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My Happy Marriage Anime Review

“My Happy Marriage” offers a refreshing twist on the classic Cinderella story, combining romance, fantasy, and drama into a heartfelt anime. The tale begins with our protagonist, a young woman forced into servitude by her stepmother after her mother’s death. Unlike her family, she lacks special powers, an attribute that adds to her subjugation.

Her life takes an unexpected turn when she’s sent to marry a man feared for his reputation. Upon arrival, she’s pleasantly surprised to find that he’s not only young and handsome but also gentle and understanding. The two begin a love story filled with warmth and affection. read more

Kodocha Child’s Toy Anime Review

Title: Kodocha

Alternate Title: Child’s Toy

Genre: Romantic Comedy / Slice of Life / Drama

StudioStudio Gallop, NAS

Length: 102 Episodes

Release Date: 1996

Based Upon: “Kodomo no Omocha” manga by Miho Obana

Where to Buy: Amazon.com/Kodocha.. – This is a pretty old and rare / obscure series. At time of writing, there’s only 2 copies of the Kodocha Season 1 DVD box set available – for about $45. I’d encourage you to snap them up now, rather than later, as it will become harder and harder to find as time goes on. The Season 2 Kodocha DVD boxset is even more rare, with only 1 copy for $135 at time of this review.

Overall: 30/35 86% B “Very Good Anime For Girls”

Story: 10/10 The story in Kodocha is very unique. I can’t think of any other anime that 1.) Deal with child stars or 2.) Focus on a romantic relationship in elementary and middle school (most romantic comedies are set in highschools or universities). The main story centers around an elementary student named Sana who is a child star, she does acting, modeling, and singing for movies, tv series, and commercials. It’s about how she balances her work with her school, family, and personal life. Of course being famous gets you sometimes unwanted attention, such is the case for the main love interest, who comes from a broken home and troubled past. He is jealous of Sana’s “perfect” life and innocent child-like qualities. But it’s also her youth, exuberrance, and innocence that draws him to her. Like most little elementary boys, he doesn’t know what to do about his feelings towards Sana, which leads to him teasing or picking on and bullying her. Because of his actions, Sana of course hates him in the beginning. But over the course of the series, she too begins to have feelings for him as well. The first half of the anime focuses on their time spent together in Elementary school, while the second season continues on through middle school.

Characters: 10/10 In addition to our two young love birds, there’s a slew of really quirky, unique, outlandish characters. For example, Sana’s mother is very eccentric; she is an author and often late with her deadlines sneaking around trying to avoid her publisher who’s pressuring her for her next release. Sana’s mama hires a manager to help her daughter’s young career. Sana is confused by this since she is so young and she tells everyone that her incredibly handsome manager is actually her boyfriend or even her pimp (because she is aware that her parents pay him to spend time with her.) Besides just helping in her career, he often chauffers her to and from school and to and from her modeling and acting appointments. He also cares a lot for Sana and treats her as a good friend. Although all of the characters are eccentric, they are very warm and heart felt and endearing too and a good deal of time is spent focusing on character interaction, back story, and development.

Voice Acting: 2/5 I didn’t really enjoy some of the voices in this anime, I found them to be rather grating on my nerves at times. I understand they were doing their best to sound cute or child like… I just really found some of the voices to be like nails on a chalk board at times 🙁 Not all of the voices are that bad, but a few definitely stand out as being over dramatic or just their tone of voice put me on edge at times.

Music: 5/5 The music is really as zany/crazy as all the characters in this show. Most is very youthful, energetic, fast paced, featuring a lot of tracks which are more along the lines of JRap and JHiphop (if that’s even a thing) as opposed to “pop” or “ballad” like arrangements. This works well however for this series as it gives it a young feeling to match the setting and energy of the anime – It also differentiated itself in this choice of music which is definitely a departure from other 90s anime themes.

Art: 3/5 As far as 90s anime goes, this artwork is not too bad. I find the character designs to be cute, and even cleaner looking than many of their 90s counterparts in other similar series. Still of course, the animation techniques look dated by today’s standards as the anime is now 20 years old!

