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296 of ? chapters read
Perhaps this is your usual martial arts manga, but it is also so much more. The story is about a talentless, downtrodden boy who works towards developing his martial arts skills through sheer hard work and will - much like Naruto. Along his journey his enemies become his friends and together they wage war against a greater evil - again, we've heard this before - what makes it special is the delivery and the characters.
Through humor and hyperbole the masters who teach young Kenichi are made into caricatures and parodies of older martial art manga characters that we're so fond of, like "Hokuto no Ken" for instance. The various individual supporting characters have also been given much thought and characters who you thought were gone come back to play the part of an important piece in a larger puzzle. With every chapter, with every fight sequence we learn about the characters and what makes them human, sometimes even evil is compassionate. It is a very optimistic manga.
With all the action and adventure, there is also a darker, more sinister and intriguing story that rears its head in the latter stages of the manga. The constant cliffhangers at the end of every chapter are so gripping that they can be called annoying!
The artwork is not extraordinary, but takes a back seat to the story and characters - which is the primary driving force of this series.
This wonderful blend of action, adventure, humor, martial arts, intrigue comes together in a very feel good package. If blood, gore, death and evil is your thing, this is probably not for you. Naruto fans will enjoy it, and I highly recommend it to fans of martial arts manga and anime like "Kenshin", "Shura no Toki", "Bleach" et al.
I also recommend the TV series which visualizes the first 100 or so chapters of the series. read more
13 of 96 chapters read
The art work is very good too, the character expressions are well drawn, but I didn't pay a lot of attention to the art since I was so caught up in the story. The characters are a little cliche, a high school student with genius hacking skills, and his comrades comprising a high school karate champion and an archery champion seems rather convenient, yet they are extremely vulnerable, and even arrogant of their own skills... little do they know what they're dealing with.
The series is ongoing, so perhaps all this praise is a little premature, but from the 13 chapters that have been released, this is shaping up to be quite interesting. I might change my opinion as the series progresses, but for now I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good old fashioned thriller. You will not be disappointed. read more
90 of 201 episodes seen
Although there are always hints of a larger overarching plot, I don't think the mangaka really cares, and after 90 episodes of sheer laughs, I don't care either. Gintama is primarily episodic but there are a few multi-episode story arcs. The story is secondary to the sheer joy of watching the great collection of characters and witty dialogue.
The art and sound too are secondary but by no means bad. It's no aural and visual masterpiece but it wasn't meant to be. The voice acting though is really good and brings the characters to life.
The selling point of this anime are the characters! A motley crew of caricatures, watching these characters interact is a joy in itself. The characters are constantly breaking the "fourth wall" in the sense that they know that they exist in an anime... brilliant! The dialogue is smart and very, very witty... sometimes bordering on the silly. This anime is not shy of laughing at itself!
There are subtle references to "Bleach", "Doreamon", "Naruto", "One Piece" and a whole bunch of other Jump publications, not to mention "Sin City", "Lethal Weapon", Chow Yun Fat and John Woo movies, and even "Casablanca"!
Along with GTO, this is one of the most enjoyable animes I've watched simply because I've enjoyed it, and not because I'm dying to find out what happens next.
I'll stop wasting your time now, stop reading and go watch an episode or two, you won't regret it. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
This anime also follows the "gundam vs. the rest" recipe but I got hooked on to the series early on because the plot seemed to rely more on suspense and political intrigue, a sort of Death Note mecha anime, if you will. However, like it's predecessors, the deus ex machina element soon became overbearingly strong. The script-writers did very well to balance the equation towards the end and set the scenario for the second season. I think the promise of a second made the production house slack off a bit...
The animation is exquisite. The Gundam designs are simply sublime, there's a sense of clarity in the artwork and the results are a visual treat. I think the Gundam designs in this anime is the best in the franchise.
Sound, especially, electronic jam pieces played during battle sequences has always been a trademark of the Gundam franchise and 00 does not disappoint on that front. Although the music is not memorable, it works well with the animation and the story. The overall effect is rather good.
