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38 of 38 episodes seen
Enter Ahiru, a small duck who falls in love with Mythos after seeing him dancing near her pond one day. Heartbroken because she can't reach him, she wishes to become human. Upon hearing this, the spirit of Drosselmeyer intervenes and transforms her into a human girl, motivating this through "personal entertainment". There are certain inconveniences, but Ahiru remains determined to reach her goal. But what will she do when two people who seem bent on stopping her, appear? And what is the connection between the four of them and Drosselmeyer's tale?
Story & Characters (10/10)
Princess Tutu: the infamous masterpiece.
Masterpiece fits perfectly for the well-animated, beautifully soundtracked, rich-in-plot series, although "infamous" is an enormous exaggeration. Since, of course, why would ANYBODY want to watch a series entitled "Princess Tutu"???
The very same thought was running through my head when I saw the back cover of my Newtype two years ago. The princess part was bad enough, but TUTU?
It may be absurd, but that is the name of our main heroine, who lives as an ordinary girl named Ahiru. Well, semi-ordinary - she sometimes changes into a duck. Since she IS a duck!
Ahiru goes to a well-funded school that seems to specialize in ballet. She sucks, but is captivated by Mythos, the beautiful but sad-eyed dancer and his girlfriend, the talented Rue. They all live in a town that turns out to be controlled by Drosselmeyer, a sadistic writer who died years ago. Ahiru is Drosselmeyer's newest creation - a duck who becomes a girl and falls in love with a prince! Ah, what a story. But that's not all - from duck to girl, and from girl to...Princess Tutu! For the prince, Mythos, once fought with a giant monster raven and to destroy that raven, broke his heart into pieces and scattered it around the town. Oh, but still, that is not all. For what does Rue have to do with the monster raven? And what is the role of Mythos's best friend, Fakir, who may hold the answer to all?
Add in various emotional conflicts, Drosselmeyer's mysterious puppet, plot twists (gasp!), and ballet/fairytale elements and you get yourself a masterpiece.
The plot isn't the highlight of the bunch though. The characters of this anime are phenomenal. They are dynamic, emotional, realistic, and three-dimensional. There is the naive but hopeful Ahiru, who yearns to do anything she can to help her beloved prince; the melancholy and emotionless Mythos, who become confused and torn but remains grounded on his belief on saving the helpless; the loyal and dutiful Fakir who seems cynical and nasty at first, but reveals his insecurity of who he is supposed to be, all the while supporting the ones he loves; and finally the beautiful and delicate Rue, who so wants to be loved, more than anything!
As I've said before, it's a masterpiece.
Princess Tutu is actually very well-animated. The proportions are constant and correct, the hairstyles are very unique (but not in an annoying, Dragonball-Z way), and the costume designs are quite beautiful.
I enjoyed how every character's face was different - the eyes were not identical, skin color was considered, and the noses and lips were unique.
And such genius work on the animal characters! The series is different in the way it incorporates animal characters into the plot without making a huge fuss of it. But they preserve the special qualities and make it comical.
The backgrounds were lovely, as well. From underwater to within the forest to inside the sparingly-lighted ballet room, every scene is beautifully backed. Despite the differences, each was constant in its own way, and connected so well! They all related to the scene, the genre, the plot, and the characters.
And the ballet! The dancing scenes are spectacullar - laced with the firey emotions that dance invokes. Each movement is accurate and fitting - every pas de deux is captivating, no matter how many times you see it.
It would be necessary to mention, however, that some of these unique hairstyles get some getting used to. For the longest time I didn't appreciate Fakir and Ahiru's hair (quite the most unique of the bunch!).
This is the very anime that made me find my inner love of classical music. Because of its ballet elements, almost the whole soundtrack is made out of variations of Tchaikowsky's compositions. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would - Princess Tutu is truly a mix of various arts.
Now, with that being said, I didn't enjoy the openings and endings so much. The opening was alright, since the animation to go with it was so amazing, but later on it bored me to no end. The ending had it off worse, because I don't usually watch the ending anyway and the animation consisted of about five pictures.
The voice acting was something I definitely need to get used to. Ahiru's voice is amazingly scratchy - I have no idea how the voice actress managed that - but it's not a very pretty voice. But being unique is one of Princess Tutu's greatest qualities. I admired the way the voice immediately became more elegant with Tutu, and scratchier and more "quacky" when Ahiru turned into a duck.
The rest of the characters were well-fitted to the same degree. I noticed that they sounded a lot more "classic" than the average anime - possibly to fit the plot and soundtrack.
In any case, well done to all the cast.
Some anime start out good, and end badly. Some anime start badly, and become amazing.
Princess Tutu is neither. It's wonderful from the very beginning - and wonderful at the very end. The characters are amazing, the plot is amazing, the art is amazing, the sound is amazing.
Except for the very small faults that I have mentioned above, it is an unbelievably fantastic, enjoyable anime. It's not for kids. It's for people who know how to think, to be intrigued by the countless relationships that each character develops with each other.
It is a lovely medly of music, dance, and art. What else can I say? While I watched this, I laughed, cried, screamed, and got mad. I appplauded the director for the most multi-level and well-wrapped ending I have ever seen for an anime.
Ignore your prejudice of the title. Watch it. You will thank me for this. read more
74 of 74 episodes seen
Monster is a true gem and a rare anime masterpiece.
