The Anime Primer

World-Wide Web edition
Edited by Rob Kelk
Based on the work of Bruce Carlson & Steve Pearl

17 May 2004

    This is intended for English-speaking fans who are new to anime, and looking for some suggestions of what to watch next. While this list concentrates on North American releases of anime, there is some information about the availability of translated anime in other parts of the world mentioned as well.

Credits and Legal Notes
How to Find Anime
Why would an anime not be on this list?
Other Recommendations
The List Maintainer's Current Favourites
Capsule Descriptions of Anime: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Credits and Legal Notes

    This is a webpage based on a monthly posting intended for those who are new to anime, and looking for some suggestions of what to watch next. This article can be freely distributed for non-commercial use, as long as all credits and notices remain intact. If this is used in any publication, including APAs & CD-Rom Collections, copies must be sent to:

Steve Pearl
PO Box 11044
New Brunswick, NJ 08906-1044


Rob Kelk
(contact FAQ maintainer for address)

    Please send all additions/corrections/comments to Rob Kelk, <>.

Contributors to this FAQ:

Past Maintainers:
Bruce Carlson
Steve Pearl
Current Maintainer:
Rob Kelk <>
Writers (note that the characters "." and "@" have been swapped in these e-mail addresses):
Anthony D. Baranyi <>
Gerardo Campos <macross.mx1@ibm@com>
Ben Cantrick <mackys.dimensional@com>
Robin Casady <astro.carmelcoast@com>
Anand Chelian <anandc.ugcs@caltech@edu>
David Damerell <damerell.chiark@greenend@org@uk>
Scott Delahunt <generationgap.sympatico@ca>
Scott Fujimoto <>
Shawn Granger <>
Bruce Grubb <bgrubb.zianet@com>
Arthur Hansen <arthurh.utah-inter@net>
Jeanne Hedge <jhedge.enteract@com>
Andrew Hollingbury <a@hollingbury.ukonline@co@uk>
Matt "Kosher Pickle" Huber <gte768j.prism@gatech@edu>
Brad Jackson <gaijin99.cox-internet@com>
Nicholas A. "QuestionMark" Jalowick <>
Derek Janssen <djanss.ultranet@com>
Catherine "Fish Eye no Miko" Johnson <>
Chris "Chika" Johnson <miyuki.argonet@co@uk>
Rob Kelk <robkelk.jksrv@com>
Andrew Kieswetter <>
Cathy Krusberg <ckberg.ix@netcom@com>
Paul Lepant <plepant.nyx@net>
Ray Li <>
Michael Lo <>
D B Malmquist <d@b@malmquist.rcn@com>
Bill Martin <billmartin2.cox@net>
Christopher Mattiuz <HockeyKamen.prodigy@net>
Rob Maxwell <robu-san.excite@com>
Chris "Blade" McNeil <>
Chris Meadows <robotech.eyrie@org>
Dave Menard <deibu_kun.sympatico@ca>
Karl Merris <kmerris1.san@rr@com>
Hanno Mueller <kontakt.hanno@de>
Mark L. Neidengard <mneideng.ugcs@caltech@edu>
Kyle Thomas Pope <kurokyle.notmail@spam@not@com>
David Simmons <dgsimmns.interlog@com>
Charlie Smith <casca913.gbronline@com>
Robert Sneddon <nojay.nojay@fsnet@co@uk>
Andrew V. Tupkalo <>
David Watson <shlf.freenet@carleton@ca>
David Wilson <>
"Akodo Bob" <AkodoBob.sbcglobal@net>
"Antaeus Feldspar" <feldspar.cryogen@com>
"Hana no Kaitou" <>
"KireiSarah" <>
"MimiE" <fengston.eclipse@net>
"Royal Orange" <>
"Shez" <shez.xerez@demon@co@uk>
"Slithy Tove" <slithy.pobox@com>
"Sultan Of Swing" <rob.lvcm@com>

    If there is no credit given for an entry, then it was inherited from the original list maintained by Bruce Carlson & Steve Pearl.

How to Find Anime

    Anime programs come in three flavors: TV shows, Movies, and Original Animation Video (OAV or OVA - what North American studios call "direct to video"). In general, movies have the best animation quality, while TV shows use less motion, and OAVs vary widely between those. Also, newer shows tend to have better animation than older shows do, since the state of the art has advanced. But animation quality is rarely an indicator of how good an anime is.
    The vast majority of Japanese animation is only available in Japanese, of course. Sturgeon's Law ("90% of everything is crap") also applies to anime, so the professionals and fans translating anime into English tend to work with the 10% that isn't.
    Professionally-translated anime can often be found at large video stores and comic book shops (brick-and-mortar or online). Sometimes, they are also available for individual purchase directly from the translation company. Secondhand copies of anime can also be found for sale on the rec.arts.anime.marketplace newsgroup.
    Fan-subtitled items were historically available as tape-to-tape copies from clubs (see below), individuals, and other volunteer distributors. Nowadays they are usually found online via the various file-sharing peer-to-peer systems in formats designed either for viewing directly on computer screens or for transfer to CD for playing in VCD players. Since fansubs are "derivative works", they are technically illegal in most countries (so don't get fansubs if you don't want to break the law), but this is largely ignored by the copyright holders as long as nobody makes a profit and anime that have been professionally translated aren't also fan-subtitled. It is beyond the scope of this document to describe how to obtain fansubs - please ask on the rec.arts.anime.fandom newsgroup for assistance.
    (There are still some fansub distributors who advertise their tapes on the World-Wide Web. Be warned, though, that many of these people are taking advantage of other fans' goodwill by selling tapes or CDs at a profit. Worse yet, there are now many people who are selling fansubs for a profit on eBay and other online auction services. You shouldn't pay more for a fansub than you would pay for the blank tape or blank CD, plus postage. Also, some less-scrupulous fansub distributors sell fan-subtitled copies of anime that have also been translated professionally. The best defence against being caught by one of these distributors is to know what shows have been professionally translated. Read the Grand High License List, then ask on rec.arts.anime.misc if you still aren't sure.)
    Most cities of even moderate size have an anime club somewhere. They probably meet periodically and view the latest stuff, and many have a decent video library. A good way to find your local club is to ask at the local stores that sell anime, or to post a question in the rec.arts.anime.fandom newsgroup if your town doesn't have an anime store.
    Many science fiction conventions have an anime program in a room someplace these days. An anime convention is probably the best way to sample large amounts of anime at once (if you can tear yourself away from the Guests, panels, and other activities to actually watch the stuff).

Why would an anime not be on this list?

    You may have seen an anime that you liked, but isn't on this list. That doesn't mean your taste in anime is bad!
    First, this is not a comprehensive list of anime titles, or even a list of all good anime. It it simply a list of shows that people on the anime newsgroups like enough to review and recommend to others. Please keep in mind that tastes vary, and not everyone will think that every anime on this list is good. (You could ask twenty different anime fans what the best anime are, and you'll get twenty different replies.) But we hope that this list will help you find something you think is good.
    Also, if the anime you saw and liked has erotic or pornographic content, it shouldn't be listed here. Listings for this type of anime can be found in The Anime Hentai Primer, a companion to this page. The list maintainer chose to split the list in two so that this list could be given to people who should not, or do not wish to, watch erotic or pornographic animation.
    If the anime you saw and liked isn't included in either Primer, it's quite possible that we simply haven't seen it yet. If you think we should add a capsule description of a title not on this list, please write the description and send it to Rob Kelk, <>.
    Should you decide to write a capsule description of a good anime title, please also mention who translated the anime. This is especially important when the show is only available fansubbed! (Commercially-translated anime can be purchased in specialty shops, but fansubs are only available from people within the anime fan community. Knowing who translated a show often helps other anime fans find the translations.)

Other Recommendations

    Most of these descriptions are sparse, but we can't really offer more in a Usenet post! However, there are places on the World-Wide Web that offer more in-depth reviews, including reviews of shows that aren't as good as these are.

The List Maintainer's Current Favourites

It's come to my attention that the Anime Primer, while useful, is simply too large to act as an introduction to all anime available now. Also, there are some people on rec.arts.anime.misc who have expressed an interest in knowing what other fans are watching.

This is a list of my top twenty favourite anime titles as of the last time I updated this list. (That would be 10 March 2004.) The list is subject to change on my whim - it's a list of my favourites, after all, not a list of what's acknowledged as "good". In fact, some titles here don't yet have entries in the Anime Primer. The North American translation companies that have released these shows are listed so that you can more easily find the anime.

Taking a riff from David Letterman ... From the home office in Ottawa, here's Rob Kelk's Top Twenty Favourite Anime:

20:   Dragon Half   (ADV)
19:Irresponsible Captain Tylor(TRSI)
18:Super GALS!(ADV)
17:Outlaw Star(Bandai)
16:Ghost in the Shell(Manga)
15:Tenchi Muyo(Geneon)
14:Revolutionary Girl Utena(CPM)
13:Angelic Layer(ADV)
12:Strange Dawn(Urban Vision)
11:Bubblegum Crisis(AnimEigo)
10:Magic Users Club(Anime Works)
9:El Hazard(Geneon)
8:Gunsmith Cats(ADV)
7:Love Hina(Bandai)
6:Read or Die(Manga)
5:Princess Tutu(licenced by ADV)
4:Princess Nine(ADV)
2:Martian Successor Nadesico(ADV)
1:Saber Marionette J(Bandai)

