Rave Master Review

Rave Master is an anime series based on the works of Hiro Mashima. You have a trio of teen heroes, with their faithful unicorn-nosed dog in search of bad stones.

The anime is a very odd combination of things. First, you can only watch the DVD with English language dubbing which is not exactly stellar. Next, the anime was designed with all English titles, perhaps aimed at the US market. Third, right from the start, there are scenes in the anime that aren't in the manga at all.

There are quite a few changes. Characters get rearranged. The Dark Bring got renamed into Shadow Stones. Apparently the US audience is too clueless to realize that Dark Bring are 'stones' without the word stone being in their name.

But let's just look at evaluating this anime as a standalone item without worrying about the original manga series. The graphics are a combination of nice backgrounds, sticky main characters and interjected CGI items. It's sort of odd. When something is stationary for a while, they put a lot of effort into it and it looks lovely. So some scenes of forest scenes for example are quite lovely. But in other cases when a lot of movement (i.e. work) is involved, the drawings get very jagged. It's then odd to go from that to a gorgeous CGI shot.

It's nice that we have both male and female leads here, each with their good and bad points. The storyline, altered as it is, involves them meeting up in a run-down city of gambling and extortion. Initially it is Haru, wielder of the Giant Sword, who meets up with Elie, the tough-but-tender girl. They also have the unicorn-nosed Pluu - a creature nobody can quite identify. Soon they are seeking the Rave Stones in order to defeat the evil Shadow Stones.

This is certainly not at the level of Trigun or Cowboy Bebop. The characters are either very good or very bad, and the dialogue is right out the cartoon dialogue guidelines handbook. Just where did the "Ravolution!" cry come from? Still, it's a traditional group-of-kids-progress-to-save-the-world storyline which is simple, mindless fun. A safe, fun anime for younger watchers.

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