Towards the Terra, released among the hoard of other April animes, was probably one of the most overlooked and underrated in comparison due to the 'old school' look it gave plus character designs that appealed more to the shoujo genre (which in fact had little to do with it), thus unable to target the specific audience most likely to appreciate it. In fact, this anime is one of the best space opera sci-fi gems to be released in recent years and should not be missed for fans of this genre.
Yes it may appear old school but at closer observation, you'll realize that it is very
fluid and remains consistent throughout. The CG animations do appear a bit out of place but since it is a 2007 anime, it is only natural that space battles are animated that way, nevertheless, this should not affect the viewer's perception on how solid it is. In fact, I find the overall art soothing to the eyes with the soft colors and occasional 'zoom in' on their faces to show the subtle changes in expressions. As mentioned before, the designs appeal more to the 'shoujo' fans but do not be turned off by this.
As an OST nut, I found this simply magnificent. It was full of rich orchestral music, melancholic piano pieces plus some modern electric guitar tracks specifically used during combat. Takanashi Yasuharu had created some pretty good works before this like Jigoku Shoujo and Gantz but none stood out that much compared to this. He does have the knack of composing very sad tracks that will definitely make you reminisce back to the scene. As for the opening and ending themes, personal preference wise, I loved the catchy 1st opening, liked the melodramatic 1st ending and was amused by the R&B type 2nd ending. They each stood out in their own way.
The voice acting was excellent, Mitsuki Saiga usually voices impatient and rash young boys so her calm tone used during Jomy's adult years was impressive. Takehito Koyasu was wonderful as the antagonist Keith, Tomokazu Sugita pretty much charming as Soldier Blue and Kobayashi Sanae also startled me with an extremely gentle voice. Overall, definitely nothing to nit-pick about for sound.
The strong point of this anime, the pacing and plot were top notch. There were never any fillers, every minute was important and I was left most of the time wondering and guessing what would happen next. It was full of twists, plus as expected from older mangas....the author is brutal enough to kill off just about anybody. The pacing actually starts out a bit slow due to introducing the characters and the world they are in, but right after a few episodes, it hooks you thoroughly.
The story is set in the future, where humans are controlled by a system/mother computer, and since birth is controlled, humans with psychic abilities, otherwise known as Mu emerge. Thus the whole story is basically about the war between Mu and humans and how they try and eventually seek to reach an understanding. It is full of drama, tension, conflict and of course... war, if you are looking for such elements, to terra will not fail your expectations.
Great character development for both Jomy and Keith. Jomy especially, started out as a whiny kid who was constantly in self-denial and threw tantrums, however, watch till the last episode and you'll see how much he has developed into a strong-willed leader, with only one resolve---to get all Mu people back to the terra. Keith on the other hand, is raised as a 'perfect human', totally in contrast of Jomy's character, and as the story progresses, he is faced with questions about how 'human' he is supposed to be, that something is wrong with the current world; although his development is more subdued and inward compared to Jomy. Other supporting characters like Blue, Physis, Tony, Shiroe, Sam, Karina are equally memorable and endearing even though some do not have much screentime. To Terra manages to make every character stand out and grow on you, something that many others fail to do.
An extremely well done anime, definitely worth collecting and rewatching if you are into epic space operas. The only down side is that it is lacking a bit in the romance department but that is only nit-picking. It is about perfect in every other aspects and missing such a good piece of work would be a definite loss.
Dec 21, 2007
Compared to the first season in which I did really like, the 2nd season was less climatic and actually more 'peaceful', yet I kept watching it till the end, probably just to see a resolution to the story or maybe just due to liking the main characters.
