English: She, The Ultimate Weapon
Synonyms: SaiKano, Saishuuheiki Kanojo: The Last Love Song on This Little Planet
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 2, 2002 to Sep 24, 2002
25 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.401 (scored by 20062 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
drama romance school sci-fi
SynopsisShuuji and Chise are third year students at a high school in Hokkaido. The shy Chise is finally confessing to Shuuji, and finally the two of them are starting to exchange diary awkwardly. One day, Shuuji tries to escape from a sudden enemy air raid on Sapporo. While desperately escaping from the air raid, Shuuji sees a scene that he could not forget for his life. He sees Chise, with a huge weapon looking as if it was part of her hand, shooting the enemy fighters down one by one. Apparently, Chise is the ultimate weapon with destructive power which is important for the war.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Saishuu Heiki Kanojo
Side story: Saishuu Heiki Kanojo: Another Love Song
Other: Saishuu Heiki Kanojo Special
Characters & Voice Actors
Title: Saikano , short for Saishu Heiki Kanojo (My Girlfriend, The Ultimate Weapon)
Manga, Movie, Anime: Saikano was originally a manga authored by Shin Takahashi, and ran in the Shogakukan publication Big Comic Spirits from May 30th, 2000 to December 25th, 2001. It totals at seven collected volumes. It has been released Stateside by Viz, and the final volume was released January 3rd, 2006.
A live-action movie was released January 28th, 2006, and has yet to be licensed Stateside. I'll be covering this later in the review.
The anime itself was produced by Gonzo (famous for Gankutsuou and Red Garden), and directed by Mitsuo Kase (famous for directing the first seven episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory), and ran on Japanese TV from July 2nd, 2002 to September 24th, 2002. Saikano has been licensed Stateside by Viz, and the fourth and final volume was released November 9th, 2004.
Story: So, there's this couple, Shuji and Chise, who've just started going out, and they're so amazingly awkward with each other, the way you first are when you're just starting to go out with someone. There's a war going on, but they're somewhere near Sapporo on Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan, so it doesn't really affect them, up until the day that Sapporo gets bombed. There's this gleam of light that absolutely decimates the enemy bombers, and Shuji ends up following it when it crashes and it turns out that it's Chise, who's more or less been turned into a cyborg.
The rest of the series focuses on their relationship, and how Chise's being turned into a weapon affects that, juxtaposed with the war that's going on.
I am going to warn you straight off the bat; this is probably one of the most depressing anime in existence. You're going to want to keep anything you can hurt yourself with far away from you as you go through the series. There is a lot of death. You get to watch Chise lose her humanity bit by bit. You get to watch Shuji utterly unable to do anything about the former. You watch them trying to keep their relationship together while all of this is happening.
And it's everything that makes it depressing that makes a good story, really.
To be honest, I'm not really sure what happened in the last half of the last episode. This may be just me. But it is a bit confusing that way.
Art: The art style for this is a bit simpler than most of Gonzo's productions that I've seen; it seems closer to the style of a manga, in terms of the way characters are rendered. In fact, when I took a look at the manga covers the other day, it seems almost exactly the same. So that's a nice touch.
Gonzo uses a lot of reds, blacks, grays and dark colors, for the war zones, and brighter colors for Hokkaido, though that ends up turning more sinister as the story goes on.
Also, the CG is excellent, as expected from Gonzo. And luckily, it blends very well with the general style.
Music: The OP is amazing; I didn't like the song all that much, but it grew on me, and the segment itself is black and white, with the occasional highlight of bright color, and has random bits of French text throughout. The ED is also made of awesome; didn't pay too much attention to the segment here, but the song itself is done by the same artist who did the OP (Yuria Yato), which is a rare thing in an anime, because the contrast between the two really shows her range.
The background music is mostly variations on the OP and ED, but seeing as they're both so good, it's nice to hear. There's also an insert song that Shuji always hums, and when you finally hear it sung in the last few episodes, it's really a nice song, even if it ends up being a terrible thing for Chise.
Seiyuu: Chise's seiyuu also was Firiel in Nishi no Yoki Majo, which was a nice touch. As ever, the seiyuu did an excellent job; no issues here.
Length: Perfect, because it allows for just the right amount of depression, but stops before you actually consider killing yourself. Any more and I wouldn't have been able to take it, any less and it wouldn't have seemed right.
Movie: Saikano was turned into a live-action movie in 2006 by Toei. Aki Maeda, younger sister of Ai Maeda (who was Kino's seiyuu in Kino no Tabi, which she also did the OP/ED for) and also played Noriko in the live-action adaptation of Battle Royale, was cast as Chise.
I didn't like the movie as much. It was basically a digest version of the series (which was to be expected, as there was no way they could put all the material in a two-hour movie), but the thing was that some of the most emotional scenes from the anime ended up having little to no impact in the movie itself. Maybe it's because the build-up was missing; maybe it was becasue of the acting. I can't really tell you what went wrong here. And even though it went about things differently, it still had the same ending as the anime, which made even less sense, really.
Overall: It's depressing as all hell, but it's good.
Overall: 49/60; 82% (B) read more
Saikano has all of the best intentions for a tragic romance, and it sets its story up really well. And that, dear readers, is where all of my positive remarks end for this emotion-milker.
