I'm going to keep this review rather short, because frankly, even thinking about this show bores me to death. Writing a review about it is even worse because it makes me think about it harder than watching it.
STORY: 1 (Pathetic)
This show has no direction. Main character automatically has hidden powers from the get-go, of which the origins are glossed over within a few minutes and we are just expected to accept it. He fights to... Fight... And save... Something... Because the Darkstones (the enemies in this show) are... Evil? Because... They just are. Really. There's nothing to this at all. I'm not expecting a deep
plot out of a show like this, but having a point to fighting is usually pretty important.
ART: 5 (Mediocre)
The art's not bad, but it's far from anything different than the other shows airing around this time. It's just the same plain-Jane stuff we've seen so many times already, and even if it's too high an expectation to expect this show to "break the mold", it certainly isn't beautiful on it's own. Just okay.
SOUND: 3 (Poor)
I'm being nice here. The music is repetitive, and doesn't change much from a slow, relaxing scene to a fast-paced action scene. It lacks real dynamics. For what little it does have, I at least acknowledged it by not rating it "pathetic".
CHARACTER: 2 (Dreadful)
The characters are cookie-cutter and bland, but more-so than your typical shounen. There's been literally no thought put into any of them which is evident even if you give it up to 5 episodes to establish itself like I did. After all, that's one episode shy of the halfway point. They could have done better than this.
ENJOYMENT: 1 (Pathetic)
To me, this is the most important part of watching anime: how much you enjoy it. Watching this show has been a chore. It's been extremely boring, but I kept giving it a chance. After last episode's train-wreck, I'm finally out of second chances. It's actually a relief not to have to subject to myself to this garbage week after week anymore. It's just so boring, and considering they're going for an action anime here, that's just sad.
OVERALL: 3 (Poor)
There's worse anime out there, but only just. This is pretty bad, but I was generous in giving it a 3 rather than a 2, only because gg's "White and Dirty" OP replacement made me chuckle. That's not even a credit to the show itself since the original creators weren't even able to make me chuckle with the original content, but I'm a nice guy, so I'll pretend it was them.
Stay away from this show. It's garbage and a complete waste of time. Bandai and Sunrise should want to wash their hands of this.
Aug 31, 2010
ARE YOU READY GUYS? PUT THE GUNS ON! LET'S PARTY~!
Season 1 of the Sengoku Basara anime over a year ago was my first foray into the Sengoku Basara franchise. I've never played any of the games up until this point, though I have pre-ordered the North American version of "Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes" (known in Japan simply as "Sengoku Basara 3"), as well as the first season of the anime on BD. I'm surprised this series got licensed, but you'll hear no complaints from me!
Sengoku Basara is a rare gem. Although I haven't played any of the games yet, I do know that most video ... game-based animes tend to dilute the original content, and merely seek to milk the successes of the franchise in the anime market. You know, a cash cow. However, I and many others who have witnessed the glory of this and the still-airing second season can say without a doubt, that this is an anime everyone should be watching. It's too bad it seems to fly in fairly low under the radar in comparison to most of the other shows airing this season. However, maybe this review will help to get it some well-deserved attention.
STORY: 7 (Good)
This isn't a show you watch for the story, or at least, not for a deep plot. The most you'll get plot-wise from this anime is the development of the war between the various feuding nations, some strategic insight into what each of the various groups plan to do, and some twists and turns involving the outcomes of said plans. However, the best part of Basara is that it doesn't attempt to complicate itself or force the viewer to have to remember specifically what's going on; you'll find yourself more than content just going with the flow. As such, the plot falls short of anything more than average, but it makes up for it by remaining concise and to the point. Don't worry about it too much: You're not meant to.
ART: 10 (Outstanding)
Very few shows get a budget so big as to allow them to really shine. In Basara, you'll see no cheap backgrounds, no long runs of still-frames; you'll see nothing that's not breath-taking at least once every couple of minutes. The battle scenes are top-notch, over-the-top, fluent, and extremely well choreographed (as far as any anime can be choreographed). Watch it and see for yourself. There's really nothing more that can be said. Think Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, only much more polished and elegant.
SOUND: 10 (Outstanding)
The music fits the mood and represents the time period in which the story is supposedly set (that is, the music is "traditional" most of the time), yet Basara is not afraid to whip out the odd rock track and turn it up a notch when the situation is appropriate. It's the perfect blend of music when the time calls for it that immerses you in the traditional period of the samurai, and of simpler times, but it calls you back to the action when necessary with blood-pumping, high-tempo riffs that fire up the man inside of you. Simply amazing.
CHARACTER: 8 (Very Good)
In terms of individual character development, there isn't anyone that really starts at a point and grows. I suppose Yukimura Sanada would be the closest thing to a character who starts out young and inexperienced, and the one we see grow the most to become a leader in his own right. However, in a show like Basara where you have a myriad of original characters, all extremely different and unique, it's hard to give the spotlight to just one or two and grow them up in only 12 short episodes (per season). But it didn't bother me much at all, I still rooted for Masamune Date whenever I could get the chance. The characters are all so likable, and well positioned in their respective roles that you feel like you know them already. So while Basara is technically a little weak in the "development" department, it remains strong in presenting a wide cast of original, likable characters in such a short episodic run. This is no simple feat, and deserves credit. You'll even find yourself rooting for the enemy sometimes because they're so damned cool.
