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vivafruit

  • Boulder, CO
  • Joined Jan 1, 2007
  • 31 / M
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Alien Nine

on Oct 14, 2009

Judging solely from the picture here on anidb, one would think that this would be a standard magical girl OVA with no real innovation or complexity. However, without a doubt, this is one of the strangest animes I've ever seen. In Alien Nine, incredibly cute, shoujo characters are juxtaposed against startling violence. The plot begins in standard fruitcake mode (girls must roll around on rollerskates to catch aliens), but deviates from this formula very quickly. I, for one, have no idea what happened in this anime. The plot becomes pretty much indecipherable at the end, and the ending credits have an... See full review

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

Aishiteruze Baby

on Oct 14, 2009

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 entire running time. Looking back, the characters of this show could oh-so-easily have been the same one-dimensional archetypes that are seen over and over in anime, but Aishiteruze Baby gracefully dodges this pitfall. Instead, each one of the main characters carries a surprising amount of depth while at... See full review

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

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

on Oct 11, 2009

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. Take, for example, the lame action. I'm sorry, but the space battles are just not interesting. There are countless logical inconsistencies (we've been cornered... IN SPACE), it's poorly animated, and the scenes tend to drag on for eons. I appreciate the effort to take WW1 tactics and implement them into space-combat, but it just doesn't do much... See full review

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

One Outs

on Oct 11, 2009

A fun sports anime in the play-to-win vein of Akagi and Kaiji - these guys want to win so much it hurts. Hagiwara Masato, the seiyuu who voiced both Kaiji and Akagi, turns in yet another great performance as One Out's protagonist Kokuchi, which also solidifies the link between the other two series. However, while One Outs is incredibly clever at times, the experience feels shallow compared to what was done in the series One Outs seems to be imitating. Kaiji and Akagi both had darker undertones that don't have nearly as much bite in One Outs. Also, the series becomes very formulaic near the end... See full review

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

Toradora!

on Oct 11, 2009

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 the jokes for good old fashioned love polygon angst. You'd have to be braindead to see the first episode and not know exactly how the series will end, but most people will be surprised at the surprisingly well developed cast that accompanies the predictable plot. The characters manage to be more than... See full review

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

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

on Aug 14, 2009

Story
After several movies from Hayao Miyazaki that have been both narratively and visually complex, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea feels like a return to "classic" form. The film is simpler both in its plot and animation style, having more in common with My Neighbor Totoro than any of the great director’s recent efforts. The difference is so pronounced, in fact, that Ponyo often feels like watching a time-capsuled Ghibli from the late 80s. The film's story is one of... See full review

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

La Maison en Petits Cubes

on Aug 9, 2009

Story
Why do you watch anime? Is it to passively waste away the spare hours of your life, or is it in the faint hope that the next anime you watch will actually make you feel something meaningful? At twelve minutes, La Maison en Petits Cubes will not waste much of your time, but it will move you on a profound and emotional level. Even at face value, the story is a clever and innovative science-fiction tale, involving a rising sea level that forces our protagonist to build his house higher and higher. When he inadvertently drops a precious item... See full review

9.5/10 story
8.5/10 animation
10/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall

Hayate the Combat Butler!

on Aug 1, 2009

Story
Plot junkies beware: not only does Hayate the Combat Butler! have an awesomely unnecessary exclamation mark in its title, its plot goes absolutely nowhere. After a teasing the viewers with a promising premise, the series forgoes character development or plot progression in favor of episodic meandering. Because of this, those hoping for an engaging overarching plot or satisfying character development will ultimately be disappointed. If you’re still here, great! Anyone that doesn’t mind the prospect of watching 52 episodes of plot-free... See full review

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

Casshern Sins

on Jun 18, 2009

Story
Despite being a remake to a kitschy 70’s anime “classic,” Casshern Sins begins promisingly. In the first few episodes, the creators lay out a post-apocalyptic setting that manages to feel both unabashedly retro and grimly bleak at the same time. The resulting mix of camp and angst is weirdly intriguing, especially when the solid supporting characters and mysterious titular protagonist are factored in. Sadly, Casshern Sins fails to live up to its initial promise due to its unfocused overarching narrative. Rather than develop any... See full review

