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// Anime Reviews //

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// Anime Reviews //
Post By Guest. 15/08/08, 09:18 am

Always wanted to be a movie, music or film critic since, from about a young age. Since don't find movies that Interesting and have a short attetion span, and not willing to spend $30- each week to buy a new album each week, though about being a Anime/ Manga critic and reviewing old and new Anime and Manga ..


And maybe others could share a review with a certain Manga or anime that they are interested in, or just read.
Thought that it would be fun , and rather helpful for those looking around for something new to read or watch..

Going to rate out of about Five ,- one meaning awful, and Five meaning excellent. Basic review scores..
Sorry about spelling and grammer, not the best type writter and bad spelling has always been a family problem.

?
Review one= [Manga ]Tengen Toppa Lagann

Chapters- 10 ( On going )

Summary

In the distant future, people build their homes and raise domestic animals in subterranean caverns. As a result, they live in fear of the occasional earthquake and cave-in, and have been for hundreds of years.

Review

Despite the hard to remember title, the first thing that stood out from this manga, was the amazing colourful characters, created within a unique, shaded almost a older style of manga type of drawing. Not many people have heard about this manga, it's reasonably new and in order for a new manga to work it has to be creative, and Tengen wins as soon as you hear the name's title, as soon as you hear '' Tengen Toppa '' you know it's not going to be the same old, stereotypical manga, and it makes you interested- no maybe curious to read straight away..

The story opens with big explosions , yet slowly at the same time explains the breif side of the story, showing that the characters are not keen on earthquakes just like it says within the story's summary written above. Like most Manga's, the main character is not a super-human perfectionist, he's a misfit , a outsider and teased by others..
While others around him are bigger stronger and tend to be more handsome than him. Not new, but still great.

After a few pages kind of noticed that this manga is dripping and highly desires character fanbase. Aniki is showing off his bare chest, and Yoko one of the main females is barly just walking around with a short bra and hot-pants.
Would of perferd if the creater of Toppa, would of been more brave and created characters that didn't beg for screaming fangirls for fanboys to leap over them, though sex sells, a common motto and guess it's kind of true..
( Though love the sunglasses, want a pair- future cosplay in mind- hmm...?? )

After reading a few more pages from the first chapter, kind of noticed that the story has a whacky- humours side to it, rather than cold and serious, though kind of wonder like fellow other Manga's like D- Gray Man and Naruto if the manga is going to darken up as the manga grows within fanbase and the story gets stronger ?
Not a fool towards warm beginnings. The characters don't take long to have a attachment on you..
You should have a favourite character in no time, Shimon tends to be a favourite, the cute digger =^-^=
And not usually the type to enjoy main characters , because of the way they hog the spotlight..

It's only been 20 pages of reading and well Love It It's a great unique manga and worth a read..
Though at the moment it's missing '' The Grip '' or the '' Glue '' that can drag you into addiction and may get bored and pulled away from reading the manga at any moment, though '' The Grip '' is personal, and it can happen at any time, at any moment, and guess it has potential to pull you away , rather than drag you in futher. Guess maybe because the manga art, even though colourful and bright it's kind of basic, and Earthquakes are kind of plain ?

Guess you have to patient towards this manga, and wait for it to warm up towards your tastebuds..Don't give up after the first or second page, and the manga will be a enjoyable experience , if you enjoy unique styles and not the type looking towards '' perfect art'' and '' perfect storlyine '' it should be the manga for you. If not suggest giving it a go anyways, because don't want people to miss out on at least giving this manga a try ..



???? 1/2 Stars [Manga ]Tengen Toppa Lagann

Gave it a score of 4 in a half stars ( or rather hearts ? )


Good Characters -Shimon a cute and adorable main character, The Mole - don't know his name, more cute
Kamina-attractive personality. Yoko despite clothing, like the fact that she's not a damsel and annoying Sakura.

Possible Yaoi ? Oh Yes, Yes- Shimon x Kamina .

Manga Genre Shonen

Recommend For - Men aged 13-20 ( ish ) though girls might enjoy the manga as well xd

Good Cosplay possiblities ? Yes but it's Difficult and problery better for more complex cosplayers.
( Unless your really brave to walk around shirtless, or in a bra )

Hope you enjoyed reading the review xd

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Post By Kitten Slave. 15/08/08, 09:37 am

I support whoever cosplays Yoko...
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Post By Pura. 15/08/08, 10:31 am

Young men eh? *laughs* One of my friends is obsessed with it. A 15-year-old girl too xD.

I watched the first episode a week or so ago, but I haven't got around to watching any more.
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Post By SockPanda. 17/08/08, 10:43 am

Been wanting to see this because everyone seems to be obssessed 0w0 Reading this review kinda bumped it up in my 'To watch/read' list ^-^
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Post By Guest. 18/08/08, 08:59 am

SockPanda wrote:
Been wanting to see this because everyone seems to be obssessed 0w0 Reading this review kinda bumped it up in my 'To watch/read' list ^-^

Yay : 3


Review Two= [Anime ] Gundam Seed - Gundam Geass

Episodes 45

Summary

The future is not as bright as it seems, with the desire for parents to clone their children, war and science has gone into chaos. One young teenger Kira Yamato addicently steps into this war of techology thinking that he is doing good, for the future of planet earth..But is he really doing good ?

Review

The Gundam Series was one of the first anime series ever born in the middle of the 1970's, since then Sunrise has been creating Gundam series, after Gundam Series, suited for every gereration. You may remember in 1995 the popluar Series Gundam Wing As Heero , as the main character, and the movie that followed The Endless Waltz. Gundam Seed isn't as mature and deep as Wing, though it still has it's violent and sadistic moments..

Gundam Seed starts off quite good, it's un-predictable and you have no idea what's in store for Kira or the rest of the characters, as what is said above Gundam Seed isn't the bright happy, cheerful type of anime

Boyfriends get cheated on, people get blowen to bits, cities of people that you were supporting to live on, die in the worse way possible, one town gets destoryed by a huge massive bomb, a infamous scence..
It's filled with the cruel kind of drama and supsense that you would expect in a episode of Home and Away..

However Gundam Seed is a very slow paced anime, characters spend too much time talking, planning their next war moves, or even just looking at their somber reflection in the mirrior, which makes you Fast- Forward
However Gundam Seed just wastes to much talking, or explaining un-important information , which is dull..

The storyline may seem highly dramtic, cruel, and highly slow...yet it's quite real, ( minus the floating robots )
Friends fight, Friends agure, people die...It's one major fact of life. And the view on war is quite -opening as well, it makes you think that there isn't really a good side, or a bad side just two sides with two different views..
And the anime shows that, ZAFT isn't really the ''evil'' group and neither is the Main Earth team..

Though why do they fight ? This anime is about the point of view about being able to clone your children in the future, which by the way things are going today, this war is problery most likley going to occur..


The characters are alright, Kira is the perfect character for the job of being the lead role, you get to see his drama's , feelings and pain throughout the story and watch him grow into a strong leader, and character.
Some of the female characters are a bit werid like Lacus Clyne at the beginning, and Flay Kira's personal crush..
It's like the female characters have mental problems, and they just...act a bit strange ...xd

The music is wonderful, Lacus sings some of her songs randomly throughout the anime, and the opening and closing theme songs are worth a listen. TM Revolution performs most of the music. Meteor would problery have to be one of the best songs, and it plays during a really plot-twisting point within the anime..( Episode 35 ?? )

Gave it Three hearts, It's worth a try and it problery would of been better if the pace was a bit warmer..
The animation is alright, though it's a bit dated now since the anime came out a while ago...



♥♥♥ 3 hearts [Anime ] Gundam Seed

Gave it a score of 4 in a half stars ( or rather hearts ? )


Good Characters -After watching the japanese version not long ago, Kira is great xd Athrun is quite the hansome fellow, and lacus clyne improves her persona through-out the story ..

Realtionships- The only thing bad about Gundam Seed Geass, is that realtionships tend to break-up , get bored of fall apart, just like in real life. It's good for realism, but crappy for fanbase- don't get too thrilled...

Manga Genre Shonen

Recommend For - Men aged 15-20 - Girls can watch of course

It's quite violent in some scences and in some versions of Gundam Seed Geass, There is a scence were Kira and Flay perform deep expressions of love though most versions tried to have that scence cut or even deleted..


Good Cosplay possiblities ? Yes everybody wants to dress up as a Gundam ;)- seriously the Zaft Uniform would make a really decent cosplay....