3×3 Eyes (a.k.a. Sazan Eyes)
    Pai, the last of a race of three-eye immortals known as Sanjiyan Unkara, desires to become human. She has been sent to Yakumo by his late father to obtain an artifact called the Ningun No Zou or Statue of Humanity which is needed to accomplish this. Unfortunately, one of her demon friends is let loose and Yakumo is mortally wonded in the resulting chaos. To save Yakumo she pulls his soul into her, turning him into a Wu (an undead-like immortal). To become human again, Yakumo must help Pai become human. Unfortunately there are others who want the Ningun No Zou, the immortality of being Wu, or Pai herself. Complicating matters is that Pai has a totally different personality when her third eye manifests.
    The North American DVD release by Geneon combines the two OVAs Immortal and Legend of the Divine Demon. 3x3 Eyes is available in Australia from Madman.
    Parental Advisory: The Immortal OVA has several violent gorish scenes - Yakumo gets badly beaten several times and his hand is chopped off. His girlfriend is used as a hostage during which she is painfully attacked from the inside by a demon. Legend of the Divine Demon is far less gory, though there is the death of Yakumo's mentor, a blind Tibetan priest.
    Detailed web page
    [Entry by Bruce Grubb]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
801 T.T.S. Airbats (a.k.a. Aozora Shoujotai)
801 T.T.S. Airbats: the pilots (© Shimizu Toshimitsu / Tokuma Shoten / Nihon Victor / ADV)    A series based around a female aerobatic team within the Japanese Air Self Defense Force, made up of misfits including a gambling addict, an airhead, a pilot with a major chip stuck on her shoulder and another that is always at war with her. Oh yes, and one rookie airplane and mecha nut with whom both of the latter two pilots are besotted with. Available from ADV Films in North America and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai
    11-year-old friends Satoshi "Sasshi" Imamiya and Ayumi Asahina are bemoaning the fact that their Osaka neighbourhood is now decaying, and wondering about the animal statues on top of some of the shops. When Arumi's grandfather accidentally knocks down the pelican statue on top of his restaurant, things get trippy for the two kids, and they end up in various re-settings of their neighbourhood, based on a different theme in each show (i.e. sword and sorcery, China, outer space), where parodies of examples of the genres follow, frequently at blur speed. Add dashes of juvenile humour here and there (including a young woman appropriately named Mune-Mune, who supplies the fan service), plus the odd touching moment, blend, and serve. A collaboration between Gainax and scriptwriter Akahori Satoru (Saber Marionette J, Sorceror Hunters and Mon Colle Knights, among many others).
    [Entry by David Watson]
AD Police Files
    This series chronicles the (mis-)adventures of AD Police rookie Leon and his colleagues as they defend the near-future cyberpunk city of MegaTokyo (and sometimes themselves) from boomers - humanish andriods. There are three episodes, each with a different plot line, but each asking the same question - what happens when the line between man and machine blurs? Forewarned, this series is extremely dark, violent, gory and sexual. Therefore I do not recommend it for anyone under 17 years old unless they are very mature. Well drawn and animated, and certanly engaging to watch. If you liked Bladerunner, you might like this series. Three episodes. Subbed. From AnimEigo in North America and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    [NOTE: There is a recent remake titled AD Police, that has been released by ADV Films in North America. The FAQ maintainer has not yet seen the remake, and nobody else has yet written a capsule description of the show.   - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Adventures of the Mini-Goddesses
    Loosely based on a series of four-panel comic strips that themselves were loosely based on Kosuke Fujishima's Ah Megami-sama story, this is a series of short (five- to seven-minute) episodes featuring cute versions of Urd and Skuld as they have adventures with Gan-chan, a rat that lives in the temple. Belldandy sometimes gets in on the fun, too (although not as often, because her original seiyuu was unavailable when the earliest episodes were made). While some of the episodes have educational content, most are simply excuses to tell silly stories from the four-panel comic strip (such as the "Let's Make a Band" storyline), or parodying popular Japanese culture (such as the "Gan-chan becomes Godzilla" stories).
    There's little if any serious meaning to this series, but it's ideal for the times when you're too tired or rushed to watch something that takes itself too seriously.
    Geneon has released this series on DVD in North America.
    (See also Oh My Goddess! and Ah My Goddess!)
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
Ah My Goddess!
    Set later in the Ah Megami-sama storyline than the Oh My Goddess! OAV series, this movie tells the story of Belldandy's mentor Celestin and his attempt to go against the will of Kami-sama for the sake of love. One of the side-effects of Celestin's actions causes Belldandy to lose her memory, so the goddesses and Keiichi have two problems to solve at the same time.
    This is quite possibly the best animated Ah Megami-sama story yet. All of the characters are shown as they are in Kosuke Fujishima's manga, as opposed to the caricatures of Belldandy and Keiichi in the OAV series, and the plotline is reminiscent of Fujishima's best work. (The only real problem some people have with the movie is that Mara once again doesn't make an appearance, but, given the subject matter, there's really no logical way for her to have been in the story.)
    This movie is available in North America on DVD from Geneon, and in Australia from Madman.
    (See also Oh My Goddess! and Adventures of the Mini-Goddesses.)
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Ah Megami-sama
    see Oh My Goddess!, Ah My Goddess!, and Adventures of the Mini-Goddesses
Aim for the Top!
    see Gunbuster
Akira: Kaori and Tetsuo (© Katsuhiro Otomo / Akira Commitee / Geneon)    This anime has held up remarkably over the years. Despite the fact that it was originally released in 1988, its animation looks good even today.
    Opening with the destruction of Tokyo by what appears to be an atomic blast, what Akira is depends on how you look at it. Is Akira a cyberpunk movie about rival biker gangs? Yes. Is Akira a conspiracy theory movie about the government experimenting with psychic powers? Yes. Is Akira a movie about rebellion against an oppressive government? Yes. Is Akira a deep movie about the nature of the universe? Yes.
    In addition to a compelling story, and astonishingly good animation, Akira also features a truly excellent soundtrack composed by one of Japan's premier musicians.
    It is true that Akira has a convoluted plot. There are at least three major plot threads in the story, and several minor plot threads. Partially this is due to the anime being condensed out of a 1300 page manga. Partially this is due to the plot being complex. Some people have found that Streamline's original dub tends to add to the confusion.
    Akira was originally released in the US by Streamline Pictures, but its North American license has been purchased by Geneon now. Akira is available on VHS tape in both subtitled and dubbed format. It is also available on DVD. In Australia, Akira is available from Madman.
    [Entry by Brad Jackson]
    [Parental Advisory: There is one short attempted rape scene in this movie.  - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku-Nuku
Bannou Buka Nekomusume: Ryuunosuke and Nuku Nuku (© Movic / King Records / Yuzo Takada / Futaba Sha / ADV)    The Mishima Heavy Industries corporation wants its prototype android back, to use as a war machine. Lady Akiko, head of Mishima, wants to take her son Ryuunosuke from her ex-husband - preferably by force. Ryuunosuke, on the run with his brilliant and eccentric father, just wants the friendly kitten he finds on Christmas Eve. When it all comes together, the result is "Nuku Nuku" Natsume - the brain of a cat, the appearance of a lovely schoolgirl, and the raw power of a war machine, living with Ryuunosuke and 'Papa-san' as Ryuunosuke's sister and the family's protector.
    The original six OAV series is nicely animated, delightful action-comedy. The TV series that followed kept most of the same characters but changed the situations heavily, and is reported to have suffered from a Monster-of-the-Week plot. The later OAV series, Nuku Nuku Dash, not only changed the situations but changed Nuku Nuku's character design and her personality from bubbly and upbeat to teary, and is generally considered disappointing by fans.
    [Entry by Antaeus Feldspar]
    [The first OAV series is available from ADV Films.   -  Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Angel Links
    The second show in Sunrise's "Toward Stars" universe, but nowhere near as wide in scope as its sister series Outlaw Star, Angel Links tells the story of Li Meifon, a teenager who is named heir to a large interplanetary corporation on the condition that she operate a pirate-hunting service for free. This seems simple enough on the surface, but why does Meifon already have a grave marker?
    This is science-fantasy space opera, but not quite in the same vein as its sister show - the scope is much smaller than what's shown in Outlaw Star. It's also half the length of the previous series, mainly because the writers didn't have to explain everything to the audience.
    Angel Links is available as a four-DVD box set from Bandai in North America.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Aozora Shoujotai
    see 801 T.T.S. Airbats
    see Earth Girl Arjuna
Armitage III
Armitage III: Naomi Armitage (© AIC / Geneon)    In the future, mankind has terraformed and settled Mars. We've also developed a line of human-like androids with designations of "first," "second" and "third". Ross Sylabus, a police detective from Earth with an antipathy for androids, has transferred to Mars. What he finds there is a political conspiracy that covers two planets and involves his colleague, the child-like female detective Armitage. Well drawn and animated, with moments of both levity and action. Some violence. Four episodes, or one movie which is the episodes edited together with some omissions. Subbed and dubbed both availble. From Geneon, and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    [There is also a sequel movie Armitage III - Dual-Matrix, which contains spoilers for the original Armitage III story. A review of this movie is being written.  - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Arslan Senki (a.k.a. The Heroic Legend of Arslan)
Arslan Senki: Arslan (© Yoshiki Tanaka / Kadokawa / USMC)    5 part OAV running approximately 4 hours total. Slow paced historical fiction. The kingdom of Pars is overrun by a neighboring kingdom, with inside help. The king is imprisoned and it's up to the young prince and his loyal retainers to win the kingdom back. The story is more sword and political intrigue than it is sword and sorcery, not much fighting, no comedy, full of shoujo-esque character designs, and is unfinished, the remainder of the story is available in novel or manga form. Original novels by the same author as Legend of Galactic Heroes. DVD box set includes all OAVs. By U.S. Manga Corps.
    [Entry by MimiE]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Ash Wings Alliance
    see Haibane Renmei
Astro Boy (originally Tetsuwan Atomu / Mighty Atom)
    The first real Japanese anime TV series aired in 1963, Astro Boy was made by the anime "God" Osamu Tezuka. It is a story of a little robot boy, who ages and becomes mature through the series. It was the first anime which featured familiar things such as continuous story and plot for the entire series, character development, and so on. And remember, it was the first TV anime series!
    (This description refers to the original series, not the later remake.)
    [Entry by Andrew V. Tupkalo]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Aura Battler Dunbine
    Motorcycle racer Show Zama is pulled into an alternate world where he is drafted as an Aura Battler. An Aura Battler is a person from Upper Earth (our world) that has the aura power to control the insect-like mechs this world uses to fight its wars. While the natives can also drive these things they cannot do so with the proficiency of Upper Earthers. Show finds himself involved in a war of conquest led by Drake Luft and soon decides he's on the wrong side. It's quite an epic from the man who gave the world Gundam.
    Licenced by ADV Films.
    [Entry by Kyle Thomas Pope]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Azumanga Daioh
    Popular 26 episode comedy series which follows the fortunes of seven girls, two teachers, and one dog through the three years of senior high school. Much of the story centres on Chiyo-chan, a ten year old genius who has been put in their class and whose combination of cuteness and superior academic ability inspires ambivalent feelings amongst her considerably older classmates. Each character is sharply defined and a lot of the humour arises from our anticipation of their inevitable behaviour, from the narcoleptic Osaka who lives in a dream to the manic Tomo whose high jinks go a little too far. The animation is minimal and at times repetitive, but the images are beautifully drawn with a refreshing look and equally good background music.
    Note: the Azumanga Daioh "Movie" is actually just a five minute widescreen short which reworks a few scenes from the series.
    [Entry by Shez]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Bakuen Campus Guardress (a.k.a. Combustible Campus Guardress or Campus Guardress)
    Girl is sister to boy who is the reincarnation of a man whom the girl's previous incarnation loved. He died last time saving the world for evil monsters from another dimension who are bent on world conquest. And now it's happening all over again. How will the girl ever manage to save her brother and the world at the same time, how will she deal with her incestful feelings for her brother, and how can she deal with her mother making moves on her boy?
    This is a bimodal show with characters and input from Hagiwara, the author of Bastard! Destructive God of Darkness. As such, it is a combination of the sublime and the profane in a very cute mix. The attack names are a wonderful throwback to some of the spells in Bastard!, and have such names as "Thousand Slices of Radish Attack" or "Puppy Dog Attack".
    If you liked Bastard!, you'll like this one.
    [Entry by Anand Chelian]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    It was an age of lawlessness
    Of disorder and Chaos
    Blood and steel, flesh and bone
    An age of Magic
    The four kingdoms are under siege from the evil dark armies of Chaos. The only one who can save them is the evil wizard who nearly conquered the world 15 years ago.
    A tale of sorcery and combat, of scantily clad maidens and a more scantily clad hero.  High Shonen Fantasy at its most extreme. Enter a world of action, excitement, danger, and ... laundry.
    [Entry by "Akodo Bob"]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Battle Angel (a.k.a. Battle Angel Alita, Gunnm)
Gunnm: Ido and Gally (© Yukito Kishiro / KSS / ADV)    The Scrapyard is the name given to a large decaying city that exists due to the garbage dumped from the floating city above it, named Zalem. Humans, androids and cyborgs live in this dark and dirty place, all intermingling. Living with each other, trading with each other, sometime mugging each other. Ido, A brilliant cyber-doctor, discovers the wreckage of an extraordinary cyborg in one of the city's junk piles, and restores it to full health with his skills. She has no memory of her past, so he names her Gally and raises her as his own daughter. However, there is more to her than meets the eye ... Good artwork and animation. From the much-acclaimed manga of the same name by Yukito Kishiro. Contains violence, gore, nudity. Was dubbed and subbed from ADV Films, but is no longer available in North America (possibly due to an expired license). However, Battle Angel Alita is still listed in the Madman catalog, so Australians can still obtain this anime.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick, edited by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Battle Athletes Victory
    Battle Athletes Victory chronicles the trials of a 15 year old athlete, Akari Kanzaki. Akari's dream is to become the Cosmo Beauty, the title given each year to the greatest athlete in the Solar System. The title is fought for at the University Satellite, a space station that orbits Earth. Akari lives in the shadow of her mother, Tomoe Midoh, who was widely regarded as the greatest Cosmo Beauty ever. Akari's journey begins at a training school in Antarctica, but stretches past the University Satellite ... Available on DVD and VHS from Geneon.
    [Entry by Matt Huber]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Battle Skipper
    A new intake and the usual scrap for the best by the school hobby clubs, but three young girls end up taking the fast track into the secret world of one particular club, a cover for some pretty heavyweight mecha in the usual clash of good bot meets bad bot ... apparently the folk who did Plastic Little had much to do with this title. (CPM/USMC)
    [Entry by Chika]
    Man has colonised Mars and an alien race doesn't much care for that. This is a tale of Man's struggle against the odds as the alien, who styles itself as a kind of god, uses awesome weapons to beat back the expansionist humans. It's now down to one last chance ... (CPM/USMC)
    [Entry by Chika]
Black Magic M66
    A side story to Masamune Shirow's manga Black Magic, this movie tells the story of one of the first combat androids ever built. Unfortunately, the military scientist who designed it used his daughter as the test subject for the android to target. Even more unfortunately, the android has escaped from the aircraft transporting it from the test facility ... If you liked The Terminator, you'll probably like M66. The anime is available from Manga Video, and the collected comic is available from Dark Horse.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    He's called Blackjack, and he is a practitioner of "underground surgery". A Tezuka chara of old, in this story he is caught up in a mystery concerning the appearance of "Super Humans", and the lethal secret behind it. Blackjack is based around a manga where he is a chara that appears, performs surgery that no legitimate surgeon would consider, charges high fees for it then vanishes. Released by Manga in North America, and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Blue Sonnet
    There have been many stories about making a humanoid "ultimate weapon". This is one of those, in that Sonnet is a cyborg that has awesome psychokinetic powers. However it is known to her creator that somewhere out there is an even greater power lying dormant. In fact the person in question becomes a classmate of Sonnet's. While this girl discovers her hidden power, Sonnet discovers her lost humanity in a background of corporate domination. (USMC)
    [Entry by Chika]
Blue Submarine #6
    The world is at war with aliens. Most of the world is covered in water. But not everything is as it seems. There is a lot of action in this series and some interesting twists. It's a combination of hand drawn and computer animation which in my opinion worked nicely. The episodes are short and only one episode per DVD. Still cheaper than the old way of buying a dub and a sub version of the VHS, but in today's DVD age it seems a bit expensive. An single disk is also available with the violence edited out. The dub is alright but is better watched in original. Available from Bandai in North America, and from Siren in Australia.
    [Entry by Shawn Granger]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Bottle Fairy
    Based on an as-yet unreleased game in Japan, this thirteen episode TV series was fansubbed by the Hikari no Kiseki group. It tells the month-by-month adventures of four tiny naive fairy girls, Sarara, Kururu, Chiriri and Hororo who live in glass jars on the desk of Sensei-san, a young college student. Each show covers a month in Japanese life with the fairies learning about what it is to be human, assisted by Loose Cannon Tama-chan, their highly-opinionated six-year-old neighbour who is never wrong.
    In the wrong hands this could have been saccharine beyond belief but the scripts and storylines bely the basic idea and make each episode delightful as the girls use their imagination to try and figure out the world. The equally-delightful ending songs are sung by the fairy seiyuus, with a different seiyuu and song for the three shows in each "season".
    [Entry by Robert Sneddon]
Brother, Dear Brother
    see Oniisama E
Bubblegum Crisis
Bubblegum Crisis: the Knight Sabers (© Artmic / Youmex / AnimEigo)    A "cyberpunk" style anime that centers around the mercenary (or perhaps vigilante) group, the "Knight Sabers". These four women use powered armor to accomplish their missions. There are eight OVAs in this series, and two major story arcs. The Genom megacorporation acts as the main villain in the series, but there is serious question as to whether Genom is actually evil or not. The humanoid robots, boomers, that Genom produces are used in combat, and occasionally go rogue, but they also save lives and are responsible for rebuilding Tokyo after the second Kanto quake. The plot is interesting and involving, if sometimes hard to follow.
    The series owes a lot to the US movie Blade Runner, and includes several references to the movie. For example, one of the Knight Sabers, Priss, is the lead singer in a band called "The Replicants". As in the movie Blade Runner, one of the central issues in the series is the question of what makes us people, and whether the created life forms may be people.
    The animation is somewhat dated, as is the music. Still, the hard 80's rock sound is not at all painful to listen to, and the animation holds up well over the years. The characters and mecha were designed by Kenichi Sonoda, of Gunsmith Cats fame, and look good even after all this time. The dub is considered by many to be very bad, especially the remakes of the songs.
    Bubblegum Crisis has spawned several spin off series, a sequel, Bubblegum Crash, and the recent remake Bubblegum Crisis 2040.
    Bubblegum Crisis is available from AnimEigo in North America, MVM in the United Kingdom, and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Brad Jackson, edited by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
Bubblegum Crisis 2040: the Knight Sabers (© AIC / ADV)    BGC2040 is a 26-episode TV series that "borrows" certain elements from the original Bubblegum Crisis, but changes them enough to make it an alternative retelling of the original story. The basic concept is the same: Four women use powered armor to fight a secret war against renegade androids (Boomers) and the shady corporation who makes them (Genom). Some things (such as Priss being a biker chick and singer of a rock band) remain the same from the original series, but most other aspects are completely different, ranging from the personalities of the characters to the nature of the technology they use. As a result, the show has a different feel than its predecessor - at times it feels more like Evangelion than Blade Runner. Many (but not all) fans of the original series dislike this show intensely. Much of the criticism has to do with certain plot twists that strike some as implausible. However, BGC2040 has its own fans as well. It's probably best to judge the show on its own, rather than comparing it against its famous predecessor. Available from ADV Films in North America, and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Scott Fujimoto]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Burn Up W
    Surrounding a group of specially selected (female) police who, when called into action, display special skills (and a lot more in those inevitable skin tight costumes!) This series runs through a number of side plots but is essentially concerned with an underworld plot to control the minds of various powerful folk using an addictive device. Available from ADV Films in North America, and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Campus Guardress
    see Bakuen Campus Guardress
Cardcaptor Sakura (a.k.a. Cardcaptors)
Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura, Tomoyo, and Kero-chan (© CLAMP / Kodansha / Nelvanna)    A sweet and charming 'magical girl' show by the popular CLAMP team, built on the framework of a collectable card game. 4th grader Kinomoto Sakura accidentally releases a number of magical cards from an ancient book. With the aid of the cards' guardian, Keroberos, who appears as a winged toy bear, and her adoring girlfriend Tomoyo, Sakura must recapture the cards and return them to their book, using the captured cards' powers to help her. Complications ensue with the appearance of other seekers of the cards. Cardcaptor Sakura is as much about the joys, vicissitudes and perplexities of growing up, of what friendship really means, of how to be brave in the face of danger, as it is about its frame story of the chase after magical cards. As with all CLAMP shows, the character and costume designs are utterly charming, and as with all CLAMP shows, there are hints of homoeroticism.
    This show is commercially available in the US (from Geneon) in two formats: Cardcaptor Sakura has Japanese language and English subtitles only, and has not been edited for content; Cardcaptors, with an English dub only, is the version that was shown on American TV, and is heavily edited. Only the latter is available in Australia (from Madman).
    [Entry by Slithy Tove]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Carried By The Wind
    see Tsukikage Ran
Castle in the Sky
    see Laputa
Castle of Cagliostro
    see the entry for Lupin III
Cat-Girl Nuku-Nuku
    see All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku-Nuku
Char's Counterattack
    See Gundam
Charcoal Feathers Federation
    see Haibane Renmei
Child's Toy
    See Kodomo no Omocha
A Chinese Ghost Story
    A naive tax collector is surprised to find that he was assigned to work in the land of ghosts and spirits. Too late, he already fell in love with a beautiful ghost who wants to harvest his soul for her mistress. He can resist her spell and wins her love, but now the two lovers find themselves in the middle of a battle between the three best ghostbusters of the land. Loosely based on the same Chinese fairy tale as the popular live-action Hong Kong movie of the same name. Beautiful character design and 2D animation, badly mixed with ugly, overdone 3D computer graphics that brings down the overall experience. Yet the great (very Chinese) humour and a cute story save the film.
    [Entry by Hanno Mueller]
    (Review written after 16 episodes & all 8 manga volumes in North America)
    A country boy, Hideki Motosuwa, moves to the big city to get an education and hopefully one day get into college. Upon arriving in the big city, he is awestruck by Persocoms. (A persocom is a computer that looks like a human with weird ears.) However, he is too poor to be able to afford one, so he struggles and finds a job. One night after work, he comes across a Persocom wrapped up in bandages and left in the garbage. He takes it home, and after several hours of trying to activate it, he finally stumbles on it (definitely in an ecchi place) and finds out that the only thing it can do is say "Chii", so he decides to name "her" Chii. He eventually gets help from a computer expert he goes to classes with named Shinbo (who happens to have a handheld persocom named Sumomo [Plum in the manga]), and with the help of Shinbo, Sumomo, and others he comes across he learns that Chii is a special kind of Persocom, and may even be a legendary Chobit. All the while Hideki struggles with finances and somehow a book series that Chii got hooked on somehow tells the story of Persocoms and Humans, and eventually, even the story of Chii and Hideki. This series is recommended by Geneon to be for 16 & up, and I agree, since there are a few moments that are ecchi. However the series is innocent enough as nothing truly dirty happens in it. Released by Geneon in North America.
    [Entry by Bill Martin]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Chronicles of the Heroic Knight
    see Record of Lodoss War
Combustible Campus Guardress
    see Bakuen Campus Guardress
Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop: Faye, Jet and Spike looming over Ed (© Bandai / Sunrise)    A jazzy group of bounty hunters meet up and travel the galaxy. Lots of great individual episodes as well as a main storyline running through them all. Sharp animation that shows how well the hand drawn and computer mixed can look. Great music and even the dub is actually pretty good. Instant classic which appeals to a wide audience, Otaku and non-Otaku alike. Available from Bandai in North America, or Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Shawn Granger]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Crest of the Stars
    CotS (a.k.a. SeiMon from Seikai no Monshou) is a hard sci-fi story set amidst an era of interplanetary empires and galaxy-spanning war. Humanity has colonized the stars, and the resulting new order has become one of vast, conflicting empires. The male lead is the son of a free planet's president who "sold out" his people to the ABH empire when they came to invade. Now nobility himself and all but deprived of friends, family, and homeland, Jinto must enter the ABH military in the hopes of eventually assuming his rightful place in the nobility. His first contact with the genetically enhanced ABH is Lafille, a very special young woman whose identity and significance to the political fabric of the empire becomes only gradually apparent.
    The show hits all the bases: politics, deeply imagined culture and futuristic technology, action both in person and between space fleets ... and most importantly character development, as Jinto and Lafille grow up as individuals while growing together as people. The chemistry between them is the focal point of the animators for this show, and they pull it off with style. Visuals aren't bad at all either, as expected of Bandai's frontline animators at Sunrise.
    If you want something fluffy, something with major fanservice, something hyperkinetic, or can't take serious sci-fi, SeiMon is probably not the anime for you. If the above description sounds interesting, however, I recommend picking up the first volume and seeing what you think. I find it to be one of the best things to happen to sci-fi anime in years.
    Available from Bandai in North America, and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Mark L. Neidengard]
Crimson Pig
    see Porco Rosso
Crusher Joe
    Old-style comic-book action from the writers that later went on to create Dirty Pair: Feature movie and two OAV episodes availble, from the TV series about team Crusher and their leader Joe, four mercenaries (and one robot) who'll tackle any job in the galaxy that needs doing, no matter how impossible ... especially if impossible. Available from AnimEigo.
    [Entry by Derek Janssen]
Cyber City Oedo 808
    In a world dominated by the criminal element, the forces of law and order turn to setting criminals up to work off their penalties by becoming unwilling foot soldiers in the march against crime. Three such criminals are followed in this series, each with a mission to complete within a given period of time, otherwise a device locked on their necks will make sure they do not get another chance. With each successful mission, a portion of their sentences is erased. (Manga)
    [Entry by Chika]


Devil Hunter Yohko (a.k.a. Mamono Hunter Yohko)
Mamono Hunter Yohko: Yohko and Chi (© N.C.S. / Toho Co. / ADV)    Mano Yohko is your average Japanese High-School girl. However, what she doesn't know is that she's 108th in the line of Devil Hunters, women who must battle supernatural demons to keep the world safe. Silly more than scary, and not without the ecchi (sexual) overtones and occasional violence, this is a fun but fluffy series. No grand concepts, just silly, occasionally dramatic fun. However, the sex and violence prevent it from being ideal for the kiddies. 5 episodes plus one tape of music videos. Subbed. From ADV Films.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    [Parental Advisory: The first OAV almost qualifies for inclusion in the Anime Hentai Primer, because of one scene that is inappropriate for younger viewers.  - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Digimon: the good guys (© Toei / Saban)    Seven children are suddenly ripped from summer camp to a strange land which is in danger from the domination of an evil creature. Coming to their aid are seven creatures that, upon suitable stimulus, grow and change and gain all sorts of powers. These are the Digimon (or Digital Monsters). The series is a little drawn as each enemy defeated reveals another and, in the course of fighting one particular enemy, an eighth member is added to the group. This series was dubbed in a number of languages and is shown on TV in the US, UK and mainland Europe.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Dirty Pair
Dirty Pair: Kei and Yuri (from the first TV series opening) (© Haruka Takachiho / Studio Nue / Sunrise / NTV / ADV)    Humanity has abandoned Earth and spread across the galaxy, but that doesn't mean there aren't any problems any more. One of the most successful troubleshooting teams is the "Lovely Angels", two teenaged girls who have a near-perfect success record. However, they also have a reputation of blowing up everything they touch (which isn't fair - only about a third of their missions end with something being destroyed, and it's never their fault), which has lead to their unofficial and hated nickname of the "Dirty Pair". Two action series (the original Dirty Pair and the remake Dirty Pair Flash) and a North American comic series exist, based on the novels by Takachiho Haruka.
    More information about the Dirty Pair is available at the website Tea Time in Elenore City.
    The North American rights to all Dirty Pair anime are now owned by ADV Films, who have released Flash and the OAVs, and have plans to release the remaining Dirty Pair anime. The comics are available from Dark Horse.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    Series based on Masakazu Katsura's manga of the same name. Earth is overpopulated in the future, and that's all becuse of one guy - the Mega-Playboy, who was irresistible to women, and was the father of one hundred children, each of them also was a father/mother of another hundred... you get the picture. But Karin Aoi, a DNA operator sent to the past to eliminate that threat, found that the Mega-Playboy, usual japanese high-school student Junta Momonari, isn't a Mega-Playboy, moreover, he throws up every time when he see a women in any state close to nakedness (bikinis and aerobic leotards included), except for his childhood friend Ami Kurimoto. But Karin discovers this after she shot Junta with DNA Control Medicine... the wrong one. So she turned Junta to Mega-Playboy with her own hands and should convert him back... but has fallen to his charm too. Only Ami can resist that charm. Classical romantic comedy, which Katsura is well known for. But I didn't recommend seeng last three eps. Because of low rating show was stopped and those three episodes were released only on video to end the story and did it so badly...
    [Entry by Andrew V. Tupkalo]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Doctor Slump and Arale-chan
    1981-86 and 1997-99 series by Toei. It's all about a loony & pervy inventor named Senbe Norimaki and his creation Arale; a robot girl who's powerful enough to put a crack in the world and loves playing with turds. They live in the Penguin Village, a truly bizarre place populated by anthromorpic animals, aliens, superheroes, and other odd characters. Arale gets into a lot of misadventures with her friends Akane, Taro, Psuke, and Ga-chan (a little angel that eats anything except rubber, and later duplicates itself). Based on the manga by Akira Toriyama.
    Arale, Senbe, and the rest of the Penguin Village appears in Dragon Ball during the Red Ribbon storyline. Dr. Slump is highly recommended.
    [Entry by Andrew Kieswetter]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Dominion: Bonaparte (© Masamune Shirow / Hakusensha Agent 21 / Toshiba Video Softwares / CPM / Manga Video)    Two OVA series (4-part Dominion, available from US Manga Corps, and 6-part New Dominion, available from Manga Video) tell us how hard the life of a SWAT team member in a big city in near-future Japan could be... especially if you're piloting huge battle tanks on the narrow streets of Newport City. Based on Masamune Shirow's manga of the same name, it is a lighthearted and sometimes twisted police comedy which is definitely worth seeing, even if the manga is mush better. Some people, however, says it's a bit too violent (and it's true: in the first episode, tank cops torture a drug dealer with hand grenades playing golf around him, and title of Captain Brenten's favourite book is "How to Kill".)
    Note: This may be set in the same city and the same time as Shirow's Ghost in the Shell manga - the Puma sisters, two cyborg-babe villains in Dominion, have a cameo appearance in GitS where they fight with Motoko's fuchikoma.
    [Entry by Andrew V. Tupkalo]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Dragon Ball
    The first series concerning the adventures of Son Goku, a strange child who, in his earliest days, possesses a tail. When he runs into Bulma (or "Bloomers"), he gets involved in the search for Dragon Balls, mystical stones that, when collected together, can be used to call forth a magical dragon who can then grant your hearts' desire. Heavily involved in martial arts, Goku's main part in all this is to fight off a variety of monsters and other opponents to gain these balls while learning his fighting skills. This series was dubbed into a number of languages and has been shown on TV in mainland Europe and the US.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z: Goku holding Gohan (© BIRD STUDIO / SHUEISHA / TOEI ANIMATION / FUNimation)    Moving on from the original Dragon Ball series, this series opens when Goku's long lost brother, Raditz, shows up on Earth during a reunion party and declares that he intends to destroy the planet. The ensuing battle is the first of many that Goku and his son Gohan have to deal with, including the discovery of Piccolo's home planet and the destructive battles with Freeza there as well as the intevention on Earth by future son Trunks, the android wars and so forth. Far more violent than the original series, and the Freeza war in particular is panned by some for being too long. Again, dubbed for TV in Europe and the US as well as UK, where it started Toonami on Cartoon Network there.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Dragon Half
Dragon Half: meeting the idol singer (© Ryusuke Mita / Kadokawa Shoten / Victor / ADV)    Absolutely whacked comedy playing off everything from fairy tale world to "idol singers". Lots of visual gags, lots of nuttiness, lots of fun. Note: this is a very disorienting title to many viewers because the style of animation frequently shifts to punctuate the gags; some people even find it difficult to connect the character in one frame drawn in 'realistic' style to the same character in the next frame, drawn in a deliberately crude, cartoony style. If you want a hilarious hour of goofy humor, however, you really should check this out. Note: Only two OAVs were ever produced in Japan, and they are released domestically on a single tape or DVD. Available from ADV Films.
    [Entry by Antaeus Feldspar]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure
    AIC's parody on Evangelion. That says it all. "Shinji" who's willing to fight, "Gendo", who is caring father of... "Asuka", and a very good person himself, dozens of other related gags, mixed with a parallel world motif and AIC's special - harem of the main male character. ^_^ On the other side - an apparently low-budget series with sometimes very limited animation, character designs taken directly from El Hazard, and other bad things. So I can recommend it only to the fans, if you want to see a good parody and don't mind it's a bit cheap.
    [Entry by Andrew V. Tupkalo]


