Gigafrost's Anime Reviews...

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Gigafrost's Anime Reviews...

Postby Gigafrost » Wed Jul 23, 2003 12:57 pm

Yeah, I'm in an anime-watching mood, and so since I'm watching them I was thinking about how a review would go for each one, so I'm sorta inspired to write this. First, I'll give a brief synopsis\description and then I'll give 0-5 star ratings. The way I'll do this is I'll rate in the following categories:

Animation - how good is it drawn? how smooth is the animation?
Story - how does the story look? is it an interesting story?
Music - how's the music? does it contribute to the atmosphere very well?
Sound - does it sound good? did they find creative uses for it?
Characters - are they believable? are they well made?
Execution - did they mix this all together very well to efficiently deliver it?

So, for starters, I'll begin with...


Evangelion
It is the year 2015, 15 years after the well-known "second impact" which killed billions of the world's population. Shinji Ikari has been invited to NERV Headquarters for reasons he doesn't know, and his timing couldn't have been more ackward as an Angel has just landed. The Angels are strange gigantic monsters with a protective field known as an AT field; a field that cannot be breached with conventional weapons. Even a nuclear blast is unable to put an Angel out of commission; it merely slows it down. Turns out that Shinji Ikari has been summoned to NERV to be the pilot of Evangelion Unit 1, humanity's last weapon against the Angels. But what are the Evangelion? What is NERV's true agenda? What are the Angels, really? And why is it that only 15 year old children can pilot the Evas?

Animation: 4.5
Combat scenes are very well done, and the majority of scenes outside of combat are also very smoothly done, but there are certain parts of the series that are very jumpy and confusing, making it hard to follow what's going on.

Story: 5
The series is full of questions, plot twists, and very intelligently made battles. I didn't even catch all the answers the first two times I watched the series...I found many of the answers on-line.

Music: 5
I once heard the music of the series as being "godly"...I think this could be very accurate. The music is very powerful and greatly adds to the series.

Sound: 4.5
The only real problems with sound is only in the english dubbed version of the series, but this can be overcome by watching the japanese version, and it's not even totally bad in the english version. Some sounds, like the Angels firing or the sound of an AT field are truely memorable and unique.

Characters: 4.5
The series spends much of its time developing the character's...and there exist people for whom we can feel sympathetic for in many different ways, and there are people that we can like because they're not cocky or jerks or stupid.

Execution: 4.5
Almost everything comes together almost perfectly...the only people would be the parts similar to the last two episodes. They're jumpy, confusing, and seemingly inappropriate. Two arguments about this surround the net...one being that the show ran out of money at the end of the series, the other being that this was the intended ending.
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Postby Murphy » Wed Jul 23, 2003 2:18 pm

I really liked the Neon Genesis Evangelion series, its got alot of different stuff that blends together nicely. no need to say anything more, u made a good review of it :D i have allways liked the Rai Ayanami character.. dunno why.. anyway, nice anime series and nice review ^_^
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Postby Nyufrost » Fri Jul 25, 2003 3:16 am

That's a really good review, Giga. The only thing I was left wondering was what made the sounds unique or memorable?

I hope you plan to review more series. :)
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Postby TerraFrost » Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:37 am

yup... like nyufrost, i think it's a good review, too (even though the two eps i saw myself didn't perk my interest) :)

after all, a review can be good independant of whether or not the series is good :)

anyways, you should do more :)
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Postby Neerowolf » Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:01 pm

Rate Trigun. I think its up there with the rest.
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Postby Gigafrost » Fri Jul 25, 2003 6:57 pm

Trigun next? Sounds like a good one to work on while my soup cools down...


Trigun
It is the future, and mankind has more or less taken major steps backwards. All of humanity now lives on a completely desert planet, and seemingly against the will of everybody. The people of the planet live in western-style cities with vehicles and they use giant machines with an unknown power source called "Plants" to bring water above ground and to keep the sand from burying their cities. Humanity has adjusted to the new lifestyle, surviving, but amongst their mists is the great outlaw, Vash the Stampede. Vash has a 60,000,000,000 double-dollar bounty on his head for the destruction of the city of July by unknown means. He is described as a tall man with a red coat, a big gun, and blonde hair. Problem is, quite a few people meet this description. Enter our protagonist, a man that fits the descriptions quite well, but is annoyingly loud, has a craving for donuts, a caring for any human life, and a mysterious ability to defeat people without shooting or killing them. This person travels from city to city, spreading hope and kindness to humans and fighting off the destruction of their cities, all while looking for someone or something. What is this mysterious destruction that seems to follow him? Who is Vash the Stampede? How did humanity end up in its current situation?

