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2 of 2 episodes seen
This small OVA series has more story packed into such a small time frame than anything I've ever seen before. People often give this OVA a negative review because the story is cut so short and underdeveloped. However, in just two episodes they set up an atmosphere and story line which is completely unique and original.
I must admit I have not read the manga as I hardly ever read manga, but I felt like they told a whole complete story in just two short episodes, and it concluded in a dramatic emotional way. There was a clear start, middle and finish to this story and lots of interesting bits between those parts. Even the character development was good for only two episodes.
It gave me the impression of being some type of experimental short film just waiting to blossom into something absolutely mind blowing. Although I believe the only other version of this story is in manga form, which is really a shame. Some one should really think about extending this into a longer series to satisfy the fans wanting more.
Even though this OVA is quite old, the artwork in this small series is absolutely superb, but that is my very subjective opinion and I know a lot of people may not agree with me. The reason I say that is because it has a classic and genuine feeling... it has true soul and the atmosphere created by that genuine touch is something which is hard to find in modern anime.
The style of the art is one of my favourite styles and I can't really think of many animes that have the same style. It's not full of clean crisp lines and vibrant colours, and the character designs are not predictable or typical, but they match the story and atmosphere of this OVA perfectly. It's very hard to explain so I just suggest you watch it to see what I mean.
When this OVA reached the end I just sat there staring at the monitor in a daze for a few moments pondering what I had just witnessed. It truly did blow me away, I wasn't expecting anything like that. It really is a brilliant work of art. And I know many people may think I am completely hyping this up and overrating this OVA, but we're going to have to disagree.
I have given this OVA an overall rating of 10 because it's clear a lot of thought has gone into this. There was a true vision and a lot of inspiration behind this story and the world it was trying to portray to us, even if it didn't get a chance to be fully realized. The art clearly received a 10 from me. The story also received a 10 because it's so original and has so much potential.
My enjoyment factor was also a 10 because of the intense action, genuine art style, and entrancing atmosphere, leaving me wanting much more. That's pretty much everything I wanted to say for this review as I believe it will help some people decide to watch this. You certainly haven't got much to lose, as you don't have to dedicate your time to watching dozens of episodes. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
Not everyone believes in the same thing, not everyone sees things the same way. Some people live for the future and others live in the moment. That seems to be the basic underling philosophical concept explored in this anime, and the fate of Japan depends on how the main characters handle this question. They certainly could have done a better job at exploring the concept, but for an 11 episode anime you can't really fault them for giving it a good try.
Some people will dislike the philosophical nature of this show, they might even consider it to be contrived and convoluted, and an unnecessary addition to an otherwise great anime. It is of course moderately convoluted and hard to understand at points, with small holes in the plot and a lack of some character development. However, this anime is attempting to explore complex philosophical questions that don't necessarily have one right answer.
The core of the story is not economics, in fact it would be pointless to criticize the economic theories presented in this anime, because it is after all a fictional show and the validity of the economic reasoning presented herein is far beyond the point of what this anime is really about. To claim the philosophical struggle between wanting a good present and wanting a good future destroys this anime, is to claim the fundamental foundation of this anime should simply be ignored.
From the very beginning it is clear the underlying basis for this story is a struggle between two different paradigms and ideologies about what really matters in this reality. The economic overlay is simply a fitting way to present those philosophical conflicts and create the framework for a story containing characters who are given the chance to accumulate vast wealth and thus wield great power of the state of reality and the future of our reality.
Even if it comes off as nonsensical babble to half the people who watch it, there is always something you can get from an anime like this, even if half of it doesn't make much sense to you. The story isn't as disconnected and structureless as it may first appear, although it certainly isn't perfect either. The spectacular art and gripping action make up for any downfalls this anime may have, and you will certainly not struggle to keep watching this anime.
STORY - 9
The main idea behind this story line involves a hidden world of money and fierce battles (so called "deals"). The Financial Districts are other worldly realities where only a select few are granted access. These hidden realities exist in all major economic epicenters of powerful nations, and the people plunged into this world are given an "asset" (some sort of creature) with which they must fight for the security of their future. Each "Entre", as they are called, have different goals and motives for fighting these battles.
The story line of this anime is extremely unique, nothing else like it exists. That alone makes it worth watching, because the majority of anime made these days seem to lack any true individuality and just take from plots that we've seen over and over again. While it does have a few small holes, I feel they did an excellent job at fitting so much into 11 episodes. There was hardly any filler at all and even though there was a lack of character development they used their time wisely.
I felt that they had a goal in mind from the start and reached that goal in a more conclusive and satisfying manner than most animes are able to achieve. If you think they strayed off onto wild tangents and didn't seem to know where they wanted to take it, then I would say you need to watch it again and watch it much more closely this time. Although a bit predictable, they did build up the story in a meaningful way to reach their desired outcome.
ART - 10
The art is this anime is without fault. The style of the art has some very unique features, such as a sort of digital blocky overlay effect present in certain parts of the anime to facilitate scene transitions and the presence of an asset. It also uses a mind-boggling blend of 3D and 2D visuals that doesn't particularly disturb the overall feel of the artwork, but provides outstandingly detailed and colorful scenery that captures the imagination and jumps out of the screen, particularly in the financial district.
The characters are also moderately unique, especially the designs of the two lead assets, Msyu and Q. The character designs of these human-like assets will certainly provide all the cuteness and uniqueness one desires in appearance of certain female character roles. The quality of the art is very high quality and extremely detailed, and is probably one of the strongest features of this anime. It is very fluid and the emotional expressions of most characters are very clear and easy to read.
