Anime and Manga Reviews

Dork 09-21-2004 03:38 PM
I'm thinking about getting Comic Party. I want another comedy anime (I don't like romantic comedies, and I already have Excel Saga).

I dunno, I just want something that's funny, but not obscene.

Has anyone seen Comic Party?
Asirt 10-16-2004 01:26 AM
Reserved for BASToFSyndrome...
Tickle Tickle 10-16-2004 10:21 AM
Cutie Honey Volume 1- 1973

The Story
A 16 yr. old girl, Honey Kisaragi finds out she is a special android made after the image of her father's late daughter. She finds this out, when her father is killed by the Panter Claw, an all female crime organization ruled over by Sister Jill and Panther Zora. They want Honey's special device that allows her to transform into any persona. Aided by the Hayami family, Honey will defeat the Panther Claw.

Menus
The main menus is interesting. It allows you to choose two different versions of the show. The first choice, has a short version of the opening, no ending, and a short next episode preview. The other choice has the full opening, ending, and next episode preview.



Voice Acting
The voices are very good. Honey is voiced by the same actress who voiced Fujiko in the second Lupin series (The one on Adult Swim), Seiji is surprisly voiced by the man who plays Nephrite in Sailor Moon. The two other Hayamis, Junpei and Danbei are very well done. Miharu-sensei, the 'mean' teacher is given a really mean and loud voice. Alphonne-sensei, the lesbian teacher who is always trying to win over Honey is given a VERY goofy voice, which is very fitting. And it's interesting to note, all the memebers of the Panther Claw (Aside from Sister Jill, and Panther Zora) are all voiced by the same woman.

Music
The music is very 70's, and it fits the show well. The opening show is a classic, and is very catchy. The ending is very smooth and calm.

Picture/Sound
The picture is OUTSTANDING. I can't believe Toei was able to make this show look so damn good! The picture may even be better than my Re:Cutie Honey DVD! The sound is very good too, however it can be kinda 'old sounding' at times.

Extras
Aside from two free cards, and a booklet there are none. Have to buy the boxset to get extras.

Review
I really liked this show. I first saw the Shin(new) Cutey Honey OVA, which I loved, then I saw Re:Cutie Honey, which I also loved. Then, I saw this. It was awesome. It's got the catchy music, the cheesy animation, and the interesting plots, and characters. The Panther Claw designs are very good, and the characters are very likeable, even though I don't know much Japanese, it was easy to follow. Hopefully, I'll be able to get the boxset one day.

Overall Rating:
4/5
Asirt 02-23-2005 12:15 PM


This is the story of 12 sisters who love their brother very much...

I don't watch many harem series involving many girls or guys because the formula is similar. You take a main character who is very average and not that great, and put him or her with 12 girls or boys that all love that person. The only series of this kind that I enjoy so far is Tenchi Muyo OVA. That is, until Sister Princess came along.

Sister Princess is based off the popular manga and video game (for the Dreamcast and Playstation). Although it may look no different from the typical harem anime series, there are some twists to it as well. The television series was created in 2001 and was licensed in the United States in 2004 by ADV Films. This review will cover the entire series.

Story:
Wataru Minakami is your average high school boy who goes through life as normal as possible. He and his friends had the perfect plan for the future. However one day, Wataru fails his high school exams due to a computer error. Disappointed by this, he goes home to find out that he is allowed to go to a place called Promised Island to attend a high school there.

Well, I guess you could say he was forced to go there. As he travels to the mysterious island, he meets two characters that would eventually become Wataru's friends. They are attending the same school together. As the boat trip draws to a close, Wataru suddenly falls into the water and starts to drown, when a young girl saves him.

This will begin the adventures of Wataru's life with 12 young sisters that he has never seen before. They will have many memories on the island, and then remember a promise that Wataru made long ago.

So now, what would you do if you suddenly had 12 sisters to take care of?

First Impressions:
My first experience with Sister Princess was when I saw the series on The Anime Network. I didn't think too much about the series after that, until I decided to start looking for more information. From there, I wanted to know more about this harem series.

DVD Quality:
The quality of the footage is very good. There aren't any problems with it. The menu is very nice also; it's animated and has some nice music as well. Extras contain the textless opening and ending themes, and also a Letter from Karen. There's some concept art in it, and some trailers from ADV as well. If you buy the first volume with the art box, it also comes with a postcard book containing all 12 sisters.

Voice Acting:
The English dub is good for the most part. The voices fits the characters, even though some of them aren't that great. The voices are good, but it can be better.

As for the Japanese dub, it's better compared to the English dub. It fits the characters very well, and the way that each sister says "Brother" is cute too.

Music:
The music in Sister Princess is very nice. In some scenes, you have upbeat cute music, and also some mellow music as well. In other scenes, there are also sad background music that fits well with the scene. Overall, I like the music a lot.

Favorite Moment:
In episode three, Wataru goes to his new high school. You see him trying to escape the island by boat, when Karen (one of the sisters) shows up and tries to convice him to stay. Very lovely scene, and shows that his sisters really care for him.

Review:

Overall Rating: 3.5/5
[Nataku] 04-13-2005 04:39 PM
It's been a while since I've put up a review, but I'm Back With Bandai Entertainment's November 2004 Release of...

