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Noein's story revolves around a 12 year old girl and her friends and their role in the future(s) of the universe and its many dimensions. The main dimension involved in the story is set in present-day Japan, and all seems relatively normal for the kids until strangers from the future show up. There's a great deal of traveling through space and time involved here. You could say that it's an apocalyptic series--you have your villain out to destroy the universe--but I won't get into it because I don't want to give anything away. At times the plot can be a bit confusing, but once we reach the end there are no major holes to be filled [just plenty of interesting twists]. The idea of innumerable dimensions where we live out every possible future is something that appeals to me personally, and the idea is explored in this series in a very intelligent and relatively easy to understand manner. To take such a complex idea revolving around quantum physics and to manage to not turn it into something hokey and dumbed down or something too confusing to relate to is quite the feat. The story becomes very convincing and vivid and I couldn't imagine a more compelling plot or conclusion. Good stuff=]
I guess I can understand what might turn some people off to the animation, but this is one of my favorite things about the series. The character designs are pretty original, and even though they may look a bit rough or scratchy at times [same goes for the battle scenes] it flows so well with the feel of the series that I honestly couldn't imagine it any other way. In one scene the details will be incredibly rich and fluid and in another scene the animation might look a bit on the simple side. But trust me on this one, it just plain works for Noein. The battle scenes especially. They remind me of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. They seriously hold your attention and sometimes it reminds me of comic art.. really similar to Gainax stuff--and it rocks!! If you can get past the fact that the characters aren't animated in your typical neat and clean and cute anime fashion then you just might love it as much as I do.
Nothing in particular stands out, but there was absolutely nothing I disliked. The opening and closing tracks worked just fine for the series. The soundtrack throughout was very fitting, eerie when it needed to be and nostalgic when the story called for it. The sound effects are also pretty sweet--your ideal futuristic noises I suppose. I especially liked the music during the intense scenes--some of it reminded me of Escaflowne's soundtrack [that Gregorian chanting stuff that gives me chills].
There's nothing better than a series that doesn't skimp on character development. I can't stand it when characters are neglected and you end a series with that empty feeling--when you know they could have done so much more with a character and their relationships. Noein does a perfect job of rounding out the characters and making them memorable, and all of this without fillers to drag down the story. Everything was well-paced and I never once felt that I couldn't relate to the characters. There isn't a ton of comic relief, but the series has some very amusing characters and enough light-hearted scenes to keep you from being too upset by the sad parts. The entire thing is well-rounded: characters, story, pacing, the works. And for those of you looking for the love stories, yes there's plenty of that as well. The relationships are very believable though--so no cheesy love scenes to be had, thank god. You will definitely become attached to these characters--I know I did.
Uh.. what can I say? I enjoyed the hell out of it.
watch this one!!
onegai<3 read more
first of all.. i think too many people expected it to be like other miyazaki works.. but the worst thing you could do is assume it'll have the magic and light-heartedness of other studio ghibli films.. after all, it was miyazaki's son that directed it.. and for a first film, i don't think it could've been any better.. i suppose it's tough to keep this in mind, as the art style is the same as other ghibli films.. but please try..
that being said..
Story-i loved the story.. that might be partially because i really enjoy this genre.. a sort of medieval setting with fantasy elements.. dragons and sorcery.. but none of the fantasy elements are too over-bearing.. the film focuses instead on the lesson it intends to convey.. sounds lame.. but i think it did a perfect job of getting the point across.. i felt like i would burst when the movie ended.. i really felt the impact of what was being said.. to deny death is to deny life.. being afraid of death is being afraid of living.. i know it sounds cliche, but it makes sense and it really hits home.. heh.. for me at least.. it's a very epic telling of the story.. and you need to keep in mind also that this was literature to begin with, and you can tell by the content of the story.. it may seem to move a bit quickly and is at parts confusing.. but that's just the way it goes whenever literature becomes film.. nothing tough to keep up with though.. just a few holes..
