Posted on 2 May 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Law of Ueki



Say hello to the anime with the most creative battles ever. We finally have a series which understands that strategy-based battles are so much better than power-based battles. At least, most of the time.

The premisse is simple: we have this God, who organizes a tournament in order to decide his successor. 100 middle schoolers are picked, and given a power. Then they have to fight each other, and the last one standing wins. The good part: most of these powers make no sense at all. They’re certainly not the thing you’d expect. I’m referring to the power to change trash into trees, tomatoes into magma, bamboo into scissors and a ring into a rocket. And these are just the least original of the bunch. There also is a limit to each of these powers, as in a condition that has to be fulfilled before you can use it. Think of the ability of changing water into fire if you put it in your mouth, the ability to change towels into steel if you hold your breath and many more. When these are used in battle, the results become incredible.

It was really clear that the creators put all of their creativity in these battles. Some of them truly turned into something memorable, as you will have no idea what’s going to happen, or how the antagonists will be defeated. It’s also great that a great deal of humor was put into these battles, and somehow the creators managed to find the perfect combination between comedy and action.

The first thirteen episodes of the series contain either amazingly funny battles, or just a couple of scenes you just need to sit through a bit. Though that may be tedious, the awesome episodes are definately worth it. The six episodes afterwards, are horribly creative, and touching as well. In these episodes, Ueki shows his best side, and the bad guys just keep getting better and better.

The next six episodes, especially the first bunch, are amazing. We get to see some great duels, which contain the best strategies of the series, as the side-characters of the show show off their best. The six episodes afterwards (27-32, if you lost count) follow with a short intermezzo. Nothing special or worthwile happens here, though. There are some funny moments, but these were certainly not as good as the previous ones.

The series suffers a huge blow around episode 32 and 33. These were horrible examples of directions at which you should never go, and the se/ries went there. At this point, it almost made me give up the show. Luckily, in the episodes following, the show manages to steadily pick up, until episode 38. From this point on, The Law of Ueki really begins to shine. We get to see the best fights ever, perfectly combining comedy and action into one gigantic heap of awesomeness. Especially when the side-characters come into the spotlight, the show just switches from one amazing scene to another.

The awesomeness continues until episode 43. After this, the show loses its shine, and eventually manages to produce a decent ending. These last episodes were better than you expect, though they just weren’t on the same level as the previous episodes.

The art of the characters looks a bit different than usual. The unevennes of the faces is heavily accentuated, and every scratch becomes visible. I like this, it’s also what originally turned me on to keep watching the series, although as the series progresses, you become used to this. The backgrounds are a very good piece of art. Although the same ones are used for a couple of episodes after each other, this doesn’t really destroy that effect, it only makes it better. The music, although nothing extraordinary, it used to its full extend. It makes the dramatic scenes so worthwile, and adds even more to the great battles.

Overall, any action fan will surely just love this anime, or if you’re just in for a couple of good laughs, then I really recommend this anime.

Final Rating: 90/100

Posted on 1 May 2006 with categories: Law of Ueki



And it has ended! Based on my expectations of the last episode, it could have been done better, but it also could have been done. Still, I am SO glad that the creators managed to include one final piece of Ueki-goodness into the series before it ended. I thought it got lost after episode 43. It really was the best reason ever to keep the hero alive after a seeming death, and you so DO NOT see it coming, though it makes perfect sense, except for the coincidence that those two objects just happened to meet with each other.

Anyway, I’d have loved to see some more side-characters in the climax, though I’m satisfied. The usual part about what happens afterwards also was enjoyable to see, though nothing special.

Posted on 24 April 2006 with categories: Law of Ueki



One episode left, and we’re in for a grande finale. It promises to be a great drama, after all, Ueki has only 18 chances to finish Anon off. The Ballow team also still has to give out its final trump card, Hideyoshi also didn’t get to stand in the spotlights. I’ll eat my hat if Sano, Rinko and Mori have played their parts in this show, Robert still has to have a few tricks up his sleave, and is Rihou really taken out forever?

Though, I’m wondering… how did Anon manage to beat Robert in the first place? Anon had nothing at that time, no sacred treasures, no power, no nothing. So, how did he do it? Anyway, it’s also glad to see that the creators still haven’t used up all of their creativity at the end of the series. Ueki’s Maoh, and Anon’s trick at the end totally deserve credit. The fact remains, though, the the fight wasn’t as glorious as we’re used to. Unfortunately.

