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Anime of the Year 2003-I Winter - .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu


kivandopulus

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My personal preference goes to .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu in the absence of masterpieces
 
1. Wolf's Rain ウルフズレイン  [Bones] (Finished 26/26)
Tags: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi 
In a dying world, there exists an ancient legend: when the world ends, the gateway to paradise will be opened. This utopia is the sole salvation for the remnants of life in this barren land, but the legend also dictates that only wolves can find their way to this mythical realm. Though long thought to be extinct, wolves still exist and live amongst humans, disguising themselves through elaborate illusions.
A lone wolf named Kiba finds himself drawn by an intoxicating scent to Freeze City, an impoverished town under the rule of the callous Lord Orkham. Here, Kiba discovers that wolves Hige, Tsume, and Toboe have been drawn in by the same aroma. By following the fragrance of "Lunar Flowers," said to be the key to opening the door to their ideal world, the wolves set off on a journey across desolate landscapes and crumbling cities to find their legendary promised land. However, they are not the only ones seeking paradise, and those with more sinister intentions will do anything in their power to reach it first.
An abomination. It's another take on journey to the West in search of some stupid paradise, now wolf edition. It's beautiful all right, but it all consists of three main actions - going, quarrelling among themselves, getting attacked. I often complain about loose middle, but here there's real filler middle as we're shown bad ending and then like 4-5 recap episodes and finally continuation from a point back in time. Total bs, and it's not even interesting to justify all that.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
2. .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu .hack//Legend of The Twilight .hack//黄昏の腕輪伝説 [Bee Train] (Finished 13/13)
Tags: Shounen Video Game Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Winning the legendary characters "Kite" and "Black Rose" from an event held by the creators of the MMORPG "The World," Shugo and his twin sister Rena steps into "The World." Together they completed events and quests, along with their new friends Ouka, Mirelle, Hotaru, and Sanjuro. Soon after, mysterious monsters appeared, and death by these monsters caused players to slip into a coma in the real world. Only Shugo and Rena can solve this problem, but why are they being targeted, and what secrets is the game hiding?
I liked it quite a lot when watched it first time. It's rather simple, but mmorpgs have this charm of simplicity, and it's utilized here good enough. A good niche product, but don't know if it can be called a masterpiece. Still a lot of ideas from here are borrowed by Sword Art Online later.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
3. Bakuten Shoot Beyblade G Revolution 爆転シュート ベイブレードGレボリューション [Nippon Animation] (Finished 1/52)
Tags: Shounen Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Sports 
After keeping their BitBeasts out of harm's way, a new world championship tournament is announced, but the defending champions can't all be on the same team. Their friendship will be tested and tried as each Bladebreaker goes on a quest to prove why they are the best Beyblader around. Tyson, Max, Ray, Kai, and newcomer Daichi, must keep up their winning ways...even if they must face each other. But, after the tournament is over, what awaits them is an old foe, Boris, taking over the BBA and transforming it into BEGA, the Beyblade Entertainment Global Association. To save Beybladers of the entire world from BEGA's corruption, the Bladebreakers must reunite once again...
Gah, these nonsense toy robot battles again.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
4. Ashita no Nadja Tomorrow's Nadja 明日のナージャ [Toei Animation] (Finished 6/50)
Tags: Historical Adventure, Drama, Romance
This story takes place about one hundred years ago. Nadja is a bright, cheerful girl who was raised in an orphanage near London, England. Nadja was entrusted to the orphanage when she was a baby. So she thought her father and mother were dead. But before her thirteenth birthday, she found out that her mother might be alive..
Nadja sets out on a journey to find her mother! With all of Europe as the stage, Nadja's exciting adventure begins!
The pinnacle of what non-psychologically tilt light shoujo can achieve, but I like different type of shoujo.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
5. Mahoutsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto Someday's Dreamers 魔法遣いに大切なこと [J.C.Staff] (Finished 4/12)
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Tags: Shounen Iyashikei Slice of Life
Yume Kikuchi, a girl who can use magic, goes to Tokyo to be an apprentice mage to the handsome Masami Oyamada (a professional mage). In Tokyo, Yume learns about magic, helping people, and various other things on her way to being a mage. But she soon also finds out that even just magic alone isn't enough to make someone truly happy...
Drama about something insignificant as for me... morality of using magical powers and bureaucracy around it... and it being so serious about that is laughable.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
6. Mouse マウス [Studio Deen] (Finished 3/12)
Tags: Shounen Harem Action, Comedy, Ecchi
