Tides: ajester

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Star Driver: Over the top in the good way

Another Mecha series from the BONES library. I really did enjoy this show when it came out and it seemed to get a lot attention on the initial release but sadly it doesn’t seem like it is being remembered fondly by anime fans. The series came out in 2010 but didn’t get nearly the attention it deserved, mainly because its released had to be pushed back thanks to Bandai Entertainment having to close their doors in America.

Was there room for more from this series? Probably not. It’s pretty self contained. The Cybodies and the four Shrine Maidens are heavily tied to the island. It’s not like they can discover another island and start all over again. It would essentially just be a repeat of what we had already seen.

While researching for this review I took the time to look up the movie. I never got around to watching the movie so I was curious if it had any new content or helped to give the show the proper ending I thought it deserved. No, sadly its just a compilation movie, one where appreantly they didn’t take the time to add any new scenes to it. A good complication movie needs some new scenes. You knew this BONES when you made Rahxephon but forgot it when you got around to Star Driver. Why did you do it?

Rating: B/A


    Macross Frontier: Deculture!

    So, basically again I gushed about how much I love Macross. You know what, I don’t care. Frankly if more people spread the love about this franchise maybe someone would find a way to fix the legal debacle that allows Harmony Gold to keep a stranglehold which blocks anymore shows from coming to America.

    Since I didn’t take the time to say it in the review, I’ll do it now and talk about the love triangle. I’m all for Sheryl and Alto. I like a female character who is direct and knows what they want. Ranka is just so innocent and unable to express how she feels until its far too late in the series.

    Also, Michel and Klan. Why can’t he just grow up? They are so cute together but he’s pulling the whole "Playboy but there is one girl who will turn him around" trope. The trick with that trope is when you actually believe the right girl could actually cure him of his skirt casing which is exactly what Klan does. May their love forever live in fanart heaven.

    Still have to get around to watching the second movie they made which helped to tie up the story line and resolve the love triangle. I’ll get to it one of these days I’m sure.

    Rating: A-/A


      Secret World of Arriety: Good but didn't save the studio

      This movie was good. Even thought I gave it a B , know this grade is more reflective of comparing it to other Studio Ghibli movies. Thought its good its not at the level of Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away. Not bad just not a masterpiece when compared to these other works.

      This film was also the first movie by Hiromasa Yonebayashi who was previously just in charge of Key Animation. He definitely brought his A game to the production and I sincerely hope he has no difficulty finding projects in the future.

      Sadly, the movie didn’t perform well enough to save studio Ghibli. Shame as it was a good film. It just didn’t get enough attention in either America or Japan. Why? No idea really? When this film opened it didn’t have any competition for the animated features at the box office. It’s not like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance took that much of its audience.

      I did forget to mention the English voice cast in the review. They really did a great job, especially Bridgit Mendler as Arriety. It would be great if she was able to come back to voice other Studio Ghibli movies in the future except for right now there are no other film coming from the studio.

      Rating: B+/A

      • An interesting piece. I remember an old live action series of 'The Borrowers' from when I was little, but haven't read the book so I've no idea if it's a solid adaption or not. – mattdoylemedia 8 years ago

      Gaogaigar: The True King of Braves

      America has a love/hate relationship with the Super Robot. Sure it latched onto Voltron and the different Megazords in the Power Ranger Franchise but for the most part we seem to give most other "Super Robot with an Ultimate Attack to finish the monster" shows a cold shoulder. That’s really too bad because there are a lot of good shows out there who follow this formula. Gaogaigar is one of them which not only deserves people’s attention but should be required viewing for all giant robot fans.

      Sure there are a lot of fans out there who are over the top in love with this show but that’s all this show has really, hardcore fans and nothing else. Just looking for pictures to put into the review for it, all I really found was a a few screenshots and endless pictures of toys. This show should have an insane amount of fan attention and love but nope, all it has is people who sing its praises and those who avoided it. This gives it a worse reputation than shows which fall into the "worst" categories because shows with terrible reviews at least get discussed openly but with a "Love it or leave it" show, those who pick leave it never give it a second thought.

      Also, the theme song is incredible catchy.

      Rating: B+/A


        Eureka Seven: Pocketful of Rainbows: Those aren't Rainbows in your pocket

        When I started my "Retelling" month I hoped I would find a film which wasn’t so great so I could set a standard of what not to do when doing a summary movie. Luckily for me, there was an anime I watched which definitely didn’t succeed and instead came off a bit awkward. This is Eureka Seven: Pocketful of Rainbows, a film so bad you want to rewatch the entire 52 episode TV series in an attempt to remember what made the series so good in the first place.

        The biggest problem is how they decided to recast the crew of the Gekkostate. Making them the antagonists and the main force which is standing against Renton and Eureka feels out of place compared to how loving and supporting they were in the TV series. To nail in the point they had become evil, they created a scene of two characters assaulting Eureka which felt immensely uncomfortable.

        This one really isn’t worth watching even for the most hardcore fans of the series. Even if there are diehards out there who insist they need to see it, remember the series also has an incredible average sequel series which can be watched. Save your energy for trying to tackle that show instead.

