I don't know how many times I looked at this page only to run away five seconds later. For some reason I just refused to watch this, but I can't even remember why anymore.
Witchblade was a nice surprise. Considering it is based off an American comic of the same name that is known for being very sexual and violent, I was expecting a perverted ecchi mess. Her costume certainly doesn't leave much to be desired and the ecchi factor is certainly there, but miraculously it doesn't become the focus of the story. Don't worry boys, you'll all have plenty to drool over. But there's
something there for us story lovers too. The main story is simpler then the synopsis lets on. It's about a mother who would do anything to protect her daughter. The greedy organizations, insane scientists and terrifying weapons just add that extra something every plot needs to get on its feet. There are still some hints to this being related to its darker American comic, but they're subtle and younger viewers might not even pick up on them. Otherwise this anime stands alone.
The pacing of the show moves along nicely. It felt a bit slow at times only to suddenly spring this emotional roller coaster at you towards to the end. Some people feel that the ending was rushed and I would have to disagree. Predictable? Absolutely. But that's what they were aiming for and they definitely achieved something with the ending. It might almost feel anti-climatic at first, but after thinking about it I wouldn't think of this a flaw so much as a quirk considering the circumstances. It all depends on how you take it.
The characters moved this show along, the main character Masane particularly. Everything would have fallen apart without her growth. But she wasn't alone; all of the side characters were wonderful and had unique personalities that changed over time. Her daughter, Rihoko was a particular favorite. For one of those anime children that's randomly mature and good at everything, she was one of the few that didn't make me want to punch things.
The character designs seem strange at first. It's like all of the characters are different...but wait that's a good thing! After years of seeing anime girls with the exact same body type it was refreshing to see characters that completely differ in all those. A lot of the girls still had boobs bigger then their heads, but that's to be expected. The action was very fluid and the fight scenes will probably be a favorite of our resident echhi lovers.
The soundtrack was so-so. I always skipped over both EDs, but I adored the first opening. Then they suddenly switch to that terrible second opening half way through and my heart broke. Besides that horrible opening song, the music wasn't really a dominant factor in this show.
Overall Witchblade was a very enjoyable experience. It started off kind of slow as far as character development, but don't give up right away. It's there, you just can't see it. When the plot starts moving along things really pick up, characters stop being idiots and suddenly you won't be able to look away. Don't randomly run away from this show like I did. Witchblade is a show worthy of being given a chance.
"When I saw the pictures and the explanation of the story, I thought it was a coarser, scarier and darker anime. But once we started, I realized it had less violence and more heart." - Mie Sonozaki
Before anything else, you need to understand the following: Witchblade is, first and foremost, a character-driven drama, rather than an action series. It has some fighting, yes, but the vast majority of the episodes are spent focusing on character development. Everything else comes a distant second. At first the suggestion is that it's going to be a The Devil Lady, 'monster of the week' type, and that is simply
Marketing Witchblade as a violent, fan-service heavy title was foolish. Taking the title of a popular American comic and then creating an entirely different story, with an all-new cast, was not exactly the wisest of moves. By attempting to pass-off a slow-paced, heartfelt and very human drama as a generic action title with added boobs, all Gonzo achieved was getting the wrong type of viewers; pushing away people more likely to appreciate a family drama about a mother loving her daughter with all of her heart and being willing to do anything for her.
Judging the series based on the revealing Witchblade forms and boob sizes, it's hard not to expect an utterly tasteless anime. But you know what? Sex only occurs ONCE during the entire series, and NOTHING gets shown--the two involved kiss and then it's the morning after. That pretty much sums Witchblade up: there's a lot of cleavage but, that aside, Witchblade is surprisingly tasteful. In truth, there isn't even a huge amount of action once series gets past the introduction period.
:: Story :: 6/10
Six years prior to the start of Witchblade, Tokyo had been left devastated by a catastrophic earthquake. Two people were found alive at the ground zero of the quake: a 17-year-old woman (later named Masane; her having lost all of her pre-disaster memories) and a baby (Rihoko). Only the maternity diary held by the woman pointed towards them being related...
Once the series gets going, the two are heading back to Tokyo on the run; desperate to stay together and not be separated by the child welfare organization (created after the quake, to 'help' children). As jobless Masane struggles to keep Rihoko, she encounters the 'monster' responsible for a string of nasty murders, and that's when what had been sleeping within her for six years awakens--the power of the 'Witchblade'; something that has existed since the beginning of time, selecting its (female) hosts and forcing its hosts to give into their lust and destructive urges. Masane then gets caught between two organizations who seek the Witchblade, ending up working for one (Douji: a major weapons supplier) to support her life with Rihoko and hunted by the other (NSWF: in charge of the child welfare organization and with links to genetic research).
I'll be honest here: the story of Witchblade is full of anime silliness, ranging from fat men disguised as killer microwaves, genetic experiments, and women who use 'Cloneblades'--lesser, copied versions of the ever mysterious Witchblade. It's never explained why the weapons Masane hunts target random females, or why the Witchblade only selects women as 'hosts'... or what the Witchblade actually is. And I couldn't help but see most of the twists coming in advance; the writers actually intentionally spelling out how the series would end in order to impact on the viewers' feelings progressively rather than shock them.
While it does have a B-movie sort of entertainment factor in its favour, if I were to score Witchblade based only on its story, it wouldn't be very flattering... But this is where the negative ends because, like I've already pointed out at the start, the characters are where it's at. The story is no more than a means to an end; the backdrop for lots of excellent drama.
:: Characterisation :: 9.5/10
Masane (nicknamed 'Melonie' because of her boob size!), the lead of the story, has nothing going for her apart from her six-year-old daughter, Rihoko. She isn't incredibly sharp, has no skills of note and, really, only has her love for her daughter. The child welfare organization try to separate them; Masane's ability to transform into a scantily-clad, sexulized version of herself (thanks to the mysterious Witchblade attached to her wrist) puts her in danger and powerful corporations involve her in their troubles, but, no matter what stands in her way, she fights to protect and give a better life to the one she loves the most.
