A boy gets involved in an accident when in kindergarten, horribly damaging his arm, but the doctors somehow manage to save it. Now, several years later, his arm seems to be becoming the focus of strange events as it turns out to be more than a normal arm. Meanwhile, a secret organizations is out to get hold of him and the power he possess.
I can't believe that no one has written a review for this series yet. Anyway, here's my attempt at one:
STORY: Okay the story for Project ARMS is one of the much over-used simple plots that seem to plague the shounen genre. It's about a kid, Ryo, who was in an accident as a child, which you never figure out exactly what it was, and later finds out that he and others have these nanomechines inside their bodies codenamed ARMS. And to make matters worse an evil organization, the Agregori (I hope that's how you spell it.), wants the ARMS subjects and will
stop at nothing to get them using a wide varitiety of freaks and such to do the dirty work.
Not. Very. Original. At. All.
The only saving grace of this series's sorry story is the fact that it has many references to Lewis Carol's works, mainly the Alice in Wonderland books but others as well, which does add a certain feeling of depth to the whole thing. Each of the character's ARMS are assigned a name that correlates with a character from Carol's works and the ARMS powers fit that character, I will discuss this more in the character section.
But the story is a mediocre attempt at best, at worst an overplayed stereotypical story. However, there is a surprising plot twist somewhere around episode twelve that just slaps you in the face. Completely and utterly unexpected and later on there's another one that isn't quite as shocking but rather more funny and unexpected.
ART: Now onto something else that's not too good. The art really is quite bad for the most part. In some cases the characters cast no shadow on the ground at all. It's pretty terrible, and some of the fight scenes are so jerkily animated that you cannot see the violence that is happening even if you watch it in slow-motion frame by frame. (Note: this is mainly in the first ten episodes, after that it significantly improves.)
However, the artists must have skipped out on these parts to better animate the ARMS themselves, the nanomachinery looks very cool and in some instances very freaky. Espiecially in the later episodes in which the ARMS learn even more powers and grow into something even more awesome. Quite cool stuff, also some of the battles are really excellent towards the latter part of the series. It's just getting there that's hard.
SOUND: The sound of this series is atrocious. About the only saving grace is the fact that the opening and ending themes are quite catchy and good and the main backround music is quite creepy. It involves an organ and strings and just sounds like it belongs in an old Hitchcock film. That's the only reason why I gave this section a 3.
Let's talk about the voice acting, in one word: BAD. This is for both the sub and the dub, the voice actors for the dub are relatively well-known for the most part but this series certainly isn't their best work. The dialogue is cheesy and makes you wince or just laugh at the sheer horridness of it and these times occur at several moments throughout the series. It just really isn't very good. (Once again, as the series progresses it gets noticeably better ... either that or you just become accustomed to it.)
CHARACTER: The character's general personalities are for the most part your standard shounen stereotypes: you've got the dashing hero who's afraid of his abilities, the screaming angry teen, the frightened timid teen, the love-intrest, the other love-intrest, the enemy you love to hate, the girl that has a dark past and is angrier that the angry screaming teen, the enemy that you actually kind of like, the enemies that have a change of heart, any and every stereotype that you've seen thousands of times is here. That said, those tried and true archetypes still work in this series and mesh together just as good as they do in every other series that has them in it.
As said before, there is the tie-in with Lewis Carol's works. The ARMS are each named after a character and they each portray their assigned character rather well. These include: White Rabbit, Jabberwock, White Knight, Queen of Hearts, and Gryphon. Also, there are a couple of plot twists involving certain characters that you really don't expect. One of which is rather comical and badass at the same time. (Unfortunately I can't give it away without ruining the moment.)
ENJOYMENT: As you can see, I gave everything up to now a 5 or lower, so how can my enjoyment be an 8 ... I had better start explaining that hadn't I? This series, though less than mediocore in most parts, just has something about it that seems to attract to it. I loved it and my friends who have seen it loved it as well. I have it listed under my favorites for this reason and it is probably in the top 10 of all the anime I have ever seen. For what reason?