Animation: 5
The animation of the show is really good, only faltering a bit for a little while in one or two episodes, but largely the animation is perfect and very beautiful despite the dusty desert setting.

Story: 5
In the course of the series, many questions are raised about many different characters, most of which are answered by the end of the series. The overall story is also very intriguing, coming to a very interesting conclusion.

Music: 5
The music for this series is very neat and almost always fits the situation
incredibly well, greatly enhancing the scene like good music should.

Sound: 4.5
Everything sounds great, and there are some memorable and unique sounds from this series as well...although I can't spoil it. Like Evangelion, the problems with the English dub can be overcome with the perfect Japanese dub. Which reminds me...what do I mean when a sound is memorable and unique? I mean it's a sound unlike other sounds you've heard...something that would remind you specifically of this series and of this use.

Characters: 4
The main characters of the show are really well done...with interesting personality quirks and great design. In fact, some of the most interesting personalities in anime could be found with them, especially that of the pacifist protagonist. The really big problem with the characters of this show is that all the un-important townsfolk are stupid assholes unless their town is somehow in danger and readily saved.

Execution: 5
All of this stuff put together churns out a really great series with awesome battles, awesome music, and great plot twists. Another plus is the way the major questions were handled...it doesn't seem like they were looking for excuses to put it off and then ram it all into you at once. Sometimes a show could seem like it's intentionally putting the answers off for annoyingly way too long...Trigun doesn't feel that way.
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Postby Neerowolf » Fri Jul 25, 2003 7:24 pm

Yea, i agree with the townsfolk thing. I do find it funny the way vash acts like a ditz. His face can be so funny.
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Postby Evlfrost » Sun Jul 27, 2003 3:13 pm

Well as you said the problem with Evangelion was the last two episodes. I think the problem with Trigun is that Vash tunrs into an asshole near the end.
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Postby Nyufrost » Tue Jul 29, 2003 10:24 am

That's another good review, Giga. It seems like you rated Trigun a bit higher overall than Evangelion.

I think the one you told me about that sounded neatest was "Oh my Goddess" so can you do that one next, if you are going to do anymore? :)
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Postby Gigafrost » Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:38 pm

Oh my goddess sound good...I'll review the series and then I'll review the movie afterwards.


Oh! My Goddess!
Keiichi is a pure-hearted college student...or rather he's an all-around nice guy. One evening, when he was left alone at the all-male dorm, he was visited by a woman who came out of the mirror...a First-Class Goddess named Belldandy. She came to grant Keiichi a wish, much to his suprise. Believing that his fellow dorm students are simply playing a trick on him, he wishes for the beautiful goddess to be his girlfriend forever, under the presumption that nothing would happen. But his wish was approved and he was kicked out of the dorm for having a girl in it. What will happen to them? Will everything be alright? Of course! The goddess of good fortune smiles upon him...I mean, how lucky can a guy get if a goddess (and a first-class goddess, with unlimited restrictions on her powers, at that) is living with him? What about Belldandy's sisters...do they approve of the relationship or do they hate it?


Animation: 5
I can't really think of any real flaws with the animation. Part of the problem might be that I've only seen crappy versions, or maybe the problem is the lack of any real action scenes, but everything looks proportionally correct, moves smooth enough, and ends up not really registering any flaws.

Story: 4.5
The story is really interesting, but something about it bugs me. Keiichi and Belldandy are pretty much boyfriend\girlfriend in the first episode, but I can't seem to recall them ever kissing. It's not that it's too much of a problem...they enjoy being with eachother...but it leaves a sort of hole in your expectations. In addition, the OVA is a mere 5 (6 if you consider that the 5th episode is twice the length of a normal episode) episodes long, which means that only the basics are really covered. 'Tis a pity, too, because I know I'd have liked to see more of the story than just the basics. I guess that's where the movie comes in...

Music: 4.5
Well, I know the opening and closing songs are really catchy if you're not dead-set against romance, but because the music doesn't really stand out much, I definately can't give it a perfect score.

Sound: 4.5
The sounds are just right, but they don't really stand out much. Part of the problem might be that the sounds aren't associated with "powerful" scenes, which in Evangelion and Trigun they are. Oh...another thing worth mentioning is that the english dub is *really* good...at least, it seems that way to me. The episodes I watched alternated english-japanese-english-japanese for each episode and I didn't even realize it the first few times I watched them.