ENJOYMENT: 10 (Outstanding)
Basara is all about enjoyment, really. This is where it shines. There's nothing more fun than seeing two opponents jump off their horses, shoot up into the sky in a blaze of colors, and engage one another in a battle of epic proportions, completely blowing away any nearby bodies in their vicinity. There's nothing more epic than seeing a lone samurai get so fired up that he PUNCHES THE OCEAN AWAY with his bare fist. Does it sound ridiculous to you? Of course it does! That's what it's all about: Ridiculous, epic, over-the-top, hot-blooded manly action. You thought Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was at times enjoyable, even if it made no sense? Then if you're not watching Sengoku Basara, you're missing out. You really are. There are many more epic moments you'd find yourself pausing the episode to re-watch, even before moving on because you thought it was so awesome. That's a quality essential to any good anime: One that leaves you wanting even more. It's really a rare trait in today's industry of "security", where companies know that all they have to do is put out generic moe garbage, and their business can... Well, stay in business. Thank goodness for taking risks, Basara. It's what makes you stand out above the crowd.
OVERALL: 9 (Great)
I wanted to give this a 10 pretty badly, but it does have it's flaws. I'm not going to dwell on them, but if it has one single-biggest flaw, it would be such a short episode count. If each season were able to hold up a solid stack of 26 episodes each, then the characters and the plot would have more time to be fleshed out more appropriately. It's not bad for half that count, and arguably the show would be degraded if it ran on *too* long, but that's my opinion on the matter. Otherwise, it's a great watch.
This is definitely the most underrated show of 2010, and it's too bad it's not getting more attention, at least in terms of outward appreciation. I'm sure there's a lot of people who simply watch it every week and don't bother to discuss it much, and I can sort of understand. It's not the type of show you spend a lot of time discussing, you mostly watch it for the thrills, and repeat week after week until it's over. Then move on. While there's nothing wrong with that, it's unfortunate that mediocre shows such as K-ON! seem to attract much more attention than rare gems such as Sengoku Basara. I would even go so far as to say that Highschool of the Dead (airing along with this show in the same season at the time of this writing), a show that doesn't come nearly as close in terms of production values and has even less of a plot, is somehow apparently able to cast a popularity shadow over Basara. It might just be that Basara doesn't appeal to as many people as HotD does, but if that's the case, then anime really is in trouble in the coming years. Let's hope the fanbase realizes that shows such as Basara are worth watching, and worth supporting. Basara at least reminds me of a time when anime was original, when studios and producers weren't afraid to step outside the known formulas and mix things up. Sure, it's based off a video game, but in my eyes, the fact that it can be this good with that being the case means that the execution was probably about as flawless as one could hope for, given the challenges of creating such an entertaining product from another product's already existing formula and ideas, and managing to add it's own spin on the materials while remaining original in it's own way. No easy feat, and unquestionably deserving of high regard within the anime fandom.
If you haven't seen this show or the previous season yet, do yourself a favor as a fan of the anime genre: Go and watch it now. Dip your feet in, you won't regret it. And if you do, well, then stick to your precious K-ON! and keep wishing for a second season of Angel Beats. YOU JUST DON'T GOT YOUR GUNS ON.
To the rest of you, GET YOUR GUNS ON.
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Jul 25, 2010
Before I say what I think of this OVA in general, I'm just going to briefly say why I rated each attribute what I did.
Story: 3 (Poor)
What story? It's a high school slice-of-life, *but*, an extremely underdeveloped one. I've seen a number of popular slice-of-life animes, and while the genre itself is "basic", it doesn't have to be uninteresting. Genshiken is a shining example of slice-of-life done right. As is Azumanga Daioh, which I've just recently started watching. In order to make up for a lack of deep plot twists and turns (though they can work in the genre, they're rarely done well when implemented), ... character development usually steps up to the plate as a heavy hitter to compensate. I'll get to characters more in a moment, but as it stands the story leaves much to be desired. There is practically none. The fact that this OVA exists means that some semblance of a story *exists*, but just by virtue of "existing". It's very poor.
Art: 7 (Good)
I rated the art "good" because it was original. It reminded me a little bit of D.Gray-Man, which while definitely not in the top-tier of shounen anime nor anime in general, you've gotta hand it to it; the art was original. Same for BRS. Unfortunately, the high school scenes and anything unrelated to the world in which BRS originates from was bland and mediocre, if that. I've seen better artwork in 90's anime. But hey, I'm not saying it was horrible... It was "good".
Sound: 6 (Fair)
I have to say, I expected more than BRS delivered. The music was slow, quiet, and mostly made me want to fall asleep. Now, this is subjective; some people like that sort of stuff, and during some of the fighting scenes, the pace did pick up, but in others, there was just *nothing*. Two people starting at each other for a few seconds, and *nothing*. I realize it was probably done on purpose to build up to something, but most of the time, the build up was ruined by a jump cut away from the BRS world back to the high school, where the girls are sitting at their desks talking about nothing particularly interesting. There's not too much to complain about in the sound area, but definitely nothing notable worthy of praise.
