25 of 25 episodes seen
Okay, so whether you are an anime veteran or virgin, one can appreciate genuine originality in a medium that isn't afraid to go at anything. I mean, general plots for anime involve incest,giant robots, pop bands, westerns, samurai duels, crazy dances, bombastic humor, and genuine what the hell moments. The plot for R2 tries to be original, by striking a balance between eccentric twists and down to earth qualities to no avail. Most of the main characters are just anime iconographies that try to act like they aren't by being unpredicatable and contradictory to what they believe in.This sort of left me thinking after every line "oh, well she is probably lying to make a moment more dramatic down the road". This sense of manufactured, maliable plot is interesting at first in R2, because it lets on that the plot might be heading somewhere worthwhile, but it doesn't. The show doesn't really "do" subtle. This next part is a spoiler, but it proves my point. Consider the character Shirley. Her mind is erased to protect her from danger. Then she finds out it was erased and realizes who did it. This was worthwhile because it set up a stronger bond between herself and Lelouch. It seemed realistic in a non realistic universe, which is what epic (large) animes do time and time again. However, in R2 her mind is wiped again and then she finds out who it was again. Great, we are back where we left off. Then she dies and Lelouch couldn’t give a damn. All of that seemingly original and shocking plot development for nothing. This pattern is constant in R2 and gives the viewer the sense that none of the characters mean anything more than dramatic payoffs to Lelouch or Suzaku.
For the most part I didn't seize violently from actually watching the second season. The art was to be expected from such a big budgeted series. It gave the stereotypical, polished, anime good looking characters justice. All the characters were made to look appealing to viewers, male or female. Except when some were made to be ugly(very few) in which case they were automatically killed off. This ode to perfection in beauty only made Sunrise's anime/mtv aspirations more apparent to me. The art played no other role than "pretty" and shed no light on character development at all.
What can I say about sound? This is the highpoint of sound in the series, “pew, pew, yargggh”. All of the openings get you more pumped up than when listening to the Jonas brothers make sweet love to their synthesizers. The tracks for the plot are more transparent than Casper on a Sunday and they let you know it time and time again. If something is bad, you better bet on some tense overtones, if a big plot twist occurs (about every 5 minutes) you better bet some fluttery instrument is going to be played. Basically, the producers said “we don’t want to leave anything to interpretation, I mean, these anime freaks want to escape their sad pit falls known as their lives, so just get them turned on and play the appropriate f**king music.”
It’s a letdown when these high priced shounen campaigns come out because they often give the general non-anime populous the wrong idea concerning what anime can achieve in art. People flipping channels only to see someone like Lelouch cackling like a mad man might think A) this is cool!, B) wow, anime really is just weird Japanese cartoons, or C) This is sort of like mtv. What I mean to say is that R2’s characters do absolutely nothing to redefine anything in the medium. The girls look good and are subtlety subservient to the guys. Even Kallen and Cornelia. Kallen is a tool for Zero, no matter how strong she is and later a larger tool for Schneizel. Cornelia was actually great at first but then she became grouped in with the sort like Villeta and becomes one of those people who wait for their men to come home from war. If the main characters are considered, things get a little different. Lelouch has to question his reasoning many times over and is actually believable when he acts ruthless. I mean, most people are like that but just don’t have the balls (or in this case Geass) to back up their claims. He is a pseudo anti hero in that regard, but the producers always flipped him back to “good Lelouch” to make him likable at school. I thought that was also believable at first since one would most likely lie at school if they were a terrorist. But when he started speaking with sympathy for his friends it just didn’t seem justified. The only thing that really validated his motives as a character came at the end of the series, which was ironically helped by another character, Suzaku. I'm not even gonna go into Suzaku, because, he is the walking epitome of what the show tried to be and failed at. A genuine contradiction.
Watching R2 is like watching a show because you feel like you'll miss out. Its like high school. If you want to be and see a part of anime hype, this is the anime for you.. Want to kill some time after working? great. Sunrise put this little mellow-dramatic action piece that will take you out of your life for 30 minutes, check it out. But please, please, I cant stress this enough. Don't call up a friend and say "ah man, I just watched this show called Code Geass and its the best anime ever". Because you will have just fulfilled Sunrise's shadow Nazi corporation agenda. read more
26 of 9001 episodes seen
Directed by Tensei Okamura, who has delighted with his past collaborations on Full Metal Panic and Cowboy Bebop, this genuinely compelling series is only set with a few anime conventions: the hard pressed rival to the leader (Tsume), the insane but devoted antagonist (Darcia) and the mysterious hunter who wants to settle a score (Quent). Besides these, Wolf's Rain is a plot on its own. The whole pack is in search for paradise for their own reasons and gradually learn more about themselves on the way. They stop by various towns to face obstacles that instigate these learning experiences. While this is happening, the larger picture of the story deals with the remaining three nobles of the world. They all vie for supremacy for their individual purposes, but all come into contact with the wolf pack in one way or another. Like a kick in the pants, it was insane to see the wolf pack take on the noble's soldiers and display their canine powers. Likewise, it was great to see them fail in their attempts because it showed how real they actually were. If you enjoy being attached to characters even with their shortcomings then I strongly recommend this series.
