26 of 26 episodes seen
It seems people, in general, will do all kinds of illogical and stupid things just for a little bit of cash. And, people who are well off generally find that amusing. But, when someone has their back against the wall in most cases they will do anything to make it out. Kaiji, a series about a man up to his neck in debt and who is forced to participate in all kinds of twisted "games" with the stakes seemingly much higher and repercussions much more sever each time he plays, gives the viewer a surprising and quite truthful look at the darker side of human nature.
Fukumoto Nobuyuki seems to run on the belief that people can, and will, screw over each other when their back is against the wall. This is shown quite early, as Kaiji is tricked at the beginning of the very first arc and from then on it seems as though the series is just an exercise in him getting continuously screwed over. But, here's the thing: that is actually a good thing for the story. In a story where people continuously backstab one another and don't look out for each other, Kaiji is one of the few who seems to actually care for his fellow man to some extent.
Fukumoto deftly and skillfully contrasts the overall dark tone of the series with his protagonists' altruism and never really picks a side. Which makes it all the more effective, as morality should be handled as morally grey. That said, it isn't as though the characters that aren't Kaiji are particularly well developed. The villains of the series, for instance, Tonegawa and "The Chairman" are very obviously portrayed as evil for the most part, though they do have some interesting philosophies, with the typical "bad guy" poses that overly dramatic series like Death Note do. Think Light Yagami when he comes up with some dastardly plan.
But, strangely enough, this kind of works to the series' advantage as well. Because, to Kaiji, these people ARE evil. They put him in this terrible situation where he could die or possibly worse, so the dramatizing can be effective in this situation. That said, those who dislike melodrama may be kind of turned off. But, personally, I think it fits the tone and situations for the most part.
Of course, every one who has any passing knowledge of this series and anything else by Fukumoto knows that the art can be kind of a turn off for certain people. The faces, in particular, look strange at first with the overly stylized nose. But, all but the most close minded should be able to get over this once the series gets into the swing of things. In fact, the art is effective in showing character reactions whether it be fear, shock, happiness or any other human emotion. Very effective stuff here, most viewers will probably be pleasantly surprised by the art.
The music and sound effects do the job nicely, with the most memorable part being the "Za" sound effect used throughout when ever something or someone takes a dark turn. Unfortunately, it is very easy to imagine this being an annoyance to some people. Personally, I thought it greatly added to the tension in key scenes. The OP and ED are okay, nothing overly memorable. Pretty good voice acting across the board, though nothing was overly amazing.
A very effective series, all things considered. As someone who isn't exactly into gambling by any means, I was personally more pulled into the glimpses of human nature and the general darkness the series presented.
The story about a man thrown into a series of games to make money isn't particularly interesting. But, when the story gets going this series has an interesting opinion on the human condition. The games themselves are interesting, with the most entertaining ones being the Rock, Paper, Scissors and E Card. Honestly, the series high point is the over the top but incredibly intriguing "Brave Men road" arc. It has to be seen to be believed.
Great facial expressions in dramatic situations. The artstyle takes a few episodes to get used to, but once the viewer is into the thick of things it shouldn't be a problem. The art has far more advantages than disadvantages.
Good voice work, well done sound effects, and decent music. The sound effects, in particular, work extremely well in heightening tension.
Kaiji is a surprisingly believable and easy to relate to character and his contrast with many of the other, "look out for yourself" characters is intriguing. Takegawa is pretty much the only other particularly interesting character as he has some interesting thought processes. Fukumoto wisely doesn't choose a particular side, though the "evilness" of the other characters does counter act this a bit.
A very addicting series, Kaiji can really suck the viewers time away. It's also entertaining for people who want "something more" from their entertainment while not digging to deeply. It's easy to imagine that the games could be entertaining to watch without the food for thought as well.
An impressive series that wasn't like what I thought it would be, aside from the sense of style. The world view of this series is particularly gripping. Definitely worth the watch.
13 of 13 episodes seen
But, and I think most other people will agree, some of the best comedy is stuff that actually has an underlying message to it. When humor can actively facilitate an overall message that the work in question has, then it all works on multiple fronts. And, well, this is something that Arakawa Under The Bridge does well.
Arakawa starts with the protagonist, Ichinomiya Kou, standing on a bridge completely pants-less. It is here when he meets a rather strange girl known as Nino and it is also here where we learn of his fear of owing anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to anyone what so ever. It is readily apparent from the on set that Kou has some rather deep sitting issues with his father, almost a sort of phobia if you will.
