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Anime of the Year 1997-III Summer - Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion



I ended up giving the same masterpiece scores to Mononoke Hime and Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion , but the latter prevails as it's more psychological. 
1. Rekka no Honoo Flame of Recca 烈火の炎 [Pierrot] (Finished 3/42)
Tags: Shounen Martial Arts, Super Power Action, Adventure
Most people think that ninjas are a thing of the past, but Rekka Hanabishi wishes otherwise. Although he comes from a family that makes fireworks, he likes to think of himself as a self-styled, modern-day ninja. Sounds like fun, right? Maybe not. Rekka ends up in lots of fights because he once made the bold announcement that if someone can defeat him, he will become their servant.
Then one day, Rekka meets Yanagi Sakoshita, a gentle girl with the ability to heal any wound or injury. Their meeting sets off a chain of events, which culminate into a shocking discovery. Rekka is the last surviving member of a legendary ninja clan that was wiped out centuries ago. Even more astonishing than being an actual ninja, he also wields the power to control fire. What does this mean for Rekka? Who are these strange people after him and Yanagi? Find out in Rekka no Honoo!
Even prior to watching it, Rekka no Honoo reminded Yu Yu Hakusho a lot. As it starts in school, similarities only multiply. Pretty sure Yu Yu Hakusho fans will like this one, but even though I prefer ninja theme to spirits , this anime remains action shounen, and I need additional complexity in something to appreciate those.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
2. Misute♡naide Daisy Don't Leave Me Alone, Daisy みすて♡ないでデイジー [Studio Deen] (Finished 3/12)
Tags: Shounen Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi
The story begins when an innocent, but busty, young schoolgirl goes to recover her hat from what she thought was an abandoned house. But within that house, spying on her, is a deranged madman. Seeing her he becomes obsessed with controlling her, owning her, bending her to his every whim. He, and his array of high tech tools, will threaten her with death, mutilation, control, humiliation and the loss of her own will and identity. Terrors biological, chemical and nuclear will come into play in the nightmare that is her new, controlled, life.
Not funny, offensive and scary. I really believe that this series can be harmful, thus it can only be not recommended score.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
3. Ninpen Manmaru 忍ペンまん丸 [Shin-Ei Animation] (Finished 1/30)
Tags: Shounen Anthropomorphic, Samurai Comedy
Manmaru goes to ninja school at Nenga, where foxes and raccoons study the art of assassination under a bear ninja master. He is soon thrown in to local rivalry between the Nenga school, the Koga (monkeys), and the Iga (dogs), as well as facing temptations from the Dobe, a group of dropouts from the Nenga.
Only one episode is translated. Humor is actually good even though partly absurd, content is light, but not childish. There are two stories in the episode, so it's one of those comedy SOL goodies  .  
Overall Rating: 6/10
4. Rayearth Magic Knight Rayearth OVA レイアース [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Isekai Action, Adventure, Fantasy
The Earth lies darkened and deserted. Despite the best efforts of the film's heroine, Hikaru, the evil-filled castle of Cephiro has taken over the world and stands in the center of a lifeless Tokyo. Before the ice-witch Alcyone can take her revenge on Hikaru, she is rescued by Lantis, a young man who seals her into a magical maze where she is challenged to prove her powers while her friends are hunted down by Cephiro's warlocks.
Fleeing through the silent city, Umi and Fuu must seek out the sleeping Mashin; godlike creatures that will fuse with them to form giant warriors of awesome destructive power. But the Magic Knights are afraid, untrained and alone... will even the Mashin be enough to save them from the evil acts of Cephiro?
It's like movie X 1999, just with Rayearth characters. A rather strange alternative story as first episode is nice and cool, the rest two are very confusing. Some explanations are only given at the very end when impression is already negative.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
5. B'T X Neo B’T X(ビート・エックス) NEO  [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 3/14)
Tags: Shounen Action, Adventure
Continuation of Teppei's journey with B't X to rescue his brother Kotaro Takamiya from the Machine Empire. The OAV series picks off from the TV series from the point where Hokuto successfully saves both Teppei and B't X and makes B't X far more powerful than before.
Horrible, same as prequel. Now it looks like Saint Seya even more...  
