If you like mutations, bio armor, and epic fights then this one is a good watch for all of that. Story starts out a little slow then picks up mid way and then drops ya with a there should be more coming, but since this was done in 2005 and I havent seen any ones after, they may not be making another any time soon. Animation wise on this one is pretty good, nice details in the mutations and what not, loving the expressions on everyone's face when it gets to the "What the?!?" part of the battles. =-) Character development was pretty good as well, got good backgrounds on the main players and the situations going on and leading up to the end. All in all I would recommend this one to at least watch once all the way through, who knows you may like it more to watch it through again.
I just finished watching all the episodes, and I must say that it far surpassed my expectations. I saw the old movies that were live action when I was a child, and when I found this anime, I had to check it out. This anime is definitely meant for an older audience(16/17+) because of the violence, swearing, and gore found in this anime.
The storyline was not lacking, everything played into something more. The characters stayed true to their actions. Meaning there were no characters changing their personality to fit the story. There is something for everyone, from blood and gore, to action, drama, suspense, mystery, and a small play on romance.
One of the bigest issues I have normally is when the characters dont have any substance to them, and when the plot seems like it is forced. When watching this series, the plot flows very well, and the characters are very well rounded, thought out, and have distict personality traits about them.
While this is a sci-fi anime, it is definitely one I would recomend, even for those who are not normally interested. Yes, the animation is not something you would see in a major motion picture, but it has much detail to it, and the quality is every good. There is a distict style of animation for this series as apposed to copying from another. While it is anime, it is unique in its own way and makes for great entertainment. You will find yourself drawn into the characters and the story in no time. The 26 episodes seem to just fly by.
As teenage student Sho gets infested by a mysterious alien artifact that has the ability to bring forth an immensly powerful suit of armor for him to wear, he must fight for his friends and family against a ruthless secret organization hellbent on retrieving the armor to use it for their own twisted schemes. Is this show just a bland action-series or does it have that extra spice to make it special?
This 2005 version of Guyver is actually a re-boot of the 1989 series of the same name, which is in turn based on the manga of the same name. The old show was of typical underground 80's fare, filled to the brim with excessive violence and a dark, brooding style. This new version claims in its advertising to be "the new face of ultra-violence", which is a bit misleading in my opinion, seeing as this version, in fact, doesn't even come close to the original in terms of blood and gore. So if you were ticked off by the tagline and expecting only blood and guts with no plot, please let me inform you that this is not the case. This new show is focused much more on the drama and the characters than any previous installment.
The story goes a little something like this: Sho Fukamachi, and ordinary teenage kid who lives with his dad happens to stumble upon a piece of alien technology called the "Guyver" which can bestow its owner with a mighty suit of armor riddled with freaky weapons and powers. He soon finds out that there are others who want to gain control of the suit and so he and his friend Tetsuro are swept into a sea of plots and conspiracies, trying to stay alive while also working to figure out the secret of a mysterious organization that goes by the name of Cronos and its connection with the terryfing monsters that are trying to chase them down. It's nothing terribly original from the off-set, but it quickly involves you in many interesting story-threads that will keep you hooked until the very end. The main characters are memorable, the villains are excellent and many unexpected twists and turns will ensue before the show has run its course. It's great stuff for any SciFi-buff to be sure, but what I like the most about is probably that it dares to take some unconventional turns with the story and doesn't just stick to the old, tired clichés. It may look like just another alien actionfest to begin with, but trust me when I say its much more than that.
While the animation isn't amazing, its certainly above avarage. The colors are very clear and the backgrounds have a sketchy, watercolour feel to them which some people might see as a problem but which I personally enjoy. What really steals the show however, are the outrageous designs of the monsters and suits. They look like some kind of Kaiju-pokemon-robot hybrids and are an absolute delight to watch. The inner kid inside you will scream with joy as these things battle it out on the screen, and that's a fact. The music is very nice and has all the different tones for a great soundtrack. The more somber themes are probably the better ones, with one particular theme you hear when Sho's around the house with his father being my favourite. All in all, a solid production to be sure.
