They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Onna Senshi Efe & Jira: Gude no Monshou, Sengoku Kitan Youtouden Movie, Apfelland Monogatari, and more!
18: Onna Senshi Efe & Jira: Gude no Monshou
English: Gude Crest: The Emblem of Gude
Japanese: 女戦士エフェ&ジーラ グーデの紋章
MAL Score: 5.52
Two partners Effera and Jiliora escape from a slave boat with the aid of their friend Orlin and a young boy named Kilian. When Kilian is killed in the escape Effera and Jiliora take it upon themselves to return Kilian’s pendant to his two siblings who are being held captive by Baron Celdion, who is plotting to take over all of the neighboring countries.
Story: lets start with the story. In my opinion the story is confusing. we are given some exposition at the beginning but for me it didnt help much. We the viewers learn the story at the same time as the two main characters. I would sat that its a typical convoluted fantasy story. Whether its good or bad might depend on the viewer, for me it was alright. There is one thing I liked but that might have to do with the time in which the anime was released and not the anime itself. Even though its an adventure story and not an overly dark narrative people die, children die and there’s blood when people get cut down. Its different than in anime today where the only time you will see this sort of impact of death is in very dark anime.
Art: The art was decently good, i do believe this was originally VHS so that kind of affects the quality of what we see. But all in all the art is typical of early 90’s anime.
Characters: Now this is the one thing that i believe makes this anime worth watching and its for sure what got me interested in it. This anime most definitely passes the bechdel test, even though i think that test is B.S it has some merit. The two main characters Efe and Jira are two sword wielding princesses away from their homeland. The two have a partnership and feel developed as characters. Efe uses her magic to supplement her swordplay and outwit her opponents or distract them while Jira uses her masterful swordsmanship coupled with her great strength to break through her opponents guard. Theres also the three siblings which Efe and Jira help. The siblings are the driving point behind the story and I felt their hardships and loss along with them.
In the end this is a neat little adventure anime spawned from the 90’s. I enjoyed it, though I wish i could see more of the princesses adventures hinted at in the opening. I give this Anime a solid 7!
Our narrative is set in a fantasy world where the warrior princess Jiliora and her mage partner Effera are captured and put on a slave ship. The pair escape along with another prisoner but the lad is mortally wounded, prompting them to return the jewel he left behind to his siblings. This results in them being dragged into a major adventure.
There’s one major flaw with this story. It relies on a lot of exposition. We start with three minutes of a narrator telling us background for the world. Because natural world building is too hard. There’s also a sequence where Efe and Jira are given information that “everyone knows” except them, apparently. Here’s the thing that bothers me about that. It would have been so easy for the old man who gives them the information to say that it’s being kept under wraps but he heard it from a contact instead of having our main cast be the only ones around who don’t know for some inexplicable reason.
That being said, I appreciate the writing aesthetic in this. It’s like a cross between Dirty Pair and Slayers. With the somewhat more serious but still comedic tone of Dirty Pair, along with focusing on a dynamic dame duo but the fantasy setting of Slayers along with action sequences that are more reminiscent of it. Although I should add that this came out before Slayers and the light novel it was based off of came out slightly before the Slayers light novel. In terms of story-telling it’s a fun little adventure that manages to stay compelling and provides some funny moments.
Efe and Jira are both pretty interesting characters. The problem kind of lies in the supporting and antagonistic characters. We have a young man who barely speaks and just sort of meekly helps the pair without getting involved in the fights. We have the siblings who they get involved with helping. And the antagonists are just kind of religious zealots, a monstrous tree lady and a creepy dude who pulls the whole “someday she will be mine” thing towards Jira.
Onna Senshi Efe & Jira: Gude no Monshou definitely has that early 90s art and animation style. Including the motion lines and repeated frames as a shortcut to save on the animation budget. That being said, it still holds up pretty decently. The character designs are good and the action sequences look pretty nice.
Matsui Naoko and Ikura Kazue are both really good in this. The rest of the cast is good enough. It’s one of those situations where their character underdevelopment does somewhat affect the performances but they still do well. The music s pretty good.
Jira and Efe definitely come across as more than friends. There’s a part where the guy who’s creepy towards Jira says that he tolerates her “partnership” with Efe because Efe is sharp and he says it in a way that makes it sound like they’re partners in more ways than one.
Areas of Improvement:
1. Do your world building by showing it, not by having an exposition dump. Literally no one has ever watched a film or tv show and said “I really want someone to explain how the world works to me while nothing interesting happens on screen.”
2. The supporting characters could us a bit more depth.
3. Think through things a little more. What I mean by this is that if something is common knowledge, our protagonists should know it. And there are ways to get around that and still explain it to the audience. You could have it not be common knowledge or they could have to explain it to the phasing boy.
I quite enjoyed this film. It reminds me of two anime franchises that I rather enjoyed and loved respectively. That being said, I definitely don’t think it’s on the same level as Slayers. It’s an entertaining little film with plenty to like about it though. As such, I’ll give it a solid 7/10.
17: Sengoku Kitan Youtouden Movie
English: Wrath of the Ninja
Japanese: 戦国奇譚 妖刀伝 劇場版
MAL Score: 5.95
The year a comet races across the sky, splitting the heavens, from the depths of the Earth the dark god shall arise once again. Then, the dark evil lurking in the shadows shall come out of the depths of Hell and show itself in the present world. The emotions of the blade of the wind shall collect at the source of the blue light. And the three blades shall become one, vanquishing evil.
The year is 1580, and the unholy armies of Lord Nobunaga Oda steadily spread across Japan. Narrowly escaping the slaughter of her clan, a young ninja steals into the shadows. She is Ayame, the last of the Kasumi clan, and the dagger she wields is one of three, mystical blades. She is joined by Sakon and Ryoma, renegade ninja and the possessors of the sacred sword and spear. Now, these shadow warriors must unite their weapons and skills to fulfill `The Prophesy of the Enchanted Swords` or die trying..
–Personal Back story–
As a young girl I grew up watching all the shows my eldest brothers enjoyed and brought home. One day my eldest brother Ira brought this movie home. Ira’s favorite movies at that time included Ninja Scroll and many more action packed films. As a female finding a movie that is compelled to have a womanlike lead with sentiments and has influence you could only guess this movie appeal to me most.
–Personal Back story over–
First, the soundtrack to this film is phenomenon! Moving past that you get a standard film in regards to a female lead with two male acquaintances. Each character shows signs of unpleasant back-story that manifest in various means. Regardless of what the others have stated previously, this film is a classic in its own rights and should be held to delicate regards.
All characters appear to come from strong family tides, which is to be expected in such genre. With all their villages destroyed the three main characters must work together to destroy their enemy. With the falsehood that occurs throughout this film one could only ask, “What will happen next?” Many will be lead astray and some where just plain outright selfish!
Of course with all this tension, one could only guess that sexual tension would transpire too. All three main characters must follow a similar fate, but in the end this movie shows friendship and compassion. I watched this this film when I was ten to eleven years old and I still love it today. I learned the Japanese song, “Not Up To/Red Nails” and used to sing it on my walk to school as a child. In closing, this is one of those older anime movies you enjoy for the story, action and music.
Favorite Character: Ranmaru, Mori
Favorite Track from 1st OST: Track 12: Stirrings of Legend
Favorite Track from 2nd OST- Track 4: Bloody Fight Staying Behind
16: Apfelland Monogatari
English: Appleland Story
MAL Score: 6.04
Apfelland is a small but beautiful country surrounded by Russia, Austria, and Germany. Vel is a boy who lives in the capital, Charlottenburg. He happens to help a girl Frid. She was kidnapped because radium mine was found in her grandfather’s abandoned mine. Aiming at the radium mine, various people gather there, for example, an American who wants to make money, a Polish woman disguised like a man who wants to earn money for the revolution, and the ministry of Apfelland who plots to affiliate with Germany. Vel and Frida are involved in their plots, and they know the secret of the mine.
Set in an alternate early 20th century Europe at a time of nation-building and old feuds, the film manages to incorporate a realistic sense of the historic era with its relevance to geo-political events, nations, weapons, and down to the very lifestyle of the time period. That goes without saying however, as this film is based on the manga from Yoshiki Tanaka. Yes, THE Yoshiki Tanaka, mastermind creator of the Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Arslan Senki manga and later anime adaptations. Also assisting in the creation of this anime was the director, Kunihiko Yuyama, who would later go on to direct the Pokemon franchise. Therefore it is easy to see the influence of the young protagonists as they adventure in order to save the world from ruin. Cliche? Yes, however was still a good story.
However this is a heavily character-driven story, very akin to Laputa: Castle in the Sky or Nadia: Secret of Blue Water. What stands out for this film is despite its brevity, we are given a well-received cast that for the most part have ample screen time. Each character contributes to the story and only on a few occasions were there unnecessary characters introduced into the film yet this did not detract from the overall enjoyment. There is also a great dynamic of action and drama added to generate excitement for the viewers.
The art, with the direction of Mitsuki Nakamura, were appropriate for the story, giving the feel of a late 80s animation however remaining fluid for its time. However there are noticeable moments with reused footage and animation that become repetitive.
The seiyuu performance was nicely done. Some might recognize a few of them, such as the MC being the same voice of Conan Edogawa from Detective Conan. The OST for the film initially felt out of place, however as the film progressed it became intertwined with the story in an adequate manner.
Apfelland Monogatari is another quiet gem that went below the radar of the rise in anime for the 90s, however do not let its age fool you. While retaining a cliche story yet not being mainstream, it nevertheless is an enjoyable film full of wonderful characters and an exciting adventure.
15: Mahou Gakuen Lunar! Aoi Ryuu no Himitsu
Japanese: 魔法学園ルナ! 青い竜の秘密
MAL Score: 6.05
Barua of the Magic Race (Vile Tribe) has kidnapped students of the Magic School. Elie, Rena and Senia, are asked to look for them by the schools master. Along their search they find interesting and crazy things, and get into trouble as usual. Upon finding the students, they find their magic is not strong enough to save them, but they get some help from an unwanted friend.
14: Darkside Blues
Japanese: ダークサイド ブルース
MAL Score: 6.08
The Persona Century Corporation has purchased nearly every parcel of land on earth. Dissension is not tolerated within the corporation’s borders and those who oppose Persona are dealt with swiftly. Of those few places not yet under Persona’s control is the free town of Kabuki-cho, also known as “The Dark Side of Tokyo”. Within the town, under the leadership of a woman named Mai, is a small resistance group called Messiah. Into this world steps a man who takes the sobriquet of Kabuki-cho: Darkside. Sealed up in another dimension eighteen years ago by Persona Century, Darkside now returns to aid Messiah using his unique mystic power of renewal.
Darkside Blues is a nice little gem from the 90s based on a manga by Hideyuki Kikucho who is one of the most respected horror writers in Japan. Often called the Stephen King of Japan, many of Hideyuki’s novels have been adapted to anime such as Vampire Hunter D, Wicked City, and Demon City Shinjuku.
