They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Usagi ga Kowai, Duel Masters Movie 1: Yami no Shiro no Maryuuou, Duel Masters Movie 2: Lunatic God Saga, and more!
22: Usagi ga Kowai
MAL Score: 4.63
Tetsuji Kurashige’s nightmarish U-SA-GUI (2002) begins by citing a section from Brillat-Savarin’s 1825 treatise, The Physiology of Taste, in which the renowned French epicure suggests that stimulating foods, meats in particular, can have an influence on one’s dreams. The film depicts a macabre game played by two rabbits and a blindfolded woman. The rabbits face each other over an old-fashioned illustrated board game. When they land on a square, the woman must eat the food indicated in the illustration. If she has chosen correctly, a die pops out of her mouth and lands on the floor giving the rabbits their next move.
(Source: Midnight Eye)
I’d rather look forward to it if it had dreams including the girl running across the streets naked -_-”
Don’t watch this. You’ll just end up losing your precious 12.55 minutes.
It might just tip you over the edge
However if you like horrible visuals, sound that’ll make your ears bleed and no plot whatsoever then I still would not recommend this to you since it is just that horrible.
I regret watching this entirely and if I had the power to, I would go back in time and prevent this ‘movie’ from ever happening, or at least stop my poor, vulnerable, past self from ever watching it.
So heed my warning all those in search for a good anime to watch, stay far away from this shit-fest and never return.
I would rate this a negative number if MAL would allow me to, which I think it should make a special exception for this ‘movie’ alone since it is just that bad.
“Oh you can’t help that,” said the cat. “We’re all mad here.” -Lewis Carroll
Usagi ga Kowai isn’t your typical psychological anime. It takes the so-called reality we humans all take for granted; peels at it until it is forced to reveal itself for what it truly is. It isn’t for the light of heart, nor is it for the foolish. I highly recommend this to any fans of true horror.
-The plot may seem simple upon watching it for the first time, however, this is just an illusion created by the mastermind that is Tetsuja Kurashige. I, myself watched it no less than 29 times. No, it goes much further down the rabbit hole than one can tell by looking down from the safety of the surface. However, Usagi ga Kowai will shake the very foundation upon which you stand.
The story follows our heroine, Alice, (not unlike the one from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”) and two rabbits whom I have taken the liberty of naming Harriet (the more effeminate one that is obviously a girl) and Harrington (whom I believe to be Harriet’s husband). Alice must play a game with these rabbits that revolve around eating specific foods and win against impossible odds. However, if you watch carefully each and every scene is truly a metaphor for life. The blindfolded Alice signifies how we are blind to our surroundings. The necessary dice that are spat out by Alice when she correctly guesses a food signifies that sometimes we leave too much on our plates and we must sometimes handle the immediate problems so that we can move forward. You can see the inspiration that Tetsuja drew from Alice in Wonderland such as when our heroine, (not Lewis’s) loses her head, not only symbolically but literally as well. A double entendre which Lewis himself would applaud.
The characters are outstanding. From Alice’s resilience to Harrison’s level-headedness, each of the characters possess unique qualities that make them loveable. But, no character stood out more than Harriet who fed up with her husband’s advances towards Alice, murders him in cold blood. However, regretting her decision she begins to go through bouts of psychosis descending into madness. Further character development isn’t necessary when these characters already speak for themselves.
The art may very well be the best thing in this entire series. The clay-like animation style really brings out the sense of horror. The way blood doesn’t act like blood and is symbolized by a mess of red that a kindergartener could draw better is in fact, on purpose. Their true goal was not to mesmerize you with their art but to make it lesser than the plot, and that is why their art is so great. You see to understand their art, you must first understand the story. Just like real art, it is real art because no one gets it.
The sounds are beautiful. They actually hired many of the greatest seiyuu of all time on the same level as Kana Hanazawa and Aya Hirano, and although they don’t have a single word or line, they portrayed the silence of our characters in a way that no one else could. The emphasized, unrealistic sound effects of swallowing food or metal dropping are for your benefit in order to heighten your sense of dread. You may find yourself annoyed by the constant buzzing sound, but it is actually a symbol of the impending end approaching.
All in all, I truly enjoyed this anime. I may even watch it a 30th time. Despite the horror of what I was seeing on the screen, I could not look away, for I knew it, all of it to be true.
21: Duel Masters Movie 1: Yami no Shiro no Maryuuou
Japanese: 劇場版デュエル マスターズ 闇の城の魔龍凰[カース オブ ザ デスフェニックス]
MAL Score: 5.75
No synopsis has been added for this series yet.
Click here to update this information.
20: Duel Masters Movie 2: Lunatic God Saga
Japanese: 劇場版デュエル マスターズ 黒月の神帝(ルナティック ゴッド サーガ)
MAL Score: 5.93
Five Enlightened cards scatters all around Japan after a secret ritual gets interrupted. Shobu Kirifuda got one of these cards from his father. Shori Kirifuda and 5 other duelist hunters are after him.
Shobu must battle descendants of the Chosen Ones (Yaesar), named Luna & Mikado Kozuki, who can control God power.
19: Duel Masters Movie 3: Honoo no Kizuna XX
Japanese: 劇場版デュエル マスターズ 炎のキズナXX!!
MAL Score: 5.95
The Darkness Civilization has attacked the Fire Civilization!
Shobu, together with Rekuta, goes to the world of Duel Masters to help the Fire Civilization. However, when Shobu arrives, he is shocked to see a badly beaten Storm XX, said to be the Fire Civilization’s trump card. At that moment, Rekuta and Reppi Aini, Storm XX’s comrade, are captured by Darkness Civilization creatures.
Will Shobu be able to rescue the two, and what will become of the Fire Civilization?
(Source: Duel Masters Wikia)
18: Monster Strike the Movie: Sora no Kanata
Japanese: モンスターストライク THE MOVIE ソラノカナタ
MAL Score: 6.35
13 years ago, suddenly one part of Tokyo broke off and began to float in the sky. Tokyo was separated into “Old Tokyo” as the part that was floating in the air, and “New Tokyo,” the part that stayed on the ground. Communication and interaction between the two Tokyos was impossible, and years passed. One day, a young girl perceives that Old Tokyo will fall back down to the ground, and she sets out on the perilous path from from Old Tokyo to New Tokyo to save the citizens from the impending crisis.
17: Yu☆Gi☆Oh!: Hikari no Pyramid
English: Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie
Japanese: 遊☆戯☆王 デュエルモンスターズ 光のピラミッド
MAL Score: 6.58
Anubis, an ancient Egyptian evil that was defeated by Yugi’s alter ego centuries ago, has returned to exact revenge. Wielding the power of the Eighth Millennium Item, Anubis is determined to destroy Yugi and take over the world.
I love Yuugi-ou as much as the next person and Pegasus and Kaiba would be among my favorite characters – but here, even they are too bombastic and annoying. Yuugi is too preachy and dramatic (I watched the version with Dan Green, I don’t think there is japanese one), Kaiba is too sadistic, Pegasus is too crazy and Anubis is a bad villain.
Action scenes with mummies and Jonouchi, Honda and Yuugi could’ve been fun, but they were in there too long. The same goes for a card game climax.
Children’s Card Games Saga Part III:
If Monsters Are Real, Does That Mean Card Games Are Real Life?
It’s truly been far too long since I last watched Yugioh. Heck, the last installment of the Children’s Card Games Saga was back in October, so it’s high time to let loose on what was the most kick ass movie of 2004.
Never mind Kill Bill vol. 2, Harry Schlocker and the Prisoner of the Theater, Shrek 2, Spiderman 2 (the last watchable one before that series died), The Aviator, or Mean Girls… Yugioh Pyramid of Light RULED the summer of ’04.
At least for this 10 year old, it did. I remember going to see this not once, but TWICE- collecting the promotional cards (still have them too), and crying tears of pure joy whenever I heard that wavering Ney and Arghul (ancient reed based Egyptian instruments) melody and orchestral strings on top of the driving industrial techno beat that the English version used as the main theme. It still brings me great nostalgia. I mean, what was cooler than these cartoons about people with insane, physics breaking hairdos playing card games with sick monsters and people getting sent to the shadow realm??
Not much, when you’re 10.
Alas, I am 21 now, and as a reviewer, I must remove the rose tinted glasses of childhood and mercilessly bash Yugioh. I mean, review.