Loud, simple-minded, direct type of characters tend to be hard to like and easy to hate, but Masane is very endearing. There are many simple things that made her into a likable character, such as when she went into a blind panic after learning that her daughter had been hurt; Masane ending up running out of her apartment barefoot. She's often called a primate by her 'boss', Takayama, because of how she acts without thinking and says what's on her mind, but that's what's so lovable about her: her honesty, maternal instincts and selflessness. It's little surprise that she eventually wins over even Takayama with her natural personality as the series progresses - she's just impossible to not like and respect.
The supporting cast backing up Masane aren't too shabby, either. Rihoko basically 'mothers' her own mother by shopping, cooking and caring for the more absent-minded Masane, and her being so mature at such a young age makes her have instant likability. Takayama plays the role of Masane's stern and somewhat awkward middle-aged boss, giving her orders to hunt down rogue 'weapons' for money, and it's his banter with her that provides much of the comic relief--the two later also becoming much closer; the writers doing a wonderful job of humanizing him and showing his softer, caring side as the series progresses. The rest of the cast are less developed and involved than the main three but all play important roles; the residents where Masane and Rihoko live, though never getting much time individually, are responsible for the 'family atmosphere' always being in the air during the more relaxing periods, for example.
:: Art / Animation + Sound:: 8/10
The first thing that made me think, 'Wow, Witchblade might not be so horrible, despite the title and fan-service!' was its opening. I watched/listened to the opening by chance, and as soon as I heard the fast-paced, exciting beat and saw the visuals that accompanied the music, which included a close-up of Masane's eye and a tear coming out of it, I just knew I had to watch it. The first opening is THAT good--even the 'GIVE ME YOUR XTC!!!' lyrics going with the show itself. Gonzo went on to regret changing it halfway through since they replaced the far less impressive second opening with the first for the final episode.
In terms of the overall art and animation, the best word to use when describing it is consistent. Why? Because Gonzo are known for running out of budget and forgetting to animate towards the end. This wasn't the case with Witchblade, though, since the final episode featured fluid animation; Gonzo not being reduced to showing movement through lines on the screen and actually showing the characters running. Aside from a few instances of laziness where there wasn't animation and a few stills were linked, it was great to watch. And the art style is both distinctive and attractive. Even Japan's obsession with breast jiggling got attention throughout! Alhough I can't say Masane's HUGE, could-suffocate-with-ease breasts appealed to me personally, overall it did look very nice, with a higher than average budget.
As for the soundtrack, I have to say: it's excellent, as expected when the same composer did Claymore. One track that stands out is one used for action quite frequently; a track with an eerie edge and... a woman breathing in an 'erotic' manner in the background - the track having an action-oriented beat. I was ALWAYS pumped for the action - my attention focused - simply because of the music. Towards the end, I recall the intense beat of a track after what had been a nice 'family life' sort of episode, and I just knew some sweet action would be coming my way. If a soundtrack is good enough, it can make something great into something even greater, and that's the case with Witchblade.
:: Overall :: 9/10
Witchblade has its flaws: the story isn't anything special, Gonzo appeared to run out of ideas at the death and just ended it, and the near enough naked girl-on-girl battles might be off-putting for some. However, the good by far outweighs the bad, and the characterization is at such a level that, if you're anything like me, you won't give a toss. Once the introduction was over and time had been given for attachment to the characters to form, I was too engrossed in their struggles to concern myself with negative thoughts about a robotic monster with the head of a bug and the like.
To sum it all up: If you go into Witchblade expecting nothing, you might just get everything in return. It's always rewarding to find a gem, and in my eyes Witchblade is a gem that deserves to have more people look at it. Do yourself a favour and watch it!
Last Wednesday I caught the Flu, I worked through the first two days and took friday off. Wow, three day weekend of misery. So, after calling in friday morning I go back to bed, early saturday afternoon I awake, soar, hurting, miserable and bored. Now you know the state of my mind, and body, as I watched a 26ep Witchblade marathon!
Okay, let me get it out of the way early, it's a good series. It didn't wow me, it didn't bore me. It kept me engaged for two days of coughing and fever.
So we have a story set in the near future of an amnesiac
.... woman name Masane, in post...... disaster ........Tokyo, with a way too mature for her age daughter and a whole host of formulaic characters. Uh, yeah, sound pretty bad huh? Well, Masane has big... Huge Boobs! hmmm, doesn't help any, does it?
Remember, I still say this is a good series, worth watching once you get past it's shortcomings.
What's good about it you ask? Well, the animation is good, it done by Gonzo and is as good as anything you might see from Production IG or their like. The music is okay, nothing really stood out, but that can be a good thing. Voice acting is excellent in the subed version. Technically is a quality product, polished and professional.
The characters? Well there is no real growth, but you do get to know each character pretty well. Yes, many are overly simplistic, of course I personally know many overly simplistic people in real life! Even being simple and formulaic, the are not grotesque stereotypes. I guess they do have some depth. Even the most insane characters have enough history to explain their problems.
Character relationships feel natural, especially the bond between Masane and her daughter Rihoko. Not only that, but the "family" of characters that surround Masane, well they bond, but not instantly. Things take a little time and yes, in time there is a love interest. It won't surprise you when it happens, which is another good thing.
I guess what really shines about this anime is the pacing of it all. There is drama, but it doesn't take up an entire episode. There is action packed combat and it never takes more the fifteen minutes to finish a fight, compared to dozens of episodes in some shows. Every episode gives you some drama, humor, action and fanservice. Everything is very well balanced and not rushed.
So, yes, the series is good. I would never say that I loved it, but it did satisfy my need for anime entertainment.
I stumbled across this anime at Funimation's Anime Selects On Demand channel and was pleasantly surprised. Lately it seems like anime has become stale and formulaic, but Witchblade brings some American energy into the mix with this US/Japanese co-production.
The characters were energetically imaginary but with enough reality mixed in to further endear them to the viewer. I've known several people like Masane - flighty and incapable of holding down a real job, but with enough heart and love to do what ever it takes to raise their kids. Rihoko is the mandatory kawaii injection that just about every Japanese production seems to require, and
her cuteness is a bit overpowering but it doesn't detract from the story. The rest of the gang is fairly well scripted, the good guys being Noir good, meaning there's enough bad in them to make it interesting, and the bad guys are really bad.