Animation: This is what I shall always be critical about, I have never liked BeeTrain's style which tends to drag the story and make everything slower paced than they are supposed to be. Noir and Madlax have been a snore fest for me, Tsubasa Chronicles although having a manga to backup, had almost the same pacing with characters wearing ... static expressions throughout the episodes with the exceptions of a few gasps and shouts... I mean... they are even lazy to make livelier expressions! And due to NHK restrictions, everything has been toned down. A little more blood and gore like the anime X or as projected in the manga would have propelled this anime to a higher rating, how they tried to make everything bloodless just seemed awkward. Don't misunderstand, CLAMPs art is still really good, its just the animation that did not live up to standards
Sound: No one has complaints here, Yuki Kajiura's music continues to excel with some great tracks like Crying Alone, Aikoi and Broken Sword of Justice, in fact, almost everyone would agree that the music is the main factor that still keeps viewers interested. For this season I preferred the ending to the opening, an uplifting, lively song full of hope and happiness, perfectly suited for Syaoran and Sakura's feelings. The seiyuus gave the same pleasing performances as before.
Story: there were some arcs that were very good, like the Ashura arc, Kurogane's past and the Piffle arc. Some fillers were quite interesting too while some others like back to ChunHyang's world were just too repetitive. It was very apparant that they were trying to save the 2nd Syaoran bit as a climax for the next season by dragging out the plot to the extent of turning it into 'finding one feather an episode'. Therefore as an intermediate bit for the Tsubasa series, this season didn't leave too strong of an impression, yet it did succeed in leaving some questions and desire for the next season, thanks to the excellent Kurogane arc and the mysterious 'Syaoran in the tube' which gave hints to the other side of Tsubasa, a darker and unpredictable plot which was to be unfolded in the future.
Character: The good point of Tsubasa is that the group of main characters are basically lovable, with different personalities and from different backgrounds, yet giving off a feel like they are one big happy family who care for each other very much. Mainly 2 obvious character developments were done in this season, including the background story of Kurogane and most importantly, Sakura does have a bit more development compared to the walking shell in the 1st season. Syaoran, Mokona and Fai were still their usual selves but I never minded that because seeing this group interacting is basically one of the fun moments of Tsubasa. Although thanks to the rigid animation, the characters still gave off a rather stony, lifeless feel. It may just be me but yes, compared to the other animated Clamp works, this seemed too obvious.
I did still enjoy this series, thanks to the excellent music and my love for the Sakura+Syaoran pairing but still I can't help thinking this could have been handled a lot better with such a strong manga to back it up. In other words, it had potential, but it just didn't live up to most expectations.
If you are fond of the first season though you might like the second season. However it would be advisable not to read the manga first or you'd get very disappointed with how this anime turned out to be
What did you think of this review?
Love it 0
Aug 1, 2007
Kaleido Star was a big surprise for me as I expected it to be a typical shoujo with probably many cheesy moments...
I was proven wrong..
Overall, it was beautiful, bright colours and flowing movements that even appeared graceful, a very colorful setting that didn\'t appear too flashy....it totally captured the brilliance of a circus and the lovely performances that I just had to rewatch again. However it had its flaws, I noticed that several episodes had seemingly worse animation compared to the rest in which the characters looked distorted, thankfully this was hardly significant during the performances which kept their high standard throughout the whole ... anime.
The opening and ending themes were ok and catchy enough but what i really loved was the background music, some tracks were sometimes quite repetitive but it totally created the magical feel for this anime and enhanced it a lot more (even though you may not realise it). So do turn up the volume whenever you watch any of their performances as \'swan lake\', \'little mermaid\' etc. would not be so astoundingly beautiful without the music
Kaleido Star can be divided into 2 parts, 1st being Sora\'s introduction to the circus and striving to be in par with Layla Hamilton. Whereas the second part introduces 2 new character, Leon and May in which might be a turn-off for most viewers due to Sora suffering the most, but of course this is only to build the wonderful finale.
The overall concept may not seem special as it is only about a girl striving to achieve her dream and encountering many hardships. But the idea about a circus and acrobats is very unique, I don\'t think there are many animes out there that have attempted this genre and managed to keep it so interesting and magical. Whats good is the emphasis on friendship, Sora gets through a lot mostly due to the help of the people around her, it is not a one-girl show, all the rest are equally important characters and do shine as well.
