Anime in 200 Words: Special A Premise: Hikari and Kei have been rivals in everything for years, from academics to fighting skills, and Hikari always comes in second, earning the nickname “Two-san.” Determined to win, she takes every opportunity to challenge Kei, and over time, Hikari realizes that her feelings toward her rival have changed. Audience: Fans of shoujo and tsundere, girls with a fiery streak through them. ;) Romance: It was cute, and I really enjoyed watching the complications after the conversation Hikari overheard in the bathroom. That realism really caught my attention, and... See full review
Anime is 200 Words: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san Premise: A middle school boy is determined to outsmart the girl who sits next to him in class, because she teases him constantly. As time goes on, they end up spending more time together- I wonder why? Characters: These guys are adorable. I really enjoy the easy, comfortable way they interact with each other, because something about it feels genuine. It’s hard to describe. Plot: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san is full of common moments: walking home from school, tossing cans into the trash, and riding bicycles. It has this laidback, casual feeling of... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Moyashimon Spoiler warning: This is a partial review, and it includes details of the episode that made me drop the show. Premise: A young man is able to see microbes with his bare eyes, which makes him oddly popular at the agricultural university he attends. Animation: The art style of Moyashimon is actually pretty cute. I never expected to see adorable microorganisms dancing, but here we are. Plot: For me, not much stood out about this show one way or another, but it has a slice of life feel and focuses on the status quo of the characters’ daily lives. Violence Against Women... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie Premise: Sakura wins a trip for 4 to Hong Kong and finds strange magic at work there. Audience: Fans of the original show will probably enjoy this, or maybe people looking for something light-hearted. Plot: It’s not a great story by any means. From the beginning, there’s no real sense of danger or tension, because Cardcaptor Sakura is going to win in the end, and everyone will be fine. Of course, I am older than the target audience, and Sakura does stand alone against the antagonist at one point, so the stakes are a bit higher than in an... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Cheating Craft Premise: Teenagers need to pass deadly tests in order to have good lives. The stakes are high enough that an extensive cheating ring has developed, and it looks more like a fighting anime than a school one. Fan Service: There’s a fair amount of near-nudity in this show, which is not my cup of tea. If it weren’t included, I would have rated the show higher. Powers: The powers that cheaters use really feel like they could have come straight from a shounen episode. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of the written portion of the chunin exams in Naruto... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Angelic Layer
Premise: A young girl discovers an amazing game and with the help offered by a crazy stranger, she joins the game herself. Misaki is determined to be the best.
Disclaimer: I read the manga before I watched this. Everything I say here is colored by my prior review.
Training: The deuces perform complicated dance routines with their angels, and I actually like it because it strengthens timing and coordination.
Challenges: There still aren’t any. Misaki is defeated by a... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Trinity Blood
Premise: An impoverished priest gets pulled into a conflict between the Vatican and a nation of vampires. If things don’t change soon, it’ll mean war, but who’s really pulling the strings?
Abel: I like him, despite the huge personality shifts he has. On the surface, it looks too big to be believable, but his serious moments make me think that the loud, awkward personality is a mask. After all, what better disguise could a dangerous man use than that of a fool? No one watches idiots for signs of cunning.
Vampires: I’m not gonna... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Trigun
Premise: There’s a wild gunman on the lose called Vash the Stampede or the Humanoid Typhoon. People say that he’s responsible for destroying whole towns, but he might just be a misunderstood man victimized by greedy people.
Vash: I like him, despite the huge personality shifts he has. On the surface, it looks too big to be believable, but his serious moments make me think that the loud, awkward personality is a mask. After all, what better disguise could a dangerous man use than that of a fool? No one watches idiots... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: The Tower of Druaga: Aegis of Uruk: Jil no Bouken
Premise: It’s an alternate look at the first episode of Aegis of Uruk, and this one’s actually based in reality. ^_^
Characters: It’s Neeba’s party and Jil, but they’re the ACTUAL versions of these people, so Jil really looks like the noob that he is. Likewise, none of Neeba’s party is actually in awe of Jil, so he suffers quite a bit while unconscious. XD
Comedy: I’m not sure how funny this will be for you if you only... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: The Tower of Druaga: Aegis of Uruk
Premise: An evil tower looms over the land and spews monsters down onto the town below. Brave warriors known as climbers must fight to the very top to defeat Druaga and save their world.
Powers: I love the “class system” feel that this has because it was based on a video game; it makes a really good party dynamic.Plus, I LOVE lightning golf. It’s just funny.
