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Anime of the Year 1991-I Winter - Wizardry


kivandopulus

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Wow, I rated everything pretty low this season. Good opportunity to promote my beloved franchise with Wizardry
 
1. Trapp Ikka Monogatari The Trapp Family Story トラップ 一家 物語  [Nippon Animation] (Finished 3/40)
Tags: Childcare, Historical, Music Drama, Romance
Based on the same story that produced the classic musical 'The Sound of Music', this is the story of Maria, who leaves her life in a convent to take up the responsibility of taking care of Captain Trapp's children.
World masterpiece theater. If you can tolerate a series built around a musical... I could not for long.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
2. Taiyou no Yuusha Fighbird Brave of the Sun Fighbird 太陽の勇者ファイバード [Sunrise] (Finished 3/48)
Tags: Mecha Action, Sci-Fi
An evil alien life form, Dryus, assaulted the Earth. The leader of Space Patrol, Fighbird, pursed Dryus to the Earth. Fighbird combined with an android that Dr. Amano was developing. Fighbird named Hidori Ryutaro and fight against Dryus to protect the peace of the Earth.
At first look, he was a normal person, but because he was an alien, Fibird, his acts were a bit away from the normal persons'. Usually, he worked for Dr. Amano as an assistant. He looked uncouth always wearing while coat and glasses. However, once enemy appears, his personality changed dramatically.
Hardly anyone but Sunrise continues to release shounen mecha, so Sunrise mecha with dips into humor has become the average inside the genre. No breakthrough, as expected.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
3. Getter Robo Go ゲッターロボ號 [Toei Animation] (Finished 3/50)
Tags: Shounen Mecha, Military Action, Adventure
A new Getter robot is piloted by three youth as they combat the evil terrors that plague the world.
Reinstallment of series from 1970s and not done by Sunrise brings a lot of limitations... to the point that only a few episodes have subtitles. It can't be even considered average in 1990s. 
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
4. Kinkyuu Hasshin Saver Kids Emergency Departure Rescue Kids 緊急発進セイバーキッズ [Tokyo Movie Shinsha] (Finished 0/50)
Tags: Mecha Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Matsugorou is a vile doctor who plots out a plan to take over the world by commanding his own robotic army. The only chance the world has is a group of three brothers that make up a team called the Emergency Departure Saver Kids.
Not translated. I can get the series with some effort, but there's zero chance I could like it, so I'd prefer to skip it entirely.  
Overall Rating: 0/10
 
5. Ore wa Chokkaku おれは直角 [Pierrot] (Finished 3/36)
Tags: Comedy 
Chokkaku Ishigaki leeds a cheerful student life at the prestigious Hagi Meirinkan institution and at home in the late Tokugawa period.
Not translated. Just Edo period SOL about about a boy with comedy. Resembles Akadou Suzunosuke anime the most. Above average, but without translation is doomed.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
6. Burn Up! バーンナップ [AIC] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Detective Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Ecchi
To the unsuspecting eye Maki, Reimi and Yuka may not look like ace crime fighters, which might explain why they're stuck on traffic patrol instead of more "exciting" police duties.
All that changes when Yuka gets herself kidnapped by a white slave organization run by a politically connected businessman who's got the rest of the police cowed.
Now it's up to Maki and Reimi to don skin-tight battle armor, liberate a tank, and make sure that a certain slaver learns that when you play with fire, you're going to get your ass burned!
Pretty average action. Guess this franchise is chosen for serialization just because there's freedom of actions with a new runner while Dirty Pair needs some standards and some stamp of quality to maintain. Feels like a below average Dirty Pair movie with cut humor.    
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
7. Soujuu Senshi Psychic Wars Psychic Wars 捜獣戦士サイキック・ウォーズ [] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Seinen Mythology, Super Power, Time Travel Action
Ukyo Rettsu, a surgeon, treats a mysterous old woman for a mysterious "cancer." The growth turns out to be a messenger from the ancient past of Japan heralding a demonic invasion of the Earth. Ukyo must go back in time and fight the race of ancient demons.
Esper wars is never a good choice, adding time slip usually makes things confusing. As a result we have a trashy action, one of the lowest rated anime ever.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
 
