updated their review of Mushishi
Story Describing Mushishi to those who have not experienced it is almost completely impossible... and yet, here I am, furiously pounding away, struggling to say something even remotely coherent about this wonderful work.
What makes the show so difficult to write about? Well, for one thing...Read vivafruit's full review
It isn't unusual for a person to feel that the world around them is strange and has unexpected secrets lying just beyond their sight. However, for most people this is just an occasional sensation...
updated their review of 5 Centimeters per Second
Story With 5 Centimeters per Second , Shinkai Makoto has polished the elements that made his previous anime so heartbreakingly poignant and produced a wonderful work. If the film did not have a disappointing third arc, this would be his best work thus far and probably the best of the year.
...Read vivafruit's full review
- Movie (1 ep x 62 min)
Although today Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari live far apart due to a family move shortly after elementary school, they were once two shy young students brought together by their shared differences...
updated their review of Flag
Story Flag illustrates how imperfect but ambitious anime tend to be infinitely more interesting to write about than unambitious series that “succeed.” This series, in spite of arguably irredeemable flaws, is challenging and memorable. Even though the show is dull in some spots and...Read vivafruit's full review
In the civil war-torn country of Uddiyana, the photographer Saeko Shirasu took an image of a flag which captured the hearts of people around the world. With the help of a planned and UN-backed peace...
updated their review of Welcome to the NHK!
Story Note: Nope, haven’t read the manga yet.
Almost nothing is better than watching a show that exceeds all of your expectations. I jumped into this series expecting a polished rehash of the same old theme that almost all ecchi shows have: namely, one (or more!) cute girls...Read vivafruit's full review
Tatsuhiro Sato is a university dropout and a "hikikomori" – a person suffering from social withdrawal. To Sato’s dismay, his self-imposed exile from the world is rudely...
updated their review of Gungrave
Story Loyalty. Friendship. Love. Bravery. Trust.
Greed. Conceit. Betrayal. Hatred. Regret.
What is perhaps most amazing about Gungrave is the anime’s incredibly nihilistic philosophy throughout most of the show. In the first half of the anime, we see the characters striving to...Read vivafruit's full review
Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel were best friends who lived by the law of the street, until one day they picked a fight with the wrong people and their life of freedom was suddenly taken away. With...
updated their review of My-Hime
Story The creation of My-Hime most likely started with Sunrise designing an anime from the ground up. The show would boast amazingly entertaining melodrama, some fantastic action scenes, and hordes of famous seiyuu - in other words, the basic groundwork for Best Show Ever.
There was just...Read vivafruit's full review
Guided by a star only they can see, a group of maidens known as HiMEs have begun to gather at Fuuka Academy. These young women have been endowed with dangerous supernatural powers that they can use...
updated their review of Dead Leaves
There is so much
unified hate towards this short little OVA that it’s difficult to
really give a standard critique of the show that rates each category in
Instead, it’s obligatory to start with why I think most people will hate this. In short, this is...Read vivafruit's full review
- Movie (1 ep x 48 min)
For Pandy and Retro, waking up naked with amnesia wasn't the high point of their day. While going on a crime spree, the duo are captured and sent to the infamous Dead Leaves, a notorious prison where...
updated their review of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Shounen anime tend to be like Kraft cheese singles; they taste delicious when you are young, but as you get older you realize they are actually awful and have too much filler. I kind of miss the days when I could watch Naruto and enjoy it, but there are only so many meandering, waste-of-time 100...Read vivafruit's full review
The foundation of alchemy is based on the law of equivalent exchange; you cannot produce something from nothing. As such, alchemy is bound by one taboo - human transmutation. Four years ago two young...
updated their review of Toradora!
Despite a super conventional plot and an ending that goes on at least
one episode too long, this is a great show. Like many of my favorite
series, Toradora successfully transitions from comedy to drama; after a
few episodes I was hooked and the trap only tightened as the series
began to lose...Read vivafruit's full review
Ryuuji Takasu has an eventful life: his classmates think he's a delinquent due to his 'killer' eyes; his crush Minori seems ever out of reach; and he’s just had an unfortunate encounter with...
updated their review of Great Teacher Onizuka
Story The public high schooling system has become one of the most depressing institutions in the history of mankind, right down there with the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazi regime. Where else can you see bright young youths transformed into jaded, apathetic and thoughtless...Read vivafruit's full review
With a history of leading a motorcycle gang and getting bad grades in school, why would 22 year old Onizuka ever want to become a teacher? Is it to educate young minds or spread the joy of education?...