Teacher Sorata Muon carries on his family's centuries-old old tradition of being the master thief Mouse who can steal anything after properly alerting authorities of his intentions so they can be there yet fail to stop him. He is assisted by 3 nubile female assistants who also use the teaching cover and who, in typical Satoru Akahori, favor tight/skimpy/bondage outfits over their ample curves as they constantly pursue Sorata much more than he pursues them, although the girls do get some attention from their master. Not only is Mouse pursued by the girls & the local law enforcement authorities, there is also a secret art protection society employing the services of a former ally of Sorata's after his pretty little hide, all in 15 minute episodes.
Light ecchi about phantom thief who can steal absolutely everything with silly plans and about how it all pulls out greatly each time... no substance, as usual.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
7. Gunparade March: Arata Naru Kougunka Gunparade March: A New Song for the March ガンパレード・マーチ -新たなる行軍歌- [J.C.Staff] (Finished 12/12)
Tags: Mecha, Military Action, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
It began in 1945, at the end of the Pacific War. Alien invaders filled the earth's Skies, and mankind was forced to confront an unprecedented threat. For the first time in human history, people of all cultures came together under one banner.
This war has now been raging for over fifty years. Countless lives have been lost, and the Japanese military is now forced to rely on young people such as Atsushi Hayami and his high school class, also known as Unit 5121. This new generation fearlessly struggles on with the aid of the HWT humanoid combat machines and the devastating PBE bomb.
If you expect mecha, don't, because it's just training for mecha fights at best and fights themselves are out of focus... so instead it focuses on just bonding of two very different protagonists together... through school events and trainings.... it's not irritating, but there's hardly anything to see here, kind of awkward romance of sorts.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
8. Stratos 4 ストラトス・フォー [Studio Fantasia] (Finished 3/13)
Tags: Military Comedy, Sci-Fi
The Earth has developed a defense system against large meteorites that are on a collision course with it. This protection system is made up of the Comet Blasters based in several space stations as the 1st line of defense, using nuclear warheads launched by spaceships. The 2nd line of defense consists of the Meteor Sweepers launching from ground airbases using hypersonic planes with special missiles to deal with the resulting debris from the blasts. Mikaze is a troubled girl that is a trainee pilot for a Meteor Sweeper team that dreams of becoming a prestigious Comet Blaster pilot. Stratos 4 revolves around Mikaze's and her teammates' challenges to become real pilots, while the Earth faces the threats that come from space.
Inarticulate SOL about training... to oppose threats from the space. Bland girls and fanservice shots killed the little leftover hopes.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
9. Lime-iro Senkitan らいむいろ戦奇譚  [Studio Hibari] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Harem, Historical, Mecha Drama, Supernatural, Ecchi
Around the the 37th year of the Meiji Era (1904), in the midst of the Russo-Japanese war, the small Japanese army, in need of assistance, uses its special flying (thanks to a benevolent demon) ship, the Amanohara, to attack Russia's major base at Port Arthur (Lushun).
Umakai Shintaro, a Russian diplomat originally from Japan, defects and goes to Sapporo to teach at a girls academy. However, that girls academy is not typical—it is on board the Amanohara, and the five girls Shintaro teaches are known as the Raimu Unit—girls with the ability to summon powerful beings to fight for them. Shintaro eventually becomes their teacher and general in battle, and so the six embark on a weird and excessively erotic journey, as Shintaro helps the girls overcome their weaknesses, become stronger for the final stand at Lushun, and also understand the motives of the "Russian Spiritual Corps" that assist the opponent, which, unfortunately, has one member whom Shintaro knew well...
Not every Elf game deserves adaptation, Cheesy ecchi baka harem that challenges silliness and fanservice tolerance every running minute.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
10. Chou Robot Seimeitai Transformers Micron Densetsu Transformers Armada 超ロボット生命体トランスフォーマー マイクロン伝説 [Actas] (Finished 1/52)
Tags: Mecha Action, Sci-Fi
On the mechanical planet of Cybertron live super robotic organisms known as Transformers. There, mainly consisting of convoys, the Cybertron army, and their old enemy Destron fell into conflict to gain hold of a new power to join their side. A new breed of Transformers known as the Microns. But, grieving over the battle the Microns set off to the other end of the universe. 4 million years later, on Earth, 3 young children activated a mysterious panel inside a cave. And somehow, that was the dormant Micron...
This series should be properly marked as kids already.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
11. Nanaka 6/17 ななか6/17 [J.C.Staff] (Finished 2/12)
Tags: Shounen Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
Seventeen-year-old Nanaka Kirisato is a high school student serious about her studies and goals in life. She frequently criticizes her best friend, Nenji Nagihara, for being a childish delinquent who spends his time fighting other boys. Then one day, after a heated argument with Nenji, she falls off a flight of stairs and suffers a brain injury, resulting in her mind reverting to that of a six-year-old. With this in mind, Nanaka's father and Nenji must keep her injury a secret as she struggles to live a normal life and grow up all over again.
Both sides of Nanaka personality are irritating, so it's a cute thematic comedy, but nothing bigger than that.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
