1 of 2 episodes seen
Now I must say that this is way better than I expected it to be. I'm glad to see that I was not disappointed.
The plotline presented in this short 22 minute OVA managed to capture the escence of one of my favorite ongoing manga without tarnishing characters or straying from the original story. They captured the story up to chapter 70 accurately enough to know what the manga was about. One of the greatest pros for this OVA is that it was able to add a new dimension to this arc in the manga without detracting from a character's personality or degrading one of them. They made a daring move that ended up for the better in my opinion. This is added enjoyment for people who have read the manga but may not be noticeable to a watcher who hasn't read it. I wanted to shed light on one detail I found interesting in the script - Nanami's talk with her friend. The script writers were able to capture the duality of Haruto in a very interesting method that I can really respect. I hope you find it cool, too.
The art was phenomenal. Within the first few minutes of the OVA, I was easily able to overcome the character designs, which surprisingly fit well. I love when the characters express emotion as the animators are able to encompass feelings of desperation, sadness, depression, and many others. I would also like to point out that the "extras" in the background were given surprising attention and were unique in detail. The backgrounds were very well done as well, capturing the colors of a sunrise or sunset, the scenery of urban Tokyo or rural Hiroshima, and the familiarity of an ordinary room or a diner. They also utilized CG-i impeccably.
The sound was a contradictory point for me. I believe some music flowed with the scenes naturally and helped build the tension well. The ending theme was fitting for what happens beforehand. But the contradiction comes at the voice acting. Nanami and Eba both don't quite sit right with me, but I hope by the next OVA that I have adjusted to their slightly deeper voices. Don't get me wrong, they are very talented at what they do, especially at moments that express emotions of embarassment or sadness (particularly Nanami). What I'm saying is that the seiyuu might not be the best selection, but I definitely look forward to being proven wrong.
The character was established in a unique method this time around. To compensate for their brief time, they squeezed in a lot of the characterization into flashbacks that switch back and forth between the past and present. This is both a blessing and a curse. I liked how they were able to capture both sides of the main girls and Haruto, but the characterization seemed a bit uneven. Nanami actually got the greater portion of the spotlight compared to the other protagonist. Not that this is bad, but it makes Eba seem a bit disproportionate to Nanami in layered-ness. Haruto also seemed too static. If it weren't for the efforts and expressions of the other characters, Haruto would seem a bit bland. Supporting characters were thrown to the side like they didn't even matter and they barely played any role in the episode, which is a bit disappointing considering how the mangaka takes so much time building up each character. Also, you have a few cameo appearances made by familiar characters created by Seo-san, which seemed like an extra touch and tip off that he usually likes to do in his manga.
In retrospect, I enjoyed this short OVA with fevor. I anxiously awaited the airing of the adaptation of one of my favorite manga. I was pleased by the end result and I am practically knawing my nails off waiting for the next one.
Overall, this faithful adaptation is an excellent watch worthy of manga-readers or the unlike. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a quick watch that still manages to explore complexities in love that some anime that are full-lengthed barely touch on. I'm glad to see that I was not disappointed in the end and instead I am proud of what this was able to accomplish in such a short period of time. read more
29 of 29 chapters read
Kagami no Kuni starts out with our typical adolescent lead, Harisugawa Tetsu. He has a crush on Satomi Mao and even saved her from a tragic accident when they were younger. Now, in present time, the same incident happens yet again, with him not in a hospital bed but inside a mirror. The only way to escape this despairing world inside the mirror is to share a mutual love with the one you admire.
The backbone set up from the first chapter is phenomenal. I was sold by the premise of this imprisonment and what the characters were able to do with it. This had me thinking of all the possibilities this could lead to or what the mangaka had to work with. The only problem was that Kano-san was looking for a romantic comedy alone (which I have no qualms about), but that meant his scope was drastically narrowed into a short lived manga. With the main character trapped inside a mirror, this could only lead to a stalemate and no progress would be made with the story past a certain point. Kano-san decided to cut his losses and make this manga a quicky.
There are several problems and factors that I would like to address that contributed to the downfall of this manga. Not enough support from the readers was shown in its middle stages of production. If they turned in the polls with just a few more votes encouraging Kagami no Kuni's serialization, the mangaka would have had more time to develop his story and make it less plot-holed. Kano-san threw in a few "surprises" that seemed desperate and a little bit annoying to try and grab attention and votes so his work could stay afloat. Maybe Kano-san should consider moving to another magazine where his manga would be more likely to succeed.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like the story was terrible. It was actually quite engaging at some points. With the little room he had to work with, the mangaka put in a few elements that made this story different from the typical romantic comedy. The two female leads were unique enough to the extent where they both have character and life in them. Unlike most harem/triangle manga, you get a little farther than the "kawaii" factor that others rely too much on. In this way I am grateful for reading it.
