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Angel's Informational Reviews Anime and Cartoons
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Posted 4/24/12 , edited 9/8/12

Requiem From the Darkness(Oct 3, 2003 – Dec 26, 2003), Kyogoku Natsuhiko Kosetsu Hyaku Monogatari Natsuhiko Kyogoku's Hundred Stories
Director: Hideki Tonokatsu
Action-Adventure, Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Supernatural,
Key Words: Crime, Japanese Folklore, Gore, Monsters,
Studio: Tokyo Movie Shinsha American Licensed Publisher: Geneon

Episodes: 13

Momosuke Yamaoka is an author who writes children’s fables and folklore in the Bakumatsu age of Japan. He dreams of writing a book of hundred ghost stories but has problems starting it. One day, on a very dark and rainy day as he tries to research old myths and legends for his book, meets the Ongyou, a team of specter hunters charged with finding the truths behind the legends and bringing those that were in the wrong to justice. As he joins them on their journey, he leans the truth behind the stories and sees things that he shouldn’t really be seeing. Together with Mataichi, the talisman seller who is wrapped with bandages; Ogin, a very attractive and large breasted puppeteer that was killed 5 years ago; and Nagamimi, a large shape shifter and bird caller who controls animals; they learn that there objectives aren’t all they appear to be and that there is a larger entity behind the verge of madness in this world.


My Thoughts:I loved the stories, each show being almost stand alone as a storyline, very rarely going over 2 or more episodes and yet as you keep watching, it does lead up to something bigger. They take a lot of Japanese folklore and old stories and depict them in a rather interesting way. It does get a little hard to understand in the surreal look. You never know what is real and what is spiritual because of how some of the characters look (More on that in artwork). If you watch it in the dark, be scared. But yet the show almost asks you to watch it in the dark because it is so dark that it’s hard to see some of the detail.

The artwork is rather flat, getting its shading mostly with line drawing like it was done in pen and once in a while giving an almost three dimensional feeling almost CG-ish. It’s hard to depict though, since the CG blends well with the rest of the artwork. It has a certain feel that makes it look vintage though it’s a newer show. The background characters make it hard to know what’s real and what’s not because they all look a bit off. They most of the time look like monsters themselves and sometimes it shows who will be affected because the people that actually look normal turn out to be either killed off or the main character of the show.

I fell in love with the English actors, there voices working perfectly with the characters they portray. I especially love Mataichi’s heavy voice, almost a dark monotone though with an air of mystery. He is able to keep the monotone that doesn’t feel boring. Momosuke has a fine voice for the wimpy little boy he seems to be. The music is very hunting and dark, never overpowering but always there to give you a chill up your spine. There isn’t anything to laugh about in this, no comic relief to tone down the story.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_from_the_Darkness

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May Also Like: RIN: Daughters of Mnemoyne, Ghost Hunt, Hellsing,

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Posted 4/26/12 , edited 7/31/12

Lucky Star(Apr 8, 2007 – Sep 16, 2007), Raki☆Suta
Director: Yutaka Tamamoto (1-4), Yasuhiro Takemoto (5-24)
Comedy,
Key Words: Moe, Slice of Life,
Studio: Kyoto Animation Licensed American Publisher: Madman Entertainment

Episodes: 24

The story follows four Japanese high school girls in there every day life in Kasukabe, in Saitama Prefecture.


My Thoughts: This is going to be hard. Lucky Stay is one of those comical shows that can go in every direction. Sometimes it’s a sit down and talk show and sometimes it’s an otaku love show. Let’s see, if you like random shit in your moe pie then you would really like this.

Now that I have said this, I do have to say that I am one of those people… I actually like this show a lot. It doesn’t try to be something its not, so many shows try to be something else. This show, well… it just is. Here is an example, the very first show, they spend 7 minutes talking about different food and how they like to eat it. They don’t even explain the main characters, they just thrust you in. The characters are mostly 2 dimensional, though sometimes they do show little 3D characteristics.

I think the best way to explain why there is no story if I talk about the characters and the manga. First off, the manga is actually all about a 4 panel joke base much like our own comics in the newspaper. Because of this, they have a limited time to get a point across. Even then, most of the Japanese jokes may go straight over people’s heads if they don’t know any of the otaku life.

Now, the characters… Konata Izumi is the bona-fide otaku. She loves anything anime and even plays a couple dating sims along side her father. She may be good at sports but she would rather watch anime then be in a club. Kagami Hiirragi is a rather interesting character, acting rather tomboyish and crude but in the end, has a sweet side to her especially for her twin sister. Tsukasa Hiiragi is the younger twin that is rather clumsy and ditsy. The last one I will talk about is Miyuki Takara who is pretty much a moe girl with big breasts and cute glasses. She is clumsy but rather smart.

When the other characters come on, it just seemed like they rushed to add more characters. You see some more then others like Kanata’s little cousin. The others just seem to be pushed off to the side, and don’t get much screen time.

The artwork is very childish and bright. Although it’s like that, it’s very clean with characters going into chibi faces and sometimes they miss shape the face but its normal for comic shows. For something done by Kyoto Animation, the creators of Air and Clannad, this is way lacking but yet, I feel if it was anything like those shows that it would probably be off a bit. The endings both seem a little out of place, the live action a lot more then the other.

The voices are pretty fun, the English and Japanese actually sound very similar and that can be good and bad. Some characters sound really high pitched and really harsh on the ears. I like how the characters are mostly voiced by seasoned veterians which adds to the Otaku fandom even more as if you watch anime at all in the English dub, you have at least heard one of the many star voice actors here. The only voice I didn’t like was Patty’s. She just sounds like she’s forcing her voice. All in all, this is much like Azumanga Daioh.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Star_(manga)

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Also May Like: Azumanga Daioh, Pani Poni Dash!
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Posted 4/26/12 , edited 7/14/12

Sonic X(2002 - 2006),
Director: Hajime Kamegaki
Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Drama, Comedy,
Key Words: Mecha,
Studio: TMS Entertainment, SEGA, Sonic Project Licensed American Publisher: 4 Kids, Funimation Entertainment

Episodes: 78

During a rescue mission from Dr. Eggman’s headquarters, something goes wrong and the Chaos Emeralds explode into Chaos control and zap Sonic and his friends, including Eggman, into another dimension occupied by humans. Sonic is chased after by the police and soon ends up in a backyard swimming pool, unable to get out. Luckily, a young boy named Chris hears him splash in and saves him. Can Sonic find his friends and stop Eggman from destroying this world as well while finding the Chaos Emeralds to get back home?