Will the ending be as predicted, will the ending be horrible, or do we still have a few surprises left? The way it is now, this show can go every possible direction.

Posted on 21 April 2006 with categories: Law of Ueki



Ugh… I guess I had my hopes up too high. I was expecting the side-characters to at least do some damage to Anon. Well, I was wrong. Anon’s still uberpowerful and nothing in this episode changed that. I also hate the cliffhanger in this episode. It was exactly like the OP had been hinting at. Mori falls, Ueki comes just in time to rescue her, accompanied with wings.

This episode also had some awesome moments, though. The first one is when Mori encounters Kilnorton, of all people left behind in the last episode, Kilnorton is the first one to reappear. One down, two to go. Then it appears that he has an actual background, which the creators managed to slip in right at this point in the series. Just as with the other characters, I really enjoyed this. Another thing I really liked is a bit of cheating on the creator’s bit. Both Sano as the two other members from the Ballow-team still have one final attack. We hear their names, but what they look like will forever remain a mystery. Some people may find this dull, I found it brilliant.

We get to see another lazy-creator moment when Kilnorton arrives at the battlefield. Everything is ready for the ultimate-Ballow-attack, with the three members combining their power into one giant attack. Again, we never know what this might be, as Anon knocks Kilnorton out before he has the chance to use his powers. This brings up some interesting issues. Anon KNEW that that attack would be dangerous. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have to stop it in such an extreme way. I hope this gets used in the next episodes.

The thing I really liked about this episode, was right before the ‘climax’, when Anon finishes everyone except Mori off. The look she gets on her face was just brilliantly done. Of course, afterwards, everything just gets predictable as hell. Sigh. Anyway, I hope that the last two episodes will be worthwile. There are just three things left that need to be solved: Why did Anon finish Kilnorton off so quickly? Where’s Ballow? And where’s Hideyoshi?!!

Posted on 20 April 2006 with categories: Law of Ueki



I kept fearing for the last couple of episodes do be horribly bland and dull. I just saw no way in which Anon could make for a good ending. Still, the creators keeps surprising me. They made Anon crazy enough to host an all-on-one battle against him. Add that to the fact that the side-characters played a big role this episode, and you have enough to make me see how wrong I was. But then again, we still have the ending. I’ll keep fearing for that bit.

The element I liked most about this episode was that there were SO MANY different parties playing a big role. We have Ueki and Mori together, Hideyoshi is alone, Sano and Rinko, Anon himself, Rihou, Margaret, the Ballow-team split up in three and not to forget, Kami-Sama’s assistant. Each of these parties gets sufficient airtime, everything somehow gets balanced into near-perfection. I loved it, even though the main premisse of the show is kindof cheesy.

Well then, Ueki and Mori were quite a distance away from Anon when he revealed his evil schemes, so it takes them a while before they can get to him. Before they get the chance, however, Margaret runs into them. He then reveals something very interesting about the protector-clan, which will probably give Ueki the advantages he needs to beat Anon for good. I have to say, apart from the convenient timing, that I like this. It really gives some background about the members of the protector-clan, and doesn’t just make them dull-characters.

The Ballow-team gets split apart. The punk-guy and the martial-arts-guy want to fight against Anon. The glasses-guy refuses to, and leaves with the intention of retiring. Ballow is just too stunned by Anon’s revelations that he’s become unable to move and react to the outside world. This is quite an interesting turn of developments. If they aren’t returning in the next couple of episodes, I’m going to eat my hat and like it. They still must have some role. In Ballow’s case, it’s a bit predictable, but in the glasses-guy’s case, this might turn out to be quite interesting. If this is done right, it can become really quite interesting indeed.

Sano and Rinko were quite close to Anon when he made his revelasion, so they try to hide themselves before Ueki arrives, trying not to be noticed. Rihou gets to be the first one to fight Anon. That’s not what I expected of him. The most often calm Rihou suddenly turned impulsive. Anyway, Rihou gets pretty beaten up by Anon, but it also appears that the sacred treasures don’t work on Rihou. Therefore, we get to see a long fist-fight. Of course, the creators turned into something reasonably interesting, but I do miss the strategy-element. Anyway, after a long while, Rihou gets smashed to unconciousness, and Sano and Rinko finally decide that they’ve waited enough. The way this was excecuted was pretty nice and original. Mostly, you see characters consider the options between going and not going. This time, you don’t. It’s a nice touch. Anyway, the next episode should be awesome: Sano, Rinko and the two guys from the Ballow-team versus Anon. They’ve got to do something to make him flinch in some way, and considering Sano’s tactics, it’ll probe to be incredible.