Despite its daunting length, an exceedingly high standard of quality is consistently maintained in all 74 episodes. And because the writer does not get sidetracked with filler episodes or arcs, a single, coherent storyline runs through. This gives the impression of watching a an excellent graphic novel. Though the story itself is impossibly intricate, a web of intrigue and conflicting motives to tantalize the viewer, Monster manages to conclude dramatically, memorably and without the use of such cheap and overused plot devices as deus ex machina.
Urasawa Naoki clearly left nothing to chance or improvisation in the creation of Monster. His meticulously conceived and astoundingly immersive plot is certainly the result of countless hours of historical, geographical and cultural research. Monster is set against the backdrop of a Germany reeling from its internal division by the Berlin Wall, all the while struggling to cope with the conflicting ideals of democracy and authoritarianism within the same country. This dichotomy between the East and West German governments, along with the long-term consequences for the citizens on each side of the Wall are subtly referenced throughout the plot. Realism on this level is something that no author can fake. The actual plot idea behind Monster is one we have all heard before. A doctor is under suspicion for murder and flees the authorities to find the villain and clear his name. But with Monster, it is not so much the originality of the plot, as it is the masterful storytelling which puts Monster in a category of its own.
Urasawa's style is one of sublime efficiency - not a single scene is wasted and every piece of information revealed to the audience is ultimately significant. A single glance, a dark shadow, the sound of a footstep - these are the precise and parsimonious tools Urasawa uses to tell the story of Monster. His narration is immersive and gripping, but never once does it feels heavy-handed. The flow from scene to scene always feels completely natural, and deftfully avoids any appearance that the writer is forcing the plot in order to create drama or suspense.
If anything, it is just the opposite: the main story is advanced through the exposition of tangential subplots. As a result, the hero is constantly hot on the trail of the antagonist, but only ever able to gain information from indirect witnesses, friends of friends, people only remotely related to the search at hand. Consequently, the antagonist's screen time is so rare that each appearance might even be considered a cameo. And yet, Urasawa's villain is easily the best characterised and most memorable in all the anime I have seen to date. I stand in awe of Monster, for this is storytelling at its finest.
I extend my sincere congratulations to Madhouse, the studio which produced Monster, for not letting commercial interest ruin this wonderful work of art and for keeping a strict vigil over the quality of the series during the 18 months it aired. The result speaks for itself: one would find it extremely challenging to find another anime of this length which tells its story in such compelling fashion, and with such style, ingenuity and dignity.
The visual quality in Monster is both superb and unique. Through the creative use of cinematic techniques, Monster is made to feel very much like a movie, because the "camera" viewpoint is often used to focus in on significant moments or details or even facial expressions. In this fashion, the audience's attention is skillfully drawn towards such ominous things as shadows, dark corners and footsteps in order to intensify the atmosphere.
The artwork in Monster carries strong influences from film noir. Even from the first few episodes, the use of darker hues and greyed out tones give the anime a bleak and foreboding feeling. As the story progresses, the anime becomes a showcase for the animator's sublime mastery over the use of shadow and lighting.
Detail levels are quite decent, although exterior scenery is rare, given the dark nature of the story. The few scenic moments I do remember in the anime were well-drawn. I know the following will seem odd for a mystery and suspense thriller, but the food shown in Monster is extremely appetizing; I distinctly recall feeling hungry several times while watching the characters eat. Prior to viewing Monster, I had never craved German food, but I must admit that the anime actually convinced me to seek out a place where I could eat some the things I saw.
Obviously, in a suspense/thriller anime, you would not expect to find highly memorable or catchy tunes. This is the case with Monster, the anime relying more heavily on silence, foreboding sounds, and the occasional eerie music to set the mood. And since sustaining mood is of paramount importance in this genre, the sound selection was appropriate and well-considered. The audio track always complemented the scenes of the anime, and never detracted from the tension of the moment.
Despite being 74 episodes long, Monster had only one opening and two ending themes. From a vocal standpoint, both singers featured in the ending music are quite mediocre. However, the suitability of these two pieces for the overall atmosphere of Monster is ideal. Both pieces are only very lightly orchestrated, with contrasting emphasis on echo and proximity of voice to the microphone, resulting in an altogether unsettling and haunting feeling which is completely appropriate for the series.
It is the voice acting, though, which gives Monster its unforgettable immersiveness. The seiyuu cast succeeds brilliantly in adding to the overall atmosphere. Though the anime involves a wide spectrum of emotion, the seiyuu convincingly convey each emotion to perfection. Sasaki Nozomu in particular deserves special commendation for so vividly bringing to life the role of the main antagonist. It is no easy task to credibly portray the voice of a person who commits brutal murder without a trace of emotion, and yet possesses the gentle charm and seductive charisma to beguile and manipulate countless others.
Urasawa Naoki's indirect storytelling style has a very apparent benefit: it allows him to richly develop the entire cast of characters, including those with secondary roles. I would be hard-pressed to name a single character in Monster with whom I did not feel intimately acquainted and whose motivations I did not understand by the end of the series. Considering that each episode almost certainly introduces at least one new character, it is mind-blowing that Urasawa manages to achieve this level of familiarity among the audience with all of his numerous and colourful characters.