Mobile Suit Gundam F-91: The Motion Picture - SPECIAL EDITION 2 Disc Set




DISC RATINGS
Content: A-
Packaging: A-
Audio: B+
Menus: A-
Video: B-
Extras: A+



FEATURES
Japanese 2.0 Language
English 2.0 Language
English 5.1 Language
English Subtitles
Mechanical Files
Audio Commentary From ADR Director Tony Oliver, Eng. Producer Eric P. Sherman, and Jap. Producer Nobu Masuda.
Character/Mecha Gallery
Image Gallery of the real life/size F91 Gundam replica head
Gundam Timeline from beginning to end
Trailer Collection (F91, SEED, GitS:SAC Video Game)



WHAT THEY SAY
U.C. 0123. After a generation of peace, the Earth Federation has begun to build new space colonies to house humanity's growing population. But a new force, the aristocratic Crossbone Vanguard, plans to seize the colonies of the newly constructed Frontier Side for itself. As their home becomes a battlefield, a handful of young civilians struggle to escape the conflict. To save his friends and family, the reluctant warrior Seabook Arno becomes the pilot of a new Gundam, which bears the code name F91.



THE REVIEW
30 years after the Neo-Zeon Axis Drop Conflict of 0093, New life has assembled in a classical ways throughout a cluster of colonies, known as the "Frontier". Naturally it all goes to hell in a hand basket as two armies clash together in a 2 hour Colony/Space brawl.

Audio
For my primary viewing session, I listened to this film in it's English Dubbed form. Coming from Bang Zoom! Entertainment in L.A., it naturally has great voice acting. They also revamped the sound effects to make the movie more gripping. (glass shatter, gun fire, etc.) I did spot check the Original Japanese and no problems there. The real treat is the audio commentary.

Video
Produced in 1990, it is presented in Widescreen Letterbox format with Aspect Ration of 1.85:1 . Colors look great, movement flows beautifully. There is however, one problem. The two black bars often tend to 'fall' off the screen giving overloaded blackness bar on the top or bottom of the screen. Example: When Seabook is running down a hill during the begining attack, the black bars tilt giving the appearence of him running straight accross. It is unclear if this was originally presented in the Japanese release, or if the North American distribution did this. It is not extremely painfull to watch, but you will notice it every 10 or 15 minutes.

Packaging
This is a single keepcase release. No Grey Slipcover. An image floated around for a while on the net before it's release showing a grey cover with the F91 head on it much like Char's Counterattack. Inside the DVD is a flippy hinge to house both Discs. Artwork is that of the Reigon 2 release, but with the English Gundam F91 Logo and a "Special Edition" strip accross the top. The back cover is as usual (screen shots, summary, tech specs, etc.) Along with traditional Motion Picture style font for the key credits and a "PG-13" logo.

Menus
Great access times. Main Menu is of the cutting of metal from the opening scene of the movie. With some music from the soundtrack.

Extras
The first disc contains the Mecha profiles. Second Disc has the bulk of it. Charcter profiles, screen shots, still shots of a 1/1 scale Gundam F91 Head, and a UC Timeline. The star extra here is the Producers Audio Commentary track. They converse about the diffrent actors, and projects they have worked on. The history and Technology of gundam. And just the methods of dubbing the movie.



Content
30 years after Char's Counterattack, Man has found peace in the colonies; steadily rebuilding the economy, and it's military. The Frontier are soon attacked by a new faction called "The CrossBone Vanguard", a group of high class soldiers and polititians. Controlled by the Ronah Family, their goal is to seize control the the Frontier colonies and establish the Cosmo Babylonia.
Seabook Arno and a team of friends fight to stay alive in the conflict. However, when Seabook's best friend, Cecily Fairchild is kidnapped by the Crossbone soldiers, he is forced to pilot the Gundam F-91 to get her back. Cecily, originally the daughter of Ronah Family's Queen, is conviced to remain with them under her birth name, Berah Ronah.
With the death of his father, Seabook finds that his mother was secretly involved with the development of the F91 through Bio-Computer research. He soon unleashes his Newtype powers and clashes against the Crossbone Vanguard.
Much of the movie takes place in the 3 seperate colonies, and space with war ships and large mobile suit battles. This movie truley shows how an epic 2-week war between 3 large space colonies can dish out, and shows it in all it's glory.



SUMMARY
From the Director of the original "Mobile Suit Gundam", Yoshiyuki Tomino, the basis of the story is handed to the charcters and how they relate to one another. Without people, you just have robots and warships duking it out. It's with relationships, that the War beats down on them and shows you the sacrifices and horrors of war. During Pre-Production, Sunrise was not sure whether they would make it a TV series or a movie.
One of the key reasons of why this Motion Picture doesn't live up to Tomino's epic Char's Counterattack, is it's lack of story. CCA already had three 50-episode-ish series before it, so it could then have that foundation and finish off the saga of the One Year War. Gundam F-91 however doesn't have that foundation under it, therefore having to squeeze in relationships and events for you to understand what's going on.
With only about 2 hours, F91 does it's job.

I give Gundam F91...

8.5/10
Tickle Tickle 04-18-2005 05:08 PM
Shin Cutey Honey Complete Pack



The Story
(From ANN)

Reawakened by the emergence of the evil crimelord Dolmeck, Cutey Honey renews her battle against his minions. Together with the help of the Hayami family, the shape changing Cutey Honey vows to defeat Dolmeck and make Cosplay City safe again. But Honey realizes that there is a darker and more sinister presence at hand, one that she has fought before.