What also engaged me is that the story is not solely focused on the action and the fight scenes. Like truly great anime, like Neon Genesis Evangelon or Full Metal Alchemist, the story focuses on the bigger story; how the characters got to the point where they're at and how the current situation is effecting their lives. And all is done without long, boring, confusing flash backs that make you wonder if you're still watching the same anime like Tenjou Tenge. The action is there like frosting on a cake; not too much or it will get boring - sort of like Bleach's 4 episode long fight scenes. This action is well animated and exciting to watch.
One of the best points, like any good story, not everything is wrapped up in one tidy package at the end of the story. Life isn't like that, and even though you may be able to see how it's going to play out several episodes from the end, the final scenes are satisfying, but Witchblade still leaves plenty of threads dangling for one to savor and ponder long after the show is done. It's a fan fiction authors God-send.
I highly recommend this one - kick back and enjoy. It's good viewing.
This show first caught my eyes while I was browsing through netflix. At first I thought it would be some soft core pornographic mess but in reality it's not. Surprisingly witchblade delivers very well and truly enticed me as a viewer.
The art was a little lacking but it still delivered. You may notice a few blemishes here and there. But overall it's alright, I really do appreciate the art style used. The animation also bears a few blemishes but it's nothing to hate the show for.
The sound and music is good and really suits in their respective moments. It won't be disappointing.
What really made
the show for me was the characters and the story. Basically there's this devastating earthquake and Masane is found with a bracelet and a child in her hands after the event. She also has amnesia and does not remember most of her life. The story revolves around Masane and Rihoko who share this impenetrable bond.
The relationship between Masane and Rihoko is not only heartwarming but heartbreaking as well. Along with many unique characters. Rihoko may look like the bigger mother figure at first but as you progress though the story, you soon realize that the protagonist Masane goes above and beyond for her precious little daughter making Masane in my opinion the true mother figure.
There are a few twists and surprises within the story but to be honest to see what Masane would do for her innocent little daughter really sold it for me.
You have to watch this show, honestly it's just so great. I actually felt sympathy for all these characters. And for a show, that's really hard to achieve. Or maybe I just have a soft spot for child - parent relationships. I dunno.
I first heard about this Anime when i was watching G4TV and a commercial came on announcing that they were going to Air it. Instead of waiting, i jumped on it and saw the first 4 episodes. Based just off that, it caught my interest almost immediately.
-Story: Unique story even if there wasn't much background to get you to know everything. But, as you watched, more and more is revealed.
-Art: Great art, got a little qwerky here and there, but other than that, Nice.
-Sound: I watched the entire series with my Studio headphones and it was great. Explosions, screams, clashes, and the music all turned
out well. The battle music got stuck in my head for awhile even afterwards. xD
-Character: All the main characters were all very different, giving the full aspect of who the protagonist was.
Overall it was Very Enjoyable. I would recommend this to anyone into Action pack awesomeness.
There's a lot of 9's and 10's on the review page for Witchblade so, if your looking for a review with a more opposed opinion here you go.
I actually like the initial premise for the story. The single mother relationship between Masane Amaha and Rihoko makes for a good plot device. There's potential for heartfelt moments and potential for moments of desperation but really, when those moments come, the aren't delivered well. The manufactured drama here just doesn't catch me enough. After the first few eps, the plot from episode to episode begins to fall into a cookie-cutter pattern. 5/10
The face value of the animation
is fairly average, though they seem to take more stock in Masane's big breasts and ass. The points where it gets bad is in the fight scenes. If you really liked this show, go back and watch the fight scenes in detail, they are so half assed and not fluid at all. There's always a pause in the fight for talking. Speed lines, bright flashes to replace the actual hits and slow motion where it's not needed don't help action scenes at all. 4/10
There's nothing spectacular about the sound in this show. I watched the dub and well, it was a really bad dub. The voice actress playing Masane has a nice soft voice but when she has to get boisterous and loud, it's more painful than accurate. 5/10
I find that Masane is the typical loud girl type and the only saving virtue is the Mother/Daughter relationship. Although Rihoko just like every other child portrayed in an anime. There's just very little personality, mostly typical acts and reactions. The supporting cast, to me, was also pretty plain vanilla. 4/10
The show had some potential but the end fell short due to a predictable, over done plot, over done characters, no substance, bad dubs, bad sfx, bad fight scenes. Overall 4/10
Critic’s Log - Earthdate: March 29, 2014. Review #82: Witchblade.
If you have been checking my reviews and wonder why it has been taking long for me to get a new review going. I have been busy lately. It is that time of year again.
As current events are concerned, On the Easter Weekend. I attend my local anime convention which is a big one in Seattle called Sakura-con. I personally find it to be a blast to go to and I really enjoy going to that convention. At the time I am posting this review. It is the weekend of Emerald City Comicon 2014 and
I think it is only fitting that I am doing a review of this certain anime just in time. I also had to do some research with this one because of its somewhat “history”. Like it would mean a damn because this is Witchblade I’m talking about.
In 22nd-Century Japan, There was a catastrophic earthquake that took a number of lives. Masane Amaha happened to survive the disaster that destroyed Tokyo and she becomes the latest in an ancient line of women-only warriors to wield the mysterious sentient weapon known only throughout history as "the Witchblade". Hellbent on protecting her daughter, she will face her worst fear.
