Douglas Kendrick | Valencia, CA, USA | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a brand-new fan of Anime, I count myself particularly lucky for having "Gravitation" as my first real exposure to this art form. I've read the Manga and was completely absorbed by the story and the characters. Buying the long-awaited DVD was just the next step...Imagine my joy at coming home after work and finding my Gravitation Volume 1 DVD waiting on my doorstep. Before I went to bed, I'd watched the whole disk 3 times--twice in English and once in Japanese (and I don't even understand Japanese) and was so totally hooked it's almost scary. I instantly fell in love with the characters all over again now that they moved and had voices; I found myself in a panic that I'm going to have to wait a couple of months before the next volume comes out. I can't get enough!The story is incredible: the irrepressible Shuichi Shindou is working toward his dream of being a rock star, but on the way he meets intense, mysterious (and way sexy) anti-hero Eiri Yuki. Gravitation is the force that pulls these opposites together and the love story that emerges is nothing short of brilliant. While there's a lot of material from the Manga that is left out of the series, the crucial elements of the story are there, shining through for us to experience. The general goofiness of Shuichi and the anime stylistic gags don't overshadow the deep, yet simple beauty of two people--in this case, two guys--falling in love and seeing where it will lead.While I'm not yet an expert, I know something great when I see it, and this is it. RUN out and buy this DVD for the story, the characters, the artwork and especially the music (as an aside, I can't get the title tune out of my head and am already well on my way to memorizing the Japanese lyrics--the closing end credits music too). It is beautiful, addictive, meaningful and just a lot of fun, if nothing else."
Finally! With *real* subtitles!
Meinos | 07/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As many people have already attested to the plot and general quality of the series, I'm just going to give an overview of my thoughts on the series as someone familiar with Gravitation's 3 various incarnations:Gravitation is a series many fans are already familiar with, and has had quite a following in Japan for the last few years. The story is very simple and its success depends entirely on the character development-- after all, how many times can the "chasing your dream and finding love on the way" plot-line work on its *own* merits?Thankfully, every character contributes strongly to the entirety of the 13 episode series. With a hot J-pop soundtrack, generally well-done animation (more so at the end of the series than the beginning), and a talented vocal cast, such a character-based drama is well-deserving of its success, though some would accuse it of being *too* character driven and not plotted enough (bah!-- certain genres suit certain themes and devices... a romance drama such as Gravitation requires more emphasis on the "soap opera" character elements than might the sci-fi/fantasy/action pieces that most American anime fans are familiar with... in Japan, the character drama tends to be more popular).Gravitation has been available online in many places for quite some time, but the way I first saw the series was through buying the Hong-Kong version DVD import on e-bay. ^_^; Even then-- with bad subtitles-- the series was quite moving and constantly engaging.Gravitation is a sweet romance story that occasionally gets a little bit sexual (kissing, snuggling, implied sex-scenes... lots of above-the-waist shots of naked men-- shocking, I know). The manga (of which I have the first 10 volumes in Japanese) is slightly more sexual (er... more aggressively so, shall we say) and has a plot that continues on much longer than the series.As well, there is a 2 episode OVA (Original Video Animation) that is *much* more sexual than either the series or the manga, follows a parallel version of the series' events, and has even better production values. If you're interested, you might try looking up the OVA online... "back in the day" it wasn't too hard to find. As well, there have been radio dramas done of Gravitation, but that's more a Japanese fad than anything people in the U.S. would likely be interested in.If anything, Gravitation provides an interesting look into how the Japanese character drama works, and, in that light, it succeeds beautifully."
Series review, not DVD review
Catherine Hobbins | Maryland, USA | 02/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shounen-ai : Definition - boyxboy love, but not graphic.
Let's be clear, this is not "animated porn stuff" simply because it's about a BoyxBoy relationship. And now that we're all up to speed, I'll continue with the review.
I will honestly admit that I, myself, and not entirely comfortable of the topic of BoyxBoy relationships. That is part of the reason I was drawn to this anime. The other part was all of the great loyality I saw towards the series from others.
Though this anime series is romantic in nature, the creators spared none of the humor. Every episode has something you can laugh at. Sometimes it's Shuichi's goofy naivete and sometimes it's the hilarious situations. It's also fun to see that the typical laughter-provoking American stereotypes are alive and well in Mr. K, the manager and my personal favorite.
Understanding that this series revolves around Shuichi as a rising star in the music business, I would have been very surprised if the music had not been amazing. From Bad Luck's own song to the background music, this is definitely a soundtrack I would/am looking into buying.
The series itself deals with several different issues, not just the relationship, though that is the main issue. Often, after a bout of cold-shoulder from Yuki, Shuichi questions "Is it because I'm a guy?" The relationship between Shuichi and Yuki develops with the episodes. There are hard spots, and sweet spots, and spots where it seems there is no relationship at all.
Other issues include Shuichi realizing that he doesn't always have to live in the shadow of his idol, Ryuichi. He has the potential to succeed and surpass if he wants it.
The Voices: Unforunately, I cannot comment on the English voices, as I have not yet heard them. The Japanese voices are outstanding though. I would highly recommend watching the Japanese(with subtitles if you need them) when you watch this series. On the subject of english voices though, I would like to say that ADV Films, who dubbed this series, usually does very satisfactory work. (Sidenote: If you watch the original Japanese of both Gravitation and Inuyasha, have you noticed that the voice actor for Ryuichi and Inuyasha is the same? ^_^)
I would recommend this anime to anyone. Especially those who are still slightly uncomfortable with the topic of BoyxBoy relationships. This series was extremely well done and the themes and topics were extremely well executed.
5/5 for Gravitation."