The Anime Primer

Capsule Descriptions of Anime: B

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Bakuen Campus Guardress   Bamboo Blade   Bastard!   Battle Angel   Battle Athletes Victory   Battle Skipper   Betterman   Big O   BigWars   Black Lagoon   Black Magic M66   Blackjack   Bleach   Blood: The Last Vampire   Blue Seed   Blue Sonnet   Blue Submarine #6   Boogie Pop Phantom   Bottle Fairies   Brigadoon   Bubblegum Crisis   Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040   Burn Up W

Bakuen Campus Guardress (a.k.a. Combustible Campus Guardress or Campus Guardress)

Girl is sister to boy who is the reincarnation of a man whom the girl's previous incarnation loved. He died last time saving the world for evil monsters from another dimension who are bent on world conquest. And now it's happening all over again. How will the girl ever manage to save her brother and the world at the same time, how will she deal with her incestful feelings for her brother, and how can she deal with her mother making moves on her boy?

This is a bimodal show with characters and input from Hagiwara, the author of Bastard! Destructive God of Darkness. As such, it is a combination of the sublime and the profane in a very cute mix. The attack names are a wonderful throwback to some of the spells in Bastard!, and have such names as "Thousand Slices of Radish Attack" or "Puppy Dog Attack".

If you liked Bastard!, you'll like this one.

[Entry by Anand Chelian]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Bamboo Blade

After making a bet with a senpai from his high-school days, Muroe High School's kendo club instructor Ishida Toraji desperately needs five female club members for a match with the kendo club led by his senpai. Freshman Kawazoe Tamaki almost perfectly fits the bill, since she turns out to be a kendo prodigy. But Tamaki is pretty reserved and can't think of kendo as a hobby, so she refuses. However, when an older member of the kendo club starts bullying some of the new members, her sense of justice makes her join temporarily to fight him off.

[Entry by Ansgar "59cobalt" Wiechers]

Bastard!: Dark Schneider

It was an age of lawlessness

Of disorder and Chaos

Blood and steel, flesh and bone

An age of Magic

The four kingdoms are under siege from the evil dark armies of Chaos. The only one who can save them is the evil wizard who nearly conquered the world 15 years ago.

    A tale of sorcery and combat, of scantily clad maidens and a more scantily clad hero.  High Shonen Fantasy at its most extreme. Enter a world of action, excitement, danger, and ... laundry.

Available from Geneon in North America.

[Entry by "Akodo Bob"]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Battle Angel (a.k.a. Battle Angel Alita, Gunnm)
Gunnm: Ido and Gally

The Scrapyard is the name given to a large decaying city that exists due to the garbage dumped from the floating city above it, named Zalem. Humans, androids and cyborgs live in this dark and dirty place, all intermingling. Living with each other, trading with each other, sometime mugging each other. Ido, A brilliant cyber-doctor, discovers the wreckage of an extraordinary cyborg in one of the city's junk piles, and restores it to full health with his skills. She has no memory of her past, so he names her Gally and raises her as his own daughter. However, there is more to her than meets the eye ... Good artwork and animation. From the much-acclaimed manga of the same name by Yukito Kishiro. Contains violence, gore, nudity.

Was dubbed and subbed from ADV Films, but is no longer available in North America (possibly due to an expired license). However, Battle Angel Alita is still listed in the Madman catalog, so Australians can still obtain this anime.

[Entry by Ben Cantrick, edited by Rob Kelk]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Battle Athletes Victory

Battle Athletes Victory chronicles the trials of a 15 year old athlete, Akari Kanzaki. Akari's dream is to become the Cosmo Beauty, the title given each year to the greatest athlete in the Solar System. The title is fought for at the University Satellite, a space station that orbits Earth. Akari lives in the shadow of her mother, Tomoe Midoh, who was widely regarded as the greatest Cosmo Beauty ever. Akari's journey begins at a training school in Antarctica, but stretches past the University Satellite ...

Available from Geneon.