To be technical, this is a Studio GONZO production and...drumroll please. *drumroll*. it’s not that bad compared to what GONZO had made before. Out of all the studios in the anime industry. I have always had special criticism towards Studio GONZO. I have seen a number of GONZO’s titles and some of them never gave me much of an impression. I may have said this before in an earlier review but the things that irritate me with Studio GONZO is that they are inconsistent whether it be on direction, storytelling, and even animation. But the major thing that turns me off in an anime that they sometimes do is throw in their infamous 3D animation mixed in with the modern traditional animation style seen in anime today . Much to my surprise, the Witchblade anime does not have GONZO’s awkward 3D animation. The only use of the GONZO’s infamous trademark animation is during the first closing theme and that is only shown briefly. In comparison to what came before it, this is a relief. In all due respect, the animation is actually not that bad despite that Studio GONZO is behind this. However, it isn’t perfect. There are some dully animated moments and I take it that the budget was limited in this show. It still looks good but the direction of animation is a bit questionable. If you saw pictures or even covers of this show, the designs make it blatantly clear that there will be some fanservice in it. Speaking of which, I am completely excusing any fanservice that Witchblade contains because it actually fits in this anime. Even though it’s not explained, It may appear obvious that the Witchblade and Cloneblade wielders appear like Succubi, and the fanservice is fitting because of this. If you don’t know what a Succubus is, then google it. But here’s the problem. The animation is sometimes rather dull in its presentation. The use of color had great potential because of its obvious expected fanservice. but the way the fanservice is used in the show is also not presented well either.. Another huge disappointment are the fighting scenes which the animation is sometimes not too great at presenting and the fight scenes are a little boring to look at sometimes. I will say that this was an honest effort by Studio GONZO since this is one of the few shows they made that doesn’t use cheap looking 3D animation. In comparison to what GONZO made before the Witchblade anime. The animation in this one exceeded my low expectations. “Benefit of a doubt”, I guess.
The music by Masanori Takumi doesn’t really stand out so much despite it fits the show just fine. There are certain themes you’ll be hearing A LOT in this show and it gets old pretty fast. The soundtrack did not leave much of an impression on me because it is rather limited and there are not that many themes that encompass the 24 episodes in this anime. It does fit the series, but I personally found it forgettable. In all honesty, I don’t have much to say about Takumi-san’s composition in the soundtrack. The first opening “XTC” is alright and a decent opening at that, but that’s all I can pretty much say about it. The first closing “Ashita no Te” is okay I guess. But the Witchblade anime contains one of the most useless and abominable anime openings I have ever heard and seen. I am referring to the second opening theme “Dear Bob”. I assume that the genre used is Reggae, that’s fine and dandy. here’s the problem. This opening is used in the second half of the show where the song does not fit whatsoever for the tone that this opening is used around. To add insult to disappointment, the visuals for the opening is completely fucking lazy. Not only does the song not fit, but the visuals are snippets of the first 12 episodes. The first opening has its own visuals to foreshadow the series. This second opening is boring. I cannot believe an opening like this exists and in my opinion, It is one of the worst anime openings I have ever witnessed. The second closing theme “Kutsu Himo” doesn’t leave much of an impression on me but it fits. I find the music area of the Witchblade anime to be severely lacking. but it gets WORSE.
But before I get there, I must point out the voice acting first. Mamiko Noto is alright as Masane, and I could say the same for Akemi Kanda as Rihoko, but that’s pretty much it for the Japanese casting despite it has a memorable name like Rikiya Koyama being in it. The Japanese cast is not bad, it does sound boring at times. This is where the English Dub does have some slight advantages. Jamie Marchi’s take on Masane is a little sketchy for some and I thought she was okay for the most part. She isn’t perfect on the role but she is somehow listenable. Carrie Savage is not too bad as Rihoko despite that she is a 6 year old character. She does well for the role. Mark Stoddard is not too bad as Takayama. Both Subbed and Dubbed Versions do not have an all-star cast and for an anime like this, but I am content with that. The Japanese cast isn’t terrible and neither is the English Dub. I could say you can’t go wrong with either one but the Dub cast does have some fun with the roles given to them and they actually put more effort in the performance to not make it too boring. The ADR direction does have some adaptive changes for the English script since there is an obvious translation difference that is much different than the original Japanese script. Some purists may be pissed over the fact that in the Japanese version, Masane was nicknamed “Masamune” which apparently means “undefeatable breasts”, don’t quote me on that. Whereas in the dub, she is nicknamed “Melony” because Tozawa refers Masane’s breasts to melons. This doesn’t bother me too much and I can see some anime purists getting a little worked up over this, but since I am not an anime purist since I do watch both Subs and Dubs of anime, this is something I am not going to stress too much about. Honestly, if the dub did have the “Masamune” nickname, people wouldn’t get the reference. As far as adaptive scripts go for the English language, I don’t have a problem with the “Melony” nickname. Both casts play their parts pretty well and that’s all I can say about the casting on both sides.
Unfortunately, even with the casting choices on both sides. The characters lose all distances of disbelief and I can’t believe this anime got away with the stupidity that some of you probably could not stand. Masane is by far the most questionable character in the Witchblade anime. Let’s see. She is chosen to wield the Witchblade whether she likes it or not. Her Witchblade form may be cool, but her personality and quirks really threw me off because Rihoko is the most mature 6 year old when it comes to characters and it doesn’t make any damn sense. She cooks for her mother, does the laundry, she even does her own shopping and makes housing arrangements by making a few phone calls. I do find it important as a viewer to distance my disbelief in regards to something that really shouldn’t be taken seriously. But what Rihoko does in the entire show makes this impossible to not take it seriously. These two leads are completely mixed up. Masane is immature, while Rihoko acts like a mature adult. What about the others characters? Don’t they stand out? No, not really. Maybe except Takayama. He at least is decent in the show. The characters are mostly forgettable in this show and they don’t even leave an impression. In fact, there are even some useless characters in this show. Naomi may be shy but she doesn’t do much to contribute to the plot despite she actually plays some part in the show. Michael is another character that doesn’t do much in the series. There are two characters I actually thought were okay, which was Reina and the person that the Neogenes call “Father”. Because of spoiler reasons. This show made me quickly hate a specific character introduced much later in the series. With the way the characters are played out, I could not believe the writing was this bad.
