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518 of ? chapters read
I felt like this was an 8/10 manga at the start (add in the 4/10 it has been for the last 200 chapters, and a 4/10). While there were MOUNDS of angst, a fairly typical "training arc" layout, and a fairly typical foundation for the type of cool characters (ninjas), there were a lot of positive factors that more than made up for any of those problems. Kakashi taunting his students with his erotic book and the exaggerated responses that come in return (ch.5 p.5) are a good example of the fun spirited nature at the beginning of this work. The aspiration that was evident for Naruto helped keep the story very lighthearted despite Naruto being a brat, Sasuke being a grim angsty boy, and Sakura being a typically feckless cling-on girl character. When you replace that aspiration with "I have to save my friends! Everything is so terrible!", the manga loses a certain amount of its fun spiritedness, and I think the people involved with making this never really thought that out properly.
Now I am not saying the start was perfect, for instance the lack of backgrounds all over the place (just look at say practically any page in chapter 23), but the side characters all have real personalities, the powers are mostly very well thought out, and the battle action is very cool indeed. Things that were lost in the anime like how striking Naruto looks when the nine-tails starts taking control are completely impressive and one of the reasons that reading this manga was so fun. The tournament was completely mainline shounen battle manga fun, and while it is not the most original storyline or even action ever, it was just as fun as any of those has ever been, a definite high point for the manga. There are certainly still good storylines and fights afterward, for instance I would say the puppet master fight is a relative high point, but a lot of problems started to become endemic.
I think it is pretty obvious that a lot of the reasons for the changes in Narutos were the trappings of its immense popularity. With pressure and popularity comes a need to make every character cooler, to appeal to broader audiences, and to simplify plot aspects. In this case it is also pretty evident that there became a real sense of needing to be taken seriously, so we get to slog through a lot of grim angst rather than fun spirited adventure or expressiveness, and it has been that way for something around 200 chapters. While there certainly are works that are grim and work, the people involved in Naruto unfortunately do not have the aptitude to write that sort of dialogue or draw that sort of art. As the villains had to become more powerful and the plot "more epic", the art simplified in shading and character forms, which has been a big disappointment for me. The overall construction of arcs weakened too, and the humor has been just basically completely lost (with the Bee and Naruto's interactions being a great example of just terribly executed gags).
None of the above was really enough of a breaking point for me to stop reading the manga, but Pain was. When you implement a plot copout like killing off a large portion of the characters that we are supposed to care about and then revive all of them, you have cheapened the plot in a way that a work can never really recover from. Pain's transformation to senseless hate to incredible generosity happens in such a short span of time that it is not really very compelling anyway. Even then I picked the manga back up, but what was enough to drop it for good was the recent spate of grim faced unhappiness (personified by Sai), overbold art style (a la Bleach too much ink), or bad attempts at introducing mind game oneupmanship (Danzou) wearing on me to the point that this manga just was not a fun read anymore. It has lost all the fun, and if you are attached enough to the characters then I guess it might still be worth a read, but I would honestly recommend that the end of the fights with Orochimaru is probably the best place to drop this manga if you start to feel like you have had enough. Feel free to stick with Naruto and Sakura trying to prove how adult they are while sobbing about Sasuke a lot though. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
The art, average to slightly good in the manga, is replaced with triangle faced characters whose eyes may or may not pop out of their heads depending on the moment. The shading is completely random, often covering exactly one half of the face, which might make sense (and still be incompatible with how shading works in real life) in a horror anime, but this is a drama. Movement is usually incredibly minimal, since no one involved knew how to animate. After being a weird warped round shape, suddenly the eyes turn into Skip Beat eyes in one scene. The roof that you get shown over and over is glossy, since clearly that is how this author thinks roofs actually are.
While nothing about this could be worse than the art already is, none of the angst involved is intelligent, the voice acting is feeble, the book references make far less sense than the manga, and everything crawls at an ant's pace. Without a doubt this is the worst anime film I have ever watched. read more
188 of 223 chapters read
The characters all have the thinnest personalities and emotions possible...no complexity there.
1 of 1 episodes seen
The biggest problem with the movie is that the action is interrupted by humor over and over, but the humor is terrible which leads to a very messy progression. When you have the same "YOU CAN TALK???" joke 4 different times, even by Shiki multiple times, then how can someone throw themselves into this movie with full enjoyment?
The next biggest problem with this movie is the character Shiki. He comes across like a much less interesting version of Blackbeard, and since the plot essentially revolves around him being rude the whole time, it wears really thin to have to endure him over and over.
Could the "rescue a nakama!!!!1" plot idea be any more overused in this series by now? Did we really need an entire movie about it? I actually laughed when Nami was all "if only we had known the terrible mistake we made..." or something narrating a backstory, only for it to be like A DAY AGO...well gee, you sure went through a lot there!
The battles did not really make sense...Shiki toys with them with his gravity power early on, then later Luffy powers up to gear second and can suddenly fend off pretty much everything. Well, way to undermine the entire movie? The outfits and attitudes going into the "climactic battle" were even worse...
