Posted on 25 December 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, The Third


Very rarely, you run into series you just can’t stop fanboying about. Mahou Shoujotai had this effect with me, and now comes The Third. I absolutely loved this series, though the exact reasons still are a bit unclear to me. The Third takes place on an alternate planet, with rather advanced technologies. Our main character, Honoka lives in a rather large desert city. Together with her AI-controlled sand-tank Bogie, she takes on any job that’s requested to her, no matter how dangerous.

Probably one of the things that made The Third so great was the amazing cast of characters. Especially Honoka is an incredibly versatile girl, and during the series, there’s a huge amount of time spent on fleshing her character out, showing all of her different sides (and believe me, she has quite a few). Add the fact that her character by itself already works out great, and you’ve got a great premise. Though not only Honoka has been greatly developed. Almost all of the major side-characters receive a healthy dose of fleshing out, turning them into great characters who otherwise would have been doomed to sail the winds of mediocrity.

The fights were also very interesting to see. Honoka is an excellent swordswoman and this anime shows it. Even though she’s fighting against an army of mechas, she still manages to win, purely based on her skills, which actually make sense. Yes, a lot of time has been put into the battles, in order to make them actually believable. No longer is it just a matter of swinging swords, these action scenes have thoughts put behind them. The narrator also jumps in at times to provide a nice explanation about the thoughts behind each move and for one of the first times ever, the difference between amateuristic fighting and professional combat actually becomes clear.

The graphics in The Third also look great, apart from two slips, perhaps. The character designs are extremely appealing, a lot of details went into them, and the animation looks terrific. Still, it seems that during two episodes, some evil animation company got hold of the rights for the animation-production, and the result was a horrible mess. I heard it turned off a lot of people, though it didn’t really bother me. Honoka’s amazing character saved it.

Overall, I absolutely loved this series, though I’ve yet to find anyone who really shared my views. This might be a biased review, though I just can’t help but love The Third. All I can say is, check this series out. It’s awesome. :)

(P.S, hehe, it’s been a long while since I made this many posts in one day. Still, that was exactly what I had in my mind for my christmas update. I did it last year too, when a backlog caused by yet another exam week caused six episodes of Mahou Shoujotai to pile up. In any case, this concludes my Christmas Update, even though it’s still about an hour before it officially starts at our place. Merry Christmas, Everyone. Have a great time. :))

Posted on 24 December 2006 with categories: The Third

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Wow. That actually was a GREAT ending. Not really in terms of heavy emotions and lots of tension á lá Noein, Utena or Elfen Lied, but because of originality and freshness. The thing I dislike about most endings is the fact that they all look like each other. We either have one big bad guy who’s out to destroy the [fill in thing about which the main character cares] and he has to be stopped. Random things happen, and a party wins and a party loses. In most cases, the good side. If there isn’t a good side or bad side, then it’s still the same formula: some win, some lose, with your occasional tie.

Another possible ending is some kind of conflict between our two main characters, forcing them to fall in love with each other, with all the cheese accompanying it. Fairly predictable if you’ve seen the entire series. The third possible ending is for most slice-of-life series. Life goes on. The anime was fun, and now that it has ended, the characters will continue living their life with the experiences they had during the anime. Oh, and there are of course the shows which never end and the shows who don’t have an ending at all, and just end abruptly without any closure. It’s all too easy to put them into categories.

But not with The Third! Instead of having a final climax where a major enemy has to be defeated, the final episode actually gives a great insight about how the world of The Third has originated. The observer, the thing inside the Metal Valley actually isn’t evil at all. The final fight could be considered Honoka, whacking up Filla Marique’s army with one single blow. When the observer comes into contact with Honoka, he, just like everyone else, gets hit by her words. He was about to give up hope, though Honoka managed to save him.

I also loved how this episode brought closure to the entire series. Because the climax was so unusual, the actual conclusion also turned out greatly when the desert fairy reappeared, ready for her journey to another planet. And not to mention the Iks confession. It’s actually one of the more interesting confession, seeing as I only realized it was a confession when Joganki noted Filla Marique on it. ^_^

The pacing also was great. Because of this, even though the characters were feeling heavy emotions, this anime didn’t drag these moments like other endings do, and it managed to keep the content fresh. It’s a bit strange for an arc-based series for the shortest arc to be the ending, but it actually worked out perfectly. While it wasn’t enough to beat endings like that of Noein and Utena, The Third definitely belongs in the category of better endings.