8. Wizardry ウィザードリィ [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Action, Adventure, Fantasy 
Based on the first Wizardry game "The Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord", a group of characters enter a dungeon to confront the ultimate wizard to prevent him from reaching an unstoppable power. On their way they meet up with a few new friends who have their own battles to settle, but their paths lay together.
Watched it twice in the past already and loved it immensely, but I was playing Wizardry Online then, so might be subjective. Rewatching it now with a more critical outlook, and it looks more like a well done showcase of lore that old Wizardry games could provide, and it's not much, only enough for one OVA. Actually, can't give it a masterpiece status now. Basically, all difficult fights are won after spell of elven magician girl with some backstab move or something afterwards. Aesthetics is great, but substance is lacking, especially since I knew all lore about Verdna and world history beforehand.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
9. Mouryou Senki Madara Madara 魍魎戦記 MADARA[摩陀羅] [Studio Fantasia, animate Film] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: Shounen Mythology Adventure, Supernatural
Born of legendary origins, the young Madara has grown up in obscurity as an apprentice blacksmith. An encounter with the demonic Mouki reveals his destiny, and catapults him into the middle of a mystic quest. Madara fights for revenge with the help of freedom fighters, magical swords and Kirin, the master of the Majin. His goal is to defeat his brother and then overthrow his father, the despotic Miroku.
It looks like the first attempt to create an epic action manga and story after Dororo, must have had an influence on Berserk as this manga started publishing two years before Berserk. Overall this OVA feels rushed as there are a lot of great looking unique side-characters who should have some story behind them, but there's no time to tell it, so they are thrown as is. First part properly gives roots of story and provides a love interest, two friends and a rival. But second part brings quite a lot confusion things start to be shown without explanation. In the end I could not enjoy this anime because of half-fantasy/half-futuristic setting with artificial bodies and magic. It still could work if not the horrible ending that wasted all the accumulated epic potential. It's only natural as manga ended only in 1997, so showrunners just hastily mashed things up. This story deserved a better treatment, also at a later time.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
10. Majuu Senshi Luna Varga 魔獣戦士ルナ・ヴァルガー [AIC, Studio Hakk] (Finished 4/4)
Tags: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Ecchi
The Dunbas Empire tries to conquer the peaceful land of Rimbell. The three princesses are determined to resist the invaders, expecially the middle one, the tomboyish, sword-wielding Luna. After a magical escapade in the cellars of the castle, she finds herself embedded up to the hips in the head of a huge green reptile, the legendary Varga, and acting as its "brain." Even when in human form she has a reptilian tail. She has to fend off a very persistent giant invader and rescue her sister who has been kidnapped by a pterodactyl.
So ridiculous that any story can be neglected right away, and only comedy needs to be evaluated, and it does not impress at all.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
11. Shakotan★Boogie シャコタン★ブギ [Pierrot] (Finished 4/4)
Tags: Seinen Racing, School Action, Comedy
It's girls, gangs, and cars in this adaptation of the 1985 manga in Young Magazine, by Lullaby for Wednesday's Cinderella-creator Michiharu Kusunoki. Local punks steal cars, switch the plates, and sell them, but not without racing them for a while against rival gangs. The anime continues the story where the 1987 live-action movie starring Kazuya Kimura left off.
With such huge amount of sexist humor, it can hardy go over  average.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
12. Dragon Fist ドラゴンフィスト [Agent 21] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Shoujo Martial Arts Drama, Fantasy
The story follows Ling Fei-long, a Chinese transfer student living in Japan. Ling is the son of the leader of the White Dragon clan, one of four clans who live in the mountains of China and are descended from mythical beasts. After killing an ordinary human, Ling is banished to Japan so that he might learn about humanity and how to control his powers around them.
Pathetic melodrama about clones which rivals some of the worst anime ever made.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
 
