Ryosuke works part-time as a florist where he begins to fall for the owner, Rokka. Eight years ago, Rokka decided to give up on love but one day, due to circumstances, Ryosuke ends up in Rokka’s apartment where he runs into a half-naked man. Having mixed emotions, he realizes that this man is her late husband’s ghost. However, Rokka is unable to see him. Will Ryosuke be able to pursue his love despite the presence of her late husband? Unlike most romance anime, this one’s more mature, serious, and realistic. Though at times, it seemed boring and slow, the pace is actually perfect and matches the story completely. It has a peaceful, calm tone to it. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed watching this because it kept my heart feeling sour and heavy throughout. But I was intrigued to know what would happen next and that has pushed me to finishing it. It’s definitely not the type of anime you’ll watch, enjoy, and leave with a smile. It’s one where you’ll watch, feel, and leave with an impression.
What I love most about this anime are the characters. Unlike other anime, I don’t specifically have a favorite character in this. They weren’t special, they were just humans. Nothing about them was particularly likable or despicable. At times, there are moments when I would agree or disagree to their actions and probably like or dislike them for it, but not the way like I would love a hero or hate a villain. Once I put myself in their shoes, I’m certain I’ll do the things they do, despite it being wrong. It’s hard to explain. However, I understood them and really felt for them. The emotional pain each character endured and the way they reacted to those emotions felt very real. The voice for Natsuyuki is always recorded with all the voice actors present and I definitely think you can hear it in the acting. Every dialogue is always connected and every expression is very very believable. It also helps to have exceptionally skillful actors to act. I noticed when a character intentionally hides facial expression for the actor to show pain, anxiety or love through a small tremble in the voice, or a sigh, or a statement that means completely opposite of what the character is actually feeling, all the subtle-ness is extremely effective in this show.
The pacing, conclusion, and focus are a few to name. Along with that, it’s painful to watch Hazuki-kun struggle on in the subsequent episodes that may make us facepalm ourselves a few times. But, I hope you don’t facepalm yourself and enjoy this series. All in all, Natsuyuki Rendezvous is an anime that is difficult to be loved. Yet, it has its moments that are enjoyable. Being a ghost is never easy but love is just so damn complicated. Natsuyuki Rendezvous is crafted out of simple artwork that is expressive and naturalistic like the plants of the flower shop. Life is natural and so is love, so why shouldn’t the artwork be of the same? The beautiful flora backgrounds and some of the key visuals maintains that josei and lighthearted feeling that defines the rhythm of the series.
The ending was well done and wraps the story up nicely. Not your typical happy ending, but it’s peaceful and calm. It didn’t feel satisfying because it wasn’t the perfect happy ending everybody wants. It actually left me feeling empty. But this is the thing I love about this anime. It’s life. That being said, I think this series does a good job of exploring difficult subjects like life and love after the death of a loved one, guilt, closure, and isolation. The writer didn’t shy away from the tough stuff, so major kudos there. If you’re patient enough to overlook a slow story about death and love and being a lonely grown-up, you might consider giving it a shot. Things won’t be perfect and not everyone’s going to have their ideal happy ending. There will be tears and heartaches when looking back at the memories. You’ve just got to learn to move on. You don’t necessarily have to forget the memories, cherish them. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
This anime (specifically season 2) is great in the sense that it incorporates many myths and legends into a modern twist kind of story. It focused on many mythological beings and Japanese folktales; stories like a child being spirited away or doll making or Princess being cursed. The first episode caught my attention and I wanted to keep watching. The suspense and unusual yet unique plot brings a pack load of excitement. You feel like your in the show yourself wanting to find the answers like Shino, the main character. You’ll see once you get into the series. It’s not your common supernatural anime with just ghost and demons but something far more greater and exciting. The fact that Shino stays under the appearance as 13 year old because of a curse and has a monster living inside him is probably one of the most strangest yet amazing plot out there. I love the fact that even though Shino is suppose to be 18 years old yet acts like a child being afraid of ghost and cockroaches while containing a big appetite for food. It’s quite cute if you ask me. By far one my favorite characters. He can be both rash and respectful.
