Bavel's Book is a 1996 TV Special by independent director and animator... read more
Twilight Q is an interesting albeit largely forgotten OVA produced back in 1987. Originally, it was supposed to be a showcase for young talents in the industry; alas, only 2 episodes were made before the project was abandoned due to low sales, and the anime ultimately sunk into oblivion. Well, I guess it's high time to do the show some justice and bring it back to the surface.
As the title clearly suggests, the OVA is a sort of Twilight Zone anthology which means the episodes don't bear any connection plotwise yet they have similar mysterious atmosphere and employ the same mix of genres that... read more
Origin: Spirits of the Past is a 2006 movie by studio Gonzo, and just like most stuff they made it turned out nothing more than another rookie work with tons of wasted potential.
Let's have a look at the premise first:
- a post-apocalyptic world covered with sentient forest that was created during a scientific experiment and later went out of control and spreaded across the Earth, wiping out most of human civilization;
- three factions: the forest and its inhabitants; Neutral City, where people put lots of hard work into building a new society and try to find some compromise with the... read more
In the world of show business music videos are normally treated as mere tools for increasing band's popularity & sales. However, this clip is nowhere near that kind of banality since the creators are Koji Morimoto and Studio 4°C, famous for their experimental animation & generally uncommon approach to anime. The result of their work is simultaneously a very positive piece of entertainment and a rather psychological story with some right ideas... read more
Based on a story by Kazunori Ito (the scriptwriter for Ghost in the Shell & Patlabor movies), Urban Square: Chasing Amber is a very unusual OVA as it may be perceived in two different ways and the way you choose pretty much determines whether you'll like it or not.
Essentially, it's a classic detective story where the main character witnesses a murder and gets into trouble with the mafia; eventually, he ends up an action hero, fighting the criminals and protecting the girl he likes. Not only the story is rather simple in general, but it also contains quite a lot of cliches and some... read more
Junk Boy is an old and rather obscure OVA by studio Madhouse that still gets occasional views from those following the recommendations for Golden Boy or those lured by the premise that looks almost exactly like Golden Boy's: a comedy about a guy who gets a job at a men's magazine and tries to score with the girls around. Ironically, the quality gap between these shows can be easily inferred from their respective titles:
- unlike Golden Boy that features several amusing and motivational stories (study!study!study!), Junk Boy has an utterly... read more
As long as I watch anime, there're two things that never cease to amaze me:
- how a team of talented and experienced people with huge budget in their hands can still produce a terrible show;
- and how drastically the public reception of a certain anime may differ from one's opinion.
Blood: The Last Vampire is a brilliant example of these paradoxes. First, let's examine some data concerning this anime:
- based on a manga by Mamoru Oshii, who hopefully doesn't need any introduction;
- made by ... read more
Gotou ni Naritai is one of those obscure shows that's overlooked by most yet liked by almost everyone who watched it. Essentially, the movie is a drama about Ritsuko - a girl born with a bad leg who enters elementary school and gets bullied by the classmates because of her difference. Yet as the plot goes on the heroine gradually improves her walk, gains confidence and makes friends with her peers. Eventually, she even starts doing short runs, and her goal becomes to participate in a relay race 5x100 (hence the movie's title) that takes place on school sports day.
Now, this movie isn't something you'd... read more
Hijikata Toshizou Shiro no Kiseki is a biographical OVA by Studio 4°C that tells the life story of titular Hijikata Toshizou – a real historical figure and one of the most prominent Shinsengumi officers in times of Meiji Restoration. For its 30 minute length the anime manages to describe the whole life of our hero and flesh him out as a character. However, that comes at the cost of storytelling which turns out very choppy due to numerous timeskips and focuses almost exclusively on the protagonist, leaving very little room for other characters, action, historical background and everything else... read more
This music video is certainly among the least known fruits of cooperation between Mamoru Oshii and Kenji Kawai. As it turned out after some research I did, the movie has a rather complicated background; however, the topics and the message aren't clearly stated as the anime is rather abstract & open for interpretations - there isn't a story in a typical sense, though a story can be inferred.