Early Reins
    If you love classic bullets-flying-everywhere Western movies and good-looking anime girls, this one's for you. No steampunk or any other modern trappings (unless you count one character's short skirt, and even then, no panty shots). Very reverent (but not without a sense of humour), very entertaining, very recommended. One OAV.
    [Entry by David Watson]
Earth Girl Arjuna
   Juna Ariyoshi is involved in a mysterious motorbike accident with her boyfriend Tokio. She awakens to find herself "dead", and privy to a horrifying vision of the destruction of Earth's environment by man, and controlled by fearsome worm-like creatures known as Rajah. She is given a second chance at life by the apparition of Chris Horken, a crippled telepath, if she agrees to become the Avatar of Time and protect Earth from the Rajah. But Juna is not at ease with this role - although she utilises her power to save Tokio, she is petrified of the monstrous Rajah, and has difficulty reconciling her environmental awareness and protection with her modern life - how would you feel if you heard the voices of all the creatures killed to make your food each time you ate? An extremely high budget shows through in the detailed character animation and computer effects - although some rendering doesn't mesh very well - and another high quality soundtrack from Yoko Kanno present an extremely polished show. However, the environmental message can become extremely heavy handed, which aggravates many viewers - this thought-provoking "magical girl" show tends to polarise viewers.
    Arjuna is being released in North America from Bandai, and in Australia from Madman.
    [Entry by Andrew Hollingbury]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
El Hazard
El Hazard: the priestesses of Muldoon (© AIC / Geneon)    Makoto is your average high-school kid. A bit of a nebbish, he likes Nanami and is constanly hounded by her big brother Jinnai, though not about Nanami per se. Makoto and several of his classmates get sucked through a portal to another world where he and his friends each seem to manifest a superpower. There is a war going on between the human people of the world and the insect-like Bugrom. Makoto and his friends try to help the humans, aided by the three priestesses of Muldoon, while Jinnai ends up on the wrong side, helping the Bugrom. Hilarity, action and adventure ensue, including the discovery of an ancient evil power, a woman named Ifurita who only Makoto can defeat. Good art and animation. Silly and fun. This summary applies only to the OVA version; there is also a TV series with the same characters. Comedic violence only. Seven OVAs. From Geneon.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    [Parental Advisory: Some characters in this OAV series have what has come to euphemistically be called "alternative lifestyles", and not all of them are villians. If this bothers you or your children, watch the TV series El Hazard: The Wanderers instead of the OAV series.  - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Endless Waltz
    See Gundam
    See Vision of Escaflowne
    see Neon Genesis Evangelion
Excel Saga
    This anime is an example of insanity in motion. Each episode is a parody of different styles of anime, and in the first episode the heroine, Excel Excel dies several times, then goes off to kill her manga artist (talk about breaking down the 'fourth wall'). In later episodes you meet others that get involved in the story, and she's joined by Hyatt, a girl that dies about as much as possible, but she keeps on getting back up. Not to mention the fact that she keeps a stray dog named Menchi (that somehow looks like a cat every now and then) as an emergency food supply. Released by ADV in North America.
    [Entry by Bill Martin]
    [Content Advisory: ADV Films quite properly rated this show at "17+". Many episodes have a high violence quotient, some of the language is inappropriate for minors, and the final episode should be listed in the Anime Hentai Primer. Definitely not for children.  - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Fam and Ihrie
    see Ruin Explorers
Fancy Lala
    Fancy Lala is the story of a girl and her magic sketch book. I think that cleared all of the DBZ heads out. For the rest of you, no, there are no magical princesses fighting evil by moonlight, nor are there any convoluted love polygons. What we have here is a simple show about how a young girl, Shinohara Miho (all names in Japanese name order) obtains the power to grow just a bit older from some 'funny dinosaurs' (Pigu and Mogu, her wise helpers...yea right, they spend more time arguing and eating all the food than helping) and her not so meteoric rise to stardom. Her alter ego's name is Lala, for short (Fancy Lala in full). She's got powers that every little girl would want: growing older, drawing all the cool clothes you could ever want with a magic pen (just say Dabu Dabu and the clothes become real!) and meeting all your favorite stars (in Miho's case it's the fabulous male idol, Aikawa Hiroya).
    However, this show's best aspect is its unusual realness. Lala's rise to stardom is no instant success. It's a lot of hard work full of bright lights, pushy stars, and time spent away from friends. Her time as Miho isn't all sugar sweetness wrapped in a candy cane either. Miho's a rather real little girl, genki or not, and she gets frustrated and tired. An interesting point is the depth of character is actually accentuated by Miho having two forms. Seeing how characters react to each form shows their characters in more detail than otherwise would be possible. That's it, except for maybe that mysterious guy... (Fushigi-san, called 'Mystery Man' in the commercial version). Maybe he has something to do with Miho's spectacular transformation? This 26 episode series was on Japanese TV in 1998, and now is released in the US by Bandai Entertainment. An extra note: it's a homage to Creamy Mami, a 1983 magical girl show along the same lines (both done by Studio Pierrot).
    [Entry by Hana no Kaitou]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Fire Tripper
    One of the more serious of the Rumik World stories by Rumiko Takahashi. A young woman gets sent back in time to feudal Japan, but how? And what happened to the young boy that was with her? Was available from USMC.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
Full Metal Panic
    Popular high school girl Chidori Kaname, unbeknownst to her, is one of a group of people called the Whispered. The Whispered are people who have buried in their memories knowledge of something called Black Technology. Black Technology is military technology so advanced and powerful that the nations of the world will go to any extreme to get their hands on it. To protect Kaname from falling into the wrong hands a covert anti-terrorist organization called Mithril assigns a bodyguard to watch over and protect Kaname without her knowledge. Unfortunately the person they select for the job is Sagara Sousuke, a teenager who has spent his entire life on battlefields and military camps. Consequently he has no concept of how to cope with ordinary civilian life. Needless to say Sousuke's reactions to even the merest perception of a threat are extreme. As a result he proceeds to turn Kaname's life completely upside down while defending her against some of the nastiest terrorists ever to appear in anime. This has the apparent effect of having Kaname start to fall in love with him. Anyway Sousuke's military skills are unparalleled and he is expert in this world's preferred combat mech, the Arm Slave.
    Licenced by ADV Films.
    [Entry by Kyle Thomas Pope]
    [Trailer available at ADV's Trailers page  -  Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Fushigi Yuugi (a.k.a. Mysterious Play)
    One of the most emotional anime of all time, truly heartwrenching, though it does delve into sap a little by the end. The anime focuses on a young girl, Miaka, who gets pulled into an ancient Chinese text and becomes a part of the story - a priestess, in fact, of one of the book world's four gods, Suzaku. When she tries to get out, her best friend Yui is taken in her place! Miaka goes back in after her, but things have happened since Miaka returned to the real world ... With her guardians, the Suzaku Shichiseishi, and her love Tamahome, Miaka must go through many trials in order to regain both peace for her warring kingdom, and her best friend as well. (Geneon)
    [Entry by KireiSarah]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Gall Force
Gall Force - Eternal Story: the crew of the "Star Leaf" (© MOVIC / Sony Video / CPM)    A series of nine SF OAVs about cute girls with guns and space ships. All the men of the race died in the everlasting war with the Evil Paranoids, and there's nothing left but sexy young women who reproduce by cloning. But, they have a plan ... Available subbed from USMC. A parody of the series called Ten Little Gall Force was available from AnimEigo.
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Genesis Surviver Gaiarth
    A post-apolcalyptic world sees a young boy with no parents brought up by a stranded war robot (warroid) as a soldier but when a mysterious enemy slaughters the only parent he had ever had, he goes to war only to find that the war had ended many years before. He meets up with a battered warroid who has no memory of his past but seems to be full of surprises and a girl who gets the hots for him, when she isn't thinking of money, and the group go off treasure hunting, only to find that their hunt will eventually turn into a fight to save the planet and end the long dormant war ... Available from AnimEigo.
    [Entry by Chika]
Gensomaden Saiyuki
    An amazing adaptation of the original Journey To The West. In this retelling, the Sanzo priest (Genjo Sanzo) is accompanied by Son Goku, Cho Hakkai (with his flying dragon Hakuryu), and Sho Gojyo. On their way to investigate the resurrection of Gyumaoh, they encounter several demons, and that's about where the similarities end to the other versions. Sanzo's a cursing, drinking, gun-toting monk with blond hair, Goku's always hungry, Hakkai uses chi blasts, Hakuryu can turn into a jeep, and Gojyo's a poker playing womanizer. Basically, to rip off an old car commercial, this isn't your father's Journey To The West. The main force trying to stop the Sanzo party is led by Kougaji, who is being forced to oppose Sanzo by Gyukumen Koushu, Gyumaoh's concubine. Aiding Kougaji are his half-sister, Lirin, and his trusted friends, an apothecary named Yaone, and a warrior named Dokugakugi. Action, adventure, mystery, mysticism, introspection, an awesome opening song, and a sense of humor that shows up whenever it feels like it, all make this a top-notch anime.
    [Entry by Bill Martin]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    see Kishin Heidan
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell: Major Kusanagi and Chief Aramaki (© Masamune Shirow / Kodansha / Bandai Visual / Manga Entertainment)    Hong Kong, years from now, and a collaboration work between Masamune Shirow and western influences to produce a special police force on the hunt for a mysterious creature that steals peoples' "ghosts" and reprograms them for its own purposes. However, it seems to be so elusive that it is questionable if it is actually one person, or even human. The common factor with the force is their cybernetic upgrades. Based on the successful manga series, though the manga is nowhere as dark as the film. Some folk refer to this film as "Frain's Folly" as it saw the end of Andy Frain at Manga Video after poor sales in the UK.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Grave of the Fireflies
    A powerful and moving story about two children orphaned when their village is fire-bombed in WWII. This is an excellent work by Studio Ghibli that should include the warning "May cause severe sadness." The art is fabulous and the story has a strong emotional impact.
    [Entry by Robin Casady]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Great Teacher Onizuka
    see G.T.O.
G.T.O. (a.k.a. Great Teacher Onizuka)
    Even though the series starts off with an shot up a schoolgirl's skirt, the series follows the exploits of Ekichi Onizuka in his quest to be a great teacher and all the troubles he encounters. From the vice principal to the class that hasn't keep a teacher all year in who knows how long, he's got his hands full, then there's the fact that he's got the hots for a fellow teacher. Released by TokyoPop in North America.
    [Entry by Bill Martin]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Gunbuster: Buster-1 (© GAINAX / Manga Video)Gunbuster: Takaya Noriko and Smith Toren (© GAINAX / Manga Video)    Takaya Noriko is a teenage girl enrolled in a school for giant robot pilots in the near future. After her father dies in a battle with aliens, Noriko vows to go into space like him, and fight to save the human race. Gunbuster is the story of her struggle to develop the skills that will allow her to pilot the mighty robot Gunbuster, humankind's ultimate weapon against an encroaching alien menace. She is joined in her quest by her 'big sister' Kasumi whom she idolizes, their stern teacher Coach Ota, and her sometime-rival, the brilliant and beautiful Jung-Freud. Their story, deftly directed by Hideaki Anno and produced by the famous GAINAX team, is sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, always moving and entertaining.
    Gunbuster is both a gentle satire of older giant robot shows, and a homage to them. Its major theme is that staple of fiction, the education of the hero and the development of heroic character, as we watch Noriko's often agonized struggle to grow from weakness to strength, from incompetence to mastery, from inconsequentiality to heroism. A secondary theme is the damaging effects of near-lightspeed travel on human relationships.
    The show's tone changes radically as it progresses, being lighthearted and comic at the outset, but darker and more serious in the later episodes. You'll be laughing during the first episode, on your feet cheering at the end of fourth, and the bittersweet end of the final episode will probably leave you in tears. But they're good tears. Fans usually rate Gunbuster's ending as one of the best in anime, and the show has been a fan favorite since it was released. This should be on your short list of anime to watch, even if you don't think you like giant robot shows.
    Content advisory: Some bouncing breasts and female nudity, no sexual activity or innuendo. Lots of violence against alien lifeforms that resemble titanic space-going cauliflowers. Six OAV episodes, total running time about 3 hours.
    As of May 2001, the six Gunbuster episodes are available in the US from Manga Video, subtitled on 3 VHS tapes. No dub is available. No date for a DVD release is known.
    [Entry by Slithy Tove]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Gundam (Mobile Suit Gundam, Stardust Memories, War in the Pocket, MS Team 08, Zeta Gundam, ZZ Gundam, Char's Counterattack, Gundam Wing, etc.)
    One thing to keep in mind with Gundam is that there are two main continuities. One is known by the Universal Calendar and the other is the After Colony calender.
Gundam: a Gundam mobile suit (© Sotsu Agency / Sunrise / Bandai)    The UC timeline is the original, while the newer Gundam Wing universe uses the AC timeline. Other than that they have giant robots and semi-realistic near-future Earth space civilizations at war, they don't interelate much.
    Mobile Suit Gundam was the first 'gritty' and 'realistic' giant robot stories, paving the way for other series. Before MS Gundam, most giant robot stories were vehicles for selling toys in Japan. Gundam revolutionized the genre by putting a background and a more realistic use of giant robots. Gundam is war story, with extras.
    Adding in ambiguous allies and enemies and an unusual manifest destiny, it managed to tell a compelling story of a young man thrust into the middle of an unwanted war. He and the ship he ends up on become the pivot on which their history is decided. The UC timeline has the colonies rebelling against a static Earth Federation. One of the more interesting points is that no one is really good or evil, per se. Both have faults and heroes, both have their villans. The Gundam units are on Earth's side for the most part.
    MS Gundam, Stardust Memories, War in the Pocket and MS Team 08 all are based (loosely) in the UC timeline. They all use or make mention of the One Year War.
    Many Gundam shows are available from Bandai in North America.
Gundam Wing: (most of) the pilots
(© Sotsu Agency / Sunrise / Bandai)    Gundam Wing (and the finale, Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz) are based in the newer AC (After Colony) timeline. A repressive Earth government is tyranizing everyone, holding an iron grip over their colonies. The colonies finally rebel, using five Gundam mobile suits. Piloted by young freedom fighters, they are the colonies best hope to break the iron grip of Earth. Part soldiers and part terrorists, the young pilots fight and interact with foes. Still a war drama, Gundam Wing puts an effort into some social commentary on war and death.
   Gundam Wing has been televised in the U.S., and is available from Bandai in North America and Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Arthur Hansen]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Gundam Wing
    See Gundam
Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
    See Gundam
    see Battle Angel
Gunslinger Girl
    This is a thirteen-episode series set in modern-day Italy, rife with political and police corruption, organised crime and terrorism. A shadowy government agency uses cyborged adolescent girls as assassins, tied to their supervisors ("fratello", or siblings) by brainwashing and mental conditioning for obedience and loyalty. The story is often bloody and violent but also includes scenes where the girls interact with each other and their fratello in a remarkably sympathetic manner. Each of the girls featured has a distinct personality, often mirroring their fratello for whom they feel "affection" in differing ways.
    In the wrong hands this series could have been superficial; Madhouse are to be congratulated on avoiding the obvious pitfalls. The character animation is not the finest but the backgrounds are faithful to the Italian cities the stories are set in. The violence is realistically displayed; blood and death are inextricably linked in this series. Technically, the depiction of firearms is pretty well spot-on. Each of the girls has a signature weapon and uses it appropriately, a rarity in anime. This series will get a R1 release sooner rather than later; the R2 Japanese DVDs are already being released. Available on fansub from several groups.
    [Entry by Robert Sneddon]
Gunsmith Cats
Gunsmith Cats: May and Rally (© Kenichi Sonoda / Kodansha / VAP / TBS / ADV)    Rally Vincent and May Hopkins are bounty-hunters in Chicago. Rally is a sharp-shooter with a passion for fast 70's sports cars, and May likes explosives - lots of explosives. A BATF agent named Bill Collins "hires" Rally to help him break up a gun-smuggling ring, and big trouble ensues, leading eventually to the Mayor's office. Based loosely on the manga by Kenichi Sonoda. Good art and animation. Some violence and lots of shooting. Three episodes. Subbed and dubbed. From ADV Films.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Haibane Renmei (variously translated as Ash Wings Alliance, Charcoal Feathers Federation, or variations on these)
    (review written after 3 episodes)
    Haibane Renmei is a mysterious and low key story about a girl who wakes up to find she's become an angel, complete with wings and halo. Unable to remember her past life or even her name, she finds herself in a community of angels (or Ash Wings as they call themselves, due to their pale grey wings), who live a pretty ordinary life near a town of normal people who treat the angels as a subservient race: tolerated, but not allowed to possess money or wear new clothes. But the town is surrounded by a high wall, and no-one knows what lies beyond it, and no-one has ever been beyond it apart from the crows and some mysterious beings who periodically visit the town but whom no-one is allowed to talk to. The main character and general look of the people are reminiscent of Lain, and Haibane Renmei seems to have started life as a (Lain?) doujinshi.
    [Entry by Shez]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Here Is Greenwood
Koko Wa Greenwood: Hasakawa and his dorm-mates (© Yukie Nasu / Hakusensha Inc. / Victor Entertainment, Inc. / Pierrot Project / CPM)    Hasakawa has the worst luck: He's late for his high school entry exams, then he's late for high school, and his older brother has married the woman of his dreams. As he heads to school, he figures things are looking up, until he finds out he's been put in "GreenWood", the dorm notorious for its weird residents. Having a roommate who looks like a girl is the least of his problems ...
    [Entry by Catherine Johnson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Heroic Legend of Arislan
    see Arslan
His and Her Circumstances
    See Kareshi Kanojo no Jijyo
    Fairly retro feel here in a story about the creation of a scientific genius, referred to as a "humanoid". The planet on which this happens is also the resting place of other and greater technology, power which the planetary governor wouldn't mind getting his hands on. The story seems to revolve around the development of the humanoid, some of which is voluntary, indeed resonant of Key the Metal Idol, and around the deeds of the governor as he realises his folly ...
    [Entry by Chika]


