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Anime of the Year 1994-I Winter - Shonan Junai Gumi!


kivandopulus

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Shonan Junai Gumi! is the only minor masterpiece discovered in Winter 1994.
 
1. Akazukin Chacha Red Riding Hood Chacha 赤ずきんチャチャ [Gallop] (Finished 3/74)
Tags: Shoujo Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Akazukin Chacha is the story of a young magical girl (Mahō Shōjo) named Chacha. Living with her guardian in a cottage on Mochi-mochi mountain is Seravi, who is her teacher and also the fictional world's greatest magician. Chacha is clumsy in casting her spells because, throughout the anime, when she summons something, it often turns out to be something that she didn't mean to cast, for example, spiders (kumo) instead of a cloud (also kumo). At times in the anime when she and her friends are in trouble, however, her spells do work. Living on the same mountain is a boy gifted with enormous strength named Riiya. It is described that Riiya came from a family of werewolves who can instantly change into a wolf whenever they want. Quite far from Mochi-mochi mountain lies Urizuri mountain. Dorothy, also a well known magician in her land, lives in a castle on Urizuri mountain. Living with her is Shiine, her student. Shiine is adept when it comes to casting spells. He is a young wizard and most of his knowledge about magic was taught to him by Dorothy.
Story is pretty much non-existent as it's just magician school stage and some evil emperor or something sending some nasties. Each episode follows the same pattern - stage changes, but there's usually no story or plot in each episode, just by the end there's some usual five-second fight that is preceded by transformation. Characters are ok, but are very young , like - I dunno - 8 years old, so they act irrationally and just fool around. So everything this anime really stands out for is humor. There's high density or slapstick humor. It's absolutely random and senseless. If I try to retell some gag in words or try to analyze what's happening on the screen, I inevitably feel stupid. I'm happy that it works for so many people, but I get tired too fast of senseless humor and I can't just turn off the head. I'm not enjoying this.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
2. Nanatsu no Umi no Tico Tico and Friends 七つの海のティコ [Nippon Animation] (Finished 3/39)
Tags: Adventure, Slice of Life
Nanami Simpson is a young girl. Her mother dies when she is young, and she goes to live with her father, Scott Simpson, on board a marine research vessel, the Peperonchino. Her father is a marine biologist, and he is in search of a creature known as the glowing whale. When he finds the bones of one of these, he is saddened, and resolves to change his mission toward preserving and caring for the creatures. Nanami befriends an Orca which she names Tico, and she goes swimming with it every day. Eventually, she learns to breathe underwater which astounds her father. Nanami nearly drowns one day, and one of the glowing whales saves her from certain death and returns her to the vessel, where her father finally gets to see it.
I'm incompatible with World masterpiece series. This one is based on original scenario, so has more emotions and appeals better to children audience, but for me it's still a childish story about animals .  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
3. Yuusha Keisatsu J-Decker Brave Police J-Decker 勇者警察ジェイデッカー [Sunrise] (Finished 3/48)
Tags: Detective, Mecha Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Grade schooler Yuuta Tomonaga stumbles upon Deckerd, a humanoid robot under construction by the Japanese police, built to fight advanced forms of crime. Yuuta's constant contact with Deckerd gives the robot a "heart," or personality; when Yuuta is recruited as the "boss" of the "Brave Police" as a result, a true human/robot partnership occurs.
I loathe it as a part of Sunrise series that includes a dozen of same horrible mecha. Still I wanted to see, maybe humor got better or characters got likeable for once... nope, everything is same primitive as always in Sunrise mecha, the only problem is that it's not 70s anymore and quality level is the same as in the 70s.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
4. Shonan Junai Gumi! 湘南純愛組!  [J.C.Staff, Life Work] (Finished 5/5)
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Tags: Delinquents, School Action, Comedy
Eikichi Onizuka and Ryuji Danma are members of infamous biker duo, the Oni Baku. When not out riding around, they can be found in school, trying to pick up young women. This is the story of the young Onizuka, who would later become the greatest teacher in Japan, and his partner Ryuji in their quest to lose their virginity and reach maturity.
They are widely feared bosozoku, and are known for their tenacity and viciousness in a fight. However, this lifestyle does not exactly endear them to the opposite gender, so they decide to change their ways. However, this is easier said than done.
Shounen Onizuka is more about violence and girls, and less about humor, and in this regard it definitely loses to Kyou kara Ore wa as paragon of delinquent comedy. Shounen Onizuka is enjoyable , but after first great episode, middle ones are weaker, and that in the end determines inferiority vs Kyou kara Ore wa and a whole point penalty in score .  
Overall Rating: 7/10
 