My Thoughts: I grew up loving Sonic the Hedgehog shows and my favorite was Sonic the Hedgehog and friends with Sally Acorn and the gang. This is not that show. This turned into a sad little piece that 4 kids decided to dumb down and destroy. I wish this was redubbed like they did for One Piece where it was redubbed with better voices and actually whole, not cut up into strange looking segments.

Now the story line is kind of well done, in the idea that it is pretty consistent though it became full of fillers and monster a day type of story. The characters personalities seem to have changed from when I was younger and most of the other characters, I don’t remember being in any other show and so sadly, I have no base to them. Knuckles sounds more like a jackass and Tails seems a bit more of a wimp. Tails feels like hes almost a Mary Sue character. Almost anything bad that happens, he seems to have a gaget that will get them out of the pinch. For instance, in the third episode (American Dub) When Tails’ prapellers break, he just presses a couple buttons and he turns it into a jet plane. I guess Sonic would be considered a Mary Sue character as well in a sence. Not as bad as Tails but still bad in that he is pretty much gets out of a jam when he needs to.

I do have to say that I really hate Amy. Not only is her voice bad but her personality is just a bitch. She is so infatuated with Sonic that she pretty much only becomes a bad ass if someone is badmouthing Sonic and when they aren’t (and even when they are sometimes) she really can’t do much. Where does she keep pulling the hammer out of anyway? At least the others seem to have a viable looking weapon that you can understand them using. The only real personality that stayed the same was Sonic and Eggman, even if they changed Eggman’s name.

Another little name thing is that the Grandpa’s name is Chuck, just like the Uncle in Sonic the Hedgehog Satam.

I do have a question though; I don’t remember Sonic having trouble swimming. Has it just been really long since I have seen it or am I right in saying he didn’t have that much problem before? I also don’t really remember him going super saiyan as well. And how does Tails transform his pain into a bunch of different forms? Why wouldn’t he just have the jet one on its own?

Now, 4 kids have destroyed this whole show. I wouldn’t touch the dub they created because it’s just really stupid. They cut out a ton of scenes and did a photoshop to a lot of parts they did leave in. It was ok for those that didn’t know better, but if you have to do this edit, DON’T LICENSE IT!

The artwork is rather well done, as crisp as you could probably get when trying to imitate an old art style from America. At least, that’s what it feels like. It was designed with children in mind so the characters mostly look like chibi creatures and the style feels interesting.

The music is alright, and is pretty much is similar to the video games. The voices, surprisingly, might be the best that 4 kids used and that’s saying a lot. I do like the snarky voice of Sonic, and its better then what has happened sometimes but most of the others are rather bad. Amy’s voice is really really terrible and Cream’s voice is odd and squeaky.

Rating:
It's alright, though not as good as I remember it.

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_X
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Posted 4/27/12 , edited 6/20/12

Birdy the Mighty: Decode(July 4, 2008 – Sept 29, 2008)
Director: Kazuki Akane Written by: Hiroshi Onogi
Sci-fi, Comedy,
Key Words: Aliens, ecchi,
Studio: A-1 Pictures Licensed American Publisher: Funimation Entertainment

Episodes: 13

Birdy Cephon Altera is a alien Federation agent that chases criminals in outer space. On one such case, she chases a criminal to Earth and while in pursuit, she accidently kills a high school boy by the name of Tsutomu Senkawa. Luckily for him, there is a way to repair his body but while it is being repaired, he has to stay merged with Birdy’s body to keep him alive. Can he keep Birdy a secret while still letting her continue her investigation?


My Thoughts:This is one of those strange shows where one of the main characters dies before the main plot is even really talked about. I can’t help feeling like I have heard this story somewhere before, where two people have to share one body for a time period. I just can’t think of the show at the moment. Many of the characters personalities bother me; Birdy’s is a little two out there in the English dub. Tsutomu’s friend is positively the nosiest person in this. She will not leave him alone for a second and buts her nose into his business constantly. Sadly, they also bring people in suddenly without much info and leave you to figure out what the heck is going on for a while. There are a lot of cut scenes back and forward from different areas and they don’t really click where they are supposed to come into play.

The artwork is a little interesting and sometimes not consistent enough to be the best. Many times, the artwork feels really lazy. Many times, the characters lose shape a lot and some look off, no eyebrows and don’t have really great facial looks to it. Overall, it’s pretty bland and un-detailed with 3D spliced all over the place from outer space to just little camera angle changes. Sad thing is that you can actually see and know that its 3D without even having to look too hard. The outfit Birdy wears is really too showy and ecchi, made mostly for fan service it seems and I don’t get why almost every step seems to have this flint and medal look where sparks fly.

When it comes to the voices, it’s all over the place. Tute is one of the best I think, the English voice actor, J. Michael Tatum (known for Sebastian from Black Butler and Scar in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) sounds a lot like Shinji Kawada, the Japanese voice actor. He seems to have the perfect voice for the knowledgeable character in these. Birdy on the other hand… well… I like her Japanese voice better then her English one. Her Japanese voice sounds more like one of authority then her English Teen pop voice. Even when she’s relaxed in Japanese, she sounds more like a investigator.

Unfortunately, I lost interest in most of the show after the 3rd episode because of a certain character was pretty much thrown out of the show. To me, that character was the only worth watching in this show. The rest really got on my nerves.

Rating:
I’m sorry… I just could not get into it.

