Apr 9, 2004

Anime reviews

First, a bit of sad news. A site I used to post anime reviews, Anime Annex, has left this world wide web, along with my old reviews, due to a disc crash. A moment of silence...

Now let me recommend to you the best existing site with anime reviews: THEM Anime Reviews. What is so good about it? Well, the most important thing is that their reviews are good to read. They dont post *anything*, they have a screening process and such, which makes reading their stuff a safe and even enjoyable thing.

Now, below is a review of one of my favourite anime, done in a Them style. Perhaps one day they will publish even my work? Naaaah...still, u can judge by yourself.



Science Fiction, Action, Superhero.


TV Series, 26 episodes, 25 minutes each


US: Bandai Entertainment


@2001 Sunrise


Full (26/26)


prerelease fansubs

The Synopsis

In a near future, an unexplainable accident has devasted a small part of Japan, creating a small new island. Many inhabitants survived, but Japanese goverment decided to declare them outlaws or at best, sub-citizens, who cannot enter Japan proper or the Walled City which is the mainland outpost on the island.
The reson for this? Some people on that new island have manifested paranormal powers and can manipulate matter to create dangerous objects. They are called Alters.
To police the outlaws and enforce the quarantine, the mainland created an organisation known as HOLD, whose members are Alters loyal to the Japanese goverment.
In a clashes between native Alters and HOLD, the latter one has always been victiorius.
Enter the scene a new native Alter, Kazuma. His actions have put him on a collision course with HOLD. Will the outcome of a soon-to-be clash be any diffrent from what everybody is used to?

The Review

It has been my experience that superhero shows have good animation/special effects, decent music and so many plotholes that they resemble a Swiss Cheese. It is nice to find an exception to this rule. Of course exceptions to the rule are a rule in anime genre, but that is another story.

Don't be fooled, Scryed *is* a superhero show. With lots of action and just a little romance thrown into the mix. Most main characters are Alters - human who can transform normal matter into various gadgets, from personal combat armor through mecha to mind control devices. And they fight and fight and fight again. There are some supporting characters who are not Alters, but they are a minority. So what is that makes this show stand out in the crowd?

Characters are quite distinctive, with various personal traits and motivations. There is no 'perfect hero' vs 'evil villain' plot here. Yes, there are some devious minds here and some idealists as well - but most people we meet would be much happier without their superhero powers and with choices others in life then becoming an enforcer for HOLD or outlaw on the run. Anime genre in general excells in making their heroes interesting, but Scryed characters are extremly likalble. After a few episodes one grows really attached to them and when they are put in a life and death situation - and some of them don't make it back alive - you will see it is not just another sweet, feel good, superhero story.

As far as plot goes, it develops slowly and resloves around actions of native Alter Kazuma. There is a sudden twist in the last few episodes and I hear there are those who say that the ending is rushed and could be done 'better'. For those I can say that yes, it is not perfect, some elements might have been insterted earlier. But in the end it is just as realistic, and that is enough for me. It makes the show less predictable, and isn't it the point? To see something new and unexpected?

For me, far more interesting then the main plot is the 'background'. The character development, and the underlying reality - with normal humans being often terrified of Alters, the goverment treating them as 'not quite human', realpolitik, and Alters themselves, looking for their place in the world.

As far as animation and music goes, I will just say that they are decent. No extreme CGI here, opening and few other themes have a nice ring. Nothing ground breaking in this department.

In the end, what made this show imprint itself in my memory? The wide and distinct cast of characters, the realistic background underlying their relations with the word, the question who will make it to the end and if anybody will leave 'happily ever after'. And last but not least, some unnamed quality which made it one of the very few shows that I did *not* - or could not - want to watch one episode right after another, becouse they were so emotionaly intensive that it was just too much.


5 stars. Definetly the superhero as it should be, and a good sf show in inself. A must watch if u like(ed) X-Man and superhero genre. Remove one star if you hate superheros and/or sf, and another one if you think that main plot must be started early.

Audience Appropriateness

Since the show resloves around fights (after all what else can the superheroes do? :), it is not suitable for very young children. Some main characters will die, and while there is no gore, it is never pretty. On the bright side, the romance elements makes it attractive to the less agressive audience as well.


I guess PG-13 is about right.


Read or Die
R.O.D (Read or Dream) TV
Rising Stars comic by JMStraczynski.

Reviewed by

Piotr Konieczny

No comments:

Listed on BlogShares Creative Commons License
Voice of the Prokonsul by Piotr Konieczny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.