Animation – 8
I’ll go ahead and draw attention to the elephant in the room: this is an old anime. The art and animation styles likewise reflect the 90s. Whether you enjoy 90s style or not is your choice, but compared to other works of the time, Darkside Blues fares very well. The art and animation themselves are slightly above average, but I don’t think many people can deny the style this show brings to the table. While there’s nothing too progressive as far as the direction or choreography at work here, I still can’t help but be impressed at how easy everything seems. By this I mean that it seems the style just flows off the screen naturally and can be seen in the fluid movements of the characters in many scenes. While there are many action sequences, they aren’t so much edge-of-your seat and jaw dropping as they are seamless and fluid which is very pleasing to the eye.
Sound – 9
While maybe a handful of people out there won’t like the music here, I think the sound is perfectly done. The melancholy music does a great job setting the mood and enhances the feel of Kabuki-cho as a city.
The Japanese voice actors do a good job and are obviously cast well for their roles. Natsuki Sakan is a great fit as Darkside and this is one of those times when a female voice actor really does seem more appropriate for a male character.
Story – 8
Set sometime in the future, Darkside Blues depicts a world almost completely owned by the Persona Corporation. One of the few free areas is the slums of Kabuki-cho, often called the dark side of Tokyo. There are various ‘enhanced’ humans running around who boast supernatural powers, though it’s never explained whether this is actually magic or achieved with technology. Taking place in the future, there is quite a bit of technology around in the form of watches that fire lasers, robotic attack drones, and even a massive quantum cannon.
Something interesting I noticed was how similar this movie is to the Clint Eastwood movie Pale Rider (which was in turn a retelling of the classic western Shane). The reason I say they are similar is that, just like Pale Rider, Darkside Blues follows a small group of people (Messiah) whom are resisting oppression at the hands of a wealthy group (Persona Corporation) and then inserts a mysterious stranger (Darkside) who has a score to settle. While Darkside may seem to be the main character, the movie really seems to focus more on the effect his presence has on the members of Messiah.
Unfortunately, the movie seems like a small part of a whole that the viewer is never fully aware of and some things are left unexplained. Despite that, the sub-plot involving the escape of an Anti-Persona resistance fighter is covered well. The main confusion involves the backstories of many characters.
Character – 7
There are a lot of good things here, unfortunately most of the characters are undeveloped with only hints given regarding their past. The only characters really explored are the resistance fighter Tatsuya and Selia, an acquaintance of the Messiah members.
Darkside himself is almost a walking cheat code as time and time again various Persona assassins run across him only to find their attacks have no effect. Darkside only bothers to take his hands from his pockets on a couple of occasions and really he never seems worried no matter what attacks are being thrown at him. Darkside’s past is only ambiguously explained, but really his character is in the movie to bring about change in others.
Through a process he calls ‘renewal’, he enables various characters to overcome hurdles formed when they were emotionally scarred in the past. Though for some people, this renewal simply brings about their death.
Enjoyment – 9
I personally love 90s anime and Darkside Blues is a great one. This show walks a fine line of psychological and action so there is substance to chew on mentally, or if you just wanna sit back then there’s plenty of action as well. While I wouldn’t call this an action anime, I don’t think more than 5 minutes ever go by before the next altercation starts.
I really wanted to like this movie because it was based on a manga by Hideyuki Kikucho who also wrote Vampire Hunter D. You can see the similarities in the animation (which is superb for its time,) supernatural themes and mysterious, romanticized character of Darkside. Unfortunately, the movie did not live up to the D.
Call me dense, but I never did understand Darkside’s power or why he was at odds with the Persona corporation. Had he not been a part of the movie, the story would have been complete–an oppressed society rising up against its oppressor. In fact, the most explored characters are the terrorist and the Kabuki-cho resident that nurses and shelters him.
Where the anime does excel is the music. In the opening sequence, a street musician breaks out in a blues number during a struggle against Persona. The blues music portrays the heavy air of oppression in Kabuki-cho.
There is thought provoking dialogue regarding peace and whether peace achieved through force is actually peace. Had the movie followed these themes without the supernatural element, it would have been a success.
13: Aki no Kanade
MAL Score: 6.99
Aki Miyagawa moved to Tokyo to pursue her dream to be a taiko drummer, but had a hard time balancing her strict training regimen with her part-time job. Now, after 15 years, she’s returning to coach others for a taiko festival.
Project by J.C.Staff announced to be part of Anime Mirai 2015.
It’s a cute personal story, focused heavily around the points where drumming has affected her life. I think the main point that can be taken from Aki no Kanade is to follow your dream and work hard to make something you love a reality, and not stopping at the first hindrance. It doesn’t offer too much else really; it’s charming, it’s comfy and it’s worth the 20 minutes it takes to watch.
As arbitrary as number-ratings are, MAL has them, so I will use them.
Story 7 – Art 8 – Sound 8 – Character 8 – Enjoyment 8. None of which I feel like I need to justify with an explanation. They’re set with the show’s length in mind – They did good for the time they had, as I think the show would’ve held up quite well if dragged out for the usual 12 episodes instead of 1. Overall 8.
Art 10/10. What’s there not to like about it, the characters were drawn beautifully, each one had a unique style, even the father who mugs a lot.
Sound 9/10. As mentioned, it brings a lot of cultural background in traditional drumming. You also got that soothing tune as well. Pretty decent, but that’s it.
Character 8/10. You can see a lot of character development within this short movie, you can see their ambitions, their challenges, their doubts, their roles, their inspiration; but there’s still some stuff missing. But then again, it’s a short movie.
Overall 10/10. Pretty enjoyable, had a lot of ingenuity in it, maybe it would have been better if it was a longer movie. But as mentioned, pretty decent for a short movie, encompasses a lot of cultural/traditional aspects within this movie; has the character developments and roles, a lot of emotional aspects tied around the main character, art and sounds were decent. Okay I guess.
As with every review I make, this one is biased. Objectively, this OVA would probably get a 9/10. However, I loved it enough that I gave it a 10. If you have a problem with this scoring system, feel free to express that.
I just finished reviewing Charlotte, which took a lot of time and energy out of me. This time, as a way of spiritually cleansing myself of that show, I am reviewing something that I actually really like. There aren’t too many spoilers, simply because there isn’t much to spoil. It’s only one episode. This anime is about a girl who likes to play the drums. The rest of the synopsis is on the page already, so I’m not spending time talking about it here.
With this being a one shot OVA, the plot is very simple. There just isn’t enough time for a deep, complex story full of twists and turns. However, that does not make it bad. There are things in it that admittedly are kinda stupid, for example when the stage breaks right before they’re about to perform the drum festival. Like really? Did they not check beforehand for any signs that it was unstable? And what caused it to collapse in the first place? It stood up fine in the strong winds of the typhoon the night before. Maybe it was weakened by the wind and rain? But there still wasn’t any obvious reason for the collapse. These are just speculative defenses. It gave a good reason for why the festival didn’t happen anymore. Who’d want their kid to be there? I mean it almost killed at least three little kids already. But the cause for it is kinda stupid. Regardless, the plot is strong and heartwarming. The ending feels nice and was conclusive enough.
This is where the OVA really shines. The characters in this are almost all interesting in some way. However, there are a few that are kinda iffy, which is what keeps this from being a solid 10. Let’s start out with out main character Aki. She’s a girl who’s currently a professional drummer in Tokyo. In this short 22 minute OVA, we learn about her backstory, motivations, family situation, and friends, giving us a deep understanding of her character. Given that every other character is basically a side character, they don’t get that much development. One of my favorite characters in the whole OVA though was the boy (who’s name I forget) who sat next to Aki when in their first lesson preparing for the festival. His awkwardness around her at first felt so realistic. He kind of reflected my personality at that age. Especially the scene when they’re in middle school and he is going to give his button to Aki, but then chickens out at the last second and runs away felt a lot more human and realistic than him being 100% super smooth guy. It made him more sympathetic. The other characters with names, Megumi and Akane don’t really have much personality. They’re cute and charming and Akane’s skull necklace is so fucking cool, but they’re really there just to be Aki’s friends. This is fine since this anime is only 22 minutes long. They don’t need to be deeply developed because the story doesn’t focus on them. Aki’s dad is what brings down the score a little bit, simply because of my personal feelings. I just flat out didn’t like the dad. Without sugar-coating it, he was a dick. I mean, I get that he didn’t like her playing the drums, but seriously? Not only did he not see any of her performances, he didn’t even see her off at the train station when she was leaving for Tokyo. He doesn’t even greet her when she returns home after 15 years. Thankfully, he shows up at the final performance at the end of the OVA, which redeemed him a bit in my eyes. But still. What a dick.
The art in this was decent. It wasn’t beautiful, but the scenery was pleasant to look at and the girls were very cute. And let’s be honest, cute girls is enough to score any anime an 8 on artwork right?
I don’t usually talk about animation, but there’s something I’d like to point out that I thought was a nice touch. When the girls play the drums, their mallets actually come down and hit in rhythm with the audio. The animators didn’t need to do that, but they took the extra step and made it look more realistic. Reminds me a lot of Kyoto Animation.
Literally nothing to say. It sounded good. I liked the voice acting. I’m sorry I’m really bad at writing about sound.
Aki no Kanade is a perfect example of what can be accomplished in a single episode. The characters (at least the important ones) are fleshed out, the story is interesting, and the ending is satisfying. I recommend this anime to anyone who hasn’t watched it. It’s a true masterpiece in my opinion.
12: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes Movie: Gyakushuu no Milky Holmes
Japanese: 劇場版 探偵オペラ ミルキィホームズ 逆襲のミルキィホームズ
MAL Score: 7.15
The four members of Milky Holmes are going on a study tour. While soaking in the hot springs among snow monkeys, alarms interrupt the relaxing environment! It was the work of the Thief Empire. A fierce battle between Milky Holmes and the Thief Empire begins, with both sides using their Toys (special powers). Furthermore, with the arrival of the Genius 4, a three-way fight occurs! In the midst of battle, a violent lightning strikes from the sky. Struck by the lightning, the four Milky Holmes girls lose their abilities.
I’m one of the many who loved season 1 and 2 of Milky Holmes, but hated season 3 and 4 and consider them slanderous to the Milky Holmes name. Almost everything that was missing from season 3 and 4, and what made season 1 and 2 so great, is in this movie.
Kokoro is back to her old, IQ-proclaiming self and the rest of the G4 aren’t mere cameos. Shery, Nero, Herc, and Cordelia are the main focus again, and the comedy is back in full swing. If you’re worried about what role Kazumi and Alice (the 2 new characters from season 3, and yes I had to look up their names too) have in this movie then I can tell you they make only 3 very brief appearances. So if you hate them then they will only be minor interruptions to a movie that’s otherwise enjoyable all the way from start to finish.
The plot is relatively straightforward. Without going into spoilers, a great phantom thief is revived and Yokohama’s existence is threatened, and the Milky Holmes have lost their Toys again. At its core it’s a slightly more serious, retold version of the ending arc of season 2.
