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Anime of the Year 2003-IV Fall - Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou


kivandopulus

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Lots of titles, lots of masterpieces. Gunslinger Girl , Gungrave and Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu Final deserve a honorary mention as minor masterpieces, but my heart is with Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou 
 
1. Fullmetal Alchemist 鋼の錬金術師 [Bones] (Finished 3/51)
Tags: Shounen Military Action, Adventure, Award Winning, Drama, Fantasy
Edward Elric, a young, brilliant alchemist, has lost much in his twelve-year life: when he and his brother Alphonse try to resurrect their dead mother through the forbidden act of human transmutation, Edward loses his brother as well as two of his limbs. With his supreme alchemy skills, Edward binds Alphonse's soul to a large suit of armor.
A year later, Edward, now promoted to the fullmetal alchemist of the state, embarks on a journey with his younger brother to obtain the Philosopher's Stone. The fabled mythical object is rumored to be capable of amplifying an alchemist's abilities by leaps and bounds, thus allowing them to override the fundamental law of alchemy: to gain something, an alchemist must sacrifice something of equal value. Edward hopes to draw into the military's resources to find the fabled stone and restore his and Alphonse's bodies to normal. However, the Elric brothers soon discover that there is more to the legendary stone than meets the eye, as they are led to the epicenter of a far darker battle than they could have ever imagined.
Just as with other notorious shounens I could never understand the hype and had to listen to some podcasts about it to see what excites people in it. And I did not get good answers - just story of their mother, some epic action, the way equivalent exchange works. Nothing of this makes sense it's it's just super minor points. I'll get to listen to some more with time, but for now after three episodes it's exactly average shounen that's too childish to even consider watching seriously.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
2. Planetes プラネテス [Sunrise] (Finished 3/26)
Tags: Seinen Adult Cast, Space, Workplace Award Winning, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi 
In 2075, space travel is no longer just a dream, but an everyday reality for mankind. Advancements in science and technology have led to the colonization of the moon, the commercialization of outer space, and the formation of large space corporations. Ai Tanabe, an upbeat woman whose interests lie in the cosmos, joins Technora Corporation as a member of their Debris Section, a department dedicated to the removal of dangerous space junk between the orbits of the Earth and Moon.
However, Ai soon discovers how unappreciated her job is. As the laughingstock of Technora, the Debris Section is severely understaffed, poorly funded, and is forced to use a dilapidated spaceship nicknamed the "Toy Box" for debris retrieval. Undeterred, Ai perseveres and gradually becomes acquainted with the strange personalities that make up the Debris Section's staff, such as the bumbling but good-natured chief clerk Philippe Myers; the mysterious and tight-lipped temp worker Edelgard Rivera; and the hotheaded and passionate Hachirouta Hoshino, who longs for a spaceship to call his own.
Planetes is an unconventional sci-fi series that portrays the vastness of space as a backdrop for the personal lives of ordinary people—people who may have been born on Earth, but whose hopes and dreams lie amongst the stars.
Welcome the new space janitor Roger Wilco... I mean, some bland girls. I remember dropping this series even when I was younger and more open-minded for weird stuff popping up the screen. Planetes is just SOL on a spaceship with occasional collecting space trash. That's basically it, because everything is supposed to look cooler in space. So it has no story and no humor, plus not interesting characters, as for me. I'm sure author put a lot of effort in character development and unique situations, but it's not the buying points. Just SOL in unusual place is enough for a concept, there must be something of substance to go, for some reason newer anime can find that something alright, but pioneers got lost in weird experiments.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
3. Chrno Crusade Chrono Crusade クロノクルセイド [Gonzo] (Finished 3/24)
Tags: Shounen Historical, Mythology Action, Romance, Supernatural
The 1920s was a decade of great change and upheaval, with monstrous demons appearing across America. To combat this menace, the holy organization known as the Order of Magdalene was established. The organization's New York branch is home to the young and reckless Sister Rosette Christopher, as well as her partner Chrno. Tasked with the extermination of demonic threats, the renowned team is excellent at their job, despite causing extensive collateral damage on their missions.
However, both Rosette and Chrno are driven by their dark pasts. Through exterminating demons, Rosette hopes to find her lost brother Joshua who was taken by the sinner and demon, Aion, with whom Chrno also shares a bloody history. The two of them must fight off the increasingly dangerous demonic menace and discover its source, while continuing to search for the truth behind Joshua's disappearance.
Another shounen with decent visuals, but what's really special about it... I see two good points - lack of evident weak sides and also serious attitude with occasional relief. Nun and good demon fight bad demons , and that's it - no aim, no motivation of both sides, no real hunt. Just enjoy SOL or character past stories and by the end of the episode some demon will hop by. It's not Hellsing to live on characters and action, but even Hellsing had a more refined concept and development than this mess.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
4. Gunslinger Girl ガンスリンガー・ガール [Madhouse] (Finished 13/13)
Tags: Military, Psychological Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the heart of Italy, the Social Welfare Agency rescues young girls from hospital beds and gives them a second chance at life using the latest in cybernetic advancements. With their artificially enhanced bodies, the girls are brainwashed and trained as assassins to carry out the dirty work of the Italian Government. Despite all the modifications, they are still just children at heart, struggling for recognition from those they love, even knowing the love they feel is manufactured. This tragic tale unfolds as these girls grapple with their emotions in an agency that treats them as nothing but ruthless killers.
Seen it long ago, but it still keeps a small corner in my heart, enough for a minor masterpiece though. Serious, dramatic, sympathetic.  
Overall Rating: 7/10
 
