Momiji is an average girl until the day she finds she is the descendant of the great Kushinada family. Only she, with her Kushinada blood, can stop the Aragami, demonic plant-like monsters threatening to destroy Japan. Along to help her is the TAC, and a possible love interest in a young man named Kusanagi.
Story: I love the story, early on the show is monster of the week but about half way through it because one straight story. It is mainly about how heritage is ignored in modern society and on this note; they never go overboard and mix in enough action that it is usually moving forwards.
Art: The show's art is a little dated and the colors seemed to be faded but monster design, animation, and the actual art, such as backgrounds and character designs were done quite well.
Sound: The score of this anime is done by Kenji Kawaii,
also known for Ghost in the Shell, if you liked his work there as I have, you will like it here, from the upbeat going to school them, to the tragic theme, it varied and all done masterfully.
The voice acting in the US is a bit bad at first but around episode 3 and 4 all the characters fall into their roles and it works.
The Japanese voice work is done well, highlighted by Megumi Hayashibara as the lead.
Character: From the superstitious gun lover to the obsessed scientist the entire cast is fleshed out over the 26 episodes so that no one fells left out. Everyone gets an episode and even when it is not their episode, they still grow and get development. The two leads also get plenty of time to develop.
Enjoyment: My favorite anime, I really enjoyed it, if you allow yourself to get enthralled you will have a fun, scary, and sometime, sad ride.
Overall: While the art is a little dated, everything else is.
Blue Seed is a work created by Yuzo Takada of 3x3 Eyes fame and anime produced by Production I.G./Movic/Ashi Productions and tells the story of 15-year-old Momiji Fujimiya, a descendant of the ancient Kushinada family, and due to circumstances is taken into protection of the TAC, a government agency that combats the Aragami, an ancient race of youkai that have awoken and are out to take over Japan. Another person, Mamoru Kusanagi, former protector of Kaede Kunikida, has defected from the side of the Aragami and becomes Momiji's protector. It turns out that Kaede and Momiji are twins separated at birth and the circumstances of
their birth caused the Aragami to awaken with the splitting of the Kushinada blood between them. As things take a dramatic turn later on in the story, will the Japanese government have no choice but to sacrifice Momiji's life in order to defeat the Aragami once and for all? Not only that, but Kaede's reappearance causes a new twist in the events of the story as she along with the ressurrected god Susano-oh plot against humanity for their crimes against nature and Momiji, believing in the good of humanity, must confront her twin. I enjoyed how the story was told in blending in modern Japanese life and ancient Japanese legends and the romance between Kusanagi and Momiji.
The anime itself came out in 1994-95 with 26 episodes, the art itself improved in the latter episodes, but overall the characters looked very well drawn and their designs matched the personality of the character, such as the conservative appearance of Kaede to the ecchi appeal of Sakura Yamazaki when decked out in her revealing red dress.
I was pleased with the sound of Blue Seed with music by Kenji Kawai, OP song by Takada Band, and ED song by Momiji's seiyuu, Megumi Hayashibara. Intersting trivia about Takada Band, the male singer of the duo is none other than seiyuu, Fumihiko Tachiki(Gendo of Evangelion, Kenpachi of Bleach). Megumi Hayashibara has worked on other Yuzo Takada projects in lead roles as 3x3 Eyes' Pai and the title character Nuku Nuku of the Nuku Nuku of the franchise. Other talents include Kazuhiko Inoue as the bad boy male lead, Mamoru Kusanagi, Akio Ohtsuka as the TAC's leader, Daitetsu Kunikida, Ai Orikasa as the cool Ryoko Takeuchi, Yoshiko Sakakibara as the head scientist Asuza Matsudaira, Kotono Mitsuishi as the gun-happy Kome Sawaguchi(her character in Blue Seed is often nicknamed Sailor Boom due to her seiyuu also voicing Sailor Moon), Yuji Ueda as the computer whiz Yoshiki Yaegashi, and Jouji Nakata as the evil Murakumo.
I felt the characters were really well produced and developed well. I especailly liked how Momiji's character development was played out. She was presented as a character who doesn't settle into the role of a damsel in distress, she prefers to be out there fighting and doing her part and doesn't rely heavily on the others. Momiji does enter into an inferiority phase when it concerns her perfect twin Kaede and thinks her beloved Kusanagi rather be with Kaede than her, and even when she learns what Kaede has in store for humanity, Momiji never shows hatred for Kaede and bares no ill will towards her. So I commend Yuzo Takada in creating a balanced heroine with a strong will, a sensitive nature, and a good heart. Kusanagi is also another great character, although he's a pervet towards Momiji in the beginning of the series, he is dedicated to her, although he himself has a phase in which he is chasing after Kaede, he loves Momiji and resolves to be with her after settling things were Kaede is concerned. The Kusanagi-Momiji-Kaede story parallels the Inuyasha-Kagome-Kikyo story, but the former is handled much better with the supporting characters maintaining a neutral stance and not taking one side over the other, although Yaegashi himself had a crush on Momiji. Even Yaegashi's character is treated well as he shows good character development and is paired in the end with someone(usually characters like Yaegashi never get a girl and are left single in the end).
