Not so Secret Santa: Figure 17

The Not so Secret Santa Project is now graced with Draggle with the oh so awesome anime Figure 17! I LOVED IT SO MUCH!

Tsubasa is a super shy girl that suddenly moved from Tokyo to the country side after her mothers passing. Here is where her life changes for better or worse. An alien crash landed on Earth who just happened to be carrying some deadly monster seeds that have hatched! Tsubasa ends up merging with a liquid/metal life form that helps the alien fight these monsters. Except instead of going back into a liquid/metal form after fighting, Tsubasa's ends up making a clone of her. Thus the story begins to fight these monsters before they destroy the Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First off I gotta start with the soundtrack. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It is pretty rare that I listed to an OP (sorry about the low quality) and ED each and every time but I just couldn't help it with these ones. SO GOOD. Even all the tracks throughout the series were great. They always fit the mood of what was going on and even got exciting during the battle scenes. I'm generally not one to care too much about looks but I gotta say for a series made 2001-2002 it didn't have that "feels like it was made in the 90s" look to it like most shows from the early 2000 have. Well maybe the alien monster designs date back to the 80s XD. I watched the show in English and didn't mind it one bit. I think it actually helped me enjoy the show more since I wasn't so focused on reading subtitles all the time. The girls clone got a little irritating with her voice now and then but nothing I couldn't handle. Each episode was also 45 minutes long which is always an odd yet interesting thing to me. Not quite sure why they went with this format but I gotta say it worked out very well. While some episodes felt like they were much longer because the show is quite slow I still enjoyed the length. Heck sometimes the episodes flew by in an instant!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot wise the show is fairly simple. Girl has a kinda shitty life, it changes one day to super exciting, and she gets to save the world with aliens. But oddly enough what makes the show excellent for me (even though the alien plot is rather kick ass too imo) her daily slice of life routines is what really makes you care about every single character in the show. Going to school everyday, walking home, taking care of her dog, talking with her father, all really mundane stuff but always interesting. We really learn a lot about her and her friends and even her "family" that owns a dairy farm and makes bread. There was one episode that really focused on the farms daily life and I think it was one of the greatest episodes I have ever seen in all of anime haha! We even learn a far amount about the two aliens that are working with her to save the world as well. Not as much as I would have liked but what little we did get about them was fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing that I can honestly say that I disliked about the show was the rather lacklustre ending. While the ending was good in its own... For some reason I was just wanting a little more at the end. Not sure what but SOMETHING! But don't get me wrong the ending was really fitting and good for this kind of show.

WATCH THIS SHOW BECAUSE I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!

*Note this post was written pretty drunk so sorry if it doesn't make sense in some spots!

* Story 8/10
* Animation 8/10
* Sound 9/10
* Characters 10/10
* Overall 9/10

GD Star Rating
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Not so Secret Santa: Mysterious Cities of Gold, Sisters of Wellber, Record of Lodoss War

This is what it looks like around here right now... That tree was straight at one point...

So for this Not so Secret Santa Project post we are going to have 3 different shows being reviewed. I lost power due to an ice storm and just got power back last night. Choose to catch up on my 12 Days posts first so I'm bulk doing my reviews today. Enjoy!

Mysterious Cities of Gold

 

We travel to 1982 for the Mysterious Cities of Gold suggested by fathomlessblue! Yet another anime that was on my radar! Any anime I want to watch anime with the boyfriend always gets put onto the back burner but when I do projects like this they sometimes get moved to the front. So glad it was because what a treat this show is.

A young boy named Esteban who is an orphan, joins Mendoza, a navigator and their search for the The Seven Cities of Gold in the New World begins. While their reasons for travelling to the New World are different, Esteban to find his long lost father, Mendoza to find gold, their journey is full of excitement, danger and friendship.

Looks and sound wise there's nothing to write home about. Typical old style look and the sound... Oh my... While the OP is amazing and if you don't like it there's clearly something wrong with you. All through the 39 episodes of the series the same few songs are used over and over and over again. It's like the studio got a new sound making box just to make this anime so they said "LETS USE IT ALL THE TIME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!" wooooo sound effects EVERYWHERE!!! Kinda got on my nerves a little with all that but once you settle into the series you actually come to love it... Or just tune it out which I generally did. There's a song that really makes me think of the opera from FFVI though which was pretty darn cool and always made me pay super attention to what was happening when it played. Oh yes I should mention that everything is in English. While the voice acting is a little painful sometimes overall it is very well done.

