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Anime of the Year 1996-I Winter - Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan


kivandopulus

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No masterpieces found, but the closest one to it in Winter 1996 is Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan 
 
1. Dragon Ball GT ドラゴンボールGT [Toei Animation] (Finished 3/64)
Tags: Shounen Super Power Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Emperor Pilaf finally has his hands on the Black Star Dragon Balls after years of searching, which are said to be twice as powerful as Earth's normal ones. Pilaf is about to make his wish for world domination when he is interrupted by Gokuu Son. As a result, Pilaf flubs his wish and accidentally turns Gokuu back into a child.
After the wish is granted, the Black Star Dragon Balls scatter across the galaxy. However, Gokuu discovers that they will cause the Earth to explode unless they are all brought back within a year. Uniting with his granddaughter Pan and a young adult Trunks, Gokuu sets off on an adventure through the universe to find the Black Star Dragon Balls and save his planet from destruction.
Granny Bruma? Now I've seen it all. Did not expect to see yet another sequel. Feels rather weak from first three episodes.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
2. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan Rurouni Kenshin るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚- [Gallop, Studio Deen] (Finished 10/94)
Tags:  Shounen Historical, Samurai Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance
In the final years of the Bakumatsu era lived a legendary assassin known as Hitokiri Battousai. Feared as a merciless killer, he was unmatched throughout the country, but mysteriously disappeared at the peak of the Japanese Revolution. It has been ten peaceful years since then, but the very mention of Battousai still strikes terror into the hearts of war veterans.
Unbeknownst to them, Battousai has abandoned his bloodstained lifestyle in an effort to repent for his sins, now living as Kenshin Himura, a wandering swordsman with a cheerful attitude and a strong will. Vowing never to kill again, Kenshin dedicates himself to protecting the weak. One day, he stumbles across Kaoru Kamiya at her kendo dojo, which is being threatened by an impostor claiming to be Battousai. After receiving help from Kenshin, Kaoru allows him to stay at the dojo, and so the former assassin temporarily ceases his travels.
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan tells the story of Kenshin as he strives to save those in need of saving. However, as enemies from both past and present begin to emerge, will the reformed killer be able to uphold his new ideals?
It's one of those decent episodic anime that are always nice to watch when it runs on TV, but at the same time I never got incentive to watch it to the end. And I can't say I enjoy it enough to give a masterpiece score. Characters are fine, moral for children is good, but it lacks real humor or concentrated story. Basically, it needs OVA-Movie story format or going it all for humor like Gintama.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
3. Detective Conan Case Closed 名探偵コナン [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 3/?)
Tags: Shounen Detective Adventure, Comedy, Mystery
Shinichi Kudou, a high school student of astounding talent in detective work, is well known for having solved several challenging cases. One day, when Shinichi spots two suspicious men and decides to follow them, he inadvertently becomes witness to a disturbing illegal activity. Unfortunately, he is caught in the act, so the men dose him with an experimental drug formulated by their criminal organization, leaving him to his death. However, to his own astonishment, Shinichi lives to see another day, but now in the body of a seven-year-old child.
Perfectly preserving his original intelligence, he hides his real identity from everyone, including his childhood friend Ran Mouri and her father, private detective Kogorou Mouri. To this end, he takes on the alias of Conan Edogawa, inspired by the mystery writers Arthur Conan Doyle and Ranpo Edogawa.
Detective Conan follows Shinichi who, as Conan, starts secretly solving the senior Mouri's cases from behind the scenes with his still exceptional sleuthing skills, while covertly investigating the organization responsible for his current state, hoping to reverse the drug's effects someday.
Can't hide my aversion towards detectives. And running such series for 30 years... is beyond my understanding. No need to say, I'll omit every single Detective Conan piece from now on.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
4. Gegege no Kitarou (1996) Spooky Kitaro ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 [Toei Animation] (Finished 3/114)
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Tags: Mythology Adventure, Supernatural
Kitarou, a ghost, spends his afterlife helping humans in need of his skills. He thwarts the plans of evil spirits who live to torment humanity. This time, Kitarou's friend Megumi is in need of his help. Her father, a botanist, went to Baruru Island to study the plant life there, and was subsequently kidnapped by evil spirits. It's up to Kitarou to save him.
I've blocked countless number of Kitarou movies already since there's hardly anything new to say about them. It has its audience - that's not me.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
5. Yuusha Shirei Dagwon Brave Command Dagwon 勇者指令ダグオン [Sunrise] (Finished 3/48)
Tags: Martial Arts, Mecha, School, Super Power Action, Adventure
A huge space monster appeared in a city and began to destroy the city. People were escaping with screaming. Among them, there were five high school students, En, Kai, Shin, Yoku, and Ryu. However, they failed to escape, and they rushed into a patrol car parked nearby. The monster was approaching to them. When they began to accept their death, the patrol car glowed blue white and disappeared into a mysterious space carrying them. When they were astonished, it was an alien that appeared in front of them. He was a Bravian who is an officer of the Space Police Organization that was responsible for the peace and order of the universe. He explained them that he was aimed at by ferocious aliens in the Space Prison Sargasso. He added that he had given them a battle machine "Dag Beagle" made by copying machines on the Earth in order to fight against Sargasso.
They turned into Dagwon by the power of Bravian, and fought against space monsters. At that moment, the patrol car came in front of En. En grew into the car and turned into the Brave Robot Dag Fire, then beaten the enemy. However, the fight between the Brave Dagwon and the felonious aliens of Sargasso had just begun.
Sunrise mecha, nothing to see here, Unbelievably horrible.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
6. Bucket de Gohan バケツでごはん [Magic Bus] (Finished 3/20)
