Tag Archives: aic

Review: Golden Boy (1995) Anime | My Reviews 21 MAR 2014

golden boy anime 1Oe Kintaro, age 25. A professional wandering spirit, he withdrew from Tokyo University Law School before graduating, but only after he had already completed all the requirements for graduation. Ever since, he has travelled the highways and byways of Japan, trying out new jobs and positions, and learning about life to the fullest. Riding his favourite bike, the Mikazuki 5, he keeps moving forward, always on the lookout for new knowledge and adventure.

In tip top physical condition and sparkling mental health, his hobby is studying the world (and the girls) around him. And who knows, someday perhaps he may just be destined to save Japan – or even the world.

Or then again, maybe not.

Golden Boy is based on the manga written by Tatsuya Engawa (who even makes a cameo in episode 6). It is an extremely funny 6 part OVA that takes a look into the life of Kintaro Oe, a professional wandering spirit. Kintaro is a free spirit, moving from job to job whilst travelling throughout Japan on his trusty bicycle. Kintaro is a very bright, athletic and healthy boy, though one wouldn’t say so from watching his actions. Kintaro is a good man with a good heart and will go out of his way to help others without them even realising that he is helping them. Coming across as an idiot and a nobody, Kintaro uses this to his advantage to learn more about the world around him. All his experiences are jotted down in his trusty notebook, his crib notes for life. Kintaro’s only weakness is his eyes for beautiful girls. Kintaro is a bit of a pervert, who can’t stop thinking about sex and pretty girls. Although never doing anything about his perverted visions, Kintaro does have one strange vice – the weird obsession with hugging and drinking from the toilet that a pretty girl has used.

The OVA follows Kintaro through six of his adventures, all involving a host of pretty women. He works as a software house janitor, a noodle maker, a swimming instructor, a house boy, an election campaigner and even an animation production assistant. And in each job he finds some girl that needs his help – even if she doesn’t know it yet. The stories are all funny and charming, with one sitting on the edge of their seat to see how Kintaro resolves matters right at the last moment. The only problem with the series if there is one, is that the stories all follow fairly the same plot. Kintaro finds job, Kintaro sees girl, Girl has problems, Kintaro solves them before running off into the sunset. However, given that this is only a six-part series, it gets away with it just fine.

The animation for this title is excellent. The use of facial expressions to emphasize the humour couldn’t have been better done. Every time you see Kintaro doing or thinking something stupid you can’t help but laugh. The women are all sexy and well-proportioned and the action sequences are fluid and exciting. The colours look a bit washed out, but that may just be the copy I watched. The voice acting for both the Japanese and the English versions are good, though I must say that the English version brings across the blithering idiot character of Kintaro across far better than its Japanese counterpart. The opening sequence animation and score aren’t up to much though it must be said.

If you are looking for a good ecchi laugh, the Golden Boy will deliver. A truly funny anime, it is a must see for all serious guy otaku.

golden boy anime 2

(Historical Note: This was written back in October 2004. Thankfully my writing has improved greatly since then.)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Boy_(manga)

Review: The Animatrix (2004) Animation | My Reviews 17 DEC 2013

the animatrix posterWhat is the Matrix? Before the Neo Saga, nine different stories are told, each highlighting a different facet of Earth, the Machine and the Matrix. These are stories of how humankind deals with the world it now lives in.

It delves in the present, the imminent attack on Zion. It looks at the past, how the machine finally usurped man. It looks at the training freed humans now have to undergo to fight against the machine. It shows how the Matrix influences people currently living in it. It describes how people strive to free themselves and turn machine against machine.

It shows us how a lonely boy can try to escape from reality. Or is it reality? Just what is the Matrix?

Animatrix is an interesting experiment. With so much interest in the Matrix franchise, the producers pushed for a product. The Wachoski brothers obliged. They are already anime otakus, so they decided to provide a few more stories based in the Matrix franchise world and get some of the best Japanese Directors and studios to produce them. The result? Nine brilliantly told visual masterpieces.

The stories are pretty average on their own, with a broader insight being set for the Matrix world in anticipation of the remaining films in the trilogy. What makes this series are the visuals. Simply breathtaking. Each episode is as varied as can be, but every one of them is sumptous to look at.

The sound and voice acting is of a very high quality, adding to the overall appeal of the package.

Because of the short story format, the series isn’t really coherent, but Matrix fans who aren’t into anime will enjoy this venture into this new world of visuals and likewise, the hardened anime fan will thoroughly enjoy the visuals brought to them by these great animation houses.

the animatrix screenshot

(Historical Note: This was written back in February 2004. Thankfully my writing has improved greatly since then!)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animatrix

Review: Photon: The Idiot Adventures (1997) Anime | My Reviews 06 DEC 2013

photon-the-idiot-adventures-1Photon Earth is a bit of an idiot. He is not too smart, but he makes up for what he lacks with his incredible strength and kind heart. When his friend Aun Freya runs away from their village, he embarks on a quest to save her and bring her back.

