Posted on 25 June 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Crystal Blaze


Some great anime have a very detailed art-style with absolutely gorgeous animation. Others have a smashing soundtrack, performed by a famous composer. Others hired a cast of well-known voice-actors to perform on their characters. Again others put a lot of attention to their dialogue to make this as deep and thought provoking as possible. And more others don’t have any of this and just want to tell a good story. And that’s where Crystal Blaze belongs: an excellent anime on a low budget and the dark horse of the past spring-season.

The production-values are nothing to write home about. The animation is simple, the CG is obvious and not integrated and it doesn’t have a big animation-company working behind it (after all, Studio Fantasia’s reputation is rather questionable). And still, it makes up for everything through its amazing storytelling. The story itself is not very complex, but the way it’s told makes it something special. Throughout 12 episodes, not even one scene was wasted. Every episode continues to develop both the characters and the plot, ending in a very satisfying climax. There are no plot-holes whatsoever, everything gets closed off nicely, there are no stereotypes. For a fan of storytelling such as myself, this series was pure gold.

You should be aware of one thing if you want to watch this series, though. This series became the dark horse of this season for a reason. There’s one particular character which will turn off a lot of viewers: Manami. This is supposed to be a tale about adults, but she’s one of the very few teenagers in it, and she very easily gets on your nerves. She’s not a bad character by any means, and her weaknesses are used well, but the fact remains that the combination of an annoying voice and her continuous whining make her a very hard to like character. Thankfully, she gets less annoying as the series goes on.

Speaking of voice-acting, this is the second series along with Kurenai that did something interesting with its voice-actors. I can’t exactly pinpoint to what it was that the creators did, but conversations end up sounding much more like ordinary conversations instead of coming from a recording-studio.

All in all, Crystal Blaze turned out to be among my favourites this season, due to its great cast and awesome storytelling. This is exactly what a twelve-episode series needs to be, and I hope to see more non-fanservice series from Studio Fantasia in the future!

5 Responses

  1. chenshang says:

    I think the voice actors need to raise their voice so that the audience can hear what they are saying…

  2. Solaris says:

    Lucky you can do a review. Subs are laaaate very laaaate

  3. mark says:

    Too bad the last two eps are not subbed….

    I watched them raw,and was only able to understand a few bits and pieces here and there…

  4. Alex says:

    I thought the show was semi-decent, but I don’t think it developed the characters that well. For example, I didn’t really care about Sara because she didn’t really do much. The villains are also pretty standard – evil scientists and fighting women and the conflicted police type of characters. None of them are given THAT much development, except maybe Manami and her friend (can’t remember name) — but I find Manami obnoxious and since the social and political situation isn’t so fleshed out, the direction of the anime kind of flails around…decently entertaining but I found lacked depth.

  5. prettykai says:

    i liked the series except for every damn scene manami is in… how irritating can a character get???? really she pisses me off every time she enters a scene and opens her big mouth! I wanted to shoot her! why wouldn’t they just kill her!

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  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:54 PM)
    @Bam: And then to see Bardem wasted in that Skyfall Bond film, nevermind, at least he was terrifying in no country for old men.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:53 PM)
    @Emma: Enemy is quite mire focused than Prisoners. Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t get to shine, but a least he carries the suspense of the film pretty well.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:53 PM)
    @Bam: Biutiful worked on its two lead performances , bleakness, all the ingredients were there, the issue was that it was overly long.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:51 PM)
    Never heard of the spider but I know of enemy, I think it ended up an underappreciated film.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:51 PM)
    @Emma: yeah some of these downer films, although very good (like Amore and Biutiful) are such downers that I rather just avoid at this point in my life.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:51 PM)
    Headhunters is a great guilty pleasure Nordic film.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:49 PM)
    @Bam: oh prisoners, prisoners so much promise, so much promise and for it to fuck up at the last stretch/end and ruin everything.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:48 PM)
    Sundays children I’ve not seen. Amor is based on something that happened in his family actually, I think a very uncomfortable film but a good one.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:47 PM)
    @Emma: good tip, being downloaded as we speak. You should also see Denis Villeneuve’s films. While Prisoners somewhat missed the mark and ended up mostly pointless, Enemy on the other hand was a very decent film. The Spider a very alone is worth a viewing.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 12:47 PM)
    See I loved the style and especially the violence in only God forgives =)

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