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[In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
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I was going to ask if Avenger was in your list, but then I noticed this is anime series from 2000, not from the 2000s(Avenger is 2003). So I'll just ask if you have seen Avenger before.
The Mars thing ? I think I watched the first episode with my anime club soon after it came out (like, in late 2003 or early 2004), and none of us liked it much. I don't really remember much, but I certainly never came back to it.

... And yeah, doing this for every TV series in the 2000s would just kill me. I'm already near my limit as it is, as the two-month hiatus shows.
(Especially as 2000 was a really lean year for anime ; there were nearly as many new series in Spring 2001 alone.)




[#47] Inuyasha
(167 episodes + a few movies and OVAs + a 26-episode conclusion series)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of a fantasy manga series by Rumiko Takahashi, of Ranma 1/2 fame.

Characters

Kagome, our protagonist, is an ordinary teenage girl. One day she falls at the bottom of a weird well in the backyard of her family's property, and ends up in a world that looks like Feudal Japan, except slightly more fantasy-ish.

Inuyasha, a dog-man spirit stuck to a tree, is the first thing she sees outside the well. She doesn't know he's been trapped there 50 years ago by Kikyo, the head priestess of the nearest village, and is thus probably bad news ; the local villagers don't take well to Kagome trying to free him.

Kaede, Kikyo's apprentice and now the village elder, calms things down a bit. For one thing, Kagome does look a bit like Kikyo (which would mean more to me if Takahashi could draw more than one young female face). For another, she seems to be able to effortlessly spot supernatural stuff, something even Kaede has trouble with. (I get the impression that Kaede is trying her best to carry Kikyo's legacy despite not having much of any natural talent for it.)

A serpent-ish monster then shows up, having followed Kagome from the well ; it's after the small orb of power that's somehow in her body. Ultimately, only an alliance of convenience with Inuyasha can defeat it... only for him to immediately turn on Kagome. Wait, isn't the title character supposed to be a good guy ? [Actual text from the next-episode preview.]

Production Values

Decent for a daytime shonen action show of the time (it's definitely not Pierrot-like), but the shortcuts are easy to spot.

Overall Impression

This is okay, I guess. Decent setup for the classic "stranded in a parallel world" plot, with characters sketched out enough to be pleasant to follow. Obviously Inuyasha isn't going to be a long-term antagonist, but at least his initial heel persona makes the start of this a bit fresher.

But there's no way in hell I'm going to watch 200ish episodes of this. The initial TV series obviously got padded to hell and back (not that Takahashi needed much help, considering how the manga ran for 12 years), and it's just not compelling enough to justify this kind of time investment to me.
 
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Kinni

Writer of Ten Thousand Ideas
Validated User
The Mars thing ? I think I watched the first episode with my anime club soon after it came out (like, in late 2003 or early 2004), and none of us liked it much. I don't really remember much, but I certainly never came back to it.
Man, you guys dodged a bullet there. It was the most boring anime I've ever seen. It took two years for me to gather enough motivation to finish watching, and it certainly wasn't worth it.

But now Inuyasha. This was one of the animes I saw during the ending of the Toonami period of my life. The first few seasons I watched basically everything, but later I started drifting away and only saw bits and pieces of the later seasons.

I did watch Kanketsu-hen, and I still consider Inuyasha one of my favorite shonen shows of all time, mostly due to the charisma of the characters.
 

Bag of Magic Food

Still captured by Lothor
Validated User
I always wondered just how many episodes they stretched out that "shard hunt" for. And I trust that Robot Chicken portrayed the fandom correctly?
[video=youtube;F7k-BbwVqxo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7k-BbwVqxo[/video]
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Man, you guys dodged a bullet there. It was the most boring anime I've ever seen.
Yeah, I vaguely remember the first episode being surprisingly boring for a post-apocalyptic (?) show set on Mars. Glad to know I didn't miss anything.

(Then again, we did end up watching Wolf's Rain to the bitter end, and boy was that show boring, pretentious and aimless.)




[#48] Ghost Stories (Gakkou no Kaidan)
(20 episodes)

What's it about ?

A horror show that's not adapted from anything. Apparently the English dub took vast liberties with the script to make it into more of a black comedy, but that's not what I'm watching.

Characters

Satsuki, our fifth-grader heroine. Her dad moved the family back into their mother's hometown after she died, apparently because the in-laws could provide them with affordable housing. Anyway, that means Satsuki (and her younger brother Keiichirou) are going to a new school from now on. While it looks perfectly decent, they get sidetracked when their cat goes into the creepy abandoned older building...

Hajime, the bratty neighbour kid who tries to prank them (with his bespectacled best pal Reo), only to get a lot less confident once the lot of them get stuck inside.

Momoko, the nice sixth-grader whose hat got lost inside. Totally not a ghost. By an amazing coincidence, she spent some time in the same hospital where Satsuki's mom spent her last days. And it's looking less and less like a coincidence when it turns out that (1) Satsuki's grandmother was a former headmistress of the school and (2) Mom left behind a manual of how to handle ghosts.

That thing comes in really handy, as the old school building is truly haunted. One could have ascribed the sudden opening and closing of the front door to the wind ; the chain repositioning itself, less so. And the various ectoplasm manifestations soon destroy any possible doubt.

