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Nov 15, 2008
Preliminary
In the mid-1990's Yokohama yakuza scene, "W·A," or "Wild Adapter," is hot. It's a dangerous drug that amps its users up into a superhuman state, and then their organs explode, effectively killing them. The corpses left behind are transformed into an animalistic state, i.e. fur and claws. Two powerful yakuza groups, the Izumokai and the Toujougumi, are fighting for control over W·A, and the police continue a baffled investigation over the gory remains of W·A users.

Kubota Makoto [age 17ish at the beginning of the series] manages to stumble into a leadership position of the Izumokai youth division; he comes across as aloof and indifferent, even read more
Oct 10, 2008
Harukanaru's plot--or rather, lack thereof--bothered me. Aside from the premise, which has to be taken with a grain of salt due to its inherent cliche nature [teenage girl is transported to magical era: see Twelve Kingdoms, Inuyasha, Fushigi Yuugi--all published before Harukanaru, firmly establishing the genre], the plot is badly constructed, forcing the story along at a jerky pace. The revelations were utterly predictable, and the only thing that was surprising was the lack of ingenuity and bewildering logic of some of the so-called "twists." I was never actually clear on the basic motivations of good and evil, because they were never actually stated. It's read more
Jul 26, 2008
Honestly: Ronin Warriors is kind of an awful series. The story is rambling and at times nonsensical [especially the English adaptation], which consistently wonky art and animation. The sound tends to be ridiculous [evil theme music precedes every villian ever] and totally period-80s. The characters are maybe the best out of all of the series' points, with mulleted teenage boys and ridiculous villians that are dopey and endearing. The voice-acting has a few gems: in Japanese, Takeshi Kusao voices the main character, Ryo, and Nozomu Sasaki voices Shin; in English there's Matt Hill as Ryo and Scott McNeil as the warlord Kale. However, the English read more
Jul 26, 2008
The aesthetics of Samurai Champloo are amazing. The art has a distinct style, and the animation is fluid and just awesome. The soundtrack, also, contributes to what makes Sam Cham special: that nifty fusion of traditional Japanese period and hip-hop. The only way it's a working mix is when the art and the sound are there together, making it, aesthetically, a tour de force.

Samurai Champloo is a journey story, and because it's a journey story, the plot suffers. Fortunately, the premise is also simple: Mugen and Jin go with Fuu to find her sunflower samurai. Everything that happens from the first episode on is almost read more