That may be fine and all, but the person I enjoyed most was Hideyoshi. Okay, he also ran away. But that’s the good part. He KNOWS he’s useless. He KNOWS he can’t do anything. He’s struggling with this fact. He’s been struggling with it all along. However, I’m going to eat my other hat if this was to be the last time he got some screentime. He still didn’t have his time to shine. Rinko, Mori and Sano all had this. Hideyoshi didn’t. Combine this with the power he has, and I can’t wait for the next episode to come by. Four episodes left to go!

Posted on 18 April 2006 with categories: Law of Ueki



Too bad the title of the episode revealed what was to be happening at almost the end of it. It took away a bit of the power of that moment. Still, I never would have thought for it to be carried out this far and this horrible. Anon really is one heck of a bad guy.

But still, after this, he’ll probably have the entire world, including heaven, against him. Ueki’ll probably defeat him in the end anyway, though. That’s the only thing that an be said. We also still have to see the moment in which he gets his wings (the thing the OP and ED have been subtly hinting at since the beginning of the second season). I so hope that the side-characters will play a big role in these events.

Posted on 12 April 2006 with categories: Law of Ueki



This episode focused mostly at Ueki’s mother, and the impact she had on the present. Well, I have to say, it was a pretty huge impact. But then again, she’s an awesome character. Her personality was just as forcing as Haruhi Suzumiya, while she just too innocent. It’s so sad to hear that she died. But that only makes the show more awesome.

Anyway, this episode consisted of three parts. Ueki&co celebrate their achievements and either his mother’s birthday, or her day of death. Kami-sama, meanwhile, reveals his intentions of why exactly he decided to host the tournament. I have to say, that this is a good reason. Showing the Hellions to look to the future, instead of the past, is a very good reason indeed. The third part consists of a battle between Kamisama and Margaret. Yes, the one the OP has been hinting at. It’s a pretty nice fight, but it was based a bit too much on power instead of strategy. The cliffhanger ends with a bang. Literally.

Posted on 20 March 2006 with categories: Law of Ueki



Aah, I knew it. Ballow had to have some kind of background. When he was a child, he accidentally shot his mother with Kurogane, mistaking her for a burglar. Ever since, she lost her awareness of this world, and only is able to lay awake in bed, without any motion (there has to be some kind of term for this, but it can’t come to my mind). His mother was a good painter, so Ballow thought that he could reach his mother’s heart by making very good pictures. Well, he tried that for about eight years, with still no success. After he chases away a couple of burglars with Kurogane, his mother suddenly reacts again by seeing this oversized pea shooter, she apparently remembers the past incident, and she becomes extremely scared. Well, after all this, it was a piece of cake for Margaret to convert him. Overall, I like this story. It’s so much better than the last episode, and it does give a bit of extra dimension to the fight.

Ballow’s background may have been very pleasantly to see, but what really made my day was what happens afterwards: we finally get to see Kami-sama’s background. We finally get to see a serious side of his, explaining why he organized this tournament in the first place. It seems that the position of Kami-sama changes very rapidly (at least, in terms of heavenly-beings), as it has only been 25 years ago that Kami-sama was appointed to his task. Apparently he had some good connections, as he was just ‘chosen’ by the previous Kami-sama. Anyway, he didn’t really like the huge amount of paperwork, so he takes off. I loved the way his assistant misunderstood Kami-sama’s comments on the Hellions.

Kami-sama apparenly was a human before he got promoted, as he goes back to the human world. There he meets up with a very weird girl. I really like her. I couldn’t believe that the creators would’ve been able to put another unique character in, but apparently, they can. This girl tries to get out of a couple of guys harrassing her, all in Ueki-style of course, fails, and then relies on Kami-sama to protect her, resulting in some very hilarious scenes. Then the girl introduces her and we get another horrible cliffhanger.

After this episode, there are just seven episodes left. I’m expecting the next episode will be reserved for preparations and the rest of Kami-sama’s background, so that means that the grande finale will consist of six episodes. In those six episodes, Rihou gets his lessons, the Ballow team still have some kind of role, Margaret will reveal his plans, Kami-sama fights Margaret, and Anon will be featured in his showdown. In other words: it will be one heck of a final. I am so hoping that the girl introduced in this episode will play a huge role, I’m already fan of her.