5. Genocyber ジェノサイバー [Artmic] (Finished 5/5)
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Tags: Gore, Mecha, Psychological Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
As the nations of the world begin to merge, world peace is threatened by the private armies of individual corporations. The Kuryu Group has just discovered a weapon that will tip world power in their favor. The Genocyber: a nightmarish combination of cybernetics and psychic potential. Many desire to control this monstrosity, but can its hatred be contained... Battle erupts, and the cyberpunk world of the future is about to explode with violence.
It should have been called Genocyder as it has enough of genom, enough of genocyde, but lacks in cyber department. There's not much to see here besides the gore.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
6. Final Fantasy Legend of the Crystals: Final Fantasy ファイナルファンタジー [Madhouse] (Finished 4/4)
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Tags: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
A continuation of the events from Final Fantasy V. 200 years after Bartz and his friends saved two worlds from the threat of ExDeath, a threat arises and seeks to take the Crystals for itself. Linaly, a descendant of Bartz, and her friend/protector Prettz journey to the Temple Of Wind to seek the source of this new danger.
FFV has the most boring story from all the plot titles of the franchise that start with 3rd. This sequel is set in the future and nothing more clever is invented than just devote each episode to crystal resembling nature element or similar symbol. In this regard it could easily be Dragon Quest sequel with a bit of tuning. The biggest problem is using new horrible and undeveloped characters. This stuff's rather basic and not giving anything in return for invested time.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
7. Plastic Little プラスチックリトル [animate Film] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Mecha, Military Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Ecchi
Set on the planet Yietta, whose colonists make their living by exploiting the planet's unique liquid-gas oceans, Plastic Little begins as the Yietans are finally about to pay off their debts to the Galactic Federation. Unfortunately, there are those who would rather not let Yietta slip through their fingers...
Enter Tita, 17 year old captain of the Cha Cha Maru. Together with her crew, Tita specializes in capturing Yietta's exotic life forms for intergalactic pet shops, but through plain bad luck she finds herself, instead, at the core of a sinister plot to take over Yietta! By rescuing 16 year old Elysse from the very clutches of the military, Tita puts the lives of both herself and her crew in mortal peril... but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!
As the plotters mobilize their forces in a desperate bid to retrieve Elysse, whom they believe possesses a vital computer code, Tita must play a dangerous game of tag with an entire army of professional killers! It's Cat and Mouse on a planetwide scale, with one crucial difference: Mice don't shoot back, but Tita's does!
For everyone who is aware of Satoshi Urushihara name it's evident that girls and fanservice are going to be in focus and plot will be there just to connect those events. I was surprised to know there's just four such events, but length is also just 47 minutes, and half of it has to be devoted to resolution, thus my initial assumption is confirmed. I don't consider "plot" to bear any real value, so I just can't recommend this OVA .  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
8. Dirty Pair Flash ダーティペアFLASH [Sunrise] (Finished 6/6)
Tags: Detective Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Ecchi
Kei and Yuri were originally junior auxiliary agents in the Worlds Works and Welfare Agency (W.W.W.A. or 3WA for short) when the two were paired together under the codename "Lovely Angels." Kei was coming off her fourth probation for something she had done, and Yuri's dating exploits were common knowledge, not to mention the two had an instant dislike for each other when they met.
At first, Kei and Yuri refused to work with each other, and Kei even resigned from the 3WA. Afterwards, the two continued to work together, although they earned their nickname, "the Dirty Pair" because of all the collateral damage the two (unintentionally) cause in the completion of their cases. And even though the two now get along with one another, they continue to bicker and complain to each other.
Although it is often said that these are younger versions of the original Lovely Angels Kei and Yuri, in truth this series is an alternate universe telling of Dirty Pair, set in the years 2248-49.
Several average movies and OVAs have tarnished Dirty Pair reputation to an extent after impressive initial series, so they are trying new things as younger Key and Yuri can be placed in a different stage like one city as well. But it all broke up for me with the magical girl transformation scene for each of the heroines in the first episode... why? Series had couple fanservice-enticing episodes, but now fanservice becomes the focus of the OVA with heroines degraded to the level of light-minded schoolgirls. It can bring some new audience, but inevitably averts old-school one .  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
9. Giant Robo Gaiden Ginrei Giant Robo: Ginrei Special ジャイアントロボ外伝 GinRei 銀鈴 [Phoenix Entertainment] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Shounen Mecha, Parody, Super Power Comedy, Sci-Fi, Ecchi
In episode one, Ginrei's dress is stolen, only to be used to fool the enemy. The second episode deals with a giant robot made exactly in her image. Finally, the third episode concerns Tetsugyu and Ginrei investigating a lost research team in a "wild west" desert setting.
I did not like the original that was supposed to have some substance, so it is futile to hope I'd like specials. It's not half as bad as Sunrise mecha, but calling it decent is hardly possible as well - with all the fanservice involved here it's rather indecent.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
10. Koukou Butouden Crows Crows 高校武闘伝 クローズ [Knack Productions] (Finished 2/2)
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Tags: Shounen Delinquents, School Action
Bouya Harumichi is a new transfer student to Suzuran all-boys high school, a place where only the worst delinquents assemble. Due to its large amount of delinquents who are hated by the general people for their inauspiciousness, similarly to crows, it is also known as "Crows High School."
Harumichi is an insanely strong fighter but has an irresponsible personality. How will he act in this new environment where everyone is a delinquent?
A decent delinquents anime. It manages to stay unserious, focuses on violence and lacks real humor at the same time. My preferences in the genre are quite the opposite - serious attitude, focus on girls equally as violence and substantial humor.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
11. Natsuki Crisis なつきクライシス  [Madhouse] (Finished 2/2)
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Tags: Martial Arts, School Action
Natsuki is the top female karateka in her high school. Beautiful and cheerful, she charms most people she meets. Most of the young men in her class would dearly like to be the object of her affection but she saves her passion for karate. Unfortunately, all the big ugly thugs she comes across want to fight her so she's always finding practical application for her karate skills. As the series continues and her opponents get grimmer, Natsuki learns techniques from Akido and Judo and develops a special Ki energy blast that doubles the strength of her punches. She may not be able to smash walls like some of her opponents but her special N.G. Bomber usually sends her opponents flying.
Seriously... the whole anime is to watch at staged karate fights and pantsu flashes? Because there's nothing besides it, that's nowhere above average.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
12. Compiler  [Studio Fantasia] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
When a world of 2-D beings discovers the existence of our universe, they send a team of beautiful Domni-Matrixes into our world to prepare it for total integration. However, once liberated from their flat and dreary 2-D existence, Compiler and Assembler quickly discovered that cybersex with a couple of 3-D guys is a lot more fun than world conquest. Now, in between interfacing with their boyfriends, Assembler and Compiler must protect the Earth from being deleted by their former masters and an army of killer programs.
It's not recommended, because it's not self-sufficient OVA as actual story should have been cancelled or never issued with manga supposedly popular. Basically, it's two very different specials for... nothing.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
13. B.B. Fish B.B. フィッシュ [Production I.G] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Seinen Drama, Romance 
At the time of the ceremony of entry to the college, a young boy named Ushino Hayama finds Sara a girl whom he met ten years ago. From this day, a change has taken place in him, and notices that can now control some water. After having succeeded the swimming championships, he discovers deep sea diving.
Will he find legendary fish or will he not over the course of 25 minutes?! Intrigue we deserve. Plus some fanservice  
Overall Rating: 2/10
 