In the second season, the series focus a little more on the plot and detail and brings the characters together Shino met from Season 1. They do still have to go to another town or village but it was a little more in depth. One thing that appeals a little more in Season 2 is a little more focus on the characters. They spent two episodes each for Daikaku and Yana and surprisingly two and a half to three episodes focused on Shinobu. It’s a great twist on an old myth (I’m a sucker for Japanese folk tales and the like), and the characters are so engaging. There’s quite a bit of action, balanced perfectly with deeper storytelling and emotions. The relationships between some of the characters are just beautiful (regardless of whether you see it as friendship or as light shounen-ai). I really wish the manga would be released faster so this could have more than just two seasons, though I will say, they did tie it up really pretty well considering they were working with an ongoing manga.
This anime is pretty much standalone though since I think the manga was inspired by the epic. You don’t need to be familiarized with the epic to enjoy this anime. However, it does help to know a bit about it. The reason is because the anime started out a bit confusing. The storytelling is a bit disorganized with the anime starting out on an already established status quo with no explanation of it. The story just flowed by itself without any narration to let the audience catch up. It just opened with the three survivors and an apparent threat from the Imperial Church. It will most likely not catch your attention immediately. The supernatural element was intriguing but the story was a bit intimidating starting out. The anime took three episodes to actually make sense so a little bit of patience is required. To be honest though, you’re staring at a lot of pretty people during the first three episodes and that basically made me watch.
And for the last episode. I’m really upset at the rushed ending. I normally have these ‘feels’ at the end of most anime but this one, it wasn’t as impact-fully because it was rushed so much. You kind of expect for a rushed series especially after watching Episode 4 from Season 1. The ending was kind of predictable to in my eyes. However, there was a lot of cliffhangers and mysterious questions that allows Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun to go for a third season. Despite a ‘The End’ in Episode 13, the ending they left allows a possibility for a third season if they desire. I don’t think the manga has actually ‘ended’ thus another positive side for those who want a Season 3. Other than the rushed ending, it was still a comforting and warmth ending. Everyone seems very happy and I loved that they did scenes of each character. Even the characters that only made a small debut made a cameo. In the end, it was a nice series with a unique turn on supernatural like genre. I loved the protagonist Shino as he is a very cute boy. It was an enjoyable series and I would recommend it but it wasn’t the best anime.
Nike is a princess from a small country heading to a foreign kingdom to become the bride of the king, who has an interest in her ability to control wind and rain. She is has a good nature, is independent and friendly, but ready to take on any challenge that comes. Naturally that will get her into countless situations both comedic and serious. The king appears to have the well being of the people in mind to a certain extent, but he appears to have shut his heart away after the loss of his mother and approaches most things as an intellectual challenge. Initially he comes off as hard hearted and antagonistic, whereas Nike is the one who will have a challenge using a heartfelt rain to soften the hardened earth that has enclosed his heart. In time they are finding a deeper emotional bond growing between them that will be tested repeatedly. There are many who would seek to disrupt things for their own ends, from petty criminals to high rank military officials, that will serve to complicate their relationship. The interesting thing is to see how Nike will find a way to turn all their ambitions on their ear.
This isn’t a super deep exploration of romance. It’s a sweet and gentle show of the beginnings of a lifelong love. This is not a perfect show but the bond that grows between Livi and Nike is compelling to watch. They learn to trust each other and eventually to love each other. The age difference allows the story to be about the pair’s emotional connection rather than a physical one. It works really well to believably keep some distance between them despite their growing connection. Growth is what makes these shows fun to watch. I would have liked to see Nike and Livi to grow more as individuals not just as a couple. Also the growth or even filling out of any of the side character would have been nice. The episodes were loosely filled wit story rather than being jam packed with story. It gave the show a laid back feel but kept the storyline fairly simple.
Thus far we’ve been exposed to two of the world’s varied lands: The Sun Kingdom and the Principality of Rain. The Sun Kingdom is a land that never sees rain while the Principality is the opposite – rains nearly all the time and rarely sees clear skies. You also hear of a few other lands, such as the Sun Kingdom’s close allies the Ocean Kingdom. These types of divided climates rarely work well, since they’re usually not very well thought out. However, The World is Still Beautiful doesn’t simply leave it at that. There are some interesting story paths hinted at, and a few overtly stated, that make this whole ‘divided climate’ thing potentially feasible. They have the cards, it’s all in whether they choose to play them. I hope we get a second season to explore these possibilities, because there truly is fascinating potential here.
