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Edition 07: Saikano

» Articles, Features, The Watcher (Previews) | posted by Piro^kun on 02/28/2006 [Discuss]

Shy Chise and nervous Shuji are high school seniors in a small town. They have just started dating. But everything changes when Shuji discovers that Chise has been engineered by the Japanese Self Defense Force into the Ultimate Weapon!

What do you do when the girl you love becomes a weapon of mass destruction? - U.S. Official Site - Japanese Official Site



Created by: Shin Takahashi
: Atsuko Kase
Original Manga
: Shin Takahashi
Character Design
: Hisashi Kagawa
Mechanical design
: Hiroyuki Kanbe
3D Animation
: Kazuhira Tanaka
Key Animation
Jeong Ho Jang
Keuk Sun Jeon
Seong Yong An
Sun Hak Jeon
Won Cheol Seo
Yong Il Park
Animation Produced by: Gonzo
: Yuria Yato
Textures: Shin Inoie
Theme Song Composition: Yuria Yato
Theme Song Performance
: Yuria Yato
Number of episodes: 13
Licensed by Viz Media


Saikano looks absolutely stunning. Coming from studio Gonzo, that’s to be expected. I shouldn’t have to tell you how astounding their work is. Good work on picking this one up Viz! Now about the plot, isn’t love grand? Sure it is, but picture this. You’re in love and it’s just what you need to make it through the tough wartimes occurring at the moment. During this war, you witness your girlfriend with a huge gun extruding from her arm. She’s in combat and you come to find out that she is the ultimate weapon. How do you cope with that? I’m always down for a story about human relationships. From Vandread to Last Exile, Gonzo has impressed me and they seem to be improving as fast as technology allows. All I’ve seen are great reviews for Saikano so I’ll wait with baited breath and at 13 episodes it seems I may be begging for more when it’s over.

Dark Wind:
I haven’t really been too intrigued with this series as of yet. It looks to be a manipulative series trying too hard to depress the viewer and try to get him/her to care for characters that are too far out there (personality-wise) to care for anyway. The animation does look good, being from GONZO and all, but the premise looks to be crap on a pole. I’ll give it a try, but if I’m brainwashed by an anime’s attempt to make me care for animated characters, then I’m definitely going to stop watching it.

From the looks of it, it seems to be yet another teenage love drama (i.e. a soap opera). Like anyone needs to see another one of these. And c’mon, a girl who’s a weapon for the military? Ridiculousness personified. Oh, whoopdedo, “she must fight in a war, how will their love last?” I don’t need a show like this yet again. And the character designs look fugly. Just take a look at some of those pictures. It’s even worse when the guy looks 20 and the girl looks 12. They could have made them look the same age (since they are) but instead I always think “pedophile” when I see pictures from this show. I can’t wait to here the explanation on why Chise (the girl) is a weapon for the military either. This show could be unintentionally funny.

This show has one of the toughest names for me to remember: “Saishuu Heiki Kanojo” or otherwise known as, “She, the Ultimate Weapon.” But that is just my own problem, I tend to call it Saikano for short anyways. As for my impressions on this show, I did not like the fact that Chise (female main character) seems to have no beef with the military making her into what she is in the show, an ultimate weapon. Shin Takahashi has really made a very attractive show as Saikano does not focus on the plot. It is more focused on the characters; the way they react to each other, the way they live at a time of war, moreover the love relationship between Shuji and Chise. Saikano is a show that does not have a strong plot that grabs a hold of the viewers’ attention on the spot, but gradually as the show goes on, the characters are the attractive point of the show, not the story.

You must be able to tell the difference when a creator wants to emphasize on the plot or the characters, and seemingly, most people often confuse Saikano’s goal, which the number one priority is for the viewers to connect to the characters, and the story second. Overall, Saikano is not what it seems to be from the start. In the beginning it starts out like it was going to be another ordinary teenage love drama, but once you see Chise in her battle mode, you can toss all those thoughts of anything ordinary right out the window.

Every once in a while there comes a spectacle of some sort even on the anime market. Saikano is such a dark sheep that easily goes by unnoticed. This is something every anime fan that is looking for something deep should not miss. It may not look good on the cover, but the truth is the complete opposite. Think of reading a book that tells everything so clearly that it can shock you. Saikano is a short series, only 13 episodes long, but that’s the amount that is needed to make it feel alive, to be able to affect the viewer with its tragic turns and truthful storytelling. Saikano trusts on modern and original approach. Characters are drawn simply, and they almost always look like they’re blushing, since cheeks are usually red, but that just gives the characters that innocent, adventurous look. Backgrounds are the complete opposite and look wonderful. Mix in effects of the war, explosions, lights, shaking, machinery, all done in decent CG and you have a beautiful, and visually expressive anime. Don’t miss this one!

Alpha: What do you think of this edition of The Watcher? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail us or talk about it in our message boards!

Saikano Screen Caps:

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