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Anime of the Year 2004-III Summer - Gantz 2nd Stage



Turns out I criticized everything too much this season, and Gantz 2nd Stage comes out as the only candidate
1. Elfen Lied エルフェンリート [Arms] (Finished 13/13)
Tags: Seinen Gore, Psychological Action, Drama, Horror, Romance, Supernatural
Lucy is a special breed of human referred to as "Diclonius," born with a short pair of horns and invisible telekinetic hands that lands her as a victim of inhumane scientific experimentation by the government. However, once circumstances present her an opportunity to escape, Lucy, corrupted by the confinement and torture, unleashes a torrent of bloodshed as she escapes her captors.
During her breakout, she receives a crippling head injury that leaves her with a split personality: someone with the mentality of a harmless child possessing limited speech capacity. In this state of instability, she stumbles upon two college students, Kouta and his cousin Yuka, who unknowingly take an injured fugitive into their care, unaware of her murderous tendencies. This act of kindness will change their lives, as they soon find themselves dragged into the shadowy world of government secrecy and conspiracy.
As I often say, it fought the war on Chobits territory, and Chobits won again. Still, Elfen Lied has more on the side, so it's say it's a tie. Never had any piety towards it.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
2. Gantz 2nd Stage Gantz: Second Stage ガンツ [Gonzo] (Finished 13/13)
Tags: Seinen Gore, Psychological, Survival Action, Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Ecchi
Despite having seemingly returned to their normal lives, Kei Kurono, Masaru Katou, and Kei Kishimoto are forced back into the lethal game after Gantz's recent activity. The black sphere continues to summon recently deceased people to fight alien invaders. And having survived the two previous encounters, the trio are more than prepared for the upcoming missions.
As they progress through the tournament's stages, the three proceed in their attempt to earn 100 points, which is said to be the only way to leave the parallel dimension for good. However, with the constant onslaught of alien invaders and the threat of imminent death, they must first focus on the task at hand—immediate survival.
As a sequel, gets one score less, but I don't distinguish first half and second half.  
Overall Rating: 7/10
3. DearS ディアーズ [Daume] (Finished 4/12)
Tags: Shounen Harem Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Ecchi
One year ago, a UFO containing 150 aliens crash-landed off the shores of Kasai. Because no one could fix their ship, the Japanese Government decided to bestow upon them the designation "DearS" and make them into Japanese citizens, teaching them the language, customs, and culture of Japan. However, in order for them to become more familiar with human society, a home-stay program has been enacted to allow them to mingle with other humans.
One misty morning, a truck carrying a capsule that housed one of these aliens ends up dropping it into the riverbank, releasing her from her confinement. She is eventually found by a high school student named Takeya Ikuhara, who saves her from being hit by a truck and takes pity on her, despite being extremely distrustful of their race and wanting nothing to do with them. Upon being named Ren, she imprints upon him as her "Master" and serves as his personal "Slave," leaving him with a "DearS" who wants to remain with him no matter what and bringing his ordinary, alien-free days to an end.
That's what I'd call moege if it was a game. So horrible that it does not even deserve discussing it.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
4. Girls Bravo: First Season Girls Bravo GIRLSブラボー first season [AIC Spirits] (Finished 3/11)
Tags: Shounen Harem, Isekai, School Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Ecchi
Small for his age, Yukinari has been bullied and abused by girls all his life. Now in high school, he has developed a rare condition: whenever girls touch him, or even come close, he breaks out in hives. Imagine his surprise, when he is suddenly transported to the city of Seiren on a mystic world invisibly orbiting the Earth, and populated with vast numbers of women and very few men. Fortunately, he has a new friend, Miharu-chan, whose touch inexplicably doesn't affect him.
A big rival for DearS, not in a good way.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
5. Samurai 7 サムライセブン [Gonzo] (Finished 4/26)
Tags: Historical, Mecha, Samurai Sci-Fi
In the far distant future, on a planet that might have been called "earth", there was a war between samurai who mechanized their bodies. After the long war, people enjoyed a modest peace.
Facing starvation and abductions at the hands of fearsome mechanized bandits (Nobuseri), the farmers of Kanna Village make the dangerous choice to hire samurai for protection. The village's water priestess, Kirara, her younger sister, Komachi, and a heartbroken villager, Rikichi, set off to hire willing samurai with nothing to offer but rice from their meager harvests. Through dangerous encounters and a bit of luck, seven samurai of varying specialties and experience are gathered for an epic battle against the bandits and the merchants that influence them.
Samurai 7 is based loosely upon Kurosawa Akira's famous movie "Seven Samurai"/"Shichinin no Samurai"
Guess concept was too lucrative - you can press on Kurosawa nostalgy, show varied bright samurai, gather them for a whole season and pack a lot of action in here. And Gonzo is the studio that can pull off such ambitious work. But what I want to ask - is it really interesting? Because it was not for me.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
6. Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor Fafner 蒼穹のファフナーDead Aggressor [Xebec] (Finished 25/25)
Tags: Mecha, Military Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Tatsumiyajima is the central island in the middle of a small cluster of islands, in a sleepy backwater of the Japanese isles. Not much happens there, and the island's young people go to school knowing that their lives are likely to remain peaceful and undisturbed. Or so they have been taught... but the truth is different. The fate of mankind is on the line, and Tatsumiyajima is the last line of defense against a hostile and incomprehensible enemy. At the center of it all, fighting for Humanity's continued existence, is the giant robot Fafner, the dragon that guards this final treasure of mankind.
As Evangelion clone, it was supposed to get better towards the end. And it did not. And it managed even to have an open ending to spawn sequels and spin-offs. Very immature, as for me .  
Overall Rating: 6/10
7. Ninin ga Shinobuden ニニンがシノブ伝 [ufotable] (Finished 3/12)
Tags: Martial Arts, Parody Comedy
Kaede is a normal school girl who was studying for her exams for school when suddenly she is interrupted by Shinobu, a girl who is a ninja-in-training, attempting to complete her exam. The problem is, in order for her to successfully complete her exam, she must steal one of Kaede's panties!
In Kaede's attempt to stop Shinobu from stealing her panties, an unexpected friendship is forged between the two. Kaede soon becomes engrossed in Shinobu's world, surrounded by partying ninjas and a yellow pac-man like thing by the name of Onsokumaru, who claims to be the master of all ninjas!
Title "Nonsense ninja" says it all. Some pervy humor is not bad, overall rather average.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
8. Kurau Phantom Memory クラウ ファントムメモリー [Bones] (Finished 13/24)
Tags: Space, Super Power Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
It is the year 2100, and on the colonized Moon, a project is under way to explore new aspects of energy. Amami Kurau is the daughter of the chief scientist on the project, and on her 12th birthday, she accompanies her father to the lab to observe the experiments. Then something goes awry, and Kurau is struck by twin bolts of light. In the aftermath, her father is dismayed to find that his daughter is no longer his daughter. Rather, her body is now home to two energy entities with fantastic powers.
This story absolutely does not know what it wants to be and where it's going to. First it's SOL and split personality drama, then it's sci-fi, next it's using attacking and healing magic, and elements just interchange to prolong the senseless agony.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
9. Maria-sama ga Miteru: Haru Maria Watches Over Us: Printemps マリア様がみてる~春~ [Studio Deen] (Finished 2/13)
Tags: School Drama, Girls Love 
The spring term is beginning for the students at Lillian Girls' Academy. Friends are reunited, but for the Yamayuri Council, it's a bittersweet time. Yoko, Eriko, and Sei are busy preparing to depart Lillian while Sachiko, Rei, and Shimako are doing their best to ensure that their dear sisters receive a memorable commencement.
Sei's departure will leave a sizable hole in the White Roses, and filling it won't be easy. But is there anyone who could appeal to Shimako enough to become the next Rosa Gigantea en bouton?
Yuri stories have its audience. I'm not included.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
10. Otogizoushi Otogi Zoshi: The Legend of Magatama お伽草子 [Production I.G] (Finished 7/26)
Tags: Historical Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
The year is 972 A.D. in Kyoto, the capital of ancient Japan. Kyoto is becoming a corrupt and run-down city; selfish samurai and onmyoji, who care only about gaining political power are everywhere. To make matters worse the city is suffering from famine and widespread disease. Unable to ignore the condition of the city any longer, the Imperial Court decides to send Minamoto no Raiko, a famous samurai well-known for his archery skills, to recover a legendary gem said to hold mysterious power to save the world. However Raiko also falls ill to disease. Instead his youngest sister, Hikaru, decides secretely to make the journey in his place. Hikaru meets many people, and has many adventures while on her trip for the legendary gem.
Yay, new aimless travel adventure about collecting all the pieces of something. Great premise for wasting time which is executed brilliantly if that was the aim.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
11. Wind: A Breath of Heart (TV) Wind -a breath of heart- [Radix] (Finished 5/13)
Tags: School Drama, Romance, Supernatural
Okano Makoto transferred to the school in his home town. There, he spent normal but happy school days with his sister, Hinata, a jokey classmate, Tachibana Tsutomu, Shikouin Kasumi, Tsutomu's childhood friend, and other friends.
One day, after school, Makoto heard someone playing the harmonica. That melody made him feel something old, and it brought him to the roof of the school buildings. There, he met a girl in the dusk.
It was Narukaze Minamo who turned her face to him with a smile. She was a childhood friend, but they had lived separately for years.
Hiding their true thoughts, Makoto and his friends spend their lives in school. Their stories in a mysterious town are about to begin.
Vanilla sweet and banal with the obligatory drama developing the further it goes, and it could only scrap "content" for half a season with 12 minute episodes.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