DVD Layout

There are two editions of this release, a regular edition, and a first pressing edition. The packaging for the first pressing is awesome. It's a digi-pak that folds out to a nude centerfold of Honey. The digi-pak is kept closed with a rubberband that looks like Honey's choker. The regular edition has a black cover with an image of transforming Honey. Also, the first pressing edition includes an audio drama of the never-animated-Stage 9 that was recently recorded.

Therer are three discs, the first one has episodes 1-4 and the omake episode Flash 1. The image on the disc is Cutey Honey, giving off a cute smile. The second disc has the rest of the episodes, as well as the extras. The image on the disc is Kisaragi Honey. The final disc is the audio drama, with an image of transforming Honey.

The menus for the discs are pretty plain, which is a shame since ADV's DVDs have nice menus. The menus for the first disc has an image of Honey yelling, the second disc has an image of Kisaragi Honey skipping. (?)


Voice Acting

Wonderful. Replacing Honey's original seiyuu is the lovely Michiko Neya. Ms. Michiko does a very well job as Honey, and is one of the better Honeys. (Although I prefer the original seiyuu) Shockly a member from the old cast returns! It's Kousei Tomita as the dirty old man Hayami Danbei. Just like the TV series, he does a great job as Danbei. The young Hayami Chokkei is voiced by Rica Matsumoto, who is best known for her role as Satoshi in Pokemon (Ash) And, as the lovely Hayami Daiko is, Rica Fukami! My favorite seiyuu in the show, who is best known for her role as Minako Aino, or Sailor Venus! Other well known seiyuu are also in the cast, such as Urara Takano and Ai Orikasa (Ryoko, Tenchi Muyo!) One thing I didn't like was the replacement for Nobuyo Tsuda as Panther Zora. Aside from that, the cast was excellent.

Music

Sadly, unlike the other Cutey Honey series the background music for Shin in'st that great. However, the vocal songs are very well done! The remake of the Cutey Honey theme by les 5-4-3-2-1 is very catchy, and the English remake of the song by Mayukiss in'st too bad ethier. The ending songs, Circle Game, Rendez-vous in Space, and Legend of Goodbye are very nice, and seem to refect on Honey and Chokkei's relationship. My favorite song however, would be Burning Up! by Urara Takano in episode 3.

Picture/Sound

The audio and picture are very good. The picture in this release looks alot better than the picture on the ADV releases. Here, the colors look cleaner, and lot more fresh. The audio is a bit lower than ADV's releases however.

Extras

The extras, for the most part, are pretty much the same as the ADV release. Press conference, Cosplay, Phone Messages, Clean Openings/Closings, Original Trailer, and Table talk with the seiyuu.

The bonus extra (with the first pressing) is the Stage 9 audio drama. It's a Christmas centered story, and somewhat adds more closure to the story (but not much)

Missing from the ADV Release, for some strange reason is an original Japanese trailer, and the Omake episode, Flash 1. Flash 1 is pretty much 24 minutes worth of music videos, with three 'interviews'. The musicvideos are for the songs, Cutey Honey, Circle Game, Burning Up!, Rendez-vous in Space, and the Cutey Honey theme sung by Michiko Neya. There is a table talk session with Michiko Neya (Honey), Rica Fukami (Daiko), and Rica Matsumoto (Chokkei). It's about 5 or so minutes long and it concludes with each of them doing a 'Flash!' for their character (ex: Ms. Fukami did Daiko Flash!), next is a session with Michiko Neya, and the director(producer?) talking about the next episode, and showing off a sketch of a future character. (Gene) The last one is Go Nagai, and his comments on Cutey Honey. In the segment, he shows off colored pages from the original Cutey Honey manga.

Review

This was the first Cutey Honey series I saw, and it's also the only one in the US right now. Taking place about 50 years after the last episode of the TV series, Danbei is now a cyborg, Honey has lost her memory, and the viewer assumes she has finally defeated Panther Claw. In the OVA, Honey battles with the reborn Panther Zora. Unfortunately, Honey never battles with Zora, and the OVA ends unresolved. The show is very campy, but at the same time very fun. The villains, and characters are all very interesting, and the designs live up to Nagai's name.

The Honey series always include cameos of different Go Nagai characters. Shin Cutey Honey, must have the most. Every episode there's a different Go Nagai character making a cameo. Some of the cameos include Honey teaming up with Akira Fudo (Devilman), and Ms. Alphonne returning as a news reporter in episode 8!

The art, and animation are pretty good for an early 90's anime. Honey's transformation scenes are dazzling, and never reuse any footage. However, the last two episodes seem to go down a bit. Episode 7 has a different artstyle (although going on and off) and episode 8 has an annoying change of detailed animation, to flat unshaded animation.




Despite it's flaws, and unresolved ending, Shin Cutey Honey is a really fun show. While not as good as the original or the Re: CH OVA, it's still worth checking out.


Overall Rating:

3.5/5
SmothPocket 04-21-2005 03:41 PM
Can someone do one on the One Piece manga please?
Tickle Tickle 04-26-2005 06:43 PM
Here's something to add to my review, a visual comparsion between Toei's release and ADV's release of New Cutey Honey. The colors look alot better in Toei's release.



Tickle Tickle 10-27-2005 04:58 PM
Cutie Honey Premium Boxset



The Story
Cutie Honey is an android created by Prof. Kisaragi. Within her is the 'Fixed System of Air Elements', a device that can create anything out of air. The evil organization Panther Claw desires this device. While trying to steal it, they kill Prof. Kisaragi. Now furious, Honey makes a vow to get revenge, and destory the Panther Claw.