You can expect the humor from season 1 and 2 back in overdrive with some excellent animation that can switch between cute to bizarre and comedic at the tip of a hat. It always felt like Milky Holmes was just a little short on money in the animation department, and I believe everything was given just the right amount of animation and detail in this movie.
If I have any complaints at all about the movie they are minor ones.
The sound levels shift sometimes, with some sound effects being particularly loud compared to the dialogue and music. It only happens a handful of times but it was grating to hear such unexpected loud sounds with my headphones on.
The plot is very straightforward and that’s not something I have an issue with, if anything it’s what I expected of the movie. I was just a little disappointed that there was so much “action” for the Milky Holmes this movie. It felt like there was little downtime for them to do slice of life stuff, which is what made up the bulk of season 1 and 2. They were quite proactive and didn’t fail at their tasks as much this time around, but perhaps that was a necessary change for the movie to not have a 2 hour runtime and to make sure the story moved along at a solid pace.
Moriwaki Makoto (director of seasons 1 and 2) returned to direct this movie and it really shows. If Futari wa was a U-turn from the style of season 1 and 2, and Tantei Opera TD was a 90 degree turn back in the right direction, then this movie was the final 90 degree back on the right course. I’m not aware of how successful this movie was in terms of revenue or critically, but if seasons 3 and 4 were failures and this movie was well received then perhaps Moriwaki will return to direct future seasons of Milky Holmes and make the series great again.
If you enjoyed the first 2 seasons of Milky Holmes and desperately want more of it, this movie is a must watch and brings back hope that Milky Holmes might get a new season that brings them back to their roots.
11: Selector Destructed WIXOSS Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 selector destructed WIXOSS
MAL Score: 7.21
This movie is a retelling/summary of Selector Infected and Spread, with extra scenes interspersed such as the characters in childhood. Despite mostly being previously used scenes, they were cut and altered to make a high intensity and fast paced story, highlighting the moments of slow silence and reflection. Some changes were made such as the true origin of Tama’s name, the significance of Sachi and Rumi, and the relationship between your name and being alone.
I’ve gotten some messages regarding people who were slightly confused over this review, so I’d like to clarify something.
At my time of writing this review, the Lostorage WIXOSS series had only just began airing (literally five days after I wrote and posted the review), and as it hadn’t quite been a thing at that point, I want to mention that any mention of the “WIXOSS series” in this review is SOLELY directed towards the Selector WIXOSS series, whether it be Infected, Spread, or the Destructed movie.
Even to this day, I have yet to watch the Lostorage WIXOSS series and currently have no plans to, and the series itself is COMPLETELY unrelated to this review. Sorry if that was confusing to anyone, but this review was written at a time when it didn’t exist, so I didn’t have any way to know whether or not my usage of specific terms would be confusing within the context of this review.
The rest of the review beyond this line has been untouched; hopefully MAL staff doesn’t take my review down for editing it two years later.
Contains spoilers of the first and second seasons (none of the actual movie, however), so read at your own risk.
This will be less of a review of the actual movie and more of a review of the fact that it was a movie. I’ll explain that in more detail later.
I have every right to believe Selector Destructed WIXOSS was just as good as the second season, and even better than the first. What I don’t quite agree with 100%, however, is the fact that it was made into a movie.
Please, do NOT panic when I say this. Don’t consider this an automatic dealbreaker if you’ve seen the first and second seasons and are trying to decide whether you should watch this movie or not. But, about 70% of the movie is recap of the first and second seasons.
This may come off as a bit of a disappointment to some, especially for people like me who had been waiting nearly 8 months since its original February 13th release date in Japan for this movie to be released on BD and subbed. And hell, I’m sure there are MANY other diehard WIXOSS fans who had been watching the entire series weekly since it started airing, and it’s felt like a seemingly endless journey waiting for the series to be concluded. However, just in-case you don’t understand based purely on my rating, I was the exact opposite of disappointed.
Here’s some facts about the state of recap present within Selector Destructed WIXOSS. It gives you just enough to enjoy the movie if you’re one of the people who have never seen anything WIXOSS-related and just decided to go out and see the film, but at the same time, doesn’t overload you with stuff you already know if you’re a returning fan who’s already seen the first and second seasons. In its own way, it’s a perfect way to bring up more WIXOSS fans. They’ll watch the movie, and sure, they’ll already know all that happens. But some things that aren’t explained in the movie (that, as someone who’s seen both seasons, can confirm ARE explained in the TV series) might draw curiosity out of some of the viewers, and cause them to go and watch the first and second seasons. And, with how underrated WIXOSS is, I’m MORE than welcoming to any attempt to draw in more fans.
Why were things done this way? Simple. The entire sequel aspect of this movie comes from things being explained within the actual storyline present within the first and second seasons.
The movie starts out with a bit of a prequel, explaining one of the loose ends I actually audibly spoke about having a problem with within the first season. It continues with more recap, but as the recap continues on, more and more plotlines that perfectly (and I mean PERFECTLY) tie up some other loose ends present within the series are sprinkled within the film, making it feel like a much more fulfilling experience. It, then, ends with a very well-written ending that I couldn’t have asked to be any different.
The reason that I don’t agree 100% with the fact that this all was turned into a movie is simply because I do think that this all could have just been added into the first and second seasons. The prequel aspect could’ve been added in a way similar to the psychokinesis scene in Shinsekai Yori, where it seemed random and out of place but as time continued on, you begin to understand it more and more. The rest could’ve just been placed within the series chronologically, with no problems. And the ending, at the very least, could’ve been an OVA of the 2nd season.
Let’s face it. 70% of a 90 minute movie being recap doesn’t sound very appealing, it means that only about an episode’s worth of content was actually fresh. To think that that couldn’t have been squeezed into a 26-episode multi-cour series is absurd. It’s quite obvious that the purpose of the movie was just to milk the series, and bring up more fans of it by forcing them to sit through it in a movie theater in order to watch it.
But, while I did say I don’t agree 100% with their choices to do this, does that mean I truly disagree? No, not at all. If their goal of this movie was to milk it by bring up more fans of the series, then I am completely okay with that. It just gives me more WIXOSS to watch, and more people to talk about it with. No problem with that.
So, as for the new content, how good was it? It was nearly flawless when you look at it a certain way.
My biggest problem with the first season was that it only deconstructed aspects of what a majority of the card game sub-genre has been up to now. When I started watching the series, by around episode 3 I was really craving a full deconstruction, but that wasn’t what I got. What I got was a story written similarly to Madoka Magica, in how only certain aspects are deconstructed and the rest are left out in the cold. It was definitely still a great series simply because of how well characterized every character was, in addition to how well the story went with what it had to work with, many of the situations being handled really well, and overall great directing. But I was still left a bit underwhelmed.
Then we continue onto the 2nd season, which pretty much fixed every problem I had with the first season. Every single aspect of what makes the card game sub-genre what it is was completely deconstructed in pretty much every possible way. The psychological aspects behind how well developed every character was, the loopholes in the system, the way everything was created. Just everything. I really was amazed, and I didn’t really expect such an amazing season out of it. But, here’s a fact: there was a reason why I didn’t really expect things to go the way they did. You see, while I DID want things to go in a way that completely deconstructs the card game sub-genre, I didn’t expect they would because I knew the process of creating a story that did just that wouldn’t be easy by any means. It was going to be a heavy load to carry, and I thought it was kind of a miracle that they pulled it off. However, given how heavy of a load it was, things weren’t pulled off flawlessly, and there were still quite a few unanswered questions by the end of the 2nd season. So, I thought it was amazing but wasn’t quite at the level of being a masterpiece.
Then, we continue on with this movie. Every, and I mean EVERY, single unanswered question, loose end, and confusing plot point was answered flawlessly. What we were given was a completed work, one that showed that everything was planned from the beginning, and how well-written the story was as a whole. The things that were missing from the 2nd season that made me not consider it a masterpiece were present within this movie. Even though I wouldn’t consider either a masterpiece, I have every single right to say that the WIXOSS series as a whole is deserving of being called one.
I do want to say that the way things were presented was kind of fun, in its own way. It reminded me a lot of the presentation of the Monogatari series, where everything was aired in non-chronological order and felt a bit like a puzzle, which made it kind of fun. The WIXOSS series, up until the movie, was definitely chronological, and even the movie itself was chronological. But, the fresh content introduced within the movie that wasn’t within the first and second seasons wasn’t chronological to the first/second seasons. So, it was a bit fun in that regard.
And, in the end, the movie really was just about as good as I expected it to be. All my questions were answered, and I end with a fulfilling experience that I think is worthy of being considered one of the best I’ve ever had with anime before. I don’t completely agree with the fact that it was made into a movie, but with everything all said and done, I think it’s fine that it was just because I still got to experience everything in a way that was quite close to perfection.
And with that said, I’m done here.
Now there is a Unique story is in that is Ulith story is of course a character from infected and spread. Is worth watching for that. If they did less recap and more of Ulith story focus I think I would have enjoyed it more, but what I got was still ok.
I don’t wanna say anymore but that is what you get with the movie so now you know what you are getting.
Though I would recommend watching the whole movie, there are parts you can skip, if you binge watched the whole anime, unlike those who watched it weekly when it was aired. The first 10 minutes and the last 15-20 minutes have to be watched, since they have new scenes that convey the finale of the anime much better that the ending of season 2.
The movie is a must, if the first and second seasons made you feel miserable. It just means that you didn’t pay clear attention to the important details that were mentioned in the anime. I am one of those who felt incomplete, and the movie was just the thing to make me appreciate the anime to the fullest.
10: Slayers: The Motion Picture
English: Slayers: The Motion Picture
MAL Score: 7.29
In this prequel movie to the Slayers televison series, Lina Inverse travels to Mipross Island with her rival/traveling companion Naga the Serpent. While they originally came for the hot springs, they soon find them selves mixed up in a conspiracy involving a mazoku named Joyrock. Years ago, he killed all of the elves that inhabited the island and absorbed their power. They are soon joined by an old mage named Rowdy Gabriev, who was in love with one of the elves slaughtered and also wants to defeat Joyrock.
The story is a prequel to the first anime series, and it’s competently written so it can stand on its own. As such, I won’t be going into any details about the backstory. The story follows the sorceress Lina Inverse and her friendly rival/sidekick, Naga the Serpent. They get discount tickets to a strange island famous for its hot spring. While there they embark on a quest to unravel the truth about the island and the unusual power affecting it. It’s what you would expect from the Slayers. The story is full of absurdity played up for laughs, action, some intrigue and absurd action. The plot is pretty straight forward, but it works pretty well. The only real issue with the film is that it should have been longer. It’s barely an hour and the story rushes through the important points as a result. It’s still hilarious, but it could’ve used more time to flesh things out.
The characters in this are a bunch of strange, silly people. They aren’t particularly deep, but they work exceedingly well for a comedic work. And their motivations and actions do make sense, which is better than some supposedly serious anime manage. Still, don’t expect deep characters with fascinating psychological aspects.
