Ga-Rei-Zero: The Complete Series [Blu-ray + DVD]
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Garei Zero: Complete Series [Blu-ray + DVD]
Ga Rei Zero (2008) is a dark, supernatural adventure, based on a manga by Hajime Segawa. Fate and heredity dictate that teenager Kagura Tsuchimiya must become a Vanquisher, a member of an elite core dedicated to fighting supernatural monsters that menace Tokyo. During their training, she and Yomi Isayama adopt each other as sisters, sharing secrets and Pocky Sticks. But Yomi is seduced by a mysterious boy who offers her a "Bane Stone," an enchanted gem that increases her powers but devours her soul. Inevitably, she and Kagura must meet in a duel only one can survive. Although the tone, theme, and characters in Ga Rei Zero recall numerous other anime series, the story is hopelessly muddled and badly told. It's difficult to keep track of the cast, as the filmmakers keep offing characters they've just introduced: Ga Rei Zero has a body count approaching Hellsing's. Kagura, who fusses and whines, even when her life is threatened, is hardly an endearing character, and Yomi looks and sounds like someone from Anime Central Casting. After 12 episodes, the audience has no idea who the evil boy with the Bane Stones is, why he's always surrounded by blue butterflies, or why he's out to cause so much trouble. With no sequel on the horizon, viewers may never find out. (Rated TV MA: graphic violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, nudity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
(1. Above AOI, 2. Expression of Hatred, 3. The Times of the Chance Encounter, 4. The Cause of the Duty, 5. Obstinate Feelings, 6. Beautiful Enemy, 7. Chains of Blame, 8. Whereabouts of Revenge, 9. Spiral of Sin, 10. The Other Side of Tragedy, 11. Turmoil of Fates, 12. Yearning Prayer) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This anime series is a prelude the the storyline of Ga-Rei. It offers solid action, friendship development, character complexity/development, animation quality, and emotional impact. Its soundtrack did not particularly stand out as well as the voice acting. The 3-dimensional animation seems quite poor for the current standards (there is not much of this). There are 12 episodes total and all are normal TV episode length. Warning that the first two episodes are nearly all action, but the third episode begins the main story. The ending to the anime is very predictable due to it being a prelude to Ga-Rei and due to the manor in which the anime presents itself. Overall this anime is for people who are interested in seeing an action packed story of the friendship between two sisters.
Reviewer note: Yumi, who is one of the main characters in this anime, is one of my personal favorite anime characters of all time.
What it turned out to be was a wonderful and bittersweet story that combines action, humor and love, and love in it's different forms. The beautiful sisterly relationship between Yomi and Kagura, the romantic love and also the love for family.
The animation is fantastic. Beautiful artwork with fluid motions. Less 'freeze frames' during the action scenes than you would see in older anime. You actually get to see the fighting rather than a character brandishing a sword with a fierce look on their face, the frame freezing and then seeing the defeated 'baddy' on the ground.
I watched the dub version of this, and it is probably one of the best I've seen. I was especially impressed with the performance of Kagura's VA. She did a brilliant job. Especially in the last episode. It's an extremely emotional episode and she did beautifully showing the myriad of emotions that the character goes through. (Though she was amazing, the rest of the VAs gave top notch performances as well.)
Overall, a wonderful series. Action, love, comedy... You'll find all of it in this series. Definitely worth your time and money.
Oh and a warning. I believe it says there is only "mild nudity". That isn't precisely true. The two girls bath together and there is full nudity. It is brief though, and nothing offensive.
In any event, the series is a prequel to a manga series that has concluded (after 12 volumes), and this is the backstory to that manga. You don't need to know the manga (I didn't), to enjoy the story, so definitely recommend this one.
There is mild nudity, could have done without the nude bathing scene and occasionally forced hints at lesbianism, but other than that, solid series, great plot, excellent voice acting, well-animated, and a good combination of both action and the humanity that drives all the characters.
Some people may get turned off by the way the anime changes focus completely after an eye popping opening that literally grabs you and never lets you go, keeping you at the edge of your seat even, but I think its a welcome change of pace.
The story introduces the characters, who they are, what they do, their backstories, and allows you the viewer to experience events as they unfold.
I like the way this anime is downright shocking with some of the stuff it prevents, from one character brutally murdering someone, to crazy events that seem unreal when watching.
For fans of Drama you get plenty of this in the anime.
I found the characters likable when watching, the animation is really good, as is the English dub, and the Japanese audio too.
This anime quite adult with its violence I would say. Keep in mind if you're buying as a gift for a teenager, or a young adult.