87 of 87 chapters read
Being called "classic" has many justifications, classics are usually good but in no way perfect. I kind of wish I could give this a 7.50, for 7 is too low but 8 is too high, why it got a 7 we will see in the following review.
Story: Akiras plot is quite unique in its own and not so unique as a whole. I'll spare the description and get to the heart of the matter. Six volumes, each are almost 400 pages, this is a long story.Problem is that the first three volumes don't have much happening other than explosions, wild goose chases and people screaming each others names with anger.See in most cases there is a certain build up before the shit hits the fan, in Akira shit hits the fan within the first few pages and keeps on doing so until the end where the shit just becomes way too much to handle.
We are introduced to a wide range of characters, names mostly, and watch them run for three volumes straight until a huge explosion erupts and then in volume 4 a story emerges. Now that is not necessarily bad, the constant movement in the 3 volumes do lead up to an important incident that if it were without we would have no story, and the action is enjoyable and well paced, definitely a page turner. However we don't know what exactly is going on, and we don't know the characters well either. So imagine going through half a series without really knowing who you are following.
In other words the idea is good, the execution needs some cut backs.
Characters: And the main reason it gets a 7.
With a story so long, and with so much going on you have to feel for the characters.
Lets start with Kaneda. He's a fifteen year old punk with a snotty attitude that takes drugs for fun and loves bikes. The end.Nothing is revealed,what about his parents? Are they dead?Does he hate them?Love them?He likes bikes...okay.But who is he anyway and why should I care about what happens to him?
Kei, she is part of a group of terrorists. Okay, she can kick serious ass. Fine. Why is she with these people? What is their goal?Why them and not someone else?At some point she speaks of goals and values but how can someone understand what she's talking about when nothing is revealed?
Same happens with most that appear, the problem is they are shallow,you only know certain aspects about them like the fact that Kei is tough, you don't know them. Hence you don't care.And saying that Kaneda is cool is not good enough for me to care if he randomly disappears or gets a deadly disease.
The only character worth mentioning is Tetsuo. He is basically the only one with a personality, someone that you can care about. From the moment he appears on panel you can pretty much figure out what his place is. He isn't valued much and when he obtains power he gives the finger to all that did him wrong and goes berserk.His character constantly changes throughout; he becomes angry, greedy, arrogant, but then humble, sad and vulnerable. One moment he's a ruthless bloodthirsty monster, the next only a boy that needs to be loved. but even his personality takes an awful long time to appear. Personally I was routing for him till the very end, heck I ended up reading this whole damn thing just to see what will happen to him.
Maybe the writer intended it to be this way,maybe he simply didn't want us to
care for the others but then again Kei and Kaneda get an awful lot of screen time so I should be on their side not his.Also the so called "love" between the two felt forced and completely unnatural.It was just annoying to be honest I mean wtf they didn't even know each other and all of a sudden they want to have kids?Come on man, that is just laughable.
Art:the art isn't anything spectacular, but it's nice. The direction of the series though is very good and that is something Otomo has been praised on. Some scenes were utterly beautiful( one with Tetsuo and the ocean waves comes in mind), the city of Neo Tokyo is just as futuristic and mad as it should be. The bikes were cool to look at, the styles of hair and clothes are a bit dated, the faces are distinguishable, they were definitely paid attention to with detail except maybe Kaneda and Keis(really, these two have so many problems).The action scenes are clear, there wasn't one moment I didn't understand what was going on and that my friends is a hard task considering most manga.
