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Someday's Dreamers

Arcanum's avatar
Jul 23, 2007

Story
Have you wondered how magnificent it would be to have magical powers?If so, then Someday's Dreamers is the anime for you. It is a mellowed slice-of-life exploration of what the modern world might be like if mages lived side-by-side normal humans. The viewer follows the adventures of Kikuchi Yume, a seventeen-year-old mage who spends her summer holiday training to become a licensed magic-user while learning that magic has it limitations too. The plot and premise are totally uncomplicated, but this is one story that reaches its potential. The anime sets out to tell a simple story with no... See full review

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

REC

Sheex's avatar
Jul 20, 2007

Story
Probably one of the more mature romances out there, Rec largely seems to have been swept under the rug.  I stumbled upon it entirely by accident while looking for something else, and the only reason I decided to give it a whirl was its span of nine thirteen minute episodes (there is a tenth, but it's a "bonus" episode...I never watched it.)  To my pleasant surprise, I fell in love with the series within minutes, and couldn't help but smile all the way through.Rec, in compacted terms, is a romance between two recent college graduates who are just beginning their lives... See full review

7/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
8/10 overall

Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage

Sheex's avatar
Jul 18, 2007

Story
The Second Barrage picks up right where Black Lagoon leaves off, carrying on the same sense of atmosphere and style.  Instead of four separate mini-arcs, however, there are three, each with a unique focus: the first on the macabre, the second on humor, the third on character depth.  While not quite on the level as the first season, if you loved Black Lagoon you definitely ought to turn your head in this direction.Because the story portions of The Second Barrage really aren't too incredible in and of themselves, I won't spend too much time trying to make them more complex than... See full review

8/10 story
9.5/10 animation
6/10 sound
9/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Cowboy Bebop

kamenoko's avatar
Jul 17, 2007

Story
Many times have I visited Cowboy Bebop, and every time we've parted company I leave with a sense of how great a conversationalist Cowboy Bebop truly is. How it tells beautiful stories with nothing but ink, paint, computers, and sound. How it seems to transcend it's own media and become something unto itself. Nothing to be worshiped or canonized, but to be viewed with a measure of respect, and perhaps awe, that such a thing ever took place at all.Cowboy Bebop, that's the story. There are cowboys and there is bebop, set against the backdrop of the future and space. The series concerns... See full review

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

Baldr Force EXE

Sheex's avatar
Jul 15, 2007

Story
Though the idea of futuristic cyber worlds has been recycled time and time again, depending on the quality of the production it can be either fascinating or boring; Baldr Force, fortunately, is of the former category.  Yet, to my dismay, it had one giant hurdle that it had to overcome: time constraint.  It certainly made a valiant attempt at doing so, presenting both a complex and unique world occupied by interesting and depth-driven characters, but ultimately fell short.The basic premise of the OVA is that mankind has advanced technology to allow a person to project himself or... See full review

6/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
6/10 characters
7/10 overall

Trigun

Sheex's avatar
Jul 14, 2007

Story
Truly one of the classics around the anime world. Though, due to its age, its visual appeal leaves much to be desired, Trigun should hardly be judged at face-value. The experience is genuinely human -- while pretty much any consistent anime viewer knows there will be pacifists in any given series, Trigun balances this perfectly. With pure-hearted, idealistic, visionary heroes versus macabre, sinister, yet intelligent villains, many differing outlooks on life are explored. It is this fact that causes Trigun to exist on a tier of its own, and has earned its place in many circles as a work of pure... See full review

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

Yukikaze

Sheex's avatar
Jul 14, 2007

Story
What has Yukikaze got, you might ask? Three things: Badass CGI, sweet dogfights, and a hell of a lot of explosions.  Eye candy is certainly its forte, as its visuals somehow managed to captivate me through the overall lack of story and shallow characterization. The synopsis, actually, is more interesting than any of the events the story itself has to offer.  Pseudo-philosophical alien races like the JAM have been visited time and time again, and with each encounter I like them less and less.  Fortunately for the viewer, every minute of "intellectual" bullshit... See full review

5/10 story
9.5/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
6/10 characters
6.5/10 overall

