24 of 24 episodes seen
Witchblade was a nice surprise. Considering it is based off an American comic of the same name that is known for being very sexual and violent, I was expecting a perverted ecchi mess. Her costume certainly doesn't leave much to be desired and the ecchi factor is certainly there, but miraculously it doesn't become the focus of the story. Don't worry boys, you'll all have plenty to drool over. But there's something there for us story lovers too. The main story is simpler then the synopsis lets on. It's about a mother who would do anything to protect her daughter. The greedy organizations, insane scientists and terrifying weapons just add that extra something every plot needs to get on its feet. There are still some hints to this being related to its darker American comic, but they're subtle and younger viewers might not even pick up on them. Otherwise this anime stands alone.
The pacing of the show moves along nicely. It felt a bit slow at times only to suddenly spring this emotional roller coaster at you towards to the end. Some people feel that the ending was rushed and I would have to disagree. Predictable? Absolutely. But that's what they were aiming for and they definitely achieved something with the ending. It might almost feel anti-climatic at first, but after thinking about it I wouldn't think of this a flaw so much as a quirk considering the circumstances. It all depends on how you take it.
The characters moved this show along, the main character Masane particularly. Everything would have fallen apart without her growth. But she wasn't alone; all of the side characters were wonderful and had unique personalities that changed over time. Her daughter, Rihoko was a particular favorite. For one of those anime children that's randomly mature and good at everything, she was one of the few that didn't make me want to punch things.
The character designs seem strange at first. It's like all of the characters are different...but wait that's a good thing! After years of seeing anime girls with the exact same body type it was refreshing to see characters that completely differ in all those. A lot of the girls still had boobs bigger then their heads, but that's to be expected. The action was very fluid and the fight scenes will probably be a favorite of our resident echhi lovers.
The soundtrack was so-so. I always skipped over both EDs, but I adored the first opening. Then they suddenly switch to that terrible second opening half way through and my heart broke. Besides that horrible opening song, the music wasn't really a dominant factor in this show.
Overall Witchblade was a very enjoyable experience. It started off kind of slow as far as character development, but don't give up right away. It's there, you just can't see it. When the plot starts moving along things really pick up, characters stop being idiots and suddenly you won't be able to look away. Don't randomly run away from this show like I did. Witchblade is a show worthy of being given a chance. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
Fire Tripper. A 50 minute OVA by Rumiko Takahashi telling the story of a girl who somehow finds herself traveling through time to the Civil War era where she meets a high strung young man and she has to find out how she got there and what the story is, etc, etc. Sound familiar? Somehow this gem made it under the radar of even Inuyasha fans who pass it off as a rip-off of their favorite half-demon. Which is not only impossible, but a shame as this OVA is definitely worth the watch.
The story was set and concrete. There were no interruptions, no random visits to the beach with the 'gang'. The OVA moves forward and tells the story, and a great story at that. It's a bit hard to really get into without spoilers, but the story is not overly complicated. Anyone could easily figure it out just by looking at the synopsis and picture. Everything unravels nicely, and there were some very clever foreshadowing hints throughout the beginning. They're a bit hard to spot on your first watch, but it's fun to look out for them and then compare with the ending. One thing that Inuyasha can't compare with is that this story had a beginning and a solid ending. As much as I would love to see more of these characters, the end was very satisfying.
The characters were like a breath of fresh air. Suzuko, while a little annoying at first, was really very mature and I liked her as a character. Unlike a lot of characters who find themselves in a strange new world, she adapted well and the only major whining to be heard from her was justified. Shukumaru was an idiot. Gosh I loved him. He had a temper and was rough around the edges, but from the looks of it he seemed to be the most trustworthy guy in that village. Their relationship was natural and even with such a short time frame it never felt forced. Most of the character development was all Suzuko, but again it was gradual.
The art wasn't the best. For its age of course it's pretty darn good and it holds that classic Takahashi style that fans of Ranma 1/2 or Urusei Yatsura would be familiar with. Newer anime fans might be a bit thrown off because the show does show its age a bit, but it wasn't exactly a tragedy. It's never a distraction and some scenes are even quite beautiful.
