(500) Days of Anime

A couple years ago my dad bought a book called 500 Essential Anime Movies – The Ultimate Guide by Helen McCarthy.  It’s huge, weighs a ton, and, as all good books should be, is full of colorful pictures. Aside from the occasional flip-through, though, the book has remained largely untouched, sitting on a bookshelf or under my bed for the better part of it’s stay in my house. Well, 500, the time has finally come. Since this is a book that has boldly declared all the anime within its pages to be worthwhile viewing and technically worth buying (for the most part) since they’ve all been released in an English-speaking country at one point, I figured why not actually go and watch all these plus tell all you lovely folks whether I, the 18 year old anime fan whose watching habits have been erratic at best over the past year, think these are actually worth your time.

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Final Thoughts: Junjou Romantica (OVA)

Junjou OVA

When I heard Junjou Romantica was getting an OVA, four years after the sequel aired, I was a bit shocked, to say the least because I really wanted a Sekai-ichi one. I guess it only means somewhat trashy yaoi is doin’ well over there in Japan. Since I haven’t had an opportunity to really talk about Junjou before, I figure now might be a good as time as ever so that you all have an idea of where my needless bashing opinions regarding certain aspects of the show are coming from.

Once upon a time, having just finished my first yaoi/shounen-ai, Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, and liked it, I decided I might as well check out the other (in)famous series by the same author, tentatively believing that it might have some of what I liked about Sekai-ichi. (It was only later that I discovered someone else writes the story for Sekai-ichi, which explains a hell of a lot.) So, I plopped down,  watched both seasons of Junjou Romantica, and thanked the heavens above that my first yaoi had been Sekai-ichiJunjou Romantica isn’t terrible, per say–although I know some probably consider it to be for justifiable reasons–but it does have its fair share of annoyances that tended to hurt my viewing experience. For instance, it tends to spend more time on angsty drama and sex than it does actually building up the relationships between its characters. There was a bit of build up, but everyone felt a tad shallow and unlikable which is quite a feat considering the fact that the show split it’s time between 6 guys (three couples: Romantica, Egoist and Terrorist.). All in all, Junjou Romantica wasn’t, by any means, the best thing I’ve watched. It was alright, though and I enjoyed bits of it (no, not the sexy time bits), so, when the OVA announcement came, I quietly resigned myself to watch the darn thing. Surprisingly, the OVA was kind of fun to watch with little time to revert back to the dumb drama that plagued the series. Continue reading

The Beauty of Iblard

Let me start by saying that if I was ever given the chance to visit Iblard, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would take that offer up in a heart beat. To walk around in a world that is such a beautiful combination magic and color would be absolutely amazing.

The reason I bring up my outlandish desire to visit the world of Iblard is because of how it is presented in it’s OVAIblard Jikan, which is a thirty minute episode that basically explores the various landscapes of Iblard. The OVA is, essentially, a slideshow of colorful paintings that highlight its various natural and man-made landscapes. Watching a bunch of pretty pictures slowly pass by with minimal people appearances for thirty minutes, sounds like it would get unbelievably boring really quickly, but, if you have a little patience, then I think you’ll find yourself getting lost in the world of Iblard. Continue reading

Ancient Books of Ys II (OVA) Final Thoughts

First season review: HERE

Ancient Books of Ys II  follows our young hero, Adol, as he is whisked away from Esteria and up to the floating land of Ys where the Black Pearl, the source of evil that spawns monsters, is located. Those on Ys are a hopeless and down trodden people whose lives are ruled by fear. The monsters on Ys are more powerful and intelligent than the brainless beings seen on Esteria in Ancient Books of Ys and terrorize the people by arbitrarily taking sacrifices from the small villages that dot the land. As a result, the people have become submissive and willing to appease the monsters with their sacrifices in return for being allowed to live. The situation is bleak and begins to look worse as the monsters begin to demand and take more sacrifices with the villagers helpless to do anything but look on and hope they are not next. Continue reading

Computer Kakumei (OVA)

Another OVA guys!

