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// Anime Reviews //

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Re: // Anime Reviews //
Post By Guest. 16/10/08, 06:14 am

IcyRose wrote:
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.

Always wanted to see Kino's Journey. Glad you gave it a good review. Just gave out more movation to go out and buy the collection of DVDs. Though thought Kino was a guy, that's a shock.

Guest
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Re: // Anime Reviews //
Post By IcyRose. 23/10/08, 09:33 am

The week before Armageddon, everyone looking forward to it? Anyways, tomorrow I board my plane to Auckland so I decided this week's review will be special. Well, actually it's going to be a normal review but I have a special treat afterwards.

I've noticed that a couple of my last reviews that relate to episodic storytelling always referred to 3 series that it thought did it right those series notably being Jigoku Shoujo, Kino's Journey and Mushishi. As it turns out, I reviewed two of those three, so take a wild guess on what's being reviewed this week.

Anime: Mushishi

Genre: Supernatural, Psychological

Length: 26 Episodes

Summary Mushi are a form of life that exist and bring strange phenomenon from giving someone precognition, to resurrecting the dead, to acting as an instant mail system, to bringing one's dreams into reality, while Mushishis are people who wander the world and examine their behavior and existence or even remove one from the world to save others. Ginko is one such Mushishi who travels and researches the many kinds of Mushi in the world.

My thoughts: As I've stated in earlier reviews, Mushishi is one of those series that can do the episodic thing right. Every episode is a self-contained story about a different Mushi, now this think about that, this series managed to get 26 episodes to focus on a different fictional lifeforms and actually develop a very nice mythology out of them. That is good story telling. Although as the series is immensely serious, it comes with the issue that it's very hard to sit through more than one episode at a time.

Still every episode tells what feels like an epic story despite the fact it only lasts one episode. A different Mushi is introduced and there is a lot of insight given to its nature and what effects it has on the environment around itself and the people it comes into contact with. There is just so much thought put into this mythology that the storytelling comes off as being astounding.

You probably know by now that I like series that basically present to me a lot of nice short stories that give me something to think about, or alternatively present me with some nice action (Cowboy Bebop for example..... not going to review that though, it's old enough and well known enough that it doesn't require one). Mushishi is pretty much the best example of that. Unlike Kino's Journey it doesn't have that kind of pretentious look over humanity that some people have mentioned on it (although in my opinion, that contributed to the beauty of the series) it just simply tells a story, which is good.

That's basically all I have to say, I mean before I even started writing this review you probably knew what I'd say, so there's not much for me to really add on to it other than I felt the stories to be well thought out and delivered very nicely.

Now on to the special part of this week's review.

IcyRose's Fall 2008 Preview

I've watched a number of the series starting up this season, so I feel that I should give out my opinions on a lot of them.

Tales of the Abyss
(4 episodes watched) Based on the game of the same name, Tales of the Abyss gets an anime adaption from Sunrise, the studio that got infamy over the last two seasons thanks to Code Geass R2. Anyways, the story follows the journey of Luke fon Fabre who during a training exercise which later turned into an attack on his Master Van by the mysterious lady named Tear Grants gets teleported across the country with Tear and ends up in enemy territory where he finds the 'missing' Fon Master Ion who claims he is trying to prevent a war that about to escalate.

I haven't played the game itself, but my friend has and we're watching each episode together. He currently loves it and says that it's keeping a decent pace with the game's story unlike previous adaptations of other Tales games. It does still feel like a game though, not that there's anything wrong with it, I find the execution to be very well done and am fond to hear that big important cutscenes have more or less been done word for word, action for action and some scenes were added on to fill in some gaps that were left in the game due to a more focused look on Luke as opposed to other characters. The use of the same opening theme as the game was also a nice touch. However, the progression from one location to another is not handled very well, since of course in that time you'd be going through unimportant random encounters and level grinding it seems kinda odd when characters seem to make their way from one location to another in the space of one scene change. Still, this is currently my favourite series of the season and I would recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the games.

Also note that I've taken an immediate liking to Jade Curtiss and he has now found his way to my cosplay list for next year.

