Hey, everyone. I know its been a while, but things are really starting to work out in my personal life, so I should have no excuse to be posting reviews.

However, the reason why I'm writing today is that I am finally going to my first anime convention, the Anime Banzai down in Salt Lake City. I've got some awesome friends that I'm going down with and I'll make sure to take some pictures and tell you my experiences. I hope this will be good.

As for what I've been watching, I've just finished Kino's Journey, and am currently plowing through Shaman King, Death Note, and Naruto. I've given up on Kyo Kara Maoh, so I may post a bit on that in the future.

In the meantime, just be patient and I'll get to all of the stuff I've been reading and watching.

Thanks and wish me luck.


RG Veda, and stuff.

Well, at my new job, things are going slow. The training is boring and I'm not looking forward to when we start working (I don't know why I picked swing shift!). And when school starts, things are only gonna get crazier. I say all of this to let you know how long its gonna take to postpone the making of the videos. I'll still be able to post reviews on the things I've seen, but the videos are gonna have to wait for a while, when I have a lot more time on my hands.

But enough about me, its time to start talking anime!

RG Veda (2 Episodes)
Animation: ***
Story: ***
Music: ***
Overall: **

RG Veda was the original manga that put CLAMP on the map, the same way Dr. Slump did it for Akira Toriyama before he did Dragonball. When you look at the manga, you can see the essential precursurs for the sweeping, epic art that fills the more successful Magic Knight Rayearth and X/1999 (wish they'd finish that!).

The story of RG Veda is a good, fantasy adventure. The current emperor, Taishakuten, is scum, having killed the peaceful emperor, Ashura, himself to start his own kingdom. His best general, Yasha, hears about a prophecy concerning the end of the tyranny and a forgotten child. Yasha goes and finds this child Ashura, starting a massive chain reaction of events. Soon, other heroes get involved with the quest to defeat the emperor, and they learn more and more about this child, who is a direct decendant of the late peaceful emperor I mentioned earlier. However, they starting to get scared as Ashura grows creepier and more violent.

And that's about as far as I am in the manga. Tokyopop is releasing the last one later this year. I won't say much more about the story, the spoilers are pretty big.

So why am I focusing so much on the manga when this is a review of the anime? RG Veda comes to us as two mere OVAs, both smack in the middle of the story. In order to really understand what's going on, you have to have read the manga. They really don't bother explaining much of anything.
The two episodes are interesting. The first is a retelling of one of the adventures from the manga, and it is pretty neat. The second episode has its own story, set at the end of their adventure, but not really based on the manga, and it doesn't really offer much more to the basic plot. It seems like the writers decided to speculate some of the ending bits as if the manga wasn't quite finished yet. And its apparent because when you get to that part of the manga, things are very different.

I gave most of everything three stars because it was all pretty good. The animation is good, making great use of the prevelant magic and fighting. The story is well done, too, feeling like they literally ripped it from the pages of the manga. You forget, in the middle of the deep epic, that CLAMP was in charge, and they can get kinda silly! And that makes it fun.

The music is particularly interesting. Nick Wood (definetly not Japanese) gives us a synthesizer heavy soundtrack that's just bizarre enough to make you keep listening, but it never really stands out. 3 stars for strangeness, but not much more.

However, the hurdle of not understanding the episodes without having read the manga forces me to give this an overall of two stars. It sees this was geared more toward the fans the comic already had as opposed to introducing a new series to the whole audience.

So basically, if you're a fan of CLAMP and have read the manga already, such as me, then check it out. But otherwise, you'll most likely be lost, having better spent your time on other shows.

And that's that. I don't know when I'll post next, but I'll get to it as soon as I can. Please let me know what you think! POST COMMENTS!


Craziest Summer Of My Life

This is just gonna be a blog to say what's been going on. This summer has been all over the place, but I finally have a job and feel like I can stabilize myself a little better. In this time, I have seen and read a lot of stuff to review and I look forward to sharing it with you.

However, I am also interested in making some changes! For starters, I'm just going to give one review per post, but try to post more often (HAH!). That way if you're only looking for one title, you don't have to sift through a huge article.

The other change I'm interested in is actually an inspiriation from www.screwattack.com where they do videos for their features. And I thought, "I could do that! I wouldn't even need a camera!" While this may be a ways off, but I think have vidoes about various anime and manga would be neat. I plan to post them here as well as YouTube. I just need to get the ball rolling!

