Posted by psgels on 8 October 2008 with categories: Red Garden



Short Synopsis: About 200 years after Red Garden, we return to the girls of Red Garden, who still turn out to be alive.
Highlights: It’s about bloody time!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10
So, finally the final OVA has gotten subbed, more than a year after the original airdate. Indeed, it’s about bloody time. To clarify: I’m not going to write a review about this series, simply because my memory is just too fuzzy about the majority of the series, and I can’t recall exactly what I liked so much about the original series. Let’s just leave it at that Red Garden was my second-favourite in the season it aired in, after Asatte no Houkou.

In any case, it was pretty much clear from the start that Dead Girls would be a disaster, but I do have a lot of positive things to say about it. First of all, I really admire the GUTS of the creators: go for a conclusion that’s completely different from the TV-series. Seriously, more series should attempt that. As it turns out, the lead characters indeed revived, though without any memories. After that, they’ve been living for 200 years, working as bounty-hunters and travelling the world. What I really liked about these two episodes was the chemistry between them, especially in the quiet moments. The characters underwent massive changes, and the way the creators explored these changes were really enjoyable.

But really, what the heck happened to the production-values of this series? This is supposed to be an OVA: the creators got extra time to get the graphics right, and yet the animation was just plain and the CG was downright horrible. What have the creators been doing in that half a year? Then there’s also the fact that Dead Girls answers no questions at all that Red Garden left hanging, and introduced a huge amount of new ones: why have all the side-characters reincarnated at the same time? Why did Lise turn into an android? Where did the giant robots come from? Why is the Red Garden still in its same state, 200 years later? What the heck was up with that climax?

Really, I feel that Gonzo would have done better if it went with the route of Clannad, xxxHolic and Nodame Cantabile: just go for a short second season. Dead Girls actually had a lot of potential, but there’s no way that you’re going to fit that in just two episodes. These two episodes did well in fleshing the characters out, but the thing is just too damn short. I also liked the girls’ theme song. It sounded pretty silly at the beginning, but once you start thinking about it, it does fit.

16 Responses

  1. Ivy says:

    Wasn’t after story pinned down for 24 episodes?

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Hmm, I could have sworn that I read somewhere that it was going to take up only 13 episodes. Must have made a mistake on that one. But then again, the only source that claims 24 episodes is MyAnimeList, which is a very unreliable source on these kinds of things.

  3. Anthop says:

    I was really looking forward to this one too, being a huge fan of Red Garden when it came out. I would have loved to see more of the chemistry between the characters, and would really pay to watch a second season of Red Garden, even if it’s just the about the Dead Girls and their various bounty-hunting lives.

    I’m sad that this seems to be the end of that story, and a fairly disappointing end at that.

  4. Chris says:

    Haha I refuse to accept this as a conclusion and just see episode 24 of Red Garden as a beautiful cliffhanger

  5. frog212 says:

    I thought the OVA was cool, the show definitely changed into a mystery/drama type to a more bounty-hunting criminals type. Can’t say that I love it but it was cool/funny to see how much people “change”.
    On another note the futuristic weapons and transportation device was cool but the mecha was totally useless!

  6. windy says:

    The series was much better, because we could see characters’s evolution and feelings, the accent was put on emotions more than their abilities like here. I didn’t really enjoyed it like I expected I would( cause i loved the series).

  7. Matilda says:

    I got to watch it just now, and I’m a little disappointed. I would have loved them to actually attempt to explore the insides of the old school, or *something* that would have led them to understand that they might have a connection with the people around them (or, at least, their reincarnations).

  8. Vanny says:

    I was really disapointed with this OVA. The anime was really good but the OVA was just a disaster.
    Dead characters are supposed to stay dead! lol… it’s so silly. My mind had a hard time adjusting to the fact that Edgar (Herve? Name change huh) is alive, and Louise is alive. Gonzo decided to kill Rachel’s ex instead (forgot his name, dude with purple hair).

    Like you have already mentioned, there were many unanswered questions. I’d have to add, why was the Island shaking at the end? Why were the couple engulfed in the flowers? Why did butterflies suddenly appear only on the island?