13. Ariel Deluxe DELUXE ARIEL (エリアル) [J.C.Staff] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: Mecha Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Those incompetent aliens are still plotting to conquer the Earth! The only obstacle in their path is the giant, feminine robot ARIEL! But the young pilots have lives of their own... When Kazumi receives a mysterious love letter from a secret admirer, should she cancel her first date just to save the Earth?
Giant girl mecha is fighting giant dinosaur mecha,... that's all I need to know about this anime. Oh, and there's fanservice. Now definitely all.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
14. Makyuu Senjou Dark Warrior 魔宮戦場 [Daiei] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: Action, Sci-Fi 
When computer genius Joe Takami hacks into a top secret computer system in search of information on a mysterious girl, he gets much more than he bargained for. Now, after uncovering evidence of a secret government experiment, he's running for his life, and everyone, including his best friend and his personal computer, has turned against him. As a ruthless team of high-tech ninja follows his trail, Joe must depend upon the unpredictable powers that lie within him in order to survive. Can he find a way to evade the government assassins before they terminate the human genetic experiment named Joe Takami.
Cyborg is an ok guy , but after shock becomes a muscular berserk, pretty much everything else is trashy fighting and gore .  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
15. Be-Bop Kaizokuban Be-Bop 海賊版 [Toei Animation] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Seinen Delinquents, School Comedy
Based on a parody manga of Be-Bop Highschool.
I found it disgusting in so many ways. With only couple minutes per sketch it does not even feel integral.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
16. Phantom Yuusha Densetsu ファントム勇者伝説 [Magic Bus] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Seinen Military Action, Drama
Yazawa, a Japanese pilot, suffers a crash in his Phantom jetfighter. After a six month recovery, his old friend from an airplane magazine wants him to investigate the appearance of a Phantom in an armed conflict in El Salvador. Yazawa's investigations makes him wind up in an international arms conspiracy. Based on a series of military fiction novels.
I tried to find any elements that could justify it even a little, and passable visuals is the only thing I found not appalling here.  
Overall Rating: 2/10
 
17. Samuraider: Nazo no Tenkousei サムライダー 謎の転校生  [-] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Samurai Action, Drama
In a combination of samurai movies and Bomber Bikers of Shonan, Tokyo street punk Masao buys a treasured FZR "katana" motorcycle and becomes a knight of the road, attacking criminals with a genuine katana sword.
Biker with katana, even two if we also take the neighboring guy the protagonist imitated. Overall, very silly, aimless and chaotic, can't even call it humor, to be honest.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
18. Bousou Sengokushi 暴走戦國史 [-] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: Action 
Modern-day bikers make and break alliances with neighboring gangs, fight over the right to use a local petrol station, and are eventually united under a powerful leader. It's a replay of the events of Japan's 16th-century civil war, but with bikes instead of horses and knives instead of swords. Based on the manga by Jiro Ueno in Weekly Playboy.
Not translated. No humor. Why should I be interested in biker parody of medieval civil war... Let's assume I am. Characters are ugly. There's a huge number of them. Both OVA take less than 90 minutes. The whole point of civil war is in complexity. What's the point of biker parody is beyond my understanding. There's a huge number of much better done Sengoku parodies later on.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
19. Kumo ni Noru 雲にのる [J.C.Staff] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: Seinen Action
In a Buddhist heaven where saints fight over turf in the clouds, Nio-maru searches for the younger sister torn from him in an aircraft accident back in the human world.
Not translated. Another weird OVA about giants, gods and oni and protagonist who does not care who to make love to. Ecchi tag is a must have here, if there was no semblance of plot I'd even call it hentai for the sheer amount of H events and nudity. Plot is silly to the point that it's amusing to watch, but it's one huge nonsense, so I'd say don't bother. .  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
20. Judo-bu Monogatari 柔道部物語 [Studio Deen, Daume] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: School Sports
Based on the same name manga by Kobayashi Makoto.
Not translated. Protagonist gets a harsh welcome at judo club when he applies, but he keeps practicing, eventually mastering a deadly throw that allows him to protect himself from hooligans. As you can see, it's super simple and with only faint smell of humor, so zero point in watching it.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
21. Shounen Ashibe 少年アシベ [Pony Canyon] (Finished 0/6)
Tags: Comedy 
After moving to a new town, a young boy comes across a lone baby seal. They become fast friends and enjoy everyday life together.
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10
 