Honestly, everyone just decided this would have to be great because Oda was involved, then when it was not actually so great...well who cares, Oda made it! It had to have been great, who am I to judge this! -_- The only part of One Piece with any integrity left is the manga.
I will say that the power idea they gave Shiki was a perfectly nice and enjoyable idea, and when it was just him messing around with gravity was when this movie was at its most fun. read more
55 of 142 chapters read
Unfortunately, this quickly becomes about half assed tragedy (the tragedy in itself is not a terrible idea, but how everyone talks about it, reacts/reacted to it, how much everything about it is repeated ad naseum). Everything becomes sad faced drawings of characters that looks so terrible. It is not depressing, but it sure is miserable to interact with. My mistake was hoping that this would be a manga with exciting sports competitions, and instead it was Rumbling Hearts, "this time on skis!"
On the "gag" side and "slice of life" side, there are lots of bad blushing pictures and bad character art to accompany those types of story elements too. I do not like these types of elements anywhere, but I have no real particular problem with them when executed well. They are terribly executed in this manga.
The non-character art is really good, and that is about the only good thing I can say about this manga. read more
4 of 12 episodes seen
This series, first of all, has terrible art and animation. The character art is that kind of lumpy facial style that seems to be the default shabbiest "acceptable" anime art form for people. It is completely lacking in style, substance, or detail. I am not just lashing out at random or trying to claim authority, this is seriously true; for instance, characters nearly never have elbows if their arms are straight (e.g. episode 3, near the end Kousaka randomly loses his elbows when he is crouched over, and just has claymation style lump arms). The animation has this kind of feel like it gets stuck in movement over and over, I imagine because there are just simply not enough panels. The coloring is good, but nothing detailed enough to make up for the rest.
The thing that really made me decide "this might be the single worst anime I have ever seen" was the within episode anime and hentai, which is all the lowest grade, sixth grade fanfiction junk I have ever seen. The within episode anime basic style is not so bad, it is the type of style Negima takes after for instance, but it is drawn so blockily, so completetly undetailed, that everything looks like a complete caricature. It would be one thing if this were more of a comedy, but this is supposed to be establishing otaku as "being okay" more than that. The overall effect is to prove everything everyone says bad about anime and otakus right.
The characters are losers, no mistake about that, but the characterization is decent a lot of the time. Unfortunately, when it slips back into portions like "the main character bumbling his way through terrible hentai as if he just started puberty, but unfortunately he is a college student," then that is right down the toilet. The only gags come from the non-otaku being mad (with suitably terrible art), often about otaku stuff, which degrades her character as well.
Honestly in the end this series just shows "most people who like nerdy stuff are a little terrible...", so I am not sure exactly why people are so gaga over this. It definitely does not redeem nerd culture, and even has the "appealing" otaku as singled out as weird by his fellow otakus for not being as terrible as them.. It just says "being an otaku is mildly terrible, not completely miserable like people think!" What a message of hope! I guess if you identify with being terrible, then this is the anime for you, but otherwise stay away. read more
50 of 50 episodes seen
The story is your typical "gets one star, enjoys a meteoric rise to the near top, loses anyway, probably eventually wins but ONLY in the very last year" formula. Typical to this, ONLY the protagonists and "notable" opponents ever in ANY way matter. The only real gags in the entire anime revolve the few times they do not have the protagonists/notables easily succeed...which is not a very good gag element. The only real change to the overall plot tendencies is that they throw in a tragedy, and the tragedy is not a very good one...having to see people get all sadfaced and wax nostalgic about it is pretty annoying, and the onslaught of flashbacks repeated, while not as bad as it could be, is fairly overboard.
To the actual baseball parts of the action, since pretty much the largest negative emotions it displays are an "oi oi oi" "are you kidding me" attitude, there are not really any sore losers or sore winners. I know that the cliche "big personalities! ridiculous action!" shounens are not that great either, but all this manages to produce is a baseball team with no personality, taking matters to the other extreme. The baseball games are never really interesting because of this, and there is no real reason to sympathize with the team and want it to win no matter how much time they spend on all of the characters.
The characters are pretty weak. It is nice that Ko is not a brat, but he is also pretty bland, having no real personality to speak of...this goes for a lot of characters, probably everyone but Aoba really. Their personalities are pretty much all "stare around thoughtfully/at another person, crack a smile, play baseball". I appreciate that they wanted to use silence to set some sort of tone, but they failed to craft any meaningful personalities because of it. Unfortunately, Aoba is your standard grade unenjoyable tsundere who does NOTHING but complain and lie about her "true feelings" for 50 episodes, so she is not a good break from all of this at all.
The art is a nice style, but it has some major problems. The character art becomes very chunky and bold in a lot of zoom ins for some reason, despite having previously looked fine zoomed out just seconds before. The next biggest problem are the mouths, which are some of the least expressive I have ever seen in an anime...just because you chose a simple style does not mean you have to totally cop out of drawing faces! They pretty much are just a barely open o ( or closed | all of the time. The other biggest flaw with the art is the coloring - everything is vivid, but nothing actually has any detail! Pay attention and you will notice this is true...it does not ruin the anime, but it makes it difficult to find much interesting.