As with any good Yugioh story, it begins with a man. A man so driven by obsession that his ego will never allow him to let go of years of being second best to one Yugi Moto. This man is Seto “Rich Homie Mullet” Kaiba. Armed with his combination of a crippling preoccupation of beating a high school kid at a card game and infinite wealth; so much wealth that he builds a physics breaking VTOL jet that has functional legs for landing gear, after his favorite playing card and also constructs YET ANOTHER CITY FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF FIGHTING YUGI!
Kaiba boy, still extremely pissy over losing to Yugi boy in the Battle City arc of Duel Monsters (surprise, an entire city devoted to card games, centered around Yugi boy) strong-arms the fabulous fan favorite snark monster, moe anime obsessed Maximillion Pegasus into giving up his secret weapon to beat Yugi’s God Cards.
No it’s not his dandy style, red suit, red wine, and vanity.
It’s, you guessed it. A heretofore unseen card! (side note: Pegasus really makes the movie though, because his campiness and incredibly sarcastic dialogue is turned up to 11 in this one, savagely mocking Kaiba at every turn and actually being a good sport for once.)
Meanwhile, back at school, everyone wants a piece of Yugi since he’s a famous duelist now. So while Tristan and Joey cover, Tea and Yugi go to the one place the gamer geeks would NEVER look for them- a history museum with a very conveniently placed brand new exhibit on ANCIENT EGYPT!
Here’s where the story takes a turn for the Scooby Doo, and falls right off. Imagine, if you will, the gang rolls up in the Mystery Machine to this museum that just got a fresh exhibit with mummies, sarcophagi, and all manner of occult and valuable gold artifacts from ancient Egypt. What happens next? Do I even need to say?
You guessed it. As soon as Yugi and Tea and the creepy pervert Grandpa spot the gold sarcophagus and valuable artifact, BOOOOOOOOOOOM! Everyone’s knocked out, the mummy has escaped, and stolen the dangerous, priceless artifact! And they would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those… oh wait, it’s not over yet.
Cue more mummies chasing Yugi, Tristan and Joey inside of the Millennium puzzle pyramid (which would have been PERFECTLY set to the Benny Hill theme), and even the voice actors recognized how much of a Scooby rip this was, with Tristan letting out a “ZOINKS!” in the middle of the chase! With a bit of dumb luck (read: heart of the cards), Yugi manages to stop the mummies by slicing off a piece of a priceless Egyptian tablet, and returns everyone’s souls to their bodies.
The fun ends about there, as the next sequences of Yugi and Kaiba dueling, and then Yugi and the resurrected Anubis were on the verge of boring me to tears. Oh how I yearned for the days when there were clever uses of trap cards, monster effects, and not making up rules or completely cheating on every turn… wait, who am I kidding? This is Yugioh! The only rule is to believe in the Heart of the Cards and to draw the Laughing Man symbol from Ghost in the Shell SAC 1st on your hand… and then you win!
Anyway, time to wrap this ramble up.
I give “Yugi-Doo and a Mummy Too” 5 Blue Eyes White Dragons, because this is basically just a Scooby Doo episode turned into a Yugioh movie.
The glorious English dub is… well, glorious, with Dan Green, Eric Stuart, and Darren Dunstan hamming it up and being fabulously campy. Minus a point here for not using Megan Hollingshead as Mai- a woefully missed opportunity indeed. But, Seto “Screw The Rules, I Have Money” Kaiba himself even directed this dub, which makes it all the better.
“Fighting pyramids and creepy floating eyes, wonderful,” says Joey.
“Hey, when you hang around with Yugi, this is par for the course! Tristan replies.
Though I will say that the movie’s artwork and animation where all really well done, for the most part, it got really boring when Anubis stepped in, and in my opinion, even Kaiba’s duel with yugi wasn’t as fun as it was to watch in the series. Kaiba destroyed half of Yugi’s deck with his Deck Destruction Virus, (Which is the most OP card I’ve ever seen, might I add) so there was no real chance for Yugi to show off his cards and strategies. And according to the Deck list on Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki, I’d say that’s pretty sad.
I like that they tried to bring it closer to the actual game, but somehow, it makes it less fun to watch. Yugi pulled off so many cool strategies in the show, but in this one, he was pretty much backed into a corner the entire time until the final battle with Anubis (Who wasn’t as intimidating as he was made out to be earlier in the movie).
Overall, it’s a really fun movie from my childhood, and worth the watch, but less fulfilling then the series, if you ask me.
16: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya: Prisma☆Phantasm
English: Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya: Prisma★Phantasm
MAL Score: 6.59
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
Who do you see? You see Illya, Kuro, Miyu, their friends, Gil, Ruby, Saphire, Shiro, Rin, Luvia. Who do you not see? Shinji and Kotomine. GUESS WHAT 90% OF THE GODDAMN THING IS? SHINJI AND KOTOMINE! And you know what’s worse? They’re not even funny. Like… at all. Maybe I was just too enraged to appreciate the humor. But then I watched it again. Didn’t help. I was still raging. What’s worse then making a bad joke? Repaeating said bad joke hour more times. Yeah, they do that. They basically have one joke for Kotomine and they keep repeating it. Shinji doesn’t fair much better. The final arc was relatively amusing. It’s also the only one where Illya actively participates.
Why? What happened? Why did they think this was a good idea? The director AND the writer are the same ones from the TV seires. So how the hell could they think this is what the fans want? This boggles the mind. You should read the Amazon.jp reviews. 33% gave a 1 star. Yeah, Japan did not like this either.
And it’s not like they didn’t have material. There’s tons of extra chapters from the manga that could have been adapted. But nope… Kotomine and Shinji… that’s what Prisma Illya fans wanted. We need Avenger for this mess.
Minor spoilers ahead :
Based on previous OVAs materials , this OVA plays with the audiences expectations and works effectively to deprive the audience of sexual fanservice in a hilarious way. Assassin install Shinji Matoi is the central character throughout, with Kuro and Illya only appearing in the final 10 minutes or so. It deals with his trials and tribulations, constantly being the butt end of jokes. The most fanservice in the film is of Luvias butler washing Shinjis back in the shower and a gross gender swapped Julian shower scene. The writers definitely thought of how to troll viewers fan service expectations and it played out perfectly.
The OVA, however, is rife with series fanservice character moments like Carnival Phantasm. Every character that has ever appeared in the Prisma series makes at least a cameo, with Shinji and Kirei receiving significant spotlight. Like Carnival Phantasm, the jokes hit hard and the character writing is great. Obviously, a working knowledge of the Prisma verse is nessecary to get all the references, but this OVA is obviously meant for the already initiated.
The final after credits scene even teases the continuation of the main line series. Which is definitely exciting.
I came for Illya, not that dick Shinji guy saying ejaculations four thousand times.
I’m not expecting some excellent comedies as in Carnival Phantasm from this kaleid liner series, but please, at least give some fan service that we kaleid liner watchers look for, okay?
Comedy: 0/10 Not even laughed for a millisecond
Parody: 1/10 The one extra point is for the appearance of badass Shirou
Fan Service: -10/10 for nearly ZERO minute of existence for the three primary school girls
Action: 1/10 What? You want to see good action scenes from Silver Link?
I’m so glad I didn’t pay any cent to watch this in the cinema.
15: Monster Strike the Movie: Lucifer – Zetsubou no Yoake
Japanese: モンスト THE MOVIE ルシファー 絶望の夜明け
MAL Score: 6.73
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
Been a while since the last season of Monster Strike, and I genuinely forgot how good this animation style is. Some of, if not the best CG I’ve seen in anime tbh. Also forgot how amazing these characters were.
Was honestly not expecting the story to get this dark, Jesus Christ. Genuinely enjoyable stuff though, and ended on a good note. Like, probably the most perfect the ending coulda been imo. Applause for that. Also a good couple of plot twists I wasn’t expecting here. Was not expecting Caesar of all people to play hero, and definitely wasn’t expecting Pandora to make friend with… well, you’ll see. That was kinda cute tho I gotta say.