Urasawa pushes the envelope with the characterisation of his main cast and manages to completely blur the lines between fictional character and real person. He recognises that people do not only change as a result of momentous plot events - sometimes, people also gradually change over time. The timeline of Monster spans over forty years, so this slow self-evolution of the characters' motivations, aspirations and values provides a much deeper level of authenticity that I would love to see in other anime.
I also admire the fact that Monster's characters are shown to have a life outside their role within plot. This is a dimension which adds a great deal to the believability of the characters. Often it takes no more than only the subtlest of details, like a family picture in the background, or a quick "in-passing" reference during dialogue, but such are the minutiae which distinguish excellence from mediocrity.
Monster possesses a polish shared by too few other anime. It is truly a finished product, completed and produced with pride. As a viewer, I distinctly felt that every scene was contemplated with care, every detail meticulously reviewed. One would be hard-pressed to find an inconsistency in the story, let alone an unexplained or forgotten plotline. Monster is a lengthy 74-episode anime with no fillers. This alone should speak volumes as to the quality of this anime.
For the lack of a better place to mention this, the ending sequence is well worth the time to watch, in detail, after every episode. The graphical content for the outro is almost never identical, though often the changes from episode to episode are almost imperceptible. Yet, those who have the patience to sort through these small differences are richly rewarded with an additional dose of ingenious foreshadowing and symbolism.
Without a doubt, because of its all-around excellence, and its superb attention to quality and detail, Monster has become the definitive benchmark by which I have judged all other anime. To all lovers of quality anime, if you have yet to see Monster, then you are most assuredly missing out on one of the very best. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
The best thing about this screwy comedy is that we never know when it is lying. The direction is a massive exercise in sleight of hand, the script a riddle within a puzzle, and guessing what the hell is going on becomes the most compelling reason to keep watching.
Level E smells suspiciously like Men in Black, with a backdrop of aliens who immigrate to Earth for various reasons and live among unsuspecting humans. But instead of counting down to an epic intergalactic crisis topped with macho laser battles, it narrowly follows the social chaos that occurs when one self-absorbed and utterly brilliant alien, Ouji of Dogura, throws misadventure and misfortune in everyone’s way. Indeed, this is comedy played any way but straight, and it relies mostly on the Prince being a complete dick while the rest of the cast try not to implode with frustration.
With no substantial stories and just a string of misadventures and non-sequiturs, there is really no point to Level E except to give Ouji a platform to fuck around. Veering from parodies of Power Rangers to moral parables on the ethics of poaching before swerving back to dubious character arcs, Level E simply relishes its moment in the viewers’ attention to do whatever the hell it wants. Any uncharacteristic sober lapses, for instance, quickly dissolve in the face of troll jokes.
This is a delightfully creative work and one of the most intriguing uses of aliens I’ve seen in recent years (although the manga is from the 1990s when this topic was trendy). But Level E is also a textbook case of fizzling out. Between the stunning introductory episodes, which arguably deliver the biggest laughs, and the final episode, which has the most fulfilling surprises, there lie a few misfires. One oddly sentimental diversion follows a mermaid-alien as she fights nasty poachers with the help of school children, while another has the heroes trying to prevent a nasty alien race of insect-like females marrying a human. These instalments do not, frankly speaking, make the grade, although they act as tolerable padding for a show this short and eclectic.
Level E doesn’t deserve the animation it gets - with such frenetic, schizophrenic content, I would have assumed a lackadaisical cartoon style to match. But Studio Pierrot has given it a sober, clean appearance and borderline bishounen character designs that seem altogether too pleasant. Admittedly, the budget doesn’t stretch as far as sassy-looking action or intriguing environments, but it looks deceptively sophisticated.
The soundtrack is modest and barely noticeable; apart from complementing scenes or adequately book-ending the content, it makes no significant impact.
If Level E can be said to be about anything in particular, it would be Ouji. His eccentricities not only dictate much of the comedy but also set the tone for the story. Simply put, things happen in Level E because the Ouji wants them to. It’s always gratifying to observe a narrative so wholly absorbed by one personality (the last example I remember is Light’s performance in Death Note). What makes Ouji a powerfully attractive protagonist is his enigma: all his words are lies nestled in truths or just plain lies, and sometimes he will speak the truth in a manner that looks suspiciously like a lie. The source of amusement (and his co-stars’ frustration) is the act of detangling his speech and behaviour to minimise collateral and psychological damage. In one sense, Level E becomes an extended character study of this individual so utterly removed from our reality not just biologically, but also mentally.
Ouji’s only rival for attention is the long-suffering bodyguard, Kraft. Kraft’s eye-reddening, vein-popping, twitching rages as the Prince systematically ruins his life fill in the gaps of relatable emotion where the Prince has no reach. As for the others, don’t get attached to them; none make any significant contributions except to get caught in Ouji’s madness and often exit the story as inexplicably as they enter it. Yukitaka Tsutsui is a particularly curious case as he appears to take the role of half of the comedy duo from the start only to be pushed aside two episodes down the line as the show runs in new directions. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Story & Characters (8/10)
Set in the fictional renasanse world, the story follows a girl Horo who is a sage wolf and a guy who is a merchant named Lawrence.
