Ga:Rei-Zero Series Review

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I just wanted to give a heads-up, my weekly anime review that was due on Wednesday will be combined into next weeks’ – I’ve been playing way too much Harvest Moon: TOT for the wii.

Sometimes a show’s creators are really willing to take a risk. When it works, it really works but if it doesn’t, then they get raked over the coals. In the case of Ga:Rei – Zero, not only were they willing to create a prequel to the source material, they were going to give most of the ending away at the beginning of the series. Did their gamble pay off or should they have just done a convention adaptation?

Final Series Score: 12/12
Rewatchablity: medium
Pros: interesting structure to episode order, main characters where given quality character development – we even empathize with the character that we knew would turn evil, very good animation, fight scenes where interesting and well done with many offbeat weapons used
Cons: The television broadcast had very annoying censoring that’s designed to make people buy the DVDs

Awards given to Ga:Rei – Zero by this blog

  • Runner-up for Best Action for Fall 2008
  • Winner of The Gurren Lagann Memorial Body-Count Award for Fall 2008
  • #3 Top Anime of Fall 2008

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Story

Kagura and Yomi belong to families that have a long history of being exorcists. One day they will be their family’s prime exorcist but for right now they lead semi-normal lives as students. After the death of Kagura’s mom, Yomi convinces both families to let Kagura move in with Yomi’s family so she could be a big sister to Kagura. The two are perfect for each other and they both relish the chance to be sisters. Their happiness only lasts a little while before they get mixed up in a plot to attack the exorcist families from within, using human frailties and weaknesses. And ultimately the anime asks, “Will you kill someone you love, because of love?”

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Thoughts and impressions

There is joy in Mudville – the mighty Casey has come through.

The greatest success of this show was it’s ability to introduce a character as a total evil killing machine then shift back in time to when she was totally good and make you like her. They do such a good job of making the viewer like her that when she is manipulated into turning to the dark side, we still like her and hope above all that she can be saved somehow.

Another way that this show excelled was using many different types of weapons, not just the traditional swords or guns. This made the fighting scenes much more interesting as each weapon’s strengths were slightly different and made the combat style different. To name but a few of the odd weapons; one guy fought using a weapon that turned his hands into drill hands, someone else used suitcases that shot missiles and in one episode an iron filled with holy water steam was used. But those looking for more traditional weapons were also satisfied: the Nabuu Brothers used shotguns and Kagura and Yomi used swords. Even some of these traditional weapons were special in some way as well – Kagura’s sword had a cool trick to it; a gun was embedded inside the sword and she could use the recoil from firing it to rapidly change her sword’s movements.

I’d like to recommend this title to everyone but I can see at least two types of people what could be disappointed with this title. The first group are those looking for a pure action show because much of the middle involved character development and not much in the way of fighting. For this group, I’d recommend Kurozuka, also from this season, instead. The other group is people that would enjoy the character development, particularly watching how the one character will fall, but will not like the fighting scenes because they are too bloody and violent. The television broadcast is a possibility because it censored the worst stuff but the censoring is done very abrasively to entice people to buy the DVDs. But if you don’t mind slow parts used to develop the characters or violence and blood then definitely give this show a shot.

And since this was all new material (so it didn’t use any of the source material) and they showed a small clip of where the manga starts at the end of the last episode, I think we might get a sequel – which I’d really like to see.

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Essential Information

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3 thoughts on “Ga:Rei-Zero Series Review”

  1. this show gave me all the things that i desire to see in an anime, and in no time topped the list of my most favourite anime. Character development, action, weapons, monsters and a supernatural i cant ask for anything more. That risk they took in not showing the op and end in the first three episodes really worked for them, it increased the interest and suspense span ten times even more, awesome. What is more interesting that i just randomly chose this title while searching for the anime with genre i prefer, i found Ga- Rei Zero and without even checking the trailer or op i started watching the anime, so in the first three episodes because they do not show the op and end i had no idea who were the main characters and where the story was going, so precisely i was shocked to see Tooru, Natsuki and their gang dying so quickly after setting such a great action packed introduction. Yomi and Kzuki are my favourite characters, and great they both died, but that is alright because all my favourite characters die in the story *sighs* . And yes as you pointed out they showed this character as a killing machine first and suddenly turned to the time when she was the most naive and lovable character of all. That really makes the things hard and scary in the climax for Yomi’s fans, who prayed through out the last episode for Yomi to be saved somehow by Kagura. But nooo she had to be punished for all the people she killed lol
    That is ok we see Yomi in Kagura in the end, which was sweet. I have definitely started defying the word ‘hatred’ after watching Ga Rei. oh god sowwy this is getting lengthy, so yeah hats off to Ga Rei, it is after a really long time that i have watched something that i got really hooked up with. Great show i recommend it to everyone. Thanks

    Like

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