Overall: 30/35 86% B “Very Good Anime For Girls”

Nodame Cantabile Anime Review

While sick last week, I marathoned my way through the first season of the anime version of Nodame Cantabile, a cute shoujo romantic-comedy anime about a young man (Chiaki) who wants to become a conductor. He encounters a girl who plays the piano with so much energy that it sounds as if she is singing. Her nickname is Nodame. Hence we get the title, Nodame Cantabile. A Cantabile is a musical term to describe instrumental music which emulates the sound of human voices singing. It literally means “to play (an instrument) as if singing”.

Interestingly, enough, the characters and events in this anime are based partially (although I’m sure exaggerated to a degree) on real life acquaintances and friends of the Mangaka who wrote the manga on which the anime is based.

 

My favorite thing about the anime however, is definitely the music. If you love classical music, you’ll enjoy this. Not only that, but the opening and ending themes are so damn catchy. I think the ending theme used in the first half of the series is maybe my favorite ending theme from any anime of all time.

Title: Nodama Cantabile

Length: 24 Episodes in season 1, 11 episodes in season 2, 11 episodes in season 3 for a total of 46 episodes.

Publisher: J.C. Staff

Release Date: January 2007 – 2010

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Slice of Life, Musical, Shoujo

Story: 8/10 I think the story, at times, suffers from some pacing issues. It can really drag and feel a bit dry even despite an abundance of comedic moments, and since it is a much longer series than similar anime (such as Your Lie in April), it can feel like a chore at times to make it through the whole thing. However, with that out of the way, I will say, that the story also is very unique. I’ve never seen an anime about someone who wants to become a conductor before. I also think it’s sweet and cute in a way (though Chiaki’s Tsundere personality definitely will not appeal to everyone). The end of season 1 is one of the most memorable scenes I have ever seen – Not to spoil anything, but when you get to the end, the scene with the taxi and cellphones. I really thought it was a very heart moving moment. You’ll see what I mean <3.

Characters: 6/10 Although Chiaki is your typical Tsundere style character, the relationship dynamics play out almost in the same way as Wolf Girl and Black Prince (Which I reviewed over here) and I enjoyed that sort of “pet and master” like dynamic. Some people may take offense to these sorts of anime as it puts the main female lead in an extremely submissive “puppydog” role. But I’m no feminist, so it doesn’t really bother me. I think it’s cute that both of the girls need to be taken care of and follow their crush around like a dog. lol. Over the course of Nodame Cantabile, Chiaki does warm up to her, and we see that he tries to rationalize and deny his love for Nodame throughout most of the first season. He is hard on her at times because he wants to encourage her in his own way, to do better, and to follow her dreams. The supporting cast is really very good too – some of them are very funny such as the timpani player, and others are interesting from a backstory standpoint such as Chiaki’s ex. I think more could have been done to create more tension and relationship drama (disclaimer I’m only one season in with 2 more seasons to go). Such as Chiaki’s ex girlfriend not wanting to give him up; or the concert master’s dependency on Nodame, (however he develops a relationship later on with another member of the orchestra who is able to become a cute little side couple). There was a brief rival also that was in love with Nodame in the later half of season 1, but they resolve that conflict quickly within 2-3 episodes also. Well deep down we all know she belongs with Chiaki anyways; but I think it would have been interesting to ramp up the tension a bit more. Some of the episodes feel pretty “dry” because they focus on realistic things like music competitions and rehearsals and the introduction of some more drama maybe would have helped spice things up a bit; however, the tensions and conflicts are often too quickly resolved, and we’re back to just Nodame chasing Chiaki again. Character development is good, especially for Chiaki, we see him go from being a very strict conductor and music teacher, to becoming able to appreciate the unique sound of each member of his orchestra, and to respect their differences. We also see him become more honest about his feelings towards Nodame. I expect that Nodame will grow more independent in later seasons in order to grow as a character and pursue her own dreams without such dependency on Chiaki; but once again I’ve only seen season 1 so can only grade my review on my own experiences thus far.

Music: 5/5 Possibly the best music score ever in an anime. I thought about grading this on a 10 point scale, but to keep it in line with other reviews I’ve done on the site for anime, I’ve kept it a 5 scale. I think, in a series about music, that the music really plays a big role. They used real symphonies to record the classical music, and the opening and ending themes are super catchy and among my favorites from any anime I’ve seen.