The World is Still Beautiful is a fun anime with an engaging plot- although the first episode took some getting used to, the story and the characters have completely sucked me in! I can’t wait for each episode to come around and to see how the characters come to love and appreciate each other more and more! I’ll admit- I love story lines like this one so I was bound to be hooked from the start. Give this positive show a try and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the humor or the developing romance! The characters are very likable especially Nike, the leading lady. She’s not your usual princess, although she does wear a lot of pink. The king and Nike’s relationship progresses smoothly and their interactions can range from heartwarming – to cliche – to humorous. Sometimes arranged marriages just work I suppose. I enjoy the way that they work together and the way their personalities play off of each other. It’s just a generally uplifting anime to me and leaves me feeling happy and relaxed after each episode. Highly recommended!
God abandoned the world on Sunday. As a result, nobody in the world can die or have kids. A little girl – Ai – is the grave keeper for the village and is tasked with helping the would-be dead try and find peace. However, one day a boy who identifies himself as Hampnie Hambart – the Man-eating Toy – appears in the village killing everybody and disturbing the balance of things. Upon their first encounter both Ai and Hampnie come to realize shocking truth. This anime follows a young girl named Ai Astin, as she continually states throughout the anime to the numerous, yet seemingly unimportant, characters throughout the show. To some people’s dismay, and other’s entertainment, this anime has no real plot that can be seen besides the fact that this girl’s father tells her to keep living and I think he implied, fulfill her dreams to save the world through gravekeeping. (yeah, it’s an adjective) In case you didn’t know, Gravekeepers are the only people who can kill the walking dead (although not what your thinking, they are not zombies, they’re just not alive, and not very pretty looking and sometimes go insane).
Anyway, so that’s it. It’s just this 12 year old girl spreading her philosphies around this godless world. And although it is just a stream of arcs, one after another, it does hold up the idea (somewhat) that Ai is trying to accomplish her dream. It’s entertaining to say the least. It really is, with each arc being unique in some way that’ll leave you wanting to finish the anime. So after these few episodes of strong build up and introduction, this show takes a huge misstep and turns itself into a drama filed road trip with shallow and meaningless characters along the way.
I will give an example of one of these ‘pit stops’ which contribute little to the main story and lack in more than a few ways. Ai, the main protagonist, finds herself taken by a random group of men who throw her into a van and lock her into an apocalyptic high school prison camp essentially. Here she meets a group of students with different powers who have been stuck in the school for some time. What happens is a typical escape plan made by the group. What the show COULD have done here is made each student’s power contribute to the escape plan while they fight tooth and nail to escape this prison. Instead what happens is a hole is made in an underground waterway and the kids all climb up a ladder and leave… What?? Then what was the point of introducing these characters with special powers? They might as well have been normal kids, it wouldn’t have made any difference to the story at all. Also, where was all of the school security the entire time? This group would have escape plan meetings in broad daylight and no one would bat an eye, no one would notice them leaving each night to enter the underground sewer, and only one teacher actually tried to stop their escape, but quickly gives up and lets them leave….. Afterwards, this group of kids gets dropped off at some random house and you don’t see them again…
In the end, this is an anime that takes some patience. It has a slow start, but if you can get past it, you’ll experience a decent anime. The whole series is made up of Arcs. Whether it be about a city full of deceased or a high-school academy that won’t let it’s students escape, the series manages to explain everything for every arc, while at the same time, adding to the horrible world the characters live in. The way they explain many aspects about God abandoning the world and what else He granted to people besides the Gravekeepers, plays a big role in every arc. The animation is absolutely gorgeous. It manages to pull off everything fantastically. From 3-D looking cogs to the characters themselves, everything is superb. If this show has anything at all going for it, it’s definitely the music. The soundtrack is beautiful and fits in to every scene no matter if it’s a happy moment, or a sad moment, or a scary one. The opening and ending’s are nothing we haven’t heard for an anime with a moe main character yet a serious tone before, yet, I can’t seem to get them out of my head. They’re pretty catchy, if nothing else. If you’re looking for a light hearted anime to fill out your time, give this anime a good once over.