It's probably true that this story inspired the series Inuyasha that people know today. Had this been a full length series and not a 50 minute OVA, I would without a doubt say this surpasses Inuyasha in every way. I still want to say that, just for the fact that it has a solid ending and an enjoyable story. Just for its short length and history alone I would recommend anyone giving this OVA a try. Fire Tripper has the feeling of watching a good movie, and is ideal for Inuyasha fans, Rumiko Takahashi fans, or just someone looking for something short but sweet. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
I'd been wanting to see this anime for some time now, ever since I saw a scene on Youtube that was easily the sweetest clip ever. After two weeks of life kicking my butt, it was time. And my timing was just about perfect. This is the show you want to come home to after a bad day. At some points I felt myself get all relaxed, like I was either waking up or lulling into a pleasant nap. It was sweet, it was calming, it wasn't boring. Just the type of show to lift one's spirits.
Unfortunately, this doesn't mean the show is perfect. It has its flaws right along with it's good points. The plot was...predictable. There really weren't any surprises to be had and I could easily figure out what was going to happen before it did. It all became a matter of just watching the events unfold. The anime didn't even try to hide the obvious plot points, instead opting to concentrate more on how the story was told rather then what story was told. Which is OK. It's nice to just sit back and enjoy the ride once in a while. But if you're the type of person who loves deep, hidden plot goodies and mysteries to uncover and unravel as the show goes on, look elsewhere.
I have mixed feelings about the art. The art style was different. At times it seemed bland, but then they'd just go into something completely different. I loved the attention to detail, just little things that they were very good about keeping on top of. Also every so often a little music video would appear (oh yes) and the art goes through some drastic changes in one or two of them, but they fit the mood and it just worked.
And now the music. I had to get to this at some point in a musical anime. I am so lucky I actually liked the songs, because they sure liked to repeat them. It started to remind me of transformation sequences in magical girl anime; they showed the same scene for the one song every time. I was so relieved when the music videos came on, because that meant something different, but the second I saw three microphones appear out of nowhere I knew I was in for yet the same recycled scene. Don't get me wrong, I found myself humming some of the songs cheerfully in the shower this morning. It just would have been nice to see them singing something new.
The characters were all-around decent. There wasn't any substantial character development, but as I mentioned before the attention to detail is amazing. Especially when it comes to their unique personalities. All of the characters served their purposes, none were wasted and it worked. Nothing to call home about really.
Despite how this review may sound, I thoroughly enjoyed this show. It had a nice little message, got rid of some stress and had some nice music. I would most definitely recommend giving it a show. Just don't go in expecting a monumental work of art. The charm of this show is that it does not take itself too seriously and try to be something it's not. The show just is. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
This will be one of the weirder things you watch. At only one episode I wasn't expecting a masterpiece. The story was rushed, as to be expected. They probably could have stretched this out to at least 3 episodes. If only for the sake of giving the characters a bit more depth. With the 'villains' of the story, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they did what they did, or how they imagined it would work out for them. There was just no logic behind it. It's like they just randomly decided, "Hey! Let's be idiotic jerks today!" The romance between the two main characters was rushed, but at least they did have chemistry so it was believable. Romance-wise I think they did the best they could with the time they had.
The art and music were decent. To be honest I didn't really notice them except for this one instance where the movement became a bit choppy when they were walking. It's from the 80's....really now. Embrace the retro style I say; and this certainly is retro.
Besides all that there were no fatal flaws that turned me off watching. At only 30 minutes, I could handle all those minuet details thanks to the fact that it was funny and enjoyable, flaws and all. This will probably stand as one of the most original and freaky show I've seen to date. I think I laughed like a maniac throughout the whole thing. Give it a shot. It's short, sweet and funny. A great combination.
25 of 25 episodes seen
I wasn’t particularly expecting much. To be honest I was excepting the illegitimate child of Fushigi Yuugi and Ranma ½. I’m sure most people are after reading the synopsis. But no, this…strange but enjoyable show takes on a whole new twist that pretty much shattered those expectations for me.
The story confused me. Not in the sense that I had no clue as to what was going on, more in the sense that it was just not what I expected. I can’t even begin to elaborate beyond the synopsis without giving spoilers, but I can tell you that it was a solid story. All loose ends were wrapped up quite nicely. I found myself unable to stop watching because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
I was very impressed with the character development. For one Maze (female version) started off to be the type of character that I hate. The perfect, everyone-loves-me, goody two-shoes who refuses to fight and believes all violence can be replaced with kind words and compromise. Gag me. The second she started that I wanted to reach into the screen and kill her. Thankfully she out-grows that, which I find amazing since most characters who start off that way manage to keep it up until the last episode. I did feel some characters got left behind in the whole characterization train, Aster and Mill for starters. I especially wish Mill had gotten more attention, as the thought of her someday becoming a Queen horrifies me. She’s cute, but sheesh.
