Posts Tagged ‘wolf’s rain

08
Feb
13

Fate/Stay Night

Fate/Stay Night’s cast of clowns.

Fate/Stay Night is an anime series based on a erotic porn video game, so you know it’s going to be high quality. It features the exploits of a blockhead named Shirou who gets caught up in a war for the Holy Grail. He has a really great super power in that he can “fortify” the durability of any inanimate object (like a school desk lol). He also has the amazing ability to act like a complete dumbass in almost any situation.

The story here revolves around the “Fifth Holy Grail War.” These wars take place every 10 years. So, if these wars are every ten years, and this is the fifth one, then they only started 50 years ago. But the Holy Grail was created approximately 2000 years ago. So what about the prior 1950 years? I guess nobody gave a shit about the Holy Grail then. And why is it that the Holy Grail only shows up in Japan? Was Jesus Japanese? Do the Japanese think Jesus was Japanese? It doesn’t make any sense. They might as well have had the series take place on the Moon.

Continue reading ‘Fate/Stay Night’

09
Jun
12

Shana Second, Wolf’s Rain

Shakugan no Shana Second

snore

I reviewed the first season of Shana a couple of years ago. What I thought would end up being a horrible slice of life moe shitfest turned out to be a rather entertaining fantasy/action series. It had this unexpected dark side where Shana would mercilessly obliterate her enemies. The action was fun and the pacing was good. Plus, it had an incestuous brother and sister, and everyone knows incest improves everything by 10,000%.

So when I got around to watching season 2, I was fairly excited. It started out pretty good with a couple of action-packed episodes. After that, the series settled in to a long stretch of really annoying slice-of-life/love-triangle bullshit that was so badly written it was only tolerable to watch on fast-forward. Now, this kind of stuff was in the first season, too, but usually there would be one or two episodes intermingled with the other story/action episodes. Season 2 just gives a seemingly endless onslaught of these crappy episodes. Everything is so boring, so contrived, so inconsequential that it is impossible to give a fuck about any of it. Plus, we get to see Yuji training for about a thousand episodes, and that certainly could have been condensed into two or three.

Nothing even remotely interesting happens until episode 16. And then we get another lull until the writers finally decided they needed to have something happen so they could claim this season had some semblance of a plot. Episodes 19-24 feature a battle between the protagonists and Sabrac/Bal Masque. The fight drags on for several episodes and even though they “kill” Sabrac, he somehow manages to survive, which destroys the payoff and makes the entire thing seem like wasted time a la Dragonball Z. 

Overall, this season was a huge clusterfuck. They should have rethought the pacing and story structure. If they didn’t have enough material to keep 24 episodes consistently entertaining, then they should have pared it down to 12 episodes. That would have at least been respectable. I’m not sure about the third and final season of Shana, hopefully it fares better.

Verdict: Shitty

Wolf’s Rain

Wolf’s Rain cast.

I originally included this in my list of the 20 Awesomest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009), and since then I have given the series a rewatch. So, did it hold up to my original review? Yes it did. Wolf’s Rain remains a phenomenal series. There are very few TV shows and movies I would consider a work of art, but this would be one of them. The tone is far more subdued than in most anime. There are no annoying moe characters. There is no stupid love-triangle. There is no intent to sell merchandise. There is no pandering to the audience. The only agenda Wolf’s Rain has is to tell an incredible story, and it certainly does that.

The setting is a bit murky, we don’t know for sure if it takes place on Earth or just some unknown fantasy planet. Wolves are semi-mythological creatures that have super strength/speed, can speak, and have the ability to make themselves appear as human. And no, they aren’t werewolves, it’s more a trick of the mind that humans perceive them to look like other humans. In this world, wolves are foretold to open the door to Paradise, which may or may not bring about the ultimate destruction of the world.

The visual aesthetic of the series is amazing. There is attention paid to even the smallest detail. The animation is so intricate that you can see all the dirt and grime, the crushed out cigarettes, and the wasted plant life. The world looks realistic, and a lot of this is due to the high-quality work by Studio Bones. Just like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, a lot of work went into the details. The budget must have been relatively high, as there is rarely any recycled animation, there is minimal use of well-integrated CGI, and character movements are quick, fluid, and well animated. I can’t rave enough about how great everything looks. I imagine this is how a Final Fantasy anime series should look, if anyone could ever make a decent anime of Final Fantasy.

