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Kaleido Star: Season 1

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 44.95
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Japanese anime meets Cirque du Soleil! Aug. 8 2012
By John Thomas Anderson TOP 50 REVIEWER
Kaleido Star is an older series originally released by ADV and here re-issued in a Funimation budget priced SAVE edition. This is the complete 26 ep. first season reauthored onto four discs with the original japanese track and the very nice ADV English track retained. It's a heck of a great deal at this price.

Kaleido Star is another of those rarities among japanese anime as it contains no harem, no monsters, no sci-fi nor any other of the usual elements in said genre. Instead it's simply about a young girl who joins the anime version of Cirque du Soleil and slowly works her way up the performance ladder. It's the perfect series to watch when you're tired of mechs, aliens and angsty harem comedys.

The story itself is magical. There's lots of drama but it never get's overly angsty; lot's of obstacles but they're overcome in a timely manner and the villainy when it occurs is never too mean spirited and eventually turns to friendship. It's a beautiful and wonderful little relationship series.

But for me the best part of this series is the build-up to the climactic finish as she and her partner intend to perform a stunt sooooo dangerous that the only previous performance ended in tragedy! You don't even fully realize what the performance actually is until it happens and like the participants; you get caught up in the moment. It's one of the most satisfying endings I've ever seen in an anime series and for that alone; I'd put this series in my best of the best collection.

If your tastes in Japanse anime run along the likes of the Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki movies; sweet little anime series like Ai Yori Aoshi or Kamichu! or you're just plain tired of aliens and demons and sci-fi elements. Then definitely give this one a try.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best shows ever made to this day, and a classic of its own! Nov. 23 2010
By Sebastien Bilodeau - Published on Amazon.com
It totally swept me away from the start to the end! This is a great mix of comedy and tears that draws us inside a world following the adventure of Sora Nagino who is the upcoming star learning how hard it is to rise to the top as a circus star, and one day become the dreams of young children and parents alike. Fives stars out of five won't even give justice to this amazing anime. Highly recommended for everyone of any age.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Tale Of Dreams And Determination Feb. 6 2013
By KevinB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Sora has always dreamed of coming to L.A. and becoming a member of the Kaleido Stage performing troupe. She makes the trip and with a little luck, gets accepted into the troupe. Her cheerful attitude and relentless determination quickly make her some great friends and fierce rivals. The girl she idolizes, Layla, is beautiful, graceful, strong, and everything that Sora strives to become. She eventually earns the chance to play a role as Layla's partner. The 2 of them have the potential to become a legend in the acrobatic world. But they will face much adversity and many trials on their way to achieving their dreams.

At first I was a little hesitant about this anime. Being a guy, I wasn't sure if a PG rated show about acrobatics and the circus would appeal to me. I'm glad that I took a chance on it. Even though it is definitely geared toward females and a younger audience, it has an uplifting and universal appeal that can grab the interest of almost anyone, despite their gender or age. Kaleido stage has a captivating story, great characters, and plenty of drama. The animation, soundtrack, and voice acting are all very well done. Watching this anime makes you forget about your troubles and escape into a dazzling would of fun, dreams, and determination. It has some great lessons to teach. Never giving up, always doing your best, and having faith in yourself & your friends, are all major themes in this series. It's extremely uplifting.

After hearing all the great things I said about it, and seeing all the other 5 star reviews, you are probably wondering why I'm not giving it 5 stars. I have seen a lot of anime, and I own over 300 titles, so my standards are a little higher. Than most I think. I can't give it 5 stars because I don't think that Kaleido Star achieved it's full potential. I think that there were some episodes that really didn't need to be there. Instead of some of the "filler" episodes, I think that they should have developed a stronger bond between Sora and Ken. Ken has very strong feelings for Sora, and would lay in traffic for her. Much to my aggravation, Sora didn't even acknowledge him most of the time. This is very annoying to me.

Another thing that I don't like about this show is the spirit of the stage. There is a spirit named Fool. He is sort of like the familiar for acrobats that have the potential to achieve greatness. I don't like him. He is totally creepy. His voice, appearance, and mannerisms all make my skin crawl. I think he takes away from the show.

I realize that these are not huge issues, and there is another season of Kaleido Star that can resolve my first complaint about the lack of romance. I just think that it could have been developed in this season. Despite my 2 little complaints, I really enjoyed Kaleido Star. I'll definitely get season 2. If I could rate this a 4.5 I would, but I can't. I'll just have to give it 4 because it doesn't quite earn all 5. Overall, Kaleido Star is very good. It is suitable for almost all ages and genders. I highly recommend it, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's showtime! Oct. 1 2011
By Erick Reilly - Published on Amazon.com
Kaleido Star tells the story of a sixteen-year-old girl named Sora, who moves from Japan to California to audition for a role on Kaleido Stage. The shows in said stage are like a ballet, a circus acrobat act, and a light show rolled into one. It's genuinely suspenseful, lighthearted, and at times, undeniably cool. The cast includes a buff cop, a girl who loves comedy, a guy who harbors a crush on the heroine, a cute baby seal, and many more.
The packaging says it's rated TV-14, but I really disagree with that rating. Yeah, there's a character who wants to see Sora naked, but Sora catches on to his game from the get-go and does everything in her power to prevent such a thing from happening. It's a clean show.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good anime March 7 2012
By gringa2012 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Good anime to watch. Although I preferred season two better, season one does have some good episodes. Overall, it is a good anime to watch
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming of Age on the Flying Trapeze Dec 19 2011
By Mvargus - Published on Amazon.com
If it wasn't for how often the Cirque de Soleil type shows in this series cheerfully break the lawa of physics this could have been filmed in live action rather than animated. And it would have likely been a huge hit on Nickelodeon or Disney, the story it that good.

And that is what makes this series something special. The story follows Naegino Sora who comes to the US to join a permanent circus based in an unnamed coastal town called Kaleido Stage. Despite arriving late after her luggage is grabbed by a street thief she is offered a position by Kalos the owner of the show. Thus begins a series of trials as she tries to win the repsect and friendship of the other performers.

This series has a lot of heart and humor. Each of Sora's trials is approached with care. She gets through them with a never say die attitude and a bit of help from a few close friends.

The animation here is nothing special. The artists clearly understood that the story needed to be in teh forefront and avoided making the animation too good. It is colorful and the motion of the characters is smooth.

Children will love the bright colors and the impressive arcobatic shows, but adults will likely also find the story well written and dramatic. This series is a great example of how animated shows should no longer be considered "just for children."
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