Production Values

Quite good, actually. There are lots of slow panning CG shots of the corridors that must have been expensive at the time, and still look quite good while establishing quite the creepy atmosphere. So this is a rare 00s Pierrot show that looks good. I'm as surprised as you are.

Overall Impression

Hey, this is quite fun ! The kids are a good mix of personalities, the plot moves along at a decent pace, and the closing punchline is hilarious. There's a good chance it's got a proper ending, too.

I could definitely see myself watching this in full down the line.
 

Cannonball

So bouncy!
Validated User
Apparently the English dub took vast liberties with the script to make it into more of a black comedy, but that's not what I'm watching.
I don't think saying the Ghost Stories dub took liberties with the script quite underscores how many liberties they actually took. We might not quite be talking about the Samurai Pizza Cats level of rewrites, but by damn it was trying to get there! :p
 

Kinni

Writer of Ten Thousand Ideas
Validated User
Back in the day, I watched some episodes of the Brazilian dub, which was more faithful to the source material. It was fun.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Validated User
Wow, my schedule for this has really taken a hit, hasn't it ? Fortunately, we're entering the final stretch.



[#49] Hiwou War Chronicles (Karakuri Kiden Hiwou Senki)
(26 episodes)

What's it about ?

Clockpunk show set in the Meiji period. It also has the honour of being the first show ever animated by studio Bones after their split from Sunrise.

Characters

For no obvious reason, the series opens with a few German merchants/tourists on a boat nearing the coast of Japan, expositing at length on this being the Meiji Era and what this entails on a geopolitical level... only for the rest of the episode to completely ignore this context, and showing that this version of Japan is actually full-on clockpunk.

Hiwou, our protagonist, is the bratty and plucky kid who's at the center of the youngsters' social club in his rural village (including his younger siblings). The big thing with this village is that they've been producting tons of clockwork dolls, mostly for entertainment purposes.

Enter the Wind Gang, a bunch of paramilitary thugs who swiftly conquer the village by surprise, capturing all the adults... but not the kids, who were off exploring a cave at the time. There, they find a clockwork proto-mecha that allows them to escape.

... But maybe not for long, as some of the kids want to double back to try and save their parents. That sounds like a really stupid idea, considering how they barely managed to escape the first time around.

Production Values

You can always count on a Bones production to be reasonably polished, and this is no exception.

Overall Impression

Well, this was inoffensive enough, I guess. The problem is that the first episode didn't manage to make me care about those kids, or even the fate of the village. It's got some decently-paced action sequences that are all about the flash and carry little substance. Really, it's just a bit too bland.

I'm not really interested in watching any more of this.

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I thought I had gotten my hands on #50, Dotto Koni-chan, but my copy has no subtitles. It's a comedy kids' show about kids messing around and getting into hijinks. It's mostly notable for being animated by studio Shaft before they became SHAFT, and directed by Excel Saga's Nabeshin himself. It does look kinda fun.

#51 should be Pipopapo Patrol-kun, a kids' show featuring a friendly neighbourhood cop that might have been educational if I could have laid hands on it.

Our final and 52nd entry would have been Suteki! Sakura Mama, a series of shorts I could find nearly no information about. A bit anticlimactic, eh ?
 
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Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Validated User
Well, I'm glad you asked, as this is the perfect segue for the summary I totally hadn't prepared weeks ago... :D

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So, that's it. 35 shows reviewed (+ 11 I couldn't find and 6 sequels). How does the tally go ?

Must Watches (4)
Those were so promising I'm going to watch them asap :
- Niea_7
- Strange Dawn
- Vandread
(Boogiepop Phantom would be here too.)

Good Enough For Me (10)
I'll catch up on these decent shows down the line :
- Miami Guns
- Saiyuki
- Sakura Wars
- Boys Be...
- Love Hina
- Sci-Fi Harry
- Android Kikaider
- Ghost Stories
- maybe Argento Soma
(Tsukikaze Ran would probably be here too.)

Not My Thing (12)
There's nothing really wrong with these shows, but either I'm not the target audience, I don't care for their subgenre, they're too long for me to invest time in, or they just didn't do anything for me :
- UFO Baby
- Gate Keepers
- Kaitō Kiramekiman
- Hamtaro
- Brigadoon
- Descendants of Darkness
- Hajime no Ippo
- Gravitation
- Gear Fighter Dendoh
- Legendary Gambler Tetsuya
- Inuyasha
- Hiwou War Chronicles

That Was Just Bad (9)
Those shows had way too many problems :
- Candidate for Goddess
- Shinzo
- Hero Hero-kun
- Platinumhugen Ordian
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
- Ceres, Celestial Legend (with hindsight)
- Hand Maid May
- Tri-Zenon


Frankly, that's not bad at all, overall. I got twelve-ish new shows on my plate, which I appreciate. Aside from that, I got to have a taste of more than a few series I vaguely knew about (Hajime no Ippo, Gravitation, Hamtaro...) and can now have a slightly more informed opinion of. And heck, there are quite a few shows I'm glad I was exposed to, even if they weren't my thing.
 
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