12. L/R: Licensed by Royal Licensed by Royalty  [TNK] (Finished 2/12)
Tags: Detective Action, Adventure, Mystery
Jack Hofner and Rowe Rikenbacker are Cloud 7's L/R. Their job is to protect the Royal family of Ishtar, their treasures, and their reputation. Jack & Rowe face one of the toughest missions of their career when they are assigned to protect Noelle, a candidate for the 15 Year Princesse contest. It starts out simple, but soon all of Cloud 7 are involved in a web of intrigue that includes bombings, corruption and murder.
Detective series with action segments... I'm definitely not enjoying this.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
13. Majuu Sensen: The Apocalypse Beast Fighter: The Apocalypse 魔獣戦線 THE APOCALYPSE [Magic Bus] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Shounen Mythology, Super Power Action, Supernatural
An entire city is destroyed by two monstrous and omnipotent beings. Genzou Kuruma, a scientist but also the leader of a sect wishes to awake God, but first, he needs a special kind of blood for it. His son, Shinichi Kuruma, and a young girl, Ayaka Sanders, possess that blood, and he will do anything to capture them and take their blood for God's Awakening, and so, humanity will be lost. Shinichi, along Ayaka and Tomizoro (Tommy), are escaping from Genzou Kuruma's "New Humans" (genetically altered humans who can turn into monsters), while Shinichi only wishes for revenge against his father. He, like the other "New Humans", has the power to summon different beasts from his body. With this power, he will fight until Genzou Kuruma is killed by his own hands.
Reinstallment of another ancient series based on manga from 70s. I rated OVAs as 2/10 and genetics religious bloody core has not changed.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
14. Barom One Barom 1 バロムワン [E&G Films] (Finished 1/13)
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Tags: Shounen Action, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
Takeshi Kido and Kentaro Shiratori are a pair of friends who have been together for almost their entire life. One night, a strange being comes out from the lake and starts attacking them. When Takeshi and Kentaro are almost eliminated, a strange being named Kopu calls them and tells them that they are the chosen ones to inherit the power to protect the world from an evil being named Goumon. Now, they join their hands to transform into Barom One, a being with superior skills, who will fight to protect the city.
Manga from 1970s just refuses to die peacefully. New spree of monsters and new joint Guyver to oppose them...  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
15. Shutsugeki! Machine Robo Rescue 出撃!マシンロボレスキュー [Sunrise] (Finished 1/53)
Tags: Mecha Action, Sci-Fi 
In the future, age is not a factor to determine whether someone can perform a certain task or not, but special talent and training. An organization, Machine Robo Rescue (MRR), was established for robots and children to become partner and rescue people from danger. Then 12 children with various abilities were selected and introduced as part of this program: Robo Rescue!
Meet Oozora Taiyou, one of the children who were chosen as a part of MRR program. After being late on his first day of training, he went to perform a hot rescue with JETROBO. However, a mysterious Robot from mysterious organization, "The Star"(?), appeared before MRR team to interfere with the rescue. What are the motives of the mysterious organization? And what are their goals?
Life as one of the children chosen as part of MRR has started for Oozora Taiyou. Bumpy and hard training is just ahead for MRR team in order to protect many people's life!
Characters are a little bit older than usual, but it's still kids anime through and through.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
16. Crush Gear Nitro クラッシュギアNitro [Sunrise] (Finished 1/50)
Tags: Racing Sports
Story about a young boy name: Mahha Masaru, who dreamt of having a crush gear fight with the others even though he doesn't have his very own crush gear!
One day, a sudden chance came to him and he got the legendary crush gear which look similer to the one that was used by Kouya Marino and finally he can go and paticipate in his own crush gear fight with his friends and foe!!
Not translated. Same toy robot fighting trash as Gekitou! Crush Gear Turbo.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
17. Greek Roman Sinhwa: Olympus Guardian 그리스 로마 신화-올림포스 가디언 [-] (Finished 1/39)
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Tags: Historical Adventure, Fantasy
The animated form of the Korean manhwa.
It's in Korean with subs and of educational nature as it's introduction to Green Mythology in a playful manner.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
18. Spheres 스피어즈 [Studio Kaab] (Finished 0/26)
Tags: Super Power Action, Fantasy
Unbeknownst to human history, the Kingdom of Spheres existed upon our earth long ago. The people of this kingdom would be regarded today as people with psychic powers. Unfortunately, like most other civilizations, as the gap widened more and more between the social classes, the Kingdom of Spheres was troubled by those greedy for power; and in the end it collapsed. Na Yeon is a mysterious girl who was found in the Antarctic after the destruction of Spheres.
One day Asten, the chairman of Sphere Union, who has a burning ambition to control the world, sent his followers to keep watch on Na Yeon. Na Yeon and her friends try to keep three artifacts, the keys to conquer the world, from the hands of Sphere Union.
Not translated. And I'm not going to watch untranslated anime about psychics in Korean.  
Overall Rating: 0/10
 