In the distant future, a planet covered almost entirely by oceans, known as Earth, grows in space. Ledo, a boy who has known nothing but fighting all his life, saw the sea there for the first time. On its vast, faintly green waters, men organize huge naval fleets and live modest but active lives. Due to language and cultural barriers, Ledo lives as a lonely foreigner… but he’s not alone. Ledo is just beginning his days on this green planet, asking what he must do to survive here, and what he is living for. To put in a review, short and sweet, Gargantia is a sort of political and social commentary directed at Teens and those in their early 20’s. Gen Urobuchi stated that the intent of the anime would be to convince the youth that “going out into the world isn’t scary”. You can definitely see it in the anime as the opening and ending songs are especially tailored to this theme.
Oh Gen Urobuchi, as if anyone would believe you and your dark styles. But yes, the political and social allegories that run throughout the series are impactful in this anime, and it is because of some of the dark twists that come up in the series. So don’t believe Gen Urobuchi’s words, and enjoy this short anime knowing that you can make connections to its content and the real world. More specifically, the social commentary is heavily influenced by observations on socialism, fascism, racism, wars, and blind obedience (as if we haven’t seen that in anime enough). I’m tempted to draw a fictitious line between this series and animal farm, as the bad guys often reminded me of the Soviet Union.
More or less, I feel like the message that Gen Urobuchi tried to leave was to tell youths to question their upbringings and make decisions for themselves. It’s in part a social commentary, but also a coming-of-age story that focuses on challenging ones own beliefs as an individual. The main cast was filled with youths who mainly struggle to fulfill the roles that they were either given, or that they believed they had to fulfill. The characters were easy to follow for the most part, and the main cast is all likeable enough to help the story flow. I came to like the main cast a lot, even if some of their personalities were bland and a bit cliche to fill in certain roles in order to keep the plot progressing. The character designs had a refreshing style pinched into them, and everyone’s character growth and development really nailed the message of the anime. I’d like to say that this anime was flawless. The production went smoothly and was enjoyable, but that’s it. Just because it has no major flaws, doesn’t make it an amazing work. It doesn’t have that in your face action that something like Gurren Lagann has, the emotional impact in Clannad: Afterstory, or the depth that exists in Fate/Zero. It was a fairly underwhelming piece, despite it’s clean execution. A well paced, well thought out, and overall well made anime. But, it’s because it stops there and doesn’t try to be anything more that Gargantia will never go down as a masterpiece.
Gargantia further distinguishes itself with Ledo’s sentient mobile suit, who in many ways steals the show. He serves as Ledo’s friend, mentor, and weapon of choice. While he often serves to argue a crueler counterpoint to many of Ledo’s new views, Chambers’ development mirrors Ledo’s. At the end, Chambers shows that he is an intelligence built in the image of man; capable of understanding morality and performing acts of heroism. It is a rare thing to see a mobile suit change with his pilot, though that has been done before on our side of the pacific with The Iron Giant. I think the length of this anime was perfect for people who might not have enough free time to watch a longer series. It didn’t leave any plot-holes and was satisfying throughout every episode.
You Sato is a new high school student living in the dorms. While seeking cheap eats at the local market he finds himself beat up and semi-conscious with fleeting glimpses of a girl during the moments of his collapse. As his memories recover the next day, he discovers that trying to purchase half priced lunchboxes can be hazardous to his health as free-for-all fights with local students for the discounted food is the nightly routine. The girl from the night before, Sen Yarizui, is an upper classmate known as the Frozen Witch and is one of the local Wolves who dominates the area. She educates him on the rules of the game where Wolves eat well while Dogs settle for cup ramen. With fellow first year student Hana Oshiroi, a fetishistic germaphobe, You Sato sets out to discover if he too has what it takes to be a Wolf and taste the sweet victory of half priced boxed banquets or wallow in the bitter defeat of reconstituted noodles and salty broth in a styrofoam bowl.
If there was one word that would describe Ben-to as a series, it would be “bold”. Bento was a refreshing, bold and ambitious take on the traditional fanservice comedy genre. Ben-to wasn’t afraid to go all out with it’s battles, with some ridiculous over-the-top fights producing some intense, high-adrenaline fight scenes. It also wasn’t afraid to push forward fanservice, only mix it in with gags involving some genuinely honest and likable characters, which made each gag loads of fun time and time again. And all of this was competently made by a good production crew, which managed to use some very creative camera angles and a fitting soundtrack to create some impressive action sequences, and integrate the comedy with the action as well. In no way does this series back down from daring to be ridiculous, and it’s the sheer level of energy that comes as a result that made Ben-to a really fun show to follow.