Yozukura Quartet
(2 episodes watched) In a city designed so that youkai can roam the world in peace, there exists a family of people that maintain order and prevent any troublesome youkai from running amok and spreading chaos to the city that would ruin it for the rest of the youkai, this is done by exorcising the youkai and sending them back to their world..... which kills them apparently. The latest descendant of this family, Akina now works as part of a small group of youkai that consists of the typical strong heroine, Hime, catgirl Ao and spellcaster Kotoha that help get new arrivals into the city get sorted into the life in our world but also has to go out and deal with the any troublemakers.

This series sounds kind of like Rental Magica but is actually nothing like it. The series is very generic, there's really nothing really special about it or very interesting to be perfectly honest. Yet I'm still wanting to watch more of it. It's only 12 eps long so I figure it makes a nice distraction.

Ga-Rei -Zero-
(1 episode watched) Supposedly set as a prequel to the Ga-Rei manga, Ga-Rei -Zero- is set in the same universe and is appears to be about a special defense force devoted to protecting people from an invisible demonic threat.

I can't say much more on Ga-Rei -Zero- mainly due to the fact the first episode leaves with such a huge cliffhanger that I don't want to ruin. The characters come of as stock standard but the action and premise really kept me hooked especially with the cliffhanger at the end. I totally recommend you watch the first ep at the very least.

Chaos;HEAd
(2 episodes watched) Takumi is an isolated otaku/borderline hikikomori who lives in a shipping container on top of a high-rise building that barely goes to school and has no interest in real women, preferring to be loved by a delusion he has of an anime character who fawns over him as he plays an MMORPG. He then comes across some news of something called the New-Gen incidents, at first he ignored them as he took no interest in the real world but soon these incidents start to catch up with him and his delusions of what's real and what's not doesn't help his sanity.

Like other ero-games with an anime adaption, Chaos;HEAd joins a long list of stories with an unlikable main character. But Taku's attitude towards life aside, Chaos;HEAd definitely gives that creepy feeling and brings a question on what seems real and what's not when seen through Taku's eyes. It gave me a lot of Higurashi and Perfect Blue vibes. As such, I'm very interested in this series and will continue to follow it.
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Re: // Anime Reviews //
Post By Lavi_x. 23/10/08, 09:39 am

Tales of the Abyss is a brilliant anime ^-^
Convinced me to import the game xD
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Post By Pura. 23/10/08, 09:47 am

I was gonna download, but episode 1 didn't want to work properly :/
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Re: // Anime Reviews //
Post By IcyRose. 06/11/08, 04:08 pm

Ok, it's been 2 weeks since my last review, mainly because last week I was still kinda out of it after Auckgeddon. Anyways I can't really think of much to write about for my opening rant, not much has been going on really, save for looking for a flat and it snowing out of season last night so I shall move on to my review.

Anime: s-CRY-ed

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Length: 26 episodes

Summary: After a disasterous event called the Great Uprising which destroyed a large part of Japan and separated it from the main part of the island a new evolution of mankind was born, they were called Alter Users. They were able to manipulate matter at a molecular level through sheer willpower which allowed them to have special powers. Alter Users all live on the part of Japan broken off from the mainland known as the Lost Ground and when the mainland decide to move back into the Lost Ground, they soon treat Alter Users as dangerous individuals and capture them or enlist some of them into a special task force called HOLY which is part of a group called HOLD which was made to keep the Alter Users in line. One of the Alter Users is named Kazuma, a lowlife Alter User who does small tasks no normal human can do for a nice fee, when HOLY comes knocking on his door he encounters a HOLY officer named Ryuhou and soon a rivalry that will shake the Lost Ground was formed.

My thoughts: I'm going to get this right off my chest, s-CRY-ed is really just about two guys with a raging homolust for each other but don't understand their feelings so they let it all out by beating the life out of each other with their powers. Well not really, but half the time it feels like that. This anime feels kinda like X-Men in the sense that Alter Users are essentially Mutants, although there is no Professor X sort of character, well it could be debated the HOLY were like the X-Men but HOLY are viewed as antagonists throughout the whole series so you can't really make the comparison, and they certainly aren't the Brotherhood either.