Overall, definitely worth the wait imo <3 Hopefully this isn't the end of the Monster Strike anime series, would really love to see more... preferrably in Ren's timeline though, since his last season ended on a cliffhanger lol (kinda). Also the fact this movie is basically the perfect conclusion to Lucifer's side of the overall story. Also, if you're reading this and wondering: "should I watch this?", yes, absolutely do so. Start from the very beginning of the series though, it'll have a bigger impact. Monster Strike is honestly one of the most underrated animes out there for sure if you ask me. [/collapse]
14: Monster Strike The Movie: Hajimari no Basho e
English: Monster Strike The Movie: To The Place of Beginnings
Japanese: モンスターストライク THE MOVIE はじまりの場所へ
MAL Score: 6.77
The Monster Strike film will feature a character named Lucifer.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]Short Review
Really liked the movie. Nice Story with nice characters. About friends, Adventure. I would recommend anybody reading my review and is thinking whether to watch it or not, i would say give it a try, you will like it. The Art was beautiful.
The reason why like this movie is bcas it kind of gives a old kind of vibe, when in earlier days it was all about friends and journey. This movie again follows in the same footstep. 2 Boys and 2 Girls working together, trying to save the world with their maturity.
One more thing which i like is that they incorporate the dragon era with modern era with technology and stuff. It really comes out very nicely.
It all matters whether you enjoyed it or not, i enjoyed each moment of it. All shows as positive and negative points based on each individual self but i would say it will entertain you and you will like it.
Story: This is strangely both a sequel and a prequel to the original series, we find out the events and memories that the main cast had forgotten and why they do. We also so much more out, and I like how it was handled. This is a movie that helps to flesh out what was hinted out in the original series.
Art: I really liked the artwork here, continues the great way that the monsters and enemies did in the original series, but I feel much much stronger.
Characters: If you seen the show you know them, though they are different and given their chances to shine in many ways, I can’t say much more without risking spoilers, but even some of the side chars get more details and depth then some main ones.
Enjoyment and overall: I highly recommend this, and torn as to wether to watch this one first or second, or as someone in the forum suggested, watch the first few episodes of the series and then watch this. This explains so much that was left out of the original, while telling you so much more. It’s hard to explain or describe, but I’m so glad that I watched this
13: Yu☆Gi☆Oh! (Movie)
MAL Score: 6.90
“Blue Eyes White Dragon will bring victory” while “Red Eyes Black Dragon will bring the potential of victory”. A shy duelist stumbles upon the legendary Red Eyes Black Dragon, with that card in his possession, he must learn to bring out his confidence to duel.
If you enjoy sexy characters, with a mix of cute, funny, and kindness, then this show will truly open your heart up to anime.
If you love the Yugioh classics like I do, then this action packed anime of duel monsters is for you!
Great series to get into, great story plot, and even though it has some sad points, every episode has a twist! Enjoy!
Okay, so why is it that Kaiba wants this Red Eyes card SO BAD? Seriously, Kaiba is so rich, he’s able to hire personal security, owns limousines, CREATED A DUEL MONSTERS THEMED THEME PARK, and an entire expo center complete with 3D holographic animated versions of the duel monsters game, and owns his own corporation
and the mother f*r still can’t go to the game shop and buy booster packs.
No. He has to go to the extreme lengths of setting up a contest in an enormous expo center, inviting thousands of onlookers and commentators PAYING THEM TO BE THERE, all just so that he can beat a little kid at a card game and take his rare card.
Kaiba don’t care. He’s Kaiba, b*tch.
*Enter kid with anime haircut, and Seto Kaiba, now off the drugs and looking normal without green hair.*
Seto Kaiba: Hey kid, I heard you have rare cards.
Dumb Kid: YEAH IT’S THE BESTEST!
Kaiba: Watch me go to extremely convoluted and exorbitantly expensive lengths to set up a duel in which we play for your one rare card!
Dumb Kid: Dude, you have like 50 armed henchmen… couldn’t they have just, you know, robbed me for it? Or like, you offer me a hundred bucks for it? I mean, I’d probably take like 75, but you know.
Kaiba: BUT THAT RUINS THE GAME! I derive no enjoyment from purchasing things with this plebeian money! I have ALL the money!
Dumb Kid: But if you just want the card, I’m sure you can like, buy 10 of them on ebay for a hundred bucks…
Kaiba: YOU IDIOT! My only joy in this adult life is beating children at a children’s card game that doesn’t have any rules! (Not like I’d follow them anyway, buuuut) How could I possibly have any fun beating kids for cards that I already own?
Dumb Kid: But didn’t you do exactly that to like… basically everyone else, including Yugi’s grandpa for a 4th Blue Eyes?
Kaiba: Shut up Charmander. I mean, shut up, Mokuba. I mean, shut up kid.
SCREW THE RULES I HAVE MONEY!
*Kaiba gets on his computer and purchases an entire deck full of Red Eyes*
See? Now everyone can be happy. Except Kaiba. He’s always angry.
What Actually Happens:
So, this episode is essentially a special episode/epilogue to the 1998 season. It’s not a movie, despite what MAL says- it’s 5 minutes longer than a normal episode and was released on home video as a stopgap between Season 0 and Duel Monsters.
So basically what happens is that this little kid name Shogo buys a booster pack of Yugioh cards and gets an ultra-rare out of it, then goes around showing it to everyone, claiming he can beat them in a duel, even though he never duels anyone because he suffers a mental breakdown and turns into a blubbering mess anytime even the mere thought of “losing in a duel” flashes through his three neurons.
Anyway, the kid attracts the attention of one greedy corporate assbutt named Seto Kaiba, who, despite owning three of the best card in the game: Blue Eyes, decides he also wants this particular second best card in the game: Red Eyes Black Dragon. So he sends his goons to deliver an invitation to this little kid for the most extravagant duel this side of “On top of a blimp flying over a city Kaiba had built specifically for the purpose of playing a card game tournament”.
The kid suffers a lapse in having a brain, and refuses to commit, so Yugi, being the only person who has ever even come close to beating Kaiba takes up the invite, and an epic duel commences.
Seriously, like, this duel takes about 20 minutes of screen time, but it feels like 5. What Yugi and Kaiba took 3 episodes to do in Yugioh 1998, and about 20 episodes in Duel Monsters took them 15 minutes, and oh boy was it ever sweet. The pacing for the duel is very fast, but the flow couldn’t be better. Seriously, this episode basically has everything in it that makes Yugioh cool- allowing the gameplay to drive the show, including twists and turns in who holds the upper hand, and some of the classic Yugioh trick plays.
The characters in this episode also show up looking like they do in Duel Monsters- Yugi sporting his signature sleeveless edgemaster vest and cape, and Kaiba with his infinitely long swooshy blue trenchcoat- the art is MILES better than it was in Yugi ’98- so much so that it actually upgraded to N64 graphics from Phillips CD-i! (and in the span of only 6 months. Jeez, Toei, you came a long way.)
Anyway- to wrap up, this episode is basically the entirety of Yugioh in a nutshell. Heart of the Cards, friendship, card games, and pulling a win out from way, way up inside one’s butt- Egyptian Pharoah style.
A little boy named Shougo Aoyama finds a powerful card called Red-Eyes Black Dragon, but he is too scared to actually “fight” (aka play a card game), so he just doesn’t use the card at all. Kaiba wants to have the card, so he invites Yugi, Shogo and some other duelists to a tournament. Wow what a creative plot! Since Shougo doesn’t want to fight, Yugi borrows his card and battles Kaiba instead. The first half of the movie is pretty much Shougo whining over the card and the second half Yugi and Kaiba playing Duel Monsters.
Sounds pretty terrible, right? So why am I rating this a 6/10? Before I start with the positives, I want to mention some flaws in the plot. It’s just so ridicilous how everyone is overreacting over this dumb card. Yeah it’s Yugioh, but even in the show they don’t react like this. On top of that, they mention in the movie that Red-Eyes is the second most powerful card, right after Blue-Eyes White Dragon. So I thought to myself “well the Dark Magician probably wasn’t introduced at this point”. But guess what: the Dark Magician actually appears in this movie! So shouldn’t Shogo’s Red-Eyes be the third strongest? Also Shougo himself is pretty annoying and not memorable at all.
The duel between Yugi and Kaiba was pretty sweet. I mean it’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but “Yugi vs Kaiba” is just a pretty safe bet, so it should apeal to most of the audience. The monster design looks escpecially nice. In fact the whole movie looks pretty pleasant. Just from the coloring you can tell it’s based on the 1998 version (season 0), but the character design looks more like the Pegasus arc and onward. Also Kaiba finally has his brown hair insteadt of green one. So the style looks like a mix between Season 0 and Duel Monsters. The music was good too. It had a very video game-ish feel to it, which I found very fitting. I especially liked the remix of Yugi’s transformation theme.
