• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000

Bag of Magic Food

Still captured by Lothor
Validated User
Robots in Disguise did not have a particularly involved localization process. They wanted that stuff out the door as soon as possible. The scripts were (more or less) accurate, which does give it a leg up on the dubbed Transformers series that followed. Sort of.
Oh. Someone told me they changed the story a little to try to make it fit with previous Transformers series.
 

AuntNeppy

Black Leaf
Validated User
[#17] Kaitō Kiramekiman
(26 episodes)


But much of the screentime is devoted to a trio of inept cops, trying to catch the thieves to better their own reputation. Given that nobody takes them seriously and they're bumbling fools, you can easily see why. They're :
- a superficial blonde woman who bosses the other two around ;
- A dumb brute who provides the muscle ;
- A smart guy with a big nose who just won't shut up... and seems to actually have some competence in store, given how he's built their own giant dog mecha that does manage to capture Kiramekiman for a while until his efforts are thwarted by the ineptitude of his colleagues.
Isn't a trio like this (woman boss, brute man, smart man) a trope of anime? The Grandis Gang from Nadia is another example, and I'm almost sure there are others.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Oh. Someone told me they changed the story a little to try to make it fit with previous Transformers series.
That's what the Wikipedia article claims, but it's hard for me to tell how much alteration there really was from the limited exposure I got.

Isn't a trio like this (woman boss, brute man, smart man) a trope of anime? The Grandis Gang from Nadia is another example, and I'm almost sure there are others.
I wouldn't be surprised if Time Bokkan started and/or popularized it, though. (Nadia came 15 years later.)

It does seem to be the defining feature of the franchise, to the point that the 2015 anniversary series makes them (or, more accurately, their descendants) the real stars of the show.


On another note, I really need to work on rebuilding my buffer. It's been reduced to next to nothing with my being busy reviewing the start of the Winter 2015 season. :(




[#20] Boys Be...
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of a shonen romance manga series... Actually, there seems to have been several iterations of the manga, with the TV series picking and choosing characters and storylines as it saw fit.

Characters

Kyoichi, our male lead, is a high school student with a distinct inferiority complex over his unfitness and "unmanly" hobbies (such as his painting). It doesn't really help that his hormones are kicking in and making him notice...

Chiharu, his childhood friend, who has grown into an attractive, if athletic and tomboyish girl. Kyoichi thinks he doesn't stand a chance, especially after her senior in the track team makes his confession. In any event, he's going to keep quiet about his own feelings. And if this description seems like it's all about him... well, yeah. We never get into her head, although there are signs she might not be as unreceptive as he thinks she is, and is also trying to test the waters.

Makoto, his lecherous "friend", who makes a point of mining data about all the girls in school... aside from Chiharu, because he doesn't do tomboys. He's a slimy worm and proud of it, and happy to share his knowledge with his pals. (Who look more embarrassed than pleased by his "help".)

Yoshihiko, the third member of this circle of friends, is a quiet dude who doesn't leave much of an impression yet.

It seems the series is going for an ensemble/anthology format, as next episode seems to be about Makoto rather than Kyoichi/Chiharu.

Production Values

Quite nice looking indeed ; the characters can act and convey more than they say through their body language.

Due to the content, there's quite a lot of male gaze in the camera work whenever we're put in Kyoichi's position, but it's more in the angles than actually showing anything. Which is why the eyecatches with live-action ass shots are especially puzzling.

Overall Impression

Let's be clear : this is a boys' club series. It shows in detail how teenage boys see girls, with no room for the latter's experiences. But once that is said, there's a certain purity to this approach, and it's not like the script can't do nuance. The boys clearly have very different outlooks on the subject ; there's enough variation here to offer proper depth and character development. (And there's always the possibility of future episodes showing a female point-of-view, although I'm not holding my breath.)

And you know, it's almost refreshing to see a anime romance show where teenagers' lewd thoughts are front and center, instead of being shoved aside for their base unseemliness. It's certainly enjoyable enough to watch, and I'm putting it onto the "to see later" list.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#21 on the list is Inspector Fabre (Fabre Sensei wa Meitantei), another kids' show I couldn't lay my hands on.

A few words on #22, Banner of the Stars. It's basically part two of a trilogy of anime adaptations of a light novel series, so it's outside the scope of this project. But I should note that it's the weakest chunk of this S-F saga. Crest kept things close and personal to its lead couple ; Banner II also had a tight focus as they dealt with a prison planet. Banner, on the other hand, throws them in the middle of a massive military campaign, depriving them of agency and relevance in their own series. It's got its moments, but I found it distinctly less enjoyable.

#23 is yet another unavailable kids' show, Taro the Space Alien, adapting a children's manga.

------------------

[#24] Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
(224 episodes)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of that shonen manga featuring a children's card game... Wait, no. Initially, the manga featured a variety of games, and the 1998 anime series reflected that ; it's only later on that the "Duel Monsters" cardgame took center stage, and this sequel increased that emphasis even more.

I'm breaking my rule on sequels to give this one a full review, due to its cultural relevance. I mean, I've seen enough parody abridged versions of this that it would be silly not to try and have a proper look at it.

Characters

Yugi, our kid protagonist with absurd hair, is really fond of this Duel Monsters cardgame ; it helps that his grampa runs a shop selling it and gave him some rather rare cards. There's no explanation whatsoever for why Yugi gets a transformation sequence that makes him look much meaner and kick more ass at the game halfway through. Or why he's got this Mind Crush psychic attack to deal with villains once he's won against them.

He has a few friends : Jonouchi, who is at least shown playing the game early on (although after that he does nothing but cheer on Yugi) ; Honda, who contributes nothing ; and Anzu, who as a girl gets to make a speech about friendship.

