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Oct 23, 2010
There is a reason Roots Search has been forgotten: it’s terrible. It isn’t terrible because the character development is shoddy, inconsistent, and arbitrary. It isn’t terrible because the plot is convoluted to the point of making obtuse art films seem lucid in comparison. It isn’t even terrible because of its low-budget animation quality or awkward pacing. With the right mixture of each of these, one could make a title that is “so bad it’s good”. And yet, somehow, Roots Search manages to just barely miss even this mark. It’s simply a case of being “so bad it’s still terrible”.

This read more
Oct 4, 2010
Birth (Anime) add (All reviews)
Some two decades before Hiroyuki Imaishi made his directorial debut with the hyper-sexualized, over-stylized, action-packed short film OVA Dead Leaves—a defining work that collected nearly all of the stylistic signatures that would eventually establish him as one of the industry’s foremost young directors—was Birth (released overseas with the subtitle A Legend of Two Worlds). Years ahead of its time and ridiculously well-animated for its age, Birth stands as testament to the post-Macross era of the anime industry; only in that golden age of abundance could so much effort and money be poured into such a ludicrous title. And I mean this with read more
Sep 1, 2010
It's raining outside, and you’re eating in a small diner with the girl you’ve been in love with for eleven years. Beside her, talking calmly, is her current boyfriend. Things are going smoothly, while you fester in guilt over lost opportunity yet try to hope the best for the two of them—when all of a sudden, an unshaven squinty-eyed bastard strolls in with his angry pinheaded diaper-wearing charge, and start a ruckus. What do you do in this situation?

One possibility is to cower on the floor while your love interest is about to be raped, hope nothing bad happens, and eventually read more
Aug 17, 2010
Kaiba (Anime) add (All reviews)
Kaiba is a story that begins with a young boy who possesses no memories, a locket with a blurry picture of a girl, and a hole in his chest. From there on, it dives into a complex look at what it means to live, speaking to its audience in eclectic ambient music, flat hues, simplified textures, and caricatured expressions.

It is a story of heartache, rejection, and despair. It is a story of loss and of pain, and one that explores a world in which there is incalculable capacity for wrongdoing, cruelty, and evil. It is a story that hits its read more
Aug 13, 2010
Gall Force 2: Destruction is the second installment of the Gall Force series, which started with Eternal Story. It again brings together the talents of director Katsuhito Akiyama and character designer Kenichi Sonoda, who worked together on the first film as well as the relatively more-known Bubblegum Crisis OVA series. Anyone familiar with Bubblegum Crisis will find many elements of the Gall Force series similar, most notably the pacing, character tropes (not just the designs), and general sense of humor.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about this sequel, as it picks up on Lufy’s character almost immediately after where the read more
Jun 10, 2010
Shoji Kawamori is known for his ability to sculpt thoroughly engrossing plots that often both rely upon and subvert the standard genre clichés. His writing often incorporates Zen concepts and themes into the plots in ways that aren’t always expected, but he manages to make them fit regardless. And on top of this, Kawamori is almost always able to bring a visual spectacle to the table that usually impresses even the harshest of critics. As he again pairs up with Yoko Kanno and her musical talents, Aquarion not only fulfills the somewhat high-expectations many fans have come to expect out of his read more
Apr 21, 2010
It isn’t difficult to see why Osamu Tezuka is considered to be the godfather of manga. With extremely influential titles like Astro Boy/Tetsuwan Atom, Black Jack, and Buddha to his name, there should be no doubt that the man had an extraordinary talent for delivering quality storytelling in comic form. Ode to Kirihito is no exception.

What begins as a story about a bizarre disease that results in horrid deformations turns into an intense psychological journey through the paranoid and the depraved, journeying deep into the mind and adventures of a man whose mutation has turned him into something that is both inhuman yet read more
Mar 18, 2010
Created by several of the same minds that thought up & executed Serial Experiments Lain, NieA_7 kicks off its first episode with a distinctly familiar—yet at the same time, distinctly different—atmosphere and presentation. Perhaps most notably, it shares the distinguished character designs of Yoshitoshi ABe, but it lacks the air of explicit seriousness that hangs gloomily about Lain. It shares an urban setting full of cars, people, and wires, yet it also pits this against frequent and habitual presentations of countryside and open air. Needless to say, one should not go into this series expecting the complexities and psychological intrigue that Lain read more
Feb 20, 2010
Imagine the King Arthur origin tale mixed with vague Beowulf elements, then filter that through Kurosawa-esque scenery, directing, and atmosphere, and Hols: Prince of the Sun is approximately what the result might end up like. Although still owing to its Western influences a great deal, Hols: Prince of the Sun marks the beginning of a divergence from Western formulas and animation traditions though its embrace of comparatively Eastern themes and presentation, particularly in its cinematic formalism.

While the level of detail may not be up to most expectations of the casual anime viewer, it should be noted that it more than makes up for this read more
Feb 9, 2010
Macross Frontier isn’t merely another sci-fi space opera. Despite incorporating just about every anime cliché in the book—from school drama to mecha to moe to the love triangles that are the Macross franchise’s signature—Macross Frontier manages to create something that is simultaneously the maximum fulfillment of its genre’s capacity and also the complete and utter subversion of its viewer’s expectations. It’s been hailed as the SDF-Macross of the 21st Century, and there’s no doubt about that; even for viewers unfamiliar with the original Macross series, Macross Frontier bridges nearly every gap imaginable to create something that will undoubtedly stand the test of time read more