I really like how they actually use Kaiba’s proto type Duel Disk, which was introduced in the Pegasus arc and only used there. It makes no sense that it appears in this movie, but hey it’s a nice touch. Also Rex Raptor, who hasn’t been introduced at this point makes a small cameo 😉
If I actually went to the cinema to see this, I’d probably very disapointed, but as a fan of the franchise who just discovered this obscure movie on the internet, I found this to be an alright experience.
12: .hack//G.U. Trilogy
English: .hack//G.U. Trilogy
Japanese: .hack//G.U. Trilogy
MAL Score: 7.12
Based on the CyberConnect2 HIT GAME, now will be released in a CG Movie!
The Movie will be placed in the storyline of each .hack//G.U. games trilogy. The story follows Haseo, a player in the online MMORPG called The World:R2 at first depicted as a PKK (Player Killer Killer) known as the “Terror of Death”, a former member of the disbanded Twilight Brigade guild. Haseo encounters Azure Kite (believing him to be Tri-Edge and blaming him for what happened to Shino) but is hopelessly outmatched. Azure Kite easily defeats Haseo and Data Drains him, reducing his level from 133 to 1 and leaving him without any items, weapons, or member addresses. He is left with a mystery on his hands as to the nature of the Data Drain and why Azure Kite is in possession of such a skill.
Eventually Haseo gains the “Avatar” of Skeith. Acquiring the ability to call Skeith and wield his abilities, such as Data Drain. With Skeith as his strength, Haseo begins the quest for a way to save Shino.
He is seen seeking out a PK (Player Killer) known as Tri-Edge, whose victims supposedly are unable to return to The World after he PKs them. Haseo’s friend, Shino, was attacked six months prior to the events of the game by Tri-Edge, and the player herself, Shino Nanao, was left in a coma.
Just to have said it in advance, I finished all three .hack//G.U. games, so it´s not like I´m not familiar with the story itself. I had high expectations, but I sadly got dissappointed.
They tried to put the story of each game in 30 minute-parts. Since the games itself had a play-volume of 12-18 hours per game (don´t remember exactly and can´t check it because my PS2 is broken), you can guess how extremly it got cutted…
The arena battles that were essential in the games are only shown as flashbacks for around a minute. The story itself strays from the game after the last scene that belongs to "G.U. Rebirth". From here on, everything focuses at Atolis and Ovans story-parts; other characters that were involved with the story (like Sakaki) won´t appear.
They used the ingame-movie grafic for this movie. It looks cool and awesome in the action-scenes ‘(especially phase-battles), but terrible at the "chatting-scenes". And in the end, as a GC movie, it´s measured at Final Fantasy anyway, and here, .hack//G.U. trilogy can´t compare at all.
After hearing the "Gentle Hands" remix of the trailer, I thought we get more cool remixes, but I hoped too much. Still, the music fits very well, esspecialy the fights.
My biggest part to complain about.
Most of the main-characters aren´t even shown, and the story focuses totally at Haseo, Atoli and Ovan.
Instead of the cool PKK style that Haseo had in the game, he only has that mad side shown in ".hack//roots", and seems like a little kid very often in the first half, Atoli isn´t even half as fun to watch since she has not much air-time in the first quarter, and Ovan´s calm attitude is nowhere to be found.
Enjoyment and Overall:
If you played through the games, even with that changes you´ll do nothing wrong with watching the movie at least once. If you never even played the game you may do better to ignore it, since they left so much out and made a speedrun through the story, so that it´s hardly understandable at times.
I only recommend this to fans of the ".hack//G.U." – Universe, the others will just ask "what the hell was that about?"
The story is of course based on the GU trilogy of games for the PS2, the immediate sequel to .hack//Roots. And this film is supposed to be a film adaption, or so I thought. In reality GU trilogy is an expensive and choppy recap and abridgment of the GU Story, made entirely for those who have played the games. Unlike most, I understand the difficult task of adapting medium into film, so naturally I wasn’t expecting a 100% loyal adaption, but I was expecting that this film would make sense to a person who has never played GU. It doesn’t, it’s like watching “.hack//GU abridged” only with out the humor and jokes of the Abridge series that litter YouTube today. It was appalling how quickly and pathetically this story jumps from one scene to another, no exposition is conveyed, no character development is conveyed, nothing, it’s as I’ve said a million times by now, an over the top and over expensive recap of the GU. It was as bad as the writing in Blade of the Immortal.
The music score which was amazing in the games was all but dropped from the film. I barley heard any of the great themes from the games by Chikayo Fukuda. Tomoyo Mitani the vocalist did provide some nice vocal tracks of course, but they pale in comparison to her tracks in the games. The music is far and few between and silence is used way over the top.
The Japanese acting in this was beyond dreadful. Expressions and grunts were over emphasized and frankly the English dub track in the games is much more pleasing than in this. As this has no dub I had to rely on the fansubs and my own imagination to hear the voice cast I liked. The only plus to the Japanese acting in this case was that Endrance didn’t sound like the tormented artist like he did in the English dub of the game. Most of the time you hear overly dramatic grunts and sighs and yells.
The 3D graphics are however rather good. They look much like the cut scenes in the game and the action is spectacular almost to the level of Advent Children. However there were several bad facial renderings and really silly expressions. The director did allow the camera to move, when I was fearing the action would static and uninteresting. The action scenes are great and they would be perfect for an AMV.
Overall GU is just plain horrible. It was made for those who have played the games, and one 90 minute film simply would not do it justice. CC had a great opportunity to make and interesting movie based on the games. Instead they made it into a long and expensive recap. They should have made three 2 1/2 hour movies to fully tell the story in depth, and to even make it remotely interesting. If you are thinking of watching this, don’t waste your 90 minutes you’ll be horribly lost and confused. Play the games instead.
.hack//G.U. Trilogy is one of the more confusing ones. Watching this reminded me of watching Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children; never in my life have I played a Final Fantasy game, and I can say that actually with some shame.
STORY: The typical story line of the .hack series; something within The World is causing players to go into a coma. I can’t really remember much from Roots, since I watched that in 2008, but I’m thinking Trilogy goes into further detail about this ‘AIDA’ infection that’s spreading in The World. This is something that probably shouldn’t be watched if you haven’t watching Roots, or played the games, since the movie actually goes straight into where Shino is ‘PK’d’. Regardless of lack of .hack information while watching this, I felt that the story was still deep.
ART: I didn’t actually read the description of MAL on Trilogy until I was just about to watch it. The CG was a biiiiiiiig turn off, well, that is when you compare it to something like the Final Fantasy merchandise. I realize that the CG style was probably supposed to be similar to the .hack game graphics but either way, the lack of detail made me want to cry. Haseo’s face just did not look right compared to the design in Roots, but for some silly reason, all the other characters looked fine. Some parts of the movie were well animated, but overall, it just seemed like average CG animation. I did however liked some of Haseo’s psycho facial expressions, along with Tri-Edge’s.
SOUND: Congratulations to myself! I’ve finally realized where most of the sound effects and sound clips in DJ Sharpnel’s ‘Terror Of Death’ are from now. Even though it was pretty obvious by the song’s title, and I never picked it up while watching Roots. ANYWAY. Sound as always in the .hack titles is lovely, actually I’ve already forgotten what they sound like since this review has been written two days after watching Trilogy.
CHARACTERS: Main complaint with the .hack series is the ridiculous seriousness of a characters, obsessed over a game. If you find out it’s going to harm your actual physical self, then stop playing it immediately and not try to live up to the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’. I honestly have no idea who the crap is Atoli, and what kind of relation she has to Shino and the other characters.
The reason why I gave this a 7, rather than a 6 (would actually be 6.5) was because of one particular scene. This would be the scene with Haseo and AIDA Atoli in the classroom. Oh. My. God. Animation, design and emotion looked like it had been carefully thought out well for this scene, I’d have to say it was mind-blowing. I even had a want-to-cosplay moment when I saw AIDA Atoli, despite the complexity.
Moving on, this is definitely something for the .hack fan, especially someone who is a fan of the games. I must stress again once more, not to watch this, along with the other .hack series, without having a robust knowledge about the .hack world and/or already having played the games.