On the way he gets involved with the space pirate Kiine Aqua, who crash landed on Photon’s home planet, the Star of Sand. She’s after her grandfather’s Aho recorder – and the location of the powerful lost Brain Stone.

After her is the Emperor’s loyal agent, Papachari the 7th. Together with his loyal (but incompetent) henchmen, the Puchis, they seek to capture Kiine for the favour of the princess Lashala.

Together, Photon, Kiine and Aun embark on a fun-filled adventure, dealing with things like disastrous cooking contests, exploding spas and cheerleading aliens. All the while the chase continues in the madcap action adventure.

Photon is one of those animes that provide nothing more than some mindless fun. But this one is done in a really good way. Photon, Aun, Kiine and Papachari are really fun characters. Papachari as an over-the-top villain his humour is handled in a very clever way. The story, based on the power of black marker pens, is actually well thought out, and a coherent (if a bit sandy) world for these characters has been created. The fact that you are dropped right into the middle of a storyline doesn’t seem to make a difference because the writers have ensured that you know more than enough of what is going on. Plus, the main character likes sleeping in a box. How much more cool could you ask for?

The visuals of this anime have been well handled. It has found a nice cross between well-drawn anime and the deformed type style usually preferred for this genre of anime. The facial expressions are what make this anime. Photon’s eyes and Aun’s expressions had to the hilarity of the situations they find themselves in. There is a little bit of nudity in the show, but nothing too tasteless. Although some could argue that it is a bit gratuitous. Still, whatever makes the Art Director happy.

The soundtrack didn’t stand out as anything special. The voices were okay, Papachari stealing the show for me. His little minions (Puchis) were pretty cool sounding too.

Overall, this anime was one of those fun little ones you watch when you don’t really feel like concentrating too much – Plus it’s worth a couple of good laughs.

photon-the-idiot-adventures-2

(Historical Note: This was written back in April 2003. Thankfully my writing has improved greatly since then.)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon_(anime)

Review: Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love (1996) Anime | My Reviews 28 NOV 2013

tenchi muyo  in love anime movieA sepia-coloured film rolls, and a beautiful school girl walks through a tranquil forest. When she sees the camera, she’s surprised, and playfully walks up to it. The girl in the picture is Lady Achika, Tenchi’s deceased mother. The man filming it is Nobuyuki, Tenchi’s dad. The 8mm film was shot when the two were still in high school, on a field trip to Tokyo. All of a sudden, the images of Lady Achika begin disappearing from the film. Tenchi crys in pain as he too begins to disappear.

Out in the far depths of space, the Galaxy Police headquarters is under attack from the inside. Class A criminal, identified only as Kain, has finally managed to break out of his prison of 100 hundred years. A being of limitless energy, he surges off into space, looking to begin his reign of terror against the hateful house of Jurai.

Washu arrives at Tenchi’s house in the nick of time. Already the house has aged into a shell of it’s former self. It’s as if it had never been repaired in its life before. The others who were watching the movie can’t understand what is busy happening. It falls to Washu to explain. While she was working in her labratory, she noticed a flux in the time continum surrounding the Lady Achika family. She believes that something, or someone, is attempting to get rid of Lady Achika in the past. If they succeed, then Tenchi would also disappear, because he would never have been born in the first place.

It falls to Tenchi, Ayeka, Ryoko, Kiyone, Mihoshi and Sasami to travel back in time to 1970, using Washu’s highly experimental equipment, to watch over Lady Achika and ensure that nothing happens to her over the next few days. Meanwhile, back in the present, Washu attempts to narrow the clues to find the exact time and location of Achika’s disappearance in the past. It’s a race against time to save Lady Achika before Tenchi disappears forever.

Tenchi Muyo in Love is based on the television version (Tenchi Universe) of the Tenchi story. It serves to introduce us to Lady Achika, Tenchi’s deceased mother. It is a nicely written movie, much in the same vein as the first OVA series. The comedy moments are nicely handled, especially between Ryoko and the easily riled up Ayeka. In fact, all the characters are pretty much handled just like in the television series. This means that the film is just that much more special for previous Tenchi Muyo! fans.

In fact, having said that, the film looks pretty much like the television series too. The animation is almost exactly the same as it was before. This isn’t a bad thing, because Tenchi’s animation has always been clean and smoothly produced.

The story introduces Kain, an energy based lifeform with a grudge against the house of Jurai. The story seamlessly switches back and forth between the past and the present, and it isn’t difficult to follow the plot at all. This is nice, because time travel films are usually difficult to handle in a way that is understood by all. It’s nice to see the Galaxy Police involved in the story as well, even if it is only to have their headquarters blown up in the first sequence of the movie. Also the inclusion of the misdirection character is well done, completely distracting a person’s attention from the real enemy of the movie.

The music score for this movie was done by the American Christopher Franke, and the music he came up with really helps the movie flow.

However, there is something that somehow makes this movie fail. Personally, I think it’s the reliance on the story of its action sequences. Tenchi Muyo!’s popularity has never been based on its action content, so the move away from the traditional storytelling mould means that some fans may be a little alienated.