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Tags: Anthropomorphic Comedy
The animals at Uenohara Zoo love their jobs, and their jobs involve acting like animals when human beings are watching and getting on with very human lives when they're not. Paramount among them is Ginpei the penguin, who is eternally getting into trouble with the giraffes, lions, and pandas.
Not translated. It's an average comedy with anthropomorphic animals at the zoo and a lot of antics instead of humor.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
7. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team 機動戦士ガンダム 第08MS小隊 [Sunrise] (Finished 3/12)
Tags: Mecha, Military Adventure, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
In year 0079 of the Universal Century, the Earth Federation initiates Operation Odessa—a full-scale assault to retake a major Ukrainian city from the Principality of Zeon. It is a success, and the remaining Zeon forces scatter across the globe. The Earth Federation gains the upper hand in the One Year War and deploys its ground troops around the planet to hunt down the stragglers.
As part of the deployments, Ensign Shiro Amada is transferred to Southeast Asia to take command of the 08th MS Team—a special squadron of RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type pilots. In their first guerilla operation, Shiro's team is tasked with distracting the Zeon forces while Federation ground troops locate a mysterious new Zeon weapon. Everything goes according to plan until Shiro runs into Aina Sahalin, an ace Zeon pilot he met in an earlier battle, during a skirmish. Their reunion weakens his resolve to continue fighting, and now the young commander Shiro must prove his loyalty to the Federation—or be branded a traitor.
Pure averageness, as usual for Sunrise. Its level is forever bound in the 1970s.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
8. Sonic★the★Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie ソニック★ザ★ヘッジホッグ [Pierrot] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Shounen Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Living in the wreckage of a rusty old airplane on the shimmering shores of South Island, Sonic the Hedgehog and his buddy Miles "Tails" Prower have not a care in the world. The president of Planet Freedom urgently summons the duo, but trouble is afoot when Sonic and Tails instead find the good-for-nothing Dr. Eggman lounging about his office as if it were his own.
While Sonic would prefer to scramble Eggman and move on with his day, the doctor claims not to have new plans for world domination. He instead pleads for help: the generator powering Eggman's home city of Eggmanland has been hijacked and overloaded by a mysterious menace. If left unattended, it will explode, taking both Eggman and Sonic's homes with it.
Reluctantly agreeing on the off chance Eggman is telling the truth, Sonic and Tails set out into the abyss—where an unknown yet uncannily familiar enemy lies in wait.
Never understood Sonic appeal, whether Disney or not.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
9. Fire Emblem ファイアーエムブレム [Studio Fantasia] (Finished 2/2)
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Tags: Shounen Action, Adventure, Fantasy
The Kingdoms of Dolhr, Grust, and Gra band together to wage war on the rest of the continent Archanea and defeat the Kingdom of Altea. King Cornelius is slain in battle but his son Prince Marth is able to escape the invasion thanks to the sacrifice of his older sister Elice. He and a small group of retainers find refuge on the island nation of Talys, where they spend the next three years in hiding under the royal family's protection.
Marth lives a peaceful life in Talys, enjoying the beauty of the island and the friendship of its pegasus-riding princess, Caeda. But he is uneasy, knowing soon the day will come that he must take up arms. That day arrives when Caeda comes to Marth and his retainers in a panic, telling him that the castle town has been attacked. After some close calls, they manage to defeat the assailants and save the city.
Realizing that his presence may bring further danger to his new home, Marth decides that now is the time to set off. He journeys to raise an army with which to reclaim his kingdom.
Story is very simple and RPG-like. I was glad to see how this franchise started.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
10. MD Geist II: Death Force M.D. Geist 2 装鬼兵MDガイスト2 [Zero-G Room] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Mecha, Military Action, Sci-Fi
After unleashing the Death Force machines all over the planet Jerra, Geist has kept himself busy by dismantling them one by one. But now he faces a formidable opponent in the form of Krauser, another M.D.S. (Most Dangerous Soldier) who has aligned himself as the only savior of mankind.
Somehow, I liked it even less than the original that at least had a plot and concept. Now it's very chaotic development with Geist losing like three times for some reason and all the focus on bloody visuals. It's got very messy and totally unimpressive as a result.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
11. Soreyuke! Uchuu Senkan Yamamoto Youko Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko それゆけ!宇宙戦艦ヤマモト・ヨーコ [J.C.Staff] (Finished 3/3)
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Tags: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi 
Meet Yohko Yamamoto - a cat-eyed, 15-year-old girl in the late 20th century with a love for videogames and Pocky. Because of her exceptional talent with arcade shooters, she's been recruited by Lawson to travel a thousand years into the future to pilot the prototype ship TA-29. Together with Ayano Elizabeth Hakuhoin, Madoka Midoh and Momiji Kagariya, Yohko leads the Terran team against Rouge and Ness' infamous Red Snappers in this epic space adventure.
Everything is most unserious here although I can't call it a comedy either. Feels more like hummingbirds where concept of cute female idols stands as first and space adventure competition with everything else as secondary.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
12. Boku no Marie My Dear Marie ぼくのマリー [Pierrot] (Finished 3/3)
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Tags: Seinen Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Ecchi 
Ever met the perfect girl? Did she have the perfect boyfriend? Feel like you can't compete? Why not build your own? When an amateur mad scientist attempts to build a robotic duplicate of this dream girl, Marie is the result. Of course, there are the usual unexpected complications. He built her so well that Marie has a mind of her own and a whole host of questions to go with it. The same questions that each of us ask of life. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Why do I look just like that girl over there?! Well, perhaps we don’t all have to worry about that, but Marie does!
