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22 of 22 episodes seen
The story for this series is fantastic. What I seem to be noticing is that anime sort of has a niched appeal, which is okay. However, the problem is that those who are responsible for creating the anime are more responsible for putting in the stylistic elements in anime that anime fans enjoy than creating a piece of literature that can benefit humanity. This series, however, transcends that and truly is a piece of artwork that pays no loyalty to the traditional standards of what makes anime entertaining, but rather is loyal to getting the creator's message across in the most effective way possible. In this case his message is made quite well and movingly with this episodic story of a young girl and her hot, recently discovered biological mother search for the young girl's father.
One of the first clues that the the message was in fact made effectively is that the message can't be summarized very easily. What this means to me, is that every element of each episode is entirely necessary and has a purpose, and the message can't be made without them. Each run-in with a gang, or dealings with a stripper trying to escape, or a brief affair with a married man who smokes, all play a role to where the meaning of the series wouldn't be the same without each.
I particularly enjoyed it's discretion in the area of comedic relief. Nothing drives me up the wall in an anime than excessive and unnecessary humor, ESPECIALLY when it cuts off a serious moment that potentially could have a beautiful and lasting effect. This didn't have any of that but rather allowed the dark and depressing be dark and depressing and poking in some sophisticated humor only when it was due and this allowed it's emotional effect to be that much more poignant.
Overall, the story is very literary and riddled with symbolism, and makes for an entertaining and moving story. It's one flaw might come from being too dense to where some meaning might get loss in translation or forgotten.
Another spectacular aspect of this series. The character design, the setting, the colors, they all work together to set the perfect mood for the corresponding situation in the story. The environment, being in the colorful central america/south america was vibrant and beautiful to look at. All the characters finally evolve from the tired out, generic, ethnic-neutral style of other animes, and their appearance fits their character and personalities to a T.
I usually don't even bother with tihs section, but it is worth mentioning the soundtrack, written by the great Japanese neo-jazz group: SOIL and PIMP sessions. Like everything else discussed so far, the jazzy, dynamic soundtrack fits what's going on and works so perfectly with the tones throughout.
There are so many memorable characters in this series, and not one of them is flat. All of their behaviors, as it pertains to their character is so over the top in a good way. It's almost surreal the way the characters behave and look and it's so wonderful to watch.
It's true that one sort of has to have a mature sense of film and art to fully appreciate this series fully ( I hope that doesn't sound too pretentious or stuck up). It's not exactly a laid-back watch either, and somewhat requires your mind to interpret all that happens. By no means does that mean that there isn't enjoyment to be had, because absolutely there is enjoyment to be had by simply watching the drama and the emotional journey. I do recognize that in art series like this, there is a little more difficulty in pure entertainment, but I can't deny how invigorating this series is.
(I'm sold after watching Ergo Proxy and now this, these guys need to come to America and make a film. It'll go over like gangbusters.) read more
51 of 51 episodes seen
Ultimately my main complaint about this series lies in this area. And I am going to be a little hard on it because of how much potential I saw that it could have had. I guess I should start by saying that what the story lacks is organization and commitment. Throughout the entire series, different conflicts would be shoved on the backburner right in the middle of their climax, the conflcts would be built way up and then fall flat within a single episode or two, and sometimes conflicts would be forgotten about all together without any resolve being made at all. It became frustrating after being promised some huge development so many times only for it to either turn out to have no relevence to the story at all or just never followed through with. This applies to characters as well. There were several times where there were characters who took up whole episodes to be introduced and set up to do big things only to poke an uneccesary line every 20 episodes or so. I mean, I'm still mad about how this show handled Free and Eruka. Even the tone was a little flakey. It started out almost primarily a comedy but around halfway through almost stopped with the jokes entirely.
But with all that said, I want to point out the good things they did, because there were things done well. I've found that many shounen series are a little shallow, and use things like "cool action" as a crutch. While this series did utilize action, it definetly wasn't a crutch, simply because it didn't need one. The action and the traditional main story of a larger than life villian out to destroy was used effectivley as a medium and as dynamic for what the show was really about, which was the inner growth of the struggling main characters. There will be pieces of the story where you find yourself in an expressionist environment that represents one of the character's soul, where the character grapples with personal conflicts in impressionistic ways. I found these portions of the story to be very profound and moving. Through this process you develop strong relationships and understanding of the main characters and really makes you care about what they are doing and what happens to them.
The art and animation was truly great. It perfectly fitted the tone of the series as a whole and was furthermore customized to perfectly fit each character. Technically speaking, it was innovative and very fluid. I especially enjoyed the creativity shown in the design of pretty much everything. The characters, the buildings, the backgrounds, even the sky (you'll see what I mean if you haven't seen it yet) was drawn very cleverly and creatively. I could honestly say that someone could enjoy this series for its appearance alone.