Still, it always feels good to see characters you are a fan of on the big screen, so I would recommend this movie to Tenchi fans. To newcomers, you can watch the movie, but it won’t be as enjoyable to you. If you really want a good introduction into the Tenchi world, I suggest you watch the original OVA series.

Overall, as a Tenchi fan I enjoyed the movie, but I feel that for their first time on the big screen, a little more could have been done. I would have liked to see a little bit more of that classic Tenchi humour.

tenchi muyo in love anime

(Historical Note: This review was written way back in July 2003. Thankfully my writing has gotten a whole lot better since then!)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenchi_Muyo!_in_Love

Review: Ah My Goddess! (1993) Anime | My Reviews 23 NOV 2013

ah my goddess anime posterMorisato Keiichi is a college student at the Nekomi Institute of Technology. Stuck on call-duty one day, he accidentally calls the Goddess Relief Office. Imagine his surprise when a beautiful girl steps through a mirror before him. She is the goddess Belldandy, tasked with granting his any one desire. Thinking it a joke, Keiichi asks that Belldandy stay by his side forever – a wish that comes true.

The two live together in an old abandoned temple, their relationship slowly developing. However not everything always goes their way. Keiichi has to deal with the likes of the impatient second-class goddess Urd, jealous little goddess Skuld, and even his own sister, Megumi, who wants to come stay with him.

Even more troublesome is Keiichi’s sempais, always on hand to make his life difficult. All in all, Belldandy and Keiichi will have to work very hard to ensure their promise to one another lasts forever.

Oh My Goddess! is a short little OVA chronicling the love between a college student and a Goddess. It’s the kind of story that is aimed directly at young girls, showing them the warmth of true love. But it has its comedic moments as well, and it is a show that will leave you with a nice warm feeling after you watch it.

The length of the OVA is too short for any real story to develop, but the writer does well enough with the limited time at his disposal. The story covers the nine months that Keiichi lives with Belldandy, Skuld and Urd. The first episode introduces the main characters of Belldandy and Keiichi to us, as well as the relationship that begins to develop between the two of them. The next two episodes are used to introduce two major supporting characters into the story. The final two episodes cover the last moments that Belldandy and Keiichi have to stay together. The story actually isn’t badly paced, considering nine months are meant to go by. Because of its length, the OVA doesn’t drag on, something that might have been a danger should it have been a bit longer.

The animation for Oh My Goddess! is pretty much standard anime animation, but mention must be made about the beauty of Belldandy. The depiction of this Goddess is spot on. The animation uses a lot of facial expressions to bring across the humour, something that works well in this title that is sometimes serious, sometimes silly.

The Japanese voice track isn’t bad, but the dubbed version isn’t very good at all. The voices come across a bit whiny, and Urd’s voice just comes across as just plain ridiculous. The musical score is very nice, backed by beautiful and uplifting title and closing tracks performed by the Goddess Family Club consisting of Inoue Kikuko, Tooma Yumi and Hisakawa Aya.

I would recommend you watch this anime with your partner if you are looking for a warm cuddly moment, but other than that, it isn’t really that worth it. It is a cute little series, but you may find more pleasure from watching the spin-off series, Adventures of a Mini-Goddess! Still young girls should really enjoy this one.

ah my goddess anime

(Historical Note: This was written way back in July 2003 – thankfully my writing has improved greatly since then.)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ah_My_Goddess

Review: Ninja Cadets (1996) Anime | My Reviews 24 AUG 2011

If you want to enjoy some classic 90’s OVA animation in a short little burst, then AIC’s 1996 action comedy Ninja Cadets serves this up rather nicely – unfortunately from director Eiji Suganuma’s point of view, there really isn’t any other reason for picking this up though!

Split into two thirty minute episodes, Ninja Cadets throws you into the middle of it, as six young nina cadets are tasked with their final ninja exam – infiltrating Byakkuro Castle and retrieving a powerful scroll from the scroll room. Oh, and one of the cadets is actually secretly the Byakkuro Princess who was forced to flee when only a baby, though she doesn’t know this and it doesn’t really matter all that much in the greater scheme of things, outside of the fact that she should technically be able to trigger the strongest scroll that still resides there.

As the six go on their mission, a group of bandits all of a sudden appear who for no apparent (or rather given) reason, are now searching for the princess, and have decided that she must be in this group of ninja, who they now set off to foil by summoning minor demon creatures to block their path. Oh, and when that fails, to cause the suicide of their summoner so that he can be transformed into a big spider-demon to try again. And when that fails, then there is always mind control or the big robot approach to try.

There really isn’t much of a story to Ninja Cadets and even less in terms of character development. Instead the entire OVA appears to be an excuse for battle sequences and lots of slapstick humour revolving around the high-strung girls in the group, but the events and pacing are just so haphazard that the show feels like a whole lot of pieces stuck together with Prestik putty. Sure there are some amusing bits here and there and some pretty cool fight scenes to take in, but for the most part it really is a bit of a hit and miss.

Continue reading