Now, don't get me wrong. Arakawa is most definitely a comedy first and foremost, but themes such as running away from problems, parental issues, and so on are lightly, and rather effectively, touched upon during the course of the series. But, it certainly never becomes heavy handed in this matter at all.
Visually, Arakawa is a treat with very well done character design, particularly Nino and the other female characters, and just overall interesting visual touches here and there. Shaft has the usual visual touch, but not quite as heavily as Sayanora Sensei, EF, or their other works.
Sound wise, the musics generally pretty good. But, the voice work in particular is striking with some very big names in the series particularly Sugita Tomokazu (Haruhi, Gintama), Fujiwara Keiji (Baccano, FMA), and many more.
The characters are very likable, with pretty much every one of them having some sort of..personality quirk. Whether you have the cross dressing "Sister", The Kappa costume wearing Village Chief, The rockstar wanna be Star shaped mask wearing Hoshi, the insult throwing Maria, and so on..it's almost guaranteed that you'll find something to amuse you in some form.
Which brings me to my biggest issue with the series, the characters don't change and we just don't learn anything at all about the vast majority of them. Not that Kou doesn't try to learn, it's just that the other characters either avoid his questions or outright lie to him. It's arguable, of course, whether or not this is an actual fault or not...it's just the way these people live their lives and it effectively ties into the central plot point. But, it still hurt my enjoyment a little bit.
At it's heart Arakawa Under The Bridge is a sort of coming of age story in which Kou tries to come out from under his fathers shadow and live his own life under the bridge. Some of the comedy is random in nature, but most of it seems to hit on the underlying message. It isn't deep stuff, but this series did very effectively what it intended to.
Well done character designs, good background art, and very consistent animation. The Shaft "style" isn't quite as glaringly obvious as most of the shows from the company, except for the OP, ED, and a few other instances.
It has to be said that Nino is probably one of the most obviously beautiful female characters I've seen. The other female characters are well designed as well.
Solid music, with well know voice actors doing the same great work they always do. Not much to complain about here. Though, there also isn't anything particularly amazing in this compartment, either.
The characters are likable, memorable, funny, and just overall well done. Unfortunately, they go out of their way not to talk about themselves and Kou is pretty much the only character to go through some form of change. Still, nothing to complain about.
Consistently funny unlike most comedy series I've seen and the characters are very likable. I enjoyed the message this series brought to the table as well. An easy series to marathon.
Memorable, funny, and many other things. Arakawa is a great comedy series up there with stuff such as FMP: Fumofu, Minami-ke, and a few others. Definitely recommended for those looking for a good time. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
The first story told "Yotsuya Kaidan" is about a woman being betrayed, and effectively killed, by her husband and her seeking revenge as a ghost. The atmosphere is effective, but the actual attempts at "horror" just didn't come off as scary or chilling. Part of this is because the characters didn't have any room to breath and, as a result their motivations and actions just seemed random at times and another is because the horror felt very very forced.
It is possible to develop characters in a short arc, it has been done before in stuff like Aoi Bungaku's "No Longer Human" story arc so..when you don't care about hardly any of the characters, it's hard to care if/when they die or whatever. That said, the unfortunate Tamiya Oiwa was at least decently sympathetic and Tamiya Iemon was very very hate able...but there could have been more depth to the side characters as well.
The art style and music for Yotsuya Kaidan is very well done. The realistic and dark edge the art has really goes a long way to set the mood the story has, particularly the life like appearance the characters have is agreeable. The music is a great mood setter as well, and the voice acting is great. Particularly Hirata Hiroaki, the voice of Sanji from One Piece, did a wonderful job as the down right bastard Iemon.
The second story arc, Tenshu Monogatari, tells the story of forbidden love between a "Forgotten God" name Tomi-Hime and a human named Himekawa Zusho-no-Suke. The Forgotten Gods actually feed on humans and Tomi Hime's mother had actually met a sad fate for falling in love with a human as well, so it's at least an interesting subject in theory for a story.
The problem, once again, is that the characters just don't have any depth to them and the actual love story is handled very..sloppily and is just rushed in general. When the viewer doesn't connect with the characters in some way, it's just really hard to care about their plight or whether they can make it out alive. That said, one interesting thing the story does is how it handles the actual wife of Zusho-no-Suke and how she reacts to his falling in love with a "demon" as she calls Tomi-himi. Of course, it isn't handled very well in the end but it still is somewhat interesting.