First, the seeds of life are brought to some planet by powerful aliens, who are like gods to that world, and we see them standing in the forest. Then 3 acts go, each with its own musical theme: they... read more
A part of Studio 4°C's Sweat Punch anthology, Higan is a six minute short directed by Yasushi Muraki that tells a story about a man dying in a hospital and the last visions he has, where he and his comrades ride mechas in the night forest and fight against some tanks. The whole thing may be perceived as a tale about horrors of war or an unusual allegory of life & struggle against death, which makes the OVA serious to the core and pretty interesting for its mature themes.
However, the short lacks any backstory concerning the battle and the parties involved, and what's even more frustrating, it... read more
STORY & CHARACTERS
Kannagi is a little deceptive kind of series: it may look like fantasy at first yet soon it turns out a harem/moe comedy with insignificant fantasy elements, and well, it isn't nearly as good as some people make it out to be:
- first, the major part of the "plot" is something K-On-like: endless dialogues about nothing at the pace of a crippled snail. I don't know about you but I consider it a boring waste of time;
- second, the "story" at the core is a generic harem with your cookie-cutter boy-protagonist who allows a girl to live at his place because... read more
The story of Mouryou no Hako (or "Box of evil spirits" in loose translation) is a dark mystery taking place in postwar Japan that follows a group of investigators solving a case concerning bizarre murders of schoolgirls, whose bodies were dismembered and stuffed into boxes. The distinctive features of this story are supernatural Shinto elements and complex non-chronological storytelling with numerous surreal, mind-bending scenes. The latter, apparently, was supposed to make the series more thought-provoking, and it did make my brain work quite a lot... until I realized it's all done for a... read more
With its dynamic action, grand scale and incredibly detailed animation, Akira is often claimed to be a milestone in the history of anime. However, there are two crucial aspects it lacks to be considered a truly great show.
You know, most good old-school anime (Berserk, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Area 88, Wings of Honneamise etc.) share two common traits, regardless of their genres: they give you some food for thought and some characters you can relate to. Even seemingly mindless action shows like Ninja Scroll or Fist of the North Star have impressive male leads acting with... read more
A short but unforgettable legend-like story with intriguing beginning, appropriate pacing and great closure. Despite some obvious logical contradictions and historical inaccuracies, the story still looks fresh and unique. ANIMATION
Very artistic, using mostly pale-white and black colors that give the anime a foggy and somewhat melancholic appearance. However, there are two things that feel absolutely out of place: the ridiculous look of English knights and that the Black Swordsman reads his book right to left, though the story takes place in Ireland. I know, those are minor flaws, but they are... read more
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is an anime that needs no special introduction since it often gets praised as one of the most outstanding shows ever created. The question is, what are the reasons for those high accolades and are they actually justified? Well, let's look into the matter to find out the truth.
While often claimed to be the best cyberpunk anime ever, GITS SAC is ironically one of the less typical representatives of the genre. Although it does share the name, the main characters and the focus on cyber technologies with its famous predecessor, the ... read more
Ergo Proxy is a highly experimental show, and just like all shows of that kind it always divides the viewers into two camps: while the ones enjoy its complex story and thought-provoking symbolism, the others fiercely criticize it for "pretentiousness" or simply scratch their heads in perplexity, wondering what this whole thing is supposed to mean.
As for me, I firmly believe this series is an amazing modern classic with no exaggeration about it, and with this review I'll try to explain you why. Since the anime has a site description you can always read, allow me to skip further... read more
Berserk is the series really hard to approach objectively as it features obvious drawbacks in every single aspect and yet obtains the level of cult epicness very few anime reach. So, I'll do my best to balance the main vices & virtues without giving out too much of the plot.
The story comprises both strong positives and visible negatives. Let's start with the former:
- the show takes place in a realistic medieval european-like setting, following a group of mercenaries as they rise to the top through bloody battles and political intrigues. An exciting premise, isn't it? And if you... read more