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Dejimon furontiâ (2002–2003)
A wonderful series (contains spoilers)
1 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I liked Digimon Frontier as much as, if not more than, the original. I liked the fact that the children turn into digimon, as that means that they aren't standing off to the side while others do the fighting for them, although I do miss the partners from the previous seasons (Wormmon will always hold a special place in my heart). That fact was what set it apart from the others and made it seem as if it wasn't just a cheap copy.

I also liked the Legendary Warriors themselves. My personal favorites are the twins, Kouji Minamoto and Kouichi Kimura. All of them, though, were very well developed as characters. I know what each person will do in a given situation, with the exception of Kouichi, as he did not have much time to develop after his change of heart. They all had motivation to fight even after Ophanimon told them they could leave. They all aren't perfect. Tomoki (Tommy) is still a whiner, Junpei (JP) is still a bit of a coward, Takuya remains a hothead, Izumi (Zoe)can be a bit outspoken at times (although sometimes it's a GOOD thing), Kouji needs to think about others, and Kouichi needs to stop blaming himself for things.

The fact that Kouji had a twin shocked me when I first heard about it, and the fact that the twin was Duskmon really threw me for a loop. That was a great bit of writing. I loved that, because it threw a bit more drama in. Not only did we have Cherubimon destroying the world, but we had Kouji's brother trying to destroy HIM. It was quite an unforeseen plot twist, which added a bit of spice to the patented Digimon-plot. (For those who don't know, here is the patented Digimon-plot in a nutshell: Evil digimon trying to take over the digital world gets his butt handed to him. Bigger evil digimon show up, but they also get defeated, but not before affecting the return of the biggest bad guy in the two (or 6, depending on how you think about it) worlds. Biggest bad guy gets beaten, all the worlds are happy.)

All in all, I think that Digimon Frontier is quite worthy of being the fourth season, and this, coming from me, is no small praise. I thoroughly enjoyed this season and wish that it would have some sort of continuation.
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Why this is a good anime
15 December 2003
I have seen all of "Weiß Kreuz" and I would like to say that it's one of my favorite animes, and I have seen a lot. It's basically about four boys/men who run a flower shop by day and at night they kill people. Weiß is part of an organization dedicated to serving justice to those who manage to escape it the legal way, i.e. murderers who buy their way out of serving a sentence, that sort of thing.

Weiß is as follows: Aya Fujimiya (Abyssinian), Omi Tsukiyono (Bombay), Ken Hidaka (Siberian), and Yohji Kudo (Balinese). Aya is the leader, and his preferred weapon is a sword. Ken plays soccer and he uses these strange claw things. Yohji is a flirt who uses this really nifty wire hidden in his watch. Omi is kind of the brains, since he does most of the research and he directs everything from in front of his laptop. His preferred weapon is a crossbow, though he often uses darts and sometimes a regular bow.

So basically they kill people. Sounds simple, right? Throughout the series each of them must confront something bad that comes from his past. And Schwarz doesn't help. Schwarz is a rival group who use psychokinetic powers. Crawford, the leader, can see the future. Schuldich can read minds. Nagi has telekinesis. And Farfarello is a crazy Irishman with a knife fetish. He is also immune to pain.

Schwarz persists in hindering Weiß throughout the series.

The main bad guy in the first part of the series is Reiji Takatori, whose family is all bad. Weiß has to kill them. Schwarz is Takatori's bodyguard. And Omi is basically scarred for life after this segment. Watch to figure out what I mean.

The bad guy in the second part of the series is an organization called Esset or Esstet, not exactly how it's spelled. They kidnap Aya's sister (also named Aya, for reasons explained in the show) and try to use her in a ritual of some sort. This segment is basically Aya trying to get Aya-chan back from Esset.

So why do I like the show? For one thing, I like the bishounen. They're really well developed, even Nagi, whose past we don't know much about. Hell, we don't even know much about Schu other than the fact that he's German.

Another thing I like about the show is the plot. Weiß doesn't think of itself as the good guys. The members call themselves a necessary evil and fully expect to pay for their sins. And the plot isn't "Oh, let's go kill someone." The members have their own reasons for joining Weiß, explained throughout the series, and they don't enjoy it.

I also like the seiyuus. The seiyuus of Weiß are also the music group Weiß, and they do all of the music for the show. My favorites are "Gluhen," done for the second series, Weiß Kreuz Gluhen, and Velvet Underworld, the first opening of the first series. It was the group Weiß that created the show. I think that the reason why people don't like the dub very much is because of the seiyuus. They don't do as good of a job as the Japanese seiyuus.

I would recommend Weiß Kreuz to anyone who likes anime.
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Beyblade (2001–2005)
Basic plot, my opinion
13 December 2003
I've only seen the dub version of Beyblade, and I rather like it. The premise is original, the characters are well-developed, and it's not completely PWP-ish. PWP means "Plot? What Plot?"

The basic story for the first season is the Bladebreakers (Tyson, Max, Ray, Kai, and Kenny) are trying to win the Beyblade world championships. While it may seem simple, it truly isn't. In Asia, the 'breakers meet some of Ray's old acquaintances and Ray must convince them that he didn't abandon his home. In America, Max finds that his mother is sponsoring another team and tensions arise from that. And in Europe, the 'breakers are stranded and have to make their way to Russia all alone, and they meet the Dark Bladers along the way. The Dark Bladers seek to steal the 'breakers' bit beasts (animal spirits trapped within the Beyblade). And in Russia, with the Dark Bladers still after them, the 'breakers learn that Kai's grandfather is seeking to take over the world by stealing other bladers' bit beasts! Ray ends up in the hospital, and Kai turns traitor for a while! The Russian Tournament turns into more than just a game!

The second season, V-Force, begins with the 'breakers having split up. Kai is going to boarding school, Max is in America, and Ray went home to China. Then mystery bladers show up, and then it seems that everyone wants the 'breakers' bit beasts! The only tournament so far wasn't a real tournament, but an evil organization pitting the 'breakers against a team of its own. This season, the animation style is different, making the 'breakers look younger than in the first season.

I haven't seen the original Japanese version, but I suspect that it's better than the dub, seeing as the producers may have cut out "inappropriate" scenes and/or ideas.

I really like Beyblade and would recommend it to others as a good anime. It's as good as Gundam Wing or Rurouni Kenshin, in its own way.

My favorite character: Kai

My least favorite character: Hilary, because I don't know what her purpose in the series is.
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