DVD Layout

Toei gave us two versions of the series. A version with a short opening, short preview, and no ending song (Key Version). And the normal version that includes the full opening, ending, and preview. (Local Version)

All the menus are static. The main menus features an image of Cutie Honey. (each volume has a different background) The 'key' menus features Sister Jill, and the 'local' features Kisaragi Honey. The menus for the extras disc features a picture of Cutie Honey.

The packaging is very beautiful. The box featues Cutie Honey on one side, and Kisaragi Honey on another. It has a slip case, and when taken off Honey's clothes go off with them! It's a very cool box. On the back of each DVD case, there's a shot of the Claw Honey faces in that episode. Each volume comes with a booklet, volume 1 comes with two cards.

The first cover features Cutie Honey, Idol Honey, Kisaragi Honey, Black Claw and Sister Jill. Not the best out of the four volumes. The second cover features Hurricane Honey, Cutie Honey, and Flash Honey. It aslo features a 'flim strip' showing a scene from the opening theme, and there is a 'comic book' look at one side that shows Honey transforming. The third cover is my favorite. It features Cutie Honey, Misty Honey, Fancy Honey, a shot of Paradise School, Great Claw, Naojiro, and Honey tied to a cross. There is also a flim strip of a very fanservicey scene in episode 25. The cover for the Extras DVD features various memebers of Panther Claw, Sister Jill, Panther Zora, and Honey in the center.

The artwork for the first disc is Kisaragi Honey, the second is Idol Honey, the third Fancy Honey, fourth Hurricane Honey, fifth Cutie Honey, the Extras disc has Flash Honey, and on the soundtrack has Misty Honey. (Each volume include two discs)



Voice Acting

Excellent. I absoutely love the cast. Eiko Masuyama does an outstanding job with Honey. Out of all the seiyuu who have played Honey, she is truely the best. The voices for the characters are very well down. Panther Zora and Tsuneni Miharu (Honey's teacher) are voiced by the same woman, Nobuyo Tsuda. She does a wonderful job at both of them. All of Panther Claw (with the exception of Sister Jill and Zora) are all voiced by only 4 seiyuu. For the most part, there aren't alot of voice changes.

Music

My favorite soundtrack out of all anime series. It's very catchy, and fits the mood of the show perfectly. The opening song is very upbeat and catchy. While the ending song is very mellow and calm.

Picture/Sound

Outstanding! The video has been remastered, and it looks great. The only problem that I have is that the opening and ending songs aren't remastered. They have a darker, 'dirtier' look than the rest of the show. Another note is, there is one scene where the video looks very muddy. My guess that part of the flim or print was too damaged to fix up.

The sound is pretty good. Not outstanding, but it's nothing to complain about.



Extras

The single releases of the series don't include any extras. However, the boxset includes an extras disc and a soundtrack. The extras included are: Clean Opening/Ending, TV spot, Preview for Episode 1, Pliot Flim, and two audio dramas.

The TV spot is pretty short, and very cheesy. It don'st feature any real animation (just zooming in and out of still shots) It's a fun little extra. The pliot flim is just the first episode recapped in 4 minutes. Some of the characters in the flim, however have different seiyuu. (ex: Sister Jill is voiced by Toshiko Sawada instead of Mieko Watanabe). The audio dramas feature still images for a book (?) that are 'animated' to go with the audio. The sound is very scratchy, and has 'pops'. The two are very short. (only about 3 or 4 minutes) and feature Fire Claw.

Also with the box you get a re-issue of a promo booklet.



Review

This is my all-time favorite show! It has such great style, and music. Since the show is pretty old, the animation is very dated. It had a real problem with changing styles. Only about three art styles were used more than once. Sadly, the head animator Shingo Araki only directed two episodes. The final episode used a different (inferior) art style for what ever reason.

The characters are alot of fun. The main cast consists of Kisaragi Honey, Hayami Seiji, Hayami Danbei, Hayami Junpei, Tsuneni Miharu and Alphonne. Pochi, The principal of Honey's school only shows up a few times. Honey's friend, Aki Natsuko appears a few times in the beginning of the series, but in episode 14
spoiler (highlight to read):
she is killed when Sister Jill and Dynamite Claw go to destory Honey's school


Later on in the series, we meet another member of the Hayami family. Hayami Naojiro, who is the 'gang leader' of Paradise School. Joining him are the Principal of Paradise School and Mr. Goemon. The villians are Panther Claw, which is run by Panther Zora and her younger sibling, Sister Jill. They're minions are all androids, ranging from Black Claw to Eagle Panther. In each episode Honey faces another Claw with super abilities. In the last episode, she faces Sister Jill.

This was a really fun show to watch. The first 12 episodes feature a 'monster of the day' plot, episodes 13 to 15 are the turning point of the series, 16-21 deals with Honey's adventures chasing Panther Claw while visting many places (Monaco, America), the rest of the series features Honey joining Paradise School, and the ending.

One of the best things about Cutie Honey, is the humor and wackyness. One of the wackiest moment I can think of is in episode 22, where the Paradise School students go and tie Honey to a cross outside the school. All of the Claws are very wacky as well, I think the weridest one is Breast Claw.