Well, as I said, no reviews for now, but I've got a long list of titles to do, so look forward to it! See ya!~


Fullmetal Alchemist and Spriggan!

Welcome to Summer! I was able to survive finals week and still able to finish one of the greatest anime saga's of all time while simultaneously discovering a really awesome film! That can't happen that often.

I obviously need to focus more on blogging once a week again. Things have been pretty hectic, but I won't bore you with my life. Onto what's important!

Fullmetal Alchemist (51 Episodes)
Story: *****
Animation: *****
Music: ***
Overall: *****

This saga is one of my favorites, and having just finished it again, I remember why this show is so awesome!

If you don't know already, Edward and Alphonse Elric are two brothers that are prodigies of alchemy. However, in an effort to trasmute their dead mother, Ed loses a leg and Al loses his entire body. Ed then sacrifices his right arm to get Al's soul into a suit of armor. From there, they realize what is dead is dead, so they go on a quest to regain their lost body parts. This, of course, involves the legendary Philosopher's stone, capable of creating matter outside the laws of alchemy, something these brothers desperately want.

Enter the conspiracies, as the dark past of the Philosopher's stone is revealed to the Elric brothers. The story takes them all over, and as things develop, motivations shift and change, leaving only the brothers' desire to stay together. While it may be a bit annoying that you have to watch the following movie to get the rest of the story, it is worth going through it all. By the time you finish the 51st episode. You can hardly wait for the movie. This really is a well written story!

The animation is also very spectacular. Bones really outdid themselves this time. The action and alchemy flows together perfectly, the goofiness is consistent, and not out of place at all. And their whole world seems so real. Bones for Bones!

The music is a bit of a low point. It's decent, but nothing to go find the soundtrack for. Yes, the opening themes are good, but the rest of the soundtrack succeeds in supporting the show, and really doesn't stand on its own very well.

Overall, this is one of my favorite series. The characters and story are everything in this show, and that really makes the difference for me. It is shows like this that make me say anime is awesome, capable of create a story that isn't just special effects or goofy nonsense, but it still has a lot of those things as well. This isn't a saga easily forgotten.

Story: ****
Animation: ****
Music: ****
Overall: ****

A spriggan is a guardian, protecting humanity from ancient technology too powerful to be discovered. Enter Noah's Ark. As people learn more about it, they begin to discover its true powers. Through some attacks on his friends, the spriggan Yu Ominae gets involved and travels to Turkey on an adventure to find out what's going on and to stop those who would exploit the ultimate power of Noah's Ark.

When I saw this title around, I thought it would be fun and I did discover it was all that and more. Seriously, this is a show worth seeing. The whole James Bond/Indiana Jones feeling is perfect for such a movie. While Yu does seem like Son Goku at times, the story still is very engaging, proposing some pretty neat things.

The animation is also really neat, capable of just as much action as any James Bond movie. The sweeping landscapes and detailed enviorments really throw you into Turkey and deep within the Ark. Great stuff.

The music was fun, giving a bit of an ethnic feel to the whole show, just as any other adventure film should. This is a soundtrack worth picking up!

Overall, it's just good fun, like Indiana Jones or anything similar. The dub by ADV is done really well. The thing is, while I may not have any major criticisms, this isn't spectacular on any level. Awesome, neat, but nothing really ground-breaking. However, it is definetly worth seeing, so go see it!

Well, I hope to post more often during the summer. I don't have a job yet, so I've got the free time to watch anime and review it! I plan to review at least the FMA movie, and maybe the Silent Mobius manga that I've just barely gotten to. We'll have to see.


SORRY!! Here's Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz and Fruits Basket

I have been so horribly busy, it's unreal. And now that Final's week is approaching, I hope I can stay on top of it all without spontaneously combusting! NEVERTHELESS! This does not mean I can go without my duties to watch anime with reckless abandon. I personally have gotten into One Piece like you would not believe. People criticize it for being silly and not that great of a series, but that's because they're comparing it to Fullmetal Alchemist, Evangelion, and other giants. I'd like to think I see One Piece for what it is: laid-back entertainment. I like the jokes, the action's not bad, and it's just fun to watch. It's great to have that kind of diversion amidst finals.

But I am not here to review One Piece (especially since it hasn't even finished yet!) Here we go!

Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (Movie Version)
Story: ****
Animation: *****
Music: *****
Overall: *****

I know I've ranted about Gundam Wing before, and this movie is no different. I love this show.