Even with the ridiculousness, though, the actual plot progression and buildup to this series is actually quite good. The series builds up a very likable cast, and then proceeds to gradually throw them into really messy situations. The characters are acted out really well, which made their conflicts all the more compelling to watch as they unfold. And of course, you come to cheer for the cast as they enter battle, and feel sympathy for each character when they are defeated. The cast is a crucial part to this show, and the buildup itself had a good balance of over-the-top antics and more restrained buildup.
There is also a surprising lack of filler, or if there was filler, it very much fit in with the overall feeling that this series had. Sometimes the pacing did falter, more so during filler fanservice moments, but a vast majority of Ben-to’s story was without excess. In the end, I’d have to say that this was one of the best comedies out of this year. Ben-to was a refreshing comedy that threw out many of the conventions I had come to expect out of fanservice comedy shows, and really got you pumped up.
Illya (Illyasviel von Einzbern) is a typical young girl attending Homurabara Academy who just happens to have a slight crush on her brother-in-law. Then, one night, a magic wand called Magical Ruby falls from the sky into her bath and tricks her into signing a contract. At first it was looking like a typical magical show with just Fate characters added to the mix. However, later in the series the action scenes actually got me interested to finish through. When the announcement for second season was announced, I went ahead and read the manga from there and found out there was a deeper storyline and before I knew it I got hooked onto the series so I’m excited for what comes in second season. The series’ storyline after this season does resemble to me of Mahou Sensei Negima’s manga version by Ken Akamatsu, as well as a bit of Madoka Magica’s but rather Fate’s Dark side of their story.
On the surface you have yet another magical girl/comedy/parody of the genera that uses familiar characters from the fate franchise to pull in the audience. At the core you have a clever, interesting. very action packed and some times cynical anime that uses the magical girl theme as a spring board to more interesting concepts. As much as i hate to admit it, Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA gives a better look at the universe of the fate series then any of the previous installments while still holding its own identity due to the unique perspective it is set from. I will note very very easily that there is one specific fight scene in this show thus far that takes the cake as the best fight in this season’s anime. The fight scenes are both numerous and very high quality. In short, this series was an action-packed, funny alternate take on the universe of Fate/stay night. If the first few episodes discourage you from continuing, I encourage you to watch the whole thing before making up your mind.
The back story between between Illya and her sapphire-clad counterpart Miyu is rather cute – and awkward at times. It’s fun to see their relationship grow over time – in some very “interesting” directions as well ;-P The other schoolgirls are definitely cute – and strongly stereotyped – though they seem mainly inconsequential and I got the impression they are really just there for “flavor”. Oh well. If you do give it a chance make sure you watch it to episodes 6 & 7. The plot twists are pretty amazing and you really start to see Illyasviel in a different light. What was once portrayed as just a cute and reluctant “magical” schoolgirl suddenly becomes rather mysterious with phenomenal displays of latent ability taking center stage. When I saw “Fate” I thought I would pass out from excitement, I really loved Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay night as well as the games however once I started watching this my hopes really went down the drains. Now the anime is well made, vibrant, good animation and its interesting to see the cast in weird roles but I don’t really feel magical girls are something that should be mixed into such a brutal anime. Now it still is the first episode, its too soon to say its bad but I am going to say this it’s definitely not something I’m gonna be looking forward to each week, more of a “once I see all this weeks new episodes”, bottom line it’s not for everyone, Its comparable to thebrony fad and if youre just a normal guy you will likely not be too into something aimed at small girls, but to each his own I suppose.
This is a Fate anime because of the characters; however, it falls into the magical girl genre of anime. Don’t go in expecting a Fate/Zero or a Fate/stay night style of anime. You should go in knowing the characters and some themes are there from previous series but it presents itself in its own, cute way. I loved this series with a passion because it was funny, and for the most part didn’t take itself too seriously. Don’t hate on it because it isn’t Fate/Zero’s successor, it is a really well-made anime. All in all a good show that gave more than the minimum of what you would expect from a spin off magi girl anime.