Character: 3 (Poor)
I realize it's a short OVA, but if you were to add a mere half hour more to it, it would be a feature-length movie. I didn't find myself having any emotional attachment to any of the characters on *any* level. BRS could have died, and I wouldn't have cared. Any character could have just dropped dead, and I wouldn't have cared. I didn't even hate any of the enemies, nor cared about them at all. Sure, developing a tie to a character is a completely subjective experience, but I felt *nothing*. That says enough to show that BRS really lacked in this department. It had more than enough time to work with, and made no use of it. Perhaps they should have spent less time on meaningless shots of people starting at each other and high school kids talking about everyday life *almost every single scene*. I mean, come on. Use the first 15-20 minutes if you need to for setting up the plot scenario, and sprinkle it with a little more character development and background. It's hard to enjoy any piece of work when you don't care about who's involved.
Enjoyment: 2 (Deadful)
I thought "poor" was giving this too much credit. "Enjoyment" is purely a subjective category, so regardless of the production values, my opinion is all that matters here. And I found sitting through this thing to be as uninteresting as watching paint dry. For the first 20 minutes or so, it had my attention, but only because I was waiting for all of the build up to explode into something more intriguing or awe-inspiring. But then that feeling just slowly started to fizzle out with all the jump cuts away from where the action was. As soon as it started to look promising, you were dished out a helping of boredom. How disappointing. One thing is for sure: I never want to sit through this OVA ever again. I will not be watching the sequel, if there ever is one (God help us).
Overall: 3 (Poor)
There was a lot of hype surrounding this OVA, but I think people are starting to realize how disappointing it turned out to be in the end. People have been (for some reason) comparing BRS to Miku Hatsune, because I suppose it's enough to say that any anime girl with twin tails who's VA sings must automatically be inspired by the character who is the poster girl for a voice synthesizer software product. If you just went "HUH?" at that last but, you're on the same page as me. This OVA was riding on the coat-tails of unfounded fan speculation of a character completely unrelated to it (for some reason I *still* can't understand), but it jumped off and decided to hitch a ride aboard the fail trail.
I know this review sounds harsh, but really. This was a big disappointment.
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Jul 21, 2009
NOTE: I have not read the manga, so manga readers can go to the manga page for this show and talk about it there. This review is for the anime only.
Although I've only seen 3 episodes at this point, I think I've seen enough to write a fair review. I'll update it later of course to reflect the future scope of the story, because at this time it's still not completely clear what's really going on. Besides the fact that we know Simeon is evil, what the Needless are, and that they are after Adam Blade.
STORY: 7 (Good)
The story so far is typical of a ... shounen, with nothing really outstanding to set it apart from the rest. It's not overly simple though, so I believe it's worthy of being called "Good".
The evil organization, Simeon, is out to exterminate the Needless, which are a sort of "super-human" who possess varying abilities (usually one per Needless). One of the main characters, Adam Blade, possesses the strange ability to copy the powers of other Needless he comes in contact with (think Sharingan), and use them all at his leisure. Eve has the Doppleganger ability, and can take the form of others using either a picture, description, or by coming in contact with them. So far, we don't know much about Cruz (such as whether or not he may be a Needless but just doesn't know it yet), so for now, he plays the part of the currently-weak, developing character that might turn out to be more useful later on.
Throw in a couple of thought-provoking elements such as the Black Spot and Adam Arclight, and the stage is set for (potentially) a moderately interesting shounen.
ART: 8 (Very Good)
While the art isn't really top-notch, it's well done, and there's not much to complain about. Some found that in episode 2 the special attacks were rather bland, due to reused animation and the fact that each character took longer to "call out" their attack rather than to actually do it... But I found this little problem less obvious in episode 3. It seems like they cleaned up their act a bit. Episode 3 bumped up my judgement to "Very Good".
SOUND: 10 (Outstanding)
Let's face it, the OP rocks. I like the rock music played throughout other parts of the show as well. It's nice. I'm a bit WTF'd by the ED though, I actually find myself skipping past it every time due to it making my IQ take a temporary plunge, but I won't take points away for that... It's at the end anyway.
CHARACTER: 7 (Good)
It's about what I'd expect from a show of its genre. Each character has room to grow, so it has potential. I liked Adam right off the bat, and Eve is definitely doing a good job of keeping the show fun. I'm not partial to Cruz at all but maybe that will change. As I said, they have room to grow, but by the same token, they're nothing special at the moment.
ENJOYMENT: 9 (Great)
At the end of the day, I enjoy watching this show. This is not the kind of show I have to force myself to get to watching, unlike some other shows I'm watching at the moment (*cough* Haruhi S2 Endless Eight *cough*). Seeing Adam kick some ass, I'll admit, is mindless, plain-old fun. And you're always curious as to what Eve will do that episode. Curiosity is a big part of what keeps me coming back for more.
OVERALL: 7 (Good)
This show has room to grow, and for those of you who judged it after episode 2, at least give it one more. Episode 2 didn't sit well with me either particularly, but I found the third episode redeemed everything a little. And after all, who knows where it's really going yet?
