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Author Topic: Spike Lives! (Anime talk)  (Read 23119 times)
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wu_konguk

Urban Legend
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« Reply #360 on: 10-31-2010 21:37 »

Well been a while since I have done a review but after finally watching this I really felt I should.

Just a precursor, this review may require some knowledge of the series Neon Genesis Evangelion considering it is a remake of sorts.

Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0: You can (not) advance

Now I will admit I was somewhat disappointed with the first Rebuild film as in very much felt like the first half or dozen or so episodes just with a new gloss of paint. It did look nice but did not really add anything new to the series, this is not the case with the second movie.

This film starts off with a new pilot fighting a previously unseen angel. The new character Mari seems interesting enough and seems to fit it well with the series and certainly raises more questions in the series. The new character is not the only change the film makes from the series Asuka's introduction has changed quite a bit (and for some reason her name has changed to Asuka Langley Shikinami). The angles have changed but mostly cosmetically. One of the big changes I will not spoil but will just say they changed the pilot of unit 3 (the choice was quite shocking if you have seen the seires and know what happens next).

The visuals are very nice making good use of CG and the vistas are quite spectacular. The music is also nice if not quite as puchy as the tv series.

 The films runs up The plot flows alot faster than the series (actually a little suprising considering there are still two films to come), which means there is alot less of Shinji mopping around. The characterisations work well in my opinons especailly with more done with Rei than there has been in previous works. The plot runs up to episode 20 of the series but the resoultion of that plot is vastly different from the sereis and is in fact more remenicent of The end of Evangelion film.

I enjoyed this film alot and is certainly an improvement on the first rebuild and if you like evangelion I would recomend it.

A
Pitt Clemens

Urban Legend
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« Reply #361 on: 11-02-2010 20:37 »
« Last Edit on: 11-07-2010 03:09 »

Urusei Yatsura

I've been working on reviewing this series in its entirety since the spring.  If you new my dedication to watching it you would respond first with amazement, and then you'd probably get a little depressed.  

This was Rumiko Takahashi's breakout manga creation that blew the high school romance genre literally into orbit.  The story centers around Ataru Moriboshi (Lit. "To be hit by a falling star") He's a lech and a loser and spends his days skirt chasing and suffering various minor misfortunes.  One day he meets a strange monk who warns him of an impending danger that he does not heed.  Immediately after this he is abducted by Government agents who take him to his home where a giant man/monster with tiger stripped clothes is waiting to meet him.  The Oni (Japanese: Ogre), an alien race, has set sights on an invasion of planet earth, and Mr. Invader their leader and the gentle-ogre who came to visit had come to Moriboshi's house to propose a contest.  Since the Oni are so dramatically more advanced than the human race, thus making a war bloody and pointless, he has decided whether or not the invasion takes place will depend on Ataru winning a game of tag against an Oni competitor.  Ataru at first refuses but when the competitor is revealed to be the Oni's sexy daughter, Lum Invader, he jumps at the chance of getting his hands all over her (though he only has to grab one of her horns).  The game of tag goes horribly for Ataru and in nine days of trying he fails completely at grabbing the Oni by the horns, which puts him in bitter resentment of her, and sinks him down into depression.  To save his spirits his girlfriend Shinobu promises that, should he win, she would marry him.  This works very well, and in the last day of the contest Ataru tricks Lum into coming after him.  He finally tags her horns declaring loudly that his victory is "For MARRIAGE!"  Lum mistakes this as a proposal directed to herself.  Shinobu does the same and dumps Ataru on the spot.  Lum, meanwhile, accepts Ataru as her new fiance and "Darling."  Thus, the bizarre love triangle from the stars is born.

From there on things get weird.  The over arching theme of the stories, the characters and not just in UY but most of Takahashi-san's works is self interest.  Each character introduced is solely concerned with their own desires and the characters easily become confrontational with each other when those interests are not met or acknowledged.  It's an interesting dynamic because the line between friendships and rivalries is so often paper thin, and the same characters shown as the villain in one instance may be an ally in the very next episode, depending on how the story reflects their own self interests.

Tack that changing dynamic onto the plethora of recurring characters and what you're left with is a show that has very similar plot structure from episode to episode, but each one posesses a new arrangement of alliances to develop the characters relationships.  

The first few seasons (and two movies) are directed by big-name anime producer Mamoru Oshii (of ghost in the shell fame) who faithfully and humorously translates the manga to the small screen.  The style of animation starts out very sketchy for the first season, reminiscent of the animated Dennis the Menace cartoons but quickly in coming is the 1980's Yuji Moriama look of animation that came developed out of shows such as the Dirty Pair and movies like project A-ko.  It has an iconic animation feel as much as Chuck Jone's loony tunes...Sorry.  Retrogasm.  Coming back to Oshii, he does a fine job with each episode, but one can feel his inner need to tell his own stories and come into his own as a creator bubbling up in the show.  He actually gets away with it in episode 78, as well as the Second movie.  Both of these instances earned him some anger from the creators and staff above him, but for me it's worth it because when Oshii pushed his own brilliance upon the series; those were some of the shows best moments.

The one other Takahashi animation I have seen a bit of is Ranma 1/2, which I always liked for having such a broad and not-underutilized cast.  Naturally I expected UY to deliver the same, and not only are the characters diverse, Urusei Yatsura goes a step further and diversifies all kinds of locations.  From fantasy worlds made entirely of doors to alternate futures to the snowy surface of planet Neptune.  From the High school corridors of Tomobiki to the far-flung galactic capital city of princess Elle.  And everywhere in between.  You don't really know where the next story will take place or who will be in it, all you know from the start of each episode is Lum will pursue Ataru, and try to win him over, and Ataru will flirt with as many girls as possible.  So based on that premise separate and new stories flow out one by one.  With so much diversity in plot and characters you're bound to come away with some favorites, and mine is by far Ryuunoskue.  She's a tough, brawling girl who was raised by her abusive, and possibly insane father to be a boy.  This warped her so much that she doesn't really know who she is or how she should act, so she resorts to being brash and confrontational despite wanting to be peaceful and feminine.  She is always fun to watch and is clearly prototypical of Takahashi's next large manga project, the gender-bending martial arts extravaganza that was Ranma 1/2.

