Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Kaleido Star New Wings True Star Collection|
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
The world of Kaliedo Star continues to turn in NEW WINGS, the latest series set under anime's favorite big-top! The circus drama continues with more jealous divas, temperamental artists, and dangerous stunts!
Inspiring female role model
Julie D Wienecke | Clermont, FL USA | 09/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who doesn't own this series is missing out. While the first half of season 2 starts slow you can feel the dramatic buildup as Sora struggles to find what kind of star she is. Sora is cheerful and kind and she sees the best in others. She is optimistic and she sees the world not as it is but as it should be. If real people were like her this would be a great world to live in. She cares about others and she wants to create a stage with no competition a stage where people can be the best they can be and bring that greatness alive in others. Sora undergoes grueling trials and the most awe inspiring training sequence ever animated. She inspires other characters to greatness and viewers as well! This anime is the perfect anime to inspire young girls to be great and be the best they can be. Absolutely no sexual suggestiveness or swearing or graphic violence nonetheless this anime has appeal to all people who love good characters and a good story. Sora's trials inspired me I went on a diet and began to exercise, I got some muscle tone now and I am planning a thru hike to the Appalachian trail even as I complete my college degree. Before I watched this anime I never believed I could finish college, I didn't think I would ever be strong, and I was growing older and wider without a fight. Sora even though she is animated made me believe in myself and motivated me to make my dreams come true. I highly recommend this anime to all girls 13 to 80! I'm 29 years old and this anime is very dear to me because it teaches us to believe in ourselves and do our best and it teaches us to believe in others. In a world where no one believes in anything anymore, I would say that is quite an accomplishment for a simple cartoon.
Add to that the animation is beautiful and the voice acting wonderful. If you have a young woman in your life a daughter, a sister, a niece, heck my mom is 50 and she loves this anime! This beautifully animated inspiring tale is a must. I want to be like Sora. I want to believe in myself and the people in this world. I can make my dreams come true! Sora showed the way."
My Wings Are My Dream and On Towards the Sky
Strategos | In Space above Planet Earth | 10/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when I first saw Kaleido Star. An anime about a circus like Cirque du Soleil? It was like somebody read my mind and decided to give me exactly what I wanted. Acrobatics, sweet animation from the people who worked on Angelic Layer, strong characters, and terrific voice acting made it well worth watching. It was however, not without flaws.
Kaleido Star's biggest problem was the VERY uneven flow of the series, and MASSIVE amounts of filler. You could of course argue that many episodes were just giving you more detail about various characters, but in reality it was just padding out a 13 episode series to 26. Several times I seriously wondered where the show was going, and not in a good way. The show pretty near de-railed when Kaleido Stage was sold and divided, and the whole Masked Star Saga in particular really bored me. What I did love though, were episodes that focused on characters I loved (like the first episode with Rosetta, and Layla's thawing out when she was first forced to work closely with Sora), and anything to do with the Great Maneuver sub-plot. And when the show finally got around to the big finale and all that led up to it, it provided some of the best anime drama I have ever seen (Sora being ready to quit on the special training and then seeing Layla out running and starving herself to lose weight to make it easier for her had me crying, to say nothing of the very end of Kaleido Star's first season when Layla gave up Kaleido Stage and told Sora that she was her dream now).
When I heard about another season (another series?) of Kaleido Star I had mixed feelings. Would it be a light-hearted continuation? Would it be uneven like the first season? I thought about it a long while and then finally got around to renting it. Oh... My... Goodness!
As I said before, Kaleido Star was a good series, but this sequel of a season blows away the first in absolutely every way. First of all, since all the Japanese voice actors from the first season are now quite comfortable in their roles, the acting continues to just get better and better. The animation, while not drastically changed, comes across as less plain, brighter and more colorful. The action sequences and acrobatics are even faster and more fluid then before. And the writing, the story, and the new music are just so GOOD! And to top it off, there is hardly any filler at all. This doesn't feel like a TV show in the traditional sense, but more like a long awesome movie. Only the best anime are able to succeed on this level (shows like Crest of the Stars, Escaflowne, Gundam Wing, and the Big O). And the story is so engrossing that it quickly hooks you, till you are absolutely dying to know what will happen next!