5. Gungrave ガングレイヴ [Madhouse] (Finished 26/26)
Tags: Adult Cast, Gore, Organized Crime, Super Power Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel, two friends so close they could be called brothers, receive an abrupt and violent reminder one fateful day of how appallingly merciless the world around them can be. Their whole lives before then were simple and easygoing, consisting largely of local brawls, seducing women, and committing petty theft to make a living and pass the time. What they failed to realize is that in this cruel world, happiness is fleeting, and change is inevitable.
Enter Millennion, the largest and most infamous mafia syndicate in the area, which accepts Brandon and Harry into their ranks and starts them at the bottom of the food chain. Harry has ambitions to ascend the ranks and one day replace Big Daddy as the supreme leader of Millennion, while Brandon only wishes to support his friend and appease Big Daddy who has taken custody of the woman Brandon loves.
Based off the third-person shooter video game under the same name, Gungrave is an epic story of friendship, betrayal, and avarice that spans the course of several years, ultimately tying back to the gripping and foreboding first episode, all the while building up to the story's thrilling conclusion.
It was always a masterpiece for me, but the one that needs to be known and remembered, not rewatched, so probably will also settle with a minor masterpiece score. To avoid spoilers can only say that story was really impressive and dramatic the first time seen.  
Overall Rating: 7/10
 
6. Shingetsutan Tsukihime Lunar Legend Tsukihime 真月譚 月姫 [J.C.Staff] (Finished 12/12)
Tags: Super Power, Vampire Action, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Supernatural
Shiki Toono wakes up in a hospital ward with the ability to see invisible lines. These thin threads, which make up all matter in Shingetsutan, instantly destroy an object when severed. Shiki discovers that if he traces the lines of something, its destruction soon follows. While keeping his supernatural vision a secret, Shiki proceeds to live his sophomore life in peace. However, this peace is short-lived when Shiki encounters a mysterious woman with bright red eyes on his way back from school. Following a sudden psychotic lapse, he appears to kill the woman, and passes out shortly after. As if things couldn't get any worse, Shiki is assailed by a pair of demonic hounds the next day—facing certain death, Shiki is saved by the timely arrival of the same woman from yesterday. She introduces herself as Arcueid Brunestud, a vampire princess. Deciding to team up, Shiki and Arcueid embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind their lineage and the recent string of murders around town.
The beginning is great, but I don't remember this SOL in the middle where all characters drink tea together rather peacefully. All this sudden lose of tension does not qualify for a masterpiece.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
7. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Rumbling Hearts 君が望む永遠 [Studio Fantasia] (Finished 14/14)
Tags: Love Polygon Drama, Romance
In the warmth of a golden sun, timid high school student Haruka Suzumiya confesses to Takayuki Narumi, the boy she admires. Takayuki accepts Haruka's confession and the two become a couple, supported by their mutual friends Mitsuki Hayase and Shinji Taira. All is well for these friends—until tragedy strikes.
One of them is sent to an unenviable fate, lying dormant in a coma. Three years later, they awaken, but their sudden reappearance in everyone's lives threatens to test the limits of these friends' bonds.
A normal love triangle modified by one girl in coma. Unlike Memories Off characters are at least memorable, still it's decent at best.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
8. Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou Cromartie High School 魁!! クロマティ高校 [Production I.G] (Finished 26/26)
Tags: Shounen Delinquents, Gag Humor, School
Takashi Kamiyama is your typical mild-mannered high school student—polite, aloof, and pacifistic, with a slightly above-average IQ. But would your average high school student really enroll himself at the infamous Cromartie High School, known as a breeding ground for the toughest delinquents out there?
Apparently so, as that is exactly what Takashi does, though for reasons he'd rather leave unmentioned. However, one thing is for sure: the "hard-boiled rabbit in a den full of hungry lions" is never going to have another dull day. And how could he, now that he's surrounded by mohawked punks, obnoxious robots, and... gorillas? And was that Freddie Mercury riding a horse down the corridor? Follow Takashi as he earnestly dedicates his new high school life to better his school's reputation while his classmates are hellbent on wreaking havoc.
Great comedy with absurdity of humor just enough for me to enjoy. I say it deserves top score reserved for such comedies.  
Overall Rating: 8/10
 