The story takes place after the TV show, but it is not dependant upon it, like Fullmetal's Conquerer of Shamballa. Some unsatisfied people try to set up war in the peace everyone has worked so hard to create, so the Gundam Pilots and other familiar faces pull together to stop them. While the plot isn't bad, I don't think it is as put together as the TV series was. Thus, only 4 stars.

However, as much as I like what goes on, seeing the stellar animation is incredible. The battles are articulate, and everything just looks so pretty. No frames were reused here.

And the music is great as always. While I am a sucker for Two-Mix, I also love the inspiring orchestral soundtrack.

I know I am biased on this, but Gundam Wing really is an incredible show, and this movie wraps everything up nicely, leaving you with good feelings at the end.

Fruits Basket (26 Episod
Story: ****
Animation: ****
Music: ***
Overall: ****

I know this is a bit of a turn around from what I've mostly reviewed before, but I finally got around to watching this series, and it's been a good stretch.

Tohru Honda is a girl who has lost both of her parents and doesn't have a lot of money, but she doesn't let that get her down. In fact, you could almost say that her good attitude is infectious. So when she comes upon the house of Shigure Sohma, she feels that she's imposing when Shigure invites to stay with him and his relatives, Yuki and Kyo.

However, a curse runs through the large Sohma family. Certain members change into an animal of the chinese zodiac when overly stressed or hugged by a member of the opposite gender outside the Sohma family. But that is just the surface. Beneath all of that is the deep tragedies that seem to run through every member of the family. When Tohru comes to meet each member, it is like a shaft of sunlight comes into their lives, giving them the hope they need to go on. However, the head of the family is not necessarily pleased with what Tohru is unintentionally doing.

In spite of all that, this show runs mostly like a light-hearted comedy. As you learn more about the characters, the more you laugh. That's how it works with this show! It's only at the end does the laughter step aside, allowing for a touching end.

The story all in all is pretty neat, but the episodes could almost be watched in any order because it is so episodic. The other problem is that the story only goes so far. Having read the manga, I know that there is so much more to tell, and that Akito, the head of the Sohma family, isn't that easily defeated. I would have loved to see the school play animated. It was hilarious.

The animation is good. While there isn't a whole lot of action, the editing and the silly little things make up the difference. It has been pleasant, considering the things I've seen Studio Deen do before, mostly being Mon Colle Knights, Soul Hunter, and Rave Master. I guess this means they're improving.

The music is just okay. It sets the proper mood, but it doesn't magnify anything.

I mostly enjoyed this show as a light comedy with touching moments dispersed throughout. It may not be up the alley of action fans, but there is a lot of heart in these characters and you can't help but laugh at how they interact (or fail to). The ending was interesting, considering that the manga wasn't finished when they ended it.

Well, I hope that covers it for you. I'll try and post again next week. I think I can finish rewatching Fullmetal Alchemist by then. I don't know what I'll put it with though. We'll have to see. But right now, I've got to get studying. These finals aren't going to get A's themselves!


What a week! Gundam Wing and The Place Promised In Our Early Days

Yowza. This week as been good for me and my anime watching. Or at least yesterday as I finished Gundam Wing and then watched Place Promised. Both of these shows are incredible, and I highly recommend them, as you will see.

Gundam Wing (49 Episodes)
Story: *****
Music: *****
Animation: ****
Overall: *****

Ever since I first watched Gundam Wing on Toonami, I have been a fan of mecha anime, and now that I've gone out of my way to own all of the DVDs, I decided to watch through them again.

And what a great series it is. The story is engaging, rolling all over the place. Governments change, people die, and major questions are asked. The greatest thing I think is that the bad guys really aren't bad guys. Both Miliardo and Treize have honorable agendas, even if their methods aren't pretty.

For those unfamiliar with it, the story goes as follows. The people of earth have built space colonies to send people to, but the Earth decides to invade the colonies for their own benefits. Enter the five Gundam Pilots, sent to Earth to take down the organization called OZ which is the Earth's source of military power. However, things get sticky from there, as OZ takes over the earth, then goes for space. I hate to go into more details because it would take several pages. The story moves quickly and quite often, if you miss an episode, you miss a lot.

The music is just as impressive. The whole orchestra-with-electric-guitars thing is awesome, and makes me think of bands like Kansas. And the themes by Two-Mix are just as good.

The reason why the animation is only 4 stars is because they reuse a number of frames for their battle sequences, which is reasonable. Trying to come up with new scenes with so many robots would be quite challenging. Nevertheless, the action is pretty awesome.

