I recieved the first dvd as a Christmas present from my brother and was instantly addicted to it. This anime probably has one of the best story lines that I have ever seen. Pretty much to put it in extreme layman's terms it's Frankenstein versus the Aliens. The animation is subpar for being produced in 2000 in my opinion but whatever faults you or I may find, the story and the depth it goes into it's characters completely makes up for it. Basically an overview of the story is this. Aliens are being attracted to a specific point on Earth. Ryu Soma is a student who is dragged into helping with a secret project that his girlfriend is also helping with, involving taking pieces of defeated aliens and making a creature out of them, hence you have Frankenstein's monster. This creature is then callled Frank. But the building in which the project was taking place is attacked and Frank is "brought to life" through the incident. Everyone is killed with the exception of Ryu. Scarred beyond recognition, he joins the group FUNERAL, an elite anti-alien military group with the help of Mr. X. This group then acquires Frank after tracking him down. He is now able to be "controlled" by a young girl named Hattie. Another Frankenstein reference, the little girl giving the flowers to the monster. Hattie, by the way, has a striking resemblence to Ryu's dead girlfriend, so he's torn up with emotions ranging from anger to remorse everytime he sees her. Anyway, I do not want to go into too much detail to spoil everything, if your a fan of aliens, mecha, or sci-fi genres this is a must have. If you're not into these genres try it anyway I'm sure you will not be disappointed. This is a great series 25 episodes in all with an extra bonus episode on the last disc (26), it is just fascinating to watch the burden and then evolution of emotion that the main group of characters have within them as they make their decisions. You have a great cast of characters that have their own distinct personalities. Dan Simmons, was once considered the cool-headed one of the squad before Ryu joins and now acts as if he is a threat or rather he acts very suspicously of Ryu. He is now hot headed and does not want to be on the sidelines when there is a fight. Guinivere Green seems to have a level, calculating head on her shoulders. She is not quick to anger but is to action. She is the best sniper among them and she refuses to die. She says her time is not yet there. She seems to create or have an understanding with Ryu and they bond on this fact, their unspoken agreement that death will not have them until they are ready. Sue Harris is the most childish one of the group. She is outspoken and emotional. She takes care of Hattie though because of how insyc their emotions are. But she is not out of line, she is an outstanding pilot and none can match her ability in the sky. Takuto Kaneshiro/ Ryu Soma is hell bent on revenge for Maki's death. He blames Frank totally and will not be satisfied any other way until he is through. Mr. X helps him with this by getting him into FUNERAL as long as he does what Mr. X wants., if not he will be replaced permanently by a more willing person. He is very anti-social with the squad members, but even by being this way he gets to know them more and eventually begin to, at least to me, have a family or a beginnings of a new purpose. This series brings about many questions as it progresses, who is the Shakespeare spouting Mr. X, a devil or Angel to help Ryu exact his revenge on Frank? Will Hattie ever overcome her traumatic fear of gunfire? Who is the Spy among the group? Why are all the aliens intent on reaching Pilgrimage Point? What exactly are the aliens? Will Ryu ever discover who he is, his former self or current? Who is he to believe in the end? It is just hard to explain this series even after just watching it all the way through except for how in depth the characters are and how well the story flows. The ending I will not say much but let me say this, everything is answered/explained, and I find it very satisfactory. The dubbing outside of the main characters isn't the greatest, but inside there are some familiar voices the biggest of which is Crispin Freeman as Dan Simmons. Otherwise we have Beau Billingslea as Michael Hartland, Richard Cansino as Mr. X, Sandy Fox as Hattie, Lara Jill Miller as Sue Harris, Steve Staley as Ryu Soma/ Takuto Kaneshiro, and Puala Mattiloi Walker as Guinivere Green. I don't think there is a manga for this but a complete collection box set is now available for the series. Oh and if you watch the credits for the bonus episode you get a funny little conversation between Dan and Sue.
Next review will be for Azumanga Daioh, woo-hoo!
Boma at 1:02 AM