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Anime of the Year 2001-III Summer - Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira



Ended up choosing no masterpieces, but Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira is my personal preference.
1. Fruits Basket フルーツバスケット  [Studio Deen] (Finished 2/26)
Tags: Shoujo Love Polygon, School Drama, Romance, Supernatural
After the accident in which she lost her mother, 16-year-old Tooru moves in with her grandfather, but due to his home being renovated, is unable to continue living with him. Claiming she will find someone to stay with but also fearing the criticism of her family and not wanting to burden any of her friends, Tooru resorts to secretly living on her own in a tent in the woods.
One night on her way back from work, she finds her tent buried underneath a landslide. Yuki Souma, the "prince" of her school, and his cousin Shigure Souma, a famous author, stumble across Tooru's situation and invite her to stay with them until her grandfather's home renovations are complete.
Upon arriving at the Souma house, Tooru discovers their secret: if a Souma is hugged by someone of the opposite gender, they temporarily transform into one of the animals of the zodiac! However, this strange phenomenon is no laughing matter; rather, it is a terrible curse that holds a dark history. As she continues her journey, meeting more members of the zodiac family, will Tooru's kindhearted yet resilient nature be enough to prepare her for what lies behind the Souma household's doors
What horrible stage and tasteless plain humor for events... My facepalms limit is already exceeded after two episodes.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
2. Shaman King シャーマンキング [Xebec] (Finished 3/64)
Tags: Shounen Super Power Action, Adventure, Comedy, Supernatural
A battle is about to begin in Tokyo: the Shaman Fight, a tournament held every five hundred years where shaman—those who can command spirits—confront each other in combat. The victor of this contest becomes the Shaman King and the only one who is able to contact and control the Great Spirit, allowing them to reshape the world as they please through its immense power.
During a late night walk, Manta Oyamada runs into his classmate, the carefree You Asakura, who invites him to come stargazing with some friends, who, to Manta's horror, turn out to be ghosts from a local cemetery! However, the knowledge that Manta possesses—a rare sixth sense that allows Manta to see these spirits—endears the boy to You. So when You finds out that his new comrade has been beaten up by a local gang, he decides to avenge him with the help of Amidamaru, a samurai ghost whose tomb was broken by the gang leader.
Soon Manta uncovers more about the world of spirits, including the Shaman Fight, in which his new friend You aims to claim victory.
Brainless shounen extended to horrific 64 episodes. If I see no additional interesting layer or complexity in starting episodes, it's just average, same as One Piece.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
3. s.CRY.ed s-CRY-ed スクライド [Sunrise] (Finished 3/26)
Tags: Super Power Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
A strange environmental phenomenon 22 years ago in the Kanazawa prefecture caused the land to split and protrude upwards reaching unprecedented heights, creating the secluded area known as The Lost Ground. Kazuma is a young mercenary who lives in the Lost Ground, looking for any work he can find to sustain his livelihood within the harsh environment. He is one of the few people that are gifted with the Alter ability, which allows him to plaster his right arm and torso with a metallic alloy. When this mercenary encounters HOLY, an order whose purpose is to suppress and capture what they call Native Alter Users, and one of the elite members of HOLY, Ryuho, an epic rivalry begins.
The flow, action and visuals are pleasant enough, but there is not enough material for 26 episodes, so it inevitably starts to drag soon. It's still a tad better than typical shounen.
Overall Rating: 6/10
4. Grappler Baki: Saidai Tournament-hen グラップラー刃牙(バキ) 最大トーナメント編  [Group TAC] (Finished 1/24)
Tags: Shounen Combat Sports, Gore Action, Sports
Mitsunari Tokugawa, the organizer of the historic Tokugawa underground fighting ring, has created a tournament featuring 38 of the world's best fighters, many of whom are grandmasters in their respective form of martial arts. With the exception of weapons, anything goes in Tokugawa's ring so that each fighter is able to showcase their true power and strongest secret moves.
Baki Hanma earned a place in the tournament due to his status as the reigning champion of Tokugawa's fighting ring. Will he be able to come out on top?
Baki favored tournaments even in original, so just a sample episode is enough to confirm that it's more or less the same.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
5. I My Me! Strawberry Eggs あぃまぃみぃ!ストロベリー・エッグ [TNK] (Finished 2/13)
Tags: Crossdressing, School Comedy, Drama, Romance
Amawa Hibiki is a young man just out of college, with an education to be an athletics teacher. He's been having a hard time finding a job since he graduated, so all his money has gone towards living expenses. When his landlady demands his first payment to live in her living establishment upfront, he heads to the local middle school to get hired as a teacher. However, the principal refuses to hire him without hesitation. She will not hire men as teachers and makes it clear that she hates all men, saying they put no love into their passions and work. Amawa does not give up and with the help of his landlady, he crossdresses as a woman without a second thought, and gets hired, so he can earn money and also prove the principal wrong. Now, he has to keep his real gender a secret, and avoid strange situations, including the affections of his students (from both genders).
As it turns out, my aversion for trap stories is still strong. Or maybe it is strong because of such worthless slapstick pervy anime.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
6. Seikai no Senki II Banner of the Stars II 星界の戦旗 II [Sunrise] (Finished 10/10)
Tags: Military, Space Action, Romance, Sci-Fi
