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22 of 22 episodes seen
You can find the synopsis of the series on other reviews. In short, Japan has lost its "independence" to a certain extend due to a major disaster, and the "United Nation" decided to take over. Very interesting premise considering the things happening in our real world, but the anime started more like the typical reluctant hero story. Shu Ouma, the typical teenager that didn't want to be involved with anything, suddenly obtained a super power and being involved with a terrorist organization. There's the girl, there's the "rival" Gai, there's a really bad-to-the-bone guy, there's mecha, guns, actions, it's starting off as your typical sci-fi shounen anime, and the story revolved around Shu from being a reluctant teenager into a hero.
Sounds okay, right? Well, not really. This first half of the series is the hardest imo. You are forced to follow Shu and friends, but you don't really know what's going on. Even after this first arc ended, I was still thinking "WTF happened?" Plotholes aplenty. I almost gave up watching. But things started to ramp up on the last half.
The last half of the series may not cover up the tons of plotholes, but boy it gave you a good punch to invoke emotions. Some may feel that it's forced, but it made up what it was lacking. It's a roller coaster for Shu, with a touching ending to boot. I also like the way they made everybody to dislike Shu during the isolation arc in their school, portraying the typical mass reaction of people demanding the hero to perform, yet turned their back when the "hero" showed a human side. Heck, I didn't see anybody apologizing to Shu after he survived on his own with only Inori on his side, and saved everybody. I still give the story a 6, as there are still things that I want to be clarified, despite most of the plots were hammered down your throat in just few episodes towards the end. Also considering the mediocre start, it's a 6.
The art is great, a combination between organic-tech aplenty. The characters? They are good, some are good that you hate them. You may feel that the supporting characters are used inappropriately to propel the emotion towards Shu, but I guess it worked. I couldn't care much about Shu and Inori at the start, and I ended up supporting Shu and Inori mid-way through the end.
In conclusion, try to watch the anime through. I know it's hard, but it's not as bad as you might think it is despite the negative reviews. In the end, I enjoyed it, despite being so close to drop it. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Now I don't know if the writer just didn't understand the zombie mythos, but this is not a serious series. It's a harem ecchi-filled comedy. And it works. The series doesn't take itself seriously, and even jokes about itself, it's hilarious. You watch this series for its non-sensical fun, and you'll enjoy it. Who cares about the inconsistencies with the original zombie mythos when Ayumu is running and crying like a girl in a magical girl outfit while being photographed by people around him with their cellphones.
As for the ecchi stuff, the standard lineup is here. Flat-chested girls, big-boobs girls, all living around one "normal" high-school guy. Yup. That's all you need to know. Enjoy the ride, and you'll be back for more. read more
64 of 154 episodes seen
Usually, I wouldn't be bothered with the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise. I mean it's an anime franchise revolved around a card game. But I saw that Hulu Plus carries the subtitled version of the show. Curious, plus with the desire of making the most of my Hulu Plus subscription, I decided to give it a try.
It's actually not bad....
The premise of 5D's sounds ridiculous, and it is. Imagine playing a card game, while riding a motorcycle. Yeah... Setting that aside, however, is a story and characters that are actually pretty interesting than what you would expect out of the franchise. Yusei, unlike the other Yu-Gi-Oh series, is the silent-cool protagonist type. It brings a more "mature" feel to the series. His rival, Jack, is more of the typical over-confident super cool but kind-inside guy. Then there's Aki, the conflicted gal. Of course, since the series franchise is targeted towards younger kids, they have Lua/Luca twins that can be annoying, but not enough to detract from the main feel of the show.
The main attraction, the card-game, is the meat of the show. In addition to the standard face-to-face duels, which is still there, there's the riding-duels too. What makes the show so captivating to me is the way they set up the duels. In most of the duels, Yusei is pretty much very close to defeat with extremely low LP left, yet he managed to turn things around with multitude of crazy combos. Many of the duels are also fairly fast-paced, only taking several turns to complete, although they did drag some of the battles towards the end of the season. The only annoyance is that the way the characters have to explain each move/card every single time.
The story, at least the first season that I finished, carries certain mature themes like discrimination and abuse by authority, in addition to the standard friendship, bonds, family, and of course, trusting the cards. There are pretty emotional scenes too, especially during the battle with the Dark Signers.
Other aspects of the anime is fairly standard. The animation is typical, with some overused sound effects. And of course, the typical staple of Yu-Gi-Oh series, the protagonist's amazing hair (apparently it's genetic as his dad has the same hair...). In the end, it's still Yu-gi-Oh, but I actually enjoyed it more that I thought. Hulu Plus provided both the original Japanese version with subtitle and the English dub version. I recommend watching the Japanese version, at least to enjoy one of the songs from Alice-Nine. ;-) read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Just for starter, everybody is in this series, and I mean everybody, from Tezuka to Atobe,. The series rely on your familiarity of PoT in general. Oh, they are also adding the high school players. This may alienate new viewers, but the story is fairly simple that it shouldn't be a big issue. Just don't expect much. It's only 13 episodes.