I guess I'm biased. I watched this show, knowing that I was going to love it and why I loved it. However, I believe this is one of the best Mecha shows out there, if not the best. (I still haven't finished Gundam Seed, so we'll see). The story, the characters, the music, the mecha, the whole nine yards deserves my 5 stars.

The Place Promised In Our Early Days
Story: ****
Music: ****
Animation: *****
Overall: *****

Be it known through the universe that Makoto Shinkai is a genius. This guy, who did Voices of a Distant Star BY HIMSELF, has created a masterpiece. While he had a lot of help this time, and it shows, this movie is spectacular.

The premise is simple. In an alternate Japan, two guys and a girl make a promise together, to fly to a far off tower on the northern island of Japan. However, war starts up and complicates their situations, separating them. The story is how the three come together and fulfill their promise to each other.

And then there's alternate dimensions.

It's a pretty crazy story, but it all fits together in a nice, warm-fuzzy kind of way.

The thing to watch here is the animation. The freaking backgrounds are gorgeous, and the use of color is almost unparalleled. It almost feels real, just by watching it. The characters blend into the environment so well, you sort of forget this is animation. My jaw just drops as I watch this. The art alone is reason enough to see this movie.

The music is also fitting. As flight is a major part of the film, the music captures that, especially at the end for the climax, which isn't intense, but definetily cinematic.

Again, I watched this show, knowing I was going to love it. But when my jaw still drops, even though I've seen it before, that's a sign. This show is awesome. The visuals are unreal. Go see this one if you haven't already. And if you have, see it again.

Well, this has been a good week. I doubt I'll ever have such a great lineup again. We'll have to see. For next week, I'll definetly get to Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, but what else, I don't know. You'll just have to wait and see.


Dang! Manga only: Kare Kano and Rizelmine.

Not that there's anything wrong with manga, I just wish I could've gotten to some more anime this week. Oh well. College is really beating me down.

In any case, the two series I'm going to tackle now are both unique and bizzare. Again, remember that I only give one score for manga. First off:

Rizelmine (1 Graphic Novel)
Score: ***

Rizelmine is done by Yukiru Sugisaki, well known for D. N. Angel (which she hasn't finished yet!). The story is very familiar: Iwaki Tomonori is a 15-year-old boy who likes older women, but instead gets a girl who seems younger than him dropped in his lap. She is made of nanotechnology and her creators are trying to give her the full human experience, including being married. So, at once, it is declared that this nano-girl, Rizel, is married to Iwaki, much to his dismay.

From there, many of the basic story elements that permeate the genre occur. There are rivals for Rizel (though she is truly devoted) and other nanotech girls show up for various reasons all the while Iwaki is just trying to get away, only to discover that she's met this Rizel girl once before!

So why give it three stars? Because it covers ALL of this in one book. It goes by fast, yet covers all of the bases necessary. Being familiar with the genre, this is kind of a crack up because it is so extreme and insane, almost a parody of stuff like Oh! My Goddess, Steel Angel Kurumi, and Mahoromatic. You get the entire story in a nutshell, and that is what makes it nice.

Kare Kano (21 Graphic Novels)
Score: ***

Kare Kano is a more familiar title to the manga/anime community, but I just barely finished it. As I may have said, I have a thing for shojo manga, mostly because they're so funny! Kare Kano is brilliant in this sense. The comedy just keeps flying!

The story is crazy enough: Yukino Miyazawa works as hard as she can to be the best in school, to be the top, the most popular, the smartest. However, its all a facade. Enter Souichiro Arima, a handsome, popular, intelligent guy. When he beats her in testing, she is distraught and endevours to bring him down. But then, he finds out that she is just acting, and thus begins one of the crazy romances ever. This romantic comedy follows them through many of their trials and how sticking together usually helps them overcome.

Of course, there are side characters, and sometimes I felt the story dwelt on them a lot more than I thought was necessary, but these side trips weren't boring. Just long. Because of that, it goes all over the place, hitting quite a number of genres at once.

Overall, it makes for a great romantic comedy that does drag a little. However, as you really get to know the characters, and as things get hairier, you get sucked in what's going on, especially at the end with all the Arima family. It's a good series and should be looked by anyone who is into zany, high school romances.

Well, that's all I could muster up this time. I hope it isn't too bad. Next time, I'll definetly have more anime to review. I've just been rewatching Gundam Wing (one of my favorites) and I think I'll get to The Place Promised In Our Early Days, so look forward to those for next week.