Again, the music is very good and the voice work is top notch. Though there really wasn't much that stood out particularly well in the vocal department either, but the voice work did fit the characters and such. The art style is a bit different from the first arc, not quite as dark and, well, it doesn't hurt the tone of the story much at all. Though the actual animations seemed to take a hit, the art did fit the love story and all.
The final story arc, Bakeneko, is as advertised: easily the best part Ayakashi as a whole. Ironically, it is also apparently the only arc to be original to this anime. Part of this is probably because of the fact that the creators could come up with their own story and could do as they wished since they didn't have to strictly adapt a famous work and thus were much more creative in their efforts as a result.
And, oh boy, does it show. Telling the story of a family being haunted by a cat demon and a certain mysterious Medicine Seller's attempt to save said family and put the "Mononoke" to rest, Bakeneko is trippy, suspenseful, and oh so engaging. The story is effectively about how and why the demon is attacking the family, with the suspense being built throughout the first two episode and the last one does an excellent job at pure storytelling as you learn the circumstance of the "Mononoke."
But, definitely one of the high points of this arc is the main character Kusuriuri who is a guy that just oozes cool and is genuinely interesting. You don't really learn anything about him, unfortunately, you just sort of get glimpses of his personality and ability. It's enough, though, to make the viewer wonder just who the hell is he.
The other characters are actually interesting as well, with the families past getting a large amount of development. Ironically, this only serves to highlight the flaws of the other two story arcs as these characters are very well handled in only 3 episodes, which is ONE whole episode less than the others.
Visually, Bakeneko is a treat. The art is beautiful, very detailed and does a great job of highlighting the atmosphere of the overall story. The character designs, particularly Kusuriuri, are very stylistic and just incredibly pleasing to the eye and much of the story is actually told through the art which makes the best of the animation medium to help the story. Really, I'd find it difficult to imagine anyone saying this isn't one of the best looking anime out there. The animation is very well done as well, Toei obviously pulled out all the stops here.
As far as sound, the music is as excellent as ever and the voice work is great. Sakurai Takahiro does a great job as Kusuriuri, adding a great deal to his characters mystique and overall charm. The music in the last episode particularly should be commend as it was powerful stuff.
There is obviously some worth in the overall storyline for these tails as two of them are considered Japanese classics, but it feels as though something was lost during the adaptations. Feeling heavily abbreviated, it's just hard to really care about the happenings of Yotsuya Kaidan and Tenshu Monogatari. Though I will say that the formers take on what a story could possibly mean to a author and how a viewer/reader could influence a story is very interesting.
Bakeneko's tale of a families dark history is just very well done even though it is actually the shortest of the three arcs. The writing was top notch and just did a fantastic job at building suspense.
Art is top notch for the most part throughout Ayakashi, though it does take a bit of a hit animation wise during Tenshu Monogatari. Still, for the most part the characters designs and such fit the mood of each storyline and most definitely do not hamper any enjoyment what so ever.
Great sound across the board, particularly the OP and ED. Never would have thought rap would work so well for a historical piece, but "Heat Island"does. The ED song, "Memento of Spring", is excellent and is very nicely inserted into the end of each episode. The music used during the actual episodes are very nicely done, though not exactly memorable. Just good for atmosphere building.
Voice acting is great with Sakurai Takahiro and Hirata Hiroaki being particularly note worthy as Kusuriuri and Iemon respectively.
The characters' actions are largely questionable for the first two arcs, the actions they take seem sort of random and can sometimes seem to come out of thin air with no buildup. It feels as though what ever character development that may have been part of the original was cut out and, as a result, the characters and the plot just moves way to fast.
Bakeneko has pretty good development considering the story arc is so short, and Kusuriuri is a very interesting character who is great to watch.
I spent a good percentage of especially Tenshu Monogatari just randomly check how much time it had left to go each episode, that should say enough about enjoyment right there. I can tell there is a good story hidden inside, it just wasn't adapted very well that is painfully obvious. Pretty much the same for the first arc.
Bakeneko was, predictably, very entertaining. Interesting characters and plot, along with great art and music add so much to enjoyment.
Overall, Yotsuya Kaidan and Tenshu Monogatari are just plain weak and poorly adapted. This is very much worth watching for that final arc though, and I'd very much say watch this series in it's entirety. Who knows? The viewer may enjoy it much more than I did as a whole.
