anime review – reposted

All reviews written when the blog is still at Windows Live Spaces. Usually shorter and inferior in quality. Not used anymore.


The world map that shows the distribution of AIDS AIDA victims. There seems to be none in Malaysia though, and only one in the whole Africa.

The second review for today is the .hack//G.U. Trilogy movie, an adaptation of the hack//G.U. game trilogy (which I personally think as the best RPG in Playstation 2, even better than the original .hack or the two Final Fantasy games, Star Ocean 3 or Persona 3 & 4). This is the third 2008 title reviewed here, so it will compete with H2O footprints on the sand for the Best Anime of The Year 2008 title.

Story:-
It is an adaptation of the story of the games that follows .hack//ROOTS, but with a lot of omission and alterations to the game storyline. This is definitely not the substitute of playing the games itself. Anyway, in my point of view as someone who has played the trilogy, the story did not come out too well, mainly because of the aforementioned omission of details available in the trilogy.

The story develops faster than I would have liked, but then again blame it on Japan trying to shove 60 hours of story gameplay (a lot more if you grind to level up, plus bike racing and Crimson VS) into 90 minutes of a movie. Short time shifts are common and this caused the characters development to suffer. You don’t even get to know how the main protagonist becomes powerful; he just gets a power-up after a moment of angst (Shinnnnnnooooooo or Atolllllllllliiiiii). Definitely not as good as the one in the game, plus the ending is just average.


One of those CGI scenes that looks fake to me.

Character Design:-
The design transfer from the game and the 2D anime to the CGI animation in this movie is seamless. Haseo in the game and anime looks just the same as the one in this movie, for example. Anyway, the design is decent but there is nothing else to comment about.

Voice Acting:-
Surprisingly, the voice acting in this movie is very well done, definitely the positive point of this anime. Haseo and Atoli shines the most with their excellent gigs.

Music:-
Complete fail. The OST failed, and so are the ED theme.

Animation/Direction:-
This CGI animation movie is fluid in all kind of situations, although it looks fake sometimes. Choreography is also where this anime really shines, with all the awesome fighting scenes this movie has (for comparison, this movie does it better than Karas). The directing is mixed bag though, with issues mentioned in the story section above mixed with some nifty camera works.

Conclusion:-
7 out of 10
. Same score with H2O, but I think I will give H2O footprint on the sand the benefit of the doubt and allows it to keep the throne for the time being.


How the MMORPG is played.


Our new main protagonist is asking the question that played in the minds of people who has watched the first season.

There will be two reviews today, and the first one is the promised Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, the sequel to the anime I reviewed this month last year. This title bring the series to a closure, but unfortunately this sequel suffered from the usual “original >>>> sequel” syndrome, usually seen in Hollywood and also in Japan’s anime industry. Read on to see why.

Story:-
The series continued from the ending of the first season. We get to see more murders, before the ‘happy’ ending sets in. That’s about it. Watching the first season is a mandatory requirement here, and you can see my review of the 8 out of 10 first season here.

The last 2 stories in the Answer Arc and another original storyline make up the series here. The story’s presentation and development is still the same as the prequel, but frankly speaking, I do not think the arcs in this sequel are as good as of the first one. For example, the first story in the Answer Arc of the first season where Shion went mad and basically killed everyone else are orders of magnitude better than any stories in this sequel. And it has the legendary Rika’s neck-stab scene too, which is one of my unforgettable anime scenes of all time. Basically, this sequel did not have the tensions, the thrills, the suspense and most importantly, the grotesque violence its prequel has. In the review of the first season I wrote that I have high hopes for the sequel, but it is safe to say that it (the sequel) disappoints me greatly.

Character development is also carried forward from the prequel, and was very well done. Here, main protagonist is changed from the main male protagonist Maebara Keiichi that is dominating the first season to Rika the shrine maiden, but I do not think she performed as well as Keiichi does in the first season. The ending is decent, but you should be able how it will form from miles away anyway.

