43 of 43 episodes seen
Yet, despite all this, for some reason I just loved this show, for several reasons. First off, this is a great coming of age story for the main character, Amaro. It's really exciting to watch Amaro go from rookie pilot to one of the best over the course of the show, it makes things quite rewarding. In fact, I'd say almost all the characters in the show grow a little, almost every main character on the White Base gets developed pretty well. And it is the same with the "bad guys", which obviously adds a lot to the show.
Speaking of the bad guys, I love how both sides of the war have both good and bad people, it's very realistic and avoids the somewhat corny trait a lot of shows have when they have pure evil vs. pure good (see: Hokuto No ken). Lots of the fighting and politics, and how the world ends up after space are all pretty plausible, which is another nice touch to get you immersed into Gundam's world.
Despite all the great stuff on the side, in the end, the show developers knew exactly what people wanted when they watched this show, and that was sweet Gundam fights. While it can get a little predictable, almost every episode features a fight with Gundam. All these fights are really well done, especially ones with Amaro's main rival, Char. They are pretty intense, and it's fun to watch Amaro get better and better.
In order to keep things from getting too stale, there are generally mini-arcs happening during all the fighting. For example, an important person might be injured/sick for a few episodes, and the rest of the crew has to adapt. These arcs aren't usually too complex, but they do a good job of developing everyone and keeping the fights a little fresh.
It should be noted that despite first airing in the 70s, the art isn't too bad. Explosions and such look kind of lame, but I still found myself excited during action scenes. The music is extremely awesome though, which was a huge surprise.
Overall, I just never imagined such an old show would really grab me like Gundam did. Despite being a bit formulaic, it executes everything read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Haibane Renmei is about people with an angel like appearance called Haibane. They are born with no memory of the past, in a town surrounded by walls. The show is about this town and the Haibane. Dozens of questions will linger in your mind about why certain things are done in town, as much as the show will make you wonder about the answers to these questions, they sadly don't answer many of them. This can be kind of annoying at times, but it also adds to the show in a lot of ways. I found myself deep in though several times while watching.
One weak part of the show is the cast. Despite the fact that several characters are in the spotlight, only a few of them were very interesting or had much development. Also, while the show isn't meant to be full of drama or action, the show can just be amazingly dull at times, with nothing interesting happening. The show picks up near the last 4 episodes, but there's a stretch in the middle where I was pretty damn bored, which takes down the show a bit.
I guess one of the shows main appeals can also be its downfall at times. The show can be quite relaxing and interesting to watch, but other times they take its relaxing pace a bit too far.
The art is unspectacular, but solid. The sound on the other hand is incredibly beautiful and works quite well with the mood of the show.
Overall, Haibane Renmei may be a bit too slow for many people to tackle, but if you have some patience, it can be a pretty rewarding show to make it through. read more
5 of 5 episodes seen
Afro's plot is just plain stupid really. It starts off with the always reliable revenge story, but then it turns into a lot of stupid crap about trying to be #1 in the world. The character motivations to kill the hell out of each other never really make sense, so it's frustrating that so much time is spent on them.
They try really hard to make Afro the coolest man ever, but well, he ends up not really standing out from any "badass" character I've ever seen. Pretty much every other character in the show is basically annoying.
Afro's main redeeming point is the fights, in which there are sadly not enough of them. All the fights in Afro are ridiculously gory, stylish, and satisfying. I might even say jaw-dropping. It's easy to look forward to the fights, but sadly, they don't occur nearly as often as they should. The amount of the fights on the show do start to increase a bit as the show goes on, but for the most part, they don't seem as good as the show goes on. I think that after the initial shock and awe of the blood and gore, the fight scenes kind of lose their effect, but they are still pretty fun.