Although the animation is pretty dated and simple at times, the animators worked on very nice angles on the show. There are lots of nice zooming, and turning angles. One of the coolest angles used in the show is in episode 14. It's a split screen, one showing Dynamite Claw placing a bomb somewhere, and the other showing a close up of her placing it the bomb. There are numerous scenes are very well done. One of my favorites is when Sister Jill is walking in the Saint Chapel Church (in disguise) and organ music starts playing. There are lots of shots of the church, a shot of Sister Jill looking scared, and then a statue of the Holy Mary and baby Jesus. There are two other interesting scenes I'll get to later.

Like the other series, Cutie Honey has lots of fanservice. For the most part, all the nudity is nipple-less (only a few of episodes slip in nipples) and undetailed. It's another worth to note afew episodes don't include any nudity. There is alot of violence in the series as well. Lots of times Honey will chop off heads of Panther goons, and there are deaths of innocent people in the series such as
spoiler (highlight to read):
Natsuko


The last episode is my favorite. It has such great scenes and beautiful backgrounds. The thing that upset me was the art style used wasn't all that great, and it left the story open. There are two excellent and interesting scenes in this episode that come to mind. The first being when Honey finally faces Sister Jill. Pipe organ music is playing, there is a pan of a giant statue of Jill, and we hear Jill yell "KYYUUTEII HANII!". A very excellent and bone chilling scene. The other scene is where Jill 'x-rays' Honey and we see some of her mechanical insides. Even though the story is left open-ended, the last episode is superb, and the closing scene gives a nice feeling that 'everything is going to be okay'.

Overall, this an excellent show and suggest everyone to check it out! If you've enjoyed the other Honey series, the this is a must see.



Overall Rating:
5/5
Asirt 11-13-2005 02:03 PM


The days which are wrapped in the scene of summer and to pass gently...

AIR is a visual novel that tells the story of three youngs girls and a traveler that just happens to come across a town in the summer. This story is told by Key and VisualArt's who also told the story of Kanon and CLANNAD. The animated series and the summer special then debuted in 2005, created by Kyoto Animation, Pony Canyon, and TBS Animation. In the next month of 2005, the motion picture was shown in theatres, which was created by Toei Animation. This story is divided into four arcs: Dream, Summer, Air, and The 1000th Summer. It is recommended that each arc is read in order.

AIR TV -

An encounter with the girls repeated in the sunlight...

[NOTE – Contain spoilers]

Story:
A young traveler goes off on a journey to find '"The Girl in the Sky". This person is able to move puppets without touching them, which is what he does for a living to make money. A lot of people do not seem to be impressed with the performance, but despite this, he continues to live his life as a traveler.

However, he enters a town where he meets a young girl, and that is when his life changed forever. This girl tries her best to stay happy and strong, but is always alone because she doesn't have any friends. The traveler befriends the young girl, and stays at her house. Her mother doesn't come home very often, and seems to enjoy drinking often.

The traveler walks the young girl to school everyday, and starts to have a part time job. He is hired by a town doctor who has a younger sister. The young sister has a special power that she does not know about, but will eventually know the truth sooner or later. She has an amazing ability to understand her pet dog.

The traveler later meets another girl, who lack expression unlike the other two girls, but is warm and loving to those she meets. However, there is much more to her than meets the eye. As the traveler will soon realize, this summer has an old legend that takes place long ago. What events will await the traveler and the three young girls?




First Impressions:
This series was talked about throughout many places that I went to. I started looking at images and information concerning the series, and thought that this show wasn't all that serious. However, after looking at other reviews, I decided to give this series a try.

Animation Quality:
Beautiful. The animation is very smooth, and it looks like the animators spent a lot of time making this series. There are some CG moments which loses the great quality of the animation, but doesn't ruin the experience. Each character has great detail (even the minor characters are well drawn), and the backgrounds are very well done. For a TV series, the animation is superb.

DVD Quality (Japanese Release):
It's great for the most part. Although I do notice some grainy artifacts when viewed on a laptop computer, the overall performance was great. The only real special feature you get with the DVDs are audio commentaries with the director and voice actors.

Blu-ray Quality (Japanese Release):
Coming soon...

English Translation Quality:
The translations were done by Koi, who along with many others, created the fansubs for AIR TV. The English translation was very good, and also had information about some of the scenes related to Japanese culture.

Voice Acting:
Excellent. The voice actors really played the roles of the characters well. None of the voices sounded liked they were out of character or annoyed me, for that matter. The voices matched the personalities of the characters. Overall, it was very well done.

Music:
Once again, excellent. The music was one of the main reasons why I started watching the TV series. The music is mostly very mellow and serious, and in some moments becomes fun and upbeat. The background music matches well with the moments that are happening, whatever it be happy or sad. The opening theme "Tori no Uta" [The Bird's Poem] and the ending theme "Farewell Song", are wonderful songs to listen to. The music is very well done overall.

Favorite Moment:
In the fifth episode (Wing), Yukito looks into the stars with Minagi and her friend, Michiru. They talk about how nice the stars look, and Minagi mentions that Michiru is like a half of herself. What was great about this moment is that after a while, you see Michiru looking at the stars with a telescope, and Minagi (with her lack of expression) tries to show expression for how cute Michiru looks.




Review:
I wasn't sure what to think when I saw the TV series. It has its great moments, its sad moments, and its happy moments. However, after seeing the series, I guess you could say I was left speechless. I was very moved by the TV series, because of the way I was able to interact with the characters and their personalities.

