25 of 25 episodes seen
A straight 10 for everything in this show.
Story: The topic is difficult. Karuta is not a sport that any of the people outside Japan can relate to. And I don't think even in Japan this sport would be too famous. But this game has an extremely interesting concept of combining the Japanese poems with cards. For any sports anime the matches of that sport need to crafted extremely well for the show to get noticed and appreciated. This show does exactly that. The pacing of the scenes aptly builds up the atmosphere of an exciting match.
Art and Animation: Well drawn characters and backgrounds. And fantastically animated matches. A card game like Karuta which involves fast moves on taking the cards which have poems written on them can be quiet a difficult challenge. If the animators would have tried to bring in too many slow motion scenes in trying to explain the moves, the matches would have looked dull. Also if only fast moves from the players were shown to showcase their skill in taking the cards, then it would have been too difficult to understand the sport at all. This is where narration by the characters from time to time on the moves helps understand their opponents moves. The animation has a very good balance of the fast+slow motion scenes to make the match look convincing and very exciting.
Sound: Do I need to even say anything about this department? I have always experienced that Japanese voice actors express their characters emotions extremely well. The most important characters to voice in this show- the readers of the Karuta matches- they need to have the perfect pitching and tone for the Karuta players to recognize the letters being spoken clearly to take the cards as fast as they can. All voice actors do a brilliant job in voicing the readers. I loved that part in the show where 3 certified reader examiners are examining a reader during a match and under pressure he loses his rhythm. Actually till that point I didn't realize how important consistency in reading would be required for the players in general to focus.
I'll admit here, Miyano Mamoru's voice always catches my attention immediately. He has done a brilliant job once again in voicing Taichi who is perhaps the most complicated character to voice in this show after the readers, since there needs to be the perfect pitching and tone for expressing his emotions throughout the show.
And yes the background music for this show is just awesome. hats off to Yamashita Kousuke-sensei for a wonderful treat for the ears. Plus the OPs and EDs for both seasons are beautiful ! I personally loved the Akane Sora ED
Character: I loved all the character personalities. Chihaya the airhead, Kana-chan the literature freak- I loved hearing to her explanations of the poems! You really do start to like the poems in the show once their meaning is explained so beautifully. maybe some of you can even make out while they are being read if you pay close attention. Komanu-kun's meticulous data collection and analysis of his opponents is another interesting way to build up strategies within Team Mizusawa to beat their opponents. And Taichi- I always felt his memorization skills are out of this world. To be able to keep track of all the poems that have already been read out during the match and then build a strategy for taking the cards was just awesome. I also loved his indirect way of expressing his feeling towards Chihaya. I really really hope his feelings are reciprocated by her someday >.< Arata is also a sweet person with godly skills. His cross countering wne taking cards against the match with Nishida and Queen was excellent !! All the opponents in the show also have unique skills which have been nicely showcased in the show.
Enjoyment and Overall: Though it was difficult at the beginning I loved watching this show for its excellent direction, pacing, animation, sound, some very meaningful dialogues, poems, the characters, the exciting matches and the relationships especially between Team Mizusawa's players. Each player supports their team members wholeheartedly. their were 3 occasions where I was crying like an idiot- When Chihaya suddenly cried after the Concert band gave their best wishes to the Karuta Club via their performance (in ep 07 of s2) before the nationals started 2) when Mizusawa won the Tournament as a team (ep 19 in s2) 3) when Taichi made to Class A (ep 23 in s2). All three scenes showcasing the emotions powerfully and very subtly !!
Overall I had a wonderful time watching this show. And am praying hard that the story will get a closure with a season 3. A must watch !! read more
7 of 12 episodes seen
Writing this review after watching 7 eps. and I have to say, I totally look forward to this show every week. In fact its hard to wait for a week actually to see what's gonna happen next.
Story [10/10]: I loved the concept of the show- A girl, who, every time she experiences some kind of shock wakes up, finds her surroundings changed. How she and the people around her respond to it is the essence of the story till now. I loved the direction of this show. The scenes change at a very good pace which keeps the mystery alive in each episode. And especially the last scene cut at the end of Ep. 7. It was so subtle!
Art and Animation [10/10]: Full marks here as well :) The characters are all gorgeous and the backgrounds are well suited to all the scenes. Animation is top notch for me as well.
Sound [8/10]: The OP and ED are both very groovy. The background music isn't too much noticeable.