I'll keep watching it for sure. I vastly prefer shows that are more thought-provoking, have deep stories, and well developed characters, but to be honest, this show is just fun in it's own way. Sometimes it's good to throw away the rules and rock out to some over-the-top action.
Go watch the OP. I bet that'll have some of you at least trying it out.
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Jul 11, 2009
Mod Edit: This review contains spoilers.
I usually try to give a fair, as unbiased a review as I possibly can. But not this time. This is the 0.01% of the time where I'm going to purposefully express my hate for a show. And today that show is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2. Or as I like to call it, "The Melancholy of The Fans of Haruhi Suzumiya".
In case you didn't know, "melancholy" refers to sadness or depression. Only instead of Haruhi being the sad and depressed one (as the show is about those around her trying to keep her spirits up), this time around ... it's our turn: the fans who supported it financially (if you bought the first series or any other merchandise), increased its popularity (by recommending it to friends), and who even created a sort of "Haruhi-ism" pseudo-religion.
This abomination of a "second season" is a slap in the face to all of the fans who have waited so long to see Haruhi return after all this time. I don't say this as a rabid fanboy, in fact, I'm one those out there who never saw the Haruhi franchise as anything more than another "somewhat entertaining" time-killer. I say this as a fan who empathizes with my fellow anime fans who were waiting with excruciating patience for a great second season, only to be handed a steaming pile of cow dung. Which, strangely enough, is probably the impression KyoAni was aiming for. How? Why? No one knows. Maybe they're just trying to kill their name, and the Haruhi franchise. Maybe they're trying to go out of business. It's beyond my comprehension. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?!?
In case you didn't know (but chances are you probably do if you're reading this), the last couple of episodes of this "second season" (ugh) covered the story arc where the gang becomes caught in an endless time loop, that can only be resolved if Haruhi helps Kyon with his homework before Summer ends. They could have done this in two episodes, one episode to show one of the loops, the next episode to dedicate half for the realization of the occurrence of the loop, and the next half of the episode to resolve it in yet one last loop, leaving the next episode open to the next part of the story. They could have even stretched it to three and I'm sure it still could have turned out wonderfully.
But no. Here's (likely) MORE THAN HALF THE SEASON DEDICATED TO THE SAME DAMN STORY ARC. Not only that, but said story arc involves showing the SAME EPISODE OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER (etc) for God only knows how many times (yet to come as of this writing). Forget new content, it's rehashed content for half a season, if not more. Oh, but I guess technically some scenes were redrawn due to being shown from different angles... But that DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY MORE INTERESTING.
Here's my advice. Watch the first episode of the season. Then the second. Then skip half the season and pick up where Endless Eight finally ends, then continue on for your (probably) four remaining episodes. Enjoy your approximately five new episodes of Haruhi. It might as well have been an OVA.
I recommend we show our distaste at this horribly unprofessional series by rating it as low as possible, and writing as many bad reviews as possible. I'm not the type to do this, it's far from the kind of person I am. I always try to give things a fair chance, without spur-of-the-moment emotions, without just jumping the gun to write based on my initial impressions. I try to give a show a chance to settle in my mind. But this is a whole other ball game. It's ridiculous, and has infuriated fans across the globe. The fans who love the series, the fans who poured money into it, supported it, and the fans who, most importantly, waited a long time to do it all again in a heartbeat.
Shame on you, KyoAni, shame on you. I will never buy any of your products. Ever. Please give my regards to the Japanese government when you file for bankruptcy.
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Jun 25, 2009
I'm a sucker for almost any show with samurai and loosely-based historical story-lines, so I figured I would give this show a go. That, and I saw the Blu-Ray boxset in a store, and I'm also a sucker for Blu-Ray. But I was pleasantly pleased with my purchase, which I will now discuss.
STORY: 9 (Great)
Samurai 7 is loosely based on an old movie, but also possesses an original story of its own. Basically, the story takes place in a world where samurai, merchants, and bandits rule the era. The samurai fight for honour, the merchants seek riches, and the bandits, who were once samurai, have ... abandoned their bushido and are used as pawns of the merchants.
Our story revolves around a small village, one of many where the bandits allow the farmers to grow their rice, and take it back for the merchants to profit from. The people of this village have had enough, and a small party is sent out (voluntarily) to hire samurai to aid them in defeating the bandits and taking back their fields. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of characters who eventually form the final rescue party, and they meet with a variety of obstacles on the way to meeting their final objective: the save the village. These obstacles help in developing the story in greater depth, as well as give us a chance to see the real soul of each samurai, and even the courage of the supporting characters (who themselves are not samurai).
From start to end, the story keeps things interesting. The samurai are not only out to protect the village as they were hired to do, their honour compels them to help almost anyone they come across who is in need. It really gives you a proud feeling to know that they're not just in it for the money (or in this case, all the rice they can eat), but that they are downright heroes in their own right.
Not the deepest story ever told, but certainly the kind that will keep you wondering what will happen next. And that's admirable, considering the length of 26 episodes. It doesn't feel dragged out or too long, but just right.
