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VivisQueen

  • United Kingdom
  • Joined Jan 19, 2006
  • 31 / F
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Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

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Story
Looking back at the various incarnations of Fujiko Mine, any observer will recognise a mere handful of common traits, most of them incidental (sexy, traitorous, gunslinger), rather than grasp fully who she is as a person. So, perhaps it helps to focus on what she isn’t: definable, fathomable, consistent. The enduring allure of Fujiko Mine across generations and several reinterpretations is that she rarely lets us see into her soul. In some past incarnations this was because of lazy characterisation or sheer necessity of... See full review

7/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail

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Story
Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail fully exploits the OVA format to deliver a grittier, grimier ride through Roanapur. While the franchise traditionally splashed more explosions on our TV screens than gloopy ruby-red blood, that trend reverses here as our heroes slice, dice, bludgeon, and even saw their way through a bunch of unimportant nonentities. And that’s probably why we’ll love it despite some of its unfortunate blunders. Broadly speaking, this third outing is Black Lagoon suited... See full review

6.5/10 story
8.5/10 animation
6/10 sound
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai.

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Story
Disclaimer: this review may contain a spoiler for the first episode. Few shows this year will elicit such tender, bittersweet feelings as AnoHana. Anime rarely focus on the grieving process, and the series’ sensitive execution of the subject makes it a treasure among 2011’s offerings. The plot sees a group of youths trying to come to terms with the death of their friend, Menma, while her ghost hangs around... See full review

7/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

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Story
I imagine the executive meeting that inspired this dull, jabbering insult to my intelligence went a bit like this. Director: I’ve been thinking lately we should do something deep and relevant about today’s global financial situation. It’s been all over the news and I think the kids would appreciate someone really bringing it down to their level. Exec: Uhh, really? But finance is like so BOOOOOORING. Director: Well, of course we could spice it up a little, you know, give it a representational hook or gimmick. I have one or two ideas that I think would really - Exec: Oh oh... See full review

3/10 story
4/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
3/10 characters
3/10 overall

Ga-Rei -Zero-

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Story
Ga-Rei: Zero’s beginning works like an exhilarating kick in the nuts. It comes out of nowhere, knocks our breath out, and then leave us just as suddenly to gather our whirling thoughts. In it, a team of special armed forces are trying to contain an outbreak of supernatural beings in the city. As their members fall one by one, they soon realise someone they once thought a friend has turned against them. It’s worth elaborating on how fantastic that opening is and how skilfully it introduces us to a complex concept of demons... See full review

6/10 story
7.5/10 animation
6/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall

Michiko to Hatchin

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Story
Here at anime-planet, we have to give ratings for our reviews, which although convenient snapshots of a show's worth, also mask a lot of valuable and necessary detail. Some shows do not readily lend themselves to pigeonholing and there are times when I’d like to warn readers simply to disregard the rating. This is one of those reviews. Michiko to Hatchin gets a 6.5, but that doesn't mean it is average; that means my thoughts on it are complicated. If I were the Bill Gates of anime and could write blank cheques, I’d... See full review

6/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

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Story
Adorable little magical girls have been getting into contracts for decades. It’s about time that someone asked what would happen if those contracts went wrong. Of course, the concept has worked in other genres (mecha show Bokurano is a strong recent example) but considering the magical girl genre hinges on naïve, wide-eyed... See full review

7.5/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall

Revolutionary Girl Utena

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Story
Is Revolutionary Girl Utena a brilliant surrealist canvas, an apocalyptic struggle in a dress, or just a pretentious vomit of mahou shoujo cliches? The premise is simple enough. There are beautiful students. They must duel over a woman. There is a tall, handsome stranger manipulating their fates from the shadows and a pure-hearted heroine who must foil his plans. But connecting the dots between these plot points takes great imagination and a good memory of past episodes as this spastic anime refuses to speak in... See full review

8/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall

Level E

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Story
The best thing about this screwy comedy is that we never know when it is lying. The direction is a massive exercise in sleight of hand, the script a riddle within a puzzle, and guessing what the hell is going on becomes the most compelling reason to keep watching. Level E smells suspiciously like Men in Black, with a backdrop of aliens who immigrate to Earth for various reasons and live among unsuspecting humans. But instead of counting down to an epic intergalactic crisis topped with macho laser battles, it narrowly follows the social... See full review

7/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
7/10 overall

Fractale

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Story
There are two types of derivatives: fun, tacky ones that laugh at themselves and the more unfortunate ones that insist on selling clichés as though we’d never seen them before. Fractale lands firmly in the latter category, although, with such a plain, bumbling sincerity, it’s not the most punishing rehash anyone could watch. Take the protagonist, Clain, a pleasant young man with manners and wits and all the natural gifts God gave him, but miserable because his... See full review