To be perfectly honest, s-CRY-ed is nothing special, the two main leads Kazuma and Ryuhou are pretty much your typical shounen leads, one is hot-blooded, quick-to-anger and likes to solves problems with his fist while the other is the straight-laced prim and proper professional who fights in the name of justice and order. As such they make perfect rivals and that's essentially the focal point of the series. There's also stuff about Alter Users, their rights and what the mainland intends to do with them, but as the series goes on you realise that it is all about Kazuma, Ryuhou and their rivalry. None of the villains they encounter are of any significant threat and regardless of any kind of warped power they may hold or what dirty tactics they use, it feels like they almost waste their breath trying to make themselves look threatening.

The problem is, neither Kazuma or Ryuhou are really likable, Kazuma is so full of pride and just can't not get into a fight due to his bad-boy attitude and Ryuhou is just too stiff. What saves the character cast though is Straight Cougar, the crazy speed-obsessed rebellious Alter User who works for HOLY and always seems to be the guy in the know. It also helps that in the dub he was voiced by Crispin Freeman who sounded like he had waaay too much coffee before entering the recording studio. Cougar was the reason I actually bought this series because he was one of the most fun characters I had seen in a series.

Of course in a series like this one has to talk about Alter Powers. Kazuma's unsurprisingly is a powerful arm that allows him to unleash powerful explosions with his fist, while Ryuhou summons a beast in a straitjacket with bladed ribbons. Other Alter Powers include a giant mecha, super-powered watermelons, a VERY fast car, a giant gun, 'dream' girls, hair that turns things into water and treasure balls to name a few. Some of the fight scenes are very nice to watch and it certainly knows how to play its action, which is really in the end what you're actually looking for in this series. s-CRY-ed's shine comes from its fight scenes. While they vary from being uneventful to incredibly violent, they come off as being well-made and one particular fight scene still ranks up there as one of the most epic fights I've ever seen in anime.

So I suppose what I'm saying here is s-CRY-ed is pretty much for the fan who likes his/her fight scenes, particularly if they involve stubborn macho bishounen who like the flaunt their power through action and should totally get a room.
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Re: // Anime Reviews //
Post By Auroa. 06/11/08, 04:20 pm

icyrose wrote:
s-CRY-ed is really just about two guys with a raging homolust for each other but don't understand their feelings so they let it all out by beating the life out of each other with their powers
that made me laugh! xD

Half the reason why I liked s-CRY-ed was because of that rivalry =D
I mean most shows do have some sort of rival pair, but it came across so so strong and perfect in s-CRY-ed, and cause of this everytime they met up and the consequences = always made me lol.
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Post By IcyRose. 08/11/08, 03:48 pm

Well the statement is so very true.
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Re: // Anime Reviews //
Post By IcyRose. 14/12/08, 05:46 pm

Hey there, it's been a while since I've done one of these. Kinda helped when I was working in front a computer with no much else to do that I had the time to regularly type up one of these. So nowadays I've just been too lazy to keep up with the weekly reviewing that I just kinda stopped. In any case, I feel like I should actually post up another one of these. Maybe more.

Anime: Utawarerumono

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Action

Length: 26 episodes

Summary: A man wakes up one day in a village where all the people appears to have animal ears and tails and he has no recollection of who he is and how he got there, stuck on his face is a strange mask that can't be removed. He is welcomed into the village and they help him recuperate as he slowly begins to adapt to life in the village, during which he shows off a somewhat insightful knowledge in how to improve and cultivate their land, but after a run in with the country's officials, events unfold that force the man to stand up for the village and raise a revolt against those the ones who oppress the land.

My thoughts: Ok, that was very hard to write a summary for, simply because the actual plot of Utawarerumono doesn't really kick in after a while and the events that trigger it are essentially one big spoiler. Anyways, this series admittedly starts of kinda boring and to be honest the bit that drew me into the series was as I was watching the opening I was seeing all this warfare and a good number of cool looking characters kicking ass within the battle.