Overall Rating: 5/10
6. Dennou Sentai Voogie's★Angel Voogie's Angel 電脳戦隊ヴギィ'ズ★エンジェル [J.C.Staff] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Mecha, Military Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
A hundred years after Earth is invaded by aliens, the last remnants of the human race dwell in underwater "Aqua Bases." A team of five cybernetically enhanced women is trained for the purpose of carrying out guerilla attacks against the occupying forces. Earth's last hope for salvation is...Voogie's Angels.
Quite generic action story with busty sword android maidens and some flashbacks into their humanity side. Hardly any depth is felt.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
7. Soreyuke! Uchuu Senkan Yamamoto Youko II Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko II それゆけ!宇宙戦艦ヤマモト・ヨーコⅡ [J.C.Staff] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 
There is an ancient legend on a distant planet which states (among other things) that four goddesses will one day descend from the skies and all will be right with the world.
Of course meanwhile, Yohko and the rest of the Terra team (with one straggler) have crashed on a backwater world, and they have to figure out a way off before their new charge... gets hungry again!
Every so often, a celebration takes place in one of the most beautiful places in the Universe... a cosmic Sakura fest! Since the Terra Team has been doing so well, one of them is invited to join the high command as they meet their opposite numbers from NESS. It's a time of celebration and a time of peace... but it seems that someone didn't get the message.
Prequel was totally unserious yet not very funny. In short OVA episodes trend for fanservice, poor humor, randomness, useless competition , discrete subplots has become even stronger, and the result is such that I can't care about it all even in the least.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
8. Princess Rouge プリンセス・ルージュ [J.C.Staff] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: Fantasy, Romance 
Yusuke, an orphan, literally has Rouge, the amnesiac oldest daughter of the Underworld's deposed royal family, fall out of the sky into his lap. She is soon followed by her two younger sisters and also their family's enemies. Rouge must decide if she wants her memory to return, while Yusuke must deal with the upheavals in his life the Princesses have caused.
Reskin of My Goddess without anything memorable and too short to make a stand.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
9. Chou Kousoku Gran Doll Hyper Speed GranDoll 超光速グランドール [Zero-G Room] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Mecha, School Action, Comedy
Hikaru has always believed herself to be just a normal high school girl...well, as normal as a teenager with a genius mad scientist for a father. She spends her time with her best friend, day dreaming about the boy she loves and watching her favoite super hero show. One day, the past that she has knows nothing about comes back to haunt her. She is shocked to learn that she is the last surviving member of royal line from a far away planet. Even more, she finds out that she has been protecting the ultimate armour and that it can decide the fate of the entire galaxy.
Again a strange aimless mashup of elements in a few short OVA episodes. The director of this mess with constantly shifting scenes should be ashamed. When show hurts to watch it, it's not recommended score.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
10. Dragoon 竜機伝承  [Magic Bus] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy 
In the great Garubado Empire, a lethal weapon is in the process of being manufactured, but is stolen and subsequently lost in battle. Now the Empire is looking for this weapon: a girl that can call forth the "Dragoon" power. She has amnesia and is found by a wandering swordsman in training by who vows to help her find out who she is and why she has such a strange power.
A beautiful, logical in narration and easy to watch fantasy OVA is already a treat after all those useless parody shows. Coming from RPG game, story is rather simple and OVA basically ends as soon as full party gathers, so decent is all it can be called.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
11. Shin Shounan Bakusouzoku Arakure Knight 新・湘南爆走族 荒くれKNIGHT [-] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: Delinquents Adventure
The story is centered around leader of the third generation of Bomber Bikers of Shonan 
Not translated. It's of lower visual quality than Shounan Bakusouzoku , but a whole head higher than a typical delinquents anime. The same nice mix of seriousness, coolness and goofiness is present. I don't favor delinquents genre, so I won't be sad if it's never translated, but it feels like a good candidate for translation.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