Enjoyment: this is a good story, putting aside the various character problems. If the characters were better I think it would be excellent.It is enjoyable and you can easily get caught in the drama, page turner indeed, it never bores(well maybe vol three. worst one out of them all).The use of the supernatural powers was done well, the whole plot was well crafted, politics, terrorism, human stupidity, it's all there. This is worth a read for the single reason of seeing all the similarities it has to later works, Akira definitely launched a bunch of stories with a similar feel to them and plot. read more
18 of 18 chapters read
Pain, tragedy, pain, tragedy, throw in some more pain and tragedy. Not to say that the plot is bad, not at all. In fact CLAMP here uses the urban landscape quite well, delving into the lives of those cursed by its overwhelming power to either let you rise or sink to the bottom. Tokyo is basically the main theme for a large part of the manga, and apparently it is filled with many restless spirits who can't seem to break their chains.The plot while containing the words "supernatural" and "magic" happens to be quite grounded on the tiles of reality. Interesting philosophies are thrown about now and then which overall raises the level of intelligence of the series.
However the drawback is the over the top tragedy that takes place, yes, tragedy exists in this world but when presented a number of times over and over it eventually seems unrealistic and makes the story heavy for no reason whatsoever. There are also many typical approaches to certain things (like dreams from the past and such, loss of memory) that follow the leads that make the whole thing become predictable from scene one, an atmosphere of mystery is supposedly created but fails.
Well, it's CLAMP,as overdone as that sentence might be it's the truth. Their art is really a matter of taste, with unusually proportioned bodies and over the top uncomfortable clothing, big eyes and pretty boys and girls. They also manage to put a bit of a cinematic feel to their drawings, overall the art is always well done.
Soubarou, our main lead, is not anything exceptional. In fact he holds many of the cliches one would encounter in anime one too many times, throughout the series it is noted multiple times how "kind,gentle,pure,caring" he is. He is nothing too complex or original but his put together quiet nature makes him likeable and during the process of the series he has an interesting formation of character. In other words he starts off dull but gets better on the process.
His sister Hokuto is a delightful comic relief of a character, her eccentric outfits and sassy attitude make her enjoyable. The relationship of the two is well done, they don't have the rather typical approach of twins where they look, act, talk alike. Rather they both share a different personality and different perks.
Seishiro, well, is all you would probably expect him to be.He is probably the most predictable character of the three from the beginning of the series. There is an attempt to create a certain mystery around him from the jump start but ( at least for me) failed miserably since from the very beginning it was pretty obvious what he is and is not. His jokes are cute but nothing outstanding, he is overall from beginning to end pretty bland and overdone.
Tokyo Babylon is a light read, it's nothing too groundbreaking or too complex, however it is the start of another series called X and X also links to Tsubasa which links to xxxHolic...so basically it is the start of a very very looooooong story. So expect to have to read further into other series.
25 of 25 episodes seen
The story is pretty complicated to begin with. Some explosion occurs five years prior and we lose Latin America(might be the other way around though 'cause I'm forgetful)and then the sky disappears and they build a gate around Tokyo to keep them away from some forbidden area. Oh and some supernatural beings that look like humans appear that are called "Contractors".We enter the life of one; Hei and his adventurous of fighting and killing pretty graphically other contractors.
I can say it's pretty interesting, the episodes are in arcs and only midway to the show they start to have some little consistency and follow some story. Other than that it's just Hei going along with the orders he is given to "eliminate" some useless material.
So let's start with the art. The art is pretty, it's obviously on a low budget but however it manages to be nice to look at.Character design is nice and very beautiful.The art's a bit strange though since they supposedly lost their sky and have a counterfeit which at nighttime is green.Yes people,green,the sky is green at night with lots of fake stars.
There is one element I really liked that I only noticed it when it actually started to happen it real life.The element of rain.It rains a lot for a large amount of episodes of this series and not for dramatic reasons,it just rains. Like Hei steps out of his house to go buy some groceries and it starts raining.The rain added a very mysterious and cool atmosphere to the show.
It has very enjoyable action, nice movements,interesting opponents. The opponents actually have a personality here other than the usual we see in such genres and most of them are very likeable.
The characters are fairly interesting,Hei is shady,literally,he shows a different personality according to whom he speaks to.He really is this gloomy,serious dude but to most he is this shy,clumsy and polite fellow who always says hello.Yin is promising but we don't get much about her. Huang is much more likable then at first.The cop lady is forgettable and rather annoying.Her presence serves nothing at all to the show.To be honest all the contractors are much more interesting then the "normal" people.