updated their review of Ouran High School Host Club
Story The strongest episodes in the Ouran High School Host Club are essentially nothing more than character development. In them, the show will take one of the characters and crack his very soul open for all to see. The standouts are by far Kyouya, a self-proclaimed egoist who ends up being...Read vivafruit's full review
Ouran High is a school for the extremely wealthy or, in Haruhi's case, the extremely talented. But no amount of talent will help when Haruhi accidentally drops an eight million yen vase in a music...
updated their review of Texhnolyze
Story Serial Experiments Lain , which Yoshitoshi Abe has also been involved in, shares a very similar story structure to Texhnolyze . Both start with a relatively unfulfilling storyline that explains nothing and expects the audience to infer much of what is going on. In the final half, the...Read vivafruit's full review
In an experimental city of despair and carnage, ORGAN will do anything necessary to gain power and wealth. Unfortunately for one underground boxer who was mutilated, a rogue doctor has given him what...
updated their review of The Cat Returns
I’m pretty sure Ghibli is one of the only studios on earth capable of
taking a storyline like this one’s and making something worthwhile out
of it. The plot has a kind of meandering, silly quality to it that
could easily have turned to tedium, but no; from the seemingly
boundless...Read vivafruit's full review
- Movie (1 ep x 75 min)
One afternoon on her way home from school, Haru saves a cat from getting run over by a truck and promptly gets the shock of her life when it stands on its hind legs to thank her. That night, she is...
updated their review of Ergo Proxy
Story Ergo Proxy ’s storyline is a disaster. A hopeless, irredeemable disaster.
No one will deny the incredible ambition of this series. The production values, for one, are on par with the best that modern anime studios have to offer. The storyline is epic, sweeping, and complex...Read vivafruit's full review
In a futuristic world almost barren of life, mankind is confined to mechanized domed cities where A.I.’s control all aspects of life. In this world, humans are no longer born, they are...
updated their review of Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Legend of the Galactic Heroes is one of the most highly rated shows
by people who have seen it. As a result I had high expectations when I
started the show, but ultimately dropped it about 70 episodes in. There
are just too many problems with the narrative.
for example, the lame...Read vivafruit's full review
The war between the monarchical Galactic Empire and the democratic Free Planets Alliance has raged ceaselessly across the galaxy for over a century, with the fleets of both powers having fought...
updated their review of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Story In many ways, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is uncannily similar to Sunrise’s own My-Hime . Both have extremely large ensemble casts, superb production values and a surprisingly engaging narrative. Unfortunately, both also suffer from inert character development, nigh...Read vivafruit's full review
In 2010, the Britannian Empire enslaved Japan using powerful mecha known as Knightmares; in the aftermath Japan was renamed Area 11, and its people began a hard and terrible existence. Lelouch, a...
updated their review of Jigoku Shoujo
Story Jigoku Shoujo is the latest in a long and celebrated tradition of "horror/suspense" titles that don't really have either horror or suspense. The anime tend to go for sheer style over things like character development or logic and generally end with gruesome deaths tinged in...Read vivafruit's full review
Has someone done something to hurt you or the ones you love? Are you seeking revenge? Rumor has it that there’s a website that can service your needs. Titled “Hotline to Hell”, it...
updated their review of Planetes
Perhaps the most interesting anime to compare Planetes to is Last Exile
- not for the similarities between the two, but for the differences.
The two animes both attempt to show an alternate, futuristic world with
a large cast of characters, but the actual approaches are radically
...Read vivafruit's full review
In the year 2075, humanity has spread to the stars, along with their technology, colonies, and... waste? At such great speeds in orbit, even a tiny bolt can cause a tragic disaster. Enter the team of...
updated their review of Denno Coil
Story There is a lot that could be said about the sheer brilliance of Denno Coil ’s setting. The series makes heavy use of “augmented reality” and presents a world where the line between the cyber-world and reality is blurred to the point of being indistinguishable. Anyone...Read vivafruit's full review
In a futuristic world, the virtual world is merely a layer on top of reality; within it, cyberpets are abundant and information is plentiful, and it is only visible by wearing special cyberglasses...
updated their review of Full Moon wo Sagashite
Every once in a while, after I finish watching an anime, something
extraordinary occurs; I'll sit back, and blankly stare off into space.