The art in this looks rushed. It’s in the general style of the rest of the series, but the colours look duller and the animation looks sloppier. It still looks okay, but not nearly as good as the regular series. I would criticise Naga’s outfit, but it’s clearly meant to be a parody of the “battle bikini” convention you frequently see in fantasy works rather than being designed for fan-service. Frankly, the satire works pretty well since it’s actual done in a deliberate and aware fashion rather than fan-service which attempts to excuse itself as a parody.
the vocal cast in this is excellent. Takayama Minami, Kawamura Maria, Genda Tessyo and, especially, Hayashibara Megumi all do really well in their roles. There is some exaggeration which can get tiring, but it’s used for comedic effect and, generally, works. The music is really amazing. the film is certainly an auditory treat.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. This doesn’t have yuri.
So, how does the first Slayers movie hold up? The humour works really well. The characters, though not deep, are fun. The acting and music are excellent. That being said, the art is only okay and the story is pretty rushed. It’s a quick, fun watch. My final rating is a 7/10. Check it out if you need a good laugh. If you want something with depth, look elsewhere. Maybe I’ll look at more of the franchise at another time, but next week is going to have to be Valkyria Chronicles.
After a misunderstanding regarding some bandits, Lina Inverse runs into Naga the Serpent, a rival of hers, and they end up going to a famous hot spring together. The hot spring itself is located on a mysterious island, shrouded in mist, that only seems to open for visitors once a year. Soon, Lina finds out that something terrible happened on this island many years before, and it’s up to her to right the wrongs committed by the evil being that still lurks.
Hot springs? Sounds like an excuse for some fan service! Well, say what you want, but there’s an amazingly small amount of “ecchi” in this film. The bulk of it is provided by Naga’s outfit merely existing. It’s basically a bikini, and more or less a reference to how female warriors are pretty much nude in a lot of fantasy comics and games. The outfit itself is handled quite tastefully, and there isn’t much in the way of perverse camera angles obviously meant to monopolize her skin-tight threads.
As for the story itself, Slayers Perfect starts off comedic, dabbles in a bit of mystery, and ends off with a short battle and some celebrations. You can even find a bit of a moral in the last five minutes of the movie if you squint. Slayers: The Motion Picture may not have a bad idea for a plot (far from it), but it does suffer from being a bit rushed. Some scenes have awkward transitioning and the movie’s pacing alternates from being too slow or too fast at varying points during its runtime of about sixty-five minutes. It really ought to have been more competently planned out, or been longer (by, say, at least thirty more minutes perhaps).
Speaking of competence, the movie is written well enough that at the very least, you don’t need to be familiar with the television series to watch it. It could even serve as a window to help deciding whether you want to give the original anime a go. Aspects that are explained or referenced in the television series are also explained or referenced in the movie where pertinent, and the film doesn’t treat you as if you are already familiar with Lina or Naga (the latter of whom doesn’t appear in the first season of the anime anyway).
The primary protagonists of Slayers Perfect are, of course, Lina and Naga. Both are proficient sorceresses. Lina acts much the same as she did in the television series – for the uninitiated, a gluttonous and money-loving teenager. We don’t get much out of Naga this time around, but at least she is amusing with her arrogance and manages to be quite intriguing. Rowdy Gabriev joins Lina and Naga as a hero, although he mostly passes on advice and cryptic messages and his role as a whole can’t truly be explored in a review without digging up some spoilers. The side characters exist and serve their purpose, but unlike the first season of Slayers, none are particularly memorable or striking. Character development is nonexistent in this film. There isn’t much to say about the subject other than that.
The animation of this film was handled by J.C. Staff as opposed to SoftX, so we can see some subtle character design differences and a general change in art style. The colours are a bit darker and muted, and the movie has an overall grungy, dirty look despite its material. The animation is nothing to sneeze about, though. It’s pretty well-done and good quality for a film; however, it would have certainly benefited from using the same sort of palette as the television series.
Hayashibara Megumi shines again with her song Midnight Blue, which serves as the movie’s ending theme and has got to be my favourite track I’ve heard from her yet. It is haunting albeit melodic and I love listening to it. The rest of Slayers Perfect’s soundtrack could use some work. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just not something to really write home about. Hayashibara does a good job as Lina Inverse as per usual, and the rest of the Japanese VAs are adequate. Kawamura Maria deserves special mention for her role as Naga, and that amazing laugh that almost rivals Sumeragi Hokuto’s (Tokyo Babylon).
Slayers Perfect wasn’t necessarily a letdown, but it certainly wasn’t anything to write home about, either. It’s a nice little stand alone addition to the Slayers franchise, and it gives us some curiosity to deal with regarding Naga and her relationship with Lina, but that’s pretty much it. Don’t expect to be blown away by it; it’s just a little taste of what the first season brought us.
Though the plot was pretty straight forward and even somewhat thought out, I felt as if everything was rushed. I have never been one who overly cares if a series spends hours developing the characters within, but if I hadn’t already seen the TV series I would have no idea who these people are and why they are doing what they are doing.
The art throughout also seems a little less vibrant, using darker shades of all previous colors. Even Lina herself was less imaculate then before. She still looked the same, but different, if you catch my drift.
One of the great things about the original series was the interaction between Lina and her cohorts. This time she was travelling with someone completely new, and though certainly easy on the eyes, she was given no time to develop as a main character. She was passed off as Lina’s closest rival, yet with what was seen in the movie, most half wit wizards could wipe their ass with her skimpy wardrobe without breaking a sweat. It just seemed forced.
The music was sub standard, but not dreadful. Basically the type of music you would hear from an 80’s video arcade game. Lots of keyboard smashing and no layering. The voice acting on the other hand I liked. Lina was as perfect as usually, Nana (her companion)(I think that was her name) had even a higher pitched voice and a laugh that most would find annoying, but I was really into, and the supporting casts did their jobs well.
The main villian was given a complex that screamed evil and with a short flash-back and a breif moment of actual story development, you learn to hate the bastard. I’m into hating the “bad guys” so I guess that was another plus.
All in all, I can’t say that I hated the motion picture, but don’t go into this movie with the same expections as the TV series. You’ll be let down too.
9: Slayers Gorgeous
MAL Score: 7.32
Sorceresses Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent are enjoying a meal in a villiage when the residents suddenly retreat indoors and two armies – one of men and one of a young girl and a tribe of dragons. Although the ruler of the town originally tries to convince Lina that this is because of a dark legacy, in truth the dragon army is led by his daughter and their battles are over her allowance. Lina agrees to help the ruler while Naga joins his daughter, Marlene.
So, we open with Lina and Naga sitting in a town square, enjoying some tacos, when everyone around them starts panicking and running indoors. They find out why when an armoured girl appears with dragons. Lina fends her and her dragons off only to find out that her father rules the town and they’re fighting over a raise in her allowance. That moment when you realise you suck as a parent. Naturally, both Lina and Naga are brought in on opposite sides for the promise of gold.
The biggest weakness of this film is that it does hit some of the same beats as Great did. That on featured a father and son building golems for opposite lords in a dispute while Lina and Naga took opposite sides. To be fair, the reasons for parent and child fighting were different and the way their dynamic plays out is different, but the basic story lines are pretty similar. Another, more minor gripe is that the imagery accompanying the ending credits has a segment with Lina flipping a coin that’s pretty close to the same as the scene that Great had in its.
The strength this has is that the humour is at a very high level with most of the gags landing very effectively. This film also demonstrates the ability this franchise has to introduce a big threat and have a cool action sequence, but also add in a bunch of comedic elements during the fight that make it tonally fit perfectly. The reveal of the ultimate antagonist is also very cool.
In terms of character, the strength of these films has consistently been Lina and Naga’s dynamic. They’re similar and distinct enough that you can both understand why they keep one another company and why they drive each other crazy. I can really buy them as friends. Hell, I’d buy them as lovers of the “old bickering couple variety” if that had been the route they’d taken. And their dynamic really shines in this film at the point where they’re working in combination and you can see them communicate intentions without saying a word.
The side characters also follow the same pattern as the ones in the last film. They aren’t complex, but they’re quirky enough for some good gags and to make them memorable.
JC Staff has consistently done a great job with the artwork in this franchise. It features some strong visual gags, well designed characters and some really good action sequences. My biggest complaint about the action sequences is that some of the scenes in them are a bit too clichéd. For instance, it has that scene where two opponents run at each other, it pauses for a moment and then you see the result.
Hayashibara Megumi & Kawamura Maria are amazing as ever. The actors for the film exclusive characters give strong performances as well. You can’t really fault Hikami Kyouko, Kamiya Akira, Takiguchi Junpei or anyone else in that regard. The music is pretty great. Hayashibara Megumi’s ending song in this one is Raging Waves, which is fantastic.
There’s still none to be had. Yeah, they could make Lina and Naga work as a couple, but there are no hints of that.
Areas of Improvement:
Vary the film plots more. I get that every writer has a “thing” but it’s going to get a bit tired if we keep seeing parent/ child squabbles as a central plot element.
Lose the action scene clichés. I’m sorry, they just don’t work all that well.
A different ending gag. I get that they vary it slightly, but it’s close enough to the same thing that it doesn’t work all that well when you’ve seen the film before it.
This is a pretty great film and definitely worthy of the franchise. Ultimately, my complaints with it are more minor nitpicks than serious, enjoyment affecting problems. So, I’m going to give it an 8/10. If this franchise is your thing, you’ll enjoy this film. If it’s not, at least look up the song Raging Waves by Hayashibara Megumi.
8: Slayers Return
English: Slayers Movie 2
MAL Score: 7.32
The inhabitants of the village of Biaz, forced to labor in the serivce of the world-domination-happy Zein organization, hires Lina Inverse and Naga The Serpent to drive off the invaders. Lina and Naga agree, lured by stories of Elfin treasure sleeping below Biaz, only to get considerably more trouble -from the Zein and from the treasure – than they ever expected.
The film furthers the misadventures of Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent. A young woman named Saleena finds them and requests their help to save her village, which has been taken over and the villagers forced into labour unearthing some strange device. Lina agrees, much to Naga’s surprise, when she hears the village’s name and remembers tales of elven treasure. The humour in this is highly effective and enjoyable throughout. The story itself is much better paced than Perfect’s. It does a good job of building up some suspense and the climax is both funny and interesting.
The characters don’t have much depth. That being said, they are very effective from a comedic standpoint. They’re ridiculous, absurd, and quirky. They all have a lot of comedic potential and their interactions are really funny.
The art is a lot better than it was in the first film. It’s more like the actual series in that it looks like time and effort went into it as opposed to looking rushed. Its bright, vivid and the characters have interesting designs. The action scenes are really well executed and the backgrounds look nice.
The vocal cast remains excellent. Hayashibara Megumi and Kawamura Maria, both amazing actresses, are joined by Hiramatsu Akiko, Ootsuka Akio and Utsumi Kenji, all of whom are masterful at their craft. The music is really splendid as well.
The Ho-yay factor is a 2/10. There are a few moments where things between Lina and Naga look a bit homo-erotic, like Naga telling Lina to pay for her meals for the rest of their lives, but nothing substantial.