If you are a Fan of the Star Wars flims, recommend this anime to you- since it's quite relateable to Star Wars..

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Post By IcyRose. 18/08/08, 05:53 pm

My little mini reviews I wrote on the ADP forums, copied and pasted here.

I decided to get a couple of series from this new season to see if there is anything interesting. So far here's what I got.

Slayers Revolution (2 eps watched): The 4th series following the magical adventures of Lina Inverse and her band of misfits. If you've watched any Slayers series beforehand than this will be quite nostalgic as it is more of the same. For those of you that haven't here's the brief rundown of the series as a whole which basically covers this series as well.

Lina Inverse the infamous sorceress who hunts bandits and steals their gold for herself runs into dim-witted swordsman Gourry Gabriev, together they go on various adventures, usually joined by the justice obsessed princess Amelia and the brooding cold-heated mystic swordsman Zelgadiss and occasionally helped and/or hindered by the Trickster Priest Xelloss. Somewhere along the line a big bad will show up with some sort of world threatening power and it will be up to Lina to save the world. In other words, it's a typical shounen set in a fantasy world, it stands out a bit because it's an old classic of the times and is generally loved by many.

So far the only plot points given in this new series is that there is a kingdom out to arrest Lina Inverse in relation to the destruction of their giant anti-mage tanks however the real culprit is some cute little creature that can also cast a variety of magic including Lina's signature spell the Dragon Slave. This creature in question also claims to have made the tanks and that they were stolen so he's destroying them before they are put to use.

My opinion: It basically feels like any other Slayers series, so if you're a fan of the series, pick it up if you haven't already. Also like every other Slayers series, it doesn't assume you have watched the previous 3 series (except maybe for the continued plot point that the Sword of Light went missing at some point) and is generally easy to get into and understand. So if you're new to the series it shouldn't take too long to establish who all the characters are and how they act. However I'd also treat this series like any other one that goes on for over 26 eps and find it pretty generic and occasionally falls into 'Monster of the week' scenarios. Also this series has gotten a distinct lack of Xelloss which I demand be remedied soon.

The Secret of Haruka Nogizuka (1 ep watched): The basis of this story is simple, we follow the life of apathetic normal high school boy Yuuto who is completely uninterested in woman due to his drunken sister and teacher living with him and generally acting like slobs to the point it turns him off woman in general. That is until he meets little Miss Moe Mary Sue, Haruka Nogizuka, the soft-spoken, shy, rich girl who lives a normal life and is thus the most popular girl in school. Yuuto is mildly interested in her, and I emphasise that mildly as he's too busy being neutral on his feelings to anything. However due to an encounter in the school's library involving an anime magazine, Yuuto finds out Haruka's shocking secret, she's secretly an anime fan, realising that Yuuto knows her secret, Haruka freaks out thinking her life is over and she'll be branded with the social stigma of being an anime fan and shunned by her peers. After much effort into trying to resolve this matter, Yuuto decides that if the secret is that important to her, he'll keep it a secret and he doesn't judge her due to the fact he's indifferent towards everything. This starts their inevitable romance.

My Opinion: If you hadn't guessed by now, this is the moe love story of the season and I didn't really enjoy it at all. Haruka outright frustrates me as she is basically the personification of everything wrong in a female anime character who clearly feels like she's been designed to be the male otaku's ideal girlfriend but would NEVER exist in real life and Yuuto is so indifferent about everything that he comes off as being really boring. hell, the premise itself is also very melodramatic. I wouldn't really think having people find out you're an anime fan would completely obliterate your reputation at school to the point you'd turn from school idol to social reject, but then again I was never that high on the social hierarchy so nothing like that would happen to me, also from my impression, the social stigma anime fandom gets in Japan is significantly worse than it is in Western countries. In any case, I wouldn't really recommend this series unless you're into the whole moe thing or simply want some sort of sweet childish romance series.

And since I watched a few eps of it about a week ago as it fell into my backstock of unwatched things on my HDD from last season I might as well also review this.

Himitsu - The Revelation (3 eps watched): In what appears to be the not too distant future, crime solving technology has evolved and a special crime investigation department of the Japanese police is in charge of an experimental system in which they extract the brains of murder victims and rewind through their most recent and/or most important memories in order to find both their killer and their motives. The series mainly follows Aoki, the latest recruit for this department and his views on the experimental system and his thoughts on whether their method is morally right or not.

My opinion: When I first heard about this series I thought "Hey, they're trying to solve murders throughout looking through the last memories of a person, that sounds kinda awesome" and I totally expected the overall memory watching to be the main premise of the show. Turns out I was kinda wrong when I watched the first ep and it basically wasn't until the end until they finally got the brain of the victim, discerned the killer and arrested him in the place of about 5 mins. However the following arc involving the assassination of the President intrigued me a bit and they introduced some nice elements about the memory watching in which the detectives are seeing everything in the actual perspective of the victim and thus are influenced by how the victim perceived their surroundings (example, a girl who was murdered by her abusive father viewed him as some sort of demon and so he appeared as one when they watched her last moments) I just kinda wished they didn't put so much focus on Aoki and his life since while I liked the crime-solving part of the show, the life drama part of it isn't so appealing. Final verdict is I think the show looks interesting enough for me to see through to the end so it will remain on my HDD for the time being and I'm hoping it reaches some of the potential it appears to have.
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Post By Guest. 19/08/08, 02:27 pm

Wow , amazing reviews...maybe you should take over ?

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Post By Lavi_x. 19/08/08, 02:36 pm

Hey Akatsuki, if you're reviewing the manga of Gurren Lagann have you seen the anime?
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Post By IcyRose. 19/08/08, 05:53 pm

Well since I got praise from Akatsuki Dawn I figured I might have another go at the reviewing thing. On a note I don't give scores to any series but my overall opinion of it, I'll leave it up to you to figure out if it's something that might interest you.

Manga: Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro

Status: 150+ chapters (Ongoing)

Genre: Shounen, Mystery

Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, or Neuro as I call it for the sake of shortening the name is about a demon named Nougami Neuro who feeds on mysteries, having eaten all the mysteries of the demon world he decides his hunger for them has not been satisfied and desires to find the mystery of all mysteries which he hopes will finally satisfy his desires. However he can't operate directly in the human world so he ends up finding a high school girl named Yako Katsuragi whose father died of mysterious circumstances, intrigued at the mystery surrounding her father's death he decides to take her under his wing and use her as cover for his mystery solving by turning her into a famous highschool girl detective to gain fame and reputation among the people in order to bring in more mysteries for him to solve through her in order to fill his appetite.

I watched the anime of this series first and I was actually very glad that I did since reading the manga first would have completely ruined the anime for me for the fact the anime was completely inferior due to the different approach they took to various plots (in the end I would consider the anime to almost be an alternate universe to the manga due to different characterisations and exclusions of various characters) The manga runs in kind of small case arcs and then occasionally a big case will occur in which we'll have a big villain show up who is vastly more impressive than the smaller criminals and with them comes a bigger mystery.

The main selling point of the series is obviously the title character, Neuro, who is your sadistic badass demon who can sense and solve murder mysteries faster than Phoenix Wright can scream out 'OBJECTION!!' Although due to his demon status he has an advantage of getting all the right clues by using one of his 777 Tools of the Demon World to find the things the police cannot, all the while continuing to physically abuse and torment Yako whom he considers his slave in true slapstick manner. Yako is also a big character in everything as Neuro works through her and makes it look like she's the one solving the mysteries would he acts as her assistant when it is really the other way around (although he doesn't really hide it well as he generally goes through the detailed plot and then ends his sentences with "Well that's what sensei thinks") She provides the kind of audience perspective of the story as she watches over Neuro in his investigation and at the same time tries to actually get involved to prove that she's not as worthless as she seems.

Being a shounen series it does come off as formulaic as it generally goes Neuro finds scent of mystery, Yako and Neuro find crime scene, Yako and Neuro run into detective Sasazuka who is usually investigating the same case, Neuro figures out the crime and has Yako point out the culprit, Neuro explains the crime in detail, culprit snaps and transform into a demonised version of themselves representing their true nature, Neuro proceeds to devour their essence of mystery they release, culprit is arrested by Sasazuka, Neuro abuses Yako for amusement. But unlike other shounens it manages to end its storylines reasonably quickly (some exceptions) but overall never drag on the one case. So it is still a very enjoyable read. It's also nice to mention that despite the whole detective and mystery genre of the story it doesn't really ever take itself seriously which is nice for a change. So if you don;t mind a light-hearted mystery series with a dash of slapstick comedy and badass demons check it out.