The animation is very smooth most of the time, a real treat to watch actually, but it also deals in most of the major problems of modern anime. It has a ton of slow zoom ins on characters to simulate movement that is not there. It has tons of white action lines to simulate false excitement in the sports scenes (no idea why, they ACTUALLY decently animate most of the time, so why do this?) - this happens more as the anime goes on, initially it was rare. There are lots of repeat moments (as in triple takes et cetera), lots of white outs during action scenes to try to draw out and create a bigger impact, and other various tricks that really fall flat...again, it is not bad enough to destroy the in episode pacing or destroy the "feel", but it is overboard and slightly distracting.
The voice acting is completely average, and the music is terrible and interferes with a lot of moments.
A final miscellaneous flaw is that the transitions are incessant and really poorly done. Oftentimes they will flash to some random scenery and pan straight up, this happens literally about 30 times. Also literally about 30 times they will use the terribly drawn cat (worst part of this anime) to clumsily transition.
This is a decent sports anime/manga, but really I would say that not only are there better slice of lifes around, and alternately there are better hot blooded sports anime/manga around, and that I would fill my time with either of those alternatives first before looking to a work like this. read more
3 of 20 chapters read
The art consists of lots of sharp hair, hashes to simulate action and avoid having to draw anything in most panel outside the character, and the
The plot centers around a guy who is smart, nearly invincibly strong, and has no common sense. Also "tsundere" I guess. These aspects are talked about or demonstrated in 90% of panels.
The other characters so far are a whiny wimp who idolizes him nauseatingly, a "sexy" female, and an apparently about to be added to the cast swordsman who "only seeks the strongest fights." Yawnnnnnnn.
Anyway, this is a terrible addition to Shounen Jump. It is Katekyo Hitman Reborn without the superpowers. It is a gimmick WITHOUT any actual gimmicks. Boringgggg. read more
36 of 36 episodes seen
The style of the anime sits firmly on the laurels of a Mobile Suit Gundam, but it forsakes this with the actual character styles, opting to imitate the Harlock/Galaxy Express style instead. Instead of airs to grandeur, the characters instead all are fairly subdued and slow to react to everything. This results in every character looking like Harlock, talking like Gundam, but not really having a personality at all in the end. It is just a bunch of gazing at each other, talking about Minami, or elementary school level bickering or gossiping.
The story of aliens for whom culture (mostly just pop idol singing and sex, unfortunately) is either a drug or alternately a poison, is fairly humorous. Everything else is pretty bad though. The pop idol storyline is all bad, especially because the songs are so lifeless. Minami is all anyone will talk about for pretty much the whole series, and it becomes incredibly obnoxious as the series goes on. The fights are decent, but the reasons given for the enemies not just destroying them from the getgo are pretty implausible (especially given what they finally do later, although that is too big of a spoiler for me to include here).
The art is simply atrocious. The lines are bold and chunky, or maybe a better way to put it is that especially all of the characters look smeared all of the time. When a zoom out happens the character art becomes even better. At least it resulted in some hilarious moments, like when (probably due to a guest director or producer) all the eyes start bugging out in episode 25.
The voice acting is average in Japanese, and actually listenable in English with the exception of Minami whose voice is an insulting psuedo-Asian broken English trainwreck (no other character sounds like this, the rest all speak perfectly decent English, including her entire family). The music has some really good ideas...and is unfortunately incredibly limited. Like if you tried to listen to a song and replayed it in 15 second format on amazon.com, the music here repeats incredibly short stretches over and over. No matter how good the classical style booming drums sound, banging them the exact same way every episode is exasperating.
Overall, I guess go ahead and watch this if you are absolutely obsessed with space works or gigantic robot works, but just know you are getting something that is a derivative and inferior work. There is much better you can spend your time on, like the aforementioned works from which Macross is derived, or perhaps a nice cup of Legend of the Galactic Heroes! read more
6 of 24 episodes seen
First of all, the art and animation is mostly terrible. Sure some of the movement is "slick", but the animation is always glossy, the character art is as bad as you would expect from the manga made worse with coloring, and the awkward zooms and movement during action scenes ruins any hope of excitement. This is definitely not enjoyable to look at any time in the episodes I watched, and was cringe inducing with the bigger mistakes (like during the first episode with the first time she fires lightning, and her face practically melts).
The voice acting is terrible shrill typical bad moe stuff. Not a single character sounded good, and even as someone who hates this type of fake "cute" voice acting I usually find that some will sound good. Furthermore, the sparkly sound effects are again cringe inducing.
The added details in the story so far involve more bad gags (like HRHR LOOK AT ALL MY SEXY PANTIES or THE STRIPPER LADY!!) and not much else. Yeah, some extra "depth" to the characters was added in like episode 6, but the additions were not interesting because the characters were not interesting. For the first couple of episodes, the extra slice of life storylines might be nice for some people, but I spent the first two episodes skipping to the action after a few exasperated minutes.
All I can say is that this seems to be an already extremely typical manga made into a typical anime that was very poorly executed. The action scenes I skipped to hoping for something to salvage matters were really bland...just nothing worthwhile here as far as I can see.