I Can Hear the Sea
    A snotty Tokyo girl moves to a provincial sea town, there she clashes with her new classmates in high school. Told from the perspective of one of the local boys who is first appalled by her, but later befriends her when he finds out about the divorce of her parents and helps her cope with her family problems. A sweet, subdued story about growing up to be an adult and about first love with some interesting insights into everyday life of Japanese school and college students.
    [Entry by Hanno Mueller]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Iczer-1: Nagisa and Iczer-1 (© AIC)    A three-part SF OAV involving hideous monsters from space, cute but lethal girls, and two giant robots. Meant to be taken only semi-seriously, but has some great slime-monsters that'll make your skin crawl.
    [Was available from US Renditions when US Renditions was still in operation.   - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    Earth has been taken over by Big Gold's daughter (see Iczer-1) and Iczer 1 is in no fit state to do anything about it. All there is left is Iczer 1's little sister, Iczer 3, but she is very much a rookie. Just as well that Nagisa is waiting aboard the only remaining Earth ship, sitting waiting on the moon along with its crew. The story is very similar to Iczer 1 except that there isn't quite so much body-snatching; each episode seeing the crew and Iczer 3 battle each of the baddies (mostly rejects from the Negaverse!!!). Iczer 1 and Iczer 2 both emerge at the end, by the way. Iczer-3 is available subbed from USMC.
    [Entry by Chika]
Inuyasha: Inu-Yasha and Kagome (© Takahashi Rumiko / Shogakukan / Viz)    Hundreds of years ago in Feudal Japan, during the Sengoku Jidai (or Warring States Era), there was a half-demon, half-human hybrid named Inu-Yasha. He sought to capture the Shikon no Tama (or Jewel of Four Souls) for himself, but Kikyo, the priestess who had guarded the jewel, sealed him away with a sacred arrow. On her deathbed, she was cremated along with the Jewel ... but the story does not end there. In the modern age of the present day, Kagome Higurashi, a seemingly ordinary girl, is thrust back into the Sengoku Jidai by a magical well, and must now protect the mysteriously reappeared Shikon no Tama from the fearsome demons and ogres that wander across the land. But can she rely on Inu-Yasha, the resurrected half-demon, to help her defend this enigmatic jewel? A gothic horror/adventure series, with romantic comedy elements, from Rumiko Takahashi (creator of Ranma ½ and Maison Ikkoku). Licenced by Viz.
    [Entry by Nicholas A. Jalowick]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Iria (a.k.a. Zeiram, the Animation)
    Set in a future time Iria is a bounty hunter in training. She, her brother Gren and their boss Bob are hired to for a rescue mission when the most dangerous lifeform in the galaxy Zeiram shows up as part of the cargo. Escaping to the planet Taowajan with no idea on the fate of Gren or Bob, Iria must deal with the authorities idea of urban renewal which is to allow Zeiram to run loose in a city slum. Later on all records of the rescue mission have vanished and Iria must contend with a conspiracy that wants to silence her before she can find out what their plans for Zeiram are. (6 episode series on VHS and DVD by US Manga)
    [Entry by Bruce Grubb]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Irresponsible Captain Tylor
Irresponsible Captain Tylor: Justy Ueki Tylor (© Hiroshi Yukiyoka / Kadokawa Shoten / Tylor Project / The Right Stuf International Inc.)    Through a series of coincidences (or are they?), Justy Tylor (aged 20) becomes captain of the Battle Cruiser Soyokaze, which is full of misfits and rejects. His easy-going, do-your-own-thing manner annoys and confuses friend and foe alike, and his amazing successes keep people wondering: Is he incredibly lucky or incredibly clever?
    [Entry by Catherine Johnson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Journey to the West
    see Gensomaden Saiyuki
Jubei Nimpuucho
    see Ninja Scroll
Jungle Taitei
    see Kimba the White Lion
Juuni Kokki (aka The Twelve Kingdoms, Chronicle of Twelve Countries, Juuni Kokuki)
    Youko Nakajima is summoned into another world alongside two of her classmates after she is attacked by mysterious beasts at school, and becomes embroiled in a political struggle over the rule of one of the Twelve Kingdoms that make up this world. This is only one of the storylines that occupies this 45 episode series, however - later story arcs follow others who have been swept into the Twelve Kingdoms through Youko's perspective. What perhaps seems like a slightly stale coming-of-age girl-in-another-world story is given a darker twist than many other such shows, featuring racism, assassination and betrayal. There's a lot more focus on political and cultural aspects compared to, say, Escaflowne, although the slow pace and excessive angst may put some off. The first two story arcs are available on DVD in Region 1 from Media Blasters, with the first disc of the third arc due shortly.
    [Entry by Andrew Hollingbury]


Kaleido Star
    (Review written after five episodes)
    A shoujo show that doesn't exclusively pander to girls, this is the story of Sora, a girl who moves from Japan to the U.S. to audition for a circus troupe that's loosely based on the Cirque du Soleil. Besides beautiful and dynamic acrobatic routines, there's some nice interaction that happens between the characters, plus Sora has a good deal of chutzpah and doesn't act like a fish out of water. The series also throws in quite a bit of believability in the hurdles and humiliations that she faces in her quest. There are some cliches to begin with, but there seems to be a move away from that later and the series so far has some good humorous touches. In all, this is a beautifully drawn series that carries itself with a lot of vitality and gusto without being overly bombastic or saccharine.
    This was directed by Junichi Sato, the director of Sailor Moon, Pretear, and Magic Users Club. It's rare to see a series that is so visually exuberant and that conveys a strong sense of wonder. The director also curbed the usual excesses that sometimes show up in a Studio Gonzo feature.
    Available in North America from ADV Films.
    [Entry by Michael Lo]
Kamikaze Kaitou Jannu (a.k.a. Kamikaze Phantom Thief Jeanne)
    TV series, 40+ episodes. Maron is a 16 year old girl with two secrets: an inner loneliness due to her divorced parents' failure to contact her in years; and the fact that she's the reincarnation of Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc). Sadly, Maron's adventures seem to have nothing in common with those of her namesake, except that both are on missions from God. Egged on by the diminutive angel Fin that only she can see or hear, Maron must steal and destroy art treasures that have become possessed by demons. Her missions are hampered by a detective's daughter who is determined to capture Kaitou Jeanne, and by masked rival Sindbad. The bishoujo character styling is very Sailor Moonish, whilst the storyline is Cardcaptor Sakura with added cops'n'robbers. Although the episode plots are feeble and cartoonish, the central character Maron is engaging and just deep enough to make you want to see "just one more" episode.
    Originally fansubbed by Sachi, a new high-quality digisub using the same scripts is now also doing the rounds.
    [Entry by Shez]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    See Kareshi Kanojo no Jijyo
Kareshi Kanojo no Jijyo (aka Karekano; His and Her Circumstances)
    Yukino Miyazawa is an intelligent and popular student who craves the attention this gives her, and she works hard to keep the impressions she makes in all her classmates' minds. However, on the day of her high school entrance ceremonies, she finds that the position of incoming class representative that she wanted so much has been taken by a boy named Arimi Souichiro. While this enrages her, she eventually finds herself drawn closer to him, and he to her. When their popular masks finally slip in front of each other, they find that they have fallen in love.
    This romantic drama was Gainax's first TV series after the legendary Neon Genesis Evangelion, and carries over some of its experimental tendencies, only this time to more comic effect; they carried that over and built on it in future series such as FLCL and Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai. Based on the popular shoujo manga by Masami Tsuda, and, whilst a quality series, the anime has a frustrating non-ending, since the manga is still running in the monthly LaLa at the time of writing.
    Licenced by Right Stuf.
    [Entry by David Watson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran
    See Tsukikage Ran
Key the Metal Idol
    Tokiko "Key" Mima is a strange, pale, waifish little girl who claims to be an android. Raised by a scientist in a small town, she is forced to strike out on her own when he dies. His dying words to her are a puzzling "In order to make yourself a real girl, you must make 30,000 friends." But things only get stranger from there. Who is the evil Ajo and his henchman "D"? Why are they interested in Key? Is Key really an android? Decent art and animation. Subbed and dubbed. 13 episodes. From Viz.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Kiki's Delivery Service
Kiki's Delivery Service: Kiki (© Eiko Kadono / Nibariki / Tokuma Shoten / BVHE)    Kiki, a 13-year-old witch, leaves her home and family as a rite of passage, and finds a new city in which to live and practice her craft. She is given a place to live by a friendly woman baker, and finding she has no special skills with which to support herself, decides to use her ability to fly on her broom to run a parcel delivery service. Kiki and her black cat, Jiji, have many adventures and a few disasters as they explore their new city, grow up, and find their place in the world. A boy her own age named Tombo offers his friendship, and an older girl artist named Ursula becomes a mentor and confidant. As the story progresses, Kiki matures from a sometimes callow and uncertain girl into a resilient and capable young woman. A crisis of confidence in her witchy powers leads to the film's intense and satisfying conclusion.
    Kiki is a gentle work, devoid of the battles and violence that mark many of Miyazaki's other films. Like much other anime, it's a story of growing up, of a teenager learning how deal with life's challenges and setbacks, and becoming an adult in the process. For a non-action film, there's a fair amount of action, often involving Kiki's antics and accidents while flying on her broom, and director Hayao Miyazaki, who loves airships of all kinds, even manages to drag in a dirigible near the end. The works of Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli are generally considered to be among the finest anime, and Kiki is no exception. This a famous and much-loved film, and you should make a point to seek it out.
    Content advisory: nothing offensive. Running time: 102 minutes.
    Kiki is available in the US from Disney/Buena Vista on DVD.
    [Entry by Slithy Tove]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Kimagure Orange Road
    A TV series, many OAVs, and a movie. Contemporary high school students work out their love triangles and try to grow up, even though one has ESP "powers". A kindly, comic look at the youth experience, relatively easy to understand. Available from AnimEigo.
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Kimba the White Lion
    Another old US import from the pen of Osamu Tezuka originally titled Jungle Taitei (Emperor). Note any similarity to Disney's Lion King?
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Kino's Journey
    A quietly nihilistic series that makes for a nice contrast with the large number of colourful and perky series out there, Kino's Journey tells the story of a young wanderer and a robotic motorcycle who journey through various countries, staying no more than three days at a time. Many of the countries and individuals encountered either engage in self-destructive behaviour or have ugly aspirations. Kino, while largely a moral agent, at times skirts the line of amorality in just drifting through these situations.
    This is a fascinating series with solid storytelling that's chock full of black humour, irony, surrealism and cynicism. Despite the general downbeat nature of this series, there's a undercurrent of happiness to it (not a little of which is embodied in the very laid-back Kino).
    Available in North America from ADV Films.
    [Entry by Michael Lo]
Kishin Heidan (a.k.a. Kishin Corps or Geo-Armor)
    An interesting admixture of World War II, an Alien invasion, and the giant robots captured alien technology makes possible. Fast-paced adventure, available from Geneon dubbed or subtitled.
    See Kodomo no Omocha
Kodomo no Omocha (aka Kodocha; Child's Toy)
    Sana Kurata is a child actress renowned for her hyperactivity and her role on the TV show of the title (yes, a show within a show; cute, innit?), and is the adopted daughter of the eccentric author Mariko Kurata. Despite her stardom, she still goes to a non-exclusive school, in which her class is terrorized by a bully named Akito Hayama, a cold and quiet boy who manages to rally the other boys around him and make the class hell for the teacher. When Sana decides enough is enough and stands up to him to try to get him to stop, she discovers just how troubled he and his life actually are, and eventually goes from enemy to friend ... or is it even more?
    Zany comedy and very touching drama exist side by side in Kodocha's shoujo frame, and it still manages to work very well. While the TV series still hasn't been announced as licensed yet (and it's hard to say if it ever will, since it's over 100 episodes long and its pace and puns make it difficult to translate), TOKYOPOP is now releasing Miho Obana's manga under the name Kodocha.
    [Entry by David Watson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Koko Wa Greenwood
    see Here Is Greenwood


    see Serial Experiments Lain
    Firstly, this is not a Shirow story. It merely uses some character designs. A typical brother and sister eventually find that they have more to them than meets the eye. Or two eyes; each one a different colour! This story is a typical quest to save the world against insurmountable odds and evil mentors. Available from Manga Video.
    [Entry by Chika]
Laputa, Castle in the Sky
Tenku no shiro Laputa: Sheeta falls into Pazu's arms (© Nibakiri / Tokuma Shoten)    A great fast-moving action adventure by children's film-maker Miyazaki, and features designs Jules Verne would approve (not to mention Swift.) Two kids flee pirates, the army, and other parties in a race to find the legendary Laputa. Great soundtrack, too. A Must See.
    [Dubbed to English by Streamline, and again by Disney - the latter is available on DVD in North America.  - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Last Exile
    A steampunk Sci-Fi/fantasy epic, this is a lavishly beautiful series that once again has a strong director who restrains the worst inclinations of Studio Gonzo. Set in an alien environment of islands floating in the sky, the main characters of this world are a pair of impoverished orphans who dream of crossing the boundary of the world but wind up caught in the middle of a war for control over a key to immense power. With more than a few nods to old Miyazaki features involving flight, this is series look at a world that's in the early stages of an Industrial Revolution in the shadow of a futuristically advanced political faction.
    Last Exile treats the "punk" in steampunk as more than just a token word as it looks hard at the idea of chivalry in battle and the schism between the elite nobility and the working poor while staying tight with the story. The series often carries itself in a larger than life way, especially with the bombastic military march music and grandiose "ship of the line" battles, but it also takes the time to flesh out the characters and peer into their microscopic stories behind the macrosm of the great war and power plays. Also, one of the major characters gets time by herself, and the animation sequences involving that are strongly reminscent of ones seen in old Disney shorts.
    This is a beautiful series that strings together a lot of strong moments and doesn't rely on its considerable visual flash. It may be a shonen adventure, but like Kaleido Star it doesn't exclusively pander to that crowd. This series may be the closest thing so far to an heir of Escaflowne.
    Available in North America from Geneon, and in Australia from Madman.
    [Entry by Michael Lo]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Laughing Target
    Another serious story from Rumiko Takahashi (in her Rumik World series), this takes many of Takahashi's favourite cliches (unwanted engagements, a love triangle, teenaged protagonists, etc.) and puts them into a supernatural-horror story. Was available from USMC.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
Legend of Galactic Heroes
    A far-future SF epic in which two vast space-faring governments, the Empire and the Federation, vie for supremacy amid the sea of stars. Against this backdrop two young heroes on the opposing sides wage war with each other and politics with their peers.
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    Loosely based around the E.E. "Doc" Smith stories, an ex-patrolman suddenly finds his planet being ripped apart, but all is not lost! His son inherits a "lens", which because of the nature of the info on it, the enemy would really like it back, hence its destruction of the planet and relentless pursuit of the boy from that point onwards through all sorts of weird scenarios. However he gathers allies on the way, so the enemy doesn't get it all its own way ...
    [Entry by Chika]
    [Chika is understating matters - this anime uses little more than some of the names from the original series of novels. It isn't a bad story, but don't expect it to be anything like "Doc" Smith's masterpiece. Lensman was available dubbed from Streamline when Streamline was still in business.  - Rob Kelk]
Locke the Superman
    An intergalactically famous superbeing lured out of voluntary seclusion helps save Earth from a group of elite ESPers bent on galactic conquest. The design sense is rather primitive but the story line is lean, exciting and propulsive, revolving around the title character, a powerful female ESPer, and an evil conclave. Admittedly, these are simple premises, but the action & storytelling are first-rate.
Lodoss War
    see Record of Lodoss War
Lost Universe
Lost Universe: Millie, Kain, and Canal (© Hajime Kanzaka / Shouko Yoshinaka / Kadokawa / TV Tokyo / SoftX / ADV)    Lost Universe is done by all the same people who did Slayers, and it's pretty much Slayers in outer space. It's a Sci-Fi comedy which follows the adventures of Kain Blueriver, a psychic troubleshooter that hires himself out to solve problems and looks like he could be the child of Lina and Gourry, and his ship the Swordbreaker, which is one of the lost ships belonging to a highly advanced lost civilization. Joining him is Canal, the holographic image which the ship projects to communicate, and Millie, a dead shot who blows up kitchens cooking and wants to become the best something or other in the Universe (exactly what changes with every episode). Despite some not so great animation, those fuzzy dots that move around are not because of a bad TV, the series is an enjoyable comedy done in Slayers fashion, and although it doesn't quite live up to its parent anime it's the closest thing out there to a fourth season of Slayers right now. Available from ADV Films.
    [Entry by "Sultan Of Swing"]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Love Hina
Love Hina: the residents of Hinata dorm (© Ken Akamatsu / Kodansha / LoveHina Onsen Kumiai / TV Tokyo / Bandai)    Keitaro Urashima, a 20 year old "ronin" (student who has failed his university entrance exams) gets a job as the caretaker at his grandmother's old hot springs inn. What he doesn't know is that she has turned it into a girls-only dorm. The girls aren't pleased at first to have him there, but eventually accept him, and Keitaro starts to fall in love with one of the girls, named Naru. But Keitaro is haunted by the vague memories of having promised, when he was young, to go to Tokyo U with a girl whose name he has since forgotten.
    What develops is a romantic comedy, with a fair amount of surreal humor, and a number of fun, memorable characters. This was a big, big hit in Japan. Non-Japanese fans of the manga version tend to have real problems with the anime version since it varies a lot from the manga. I saw the anime first, then read the manga, and tend to like the anime more.
    Available from Bandai in North America, or Madman in Australia.
    [Entry by Anthony D. Baranyi]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Lupin III
Lupin III - Castle of Cagliostro: Lupin climbing the castle wall (© Katoo Kazuhiko / Tokyo Movie Shinsha / Manga Entertainment)    A semi-modern series of (TV & OAV) stories about a stylish thief with a heart of gold and his gang. My personal favorite installment is Castle of Cagliostro (directed by Miyazaki), although The Fuma Conspiracy is one of the most action-packed and entertaining anime around. Most Lupin III is not by Miyazaki, but by a fellow who calls himself "Monkey Punch" (I'm not making this up, you know).
    [The Fuma Conspiracy is available from AnimEigo, under the name Rupan III. Castle of Cagliostro is available from Manga Video. Other Lupin III shows exist, but many, including one also available from AnimEigo, are not recommended by the fans.   - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


