Thursday, January 31, 2008


Full Title: LastEXILE
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Episodes: 26
Uploaded By: Mavrik
My Age Rating: PG (Mild Language, Violence)

Claus Valca and Lavie Head are the pilot and navigator of a rather old and beat-up vanship (sort of a wingless WWI two-seater) working for the Norkia Vanship Oraganization running messages of varying importance in and out of danger zones. Although they are a fairly successful duo, they barely get by. That is until the pair accept a mission by saving a little girl from a star-shaped killing machine. To complete the mission, they deliver the peculiar girl to an infamous rouge airborne capital ship called the Silvana. Only to be inducted into the crew and become key players in a bizarre war...

Vague as the main plot may sound, this anime is actually quite the watch. Fascinating ideas and concepts are strewn throughout the series in the form of gadgets and gizmos. The artists' love for filling everything in to the finest detail is obvious and much appreciated. Also, big concepts like chivalry, war, love, and evil are all fully explored throughout the course. Each of the episodes is named after a chess move and usually elude to an action one of the main characters will take in that particular episode. (Also, if you don't like Mullin Shetland, there's officially something wrong with you.. just a personal opinion...) Don't watch this anime for action, although it exists, many of the episodes are spent with the characters arguing verbally and watching major political events unfold, especially near the middle of the series.

Production wise, this anime stands heads and shoulders above most of its kind. The animation is always flawless, the art is always incredibly detailed, and the special effects blend oh-so-smoothly with the drawing style (the budget for this thing must have been huge). The opening and ending credits are both top notch, not the best you'll ever see, but well worth watching. The voice acting is great, well, great if you can stand the voice of Lavie that is. Although the storyline is a little bit unexplanatory as too what actually is going on, it's very well written. This anime definitely does not spoon feed you any information. At the end, you'll probably understand what happened, and you might even understand how it happened, but you may not fully comprehend why it happened (not an anime for first timers.) Overall, a beautiful and very interesting effort, but to me, it falls just a little bit short of being a masterpiece.

My Rating: 8.7/10 (Excellent)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Full Title: Suzuka
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Sports
Episodes: 26
Uploaded By: Penad8
My Age Rating: PG-13 (Mild Language, Adult Situations, Sexual Themes)

(A romance drama, you ask? Yeah, what's your point?)

Yamato Akitsuki has just arrived in Tokyo hoping to open a new chapter in his life and to find himself in the process. On his first day there, he walks past the high school he will be attending and is startled by what he sees, a lovely girl practicing high jump by herself. He is immediately captivated by her grace and beauty, but after watching her awhile, he concludes he doesn't have a chance and walks on to his new apartment owned and run by his aunt and niece. Later he learns that not only does that girl live in the same apartment building, she lives next door to him. He figures this out by walking into her room on accident, (cliched much? don't worry, it gets worse before it gets better...) and we're off to the races on what appears to be the very beaten down path of romantic comedies. From that point on, Yamato pretty much has his heart set on her, and she doesn't want much to do with him. Mix in a studly best friend who gives mostly bad advice, a really hot third wheel girl who seems to be only interested in Akitsuki, a couple of continuously drunk co-inhabitants of the apartment, and you have what appears to be the same old unoriginal storyline, but don't jump (ahahaha, I crack myself up...) to conclusions to quickly, because this series starts getting deep fast.

A forewarning, this series doesn't really have very much sports action at all. For its apparent track emphasis, the running and jumping are just catalysts for moving the relationships along. If you want a sports drama, you might end up enjoying two episodes (maybe) in this entire anime. The story here revolves around the characters, and the characters don't really do much. Lot's of talking. On the upside, Suzuka (the show not the girl) is an incredibly realistic and honest look at life and love. Realistic to the point where you could make a movie out of the entire show with a hand held camera and 50 (or so) competent actors, no visual effects required, and if someone told you these events as part of their life story, you'd be inclined to believe them. Because this is a "coming-of-age" story for the main character, you might not like him at first, or ever...

Although this show mostly avoids many of the trappings its siblings succumb too, (i.e. lots of fanservice, girl on boy violence, clumsiness puts boy in awkward position on top of girl (happens twice), etc.) my rating for this show still takes hits in many different areas. The smoothness of the animation is bad, very, very bad. The art itself is average at best, and the character designs are pretty much same old. The dialog isn't terrible, but it's not going to win any awards either, and the voice acting is flat at times. But what this anime lacks in budget, it makes up for in pure, unadulterated effort. It wants to be good so badly that, for the most part, it is. The story is smooth, the plot line takes twists at times, and the characters are all believable individuals with real world problems. For all its shortcomings, it still has the power to grab a hold of its viewers and make them watch till the end. (One more thing, I haven't read the manga, but I've heard that if you do read it, it makes the anime look a lot worse due to the lack of being surprised by the turning points in the story.) An overall better-than-average-by-pure-effort show. If you're a fan of serious romances, check it out...

