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Area 88 (2004– )
7/10
If you're a fan of fighter aircraft, Area 88 is for you and you must see it!
15 October 2009
Reviewing this series is quite simple, so I'll do it. If you're a fan of fighter aircraft, with dogfights, ground attacks and all that, then rejoice. Area 88 is for you and you must see it! Every aspect is highly detailed, from the position of the guns on each aircraft to the jettisoning of external fuel tanks when they enter combat. The music used for the action scenes, made by Rank 1 among others, is always appropriate and I swear it will stick in your mind.

The story as two themes: the power of love and the way war affects the minds of human beings. The main character, Shin Kazama, was a happy man who was about to join a major Japanese airline as a pilot and was going to marry the daughter of that airline's President. However, his greedy best friend decides to get rid of him and tricks him to join a mercenary squadron in a fictional Middle East country in the late 1970s, where there's a civil war.

The mercenaries are fighting for several reasons. Some saw so many things during the Cold War that they just can't go back to a normal life. Others are there for the adrenaline of air combat or simply because they need money. Kazama becomes the squadron's best ace because he's fighting to gain enough money to leave and see his fiancée again. He's the only one that has something waiting for him after the war. Life on the air base is pretty regular, for a mercenary squadron. But that changes with the arrival of Makoto Shinjou, a war photographer who loves to take photos of people in special emotional moments and seems obsessed with Kazama.

The story is the weak part of the show. The previous paragraph is basically it. There's absolutely no information whatsoever regarding the status of the civil war or the political ideology of both factions. All we know is that the rebels are probably supported by the Soviet Union, since all their aircraft are Soviet (Migs and Bears). But then again, we never get to see what the national air force uses! Sometimes, one episode will be centered around one of the support characters, but character development for everyone except Shinjou and Kazama is very poor. There's one episode where they go a bit further with Mick, but since he's the American ace there, it was probably done to please the American audience.

The animation is state of the art, both for aircraft and characters. The voice acting is also brilliant. Shin Kazama is played by the great Takehito Koyasu.

I haven't seen the original OVA, but I can tell you that the Shin Kazama of this series doesn't cry as much as the old one, nor whines about killing other human beings.

Overall, worth watching. Imperative to watch if you're looking for action. Just be ready for some disappointments on the story.
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3/10
Disappointing and predictable
23 March 2009
This is the only Saint Seiya movie I've watched so far. It's basically the classic "Saori/Athena is the damsel in distress, race against time" plot condensed in a single movie. Fights that would usually last at least two episodes only last five minutes in this movie.

What sparked my interest in this movie, and I bet there are other fans who felt the same, was the return of the dead gold saints. Will they fight different opponents? Will they have their revenge against the bronze saints who killed them? My interest was crushed during the movie. Shura and Camus have almost cameo-like appearances. Deathmask looks more like the kind of villain I expect to see in American cartoons.

Aphrodite actually shows he learned with his death and was quite ready for Shun. Unfortunately, just like in the Hades saga, Aphrodite is demoted from one of the strongest gold saints to a second class villain.

I would recommend this movie to Gemini Saga's fans, however. Nevertheless, it seems that these five saints were put in the movie simply to make people watch it.

What annoys me the most is this: if you watched the Poseidon saga, the last 20 minutes of the movie will be boring for you. In fact, they will make you feel like you wasted your time by watching it.

Some positives. The animation is clearly better than in the series. Very good acting from Taichirô Hirokawa, Keiko Han and Tôru Furuya (although I bet he didn't like saying "Saori-San!" so many times). Overall, you can live without this movie. And maybe you should watch this before the Poseidon saga. At least you'll have Shaina in the series to make it better.
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Fight Club (1999)
You'll definitely see the world in a different way after you see Fight Club
24 September 2002
Basically, Edward Norton represents a slave of the current consumist society we live in, a guy who buys all kinds of material goods that you order by phone only; who has a office job in a corrupt car company. We have the kind of person that all the big corporations want people to be. And then we have Tyler Durden, which represents what someone like the narrator would want to be and do but can never find the courage to be; the guy who works at night doing things we need but nobody cares who's doing it (or how it's done).

This movie strikes every single bad capitalist thing in society! The Fight Club is like a refuge, where people can get away from society and unleash their fury against society on someone else.

You'll definitely see the world in a different way after you see Fight Club, I can assure you that. This movie would have probably received an award, if it wasn't for the violence, but that's what Fight Club is all about: being different.
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Cowboy Bebop (1998–1999)
A masterpiece, good for anyone
13 December 2001
Cowboy Bebop is definitely the best Anime ever made. Where else can you find good music, action, graphics, comedy, and story all together?