12. Tsuki wa Higashi ni Hi wa Nishi ni: Operation Sanctuary 月は東に日は西に〜Operation Sanctuary〜 月は東に日は西に〜Operation Sanctuary〜 [Radix] (Finished 6/13)
Tags: Harem, Time Travel Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Naoki Kuzumi, a junior in high school, had lost his parents in an accident five years ago, and is living with his aunt, uncle, and cousin Matsuri. He always thought his life was ordinary, besides the fact that he can't remember what happened in his youth. One sunny day as he is taking a nap on a bench, a redheaded girl -- Mikoto -- literally falls on him from the sky. For some reason, she thinks he's her younger brother. Naoki's time period is a temporal shelter for those in the future, when many are suffering from an incurable disease. When she heard her younger brother Yuusuke had been taken to Naoki's time, Mikoto herself had gone back in time.
It feels that it comes out of an old visual novel. And source material is definitely weak.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
13. Galaxy Angel 4 ギャラクシーエンジェル4 [Madhouse, feel.] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Comedy, Sci-Fi 
Starting out with the new Galaxy Angel, Chitose Karasuma, the Angel Troupe continue their search for The Lost Technology while running into different kinds of mishaps.
The nonsense horror continues for the fourth time now.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
14. Agatha Christie no Meitantei Poirot to Marple Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple アガサ・クリスティーの名探偵ポワロとマープル [OLM] (Finished 1/39)
Tags: Historical Mystery
Young Mabel West is the daughter of mystery writer Raymond West, who wants her to lead a normal life. Rebelling against this, Mabel wants to be a great detective, and sets out for London to become assistant to none other than Hercule Poirot, the great Belgian detective who resides there. She finally wins the reluctant approval of her father, and embarks on an exciting life of mystery and suspense—his only demand being that she occasionally spend some time with her great-aunt, Jane Marple, in the small village of St. Mary Mead.
What can I say, I seriously detest works of Agatha Christie.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
15. Uchuu Koukyoushi Maetel: Ginga Tetsudou 999 Gaiden Space Symphonic Poem Maetel: Galaxy Express 999 Side Story 宇宙交響詩メーテル ~銀河鉄道999外伝~ [Azeta Pictures] (Finished 2/13)
Tags: Space Drama, Sci-Fi 
Maetel abandoned her mother and her home planet, the doomed and frozen La Metal, where people must become cyborgs to survive. When she is beckoned to return, her options seem slim: follow her mother's path (and with it a robot mind and the contempt of all humans), or run away and fight with humans against the machines. Yet, she is not without comrades and defenders. If she can accept the friendship of beings of metal who desire peace, and oppose those who think being made of flesh and blood is enough to make one human, she may still have a chance to find her own path.
Wow, just wow. It's like 5th remake of Express 999 or close to that. Of course it's a side story this time, so it's one coherent story instead of many travel episodes, but I'm so sick of this franchise that I just can't treat it calmly - very infuriating beating around the same stale bush for decades.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
16. Monkey Punch: Manga Katsudou Daishashin モンキー・パンチ 漫画活動大写真 [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 3/12)
Tags: Seinen Gag Humor, Parody Action, Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi
It's an animated variety show featuring the works of Monkey Punch that aired on WOWOW with the episodes being 52 minutes long. 12 episodes were aired between July 31, 2004 to June 25, 2005 and received a DVD exclusive 15 minute long special called Crime Mate.
Some kind of anthology with familiar Lupin characters and not only them. Pretty weird, as for me.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
17. Monkey Turn V モンキー ターン V [OLM] (Finished 1/25)
Tags: Shounen Racing Action, Drama
Sequel to Monkey Turn.
Original was already non-repairable, maybe for game fans.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
18. Eiken: Eikenbu yori Ai wo Komete Eiken エイケン エイケンヴより愛をこめて [J.C.Staff] (Finished 1/2)
Tags: Harem, School Comedy, Ecchi
Zashono Academy is a massive educational institution with over thirty-five thousand students enrolled across all grades. It is here that the plain and unpopular Densuke Mifune enrolls in high school. While he looks forward to blending into the crowd, circumstances change when he runs into Chiharu Shinonome, an incredibly attractive and intelligent girl who has captured the attention of all the students at the school. Witnessing the encounter between the two, Kirika Misono pressures them into joining her mysterious "Eiken Club" to compete in the school's annual club tournament. The tournament causes Densuke to become more intimate with his fellow club members, but will he be able to maintain his composure or will he give in to their bold advances?
An abominable attack of giga boobs.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
19. Re: Cutey Honey Re:キューティーハニー [Gainax, Toei Animation] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Action, Comedy, Girls Love, Sci-Fi, Ecchi 
The last words spoken to Honey Kisaragi by her father before his death at the hands of the mysterious organization Panther Claw have shaped her way of life. It is the sole reason she still continues to fight for the sake of others.
The energetic Inspector Natsuko Aki does her absolute best to apprehend the members of Panther Claw and bring them to justice, but they are simply too much for the police to handle. The only one who can give these criminals a run for their money is the sexy warrior of love and justice, Cutie Honey—the secret alter ego of Kisaragi. Although Natsuko refuses to acknowledge vigilantes, her relationship with Honey progresses for the better as the strong-headed detective realizes the true intentions behind Honey's actions.
