Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 8, 2005 to Sep 30, 2005
23 min. per episode
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.511 (scored by 18589 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action drama mystery supernatural
SynopsisTen years after the Bubble War, the dichotomy between the rich and the poor in the world becomes more prominent and Japan is no exception. The rich seek to satisfy their desires and derive pleasure for themselves, and Tokyo has materialized into such a city as a result. Saiga, once a war photographer, works for Hibara Ginza in the capitalist state of Tokyo. He infiltrates the Roppongi Club, a secretive base located in the red light district of the city, to collect information about them. However, he was caught in the process and brought forward to a girl called Kagura who was in the midst of a ritual. His contact with Kagura awakens his special ability: the power to make things explode when photographed. In order to unravel the mystery behind the Roppongi Club and Kagura, Saiga begins his solitary battle.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Speed Grapher
Characters & Voice Actors
No matter which site or forum I go to I see very mixed reviews for this show, Speed Grapher. And it's usually because the show looks good and dark and gritty but then it's disliked because it's not as action packed as___ “insert your favorite anime here.” So based on that I think a good review should point this out. It should also state that if you want an anime that's good and dark and gritty but is also character driven and therefore will dedicate a few episodes to building and defining the characters' personalities, then you will like this show....if you want a show that's gritty and dark but has low character development and more shootings and bigger explosions then watch, Black Lagoon.
The animation is very good....it's by Gonzo [I'm actually starting to remember these company names]. Gonzo is the company that did "Last Exile", which had very awesome art and animation, so Gonzo is a good company to base your art/anime standards by. Speed Grapher is very dark and gritty. Even grittier than Black Lagoon because there was really nothing that seedy about Black Lagoon. Black Lagoon tried to make their town [what was it....Roanapour?] seem so bad ass and dirty, but the art style contradicted that image they were trying to portray, it was too clean, too slick and polished. With Speed Grapher, you got the true sense of being in those respective environments; in the fancy mansions you felt it was fancy and high-class, in the seedy parts of town you got that feeling, seeing the trash and hookers and stuff. Also as I said earlier the animation was excellent, good fight scenes, no corners were cut and no looping.
The OP, well I never really liked Duran Duran, hmmmm OK well maybe except for the song they did for the James Bond movie also I liked “The Reflex” but I didn't go wild for this song “Girls on Film” it's just not my thing. But you gotta respect any anime that's willing to make that their OP. The ED songs were forgettable even if the art was nice. The Japanese voice cast did a good job [I don't think the Japanese have ever really done a bad job....except for Inuyasha's voice, where the US voice was waaay better!]
OK so this is where it's crucial in the review, and this is where I diverge from the reviewers that didn't like the show or at least the story part. Because I really was impressed by this story. Like I had said in the animation part, this story is gritty! It gives you are real no-holds-barred account of how truly seedy and disgusting is the underbelly of the world's richest top 2%! Well at least within the fictionalized world of Speed Grapher. And you see the sleaze up close and personal, right down to the funky drool and the raunchy sex-orgies. This story depicts just how the real world works, that those in power feel then can do just about anything....that since they MAKE the laws, they are ABOVE the law. Sure a lot of things in the story are make-believe fantasy and science fiction but make no mistake that the very core of this story carries a kernel of truth! Political rants aside, will also be entertained [again as I said in the first part, you have to love character-based anime] by the various inter-relationships and dynamics between the characters as well as character development episodes, that lets you know some of the good guys aren't so good and some of the bad guys aren't so bad.
I have to say the bad guy, Chouji, stole the show for me! He was tall with long hair, sleek and impeccably dressed....oh and he has a kick-ass power! No doubt in my mind he's merciless, just for the simple fact that he allowed or even orchestrated Kagura to be subjected to all of that sick shit so I can't say I condone his behavior or even understand him on a moral level. He's simply on my radar because he scored high points when it came to the coolness factor. The main guy, Saiga, is an alright guy. I mean he has no 'razzle dazzle' qualities or anything, but he's cool. I guess you would have to look at it from the story point of view, he's supposed to be a normal citizen, he's not rich or anything....even though he's considered high-profile. Also he's supposed to be a bit on the older side and has been though a couple of wars and has seen and experienced a lot of hardcore shit so it wouldn't seem right for him to be this young fetchingly hot bishounen—right? Kagura, is the princess—or in this case goddess—so there really is no need to talk about her, she's cute she skinny and beautiful with long locks. OK, the last person worth mentioning is the blond chic with the gun. I think she's cool, she became a little bit scary and obsessive for a while......and I wasn't feeling that whole 'let's rape an unconscious dude thing' I don't care if he's your man—it's creepy! OK there are some gay dudes in this show that were not only there to be funny but were actually kind of vital to the plot.
Worth it or NOT?
This is a keeper. I would recommend this to people because it is more on the 'hardcore' side of anime, lots of sex and blood. I wouldn't consider this one of the anime greats but it is cool, intelligent and picks up the pace when it needs to. I can see my self re-watching this. read more
First and foremost, don't try and think too much while watching this anime. You'll damage your brain in how much it goes up and down with the characters ever changing views of each other. It doesn't do a horrible job conveying a villainous plot, but it doesn't do a good job either.
