RDrake’s anime roamings

Steps to improvement.
September 8, 2006, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Anime, Reviews, Web

It appears that everytime I chuck another anime review into here, I get a little jump in visitor traffic. This means quite a lot to a guy who averages only 25 visits a day, or somewhere around there…

By rights this should mean that I am going to put up more anime reviews. Unfortunately, my hands are a little tied at the moment, and I can’t do much. But I’ll stick around, and hopefully there’ll be a little more activity here…


Melody of Oblivion Series Review
August 29, 2006, 7:59 am
Filed under: Anime, Reviews

Finally, I brought pictures this time, guys…Er, ok, their all pretty small, I know.

Continue reading

Infinite Ryvius Anime Review
August 25, 2006, 6:31 am
Filed under: Anime, Reviews

Infinite Ryvius:
This is a 1999 Sunrise Co production. It’s basically about this few hundred teenage space cadets, who get trapped in a crisis situation in space due to some merciless political wrangling. When their training station gets destroyed, and all the adult intructors killed, they find a spaceship in it to escape to. The rest of the outline is simply their floating from place to place, trying to survive attacks against their ship, and finding a place that will take them in or rescue them.

While it appears boring, the main focus of the series is the interpersonal relations of the people onboard the Ryvius(the battleship the cadets escaped to). Because it obviously cannot capture all few hundred, it focuses on a more select few. Navigator trainees Kouji Aiba, Yuki Aiba, the Zwei (elite class of trainees), the supervisors (a group of students who took over to restore order onboard the ship), and those who surround them.

I’ll forgo most of the character descriptions because having to do all of them will take forever. Kouji Aiba is just a drifter, still looking for what he wants in life, and a follower of the path of least resistance. He’s a big contrast to his younger brother Yuki, who appears to be a rebel, and someone not afraid to fight for himself. Of the Zwei, there’s Juli Bahana, the unofficial leader of the Zwei, whom everyone looks to for leadership. However, she finds that she does not have the ability to be a good leader; she is simply the best among them, and she has no great love for her position. Among Kouji’s friends, Faina S. Shinozaki is a very striking one. Somewhat religous in her own right, she attempts to change Kouji into her image of perfection, and tries to exact vengeance when she fails. A person who does not shirk from murder, her layers of personality are very… interesting.

As for the graphics quality, I can say it’s not too bad for something made before the turn of the millenium. No grainy shots, and the style appears to be a less clear cut version of one of the older gundam series. The music has an hip hop theme, to it, and is okay, so long as you don’t get tired of hearing more rythym than melody.

Must say the story is superb, though, it’s not very easy to keep track of all the shifting relations all at once. A friend who watched a couple of episodes somewhere in the middle told me he could make neither heads nor tails of the whole thing. And the actings not too bad, even if the seiyuus could have put in a little more emotion at times. Though the average mood of the series is pretty depressing, the way it seems to seep into the voice acting and cause monotony on occasion can be a put off.

Overall, not too bad for a series if you have the time and money to burn. (I found out that if I waited a couple of weeks, I could have gotten it for half price, nnow I’m kicking myself in the head.) It’s a rather serious series, though, so I don’t exactly recommend it to fun lovers, or to those easily depressed.

Full Metal Panic anime review
August 13, 2006, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Anime, Reviews

Full Metal Panic review

I’m still banging my head against the wall for not doing this earlier. As a big GONZO fan, this ought to have been pretty high prioritied. Full Metal Panic(FMP) Please, this is the original series. Not Fumoffu, or the second raid. Try not to mix up. Also do not mix up with Full Metal Alchemist(FMA). I know that there’s only a difference by one word, but that should be enough. By most standards not too bad. Sagara Sousuke works for a mercenary organisation called MITHRIL, which seeks to protect certain people known as ‘whispered’, who hold in their subconciousness specs for highly advanced weaponry. Sagara’s latest ward is high school girl, Chidori Kaname, who has no idea just how special she is and what’s coming up for her. A somewhat mixed anime, close to the style of Vandread. FMP is without doubt, a mixture of two quite different genres, which is why it’s sprouted two follow up series, very different from each other. The first part of the series is mainly on school romance comedy, starring soldierly Sousuke being unable to fit into the school life. Most of the rest is pretty much devoted to heavy mecha, sci-fi action. Characters and plot, are on the overall, pretty good. Mostly well developed, and a rather wide range of views and angles of the situations provided throughout. Best character was probably Sousuke, and I guess that he really does deserve a place on Gourry’s Grand Prix. Alot of the series is also very emotional, so watch out, didn’t see much like from GONZO in anything else until one part in Peacemaker. A wind in the homeland 1,2, and 3 made me cry……… Graphics are as usual, what we know GONZO for. The CGI and handrawn blend still is smooth as ever here, and the sharp and crisp edges on the Mecha fit the mood pretty well. Lovely work, and a real triumph, though Fwiffo probably thinks Vandread is still better…No need to shout, I agree… Audio wise, I’m a bit rusty, but I really liked the OP/ED,…can’t seem to find the ED now, yea, they’re good. Also the soundtrack wasn’t too bad, though I’ve forgotten it, watched it along time ago, after all. Voices? As subs go, this had some quality at least, with matching enough voices against roles, and most of them serious and somber enough to fit the emotional mood right. If anyone wants me to add a comment on a dub if available, PM me,cos I don’t have a dub. And in the end, I’ll leave a sign on this anime saying that anyone who overly criticises this series, I WILL STRANGLE TO DEATH IN A PAINFUL AND HORRID WAY. I’ll go off for a while and see if I can think up any of the weak points, but if not the grade here is a pass with flying colours. Anyone who hasn’t seen this is missing out quite a bit. As a recently added sub-note to this review, there is a manga for FMP out and about. I’ve seen it. Certainly doesn’t look like much to someone who saw the anime first. I might just check it out, though, given a recent turn of events.