    Enough with complaints now, I do have good things to add =D I liked how the characters turned out to have totally different personalities compared to the anime. Claire is so sexy! Rose finally got to be popular :p Rachel got to be the tomboy now and Kate is “wow”. Someone added some pepper n salt on Kate!

    Anyways, I’ll pretend I’ve never seen this OVA haha. *watches red garden episode 1, again*

  9. Mike says:

    I think to explain why everyone reincarnated is to keep in mind that reincarnation is a pretty common belief in Japanese culture. Also, its hinted that the island/garden is still in its current state for supernatural reasons (thus developers being unable to build anything new there.)

    I enjoyed this OVA quite a bit. If anything I always thought the series contained a lot of vague or unexplained elements, so I’m not surprised that theme continues here.

  10. Patto says:

    where can you find the subs of the OVA’s? i cant find them anywhere

  11. NiceSong says:

    If there was one main thing that I like about Kurenai, it was how things seemed to “flow” in terms of how the characters interacted and things like that. I think a large part of that had to do with the recording order, so I give props for that. And I think Sawashiro did a good job as Shinkurou, but that’s because my bias is showing again.

  12. Marcela says:

    The whole concept of Red Garden is just amazing, that is because to a certain extent it even creates an illusion of reality.

    I loved the series and the OVA too, but (as always there is one) I want to read the manga. I need it to understand better the story because I found it fascinating.

    Hope someone can help me with the last! ^_^

  13. retaelation10a says:

    Oh, right.. the manga. Maybe they’ll explain more of the series in the manga, I still haven’t been able to see any online scanlations of the manga, even in 2009.

    Why is it that only Herve and Lise changed names? Because they died? If that is the reason then, the officers and Lula should have also changed names.. Then again, they didn’t really mention their names.. (;u3u)

    It was also funny how they suddenly got good with singing, and also the fact that Kate made the song~♪! XD

    And wasn’t it 300 years later? (;o_O)

  14. momomoko says:

    I was disappointed at first until I sat and thought about this, as a sequel (for quite a while lol). It’s actually a happy ending, isn’t it? The girls have no memory of their past lives which is actually a good thing when you think about it, knowing what made them the way they are and remembering all that they left behind may be depressing for them. Everyone is reincarnated and they try and live their lives as they want…

    So overall, I was happy with this OVA, it shows that the girls remain friends, forever and almost everyone is happy. So for me, it was a decent sequel, the only thing I STILL don’t understand is why Lise returned as an android.

  15. Whomever says:

    That final episode totally pissed me off! What an absolute piece of (storytelling) shit! Yeah, the action, the animation, and visual aspect of “Dead Girls” was amazing, but it paid no respect to the storyline. Absolutely pointless and more mind-boggling than anything else. They should’ve just left the series where it was…no need for a shitty, cop-out episode for fan-service.

  16. KeneticaxXx says:

    Red Garden was a pretty horrid Anime. The idea and lore behind what was going on was absolutely wonderful. The execution was just a shame though. The episodes were more like a soap opera than a anime full of mystery and action. If there were ever such a thing as “over developing” a character…. this Anime did it. These girls werent even worth getting to know. One was a super bitch that worked at a burger joint. The other was a stuck up bitch who only cared about her nails and thought she was soooo much better than anyone else. The other was a preppy loser who played hall monitor. And the last was the worst of all… she was a weak whiney chick who couldnt fight to save her life or anyone elses. She was the only one of the 4 that I was actually HOPING would die, since that sorta behavior deserves it. All of them were extremly weak minded and didnt adjust to the situation at all. In short … if all girls acted like these losers… Men would never marry.

    Dead Girls… was even worse. They totally changed the characters which isnt a bad thing because they sucked ass to begin with so any change was a welcomed one, but they were 100% different and just had flirty competitions. Also who the fuck lives for 200yrs and ends up still in school. Are all 4 of them THAT stupid?

    Moving on… WTF is up with the dead characters being back in the series? Explain that.

    Theres a whole list of whats wrong with Dead Girls as I honestly dont have anything to say except for they made the girls a little Sexier thank god. Like Claire.. and the shower scene. Thats whats up. Unfortunately that was the only 15 seconds of the Anime worth shit.

    Hope everyone enjoyed the Review.

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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