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24 of 24 episodes seen
Full Metal Panic doesn't do anything new, it just does everything better
A lot of mechas alternate between school and action trying to be two different animes at once but were always lacking in one respect. Full Metal Panic is the exception. True, the young Sergeant moonlighting between school and working as a mercenary seems cliche at first, but there's something different about Sousuke and his personality that makes him interesting as a fighter as well as a student. Full Metal Panic does the best job of balancing the two so it never feels like the school episodes are fillers but are necessary and entertaining.
Straightforward, easy watching action comedy but has a good balance of suspense and fun.
The story is simple and straightforward. A young sergeant becomes the bodyguard of an important high school girl while also piloting the most advanced mech unit for a secret mercenary organization whose mission is to stop terrorism. The story never tries to extend itself so far as to explore the philosophy of life or the human condition. There are various devices used such as the secret advanced technology called "Black Technology" and a group of natural born geniuses called "Whispered" that exist merely to move the original plot along.
Unfortunately, for those hoping for a series like Code Geass where there are many twists and turns, they may become disappointed. However, the series does become more intense and more secrets are revealed during The Second Raid. The current series, however, focuses purely on entertainment.
So what makes this anime so good? It's the style. The pacing of the anime is fast during the action sequences and slower and more mellow during the school sequences. The transitions between civilian life and military battles are seemless. They come at appropriate times and contrast well with each other. Sometimes the contrast is done so perfectly that it can be considered artistic. For example, in one scene, during a heated battle the camera pans on Sousuke's look of intensity during battle and then flashes back to the quiet and relaxing beach with Chidori looking off in the distance as if she could see a wonderful future with Sousuke. Scenes like that vividly and subtley communicate the thoughts of each character without verbal expression.
In terms of action sequences, the series is good but not spectacular. The main problem is that some action sequences end very abruptly. The battle ensues for quite awhile but then at the last second they pull out their ultimate move (Lamda Driver) and it ends 5 seconds later when one person is left standing.
Despite that, I think the action sequences are still entertaining to watch because of its simplistic nature. The battle strategy is not as elaborate and mental as they are in animes like Code Geass and the fight scenes aren't complicated with a lot of special power moves. Instead, the action relies on Sousuke's decision making abilities and superior combat reflexes to win each battle as well as Kurtz Weber's accurate sniping ability. Both are legitimate abilities that are not only entertaining but are a solid basis for determining the outcome of each battle.
Simple but likable and entertaining.
Sousuke Sagara looks like your typical strong, justice-seeking shounen lead. He is simple, straightforward, honest, and courageous and during action sequences he reminds you of characters like Ichigo Kurosaki. However, something strange happens when you take a typical shounen character and place him in everyday situations without changing his tone and personality. Where his strengths were once desired, they become cumbersome and akward, and all that was once typical about his character dissipates in the cheerful, relaxed environments. He become's like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarden Cop. His do-or-die, everywhere is a battlefield personality conflicts with a normal person's perspective of common sense. This makes Sousuke's serious personality the butt of most of the jokes and one of the most entertaining characters to watch.
Opposite to Sousuke, Kaname Chidori is a typical, strong tsundere character whose main target of aggression is Sousuke Sagara. Most comedic moments stem from Sousuke's mistakes and Chidori correcting him, sometimes with a harisen. Fans of tsunderes such as any of the characters played by Kugimiya Rie will love Chidori. I'm not a tsundere fan myself, but I found Kaname Chidori's character be tolerable since she is somewhat more open and obvious with her affection towards Sousuke.
Fortunately or unfortunately, this anime lacks characters who overcome grave character flaws such as weakness and arrogance. If you are looking for character development similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion then you will not be happy with Full Metal Panic. Full Metal Panic tries its best to make characters likable and strong from the beginning to the end. This lack of depth and development may make the anime less realistic for some, but in terms of entertainment the characters leave nothing more to be desired.
Good art and animation from that time period but nothing ground-breaking.
My view towards mecha is that once you've seen one, you've seen them all so I may not be the best judge when it comes to judging how cool the designs are. That being said, I've always felt that the fact that Gauron's mecha had hair was a bit odd and out of place and that the Arbalest looked very similar to the other M9s and wasn't distinguished enough as a special unit. However, I must say that they definitely look better than the mecha from animes like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann since they are more professional and more realistic.