That is why the Witchblade anime really falls low. I know I may sound a bit picky during this review but I can’t help but stress how ridiculous the Witchblade anime is to me. I already commend GONZO for the honest effort in its animation as well as avoiding the usage of their craptastic 3D animation. The soundtrack may have not fared out so well, but its ridiculousness lies in its characters and the entire story. Here is one of my major problems with the anime as a whole. The Witchblade anime is inconsistent. The soundtrack doesn’t involve this and the animation isn’t affected too much. The first half of the show is where most of the flaws lie. The first half sort of has a monster of the week formula tied in with some twists and turns that really aren’t that impressive to begin with. The halfway point is where things actually start getting somewhere but that card is played late in the game. The second half is somewhat tolerable but because of spoiler reasons, the tolerable parts lead into a conclusion that without a doubt felt forced and that is another major problem with the Witchblade anime. It felt extremely forced and the direction is terrible at this and Yoshimitsu Ohashi doesn’t really direct much in anime..At first, I had low expectations and I didn’t mind if this show wasn’t meant to be taken seriously from the get-go. But guess what? The somewhat emotional moments in the Witchblade anime are supposed to make the viewer take it seriously. The Mother/Daughter relationship may have been touching at some parts but the direction made it difficult for me to see it as the anime’s saving grace. I will say that Witchblade does have some history. This anime is a loose adaptation of the comic book series of the same name which was published by Image Comics and currently published by Top Cow Productions. I have read a bit of the source material and I can see why some people like it for the artwork, which I believe is obvious. I’ve read a number of issues/chapters and found the Witchblade comic nice to look at but the story isn’t all that noteworthy and even the characters aren’t noteworthy either, what the comic got right was that Sara Pezzini is not immature for a main lead. Another interesting piece of Witchblade history is that the anime was not the only TV show based on the comic. There was a live-action TV series back in 2001 that somehow was critically acclaimed and popular with audiences but it was short-lived due to its cancellation. But the big question of the Witchblade anime is this. Is it an abomination compared to its source material? I’ll let you be the judge of that yourself, but personally… I will say “No”. The attempt of making the mother/daughter relationship touching does come from an honest place despite bad writing but the characters and story aren’t really noteworthy and the source material is more tolerable but it’s not Grade A material in terms of characters and story. The Witchblade comics are stylized with average substance. The Witchblade anime may not fare well with everybody but whether you like it, hate it, or are neutral towards the Witchblade anime. I can say that it would not hurt to watch it. The ridiculousness of this anime baffles me and it always made me wonder how the hell anyone thought the guys behind this adaptation thought the ideas were good for this anime. It is flawed for sure and I am content that this isn’t a masterpiece. I have seen adaptations FAR WORSE, Dragonball: Evolution anyone? M.Night Shyamalan’s Last Airbender movie anyone? Even though I am not in favor of this anime. I would not take it against you if you enjoyed this one. This is an anime that can be seen as a guilty pleasure under certain circumstances. But if you need to know anything from me before viewing this one. Don’t hold your expectations high on this one. I can say that Studio GONZO has made worse, their adaptation of Witchblade is not the absolute worst.
The Witchblade Anime is available from Funimation. A manga adaptation known as Witchblade Takeru written by Yasuko Kobayashi and illustrated by Kazuasa Sumita and it was going to be released by Bandai Entertainment but that plan was scrapped because Bandai Entertainment went under. It is currently unavailable in the U.S. A Japanese novel called Witchblade Ao no Shojo was never released in the U.S. The Television Show adaptation that originally aired on TNT is available from Warner Home Video. The original source material being the Witchblade Comic Book Series is available from both Image Comics and Top Cow Productions.
With all that said, The Witchblade anime offers something for a change by Studio GONZO in regards to animation. The soundtrack fits, but it is forgettable in the long run. The Witchblade anime suffers with poorly written characters with a badly written plot. The animation is a decent effort by Studio GONZO but if you like comics books so much while viewing this with low expectations, I could recommend this. If this doesn’t work for you, go for the source material instead. If the source material doesn’t do it for you, then look for something else to keep your mind occupied.
I give the Witchblade anime a 3.4 out of 10, it is WEAK!
I was half worried when I started watching this show that I'd end up dropping it halfway due to some negative feedback I'd gotten from others who'd watched it. However, I found myself surprisingly entertained and enjoying the show enough to actually keep myself watching it fully through.
Things I didn't like include the two openings, I always get ticked off when a series changes it's opening credits halfway through the show and when it changes to a peppy, jamaican reggae-esque song it gets even worse. The first opening wasn't that good anyway, but luckily they changed back to it in the final episode (nice surprise!).
Another, though not really that important matter, is the fact that the main character, Masane, seems to have magic implants that changes the size of her bust from episode to episode, or sometimes even from scene to scene. Other then that I can't really complain about much. Oh, except for the mouths of the characters, somehow they sometimes felt odd and off in some way.
Things I did like were numerous. I enjoyed the characters, even if some of them were slightly cliché, like Chou being a pervy old man and Mariko being the fat, grumpy land lady obsessing with money. The humour in the show is atleast entertaining and there isn't really that much focus on fan-service, sure, in Witch-form Masane's outfit is oddly cut and cleaved the fight-scenes never last that long anyway so it doesn't really matter. The storyline has some fun plot-twists and though you can guess yourself to some of them, atleast I was a bit surprised at times, then again I'm not particularly bright so it's not surprising I guess.
Things I'm staying neutral to are the fight-scenes. Allthough Masane and the Neogene-sisters have weird, oddly shaped outfits and seem to enter orgasm whenever they fight, the fights never go on for especially long periods of times and to some this might be bad and feel like the show is lacking, but I personally prefer short, decisive battles that don't span multiple episodes and making up 25% of the entire season.
The music then? Well, apart from the two different openings I didn't like, I can say that the battle-theme is quite nice. Oh sure it's pepped up and the "singer" is just making breath-noises, but I still found it enjoyable whenever it went on, a very fitting piece of music for the show. And if you don't agree then stick a pinecone up your butt 'cuz I don't care!
Now, to sum things up neatly. The show is fun and engaging enough to keep you interested to atleast complete watching it, maybe not enough so to make you run a marathon and watch it in an all-out-sitting, but you'll definetly want to finish it if you start. The ending is, in my opinion, fitting and good and though I was expecting a cheesy, happy cop-out I was happily surprised. Some of the humour is good and enjoyable, aswell as the show not doing any unnecessary boob-jokes, thankfully. Overall I like Witchblade and would say you atleast give it a try, the makers probably aimed for something dark and serious but didn't quite make it, though that's not necessarily a bad thing in my mind. Give it a shot, you'll entire enjoy it enough to see it through or get bored and drop it quickly.
