Hi hi, I managed to finish another show.
I actually watched this one back in 2005, but somehow I didn’t write a review for it so I decided to rewatch it, since I did kind of miss this show.
26 episodes, manga origin. I did read the manga after watching the anime back then, and the manga was sort of disappointing. Will elaborate more later.
I would really recommend people to go into retro mode when watching this, as many would not sit well with the setting and theme. That aside, back to the review.
Watching it back in 2005, was great. Always excited for the new episodes, loving the character development and slow brewing romance development. I was unforgettable.
Watching it 15 years later, despite forgetting about 85% of the plot, the story still is a breath of fresh air, in an era of constant themes taking the norm. This show managed to revive my passion for fantasy shows, after being bored of them for awhile.
But 2005 is also in an era where anime tend to branch out their stories, retaining about 60% from the manga. I’m not a particularly big fan of this, but there are shows that branch out rather nicely, this one is one of them.
The plot is really good. The story pacing is a little slow, but I am never bored, because of the impending plot twists at hand. 26 episodes back then was a lot of time, but pacing is still rather slow. Certain arcs feel rather overextended.
The developments keeps on coming. Comedy elements varies from episode to episode. Sometimes it can get pretty funny, but when the show get serious, comedy is pretty much thrown out of the window, and the mood sets in quickly.
I really love the focus on the main 2 characters, but does dim the limelight a little on the side characters. The attempt to give the side characters some development is there, but they were cut pretty heavily. Some characters were changed in terms of development and their roles.
So about the anime story branching out part, how deviated is the story? Not a lout during the first 3 quarters, but the final arc was completely redone as the manga was ongoing back then and they had to write an original ending. There is a lot of original ending animes back in the 2000s, and that is a thing I miss. Instead of abrupt and open endings, I wish shows that have no intention of making a sequel to just make an original ending to at least give the viewers a sense of closure.
The manga ending was pretty open and inconclusive, so I loved the anime even more for that reason.
Overall, I really enjoyed this show. Rewatching it now was absolutely magical. The director and scriptwriter both carry on to work on even more epic works in the 2010s.
This show is done by Xebec. Xebec dominates the fantasy genre during the 2000s, before J.C.Staff took over, but I digress.
Xebec has been known for being pretty faithful to manga designs, and it shows here. Character accuracy is pretty on point for that era.
But animation quality isn’t all that amazing. It is better than how they did with Negima, but still isn’t great.
Combat is pretty decent, there are some repeated frames, which was the norm back then. But the combat scenes were pretty nice, not as epic as Negima, but at least it looked pretty intense.
Colors were pretty okay, lacking a bit of vibrance. Overall, it’s not a great looking show, its not going to blow people’s minds, but its passable.
I was pretty tonedeaf back then with music, but now I’m not.
Kajiura Yuki is in-charge with the music. But this piece is one of her weaker works. There are some nice pieces of BGM, but the whole catalogue of BGMs looks pretty basic.
Not sure if it is low budget, but judging from her work from Gundam Seed and Seed Destiny just a few years prior to this show, I think it’s down to budget.
Despite the rather “basic” pieces, I still love her works.
The OP is just great, ED is pretty mundane and gloomy.
The cast list is pretty darn stacked.
Ishida Akira, Takashashi Mikako, Mizuki Nana, Ueda Yuji, Suzuki Naoko, Nakata Kazuhiro, Hyo-sei, Okiayu Ryotaro, Kugimiya Rie, Ogata Megumi, Sasamoto Yuko, Hanba Tomoe, Narita Ken, Toriumi Kousuke, Hitomi, Ueda Youji, Suwabe Junichi, Tsunakake Hiromi, Taguchi Hiroko, Maeda Yukie, Saito Kimiko, Fujino Tomoko, Terada Haruhi, Sanada Asami.
I feel like Ishida Akira’s voice can be a little too rough and a little deep for Coud, he sounds a little bit on the mature side. But oddly, he sounded nicely for Athrun. But probably not fitting in with Coud’s impulsive nature.
Mikako’s voice for Reverie is a pretty nice pick. It is virtually impossible to find shows with her angelic voice nowadays.
The rest of the cast is great, Kuea is probably my MVP here for sure.
Recommended, if you are digging for the 2000s fantasy shows. It was absolutely magical for me, with a rather timeless story. I can just rewatch this show over and over.
Well, that is all for me. I am still enchanted and in love even after 15 years.
I think I will watch Vampire Knight next, since I am halfway through with that show, so I think I will write the review in a couple of days.
I will see you guys then!