11: Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Movie: Chou Yuugou! Toki wo Koeta Kizuna
English: Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time
Japanese: 劇場版 遊☆戯☆王 ～超融合! 時空を越えた絆～
MAL Score: 7.12
While riding with Jack Atlas and Crow Hogan, Yuusei Fudou’s Stardust Dragon is captured by Paradox, a mysterious Turbo Duelist from the future, during a Turbo Duel and turned into a Sin Monster. With the help of the Crimson Dragon, Yuusei chases after Paradox as he enters a time slip, ending up in the past. During this time, Paradox duels against Jaden Yuki, who is still able to use the powers of Yubel and The Supreme King. However, by this time Paradox had also captured Cyber End Dragon and Rainbow Dragon and overwhelms Jaden. He is saved thanks to Yuusei and the Crimson Dragon. Jaden informs Yuusei of Paradox’s true intentions. By stealing various monsters from across time and turning them dark, he plans to kill Maximillion Pegasus, the creator of Duel Monsters, preventing the game from being created and causing the events of all three series to never happen.
Yuusei and Jaden agree to pursue Paradox, which leads them to the past and causes a meeting with the King of Games, Yuugi Mutou. However, by the time Yuusei and Jaden arrive, Paradox had already attacked his time, supposedly killing both Pegasus and Yuugi’s grandpa, and had also managed to steal Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Red-Eyes Black Dragon. After explaining everything to Yuugi, he agrees to fight with Yuusei and Jaden against Paradox in the ultimate three-on-one duel to free the trapped monsters and save both the world and time itself before it’s too late.
The movie is based around Fudo Yusei the main protagonist of YGO 5D’s, though it makes sense to center it from the series that was currently ongoing it would have been nice to give veteran duel favorites more screen time, with the movie only being 50 minutes it was very possible to add more scenes for the other two individual main characters.
If you were watching it without any detail about GX or 5D’s (it seems many fans dropped Yu-Gi-Oh! when Yugi was no longer the main character) then you probably didn’t care about the story behind Judai and Yusei as well as explanations behind the spirits surrounding Judai or Yusei’s connection to the “Crimson Dragon” rather everything story based probably went over your head meaning the first 20 minutes will be useless to you until Yugi makes his appearance.
If you were watching this movie with knowledge behind the Yu-Gi-Oh! story base then the movie will probably add more questions do your head then you previously had. Its good knowing the anime referenced to this movie whereas other anime movies tend to make the movies sort of like fillers away from the main anime adaption’s.
Story wise what can you expect from YGO, its pretty cliche and despite the entire duel putting us at the edge of our seats the result of the duel is as broken as a PC hack in Counter Strike. There was no real back story behind the antagonist except for the fact his “future” got wasted, even in the anime nothing about this character is explained maybe the reason for the ruined future but nothing in regards to the character himself.
Where the story lacks the presentations makes up for it greatly. The animation was top notch probably one of the best an anime movie has ever presented. The use of past BGM’s really helped with the nostalgic factor with the past main characters as well as dramatic BGM’s for the more serious scenes. Sadly though when the movie was released in theaters it was released with 3D so alot of scenes tend to be played out longer than they should be, originally those scenes were there to show off the 3D but we obviously don’t have that.
Overall i recommend the movie for anyone who was a fan of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! and those still fans of Yu-Gi-Oh! today simply for the main duel of the movie, if you are looking for an interesting story you will be very disappoint.
This movie has probably changed my perspective on the world.
This movie is so shocking, it needs to be seen to be believed.
This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
Story: The story is, in a sentence, non-sensical, plot-hole ridden and stupid beyond comprehension. I find it hilarious the villain’s name is Paradox. The writers of this crapfest have probably never seen any piece of fiction or anything involving time travel in their lives. The amount of Time Paradoxes are immense. Sonic 06, eat your heart out. You won’t even need to think about it, they’re incredibly blatant. Anyone whose seen Back to the Future will cringe as they break every convention of time travel related story-telling or even just logic. Even so, the plot is almost non-existant. Half of the movie is the climactic duel between the heroes and Paradox. The other half is just them running around, following Paradox through time and watching things explode in gimmicky THREE-DEE. The pacing is all over the map. Fast, then slow, then fast. Then it’s over. I still felt like basically nothing had happened. Running, card game, over. Another problem is how cliche it is. If you are an anime fan or a movie buff or anyone who enjoys fiction in general, you will be able to piece this movie together from other (probably better) movies. Just with better character designs and more logic. The writing is shoddy, the dialogue is stilted and bad in both languages. But what really annoys me is that none of this movie makes sense. I’ve seen some damn stupid movies/movies/books etc. in my day, but this takes the cake, eats it, craps it out and eats it again. Repeating the process ad infinitum. It doesn’t matter if you’ve watched Yu-Gi-Oh!, GX or 5D’s, dubbed/subbed or whatever, this movie doesn’t add up. The time travel was handled so poorly I can barely comprehend it. And it wraps it up with a forced, awful friendship speech. Gag me with a knife.
Art: Yeah, the art in this movie is ridiculous. Yugi’s, Yusei and Jaden and basically everyone else all have inane, usually multicoloured, hair. It’s so distracting and I have the feeling the author put that in just to make them seem more memorable. All subtlety is lost and Yusei being completely serious while sporting that retarded, crab-like hair was truly surreal. The actual animation wasn’t bad. It’s not as fluid as it should be and doesn’t feel like the step up from the show it should be. It’s not KyoAni, it’s not Ghibli, it’s not BONES, it’s just Toei.
Sound: The dub is passable. I don’t care what you think, it is. If anything, the dub is better than the movie. The sub is alright too, it’s not like the movie deserves amazing voice talent. The music is also fine. It hits alright notes when you should be ‘feeling’ something. I actually had to rely on the music to tell me how to feel. Maybe I just have a dried up apple for a heart. Either way.
Character: Just as bad as the story. Any and all characterization relies on you having seen the other three shows. That’s fine and all, but it’s still gut-wrenchingly awful. These characters are so one-note. They never change in any way. I know it’s not impossible to change or at least affect well established characters in long-running Shonen series, watch the sixth One Piece movie if you don’t believe me. It’s not even fun to watch them. You would think the concept of seeing these three characters just being in the same room would be fun, but they barely interact with each other. That, right there, negates the point of the entire movie. What’s the point of Jaden, Yusei and Yugi all being together if they don’t interact with each other? That card game and friendship speech just aren’t enough. Oh, and I haven’t even gotten to Paradox. He is, easily, the worst villain in the history of, not just anime. Not just cinema. Not just animation. But fiction in general. His goal is retarded and vaguely explained. I can’t go further because of spoilers, let’s just say that when he tells you, your mind will explode. His motivation for wanting his retarded goal is also retarded. Easily the logical lowpoint of the whole movie. And that is saying something.
Enjoyment: With the nonsense plot and baffling characters, you would think this movie would hurt to watch it for even a moment. But, you would think wrong. This movie is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s awful. Definitely. But it smashes the Uncanny Valley so hard I couldn’t help but love it. It’s not ‘So Bad it’s Good’, that would imply it has redeem qualities story-wise, when it doesn’t. It’s not ‘So Bad it’s Horrible’, because it isn’t painful to watch. This movie is in a class of its own. This movie is condensed nonsense, taking itself seriously and creating a void in logic so deep, that is sucks you in and forces you to laugh. This is honestly, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. You will laugh at the character designs. You will laugh at Paradox’s horribleness. You will laugh all through-out the 30 minute long card game to decide the fate of the universe. You will love the nonsense and you will laugh violently when the movie tries to make you feel something through the struggles of these cardboard cut-out characters with dumb hair getting you feel something with their predictable, easily solved because time travel, dilemmas. This movie is so much fun and you shouldn’t pass it up. It’s still horrible. Don’t get me wrong. But it is a special kind of horrible.
And that’s what this whole movie is. A special kind of horrible.
With a clichéd and predictable story, I think that only a Yu-Gi-Oh fan could truly enjoy and appreciate this. Bonds Beyond Time could of easily featured appearances by Kaiba, Joey, Téa, Tristian etc. but only manages to squeeze in the main characters, which was disappointing.
All of the original English voice actors retain their roles (I think) and for a 4Kids! Dub, it was well pulled off. I really liked the bonds between Yugi, Jaden and Yusei and the nice thank you message at the end credits as well as a mix of the three series theme songs.
10: .hack//The Movie: Sekai no Mukou ni
Japanese: .hack//The Movie セカイの向こうに
MAL Score: 7.12
In 2024, the computer network prevails throughout daily life. Sora Yuuki is a 14-year-old girl. One day, she is invited to an online game “The World”. After an accident in the game, the real world begins to deform.