5/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
5.5/10 overall

Armored Trooper Votoms

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Story
Armored Trooper Votoms, ninety percent of the time, plays as a guileless action-focused mecha show modelled firmly after Sunrise’s other, better known series, Mobile Suit Gundam. There is the usual story of the reluctant hero struggling against a military conspiracy padded out with endless sequences of giant robots exploding. Votoms’ distinguishing feature (and this is before the... See full review

5/10 story
7.5/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Major: Message

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Story
There are several reasons why Major: Message is no great work but they all boil down to one thing: it is an ending for ending’s sake. Symbolically, it’s apt, since a middle-aged Goro tries to pass on the love of baseball to his children by repeating the trials of his father. It bundles in a perfunctory game and plenty of montages to portray Goro getting stronger or acing tryouts. And though set a decade later, the usual characters are still milling about... See full review

4/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall

Kurenai

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Kurenai’s gist is that teenage secret agent Shinkurou becomes a bodyguard to a little girl, Murasaki, who has never seen the outside world before; and she must learn about society while living with him, develop into a more resilient woman, and return to challenge her oppressive family. But viewers might take a while to discover its essential concept since Kurenai chooses a convoluted path via comedy, musicals, slice of life, and supernatural mystery. Watching Murasaki in a whimsical conversation about romantic relationships with one of Shinkurou’s neighbours, for instance, I started... See full review

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
6.5/10 overall

Witch Hunter Robin

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Having amassed all the necessary ingredients to make a grim, action-packed supernatural thriller, Witch Hunter Robin promptly drowns them in a shallow puddle of Not Much Happens. Rarely have I witnessed such pompous grey tone or such funereal voicing or so many shots of people staring mournfully at what must be the most fascinating middle-distance ever. Any spasms of action quickly default to some nondescript bad guy telekinetically hurling flower pots or dust bins and the protagonist Robin incinerating them in a puff of digitalised fire. But that’s not the worst of its sins - no, that would be the... See full review

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
4.5/10 overall

Katanagatari

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Story
Katanagatari has no right to be as grand and engrossing as it is considering its impressively banal premise. A mysterious woman called Togame turns up on a lonely island to recruit the martial artist Shichika. She needs his help to gather twelve swords from twelve immensely powerful warriors, and the twist is he will do so using no weapons of his own. All we need now is to line up the bad guys and watch... See full review

9/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall

Iketeru Futari

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Story
In the great tradition of teaching lonely, impressionable otaku with no experience of real women that sexual harassment equals orgasm, Iketeru Futari seems one of the less offensive training manuals. It’s achievements are always middling but here at anime-planet, we also reward shows for effort. Although it doesn’t have to, it actually attempts to develop its cast across sixteen five-minute episodes and tries to fire off effective gags. Saji Keisuke... See full review

4/10 story
4/10 animation
2/10 sound
4/10 characters
5/10 overall

Bubblegum Crisis

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Story
With the threat of nuclear annihilation never far from their minds, people in the eighties speculated a lot about the future, and seemingly with despair. The 21st century would be darker and more lawless, and shady guys at the top would determine the fate of the hapless masses at the bottom. Movies like Akira and Wings of Honneamise project the pessimism of their age onto the future, and Bubblegum Crisis is... See full review

6/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Denno Coil

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The problem with Denno Coil is that a handful of its episodes are great while the rest are dull as dishwater. Generally, I started an episode filled with dread about which it would be. Would it crawl through the meaningless misadventures of a side character in its blended world of virtual and objective reality, or would it deliver a brilliantly unnerving cyber battle full of disturbing imagery and heartrending loss?

Its world is an admirably rich one full of eccentric detail and inventive plays on today’s world (look how they hold their hands to their ears like telephones as they... See full review

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
5/10 overall

Cross Game

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Story
Before embarking on Cross Game I kept wondering how it might be any different to Major, that other baseball show I adore. And the answer is, in every single way. Major’s Goro Honda is a dull-brained baseball maniac while Cross Game’s Kou Kitamura has wit and no especial love for the game. Goro wouldn’t recognise a woman if... See full review

7/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Kuragehime

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Story
Every anime menu needs its light, bubbly relief, and in one of the driest years for decent shows, Kuragehime’s plot about geeks, fashion, and cross-dressers is diet cola. An unabashedly insubstantial plot aided by cliché sweeteners helps this go down oh so easily. Fashionable cross-dresser Kuranosuke crash lands into hopeless nerd Tsukimi’s life and, for a couple of... See full review