My Rating: 6.3/10 (Good)

Monday, January 28, 2008


Full Title: SaiKano
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Military, Romance, Science Fiction, Slice of Life
Episodes: 13
Uploaded By: Mavrik
My Age Rating: MA (Language, Graphic Violence, Adult Situations, Strong Sexual Themes)

She, the Ultimate Weapon. The one device that can destroy every enemy war machine and army in its path. The horror that mankind created in its madness to defend itself from itself in the most efficient way possible, absolute annihilation. As entire cities disappear in single flashes of brilliant light, her name is whispered in fear on both sides of the conflict, "Chise." However, to one average high school boy, Chise is not a thing to be feared or a device used to conquer, but a girlfriend to love and cherish. This is the story of Shuji, his girlfriend, and their desperate fight for survival, peace, and love in a world gone mad with hate.

For once, I actually really enjoyed my run through a non-humorous magical girl anime. Probably because of the death and destruction that permeates the air and lingers over every situation like a heavy blanket. I don't want to ruin the ending, but to have the anime constantly reminding you at the halfway mark during each episode that you're watching "The Last Love Song on this Little Planet" creates a far from happy expectation to begin with. In other words, know that overwhelming grief saturates this story at every given point. The horrors of war shown in a way I haven't seen (movie, anime, or otherwise) since "All Quiet on the Western Front." I do not recommend this anime to anyone searching for light entertainment, there is nothing easy about watching this.

For the rating, I believe this anime deserves fairly high marks. The atmosphere it presents is incredibly consistent throughout, and it's characters are, for the most part, very likable and realistic people. I have no problem with the main storyline, but I do think it slightly awkward the way sex is presented in the story. You'll have to watch it to see what I mean, it's hard to describe. There are scenes where characters are naked, but there is nothing visible to the audience, which I do appreciate though it doesn't really help to drop the age rating for this anime. The opening and ending credits are... okay at best... Although the voice acting can be flat at times, it's never during very crucial moments, and you might not notice it. The music fits the tone well, and the animation is, for the most part, fairly smooth. There are almost no bright colors in the palette used for this anime which means more gloom, but hey, I warned you... Not the feel good anime of the year, but well worth a watch for anyone who can handle it.My Rating: 7.6/10 (Very Good)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Full Title: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Genres: Comedy, Psychological, Science Fiction, Romance, Supernatural
Episodes: 14
Uploaded By: Penad8
My Age Rating: PG-13 (Mild Language, Violence, So
me Adult Situations)

Kyon is a self-pronounced slightly-above-average student with a very content and uneventful life. That is until the first day of his high school when he met an eccentric and energetic beautiful girl by the name of Haruhi Suzumiya. When asked to introduce herself, Haruhi stands up and tells the class she is looking for aliens, espers, and time travelers, an act that catches Kyon's attention. Even though his friends tell him to stay away from her due to her oddness and lack of camaraderie, his fascination brings him to attempt to befriend her. After managing to engage her in a spontaneous conversation, she opens up to him. During the next several conversations, he gives her the idea to start her own group, one that would search for aliens, espers, and time travelers and "hang out" with them. She takes the suggestion and runs with it, quickly sets up a club, (forcefully) recruits members, and drags Kyon (literally) along with her. Kyon takes these changes in stride, but several revelations reveal that the new recruits, and even Haruhi herself, aren't quite how they would seem...

Although the story mainly focuses on the exploits of Suzumiya, it is told (brilliantly) through the thoughts of Kyon. His sarcastic, ironic, and generally unenthusiastic commentary on the happenings around him is where most of the comedy in the series resides. In an anime practically overflowing with interesting personalities, Kyon, normal as he is, manages to consistently be the most fascinating of the bunch, and there really is a mystery behind his existence in the group that will have viewers watching the second season as fast as they can get it. (Also, the fact that there seems to be a developing romance between him and the title female doesn't hurt anyones enthusiasm at all...)
As far as the production value goes, this anime deserves every award ever given to it and more. Fascinating storyline, stunning music, clean opening and ending credits (because synchronized dancing cracks me up every time, I find the ending to be hilarious), excellent voice acting for both languages, perfect dialog, beautifully smooth animation sequences, (does it sound like I'm raving yet? good...), etc... If there is any part of this series that you might turn your nose up at, it would probably be Haruhi's excessive and unrelenting molestation of Mikuru, or the frequent lack of action, but hey, I have to have some excuse not to give this a perfect score, right? If you like anime, any anime at all, than you owe it to yourself to give this series a watch. If you're anything like me, this series will have you hooked from the first animated frame to last. Yep, it's that good... (hmm, it would appear that good ratings lead to short reviews... oh well...)

