If you want to know my opinion of Anime Banzai 2007, I was disappointed. It was small and none of the major liscencing companies had booths or anything. It kinda sucked. And don't even get me started on the cosplay battle thingy. That was bad. Then again, I was only there for about 4 hours. I need to get my own car.
For those who wish to know, I'm currently in the middle of Magic Knight Rayearth, Azumanga Daioh, School Rumble, and Escaflowne. Expect reviews for them shortly. Now, onto the mayhem!
Origin ~Spirits of the Past~
When I saw trailers for this, I have to admit I was impressed. The animation looked good. And so I thought I'd check it out.
And let me tell you, the Animation really was sweet. Seeing Agito tearing through everything was pretty darn cool. Everything else in the show is straight eye candy, proof that Gonzo really is one of the best studios out there.
As for everything else, however, things become lackluster. While it was a very interesting world, I couldn't help but think that I'd seen this before. And then I realized that I had. The plot is very similar to that of Laputa: Castle in the Sky, and that kind of disappointed me. When the ending came, I thought that Shunack's death was a little dumb. The whole thing seemed barely held together and had an envirormentalist shtick thrown on top of it all, making it feel like a bit of a waste of time. IU also had a hard time with the characters and I didn't really care what happened to them in the end. It's a shame to see such great animation on such a let-down of a story.
The music seemed alright: the theme song was kind of catchy and helped set the tone of this green apocalyptic world. And Funimation's dub is spot on as usual.
I think it's worth seeing once, just to watch the animation, but there really isn't much else here that holds water.
Shaman King (64 Episodes)
As I had said last August, I was in the middle of this series and since then I had finished it. While there were some differences in story from the manga, it was still a lot of fun to watch. The animation was pretty standard for a Shonen Jump title, but it was story and the characters that had me hooked. I also liked a lot of the music. While it has the happy, Pop-style hits for the themes, the soundtrack also has some gems.
If there is one thing that I didn't like about the series, it would have to be the ending that isn't an ending. While I do understand that they needed make a new ending because they had caught up with the manga (which is also unfinished), it was a huge let down to see that everything was simply put on hold for a while instead of having anything of a decent ending.
In any case, I think the whole series is worth checking out. If you like straight forward action with goofy characters and situations, you can't go wrong with this. I think it faithfully brings out all of the elements from the original comic. I just wish Funimation would finish releasing the uncut english version.
Kino's Journey (13 Episodes)
I had a friend who recommend this to me as something really out there, something that makes you think. When I finally got around to watching it, it definitely left an impact.
To begin, the world really is fascinating and the animation does it justice. While it's not really an action series, they still do some really neat stuff. Every land Kino enters, there's a story involved with the local citizens and they're pretty fascinating.
However, it is those stories that really get under your skin. Many times, Kino runs into one kind of utopia or another that's completely jacked up. In one world, two warring nations decide to stop warring and release their aggressive tendencies upon a third, backward nation that really can't defend itself. And the last episode really drove me crazy. Here, there's a group of people who think it is their heritage to stay in a certain place despite the impending doom. To me, their heritage is being able to move on and survive at all costs. There really is a lot of social commentary in this show and it really forces you to ponder what you've seen.
When I was watching this, I had a hard time with Kino's non-involving personality. She just wanted to observe and then drive away with no attachments, and that kind of irked me, too. I ended up making a comparison to Jing: King of Bandits. You have hero that wanders at random from place to place, but Jing is the complete opposite, getting completely involved with the local circumstances to the point that sometimes he's three times over his head. I guess I prefer heroes and not observers. Then again, Jing is an action series and Kino is not. Kino is contemplative and asks for criticism, in a sense.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (14 Episodes)
The new cult classic. Haruhi was hyped as the new weird thing since FLCL, at least that's how I felt the fandom came across to me. So, in the past months, I checked the whole thing out.
At first, I was hooked. There was a really weird plot that started with this girl and grew to time travellers, espers, and aliens. I figured this was going to be pretty cool and the animation was really good, too. However, as I kept watching, I slowly realized that I was watching a sitcom. I really bizarre and freaked out sitcom, but a sitcom nevertheless. The whole concept of trying to keep things the way they are was the real kicker for me.
The music was alright and while the whole dance sequence is now immensely popular, I couldn't see it as more than nifty.
All in all, it's a comedy with some really awesome animation and twisted premise. I do think it is worth seeing, mostly for Kyon's commentary on everything, because it really is a crack up, but it just doesn't hook with me as awesome.
Negmia! (26 Episodes)
Another slightly bizarre comedy from the sick mind of Ken Akamatsu, Negima!, as far as I'm concerned, fails to satisfy in a lot of ways. While Funimation should be credited for trying to do a show with such a massive cast, they really couldn't help the story.
The manga itself is awkward, thanks to Akamatsu prolific use of fan service, but the anime somehow makes it seem even more awkward. To the credit of the comic, it really does pick up on the action and tells some pretty intense tales, the anime fails completely in this category. The whole Kyoto arc was slaughtered and my knowledge of the manga was the only thing that helped me get through it with any sanity. While the final arc to round out the series was a great attempt, it was a stupid idea in the end. But trying to make Negima into anime must have been a challenge in and of itself.
In any case, I would recommend staying away from this one. There are far better romantic comedies or action series that you could watch.
Trigun (26 episodes)
Trigun is an anime classic for American fandom. When I watched it through for my first time I actually had a hard time with it because I was familiar with the manga and found all of the differences. However, after a second time through, I was able to better appreciate it as its own story.
What can be said that already hasn't been said already. The story is a lot of fun and then it gets really intense in such a good way. The music is spot on for a sci-fi western and Madhouse really makes a show with the animation. The gun play is great, the characters are instantly memorable (I love Legato's entrance!), and everything is just spot on.
I recommend this to anyone. I know that it is now quite a bit dated, but quality is quality and Trigun really sets quite a standard to follow. Now I just need to watch Trinity Blood.
Well, that should be good for now. I think from now on, I'm going to try and tackle quite a list and do it regularly. I doubt each will be this big, but I'm going to try make it interesting every week. That is, if college will let me breathe. It's been very intense lately. Nevertheless, I'm going to keep charging on, watching more and more anime and letting you people know about it. If you have anything to say, please leave comments. I'd like to know what you think of my reviews.
Also, I anticipate a site re-design soon. I'm tired of this starter template that I have.