14. Kibun wa Uaa Jitsuzai OL Kouza 気分は形而上[うああ] 実在OL講座 [Group TAC] (Finished 0/1)
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Tags: Seinen Comedy 
Follows an office lady who expresses the phrase "Uaa" when in a state of emotional disbelief in situations above her head—which is quite frequent in the office, while dating, and when out on the town with friends.
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10
 
15. Slam Dunk (Movie) スラムダンク [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Shounen School, Team Sports 
Sakuragi and the Shohoku team takes on Oda and Takezono High School. This is Sakuragi's second match as he faces Oda, a basketball player who went to the same junior high.
Calling 29 minute special a movie is kinda... wrong? But we get a match !... as expected from any spokon? I hope creators milked enough money for something useful with this filler fraud 
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
16. Kattobase! Dreamers: Carp Tanjou Monogatari かっ飛ばせ! ドリーマーズ -カープ誕生物語-  [Madhouse] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Team Sports
This cartoon tells the story of the establishment of a famous baseball team in Japanese history...
Not translated. Anyone wanted to see poor kids train in the field on pure enthusiasm? I doubt anyone ever wanted that...  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
17. Nakazaki Tatsuya Super Gag Theater I 中崎タツヤスーパー ギャグシアター I [Shin-Ei Animation] (Finished 0/1)
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Tags: Adult Cast, Gag Humor Comedy
An adaptation of various short gag manga by Tatsuya Nakazaki. Aired as a single TV special featuring twenty-five short stories.
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10

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Tico and Friends - Like you say it's another World Masterpiece Theater, although this time it's not adapted from any Western literature but instead it's the original story from the production team themselves, which predictably lead to some divisive moment because some fans can't simply accept the series of World Masterpiece Theater from the original story. It's also broadcasted in Indonesia, although I just find out about it through Youtube comment instead of watch it directly.

Final Fantasy Legend - The reason on why people play FFV is not for the story anyway, but instead it's just for the gameplay in which it's drastic improvement of the Job System gameplay from III and if I'm right the Job System from FFV would be the basic for future Job System in future FF with some tweak. When it come to anime adaptation, obviously IV or VI would be better option when it come to the old game that should be adapted. Then again, I see that the staffs might be just want to make the OVA so the sequel of FFV should be sufficient enough (Although it may alienated the original fans of FFV).

Akazukin Cha Cha - It was broadcasted in Indonesia, and I remember I watch it at each Saturday morning. Obviously the anime staff here want to compete with Sailor Moon so much that they made Cha Cha as transforming magical girl in which it's not happen in the manga, and from what I see the manga is just another gag manga with Cha Cha failure on magic (Well okay there's a lot of it in the anime as well). Obviously other than try to compete with Sailor Moon, the staffs here did make Cha Cha as transforming magical girl simply to allow them to do less animation work for each of the episodes because they can just insert the transformation scene for each episodes.

That's all for what I can comment in regard of Winter 1994 anime.

Edited by littleshogun
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