So, I basically just watched this because I was procrastinating on Bakuman again and saw this under AnimeSeason’s Recently Added Anime Section. Although the synopsis didn’t really help me when it came to figuring out what it would be about, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad use of ten minutes. Although the beginning of the OVA had me thinking it would be a little boring and unexpectedly slice of life, I found myself pleasantly surprised by it. I’ll admit it and say that I was thinking that this OVA would be focusing on a society dominated by computers in a negative way because I see that a lot when it comes to a society that has a large computer influence. However, this OVA had a pretty uplifting story. The technology talked about was being used for the good of humanity and in a way that would help people around the world. Heck, even the little food robots were cute and friendly looking. The only thing, I suppose that kind of creeped me out a little was that human service in places like fast food restaurants was almost, if not completely, eliminated. That just weirded me out a little. I also didn’t really understand the point of creating a computer/robot thing (?) that would go to school. Maybe to make a more human computer? Who knows. Anyhow, seeing the computer/robot guy at the end made me wish that there was more to the OVA so that I could find out more about him as well as what exactly the point of him was. Continue reading

Nagareboshi Lens (OVA) Final Thoughts

The main reason I watched this OVA is because I’m a huge shoujo and romance fan. When I first started out watching anime, that is pretty much all I watched. For that reason, even though my standards are somewhat higher today and it takes a little more to impress me, I still have a soft spot in my heart for those fluffy, silly, sweet shoujo stories.

Nagareboshi Lens is an 18 minute OVA about a shoujo couple. That was basically the whole OVA in a nutshell. I’m completely serious. The impressive thing about this OVA is how it manages to fit just about every single shoujo stereotype (missed the usual bully bit, though) into 18 minutes. You had the spontaneous meeting, the instant spark of feelings, all the couple junk on campus, the usual questionable group of guys hitting on the girl, the big eyes, and sparkles…lots and lots of sparkles. This OVA had sparkles flying from the characters and corners of the screen about every two minutes, the only explanation for this being because, you know, love is so sparkly… Continue reading

Tight Rope (OVA) Final Thoughts

*WARNING: this review is extremely biased since I read the manga*

*If you have any special attachment to the OVA, don’t read on because you will read almost nothing good about it*

Before I talk about this OVA, I would like to say a few words about me and yaoi/shounen-ai. As a girl who likes anime, I am painfully aware of the very loud and noisy army of female yaoi fangirls. Honestly, when I first started out watching anime, I was dead set against ever watching any yaoi because all the ones I saw looked gross and I didn’t think it was that fun to watch a show about a bunch of guys doing it. Not to mention I didn’t appreciate the fandom and all it does to anime that have absolutely nothing to do with yaoi. Well, last year, I watched my first yaoi/shounen-ai, Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi…and I ended up liking it a lot. Although, I only liked it because I was really surprised by how much development the relationships got. I thought the couples were cute and it made me really happy that they actually worked on their relationship, rather than just banging all the time. Well, I was spoiled. After Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi, I checked out Junjou Romantica…and, while it did have some similiarites, was vastly different. There was more of a definite emphasis on the sexual part of the relationships and two out of the three couples were unbelievably frustrating. By frustrating, I mean, one couple, for example, were together for about 10 years, but had major communication issues because all they did when they were alone together was have sex. That angered me to no end, especially since one half of that partnership was a total ass to the other for about half his time on the show for both seasons. Flashforward to now, and I have realized that I am much more suited to reading shounen-ai which is far less sexual and more relationship oriented, although it’s hard to find good ones (I recommend Rin! and Seven Days for beginners). I’m still uncomfortable with “those” scenes and I have no great love for yaoi and tend to avoid it all together. I also haven’t watched any yaoi/shounen-ai since Sekai Ichi’s second season.

Back to Tight Rope. I saw the original announcement for this and decided I would try it out. To see what I was getting myself into, I read the manga and discovered that it actually wasn’t too bad. Continue reading