The main gripe I have with this show is that it, like so many others shows, only covers part of the manga which it's based on, leaving us with an ending that feels extremely rushed and not at all what you'd expect after sitting through the whole thing. Other than that, it's a solid and enjoyable series that any fan of SciFi and action should take a look at. It's a bio-boosting banzai!
ANIME MINOR JEWELS SERIES
Full list of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
There have been several versions of the same story in several different media. We have the manga version, the anime movie version, the live action movie version, the OVA version and recently the anime series version. But I will stick to the anime adaptations and make a simple review about all of them. The symbols in the scoring mean the following: M = Movie, O = Ova, S = Seires, A = Average.
I would like to begin with mentioning that the whole concept is hardly original, even for the time it came out. I always thought of it as the middle ground between the vastly superior Kamen Rider franchise and the sillier Super Sentai (aka the Power Rangers). And in a way it is also what in effect ruins it in the longrun. It is too childish for those who like high amounts of gore and too violent for little kids who like transforming masked heroes. Meaning, it takes the middle ground and ends up feeling less thrilling than the other two.
But heck, let’s just stick to what we have…
ART & SOUND SECTION: M:5/10, O: 8/10, S: 7/10, A: 7/10
The atmosphere of all three adaptations is dark and kinda scary, filled with abominations and other monstrous looking creatures and labs full of inhuman experiments. The level of violence and gore is also rather high. The movie version seems to have the worst quality for its lack of airtime that results to a rushed line of small action scenes. The OVA version fixes that with a lot more duration which results to longer and more interesting action scenes. The series on the other hand, although it appears to have a far better quality in terms of smooth animation and improved coloring, lacks the passion of the hand-drawn cells of the 80’s. It looks more plastic and less scary and for its time even looks rather low budget. The OVA has by far the best use of what its era allowed and that shows easily.
The music themes go unnoticed in the movie version but are amazing hard-rock pieces in the OVA version. And that counts for both the Japanese and English openings which are completely different. The series version simply has… nice music but hardly as passionate or memorable.
Character figures and voice acting are ok but nothing that will stick to you. Everything outside of battles looks like generic people and average towns, so you will only care about the Guyver suits while fighting. There are lots of “posing before I attack” scenes, “chop hands and heads” finishing moves and “train to use bigger guns” parts that may appear to be ridiculous to a more mature audience but quite cool for the younger ones. Plus the level of violence is still rather subverted if you think most of what gets shreded to pieces is some ugly monster and not average people.
STORY & CHARACTER SECTION: M:3/10, O: 6/10, S: 7/10, A: 5/10
The story is quite typical. Evil organization creates bioorganic suits, dorky teenager gets accidentally fused with one and is forced to fight them. Add a predictable “lure the hero by kidnapping his girlfriend” routine, the usual “train to get stronger and protect my friends” and “a villain who changes sides every 3 episodes” and you know how it goes from there.
Each newer version is actually adding more plot and context than the older one, thus the movie is by far the simpliest that stops when the first base is destroyed, the OVA version continues up to the destruction of the second one, and the series up to the point the world is now at the hands of the villains. Still, even so the story remains incomplete in all versions.
There are character developments and some plot twists, concerning the origin of humanity and personal dramas but are presented in a childish and exaggerated way that will also appear to be ridiculous to a more mature audience. Although not original, the cast of characters has a great variety that colorises the general feeling of the series. Too-goody high-schoolers that are thrust into the insanity of war, megalomaniac villains that plan to become gods, not-completely-evil monstrous henchmen and mysterious anti-heroes run all over the place.
VALUE & ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10
It is a fine action/gore series but it does have many superficial elements that clearly make it good only for blood-boiling male teenagers. It is as I said too violent for kids and too silly for adults, plus there are always more famous alternative franchises to choose from.
