Reviews: various (old) anime

The number of reviews have built up again…but amongst them are some I really really liked – I’ll try to tackle the non-favoured ones first.

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Based on Kurosawa Akira’s classic, 七人の侍, Samurai 7 is merely a pale shadow of its source. I will admit that the 3+ hour movie almost put me to sleep when I saw it – whether tiredness contributed I don’t remember. However, the contrast between the samurai and commoner worlds, made apparent largely through the actions of the characters, was very interesting.

The anime changes many things – from modernising it (like how the West was modernised in “Wild Wild West”) to creating a new villain in the form of the a manipulative, irritating prick (with Koyasu’s voice to top it off, no offense to his fans). Not only was it impossible to believe that samurai could still exist in a world with that kind of technology (with machines as ‘people’, no less), I couldn’t stand how they put politics in so blatantly. And the expanded ‘romance’ made absolutely no sense whatsoever to me. I expect the writers wanted us to look up to the girl who fell in love because she admired the character of that particular samurai, but I can only see her as a naive child who projected her own beliefs into creating an ideal (that was unbelievable anyway). Why I sat through the series is a complete mystery to me – maybe it was just to see how the characters whom I knew were going to bite it died. The last straw was how my favourite character died (let’s just say I really really hated one of the others from then on). Well, a couple of the fight scenes were pretty cool. 5/10

Here’s the ***.

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Zombie Loan isn’t really worth watching, much less for keeping. The animation wasn’t particularly good (no justice to a mangaka group which produces some really nice art). And of course, the story wasn’t completed in those 12 episodes (the manga is still going after all). I really want to find out what happens to the characters later – especially Shito – but I don’t think another anime season will be needed for that. Still, I liked what episode 6 did, and the insert song that appeared there is probably my favourite part of the series. 5/10

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I only watched Kaikan Phrase for one reason – the seiyuu – and it was worth it for that alone. However, I really enjoyed the fact that the anime concentrates more on the band, leaving out a lot of the smut that I’ve heard was in the manga. Made for a much more enjoyable experience, even if the last twist with the rivalling music labels was a bit stupid. As for the romance, I really could have done without it, but I guess that was the whole point of the original story in the first place. 6/10

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I saw Samurai Champloo before I came to Okinawa…and I think I might have appreciated it more if I had seen it after. Champloo, of course, is an Okinawan style of dish, チャンプル. Literally, it means something like “mixture”, so of course, this anime is a mixture of elements, with the main ingredient being samurai…of a sort. Plot is one of the thinner elements…the characters all have pasts, but, other than Jin’s, I don’t recall them being explained. Well, it was worth watching, especially for the laughs… I want to know if there was something that would be interesting to someone now living in Okinawa, but I’m not watching the show again just for that. 6/10

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Trinity Blood is another of those annoying series, beautiful to look at and with quite an interesting story, but incomplete, as the manga it was based on is still ongoing. However, even if it did have a proper ending (and a good one, at that, perhaps like Cowboy Bebop), it wouldn’t be perfect. Whilst the ‘stills’ were beautiful to look at, I don’t recall the fight scenes, for one, having much content. I think there were fights with more movement (characters need to dodge, after all), but once the Crusnik nanomachines were activated, the fights seemed to become rather static. Perhaps I’ve been influenced too much by series where the protagonist fights hand-to-hand, or with other unusual instruments (e.g. DtB or Get Backers), but yes, the fights in TB were a bit of a letdown. 7/10

Pretty scenery…but rather less substance…

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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