    see Black Magic M66
Mach Go Go Go
    see Speed Racer
    Epic sci-fi space opera, influenced by Gundam and Yamato. In the year 1999, a deserted alien space warship crash lands on the Earth. The people on Earth spend the next 10 years refurbishing the spaceship, christening it the Macross. On the day of the Macross' launching ceremony, the Zentradi, an alien race of humanoid giants, appears above the Earth to claim the ship. The crew of the Macross are forced to perform a space fold to escape, unwittingly taking 50,000 civilians with them to the edges of the solar system. With the fold system mysteriously missing, the Macross is forced to slowly make its way back to Earth, while constantly being harassed by the pursuing Zentradi.
    Within the backdrop of this war, personal dramas are played out. Foremost among them is the love triangle that slowly forms between fighter pilot Ichijyo Hikaru, singer Lynn Minmay, and bridge operator Hayase Misa. Hikaru saves Minmay's life during the Zentradi attack, and falls in love with her when the two are accidentally stranded deep within the bowels of the Macross. But as Minmay's singing career blossoms and her star rises, he wonders if their worlds are drifting apart. Hikaru and Misa begin their relationship with almost constant arguments, but their time together in the line of duty slowly brings them closer.
    Macross comprises 36 episodes, and originally aired on TV in Japan from 1982 to 1983. Macross is generally considered a classic, famous for its transforming Valkyrie mecha and its idol singer, Lynn Minmay. In the US, it was altered and incorporated into the 1985 Robotech series as the Macross Saga.
    [Entry by Ray Li]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Macross: Do You Remember Love
    Set in the Macross universe, this "film in a film" is a brief and somehow distorted retelling of the original TV series, SDF Macross. Any other description will be only a list of differences from the original story.
    [Entry by Andrew V. Tupkalo]
    A parody of mecha films in which a young lad gets trapped inside a metal combat suit. The army wants the suit back, and the hero just wants to keep his date. Available from AnimEigo.
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Magic Knight Rayearth
Magic Knight Rayearth: Umi, Hikaru, and Fuu (© CLAMP / Kodansha / Polygram / TMS / Media Blasters)    Season One: Three junior high school girls, Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, and Fuu Hououji meet for the first time atop Tokyo Tower on a field trip. Suddenly, they find themselves swept away to a magical world called Cephiro, where one's belief becomes reality. They are greeted by Clef, the land's most powerful magician, and are told they have been summoned and can not return to their world unless they fulfill a legend - they must become the Magic Knights and save Cephiro.
    Princess Emeraude, the Pillar of this peaceful land, has kept it together using her willpower. However, High Priest Zagato has captured the Princess and Cephiro has become a place of fear, monsters have freely roamed the land, and is beginning to fall apart.
    Although the threesome's personalities are different - Hikaru is persistent and has a caring heart for others, Umi is world wise and loyal, and Fuu uses her smarts to quickly sum up a situation - they soon become the best of friends and reaffirm their pledge to become the Legendary Magic Knights and save Cephiro.
    They make friends on their quest including Presea, Cephiro's Master Weaponsmith, who provides the knights with weapons that evolve as their skills increase, and Ferio, a swordsman with a mysterious past and unknown motives. They are guided by a cute and whimsical creature called Mokona in searching of a huge being with unimaginable power to help them in their ultimate battle.
    At every turn, Lord Zagato's minions are determined to prevent the Magic Knights from fulfilling their quest. The Magic Knights, who were strangers before they arrived, find they have become the best of friends in the many battles and trials they faced.
    In the end they must face Zagato - during which the Knights meet an unexpected turn of events and must look into their hearts to save Cephiro.
    Season Two: Following the startling events of Cephiro's ultimate battle, the Magic Knights find themselves again swept away from Tokyo Tower to that magical land.
    They discover all that remains of Cephiro, which has continued to crumble, is an enormous castle created by its people's willpower, as guided by Clef. The Magic Knights are reunited with old friends and meet new ones, including a mysterious magic swordsman who has returned to the land since leaving just before the capturing of the Princess.
    The Magic Knights learn a new Pillar must be found to restore Cephiro to the beautiful place it once was. If the land's disintegration wasn't enough, it's soon discovered three countries from nearby planets are on their way to invade. These forces are from Autozam, a planet of technology and machines; Farhen, a Asian-styled country whose leaders cast powerful illusions; and Chizeta, an Arabian-styled country with guardian Genies.
    Donning their Rune Gods once more, the Magic Knights face off with the invading countries. It's eventually discovered one of those countries has a person with a strong enough will to capture the Pillar's position and bring Cephiro's downfall.
    As great a threat these forces pose, however, a far more dangerous and sinister force lurks. Unresolved matters from the Magic Knight's first-season ultimate battle threaten to bring Cephiro's final destruction.
    Available on VHS and DVD from Anime Works
    [Entry by Christopher Mattiuz]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Magic Users Club
    see Mahou Tsukai Tai
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy
    Sasami Kawai is chosen by Tsunami, Queen of Juraihelm, to become the title character. With the aid of a magic wand and her cute animal sidekick Ryo-chan, Sammy rights wrongs and triumphs over evil, while desperately hoping no one she knows spots her in her ridiculous costume! Three-part OAV series featuring the magical-girl spoof character introduced in the Tenchi Muyo TV series. Entertaining silliness that can be appreciated by fans of Tenchi as well as an affectionate send-up of the Magical Girl genre. Watch for the Evil Bill Gates clone in episode two! Available from Geneon.
    [Entry by Dave Menard]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Magical Project S
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy: Pretty Sammy and Doctor Washuu (© AIC / Geneon)    TV series version of Magical Girl Pretty Sammy and spoof of magical girl shows in general. Aimed more at children than the OAV series was. Catchier theme song, too. Suitable for all ages. Available from Geneon.
    [Entry by Dave Menard]
Mahou Tsukai Tai (a.k.a. Magic Users Club)
Mahou Tsukai Tai: Sae, Aburatsubo, and Nanaka (© Triangle Staff / Bandai Visual / Media Blasters)    This series starts with an alien craft entering the Earth's atmosphere, devestating the carrier taskforce sent to intercept it, and ... stopping in the middle of the Pacific. Meanwhile, Sae is trying to make a good impression on her afterschool club leader Takeo so that he'll notice her, although it shouldn't be too hard to notice someone in a club that only has five members, even if it is a club for people who can actually cast spells (although the rest of the school thinks it's for people who practice stage magic).
    Despite the alien and the magic, this is a coming-of-age story about five unusual teenagers, told with compassion and humour.
    Six OAVs and a sequel TV series (which actually is a sequel instead of being a remake), translated by Anime Works.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
DMOZ Open Directory Project
Maison Ikkoku
    No aliens, demons, magic hot springs, or mermaids here, just Godai and his ever-thwarted love for Kyoto. Perhaps Rumiko Takahashi's finest pure romantic comedy of errors. Available from Viz Video.
    [Entry by Rob Maxwell]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Mamono Hunter Yohko
    see Devil Hunter Yohko
Maris the Chojo (a.k.a. Supergirl Maris)
    Unlike the other Rumik World stories by Rumiko Takahashi that have been turned into anime, this OAV is not at all serious. Maris is a super-strong troubleshooter who just can't stay out of debt. (She dreams of getting rich, or at least breaking even, but fate conspires against her.) One day, she's assigned to track down the kidnappers of one of the richest eligible bachelors in the galaxy ...  This OAV is one of the few anime to have a Jackie-Chan-style "blooper reel" under the ending credits. Was available from USMC.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
Marmalade Boy
    Miki is your typical teenage anime girl, popular in school, star of the girls' tennis team, happy with her life. Until the day she came home from school and her parents told her they are divorcing. Not just divorcing, but also swapping partners with another couple they met on their recent vacation. And this is just the first 5 minutes of episode 1! Based on the manga by Yoshizumi Wataru, Marmalade Boy follows Miki, Yu, the teenage son of the other couple in the partner-swap, Meiko, Miki's best friend, Ginta, Miki's tennis teammate, Arimi, with her ever-present group of male followers, Suzu, famous teen model, and others through 76 episodes of high school romantic comedy/drama that often has viewers semi-suicidal with its unexpected plot twists and turns.
    Licenced by Tokyopop.
    [Entry by Jeanne Hedge]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Martian Successor Nadesico (a.k.a. Mobile Battleship Nadesico)
Martian Successor Nadesico: Yurika, Akito, and Megumi (© XEBEC / NADESICO Produce Commission / TV Tokyo / ADV)    Aliens attacking Martian colonies. Dead parents leaving orphaned children to defend themselves. Doesn’t sound funny does it? How about a mech pilot who keeps hiding from the fights so he can cook? A Cyber girl with a deep depression? An anime fanatic who screams battle cries from his favorite anime? It all makes Nadesico is one of the funniest anime around. There are even some good spoofs on just about every type of fan. Anime, Manga, and even action figure collectors are not spared. Stereotypes are used to enhance the humor and not because the writer was lazy. A space comedy of the best kind. Available from ADV Films.
    [Entry by Shawn Granger, edited by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Master of Mosquiton
    (OVA, 6 episodes) This dark comedy set in the 1920s follows the adventures of 17 year old girl named Inaho Hitomebore who continues her now two year search for immortality via a device known as the Opar assisted by the vampire (Alucard von Mosquiton) she has awakened and his two elemental servents Honoo (Fire) and Yuki (Ice). Complicating her search is Gregoria Rasputin who assisted by Mosquiton's old foe Sangermaine want to use the Opar as a weapon against the Star Lords, and former wife Camille Inaho Camilla who just wants Mosquiton.
    The OVA is full of little references that fans of 30s' and 40s' horror fans will quickly get (for example Alucard is one of the alias often used by Dracula in films of the period) The OVA inspired a TV series called Mosquiton 99 which is set in 1999 and has Inaho after the Opar for monetary gain rather than immortality.
    The OVA series is produced on three VHS tapes by ADV Films while the TV series only exists as fansubs.
    [Entry by Bruce Grubb]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Megazone 23
    Megazone Two Three is a three part mecha anime OAV series (with some cyberpunk overtones). Part One was one of the first anime OAVs ever, and helped spark the OAV trend (in which movies were made directly for video release, instead of first hitting TV or cinema). Although the Megazone OAVs are numbered Parts One, Two, and Three, they were actually entirely separate productions, related but released several years apart (like the first Star Wars trilogy).
    In Part One (aka just plain Megazone 23), a Tokyo teen named Yahagi Shogo (inexplicably changed to "Johnny Winter" in the Carl Macek dub) comes into posession of a huge red motorcycle called variously the Garland, Garand, or Bahamode depending on what source you listen to, and is chased all over town by the military and government agents who want to get it back for their own nefarious purposes. In the meantime, there is a war going on with a hostile alien force, and the city of Tokyo is not all that it appears to be...
    This OAV was redubbed and edited into part of the spectacularly unsuccessful Robotech cinematic movie, and has more recently been released to bilingual DVD by Streamline Video.
    Part Two picks up where the first part left off, but with character designs and animation style so dramatically altered that it is difficult to believe they are the same characters. This OAV follows the decline and final fall of the Tokyo Megazone as an ancient weapon of last resort comes into play. Bootlegs of a Macek English dub with Japanese subtitles can occasionally be found.
    Part Three, the most cyberpunk-influenced, picks up decades or centuries later, with a new generation of rebellious teenagers and new Garland battle bikes piloted by virtual reality. It is somewhat difficult to understand the storyline of this part, as no official English version was ever made (and even fansubs are nearly impossible to find), but it seems that mankind did not learn its lesson from the Megazones' past.
    The third Megazone 23 was not very successful, and no further episodes have been made to date.
    [Entry by Chris Meadows]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    See the entry for Votoms.
Mermaid Forest and Mermaid Scar
    Horror stories released in Japan as part of the Rumik World series by Rumiko Takahashi. Most people who eat the flesh of a mermaid die. The unlucky ones live forever, most becoming horrendously malformed in the process of gaining immortality. Two people were lucky enough to gain immortality without being changed. Now they wander through Japan, searching for others who might eat the flesh of a mermaid ...
    USMC and Viz have released the OAVs, and Viz has collected the translated manga into three volumes.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Metal Angel Marie
    see My Dear Marie
Mighty Atom
    see Astro Boy
Mobile Battleship Nadesico
    see Martian Successor Nadesico
Mobile Suit Gundam
    See Gundam
Moldiver: Mirai (from the opening) (© AIC / Geneon)    He has an overdeveloped Sense Of Right And Wrong, an incredible brain, and not much else to recommend him. So he invents a superhero suit! Too bad his sister found out and accidentally changed the design ... Now they share the identity of "Moldiver" (although she gets to use it more often than he does) in battle against their arch-enemy - but is the arch-enemy evil, or just misunderstood? Starts as a comedy, but becomes more serious near the end. A six-OAV series available from Geneon.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Monster Rancher
    Another Pokemon-motivated "monster" kids show. Energetic young kid Genki is transported to a world populated by humans and intelligent monsters, where he joins Holly, a young girl with a mysterious pendant, and a small band of monsters on their quest to stop Mu by finding the Phoenix, the only monster capable of fighting him.
    English dubbed episodes televised, and available on video from ADV.
    [Entry by "Royal Orange"]
    See Master of Mosquiton
Mosquiton 99
    See Master of Mosquiton
MS Team 08
    See Gundam
My Dear Marie (a.k.a. Metal Angel Marie)
Boku no Marie: Marie (© Sakura Takeuchi / Goro Sanyo / Shueisha / Victor Entertainment / Studio Pierrot / ADV)    Brilliant, nerdy Hiroshi creates an android replica of his dream girl, but finds things a little trickier than he'd planned when she turns out to have self-determination. Some may be turned off by the iffy nature of the sexual subtext (Android Marie has a definite 'thing' for her creator, despite him insisting on being her 'brother') but others may be intrigued by Marie's attempts to deal with her origins and her feelings. Three OAVs, released on a single tape from ADV Films. The third OAV is especially hilarious for all the references the sharp-eyed can spot to other famous anime.
    [Entry by Antaeus Feldspar]
My Neighbor Totoro (a.k.a. Tonari no Totoro)
Tonari no Totoro: waiting for the bus (© Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli / Tokuma Shoten / Troma / FOX / Disney)    Two girls move out to the country with their father (their mother is in the hospital). They discover the joys of nature and the power of family thanks to some unusual new woodland friends. Available from FOX Video
    [Entry by Catherine Johnson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Mysterious Cities of Gold
    It is the sixteenth century. From all over Europe great ships sail west to conquer the New World. The Americas. The men, eager to seek their fortune, to find new adventure in new lands. They long to cross uncharted seas and discover unknown countries. To find secret gold on a mountain trail high in the Andes. They dream of following the path of the setting sun that leads to El Dorado and the Mysterious Cities of Gold. (opening theme)
    So begins the story of 12 year old Esteban, his new friends Zia and Tao, and the older sometimes ally/sometimes enemy Mendoza with his sidekicks Pedro and Sancho. A story of action, adventure, intrigue, mystery, trust, betrayal, discovery, prophecy, mysticism, and strange powers. Not to mention a little science fiction.
    Esteban is lured to the Americas where he is shipwrecked. The rest of the story is how he is caught up in navigating his way around the conquistadors and the various native tribes throughout Central and northern South America, searching for his origins and the cities of gold. They are caught several times, but manage to escape to eventually find the four cities of gold.
    Included all through the adventures are mini-history lessons. Nothing overt, but if you have a smidgen of knowledge of the area it deepens enjoyment of the story. Our intrepid heroes contact the Inca at Machu Picchu, the Aztecs at Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), the Maya at Central America, an Amazon tribe, and other lost civilizations all while trying to stay one step ahead of the conquistadors.
    A 1980's anime serial aimed for a 'tween audience, although the story and subplots make it interesting for an older audience and overcomes the dated animation.
    The last time I saw this on the shelves it was in the year 2000 on VHS. I have no idea whether or not it's been released on DVD or what distributor. My copies are the dubbed version that I recorded from Nickelodeon in 1986-87 on BETA.
    [Entry by D.Eric Wilson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Mysterious Play
    see Fushigi Yuugi
The Mysterious Thief Saint Tail
    see Saint Tail


    see Martian Successor Nadesico
Nadia (a.k.a. Secret of Blue Water)
Nadia: Nadia and Jean (© GAINAX / Toho / NHK / Sogovision / ADV)    Set in 1889 and extremely loosely based on Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Nadia tells the story of Nadia, a girl who's trying to find out about her past, Jean, a boy who wants to build a flying machine, and the Blue Water, a mysterious gem of Nadia's with strange powers. Their world is home to two shadowy groups in conflict: Neo-Atlantis, who want to rule the world, and the crew of the submarine Nautilus, who have sworn to oppose Neo-Atlantis. These two plots are not unconnected ...
    ADV has translated this 39-episode TV series and the sequel movie (which is not as well received as the original).
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
    Probably Miyazaki's most popular film - a sort of post-apocalypse mystic eco-fantasy, more notable for plot, character, music and designs than the smoothness of animation. Excellent Jo Hisaishi soundtrack, too. Based on the comic (manga) of the same title. A classic.
    [A poorly-received translation, Warriors of the Wind, was released some years ago but is no longer available. Currently, Disney has the rights to Nausicaa.  - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Neon Genesis Evangelion (a.k.a. Shin Seiki Evangelion)
Shin Seiki Evangelion: Shinji, Asuka, and Rei (© GAINAX / Project Eva. / TV Tokyo / NAS / ADV)    Fifteen years after the Second Impact that wiped out half of humanity, Ikari Shinji is recruited by his father to fight alongside Ayanami Rei and Asuka Langley Soryu to save mankind from the invading mechanical Angels. This pyschological drama amongst a cast of flawed characters filled with intrigue, deception, and carnage has two vastly different endings.
    ADV Films has released the 26-episode TV series on video and DVD. The two movies Death and Rebirth and End of Evangelion (an alternate ending to the series) are coming early 2002.
    Official website
    [Entry by Rob Maxwell]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Ninja Scroll (original title Jubei Nimpuucho)
    The original title translates as "Story of wind-ninja Jubei". This epic tells a semi-historical story about Kibagami Jubei, well known in Japan as a master swordsman and special agent. Once he was missing for a dozen years, and it was believed that he was on special duty. There were many versions, and here is one of them: Jubei was fighting with Eight Demons of Kimon, evil fighters/sorcerers under command of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who was believed to be a demon in Japan.
    [Entry by Andrew V. Tupkalo and Terrence Walker]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
No Need for Tenchi
    see Tenchi Muyo
Noir: Kirika and Mireille (© Ryoe Tsukimura / Bee Train / Victor Entertainment / ADV)    Noir is a 26 episode TV series about two female assassins, and their search to uncover the conspiracy that threatens their lives. Mireille is a beautiful French professional assassin who is haunted by a childhood tragedy. Kirika is a Japanese schoolgirl with deadly skills and no memory of her past. The series takes place in France/Europe, and features a stunning soundtrack, stylish gunplay, a twisting plot, and lots of bodies at the end of each episode. Despite this, the series isn't graphically violent - the fight scenes usually don't even have blood in them!
    The series has received raves for being daring and different, as the two main characters willingly kill lots of people (this isn't Sailor Moon, folks) with minimal angst. The main complaints are that the pacing is too slow and the show suffers from "main characters gun down bad guys too easily" syndrome. The pacing and tension do pick up as the series progresses, with a solid ending that asks whether killing can ever be justified in the name of good. Some people dislike the main characters, due to their seeming coldness, but Noir has good character development so that you care about these people to a surprising extent in the end.
    Warning: If you're looking for fan service, the show is surprisingly free of it, considering what a babe Mireille is. C'est dommage.
    Licenced by ADV.
    [Entry by Scott Fujimoto]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Now and Then, Here and There
    Shu is an ordinary, cheerful Japanese boy until one day when he meets a mysterious, ethereal girl named Lala Ru and is accidentally brought to a hellish future. There he must struggle to survive and keep his ideals through slavery, war, and the tyranny of an insane would-be conqueror. A deep and powerful but extremely depressing show, which goes into some detail about the inhuman brutality created by war. Definitely not for children, as there are onscreen depictions of torture, some fairly graphic deaths, rape and other nastiness. 13 episodes, available now from Central Park Media.
    [Entry by Blade]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    see All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku-Nuku


