Tag Archives: 2005

Ah! My Goddess

Type: Sometimes pronounced “Oh!”

omg_title

Synopsis: Some college shumck strikes the lottery by accidentally calling a “goddess help line.” Surprisingly, this wasn’t a sex thing, because an actual goddess shows up to grant him a wish. He offhandedly wishes that the pretty goddess would stay with him forever, which forces this trans-dimensional being to be shackled to our mortal plain. But she’s cool with it. The duo  live out the rest of their days in psudo-marriged life, complete with in-laws and relatives.

Pros: This was a pretty good love-comedy. The first seven episodes were a solid relationship show, barring the fact that most of the emotional anxiety came from the male side. You care more about Keiichi and Belldandy as a result. They actually had a scene were they just talked to each other all night, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in an anime. Episodes 8-12 introduce a second goddess named Urd. She plays the sexy one, but the show doesn’t strays into harem territory, which was actually surprising. Episodes 12-26 introduce a third goddess, Skuld, who I could have lived without, expect for the fact that she was really good in one episode. This was overall a pretty tepid show, with not real frills, but you can burn through it pretty fast in a fast food kind a way.

Cons: Nothing good, nothing bad. Average. You can skip a few episodes without missing anything. There were a few characters I disliked. Skuld’s kid act could get annoying. The snobby girl Sayoko was largely pointless. There’s also a demon bottle at one point that was pretty racist. Pretty super racist. As mentioned above, I felt that the added characters diluted the Keiichi and Belldandy story. Maybe if the other goddesses had popped in every once in a while instead of staying permanently, it would have worked better. Still, I liked the show overall.

Watch it: Easy watch (3/5)

ah-my-goddess-belldandy-keiichi-kiss

MVP: Keiichi and Belldandy

I hope these crazy kids make it

Best Episode: Ep. 26 “Ah! Being an Adult is Heart-Throbbing?” (The one time Skuld was watchable)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Last Order: Final Fantasy VII

Type: Why can’t they make a FFVII anime already?

sqIDSVlWjupKDPm37vC5mURWETw

Synopsis: No, really. Why isn’t there an anime version of any of the main Final Fantasy titles?

Pros: Any Final Fantasy VII fan will consider this particular FF anime a treat. The anime is told through flashbacks, interchanging between two events that take place prior to the actual game. It once again retells the infamous Nibelheim incident, so you get to see Sephiroth vs. Zack, Sephiroth vs. Cloud, and young Tifa during her bizarre cowboy faze. The other story is Zack and Cloud’s escape to Midgar. All of this is presented via very pretty animation, the type you usually get with short licensed works like these.

Cons: Anyone not familiar with FFVII won’t enjoy it as much as fans will. Though, fans might not like it either. For one, it reminds us that there is still no proper Final Fantasy anime based on an actual game. Get on it Square. Second, it changes a few things from the Nibelheim incident that might be found distasteful. My personal beef, as an FF fan, came from the Sephiroth vs. Cloud fight, where Sephiroth jumps to his “death” instead of being thrown by Cloud. It’s a minor change, but it bugged the hell out of me.

Watch it?: A fun treat for Final Fantasy Fanatics

MVP: Zack Fair

ZackLastOrder

I’d even take a Crisis Core anime.

Best Moment: Sephiroth vs. Zack (ah, hell yeah!)

Tagged , , , ,

Shuffle!

Type: Not a board game

97

Synopsis: It starts off as a contest between the demon realm and land of angels, then it forgets about that after the third episode. Then it turns into a show about a five-way love contest, where two of the participants just happen to be demon/god princesses. Then it forgets about the princesses and changes into a show about a love triangle involving a childhood friend and really, really sick girl. Then the girl gets sick. Then it ends.

Pros: The show really shines when its a drama, something I never thought I’d write about a harem anime. But its true. You see, the show starts out as a regular harem show, with the spice of demons and angels as the, seemingly, main love rivals. This goes on until episode 12, when the girls “dark pasts” are revealed. It takes an unexpected turn by going into demon world stuff, then really takes a left turn when you learn about Rin and Kaede’s origins. I particularly loved what the show did with Kaede. Chicka is disturbed. It’s messed-up, but at the same time really engrossing. I didn’t see the second part of Shuffle! coming, which made it all the more intriguing.