ART: 9 (Great)
The art from time to time changes. The opening is among one of the best I've ever seen, and the fast-paced fighting scenes are extremely well choreographed, with not a lot of cut-away shots. The fluidity of these scenes is just spectacular. I gave it a 9/10 though, because sometimes when things have settled down, the animation style is adjusted to a more "relaxed", yet sometimes marginally "shabby" look. Mind you, it's not bad, I found myself to adjust to it rather quickly, and it never really bothered me all that much.
Overall, the animation was top-notch.
SOUND: 10 (Outstanding)
There isn't much to say here. The music is excellent, with a diverse number of tracks to be able to fit just about every scene when needed. Sad scenes, adrenaline-pumping action scenes, and even "WTF?" scenes have their own music suited properly to the moment. And the opening kicks ass.
CHARACTER: 9 (Great)
NOTE: I'm not going to cover other main characters like Kirara, Komachi, etc. I'm going to focus mainly on the samurai, because while these characters are indeed important, it's the samurai who develop the most, and are what really make this series what it is. Rest assured though, the above characters don't really suffer from any major flaws, as they develop well in their own ways.
I would have given this section 10/10, if not for the fact that there was one samurai, Gorobe, that I didn't find all that interesting. So it's because of him that I gave it a 9/10. It's not because he was bad or anything, but I thought he was too underdeveloped before he met his demise. Kyuzo, Katsushiro, Heihachi, and Kikuchiyo stole the spotlight of this series for me. Kikuchiyo especially. I didn't find Shichiroji or Kanbe all that interesting, but I have no real complaints with them, they do have their place.
Kyuzo - The "lone-wolf" of the group. He has vowed to be the one to kill Kanbe someday due to a sort of rivalry, but until that time, assists them in saving the village. He fights with honour to accomplish his mission, but is rather quiet and tends to keep to himself. You could almost say because of this he doesn't develop much, but if you think about it after following him through the story, he really does. He is extremely skilled, wielding two katana at once, and can take down a large gathering of enemies single-handedly.
Kikuchiyo - The comic-relief, over-the-top, hot-headed "let's kick some ass!" samurai, and my personal favourite character. He used to be a farmer, but had his soul infused into a mechanical body so that he could be not a farmer, yet not a samurai, but a composite of the two. Since his body is not flesh and blood, he can withstand a barrage of bullets, summon great strength, and piece himself back together if a limb is severed (with some help at times). He wields a katana with similarities to a saw, and is able to use it as such, but also as a regular sword. He is definitely one of the most interesting characters for his comedic relief, but also is frequently the character to bring the others back to being level-headed in a tight situation. At first introduction, he comes off more hot-headed than anything, but we soon learn he does have some wisdom kicking around in that metal head of his. He is the last of the others to be acknowledged by Kanbe as a true samurai, but in my opinion, he proves himself so on more than one occasion before that time comes.
Katsushiro - The novice samurai in training. He soon becomes Kanbe's apprentice, and learns to value of life and death through his first real battles. There are hints of him having a mutual affection for Kirara, but at times it's not all that well developed. This, however, does get developed closer to the end of the story. There's nothing truly spectacular about his character alone, but along with Kikuchiyo, he is considered to be one of the "tag-along" samurai, who usually ends up getting saved by Kanbe or one of the others due to his lack of experience. He does eventually become able to hold his own in battle, and his skills greatly improve over time.
Heihachi - He remains to be somewhat of a mysterious character, right up until the end. He excels in building and repairing machinery, and possesses great skill with the sword. For the most part, he uses his sword skills to cut wood or other materials for use in building some sort of gadget, but when he needs to cut someone down, he is able to perform well. It's revealed that he wants to help Kanbe's group so that he can atone for his past, in which he betrayed his comrades and sold them out to the enemy by leaking information. Until the end, he proves to be a resourceful and vital part of the group.
Gorobe - After the war, he puts his skills to use as a street performer, making bets as to whether or not he can survive various perils. His skill primarily consists of dodging kunai, bullets, or other obstacles. He comes across almost as a magician of sorts, without any sort of magic power, but more like a trickster. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to develop very much, and dies about half-way through the show. Fine with me though, as I didn't find him all that interesting. For the time he is there though, he does play a significant role in the party, bailing them out of tight spots here and there with his tricks.
Shichiroji - During the war, he fought alongside Kanbe. He is a most experienced samurai who wields a spear as his primary weapon. His fighting skills become more apparent towards the end of the show, as near the beginning and middle he spends most of his time building strategies with Kanbe, or hooking them up with accomodations from acquaintances. He is a necessary character, acting as a foundation along with Kanbe for the rest of the party, as his wealth of experience makes up for the lack thereof of some of the other characters.
Kanbe - The leader of this rag-tag group of samurai. Shichiroji is his former comrade and best friend. His skill with the sword is unmatched, save for Kyuzo. He has a reputation for losing every battle he has ever fought, although I don't think that's meant to be taken literally, as he has obviously won and survived previous his previous battles, and the war. For him, losing means having comrades die, even if the objective is accomplished. He is portrayed as the wisest of the group, always thinking one set ahead, and training the others as a sort of mentor for each coming battle. He is the last person to acknowledge Kikuchiyo as a true samurai, but eventually does so when Kikuchiyo shows his true wisdom after returning to the village and persuading the elders to let them fight the bandits.
