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View Poll Results: Utawarerumono Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 54 29.19%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 66 35.68%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 42 22.70%
7 out of 10 : Good 15 8.11%
6 out of 10 : Average 6 3.24%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 2 1.08%
Voters: 185. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2006-10-04, 00:23   Link #21
Guido
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Utawarerumono Final Thoughts

Utawarerumono attracted me because of its title not knowing what to expect to find for the characters and the plot. I must confess that it apalled me positively with how the camera handled the long and close shots in a cinematography-esque manner.

The animation employed for the forest and villa settings brought memories of Miyazaki's films, particularly with the musical arrangement that evoked the sense of spirit and purity within nature.

But, I digress with the sci-fi element twists used to properly explain Hakuoro's God-like origins. At the beginning, I naively thought the story took place in an alternate Earth full of exotic and mystic creatures, but nonetheless plagued in eternal warfare for control over the territories and political disputes.

I can think of that the first half, ending with the Shikerepechim arc, was better accomplished in terms of pacing, logic in the plot, and of personal interest. The second half did not possess the strangeness and fantasy that was ethereally dominating the atmosphere and mood in the previous half.
I just have a distaste for epic, fantasy stories and feudal settings that suddenly throw into their mix sci-fi elements to get a grip of surprise as response from the viewers.

Utawarerumono was better off without them. What I can positively commend was the growth of Eruru discovering her feelings for Hakuoro, as she encouraged herself to remain by his side in the darkest hours and during the most beautiful of days.

Utawarerumono is among the batch of spring anime titles that I have finished off recently to pave way for the next season shows with time.
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Old 2006-10-05, 19:29   Link #22
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Great, great review. 10/10 for both the review and the series. I finished watching this series ago and thought the ending was perfect for the anime. I got started into watching Utawarerumono because of the unique name, and quickly got addicted to it. What I like about it most though, is the art of the characters. I mean, its not everyday that you see a character in a dress like Eruruu or Hakuoro.. its just something about it that reminds me of the traditional japanese dress (kimono?) that really impresses me. I have to agree with the part that they left off some important facts, but the series is only 26 episodes long.. so I guess they couldnt put everything on there. Another thing to mention: the opening music was great and fits the series perfectly. Well, at least in my opinion. I wasnt a big fan of the ending music though.
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Old 2006-10-06, 20:28   Link #23
Aryeztur
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I would have given the series a 10 (I gave it a 8) but for one general aspect of the entire series. This was the fact that there seemed to lack a smooth flow of plot from episode to episode (the middle of the series basically seemed to be a collection of random, unrelated adventures until we find out all the attacks are being coordinated by Dii).
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Old 2006-10-06, 23:45   Link #24
Flame-X
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A 9 outta 10 is what I give.
I would've gave it a 10 if the animation was more detailed (meaning no stills, stock footages, blackout with swords clashing into each other, etc.), have several more eps to cover up the important events from the game, and.... MORE FIGHT SCENES!! XD

I love this series and its my 4th fav overall. I'm so gonna buy this on dvd when it comes out in thinpack. I cant believe ADV renamed it to Shadow Warrior Chronicles, a fucking gay title.
I got into this anime by just dling random new animes airing that time of the season. After watching the first ep, I wasnt really into this whole hybrid characters thing but the OP song is freakin catchy as hell. I didnt care much for the ED. I was amazed at the fight scenes and the world being blown up in the OP scenes. I cut out the OP scenes to make a separate file so I dont have to go through the eps all the time for the OP. When I reached ep 5, i was like OMFG!!!! That fight scene was fucking awesome!! That's when my obbsession began for Utawarerumono.

Story: 9
Characters: 9
Animation: 8
Music: 10
Enjoyement: 10
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Old 2006-10-07, 00:32   Link #25
retardation
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despite zaris' review, i still give this a 6.

is the story original? yes something exactly this hasn't been done before but it's mostly just a mixture of a bunch of things that i too often find in animes... a fantasy world turning out to be a post apocalyptic future of our earth, dr jekyll and mr hyde hero and villain, opposing forces who represent ultimate values. i mean i'm not even against those things per say but i'm just a little annoyed when they happen to be the punchline/twist in a story. i mean i don't mind a good twist but if the twist is going to be another planet of the apes spin then i just get annoyed. i mean if it had presented itself as a sci fi type joint from the beginning i wouldn't feel so insulted.

next there's not enough explanation in this anime. either there are plot ends that just aren't fulfilled or there is too much filling in the audience has to do with regards to important subjects. the most glaring one is what is the relationship between aruruu and mikoto? are they the same person? is she her descendent? what gives? i mean i had to read a lot on the internet to ascertain what was going on overall with the plot. what was hakuro doing in all the time between the incident at the laboratory and the incident where he made the pact with aruruu? what was up with winged eruruu or was that kamyu in that scene in the end of the movie? too much stuff that i feel needs to be answered isn't answered.