9. Maburaho まぶらほ [J.C.Staff] (Finished 2/24)
Tags: Harem, School Comedy, Drama, Romance, Ecchi
In the world of Maburaho, everyone is born with the ability to use magic and are thus labeled magicians. However, the magical ability of each person is not equal. The number of times you can use magic determines the amount of respect you receive, and since one’s magical power is determined at birth by traits and genetics, those who have a bloodline stemming from famous magicians are highly sought after.
Having the lowest magic count in Aoi Academy, Kazuki Shikimori is looked down upon by his classmates and seen as a nearly worthless magician. However, his bloodline consists of many great magicians throughout the ages, meaning that while he may not be a great magician, his offspring could be. This leads to him being sought after by three different young women: Yuna Miyama, a transfer student who declares herself his wife upon arrival, Rin Kamishiro, a prideful swordswoman of a traditional family who wants to kill him so she will be free to pursue her own desires, and Kuriko Kazetsubaki, a member of an influential family who bluntly tries to seduce him for his genes.
Now he has to deal with not only the jealousy of all the guys in his school, but also various women chasing after him!
A typical thematic ecchi harem, totally plain.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
10. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo ボボボーボ・ボーボボ  [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/76)
Tags: Shounen Gag Humor Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic world, the Maruhage Empire is a militant organization out to steal everyone's hair, and thus their freedom. But a brave man with an afro of gold and nose hairs of steel stands up against their tyranny. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, trained in the ways of hair, rescues a teenager named Beauty from the grunts of the Maruhage Empire. Together, they start on a journey to defeat Emperor Tsuru Tsurulina IV. As Bo-bobo meets new friends and battles foes along the way, so too does he begin his quest to save all the hairs of the world!
Light-hearted and comical, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo details a wacky adventure in which Bo-bobo and his companions fight all sorts of villains and deviants within the Maruhage Empire, all the while having a fun and exciting adventure.
Total absurdity that I can't stand, hardly endured a single episode, so better ask someone else.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
11. R.O.D: The TV R.O.D -The TV- アール・オー・ディー ザ・ティーヴィー [J.C.Staff] (Finished 2/26)
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Tags: Super Power Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi
Anita King, Maggie Mui, and Michelle Cheung are the Paper Sisters. They run the Three Sisters Detective Agency in Hong Kong which is dedicated to solving cases involving books. They are hired as local guides for Nenene Sumiregawa, a Japanese novelist who has been struggling with writer's block following the disappearance of her longtime friend, Yomiko Readman. The sisters are all Paper Masters—individuals with the power to control paper—and with their abilities, they save Nenene from the dangerous terrorists targeting her at a book signing. But in case they strike again, the sisters remain as her bodyguards to protect her from further harm.
This is a dream come true for bookworms Maggie and Michelle who love Nenene's stories, but the young Anita cannot stand books despite her powers over paper. The three struggle to adapt to their new daily life in Japan, guarding Nenene while continuing their detective work under a mysterious organization, Dokusensha. However, the more they get to know Nenene, the more they discover the link between her, the disappearance of her friend Yomiko, and the mysterious books Dokusensha sends the Paper Masters to investigate. What began as a simple job ends up a bigger case than they have ever had before. Are these girls really willing to risk their lives over literature?
Concept was clear from the OVA - some detective mystery with absurd action afterwards. And serialization only highlighted its flaws and lack of story.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
12. Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi 藍より青し~縁~ [J.C.Staff] (Finished 1/12)
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Tags: Seinen Harem Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two years after meeting Aoi, Kaoru and gang are still up to their normal habits. Kaoru now in grad school and the tenants being as rowdy as ever what will become of Aoi and Kaoru's love.
Two years has passed since Aoi and Kaoru were freed from the bonds of their families. They continue to live their normal lives with their usual friends in their house.
Still decent romance even after confession, still too typical for me.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
13. Peace Maker Kurogane PEACE MAKER 鐵 [Gonzo] (Finished 9/24)
Tags: Shounen Historical, Samurai Action, Comedy
Although traumatized by witnessing the murder of his parents by one of the Choushuu, Ichimura Tetsunosuke's thirst for revenge lead him to desire strength. At the age of 15, Tetsunosuke approached the Shinsengumi, wanting to become one of its members. However, Tetsunosuke lacked the skill, mind and will to emotionlessly cut down whoever threatened peace and the Shinsengumi. Even with the support of his brother Tatsunosuke and his newfound friends of the Shinsengumi, little did Tetsunosuke know the blood and pain he would have to face being part of this historical group.
I really tried to like Peace maker Kurogane. Main problem for me is that half of it is silly shounen with a typical cheeky brat, and the other half is serious drama with adult samurai. The will to appeal to different audiences can be understood, but this ambiguity can scare seinen audience off. There is also a lot of confusion and strange scenes that aren't explained. As I see it, Kurogane tries to imitate Kenshin series badly and in the end falls short in comparison, and I did not even rate Kenshin as masterpiece.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
14. Gilgamesh ギルガメッシュ [Group TAC, Japan Vistec] (Finished 4/26)