Aside from the elements that anime brings to the table, do you want to know what show this series feels most like: (And I'm being absolutely real about this) Futurama.  Each are sci-fi comedies that center around a simple group dynamic set against a super science backdrop of both the impossible and comical. Urusei Yatsura often feels like a spiritual prequel for Futurama in both the content and sometimes even the messages that come across.  It's fun to see that the military in the UY universe is just as inept as they would be if commanded by Zapp Branagan and it's never fun if you have a health or spiritual problem and the only help you can get are either Dr. Zoidberg or the persistently haunted, though sexy,  nurse Sakura and her creepy uncle.

So futurama fans would feel right at home, if you can imagine Phillip J. Fry about a thousand times more horny.  Of all the characters that get under your skin in this series, I'm willing to bet that Ataru will rate number one for you.  He is constantly flirting and failing with every girl he meets and his never-ending surprise greeting of "O-jooooo-Chan" (Preeeety laaaaady!) wears the viewer a little thin.  Neverthe less it works to the advantage of the show in at least two ways.  The first being that in the serious moments of the show when his flirtatiousness is revealed to be just a facade and his true emotions ring forth it really helps to make him endearing to the viewer and also his hunts for sexy girls always reward the viewer with just that.  From local school girls to biker-babes from outer space Ataru and Lum manage to get mixed up with an amazing crowd.

Another small note will be to listen close to the soundtrack.  Most of the music is original and has both a sense of quirky fun, along with some bittersweet romance.   However occasionally hidden in the shows music are some recognizable Beatles songs "Your mother should know" "Fool on the hill" and "Magical Mystery tour." are definitely covered and I'm pretty sure I even heard "Blue Jay way" in one of the episodes.

Negative criticisms are to be said and I suppose I might as well mention that some of the characters are perpetually annoying.  Ten-Chan, Lum's bothersome and flame-throwing baby cousin comes to mind along with the adorable but predictable, air-headded and excessive armor clad-girl Asuka.  Still, I can't say any one character ruined an episode with the possible exception of space-baby Kintaro who even makes Ten-chan likable by comparison.  Fortunately he only really appears for one episode.  My one big complaint of the series is that it is not Sci-fi intensive.  There are at least as many episodes that deal with fantasy elements (Ghosts, faeries, pesky anthropomorphic foxes) as there are episodes that deal with science-fiction elements (Space ships, aliens, supercomputers) This skews the series out of the genre very often and takes away some of my favorite characters.  (I like the alien babes)   Still, even without the show being completely science fiction I still think it holds up so strongly I can't help but advise catching it.

Anyway, this is the biggest retro anime watching project I've yet to undertake.  The series and the first four movies.  

The series is as a whole relies on redundant gimmicks but uses fresh storytelling to forward the romance-driven plot, and it's really a good watch.
The special and the OVAs, which are all either re-caps or nothing out of the ordinary for the series. (But do watch the second half of the special before episode 138)
The first movie plays like an extended and more fleshed out single episode, and involves Ataru being taken to a far away planet to marry another woman.
The second movie is a perplexing, dreamlike adventure that seems to have turned Tomobiki upside-down, and it's my favorite of the films.
The third film deals with a curse that has to be destroyed many years in the future and how it affects Tomobiki and the major couple in particular.  It carries over some of the dreamlike qualities of the second film.
The fourth film makes absolutely no sense  but goes to crazy extremes just to shed some deeper light on characters who are so much more than the superficial.
The fifth film is meant to be a wrap up of the series as a whole, so I'm stopping the review there because from what I understand I WILL hate the sixth film.


Anyway, there it is, TL;DR.  The show was good.  Catch a few episodes of it, and it's a real winner.

Urusei Yatsura:
Series +/- OVAs: A
Movie 1, Only You: B
Movie 2, Beautiful Dreamer: A+
Movie 3, Remember My Love:C+
Movie 4: Lum, the forever: B-
Movie 5: The final chapter: A-
Tweek

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« Reply #362 on: 11-07-2010 18:26 »

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (right click on video player to activate subtitles)

First impression:

Dirty Pair + Powerpuff girls + Invader Zim + Filthy, filthy, filthy, filthy humor + Heaping anime awesome = Damn.

Good recommendation, I watched a few episodes; it is hilarious if a little crude... I don't imagine it will ever air on Western television though evil laugh
Pitt Clemens

Urban Legend
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« Reply #363 on: 11-08-2010 06:42 »
« Last Edit on: 11-08-2010 06:47 »

Hey, Nurdbot.  If you're out there where the hell are you and what the hell have you been watching.

Pitt's Reduced anime summaries of 2010 (Stolen blatantly from T.H.E.M. reviews)

Soul Eater

Evangelion 1.0

Evangelion 2.0

Girls High

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Iczer-1

Urusei Yatsura

Wakfu

Dominion Tank Police

Ebichu Minds the house

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

Toradora
Nixorbo

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« Reply #364 on: 11-27-2010 20:26 »

How many can you name?
Tweek

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« Reply #365 on: 12-05-2010 09:14 »
« Last Edit on: 12-08-2010 22:18 »

A couple of tear-jerkers:

Casshern Sins

I didn't know anything about this series when I first saw that it could be viewed on Funimation's YouTube Channel and when I started watching it I thought it was going to be another 'fighting robot' anime which didn't appeal too much. I'm glad I didn't give up as it is far more than that. As the series begins we learn that Casshern is a robot who has lost his memory, other robots he meets tell him that he killed somebody called Luna and this caused something known as 'The Ruin'. This has caused everything in the world except for Casshern to decay. He also learns of a legend which states that whoever devours him will gain everlasting life, not surprisingly this leads to many confrontations. Most of these robots are quickly dispatched however there are several recurring characters; some friends, some foes and some who start out as foes but become friends. These characters include Lyuze whose sister was one of Luna's bodyguards, Ohji and Ringo, and elderly robot and a young girl and Dio, a robot much like Casshern but effected by the ruin.

As the series progresses Casshern and the group travelling with him must overcome several dangers and eventually hear a rumour that Luna may still be alive! Of course this may just be a rumour but the must find out. One would expect a show full of robots fighting would be exciting and action packed; this however is very downbeat. This was largely down to the brilliant music which made the fighting seem futile rather than thrilling. It also made me think that main characters might not make it to the end of the series. The animation fitted the tone of the series, there wasn't as much character detail as there is with most series but they still conveyed real emotion and there was a constant sense of desolation provided by the backgrounds. There were some clichés; the main characters tend to look human and whenever one of them fought against the much larger, mechanical looking robots they win easily, they only really seem in danger when fighting each other.

