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cal-reflector's SaiKano Ova Review

SaiKano

SaiKano ova Review

Story & Playability

"I am a monster... I am a demon... I am Death." ~Chise, from the OAV.

This Review is composed and organized under the assumption that readers and potential viewers have, through manga or anime, already acquainted themselves with the original story.

This OAV, along with the Summer OAVs for the hit series Air, were perhaps the best short anime works of the year 2005. "Saikano: Another Love Song" is an excellent complement to the original anime and manga both, which in the short span of 50 minutes fleshed out the original and made it truly whole. The complexity and depth of insight gained from this OVA's story and new character is invaluable to fully understanding Chise's development and progresive struggle between her identity as a human and weapon, which is central to the story: Viewers are now shown how when Chise was in the depths of despair on the battlefield, there had been another who confronted her, encouraged her, and reinstilled in her hope and the courage to love, in spite of her condition: Lieutenant Colonel Mizuki, a human weapon similar to Chise, but predating her by a short frame of time. The strength of the story derives largely from her.

Lt. Mizuki is the polar opposite of Chise in terms of motivation and personality; her character as a dedicated soldier resigned to the fact that she's traded her humanity for the power to protect her country and subordinates provides a interesting and thought-provoking contrast to the reluctance of Chise throughout the series.

This two episode OVA is without a doubt, the gem of the Saikano saga, manga or anime.

Rating: 9

Graphics

Objectively speaking, Saikano, in its original or its OAV, do not have the most outstanding visuals. The OAV appears to have enjoyed a higher budget, however, which is seen through incremental improvements in color and lighting depth. Animation was good, but not far above average.

Particularly worth noting is the large amounts of nudity shown in this OAV, more than was neccessary, though none of it was presented in a sexual context, which made it easier for me to overlook and concentrate on the story. This is a good thing, as fanservice would have been entirely out of context and contribute nothing towards the enjoyment of the show.

Art: B (Good)
Animation B-/B (Good)

Rating: 7

Sound

Judging by the respective qualities of its visuals and audio features, one wonders whether most of the budget was directed towards producing the music for "Another Love Song," as it is outstanding, with beautiful vocals by Asakura Akira and an excellent OST that I listen to often as music in their own right. This audio-feast is even more impressive when the shortness of the show is taken into consideration.

Rating: 9

Fun

The story is told through the perspective of Lieutenant Mizuki, which is a good thing, as Mizuki is one of the most dynamic, humane characters I have seen in anime, and it is to the staff's credit that they managed to bring her to such life in just two episodes... whereas some 50% of anime characters never manage to gain even a semblance of a personality over the span of full-length series. Without giving the story away: In the beginning, Mizuki is a soldier who yearns for more power to do her duty, and is frustrated by what she percieves as an immature, selfish attitude in Chise, who possesses the power she lacks. She comes to appreciate Chise's difficult circumstances however, and the injustice in asking her to fight a pointless war for them at such terrible cost to her own conscience and being. She was a soldier, a hero who saw that in this war without meaning, the cause most worth fighting for was preservation of the fading hope for happiness with one's loved ones in the little time that was left.

If nothing else, the fact that I would be inspired to write such lengthy praise in the appraisal of a fictional character should attest to the quality of the show and its enjoyability.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.33 (good)

Reviewed by cal-reflector, Feb 15, 2006

Comments

  1. ripe Feb 16, 2006

    muy buena seri de anime

  2. finalfantasyuna10 Feb 16, 2006

    hmm...i must say the OVA is ok, not really that awsome as the serie

  3. back07 Jun 27, 2012

    Series is more awesome than OVA
    :D

    merged: 06-27-2012 ~ 05:06am
    Series is more awesome than OVA
    :D

  4. UberDog Mar 23, 2015

    What an interesting review and read, well done.

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