Character [8/10]: I loved the way the girls character was handled. Her responses to all the things she experiences was very well crafted. As for the guys they are not bad. All are suspicious looking at the beginning but you get a flavor of their personalities with each episode. When the protagonist is in a particular world with one guy, the others dont even appear anywhere. This can be both a positive or a negative point - The former -> since it helps in highlighting the incidents of a particular world where one of them is the girl's partner. The latter -> Since the creators of the show could have added many situation in which such interactions of the girl would be complicated by including the other characters influence to the flow of events. But again I am satisfied fully with watching what I am shown :)
Enjoyment and Overall [9/10]: I am enjoying every bit of this show. Its got all the right amount of mystery to it And the pace of the show is good as well. So completely recommended to watch *thumbs up* read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Story [8/10]: The plot of this show really had good potential. However, just having a good plot is not the only necessity, it needs good execution as well. A Princess of ancient lineage and guardians to help her protect a village (and, in a larger perspective, to protect the world) from falling apart due to evil forces - though this too is a cliched plot still there are lots of ways in which the story could have evolved. I dont say that the story went bad, but the way in which the events in the show were handled didn't feel satisfactory. Still, its not that bad that you will drop the show entirely.
Art and Animation [8/10]: Anime art nowadays is really fluid, so no complaints regarding this section. Even the landscapes and background objects and such were beautifully drawn. Animation too is good enough.
Sound [8/10]: Japanese voice actors are so so talented when it comes to expressing any kind of emotion!! And this show is no exception. All people have done a marvelous job on their characters. Op and Ed songs are soothing to hear too. But the instrumentals played in the episodes are not noticeable (or maybe I didn't notice them :P)
Character [5/10]: The poorly made part, according to me. Nope, none of the reactions of any character are out of place. But then again, none of them leave left any impression on me. Tamayori-hime struggles to realize her power, and she struggles till almost the end. But then she suddenly her powers awaken. That is not acceptable. Same is the case with her Guardians. When did they train for making their powers better, how did they know what their exact powers were, no background on that. Only Takuma's character has been given a better treatment in this aspect, so that we know why he is so strong. Regarding others, it was really discrete. Same of the villains in the show. Their characters are also poorly introduced. And the fanservice at the end of each episode (with a single character each time) was totally unnecessary =.=
Enjoyment [6/10]: Well I didn't stop watching the show half-way. The story picked up some pace in the second half.
Overall [7/10]: If you have some free time and really can't decide on what to watch, then probably you can give this show a try. This is for the girls mainly. I dont even know if the guys will consider this show a show looool. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Story [8/10]: The story had a typical but good plot. There are basically two worlds a magical world called Figurare and a Human world Retroscena. A contest between two prime magical institutes from Figurare is conducted every year, where an able contestant from each (they are called Stellar Spinners in the shows) is selected to collect seven of the many star drops that fall out into Retroscena. The female protagonist, Sumomo, is somehow involved in this contest. Her opponent is Aspalas from Figurare. The story chronicles the contests between both the Spinners in their quest to collect 7 star drops. Now where does the male protagonist fit into all this. Well as the synopsis says he accidentally turns into a stuffed sheep (and a very cute one too) in the mix up. His teacher explains the situation to both and Sumomo who doesnt know the identity of this stuffed sheep decides to help him. Now to turn him back to normal 7 star drops need to be collected which can then be used as a medicine to wash off all magical transformations. Thus starts the journey of Sumomo and Tsuwabuki as the stuffed sheep to collecting the 7 star drops while also contesting with aspalas.
Though there are quiet a few scenes shown of Sumomo and Aspalas trying to catch the star drops they are not well executed. Their actions are not swift nor are the spells. From where are how the spells occur is never once explained. Magical recipes suddenly pop out for Sumomo during their contests though she's never studied magic before. A major disappointment in this department considering the fact that this story is supposed to be of Magic genre.
The other part of the story about feelings slowly developing between Sumomo and Tsuwabuki are nicely done though. Not exaggerated or dramatic. But shy and cute. Loved watching them and I am pretty sure all of you who like to watch a slow and shy romance between a couple will definitely enjoy this.
Animation [5/10]: Animation lacks the swiftness required during the contest scenes between Sumomo and Aspalas. Their movements at times are awkward. Other than that its okay.
Art [9/10]: Liked the way the characters were drawn. Really cute. Landscapes are beautiful.
Sound [8/10]: The Opening song is catchy. Background music in the series is good. Voice actors have done their parts well.
Character [5/10]: The most noticeable of the characters were Tsuwabuki's friends. Though he is extremely less talkative and does not mix up too much with others in his class his classmates are his good friends who always try to bring him in their social circle. Yaeno, Sumomo's childhood and best friend is a good supporting character. But in terms of characters development you wont see too many changes in other characters except for Tsuwabuki and Sumomo. However, atleast no one's annoying.