Characters: 5
For starters, the series isn't populated with assholes. Sure, there's one jerk in there, but Belldandy handles him quite calmly. That and the idiots don't seem like they're just avoiding thinking...they just seem to get caught up in a situation and overly energetic and their minds slip. So, no real negative parts of this. I also think the personalities of the main characters are really well done. Despite their lack of physical affection to eachother, Keiichi and Belldandy show genuine interest in eachother. They also both seem to have pure hearts, just like they're supposed to. Basically, the characters in this series end up being really like-able.

Execution: 4.5
It's a really well done romantic series, but really short and with music and sound that don't really stand out. It's put well together, but ending the series so early really did kill much of its potential...


Ah! My Goddess! The Movie
Keiichi and Belldandy have been together for a couple of years now, and Keiichi, Belldandy, and Belldandy's sisters Urd and Skuld have had largely uneventful activities. Things still look calm, the day before strange flashes are reported being seen on the moon. Now Belldandy's old tutor, Celestine, has returned, using Belldandy's link to the systems of heaven to launch an attack against the heavens. In addition, the virus planted into Belldandy has made all her memories of Keiichi disappear. Will Keiichi and Belldandy be able to stay together even though she doesn't know him? Will the three goddesses be able to stop Celestine's plan, or will the world be destroyed?

Animation: 5
The animation for this is not only flawless...it's also really really good. This is definately movie-quality animation. It's more flashy and we get to see more than just the earth and such...we get to see more of heaven...and we also get to see more of the goddesses' powers.

Story: 5
The story for this movie is pretty grand. While in my recap above Celestine comes out as incredibly evil, it really isn't so. He is looking to rebuild the world so that there is no more pain and suffering, but he is willing to go to questionable means to obtain it. The heavens realized he was trying to do this before, and thus he was sealed and memories of what he had done were sealed away in all but a few people.

Music: 5
This time, more of the music is memorable and it stands out more. Part of this might be that there's more critical scenes in it than in the series.

Sound: 4.5
But the same problems with the sound persist. There's nothing truly "unique" to hold on to, so the sound is just sort of there.

Characters: 5
I think that with the addition of more history and more powers, the goddess characters have become much more thurough. Again, they're working with very like-able characters, here. There is even good reason for sympathy for Morgan and Celestine, the antagonists of the movie.

Execution: 5
Overall, the movie was executed almost flawlessly. The only real problem that I can think of is something Terra mentioned about it when he saw it...that he had trouble telling what was flashbacks and what was present-day. Other than that, they came up with new ideas, explored the personalities in different ways, and overall came up with a much more powerful experience than the series was able to pull off. It's no wonder why when I feel like watching an anime movie that I choose to watch this one...it's the best anime movie I've got on DVD.
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Postby Gigafrost » Thu Jul 31, 2003 6:50 pm

Okay, I hope nobody's eyes and ears start bleeding from the next review...


Dragon Ball Z
This is the story of Goku, a young fighter who became the strongest in the world while still a kid. Well, turns out he's from space, and his older brother has come to convince Goku into destroying the planet, taking Goku's child, Gohan, captive. Goku teams up with the second-strongest warrior on the planet, his rival, the evil Mr Picolo. Even though they defeat Goku's older brother, this is only the start of events to come. Progressively stronger warriors will challenge the "Z-Fighters" forcing them to train to become exponentially better fighters.

Animation: 3
While there are some good animated parts in DBZ, the series is stocked full of filler and repeated animation, very often looking wrong in some way. There does exist really good animation within the series, but it is so spread out that you'd be better off watching music videos that use the best scenes over watching the series...assuming of course you prefer to stick to animation.

Story: 3
Well, what can I say? The story is seriously lacking. There is a coolness aspect to it that people really like, but the series is mostly, well, a terrible story. When fighting, nobody gives it their all...they look for excuses to fight "at a fraction of their full power." Enemies also appear only after the previous threat has been dealt with. The real problem with this is that the new enemies are *always* more powerful than the previous ones, making the story seem dramatically unrealistic. In addition, there are inconsistancies within the story as well...excuses why some badguys should be stronger. A good example would be Garlic Jr, which Gohan was strong than while a little kid. When Garlic Jr escapes from the Dead Zone he was imprisoned in, he was more powerful than Gohan who was more powerful than Freeza.

Music: 2
The music is incredibly repetitive, even for a 300 episode series. There are only a few songs in the series that are really neat, but those are either overused or underused. Also, the music doesn't really alter the mood of the situation terribly well. Most of the scenes would do just as well without the music.

Sound: 4
Perhaps one of DBZ's higher points is the sounds. Many of the sounds are done really well, and there are even memorable\unique sounds in the series, such as the Super-Saiyan sound. Unfortunately, the english dub leaves something to be desired. The voices are changed so dramatically from the japanese version that it can hurt to go from one to the other. The japanese vocals are also better at screaming.

