:: Saishuuheiki Kanojo ::Reviewed By: Kyosuke
Wow. After seeing 5 episodes, this show is definitely the best new show I have seen this season. Saishuuheiki Kanoko, or 'SaiKano' for short, is, at its very core, a story about a relationship during wartime. But it's so much more than that. Shuuji is introduced as a normal guy in the local high school in Hokkaido. He falls in love with the kawaii Chise, a klutsy, timid, and short girl who is very devoted to him. And right there, I bet a lot of you guys would walk away. But there's a dramatic twist if you keep watching...
One day, an unknown enemy force appears in the skies above Shuuji's hometown. The casualties are sizable and the fighting is fierce. While most of the local inhabitants are running for cover, Shuuji notices something glinting out of the corner of his eye. Curious, he runs toward this darting object in the sky that is shooting down all the enemy planes. In the center of all the rubble and debris, he finds an unfamiliar and battered Chise, whose body is deformed with wings growing off her back and a giant weapon attached to her arm. She is the ultimate weapon (saishuuheiki) used by the government to combat the enemy forces. (note: this is all in episode 1)
SaiKano is a pretty serious show, unlike a lot of the shows out there today that focus on comedy. Also, unlike a lot of shows that deal with war, SaiKano focuses more on the after-effects and ramifications of battle rather than the battle itself. And the way it focuses on Chise going out to war while the man stays home waiting for her is another interesting twist. At times, this show will tear your heart out, and at times it is quite depressing. Will Chise's traumatic changes tear her and Shuuji apart or bring them closer together...? I refuse to speculate on how it's going to end; instead I will watch each episode with bated breath and anticipation.
I think the Gonzo's got a really great show on their hands here. Normally, shows by Gonzo tend to over-emphasize the flashy CG graphics (e.g. Vandread) and forget about story development, but this anime has a really good story. And it is told with feeling. Now admittedly, I have read some of the manga before seeing the anime and do like the manga a little bit better. But I think that the anime is a faithful adaptation of the manga, and also of the whole feel of the story, right down to the reproduction of the author's character designs (using a lot of sketches and lines). If you like anime with a good STORY, you can't go wrong with SaiKano. Yeah, there's minimal to no fan-service, but that? not what this show is about. Different is good.
I think this SaiKano a show that everyone should at least watch and evaluate. With its very nice production values and interesting storyline, SaiKano should be a hit. A-E/E-F and HQA/ANBU are subbing it, and both groups are doing an excellent job. You can read the manga at http://www.toriyamaworld.com. This is a show that people will be talking about for a long time, and I hope I got some of you to check it out.
(Addendum: After finishing the series, it reaffirms my feelings about SaiKano, having powerful emotions amidst a tragic backdrop. Highly recommended, plus the R2 DVD has English subs!)
:: alternate reviews ::
Alternate #1 - twndomn
"When you write the review, plz mention the character's name. Chitse and Shuiji are the important names. BTW, the comics of this series has already ended. The ending gives y.." (read more)
Alternate #2 - DarkTreader
"Wow. Lots and lots of Wow.
When I first watched this series, I thought it was going to be kinda dull, your typical high-school romance series (this was before I looked up .." (read more)
Alternate #3 - evry1si9
"Undoubtedly my favorite anime ever...
The only anime to ever make me cry... and for 2 weeks...
As far as how saikano makes you feel after you watch it, imagine a family .." (read more)
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