is mostly about animals in some way tells a more human story than a show about people? Wolf’s rain felt like that, the characters are just done very well. Overall the show is pretty damn great, and I’ll want to sit through it again sometime, but I’ll remember my own advice and skip disc 4 next time so that I can enjoy it better.

Wolf's Rain (OAV) Excellent
This really takes it up a notch from the series. I was frustrated as I watched it but not because the story did anything bad but because of how I felt as I watched the events take place as the group slowly makes their way to paradise. This final leg of the journey is far more memorable and emotional than the entirety of the TV series, which was pretty darned good in itself, and the ending is pretty smartly done without trying to force a big smarmy message in our faces. As I said at the end of my comments to the TV part, I’ll definitely be watching this show again.

** Without these OAV episodes the series would not be quite as good and also this OAV series pretty much does not stand alone. It’s not so much a sequel as a completion, so my rating is not so the same for both but one rating for the the entirety, minus the recap episodes, as one complete series.

(The) World of Narue (TV) Very good
What a nice and fun little show. There is nothing extraordinary about it but there isn’t really anything bad either. It’s just one of those shows that probably shouldn’t be as enjoyable as it is but because of several factors you can walk away from nearly every episode with a smile. The characters are the main reason for this. They are all very likeable so you just keep watching to see what they do next and who else might show up. Actually, I said there isn’t anything extraordinary about the show but it would be harsh if I said that about the Japanese seiyuu. They do such a wonderful job bringing out the dialogue that they do as much or more for the characters than the story itself. For a show about an alien there is very little that is alien in the plot. Each story is just pretty much your average anime story, and the alien involvement is just added on, but it works well for this show. The ending leaves you wanting to see more, which is sad because a second season was never made and the manga will probably never see a full release in the US or even a full translation from a scans group, but I still enjoyed it and would gladly watch it again.
X (movie) So-so
This movie just wasn't very good. I had seen the TV series before the movie and I think that just makes it look even worse. Timing and pacing issues really hurt what wasn't a well told story to begin with and the dialogue was sometimes irritating as well. Even the characters which I though were a strong point for the series were lackluster here. It is just hard to believe that the two are even remotely related and not just because the story is different. It wasn't a total waste of time but I could've found a much better way to spend 2 hours.
X (TV) Very good
Stylistically this is probably one of the best anime ever. All the imagery and characters are great, even when something brutal is happening you can't help but admire the artwork. Not that this is the only good part of the series, the plot is also better than most and it’s nice to see a story that isn’t afraid to take things to a higher scale, even if not completely believable, it still makes it more interesting.. There is a really nice flow to the story, even though there is so much going on it is all for the sake of the one climax and that ties everything together very well. This also helps the anticipation and suspense going, as you never see the whole picture until it is all tucked together in the last few episodes. The characters are also incredibly interesting if not many are likable. But I think this is purposefully done, showing that even the heroes have faults and that the villains are not necessarily bad. Some of the action sequences are incredible, seeing things materialize is amazing, however one of the faults here is that a few times they were also awkward. A few of the fight sequences could have done with a bit more cutting as they sometimes looked like the characters weren't even attacking each other. The dialogue was also bothersome at times, too many things are repeated over and over again, as if they expect the audience to have a short attention span, and it really made for some annoying moments of having to bear hearing the same things over and over and over again. Still despite the faults the show has much more positive than good so I'll be watching this one again, though with remote in hand to skip all the repetition.
X OAV Decent
This is basically a long summary/commercial for the series. It doesn't realy add anything to the series so to say it is a prequel is wrong. For anyone who has not seen the series I will say that even though this does a decent job of setting up the series, do not make the same mistake I made and watch it before the series. It may be a good set up so you are not lost at the beginning of the show, it also spoils some pretty huge moments and that takes away from enjoying the series. But it does add some very small parts to the whole and it is pretty so I wouldn't recommend skipping it altogether.
