Gintama: Who needs consistency when you can have someone bleeding out of their anus?

Gintama is an ongoing manga by Sorachi Hideaki. From 2006 to 2010, Sunrise, the same studio behind the Gundam franchise, did an anime adaptation which lasted for just over 200 episodes. So, does the anime manage to stay entertaining for that long, or even be entertaining at all? Let’s take a peek and find out.

Story:

There isn’t a single cohesive narrative to Gintama. There are some loosely connected arcs, and a whole lot of episodes that have nothing to do with those arcs, but there is no single narrative. The basic setup is that the world has been conquered by aliens, referred to in Gintama as “Amanto” and the government is still subservient to them. Samurai are no longer allowed to carry swords except for a few who work for the government or who have wealth and connections. In this world a samurai named Gintoki works by, in theory, doing odd jobs. Although that largely consists of him doing nothing. His crew consists of a youngster named Shinpachi, an Amanto girl named Kagura who possesses super strength and is highly vulnerable to sunlight, and a giant dog named Sadaharu, our cute character who requires ear scritches and belly rubs. Hijinks ensue as this group and the people around them get into shenanigans.

Let’s begin by looking at the problems with the series, shall we? By far the biggest issue is that the writing aesthetic is horribly inconsistent. Most of the episodes are highly random and intended for humour but when they get to the more story heavy arcs things take a huge shift into serious territory, sometimes including really heavy topics like sex trafficking, and it creates a huge tonal clash between episodes. You can’t segue from jokes about testicles and bloody rectums into a story about an underground city where children are sold to be raised as sex slaves. There is quite literally no way to make that transition so that it isn’t painfully awkward and completely disrespectful to the serious issue. It’s worse than that Captain Planet episode that dealt with AIDS. Sure, that was way over the series’ head too, but there wasn’t such a radical tonal problem. The tone isn’t the only thing that has problems with consistency, there’s also the continuity. There are three basic ways to do continuity. The first is having a strict, coherent continuity where everything matters. The second is to have a basic progression from one episode to the next but the details aren’t that important. The third is to toss continuity out the window completely, like Galaxy Angel. The problem with Gintama is that it does all three. Some episodes deal very much with continuity as being super important, others follow the more fast and loose route where there’s a progression but the details aren’t important and there are other episodes that don’t fit into any kind of continuity and will never be mentioned again after they’re over.

Now that we’ve been over that, let’s talk a bit about the comedy in this series that is, mostly, comedic. A lot of it is pretty puerile humour where someone defecates in their pants, or someone’s anus bleeds or where the punchline is something involving testicles. There are also a lot of bits where the characters will make loud references to some other piece of media and there are some other random bits of humour. The trouble is, a lot of it really isn’t funny. For example, there’s a running gag about one of the characters eating too much mayonnaise which is funny because… if he ate that much mayo in reality he’d weigh two hundred kilos and have to get around with a motorised scooter? There are two characters who pretty much exist for stalker jokes and there’s another running joke about Katsura getting annoyed by people calling him the wrong thing. There are times when the randomness can work and there are some points where they parody something competently instead of just making reference to it but they’re few and far between. I will give the series full credit for having some surprisingly clever deconstructions here and there, particularly when it comes to its treatment of trans-gendered characters.

Characters:

Gintama has a large cast of reoccurring characters, but very little in terms of complex ones. Most of them are used for one or two jokes and that’s pretty much it. I will say that there’s nothing wrong with that for a comedic work. You can have a bunch of fairly one-note characters as long as they have dynamics that provide good comedic possibilities and you can take advantage of that. The problem is the more serious episodes. This cast would be perfectly passable if the series didn’t have those largely serious story arcs but when you take a bunch of relatively shallow comedic characters and try to do something fairly serious with them it just quickly loses any sense of tension and the characters come across as heavily under-developed, if not as completely out of place.

Art:

The artwork and animation are pretty decent. There are some cases where they recycle footage or show a background with nothing happening, which they will almost always lampshade, but it’s competently done. The action sequences can be pretty strong, both when they’re doing something largely serious and when they’re doing a jokey action scene.

Sound:

The actors are pretty capable and no one does badly. However, the level of over-exaggeration in the series is really high and you might very well find yourself growing weary of listening to people shouting. The music varies. Sometimes it’s pretty good, sometimes it’s kind of annoying. Mostly, it’s just kind of bland.

