Reviews:
Streaming Episodes:
Community:
Site Info:
Extras:
Saikano
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 08/02/2006

Synopsis:
Shuji and Chise are ordinary high school students who happen to be a couple. They walk to and from school together, go on dates, and pretty much do the things teenagers do. Their romance starts to bloom just as Japan is in the midst of a world war. One fateful day, Shuji and his friends are caught in an air raid and much to Shuji's surprise; he catches a glimpse of Chise flying around deploying missiles from her body. Shuji discovers that Chise is Japan's ultimate weapon for war, and there's nothing he or she can do about it.
 
Review:
Ever since its fansub days, Saikano has been getting rave reviews from anime fans everywhere. Surely something this great deserved a spot in my anime collection. I patiently waited for Saikano to be released as an R1 DVD boxed set, and then I bought it.
 
I had very high expectations for Saikano. I was advised by several people to watch it with a bunch of tissues, because its beautifully tragic tale has supposedly moved many to tears. Unfortunately, I'm far from the emotional type and I remained very much dry-eyed till the end of the series.
 
Overrated was the first word that came to mind after I had gotten over the shock of finishing Saikano. I was like, that's it?! We have two young people in love, but one of them is the government's ultimate weapon in what seems to be World War III. Shuji and Chise struggle to maintain their relationship, but doing so becomes increasingly difficult since Chise is losing more and more of her humanity with each passing day. She's like a walking and talking homing missile, she can detect enemies hundreds of miles away and target them for annihilation faster than you can shout "Fire!". What's more, the harsh reality of war is setting in Shuji's world as he starts to lose his friends one by one. Yes, war is cruel and frightening, and Saikano spares no expense in making us see that.
 
Okay, I know Shuji and Chise's plight is sad and all but give me a break. Episode after episode of lamenting and crying over it is just plain overkill. Shuji and Chise do a lot of mulling over the situation, so much that it makes up something like 75% of Saikano. The series does not even bother to explain how and why Chise became a weapon, and I find it hard to swallow that a high school girl can just suddenly grow and launch all sorts of missiles from her back. What kept me watching was my curiosity, for I could not imagine how it was going to end. Did I just mention the end? Now that was another freaky experience I have absolutely no words for... you'll have to see it for yourself in order to understand what I mean.
 
The art and animation are okay, I guess. Character designs are the typical cute anime fare, but I was disturbed by the lines across all their cheeks. Everyone looked like they were perpetually flushed or blushing. You don't see them on Chise's face in the title graphic above because I photoshopped them away in order to reduce the file size. The scenes' colors are also somewhat muted in order to highlight the dreariness of it all. The English dubbing is delightfully close to the original Japanese dialogues in terms of voicing and intonation, so watching it either subbed or dubbed will pretty much give you the same satisfaction.
 
Saikano had a great concept going, but the plot's progression left a little something to be desired. Maybe it would have turned out better if they had spent less time making everybody cry and more time developing the actual story.
 
Miscellanies:
Saikano spans thirteen episodes. The DVD set also features rather amusing Japanese cast interviews. There is a sequel of sorts entitled "Saikano: Another Love Song.”

Screenshots
Saikano
Advanced Search
Subscribe and Share
Subscribe
Bookmark and Share
 
Review Title:
Saikano
Alternative Titles:
She, The Ultimate Weapon
Type:
TV
Episodes:
13
Duration:
325 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Aired:
2002
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Genres:
Drama, Romance, School,
Sci-Fi
Excel Saga
1. Excel Saga
2. Tenchi Muyo! Movie 1: Tenchi in Love
3. Earthian
4. Black Jack The Movie
5. Pokemon: The First Movie