9/10

Haibane Renmei

Ever since I saw a trailer for this anime I wanted to see it so when I spotted the DVD boxed set for sale at a decent price I snapped it up; I’m glad I did as I enjoyed every moment even if I was reduced to tears by the end. The animation is excellent and the music by Kou Ootani is equally good. Like all series what matters most is the characters and how their story is told; here the story is relatively simple but a joy to watch and the characters are people you enjoy spending time with.

The story follows the life of a girl who one day dreams of falling then awakens to find herself emerging from a cocoon. She has no memories and is given the name Rakka by the people who find her. These aren’t ordinary people however, they are Haibane: angel-like with wings and halos. Soon Rakka is given a halo too and sprouts wings. Rakka lives with a group of Haibane but is particularly friendly with Reki who acts like a big sister to her. Over the course of the series she learns many things about Haibane life but not all of her questions are answered and by the end of the series the viewer will be left wondering about many things.

If you are looking for a series full of laughs or action then this probably isn’t the series for you but if you want something different that instead of answering every question leaves you thinking then give this a go. The characters were excellent and I was really interested in their world that is as mysterious to the viewer as it is to Rakka.

10/10

And one with laughs and thrills:

Durarara!!

This series is made by the same people who brought us the excellent Baccano! and it shows; like the earlier series it features a large cast of characters whose relationship to each other is not immediately obvious and there is also a supernatural element to the story. There are major differences too; this is set in modern day Japan and follows a far more linear structure, the level of violence is lower too making this suitable for a less squeamish audience.

Mikado Ryugamine has moved from the countryside to a suburb of Tokyo where he is reunited with his childhood friend Masaomi Kida. Here he is introduced to the various characters and told which of the areas inhabitants he should stay away from; not surprisingly these are the very people the two protagonists get involved with. As the story progresses they come across a headless motorcyclist who is searching for her head, a black Russian sushi seller, a man with unnatural strength and an information broker who likes manipulating people. Into this mix there three gangs and a mysterious slasher can be added. As the various plots are worked out the two male protagonists along with Anri Sonohara, a girl from their class, get in a variety of scrapes and reveal many secrets that I won't spoil here.

I really enjoyed this series; it was packed full of interesting characters and even though I had a little difficulty remembering all the names they were animated in a way that made it easy to know who was who. Talking of the animation; I thought it looked really good, the main characters were distinctive and interestingly all the background people were grey so in crowd scenes the viewer knows who to watch. I found the stories to be interesting enough for me to want to watch the next episode as soon as I could. As well of containing plenty of thrills there were also quite a few laughs to be had. Fans of Baccano! will be pleased to spot a few references to it along with an amusing cameo from Isaac and Miria! These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.

These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #366 on: 12-11-2010 21:09 »

Is it wrong that I want to watch Durarara!! just for the Isaac and Miria cameo?  If so, I don't want to be right.
winna

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« Reply #367 on: 12-11-2010 21:14 »

How are things going with you lately David A?  I wonder if you live upto my imaginary expectations of what kind of person you are.  I'll assume that you sit around with your pharoah crown and critique cartoons, movies, and television series rather accurately.  Also, you and DoTheBartman are friends. smile
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #368 on: 12-11-2010 21:39 »

I'm sure I'm probably exactly as you imagine me in real life, except that DotheBartman and I aren't friends.
winna

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« Reply #369 on: 12-11-2010 23:26 »

But you both used to be regular members of some obscure simpsons message board in this comic that I imagined I drew..... hmpf
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #370 on: 12-12-2010 10:00 »

I've never been a member of a Simpsons message board.  I used to post on a Phantasy Star message board before Peel, but that's it.
Tweek

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« Reply #371 on: 12-12-2010 10:24 »

Is it wrong that I want to watch Durarara!! just for the Isaac and Miria cameo?  If so, I don't want to be right.

Its not wrong but I think you'd find yourself getting into the series before you get to that scene... although when you get to it you might not approve of the fact that the subs refer to 'Milia' not 'Miria' tongue
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #372 on: 12-12-2010 11:06 »

Sounds like a good reason not to watch the subtitled version.  On the other hand, the English dub wasn't done by Funimation, so they wouldn't have the same voices.  Kif, we have a conundrum.

Of course, 'Milia' and 'Miria' are phonetically identical in Japanese, but whatever.
Tweek

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« Reply #373 on: 12-22-2010 18:53 »

Mitsudomoe

Mitsudomoe is a comedy set in the primary school where Satoshi Yabe has just taken a job; he is looking forward to getting to know his class... then he meets the Marui sisters. Mitsuba, Futaba and Hitoha Marui aren't malicious but they do make life difficult for Yabecchi, as they have dubbed their teacher. As an example in the opening episode they decide that the best way to help Yabecchi get together with the pretty school nurse is to damage his groin so she will have to examine it... naturally he wonders what he has done to come under such violent attack! Throughout the series there are constant misunderstandings which lead to just about everybody being considered a pervert when their intentions are (usually) innocent. Expect constant references to panties and people believing others are trying to see them; Nipples, the class hamster, who the class talk about stroking leading to further misunderstandings by those who overhear and breasts... Futaba is genuinely obsessed with them!

I suspect viewers will think this is either puerile rubbish or hilarious; I'm in the latter group as I laughed till I cried more than once. Despite the constant talking about panties it isn't THAT sort of anime and we never see them in situ so to speak; the only times we see a pair is when Futuba wears then over her trousers and when Shinya, a boy in the class, accidentally ends up wearing a pair on his head... I won't spoil how that happens though! The characters were all distinctive and likable; Yabecchi had and innocent charm, the sisters managed to get in hilarious situations without anybody getting too badly hurt. They are quite different; oldest Mitsuba is somewhat bossy, Futaba is unbelievable strong and youngest Hitoha is quiet but manages to frighten several people without trying. Their father was great too; his constant run-ins with the police due to various misunderstandings were an amusing running gag. There are plenty of secondary characters who are also used well; mostly other members of Yabecchi's class.

This series is currently available on CrunchyRoll so can be viewed legally on line, I hope they stream the second series as I was left wanting more after the thirteen episodes of this series were over.

These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.

