Friday, March 6, 2009


This week I’ve decided to do a review of s-CRY-ed. Many of you might know this from the Adult Swim air in 2005. This is actually were I first discovered the series, and it quickly grow on me. I recently bought the whole series in its full box set for about $30 on So after watching it again I thought that this would be the perfect series to do my first review on.
s-Cry-ed first aired in 2001 on TV Tokyo. After that it was picked up by Bandai in 2003. No that we got those things out of the way; it’s on to the interesting stuff.
s-CRY-ed is about the story of people who were effected by the “Grate Up Rising”. This was a mysteries event that happened prier to the series. After this event a large amount of land was thrown into chaos and became known as “the lost ground”. Since that event 5% of the people born in the lost ground, become what is known as “Alter Users”. “Alter” is the ability to brake down matter and reconstruct it into a new form. Because of this unique ability and the dismal situation, there is allot of fighting and war in the lost grounds. So the government created a police force known as HOLD to control the situations in the lost grounds. But this wasn’t enough to fix the problems; they also had to create a group made up of Alter Users to combat rouge Alter Users. This group is known as HOLY. This is just some of the background info that is important to the series.
The main character of the series is a man named Kazuma the Shell Bullet (no real last name). He is a bad ass who doesn’t seem to care about anyone but himself. He is one of the rouge Alter Users that HOLY is so dedicated to fighting. But Kazuma seems to have no intentions of backing down to them, or anyone for that matter. His Alter power gives him the ability to turn his arm into a destruction machine that seems half magic and half robotic. Using his Alter power his friend, Kunihiko Kimishima, and him take dangerous jobs and missions to get money. Although Kimishima is simply trying to get enough money to live on, Kazuma seems to have a bit more of a sentimental reason to get money. He’s trying to get money to support him and a young girl by the name of Kanami Yuta. Their relationship is never really explained or talked about much. It’s done in such a way that you understand that they are very close, but your not a hundred percent sure why. Kanami has a habit of calling Kazuma “Kazu-kun”, and seems to be the only person that he’ll listen to. An interesting aspect about Kanami is the fact that she always seems to have dreams of Kazuma while he’s fighting. This creates an interesting dialog for the character development of Kazuma.
Another important character is a man by the name of Ryuhou. He is a Alter User who work for HOLY and quickly becomes Kazuma’s rival. Ryuhou’s Alter takes the form of Zetsuei. This is a being that is separate from him and has a some what Human form to it. Ryuhou’s alter is known as being one of the strongest in HOLY. After an encounter with Kazuma, their hatred for each other seems to grow throughout the series. It leads to an interesting rivalry that gives the show a strong driving force behind it. But Ryuhou isn’t just a HOLY member, he is also a ‘player’ if you will. He has the love of two young ladies. One by the name of Mimori Kiryu, and the other by the name of Scheris Adjani. Mimori Kiryu is a girl from the mainland that came to the lost grounds to find Ryuhou and study Alter Users. And Scheris Adjani is a young Alter User who’s powers remain a mystery for a large portion of the series. She seems to have an infinity for Ryuhou for some reason, this is also not explained until later on.
Another character that I just have to bring up is Straight Cougar. This is my favorite character of the series. He is an Alter User for HOLY who seems to know more than he should, and he’s cocky as hell. His Alter ability is known as “Radical Good Speed”. As the title of it says, it involves speed, lots and lots of speed. He is part romantic, part fighter, part preacher, and part jester. He is a great character.
Now if you’re watching the series and start thinking “for some reason this seems to remind me of Code Geass.” Well you’re not alone; when I first watched Code Geass all I could think was that something about it reminded me of s-CRY-ed. So I looked into it, and found allot of reasons for them to be similar. First up is the director of s-CRY-ed. His name is Goro Taniguchi, but he is better known for his work with Code Geass. He was the original creator of Code Geass and the director. Another important, and obvious, similarity is that Kotaro Nakagawa did the music for both series (although I like the s-CRY-ed music better). I was quite relieved to see that I wasn’t just being paranoid and that my suspicions were confirmed.
The great thing about this series is the action in it. Every episode it’s up to Kazuma to fight another Alter User and beat the crap out of them. As the series goes on the powers just get crazier and crazier. It seems like the writers were just trying to one up each other to see who could create the most bad ass Alter Power out there. Some of the powers can be simple, like a giant gun. While others are more unique, like the ability to turn things into water. This large rang of powers makes the series that more interesting. You never know what kind of crazy fight there’s going to be next.
Other thing that’s so great about this series is all of the anime clichés that they use. One that I really enjoyed was the episode that was made to be a tribute to old super robot series. In this episode (trying not to spoil anything) an Alter User has the power to create a giant robot that is complete with transforming abilities and crazy finishing moves. Another kind of “wink wink, nudge nudge” in this series is that of harem. In the series on Alter User’s ability allows him to create living puppets to his liking. He creates 3 ladies who serve him no matter what, he seems to do this because of his lack of success with real women and his over sized ego. It might not have been an intentional reference to harem series but I saw it. It also seems like Goro Taniguchi might have got his ideas of how to portray Ashferd Academy from this series. One episode of the series completely takes place in HOLY. It starts to be allot like the Ashferd Academy scenes from Code Geass. It’s complete with mellow drama and cheesy comedy moments. Of course this is all for a reason, but I don’t want to explain that because it would be a spoiler. You’ll just have to watch it.
Another thing that I’d like to talk about is the dub used in this series. This had an amazing cast for the English dub. For Kazuma we had my favorite voice actor of all time Steven Jay Blum (Spike from Cowboy Bebop, Roger Smith from Big O, Kyoshiro Tohdoh from Code Geass, Marj Gueldoa from Macross Plus, ext.). Then we had Crispin Freeman (Togusa from Ghost in the Shell, Jeremiah Gottwald from Code Geass, Tabool from Now and Then Here and There, Alan Gabriel from Big O, ext. He also did allot of ADR scripting and directing.) playing Straight Cougar. Those alone make it a great dub for me, but there are plenty of other great voice actors who worked on this series.
Over all I’d say that I really enjoyed this series. I wouldn’t put it on my top 10 list or anything like that, but it’s a very entertaining series. It’s got good character development, good directing, good action, and a good story. I don’t see any reason not to watch s-CRY-ed. I have to say that it’s well worth the money to buy it. Right now there is an Anime Legends box set that runs for about $50. But I would say that the better deal is in the s-CRY-ed complete collection, which is being sold for about $30 at Now sure, if they wanted me to pay $60+ then I wouldn’t have even bothered. But after seeing that it was so cheap, I couldn’t help myself. I would suggest this series for anyone who is looking for a good, cheap, action series.
So there is my first review. I would really like some feed back form who ever might be reading this. Also, if you have any question please feel free to ask. I’d like to thank you for reading my first review, and I hope you continue to come back.

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