Oh My Goddess! (a.k.a. Ah! Megami-sama or Ah! My Goddess)
Oh My Goddess!: Belldandy and Keiichi (© Kosuke Fujishima / Kodansha / AnimEigo)    Keiichi is visited by the lovely goddess Belldandy, who grants him a wish. He wishes that she become his girlfriend. Her older sister wants their relationship to progress faster, while her younger sister is dead-set against it. But why does Belldandy resist them both, insisting that promises must be kept? Based loosely on the manga Ah Megami-sama by Fujishima Kosuke.
    The original five-episode OAV series is available from AnimEigo. The manga is available from Dark Horse.
    (See also Ah My Goddess! and Adventures of the Mini-Goddesses.)
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Omoide Poroporo (English title Only Yesterday)
    Contemporary sentimental drama about a yuppie Japanese woman looking back at her youth and life-choices, brilliantly animated by Miyazaki pro Isao Takahata. Talky, actionless, and stunningly beautiful. Licenced by Disney.
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
One Piece
    This is a grand shounen adventure saga, with humor, action, drama and great characters. It's based upon a long running and very popular shounen manga. The anime is well over a hundred episodes and stays amazingly fresh and imaginative.
    In a strange world of pirates, that is sort of a funky mix of 17th Century Spanish Main and today, Rufi, a teen who has eaten seeds of a cursed rubber plant, has become a "rubber boy", with super powers. Which is useful, because he wants to be the king of all pirates in this world and find the greatest pirate treasure of all time, the "One Piece". Rufi collects a strange band of associates and they explore this very baroque world, helping many folks in need (mainly by fighting the real pirates), but not actually pirating.
    Licenced by FUNimation.
    [Entry by Anthony D. Baranyi]
Oniisama E (a.k.a. Brother, Dear Brother)
    Teenage Misonoo Nanako enters an exclusive private high school, makes new friends, and is quickly picked to join a snooty sorority. She is quickly caught up in the emotional whirlwind of the passionate and unstable personalities of her female classmates: Miya-sama, the wealthy, beautiful, and ruthless sorority president; Saint-Juste, a brilliant pianist, but prone to depression and fits of self-destructive violence; the boyish basketball player Kaoru no Kimi, smart and ethically clear-sighted, but subject to a mysterious illness, and troubled by an undisclosed romantic sorrow; and the beautiful, fiercely loyal, but unstable and obsessed Mariko, the despised daughter of a wealthy writer of pornography. With innocent Nanako in the middle, the fragile truce between the other girls begins to break down, and Nanako is carried with them into a destructive maelstrom of passion, madness, and unrequited love.
    This is the dark side of shoujo, much darker than author Ikeda Riyoko's best known work, Rose of Versailles. It is gothic and atmospheric, dramatic bordering on melodramatic, and includes sexual stalking, graphic physical violence, multiple suicide attempts, drug abuse, and lesbian homoeroticism. It is deadly serious, with scarcely a trace of humor, and as the story passes the midpoint of its 40 TV episodes, it becomes unbearably intense. It is not for everyone, and may appeal to women more than men. Like it or hate it, you will never forget it. It has an outstanding score, which reinforces the show's emotional tone. Available only as fansubs of the first 28 episodes; even the original Japanese edition is no longer in print.
    [Entry by Slithy Tove]
Orange Road
    see Kimagure Orange Road
Outlaw Star
Outlaw Star: Melfina, Jim, and Gene (© Bandai / Sunrise / Shueisha - Sotsu Agency)    The first show in Sunrise's Toward Stars universe, Outlaw Star is an old-fashioned space opera writ large. Gene Starwind, a big fish in the small pond of his home planet, is thrust into a conflict between the Space Forces, the galactic pirates, and the "outlaws" who owe allegiance to neither side as they all try to reach the Galactic Leyline. Helping Gene are his young partner Jim Hawking, the lovely Melfina, and others who come and go from the plot. If you like "pulp"-era science fiction, you'll like this show.
    Outlaw Star is available uncut on VHS and DVD from Bandai in North America, and an edited version of most of the series has been shown on US television. The show is available in Australia from Madman.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Panda Kopanda (a.k.a. Panda! Go Panda!)
    Hayao Miyazaki's first produced work. It is two half-hour short pieces. The first piece was made in 1972, the second a year later. The main characters are a little girl named Mimiko, a large panda (Pa Panda), and his panda son (Panny). Mimiko (about 5 years old) lives with her grandmother. One day, her grandmother has to travel out of town for an extended period, leaving Mimiko alone to take care of things. By chance, a panda father and his son wander into the town where Mimiko lives, and attracted by the large bamboo garden, come to her house. Mimiko talks with them and decides to create a family of sorts, wherein she is the little panda's mother, and the large panda is her father. This piece is generally seen as a precursor to Tonari no Totoro (My Meighbor Totoro). It is available on DVD and VHS from Geneon.
    [Entry by Matt Huber]
    Although Patlabor TV nominally deals with police using mecha ("labors") to combat labor crime, the series is no more a mecha show than a modern-day Western police show is a "car show" or a "truncheon show"; the majority of episodes are comedy based on oddities of modern Japanese culture (apart from the mecha, there are practically no futuristic elements in Patlabor) or the thoroughly dysfunctional cast.
    The second OVA series is essentially a continuation of the TV series; but the first OVA series is less well-concieved, and should probably be watched only if you come to like the TV series. The movies are very different, being serious works not atypical of Mamoru Oshii's direction.
    Manga Entertainment released the movies both theatrically and on video. The TV series and OAV series are being released by USMC.
    [Entry by David Damerell]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Phantom Quest Corporation (a.k.a. Yuugen Kaisha)
Yuugen Kaisha: Ayaka confronting a ghost (© Madhouse / Geneon)    Hard-drinking, hard-shopping Ayaka Kisaragi is the head of the "Phantom Quest Corporation", an eclectic team of ghostbusters whose members include Ayaka with her magical sword, a huge Buddhist priest, a flame-summoning schoolgirl, and a brilliant little boy whose financial acumen is all that keeps Ayaka's shopping from ruining the company. The animation is beautiful and fluid, and the soundtrack songs catchy indeed. Four OAVs, available from Geneon on two tapes or one DVD.
    [Entry by Antaeus Feldspar]
Please Save my Earth
    Please Save My Earth is a shoujo anime that centers on the concept of reincarnation. Based on the original manga by Saki Hiwatari published in Dreams and Flowers magazine, this story follows seven year old Rin Kobayashi who has dreams of another life. These dreams are shared by his neighbor Alice Sakaguchi and two of her high school classmates Jinpachi Ogura and Issei Nishikiyori. The three of them decide to search for others who may share the same dreams while Rin sets off on his own agenda. In these dreams, they all seem to live on a base on the moon. From that base they study the Earth, its politics, rescources, music, wildlife etc. In total there are seven scientists, each one seemingly gifted in some way. They feel a fondness for the Earth and wish they could be a part of it. Full of emotion, complex relationships and a myriad of characters that the seven who share the "Moon Dreams" encounter, Please Save My Earth is one of few anime that will truly make you think and feel. Complete OVA series available on one DVD from Viz Video.
    [Entry by Terrence Walker]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Pokemon (a.k.a. Pocket Monsters)
Pokemon: Pikachu and Ash (© Nintendo / Viz Video)    Before you all start gagging, yes this is a full blown, card carrying anime. The story is loosely Earth like in its setting, however the world in this case is inhabited by many different "Pocket Monsters" or "Pokemon", which people trap and train to compete in fighting competitions. Of course there are all sorts of rules attached to this, plus the obligatory baddies, in this case a boy and girl team (Team Rocket) and their pet Pokemon. Dubbed and on show on TV virtually eveywhere, with two films also released to date. Both the anime and manga are available from Viz.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Porco Rosso (a.k.a. Crimson Pig)
    Directed by the master Hayao Miyazaki, is a light-hearted but mature and sentimental film set in the 1920 Italian Adriatic, as a valiant pilot (who happens to be a pig) fights air pirates for his honor and for his lady. Top notch animation. Licenced by Disney.
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Princess Nine
    Ryo Hayakawa is a "natural" at baseball - despite being in high school, her pitches are faster than some from the pros. Kisaragi Girls' School forms a team around her in order to be the first girls' school to win the Japanese high-school series at Koshien, a tournament that has been restricted to teams of boys only. But that's secondary to the people on or involved with the team - Ryo and her rival Izumi Himuro, Kisaragi Boys' School's team's star batter Hiroki Takasugi (who both Ryo and Izumi have feelings for, but not the same feelings), Ryo's childhood friend Seishiro, the boisterous Hikaru and the quiet Yuki who were first to join the team after Ryo, and too many other characters (most with hidden depths to them) to name here.
    Like many other shows (such as Magic Users' Club), Princess Nine is about growing up and learning who you are, and not what it looks like it's about at first glance. But the baseball games are interesting, too, and manage to keep the viewer's attention even after repeated viewings. And who wins when Ryo pitches against Hiroki? That would be telling ...
    Princess Nine is available from ADV Films. ADV's series website
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Princess Tutu
    Once upon a time, Ikuko Ito and Junichi Sato decided to tell a story about a girl named Ahiru who attends a ballet school. Ahiru wants nothing more than to bring a smile to the face of her classmate Mytho. After learning of her true heritage in the first episode, including just how descriptive her name is, she starts her adventure as the magical girl Princess Tutu to put Mytho's heart back together so that he can smile. But Fakir and Rue, Mytho's only companions, take turns to try to stop Princess Tutu from putting Mytho's heart together again ...
    The pacing and character designs of Princess Tutu are similar to those in Magic Users' Club, which is no surprise since Ito-san and Sato-san both worked as directors on both shows. The themes of various classic ballets that are worked into the series, the surreal elements (such as the ballet teacher who is a cat), and the presence of an all-knowing supporting character in many episodes, invite comparisons to shows like Revolutionary Girl Utena. And Ahiru is a classic magical girl, more interested in helping people than in fighting - in fact, she often says that she doesn't want to fight. These elements, drawn together into a consistent whole with strong episodes throughout the first half and last quarter of the series, make Princess Tutu a show not to be missed.
    Thirteen half-hour episodes, 24 quarter-hour episodes, and one final half-hour episode, licenced in North America by ADV.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
Project A-Ko
Project A-Ko: B-ko, C-ko and A-ko (© Soieshinsha / Final-Nishijima / Pony / USMC)    A very powerful girl named A-ko is the friend of a little girl called C-ko. The supergenius rich girl at school, B-ko, wants to get rid of A-ko so she can be C-ko's friend and she tries to do this via a bunch of mecha she designed and built herself. Then a bunch of female aliens who look like men (they have male voices in the dub) show up looking for their lost princess. Then things really get weird.
    Filled with 'in jokes' galore, this was followed up by five OVAs. The two Project A-Ko VS OVAs are set in an alternate reality and so don't follow the continuity of the other OVAs.
    A-ko FAQ
    [Entry by Bruce Grubb, edited by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Quiet Country Cafe
    see Yokohama Shopping Trip Log