9/10
Tweek

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« Reply #374 on: 12-31-2010 21:17 »
« Last Edit on: 01-01-2011 21:31 »

Now the first season is over:

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

This series from Studio Gainax does not look like your average anime in fact if it weren't for the fact that it is in Japanese viewers could be excused for thinking it was a western series. The series follows the escapades of two angels, named Panty and Stocking, who have been sent from heaven to eliminate ghosts in Daten City. These girls aren't your stereotypical angels however; Panty is a sex maniac and Stocking is addicted to sweet food. The first few episodes see them defeating various ghosts but half way through the series their Nemesis, two demons named Scanty and Kneesocks arrive, ironically these two may be demons but they are sticklers to obeying the rules. These two are great additions to the cast and help to improve an already great series.

Each episode consists of two stories and while there were a few duds most stories were hilarious although those offended by frequent swearing, often in uncensored English; references to many bodily functions and promiscuous behaviour would be strongly advised to give this series a miss if you aren't bothered then check it out and expect plenty of laughs. While there are lots of sex references there is nothing that could be considered fan service due to the animation style; this does switch to a more traditional anime style for their sexy pole dancing transformation scenes but even these are very tame compared to many series.

As the last episode ended with a cliff hanger and the words 'too be continued next season' it looks as if there may be more to come next year; I certainly hope so as thirteen episodes wasn't enough.

At the time of writing this series can be watched in Japanese with English subtitles on Crunchyroll but I have read that it will be removed soon; hopefully this is an indication that somebody hopes to release in on DVD; If it gets an R2 PAL release I'd certainly consider buying it.

9/10

Squid Girl

While 'Squid Girl' is clearly aimed at young viewers it is a lot of fun for all ages; the series follows the adventures of the eponymous Squid Girl as she seeks to conquer the surface world in revenge for humanity's mistreatment of the oceans. Her invasion doesn't get very far; before she has even got off the beach she accidentally damages a beach café and finds herself working in the 'Lemon Beach House' to pay for the damage. Strangely nobody there seems scared of her, probably because she looks almost human, the only obvious sign of her squiddiness is the fact that she has long blue tentacles instead of hair. At the café she makes friends with the owners Eiko and her sister Chizuru, she also meets Sanae, a local girl who has a bit of a crush on her and Nagisa who is her favourite as she is the only person she meets who is afraid of her! The only threat to her comes from a group of scientists led by American Cindy Campbell who wish to experiment on her as they think he is an alien; however their level of competence means they are of little danger to her and serve to provide a few laughs.

Each episode consists of three short stories where Squid Girl has adventures with her new friends; most of these are normal activities for people but seem exciting to Squid Girl. These adventures aren't all fun for her; for example she didn't enjoy it when she was expected to provide vast quantities of squid ink to flavour noodles and was terrified when she saw an inflatable killer whale toy! This series was very cute and a lot of fun; it contained plenty of laughs but more importantly kept me smiling from start to finish. I really liked all of the characters especially Squid Girl herself. The animation was good and the she spoke inserting the words 'squid' and 'ink' into other words added to its cuteness. It is a shame that the series was only twelve episodes long as when it finished I was left wanting to see more.

10/10
Pitt Clemens

Urban Legend
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« Reply #375 on: 01-21-2011 21:00 »
« Last Edit on: 01-22-2011 01:04 »

Yosuga no Sora

Ever like a show but hate the ending?  How about a series that gives you 4 different endings to chose from?  Yosuga no Sora is an anime adaptation of an adult visual novel, complete with High-school drama, softcore sex scenes and an alternate plot line and ending for each of the girls Haruka is trying to get (or expand) a relationship with.

I have watched two other anime series based on sex-VNs and each time the results were profoundly lackluster.  Starting with the ridiculous and horribly written "Riamurio Senkitan" and then moving on to the laboriously tedious "White Album."  This track record set my standards for shows based on sex games to be very low.  Perhaps I'll give "Fate/Stay Night" a chance to better the odds.  Yosuga no Sora, however stands on it's feet pretty well.  The alternate tales of the series allow each character to stand up well in terms of characterization, the scenarios are not particularly slow moving and each girl he pursues has some sort of history that entwines the characters more deeply than the superficiality you may expect from the High-school romance genre.

Even though the story does tell itself four different times, each time the narration picks up at the last known common point to the previous arc, which prevents redundancy and keeps the new arcs fresh.  If just to see a show that did the visual novel adaptation concept in a refreshing way was well worth getting into it.

Of course the show is by no means perfect.  Many of the characters are simply archetypes for the genre, which takes away from the originality of the work.  The character designs for some appear strongly geared toward fulfilling fanservice (The store manager in particular looks so busty it's as if she's ready to fall over at any moment).  The sex scenes deliver but are heavily edited for censorship reasons, and they tend to be put together in a rather stilted manner that removes the idea of intimacy.  It seems that when doing the sex scenes they were restricted from showing both characters explicitly in the same shot, so often the scenes are shot with one angle for Haruka and one for the Girl, and the viewer is then meant to fill in what would be too steamy for late-night broadcast.  My last major complaint about the series is that I wasn't too crazy about the tacked-on SD adventures that were thrown in at the end of each episode.  They were highly unengaging.  I just stopped watching them.  However, their presence did do one thing positive for the show overall, as it took screen time away that made the storytelling in the narrative major much tighter without making it seem rushed.
 
The visuals and music of the show set against the series very well.  The lilting piano theme along with the orchestral score that floats above the action can get stuck in your head very easily and fits the tone of the narration just right.  The character designs (While having a few off moments of in between animation) suit the cast very well, as does the beautiful backgrounds of the rolling forested hills and town-like tranquility of the shows setting.

If you are easily offended I suggest avoiding this series, and if you decide to watch it anyway, don't complain to me.  The series does a wonderful job of one thing, and that is making the proceeding story arc more engaging than the preceding one.   Part of that ability is by each arc delving into more controversial relationships than before, and dealing with larger and more dramatic problems with each iteration.  I won't say what the last arc deals with explicitly, however it won't be hard to see coming, and you'll have to decide for yourself if you want to watch the final romance unfold.

All-in-all A damn good VN-to-Series adaptation that stood up on its own merits and story, wasn't shy of adult themes, while not being indulgent, and while flawed and not highly action oriented still managed to deliver well fleshed characters in a unique way.

7/10
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #376 on: 01-22-2011 02:51 »

Ever like a show but hate the ending?

Yeah, but I've gotten pretty good at making up my own endings whenever that happens.

Quote
How about a series that gives you 4 different endings to chose from?

You know, someone really should make an anime adaptation of Phantasy Star III.  I'd watch that.
Spacedal11

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« Reply #377 on: 01-22-2011 06:09 »

I finished Cowboy Bebop!