        Rating: C-/A


          Samurai Flamenco: A roller coaster ride and not in a good way

          Watching Samurai Flamenco is a lot like being on a ride at an amusement park. Unfortunately, it’s type of ride that was assembled in a hurry, wasn’t thought out properly, did have a few moments of entertainment while you were on it, but then when it’s done you realize you didn’t have that much fun and can’t bring yourself to buy the commemorative photograph they try to sell you in the gift shop.

          I really did enjoy this show while watching it but then I take the time and look it over again and it just doesn’t hold up. It has huge plot holes that you can drive Mr. Justice’s stars and striped truck through. Just so you don’t have to watch the anime to get that reference, Mr. Justice is an American hero with the American Flag on the trailer of his truck. It humorous but right after that Samurai Flamenco fights the Ultimate Prime Minister who is powered by his approval rating. Remember this started as a show about a guy who got beat up because he was telling a bunch of kids that they were causing a ruckus and need to be more respectful for others. How did it come to this?

          In the end this show fails as a comedy, fails as an introspective in the hero genre, and just fails overall. Its lucky I had any fun at all while watching it and gave as high a score as I did. Go watch Tiger and Bunny, the more superior anime with heroes in it. Trust me, it’s so much better.

          Rating: 2/5

          • I find it interesting that you say the series doesn't stand up in time when it only finished airing last year. It really can't be that great, then! – Jordan 9 years ago
          • I.. don't even know what to say about that last picture hahahaha. – Tatijana 9 years ago
          • I will admit that Samurai Flamenco is most definitely a wild sort of ride to the point in which a lot of things don't make sense in it, but I will give credit where credit is due and say that there were some amazing sense in the series. I have even been to a panel that called Samurai Flamenco "One of the Greatest Anime You Probably Dropped." One thing that I like is that if you stay on the roller coast long enough it explains more about the randomness that occurs being the work of basically a god that helped make the world in Samurai Flamenco's image and what he desired. – Kmo 9 years ago

          Vandread: The second Stage: They manage to stick the ending!

          With the first Vandread you saw the possibility of there being a pretty good show that seemed to be confined by the story telling. Luckily the second season was able to look at the mistakes that were made in the first place and improve upon them greatly. The result is an ending that makes the series greater than it deserves to be.

          Picking up after the first season, the crew makes their way back to their home planets while at the same time growing as characters. Which is good because a lack of growth would have been detrimental to the series as a whole.

          The final battle really is the best part of the entire season. As the crew pleads to their planets for aid against the oncoming armada, they soon find help coming from out of the woodwork to be able to preserve their ways of life.

          Only real problem with this series is that they introduce a Super Vandread robot and don’t take the time to use it properly. Good giant robots need to be showcased as much as possible.

          Vandread is a good series overall but it takes a lot to get through the whole time. If your an anime watcher than can’t take a few bland moments in the beginning or in the first season overall then you’ll probably have to forget this one. If you can endure a few rough patches for a great ending then this is the series for you.

          Rating: 4/5

          • Out of itnerest, is this a series that can be watched without a need to have seen season 1, or is it mroe advisable to watch the first season first? – mattdoylemedia 9 years ago
          • Kind of have to take it as a whole to appreciate the ending. That's the problem with the series overall, it basically has a 10 episode beginning where they drag their feet. – ajester 9 years ago

          Vandread: Mecha Harem = Profits??

          It took a while to finally get this review out and on the site. Not because it was exceptionally terrible and thereby a pain to write about. Nor was it the greatest thing ever created by human hands. Instead this first season of the series is in the middle in terms of the content that it delivers that picking out the exceptional parts of it was challenging.

          Vandread was one of the many Harem animes that came out before the genre had such a negative connotation with many anime fans. It had a different approach though from others. "What if when the guy picks one of the girls, their vehicles fuse together into a more powerful weapon?" A pretty decent idea but unfortunately there isn’t enough love given to the mecha side of the story to make someone care which of the robots is used as long as there is space combat.

          The characters do help to save the show a bit. They are entertaining enough to watch and the fact that men and women come from separate planets does help to set up why they would be so awkward around each other. Just enough character development for fan’s to ship characters together and route for ones they personally relate to.

          Overall, not a bad show in the first half but it just needs some polishing here and there. Maybe in its second half it will be able to turn things around.

          Rating: 3/5


            Gurren Lagann: Just plain fun

            Gurren Lagann is an essential anime for not only fans of the Mecha genre but people who enjoy over the top story telling in general. The show takes a stale trope like the "hero with a heart burning for justice" and is able to interject life into it. The hero has a burning heart? Then make it be the power source that he can use to become stronger and energize his giant robot!

            The show has a a great mixture of these over the top bits of action and real human emotion. The highs of this show will get your heart pounding and shouting at the screen in joy. The lows will have you crying your eyes out as you feel the pain that the rest of the cast has to endure.

            The show’s only real downfall is its ending. Thought it does have a lot of great moments as it wraps up, it still leaves you with a wanting the ending of a certain character to be different. No spoilers though.

            Other than this minor detail with the ending, the series is still an incredible entry to the Giant Robot genre. Anyone who says they are a fan of Mecha needs to see this show to be able to back up the claim.

            Rating: 4.5/5

            • Would you still recommend this title for someone who doesn't generally watch Mecha stuff? – Tatijana 9 years ago