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12 of 12 episodes seen
I really appreciated that the show catered to predominantly female-minded fanservice. It's about time that this happened! Anime has had a large abundance of predominantly male-minded fanservice, so this was exciting and refreshing. The animation is also for the most part very attractive and fluid.
When it comes to the plot and the characters that is where things start to become difficult to believe. I've been watching anime for years, so I understand that to enjoy a show sometimes you have to suspend disbelief. However, the characters and relationships presented for the most part feel so unplausible... after not hearing from or seeing a friend for years, most kids drift apart, and it's anything but uncommon. So seeing this unusual obsession that every single member of the swim club has with their rival and old friend Rin is confusing, especially since Rin does not treat them kindly in return. The melodrama present between the characters also felt unnecessarily over-the-top, adding to the unnatural interactions amongst themselves. I often found myself laughing during scenes that were intended to be serious and dramatic. It just does not feel real or make any significant emotional impact.
While this was an entertaining and fun series to watch this past summer every week and it had some great new ideas, the execution was in my opinion was very flawed. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
I really enjoyed the positive messages in this show, which really boils down to independence and enjoying life. Sure, these messages can be cliched, but I think cliches exist for a reason. The way these messages are presented (especially in the first half of the series) is very well-done, and I couldn't help but find this show to be quite touching. The later part of the series also gets really intense, and by the last episode I found myself so embroiled in the story that I was shouting at my TV set! The one complaint I have about the series is that the ending did seem a bit rushed, but I think that is just the nature of a 13-episode series. Overall, the show was just a joy to watch.
Also, the animation is freakin' gorgeous! I watched this streaming through Crunchyroll on my xbox, and the art looked so sharp, crisp, and vibrant. I love the use of the bright colors. Oh, and I found the ending theme to be particularly catchy too.
I'd like to note that the first half of the first episode presents itself as some pretty ordinary mecha. I urge you to complete the first episode before deciding to drop this series. This portion of the episode used a lot of nonsensical sci-fi jargon, and was pretty much just fancy explosions and mecha fighting. There is a purpose to why the series starts off this way, and it is to establish where our protagonist is coming from. Again, I strongly advise anyone giving this show a try to complete the first episode, and then decide whether or not to keep watching from there.
This show has become one of my favorites. Highly recommended! read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
In particular, I was impressed with the character development (especially with the protagonist Oz). While I believe many of the characters have some good development and backstory, Oz's character was a joy to watch. You'll see people acknowledging how he is able to "accept things as they are" during the first half of the series or so, meaning he is rather complacent. He also always acts so cheerful and relatively carefree that as a I didn't even realize how much pain and confusion he was harboring until later in the series (as a viewer that impresses me). To me this showed a realistic representation of a troubled, confused person. Many anime series tend to overdramatize characters' angst, and while it is apparent that Oz has some chips on his shoulders, I found myself really feeling for him. It is wonderful to see him grow and change during the series. He gains respect for himself, which was so fantastic to watch. I realize this description may sound rather confusing to someone who isn't familiar with the series, so I'll stop here. I think you just need to watch and see for yourself.
From what I've read online this anime follows the manga rather closely, which I can very much respect. Often times I find anime series catch up with the manga's story, and then the people behind the anime create some sort of plot to complete the show that often feels out of place (one of the exceptions to this that I can think of off the top of my head is Fullmetal Alchemist). So while I very much respect how they decided to end the anime, it also does leave a lot of loose ends both with the plot and some characters. To me, this just means that I want to pick up the manga to continue the story.
I'll also note that opening theme and a lot of the background music is very good and catchy. The animation is nice too, although it does use some sort of texture (I think??) or something to enhance the Victorian/artistocratic-like era of the story. I'm afraid I can't really describe it better than that, my apologies.
I would definitely recommend this series. Now I want to read the manga! (If only it was available for iPad... *grumble*) read more
3 of 3 episodes seen
In addition to such an honest depiction of how a first love may not work out, the animation was absolutely stunning. There is plenty of detail present, and the sceneries are gorgeous. Rich colors were utilized in the animation as well.
I was able to recognize Johnny Yong Bosch's voice very quickly, and I thought he did a very good job playing the main role. I was initially skeptical about 5 cm/sec since I had seen other films by Makoto Shinkai and thought they were just okay, but this really surprised me. Personally, the second portion/episode was what got to me the most emotionally, probably since I could emphasize with her.