then you had too many characters in this piece too. i mean it did a decent job with most of them but i felt that certain characters were pointless. touka and kaura were not really necessary for anything. i guess if it was a longer series they could've built them up. i mean i liked them in the anime because they're cute but i felt that there was a character overload in this.

as for art i didn't really dig the coloring. i have strange taste though. the action scenes were kind of blocky too... and the cgi lol. i'm not really one to give a show a lot of bad points for animation however.

a positive point of this anime was that aruruu and hakuro had a really developed and believable relationship. i liked that a lot. i thought the whole contract thing was just an unnecessary variable though.

also the whole aspect of hakuro's controling the kingdom was cool. i found this actually to be the most original thing. it's like an anime version of playing a strategy game like warcraft. usually commander types aren't heros as much as hero types like say oburo.
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Old 2006-10-08, 12:01   Link #26
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I gave it a 10, but I considered giving it a 9 because of how confusing the plot is. I didn't understand most of was happening in episodes 22-25, then 26 explained some of it.

One thing I still don't understand is... how come they had more advanced technology in the past? I mean, what the hell is up with that?
Also, I do not know if I should love or hate the ending. I mean, it was a pretty decent ending, but I found it pretty sad. Most people don't seem to agree with me, but I think it's really sad.
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Old 2006-10-08, 15:44   Link #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic View Post
One thing I still don't understand is... how come they had more advanced technology in the past? I mean, what the hell is up with that?
Well, it's been discussed in the episode 26 discussion thread and elsewhere, but the answer is basically "Armageddon". The high-tech world (of our real-life future) was destroyed, and the world we see in Utawarerumono is a "new Earth", created by the survivors' remaining genetic technology and the passage of time. It's actually a lot more complicated then that (again, read the threads for details), but that's the simple two second explanation.
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Old 2006-10-08, 21:07   Link #28
retardation
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oh another thing that annoyed me was the fact that hakuro is gonna bring eraruu and araruu to battles and while storming castles and stuff. bringing people like that just endangers everyone else because they'd have to protect those guys. that ain't no good leadership. nobody would do that... araruu isn't even armed. it's really stupid.
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Old 2006-10-09, 08:04   Link #29
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oh another thing that annoyed me was the fact that hakuro is gonna bring eraruu and araruu to battles and while storming castles and stuff. bringing people like that just endangers everyone else because they'd have to protect those guys. that ain't no good leadership. nobody would do that... araruu isn't even armed. it's really stupid.
It's not stupid. Eruru has her healing skills, while Aruru has her... lion thing which I forgot the name of.
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Old 2006-10-09, 10:22   Link #30
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a 8/10 overall for this very entertaining season… for me, the culture of the anime ressembles a bit of Suikoden…

guys, don't you think that Utawarerumono plot of story is very potential to be further developed? to be clear, a 2nd season to be made…

my thoughts:
it will be a story similar to ffx-2 (an ending where Yuna's finaly able to meet with Tidus again, in this case Hakuoro and Eruruu, somehow)… with now Oboro taking over the leader role… + the war has not over yet (Hakuoro said that also didn't he?)…

not only that, some aspects in the story still need explanations… ex: when Hakuoro said something like "I didn't realize it til now" and called Mikoto's name…

a 2nd season for Utawarerumono would be great…

ah, one more thing… why must Yuzuha die (T_T)…
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Old 2006-10-10, 16:03   Link #31
Sinanju
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I totally fell in love with the anime, until the ending which imo was REALLY bad. Actually the last few episodes was really bad
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Old 2006-10-10, 17:04   Link #32
kj1980
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I don't normally give a 10, but this one managed to do so...not for the anime, but for the extremely hilarious net-radio show (Utawarerumono Radio) on onsen!!!

Yuzuki Ryoka (Eruru) hitting on Koyama Rikiya (Hakuoro) just made me laugh. And her jealousy rages against Tanaka Atsuko and Saaya is just so hilarious!!
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Old 2006-10-23, 02:19   Link #33
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I ended up giving it a 9, although in retrospect, perhaps an 8 would have been more appropriate. My rating remains a tad colored due to my immediate Wikipedia hajj to fill myself in on the plotholes. I apologize for the lengthy post, but if anywhere, it would be here, and I found Zaris's Encylopedia Utawarerumonica extremely insightful, so I figured I'd add a few chapters to it myself.