Tags: Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Supernatural 
In an attempt to gather information on immortality, scientists from around the world have assembled to study "Heaven's Gate"—the tomb turned laboratory of the mythical king Gilgamesh. But soon enough, the research is deemed unethical and all planned work comes to a halt. However, a group of terrorists pay this no thought and storm into Heaven's Gate, ultimately causing an explosion that leads to the collapse of the advanced information civilization.
Many years after the incident, the siblings Tatsuya and Kiyoko Madoka are on the run from thugs. Yet this seems to be the least of their worries as they find themselves in the midst of a war between two powerful cryptic factions. With both groups claiming to fight for the betterment of society, Tatsuya and Kiyoko will have to find a way to decide who to trust.
I'd say genre is mystery because it's never clear where it all is going to and more and more confusing stuff just piles up. But without all the cryptic stuff it's mostly running away and getting to know this strange world with its rules and factions, also fighting, of course. Despite ugly drawing it's not bad, but it failed to attract me in  four episodes, and I doubt it actually has any direction at all to fill those 26 episodes, and I don't fancy rationalizing messy stuff.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
15. Kyougoku Natsuhiko: Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari Requiem from the Darkness 京極夏彦 巷説百物語 [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Historical, Psychological Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
Tired of writing riddles for children, Yamaoka Momosuke plans on gathering spooky and gruesome stories and publishing them in an anthology called Hyakumonogatari ("One Hundred Tales"). While researching these old myths and legends he comes across a mysterious trio who call themselves the Ongyou. They are detectives who are investigating the legends to reveal their truths...and bring those in the wrong to justice. Each time Momosuke meets the Ongyou he must face horrible truths and battle with his morals, but he's seeing things he shouldn't be seeing...
I detest horror, mystery and anthology genres, so this is a combo for me. Still a lot better than all the school urban legends or whatever we usually get as horrors.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
16. Battle Programmer Shirase バトルプログラマーシラセ [AIC] (Finished 15/15)
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Tags: Comedy, Sci-Fi, Ecchi 
Battle Programmer Shirase, also known as BPS, is a free programmer with super hacking abilities who doesn't work for money. What he does work for is certainly something that only people like him would appreciate. But, his demeanor certainly doesn't suit the jobs he is hired for. With the evil King of America causing trouble via the internet, Shirase is nothing but busy as each new adventure brings even more interesting people into the picture.
By a twist of fate, I watched it in the past and actually liked quite a lot. It's mostly about coolness, but with time I can hardly appreciate that anymore. Great for youth though.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
17. Saiyuuki Reload Saiyuki Reload 最遊記RELOAD [Pierrot] (Finished 1/25)
Tags: Josei Mythology Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Supernatural
Priest Genjo Sanzo and companions Cho Hakkai, Sha Gojyo, and Son Goku maintain their westward journey to stop the resurrection of the demon Gyoumao. As the reputation of the Sanzo Ikkou precedes them, they continue to fight demon assassins at every turn, but they must also deal with increasing tensions within their group in order to defeat a powerful enemy.
Since it's a sequel, it depends on attitude to prequel.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
18. Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito Yamibo: Darkness, The Hat and the Travelers of the Books ヤミと帽子と本の旅人 [Studio Deen] (Finished 2/13)
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy, Girls Love, Mystery, Ecchi 
Hatsuki is a highschool student living with her sister, Hatsumi, who she has a huge crush on. On Hatsumi's 16th birthday, she is suddenly surrounded by a green light and disappears in front of Hatsuki. She manages to follow Hatsumi with the help of a being resembling a fat baby chick (literally), ending up in a place called "The Great Library", which is full of different worlds stored in books. Hatsumi wasn't there, though, so the search for Hatsuki's great love begins and involves traveling from book to book.
Source material is weak. I guess it's possible to proceed on visuals alone, but there's nothing but  disappointment in the end, anyway.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
19. Mujin Wakusei Survive 無人惑星サヴァイヴ [Madhouse, Telecom Animation Film] (Finished 3/52)
Tags: Survival Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life
The story is set in the 22nd century where space travel, planet colonization and anti-gravity basketball are practically everyday things. Planet Earth has become uninhabitable, and therefore people live in colonies on the surrounding planets. On a school field trip, a mistake causes the protagonist, a young transfer student named Luna, her pet robot, and six of her classmates to be thrown through a gravity storm and crash land on a seemingly uninhabited planet. There, with Luna as their leader, the robot cat Chako, the lone wolf Kaoru, the spoiled rich boy Howard, the shy Sharla, the obedient Bell, the prideful musician Menori and the young genius Shingo must fight for their survival. But is the planet really uninhabited, or is there someone or something out there, waiting in the shadows?
A cast of bright characters is thrown to an uninhabited planet to... actually, without purpose - just to be , survive , generate some situations. There's no conflict, no real mystery, no magic elements... it's just SOL for 52 episodes. Unless viewer is a kid who learns stuff through this or viewer likes some characters a lot, I see no good reason to watch this. Unfortunately, original stories are often made to suit format and not to actually tell a story.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