Cosplay possiblities: Neuro himself would be the awesome cosplay and is overall easy with exception of his hair. Yako also would make a nice addition, I say this mainly because with her you can add a cellphone prop with a braid of hair tied to it to be Akane, the sentient length of hair living in their office that acts as their secretary.
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Post By Guest. 20/08/08, 09:09 am

Lavi_x wrote:
Hey Akatsuki, if you're reviewing the manga of Gurren Lagann have you seen the anime?

No, Not yet..

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Post By Lavi_x. 20/08/08, 11:32 am

Awhh, you really need to.
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Post By IcyRose. 21/08/08, 08:47 am

Currently sitting at work filling in time in between helping out various students with their lab work so I figured I review another anime. I wasn't really impressed with my Neuro review mainly because I felt that it more me saying how awesome Neuro is and not really being analytical about it like I had with previous reviews so this time I feel like reviewing something more controversial or at least less viewer/reader-friendly.

Anime: School Days

Length: 12 episodes + 2 OVAs

Genre: Romance, Drama

Summary: School Days is an anime based off a fully animated eroge of the same name that tells the story of Makoto Itou, a boy who has the hots for the very attractive Katsura Kotonoha who attends the same school and catches the same train to school as he does, however doesn't have the courage to approach her, instead he takes a photo of her on the train with his cellphone and occasionally looks at it woefully thinking about what could be. Then his classmate, Sekai Saionji, catches him looking at the photo and puts 2 and 2 together and decides to make it her responsibility to hook Makoto and Kotonoha together which soon happens as she quickly becomes friends with the other girl and then introduces the two of them to each other and things start looking good. But as Makoto and Kotonoha walk off as a happy couple, Sekai watches on with a look of regret and sadness.

My thoughts: If anyone has watched Kimi ga Nozomu Eien aka Rumbling Hearts then this plot line will probably sound familiar to you. I should know since my reasoning for watching this was a combination of reading about the plot, which I had likened to KimiNozo, and the event in which the last episode got postponed from TV in what would later on be called the 'Nice Boat' meme. So I will say right off the bat, if you're looking for a story with lots of happy fun time and sweet romance, turn away now!

School Days is not a happy story at all, it starts out pretty much like your normal romance show, guy meets girl, guy starts going out with girl, their mutual friend feels somewhat jealous as she also likes guy. But then around episode 4 things start taking a turn for the worse, and the story starts falling into a downward spiral of disaster. This is not to say School Days is bad, it's far from it, School Days was a series I can say that I loved it but would never watch ever again. The beautiful thing about School Days is that the characters feel very real as the scenario itself also makes itself very real, there's no gags or anything of the like (Well actually the OVAs are all that and very much non-canon), it's somewhat of a realistic look on how a person's lovelife works in this day and age (which is very depressing when you think about it while watching)

This is one of the few series I could watch all the way through and hate EVERY single character while still love the show itself because the story is just so good. But like I said, this anime is definitely not for everyone. As I said, there are pretty much no likable characters, Makoto is a jerk, Sekai is a backstabbing whore and Kotonoha, well I won't go into her due to the spoilers involved. The storyline in a whole is very much depressing, frustrating and sometimes anger-inducing. But overall it's a very good story with a clear cut moral at the end which you should REALLY pay attention to. So if you're interested in watching something that's got an overall more serious tone to it and more realistic than other anime tends to be and happen to like the whole romance drama genre, give it a shot and hopefully you'll enjoy it.

Cosplay Possibilities: I suppose you could cosplay any of the female characters of the series as they do have a very nice look school uniform, but anyone cosplaying a male character from this series (of which there are two) would probably feel the scorn of anyone who has seen the series.
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Post By JVCA. 22/08/08, 05:35 am

Stickied. :)
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Post By IcyRose. 28/08/08, 06:39 pm

I'm wondering if I can turn this into a weekly thing? I might actually find a reason to watch some of my backstock of anime as a result since I really do need to. Anyways I've watched some things throughout the week thanks to CCPC, well actually I only rewatched Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and watched Puni Puni Poemi. I figure I might as well review them.

BTW, Akatsuki Dawn, I hope I'm not deterring you from writing any more reviews by writing my own, seeing as this was originally your topic. Feel free to chip in whenever you wish.

Anime: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Length: 12 eps

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, High School, Parody

Summary: Nozomu Itoshiki is a depressed and suicidal teacher who pretty much falls into complete utter despair at every minor detail of life. Of course he seems to fail every time he tries to kill himself, which surprisingly isn't that often. To add to his despair he's in charge of a class filled with pretty much every kind of nutjob you could find ranging from a perfectionist who must make everything proper, a mute girl who abuses people through txt messaging, a stalker a hikikomori and his polar opposite to name a few. Throw them altogether and you have the recipe for a fun comedy that pretty much anyone could appreciate.

My thoughts: I love Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and of the 2 seasons currently released (2nd season called Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei) I found this one to be much better. This is mainly because I really enjoyed the whole 'student of the week' aspect it had with giving half an episode to establishing one of the students in Itoshiki-sensei's class and their random issues in life and how their teacher gets involved with them and generally wins their heart somehow through his philosophy of suicide.

The main problem however from this series is the huge number of Japanese culture references used in the show, however a good number of it is mainly present in the background with the blackboard jokes. Although there are some that might fly past your head (one ep references the poor performance of the Japanese soccer team and some of their specific players, also the entire cast is named accordingly to their personality traits in some form of Japanese name pun, example the title character's name written horizontally creates the kanji for Despair). The other argument I could make is that it simply could be considered too random for a viewer or not the kind of comedy that strikes their fancy, but I feel that's more of a personal taste issue.

Other than that, the show basically makes fun of all the cliche's in life, and also throws in a bunch of pop culture references (Examples include Death Note, DBZ, Code Geass, Gurren Lagann and even some western things like the Shower Scene from Psycho). There's no overall plot at all and the show pretty much never takes itself seriously, it's really just something you'd want to pick up and watch for your own amusement.

Not really much else to say on the series, I know a good number of us have already seen it and liked it. I feel that this series is something I'd rather suggest you'd watch an episode or two to get a grasp of the series, since it's pretty much the same all the way through.

Anime: Puni Puni Poemi

Length: 2 Eps

Genre: Magical Girl, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Parody

Summary: The story is about Poemi Watanabe or Kobayashi as she calls herself (reference to her actual voice actress Yumiko Kobayashi) and her dreams of become a voice actor, however she's stupid and sucks at acting, but that seems to be a minor subplot as the main story appears to be that very inappropriate aliens are invading and have killed her parents so she has to live with her relatives which are all kinda odd to put it lightly and it's up to them to save the world from these aliens, well actually no, they have no offensive abilities and therefore can do nothing, so it's up to Poemi to save the day as she so happens to also be a magical girl named Puni Puni Poemi. That's pretty much it really.

My thoughts: PPP got some infamy in the fact it's the only non-hentai title to get banned in NZ, this is apparently due to the very inappropriate situations imposed on some of the younger members of the cast, but if you ask me, I think that argument doesn't really hold any ground when you have a hentai title like The Story of Little Monica available in this country, granted the girls in that might not be underage, but they damn well look it. Anyways, that's really besides the point. I can pretty much summarise my thoughts of the series in this one sentence:

PPP isn't so much wrong as it's just bad.

Poemi is an annoying character that speaks far too fast for anyone to understand, the rest of the female cast is just blatant fanservice and the aliens are just disturbing overall. Granted that's the overall point of the series so I suppose I can't blame it for being what it is. It would be like I was complaining about how all the girls in Ikki Tousen wear clothes that explode on slightest impact and that the abundance of fanservice detracts from the very vague historical references the series is based on when really you watch Ikki Tousen for the hot girls tearing each others clothes off and not for the references to the 3 Kingdoms (Ok, I did watch it for the 3 Kingdoms references which is why I'm avoiding the 3rd season like the plague but the point still stands). Considering this is pretty much the 'sequel' of sorts to Excel Saga I suppose I had some sort of level of expectation from it, but all of that is dashed upon wall when I realise it more or less reminds me of the last episode of Excel Saga, which was probably one of the worse episodes in that series. In the end I can only recommend watching it if you're curious to why it got banned in NZ, of course you'd have to find a way to obtain it, which shouldn't be too hard since the internet exists and all but really, I'd rather waste my bandwidth on something else as I figured you'd be very disappointed in the end.
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Re: // Anime Reviews //
Post By Guest. 29/08/08, 08:29 am

IcyRose wrote:


BTW, Akatsuki Dawn, I hope I'm not deterring you from writing any more reviews by writing my own, seeing as this was originally your topic. Feel free to chip in whenever you wish.