While on the topic of characters, characterization was decent. You understood each character's train of thought as Kano-san is very good at that kind of step by step formula. You also feel for the characters. You are happy when they are happy, depressed when they are depressed, and angry when they are angry. However, misunderstandings between them could get very frustrating. This can be a good thing at times, but most of the time it's just a ploy to draw attention and can be annoying when the author smoothly tries to cover it up. The three main leads are dynamic, though, but are the only ones you become attached to. Supporting characters are thrown to the side and are completely static. They are mostly used for ecchi and comedy, nothing more and nothing less.
Aside from all my ranting, the art is beautiful. Lines are clean, backgrounds are detailed, and panels are refreshing. Also, in important events or turning points, the mangaka has a perfect sense for how each character should be positioned or drawn. He has a terrific sense of perspective in these cases as well. He draws with life oozing onto the manuscripts and you can tell that he put in much effort. This would be the selling point for the manga.
The artwork contributed heavily to my entertainment. The way he draws seemed so fantastic that I was encouraged to see what his characters would be doing next. He has a good sense of humor and I laughed out loud a few times. Also, by the end of the story, tension is high and you can't stop reading. The final chapter is somewhat confusing to some though. There is an epilogue that explains what happens afterwards supposedly somewhere in the next issue, but I can't find it anywhere. It also can seem aggravating. However, remember what the author had to deal with. This was probably the cut off date so he didn't have enough room.
Despite its shortcomings, Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa brings a good deal to the table. This manga deserved to be in serialization for long enough so that Kano Yasuhiro could have improved it. His artwork is amazing and breaths life into his manga. It is heartwarming, frustrating, and comedic. Kagami no Kuni shows us how serialization is do or die, and sadly it did not reach what it could have been. Regardless, this manga should not be overlooked and should be enjoyed to its full potential. read more
162 of 162 chapters read
There's not much to it. Rito is surrounded by many attractive girls who all like him for their own reasons and he gets caught in various accidental scenarios involving boob touching, ass grabbing, etc. For the most part, it consists of episodic chapters, focusing on random comedic situations, or archs that are about 2-3 chapters long that are more concetrated on developing characters. There aren't many words on the pages, making for an easy read. It's not the strongest feature, so don't be reading this for a deep story with complicated plot twists.
The art is amiable, with playfulness eminating from almost every page. Rito's faces are drawn perfectly to capture the effect of his comedic accidents. All the girls have cute designs and each one is unique and pleasing to look at. The ecchi scenes are top tier, abundant in every chapter, and are portrayed expertly. They vary in positions and the way they happen. Characters are rarely seen not blushing, always giving you the essence of "love in the air." The quality is consistant with only a few drops usually small enough to be overlooked. I just wish I could find better scans, though, so I could see it at its best all the time.
The characters were one of the most striking elements of To LOVE-Ru. Rito starts out as your typical wimpy kid who can't even stand the sight of his crush in a bikini without losing his head. However, he grows and matures into a brave and endearing person as we progress. Lala is always joyful and spacey (no pun intended), but is also caring an considerate towards her friends. Haruna is a shy girl who grows outgoing and strong, just as Rito does. The plethora of supporting characters all get their moment to shine as well, moving forward and growing together. This surprised me, as harems usually tend to overgo the development of the supporting cast; this manga faithfully and actively includes many of the characters so they seem less like cute cardboard cutouts that just follow Rito.
This is one of the most enjoyable manga I have read in a while. It is lighthearted and always lively, making me flip page after page for hours on end. Comedic scenes were reused, but they never weren't funny or took away from the experience. I often discovered I was smiling while I was reading, actually.
To LOVE-Ru is one of the most entertaining harems you will read. The characters set it apart from the crowd and the ecchi scenes bring a perverted grin to your face. When the manga ended, I felt almost melancholy to depart from the characters and the world that was shaped around them. I would recommend this to mostly guys who are looking for a great harem that you can't help but smile at and say, "Thanks for the good times." read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
A purely enjoyable show, Kaze no Stigma is an anime that lets you explore elemental powers with a modern twist and comedic touches without providing too much depth.
The story was split up into separate arches that did not tie together to form a solid plot. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. I enjoyed each of them even though they weren't connected. A few fillers were installed here and there, but they were good and gave a little bit of character development. The action caught my attention because of its usage of magic and nicely coordinated fighting. A little bit of drama didn't hurt, either.
Character designs were fresh and crisp. I enjoyed looking at them from a decent distance. When the camera panned out from the characters, detail lacked. Facial expressions were sometimes awkward with them frozen in place or misshapen. Also, sequences such as Ayano calling forth her Enraiha and Katherine conjuring Metatron were reused several times. However, flame and wind animations were excellent. Backgrounds were okay.
The opening was great. When my brother and I first started watching the show (this one being one of the first for us), we rocked out secretly to the full version. The soundtrack playing in the back was fairly unnoticeable but did its job. The two endings were fair, and I liked how they alternated. I watched the Funimation dub, and Kazuma's and Ayano's voices fit well with their characters. The supporting cast was fair enough.