Excel Saga

Sheex's avatar
Jul 13, 2007

Story
"Are there any questions?""I've got way too many, but I'm not sure they're questions I should even be asking..."And that, ladies and gents, sums up Excel Saga (to a tee) in its own words. If you're like me and a fan of random humor, this series will go down in your books as one of the greatest anime you've had the fortune to set your eyes upon. While not the funniest or most clever comedy to be produced, it boasts an incredibly unique flavor that you will either passionately love or fervently loathe.The core of Excel Saga's humor revolves around a... See full review

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

Sky Girls

Sheex's avatar
Jul 13, 2007

Story
When I watched Sky Girls' opening sequence, I immediately noticed the similarities between it and Yukikaze:  Aliens have invaded earth, earth's population is in shambles, yet mankind has managed to pull off a victory in the end.  Within the first five minutes, however, I quickly came to realize that such likeness was superficial on every level.  Instead of witnessing badass dogfights with incredible CGI, you get to see some sixteen year old girls (who look younger) trounce around in tiny bikinis.  Not a good sign to say the least. As you might expect, these girls are... See full review

3/10 story
5/10 animation
4/10 sound
3.5/10 characters
3/10 overall

Yakitate!! Japan

Arcanum's avatar
Jul 13, 2007

Story
The premise for Yakitate!! Japan - Azuma Kazuma, a Japanese boy who aspires to create a bread which will be forever associated with the nation of Japan - is actually quite promising. All the elements are present for plenty of character growth, difficult trials, and exciting twists and turns in the plot. Unfortunately, the creators of Yakitate!! Japan fail to make use of this potential, and instead disappoint with a plot which is increasingly repetitive and unimaginative. The anime follows the same formula from episode to episode, essentially without variation. There is some sort of bread-making... See full review

3/10 story
4/10 animation
4/10 sound
3.5/10 characters
3/10 overall

Death Note

Sheex's avatar
Jul 12, 2007

Story
Ordinarily, I make a point to avoid series plagued by fanboyism, as they generally suffer from pitiful characterization, flimsy storylines, and sub-par aesthetics.  Yet, Death Note carried some strange allure and managed to pique my interest, so I decided to give it a shot.  I would not be disappointed.  It's one of those gems that graces the anime world only every so often and certainly deserves a considerable amount of respect. At its core, Death Note is an anime that captivates you with a story fashioned around logic, wit, trust, and betrayal.  Filled with... See full review

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

Paprika

vivafruit's avatar
Jul 12, 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

Sky Girls

sothis's avatar
Jul 11, 2007

Story
In a perfect world, one would be able to replace a review's contents with a large eye-rolling smiley face image. Alas, this is not that perfect world.Sky Girls begins with a narrative which is remarkably more epic than the content itself: mysterious beings known as Worms came to Earth, messed shit up, and ultimately kicked humanity's ass so much that it resorted to nuking Earth to save themselves. Unfortunately, this not only submerged 50% of the land mass under the ocean, but also killed off 90% of men aged 20-40. Humans: 1!Dating and sex life of any adult woman: 0!After such an... See full review

2/10 story
6.5/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
2/10 characters
3/10 overall

Angel's Feather

sothis's avatar
Jul 9, 2007

Story
Oh lord.In my endless quest to add as many things to the AniRec, I picked up Angel's Feather. Not only is it a short OVA, but it's also shounen-ai - a genre which usually means no one will add it unless I do it myself. I guess there's one silver lining on the cloud: at least it was only two episodes.See, the title "Angel's Feather" is actually incorrect. I have good authority to say that the real title is actually "BOS Feather" (bag of shit feather), as nothing that is good and pure would have such a putrid stench to it. Folks, this is about as generic as it... See full review

2/10 story
7/10 animation
2/10 sound
2/10 characters
2.5/10 overall

My-Hime

vivafruit's avatar
Jul 6, 2007

Story
The creation of My-Hime most likely started with Sunrise designing an anime from the ground up. The show would boast amazingly entertaining melodrama, some fantastic action scenes, and hordes of famous seiyuu - in other words, the basic groundwork for Best Show Ever. There was just one chink in the entire concepts armor: when all was said and done, the animes story called for a ridiculously large amount of characters. Alongside Mai, the primary heroine, the storyline needed droves of supporting characters in order to be fully fleshed out. As a result of this... See full review