So overall, the characters were extremely well developed for the scope of this series. I think they were all pretty deep, except for Gorobe, but some might disagree with that. When you're given this much to write about just 7 of the main characters (and I could have done much, much more), you can tell that they were really well thought out.
ENJOYMENT: 10 (Outstanding)
I rate a show 10/10 for enjoyment when I finish an episode and have nothing compelling me to stop: I don't feel bored in the least, and I'm waiting on the edge of my seat for more. This show kept me wanting more, right from episode one, which some shows don't achieve until a few more episodes in.
OVERALL: 10 (Outstanding)
This show was truly great, and as the Blu-Ray boxset case states, "a must have for every anime collection". I agree.
Some people have said in other reviews that they didn't think the ending was all that good. I beg to differ, as I thought it was perfect. Without spoiling it, I'll say that certain likeable characters die, and I believe that is the reason others don't feel as good about it as I do. I was extremely sad when one character in particular died (if you read my review you know who I mean), but I was proud of the way he went out. In my opinion, his was one of the most kick-ass deaths in all of anime. Yes, probably even more epic than Kittan from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (which was in itself pretty epic).
So to end this off, if you haven't seen this series, go out and buy it. Don't even bother renting it, because I know that once you finish it, you'll just wish you owned it in the first place.
"A must have for any anime collection."
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Oct 28, 2008
Well, I finished this series a short while ago, so now it's time to put in a review for it. If you don't know what Ranma 1/2 is about, check out the synopsis above before reading.
Story: 7 (Good)
Ranma 1/2 does have somewhat of an ongoing story, although there is no major objective in the series other than Ranma's constant failed attempts to return his body to normal. Even though Ranma can return to 'boy-type' Ranma by taking a warm bath (cold water returns him to 'girl-type' Ranma, aka Ranko Tendo for some purposes), he still desires to once again become 'all man' by ridding himself ... of the Jusenkyo curse that was placed on him when he fell into the Spring of Drowned Girl. He feels as though his pride as a man has been dented by being able to turn into girl form, either willingly (for some purposes he does this for his own gain) or unwillingly (for either Happosai's entertainment or when some mishap occurs).
I gave the story a 7 because despite it not having a lot of depth, each episode usually strives to be unique and entertaining, and more often than not, does this without complaint. After about the first 120 episodes however, the episode stories do become pretty predictable, but there is still much enjoyment to be had if you've come to like the characters (which I have). So the story ends up with a 'good' rating, because it was, afterall, 'good', and not particularly bad.
Art: 9 (Great)
For the time period, Ranma 1/2's art and animation was pretty well done. No complaints really, some parts are more well-done than others, while you have the occasional background or scene where you can tell there was *some* degree of slacking off. But there is nothing really you can bash it for considering when it came out and how many episodes it ran for. I'm quite surprised the level of quality remained fairly consistent, although the animation from the start of the show did change part-way through, as you can tell if you've seen the series through to the end.
Sound: 8 (Very Good)
Most of the music in this show is fairly catchy, you might find yourself humming along with it, or when you're by yourself just doing something random. Again, nothing really to complain about here, yet nothing particularly spectacular either.
Character: 9 (Great)
While most of the characters do stay the same throughout the series and don't develop too much, Ranma 1/2 has a vast array of likable characters, ranging from minor and hardly-ever seen to major and always up to something predictable, yet hilarious. In fact, one of the strengths of this show is knowing what each character is going to try and do in certain situations, because even though you can see it coming before it happens, you find yourself rooting for your favourite character in hopes that their plan is successful. That's part of the fun in this show. And sometimes you *think* you know exactly what's going to happen, only to have a twist thrown in that you never expected that will have you laughing hysterically, only to find yourself playing back that scene a couple more times before moving on.
Ranma, Moose, and Ryoga seem to be the usual favourites of this show, and quite honestly, when these three go at it, comedy can't help but follow. Ryoga is usually getting lost when he has to walk more than a few minutes in a straight line, Moose is completely clueless of anything without his glasses, and Ranma is the glue that ties them all together with his level-headedness and arrogance. Most of the characters have one or more traits about them that make them who they are, and you come to know them by those traits. So even though none of the characters are very deep (with maybe the exception of Ranma and Akane), you learn to love them. And it's all too easy to do so.
Enjoyment: 10 (Outstanding)
I'll admit, I did start to get a bit bored by the time I got around to the episode 120-or-so mark, but overall, I'm glad I picked up this series, as it was a great watch most of the time. The fact that it ran so long may have been to it's detriment, but I'm sure if you take it in small doses and watch a little here and there, you can retain most of the comedic atmosphere and avoid some of the boredom that comes with watching this show in marathons, as I did frequently at the start.
Overall: 9 (Great)
It wasn't the best show in the world, but it's one I believe most anime fans should at least try a bit of at some point or another, because it's got something in it for everyone. It's made by the creator of Inu Yasha, which in itself might make you think it's *like* Inu Yasha, but no. I'll tell you right now, this show is not like Inu Yasha, the show where absolutely *nothing of interest* ever happens. Sure, nothing really epic happens in Ranma either, but at least it's *interesting* nothing. Sort of like Seinfeld, in a way.