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdy_the_Mighty

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May Also Like: UFO Princess Valkyrie,
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Arcade Gamer Fubuki OVA(Feb 25, 2002 – Jan 25, 2003)
Director: Yuji Mutoh Written by: Mine Yoshizaki, Ryota Yamaguchi
Fantasy, Comedy, Action, Ecchi, Shounen,
Key Words: video games, Magical Girl, Parody, Sports,
Studio: US Manga Corps Video Licensed American Publisher: Bandai Visual, Shaft, Lantis, Central Park Media

Episodes: 4

Fubuki Sakuragasaki is a very good at video games and with the power of her Passion Panties, climbs though the ranks of the BAG (Best of Arcade Gamer) tournament to be the greatest gamer. Unfortunately, the evil Gulasic Group is out to conquer the world through this tournament. Can Fubuki team up with the legendary Mr. Mystery and stop Gulasic Group from taking over?


My Thoughts: Let me ask you this, what the hell is this show? I mean, I give it points for originality but man oh man….. This is really a messed up show. The whole premise is about a girl showing off her panties to play video games. I don’t know about her, but I wouldn’t put on a pair of underwear that some strange guy tried to give me, let alone actually take them. The show felt bland. There seemed to be no reason for this show to even exist and I have a bad feeling that Gulasic pretty much meant Classic but because of Japanese vocals, we thought it to be Gulasic.

The animation doesn’t look like a show done in the 21st century at all. It’s more like a vintage version. I so do not get the characters at all, the guy for the first part has what look like large beaver teeth and don’t even look like they are connected to his mouth. The animation is bland and over used a lot. It pretty much feels like a panty shot hentai style artwork.

I couldn’t actually stand the Japanese voices at all, they were way too high pitched and painful. Of course English voices aren’t any good ether but at least they are better. The English at least gives it the same out of control comedy that it should have, but it felt… well, more like Excel Saga in how the voices sounded. Fubuki was really high voiced, her friend sounds like a squeaky Emi Oba from Comic Party. Even the guy that follows Fubuki around sounds off. In the first part, he says BAG in English, and it sounds a lot like Fag instead.

Rating: This is just a total waste of time.

Link to Wikipedia:

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May Also Like: Excel Saga, Puni Puni Poemy,
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Hand Maid May(July 6, 2000 – Sep 22, 2000), HAND MAID メイ
Director: Shinichiro Kimura Written by: Kazuki Matsui (ep 1, 6, 10), Kenichi Yamada (ep 3, 7), Koichi Taki (ep 2, 5, 8), Mutsumi Nakano (ep 4, 9) Music: Shinichiro Kimura
Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Romance, Scifi, Shojo,
Key Words: Computers, Fan Service, Time-Travel, Robot, Magical Girlfriend,
Studio: Pioneer L.D.C.; Wonder Farm American Licensed Publisher:

Episodes: 10 + 1 OVA

Kazuya Saotome is a second-year engineer student at Ochanomizu Industrial University. He has dreamt of creating an Artificial Intelligence robot and is working on a prototype that looks much like a Toy Squid he calls Doraemon. One day, his rival, Kotaro Nanbara, gives him a program that was supposedly going to give him valuable information to help but in actuality, it was a computer virus that he created to destroy all his work. While attempting to fix the virus, he somehow orders a ‘Cyber-doll’ from Cyberdyne Corporation website. When he gets the package, it turns out to be a palm-sized robot girl called May that was created to take care of his cleaning and needs. Unfortunately, it seems that someone wishes to take May away from him and sends waves of cyber-dolls in order to try. Can he follow his dream and make a AI like May or will he end up come crashing down?


My Thoughts: It’s rather cute in a way, though full of fan service. They do a lot of panty shots along with dressing scenes. Because of this, I wasn’t able to get fully into the story line like I wanted but it also didn’t seem to know exactly what it wanted to do. I felt the story went all over the place until they finally figured out something to do at the end. The poor guy ends up getting a cute girl that will help him with everything he needs. I have never actually been fond of the story line but at least I could stand this one.

It’s a standard harem, where the main character is pretty much a standard nerd that doesn’t stand out and yet all the girls love him. Seriously, the only thing that is different about Saotome is that he’s good with computers and even then, he wasn’t able to figure out that there was a virus on the CD that was given to him. Clearly he isn’t all that smart. The girls are pretty and reminds me of Chi a lot from Chobits although these girls can actually keep a conversation going.

The characters are over simplified and generic. Kazuya is a nerd, who pretty much never had a girlfriend, yet all the girls that see him seem to be drawn to him; Kasumi Tani is a bitchy tomboyish girl that seems to not care if her panties are showing or not with how short her skirts are; and I had to sweet drop when Nandara showed up. He is really flamboyant and over the top. It seems whenever a rich guy shows up, they are like that in these shows. Most of this is very stereotypical of these shows. I’m not really sure about Doraemon’s name and look. He looks like a Digimon and the name is like that as well.

The voices are somewhat annoying in the English dub. I don’t quite like some of the girl’s voices; they are a little too high pitch sounding. In the Japanese, it seemed better though not by much. I do like Nandara, Doraemon, and Kazuya’s voice, Doraemon’s rather more then anyone else’s. It’s just perfect for an android or robot. The music is way too cutesy for me, and sometimes seems not to fit the show sometimes. I think a little more techno would work better. All in all, not the best show in Japanese, worse in English I feel.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_Maid_May

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May Also Like: Mahoromatic, Angel Tales, Sister Princess, Chobits,

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Dream Eater Merry(Jan 7, 2011 – Apr 8, 2011)
Director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi Written by: Ushiki Yoshitaka Music: Keiichi Oku
Action, Fantasy, Supernatural, Horror,
Key Words: Dreams, Moe, Ecchi,
Studio: J.C. Staff Licensed American Publisher: Sentai Films

Episodes: 13

Yumeji Fujiwara has a rather interesting ability; he can see into people’s dreams and can also predict what kind of dream they will have next after something that happened 10 years ago. Unfortunately, his own dreams become nightmares when he starts to have strange dreams of cats chasing him around. Turns out a Dream Demon by the name of John Doe wants to use his body to come to the real world.
In the real world, as he is walking home from school one day, a girl ends up falling on top of him. Her name is Merry Nightmare and she is also a Dream Demon but somehow became trapped in the real world, trying to get back to the dream world.