[Entry by Matt Huber]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Battle Fairy Yukikaze

see Yukikaze

Battle Skipper

A new intake and the usual scrap for the best by the school hobby clubs, but three young girls end up taking the fast track into the secret world of one particular club, a cover for some pretty heavyweight mecha in the usual clash of good bot meets bad bot ... apparently the folk who did Plastic Little had much to do with this title. (CPM/USMC)

[Entry by Chika]


Mix a high school odd couple (childhood friends who fell out of touch) with him as the geeky nerd and her as the popular but secretly insecure type due to being orphaned by family disappearing under mysterious circumstances, giant mechas produced by a genius businessman and inventor, his sickly psychic daughter, a handpicked crew of pilot teams and support personnel, mysterious beings of unknown, possibly evolutionary/mutation origin, and a virus or other factor that is behind a serious of threatening events. Then stir in some hard science without any ST speak, and give the viewer room to figure out what is going on without talking down to 'em. You'll have control!

Shares a universe and some characters with the series The King of Braves GaoGaiGar.26-episode series produced by Sunrise (Studio 7), originally aired on TV Tokyo April - September 1999. Issued in Region 1 by Bandai (six disks) and broadcast on the now-defunct Tech TV's "Anime Unleashed."

[Entry by Aje RavenStar]

Big O
Big O: Dorothy and Roger

Roger Smith is a Negotiator, an agent for hire in the amnesiac city of Paradigm, enclosed in giant glass domes. Alongside his mysterious Megadeus (giant robot), the Big O, the deadpan android R. Dorothy Wainwright and his ever reliable butler Norman, he polices the city where the military police cannot. Yet Paradigm City holds many secrets, "Memories" of what happened forty years ago before all the residents of Paradigm lost them, and there are those who will stop at nothing to gather them - and Roger's Memories may be some of the most important of all.

Highly influenced by Batman, this odd mecha series owes its success partly to the US Cartoon Network, who funded the second season. Written by the ever confusing Chiaki Konaka (Lain), the fairly superfluous (although very well animated) mecha fights take a back seat to the utter madness of the plot, particularly in the superior second season. High production values and interesting characters - R. Dorothy is a particular fan favourite - contribute to make an intriguing addition to the mecha genre.

Available from Bandai in Region 1 on seven DVDs, with two extremely inexpensive collections available of both seasons.

[entry by Andrew Hollingbury]


Man has colonised Mars and an alien race doesn't much care for that. This is a tale of Man's struggle against the odds as the alien, who styles itself as a kind of god, uses awesome weapons to beat back the expansionist humans. It's now down to one last chance ... (CPM/USMC)

[Entry by Chika]

Binzume Yosei

see Bottle Fairies

Black Heaven

see Legend of Black Heaven

Black Lagoon

On a business trip in Roanapur, Thailand, Japanese salaryman Rock gets double-crossed by his boss and left in the hands of a mercenary group called The Black Lagoon company. Originally kidnapped for some extra ransom, Rock bonds with the crew and becomes one of them. But this series has a little more going on than "girls with guns" and a lot of swearing. The series rips apart Rock's almost hypocritical world view of Good and Evil and shows him that it's simply a world where people are trying to get things or die trying. What good is loyalty if everyone has a price? And how can he consider himself a good guy when he's up to his neck in crime and murder? This is a thinking man's action series, and has a lot more to offer than explosions and violence.

Age: 14+. Lots of swearing (especially in the dub), smoking, drinking, extreme violence and nuns with bad habits.

[Entry by Travers Naran]

Black Magic M66
Black Magic M66: the M66 unit

A side story to Masamune Shirow's manga Black Magic, this movie tells the story of one of the first combat androids ever built. Unfortunately, the military scientist who designed it used his daughter as the test subject for the android to target. Even more unfortunately, the android has escaped from the aircraft transporting it from the test facility ... If you liked The Terminator, you'll probably like M66. The anime was previously available from Manga Video (the licence has expired), and the collected comic is available from Dark Horse.

[Entry by Rob Kelk]

Black Jack: Dr. BlackJack

He's called Blackjack, and he is a practitioner of "underground surgery". A Tezuka character of old, in this story he is caught up in a mystery concerning the appearance of "Super Humans", and the lethal secret behind it. Blackjack is based around a manga where he is a character that appears, performs surgery that no legitimate surgeon would consider, charges high fees for it then vanishes. Released by Manga in North America, and Madman in Australia.

[Entry by Chika]

DMOZ Open Directory Project


How far would you go for your friends? Would you even challenge the Gates of Heaven? Bleach is a Shonen Jump adventure story with well-crafted characters more real than your average shonen anime, great visuals and really interesting ideas.

