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Beyond the end of the world

Before we get into the serious stuff, let me refer you to the Chizumatic review of the Ah My Goddess! movie, which I saw in parts at CONvergence 2003 and other places. Good movie, though I'm confused by SDBs' reference to the TV series, which as far as I know is still in production in Japan and hasn't aired yet. Maybe he meant the OVAs. *shrug*

And now, on to Saikano. Spoilers follow.

You may want to take a look at the review of Saikano that I posted here to get an overview of what the series is about.

Well, I was warned that the series doesn't have a happy ending, and in the sense that the war going on in the series ends by wiping out everyone on Earth except for Shuji and Chise, that's pretty accurate. Then again, as I pointed out to jamestrainor, this is a Japanese romance, and those don't always have what we'd consider happy endings either. I thought Saikano was a good series. Its main concern is the relationships between the characters, mainly Shuji and Chise but also their classmates, and it does a very good job of making you care about them. Yeah, Shuji's pretty much a stiff for the first few episodes, and Tetsu's wife clearly isn't cut out to be a soldier's wife, but you come to sympathize with them. It's a war, and a lot of things get fucked up during a war.
The series also deals somewhat with the question of humanity. Chise is terrfied that Shuji won't love her when he discovers that she's been cyborged, that the process is irreversible, and eventually fatal. Chise ends up being more weapon than woman, but a weapon that remembers what it is to love somebody and what that means, even as the world is ending.

Some scenes are extremely gory (Akemi's death scene in particular) and some other scenes are disturbing because the sexuality seems completely inappropriate - you'll know them when they come by. Even with its defects, Saikano is very much worth seeing, but isn't a series for kids.