And that's where the story is a bit of a letdown. The opening made it seem like they would form a new "ultimate" team at the end of the series, but obviously it won't happen in just 13 episodes. This feels more like a teaser, for the upcoming season(s), maybe. The episode where Tezuka played with Seigaku's former captain was the highlight of the series for me. It's still the typical PoT pattern (or pretty much any sports/fighting anime), and features even more ridiculous training and tennis moves in addition to fan favorites, but the short series made it so a lot of the matches being cut short/over-simplified. This is true especially in the end. But at least the fan service is there. I mean come on, who doesn't want to see Tezuka zone one more time? In short, it's a teaser series for the fans.
Everything else, it's PoT. The same animation, moves, etc. It's fair. If you are a PoT fan, you already know what to expect. If you're new to the series, it won't hurt to watch the previous series first and/or consult your online sources to get some background on the multitude of characters. I just wish they did the opening differently so people don't have some kind of expectation at the end,and be disappointed. read more
May 20, 2012Digimon Xros Wars: Toki wo Kakeru Shounen Hunter-t... (Anime) add
25 of 25 episodes seen
The main character, Tagiru, is akin to Daisuke from 02. Even his digimon, Gumdramon, is similar in appearance to V-mon. Well, now you realize where the writers got their idea. One of the problems with sequels having new protagonist while the previous protagonist is still in it, is that the old protagonist might overshadow the new. It's happening here. Tagiru's personality is too simplistic to replace Taiki, and Taiki himself is still in the show and play a part in it. Then of course, there Shoutmon with his cross X whatever. To make things worse for Tagiru, the previous protagonists from all previous Digimon series were brought over. Sure, they're only there for a short time, but it feels unnecessary. It's like they want to sell more toys and merchandise by re-kindling nostalgia, at the expense of the new main character. This doesn't work well for Tagiru's digimon, Gumdramon, either. Sure, he got to digi-cross with many different digimons, but many of them are just one timers, and his main evolution doesn't go much further (compared to Shoutmon's multiple crosses). Oh well, at least Gumdramon is cute. Forget about the supporting characters. They don't get much development either, nothing like Kiriha's and Nene's in the previous series.
Overall, the series seem to be tuned down a notch from the previous Xross Wars. Just like 02, there are too many characters around, too many hunters. Add on the cameos of all previous main protagonists from previous Digimon series, it feels mismashed. At the end, they pretty much step Tagiru up by default. There's no sense of achievement compared to Taiki's own struggle on the previous series.
Overall, it's a meh. I actually was more interested in seeing the cameos (it's good to see Guilmon again, Masaru punching a big digimon, and the old evolutions). This 3rd season felt more like a filler season, just to extend the Xros Wars franchise a bit longer. read more
12 of ? episodes seen
First of all, they re-used the original theme song, Pegasus Fantasy. That's a nice nostalgic touch. The characters are updated to reflect the current stereotype of bishounen (no more muscles). Everybody is sleek and slender. The cloths are simplified, and are stored inside a jewel. The concept of cosmos is still there, but they added elements, you know, fire, water, earth, etc. I think later the saints will be able to summon Captain Planet.... j/k
The series started very promising. With Seiya as a gold saint protecting Saori and an infant from Mars. Yup, it's still Saori as Athena. Then the story turns into the expected pattern. We have Kouga as the new Pegasus saint, training and not figuring out the point of everything. The typical weak and ignorant main character. Then, also expected, Saori got kidnapped by Mars. Really, I thought she's Princess Peach now. So Kouga is going on a journey to find her.
Sounds good, right? From here, I was expecting Kouga's pain and gain throughout his journey, meeting other saints as friends and/or foes, life and death fights, even stronger foes, rinse and repeat, you know, the typical staple of fighting anime in general.
Well, no. Instead, he went to a school with his friends and learn how to become saints. Wait, huh? Yeah, they turned Saint Seiya into Harry Potter. Oh, and yes, they have classes too. *sigh
Okay, setting that aside, the story brings you the typical themes. Friendship, rivalry, finding one's purpose, etc. But the delivery is weak. I mean remember how Seiya developed friendship with Shiryu in the original. It was a truly life and death situation. Compared to that, Kouga and Ryuho's fight is just mere pillow fight. It's watered way down. In fact, pretty much any fights so far feels watered down. Sure, they are flashy, but you don't feel the hardship of the protagonists, which is the staple of the original. Maybe it's too early to tell, but in the original, things got bloody even from the 1st episode, and it only ramped up from there. You have the feeling of danger, that the hero(es) may actually be killed, or did. Not here.