Characters were the strongest asset to Kaze no Stigma. Kazuma was portrayed superbly, and Ayano gave us a unique illustration. Kazuma and Ayano were both polar opposite personality-wise. They created an impressive relationship through little moments and I savored every second, wanting more. They were certainly the deepest characters and the strongest part of the anime. Supporting characters were above average and performed their roles well.
I love watching anime. I rarely dislike watching a show. Kaze no Stigma certainly did not disappoint. An enjoyable story and lovable characters made for a good time in my book.
I wouldn't recommend passing this one up. As one of the first anime I had watched, it encouraged me to explore more of this new world. It might not blow you away, but it will certainly light up your day. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
Its story really left an impact on me in some ways. It reminded me of, well, me. Trying new things, and ultimately coming to like what your doing. The path of love is harsh, bumpy, and often belligerent as you trudge your way through to find the one that you want to be with, as I tried to do myself. With every action you take, life has to throw you for a loop and send you spiraling through emotional hardships that you must confront and handle the best possible way you can. Yamato frustrated me because of the way he tried, and that is why I respect its plot. Because not everyone is perfect, and criteria must be met and your heart tested to know the truth about yourself.
The art was good. I've seen anime similar to the style and better. Some of the kissing scenes were awkward and facial expressions were weirldly misshapen at times. The high jump that Suzuka did seem realistic, but at the same time they over do it and it ineptly represents what would really happen. Overall, improvements could have been made, but it played off averagely through the show.
The sound. Oh, the sound. I crapped my pants when silly scenes would come on because the background music sounded so hilarious. My brother and I often joke around with it and say that a bunch of drunk guys got together and played on a synthesizer and decided that it sounded awesome, so they put it in with an anime. Voice acting was patchy in some scenes and presented itself stiffly, but on occasions the acting was over par. Luckily, well played endings and an inspiring opening came to save the day.
Characters were fun to watch, and I often enjoyed seeing them unfold. I frequently expected little from the cast, and they always came up surprising me. The decisions they make (especially Yamato's, in my opinion) seemed unorthodox and fresh. Suzuka is always changing her mind and confused, and as a result, she comes off rough. She's the "variable in the equation" that could change at any moment. The supporting cast was good, too. Yasunobu played an amusing role as the bro that looks after you and hands out advice here and there, and Honoka had some unforeseen surprises that came along with her fragile and innocent character.
I usually enjoy watching anime, and gladly this one didn't deprive me of that privilege. It was one of the first ones I watched, so what could I say? It was the right choice for "a first show." It had me hooked and kept me that way for most of the show. There is something about watching others trying to figure out what to do with their lives and what they want that grabs the attention of my eye. Plus, it was during a stage in my life where romance was a problem, so I had something to concur with.
The overall experience was pleasurable. The story and characters stood out and made the enjoyment spring highly for me. Art and sound could be improved. I would highly recommend this show to anyone new to the world of anime as a must see, but veterans may think differently about an anime that is often looked down upon. To me, it was an adventurous and great anime! read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
It does exist! Some story was present, but not a whole lot. Hellsing seemed to move sluggishly, and it seemed like parts were cut and pasted to the frame. Action was an all too evident part of the show, and it relied on action to keep the audience (me) attentive and addicted. I will say that the action in the anime was well played, unique, and attractive. But it didn't conceal the fact of a lacking backbone and story.
I was a little disappointed in the art and animation expressed through the series. Some scenes (such as the opening) are well done and detailed. Background art was okay, but it was a little lackluster. Character designs were done well, but detail wasn't significant.
I was impressed with Hellsing's ability to capture British accents and music style. The voice acting was good, and all characters conveyed a natural sounding accent in which I enjoyed. My first impression on the music for Hellsing was a gloomy, horrorific soundtrack that included shrill screams and sudden crashes. I was caught off guard by the upbeat, British styled tunes. The OP was exceptional, and the rest of the soundtrack handled itself in a unique way in which scary sounds and vibrations couldn't express. The sound was a remarkably well done piece of work.
Hellsing's characters couldn't have done the show a bigger favor other than being awesome. Alucard was a complete badass with the lust for a challenge, and brought the show flavor and juiciness with every silver bullet he shot and every word spat at his enemies. Integra Hellsing displayed an enormous amount of courage and represented and lead her orginization with pride and dignity that was surpassed by few. Seras Victoria provided an innocent feel, but an iron fist if needed. She presented undying loyalty and bravery towards Hellsing, and in return, they respected her. Walter gradually gained attention, and as he got more, the show became flavorful and sumptuous as he surprised us all with his sense of loyalty.
I could say the story was lacking. The art could have been better. But all was reconciled with a great soundtrack, pulsating action scenes, and incredible characters. Like every anime, it has its flaws, and it had its strengths. But it did an awesome job with compensating for its weaknesses.
Hellsing provided a unique experience that could have well been improved with a better developed story. Its characters and sound provided a pleasing sensation that added to the enjoyment. After finishing this anime, I can gladly say Hellsing is at least worth giving your time to! read more