Like every typical adventure seeking show there are interesting episodes and some not so interesting. But what really helped this show be interesting almost all the time was the characters. It's pretty rare that I like shows that have young children as the leads but these 3 kids were really something else. They were strong and very independent. Always found their way out of really hairy situations. They rarely trusted adults which is always amusing when dealing with Mendoza and his lackeys. Mendoza was actually a very funny character to me. A typical love to hate him kind of guy really but what really got me about him was his outfit since he looked like a Spartan to me instead of a Spaniard.

You should seriously watch this show if you haven't already. Find the adventurous child in you! Looking forward to checking out the season 2 of it currently airing as well!

* Story 8/10
* Animation 6/10
* Sound 5/10
* Characters 9/10
* Overall 7/10

Sisters of Wellber

Hello super underrated show, Sisters of Wellber, suggested by CommanderKarasu, one of my good Anime-Planet friends! Wow did you ever pick a great one here! I can't believe this show is from 2007 and no one talks about it. I've only watched the first season of it so I can't really speak for season 2 here. But I'm willing to assume it'll be just as good.

The princess of the Kingdom of Wellber, Rita ends up stabbing prince Gernia of Sangatras, whom she was to marry. She flees his castle and together with Tina, a feisty cat burglar with a green fairy they must travel to the remote Kingdom of Greedom to deliver a message to attempt to prevent a full-scale war between Wellber and Sangatras because of her actions against the prince.

Sounds silly with the pretty simple plot of "princess must run away to try and save everything" but everything about these characters are amazing. Well except for that green fairy and a talking tank that the princess has... Wow those 2 are annoying. Everyone else though spot on with their back stories and growth throughout the show. You really come to care for them all honestly. Hilariously enough I do think that the princess could have had a bit more to her. She grew through other means but typical ones. Like yeah, she's a spoiled princess and now must fight her way throughout the lands full of hostile people, learning how to properly treat people, and fend for herself instead of relying on others all the time. But even then she does rely on Tina a fair amount.

Honestly I don't want to say more about the series till I get around to season 2 because that's when I think I'll learn even more about Tina. I hope she gets revenge for her dead parents from some dude that has a tattoo!

* Story 8/10
* Animation 8/10
* Sound 8/10
* Characters 9/10
* Overall 8/10

Record of Lodoss War

I was super excited when Landon suggested Record of Lodoss War to me. Yes, yet another one of those shows I'd been meaning to watch. Hilariously enough the boyfriend has seen this anime already which pretty much never happens. Pretty sure there are now no more shows he's seen that I haven't heh.

A long time ago, there was a tremendous war between the goddess of Creation and the goddess of Destruction, which made the earth tremble. Both goddesses perished in the war and created what people called a cursed land - Lodoss. Something evil is happening in the land of Lodoss. Parn, a reckless young warrior, along with his new found friends, takes on a quest to find out the source of this evil and becomes involved in the greatest epic struggle between good and evil since the war of the goddesses. (anidb)

I enjoyed this ova the same way I enjoyed Ys. Really liked it but would much rather play a video game of it. Since everything about it is so generic old fantasy rpg. Which is always kinda boring to watch but always super fun to play! I'm looking forward to finishing off the rest with the 27 episode series made after. I've oddly already watched the relating ova's a long time ago not knowing they were even part of this franchise. Legend of Crystania I found to be really good. So good I rated it 9/10. Not sure if that still stands up but well maybe it is time for a re-watch of those!

But yes sadly I found everything about Lodoss War to be terribly generic. Typical fight against evil, typical hero boy followed by a bunch of different people who just happen to have all the right skills for their giant task at hand. But hey, there's nothing wrong with being terribly generic either since sometimes that's just what you need to fill some fantasy voids.

* Story 6/10
* Animation 6/10
* Sound 6/10
* Characters 6/10
* Overall 7/10

GD Star Rating
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Not so Secret Santa: Innocent Venus

If you aren't considering Spherical Cows yet you really should.  Sandra was kind enough to suggest for the Not so Secret Santa Project a little known show called Innocent Venus. This title I had been saving up for a rainy or I guess snowy day in my anime viewing. Glad I finally got around to it because I agree with Sandra, it was quite the treat.