Overtime, Honey grows more fearful of her burning desire for revenge; meanwhile, Natsuko wants to protect her friend, a sentiment that clashes with her ideals of upholding the law. If they ever hope to stand a chance against the menacing Panther Claw, the duo will have to put aside their differences and stand together.
Original was very modest, in contrast this interpretation is provoking and using lots of absurd humor akin to Abenobashi magical circle. At least it's something that stays in memory.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
20. Kishin Houkou Demonbane 機神咆吼デモンベイン [Group TAC, View Works] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Mecha Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi
Lily Bridge, a young journalist, arrives at Arkham City, hoping to find a big scoop. However, with all the strange things occuring around the city, only the exceptional findings are news-worthy, such as the mysterious mecha known as Demonbane. However, upon finding a small piece of machinery that seemed to be connected with the Hadou Combine, Lily is determined to find the truth. Little does she know, she enters into a dark world, involving herself with Demonbane and the powerful forces that control the city.
It's just a single episode prequel to the game, for advertisement purposes, so no great.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
21. Ajisai no Uta あじさいの唄  [Group TAC] (Finished 4/4)
Tags: Historical Comedy, Drama
This is a heartwarming story about a family during the Edo era. The main character, Kuritaro, lives with his father and a stray dog. Despite his mother's death, he continues to live a cheerful life.
Not translated. It's rather heart-freezing than heart-warming as it involves too much crying. It's a mixed bag - some events are nice and some are just a spree of crying.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
22. Mind Game マインド・ゲーム [Studio 4°C] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Adult Cast, Psychological Adventure, Avant Garde, Award Winning, Comedy, Romance
After seeing her jump onto a subway at the last second and getting her ankle crushed between the doors, Nishi reconnects with his high school sweetheart, Myon. Nishi is still very much in love with Myon, but is shocked to learn that she is engaged to another man. Nishi agrees to meet Myon's fiancé at her family's Yakitori restaurant, but members of the Yakuza storm the joint and murder Nishi when he tries to stop them from raping Myon.
Nishi, now dead, wakes up and meets a constantly shapeshifting god, who mocks him for dying. The god tells Nishi to walk into a portal and disappear from existence, which Nishi rejects, choosing instead to sprint past the god and reanimate. With a new outlook on life and knowledge of how the Yakuza are going to attack him, Nishi kills one of the Yakuza with his own gun, fleeing in a stolen car with Myon and her sister.
Acclaimed director Masaaki Yuasa's debut film, Mind Game's constantly shifting visuals tell a story about living one's life without regrets that is unlike any other.
Super experimental something. It's rather mindless games.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
23. Steamboy スチームボーイ  [Sunrise] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Historical, Military Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Ray is a young wunderkind inventor living in Victorian England. His life is turned upside down when he receives a special package hailing from the United States, sent by his grandfather, Lloyd Steam. The package contains a device called a Steam Ball, a device so powerful that it can drive any machine that requires steam with a nearly limitless amount of energy.
Ray is instructed to not let the Steam Ball fall into the wrong hands, which include the mighty O'Hara Foundation, who desperately want to bring the Steam Ball back into their control so they can achieve their less than noble goals.
He will need to use every bit of his brilliance in order to dodge the countless goons that are sent to snatch the device from him. It will be a battle between good and evil, a battle for redemption, a battle for the future!
I seriously dislike steampunk, and this thing is one condensed steampunk. I've yet to see any worthy steampunk work. Irritating characters only add negative emotions.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
24. Kakurenbo Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek カクレンボ [Yamato Works] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Psychological Horror, Supernatural
Among the high rises of steel pipes, meshed power lines, and faded neon lights, exists a game that children dare to play within the ruins of the old city.
"Otokoyo," a secret game of hide-and-seek, one where all who play wear fox masks and only begins when seven have gathered. But it is no normal game, as all who have played it have gone missing. Many whisper it is the work of demons, but that is just a rumor... or is it?
Kakurenbo follows the story of seven children as they play Otokoyo for the first time and discover why if you play, you never return.
Length is of just one episode, and hearing same two phrases kills any motivation.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
25. Nareuneun Dwaeji - Haejeok Mateo 날으는 돼지 해적 마테오  [] (Finished 0/1)
Tags: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 
A 2004 Korean CG film about an anthropomorphic pig being a sky pirate.
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10