My Thoughts: Well, this is I guess a bit like Soul Eater in that there are children in charge of fighting; also the fact that the characters seem rather Moe then frightening, especially Merry who acts much like a child. She whines and cries like a little brat. These characters, normally, I can’t stand but this one didn’t seem as bad. The differences between the human world and the dream world does blur a bit and only looks strange when something odd pops up like a floating fish skeleton. I’m not sure why Merry wants to go back when she seems to be having a wonderful time in the human world. Another strange thing is that right after Merry comes into Yumeji’s life, he actually wants to have the bad dreams to find out things about her. What is up with the name John Doe for an actual villain’s name? It just really feels too generic for one. Lots of the names from the dream world seem like they were just grasping at straws to get a name.

The show actually does a 180 near the end; it rather threw me off a bit. It was like they thought the show was going way to slow (and it actually was for a 13 episode show) and speed up the ending so fast that I had no clue which way to look. Not only that, but they added a really strange enemy that really seemed out of place. I have heard that the enemy in this show was actually not in the manga. If that was true, then what was the point of having a character that wasn’t flushed out like that? It just didn’t play out how I thought it would; it could have been nice if it wasn’t for the fact that the ending didn’t fell like an ending at all. It was like a middle of a series or even the end of a season. I really feel that the show should have been longer and more fleshed out rather then the crap ending they did give us.

The art style is rather nice and yet, the design of most of the characters seems generic. I’m pretty sure I have seen Yumeji somewhere else before or at least the design of him. Most of his friends in the real world are also rather generic and boring. Simple Moe characters with no real way of standing out. At least Merry stands out with out strange her outfit is and her eyes. Merry’s eyes are actually interesting, very reptile-like or frog-ish. Other then that, she looks much like Karin from Vampire Chibi Karin and an elf had a child, she even has fangs. Most of the character designs for the dream demons actually seem like they came from the new game coming out called ‘Skull Girls.’ It’s a good thing since this is a fighting show, and I would be happy if this became an actual fighting game.

I don’t get when they give us some clips that look as though they were just made as roughs for the manga. It just takes the fluid part of the art and throws it at a wall. It does build suspense I guess but I know other ways they could do so.

I only watched the Dubbed version for the voices and could not find the sub version. The cats feel way too cartoony and yet one cat’s voice is to macho… I would have thought he would have a squeaky voice like Mickey Mouse. Merry’s voice actually feels pretty good to her character as well as John Does, where as Yumeji’s voice again, like his artwork, is pretty generic. One thing that bothered me was that she had this quote that she seemed to say just to add something for the moving mouth.

The music is actually pretty nice for a fighting show and I kind of fell in love with the opening music. The scores for the back ground don’t really stand out much but yet when they are needed, they seem to shine through and set the mood for it.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Eater_Merry

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May Also Like: Soul Eater,

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Abenobashi Magical Shopping District(Apr 4, 2002 – June 27, 2002)
Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga Music: Shiro Sagisu
Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Parody, Supernatural, Adventure, surreal,
Key Words: Space, Dinosaurs, RPG, Robots, Magic,
Studio: Gainax, Madhouse Licensed American Publisher: ADV Films


Episodes: 13

Arumi and Sasshi were born and have grown up in the Abenobashi shopping district in Osaka, Japan. Many of the old shops have been taken down and the only one left standing at the 4 corners of the shopping district is Grill Pelican, Arumi’s family shop. After a strange accident that shattered the statue of the pelican, the whole place seemed to change into many strange worlds full of Sci-fi, Fantasy, war, dating sims and so much more.


My Thoughts: This is one tripped out show. I think Gainax just loves to create some tripped out shows. The first part is like a slice of life show, the second part is really created like a video game like a RPG, the third is a Star Wars Parody… the list goes on and on of what this show seems to do. I watched it mostly to see what the hell they would come up with next. It wasn’t boring at all to me because the story line just went a bit crazy for these two children. A lot of this stuff is odd and like Puni Puni Poemi or Excel Saga. It’s just pure insanity and that’s what makes it funny I think.

Now, just like in FLCL, this show seems to have an underlining story line behind it all… but most of the time, I think it’s lost in translation. Where FLCL had an underlining meaning about growing up, this one seems to be about dealing with change. At least… I think it is. The idea is hard to figure out and really makes me feel a bit stupid but as I was watching this in the early morning, I didn’t really care. Part of the fun was that I had no sleep and had a moment of what I call ‘ask me if I’m a stone’ moment. (The reason for this is a very long story. Long story short, it’s when things that don’t make sense become funny when you’re running on very little sleep.)

The character designs are rather generic mostly. I can see a lot of similar things between Eutus of this show and Kaze from Final Fantasy Unlimited making feel that they went for stereotypes. A mysterious man with a cape and long hair, chiseled face. Not sure about Mune’s character. When they show the history, she was pretty sweet and seemed rather... well, covered up. Now she seems to be rather slutty and show off a lot of skin. Threw the show, I have not seen any reason why that happened although it explains just a little about who Mune and Eutus are in the real world. I’m at least happy they don’t give me the middle finger and tell me to read the manga like how FFU does.

The artwork is pretty vintage, but you can see signs of today’s crisp looking art. Unfortunately from the start, I could see many things in the artwork that makes me think Gonzo or Gainax right off the bat. I didn’t find out till later that Gainax did have a hand in it but I don’t understand how Madhouse has a hand in it. Most of Madhouses stuff looks so much better then this stuff. In fact, I could say that this is a lot like Final Fantasy Unlimited and FLCL more. Lots of times, they had a runny eggs approach and I was grasping at straws trying to figure out what I was even seeing. Colors just blend into each other, characters become miss-shapened, and a lot of odd things pop up from the blobs. The opening is very disappointing; looking pretty much like it was just clips from the first episode. The ending is odd as well with old still images. Both of these made it really odd.

