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.