Buy this DVD only if you have time and money to waste
(1 out of 5 stars)
"A typical episode in this (not just this volume but the entire Betterman) series runs something like this. Some of the main characters talk in order to fill in the gaps from previous episodes. Why couldn't this stuff be shown on screen? Either it's too boring or the writers and animators were too lazy to show us.This is followed by some of the main characters getting into trouble. When it looks like the end for them, one of three things will happen just in the nick of time: one of them will suddenly remember an amazing dowsing ability they somehow forgot they had, someone will show up in a mecha, a betterman will show up. Either way they're rescued. Why didn't they just call this series Deus ex Machina?The series has too many characters, main or otherwise. Some come and go in a single episode, only to be mentioned during a later episode's expository. Unless you're keeping a scorecard, you're never going to remember who they're talking about.There are more than one betterman. What's their motivation? Don't know. How do they always know to show up at just the right moment? No clue. Worst episode: Dream. Note to writers: The dream sequence is the lamest dramatic cliche, used only by lazy hacks totally lacking in originality and creativity. It can't even begin to work unless I care about the characters, and this series has given me no reason to do so. This episode uses it multiple times, and by this point I'm totally numb to any trouble the characters may be in. Look, they're really in trouble this time! Oh thank God it was only a dream! I was really worried for a minute.When voice actor Matthew Erickson's Keita tells Hinoki he'll always be by her side, I can't help but hear Erickson's Jinto from Crest/Banner of the Stars saying the same thing to Lafiel.When I hear Sakura's moanful premonitions I think of Mr. Spock mindmelding with the Horta. "Pain! Agony!" Not anime, but what are you gonna do?Finally I have to wonder, is Betterman really "better"? Sure he can turn into a grotesque monster by eating the seeds of a flower that grows out of the face of dead people. Yum yum. But does that really make him better?"
Sylph StarWind | New York, USA | 08/07/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I think this show is alright. The show has a formula, it's pretty much the same structure every episode. Each time an enemy falls, a new one pops up. I've been watching every episode since the first (I'm on the 26th episode) and many things are still unclear. The plot is constantly changing, and not necessarily in a good way. It's pretty random. I don't care much for the characters; Sakura annoys me a lot. She whispers warnings but no one seems to hear her. She just seems so useless most of the time. Anyway, this show is only mildly interesting. I got bored halfway through, but I continued to watch. This DVD is pricey, as most are. It's much more than it's worth. I wouldn't buy the DVDs, but then again I'm broke. Watch if you can do it cheap or for free, not if you have to pay a significant amount."
"Betterman"...more like "I've seen better, man"
Del Keyes | In The Middle of the Sunshine | 11/20/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"**REVIEWING IT AS A WHOLE SERIES**Hajime Yatate is one of most top leading creators in the anime industry, best suited for the mecha-action genre. He gave us animes like 'Cowboy Bebop', 'The Big-O', 'Mobile Suit Gundam'...and on this review, "Betterman", an anime that hybrids mecha-action with the knowledge of genetics. I'll be frank: "Betterman" ain't Yatate-san's best work."Betterman" deals with an obligatory virus that kills people and monsters that lurk in the shadows, so a secret organized alliance goes to investigate and exterminate these problems using 'top-of-the-line' robots made for combat. The main characters are 'Keita', the cowardice nerd with an electronic-fetish, and his childhood friend 'Hinoki', a generic hot chick with an ugly neon-mixed hairdo who has some serious self-esteem issues, along with a bunch of sub-characters that almost no one's going to care about. Though their roles are strong, they wouldn't succeed in many battles against half-screened monsters if it wasn't for the help of the mysterious guy who could transform into an enormous, metallic demon named, yep, Betterman; I always ponder that the mystery dude and Hinoki are connected somehow, because he almost has the same ugly hairdo as she does.The series is interesting when it come to what it is. Though it follows the mecha genre, it does have some horror-quality to it because of some of the Silent Hill-type, psychological scenes it contains. Story-wise, it's convoluted. If you can't pay attention to the whole thing, you'll be just as confused and lost as I was, as the characters spend a lot of time theorizing, explaining, and yapping about how to create different species through genetics, the history on the virus and the birth of monsters like Betterman, stuff that'll guarantee you to be mind-boggled. Even if you paid attention to the series entirely, you'll realize that it has problems. The series' consist of plot holes, imbalance plot structure, and it'll leave many questions unanswered when the series ends.The art and animation of the series are on the so-so side, but what's more aggravating is that the series is very dim. I can hardly see what's going on in certain scenes, and how can I enjoy a battle between a robot and a demon IF I CAN'T SEE EITHER OF THEM?! The dubbing is a mixed bag, as the characters' voices ranges from loose to forced acting; I mean, hearing them laugh is a shivering experience."Betterman" is by no means a bad show, but if Yatate want to create something that's at the top of league as his other creations, he needs to think of a 'better' anime, a 'better' production, and a 'better' outro; the guy who's singing the outro sounds like he had flu while being constipated.It's a must-buy for hardcore anime fans who wants a bit of a psychological feel on the mecha-action/horror variation, but others might want to pass on this one. It's a decent anime at best, but overshadows from even greater ones."