For some reason this movie has thus far received some surprisingly positive feedback at least in MAL, so I’ll try and explain why I didn’t like it as thoroughly as I can.
Story & Character
.hack//The Movie takes place after all the current movies, games and animes, and has a totally new cast of characters, but also a familiar face in the form of Aura, who changes her age constantly for no apparent reason. I have nothing against new characters, but they are not developed very well during the film. Most of them are just a bit reskinned versions of classic .hack// characters, or just flat out copies. Also there’s not much conflict of any kind between any of the characters for like the first hour. I seriously thought it was just a slice of life movie at first.
When the story finally pics up, it is a tad uninspired and uninteresting. It is the .hack// story that’s been used a million times by now. Someone gets stuck in the game and falls into a coma in real life, and the other characters have to help him. There’s also a school romance subplot, but I thought the romance part was kinda shallow and cliche.
I quess they’re trying to ride on nostalgia with this one, but I think it’s kinda cheap to just flat out copy&paste plotpoints and characters from the past.
Art & Sound
This is where .hack// always gets to me. They always have some great character and enviroment designs, and absolutely fantastic musical score. The movie is no exception in this department. Probably the only point of the movie that I could call entertaining was the training montage where the main characters just killed monsters and there was awesome music playing on the background. Also seeing The World in full 3D looked amazing.
Enjoyment & Overall
So in the end what we have is a great looking and sounding movie, which is awfully lacking in story. I’ve seen all the animes and OVAs thus far and I read some .hack manga, so I could call myself a fanboy of this series. Thus I thought I’d cut the enjoyment aspect some slack, because although nothing happens in the movie for the most part, it’s still decent fanservice, because of how gorgeous it looks.
The story takes place in the year 2024 where computers and technology are evrything. It centers around a girl named Sora Yuki, a normal middel school girl who is rather out of the loop from the rest of her friends and classmates. However, this all changes once she starts to play the online game known as “The World”. On her fist experience in the game, she gets involved in an incident and thus begins her journey.
Story 8: The story is a bit plain with the use of recurring anime themes ; such as love triangles, commentaries/jokes on generation gaps and the famous: one who saves “The World”(sorry, couldnt resist). But I like these types of stories so maybe thats why I’m a little biased. Although its not like I’m going to give it a pure 10, but I feel its fair to give it an average number of 8.
Art 9: To be honost, I expected the normal 2-D animation found in most(if not all) anime, but was surprised to see a 2-D/3-D combination. It absolutely blew my mind. The art also shifts when they go into “The World” where the art mimics that of video game animation scenes. Overall the art is unique and original and thats why I give it a 9.
Sound 10: OMG the sound, I dont even know. If you have ever played or watched .hack, you will probably feel some nostalgia. But the main thing that blew my mind was that the Americans were actually speaking fluent ENGLISH. In most anime’s, the foriegners usually speak in Japanese and it is just indicated that they are speaking English, but not here. That is why I give it a 10.
Character 7: Overall the characters are not all that great and fall into common character types seen in anime. There is also little to no character development to anyone aside from the main character; but what can you expect from a movie – they cant make it like 5hours long(a 12 ep season). But they are not entirely bad and that is why I give them a 7. Plus Yuki’s grandpa is hilarious.
Enjoyment 9: I personally enjoyed this movie. It tends to be a bit more serious near the end, but the begining allowed for some slice-of-life as well as some comedy. I also enjoyed it because of the many refferences to the original .hack//sign that brought back many fond memories and thats why I give it a 9.
Overall 9: I have to say I really liked this movie. It has action, a little romance, comedy and the refferences are not so heavy that one would get lost if they never saw .hack. That is why I give it a 9 of 10 and recommend seeing it weather your a fan of .hack or not.
Just like all of the series’ setting, the story took place in a virtual reality world called “The World”, developed by a gaming company named CC Corp set in fictitious Japan in real world. Even though actual events in the movie happened in the virtual world, these events too have its effects on the real world namely people falling into some sort of coma which has been an issue from the story since the original game back on the PlayStation 2, and other disturbances in the supposed real world in matters electronics.
However, this particular movie release hasn’t really strayed far from the “tried-and-tested” formula the franchise is known for which may appear cliched and even unoriginal (or even boring) given how many times already it has already been used, be it from the original game, anime series, OVA’s, manga, and probably even the upcoming literary works. I, personally, was watching the movie looking for something new that the story might offer given the timeline of the movie from the overall series, sadly there’s nothing new in it. Even the characters themselves (some of them) are nothing new but rather are just a recycle of previously existed models namely that of Kite, Balmung, and Orca only given new characters especially fit for the character they represent and the movie.
Be that as it may, the movie is notable to its highly detailed animations which gives the movie an appeal to specific audiences such as myself who loves CG animated movies. The movie’s animation and special effects can be stunning at times if you know how to appreciate art in this discipline. In terms of graphic presentation, this movie is superb.
In terms of voice acting and music, I find no fault so as to dislike any of the two within the movie. Voice acting is just fine, if not very good, and so is the music.
Overall, I find the movie very entertaining given I’m a fan of the franchise. The overall experience may vary however if otherwise due to familiarity issues with both the story and characters as these two factors might affect interests for those who are new. However, with these two issues not being a concern and / or have overcome, watching this movie is a visual treat and entertaining especially if one is not expecting much from it.
9: Pokemon Movie 21: Minna no Monogatari
English: Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us
Japanese: 劇場版ポケットモンスター みんなの物語
MAL Score: 7.16
As Satoshi continues his journey to become a Pokémon Master, he travels to Fura City to attend the annual Wind Festival. Pumped up, Satoshi and Pikachu are determined to win the festival’s Get Race. Meanwhile, Kagachi, a show-off and a habitual liar, joins the competition at the request of his niece Lily. Having almost no knowledge about Pokémon, he manages to strike a deal with a socially awkward scientist named Torito in exchange for help with his upcoming speech. Following Kagachi’s victory, Satoshi meets Risa, an ex-regional track and field champion looking to catch a Pokémon. However, during Torito’s speech, Team Rocket strikes and manages to steal a capsule from his lab.
Tragedy strikes one after another as the Wind Festival’s Sacred Flame disappears! As they set off on a journey to find the culprit, Satoshi and the group meet many people on the way—including Zeraora, the Thunderclap Pokémon who was believed to be dead…
Lets get started.
The Power of Us is no sequel to I Choose You, it is its own story. Going into this movie, my expectations had to walk a fine line between my inner Pokemon fan, and my subjective view to critique it. I give this movie credit for having the bravery to juggle at least 6 main characters, and not lose its way. For a majority of the time, it is consistent with the world it sets up. The story caught my attention, although nothing groundbreaking. The shift away from story revolving around Ash’s actions alone provides a unique angle that the series often does not explore. The pacing was above average, especially when comparing this film to I Choose You, which had the first 10 minutes with Ash and Pikachu going over the events of the first episode. There was no rush or glaring issues with the story flow, and I was pleasantly surprised. The story shares beats with past arcs in Pokemon, though there is clear direction being shown. Zeraora was well integrated for having little to do with Lugia, and felt like a believable addition to the cast. Fula City is one of, if not the most fleshed out settings the franchise has to offer. Realistic for the fantasy setting, and believable figures, such as the mayor, who’s actions are anything but “Let the 10 year old kid handle it by himself”. As for the artwork, I cannot say anything less than outstanding. Backgrounds and wide shots were something out Studio Ghibi, while character designs were vibrant, representative of their respective character, and unique to say the least. Every battle that takes place is a joy to watch, WIT Studios outdid themselves with fluid and clear animation, barely surpassing I Choose You in terms of quality. Redesigns are well done for Ash and Team Rocket, in particular. Music of the film was fitting for the most part, and served some scenes more justice than others. The english Dub kept a majority of tracks the same as Japanese. Moving on to characters. Ash, Lisa, Harriet, Callahan, Torren, and Margot. The Power of Us giving 6 central characters their own focus gave me worry on how the shared screen time would translate to development. My fears were put to rest upon first viewing, as each was handled and given a necessary amount of screen time. Part of this film’s charm is to see the interaction between these people whom would have never met otherwise. The Power of Us derives its strength in simplicity, and earns endearment in the most unlikely places. Doing my best not to spoil, one of Callahan’s scenes was particularly touching and deserves a place of mention. Risa’s simple story I found relatable, being a former athlete, and her scene with Ash was charming.