Still, I’m sad that the third is gone now. This series has been a great ride, it’s probably my most favourite series of the Spring 2006 season. I’m not sure why, though. For some reason, I just love this anime.

“The Stars, to chase after their dream freely, they venture out this night.
With the blue nightsky and the comfortable breeze to accompany them, under the people’s guidance and blessing.”

And finally, thanks to Kaminari-kun, for subbing this fantastic series. :)

Posted on 26 November 2006 with categories: The Third

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Oh god… The Third has once again been kidnapped by the evil animation company of episode 13. Luckily, it’s not as bad as before, but still, it’d be better off if this episode was left in the hands of the usual animation companies.

Still, if you ignore that little detail, this episode was good stuff. Really good stuff. Due to the fact that this is the conclusive arc of the series, AND that it’ll only be two episodes long, the pacing has been increased with a considerable factor. This episode did the preparing, while the next episode will probably end with a huge bang.

Especially the second half of the episode was as awesome as usual, when Ikus threatens to leave Honoka for good, on a mission he doesn’t want to involve her in. He’s heading for a place called the Steel Valley, a place under the highest level of the technos taboo. Filla Marique has also surpassed herself when she tries to take measures against this, sending a huge army of autonomous soldiers in order to guard the place.

The best part of the episode really was when Honoka opens herself up to Ikus, in order to keep him from leaving her. The first half of the episode also seems to suggest that Joey will be playing a role in this arc, but it seems that Honoka left him behind when she found out about Ikus. Still, the guy’s got a good heart. He broke the technos taboo in order to install new parts on Bogie.

Endings have always been one thing that’s hard to do good. It’ll be interesting to see whether The Third can pull this one off. It’ll be an action-packed ending, in any case. Will it be able to deliver? I do hope so, as this magnificent anime deserves a great ending.

Posted on 12 November 2006 with categories: The Third

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That was such an AWESOME episode! The part in which Honoka held Rona Fauna in her arms was such an amazing moment! Finally Honoka has found someone who’s just like herself: a defective item of The Third. Awesomeness.

It’s also very interesting. The final arc of The Third will also be its shortest: only two episodes! That probably means an insane pacing, which is good for most endings. Especially since a lot has to be revealed in these final two episodes. In one way, I’m really looking forward to it, though in another way, it’s really sad to see this amazing series end. I demand a second season!!!

Honoka also was her typical self again after everything ended. Both Rona Fauna as Joganki were very scared to do her injustice, though she quickly tells them that it was just her job. She did the things she did because she accepted this job. All she wants now is the money, and a repair job on Bogie. ^^;

I wonder what the next arc will be about. Honoka seemed to suggest that she’ll be going on another vacation. Does that also mean that Millie will be returning? And will we also see some cross-references to other arcs? After all, Kanwei is still running along, somewhere in the world, and Gravestone could return as well, perhaps. Ah well, if the final arc is as awesome as this episode was, The Third will really be finishing in an awesome way.

Posted on 22 October 2006 with categories: The Third

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Whoa… this seems to be the final arc after all. O_o

When this arc started, I definitely didn’t see that one coming. I think it’s even better for the final arc to be so lengthy, as this way, it has more time to build up, and so far, things have been as amazing as usual. This definitely was the best episode of the arc so far, and if the creators still have enough material to last three episodes, things are promising to become awesome (remember that Ikus hasn’t played his trumps yet).

It’s a nice trick by the creators. At the end of each episode, the feeling is given that there’s only one more episode left, but every time, new problems are introduced and new events force the arc to become one episode longer. That’s been very cleverly written. Rona Fauna attacking Honoka, at the end of the episode also was really well built up. I really didn’t see that one coming. And is Joganki really dead? O_o Or was it just a false threat by Rona Fauna? But why did Paife cry?