I heard that there will be a sequel to this and I wonder what will be in it. Should I get my hope up? Whatever it is, I will definitely watch it.


Meanwhile, our displaced ex-main protagonist is asking a question that played in the minds of all hot-blooded men.

Character Design:-
No changes from the first season, unlike the second season of Lodoss War. The design that is common in dating simulation is still there, and basically my comment in the review of the first season still stands.

Voice Acting:-
The sequel failed to repeat the great gigs you can see (or more accurately, hear) in the first season. The same voice actors/actresses are blander than their performance in the prequel. I blame the context of the story for this.

Music:-
The OP theme is good, but the OST and the ED theme failed. Exactly the same comment I have in the prequel too.

Animation/Direction:-
The animation in this anime is good, even in fast-paced scenes. There are less action scenes and violence here, but their choreography is still decent. The directing is just average, now he/she is not aided by good storylines anymore.

Conclusion:-
7 out of 10
. This sequel is just a little inferior to the prequel. I forgot to inform you that this anime is a contender for Nodame Cantabile’s throne, but from the scoring you should be able to see the result. 7 is less than a 10 anyway. The second review will come later today.


One of the WTF moments in this series: a fully-functional phone booth in the middle of nowhere.


Our hero that will save the world from EBIIIIIIIIILLLL!

As promised, here comes the mini-review of Record on Lodoss War. Originally, I planned to watch the whole series, but after a few episodes of the second season, I have decided to drop everything apart from the first season that has 13 episodes. The reason will be outlined later below.

Story:-
The continent of Lodoss was threatened by the rising of an ancient goddess of destruction that, based on her job’s description, wanted to destroy the world. A bunch of adventurers went out to save the world by preventing the goddess from being resurrected.

The story in the first season is actually excellent, especially for its time, even though it is very predictable in today’s standard and laden with genre clichés too. But the story did not really develop smoothly, with plenty of scene transition problems and some holes in the plot. These problems affect the transitions between the arcs, making it not as seamless as it can be, plus there are things that happened in the series that simply can’t be explained, even at the end.

The character development is not that great because of 2 reasons; the low episode count and development methods that are too typical of the genre. Still, I do think the main protagonist has a lot of appeal, thus making him the best characters in this series. The ending was very well done too, although some of the questions posed in the series are not answered.

With the sequel in hand, I started watching the second season hoping that questions in the first season will be answered, but the very first episode floored me out, the way first episode of Comic Party season 2 does. That exact episode makes me wonder whether I am watching the sequel of the first season, because it seems to me that I am watching a sequel to a fictional remake of the first season. I then watched for another 4 episodes or so and then I decided to drop it mainly because:-

– The artwork has regressed; character designs look better in first season than the second one. Even Comic Party Revolution did not do this, although Di Gi Charat probably has.

– Almost zero continuity from first season. In fact, I wonder whether the recurring characters in the second season are the same one as the ones in the first season. Even Comic Party Revolution did not do this.

Nevertheless, scoring for this anime will strictly be based on the first season only.


The EBIIIIIIIIILLLL minions that our hero and friends has to defeat.

Character Design:-
This anime has great character designs, with that elf standing out from the rest. This is definitely a plus point of this anime. Why on earth the second season’s designs being dumbed down unnecessarily is still a mystery to me. Black hair is rare but then again this is a fantasy anime, thus it is forgivable.

Voice Acting:-
The voice acting in this anime is just plain average overall, with no outstanding character(s).

Music:-
Another positive point for this anime, all themes and the OST are great.

Animation/Direction:-
The animation in this anime is just average, although did not really affect any of the fast-paced scenes. Choreography for this anime is a hit-and-miss, but then again this is an old anime. Directing is not really good, for the reasons mentioned in the story section above.

Conclusion:-
7 out of 10
. Well, that’s about it. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai comes next, or is it?


Another evil antagonist who does not read Peter’s Evil Overlord List.