Posted on 25 December 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, The Third


Very rarely, you run into series you just can’t stop fanboying about. Mahou Shoujotai had this effect with me, and now comes The Third. I absolutely loved this series, though the exact reasons still are a bit unclear to me. The Third takes place on an alternate planet, with rather advanced technologies. Our main character, Honoka lives in a rather large desert city. Together with her AI-controlled sand-tank Bogie, she takes on any job that’s requested to her, no matter how dangerous.

Probably one of the things that made The Third so great was the amazing cast of characters. Especially Honoka is an incredibly versatile girl, and during the series, there’s a huge amount of time spent on fleshing her character out, showing all of her different sides (and believe me, she has quite a few). Add the fact that her character by itself already works out great, and you’ve got a great premise. Though not only Honoka has been greatly developed. Almost all of the major side-characters receive a healthy dose of fleshing out, turning them into great characters who otherwise would have been doomed to sail the winds of mediocrity.

The fights were also very interesting to see. Honoka is an excellent swordswoman and this anime shows it. Even though she’s fighting against an army of mechas, she still manages to win, purely based on her skills, which actually make sense. Yes, a lot of time has been put into the battles, in order to make them actually believable. No longer is it just a matter of swinging swords, these action scenes have thoughts put behind them. The narrator also jumps in at times to provide a nice explanation about the thoughts behind each move and for one of the first times ever, the difference between amateuristic fighting and professional combat actually becomes clear.

The graphics in The Third also look great, apart from two slips, perhaps. The character designs are extremely appealing, a lot of details went into them, and the animation looks terrific. Still, it seems that during two episodes, some evil animation company got hold of the rights for the animation-production, and the result was a horrible mess. I heard it turned off a lot of people, though it didn’t really bother me. Honoka’s amazing character saved it.

Overall, I absolutely loved this series, though I’ve yet to find anyone who really shared my views. This might be a biased review, though I just can’t help but love The Third. All I can say is, check this series out. It’s awesome. :)

(P.S, hehe, it’s been a long while since I made this many posts in one day. Still, that was exactly what I had in my mind for my christmas update. I did it last year too, when a backlog caused by yet another exam week caused six episodes of Mahou Shoujotai to pile up. In any case, this concludes my Christmas Update, even though it’s still about an hour before it officially starts at our place. Merry Christmas, Everyone. Have a great time. :))

23 Responses

  1. Sonhex says:

    Merry Christmas to you too Psgels! I totally agree with your score here. I loved the Third, despite the occasion bizzaro lapse in animation. Honoka is one of the great and inspiring heroines of recent years. Unlike most people I didn’t mind the narrator (once I got used to it) and some of the battles were amazing. Especially that Bogie vs the Tank Buster in ep 20 (I think, brain a bit foggy after some Xmas sherry). Anyway this was one of my favourite animes of 2006 and I hope we see perhaps an OAV or a second season.

  2. potatohead says:

    I am glad more people share the love of this hidden gem, the same goes to Simoun. Happy holiday season

  3. prince leon says:

    I thought this was a great series as well. Like you, I can’t place an exact reason as to why I love it so much but it was a wonderful ride nonetheless. Though the cast was small it was more than adequate for The Third, especially people like Paife and of course Honoka.

    And Merry Christmas! (even though it’s still about 6 hours to go for me)

  4. j.valdez says:

    >> “Overall, I absolutely loved this series, though I’ve yet to find anyone who really shared my views.”

    I really liked the show, too. I probably could have done more fanboying about it as well though.

  5. mangaka-chan says:

    I’m so glad you’ve continued to blog this show to the end. I really like The Third too, and just like you, I can’t quite say why I like it; I just do.

  6. pauloo says:

    For me, you have to like a katana swinging, mecha operating loli… lol

    This show is certainly one underrated anime in 2006, although I have yet to finish watching it. I’m only finish watching about 10 eps of the show, I need to find time for it.

  7. shadow zeranion says:

    Yeah, I agree that this was a great series, and one of the best one’s I’ve seen so far. In my opinion, story and charachters are what an Anime is built on. Action and cool fights comes second.

  8. Asia says:

    Um, it looks good, but where could i find it? I don’t want to download it, is there a site that you know that has it uploaded?

  9. psgels psgels says:

    Hmm, tough one. All I know of is bittorrent, though I’d assume that FnT, the fansubbers, also have this series on xdcc bots.

  10. aeonwolf says:

    Hey just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your anime reviews for quite awhile now and I’ve been using them to gauge which anime are good and what’s crap. Thanks for all the information and I’ve enjoyed your recommendations! :)

  11. psgels psgels says:

    aeonwolf: thanks. ^_^ It’s exactly why I decided to write these reviews, and I’m glad that people are liking them.

  12. ytre says:

    gahh ffs 2 episodes in the middle and the last 2 in the series the art is absolutely terrible. And those final 2 episodes are just awful story wise, how to ruin a good series. Tsk to any future viewers – do not watch past episode 22. Just pretend ep 23/24 don’t exist.

  13. Jeska says:

    It’s weird how Honoka looks somewhat similar to Third from Jyu Oh Sei.

  14. Gustavo says:

    Hello. Well, I took the freedom to translate your review to the portuguese and post it in the forum I attend to. I hope you don’t mind, as your words just described The Third the same way I wanted.

    The post is in here: http://forum.outerspace.ig.com.br/showthread.php?t=149692

    I changed some things. But if you want, I can delete it. Thanks!!!

  15. Jacktaris says:

    Hi..u have exactly the same thinking as mine in this anime..I seriously love this anime but when i introduce it to friends and family , they did not think it is a good anime.All i can say about ‘the third’ is it is absolutely AWEASOME!!