The music is okay, the OP is nice, done by the Abington Boys School,they usually have nice tracks.The EDs are forgettable.The OST is okay,it has a variety of music from jazz, to pop to rock.
There isn't much explained,ever.Like you watch the whole thing expecting something to happen but it doesn't.Even the last episode is like...totally random.I mean literally, it's just random.
There is some comic relief by a detective and his secretary?(I'm not sure what she was).They were pretty random too, like you have all this gore and fighting going on and then them who look like they came out of Lucky Star or something.They added nothing to the story either,it seemed that the plot was aiming for something more serious but these guys just blew that away.
The use of CGI is annoying.It's used for the cars, but you see a lot of cars here and everytime I just wanna bang my head against the wall it's so bad.
The characters are ALL promising but none of them get the attention they deserve.Okay Hei does,but you really don't understand anything by what they give you!
Overall you have this promising plot that looks likes it's going somewhere but doesn't(and I heard the second season is just a different arc) and promising characters that are left hanging on a cliff.This story tried to be good, it succeed in many things but failed in many others.It really is all over the place, like the final episodes are so darn complex, it's like the writer wanted to say all these things but didn't have the time so tried to explain everything is one episode of 20 minuets.
Darker than Black is enjoying and if you choose to watch this you will be entertained there is no doubt about that.But don't expect anything too deep and don't expect any conclusion 'cause nothing is ever concluded or explained.
26 of 26 episodes seen
Then I did not know that Japan manages to make amazing plots that sound familiar and predictable and turn them into something unique and marvelous. Again: kudos to these people and their amazing talent!
STORY:(8) seriously, it sounds ridiculous and like something that you'll probably know what will happen next.The truth is it surprised me 'cause this baby is full of surprises, good surprises, the story takes many turns to things you wouldn't have imagined. But the real enjoyment is in the the comedy, the comedy in this show is what really makes it so good. I mean, the times I laughed my ass off while watching this, literally falling off my chair and screw the language barrier, this show is funny as hell! The situations these people get into and the way they handle it is just hilarious. If you don't get a great laugh out of this, man you must be one messed up person.There isn't much romance going on, maybe in the manga it does but the series has very little to none at all so if you're hesitating than please, do not, this is not your typical shoujo.
the art? beautiful .Crisp and clean and I really like the character drawings even though you got your typical cute guys running all around, yet they all have their own unique style that makes them stand out from the rest and each other. You don't have a bunch of all look the same dudes here, much like their characters the art is very unique and quite pretty to look at. The school is beautiful drawn as in most of the background and the clothes also are fun to watch since they got this like different occasion dress style going.
SOUND:(7) now I'm gonna be frank with you,I haven't seen this in awhile but since I don't remember the ost much it probably don't have much to say. The OP is fun, your typical stupid pop song that get's stuck in your had everytime you hear and the ED is nice too...nothing to spectacular though.
Now the characters are really something. Tamaki especially, you just can't not love this dork, he is by far one of the most funniest characters I've come across. He has all the downsides of a human being(selfish, spoiled, arrogant, terribly narcissistic)and yet you still love him 'cause in the end he's just human and he's a ditzy but that's part of his charm. But still he is a quite enjoyable one to watch and his "depression" mode is of the most funny parts in the show. Then the other guys are equally as enjoyable, the twins are just amazing, Honey is the cutest and most fierce little creature out there, Takashi is the only sane person in the bunch aside from Haruhi and Kyouya...well, I didn't like him that much, but even so he's still unique. The cute thing and the most enjoyably is that this group is one with friends who all are completely different from one another.It's like they complete in one another what one lacks and in the end that's what relationships are all about anyway. Then we come to Haruhi, Haruhi is amazing, she is really one to enjoy, her wit is beyond me and it's a nice breeze to see an intelligent woman(even though she pretends to be a man) in the anime industry other than the ditzy,high pitch voiced ones who only care about guys. She is a bit ditzy actually but her ditziness is likable and (dare I say) witty.