Bend-err

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« Reply #378 on: 01-22-2011 06:11 »

Just for you Spacedal
Spacedal11

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« Reply #379 on: 01-22-2011 07:01 »

big grin

Although that video did remind me that Spike is a death-defying badass mofo. Still I stand by what I previously said.
wu_konguk

Urban Legend
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« Reply #380 on: 01-22-2011 16:57 »

Long time since I have done a review so here goes.

FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

What is this you cry? I have already seen the Fullmetal anime why do I need to see another? These are fair questions especiall sinc ethe first few episodes are very similar to the first anme (faster pased but similar) but then the differences start.

The problem with the first anime is that it started only a few years into the manga start so they only had limited acccess to the source. That is why after the frist metting with Greed the first anime and manga deviate soooo much. Brotherhood on the other hand is a faithful adaptation of the manga.

For me this was a good thing. Now I did enjoy the orginal anime but  I did have problems with characters like Dante and those two who were almost like the Elric brothers. It has been some time since I saw the first anime but I also remember it being quite melodramatic, Brotherhood still has the melodrama but it also felt alot more lighthearted.

For those who have not seen the series a brief synopsis. The Elric brothers are two young alchmists who messed with the forbiden taboo of human transmustion and as a result the eldest (Edward) lost his arm and leg and the youngest (Alphonse) lost his entire body and now his soul is contained in a suit of armour. The anime is a tale of how they try to get their bodies back by looking for the elusive philosophers stone.

Less talk about the old and more of the new. The animation for Brotherhood is very nice (also nice to be in widescreen) and the music is very pretty. The anime does follow the manga in style so there is alot more chibification of charaters when they get overly emotional.

The plot moves at a fair pace (a death that was also in the orignal anime at episode 26 no occurs at episode 13) and even though it was 64 episode I just wanted to keep watching more, especially the 9 episodes leading up to the end.

My only main quible is not actually with the anime but Manda entertainment, who are the one releasing it on DVD in the UK, the quible being that the English dub is is 5.1 surround while the orginal japanses is only in 2.0. I prefer to watch subs so why do I have to suffer the poorer quality of sound?

Anyway great series and sad to see it end

A +
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #381 on: 01-23-2011 03:50 »

The problem with the first anime is that it started only a few years into the manga start so they only had limited acccess to the source. That is why after the frist metting with Greed the first anime and manga deviate soooo much.

And why is that a problem exactly?  I've never understood why people complain about anime adaptations that differ from the manga.  If you want the exact same story as the manga, just read the manga again.

Remember how in the Tenchi Muyo! TV series all of the characters had personalities that were exaggerated caricatures of their original personalities from the OAVs?  Well, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is like that, but with the storyline instead of the characters.  At least, it is until the Chinese people show up, then it becomes interesting.
wu_konguk

Urban Legend
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« Reply #382 on: 01-23-2011 11:46 »

Perhaps problem was  the wrong choice of word.  The issue I found from not following the manga is the plot holes. The main one that concerned me was King Bradley, I do not know if they explained why is in the first anime he was able to age but in the manga there was a definitive explanation.

Also I was not fond of how the hommunculus where explained in general in the first anime, it just did not seem to make much sense.

I also agree that they have to take licence with the manga. Akira is both good in manga form and film form but both follow faily different plots. I guess as long as the essence of the idea reamins true it is fine, as long as they don't just follow the manga well and tehn deviate into over 100 episodes of badly writen filler (stupid Naruto).
Bigboysdontcry

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« Reply #383 on: 01-24-2011 03:49 »
« Last Edit on: 01-24-2011 03:53 »

I am personally a bigger fan of the original series,  but Brotherhood is enjoyable as well. I am a big fan of the manga as well. I personally like the explanation of the hommunculus's origin better than the manga. To each his own though. My understanding is, there will be a Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood movie coming out next year. I was very happy with the dubbed material, I thought the voice actors did a great job. I watch anime in Japanese and English. It mostly depends on who the voice actors are.


big grin

Although that video did remind me that Spike is a death-defying badass mofo. Still I stand by what I previously said.
Good ole Spike;

Bendersfan1221

Space Pope
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« Reply #384 on: 01-24-2011 04:02 »

I like Brotherhood better. I haven't had time to finish watching the series but I've read the manga. I like that it's basically the manga. That's probably because I tend to like tv shows/movies based on series actually following the original print stuff very closely. I like the original too though I haven't seen it in a while so I should probably rewatch it. But both are good.

Yeah I've heard about the movie. I can't wait to find out more about it and when it
s released and stuff.

I've spent most of today watching Hetalia: Axis Powers. I love it.  Though the English dubs are really bad in my opinion. The accents kinda annoy me because they are so exaggerated.
winna

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« Reply #385 on: 01-24-2011 06:21 »

Remember when Berserk deviated from the manga and then they ran out of the money and then if you saw the anime first you had no idea what the fuck was going on!?
Tedward

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« Reply #386 on: 01-24-2011 22:42 »

Regarding the Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood discussion, while I’m certainly no connoisseur of anime I did watch both of those series for the first time recently (original series dubbed, Brotherhood with subtitles) and personally like Brotherhood more. They’re both great shows with an interesting shared premise and memorable characters; I just happen to like Brotherhood’s story more. This is not necessarily because Brotherhood follows the manga more closely (although there is some sense of pride in saying that something follows its source material well, isn’t there?), since I respect that the creators of the original series went in their own direction out of both necessity and creative freedom and were able to integrate the new material into the existing show so well…I just am not as keen on where the story goes in that series.
 
I think Brotherhood’s biggest problem is in its earlier episodes with “shared” plotlines, not because they contain material that is familiar to those who saw the original series but because they move too fast. It’s nice that the story moves along at an exciting pace but there’s not enough time to breathe between these moments of shock and discovery and reflect on what they mean (I didn’t find this to be a problem later on in Brotherhood, so I’m not sure if there is indeed too much packed into the earlier episodes or if this is just a reaction to seeing familiar stories rushed through like that so as to make way for the plentiful amounts of new-seeming material). That character death that wu mentioned happens way too early to be anywhere near as meaningful to the audience as it was in the original series, which is unfortunate because I otherwise got quite attached to these characters and their journeys. Then again, I think that the original series may have taken its time a little too much in its first half, meandering into filler territory (yes, I’d say that even the “inconsequential” people Ed and Al met offered some sort of interesting point, adding to the characters’ and show’s philosophy and atmosphere, but I do find it odd that some of these characters show up at the end but some don’t).
 