Enjoyment [7/10]: I loved seeing the awkward romance develop between the main protagonists during the show. Loved seeing the cute sheep form of Tsuwabuki too. But apart from that the story overall is very weak. The plot had potential and could have been executed better by showing some details of the magical spells or some history of the contests, why the star drops fall and why only on the human world and not the magic world, etc. So all in all if you have much free time on your hands then maybe its okay to watch it once. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
The story is simple yet magical. Focusing on only two main characters, in the short time of the film, it develops a warm bond between them. Hotaru, especially when she's a child is shown perfectly, a little naughty but very sweet as well. Gin, shows a nice positive approach towards things.He's a nice guy. And though there are very small encounters of other spirits from the forest- their dialogues are proof enopugh of how much they all care about Gin. He's their little kid. The Summer Festival of the forest gives a slight hint of the Japanese folklore.
The landscapes in the movie are beautiful. They give a calm feeling. All characters are nicely drawn. Animation- no complaints there either. The music is sooting. Loved the Piano pieces.
To sum it up - It was a short yet a wonderfully heartwarming story. Absolutely recommended to watch :) read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
A short beautifully narrated OVA. Recommended to watch. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
***For newbies to this franchise******
The franchise chronicles a kind of War between 7 magus (Magicians)- the Masters and their Servants, who are Heroic Spirits from different eras. The duels between the participants of the War are fought to the death and the last standing Master and his/her Servant are entitled the possession of the Holy Grail- a powerful Magical device that can grant any wish, though only one. Fate Zero as well as Fate Stay Night chronicle the events of the Holy Grail Wars taking place in different decades.
Okay since I have watched the sequel, I definitely made some comparisons in the two stories. And the only conclusion I have come up with till now- Fate Zero is extremely focused on the Holy Grail War. Apart from a filler episode all the other episodes focus on the strategies meticulously being executed by each of the Masters along with their Servants. Somehow Fate Stay Night lacked this kind of focus. The strategies of the Masters are complex, the Servants are all very powerful. (Its really not too predictable who the last standing two dueling parties will be). They are honorable knights fighting for the Grail but at the same time also maintaining their pride and dignity. I think it is this fact that has really built up a mood of awesomeness visually in all these episodes.
Animation and Art [10/10]: There are a lot of dark scenes in terms of visuals, many shown in the night time or late evenings. Many dark scenes also implied in these settings especially while showing Ryunosuke and his Servant (they are way to grose –so thank heavens they are not explicitly shown in the anime- thank you censorship @_@). The art in terms of the landscapes and city backgrounds is very well made. Characters drawn are fine as well. Animation is top class. All the moves in the fights shown in this season were very clear which added to the thrill of watching them.
Sound [10/10]: OP and ED are real groovy and their words fit the theme of the series perfectly. The background score for the series is by Kajiura Yuki, so expect some Piano and Violin as well but in a very un-shoujo genre manner of course. Kajiura Yuki always sets a musical theme song of every character, it is also the case for this series. Iskander and Gilgamesh have been given themes where some middle eastern or eastern instruments have been used. An extremely strong point of this series is the Voice Actors. Each one of them has breath life into each character. The arrogance in Gilgamesh, the pride of Iskander, Saber, all the voice actors have done an excellent job which help in building up the character of each of the Servants as well as the Masters. The dialogues have been meticulously written. Many philosophical, many filled with pride of the knights. They are just perfect- and personally were a treat to read (in the subtitles). They actually made me think about certain things said in the episodes (watch especially ep 11 for a very interesting conversation between Saber and Iskander)
Characters [10/10]: Okay if you have not got bored and read till this section of my review you might already have gotten a good idea that all the characters are super awesome and cool. I may not be able to put all of my thoughts in good words but to tell the truth I was awestruck seeing all the Servants in Fate Zero. There’s nothing like the abilities of each Servant rises during the course of the show. They are all invincible to begin with. Just the thought of having Heroes from different eras fight on the same battle ground was an awesome and thrilling concept to begin with. The developments in Fate Zero exactly highlight this aspect beautifully (the Servants themselves have dialogues were they acknowledge having been able to fight with a Heroic figure of another era) The Masters are just as manipulative, brutal and come up with complex strategies. The personalities of the cast of Masters and Servants set out for Fate Zero are just perfect and have added hugely for making Fate Zero so good to watch. Personally I was overwhelmed by Iskander’s strength and his thoughts.
