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Chikyû shôjo Arjuna (2001)
worth a listen
I initially saw this anime at an anime convention in Indiana. I saw the first episode and was awestruck by both the beautiful detail and music. It was exciting and enticing so I knew I had to see the rest eventually; Which I did. It was no easy feat finishing this relatively short series of 13 episodes.
The first episode is great in my opinion. It sets the foundation for an exciting story with interesting characters. The detail of the graphics is well above average which leads one to think that it can only get better. Normally, short anime series like these have higher detail and quality drawings than longer series. This does not prove true with Arjuna. The detail level drops off directly after episode one and continues to dwindle along with the story and character development. The storyline... actually, it's more like story-jumble. Where there should be a coherent and continuous story there's only fragments of what the first episode set into motion filled in with massive amounts of environmental ideology. The characters practically become weak and insubstantial due to the overbearing message being pushed during the series. The only people I think who might enjoy this anime are environmentalists. This production was solely created as a message and used the anime genre as a medium to spread that message.
This anime, however, does have an anomaly that I find of great interest. I gave this anime a 6/10. One of those points was for the first episode and the other five points was for the music alone. The score for this animation was done by the Japanese composer Yoko Kanno. I've heard much of the music she's produced and to this day I still think here Arjuna soundtracks are her best work. She gave so much effort to the music in Arjuna. You can hear it in the music itself and it makes me think that she really believed in the message this anime sends. I respect that, but I do wish such wonderful music would've had a more admirable and complete anime to represent.
The music itself is somewhat tribal, but does span into some other genres. Yoko Kanno appears to take music she hears and then redefines and recreates it in her own fashion. It's quite extraordinary.
Tenshi na konamaiki (2002)
An unique and very well written romantic comedy.
The story of this anime is centered around the character Megumi Hayashibara. As such, the plot unfolds around her and isn't increadibly complex. She is, however, quite complex and many peculiar and interesting situations arrise in part because of her particular circumstance. The animation is actually very similiar to the graphics style in the manga (the Japanese graphic novel); as is the dialog. For a 2002 release one would expect a bit more detailed graphics (ex: Wolf's Rain), but it was probably done this way to parallel the manga. The voice acting is exceptional for this anime and is probably one of its best strengths.
This anime is probably most comparable to Ranma 1/2. Although, unlike Ranma, this anime has a much more concrete plotline and is driving towards a more solid conclusion. Also, and this was a surprise, Tenshi na Konamaiki is more funny than Ranma 1/2. TnK's humor is more intense and extreme, while Ranma 1/2 has a more soft and subtle humor. Although, both leave you feeling warm and each are heart-felt anime.
Kidou tenshi enjerikku reiyâ (2001)
an excellent anime for all ages
Angelic Layer is a Japanese animation that is about dolls. Knowing this one would think that the anime is for kids and mainly girls at that. Well, did you know that the dolls are mechanical and can be controlled by a Dues in a battle game called Angelic Layer? The anime starts out as a young girl reaches a city by subway to go to highschool. She happens upon a huge outdoor TV and sees Angelic Layer. She's awed by how pretty and graceful it is and from then on is "hooked". She meets new people and makes new friends and so begins the story. This anime is very heartfelt, but also has a fair amount of action and a deep storyline.
This anime doesn't really relate to any I've seen. If you enjoyed watching Inu Yasha or perhaps Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar then you'd probably like Angelic Layer.