59 of 59 chapters read
For many people, the Mafia, Yakuza, and any other organized crime group is a very interesting thing. As terrible as it may sound, people who have little to no regard for the law fascinate "us" and, as such, organized crime can be a very useful marketing gimmick for someone in the entertainment industry. When you combine that with another selling point, which is female nudity. Guess what? You got something that is destined to sell.
Gekkoh does just this, it puts it's female protagonist Shizuki Kumiko in all kinds of risqué situations that almost always involve her either topless or nearly being raped. The bright side is that she usually willingly gets into the problems and almost always gets out of it thanks to her big brother Kyotaru.
In any case, the main story details Kyotaru trying to help his newly introduced younger sister, Kumiko, find the person responsible for her parent's deaths. Along the way, the two of them must come terms with their growing sexual attraction to one another and the fact that they are both the children to a Yakuza boss.
Most of the story is told from the point of view of Kyotaru, but regardless Kumiko is definitely the star of the show. Despite that, the idea of him coming to terms with his family being in the Yakuza was at the very least initially interesting, unfortunately nothing really comes of it.
In fact, the entire manga is littered with plot threads that are never followed through in a satisfying way. For example, a certain sub plot involving another young man's rise in the Yakuza just sort of stops after a certain point. Which was disappointing, as it was certainly the most interesting part of the story.
Also, the conclusion is done in a way that just reeks of the dreaded "sudden cancellation" curse that plagues manga. I don't know if that is actually true or not though.
I will say that the art is extremely well done, particularly the female characters have great designs. Of course, coming into the picture is the problematic and incredibly frequent fan service. There is nothing wrong with fan service, but it just get in the way for the most part. Though, the mangaka did at least have enough sense to come up with a plot thread to give a reason for the rampant sex and nudity in the latter half of the story.
In any case, I enjoyed this to a decent extent. Just don't go thinking you are going to read another Sanctuary or something, which is a work that had random fan service and Yakuza but was actually able to tell it's story well.
A decent, if clichéd, set up of a boy meets sister and tries to find her parents killer all told with back drop of the Yakuza and random sex. The organized crime bits are much more interesting than the main storyline, unfortunately all of that just grinds to a halt at a certain point.
Very good drawings, the girls are great to look at and the character designs in general are very good. Maybe a bit to much unnecessary fan service, but this may be one of the few things to actually make the manga mildly entertaining.
Kyotaru is a wimp, but so is Shinji Ikari and he's one of my favorite characters. The thing is this guy just is and he never becomes interesting or has any perfectly valid reasons for his attitude.
Kumiko and all the other female characters are hot and that's about it. She wants revenge for her parents, cue typical tragic childhood that just isn't emotionally engaging like it could be. She also spends a lot of time naked for seemingly no reason.
All the other characters are rather uninteresting as well, though some do get decent development but..I wouldn't read this for the characters.
It's decent fun, but people up for a good crime story should look elsewhere. As the backdrop is very obviously just to get people to read the thing. Disappointing is how I'd describe this manga.
Read it for the fan service, it's good at that. Not much at anything else, still it isn't terrible. It's mildly entertaining, but definitely on the lower end of the spectrum. Flat, uninteresting characters and a very generic undeveloped story combined with good art doesn't suddenly make the manga any better I'm afraid.Avoid this.
As usual, I'd like any feedback and such. Really, any kind of comments are welcome. Appreciate it.
26 of 26 episodes seen
Cromartie High School is a very funny show, I just want to get that out there from the get go. I'm sure someone reading this review will automatically look at the 7 as my overall rating and think, "I guess he didn't find it all that funny, humor is subjective." Well, in fact, I did enjoy this show a great deal.
So, yes, Cromartie High School works very well as a comedy. But, it is lacking in other areas and thus isn't a great anime. For one, the characters are very flat and usually run on one mode only: Stupid. I mean, yes, this works very well for comedy purposes but I believe anything and everything should have well developed characters and/or plot even if the works sole objective is to make the viewer laugh.
In any case, to focus on the characters there is a very large cast in this series. The most prominent seem to be Kamiyama and Hayashida along with their group of friends. Kamiyama is at first played as a normal everyday high school kid who tries to fit in (to hilarious effect in the first episode) and Hayashida is just an idiot delinquent, along with pretty much every other character. He just has very..interesting hair that may or may not be alive.