Problem was that part of the story took its time to get there, but that's because there was a good number of episodes devoted to actually introducing and developing the main characters of the story. The mysterious man, Hakuoro, is completely alien to the world surrounding him and as such there does need to be time devoted to explaining the world, although it is kinda clear it resembles a kind of feudal Japan kind of time. But anyways, after the introduction eps are done the plot kicks in and basically from that point on the story is actually really good.

If you're a fan of games like Fire Emblem or Suikoden, the series gives off very strong vibes from both franchises in which when the plot kicks in Hakuoro ends up becoming the leader and strategist of a group of rebels, and during his battles he comes to recruit a number of personalities such as the firey bandit, the calm and collected samurai, the defender of justice and the tomboyish mercenary as they fight an oppressive government and other warring nations.

Something else to point out is the series is also based of visual novel/Turn-based Strategy/H-Game and it does show in which Hakuoro does pick up a large quantity of female characters in his group and all of them are attached to him in some way. However there is nothing H in the series itself (I will also point out that having played the game, I found that the H-scenes felt VERY tacked on last minute and kinda broke the flow of the game, thankfully the PS2 version took it out and replaced it with better gameplay) In any case the series handles this kinda well in which there isn't really much blatant attraction between Hakuoro and much of the female cast save for Eruruu, the girl is supposed to be paired up with.

Hakuoro is also a very likable lead in the fact he's a harem lead that's actually a mature adult and not a hapless loser like many other ones, not to mention the harem lead aspect of him does take a back seat to the fact he is the leader of an army and has to make a lot of important decisions which he does follow through on. In fact, all the characters of the main cast are very likable, specifically Karura, the mighty mercenary girl who wields a giant sword that can put Sephiroth to shame and Aruruu the cute adopted daughter of Hakuoro who rides a giant white tiger in battle.

However after all this I really need to touch upon the very big flaw this series has in which the second half of the series kinda jumps the shark and tries to introduce very Sci-Fi elements into a story that's very fantasy. This was not an idea that has worked very well in the past (Scrapped Princess, I'm looking at you) and it doesn't work very well here either. In fact, this introduction of sci-fi into a fantasy story I feel made events in the series come off as being very unbalanced and their resolution of this also became somewhat ridiculous. While I did accept it, I felt that the second half of the series pretty much turned what could have an excellent story, to one that was just good.

So I will end by saying give Utawarerumono a chance, especially if you're a fan of the Fire Emblem/Suikoden style stories of a band of talented individuals banding together to help win a war. At least finish the first rebellion arc to get a good feel for the series and if it's not really your cup of tea then by all means, look somewhere else for a series.

Potential Cosplays: This entire cast is grossly undercosplayed, I have personally cosplayed Hakuoro.

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

Anime: Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls

Genre: Action, Ninjas, Violence, Romance

Length: 24 episodes

Summary: For centuries, the Kouga and Iga ninja clans have been at war between each other but during the Sengoku period there was a treaty formed between the two to control the clans and prevent their deadly powers from getting involved in the warring states. However as the period was coming to an end, the Shogunate Ieyasu Tokugawa was nearing the end of his life and while he had found an heir in his son, he was still trying to decide who would inherit the throne afterward between his two grandsons. His advisers and generals were at a conflict on which one seemed more worthy based on tradition and on promise. However the last thing Ieyasu needed was an internal dispute during a time of war so one of his advisers proposed a plan, dissolve the peace treaty between the Iga and Kouga and have both clans provide 10 champions and have them fight to the death for their ninja pride. The victor will determine which of the grandsons will be his 2nd heir. Meanwhile romance between the two heads of the Iga and Kouga clans, Oboro and Gennosuke respectively is blossoming and a marriage between the two clans is nearing, however with the treaty about to be dissolved the two lovers will soon be forced into another war. Can their love survive the conflict?

My thoughts: Ok, I made that summary kinda long. but in any case, Basilisk is what I like to describe as Romeo and Juliet meets Ninja Scroll. The characters in the series fight and possess abilities similar to those in the popular movie. So right from the get go I will say that if you like stuff like Ninja Scroll, specifically the action, then you'll probably like Basilisk.