Witchblade - i expected this anime to be a sort of *not much of a story but a lot of action and ecchi* anime, as i read the description on an anime streaming site. i just finished it and shall present to you my fresh impression of this anime.
to my biggest suprise, there was not that much of action in it, but quite a lot of talking. and there was no "ecchi" in it at all (expect of the girls to have really big boobs, but thats not really ecchi, is it). the more episodes you progress, the more interesting it gets, and i,
personally, was not bored even a second.
the main topic of this anime was the mother-daughter relationship of the main protagonist and her child. that makes this anime something special and "mature". in fact it gets really emotional at the end. about the ending... i shall say this much: its quite a sad ending.
all in all i really enjoyed watching this anime. witchblade is neither outstanding, nor a masterpiece, but its a really good anime which i would recommend to you if you search for an anime that differs from all other "action, superpower and sci-fi" animes, but still contains these genres.
(i know that this is not a professionlly written review, and that there are many grammar mistakes in it, i shall apologize for it. this is the first review of anything i have ever written ^_^)
Oh god… alright… this one is well… I see it as another one of those ‘Queen’s Blade’ style shows. It’s got tones of Fanservice, almost little story, and just overall was made as a thing to show powerful almost naked woman fighting. It’s not all that bad I guess in that it’s not as boring as Queen’s Blade and they actually tried to give the characters some depth but when the main characters breasts are so big that they flop no matter how she moves; it just throws me from the show.
This is based off of an American comic book character and if you look
at the two versions side by side, I would probably say this one is the more conservative of the two. As I never read the Witchblade series, I can’t say anything about storyline but what I have heard is that this one is only very loosely based on the original. All I do know though is that there is a lot of sexual things in this, especially when it comes right down to the fighting because it seems that all the ‘Witchblade’ characters get turned on by fighting one another. It makes for great fan service but not for a storyline that is supposed to be serious. The humor also breaks the seriousness of the show although in some parts, I guess it is needed. There are very adult things that they talk about like being a single mother and trying to keep her child while everyone around her is trying to break them apart. I really feel they push it a little too much though as it always seems like no one believes at all that Masane can be a mother. It’s like they don’t even give her a chance to be one.
The main storyline about the witchblade was nothing but holes in it as they explained little to no info about what was going on. They would lead you in one direction and then into another like they were jerking your collar so much you were having whiplash. Half way through; they added a whole new thing into it they were not even hinting at that just felt plastered in as well. I do have to say the ending was a bit tearful but it in my mind, it was not worth going threw the rest of the show.
The animation is nicely put together, very clean cut and loveable designs though the background is a little lacking in detail although better for Gonzo. Gonzo is a strange studio, they either win or don’t. This one… well for the animation, it might be one of his better ones in there pocket. Another thing I hate is the large amount of fan service in the act of large breasted women that their breasts go everywhere. Breasts do not move how their breasts move unless they are full of water and probably about to explode from being inflated that much. The fighting scenes which seem to make up most of the shows is not all that well done, I almost have to say it is a bit like any fighting show where clothing is torn off. Even though her clothing doesn’t fly off, it’s really more of a fan service to show her butt and breasts every chance they get. Not to mention the rather sexual ‘horniness’ that she gets while fighting. It’s like watching prono in that aspect without the male partner.
The voices now are a little odd. I’m not fond of Rihoko’s voice, being a bit whinny in my mind. Most of the voices do match the characters but even though they do, I wanted to cringe when I heard them. I think that the music was really good, perfect for the fight scenes though any other background sounded like a day in the life of the characters, just not that well done. The beginning and ended aren’t really very memorable though the opening is a little better then the ending.
It’s an ok show to watch but I’m not sure why. The underlining plot is well done and the fan service is ok but other then that, well… I guess I’m fine with one time watching.
I must say, when I first looked up this anime I thought it would be mainly fanservice and no story, so I dropped it after the first episode. However after a couple years I finally gave it a second chance and I'm glad I did. My favorite part of the whole series is Masane and Rihoko's mother-daughter relationship, I found it so sweet and heartwarming, I'm glad it was the main part of the series. The action scenes were good but sometimes the fanservice was a little too distracting, could've done with a little less of that. Overall I highly reccomend this show! :)
Story behind Witchblade Anime kept me going from the 1st episode to the last one; the plot that keeps together a mother/daughter relationship forces us to feel both the pain and joy they experience. It's impossible to avoid psychical contact with problems that characters in this anime have to struggle with. While watching the show, You actually feel like Your a part of it.
If it goes to Art, it's the best I’ve seen in an anime series, that long, so if You like to please Your eyes, that's one of the best shows I could recommend You.
Soundtrack/effects during battles, or more emotional base scenes is
sinking in Your bones, and I might say that without the music this show would lose half of it's value.
Enjoyment? Yes I had, as I start my review looking mostly from how I felt after ending this anime. I can't say I did found anything wrong in Witchblade; sound is great, art is pure candy, story is deep and enjoyable in every episode, enjoyment I can't even pick proper words how to describe it, so in overall, as much as I hate doing it I unfortunately have to give this anime a full 10.
This is my first review so I hope all who read find it informational.
First of all, I have been watching anime nonstop for a year or so now, and out of all that I have watched, none have actually been able to make me cry until I watched this one. Many of the ending episodes were so emotional that they truly brought tears to my eyes.
The story was great and unique. I loved that they incorporated so many different genres into it. Besides the main action and sci-fi genres, I love how they threw a little comedy, drama, and romance into the mix. It really
brought more enjoyment into watching it.
The character development was incredible to watch. Some characters you just knew you had to root for and some were more complicated then first anticipated. Most of all, Rihoko is the most adorable 6 year old who will definitely pull on your heart strings.
Depending on your anime preferences, you may love this anime or you may not. All I can tell you is that it will probably take me a couple of weeks to get over the ending.
I sincerely hope you love this anime as much as I did!
When this series first came out I didn't pay any attention to it. About two months ago my older brother bought the box set and he loved it and a week ago he let me borrow it. The anime is loosely based off the comic which I read and really liked. Still I wasn't expecting to much from the series but I was wrong.