The anime will have affected me so deeply that I remain completely
dumbstruck even after the credits have finished. Full Moon wo Sagashite
is one of the few...Read vivafruit's full review
Twelve year old Mitsuki's desire is to become a singer. She has the talent and a beautiful voice, but she also has a throat tumor which threatens to rob her of her gift of song. As if things weren't...
updated their review of One Piece
Story For series of this length, there’s a fairly intriguing piece of conjecture that I occasionally enjoy trotting around. According to the theory, no matter how awesome the original premise, no matter how charming the cast of characters, no matter how competent the studio, every long...Read vivafruit's full review
Long ago the infamous Gol D. Roger was the strongest and most powerful pirate on the seas. As he was about to be executed he revealed that he hid all of his wealth, including the legendary treasure...
updated their review of ef - a tale of melodies
Story Ef ~ A Tale of Melodies so slavishly follows the formula set by its predecessor that it's almost unwatchable. Even with low expectations coming in, it’s a letdown.
Like Ef ~ A Tale of Memories before it, Melodies ’ plot covers two different sets of tangentially related...Read vivafruit's full review
The story of Yu Himura and Yuko Amamiya’s relationship is troubled and complex. One day, Yuko showed up at Yu's high school and, despite the two not having seen one another for ten years...
updated their review of Angel Beats!
Story Angel Beats borrows ingredients that are achingly familiar and mashes them into something miraculously entertaining. The series cheerfully rips off Suzumiya Haruhi 's titular character, adds her to a Sunrise-inspired ensemble cast, and plunks them into a rehash of Haibane Renmei...Read vivafruit's full review
Death and reincarnation are inescapable, but what happens in between? Without warning and without his memories, a boy who only recalls his last name - Otonashi - wakes up next to a girl...
updated their review of Elfen Lied
Story I’m actually going to make the case here that the story would be entertaining even without the ultra-violence. Elfen Lied has a relatively interesting tale involving apocalypse, split personality, and evil-men-in-lab-coats performing diabolical experiments. In other words, there...Read vivafruit's full review
For Kouta and Yuka, finding the bloody naked young girl on the beach would change their lives forever, for better or for worse. Unable to speak or function as a normal human being, she is named Nyu...
updated their review of Black Lagoon
Story A note: This review covers both Black Lagoon and Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage , and the score is a composite of the two series. If I were to rate the two seasons individually, I would most likely give season 1 around a 7.5 and season 2 around a 6.5.
Black Lagoon looks like a...Read vivafruit's full review
Rokuro Okajima is a small-time salaryman who is carrying documents for his company, when the ship he's traveling on is attacked by pirates. Kidnapped, he discovers to his dismay that his employers'...
updated their review of Darker Than Black - Kuro no Keiyakusha
Story Darker than Black wants to be Cowboy Bebop so badly, it hurts. There is such a noticeable similarity between the two series that comparing them is virtually unavoidable. The problem, of course, is that Darker than Black is not Cowboy Bebop .
To be sure, Black isn't a total...Read vivafruit's full review
A giant wall looms over Tokyo, shielding the city from a dangerous otherworld called the 'Hell's Gate'. Within the city, things are no less terrifying because Contractors, psychopathic killers with...
updated their review of Kimi ni Todoke
Have you ever craved fast food? Well, there's an anime-related analogue; sometimes, all I want to see is some cheesy shoujo. I don't always want a hip crossover title like Nana, or a "normal" male-oriented romcom ala Toradora. No no no, sometimes, all I want are episodes where the...Read vivafruit's full review
Sawako Kuronuma is just like any other high school girl who wants to make friends and be useful. The only problem is she bears a worrying resemblance to Sadako from 'The Ring!' Because of her...
updated their review of Aishiteruze Baby
Aishiteruze Baby is a testament to how truly strong character
development can take an anime with a relatively simple plot and turn it
into something fantastic. The storyline would have been dull, even
tedious, with less stellar characters, but as is the show is amazingly
entertaining for the...Read vivafruit's full review
Whenever Kippei is at school, he has one thing on his mind: girls. From skipping class to cheesy lines, he'll do anything it takes to reel the ladies in, though he never seems to find the right...
updated their review of Samurai Champloo
Story Of all the general themes in anime, one of the most thoroughly overdone ones is the “with friends, we shall prevail” motif. In these, the protagonist can only overcome some seemingly insurmountable task with the help of his or her group of friends. Even those who haven’t...Read vivafruit's full review
Samurai Champloo is all about style, from the dj-style scratching scene changes to the hip-hop-inspired soundtrack to the eclectic character design. Mugen's fighting style is a funky meld of capoeira...
updated their review of Ghost Hunt
Story In many ways, Ghost Hunt reminds me of Jigoku Shoujo . The two anime each start out with a relatively interesting premise, but ultimately are undone by their absolute unwillingness to take any sort of risks with their story. Instead, both series dutifully trudge along the path of least...Read vivafruit's full review
Mai Taniyama is a first year high school student who lives a carefree life telling ghost stories with her friends. One day, she meets Kazuya Shibuya, the head of Shibuya Psychic Research (SPR); and...