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Red Garden: V.1 Live to Kill (ep.1-4)


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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Surprisingly good! Feb. 14 2008
By Linda S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
My husband and I rented this from netflix and yes, at the opening credits we both groaned at the bad song translation. However, we persevered through the first episode, which hinted at more. So we continued to watch, and each episode was better than the last, giving more of the story - which is quite complex and involved! Before we knew it, the afternoon was gone and we had watched the entire first dvd! We both agreed to move the second and third dvd's in this series to the top of our queue, and to look into purchasing this series.
We are both middle-aged professionals with good imaginations and open minds, who love both fiction and non-fiction, as well as good scifi. If you give this series a chance and pay close attention you will be well rewarded with a smart, serious story underneath the silly songs and cosmetic fluff that graces most anime nowadays. Highly recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Creepy, dark and twisted but in a good way! Aug. 8 2008
By Dennis A. Amith (kndy) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
What would you do if you were given a second chance at life?

Welcome to the life of four teenagers who are given a new chance at life but things are not as what you may expect.
In October 2006, GONZO's "RED GARDEN" appeared on TV Asahi. The show ended at 22 episodes in March 2007 and now the teen/horror drama will be released in the US in September.

"RED GARDEN" is an anime that takes place in New York and revolves around four teenagers:

Kate Ashley - A member of GRACE, the top students who police the school for students who are late to class and to ensure that all is well at their high school but trying to cope with life after the death of her good friend Lise.

Rachel Benning - The popular girl in school, wearing the most expensive clothes and always partying with her friends.

Claire Forrest - Independent and outspoken. Not a student but works (or tries) to make ends meet.

Rose Sheedy - A shy girl who takes care of her siblings while her mother is hospitalized.

The four girls have nothing to do with each other but each share a common friend named Lise Meyer who has been murdered. To make matters worse, other young girls from their high school are being murdered. Also, for the four, they can't seem to remember what happened the night of Lise's murder.

One night, the four are brought together and wait until a mysterious man and woman appears to them and tells them that they all were murdered and have been given a second chance at life. But to stay alive, they will need to kill the beasts who murder at night.

They have no choice but to fight and win. Or else they die.

The first volume of "RED GARDEN" is the introduction of the characters and shows how they are at school and how they try to cope now in their real lives knowing that they have been murdered. The four seek the answers to why they can't remember that one night and the answer to their question is shocking.

The animation is actually unique when it comes to the character designs. Ishii Kumi does a great job at giving us something fresh and new.

I actually like taking certain situations from anime on characters in Japan but giving that spin on American characters.

For example, Kate's group GRACE wear these interesting uniforms while policing the school grounds. Rachel has that prissy debutante look, Claire has the sporty look and Rose, well she's quite normal.

Also, I like how on video games such as "Silent Hill" or "Rule of Rose" that utilize the noise on haunting and dark segments, the same on this anime. Very creepy and beautiful of how they animated these segments.

The scene which explains how the four girls were murdered was animated beautifully but at the same time, so disturbing.

"RED GARDEN" is interesting in that its an anime where it was created around the voice acting. Rather than the opposite way which most animation is made.

Now, I watched this anime both in Japanese and in English and the Japanese voice acting is well done and when the girls start singing a song... again, so beautiful but yet so creepy.

But after watching the English dub, I found it so appealing of how they made the vocals of the characters fit. A slight change in dialogue to make it more appealing to the dub viewers, although small changes, it definitely gives the viewers the feeling of where they are in their personal lives.

For example, there is a scene where Kate and Rose visit Rachel at home. Rachel, who obviously is rich, really is snide and condescending to both Kate and Rose. In the Japanese dialogue, you understand it. In the English dialogue, the delivery of how Rachel says it is captured perfectly. So, I definitely will say that I enjoyed the English dubbing for this anime a lot.

As for special features, the first volume comes with the clean opening and ending animations. Also, ADV previews.

I was a bit disappointed that there were no director or voice actor's commentary (I'm growing to enjoy these with ADV releases) but all in all, I enjoyed the first four episodes and look forward to watching more.

I have to admit that I was not really sure what to expect from "RED GARDEN". It's almost like a twisted "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" but in this case, these girls do not want to be killing monsters each night and its bad enough coping with the fact that you've died and now you have to fulfill this obligation of fighting monsters for the rest of your life.

