[In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000

Dawgstar

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In harem shows, only the poor sucker who ends up with the main character loses!
That's probably true. Keitaro would have only held Motoko back from her epic swordplay. It's just the comparisons are really stark sometimes.

One of the specific reasons I liked Motoko is that she didn't seem to be all that into Keitarou. (My shipping goggles were not nearly as finely calibrated back then as they are now.)

I was mildly upset when I learned that this was not reflective of the source material.
Me, too. And honestly, I don't think she was until further down the line for... oh, I dunno, whatever harem protagonist reasons apply. She was inspired by his... honesty? Work ethic? Something.
 
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Ikselam

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Me, too. And honestly, I don't think she was until further down the line for... oh, I dunno, whatever harem protagonist reasons apply. She was inspired by his... honesty? Work ethic? Something.
Probably his ability to take a punch.
 

Bag of Magic Food

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Ooh, I remember when Hamtaro came to Toonami, but I don't think I ever really got around to watching a full episode of that either.

I may have heard of Medabots and Dinozaurs, but without knowing what they are, they tend to mesh together into something like "Dinobonoids" in my mind.
 
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Jhiday

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[#31] Strange Dawn
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

The old "teenagers transported to a parallel world" classic.

Characters

Our two protagonists, Yuko and Eri, are ordinary highschoolers who have no clue how or why they're now suddenly in these semi-desertic lands. Eri is the quiet one, and a bit of a wet blanket ; Yuko is the archetypal "bad girl", superficial and rude. I get the impression they weren't particularly close before this.

The world is inhabited by a number of "little people", divided into clans waging guerilla warfare against each other. One clan we see is outright aggressive, while the other welcomes Yuko & Eri as the Big Saviours that will surely help tip the war into their favour.

At least, that's what Shall, their MVP, strongly believes ; a good chunk of the tribe are more skeptical, especially as the girls are bemused and not very cooperative.

And let's be honest : aside from being several sizes taller than the locals, it's not like our girls hold any particular advantage, do they ? Sure, they can frighten an unaware enemy commando team by just screaming and waving their arms around, but I doubt those smoke and mirrors going to be effective for long. What is it the little people see in the Big Saviours, really ? Where do their legends even come from, anyway ?

Production Values

Lovely. There's some quite good animation for the action sequences, and I like the rather distinctive designs for the little people, with proportions quite unlike real human beings.

Overall Impression

This was quite a lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be. A lot of it owes to Yuko & Eri feeling so real ; they're not even particularly likeable (Yuko is a brat and Eri would apologize to her own shadow for bumping into it), but they behave like actual teenagers and have some good chemistry together. I'm also intrigued by the choice to start off with them already there, with no flashback yet as to how they got transported or what their life was like before. (And their personalities are strong enough for some guesses to be made by the audience.)

The little society is also interesting to watch, and I'm always up for fantasy politics. So I'm definitely coming back to this show later on. It's a nice surprise.
 

q_3

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Strange Dawn is notable at the very least as a historical curiosity: it features the director, lead writer, and composer for Princess Tutu, working together in those same positions for the first time. Unfortunately, I found it disappointing in the end, largely because it felt like it was supposed to be 40+ episodes and got cut short unexpectedly. It's still an interesting take on a stock premise; these girls are in the middle of a vicious civil war, and they really don't have much going for them.
 

Old Toby

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[#20] Boys Be...
(13 episodes)
Boys Be... is actually a rather strange manga to adopt to Anime. It mostly consists of an anthology of short, sweet, and occasionally subversive romance stories. The author freely recycles his character designs, but changes the names, quirks and situations of the characters with each story. As such, there isn't really the sort of continuity or consistency that one expects of a TV series (a direct translation would consist of maybe four completely unrelated stories, with it basically being the show-runners choice of which of any number of stories to adopt)... except...

Every so often, he'll throw in a filler story featuring certain recurring characters: three teenage boys, love-lorn losers all, who talk about pervy stuff. Basic set-up: Loser 1 asks what the guys think about some situation (the one that comes to mind is "what's the best thing about going to the beach in the summer"). Loser 1 provides his answer which is sexual in a very mainstream way ("the best thing is watching women in bikinis"). Loser 2 provides an answer that is sexual in a pervier way ("the best thing is how the sweat drips over women's exposed bodies"). Loser 3 then wraps things up with an off-the-wall answer that at first seems like it might be profound and thoughtful, but on further probing turns out to be even pervier than Loser 2... ("The best thing is how the undertow keeps tugging at your swim-trunks... It's like the sea giving you a hand-job.")

From this review, and other comments I've heard about it, it seems like they've taken the three losers and given each of them a romance plot to slowly work out over the season. Which seems a bit awkward, as they're much crasser than the typical lead in Boys Be...'s romance stories.

Old Toby
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ANT Pogo

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I recall really liking Strange Dawn, if only for its entertaining "Smurfs meets Game of Thrones" aesthetics. Plus, in the dub, Yuko was voiced by Donna Burke (best known to anime fans as Raising Heart in the Nanoha franchise), using her native Aussie accent.
 

Dawgstar

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And... now I really want NieA_7... and it does not seem to be very available.
Yeah, sadly it was licensed by one of the many anime distributors that went under when the boom burst and probably isn't on Funimation's radar for a license rescue.
 
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