My Rating: 9.6/10 (Masterpiece)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Black Lagoon

Full Title: Black Lagoon
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Episodes: 12
Uploaded By: Mavrik
My Age Rating: MA (Strong Language, Graphic Violence, Adult Situations, Brief Nudity)

Okajima Rokuro was an average Japanese business man resigned to his life as a footstool for his superiors to step on whenever they pleased, that is until they sent him on a "business trip" in the South China Sea to deliver a disc. One hijacking and kidnapping later, he was in the hands of a group of ruthless pirates known as the Black Lagoon. After talking with his company and realizing he was worthless for ransom, they named him Rock and allowed him to tag along with them for a little while. He eventually earned their respect and chose to become a permanent member of the group, turning his back on his old life and using his business skills to function as their negotiator. Now Rock has to try to survive heated gun battles, bloodthirsty terrorists, and, most of all, his trigger happy partner, a beautiful gunslinger named Revy, on almost a daily basis, but such is life for the underworld's newest villain in training...

If there is one thing you must have when watching this series, it's the ability to suspend your disbelief. There are many impossible scenarios and point blank gunshots that miss simply because if they didn't, the series would end without a conclusion. Just get used to the fact that Revy can put a bullet into anyone she likes from any range, but nobody can return the favor to her even at point-blank, and you're good to go. Basically, if you can watch your average Hollywood action flick without blinking, this will be no challenge. In fact, during the first episode Rock wonders aloud if he's in a movie to which Revy responds, "Don't be stupid, this is way more entertaining than Hollywood's ever going to be."

Overall, the story is enjoyable, and the characters interact incredibly well with each other, leading to some of the best dialog in any anime. The opening sequence is incredible, by far one of the best, and the ending is also worth a watch. The music for this anime is dead-on throughout, and the English voice acting is also quite good. If there is one quirk in the production, it would have to be the uneven character designs. I noticed it especially for Revy, probably because when she's on-screen, she's what I pay the most attention too. Her physical characteristics change throughout the anime depending on the angle, which may annoy some viewers (I didn't have any problem with it myself.) Anyway, despite some lack of character animation consistency, this series is lush and beautiful in its art and depictions of battle and violence. Character movement is smooth as silk during the action sequences, and the characters, especially Revy, have some pretty cool moves up their sleeves. Definitely worth a watch for anyone looking for semi-mindless, fun entertainment. When it comes to Black Lagoon, suspending your disbelief has never been so rewarding.

My Rating: 8.1/10 (Excellent)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Serial Experiments Lain

Full Title: Serial Experiments Lain
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Science Fiction, Supernatural
Episodes: 13
Uploaded By: Mavrik

My Age Rating: PG-13 (Mild Language, Violence, Adult Situations)

Lain is an ordinary school girl. She's unassuming, doesn't have very many friends, and she has a strong ability to pick up on many things others don't. She accepts the world how it is and wishes for no more. That is until a classmate kills herself by throwing herself off a building, and then starts sending emails to everyone in the class seemingly from the grave. Intrigued by the act, Lain enters the WIRED (sort of an internet...) for the first time and is surprised when everyone recognizes her. As she gets more and more involved in the WIRED, her social life picks up, and everything starts to change. Now, Lain is being followed around on the WIRED and in real life. People start telling stories of a second Lain, a more brutal version of herself. But of all the abnormal things happening around her, the strangest thing of all is the change that is happening to Lain herself, and each step she takes as she searches for answers brings her closer and closer to a truth she doesn't want to face and into the presence of a "god"...The first episode of this series bears the title of "Weird," appropriate description for the entire show. Dark, disturbing in parts, and throughly bizarre, the tale of Lain is an ocean for anyone wanting to dive into the deeper parts of anime. Each action has a consequence, and in the end, everything is wrapped up. When you reach the end, however, you may not agree with me. I assure you, it makes sense. Understanding the tale just requires an amount of brainwork not required for the usual anime. This is not for first time anime viewers and definitely not for those seeking breezy entertainment.

