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At first, the pics above turned me off since it looked like it featured "mechs" and the usual maid + master plot.... which I'm not a big fan of. Especially the mech stuff.... just not my thing. However, after reading some of the reviews, I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.
Art, Animation & Character Designs
The art wasn't too bad. It seemed about average, if not slightly above the norm. Animation was on par with most other anime.... thus it had an average frame rate. The characater designs were cute (kurumi) and well done.
The OP was sorta cute... which made me dislike it. However, it wasn't so cute that it put a bad taste in my mouth thus, it was bearable. The rest of the music was just some light pieces that were barely noticeable. But other times, it would get sorta dramatic with an orchestra-style piece or a creepy eerie piece as found in episode 1 where our protagonist (Nagato) was walking around in dungeon room. The ED was actually pretty cool. It was a chorus of female vocals in an almost 80's piece with trumpets, light cheap drum beats. It still sounded pretty decent.
Series and Episode Story
This was a pretty good anime. The characters were rich the episodes had enough laughs and story to keep you coming back for more. The plot at first got me a bit confused however, after a few episodes it became clear and realized the series was slowly building up to a grand apex. There was a mix of humor and silliness and at times, you'd think it was all a light-hearted series with a bit of action. Instead, it's more a series with a ton of serious action that throws in elements of humor and wacky moments.
Overall, it had a good plot and a balanced mixture of ecchi and silly moments. It had cliche moments as well but it was done well.
Last updated Sunday, May 10 2009. Created Sunday, May 10 2009.
Drama : Low / Med
Comedy : High
Action : High
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Med / High
I loved this so much. It has a kiddy sounding OP that really does apply for the first 10 episodes. Then afterwards when the show turns dark, it's the only thing that keeps the anime up beat.
The extras at the end are top notch. I was surprised they went into such detail instead of 5 minutes of talk. Talk , DVD Game, Liner notes, Translator Notes. It's well done. What's funny is the English VA's for this are actually good looking. Usually they look like hell.
Too bad it ends so abruptly. I wish there was a little 'extra' at the end.
In a way this is the Anti-Saber Marionette J. There is a guy who is underage, he has girls who want him sorta. There is some Yuri, Loli, but no Yaoi (Unlike J). So in all respects this is an opposite version of J.
Last updated Friday, April 15 2005. Created Friday, April 15 2005.
I was pretty confused by this series as a whole. The plot was one thing: it was hard to tell what the overlying plot was, aside from the briefly mentioned "the academy from the future wants to save the earth".
The harsh shrill voice thing mentioned below: for me I only noticed when they started saying BANZAII over and over....that was pretty shrill.
I liked the action, and some of the romance in this anime, and the art and animation were pretty nice, but Kurumi herself was my biggest stumbling point.
Her character, along with the cartoony intro, really made it seem like a kid's show. She adds a pronounced -desu on every sentence, and acted Very childishly, more so than the 12 year old "Master".
But how can this possibly be a kids' show, despite all appearances, considering the rather numerous gratuitous nudity scenes? Also, the lesbian-incest angle creeped me out a bit, much more so in the second season of steel angel kurumi, though to be fair it wasn't really acted on. Still a bit creepy. (And I'm in the majority of guys who like lesbian stuff.)
Anyways, I liked it enough to watch the whole series, but thats about it. Good comedy, good action.
Last updated Monday, January 17 2005. Created Friday, July 30 2004.