The voices… I’m not so sure why the English voices seem to have a southern Texan accent. I guess it would be something to show that it’s Osaka like but I don’t know about this. But then how the heck is Arumi’s dad able to speak so strong French when he is daughter sounds Texan still? I also don’t get why every 5 seconds, Arumi has to say her cheesy line. It’s annoying. It’s not just the English with the saying and the French voice. They say it in the Japanese dub two (Although it is really freaken funny hearing a French accent with Japanese language). This is one of the shows that they seem to of tried to keep it as original to the script as possible but sadly, it makes the characters sound odd.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Shopping_Arcade_Abenobashi

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May Also Like: FLCL, Excel Saga,
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UFO Princess Valkyrie(July 4, 2002 - 2004)
Director: Shigeru Ueda, Nobuhiro Takagi, Nobuhiro Takamoto
Comedy, Sci-fi, Ecchi,
Key Words: Harem, Magical Girl, nudity, Moe, Cat Girls, Lolita,
Studio: Media Factory Inc. TNK Licensed American Publisher: ADV Films (Season 1-2) FUNimation (Season 3-4)

Episodes: 32

Kazuto Tokino is a young man who is the now proud owner of his grandfather’s bathhouse. He tries to keep it open despite the protests from his parents. It would be hard enough on his own to keep the bath house running, let alone having an alien princess named Valkyrie almost destroy it and mortally wound him. She was able to save his life with a magical kiss but it cost her half of her soul and transformed her into an 8 year old child. She can temporarily turn back and use the Key of Time, a special and powerful artifact but it is short. With the princess stuck on Earth and the entire solar system looking for her, are the two becoming closer and closer together.


My Thoughts: Oh god… what did I get myself into was my first thought. This is one of those fan service lolita complex shows. The first episode actually through me off, not having any explanation of what the hell was going on. Just that Kazuto for some reason has a little girl with him and she has part of his soul. They never explain any fucken part of it and when she does transform, she has really really pointy nipples… I have to actually agree with Professor Otaku on this one and say what the hell I was even thinking trying to watch this crap. I could tell this wasn’t for me from the first show that this wasn’t for me.

Watching this, I kept wondering if it was based on a dating sim because of all the girls in it, they always seemed to be stereotypical women of that. We got the Lolita, the childhood friend, the miko, the cat girl, the… the whatever you want really. And yet, it seems to try to be something that it never will be, a good put together show. I keep grasping at straws here trying to put more into this and I just can’t.

The artwork is actually really well done but sadly, looks like every other freaken moe show out there. There really isn’t much I can say about it that I really haven’t said in other times. I would consider this artwork gouty and actually unappealing for the most part, bright childish colors and then a lot of fan service. Many of the characters seem like they would feel at home in some hentai rather then a normal ecchi show. Now, saying this, I do have to say that Kazuto is a bit of a cutey in anime standards but only just. The rest of the characters… the girls look really slutty and I rarely see men in here.

The music is actually pretty good for the most part, and keeps the feeling of myths but the English voices are just… well, less to be expected. I really keep cringing at the voices and the women’s are the worst. Actually, scratch that… little Valkyrie is the worst of them all! Her and miss miko. It is just bothersome to me.

And I just have to ask, how the hell did this get 4 seasons of it? (By the way, yes I am a girl so maybe that’s the reason why I don’t like it but really? To much clutter makes me want to get away from the anime.)

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_Ultramaiden_Valkyrie

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Outlaw Star(Jan 8, 1998 – June 25, 1998), Future Hero Next Generation Outlaw Star, Seihou Bukyou Outlaw Star,
Director: Mitsuru Hongo Music: Koh Otani
Sci-fi,
Key Words: Space Opera, Space Western, mature,
Studio: Sunrise Licensed American Publisher: Bandai Entertainment

Episodes: 26

Gene Starwind and his 11-year-old business partner, Jim Hawking run a small business where they do odd jobs for a living. While taking a bodyguard job for a woman named Hilda, they are attacked by pirates. Turns out that Hilda is an outlaw and had stolen a treasure from them, a young android by the name of Malfina. She is the key to a special grappler ship and the group heads out to find it.


My Thoughts: Um… I can say this for certain, Wow… It’s nice to see something that isn’t moe induced lovey dovey stuff or perverted thoughts of the male sex. Every once in a while, it’s nice to have a really manly type of show. (Yes, I am a girl… I do like men things…) After hearing great reviews from Professor Otaku, I just really wanted to see it. I was not disappointed. If I have to compare it to something that is similar in today’s era, I would have to say it’s like Firefly.

Actually, I have a strange feeling that they took the idea for Firefly from this. Gene is a lot like Malcolm Reynolds, butch, scruffy, and a ton of scars. Both also have this strange attitude that they talk with their guns pointed. Unlike Mal though, he isn’t a veteran of a war. He pretty much learned on the streets how to be a bad ass. He also has a phobia of space, something that I have actually never seen in any Sci-fi.

Malfina is much like River Tam in how she seems to be special. In fact, she even shows up in exactly the same way, in a cold storage. She keeps asking why she was born and is a little loopy in that aspect. The only difference is that she is needed to pilot the ship. Her temperament is like a mix of River and Kaylee in that she is sweet and gentle, able to work with the ship to get it up and running.

Jim Hawking (I really believe that his name is a play off of a character from Treasure Island) is a rather crazy computer wizard. I consider him a bit like Edward from Cowboy Bebop. He seems just a little more subtle though and I do think I like that.

Now, I do have to ask how there are people that seem to be able to use magic when they are in a really high technology heavy show? They never seem to explain about that in the little historical information given in the beginning of each show (good call to the creators by the way). The historical information does actually help since they don’t really explain it in the actual show much.

Even though this is a lot like Firefly (Yes, I know it came first), to me, this is actually something different that they put together. Firefly has only human people but in this, they have aliens that can look like frogs to tiger cat girls. Sadly, you don’t seem to see much of these aliens and I would like to learn a bit more about them and their culture. You only see one character most of the time. The story is pretty slow and they only get underway at about the 9th episode. Even then though, there wasn’t really any filler and were actually building up the plot line. When they do get up and running, it’s more about getting money for the ship. There is a story line that ties the whole thing together though and it makes you want to watch even more.

When it comes down to the artwork, you have to keep in mind that it’s a old show done when they were on the edge of just starting computer generated anime. Even so, this is all cell based and pretty high class for that style. The colors are bright and well detailed even in the action scenes. I have to say, this might be some of the best action scenes in an outer space style done with cells. I think all the others I’ve seen were computer generated (I have not seen much of Cowboy Bebop yet so don’t quote me on that yet.) Not really sure why the design of the ships look like… um… dildos or bongs would be the better word for it. Characters feel very stretched out with tiny waists as well, with movements looking a little stiff or not right. And another small note… there are a couple times that the women are naked.

