Kino’s Journey

Plot Summary: Kino want’s to see as many countries as humanly possible. With Kino’s talking motorrad Hermes, Kino travels to many different places and stays no more than three days at each one.

Kino’s Journey is an episodic show. In each episode Kino visits a different country, sometimes more than one per episode. The countries themselves are actually the size of large towns but they’re far enough apart that most people don’t move to different ones unless they’re a traveler like Kino. Because of this each town that Kino stays at always has some sort of problem that looks strange to the viewer. But instead of help the town sort out their problems Kino just observes and (usually) doesn’t try to change things. And while this could have been a show about learning life lessons that everyone over the age of seven has heard before, it isn’t. The strongest message this show has is that every country has it’s problems. While I won’t mention any examples since that’s just asking for trouble. I imagine that most people, especially anime fans and fans of foreign media, could think of their own ones.

Kino’s Journey looks very different than other Slice of Life shows. Instead of bright shining colors like Aria has it looks very real with lots of brown and gray. On the DVD there were noticeable horizontal lines across the screen. I’m not sure if this was just pour video quality or if it’s intentional but it does make it look like you’re watching it on an old TV, which is somehow very fitting for a show like Kino’s Journey. The opening and ending themes sound nice and are fitting for the show.

This is also one of the best gateway shows I’ve seen in a while. It’s violent and too mature for little kids, but the violence isn’t action-y. So if you show this to someone who thinks all cartoons are for children they won’t go crazy “WHAT IS THIS DOING TO TEH CHILDRENZ?!?” but they will realize that they were wrong.

This is really one of the best animes I’ve ever seen before. It’s made me look at news about Japan and other foreign countries very differently than I have before. Unless you hate Slice of Life you absolutely have to see this.

5/5

Notes:

Viewed on: ADV’s DVD

Can I show this to my younger cousins? No, probably not. Unless they’re one of those really mature kids I’ve heard stories about but never actually met. And by mature I don’t mean that they can watch a scary movie without screaming their head off. I mean mature like watching Death Note without even thinking of making a fake Death Note to put real names in.

The Good: It’s very deep and will make you think differently then before. It looks very different from other Slice of Life shows, very real.

The Bad: If you hate Slice of Life shows this sadly will probably not change your mind.

Okamisan and Her Seven Companions

Plot Summary: Ryoushi Morino is very afraid of people looking directly at him. Because of this he has become a master at blending in his surroundings.  After he confesses his feelings to Ryouko Ookami she turns him down and Ringo Akai recruits him into their school club the Otogi Bank where they help people with their problems.

The first thing you’re going to notice about this show is that it parodies a bunch of fairy tales. Though since this is a Japanese television show a significant number of them will be Japanese fairy tales. So unless you know someone who has lived the first ten years of their life in Japan and is willing to explain all of the parodies to you then you’re not going to understand all of them. But most of the fairy tales are of English origin so it’s not too big of a problem.

The story is pretty episodic and usually involves the main characters helping someone with whatever problem they have. And at the end of each episode whatever problem the main characters were helping with always turns out alright. The characters are all interesting enough, though the ones I found the most interesting like Majolica and Otsuu didn’t have as much character depth as I would have liked. I didn’t find the shows female lead, Ryouko, to be as like-able as other tsundere characters (like Holo from Spice and Wolf.) The same is true for Ringo for other “Older Than They Look” characters. Though the male lead Ryoushi was very different from other male leads and very interesting.

Okamisan looks and sounds okay, not as good as other shows like it, but I’ve seen worse. The character designs are all really nice looking and original. And the opening and ending themes are good, but if you’re marathoning this show you’ll probably end up skipping them after the first time they play.

The show itself was fun and enjoyable but not something I’d want to watch a bunch of times on DVD. And considering that you an see it on Funimation website (and Hulu) I can’t really recommend buying this show on DVD unless you really want a dub (or if Funi’s limited edition premium item is really good.) I hope the light novels are licensed I imagine that they’re better than the anime.

3/5

Notes:

Viewed on: I saw the first five episodes on fansub after they aired. Then Funimation started simulcasting Okamisan and I watched the rest on Hulu. The only episode I rewatched after it was put on Hulu is the first one.

Can I show this to my younger cousins? Despite some light fanservice and Funi giving this a TV-14 rating I think that most parents would be fine with their kids watching this. The violence is bloodless and I don’t think most children would notice the fanservice. And I think children would find the fairytale parodies more enjoyable than adults would.

The Good: Good character designs, original concept, overall a fun show.

The Bad: The characters aren’t as good as in other shows, not something I would want to buy on DVD while it was viewable on a streaming site.

Maj LE FAY

Heat Guy J

Heat Guy J

“A man should try hard and always do his best at work and never be concerned with what the outcome may be.” – J

Plot Summary: After his father died Claire Leonelli became the new leader of the mafia group named “Vampire.” Daisuke Arora and his partner “J” an android work for The Special Services Division to help stop crime in the city “Judoh.”

Heat Guy J is a show I heard about a while back on ANNcast when they were making reference to it every episode. First off the show looks really nice with nice detailed backgrounds and great animation especially during the fight scenes. The show’s audio is really good too with opening and ending themes that you’ll probably want to listen to later after you’ve finished the show. And the bagpipe theme that plays whenever Daisuke is in a tight situation and J comes to help him is great.

The characters in Heat Guy J are all likable  and well developed. And almost every line J says is instantly quotable. And the story is just excellent, a big part of it is about Daisuke’s relationship with his older brother. It’s kind of a shame this show didn’t do well in the US, it has all the elements for a really popular show and  I would totally recommend it to the people who have been asking “Where’s the next Cowboy Bebop?” for years. Oh well, on the plus-side the DVD boxed-set is on Funi’s S.A.V.E. line for a really good price, I definitely consider it worth owning (unless you hate action shows for some reason.)

4/5

Notes:

Viewed on: Hulu dubbed.

Can I show this to my younger cousins? Maybe, if their parents let them see most comic book movies (Spider-Man, Iron-Man) then you probably could.

The Good: Excellent story, looks and sounds great, very likable characters, very fun to watch fights, basically an allaround fun show.

The Bad: Uhh… It’s not the best action show ever made, I guess.

A Challenger Approaches!

Hello, welcome to my anime review blog.

I decided to start this because I often think up reviews in my head a while after watching a show. So I figured why not write them down.

The kind of shows I like are pretty much anything as long as it’s good. Though I suppose I like shows like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Hidamari Sketch most. And my favorite anime studio is Shaft.