Animation-the scenery was breathtaking as usual.. you could really feel the tone of the setting.. the art, the music, the story-all truly strike a chord.. the character animations could have been better, that would be my only serious complaint.. since it's a more recent film, i thought they could have done more with the effects-especially in scenes involving the use of magic.. more similar to the animation in spirited away or howl's moving castle.. then again, it might have been intentional.. and i'm not sure i liked the design of the dragons.. but overall.. great stuff.
Sound-probably my favorite music in a film ever.. bah.. i love that stuff.. perfectly orchestrated.. gave me chills actually.. heh.. it was dramatic, but it added to the epic feel of the film.. it was never cheesy.. and i especially love when it sounded a bit irish with the flutes and such.. and uh.. the closing song made me break down and bawl like a baby.. it was that beautiful.
Character-the characters were totally fitting for this movie.. nothing felt like it was out of place.. the main characters had plenty of depth and were very likable.. one thing i noticed was that one of the leaders of the bad dudes, the guy with the frenchie stupid-lookin mustache, looks exactly like a bad guy in nausicaa valley of the wind.. this also, may have been on purpose.. he acted like him too.. kinda weird.. and the evil sorcerer gave me chills.. that voice.. shudder*.. so yea-the characters were perfect in my opinion.. enough said.
Enjoyment-i enjoyed it thoroughly.. yea.. that's all.
*please remember to watch this film with an open mind, not expecting the usual miyazaki 'magic' read more
the story might sound a little familiar.. dragon veins, daoist monks, martial arts, spiritually-endowed high school students faced with an apocalyptic event.. but so what if the elements aren't anything new.. it works, plain and simple.. and compared with other end-of-the-world anime, this one wins hand-down as far as style goes.. the story is pretty easy to follow, though the spiritual stuff gets a bit confusing [kinda has to be].. i really had no serious complaints.
the art.. wow dude.. i loved it.. heh-i even watched the entire series streamed and the quality wasn't perfect.. and it STILL blew me away.. the character design is great and the fight scenes were riveting [no lie].. usually i get bored with the fight scenes, especially when they drag on forever.. but Tokyo Majin is the perfect blend of story and fighting.. all with eye-candy animation.. never a dull moment, in my opinion.. first episode is probably my favorite as far as the action goes.. hell, they're all spectacular.. the fighting is so.. fluid.. i guess would be an accurate word to use.. bah.. can't get over it.. kind of like samurai champloo fight scenes.. but better.. bloodier.. heh if you don't mind that sort of thing.. plus the monsters/demons weren't cheesy like they tend to be in other series.. sweet designs.. and they actually creeped me out.. which doesn't happen very often.
sound was definitely good as well.. nothing bothered me, but nothing really blew me away either.. it all blended together though so.. no complaints here.. they kept it dark enough to fit the mood, but not over the top..
characters.. perfect.. there's just enough romance for those of you who enjoy that stuff.. but nothing that detracts from the story.. sometimes that sort of thing can really take away from the overall impression.. this is not a series about love.. though i guess no series would be complete without a good romance or two.. heh.. but yea.. i honestly couldn't pick a favorite character.. well, i'd definitely rule out the journalist chick since she's hella annoying.. so ok-one negative there.. but the dynamics of the rest of the cast are more than enough to overpower one stupid little girl with a camera.
as far as enjoyment goes, i couldn't have asked for more.. just uh.. anxious to see the second season is all..
so there you have it..
i HIGHLY recommend this series. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
I have to say, I have been very confused as to why this anime is so widely known and loved. Awhile ago I tried to start watching the series and got about 2 episodes into it before deciding it was a waste of time. My initial impression was that sure, the show had a great opening score/artwork, but as soon as the real action began, there was nothing to be impressed with. Of all the anime I have seen thus far, this one has some of the blandest animation and character design. Nothing horrible, but definitely nothing noteworthy. Nyu may have some kind of sexual appeal to the audience [not me], but other than her supposed "cuteness" it is hard to feel any kind of attachment to her. I was immediately turned off by not only her persona, but those of two other main characters introduced early on. Kouta and Yuka are very diluted and weak characters, and there is nothing particularly interesting about them. The initial premise of the story was interesting, and the first episode provided plenty of gore for those who are easily entertained by exploding heads and flying limbs.