One of the great things about Wolf's Rain is that the only really beautiful characters are the wolves themselves. Everything else the art depicts is very alive, but in a darker, more decayed way. All of the landscapes are hauntingly dismal, even when the story shifts to the more modern settings. The art is very realistic in this way, and beauty is only used as a reflection for the characters who are the purest.
Bad music could have really hindered a series with this much melancholy and drama. Luckily, Yoko Kanno, the jazz queen composer from Cowboy Bebop also blessed Wolf's Rain with her talents. Its so amazing the way she sets the tones for scenes in the series. She never over does anything, which makes the really big "holy shit" scenes far more impactful. There are actually many long scenes in which nothing but music is used to describe the mood of the situation, and it was refreshing to see a series that didn't jabber on to describe what was happening. All you really have to do is listen during Wolf's Rain to appreciate what is going on below the surface. Thank you for that Ms. Kanno.
The characters are what make this series a classic. Every one of them, even the minor ones only have to speak or make a certain facial expression to show you how they LIVE. By this I mean, we only have to look at the way they act to get a feel of who they are right off the bat. I was sort of expecting this, because Nobumoto's writing is always so real. She was never afraid to pull punches in this series, and none of the characters are set in stone. They all grow at their own paces and aren't always the same person. The pack becomes more of an extended family as it progresses and does so through many conflicts. What I loved most is that when things really got bad, none of them really went into the predictable dramatic speech about life and death. Everything was always quiet when something bad in the series happen, and only loud when it really needed to be. This subtle realism is what made the wolves seems all the more relatable and ironically human. If you want real drama in your characters, than you'll love these wolves.
Now, I'm a guy who has been brought up in fast paced, shounen style anime, and Wolf's Rain was really the first serious piece of art for me. I mean I've seen some mildly toned anime sure, but this series really gets you in the gut from the beginning. Its very dark, I mean the world is ending throughout the plot, who wouldn't be depressed? It had some lighter, happier moments, but they were often offset with depressing, real ones. I wouldn't recommend this series if you want to escape reality, but if your someone who wants to see a more genuine, less optimistic piece of art than you'll like it. I only scored the enjoyment at a 7 because even for me, a natural pessimist, the story did drag out the harshness of reality sometimes. It makes you sort of hate Nietszhe. Well, maybe not that much, but you know what I'm saying.
"They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, Search for Paradise." - Kiba read more
95 of 92 chapters read
The story isn't very grand in terms of details, but it allows the reader to focus on a few integral characters at a time, which becomes more exciting as they all join together right before the climax.With the exception of the abrupt ending, most of the plot revolves around the main character and his anti hero actions towards evil. I enjoyed seeing all of the situations pitted against Alucard, and how his seemingly never ending powers dealt with them. I was bugged at first that it was just fight after fight, but towards the middle a greater battle is taken up and the fights more or less become the story. It made for good and mildly original entertainment.
The art in Hellsing matched the story perfectly. To say it was just "cool" or "dark" is an understatement. Every character has their own feel to them through their drawings. Integra is always collected and in charge with her cigarette smoke. Walter is respectful but yet mysterious with his eye piece shining, and Allucard oozes dark, fearful power. Its too long to go into, but every character almost seems evil do to the nature of the story and how it fits so well with the art. No one is perfect and the art reflects that idea well.
Due to its fast paced, skirmish then break skirmish then break story structure, I originally thought that character development was lacking in Hellsing. But Hirano uses the battle structure as a way of showing you what type of character the person is. There are many many speeches in these battles that explain their ideals, motives, etc. It isn't really done as subtley as some similiarly natured manga, but still gets the job done. Most of the characters pass away fast, and so only a few get gradually built up. These brief characters are actually quite interesting and original, which makes it easier to appreciate them as much as the built up characters before they die abruptly. The majority of the characters in the series have interesting abilities and larger than life motives for pursuiting battle. If I had to say what the series major weakness was, its most likely the fact that the brief characters aren't given more page time and lack development, which can't be made up just because most of them are interesting and original.