No...

A little bit more worried about what Final Fantasy music to download at the moment, to be truthfull..
Kind of thought that we could work as a team, and do just any reviews as little or as much as we want..

Don't really mind, because kind of wanted anybody do their reviews if they ever wanted to, and not just one person

So kind of wanted you to write those reviews, and maybe other people to start writting reviews as well, if they desired. Your reviews are good, Icyrose and they are really intresting to read-you can do one a week, every friday or something, if you want to, it's up to you ^_^ But don't stop the reviews xd


Last edited by Akatsuki Dawn on 29/08/08, 12:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post By Guest. 29/08/08, 09:41 am

Review Three -Chrno Crusade { Anime }

Chrno Crusade would of been called Chrono Crusade but because of Square-Enix's hit game, Chrono Trigger Chrono got changed to 'Chrno', however in the European and American versions, it's Chrono Crusade adding to people's confusion and making think some Final Fantasy fans, that Chrno Crusade, and Chrono Trigger are realted stories, however in reality they are not. Chrono comes from the latin word, meaning 'time'.
Both Chrono Crusade, and Chrono Trigger are both time-based stories, but in different ways..

You can call Chrno Crusade, whatever you wish- Chrno, or Chrono-but prefier Chrno, since it's the japanese original title for the manga and anime, and don't want Chrno Crusade, Or Chrono Trigger to collide with each other

Storyline - Chrno Crusade storyline is based not really on fact, but more information and research, you have to be careful watching a anime based on reglious Prophecies because the japanese not having a reglious culture they would of heard about reglious ideas from hearsay and rumours, and would of mixed it up from their own creative mind. Yes there is prophecies of Fatma, in the Catholic culture and most of all reglious groups believe in the second coming, and the anti-christ. But it's more based on the creator's personal imagination...

There is no Magdalene order in real life,certainly wasn't one in the late 1920's in world history..

Kind of thought that the anime was more reglious than the manga, which can be a bad thing and a good thing..
The anime kind of touches on the idea that, the anti-christ has already been here on this world * scary thought*
and he brought chaos into the world, bringing forth Massacres and the infamous second world war, ending maybe people's hope and believe in god, and causing more freedom for sin in today's period, and the fact that the anti-christ is going to come and the only thing we can do is just sit and watch, and watch time pass by untill then..

If Aion really is the anti-christ, only Fangirls would get mislead by his powers, not everybody in this world..

The main part of the storyline, are the characters Rosette and Chrno, and maybe Rosette's younger brother Joshua
Really pass all that reglious mumble-jumble is the story of giving up everything you have or could have, for love..
Whether if it's family love- Joshua and Rosette, or a deeper non realtive bond- Chrno and Rosette..

Even though the anime is called Chrno Crusade, tend to believe that Rosette Christopher is the main character.
The main story is about her, living a life of a orphan protecting her younger, more feeble brother from harm to becoming a young woman ( would say mature, but Rosette is less than mature ! ) giving up her future, memories, luxuries and time on earth, to try and save her brother Joshua from the evil Aion's harm, or just evil itself.

The anime kind of gives a negative focus- '' I tried so hard, and got so far but in the end it didn't even matter ''
In the manga it's more awarding of Rosettes efforts to Save Joshua, and not so cruel and harsh on Rosette.
The anime kind of shows that Rosette gave up everything to save Joshua, and defeat Aion- but a worthless try..
Which is kind of disapointing, what to show that those who do good, do get awarded in the end of their story..

The story is about fighting life's inner demons, not giving up, not letting others step over your dreams, and that life is hard, tough and cruel, almost like a cruel laughter of a joke in some ways, and guess it's kind of true.
Rosette does not like to give up so easily, Chrno Crusade is about mental, and inner-strength and it shows..

Characters The characters are a intersting bunch, all expect one of two are really annoying on the english version of the show, the english voice overs get way too carried away, and over-the-top on some moments, even when it's meant to be a serious, deep and not so lightweight scence in the anime. Kind of seem to like mostly everybody expect Aion, Aion is more calmer, more of a leader in the manga, in the anime he is grubby, dirty and rather a lustful creep. CURSE YOU FOR HAVING CUTE DEEP PURPLE EYES !!
Aion is a sicko and should be locked away somewhere dark and deep in a big wide hole, never to escape...
Stella's fake german acent is a pest in the english dubbs, trying to fake sounding german when your clearly not..
Though her cheeky character, confident and mature fighting styles is a win, Azmaira is the character that you know may seem weak, unconfident and a perfect target for villians and monsters to pester on but you know that she is going to grow up, to become a person stronger than Rosette and most other characters put together..

It's cool watching Azmaira grow up, from being shy and shaken, to assertive and strong mentally and physically.
The last main characters Rosette and Chrno, Rosette despite being the class-clown is a really awesome main character, Chrno is problery the best character throughtout the anime, The hero that is meant to be the Villian..
Chrno's calm persona, mistunderstood nature and kind-hearted and unique ways are just a blessing xd -Plus Rosette and Chrno together problery make a really cute and well balanced anime pairing..


Music Kind of really didn't the notice the music, expect from the music at the beginning that is introducing you into Chrno and Rosette's world which really stands out. The anime only has one opening theme and one ending.
The opening theme song is refeshing at first listen, but after a while your reaching out for the skip button.
The ending theme song is worth the listen, it's emotional yet not too slow , sad yet not depressing and it really relates and bonds with the ending well, espically with the ending and Chrono and Rosette's realtionship...

Other Read the manga, and only hire out this anime, the anime is good yes, but it seems to fade and get silly and sloppy by about volume 4-5, the more it escapes from the manga orignally, the worse the anime gets..

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Post By IcyRose. 04/09/08, 09:27 am

Well another week has passed and I've finally more or less recovered from my sore throat from last week (ironically I recovered on the day I saw the doctor about it). So I shall get on with my next review of the week. This is actually a review I was planning on typing up last week due to a friend of mine getting into the series recently, but I realised I was writing up a fair bit on Zetsubou Sensei and PPP so I decided to push it forward to this week's review.

Manga: Great Teacher Onizuka

Genre: High School, Drama, Slice of Life, Comedy

Summary: Eikichi Onizuka is a 22 year old virgin and former motorcycle gang leader. One day he ends up running into a distressed high school girl who had a falling out with her boyfriend and ends up going to a love hotel with her, however just before things could go any further, her boyfriend tracked them down and begged the girl to come back to him in which she happily complied ditching Onizuka completely, the shocking revelation though was that the girl's boyfriend wasn't some random high school boy or some rebel without a cause, it was her remarkably unattractive teacher. Being stunned by the power that teacher had over his student, Onizuka was inspired to also become a teacher. However as he went through his student teaching period he realised he had a conscience and that he couldn't bring himself to abuse the trust of a student-teacher relationship, but he also realised that his students had problems, life problems rather than educational ones, ones that he could relate to from his childhood and no amount of standard teaching would ever improve them, so he vowed that he would become the GREATEST. TEACHER. IN THE WORLD. And teach students from his textbook of life.

My thoughts: Ok, now that you've read the large wall of text that is my plot summary of GTO I can move on to my actual review. While I say this review is for the manga, it's really for all 3 incarnations of the series, the anime, the manga and the live action drama. I just put manga up there because it's the best of the 3. I'm going to say this straight up, I love GTO, I own the entire anime series on DVD in it's mighty 10 DVD boxset, read all the manga and watched all the Live Action series except for the movie, and I can still say without a doubt in my mind that it is the best manga I have ever read.

Of course this is where you'd be wondering, why is it so great? Well it's all really about the characters. There is a reasonably large cast of characters in Onizuka's class, each of them with their own issues ranging from bullying to childhood traumas to dysfunctional family issues and even rape. As a result they all end up lashing out at others, specifically their teachers, and caused a decent amount of infamy at school, having driven Onizuka's predecessors into cults, insanity and suicide. As a reader/viewer we basically introduced each student has Onizuka meets them, and as a result they do not give off a very nice first impression.