As for my opinion, I throughly enjoyed my run through the episodes. I enjoyed it even more when, thinking back on the series after seeing all of it, I figured out what was actually going on in the anime. The art style exhibited during the show goes for a minimalistic approach in most places. No brightness or flashy animation here, some won't like it, but I find it refreshing. The voice acting is par, and the music, or lack thereof, is as strange as the show. The opening is interesting, and the ending sequence consists of a naked (don't worry, you can't see anything...) Lain curled up in electrical cords, odd to say the least. If you want a break from the normal run-of-the-mill anime, or you desire to immerse yourself in a deep and sophisticated story, than give Serial Experiments Lain a try, but it's not for everyone.
My Rating: 7.9/10 (Very Good)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Paranoia Agent

Full Title: Paranoia Agent
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological
Episodes: 13
Uploaded By: Mavrik

My Age Rating: MA (Language, Adult Situations, Sexual Themes, Brief Nudity, Violence)

Ah yes, Paranoia Agent, an anime very near and dear to my heart. I originally came to Cartoon World searching for it, when I didn't find it I created an account, didn't say hello (I figured I wasn't going to waste anybody else's time other than those I needed to), just went right to the Download Area Requests section and asked for dubbed Paranoia Agent. Figured if they didn't respond in a day or so, I wouldn't come back. When I checked back a very short while later, Mavrik had posted promising to upload them, and two days later they were up... Come to think of it, I've never posted a personal hello from myself at Cartoon World...

From the brilliant mind of Satoshi Kon (creator of Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika) comes an anime series unlike any you've ever seen before. A boy with a bent golden bat on roller-blades is terrorizing a whole city, and it is up to two detectives, old-fashioned Keiichi Ikari and open-minded, unconventional Mitsuhiro Maniwa, to find out who he is and stop further attacks. As the series progresses, however, they soon realize what they are up against is more than just your average street punk or even a normal human for that matter, and a connection is drawn between him and the lovable pink doll Maromi. Exactly what that connection is, is for you to find out. The series mainly deals with several different kinds of mental disorders, paranoia being the unifying one in most of the main characters. Each episode follows a different character's exploits as they interact with one another and shows exactly how they got involved with the phenomenon known as Lil' Slugger. For those who wish to dive deeper into analyzing this twisted tale, their is a sociological layer underneath the main story, and even yet another historical layer to explore under that. If you want a clue as for what all Lil' Slugger represents in the anime, pay close attention to the theme song and opening sequence (which is one of my favorites.) Each episode ends with a "Prophetic Vision" from an insane (or is he?) old man seen sporadically in the background throughout the anime, it usually foreshadows the events of the coming episode in cryptic fashion.

As for my thoughts, this anime is hands down the most thought provoking I have seen. Some may find themselves confused as to what exactly is going on, and it's not an anime I would recommend to anyone not wanting to use their brains. It tough, gritty material, and it's as in your face as Kon can make it. Also, some may find themselves put off by the directors black sense of humor. Episode 8 entitled "Happy Family Planning" is disturbing storyline-wise but is played out like a joke. Also, Episode 10 of the show has very little to do with the main storyline at all. He seems to take it as an opportunity to poke fun at the anime business. (Whether or not diversions are your cup of tea, the episode is a good view...) The voice acting in this series is fantastic, and there are very few glitches in an otherwise flawless quirky animation style. I highly enjoy the opening theme, but the ending is just weird... All in all, this series is one of the best psychological shows I have come across in the world of anime, whether or not you like it depends on how you approach it. If your looking for endless fight scenes, quirky romances, or dumb comedies, you should avoid this one. If, however, you enjoy mysteries, incredible analogies, twisted quasi-moral horror stories, or you're just looking for something apart from the norm, this anime has my full recommendation.
My Rating: 8.4/10 (Excellent)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gunslinger Girl

Full Title: Gunslinger Girl
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction

Episodes: 13
Uploaded By: Mavrik

My Age Rating: MA (Language, Graphic Violence, Disturbing Themes)

Once again, a thanks to Mavrik...

Take a couple of little girls, give some excuse to have them wield heavy weapons, and turn them loose on unsuspecting bad guys, have them kill till their of no further use, then prepare another in their wake to carry on. The catch, the little girls are still, to a very incredible degree, human children. The formula for this show has been tried and true for quite awhile now in the anime realm, but rarely has a show with such feeling and depth adopted it to the degree that Gunslinger Girl does. Yeah, I watch the show to see the girl's kick a$$, but I always end up feeling sorry for them in the end. In that sense, this show is very manipulative. It plays with your emotions by taking a repugnant concept to the extreme, and then slowing down to show you exactly how far it has gone. First time viewers of anime, here is a good one for you to desensitize yourselves with. If the concept of the show doesn't bother you, then you are in for a treat. The show mainly focuses around the cyborg known as Henrietta, the newest member of the Italian Social Welfare Agency's Counter-Terrorism Section 2, and her caretaker, Giuseppe, who refuses to train her to be as emotionless as she could be, insisting instead to treat her like a normal little girl when she's not blowing terrorists brains out and snapping necks. The story revolves around the missions these girls embark on, various problems that come from Henrietta's lack of "conditioning," and the problems that arise when her accomplices handlers "condition" too much...