My overall enjoyment was outstanding for this film. It is reassuring when a franchise can still give good quality after 20 whole movies. In short, I recommend watching Pokemon: The Power of Us, as a well produced, entertaining, and endearing addition to the series as a whole.
At first glance, it looks like it’s a remake (of sorts) of The Power of One, the second Pokemon movie. The title “The Power of Us” is a great mirror of that and it stars Lugia as the centerpiece. Except it’s not. This movie isn’t about Lugia, it’s about Zeraora. So if you think this new Electric-type fursona looks super cool, then this movie’s gonna be up your alley 10/10.
So let’s throw all immediate comparisons out the window. That’s fair, I don’t mind at all. But I’m still completely unsure as to what this is supposed to be. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with I Choose You, that movie isn’t even referenced in this. Forget that really cool potential development Verity might’ve had with her Mom–not important or anything it’s just the fucking Champion of Sinnoh–she’s out of the picture forever, I guess. But they’re still continuing this theme of Ash and Pikachu’s journey starting from scratch, considering Ash is wearing the same cap from ICU. Whatever, maybe they were afraid people wouldn’t keep up with the movies enough, so they didn’t wanna make a whole new storyline with them, fine.
So this movie isn’t a sequel to I Choose You, nor is it a remake of The Power of Us. Alright. I still don’t know what this movie is.
I guess they decided to remove the ‘adventure’ part of Pokemon to make a drama instead, since the only settings in this film are a boring town and a boring . . . mountain. Cool. It’s not necessarily terribly written–most things make the proper amount of sense with most of the causes and effects lining up, but it’s just so . . . boring. Two seconds with all of the characters will tell you everything about them and the arc they will eventually follow. The uncle guy lies to his niece to impress her. Even a Slowpoke could predict that he’d be found out halfway through the movie, become hated, and become part of the heroic plot later to redeem himself. Amazing.
Look, I get it. It’s Pokemon. I’m not expecting an Academy-level plot here. But . . . I also enjoy the Pokemon anime most of the time, because it’s not so thoroughly bland and uninspired?? The Sun&Moon characters have tons of quirks, tons of personality, and they’re tons of fun to watch even though literally nothing happens in that series. Power of Bum feels equally pointless but pretends that something interesting is happening the entire time.
This movie just has too many pieces. It ultimately spreads out into a three-pronged conflict where its bloated cast is scattered all over the place. As a result, tons of things need to happen and need to be explained, causing many of these pieces to have extremely minor uses. Two Pokemon Hunters appear in the beginning of the movie for a couple seconds, obviously scheming something, and then they show up about halfway through to start shit, and then they disappear off-screen forever. The gyaru-looking chick has a brother just so that he can magically guide her through the forest for one scene later in the movie. And there’s the incredibly dumb “plot twist” about how Zeraora was condemned by a past generation, only for the leader of the current generation to know the truth all along, but keep that a secret from everyone for absolutely no reason when he could’ve settled that dispute years ago, but that’d pre-emptively erase half the conflict of the movie.
Also, can we talk about the fact that, of all things, the “forest guardian” in this movie is an Electric-type . . . thing? What is this? What is “forest-like” about this creature? Have they just completely given up on symbolism with their legendaries? Marshadow is one of the coolest Pokemon ever, how did we go from that to this in a single generation? Its only defining trait is that it’s fast so that they can play the same scene of a thing falling on top of a guy, only for Zeraora to swoop in and catch the falling thing at the last second. Every. Single. Time.
. . . Wait, hang on. Pokemon Hunters . . . forest guardian . . . this is actually a remake of Pokemon 4Ever. What the fuck. Those LIARS!!!
Even as a general Pokemon story, it doesn’t really capitalize on anything about Pokemon. The biggest opposing threat in this movie is an oh-so-ominous gas cloud. No, I’m not talking about Gengar, it’s just some poison gas that Ikoma from Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress made. Sure, it’s Effect Spore, sure it’s an actual Pokemon thing and they use Lum Berries to cure it; I like practical applications of small Pokemon bits like this. But that’s all they are. Small bits. Who the fuck wants to watch a Pokemon movie about Ash and Pikachu fighting against toxins. Pokemon should always be about THE Pokemon as much as possible, and these mechanical elements should take a backseat and serve as tools instead of being the plot themselves.
So, again, what IS this movie? What is the point of it? That Pokemon and people should work together? You know . . . the theme of EVERY FUCKING POKEMON STORY IN EXISTENCE??? It doesn’t even scratch the itch one might have of seeing animated Pokemon battles in the big screen–you get some, for sure, and for what it’s worth the Pokemon Catching contest was pretty fun–but the movie’s more of a problem-solving thing than anything. I guess. But, beyond that, it’s just a bunch of really boring characters involved with a plot that has too many things going on. And then Lugia appears for like five seconds.
I just can’t recommend this. If you’re a Pokemon superfan who just likes watching Pokemon then you’ll probably just shit on me for posting this and go watch the movie anyway and have a great time. Whatever, I don’t look down on that. But I’m not that kind of person. I’m giving this a 2 because it feels so pointless and boring and did absolutely nothing for me. It didn’t do anything to insult my intelligence, necessarily, which is why it won’t go lower, but it feels like a waste of money and a waste of time more than anything. Maybe “The Power of Us” refers to the people who made the movie and their power of siphoning my wallet. Can’t wait for Smogon to ban that shit.
Pokemon Movie 21 “The Power of Us” had no right being as great as it turned out to be. My impressions of the 20th film “I Choose You” almost made me write off Pokemon for good. Its attempt at trying to capitalize on the first generation while also fitting in another B plot into one film (as well at retconing a lot of what happened in the first TV series) was atrocious to say the least.
However for the case of “The Power of Us”, I am utterly shocked how much I enjoyed this film. It still is Pokemon for babies (which I fear is all we are going to get seeing how Pokemon Go and Pokemon: Let’s Go turned out) but this film had muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch more creative juices flowing.
“The Power of Us” starts out with Ash embarking on a new journey. This time, he finds himself in Fula City; a city that flourishes due to the wind granted by Lugia. Each year the town holds a festival to honor Lugia’s commitment to providing the city with wind. Ash eventually runs into many other characters such as my new favorite Pokemon bae Risa, the convulsive liar Callahan, the old shrew Harriet, and a whole slew of other characters. This is all a good thing…annnnd a bad thing.
This huge influx of characters means you need to give them a reason to exist. This film does tackle this providing B-plots for all of them. What this ends up creating though is the issue that…80% of the film is just all these B-plots going on. There is an overarching plot line that drives the film but you are not made fully aware of it until at least half way through the film. Also there is a total lack of a antagonist in this film. So essentially if you do not buy into the character development going on, the film will be a horrid experience for you.
Now I really cannot talk about any of the characters in depth because what goes on with them is like the entire reason the film exists. So lets talk about other things such as the gorgeousssssssss character designs by artist Shizue Kaneko. They are simply phenomenal. Each character in this film looks perfect. The right amount of cuteness, the perfect outfit, everything. This aspect is nailed so fucking hard that I’d venture to say that these are the best character designs in Pokemon to date (and that’s saying something comparing it to X&Y as well as Sun & Moon).
The world design is also pretty great. The town looks super interesting. The pier area where all the festival stuff occurs is also really cool design wise. I will say that the CG flying scenes where Pokemon are going through the city looks pretty generic. Like, in background shots the city looks great but as soon as those super camera panning CG shots happen, things turn pretty generic.
The camera movement and directing in general though are really spot on in this film. There is this scene where one of the character is about to get attacked by another group of people. However, it is stopped at the very last second by Pikachu using Iron Tail. As this person looks up, you see a 3rd person view of a slow motion Pikachu repealing the attack with its tail. However, it’s how the shot is framed, lit, and paced that make it such a stand out moment. And this isn’t the only shot you can take under a microscope and enjoy; the film is filled with them.
The sound design (especially of a particular Pokemon) is really well done. Everything in this film feels like it has weight because of this aspect. Though this isn’t really anything new since most Pokemon related stuff has great sound design.
Music was…there. I didn’t notice any standout pieces but it fit the mood well enough.
The English voice acting was…pretty ok. I did think that Risa and Callahan were really well acted. The marriage of their visual performance and the voice actors was really spot on. And honestly all the comedy bits in this film was pulled off really well because of this. The old hag character Harriet had a plethora amount of funny moments because of this.
