40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2002

Milfeulle Sakuraba buried in flowers
Galaxy Angel can do both aesthetically pleasing and comedy at the same time.

The 11th part of this retrospective series continues in the early part of the decade. The way things are panning out, I may just start calling the 2000-05 years the malaise era for anime. A couple series here and there is the pattern, and there’s really no consistency in quality. This time I have six different watched, some good, some not.

I’m going to start wit Full Metal Panic! which is far better than almost anything that Gonzo has ever done. That said, it’s pretty mediocre when it comes to the dramatic aspects of it until the “Wind Blows at Home” episodes which are fantastic. As always, the series relies on the interaction between Chidori and Sousuke, to decent effect here, though the 2 later series to follow did it much better.

The second season of Galaxy Angel, is by far the shortest (a mere 9 full-length episodes), but it more than makes up for it in quality. Lost technology continues to be the crutch on which every formulaic episode is written on, but it does very well with its simplicity. Only when it needlessly gets more complicated in later seasons does the quality begin to fall apart.

Onegai Teacher has already been used in this retrospective, for the OVA at least, but here’s my take on the TV series. At first, it seems like a typical high-concept piece which is as follows: Boy finds out teacher is an alien is forced to marry her and keep it a secret; hi jinks ensue. However, I found it to be more of a commentary on arranged marriages than anything. Society here plays the role of forcing the two together, and with really no knowledge of each other they go through quite a lot of rough patches.

Voices of a Distant Star is a great accomplishment for the work of essentially one man. The quality of the story is well-documented, so I won’t really talk about that. Where I do think this suffers is in the 3D animation. I don’t know if it was done to save money or time, but it looks terrible and out of place.

Love Hina Again was an OVA that continued some of the story from the manga with character designs that looked closer to their original. Keitaro has to deal with his sister, who had claimed to be manager of the inn. Of course, this being a harem anime, the relationship with his sister has to be ambiguous just like every other character. The ending still isn’t resolved after this, though.

Finally, there’s Kanon. Not the Kyoto Animation version, but the Toei version that was half the length. I said in one of my early posts that on a personal level this was better than the newer version, despite nearly everything being superior there. The character designs are comical even for 2002 standard, and the music isn’t anything to write home about, nor is the story as dramatic as the KyoAni version. Maybe that’s why I inexplicably like this one more, length and less drama.

Highlights from Unseen or Unfinished Items

There’s maybe 2 items here worth noting based on ratings. There’s the Hunter x Hunter OVA, which seems like a large number of people like. I can’t really form an opinion on it since I haven’t even looked into watching the original series. The second is RahXephon, which I have seen compared to Evangelion, sometimes favorably, sometimes not.

One thought on “40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2002”

  1. RahXephon is like Eva on the surfaces — uses a lot of the same mecha tropes — but ultimately, it’s about different things than Evangelion, and it goes different places with its characters and story.

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