7/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
7/10 overall

House of Five Leaves

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Sarai-ya Goyou has several things going for it: a cowardly samurai who is actually damn good in a fight; a dubious antihero called Yaichi, who hides in the shadows smiling knowingly; a gorgeous soundtrack that mixes the modern (OP and ED) and traditional (in-episode score); a mature concept design and distinctive-looking characters wearing haunting, mournful eyes; and a ‘rogues against the world’ plot about a ragtag of people who kidnap members of bad families for a living. In the great tradition of bad decisions, however, the show throws these fruitful seeds on a bedrock of bland character... See full review

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
6/10 overall

Major Season 6

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Story
There will be no seventh season. This is it: finito. Any wrapping up will be left to the OVA released with the final volume of the manga. I suppose Major could have concluded in much worse ways, but it also deserved much better. Considering the pummelling of mopey drama that plagued the most recent instalments, Season Six’s inability to take off rocket-like – with a final bang, if you will – feels a bit like the additional kick in the shin. The first clue of something amiss is the slew of generally uninteresting... See full review

6.5/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
6.5/10 overall

Only Yesterday

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Story
I can’t think of a single logical reason why all films shouldn’t be animated. The Matrix Trilogy is so riddled with CGI it becomes Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in all but soundtrack, and how often have I heard Babylon 5 and Legend of the Galactic Heroes mentioned in the same breath? More incredibly, when I consider shows like Gosenzo-sama... See full review

7.5/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall

Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai!

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Story
Mamoru Oshii achieves something incredible with his monologue-driven work about genealogy, narrative, and the demise of the traditional family unit: he doesn't bore us. Of course, Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai is not as abstractedly spectacular as his infamous Angel's Egg, but that's because it actually aims for meaning and coherence. How it succeeds despite its heady plethora of themes requires some... See full review

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross

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Story
One thing baffles me about Robotech: The Macross Saga. In an earth-shattering break from the norm that took me almost five episodes to recover from, the protagonist Rick Hunter is a sensible, well-adjusted young man. After encountering his love, Lynn Minmei, during a fierce military battle, their initial conversations suggest they actually enjoy each other's company. That's right, they don't shout at each other about their fragile, untold feelings. Let me... See full review

6/10 story
4/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
6/10 overall

Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei

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Story
Director Masaaki Yuasa has a talent for capturing the post-modern twenty-something male ripe with paranoia and grossly ill-equipped to deal with adulthood. He did it before in the buoyant Mind Game, in which he taught us to love life, and he's done it again in Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei, which tells us not to take it for granted. Here, his symbol is the '4.5 tatami' apartment, a product of Japanese modernity that can incorporate everything anyone needs to live in a claustrophobic... See full review

7.5/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
8/10 overall

Kemono no Souja Erin

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Story
Here comes another marvellous adaptation of the works of Nahoko Uehashi, the author of Seirei no Moribito. Just like Moribito, Kemono no Souja Erin uses the interdependence of nature and humans as a canvas on which to paint its story and gives the mother-child relationship central place in that picture. What sets this unassuming series apart from (and maybe even above) the character-focused Moribito is the subtle way it immerses us in the politics and ecology of its fantasy world, Ryoza. This is ... See full review

8/10 story
5/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall

New Getter Robo

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Story
There's nothing wrong with tacky mecha shows. Take the recent Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Gainax's tribute to the 1970s super robot genre - it has all the markings of super robot but adds fully-fleshed characters and a funkier concept design for a modern twist. New Getter Robo, on the other hand, is the condensed reworking of Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa's Getter Robo... See full review

5/10 story
4/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
5/10 overall

Blazing Transfer Student

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Story
Anyone thinking Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann is studio Gainax's first attempt at paying homage to the shounen genre should check out Blazing Transfer Student for some reeducation. Granted, 'reeducation' might be strong language when referring to an anime that thrives on doing everything exactly the same way that all others of its kind do it, but considering its bizarre obscurity (to the extent that Gainax... See full review

6/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
2/10 characters
6/10 overall

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack

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Story
Like a maelstrom, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack arrives in a rush of noise and activity. A space battle is in full swing five minutes in with Amuro Ray and Char Aznable enemies once more. Char wants to send the Earth into a nuclear winter to preserve it at the cost of human lives; Amuro, understandably, cannot fathom a more horrific plot. Below, on Earth, people are scrambling to escape on a limited number of shuttles with limited... See full review

7.5/10 story
7.5/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
7.5/10 overall