Xam'd: Lost Memories (ONA) Excellent
This is definitely worth watching. Fantasy, adventure, action, villains, treachery, scheming, suspense, mysteries, a dash of love; this show has a lot to offer and tells its overflowing story really well. It loses its pacing a few times because it tries to tell so much, but because it captures the imagination so well that it really makes the momentary lapses really negligible. If anything it is really incredible that the show manages to tell so many coinciding side stories along with the main plot and show the points of view of so many different characters and only loses that pace a few times. Now it is noticeable that a few parts or people are sort of forgotten or left out in the last few episodes without explanation, and that is my only real complaint about the story, but that also wasn’t so bad that it really drags the story down in any way. There were maybe just a few too many characters to have managed to really fit them all in by that point but I also would not have wanted any of the characters to have been left out after I met them all. Whether I like or disliked the characters isn’t really an issue, I enjoyed watching the story all the more because all the characters are introduced so well. I got to know each one’s circumstance and a little about what motivates them and that is a rare treat in any story, anime or otherwise. I know the show is available on the Playstation network because I caught some of the episodes there, but I really hope to see a DVD release or better yet a Blu-ray release so I can have something for my shelf and more importantly have a chance to watch it again some time.
xxxHOLiC (TV) Decent
Ok on this rare occasion that I have read the manga before the anime I’ll dive into my own version of that old game of why the manga is so much better. The series doesn't hook you the same way the manga does; the stories just don't hold the same weight. Noticeable relevance is lost in the omission and alterations of certain key points. Another annoyance is that they have taken some wonderful character designs from the manga and made them pretty awkward and almost grotesque looking. And the non-canon episodes are.. well.. no beating around the bush here, they are bad. Not all the non-canon stuff is bad but the whole episodes are hideous. And the characters are a slight more irritating. In the manga there is this natural growth and progression among and between them but here it is just 24 episodes of the thing I hate most, “let’s all use, abuse, and make fun of Watanuki and never show the slightest bit of gratitude for what he does for us.” This is something I really struggle with reading the manga early on, the characters around him don’t appreciate him at all and only slightly as it progresses, but at least some progress is made. Here In the ending episodes when Watanuki is shown smiling that they are around him it makes no sense because none of the characters, outside a few minor spirits, have shown anything that would make them in any way endearing to Watanuki. I found myself hating them all in the anime where as my dislike never reached hatred in the manga, even early on. Yuko is irritating, Domeki is unpleasant and unfriendly, and Himawari is completely dense, honestly who needs acquaintances like this. The series is only good when it gets into some of the better stories from the manga in which cases it is fun to watch. This will never really be one of my favorite series but I suppose it wasn’t really a waste of time watching it, but I’ll definitely stick to the manga what I want to go back and revisit.
xxxHOLiC the Movie: A Midsummer Night's Dream Good
The movie was a slight better than the TV series. I know that the story doesn’t originate from the manga but it was an interesting one and it was entertaining until a few minutes before the end. The character designs were not as bad as the TV series, still a little too stick-figurish but also closer to the manga design. The animation was top notch but for a movie I think it would be expected, but it was fun visually. Sad that the movie isn’t really stand alone, despite that it follows what I think is an original story, you still need to know the manga to understand quite a few things in the movie, otherwise I may have rated it a bit better. I always think that a movie should be able to stand on its own without the series it is derived from in order to be rated on its own merits as well. And not only that but if they didn't try to tie in so much from the manga the continuity may have been a bit better too. However overall it was still a worthwhile watch, although like with the series, I’ll stick to the manga for revisiting this world.
Yakitate!! Japan (TV) Very good
This turned out to be a great watch. I loved the all the humor and parodying and even the storylines were very respectable. As many people have noticed this series runs a lot like a shounen fighting series, just substitute baking bread with fighting and it very much resembles the rest. However I think that those fighting series can really learn a thing or two from this series. It manages to keep the plot entertaining all the way through despite the repetitive nature of the style. There were so many instances that I was ready to just roll my eyes at a situation that was just ridiculous only to have it turn out interesting and often fun. The characters were just a mixed bag but they were mostly fun and likable. The only things that kept me from rating it higher were the long annoying intros at the beginning of each show; I never like series that take 2 or 3 minutes to summarize the previous episode, and the pacing near the end. Sometimes it would rush the pace of an episode only to slow it down to less than a crawl at a critical moment. Still, this was rare for this series, and you can always skip the intros so this series didn’t really lose much for it. Overall it was incredibly fun and fresh and I hope more series take a thing or two from its example.
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (OAV) Very good
This was surprisingly very well done. The story is well told and very simplistic and yet it hints at something much much greater. The charatcers are all fabulous, but what is even greater is seeing them just pass time in this quiet yet interesting world. Alpha in particular is an very interesting host into this world, because despite being a machine she is so human that it just adds an even greater layer to the story. I also enjoyed the artwork, no it may not be the best animated ever, but the art and animation, especially the coloring and shadows, tell a story of their own.