Brotherhood has more detailed and fluid animation, more action to speak of, and a more consistent balance between comedy and drama (as well as being a bit more technical about the way the world of alchemy works), but all of that is not necessarily proof that it is better than the first series (although those are reasons why I like it more). I’d say that the things that the original series does well, it does really well, such as commenting on the human condition and making you think and be surprised alongside the characters. Some of the slower and more drawn-out philosophizing is sacrificed in Brotherhood for the sake of pacing and the overall tone, but Brotherhood still has serious themes and elicited emotional reactions from me. I too was sad to see the series end, but personally I found Brotherhood’s ending to be much more satisfying and a fitting close to such a fantastic show.
winna

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« Reply #387 on: 01-24-2011 22:52 »

Cowboy Bebop was pretty good.
Tachyon

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« Reply #388 on: 01-25-2011 16:44 »

The only Anime I ever saw was Akira, but after reading a few of the posts here I tuned to the Anime channel the other night and watched some Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop, and Venture Brothers.  I'll definitely be tuning back in on nights when I'm up late.  i.e. every night.
winna

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« Reply #389 on: 01-25-2011 16:45 »

You should watch Cowboy Bebop.  And FLCL I guess.... shifty
Tweek

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« Reply #390 on: 02-02-2011 14:35 »

It looks like there will be more Last Exile big grin
Bend-err

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« Reply #391 on: 02-14-2011 20:56 »

Lord of the Yen - Azumanga Daioh/Lord of the Rings crossover
Tedward

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« Reply #392 on: 02-14-2011 22:30 »

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

It’s the story of The Count of Monte Cristo…IN SPACE!

Well, kind of. It’s set in a neat anachronistic future time in which people travel through space in starships but ride around Paris in horse-drawn carriages, large-scale commerce and record-keeping occur on a hologram-filled virtual reality internet but society is still stratified by class as is demanded by the story, and while swordplay still can decide one’s fate, it is apparently traditional that duels are begun from within giant mech suits.
 
Also, the Count is basically a vampire…

But don’t let such cool but near-ridiculous-sounding material fool you; the series is presented in a remarkably serious and mature way befitting its subject matter, done with sophistication...and I don’t think I’m just saying that because I’m wowed by the visuals.
 
The visuals do deserve comment, though, and I’m not just referring to what the spacey setting provides. The art direction and style are fantastic and it looks as though the show exists within a pop art painting, albeit one with a liberal spattering of 3D elements and eye-popping visual effects. Of particular note (but I’m sure there’s an actual term for this) is the extensive use of layers on the characters; for example, a pattern on a character’s clothes does not move with the character but stays fixed while the silhouette of the character moves in front of it; the result can be disconcerting but is pretty cool once you get used to it.
 
The series also has an excellent soundtrack featuring stately orchestral pieces, pensive piano ballads, and synthetic mood music that can gain a driving beat when things get tense. Elsewhere audio-wise, the Japanese cast does a good job and, in the Japanese version anyway, the prologue of each episode is narrated in French!

As far as plot goes, the show is based on the novel and as far as I can tell does a great job weaving the many characters and plot points together while, as would probably be expected, still taking some obvious liberties beyond just the futuristic adaptation.
Some may be annoyed at how naïve Albert is, but his trusting nature is a key component of the series. If anything, Albert’s initial ignorance of the truth, along with everyone else’s unknowingness to a lesser extent (most other characters are at least a little suspicious of the Count), makes the series that much more enjoyable to me; the audience knows that the Count is planning revenge and can delight in anticipation of it just as much as the Count himself does.
 
The show is somewhat slow-paced and rather dramatic but oh-so-good; I found it riveting throughout and found myself caring very much about these characters (while being constantly impressed by the visuals as well). I highly recommend this feast for the eyes, ears, and heart.
Pitt Clemens

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #393 on: 03-23-2011 07:30 »
« Last Edit on: 03-23-2011 07:53 »

K-on!

In 2002 a manga was released that changed the high-school drama genre completely.  This manga and it's later animated adaptation was bold in the fact that it was utterly simplistic.  It was daring in the fact that it was entirely run of the mill.  It did what was up until then rarely seen: it stood up on slice of life storytelling alone.  This series was Azumanga Daioh, a brilliantly written, poignant, funny and charming series that had no mecha suits, no romantic entanglements, no magic powers, and no bouncing bikini boobs.  The show centered around six high school students and two teachers as they dealt with the daily struggle of going to school.   The series was a runaway smash hit success.  For me even now, The wild success of Azumanga Daioh seems like something of a perfect storm.  While it's contemporaries in manga and anime like Fullmetal Alchemist were stuffed to the brim with characters, story arcs and breathless action, the Azumanga series achieved an almost Zen-like minimalism to plot, and built its success around its dynamic characters and a blend of slice of life plus childhood fantasy humor sprinkled with some loving slapstick.   There was one more linchpin to its success.  It featured a cast of adorable teenage girls and pretty teachers.  Lets face facts, not all your jokes will be funny, and when they fall flat it's forgivable because, hey those girls are such cutie-pies.  Among Japanese animation circles, this is considered the moe (Pronounced Mow-ay) approach.  

Now with that in mind, I want to pose this thought to you.  Let's say you want to make a manga or anime along the same lines.  Suppose you don't have a lineup of winning jokes.  Suppose you make a show that is saddled with minor plot arcs that don't offer a great deal of resolution and generally don't influence the story in an overall sense.  Suppose your characters are not particularly dynamic;  leaning towards stereo-and-archetypes...But the cast is entirely made up of cute girls, and in any pinch you can fall back on their cuteness.  Do you still have material?

K-on! dares to ask that.  Azumanga was a show about cute girls doing Funny things.  K-on! is about cute girls doing cute things.  The story centers around textbook asbergers personality Yui who finds herself on the first day of high school needing to join a club.  She is approached by the shy and well mannered Mio and boisterous Ritsu:  Childhood friends who've made it their goal to keep the light-music club going.  They need four members to keep the club afloat, and Yui eventually volunteers herself in addition with a fourth member, Mugi an adorable blond with well defined eyebrows.  The quartet then undergo a series of trials to set up the light music club, which is really more of a rock/pop band with Ritsu on dums, Mio on Bass, Mugi on keys, and Yui committing herself to playing the guitar which involves her picking it up for the first time.  Later in the series an underclassmen named Azusa joins the club.  Her smaller frame and childish twin-tails hairstyle belie her advanced musical drive and talent.