I’ll be honest, the art was gross. It wasn’t enough to turn me off the show completely but good grief. They were just outright lazy with the animation in this one. A couple of times I found myself stopping to ponder where their cheek bones stopped and their chin began, it was that bad. The animation does get better as the series progresses. It’s almost a bit jarring when that happens because you get so used to seeing their disproportionate faces, but in the end I’m glad for the change. I was impressed with the second to last battle, for the first time really since none of the other battles brought on that “EPIC!” feeling for me.
The music was mediocre. Nothing bad, but nothing to call home about. For the most part you will not notice it, especially since they’re good about not getting obnoxious with the add-in music. The opening song provided me with endless amusement. “MAZE IN YOUR FACE!” (Best or worst lyrics ever? I couldn’t decide) Moving on...
I did enjoy this show immensely. I was a little…wary at first. I had decided to marathon it and through the whole first and second episode I kept thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” I expected watching this show to be one big chore, but no, I had fun. At one point I found myself all hyped up, partly from sugar and partly because that particular episode was just insane. There was one plot element that just…well I was confused. I refuse to spoil it, but I can’t say the ending fills me with joy. It’s not a bad ending at all. It just wasn’t the one I wanted. Regardless, I feel that I can recommend this show. I really doubt it’s for everyone. It’ll be hit or miss for sure, but try it anyway. You might be pleasantly surprised like I was.
13 of 13 episodes seen
Story: The story of Arjuna had a lot of promise, I'll tell you that. With the first and second episodes I was mildly in shock at the premise set out before me. It could have been a true masterpiece, but when you think about it, this is a tricky story to dive into. I refuse to post spoilers, but a good majority of the show is about Juna's 'education' you could call it. With every new thing she learns about the world, another hint towards the ending is revealed. They do this well and I have no complaints about the ending. Although there are a few things I would have loved to know that they just seemed to refuse to reveal (origin of the Avatar of Time for one), though it was nothing that damaged my enjoyment of the series.
Every so often the show would trail off and become (dare I say...) preachy. It goes just a tiny bit over the top with the whole "Save Nature!" thing it's got going on. Luckily this only happens a few times, and if you can get past that and just go with the flow (an open mind is essential), then I promise you'll have an enjoyable experience. If this is the anime for you anyway.
Art: Wow, where Arjuna lacks in story-telling, it completely makes up for in the art. While I myself had a personal hatred for Juna's hair, the art is just downright beautiful. No complaints here. The second time I watched this show, I watched it purely for the eye-candy for a while. It's just so beautiful to watch, especially the few transformation scenes (there aren't many). Seeing the way Juna begins to view the world can be breath-taking.
Sound: If you haven't heard this by now, it's about time someone told you. The music in this show is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Most of the music was done by Yokko Kanno, who I believe also did the music for Cowboy Bebop and Raxephon (don't quote me on that last one). Even if you go into this series feeling skepitcal of the plot presented to you, I believe it's worth it to stick with it just for the music. The music is haunting and fits the scenes beautifully. Combine the music with the art and you have the perfect reason to try this show right there. In this category especially, Arjuna does not disappoint.
As for the voices, I will admit, I've only watched the English dub. Feel free to attack me or whatever. At first the voices for the dub seemed a bit...off, as most dubs usually do, but after a while you could tell they were starting to get a feel for the characters. Lip-synching was kind of off, but it was nothing noticeable in the later episodes. I especially loved the voice of the character Chris. :] Pardon me for being a fan-girl, but the voice made me love the character.
Characters: Speaking of characters! There was some character development, but nothing out of this world. The most was seen for Juna and her boyfriend Tokio...and...yeah...I wasn't left hating any characters by the end, which is saying something because there was a girl who I wanted dead on that show. All of them were true to their personalities. I thought Juna's development from well-grounded spunky teenage girl to Avatar of Time was very good. Not at all like most shows in this genre where the girl gets powers and suddenly they're full of confidence and joy or whatever. That's about it for characters, go Chris!
I'll admit, this show is NOT FOR EVERYONE. You will love it or you will hate it. I can't be responsible for either one. xD I recommend watching at least up to episode 4. Episode 4 is almost like a trial...if you can make it past that episode unscathed (I'm exaggerating, it's not bad) then you will most likely enjoy the rest of the show. I myself love it because the entire thing to me is just so beautiful. I'm a nature-loving girl, so this was just an anime after my own heart. Even if you're not too big on the whole nature deal, I suggest you give it a try anyway. Just remember to keep an open mind and enjoy it for what it's worth. This show should not be overlooked without at least a first glance.