Ho-yay:

There’s some in the series. There’s an openly lesbian character who shows up on a semi-regular basis and there’s a guy who is heavily implied to have romantic feelings for Sougo who shows up for a couple of episodes late in the series. There’s no reciprocation for their feelings, but they also aren’t used for jokes based on their sexuality. Some of the other characters act like asses about it at points, but the series itself doesn’t treat it as an issue. So, I’ll give Gintama some credit for treating its gay characters no differently than it does its straight characters. It is pretty refreshing, especially when you have “comedies” like Baka to Test that have to be as mean-spirited as possible about things like that.

Final Thoughts:

Gintama has a real problem with consistency. Its tone is wildly inconsistent which can lead to some really awkward and stilted moments. It’s inconsistent with what it wants to do with its continuity. If you like humour that’s more than a little puerile and pretty random then you might still enjoy the series in spite of that and there are some things it does pretty decently but it’s honestly not my cup of tea in that regard. I just don’t find ninety percent of the attempts at humour to be amusing. As such, I have to give the series a 4/10. Next week we’ll have this year’s film festival. Starting with Kara no Kyoukai 6 on Sunday. Because I’ve looked at that franchise first during the last two years and I might as well do it this time as well.

Reviews of yesteryear: Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited- Hyoubu Kyousuke

Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited- Hyoubu Kyousuke is a shounen anime based on a manga by Shiina Takashi. The studio behind this adaptation of the series was handled by Manglobe, the studio behind Deadman’s Wonderland, Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy, along with a bunch of things I haven’t seen. I have no idea what to expect from this one. I’d describe that as intriguing, but the last time I expressed excitement at watching something completely unfamiliar I ended up watching Cheesesteak Suppository and I don’t want to end up in for a disappointment again. So let’s just take a look without any expectations, positive or negative.

The story of Zettai Karen Children: Unlimited, henceforth referred to in this review as ZKC:U for the sake of brevity, opens with a silver-haired character named Hyoubu Kyousuke using ESP to wreck everything before allowing himself to be captured. He’s taken to a prison camp for espers where he meets up with a young man named Hinomiya. The two start bonding and Hyoubu gives Hinomiya some of his food, which happens to be poisoned. Consequently, Hinomiya is taken to another facility. Hyoubu follows and the two escape along with a captured girl known as Yuugiri. Hyoubu offers Hinomiya a position in his organisation, P.A.N.D.R.A, which is accepted. But Hinomiya has a secret which could threaten Hyoubu and his organisation. The story mainly focuses on Hyoubu, his organisation and their goals. There are some things it does well and some it doesn’t. Let’s start with the latter. The pacing in this is pretty bad. they put some flashback episodes that don’t serve much purpose directly in the middle of the series, which interrupts the much more interesting action that’s going on in the story’s present and leaves less time to flesh out the ending. As a result the ending ends up rushed and kind of weak. On the positive side, the world they create is pretty interesting and the story is mostly effective. With everything aside from the flashbacks following a logical progression.

The characters in this, with the exceptions of Hyoubu and Hinomiya, aren’t particularly well developed. Most characters tend to get either really obvious arcs or be archetypal characters without much to set them apart. That being said, the character interactions are really well done. Hyoubu and Hinomiya are also really interesting characters. Although Hyoubu has some moments that make him seem kind of creepy and make you wonder if he likes little girls in an inappropriate way. Particularly during his dealings with Kaoru. To ZKC:U’s credit, it’s vague enough that that may or may not be what’s going on, but you should never have valid reasons to suspect that your protagonist is a pedophile when they’re portrayed in a generally sympathetic way.

The art in this is pretty impressive. The character designs look good. The effects when certain espers use their powers are pretty flashy but they never cross into the realm of the ridiculous. The action sequences are, mostly, well done. With the exception of one in particular that happens later on in the series and features antagonists with worse aim than the Stormtroopers in Star Wars. That one just comes across as kind of stupid.

The voice acting in this is pretty well done. Suwabe Junichi, Yusa Kouji, and Hirano Aya in particular. The one real weakness is Touyama Nao, who doesn’t have any depth of emotion. Although, to be fair, her character is supposed to be emotionally stunted so it’s a case where that type of performance may not be impressive or deep but it’s functional. The music is quite good.

The yuri factor is a 1/10. This has no yuri.