I'll start with what I like.  It's a cop out, but there's really nothing that bad about it.  The routine is that the band needs to do something, they have to overcome obstacles to make it through, there are never any major snags and the girls manage what's needed and we move on.  The character designs for the show are, of course, adorable and the girls as an ensemble work fantastically in the friends forever slot that will leave you either smiling or gagging.  The animation style is also welcome because it's clearly not astringent, computer defined outlines, but flowing and lively pencil-pen-style animation.  I must also say that from a musical end of things they definitely got the detail of the instruments right.  Not only that some segments (Especially early on) serve as wonderful gear-porn.  Mugi plays on a beautiful Korg Triton extreme, complete with LED-lit valve pod.  Mio plays a lefty Fender Jazz bass.  While Ritsu plays a Yellow Yamaha kit with Zildjian symbols.  Yui herself plays a cherry sunburst Gibson Les Paul standard; a guitar made iconic by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.  I mention the gear specifically because many many times the instruments are shown closely or at odd angles, and the amount of detail that was poured into the designs is always noteworthy.  Equal consideration has to be mentioned to the work poured into the girls and their world, everything cute and neat to the point you'd expect it to come delivered in a bow.  If they set out to make a show that would stand on Cuteness alone I think this is as far as one could be pressed.

Now for what I don't like: as obvious the instruments of the show really were enticing to me, and I was anxious for some extended rock and rehearsal scenes.  Well, those are few and far between.  Much of the show is comprised of the girls sitting and drinking tea while talking about making music.  The actual music of the series seems almost always dangled above you like a carrot on a string.  Sometimes I felt absolutely teased.  When the girls actually do play their instruments the music is always a treat.  Upbeat, good vocals and arrangements with childish fun lyrics, but the wait for those scenes can get excruciating.  I only wish the bland BGM score could match the catchy and quirky tunes of the girls.  I suppose music is not what this show is all about.  What takes up most of this show is not actually music, but tea.  Yes tea.  You can't find a twelve minute stretch in this series in which someone is not shown preparing, stirring, drinking or talking about tea, teacakes or some other tea-related paraphernalia.  The club even resolves to name their band "after school tea time."  I'm not making this up.  When the show is not about playing music or about tea the plots generally revolve around the challenge of the episode; preparing for Christmas, taking care of a kitten, and at least one particularly amusing arc where Mugi tries to provoke one of the other members to violence.  If you came for fluff, this is the mother load.  Everyday, fluffy challenges float by against a perpetually upbeat atmosphere as the girls drink tea and talk about maybe making music.  If you can remember a few paragraphs back as I was genuflecting in awe of Azumanga's defiance of its own simplicity, now imagine my feelings about a show that revels in it.  There are not many comic beats, though the few that derive chuckles tend to stand out, and the entire narration is geared toward being either totally unoffensive or largely immobile.  I still can't decide which.  Maybe both.

To wrap up, There's not much else to really stand on for them.  Though I admit it's polished to a shine, has its moments, and even the over-arching story comes together with well played sentimentality the real content of K-on! is just cotton candy.  It's sweet, it's simple, and it's mostly air and sugar.

Somewhere between High C mid B
Pitt Clemens

Urban Legend
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« Reply #394 on: 04-10-2011 08:03 »

Bump.

I just wanted to say; you think you're having a bad day?  Watch a few episodes of Maho Shoujo Madoka Magica and see if your perceptions don't get re-aligned.  I haven't been this happy not to be a main character in an anime since Serial Experiments Lain.
Bend-err

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« Reply #395 on: 04-19-2011 01:18 »

I just finished Azumanga Daioh and am now watching Lucky☆Star, so far it is okay
Pitt Clemens

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« Reply #396 on: 04-21-2011 20:31 »

I hope my review didn't overblow it.
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #397 on: 05-14-2011 06:16 »

Perhaps problem was  the wrong choice of word.  The issue I found from not following the manga is the plot holes. The main one that concerned me was King Bradley, I do not know if they explained why is in the first anime he was able to age but in the manga there was a definitive explanation.

Well, the explanation was just that he was intentionally created as a homunculus that would age as a normal human would, so that he could pose as a human on a long-term basis without arousing suspicion.

Quote
Also I was not fond of how the hommunculus where explained in general in the first anime, it just did not seem to make much sense.

I actually like the version of the homunculi from the first anime better than the manga/Brotherhood versions.  Their origin gives them more depth as characters, as well as giving them a closer tie to Ed and Al, making the conflict more personal.

Quote
I also agree that they have to take licence with the manga. Akira is both good in manga form and film form but both follow faily different plots. I guess as long as the essence of the idea reamins true it is fine, as long as they don't just follow the manga well and tehn deviate into over 100 episodes of badly writen filler (stupid Naruto).

I think that I must be the only person who actually likes those filler episodes.  At least they're not about Sasuke.
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #398 on: 06-22-2011 21:35 »

Looks like Adult Swim will be showing Durarara!! starting this Saturday.  I guess I'll check it out (by which I mean I'll probably watch the entire series from beginning to end just to enjoy the Isaac and Miria cameo in its proper context).
Tweek

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« Reply #399 on: 06-24-2011 15:02 »

Lucky☆Star

Lucky Star is a really fun series although if you aren't familiar with certain other series and anime terminology you might be left rather confused at many points during the show. Konata is obsessed with anime and manga and often talks about it; the most frequently mentioned series is 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya'; she even dresses up as characters from that series more than once so if you can I'd recommend watched at least a few episodes so you'll get the references! The series follows the lives of Konata and her friends Kagami, Tsukasa and Miyuki; four high school girls doing the sort of things people that age might be expected to do; school work, playing computer games and going to the shops; this might sound rather boring but the way it is done is hilarious. There is little in the way of ongoing story; we see them talking about a subject for a few minutes then we see them doing something else; this isn't surprising given that it is based on a four panel manga. At the end of each episode there is an amusing segment called 'Lucky Channel' where two presenters start talking about the show but soon end up bickering.