20. Takahashi Rumiko Gekijou Ningyo no Mori Mermaid Forest 高橋留美子劇場 人魚の森 [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Shounen Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
According to an ancient legend, mermaid's flesh can grant immortality if eaten. 500 years ago, Yuta unknowingly ate a piece of mermaid's flesh. For centuries, he travels across Japan, hoping to find a mermaid, thinking she may be able to make him a normal human again. When he finally finds one, he discovers that she and her companions have been raising a girl to be their food so they can eat her and take on her youthful looks. That is how mermaids stay young. Yuta kills the mermaids and rescues her, but she has already eaten some of the mermaid's flesh. Although he had to kill the mermaids, Yuta isn't too disappointed. Yuta's once lonely existence is now over, as he has found a companion in Mana. And Mana, who had been trapped in a small hut her whole life, finds delight in even the simplest of things. Together, Yuta and Mana attempt to seek out more mermaids, trying to become normal humans again.
I seriously detested first two Rumiko anime about mermaid flesh. I can't understand why it can be so bad and why anyone in sane mind would serialize it. I've experienced so many negative emotions within just a single episode that I can't call it even average. It's straight horrible.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
21. Binzume Yousei 瓶詰妖精  [Xebec] (Finished 1/13)
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Tags: CGDCT Comedy, Fantasy
Set in the year 2004, Binzume Yousei is a slice-of-life fairy tale that revolves around four fairies, each represented by four unique colors as seen with their magical bottle jars. These fairies are the extremely peppy Kururu, the reserved and feminine Chiriri, the samurai-loving tomboy Sarara, and the quiet yet quirky Hororo.
Fascinated by the human world, these fairies arrived from the fairy world in hopes of participating in the annual traditions and overall way of human life. However, they have a very limited understanding of the human world. Luckily, they are befriended and guided by two humans—"Sensei-san," a university student who they live with, and a first-grade girl they call "Tama-chan," who is sometimes as naive as the fairies themselves.
Though these bottle fairies have strange ideas and sometimes have difficulty understanding this new world, they try to make the most of the human experience in their own cute little ways.
Episodes are just half the usual length, but at least not 4 minutes of Di Gi Charat that I could not possibly allow to list. Genre is familiar cute blobs do random stuff in a cute way. Hope no one expects anything more than that here...  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
22. Shinkon Gattai Godannar!! Marriage of God & Soul Godannar!! 神魂合体ゴーダンナー!! [OLM, AIC ASTA] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Mecha Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Ecchi
Five years ago, while battling an alien force known as the "Mimesis," Dannar pilot Goh Saruwatari first met Anna Aoi. Today, on the day of their wedding, the ceremony is interrupted when the Mimesis strike again. As Goh struggles in his battle against the alien threat, Anna stumbles upon a top secret robot known as the "Neo-Okusaer" and uses it as a last-resort to save her fiancee. At that moment, Dannar and Neo-Okusaer merge to become the mighty robot "Godannar."
It's so funny how old mecha was so pretentiously serious and newer mecha is almost exclusively ecchi. Cheesy and primitive.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
23. Avenger アヴェンジャー [Bee Train] (Finished 2/13)
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi 
Mars has been colonized and is a world where children have been replaced by robot servants known as "dolls." Layla is a skilled fighter with a tragic past who travels about the world. Her companions are Nei, a strange and unique doll with some unknown ties to Layla, and Speedy, who is a doll breeder. The founders of Mars see the trio as a threat to their world, and each time they attack Layla and Nei a bit more of their mysterious past and future is revealed.
Mars as stage is just wasteland with high tech locations, so can't call it great. Story is... non-existent as companions literally just travel around the world. That's probably done to shift focus to characters and their stories that unfold one by one... but characters are rather schematic and not interesting either. Setting of dolls is not really unique, and there's heavens and earth between Armitage III and this. Guess execution and weird story moves are to blame.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
24. Rockman.EXE Axess MegaMan NT Warrior: Axess ロックマンエグゼ Axess [Xebec] (Finished 1/51)
Tags: Mecha, Strategy Game Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Netto's father Yuuichirou Hikari has made a scientific breakthrough by introducing the "synchro chips". If an operator and his or her navi are in a special enviroment known as a "dimensional area", they can fuse together in the real world via a technique called "cross fusion"! Yuuichirou's first test subject, Misaki Gorou, attempts the process and sadly fails. Netto offers to try with Rockman, but his father forbids it. Cross Fusion puts enormous strain on the operator's health, and battling in the real world could mean death.
Sequel about toy robots sparring is back.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
25. Ginga Tetsudou Monogatari The Galaxy Railways 銀河鉄道物語 [Planet] (Finished 3/26)
Tags: Space Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the distant future, trains are no longer bound by their physical tracks. Instead, they take to the skies and travel across the universe on the Galaxy Railways, transporting mankind from planet to planet. However, the Galaxy Railways are no safer than traditional trains: criminals, terrorists, and vile aliens always find a way to stir up trouble.
Manabu Yuuki, a rash and hot-headed man, is the latest addition to the Galaxy Railways' elite Space Defence Force (SDF). These brave men and women are responsible for protecting the railways and responding to any unprecedented danger, risking their lives to protect the innocent from evil. But as this drama unfolds and the SDF's greatest crisis draws nearer, Manabu must truly learn what it means to be a member of the SDF before it is too late.
