Posted on 23 November 2011 with categories: OVA Impressions, Yozakura Quartet - Hoshi no Umi




I have no idea who found it a good idea to give Ryousuke Sawa an opportunity as a main director. But what an awesome idea it turned out to be. This guy is absolutely brilliant, and this was one of the most entertaining action episodes that I’ve seen in a long, long while.

I mean, hell. This was the climax of the arc that the previous two episodes had been building up for. Arguably it was even better than the previous two episodes because of how it constantly kept going. The previous episode may have been much more epic, with the barrage of planes that were thrown at the enemy monsters, but this episode kept things much more personal. But that caused the characters to stand out even more. Just about every scene was animated with such a force that not even a second was wasted here.

It may not be the deepest story or anything, but this still is animation at its finest with a simple, yet very engagingly told storyline. This show doesn’t just have great animation, it also uses this brilliantly. Even if other series may have a bigger budget, few actually manage to bring so much life into their characters. Last time I complained that the dialogue was perhaps a bit uninspired, but this simplicity also has its charms. And simple as the dialogue was, it definitely wasn’t uninspired, and got some good stuff out of the characters.

Unfortunately, this looks like it’ll be the end of this little OVA. In a way it is a bloody shame that this OVA can’t be a full fledged TV-series with more time, but this shortness also has its charm: this way you have about 70 minutes of awesomeness. And that’s the thing with these OVAs: they can take more risks than regular TV-series, and I’d wish that more producers would realize this. And in the meantime, I’m just hoping that with this, Ryousuke Sawa will get even more opportunities to direct.
OVA Episode Rating: 9/10

Posted on 17 April 2011 with categories: OVA Impressions, Yozakura Quartet - Hoshi no Umi




Yes. This is EVERYTHING that the original Yozakura Quartet TV-series should have been. Holy crap, talk about amazing action here. This was quite possibly the best action of this year so far. The dynamics and animation are… just totally something else. The fight against the giant golem in particular was just absolutely stunning. It’s not just the awesome animation, but also the creativity that went into it. I mean, how many others have characters summon a legion of stealth fighters from out of nowhere?

The direction really does wonders at bringing the cast alive. They’re all fun to watch, even outside of the action and this episode did not forget to insert some nice drama. Standalone it perhaps wasn’t that spectacular, but the way in which it was delivered worked out really well. The cast of this OVA is surprisingly large, but this show even makes the characters that it doesn’t spend any attention on stand out.

My one point of criticism is that sometimes the dialogue feels a bit uninspired. During the fight the characters just kept talking about special powers and who is stronger than who. I feel like there they could have tried a little harder but then again, the simple dialogue also has its charms.

And thankfully, there will be at least a third OVA in about half a year. Let’s hope that there will be more others to follow after that, because this show deserves a lot of airtime in order to fully tell its story.
OVA Episode Rating: 8,75/10

Posted on 12 October 2010 with categories: OVA Impressions, Yozakura Quartet - Hoshi no Umi




Please, someone. Confirm that Yozakura Quartet’s OVA is going to be a long one. I mean, seriously: this is way too awesome to just end in three episodes. This was meant to be the real adaptation, faithful to the manga. There is no way that the manga is this small, right? I mean, that Supernatural OVA of Madhouse also has 22 episodes. There is no reason why this shouldn’t be possible for Yozakura Quartet as well, and it’s not like this episode felt rushed in any way. Right?

Let’s start with the animation, which is absolutely fantastic: there are no still frames whatsoever. Most of this episode was build up and slice of life, but even there the animation was consistently fluid and expressive. And then the action-scenes came, at the second half of the episode, and they were even better. If only because of those scenes, this OVA NEEDS to be watched.

As for the story… I really don’t know how the TV-series managed to screw things up this badly. I mean, it’s not like they had a bad director here: it was the director of Red Garden, Kurenai and Rozen Maiden: he really could have pulled this off. Instead, we got a generic shounen series that become boring after just one episode. This episode was much, much better. It knows that its premise around superpowerful teenagers is a bit bland, so it spends most of its time fleshing these people out.

They’re really helped by the animation here, but even there I feel like I’ve gotten a much better picture of the characters than with the TV-series, and in any case they’re a lot more likable now, despite the fact that it introduced another love triangle. It is a bit boring at times, especially when you don’t like teenagers, but it formed a very good base for the final parts of the episode, and the rest of the OVA.

The action was both fun, exciting and brutal. I love how the creators weren’t afraid to insert some humour, turning a bunch of stereotypical bank robbers into a bunch of hilarious scapegoats (something I’ve noticed with very few other anime), and the strong art and animation really did a great job to swap the mood into a much darker atmosphere.
OVA Episode Rating: 8,75/10

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