1. A unique story?
Perhaps. Perhaps not. Indeed, the modern era of media is so obsessed with the concept of hidden post-apocalyptic/ future dream-worlds, it's hardly a surprise anymore to encounter something of the sort. Though a neat plot twist, the moment the novelty of the said plot wears off, things become less enjoyable.
Spoiler for examples:
Nevertheless, one of the greatest things about the dream-world story is in how to explain the world-state now that the momentuous revelation is unsheathed. To that end, Utawareru makes certain valiant efforts and other gaping failures.

2. Missing Pieces
I understand that my analysis is biased since I've been filled in by the game, but the anime itself seems truly rushed towards the end, not explaining the consistencies between the various flashbacks (the murder of the archeologist and the subsequent experiments were unclear to me when I watched them, and the anime never mentioned the fossil ever making a pact with the archaeologist). What the Avu Kamu are is also never mentioned, and the mysterious floating space-station which fires the laser down to Earth is an enigma. Why the world is in the state that it is and why the air is unbreathable (despite the pristine, natural wilderness with plants and animals [rather unlike much of the urban sprawl that covers our world today] is neglected. This aspect, though perhaps inconsequential in the greater theme of the story, could have been hinted or alluded to, leaving the watcher with fewer feelings of unfulfillment.

3. Standing Out

That said, the one thing I give Utawareru a great rating on is universe-building. Perhaps the most compelling factor in any fantasy media is the extent of creativity and intrigue placed in creating a new system of existence and explaining the way things work within the rules. Prime examples of good universe building in anime include Scrapped Princess, Evangelion, and Fate/Stay Night (all of the Type:Moon universes (singular, perhaps?) are gorgeously well-developed). To that end, the world of Eruru and Aruru is fascinating: so many varieties of humanoid beings, each with clearly distinguishing factors, but only subtle differences in abilities between the majority (the onkamyu and karura being clear exceptions). The tribal, pseudo-feudal society is also believeable and well represented, with actual Ainu dress and terms being infused (I've been told that 'Hakuoro' means 'White King' in their language). Even the animals, once we find out that they have survived and adapted to a bizarre, harsh biosphere, take on a greater significance than simply fantasty-inspired fuzzies.

In addition, the plot builds upon itself, as too much is not revealed too early. We begin our adventure on a small forest level conflict (Miyazaki, anyone?) but quickly realize the battle is regional, then national. The system hopping grows larger yet with the Rak Shine Arc (I admit, I was impressed), but quelled with the revelation that not all was as it seemed, as Dii is finally introduced as a major character. The arrival of the Avu Kamu leave no doubt that we're dealing with some serious futureshock, and the flashbacks seal the deal. Though detail-level clues are neglected often, the bigger picture completely makes up for this oversight.

4. Personal Complaint of Style

One matter that really dissappointed me about Utawareru arose when I discovered that it aired at 2.40AM in Japan-- clearly a time slot allocated to more mature audiences. If this were the case, why did the director hold back on some of the more extreme or graphic content? Some of the key character deaths were portrayed as rather gruesome, but failed as a whole to come off as such. We were supposed to be disgusted when we realize that the white flowers in the kingdom of Na-Tunk were grown off the corpses of innocents, but that doesn't quite happen. The people of Kunnekamun are supposed to be the targets of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Utawarerumono world, yet all we see is a small kingdom unhappy with its place in the world. Witsuarunemitea's dismembering of Avu Kamus may have sprayed their blood all over the walls, but came off as trite and unappalling. The dissection of Mikoto is shocking, but not from actual film content-- it is only from dialogue and prior memories of the peaceful maternal figure that we are to feel outraged. The elements of story were there. I fail to see why so much was held back or hinted at.

5. Music... Or Lack Thereof
The soundtrack wasn't particularly bad-- I was impressed immediately in episode 1 with the grand orchestral theme when Hakuoro sees his reflection. In addition, I loved the ending theme-- it's catchy but fits the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the five songs that are introduced in the first few episodes are rehashed, over and over again throughout the rest of the show, regardless of their implications. Sadly, this sat in stark opposition to the plot, which was constantly growing in scales of magnitude. The ED sits in my playlists regularly, but I dare not listen to the rest of the OST, in fear any more repetition may cause my speakers to freeze up and play them forever.