The story was very good. Focusing on the mother( Masane) and daughter(Rihoko) relationship. The Witchblade plays a secondary role in the anime which I thought was good. The two problems with the story was the back
story of the blade which they never even hinted at. The biggest problem though was the ending. It was plain terrible, you can tell it was rushed. I know there are many reasons a anime series ends to soon. From being unpopular to running out of money, but they could have at least tried to make a coherent ending. They should have extended it to 26 episodes that would have been more than enough time to give a ending to the series.
Perhaps the best part of the series were the characters. Masane and Rihoko were great as mother and daughter. They brought the emotion to the series and you end up really caring for them. The other characters from Reiji, Hiroki, Shiori and the rest all add something to the series.
The animation done by GONZO was brilliant, but what do expect from one of the best anime studios. The music was also outstanding.
Overall a great anime worth watching, but prepare to be a little let down with the ending.
Witchblade was one of the first animes I had watched and now that I look back on it, it was pretty damn good. I remember when I first found Witchblade I was working off the high of a lot of ecchi and was all like ermahgerd a chick wearing like no clothes fighting robots and shit this is gonna be sweet! As I watched Witchblade I was pleased to find that yes there are tits and explosions, but I found myself not watching Witchblade for those reasons. Witchblade is not about the boobies and blades it is actually a really feeling story about a woman
and her daughter trying to put together a life. This plot evolves into a much grander scheme involving big corporations and their weapons of mass destruction, which is also awesome and shit. What I enjoyed the most about Witchblade was how much I began to feel for the characters. You wanted to comfort them, you wanted to be mad with them and when an anime makes you feel, it has got to be a pretty good anime. Witchblade is a great ride and I highly recommend it. Its touching story, intense fights, and yes boobs, make Witchblade a pretty cool anime.
Witchblade is among the epitome of don't judge a book by its cover. Most probably know that the anime is one of many adaptations of the Witchblade comic (made in America), so just based on that you might not even watch it knowing the track rate of those shows.
While the cover art might make it seem like the show is a ecchi fighting anime, it's actually a show about how a mother is trying to protect her daughter. The Witchblade is the "Ultimate Weapon" and whoever is chosen by it has the urge to fight. Obviously several organizations want the Witchblade for themselves, and the
other portion of the story is how these are dealt with.
I will say the pacing changes greatly in the later part where the show seems rather rushed at the end in contrast to the slow speed at the start. The ending also left a lot to be desired, especially after a disappointing final fight.
Many of the primary characters are very appealing. Masane, the bearer of the Witchbalde and the protagonist, is not only physically attractive but has a good spirit and a type of genuine motherly instinct., countered only by her apparent scatter brain. Her daughter is completely adorable in every way.
The cast itself is rather large, but only a handful of characters actually have any real importance. I will go on to say that the motives for some of the antagonists are questionable beyond just achieving the Witchblade, but they do a good job making you hate them.
The animation is very good. The Witchbalde outfit is especially well done and the action scenes are all well animated. Some of the unimportant sequences seem a little relaxed, which is a shame.
So essentially, if you want to see a hot mom who cares for her daughter kick some ass then this is a show for you. It has appealing characters and some motivating emotion that is slightly hemmed by a weak later portion of the show. Even so, there are more than a pair of reasons to watch this anime.
Witchblade appears as if when in production the writing team were sitting at their round table, and just going down a checklist on the many different sub genres they want, not need, to add into their show in hopes of telling a story. It attempts to be a jack of all trades but clearly excels in none. This anime was a total disappointment for me that resulted in being a massive waste of time; but there's a mass of very easy to please otaku's out there whom will swear to you otherwise. They claim this anime is truly excellent and it's quite rewarding to
the viewer. I'm not exactly sure how, but one thing is for sure though, it gave me more virtual rocks to sling at these lousy works masquerading as brilliance.
The plot follows Masane as she finds herself fighting against the Douji Industries experimental weapons that have gone astray. These weapons are called X-Cons, and they appear to be humans that morph into deadly machinery. She also goes up against other females of her kind that are actually cloned from the Witchblade science, and these women are called Neogenes. While she battles them, child welfare is on her ass about the young girl Rihoko. The series promises a lot; it starts out great, there are subplots, story and plot elements involving the origin of the Witchblade along with corporate intrigue. Unfortunately, some things are delved into while others are simply discarded. To be crystal clear, they focus on the completely irrelevant shit that either serves no purpose in pushing the story, or consistently beat home the same themes, and these are my main reasons for hating this anime so much.
It's true that Witchblade is a character driven anime that doesn't focus a whole lot on action, but it fails in properly delivering the former. There are way too many characters receiving some type of development, and in this case, it happens to be Masane's neighbors. I get what the writers were shooting for; they wanted to establish family values amongst strangers which is fine. The problems are that it relies on way too many gimmicks, such as the lecherous old man which was long played out since the 80's, and the mousy female who just never breaks her mold. There's even one character who goes the entire anime never saying a word; and we're suppose to fall for these people? They're some how suppose to be more interesting than the Witchblade's origin? Well, at least to me they weren't.
The show's biggest bulls-eye for failure in regards to its characters falls on 6 year old Rihoko. This character is completely unbelievable, as she's self aware of her surroundings to the point where she does all of the food shopping by herself, cooks the meals, polices up her drunk mother, and even argues with her mother on which man is good enough for her. Yet for some strange reason, this precocious toddler needed to be explained the concepts of heaven and death. One would think that she was already well-versed in this a long time ago. I mean after all, she is obviously smarter than her own mother. This didn't work for Hell Girl, and it sure as hell ain't working for Witchblade either. I also get it was meant to somehow be cute, but if you're attempting to bring your cast to life they must be believable first.
The dull and misguided characterization overshadows the more interesting elements going on here. It's mentioned at some point in the anime, that the Douji Industry does have information on past Witchblade holders; this could have been some pretty interesting storytelling as it would have shed some light on seriously nagging questions, and after all, IT IS among the most important plot elements of the series. You get nothing though, instead, you get this group of characters going to the beach. The Neogenes also were pretty interesting, you get very little on them as well, because we have to watch these characters have dinner together, again. The lack of information and untied loose ends makes the rushed ending even more inexcusable, because you knew there was time to cover all of these things, yet they chose to substitute substance with lots of filler. No joke, you could eliminate up to 50% of the cast, drop a bunch of episodes, and the story would flow much better. The show is also very predictable, you will know what the characters are going to do before they do it.
