The Marathon: Round 1


Oh the pain…

I’ve got a lot of anime backed up on this piece of shit computer of mine. More than enough anime. It’s always been a divided idea of mine to just marathon said collection of unwatched anime, but I had no idea where to start. Luckily enough I’ve got a good group of people to sort me out and choose at random; leaving me to the forces of good and evil. So I guess this is just a post of mine where I leave short (some not so short) reviews on each series as I remember it being. These are in no way some “in depth review” as it has been some time since the marathon itself. I planned on writing something sooner, but [insert inadequate excuse for me not to write on this blog] Anyways here we go…


Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)


There’s not much to say about Saraiya Goyou. It’s a pretty straightforward show.  Spineless Ronin samurai needs a job and he finds one, but with a group of robin hood-esque kidnappers. The rest of it is constant questions of what is right or wrong in the work they do. The show is very laid back. Not laid back in the calming way, but laid back in the sense where things are very easy for the viewer to take in. I nearly fell asleep during some arcs. It’s hard to really say what stands out in Saraiya other than the historical setting and josei(ish) character design. This is an overall simplistic yet morally good series that has a pretty sweet opening. Although, it lacks any true substance to keep the viewer consistently entertained. (shoutouts to LlamaOp for the recommendation)

Rating: 7/10

sign of love (Saraiya Goyou Opening Theme)

Kiki’s Delivery Service


This movie is a childhood favorite of mine. It had been a long time since seeing it so I decided to give it a fresh new perspective…that didn’t really change anything. I’m still wearing a kiki’s shirt as I’m writing this article. Being a studio ghibli film, the pacing and tone are always deliberately calm and simple. Though Howl’s Movie Castle was once ranked up there as my favorite Hayao Miyazaki film, Kiki is now easily up there for contention. I gush for seemingly beautiful yet pointless backdrops. I’m a sucker for plots that involve children looking for something greater than what is presented to them. Although I said nothing changed from my opinion upon watching this as an adult, the characterization of Kiki makes me really appreciate more of Miyazaki’s contributions to the strong female leads within the genre. If I ever have a little girl, this is the movie I will show her to prove that anything is possible despite how many people doubt you or get in your way. Dreams are possible. You just gotta fly in the right direction.

Rating: 10/10

Fullmetal Alchemist (2004)


Yes. That’s right. I hadn’t actually seen all of the original FMA. But now I have and I do believe it to be a quaint addition to the franchise. Though I still prefer Brotherhood, it is only to a fault. The 2004 broadcast and deviation from the original manga still deals with a lot of different ideas. For example, optimism is lacking from this version of the series. There is almost no point near the end of the series where the brothers feel at ease or at all progressing to reclaim what was once theirs. All focus shifts towards one villain and the safety of their friends. Now you could say the same happens in Brotherhood, but I disagree. The involvement of the cast is very limited throughout the show and that is made up for in Brotherhood by having a very cohesive multi-perspective plot where each character has their importance to the endgame result. FMA 2004 is not exactly lackluster, but very dependent of it’s two brothers in finding the truth. This isolates a lot of emotions for them and takes a very very nihilistic approach to how they deal with certain situations. Their relationship with their father is also a bit scathed. His role is similar to brotherhood’s in which he knows the main villain extremely well, but his character development is greatly redacted. I hate having this turn into a Brotherhood VS. 2004 post but there’s nothing else to say other than that I enjoyed both immensely.

Asian Kung-Fu Generation – Rewrite (FMA Opening 4)

FMA: 2004 is a very grave and dark turn in the shounen genre. It takes everything you think is going to happen and tells you to drop that piece of shit idea that everything is going to be alright. Brotherhood makes you jump up and down. FMA: 2004 makes you sit back and deal with the pain of these characters losing one thing after another. The journey is great, the soundtrack has much more emotion than Brotherhood’s, and Hughes Death is extremely tear jerking. I still can’t believe that I cried despite knowing that it was going to happen. My major gripes would have to be the lack of concrete action sequences and mediocre final act.

Rating: 8/10

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa


I firmly believe that this movie is one of the greatest anime films created. Don’t let that surprise you because I have seen it over at least 10 times. How is that possible? Well, I actually owned this movie for quite some time and spoiled myself horribly because like I said I hadn’t seen the 2004 series. Watching it now, with everything completed, I have a much better understanding and appreciation for the finale that is The Conqueror of Shamballa. Everything that you don’t like from the TV series becomes irrelevant. Characters become more important, the dimensional rift is explained further, there’s more action, and we get a beautifully imagined 1923 Germany.

Don’t get me wrong though. The movie is not absent of the prequel’s tone. The ending is still bittersweet. Brothers reunite, yet at what cost? It still saddens me dearly to see them go. Brotherhood’s ending was much more subtle and complete; leaving no reason for you to worry about anything. Shamballa makes you so sad that things are over and that nothing can be changed about the outcome. The brothers have to live their lives still searching for the truth. I love open endings, but they can get me so depressed. Fantastic storytelling in this movie. Definitely check it out.  It’s way better than the disaster that was “The Sacred Star of Milos”

Rating: 9/10


So that wraps up this round of reviews. Hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back in a few days with Round 2 which includes reviews of:

Mawaru Penguindrum, Blood-C, Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini, and Mobile Fighter G Gundam.

See you then!

About Kefka
Writer for NeoParadigm City. Aspiring Jpop gravure idol. Look out Shakira.

One Response to The Marathon: Round 1

  1. Pingback: The Marathon: Round 2 | Neo Paradigm City

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