Afro Samurai's attempts to be stylish and cool really work when it comes to the fights. When it comes to the plot, the attempt to make a classic tale super cool and stylish end up falling completely flat. Afro Samurai was a shot with high potential to be an awesome guilty-pleasure. Instead, I just felt guilty that I devoted an hour and a half of my life to it. I wouldn't reccomend watching this, even if you are a total action freak. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
In order to do this, Major implements two major storylines during season 3. The first one is very similar to season 1, as Goro is forced to essentially make a team from scratch, composed of baseball rookies. The second storyline is something I will leave as a surprise.
Over the course of season 3, both these storylines are kind of hit or miss, sometimes they annoyed me, sometimes it really did lead to a more exciting show. Because of that, Season 3 definitely isn't as good as season 2.
However, don't let that discourage you from watching the show! Season 3 of Major is once again some awesome sports shounen. It's a bit unrealistic, but the baseball is always exciting. And they really have crafted a fantastic character in Shigeno Goro. It's easy to keep rooting for the good guys solely for how awesome Goro is.
The most important part of Season 3 is the inevitable clash with Kaido. This match has been built up for 2 seasons, and luckily, it lives up to the build and the hype, and the match ends up being very satisfying. It would have been a huge disappointment if after all the build up, the match sucked, but luckily, they delivered.
Basically, everything else is as it always has been. There isn't too much of a need to elaborate. If you liked the first 2 seasons of Major, there is really no reason to not watch this. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
I rated Major Season 1 a 9/10. It was exciting, but it had a few things holding it back. The first half of the season didn't have that much in terms of baseball games, there was a lot of romance subplots that were tough to care too much about. And, it was kind of ridiculous to see little leaguers practically playing like pros.
Major Season 2 comes in and fixes just about everything that was wrong with Season 1. First off, the show has baseball games right from the start. There's only a few episodes of building up to the big games, they get right into it, which is awesome. In keeping with the theme of more baseball, all the subplots this time around revolve around baseball as well. There isn't any silly parent/kid drama like last time. No romance subplots. The entire plot revolves around what the anime is supposed to be about.
Also, the games seemed a little less ridiculous this time. I mean, there's still some crazy plays. But the fact that they are in high school now, and not a bunch of little shrimps made it so my immersion wasn't ruined by it this time around.
I think the plot is a lot more interesting and innovative this time around as well. Season 1 was your standard story of a boy wanting his team to become the best. This time around, the story revolves around high school powerhouse Kaido, and Goro's interactions with them. There are some surprisingly good plot twists, and I found the story to be a nice breath of fresh air.
The art and sound are once again great. I thought they did a good job drawing the older versions of everyone from season 1, the music is good once again.
Overall, if you watched Major Season 1, you probably liked it, and I have no doubt you will like season 2 as well. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
Ok no more major puns, I promise! Major Season 1 is pretty much your standard sports shounen. It's very well made, but it has a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses as other sports related shows.
The best part about Major would have to be the characters. They spend quite a bit of time developing most of the players on the team, as well as other characters, like Goro's rivals (the main character). It's pretty easy to get into the baseball games that you watch because the show does a good job at making you care about the "good guys".
As for the baseball itself, it can be quite intense, but the show kind of falls into the trap of being a little ridiculous, like a lot of sports shows can be. You'll see unreal comebacks, ridiculous strategies, and elementary school kids that have the ability to beat high schoolers. Sometimes it's OK, but other times it can really ruin your ability to become immersed with the show.
The games can be a bit predictable at times as well, I found it kind of obvious when they would win and when they would lose, but I was still usually very into the games, so I have to give them a lot of credit for that. The last game especially has no silly gimmicks like some other games, and ends up being a great conclusion to the season.
While the 2nd half of the show concentrates on Goro's little league baseball team, the 1st half of the show actually doesn't have that much baseball, it more concentrates on building characters and a storyline. And surprisingly, the part of the show without baseball isn't bad at all. There is a somewhat predictable romance storyline, and then a pretty shocking twist that I didn't see coming that turns everything upside down. It felt a little lacking and boring at times, but I still enjoyed the first half of the show overall. So while the main appeal of the show is baseball, they do a good job with the non-baseball elements.