I recommend that you read this series as it is meant to be read, periodically. Read one volume, and then wait a couple days or even a week to read the next. There are many cliffhangers and plot developments that serve to enhance the enjoyment level greatly. I did this and was excited and involved until the end. The action is the bread and butter of this series, and the characters were all very cool, with only a few being "very developed". If you are wanting a break from your deeply thought provoking, hipster manga, than pick up a copy of Hellsing and your adrenaline will thank you.
"Let us drive away those who have forgotten us, let us pull awake those who have fallen in their sleep. Let us pull them up by their hair and pry their eyes open and make them remember. Let us remind them of the taste of fear. Let us remind them of the sound of our military shoes pounding. Let us remind them that there are things between the earth and the sky which they would not even dream to be possible.
We will burn the world down.
Here we go, gentlemen."
- The Major
26 of 9001 episodes seen
The series takes place in the future. Earth has been plagued by freak technological accident and much of the population has expanded to the various planets in the solar system. Each planet is like a whole other world, which are slightly expanded upon during each adventure for the crew of the bebop. The bebop first has only Jet and Spike, bounty hunters looking for work only so they can fill their stomachs. Jet comes from a policing background, which has given him a reputation as the "black dog" who never releases his bite on a case. This gives him a sense of authority and father like actualities throughout the series. His partner, and the main character, Spike, comes from a mysterious past with ties to a crime syndicate known as the Red Dragon. He has since pulled out of the syndicate after realizing that it didn't make him "alive". He plans to be with his true love Julia, but circumstances arise between him and his long time rival Vicious, the only recurring antagonist of the series. As such, Jet and Spike get along well with one another since they are both trying to look ahead instead of behind. As they continue their journeys they meet various people during missions who seem to encapsulate various life experiences in their characters. Love, anguish, betrayal, obsession, loneliness, if only to name a few. Its as if the bounty is only the outer coating to much more involved lessons which are shown through the most subtle of gestures, much like in the real world, where it is hard to really know if something has impacted you until its over Jet and Spike soon meet Faye and Ed, two girls with mysterious pasts. Faye gradually learns of her past albeit at the end of the series at which point she lets down her guard to realize her true home is on the bebop. Ed presents herself as a zainy hacking genius, but she also has ties with her estranged father, which has caused her to wander frequently. WIth the ship's local canine Ein, Ed often makes ideas more clear to viewers through her childlike comedy by shouting them out is crazy ways. All four of these crew members embark on a series of encounters with various bounties. The story is moving on all levels, and remained the least bit contrived throughout, The great thing was the combination of most genres. There was not set plot or motif, which made all of the action and humor more engaging. The viewer is made to care about each exploit because they don't know what to expect on a structural level, but are still able to take tide and true knowledge with them after each stint.
The animation for the series was clearly defined and realistic, with each character being drawn in a way to reveal their personalities on a physical level. Jet is older, more experienced, with receding hair and armor to match. Spike is spontaneous and subtle at the same time, with wild hair and an ironically neat suit to match it. Faye is sexually involving but tough as nails. She is stubborn and selfish, enhanced by her look at me wardrobe. Ed's clothing is enhanced by her unpredictability. You don't really know what to think of her clothing since their it is so basic and childlike. This simplicity allows Ed to be more Astonishing. This pattern of art is seen throughout the character spectrum. All of the worlds are their own and match their tones. Just awesome.
The music for the series was absolutely insane. Each episode is known as a session and essentially the series is rooted from music itself. Every encounter has a soundtrack that enhances the feelings being portrayed in the episode. If its metal, its probably a tense situation, if its jazz, past regrets are being felt, if its classical, love is expressed. This coupled with the beautiful art only makes the story more impacting on a whole other level!??! The whole spectrum of this anime is seen with these combinations of sound and art! Also, each episode title refers to the type of music played throughout.
The characters in this series are the enjoyment factor. The crew of the bebop is so subtle with their affections that it seems like they've been a family for years. At times they don't even care about what the other is doing because it seems vindictive but the subtext is that they do care...so much so that they don't because they know thats just who the other person is. Its a whole other realm of trust that is so true in real life. Like I said earlier, if you couple the family crew of the bebop with influential characters on different worlds with their own messages, it makes it seem like the family learns something together, which makes the viewer learn something from four different angles. All of their actin and humor towards their bounty targets and eachother is hilarious and touching, and just pure entertainment.
I will never regret the time I spent watching, learning, and ultimately living from Cowboy Bebop.