5. Conclusions, and Since It's Fun... Incest
Overall, Utawareru shines in its style and meta-storytelling. It's weak points, as such, lie in attention to detail and plot holes that can only be pieced together from testimony of the game. I feel that the good outweighs the shortcomings, though, which prompt me to give it an 8, although incorporating outside knowledge raises it to a 9 for creativity in story. Perhaps I've been too harsh on it in my dissection, but the general effect of the anime was something definitely worth the watch.
Now, on to everybody's favorite topic of discussion ;D.
To begin, as a molecular biologist, I was highly amused by the farfetched scifi elements of the story, but also intrigued by how much the series flirted with the concept of incest. Even before we know that Eruru was of Hakuoro's lineage, it was clear that there were some awfully confusing psycholgical factors in play. Freud would have had a field day with this relatonship! ;P
It's initially clear that Hakuoro assumes the father figure in the Tuskuru family, taking the two orphans Eruru and Aruru under wing. Shortly after the death of the grandmother, however, Eruru soon takes on the nurturing mother role. I hate to admit it, but it seems clear that she takes some sense of comfort in reconciling the security she feels from the paternal position of Hakuoro with her budding interest in him as a spousal figure. I'm not one to speculate, but Hakuoro's continued insistance that they are "family" without specifing in which sense, and his popularity with the other lovely ladies of the court, aggravate Eruru's feelings towards him. One thing is certain: Hakuoro's social status is of Tuskuru's adopted son. He is Eruru's stepfather.
On Hakuoro's end: was he simply tring to be diplomatic, or did he (in Zaris's hilarious words) have the sex drive of a dead fish? Well, one possible answer lies in his realization of his past in the final episode. Without a doubt, he has made the connection between Eruru and his first true love, Mikoto. In that case, his position is clear: he is a father-figure to not only Eruru, but to all the sentient beings of the world. At the same time, was Mikoto herself not technically Hakuro's child? Mutsumi certainly believes the children of the tests are the children of Hakuoro. Eruru's genome may have spent many more generations undergoing genetic drift from Hakuoro's, but I won't give Mikoto that benefit of a doubt.
Due to possible outcry over this contention, I won't formally reveal my stance, but I think it's pretty clear where I stand, ne? ^^
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Old 2006-10-25, 05:02   Link #34
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Originally Posted by kj1980 View Post
I don't normally give a 10, but this one managed to do so...not for the anime, but for the extremely hilarious net-radio show (Utawarerumono Radio) on onsen!!!

Yuzuki Ryoka (Eruru) hitting on Koyama Rikiya (Hakuoro) just made me laugh. And her jealousy rages against Tanaka Atsuko and Saaya is just so hilarious!!
Not to mention that there are many fan comics and fan arts based on the radio show.

As for the incest question, it boils down to whose terminology you are using. If 2nd marriage and adoption is allowed to be used in defining an incest, then Aruru called Hakuoro father and Hakuoro had to concede that, if he is an Emperor, Aruru is a princess of this nation. Since Aruru is Eruru's sister and Hakuoro is legal guardian of them both, in some tradition, Hakuoro is Eruru's father by social contract. If genes were the only standard, it is likely Hakuoro shares less gene with Eruru than Eruru sharing with anyone in her village, thus there isn's much reason against them mating.

In end, if we want to talk incest, we should talk about Koi Kaze, Miyuki, Da Capo, Jinbe, and Boku wa Imouto... ( Hmmm, 2 of the series I mention is by Adachi Mitsuru ).
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Old 2006-11-05, 18:37   Link #35
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The reason for Hakuoro to wear mask, Not.
The hair is..Ryusuke-ish from BECK >_>
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Old 2007-03-13, 18:58   Link #36
Wacram Glaziuz
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well, i was totally crying when all the char's had a bad time and/ or was crying themselves, i think the story is Really great one!! :=D i love it
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Old 2007-03-14, 03:05   Link #37
teachopvutru
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Reading those analysis it seems to me that the anime missed quite a lot of stuffs from the game. Only if the game is licensed, dammit

Anyway, despite some plot holes, which I didn't really mind, it was totally enjoyable. Some people seemed to complain about the sci-fi stuffs but, except for being quite confused about all the flashbacks, it didn't seem bad at all to me. @_@

I gave it a 10. It may have been biased but who cares, I just judged it base on how much I enjoyed it, that's all .

One thing I hate about this anime is all the long names. I couldn't manage to remember all the names, if any or many at all. And at the beginning of the series, I thought the fighting scenes were weird, it got better in the middle though.

The parting scene was definitely nice and very touching (Hence Eruruu the greatest dog-girl ) ... The ending was good generally but I hate how they end it like that ;~;
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Old 2007-03-15, 01:51   Link #38
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cute chars good story :O but i wanted a better ending xD i would give this a 10 if it had a better ending @_@ happily ever after w/ eruruu? @____@ xD xD xD i wanan see a movie of this, like hakuoro comes back xD does sumthing then end up w/ eruruu xD i gave this a 9 but it was really close to 10 :O

btw i love the music =x im addicted to kimi ga tame T____T xD
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Old 2007-03-18, 01:56   Link #39
teachopvutru
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Yep... What did Eruruu see?

Oh, how about a sequel? ;o ... or a movie? =/ ... or an OVA? T.T

Though most likely they won't be out...
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Old 2007-03-21, 14:08   Link #40
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the ending makes me sad

other than that a pretty good series
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