Speed Grapher has a very abstract story line. It sometimes gets confusing and changes pace quite often but it doesn't entirely make it a bad anime. While throughout the most of it's slow paced moments, it leaves you wanting so many answers for things and it takes its sweet time to answer them, sometimes not answering them all. at about two, thirds through, It gets to the point where it seems like the writers didn't know what else to do. So they just made up new, odd powers and gave them random people. But none of them survive past 2 battle encounters with the main character, which makes Europhein fights almost bores you.
Art is easily sub par. characters lack proper emotion in their animation, and too often you can easily distinguish static backdrops from animated pieces. Colour palates are most times dark making everything dull. The lighting with tones and shades never really added much to the scenes them selves as most times it wouldn't have changed the mood regardless of time of day.
Sound is the toughest category of this anime as it had some really good original pieces however it reused the same ones far too many times. Occasionally even adding famous music pieces. It lacks sound in some places where there really should be, making it seems like its either jumped a mute section or they cut corners with their sound budget.
Character development can be confusing as at one point the main female character hates her mother and the main antagonist, another moment she cries and almost does a complete 180 on her feelings to them. The main villain seems to have no real goal at the beginning apart from wanting to rule everything but at the end it's revealed everything that was though about him was wrong. It's a decent development but it really does your head in.
Overall enjoyment isn't terribly high, as mentioned in the sound, it plays some of its original pieces way too much to the point where it ruins what could have been a good feels or action scene. Some episodes are good enough to make you re think a few of your opinions while others seem to drag on pointless aspects with added important factors that almost make you have to watch the fillers so you don't miss something. read more
Both shows contain a somewhat "dark" atmosphere with a lighter tone appearing now and then. Each has a "secret" organization that rules the city. Each also has a sort of "special power gene" that only certain humans can obtain. This gives the characters in both series new skills and abilities. With interesting plot lines, both of these will keep you glued to your chair.
In both shows, certain individuals have unique super-powers thanks to a recent phenomenon. In Darker than Black, you have factions of these people up against one another. In Speed Grapher, it's one man against everyone else, a more exciting setup IMO. Also, the characters in Speed Grapher are less opaque than those in Darker than Black where the mystery usually takes precedence over the story, leaving so much unexplained that the show gets tedious.
Similar theme, atmosphere, metaphysics governing supernatural powers, story progression and pacing. Both shows take place primarily in a "dark" city controlled by the underground where the main character fights against an omnipresent shadow-organization, filled with various goons who've derived powers based on their character flaws, in order to protect the freedom of a sheltered girl. The theme of science causing god complex is central to either story. The music used in both also strikes me as similar in style, composition and atmospheric use within the anime.
yeah, very much alike but the Grapher is waaaaaay better in story and character developement than DTB
preffer the Grapher much more...
supernatural, action - more psychology, detective and ACTION
Both series have a similar feeling as they have rather dark atmospheres, characters with special powers, and a loli sidekick (who is someone that the MCs need to protect). There are some other various similarities that both series have which really make one anime feel like the other.
Both anime contain a dark atmosphere and have a secret organization to unmask. A few people have a "strange virus" that can be activated and can give to them strange powers. Both do no have a foregone conclusion.
Black Lagoon and Speed Grapher are both similar shows. Both are action packed and suspensefull. Both have blood, gore, violence, death, and sexual things going on(more sexual things in "Speed Grapher") . Both can get really dark, and still punch in a great joke here and there, but not get silly. Both shows have gun fights (more in Black lagoon) that may ask you to suspend your belief a little bit (but this is good from time to time). Both also involve "different" types of fight scenes we are not used to seeing in anime. For example in "Speed Grapher" we get a guy who can make a camera kill people vs. a guy who's skin is like rubber. In "Black Lagoon" we get a speed boat vs. a helicopter!! Both shows seem "realistic" and put Hollywood to shame. As Revy from " Black Lagoon" says "Don't be stupid, this is way more entertaining than Hollywood's ever gonna be." or as Ginza from "Speed Grapher" says "Don't make me self defense you too!"
Mature, kickass, adult-only anime that have many elements in common.
Both are filled with action, violence, fights, blood, mafia, corruption, money, cigarettes, and the same "nobody is the good guy" feeling.
A sexy, badass gunslinger woman and crazy characters are also included.
Speed Grapher also involves sex and super powers, while Black Lagoon has hilarious black comedy in it.
Both animes made me feel that I was watching a mature anime for adults (violence, death, mafia, drugs, sex, etc.)
These series are both the same kind of anime in many ways. There are gunfights, good action, and blood is flying around. Also there are some sexy girls in these anime too who fights with guns. Speed Grapher has also supernatural powers included.
Black Lagoon and Speed Grapher both deal with more dark and gritty parts of both humans and society, I think Speed Grapher is a little deeper in content but they are both very good.
Opening Theme"Girls on Film" by Duran Duran
"Shutter Speed" by Shinkichi Mitsumune [U.S. Version]
Ending Theme#1: "Hinageshi no Oka (Hill of Poppies)" by Shione Yukawa (eps 1-12)
#2: "Break the Cocoon" By Yoriko (eps 13-24)
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Hokkaido [Hokkaido] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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