The voice acting is excellent in both the original Japanese and the English dub. You can’t go wrong listening to either one. The music was composed by the legendary Yoko Kanno, so expect to be listening to the soundtrack over and over again. The characters are all unique and have well-formed story arcs. The pacing is nearly perfect. There was a period of maybe 4 episodes in the middle that dragged a bit, but if anything they give more insight into the characters. There is a lot of humanity amongst everyone, the story is fascinating, and there is a healthy dose of action. Also, this is the only anime I’m aware of where the opening credits play a role in the story.

The story never verges into cliche territory. With most anime, you pretty much know how things are going to end. With Wolf’s Rain I was never quite sure. They always manage to give an unexpected plot twist or simply pull the rug right out from under you. The climax at the end is simply astounding. The first time I watched it I found the ending to be tragic. This time, well, it was still tragic, but I found much more hope than the first time around. Wolf’s Rain is such a wonderful, rare anime series, that it deserves to be seen by everyone. It really is a work of art.

Verdict: Awesome

03
Jan
10

20 Awesomest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009)

I’ve seen me lots of animu in the last decade. I started watching this stuff in late 2001, and it’s ruined my life ever since. That being said, I felt it was my obligation to impart upon you the fact that there are good anime out there. It’s not all moeblobs and slice of life bullshit. So, as it’s so trendy to do right now, I’m giving you my list of the 20 Most Awesomest Anime of 2000’s. Keep in mind that even though I have ranked these, they are all equally awesome. My list probably won’t sit well with the pretentious arthouse goons or the moe-loving fapboys, but rest assured these anime are actually good shows.

20.) Boogiepop Phantom (2000) – This is one of those series where the fun comes in figuring out what the hell is going on. It’s a supernatural thriller, with each episode taking place from the point of view of a different character. I love the washed out color palette, the haunting music, the “realistic” look of the characters (i.e. no crazy hair colors), and the non-linear story. Instead of spoon feeding the viewer, it allows you to deduce what really happened on your own, although this may require multiple viewings. As the “angel of death,” Boogiepop doesn’t really have a name that would inspire fear in anybody, but if you watch this series late at night with the lights off, you might get a little freaked out.

19.) Paprika (2006) – A film from a true master, Satoshi Kon. While Millenium Actress is probably his most praised work, I find that there is something intangibly better about this movie. Kon continually plays with themes of identity and reality, and he does so to perfection here. In a future world where people can use technology to enter dreams, a doctor is attempting to use it to help psychiatric patients. She uses a persona known as Paprika. As the movie progresses, the line between what is real and what is the dream world blurs. Eventually, things spiral out of control, and climax in one of the weirdest and most incredible finales ever put to film.

Continue reading ’20 Awesomest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009)’

08
Nov
08

Top 30 Anime Openings (with Video Evidence): Part 1

Every once in a while I’ll decide to punish myself by looking at lists of what people think are the greatest anime openings evAR!zomg!!1. Half the entries are usually composed of the various openings from Naruto, and the rest are from shows premiering no more than two years ago. Well, I decided to compile my own list. It started out as a top 15, then a top 20, a top 25, and finally a top 30, just so I could include all of my favorites. Hopefully, it will also get you youngsters out there interested in checking out some older anime series as well. Part two will be posted next week.

Note: Sometimes after watching so many embedded files, Youtube audio files will stop working, or the entire file will load incredibly slowly. If that happens, reload the page, and everything will work again.

30.) Elfen Lied – Lilium by Kumiko Noma

Its got haunting music and stunning visuals. Using imagery reminiscent of Gustav Klimt’s famous painting The Kiss, this opening is certainly one of the most unique ever made. Also, the tone of the song matches that of the series quite well.

29.) Slayers Next – Give Me a Reason by Megumi Hayashibara

Good beat, nice character introductions, and sung by one of the most famous Japanese voice actresses of all time. It’s the best opening from the entire Slayers canon.

28.) Wolf’s Rain – Stray by Steve Conte

A showcase of incredibly detailed, not to mention fluid, animation. The song is good, and revvs up as it progresses. It also has a hint of sadness to it. One thing particularly good about this is that it is the only opening I am aware of that ties in directly with the plot of the series. Bonus points for that.

Continue reading ‘Top 30 Anime Openings (with Video Evidence): Part 1’




December 2022
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Archives

BrikHaus - Find me on Bloggers.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 411 other followers