That’s Slayers Return. It is an improvement over the first film, with a lot of that film’s problems being absent. It has a lot of really funny moments, the art is great, the voice acting and music are excellent. If you want a good comedy, check it out. My final rating is a 9/10. Next week I’ll finish up March with a look at Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu, unless something unexpected happens.
The gist of the plot is that an evil organization called Zein is looking to obtain an artifact from a small village, Biaz. To that end they have enslaved the citizens of the village, and it’s up to Naga and Lina to save them – though of course Lina is mainly interested in fulfilling her own goals.
Slayers Return is a lot more enjoyable to watch than Slayers Perfect; it’s funnier, for one thing, and the character interactions are amusing to watch. There’s not much for character development – Lina, Naga, and the rest are pretty stagnant – but let’s face it, we watch Slayers for comedic moments and parody, and character growth is optional (though not completely unwanted). Thus, the lack of metamorphosis is not a bad thing at all.
The scriptwriter is nothing to sneeze at; while Slayers Return takes place before the animated television series, and is pretty much a part of a series of episodes involving Naga and Lina’s adventures, it can absolutely be watched as a stand-alone work. It makes no references to either the previous movies or OVAs, or to the television show. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with being familiar with the characters beforehand, and honestly, it would probably bolster your enjoyment of the movie a lot.
Technically speaking, the palettes used in Slayers Return are pretty dark. However, the animation is fairly fluid most of the time bar jitteriness during running scenes. Fight scenes themselves are pretty well-animated. There’s also a good amount of detail in many frames. Characters look just like themselves and the movie-only cast have pretty good designs.
Soundwise, the movie is fairly average. The OST is all right, though not very memorable in my opinion. It does its job for the most part. I will say I did like Slayers Return’s soundtrack more than Slayers Perfect’s. The movie features a vocal track sung by Hayashibara Megumi and Kawamura Maria. It’s entitled Just Be Conscious and plays during the credits. It’s a very enjoyable song to listen to and it’s definitely the highlight of the soundtrack. It certainly bolsters up the sound rating.
Overall, Slayers Return is a nice little standalone title that I certainly liked watching, and I’d recommend it to any Slayers fan.
There’s really no point reiterating my thoughts on Naga and Lina, or the animation and music. There’s nothing that makes these films distinct in any way; neither from their predecessors nor from anime movies in general. This one has a weak plot, boring side characters, uninteresting action, and can be summed up as: eh. It has an occasionally decent chuckle here or there but I don’t understand the appeal of these. First of all, they have nothing to do with the vastly superior television series. The TV series is well-balanced, with a cast of characters that work off of each other and a plot that allows for enough action and comedy to keep the viewer engaged. The movies and OVA’s, so far, have showcased a very different Slayers, one that isn’t so much a parody of fantasy as much as a stagnant fantasy/comedy of its own.
A friend of mine put it best: the Slayers movies are filler. The problem is, filler is annoying in the context of an ongoing series (such as the Excalibur filler of Soul Eater) but even more annoying when it comprises an entire product (such as this, or the whole seasons of filler in Bleach).
Return isn’t a bad movie; it’s just another average, unmemorable money grab.
7: Slayers Great
English: Slayers Movie 3
MAL Score: 7.33
Laia Einburg wants for her father Galia, who is a talented golom maker, and her equally ambitious brother Huey to end a long running feud. But her luck changes for the worse when Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent save Laia from a rampaging golem.
We open with our heroine, Lina Inverse arriving at a town where they build golems with her frenemy, Naga the Serpent. They save a young girl from a rampaging mechanical bull and she insists on repaying them after their aggressive insistences that she doesn’t need to do anything for them in return. The pair quickly find themselves caught up in a squabble between two lords who both want to rule the city.
The biggest issue in the film is probably that a lot of the “twists” are pretty obvious. But this is also one of those works where the plot isn’t all that important. The japes and sense of humour are the main draws.
Therein lies the strength of the film. The humour is pretty spot on. You can generally predict where the plot is going to go but the gags that are going to go with it aren’t so readily pinpointed. Which does result in a viewing experience that’s generally compelling, entertaining and pretty damn funny.
One of the strongest element of these early instalments in the Slayers franchise is pretty definitively Lina & Naga’s dynamic. The whole idea of them being not so friendly rivals who still journey and work together until it suits them not to leads to some really good comedic moments. They also do a good job of making the characters who exist solely for this film quirky enough to add to the entertainment without spending too much time with them and bogging the whole thing down.
The film looks quite nice. The characters are well drawn. It has strong visual gags. The action sequences flow really well. There are some nice details in the backgrounds. The only thing I’m a bit on the fence about is that the more fan-servicey gags might be a bit much in this one to the point where they arguably cross over from jokes into just being fan-service.
This is one of those works where you’d have to have atrocious directing to go wrong with the cast. Hayashibara Megumi & Kawamura Maria reprise their roles as Lina and Naga. They continue to be fantastic. Our major supporting characters are voiced by Koyasu Takehito, Inoue Kikuko & Katou Seizou. All of whom do a great job. The soundtrack is also quite good. Particularly the ending theme tune, Reflection. Which, like most tunes n this franchise, is sung by Hayashibara Megumi. And, like those other songs, it’s going on my MP3 player.
There really isn’t any. I’d make a joke about how Lina and Naga should just stop being tsundere towards each other and have lewd relations, but their relationship legitimately doesn’t come across as being like that. Not that I’d mind if their relationship was like that since the eventual “romance” we do get is kind of bad and that might be more palatable.
Slayers Great is, ultimately, a very entertaining film with a strong sense of humour, great acting, great artwork & animation and strong comedic characters. In the end, I’ll give it a solid 8/10. If you’ve tried and enjoyed any of this franchise, this is for you. If you haven’t, I’d start with the first film and work my way up to this one.
Slayers Great is the third Slayers movie (and the fourth Slayers installment to feature the voluptuous Naga overall), and I must say that while I feel the movies and OVAs didn’t capture the magic in the same way the series did, this movie scratched an itch…at least for me.
The story has the same hilarity and spectacle as a typical higher-tier Slayers story. Two golems, one modeled after Lina and one modeled after Naga, duking it out? You better believe it’s a classic.
As for the art, I feel the art was pretty good on this OVA. The fluidity has stepped up since last time, so that’s a step up. I would give a decent score to the art.
When it comes to the sound, I loved it. I especially loved the hollow, jazzy music that played at the start of the aforementioned golem fight. The rest of the soundtrack is very whimsical as well. The non-musical sounds, such as the ambient bird sounds, were worthy of praise too. All around, this anime was an aural pleasure.
What do we have for characters? Well, we have Lina and Naga, who are funny as always. When it comes to the unique characters, we have the timid Laia, who takes delight in the madness all around her. We also have Laia’s father, a golem sculptor, and her brother, also a golem sculptor. Watching the two clash might hit home for some viewers, but the two are idiots and not that different from each other. There’s also these two kings, and I won’t say much about them, except that they looked like they walked straight out of a circus.
All in all, this is a fun romp that is a microcosm of Slayers at its best. The golem fight, which I know I keep bringing up but it’s the focal point of the entire movie, captures all the high-flying action and gut-busting hilarity we know and love.
If you have the time (it’s only an hour), I would recommend checking this one out. It really lives up to its name, because it’s pretty great.
6: Shakugan no Shana Movie
English: Shakugan no Shana: The Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 灼眼のシャナ
MAL Score: 7.38
Crimson Denizens and Rinne, beings from a parallel world, seek to devour humans’ precious existences. To restore the delicate balance of the world, Flame Hazes hunt these entities down.
Yet such things are unknown to Yuuji Sakai, who starts his day like any other and heads to school. His day, however, takes a turn for the extraordinary when he witnesses everyone around him freeze in place and is left the only one able to move. Immediately, a Rinne begins devouring the souls of those around him, but as the creature sets its sights on Yuuji, a katana-wielding Flame Haze with blazing red hair saves him.
After his protector fixes the damage done, she explains why Yuuji was able to move: he has become a Torch, a remnant of a dead human being that will eventually fade from memory. Furthermore, he is also a Mystes, a Torch that houses an unknown treasure. Before his flame burns out completely, a Crimson Denizen will try to seize the treasure he holds, so the fiery hunter decides to watch over him. As Yuuji comes to terms with being dead, he resolves to live his life the best he can with the time he has remaining.
Story: This movie was basically a remixed version of the first 6 episodes of the first season. Since it has to be compressed to 90 minutes or so, it was obvious it would not feel as great as the original series, but they still managed to get all important point across. The later minutes of the movie however, had the most alterations and where IMO the most enjoyable ones from the movie.
Art: Movies always tend to have a higher animation value than regular series and its no different here. Shana`s flaming hair and her eyes were absolutely gorgeous to look at and every character was very well drawn and animated, the later fighting scenes were REALLY well drawn…I already mentioned this but Shana in flame haze mode was really stunning, the animation quality matched that of Kyoto’s IMO.
Sound: Its used most of the original series soundtrack and since I love that soundtrack i did not mind listening it again, they did add some extra movie only onces and they were great to listen too. 9/10 seems about right for this.
Character: Like I mentioned before, compressing 6 episodes into 90 minutes takes its toll also on the character development. It was well done but the series does it better (of course).
Enjoyment: I really liked this movie mainly because of the final minutes where the biggest changes were made, and its obvious since without them it would have been the same thing as rewatching something you’ve already seen before.
Overall this movie has some superb animation with some solid story and great sound, all fans of Shana should not miss this.
The first part of the movie is essentially a recap of the first few episodes of Season One. However, despite time constraints, characters like Yuji and Shana are fully developed, and we also get to see Fraigne the Hunter and Yukari in a new light.
The plot starts to deviate near the second half of the movie to great effect, turning the minor villain Fraigne into the real villain he is.
On the whole, the movie is a great refresher into the intro of Shakugan no Shana, as well as fleshing out an otherwise lack-luster Friagne.
Tip: Watch for out sneak appearances of Wilhemina within the movie. She appears 2 times. ;p
The story of Shana is a beacon of originality in a sea of cliches and genericness that make up the majority of the action genre. It explores coming to terms with the unimaginable and the value of human life. This freshness of the plot grabs the viewer’s attention and the removal of the somewhat lame love interest in the anime only improves the experience. The story moves quickly and is very well paced, the film’s eighty seven minute lifespan flies by as a consequence.
As expected from Shana, the animation is really top notch, beautiful backgrounds, awesome effects during the fighting scenes and excellent character designs from Noizi Ito. It’d be nice to see some of the other characters from the series make an appearance (characters who were clearly present at this point in the overall story) but it cant be helped due to the restrictions of the movie format and in fairness the characters are who are present, are done so majestically. It’s also good to see the movie having superior animation to the TV series, unlike other movie adaptations such as Azumanga Daioh and Clannad.