The use of CGI was well integrated and I didn't feel like they went overboard which seems to be a common problem with Mecha animes such as the other Gonzo mecha series Kurogane no Linebarrels.
As for the characters, they seem to have a little old fashion style to them indicative to anime from the 90s and early 2000s but I enjoy the fact that their proportions are realistic. The men aren't too bulky and muscular while there aren't any women with unrealistically big breasts. In addition, they vary a lot of the facial features for the men such as eyes and bone structure so most characters differ by more than just hair color. However, if you take away the hair, most of the women look exactly the same.
Great utilization of music and talented voice actors enhance the realism and accurately portray each mood.
The background music for the action and suspense sequences are chosen well and timed to perfection. I couldn't help but think that if John Williams was doing background music for anime, it would be similar to instrumental background music used in Full Metal Panic. Great use of brass crescendos to build the suspense but even more important was their use of pauses and silence right before an explosion to create the added tension during crucial moments during battle.
I was a big fan of the OP music. Mikuni Shimokawa has such a soothing and beautiful voice and does the theme song for all three Full Metal Panic series. In addition, they synchronized it with the animation very well.
The voice acting cast does a good job of portraying the characters accurately. Masahiko Tanaka's voice is very suited for villains like Gauron with his deep voice and sinster laugh. Also, Tomokazu Seki does a great job of making a character like Sousuke believable and amiable. As for Chidori, Satsuki Yukino does a great job utilizing her vocal range to express every bit of emotion expressed in her character's face. She really feels alive and three dimensional rather than just a stereotypical tsundere.
It has a certain charm that you can't find anywhere else.
Full Metal Panic is a series that draws you into its pace and never gives you the feeling that it drags on too long or ends too quickly. Instead, it keeps pushing forward every episode so there is always something exciting to look forward to at every turn. In terms of comedy, this series is the best of the mecha genre and perhaps one of the best comedies ever. The laughs were neither cheap nor overplayed but felt fresh and unique to the series itself. In addition, they were neither hard to comprehend nor overly reliant on obscure parodies. Most of the comedy stems from Sousuke and his lack of common sense but oddly enough you never get tired of this scenario since it seems to be unique to the series itself. Whenever I am laughing at Sousuke, I always feel more like I am laughing with him than at him, and this makes all the difference since male leads need to seem reliable during serious moments.
If you like mecha action and comedy and aren't looking for something thought-provoking and ground breaking then Full Metal Panic provides just the right amount of pure entertainment value. read more
22 of 22 episodes seen
The second season of Ah! My Goddess is a great compliment to the first season. With more characters, more romance, and more fun episodes, this series has definitely improved.
Although the anime lacks a compelling, overarching story, I find the 1-2 episode stories to be very fun and entertaining. Each episode seems to center around a different character but shares a common thread of love and the importance of friendship and family. There are many new romantic developments that occur for side characters, but the Keiichi and Belldandy's relationship does not seem to progress as much as you would like it to. Still, there are plenty of ooh and aww moments as the new relationships are very cute.
Art and Sound
As expected, the art and sound haven't really changed much from the first season so there isn't much to add to this section.
Part of what I like about the series this time around is that they made Belldandy's character more human and imperfect. She gets drunk, her license is suspended, and she gets jealous and upset. Another plus is that they really focused more on relationships and the growth of all the side characters. For example, Otaki, Keiichi's senpai, was a very random character in season 1, but he actually shows a much softer and caring side when he gets a girlfriend.
I found this season a lot more enjoyable than the first one. With more growth, better comedy, and a lot of touching scenes, it really leaves you feeling satisfied. Without a strong storyline and many characters to depict, the anime really focuses on creating a lot of fun situations so you cannot go wrong in terms of entertainment.