I was aiming for a 9 but the ending sucks so I dropped to 8. Of course the usual endings that animes that finish before the manga find of this genre met this series and decided to stay. The end could have been better done, it really ruins the whole series.
Other than that, this show is very enjoyable and one of my favs. There's no way you won't love the characters and laugh with their amazing pranks. The story is well executed and beautifully written,happy surprises arise here and there. I general I enjoyed this show completely, it's pleasant to watch and smart enough to make you pay your respects to it's awesomeness.Tons of laughs, maybe a few tears if you're the sappy type( I'm not, can't ever cry over these things) and endearing and approachable characters. This series is a definitely must for those in for a good time. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
This series is one of those ones that might be under the category of anime, it might look like anime but the only thing anime about it is the animation. All cliches and all things that define anime as the genre are gone leaving a story so very well told, a true masterpiece.
What does make a good series? I think a lot of very good anime or stories in general are very heavy on characters, the characters carry the story. That is not a bad tactic but then the story does not stand on it's own and thus you are left with this and that amazing character and alas you have no defining plot, you have no general story. This one has a story, a story strongly told and with much meaning to it, a story full of depth, the story holds the characters who simply add to it's greatness.
In my opinion there is nothing more scary than a child holding a gun.It destroys everything a child stands for; innocence for most, ignorance, carefree, true bliss, however when you see a child with a gun you know that their eyes have seen it all. You know that they won't buy your Santa Claus story and your myths about where children come from, they wont believe in fairies and they don't expect you to be nice to them.
Enter Hellywood:hell on earth. Very rare is it for people to write a story about war describing all the actual, true horrors of it without I suppose filling it with endless gore. There are no evil notebooks, no supernatural creatures that seek power, no aliens that have profits names, no magic,no super robots to protect the weak, no super intelligent agencies to do the dirty work, when war breaks loose it's the human who will step into the battlefield, alone and without a shield and his worst fear wont be something that doesn't look, think or act like him,here man's worst enemy is man, and that is by choice.The horror that is portrayed is not terrifying for the sake of wanting to make you cringe,it's true, it's happened, it happens and it will happen again.
It's obvious that this is on low budget. The art doesn't say much but it is enjoyable to look at, however the art might be simple yet it really wouldn't matter even if it was stick people drawn on a notebook, this series is too well written for one to care about the art. However it's still nice, simple and nice.
Not much of a OST, however what I did like was that the OP and ED was ridiculously simple,not very "anime-like", like I said this series is far from anime and one should not expect some pop song to open the series credits or close, nice choice of an instrumental for the beginning and a rather depressing ballad in the end, just to add to the sorrow that follows the rest of the series.
While the series is not very character driven, the faces that appear throughout the show are notable and in fact very interesting people. In a world where everything is far from just corrupted we enter a handful of characters who most likely have been corrupted to their core.
Our main lead Shu is a very optimistic person, his optimism goes far yet he is the kind of person who will always see a light in the end of a tunnel no matter how dark it is all around, while he struggles through endless horrors he still maintains a positive attitude that one day all we be mended and thus gains your respect and probably some times pity. A number of characters are there and most of them have a rock instead of a heart but always you understand why, the things they have seen and been through have caused them to be cold and forced them to turn heartless. I guess my biggest impression was with the characters of : Lala Ru, the water fairy who simply after seeing the world end a million times and a million time again fails to have any sympathy for any human being having been fed up with their selfishness and Nabuca, a twelve year old soldier who simply kills without remorse seeking his freedom, the situations he's been thrown into have turned him into such a ruthless killing machine that he simply shuts down any sign of sympathy or love even though those feelings reappear in him on a daily basis, however his reasons are understandable and at times quite sad since it's pretty obvious he's fighting with devil and the devil never loses.