Hoy! Inuyasha 4 and Soul Hunter

Hoy! This has been a crazy week. But I've been feeling that every week. Maybe my entire life is just crazy . . .

Anywho, moving on!

Inuyasha the Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island
Story: ***
Music: ***
Animation: *****
Overall: ***

It is apparent that I like this one the best. For once, I really cared about what was going on. Those poor kids.

Alright, here's the rundown: there is an island where these four demons hoard half-demons to keep themselves alive through a curse a priestess gave them a long time ago. Now all that's left is a few kids, now fatalistic due to their circumstances. One of the kids escapes and finds Inuyasha who then is drug into their problems and its up to him and his friends to defeat the four demons who call themselves the Four Gods!

The story was pretty neat. It pieces together a little better than the other movies. I also gave the animation a notch up above the othe rmovies. They really did outdo themselves this time; I was way impressed. And as always, the music by Kaoru Wada was well done.

I do believe this is the best of the four movies. The story is engaging, the animation is great, and the whole this is fun. As repetative as Inuyasha can be, this one stands out.

Soul Hunter (26 Episodes)
Story: ***
Animation: ***
Music: ***
Overall: ****

I recently refinished this series, this being one of my favorites. And just in time, too. Viz has finally announced that they are going to translate the Houshin Engi manga that this story originates from. This series is quite a bit older, but is definetly worth a look at.

The story starts out simple enough. Heaven, known as the Sen'nin world, has decided that the manipulations of the demon Dakki have gone to far and she needs to be removed to save the Yin Dynasty of 11th century China. Taikoubou is the hero chosen, mostly because he is the only one stupid enough to go through with it.

So off goes our happy-go-lucky hero Taikoubou, but is he as simple as he seems? And what is this Houshin Project he's been commissioned with? Is it really to save the Yin Dynasty or are there hidden secrets about it?

Being more than just a "beat the demons" kind of show, this series focuses more on the relations between heaven and earth. Another great thing about this show is the characters. ADV did a good job on the dub, recreating the unique and down-right bizzarre cast that parades through China. There are so many awesome moments in this show.

The animation is okay, showing nice action every now and then. But there also some apparent flaws, like the obvious and inconsistent use of computers. The music is also very standard with a few good moments. And just grit through Kou Tenka's song. I know it isn't great.

Overall, though, it is the characters that make Soul Hunter for me. A fun and fresh set of heroes march through very tragic times, setting things straight in some unusual ways. However, even though the series goes for 26 episodes, I know it doesn't cover all that they could from the original manga (which is why I'm so excited to see if finally coming out!). Because of that, I feel that it could've been fleshed out and made longer, but oh well.

Well, that's that. Sorry I didn't get this off until so late in the week. I'll hopefully do better, but really have no idea what I'll review next week. I may have to wait until next Friday again just to finish something.


Sorry! Here's Three: Inuyasha 3, Elfen Lied, and Love Roma

Yikes. Sorry it has been a while. Spring Break bogged me down further than I though. However, this did not stop my anime viewing. At least not much. This time, I'm taking on three, hopefully to make up for missing that week. Let's get to it.

Inuyasha The Movie 3: Swords Of An Honorable Ruler
Animation: ****
Music: ***
Story: ***
Overall: ***

The rivalry between Inuyasha and Sesshomaru heats up as the sword of their father makes an appearance at Kagome's family shrine. After being sealed for so long, it awakens and attaches itself to Inuyasha, turning him into a full demon. It takes some time (and a fight with Sesshomaru) before he is loosed from the sword, but the sword has a mind of its own. It goes to find Takemaru, the man who tried to kill Inuyasha's human mother and was her suiter. Because of his hatred for the father, and thus his sons Inuyasha and Sesshomaru, he is revived as a demon to fight the brothers. While things may be bleak, it gets worse when the only way to defeat this sword is to have Inuyasha and Sesshomaru work together.

I definetly liked this one much more than the first two (especially the second one). The story was more intersting and the memories Sesshomaru has of his father were very intriguing. The animation was good as always (they really know how to spiff things up for these movies). And the music was solid as before.

Overall, this is the best of the three I've seen, but I do have #4 waiting for me. I've been told it's the best, so I'll find that out for sure.

Elfen Lied
Story: ***
Animation: ****
Music: **
Overall: ***

Elfen Lied is a truely strange tale and definetly not recommended for minors due to its violence and nudity. An intense tale, the length seems appropriate at 13 episodes and one OAV.

