25 of 25 episodes seen
From the very first episodes it became clear that this was not gonna be the usual shounen show I've seen before. Such violence, such darkness, such rage! I mean, how can you possibly predict what to happen next in this medieval world? As already mentioned, the first episode didn't really impress me, but it quickly gets interesting as we start following Guts through his harch adolescence. The disturbing relationships with some of the other troop members plays an important part in what eventually happens with our main character. Then not many episodes in, the fatal meeting with Griffith. It's from here on I think the story really becomes unique. With excellent storytelling, we follow both these magnificent warriors together with their troop Band of the Hawk. The wars and battles continue, but now with more characters we get even more drama and conflicts. A fatal turning point halfway through had me really shocked, which marked a change in the relationship between the main characters. How could this happen between Guts and Griffith, who have been working so well together for so long? I became very engaged from here on out, to see what will happen with them both, as both characters had grown on me. And man, the last episodes of Berserk is absolutely amazing. Without telling how it ends, let's just say that what happens came as unexpected, thrilling and quite disturbing. A great cliffhanger ending, that immediately made me start reading the manga.
If there is one thing in particular that made me love this series, it must be two main characters Guts and Griffith. Those two are, without doubt, some of the deepest and most fleshed out characters I've seen for a long time. Already from the first episodes I developed strong empathy for Guts. He experiences so much violence and suffering, that it shows clear effects on him. Guts get's a tough personality on the outside, a violent killing-machine on the battlefield, he has so much rage built up inside, so much anger. And then, he meets Griffith... the perfectionist, genius Griffith. He is the person everyone looks up to, since he truly is a great leader and strategist. Good looking and polite, with a goal of seizing his own kingdom and become king. Together with Guts and Band of the Hawk, Griffith believes that this dream can be reached. From the moment those two encountered each other, I knew that the chemistry between them would be something special. At first Guts seems to dislike Griffith, but that eventually changes into admiration, where he sees Griffith as a friend. Griffith on the other hand always seemed to have a liking to Guts, when key things happen that changes the relationship and view they have on eachother...
Let's not forget Caska, who is a strongwilled woman that plays a very(!) important part in this story. She was already a respected swordswoman under Griffiths lead in Band of the Hawk when Guts arrived. At first she isn't willing to accept Guts, since she admires Griffith and becomes jealous of Guts, who is seemingly 'better' than her. She acts tough towards him for a long time, but various things happens, and she eventually changes and grows feelings for him. Hard on the outside, we get to learn about Caska's past, which just like Guts' were harsh and not easy to grow up in.
During these Berserk episodes there could be long in between the music, but man, when 'Guts theme' and 'Earth' was playing in the background...wow. Definitely some of the most emotional and beautiful theme soundtracks I've ever heard, made many scenes unforgettable. Need I say more? The only minus is both the OP and ED, which both sounds like untuned guitars that doesn't really fit the series. Otherwise this section would've scored 10/10.
Here we have the lone reason why I don't give Berserk perfect score. Sure it's an old series, but should that justify that for major parts of episodes, the background looks like painting? I remember several scenes, where the characters are talking, and the background is just filled with either a badly painted gray sky or pale looking buildings. I got used to it though, but still below average.
Naturally, there is a lot of fighting during all the wars and battles. I loved how they don't hold anything back and let the blood splutter around, but the animation fluidity should have been better. Some times when Gats fights it looks good when he swings his sword, but the majority of fighting scenes in Berserk aren't much to speak of. A lot of stand still pictures when the warriors fight on the battlefield, and the one-on-one battles consists mostly of one hit with the weapon, then back to stand still, then another swing. It doesn't have the fluidity that would've made it more enjoyable.
What makes up for the animation is the character artstyle. Everyone looks very realistic human like, and you can clearly separate each and every minor to major important people, as they all have their own looks, with characteristic details.
In the end,it didn't matter that the animation was so bad, cause so much else made up for it. The dark athmosphere combined with rough violence made me quite exited, and with such an original story I never got bored. Unlike many other anime I've seen, the important characters here really got severely injured and were in danger of dying. Several scenes where Guts or Griffith spoke of their dreams were unforgettable. I can still picture them in my head together with the beautiful music that fit so well. This anime has characters you get to know very well, you get to hear their thoughts and will see them show strong emotions. What happens in Berserk is truly something you will get moved by and get feelings for yourself.
A must see anime, wether you are strict with animation or not - it's worth it. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Tenshi no Shippo, or Angel Tales as the dubbed version is called, is a supernatural, harem, romance series that is the least bit original. However despite the low score here on MAL and an seemingly ugly artsyle, I did find it to be a decent series in the end.
