Tag Archives: 2001

Fruit Baskets

Type: I don’t think I saw a single fruit in this anime

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Synopsis: So the Chinese zodiac is made of twelve animals, instead of the random star shapes we have in the west. The Easter zodiac show up in a lot of things because they are way cooler. Anyway, this is about a girl moving into a houseful full of a psychologically scarred family. Oh! And they also turn into cute animals when you hug them.

Pros: From my understanding, Fruit Baskets is one of the more famous shojo manga. I’ve read it, which is part of the reason why I’m just now watching the anime. The story translates well to anime, with a few minor differences here and there. Mainly towards the ending. The show is a reversed harem, where a kinda air-headed, but kindhearted girl moves into a house with three handsome men, who have equally handsome relatives. There’s a lot of melodrama, usually revolving around trauma, depression, and fear of rejection. Typical shojo stuff.

Cons: Again, the psychological drama in this is a key plot factor. If you’re not into that, then you may not dig the latter half of the show. I could get into the weird fixation the Sohmas have with Akito, because I would have punched him several times over, but we don’t have seven hours. Just remember that every time a new character is introduced, they will have a sad back story, usually about a woman abandoning them. No smiles for the Sohmas. Huh, I just realized that Tohru’s mother also “abandoned” her…On a personal note, I disliked the slightly different events where Tohru needed a pep talk to chase after the Kyo. A lot of the Sohma’s have had women leave them because of the curse, but Tohru is suppose to be different, but in the anime, she isn’t. Left to her own devices, she would have left too. I think that takes a little bit from the character, but again, that’s a personal preference.

Watch it?: Good show, better manga (4/5) 

MPV: Hatori Sohma
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I ship it

Best episode: Ep. 8 “Don’t Cry, For the Snow will Surely Melt” (no guys, I really do ship it)
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The SoulTaker

Type: I DON’T KNOW WHATS GOING ON

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Synopsis: Well, that’s a fib. I do have some idea of what’s going on. It’s not like I just use these things as background noise, ha,ha,ha….So, a long time ago, an alien from an extinct race arrives on the moon. He makes a deal with a doctor there to save his dying daughter in exchange for releasing a deadly virus that will create another alien by mutating the populous. This results in the doctor’s own grandchildren becoming aliens. Flash forwards 17 years later, where the doctor is desperately trying to kill the aliens he helped make, while his grandson tries to save the life of his twin sister who’s soul was split into fragments to protect her/stop her from killing all of humanity. Yeah, I don’t believe me either about the lying thing.

Pros: This show was very ambitious. Once you get to the end, you get a clear picture of what it was trying to do. Without spoiling much (except for the core twist up above), let just say it gets very Evangeliony. The plot involving searching for different aspects of a person’s identiy was pretty cool, and it’s got very stylized animation, something along the lines of Monogatari and Zetsubou Sensei. Angled framing, heavy shadows, liberal use of color, etc. I also liked the fact that most of the main characters’ motivation was trying to save someone they loved (which is kinda another spoiler when you think about it).

Cons: I’m still not sure what exactly happened in this anime. Something about aliens for sure, and mutants, and…ninjas? Ninjas showed up for some reason. I’m still not sure why. The thing about SoulTaker is that it’s kinda sloppy. It throws you into this weird world without properly establishing what it is. Are we in the future? Another world? The post apocalypse? Is everything science or magic, or both? We know that Kyosuke is looking for his twin sister Runa, and that her soul has been fragmented and is being hunted down. Ok, cool. A little creepy when the fragments hit on Kyosuke, but I can work around that. But then we add mutants, and aliens, and evil doctors, feuding organizations, and a bunch of other stuff that doesn’t make sense because I turned by head for two seconds. It was frankly a little exhausting to watch.

Watch it?: This does spin-off into a magical girl show (3/5)

MVP: Runa Tokisaka

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A pretty interesting villain, until she go too handsey with Kyosuke that is.

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Demon on a Deserted Island” (the plot appears!)

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Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (OVA)

Type: I don’t even, no.

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Synopsis: Set in a horrible future we’ll call Earth-616, our once heroic protagonist abandons his family because he felt guilty over having a happy life and, and..no. You know what, no. I’m not doing this. SCREW THIS OVA.

Pros: There’s this part were Kauro tries to get Kenshin to give her leprosy by having sex. That’s so stupid that it makes me smile.

Cons: Jesus, where do I begin? This is a big, melodramatic, pile of lackluster storytelling. Everyone looks weird and the trademark action sequences are no where to be seen. And everything looks kinda grey. This thing totally missed the mark on the original source material. Why would Kenshin leave his family over guilt if the last arc of the manga specifically dealt with Kenshin getting over his guilt. That was the entire point of the fucking story. I’m sorry if this sounds like a rant, but it really upsets me that this story is considered canon by some people. Because it’s not. This is not how Kenshin’s story ends. This is not how the franchise ends. I refuse.

Watch it!?: Burn it.

MVP: No

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No

Best Moment: The Leprosy Sex Thing.

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Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Type: More Cowboy Bebop

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Synopsis: The crew of the SS. Bebop ride again on an adventure involving hacking, terrorism, and that one scene were Faye’s shirt gets popped open. There’s also that great fight at the end and, and…huh.

Pros: Fans of Cowboy Bebop will really like this movie because it’s basically two more hours of the now classic show. The only real difference is that some of the animation gets an upgrade, and most of the music has lyrics in it. Despite the three year gap, the English voice actors (which is the version I saw) didn’t miss a beat.

Cons: This is a great movie based on a TV show in the sense that Serenity was a great movie based on Firefly. Original fans will love it, but newer viewers won’t understand what’s going on, and question why this deserves the moniker “movie.” While it was nice that the movie felt like it fit right into the original TV show, it felt too much like a TV show instead of an independent film.

Watch it?: Mostly for Bebop fans.

MVP: Vincent

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Better than Vicious

Best Moment: The Spike-Vincent Fight

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Steel Angel Karumi 2

Type: This Really Sucks

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Synopsis: 75 years after the Steel Angel Karumi learns to that a robot can feel real love and emotion, we learn that she was put into a statue for lol’s. She is awakened by Nako, the female descendant of either Karumi’s first true love, or his brother. It’s cool either way, since Karumi instantly fall in love with Nako, because any semblance of free will she gained from the first series was an illusion. Such is the tragedy of Steel Angels.

Pros: Again, this is really short. At 15 minutes (more like 8 min) each, these 12 episodes will go by fast. You don’t need to have watched Steel Angel Karumi to enjoy this. Any prior knowledge may even prove detrimental. Karumi’s English voice acting is still great, although a bit more nasal than before. Whether this was intentional to differentiate from her past performance or not is unknown.

Cons: Same problem as the original. Nothing super wrong with it, but still average. This one is more slice-of-life than it’s predecessor, but that’s fun in it’s own way. It did bug me that the main character’s catchphrase was “This really sucks,” mostly because it felt a bit lazy. On a personal note, I was bothered by Karumi’s ultimate fate. The show suggest that after the events of Steel Angel Karumi, Karumi and the rest of the angels were shut down and had their memories wiped. This negates all the messages of love and freedom that the first anime made. That’s really sad when you think about it.

Watch it?: Pretend it’s non-cannon (3/5)

MVP: Uruka Sumeragi

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The real star of the show

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “Master is a Girl” (robot maid)

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