Erementar Gerad anime review
August 13, 2006, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Anime, Reviews

Erementar Gerad

This series is one based on the manga. Basically, it’s about the adventures of a boy named Coud, and the Edel Reid he awakens. Plus, the Arc Aile(An official Police / Military group) team who decided to follow them on their journey to Edel Reid Garden(some fabled paradise).

I realize a little background is needed here. The setting is the world of Guardia, with among the population a mix of normal humans and the Edel Reid, who are a race of women able to merge with a human as a weapon.

On the average, it’s quite a good show, with a generally light hearted storyline, and more seriousness as and when needed, though the overall impression is that everything is just being brushed past. But the exploration of cross-race relations is good enough to sustain it.

In terms of graphics…ok, I admit to buying a lower grade copy, but it was all there was. So I don’t think it’s safe to say that the animation isn’t too bad. By going through other review, I’ve deicided that the graphics are, yea, not too bad.

Also, a big perk is that the sound is pretty good. The soundtrack is/was available here somewhere, and the OP/ED themes are good. In all, a good mix of genres, with a technopop OP, symphonic BGMs, and a ballad for the ED. Very melodious for the overall effect.

Voice acting is above average too. Nothing outstanding to say about it, but at least nothing bad either. Maybe it was that the show didn’t exactly allow much space for the seiyuus to work with.

Overall, interesting enough, good mainly for the storyline, and it’s emotional explorations. As a somewhat above average piece, I’d say go for it as and when you have the cash and time, but not over something better, unless you’re more an arthouse person.

Blue Sub 6 Review
July 27, 2006, 2:28 pm
Filed under: Anime, Reviews

Basically, it’s a post-apocalyptical movie, with most of the earth flooded from the melting of the polar ice caps. The sudden increase of water has forced the remainding survivors to turn to the seas, leaving on what ever land is land, and with a focus on aquatic transport. A rogue scientist creates a race that is fully capable of living underwater, and reneges on humanity, and soon a war between the two races is started.

In many ways, quite alot like Vandread, maybe with the criticism recieved from Hellsing, they tried to rego firmer ground. The exploration of rascism is very strong, especially for a movie, without the same amount of space as an anime series has. Character exploration, not so deep perhars, but that’s forgivable.

Graphics are good too, and like Vandread, original and and stunningly perfect blend of CGI and handrawn art. The focus, perhaps were on the underwater environments, and there was no mistake in that. From the undersea human megafortresses to the battles between submarines and genetically engineered whales, all are CGI artwork that are a class of their own. I believe even the water itself was fully CGI, unlike Vandread, which had a background of space that was just a dull black.

Sorry to say, but I don’t quite remember the music; I watched it at a time when it wsn’t so important to me, and I wasn’t supposed to be awake, (thus low volume.)
Also that I watched the sub, and that whether there is a dub available I’m not so sure.

Well, that’s about it. It’s a great ride, and good on your time, since it’s just a movie. Greatest point would, like many GONZO productions be it’s superior graphics and storyline.

Argentosoma Review
July 26, 2006, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Anime, Reviews

Ok, next one coming up. As I said, I did these some time back, and am shifting them here for safety. But enjoy anyway.

アルジェント ソーマ (Japanese)

Another Sunrise Co production for you people. This one is about an earth ravaged by alien attacks, and the journey of exploration for the elite team put together to stop the attacks. Not much in terms of fun and games, more another serious scifi like my last review.

The biggest character is Ryu Soma, real name Takeshi Kenishiro. He’s a researcher, whose girlfriend was killed and he himself badly mauled during an secret experiment to awaken a machine/alien made out of recovered alien parts. Swearing vengeance, he is visited in hospital by a mysterious man who gives him a new identity and a place in the elite team ‘Funeral’, with the condition to transmit ‘Funearal’ data out of the base. Other characters include Harriet ‘Hattie’ Bartholomew, a girl who is able to communicate with the awakened synthetic alien Frank, and other members of Funeral.

Staying serious all the time, the series maily focuses on Ryu Soma, and his double identity. His face after the accident is already proof of his two sides. Throughout the series, he struggles with his desire for vengeance and his softer side. Later in the series, the funeral team confront the discovery of Frank’s awakening from his dumb state to reveal his persona, as well as the origins of the attacking aliens, not to mention the political turbulence it brings.

The animation appears to be quite good. No blaring neon colours, or CGI though, but it fits the mood. Highly reflective. The opening for the series isn’t too bad, and so is the ending theme, but the rest of the music appears to have slipped out of my mind. Not by accident, mind you, there isn’t much to begin with.

VA wise, i must say that this is definitely one series where the dub is better than the sub, if only because the voices fit more. Since the whole thing is set in the USA, with all the characters Americans, save the British pilot, it’s certainly better to hear it all in English. Actually, especially Dan Simmons, because the guy who VAs him has got the accent right, upper-class British.

Overall, another more reflective series for the thinking people. Maybe 8/10, but will vary depending on how fun loving people are. (If they are looking for something like Love Hina, then they’ll be seriously disappointed by this.)