Since it's alternative setting of Ginga Tetsudou 999, there's not much to say about it. Recycled characters to inhabit recycled story which is different, but feels like young Daiba/Harlock training as captain. So we once again need to watch as immature emotional captain toughens up and makes difficult decisions. It's far from great and feels worse than Harlock.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
26. Futatsu no Spica Twin Spica ふたつのスピカ [Group TAC] (Finished 3/20)
Tags: School Drama, Sci-Fi, Supernatural 
When Kamogawa Asumi was just a baby, her mother was grievously injured when a rocket crashed to the ground. Five years later, having been in a coma all the time, Asumi's mother finally dies, and the little girl struggles to come to terms with the death of a mother she barely remembers. In the midst of her turmoil, she meets "Lion-san," a strange figure wearing a lion mask and claiming to be a ghost. Lion-san helps Asumi to bury her mother's ashes, and finally, Asumi reaches her own decision: "When I grow up, I'm going to be a rocket pilot."
I absolutely hate fake romanticism shows about space like constructing a rocket or training to become astronauts with maybe Robotics;Notes as sole, but still boring, exception. Don't remember how much of Futatsu no Spica I watched in the past, but only negative emotions remain.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
27. UFO Princess Valkyrie 2: Juunigatsu no Yasoukyoku UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie 2: December Nocturne 円盤皇女ワるきゅーレ 十二月の夜想曲 [TNK] (Finished 1/12)
Tags: Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi 
Valkyrie, Kazuto, Akina, Hydra, and friends are back for more when the Key of time suddenly appears along with many other mysterious happenings. All seemed to be linked to a person named "Valkyrie Ghost" whose only goal is stealing Kazuto for herself. As they team up against this seeming unbeatable foe they dig deeper into the mysterious past of Valkyrie's home planet, Valhalla.
Second season, so should be clear.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
28. F-Zero: Falcon Densetsu F-Zero: GP Legend F-ZERO ファルコン伝説 [Ashi Productions] (Finished 1/51)
Tags: Mecha, Racing Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Rick Wheeler was a police detective who got into a fatal car accident while pursuing the criminal Zoda. He was placed into artificial coldsleep for 150 years. Wheeler is brought back to life by Jody Summer and Dr. Stewart, who work with a group of good racers who try to keep prize money out of the hands of unsavory people like the Dark Million Organization run by Black Shadow and Deathborn.
Video game adaptation racing mecha? It was doomed even as concept long before seeing this ugly CGI.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
29. PopoloCrois ポポロクロイス [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 1/26)
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy
Pinon, the boy who flows within his body, the blood of the three races (the Dragons, the fairies and the humans), is actually the son of the Courageous One, Pietro. Pinon's encounter with a mysterious animal, Pap, opens up the door to an adventurous journey. He befriends Luna and Marco on the way. However, when he learns that his adventure will determine the fate of PoPoLoCrois, Pinon hardens his heart and leaves his friends. Unknown to him, this is an introductory chapter to a new adventure and Pinon will realise that he must resolve the bigger crisis present in PoPoLoCrois.
Everything here cries "kids only". It manages to present even sword fight with skeletons and monsters as something super unserious so that Dragon Quest looks like a serious drama in comparison.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
30. Papuwa パプワ [Nippon Animation] (Finished 1/26)
Tags: Adventure, Comedy 
In this sequel series, events continue four years after they left off in the first series. Papuwa-kun is a mysterious boy who lives on a new tropical island full of the same crazy creatures. Along with his maid, Liquid, and his new amnestic friend, "Rotarou", they lead nonsensical adventures as they try to evade and confuse the Ganma Army, Special Corps, and even the Shinsengumi from discovering Rotarou's real secret and taking him away.
First season only translated pilot episode looked like low quality and more absurd imitation of Dragon Ball. Now quality has improved and absurdity has bloomed even more. Lack of logical development soon invokes headache for me.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
31. Midnight Horror School ミッドナイトホラースクール [Milky Cartoon] (Finished 1/52)
Tags: Comedy 
The school has 26 students with each name of them beginning with a letter of the alphabet in order and a color, 3 teachers, 3 classrooms, a library, a cafeteria, a music room, a playroom, a fountain, a skeleton playground, a graveyard and several school staff.
Not translated. Kids 3D show to learn letters, colors and some other basics. There are two stories in each episode. That's as far as I'm willing to go investigating this.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
32. Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu Final ジャングルはいつもハレのちグゥ FINAL [Shin-Ei Animation] (Finished 7/7)
Tags: Shounen Gag Humor Award Winning, Comedy, Slice of Life
Haré's family receives a video letter from Weda's home in the city. Witnessing how sad and lonely Weda's mother and Bel are without her, Weda decides to take Haré and Guu back to the city for a while. After Haré complains about being bored and lonely without his friends in the jungle (as part of his plot to persuade his mother to take him back), Weda decides to send him to a private school in the city, where he instanly falls in love with a pretty girl named Rita. But, of course, Guu wants part of the action too.
After great series Deluxe OVA looked like thematic episodic stories about different characters, but now the great Guu is back in full swing - just crazy concentrated comedy. I decided to never rate direct sequels the same score as original, so it's one score less now, but overall same high level.  
Overall Rating: 7/10
 