These are some of the good aspects of the anime. The story itself mostly focuses on those two characters and their traveling. The world that the story is set in, is very nicely and best put to actually explain how the world at that time functioned and the people that lived there. Mostly these two characters. What is special about them is that both are different in their own personality. One is human, other is wolf. Both of them are met by a strong bond and set on a wide journey.
You will find it interesting how Horo is always the smart one and always get them out of the situation, while the Lawrence is more experienced one though in most cases he doesn’t act like that so he gets help from Horo, while actually both of them are pendent of each other.
One thing that may lack here is how the story slowly and fast progresses. This may sound weird, but it is just because it is. The story itself may sound confusing at first, but as you more watch you will begin to understand. What may take you for that are some of the historical knowledge, especially from that era. How classes were formed, beliefs, faiths, currency and such. But that all may prove it to be even more confusing to most audience, because later when you just figure one thing from there, another comes which takes whole episode of explaining and you might just end more and more confused. Until later you actually find out what really happened. When I wrote this review I first watched few episodes and to be honest I was a little disappointed on how the story progress. Later though I became liking it more and more. It truly is something special and different. No, better to say unique. What most might hold you is the suspense when Lawrence needs to do something. There are always challenges, always something behind the angle that you might miss, but that might later come. The suspense will keep you for actually looking at the screen and just waiting and waiting impatiently what will happen next. It is something not seen in many anime, but presented here. That all is build even more by good detailed camera angles and music that covers that all up. The only bad thing is that all this might be the result that would keep someone away from watching and enduring it, but few of them would actually stand up after getting caught in one of these scenes. Other thing I have to mention is that many characters become easily forgotten, even the ones that you might think might get more screen time. There are always new characters by each town they visit and always new adventures. Then again, there is a good thing behind it that it leaves more space for the main character and their strong personalities, but it is just matter of taste.
The overall graphics in this anime, to get it out at the beginning, are on an average level. Both the animations and the drawings are like that. There are not many chances in the beginning where you can actually see some changes with animation, since they are mostly just walking to one spot to another and talking and so on. Now this anime has some interesting habit. It gets better from episode to episode in terms of the overall quality that it is made. While it also gets more confusing with that, but that’s for something else.
Even if the drawings are average and not something special unlike many other animes, there are some things that I should praise. Those are the color blending and the classic-ness that is presented here. The colors are very nicely done. You can notice that by all the periods that change, as well by the nature and the details of surroundings and even the characters too, though in their cases they are more sharp, but that is normal.
When I mentioned that this anime has classic drawings, I didn’t meant overly classic. When I see it, I see a combination of the style that is used in 90-is combined with the style of the newest animes. It gives a good impression of the overall anime and it is one of the best styles that could be used for this type of it. Though there is one thing that I have to mention about graphics and that is cuteness. Yes, they are quite cute, especially with all the actions that Horo does. Some may think that it comes from the presentation section, but it is the animations actually that make that possible.
Now this is the part that might be different for different viewers. And that is the overall OST. You will feel almost not even noticing it through the whole episodes. You might, but actually thinking about it would not get too much attention, only later though. Only later you will remember all these nice little songs that very with it, but they are still on the average side. On the other hand this also has some interesting things behind it. And that is the opening and ending song. While to some it may be a little slow and not suited for this anime, I think that it is actually very well done for this short anime. Especially the ending song, you will always stay wanting to hear it till the end, because it really gives the impression like it was made just for this anime.
Now there is another aspect why the OST may not be so needed. It is the sound effects. They are very well done here and you will even notice some small like horse riding to those of wolf cry (or song or whatever you want to call it). Even the voice acting is tried to be done the best it could be to match the people from that age. And by that I mean Europeans, because the overall surrounding looks like it is set in renesanse Central Europe. And yes, that’s what’s really good. Not only outstanding voice acting, but also music that accompanies that. To some poor, but actually it gives a good medieval effect around it. Though this is not really the medieval age, it could be said that it is the late one and still it gives a nice touch to it. Sound effect are also on a good level, from carts moving, horses, running and all other things. You will find all that maybe not that noticeable, but very enjoyable.
A fun, entertaining, romantic, yet serious anime set in the history of real world combined with the folklore tales... If that is the anime that you are looking for, the look no further, you just found one. The overall presentation of it is something that should be praised. Mostly because of their characters, their deep personalities and the world that is surrounded by them. Now we get here some negative things behind it. This anime may be confusing to some and boring at first. But even then, it only requires some basic history knowledge for you to actually understand it. You can try to portrait yourself where the world is set, how the church works there, what are these heretics, what is the main purpose of the merchants and the system in which they work, how the currencies change and so on and so on...
One of the other things which could be noticed by many viewers is the actual approach of the characters. Characters at first develop too fast and too sudden for some, but actually everyone, take a closer look after a few episodes. What is the relation between Horo and Lawrence? Can anyone say? Well you can guess, but not give the true answer, because you are not sure yourself. But that what you know is somewhat nice resting in you. You know in what will become, but when always there is a situation to show that it just skips. To some it may be annoying, but just give it time. Give it time, later everything comes on it’s place and for fast paced growing storyline it actually falls on a careful and calm one. And soon you will noticed what Horo actually is and her feelings and personality. Yes, that’s what it is good here. Not many characters, no no. But definitely it is given a lot attention to those are there, especially two main ones. You will at one moment even feel like you are in that fable, you will quite enjoy it.