... I don't know. You'll just have to watch it yourself and you'll most likely see what I mean. There's just something about it that grips you in a way. That's all I can say.
OVERALL: This series, through scores alone, should get a 4 but since I enjoyed it so much I had to bump it up a notch. If I could I'd say that it was an eight but that would be a down-right lie and wouldn't be fair to anyone who wanted to know what the series was like.
So as a summery, it's a mediocre shounen series with lots of violence and not much plot, shallow characters, bad voice acting, and something else that I can't quite explain in words.
In other words, check it out ... if nothing else you'll get a kick out of the bad voice acting.
Before writing anything, I hate long reviews so mine will be as short as possible.
The first very thing is that this is the most underrating anime I've ever seen and oh I watched a lot like more than 100 anime. I can't find the reason why this anime has this unfair score. The story isn't unique but isn't bad. The characters are amazing although they aren't the best of course. The Seiyū (Voice actors) are nice and most of them are famous.
Well, I enjoyed it a lot and I highly recommend this anime if you have it and have a second thought about it due
to its score or other reviews.
GO AND WATCH IT YOURSELF AND YOU WILL KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT AND PLEASE CHANGE THIS THE UNFAIR RATING SO OTHER WON'T HAVE THIS SECOND THOUGHT LIKE ME AND YOU.
Project ARMS is a 2 Season 52 Episode 2001 Anime Adaption of a Award Winning 1997 Biopunk Action Manga that used to be published on Shonen Sunday. And in Japan, was pretty popular enough to get a Toyline, Card Game, PS2 Game, Multiple Manga re-releases including one with the anime's artsyle, and even a Pachinko back in 2013. Produced by TMS Entertainment, the same studio behind the likes of Sonic X and School Days.
The story is about a Highschooler named Ryo Takatsuki who ends gaining the attention of the new student, Hayato Shingu, who after getting into some fights all from a misunderstanding all
set up by an mysterious organization that calls themselves the Egregori, as well as awakening a lethal power from their arms. The boys along with Ryo's childhood best friend, Katsumi Akagi form an alliance. Not too long after they meet another recent transfer student named Takeshi Tomoe, who's legs also can turn into a mechanical weapon. The story is then about them trying to unravel what's going on while being confronted by members of the organization. Some of these plot twist being quite shocking but some that may be seen as silly by today's standards. Sadly however after reading the manga after finishing the series, I discovered that certain plot elements and characters, along with the true final arc of the series never made it in to the anime. Not helped by the fact the manga was still finishing up back in 2002 while the anime was still airing, which also led to some liberties taken such as certain villains meeting their downfall sooner than intended and a certain area's location change.
Even though this came out in 2001, the 1st season looks rather vintage for its time. Let alone some inconsistent off modeling moments so tongue in cheek, it makes you wonder if it was done on purpose for the lolz. Though Season 1's visuals got the whole dark sci-fi atmosphere down despite it's datedness. The same cannot be said for it's Season 2, which switched to Digital Animation, resulting in not only having a much different and brighter aesthetic, but also manages to be much more inconsistent in it's quality due to Digital Animation being pretty new at the time back then.
The Opening Themes got this Nirvana style rock to them and are admittedly catchy and the Ending Themes are nice, especially Ending 2 and 3 (Garnet Crow FTW!). The Insert music is serviceable, though some tracks like a certain melodramatic violin piece tends to get overplay at points that it comes off as comical. I however did like that one Organ Music Piece Katsumi played later on and a certain Musicbox tune much later into the show.
Ryo is like a mix between Akira Fudo from Devilman and Bruce Banner from the Incredible Hulk with the E Rank Luck (And Seiyuu) of Lancer from Fate/Stay Night, he's a chill and friendly guy who happens to get himself involved in the whole plot and basically has to get used to defending himself and his newfound comrades while having to learn to properly use his newfound right arm powers.