In the first few episodes, I was hardly interested in this anime at all. Around the fourth episode or so I realized something that you can’t within the first few episodes. This anime has a subtle lesson (in my opinion) for, not only the individuals in the anime, but real life. It’s all about the perspective of something. We all have different views and outlooks on life which may lead to different things, however sometimes we don’t realize that we’re all one in the same. While we may think that self preservation is the most important part, sometimes we just need to rethink and change our perspective. “Gatchaman” is the general term for warriors who wear special power suits called NOTE, which are manifestations of special spiritual powers possessed by living beings. The Gatchaman force on Earth consists of aliens who have been dispatched by a council and Earthlings who have been scouted for their latent abilities, all of whom work together to protect Earth’s people and resources from alien criminals who have invaded the planet in violation of the probation enforced by the council.
This is a very quirky and different sort of anime in a lot of ways and nothing like the original Gatchaman series. It’s a very fun and off the wall series that does some very funky twists on typical plot lines used in animes. That being said, one of the biggest complaints that reviewers have is that the main character lacks character development. Hajime is a very polarizing character and very different from your typical hero and if you want to enjoy this anime, it’s probably best to go in with that kind of expectation. The thing about Hajime is that she’s the catalyst for growth and change all around her, but a character that doesn’t go through very much obvious change herself. She’s childlike, innocent, and ridiculously open minded. She has whacky solutions to everything and takes a carefree and fun approach toward everything, even when everyone else around her is in a panic. To me this was a cool breath of fresh air and made me love the show all the more!
The Big Idea here is the potential of the internet to create horizontal societies and allow gamification to incentivize good deeds, with an eye on what the true nature of “hero” really is. It puts this Big Idea in the context of a superpower team who fights off an alien invasion, and its that team and that premise that gives this more grounding than his somewhat aimless. The series asks quite openly: “Does the world need heroes or can people be heroic forces of change in their own affairs?” Cross-dressing heroes and compelling questions of how one’s involvement in a digital community (i.e. connectedness among strangers with a unifying goal to “change/update the world”) can inspire acts of heroism, are just some of the more progressive elements the series. Conversely, the threat of the series is a villain who acts as more than a misanthrope: his character is a commentary on the destructive influence of apathy and a lack of empathy for others in need, which serves both as a plot device and an explicit dialog between the heroes–namely, what impetus is necessary to inspire people to help others v. the possibility that the most destructive potential is the propensity for human beings to turn on one another, given the right mixture of terror, panic, and distrust.
You see all of the main characters grow in one form or another. Either they are introduced with one personality and are showing to change in little steps until they are different in the end or you see the character ‘never change’ but you get a new perspective about them because you see more and more of the intent behind their actions. The last caution I could give is that if you are an old school and/or stubborn ‘things should never change’ kind of fan, you won’t like this series. It’s not a “monster of the day” series. It’s not all about three minute transformations before each fight. It’s not about new power ups that trump a villain’s new trap. It’s the story of the human heart as seen in the team of heroes and the hearts of the entire world they live in. On top of that the are design is different then expected and if you accept that, it’s pretty cool. The music is great to listen to and used well in the show to keep your emotions flowing and anticipation growing.
I love this show, for its gender and sexuality diversity, for its characters, its fast paced plot that doesn’t sacrifice complexity for moving along the storyline and on a design note, the way it looks and sounds. A complete joy to watch. Like I said in the beginning, I didn’t really think it was that amazing. I felt like some of the art could’ve probably been done better. Maybe if they had taken a fraction of the time that probably used for the armor to improve everything else, that would’ve been a bit better. As for its own merits… The characters are irritating – especially the main girl. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series develops. Sure, I may end up disappointed, but I’m sticking around for the ride and am ready to enjoy this as a stand-alone series.
Sakura was a normal fourth-grader until she stumbled upon the book of Clow Cards in her father’s library. After accidentally setting the magical cards loose, it’s now up to Sakura to catch them all again before they wreak havoc on the entire world! Luckily, she has her best friend Tomoyo, and Kerberos, the guardian of the cards, to help her. But when the help is more interested in costumes and video games than in Clow Cards, what’s a young captor to do? And now Sakura has a rival, both in her chase for the Clow Cards and for the affections for her brother’s friend Yukito. Thanks to NIS, we now have the grand original! Sweet and compelling, this is the saga of a little girl who finds herself enmeshed in a magical world of cards! Magical cards which have escaped their bonds, and now flash about in many different guises, wreaking havoc. Young Sakura must re-capture the entire deck, using the powers of the cards she already has: with a little help from her magical sidekick, Kero-chan. His name is a bit of a joke; it’s really Keroberos, but Sakura calls him by an affectionate diminuative construction of it. The Americanized version,released as “Cardcaptors,” was heavily edited and even had dialogue re-written to make it more of a boy/girl show instead of primarily a “Magical Girl” series, even “dumbed it down” a bit in some ways. Appropriate for any age, the stories are easy to follow but tense and dramatic. Parents, you can enjoy watching them with the kids! In fact, I’d already been an anime fan when my kids got me into this! The stories and characters really drive this series, and put it several cuts above the average “monster of the week” anime in the Pokemon model.