As said before, the characters are one the series' strengths. I'm sure the fact that a lot of the story comes from character development helps. Each character has tons of defining personality and everything about them, from their appearance to their diction works together and makes perfect sense. What really set the characters of this series apart from others is the intimate introspection we are subjected to as a viewer. What I think this did for the viewer is that it gave a deep understanding of the characters and because we understood where they stood emotionally and what drives them, it made it very difficult to dislike them. The bad guys hardly got the same treatment, which was fine because that wasn't what this show was about. All we really needed to know about them is that they sought to hurt and destroy the heroes (although I would have liked for Asura to retain his crazy mindless monster role instead of turning into the cliche arrogant bad guy).
I hate putting a numbered rating for this because of how subjective it is. It really comes down to what you appreciate in an anime, and even still, it depends on what you are feeling like at the time. So I just put what level of enjoyment I found myself getting from Soul Eater. This series definetly fits a niche and provides easy-to-watch stimulation. Despite a good handful of deep moments, I don't know if a classy no-nonsense viewer would like wading through all the episodes to find them.
This anime could have been truly great, but all the extra, unimportant nonsense they threw in kept it from excelling. But still, if this fits your style, it'll definetly be one among the good ones. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
The story for Elfen Lied is supposedly an emotional journey that revealed all the deepest, darkest pieces of humanity and was supposed to give some poignant commentary on human nature and all that jazz. And although those are things that have certainly been done many times before, it can still be nice to see when done well. And yet, Elfen Lied really didn't do all that great of job of doing even that. All they really did was just kept showing you people being mistreated, and then it just stopped there. I mean, there were a few instances when something that might of been of substance began to develop but they were either cut off and the story shifted off into something else or it was just too shallow to ever really materialize into something. Honestly, they only thing I gathered from all this was that some people are big meanies, but there might be a nice kid in a bed and breakfast who makes out with his cousin that might take care of you. Other than that there was nothing really very tangible to take away from this. And with that being the good part, that left the rest/ majority of the series as just pulp, which consisted of soap-opera drama, Hollywood twists and sooper kool meat head action.
Despite all that, I still had hope because this was supposed to be an emotional anime, and human emotion is a beautiful thing even if the message behind it all is pretty shallow, but yet again, I was disappointed. I should have been moved after seeing a few of the scenes I saw, but I just wasn't because after seeing so many loved ones get their heads cut off and seeing so many people cry, watching those scenes was just like watching someone sneeze. They definitely needed to reel back in and remind us what real life looked like every once in a while for the sake of dynamic.
And lastly, I want to discuss one of the more talked about subjects regarding Elfen Lied’s story, and that’s the subject of the violence/nudity. I cast my vote in this area for it being more perversion than anything else. I was actually pretty disgusted at it at times. I can sort of understand the point of view of it being necessary, but I think it crossed a few lines. What was necessary (to a plot that is superficial by itself) was the fact that people were being killed, and that alone is an ugly enough thing to get a point across. What wasn’t necessary was the whole, maiming, disemboweling, eye gouging, and exploding. All that was there for one obvious reason, and that was shock value. As for the sexual part, I had a hard time justifying that. Actually depicting very young girls, or older girls who were just acting like little girls, naked and for the most part covered in blood in suggestive situations is pretty unnecessary. I mean, did every girl that had breasts HAVE to get their clothes ripped off when they fought? Did they HAVE to depict a little girl taking her clothes off for her step-dad? I didn’t really think so. There have been better stories that did a better job of making a character look sub-human without showing even a fraction of what Elfen Lied showed.
This isn't really something that generally holds much weight unless it's the focal point of a series. It's nothing to scorn, but it's really just the same recycled style/quality you see in so many series.
The worst part of Elfen Lied. The characters are garbage. They are so cliche and so overboard, they almost insult the intelligence of the viewer, as if we couldn't tell that Bando was short tempered and callous without either threatening the life or punching the faces of every single person he comes in contact with. All the characters are extremely unrealistic and act in ways no real person in today's society would ever act. Like a four year old girl who talks like a James Bond villain? Or elementary school boys who bully their classmates by smashing their puppies faces in with bottles? Teenagers who find naked women lying on beaches and takes them home to live with them without exchanging hardly any words? Besides all that, there weren't many cliches that weren't used in the daily dialogue from the characters. It was actually pretty painful.
ENJOYMENT: Eh.This is subjective. I know there are things that people enjoy purely because of their niche, which isn't a bad thing. That could easily be the case for this one. If you appreciate and enjoy innovation and artistic integrity, I'd suggest skipping this one.
There really is a lot more to be said about this series, but I think I'm going to stop here. I'm really baffled at how many people gush about this anime. One good thing, is that it confirmed that I should never take heed to an animetard's suggestions. read more