The audio experience is also of the highest quality, as to be be expected of Shana, with none other than Ko Otani (provider of the music for the Shadow of the Colossus videogame) providing the musical score here, the music is dramatic and really helps to build up an atmosphere. The use of the insert song "Akai Namida" (performed by Mami Kawada) is a masterstroke and it really lets the viewer sypathize with the situation. The ending theme "Tenjou wo Kakeru Monotachi" by Love Planet Five showcases the talents of the members of I’ve Sound who are so often providing for the Shana franchise. It’s a real treat as the credits roll. Voice acting is very solid, each character retains their seiyuu from the anime, giving the same high quality delivery of lines.
The characters in the movie are something of a double edged sword, the mains Shana and Yuji remain pretty much the same as their anime incarnations, not a bad thing at all. Friagne gets a LOT added to his character, he’s represented as a genuine threat rather than an eccentric who is soon overshadowed and forgotton due to other villains. His character is really fleshed out and he’s a lot more likeable as a character than his incarnation in the anime series. Unfortunately some of the other characters are completely unnecessary, Yoshida Kazumi and Margery Daw in particular, the movie format doesnt allow Kazumi’s storyline to develop and Margery comes across a lot weaker than she is in the anime, plus her personality has been changed somewhat.
Nevertheless, this a very enjoyable movie, the unique concept of the plot keeps viewer interest then treats them to some awe-inspring fight scenes, with a particularly impressive final battle. Certainly one of the better recap films out there, though it is adviseable you try and watch it before checking out the anime/managa/novel because prior knowledge makes it a tad predictable.
5: Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Movie: Orion no Ya
English: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon : Arrow of the Orion
Japanese: 劇場版 ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか -オリオンの矢-
MAL Score: 7.44
Continuing his adventure to get stronger in order to traverse deeper into the “Dungeon,” Bell Cranel wanders the Orario city streets with his friends and the goddess Hestia. That evening, the city is filled with stalls and games as it celebrates the Holy Moon Festival.
Hermes, a god, hosts one such activity where participants are asked to pull a spear embedded in a crystal boulder; those who succeed will receive a special gift: a trip around the world and a divine blessing from the gods! Bell and his merry group challenge one another to claim the prize. But behind the facade of an innocent party game lies a preface for a daring quest ahead.
Arrow Of Orion stands out in a landscape of mediocre anime works with its listless story, its uninspired characters, and the sheer amount of wasted time. From the onset, what was most noticeable was the sheer amount of wasted screen time. Bloated exposition and travel scenes, languid action sequences and uninspired dialogue created a forgettable 80 minute run time.
Frankly, the character of Bell has always been one of the weakest aspects of Dan Machi, from his insipid behaviour combined with his overpowered powers to the typical harem weakness of “everyone falls in love with him” for no reason. Throughout this movie, his relationship with Artemis is hammered home as being very spiritual and deep, yet at no point does it feel genuine. Most of the relationships in Dan Machi aren’t much more than skin deep, but the relationship with Artemis feels even more so.
The art is par the course excluding the CGI scenes which are awful, flat out. They not only jar with the artwork style, but are poorly animated to the point of discomfort, especially when the shot holds on the poor animation for large periods of time.
The most noticeably poor element of the story was the utterly drawn out and predictable plot. Without spoiling anything, from almost the initial appearance of Artemis, the outcome of the story is extremely evident. Even the concluding action sequence isn’t enough to save us, and the final boss being a CGI atrocity is certainly not enough to redeem it.
In conclusion, save your money, this one’s not worth it.
Although the history of this movie is original and not present in the novels, it is very well built and makes us want to know more about Artemis, a great character.
About the plot: It is built on the basic premise that a problem occurs that only the protagonist and his “Family” can solve.
About the new characters: Hestia’s relationship with Artemis is a lot of fun to watch, a great character that I will definitely seek to know more about from her past, I loved this character.
It’s just beautiful the end of the movie, I highly recommend if you did not watch and like the series give this movie a try.
First we will start with the scenario, honestly it’s a very unoriginal scenario, starting on a new quest from the moment Bell was chosen by a weapon. I find that the plot is also far too predictable,there is also some fan service scene, probably for the comedy side. The movie being released as a preview I do not prefer to give too much detail on the story.
Regarding the animation, it is not bad but also nothing exceptional, the fight scenes are not incredible or even bad, including the fight against Antares (who is animated in 3D) but maybe a certain scene can give more than interest to the movie. The sounds, like the animation, is also nothing impressive, quite trivial OST.
Finally characters, I personally think that this is the biggest highlight of the movie (maybe you do not agree with me), in my opinion, Artemis is the one that gives the most meaning to this movie, it’s a character unique to the movie, but also the one I find most endearing of all Danmachi. I hover over the details, just to tell you, where are the interesting points and where are they not, without spoil you.
In my opinion this movie is clearly not to look absolutely, but if you are a fan of Danmachi, you will probably like it so if you had not enjoyed the first season, you probably do not appreciate this movie.
Although it is a review I avoid a maximum of spoil since many people read the reviews to decide to look at it or not.
Story: 5, Art/Animation: 5, Sound: 6, Character: 8, Enjoyment: 7.
I hope I don’t have too much writing error…
4: Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Endymion no Kiseki
English: A Certain Magical Index the Movie: The Miracle of Endymion
Japanese: 劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 エンデュミオンの奇蹟
MAL Score: 7.46
In the scientifically advanced Academy City, a miracle is about to occur: the completion of the world’s first space elevator, “Endymion.” Meanwhile, a certain high school student, Touma Kamijou, and his companion Index are going about their daily lives when they encounter and befriend Arisa Meigo, a cheerful and ambitious singer. When strange occurrences begin taking place throughout the city, they lead to the discovery of an intricate plot surrounding Arisa and Endymion. Things only get more complicated when the Stiyl Magnus appears, signifying that the magical world is somehow involved too…
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki (A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion) is a film based off the franchise known as Toaru Majutsu no Index. (also known by its English name as A Certain Scientific Index) The film is designed as an side story in part of the Index franchise. As such, expect some of the supporting and main characters to make appearances with roles in this film. It is important to note that fans should already be somewhat familiar with at least season one of the Index series. Otherwise, the experience you get out of this film might not be as special as you’d hope for.
I had high expectations of the film and I am thankful to say that those were met. The film itself takes place in the same setting as the TV series, Academy City (sometimes referred to as the Experiment City) a sovereign city-state where technology are highly evolved. Among its cities’ residents though are students and scientists whom the latter conducts research on psychics known as Espers. However, the film itself steps forth beyond just science but also crosses with the magic realm.
The timeline of the film is assumed to take place between the Remnant and Daihaseisai arc. (refer to the TV series for insight) But because the setting is at the location of Academy City, expect some advanced technologies to make it on screen. Take the Endymion for an example. Based on a name from Greek mythology, Endymion is a pivotal factor in this film as influences both the science and magic sides. It also serves as a symbol of pride for Academy City as well as an instrument of war for military purposes. The mysteries of this technology is revealed in the movie and fans can interpret its revelation in a variety of ways. It’s more than just a space elevator, much much more. It’s a new story to tell and hope to remember by.
No story can be complete without its characters. In this film, it is crafted from the basis of a new character named Meigo Arisa. As an upcoming rising star, she plays the role of a singer with both a gift and mystery regarding her origin. Although labeled as a level 0, her character is prominent especially when we learn about the influence she has according to a certain magician. Arisa’s name also is literally translated as ‘sound’ so expect to hear quite a bit from her in the form of her songs. After all, it’s the songs that attracts the other main characters like Touma and Index early on as well. It seems like fate has plans for them because Arisa does get a surprise regarding her singing talent. More importantly though, we also learn that there are also other people who wants her but for much contrasting reasons.
Among other characters that we might be familiar of includes Academy City’s ranked #3 Railgun, the only and one Misaka Mikoto. Going by perhaps a more catchy name as BiriBiri (as nicknamed by Touma), she makes an electrifying appearance in the film with not just her skills but also in her outfit. Fans of the A Certain Scientific Railgun franchise might also be delighted to see her friends (Kuroko, Kazari, and Ruiko) make appearances as well. After all, friends have to stick together to bring miracles. On a more badass side, we also see an esper who is unmatched on the level 5 ranking charts.
Perhaps dream also are soaring high for Arisa because her inspiration to become a singer. There is no doubt that the girl has talent and it’s why Index and Touma became entranced by her voice in the beginning. However, the reason others wants her are for more reasons than just talent. That talent isn’t just singing but for purposes that crosses the lines between science and magic. For a particular girl on the magic side, it is her duty to protect Arisa. We see that later on, this girl represents a sense of miracle because a certain incident in the film. In fact, you might be somewhat surprised at what you’ll yourself. Miracles comes in surprises and this film also brings in some surprises of its own.
So the film incorporates many other factors with its characters. There’s a variety of them such espers, magicians, idols, immortals, witches, and wizards. All of them comes in a package as they display their powers to the audience. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a sense of mystery. Obviously, all eyes are on Arisa as she is a person of high interest. There’s many questions going on regarding her origins and why she is so important. There’s also a sort of metaphor with her Arisa’s character going on as her singing represents inspiration and hope. We hear it like just music but behind those lyrics is a girl who is selfless with a big dream.
Like its original predecessors, the film also adapts some of its more humorous moments. In fact, Arisa shares a similarity with Index that could cost quite a budget out of anyone’s wallet. Then, there’s Kuroko who retains her fantasies and awe to her onee-sama, Misaka Mikoto. If bad luck hits home, then Touma’s name is written all over it. There’s the gimmicky and cliched moments where Touma gets himself in compromising positions as well. This should be nothing new though considering the result of a double edged sword from his Imagine Breaker.
Action wise, the film maintains a solid formation with its fighting scenes. There’s intensity from both the science and magic side. Flames are expected in the forms of magic while there’s also electrifying sparks flying in the air from Biribiri. As both magic and science side clashes, there’s that sense of both fear and antagonism regarding our new uprising idol – Arisa. However, also expect fan service. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t omit these factors after shower scenes. There’s also reused character designs in the form of lolis as Kamachi often spotlights them on the screen. That is hardly refreshing. Anyone familiar with the Railgun manga or Index novels will instantly realize this. Those who have been following the animated Railgun series recently will also find a similar pattern. Lastly, there’s some main characters who doesn’t seem to get the spotlight they deserve. In fact, they seem to be more in the background as supporting characters. I’m referring to a certain albino boy that is famously known for a certain experiment in Academy City. As a fan of his character, there’s some disappointment that hit me home.
As this product is set on a theatrical screen, expect cinematic animation. Most noticeably, this film is performed with vertical resolution complete in concrete details. Therefore, expect more focus on backgrounds and details at many various scenes that are can be noticeable. The adaptation of Academy City is also presented with strong artistic values to reflect its scientific structures. Arisa’s character design gives her an outlook that fuses between an ordinary girl with pink hair and an idol singer with her flashy outfit. Other new characters gives off their magical look like the witches hat and trooper like outlook. The way most of the movie is shown reflects on the animation of scientific and magical values. Clearly, this movie should be watched under at least 720P or higher to get a full pleasant experience.