The claim that this anime is jam-packed with awesome action scenes is a motherfuckin' lie. There are plenty of shortcuts taken with the animation. There aren't too many good exchanges between Masane and the other Neogenes. Some of the encounters are decent at the very best, but there are way too many one slash victories and unseen action. To make up for this, the girls are very scantily-clad. I mean they fight with their ass cheeks out of the suit and there is a lot of focus on this. Now I'm not gay, but I cannot find myself getting all horny for animated chicks. The gore is pretty low as many deaths are barely even shown. The character designs are definitely products of Gonzo Studio, as you will see a heavy likeness to other projects such as Burst Angel and Full Metal Panic; the females are drawn with major sex appeal, with Masane sporting a huge rack and everything else. Her design reminds me of Myleen Hoffman from 009-1.
Now the designs for the X-Cons have no type of imagination whatsoever. They are far from interesting even in the things that they do. I never saw myself looking forward to the next encounter. As for the soundtrack, I found myself skipping the opening and ending J-Rock themes, and even though some of the BGM helped with the action scenes; they felt wasted on this for the most part. I can't complain about the dub, since the usual suspects being Robert McCollum, Carrie Savage (Rihoko), and Jamie Marchi (Masane) were more than tolerable. In fact, I think they had really good chemistry.
Overall, Witchblade to me is just another of Studio Gonzo's failures. The only thing really done well was the relationship between Masane and Rihoko; if felt as if they were more than mother and daughter, they felt like best friends. It's such a shame though that the anime failed to deliver on its many promises. Major story elements were dropped, there was too much focus on disposable characters, rushed ending, and the plot spun its wheels so much. I would never recommend this anime to someone I like. If you're hunting for a solid action anime that delivers in that category at the very least, then Baki the Grappler will be a good pick. If it's action and character development you want, go with Fighting Spirit then. This blade is best left in its scabbard.
Highs: Some good moments between main characters at times
Lows: Fails to truly excel in every category it ventures in
Witch blade is a story about the most loving mother in the world who would do anything for her daughter mixed in with technological advances and the most powerful weapon in all creation (which gives her a lust for violence) along with a memorable cast of friends and enemies.
Like many others have said in their reviews "Never judge a book by it's cover"really comes into to play for this anime. I thought this would just be a teenage boxum babe vs another teenage boxum babe type anime that would only focus on fan service I was dead wrong.
Story - The main focus is a Masane
and her 7-8 year old daughter Riko the two of them face many struggles from running away from the "Child protection agency" (aka NSWF) and finding a place to live. The first part of the story is about Masane trying to prove that she is more than capable of taking care of Riko on her own so that Riko and her can stay together.
When a monster also know as "X-CON" attacks Masane in a jail after she was separated by Riko , Masane's power awakens using the "witchblade" to not only save herself , but destroy the X-CON. She is hired by Dojima industries which is a arms dealer corporation but the main focus is on the relation ship between Masane and the companies Director (who sorta reminds me of bruce wayne.)
Using her pay from her job (Killing X-CONs) Masane settles down at bar/restaurant/apartment complex with her daughter. This place is full of interesting characters : the perverted old man , the timid fortune teller , a big yet silent man named Micheal (who is later discovered to be somebody famous from over seas ) , the owner and land lady who is still full of energy and is one of the first people to take care of Riko , and Yuusuke who could also be considered a Hero in this story who is a freelance photographer who snoops around places like the NSWF for information to sell to the media much to the police cheif's chargin.
Clone blades or "sisters" are the main antagonist in this story yet most of them have problems of their own like Reina's desire to be a mother to her daughter and learning more about human emotions and the Third generation of sister Maria's (main antagonist) desire to be loved by a mother. Clone blades like the original have a certain defect the cause the user to break in other words die. the second half of the series focuses on Masane preparing for her death and making sure Riko will be taken care of by her father which turns out to be the Director that Masane has feelings for.
The final part of this anime is the battle between Masane (Witch blade) vs the last three sisters vs Iweapons (machines) that are now acting like X-CONs and are drawn to the witch blades power. Masane uses up her last moments to take down the strongest sister Maria and save Riko (Who would of ended up the next witch blade) from the same fate as herself by destroying the witchblade with its own power and herself in the process making the ultimate sacrifice for her daughter. The anime ends with Riko standing with the director (Masane's lover) remembering what Masane said "I will always be with you."
Art - Character design is to notch I found most of the girls down right beautiful. And the scenery of the tower at the final moments was a masterpiece.
Sound - Pretty badass fighting soundtracks definite ipod ad and the for the touching/softer moments they had the perfect tunes.
The first OP "XTC" (Escasty) was the embodiment of Masane's excitement she found in battle which was brought back on the final episode since Masane would have a lot of slaying to do thus alot of excitement putting her life on the line.
The second OP "Dear bob" is really refreshing mixing soft rock with sorta reggae really original sound to be found in a anime. It now makes me cry becuase the animation of teh OP is full of heartwarming moments of Masane and Riko with the rest of the cast.
Characters - All of the supporting characters excuted their roles perfectly very entertaining.
Main developments were -
Takayma (Director) - Becoming more human like and learning how to smile and have fun thanks to his daughter Riko and Masane his love.
Masane - She starts off pretty childish and mostly has to have Riko tell her what is right from wrong even though she is the mother. She gains responsibility pretty fast juggling motherhood with destroying X-CONS. She ultimately she matures and finds out a peaceful way to tell Riko about her slowly dieing that she will always be with her.
Enjoyment / Overall
A excellent and entertaining anime I am glad I gave it a chance.
For someone like me, I have a little harder of a time enjoying something, especially animated things when its a little bit older. It's snobbish I know, but I like what I like. However thats not the point here, since it was a little bit of an older anime, if your like me, you really have to get past the shotty artwork at times and pay attention to the story line.
It did take a while to get used to but once I did, minus the crazy amount of fan service, the storyline was actually pretty decent. Fair amounts of feels, and actions, and the
character growth was actually done pretty well.