Enjoyment and Overall [10/10]: Really no complaints on any aspect of the show. Extremely well planned and executed story. Very interesting plot, perfect for an action thriller. Strong character cast whose actions are enjoyable to watch. Awesome dialogues and strategies shown in the series. Completely recommended. read more
4 of 37 episodes seen
Story [9/10]: Any sports anime is definitely interesting to watch. Adrenaline rush !! The story has started off well. Till now we get to see the warm as well as cold interactions between Kakeru and his older brother Suguru and a startling twist. After finishing the first episode I thought that most likely we are going to get to see rivalry on the football field between two brothers. But interestingly ep 03-04 gave a surprising twist. How things progress with Kakeru now that he has found that his brother is no longer there with him will be interesting. I am sure there will be a lot of character development in the coming episodes. Till now the pace of the story is just right. Sorry I am not saying much since little advancement has been made in the story. Also I dont want to give too many spoilers (one I gave just now.)
Art [10/10]: Art is good. Football passes, dribbling animation-wise were clearly seen (ofcourse in slow motion- but then again its good since we get to learn most about all those cool moves) in the first episode. Movements are clear.
Sound [9/10]: No complaints again. All voice actors have done there job well. The background music just at the beginning sounded really nice.
Character [10/10]: Again the character personalities as shown in the first episode are no different from the generic characters in any sports anime. They are pleasant. Again how Kakeru performs during the entire course of the series will be the key. Suguru's character of that f a strict yet kind older brother is well displayed in the first couple of episodes.
Enjoyment and Overall[10/10]: Enjoyed every episode till now. Recommended watch *thumbs up* read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
Story [7/10]: Story is nothing special, typical of a shoujo anime or manga. So we have a girl and a guy falling for each other. Its the girl's first love and the guy's 2nd (?) .> The guys cant still forget about his ex-girlfriend and is stuck in the moment for past 2/3 years (?) The girl now is very very very hurt by all these things doing around her and so she decides to breakup. the guy comes chasing after her. They get back together again then are again or the verge of breakup and so it continues in the story till its ep 23/24. Then is the climax were the girl will again shed litres of tears and say her goodbyes to the guy (And please dont ask why is that. You all know the answer already- EMOTIONAL PUNCH!!!). END OF STORY. Phew. Boy was I glad that it ended finally. To tell honestly people who have read many shoujo manga may get really bored watching this show. But if you are persistent enough give it a try.
Art [6/10]: Art is Okay I guess. But there have been many series with much better illustrations and background scenery even if they are just of the town places. The excessive bubbles in the first few episodes show to built up the "shoujo" mood was too much in my opinion. Animators could have done much better than this surely but oh well.
Sound [7/10]: OP and EDs were good, just not to my liking. Voice actor for the girl sounded highly nasal throughout (wonder about the reason -> maybe to show the naiivity ????) Other voice actors have done a decent job.
Character [8/10]: Reckless, naiive sometimes, trying to act like others and indulging in unnecessary adult stuff, etc.. all have been protrayed well via the characters. though I doubt I saw any development.
Enjoyment and overall [7/10]: Recommended for one time watch. Far from being special though to have for your collection. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
Story [9/10]: The story is rather simple actually. Based in the countryside of Japan in the era of the 80s. Goshu is a Cello player in a choir. Always making mistakes on some of the fine playing whenever the choir is practicing. The conductor of the choir thus gets mad at him many a times. Goshu tries hard to perfect his playing by practicing on the Cello at his home every night after finishing his chores for the day. Every time during his practice he is interrupted by one of the animals living nearby his home. Yes the house is away from the town he goes for his choir practices everyday, so there are lots of small animals, birds around. Though he is interrupted every time by these animals they somehow help him by teaching the tunes he is trying to perfect.
The story is very well written. I always find that stories written in the olden times were much much more imaginative than they are nowadays. Continuity of the story in the movie is good and it builds up an atmosphere of the typical countryside. Overall there is a feeling of -i watched something very nice- at the end of the film exactly because of the atmosphere that the movie creates.
Animation [7/10]: Animation is okay. I think good according to the technology of the 80s probably. Movements of the charatcres and the animals shown are smooth enough most of the times. So its not all that bad.
Art [7/10]: Art again I give a 7. Characters drawn are too fat. but the animals are drawn well. The landscape portrays the countryside well. Goshu's home looks really nice though its in a sort of an isolated place away from town.
Sound [8/10]: Music is good. Western Classical songs played during choir practices and when goshu is practicing at his home. Background music is okay again good considering the time in which it was made.
Character [10/10]: All the characters in the choir are very well portrayed. Gives an essence of the typical countryside folks. Animals also have been given distinct personalities very much suitable as to what kind of animal it is.
Enjoyment and Overall [9/10]: Really enjoyed watching this old movie for a change. The Ghibli type elements of fantasy are there in this movie as well. Enjoyed seeing the countryside in the movie. Overall a good watch. read more