Misuzu, although is about 16 or 17 years old, acts like a child. I'm not saying that in a bad way, but this is shown throughout the series to describe her innocence. For example, she has a habit of using the word "Gao" wherever she's upset or messes up. She also is quite fond of dinosaurs and cute things as well. However, despite all this, there's a reason why Misuzu isn't a normal girl.

spoiler (highlight to read):
Misuzu has problems when trying to make friends. In episode five, she goes into a nervous breakdown, and starts crying uncontrollably. My guess is that people thought of her as still a young girl from elementary school. She says that when she starts crying, people run away from her because they're scared of her. This is further explained as the series moves forward, bringing up events of the Sumner arc, and how it relates to Misuzu's lifestyle.


Minagi is my favorite character in the series. Out of all the young girls in the show, she is the one that seems to be the most calm and wise, even though her lack of expression can have people wondering about her personality. She enjoys being with her friend, Michiru, and blow bubbles when she has nothing to do. She is considered to be a very intelligent student, and takes part in the astronomy club as well.

spoiler (highlight to read):
However, she was suppose to have a younger sister. Her mother starts to think of Minagi as her unborn child, and eventually forgets about Minagi. This is why she explains to Yukito that Michiru is the other half of herself, meaning that she's the little sister that she never had. As the series moves on, Minagi will realize that she's been living a dream this whole time.


Kano has an amazing ability, which is to understand her dog, Potato. She has an older sister who looks out for her often. Their parents died long ago, so they have to do what they can to survive. Until she met Yukito, she mostly hangs out with her dog and attends school like everyone else. There isn't a lot about her that is told in the series, but she seems to carry some kind of magical power.

spoiler (highlight to read):
Kano seems to be a normal young girl, but also seems to have a problem with her health. In the series, she is controlled by someone. She walks to a certain place nearby at night, and talks to herself. There are also times when she tries to cut her wrist, saying that she wants to see her mother. Her older sister thought of this as a long term disease, which is one of the reasons why she became a doctor. Eventually, she would find out more about Kano and her "disease".


The series starts out pretty slow, but later starts to pick up the pace. I was amazed mostly by the animation and the music, which got me into the moments of the series. The story confused me at first, because it seems that it assumed that I've played the visual novel. After a while, I started to get the storyline and the events that were happening. The show (along with the visual novel) are divided into three arcs: Dream, Summer, and Air. This TV series covers all three arcs, though I believe that the TV series focused on the Dream arc the most.




Final Thoughts:
After having said all this, do I recommend this series to anime fans? Well, that decision is yours only and not mine. Some will love the great animation, the characters, the music, and the storyline. Others may be confused by what is happening, and may be turned off because of the way the characters are drawn. For me, it was a series that was definitely something to think about, and has a great storyline. The music and the animation greatly added to this, making this one of the best anime series overall.

Some may not like the ending of the series, but for me I thought it was well suited. The series doesn't contain a lot of action, but it still delivers a powerful message. It is a series that I definitely won't forget.

AIR TV Rating: 5/5
Asirt 11-15-2005 05:07 PM


Summer continues to where as well...

My recent interest in AIR has gotten me to know more about the Summer arc. I felt that explaining the side story in only two episodes wasn't enough. I found out that another series that relates to the Summer arc exists. Although the series itself is only two episodes long, it's an interesting part of the story that is important for those who enjoy the AIR series. The fansubs are currently available on the Internet, and is not licensed in the United States.

AIR IN SUMMER -

[NOTE - Contains spoilers]

Story:
One thousand years ago, an old legend exists that is unlike any other. A young man, who is an amateur samurai, is given the task to protect a human being with wings. The young girl with wings witnesses many dreams, and longs to see her mother again. Along with another companion, the three will start on a long journey.

The winged being is a special one, and because of this, she is unable to leave to the outside world. She remains isolated for some time in a palace. During this time, a war to conquer many lands is taking place. The two companions realize they cannot protect the winged being here, and the three escape from the palace.

People believed that winged beings would be useful as tools of war, but at the same time, believed that they were a threat to mankind. Many were killed in the process because of this. This girl is the last of the winged beings. She orders the young man to protect her, not to kill mercilessly, and to never die in front of her. However, what events will await them as they go to search for the young girl's mother?

[NOTE – Some of the screen shots are taken from AIR TV, which also covers the Summer arc.]




First Impressions:
When I saw the Summer arc on AIR TV, I was very interested in the story and the characters. However, I felt that the TV only focused on the main plot, so I wanted to know more about the journey that the three people had and how it relates to the Dream and Air arcs.

Animation Quality:
Similar to AIR TV, the animation is wonderful. All the characters in the summer arc has great detail, and the backgrounds are very well done.

DVD Quality (Japanese Release):
Please see the first part of the review [AIR TV] for information on this section. Extras features include audio commentaries and textless OP/ED footage.

Blu-ray Quality (Japanese Release):
Please see the first part of the review [AIR TV] for information on this section.

English Translation Quality:
A different group of people translated this series. The translation was great and the overall performance was good.

Voice acting:
A very well done performance. The actors really gave life to these characters, and matched their personalities. I didn't feel that any of the voices annoyed me at all, even though Kanna can be a bit too loud when she's mad.

Music:
Please see the first part of the review [AIR TV] for information on this section. The same opening and ending themes are used, but with different scenes compared to AIR TV.

Favorite Moment:
In the beginning of the second episode, Kanna talks to Ryuuya. She asks him a favor. As soon as she said, it looked like she started to take her clothes off. Ryuuya was getting a bit embarrassed. However, instead, she took out three beanbags, and asks him to watch as she poorly tries to juggle them. There are a few moments with these two that were funny, but this one was surprising to me as well. That's why it's my favorite moment.