12. Mononoke Hime Princess Mononoke もののけ姫 [Studio Ghibli] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Action, Adventure, Award Winning, Fantasy
When an Emishi village is attacked by a fierce demon boar, the young prince Ashitaka puts his life at stake to defend his tribe. With its dying breath, the beast curses the prince's arm, granting him demonic powers while gradually siphoning his life away. Instructed by the village elders to travel westward for a cure, Ashitaka arrives at Tatara, the Iron Town, where he finds himself embroiled in a fierce conflict: Lady Eboshi of Tatara, promoting constant deforestation, stands against Princess San and the sacred spirits of the forest, who are furious at the destruction brought by the humans. As the opposing forces of nature and mankind begin to clash in a desperate struggle for survival, Ashitaka attempts to seek harmony between the two, all the while battling the latent demon inside of him. Princess Mononoke is a tale depicting the connection of technology and nature, while showing the path to harmony that could be achieved by mutual acceptance.
For me it was reinvention of Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä which results in a well done one yet a secondary product. Can't rate it too high since it's not intellectual.  
Overall Rating: 8/10
13. Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン劇場版 THE END OF EVANGELION [Gainax, Production I.G] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Mecha, Psychological Avant Garde, Drama, Sci-Fi
Shinji Ikari is left emotionally comatose after the death of a dear friend. With his son mentally unable to pilot the humanoid robot Evangelion Unit-01, Gendou Ikari's NERV races against the shadow organization SEELE to see who can enact their ultimate plan first. SEELE desires to create a godlike being by fusing their own souls into an Evangelion unit, while Gendou wishes to revert all of humanity into one primordial being so that he can be reunited with Yui, his deceased wife.
SEELE unleashes its military forces in a lethal invasion of NERV headquarters. As SEELE's forces cut down NERV's scientists and security personnel, Asuka Langley Souryuu pilots Evangelion Unit-02 in a desperate last stand against SEELE's heaviest weaponry.
The battle rages on, and a depressed Shinji hides deep within NERV's headquarters. With the fate of the world resting in Shinji's hands, Captain Misato Katsuragi hunts for the teenage boy as society crumbles around them.
Death and Rebirth had a 25-minute preview of The End of Evangelion, so new content starts roughly from 30th minute. I can't praise movie for what the series was as it's very different content. Movie is mostly shocking visuals and action in the first half and at the moment of confrontation flashbacks with dive into psychological traumas begin anew to initiate Rebirth. The more difficult question is what score it deserves. I only slightly enjoyed it. The message is sort of cheesy and includes some exaggerations, but at least it's positive and anti-suicidal. It's a good final point that gives all the answers that I needed - the aftermath of humankind, the aftermath of main characters and the meaning behind creating EVA. So any further works aren't needed and can only move horizontally. Slight enjoyment and satisfactory end can amount to 8.   
Overall Rating: 8/10
14. Slayers Great スレーヤーズぐれえと [J.C.Staff] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Shounen Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Laia Einburg wants for her father Galia, who is a talented golom maker, and her equally ambitious brother Huey to end a long running feud. But her luck changes for the worse when Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent save Laia from a rampaging golem.
Full party provides variation while all these stories together with Naga inevitably become manzai duo comedy of some sort.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
15. Jungle Taitei Movie (1997) Jungle Emperor Leo [Tezuka Productions] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy 
This movie focuses on the last half of Osamu Tezuka's revered saga of a white lion's quest to become king of the jungle. Leo's newborn cub, Lune, takes an interest to humans after discovering a music box in the wreckage of an airplane. At the same time, a greedy treasure hunter known as Ham Egg is leading an expedition team of rough-looking men on a trek for the fabled Moonlight Stones, which can supposedly save the world from an energy crisis. Two other humans, (who go by the rather wacky names of Dr. Moustache and Lemonade) try to stop Ham Egg's mad destruction of the jungle. Later, a terrible virus sweeps through the jungle, poisoning many of the animals. Dr. Moustache comes to save them with a cure. The film culminates with a treacherous journey up the legendary Mt. Moon in search of the stones....