Because a good portion of the movie focuses on Arisa, she is the star and coming with her is that magnificent voice. Her voice performs a variety of songs with various purposes. I give praise to Sachika Misawa for her role as Arisa. Not only does she voice her character but also the various songs performed in the film that clearly shows her talent in the music industry. As an upcoming idol in the fictional world of Index though, there’s also a sense of miracle in her voice. It seems to inspire hope/miracle and Arisa’s songs presents that. The OST remains consistent during battle scenes and those where comedy pops out in the open.
I don’t entirely believe in miracles because not everything happens at that moment when you want it to. However, I got what I wanted and that’s an enjoyable experience from Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki. The Toaru Majutsu no Index franchise is already massively successful with its spawn of the spinoff, Railgun. Similar results also can be traced for this movie through some statistical figures with its premiere. Of course, statistics aren’t what determines your judgement of this film. Still, do give this a movie a try especially if you’re a fan of the Raildex franchise.
This movie itself establishes the line when both science and magic worlds clashes. When that line is crossed, you’d expect struggle and conflict. From that, there comes miracles.
Despite its immense popularity in Japan and abroad, the Index series in general has always been wishy-washy (my honest opinion). Sure, there’s a running plot with a somewhat interesting ensemble of main characters, but it has plenty of flaws too – too many convoluted terms that are unexplained or mentioned once and quickly forgotten about, an utter lack of character development, and so on.
This movie – Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki – continues to extrapolate these same exact flaws, and in addition to that, adds some serious inconsistent plot elements that are both glaring and ridiculous.
Let’s start off with the positives for once. Compared to the original Index series (which, I would recommend watching first before watching the movie, just to get a sense of what is going on), the artwork has vastly improved. The artwork and animation is crisp, fresh, and light. You can just tell from the first few frames that a lot of effort was put into this movie, and for that I am thankful. But there is just plenty of inconsistencies that utterly destroys J.C.Staff’s (& co) hard work and washes everything down the drain.
First off, the plot inconsistencies. Despite having a clear goal in mind, the Endymion movie takes more of a meandering path to get to its destination. In doing so, it introduces many new plot elements that were not present in the original series and does so in a terrible fashion. I would recommend watching the Endymion special if you get the chance – even J.C.Staff points out a lot of the plot points that I have a problem with (in a comedic fashion, too) – but I’ll just briefly mention a couple: Kanzaki in space. The three midgets plus Stiyl fighting against Touma and crew. Who are these three individuals? Why are they important in the story? What is their purpose, and why did the writers feel a need to introduce them at all?
I mean, seriously, what is even going on?
Second, the characters. Arisa and Shutaura are clearly the stars of this movie and fortunately they get plenty of screen time. They meet the main characters, learn about them, and grow as individuals. Could their development been flushed out a little more? Yes. Could their relationship be more clearly explained besides trying to shovel everything together in the latter half of the movie? Yes, but it is satisfactory, so I’ll just leave it at that.
The main problem I have with this movie regarding the characters is that plenty of characters appear in this movie. You have plenty of characters from the Index series showing up, and also some others from the Railgun spin-off series. But here’s the catch: they don’t really serve any purpose except to serve the fans and/or make the plot interesting. Of course everybody would complain if Accelerator never shows up, but his transitioning into the movie is both (1) rushed and (2) doesn’t really serve a particular purpose except for one particular thing (I can’t spoil everything for you, ok?). And that’s it. Otherwise from that, if you removed him completely from the picture, the story could have just proceeded fine.
One final thing that I will briefly mention and did like, however, was how the theme of “miracles” was decently integrated throughout the plot. It showed up throughout the movie over and over, and is well-incorporated through both symbolism and the dialogue among the characters. Hell, the entire space station structure is symbolic in itself, but you’ll need to put a critical lens on to see just how it is related to the entire concept of “miracles.”
Overall, a lackluster story with a little bit of development and some thematic material, but it is weak as a whole. Some of the sound elements were clearly borrowed from the other two Index series. Would have gotten a 3 by my rubric if it weren’t for those two big glaring errors.
– Crisp, crisp, crisp art. So crisp. Probably some of the most improved artwork I’ve seen over a stretch of a series.
– Well-incorporated theme
– Plotline that was (relatively) easy to follow, even for the average viewer; but I would recommend watching the other Index series first just to make sure you don’t get lost in everything
– Many of the characters are still one-dimensional, but there is SOME development.
– Many characters were rushed into the movie and don’t hold any real significance except to please viewers
One thing I always find great about movies based off of series isn’t just more of what I like, but to see how the company handles it, so with J.C. Staff holding the reigns I had expectations and those expectations were surprisingly met. The production value truly shows with Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki when it came to top-notch visuals, soundtrack and even though it wasn’t as good as it could be, the plot wasn’t too bad itself. It seems this movie has had a better share of miracles instead of misfortune.
The plot is something I’ve always been skeptical on when it comes to movies from more popular series like Index, Bleach, FMA, etc. I always feels it’s more like a way to show off some snazy visuals with a mediocre story(Not for all movies of course) and cash-in, but Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki did manage to deliver a slightly better than average story, only slightly though. It follows the main set-up of our favorite Certain Magical Girl Puncher(I kid) Touma, Index, and a new girl Arisa whom sure enough is a mysterious girl with some sort of power that creates friction between the Science and Magic faction with Touma being the guy right in the middle of it. While seemingly standard there are twists to keep you interested enough to keep watching. The main problem after watching the movie I had though was I was left with plenty of questions and not many answers, so while the plot had its advantages in some areas, it lacked in others. That being said though, I was satisfied with what I was given, could they have gone further with it? Sure. Did it lessen my viewing pleasures? Not at all.
This is what I was looking out for in this movie. One thing I know these companies love to do is make spectacular visuals for movies compared to what has been made before for the series and it was spectacular. The fight scenes, scenery, animation, everything was top-notch and very appealing to the eyes. They had put a lot of time and money into the visuals and it paid off very well and it will leave you amazed.
The soundtrack was another fantastic aspect of the film. I had expected some nice Background music here and there, but it looks like they went all out and even gave our main girl Arisa, a stage with plenty of songs to sing for us. The songs are done professionally, leaving me baffled as when you’re watching the songs being sung by her on stage, along with the visuals, it truly felt like a concert.
The characters are probably the most important aspect of this movie. We see plenty of familiar faces aside from our main cast, Saten, Misaka, Accelerator, Last Order and so-on, but are introduced to plenty of new ones as well. While I enjoyed seeing so many of these characters, the problem was trying to fit so many in the time-frame the movie had. While we are familiar with our cast, the new characters are left to be desired and even a few seem to just be there to be more fan-service than anything. There was no real development with characters, just plenty of interactions and the most that did take place was between Arisa and Shutaura, while Touma of course helped them along the way. Now was this bad? No, we know our cast already of course, so it wasn’t as much of a problem, but when it came down to the new characters and even antagonist, they were really shallow characters with not much of a story to go with them.
The movie was weak in some areas, but it succeeded in others. While I still feel a bit confused and have questions, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. The jaw-dropping visuals, amazing soundtrack and all let me momentarily forget about my questions and just savor the movie. It was a real treat and probably will be for anyone else that’s a fan of the series.
Even though Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki had its flaws, I sure as hell was entertained. The cameo appearances from several characters, music, stunning visuals when it came to the battles, background and such, were all just superb. The only thing holding it back from being great is the un-answered questions it left and the shallow characters, but Touma, Misaka and the gang made that up as I enjoyed every second of seeing them on screen. It’s not the best movie, but it is pretty good and I recommend if you’re a fan of the Index or Railgun series to check it out or have misfortune befall you!
3: Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku
English: Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena
Japanese: 少女革命ウテナ アドゥレセンス黙示録
MAL Score: 7.61
All eyes are on Utena Tenjou, a mysterious transfer student to Ohtori Academy. But Utena’s eyes seem to be fixed on one familiar face that stands out among the rest—Touga Kiryuu, Utena’s childhood friend. Touga knows of Utena’s past and possesses knowledge of the Mark of the Rose, a set of unique rings worn by those who compete for the hand of the Rose Bride. The Rose Bride, Himemiya Anthy, belongs to whomever wins her in a duel, and the one that wins all the duels is said to be given the power to bring revolution to the world. Utena is drawn into the duels, but Touga and their complicated history together may end up unraveling everything. Nothing is as it seems in this retelling of the original anime series.
So I watched it and wondered what sort of crack I had smoked before popping the DVD in. Apparently, I had not smoked any crack, and it was just Utena that was messing with my head.
The story is…I don’t know. Up to now, I hardly know what happened. It’s long, convoluted, and they don’t ever, EVER explain what the hell happened. Well, they sort of did, with visual symbolism. But I’m sort of dumb in a fabulous way, so I barely understood any of that.
The art and animation was top-notch though. It looked incredible. The sound was great too.
Characters were…interesting, to say the least. I was pretty certain that at least four people in the main cast were homosexual, or maybe it’s just all the flower imagery that threw me off.
I didn’t enjoy this movie because I spent the whole time tugging at my marvellous hair wondering ‘WTF?!’ is going on.
It’s not unfabulous, and it’s worth a watch, I say.
Adolescence of Utena is best described as the TV series retold in two hours or less with different plot elements bought up or discarded, with some characters absent, and lots and lots of symbolism and, some would argue, a heavy dose of crack.
I would highly suggest watching the series going into this. I watched this first, then watched the series, and then watched this, and I found that the series helped me understand it more, which is what the creators intended with this. And then the movie, in turn, helped me understand elements of the series that I didn’t before, which in turn helped me understand the movie more, which helped me understand the series… it’s a cycle of positive feedback. And it’s amazing.
The art for this is a lot smoother than it was in the series, though it is still heavily stylized. A definite improvement.
The music has a lot of the same themes, subtly reworked for the movie, which gives it a whole new feel. There are also some new vocal pieces that don’t have to do with the duelling songs, and they’re quite addictive.
Most of the vocal cast was able to return for this, except for Akio’s seiyuu, which just adds a nice touch to this.
An amazing movie, and one of my favorite anime movies to date.
That’s not to say the symbolism’s the only thing worth watching the movie for. Every moment of screentime is purely entertaining, whether symbolism is the focus or not. The only real complaint I had with the TV series was that some episodes felt repetitive and didn’t seem to contribute much to the main characters’ development or the overall plot. Here, however, every fight scene, every conversation, everything really matters. The movie is not content to simply have a fight: at the same time the fight is going on, there is development for Utena, Anthy, whoever she’s fighting with, and even background characters.
The backgrounds themselves also deserve a mention. The school puts Hogwarts to shame, as it’s constantly in motion, and there’s always something interesting to look at. Everything is constantly in motion, and while this is partially for symbolism, it helps to make the series very pretty. Though some of the reviews complain about the music, I had no problems here. Absolute Destiny Apocalypse is as awesome as ever, and the rest of the music is also great. Perhaps not as wonderful as in the series, but still very fitting.