The story of the show picks up right where the first season left off. Layla Hamilton has left Kaleido Stage, and Sora is the star of the show. While some people are very pleased who recognize her potential, the audience in general isn't really interested in seeing her perform, because despite the Great Maneuver, she just isn't that big of a star.
Thus, right from the get-go, Sora's goal is clear. She needs to become a true Kaleido Star like her old partner Layla. To this end she once again has the advice of one Spirit of the Stage, and the support of a loveable cast of characters. If this sounds like the same old story all over again, think again. While there is a series of duel-like challenges in this season similar to those in the past one, these are much more intense, desperate even. From the first episode, a new character named Leon Oswald, (the real star of Kaleido Stage initially), makes it clear that if Kaleido Stage is going to hold together Sora is going to have to step up her game. And when Sora's best isn't good enough her real rival of the new season immediately steps in. May Wong, a prodigy who is determined that SHE is destined to be Leon's true partner is bound and determined to destroy Sora and claim her position as the top star.
The duels are great drama, as they are very well directed, intense, and use music to great effect. But don't think the whole show is going to be like that, because like the first season, they are just there to build relationships and define characters. Sora has a lot of soul-searching to do in this series, and must learn to stand up on her own and stop looking to others for life's answers. She has to figure out what her PERSONAL dream is, and where the path to becoming a True Star lies.
Unlike the first season, instead of a near de-rail when Sora loses her way, Sora's missteps only help her understand her own feelings and what she wants. No one rescues her out of situations anymore. Now every time it seems like all is lost, she finds her own way. And it makes for VERY entertaining viewing.
The real story of the show is about something called the Angel Maneuver, and how perfecting it is the path to becoming a True Star. The road is hard, and could destroy a person, but at the other side of perfecting it comes pure joy and happiness transmitted to the audience. For anyone who has ever had a dream, a hard one, one that could make or break you, I think the Angel Maneuver Saga is deeply inspiring. Because while there is some truly over-the-top drama at times, the heart of the show is always sincere and you can feel it. You WANT to see Sora succeed. You want to see her attain her dreams and bring everyone joy the way that she wants. It's downright infectious.
Another reviewer probably put it better than I ever could describing what makes this show unique. You see, there is a genre of anime that is much neglected. It's what can only be called the Gunbuster/Battle Athletes Genre, as these shows absolutely defined it. Basically in this kind of anime you have an underdog, usually a young girl, who is a total klutz, and is trying to do something very difficult, be it piloting a giant robot or winning the Olympics. Initially she is of course terrible and has to work 10 times as hard as everyone else just to survive. But then, something amazing happens, and she starts to catch up to the top star, a rivalry builds, and in the end the underdog hero saves the day. Now normally that's my favorite type of /movie/series anyway, because any introvert who has ever had had to claw their way to a decent life knows what it feels like and can identify with a hero like that. But the thing is, I don't think I've ever seen an anime that made me feel like THIS.
I admit it, at the end the first season I cried like a baby (seeing sweet, kind, good-natured Sora crying her eyes out over losing the partner she loved got to me), but what that season had occasionally this one has constantly. Even the filler episodes will move you. From the guilt of destroying another person's life, to the drive that makes someone endure the unbearable simply because they refuse to give up, from the search for a purpose in your life to a desire to built a world of peace and love and happiness for everyone, this show transcends its genre and even its medium to reach deep down in the hearts of its viewers.
In a world full where physical violence is glorified and heroes who fight dirty win the day, it's incredibly refreshing to watch a show with a protagonist who in the end refuses to antagonize, and instead wants to help, encourage, and inspire everyone. The end of episode 25 is the defining moment. It reminds me of the end of the movie Strictly Ballroom, or maybe the end of the game Space Channel 5. When you see something truly wonderful that makes you happy, you just can't stand to watch on the sidelines anymore, you want to get involved so you become part of it and it becomes part of you. You want to sing, dance, get up on the stage and perform. Watch the show all the way to the end and see if the ending doesn't make you feel the same way.
The world would be better place if there were more people in it like Sora.