When I first met Onizuka's class as a whole, I felt like slapping each and everyone of them upside the head and teach them some bloody respect. However as the series progressed Onizuka will end up in some crazy situation that was usually started by one particular student and during that time, Onizuka begins to learn more about the student and through him we learn the sad story of that student and how life's circumstances turned them into the person they are. Using his own life experience, Onizuka then knocks some sense into them, usually through some sort of unorthodox method of teaching (Examples include forcing a student to bungee jump off the Rainbow Bridge using a plastic cord as a rope, driving the student off an incomplete bridge on his motorcycle, or faking a hostage situation with the student) and then after all that was said and done, they realise that their problems actually weren't all that big to begin with and that they were being childish. As a result they begin to open up to Onizuka and admire him for being the teacher that not only solved their life's problems but also made school enjoyable for them.

Onizuka himself is obviously the man of the show and is truly an inspiration to all. The man's absolute faith in his students and refusal to abandon them in any situation is not only admirable, but also heroic. However he isn't just going to bend over backwards for any student, he wants the student to learn their lesson and accept their responsibility for their actions before he concedes to help them other wise they'd never learn and that's what makes him totally badass, asides from the fact he was a infamous motorcycle gang leader that united all the gangs in Japan under one banner.

The manga has the full story and a much larger cast along with some extra storylines involving some of the older characters to further develop them, while the anime stops about halfway through the storyline and is forced to wrap things up early which in the end leaves you with an overall disappointing ending. The Live Action is arguably better than the anime despite slightly changing some of the characterisations of the main cast but overall getting the same good feeling from the show. My main problem with the live action though is that it doesn't include Urumi Kanzaki who was my favourite character in the series, they had another student that was given the same special lesson that she was given but that character was completely different in terms of storyline and character personality/motivations. However it is still balanced out with the fact that the acting is good, the portrayal of most of the characters is also great and Sorimachi, the guy who plays Onizuka is the Live Action is one sexy beast

Overall, it's good to watch/read all versions of the GTO story as they are all pretty much well worth it, however the general opinion is that the Manga is better than the Live Action which is in turn better than the Anime, which is still pretty damn good to begin with.
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Post By IcyRose. 11/09/08, 03:35 am

Heh, been a week already. Last week I ended up staying in the lab a bit later than I thought I would be when writing my review so this time I've decided to write it up during my longer shift of the day. It occurs to me that I could potentially write more than one review a week as I have this huge backstock of anime that I have watched and the ideas of reviewing a lot of them, some reasonably obscure and others that have become classics that may have been missed by the newer generation of fans. This week's review is going to be of the former.

Anime: Mononoke

Episodes: 12

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Fantasy/Supernatural

Summary: Mononoke are basically a form of dangerous spirit that haunt a specific location. During ancient Japanese times, a mysterious Medicine Seller appears at various locations so that he can slay the Mononoke and exorcise the area. However in order to unsheathe his sword that slays these spirits he must first investigate and uncover their form, truth and regret.

My thoughts: Ok, first off I should mention that Mononoke is actually a sequel of sorts to Ayakashi -Classic Japanese Horror- which was a series that consisted of 3 'horror' stories each one told in a different art style, Mononoke is the sequel to the last story told in Ayakashi called 'Bake-neko' and I highly recommend that you go watch that first before you watch Mononoke, not because you need to watch it to understand Mononoke, it's more that the Bake-neko story is probably the better of all the stories put together, that and the first arc of Mononoke, the Zashiki Warashi arc, is kinda creepy and disturbing and not really the best of the story arcs to start off on.

Mononoke is a nice series in which it's able to take a very simple premise and even routine and turn into a rather unpredictable series of events that kinda make you look at the screen in a questionable manner thinking "What on earth did I just watch?". The given facts of each story arc is that a Mononoke will cause the death of one person, the Medicine Seller will announce he needs to exorcise it and he will in the end. But what happens in-between each bit is a different story. There is a nice air of mystery in that you pretty much don't know what's really going on until the very end where the Medicine Seller will have unraveled the full mystery and in turn the nature of the spirit.

The only character that is worth any mention is the Medicine Seller himself, as he is the only character to appear in every arc, seeing as he's the main character and all. Despite that he has no name and is always referred to as the Medicine Seller. He is essentially an enigma but has that whole aura of awesome coming out of him and his mannerisms. Just the way he simply says "I wonder..." sends a chill down your spine. Also something to note is that as the series progresses you don't really learn anything about him as while he is primarily the character that does pretty much everything, he's more of the catalyst of events while the stories revolve around the people involved in the case and how it all relates to the Mononoke present causing all the chaos.

The art style is very trippy, if anyone has watched Gankutsuou, you'll probably be familiar with the art style as everything looks textured rather than coloured it. The effect is kinda different though in which everyone in Mononoke looks like they were made from construction paper, while the characters in Gankutsuou look like they were coloured out of some sort of crazy drug effect. So it does come off looking somewhat unique.

I had watched this series at ADP, and our club is notorious for beginning to kinda trail off into conversation during a series that doesn't really interest us or alternatively the series ends up getting dropped due to lack of interest. So the fact we managed to sit through it all does show that is probably worth checking out. Although admittedly this series is kinda strange and that might put some of you off, but it's also very unique and artistic. My overall suggestion is to actually pick up episodes 9 - 11 of Ayakashi -Classic Japanese Horror- first and watch them to get a feel of the series, chances are if you liked that, you'll like this series, otherwise it probably won't be your cup of tea.

Potential Cosplays: Take your pick, Medicine Seller, or Medicine Seller in his Exorcism Sword mode
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Post By IcyRose. 18/09/08, 08:55 am

Totally forgot to write up my review this morning so I'm now using my afternoon shift to write up my review. I wonder how many people actually read these to be honest. In any case, this week I'm in a particularly good mood to review not one, not two, but three series. This is mainly because I marathoned 2 of the 3 series in the weekend and I was intending to review the other one this week. So I hope you enjoy them.

Anime: The Twelve Kingdoms aka Juuni Kokki

Length: 45 episodes

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Prim and proper high school student Yoko Nakajima's tries to live a proper life in which she can live up to the expectations of her classmates, teachers and family, but regardless of her efforts ends up being scorned by all, however her life takes a drastic change when she begins to have dreams of another world and monsters seemingly pursuing her, then one day after school a mysterious man in strange clothes appears in front of her in the middle of her classroom and claims she is his master and Queen. Not long after that a giant bird from her dreams comes and attacks the school leaving much destruction. With Yoko not understanding her predicament, the mysterious man takes control of the situation and summons various servants to aid against the attacking bird and then forcibly takes Yoko, along with her fellow classmates Sugimoto and Asano into the world of the 12 Kingdoms a world where the man claims Yoko truly belongs. But how will Yoko adapt to this strange new world she knows nothing about?

My thoughts: Ok seriously I don't think my summary did this series any justice. 12 Kingdoms is an anime that is based on a series of novels each set in one of the titular 12 kingdoms. This series covers 4 of these novels, two of which focus on Yoko as the main character while two others focus on other important characters in the 12 Kingdoms universe while Yoko is more or less the audience to the story being told in those story arcs.

Personally I loved the epic storytelling and found that the world was so vast and thought out it does give a very good sense of immersion. Also one of the finest parts of the 12 Kingdoms is the character development, almost every character has a story to tell and by the end of it they have come out a completely different person than they were when we first met them. Yoko is the best example who starts out as a bit of an overachiever, not really in touch with herself, but as the series progresses you can see her evolve into a strong and mature leader.

However 12 Kingdoms is most definitely without its flaws, the most obvious one is its abrupt end with one plotline left up in the air (this being the story in the 2nd arc). The series was originally supposed to be much longer than it ended up being, but like all good series, based on another media once it hit the point where there was no content left to translate from novel to anime, it just stopped. This was mainly due to someone on the staff getting ill and production coming to a halt. So if you're wanting to find out what happens next in the story, I suggest looking up a translation of the novel.

Another point is that there is a lot of information to take in when watching the series as with the new world, there is a lot of terminology to get used to. If you're doing things the nice and legal way and purchasing the DVDs like I did you'll find in the DVD covers a very convenient list of terminologies and explanations on bits and pieces of the world explained as they are told on the DVD which really comes in handy, however if you aren't and have also not been keeping up with the information coming in you might be wondering to yourself "What the hell is a Kaiyaku/other terminology used?"

Final point to note is that while being a fantasy series, 12 Kingdoms does not possess much action, there is action, but it does take a back seat to character development and politics, although the action that is shown is very good. But it's not recommended to a person who craves action and fantasy together.