Ichigo Kurosaki is a 15 year old high school student with a penchant for trouble and protective of his little sisters. One night, a ferocious demon called a Hollow appears, drawn to Ichigo's spirit power. For reasons he does not understand, he can see the demon, and more importantly, the Death God (shinigami), Ruchia, pursuing it. In the fight for his life, Ichigo borrows Ruchia's power, becoming a Death God himself, and defeats the Hollow. But this just begins a sequence of events that leads him on a journey that will test his spirit to the brink of death and beyond.

The series derives its strength from its well written characters. You feel loyalty to Ichigo: a sarcastic delinquint who will literally bleed for his friends. You care about Ruchia: the young Death God who tries to be a serious professional, but is still an awkward teenage girl. You want to protect Orihime who is delightfully ditzy, but not as weak as she seems. Their adventures test them and help you bond with them while leading up to their biggest challenge. A story more epic than the initial episodes would lead you to believe.

Age: 12 and up (if they can handle horror movies, they'll be OK) Parental: Swordplay, violence and some coarse language. Scary scenes for young children.

[Entry by Travers Naran]

Blood: The Last Vampire

Demons called Chiropterans are living among humanity, preying on humans for their blood. However, a secret US government organization is after them. Their main weapon is a seemingly young girl called Saya, who is said to be "the only remaining original." On the verge of the Vietnam War, she's sent to a US air base in Japan which probably is infested by Chiropterans.

A very dark, atmospheric movie that mixes suspense and action elements.

Available in North America from Manga Entertainment, in Germany from Panini Video.

[Entry by Ansgar "59cobalt" Wiechers]

Blue Seed

Momiji is a high-spirited 15-year-old girl who is the current inheritor of the Kushinada bloodline, and has spent her life being prepared for the possibility that she may have to be sacrificed to protect Japan if the Aragami return to the world. The Aragami are a kind of monster that is mutated by a "blue seed," called a mitama. One day, Kusanagi, a strange young man who has many mitamas, appears, tells her a sister she never knew she had is dead, threatens to kill her, and then apparently protects her from some sort of dragon creature. Two other people from the TAC (Terrestrial Administration Center), the group that had raised her sister in preparation for the return of the Aragami threat, appear and rescue her. Later, after Momiji's school is attacked by an Aragami, Momiji joins the TAC for protection and to help them fight for the survival of Japan, and possibly the world.

Available in North America from ADV.

[Entry by "HiEv"]

Blue Sonnet

There have been many stories about making a humanoid "ultimate weapon". This is one of those, in that Sonnet is a cyborg that has awesome psychokinetic powers. However it is known to her creator that somewhere out there is an even greater power lying dormant. In fact the person in question becomes a classmate of Sonnet's. While this girl discovers her hidden power, Sonnet discovers her lost humanity in a background of corporate domination. (USMC)

[Entry by Chika]

Blue Submarine #6
Blue Submarine #6: promotional artwork

The world is at war with aliens. Most of the world is covered in water. But not everything is as it seems. There is a lot of action in this series and some interesting twists. It's a combination of hand drawn and computer animation which in my opinion worked nicely. The episodes are short and only one episode per DVD. Still cheaper than the old way of buying a dub and a sub version of the VHS, but in today's DVD age it seems a bit expensive. An single disk is also available with the violence edited out. The dub is alright but is better watched in original. Available from Bandai in North America, and from Siren in Australia.

[Entry by Shawn Granger]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Boogie Pop Phantom

This is a sci-fi horror story within a story involving an urban legend of a cloaked murderer who's turned the city into a killing field while the inhabitants begin expressing frightening powers that are beyond their control. The episodes are connected but in a very loose, convuluted chronology and the series is done in washed-out, bleak tones so it's not for everyone. Still, what the series sets out to do, it does extremely well. It disturbs by presenting the helplessness of humans in the face of unnatural forces and also in giving a despairing, microscopic view of the uglier side of life and family.

Licenced by ADV in North America and the UK, and by Madman in Australia.