Characters: 3
Well, there are a couple of really good characters in the series, but unfortunately, everybody is either a total idiot or a partial idiot. This is probably one reason DBZ has been a successful "kids" show...there's nothing really complex about it since the characters wouldn't be able to comprehend it. To add to their idiot complexities, every bad guy is super-uber-cocky, and half the good guys are too. Many of the characters enjoy hearing themselves speak. Townsfolk are forgetful and are stupider than any main character. The personalities themselves are what detract from the score in this category...the background stories and physical representations of the characters are what keep it from totally flopping.

Execution: 3
If you take an overall look at the series, it sucks. They spend way too much time delaying things...a 5 minute battle should not take 10 episodes. Many scenes are repeated to extend time. People have flashbacks way too often. They also like to sit there and stare at eachother for a few minutes, listening to themselves talk about how fast they're going to win the battle. So then why do so many people like it? It's the small part of the story and characters that I mentioned...people really like them. It's easy to see that, had this series not had so many problems with it, we'd have had a very awesome anime on our hands.
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Postby Evlfrost » Thu Jul 31, 2003 6:53 pm

I thought you were going to give it a 1 for exicution.
Anyways do Love Hina next.
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:39 pm

i don't know about you, heh, but i thought the pseudo techno music of funimations dbz dub was quite nice :)

now, i'm not saying that all the music was good - just that... dbz's bad songs weren't bad enough for me to remember, but their good songs were - atleast imho :)

as for the story... yeah... they had way to many battles, they lasted way to long, and bleh. when they "killed" buu the first time, he *seemed* dead. the second time, he *seemed* dead. same for the third and fourth time, but he wasn't. by the time the last time came around, i stopped believing, and i also stopped carrying, heh. i loved how they set buu up, with babadi sending his fighters to the world tournament, but... bah. it deteriated very fast, after that, heh.

anyways... good review :)

*persuades evl that chobits should be reviewed next, as opposed to love hina* :)
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Postby Gigafrost » Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:44 pm

Hmmm...well, perhaps it does deserve a 1...I guess I was just sort of leniant?

Love Hina next? Okay, I'll make another bowl of soup and make that review while the soup cools...

Love Hina
Meet Keitaro, a 20 year old guy with a promise to keep. 15 years ago, he made a promise to the only girl that ever liked him that they would both enter Tokyo University together and live happily ever after. The problem is, he's already failed to get in two years in a row, and so far the third year is looking even worse. He needs to get out on his own for a while...and that's when he gets a call from his Grandma Hina. Turns out she intends for him to become manager of the Hinata Inn, which, unbeknownst to Keitaro, has become an all-female dorm since the last time he came. Now he has to deal with the violent and psychotic tenants of the dorm, one of which happens to be a high-school student with the highest potential to entering Tokyo University. Will Keitaro be able to enter Tokyo University while still performing his manager duties? Will he be able to survive Naru's punches, Su-chan's mechanical insaneness, Motoko's kendo skills, Kitsune's sleazyness, and Shinobu-chan's shyness? Will he be able to fulfill his promise of 15 years ago, or is persuing a 15 year old promise destroying Keitaro's life?

Animation: 5
Easily a 5, the animation is very fluid and smooth. There are even action scenes! I can't really think of much to comment about concerning the animtion other than I can't really think how it could be better except for one or two little parts...

Story: 4.5
A very neat story given its simple student-wannabe startup. About the only problems with the story is actually Narusegawa herself, who at the end of one episode will be totally nice, while at the beginning of the next be incredibly mean. As confusing as girls might be, Narusegawa gets the pie for confusingness.

Music: 4.5
The music is really neat and it really affects the mood of the series, however sometimes it can also seem repeated. Fortunately, it's not as repeated as DBZ...

Sound: 4.5
While the series doesn't have any "new" sounds, and the unique sounds aren't terribly unique (turtle sounds), the series excells in using using sounds to amplify the series. The only real bug in the series is the terrible english dub.

Characters: 5
A very interesting array of characters with complex backgrounds. Instead of coming off as stupid, your average person seems, well, average. People who are smart or wise in some way always end up having some sort of idiotic side, though, but it ends up not coming out so bad. Most of the smart or wise people need to be reminded of the world at times, anyways.

Execution: 5
I can't really think of much else they could have done with the series...about the only thing I could have thought of suggesting would have been to follow the manga closer, but then many of their jokes would have been killed. I think that the series is great the way it is, with the exception of the english dub, which as you can tell I don't really like.
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Postby Neerowolf » Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:35 pm

I that thats the best description. They really need to work on the english dub...
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