33. Aquarian Age: Saga II - Don't Forget Me... アクエリアンエイジ Saga II ~Don't forget me...~  [Madhouse] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Super Power Action, Drama
During the chaotic period known in Western astrology as the Aquarian Age, the alien ERASER fleet attacks Earth, ravaging cities. However, a counteroffensive is launched. The four factions—ARAYASHIKI, WIZDOM, DARKLORE, and E.G.O.—who have been fighting each other for control of Earth, join forces to defeat the ERASERS.
In the aftermath, Earth is placed under the unified rule of the POLESTAR EMPIRE. However, peace is shattered when the EMPIRE begins to use forbidden magic. These dark powers cause dimensional rifts around the world and once again plunge Earth into chaos and warfare
Ironically, in contrast to "Don't Forget Me" title this sequel is totally forgettable. Without finishing original season it all looks like a spree of chaotic action. There's some kind of finale for the boy and five girls from different factions, but it's as messy as everything else in here.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
34. Comic Party Revolution OVA こみっくパーティーRevolution [Chaos Project] (Finished 4/4)
Tags: Otaku Culture Comedy
A college student, Sendō Kazuki, happened to set foot in the doujinshi community. There, people are producing and selling doujinshi, which is the comic book drawn by fans rather than professional writers. At first he was reluctant, but as he met the girls earnest about producing doujinshi, he was gradually involved in creating it himself.
This series is based on a Dreamcast/PC game, "Comic Party", and its setting is different from the TV series. The main characters, Kazuki, Taishi, and Mizuki are college students whereas they were high school students in the TV series. The story starts after Kazuki has become acquainted with other characters.
Main problem of routine in Comic Party is gone, but these three episodes are sort of fan-disc short stories with side-heroines, so can't even treat it seriously.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
35. Moekan The Animation モエかん THE ANIMATION [KSS] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Comedy, Romance 
An anarchistic country that is said to dominate the world exists on a vast island known as Moekko Island. This is where the final works of AC Company's android combat maids (resembling beautiful young girls) are done, also where these maids get there communication training. A new maid is to come to the island to be trained, Rinia, she is a young looking girl, who has lost her all of her memories, she tries very hard to impress the owner at Moekko island, but just ends up making a lot of trouble around the mansion. Takahiro, the owner of Moekko island, a depressive young man who has also lost his memories is seen as a very unhappy person who thinks Rinia will only be trouble around the mansion. As time passes, Takahiro slowly grows attached to Rinia's attempted ways of helping and so starts a beautiful relationship among the quiet island.
I'd say it's closer to average. Some scenes transferred from the game are ok, but all different routes mashed up into one monstrosity did not do good here.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
36. Kidou Shinsengumi Moeyo Ken Moeyo Ken 機動新撰組 萌えよ剣 [Trinet Entertainment, Picture Magic] (Finished 4/4)
Tags: Historical Adventure, Comedy
Set in the Meiji era, Kidou Shinsengumi Moeyo Ken tells the story of Kondou Yuuko, Hijikata Toshie and Okita Kaoru. These three are the daughters of former Shinsengumi members and, in the same fashion as their fathers were, they get called upon to protect Japan from its current problems. Much of their work deals with vanquishing the mysterious paranormal phenomena springing up ever more frequently in the Kyoto area and defending the city from any other dangers that may arise.
Nonsense setting , characters and beasts from phenomena in a short OVA. Flow is also whatever for the bigger half and some fight at the end. It tries to be comedy, but comedies are supposed to be funny.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
37. Kingdom of Chaos: Born to Kill キングダム・オブ・カオス 〜ボーン・トゥー・キル〜 [Idea Factory] (Finished 1/4)
Tags: Fantasy
Neverland is a world where humans, demons and dieux live peacefully. Lord of the Kingdom of Bjor, wants to conquer the world... Anime based on the online game "Kingdom of Chaos (K.O.C.)".
Only found a single translated episode, and can't really say much after just 25 minutes - just some weird fantasy setting with ugly graphics.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
38. Heart Cocktail Again ハートカクテルアゲイン [Meruhensha] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Seinen Romance
An OVA produced to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Watase Seizou's Heart Cocktail manga.
Guess depends on whether you get to catch sentimental vibe from it. I did not, for me it's pseudo-seinen.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
39. Tokyo Godfathers 東京ゴッドファーザーズ [Madhouse] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Childcare Award Winning, Comedy, Drama
One Christmas Eve, Hana, Gin, and Miyuki are rummaging for presents through heaps of garbage when they chance upon an abandoned baby in the cold winter night. Appalled at the pitiful sight, Hana's maternal instincts kick in and she insists on finding the baby's biological mother to demand an explanation. Naming the baby Kiyoko—meaning pure child—they begin their search using the possible clues left alongside her: a mysterious key and a single note. However, their plans are soon thrown into disarray as they get caught up in a series of unprecedented events.
Tokyo Godfathers follows the journey of the trio as they stick together through thick and thin, hoping to deliver Kiyoko to her true home, and find their very own Christmas miracle.
It's a well animated curious chasing story, but it dwells on miracles and bad luck way too much. I definitely don't enjoy it aesthetically as it's mostly about unpleasant people in unpleasant places doing unpleasant things, so the main question left for me is the message of the movie, the reason to watch it. And all I see here is some clever tricks, a way to tell several life stories and social commentary on homeless people who are just like everyone else and even recently successful people while in some qualities are even better than the most. I find it all really ugly and senseless, so I see no reason to recommend it. Cheesy weird Christmas fairy-tale about bums.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
40. Fuyu no Hi 冬の日 [Imagica] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Historical Award Winning
Winter Days is based on one of the renku (collaborative linked poems) by the 17th-century Japanese poet Bashō.
The creation of the film followed the traditional collaborative nature of the source material – the visuals for each of the 36 stanzas were independently created by 35 different animators. Each animator was asked to contribute at least 30 seconds to illustrate their stanza, and most of the sequences are under a minute (Yuriy Norshteyn's, though, is nearly two minutes long).
As you see, it's avant-garde anthology with hokku in between. And most of the animation is not even real anime...  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
41. Kochira Katsushikaku Kameari Kouenmae Hashutsujo The Movie 2: UFO Shuurai! Tornado Daisakusen!! こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所 THE MOVIE2 UFO襲来!トルネード大作戦!! [Fuji TV, Shueisha] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Shounen Adult Cast, Detective, Gag Humor Action, Comedy, Mystery
More movie mayhem for Ryoutsu.
This time it's just fooling around and having a rest while trying to earn money for Ryoutsu. It all brings to UFO case only accidentally. Again only not bad.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
42. Ougon no Hou: El Cantare no Rekishikan The Golden Laws 黄金の法 エル・カンターレの歴史観 [Group TAC] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Historical Fantasy
In the year 2403 AD a young student named Satoru is visited by a time traveler from the future, a cute girl named Alisa. The two go back in time together to explore the 21st century when a malfunction sends them hurdling through seemingly random episodes of religious and perhaps historic importance.
Japan's answer to Scientology, Kyoufuku no Kagaku (幸福の科学, also known as The Institute for Research in Human Happiness), returns with their third animated feature.
Time travel and just peeking into some myths is hardly a good concept to choose. Nonsense is the closest word to describe it.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
43. Atashin'chi Movie 映画 あたしンち [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/1)
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Tags: Super Power Comedy
In a stormy night, Mikan and Mom were stricken by lightning simultaneously and switched bodies. In the following days, while Mom enjoyed being a student again, Mikan had to fought with house chores. Meanwhile, Yuzuhiko and Dad were busy looking for a way to switch them back.
Not translated. It's all in the synopsis, really. And since I can't get used to ugly character designs, it gets another score point deduction.  
Overall Rating: 5/10

