Breakout of 2006
Antonio D. Paolucci | Beaver Falls, PA | 05/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even though this is only the first volume of a two part series, I'm sure that Karas is going to be one of the best, if not the best, anime of 2006. It has everything that all good anime have, including excellent animation, both 2D and 3D, which is blended in Karas so perfectly it's difficult to tell difference between the two; the music is good as well, with emotional tracks that highlight the intense, non-stop action; and of course their is the excellent voice-acting on both the English and Japanese tracks. The only thing I was unsure of was the story, that's because it wasn't yet finished.
From what I gained, though, it follows a Karas, a warrior capable of entering both the spiritual and physical world to do battle, who is thrust into a battle with a former Karas known as Eko, a man who is meddling in the two worlds of existence in Tokyo. Spirits are growing sick and humans are dying left and right. To make matters worse, monstrous, robotic demons known as Mikura are prowling the streets and Karas must put a stop to them in order to save the humans who are the Mikuras' food source.
Karas is somewhat of a cross between Blood (for it's dark settings), Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (for the crisp animation), and Kakurenbo (for the elements of horror). So for fans of the mentioned anime, this will definitely be an anime for you. What am I saying... Karas is an anime that really shouldn't be missed if you consider yourself a fan of anime. It has the power to stand right alongside Akira, Ninja Scroll, and Ghost in the Shell as anime's classics.
A quick note on the DVD: It's very cheap, as in inexpensive, yet it's loaded with special features, including a mini-comic book (not manga) with a special Karas adventure. You don't expect a DVD to have this much for so little, which only adds to the appeal of Karas.
Forget Advent Children
Keonyn | Minnesota, USA | 06/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What we have here is a highly underrated title with some truly impressive animation, music, voicing and an engaging story. I'll start with the story however as that is where this title gets most of its complaints. It is a complicated story that certainly isn't told in the clearest of fashions. Of course, it is still told and though it probably takes two viewings to really grasp the story it is all there clearly enough aside from the obvious factors that will show in the 2nd volume. It is a story that makes you to pick up on it rather than simply forcing itself on you and to really fully understand it I seriously recommend viewing it at least twice.
Now on to the animation, which is an amazing display of hybrid traditional/CGI animation which is put together very effectively. Neither type seems lower quality than the other, both the CGI and the standard 2D are very well done and have very fluid movements. The detail is quite impressive and the budget for this title really shows in the animation.
The music has a very cinematic and dramatic feel and is one of this titles strongest points. The voice acting is well done as well, both in English and in Japanese.
The latest big hit in the anime world has been Advent Children, but I must say honestly that I enjoy Karas so much more than Advent Children. The animation isn't quite as detailed in Karas but the movements seem a lot more real and organic and the action actually gives the illusion of action more effectively than anything in Advent Children did. The story, while a little difficult to pick up on at first, is a much more in depth and quality story than what Advent Children provides and while I will freely admit that not everyone may be able to "get it" from the start all the elements are there, you just need to pick up on them and it will take a few viewings to do so.
I highly recommend this one though, it's a very well done anime in every department and while the story isn't laid out for the viewer perfectly it is still all there regardless and just requires some perception to really get it. It's a relatively inexpensive title and it's worth every penny."
3 times through
Spencer K. Hudson | La Mesa, CA United States | 07/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After watching this one time through you will either think it was an awesome production of action and effects (geared towards those with a small attention span and thirst for raw action rather than a good story line) or that it is a complete mess. I admit that I enjoyed what I thought was mindless entertainment, but at the same time was left slightly disappointed with what I thought was a Hollywoodish Anime (not a good thing). However I was fortunate to see one OVA at a time, therefore I watched the first OVA about three times, the second two times and at last all three together (these three are what make up the contents of this DVD). So by the time I finished this first half of the story I pretty much understood it.
This DVD entails a complicated kaleidoscope of events that eventually jumble into a collage of a story. Honestly this is a very good anime with a very good story once you are able to breath it all in. It appears as a mess because the director throws everything at you almost at once; however I believe that is what he intends. As the story goes on the knots that make up the story untwine (OVA to OVA). So expect the first OVA to be the most complicated and confusing. but if you Read the summary first the story will make more sense the first time you watch it.
Finally, the animation and CG is second to none. It is an extremely beautiful anime.
Sooo, I highly recommend reading the summery on the back of the box first."
Enjoyable and, more importantly, engaging
Nathaniel T. Miller | 09/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with all of the points made in the other reviews. I enjoyed this anime for the fight scenes and the depth. The fight scenes, as everyone says, are incredible. Fast paced, complicated and well animated, they keep you watching. The credits during the opening became a bit tedious during the last few since they interrupt the aerial combat which CAN be tricky to keep track of. However the remainder of the fight scenes are great.
It is important to note, however, that any comments you find about lack of narrative are absolutely true. There is no explanation of ANYTHING that is happening, not from any of the characters who have such knowledge nor any dramatic narrator. This is something I actually enjoyed about the story. During the first ten minutes I was blown away and completely oblivious as to the REASON why what was happening, was happening. However, this is a story where one can piece together the various elements through watching the story. This isn't to say, treat it like a detective story, but rather to say, while watching, you will see characters do or say certain things that make you think "I think he is this kind of character and this is his backstory etc..." Your experience with other movies, anime, and science fiction will guide your intuition. Put simply, the narration is non-existent, so you create it. I enjoyed watching this story and talking with my friends about who was who and what their goal was. The depth is present because the lack of narration allows you to wonder at the reality of the situation. Bit by bit the questions of who, where, when, why, and how are all answered, but while you watch there is an alluring freedom to the lack of explanation. By leaving the story up in the air, it draws you in with the tantalizing possibilities it suggests. In the first few minutes you are presented with the presence of transforming warriors with incredible powers, a seemingly normal girl with abnormal importance, and a police detective who seems to know more than most. The amazing story that this world COULD become drew me in like a terrible crime with no apparent motive. Why are they fighting, why is she important, what is the detectives connection to anything? I watched and continue to watch this story to attempt to answer these questions, and thus far the answers have not dissapointed me, nor the creation of more questions. I highly recommend this Anime to anyone interested in fantasy or science fiction despite the requirement of patience."