The English dub is actually really well done even if it is sometimes a little clunky. They directly translated the script but yet, the voices picked out for the crew are almost perfect with them. Bob Buchholz is really good as the voice of Gene and has enough of a boyish charm that keeps him young. Something tells me that this was the first that Ian Hawk did and he is perfect for Jim Hawking and Emilie Brown is wonderful for Melfina. She has a way of speaking that sounds partly like an android and yet she has a lot of feeling behind her words.

The music is really well done, and I love the opening song. The opening artwork is alright, though it just seems a bit odd in how it has been cut. The ending is somewhat alright, though it is a little slow and the thing of stills just seems a little off since it isn’t in an anime style. They are also much more detailed then the actual show.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlaw_Star

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May Also Like: Vandread, Cowboy Bebop, Firefly,
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FLCL OVA(Apr 26, 2000 – Mar 16, 2001), Fooly Cooly, Furi Kuri
Director: Kazuya Tsurumaki Written by: Yoji Enokido Music: The Pillows
Sci-fi, Surreal, Black Comedy, Urban Fantasy,
Key Words: Slice of Life, Robots,
Studio: Gainax; Production I.G. Licensed American Publisher:Funimation Entertainment

Episodes: 6

Naota is just a bored boy in the boring town of Mabase. Nothing ever changes, nothing ever is fun. Medical Mechanica built a factory up on top of a hill and the adults were so happy about it. He never cared anything about it or gave it a second thought until a very strange women named Haruko Haruhara came and hit him over the head with her vintage Rickenbacker 4001left-handed electric bass guitar. After that, all manner of things have been happening to him including strange robots popping out of his head like pimples. Seems like life has really started to change for the poor boy.


My Thoughts: This show is mostly one of the funniest shows that I seen. Alright, so the characters are really out there but what I think is the crazy thing is, the one person that is seen as ‘normal’ is the main character, Naota. Unfortunately, I think he’s a little two bland of a character at least in the beginning. He always says nothing ever happens in the small town he lives in but yet, all around him, strange things that aren’t normal are happening. It makes me want to slap him upside the head! Of course, if I did, then something else may come out of his head then.

Haruko is a pretty cool character and as you keep watching, you find that she isn’t just a comedy piece. She actually seems to be rather smart and has some good info. As Naota and her get closer together, I feel that she helps him to except becoming an adult but yet still being a child.

Mamimi, I think, is an adult that never grew up. She seems to not be all there and in turn, it does make her a bit creepy to me. I don’t really see what Naota sees in her and even at one point; he seemed to be forcing himself to actually like her. I think she was just a substitute for his brother.

The artwork is really out of control, sometimes shown with a runny eggs look and other times almost normal (if you can say anything about this show is normal.) Now someone was a good boy and actually paid attention to their camera angles, sometimes it’s just a simple flip of where they are sitting and sometimes it’s just the angle in the battle scenes. Another little piece that’s interesting is that they used sort of a manga panel style once in a while. It shows off a bit of different styles from super realistic to runny eggs to even American pop culture like South Park.

When we go into the thought of English Dub or Sub, Dub I think is the way to go. The voices match the Japanese dub pretty well and they do keep the real intention of the show. Of course, they do change a couple little things but most of them were actually cultural differences and not much else. The music is wonderful and the pillows seem like the perfect band for this show. They are somewhat out of control and crazy but also has a controlled feel.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLCL

Other Reviews:

May Also Like: Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Abenobashi Magical Shopping District, Excel Saga

Manga Review: http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-618443/angels-review-manga-and-comics?pg=4#44839945
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Pani Poni Dash!(July 3, 2005 – Dec 25, 2005)
Director: Akiyuki Shinobo
Comedy, Parody,
Key Words: Child Prodigy, Slice of Life,
Studio: Gansis; Shaft Licensed American Publisher: Funimation Entertainment
Tumblr Link: http://angelsreview.tumblr.com/post/24236078822/paniponidash
Reviewtopia Link: http://reviewtopia.net/community-reviews/entry/anime/angels-anime-review-pani-poni-dash

Episodes: 26

Rebecca Miyamoto is a MIT Graduate with triple majors but she is only 10 years old. Even though she is so young, she moved to japan and became homeroom teacher of class 1-C and a mathematics teacher at Momotsuki High School. Her class 1-C is full of some interesting characters. Together, they go threw strange times threw there school.


My Thoughts: This is actually really odd piece of work. It revolves around a small girl that is a child prodigy that is being watched by aliens. The show feels a lot like School Rumble, Lucky Star, and Azumanga Daioh. It’s all over the place and hard to understand and yet it is fun and energetic. The story really doesn’t have much of a plot and even makes itself seem like a low budget TV show. The only thing that really keeps the show interesting is the characters. Many things don’t seem to actually blend in together.

Rebecca is a really odd girl, supposed to be smart but they never show that she is. She may seem smarter then most of the characters there but that isn’t much to be proud of. She’s a loudmouth, smart ass little girl that really cares more about herself then most of her students feelings. She is pretty much like a whiny little brat though she does she have a little bit of good traits and yet she might be the only lovable character in the show. I’m really not all that sure about the other characters because they seem to all blend into each other. I don’t even get how the cat is considered God too. It just seems really strange.

My favorite character is Rebecca’s rabbit actually. It’s a really strange mutant bunny that walks around is almost always depressed. To me, that’s the best character in this moe induced world.

The opening reminds me of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and some of the old spy shows in how the whole thing seems to be old colorations and somewhat grainy sometimes. The artwork in the actual show is down right crazy sometimes. It’s very bright and sometimes even too bright. It’s somewhat hard to watch because the style jumps from rather good to somewhat decent quality especially when the characters squash and stretch.