Cons: The first half of Shuffle! is really cookie-cutter. It’s not bad, but anyone whose ever seen a harem/high school anime will see the story beats a mile away. Still, its enjoyable enough. I should also point out that while I loved the second part of the show, it used the “multiple personalities” cliche on three of the girls! Plus the magic thing? Not that important. To be honest, my favorite story arc involved not magic whatsoever.

Watch it?: Ep. 1-11 for harem lovers, Ep. 12-24 for drama lovers (3/5)

MVP: Kaede Fuyou

Fuyo_Kaede

This chick is crazy. I love crazy!

Best Episode: Ep. 19-12 Kaede Arc (This shit just got real)

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Honey and Clover (Season 1 & 2)

Type: The kind with no actual honey or clovers

honeyandclover_s1v2

Synopsis: The series follows five friends who mask their feelings of dread and sadness over choosing to Major in Art by falling in love with weird partners. Two of the friends love an underdeveloped artistic savant. Then the one with the glasses stokes an older widow instead of going for the totally down girl with legs for miles. Their’s also the old guy, who hangs out with all the young people because he only had one friend his own age, and she’s crazy.

Pros: Honey and Clover is a romance anime with some funny bits here and there. Any fan of romance anime’s will love this series. It had melodramatic self reflecting. It has love triangles. It has somewhat quirky characters that all have depressing inner selves. There were also a few relationships that should have been played with more, like between Morita and his brother, the history of Rika and Shuji Sensei, and the friendship between Hagu and Yuta. I really liked what I saw in each paring, and my desire to see more between them speak to the quality of the show. There are some genuinely romantic moments, and well as some genuinely funny ones. I would go so far as to say that if the ration of melodramatic to funny was tweaked more to the comedic side, this would have been a pretty fun anime. The animation also reminded me of From Me to You, which is never a bad thing.

Cons: Everything I listed above could be considered a negative anyone who doesn’t like romantic anime. Melodrama I can somewhat stand, but the sheer amount of self-reflecting. Sheesh! There are two main love triangles. The one between Hagu, Morita, and Yuta (later to be replace by Shuji) was actually pretty good. The one between Takumi, Yamada, and Rika, however, was not. Despite beings a secondary triangle, the damn thing seem to take up 70% of the story. I just did not care about Takumi’s quest to bag a pretty widow. He just came off as too self-centered, and made Yamada look like a pathetic loser.  In fact, I just did not care for Takumi period. His side story with the architectural firm bored me to tears. I wish Yamada had just had her own side story, sans Takumi. The opening intros also sucked (life action and animation do not mix).

Watch it?: A good romantic anime for those with a heart (3/5)

MVP: Morita

1276793-png

Maybe he has the clover?

Best Episode: Ep. 25 “I face a legend…” Romaiya-sempai Special” (Sempai!!!)

Tagged , , , , ,

Pani Poni Dash!

Type: Doogie Howser, the Anime

1554

Synopsis: Someone decided that it would be a good idea to give an 11 year old a teaching position at a local high school because she happens to be a genius. Sure, the entire school is full of unique characters. Yes, aliens are monitoring their very action. And admittedly, the school seems to attract strange events, like robots and talking rabbits,  that seem to parody popular culture. But come on, a prepubescent teacher? That’s just crazy.

Pros: If you love parody anime, then look no further. This show is chalk full of references that span the gamut, from video games to Chuck Norris. Every episode is a little weird, sometimes even random, but their in lies the charm. What better way to stave off the tedium that slice-of-life stories are prone to than adding crazy plot twists. What’s this, a boring episode about a PTA meeting? Well, let’s just add a dash of missing teacher, a pinch of masked parents, and a shake of impersonator!

Cons: If your not a fan of parody anime, then you may be out of luck. Granted, this show adheres more to plot structures than other parodies, but something was off. It never quiet grabs your attention enough. Maybe it was a bit too cartoony, or maybe the animation was a bit too old. It’s not bad, but it’s not amazing either.