Another thing I liked about it is that this show does not try to be ecchi. Far from it. Sure, someone will walk in on Ranma as a girl the odd time and you might catch a glimpse of some (uncensored) boobs, but it's not meant to be a big deal, there is no big eccentric close-up like in the ecchi series of today, there is no "WHOOA! Nosebleed!" effect (none that I can recall), and there is no 'kawaii' exclamation from someone every couple of minutes. It's simply a moment for the character, and it passes, and it's not a big deal.
An example: Ranma goes to a public bath. Ranma gets splashed with cold water by Happosai. Oh noes, boobs (because of the situation), but no one seems to care (and why should anyone? It's just boobs.) Ranma fights with Happosai. Ranma is eventually done and turns back into a guy, having gotten his revenge by punching Happy out through the ceiling or something. And that's it. These days series make a big deal of boobs on 'kawaii' girls and panty shots at unexpected times, and make them out to be a big deal. Ranma does not attempt to do this (maybe because of the time when it came out). It assumes more maturity on the part of the viewer, and I commend the PG rating on this show and the fact that no one felt it needed to be censored. There exist some otaku out there that love this show because it's down to Earth, and there also exist some otaku out there who may not like it because of that as well.
SO IS RANMA 1/2 FOR YOU?
If you're looking for a comedy series with a lot of laughs, interesting characters, and some memorable moments that you can share with other anime fans, then go for Ranma 1/2. Martial arts fans, you get a lot of that in this show as well, but it's not taken very seriously, and in fact, sometimes it's taken to a ridiculous (yet humourous) extent (ie. Martial Arts Tea Ceremony, Martial Arts Gymnastics, Good Ole Days Martial Arts, etc).
If you're looking for boobs or panty shots, well, you'll get boobs, but they won't be a big deal (nor should they really unless childish ecchi is your thing). If you're an ecchi fan, sorry, this won't do it for you.
Are you a rather mature anime fan who likes that classic aged animation, comedy, anything-goes humour, and a wide array of likable characters? If so, then Ranma 1/2 IS for you.
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Jul 16, 2008
Tsubasa Chronicle: Tokyo Revelations did what the rest of the anime series failed to do: be interesting. While the art style is more or less the same, it is obvious in the first few minutes that it has been supplemented with greater detail, some additional special effects here and there, and the animation seems to move more smoothly and remain more "active", versus the all-too-boring and sluggish feel of Tsubasa Chronicle and Tsubasa Chronicle 2nd Season.
Story: 8 - Very Good
We all know the story of Tsubasa Chronicle from the manga, because chances are, if you are not a manga reader, you have not seen this ... OVA, and if you are not a manga reader, you stumbled upon it through recommendation or pure curiosity. My point is, I'm not going to get into the story here because I'm sure 90% of the people reading this know it more or less. It has a very good story for CLAMP material if you consider the manga and forget the abomination of an anime exists.
Art: 9 - Great
The art was very well done, but could have been better. I wasn't seeing anything in the art here that I haven't seen in other OVA productions before, nothing that really sets it apart and goes the extra mile. But it's definitely up there in the quality department. It's great.
Sound: 9 - Great
Good music, nice sound effects. The sound and music in this series does a good job in setting the mood and keeping it in check at the right moments, and changing when it should change. It's not extremely repetitive which is always good, and is nice to listen to. It's great, but at the same time there are a lot of OVAs out there which more or less match this series in terms of quality and the amount of effort (seemingly) put in. But it is very nice.
Character: 7 - Good
I won't go there since I'm assuming you all know who the characters are and how they were developed in the manga, and further in this OVA. Character development in this show is pretty good, each character has a back-story that can be identified. However, overall, I don't find these characters all that interesting (except for Fai and Kurogane), or at least, as interesting as they could be. They tend to be repetitive in their actions, and become somewhat predictable. Not that this is a bad thing, it's simply not as interesting as compared to if they were to develop more to a point where their personality itself changed. That isn't the case in this series, after the initial character development, every is pretty much just static. It's not a bad thing, as I said, but it's not all that brilliant either. It's good the way it works out though, I suppose.
Enjoyment: 7 - Good
This OVA was enjoyable, but nothing on a grandeur epic scale. Maybe it's because I knew exactly what was going to happen, or maybe it's because this particular arc in the story is only interesting closer to the middle and end. In any case, it was decent, and there were some parts I really did enjoy and was pleased with.
Overall: 8 - Very Good
This is a very good OVA for the typical Tsubasa Chronicle fan. You will not regret watching it, but you won't necessarily think it's the greatest thing since pie either. But heck, it's Tsubasa Chronicle, and you know you can't wait to see Kurogane open a can of whoop ass. It's definitely worth the watch, however if you are new to the series, I suggest you read the manga at least up to this arc first, or you will be lost, and if you do decide to read-back later to fill in the empty spots, you will just spoil it for yourself.
So pick up Tsubasa RESERVOIR Chronicle and read it, and then supplement it with this wonderful OVA. The Menclave release comes highly recommended.
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Jul 7, 2008
It's been a while since I've seen this series, so I believe this is the right time to write a review. A lot of people sit down and rave about this show after having just seen it, but if you give yourself some time, you can write with a clear head.