Posted on 19 March 2006 with categories: Law of Ueki



Ah, of course, Ueki was doing all this in order to reach level 2. I almost forgot, between the awesomeness of seeing Rinko, Sano and Mori fight. This episode wasn’t really anything special. Ueki fights, Ueki gets beaten, tension rises, last possible moment, Ueki finds his level 2. It’s a pity that the show must obey certain rules when an important plot-part arrives. The creators managed to solve this extremely good with Marilyn, though this time, they failed. I was hoping for Ueki to use his tree powers in a very creative way, but I was wrong. I guess he still relied too much on the power of his sacred treasures in order to fully utilize his tree-powers… but that sounds weird, as you need to fully control your powers in order to reach level… in any case, the creators had a bad day.

Posted on with categories: Law of Ueki



What the friggin’ heck!?!

Okay, the cliffhanger in this episode is officially the most annoying one yet. I mean, what happened to him to make that happen…? Okay, this was certainly the last thing I would ever have expected from a show of this nature… But then again, he’ll probably find even more power than he had before, but still, I had a serious wtf-feeling after this episode ended.

Anyway, this episode instantly covered three fights, focusing on Mori’s one. What happens when you let an 178-IQ-person meet up with Mori’s power? Some incredibly hilarious scenes. The fight was pretty short for shounen-series-standards, which made it even more enjoyable to see. It was just horribly funny to see a serious person like that guy being turned into a glasses lover, and trying all kinds of ways to outsmarten her. I just loved the way Mori countered all of these plans.

The other fights both featured Sano. That one surprised me, as I would’ve thought that every team member would get a chance to fight, but it seems that Hideyoshi is left out of the action in this arc, just like Rinko in the previous one. I’m wondering what will become of him in the last couple of episodes. I just know that there’ll still be a moment for him to stand in the spotlights, as he’s the only weak person remaining in the team.

Anyway, Sano’s a huge victim in this episode. It doesn’t seem like he’s been killed, but I bet he’s going to wake up with a nice headache. The fact that Ueki’s been chosen for the last and decisive match, has of course been predictable, but the cliffhanger totally made up for that. It’s also nice that Ueki ‘s very silent in audience. This made this and the previous episode a rather main-character-less period, which is always good for a series, so it can focus on the side-characters a bit more.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:07 PM)
    And I’m more than open for an anime to do things a bit differently from the source, I mean look at the new berserk they included an action scene that wasn’t in the manga, I liked that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:59 PM)
    @Mike: Makoto Takahashi! Makoto Takahashi! I know who he is, I spent a while looking at his art, best example of good oldschool shoujo style. He also is credited with kickstarting the shoujo-ai genre I think…
    @Bam: flowers of evil both improved on and took away from its source material.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:16 PM)
    Furthermore, it’s not as if Berserk is so special by itself that a decent adaptation is automatically impossible. You’re watching one right now. If you think otherwise than it boils down to personal preference.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Vyse It’s obviously not trying to cater to children, the studio knows its audience. I wouldn’t automatically assume that just because it’s an anime adaptation that it’s an attempt to please everyone.
  • VyseLegendaire
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:45 PM)
    Because the story is so dark and so violent, its hard to cater to a middle ground audience that includes kids or maybe even adolescents.
  • VyseLegendaire
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:45 PM)
    Hey Bam, the reason for Berserk’s neglect is how unadaptable it is to other media. As a manga it stands as a monolith. but the thematic and graphical content -as well as the long and rather convoluted presentation – don’t lend well to either anime or games.
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:58 PM)
    Yeah, you could even easily do a spin of series in the berserk universe, it’s that well thought out unique and huge. I dreamt myself continously into that world – mostly because of it’s bright, shimmering side, which aren’t mentioned that often because of it’s ultra dark counterpart.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:47 PM)
    I never understood how a franchise like Berserk with huge sales and avid fan base struggles so much to get anything made. The PS2 videogame was never released outside of Japan, and it took 20 years for the anime to get a follow-up. And after all of that we get a slim-budgeted series from an unknown studio, all the while D.Grey Man gets a full-blown slick looking second series that nobody asked for. Quite baffling.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:42 PM)
    @Badesh: well the creator of the Souls series Hidetaka Miyazaki is an outspoken Berserk fan. The games are replete with Berserk references.
    Cheers to you too m8.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:38 PM)
    @Aidan: for some reason I thought you were talking about the iOS game Berserk: Raging Wave of Mercenaries. Looks like the Musou game is getting a North American release, which is good news. But the weird part is that it’s a Sony exclusive, for whatever reason.

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