Posted on 22 December 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


For the adaptation of the Ga-Rei Zero series during the past Fall Season, the creators came up with a daring idea. Since the original manga was reportedly poor, they decided to screw the manga, and go with a concept of their own. The result is a downright shocking first episode, followed by the rest of the series which attempts to explain what the heck happened back there, focusing on a cast of completely new characters.

And what do you know? It actually worked.

The strength of this series is that due to the really strong first episode, you’re going to want to finish the series, to find out what drove these characters to do what they did. Even through the boring parts, the whole thread that the first episode created remains. Because unfortunately, the building-up part of the series does remain a bit boring. It takes a relatively large amount of time to warm up to the characters, and especially Kagura isn’t likable from the start.

Nevertheless, this series managed to avoid collapsing under the weight of its first episode, mostly due to some very solid storytelling that appears once the series hits its second half. This is a series that’s not going to pull any punches, and it’s got quite an amount of ruthless scenes as the show goes on, rather than being an idealistic tale of friendship.

So all in all, the series managed to deliver for me, even though there were times in the beginning that made me doubt. It’s a really solid and focused series, in terms of both production-values and storytelling. The characters themselves are not really something special, but yet they never get in the way of what makes this series important and they do manage to bring the series to life. It managed to deliver on the promises it made in the first episode, and that’s something not every series can boast (Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou, anyone?).

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

9 Responses

  1. saris says:

    Ehh, I thought it has 26 episodes so this one ‘s already ended??? So it means it covers just the pre Yomi-arc??

    Well, I agree with you with everything you say here , the first episode was too great for me to drop it even though after that it has some very boring parts but later episodes make up for it, very tense and some unexpected results for some fights , I have to say they did the action scenes well, sometimes it makes me on the edge of my seat, good job.

  2. green says:

    Ehh, I thought it has 26 episodes so this one ’s already ended??? So it means it covers just the pre Yomi-arc??

    Well, it is called garei-ZERO….

  3. luckyhuh? says:

    i agree 100% that, and the fact that they were darling enough to kill almost the entire cast not once, but twice moreover it was kind of refreshing ^o^, character development was also good and the plot went well, some hiccups here and there but not abysmal flaws, so in the end i was pleasantly surprise anyway!!!! good watch, good watch XD.

  4. Stripey says:

    Solid storytelling indeed. Every ep delivered and that’s no small feat considering the no. of themes and plot elements they were trying to weave into a short 12 eps.

  5. Ethereal says:

    (some spoilers follow)

    It’s not really a whole new set of characters. The manga starts off where the series ends – you get to see Kagura and the manga’s male lead at the end of the series, and the anime does follow the manga’s background plot, although the background is very loosely fleshed out in the manga, so the anime creators were able to take some liberties and deliver a solid series.

    Manga is pretty standard shounen fare, certainly much lower quality than the anime. Wonder if they’ll make a sequel animating the manga storyline – hopefully they’ll take a similar approach as they did here if it happens.

  6. Aetheus says:

    The manga isn’t anything special, but its still not too bad. “Originality” is hardly the term best associated with shounen mangas; popular mangas like Bleach have thousands of fans, despite the fact that it doesn’t even try to break the mold of its genre. Honestly, how many of us have read/watched the beginning of a manga/anime, and found that its summary is “There once lived a normal kid whos life got screwed up when he met a supernatural chick”?

  7. smurfy says:

    Very unusual for me to make comments, I just felt I had to in this case.
    For once I agree entirely with your review. The first Ep is indeed a deal breaker though my first initial reactions to the somewhat hesitant since I felt here is another Exorcism series like Witch hunter Robin and bits of Blassreiter and BAM!!!! everybody dies even the Top gun Maverick guy if was funny all of sudden It reminded me of Elfen Lied – Peeps just dieing from the Word Go!!!! It was sweet.

    Furthermore I feel there is a lesson to be learn t by all Evil/Bad Characters out there in Anime. Its simply better just to Implant a little amount of distrust or even little involvement in the Enemy Camp and simply watch from a Distance while everything crumbles

    Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou… hmmmm (eyebrow raised) Hell yeah.

    Spoiler Alert.

    Kinda liked how Kiri wasn’t killed but rather got amnesia from the whole ordeal.

  8. Jing says:

    To me the manga totally sucks comparing to the anime. The anime is hearty breaking. The story line is very intense. The character’s feelings really made me cried. The love that Yomi gave Kagura betrayed her and it ended up killing Yomi herself. When Kagura stabbed Yomi my tears were gushing out of my eyes. I know Kagura have to stab her because it was her duty; however, i personally feel that it’s wrong for Kagura to do so. They’re friends, no not friends, they are sisters. Well, Kagura have made the correct choice. Killing Yomi is the only way to help her regain her true self. Even so, i really hoped that Yomi and Kagura would one day be together even though i know it’s impossible. Love U Yomi

  9. emily says:

    I haven’t finished watching it yet but its been very entertaining and sad at many parts of it. One thing I noticed right off the bat is the style of anime and effects used within the anime well drawn and the characters are likeable.

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  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 09:48 PM)
    @JaK: at least the anime is powering through this arc to keep it interesting.
    The thing that really drags about Mahouka is how it seems (so far) to revolve around the MC being OP, and that’s not something I see going away any time soon.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 08:00 PM)
    IMO Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka is a must-watch for fans of moeblob shows. It’s some of the best moeblob I’ve seen in a long time.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 06:16 PM)
    @JaK: Thing is, I’ve already read up about the world and characters abilities (no plot) from the wikia. So at this stage, I expect I’ve already taken the “good stuff” from Mahouka and expect nothing good from the adaptation.
    Which leaves me open to being pleasantly surprised, should it become entertaining at some point.
  • JaK
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 06:02 PM)
    you’d have to make it through the really boring enrollment arc for the hype to be justified though raggers :( ( also the arc manga covered hence the bad publicity)
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 04:09 PM)
    Oh, and have a look at http://www.overclock.net/t/1480764/oopsie-its-a-program-that-reopens-folders-or-programs-with-customizable-keyboard-shortcuts
    A very useful program that’ll make you wonder why M$ didn’t incorporate it into Windows ages ago.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 04:08 PM)
    My bad, instead of “must watch” I meant “truly great”.
    I’m watching Mahouka partly because the hype demands it, and partly because the universe, and it’s rules, are very, very interesting. The hype reason is why I watched SAO, and the first half of GC (though I couldn’t handle more than that). Need to watch enough of it to have a valid opinion on it after all.
  • lohengramm
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:45 PM)
    Ah, and Mekakucity, because of Kagepro.
  • lohengramm
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:44 PM)
    i’ve read the mahouka manga and tbh i didn’t really like it … have yet to try the anime, though! for me so far the only shows i’ll definitely be following are captain earth and sidonia no kishi, most probably no game no life, and maybe hitsugi no chaika … (sorry for randomly inserting myself in here)
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:42 PM)
    whatever people say, that’s going to be one of the most talked-about shows of the next two seasons, need to watch at least a little bit of it.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:42 PM)
    Raggers, you’re missing Mahouka.

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