In a dystopian world, humanity is split into the wealthy class, known as the Logos and the poor class, knows as the Revenus. A resistance group from the Revenus is formed because of how poorly the Logos treat them. Barricading them from certain areas and keeping them in specific zones. Thus keeping the poor, poor and the rich, rich. It is hard times all around but the poor clearly have it worse than the rich. To help keep the Revenus in check the Logos created an elite military group known as Phantom. Two boys, Jo and Jin, escape from this group along with a special girl, Sana. Thus their journey starts trying not to get caught and learning just what is so special about Sana.

Honestly this show starts off pretty slow but once you get into it, about 4 episodes in, it starts to get really interesting. Mainly because you actually start to remember what's been happening and who is who because it is a little confusing for the first few episodes. Since they info dump the state of the world in the first five minutes of episode one and you are all like "waaa wait what??" then you are running away off into the resistance!

The music at times is overly dramatic which is ok for the most part oddly enough. It definitely adds to the tension of certain scenes. I wish I cared about the OP and ED though... They just feel like the same old same old. Which is a shame honestly because the rest of the music really fits the mood of the show. The mecha in this world oddly remind me of Flag. A show that ghostlightning made me watch last year. They are very realistic looking and just like Flag while the mecha hold an important roll in the show everything else just seems WAY more important. I guess that's what happens when you have great character development!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of characters. They are all awesome. Bad guys, good guys, everyone! For a series that is only 12 episodes long you sure do feel like you know each and every character no matter how small their roll was. Jo and Sana are particularly well done. It is always nice to see a show about someone protecting another because they just want to instead of HAVING to. They meet this band of pirates lead by this Toraji dude. When we first meet him he always has octopus legs hanging out of his mouth, pretty much the entire first episode we meet him in. Just to further show his eccentric side if we didn't get that already with his samurai outfit, his scar, and his wearing of a pirate coat, hat and all. I gotta say that his lovely wench Hijin was interesting as well. She is a HUGE lady and one not to mess around with.

Jin, that escaped with Jo and Sana is a very confused but fun character. He has these typical "I'M GONNA WIN EVERYTHING" moments then he switches instantly to being pretty depressing. I really couldn't help but to giggle at Jo and Jin's sad but tender bromance. These 2 had been through a lot together and because of that they are pretty close even though neither would likely admit it if I could ask them. I honestly felt like I was watching a Final Fantasy set to an anime with how these characters all acted towards one another which was super fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end it is kinda anticlimactic but I'd still tell people to watch this show for the awesome characters.

* Story 7/10
* Animation 7/10
* Sound 8/10
* Characters 9/10
* Overall 7/10

GD Star Rating
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Not so Secret Santa: Rumiko Takahashi Anthology

The Not so Secret Santa Projects first anime is Rumiko Takahashi Anthology. One of my good Anime-Planet buddies had been bugging me for years to watch this and I decided that this project would be the perfect surprise to tell her that I finally did watch it and she can have a review out of it too!

I've seen pretty much all of Rumiko Takahashi's works in anime form except for Maison Ikkoku which I do plan on getting around to one day. I was rather excited to start this series of one shots because I've enjoyed all her other stuff greatly. Each episode of this series is different and features all different characters. I've always enjoyed series like this honestly because if you don't like a particular episode you have something new to look forward to in the next. They had the same OP and ED for each of the episodes which I didn't mind so much but I didn't enjoy them at all either and always skipped them. Hearing them once was good enough. Visual wise there isn't really anything to talk about since it looks like pretty much like all her other works which is average and old looking. I like the look but I'm sure kiddies that won't watch anything made before the year 2000 won't touch this.

SEE YOU SPACE PENGUIN?

Episode 1 A penguin shows up in the middle of the night brought home by her husband. A very by the rules neighbour part of the housing committee doesn't like loud noises and always enforces the rules. Especially the no pets rule. Later in the episode we find out why this neighbour is the way she is and it is almost understandable. The woman who got stuck with hiding the penguin from her neighbour's the entire time has a son and he asked the cutest question being: "I wonder if penguin hating people exist?" I'm not sure how anyone could hate cute old Pitt-kun~ The woman at one point screams "A person that hates animals is a horrible person." Which I totally agree with haha! Near the end of Pitt-kun's stay at the apartment the woman takes him out for a walk late at night to a park a really surreal moment occurs where we see SPACE and a bunch of stars and stuff. It was quite strange but really calming at the same time. In the end they ended up getting caught by the rules lady but since Pitt-kun was leaving the next day nothing happened. I can't think of a better way to have started off this adorable show. Who wouldn't want a penguin in their house for a little while??