Other important characters include the Freddie Mercury look alike who is named..Freddie, who says nothing the entire series and usually seems to do incredibly random things such as taking over in a comedy tv series. Mechazawa, a robot who fits in very well at the school and our two main characters seem to be the only two who initially realize he is a robot. And then there is Gorilla, who is exactly what his name entails.
There is also Maeda, who seems to be one of the few characters who seems to have a decent head on his shoulder as he is frequently baffled by his compatriots actions.
The series, being purely episodic comedy, has no real "story" and instead touches on topics such as getting a song stuck in your head and not knowing what it is, a Gorilla learning how to make Sushi, what is or isn't funny in comedy, and an alternate universe where the characters go to an all female school. Unfortunately, this series can be either hit and miss as some of the stuff covered just fell flat to me.
The Art is decent and has some..interesting character designs throughout the series. One of which being Freddie's and, of course, Hayashida's mohawk. Speaking of said Mohawk, there is actually very little animation throughout the series so much of the comedy is delivered through "talking heads" for all intents and purposes. Given the nature of the series this isn't a big deal at all, but I can imagine it bothering some viewers.
Being one of the few anime I've watched as I dub, I was surprised by how well it is done for the most part. Almost all the characters have the usual tough guy voice aside from Kamiyama and a few others. So, it's normally hilarious when they talk about random stuff such as how to make people laugh and numerous other topics people like them aren't normally known for discussing.
Not really any story to speak of, just different topics for most of the episodes. Can be hit or miss depending on the viewer, as this series is mostly just random humor with occasional moments of "smart" humor thrown in. An example of this is the episode where Kamiyama talks about how people perceive others taking actions they normally wouldn't.
For the most part the character designs are realistic, aside from the robots, TV show comedy duo, Hayashida's hair, and the guy who wears the mask all the time. Pretty good art style overall, not much to complain about. The animation, however, isn't there for the most part. If the viewer likes to see characters move about and such, it just won't happen here. But, given the style and nature of this series it isn't a big deal.
A pretty good Opening track starts the episodes off and the voice acting is well done for the most part. Though I will say that the voice acting could get irksome at some points, such as Takenouchi who's voice seems to crack every now and then. Otherwise a pretty solid dub.
The series takes the delinquent stereotype and runs with it, putting the characters through all kinds of odd situations and most of the time it works. These characters aren't deep or anything and aren't particularly well developed but..that was never ever the point of the show to begin with. These characters were meant to make us laugh and they do a good job of that.
I enjoyed the series, though some of the later episodes weren't quite as funny as some of the early stuff. I think the jokes run thin towards the last half, though I will say that the final 3 or so episodes were some of the series best episodes.
Not a great series by any stretch of the imagination, but a very enjoyable comedy for sure. I believe that any genre should have character development, so I can't give this series high marks though I will say that Cromartie High School is probably one of the better series of it's type I've seen.
In any case, I recommend anyone who is looking for a well done comedy anime to look up this series. Chances are you will laugh.
1 of 1 chapters read
That's exactly what Kare no Satsujin Keikaku(His Murder Scheme) does, except in this case it is a seemingly normal high school kid who decides, on a whim, that he "wants to try out killing someone." It's apparent that someone who can offhandedly decide to do this, and then actually follow through the steps to conclusion, is far from what is generally perceived as "normal."
The irony is that, with his specific goal in mind, the protagonist actually improves in other aspects of his life, such as acquiring a girlfriend and receiving better grades in his schoolwork. This highlights something that really intrigued me, as it shows that, no matter whether their ultimate goal is "good" or "bad", humans can and will improve themselves for the sake of completing something they "want."
The characters, this being a One-Shot, are obviously paper thin and only serve the purpose of pushing forward the Mangaka's ideas and that was fine by me. The artwork, being by Kitoh Mohiro, is very similar to his other work Shadow Star Narutaru and I've always kind of liked his drawing style and it's always nice to be able to tell who drew what without even having prior knowledge of the creator.
In any case, there isn't really much more to say as this is a very linear path through a potential murderers year of preparation. Anyone with any interest in the human condition would do well to read this.
A linear path down the mind of a high school student who has the desire to kill someone on a whim. An interesting ending.
From the little experience I've had with Kitoh Mohiro's work in the past I've always have had a liking for his drawing style, so not really many arguments here. His drawing style IS very similar from work to work, and that could be bad thing or good thing depending on the reader.