My final rating for ZKC:U is going to be a 6.4/10. It has some really interesting elements, but Hyoubu’s semi-creepy scenes and the pacing do make it quite a bit less enjoyable than it could have been. With all things considered, it’s still a decent series but not quite good. Next week I’ll look at Gunslinger Girl: il Teatrino

Reviews of yesteryear: Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai is an anime from AIC BUILD based on a light novel by Fushimi Tsukasa. I’ve heard a bit about it and it could potentially be… Actually, no. I may be putting my foot in my mouth here, since I write the opening paragraphs before watching the actual anime, but there’s no conceivable way this is going to be good. It’s a harem series with a title that roughly translates to “My Little Sister can’t be this cute.” That just reeks of incest and sleaze. I’m really not looking forward to this one, but when one of my lovely fans asks me to review something, I do try to do so. Let’s just get this over with.

The story follows a teenager with a sister complex named Kyousuke. I will be simply referring to him as Creeper. One afternoon Creeper finds an anime DVD case with an ero game about little sisters inside and, being dumber than a potted plant, he can’t figure out which of his family members it belongs to and there are only three of them besides him. After dropping some really obvious hints and laying a really obvious trap he’s able to figure out that it belongs to his sister. The anime, naturally, never explains how a middle school kid managed to buy pornographic games. Creeper gets recruited to help his sister reconcile her hidden hobby with her personal life through a series of idiotic tasks. There’s supposedly humour in this, but good luck finding a funny joke. Most of the jokes are based around either Creeper’s sister complex or Kirino’s hobby. Oreimo, just because you draw attention to the fact that your premise is gross and tell people to laugh, that does not diminish the repulsiveness nor make it an actual joke. There’s a smattering of other humour types, including an incredibly homophobic scene towards the end, but none of it is funny at all. On the plus side, the physical humour in this is quite cathartic since all the characters are annoying and horrible. It isn’t funny, but it’s cathartic. The finale in this is horrendous. The contrived final conflict comes out of and goes absolutely nowhere. Making it one of the most pointless finales in the history of anime. Then you have the incestuous undertones which serve to make the whole thing thoroughly unpleasant.

The characters in this are incredibly flat tropes. About the only thing that makes Creeper unique as a harem protagonist is his sister complex, which is not a positive change. At least most harem protagonists are just bland nobodies and come across as relatively harmless albeit indecisive. For Kirino they just took the tsundere archetype, except that she’s into her brother. Again, not a positive alteration.

The art is nothing special. It’s kind of a typical moe style. What makes it worse than it could have been is the fan-service. Prepare for panty and bra shots of a fourteen year old. Then count yourself as fortunate that your name isn’t on some type of registry just by virtue of you having watched this series. The backgrounds are pretty plain.

The voice acting in this sounds pretty bad. A lot of the emotion is portrayed by yelling instead of… what’s the word? Oh yes, emoting. It’s sad since the actors in this can act, when they have roles that actually require them to. I feel kind of sorry for Taketatsu Ayana. Just about every time her name gets mentioned in my reviews it’s because she was in a role that demanded a terrible performance. There’s this, Baka to Test, Highschool of the Dead, and Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou. In contrast the only review I’ve done where she gave a truly good performance in the anime was K-on. She also gave a good performance in Psycho Pass, in spite of having a minor role, but I reviewed that after this. She was also quite good in Zettai Bouei Leviathan, also reviewed after this. The music is the best part of the anime. It’s not good, but it’s okay.

The yuri factor is a 5/10. Kirino’s reaction to cute girls and her dynamics with both Kuroneko and Ayase come off as pretty homo-erotic. You know, this anime would have been greatly improved if they’d removed Creeper completely and focused on that. It would still be pretty stupid and unfunny, but at least it wouldn’t be gross.

This anime is not quite as bad as I thought it was going to be. The incestuous under-tones are much more downplayed and far less prominent than I thought they would be. It’s still a stupid, stupid anime with not a moment of laughter to be found and obnoxious tropes of characters. I do not suggest watching it or even thinking about its existence. My final rating is a 2/10.

Next week, I’ll be looking at Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited- Hyoubu Kyousuke, unless something unexpected comes up. For you guys, that’ll be up tomorrow, since nothing unexpected happened to delay it. 

Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie: Epic buildup to a disappointing end

Quite a while ago I reviewed Cardcaptor Sakura, a magical girl series from Clamp and Madhouse. It was a good anime, albeit not one of the best magical girl series I’ve looked at. The series has gotten two films. Let’s look at the first, made in 1999 and written by Clamp’s Ohkawa Nanase.

