Lady Ran is a self-described 'beautiful drifter': a samurai who travels Japan on a whim, always searching for good sake. Together with her good-hearted but somewhat dense sidekick Meow (master of the Iron Cat Fist style), they stumble into situations where they (usually unwillingly) confront bandits, corrupt officials and deceitful cults. But there's one enemy they can never defeat with their amazing sword and martial arts skills: their perpetual poverty!
Story: Before I start out, I should say that I usually enjoy episodic animes, like Mushishi and GitS:SAC. This anime, however, seemed to be simply doing the same plot over, and over, and over... with minor tweaks here and there. Here is the main formula for this story: Ran finds sake, Ran can't afford the sake she has consumed, Ran gets Meow to pay for her sake, Meow gets hooked into trouble, Ran saves everyone, Ran goes in search of more sake, the end. The fight scenes are not spectacular, excepting in rare occassions where Ran's opponent isn't stupid and/or the humorous "Iron Cat Fist" stylings of Meow. Also, I recommend not starting a drinking game where a swig is taken every time someone says sake; liver poisoning may result. Animation: I do not except spectacular CGI effects from early 2000 work, but I do expect some fluidity in the movement and at least minor detail on the background. This anime gave the bare minimum of both. Unless something was important to the plot (say a sign or something), I think the artists used the same design in every town. They were also fairly lazy with the side characters, as any woman not important to plot was drawn exactly the same, with different colors. The same could be said for the men. Sound: The sound effects desperately try to put you in the Edo period. The opening song is a piece done in a traditional style, and unless you read the lyrics, you'd never know it was a ballad to sake. The inner music is fairly repetitive, but it helps move the story along when the plot gets dull. And I rather liked the ending theme. Characters: Ran and Meow are the only constants. The rest of the cast fades in and out without leaving much behind. Only a few got actual designs (rather than the body-doubles used for all the other side-characters). Even with episodic anime, the main characters are given some amount of backstory. That really doesn't happen in this anime. Yes, both heroines get a backstory episode, but these episodes raise more questions than they answer. Overall: I would suggest this anime to someone that isn't looking for a whole lot of depth in their anime. There are some inspired moments, but overall, it's just a pair of drinking buddies taking on the underbelly of Edo Japan.
Tsukikage Ran is a animé that I had almost forgot about even though I really liked it. It's easygoing, appealing and generally just fun to watch. I'll try my very best to find something to whine about but the only thing that's "bad" about it is that it's not perfect, if that makes sense.Story:Carried By the Wind is about Tsukikage Ran and her friend Meow traveling over japan, each episode is selfcontained and has the main characters pitted against some criminal or similar. While never complex in the slightest it also never tries to be. Its tone is very light and there is a warmth to it not often found outside of Ghibli or CLAMP productions.The only recurring theme would be poverty, Ran never has any money whatsoever and often she has to find minor jobs or simply has Meow pay for her tabs. It's also humorous of course and uses basic but wellwritten comedy to keep things interesting. Everything about the show might be described as a little silly while never going too far with it.If I have to say something less nice about it I guess the stories sometimes are a little bit too simple. The way they're told still makes them work for me but I can see how it could be offputting for some.Animation:That the show is supposedly from 2000 kinda shocked me, it looks more dated than that. Apparently the whole thing is inspired by old samurai series from the sixties and seventies so the dated look is most likely intentional.The show is by no means ugly though. The animations are fluid (especially in the fights) and it's all crisp and clear. It just has a nostalgic (or dated one might say) feeling to it of sorts thanks to the retro-inspired looks. It looks like animes used to do before everything was pumped full with CGI. It's a acquired taste if anything.Sound:Not bad in any way but not remarkable either. I wish there was more I could say but that really is all there is too it. And as usual I don't care about the ending or opening and I can't remember a single tune from the show but I very rarely can.Characters:Without a doubt the best part of the show is seeing Ran and Meow interacting. They're both full of personality and charm and it shows most of the work was put into these two. They're also the only recurring characters so others never have any time to develop. While not any awful ones there aren't any particulary impressive ones either. But seeing as how loveable the both main characters are I'll be giving the show a high score nonethless. It's my review after all!Overall:As I've stated before the show is simply endearing and fun to watch. It never tries to be anything more than entertaining and does what it wants to well. The only way I could see anyone dislike this show is if you hate slice of life because it never really does anything more than putting the characters in mildly dramatic situations or just lets them walk along a road and talk about stuff, often about how little money they have left. I know I've said it before but it really is a fun little show, full of love and charm.But I guess that's also its downfall, it ultimately serves no purpose. There's nothing unique or special about it and you probably have seen things like it before. But if you liked those things you'll like Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran too no doubt.
A very relaxed, peaceful anime, nothing really too serious, or anything that indicates some sort of plot, but it never attempts to make one. It's basically a show about a wandering samurai women of unknown origin, and a wandering female martial artist whom she befriends (mainly cause she can pay for her booze) and the adventures they have together. Each episode is really stand alone, and doesn't include any real explanation of anything about the two. So if your looking for a deep background story for our vagrant duo, don't hold your breath. Normally I wouldn't even watch something like this for more than two episodes, but somehow I really enjoyed watching this. Not even close to a 10/10 but for a short anime that really isn't about anything it was surprisingly well done. A bit dated perhaps, and no story at all, but really quite a nice watch on a sleepy afternoon.
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