The only important characters are the protagonist and his target, a very young girl. There isn't much delving into the WHY he does the things he does, but that arguably makes things interesting in its own right to me.
I've always found criminal behavior, and what makes these kind of people tick, interesting and this is no different. Definitely an interesting experience.
It isn't as detailed as what a truly great story would be, but this gets the job done in the briefest time possible. Very one note characters, though watching the main character "improve" his life as he strives for his goal is..interesting given the context. Definitely recommended.
As usual questions and comments/critiques are welcome on my profile. This is the first manga I've reviewed and I'm sure my inexperience with reviewing has shown here and there. But, believe me when I say I am confident I will only get better as I continue. Thanks. read more
220 of 220 episodes seen
In any case, before starting this review I want to point out that I haven't read the manga so I'm unsure as to what was or wasn't changed during the process of animating this story and I guess it's time to get the show on the road.
*Also, let it be known that the infamous "Filler Arc" is not part of this review.
Naruto is the story of a group of rookie ninja from Konoha (Leaf) Village, with particular focus on our title character Naruto Uzumaki and his two friends Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. The story starts soon after the three of them graduate from there Ninja Academy and are put under the care of Kakashi Hatake who, for the most part, takes on the standard role of the "mentor" who teaches them the value of teamwork and all that jazz.
The main characters can apparently be hit or miss, though I liked them for the most part. Naruto himself seems to follow in the footsteps of Goku from the Dragon Ball franchise, though I personally don't consider him anywhere near as dense and also don't consider him an "idiot" like most people tend to.
Sakura seems to get the most flack from my experience because, for the most part she plays the "useless female" role. The thing is, she herself realizes that and actively tries to change herself which makes for some interesting scenes down the road.
Sasuke is probably the most intriguing of the main characters, simply because he himself admits that he is only training to "kill a certain man" and he and Naruto clash quite a few times over their belief systems, particularly in the oh so excellent final arc.
As far as Kakashi, there isn't a whole lot to say as he reveals very few nuggets of information about himself. He's a cool guy, but he's very much a supporting character during this series.
But, to be honest, the thing that Naruto can be proud of is the excellent cast of supporting characters. From the intelligent, yet lethargic Shikamaru to the Bruce Lee wanna be Rock Lee it's pretty cool to see all these different characters, who usually have a very interesting and unique fighting style, clash with one another.
It also should be mentioned that a certain villain, Orochimaru, who appears rather frequently is a scene stealer and takes part in some of the more memorable moments of this series. It's also when he appears that the show really takes off and gets interesting, as he is the instigator of some of the biggest plot points. His personality and his willingness to use any and all means to further himself and his power is interesting and very often disturbing.
One thing that is important throughout the series is the running theme of revenge and human relations. Every one, from Gaara to Sasuke to Naruto himself has had some sort of bad experience during their childhood and it seems as though "friendship overcoming tragedy" is maybe the predominate theme throughout the show.
Now this series being a shounen, it's obvious it has pacing flaws here and there. For example, many of the fight scenes are dragged out to an annoying degree. And this is very apparent in the first arc when the characters go through two separate fight scenes that both take at the very least three or four episodes each, which isn't a huge problem if you marathon the series like I did. But, it still deserves mentioning as it is annoying.
The plus side is that most fight scenes, particularly during the Chuunin Exam arc and beyond, are very well animated and just overall well done. The aforementioned Shikamaru for example has some of the more noteworthy scenes because he uses his head, instead of any physical abilities, and his fight scenes are always damn good fun.
But, this also highlights one of the issues I do have with the fight scenes and, even though this is a problem with shounen action anime in general, it's especially bothersome here. The characters have a habit of explaining everything they do to their enemy which would be time better spent actually defeating your opponent rather than telling them your skills. I know it's just so the mangaka can flex his thought process and the logic behind the attacks to the viewer but..it's still kind of tiresome and could certainly be implemented better.
I think the music bears mentioning as I thought it was either great, such as most of the music used during the dramatic scenes and some battle scenes, or forgettable, which is pretty much the rest of the fight scene music.
The Japanese voice actors did a great job imo, especially during some of the more serious scenes. But, I especially got to shout out to the multiple voices for Orochimaru. Of which almost all of them are suitably creepy and, even though they sound different, they still manage to pull off the basic speech patterns.
It takes a while for things to really get going, but once it does you'll notice it. Unfortunately for some, the pacing can sometimes be broken by the short training arcs which are actually pretty entertaining and in many cases are segued in nicely with the story arcs. Also, there is only one short filler arc throughout the first 135 episodes.