[Entry by Michael Lo]

Bottle Fairies (a.k.a. Binzume Yosei)
Bottle Fairies: the fairies

Based on Yuiko Tokumi's "reader-participation manga" in Magi-Cu Premium magazine, this thirteen episode TV series tells the month-by-month adventures of four tiny naive fairy girls, Sarara, Kururu, Chiriri and Hororo who live in glass jars on the desk of Sensei-san, a young college student. Each show covers a month in Japanese life with the fairies learning about what it is to be human, assisted by Loose Cannon Tama-chan, their highly- opinionated six-year-old neighbour who is never wrong.

In the wrong hands this could have been saccharine beyond belief but the scripts and storylines belie the basic idea and make each episode delightful as the girls use their imagination to try and figure out the world. The equally-delightful ending songs are sung by the fairy seiyuus, with a different seiyuu and song for the three shows in each "season".

Licenced by Geneon in North America.

Official manga website

Official anime website

[Entry by Robert Sneddon]


Marin Asagi is an orphaned outcast living in a tenement building in 60's Japan. Her life changes when a mysterious glowing world appears in the sky and a giant machine called a Monomakia falls from the sky attempting to kill her - she is only saved by a blue android called Melan Blue that she discovers concealed in a shrine. Together Marin and Melan need to fend off the continuing Monomakia attacks - but why are they after Marin, and why has this strange world - called Brigadoon - appeared?

Brigadoon's deceptively cutesy exterior hides an extremely dark show - there seems to be no end to the amount of sorrow inflicted on Marin over the course of the series. This, plus some slight fanservice which may put off some due to the characters being only 13, means Brigadoon has become something of a niche show - however, it has a lot to recommend it, from its stirring Celtic-influenced score to its excellent animation (the Monomakia fights are particularly well done, and Marin isn't totally passive either, a refreshing change for shows of this type) and likeable characters, although the somewhat erratic switching from hyperactive comedy to dark drama mitigates this somewhat.

Available in Region 1 from Tokyopop on 6 DVDs.

[Entry by Andrew Hollingbury]

Brother, Dear Brother

see Oniisama E

Bubblegum Crisis
Bubblegum Crisis: the Knight Sabers

A classic cyberpunk tale of a corporation gone rotten and a group of hi-tech vigilantes that seek to bring the worse elements and deeds of that corporation under control.

Mega-Tokyo is a corporate town built on and around the ruins of Tokyo which was mostly destroyed some years before the story opens by an earthquake. The corporation that helped to rebuild the town is Genom, a multi- national that, among other things, builds "Boomers". These robotic creatures are used for both good and evil, and where the latter is involved, the Knight Sabers will tackle them, especially as their leader, Sylia, has a past connection with these creatures.

Often praised for its musical content and some of the designs, the show is seen as styled after the US movie Blade Runner, and continues to have a following many years after the show was completed, though it has produced spin off shows including AD Police, Bubblegum Crash and Tokyo 2040.

Available in the US from AnimEigo, in Australia from Madman. Originally available from Anime Projects in the UK, now licenced to MVM.

[Entry by Chika]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
Bubblegum Crisis 2040: the Knight Sabers

BGC2040 is a 26-episode TV series that "borrows" certain elements from the original Bubblegum Crisis, but changes them enough to make it an alternative retelling of the original story. The basic concept is the same: Four women use powered armor to fight a secret war against renegade androids (Boomers) and the shady corporation who makes them (Genom). Some things (such as Priss being a biker chick and singer of a rock band) remain the same from the original series, but most other aspects are completely different, ranging from the personalities of the characters to the nature of the technology they use. As a result, the show has a different feel than its predecessor - at times it feels more like Evangelion than Blade Runner. Many (but not all) fans of the original series dislike this show intensely. Much of the criticism has to do with certain plot twists that strike some as implausible. However, BGC2040 has its own fans as well. It's probably best to judge the show on its own, rather than comparing it against its famous predecessor. Available from ADV Films in North America, and Madman in Australia.

[Entry by Scott Fujimoto]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Burn Up W

Surrounding a group of specially selected (female) police who, when called into action, display special skills (and a lot more in those inevitable skin tight costumes!) This series runs through a number of side plots but is essentially concerned with an underworld plot to control the minds of various powerful folk using an addictive device. Available from ADV Films in North America, and Madman in Australia.

[Entry by Chika]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

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Any images on this page are copyright their respective creators or licencees, and are used under Fair Use (review) provisions of the Copyright Act. All reviews on this page are copyright their respective authors, and are used with permission. The compilation copyright for this page is held by Rob Kelk.

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