Episode 2 A romance villa is thinking about closing their doors because their father gave away his money a lot so they were always in the red. One of these people the father lent money to came back one day and wished to get married at the romance villa. Because of this old couple the girl who was thinking about closing down decides to keep trying and everyone else that works there agrees. Meh story was meh. There was some side romance dealing with the girl that ran the villa but it was terribly boring.

Episode 3 I dunno it was boring... Some old man and a girl...

Episode 4 We start with a funeral for a terrible mother in law. Everyone at the funeral rumors that it was in fact the daughter in law that was terrible but later we find out that the mother made her daughter in law out to be the bad guy when she was. Her husband ended up dying in the car crash with his mother. Some ashes were put into potted plants and it kind of haunted the poor widow. His last words to his wife was MOTHER and that drove her crazy. She ended up telling her story to a neighbour in hopes she would be believed that she wasn't the bad one in her situation. Pretty boring.

Episode 5 A girl tries to make her dad and mom upset pondering why her parents don't scold her anymore. She starts to assumes she's going to get murdered. Soon she finds out that the family is having financial trouble so she assumes everyone is going to commit suicide together. While on a family trip that they clearly can't afford, the boy she likes is on a date with another girl so suddenly she doesn't care if her parents make her commit family suicide but that thought vanishes when she remembers she has her diary with all her girly feelings back at their home. In reality the reason why the parents were acting so strange is that the dad has lung issues and assumes he's gonna die. Suddenly he drives the family off a cliff but luckily no one was hurt. Turns out he has food poisoning and everything will be ok. What a strange silly story.

SCARY!!

Episode 6 A powerful older business man took over his wife's job at a sushi stand because she is ill and he lost his job. He's ends up being uber creepy and scares off all the customers even though he thinks he's doing a good job. Eventually he figures out that he isn't all that great and tries his best to improve. A very cute foreigner girl works there too and helps him figure it all out since he stood up for her to some really rude customers. The shop owner gives the business man a hilarious suit to wear in hopes that it would help to not scare the customers away. One of my favourite episodes of the series.

Episode 7 An old woman on her death bed watches her life flash by before her. She dies and her family is sad. They find a locket and suddenly she springs to life and tells them not to touch it! She seems to have developed supernatural powers now so she could save one man from falling. Falling from many places... Weird story that ends kinda funny.

Episode 8 A woman and her family move into a new apartment complex that they discover is ruled by another woman by bossing the other neighbours around. Kanishabu is the secret word on how to defeat this woman! A crow owned by an old woman knows the secret of the crab dish. Cute and funny.

Yay I'm being haunted or BOO?

Episode 9 A wife passes away on their anniversary after they have paid off all their debts. The husband is going to be super lonely from now on. Yet her ghost remains in the living room and only he can see her! Some really cute and funny music plays throughout this episode. A young girl that the old man works with comes to visit him always after his wife's passing because she feels sorry for him being alone. I SHIP THEM SO HARD! One day the girl gives him a wallet as a present and the wife gets pretty angry about that. We soon find out that the reason why the girl was always visiting the man wasn't just because she felt sorry for him. Her boyfriend lives across the street so she always stared out the window at his place. They had grown apart over the last year and she was worried about their fate. The girl and her boyfriend eventually end up at the old mans place together and explain all their troubles. The old man understands and wishes them well. Later the haunting wife tells her husband to look in a drawer where he discovers his anniversary present is. It turns out to be a wallet too and once he finds it his wife disappears for good and he is truly left alone. By far my favourite episode of the series. It brought tears to my eyes!

Such cool masks!!

Episode 10 Garbage has been appearing in front of this ladies house for a long time now that isn't hers. One day some really cool masks show up and this is the last straw! She vows to do something about people leaving their garbage in front of her place. A business man that is an associate to her husband moved into the neighbourhood and they find out that the masks belong to him. His wife keeps getting rid of his things because they have too much stuff but the couple have agreed to return the items since everyone thinks in front of their house is garbage collection. A few characters show up in this episode that were from others which was kinda fun. Pretty cute episode honestly and another of my favourites.