Even though this is a shoujo anime, romance is only hinted but barely there, truly not the highlight of the show
As mentioned above, all the characters are great, in fact it is impossible to hate either of them since even the bad ones turn good at the end. Although this seems rather idealistic, it leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end
Overall this was a great ride, Satou Junichi\'s other creation, Princess tutu had left me in a bit of a trance when it ended, apparantly this had the same effect. It is hard to describe the truly magical effect this has, you have to watch it to know, and you won\'t regret it
What did you think of this review?
Love it 0
Jul 15, 2007
Since this is from Production I.G., a studio which I like a lot, I had no doubt in collecting this. It is definitely a good quality anime but of course, its not perfect
Seriously, can you go wrong with a studio that produced something like Ghost In the Shell? The building designs, settings are marvelous, although I admit I\'m not familiar with the French architechture, it still managed to capture the western feel. Characters were designed to look realistic and thus, would not appeal to audiences who want either \'moe\' or extreme cuteness. The swordfights were perfect, they were swift ... and clean, wasting no time in trying to bring down the opponent, without any extreme visual moves or \'powering up\' like in shounen animes. It is what you\'d expect real fencing to be like, fast, graceful but brutal.
Another important thing to note, the 4 musketeers actually looked tired near the last half of the series! This showed how much care the animators put into this, just to show that, well...they are human as well and anyone would be exhausted after the amount of horrid times they had to go through
The opening song gives the hint of bravery and patriotism. The ending was beautiful\', it gave a melancholic but also with determined feel, which describes Chevalier D\'Eon\'s character perfectly. Not to mention the visuals that came along with the theme, it was a great idea to put the characters with their names and lifespans just in case the viewers get drowned in the sea of complicated french names.
The atmosphere of the anime was further enhanced by the rich orchestral music, composed by none other than Michiru Ooshima, the man responsible for Full metal Alchemist.
Some tracks, especially the one in the opening of the 1st episode \'Owari ni Mata Kotoba Ariki\' was the one that gave the most impact.
The voice acting was good, well, at least I couldn\'t notice any flaws, all their voices fit the characters really well
This was what attracted me to watch this anime. A spy that lived his life half as a man and half as a woman? and that he was only discovered to be a man after his death?That was what happened to the real Chevalier D\'Eon. Tow Ubakata took the concept but changed it into an action fantasy novel, where vampires were involved and spells which are casts by \'poets\' are the main elements of the story. Also, D\'Eon didn\'t dress up as a woman like what history implied, but he was possessed by his sister, Lia instead and sets out to seek revenge. What impressed me was that even though this turned into a supernatural flick, he still managed to retain the important facts and elements of the actual person\'s history, plus making it seem logical in a way.
Even then, the story is rather slowly paced, and with the heavy amount of dialogue, it is easy for most viewers to get bored.
There is a twist near the end though which unfortunately, did not surprise me due to the mistake of reading a spoiler posted by another person....
Still, it concluded pretty well
There are a lot of characters in this anime, each with rather complicated names which does cause confusion eventually. The 4 musketeers are the main characters along with er... D\'Eon\'s sister Lia.
There isn\'t much to say about D\'Eon himself apart from his love for the country and people around him. Other sub-characters like Durand, Robin and Robbespiere were more interesting due to their complex or mysterious characteristics they gave out. They showed more development than D\'Eon himself, although this cannot be blamed due to the fact that he had to share his screentime with his sister
There were some underdeveloped characters too, like his fiance, Queen Marie, Madame Pompordour and the duke, but they did not affect too much of the story.
Since this anime focuses mainly on the plot and storyline, the character development pales in comparison, but they still have their own significant characteristics
Overall, this series is definitely a keeper.
I might even rewatch this because of some confusion during the later episodes. Since this has a western setting, japanese voices do not sound that suitable as well, although I don\'t think I\'ll watch dubs too since most of those I watched had disappointed me.
Nevertheless, its an excellent anime worth watching if you like a unique plot. But not recommended for people who just want to watch it for action.
What did you think of this review?
Love it 0