First off, it should be apparent from our protagonists conspicuous appearance that, in many ways these guys are ninjas in name only. Still, the appearances of the characters throughout the series are so varied that I, at the very least, didn't care. Animation does take a dip occasionally, however.
Orochimaru is a plus, no doubt about that. And most of the other cast members have good voice acting, though Rock Lee's can sometimes be grating.. The music is pretty good, though occasionally generic.
Depending on how you take to Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura this could be your favorite part of the series, which is the case for me, or your least favorite, and probably game breaking, aspect of the series as it does depend upon these three for the vast majority of the story . But, I'm sure most people will like the supporting characters as almost all of them are developed to a satisfying degree. Unfortunately, all of them fit the tragic past stereotype so...your mileage may vary. You may want to avoid this series if you aren't a fan of melodrama.
Hell yeah, I enjoyed this series. I won't lie, I loved this series. But, it certainly isn't for everyone and I can understand quite a few people being frustrated by this shows some times slow, often times fast pacing and some of the more dragged out arcs even frustrated me at times. Also, as I said before, enjoyment largely hinges on whether or not you take to the three main characters or not.
To sum it up, don't go into Naruto expecting to see the tightest script ever written or anything thought provoking. Just go into it for a fun time and, maybe, you'll be surprised by the well developed characters like I was. Make no mistake, Naruto was a great experience for me..especially because I went into the series expecting it to be terrible and, by the time I realized it wasn't, I was enjoying the ride.
*If you want to make any sort of comment, just drop by my profile. Criticism is welcome as this is my first review in quite a while and I went with a different style than I have in the past. Thanks for reading this review, I hope it helps anyone interested in this series. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
Every once in a while, as an anime viewer, you happen to watch a show that surprises you. A show you watch because you really have nothing better to do,and your probably not really expecting much. You don't expect the show to touch you, to actually make you care about what happens on the screen.
Mai-Hime was exactly this kind of show for me. I happened to run across it several months ago and, while I thought the first episode was good, I didn't really care about the prospect of watching High school girls fight each other with giant monsters. I just wasn't into that kind of thing, at the time.
Then I picked the show back up and, while some of the earlier episodes are a little to comedic for my tastes, this show has turned into a personal favorite of mine.
The very first episode is fast paced and it raises several questions. But, don't worry these questions do get answered by the end. The first half of Mai-Hime is mostly character development and light hearted in nature. The second half, however, is dark and is when some of the best moments of the series come to the fore. One thing you will have to be prepared for is the fact that people will die, and alot of them to.
This would have been an easy nine, if not for the ending. Which, thankfully, is foreshadowed. So, at least it didn't come out of nowhere.
You don't ever have to worry about telling characters apart because, from the main characters all the way down to the lowliest characters; everyone has their own unique design. Some of the enemy monsters are sort of generic looking, however. All the Child's look unique with Mai and Nao's being my personal favorite design.
Facial expressions are well done, as well. And the battle scenes are well animated, yet there are better looking anime out there.
The Music for Mai-Hime is fantastic, especially the battle music. The Seiyuu are very talented, Mai's in particular. Her seiyuu had to demonstrate range, as Mai goes through several different emotions throughout the course of the series. If I had to say one bad thing about the music, it would be that the intro music may mislead you.
Mai Hime has an exceptionally large cast, probably one of the largest i've seen in any entertainment medium. You may think that there would be no way possible to juggle a cast pushing the thirty's, but Mai Hime does an exceptional job.
To be honest not every one gets as much attention as others, but just enough screen time to establish there personalities.
That said, Mai Tokiha is the main character and gets by far the most screen time. She is, in my opinion, the lifeblood of Mai Hime. In my opinion, no show will ever truly "work" unless the protagonist is well done. Fortunately, Mai is a fully realized character who goes through many different emotions throughout the course of the series.
In a word the series is worth watching just because of her. You may be fooled into believing she is just like any other female in an anime but, believe me, that is not the case.
The Show starts out slow, and those people who want constant battle may not enjoy that element of the series. But, know this: there is always a reason for the fights in this show and the after effects of the battles are just as important as the fights themselves, if not more so.
With great music, realized characters, and an incredibly enjoyable second half; this show would have been an easy ten. If not for the slow start, that I understand some people will not enjoy, and a less than satisfying ending.
That said: The journey to the end is more than worth it.