This is a great anime, I highly recommend it. Just be prepared for some feelings when you watch this. Oh, and definitely don't watch this after a breakup! It's a tragic, beautiful, and realistic love story. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
A real brief summary of the show (if you're interested) is that a young woman by the name of Tsukimi Kurashita is the newest tenant in an apartment building filled with fellow otaku or nerds. Each of the girls in the building has an overwhelming passion for their main interest or hobby, and it is a well known rule that no men are allowed inside the building. One day Tsukimi meets one of the "Stylish", who happens to be a guy named Kuranosuke who crossdresses. An interesting friendship (and maybe even something more) begins to form between these two characters, and Kuranosuke works hard with Tsukimi and the other tenants to raise money to save the apartment building.
Like I said previously, this show is certainly entertaining and held my interest, so I believe it is worth a watch. I am disappointed however in how the plot was executed. Perhaps this is due to the small 11-episode nature of the series, I'm not sure. I feel that there was a lot of potential for more character growth, which is never seen. It would have been nice to have seen Tsukimi and the tenants slowly begin to be more confident and involved in their community. I also would have liked to have seen Shu's character explored more.
I very much disliked the relationship between the character Shu and the landshark lady. She sexually harasses Shu, leads him to believe they had sexual relations (when they didn't), and threatens him with blackmail. The reason why this bothered me so much is that you never see for sure if Shu has learned something or grown from this terrible experience. Instead of confidently standing up for himself he still unnecessarily reaches out to the woman throughout the series. (SPOILER SPOILER) At least at the end he appears to walk away from her in embarrassment of the whole situation. This scene could be very easily interpreted differently however. I think I could have accepted this portion of the plot more if some sort of character development came of it (because sometimes bad things do happen), but I do not see that here.
The opening theme is very fun, alluding to many pieces of pop culture. I enjoyed the art style and slightly muted color scheme too. This show is a little frustrating because I feel that it has so much untapped potential.
My opinion is that this is an enjoyable watch, but I was certainly not blown away or moved like some other slice-of-life series I've seen. I would recommend this, but with some reservations. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
A brief overview of the story is that 16 year old Haruka travels to another dimension where neglected items are used by its inhabitants, as the citizens cannot make anything of their own... so they use what humans no longer care for. Haruka wants to find her late mother's hand mirror, and thus begins her journey. The story is very straightforward and simple, which is appropriate for the target audience.
Before putting the DVD in I admit that I was a bit apprehensive about the computer animated art style. Once I started watching though I really enjoyed the art. I guess I feared having to sit through a whole movie with what could have been poor CGI, and thank goodness it was anything but that. The film is visually very attractive. You'll even see some bits of scenery in 2D, but it doesn't look misplaced or jarring. Also, the music is really fantastic; I loved the music and was rather impressed. There were some very nice orchestral and instrumental pieces. The pop tune during the ending credits was welcoming as well.
As a children's film this really is fantastic. The plot is very basic and simple however, so if you can't sit through a kids' film in the first place I would steer clear. I also want to mention that the ending was sweet too! I would recommend this to anyone wanting to see a creative, yet traditional children's movie. read more
3 of 3 episodes seen
The story transpires across the events of the Gundam Seed Destiny series. This means that if you have seen Gundam Seed Destiny you will be able to identify and recognize different events that take place, which helps in establishing the approx. passing of time (which is very cool). The main characters from Gundam Seed Destiny don't play a role in this OVA, and they aren't needed in this side story. The story follows Sven, an Earth Alliance soldier, and Selene, a Coordinator researcher.
(MINOR SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH) I really like how despite the short amount of time given, the writers really make you connect with Sven by showing his happy childhood and how he eventually became brainwashed into a soldier. Selene's background is meshed out nicely too, detailing her relationships with her follow researchers. There are scenes which detail the horrific worldwide destruction of the Junius 7 Drop (as seen in Seed Destiny), which really helps remind the viewer how horrible of a global disaster it was and how it impacted peoples' lives. I of course will not spoil the ending, but I have to say I very pleased with it. The ending felt realistic, appropriate, and was quite touching.
If you have any attachment to Gundam Seed or especially Gundam Seed Destiny you should absolutely check this out. It's three 15 minute episodes, so it is very easy to watch in one sitting. It makes for a stunning companion to the Cosmic Era timeline. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
The show begins with a amnesic young man waking up in Washington D.C. with nothing but a gun in one hand and a cell phone in the other. I DO mean literally nothing else- the guy is butt naked. No worries though, everything that needs to be censored is. The man meets a college senior named Saki Morimi, and the show continues on from there. It turns out that Takizawa is a part of a very dangerous game, and the mysteries continue to pile up as the show progresses. Eden of the East really reminded me of the Jason Bourne movies in terms of the plot.