Oh, and what could you do to make things worse? Oh, let's bring back a character from the original, and make him into a clown. They did that to Hydra Ichi. It's just bad.
Maybe I'm too biased, being familiar with the original. Maybe the target market is different now, towards the similar market for Yu-Gi-Oh/Digimon/Pre-Cure. Maybe things will actually get better. If I had not known the original, I might have had a different impression. Still, it is clear that they are piggybacking the original, and one would expect the series to be compared with the original.
Let's just hope they don't have the saints summon Captain Planet.
After catching up to episode 12, the story is getting a bit more towards the original franchise. The school is gone, the fights with the Gold Saints overwhelmed the protagonists (as it should), and cameos. Still, the fights with the silver saints seem "too easy." And a megane chara turned into a ninja saint? Ninja? Err.... okay. The appearances of the evil gold saints do bring a bit of my interest back, but not much. read more
31 of 49 episodes seen
It is, at first. But then now in episode 31, we are already on the third pilot. That's imo is the problem. I'm sure in the interest to sell toys, they need to iterate the different Gundams fast. In return, the story and characters suffer. The first arc started with Flit Asuno. This arc is actually fairly decently paced at first, but it's clear that they want to move things fast. Character development became disjointed. This is even worse on the second arc, with Asemu Asuno. I mean you literally see things turning around just after a dialogue or two or after the next scene, something that should be paced slower imo. It's extremely disjointed. Worse, just when things seem to pick up and you started to see Asemu's development, they ended the arc and started the third one. Don't get me started on the supporting characters. Other than the main pilot and maybe another one second main pilot, the rest of the pilots are pretty much useless, which makes you wonder how they can become pilots in the first place. This is amplified in the second arc to the extreme where Asemu/Woolf are pretty much the only ones doing everything. Very annoying.
I'm sure you already read the story somewhere else, so I'll skip that. But I do want to point out the fan services. Thing is, I'm not sure to say whether they are fan services, or the writers are lazy. The AGE Gundams design, many scenes, etc mirror pretty much the UC series, AGE-1 to the original Gundam, AGE-2 to Zeta Gundam, and AGE-3 to Gundam ZZ. As for similarities of scenes, just watch the finale of the 1st arc, very obvious.
The mecha art is superb. What do you expect? It's Sunrise. The characters, on the other hand, seems to be simplified, or even "kidified." It's definitely not OO, but it actually harkens back to the older Gundam series. Not a big deal imo, but the disjointed pacing doesn't help the overall enjoyment.
In the end, it's an okay Gundam series. I mean it's refreshing to see a simpler Gundam design (versus SEED), and some scenes brings nostalgia from the UC Gundam series. Still, the story seems too simplified, especially after OO, and the pacing is just annoying. Let's just hope we can get over this quickly and move on. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
The story is set in the future, where people are equipped with very sophisticated neuro link device that augment their reality. Due to the technology, it can also modify all you 5 senses an put you in a virtual world. Think Google glasses meets The Matrix. The story dives into an unofficial fighting game called Brain Burst that allows the players to be in accelerated state. The tech concept by itself deserve some attention. Outside of the tech, it's the feel-warm kind-of story with typical themes like friendship, trust, not giving up, etc, with sprinkles here and there as pointers for the doujin community. ;-)
At least for now, you have the weak but cute and persistent main character, the loli love interest, the good looking best friends (with one turning into a handsome megane chara). Either you love them or you don't. Clearly not many people are too fond of the main character, Haruyuki Arita. He is drawn comically compared to the rest of the characters, but that is true to the source material, the light novel (although I think the anime made him shorter than the manga, which is unfortunate). But the story development itself, paired with the tech, are too fascinating to ignore. Due to the medium, the anime doesn't convey some of the background and subtle points for the character that are present in the light novel. I guess it falls back to most common conception how "the book is better than the movie."
The art is gorgeous. Backgrounds and the environments are highly detailed. The augmented reality UI, and duel avatars, the VR worlds, all are top notch. As expected from Sunrise. I'm still amazed how though-out the augmented reality UI is (the mail inbox notification, the logging out process, the awesome file transfer gesture, etc).
It's been a while since I enjoy an anime this much. As a gadget geek, I'm truly fascinated with the tech. The unusual yet loveable main character, the cute avatars, the feel-warm story, gorgeous art, awesome music, it's hard for me not to be addicted to Accel World. If you have interest in Accel World, make sure to check out the manga, and even the light novel, as they will enrich and make the Accel World's world even more enjoyable. read more