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anime impressions 2002
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Title Episodes Rating
Abenobashi Mahou Shotengai 13
Already a Gainax classic. Brilliantly unique background story and characters are presented in this furious comedic adventure. The two main characters are believable but extreme at the same time. Their background gives them the country kids feel with heavy Osaka-dialect reinforcing it. The relation between Alumi and Sassi is very refreshing and is the core theme of the show. They're too young (6th grade) for couple kind of relationship, but are old enough to have feelings for each other. That becomes the focal point of the show later, but early on it's on much lighter note as the rules and pace of the mysterious world is revealed slowly in between furious comedy.

The comedy may be iffy for the most part depending on your taste. It's sort of like FLCL cooled down couple of degrees celsius minus the battles with space aliens. The parodies of Eva and other shows kept things interesting on the side. The classic part is when blue Kero, um Henya-suke, pops up with drunk looking eyes and start harassing Alumi in magical girlish ways, transforming and all that jazz.

The story takes a sudden focus later on the series with dead serious tone

But just when you think it's all comedy, quite involving and emotional story takes hold quickly in later part of the series.

Way it ended was executed brilliantly by leaving enough room open for other possibilities with the decision is left to decide for the viewer. 

Figure 17: Tsubasa & Hikaru 13
The main meat of the show was supposed to be about contrast of differences, of Tsubasa and Hikaru, and of childhood life in Hokkaido and battling with space aliens. In each of the long episodes, each are supposed to be presented to contrast each other so you're not to get tired of either kind of scenes. However it was tough not to fall asleep during the battles with aliens scenes because they were so typical, especially that of last episode.

The real meat of the show as presented is the life of Tsubasa. She herself is an extremely interesting character to watch alone. She's probably the most shy person presented on an animation. And with Hikaru being so bright and happy, there're always room for interesting situations. On each episode, what these two are going to do is what you're watching for and it always delivered a great story.

And that aspect, the relationship between Tsubasa and Hikaru, concluded quite brilliantly at the end. The finale must be seen as a continuation from the 12th episode, as that's where all the emotional build-up is, which then gets lost in the early part of final episode filled with incredibly boring battle scenes. It felt as if no-one wanted to make the battle scenes, but it was there because it's part of the plot. Same explosion sequences were repeated for a dozen times and it felt (or was) extremely cheap.  With that said, the final show still concluded solidly thanks to its long running time.

Comet-san 43
Hellsing 13
The way the story goes and ends leave a lot to be desired. However, everything else was brilliant. The show kept on its focus of action/violence theme and stayed consistent from beginning to end. That's very important for this show. I was never disappointed with a single episode.
Rurouni Kenshin Seisouhen OAV 2
R.O.D (Read or Die) OAV 3

Different kind of air coming on this one. There were so many good aspects to this retro styled sci-fi, but if I could pick a couple it would be soundtrack and the choice for the main character that gave the show a very distinct flavor. This should appeal to overseas audience with hollywood style action that seemed cliche at times, but brilliant at most.

I really liked how straight forward the story was when the trend today for sci-fi anime seems to be adding over complication and confusion to the story to keep the audience guessing to the end. (X, RahXephon, Aquarian Age, Mirage of Blaze) R.O.D was, from the beginning, refreshingly simple and more importantly a fun show to watch. Just pop this in and enjoy.

Vandread the Second Stage 13

Vandread is one of my favorite series. I think the first stage belongs as a classic, where it progressed the story at a nice pace while the plot and characters developed quickly. I love its dark feel at its core, where Hibiki was willing to throw away everything of his 3rd class life in a war torn world for something better. The characters that light up the show are nicely contrasted to the serious tone of the background story. Alright, I admit it. I just couldn't get enough of that ED (~o~;)

The Second Stage however is not quite up there with the first one. The story that developed quickly in the first seemed to halt completely, and are mostly fillers with episodic stories. And the mood of the show feels much lighter and thin compared to the first and is much less dramatic.

Throughout the show, I've thought there will be another stage, but it seems this is the final. It's sad because most of the major issues brought up in the first wasn't really resolved, or was visited in half-assed fashion. It's full of eye candy, but not much else. I certainly hope there's a follow up movie in the works. If any show in recent memory deserves one, this is it.

Love Hina Again OAV 3
Kasumin 26
Full Metal Panic! 24
Loose would probably be the word to describe how this went. As the show proceeded, it started to lose focus of the story. It's main element is love-comedy, but even that didn't come through convincingly.  On final episodes, I was expecting to see some fireworks ala Blue Sub Six or Vandread, but even that didn't happen. (the first episode probably has the best action) It just went by loosely.
Patapata hikosen no boken 26
This was a five star show early on and it deserved it. It had all the element of a classic with excellent plot and characters. But around midpoint, the quality staggered greatly to the point of ridiculousness. This seemed to be the effect of the production being handled over the "east sea". This continued up to the last episode, where it changed drastically with superbly emotional ending. Granted, most of it was a repeat of some very highly known shows of the past (FBC, Laputa, and even Saber Marionette J or Majo no Takkyubin), but it was solid nevertheless. Good to see a shot at a classic style adventure show for once in a long while.
Kaze no Youjinbou 25
A mystery show that has episodic feel, however almost always goes back to give clues on the major mystery of the show, the missing wealth.
Tiny Fairy Sugar 24
Kanon 13
Very typical in most aspect like story and character design. One part that really shines in this show is the dialogue script. It flows really well with great personality showing through for each of the girls. In some episode like the finale you can see the dialogue alone carries the entire show and does it really well. 
Happy Lesson (TV) 13
I dunno.. I think it was trying too hard for otaku appeal, and this was done so many times before with nothing new. The 3 OVA was probably just about enough for this one. The quality of the show needed a lot of help especially toward the end. I hope this isn't the effect of Japanese animation's degraded quality I keep hearing about.  Is there going to be any good love comedy this year???
Aquarian Age 13
The show kept on trying to have a story especially toward the end when it should've given up on having one and focused on presentation and style.  Throughout the show, the story did not build up and at around middle of the series story already was meaningless to the viewer. Only good thing with this show was production value, and it should've focused on that instead like NGE the TV ending or Utena the Movie ending, but that proved to be too much asking ofcourse.

The way it ended truly shows how any point in the show is lost. It somehow shows what happens to the cast 3 years after, which is of little interest given there was not much background story to the cast to begin with. It was just a generic way of forcing the ending and make it seem like there's a point to the story when there isn't any.

Onegai Teacher 12
Good thing it's short. I don't mind service even if it was with old dumb chick, but this show's plot leaks big time and it all breaks apart from there. Most hentai's got better plot or even stronger story than this, though not as good OP track. This show lowers the expectation level of service driven shows.
X 24
Dark shoujo show gone wrong with extremely poor story. The show was all about "using up" characters for cheap death scenes. At the end, it was impossible to have a happy ending because of all the lost characters, though there was not much story to be told to begin with. Maybe a bit more yaoi could've saved it, but toward the end it was typical shoujo.
Chobits 13
You know the sound she makes? That's the sound of your brain rotting from watching this BS..
Final Fantasy Unlimited 25
I guess all the money went to the licensing. A flop from almost every aspect except for character design.
Hoshi No Koe - The voices of distant star OAV 1
Everything felt very small in scale. Story and plot was shown so briefly no emotion came through at the end. CG was only OK throughout the show and felt a few years out of date. Character animation was extremely bad with rarely any movement at all.
You're Under Arrest TV Special "No Mercy" 1
Galaxy Angel (the second season) 18 NR
Mirage of Blaze 13 NR

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