My enjoyment overall was a pleasant experience as it accomplishes what Inuyasha never did with well rounded character leads, a good set of a supporting cast around the leads, and a main villain I could take seriously. It's a shame that Blue Seed is an obscure title that few people have seen as compared to the runaway hit Inuyasha, as I felt Blue Seed has more likeable characters than Inuyasha and better than Inuyasha in terms of story and romance. I'm proud to be a Blue Seed fan and it is a title I would reccommend to anybody.
Blue Seed makes for a decent series, though it does have some bumps one has to get past before getting to much of the show's better stuff in later episodes. While the early episodes do their part in introducing the characters and the show's premise with Momiji being targeted by the Aragami, many of the episodes tend to follow a "monster of the day" style plot where a random Aragami is killing off parts of the human populace with Momiji, Kusanagi and the members of TAC tasked with killing off said threat. Some of the episodes do feature focus on one of the TAC members.
But otherwise, the "monster of the day" setup tends to get repetitive after a while. The show's implementation of comedy also came across as a bit hit or miss for me. For instance, I did enjoy some of Sawaguchi's destructive antics yet didn't get much enjoyment out of the show's running gag of Momiji's random panty shots and Kusanagi teasing her about it.
Looking past these flaws, the show's later episodes get into some surprising plot developments once Murakumo is introduced around the middle of the series. Some pretty shocking developments in Blue Seed's plot come along concerning the motivations surrounding Murakumo, the Aragami and an old acquaintance of TAC which I won't spoil here. These later developments did keep me hooked to the show for its final episodes and were more than enough to make up for the setup of Blue Seed's earlier episodes.
Outside of said later episodes, Blue Seed does offer a good amount of fleshing out on many of its characters, counting the individual members of TAC, as you get to learn more of their backgrounds, some of whom are a bit on the tragic side and connected to the Aragami threat. The series also does a solid job at setting up suspense with the various Aragami encounters, as well as exploring the past origins of the monsters and the different means in which they were dispatched. The anime was basically making its own loose take on elements of mythology commonplace in the Izumo prefecture of Japan and Shintoism, particularly the Eight-Headed Orochi and the water god Susanoo.
In terms of animation, Blue Seed is of standard quality for a mid-90s TV anime title with faded colors, washed-out backgrounds, normal use of animation shortcuts and character designs with a decent amount of detail applied to them.
Overall, Blue Seed does make for a solid 90s anime to check out thanks to its fleshed-out cast, supernatural elements and engaging second half. The anime does have some shortcomings from its "monster of the day" setup in its first half and its comedic elements. But otherwise, it is still worth checking out if you are looking for older anime titles to catch your interest.
I loved the story. It mirror’s the real folklore even if it is in the here and now. I don’t really like Momiji much. She seems a lot like a whiny little bitch that gets what she wants. She is always getting into trouble and needing someone to save her. She does grow but I don’t think enough. I always get mixed up between the name Kushinada and Kusanagi. They are way to similar and I wish that I wish they could have changed his name so I wouldn’t have that problem. Sadly, its part of the manga as well and so it’s really Yuzo
Takada’s fault. There is a lot of talking and when it does get to the fighting, it lacks much in drawing me in. The reason I love this story though is the underlining Romance. It has a lot of couples, from the high school crush to the adult business man love. I also like the little Omake’s at the end of the episodes.
The animation is alright, though very very vintage. Colors are rather milky and dull, sometimes making it hard to see little bits of the show. Sadly, even the characters look rather gray. It skips a lot as well, making the animation look a bit choppy. The designs are pretty much puffy heads and wide eyes for all the characters and a lot of fan service with Momiji. It seems not every girl is in the fan service, just her which feels just wrong. It’s like more care had been done to her skimpy outfits rather then when she is normally clothed. The fighting scenes are lacking in movement and sometimes you can’t tell who is the good guy and who is the bad, making them feel like a big mess.
The voices… well it’s a hit or miss and I like most of the English ones with one or two exceptions. The Japanese feels a bit to stiff then I think it should be delivered but it could just be the amount of business people in the story. There is a lot of taking, and heavy on business and science which does get in the way.