Here is when we geta look see at Sakura’s life and how she first opened the Clow book. It reveals about how Sakura lives with her father and big brother. But Sakura’s mother passed away when Sakura was only three years old. Sakura is a cheerful 10-year-old girl. Her best friend is Tomoyo Daidouji. Tomoyo is the daughter of the owner of a big toy company. She the richest kid in their town. Sakura after school finds the Clow book in her dad’s basment. She has a little bit of magical powers because she was able to use the WINDY spell without knowing what she was doing and blew away all the rest of the Clow Cards. Keroberos the beast of the seal who guards the Clow Cards tells Sakura she must now capture these dangeros cards who each have a power or there own. Sakura was able to captur the FLY card. But this is only the beginning. Also, in Sakura’s world, people are not perfect or one-dimensional. Li Shaorun can be a brat (and eventually evolves to crushing on Sakura as the series progresses), but he’s that way because of his background. He’s been ingrained by his family to capture cards, and at first he sees Sakura as an amateur rival who he doesn’t need (he actually feels threatened by her presence in the beginning). Tomoyo, an amateur film freak, drags her videocamera everywhere to film Sakura’s captures, and has a few stints of her own. Even Kero, with his sharp mouth and love of video games, and Sakura’s older brother, a true pain in the butt (in an endearing and entirely lifelife way), makes the series all the more realistic and worthwhile. Unlike “Sailor Moon”, here there are no “throwaway” characters, even Sakura’s band of clueless schoolfriends. Nobody here is one-dimensional.
The first thing that you notice about Cardcaptor Sakura is that it is beautifully animated. There is not even ONE shot of a static character with a moving background on this first volume. Something is always moving, whether its Sakura’s hair or the wings on her staff. It gives a realistic feel to it that is missing from most anime. I also liked the soundtrack, which combines symphonic music with pop flourishes. As for the characters, once you get adjusted to their annoying little girl voices, they are quite funny. Sakura is quite admirable in that while showing some fear, when it comes to the business of trapping the Clow Cards, she shows exceeding bravery. Kero threatens to steal the show with his Osakan accent and gung-ho spirit which get most of the laughs. All of the male characters show a tendency towards castrati except for Sakura’s brother who shows a little more masculinity. What I don’t like about the show so far is its episodic nature. Perhaps maybe its because of my age (I’m approaching 30 years old), but the domestic themes (yes, Cardcaptor Sakura also has to wash laundry, have baths and cook dinner!) and the childish scenes, most involving embarrassment because of romantic feelings, provide little humor and I did groan a bit as there’s a little slapstick for Kero too.
If you’re a fan of the series, this purchase is a no-brainer and NIS slipcases now approaches a standard DVD height so it fits easier on your shelf. The extras are as included:
- Disc 3:
- Clean Opening 1 (1080p; 1:20)
- Clean Opening 1 Version 2 (1080p; 1:20)
- Clean Ending 1 (1080p; 1:11)
- Trailers for other NIS America releases
- Disc 6:
- Clean Opening 2 (1080p; 1:20)
- Clean Ending 2 (1080p; 1:11)
- Clean Ending for Episode 46 (1080p; 2:34)
- Disc 9:
- Clean Opening 3 (1080p; 1:20)
- Clean Ending 3 (1080p; 1:11)
- Clean Ending for Episode 70 (1080p; 1:45)
- Trailers for other NIS America releases
The animation is crisp and bright, and the voice actors do an excellent job all around. But above all, it’s next to impossible to watch this series and not feel good. The energy and upbeat personality of the series comes through everywhere, and is thoroughly infectious. Not the simple or even shallow show it may seem at first, Sakura can be enjoyed by anyone of any age, and all fans of anime