Every Anime I Can Remember Reviewed! Update III
Posted by Doug on March 3, 2010
It’s been a month since the last update to my project to (briefly) review every anime I can remember, but I am a firm believer in “better late than never”. Here we go: my thoughts on The Case Files of Ryoko Yakushiji, Love Hina, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Oh My Goddess!, Rahxephon, and You’re Under Arrest!
Love Hina, Love Hina: Christmas Special, Love Hina: Spring Special, Love Hina Again
Synopsis: Keitaro Urashima is unable to fulfill his dream of getting into Tokyo University so he can be reunited with a girl he scarcely remembers, and so he goes to stay with his grandmother, and ends up the manager of an all-girls dormitory. Hilarity, as they say, ensues. Review: A classic “unwanted harem” anime, Love Hina was among my very first anime purchases on DVD. Most of the humor is of the “Keitaro accidentally does something pervy, and one or more of the girls punish him disproportionately for it” variety.
The Case Files of Ryoko Yakushiji (a.k.a. Yakushiji Ryoko no Kaiki Jikenbo)
Synopsis: Tokyo Metropolitan Police superintendent Yakushiji Ryoko investigates paranormal incidents and sexually harasses flirts shamelessly with her assistant Izumida. Review: Okay, I know that it’s impossible to do the sort of stunts that Ryoko does in miniskirts and high heels like Ryoko wears, but you know what? I don’t care. Supernatural action + fanservice = good fun. This series would be a lot better if they had spent more time fleshing out the characters and the world they live in, but unfortunately, thirteen episodes are all we get (for now, anyways). Notes: Even for a seinen anime like this one, it’s rare for the lead female character to be a Christmas cake (Ryoko is 27, according to this). Even still, Yakushiji Ryoko scores very high in my book; not quite as high as Kirihara Misaki of Darker Than Black fame, but pretty high nonetheless.
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
“All things extant in this world: gods of heaven, gods of earth, let everything be as it should be. Thus shall it be!”
Synopsis: With the inevitability of being separated as their families move apart, best friends Sasshi and Arumi find themselves travelling from one alternate reality to the next, each one based on one of Sasshi’s nerdy hobbies. Review: Abenobashi starts off bearing all the marks of a simple slapstick comedy, but about halfway through, a serious subplot emerges with the realization that Sasshi and Arumi’s travels have been caused by Sasshi subconsciously trying to avoid returning to a reality far worse than the audience has been led to believe. There’s lots of pervy humor (did Sasshi just accidentally pee in his own mouth?), and more shout-outs than can be counted (everything from Neon Genesis Evangelion to Enter the Dragon to Jaws). Good fun, good fun. Notes: If you are curious to hear what a Osaka/Kansai accent sounds like, this is the anime to watch in the original Japanese.
Oh My Goddess!
Synopsis: Luckless but optimistic Keiichi finally gets a bit of luck: the goddess Belldandy appears to him and to reward him for enduring all his bad luck without giving up, she lets him make one wish. He wishes that Belldandy stay by his side forever… Review: Yeah, I’m a sucker for sappy stories like this. Many find the whole low-key romance and/or Belldandy’s yamato nadeshiko-ness annoying, but I thoroughly enjoyed this series. There’s something for everyone: series creator Kosuke Fujishima is a big-time petrolhead, so there’s plenty of motorcycle- and automotive-based eye candy; he also knows how to lay the fanservice on heavy (Urd…just Urd). Notes: The second season opening music is one of the very few songs with bagpipes that I could listen to more than a couple seconds of.
Synopsis: Ayato Kamina is a student in a Tokyo city separated from the rest of the world by an (almost) impenetrable dome. Strange fighter jets break through the dome and attack the city. Stranger giant singing statue things appear to fight the invaders. A strange girl appears, to lead him to the super robot he will pilot. A strange woman comes into Ayato’s life, to take him out of the city. And then things turn strange… Review: There’s a lot of similarities between Rahxephon and Neon Genesis Evangelion, from the largest of scales (both are about a boy who pilots a super robot which has the ability to cause the end of the world as it is known) to the smallest (a certain conspicuous cross-shaped necklace, worn by a character in each series), and both are mindscrews of the highest order, but the two couldn’t be more different thematically. NGE is very depressing. Rahxephon is upbeat. Both are well worth watching, but Rahxephon comes out ahead in my book for being far less frustrating.
You’re Under Arrest!, You’re Under Arrest! Full Throttle
Synopsis: Miyuki Kobayakawa is very feminine and mature and mechanically inclined. Natsumi Tsujimoto is a (barely) grown-up tomboy and athletic. They’re both officers with the Bokuto Police Station Traffic Division. Together they fight (traffic) crime. Review: This is an anime buddy cop show (two totally different police officers fight crime together) that never takes itself too seriously, and that’s a good thing. Another of Kosuke Fujishima’s works, the earlier anime series from 1996/1997 is pretty rough visually, but still good; the newer series, Full Throttle (2007/2008) is much better visually, and not at all lacking for entertaining story arcs.
That’s it for now. I’ve noticed that most of the anime I have reviewed so far are Grade B and Grade A. I suppose this is to be expected, since if I a particular anime series doesn’t appeal to me, I don’t usually expend much brainpower on remembering it. And if I don’t remember it, it doesn’t have a place in my reviews of every anime I can remember.