Osamu Tezuka had a lot of his works censored to become less serious and more childish, so this is just another such attempt to restore initial concept of the work. It's above average in its category of family friendly anime movies, but overall it would be lower.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
16. Cutey Honey Flash: The Movie キューティーハニーF(フラッシュ) [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Adventure, Comedy, Romance 
Honey Kisaragi is a perfectly normal beautiful high school student. Until her scientist father is kidnapped by the evil organization Panther Claw, that is. But her father left behind a device she can use to transform into the red-haired sword-wielding heroine Cutey Honey.
I expected to see yet another episode, just a longer one, and that's exactly what I got.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
17. Xiao Qian A Chinese Ghost Story チャイニーズゴーストストーリー小倩 [Triangle Staff] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Romance 
A Chinese Ghost Story is a movie that follows a young man named Ning. After the loss of his girlfriend he works as a debt collector to forget his troubles only to encounter more than he had imagined. Accompanied by his constant companion Solid Gold, Ning ends up in a ghost town and from there the adventure ensues. This movie explores some of China`s myths and fantasies as the viewer is taken through a world of drama, romance, and battles between good and evil.
A Chinese ghost story musical about national myths with a wide use of dated 3D graphics... very niche.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
18. Chikyuu ga Ugoita Hi 地球が動いた日 [Tama Production] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Historical Drama
Tsuyoshi Takahashi, a 6th grader, lived in eastern Kobe with his parents and younger brother. Tsuyoshi was very ambitious and hoped to enter a prestigious private school, so his days were filled with study. Whenever asked by anyone for a favor, Tsuyoshi resented having to give up his free time.
In the early morning hours of January 17, 1995, a massive earthquake rocked Kobe City. Tsuyoshi and his family managed to escape from their shattered home and evacuated to his school. The problems of communal living and rationing, as well as the selfless example of the many volunteers, are lessons the children are soon to learn.
This anime tries to reconstruct some of Barefoot Gen scenes applying to Kobe 1995 this time, but the natures of disasters are very different. An above average and truthful movie about disaster, but if fails to catch my interest.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
19. Bakumatsu no Spasibo 幕末のスパシーボ [Magic Bus] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Historical 
Based on the real life events around Yevfimy Vasilyevich Putyatin, a Russian admiral noted for his diplomatic missions to Japan and China, and the signing of the Treaty of Shimoda in 1855.
And what's even interesting in that "story"... just pointless.  
Overall Rating: 5/10

Edited by kivandopulus

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Flame of Recca - Like you say it's more or less like Yu Yu Hakusho, although at least the manga here is ended nicely unlike Yu Yu Hakusho one. Of course though things goes differently for the anime in that it's only adapt halfway of the manga with the last episodes here are obviously rushed. By the way while I know that it's also broadcasted in Indonesia, I did watch this fully through Animax.

Princess Mononoke - Out of all Ghibli anime movie, this is one of the movie that was very successful up to 1997. There's a lot of interesting things to discuss, with the most obvious things is man vs. nature in which it's not all black and white here seeing that both sides obviously have some things that they want to convey no matter what, and sometimes it can be resulted in a conflict even with both sides initially have good intentions. In the end, whether you want to see it as intellectual or not is up to each of their own.

End of Evangelion - According to Anno (Or so that's what I'd read), this is on how he envisioned the real ending of Evangelion, and well let's just say that not everyone on board with the ending for the obvious reason, especially Anno's protege Tsurumaki Kazuya who said that the original finale is fine enough. If anything else, at least I can say that it definitely have fans, so much that it can cause some debate between the fans in regard on which Evangelion ending that was the most fitting (ie the best ending).

That's all for what I can comment in regard of Summer 1997 anime.

Edited by littleshogun
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