Ghost Hound – Review

Title: Ghost Hound
Episodes: 22
Company: Production I.G.
Genre(s): Drama/Horror
Air Dates: 18 Oct 2007 – 3 Apr 2008

Synopsis: Taro Komori has had the same dream every night. It starts with him flying around until the scene transitions to a dark room abuzz with flies. The room is mostly empty save for a girl’s corpse on a bed and a boy, presumably Taro himself. This dream comes every night because Taro and his sister had been victims of a child kidnapping ten years ago and while the victims were quickly murdered, Taro was spared, but his sister was not. Something deep within his mind has caused Taro to repress that memory and it falls upon Dr. Hirata, a psychiatrist, to draw forth that memory. In the meantime, other strange events have been occurring in the small town of Suiten including sightings of spirits and monsters. Only with the help of his two classmates, Masayuki Nakajima and Makoto Ogami, will Taro finally be able to unravel the mystery and how this relates to Miyako, a mysterious girl capable of channeling spirits.

Pros:

  • Atmosphere is absorbing and enthralling
  • Characters are fairly well-developed
  • Solid pacing throughout the series

Cons:

  • Ending was a massive disappointment

Review: So have you ever watched a series that had an excellent buildup but then completely derailed towards the end? Yeah… Ghost Hound pretty much fits the bill. To see more, you can check out my review on the Nihon Review.

Score: Decent

Kamichu! – Review

Title: Kamichu! aka Kamichu! ~ Kamisama de Chuugakusei
Episodes: 16
Company: Brains Base
Genre(s): Comedy/Drama
Air Dates: 29 Jun 2005 – 28 Sep 2005

Synopsis: One morning, Hitotsubashi Yurie wakes up to find out that she has become a deity, and with that, her life suddenly opens up to a whole new world as she uses her powers to help people and spirits alike. Although being a goddess does come with its perks, Yurie must still struggle through the basic things that junior high school students deal with, including trying to get Ninomiya Kenji’s attention as she works up the courage to confess her feelings for him.

Pros:

  • Characters are enjoyable for the most part with Matsuri being the clear winner
  • Comedy usually hits the mark rather well and Matsuri’s schemes are hilarious
  • Spirits make a great addition the setting

Cons:

  • Yurie’s not that interesting of a character
  • Episodes that journey out of Yurie’s hometown isn’t too compelling

Review: My review on the Nihon Review.

Score: Good

Monster – Review

Title: Monster
Episodes: 74
Company: Madhouse
Genre(s): Mystery, Drama
Air Dates: 7 Apr 2004 – 28 Sep 2005

Synopsis: Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a brilliant surgeon had just finished a successful operation when he encounters a distraught Turkish woman in the hallways. Upon seeing him, she demanded to know why he neglected to care for her son who had arrived first and instead, cared for a public official who arrived later. Conscience-stricken by hospital politics, Dr. Tenma vowed to be as fair as he possibly can. So when a boy with gunshot wounds comes in, followed by a VIP, Dr. Tenma operated on the boy, who survives, while the VIP dies. This decision would cost Dr. Tenma his promotion as he fell out of the Director’s graces, but soon after, the Director and the new Head Surgeon were found poisoned and all of the circumstantial evidence points to Dr. Tenma. Cast out as a fugitive, Dr. Tenma struggles to hunt down the real killer while evading capture from the law.

Pros:

  • Engaging storyline from start to finish
  • Characters are richly detailed, even the minor ones get attention
  • Intelligently written and wonderfully directed

Cons:

  • Ending is well resolved, though not on par with the rest of the series.
  • [Read more...]

ARIA the Animation – Review

Title: ARIA the Animation
Episodes: 13
Company: Hal Film Maker/Victor Entertainment/Studio Cosmos
Genre(s): Slice of life
Air Dates: 5 Oct 2005 – 28 Dec 2005

Synopsis: Mars has been terraformed to the point that it can finally support life. While many human settlements have popped up, the most famous city on Mars (now called Aqua) is Neo-Venezia which draws its inspiration from the city of Venice on Man-Home (formerly Earth). Neo-Venezia is a huge draw in part because of its tour guides, the Undines, who take passengers on a tour of Neo-Venezia along its canals in gondolas. The story follows the lives of Akari, Aika, and Alice, who are all apprentice Undines hoping to become fully-fledged gondoliers so that they may share their love of Neo-Venezia to tourists.

Pros:

  • Succeeds at making the normal and usual seem magical
  • Excellently conveys the mood and atmosphere of the setting
  • Character interactions are highly enjoyable

Cons:

  • Characters are fairly static
  • Avoid this if you’re looking for a plot of some sort
  • [Read more...]

ef – a tale of memories – Review

Title: ef – a tale of memories
Episodes: 12
Company: SHAFT
Genre(s): Romance, Drama
Air Dates: 7 Oct 2007 – 23 Dec 2007

Synopsis: Hiro Hirono is a high school student who also works drawing manga. Unfortunately, in doing so, he’s had to skip out on school quite a bit to meet the deadlines. Enter Kei Shindo, Hiro’s childhood friend who tries to look out for Hiro’s well-being. However, her hold over Hiro is being challenged by Miyako Miyamura, a free-spirited girl who also has a habit of skipping school. Together, these three form what is essentially the first love triangle of the series.

The second story centers on Renji, a boy in middle school who befriends Chihiro Shindo, Kei’s twin sister and a girl whose eye is blind due to an accident and cannot remember anything that’s occurred more than 13 hours before. In spite of this Renji works hard to see her every day and together, the two start to undertake a project to begin writing a novel. Although Chihiro cannot remember long enough to ensure that the story will run coherently from one page to the next, it’s with the hope that by collaborating with Renji, she will be able to fulfill her dream of becoming a novelist.

Pros:

  • Extremely good use of camera work
  • Tenmon once again delivers a good soundtrack along with the OP and ED themes
  • Excellent use of symbolism throughout the series

Cons:

  • Use of cliches is somewhat annoying
  • Some of the characters are difficult to like
  • [Read more...]

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