  16. H. Wednesday says:

    Thank you very much for your blog; your taste is similar to mine (aside from tweeny witches which I only really enjoyed the setting). I like to read your entries after watching each episode to catch your enthusiasm when you have it. It really is nice.

    The Third is now definitely one of my favorites. I adored the ending since many aspects of it aligned with my personal philosophy. I really enjoyed that Honoka empathized with the artificial intelligences. She was a very believable character – especially after her beautiful identification with Rona.

  17. Michael says:

    I am on episode 12 of this anime so far and I honestly cannot find what everyone says is so great about this anime. Maybe the second half is better, but I feel like all of the things Honoka says are things that have been said before. Such as the things with her and her important people. When I say this ninety five I was expecting to be blown away but all I can say is that this series is ok. I don’t even think its on the same level as animes like noein which i loved and bokurano which i loved also.

  18. Cavetroll says:

    I got a dvd from Otaku U S A and it had the first episode of ” The Third: Girl with the blue eye ” and absolutely loved it like i did Moon Phase and Outlaw Star!! I have seen 3 of the dvds so far and cant wait for more!! Thanks for a great Review ! Cavetroll

  19. ny says:

    Commenting on an old entry, but I finished The Third last week and enjoyed it very much. I might not have known about it if it wasn`t for your reviews! Thanks!

  20. Vickie says:

    Finally, someone who enjoyed The Third as much as I did! I’ve come late to it, having rented the DVDs through Netflix and their incomprehensible system of recommendations, but boy am I happy they did. The ending somewhat bothered me, though; I guess I was expecting them to change up Honoka’s usual SOP of winning people/alien entities over with her awesomeness, perhaps with a more Nanoha style of “befriending”? ^_^ It’s more likely I’m bitter that she and Iks got together so definitely: I admit I sincerely enjoyed Paifu’s jealous possessiveness.

  21. Jade Catherine says:

    So glad to find a reviewer who loved it, because my only ambition in life is to find another series to watch that’s half as good!

    Gorgeous, dreamy artwork; gorgeous, dreamy music; and unforgettable characters. What more could anybody want? I think some people want a faster pace, but smash-bang-zoom-kaboom isn’t what The Third is about (though it does have some great combat moments).

  22. HiYouCutie says:

    This is the first anime I’ve watched as a recommendation from your blog… and I thought it was terrible. Bogie vs. Anti Tank had me screaming and falling out of my seat but that was it. But… since your descriptive English is so damn good for a second language… I’ll try Noein lol.

  23. josh says:

    i have watched 8 episodes as of now and i see no point to this show at all. i mean don’t get me wrong it has a catchy themesong, and a cool main character and the mech and sword thing is kind of cool the drawing and animation are real good but here’s the bad side of this show. it feels like i’m watching the movie groundhog day only it’s unbearable( i like that movie) every episode gets yer attention on the preview but when yu watch it, it just seems like a bunch of random filler episodes the only episodes that had any meaning whatsoever is whenever the mechanic died and she fought blue breaker well not really cuz he flew off, but overall what is the point to this show? we know theres a girl named honoka that has 3 eyes but her 3rd eye is blue not red cuz she was not accepted into some high and mighty clan, but nothing about this show makes me want to give a crap about the storyline or the characters, probably the worst part of this show is the cheesy poems the say at random points int the show, not to mention a terrible voiced annoying narrator that just doesn’t help the show out he makes watching the show a miserable experience. in closing i am upset i spent like 130 dollars on this show and i will prolly not finish it for the sole reason of this show is not intersing, and i won”t miss it cuz there is no depth that i can see.

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  • KuRoZuka
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 03:51 PM)
    In statistics, an outlier is an observation point that is distant from other observations. An outlier may be due to variability in the measurement or it may indicate experimental error; the latter are sometimes excluded from the data set.
  • KuRoZuka
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 03:44 PM)
    Aidan: sigh. Those are outliers. Do you know what an outlier even is?
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:54 PM)
    I didn’t think Tears to tiara was that bad…though I watched it with the dub. Certainly made it more entertaining. Ah…those accents bring a smile to my face every time.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:51 PM)
    And finally c) The very existance of Guilty crown disproves your theory five times over. F*cktons of money thrown at it, was a goddamn trainwreck.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:50 PM)
    b) Ignoring all anime with limited budgets and great storytelling and using low brow comedy as a gauge for quailty. Seriously get the f*ck out. Comedy shouldn’t be used as a gauge because out of all genres it is without a doubt the most subjective. And it’s enjoyment is heavily dependant on the person and the mood. You don’t go to comedy for 5 star drama.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:46 PM)
    Well he’s likely gone by now but…
    @Kurozuka, sigh. Honestly to try and prove that a single factor is the cause of the entire gauing of an animes quailty is completle idiocy. Forget proving your credintals, you have to prove you have respectable intelgence first. Because
    a) Emma said it for me but again. More money = less risks. The more money you pour into something, the more generic it becomes.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 10:17 AM)
    @Emma: Hence my offputing attitude towards generic anime in general.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 10:12 AM)
    But yeah, I don’t finish stuff I don’t like any more, actually don’t care about is probably a better choice of words than don’t like.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 10:00 AM)
    Tears to tiara has a ridiculous amount of unnecessary characters, the pacing and direction is a disaster , the characters are bland and the end twist is embarrassing, it was a lifeless and empty anime that put me off the medium for some time, I should have never did the “it might get better” “I have to complete it” mentality back then.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 09:57 AM)
    I plan on doing a third watch of Hako come to think of it soon.

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