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Jul 22, 2010
Aria (Manga) add
Poets and travel agencies abound that describe places as having a character of their own; books and anecdotes aplenty consider cities to be living entities. A place, then, is something that one may get to know better, and something familiar that seems to share - and have a share in - one's own life.
A depiction of little more than the life of characters within their setting, Aria has often been described as being fully character-centric. It is not nearly the only manga to have been given this description, but seldom has it been a more apt one - as long as the reader keeps ...
Jun 30, 2010
A sensory description accompanied by fields of gold swaying as the west wind moves. A reference to a European legend so obscure most people living where the legend was current will have never heard of it, and well-used to boot. A depiction of change, of progress and of its accompanying alteration of people's perception. All in a preamble spoken in a soft voice.
How could this not turn out to be brilliant?

When discussing Spice and Wolf, the very title of the series is of interest. More particularly, the sequence of the words of that title. Whereas the Japanese original should have produced the sequence 'Wolf and ...
May 29, 2009
Based on a series of books by Mori Hiroshi, The Sky Crawlers, the latest film by Oshii Mamoru (of Ghost in the Shell fame), tells a tale within a world that is essentially at peace, wherein wars have once again become the domain of contracted mercenary groups who fight each other in the name of their contractors, be it for some profound reason or simply for entertainment, these wars being fought to a large extent by 'Kildren', long-lived beings who are not quite human.
The film opens with the arrival of Kannami Yuuichi, a 'Kildren' ('Kild'?), at a small forward base of his company in Europe, ...
Apr 25, 2009
Mixed Feelings
In this, the third Ikkitousen anime, it seems as if the makers simply didn't care anymore and threw all the pretence of a story out of the window. Instead of yet another thirteen episodes connected by some sub-par plot on ancient warriors reborn and duking it out, we get a plot device that is mostly there to have good girls do bad deeds in a ridiculous and consciously self-mocking fashion. It's actually a rather fun ride - if you don't mind the occasional badly animated bared breast.

As Ikkitousen: Great Guardians follows on two earlier anime the show assumes that the main characters and their general ...
Mar 31, 2009
Every now and then, anime shows us a world wherein people smile more often than they do in actuality. From the very opening sequence of Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto - Natsu no Sora it becomes apparent that it is one of those precious shows.

Though it seems a sequel to the 2003 Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto, they only share the same fictional rendering of Japan and it is not necessary to have watched the earlier show to appreciate Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto - Natsu no Sora (hereinafter, Natsu no Sora), as all characters and most of the setting have changed.

Within ...
Nov 1, 2008
Flag (Anime) add
To us foreigners, it perhaps can't get any more Japanese than Flag: in essence, this series is about two Japanese and their cameras.
Set in the near future, in a fictional nation that very strongly looks as if it should be positioned on the India-China border, somewhere in the Kashmir region, Flag recounts the story of the civil conflict that crippled said nation and of the UN sponsored peace talks following a photograph (containing the Flag the series is named after) that became a powerful symbol of cooperation between the parties involved. It follows the photographer of said photo, who is officially installed as reporter of ...
Oct 23, 2008
Mixed Feelings
Vampire Hunter is the animated version of the 2D fighting game by Capcom of the same name, perhaps better known as Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge. It seems to be targeted, as most such anime are, to fans of the original game, and, as such, seems to take it for granted that the public has some knowledge about the characters, their backgrounds, and the overall back story.
As I'm not an aficionado of the games myself, having played them only every now and again, it's somewhat difficult for me to say whether or not the anime really ties into the games, so this review will mainly focus ...
Aug 28, 2008
Mixed Feelings
Tower of Druaga is perhaps the finest example in years of a non-comedic series taking on all the trappings of fantasy cliché and making proper use of them, and, as such, turned out to be pleasantly surprising.

The series is based on an old and at the time successful arcade game in which you play a valiant knight entering a leveled tower to slay the evil overlord and rescue the princess. What made the game popular were the various almost random actions you had to perform in order to be able to ascend to the next level. The original game had a number of sequels, of ...
Jun 25, 2008
Youhei Pierre (Manga) add
Preliminary (13/26 chp)
First of all, this manga is still being published, so my review can only touch on the chapters I've read this far, being those of the first two volumes as translated by Illuminati-Manga and Izumo no Ryuu.

Welcome to France, anno 1429, in the later part of the Hundred Years' War, where we meet the leader of a band of mercenaries, aptly named, as per the title, Pierre, who, when not on the field of battle, spends his time marauding and plundering. So doing, he tries to rob three men of all their goods, including their clothing, to find out one of them is actually a ...
May 27, 2008
This series is overrated on this site. That is to say, with 110 episodes, your vote only counts after you've seen 22 episodes, almost a full season, and those who don't like this show probably won't wait for 22 episodes to decide.
Which is a shame, as it's only after about 20 episodes that this series progresses from something that is slow, somewhat overly bombastic, and hinting at more to come to show itself to be one of the most intelligent pieces of anime that's been made to date.

When I say 'intelligent', I don't mean it to be cunning, surprising the viewer with unsuspected plot ...

It’s time to ditch the text file.
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