In short, 12 Kingdoms is a series for people who like their characters and their character development along with nice epic storytelling. For those who find it hard to take in a lot of new information coming in reasonably quickly while follow the story at the same time, I might suggest stepping away from the series, unless you are really curious.

Potential Cosplays: Pretty much anyone in the cast, although I would give much respect and much glomping to the person who cosplays Rakushun in his usual Hanjyu form as opposed to his human form.

OTP (Because I can): I support Shoukei x Rakushun, even though this isn't really a series that has any sort of romance.

Sadly it would seem my lab shift finished by the time i finished this review, so I'll have to add my other 2 reviews at another time.
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Post By IcyRose. 18/09/08, 01:41 pm

Funny thing happened on my way home today, due to my poor sleeping habits I was kinda tired on the bus home, and as a result I fell asleep, at some point in time I dozed off completely and woke up just on time when the bus got to my stop so I found myself being quite lucky. Now that I'm back home I can write up the next 2 reviews.

/*****************************************************/

Anime: Spice and Wolf

Genre: Romance, Drama

Length: 13 episodes

Summary: The story is set in medieval times where a traveling merchant Lawrence ends up running into a beautiful wolf spirit named Horo or rather he finds her sleeping in his cart, in the past the village she was living nearby she was revered as a god of the harvest, but now that the village found a new way to procure a decent harvest without presenting her an offering and the growth of the church's influence around the country, Horo feels that she's no longer needed in the world and decides to journey up north to where she once came from. Deciding to pledge herself to Lawrence, the two head off on a journey up north, while keeping her existence as a wolf spirit a secret from the church.

My thoughts: I'll say something right off the bat here, I think Spice and Wolf is very cute, and the both Lawrence and Horo have a very nice dynamic and that their relationship is very much the highlight of the series. That said, the series comes off as mediocre in my opinion.

The story is based off a series of light novels, none of which I've actually read so I can't really comment on how it compares to the original stories. My main issue with Spice and Wolf is that a lot of main storylines focus on trading deals that Lawrence gets himself involved with and the poor results that his lack of foresight get him into. The problem with this is that you need to follow the concepts of medieval economics and things like how the value of silver and gold can be used to scam merchants through abuse of exchange rates and various things like that.

Thankfully if you're watching this through Ayako's subs they have a nice section at the end of each episode to explain some of the issues that might have gone over your head.

Also on another note, it's not often I speak of seiyuus however, one of the big things of Spice and Wolf was that Lawrence and Horo were voiced by Jun Fukuyama and Ami Koshimizu respectively, who are probably now best known for their roles as Lelouch and Karen from Code Geass. Ironically, I would compare Horo's behaviour to be more akin to C.C. than Karen though.

Not much else I have to say with the series. I didn't really think much of it, the characters are cute, the romance is nice, but the storyline itself was a bit of a miss for me.

Potential cosplays: Horo would be the best potential cosplay. Her tail is very cuddly looking and the size of her really.

/*****************************************************/

Anime: Bokurano

Genre: Mecha, Drama, Sci-Fi

Length: 24 episodes

Summary: During a summer nature school venture, 15 kids, each of different backgrounds and personalities ranging from, shounen soccer player to adorable little girl, end up exploring a beach during their free time and end up in a cave which contains some computers and suspicious aura, then a man calling himself Kokopelli shows up and then explains himself to the kids saying that this area was his workplace and he was a programmer working on a game. He then goes on to explain his game is about 15 aliens attacking the Earth one at a time and the players get have to take turns piloting a giant mecha to defeat the invaders, he then asks if the kids want to be beta testers for it. Thinking it sounds fun, all the kids decide to sign up, save for the youngest, Kana who isn't allowed to by her abusive brother Jun. After they all sign up, the kids suddenly wake up outside the cave and find a 500 metre tall mecha standing next to them and a giant alien robot materialising nearby. It's then they realise that this game is a lot more real than they first thought and that there is a lot more to it as well. But by that point there is no turning back.

My thoughts: It's hard for me to talk about Bokurano's plot without spoiling it so I'll simply say it's actually pretty dark despite its initial appearance. But if I stopped there, I wouldn't be much of a reviewer would I? Bokurano's charm is the cast, pretty much all 15 of the kids have a pretty fleshed out past and get a decent amount of screentime each that allows you to get to know them all and their different views on life and their different experiences and predicaments.

The anime also had a bit of controversy though in which the anime director had made a public announcement that he did not like the manga and taken his own liberties to the way the anime was going to be portrayed, which was accepted by the mangaka, by the way. Personally I feel that the anime was really good, having not read the manga I can't really compare in the end, but I've read up on some of it, and I'm not particularly interested in it by comparison.

Even though it's a mecha show in the fact it has a mecha, and there are mecha battles, it's more of a character drama since the focus is a lot more on the pilots than anything else and the mecha battles are just gradual developments in the plot which a nice change to the genre.

However the show is not flawless, there are some plotlines which are brought up but not really addressed any further, the dark theme of the show can put some off and some of the characters are pretty unlikable.

Still it's worth a shot and I would recommend it.
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Post By IcyRose. 25/09/08, 05:05 am

Not going to do such a mass amount of reviews this week. Took much longer than expected to write up those 3 reviews. So this time we'll just suffice with one.

Anime: Kino's Journey

Genre: Adventure, Psychological

Length: 13 episodes + 1 special + 2 movies

Summary: Kino is a traveller (and a girl btw), traveling from country to country on a talking motorbike (or motorrad as that call it in this series) named Hermes. Together the two of them explore the world and the differences that lie within each and every country but always leave after 3 days.

My thoughts: If there was any anime that made you sit down and think, it would be Kino's Journey.... well that statement could apply to any thought-provoking anime, however Kino's Journey's thought-provoking nature doesn't really come from 'OMG WTF' moments like other series, rather every country makes you think of the difference of culture and the very nature of human behaviour. This carries the main theme of the series in which the world is not beautiful, but int hat sense it makes it beautiful

As a result, the series can come off as being bittersweet and depressing as a lot of the series episodes end with that bittersweet feeling which exception to one that gets a pretty nice ending.

I feel the series is very good in a storytelling sense in that Kino, like you is merely an observer, she doesn't really do much other than interact with a small number of individuals to better understand the country she's in and essentially minds her own business unless she gets dragged into the events, this is because she understands that as a traveler, she lacks the understanding to really interfere with a country's beliefs and the actions of their people, she might not be happy with what goes on, but she knows she doesn't have the right to preach her beliefs. At the same time you can think about what you see and dwell upon your feelings towards the situation (episode 2 of the series is good one to watch on that aspect)

The series is also episodic in that you could pick up any episode and watch it without knowing anything about the rest of the series, with the exception of a 2-episode arc involving a series of arena battles Kino gets enlisted into simply by walking into a country. Anyways there's always something like about episodic series, well ones that don't go stale (I'm looking at all of the shounen series that basically fall down to the never-ending adventures of killing the monster of the week) so essentially episodic series that portray some sort of message or tell a short story (Jigoku Shoujo is a nice example, as is Mushishi) and Kino's Journey is definitely a series I would say that does it and does it right.

Now I say the series has a special and two movies, but really the special is just episode 0 (which oddly enough was not included with the license that ADV picked up and therefore is not on the DVDs) which acts as a promotional half episode for the series in which Kino visits a country that does nothing but build one really really tall tower for the sake of it. And the movies are literally the same length as episodes, yet are called movies for some reason. Still all of them are worth watching if you liked the series, Movie 1 particularly as it explains a bit more of Kino's past which is briefly shown in the series but not elaborated on further.

The overall point I'm driving here is Kino's Journey is a nice series to watch on a storytelling and interactive point of view and if you're interested in topics that study the behaviour of humans I'd definitely recommend it. Although it's probably not a series I'd recommend watching all in one go. It's more something you'd watch, sit down and think about what happened, and then maybe what another episode. But then again, I marathoned it, but I do that a lot.
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Post By IcyRose. 02/10/08, 04:14 am

Well considering the recent events on what series just finished screen at ADP meetings and what series just finished this week, I think it's safe to say that this week's review is somewhat predictable.