Hayato is the foul mouth shouty angry guy who swears a lot and doesn't take people's crap that easily. He is motivated in wanting to avenge his parents and village's death at the hands of someone named Keith. Despite his hostilities towards Ryo early on they do over the course of the series become best buds and Hayato proves to be a total bro who lives up to the title of White Knight. Easily one of my favorites in this series. Not to mention he provides a lot of amusing lines of dialogue, especially in the English dub.
Katsumi is Ryo's childhood friend and clearly his love interest. She doesn't have any powers of her own. She's kinda like Fiora from Xenoblade Chronicles, minus the badass traits to balance out the Damsel in Distress tendencies. Her Relationship with Ryo gets more complicated as the show goes on.
Takeshi is the wimpy and timid Everyman, who over the course of the show has to grow himself a spine and become just as much of a capable fighter as Ryo and Hayato. Unfortunately, some of the more interesting stuff he goes through much later on in the story in the manga didn't get adapted over to the anime, giving him less screen time and presence that he had there.
Other noteworthy characters that get introduced along the way include a Female ARMS user with Eye Powers and Trust Issues, A Bratty Child Genius, A Police Detective, and a Blonde "Angelic" Psychic. Sure the cast do sound stock on paper, but they do manage to be pretty entertaining and do avoid being stereotypes, though because the final arc was never adapted, they never got to reach proper conclusion to their character arcs, save for one character.
The Japanese Version contains some well known seiyuus such as Nobutoshi Canna, Shinichiro Miki, Yuji Ueda, Minami Takayama, Megumi Ogata, and Shuichi Ikeda. Many of whom having done work on Persona and/or Danganronpa, making their roles here a lot more amusing in hindsight if anyone's familiar with their work. Though they're performances, while competent, isn't exactly their most outstanding work. It's not that they are bad per say, but more of being stuck with working with dialogue that can get admittedly laughably cliche and over the top at certain times (Volf, Karl, and Kou being the worst offenders to the point they are the most bland and forgettable performances). Also one minor antagonist, Kyklops sounds like a screechy cat. Still personally enjoyed them for what they are, particularly Nobutoshi Canna as Ryo, who I'll admit his performance as Ryo is rather underrated (In fact, Canna considers Ryo to be his most underrated role in his career according to his interview at Fanime 2019). Didn't stop them from reprising their roles years later for the Pachinko game back in 2013.
As for the English Dub produced by the Ocean Group, it's manages to be pure cheese and relishes in on the surreality of it all, especially moreso in Season 2. The Dub features some known Canadian VAs such as Kirby Morrow, Venus Terzo (Both she and Morrow were also Jean Grey and Cyclops in X-Men Evolution), Brian Drummond, Brad Swaile, Nicole Oliver, Jillian Michaels, Willow Johnson, and more. Even including some VAs from Ed Edd n Eddy in Villain Roles giving gloriously hammy performances. It also contains pretty hilarious dialogue, especially in the context of the situation they are in such as "Ryo's always been nuttier than a squirrel turd" to "They've gone crazy! Like Frat Boys on a Panty Raid!". It may not be their most professional effort when compared to their other dubs they made in the past, but it's an amusing campy project reminiscent to that of the English dub for Ghost Stories that is worth checking out if your into that kind of thing, especially considering they knew that this show ain't gonna sell jack back then.
While the show may not be seen as the most original, groundbreaking, or having the most stellar animation, especially by today's high standards. It manages to have a more grounded than the usual shonen formula but unusually strangely presented storyline from the blatant Alice in Wonderland references to some surprising plot twists and the hilariously strange designs of the ARMS. But is a overall pretty flawed adaptation of it's manga source material. However given that the Manga artist's previous work, Spriggan, is getting an anime adaptation on Netflix by David Productions, there is a probability that a Anime Reboot of this franchise might become a thing in the near future.