The music is alright, mostly the sappy slice of life stuff we normally get and has a feeling of Azumanga almost while still being its own. I’m not sure why every character seems to have a ‘hair-lo’ as some people call it, like its stage lighting. Another thing that feels strange is times when the whole show becomes a video game or stage in itself, and the characters talk about it, breaking the 4th wall to bring the watcher in more.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pani_Poni

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May Also Like: School Rumble, Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh,

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Mermaid Forest TV(Oct 4, 2003 – Dec 20, 2003) Rumic Theater: Mermaid Forest
Director: Masaharu Okuwaki
Adventure, Drama, Romance, Horror
Key Words: Folklore, immortal, mermaids,
Studio: TMS Entertainment, Prime Direction Licensed American Publisher: Geneon
Tumblr Link:
Reviewtopia Link: http://reviewtopia.net/community-reviews/entry/anime/angels-anime-review-mermaid-forest-tv

Episodes: 13

The legend of mermaids has been around since time first began and the story of its flesh has been around just as long. It states that if you eat a mermaid’s flesh, it can grant you immortality and heal you of your sickness, but that does not work for everyone. 500 years ago, a man named Yuta ate a small piece. Now, he travels threw the centuries in Japan, hoping to find a mermaid that will help him lift this curse that has been placed upon him. Soon, he finds a young girl that had been trapped by mermaids and frees her, only to find that she has also eaten mermaid flesh. Now the two travel together, searching for their own way to become human once again.


My Thoughts: For those of you who don’t know, this is a show that was created by the same manga-ka that created Ranma ½, Inuyasha, and Lum. I had actually never known of this show until I was just glimpsing at a list of dubbed anime. Having said this, the show is a bit odd in comparing it to the shows she normally does.

The story follows two characters the most part, a man and woman who have eaten mermaid flesh and so have gained immortality. Throughout the story, you can see the different changes of the world as years go by. In a way, this is somewhat like RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne in that sense. A lot of times though, they do look back on Yuta’s life, sometimes making it a bit hard to understand exactly what is going on when we pop back suddenly into a new time frame. Once in a while, it is hard to pick out what is looking to the past and what is actually in the ‘present’ day time frame since some places never change. It makes me wonder why they didn’t just show Yuto’s life threw up till when he meets Mana instead of flopping back and forward.

The stories not only follow these two as they travel around but also seem to be cases in where others have been affected by mermaids weather eating their flesh, having ashes dumped on them, had drunken mermaid blood, or even just had someone they knew eaten by a mermaid. We get a sort of case file of the mysterious world of the mermaid powers which reminds me of shows like Petshop of Horror and detective anime, just a little more based on one specific piece of the mermaid mythos.

The idea of mermaids being able to give birth is actually a really cool thing to see and I love how they put that into the show. It’s awesome and I have never really seen that happen in a show so it makes it rather different then other mermaid tales. Another really interesting thing is that the went off the normal folklore of the mermaids looks, having them be beautiful women sometimes and then giving them a monstrous look when they are fighting someone. Most of the time now a days, we look at a mermaid and we want to see the beautiful women with flowing hair but in reality, the story of a mermaid was placed as them being true monsters, something to be feared instead of loved.

The artwork is pretty much the same as Inuyasha and all her other shows. It’s pretty much the same in how the eyes and coloring is. There are some things that seem a bit off in their faces, when looking straight on, they look rather flat but when looking at them in profile, they show more to the face. Other things like details on the boats and water is pretty good. The scales of the mermaid seem to be different when you look between when they have them on and when they wash up on shore. Though it feels like a show that had cut corners on many pieces of the animation, it was a normal thing for them to do stuff like that when this first came out so I still give them props for making it pretty enjoyable.

The voices are really bad in the English dub. Non of them actually match the lip flaps. As I kept watching it, the Japanese voices did grow on me but that didn’t help the lip flap problem which did get a bit better as the story kept going but never seemed all that good. For it being a 2003 show (No, I don’t know when the actual dubbing took place) I would of thought it would have been just a little bit better. Music is so so, not great, and again, not that bad.

A small note to anyone looking for the manga, it is under the name Mermaid Saga by Rumiko Takahashi.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mermaid_Saga

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May also like: Inuyasha, Ranma ½, 3x3 Eyes, Mermaid’s Scar, Princess Mononoke

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Gun Frontier (2002), Gan Furontia(Mar 28, 2002 – June 24, 2002)
Director: Soichiro Zen
Western, Buddy Comedy, Low Fantasy, Action-Adventure,
Key Words: Guns, Samurai,
Studio: Vega Entertainment Licensed American Publisher: Media Busters; Enoki Films
Tumblr Link:
Reviewtopia Link: http://www.reviewtopia.net/community-reviews/entry/anime/angels-anime-review-gun-frontier

Episodes: 13

Gun Frontier is an outlaw area in the west where there is no sense of real law. Tochiro Oyama is a wondering Samurai trying to find the survivors of a brutal attack on the Japanese immigration town of Samurai Creek, especially his sister. As he travels, he is accompanied by Franklin Harlock Jr., an ex-pirate who became a great gunslinger after Tochiro saved him from death. In one town, they run into Sinunora, a very beautiful and seductress women but mysterious and seems to know more then she is letting on. There travel isn’t all fun as numerous people, both connected to the attack and not, try to fight them at every turn. Not only that, but most Japanese are not looked to kindly on in the great South West. Can Tochiro really find his family and protect his friends?


My Thoughts:This show reminds me a lot of Trigun. A man on a journey to do something and as he travels, he picks up a bunch of people to be part of his group. Now, unlike Trigun, this is placed on earth and in a time when the west was still young. A man lived with a gun at his side or would end up dead.

The story revolves mainly around Tochiro and Franklin Harlock (the guy that looks like a western version of Captain Harlock… put two and two together) as they travel. At first, all you know of these characters is that they are somehow connected and are a bit miss matched. When we do find out when they met, it feels a little forced although ties Harlock’s past as a pirate with the sword duel on a ship. (Ok, can I not spell this out enough? They took the Space Pirate and put him in a western show.) I would have loved to know a bit more about each character’s passed; we barely get anything about the background of any of them.