Another thing they do a good job with is the art and sound. The animation is crisp, the art is mostly pretty, although I think the baseball fields look kind of ugly and unfinished. The music adds a lot to some of the more epic moments during the baseball, and is very good.
Overall, Major doesn't end up being a major-league disappointment, but it doesn't end up being major-league good either. It's more of a "very good" show. People who know baseball may be a little turned off by some ridiculous parts, but the baseball is still exciting, and the non-baseball stuff isn't half-bad either. Major is a show I would reccomend to anyone who likes sports shounen. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
Planetes starts about how you might expect a show with such an odd premise to begin. It's a very quirky show, practically a comedy/sitcom type show. The first 13 episodes or so are all episodic, there's lots of laugh, and the show rarely takes itself too seriously. At this point I would call the show very good. It was entertaining, but, I never felt compelled to watch the next episode immediately after finishing one. I'd be fine to wait a while before booting up a new episode.
And then, the second half of the show begins. This is where arcs begin to start, the show starts to have more continuity, and basically, it becomes more of a serious space drama show. This is when the show really kicks it up a notch and becomes the masterpiece I think it is. The second half of the show offers some incredibly intense moments, lots of philosophical talk about whether space development is really needed for mankind, and some awesome character development.
In fact, all 26 episodes of Planetes have some amazing character development. All the characters on the space debris crew have at least one episode where they get a decent amount of focus. In fact, pretty much everyone who gets a decent amount of screen time gets fleshed out. It's actually pretty amazing. All the characters are also very real feeling. I think I could see a lot of these characters in real life. And because of that, you see most of the characters good sides and ugly sides. There may be times when you dislike a character that you once liked, especially with the main character, Hachimaki. This as a whole makes the characters feel even more authentic though.
The most interesting thing about Planetes characters isn't just how they develop, but how they interact. Events happen, and over the course of the show, almost all the characters change in some ways. In a lot of shows, despite character development, all the characters seem to interact with each other in mostly the same way, but in Planetes, all the interactions become different as characters change and know each other better. They even realize when someone has changes. It's a cool dynamic and adds a lot to the show.
Planetes is pretty short, and I never thought it got stale at all throughout the whole ride. I think it helped a lot that the show was more of a comedy in the first half. When the switch is made to more of a drama, the change of pace helps things to never get boring.
The best part of Planetes as a whole though is the way it makes you think. You will find yourself thinking a lot about this fictional world, and also about how it applies to the world today. The messages the show sends are kind of "in your face", but they are only in your face when it comes to the world Planetes is set in. It takes some thinking to really apply it to our world today, so I don't think anyone will really be put off by it.
Planetes art and sound are also pretty fantastic. I thought all the animation was pretty crisp and they do a good job crafting characters that look just as unique from each other as their personalities are. The sound is really awesome too, the opening theme is especially cool. The only flaw is that, the ending theme is very happy and perky, which worked perfectly for the first half of the show, however, in the 2nd half of the show, when the show gets serious, it gets flat out awkward. For example, someone will be pointing a gun at someone, the episode ends, and then some of the happiest music you could imagine comes on. It's not a big deal, but it can kind of ruin the intensity that the episode just left you with.
Despite the lack of action, I think this is a show almost anyone can enjoy. It's smart, has great character development, and can be very intense. I highly reccomend it to anyone. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
Kaiji (mostly) accomplishes this. The main character, Kaiji, plays several different games in which he risks his life/body parts, etc. Some of the games he plays are extraordinarily clever. The first arc especially, has one twist after another, and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
From there, the show is more off and on. A few of the games don't have any clever aspects and strategy like the first arc, which was disappointing, but I do give them credit for at least being pretty intense. These games just aren't at the level of the first arc though. One other game Kaiji plays comes close, but it isn't quite there. Basically, the first 10 episodes of Kaiji are absolutely amazing, and from there the show is a bit more off and on.