Due to a lack of ambassadors for the recently-conquered worlds the rapidly advancing fleet of the Bebaus brothers leave behind, Lafiel is appointed Territorial Ambassador of the planet Lobnas II. Upon arriving to the planet Jinto and Lafiel discover that the planet was used by the United Mankind as a prison planet and now has a million prisoners on the only inhabited island. The prisoners are parted in three blocks. The western where women are housed, the eastern belongs to the men and the central is mixed under the restriction that all prisoners living there are sterilized. The women in the western sector want to emigrate from the planet of fear for the men and when they do the men in the east rebel, overthrowing the guards and capturing Jinto to try to stop the emigration of the women. At the same time an enemy fleet heads toward the system forcing Lafiel to abandon Jinto.
Since story is a one-sided mess with everlasting streak of victories anyway, let's just sidetrack for a single planet to add at least some complexity. The whole season is one big filler.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
7. Samurai Girl Real Bout High School SAMURAI GIRL リアルバウトハイスクール  [Gonzo] (Finished 3/13)
Tags: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy 
At Daimon High School, kids settle their disputes by dueling with each other in the school's official K-Fight battle arena. Ryoko Mitsurugi, samurai girl and undefeated K-Fight champion, is called upon by a mysterious Priestess to protect the Earth from an invasion coming from the alternate universe of Solvania. She must face battles that will test her skills, her friendships, and her heart in order to find her true strength as a samurai warrior.
Some typical fighting action without good distinguishing features, humor is corresponding.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
8. Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto Magical Meow Meow Taruto 魔法少女猫[まじかる にゃん にゃん]たると [Madhouse, TNK] (Finished 5/12)
Tags: Comedy 
Taruto is a little cat who has just moved to a new city with her master's family. Taruto spends her days making friends and exploring her new home town. She also has a knack for getting herself into trouble. And it turns out that Taruto just might be a legendary magical princess. Almost none of Taruto’s friends believe that she can use magic or that she’s a princess, but Taruto is determined to prove it to them. But Taruto's magic is so unpredictable, you never know what's going to happen when she uses it.
A constant streak of silliness that's supposed to be cute or something.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
9. Cosmo Warrior Zero コスモウォーリアー零  [Vega Entertainment] (Finished 4/13)
Tags: Military, Space Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The long war between the planet Earth and the machine men is finally over, resulting in a peace that is more a victory for the machine men than the Earth. Warrius Zero lost his family in the war to the machine men but despite this he is still is a member of the Earth fleet that is now working in concert with the machine men. His ship, made up of both humans and machine men, has been given a near impossible task: capture the space pirate Captain Harlock. While Zero struggles to accomplish this task, evidence begins to surface that the peace between machine men and Earth may not be as it seems...
Don't think I liked anything from Leiji after first battleship Yamato. Even if we omit character designs recycled over and over, this is difficult to watch as camera jumps from some characters to others rapidly and I often can't understand at which point character on a spaceship got landed on a planet, things like that. Show tries to persuade us that we're still pursuing Harlock, but in fact we need to concentrate on the bits of information provided about machine men in a very incoherent fashion. I blame directorship as it would be possible to make a normal story out of it all, but it just crumbles.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
10. Saiko Robot Kombock Cubix 로보짱 큐빅스 [Xebec] (Finished 1/26)
Tags: Mecha Sci-Fi 
The year is 2040. Japanese robot technology is making remarkable progress; they can understand human language, and they've even succeeded in developing a humanoid robot that can feel emotions. The setting is a future town on the outskirts of Musashino in the Tokyo area, where humans and robots live together, "New Musashino City." In this town, our main character Ichiro and his friends, as well as some robots, all get along very well. Before these friends appears a mad scientist, Professor K, bent on taking over the world. Ichiro and his robot partner, Kombock, and his other friends stand against him to crush his schemes.
Will they be able to protect the peaceful lives of humans and robots from this evil?! The story of the friendship of Ichiro, Kombock, and their friends begins!!
It's Korean and has only dub in English. It's full CGI. It's for kids.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
11. Nono-chan ののちゃん [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/61)
Tags: Comedy, Slice of Life 
Nono-chan is the eldest daughter in the Yamada family and a third-grade elementary school student. Her family consists of her father, Mr Yamada Takashi, her mother, Mrs Yamada Matsuko and her brother, Noboru, a junior high student. Together with her grandmother, the family of five makes up a pleasant Japanese family. Everyone is special and everyday is always filled with joy and surprise.
Not translated. Very simply drawn SOL comedy, same one we've seen from Ghibli as Yamadas, and I rated it as 5 even then.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
12. Kinniku Banzuke: Kongou-kun no Daibouken! 筋肉番付 金剛くんの大冒険! [Pierrot] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Shounen Action, Sports
A group of school children are invited to compete in the strongest man competition. As the first match is starting, the bored organizer announces that all matches will now be to the death. None of the competitors have a problem with the change. Who will survive and be crowned the strongest?
It's death tournament, but teams prefer to fail together or avoid deaths in other ways in various competitions. Competitions are the gist as there is just no time for anything else. Can't say it's not interesting, but it's unclear why viewers should care in the first place.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
13. Sabaku no Kaizoku! Captain Kuppa Captain Kuppa 砂漠の海賊! キャプテンクッパ [Bee Train] (Finished 0/26)
Tags: Action, Adventure 
Sometime in the future, the world was completely dried up and became all desert. They had little rivers and lakes left, which villians and dangerous animals lived. Water has become the most valueable thing on the world. Whoever can control water will rule over the world.
