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vivafruit

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

Kino's Journey

on Mar 30, 2007

Story
For Kino's Journey, a much more succinct praise than anything I can come up with can be found, quite simply, in AnimeNfo’s average score. The series is, in essence, a thinker’s anime. There is no real overarching plot, no fanservice, and very little action throughout the show… and yet, Kino no Tabi nonetheless carries a score of 9.0. That Kino no Tabi can simultaneously have intelligence and broad appeal speaks for how amazing it truly is. In short, this 13 episode series is a brilliant philosophical journey. The plot is... See full review

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

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

on Jun 27, 2011

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 episode wankoffs that a person can reasonably enjoy before they become completely jaded. Have you read my sappy, cloying review of One Piece? I actually hate that show now. Given this, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is something of a miracle. Unlike 99% of shounen anime (including the original Fullmetal... See full review

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 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

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

Pale Cocoon

on Jun 1, 2007

Story
Most people will find it hard not to compare this 20 minute OVA to Voices of a Distant Star; indeed, in many ways Pale Cocoon is the spiritual successor to the landmark 2002 anime. Each of them has absolutely stunning CGI and an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Even more significantly, both use science fiction motifs to tell extremely melancholic tales that leave me dazed and breathless every time I watch them. Up to now, I had always believed that Voices was a one time good deal – a unique and... See full review

10/10 story
9.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall

Mushishi

on Apr 3, 2007

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, Mushishi is completely different from anything else that I've seen, anime or otherwise. Everything about the show, from its leisurely pace to its beautiful animation, seems to be on a separate wavelength from just about anything else out there. The closest comparison I've... See full review

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

Whisper of the Heart

on Oct 19, 2009

For a good while now, in every review, I have always tried to explain exactly why I liked or disliked an anime. As time has shown, this is one of the more maddening principles that I have taken up. Occassionally, a case comes up in which I am at a complete loss to understand what factors influenced my opinion. Whisper of the Heart is such an anime. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind about whether this movie is good. On the contrary, I am absolutely certain that WotH is a classic, and needs to be seen by everyone. What does perplex me, however, is exactly what makes this anime so incredibly... See full review

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

Full Moon wo Sagashite

on Oct 14, 2009

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 animes to have instigated this phenomenon; after I finished watching it, all I could do was gape at my empty computer screen. What started out as merely a guilty pleasure soon became something I genuinely cared about. After about episode 10, I loved everything about the anime, from the girly character... See full review

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
8.5/10 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

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

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

Welcome to the NHK!

on Apr 29, 2007

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 inexplicably falling for an insultingly spineless Keitarou-clone loser. However, this GONZO work is not, by any stretch of the imagination, your average nerd-meets-girl. On the contrary, Welcome to the NHK! is a remarkably strange series – one that happens to be among the... See full review

8/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall

Koi Kaze

on Apr 26, 2007

Story
Sexual taboos are a funny thing, aren’t they? To be honest, the incest seen in Please Twins and Angel Sanctuary never really fazed me. My brain was able to recognize these unhealthy relationships for what they were – a gimmick used to make the audience pay more attention. Although from a moralistic standpoint what the characters were doing was definitely pretty skanky, in the end I didn’t really worry all that much; it was all in good fun, after all. Only when Koi... See full review

9/10 story
5.5/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall

Haibane Renmei

on Apr 13, 2007

Story
One of my pet peeves is when people imply that a work is good solely because it's allegorical. Pompous assholes will come up with something like, "If you didnt like Haibane Renmei, it must be because you didnt catch all the symbolism!" and then end their argument right there, as if people can be entertained with empty metaphors alone. This is obviously absurd. Ok, you say. If you’re so smart and symbolism isn’t what makes Haibane Renmei so freaking awesome, what is? …good question. I’ll get to that later. The... See full review

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

Monster

on Mar 30, 2007

Story
I’ve written about this several times now, but for the sake of completeness, allow me to complain once more on the general quality of lengthy series. The simple fact that long series tend to be filler-ridden, asinine and childish wastes of time is not a difficult one to realize. When it comes right down to it, a profitable 50+ episode series needs a big audience and a small budget, and thus most of these shows tend to appeal to the largest demographic (boys) while at the same time keeping the content per episode to a minimum. As evidence, I point towards the cancellation of ... See full review