5/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
3.5/10 characters
6/10 overall

ef - a tale of melodies

on Feb 24, 2009

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 characters. Unlike Memories, Melodies utterly fails to engage the audience. Instead, the series plods along with trite, uninteresting character development for five spectacularly uneventful episodes before... See full review

4/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
5/10 overall

Macross Frontier

on Dec 9, 2008

Story
Want to watch a tragedy? Sit through the entirety of Macross Frontier. Then, contemplate what could have been made if the talent behind the anime had been used to make something besides a creatively brain-dead retread of a 20-year-old franchise. In the tradition of Hollywood, Macross F represents an enormous amount of time and money spent on something spectacularly shallow. For a while, the anime is enjoyable on its production values alone, since Macross F has the slickest combination of animation and sound released in a series this year... See full review

3/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
3.5/10 characters
4.5/10 overall

Flag

on Oct 16, 2008

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 downright tedious in others, the undeniable power of other scenes redeems it as a whole. Anime tends to focus on the imaginative and fantastic rather than a realistic "you are there" sense of immersion. Despite this, Flag tries for the latter, and deserves praise... See full review

7/10 story
8.5/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall

Denno Coil

on May 11, 2008

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 who has seen Serial Experiments Lain can tell you that this is far from new, but by having its characters use cyber-glasses for almost the entire show, Dennou Coil presents its world in a way that Lain (who had its... See full review

5/10 story
8.5/10 animation
6/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
5/10 overall

Please Twins

on Jan 17, 2008

Story
Please Twins, if nothing else, is a prime example of missed potential. Here we have a truly brilliant premise that is pretty much completely ruined by its follow-up story and ending. So much more could have been added to the following episodes to keep the story interesting, but no: the plot instead sinks into autopilot, and the result is horrifically boring and uncreative. Of course, I am exaggerating when I say “truly brilliant premise.” Much like Please Teacher before it, Twins aims for pretty much... See full review

2.5/10 story
5.5/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
1/10 characters
3/10 overall

Great Teacher Onizuka

on Jan 10, 2008

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 “adults?” When I finished high school, I graduated with a plethora of facts in my head, but little motivation to use them. My sole goals were to go to a third-rate, easy college in the middle of Kansas, and to work as little as possible for the rest of my life. School doesn’t just turn the students into... See full review

9.5/10 story
4.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.5/10 overall

Darker Than Black - Kuro no Keiyakusha

on Dec 2, 2007

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 carbon copy. The series' plot is, at least superficially, very different. Also, Darker than Black, true to its title, starts out somewhat moodier than Cowboy... See full review

5.5/10 story
7.5/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
6/10 characters
6.5/10 overall

Ghost Hunt

on Oct 29, 2007

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 resistance, and the result is depressingly conventional. Granted, Ghost Hunt is not nearly as monotonous as Jigoku Shoujo. The series’ several plot arcs are distinguishable enough from each other to not be absolutely... See full review

6/10 story
6.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
3.5/10 characters
5.5/10 overall

Tales of a Street Corner

on Oct 6, 2007

Story
Writing about works like this is always a bit tricky, because the movie will at best appeal to a small percentage of the people reading this review. The challenge is always to make the show appear as repellant as possible to those that cannot and will not appreciate it, while at the same time recommending the movie to those that will actually like it. Essentially, this 1962 Tezuka short is not for “anime fans,” but “animation fans” – a subtle distinction to some, but a crucial one. Tezuka made the movie long before the stylistic distinctions that differentiate... See full review

9/10 story
6.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

5 Centimeters per Second

on Sep 8, 2007

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. 5 cm’s story will feel warmly familiar to those who have already had the pleasure of watching the director’s work. Makoto is still very much obsessed with capturing the sheer, unrivaled beauty of an impossible love. No matter how cruelly fate... See full review

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

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

on Aug 7, 2007

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 unforgivable pacing and a largely disappointing ending. Code Geass is almost certainly at its best when the protagonist must use his intelligence and questionable morals to overcome a seemingly overwhelming task. These... See full review

5.5/10 story
7.5/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Nana

on Aug 3, 2007

Story
Ai Yazawa’s work is so distinctive that no one could mistake Nana as being written by anyone else. While the series isn’t perfect, it can be considered to be one of the frontrunners of modern shoujo romance. I emphasize modern because of how backward and traditional other romance anime seems when compared to Yazawa’s work. While other shoujo series are still mucking about with idealistic conceptions of the One True Love, the feelings of Nana’s characters are much more complex, layered, and believable. Nana is amazing not only for... See full review