Several months after losing interest, I was again exposed to plenty of support and praise of this series and thought I'd give it another chance. I guess it was just pure stubbornness that led me to actually watch the entire series through-I had to find out if there was some truth to all the hype. But uh-yea, again I have to be honest. I was sorely disappointed. I can see where the series may lure people in with its light vs. dark or the struggle of humanity or some such thing. I guess there are some interesting questions that could be raised by the series, but I felt no connection or empathy with the characters at all here and therefore was unable to feel that the moral questions raised were of concern to me. The relationships between characters and their development are what usually interest me more than anything-and even a weak storyline can be somewhat salvaged by strong characters. However, Elfen Lied is full of half-assed character development, which to me is more frustrating than anything. Not only am I annoyed by the actual character design [we are never fully aware as to why these creatures have horns that look like cat ears which supposedly make them cute.. lame.. and the gigantic eyes are a bit much] but I am stupefied by the way things are left between these characters. I won't leave any spoilers here-but I have to say that the ending was at the very least unsettling. For one, I didn't even like Nyu's character, so I can't say exactly how the ending made me feel. I was unhappy though, that's for sure. The relationships are never sorted out even a little-Kouta and Yuka have some kind of connection [we have no way of understanding why Yuka is so obsessed with her uh, cousin.. especially since they hadn't seen each other since they were very young and have no interactions in the series that seem significant.. other than a little undies/kissing show the audience is witness to at one point].. the whole thing frustrates me-and then the relationship between Kouta and Nyu/Lucy.. it seems to be the only possibility for saving this weak series.. but no.. we are yet again left with absolutely no answers-Kouta is indecisive and has no strong points in his character that stand out or are interesting.. sure he is a "good" guy-but hell, I have never witnessed a more boring good guy in all of the anime I have seen.. Yuka might as well not even be in the anime.. and even though Nana's appearance creates more action, she also seems unimportant to the story and is equally as diluted as the other characters.. also.. Nyu's voice is like nails on a chalkboard if you ask me, though I understand that all of her "nyu nyu" crap is adorable to some people.. her real personality [Lucy] is the only one that interested me at all-and we didn't see much of it [aside from the back-story and the scenes with ultra-graphic violence].. I think the anime could have been better if a few characters had been eliminated, and the series had perhaps focused more on the relationship between Kouta and Lucy [not the unbelievably stupid amnesia-induced Nyu].. their back-story was the only part of the series I actually liked.. it's tough for me to enjoy watching an anime if I can't relate to any of the characters.. on top of that, if I don't like the character design or the animation or the storyline, it's bound to be a HUGE flop..
going back to the storyline-I can't say that it's a terrible one, but then again it was boring enough for me to forget almost immediately.. of course we aren't meant to see the plot as realistic per se, but a few things just don't sit right with me.. for one-is it in any way conceivable that these 'demons' or freaks [or whatever they really are-it is never fully explained] would be treated so cruelly?.. especially ones like Nana who showed no real violence in them.. i mean come on-hurdling heavy objects at them while they're chained up naked??.. i just don't get it-unless the producers of the series felt that the audience would enjoy seeing a lot of unnecessary nudity and violence that doesn't add to the plot [which i suppose is the case..heh].. then we have the underdeveloped explanation as to how this mutation happened in the first place and why it would happen the way it did [so uh-random?-extra limbs that are invisible].. if this is about survival of the fittest or some shit like that, we could have made it a bit more believable or interesting.. and as for the villains in the story.. again.. weak.. Kurama was alright, but his touching back-story wasn't enough to save the series.. it seems that the internal struggle of Nyu/Lucy is the main focal point here.. and it gets old.. after finishing the series, i was left feeling empty-and not in the awed sense, where the significance hits you later on.. i didn't get anything out of watching the series.. it seems that everyone else finds some kind of deep and powerful message, something that really stuck with them-but i see nothing special at all.. even at surface/entertainment value.. i really feel guilty in saying this, but.. there are very few anime that I hold in such low regard as this one.. I hope you will all be understanding.. I really wish there were someone out there to agree with me on this one..
[and i just realized that it's nearly impossible for me to punctuate sentences correctly.. i reverted to my usual format halfway through.. ah well] read more