Another key to games anime is generally to have some great characters. No matter how clever the writing is for the game, if you aren't compelled to cheer for the good guys, these games lose a lot of their intensity. Kaiji is a bit different from other shows in this regard. I honestly never liked any of the "good guys" in Kaiji. I found the main character to be "OK" but nothing more. I have to give them loads of credit for the bad guys they create though. I absolutely hated the bad guys, and was cheering for Kaiji just to see them lose. Thanks to this, I was able to stay into the show, but it is a shame that the "good guys" weren't that interesting.
The art is pretty unique. The most noteworthy aspect being the large noses. I got used to the art, but I never really liked it. All the characters are pretty ugly thanks to the art style. Also, I felt like they overused computer animation a bit. It's not necessarily bad, but I never liked it. The sound on the other hand, is pretty bad. I hated the opening theme, and I never even noticed the music during the show.
The main flaw with Kaiji is probably the last 4 episodes. They were pretty lame and predictable, and not nearly at the level of other episodes. I was completely uninterested most of the time, despite some crazy moments. The ending was also pretty lame, and pretty much solely to set up a new season.
Another slightly annoying aspect, is how the show constantly tries to give social commentary based on the games they are playing. I frankly did not care at all, and I felt like it was a waste of time.
When Kaiji tries to be both intense and clever, it can truly be an amazing show, perhaps even at masterpiece level. However, Kaiji tries too hard sometimes to just be intense, without the added cleverness, and this is where the show falters. If you are into Hikaru No Go, or Akagi, you will surely enjoy Kaiji. If games anime aren't quite your thing, my reccomendation becomes a bit more shaky. I would suggest that anyone, even if you don't generally like games anime, should give the first 10 episodes a try, as they are easily the best of the show, and from there, decide if you want to keep watching. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
I have finally finished Baccano! It was quite a thrill ride, with a fun story, some great characters, and an amazing and fun soundtrack. I am without a doubt glad I watched this show.
March 24th, 2009:
WTF is this show? Baccano? I just finished the first episode, and I absolutely hate it. It was like someone with ADHD's wet dream. The first episode of the show cuts to a different scene every 2 minutes. They constantly reference characters who I haven't even met, and to top it all off, they constantly switch between the years 1930, 1931, and 1932. I have no god damn clue what is going on. I'm not sure if I even want to watch episode 2 if it continues on like this.
March 30th, 2009:
I gotta admit, I wasn't a huge fan at first. The first episode and even the 2nd are tough to understand. Lots of stuff is happening, and it flashes so quick, you don't even have too good of a chance to learn the characters. However, the show quickly becomes a lot more focused, and soon it's pretty easy to understand what is going on.
March 27th, 2009:
I am really starting to come around to this show. Despite the fact that there are over 10 main characters, and that Baccano is relatively short, I already absolutely love the characters. They do a great job of developing them and making them interesting in the short time they are around.
Things are really heating up too. While there are several stories, the main one involves a train that 3 different factions of immortals have boarded with different goals. Now, the immortals are fighting, and it's badass as hell. All the action scenes are pretty short in Baccano!, but they are masterfully done and exhilarating. I think I quite like this show.
March 30th, 2009:
There are only a few flaws with Baccano! Obviously, the first episodes are a bit confusing, but you quickly get into the show. Also, there is a bit of a slow stretch in the middle of the show, as you wait for the big stuff to happen in the last few episodes, but other than that, the show is nearly flawless. I imagine this is a show I will rewatch one day, which is something I don't generally say about anime. On a 2nd watch, this show probably gets even better, as you would be able to understand every little thing going on.