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou: Quiet Country Cafe (OAV) Very good
I think this is probably a bit better than the first set. It doesn’t have the same moments of awareness that make the first one such a treat, but it has its own story to tell and I think it tells it very well. The characters are a bit richer in this one. You can see their motivations better and especially with Alpha, it helps follow her through her story better, from her moments of impasse to her doubts to personal hardship to her relationships with others and all the way to her realizations about herself and where she should be. And the nice artwork is still there to help tell the story and express the mood. And there is more to both of these stories than what can be seen in one go, which is why I’m glad they are enjoyable to watch because I will be watching them again.
Yotsunoha (OAV) Not really good
This show has its moments, very few of them but it has them. Most of these moments surround potentially romantic moments, which is sort of creepy in a way and doesn’t help the show at all, especially when one of the romantic interests happens to be a “high school” girl who just happens to look like an elementary school girl. The character interactions, which are vital to hold up this type of plot, are really weak and awkward. It’s like the writers have never had friends so are unsure of what people say when they get together. Or actually, it is more like they didn’t hire any writers and just played the game the anime was based on and used the game info as the script. I say that because the plot also suffers from too many holes and lackluster storytelling. I don’t know, when I read the plot summary in the encyclopedia here it seemed like it’d be interesting but it just looks like the creators wanted to keep to the adult game scenarios rather than actually working on what could have been an interesting story.
Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (TV) Decent
I call this the the DBZ clone. Well I'll be fair, the charcters were different and original and some of them were even interesting and Kuwabara in particular was sometimes hilarious. The fight scenes all followed formula, as did the developement of the very predictable plot, but the series was not entirely boring to watch. I wouldn't see it again, but I don't really think I wasted my time watching it. I did like the 80's feel that the series had to it, made me somewhat nostalgic.
Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie So-so
I watched this because someone told me it was better than the series. That person is a liar, even if he doesn't know it. I don't think this story really took anything away from the series but it didn't really add anything. Not a very original story and the characters were also a bit more flat in the movie. Luckily I borrowed this series and movie so I never have to say I spent money on either.
Yumeria (TV) Decent
It's not the greatest but it’s a decent show I guess. I'm not sure if this show is trying to be primarily harem or mainly fantasy, but its decent enough in the harem comedy stuff and confusing enough in the fantasy 'different world the enemy attacks' stuff to be somewhat ok in both areas, somewhat. The girls are cute though, so that’s always a plus, but there isn’t really enough character development to say they any of them are really special. Because of the lack of any real development it is hard to really sympathize with the characters and since the story is pretty vanilla to begin with it doesn’t really make a viewer excited about what’s happening or how it’s going to end. It wasn’t a total waste of time but I wouldn’t watch it again.
Zoku Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei (TV) Excellent
This show is even more random than the first series and it tackles an even greater amount of mundane issues. Does it work? For the most part it really does. It was hard for me to really gauge this series while watching it. Is it insane? Is it ingenious? Is it irritating? Honestly I think the answer to all those questions is ‘yes,’ which also makes it more interesting. Plus it moves from issue to issue so quickly that there’s rarely a lull. Actually, the speed of the show is much quicker than season 1, so you either have to read super fast or sometimes spend over 40 minutes watching a 24 minute show with your thumb alternating between the pause and replay buttons. Not that it doesn’t have moments that sort of seem redundant, because it does fall into a trap occasionally, however the series also has a natural defense against that: random madness. I can’t recall too many times where I started to lose interest in a particular scene, but then in almost every such instance my attention was brought back instantly by something ridiculous happening or even just being mentioned that got me laughing. And I also appreciate the storytelling. No matter how mundane the topic at hand is, there is always something absurdly ridiculous happening while explaining the issue; murder, robots battling, explosions, adultery, divorce, and many other things, and the story will let all of it happen in the background keeping to its asinine topic. Heck even when it mentions an important or serious issue it is usually just a passing comment or throw away line. And yet all of that just works remarkable well on a few different levels; from comedy to help keeping pacing and continuity. Despite seeming as mad as a hatter, you can tell someone worked really hard on getting all the insanity to happen just right. The characters are a bit different here than in the first series too. I wouldn’t call it character development, because this show really isn’t about anything as healthy as growth, but they are slightly different. But everyone has their role to play and fill in their round hole, or in some episodes, someone else’s square hole using yet someone else’s hexagonal peg. And yet just calling them pegs is wrong, even if they do have the names to match their peg, because as insane as they are they are also really fun to watch. Hmmm… even now I don’t know if I have a firmer grip on this show than when I first started but neither does the series (see episode 10) so why the hell should I? However I can honestly say that I have been really entertained. I’ll watch this again and I would definitely watch a third series if it comes.
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