This series is filled with controversial and 3-D characters and that shows very well even though it only lasts for 13 eps, as opposed to other series that have double the eps and leave most characters to be flat and uninteresting.
This is a terrible series and I don't mean that it's badly written or executed, but it simply does not glorify the human nature by any mean.However, as it might be hard to swallow at times and true at most, utterly horrifying and cruel it teaches something that many of us usually deny or simply have a hard time seeing:that eventually even though all around us is pitch black darkness and we can't see a sign that might imply that things might get brighter,someday, after all this suffering you'll be able to see the light and enjoy the sunset alongside a dear friend. Someday, even though this cycle of neverending madness and violence might never stop, there will be days of peace that will make up for all the pain you endured and that even though most people are rotten at heart, some,maybe a handful are good and maybe that bad guy isn't as bad as you thought he was at first. This series is the most pessimistic and yet the most optimistic story ever to have come my way. A true gem I say, definitely worth watching. read more
55 of ? chapters read
They both get a seven but I honestly believe the manga to 100 times better than the anime or it's lousy sequel which by the way was too horrible to even watch till the end. Though I like the manga better it still lacks and so here I will try to explain why.
STORY: quite good, very good actually. The story doesn't have much consistency; the only consistent thing about it is that Ciel sold his soul and is now Sebastian's master and they try to find the right people so Ciel can unleash his hateful revenge on. While that is promising and good as an idea for a plot and could perhaps unravel in a sort of mysterious,detective kind of story with the boy being led from one clue to the other so he can find what he's looking for but it actually doesn't do so. Instead it relies on cliches and stories told so many times and in the same ridiculous shonen fashion that I have gotten very sick of.We have different arcs that, while some are enjoyable, eventually lead no where, sure the bad guys are done for and the mystery is solved but what does it have to do with Ciel and the people who killed his parents? Now since this hasn't finished yet and well...as painful as it may be we're not really sure when it's going to be, it may be never, these unrelated arcs might lead to something in the end but by the time we reach the end we've gotten so tired of the constant fillers that you just give up. The last few chapters are just fillers with stuff so unrelated that the story becomes stiff and boring, this plot could be carried out in a much wittier way and I suppose with less chapters but it just drags and tries too much to sell. 7 only for the concept
ART:ok the art is PERFECT! If you like Victorian fashion and generally the whole atmosphere of those times( and the gothic theme of course) then you'll probably enjoy the art very much. Beautiful castles are drawn in much detail and so are the interiors, in general we have a lot of great background( well maybe not as good as Kaori Yukis but close) and it captures the feel of the era perfectly. the clothes are all magnificent, I especially like all of Ciels outfits,they're imaginative and completely stylish. This series is great for the fashion, no let downs here. 9
CHARACTER: ugh, so I felt the characters were flat in the anime, the manga is no different.We have our mains here; Ciel and Sebastian. While I find Ciel's character to be promising and often comes off very interesting even though he is a spoiled son of a bitch. Sebastian is flat, I can't put my head around him, he has no character what so ever, even though he's polished to the bone with all the cool guy traits, with his wits and sharp moves and chilly attitude but still he's really forgettable at the end of the day.He COULD be interesting I mean he's a devil blah blah blah, I've come across interesting creatures of his kind but he fails completely. The servants of Ciels mansion are forgettable while funny but that's all they got,then there's some key characters that come and go like Lau who are enjoyable while they're there. The gay shinigami is awful and it's NOT because he's gay but he's just so...I dunno, he just doesn't fit. Elizabeth, Ciels fiancee, is terrible and annoying and oh my god so familiar! Ciel is promising and so are some others that appear for a little while but eventually he has no growth or in general he really just isn't well written. Boring, boring, boring and most of them just don't fit the script. They're too far fetched! 5
ENJOYMENT/OVERALL: So this manga IS enjoyable even though the characters are a major turn off for me that likes well written characters but it still is fun to read. You really can see that the author did her homework on England 1800s and that you can see very clearly, Kuroshitsuji is an enjoyable manga if you like to look at pretty art. You can get lost in it's era very easily and enjoy the story. Some arcs like I said are very good like the one about the Circus which is really really good. Nothing too heavy, an easy read definitely and it's kind of fun. The tackiness can get to you but it's still worth a look. If you like nice art then take a look at it, if you expect any kind of development aside form one or two hints every 20 chapters than forget it.7 read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
STORY: not too original but not too typical either. Parakiss has an interesting plot, rather simple and realistic with a fairytale twist, I merely took upon in because I like fashion and it really is an appealing show for ones who like fashion and the whole industry. It shows some interesting facts about certain things, a small peek into clothe designing and the whole clothes/model industry in general. It also deals a great matter with the issue of school and the pressure a lot of parents tend to put on their kids to get good grades,it talks about friendship, family, love, romance, business and dreams. It also is a continuation of another series/ manga called Gokinjo Monogatari which I have not seen.