The main story is essentially revolving around the battle to the death between the 10 champions of the Iga and Kouga clans to the point a list of how many from each side are still alive is shown at the start of the opening of each episode. However the romance between Gennosuke and Oboro along with the tragedy that befalls the couple is another big point of the series, well tragedy itself is kinda a big thing in the series. But really the big highlight of it is the ninja battles.

Character life in the series is VERY short, there are 20 established main characters and they are essentially put through a 24 episode deathmatch between their two teams, as a result a good number of the characters are not given very much character development before they are quickly and suddenly offed. This was actually an aspect of the series I really liked because it meant the series wouldn't go stale with lots of battles between specific ninja on each side sparking rivalries and such (although rivalries certainly did exist). Basically if the Iga and Kouga started fighting, SOMEONE was going to die which was realistic.

However in turn, a good number of characters you may have liked kinda had a tendency to bite the big one earlier than you may have liked. Still that is very much the point of the series, it would be like if Battle Royale didn't have any death until the very end, it's just not supposed to go like that. Anyways, in terms of characters, both the Kouga and Iga have their sets of cool characters and characters you wish would just die and make you smile when they do. To be honest, the only big complaint I had with the series was that it was that most scenes occurred in the shadows of darkness so it was very hard to see how things went at times. Also due to swift character deaths various things I thought that would be addressed later on weren't due to the person involved dying, but such is life, it doesn't go the way you expect it to.

In short, Basilisk is great watch if you like watching actual ninja killing each other the way they should be killing each other (unlike in other series like Naruto). It's also a nice tragic love story as well. So yeah, check it out and I'll also use this last moment to shamelessly promote Re-l's group for it on the Sunday of Auckgeddon 09. Join it!

Potential Cosplays: I suppose all of them look impressive in some manner, although a good number of the characters are hideously ugly.
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Re: // Anime Reviews //
Post By IcyRose. 26/05/10, 10:53 am

Wow, end of 2008 was the last time I did a review... Well that's not entirely true, I did review Allison & Lillia last year, or at least attempted to and failed when I hit the send button & the post got lost since somewhere along the line, I had been idle for too long & was logged out. In any case, I got lazy which is why this thread sorta died. In any case, I got the urge to write a couple more reviews.

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

Anime: Infinite Ryvius

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Mecha

Length: 26 episodes

Summary: It is the year 2225 AD, Mankind has perfected space travel and has colonised the Solar System, as such space-travel related jobs have become commonplace in this world and so training schools for students who wish to pursue such careers have been made in space. One of those schools is the Liebe Delta in which is currently undergoing their school holidays save for 500 students who wished to remain on board, some because they didn't want to go home, some because their special practical training course happened during the break, some because they wanted to stay with their friends who remained. However, disaster soon strikes when a group of hijackers attempt to take over the facility and plunge it into the Sea of Geduld, a large sea of plasma that had erupted from the sun that spans the Solar System. In order to save the facility and the students, the faculty of the Liebe Delta sacrifice their lives in order to give the students enough time to try pull themselves out of danger. The students succeed at the discovery of a mysterious ship within the Liebe Delta called the Ryvius, however they are now stranded in space with no adult supervision, limited supplies, no destination and no one to rescue them.

My thoughts: Essentially, this series is what would happen if you crossed Lord of the Flies with Lost in Space. The cast of Ryvius consist of the 500 approx. students within the ship, although the series obviously has a select group to show focus on, namely one Kouji Aiba, his brother, Yuki, their friends and the groups of students they interact with. There are also a series of background characters that you notice every episode or so that develop very minor subplots just through passing dialogue or simply just appear in every episode to the point you can make a game out of seeing them. These characters vary from an existing couple within the group, a creepy stalker who got rejected by his object of affection, a guy who parades around in his underwear and a cape, and a girl who wanders around in a dinosaur costume. I really liked the use of these characters because it helped show that the background characters were also doing something during the course of events rather than have them pushed aside in favour of the main cast.