Comedy: The humor in Aegis of Uruk is a mix of zany and slapstick. It’s usually at someone’s expense, but the episode full... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Tokyo Mew Mew
Premise: Five teenage girls have their DNA mixed with that of endangered species and gain their powers. Together, the girls fight to protect humanity, love, and mew aqua from a group of aliens who ruined their own world.
Disclaimer: I watched Mew Mew Power. The 4Kids dub is different enough from the original that I should tell you which I’m reviewing. Keep that in mind.
Magical Girl: I like these powers: they’re cute, and fun, even if the weapons don’t make much sense with the... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
Premise: A war is being fought by detectives and thieves, both with devastating powers called toys at their command. A team of young detectives named Milky Holmes lose control of their toys and are threatened with expulsion.
Lolita: See, THIS is what gave me the unsettling feeling about this show: every single one of them looks like a minor, but some of the scenarios that occur... I’m not a lolita fan, so I see abuse. Not comedy. Enough said.
Artwork: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Squid Girl
Premise: Squid Girl washes up onto the beach with plans to conquer the surface world and make them pay for the serious crime of polluting the seas... and then she gets suckered into working at a beach restaurant and everything goes awry.
Environment: There’s an environmental message here, but it’s not obnoxious. People have been throwing garbage into her home, and she’s angry about it! At least the studio realized that you need more than that to keep people from tuning out.
... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Shugo Chara!
Premise: Amu is a young girl who has trouble expressing herself and is widely admired for her stoic and aloof demeanor. Inside her heart, however, live several dream selves, and when they physically manifest, the adventure begins!
Guardian Characters: These floating chibis are possible selves, and they embody their owner’s desired traits. It’s odd that Amu has four.
Character Change: Several characters can chara change, which causes an accessory to appear and grants them their guardian... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Princess Mononoke
Premise: A young prince is cursed by a demon when he kills it to defend his village. He must set out into the world alone in order to find a cure for his suffering, but he’ll end up finding a war between mankind and nature.
Format: I’m reviewing both of these at once, so comparison is impossible to avoid. I really prefer the anime for two reasons: sound and perspective on the forest spirit. It’s much easier to connect with this version, but it was the original, so that’s to be expected.
... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: The Place Promised in Our Early Days
Premise: A trio of teenagers find a broken plane and spend their free time rebuilding it. One of them falls into a coma, one of them risks everything for love, and the other gets left behind by the drama of the other two.
Madness: This is kind of a touchy area. Hiroki hears Sayuki’s voice while she’s comatose, and then takes a HUGE risk in the end of the film in order to get her back. Personally, I’d have called him crazy and handled things myself, but what do I know?
The War: I do like this concept: it’s... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Ouran High School Host Club
Premise: A common girl gets into a prestigious school on a scholarship but quickly becomes indebted to a host club. Haruhi begins as the club’s dog but ends up as a full-fledged host in order to pay off her debt.
Characters: I can’t help it; I love these guys. I know they’re stereotypes, but so do THEY, and the knowledge that they’re all being manipulative underneath the perfect exteriors makes me happy.
Gender Roles: Ouran High School Host Club has a lot of... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri
Premise: Three little girls receive magical pets and powers, because they are the legendary little princesses of fairy land. Their task is to make people happy so they can suck the happiness right out of them and use it to recharge the magical world.
Disclaimer: The irony presented in the premise was added by me; they aren’t devious in any manner. *sigh*
Magical Girl: The girls transform into idols and SING! at their enemies. They get new clothes and are loved by the masses, and everything is wonderful... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Gilgamesh
Premise: An international scientific research facility is created, and one of the projects that they develop is used to transform the sky into a mirror. Now, a few years later, two children get dragged into the war between espers and warriors called Gilgamesh.
Psychological Twists: It’s really hard to tell who the “good guys” and the “bad guys” are in Gilgamesh. You would think that it’s obvious, if you only look at character designs, but eventually, things get pretty blurred. Is the Countess trying to help people or just... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Elfen Lied
Premise: A teenage girl with a severe mental schism is found by a couple of normal teenagers, and they take her in and try to help her. The problem is that while one personality (Nyu) is safe to be around, the other (Lucy) is not, and the good Samaritans get pulled into a hidden war.
Nudity: I first watched Elfen Lied with a friend who ardently defended the plot and berated her by shouting “porn!” every time that Nyu/Lucy was naked. After a while, though, realized that most of it IS story-related, so it doesn’t bother me any more. Just be ready... See full review
Anime in 250 Words: Dragon Ball
Why 250? Long series… more to say.
Premise: A young boy with uncanny strength, speed, and martial arts abilities teams up with a bunch of people to fight bad guys, grow into stronger fighters, and find the dragon balls. The show alternates between finding the dragon balls and the world martial arts tournament.
