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Short Reviews: Part 12

August 12, 2009

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I’ve managed to fix up another 5 reviews – still not overly happy with them, but they’ll do 😛

Muteki Kanban Musume, Lemon Angel Project, Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, Loveless and Sola after the cut!

Muteki Kanban Musume (Ramen Fighter Miki): A good solid comedy series – 3.5/5

PLOT: Well the plot is thin on the ground, serving only to link together the bouts of comedic violence. The characters are very shallow (no pesky character development to worry about here!) but strangely entertaining all the same. Without doubt my favourite is the hapless Kankuro ~nya! There is something mindlessly entertaining about having a pretty macho character end all his sentences with nya~! 😀
In terms of structure, there are basically 2 short stand alone stories in each episode – which is a good idea since it would be difficult to milk 25mins of coherent plot out of this concept, so the shorter stories work very well. The comedy itself is extremely simple and slapstick, but its still great fun to watch.

ANIMATION: The animation isn’t of a dazzling standard, but it is done well and consistently. The expressions are excellent & the fighting is good, all adding to the humour. The character designs are nice if generic – I have no issues with the animation at all really.

VOICE ACTING: Very strong voice cast! Ami Koshimizu (Kallen Code Geass, Horo Spice & Wolf), Nobuyuki Hiyama (Viral Gurren-Lagann, Madarame Genshiken), Hitomi Nanatame (Margery Daw Shakugan no Shana, Katsura Hayate no Gotoku ) & Yuuichi Nakamura (Tomoya Clannad, Graham Gundam OO) are all excellent!

In short a solid comedy series that requires little to no brain power – great for light viewing.

Lemon Angel Project: Quite average all round, but passed the time well – 3 / 5

PLOT: Well the plot is straightforward, not overly original but decent enough. The show is basically like anime Popstars or Pop Idol so it following the formation and debut of Lemon Angel. Its well done, the characters are likeable and the songs are catchy. However I found the scripting lacking and the characters were quite generic and meh.

ANIMATION: Animation is pretty enough, but wont win awards – quite a lot of static shots and for an anime centred on singing the lip-synch was quite badly done in places – however its not bad enough to distract you. It’s nice and bright and fun to watch which is the main thing here.

VOICE ACTING & MUSIC: Well the music is very catchy, which is a great plus for a show centred on a manufactured pop band! The OP & the Evolution insert song stand out as pretty decent (helps that I don’t mind a bit of J-Pop now and then :P) The voice acting is just OK, the only characters that really stood out as excellent to me were Saya & Erika, the rest were quite average.

Overall a nice little series – not too taxing on the brain and with some good music to boot. For some weird reason I found this series similar to ARIA, but that may just be the character design and the fact that not a lot happens but I was still entertained.

sola: Good example of the genre and very watchable – 4/5

PLOT: Well I was a bit sceptical about the plot early on, but as the series reached the mid-point everything got a lot more interesting. The series ends on a strong note and I really enjoyed sola overall. A small criticism would be that the mysterious start was a bit too confusing. The characters are a bit generic, but very well fleshed out considering this is a fairly short series. One of the best characters was Sae the beard-obsessed meganekko – she doesn’t get nearly enough screentime in the series, but in the DVD specials she’s more prominent. I also liked the nod to Rozen Maiden in the form of Mayuko the loli-in-a-box! You can always count on Nomad to shoehorn a reference in somewhere!

ANIMATION: The animation is well executed and the character designs are simple but attractive. There are lovely scenic backgrounds in the anime, as one would expect since the protagonist is obsessed with the sky. The action scenes were also very well done and interesting to watch.

MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: The music is a bit on the average side, the OP & ED were pleasant but forgettable, same with the background music, it fit with the tone of the series though. The voice acting is excellent for the main female characters, Yokito’s VA was just average though. I think one of the reasons Sae emerged as a favourite is because of her voice – its brilliant (Ami Koshimizu also voices Kallen of Code Geass, Horo of Spice & Wolf and Nina of Mai Otome).

Overall I’m impressed with this series, it kept me interested and I finished it quite quickly, which is always a good thing in my book.

Le Portrait de Petit Cossette: Wonderfully produced and atmospheric OVA – 4.5/5

PLOT: I loved this OVA, the plot is full of drama, blood, love & obsession – all wrapped up in a beautifully presented package. This is a very artistic piece of work, the story is told through rich visuals and an expressive musical score rather than dialogue – but the plot comes across clearly using minimal characters. A real sensory experience.

ANIMATION: The animation is nothing short of stunning. This is a piece of art more than anything else. Each frame is saturated in symbolism and beautiful detailing – everything is fluid and expressive – it’s just gorgeous. The character designs are simple but drawn consistently to a high standard. Very impressive animation is on display in this OVA.

MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: The music is some of the best I’ve heard in an anime. I went looking for downloads of it immediately after watching the 1st episode and still listen to it often! It’s an incredibly rich orchestral & choral score fitting perfectly with the visuals and enhancing them. Much of the emotion is carried through the music, I loved it. The haunting ED is called Houseki and is sung by Marina Inoue (who plays Cossette) – its one of my favourite songs now.
There isn’t a lot of dialogue in the series, but what there is is wonderfully done – the seiyuu are all very talented.

So overall an excellent series – it loses half a point for being a touch confusing and it felt ever so slightly rushed in the end. But I’d highly recommend this OVA simply because it is so beautiful and interesting.

Loveless: One of the better and more serious shounen-ai series out there – 4/5

PLOT: The plot is strong and quite original, you definitely cannot say that Loveless is a generic shounen-ai series. The plotting is intelligent and there are a lot of things running beneath the surface. The show is full of symbolism all subtly woven into the background. There is plenty to think about in Loveless, its just a pity it doesn’t have a solid ending – the manga is still ongoing and I don’t think there will ever be a sequel to this series, which is a bit disappointing – although the end does give enough closure that I’m not all that annoyed really.

ARTWORK: JC Staff did an excellent job on this. The artwork and character designs are beautiful (Soubi is so pretty!). The colour scheme is very muted and pastel which enhances the sense of mystery wonderfully. Scenery is sometimes dull, but there are moments when it does look very realistic. Some battle scenes are poorly done but on the whole the artwork is excellent if a bit inconsistent.

MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: I liked the opening and ending music a lot. Both are very fitting for the series as was the background music, which was pleasant on the ear. The voice acting the excellent, although Ritsuka’s whining was occasionally irritating.

I do think it is wrong on how people label this anime as being a ‘yaoi only’ show. Because if you have seen throughout all the episodes ofLoveless,  you notice that there are other relationships beside the yaoi ones portrayed.

The major problem I have with Loveless is that I sometimes found the relationship between Soubi & Ritsuka uncomfortable – there are definitely Shoutacon undertones there. Afterall Soubi is 20 & Ritsuka is only 12! However since it is no where near as blatant as some shows I have seen its not completely off-putting.

Thats it until I sort a few more out!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2009 2:06 am

    kekko kamen?

  2. August 14, 2009 10:58 am

    eww you liked Loveless you shoutacon!

  3. August 16, 2009 10:04 pm

    but not off putting 😐

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