Apr 8, 2009
ParaParaJMo (All reviews)
If you're strongly familiar with Kamen Rider when watching this anime, you'll notice a lot of similarities with the plot elements. And it is not coincidence because the original manga-ka, Yoshiki Takaya, was influenced by Kamen Rider. But despite that, a lot of traits in Guyver are still distinctively unique, original, and engaging.

The beginning of this anime will be repetitive in some aspects, but I feel it is for the right reasons. At times, Cronos will try to kidnap Tetsuro and Mizuki to lure out Sho in almost the first 12 or so episodes, but like I said, the reasons are legitimate since it's the only way they can lure out Sho and eventually, they'll resort to other methods and the series itself develops to go beyond that aspect. I think the show was being realistic in that kind of way and I feel it does a great job of conveying that which is why I can forgive it being repetitive in that light.

What I love most about this installment of Guyver is how it uses a majority of their characters and how they develop individually, as well as their relationships with one another. It really surprises me how Mizuki develops and is used in this series. I say any average anime watcher will wonder how a character like her can be utilized, and I love how the anime really explores that and makes the story progress all at the same time.

As for where the anime ends, I heard it only covers roughly half of what the manga offers. It has an ending that does feel conclusive, but there is still a mountain of material and aspects left to explore, develop, and resolve. I know Chris Patton (who plays Sho) has expressed in the DVD commentary as well as the dub director that they want to do more Guyver. I hope in due time they make more Guyver anime.

Moving on, if you've seen the original OAV or read the manga, a majority of the character designs still have the same feel, but with new techniques have an upgrade that apply to faces, clothing, and hairstyles which makes them look more appropriate to their ages while I felt some of the character designs in the oav looked a little too mature and old, especially Tetsuro and Agito. Sho this time looks a lot like Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing as opposed to his more feminine design in the oav (I'm to assume that his design in the oav is more faithful to the manga's). Sho looks a little more generic with his design but he still comes across as unassuming with his slim build. I also like Murakami's design in this TV series. I felt his new fashion for the TV series is also appropriate for this day and age as he looked more like a Miami Vice character in the OAV, and I feel that design would be a little silly today, especially his aviator sunglasses in the oav (despite my love for old school.....and Miami Vice).

The coloring and detail to the Guyver suits still look appropriately organic, but the movement also makes it look more flexible and less stiff from the original OAV. The action is pretty violent on Berserk levels and its constant and exciting. My biggest problem is some of the background drawings, especially in the forest during the daytime. The detail and coloring look more like a children's coloring book. It really does stick out like a sore thumb. But the city designs on the other hand are very breath taking and the other character designs as the series goes on are pretty shiny and nifty.

I would like to open up this part of the review by saying I really enjoy the dub. It's of course not in the league of Cowboy Bebop's or Gundam 08th MS Team's, but it's a great dub and far superior to the old OAV dub which really sucked. I thought the actors did a very excellent job of portraying teenagers and yet still being true to the situation that lies around them. Despite how I feel that the seiyuu cast in this one doesn't hold up to the talent of the oav's cast, I felt it still does a great job and I feel the English equals it. So despite not having an all star cast in Japanese, I think the English and Japanese voice acting are still top notch.

The background music is also excellently orchestrated. It really creates this organic feel and it really comes across as sci-fi along with horror elements. I thought the OAV had more catchy music and I personally like it more, but as contradictory as it sounds, I think the music in this series captures the atmosphere of Guyver more appropriately.

All I can say is if you want a well-paced story with an excellently utilized cast of characters along with wicked action, then this is the anime for you. As for a new installment, I hope to count on it.