Pardon me for the small image, but the anime is VHS-quality only.
I have another review of another music-based anime titled Kaikan Phrase (after BECK and Gravitation below there), with no fighting, magical powers, alternate dimensions, sex scenes or fan service. You still got big eyes and big breasts though.
Well, basically a bunch of troubled young men forming a J-ROCK (edit: more like visual kei if you ask me now) band and trying to be professional. They did become professional and thus have to deal with a lot of issues, such as corporate wars, rival bands, complacency, love problems, maniacal fans, family opposition etc.
The story is quite simple really, but the good thing about it is that the story is unpredictable unlike quite many anime titles out there. The ending is obvious though. The way the band members deals with the pressure that comes with the issues listed above are portrayed beautifully, and the story flows along very well. With only 1 recap episode, this 44-episode anime title is worth your money to buy (or time and bandwidth to download).
This is an anime that relies more on good story presentation than a substantial plotline as its greatest strength. That’s why I put up with the LQ release of this anime and watched it until the end.
I viewed a LQ release of the anime, thus my judgment may be compromised here. The band members are overtly designed to be extremely handsome/bishounen/kawaii. The female ones, such as the high-school lyricist are your standard Japanese female character with big eyes and big breasts while the more matured/older ones with smaller eyes but still with big breasts. I just want to question whether the lyricist was supposed to be beautiful or not. If yes, then the design is correct but the attached storyline doesn’t seem to indicate so.
I wonder whether Masaya Matsukaze really sign those songs or maybe it use a double like Koyuki in BECK. If he does sing them then he is really an outstanding artist. Other band members voice acting are pretty good too. Generally no complains here with the above average overall voice acting.
Despite this anime being music-oriented, unfortunately the music depicted here are not really that good. At least the ones that I can review anyway because some of the episodes has their OP and ED themes cut out (sometimes both). I come to understand that most of the themes are songs sung by the band and others too in the series, so I guess I do not miss much as they like to sing those repeatedly. Meanwhile, the OST is really average and doesn’t seem to be there at all. You can say it that the OST is almost unnoticeable.
The animation is top notch; very fluid and noticeable even when seen with a LQ source. Any aspiring fansub groups out there can become famous if they get a R2 DVD set and sub this anime again. 3D CGI and 2D animation blending are done better even when compared to Galaxy Angel. There are problems with some part of the animation though, as shown below:
Towa’s eyes can be seen through his hair in this scene.
In this scene, it didn’t.
And as mentioned above, the directing is superb and managed to turn a simple story into a good anime.
Music being the weak point here despite this anime is really music-oriented. Thus can only get 8 out of 10.