Posted by psgels on 25 February 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews


One of the things I like about Gonzo: they take risks. That’s really where the best ideas come from. Sure, they definitely have their screw-ups; but then again: who doesn’t? In any case, another product of Good Gonzo is Saishuu Heiki Kanojo, or Saikano or She: The Ultimate Weapon as it’s known as as well. However, this isn’t just going to be the case where I simply list everything that it does right and just get things over with: like a lot of Gonzo’s series, it has a lot to like, but also a lot to hate about it.

Ultimately, whether or not you’re going to be able to enjoy this series is how much you can stomach teenaged angst, because BOY, do these characters WHINE in this series. On top of that, it loves to pull those plot twists that add extra drama: death, destruction, extravagant love triangles, for this series it can’t get sad enough for the lead couple, and the result is that the characters hardly every stop crying an whining.

I really was expecting a huge tear-jerker when I started watching this series, and I believe that the creators also intended this series to squeeze as many tears out of the viewer as possible, and yet I didn’t cry once, nor felt the inclination to. As a tear-jerker this show lacks subtlety. There’s just too much angst and sadness. This series just keeps bouncing back and forth between love triangles here and war is bad there, and I guess that this format failed to impress me.

Instead, I was sold on this series through completely different things. The characters just feel incredibly genuine. No matter what kind of overly sad plot twists the creators pull, the characters act believable and charming. The dialogue is consistently of a very high quality, and especially the voice acting made a lot of impact on me.

In fact, this series would have worked for me even if the lead female character, who is an ultimate destructive weapon that can wipe out entire cities at once, had been completely removed. What this series excels at is portraying how a huge war affects ordinary people, and how their lives are majorly impacted by it. The quiet moments in this series are so much more memorable than the obvious sad tear-jerker moments when the umpth character kicks the bucket.

In the end though, I can’t call anything about this series truly bad or flawed. Sure, the romance had its annoying moments, but for each annoying point it also had more than enough charming ones. Sure, the setting is overly sad, but I’m not going to deny that it made impact. In the end, the creators managed to create a provocative and hard-hitting series, that may not be perfect, nor hits any heights, but has enough that makes it worth watching.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 7/10

5 Responses

  1. Keith says:

    I agree that this anime was good. However, anything the anime does right, the manga does ten times better. It pushes a lot of boundaries, as I remember feeling somewhat uncomfortable during many parts during the manga. It has a more visceral feel all together.

    Whatever you feel the anime was lacking, the manga delivers, so please make the time to check it out.

  2. windy says:

    I can’t be objective or fair about this series cause I stopped watching after two episodes, just couldn’t stand watching it, but there we are, we have series we like and series we don’t, that’s a fact, I haven’t found the storytelling good enough or in the whole entertaining , and the character – design wasn’t a bit at my liking, but I have to admit that two episodes are far from being enough to judge a series , so I suppose it may have turned out better afterwards. But most of the shows I really disliked at first sight or after the first ep turned out to be my favorite later on , like Higurashi, but I don’t think it would be the case with this one, though.

  3. tealovertoma says:

    Way too angsty and… well, Neon Genesis-y for me – especially the second half. Slightly overrated, the bad choices all of the characters constantly made pissed me off. Didn’t care for the ending. I admit it does a lot right, though. 7/10

  4. taka says:

    I pretty much watched it because I wanted to see something depressing. Though some of the scenes were just normal death/destruction. I definitely cried during Akemi’s final scene. The whole confession on the deathbed thing got to me.

  5. Perrin4869 says:

    I watched this anime to see something depressing too, and in the end I was completely disappointed. I didn’t feel depressed not even once. Maybe I came with too high expectations, after all everyone’s saying how depressing this anime is. Air was supposed to have the same effect, but it didn’t either. The only anime I remember to ever made me depressed at the end was Hantsuki. But I did enjoy watching this, it was a nice story.

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  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 12:02 AM)
    @Bam Here’s the full story: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/05/economist_detai.html
    My knowledge of Hitler’s take on the Aryans is that his own stances on even the definition of the “pure aryan” changed so frequently before and during WW2 that it’s really arbitrary, that it was just an excuse for the nazis to stay in power.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:14 PM)
    The word Iran means “the land of the Aryans”, and the Germanic tribes that settled in Bavaria are correctly identified as nomadic people called Indo-Europeans, whom many settled in northern Iran. I heard similar theory of etymology for ‘Ireland’, but I’m not too sure about that one. So interestingly enough the Nazis were completely fine with Iran. The many strange forgotten wrinkles of history.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:10 PM)
    @K-off: believe it or not, I get confused for Spanish or Itaian all the time, so we probably share similar features. I have a Sicilian friend who’s also blond, and they’re supposedly the darker Ities, so I completely believe it.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 06:08 PM)
    Lots of people who don’t interact with Italians think we’re all black haired and brown eyed, but my dad is a blonde Italian while only my mother is a black-haired woman from Lecce. The guy on the flight was a black-haired Italian as well, but apparently terrorists look like well-dressed Italian hipsters doing differentials.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 06:01 PM)
    @Bam That reminds me of a fellow Italian American economist who got reported on his flight to Syracuse by some woman who thought the differential equations that he was working on in his notebook were terrorist scribblings.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 05:49 PM)
    @Bam Ha, I sympathize with you on the beard, after years of having one it feels uncomfortably bare whenever I shave it. Also helps out my resting bitch face.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 02:05 PM)
    Also the guy playing Cassidy in Preacher is actually Irish tho.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 02:04 PM)
    @Kaiser: haa! That’s improbable. Gimme two weeks and I’ll be at Gandalf level. Just trying to keep people at ease.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:15 AM)
    @Bam: Ah, K-off wins the beard combat warfare =) lol
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:14 AM)
    Voice actors never seem to match their voices =<
    Then again I end up associating them so much with the characters.

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