Review:
When I first saw the Summer arc on AIR TV, I was quite interested in the story and how it relates to the dream and Air arcs. It was like I was watching a completely different story. However, I noticed that because of this arc, I was able to make more sense of the series. There were a few things I wanted to know more about in the Summer arc that were not answered in the TV series. I was hoping that this series would be able to answer some of the questions I have for it.

Kanna is quite similar to Misuzu in many ways. For example, they both are a little klutzy (such as tripping on some occasions), and they both have similar dreams. Also, they both aren't very knowledgeable (if you watch AIR TV, you'll see moments like this), and both have some kind of personality to show their innocence. The connection between the two characters is very clear.

spoiler (highlight to read):
In the TV series, Misuzu is considered to be the reincarnation of Kanna. However, this cannot be true because a winged being cannot be reborn. That's like filling a bowl with too much water; it will break if it's overfilled. Misuzu is rather a fragment of Kanna and not a complete version of her. Kanna was cursed near the end of the series, causing her to have sad and horrible dreams. This caused the final event in the end of the TV series.


Uraha takes on a more motherly role for Kanna, as she looks out for her often. I was disappointed that I didn't get to learn more about her, as she was my favorite character, and also an important one to Kanna's life. She's usually always with Kanna and tries to teach her some important skills, like reading poetry.

spoiler (highlight to read):
Uraha also plays a part in the Summer arc. She along with Ryuuya have to save Kanna from her curse. However, they are unable to do it after the fact that Kanna died in the end, so they have to make future generations realize that their goal in life is to break Kanna's curse. This ends up being Yukito's goal when he first meet Misuzu.


Ryuuya is like Yukito in a way because he looks out for Kanna. He also seems to care about her safety often. At first, they didn't exactly like each other, but after many hits, punches, and fights, they finally were able to show a liking for each other. This is similar to Yukito and Misuzu's encounter.

spoiler (highlight to read):
Although he's not the best samurai, he can still stop bad guys from capturing Kanna. However, at the end he is unable to save her from the fate that awaits her. After witnessing the final event, Ryuuya gets very angry and wants to kill everyone that stands in his way. Of course, Uraha stops him before he can kill, and figure out another way to save Kanna.


This arc was the easiest one to understand. I felt that it was very straightforward, and also was very entertaining to watch. For those who want a break from the story that lies one thousand years later, this story is fun to watch, and also helps you understand what's to come in the Air arc.




Final Thoughts:
The series overall was a good side story. However, in order to truly enjoy it, you must watch the TV series first, which also explains some moments that were skipped in this series. At the same time, in order to fully understand the Summer arc that was explained in the TV series, you need to watch this series. In other words, the TV series focused on the main plot, whereas the side story focused on the relationship with the characters.

Overall, I felt it was a great addition to the AIR series. I only wished that it explained the whole story, but it does fill in the gaps for those wanting to know more about the Summer arc.

AIR IN SUMMER Rating: 5/5
Asirt 11-19-2005 12:32 AM


She is waiting in the air...

After telling you the story of the Dream and Summer arcs, you should have a good idea of what the Air arc will be about. I felt that this movie explained it the most. The movie is the alternate retelling of the AIR series released in 2005. It takes a somewhat different direction from the TV series and the visual novel, but still tells the whole story. It is currently available on the Internet in fansub format, and is not licensed in the United States.

AIR: The Motion Picture -

[NOTE - Contains spoilers]

Story:
A young man has a goal where he must find out the meaning of the words his mother said to him before they separated. He stops to rest to a town, where he is tried and hungry. He tries to perform a puppet show by using his “magic”. However, people are not amazed by the performance, and he wonders why.

He suddenly finds a young girl waiting for him. She is a student, who has an assignment that she need to complete. She asks the young traveler to help her, but he rejects her offer. Regardless, the girl follows the man around until he finally gives in.

He didn't think too much about this person other than she was different from everyone else. She sometimes talk about her dreams; most of them which are very sad. The traveler realizes that this girl has had a troubling life. She starts to have attacks when she try to make friends. She is always alone and has no friends because of this. The town doctor thinks of this as a "disease".

As the days go by, she gets weak, but tries to stay strong. She also learns about an old legend dating back one thousand years. Could the events relate to the young girl's life? A black crow watches from afar...




First Impressions:
I had high expectations for this movie because I previously saw the television series, which was an excellent performance overall. I had assumed that the movie would be the same retelling of the story. However, as I later found out, I was wrong.

Animation Quality:
Although different from AIR TV and AIR IN SUMMER, the animation is simply excellent. Everything has great detail, and although the characters may look a little different from their television counterparts, they look wonderful in this movie. The only problem I had with it was that a lot of the scenes were very bright, almost like it was trying to blind me. This also caused some distortion on scenes that could have looked wonderful, but was ruined due to the brightness. Other than that, the animation was very nice.

DVD Quality (Japanese Release):
The overall quality of the footage was very good; better than the DVD release for the television series. Extra features include a commentary with the director of the movie. There are also additional features depending on which version of the movie you get:

Special Edition:
Drama CD containing commentaries with the voice actors and character stories.
An orchestral soundtrack that contains four tracks from the movie. Each song lasts about nine to ten minute, and is a very nice listen, in my opinion.

Collector's Edition:
Bonus DVD that contains interviews, commercials, and other interesting footage related to the motion picture.
A 400 page book containing the entire storyboard for the movie along with other information.

