Plot: Beyblading -- battling special tops by seeing which can out-spin the other -- is the new gaming phenomenon that has swept across the world. And rookie beyblader Tyson is out to show what he's made of. It also helps that his beyblade contains the essence of an ancient beast called Dragoon. With this secret weapon, Tyson joins the national Beyblading tournament in hopes of making it to the top. Along the way, he finds others with bit-beasts like his Dragoon, battles old rivals and makes new friends -- and, to his surprise, these friends (well, minus one, Kai, the ruthless ex-leader of the Blade Sharks gang) will join him as a team to take on the world! (Tournament anime -- meh... But for the twists thrown in, I'll give this a C+)
Art & Animation: Manga: B- / First season: A- / V-Force: B / G-Revolution: B+
Voice Acting: Original Japanese -- D+ / Dub -- C
Objectionable Content: Mild (but I hear the Japanese version has blood?). Manga has crude humor and some profanity.
Other: Yes, this is a tournament anime with a load of product promotion and whatnot, but it does a good job with character story arcs, earning it some brownie points. Another thing it has going for it is the comedy aspects (for instance, if you listen closely, the announcers are constantly joking during the tournaments and poking fun at each other). Plus, you've gotta admit the bit-beasts are pretty cool (especially the first season's monochrome-style ones).
The manga is a mixed-up jumble of all the seasons of the anime. Though it does shine some light on a few facts excluded from the anime, it's pretty confusing.
Overall Score: C+
Plot: Gon Freecss lives with his aunt Mito in a small home on Whale Island. When a Hunter arrives and tells Gon that his father is a renowned Hunter, Gon begs his aunt to let him take the Hunter exam, so that he can search for his father. With much effort and training, he sets out to become a Hunter and picks up a few allies along the way... (B+)
Art & Animation: B
Voice Acting: Original Japanese -- A- / English -- B
Objectionable Content: Blood, profanity, fan service
Other: The series got a reboot in 2011, but all the heart was taken out so that it could be compressed.
Overall Score: B+
Plot: Miharu Rokujo is your average student with a not-so-average apathy toward the world around him. When he suddenly starts getting attacked by ninja, he finds out that he has the Shinrabanshou -- a scroll containing the most powerful secret art of the hidden ninja world, or Nabari -- inside of him. His teacher, Tobari, and fellow student, Koichi, hop on as his protectors, and Tobari wants Miharu to become the king of Nabari. But all Miharu wants is to get the Shinrabanshou out of him so that he can return to his normal life.
To that end, Miharu and co., with the help of newcomer, Raimei, seek out Kotaro Fuuma, an expert on ninja arts. In his village, Miharu is again attacked, this time, by a group of Iga ninja called "Kairoshu" -- one of which is a boy named Yoite, who uses the dangerous forbidden art, Kira. Miharu and co. return to their home village of Banten safely, thanks to Kotaro Fuuma. However, shortly thereafter, Yoite kidnaps Miharu. Claiming to hold Miharu's friends' lives hostage, Yoite forces Miharu to make a deal: if Miharu will agree to use the Shinrabanshou to erase him, he will make Miharu the king of Nabari. So begins an awkward partnership as the opposing sides race to gather the forbidden arts in an effort to remove the Shinrabanshou from Miharu... (A-)
Art & Animation: A-
Voice Acting: Original Japanese-- A / Dub-- B
Objectionable Content: Blood, suggestive themes, profanity
Other: A ninja drama that borders on shonen-ai and uses a few Naruto-like plot devices. Where Nabari differs is its setting and characters: this one takes place in a more modern, realistic world; the characters aren't all gung-ho, either -- rather, this takes a darker look at the world of the ninja as Miharu is dragged deeper and deeper into it.
I have only read parts of the manga, where it starts to split off from the anime and explore more of the series' questions.
Overall Score: B+
Plot: Orphan Naruto Uzumaki is feared in his village because of the beast sealed inside him. He's sick of being ignored and out for recognition -- and he's aiming for the top. Naruto's goal? To become the Hokage -- the most skilled ninja in the village! To that end, he trains relentlessly, constantly improving alongside his teammates, Sakura and Sasuke. (A-)
Characters: Explored characters have lots of depth (A)
Art & Animation: A-
Voice Acting: Original Japanese-- A / Dub-- B- (includes Shippuuden)
Music: original -- B / Shippuuden -- A
Objectionable Content: Blood, suggestive themes, fanservice, profanity
Other: I have a love/hate relationship with this series. I like the characters, but I hate the way the story is handled at times,
how certain characters are ignored XP (that means Hinata), and how they always DRAG IT OUT in the anime. Nowadays, I watch this on and off.
Overall Score: B
Plot: As a child, Yukito Kunisaki heard the story of a girl in the sky from his mother. Now he travels and searches for that girl, getting by on the little money he earns putting on shows with a string-less puppet. In a small town, Yukito meets a girl named Misuzu Kamio who quickly makes friends with him and invites him into her home. Staying there and learning about the people in that town, Yukito meets girls who have strong attractions to the sky... (B)
Art & Animation: A
Voice Acting: B
Objectionable Content: Suggestive themes, profanity
Other: Another work from Studio Key. It starts out slow and strange, builds up to a great climax, then gets REALLY WEIRD -- after which the writers proceed to rip your heart out. Keep a Kleenex handy -- or don't watch the end at all
; you'll just regret it, like me.
Overall Score: B