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Aug 182013
 

Respective Thoughts

Respective Thoughts

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The Best of Secret Garden: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection

The Best of Secret Garden: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection

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  6 Responses to “Respective Thoughts”

  1. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Creepy, dark and twisted but in a good way!, August 8, 2008
    By 
    Dennis A. Amith (kndy) (California) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      

    What would you do if you were given a second chance at life?

    Welcome to the life of four teenagers who are given a new chance at life but things are not as what you may expect.
    In October 2006, GONZO’s “RED GARDEN” appeared on TV Asahi. The show ended at 22 episodes in March 2007 and now the teen/horror drama will be released in the US in September.

    “RED GARDEN” is an anime that takes place in New York and revolves around four teenagers:

    Kate Ashley – A member of GRACE, the top students who police the school for students who are late to class and to ensure that all is well at their high school but trying to cope with life after the death of her good friend Lise.

    Rachel Benning – The popular girl in school, wearing the most expensive clothes and always partying with her friends.

    Claire Forrest – Independent and outspoken. Not a student but works (or tries) to make ends meet.

    Rose Sheedy – A shy girl who takes care of her siblings while her mother is hospitalized.

    The four girls have nothing to do with each other but each share a common friend named Lise Meyer who has been murdered. To make matters worse, other young girls from their high school are being murdered. Also, for the four, they can’t seem to remember what happened the night of Lise’s murder.

    One night, the four are brought together and wait until a mysterious man and woman appears to them and tells them that they all were murdered and have been given a second chance at life. But to stay alive, they will need to kill the beasts who murder at night.

    They have no choice but to fight and win. Or else they die.

    The first volume of “RED GARDEN” is the introduction of the characters and shows how they are at school and how they try to cope now in their real lives knowing that they have been murdered. The four seek the answers to why they can’t remember that one night and the answer to their question is shocking.

    The animation is actually unique when it comes to the character designs. Ishii Kumi does a great job at giving us something fresh and new.

    I actually like taking certain situations from anime on characters in Japan but giving that spin on American characters.

    For example, Kate’s group GRACE wear these interesting uniforms while policing the school grounds. Rachel has that prissy debutante look, Claire has the sporty look and Rose, well she’s quite normal.

    Also, I like how on video games such as “Silent Hill” or “Rule of Rose” that utilize the noise on haunting and dark segments, the same on this anime. Very creepy and beautiful of how they animated these segments.

    The scene which explains how the four girls were murdered was animated beautifully but at the same time, so disturbing.

    “RED GARDEN” is interesting in that its an anime where it was created around the voice acting. Rather than the opposite way which most animation is made.

    Now, I watched this anime both in Japanese and in English and the Japanese voice acting is well done and when the girls start singing a song… again, so beautiful but yet so creepy.

    But after watching the English dub, I found it so appealing of how they made the vocals of the characters fit. A slight change in dialogue to make it more appealing to the dub viewers, although small changes, it definitely gives the viewers the feeling of where they are in their personal lives.

    For example, there is a scene where Kate and Rose visit Rachel at home. Rachel, who obviously is rich, really is snide and condescending to both Kate and Rose. In the Japanese dialogue, you understand it. In the English dialogue, the delivery of how Rachel says it is captured perfectly. So, I definitely will say that I enjoyed the English dubbing for this anime a lot.

    As for special features, the first volume comes with the clean opening and ending animations. Also, ADV previews.

    I was a bit disappointed that there were no director or voice actor’s commentary (I’m growing to enjoy these with ADV releases) but all in all, I enjoyed the first four episodes and look forward to watching more.

    I have to admit that I was not really sure what to expect from “RED GARDEN”. It’s almost like a twisted “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but in this case, these girls do not want to be killing monsters each night and its bad enough coping with the fact that you’ve died and now you have to fulfill this obligation of fighting monsters for the rest of your life.

    Is it worth living this second chance of life or is it better off dying?

    The way the girls are dealing with this, how horrified they are about having to kill or be killed, I must say again, I’m quite impressed with the storyline so far.