On with the show. And please, people, let's try to be as unbiased as possible. Just because you thought this show may have been epic win, don't allow that thought to distract you from the facts. Let's read on shall we?
The story is original, I'll give it that. It's a neat idea, but far ... from epic as some fans make it out to be. When it's not focusing on the main plot, this show is more or less like any other set in this time, place, and atmosphere. A typical high school slice of life, with a pinch of something new. However, it could be improved upon, and is not air-tight. It's good at best, but again, far from epic.
The art is well done. It's not the best I've ever seen, and it's not eye-catching to the degree that some other anime out there are, but it's obviously got a decent budget backing it, and the artists put good work into what they do. At some points there is the odd "short-cut" that can be caught, but not often, and this is typical of many other series, so it's nothing to really complain about. The show never did air in Hi-Vision, but I suppose I can't knock it for that because of when it aired. I'd say the art in this show is on par with most of the other well animated anime out there, and maybe goes a bit farther. But like a lot of things, it could have been better.
The sound and music in this show was very good, I quite enjoyed it. I think just about anyone will find themselves tapping their toes to some of the tracks and humming along here and there, and it's pleasant to listen to when the background music gets going and not much is happening (when the characters are in-between action scenes or are lazing about like they sometimes are on occasion). Not epic, but very good and enjoyable.
This is where I have to give this show a bit of a shake. Although the character development was fair for a show of this length and an aim to be more original by sort of just throwing you in (which worked out in this case), I disliked Haruhi as a main character quite frankly. I know that a lot of fans out there will think "How could you? She is everything a main character should be!", but I'm afraid I have to disagree. In one word, she is annoying. In another, bitchy, and yet another, completely predictable. I'm sorry to say it fans, but I just don't like her one bit. I gave her a chance, I did all I could to find something I liked about her, but I just can't follow the flock on this one. Otherwise, the other characters are alright, and much more likable.
At times I enjoyed the show, and at times, I was falling asleep.. I was probably falling asleep more than anything else. I can't really say why, most of the time it was just.. Uninteresting? You get a rather long stretch of nothing much happening in this show (or just something you don't care about much), then you're hit with something spectacular and unexpected. Unfortunately, it just doesn't happen often enough, or you can see it coming all too soon. For the rare occasions where this show caught me off guard and made me go "wow", I kept its head above the water of a 5. But for the rest, a 6. Fair.
The show is fair. It has it's faults, and really good things about it as well, but after watching it quite a while ago and writing this with a clear head, it wasn't anything special. It had some neat ideas which were incorporated quite well, but it just didn't have enough kick to it to keep it at the top of my list of shows I really, really enjoyed. It fell down in there with a lot of the rest of them: It was alright.
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Jun 30, 2008
I know it's still quite early in the game to be writing a review for this series, but after having just finished episode 8, I'm feeling somewhat agitated, and this will help cool me down.
STORY: 3 (Poor)
Thus far, even though it's early, Real Drive seems to have no discernible plot what-so-ever. In fact, it's quite boring. The beginning of the series started out alright and showed a huge amount of promise, leaving me full of wonder and intrigue, but now... Meh, it's all I can do to keep watching (in agony).
ART: 6 (Fair)
Quite frankly, the art for the background scenery, most of the male characters, ... and in general is pretty well done. However, and no I'm not saying that all the female characters have to be "pretty" or "ideal", but the portrayal of the female characters in Real Drive is probably one of the most annoying "features" of the show. Almost every girl in this show is either chubby or outright fat, and if that's not enough to just annoy you a bit, the artists seem to want to rub it in your face some more by (ever second episode or so) having these characters sit down to the fattiest, most sugar-filled calorie-rich feast they can possibly encounter--and glomp it all down. I can stand the fatty characters, but this last point just annoys me on a whole new level. Other than that however, the animation is very well done, and it's a shame the rest of it is the way it is.
SOUND: 9 (Great)
I like the soundtrack for the show so far, and the background music is nice to listen to. Not much more to say here, it's enjoyable.
ENJOYMENT: 3 (Poor)
While I enjoy aspects of this show, what I really want to see is more of the "main" character, Haru. I'm so much more interested in him than I am in Minamo (who can just take a hike for all I care). In fact, I've grown so far as to hate Minamo, and just seeing her on the screen temps me to just close down MPC, delete all my RD episodes and never ever, ever give them another chance. She and her friends are the most annoying characters in all of anime, and have ruined my prospective enjoyment of this show that had so much potential. When Minamo is off-screen, enjoyment goes up. When she appears, mouse goes to the top right corner and I have to fight myself from just dropping this show.
OVERALL: 4 (Decent)
Okay, so there are a lot of things about Real Drive that I do like:
1. Interesting (even though not completely original) concept of the Meta Real
2. Sense of curiosity that revolves around every character excluding Minamo and friends
3. Wondering what the plot is actually going to be (assuming there will be one)
4. All of the art besides that which has to do with Minamo and friends is nicely done and sometimes even breathtaking
5. Wondering what the deal with Kushima is.
What would make RD a great show and boost ratings in almost every category and blast this show up a few hundred spots on this website? Kill of Minamo and friends. Please, do the world a favor, end our suffering and kill her off. Then I would give this show 10's across the board.
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