Overall, this anime is a beautiful sight to behold. The animation style is smooth and nearly flawless at all levels. I've never seen an anime with so much weapon detail. (Gun junkies will love this one.) The voice acting is amazing, especially for Henrietta and the lead male roles. The music can give you chills by itself without the morality checking story it flavors, and the sound of gunfire is, from what I read elsewhere, dead on. Although I'm not too big a fan of this show's credits, I find at the end of tough episodes (such as Episode 3 "Ragazzo") they give me time to reconcile my thoughts, which I appreciate. The one thing I think this anime deserves a significant level of praise for is its lack of fan-service. I always find fan-service distracting in "serious" animes, and this series definitely has many chances to exploit its characters but never sinks so low as to use such cheap tactics. Kudos to the director, and I wait anxiously for the English dub of Gunslinger Girl II: Teatrino...
My Rating: 8.6/10 (Excellent)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Elfen Lied

Full Title: Elfen Lied
Genres: Drama, Horror, Psychological, Romance, Science Fiction

Episodes: 14 (One OVA usually called Episode 10.5)
Uploaded By: Mavrik

My Age Rating: MA (Strong Language, Intense Graphic Violence, Nudity, Disturbing Themes)

First and foremost, I would like to thank Mavrik for uploading the high quality Dual-Audio of this anime, and then for going through the extra effort to get me the final episode when the link was down. Now for the review...
The anime opens with a shot of a dismembered arm twitching on the ground, and the rest of the first seven minutes of episode 1 come well equipped to let you know exactly what you're in for; blood, guts, mutilated limbs, and nudity. This anime is definitely horror to say the least, and it has no problem killing women and children in gruesome fashion either. With that as a warning, I'll begin.

Humanity is faced with a new threat, a different breed of humans are being born, one that thrives on the death and destruction of the earlier race. They are called diclonius, and they're only truely visible differentiable feature from normal humans is the horns that adorn their skulls. As is the case often though, it's what you don't see that can kill you. Each diclonius has invisible arm-like appendages of varying number and length extending from their backs capable of lifting tremendous weights, moving at incredible speeds, tearing limb from limb, passing through solid objects, and deflecting/throwing various projectiles. The story of Elfen Lied revolves around Lucy, a teenage diclonius who escapes from the facility where the new breed is kept in isolation and mercilessly experimented upon. However, during her escape her skull is grazed by a 50 caliber anti-tank rifle, and she falls into the ocean unconscious. Naked and wet, she is discovered on the beach by Kouta, a college student who is headed to his new living facility, and Yuka, his cousin. Fortunately for them, the bullet caused Lucy to fall into a state of amnesia, and all she can say is "Nyu!" The two decide to name her just that and bring her to Kouta's new home to stay with him. Things start getting sticky as the facility, who aren't happy Lucy's gone, send soldiers to find and exterminate her. Mix in a couple more diclonius, an abused runaway girl, her dog, a scientist whose only motivation to live is to make sure no other human being has to do his job, not to mention Kouta's repressed traumatic memories of his past, and things become quite a mess. On top of all this, homicidal Lucy is slowly regaining her memory...

Elfen Lied is an incredibly well written tale interwoven with the threads of loneliness, cruelty, death, greed, hate, revenge, regret, forgiveness, innocence, and, surprisingly, love. The musical score is unforgettable, the animation is some of the best I've ever seen, and the English voice acting is near perfect. Super cuteness mixed with incredibly graphic gore may puzzle/offend some people, but my only complaint against the series lies in the fact that sometimes the level of violence is unnecessary. All in all, Elfen Lied is a must see for anyone who can stomach the affair. It currently resides as number 6 on the list of my top 10 favorite anime. Watch this one folks because it rarely gets any better.

My Rating:
9.4/10 (Masterpiece)

Friday, January 18, 2008

oooo, a blog!

oops, forgot to delete this... sorry to anyone who read it, I sincerely was joking...

For an explanation to this blogs existence, it's actually just a sort of a messaging board for me to get my reviews to my buddy who then posts them at to see them in completed form go there.