The story starts off with this typical loser-guy Goro, who has no job and little money. A rather unlucky young fellow, who doesn't seem to have any promising future. Then suddenly he meets a fortune teller, and before you know it there are three angel girls coming to serve him as their master. Heard something similar before, perhaps? Well from here on the story is basically about Goro and the increasingly amount of angel girls that come to serve him. Each of the first 5 or so episodes introduces new angels, and after some time there are a dozen of them living together with their master. However, all these angels care for him with a reason, since they used to be his animal pets earlier in Goro’s life. At one point in the series it seemed that the story would take a cliche direction, with some bad guys appearing to fight Goro and his angels, but it never gets that serious, and eventually it goes back to concentrating on the daily life of Goro and his angel girls again.
So, what does a guy do with a dozen of girls in his apartment o_O?? Well nothing special really. Buying food, doing the laundry, going to work, and eating together with his 'servants'...all the usual stuff you find in shows like these. There is hardly any fan service or action, and the comedy consists mostly of easy jokes and small misunderstandings, it never goes over the top, like tsundere beating up guy for instance. All the girls really care for their master Goro, and there are plenty of romantic feelings developing, though it never becomes too serious. 'Calm and cute' is what best describes this anime, and personally I liked it that way.
Since there are plenty of characters and only twelve episodes, there is not much time for any character development. Goro the main protagonist stays the same during the whole series. He's your typical loser-kun, who cares about his angel servants. A kindhearted guy that often is indecisive with the girls, but determined to protect or help them whenever there are troubles.
As for the angels, they each have their own personal trait, since they all used to be different animals earlier. Some of them are small girls, and their affection for Goro is more like that of children, where they look upon him as a father like person perhaps. Then we have those who are about the same age as him, and it’s mainly these girls that are romantically involved (in one episode there's a childhood friend romantically involved as well). But the angel girls and all other characters are quite simple and two- dimensional, you don’t really get to know them well. Sure, some of the girls get more screen time than others, but that's basically just to even further express their already obvious feelings for their master. Everyone loves Goro, simple as that.
The artstyle is very simplistic. The character design looks average and pretty much the same for all the characters. What separates them from each other is hair colour, body size and clothing, other than that they share about the same face and facial expression most of the time. The background aren't put much detail into either, with simple colours and little variation.
Also the animation is below average. Characters stand still when talking, and sometimes when they turn their face it looks out of proportion. But since there isn’t much happening anyways, you won't notice this so much, except during maybe one episode where there is some fighting.
With all this said though, the animation really isn’t that bad, there are worse animated shows out there (ever seen Hanaukyo Maid-tai? Ugh...)
The OP has a positive and catchy tune, where all the girls are singing what sounds almost like a parade song. It’s damn nice, actually one of better opening songs I’ve heard in a while. The ED has a calmer tone, with melody from a harmonica. It’s the same song that you will hear Goro play several times on his own one, so guess you can also call it the main soundtrack, since there are hardly any other soundtracks. I think this is a good thing, since it suits the mood to be more silent when the characters are talking and such. No complaints about the voice actors either, they did a decent job with the dubbing.
The romance was what made this series enjoyable for me. Seeing the angel girls wanting to get attention from Goro, and hearing how they care about him was pleasant. Occasionally nothing really happens, and it might get a little repetitive and boring, but at least there are no annoying moments with over the top comedy. I rather prefer it like this, where the characters are talking and acting in a more relaxed way, not doing all those crazy stuff you would see in other slice of life harem series like 'Hayate no Gotoku' or 'Koi Koi 7'.
The episodes with the 'bad angel guys' were totally uninteresting, so during those episodes I felt pretty bored. Actually the only thing that I did find entertaining was, as mentioned, the romantic harem elements of the show, and fortunately that's what the story focuses on most of the time.
Overall I can say that as a harem fan, this was a good enough anime for me to bother finish. Calm and relaxing, where everything is quite simple to follow... sometimes I just feel like watching these shows in between all the bigger series out there, and Angel Tales was a nice little watch that didn't take much of my time. What drags down is the animation and those girls that hardly got any screen time, otherwise this could have gotten a 7 or 8... I recommend it for all those who like series with plenty of girls wanting the attention of a guy, and who doesn't need comedy or action to be entertained. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
There is little point in watching this OVA if you haven't seen the series, unless you're a pervert. It's really just filled with more comedy, fan service and ecchi, but that's a good thing since it's much more entertaining than the painfully stretched out series. The art is crappy as always, and that's disappointing since they had both expanded budget and time frame this time. Still, an enjoyable OVA with both some comic and romantic moments that should be watched if you liked the anime.