Android girl is a wide spread concept, but usually it's about finding rather than making one. Among all the previous love triangle concepts Marie looks rather decent due to enough attention to characters and good variety in each of three episodes.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
13. Tokumu Sentai Shinesman Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman 特務戦隊シャインズマン [Production I.G] (Finished 2/2)
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Tags: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Hiroya Matsumoto, hoping to become a great employee as his late father, has just been hired at Raito (Right) Trading Company. Little does he know that he has been recruited for a very mysterious department within the company - the Special Duty Combat Unit, known as SHINESMAN. Their purpose, to fight the terrible (often times hilarious) alien forces that threaten the earth.
Like most corporate employees, Matsumoto still has meetings to attend and deadlines to meet. But when the Shinesman rage war against the alien race from Planet Voice, led by their Prince Sasaki, Matsumoto and his co-workers don their office-coloured comat Pro-suits and become: Shinesman Red, Sepia, Salmon Pink, Grey, and Moss Green.
If you thought you'd seen it all in Power Rangers, Kamen Rider, or even Dynaman, wait until you take a look at the zaney but corporate world of SHINESMAN!
Power rangers is arguably the worst concept to develop on. This attempt to make it into parody comedy centered around one corporation feels awkward and absolutely not funny.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
14. Ninja Mono Ninja Cadets Ninja者 [AIC] (Finished 2/2)
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Tags: Shounen Adventure, Comedy, Supernatural
During Japan's feudal era, there was a war between two ninja clans: the Byakuro and the Kabusu. One night, the Kabusu staged a fierce attack on the Byakuro castle in hopes of kidnapping the clan's infant princess. Their mission was foiled when a loyal ninja of the Byakuro flees the attack with the princess and disappears, eventually raising her to be a ninja. Several years later, six ninja trainees are given a mission to infiltrate the Kabusu-occupied Byakuro castle and retrieve a sacred scroll to complete their training. But their skills are put to the test when they encounter three members of the Kabusu, who use dark sorcery in an attempt to once again capture the princess - who happens to be one of the trainees.
Average lacking seriousness ninja show with some fanservice. Violent and goofy at the same time, so hard to find its target audience.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
15. Power Dolls パワードール [OLM] (Finished 2/2)
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Tags: Mecha Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In 2535 A.D., after decades of oppressive policies instituted by the Terran government, the people of the colony world Omni joined together to declare their independence from the tyranny of planet Earth. Lacking an established military or specialized weapons of warfare, the Omni rebellion seemed doomed to failure. However, by adapting the robotic Power Loaders used for unloading spaceships into man-like battle tanks, the Rebel forces instead introduced a whole new era of mechanized combat. Now, the future of the planet Omni rests upon a handful of young female pilots who serve in the special Detachment of Limited Line Service. Their code name: The Power Dolls!
Generic Gundam story as just a stage for mecha fights. It's appalling how Gundam series can't reach emotional level and involvement even of this small OVA. Making it all girl and with fanservice hurts seriousness a lot.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
16. Marriage: Kekkon Marriage Marriage ~結婚~ [Madhouse, Studio Junio, DR Movie] (Finished 2/2)
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Tags: Romance, Slice of Life 
The OVA anime release Marriage consists of two 30-minute pieces by Miki Kasamatsu on the topics of love and looking for that special someone. The first deals with a group of young women who, after being out of school for a few years, are beginning to think about settling down. However, there is one member of the group who has no prospects, and Shizuka's friends are worried that her shyness will keep Mr. Right from noticing her beauty and character.
They persuade her to join a dating service called The Wedding Club, but when her first match seems to be quite a dud, Shizuka wonders if a trip down the isle just isn't in her future. The second episode is about five sisters, only one of whom isn't married. What's more, the cool Kiyomi seems to have no interest whatsoever in finding a husband. Her sisters have other ideas, though, and when a co-worker asks her out on a date, the women convince the suitor to propose marriage that very night.This is easier said than done, however, as Kiyomi's attitude can be quite intimidating.
The young man may not end up following through with the plan, but even if he does there is no guarantee that the headstrong lady in question will say yes.
Since original is a crude dating sim, it's evident that focus would be on cuteness and stamps. Bland and generic.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
17. Teppen てっぺん [Knack Productions] (Finished 2/2)
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Tags: Action, Comedy 
Hanabishi, an extremely violent, but chivalrous delinquent, gets into fights with yakuza, other punks, and sometimes the police, gaining a feared reputation that attracts a couple admirers and antagonizes his gang-infested schools' bosses.
Not translated, as most delinquents OVAs, anyway, and I understand, why. Golden age of yakuza was in the 1970s and partially in the 1980s, so all those anime mimic drawing style of the past and deliberately avoid any complexity. Crude humor and animations, lots of violence .  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
18. Itsuka no Main: Kaminari Shounen - Tenta Sanjou! いつかのメイン 雷少年・天太参上!  [J.C.Staff] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Seinen Delinquents Action, Drama
Based on the manga by Mizuho Shuushi, the story shows a realistic portrayal of a Japanese bike gang member trying to live up to social expectations of him being a 'legend'.
Not translated. Compared to other yakuza OVAs, this one has more comedy as protagonist is relatively weak, but has to play cool. Violence level is still overwhelming as usual, but quality is higher than average yakuza show. Plus there's a bit of fantasy element as there's a guy with red eyes and snake tongue, and he even uses this tongue as a weapon.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
19. Zokuzoku Mura no Obake-tachi ぞくぞく村のオバケたち [Toei Animation] (Finished 0/12)
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Tags: Fantasy
A succession of tales taken from the 1.3-million-selling children's books by Akiko Sueyoshi and Mako Taruishi, including Ram the Mummy, Obatan the Witch, The Childish Goblin, and Kitten Ghosts Goo, Soo and Pea.
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10
 