I would easily recommend Baccano! to anyone. It's short, only 13 episodes, the characters are great, there is action, romance, tension, it's a show I think that anyone can easily enjoy. read more
74 of 74 episodes seen
This is monster. The greatest cocktease of all time.
Don't get me wrong, it is a great show. I enjoyed it. It would have to be reasonably good for me to make it through 74 episodes of it while generally enjoying myself, but it never quite lived up the hype it received before I watched it.
Monster is a mystery/drama show. Early on, the show sets up a number of compelling mysteries and questions. The kind that generally keep you watching a show until you discover the answers. Unfortunately, Monster takes these mysteries, then continues to tease you and tease you, usually, by the time the answers are revealed, I was kind of apathetic towards those questions. The plot revelations never had the impact they could have because of how long they take to reveal them. There are dozens of almost laughable occurences where a character is about to recall an old memory, or where someone is about to "tell all", when they suddenly get cut off right at the good part, or decide they don't want to talk anymore. It becomes laughably predictable. If it wasn't for all the stalling to reveal answers, I think I would have liked this show a lot more.
Another example of almost amusing attempts to create faux tension comes in the action scenes. Throughout the show, a character will point a gun at another character. It looks like death will finally catch up with one of the character's in these standoffs. Finally GUNSHOT, from there, the show almost always cuts to outside the building. You hear the gunshot, but you don't see what happens. This literally happens at least 10 times over the course of the show, probably more. Their desperate attempts to have you "wondering what happened next" become almost sad. In the final ten episodes of the show, when the action really picks up, it becomes completely expected, and loses any effect it may have had. Monster's shameless efforts to create nail-biters is one of the main pitfalls of the show, as it becomes quite blatant and annoying near the end.
I may be coming across as hating the show, but it's more frustration to be honest. I feel like Monster could have been a 10/10 show for me, but the above aspects really ruined it for me. Despite these flaws, I still managed to enjoy the show quite a bit.
The best part about Monster is the characters. Over the course of 74 episodes, the show introduces you to a lot of characters, and does its best to develop them all as much as they can. I can quite vivdly remember some characters that only had face time in a few episodes. I felt like most of the characters were pretty realistic, which was a nice touch. Even the most badass characters in the show aren't over the top badasses. They are the kind of badasses you could actually picture existing in real-life which is a great touch. One of the main characters of the show, Dr. Tenma, quickly become one of my favorites, and I envision him being on my top 10 for a long time to come. There is one character that gets a little annoying and over-dramatic by the end of the show (Nina Fortner), but other than that, I can safely say I liked every character in the show for the most part.
Also, when Monster decides to actually reveal things about the past, they were really interesting and often shocking. In the last ten episodes or so, Monster really goes all out to show you everything about each character's past, and it's no coincidence that these ten episodes are the best of the show.
Monster also has surprisingly intense action scenes, when they aren't using cheap techniques to build drama and suspense. Perhaps it's because of how attached you get to a lot of characters in the show, but I found myself practically wanting to cheer when the good guys won, which is pretty rare for me with TV shows. I was definitely on the edge of my seat during a lot of fist and gun fights, the only time I wasn't was when the dreaded GUNSHOT, CUT TO DIFFERENT SCENE happens. '
The art is mostly eye-pleasing. I liked the character designs, although, I felt like a lot of characters looked WAY too much alike, but this was a minor flaw. The action scenes are also quite crisp, and there is some pretty beautiful scenery at several points. The music was also generally perfect for any scenes it was used for. For as dark as Monster can be, a few of the happy/peaceful tracks really stood out for me, and I would probably be willing to listen to them outside the show, which isn't something I would usually say about a show's soundtrack.
By the time Monster gets into the late 60's, it truly goes into a new level. These episodes are truly "masterpiece" level, so it's unfortunate that the show languished around the "good" level for so long. Basically, it's like after casually dating the girl you met at that party for months, you FINALLY end up getting some. You're extremely glad you got some, but damn, couldn't it have happened sooner? read more