I also love how Ikus has been a complete mystery up till now. We really don’t know anything about him, except for the fact that he’s an alien. Only during the previous episode, we learned that he can’t be shot, and I’ve got a feeling that that’s only a small part of his mysteries. Honoka’s fight also was as awesome as usual. The narrator really helped in this, when he told about Honoka’s doubts. I’m really liking Honoka’s ideals. ^_^

There also was a nice contrast between Honoka, Blue Breaker, Rona Fauna and Joganki and Paife and Bogie. While tensions are high inside of Rona Fauna’s hideout, Paife heads back to Bogie, and the two just wait for things to happen. Because they’re both realist, the mood between the two of them is really different when you compare it to the other actors.

One final nice touch is that the creators showed one shot of Rona Fauna, when she was alone in her room. It’s totally different than what you see in most shows. Most bad guys smile in an evil way, but because Rona doesn’t have to live anyway, that short moments showed how she prepared for her final trick before she would die. But at the same time, it made me suspect that she gave up on her ways.

I love this show. ^_^

Posted on 11 October 2006 with categories: The Third

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Another awesome episode. I’m surprised that this arc will actually last for another episode. To make things even better, the situation seemed almost resolved at the end of this episode. This means that the creators did have something in mind for the next one. What exactly will that be?

And seriously, the moment Paife got stabbed was such a powerful moment! I can’t believe how well that worked. I guess that when characters are this well developed, you can do some great things with them. That’s why I’m looking forward to the final episode of this amazing show. ^^

Rona Fauna also continues to get more interesting by the minute. Her power’s fading, but still she tries to do things to Honoka, in order to keep her away from Joganki. She loses herself in this, to the point that she actually looks as if she’s going to explode. It seems that she picked to kidnap Joganki for a reason as well. They knew each other in the past, Joganki showed kindness to her, and she fell in love.

Honoka meanwhile spends her time descending Rona Fauna’s strange construction of nano-machines, along with Blue Breaker. A very interesting scene follows when Blue Breaker actually wants Honoka to destroy him. It’s interesting to see the way his AI has developed. It’s not as advanced as Bogie, but he actually can make his own decisions. Oh, and I loved the way Honoka saw through his empty gun. ^^;

Bogie, meanwhile, attempts to take out another one of Rona’s machines: an anti-tank helicopter. In the end, it seemed that this helicopter has had no combat experience at all. Therefore, the fight was easily decided. Ikus, meanwhile, gets shrouded in even more mysteries when he gets shot and turns out to be perfectly fine afterwards.

Overall, this was a great episode. Especially Paife was awesome. I really love this show. ^^

Posted on 1 October 2006 with categories: The Third

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As this seems to be a four-episode-arc, the final five episodes will probably feature the closing arc, which will probably feature Ikus in some major way. The episode itself was very enjoyable to see. Basically, it features Honoka and Blue Breaker getting inside Rona Fauna’s base. In the meantime, Bogie, Paife and Ikus try to catch up with them and Rona Fauna herself shows that she’s more than just a 1-dimensional antagonist.

Each of these parts was well worth seeing. Honoka and Blue breaker fight together, even though they’re former enemies. Blue breaker saves Honoka from a moment of carelessness while Honoka amazes Blue Breaker when she takes care of a very powerful anti-mechanical soldier. He actually asks her how she’s able to cut through such thick steel, though she can’t really give him an answer for that. It’s also very awkward to see the two of them having conversations in such a normal matter.

The plane from the previous episode got crashed, dropping Bogie about five kilometres away from Rona Fauna’s hideout. Both Bogie and Paife show their best sides when they eliminate all of the lurking autonomous soldiers. It was actually quite amusing to see Bogie abandoning Paife. ^^; Rona Fauna also sent her assistant to eliminate the two of them, so the next episode should promise to be something special.

I’m also really beginning to like Rona Fauna. She’s just full of mysteries. What exactly is she? How is she connected to the nanomachines in her hideout? What’s her goal? Why does she want to see Honoka? Why did she kidnap Joganki? Why are her forces so unprofessional? Why is her assistant giving Honoka visions? Joganki also was very interesting. His reaction when he found out that Honoka was coming was very surprising. For some reason, he dislikes that Filla Marique involved Honoka in all this. Both Joganki as Rona Fauna seem very uneasy at the end of the episode.