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10
14. Uniminipet 유니미니펫 [Dongwoo A&E] (Finished 2/26)
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy 
Dong Woo is a very pleasant, responsible and cheerful boy. He gets weird feelings every time he opens his closet door and is the only one that can sense these feelings. Why is this? Dong Woo is destined to be "the person that opens the Door". His closet is a secret channel that connects the real world to the fourth dimension world called "Uniland ". Whenever he opens the door, the wavelength from the other world is transferred to him.
Not translated. Childish anime with two pets. From time to time aggressive small enemies come through the breach and are getting dealt with.   
Overall Rating: 5/10
15. Happy☆Lesson  [Studio Kyuuma, Venet, Chaos Project] (Finished 2/5)
Tags: Harem, School Comedy, Romance
One guy. Five girls. One roof. It's a recycled idea, but it never gets old. Happy Lesson is a kinetic take on an old genre.
Chitose shares his house with five ladies. One might think the continued attention of this many girls would be a good thing, but too much attention can prove to be painful. Did I mention they're also instructors at his school (hence the title)? Not only is he the subject of their abuse at home, but at school as well. Even when things finally calm down at night, all the rooms are taken so Chitose must sleep on the couch.
It's all in the synopsis - lots of cuteness and silly abuse humor.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
16. One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e ONE ~輝く季節へ~  [Arms] (Finished 4/4)
Tags: Drama, Supernatural 
Orihara Kouhei returns to his town after a long disappearance to fullfil the promises he made to several girls in his childhood. He suffered from memory loss, and carries a tragic past. An strange ambience surrounds the OVA...It's almost like a dream, like memories from the past trying to come together in one piece but without being able to...
Aim is to introduce characters and show their endings, and anime does that pretty well. It differs from traditional anime flow where focus is on one male protagonist, so it can be somewhat confusing, but it's the problem of viewers and their expectations.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
17. Generation of Chaos ジェネレーション オブ カオス [Idea Factory] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Mythology Action, Adventure, Fantasy 
In the world of Neverland, humans and monsters live alongside each other. Generation of Chaos details the start of the adventures of the two heroes of Neverland, Chiffon and Roze.
Departure of Chiffon
Chiffon is a boy with the power to train monsters. After realizing that his power is waning, he sets out to Hiyoko Forest to return his Hiyokomushi—a fish-like mount and companion—back to its homeland, the Hiyoko Forest. However, the journey there is anything but uneventful as his control over his monster gradually loosens.
Roze's Decision
Roze is of half-demon descent, living a quiet life among humans with her sister Emilia. One day, as Roze returns from work, she sees her house being set on fire.The destruction of her home shatters her dream of being able to live peacefully with humankind, as she is reminded that harmony between demons and humans is far from becoming a reality.
More of game promo with 24 minutes length (twice less for each of protagonists) and 3D rendered town. It introduced characters, and that's it.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
18. Tokyo Juushouden: Fuuma Gogyou Denshou 倒凶十将伝 封魔五行伝承 [T.P.O] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Shounen Action, Adventure, Supernatural
Long ago, in feudal Japan, there was a fierce warrior named the Demon King. He controlled a band of demons, known as the Kyouma. Only the powers of ten warriors sealed the Demon King away and kept the Kyouma under control. But now, Lord Shindigan, a powerful Kyouma is planning to free the Demon King, and the reincarnations of the ten warriors must band together and save the earth.
Ah, so it's last three episodes of Tokyo Juushouden. Mediocre in all aspects.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
19. Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi Spirited Away 千と千尋の神隠し [Studio Ghibli] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Mythology Adventure, Award Winning, Supernatural
Stubborn, spoiled, and naïve, 10-year-old Chihiro Ogino is less than pleased when she and her parents discover an abandoned amusement park on the way to their new house. Cautiously venturing inside, she realizes that there is more to this place than meets the eye, as strange things begin to happen once dusk falls. Ghostly apparitions and food that turns her parents into pigs are just the start—Chihiro has unwittingly crossed over into the spirit world. Now trapped, she must summon the courage to live and work amongst spirits, with the help of the enigmatic Haku and the cast of unique characters she meets along the way.
Vivid and intriguing, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi tells the story of Chihiro's journey through an unfamiliar world as she strives to save her parents and return home.
It ran on TV many times, but I never cared to watch it from beginning to end before. Don't expect me to like it as it's a high quality movie for kids, but as an adult I start to ask questions and search for logic, and that's not welcome here. From the travel to the bogs and till the end it's just super cheesy. And it teaches nothing - everything will settle somehow on its own. It's toothless, that's why it's exported worldwide.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
20. Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira Cowboy Bebop: The Movie カウボーイビバップ 天国の扉 [Bones] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Adult Cast, Space Action, Sci-Fi
Another day, another bounty—such is the life of the often unlucky crew of the Bebop. However, this routine is interrupted when Faye, who is chasing a fairly worthless target on Mars, witnesses an oil tanker suddenly explode, causing mass hysteria. As casualties mount due to a strange disease spreading through the smoke from the blast, a whopping three hundred million woolong price is placed on the head of the supposed perpetrator.