You want comedy, you can find it all over the serie in the relation between the characters and each one's style. You want a story, you have each one of the characters with his own personal life story, which develops along the episodes (especially in Spike's rivalry with Vicious). You want action, you can find it on Spike's fighting skills and in the best space dogfighting (Star Wars fans, pay attention!) ever made on TV. You want music, I can assure you that Cowboy Bebop has the best there is.

It's just too bad that, like every anime series, this one has an ending (I got it on tape!), because this is the kind of series that should be in the air forever, and there are plenty of stories that can be developed from the Cowboy Bebop futuristic universe.

About the music, I should also point out that you can find all kinds of music in Cowboy Bebop: Blues in the sad moments, Jazz in space fighting, chorus in the most beautiful moments, and cowboy music in desert or solitary scenes.

I'm really looking forward for the movie.
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FLCL (2000–2018)
Like "Excel Saga", but take out the logic
26 October 2001
This one is insane! Even if you don't get any of the story or some jokes, you'll be laughing anyway. Haruko is the wildest girl since Excel to ever appear on Anime, Mayumi Shintani voice acting is pretty damn good (even when she turns into a serpent and starts licking Naota).

In the series you'll be able to see the most stupid thing ever: GIANT ROBOTS COMING OUT OF PEOPLE'S HEAD!!!! But the fights with them are pretty cool, and the music that accompanies them is more than appropriate.

Too bad they made very few episodes of it :(
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Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999–2002)
Better and scarier than Scooby Doo
24 June 2000
A simple cartoon wichy is scarier than Scooby Dog (not that it was scary before) and more unpredictable with the action, you never know what will happen next, because it can be scary, stupid or just a surprise! It's too bad that there are "clichés" like there is always an hole in Courage's teeth, that "...or my name isn't..., and it's not" (this one is REALLY stupid) and it's bad that they, shall we say, give a bad image of computers. A side from that, it's an excellent cartoon, please concentrate on episodes like the "Cute, adorable, lovable, duckling" and that with the three alien ducks. The best is that with the pigs who want to eat the dog, in which I keep thinking "oh my, this is way to bad for children!", but I cried laughing with the end. Cartoon Network, please put this one back on 5:00 pm!
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Pinky and the Brain (1995–1998)
Everybody can watch this, and everybody will love it
19 December 1999
Saying only that this is a cartoon is not enough. This is a very funny cartoon, funny for all ages and not just children, there are sometimes jokes about Bill Clinton and Al Gore, which I guess only adults will completely understand. This is all about two genetically changed mices, one is crazy (Pinky) and the other one is a genius (Brain) that wants to take over the world, an interesting thing about this is that, unlike most cartoons, it's not just Brain that makes the plan and then Pinky blews it, if you pay attention to everything in the episode, you'll notice that at the end, it was Brain's fault or there was something at the begining of the episode that he ignored but it was the reason why his plan failed (like a meteor). The episodes are full of jokes that you'll hear on every other episodes, like "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering? I think so Brain, but (something stupid)". The graphics are absolutely perfect, the voices are very good for both of the actors and the storyline is also perfect. Try not to miss the Christmas special.
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Dragon Ball (1986–1989)
Superb!
23 July 1999
Dragonball is one of the best cartoons ever made. Dragonball Z is a bit disapointing compared to this one. Dragonball tells the story of Son Goku, a kid with a tail(?), who's origin is really explained only on Dragonball Z, and the story is all made up around 7 crystal balls that when all are together, allow you to ask any wish to the Dragon. It doesn't have all those "Super" stuff of Dragonball Z, all characters have different combat tactics and special moves, and they obtain their skills through hard training and not fury or spells. For Dragonball Z fans, if you want to see Bulma still young and more beautiful, Yamcha still an honourable fighter and Piccolo a bad guy, you have to see this!
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The Transformers (1984–1987)
Best cartoon ever, I pray for a replay.
7 March 1999
The Transformers were the best cartoon action series ever made. It was awesome, with complex evil plans, and inspirational stories. The leader of the Autobots (the good guys), Optimus Prime, was the kind of guy that deserverd a Nobel prize, someone who always did what was right and good. As you can see from the IMDB, it had a very large cast for a cartoon. The cartoon probably ended because it started losing "style" after Optimus Prime and Megatron died and even I stopped watching very often shortly after that, although Optimus was then reborn. Unfortunately, I don't think that Beast Wars are good replacement for it.
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