I do not fault those of you who call this one of the most moving anime out there. Far from it, it's full of emotion. But there is such a thing as pacing and this is where the anime conks out. Saikano's story is so diligent in making sure it's viewers never forget that unspeakable tragedy is inevitably nearing, even from the very first few episodes. The world being at war and countries falling daily, it's only a matter of time before the hellfire reaches our two young lovers. The problem is that matter of time takes forever to get here. The series does its best to retain a sense of tragedy throughout, but the results are hardly worth the excruciating wait. By the time tragedy did strike, I just didn't care anymore.
This is not made any easier by the cast. The focus of the story is Chise and Shuji. Chise, being a walking weapon of mass destruction, has the weakest of personalities. Her primary habits include being slow, dull, and average except that she can sprout metal wings. This girl's positively transparent, and Shuji is not much better. His indecisive attitude only fuels the series into dragging on and on. Though he finally grows past it, it just seems futile afterward in context to what is happening in the world around him. Akemi, the only relatively interesting character in the series, is otherwise squandered as the show demands so much focus on Chise.
The art is definitely the highlight of the show. It's impossibly delicate which surprises me because this is from the blatant CG glutton GONZO, yet there's practically nothing in the series that looks as such. It flows nicely and always looks beautiful. Definitely a plus.
The BGM was forgettable as it was mostly renditions of the forgettable OP and ED. Not bad, but not good, and certainly not enough to warrant further attention.
Overall, I feel Saikano had the potential to be great, but ended up overstaying its welcome. It's got a great start and a somewhat decent finish, but a neverending middle that sucked my emotions dry before it could make a difference. If your eyes are bottomless wells for tears, then have at it. You'll probably enjoy it a heck of a lot more than I did.
Overall, Saikano gets a 6 out of 10. read more
Both are very good drama type shows.
Both start off as two people who go out but are only led to tragedy. It starts off all happy and romantic but then it all goes down hill. There are also several other similarities but I don't want to spoil it. Both have a really sad ending. Well....for Saikano it all depends on how you look at it to call it a "sad" or "happy" ending.
Both were initially set as a high school drama. Both have interesting love triangles (although Kimi ga Nozomu Eien doesn't have that whole end of the world thing). Striking similarities between the two, both are excellent dramas and both are well worth watching!
Both Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and Saikano involve the energetic best friend setting up the shy girl with the main character, although she secretly likes the main character herself. Each focus mainly on romance, although Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is more realistic than Saikano. Both shows are extremely dramatic, as well as extremely depressing.
Both are unrelenting romances that can null a person's emotions. Yet the power of the series is enough to make even the most hardened people react in some way.
They also have bitter endings that probably won't ryhme with a person's soul the way they want them too either...
Saikano has sci-fi elements, is better animated, and is a bit more depressing.
Kimi is more natural in layout, and ends bittersweetly.
Both anime start happily with a boy and a girl in love, but they quickly fall apart after a tragic event happens to the girl. They each have an incredibly depressing feel. While KimiNozo has more of a slice of life feel and Saikano has more of a fantasy feel, they are both mainly romantic stories about how a main couple deals with a tragic and life-changing event. I don't think either of them are that good, but you'd probably like one if you liked the other.
Madure romances started in a school environment and finished with a lot of drama. Sex, betrayals and a lot of love. They are not shoujo, ok? Saikano tends to be more sci-fi and takes place in a world war, KimiNozo occur between adolescence and adulthood of our protagonists.
Saikano and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien try to combine romance and tragedy, but their attempts fail miserably due to a weak cast of characters, bad pacing, and a poorly-executed plot. They thrive on needless melodrama that cheapens the main story to the point that the audience is either yawning or laughing by the time the last episode rolls by. Both series have main characters that act in hysterical and overly exaggerated ways that make them almost painful to watch. So if you managed to like one, and for some mind-boggling reason you want to watch something similar, then you won't be disappointed.
While the tone of these two series is not very similar they both feature extremely violent situations in which apparently fragile female characters are revealed to have a potential for being highly destructive. Little girls as weapons form the main premise of these series, although it is carried out differently; EL opts for a more graphic approach that maximizes the use of colour, while Saikano is more subdued, using a mostly grey palette to convey a feeling of hopelessness. In both cases romance blooms and is put to a ferocious test. These two series may differ in a lot of aspects - the ecchi factor that is predominant in EL is absent in Saikano, and the apocalyptic impact of the latter is non-existent in the former - but they are similar enough to warrant this recommendation.
Both main girl characters are "the ultimate weapon", lots of guns, romance,main boy characters are kinda stupid
Another girl-as-weapon love story, but Saikano is way better.
Girl-weapon and drama. Similar atmosphere and feelings.
(And don't write in recommendations which one is better)
Elfen Lied and SaiKano are similar in the way that they both have a leading, female character that has some kind of power, and they are both searching for something more to live for while trying to have emotions once again.
Tragedy brings sorrow, and sorrow brings tears. Both of these series does that with its tragic plot and characters. What begins as a peaceful setting in both anime(s) has many violent turns and plot holes that leads a void in the viewers' hearts. The theme of little girls becoming weapons of destruction is also shared in both series. Then, there's romance and the tragedy that soon bestows upon the main characters and the others. Both of these series also have slight comedy, drama, and gives a sense of feeling of making you want to watch more especially after the first episode.
They share the same feeling while watching them and both have similar romance. Elfen Lied has the horror aspect while Saikano has the military. If you were moved by Elfen Lied you'll probably love Saikano and vice versa.
Opening Theme"Koisuru Kimochi" by Yuria Yato (eps 2-12)
Ending Theme"Sayonara" by Yuria Yato
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Kaminari [Kaminari] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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