Genre: War, Drama
Length: 13 Episodes
+ War scenes were enthralling
Most characters were boring/dull
The main love story is not as interesting as the side love stories
I loved the war scenes and hated the forced love story of whiney characters. Saikano proves that it could do love drama correctly, except it does it with the side characters instead of the main characters. This series is short and after viewing it it left no positive impression on me.
2.5 out of 5
Saikano Anime Review
Written by: James Lin on 2/14/2004
Saikano is a tragic story of love, friendship, and war. It gives a frighteningly true aspect of war that most people ignore - and that is how war affects civilians who aren't even involved. With the "what-seems-to-be-recent" September 11th attacks, I felt a bit more compassionate towards Saikano because even with the American troops in Iraq, I still lived my normal everyday life as if nothing was different. My eyes were wide open throughout the war sequences of Saikano, but unfortunately they were halfway shut through the rest of the series.
I wanted to love this story but I couldn't. Saikano had moments where I was absolutely mesmerized by, but then it screwed everything up by forcing a confusing love drama in it. I know that was the focus of this series from the start, but it was simply not interesting. After seeing Chise's body transform into a weapon, it is difficult to go back to a lackluster love story where nothing really happens. I suppose the problem I had with this element of the story, was with the characters. The main character, Shuuji, is one of the dullest, and ugliest drawn characters in all of anime. That might be a cruel statement to say, but I felt that way the entire 13 episodes I was watching. Shuuji's attitude, and dull personality, adds up to a character that you can't root for. Shuuji was also a victim to poor character development. We are given flashbacks of Shuuji that really do not matter. It has really no affect on the story or on the characters. Not only Shuuji, but I also had a problem with the other main character, Chise. She is drawn cute, but her personality is whining, obnoxious, and overall a chore to watch. Luckily Chise is the ultimate weapon, which makes her a lot more interesting then she really is.
Now that I have the character problems summarized, I figure I'll start with the story. Saikano is about war. Every guy's interest. I'm a guy, I'm interested. Add in a girl who is the ultimate weapon, and you have one interesting series, correct? Nope. It could have been, but the story of Saikano focuses on the relationship between Shuuji and Chise, and not enough on war. I can honestly say every second there was a "war scene," (not just the battles, but also with the civilians and their lives) I was glued to the screen. It's unfortunate that these scenes came by too few and far in between. The rest of the show is made up of whiney love drama that seems to repeat itself over and over.
What a disappointing series. The story is average, the characters aren't developed very well, the animation is mediocre, and that is about all I can say. If potential was a category that counted, then I suppose Saikano would score high. Unfortunately, potential only counts for a series that is still running. Saikano is a depressing series that leaves much to be desired. I suppose the target of this series was to be depressing, but did it really have to be this boring? There are some shining moments, like I mentioned during battles, but those simply don't occur enough for me to like this series.
Perhaps the only thing that saved this series was the ending. And I only say "saved" because if the ending ended in a different way, I would have completely hated this series. But still, dissapointment fills my mind when I think of Saikano, and it just doesn't quite get it done for me.
War and drama are perhaps two of the most interesting genres ever to exist, and for Saikano to fail this bad is surprising. Perhaps I overlooked this series? Maybe my interest in Chise, the ultimate weapon, was not supposed to exist. Was I supposed to be interested in the whiney love story that was presented? No, I can't convince myself that I am wrong in my review of Saikano. (Trust me, I tried... me scoring a war-type series low is unheard of!) In the end, Saikano is simply an average series. The lasting feel to it simply doesn't pack a punch. It tried too hard at having a relationship drama, when all it really needed was to let the effects of war talk for itself. After I finished watching this series I really felt bitter about how much time I just wasted.
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