Watch it!?: Pure comedy fans may love it, but everyone else probably won’t (2/5)

MVP: Ichijo

80257

I’m pretty sure she’s evil

Best Episode: Ep. 24 “You are responsible for your own death” (I’m a sucker for period pieces)

Tagged , , , ,

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa

Type: Fullmetal Finale

Fullmetal_Alchemist_the_Movie_-_Conqueror_of_Shamballa

Synopsis: Those goddamn Nazis are at it again. Not satisfying with ruining Germany, a secret occult society plan to invade the land of Amestris. It’s up to the Elric brothers, both separated at the end of the original series, to stop them. It’s a good old fashion Nazi ass-kicking, only with super science, parallel worlds, a hot gypsy, and a 13 year old boy who once spent his formative years in a giant suit of armor.

Pros: I love parallel world stories. So it was fun to see Edward Elric meet and interact with alternate versions of people he knew. I kinda wish the whole movie had played around with that more, but the main plot itself if very interesting. Much like in the original series, science is being used to further military goals. Only this time, the story is set in post-WWI Germany at the beginnings of the Nazi uprisings (not a fun place to be). Edward basically has to stop the Nazi’s from entering his world. It was also cool to see where the characters of the original series ended up, thanks to a two year time skip. The ending of the film may not satisfy everyone, but at least it provided a better sense of closure than the last episode of the main series.

Cons: Being a finale to Fullmetal Alchemist, the film requires you to have watched the original series. You will feel lost and confuse otherwise. This movie is very much the story of Edward Elric, so a lot of characters, including Alphonse, lose screen time. I wish we had seen more of Alphose’s growth outside of just his alchemy. The main antagonist is also pretty weak, and her motives seems flimsy at best. And like I stated above, the ending might bother some fans. (P.S. Winry really gets the short end of the stick here)

What it?: A good finally for Fullmetal Alchemist

MVP: Edward Elric

tumblr_mdh5w8pvwK1rhrwyvo1_1280

Fullmetal Alchemist, alternate reality or not

Best Moment: Seeing the Elric Brothers use Alchemy together

Tagged , , , , , ,

Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers

Type: Alternate Retelling

files_C0928297_posters

Synopsis: Renton and Eureka are two kids raised together in a secret lab. Their peace is broken when soldiers kidnap Eureka and cause Renton to piss himself. Shamed by the weakness of his bodily fluids, Renton joins the army to make a man out of himself. Then he finds Eureka and runs away. He joins up with Gecko State, a group of terrorists who are actually terrorists in this universe. Did I mention that this was a parallel universe to the original Eureka Seven? Because it is. Eureka talks more and everything.

Pros: It was nice to see the Eureka Seven crew back together again. Renton, Eureka, Gecko State, their all here. This being a rehash and all, the plot was obviously sped up. What the original series covered in 50 episodes, this movie covers in 90 minutes. A lot more focus is put on Renton and Eureka as a couple. I particularly liked Eureka more this time around. This version of Eureka had more personality than the original, which was nice.

Cons: The problem with the movie was that you really needed to know what happened in Eureka Seven to like it. It kinda had an extension pack feel to it. Viewers unfamiliar with the cannon might feel that the movie’s plot is rushed. Gecko State was also kinda weird in this. They act a lot more whiny, especially Holland. Eureka Seven always had purposely awkward moments, I don’t think Holland’s dialogue was supposed to be one of them.

What it?: You know what? Nah. Some of the Eureka-Renton moments were nice, but that’s not enough.

MVP: Eureka

f216e24b98484fd782025cb

I think she looks good with long hair

Best Moment: Renton telling Holland that he’s going a date with Eureka

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Karin

Type: Chibi Vampires

images

Synopsis: In the 21st Century, a family of vampires have secretly created a home in Japan. The oldest daughter, Karin, is a the runt of the litter. And by runt, I of course mean the freak. She’s not a regular vampire. She doesn’t hate garlic. She can walk in the sun. And when she bites people she doesn’t suck blood, she injects her own. Karin manages to live a pretty average life until she meets Usui, a boy who’s presence immediately increases her bloodlust. We’ve all been there, am I right ladies?

Pros: I really liked what the show did with the concept of vampires. In this universe, vampires are attracted to the the blood of certain personality types. When a vampire feeds on a victim, they temporarily suck out that personality trait. So if a vampire drinks the blood of a dishonest person, that person become more honest. A prideful person becomes more humble. A stressful person becomes more relaxed. etc. This is a pretty clever twist on the vampire genre, and helps make vampires more sympathetic.