Anime: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (Both R1 and R2)

Genre: Shounen, Mecha, Action, Psychological

Length: 50 episodes (2 seasons, both 25 episodes long)

Summary: The series doesn't need much of an introduction, In the year 2010 a.t.b, the Holy Empire of Britannia invaded Japan and conquered them renaming the country Area 11 and turning the Japanese into 2nd class citizens renamed Elevens. 7 years later, a young Britannian boy named Lelouch Lamperouge finds himself in the middle of a terrorist attack caused by the Japanese resistance within Area 11 and soon encounters a mysterious girl named C.C. who bestows upon him the power of absolute obedience called the Geass. With this newfound power combined with his hatred towards his home country, Lelouch swears he will destroy Britannia, while on the other side, Lelouch's childhood friend and son of the late Japanese Prime Minister, Suzaku Kururugi has joined the Britannian army as an honourable citizen with ambitions to change the way Britannia works from within, thus pitting two friends on opposite sides of the conflict.

My thoughts If you know me in anyway, you'll know that I love Code Geass, it was practically like a drug for me, no other series has gotten me to wake up early in the morning to download the episode and watch it ASAP like Geass did. However, I feel that I need to be rather critical about the series and not rant on how awesome the series is because the series is certainly not without its flaws.

First off, the series premise rings close to another series that Sunrise had worked on, namely Gundam SEED, I mean it's a Sunrise mecha show featuring the rivalry between two best friends on opposite sides of a conflict. Having no interest in the Gundam franchise I was initially quite reluctant to start watching the series, especially when it sounded like it was reusing a plot. However the art was pretty and fandom had taken the internet by storm for the series so I decided to pick it up, if only for the fact that I wanted to cosplay Lelouch, but as a rule I want to know the character and like the character before I ever cosplay them.

Having not seen Gundam SEED, I can't really draw up a comparison between series, however one thing I'm aware of is unlike any other main character in a mecha series, Lelouch does not have any god-moding mecha piloting abilities, rather his true weapon is his mind, many fans comparing his manipulation and planning skills to be akin to that of Light Yagami of Death Note fame, not to mention they both share the same 'ends justify the means' mindset, however I stress that Lelouch is NOT Light and that one cannot simply say Code Geass is what would happen if Gundam SEED and Death Note merged plots. I will admit that they have similar premises, but that's basically it.

Code Geass, or rather the first season of Geass, came off as a story that focused on the characters more than it did on the mechas, the mechas seem to be more of a side course to the character motivation and story being the main course which made me love the series. Lelouch has all the workings of making himself look like a villain but within his motivations and actions lies the true desire to actually make a decent world and he stuck to an actual set of morals rather than "I can do anything for the greater good!" His character is one of the more complex ones of the series and as the main focal point of the series you get to know a lot about him. Also I was amazed at his ability to bring about numerous amounts of strategies to win him the most one-sided battles.

However in having so much characterisation towards Lelouch, there is a sacrifice on the development of other cast members, and Geass has a huge cast, so by the end of it, you'll meet characters that maybe seemed important, but are cast into the shadows in favour of the main players of the cast. This could be argued that this is because the story is indeed about Lelouch, after all, it's Lelouch of the Rebellion. But I feel that if you're going to make the cast this big, you should at least try develop all the characters. Not give characters a unique design, a name and a fancy title before throwing them away the instant they are introduced. This wasn't really a big deal in the first season because the first season had a somewhat decent sized cast (although there were some late entries into the series)

I can't really think of much on terms of flaws in the first season, other than the lack thereof of character development for some of the main cast and the fact there was a character I feel that should have left the cast at a certain point rather than come back and ruin the impact of the episode she should have left in.

I'll be frank and say that most of the flaws of Geass came from the second season. This is partially due to the pacing issues the series suffered due to the change in timeslot of the series. In order to cater for the new audience the series would gain at an earlier timeslot, a catchup period of sorts was made that basically paralleled the first season's first set of episodes, as such once we reached the halfway point of the season, the plot picked up its pace to make up for lost time, I felt that this increased pacing may have caused things to come out as rushed or not as expanded as it could have been. Also the mecha battles became more prominent and the nice strategy element of the battles got downgraded a bit to Lelouch basically one shotting entire armies with one exploitable weakness to the terrain they were fighting on.

That is not to say the second season is bad, it's just that it changed from a character story with mechs on the side to a mecha anime. Also the fact the series was running like a soap opera became a lot more apparent when every episode seemed like it wanted to say "What plot twist or cliffhanger can we throw at them today?" which gives the feeling that the show jumped the shark....... at every given moment. The thing is that it still managed to pull that off, despite all the unnecessary drama and twists that come from all directions, Geass still was enjoyable, although there was a little lack of impact at certain points and a lot of things could have been explained better if they were drawn out for maybe 2-3 more episodes.

Also there have been a lot of complaints on how characters acted and how some came off as stupid or out of character, I actually disagree with this. I feel that the belief of this issue comes from the fact as the viewer we know a lot more than any character in the show, which is why it's kinda hard to understand why some characters seem to make what seems like an obviously wrong decision. The director actually made a suggestion to try watching things through the perspective of a character that isn't Lelouch, and when you think about it that way, you kinda realise how little everyone else knows in the grand scheme of things, in a way that gives a nice replay value to the series as a whole.

Despite the way the series ends up kinda like a rollercoaster that's really fun and exciting for the first half, but then seems to repeat itself and get dull in the second half (or perhaps seem like it's trying too hard), Code Geass pulls through in the fact that even with all the amount of questions it seems to bring up, it answers pretty much all of them in a very reasonable manner and actually ends with a satisfying finish when there was a lot of potential for one big screwup at the end. Yes there are a number of loose ends towards the end that are left unclear, but they are actually not that important in the end so there is not much of a big deal with them.

So to end my review, I'll basically say this, every precious gemstone starts out with flaws before they are crafted into something beautiful, Code Geass is like that in that despite all the flaws it had, it worked, and it worked well. It's something I definitely recommend, but I am biased in that regards. There is a lot more I could probably go into for this review, but I feel that I've ranted on for long enough. So I think I'll leave it at that.

Potential Cosplays: The entire cast

Favourite pairing: Lelouch x C.C.
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Post By Pura. 02/10/08, 05:03 am

I agree, the entire cast is cosplay-able xD. I now want to cosplay Orange. And I want to buy an orange and make it a mask ... *isadork*

But I agree, Code Geass is a great anime, and I too got up a silly hours just to download and watch.
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Post By IcyRose. 09/10/08, 03:44 am

Today is my last day working for the university, so I suppose that means I'll be posting reviews in my own time from next week on. Also last week marked the start of the new anime season, although it was this week where new stuff basically started coming out on fansub. So far, the only thing I've managed to catch is Tales of the Abyss, currently after 2 eps I'm pretty fond of it and seeing as it is a full season of episodes as opposed to say, a 4 ep OVA like Tales of Symphonia, it seems it will turn out well.

However, reviewing the new season stuff won't come till after I'm done watching a bit more of the season. Come to think of it, I didn't really watch anything from last season other than Geass. Although I have like 4 series that have entered my backstock that I need to get through. Two paragraphs in and I haven't even written the review yet, so I had better get a move on to it.

Anime: Jigoku Shoujo & Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori (or Hell Girl and Hell Girl: The Two Prisoners, if you want to go with the English titles)

Genre: Horror, supernatural

Length: Two seasons, both 26 eps

Summary: It is said that if you had a grudge against someone (in any way, shape or form) you can access a website called Hell's Correspondence at the stroke of midnight and type in the name of that someone. Upon doing so, the Hell Girl will be appear before you and offer to condemn the person in question to hell (this is done by giving you a straw doll with a string around the neck and by pulling the string you send the one you hate to hell), but it comes at a high price. At the cost of sending this person you hate to hell, you must also condemn your own soul to hell at the time of your own death. Jigoku Shoujo (I saw it when it was called that, so I prefer to it in its japanese name as I'm more familiar with it) is an episodic series about the many cases the Hell Girl, Enma Ai, handles.

My Thoughts: I decided to review both seasons at once because, well, the 2nd season is simply put, more of the same. Jigoku Shoujo is kind of a hit or miss title. Every episode is a self-contained story for the most part, as such we are basically given a 'grudge-of-the-week' for every episode. Which herein lies the biggest flaw of Jigoku Shoujo. Every episode runs through the EXACT SAME formula.

A rundown of an episode of Jigoku Shoujo: Person A is tormented by Person B, Person A goes on website at midnight and types in Person B's name, Ai shows up gives Person A the rundown on how her contract works, gives them the doll, Person A mulls about it for some time, Person B still torments Person A, Person A decides to pull string, Ai does her thing, Person B goes to hell, Person A is cursed, End.

