Chikyuu Shoujo Arjuna
Released Year : January 9, 2001 to March 27, 2001
No of Episodes : 13
Genre : Adventure,Drama,Magic,Sci-Fi
Plot : Juna was just an ordinary high-school girl, right up until the day she died in a motorcycle accident. But there, in the twilight of death, she saw the future of the barren earth destroyed by the Raaja, and was offered a second chance at life if she would stop them. Now she must learn to cast aside her thoughtlessly destructive ways and face her destiny as the Avatar of Time, the one being who can decide the fate of the planet. (Source: ANN)
Our Review : Earth Maiden Arjuna...it could be described as either you love it or you hate it. It's hard to say considering I'm one of those who loved it. I'll assume you have read the synopsis and at least have a basic idea of what this anime is about. Very good, on with the review!
Story: The story of Arjuna had a lot of promise, I'll tell you that. With the first and second episodes I was mildly in shock at the premise set out before me. It could have been a true masterpiece, but when you think about it, this is a tricky story to dive into. I refuse to post spoilers, but a good majority of the show is about Juna's 'education' you could call it. With every new thing she learns about the world, another hint towards the ending is revealed. They do this well and I have no complaints about the ending. Although there are a few things I would have loved to know that they just seemed to refuse to reveal (origin of the Avatar of Time for one), though it was nothing that damaged my enjoyment of the series.
Every so often the show would trail off and become (dare I say...) preachy. It goes just a tiny bit over the top with the whole "Save Nature!" thing it's got going on. Luckily this only happens a few times, and if you can get past that and just go with the flow (an open mind is essential), then I promise you'll have an enjoyable experience. If this is the anime for you anyway.
Art: Wow, where Arjuna lacks in story-telling, it completely makes up for in the art. While I myself had a personal hatred for Juna's hair, the art is just downright beautiful. No complaints here. The second time I watched this show, I watched it purely for the eye-candy for a while. It's just so beautiful to watch, especially the few transformation scenes (there aren't many). Seeing the way Juna begins to view the world can be breath-taking.
Sound: If you haven't heard this by now, it's about time someone told you. The music in this show is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Most of the music was done by Yokko Kanno, who I believe also did the music for Cowboy Bebop and Raxephon (don't quote me on that last one). Even if you go into this series feeling skepitcal of the plot presented to you, I believe it's worth it to stick with it just for the music. The music is haunting and fits the scenes beautifully. Combine the music with the art and you have the perfect reason to try this show right there. In this category especially, Arjuna does not disappoint.
As for the voices, I will admit, I've only watched the English dub. Feel free to attack me or whatever. At first the voices for the dub seemed a bit...off, as most dubs usually do, but after a while you could tell they were starting to get a feel for the characters. Lip-synching was kind of off, but it was nothing noticeable in the later episodes. I especially loved the voice of the character Chris. :] Pardon me for being a fan-girl, but the voice made me love the character.
Characters: Speaking of characters! There was some character development, but nothing out of this world. The most was seen for Juna and her boyfriend Tokio...and...yeah...I wasn't left hating any characters by the end, which is saying something because there was a girl who I wanted dead on that show. All of them were true to their personalities. I thought Juna's development from well-grounded spunky teenage girl to Avatar of Time was very good. Not at all like most shows in this genre where the girl gets powers and suddenly they're full of confidence and joy or whatever. That's about it for characters, go Chris!
I'll admit, this show is NOT FOR EVERYONE. You will love it or you will hate it. I can't be responsible for either one. xD I recommend watching at least up to episode 4. Episode 4 is almost like a trial...if you can make it past that episode unscathed (I'm exaggerating, it's not bad) then you will most likely enjoy the rest of the show. I myself love it because the entire thing to me is just so beautiful. I'm a nature-loving girl, so this was just an anime after my own heart. Even if you're not too big on the whole nature deal, I suggest you give it a try anyway. Just remember to keep an open mind and enjoy it for what it's worth. This show should not be overlooked without at least a first glance.