Mahoromatic, Hand Maid May, maybe Chobits, too. Perhaps I'm some sort of subconscious pervert, as some critics would have me believe, but I doubt it. Anyway, the first thing you notice about Kurumi has got to be the comical warnings (a different one in every episode) to watch the show in well-lit rooms without getting too close to the TV. My rented DVDs contained some really neat translator's notes which said that these were included because a certain episode of Pokeman once caused hundreds of seizures among viewers! (other extras include nice historical background and "travel log" segments, and interesting behind-the-scenes interviews with the dub voice actresses, though I would rather have heard what the original Japanese voice actresses had to say). A minute or two into each episode is the catchy, ultra-cute theme song (look for the extra long version at the end of the final episode!). from the very first 15 minute episode it struck me that Kurumi's combination of cheerful simple-mindedness and ass kicking ability reminded me of Lime from Saber Marionette J. Another observation was that this show was a good deal funnier than Hand Maid May, which I was also watching at the time. I especially liked the Angel's daydreams and when things went into SD mode. I love this show! The plot made sense, yet was unpredictable (at least early on). When what seemed to be a gigantic fortress floating on a cloud appeared, I got a little nervous that things were going to go weird on me, but it didn't turn out to be a serious problem. The series would sometimes bounce back and forth between episodes featuring silly comedy and ones filled with vicious hand-to-hand combat between Angels--but that didn't bother me either. As for the warnings of unbearably shrill, high-pitched voices, I wonder if that critic was really watching the same series as I did, because that problem never materialised for me at all. And I actually liked the short, 15-minute episodes--it gave me a show that could be slipped into my anime viewing schedule whenever less than half an hour was available. As the series nears it's conclusion, and things get more and more serious, the question of the quality of the ending comes up. The characters argue over whether desperate measures should be undertaken, and personally, I was intrigued to see how this would all work out. Perhaps I should mention that right up until the next-to-last episode, I was under the impression that the series still had an entire volume to go (because four "omake" episodes which have nothing to do with the main plot were listed as "Volume 5" in the catalog) so I suddenly realised that the series was going to have to wrap up in about 12 minutes' airtime. I still don't completely understand why Steel Angel Kurumi ended the way it did, but I like the ending anyhow. A "fairy tale conclusion" is okay with me when I've become as attached to the characters as I was in this case. The "romance" between Nakahito and Kurumi was critical here, and I didn't sense anything too absurd to take seriously (he seemed a good deal older than 11 to me). I was left feeling good, not cheated--it was nice to see Nakahito finally achieve something, after he'd been beating himself up because he was powerless to intervene in fights between superpowerful Angels. So, everything worked out just fine for me. Maybe I'm just too easy to please when it comes to anime. Or, more likely, maybe Steel Angel Kurumi was far better than all the negative criticisms had me expecting.
I am in the habit of reading pretty much every review I can get my hands on about an anime series which I intend to watch, and the reviews dealing with Kurumi seemed to wave a lot of red flags. One critic said the voices of the principal characters were so shrill that blood was liable to pour out of one's ears while listening. Several couldn't take the romance between 11-year old Nakahito and Kurumi seriously. One despised the "entire 'maid' schtick that seems to be sweeping Japan". Yet another felt the unusual 15 minute episode format seriously limited character and story depth. And one last reviewer described the ending as "overly contrived" with a "predictable fairy-tale conclusion". So, I went into Kurumi with a good deal of trepidation. I did so largely because I, for one, just happen to like "maid" anime--
Last updated Monday, February 25 2008. Created Monday, July 05 2004.
Does this story line sound strangely familiar; boy meets metal (or magic) girl, boy awakens girl, she falls in love with him, he does not have a clue about what to do, and they all get chased about while trying to figure everything out.
The setting is Japan in the 1920s, during a time when the military is very accustomed to having its way. They have just lost their new toy, the improbably cute and impossibly compact steel angel robotic warrior. Well, the militarys loss is Nagato's gain, as the young twelve year old appears to have gained a girl friend name Kurumi. And off they go..
And if one steel angel is fun, they even manage to turn up two more to help build the family-type story line,.
Sure it has been done before (and I have no doubts that this story will be said again.) This series is better then most, and it does have its charm in having been set in the 1920s era, with all of the appropriate costumes and settings. The animation is good, the dialogue is intelligent, if you enjoy this type of series, then it is worth at least a watching. I like the historical settling, so I may rate it bit higher than most.
Last updated Wednesday, April 29 2009. Created Friday, March 12 2004.