Story:

Our tale opens with Sakura capturing the Arrow card with Syaoran’s help, some sidelines commentary from Meiling and Tomoyo filming her the whole time. She and Tomoyo stop by a store to buy school supplies and Sakura wins tickets to Hong Kong through the shopping district’s lottery. Kero questions this because she’s “weak at lotteries” whatever the flying Dutchman that means. She decides to take Tomoyo, her brother and Yukito. I should mention that this takes place roughly halfway through the series before she finds out the truth about Yukito. Sakura starts having ominous dreams about being surrounded by water and a mysterious floating figure.

On the downside, the ending of this film is pretty weak. It has some good ideas, in concept, behind it but the execution doesn’t work well. There’s also Sakura’s role in the whole thing. She barely does anything beyond running away and talking. Because that’s what everyone wants to see the main hero do. We don’t want to see them being competent and showing their strength, that would just be far too obvious. Which is the same reason that Sakura rarely uses a lot of her stronger cards, because it would just be too obvious. Surely, she is a tactical genius.

There are quite a few good aspects to the film. The build up is really well done. The gradual escalation is very effective at creating stakes and tension for the scenario. If it hadn’t led to a letdown then these could have been components of an excellent movie.

Characters:

I will give the film some credit on this aspect, it does give you a strong sense of the character’s personalities and the sibling dynamic between Sakura and Touya is really strong. What doesn’t work so well are the original characters. You meet Syaoran’s four sisters and all they do is fawn over Sakura and Tomoyo before throwing themselves all over Touya and Yukito. Boy are they barking up the wrong tree. They might as well go to Bell Liberty Academy to try to find boyfriends. Either way, they’re non-characters who don’t serve any real purpose. I’m not even sure why they’re here at all, their presence does nothing for the narrative. Then we have our villain who could have been interesting but is just kind of cliché in execution. The same is true for Syaoran’s mother. She’s a strict parent and mystic master. She just comes across as kind of bland and typical.

Art:

The art is pretty similar to the art in the main series. It’s decent enough with character designs and backgrounds that work fine. I will say that the action sequences in the film are kind of weak especially since our heroine decides to spend most of them running away from things.

Sound:

The voice work is done with the same cast as the series proper and they all do well, as they did in the series proper. For the new characters, our main antagonist is voiced by Hayashibara Megumi and she does a superb job. Syaoran’s mum is voiced by Inoue Kikuko and she does do a decent job, albeit a bit emotionless of one. The music is well done.

Ho-yay:

This series certainly doesn’t have as much as the series proper. The homo-eroticism between Yukito and Touya is barely present and Tomoyo’s creepy cousin crush on Sakura is downplayed as well although it’s still pretty obvious.

Final Thoughts:

For all its flaws, this is a good movie. The ending is disappointing and it suffers from some of the same issues as the series proper, but there’s a lot of well done stuff leading up to the ending and it is a fun film to watch overall. If you enjoyed Cardcaptor Sakura, you’ll probably like the movie too. My final rating is going to be a 7/10. Next week it’s finally time for the Gintama review so we’ll see how that goes.

Reviews of yesteryear: Senjou no Valkyria: Gallian Chronicles

The Valkyria Chronicles series is a set of tactical RPGs based on the second world war and created by Sega in 2008 for the Playstation 3. I have never played it, not having a PS3 personally. I just wanted to put that out there since there’s an anime adaptation and I’ve been asked to review it. So if they screw up the game’s story, I’m not going to know it. What I’m going to be looking at is whether or not the anime holds up on its own. It should, since it’s an adaptation of the game’s story. Let’s take a look at Valkyria Chronicles the anime and see if it manages.

The story is pretty simple. There’s a war between the Imperial Alliance and the Federation. Naturally, the Enterprise gets called in to… Wait, wrong federation. The story focuses on a small principality called Gallia that gets caught up in the war on the Federation’s side due to its resources. The main focus is on the Gallian Militia’s squad seven as they fight various campaigns and the war advances. There are some issues with the series. The first is the pacing. The beginning is pretty slow, and then they start running out of time towards the end so they run through the material left without giving the audience much time to have a reaction. The second problem is the ending, it’s cheesy and not in a good or endearing way. There’s also a plot element that doesn’t make sense. All I can say without giving away major spoilers is that there’s a character with a power. This character knows they have this power, it is a power that could give their side a huge advantage, but this character doesn’t use it until near the end. There is no reason given for why this is the case. I could speculate, but it would just be guesswork and it really should have been explained within the narrative. There are some good aspects as well. There are some really well done emotional moments. I can’t really talk about them in detail without giving spoilers though. You’ll know them if you’ve seen them. Possibly if you’ve played the game, assuming the plots are the same. The series also manages its tone really well. It blends serious moments with more light-hearted ones without diminishing either.