Recommended Comments

Elfen Lied- It's Elfen Lied... this series is pretty controversial, but it is a highly emotional horror series with a tragic backstory and ending.  Also, awesome music.

Demonbane- Like most of the early VNs turned anime, it combines all the routes into a single story, resulting in a somewhat incoherent story as a whole.  However, it does have decent action and some interesting moments.

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Samurai 7 - I only glance on it back when it's aired on Animax, and I decided to just gave up on it. Well, at least the opening song is quite memorable to a degree.

Elfen Lied - Okay I admit that I know this back when I search the manga with tag 'Ecchi', although obviously it has more than that, especially with disturbing stuff. Also it should be noted that unlike Johann in Monster, Lucy here has a tragic backstory and reasons on why she became like that.

Galaxy Angel 4 - It's the most controversial Galaxy Angel anime, no thanks to on how they butchered Chitose character in which it's very contrast to her VN counterpart. Other than Chitose treatment, well it's still the same Galaxy Angel anime in that it didn't adapt the VN trilogy faithfully because of the creative decision.

That's all for what I can write in regard of Summer 2004 anime here.

PS - Oh yes, I remember Fafner ending song, although it's more like because it was used in Saya no Uta AMV video, which I first thought the opening video only to find out that Saya no Uta actually has no opening song.

Edited by littleshogun
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