6.5/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
2.5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen

vivafruit's avatar
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 predecessors... See full review

6/10 story
7.5/10 animation
9.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall

Kemonozume

vivafruit's avatar
Jul 6, 2007

Story
Before I begin, DISCLAIMERS. Rather than write them myself, I’m going to quote a couple of reviewers from animenfo. “If you're one of those people who laps up anything thats original just because its different, then this is one for you to watch. But if, like me, you only like originality when the resulting product is actually good, then I'd hesitate to recommend this.” – Kaj, for Mind Game “Do you think later Picasso works are great? Do you think Van Gogh was more than just a nutter who couldnt actually draw? do you like ugly graffiti strewn all... See full review

8.5/10 story
9/10 animation
5/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Ergo Proxy

sothis's avatar
Jul 6, 2007

Story
Ahh, Ergo Proxy. You stole my heart like a thief in the night and promised such visions of grandeur that I could hardly wait to see what came next. Why, oh why, must you have disappointed me so? There are so many things wrong with Ergo Proxy that it's hard to begin. First, the parallels between it and Ghost in the Shell: Innocence are eerily uncanny; both have an empty and vacuous excuse of a story, combined with stunning visuals to distract you from the blatant stench. The problem is that while GITS2 was terrible from the get-go, Ergo Proxy begins with a drool-inducing bang that ends up being... See full review

3/10 story
7/10 animation
9/10 sound
4/10 characters
4/10 overall

Ergo Proxy

vivafruit's avatar
Jul 3, 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

Mind Game

vivafruit's avatar
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 search for... See full review

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

Kino's Journey

Arcanum's avatar
Jul 2, 2007

Story
Kino's Journey is a brilliant and intelligent exposition of the many facets of humanity. The audience follows Kino and Hermes, her talking motorrad, as they travel through various fictional countries learning of other cultures and peoples. Each of the 13 episodes is one or more self-contained short stories which explore a particular idea or theme through the eyes of Kino. These short philosophical vignettes are shockingly discomfiting, as they push the audience to face up to many unpleasant aspects of human nature.Sigsawa Keiichi deserves much credit for his courageous avant-garde style... See full review

8.5/10 story
8/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall

The Twelve Kingdoms

Arcanum's avatar
Jun 14, 2007

Story
Juuni Kokki (The Twelve Kingdoms) is best described as an epic "world-discovery" anime. Ono Fuyumi creates a vast, and richly detailed fantasy world consisting of twelve kingdoms, each governed by an immortal emperor supported by his or her kirin, a magical beast resembling a unicorn. Even from the first few episodes, it is apparent that exceptional effort is given towards the creation of this fantasy world. The system of government, the dynamics of succession, the consequences of war, the interaction between beast and human, demon and immortal are all intricately woven into one... See full review

6.5/10 story
6.5/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
6/10 characters
5.5/10 overall

Monster

Arcanum's avatar
Jun 14, 2007

Story
Monster is a true gem and a rare anime masterpiece.Despite its daunting length, an exceedingly high standard of quality is consistently maintained in all 74 episodes. And because the writer does not get sidetracked with filler episodes or arcs, a single, coherent storyline runs through. This gives the impression of watching a an excellent graphic novel. Though the story itself is impossibly intricate, a web of intrigue and conflicting motives to tantalize the viewer, Monster manages to conclude dramatically, memorably and without the use of such cheap and overused plot devices as deus ex... See full review

9.5/10 story
8/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall

Crest of the Stars

SmugDude's avatar
Jun 13, 2007

Story
At its heart, Crest of the Stars is about the bond that develops between the two main characters: Jinto, a human, and Lafiel, an Abh princess -- both who are adolescents at the start of the series. Their interaction begins casually: Lafiel is assigned to pick up Jinto, because it's time for him to go to space academy as a stepping-stone to his life as an Abh nobleman. Being totally unaware of Lafiel's heritage, Jinto talks in the somewhat awkward way that any adolescent boy talks to a girl he thinks is sort of cute. Needless to say Lafiel rather enjoys being talked to as a normal... See full review