But enough about the background characters, lets focus on the main cast. The Aiba brothers, Kouji & Yuki are not really likable... to be fair, there wasn't actually a member of the main cast that I really liked but I'll focus on the brothers first. Kouji is our established lead, he's the kind of guy who doesn't really like conflict and so he tries his best to fit in and make everyone happy, he is clearly not entirely happy with this, but at the same time he says there is nothing else that can be done as he believes he is always doing the right thing. It gets really grating throughout the series as you get the idea that he essentially has no spine and he whines quite a bit about things he feels he has to do when he never had to in the first place. Yuki, on the other hand is a jerk, especially to Kouji. Almost every scene the two of them are together will result in Yuki punching Kouji in the face because he cannot stand Kouji's constant goody-good nature. He is also the resident bishounen of the cast and the most talented piloting student in his class. I didn't mind Yuki all that much after watching the series a 2nd time, I just didn't care for him constantly beating up his brother at times I thought it was uncalled for.

Among the rest of the main cast are their childhood friend, Aoi Housen who tries to keep the two brothers together while she secretly harbours feelings for both brothers but does nothing about it. Classmates, Ikumi, the 'leader' of the group of friends who struggles to maintain order in the situation, Kozue, who is a somewhat bratty girl with a crush on Ikumi & Faina, the religious nice girl of the cast and also owner of the show's mascot, a ferret named Rafra. Each of them with their own hidden issues that come to light during the course of the series. There is also Neya, the enigmatic girl who appears on the Ryvius, wears very strange clothing and acts in an even stranger manner as if she herself is the combined consciousness of the passengers of the ship.

Why I didn't find the characters all that likable is because well, due to the situation they are in, the ordeal sorta brings out the worst in all the characters and as a result the negative aspects of each character are sort of hammered into you such as Kouji's whinging about being forced to do things when he can't even stand up for himself, Yuki's tendency to punch Kouji in the face for no good reason and Kozue being a prissy brat. That's not to say it's a bad thing, it's only natural that actually get portrayed this way, they sorta have to be. When you have a large group of kids or young teens stranded in the middle of nowhere with no adult supervision, you are not going to have a pretty situation. Ryvius shows that very well, the ship goes through 4 changes in leadership and each leader has to deal with one form of drama during their time in power, violence breaks out amongst the main, supporting and background cast and some characters even have psychotic breakdowns leading to attempted murder.

That is pretty much why I like the series, in spite of a not so likable cast, it portrays their struggle in a very real manner... sci-fi setting and a somewhat random mecha aspect aside (it's a Sunrise series, there has to be a mecha in there somewhere) and it's not just limited to the main cast, the supporting cast & background characters have their struggles too, it's just a very compelling story overall as the ordeal ends up developing the cast in a variety of ways, some learn to break out of their faults in order to help save everyone, some change completely for better or for worse due to how much the situation effected them and some end up on the deep end having completely snapped under pressure.

Also, I found this to be a series that I could only watch in small doses. I've never really been good at marathoning a serious series such as this, although lately I'm just not good at marathoning in general. I would very much recommend watching this for someone who is looking for a good drama series and possibly to someone who in interested in watching a psychological or social aspect of character interaction in anime. Definitely a series that merits a 2nd time viewing as well, since certain things you might have fun trying to spot the next time you watch (like the Dinosaur Girl, who is like the series' version of Where's Wally).

Potential Cosplays: Neya, just look at her outfit and bask in its glory, although might the heels of death. Also Dinosaur Girl.

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Anime: Love Hina

Genre: Harem, Comedy

Length: 24 eps + 1 bonus ep + 2 Specials + 3 OVAs under the name Love Hina Again

Summary: Keitaro Urashima is bumbling student trying to get into the pretisgious Tokyo U university. Problem is his grades are poor and he's pretty much an idiot. So why is he trying to get into such a high class university? Well that's because of a childhood promise he made to a girl that they would both go to Tokyo U and live happily ever after, problem is he's forgotten who said girl was. In addition to this, he gets a call from his grandma who asks him to take over her job as the dorm manager of the old inn/bathhouse that she owns... which to his surprise, has now become an all-girls dormitory consisting of various female character archetypes including one girl who may or may not be the girl from his childhood promise. Antics ensue... usually ending in Keitaro getting hurt.