The pitfall of mecha animes ~ whiny pilots. Like the other products in the Gundam franchise (barring Gundam Wing), 00 also suffers from a cast comprising morally dysfunctional and confused pubescents. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to listen to the pilots' rambling bitching about not understanding what the f*** is going on and questioning the meaning of life, universe, and everything else. It's 42 damn it! Barring the pilots, the supporting characters are great... at times. Then there are people, simply there to bring a personal aspect to the pain war and violence causes. Perhaps the second season will expound on some of the characters as there are several unanswered questions.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. The "game of chess" approach to the plot, the brilliant battle sequences, the sort of real world setting, and the quick pace of the series made it very worthwhile and I happily await a second season... although I am a little unsure if a second season was necessary. You will understand what I mean if you watch it. Let me know if you agree or disagree. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The plot revolves around a mercenary group of pilots fighting a war in a remote desert kingdom. In the midst of it all is an ace pilot Kazama Shin who was tricked into joining the squadron by his best friend - who also had eyes on Kazama's fiance. The only way to leave the war is to serve out three years or pay a $1.5 million fine - deserters are shot down by their comrades. It's not a spellbinding story, but has enough substance to allow the artwork and the spectacular animation sequences to hold your attention.
From the detailed drawing of various aircrafts - Mirage 2AE, Crusaders, F-14 Tomcats, Tigershark AE, to the brilliant dogfight sequences and explosions, for action junkies it's very enjoyable. The characters too are sharply drawn, and the quality of the fight sequences are captivating.
The sound, well, like the Gundam franchise, Area 88 uses a blend of electronica and rock for the aerial battle scenes, so we don't really get a taste of the sound of aircraft engines, it's like watching F-1 races on mute. However, the music choice is quite appropriate and adds to the pulsating effect of the dogfights.
There isn't a lot of character development. Except for Kazama Shin, we don't learn a lot about the supporting characters. Yes, through the emotional turmoil of a war, there's scope for cathartic outpouring, and portrayal of the horrors of fighting, but it stops there. Just when you think you might find out more about a character, the storyline stops pursuing the train of thought. Nevertheless, there are some interesting side characters who add to the tension and even laughter!
Personally, I really enjoyed this anime, and the OVA series. The fighter jets, the technical precision, the dogfights, are quite realistic but drawn beautifully and is a treat to watch with booming sound on a large screen. If you liked Yukikaze, you'll like this too. It's no masterpiece, but it's short and excellent for a weekend viewing. The only complaint is that there isn't any sense of closure. You'll need to read the manga to get that. A strong recommendation to action junkies, and airplane and mecha fans. read more
There's a riveting plot, a quest, if you will, that takes our group of protagonists all across the world in arbitrary adventures. Although it starts out a little slow, it is an interesting enough story to hold your attention, besides you're rooting too hard for the underdog protagonist to stop yourself from finding out if he succeeds in his quest. I mean come on, he fights with a fishing rod, how could that not be cool? Speaking of which, there are some excellent fight sequences and some mind benders even!
The art and sound are dated, but that hardly detracts from the enjoyment. There are some excellent characters, creative and unique in their own ways, devious villains, and the usual comic relief. The protagonist's naivity makes him awefully endearing and you're warped into his world view of "all things are good"... very reminiscent of Naruto, minus the repititive "I will protect my friends" dialogues.
I truly enjoyed this series and the subsequent sequels which were even better. Besides, this is a landmark series that no fan of anime should miss. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.
To those of you who have read my other reviews, I try not to get into a lenghty detailed philosophical understanding of the subplot in my reviews, all I have to say is I highly recommend this series and it's three OVA sequels.
I trust you will enjoy this as much as I have! read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
In terms of plot, yes there is something of a story, but you really have to pay attention to keep track of things. Besides, to be honest the story is quite inconsequentional. There is a bit of suspense and foreboding of impending disaster to keep you going from episode to episode.
The artwork was excellent, even by modern standards. The "vanships", the equivalent of an aeroplane and the huge zepellin like airships are superbly drawn.