Characters: Goku is my favorite, because he’s just an irrepressibly good guy. Chiaotzu gets annoying, and I HATE Chi Chi, but other than that, we’re all good.
Art: It bugs me that it’s impossible to guess the ages of... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Claymore
Premise: The world is full of dangerous monsters called yoma, but a group of female warriors called Claymores are fighting to exterminate all of them. Clare, a young warrior with a very low ranking, meets a boy named Raki and they travel the world together.
Powers: I like the source of the claymore abilities in this show. I absolutely adore consequences and responsibility with powers, because in real life, if you used your powers recklessly, there WOULD be consequences.
Secrecy: It’s a big part of the show, and I really enjoy the tension... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Burst Angel
Premise: A teenage boy gets saved by (and ends up working for) a group of girls with amazing combat abilities. The girls are actually mercenaries, and the strongest, Jo, is nearly unstoppable both in and out of battle. Things escalate like crazy towards the end, since Jo just can’t sit by when there’s a fight at hand.
Audience: Teenage boys. Definitely. Costume designs and body shapes prove this one.
Strength: Burst Angel is exciting and moving enough that even someone outside the target audience (like me) can be swept away by the action... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Bakugan Battle Brawlers
Premise: A group of kids find a bunch of cards that fall from the sky and do what any group of kids would do: make a card game! They meet and team up with talking bakugan and realize that the battles are actually real, and thus does a children’s card game come to control the fate of two worlds.
Suspension of Disbelief: The odds that the game that the kids made would ACTUALLY be the same system that the bakugan use to fight each other are obviously low. There are, of course, countless other implausibilities, but come on- it’s a high... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Animation Runner Kuromi
Premise: A young woman lands her dream job in animation and ends up in charge of everything on her first day. The next episode is almost due, but it’s barely even started. Kuromi must learn the ropes and the quirks of her staff if she’s going to meet the deadline.
Mood: There’s a good share of zany antics in this show, but it has serious moments too. Kuromi is insane at work, but insecure at home. I like the balance.
Animation Process: After watching Animation Runner Kuromi, I actually watched several of the special features... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Akira
Disclaimer: I know that this is one of the classics, a veritable must-see. I just didn’t like it. Most people do, so take this review for what it’s worth. Premise: A bunch of teenagers ride around on their motorcycles and two of them get ridiculously strong powers which they use to fight a huge battle over right and wrong, kind of. (I know that this is vague, but it’s been a while.) Art: This is petty, I know it is, but the test subject kids are absolutely hideous. I can’t stand it, and it really did end up distracting me from the rest of the movie... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Dragon Ball Movie 3: Mystical Adventure Premise: This movie is a reinterpretation of the second World Martial Arts Tournament and the repeating quest for the dragon balls, but unlike the other three Dragon Ball movies, it’s successful! Required Watching: I suggest you watch through the second martial arts tournament, because knowing who Chiaotzu and Tien Shinhan really are is nice when viewing this movie. Canon Issues: Chiaotzu isn’t royal and he never held a tournament. Beyond that, the World Martial Arts Tournament was never related to the dragon balls; they... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Dragon Ball Movie 2: Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle Premise: This movie’s a combination of the plot from an early Dragon Ball arc and a little bit of original content. The mixture reminds me of a Naruto OVA. Required Watching: If you watched the episodes from Krillin’s introduction to Launch’s arrival at Roshi’s island would give you the plot that is being ruined in the movie, but then again, it might be best NOT to watch Dragon Ball first. Comparison to Movie 1: The same technique is used in both of these films: take a previously created... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Dragon Ball Movie 4: The Path to Power Premise: This movie is a combination of the plot from the first few episodes of Dragon Ball and a little bit of original content. It’s awkward. Important Note: The 4th Dragon Ball movie is basically the 1st movie again, but with re-colored characters. Canon Issues: The original introduction of Goku, Bulma, Yamcha, Puar, Oolong, etc. was apparently not exciting, so they redid it. (Again.) Filler Content: The plot elements that were added were mildly entertaining, but I enjoyed the original series better. Comparison to Movie 1... See full review
Anime in 200 Words: Galaxy Angel Premise: There’s a squad of skilled young women assigned to search for the Lost Technology. Unfortunately, no one knows where it was lost or even what it was, so they end up traveling all over doing odd jobs for people instead. Humor: Galaxy Angel relies upon a mix of the unexpected and the ridiculous to cause laughter. You never know where the girls are going to be or what they’ll end up doing in the next episode, so there’s plenty of random humor. Characters: All the girls are different, each with a very obvious strength. The perks, in my... See full review