The characters in this fall into two categories. The developed ones and the ones who are there and have names but you know virtually nothing about except for a few basic details. To use squad seven as an example, the developed characters are Welkin, Alicia, Isara, Rosie and Largo, who don’t even make up half the group. Maybe the game spends more time with everyone else and benefits from it, I don’t know. I’m tempted to call the cast size unwieldy, but they had to have a large cast. A story about a massive armed conflict wouldn’t work if you only saw a dozen or so people. The scope would be screwed up. But this does have the unfortunate effect of making a lot of characters read as stereotypes of one kind or another. Another problem is the romance. A lot of it does not work very organically and comes off as contrived or forced. Still, the developed characters do make for some interesting dynamics and good tension.

The art in this is pretty nicely done. The characters look good and most of the action scenes are effective. The reason I say “most” is that there are some fight scenes towards the end that just look absurd and are kind of difficult to follow.

This has a really good cast. You have Takahiro Sakurai, who seems to appear in a major role in a lot of game-based anime. You also have Kuwashima Houko, Otsuka Akio, Oohara Sayaka, Fukuyama Jun and Inoue Marina, among others. Some of the music is really good and some of it is kind of forgettable.

The yuri factor is a 3/10. There are some scenes that read as kind of homo-erotic. Although they don’t really go anywhere in the end.

And that was Senjou no Valkyria: Gallian Chronicles. When everything is taken into account, it’s a decent anime. My final rating is going to be a 6/10. If you enjoy war stories that aren’t too serious or you’re a fan of tactical RPGs you’ll probably appreciate it. I can’t really speak for fans of the original game, the anime might have gotten something egregiously wrong that infuriates them. Alternatively, they could consider it an excellent supplement. All I can say for certain is that it’s decent as a stand alone work, but not really good.

Reviews of yesteryear: Slayers the Motion Picture

I was planning on reviewing the Valkyria Chronicles anime this week, but things have been rather hectic and I wasn’t able to finish it. I’ll just have to take care of that one next week. For you guys it’ll be up tomorrow. In the meantime, let’s talk about the Slayers. The Slayers is pretty well known to anime fans. It has over fifty light novels, five anime series, five films, two OVAs, video game adaptations and several manga. It’s by far Kanzaka Hajime’s best known and most influential work. When I initially saw the original anime, I hated it. See, my brother got several VHS’s of the English dubbed version, since all of us speak English and, supposedly, they were cheaper that way. The voice acting was terrible and hurt my head. I had to use ear plugs whenever he played the tapes since he’s an inconsiderate clod who put the volume up far too high. It wasn’t until later, when I tried the anime subtitled that I came to appreciate it and now I’ve got a Lina Inverse plush sitting on my shelf between Edward Elric and Sailor Neptune. I’ve rearranged my shelves a bit. Now she’s between Gunslinger Girl, Rico and Holo the wise wolf. Now, I obviously didn’t have time to rewatch the whole franchise or even just the first anime series. I did, however, rewatch the first film. So let’s take a look at Slayers: The Motion Picture.

The story is a prequel to the first anime series, and it’s competently written so it can stand on its own. As such, I won’t be going into any details about the backstory. The story follows the sorceress Lina Inverse and her friendly rival/sidekick, Naga the Serpent. They get discount tickets to a strange island famous for its hot spring. While there they embark on a quest to unravel the truth about the island and the unusual power affecting it. It’s what you would expect from the Slayers. The story is full of absurdity played up for laughs, action, some intrigue and absurd action. The plot is pretty straight forward, but it works pretty well. The only real issue with the film is that it should have been longer. It’s barely an hour and the story rushes through the important points as a result. It’s still hilarious, but it could’ve used more time to flesh things out.

The characters in this are a bunch of strange, silly people. They aren’t particularly deep, but they work exceedingly well for a comedic work. And their motivations and actions do make sense, which is better than some supposedly serious anime manage. Still, don’t expect deep characters with fascinating psychological aspects.