English Translation Quality:
The English translation was very good and also had some moments where it explained about certain things relating to Japanese culture.

Voice Acting:
The same voice actors from the TV series are also in the movie. They were able to deliver a good performance overall, similar to AIR TV.

Music:
The music was very good, but not excellent like the visual novel and TV's music. The music in the movie matches well with the events that are happening, but by itself, it delivers a weak performance. The same opening and ending themes are in the movie, but there is also a new insert song inspired by AIR. It's a very nice song in my opinion.

Favorite Moment:
In one scene, you see Yukito and Misuzu walking home on the sunset. After a bit of talking goes on, Misuzu uses her trademark word "Nihaha". Yukito, annoyed by that, tells her to stop because it's not cute at all. However, after hearing that, she uses her other trademark word, "Gao". Yukito gives a soft hit on the head after that. It's a funny moment that I still remember after watching the movie.




Review:
The movie is basically a retelling of the AIR series. If you've seen the TV series, you already have an idea of what the movie will cover. However, what makes the movie different from the series and visual novel is that it focuses more on the Air arc than the Dream and Summer arcs. In other words, it focuses more on the relationship between Misuzu and Yukito. You only see little of Minagi and Kano, so there aren't many characters like in the TV series. Potato, Kano's dog, makes a very brief appearance in its own TV show.

The movie starts out a little differently than what the television series started out. Misuzu seems like a normal girl who was just a little weird. She has to work on a summer assignment by writing a report about the town she lives in. She acts differently than in the TV series (aside from the same innocence and her use of “Gao” and “Nihaha”), and although it was good for some moments, I felt that this is the reason why I felt the movie isn't as dramatic as the TV series is. Yukito also acted a bit differently from the TV series. He didn't seem to care for Misuzu as much until later in the movie.

Throughout the movie, you'll see the events of the Summer arc. If you've seen the TV series, you'll noticed that the story have been altered a bit. Rather than having three characters go on a journey to find the winged being's mother, you have more of a romance story about Kanna and Ryuuya. I wasn't too impressed by this, because a lot of the main points were taken out in the movie. However, when you consider that the story has to be packed into a 90 minute movie, you have to understand that changing certain moments cannot be helped.

spoiler (highlight to read):
They did keep the same ending for the Summer arc, which is the death of Kanna. The basis of the story is still there, just in a different format. Ryuuya and Kanna did fall in love at one point in the TV series, but it didn't go so far like in the movie.

One of the points that were taken out in this movie is the fact that Misuzu is the fragment of Kanna. Rather than using this as the reason why the final event happens, Misuzu now has a life long "disease" that cannot be cured.


spoiler (highlight to read):
The ending of the series was altered a bit as well. Although the same event happens in the end, the way it was approached was done differently. Instead of the summer festival being canceled, the festival goes on as planned. Also, Yukito was actually there at the very end with Haruko and Misuzu when the final event happens. Yukito left after that, and treated that moment like a memory.


Haruko is another big change in the movie. For those who saw the TV series, Haruko did not care for Misuzu in the beginning. However, here she acts like Misuzu's her own child, and wants to make things right for her. I liked this Haruko more because it fitted her personality a lot more than the TV series or visual novel did.

People may not agree with me, but I greatly perfer the movie art of Misuzu over the visual novel and the TV series. Here she looks a lot more mature than she usually looks, and at the same time keeps her cuteness as well. The others looked great in the movie, but I was surprised at how Ryuuya looks drastically different from the TV counterpart.




Final Thoughts:
I felt the movie is more of a different retelling of the story rather than connecting it to the TV series. The biggest mistake for me when I first saw this movie was that I tried to compare it to the TV series. I later realized that the movie was in a way different from the series. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you see it. I liked the movie a lot, because it was different from the usual story.

Fans of AIR may or may not enjoy it, but treat it as a different story rather than connecting it to the TV series. If you haven't seen AIR yet, the movie is a good starting point. For there, you can learn more about the story by watching the TV series. Overall, it's a great movie if you haven't seen AIR, or do not try to connect it to the TV series. The movie is a different form of AIR, so treat it as such.

AIR: The Motion Picture Rating: 4/5

Please click here to read the end of the review.
David Ryder 12-10-2005 02:50 PM
Gonna take a stab at this as well.

Content: The first vol of the berserk anime covers vol 1-4 of the manga of gut's quest for revenge on the god hand, minus several things such as the count, and puck is also not present. Also the violence and what not is also toned down, but they still get the same story across.

Animation Quality: Well the animation in berserk is well ok at best, they wheren't given a huge buget to begin with, but the animation does shine in several parts.

Voice Acting: Well I can't say much on the japanese voices, as I didn't watch it subbed (I rarely do), I can however comment on the dub. The dub for Berserk is produced by New York studio NYAV post, a studio that has produced some rather Mediocre work IMO, however they did a fairly decent job on Beserk. Gut's is played by Marc Dairaison, and manages to capture guts personality fairly well, Caska is done by Carolyn Elizabeth, she however sounds way to naggy for my tastes, but the real show stealer here is Kevin Collins as griffith, he's perfect.

Music: hmm not to bad. Not a fan of techno but the soundtrack for berserk is quite nice. The opening and ending song are also pretty cool, sung in english or well in this case engrish (put on my grasses, oi) but still not to bad.

Overall: if your a fan of the manga like myself then it's a must buy but the casual anime fan will enjoy this to. Nice change from the cookie cutter stuff that comes out now a days.