Cons: The show is a generic love comedy. The majority of the plot is different characters telling the two protagonists that their love is wrong and won’t last. Though, to be honest, most of this came from the big brother. But he’s a prick, so who cares. Then their’s the “rival” character for Karin’s love, who is annoying as all get out. Their’s also the subplot involving Usui’s mother’s job problems, which dragged on way too long. It was supposed to make Usui more sympathetic, but I think a poor boy whose father abandoned him and who unconditionally loves a freak vampire is plenty sympathetic. I was also bugged by Karin’s lack of agency. She’s the protagonist, but the only active thing she ever did was decide to trust Usui. Aside from that, she’s a pretty passive character, and almost everything is decided for her.

Watch it?: Skip it. (2/5)

MVP: Anju Maaka

Anju_boogie

Little vampires be keeping it real

Best Episode: Ep.20 “The First Time is Embarrassing” (having a sister is hard)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Ichigo 100%

Type: Strawberry Panties

981

Synopsis: One day, a kid named Manaka Junpei goes to the school roof for a peaceful time, but suddenly gets flashed by some pretty girl’s panties. Feeling a mixture of violation and fascination, Junpei seeks the mysterious girl out. Along the way, he picks up a blonde girlfriend by the pull-up bars. Then he discovers that strawberry panties is actually the local wallflower. Then she gets hot. So Junpei has to balance these two, along with two other girls that can’t seem to get enough of him. We’ve all been there, right?

Pros: I’ll give the show this, it has a surprisingly brisk pace. The plot progresses farther than you would expect a harem-esque show to. It starts with Junpei in middle school, and ends in his second year in high school. We see him get and lose his first girlfriend. The identity of the mystery girl in the first episode is revealed in the second. The tsundere character falls for Junpei in the span of one episode. Most other shows would draw this out for at least two seasons, maybe more. It was also refreshing to see a protagonist who knew he liked all the girls in his life, instead of just acting oblivious to it. So kudos Ichigo 100% for actually making things happen in your show. Kudos.

Cons: Every character in this show is way too sensitive. All the girls are like a second away from bursting into tears. So as you can imagine, it gets a bit overly melodramatic at times. The animation seemed inconsistent at times, and you could really notice the moments where it dips in quality. On a personal note, and I don’t know why, but at times I felt that the plot was seconds away from something incredibly tragic happening. Maybe that was just me.

Watch it?: Excellent for a High School soap opera fix (with some humor too) (3/5)

MVP: Satsuki Kitaoji

ichigo-100-character-file-04-satsuki-kitaoji-cd-cover-art

Cute face. Big boobs. Actual personality. Will she ever get a date?

Best Episode: Ep.4  “Troublesome High School Life / The Wrong Heart and Mind” (hope that camera wasn’t expensive)

Tagged , , , , ,

Eureka Seven

Type: The Story of a Boy and a Girl

Synopsis: A boy named Renton Thurston joins a half hippy / half skater / half military mercenary group called Gekkostate in order to get closer to this girl named Eureka (pronounced E-U-RE-KA for some stupid reason). Now, most of the crew of Gekkostate are tools at best, and a-holes at worst. But given that most of his world seems to be populated with tools and a-holes, they can be somewhat forgiven…Oh! there’s also a bunch of stuff involving giant robots and floaty alien sea creatures.

Pros: The best reason to watch this show is Renton and Eureka’s relationship. They go from strangers to lovers.They mature together. The show’s exploration of young love is its strongest aspect. The second strongest aspect is probably the  consequences of war, and it’s affect people’s lives, as the Gekkostate itself is a mercenary group, and its leaders are ex-military. In this aspect, it has a weird Third World vibe to it.

Cons: Some aspects of this show are either too depressing or too uncomfortable. In the show people get depressed, they get angry, they get abusive, they don’t make the best decisions. It’s strangely realistic in displaying peoples emotions, as most emotions are admittedly erratic. One example is who often Renton gets slapped around. It happens quite a bit (which is probably what would happen if a 14 year old joined a mercenary group). The plots also not the easiest to understand (what the hell is with mecha anime and sociapolitical/theological plots?).

Watch it?: Yeah, but don’t do it at 4:30 a.m. like I did (4/5)

MVP: Eureka

Don’t know why…maybe its the blue hair

Best Episode: Ep. 26 “Morning Glory” (their finally back together again)

Tagged , , , , ,