The sound is appropriate and goes well with the visual images of vanships flying the corkscrew at high speeds. Plenty of explosions juxtaposed to arias, it was quite interesting.
The characters, although well explored and given a sense of emotional depth, are quite cliche. A bit of whinying here, a bit of heroism there. very reminiscent of the characters from Full Metal Alchemist.
As far as enjoyability goes it's a great anime to watch over a weekend when it's snowing outside, which is exactly what I did! it's faced paced, with enough action and intrigue to be called a "page turner", and then there's the excellent artwork.
I recommend this anime to all mecha, airware, action buffs, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
Like both the Final Fantasy installments, which this is so reminiscent of, Wonderful Days takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a group of humans are fighting for a better tomorrow - their wonderful days. One can tell that the plot is not a major aspect of the movie; there is very little background on the present events and little or no clarification of what is what. But that's not important.
The characters, too, are unexplored and their personalities have little significance. There is no motivation for their actions and random switches in beliefs. It's like a mega chameleon fest, where none of them know what their true colours are. Poor character development. But then again they're not important.
What drives this anime, and the reason why I give it an 8 after all it's shortcomings, is the absolutely brilliant animation and sound. To really enjoy this, you need to watch a good quality version of the movie. The cell-shading/CG artwork was fantastic and played its part perfectly in describing the darkness of post apocalyptic earth. I never thought cinematography was important for anime, but by god was it well done. Some of the "shots" coupled with some excellent music brought out the emotion which the 1-D characters could not provide. It is like watching Monet paint. Maybe that's a bit too much, but you get the idea.
If you're planning on watching this, don't go in expecting something extraordinary, it's nothing brilliant. But it was certainly enjoyable, if not interesting to see what the Korean animation industry is capable of. It's a very promising step... read more
42 of 42 episodes seen
The story is lethargic. It follows a very formulaic approach. The main protagonist, Recca goes through a sequence of ordeals to realize his true strength and then manages to win over enemies with his never say die attitude. Banal. Seen that a million times. But that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable.
The animation is fair, to be honest, I feel that the studio started pumping more money into Yu Yu Hakusho (which was being released at the same time), and the later episodes suffer from a marked decline in quality.
The sound is nothing spectacular, nothing memorable.
The characters are moderately well designed, but again follow cliched "five-guy-superhero-team" stereotypes. There are, of course, some deliciously sinister villains, some with more character than our 2-D heroes. But the anime doesn't really explore them.
I really can't give this a high grade. In it's time, yes it was a classic, and sparked of future work such as Naruto, but now it's a dated and overused concept and there are many more worthwhile series out there.
However, I highly recommend the manga. The anime only follows upto volume 16 of the manga series and by itself leaves many questions unanswered. The manga is complete and reflects the true worth of the series. read more
43 of 43 episodes seen
The story is somewhat cliche: troublesome high school students with peculiar skills or traits trying to rid a teacher who's trying hard to to teach them a lesson in life. However, there are some very clever surprises and plot devices to keep the viewer poised for more. My only complaint is the rather hashed season finale (Ep. 42 and 43), but that was to be expected since those are the only two episodes that didn't diligently follow the manga.
The animation is adequate for its time, but that isn't the reason why you should watch this.
Both the opening and ending soundtrack for the series is great. Although, neither are as good as the GTO Live Action theme, "Poison".
The reason why you should watch this is simple: Onizuka Ekikichi, 22 years, virgin. This anime is all about character, rather a character. Truly GTO is ineffable in that sense. Watch the first episode and tell me if you're not immediately enamored by Onizuka and his ridiculous ways.
While there is a certain moral message to the anime, watch it for the sheer fun value. It will make you laugh, that's for certain, perhaps it might even make you cry. The live action series, I'm not ashamed to say did make my eyes wet.
The live action series (12 episodes) is quite good as well but there are certain things one can have liberty with in an anime that is not possible in live action.
Overall, I highly recommend GTO. Not just the anime but the entire franchise, manga, live action TV series and the movie.
Great Teacher Onizuka Banzai! read more