9.5/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall

The Place Promised In Our Early Days

on May 10, 2005

Story
This is the area that seems to be drawing the most contention. Some laud this movie’s story as touching and elegant, while others vilify it as convoluted, leaden and incomplete. However, although the criticisms are definitely understandable, the story is praiseworthy in spite of them (honestly, were you expecting me to say anything else?). The first thing to emphasize is that, regardless of what the plot summary may sound like, this is not and should not be regarded as true science fiction. While there are definitely sci-fi elements in the show, the approach that the director takes uses... See full review

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

Planetes

on Oct 19, 2009

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 different. With Last Exile, we are plunged into a chaotic world of war, intrigue, and power games. The first few episodes are incredibly bewildering (albeit in a good way), and we feel totally enveloped in the fantastically imaginative world that the anime is taking place in. Planetes, on the other hand, seems to almost... See full review

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

Cat Soup

on Oct 19, 2009

I think of all the animes that have been made in Japan's history, Cat Soup is one of the hardest to review. What the hell can one say about something so incredibly bizarre? With mainstream anime, it's generally possible to talk about things like "plot," "characters," or "moral message." Cat Soup flies in the face of such unnecessary baggage. The anime has no recognizable story, the characters have no names and almost no dialogue, and the OVA as a whole doesn't even begin to make any sort of sense. Even with the similarly constructed Angel's Egg, one has an ample... See full review

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

The Twelve Kingdoms

on Oct 15, 2009

What particular qualities make a human being worthy of power? What particular qualities make a human being worthy of life? Can a person who is morally righteous and good be at the same time incompetent in leadership? One of the many strengths of Juuni Kokuki is how it spends much of its time answering these questions. Throughout the show, these questions are not only addressed, but are tackled with exuberance. The end result is a philosophical commentary that is unexpectedly perceptive and interesting in its analysis. Another major point in Juuni Kokuki's favor lies in its absolutely... See full review

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

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

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

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

Gunslinger Girl

on Apr 18, 2007

Story
The basic premise: dehabilitated, parentless girls are healed, brainwashed and then forced to work as cyborg assassins for a government institution. In my mind, there would have been a far easier way to make this anime. With almost no mental effort whatsoever, one could very easily use its pretext as a jumping board for a lighthearted, mindless action anime. The plot could have been the kind of meaningless, unimaginative action fluff found in animes like Naruto, Noir or Scryed. If one made the... See full review

7/10 story
7.5/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
8/10 overall

My Beautiful Girl Mari

on Mar 30, 2007

Story
There is a kind of universal appeal to the storyline, which is part slice-of-life and part sheer undiluted fantasy. The two seemingly contradictory elements combine into a heartwarming tale about mismatched romance, dreamy nostalgia, and poignant farewells. For those who have seen Only Yesterday, there are definite similarities between the two plots, and I’m almost certain that those who liked one will like the other. Like Only Yesterday, My Beautiful Girl Mari’s main fault in its narrative... See full review

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

Texhnolyze

on Nov 29, 2004

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 anime will leap off of the foundation that it has so painstakingly created and go in a totally unexpected direction, resulting in an ultimately satisfying experience. Unfortunately, this approach is inevitably what turns people off... See full review

9.5/10 story
9.5/10 animation
8/10 sound
5/10 characters
8/10 overall

Kimi ni Todoke

on Jun 5, 2010

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 characters do nothing but talk about their feelings. Sometimes, all I want are too-perfect boys that sparkle when they smile. Sometimes, all I want is a story about a girl that overcomes hardship with the power of FRIENDSHIP. Sometimes, all I want is a goddamn shoujo. Kimi ni Todoke will scratch that itch, if you let... See full review

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

They Were Eleven

on Oct 15, 2009

They Were Eleven is a prime example of what awesome old-school anime should be: a work that overcomes its dated animation and sound through the sheer awesomeness of its over-arching story. Many "classics" of yesteryear have become obsolete due to their reliance on animation that has long since become absolutely awful. They Were Eleven avoids this pitfall neatly; although the animation is by no means sloppy, the clear focus is on the story, where all their efforts go towards providing extremely taut suspense. For the most part, they succeed. Like Black Jack (another anime that not... See full review

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

Dead Leaves

on Oct 14, 2009

Overall 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 the abstract. Instead, it’s obligatory to start with why I think most people will hate this. In short, this is an anime that flips the audience the middle finger. The creators make a conscious decision that story, characters, or any real meaning whatsoever are completely unimportant. What's more, the humor is beyond tasteless, the character designs are far from appealing, and the show feels almost like a visual assault in... See full review

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