19. Munto MUNTO [ムント] [Kyoto Animation] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Fantasy, Romance 
Above Earth, invisible to humans, float the Heavens—a collection of floating island kingdoms supported by the magic of their godlike inhabitants. The mysterious power source known as Akuto enables this magic to exist, but this is quickly running out. In response to this energy crisis, most of the kingdoms in the Heavens agree to use the minimum amount of Akuto required to sustain themselves, except for the Magical Kingdom. The leader of this kingdom, the Magical King Munto, believes that Akuto can be replenished if he travels to Earth and meets a mysterious girl shown to him by a seer. While Munto sets off on the dangerous journey, the other kingdoms attempt to destroy the Magical Kingdom and acquire the remaining Akuto for themselves.
On Earth, Yumemi Hidaka is dealing with her own problems. She can see floating islands in the sky that nobody else can. While her best friend Ichiko Ono believes her, Yumemi wonders if she is going insane. When Munto suddenly appears before her, Yumemi dismisses him as a mere delusion. She is more concerned about her 13-year-old friend Suzume Imamura, who is attempting to elope with her delinquent boyfriend. As the Magical Kingdom nears the point where it will fall from the sky, Munto's quest to save both the Heavens and Earth grows increasingly desperate.
Early Kyoto Animation works already have outstanding visuals, but plot is dreamy fantasy drama and it does not feel great, though really good starter work.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
20. Memories Off 2nd Memories Off 2nd (メモリーズオフ 2nd) [Picture Magic, Rikuentai] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Drama, Romance 
Shirakawa Hotaru, a girl who's in love with Inami Ken, finally confesses her love. From there on, they were happy couples, until one summer. Ken met a new friend, Tobise Tomoe, who is Hotaru's best friend. Tomoe seems to have her own charm. Ken, now have two paths to choose from; to be with Shirakawa Hotaru or Tobise Tomoe. Otherwise, he will lose them both.
Love triangles were specialty of early Memories Off, as a romance drama not bad.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
21. Early Reins アーリーレインズ [OLM] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Action, Adventure 
Early Reins features six beautiful women on a train en route to Sunshine Hill in the early 1800s. When the train is highjacked by robbers and the soldiers on board are caught unawares, another surprise is in store: these lovely ladies can fight! The heroine emerges as Margarette, a young woman determined to become a sheriff although she is somewhat lacking in experience. She gains plenty on this trip, however, and the ragtag team of Western warriors joins forces with another passenger, Spencer, to fight some nefarious bandits and guide the train to safety.
40 minutes to get acquainted with six heroines, show action and tell a story? Guess this mission was impossible from the start, so authors decided to strike out story at all and not even give an ending.  
Overall Rating: 5/10

Edited by kivandopulus

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Out of all these anime, I can only comment on Nadja because it's my avatar lol, and for more serious reasons it's the only anime from this season that worth talking. Like the premise mention, it's about the titular Nadja who had her orphanage burned and she's on the journey with Dandelion troupe to met up with her long lost mother. On the journey, she'll meet with various person, including her old friend and the new love interest. Looking from how similar it's with World Masterpiece Theater series, Toei may want to recapture the success of it, although obviously Nadja wasn't successful enough, so that Toei went back to made magical girl anime, and said anime is obviously FwPC which is the very first Precure series that keep airing until now with HSPC will be premiered tomorrow. By the way, Nadja was aired in Indonesia back in 2005 at Saturday morning. 

Well that's all for what I can comment in regard of Winter 2003 anime here.

Edited by littleshogun
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