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

Hikaru no Go

Arcanum's avatar
Jun 12, 2007

Story
Hotta Yumi's Hikaru no Go is an anime about "Weiqi", an ancient Chinese board game which is now more popularly known in Japan as "Go". Because Go is perceived as neither an easy game to learn, nor an entertaining one to watch, its popularity had been waning in Asia, especially among the younger population. It was beginning to be identified as a game played by elderly men over cigarettes and tea.It is easy to dismiss this anime as uninteresting and dry, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Hikaru no Go was almost single-handedly responsible for the sharp... See full review

9/10 story
7.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
8/10 characters
8.5/10 overall

Pale Cocoon

vivafruit's avatar
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

Paprika

sothis's avatar
May 4, 2007

Story
I am a rather non-typical anime watcher. I don't strive to watch every romance or harem anime that exists, nor do I enjoy generic shounen fighting series. Intellectual and thought-provoking science fiction and fantasy are my favorites, above all else. Thus, when I saw that another title from the legendary Satoshi Kon was soon to be released in theaters, I was elated. The man who created such gems as Paranoia Agent, Tokyo Godfathers and Perfect Blue was sure to produce another masterpiece, right?Alas; watching Kon's newest movie Paprika can be summed up in two words: completely... See full review

2/10 story
10/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
2/10 characters
6/10 overall

Hikaru no Go

vivafruit's avatar
May 2, 2007

Story
If Hikaru no Go is to be credited for anything, it would be for practically teaching me the definition of a love-hate relationship. No other anime has been more successful at making me hate the show while simultaneously making me watch more of it. Hikaru no Go, at its best moments, ranked as one of my top animes of all time (a long time ago, the series had a 9.5 on my animenfo account). However, at its worst, an uncontrollable, irrational desire boiled within me to murder the creator with a sack of go stones (or some other similarly ironic... See full review

7/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Welcome to the NHK!

vivafruit's avatar
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 best... See full review

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

Kurau: Phantom Memory

Velusion's avatar
Apr 26, 2007

Story
A few days ago, I was in a store and noticed the cover for the Kurau DVD; on this cover, Kurau stands in a martial arts pose, holding a sword. Sadly, I shook my head at how drastically misrepresented of an image that was; Kurau is definitely, definitely not an action-oriented series by any means.So what is Kurau Phantom Memory really about? The main storyline follows Kurau and her “pair”, Christmas (seriously, that’s her name), as they run from the global police, travel the world, and search for other Rynax. What is a Rynax’s “pair”? Imagine the bond between... See full review

9/10 story
6/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall

Koi Kaze

vivafruit's avatar
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 Kaze... See full review

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

Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play

vivafruit's avatar
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

Interstella 5555 - The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

vivafruit's avatar
Apr 19, 2007

Story
Interstella 5555 - the 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem manages to provide a surprisingly entertaining, albeit simple, science-fiction caper. I was impressed pretty much throughout the show at how well they managed to synch the mood of the song with what was happening in the story (although as mentioned below, the synching of the animation to the music was less impressive). Overall, quality work from start to finish.
Animation
The animation is certainly not bad by any means, but in the end is somewhat unimpressive... See full review

7/10 story
5.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall

Junkers Come Here

vivafruit's avatar
Apr 19, 2007

Story
Few people would try to dispute Ghibli’s awesome craftsmanship in anime; the studio has released several animes that easily make it into my top 10 list, and I have yet to see a feature length film by them that wasn’t entertaining. With all of the success that they have enjoyed (Spirited Away is one of Japan’s highest grossing films ever), I’ve always personally wondered why other studios haven’t attempted to imitate Ghiblis undeniably appealing style. The answer could very well lie in Junkers... See full review

5/10 story
7/10 animation
4.5/10 sound
6/10 characters
5.5/10 overall

Gunslinger Girl

vivafruit's avatar
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 girls... See full review

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

Boys Over Flowers

vivafruit's avatar
Apr 15, 2007

Story
There are many individuals online who seem to believe that all anime, regardless of its genre or general quality, is art. According to them, each and every series is something to be admired from a suitably safe distance, and any sort of criticism is basically heresy. The problem with this theory lies in shows like Hana Yori Dango. The show seems interested in nothing but catering to the lowest common denominator, and throws all manner of clichés into the work to do so. If Hana Yori Dango is "art," so is fast food. The shows... See full review