7.5/10 story
7.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Elfen Lied

on Aug 1, 2007

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 isn’t anything that we haven’t seen before, but the elements are mixed in such a way to hold one’s attention well. When the shock value is added, however, the storyline is elevated from interesting to riveting. Aside from two distinct moments (a recap portion... See full review

7.5/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
8/10 overall

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

on Aug 1, 2007

Story
At its core, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is really just a standard shoujo slice-of-life show. There’s the plucky, cheerful protagonist, there’s the myriad of possible romances just waiting to bloom, and of course there’s the lazy summer afternoons spent loafing around in idyllic Japanese suburbia. The closest analogue is most likely Ghibli’s own Whisper of the Heart. The only noticeable differentiation from its counterparts is a time-traveling plot device introduced early in the show. ... See full review

9/10 story
7.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall

Neon Genesis Evangelion - The End of Evangelion

on Jul 24, 2007

Story
The story starts in a fairly disorienting manner and then moves quickly from there. After about 20 minutes of confusion, however, the anime soon finds its feet and I began to be able to follow what was going on. At around 40 minutes in I was actually somewhat interested... and then, the anime falls apart under its own philosophical weight. Apparently, the creators of this anime thought that they could substitute all semblences of plot with random scenes that supposedly have symbolic meaning. A quote from Roger Ebert's movie glossary comes to mind: "If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it... See full review

3/10 story
7/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
1/10 characters
3.5/10 overall

Paprika

on Jul 11, 2007

Story
Understanding is overrated. Incomprehensibility is the new clarity, and contradictions are the new consistency. Confused? Good, so am I. Some stories can only be enjoyed through understanding, while others must be enjoyed through experiencing. Paprika, for one, firmly falls in the second category. Comprehending Paprika on an intellectual level is comparable to nailing Jell-O to a wall: the harder a person tries, the more hopelessly confused he’ll become. Those familiar with Satoshi Kon’s other works (particularly ... See full review

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

My-Hime

on Jul 6, 2007

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 one chink in the entire concepts armor: when all was said and done, the animes story called for a ridiculously large amount of characters. Alongside Mai, the primary heroine, the storyline needed droves of supporting characters in order to be fully fleshed out. As a result of this... See full review

6.5/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
2.5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen

on Jul 6, 2007

Story
Note: I hadn’t read a single page out of the original Kenshin manga when I wrote this review. This is probably an important factor to me enjoying the show. Also, this review contains minor spoilers for Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen and the Rurouni Kenshin television series. There has been a lot of talk over whether this anime is “faithful” to the spirit of Kenshin. Admittedly, this show is a very strong departure from the TV series or even Reminiscence. While in the anime’s... See full review

6/10 story
7.5/10 animation
9.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall

Kemonozume

on Jul 6, 2007

Story
Before I begin, DISCLAIMERS. Rather than write them myself, I’m going to quote a couple of reviewers from animenfo. “If you're one of those people who laps up anything thats original just because its different, then this is one for you to watch. But if, like me, you only like originality when the resulting product is actually good, then I'd hesitate to recommend this.” – Kaj, for Mind Game “Do you think later Picasso works are great? Do you think Van Gogh was more than just a nutter who couldnt actually draw? do you like ugly graffiti strewn all... See full review

8.5/10 story
9/10 animation
5/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Ergo Proxy

on Jul 2, 2007

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. Moreover, multitudes of challenging and varied themes are woven into the science-fiction narrative. At arm’s length, Ergo Proxy looks, feels and smells like it could be a defining classic of this decade. Instead, Ergo Proxy is a tragic disappointment, an almost... See full review

3.5/10 story
7/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
3/10 characters
4.5/10 overall

Mind Game

on Jul 2, 2007

Story
A reviewer on AniDB has labeled this as an "identity" anime – namely, a Neon Genesis Evangelion/FLCL/Honey and Clover-styled work where the protagonist discovers himself as the story progresses. There is some truth to this; indeed, by the end of the movie the main character, Nishi, has transformed from a wimpy, whiny and worthless urchin of a human being into a fully developed and oddly admirable man. However, the movie is much more than a mere self-centered... See full review

10/10 story
10/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
10/10 overall