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vivafruit

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

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

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

Angel Beats!

on Apr 7, 2011

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's basic premise. There's an all-girl rockband, a shy warrior angel, and even a dude who hypnotizes people... See full review

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

Azusa Will Help!

on Apr 12, 2007

Story
I seem to seperate myself from most of the anime-watching crowd in that I actually prefer shorter animes. In a TV series, the object is generally to pad the length as much as possible in order to cut costs but maintain viewership. In short OVAs, however, little time is available, and so every minute usually will contribute to the overall experience (as opposed to bloated series like Naruto or Hikaru no Go). Another large perk of short animes is well illustrated by Azusa Will Help!: if... See full review

2.5/10 story
4/10 animation
5.5/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
4/10 overall

Black Lagoon

on Mar 27, 2007

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 mindless action series. It smells like a mindless action series. However, it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a mindless action series. To be sure, Black Lagoon almost certainly has mindless action in... See full review

6.5/10 story
6/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
9/10 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

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

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

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

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

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

Earth Girl Arjuna

on Mar 20, 2005

Story
No matter the format, truly effective persuasive literature has usually attempted to simultaneously accomplish two completely different things. As a general rule, each work will appeal to your base emotions while at the same time submitting composed facts to convince you on a purely intellectual level. To work properly, the author must then combine these seemingly opposing forces into a single cohesive argument. For instance, Jonathan Swifts "A Modest Proposal" appears to be using nothing but impartial facts, but presents them in such a way as to illicit an incredibly strong emotional... See full review

3.5/10 story
7.5/10 animation
9.5/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
5/10 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

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

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

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

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

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

Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play

on Apr 26, 2007

Story
"Soap Opera." For me, this phrase generally illicits only negative responses. If asked what came to my mind upon hearing the term, the result would probably be something along these lines: poorly acted, intellectually devoid, shamelessly manipulative trash aimed at uneducated housewives with far too much time on their hands. While I generally tend to avoid comparing animes to totally unrelated parts of American pop culture (Cowboy Bebop is like Die Hard plus JAZZ!), in many ways Fushigi... See full review

6/10 story
4/10 animation
4/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Futakoi Alternative

on Oct 14, 2009

If there’s one thing I can credit Futakoi Alternative for, it’s for consistently surprising me; the show changes gears so rapidly throughout the 13 episodes that it’s basically impossible to predict what will happen next. Just when you think the show is running along the lines of some GAINAX tripfest, the series will abruptly switch to slice-of-life. The creators will wait a few episodes for you to get used to that, and then swerve violently into the angsty romance genre. Then, just as you think that the show is going to consistently do the opposite of what you’re expecting... See full review

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

Galaxy Angel A

on Oct 14, 2009

Galaxy Angel III is the best sequel ever, doing more with its cast than the show has ever done before... Er… I mean… Galaxy Angel III has truly groundbreaking predecessors, and manages to live up to the undeniably prestigious franchise… Wait… no. Galaxy Angel III may be a small step down from its highly enjoyable… No again… Galaxy Angel III is worse than the better-than-average series before it, but… Let’s try one more time: Galaxy Angel I and II were enjoyable fluff; nothing more, nothing less. While I considered II to be a... See full review

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

Genshiken

on Oct 15, 2009

Genshiken is funny. The End. ... ... ... Seriously, though, this is usually the only thing in comedies that matters. In anime like Dragon Half, Golden Boy or Fumoffu, there really isn't any point other than the sheer quality of the gags. Watching any of those series for anything but laughs is about as productive as using a condom as a water balloon. Sure, you might be able to do it, but you're missing the point entirely. This isn't really the case, however, with Genshiken. Even though the show is a comedy, the creators are sure to also include some fairly interesting insight into true... See full review

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

Ginban Kaleidoscope

on Oct 15, 2009

One of the best feelings in life is when you go into an anime assuming it will be awful and get proven wrong. Ginban Kaleidoscope is one of those shows. I expected a low-budget, predictable, cheesy, and clichéd work. …and that’s actually exactly what I got. But never mind any of that; the series has a sort of indefatigable buoyancy that kept me popping back for more, despite the fact that I fully expected to drop the show after the first few episodes (see: Mai Otome, Tsubasa Chronicle, Mahoraba to name a few from recent memory). In the end, although I don’t think I was... See full review

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

Glass Mask (2005)

on Jan 15, 2011

Here's an interesting hypothetical: how much can a terribad ending ruin an otherwise watchable 51 episode series? I'm not about to waste a five-dollar reviewer word like "captivating" on the narrative, but at the same time I can't say I was bored. There is a somewhat shounen-esque theme of powering up throughout the series, except that in this show, the heroines are powering up their ACTING. Of course the premise is ridiculous, but it works to a surprising degree... up until that ending. At that point, all the build up over the first 45 or so episodes is squandered. The absurd progression of... See full review

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

Gungrave

on Apr 12, 2007

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 build up a metaphorical castle in the sky – an immense, ornate creation with no foundation to support it. In the second half of the anime, we see everything collapsing under its own weight, a house of cards built atop a shaky table. What should we devote our lives to, if nothing... See full review

9.5/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
7.5/10 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

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