Saber Marionette J to X Anime Review
セイバーマリオネット J to X
Saber Marionette J to X
US Release By
26 25-minute episodes
1998-10-06 - 1999-03-30
After the end of "Saber Marionette J Again," there were still a lot of open questions. For example: What will happen when there are human women again? What will happen to the marionettes? Whatever happened to Dr. Hess? Thus, J to X was created. J to X is the second full-length TV series, and in my opinion, the best of the Saber Marionette saga.
After I finished the OAV, I instantly knew that I had to have the second TV series. Of course, I was still fairly skeptical, not knowing if they could pull it off a third time. Regardless, I bought the first two DVDs. After watching them, I was hooked, and instantly went out to buy the rest.
"Saber Marionette J to X" takes off right after the OVA. Marine is gone, and now the Marionettes are back to their normal, everyday lives. It is once again peaceful in Japoness, and now the marionettes are fitting in with everybody else. Of course, however, the peace does not last for long.
As for the presentation, it is definitely a step ahead of "Again", which was not as good as it could have been. All the characters act and react just like they are supposed to, and since there are no new main characters, more room is open to further develop the main characters.
If there is one thing I could find wrong with J to X, it is the fact that almost everything from the OVA is forgotten about. For example, Marine is never mentioned, or even referred to in the entire series. While this is not that big of a deal, it may make some viewers feel like something's missing. As the series moves on, however, this is forgotten about as the story kicks in.
Also, all the characters are further developed as the series moves on. Expect lots of drama and angst later into the series, as the marionettes have to face the hardest stage of their lives. Fortunately, this is all presented beautifully and flows fluently with the rest of the plot.
Presentation: 9/10 (This series moves on to new territory without losing an ounce of its charm. Easily the best series of them all. Bravo!)
While the plots of the first series and the OVA were fairly simplistic, in J to X, the plot gets darker, filled with angst and drama. While this may seem different from what fans may be used to, it still retains everything that made its predecessors so great: awesome characters, and a certain charm untouched to many other animes out there.
The series begins light-hearted enough, basically showing Otaru and his marionettes living normal, everyday lives. As it moves on, however, and old enemy returns, causing an unexpected twist in the plot. Things only get darker from there, as another enemy, Hess, begins his sinister plans. It seems, however, that he needs Otaru's Marionettes to make his plan come to life.
Eventually, Otaru and Hana become outlaws, and must live under secrecy. Also, the marionettes are gone, their memories lost. Will they ever remember Otaru? Expect a deep, dark plot with many twists and turns that is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
Story: 9/10 (A deep, dark, and somewhat apocalyptic at times. Expect many tear-jerking moments, and others where you will practically be screaming at the television. Too bad the ending was a bit of a disappointment.)
The music is very much the same as what was heard in the previous series'. Still, however, there are a few new songs added in to spice things up, but moreover the same. This is not a bad thing in any way, however, as the music was good to begin with. As for the voice acting, it is also just as good as it was in J and J Again.
Sound: 8/10 (Mostly the same as the music in J and J to X. The new songs are all good, however, and the opening song is great.)
If there it anywhere J to X fails to deliver, it is in the visuals. This is surprising, considering how great J and J Again looked. Unlike the last two series', the art in J to X is all done digitally (as most modern anime is). This gives the anime a fresh, new, clean look. However, the characters just lack the detail they had in the first series.
While this series does look much cleaner than the first series, the lack of detail put into characters contradicts it. Still, the series looks good, but could have been better.
Visuals: 7 (Good, but lacking the detail J had.)
Overall, "Saber Marionette J to X" is by far the best of the three parts of the Saber Marionette saga. The plot is deep and dark, which is truly welcomed after J Again. Also, the characters, music, and art are all great. While there are a few flaws, the good far outweighs the bad.
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Notes and Trivia
US DVD Review
Bandai's DVDs include Japanese and English audio, English subtitles, and clean opening and endings. They're available as six individual discs as well as in an "Anime Legends" box set. The series was also briefly sold as part of a special-edition box set that included Saber Marionette J and J Again.
Rated 13-up by Bandai.
Violence: 2 - Lots of fighting and some death, but all fairly light.
Nudity: 1 - Lots of fan-service, but not as much as J Again.
Sex/Mature Themes: 2 - Some mature humor/themes, and some hinted romance.
Language: 1 - None
Available in North America from Bandai on 6 DVDs, individually or as an "Anime Legends" box set. The series was also previously sold as part of a special-edition signed box set that included Saber Marionette J and J Again.