When talking about them separate, it’s just a little hard because they play off each other so well. Tochiro always respectful and talks about finding his people. He is a true samurai of old times and never really faulters in how he acts to women and respectable men both. Harlock always ends up saving Tochiro when a blade didn’t come in handy. He’s rather quiet and is pretty much the silent type who doesn’t really go out of his way to do something for his buddy. The two never let anything come between them including a women which can make them a good candidate for a bunch of fan art…

For Simunora, we never learn very much about her and I felt rather confused when she did what she did. The only thing you learn really about Sinunora is that she is French (really… how original… a French woman trying to get into someone’s pants, thanks stereotypes…) and that she might know something about what happen to Tochiro’s people. She tries to get in the middle of them but most of the time they don’t listen. In fact, the time one of them almost got to sleep with her, she pretty much had only teased them and shot them down. It got so bad that I was thinking ‘Just kill her or force her’ just to get her to stop.

As the story goes on, the only character that really grows is Tochiro and that’s not saying much. The only way he grows is that he seems to get a bit better at the sword (like he wasn’t a expert already?). The ending is rather stupid and a big cliffhanger. You are just crying out to be able to see more but it gives you a big middle finger and points to a manga that I don’t think has been translated yet.

The art style is very vintage even if this show is from the 21st Century. I think it is partly a look to the old show ‘Captian Harlock.’ Though Captain Harlock was set in space, this doesn’t have anything really to do with space and the he was only a sea pirate instead of anything more. This is not for little kids. Many times, Sinunora ends up striping for someone or getting her clothing torn off. They do not show much of her privates but you still see a lot of her and it is implied. Now most of the side characters look like strange morphed creatures including Tochiro sometimes and normally it seems that most men look like pigs while women look so beautiful.

The voices, well, they pretty much are good for a low budget film but none of them really stand out to me. It’s sad really but it does happen. The English is a bit better then the Japanese in this case but there isn’t much difference.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_Frontier

Other Reviews:




Also May Like: Trigun, Captain Harlock,

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Chobits(Apr 2, 2002 – Sep 24, 2002),
Director: Morio Asaka
Comedy, Romance, Sci-fi,
Key Words: Magical Girlfriend, human computers, True love,
Studio: Madhouse American Licensed Publisher: Geneon (2003-2007); Funimation Entertainment (2011)

Episodes: 26

Hideki Motosuwa is a head strong, held back student, attempting to get into a university by attending a prep school in Tokyo. He dreams of getting a girlfriend, but also to get a persocom, an android used as a personal computer. It is to much for a lonely farm boy. Good think he finds one in a pile of trash one day. After taking her home, he turns her on but her memory is whipped and the only thing she can say is ‘Chi.’ Because of this, he names her Chi and tries to use her for everything but yet he ends up teaching her. Turns out she isn’t like a normal Persocom and he tries to learn what she truly is.


My Thoughts: The story is pretty interesting, though the anime sadly lacks compared to the beautiful manga from CLAMP. They cut so much out and yet seemed to add things to it that were not in the original manga. In that way, it loses a lot of the meaning behind it. The story line isn’t really all that new, something we have seen a lot in media where humanoid robots take over the world, being built to be peoples slaves and sometimes sexually created. Then suddenly one goes crazy.

It’s not only in the anime but the manga as well that Chi’s restart and turn on button is her… privet place. It makes it rather creepy and pretty perverted. This whole show has a lot of fan service that isn’t in the manga which just makes things even worse. Another strange thing that happened to the anime is that the numbers got a bit odd when they brought it over. It happened from the 9th episode up. You see, the 9th episode was supposed to be actually a half episode called 8.5 instead. It was a recap…and the same goes for episode 20 which was supposed to be 18.5. Now I have to ask… why do we need this many recaps for a 26 episode series? I mean, we really aren’t that dumb and it does get really old. And even more bothersome is that there is actually a 27th (24.5) episode that was unaired and is only shown as on the DVD! You can guess what I’m going to say about that… its another bloody RECAP! Like we need one after the last show has aired! And because its on the DVD, it feels very stupid on their part because the person watching was probably marathon the show to begin with…

The comical part is actually pretty funny and the only Romance I see is Hideki’s problems with women. It’s rather bothersome sometimes. He just seems really off a lot of the times and though they give him a good reason to be, it just makes him like every other character in a harem anime. It’s a bit annoying because he doesn’t seem to have his own characteristics.

Unfortunately, the same goes for Chi and her strange personality. She’s like a little child who doesn’t know anything at all and a lot of times, it just feels really annoying. She just has no real emotions for most of the show and when she does show them, it’s rather sad or really happy. I would have at least liked to show her mad at one point.

The art style is beautiful, no duh, it is clamp that first created it and the style matches the manga pretty damn well. Unfortunately, it also has its downsides with how flat the faces look and you don’t really see their noses well when they are looking right at you. The mouths are rather small and every once in a while, you will get a character that has a chibifide expression but otherwise, it’s rather plain. The women’s hair normally is what looks the most beautiful.

The voices are alright, some work well and others in both the English and Japanese dub are not that good. Chi is really cute but her voice hurts my ears when I have to listen to her for long periods at a time like when she is walking down the street saying underpants. It’s funny, but ugg… my ears!

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chobits

Other Reviews:

May Also Like: Time of Eve OVA,

Chibits(2004)
Director: Morio Asaka
Comedy, Adventure,
Key Words: Robots,
Studio: Madhouse Licensed American Publisher: Bang Zoom! Entertainment

Episodes: 1

When Hibiki leaves his wallet at home, Chii runs out to find him and leaving Sumomo and Kotoko in the apartment. It doesn’t take long before they find out that Chii has forgotten her panties and go out on a adventure to return them.


My Thoughts: Wow, this is actually not as perverted as you thought it was going to be. The story line actually holds back some though not as much as I would hope. This doesn’t really tell you when this is happening, weather it is after the show or in the middle of it but it’s a bit funny none the less.

The artwork is the same as in the show, so not much to say on it. It’s bright, childish at times and yet shows a lot of detail.

The voices I have to sigh at. I don’t like how high pitched the two little bots voices are, and just couldn’t stand it. I just could not deal with to much of the sound.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia:

Other Reviews:

May Also Like:

Manga Review: http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-618443/angels-review-manga-and-comics?pg=4#44678025
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