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Chrono Crusade- A melancholy series that focuses on a girl and her servant demon as they try to counter the activities of free demons on Earth.  

Gunslinger Girls- A 'girls with guns' series focused on cyborg girls who have undergone brainwashing levels of conditioning.  These girls were generally abused/crippled/terminally ill when they were taken in.  Their memories from before were erased.  The first season jumps around in time, focusing on different girls and their handlers.  The only one that gets a long-term focus in this one is Henrietta.  The girls are all a bit yandere due to the way the conditioning causes them to rely emotionally on their handlers.  The whole point of this inhumane program is to counter terrorist organizations in a fictional future Italy where separatists have gone militant.

Fullmetal Alchemist- C'mon Kvan, for all the flaws with this series, it is still better than Cromartie....

Avenger- Dystopian sci-fi at its mediocre, lol.  In a childless world, androids have taken the place of children.  The protagonist is a girl who wants revenge against the rulers of Mars for an event several years prior to the story.  The action in this story is worth watching, and the music is first-class.  However, the story is more than a little incoherent.

Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi- It's basically a continuation of the previous season, focused solely on everyday episodes instead of trying to draw out tears.  You'd think this wouldn't work since he chose a heroine at the end of the first season, but somehow it does.

Peacemaker Kurogane- Follows a page boy that technically existed as a servant of the Shinsengumi's core members and was one of the few survivors.  Most of the story is everyday interactions with the Shinsengumi members as they mostly try to distance him from the bloodier stuff.

Tsukihime- It has long been a joke that 'there is no Tsukihime anime' because of how badly it was handled.  If you have never played the VN, it actually doesn't bother you as much, but if you have, it drives you nuts.  They basically mashed three of the five paths into a single story (Ciel and Kohaku excluded) that, while coherent, has little to do with the original content.  Since the events of Hisui and Akiha's path were fused with the events of Arcueid's path, it is a wonder that it somehow came out semi-coherent.  Taken on its own, entirely separate from the VN, it is a better than average anime, but taken with the original material in mind, it is an abomination.  Especially since they wasted a lot of the best scenes shared between the paths and in Arcueid's path.

Maburaho- Nakige-style ecchi rom-com.  It is actually a pretty good watch, but it is from an era with many similar anime, so it is often overlooked.

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien- I honestly hate NTR stories, so this is one of my least favorite anime of all time.  Based in the same universe as the Muv-luv series.

 

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Tsukihime anime - Even though the fans would be more than happy to declare it as non-existent anime, to be fair the material to adapt is quite big within the scope of 12 episodes, especially with on how Nasu like to write in a very lengthy detail (If his Mahoyo novel was rejected because it's length is any indication), and obviously 12 episodes are not enough to adapt the whole route if we know that both two Fate anime adaptation need 24 episodes to adapt each routes. That said, the staffs here obviously didn't going all out trying to adapt as much as possible, considering that they still manage to add filler episode within limited allocated episode numbers, so yeah it's understandable that Type-Moon fans didn't like this anime to put it lightly. If anything else, at least the opening song of it is quite good.

ROD the TV - I did watch this on Animax, and I said to my sibling that it's the worst anime because I don't understand any of it. Well in any case, I later learnt that the actual main character for ROD here is actually Yomiko instead of Nenene, and that I did think that Maggie here is more like a male instead of female. Honestly speaking, I already forget on how it's end, but at least I can vaguely remember that Anita starting to read the books at the end of the series.

Gunslinger Girl - I admit that I glance this on Animax because I thought that it will be like magical girl series wore very sexy costumes and fight using gun, only to find out that the girl wore non sexy uniform and more importantly the premise is far from the magical girl aspect that I expected lol. In any case, this is the series about the child soldier that was brainwashed to do the killing, which obviously would be quite dark and disturbing. Oh yes, the opening song is quite good too.

Kiminozo - While back in 2000's it cement it's position as the anime/VN with realistic love triangle story, nowadays people may find WA2 is far much better. Personally speaking I find that the cause of the love triangle to be happen is very convenient (ie car accident and coma), which mean that the writer can't thinking a good reason to allow the love triangle to be happen. That said, the story can still be good if age manage to finally released the translated reboot of this, even with the original version here is already overshadowed by WA2.

Full Metal Alchemist - FMA 2003 version was created before the author manage to finish the manga, and so obviously some change need to be done in order to have a full anime series. The author here did encourage the staffs to make their original ending, and so we have the original ending of FMA 2003 with several characters have different roles compared to what happen in the manga later. Nowadays fans would like to watch Brotherhood (2009 FMA anime), although it's okay if some like 2003 version here.

That's all for what I can write in regard of Fall 2003 anime here.

Edited by littleshogun
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