Although this season doesn't really bring anything new to the table, it serves its purpose well. It is a very entertaining, light-hearted, comedy with plenty of feel good moments. I definitely recommend it to anyone who watched the first season. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
Ah! My Goddess is a light-hearted, sweet, fantasy without serious romance or ecchiness. It's a great anime to watch if you are not looking for anything special but rather sit and relax to an easy viewing. As mentioned by other reviewers, I think girls will like this series more than guys because of the strong female lead and role reversals. However, those hard-core romantics who are seeking relationship development and ecchi harem loving guys should look elsewhere.
The story starts out centered around the male lead, Keiichi, who has no luck but is still kind and generous to others. When given the opportunity to have any wish granted, he wished to spend eternity with a goddess. From that point on, his whole world changed and the series slowly started to shift focus to Belldandy, his goddess.
Throughout the series, Keiichi would get into trouble and Belldandy would always bail him out. Her love for him is the heart of the entire anime. There are many cute and touching moments that stem from their relationship but not much development takes place and they never really kiss.
Art and Sound
Overall, I think the characters were very well drawn and cute. Keiichi is really put in a fortunate position with so many beautiful female characters surrounding him. The special effects are not terrible either. As for the sound, I really like the opening sound track. It sounds very scottish. As for character voices, Belldandy's voice annoyed me because she sounded very old and mother-like. This is probably because Kikuko Inoue played a lot of mother/teacher roles in other animes I watched.
Unlike a lot of romance animes, this anime revolves around the female lead, Belldandy, who is the guardian/housewife. Her character seems like a symbol for strong, modern women. She is a strong heroine with incredible powers, has a caring and nurturing personality, is irresistible to men and machines alike, and at the end of the day she is the perfect housewife. With all those amazing qualities, its no surprise that she is a goddess!
With a strong female lead, it is only natural than the male lead, Keiichi, is weak. He is a normal human who lacks special powers and suffers from an inferiority complex. However, his attractiveness comes from his unconditional love for others. He is kind, generous, and protective of everyone; even if they are strangers. And on top of all of that, his only wish was to be with the one he loves. He's the kind of guy that girls can picture their husbands to be like.
Overall, I could not give this anime a rating above average because there were very few memorable moments. For the most part, it is a forgettable series that is too similar to other romance animes, but that may be a good thing if you need a break from a harder hitting anime. I would recommend this anime to those who just have to see every romance/comedies, but for those who are looking for a new experience, this anime will not satisfy you. read more
23 of 23 episodes seen
Nodame Cantabile is love at first sight. From the very first episode, you notice it is something special. Not only does it entertain, but it also inspires passion, appreciation for beauty, and transports you to your own personal paradise. If I could, I would give this anime an 11 because I cannot and will not compare it to any other anime.
The story is deep yet not complicated enough to detract you from the main plot. An arrogant and talented college student with both ambition and passion chases his dream of being a conductor with the help of other young musicians who are inspired by his talent and charm. The pace is just right; the story continues to push forward but gives you enough time to reflect and rejoice in the moment. It does not try to overpower the anime, but lets the other elements like the music shine right through.
Art and Sound
Nodame Cantabile surpasses every other anime I have ever seen in this category. The whole anime is a work of art. They know how to bring music to life in the anime and build suspense with the intensity of emotion displayed in the audience and musician's faces. You become part of the show when you watch this anime and they do a great job of expressing music with artistic imagery and interpretation. The opening and ending were my favorites. The opening does a great job of energizing you with its uplifting tempo and catchy melody and makes you feel like you are hearing the beach boys yet the lyrics match the anime perfectly. The 2nd ending was one of my favorite endings of all time as it seemed like the perfect way to descend from the paradise the anime elevated me to.
As for the characters, the hero, Chiaki, seems to carry the weight of the world on his back yet he never misses a step and continues to persevere. He's not perfect, he has character flaws such as his temper and arrogance as well as some major weaknesses like his fear of flying and sailing. However, his weaknesses make his character more believable and admirable. He's the passionate hero we all long to watch.
Nodame, the female lead, is the fun, quirky character who plays opposite to Chiaki. Their contrasting styles and personalities make the anime very interesting and entertaining to watch. Although, I wouldn't say that there is much romantic development between the two as they do not even kiss during the entire series. However, the viewers don't seem to mind because this anime is a lot more than its story, characters, art, and animation.
