Anime of Tomorrow
Tag Archives: Akemi
Initial impression – too niche (4/10)
Spring 2012 (13 episodes) (more info)
Zetman doesn’t seem to have much going for it. It’s already very clear what the story is going to be about and I fear it’s going to stick to such a standard formula it won’t be able to deviate into something more creative. I’m also not fond of the very cliché “Dragonball hair” moment during the climax of episode one, but despite my misgivings there’s some great action and the plot builds on some very formative moments that will clearly shape the characters’ futures in the coming episodes. The art style also isn’t my favorite with a very “Japan hero-show,” design for the appearance of the superhero suits reminiscent of Power Rangers. It’s very unimaginative and childish for something that clearly wants to market itself to a more mature audience. So it seems Zetman is firmly going to be a sort of hyper-shounen anime that isn’t strictly bad. Unfortunately, it has such narrow appeal that the people who like it will really like it, but everyone else is just going to say, “meh.”
I’ve become so inspired by the recent Madoka☆Magica expansion for the Japanese trading card game, Precious Memories that I’ve decided to expand the scope of Ashita no Anime and start translating cards. It’s my hope to add more titles in the future besides just Madoka.
I ask anyone who might be reading to link back to my Precious Memories section and help me get this information out to the people who will need it most because I’ve searched all over the internet and I’m confident this is the first English language website that is providing translations for full sets of cards from Precious Memories. For the time being, please enjoy the new additions to the site.
Final impression – a rare masterpiece 10/10
Winter 2011 (Alternate titles – Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – Magic Girl Madoka Magica)
Warm and engaging junior high student Madoka Kaname welcomes the cold and aloof transfer student Homura Akemi into her class. Soon after, Madoka hears a voice speaking to her; telepathically begging for her help. When she seeks out the source of call, she finds the cat-like alien, Kyubey being pursued by a dressed-to-kill Homura. With help from her friend Sayaka, they escape their frightening classmate, but blunder into the nest of a dangerous witch that was Homura’s real quarry. Just as things are about to end very badly, they are rescued from the witch by their upperclassman, Mami Tomoe. After the whirlwind of confusion abates, Kyubey reveals to Madoka and Sayaka that he has the power to grant any wish they desire, and in return they will have to become magic girls in order to fight the witches that endanger innocent lives. But Homura is intent on ensuring they do not accept his offer because despite his innocent face, there’s something dangerous Kyubey has not warned them about.
If you’re one of those people who runs away from magic girl anime like the plague, it’s time to have your prejudices blown away by the marvel that is Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The first noteworthy point I’d like to make is that Madoka Magica deviates widely from the established tropes of the magic girl genre. You won’t see any nudity or even panty-shots during transformation sequences (which are pretty much absent, anyways). Additionally, the girls get cool weapons to fight with like swords, guns, and bows instead of the more traditional magic girl fare of boring staves and wands (I’m talking about you Nanoha!). With the curious exception of Mami, the girls also don’t call out the names of their signature attacks in battle like you’re watching an episode of Naruto or Bleach. It’s all natural, mature and feels like a world that’s just around the next corner; waiting for us to stumble in and immerse ourselves in an adventure.
There’s a level of seriousness and darkness in Madoka Magica that I’ve not seen in a magic girl anime since watching Mai-HiME back in 2004. Even before it finished, I could clearly see that this was going to be an anime that deeply moves the viewer. With a fresh art style, well-developed characters, terrific writing, pleasing music and a beautiful conclusion, I cannot recommend Madoka Magica strongly enough. I consider myself to be articulate, but I’m finding it difficult to write just how good this anime is. Easily one of the best anime I’ve ever watched.