The story deals with a creature called the Diclonius. At first look , they are girls with pink hair, horns in their head, and invisible hands that can cut through anything, as seen in the first episode as the main Diclonius, Lucy, hacks through everyone to escape. Just as she is about to leave the facility where she was being confined and studied, she is shot in the head and knocked into the ocean. She floats from the island and comes to the shore of mainland Japan where she if found by a couple of college students. Kouta and his cousin, Yuka. Kouta decides to take her in to his home because all she sees is a shy, innocent girl who can only say "Nyuu," showing evidence of a split personality.

From there, it gets hectic as villains other Diclonius show up, sent by the research facility to get Lucy back, only to find an innocent girl. That is, until she hits her head again. Then, Kouta's repressed memories start coming back about how this tragedy has happened once before.

It strange to see this tale ride up and down the roller coaster. The killings are sudden and the action is fast, but its more than just a violent tale. Each of these characters have depressing backgrounds that affect the story. It really is unique to see such cute characters have such dark histories.

While the action is well animated, the real treat is the backgrounds. Each scene seems to have a very detailed and vibrant environment, even if it is the bleak facility center. It feels very cinematic and really helps fit the characters in a believable place, making them more believable.

The downer is the music. I know the song has significance to the story, but doesn't make it a good song. The score is just okay, simply playing in the background of what's going on, never really enhancing the show.

Overall, this is an intense tale that I watched with my hand over my mouth at some of the tragic and more violent scenes. Full of emotion and action, this is a sad tale that does come to a nice end. It's not a complete resolution, but it will leave you with a smile on your face. The real reason why I left the overall score at 3 stars is that I can think of anime that I thought was better. So it's above average, but that's about it.

And as for the OAV, it doesn't really add as it is just a funny diversion. While it does explain the origin of how Lucy came to the reseach facility, it has a different tone from the rest of the series and, even though it takes place in the middle, it is almost better seen afterward, to keep the happy feeling it ends with.

Love Roma (5 Graphic Novels)
Score: ***

Love Roma is a truly unique romantic comedy. In the midst of all this action I've been reviewing, it must seem strange to see a this series, but I do like shojo manga. It is often some of the funniest stuff in the world. Kodocha was one of my favorites, and I am truly enjoying the anime.

Love Roma deals with a guy and a girl who are blunt and honest. Hoshino, the most blunt guy in the world, walks up to Negishi, and confesses his love for her. She doesn't know this guy from Adam. However, as he tries in unusual and over-the-top methods to get her love, she eventually warms up to him. The series mostly goes over their unique relationship and all of the pitfalls and comedy-of-errors.

This series is really funny. Some of the things Hoshino does are so extreme, it makes me wonder if Negishi is the only one who could accept him for who he is. As other characters get involved, usually in sneaky plots to get Negishi to go with Hoshino, the hilarity grows from there.

In the end, it's a story of the exploration of love for these two strange characters. I give it an above average score of 3 stars because it sets itself apart from most any other romantic comedy. I definetly recommend this short series (I wish there was more) to anyone looking for a good laugh.

Well, that covers everything here. I think I may need to explain my scoring a little better though. It will be tough to give series and shows an overall of 4 or 5. 3 is a good score for a quality title. But a 4 is a title that I consider a must own. A 4 is great. And then a 5 is a favorite. Stuff like Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Gundam Wing are 5's. Very few will get this high.

Maybe you think I'm a little strict, leaving many titles with scores of 3, but it will make a 4 title or a 5 5 title seem that much more.

Well, I should be back on for next week. I plan on reviewing Soul Hunter, and Inuyasha 4.


Back again! Inuyasha Movie 2 and R.O.D. : Read Or Die Manga

Hello again. Over the weekend I was able to watch some stuff and I guess I'll end up reviewing some things I didn't plan on reviewing, but here goes.

First of all:

Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond The Looking Glass
Animation: ****
Music: ***
Story: *
Overall: **

Oy. I mean, I've seen a fair share of Inuyasha, so I know what I'm getting into. I guess I should have figured the plot would be redundant, but still, there were some things where I was just like, "What?"

The premise is pretty simple. After killing Naraku, a new evil takes his place to through the world into darkness. This demoness, Kaguya, enlists the help of Kagura and Nanna to break her out of the mirror she's imprisoned in. After that, because Inuyasha and friends are so much trouble, Kaguya takes Kagome in an effort to fight Inuyasha. She offers him his wish of becoming a full-demon, but, as anyone would know, Inuyasha just wants Kagome back.