Rail of the Star
    A Japanese family living in Korea experiences the end of WW2, told from the perspective of the young daughter. Supplies and medicine become sparse, simple diseases turn deadly, the occupied Koreans slowly start being rebellious against the Japanese oppressors. When the Russian forces take over North Korea, the Japanese have to flee to the South if they ever want to see Japan again. Despite an interesting historical backdrop, the actual story is slow and boring and is painfully naive in its description of occupied Korea.
    [Entry by Hanno Mueller]
   Ayato Kamina, a Tokyo high school student, witnesses an attack in the sky by a huge floating machine. In the ensuing chaos, he and the mysterious Reika Mishima find their way to an ancient shrine, where Reika awakens the giant, winged robot RahXephon from inside an enormous egg. When Ayato escapes from the shrine by somehow piloting RahXephon, he discovers himself outside the vast dome that encloses Tokyo Jupiter, where strange beings called Murians rule and time is distorted. He is enlisted by Haruka Shitow, a feisty special agent, to help in the fight against the Murians - but what has become of Reika Mishima? Why does Ayato's mother bleed blue blood? What is the purpose of the Mu civilisation? This highly complex series has been compared with Evangelion, but has a less annihilistic feel, although the story is dark and dramatic - Ayato has qualms about piloting the mysterious RahXephon, yet feels he must to protect others. An eclectic score by Ichiko Hashimoto (not Yoko Kanno, who provides the theme tune) adds weight to the scenes, and the production quality is extremely high, with a gripping plot - although some episodes fall into a "mecha-of-the-week" pattern. Available on DVD in North America and the UK from ADV, and in Australia from Madman.
    [Entry by Andrew Hollingbury]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Ranma ½
Ranma ½: Akane, Akane's father, and Ranma (© Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan / Viz Video)    Ranma Saotome is the heir to his family's style of martial arts. Akane Tendo is the heir to her family's martial arts style. Their fathers want to unite the two styles, and what better way (they think) than to have the two heirs marry? But that isn't Ranma's only problem - while he was training in China, he was cursed to become a girl whenever he gets wet. Comedy (often slapstick) from the pen of Rumiko Takahashi. Both the anime and the manga are available from Viz, the anime being their flagship title.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Read or Die
Read or Die: Yomiko (© Hideyuki Kurata / SME Visual Works Inc. / Manga Entertainment)    Yomiko Readman loves books, so much so that she's almost always found reading one. She also has the power to control any piece of paper she touches (which gives her her codename "The Paper"). When she's sent to retreive a rare book from a scientist who clones historical figures, she and her partners discover a plot that could change the world ...  If you can imagine a James Bond movie with low-key superpowers and a naive, kindhearted hero, you'd probably be imagining something close to this three-OAV series.
    Read or Die has been released by Manga Entertainment in North America.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Real Bout High School
    Your high school wasn't like this, I guarantee it. The school has a K-Fight system where grudges and challenge matches settle things. At the top of the rankings is Ryoko, a rather busty Kendo Club student. Once she finds an amulet, her life turns upside down. The amulet activates and she finds herself in another dimension, with enemies that are beyond belief. Also of note, the final enemy of the series is William Gates (Bill Gates, duh). Released by TokyoPop in North America.
    [Entry by Bill Martin]
Record of Lodoss War
    There are now two series called Record of Lodoss War: the original 13 episode OVA and a 27 episode TV series called Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight. The OVA based is on novels which in turn were baced on an D&D game with the standard class and race types as the heroes (Fighter, Cleric, Wizard, Thief, Elf, and Dwarf) and the clasic villians of orcs, wizards, and drow elves. Due to time constraints the animaters shifted things around a bit which creates some problems with the Heroic Knight series which is set after episode 7 of the OVA but follows the novels far more closely.
    [Entry by Bruce Grubb]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Revolutionary Girl Utena
    see Utena
Riding Bean
Riding Bean: Rally, Bean, and passenger (© Youmex / AnimEigo)    Ace driver Bean Bandit will deliver anything to anywhere in Chicago for the right price, no questions asked. But when he tries to deliver an escaped kidnap victim to her father, he gets framed as the kidnapper! An action story written by Kenichi Sonoda. Available from AnimEigo.
    (Please note that this OAV almost qualifies for inclusion in the Anime Hentai Primer, because of one scene that is inappropriate for younger viewers.)
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Robot Carnival
    8 separate short pieces by different artists, some serious, some comedy, almost all very well done. All involve a robot somewhere - some more than others. Some comedy, some pathos. Artsy. Streamline dub versions exist (only 2 segments had dialog, anyway.)
    [Was available dubbed from Streamline Pictures when Streamline was still in business.   - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Rose of Versailles
Rose of Versailles: Oscar (© Riyoko Ikeda/TMS)    A historical fantasy based on the manga by Riyoko Ideda, set in France in the years leading up to the French Revolution, and including many real historical figures and events in its story of romance and intrigue. The central character is Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes, a fictional swordswoman who becomes the head of Marie Antoinette's bodyguards. Raised as a man by her father, she initially keeps her own feelings buried beneath a mask of duty and honour. The series portrays Oscar's journey both personal, as she strives to reconcile her upbringing with her own passionate nature, and political, as she ultimately must choose between the good of the country and her lifelong loyalities. Produced as a 40 episode TV series in 1978, the animation may not be up to modern standards, but this is easily compensated for by the beautiful artwork.
    [Entry by David Simmons]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    The very near future. A new fully automated healthcare robot, integrated in a sickbed, starts taking way too much care of its senile patient when it takes on the personality of the patient's deceased wife. A silly cyberpunk parody with lots of punches about the generation gap and the lack of interest in the problems of the elderly. Senior citizens hacking into government computers from their daycare facility! Strange humour that may not appeal to everybody, though.
    [Entry by Hanno Mueller]
Royal Space Force (a.k.a. Wings of Honneamise)
Royal Space Force: Shiro Lhadatt (© Bandai Visual / Manga Entertainment)    1987 anime blockbuster of all ages, which never busts anything, including the box office. The first Studio GAINAX feature film, it is a story about the first spaceman of some abstract planet (alternative Earth, because Honneamise is much like Japan, and the Republic resembles the United States very much). That astronaut, Colonel Shirotsugh Lhadatt, is a complete loser all his life, and the staff of Honneamise space program is a bunch of misfits and weirdos led by some space maniac, but somehow they succeded in their goal, launching the rocket directly from a battlefield, during a war! Despite all said above, it's a kind and heartwarming story, with brilliant graphics and talented direction. And box office? Who cares about it, especially after 1990, when it returned its budget.
    Available from Manga Video.
    [Entry by Andrew V. Tupkalo]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Ruin Explorers (a.k.a. Fam and Ihrie)
Ruin Explorers: Ihrie and Fam (© Kunihiko Tanaka / Hobby Japan / Bandai Visual / Nippon Columbia / Movic / ADV)    Based on the original manga by Kunihiko Tanaka, this is a light-hearted sword & sorcery series. Somewhat reminiscent of Slayers in tone and basic plot, it stands firmly on its own as a great story with characters that you can't help but love, even if some of them are a bit cliche. The animation is very good, although some of the fan-service is a little overdone at times. The series opens with a scene of Fam & Ihrie in the middle of exploring a dungeon, so don't think that you've mistakenly gotten a later volume when you start watching. One of the funniest and cutest aspects of the show is Ihrie's curse - she has a little problem with casting spells. The one real complaint that most people have about the series is that it is too short - four episodes for a total of about two hours viewing time.
    Released in North America by AD Vision, available on VHS in two volumes either sub or dub, or as a single-volume hybrid DVD.
    [Entry by Paul Lepant]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Rumik World
    see Fire Tripper, Laughing Target, Maris the Chojo, and Mermaid Forest
Rupan III
    see Lupin III
Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin: Kenshin (© Watsuki Nobuhiro / Jump Comics / Shueisha / Sony Picture Entertainment / Fuji Television / ADV / Media Blasters)    The adventures of Himura Kenshin and his friends in 1870's Japan, 10 years after the civil war. A former assassin, Kenshin now uses a sakabattou (reverse-bladed sword) so as to protect those the loves while keeping his promise to never kill again. This long series hits its stride during the season long "Kyoto Arc" (eps 28-62), becoming darker and more serious than the previous season.
    The OVA, made after the series but set before it, is much darker and more violent than the series itself.
    Commercially available through ADV (movie and OVA, as Samurai X) and Anime Works (series)
    [Entry by Catherine Johnson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Saber Marionette J
Saber Marionette J: Otaru watches Lime blow off steam (© Satoru Akahori / Hiroshi Negishi / Tsukasa Kotobuki / Kadowakawa Shoten / Bandai / Sotsu Agency / TV Tokyo)    The planet of Terra II is populated only by men, all clones of the six survivors of a crashed colony vessel. To compensate for the loss of women in their society, robots in female form, called marionettes, were created. Centuries later, a young man named Otaru comes into the possession of a trio of marionettes (Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry) that exhibit some very un-robotlike behavior: they laugh, cry and argue. Otaru now faces the challenge of teaching the three marionettes what it means to be human, while struggling with his own growing feelings for them. (25 episode TV series, from Bandai, US VHS and DVD release by AnimeVillage.)
    [Entry by Karl Merris]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Saber Marionette J Again
    In this sequel to Saber Marionette J, Otaru and the marionettes, Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry, take care of some unfinished business from the first series and unexpectedly acquires some new marionette "students" that wish to fully realize their potential to be human. Dealing with a houseful of lively women, Otaru learns a few new things himself about being human. As catastrophe looms over the planet of Terra II, the marionettes find that a human heart carries a heavy price: it can be broken. (6 episode OAV series, from Bandai, US VHS and DVD release by AnimeVillage.)
    [Entry by Karl Merris]
Saber Marionette R
    This OAV feature was released prior to Saber Marionette J, but is set three centuries after that series. A young boy, Junior, heir apparent to the throne of the city-state of Romana, is hunted by his mad brother and his army of warrior marionettes. The boy's only hope for survival lies with three marionettes, Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry, who are dedicated to Junior's defense. There's plenty of action and surprising revelations as Junior struggles against his brother to determine the fate of Terra II. (3 episode OAV series, from Bandai, US VHS release by AnimeVillage, 1999, DVD release expected in 2002.)
    [Entry by Karl Merris]
Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon: The Sailor Team (© Takeuchi Naoko / Koudansha / TV Asahi / Toei Douga / DIC Entertainment / ADV / Geneon)    This magical girl show is more suitable for adults than others in the genre; although it offers the standard transformation sequences and monsters of the week, it also has a strong sense of humour that frequently approaches parody of the genre or the show itself, and presents a more interesting cast of characters than many such shows.
    The third season, Sailor Moon S, is arguably the strongest - both because of the season's plot and because of the introduction of the series' best characters - and also readily available in an uncut form. It's interesting to note that Ikuhara (later responsible for Utena) was given more artistic freedom when directing this season.
    Sadly, the US dub cuts much of the subtext that makes the show worth watching, and makes major changes to the personalities of some characters; in particular, the heroine is presented in a much less positive light.
    This show is now seen as the first of a new subgenre: the "magical sentai girl" story, drawing equally on the "magical girl" and "sentai team" (or "fighter team") genres for inspiration. The dubbed television run from DIC lasted for only the first two of the show's five seasons, but a subsequent dub from Optimum has covered the third and fourth seasons. Luckily, Cloverway went to Optimum, the same dubbing studio that DiC used, for their dubs. ADV Films released the DIC dubs, and also had the sub rights for the first two seasons - these are no longer available commercially. Geneon released the dubs and subs of all three Sailor Moon movies and the third and fourth seasons. Fansubs of the fifth season exist, but have become very difficult to find.
    [Entry by David Damerell and Rob Kelk, with help from Scott Delahunt]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Saint Tail (a.k.a. The Mysterious Thief Saint Tail)
    During the day, she is Haneoka Meimi, at St. Paulia school, but when there is a need, during the night she turns into the Magical Girl Saint Tail, with the help of her friend and classmate Seira, who is a nun in training and is the only person that knows the identity of Saint Tail. Help to steal precious objects, but with the objective to return them to their rightful owners after being stolen by unscrupulous persons. Saint Tail is chased by Daiki Asuka (Asuka Jr.) who has the mission to catch and discover the real identity of Saint Tail, and also is Meimi's classmate. As part of a private deal between Saint Tail and Asuka Jr., she must tell the young detective when her next attack will occur.
    Saint Tail is not the normal magical girl, since must of her tricks evolve between illusionism and magician tricks, many of them taken from her father's skills as a professional magician, but is a nice and fun show, with character development and cute romantic moments.
    Saint Tail comprises 43 episodes and are available on DVD from TokyoPop.
    [Entry by Gerardo Campos]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    see Gensomaden Saiyuki
Samurai X
    see Rurouni Kenshin
Sazan Eyes
    see 3×3 Eyes
Secret of Blue Water
    see Nadia
Seikai no Monshou
    see Crest of the Stars
Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain: Lain (© Triangle Staff / Geneon)    Lain is a shy junior-high girl living in a seemingly normal, not too very far in the future world. And yet, strange things keep happening. A classmate commits suicide by jumping off a building ... and the next day, several people receive e-mail from her. Lain's parents don't behave as you would expect. Lain starts to become interested in computers and quite naturally and easily demonstrates startling aptitude for them using them and "the wired" - the Internet of her day. But the real truth of who Lain is will be even more startling yet. A trippy, surreal, confusing and in my opinion very interesting series. Decent art and animation. Occasional gore, though very little actual violence. 13 Episodes. From Geneon Entertainment.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Shin Seiki Evangelion
    see Neon Genesis Evangelion
Shin Tenchi Muyo
    see Tenchi in Tokyo
Shinesman: Special Duty Combat Unit
    They're a team of superheroes, just like the Power Rangers, except for one little difference: Most of them don't quite understand what a "sentai" team is supposed to act like. But that's what happens when the team is corporately funded, and made up of various mid-level office workers (and an OL as the requisite token female) ...
    AnimeWorks has released both OAVs on one tape. Both the sub and the dub have their strong points - the dub has some funny one-liners in the dialogue, while the sub makes it quite easy to identify the voice actors - they're given characters with the same family names.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Shoujo Kakumei Utena
    see Utena
Silent Mobius: The Motion Picture and Silent Mobius: The Motion Picture 2
    Based on the popular manga series by Kia Asamiya, Silent Mobius is set in the near future, when creatures from the dark universe of Nemesis threaten the Earth. Founded to fight this battle, the Attacked Mystification Police, a special (and all female) police department is always looking for a few good women who meet their unique requirements: each member brings her own special power (physical, cyber, religious, psychic, mystical) to the fight. These movies are really parts 1 and 2 of the same story - how AMP heroine Katsumi Liqueur came to join the force (and she's really not this whiney in the manga or TV series!).
    [Entry by Jeanne Hedge]
    [Was available dubbed from Streamline Pictures when Streamline was still in business.   - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Silent Mobius TV
Silent Mobius: A Lucifer Hawk and Katsumi Liqueur (detail from a promotional image) (© Kia Asamiya / Studio Tron / Kadokawa Shoten / Bandai Visual / Sotsu Agency / TV Tokyo)    In the near future, creatures from the dark universe of Nemesis threaten the Earth. The battle has been going on for generations, and now things are coming to a head. Spanning the course of several years, Silent Mobius is a 26-episode TV series that follows the adventures of the Attacked Mystification Police, a special (and all female) police department founded to carry on where their elders left off. Each member of the force brings her own special power (physical, cyber, religious, psychic, mystical) to the fight against darkness - both from without and within. Part action-drama, part comedy, this is not a re-telling of the movies, and it's alternate-universe to both the movies and the manga series by Kia Asamiya that both TV and movies were based on (in overall tone, it's close to the manga than the movies). Available from Bandai/Anime Village.
    [Entry by Jeanne Hedge]
Slayers: Lina Inverse (© H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi / Kadokawa / TV Tokyo / SOFTX / Marubeni / Software Sculptors / ADV)Slayers
    A half-comic half-serious take on the fantasy genre. The series revolves around the underdevoloped, short, small breasted, ever hungry Lina Inverse, a sorceress that kills bandits and steals their loot for a living, and her companions, Gourry Gabriev, the not so bright swordsman possesing the legendary Sword of Light, Amelia Wil Telsa Sailoon, the obnoxious princess and shrine madien who believes in justice and that the power of good will prevail, Zelgadis Greywords, a part human, part golem, and part demon, shy, pessimistic creation that seeks to return to a human state, and Sylphiel, a shrine madien who's the only good one of the bunch. Along the way Lina and company have to face off against the dark lord Shabranigdo, and find out who put a bounty on their head. Some subplots include dressing Gourry up like a girl, fighting a dragon, and pretending to be players in a play. The series remarkably juggles the comedy and drama, often flipping between both in the same episode. On one hand it's a great fantasy anime, and on the other it's funny as hell. The animation starts out not so great, and improves through out the first season, getting pretty good by the end. The voice acting is great, except for the original dub voices of Zelgadis and Amelia which are fortunatly changed after episode thirteen.
Slayers Next
    The second, and arguably the best, Slayers season. After Lina, Gourry, Amelia, and Zelgadis are reunited they take off in search of a cure for Zelgadis's condition, a quest that leads them into the middle of a power struggle between two demon lords, Hellmaster Fibrizo and the Demon Dragon King Gaav. Also joining them is the schizophrenic princess Martina who is obsessed with killing Lina, and the mysterious priest Xellos who shadows the group with his own ulterior motives. The second season, at least the second half, is based mostly around the relationship of Lina and Gourry, and the two of them admitting to their feelings for each other. Of course the theme is surronded by comic misadventures and tense battles against powerful opponents. Pretty much the first and third quarters of the season is mostly comical, while the second and fourth quarters are mostly serious. The animation is greatly improved over the first season, but unfortunatly the dialogue seems to be more cut and dry question and answer stuff, unlike the first season where the characters would routinely interupt each other and add in odd and often times ignored comments throughout the episode. Still it manages to be slightly better than season one with most of the best episodes being in the second half.
Slayers Try
    The third, and unfortunatly final, season of Slayers. Once again Lina, Gourry, Amelia, and Zelgadis are reuinited, but this time head off into unexplored territory where magic is a lost art. Shortly after their arrival, Lina and company are hired by Philia, a dragon priestess who needs them to fulfill a prophecy, and later are joined by Xellos who once again comes complete with his own ulterior motives. The third season seems to revolve around the theme that there is no real good or evil, just what lies between. The animation and voice acting are great, but the season seems like the worst of the three, especially in the begining. Still it's a great series and the second half of episodes really turn out great.
Available from Software Sculptors.
    [Entries by "Sultan Of Swing"]
Slayers OAVs and movies
    These describe Lina Inverse's early years, before she met Gourry and the others. Travelling and working with, and sometimes fighting against, the over-endowed and overly-obnoxious Naga the Serpent (who has proclaimed herself "Lina's greatest rival"), Lina explores her little part of the world while turning many sword-and-sorcery cliches on their ear.
    The first three OAVs and the first movie are available from ADV Films, who also have the rights to the remaining OAVs and movies.
    Slayers reference site
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Sol Bianca
    Sol Bianca centers around the five woman crew of a pirate ship of the same name. There are two OVAs, and there should have been a third. The second OVA sets up the stage for a third quite nicely, but apparently the series didn't have enough popularity to merit the third OVA. Which is a shame, because it is a very nice series. It takes place in the far flung future, where Earth is a legend, and space travel is commonplace.
    In the first episode a fairly standard bit of piracy on the part of the crew of the Sol Bianca results in them accidentally capturing a boy who was stowing away on the ship they'd plundered. Events cause them to take on an entire planetary empire, and show that in addition to looking very nice the Sol Bianca has a range of rather astonishing powers (including the mandatory BFG).
    The second episode explains more about the ship, and why it has such extraordinary powers. Unfortunately the explanations are mostly in the form of rather obscure hints, and this sets up quite nicely for the third episode, which doesn't exist.
    Excellent mecha design, an intriguing cast, and well done animation and pacing.
    The first OVA is available from ADV on VHS in both sub and dubbed format. The second OVA is available from ADV on VHS in subtitled format only. The OVAs are not available on DVD.
    [Entry by Brad Jackson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Sol Bianca: The Legacy
    This series shares the ship design, most of the character designs, and many of the character personalities with the first two OVAs, but it is neither a sequel nor a prequel. In the same tradition as the various incarnations of the Tenchi Muyo universe, we see a different, and in many ways better, version of Sol Bianca.
    The ship design is mostly the same, and those few changes that exist are all improvements. The character designs are improved, and the characters have deeper and more complex personalities than they do in their first incarnations. Jun is still the data hack, but Feb is no longer the captain; that job has passed to April. May's character is the most changed, instead of being a short mecha freak, she is now a child.
    The computer-generated scenes are ok, but not really worth raving about. Generally though the animation is much better than it was in the first OVAs, and the first OVAs had very good animation. The storyline is engaging, and the characters make you care about them. The quality of the dub, like many of Geneon's other lat-1990's releases is surprisingly good. Not Disney quality, but it's actually enjoyable even to subtitle fans.
    There are six episodes to the new Sol Bianca OVAs.
    Sol Bianca: The Legacy is available from Geneon in both subtitled and dubbed versions on VHS. It is also available on DVD with both Japanese and English audio tracks and an English subtitle track.
    [Entry by Brad Jackson]
Sorcerer Hunters
Bakuretsu Hunter: Carrot Glaice (© SA/RO/MW/BA/TX/SE/ADV)    Carrot Glaice, Tira Misu and Chocolate Misu are the Sorcerer Hunters, a group comissioned by the goddess "Big Mama" to hunt down renegade sorcerers. These three particular people are chosen for their mix of talents. Carrot, in particular, is highly qualified for reasons I can't tell you without spoiling a major plot point. However, he's also an amazing letch, so his two companions have to keep him in line, by tying him up in their sexy outfits, if need be! This is a TV series, and so the artwork and animation could be better, though they're not terrible - just not great. Mostly this is just fun, stupid fluff. Has sexual overtones and occasional violence. Dub and sub. 25 episodes. From ADV Films.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Speed Racer (a.k.a. Mach Go Go Go)
    Based on the 1966 manga Mach Go Go Go this 52 episode 1967 series by Tatsunako studios shows the career of Speed Racer (Go Mifune) from beginner racer to world champion. The dub version is noted for its mixture of interesting storylines and unintentually campy dialog and numberous bad puns in regards to character names.
    It was considered popular enough that in the 1990s two revial attempts were tried: One in America under the title New Speed Racer (1993) [13 episodes] and the other in Japan by Tatsunako studios under the title Mach Go Go Go (1996) (aka Y2K Speed Racer) [52 episodes were planned only 34 made] Neither revial worked partly IMHO due to the stories not measuring up to the original.
    (In North America, FHE and NOW both made VHS taps in the 1980s all of which are AFAIK out of print though FHE does have a DVD containing the two part episodes The Great Plan, Challenge of the Masked Racer, The Secret Engine, Race Against the Mammoth Car, and the three part Most Dangerous Race. Geneon put out a DVD called Speed Racer Movie which contained Car Hater and the two part Mammoth Car episodes. Speed Racer Enterprises via has released limited edition (1000 copies) VHS and DVD sets. In Australia, Siren releases Speed Racer.)
    Speed Racer FAQ
    [Entry by Bruce Grubb]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Spell Wars
    see Sorcerer Hunters
Stardust Memories
    See Gundam
Strange Dawn
    Strange Dawn is an intriguingly naturalistic take of what happens when you drop two ordinary 16 year old girls into a parallel world populated by constantly warring tribes of knee-high people who hail them as superheroes: Where are the toilets? Oh no, we don't have any clean clothes! Do we really want to be saviours, or should we just keep our heads down and look for a way home? The attention to everyday concerns may sound comical but actually it makes the whole thing believable, and heightens the impact of the violence which punctuates the tale as rival factions fight over the girls. The story is complex and mysterious: every character has their own agenda, and neither we nor the girls really know what's going on, and in their case they are not sure they even want to know.
    The series is 13 episodes long, and a nicely blended mix of cel and CGI. The DVD version is both sub & dub. The dub has a mixed Anglo-Australian-European sound to it which non-American viewers find refreshing, but many American viewers can't bear. The voice acting is good and in keeping with the tone of the original; however the translation itself is a salutary reminder of the ambiguities of the Japanese language: where it's possible to translate a sentence in two different ways, the dub infallibly picks the wrong one. This just adds to the overall air of mystery though, so the dub is undoubtedly destined to be a cult classic, especially when you throw in the complete absence of lip sync.
    Being released in North America by Urban Vision.
    [Entry by Shez]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Supergirl Maris
    see Maris the Chojo


Taiho Shichauzo!
    see You're Under Arrest!
Tank Police
    see Dominion
Tenchi Muyo
Tenchi Muyo: Ryoko, Aeka, Tenchi and Sasami (© Geneon / AIC)    A story about a teenage boy, the pretty alien girl who loves him, the other pretty alien girl who loves him, the other other pretty alien girl who loves him, and a few other pretty alien girls (some of whom love him, too). And they all just happen to be some of the most powerful people in the universe. The plotline varies between sit-com and space opera, occasionally in the same episode. The plot of the first OAV series was heavily re-written to become the basis of Tenchi Muyo TV. The first two OAV series are available from Geneon under the name Tenchi Collection - in fact, this is Geneon's flagship title - and an edited version has been aired on U.S. cable TV. The manga (with the translated title No Need for Tenchi) is available from Viz.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Tenchi Muyo: Mihoshi Special
    A side story to the Tenchi Muyo OAV series, this is Galaxy Police officer Mihoshi's recounting of her biggest case ever. The names in the story have been changed to protect the innocent, of course, but Mihoshi changes them to the names of her friends! Somehow, the relationships just don't change ... This comedy marks the only undisputed appearance to date of Kiyone in the OAV continuity, and also shows one of the earliest appearances of Magical Girl Pretty Sammy. Available (on VHS only) as part of the Tenchi Collection from Geneon.
    [Entry by Rob Kelk]
Tenchi Muyo TV
    Tenchi Masaki is an ordinary schoolboy until gorgeous alien women (with their little sisters and meowing spaceships in tow) start to crash-land in his backyard. A little bit of Urusei Yatsura and a little bit of Ranma ½, with some Star Wars homages thrown in for good measure. The TV series is generally considered a parallel universe to the version of the story told in the OAV series. Highly recommended for fans of romantic comedies and sci-fi adventure.
    [Entry by Dave Menard]
    [Available from Geneon.   - Rob Kelk]
Tenchi in Tokyo (a.k.a. Shin Tenchi Muyo)
    This latest installment of Tenchi fun is yet another parallel universe from the OAV and first TV series. In this story, Tenchi goes off to school in Tokyo leaving the girls behind in Okayama. This doesn't sit well with the passell of alien women, especially since Tenchi's getting awfully close to that new girl, Sakuya ...
    [Entry by Dave Menard]
    [Available from Geneon.   - Rob Kelk]
Tenchi Muyo movies
Tenchi Muyo: Manatsu no Eve promotional image (© Pioneer / AIC)Tenchi Muyo in Love!
    Tenchi and the girls must race back in time to keep an intergalactic criminal from altering the past. The first Tenchi movie, based off the TV series continuity. Spectacular animation combined with a good story make this film in many ways the best Tenchi feature.
Tenchi Muyo: Daughter of Darkness (a.k.a. Manatsu no Eve)
    Known as Midsummer's Eve in the UK and Europe. Tenchi's daughter appears, but who's the mother? And what does all this have to do with Yosho's childhood on planet Jurai? Not as well received by fans as the first Tenchi movie, DoD is nevertheless high-quality animation, though the story may seem to be a little rushed. This may be due to the long-circulated rumour that the plotline was originally written for a third OAV series.
Tenchi Muyo in Love 2 - Tenchi Forever
    According to Pioneer/AIC, the final Tenchi Muyo TV feature. Forever does a fair job of resolving some of the longstanding conflicts between the two primary rivals for Tenchi's heart, and the bittersweet ending suggests that Tenchi has finally made a choice. A languid pace makes this feature tricky viewing, especially compared to the more frenetic pace of the earlier films. Worth watching only if you are willing to invest the attention needed to appreciate this final chapter.
    [Entries by Dave Menard]
    [Dave's comment about the first movie being the best is his opinion - some people, including the list maintainer, like the second movie better. All three movies are available from Geneon.  - Rob Kelk]
Tetsuwan Atomu
    see Astro Boy
Those Obnoxious Aliens
    see Urusei Yatsura
Time Stranger
    An involving variation on The Terminator, with slight nods of the head towards Time Bandits. The animation is very good and the story, complex. Feudal Japan is depicted nicely and in detail, as is the far future. Great plot complications throughout.
To Heart
    A 13 episode slice of life drama about a group of 17-year-old high-school students. The nail-biting climax of episode one concerns whether or not Akari, a total sweetie with cherry-red hair, will get to sit next to the boy she likes, and the rest of the series pretty much follows on at the same tempo. Akari's squeeze is the sleepy-headed but kind-hearted Hiroyuki, whose ever-helpful nature causes him to acquire new female friends in each episode. The genius of this charming series is how its focus on the events of everyday life manages to elevate them to a level of importance that supplants any need for magical superheroes or quests to save the world. Having said that, many of the girls that Hiroyuki befriends have intriguing quirks: e.g. Serika practices black magic, Kotone is a psychic who only makes unlucky predictions, and Multi is an incompetent android sent to the school for field trials.
    Rather remarkably for a TV series that is bordering on shoujo, To Heart actually started life as a Hentai dating sim. As well as the 13 episodes, there are 6 little "omake" (extras) which were originally broadcast with some of the episodes. They use super-deformed versions of the characters and are mostly even more low key than the main episodes.
    [Entry by Shez]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Tonari no Totoro
    see My Neighbor Totoro
Trigun: Vash the Stampede (© Nightow Yasuhiro / Madhouse / Geneon)    A sci-fi western comedy (mostly) focusing around the world's most unlikely criminal, Vash the Stampede. The man is apparently so dangerous that he's worth 60,000,000,000$$ ("double dollars"), but whenever anyone catches up to him in hopes of snagging the reward, they're always thwarted: sometimes by his skill with a gun, but mostly by his inherent goofiness. However, Vash does have a dark past, so mysterious that even he himself doesn't know what it is! All in all, a fairly lighthearted show with some serious themes, but a hilarious watch. (Geneon)
    [Entry by KireiSarah]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Tsukikage Ran (a.k.a. Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran, Carried By The Wind)
Tsukikage Ran: Ran and Miao (© Daichi Akitaro / Madhouse / Bandai Visual)    Ran, a female samurai, is a self-described "beautiful female drifter" wandering through feudal Japan, carried only by the everchanging wind and her eternal thirst for sake. Generally accompanying her is Miao (Meow), a wandering martial artist from China characterised mostly by happy-go-luckiness, a good heart, and an utter, frightening lack of anything resembling forethought or intelligence. Together the two, rather more frequently than Ran would like, get embroiled in resolving problems of local corruption or crime. An episodic light-hearted parody of Japanese "wandering samurai and his sidekick" shows, high points being likable characters and spectacular fight scenes. 13 episodes, available now from Bandai.
    [Entry by Blade]
The Twelve Kingdoms
    see Juuni Kokki