    I hope that in future releases, perhaps an interview with the director or series creator discussing why…

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  2. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Not A Very Healthy Garden But It Has Potential, July 2, 2008

    Sometimes while I’m watching this series I start to think about how much I want to know exactly what is going on. Don’t get me wrong cause this is a decent little series but it has some annoying habits. Red Garden revolves around 4 teenage girls who interact most at their private school located in New York. Of course, all four of these girls are in way different social groups and all have very different attitudes and lives. Kate, Rachel, Rose, and Claire are nowhere near friends but one truly dark night they’re forced to come together and fight.

    What they have to fight looks to be a zombie but how can 4 high school students defeat a zombie with no weapons? This is when the story hits its mystery and main plot. A man and woman who don’t immediately tell their names confront the girls. The two keep roaming around in the shadows and show up every once in a while to annoy them. Now these two don’t give too much info in this volume but you can tell that they know more than they let off. The girls don’t truly know why but it seems that they are the new peacemakers whenever these zombie like creatures come out.

    Whenever they see orange butterflies, that means it’s time to fight but there are never prepared. So now the plan is to figure out just exactly what is going on, why these girls were picked to do it, and who will be able to survive. I liked Red garden’s first volume but it is a sure 3.5 star first volume. First of all, the animation is great but it’s just great surroundings not good character animation.

    The characters are not very appealing a all, some of them are poorly colored and have poor facial designs. I guess what I’m saying is that the character designs are bad and need work. A few of the characters even look too much a like. All the other animation was great despite the characters. Some of the voice actors can have really annoying voices when the suspense scenes come. As for the story, I am still waiting for a cool weapon to be introduced and I’m hoping that one will. The girls constantly have to fight these zombies almost barehanded and it makes for bad action scenes. I also think that the pacing is off a touch. I do like Red garden enough to stick with it, just cause I’m curious if they will surprise me. The opening theme song is very cool too. 3.5 is a decent rating but I hope that the second volume will step it up a bit.

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  3. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Surprisingly good!, February 14, 2008
    By 

    My husband and I rented this from netflix and yes, at the opening credits we both groaned at the bad song translation. However, we persevered through the first episode, which hinted at more. So we continued to watch, and each episode was better than the last, giving more of the story – which is quite complex and involved! Before we knew it, the afternoon was gone and we had watched the entire first dvd! We both agreed to move the second and third dvd’s in this series to the top of our queue, and to look into purchasing this series.
    We are both middle-aged professionals with good imaginations and open minds, who love both fiction and non-fiction, as well as good scifi. If you give this series a chance and pay close attention you will be well rewarded with a smart, serious story underneath the silly songs and cosmetic fluff that graces most anime nowadays. Highly recommended!

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  4. 37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Lush Listening, September 11, 2004
    By 
    S. Gwilt “Steve” (Connecticut, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Best of Secret Garden: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection (Audio CD)

    Gorgeous, rich, lush blend of romantic New Age and ancient lyric music. Worth every penny, whether as music to drive by, background at a dinner party or in the background for contemplation.

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  5. 19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Wonderful Music, November 4, 2006
    By 
    F. Roper
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Best of Secret Garden: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection (Audio CD)

    I’ve shopped for creative, intriguing and relaxing music for years — found something occasionally, only to be disappointed when I bought the fiirst or second CD. But not with Secret Garden; I now own four of their albums, plus this excellent collection, and have never been disappointed in a single song. They are terrific musicians; their songs, mostly their own compositions, are uplifting, soothing, or toe-tapping, depending on the song. I can’t wait for the next CD!

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  6. 11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Awesome music!, January 9, 2007
    By 

    This review is from: The Best of Secret Garden: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection (Audio CD)

    For anyone who wants a bit of relaxing time, this CD is for you, especially when you’re driving! The songs and musical pieces are absolutely beautiful and the vocals are angelic! You are left with a sense of peace and serenity. I recommend this CD to anyone, even to those who only listen to rock! Everyone needs a relaxing CD such as this one.

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