Episode 11 A man gets invited to his high school reunion but he has no reason to go since he left that school early. But this memory lingers of a very cute girl and makes him want to go. His wife is a giant grump and he's pretty depressed with his current life so he goes. Has some laughs but in the end made me feel really awkward...

Episode 12 A little boy spirit haunts a woman because the house they wanted to buy was bad news or something. Boring.

THOSE EYEBROWS!!

Episode 13 A man that married into the top of the company asks one of his "buddy" employees to take care of his mistresses dog till he can find her a new apartment! Hilarity occurs all throughout the episode. This one would have been my favourite if it wasn't for that adorable old man episode. I mean how can you not love that dog with the hilarious eyebrows that the families kid drew on! XD

And there you have it. 13 fun and some not so fun episodes that are sure to warm or freeze your heart!

Yes indeed, What the hell are those eyebrows?? XD

If you are a fan of Rumiko Takahashi you owe it to yourself to watch this series.

* Story 7/10
* Animation 8/10
* Sound 8/10
* Characters 6/10
* Overall 7/10

GD Star Rating
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Not so Secret Santa: Victorian Romance Emma

Today the Not so Secret Santa Project comes to an end. I hope you've all enjoyed these reviews as much as I enjoyed doing them! Victorian Romance Emma is the type of show I generally avoid. Romance, romance, and some drama tossed in for good measure. cassiesheepgirl however knows me well enough to have boldly suggested this anyway. I trust her judgment on most shows so I was willing to give this a chance too. She is me after all! 😉

Emma is a maid for a wealthy governess. One day William arrives at the household to visit Emma's governess, Mrs. Stowner, and instantly Emma and William fall in love. A classic love at first sight story. But Emma is just a maid where William is from a wealthy family. The two classes generally do not mix when it comes to love and possible marriage. So Emma and William will either have to work very hard to gain the acceptance of those around them or forever part ways.

My favourite side character of the series.

If realistic character designs and settings are your kind of thing Emma doesn't disappoint in that aspect. It was one of my favourite things about the show. Especially the eyes. They'll draw you in for sure with their beauty. William's did that to me greatly! The landscape was always something to stare at intently. So much detail. The OP was done in a very interesting way between seasons. Same song but a different tone for S2. It was pretty neat and I enjoyed that very much. I listened to the OP's and ED's everytime. The pacing in this series is super slow but honestly you don't notice it very much. The way the story is told it is almost needed to be done in this fashion. Even though it was slow everything moved along at just the right moments to still hold your interest which I thought was pretty great.

A true romance rival arrives!

Emma and William are completely adorable with their romantic story. S1 sets up everything perfectly then the drama hits by the end and more drama in S2! There is a recap special for the entire S1 if you need a refresher that was actually pretty good. Pointless if you are watching each season back to back (like I did) but I still appreciated it. Hakim the prince from India was a delightful character that brought some pretty good humour to the series when the drama got a little too heavy. Even when he himself was being serious it was still humorous. He also wanted to steel Emma to join his harem which was quite awesome to see William contend with. I really REALLY loved that he brought an ELEPHANT with him to London! Who does that? Who uses an elephant as a taxi to get around town?? An Indian prince does clearly!

William had another rival for Emma's love in S2 as well. Hans works for the Mölders that Emma ended up working for too when she left London at the end of S1. Hans is a grizzly type of a man but holds Emma dear to his heart even if he's not the greatest at showing it. I really enjoyed his character. I love men like that in anime! Emma wasn't the only one to have a love interest though. Eleanor who was from another well off family tried very hard to catch William's eye. It almost worked once Emma ran away from London too. Sometimes it was hard to tell if she was really in love with William or if the pressure from her family to marry another wealthy person just clouded her feelings into thinking she did. She is a pretty young girl after all.

If I was Emma I probably would have done things exactly the same way as she did!

Moving scene in S1

Best scene of the entire series in S2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True fans of romance owe it to themselves to watch this fantastic story.

* Story 8/10
* Animation 9/10
* Sound 9/10
* Characters 10/10
* Overall 9/10

GD Star Rating
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