20. Gokinjo Monogatari the Movie Neighborhood Story The Movie ご近所物語 (1996) [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Visual Arts Comedy, Drama, Romance
An alternate retelling of the beginning of the original series.
Mikako and Tsutomu lived next door to each other since they were little. They both attend an art school, where Mikako is pursuing her dream of being a fashion designer.
They formed a club called Akindo with several of their friends. Akindo participates in flea markets, where they sell their creations—clothes, dolls, and artwork.
I value gags much more than romance line here, so recap of beginning of romance line is not something I could enjoy.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
21. Chocchan Monogatari チョッちゃん物語 [Triangle Staff] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Historical Drama, Slice of Life
This feature length film is based on autobiography of Cho "Chocchan" Kuroyanagi, who is better known as the mother of an actress Tetsuko Kuroyanagi.
The story starts in pre-World War 2 Japan when Chocchan marries violinist despite the objection of both of their families. They live in poverty, have three children and are happy together. Any misfortune they face with a smile. But new obstacle for their happiness comes when the war breaks out and Chocchan's husband must leave for the front...
Not translated. You know how I treat World War 2 autobiography pieces... with a lot of prejudice. This one is a typical story with some hardships and waiting for dad to return.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
22. Pipi Tobenai Hotaru Pipi とべないホタル [Mushi Production] (Finished 0/1)
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Tags: Drama, Fantasy 
Based on the fairy tale novel series by Akira Ozawa (小沢昭巳).
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10
 