To really appreciate this anime, you have to be able to perceive the beautiful flow and mixing of the elements. The characters could not flourish without their passion for music and unique backgrounds. The animation could not be a masterpiece without the wondrous marriage of art and music. Together, they all create a beautiful symphony that could not be enjoyed piecemeal.
Try to let yourself go when you watch this, close your eyes from time to time and feel the music rushing through your veins and you will be sure to feel goosebumps as you imagine the feelings and emotions that the characters were motivated by.
Those who are easily swept off their feet by the sound of classical music, seek characters who entertain and surprise you, and have an open mind and soul will truly benefit from watching this anime. If you approach this anime in the right mindset, its beauty will penetrate you like an arrow that strikes you at the heart. And when you wake up, you will come as close to heaven as you can possibly get. No matter what your tastes, you will probably find something to like about this anime. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Like many others, I watched this series after I finished Onegai Teacher. I came in with expectations for the same level of romance and involvement I had with Onegai Teacher, but I was surprised to find out that the two series were shockingly different.
The problem with the story is that it had a very weak hook. This is not a series where you see love develop like in Onegai Teacher. Instead, Miina and Karen's affections for Maiku are very blatant. Most of the story focuses on their conflict between being in love with Maiku as a brother and as a potential lover. This led to a ridiculous amount of misunderstandings and fanservice opportunities. It's great if you are looking for an ecchi harem that focuses on twincest, but in reality it lacks the depth and drama to really draw you in.
The story gets really repetitive at times and they seem to reiterate the same points over and over again like when they state "We might be relatives.... but we might also be strangers." Thoughts like that are so obvious that they did not need to be repeated more than once or at least could have been expressed in different ways. However, the show starts to pick up in the end so if you can bare the first few episodes you should be satisfied with the way the series ends.
Art and Sound
I liked the use of the split screens in some of the episodes as well as the slow motion running with the Chariots of Fire-like background music. However, I did not care for the OP and skipped it for the most part.
Although the two series share many of the same characters, it seems that they have different personalities and roles in each series. In Onegai Twins, Mizuho played a large supporting role as the meddling, ditzy teacher. That is in stark contrast to the more wife-centered romantic role she played in Onegai Teacher. However, it was still nice to see her involved in the anime and she does provide some fanservice. Other characters like Ichigo and Matagu took on larger roles in this series than they did in the previous one. Ichigo is the student body president who continues to meddle in the love affairs of the students and Matagu is a perverted older brother.
As for the new characters, I find them to be on the weak side. It's nice that Maiku isn't a weak, wimpy character but I didn't buy into his strong, silent type of character. He spent most of the series trying to hold back his feelings and that seemed to stop his character from developing. In addition, Miina and Karen weren't very attractive female leads in my opinion. They fell for him too easily and their histories were not very interesting. However, to be fair, the heart of the series is really how much all three of them care for each other and have become their own little family. In that respect, watching the bonds between these characters grow was an important and pleasant part to watch.
I think people will enjoy this anime if they are watching it for the right reasons and come in without high expectations. It's not a very dramatic, hard to follow, romantice series. Instead it is a light-hearted portrayal of a group of strangers who become family. There are a lot of ecchi moments and you can't go one episode without nudity. Also, sometimes the episodes are so stupid they are funny. So if you are just looking for something to pass the time then I think you will really enjoy this anime, but if you are looking for real romance then I would probably look elsewhere.
If you watched the first series, you can't go wrong watching Onegai Twins, but do not expect the same kind of story. However, if you are looking for easy watching with some feel good moments and a happy ending then I would recommend this anime. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Onegai Teacher is a love story about a forbidden relationship between a teacher and her student. Their relationship starts out as a cover up, but grows into something much deeper and meaningful. There is a fair share of comedic moments, twists, and misunderstandings, but this story is essentially about their marriage: its highs and lows, happy and sad moments, fights and makeups.
It is a very short series, only 12 episodes long, so there is no elaborate plot. The alien aspect does not even play that big of a role. They are merely devices used to create obstacles in their marriage. Sometimes these obstacles can be annoying since they seem to drag the series out in the middle and stunt the relationship development. However, they do a really great job of giving you a lot of ooh and ahh moments where you are overwhelmed with the amount of cuteness as well as suspenseful moments when you just want to scream at the tv.