VERDICT: M:4/10, O: 6/10, S: 6/10, A: 5/10
It could be far better…
Kamen Rider. The forefather of Japanese masked superheroes.
Tekkaman Blade. A much more sci-fi and cool masked superhero.
Soul Taker. The best dementia/action series with a masked anti-hero I know of.
If you're strongly familiar with Kamen Rider when watching this anime, you'll notice a lot of similarities with the plot elements. And it is not coincidence because the original manga-ka, Yoshiki Takaya, was influenced by Kamen Rider. But despite that, a lot of traits in Guyver are still distinctively unique, original, and engaging.
The beginning of this anime will be repetitive in some aspects, but I feel it is for the right reasons. At times, Cronos will try to kidnap Tetsuro and Mizuki to lure out Sho in almost the first 12 or so episodes, but like I said, the reasons are legitimate since it's the only way they can lure out Sho and eventually, they'll resort to other methods and the series itself develops to go beyond that aspect. I think the show was being realistic in that kind of way and I feel it does a great job of conveying that which is why I can forgive it being repetitive in that light.
What I love most about this installment of Guyver is how it uses a majority of their characters and how they develop individually, as well as their relationships with one another. It really surprises me how Mizuki develops and is used in this series. I say any average anime watcher will wonder how a character like her can be utilized, and I love how the anime really explores that and makes the story progress all at the same time.
As for where the anime ends, I heard it only covers roughly half of what the manga offers. It has an ending that does feel conclusive, but there is still a mountain of material and aspects left to explore, develop, and resolve. I know Chris Patton (who plays Sho) has expressed in the DVD commentary as well as the dub director that they want to do more Guyver. I hope in due time they make more Guyver anime.
Moving on, if you've seen the original OAV or read the manga, a majority of the character designs still have the same feel, but with new techniques have an upgrade that apply to faces, clothing, and hairstyles which makes them look more appropriate to their ages while I felt some of the character designs in the oav looked a little too mature and old, especially Tetsuro and Agito. Sho this time looks a lot like Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing as opposed to his more feminine design in the oav (I'm to assume that his design in the oav is more faithful to the manga's). Sho looks a little more generic with his design but he still comes across as unassuming with his slim build. I also like Murakami's design in this TV series. I felt his new fashion for the TV series is also appropriate for this day and age as he looked more like a Miami Vice character in the OAV, and I feel that design would be a little silly today, especially his aviator sunglasses in the oav (despite my love for old school.....and Miami Vice).
The coloring and detail to the Guyver suits still look appropriately organic, but the movement also makes it look more flexible and less stiff from the original OAV. The action is pretty violent on Berserk levels and its constant and exciting. My biggest problem is some of the background drawings, especially in the forest during the daytime. The detail and coloring look more like a children's coloring book. It really does stick out like a sore thumb. But the city designs on the other hand are very breath taking and the other character designs as the series goes on are pretty shiny and nifty.
I would like to open up this part of the review by saying I really enjoy the dub. It's of course not in the league of Cowboy Bebop's or Gundam 08th MS Team's, but it's a great dub and far superior to the old OAV dub which really sucked. I thought the actors did a very excellent job of portraying teenagers and yet still being true to the situation that lies around them. Despite how I feel that the seiyuu cast in this one doesn't hold up to the talent of the oav's cast, I felt it still does a great job and I feel the English equals it. So despite not having an all star cast in Japanese, I think the English and Japanese voice acting are still top notch.
The background music is also excellently orchestrated. It really creates this organic feel and it really comes across as sci-fi along with horror elements. I thought the OAV had more catchy music and I personally like it more, but as contradictory as it sounds, I think the music in this series captures the atmosphere of Guyver more appropriately.
All I can say is if you want a well-paced story with an excellently utilized cast of characters along with wicked action, then this is the anime for you. As for a new installment, I hope to count on it.