Other than the symbolism, the main draw of the movie is the characters. Utena herself is even more magnificent than in the series, simultaneously vulnerable and strong. And not vulnerable in the way typical strong anime females are often vulnerable, but in the way you’d expect any middle school girl to be. That vulnerability causes problems for her at times, but she deals with it in an appropriate and realistic way, as it contributes nicely to her development. Utena’s relationships, especially with Touga and Anthy, are all interesting as well, as they help her grow in interesting ways throughout the movie, and their interactions are always clever and witty.
As a final note, I should add that this movie works best when you’ve seen the series first. Almost nothing is the same as it was in the series, but a lot of the minor characters are better understood with the series’ development behind them. If you’ve watched the series, the movie is a splendid treat.
2: Aria the Crepuscolo
Japanese: ARIA The CREPUSCOLO
MAL Score: 7.84
The season is fall and the city of Neo-Venezia is covered in fallen leaves. Something is bothering Anya, who works at Orange Planet. Her senior colleagues Alice and Athena haven’t seen each other due to their busy schedules, which is making Athena feel sad. But for some reason, Alice seems to be avoiding her altogether. With her friends Ai and Azusa’s help, Anya tries to find a definitive way for Alice and Athena to get together. But during this time, Anya learns of a situation that only she can see because of where she stands.
The problems with drama in slice of life overall is its unnecessary and unnatural moments. As soon as they solved a misunderstanding, another one will occur or some unpleasant problems will immediately take place. Aria doesn’t need that, it precisely understands that mundane life itself has too many worries already, it doesn’t need more manmade tension or fake drama to beg for the viewer’s sympathy. It carefully treats its characters like real and tender human beings. And along the blur line of fantasy and reality, Aria sends its heart-warming messages and encourage people to live on happily.
This short movie is just as wonderful, they centered around the mermaid pair of Athena and Alice, they seems to trouble over something lately. And with the help of their dear juniors, under the magical night of the festa del Redentore, their feelings will get to each other.
The ost of Aria is top-notch, along with the new and improved animation, everyone will enjoy this lovely movie.
If you’re a fan of slice of life or simply you have an hour to spare, Aria the Crepuscolo will be perfect. They will have another movie next year I believe. Can’t wait.
It’s more Aria, which we would’ve never imagined happening after Aria the Origination in 2008. Origination wrapped up the journey of the main cast and their senior undines very nicely, and to this day, it is still considered one of the finest iyashikei (healing slice-of-life) shows ever produced. 3 years after Origination, the voice actress for Athena Glory, Tomoko Kawakami, passed away. Avvenire was released in 2015 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Aria S1’s original airing. As a sign of ultimate respect, they didn’t recast Athena. Instead she only appeared as a cameo, and a stock audio recording of one of her past singing performances was used.
Fast forward six years later, and the second part, Crepuscolo, is finally out. What you’ll immediately notice is this one isn’t animated by the original studio that did Aria TV and Aria the Avvenire. Instead, it’s animated by JC Staff. This decision was probably because they did Amanchu, which was by the same author as Aria, and also directed by Junichi Satou. The background art, which has always been one of Aria’s strengths, was stunning as usual. But JC Staff revamped the character designs, and despite everyone looking more detailed, this is one of the few times where the detail update makes the aesthetic worse. It’s jarring and off-putting, as everyone now looks too sharp and “Amanchu’d”, as the style suggests they jumped out of that show. The original designs were softer and simpler, with more rounded outlines, which invited a sense of relaxation and comfort.
The main issue I had with Avvenire was that the three new singles weren’t given enough time to make the movie theirs and launch a new generation of undines. Crepuscolo doesn’t do this either, as the movie is squarely focused on Athena and Alice. It is clear now that the new singles will play second fiddle to the Aria TV cast for the whole movie trilogy, which is a shame. But what’s worse is that they did the unthinkable: they recast Athena, and then made her one of the main characters.
Yes, it’s more Aria, and fans will take anything they can get. But I felt that they disrespected Tomoko Kawakami’s legacy by recasting Athena. Her story, along with the other senior “Water Fairy” undines Alicia and Akira, had concluded nicely. They didn’t need to be in this movie. Two of them have moved on from being an undine. The movie trilogy should’ve focused on the new singles and their mentors. But the author was content on just having this be a supplement to Aria the Origination episode 9. Certain scenes from that episode are re-animated here, so at times this felt like a rehash rather than something new like Avvenire. As a result, this one didn’t have the tranquil magic of Aria that I so fondly remembered.
The synopsis for Benedizone makes it appear to have a more substantial story, so hopefully Crepuscolo was just a rare miss and that JC Staff is able to conclude the movie trilogy in a satisfying manner.
I suppose since I’ve been waiting to watch this for over a year now, it’s only right that I give this movie its first review. In Aria the Crepuscolo, the world of Neo-Venezia remains as magical as ever. Although it has fresh new visuals provided by the studio JC Staff, not an milligram of its old charm has been lost in the update. For all of those who have stuck with Aria throughout all the seasons and OVAs, this latest installment will prove to be anything but a disappointment.
The story of Aria the Crepuscolo focuses heavily around Athena and Alice of Orange Planet. Unlike the original series (and more like Avvenire with Akari/Alicia) this film centers on two of the characters and wrapping up their story. This may be mildly disappointing if you were hoping for a film that gives the whole cast a balanced amount of screentime, but I feel that the Akari and Aika appearances were natural and enjoyable. To keep it spoiler free, if you liked the dynamic between Athena and Alice in the series, you’ll likely love this movie.
Originally, I was skeptical about the overhaul on character designs and the fact that JC Staff had taken over production of the final two Aria movies. While I didn’t think the character designs looked bad in the promotional material, I was concerned that the characters would lose some of their identity and past expressions. This uneasiness was quickly washed away once I watched the new movie, as the new designs and animation provided some of the most beautiful moments of the whole Aria series. JC Staff really delivered on all the impactful scenes, and I couldn’t be more impressed with the consistent, stunning visuals.
As someone who really values good sound, Aria has always been able to achieve a very immersive effect with its audio. This continues over with Aria the Crepuscolo. A significant amount of the OST consists of songs previously used in Aria. This “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach to the OST is greatly appreciated, because it gave me yet another chance to enjoy so many of my favorites from earlier in the series. The VA work remained amazing as well, with almost all of the original cast returning. The seiyuu who stepped into the role of Athena with Avvenire really had a chance to shine in this movie, and her Athena proved to be just as enjoyable as the original.
Overall my love and enjoyment for this movie was the same as my love for some of the best moments from the Aria series. Although I can’t guarantee it, if you adored Aria like I did and craved an excellent movie that touches your heart, look no further than Aria the Crepuscolo.
Now… UNTO ARIA THE BENEDIZIONE DECEMBER 2021 AND THE FINAL INSTALLMENT OF THE BLUE CURTAIN CALL TRILOGY!
1: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! Movie: Kurenai Densetsu
English: KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world!- Legend of Crimson
Japanese: 映画 この素晴らしい世界に祝福を！紅伝説
MAL Score: 8.49
It is not strange that the Demon Lord’s forces fear the Crimson Demons, the clan from which Megumin and Yunyun originate. Even if the Demon Lord’s generals attack their village, the Crimson Demons can just easily brush them off with their supreme mastery of advanced and overpowered magic.
When Yunyun receives a seemingly serious letter regarding a potential disaster coming to her hometown, she immediately informs Kazuma Satou and the rest of his party. After a series of wacky misunderstandings, it turns out to be a mere prank by her fellow demon who wants to be an author. Even so, Megumin becomes worried about her family and sets out toward the Crimson Demons’ village with the gang.
There, Kazuma and the others decide to sightsee the wonders of Megumin’s birthplace. However, they soon come to realize that the nonsense threat they received might have been more than just a joke.
The Good – The humor is on point, exactly the same quality as the show. Kazuma’s antics are entertaining as always, Megumin gets plenty of fanservice, Yunyun gets a bit more screentime, and even the new villain is memorable. The interactions between the characters were a goldmine of laughs for me. Story-wise, it’s a simple story about the gang visiting Megumin and Yunyun’s hometown. Nothing special, but no one watches Konosuba for the plot, amirite? 😉
The Bad: Since the movie is basically just an extended episode, the animation was lacking in quite a few places, which is even more noticeable this time since it’s supposed to be a movie. Background characters sometimes barely have a face. True to the spirit of Megumin, they seemed to put more budget into just the explosions, which looked pretty good.
Overall score: 8/10 – If you liked the show and don’t expect the movie to go above and beyond the show’s quality, then this will be a great watch. If you didn’t like the show, why are you even reading this review? Go watch something else, pleb. 😛
Definitely not a bot
Saw this movie in a local german cinema a few hours ago.
The german subtitles were kind of inaccurate at times, but nothing that impacted the understanding of the scene/plot. (But one time they forgot to translate background chatter, that was subtitled in Japanese.
Story – 7
Nothing too special, but not generic either.
The story was mostly what you’d expect from Konosuba, but the last 20 minutes were a bit too “cliché-anime-movie”, in my opinion.
However all plotpoints had the usual quirky (and kinda dumb-funny) konosoba-feel to it.
It was sort of ecchi-heavy and it revolved more about sex, love and relationships as i expected.
Art – 6
Probably my biggest gripe with this film.
Most of the time it just looked like the TV-show, but on a big screen.
There was no scene that looked like complete trash, but -apart from some spells and explosions- nothing really stood out.
Also this movie had a lot of jiggling boobs.
Sound – 8
Can vary depending on Location, but my local cinema is pretty new so the sound equipment is rather good. You could really feel the explosions through your whole Body, but the sound wasn’t deafining in any way.
Music was fine, the use of the OP at the beginning was fitting.
Voice acting was on point, but that’s not too surprising.
Characters – 10
The characters and their quirks is something that makes Konosuba to what it is, as most of the jokes are built those characteristics.
Probably most important was Kazuma’s desire to be a womanizer, which was used throughout the film, creating funny scenes until the very end.
All the characters’ actions fitted their respective personality, nothing felt off.
The new characters were all pretty quirky and made for some humorous additions.
Enjoyment – 9
I pretty much laughed throughout the whole movie, in fact i laughed so much, that at some point i had to stop laughing, because my face started hurting.
Really only the chliché finale bugged me.
Overall – 8
“Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!: Kurenai Densetsu” knows where it strengths lie and plays them perfectly, but its weaknesses can’t be overseen, especially the animations.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! Movie: Kurenai Densetsu
2. Aria the Crepuscolo
3. Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku
4. Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Endymion no Kiseki
5. Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Movie: Orion no Ya
6. Shakugan no Shana Movie
7. Slayers Great
8. Slayers Gorgeous
9. Slayers Return
10. Slayers: The Motion Picture
11. Selector Destructed WIXOSS Movie
12. Tantei Opera Milky Holmes Movie: Gyakushuu no Milky Holmes
13. Aki no Kanade
14. Darkside Blues
15. Mahou Gakuen Lunar! Aoi Ryuu no Himitsu
16. Apfelland Monogatari
17. Sengoku Kitan Youtouden Movie
18. Onna Senshi Efe & Jira: Gude no Monshou