Is it worth living this second chance of life or is it better off dying?

The way the girls are dealing with this, how horrified they are about having to kill or be killed, I must say again, I'm quite impressed with the storyline so far.

I hope that in future releases, perhaps an interview with the director or series creator discussing why they chose to create the anime around the voicework. Why they chose America as the setting for this series? Why all the monsters are men? Also, it would be great to hear commentary from the voice actors talk about their approach of playing the certain characters, especially since the characters are American.

From the music to the awesome voice acting in conjunction with an intriguing storyline and animation that is absolutely beautiful but yet with undertones so dark and disturbing, makes "RED GARDEN Vol. 1' a recommended buy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Shelf Worthy Jan. 7 2008
By All Access Gift Card - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This series I thought was great and I believe it takes someone over 12 to understand it and handle the fighting. It mysterious has a new sense of animation thats not been seen before often and is quit refreshing. The theme songs are bubbly then heavy because of the soft and yet violent themes to the story. At times the random singing is odd and the show can get angsty but its truly not that bad. The four main girls have a complex realationship but is understandable. If you want to own something mysterious with dark undertones with a interesting anime style then buy or preview the first episode on ADVs websites to see if you will really like it or not. But it is a great series to own and deserves to be on anyones shelf.
Live To Kill....could you? Feb. 17 2008
By Michael Valdivielso - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is not just the simple story of four girls who hunt man-beasts and kill them. Nothing is simple with this story. Kate, Rachel, Claire and Rose are all different girls from different lanes of the rat race we call life. They only were linked by two facts. They all knew Lise and they all are now dead. And if they wish to live they must kill at the command of the butterflies. Can they live with the blood on their hands? What do they have to live for? Family? School? Can they kill without question, without knowledge, without feelings? No, that's the point. Each has their own reasons for wanting to live. But is that enough for all of them? In some way Rachel is the most interesting. A popular girl with the boys and a party animal she find herself asking herself those all important questions that always bum us out. Is this worth it? She can't be with her friends, she can't think of all the stupid things like make up and fashion like she use to. Can she kill just to live so she can kill just to live? She carries a baseball bat in the last episode and is the first to crack under the pressure. But is that a sign of her being unstable or is she the first to truly understand what is happening to them? There is gore, great artwork and musical numbers. Yes, musical numbers. Think Evil Dead, 90210 and Singing In The Rain.
The anime is so great I have already watched volume 2 and plan to get them all. This is one anime I don't wish to miss and I don't think it will get boring.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not A Very Healthy Garden But It Has Potential July 2 2008
By Keith A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Sometimes while I'm watching this series I start to think about how much I want to know exactly what is going on. Don't get me wrong cause this is a decent little series but it has some annoying habits. Red Garden revolves around 4 teenage girls who interact most at their private school located in New York. Of course, all four of these girls are in way different social groups and all have very different attitudes and lives. Kate, Rachel, Rose, and Claire are nowhere near friends but one truly dark night they're forced to come together and fight.

What they have to fight looks to be a zombie but how can 4 high school students defeat a zombie with no weapons? This is when the story hits its mystery and main plot. A man and woman who don't immediately tell their names confront the girls. The two keep roaming around in the shadows and show up every once in a while to annoy them. Now these two don't give too much info in this volume but you can tell that they know more than they let off. The girls don't truly know why but it seems that they are the new peacemakers whenever these zombie like creatures come out.

Whenever they see orange butterflies, that means it's time to fight but there are never prepared. So now the plan is to figure out just exactly what is going on, why these girls were picked to do it, and who will be able to survive. I liked Red garden's first volume but it is a sure 3.5 star first volume. First of all, the animation is great but it's just great surroundings not good character animation.

The characters are not very appealing a all, some of them are poorly colored and have poor facial designs. I guess what I'm saying is that the character designs are bad and need work. A few of the characters even look too much a like. All the other animation was great despite the characters. Some of the voice actors can have really annoying voices when the suspense scenes come. As for the story, I am still waiting for a cool weapon to be introduced and I'm hoping that one will. The girls constantly have to fight these zombies almost barehanded and it makes for bad action scenes. I also think that the pacing is off a touch. I do like Red garden enough to stick with it, just cause I'm curious if they will surprise me. The opening theme song is very cool too. 3.5 is a decent rating but I hope that the second volume will step it up a bit.


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