22. Mobile Suit Gundam F91 機動戦士ガンダムF91 [Sunrise] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Mecha, Military, Space Drama, Sci-Fi
In the year 123 of the Universal Century, skirmishes between the Federation government and the rebel group Crossbones Vanguard echo across Earth's space colonies. One of these small battles breaks in the hometown of young Seabook Arno, forcing him and his friends to flee and ensnaring them in the political turmoil that is quickly evolving into an all-out war.
Seabook meets Cecily Fairchild, granddaughter of the aristocrat Meitzer Ronah, who seeks to create a new political power called "Cosmo Babylonia." Using the Crossbone Vanguard as its muscle, the Ronah family schemes to restore aristocratic rule and establish an economic system that will benefit the nobility, thus devastating the quality of life for the common people of the Earth Sphere.
Seabook is tasked with piloting the Gundam F91, a mobile suit created by his mother, and must choose between protecting the status Federation's status quo or cooperating with Cecily to find a better way of life for all.
A bit of fresh air, and a lot of stale everything else. Jumps in narration and underdeveloped characters disappoint the most.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
23. Ushiro no Shoumen Daare Who's Left Behind? うしろの正面だあれ [Mushi Production] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Historical Drama
Kayoko is a young girl in 1940, just starting first grade. She's a bit of a crybaby, which is no secret to those around her. She loves playing with friends and singing cute schoolyard chants, and occasionally having fun with her three older brothers. Her mother is pregnant, and so she looks forward to being a big sister, only partially understanding the responsibility that might bring. Meanwhile, the war effort is growing, and it`s only the natural thing to do to be patriotic and support the country...
Kayoko goes so far as to contribute her favorite dolly, whose materials could help build explosives. Time passes, and as she grows older, Kayoko sees how the war has affected her life and those around her. Nothing can prepare her for 1945, however, and the bleak times that are soon to come. Based on original creator Kayoko Ebina's real life experience during World War 2 on Showa era.
Dream scene must have influenced Spirited Away by Miyazaki. As for the rest... children sing a lot of songs and play. I don't like this anime as both kids and adults know that their country is allied with Nazi Germany in Axis , everyone lives miserably and still doll is sacrificed for this cannibalistic regime to create explosives and kill more good people. Idiocy should not equal patriotism .  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
24. Dorami-chan: Wow, The Kid Gang of Bandits ドラミちゃん アララ・少年山賊団! [-] (Finished 0/1)
Tags: Fantasy
-
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10

Edited by kivandopulus

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From what I read Wizardry itself is a game that can be said as the source of all RPG element alongside Ultima, and most of Wizardry game are never localized which caused the fans to resort of fan translation in order to understand the text. Oh yes in here the player also need to draw the map, and it won't be quite easy to do seeing that there's a lot of traps and teleporter (Not to mention the enemies that can kill your party even if you're being careful). Atlus did try to made Etrian Odyssey in order to make a homage of Wizardry here by having the player to draw the map on the touch screen of DS, and judging from the reaction of the player it seems to be quite successful (Especially when they feel that the enemies in Etrian Odyssey are quite hard).

As for Who's Left Behind movie, I think the casts here is just want to live normally and thus obviously want to support their country as much as possible, especially with the policy in 1940's Japan and how they back then want to be seen as superior compared to Allies as evident on how they cheer that Japan will beat both England and USA (It help that there's numerous propaganda back at that time). Of course though back then they (Or rather the government) won't know that they'd receive two atomic bombings, so obviously the citizen didn't understand the horror of war (And how Japan did support Nazi is actually the mistake). In the end, whether you see that Japanese citizen is stupid to be easily eaten by propaganda or feeling sorry because they don't understand on how their country basically dragged the citizen to the terrible war is to each of their own.

That's all for what I can say in regard of Winter 1991 anime.

Edited by littleshogun
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