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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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:45 AM)
    It takes a true magnificence to propose such a grand question as: What dot life?!
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:42 AM)
    @Kaiser: the show does vary in quality, but for the first season they generally crank up the insanity with every episode until a very remarkable season finale where Xavier faces his worst enemy.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Bam: Oh in symphogears case, I certainly laughed but I wasn’t supposed to.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:39 AM)
    @Bam: While it didn’t always work, that first episode of renegade angel was amusing, I particularly liked the part where he went on about Aids being invented.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:22 AM)
    and don’t be fooled by the simple graphics, the crudeness is completely intentional.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:21 AM)
    @Kaiser: as far as Xavier goes I implore you to download and watch the first episode to get the gist of it. That show is the pinnacle of absurdist and meta humor. It’s strangely adored within the animation circles, getting very high praise from the industry, but it’s very dense and bizarre so people either love or hate it. If you’re anything like me it might become one of your most beloved shows.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:17 AM)
    @kaiser: If Symphogear gets as bad as Valvrave then we’re talkin. Few companies make entertaining trash like Sunrise does.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:54 AM)
    *At first I thought it would be like nanoha
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:49 AM)
    I read a comment stating that season 3 of symphogear got so bad that it came off as along the lines of “worse than a Mari Okada melodrama”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:36 AM)
    @Bam: That renegade angel thing looks off the wall, haven’t seen an episode but my thoughts from looking up the show is “I’m not quite sure if this is a good/bad thing lol”

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