Voice Acting: (Disclaimer: I was sick all week (to the point I couldn’t even raise my head off the pillow) and so I watched the first season as a dub. I will eventually come back and give a score for Voice Acting when I watch season 2 and 3 which I will watch as subbed, as it’s intended to be. I won’t even bother grading the Voice Acting of the dub at this point, because dubs suck lol. Seriously, all the voices sounded the same, and why do they make everyone sound like an Alvin the Chipmunk reject? (especially the girls).)

Artwork: 3/5 For being a relatively newer anime (mid-late 2000s) with the most recent season only 5 years old, I expected more from this anime graphically speaking. I think the animation work is really well done, as it shows in detail, finger work, playing various instruments, the body (and hair flowing) movements in time with the music, and great facial expressions as well. But just the “quality” or “design” of the artwork itself, it feels very “dated”. I was shocked when researching this post to see this series is only 5 years old. It feels like an “early 90s” anime, in terms of character designs, backgrounds, colors, lineart, techniques, etc used.

Overall: 22/30 73% “Good Anime for Girls”

If You Liked Nodame Cantabile, You’ll Also Like: Nana, Fullmoon Wo Sagashite, Beck Mongolian Chop Squad, Pop Chance Session, White Album, Your Lie in April, and Love Live School Idol Festival

Aishiteruze Baby Anime Review

This review, like the one published today for Peach Girl, also first appeared on my Anime-Planet.com profile. (and these are the only two reviews I’ve written over there (so far). Both these reviews are quite older, and don’t completely jive with the scoring system here, but both these anime are among my top 5 :).

In my original anime-planet.com review, I reference the similarities between this anime (which is not very popular on anime-planet) and Usagi Drops, another similar anime about a young man who finds himself suddenly raising a little girl, which is immensely popular on anime-planet (at time of my original review, it was in the top 50 anime on anime-planet). I’ve removed the paragraph comparing the two anime for my reblog over here because, it wouldn’t make since to complain about their scoring system on anime-planet and people’s “poor choice” in anime haha. But what follows is the rest of the review after that initial paragraph. If you like Usagi Drops, please give Aishiteruze Baby a chance. It’s a lot better than Usagi Drops. Not that Usagi Drops is bad, but Aishiteruze is just a better anime :).

Once again, I’ve changed the scoring system to make story and characters more weighted when compared to sound and animation. Story and Characters are worth 10 each, while sound and animation are worth 5 each. And when converted to the scoring system in place here, it results in a rating of 37/40 93% A- “Excellent Anime For Girls”. To find out just why this series is so great, you’ll have to read on below, or watch it for yourself. 🙂

Enjoy my Aishiteruze Baby Anime Review 🙂

The fact that this is a complete story, gives the characters time to grow and explores the issues of what really is a family, and the lengths that we go to for our family. It showcases exponential character growth as the very immature lead character suddenly finds himself having to care for a small child. He goes from being a playboy without a care in the world, to suddenly realizing the importance of being there for someone who truly loves you and needs you, both in terms of the young child, but also a classmate / love interest that slowly begins to develop throughout the story. In the beginning the female love interest, hates the main character, but as she begins to notice his incredible transformation as he cares for the young child, her opinion of him changes.

If you enjoy watching characters grow and evolve in a series, this anime’s for you.

This drama is full of cute sweet moments, but also a lot of pain, suffering, and sadness. It is very well balanced, and not overly sugary-sweet like many anime in this genre.

The family dynamic and extra supporting cast are also very funny and unique.

Because of all of that, Story and Characters both get 10/10.

This anime is a bit older, which I’m assuming is why it’s so severely under-rated. The animation and character designs show their age. When I first started watching, I was not too keen on the character designs, but I quickly got over that when I realized how good the story was. The animation is probably about a 3/5. It’s not as “clean” or “streamlined” looking as modern animation tends to be these days.

Voice acting is excellent, especially the 3 main characters, who really convey their emotions and set the tone for the series; and music is good, but not memorable to me. I give the sound 4/5, losing some points for music, but making up for it in the voice acting.

Overall, 10/10 because Yuzuyu is fricken adorable, and so mature for her age. I really super enjoyed the relationship between her and the main character and watching how she changed him and made him into such a better person. <3

Story: 10/10
Characters 10/10
Sound: 4/5
Animation: 3/5
Overall: 10/10

When converted to our scoring system on Geeky Sweetie, this results in a rating of

37/40 93% A- “Excellent Anime For Girls”

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