The animation style might lead the viewer to think that the characters are much younger than they are meant to be; they are all much shorter than one would expect the characters to be... it doesn't take any time to get used to the style though; I thought it was rather cute. The four central characters were a lot of fun as were the secondary characters whose roles increased in later episodes. While the series has a '15' certificate here in the UK there is little to offend in the vast majority of episodes although it is suggested that Konata's father has a Lolita complex and the girls briefly discuss breast size once or twice; these things are done in an amusing rather than sleazy way though. I'm not sure that I'd recommend this as an introduction to the world of anime but if you've seen a few series and like shows such as 'Haruhi Suzumiya' and 'Azumanga Daioh' then this is a must see.

10/10

Texhnolyze

Having really enjoyed Haibane Renmei I was interested to see another film from its creators. While this series is very different; it is slower moving, much darker in tone, violent and has a much bleaker look to it, however the animation is of an equal standard and the backgrounds are very detailed. The series is set in a bleak underground city were various groups are in conflict. As the story begins it is hard to tell who the protagonist will be; there is Kazuho Yoshii a visitor to the city who at first appears to be a tourist but soon starts to stir up trouble, then there is Ichise a young man who is violently attacked in the opening episode and ends up having his severed arm and leg replaced by cybernetic parts, and finally there is Ran a mysterious girl who is frequently seen around the others. As the series progresses we gradually learn more about these characters and others while the situation for them and the other people of the city gets more dangerous. As to the title; Texhnolyzation refers to the process where some people have body parts replaced by cybernetic parts; some people just have one or two parts others are almost entirely mechanical.

For the first few episodes I wasn't sure what to make of this series; there was very little dialogue and what there was didn't make it that clear what was happening; some viewers might find it boring but I found it gradually drawing me in to the lives of the characters. The animation looked good if a little bleak; the bleakness was increased as several scenes the picture contained static like you would find on a television with less than perfect reception. The regular bloody violence means that this series isn't suitable for younger viewers although I suspect the slow pace would put children off watching anyway.

8/10

Chobits

I had heard of this series long before I got a chance to see it and when Funimation put the opening four episodes on their YouTube channel I decided to check it out. Even though I prefer my anime subtitled and this was the dubbed version I was quickly hooked and was left wanting more. Some time later the series was finally re-released here on DVD so I could watch the whole thing. The rest of the series was just as good as the opening episodes although the tone does shift somewhat midway through; the earlier episodes are light hearted and while never explicit often feature situations that suggest that that Hideki; the main character, is a bit of a pervert! Later on things get much darker when the 'person' he cares for disappears.

To summarise the plot; Chobits is set in a world where instead of using personal computers people use Persicoms; robots that fulfil the roles of computers but look almost human. Hideki moves to the city so that he can cram for his university entrance exam; he dreams of owning his own persicom but knows he will never be able to afford one. He is lucky though and one day finds one lying amongst some garbage. He takes it home hoping to get it working but it doesn't have an operating system installed. He manages to turn it on but all she can say is 'Chi'; and thus she is named. In the opening episodes he struggles to get her working, study for cram school and earn a living. As the story progresses it becomes apparent that Chi isn't like other persicoms; she may be a 'Chobits', this is a persicom capable of genuine emotion… if so other people may want to get their hands on her.

This was a really fun series with plenty of laughs as well as one or two genuinely tear-jerking moments. While I watched the whole series in Japanese with English subtitles I saw enough of the English dub to say that is sounded pretty good; so dub-fans shouldn't be disappointed. The animation was decent although I'm not sure why Hikeki's eyes were drawn in a different way to all the other characters. The main characters were fairly likable; I especially liked Sumomo; the small 'genki girl' persicom belonging to Hideki's housemate… she may be tiny but she has plenty of energy!

9/10

Level E

This science fiction anime is a lot of fun; the basic plot is similar to 'Men in Black' in that it features a world where aliens are common place but nobody realises they are there. This differs though in that it is played almost entirely for laughs. One of the aliens, known as Prince Baka enjoys causing trouble; not necesarily malicious but occassionally dangerous for those caught up in his games. Funniest of his games is when he turns five reluctant high school students into the 'Colour Rangers'; a spoof of shows like 'Power rangers'

This series is currently available on Cruncyroll so if you enjoy science fiction and like a good laugh check it out, it is only thirteen episodes which means you won't have wasted much time if you don't like it... I suspect most viewers will be disappointed that it isn't longer though.

8/10

Rio - Rainbow Gate

This is rather a strange series; on the one hand the stories seem the sort of thing children might enjoy; the heroine has to take part in several fantastical games, on the other hand it is set in a casino and no oportunity to show off the cleavage of the many buxom characters is missed. Rio is the star dealer at the Howard Resort Casino which is a little strange as she seems to bring luck to the clientelle. She holds one of thirteen 'gate cards' and over the course of the series takes part in a series of games to win the remaining cards and be named 'Most Valuable Casino Dealer'. As the series progresses things get a bit darker and it looks as though Rio has been defeated and her boss has lost the casino. As the series concluded the story was neatly wrapped up but a short post credit sequence suggested that there was a further threat thus the possibility of a second series; presumably that will depend on how many people watched this time.

After the first episode I wasn't sure if I'd bother watching the rest of the series but it grew on me; sure the story is fairly basic and the fan service is somewhat excessive but the cast is likeable and things get mildly tense later on. Of course realism is not the series strong point but it wasn't meant to be; if it was there wouldn't be a flying casino and the heroine wouldn't spend most of her time in the casino with a child who is far too young to be there! The animation looks good although I'm not sure why they chose to give the characters shiny breasts.

6/10

Wandering Son

When I first saw that this series was about a school boy who wishes he was a girl I feared it would be full of cheap laughs but thankfully I couldn't have been more wrong. The series follows Shuuichi Nitori; a school boy with a secret he is keeping from most of his classmates. He isn't the only person in the class with gender identity issues though; Yoshino Takatsuki wishes she was a boy! As the story progresses more people come to know that the two like to dress in the other genders clothes but their reception at school is very different; a girl turning up in a boy's uniform is considered cool but a boy is girls clothes must clearly have something wrong with him.

This slice of life series takes a mature view of its subject matter without being heavy handed and nicely exposes the hypocracy of society in how they judge boys who dress as girls compared to girls who dress as boys. While the subject matter is serious there are plenty of amusing incedents and a likeable cast of characters. The animation is another reason to watch this series; it has a beautiful look; almost like a water colour with its pastel shades. If you haven't seen this yet I'd heartily recommend it; I found it to be best of the Winter 2010 series that I watched.

10/10
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