Urusei Yatsura (translates as something like Those Obnoxious Aliens)
    A slap-stick screwball comedy about Lum, the flying electro-demon girl from space, Ataru, the earth boy she wants, and a host of other crazy characters. Popular madness in TV, OAV, and movie formats by Rumiko Takahashi. This entire series is being released from AnimEigo in dubbed and subbed formats. (The second movie is available subbed from USMC. Don't ask ...)
    [After hearing the fans' opinion of the dub of the first episodes, AnimEigo decided to release the remainder of Urusei Yatsura in subtitled format only.   - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Utena (a.k.a. Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Revolutionary Girl Utena)
Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Utena and Anthy (from the opening) (© Be-PaPas / Chiho Saito / Shogakukan / Shokaku Iinkai / TV Tokyo / Software Sculptors)    You could go off roses! A different twist on the magical girl series in that the subject here makes no attempt to transform into anything except by the fact that as a very young girl, grieving her parents' death, she encounters a "prince" who comforts her and tells her that they are destined to meet again, giving her a ring. She vows to grow up as noble as this prince, but takes it too literally, shunning the usual fuku of her peers for more masculine garb. On her acceptance to a school with a mysterious club, she finds that not only were there other people with the same ring as her, but that they regularly fought for the hand of the "Rose Bride", in the hope that eventually the lucky winner will gain entry to the strange castle visible from the duelling ring, though each has a different reason driving them. Available from Software Sculptors.
    [Entry by Chika]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project


Vampire Hunter D (1985)
    A.D. 12,090 is a lot like the Old West, except for the mutants and vampires. When Count Magnus Lee, an ancient and powerful bloodsucker, sets his sights on a young woman of the frontier, Doris Lang, she hires a cape-clad, sword-swinging stranger known simply as D to get rid of a suitor who doesn't understand "No." D must fight his way past a horde of supernatural guardians as well as taking on Count Lee himself, and also must contend with his own unnatural aspects. In addition to being a dhampir (half human and half vampire), D has in his left palm a symbiotic creature that exercises weird powers on his behalf but also taunts him for his shortcomings at every opportunity.
    Some fans look down on VHD for its crude animation and cliched storyline, but it has become a cult classic, perhaps for its stunning imagery and larger-than-life conflicts. There's romance as well when Doris starts falling for her half-human savior. VHD is also notable for its violence, as D's blade slices through nearly anything that will make a blood splash. Tetsuya Komuro's soundtrack gives a rich atmosphere to both action and quieter moments.
    Available from Urban Vision.
    [Entry by Cathy Krusberg]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Vampire Hunter D (2000)
    A second Vampire Hunter D movie was released to Japanese theaters in April 2001 and is slated for American theatrical release in September 2001. Also titled Vampire Hunter D, it is based on the third novel in Hideyuki Kikuchi's VHD series, D - Yousatsukou (D - Demon Deathchase). D is hired to retrieve a woman kidnapped by the vampire Meier Link, but his task is complicated by two factors: a competing set of hunters, and the true love that led the woman to accompany Meier of her own will. The character designs in the new movie are much closer to Yoshitaka Amano's vision, and the animation is top notch.
    [Entry by Cathy Krusberg]
Vampire Princess Miyu
Vampire Princess Miyu: Miyu (© Sooeishinsha / Pony Canyon / AnimEigo)    A supernatural horror series about a contemporary "vampire" who stalks wayward demons (Shinma) loose on Earth and sends them back to Darkness, while pursued by a persistent exorcist not as enthused about unlife as Miyu. Quiet, moody brooding chiller, hopeless to follow without understanding the dialog. Available from AnimEigo in North America, or Madman in Australia.
    [There is also a recent Vampire Princess Miyu TV series, which has a slightly different focus from the OAVs described above. The TV series is available from TokyoPop in North America, or Madman in Australia.   -  Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    A series with two seasons by Takeshi Mori. A group of men have lived for generations on a planet without women. The women in this show are the enemy who are feared as monsters by these men who are created in genetic labratories. When Hibiki, our young hero, finds himself stowed away on a ship that is captured by the women and subsequently cast into deep space by a missile, he and a few others must learn to work together to return without killing each other in the process.
    The series is frought with wonderful CGI scenes where the man's mecha-inspired Vanguard fighter merges with the women's jet-fighter-inspired Dread units to create extremly powerful fighters. On top of this the sexual tension of two cultures that have never before encountered each other and so have no concept of "relations" between the sexes is hilarious to watch.
    Available from Geneon.
    [Entry by Charlie Smith]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Venus Wars
    A group of racers on Venus and a reporter from Earth are caught up in the war for the dominance of Venus. A dark film from the "sand in my spacesuit" view of the future which sees the racers being turned from a group of stunt racers who defeat a tank by sheer fluke to hard fighting riders who become instrumental in the war's conclusion. Available from USMC.
    [Entry by Chika]
Video Girl Ai
Video Girl Ai: Ai, wearing the outfit Yota gave her (© Masakazu Katsura / Shueisha / Viz)    Youta Moteuchi has a crush on his schoolmate, Moemi Hayakawa, but she has feelings for his best friend, Takeshi Niimai. Since Youta is too nice for his own good, he tries to get the two of them together, despite how sad it makes him. A mysterious new video store called Gokuraku appears on Youta's path home, and he winds up renting an adult video entitled "Ai Amano - I'll Cheer You Up." When he plays it on his defective VCR, Ai pops out of the TV screen into his life, and promises to help him square things away with Moemi. There was one thing she hadn't counted on, however: Amongst other flaws, the broken VCR caused her to eventually fall in love with Youta, which is forbidden for Video Girls, and causes heartbreaking complications for both of them. A six-OVA series based on the popular manga by Masakazu Katsura (who had previously distinguished himself with Wingman). Available domestically from Viz Video, but beware the over-massaged, over-localized translations, especially in the dub.
    [Entry by David Watson]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
The Vision of Escaflowne
Escaflowne: Hitomi in silhouette (eyecatch image) (© Sunrise / TV Tokyo / Bandai / Egan Loo)    A sixteen year old girl, Hitomi, who is magically transported to the land of Gaia, is embroiled in a battle with the evil Zaibach empire, bent on manipulating destiny. She aids the boy king Van Fanel, who pilots the mecha Escaflowne, the alluring knight Allen Schezar, the cat-girl Merle and the willful Princess Millerna as she discovers latent pyschic powers which may be key to the fate of Gaia. This 26 episode series mixes romance, magic, mecha and plot in a pacy, beguiling mix, with above average TV animation and a musical score widely regarded as one of the best in anime. The dub is either loved or loathed.
    Licensed by Bandai in North America - a commercial subtitle, unedited and cut (Fox Kids) dub are available on VHS, with the DVDs containing uncut subtitle and dub. In Australia, Escaflowne has been released by Madman.
    [Entry by Andrew Hollingbury]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
    Old TV series of post-WW3 world. The army controls the world with their mecha, but not everyone goes along. Mellowlink is a related series in the same universe (set before Votoms, made after.) Votoms has been licensed by USMC.


War in the Pocket
    See Gundam
Weathering Continent
    A sword and sorcery tale in a land fallen to ruin. Takes its time and tells a small story of three travelers with a dark, spooky mood, well supported by a fine musical score.
A Wind Named Amnesia
    It happened suddenly. One minute all was as it should be, the next ... everyone on Earth had their memory wiped. Language, social habit, everything. The story surrounds one boy, who has been retrained to normality by another boy who escaped erasure by the fact that he was linked to a computer in a radical new way. Touring the devastation, he is accompanied by a woman who seems also to have escaped erasure but will not say how. On their journey they see what Man has made of himself since his memory was wiped, and view the consequences, all of which leads to the ultimate questions; who did it, and why? Available from USMC.
    [Entry by Chika]
    A lovely fantasy story of two kingdoms at war, and how that disturbs two pairs of lovers - one peasant, one royal. A tragedy. Well worth the watch, IMHO. Nice music, too.
    [Was available dubbed from Streamline Pictures while Streamline was still in business.   - Rob Kelk]
Wings of Honneamise
    See Royal Space Force
Witch Hunter Robin
    (review written after 15 episodes)
    In recession-hit modern Japan, a mysterious group called "STN-J" hunts and captures criminal magic-users. Into the group is transferred a young woman named Sena Robin. Coming from Europe, she is dourly dressed, has a mysterious background, and has powers similar to those of the people the group hunts. The group could use some help, as morale is low due to unspoken recent events and ineffective management. Robin, a surprisingly sweet-tempered 15 year old despite her harsh upbringing, has some learning to do before she can be of much use. She may also be fronting for a faction opposed to STN-J. And just what are STN-J doing with their witches after they are captured?
    The series has a very dark, foreboding, humorless feeling. It is colored almost entirely in black, brown and gray, without even the flashes of gleeful saturated color that come through in, for example, Hellsing. The character cel animation is outstanding, with detailed, naturalistic designs. Much of the grimy urban cityscape is rendered in 3D CG. This works rather well - it's vastly better than, say, Vandread, almost on par with Hoshi no Koe, and blends well with the cel animation. The writing is subtle and deft. We learn a lot about the characters of the protagonists through their "normal" daily interaction, without recourse to contrived explanatory dialog. Most episodes are focused on dialog and investigation, actual violence is brief and not especially graphic.
    The first third of the series is deceptively episodic. As STN-J struggles to track its targets the characters grow on us almost unnoticed, until the second third of the series when the major story-arc kicks in with a vengeance and the secrets of STN-J - and Robin herself - begin to play out. This business of witches being hunted down & killed recalls some bitter episodes in Western history, and sets an expectation of extreme moral ambiguity upon which the series is delivering well so far.
    Recommended for those who like Blade Runner, Lance Henrickson's Millennium, or The X-Files. The alt-rock OP and ED by Bana and the BGM are highly recommended also.
    Robin, from Sunrise, started broadcast on TV Tokyo in July 2002.
    Series website
    [Entry by D B Malmquist]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Witch's Delivery Service
    see Kiki's Delivery Service



Yokohama Shopping Trip Log (a.k.a. Quiet Country Cafe)
    This is a four-volume OAV series based on the manga Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou by Hitoshi Ashinano. It is centred around the character of Alpha, a robot who runs a coffeeshop in the Japanese countryside many years after some kind of apocalypse has caused the seas to rise and flood the coasts. The world is in a slow peaceful decline with a much-reduced population and houses and roads lie abandoned to Nature.
    The anime's bucolic atmosphere is juxtaposed with assorted wonders to jolt the viewer's expectations: odd new species of plants and animals grow alongside the unrepaired roads, a giant swan-like aircraft is occasionally seen high in the sky, a female sea-spirit seeks the company of children. It is a slow, almost plotless travelogue with visuals and skyscapes comparable to Miyazaki (IMO) rendered in a watercolour-style form very similar to the manga. The OAVs have been fan-subtitled and made available on BitTorrent from Anime Coalition/NewLife Anime and BakaMX/Oretachi.
    [Entry by Robert Sneddon]
You're Under Arrest! (a.k.a. Taiho Shichauzo!)
Taiho Shichau Zo!: Yoriko and Natsumi eavesdrop on Miyuki (© Kosuke Fujishima / Kodansha / Bandai / Marubeni / AnimEigo)    The adventures of Natsumi Tsujimoto and Miyuki Kobayakawa, two female police officers on the Bokutoh City police force and their day-to-day adventures. Set in a more or less present day city. Good animation and artwork. Good clean fun. Little if any violence or gore, and only some innocent flirting on the sexual side. Both OVA and TV series has been made. Based on a manga by Kosuke Fujishima, the same guy who did Oh My Goddess! There's also a TV series that hasn't been released yet in the US. Four OVAs. From AnimEigo.
    [Entry by Ben Cantrick]
    [The TV series has been licenced by AnimEigo. There is also an excellent You're Under Arrest movie, which has a tone somewhere between the You're Under Arrest OAVs and the Patlabor movies. The movie has been licenced by ADV Films, who plan a theatrical release for it in North America.  - Rob Kelk]
    DMOZ Open Directory Project
Yuugen Kaisha
    see Phantom Quest Corporation


Zeiram, the Animation
    see Iria
Zeta Gundam
    See Gundam
ZZ Gundam
    See Gundam

Image Descriptions and Credits

    801 T.T.S. Airbats: the pilots (© Shimizu Toshimitsu / Tokuma Shoten / Nihon Victor / ADV)
    Akira: Kaori and Tetsuo (© Katsuhiro Otomo / Akira Commitee / Geneon)
    All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku-Nuku: Ryuunosuke and Nuku Nuku (© Movic / King Records / Yuzo Takada / Futaba Sha / ADV)
    Armitage III: Naomi Armitage (© AIC / Geneon)
    Arslan Senki: Arslan (© Yoshiki Tanaka / Kadokawa / USMC)
    Battle Angel: Ido and Gally (© Yukito Kishiro / KSS / ADV)
    Bubblegum Crisis: the Knight Sabers (© Artmic / Youmex / AnimEigo)
    Bubblegum Crisis 2040: the Knight Sabers (© AIC / ADV)
    Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura, Tomoyo, and Kero-chan (© CLAMP / Kodansha / Nelvanna)
    Cowboy Bebop: Faye, Jet and Spike looming over Ed (© Bandai / Sunrise)
    Devil Hunter Yohko: Yohko and Chi (© N.C.S. / Toho Co. / ADV)
    Digimon: the good guys (© Toei / Saban)
    Dirty Pair: Kei and Yuri (from the first TV series opening) (© Haruka Takachiho / Studio Nue / Sunrise / NTV / ADV)
    Dominion: Bonaparte (© Masamune Shirow / Hakusensha Agent 21 / Toshiba Video Softwares / CPM / Manga Video)
    Dragon Ball Z: Goku holding Gohan (© BIRD STUDIO / SHUEISHA / TOEI ANIMATION / FUNimation)
    Dragon Half: meeting the idol singer (© Ryusuke Mita / Kadokawa Shoten / Victor / ADV)
    El Hazard: the priestesses of Muldoon (© AIC / Geneon)
    Gall Force - Eternal Story: the crew of the Star Leaf (© MOVIC / Sony Video / CPM)
    Ghost in the Shell: Major Kusanagi and Chief Aramaki (© Masamune Shirow / Kodansha / Bandai Visual / Manga Entertainment)
    Gunbuster: Buster-1 (© GAINAX / Manga Video)
    Gunbuster: Takaya Noriko and Smith Toren (© GAINAX / Manga Video)
    Gundam: a Gundam mobile suit (© Sotsu Agency / Sunrise / Bandai)
    Gundam Wing: (most of) the pilots (© Sotsu Agency / Sunrise / Bandai)
    Gunsmith Cats: May and Rally (© Kenichi Sonoda / Kodansha / VAP / TBS / ADV)     Koko Wa Greenwood: Hasakawa and his dorm-mates (© Yukie Nasu / Hakusensha Inc. / Victor Entertainment, Inc. / Pierrot Project / CPM)
    Iczer-1: Nagisa and Iczer-1 (© AIC)
    Inu-Yasha: Inu-Yasha and Kagome (© Takahashi Rumiko / Shogakukan / Viz)
    Irresponsible Captain Tylor: Justy Ueki Tylor (© Hiroshi Yukiyoka / Kadokawa Shoten / Tylor Project / The Right Stuf International Inc.)
    Kiki's Delivery Service: Kiki (© Eiko Kadono / Nibariki / Tokuma Shoten / BVHE)
    Laputa, Castle in the Sky: Sheeta falls into Pazu's arms (© Nibakiri / Tokuma Shoten)
    Lost Universe: Millie, Kain, and Canal (© Hajime Kanzaka / Shouko Yoshinaka / Kadokawa / TV Tokyo / SoftX / ADV)
    Love Hina: the residents of Hinata dorm (© Ken Akamatsu / Kodansha / LoveHina Onsen Kumiai / TV Tokyo / Bandai)
    Lupin III - Castle of Cagliostro: Lupin climbing the castle wall (© Katoo Kazuhiko / Tokyo Movie Shinsha / Manga Entertainment)
    Magic Knight Rayearth: Umi, Hikaru, and Fuu (© CLAMP / Kodansha / Polygram / TMS / Media Blasters)
    Magical Project S: Pretty Sammy and Doctor Washuu (© AIC / Geneon)
    Mahou Tsukai Tai: Sae, Aburatsubo, and Nanaka (© Triangle Staff / Bandai Visual / Media Blasters)
    Martian Successor Nadesico: Yurika, Akito, and Megumi (© XEBEC / NADESICO Produce Commission / TV Tokyo / ADV)
    Moldiver: Mirai (from the opening) (© AIC / Geneon)
    My Dear Marie: Marie (© Sakura Takeuchi / Goro Sanyo / Shueisha / Victor Entertainment / Studio Pierrot / ADV)
    My Neighbor Totoro: waiting for the bus (© Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli / Tokuma Shoten / Troma / FOX / Disney)
    Nadia: Nadia and Jean (© GAINAX / Toho / NHK / Sogovision / ADV)
    Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji, Asuka, and Rei (© GAINAX / Project Eva. / TV Tokyo / NAS / ADV)
    Noir: Kirika and Mireille (© Ryoe Tsukimura / Bee Train / Victor Entertainment / ADV)
    Oh My Goddess!: Belldandy and Keiichi (© Kosuke Fujishima / Kodansha / AnimEigo)
    Outlaw Star: Melfina, Jim, and Gene (© Bandai / Sunrise / Shueisha - Sotsu Agency)
    Phantom Quest Corporation: Ayaka confronting a ghost (© Madhouse / Geneon)
    Pokemon: Pikachu and Ash (© Nintendo / Viz Video)
    Project A-Ko: B-ko, C-ko and A-ko (© Soieshinsha / Final-Nishijima / Pony / USMC)     Ranma ½: Akane, Akane's father, and Ranma (© Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan / Viz Video)
    Read or Die: Yomiko (© Hideyuki Kurata / SME Visual Works Inc. / Manga Entertainment)
    Riding Bean: Rally, Bean, and passenger (© Youmex / AnimEigo)
    Rose of Versailles: Oscar (© Riyoko Ikeda/TMS)
    Royal Space Force: Shiro Lhadatt (© Bandai Visual / Manga Entertainment)
    Ruin Explorers: Ihrie and Fam (© Kunihiko Tanaka / Hobby Japan / Bandai Visual / Nippon Columbia / Movic / ADV
    Rurouni Kenshin: Kenshin (© Watsuki Nobuhiro / Jump Comics / Shueisha / Sony Picture Entertainment / Fuji Television / ADV / Media Blasters)
    Saber Marionette J: Otaru watches Lime blow off steam (© Satoru Akahori / Hiroshi Negishi / Tsukasa Kotobuki / Kadowakawa Shoten / Bandai / Sotsu Agency / TV Tokyo)
    Sailor Moon: The Sailor Team (© Takeuchi Naoko / Koudansha / TV Asahi / Toei Douga / DIC Entertainment / ADV / Geneon)
    Serial Experiments Lain: Lain (© Triangle Staff / Geneon)
    Silent Mobius: A Lucifer Hawk and Katsumi Liqueur (detail from a promotional image) (© Kia Asamiya / Studio Tron / Kadokawa Shoten / Bandai Visual / Sotsu Agency / TV Tokyo)
    Slayers: Lina Inverse (© H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi / Kadokawa / TV Tokyo / SOFTX / Marubeni / Software Sculptors / ADV)
    Sorceror Hunters: Carrot Glaice (© SA/RO/MW/BA/TX/SE/ADV)
    Tenchi Muyo: Ryoko, Aeka, Tenchi and Sasami (© Geneon / AIC)
    Tenchi Muyo: Manatsu no Eve promotional image (© Geneon / AIC)
    Trigun: Vash the Stampede (© Nightow Yasuhiro / Madhouse / Geneon)
    Tsukikage Ran: Ran and Miao (© Daichi Akitaro / Madhouse / Bandai Visual)
    Utena: Utena and Anthy (from the opening) (© Be-PaPas / Chiho Saito / Shogakukan / Shokaku Iinkai / TV Tokyo / Software Sculptors)
    Vampire Princess Miyu: Miyu (© Sooeishinsha / Pony Canyon / AnimEigo)
    Video Girl Ai: Ai, wearing the outfit Yota gave her (© Masakazu Katsura / Shueisha / Viz)
    Vision of Escaflowne: Hitomi in silhouette (eyecatch image) (© Sunrise / TV Tokyo / Bandai / Egan Loo)
    You're Under Arrest!: Yoriko and Natsumi eavesdrop on Miyuki (© Kosuke Fujishima / Kodansha / Bandai / Marubeni / AnimEigo)