23. City Hunter: The Secret Service シティーハンタースペシャル ザ・シークレット・サービス [Sunrise] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Shounen Action, Comedy, Mystery
James McGuire has a dream. He wants to become the president of Guinam and free his people from the military rulers who have been in power up until now. However, one thing stands in McGuire's way: his past. And it's beginning to catch up with him, endangering not only his career, but the life of his long lost daughter. McGuire hires the City Hunter, Ryo Saeba and his partner Kaori to protect his daughter Anna, who herself is a Secret Service agent assigned to bodyguard the presidential hopeful.
Longer than usual City Hunter movie with a little more depth into it, but nothing out of expectations range, lost in self-repeats.  
Overall Rating: 6/10

Edited by kivandopulus

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It should be noted that 08th MS Team is easily the best Gundam up until this point, with it competing very well with the ones that came out later.  That was because the makers chose to use an adult protagonist (something that doesn't happen in the other ones), and the actual mobile suit combat was semi-realistic, making it feel like real battles rather than one-sided slaughters with mechs doing unbelievable stuff.

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No much to say in regard of Dragon Ball GT other than it's the original episode that were created by Toei as the way to milk the franchise even further, and let's just say that it failed. For Samurai X, it only adapt up to Kyoto arc before finally make the filler arc for the whole season and thus it's bombed from what I'd hear.

I have a lot of ramble about Detective Conan, particularly in regard on how Gosho also write the main story on top want to make it just as usual episodic story so it's inevitable that a lot of people who want the main story to moving up getting fed up by the episodic format (Admittedly a lot of cases in the manga that has some interesting tricks and resolutions), and for the info nowadays Gosho keep having a lot of breaks to do some research to starting wrap up the main story. If you still want to enjoy Conan for the main story here, I would suggest you to just read/glance the manga instead of watching all the anime episodes. Obviously Gosho and TMS (The studio behind Conan) won't end this franchise soon because the anime is still has the highest TV Rating in Japan.

That's all for what I can write in regard of Spring 1996 anime.

Edited by littleshogun
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