The next episode promises to be a great one. Rona Fauna vs Blue Breaker and Honoka and Rona Fauna’s assistant vs Bogie, Paife and Ikus. I can’t wait. :)

Posted on 23 September 2006 with categories: The Third

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It seems that we’re dealing with probably a three-episode arc. This one probably set up preparations, so that the next one can finish with a bang. It was pretty amusing, as some rather comical elements have been thrown in. These worked really well. ^_^

Anyway, a quick rundown on the important things that happened:
– Rona Fauna is a member of The Third.
– It’s better to charge in fast than try to take out every guard at Rona Fauna’s place.
– Ikus is back.
– Blue Breaker is back.
– Honoka will be coming in with an airplane. Both the airplane (Honoka named her Juliet) and Blue Breaker have been proven not to be taken over.
– It seems that Rona Fauna relied too much on the fact that The Third wouldn’t attack her base because Joganki was in it.
– Someone erased the data of Rona Fauna from The Third’s main database. Only a representative of “the House of Commons” could have done it. No idea what that might be.
– Rona Fauna has two helpers. One with purple hair, and one with very light, violet hair. They could be the same person, though.
– For some strange reason, Rona Fauna has the same face and hair as her helper (the one with light violet hair).

Posted on 21 September 2006 with categories: The Third


Heh, I loved this episode. Even though it’s just the introduction of the next arc, The Third somehow makes these kinds of episodes always very interesting to watch, and this one’s no difference. I like how each arc selects a different number of main characters to focus on. The Gravestone arc featured Honoka, Paife and Ikus, the Desert Fairy Arc featured Honoka, Millie and Ikus, while the current arc will feature Honoka, Paife and Joganki. It’s very interesting, though I think that with this, I found a slight disadvantage of The Third. I’d just love to see some of the minor characters in more detail. For some reason, every single character in The Third is awesome, but some of them nearly don’t get the airtime they deserve. ^^;

Anyway, the case this time focuses at a crisis in The Third. Some thing took over Wormhole Driver, fired it at the surface, took over lots of other weaponry of The Third managed to kidnap Joganki when he came to investigate. The woman, who apparently is named Filla Marique, then chooses to resort to desperate measures: ask help from Honoka. It’s interesting. When the series started, I really saw her as a bad guy, but this show that she’s also just trying to keep the world going. Sometimes, it works in favour of Honoka, other times, it works against her.

In any case, it seems that we have two bad girls this time. Both are kept rather mysterious, so I haven’t been able to determine whether one of them is the woman on the ED. Based on the few flashes we saw of them, I think they’re other people, and if I had to take a guess, then I’d say that the creators are reserving that woman for the final arc. In any case, one of these women (Rona Fauna) keeps Joganki company and hacked into Wormhole Drive, while the other tried to kill Honoka with the automatic soldiers. The strange thing is, though, that Joganki seems to be on their side. Of course, he disagrees with some of the extreme measures Rona took, but judging by most of his reactions, it seems that he actually talked to them as if he had the same goals they have. Still, that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been tied up.

In any case, the different characters and their interactions this episode were awesome. Especially Honoka, Paife and Kevin worked perfectly with each other. Especially the scene in which Honoka mistakes Filla Marique for Joganki (Joganki + drag = ouch!) was very funny. But then again, The Third has always excelled in its rich and versatile characters.

Posted on 20 September 2006 with categories: The Third


Another fine episode. Not as good as the previous two, but enjoyable nonetheless. During this episode, Honoka recovers again, tracks down Leon and defeats him. Kanwei, meanwhile, merges with the desert fairy and Millie learns a bit more about how to support Honoka.

Now that the Leon-arc ended, I wonder what’ll happen afterwards. We still have one character left to be introduced, so I suspect that the next arc will be focusing at this woman. But what will happen afterwards? Also, it doesn’t seem that Kanwei’s story has been fully explored yet, so I think we’ll see a bit more of him in the future. I wonder if we could say the same thing about Gravestone. Also, what role will Paife and Joey be playing in the end?

I really like the battles in The Third. It really tries to explain why characters act the way they do, instead of just some flashy graphics. The battles feel a lot more natural this way, contributing to the awesomeness. It’s something not a lot of anime are attempting.

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