The art in this looks rushed. It’s in the general style of the rest of the series, but the colours look duller and the animation looks sloppier. It still looks okay, but not nearly as good as the regular series. I would criticise Naga’s outfit, but it’s clearly meant to be a parody of the “battle bikini” convention you frequently see in fantasy works rather than being designed for fan-service. Frankly, the satire works pretty well since it’s actual done in a deliberate and aware fashion rather than fan-service which attempts to excuse itself as a parody.

the vocal cast in this is excellent. Takayama Minami, Kawamura Maria, Genda Tessyo and, especially, Hayashibara Megumi all do really well in their roles. There is some exaggeration which can get tiring, but it’s used for comedic effect and, generally, works. The music is really amazing. the film is certainly an auditory treat.

The yuri factor is a 1/10. This doesn’t have yuri.

So, how does the first Slayers movie hold up? The humour works really well. The characters, though not deep, are fun. The acting and music are excellent. That being said, the art is only okay and the story is pretty rushed. It’s a quick, fun watch. My final rating is a 7/10. Check it out if you need a good laugh. If you want something with depth, look elsewhere. Maybe I’ll look at more of the franchise at another time, but next week is going to have to be Valkyria Chronicles.

3×3 Eyes Seima Densetsu: Now with evil dolls

Quite a while back I did a review of the first 3×3 Eyes OVA from Toei Animation. It was a solid little series albeit with a few problems. So, how does the second OVA from Studio Junio hold up? Is it as good as the first, better or weaker? Let’s take a look, My Dears, and find out. This is 3×3 Eyes Seima Densetsu.

Story:

Four years after the first OVA, Yakumo is wandering alone in search of the missing Pai. He finds her, but she doesn’t seem to remember him and freaks out when he starts chasing after her, treating hi like he’s some strange pervert. After speaking with the elderly couple that she’s been living with, Yakumo finds out that Pai lost her memories. After fighting a monster that tried to reseal them, he sets out for Tibet to find an old monk who knows how to release the seal on her memories. She goes with him, curious about what secrets her past holds.

Let’s start with the big problems with the OVA. The ending is a big one. They had a chance to have a really strong, bittersweet ending, but they screw it up at the very end and opt for something that would be better suited for a cheesy children’s movie than a more dramatic series for adults. There’s also still an issue with the romance elements being pretty weak and, given the amnesia and handling thereof, this OVA doesn’t even ultimately do anything to advance the romance.

There are plenty of good things about the OVA too. The overall story is actually really interesting with a legitimately good twist. The Hindu influence is still strong in the series and it’s still used in an intriguing way.

Characters:

Only a few of the major characters from the first OVA return, Yakumo, Pai, and Benares. We get an all new supporting cast for this one. I will give the series credit, most of the supporting characters are fairly interesting and fleshed out. The exceptions being the old couple who took Pai in and her friends from school who are just generic. Yakumo’s character develops pretty well. He’s become a lot more capable of things besides just being a human shield. He still has his moments where he takes enough damage that he would die if he was a normal human, but he at least manages to give a good account of himself. On the downside, Pai is actively annoying in this one. When I talked about the first OVA I said that the only thing stopping her from being an annoying character was the Sanjiyan personality. In this series the Sanjiyan has about five minutes of screen time before the very end when she takes over to wrap things up.

Art:

Studio Junio puts a real effort into replicating the style that Toei Animation used for the first OVA. And it does hold up pretty well. I will give them the proper credit on that account. It is, however, not as strong as the first series.

Sound:

The voice work is still really good. Hayashibara Megumi, Tsujitani Kouji, and Ootsuka Akio all give strong performances as they did in the first OVA. Ohtsuka Houchu, Canna Nobutoshi & Saikachi Ryuuji all give good performances as well. The one weakness is that the bland side characters have kind of weak performances to go along with them. The music is still pretty spectacular with Wada Kaoru returning to work on it.

Ho-yay:

There really isn’t any.

Final Thoughts:

3×3 Eyes Seima Densetsu is not as good as the first OVA. It has some strong moments and it does advance Yakumo’s character but it also has some real writing problems, some weak secondary characters and performances. It’s worth watching if you enjoyed the first OVA and it’s still pretty decent in spite of those flaws. My final rating is a 6/10. Next week I’ll look at Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie.