3 of 3 episodes seen
For more in depth analysis, continue reading below. To see an overview simply skip to the end.
The story begins with our three main characters (Asuma/Sakuya (female Kite), Iori/Tobias (female Balmung), and Eri/Mary (different Blackrose)) who are questing in a rather high level dungeon and, through Sakuya's foolishness, cause the death of several guild members who were partaking in a boss fight. After that they retire for the night and we are treated to a bit of exposition where we learn that our three protagonists, and probably the whole of Japan if not the world, has a microchip implanted inside them (that can only lead to good things, right?). After that Sakuya logs in to meet a strange character named Hermit, who appears to be our token cat character for this installment, and through the bounty on her head the two are thrown into a series of events that leads them, as well as Tobias and Mary, into a strange area known as the Pariah Folder. It's here that they can experience the same pain that their avatars do and when Eri is PKed by a random attacker she is sent into a coma in real life. It's then that Sakuya and Tobias decide that they'll do whatever it takes to get their friend back, and they might just have some help along the way.
With only 3 episodes, and with a decent amount of story to tell, there isn't as much character development as in the two high points of the franchise (Sign and Roots), but there's still several bright spots to be found when watching. Though I initially thought the main character Sakuya was rather annoying, after witnessing her friend getting PKed and put into a coma she truly grows up a bit more and becomes a more likeable character. Hermit is another bright spot in the show, introduced as the mysterious cat person he carries the most secrets of the show, rivaled only by one other character. Hermit's mysterious yet playful and childish personality make him one of the most enjoyable characters in the show. It's unfortunate that Tobias doesn't get as much screentime as her foolish friend Sakuya, but as the more mature and reliable of the two we don't get to see her as much, still she does make a decent appearance and is a nice presence in the finale episode. Mary, unfortunately, gets little screentime outside the first episode what with her being PKed at the end of it. There is one other character who I did not hear named, a mysterious character with a young girl for an avatar (the best character design in the show, by far), who is referred to as 'Shamrock' according to MAL (the leader of the guild Sakuya got killed). She possesses a skill longtime fans of the series will know right away and, it's highly possible she is Pi's avatar in this version of The World (especially since she's done by the same voice actress)
Art & Sound:
It's tempting to simply write 'amazing' and knock off early when talking about the art, but that is the best way to describe the art. As it is an OVA, and much shorter than most other .hack anime, there's a lot of quality in the art; to the point where it is probably the best animated and best flowing of all the others. For only having 3 episodes there's a surprising amount of action, kicking pretty much right from the get go, and it's here that you can really tell that they've brought the A game. The sound is perhaps the weakest area of the anime (though that isn't saying much), since there's not much time to create memorable scores or background music. However it still manages to piece together a very suitable soundtrack, as well as including several sounds from other parts of the franchise for long time fans.
While initially skeptical going into the series, the 3 episode OVA has proven to be another strong addition to the .hack franchise. With all the Easter Eggs thrown in for longtime fans of the series, paired with the great artwork, it was hard not to like .hack//Quantum.
So overall was .hack//Quantum a worthy addition of such a good franchise? With only 3 episodes to tell it's story it feels as if there are a few bits left out (especially if this is your first foray into the .hack series), but overall it stands on it's own. Being set a few decades into the future gives it far more of a pass regarding the coma aspect than other installments to the series, and the technology used is actually something that might happen one day in our lifetimes. So to those wondering if this is the best place to jump into .hack, I would quickly tell you to check out both Sign and Roots before venturing here but it isn't a horrible jumping on point, you will be confused regarding several things though (such as what Data Drain actually is). But to fans of the series who have not yet watched .hack//Quantum, or to those skeptical about it's moe-esque appearance, don't let that fool you. Underneath lies a well told story, some interesting characters and the best animation you've ever seen in a .hack anime. Fans of the series, do yourself a favour and watch this as soon as you can. read more
54 of 54 episodes seen
Like most lengthy anime series it starts off fairly slow, and like most shows in general it has a lot of typical things you'd expect from a show of this genre. Chosen children in a faraway land, partnered with strange creatures, that need to prevent the evil from destroying the world. We've all seen it, but that doesn't mean it can't be well done enough to be damn good in the process.
Starting off with the kids searching for a way home it's pretty episodic and gets into a pretty standard pattern for the first 15 episodes or so. But after that they begin the next adventure, searching for their respective Crests. Another small series of episodic episodes, but they're interesting enough that you wouldn't notice that; and they're all truly just a springboard that launches the show from 'fine' to 'very good' on my scale. Introducing Vamdemon (Myotismon for you dub people) and starting the search for the eighth Chosen Child.
It's here that the story takes a much darker tone, and it only gets darker as it goes on. The show pulls no punches, and though it's aimed at children it doesn't insult your intelligence (or at least in Japanese it doesn't). Though there can be a slight cheese factor in some of the more emotional parts, it's done well enough that you won't mind and might even find yourself smiling at the very thing you might have rolled your eyes at.
Even with all the improvements today I still find this art really impressive, and I even prefer it in some instances. There's a strange realistic feeling to all the characters, sure most have the typical accessories to tell you they're from an anime but I wouldn't find it hard to believe if they were based on real kids. But in a show with evolving and fighting monsters who cares how the characters look right, we wanna see wicked awesome monsters!!... Savages, all of you; alright, lets get to the monsters.
They're awesome, to say the least, there may have been one or two creature designs out of them all that I'd consider lame or stupid. And in a show consisting of 54 episodes and dozens upon dozens of monsters, that's damn good. The evolutions are awesome, the only ones that are a little lame are the 4 CG ones; it's not too bad though, considering when the show was made (they're also not very long). But now to move away from the creature designs, I'll talk briefly about the background designs, which I found to be incredibly pleasant compared to over a dozen other shows I've seen.
Though each background doesn't exactly stand out in any particular ways, it's the simple fact that they blend in so well that I like them. They're designed well enough that they look like scenery, you pay attention to it to get a grasp of what's around the characters and move on; it still sticks in your mind but it's not taking over the screen, it's not exploding to try and be noticed, it's simply doing the duty of being background scenery. I also found that for a show from the 90's there's a surprisingly low amount of re-used footage. Sure there's the occasional 'yeah I've seen that Mega Flame before', but for the most part each one fresh and reflects the scenery around it.
It's strange that a show about elementary school children would have a fairly large amount of character development and depth, but that's Digimon Adventure for you. Each of the Chosen Children has their own issues, their own past that's slowly explored as the series progresses, and by the end they've all developed into fully grown characters. They're all clever enough to question situations and surroundings, but they're only in elementary school so they all still have the charm and innocence of childhood.
But people aren't the only characters here, no no, the Digimon have their own personalities too. Which are, in some ways, better than the children in my opinion. Though the children grow and change as characters, and the Digimon basically stay the same, they're still a high point and occasionally contribute a large part of the humor or drama in many episodes.
Ungodly catchy. The Japanese intro and outros are both very good, so good that I've even downloaded them and added them to my iPods playlist of anime songs. Though they are very good, and catchy, they're nothing too spectacular. The audio during the show is also pretty standard, with most of those songs being ungodly catchy as well; awesome, but still nothing too great.
For a show that I once would have only given a five out of ten I'm so glad I went back and watched it over again with the proper audio. To charm me still after ten years have gone by it truly goes to show that this show is something people of all ages can watch and enjoy.
A very good anime that's sadly under appreciated. Though not perfect, Digimon Adventures is definitely worth watching, or re-watching; especially if you read this whole review!! read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
In most reviews I’d start with perhaps the characters or the story, but now I must truly start with the art. The art itself was disorientating to me at first, I looked at it and found it hard to concentrate too long on the screen, things blended together so well that at times I found it hard to believe the entire scenery wasn’t part of the character I was watching. But after the first few episodes the art was something else altogether, it seemed to take a new life. I watched it and was captivated by it, at times I even had to rewind because I had missed several lines of text because I couldn’t tear myself away from it all. The art simply leaps off the screen and at first it may seem a little jarring but eventually you’ll ever wonder why you questioned the design of it all. While the art itself is beautiful there are some places it lacks, although the rest more than makes up for it. Some of the characters I found to be too plain in certain situations, however it was a miniscule thought, it did not detract from the visual experience of the show in the least.
Now for the proverbial meat of it all, story. The anime is a loose adaptation of, what is called by some, the greatest story of revenge ever told. Coming in to that there are many expectations that must be lived up to in order for this story to truly hold it’s own and it lives up to them beautifully.
As I stated the drive of the story is revenge, everything else within it are simply unfortunate souls that get caught up in the bloody, sadistic revenge of the man known as the Count of Monte Cristo. But although The Count is what the story revolves around it is told from the perspective of the naïve, and often downright foolish, Albert Morcerf. The story begins with a meeting of destiny between our protagonist Albert and someone I can’t quite call an antagonist, The Count. With his charming words, devilish smile and warm eyes he quickly wins his way into our naïve Albert’s heart and becomes an important figure in the boys life. He continues to pursue his friendship with The Count despite the nagging of the, obviously smarter, Franz Epinay, Albert’s best friend. As the story continues the happiness of our hero is bombarded by the darkness and despair brought about by circumstances that might have been prevented.
Story is everything for an anime such as this, if you lack it you’ll produce a piss-poor adaptation of a great piece of literature. Being able to make your heart break one moment and your blood boil the next, able to leave you breathless in your seat with your heart pounding in your chest, these are proof that you’re watching something amazing. It is clear that Gankutsuou, if not at least meeting your expectations, it will blow them away and leave you speechless.
This will perhaps be the shortest section of the review, simply because the sound played no part in my heightened or lessened enjoyment of the show. Do not mistake my words, the music within the show is very fitting and very well done, however it does not simply jump out and grab you. It does not make you stop and go “I have to listen to that once more.” However that is within the show itself, the opening and ending themes are a different matter. It was almost strange to see them both, it honestly seemed as if someone had goofed and mistaken the ending for the opening. However after two episodes I was humming along with the tune to both and even downloaded them to put on my mp3. The songs themselves are so good I’ve almost started singing along with them out in public. There really is nothing more to say than, the music worked well, it was subtle, let you know it there but didn’t make any bold statements.
I’m tempted to simply write “flawless” and call it a day here but that would be an insult to the greatness of each. I will not list them all here, of course, but I shall list those that I think play an important role and need to be looked at in the spotlight. But let me state that although I do not talk about all the characters, I believe none are truly “secondary” for they all have their own role that drives the story, they all have their own flaws and a depth you wouldn’t expect from characters you rarely see. Now, onto the spotlight
The Count: Was everything that he needed to be and then some. He could be the hero of the piece or the villain, whichever role he was playing at the time all eyes were glued to him. Charming, subtle, seductive and kind he played them all so well and then there were times where we all saw the darkness he brought with him. He was a strange maze of understanding, never knowing what he was going to do next simply because he didn’t know what role he’d slip into. The Count is truly one of the most dark and captivating characters I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Albert: I have a desire to scream idiot here and be done with it, but again that is not true. He is not an idiot, he is simply naïve and often childish in his decisions. He refuses to see the bad in people, which can be good but not all the time. He’s hard headed and stubborn, but he’s a character that you feel for, he bears the most humanity of them all and when his heart breaks, so does yours.
Franz: The best friend that everyone wants, loyal, caring and willing to do whatever necessary to keep his friend safe. He’s stubborn as well but he is the voice of reason in Albert’s and his relationship. He is the first to be skeptical of The Count and one of the first to pursue information about the mysterious man.
While there are other characters that perhaps deserved the spotlight I felt that, mostly, these three characters were the most important simply because they were around for almost every single event that drove the plot. The others characters, however, are not to be dismissed, they each have good character designs as well as wonderful personalities and even flaws. Some even evolve throughout the show, which can be rare for a character deemed “secondary.” But they all fit together and play off each other so well it would take too long to praise them all.
I truly doubt there is a single thing I did not enjoy throughout my entire watching of this show. There are a few minor things but they’re so miniscule when compared to the good things that they’re just overlooked and swept under the rug, still there but completely forgotten. I found myself completely captivated by this show, every emotional twist made me feel what it was supposed to, every mystery kept me guessing and theorizing and wondering. I ranted and raved about things that had happened when I wasn’t watching, I sometimes found myself balling my hands into white knuckled fists at the more infuriating scenes and crying like a child at others, I truly believe I went through almost the entire emotional spectrum while watching this show. And that is truly a mark of my enjoyment of it.
In the end this can only be summed up as something that you need to watch, that is said a lot in reviews but it is truly something that will be appreciated (even if you haven’t read the novel). It’s compelling story, beautiful artwork and in depth characters will drag you into the world and never let you go, even after you’ve finished the final episode The Count of Monte Cristo will still have you under his spell.
-To those who vote "Not Helpful" if you could message me to tell me what you disliked I could improve on this and future reviews, thank you.- read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
Sitting down to Advent Children I came into it with mixed thoughts. On one hand I knew it would never capture the charm of the game, but since it had all the same characters it must have some good parts. Was I right? No, I was horribly wrong.
I watched this movie both subtitled with Japanese audio and in English. But never have I felt more empty and broken then when I finished this movie. The story itself is like a poorly written fanfiction compressed into a short movie. Character development is null because those characters developed DURING THE GAME. I thought perhaps I was being too critical on the game as a hardcore otaku, and so I watched it trying to pull away and look at it as "fanboy-ish" as possible.
Did it work? No, no it failed horribly. Even as a fan of the game I hated this movie, hated what they did to my favorite characters and what they did to an ending that I thought was very well done. The ONLY thing about this movie that I thought was decent was the art. But that's to be expected, animation quality nowadays is top-notch and since FF7 is a serious fanbase it's not hard to expect that the quality of the animation would be top-notch. So would I recommend this movie to anyone? No, definitely not read more