First of all, the animation was good, as one would expect from a movie. They really went all out and had some pretty awesome stuff. And, as always, the music was very stirring and enjoyable. I've always liked what this composer has done for the series.

But, the whole story seemed off. Here comes the spoilers. I should have figured Naraku would have stayed dead, but man! coming from Kohaku's back? That, to me, seemed a little out there, even for the series. There was no reason why. It just seemed a dumb way to bring Naraku back into the story, especially at the climax like that. It was a serious let down for me.

This is majorly why I gave the show 2 stars. While the animimation and music were fine, the story tanked and didn't really amount to anything. Even the whole "This is the only time they kiss" bit wasn't as great as I thought it would be. So, overall, I sort of felt that I didn't need to see this movie. The first one was better, in my consideration, but the whole Inuyasha series I tend to watch with my tongue in my cheek.

Now, on to the other thing I did over the weekend. As I have stated before, I will review manga. However, I failed to mention how I rate them. Instead of breaking it down, like I do with the anime, I just give one score from 1 to 5 stars (*). The numbers' meaning is unchanged.

R.O.D. Read Or Die (the manga)
Score: ***

I understand this to be an interesting and unusual anime series, but I figured I'd give the manga a shot first. While I did expect it to be weird, it was a little weirder than I had first thought.

It begins with a society that goes out of its way to protect books and their authors. This Library of England has enlisted the help of a woman named Yomiko Readman. Her code name is Paper, entirely because of her ability to manipulate paper into whatever she needs. In fact, she's the best at it in the world. This series covers two of her missions.

I'm rating the series as all four graphic novels. It was short, but it was still a lot, especially as things get tense at the end.

The first mission is Yomiko protecting what turns out to be her favorite author from another fan with more malicious intent. The action is face paced and definetly quirky as Yomiko's cheerfulness is never unhinged. This really makes the battles very entertaining. Ultimately, she must overcome the various traps and villians set before her in her unusual way.

The second mission is a little more intense. Yomiko is sent to find an underground library for a private school with some severe teaching methods and rules. She finds herself fighting students with unusual powers of her own. However, her mission gets complicated when her dead boyfriend sends her a letter to go for a different reason. Driven by this, she becomes conflicted between following the mission and seeking for her old lover. What is the true intentions of the Library of England? There are a lot of mysteries and back-stories uncovered in this story that covers the latter three graphic novels.

While I can't say to you "Read or Die," this series was fun to read. With lot's of quirky battles and some intense situations, it's easy to see how this could become a cult hit. It definetly is a step above most other stories, but it is short and leaves you with a feeling of a roller coaster ride that stops before it should. Maybe I need to watch the anime.

Well, I'm glad I was able to get this off. I don't know how much more I'll watch and/or read this week. I'm kind of buried with homework. However, I should update by next week with the third Inuyasha movie. I hope it's better than this second one. I may also have reviews of Elfen Lied and Soul Hunter. It depends how things go from here until next Wednesday.

Until then, thank you for reading and check back again.


Heh, here we go. Astro Boy and FLCL

I realized last night that there really isn't much left of this week, so I figured I'll just post now with what I know. One of the other things I didn't mention is I will be reviewing anime as I watch, not necessarily as it comes out. So I will review anime that may be 3 to 23 years old.

I should also explain my rating system. I focus on three things when I watch anime. First is the animation. Does it look good? Do the characters flow with the background? Does the action seem convincing, creating that sense of reality. Second is the music. All though this isn't as big of an issue as animation, music can really have a big impact on whether I (and maybe you) like an anime or not. Third is the story. I like a series that can keep me riveted to my seat by making me care about what's going on. Then after I've considered these, I give an overall score which is NOT reflected by the previous three scores. There have been series where the first three aren't much, but I still give it a high overall, and, when I do, I'll explain why. I score on a scale of 1 to 5 stars (*). 1 is awful, 2 is average or okay, 3 is decent, 4 is good, and 5 is great.

Now, as I decided to write again so soon, I challenged my mind to think of what series have I finished recently and two came to mind (psst- they're mentioned in the title). I got around to finishing the newest remake of the Astro Boy saga and I rewatched FLCL at roughly the same time. So lets begin!

