Gokusen : Original Soundtrack Review

Album Title: Gokusen : Original Soundtrack
Drama Title: Gokusen
Artist: Ooshima Michiru
Catalog Number: AVCD-17124
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: June 19, 2002
Purchase at: CDJapan

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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.
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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
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Kurenai – Review

Title: Kurenai
Episodes: 12
Company: Brains Base
Genre(s): Drama, Slice of life, Action
Air Dates: 3 April 2008 – 19 June 2008

Synopsis: Shinkurou Kurenai is a high school student by day, but at night, he works as a dispute mediator, a job that can oftentimes turn very violent. After performing well at his job, his employer Benika finally hands him a new, dangerous assignment: the task of serving as Murasaki Kuhouin’s bodyguard. Murasaki Kuhouin is the seven-year old daughter of a rich and influential family and who was taken from her home at her dying mother’s request so that she can escape the prisonlike conditions within. This task will test Shinkurou’s mettle and ability to fend off the full force of the Kuhouins as well as his ability to open Murasaki’s eyes to how everyone else lives as he shows her how life is outside the Inner Sanctuary.

Pros:

  • Well-developed characters, from the main leads to even the side characters
  • Gripping storyline which is among the best of the more recent shows
  • Action is very intense and very well-choreographed
  • The episode in which they practice for that musical should not be missed

Cons:

  • The second half’s execution is just a touch below the first half’s
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