When I mentioned historical knowledge, I really meant that. You have to understand the world that it is set it. It is much realistic and a good presentation of the real medieval world. That might become boring, because just when you think that something might happen, everything goes calmly. Here action doesn’t take place with swords, powers and magic. Here… it takes place with economy, swiftness, logic and mind. Can you enter that mind? Well it is your choice to find out! read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Now on to the review and I hope you and enjoy reading this review and I hope it helps you's in anyway. Aha, late to the party I know. Anyways, lets get started:
Built upon a sturdy foundation of shoujo clichés and pretty animation, Vampire Knight Guilty is a lot of fun without being particularly elegant. Moreover, as the second instalment in a successful dark shoujo series, it brings the story of mysterious vampires and tragic love to an agreeable conclusion.
For most, VKG’s main attraction will always be its contrivances, clichés, and ham-handed delivery of the romance. Consider the corniest scene involving vampires possible (OMG he licked her neck! *squeal*), then set it to repeat across several episodes. Throw in hints of homoeroticism for extra tang and some half-baked lore, and VKG gives the impression that it’s not so much animated as churned. Indeed, the series makes no claim to originality or wit, but it manages its cheese surprisingly well, and, on balance, turns out to be more interesting than irksome.
Nevertheless, buried amongst all the silly love triangle stuff, there’s still that core of well-executed mystery keeping the story afloat. Crucially, VKG knits together much of the political threads left hanging by the first season: after lurking in the shadows so long, the Vampire Council finally takes centre stage, as does a newly kick-arse Headmaster Cross, and Kaname’s true intentions become clear in a gasp-worthy twist.
One true disappointment, however, is that, despite wishing to portray a violent clash between the various factions, VKG’s battles look and feel anything but. The static sequences are usually over before they’ve begun, and attempts at spicing things up with flashy gimmicks just look forced. Even the finale can’t escape this flat-lining of tension as everything generally happens too fast and too easily.
As a final note, ardent fans of the manga should brace themselves for a slight but significant reinterpretation of Zero at the end. No doubt, it will send a few spitting in rage.
Like Vampire Knight, VKG looks very pretty, with lush colours and attractive character designs perfectly catered towards the shoujo lovers. Regrettably, it also adopts VK’s disregard for movement. While VK is predominantly drama-based, VKG relies on fighting sequences during some of its climactic moments; the insufficient number of frames, straightforward camera angles, and uninventive choreography, therefore, only lessen their impact.
The cheap pop opening and closing themes add nothing to VKG’s charm. The score, on the other hand, though mostly generic (aimless tinkering on a piano, queer string instrumentals, that kind of thing), still holds one or two surprises. The most useful additions include the sound effects subtly used to heighten the spooky ambience; for example, the sudden rush of cymbals during particularly tense exchanges goes a little way to enrich the viewing experience.
With fewer comedic scenes to add colour to Yuuki’s personality, the effects of her clueless vulnerability and passive nature leap from uninspiring to outright disgusting. Taking the initiative and driving the story on her own merits is certainly beyond her as she stutters and sighs her way through every conversation. Most irritatingly, she’s the kind of contradictory character who speaks of saving others whilst constantly needing protection herself.
As such, providing entertainment falls to Kaname and Zero. While Kaname wields his mysteriousness like an expert by throwing a dark and truly unexpected spanner in the works, Zero escalates his catalogue moping (seemingly, just because he can). Neither ventures from his archetypal pigeon hole, but both remain engaging, nonetheless, because of their anguished backgrounds.
The other good news is that Kaname’s previously nameless hangers-on get fleshed out and become more relevant to the plot. In particular, I find the exploration of Aidou’s friendship with Kaname to be an interesting addition to the character development.
VKG will prove the perfect fix for fans addicted to a sugary diet of bishies, immature angst, and romanticised horror themes; competent central mystery aside, those elements are its forte. For anyone looking for substance and/or action, however, the show will leave a distinct ‘Is that it?’ feeling as anticlimactic fight scenes and an insipid cast dog the plot. On the whole, VKG may not feel as fresh and exciting as its predecessor, but it remains at all times a fun and easy romp to follow. read more
Jul 25, 2012Yosuga no Sora: In Solitude, Where We Are Least Al... (Anime) add
12 of 12 episodes seen
Now on to the review and I hope you enjoy reading this review and hope its helpful in anyway:
Story & Characters (6/10)
This anime was based on a visual novel developed by Sphere. It contains a short 12 episodes.
I've watched this anime a few months back and if I can recall it is basically about a guy and his twin sister going back to their old town in which they once spent their childhood there. The protagonist is not your average looking guy, he and his sister stands out in the town because he is a pretty boy and his sister is like an angelic doll. They both came from the city and traveled by train. As soon as they arrive at the town he was soon noticed by the girls there and some they knew from way back. His sister Sora has a condition in which prevented her from being Independent and relies on Haruka (the protagonist) to take care of her all the time. Haruka is surrounded by girls who will eventually fall for Haruka as each girl had their own story to tell and is separated by different arcs throughout the series. This is the first anime I know that had the arc separated as most would just merge them into a single story.
Some people might get put off in the series as the characters are viewed from a paralleled universe after a certain episode but you will find it probably worth it to continue towards the end. The best drama is saved to the last. You will find in the first few episodes that Haruka and Sora shows signs of being attracted to each other and that the narrator has certainly left an obvious clue there for you to catch on.