"Everything has a beginning and an end. Life is just a cycle of starts and stops. There are ends we don't desire, but they're inevitable, we have to face them. It's what being human is all about."- Jet read more
50 of 9001 episodes seen
The evolution that takes place after the end of the one year war made for a compelling plot turn, that caused viewers to change their whole perspective on what "sides" in a conflict actually entail. I thought this was great, it made it more realistic and made the series much more original and compelling than it had been. The re introduction of Char Aznable as an essential freedom fighter only sealed the concept of what "good and evil" really is. His devotion to his responsibility throughout the series was extremely gratifying to see, and his mysterious fight with Haman Karn towards the end only made things seem more realistic! The good guy doesn't always win! That being said, the story engaged me in the beggining, but I felt as it progressed it was much to focused on Kamille's development. These Titans are attempting to bring martial law to the galaxy and make the one year war a big hypocritical mess, and everything is just "oh well Kamille is just so emotional and maturingm and such a great pilot". Unlike Amuro in the first season, I felt Kamille couldn't give a damn about the war effort. He doesn't seem to even remember his parents after they die, and continues to overlook the big pictures as time goes on! His ending seemed to prove some of his core integrity but I think they should have introduced that earlier. I guess this is sort of story/character combined, whatever. I enjoyed the powerful figures in the series, Scirocco was hilariously anime evil but still felt more genuine than Kamille, and Haman is one of my favorite characters ever now. She was so dedicated to the Zabi family and shunned her feelings and that came through in the LITTLE time she even had on the show! As for some of the lesser characters...I felt Amuro was portrayed as much less enthusiastic even after he "awakens" just to make Kamille more dominant and for the viewers not to realize how much more likeable Amuro was. Look, Kamille is a teenager I get that, I get that we are unpredictable and emotional and mature slow sometimes, but this kid for whatever reason did'nt seem to be genuine at all! Its like they wrote his "mature" lines with the implication that he knew he was being mature just to get his own way. Every time I saw him "grow" I just saw him get wiser and more coniving, not more sympathetic or enthusiastic for ending the war, (at least till the very end). I didn't really think the show touched on Sciroccos strange powers enough, and I felt that it spent too much time on pointless side characters at times. LIke AMUROS RANDOM GIRLFRIEND god that was the worst! And FOUR!!!?!?, she was like female Kamille, both hollow robots who yell alot about nothing, AND ROSAMMY holy crap what a pointless plot stretch!>!>!I liked how Fa's relationship with Kamille played out however that felt realistic in terms of mecha anime at least. I also enjoyed the sparks between Katz and sarah and Haman and Char. Sometimes the show got preachy and random with live but I saw what they were trying for. In all the beginning was interesting and original, then the middle got predictable with the chases back to back to back, and then the ending was great. One more thing about character and plot....JERID IS THE WORST FOIL TO THE MAIN CHARACTER EVER. Boring no beneficial development, and a pointless poinless foil to Kamille. Every time they were both on screen it was just back and forth "Jerid!!?!?" and then "Kamille!?!?!?" In the first series Char was the perfect foil because he was a paradox and SIMILIAR to Amuro. I guess my guilty pleasure would be the kid factor, I love that tradition of the random kids on the ship.
The Art for the series was remarkable, the space battles were intense and vivid. I regret some of the loops of animation in the series, I swear I saw the same "zaku getting blown up" images 20 times a show, but its understandable. The animation on this show could pass for a 90s show and it was phenominal. I wish they would show some more of the inner colonies(inside those cyllinders) however, that would added more depth to their color palettes instead of the mostly blacks(space) and reds(lasers) and silvers(inside ships). The mobile suits looked great and it was a relief to see the core fighter system gone.
This series was serious trouble in terms of sound. That dubbing was good for character voices but the timing in many integral scenes was tragically off. For example Fa would say "oh.......kamille" after just bumping into him for a second in the hall, leading the viewer to see deep love out a supposed nothing, I'd have more examples if I wrote them down. In these series if the timing for talking isn't natural its just that not natural and less dramatic!!?!? I kept feeling like thats why they kept explaining every plot point instead of just subtle language, because their timing was horrible! The viewer is reduced to a sponge absorbing everything they need to hear in terms of plot instead of being able to decipher themes on their own. I really really wish I enjoyed this series more, the ending battles were great, but I feel that the main characters growth really sucked the life out of the show. I like dark shows trust, me, and I liked how dark this show got, but Kamille didn't compliment that darkness, he made it disingenuous through his snoody nature, you know now that I think about it maybe the sound is what made him appear "snoody" to me instead of mature! I dunno....but both were off. This show turned Gundam into a more serious force in the anime world, and I agree that it should be a classic for that AND for changing the enthusiastic pace of the show to a somber one, however, lame subplots, bad characters, and awkward dialogue made this installment sub par and less engrossing as the first. Even with the great battles..
43 of 9001 episodes seen