A memorable, moving and highly moral series. Definitely wort
D. Mower | Utah, USA | 06/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first season of Kaleido Star was probably the third anime series I ever watched. My wife and I both enjoyed it, but it was by no means one of our favorite. Season two changed that. With the addition of New Wings, the whole Kaleido Star story has hands down become one of my favorite shoujo series.
The friends who originally introduced us to anime couldn't wait to show us this second season, and having just finished it, I can see why. It takes an already good storyline and makes it great.
The animation and english dubs were very good in my opinion (despite its raspiness, I think
Cynthia Martinez does a great job with Sora), but I tend to value storyline more and so that's what I'll focus on. Let me summarize what I think makes this story not just noteworthy, but a worthwhile.
First, I love this series because it does an incredible job of recreating the mixture of thrill, adrenaline and sheer terror that assaults a performer before a performance. I have a very competetive background in performing arts, and I also enjoy one-on-one athletics. Watching Sora prepare to go on stage was like reliving those same feelings I experienced before a solo performance. I identified perfectly with the tension and animosity that can exist between rivals. I felt Sora's desire desire to win and understood the personal doubt that one must invariably overcome in order to truly succeed. I loved the ability this series had to draw me in until my heart was pounding and my hands gripped the sides of the sofa.
Second, Sora is a wonderful heroine. If there were such a thing, she'd be my nominee for the Tohru Honda of the Year award. I think Sora is like a super spunky, slightly less clueless Torru; a heart of gold, determined, a little vulnerable and naive on the outside but with an inner strength and moral fiber that rivals Ghandi. And yet, she's very believable, because she suffers, she falters and even gives up for a while.
Which leads me to my third point: this story is probably the most moral anime I've come across so far.
One thing I love about anime (and tend to find fault with in American animation and movies) is that Anime isn't afraid to tackle the hard topics. Loss, regret and suffering are frequently dealt with head-on, where as we largely bypass this in American cartoons, and even most movies. We like to see the end product and tend to short-change the journey. Or we simply present the ridiculous idea that "wishing on a star" and "defeating the evil villain" is somehow all that stands in the way of our dreams.
Not so with Kaleido Star: New Wings. Sora is the real thing. She struggles to identify what her dream is.
And when she finds her dream, she bleeds for it.
Sweat, tears, discouragement...and above all, hard work. There is a price to pay for every dream, and no one will pay it for you. But in the end, the reward for achieving your dreams far outweighs the sacrifice.
Not only does Sora pay the price for her dream, she inspires others to do the same, and because of the strength she finds through the love of her friends and the desire to bring others together, everyone is lifted to a higher level.
Here's what else I love - Sora had to adapt her dream so that it accommodated reality. I myself had a hard time really believing in Sora's dream. A stage without competition seemed like a silly, impossible, and even impractical ideal. I almost lost faith in the series entirely because I thought it was going to have some lame-o, "everyone loves each other" ending. I was thrilled to see that there wasn't purely a "storybook ending". Yes, Sora achieved her dream...but at the same time, she also grew up and learned to accept the reality of competition and the place it has in driving people to achieve.
I've gone on long enough with the philosophical rantings. Let's just say, I wouldn't hesitate to buy both seasons. I plan on having this around not only for it's great entertainment value, but to help teach my kids what it means to work for your dreams.
Not as good as the first season
Kunai | California | 07/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After coming out of an amazing first season, season 2 starts off pretty badly. First off, you can skip the 2 recap episodes which don't even add anything besides a new edited ending. Furthermore we see the loss of two awesome characters, Layla and Yuri, for the first half and get some pretty bad new character replacements, May Wong and Leon Oswald.
So why did I rate this 5 stars, after all the feelings of animosity towards the newcomer characters, it just makes you more attached to the anime, because of how angry we are getting. So when we finally see Sora able to shine the feelings this anime will produce will be amazing.
We have seen Sora struggle in the first season, but her struggle this season is way greater and we see some big time failures for the first time. For a character to lose so many times, it's refreshing to see. It gets tiring to see the main character always win every battle like in all the shonen animes.
Ultimately, the first half may be a bit slow but if you believe in the build up it builds, then it will be on par with the first season. And a lot of people say this show is for girls, but I think its more for everyone. It has a girlish theme but it plays out very much like a shonen."