Your main character, Haruka, is a nice, considerate, and extremely kind pretty boy and his sister is very much a cute delicate doll that lies around and does absolutely nothing besides letting her brother take care of her and being extremely lazy and apathetic. She will be her brother’s secret crush and vise versa.
The animation is smooth and very eye-catching but the other girls beside Sora are blend and plain looking especially Nao. I love the country side landscape and it surely compliments the anime. Surely an anime based on adapting to the visual novel art and graphics are expected to be good. Unfortunately some of the girls deserve some improvement to their appearance in order to not look plain. The image shown after the opening music when both Haruka and Sora are riding together is very appealing and adds a touch of finesse to the anime.
The opening music is truly magnificent as it gives off an atmosphere of serenity and beauty. Totally compliment the anime. I love the voice of the opening theme music as I think all Japanese voices are amazing and very touching. The voice acting is normal like any other anime but the cheerfulness and fun character of Akira will surely lift you. There is no complaint about the voice acting. The ending theme song is also pretty good.
Opening theme music
Song: "Hiyoku no Hane"
“Yosuga no Sora” does not stand out much in the romance and drama genre and can be regarded as boring sometimes but it is nonetheless interesting to watch depending on your taste. When you first watch this series you will get an immediate impression that this might be your Clannad kind of anime with well-polished animation and good story focusing more on the plot instead of fanservice but you be wrong. Although the animation is eye-catching and the two main characters are attractive by comparison to the rest of the cast, it contains incest, some fanservice and sex scenes. Sort of borders on eroge and soft-core hentai. The incest part is a taboo and may lead you to feel disgusted but most people still watches it though because you want to know how it all ends and it will be dramatic.
One thing I find it really stupid in this series is that when Haruka first arrived in town all the girls are attracted to him just by appearance alone and I bet that if he comes around to greet them they might fall over him. The story seems one-sided and two dimensional for me in this regard.
The plot seems somewhat predictable but still good for those who want to watch a decent anime and are interested in the element of the story minus the hentai. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
On the face of it, Vampire Knight appears to be just another hackneyed shoujo series designed to cater to sexually frustrated fangirls. Firstly, you have the exquisite beauty of the entire male cast; not to mention the relentless ‘sucking' and ‘biting' and ‘sinking' of teeth into soft, yielding flesh; and finally, the fact that the characters spend more time nuzzling each other's necks in hopeless abandon than they do talking sensibly about their problems.
Ultimately, though, Vampire Knight will amuse male and female fans alike because, at its core, it provides an original plotline that's consistently good from start to finish. At its best, Vampire Knight teases out the various threads of its central mystery whilst never actually giving anything away. By this I mean the dynamic relationship between super-vampire, Kaname Kuran, and brave-but-vulnerable Yuki Cross. Amongst other things, Kaname commands a loyal gang of vampires and can shatter glass with nothing but a thought - why he would go out of his way to protect a human girl for no apparent reason is a question that instantly captures the imagination. Following that, Zero Kiryuu's tragic subplot provides extra emotional depth as well as an action-packed glimpse into the world of vampires, hunters, and humans.
At only thirteen episodes, the only real flaw in the narrative is a general lack of complexity; although, with at least another season to go, there is more than enough scope for the dilemmas to get messier.
As a series of still images, Vampire Knight admittedly looks good enough to bite; rich colour tones, clean lines, and some of the best-looking bishounen this side of Ouran High School Host Club combine for a wholly sensual experience. Unfortunately, the characters have to move around (sometimes, they even have to fight), which only makes Vampire Knight's technical faults all the more obvious - I haven't seen such mediocre action sequences since... well, for a very long time. Luckily, these are few and far between and don't detract from the overall pleasant animation.
I find the opening theme fun and catchy but, as a single, also rather average; instead I'd recommend the ending theme, ‘Still Doll', a haunting piece with truly sumptuous vocals. Everything in between is about as memorable as last week's breakfast.
Far more impressive is the voice acting, which is not just suitable at all times, but very, very good; the convincing performances are probably the main reason why the script doesn't come across as melodramatic as it should.
Apart from the three protagonists, Vampire Knight is populated with a one-dimensional cast. However, taking into account that the vast majority are either unimportant or just make cameo appearances which doesn't require much depth, this isn't too big a problem. That said, even the central characters remain rather static across thirteen episodes, with only Zero displaying any noticeable changes in personality. What keeps them interesting despite this is that they are at heart entertaining stereotypes with little personal twists.
Yuki Cross is the generic plucky lead who spends all her time confused about what's going on and generally being protected; even though she is portrayed as somewhat kick-arse in the beginning, this isn't a trait that's followed through in her development. On the other hand, she's an easy character to get attached to because of her giving nature and adorable comedic moments.
Kaname Kuran, the most powerful vampire in town, also comes with a magnetic ‘wan' smile and a stunning arsenal of catalogue poses (like Family Guy's Captain Kirk, I don't think he holds the same position twice in the entire series). In all honesty, considering his sophistication and understated power, he's quite the cool cat - naturally, his main appeal is that nobody can figure out what exactly he wants i.e. why he's at Cross Academy looking out for Yuki despite obviously having better things to do.
Lastly, Zero Kiryuu is a wishy-washy Dante (Devil May Cry) with an attitude problem; when he's not moping about with his shirt conspicuously undone, he's venting some emo rage down an angled camera. He's completely uninteresting for the first couple of episodes; however, once his subplot kicks in and his personal conflicts come to light, he becomes immediately likeable in that anti-hero way.
With considerable emphasis upon pinning girls against walls and sucking their erogenous zones in every episode, Vampire Knight is easily a fangirl's dream anime; however, the quality of the storytelling should not be underestimated by anyone else for that matter. Any fan looking for a strong fantasy drama with an original take on vampires and a beautiful animation style should put this somewhere at the top of their list. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
Story & Characters (8/10)
The story of Shuffle! is yet another twist on the romance/comedy genre. While staying traditional to the harem style scenario, Shuffle! adds magical elements and outstanding character development into the mix. The favoritism of the childhood friend scenario seems to play prominent in the series and all of the characters have their good points. This is great when trying to create characters that you can get attached to, however it does make it rather difficult to choose a favorite as you don't want to see any of them get hurt. Also, because the characters all seem to have some sort of promise, it makes the balance seem slightly off. Still, it's a minor complaint. Fans of such series as Ichigo 100% and Sister Princess will find it easy to grasp Shuffle! as it stays with the traditional multi-girl style without becoming too ecchi in the process.
The artwork was originally conceived from a dating sim game of the same title. Thus all of the character designs are very crisp and the execution is quite capivating. The backgrounds are lush and continue to flow steadily with every scene but you find almost all of your attention on the characters themselves. The males are portrayed accordingly the the females are all beautiful in their own way. As far as the traditional harem genre is concerned, I have found Shuffle! to maintain some of the best artwork.
The music in Shuffle! is outstanding to say the least. The intro song "You" but YURIA is a fastpaced song that is well coordinated with the intro animation. The lyrics also give off a sense of desperation from the singer which promotes well with the female leads in the anime. The ending theme "Innocence" is slower and more peaceful than the intro, but the lyrics continue to grasp the series well and will leave you wanting more. The song tone and lyrics are well delivered as well. Follow the series into the OSTs, and you'll find quite a bit of music to keep your ears happy. "In The Sky" is another prominent song that emerged from the game and you will find it to be an excellent piece if your a fan of the traditional music in the anime. The normal background music isn't anything to snear at either. Without being too prominent, the background music is soft and blends well with the animation scenarios at hand. The variations are kept to a minor note but are still distinctive enough to embrace the situation.
I feel that the overall aspect of Shuffle! was quite enjoyable. The humor of the series is rather clean for the most part and the overall story flows nicely from episode to episode. Unlike a lot of series in the same genre, Shuffle! has captured me with its lack of filler episodes. Every episode seems to play nicely into one another even if only to show the tightening bonds betweem the male protagonist and one of the female leads. There are also a few story arcs that are thrown into the mix to keep the flow straight forward and on task. There is a small span in which Nerine is the primary focus of the male lead, then there is another with Sia as the focal of attention, then you will find a lot of tension with the Primula arc that has yet to be completed. Throughout the series, they manage to keep your interest captivated with a different scenario. The execution of the art is by far superior to that of other titles in the same category and the music only serves to smoothen the delivery of it all. Taking everything into account, Shuffle!'s crisp artwork and excellent soundtrack with leave romance/comedy fans planted in their seats and asking for more. So, I would totally recommend this anime who like these kind of genre or to people just starting out. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Story & Characters (5/10)
After watching enough gut-busting man-eating zombie movies you start thinking that you've seen everything that is until you saw Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (aka KoreZom). This hybrid show takes those horror stuffs into a new leap with its flashiness like a magical girl chainsawing monsters or some guy trapped in your every harem jest.
Plain-looking high school student Aikawa Ayumu is a normal teenager living a boring, laid-back life with no excitement except one thing: as he's ready to tell you, he's a zombie. But how come a zombie doesn't feed on human fleshes and goes to school? That's not a long story. His life dramatically changed after being butchered by a serial killer. Luckily, a silver-haired lady necromancer by the name of Eucliwood "Eu" Hellscythe brought him back to life and Ayumu has entered the world of the occult since. Meanwhile, super-powered beasts wearing traditional seifuku called Megalo appeared wrecking havoc in town. Armed with a high magical (pink) chainsaw and a Cardcaptor outfit, Ayumu battles these monsters while trying to get to the bottom of things.
No mistake about it, KoreZom is utterly insane and comical. We've all seen the scene where a character selflessly jumps in front of a vehicle to save an animal or person countless times in anime, but in this case the potential hero, right before being struck, turns his head towards the screen and says: "Oh, yeah, I'm a zombie." Wow, that's one heck of a start and it sets a variety you couldn't expect in a show with the title "zombie." Wait, maybe you could.
For most part, KoreZom is purely for fun. Breath-taking humor being thrown rubbed away the disturbing gore and intense psychopath. There's chaos with zombies, vampires and the undead but the show always seems on the verge of blowing apart under the pressure of its own insanity. Characters are introduced when convenient or seemingly for the hell of it, to be killed or excised on a whim perhaps lighten the series up a little.
But they don't, being a typical harem trap, the female cast have convenient moe look yet their kinds don't attract much. Eu is an expressionless bishoujo with a hidden past, Seraphim is a busty hot chick with sword and Tomonori (naturally) is the protagonist's wife. For a "harem leader" achertype, Ayumu can pretty stand up for himself as he can dismember without hesitant, not exactly the "loser" formula. Crazy, but brilliant.
Studio Deen, an animation studio who is famous for those bloody gore such as Higurashi and Umineko, here produces a bright and colorful effort which is hardly a paragon of action animation but loads itself up so effectively on the cute factor. Its designs are uninteresting, mainly focus on the moe standard with is trademark hairstyle, facial expression and eyes (although Eu's Gothic-moe look is a joke unto itself). Ayumu's design is even worse, you can immediately tell that he's yet again another dating heroes. Still, the utterly absurd parody of a magical girl transformation scene, complete with the sexy gasp, involving Ayumu is a hoot and the ensuing panty shots of him show that even the series' fairly frequent fan-service isn't immune to parody, either. Stick with this guy a little, and you'll see tons of crazy stuffs around him including his pervy delusion and "man-service."
Ah right, because the title has the word zombie, there are expectations of violence. And speaking of violence, what is better than those moments full of all the decapitation, amputation and disemboweling that even the most juvenile of gore-hounds could desire.
Casting features some familiar faces, giving KoreZom a bit of familiarity shared by its genre. Majima Junji again voices a colorless nice guy, while others such as Haruna or Seraphim's manage to give the show pushes with their cutie tsundere tones.
The synthesizer-heavy musical score mixes some cheesy themes in with cutesy themes, an occasional mildly dramatic one, and themes which sound like they were directly borrowed from an ero game for an overall effect that is energetic but unimpressive. The same goes for OP "Ma?Ka?Se?Te Tonight" sung by Eu's seiyuu, a somewhat cute and spiritual the show has, and ED which composed with a highly enthusiastic male-female dual with the lead characters performing some new kind of caramelldansen in the background.
Accept KoreZom for what it is – a simple cutesy fan-service show – and it can be quite entertaining. However, those who finished the show would find it quite disappointing. The plot is divided into two parts with little relation to each other: the first part is about the search for the mystery behind the murders while the second revolves Eu's past. But what more of an utter disappointment is how the producers turn the last episode into a mindless silly gag created for fan-service. There's still the OVA (or perhaps a sequel) to talk about, but I highly doubt they will continue the left-opened story. Just wait to see what other tricks they have up their sleeves. You will find lots of laughter here, depth probably not, but really, what can you expect in a series that has a guy wearing women's clothing as demon fighter?
+ An entertaining, breath-taking humor take on demon-fighting cliches.
+ Ayumu is kind of manly for his achertype.
+ Ridiculous villains.
+ Last episode is a cheap trick. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Story & Characters (10/10)
The beginning of 2004 was pretty boring for anime fan, with nothing much to watch, then came Elfen Lied. This is like one of best show this year. And what this show shine the most was at it plot and storyline. One warning, this show isn't for anyway. There is nudity plus tons of violent. Not recommended for the weak. The fanservice here dont feel force like some of the other show. Plenty of plot twist but it is predictable to see it coming since ep1. A brief synopsys is about this mutant girl (evolution of human) with a split personality that escaped from an experimental center and the authority that want to capture her back. It might sound familiar but its storyline originality and its interesting theme about us human fearing the unknown get this a 10/10. Dont mistake this show with other harem show like Love Hina or Ai Yori Aoshi eventhough it is one guy and many girls. This show is nothing like them. The show is dark and have plenty of adult theme that kids wouldnt understand. I recommend at least being 16 to be able to watch this show. By the way, I believe they changed the anime version ending as the manga was still ongoing.
I believe this is the weakest part of this show. The artwork is completely different from the manga counterpart and its kinda wash out. But the character design seems to be better in the anime. I might be bias as I watch the anime first before reading the manga. The first episode background was great, but the rest of the episode is nothing to shout about. The action scene is fluid and the violence scene was portrayed realistically with the right amount of CG. So the artwork is just about average, not great but it isn't bad either.
The sound, background music and the OST are great. It is composed by Konishi Kayo & Kondoo Yukio. The opening lilium and ending be your girl sung by kawabe chieko are both excellent. The background music really help the show in getting the atmosphere and the mood. The music play an important part in the show as it symbolize their past. Even if you dont watch the show, the music is still worth listening. And the seiyuus are good too. Lucy was exceptional. You can sense the personality change just by listening to her voice.
I really enjoyed watching this. This show is both thought provoking and original. With it dark and adult theme, this show isnt your typical shounen anime. It is highly recommended for people wanting to watch something other than the typical shounen anime out now like bleach, naruto or gundam. Sure you might think they just wanted to sell this series by using gore/nudity, but this show have much deeper storyline just your average violent flick. This show is serious and people looking for comedy wont find it here. The only complain I have for this show is length, only 13 episode. And since I think they branch out from the manga storyline since the manga was still ongoing, the ending might feel a bit rush. But the ending aren't too bad either, I just feel a bit sad that such a great anime ended. Even with some shortcoming, this show is great. Definitely one the better series of 2004. I can see why this show is licensed before even airing in Japan. It is just too good to pass this one up. Highly recommended. read more