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Quick Anime Reviews

This page is dedicated to providing quick and consise reviews of anime (Japanese animation) that I've seen. Like my video game RPG review page, reviews here use a grade scale of A to F (similar to school grades).

C- Green Legend Ran
I didn't especially like this environmentalist movie. Princess Mononoke does a much better job with a similar theme. BTW, Ran is the name of the main character; the movie doesn't have anything to do with running.
B+ Iria: Zeiram the Animation
A short 6 episode mini-series about the adventures of bounty hunter Iria and her attempts to defeat the space monster, Zeiram. It's based on a live action movie, but has a very different mood than the movie (the movie was an action/comedy whereas the anime is more of an action/drama). The story isn't much (lots of Iria vs Zeiram scenes), but the animation is nice, the music is weird (in an enjoyable way), there's lots of cool bits of technology, and Iria and Zeiram are some of the best looking anime characters I've ever seen (Iria sort of looks like an anime version of Samus Aran from the Metroid video games).
B Kiki's Delivery Service
A cheerful story about a young girl who goes out into the world to make her way as a witch. Lots of pretty backgrounds and animation and a few catchy songs make this an enjoyable little movie. There isn't a whole lot of action though so it's probably best for children.
B+ Martian Successor Nadesico
A rather funny romantic/action comedy set in space. Yurika, a cute teenage girl, leads a group of weirdos on a dangerous mission on a powerful new space battleship. Yurika is pretty funny in a ditzy airhead sort of way especially when she's trying to date a pilot who wants nothing to do with her (he doesn't even want to be a pilot, but rather a cook). Probably the best character, though, is a smart little girl, who says the word "idiot" a bunch and also introduces each episode (often with humorous remarks). Nadesico makes fun of anime stereotypes frequently (it even has a cheesy anime series within the show) so if you're a big fan of anime, this is a good series to watch.
A- Princess Mononoke
A good movie about a conflict between man and the forces of nature. The movie lets the viewer sympathize with multiple sides of the conflict which gives it more depth than the typical "Let's Save the Rainforest" movie. It also has some very cool forest monsters (I'm thinking of the snake boar) and a big apocalyptic ending.
A- Serial Experiments Lain
A cyberpunk mini series. After getting some email from a girl who just comitted suicide, Lain starts to search for answers to her questions about the "Wired" and her own existance. SE:Lain is a rather slow paced and confusing series so it's definitely not for everyone, but it's very artistic and fun if you like to think. It also has a great opening played to the song, Duvet, by UK band Boa which you can download for free at their official website.
C- Slayers: The Motion Picture
I found this movie to be a really big disappointment since I rather enjoy the Slayers TV series. None of the main characters besides Lina show up which will be disappointing to fans of Gourry, Zelgadis, and Amelia. The animation quality is better than the TV series but the movie just isn't very funny which is a big problem for a comedy (most of the jokes are comments about Lina's physique and they just aren't as funny as when it's Gourry making the comment) . You'd get more enjoyment out of watching a couple episode of Slayers Next or Slayers Try.
B- Slayers TV series (1st season)
A good comic sword and sorcery series with nice music (the main character, Lina Inverse, is played by the singer Megumi Hayasibara). The series is quite enjoyable when it focuses on humor, but gets a little boring when it tries to be dramatic. The dubbing job is mixed - the main characters are decent, but it switches some voice actors on Tapes 5-8 which is annoying. The voice acting in the subtitled version is excellent so that's the obvious choice to get.
B+ Slayers Next TV series (2cd season)
Like the first season, but with better animation, music, and story. It's also noticeably funnier than the first season. It introduces two new characters (a mysterious wizard and a psychotic sorceress who worships a made-up demon god) which are quite enjoyable to watch. One of my personal favorites.
B Vampire Princess Miyu
Think Sailor Moon with a darker mood and you've got a good idea of this series. Miyu is the guardian, a supernatural being who banishes rogue demons back to the netherworld. She has a couple of allies to back her up (like a cute little bunny demon who can see past illusions with its hideous giant eye) and she makes friends at the local junior high where she pretends to be a regular human. With interesting characters, lots of sad endings (Miyu rarely saves the humans victimized by the demons she banishes), and a lot of mood, Vampire Princess Miyu is worth seeing. I didn't like the first episode, but the other episodes are all quite good.
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