With lives at stake and a solution to their money problems in sight, the Bebop crew springs into action. Spike, Jet, Faye, and Edward, followed closely by Ein, split up to pursue different leads across Alba City. Through their individual investigations, they discover a cover-up scheme involving a pharmaceutical company, revealing a plot that reaches much further than the ragtag team of bounty hunters could have realized.
An omnipotent criminal who steals... kisses? I don't like this generic villain who miraculously survives each time and screenwriters just forget to show or tell , how. There are a lot of nonsense moves, and if writer takes viewers for idiots, I'll do the same in his regards.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
21. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within ファイナルファンタジー [Square Pictures] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Sci-Fi
The year is 2065, and the planet of Earth is far removed from the place that it was in the past. Deadly alien creatures known as Phantoms have appeared all over the planet, and mere contact with these entities is lethal, whether it be an instant death or a prolonged decline. In order to try and salvage what little of the human race is left, large force-field barriers have been constructed around certain cities to repel the Phantoms.
Seeking a more permanent solution to this invasion are scientists Aki Ross and her mentor, Dr. Sid, whose investigations have revealed that there exists a form of spiritual, Gaia energy that can eradicate the Phantom's presence from this world. Aki and Sid aren't alone in their quest through Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within; the human council and the military squad "Deep Eyes" are ready to help. Not everyone is convinced of this plan though.
Aki, Sid, Grey, and their allies have to band together against forces both alien and human if they are to have any chance at restoring peace to Earth. An enemy whose mere touch is fatal, the Phantoms appear the more dangerous enemy, but as they will come to find out, their human nemeses are also not to be trifled with.
Only dub version available. For the first time in history 3D actually looks totally ok if not counting some difficult animations. Story about cool adult guys with guns confronting virus and losing allies in the process suits Resident Evil franchise much more than Final Fantasy franchise, but there are also aliens both in solid form from the past and as spirits, so let's stick with a series that allows pretty much everything. As for me, for a 105 minute movie it lacks excitement. Majority of time characters jut turn on some apparatus all over the planet and try to figure out remedy for the spirit aliens. Protagonists are forgettable and general impression is black and red as the movie main palette. It does not feel like a masterpiece.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
22. Arete Hime Princess Arete アリーテ姫 [Studio 4°C] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Fantasy
Confined in the castle tower by her father, princess Arete spends her days watching the world outside her window. Sometimes she seeks out to watch the common people at work. The knights of the kingdom compete for the right to marry her and rule the land by competing to see who can find powerful magic objects made by a long dead race of sorcerers. Arete wants none of this. She longs to meet the common people and travel to exotic lands she has only seen in the books she keeps hidden under her bed. One day the sorcerer Boax arrives in a fantastic flying machine and offers to take Arete as his wife and transform her into a proper princess.
Rather boring story with bland characters overall, but at least the ending is unexpected and inspirational. It's a fairy tale that criticizes fairy tales. But it's only common sense, can't praise a story for just using logic and common sense instead of believing in superstitious tales.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
23. Shenmue: The Movie シェンムー・ザ・ムービー [-] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Martial Arts, Strategy Game Action, Adventure
Using scenes from the original SEGA Dreamcast game plus some extra made for the movie, Shenmue: the Movie details the events of the first game. After Ryo's father is murdered and a mysterious mirror taken, Ryo sets himself on a quest for revenge.
Shenmue is just not an interesting story for me. Sega footage makes it even worse.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
24. Inochi no Chikyuu: Dioxin no Natsu いのちの地球 ダイオキシンの夏 [Magic Bus] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Historical Drama
The anime follows a group of friends Giulia, Maria, Enrico, Lucio and Angelon during the disaster as they team up with a Japanese journalist Shiro Ando, and begin their own investigation of what's occurring (during the week long period of exposure when the ICMESA refused to notify citizens of the poison). As many animals are dying and people are getting sick. The children and Shiro discover deadly dioxin was released and inform Enrico's father, the town mayor, who evacuates all the citizens. Shiro continues investigating more and learns of the negligence of La Roche, a company who controls ICMESA. La Roche knew they were in violating of existing safety laws/protocols and destroyed evidence of their crimes. The children attend a press conference to ruin La Roche's reputation as the destroyed proof might not be enough in a court of law to punish them.
Giulia's pregnant sister, who opted to not abort, gave birth to a healthy girl. The happiness is short lived, as the baby prematurely dies from dioxin poisoning.
Not translated. Another historical disaster movie. If you read the synopsis, there's no real need to watch it.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
25. Blue Remains ブルーリメイン [Arts Magic] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Adventure, Sci-Fi 
Post-nuclear Earth is barren, and life can't survive on the surface, so the few remaining people have lived under-water waiting for their time to be able to go to the surface. Amamiku and her faithful computer guardians, Pyron and Mayzamik, guard the seeds that contain the DNA for life and re-growth on the surface when the air is breathable again, but not everyone wants that to happen.
Post-apocaliptic underwater confrontation with giant monsters is nothing revolutional. But these CGI are just godawful. Logic is also not the strong side here.  
Overall Rating: 4/10