Seto Kaiba, one of their classmates, is definitely Not A Friend : he wants to steal and destroy Yuki's grampa's super-super-rare card so that himself will be the only player to own any. Also, he owns a massive corporation that gives him access to goons to back him up, and he's a technological genius who's designed a holographic system that makes card battles slightly less boring to watch.

For someone who initially looks like a major deal, Kaiba is defeated quite early on ; a new villain with a fancy monocle makes a cameo at the end.

Production Values

Okay-ish, I guess ; the soundtrack makes a game attempts at instilling a bit of atmosphere and tension early on, but nothing can make the card battles entertaining once they've started.

Overall Impression

So, yeah. There's no getting around the fact that Duel Monsters is a very boring game, especially as the rules had yet to be solidified and balanced by any kind of physical release ; it's basically a very boring game of Kamoulox Calvinball where each turn is basically "see the new attack I'm pulling out of my ass damaging you !" It's immediately tedious, and a chore to watch.

What's more striking is the total absence of any explanation of Yugi's status quo. I know it because of popculture osmosis (and having watched a good chunk of Abridged Series), but you'd think re-establishing the "possessed by a Pharaoh's spirit" setup would have been a priority for this sequel. Ahah, no, the new viewer is left without any clue to this stuff, aside from Yugi's bizarre super-powers. That's a puzzling exposition failure.

Since watching paint dry is more entertaining than any Duel Monsters match, I think I'll keep to the Abridged Series, thank you.
 

Kinni

Writer of Ten Thousand Ideas
Validated User
Yugi-oh was a part of my childhood, a very big part. I only stopped watching during the GX era, so I have a soft spot for it.
 

Dawgstar

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yu-Gi-Oh! is pretty interesting. I was working in a games store that sold it at the time, and while it did not blow the doors off as Pokemon did, it came close. I think part of its 'problem' (problem meaning making a lot of money) was kids were still kind of into Pokemon so it had to struggle a bit for its market share.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
[#25] Love Hina
(24 episodes + various OVAs & specials)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of one of the now "classic" harem romantic comedy manga series.

Characters

Keitarou, our hapless protagonist, has yet to enter college despite turning 20. Part of the problem is that he's applying to the prestigious Tokyo university that's way beyond his reach. This is because he's trying to be faithful to a promise he made with a girl as a kid, and this is the place they're supposed to meet again. (His parents wish he would wise up.)

The plot kicks off when his grandma decides to stop running her lodging house, and brings him in as a replacement. The current tenants aren't too pleased (especially with the tons of ridiculous misunderstandings before he can even introduce himself), but eventually give him a chance. They are :
- Naru, clearly our lead romantic contender, and already displaying plenty of tsundere chemistry with him. Also trying to enter the same university, except she's actually good enough to have a good chance at it. (Odds of her being the childhood friend : very high.)
- Mitsune, the one obsessed with money ; her interest perked up when, like everyone else but Naru, she mistakenly understands that Keitarou is already in that university and on the fast track to a successful life.
- Motoko, the tall taciturn beauty with tons of fangirls.
- Kaolla, the weird little tanned blonde who just does random stuff.

As explained by Haruka, his aunt who barely has time to give a bit of a helping hand, there's little choice here : either the tenants reluctantly accept a male manager, or there's just nobody left to run the place and it just closes down.

Shinobu, a "normal" girl Keitarou runs into in the neighbourhood. Presumably she joins the regular cast later on.

Production Values

Decent enough. There's a weird ethereal atmosphere throughout, as not only does Keitarou keeps daydreaming all the time, but also for some reason the town keeps being shrouded in fog, with weird old dudes being a bit creepy.

As the lodging house includes a hot springs, expect a good amount of fanservice.

Overall Impression

Well, this was pleasant enough. All of the basic elements have been done dozens of time, but there's nothing wrong with using them, provided it's done properly and with enough energy. And that's the case here ; I was reasonably entertained.

And hey : it's Love Hina ; it's the kind of show so famous I feel like I should have seen them already. And this first episode was okay enough for me to have no qualms with finally getting on that sometimes in the next few months.
 

Bag of Magic Food

Still captured by Lothor
Validated User
Ah yes, that Yu-Gi-Oh series definitely hit it big, with a full theatrical release of one movie where we gave out cards here, and before that, I remember my siblings receiving things like videos where characters would explain the series or how to play the actual card game. I was just like, "'Mai Valentine'? Is that supposed to be some kind of pun name?" But Pegasus was the best, yeah

I heard of Love Hina, but I think all I ever saw of it was clips in one random music video. For some reason I thought it was older than 2000.
 

Arilou

New member
Banned
Urgh. Studio Pierrot got a bad reputation in the 00s for churning out low-quality shonen adaptations, and this is certainly one of them. Cheap animation, so many shots where only the mouths move (badly), to say nothing of the numerous still shots... Also, the disintegration effect for when beast people get killed looks terrible, which is a problem as it gets used all the time.
Pierrot is interesting because while they did a lot of crappy shounen, they also occasionally pulled out something really well-done and often a bit unusual. (like Victorian Romance Emma)
 

Ikselam

may one day be worthy of your grace
Validated User
Well, this was pleasant enough. All of the basic elements have been done dozens of time, but there's nothing wrong with using them, provided it's done properly and with enough energy. And that's the case here ; I was reasonably entertained.
Love Hina was one of the first anime I watched more-or-less as it aired (and among the first I watched, period). I remember liking it specifically because it had energy. Motoko was my favorite girl.

I also miscategorized it as shoujo, which shows how much I fucking knew about Japanese cartoons back in 2000 A.D.
 
Top Bottom