Animation: ***
Music: **
Story: ***
Overall: ***

Now, one may ask, why would I review, let alone see, a well known kid's show? I guess it comes down to the idea that Astro Boy was really the first anime, and his creator, Osamu Tezuka, was a genius in making both manga and anime a major source of entertainment. Without him, we may not have all of the stuff we enjoy in cartoons and comics today.

In any case, this remake of the classic story line does take some liberties. Astro gets some new powers and some of the circumstances have changed, but the core of the story remains the same. Astro is the recreation of Dr. Tenma's lost boy, but as Tenma realizes that he will never grow and progress like a child, he abandon's him. That's when Dr. O'Shea (changed from Ochanimizu, I think), finds him and revives him as Astro Boy, the example of a robot with a heart. They call it "kokoro," which is heart in Japanese.

The stories, though extremely episodic, take on a very Asimov feel, showing the benefits and issues with robots capable of thinking like humans. They often talk about rights for robots and creating a sense of equality between them. Another major concept is trying to reason instead of fighting. At the end, this is Astro Boy's stance as the robots and humans come to war. As simple as the show may seem, and I do admit it caters to a young audience, it still creates some thought about robots and humans, or even the relations between people.

As for the animation, it is a step above normal, creating some pretty cool stunts. And the whole world setting is very much like Tezuka's style, a very far future that is a full environment of its own.

The music is nothing special, just it's occasional themes that come in at the right times, and the American opening is a fun song. But it's nothing remarkable.

I gave this show 3 stars, mostly because its more than just a superhero show that beats a villian every episode. The struggle for what is humanity, though simplified, is a major part of the show, and helps it stand out from other kid's shows, and was even enjoyable for an adult like me.

Animation: *****
Music: ****
Story: ****
Overall: *****

If you have never heard of FLCL (often said, "Fooly, Cooly"), you are missing on one of the most unique, original, and bizzare series of all anime. It's even hard to pin down what the story is. It starts with this boy, Naota, who is hit on by his older brother's girlfriend, attacked by an alien on a vespa scooter, and has robots come out of his head. And then it gets weird.

Mostly, the series is a parody of many other things. If you listen (and know your stuff), they mention and parody several different other anime titles and various J-pop stars. Episode 5 is a spoof of John Woo films (done very well).

The animation is spectacular, being extremely zany and incredibly well done. Despite the forgettable surburia that story is placed in, everything fits, even the weird stuff, in its seemly uninteresting podunk town.

The music is also memorable, most (if not all) of it being done by the Japanese band The Pillows, which gives the show a very punk feel with it's loud and strange rock chords. The music just amplifies the weirdness of the show.

Overall, you should watch this series just because it is so weird. Even though it only has 6 episodes, it would be hard to imagine what else they could do and keep it's style. And, because the show is so random and moves so quickly, repeat watchings help fill in some of the details, so of all anime, this has a very high replay value, something one doesn't necessarily consider with anime.

Well, I hope that satisfies you. I don't know what I'll review for next week, but keep an eye out. I'll definetely share something with you.

Thanks for reading, and lemme know what you think: bj_waters@hotmail.com



Welcome to Josh Waters Anime Guidepost. The ultimate reasons for this blog is to have a space to rant about anime and/or manga as well as give reviews online. It'll be good experience for me.

Anywho, I hope to update about once a week, usually talking about one show or another, often rating it on my personal system I've created. I hope that my remarks will help you get an idea of what's out there to watch and what isn't worth watching.

But to begin today, I'd just like to introduce myself a little and give an idea of what I do like. My name IS Josh Waters. I'm from Logan, Utah, USA, and I am currently a student at Utah State University with no major. (Technically, I'm computer science, but that'll change soon.) Of anime, I tend to like action and mecha series, though there are a few others that do crop up as favorites. Recently, my friend has got me watching Elfen Lied, a truly bizzare and intense series, so when I finish that, I'll review it for you guys. Some of my favorites, just so you know, are Bleach, Gundam Wing, Fullmetal Alchemist, and I'm way excited for Death Note.

As for manga, I'll read just about anything, but some of my favorites are Azumanga Daioh, Angelic Layer (anything by CLAMP, really), Rurouni Kenshin, and Oh! My Goddess.

In any case, I'll try to update again this week because this really isn't a review, just an introduction. And if there is a series you would like me to review, just email me! bj_waters@hotmail.com I'll try to watch/read it (if I can find the time) and review for you. In the meantime, try to be patient. This semester has been stressful and I also have a part-time job. But I think this will be an enjoyable experience for all of us. Okay?