In general story is good, simple and down to earth. 8
ART: while very beautiful with all the characters have a unique design for themselves I thought that parts looked a bit off. For example the background looked as if it is simple cut off a magazine and then placed behind the animated characters, the characters themselves moved a bit oddly giving the impression that they were out of place. It must have been low production but even though sometimes the art looks odd it still manages to look pretty. The characters are all designed beautifully with great dressing style( they are designers after all :P) and the clothes are beyond beautiful which is expected since Yazawa Ai did go to design school if my memory serves me right.8
SOUND: the op and ed are both great, TommyFebruary with her "Lonely in Gorgeous" as the OP rocks pretty bad ass since even though poppy and catchy the song is one of my favs and fits the whole series perfectly. The ed quite surprisingly is Franz Ferdinants "Do you want to" which I love. Overall good music. The background...I don't even think the background had any music and even if it did it's not memorable.8
CHARACTER: now, the characters are interesting but this is were for me the show lacks. While each and every one of them is interesting (with my fav being Miwako and her crazy pink hair) I lack to feel sympathy for them or in general have any "deep" connection if that's possible with them.
Hayasaka Yukari is our lead and she's is actually a person I know. I know someone just like her and we used to be friends so I guess it kind of got a bit personal for me since I never got along very well with that friend. People like Yukari exist, you can see them everyday and that's what makes her real.Yet I can't really stand her character and since she has problems with her mother you can blame it on that and whatnot which is true, but I still dislike her. Always wanting to be #1, nagging and complaining and being jealous and I dunno she just bugged me ( as I say it's probably on a personal level). Most of the characters though I didn't like much, in my eyes they're a bunch of rich kids who off course struggle to make their dreams come true but in the end of the day they are noting but that: rich kids who can afford to spend their money. With Yukari being the only one without a huge mansion I just felt the most of them were just hypocritical and shallow.
George: the main love interested is your typical hot guy who's perfect in everything but with flaws. He's a playboy, very typical in soujo and there is really nothing too special about him besides the fact that he makes nice clothes. I didn't care.
Arashi: Miwakos bf and the other member of Parakiss. Jealous of his girlfriend keeping in touch with an old friend. I didn't care.
Miwako: though I liked her as an image, her clothes, her hair, her character was bubbly and happy go lucky but she also seemed shallow. NO matter the drama they tried to give her I simply felt apathetic. Didn't care.
Isabella: now this one is the most interesting one I must say, but she didn't get much screen time and we really know very very little about her, so I couldn't really say much. She is interesting on her own though.
Everybody else....pff I just forgot about them.6
ENJOYMENT/OVERALL: well While I didn't like the characters much I liked the show quite a bit, the clothes were nice, it had a few good messages here and there and a nice atmosphere. If you like clothes and the model industry you'll probably like it. Other than the clothes though I found nothing too special about it. I give this series a 7 just for the beautiful clothes and art, the characters...pff I rather live without.