My opinion: Ok, I will admit it, when I first watched Love Hina, I was getting into anime and I thought it was funny series, filled with laughter and comedy. Years passed and I watched it again during ADP last year... and I hated it. Love Hina is essentially everything I loved and hated in the harem genre. What I loved was that it was just a lighthearted comedy setting where various antics ensue and tells us that you don't have to be a hot successful guy to get the ladies and not much else, what I hated was that... well it just wasn't funny.

A lot of the humour comes from Keitaro going about his own business, then he will ACCIDENTALLY do something that makes him out to be a pervert, such doing his laundry but accidentally stumbling into another tenant who was getting her dry laundry out of the drier as her last set of clothes got soaked in the rain and so she needed something to wear while they dried and therefore she happened to be in a state of undress when he opened the door to the laundry, as a result he gets attacked for something that just wasn't his fault. Seriously he gets hit for ANYTHING he does because the girls in his dorm just seem to think that's the proper solution to him acting out of line when he wasn't doing anything wrong to begin with. Sometimes just him knocking on their door and saying hello is enough to get beaten up on, one time he actually gets hit in the head by a flying object which knocks him out and causes him to fall into the arms of his love interest and main source of abuse, Naru, who immediately assumes he's trying to take advantage of her and punches him in the face and acts coldly to him throughout the next episode, I mean WTH?! That's not funny, that's retarded!

Which leads to my main reason for not really liking the series, Naru. She's supposed to be the main love interest of Keitaro, but you just can't like her because all she does is beat him up, deny that she has any feelings for him, but then beat him up more if he shows any feelings to any other girl. How are you supposed to like a character like that? I mean I sorta understand the whole tsundere appeal that Japan has (tsundere being an archetype where a girl acts antagonistic towards the object of their affection, but then usually acts all shy and cutesy when the subject of her feelings towards the person are brought up) but in Naru's case it's not cute or endearing it's just mean! She takes the entire idea of being a tsundere and amps it up to the extreme making it more annoying than anything. What makes the pairing more annoying is that another character, Mutsumi, is introduced to practically be the perfect girl for Keitaro and an obvious foil for Naru as she shares much of his personality traits and is also a much more likable girl than Naru is. So the series sorta teases the idea of Keitaro being together with Mutsumi but then objects to it in favour of Naru cause that was how it was supposed to be.

Of course, I can't say Keitaro is a good character either. Yes, I get he is a nice guy and an unfortunate loser. But that shouldn't make him the most desirable male character in the cast. You do feel sorry for him a lot because he doesn't deserve the stuff he goes through, however I just don't like how the series tries to hammer in that he is a loser with no redeeming features to speak of, but regardless of that every girl loves him. Thing is, while he is a loser, he's a nice and hard working guy, almost absurdly so due to everything he goes to. His actual character sorta goes against how the entire cast seems to want to perceive him. It's not so much I don't like Keitaro, it's more I don't like how he ends up getting characterised because well he isn't what they say he is but is more likely written that way so people like him can think they can get girls like he does. It's not a bad thing per say, but it's not really executed in a good fashion.

Also, despite having a plot, the series doesn't really advance it all that much, rather it sort of just sets a formula of each episode being something happening at the dorms, antics ensue, Keitaro gets beaten up, he pines about Naru. Actually, when I read the manga, I realised the anime only seems to cover half the manga and also very poorly at that, I also ended up liking the manga as well, much more than the anime when I first watched it, although considering my distain towards the harem genre I don't think I'd ever read it again just to keep the good memory intact.

So yeah, Love Hina has an interesting relationship with me, it was one of my first series and I enjoyed it so much at the time I purchased the entire boxset along with specials and OVAs, but over time it also became the entire reason I hated its specific genre.

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IcyRose
IcyRose
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Number of posts : 1142
Age : 34
Location : Christchurch
Transforms into : That Dark Handsome Swordsman
Gender : Male
Registration date : 2008-04-21

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