Recommended Comments

Shaman King- Boring shounen anime.

Scryed- Incoherent seinen anime.

Banner of the Stars II- The third season of the Seikai series.  Like all of this series, it is really, really good space opera.  


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Spirited Away - There's no denying that this is a very popular anime movie in that it won several awards (Including Oscar 2003 in category Best Animation Movie), although whether it can be as good as, say, Mononoke, for some people or not, well up to each of their own.

Nono-chan - Speaking of Ghibli, turned out that I'd watch Yamada family movie (That Ghibli adapted) through Nono-chan that was broadcasted in Indonesia, although I didn't realize it until now (And honestly speaking before I read this blogpost I already forgot about Nono-chan here).

FF Spirit Within - It is said to be one of the cause that Squaresoft need to merger with Enix to save the company, because apparently the staffs did spent a lot of money on the movie.

Shaman King - The manga ending can be said to be controversial, with TV Trope did list the ending as the cause along with says that the author is a misanthropic one (Whether it's true or not I don't know). Oh yes it has the Reboot, although with the Reboot following the manga until the ending let's just say that some people prefer 2001 anime here.

Fruit Basket - It's quite dark, and the reason is because of the curse that inflict a big family which cause many misfortune. Our heroine Honda did her best to help the family thanks to one of it's member kindness to her. It has two anime series, although the 2001 series may be more nostalgic and it definitely help that the opening song is quite nice (My condolence to the composer).

That's all for what I can write in regard of Summer 2001 anime here.

Edited by littleshogun
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