Posts Tagged Gonzo

Kaleidostar

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(Note: this review covers the first series and its sequel, Kaleido-star: New Wings

Genre: Slice-of-life/Fantasy

Creator/Studio: Junichi Sato/Gonzo

Distributor: FUNimation

No. of Episodes: 52

Age Rating: 13+ (just barely)

Rating: 10/10

Summary: Sora Naegino is an orphaned Japanese girl who is adopted by her father’s cousin and his wife.  Before her parents’ death, they took her to America to see the Kaleidostage, an acrobatic circus similar to Cirque De Soleil. This memory inspires her to travel to America in the hopes to star in it herself. There she meets a fairy called the Fool or the Spirit of the Stage. He can only be seen by those who are destined to excel in the theatre. Can Sora achieve her dreams?

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Lobster Quadrille Anime Review: Last Exile

Genre: Steampunk

Studio/Creator: Gonzo

Distributor: FUNimation, currently streaming on Hulu and FUNimation’s website.

No. of Episodes: 26

Age Rating: 13+

My Rating: 10/10

Summary: Claus and Lavie are orphaned vanship pilots who have a wish to cross the “Grand Stream”, the storm-filled region that claimed the lives of their fathers.  One mission takes them to the airship known as the Silvana, captained by the enigmatic Alex Rowe.  They bring him a girl named Alvis, who is the key to unlocking Exile, a device used by the aristocratic and despotic Guild to oppress the commonfolk and limit transportation.

Review: Last Exile is one of my all-time favorite titles. The animation is excellent, with a superb blend of CG and cel animation.  I love the characterization, especially on Alex. Claus and Lavie have a great friendship. I love how even when they start to drift apart, Lavie still stays by him, even though, as she puts it he “sees a different sky.” Maestro Delphine is an excellent villainess. We see so little of her, but what we do see makes her an icy, classy villain. I’ve heard complaints about the pacing and the fact that so little is revealed to the viewer.  My feeling is that is not a weakness.  I like shows that reveal very little and leave things up to the viewer. (Rahxephon and Serial Experiments Lain come to mind). I think the pacing is fine because it allows the viewer to see how the events are affecting the cast.

Music/Score: Just beautiful.  The string ensemble accents the scenes well. I love both the opening and closing themes.

Sub/Dub: The dub is great. Crispin Freeman is at his best as Alex Rowe. Johnny Yong Bosch shows his range as Claus, especially since I didn’t know it was him until I looked it up.

Violence: (6/10): Some pretty intense airplane battles throughout and mildly graphic violence toward the end.

Language: (2/10) Some mild swears.

Nudity: (1/10): Lavie’s outfit shows her midriff but that’s it.

Sexuality: (1/10): A few lewd comments are made in one episode over a misunderstanding. I’d be less vague about it, but I don’t really feel like spoiling this time.

Religion: (0/10)

Drugs/Tobacco: (0/10)

Related Media: There is a currently airing sequel called Last Exile: Fam the Silver Sky. It is currently  simulcasting on Hulu.

 

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