SOUND - 9
While I didn't really pay much attention to the sound, it was definitely very good quality and suited the anime very well. The action scenes had gripping and intense dramatic music and the emotional scenes had deep and heavy scores that echo the gravity of each situation nicely. The character voices were actually very good, and in particular I thought the voice of Masakaki was extremely well done, and helped a lot to enforce the ominous insanity of his character.
CHARACTER - 8
As I said, they did skip out a bit on character development, but it still deserves an 8 because the relationship development between the main character Kimimaro and his asset Msyu was actually very well done. I don't really get sucked into the relationship aspects of most anime, but I couldn't help admire the way their relationship grew stronger in this show, especially considering the way it started out.
Msyu had an undeniably adorable personality, however I felt like there was a lack of explanation and back story for her and all other assets. Her desires and understanding of the world wasn't very well explained, although I can understand why they avoided that for the most part. They did dive into it a little bit, but it seems like they decided to skip over it and just leave it as a bit of a mystery for viewers to discern on their own.
Kimimaro is a rather typical male lead character, the classic ordinary everyday guy constantly conflicted by morals and an inability to do things the right way until he is literally put through hell and finally realizes what needs to be done. While he may be overly stereotypical in a lot of ways, he does have a certain respectable uniqueness about him which seemed to be a necessary and key part in the development of his relationship with Msyu.
While Kimimaro does have a moderately developed back story revolving around the fate of his father, there is another Entre named Souichirou who attempts to befriend Kimimaro and mentor him on how to reduce any damage done to the real world by planning the outcomes of his battles carefully. Souichirou probably has the most detailed back story, he also has issues concerning his father, and claims to fight for the present reality.
ENJOYMENT - 10
There is no denying that the anime has an overall enjoyment factor of the highest degree when all aspects are considered - well it did for me anyway. It had all the necessary features to make a great anime in my opinion, the story was unique and fairly well done, and involved ideas that I really enjoy. The mix of a magical money world hidden away from reality and the philosophical concepts built around that world make for a story that had me on the edge of my seat all the way through.
The phenomenal art and the impressive battles only served to push my enjoyment level to the limit, and I finished this anime in less than three days because I just couldn't stop watching it. It could have been a bit longer but I have no real problems with the way they handled the story given the length of the anime. This is certainly an anime that is worthy of reaching my top 10 list of anime. I don't re-watch many anime series but this is one I would consider watching again. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
This is a very unique anime in my opinion, it creates a crude and gritty atmosphere you'll have a hard time finding in any other anime. Set in the future where the lands have been reduced to harsh desert wastelands, we follow the adventures of Kanta the realist and his young apprentice Kosuna. This anime is definitely a must watch, it has qualities that set it apart from the rest.
Kanta isn't your typical lead male character, I wouldn't even call him a "good guy", however I predict you'll find him likable none the less. He simply does what it takes to stay alive, without any regard for the emotions or well being of others. He is a skilled and merciless mercenary who cares only for his job and large breasts.
In fact Kanta's ability to form dynamic and adaptable strategies, to think quickly, and utilize unpredictable and confusing tactics has earned him the infamous title as "Ghost of the Desert". Whilst he may seem like a moron he's as sharp as a tack and the last mistake you'll ever make is to underestimate his ability to analyze a situation.
I would also like to note that contrary to what the present top review for this anime would have you believe, this anime is far from being "filled with perverted ecchi", it does have a little bit though. I also doubt the dark and lowbrow comedy will be appreciated by all. Kanta is devious and exploitive, his sense of humor will offend some people.
You wont find a happy land full of magical rainbows here, the Great Kantou Desert is a very harsh place where survival of the fittest comes into full play. If you let your emotions get the better of you it could very well mean your death, there's no time for mercy or forgiveness, and Kanta the self-proclaimed realist understands that reality.
Overall I give the story an 8 simply because it has no trouble keeping me entertained - it's also a lot deeper than you might first think. It is a very casual watch for the most part but really picks up near the end. It's the type of anime where they slowly build it up to form a story of substance when you least expect it, however without giving any spoilers I must say I hated the ending.
The art was average so I gave it a 7, nothing special, but nothing bad. I didn't really pay much attention to it to be honest, what more can I say. It's exactly what you would expect from a 2004 anime I guess. There is no special style or effect that sets it apart from the rest, but not many animes are set in deserts, so it was something new for me.
I gave the sound/music an 8 because I found it to be above average. Some of the music was actually very likable and it managed to set the atmosphere perfectly most of the time. They definitely did a better job than a vast amount of other anime I've seen - the music actually plays a large role in the immersion factor and without it, it just wouldn't be the same.
The characters in this anime deserve a 9 or even a 10 because they have unique personalities that differ from the common unrealistic characters we see in a lot of animes (well except for the big breasted women - what was her name again? Oh, Junko!). People like Kanta are all too willing to sell children like they're objects, and seemingly innocent children are all too willing to commit the worste of crimes.
My enjoyment factor for this anime was definitely a 9, but I only say that after watching the whole thing. Even in the slow paced episodes I didn't have to force myself to watch, it was simply enjoyable either way. However, I actually put this anime on hold after only a few episodes because it felt too casual and lacking a deep enough story. I later came back to watch the rest and within the next two days I had finished the series.
Overall I give this anime a definite 9 and others may not agree with me on that but I think this is going to be one of those classics people look back on as a unique piece of work with qualities that can only be synthetically replicated. It's the type of anime I would like to see more of, because it's a refreshing change from all the stereotypical anime. read more