I think the plot, as well as some very likable characters, is what really makes this series shine. The story is exceptionally well written, keeping the viewer from wanting to know more about the game. Cliffhangers at the end of episodes just add to the incredible suspense. I wish I could say more about the plot, but I fear that as a mystery show that would result in spoilers. There are some significant themes in the show, such as the use of power, politics, and technology. It really makes for a very interesting combination.
I also thought the art was superb. Character designs are simple but in my opinion extremely effective. Some of the background art even caught my eye while watching. This is a beautifully animated anime. The music was good, although the only memorable tunes I found were the opening and closing songs, as well as a song during the climax of the series.
I would like to add a note however: this show is rated TV-MA for a reason. Sexual themes and violence are quite apparent in the show and really really should not be watched by younger viewers. The scene that sticks out most in my head for being inappropriate concerns a serial killer: and kids don't need to be exposed to that.
If you're looking for a new anime to watch that breaks the confines of your traditional anime fare, this is the show. I really cannot think of anything else like it. The ending however seems rather abrupt- it isn't even feel all that open ended. It becomes apparent that if you want to see the end of the story you are going to have to watch the upcoming movies. Which means I'll be waiting awhile for my English dub...
A definite recommendation! read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
Firstly, I have to say that the pacing of this series is by far the best I have ever seen in any anime period. This is a no-filler anime folks, I can guarantee you that. Every scene and every character interaction adds to the tale. This phenomenal pacing really made me want to keep watching, and it also made me shocked when an episode ended, because to me it felt like I had only been watching for five minutes. The writers really did a great job, and I especially appreciate this when so many animes that I've tried watching are stuffed with filler.
I actually thoroughly enjoyed the art style, particularly the character and mecha designs. Yes, the show was made in 1996 so it's a little dated, but I've always been a bit of a softy for the old-school design. All of the characters were very distinctive, and even the different nations throughout Gaea have a different aesthetic feel to them. For example, Asturia had a European feel to it while Freid had more of an Asian feel. It really helped to give the impression that Gaea really was its own world.
What makes this story a hit are most definitely the characters. At first glance the characters appear to be of the fantasy genre archetypes: the young and stubborn new king, the perfect knight, the confused and boy-crazy schoolgirl... but let me tell you this show really builds these characters into something more than that. A lot of the focus is on character interactions, and I grew to very much like and care for the characters.
Oh, and I can't forget the soundtrack! The music is my Yoko Kanno, and it is a real treat. Gorgeous orchestral and piano sounds are to be heard (I'm a sucker for a great orchestra), and the opening theme feels very majestic, coupled with nice vocals.
It's been a long time since I've so thoroughly enjoyed an anime; I strongly recommend this. It has a broad appeal- it's mecha action, romance, a war story, and an epic fantasy adventure. Be sure to check it out! read more
64 of 64 episodes seen
To me, Fullmetal has always been a favorite because of its characters. Every single character is three-dimensional, meaning they have many different facets to their personalities; I really felt for these characters. The characters are all very likeable, and it is wonderful to watch them grow and develop throughout the series. Peoples' motivations, perceptions, etc can change, and that's what keeps the story interesting. I feel the core of this story is centered around the characters, and I think this series is best described firstly as a drama, then as action or adventure. Without me spoiling anything, I can assure readers of this that the plot and character development in Fullmetal is truly top-notch. The concept of Equivalent Exchange is discussed in the series too, and is a reoccurring theme. Taking this and its characters into account, Fullmetal Alchemist is more than just an excellent military-suspense-action show: it's a story about life and what it is worth to people.
I especially liked the art style of this series- it was very very reminiscent of the manga. The show utilizes softer lines and a more muted, but still bright when needed, color palette. Some scenes in the show I swear looked as if the animators took specific panels out of the manga and relayed it on screen. A real treat for a fan of the original work like myself. I appreciated the attention to detail that catered to the already existing fanbase.
The action scenes are in my opinion very well done here. They are choreographed very well, and the suspense that is built up is fantastic.
The music in the series I thought was overall very good. I enjoyed all of the opening themes, especially the second one. The background music was nicely orchestrated and matched the scenes onscreen. Some of the endings were not memorable to me, but that's not uncommon in shows as long as this one.
In conclusion, for me this is an absolute must-see for any anime fan. Heck, I would try to recommend it to people who are not anime fans. The story is that well put together. I found myself rooting and yearning for the brothers' success so much this story- it's hard not to. Please take a look at this series- you'll be glad you did.
P.S. Although I watched the entire series with Japanese audio, I have also seen some episodes with the English dub, and I am extremely impressed with it. I prefer to watch dubs most of the time, and Fullmetal so far has done an excellent job with their English dub. read more