4/10 story
3.5/10 animation
5/10 sound
5/10 characters
4.5/10 overall

Haibane Renmei

vivafruit's avatar
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

Gungrave

vivafruit's avatar
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 we... See full review

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

Azusa Will Help!

vivafruit's avatar
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 the... See full review

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

Ouran High School Host Club

vivafruit's avatar
Apr 12, 2007

Story
The strongest episodes in the Ouran High School Host Club are essentially nothing more than character development. In them, the show will take one of the characters and crack his very soul open for all to see. The standouts are by far Kyouya, a self-proclaimed egoist who ends up being anything but, and the identical pair of twins, whose need for personal individuality conflicts with their inability to relate to anyone else. Unfortunately, excluding both the brilliant beginning and the fantastic character-building episodes, much of the storyline... See full review

6/10 story
7/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Noein: To Your Other Self

vivafruit's avatar
Apr 10, 2007

Story
Few will deny that the anime begins well. There’s a flurry of buzzwords, well-choreographed action scenes and some genuinely awesome sci-fi themes, thrown at the audience with enough precision and style to suck them right in. It’s in this I-don’t-know-what’s-going-on-but-I-don’t-really-care stage that the anime is at its best. Flash forward to midway through the show, and the story is still quite reasonable. The anime employs the parallel universe interpretation of quantum mechanics to explain its universe, and, surprisingly enough, does so in a way that is both... See full review

6/10 story
7.5/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall

Mushishi

vivafruit's avatar
Apr 4, 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

Kino's Journey

vivafruit's avatar
Mar 31, 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

Monster

vivafruit's avatar
Mar 31, 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

Samurai Champloo

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Mar 31, 2007

Story
Of all the general themes in anime, one of the most thoroughly overdone ones is the “with friends, we shall prevail” motif. In these, the protagonist can only overcome some seemingly insurmountable task with the help of his or her group of friends. Even those who haven’t seen much anime can probably name at least one series that does this; they’re literally everywhere. One trait that sets Shinichiro Watanabe’s work apart is his refusal to accept this Japanese conformity. In his anime, all of the characters define themselves by their individuality, fighting for... See full review

8/10 story
9/10 animation
5.5/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Pita-Ten

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Mar 31, 2007

Story
Pita Ten's storyline suffers a fair bit from repetition, which only further reinforces the idea that the anime is an exceedingly shallow version of something better. A good deal of the jokes in the show is reused with little variation, and the episodic plot really begins to drag after a while. Aside from the first and last episodes, the anime is composed entirely of meandering and inconsequential subplots, which is something that Ive never really enjoyed that much. The final two episodes are actually fairly plot-oriented and end up being the most... See full review

5.5/10 story
6.5/10 animation
6/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall

My Beautiful Girl Mari

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Mar 31, 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 is... See full review

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

Hell Girl

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Mar 28, 2007

Story
Jigoku Shoujo is the latest in a long and celebrated tradition of "horror/suspense" titles that don't really have either horror or suspense. The anime tend to go for sheer style over things like character development or logic and generally end with gruesome deaths tinged in irony. In the case of some of the shorter works, the formula tends to work: Vampire Princess Miyu, Pet Shop of Horrors, and even the more recent and slightly longer ... See full review

4/10 story
6.5/10 animation
5/10 sound
3.5/10 characters
4.5/10 overall

Black Lagoon

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Mar 28, 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 it... See full review

6.5/10 story
6/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
7/10 overall

Paradise Kiss

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Mar 28, 2007

Story
From the summaries I had read, I was expecting Paradise Kiss to basically be teenie-bopping wish fulfillment. Namely, the kind where an average chick somehow stumbles into an easy and comfortable lifestyle through little actual effort on her part, ala Princess Diaries. Fortunately, this is not an air-headed, chauvinistic Cinderella story of some girl swept off her feet from poverty into economic dependence and financial stability. Rather, at its core, this is a simple but compelling coming-of-age story, in which a previously ambitionless and enervated... See full review

7.5/10 story
8/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
7.5/10 overall