Art and Sound
When it comes to reviewing art and sound, I admit I am not the best judge. I tend to think of the two elements as enhancers rather than essentials. However, I will say that I never felt like the art or sound clashed with the story. It seemed like they fit well and created a believable world. There were a lot of attractive characters in this anime and very little fan service. The OP was pretty good too, it kind of reminded me of Air (others will probably disagree).
I won't lie, I watch anime for the characters. Everything else takes a backseat for me. I have to feel like I can relate to the characters and that they could be real people that I would hang out with. Onegai Teacher's characters were the real selling point for me. If I could describe them in one word, I would say they are all adorable. The main characters are two people whose relationship you really want to watch develop as it can be described as an honest, caring exchange between two people who are trying to get to know each other and discover feelings within themselves that they struggle to come to grips with. The director does a great job of putting you into the heads of the characters and if you are empathetic enough, you can really feel what the characters are feeling. I think the best part for me was that I felt like their relationship was realistic as both of them weren't shy enough to be obnoxious but weren't falling for each other easily either. It was clearly a mutual exchange of feelings that came about gradually.
The other characters were also a great supporting cast. The "other girl" was very cute and if the two main characters weren't married then you wouldn't mind Kei getting together with her. I don't want to spoil the show, but let's just say that love is all around in this series.
This anime really serves its purpose well. It is easy watching and leaves you with good feelings after almost ever episode. I smiled a lot while I watched it and I have to say that the little alien dolls were so cute that they made me laugh every time. If you are someone who is looking for a good romance and likes to laugh, cry, and empathize with characters then you will love Onegai Teacher. Also, if you are one of those people who has ever had a crush on a teacher (who hasn't) then you will probably also like this show.
I started watching this show because I heard some people referring to it after an episode of Gurren Lagann and I thought it sounded like good fun. In the end, the series is short, but it is oh so sweet. Highly recommended.
27 of 27 episodes seen
The story is simple and easy to follow. Kid acquires a special power and progressively gets stronger and stronger while fighting tougher opponents and gaining supporters. It was very predictable but the story was never intended to be the main attraction. It was the playground and you were just happy to be in the sandbox with all your friends.
Like the story, the art was not one of the show's key elements. A lot of the characters look completely unrealistic and so do the mecha. It takes some getting used to, but surprisingly, the art detracted very little from the show because the other elements more than compensated.
For example, the sound was very good. A lot of the background music they used really gets you in the mood to go work out and burn off some testosterone. I was also a fan of the opening song and never skipped the intro all 27 episodes (something I do often).
The real attraction of the show is the characters. They were all so GAR! Everytime they pulled off the impossible you find yourself cheering for them like you were watching your favorite sports team win a game. Simon was probably my favorite as I found him to be a very realistic character and could often relate to him. Watching him transform from Simon the shy to Simon the Gar was one of the most enjoyable transformations I have seen. He is the Rocky of anime. Kamina was also a fun and lovable character who you will certainly enjoy if you like guys who act like idiots but have big hearts and charisma to make up for it. As for the females, Yoko was great fanservice material but also a great character in her own right. She was complex; she had a tough and tomboyish personality at first but you see that underneath she is such a warm and compassionate individual. I think she is a great feminist symbol as she is able to balance both very well. As for Nia, she reminded me of Tessa from FMP. So smart yet naive and incredibly cute. Her heart and speeches were very inspirational. Overall, these characters all added unique dimensions to the series and really attach themselves to you.
As for enjoyment, I had to rest after each episode to reflect on how awesome they were because I got too pumped. It's one heck of a ride and one I would gladly go on more than once. The action and suspense keeps building and "spiraling" up. There were many points in the show where you would think there was no where left to go and yet they keep moving forward. Each episode topped the previous episode and you just can't help but smile and laugh as your favorite characters grow with you.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for entertainment and lovable characters I know you will love this show. However, if you are unable to look past several of the drawbacks (mecha, simple story, and unrealistic art) then you might not enjoy it as much. In the end, you will enjoy this show no matter what your tastes are and you will be craving more when you finish.