Ok, there are things added in there later on for better dramatic effect, and both seasons add an extra recurring cast member which in turn develops a main plot that occurs at the end of each season. The first season has Hajime and Tsugumi, a reporter investigating the Hell Girl and his daughter who has a strange link to Ai, while the 2nd season has Takumi, a boy who through the unfortunate events revolving around a person's plot to destroy his family gets pinned as the Devil's Child and subsequently becomes the scapegoat for every death in the town he lives in.

This brings me on to characters, due to the focus of each episode being the about the person who contacts Ai, the actual main cast which is Ai and her helpers Ichimoku Ren (token bishie), Hone-Onna (token hot girl) and Wanyuudou (token old man) and there's also Kikuri in the second season (whom I generally refer to as the annoying little brat) don't actually get much development in terms of character and back story. However that is not to say they never get developed, Ai's past is the main plot for the last few eps of the first season, and also tie in to the end of the second season, while each of the helpers get an episode or two in the second season that briefly rundown their origins and how they came to work under Ai, Kikuri on the other hand is barely explained at all in her time there and only really serves to be an annoyance.

The true meat of the story though are the grudges of the week. At the time I enjoyed a lot of the stories, but there is one glaring flaw in every character's logic. They don't seem to understand the full extent of sending a person to hell at the expense of their own soul. Every person could probably solve their problem through a different set of means, but instead opt to basically kill them through the Hell Girl, thus condemning themselves to hell when they eventually die. I can understand this for some characters they might not have MUCH choice in the matter so they feel or have good reasoning for revenge (good example was the girl whose sister got kidnapped, raped, stuffed in a suitcase and thrown into a lake), but then there are people who pulling the string for the most retarded reasons ranging from You ignored me when we used to be best friends to You killed my dog to I don't like you to you spilled hot coffee on me (yes people actually use the Hell Girl for these reasons).

But I believe the point of this is to kind of show that there are inherent flaws in the Hell Girl's system and that she is NOT some kind of hero of justice as the earlier episodes seem to lead to. I mean this is a system that is governed by HELL, one can easily reason that they simply acting as a hitman for people who don't fully understand the consequences of killing someone so that they can grab more poor unfortunate souls. I mean we all have thought about killing someone at some time, but we never act upon it because we have the common sense in knowing that we'd probably never get a way with the crime. The Hell Correspondence is essentially giving us a one name only Death Note with a big price at the end of the stick. However honestly don't think many people pay attention to the price and instead see "Hey I can kill this person now without evidence! Totally keen!" This is in fact addressed at the end of the second season.

The episodic nature of Jigoku Shoujo is also an issue, The fact that there is a lack of a plot until the last couple of episodes pretty much means the series could have easily been shorter as a large number of the episodes are unnecessary to the plot. This seems to turn a lot of people off, however as a viewer, I've always liked a series that can pull off the episodic thing right, my best example for a series that also does this is Cowboy Bebop which has at most 5 episodes worth of plot (Honourable mention goes to Kino's Journey and Mushishi which literally don't have an overarching plot ever), I feel that Jigoku Shoujo is also in that strain of episodic series.

But if you wanted my overall opinion on whether this is a good series to watch, I'll say this. Only watch this series if you like episodic series, if you're looking for a nice overarching plot, you would probably be very disappointed.

Potential Cosplays: Enma Ai in any of her kimonos, those things are ridiculous and very pretty. Essentially, the entire hell crew save for Ichimoku Ren who looks rather plain.


Last edited by IcyRose on 16/10/08, 06:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post By IcyRose. 16/10/08, 05:07 am

Hello again, That time of the week again. So I spent the other day going through some of the stuff that just came out for this season. However, I won't really brush on them yet as there are still a couple of things I want to watch before I go about writing up something on them.

This week I'm going to review 2 series I had intended to review last week but figured they were best saved for another time. So I'll go right into them.

Anime: Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed

Genre: Drama, Psychological

Length: 12 episodes + 1 OVA

Summary: A Shigofumi is a letter written by the recently deceased and is sent to the one person the dead wished to talk to after they had died. Fumika is a mailman who delivers these letters along with her talking staff Kanaka and ensures that the people these letters are addressed to are given the letter.

My thoughts: I liked the first 2 episodes of Shigofumi, it set itself really well for what I thought would have become a nice psychological thriller involving the unexpected thoughts of the dead towards those they cared the most for. It seemed to have the feel of Jigoku Shoujo and Kino's Journey (despite being nothing like either series). But as the series went on I came to the realisation that nothing really topped the first 2 episodes of the series in my opinion.

I suppose my problem with Shigofumi was I was kinda expecting it to be a letter-of-the-arc thing in the same way Jigoku Shoujo was grudge-of-the-week and Kino's Journey was country-of-the-week. But it did actually have an overarching plot involving Fumika and how she is different from the other Shigofumi mailmen. Of course plot seems like a good thing, but I found myself liking the letter-of-the-week episodes a lot more than the ones that revolved around Fumika, and this didn't seem to be the case with just me, as all my friends who watched Shigofumi seemed to agree that the best parts of the series were the parts that didn't focus on the main plot.

In the other hand, Shigofumi does what Jigoku Shoujo probably should have done and actually run at a proper season length of 12-13 eps as opposed to a dual-season length of 24-26 eps. Thus creating a nice balance between the episodic episodes and the main plot. As such the series isn't that much of a challenge to get through at all if one was interested in marathoning it or something. That's really the beauty of the 12 ep series in my mind. Overall, I want to say this series is pretty much average, however as I said earlier my opinion pretty much originates from the fact I was watching the show thinking it was something it in the end turned out not to be. One does wonder if it did follow the way of Jigoku Shoujo and had been longer but still kept the same amount of plot eps and just added more filler, how different my opinion might have been. I could probably also say the same thing about Jigoku Shoujo as well.

Potential Cosplays Fumika with Kanaka

*************************************************************************************

Anime: Coyote Ragtime Show

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Length: 12 eps

Summary: Charismatic Space Pirate Mister, along with his ragtag crew with very uninspired names (Swamp, Bishop and Katana) bust out of prison and go out on a quest to recover the lost treasure of the late Great Pirate King Bruce, whom had managed to steal the entire universe's money under their nose when he performed a well-planned heist on the universe's biggest and most secure bank. The problem is the place the money had been safely hidden at is located on a planet which has now been so badly plagued with war that the government has now planned to destroy the entire planet so now Mister, his crew and Bruce's young loli daughter Franca but race against the clock and claim the Pirate King's lost legacy at the same time as dodging the Marciano Crime Syndicate and their 12 robotic assassins.

My thoughts: Watch this clip. This was what I considered the single best moment of Coyote Ragtime Show and the reason I watched the series, it's the introduction scene of the 12 Marciano Sisters from the first episode. My immediate thoughts were they are awesome and would be the coolest recurring villains ever. But then nothing they did after that ever topped that scene and they pretty much didn't show up much after that.

Coyote Ragtime Show kinda felt like one of those movies where they do the big elaborate bank heist on the bank that has a large stockpile of money and the best security in the world..... except when the heist occurs it's in a flashback so we already know how it turned out. It was a show I felt that had a lot of wasted potential and if you hadn't figured it out by now, that's pretty much the theme of my reviews for this week. The sisters felt underused, but I also realise that they are not the point of the series and certainly not a selling point for it and if they had been used a lot more, it probably wouldn't have given me the actual result I was wanting. However certain events made me feel that there should have been more done with the sisters than there actually was and the overall handling of them was very lazy.

Which brings me to the main villain of the series, Madame Marciano. I felt she was also poorly handled in that I never knew her motivations or the reason on why she hated coyotes (the series' term for space pirate). In fact, when it comes to the villains, they were all just there, passing by as eye candy. There's also a pair of cops that are pursuing Mister as well but I also found they were also poorly handled and the romance between the main cop and Mister was just kinda out of the blue in my opinion.

Of course all this talk about the other characters and I'm completely missing out the main characters. The thing is, I never really found them to be at all memorable by comparison to the other characters in it. Also despite all the trouble they get themselves in, I never really felt any sense of danger in their situation and I also found myself not really caring for any of them either, which isn't really a good sign.

The series pretty much just wasn't for me and I watched it for all the wrong reasons. In truth in just comes off as mediocre if anything. It's not bad, just not really good either.

Potential Cosplays: Marciano's 12 Sisters.
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