(I recently re-watched this in Japanese; way better in my opinion. Really well acted cast.)
So when looking back at the film as a whole…I am a little conflicted. The first 70% of the film is essentially like a TV episode where you meet characters that go through arcs. Then all of the sudden the film realizes it needs to get the real plot moving so there are exposition scenes out the wazzu, deus ex machina moments, and plot holes that never get filled. From a pacing standpoint, the film is actually quite horrid. However, I did end up enjoying all these B-plots so for me, I really ended up enjoying the film as a whole. If this is what I can assume the future films of this timeline will employ, then count me in. Like I said in the beginning, the film is still tailored for the younger generation; however it was still impactful.
Thanks for reading my review! If you liked my writing style, would like to see some other reviews, or just want to talk, please stop by my page!
8: Rockman.EXE Movie: Hikari to Yami no Program
Japanese: 劇場版 ロックマン エグゼ: 光と闇の遺産
MAL Score: 7.21
Deep in the dark recesses of the UnderNet, Forte sleeps as he drifts aimlessly. In this cybernetic graveyard, a pulsating power re-awakens Forte, alerting him to a dangerous being shortly ahead. A haunting face appears amidst a massive bright purple blob, laughing directly at Forte. Cursing him, Forte finds himself powerless as the blob takes form, and captures him within its grasp!
Nearing the time of sunset, a peaceful city and its people go about their everyday business. Curious bystanders on a sidewalk glimpse a shimmering purple light, which suddenly expands into tall pillar that reaches up to the sky. Screams erupt from the people as the pillar of light takes flight, absorbing everything in its destructive path. A tower clock dings the hour of 4 o’clock as the pillar desintigrates, leaving behind a trail of cybernetic residue and utter emptyness.
‘The Program of Light and Dark’
(Source: Official Site)
As for everything else, uh… It’s Rockman.exe. You don’t exactly look to it for interesting stories with complicated characters. Basically, the most interesting character you can expect is Higsby.
Basically, watch this movie if you like Mega Man Battle Network and you don’t mind a bit of weird inconsistency in quality, because the lows of the movie are inoffensive and the highs of the movie are hilarious fun.
7: Pokemon Movie 23: Koko
English: Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle
Japanese: 劇場版ポケットモンスター ココ
MAL Score: 7.34
The new film’s story is set in Okoya Forest, a Pokémon paradise protected by strict rules that forbid outsiders from setting foot inside. The film centers on Koko, a boy who was raised by Pokémon and also considers himself as one, treating the Mythical Pokémon Zarude as his father. Ash and Pikachu encounter Koko during an adventure. The film focuses on the theme of a “human raised by Pokémon,” instead of the previous films’ focus of the “bond between a human trainer and their Pokémon.”
I know there will be people out there calling this a Tarzan rip-off, and I’ll admit, the concept is nothing revolutionary and the plot can be very predictable at parts, but BOY is the overall execution and heights of the emotions in movie incredible. Its 100% worth a watch, especially for any long-term Pokemon fans out there.
I love this new alternate line of Pokemon movies after the soft-reset that was Pokemon Movie 20: I Choose You and then Movie 21: The Power of Us which seem to focus on a specific theme instead of trying to follow the canon storyline of the TV anime. This way, the movies can pack more richness in its characters and concepts without sacrificing continuity. Its really a win-win in my book.
Art and animation are SOLID. Everything in Okoya Jungle looked lush and vibrant and teeming with life. The same could be said about the scenes in Milyfa Town where we get to see Pokemon living together with humans and participate in various events and festivals together. Overall, the Pokemon in this film feel very integrated into the world and strengthens both the world-building and the central theme of the story: how Pokemon and humans coexist to become friends, and even family to one another.
Also while the soundtrack of this movie is not particularly mind-blowing, it works well for what it is. The few insert songs used were quite sappy but effective at conveying the budding emotions that bloom in the climax moments of the movie (where the big cry happened for me).
I won’t rant on too much longer because really there is not that much to dissect here. Its a classic coming of age/parenthood story between a human and a Pokemon Zarude. Ash is there as well to propel the story forward. Team Rocket is as adorkably conniving as ever and really helps the protagonists in this movie more than do any actual villainy.
My only criticisms for this movie were some occasionally awkward CGI, especially in some crowd shots, that really weren’t TOO noticeable. And also, the main “twist” villain (if you can even call it that) was not interesting whatsoever and could be spotted a billion miles away the moment they appeared on screen. I also wished they built a little bit more on the established lore of the forest and the whole shiny Celebi aspect as I felt like that was almost completely brushed over.
I rarely leave reviews, but I feel bad that this movie, which obviously had a lot of love and passion put into it, was mostly brushed under the rug due to the pandemic. I hope that it will get more attention once it hits streaming platforms here in the west.
Lastly, if you are going into this very good movie expecting to get major backstory on Ash’s dad, DON’T. You’ll be disappointed haha. Now, go watch the movie!!!
So as the pokemon franchise has been doing for all these years the movie was satisfying and filled with vibrant colours and elemnts of fantasy. well, as the trailer suggests it focuses on father-son relation. Moreover the storyline is quite similar to previous movies depicting atrocities of some evil humans on Pokemon and our protagonists comes to save the day. But this movie actually made me cry a lot. It is a perfect amalgam of hear-warming and heart-wrenching scenes! It takes you on an emotional roller-coaster with touching reunions and revelations! Now some people might not find it that amzing but instead critic on repeated tropes but being a Pokemon fan since a long time I appreciate the portrayal of newer aspects and how they would turn out in the Pokemon Universe! I like this movie a lot!
Story: While it might give you Tarzan vibes to some extent. It’s more of a heartwarming story between a Child and their parent, and the relationship they’ve build with each other. And how like any Pokemon movie, gotta save the world or area they’re in. As far as Ash and Pikachu goes, they seemed more like side characters in this one, which I did not mind at all. It made Team Rocket seem less than side characters, and you can honestly forget they were even in the movie. They could’ve made the movie without them in it. I honestly say though they could’ve added a more tougher situation in the story to make it seem more threatening, but I mean what they did was alright in my book.
Art: That animation though. Like it’s great. Especially the scene with Pikachu swinging around. You could also feel the emotion behind the pokemon and characters in certain scene of course.
Sound: Music was interesting. It definitely fit the jungle vibe.
Characters: It was mainly about Coco and Zarude. And the display of their bond was done really well. Of course Ash & Pikachu were there usual selves which is always done well lol
Overall: I enjoyed it. Not the best Pokemon movie, but I’d rank it in the top 10 maybe. I’d definitely recommend watching it
6: Yu☆Gi☆Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions
Japanese: 遊☆戯☆王 THE DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS
MAL Score: 7.47
Obsessed with revenge against the King of Games, Seto Kaiba commences an excavation in Egypt to find the fragments of the Millennium Puzzle, which once retained the spirit of the “counterpart Yuugi.” However, a cloaked man steals two pieces of the Puzzle and disappears before it could be reconstructed. Meanwhile, now in their final year of high school, Yuugi Mutou and his friends plan for their futures, unaware of the danger lurking close by.
Yu☆Gi☆Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions tells the tale of vindictive forces distorting reality in whatever way they please. Will Seto and Yuugi move past their differences and save the world, or will Seto’s own greed get the better of him?
First of all, the animation is so outstanding. It’s really high quality and during certain scenes in the movie you may think that it’s real life scenery instead of 2D/CG. I couldn’t believe my eyes watching it, ’cause usually Yu-Gi-Oh! didn’t have that high quality animation (except for Zexal). Even Arc-V has meh animation. The animation is so constantly beautiful you can’t take your eyes off the screen. This, I think, is one of the gems in this movie. Oh, and the characters’ faces look beautiful all the time you may turn homo (jk). Kaiba looks like Light Yagami but with a gravity defying jacket.
Let’s talk about sound next. There’s not much to say here. The movie uses a few of the soundtracks in the original Duel Monsters series like Passionate Duelist and Wrath of God but with different arrangements of course. The nostalgia is so real when you hear them playing. Most of the soundtracks sound orchestral and it’s awesome but I give an 8/10.
The original Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters didn’t do a good job with characters. Everyone but Yugi, Jounouchi (Joey) and Kaiba were cheerleaders. Anzu and Honda remain useless even in the movie, and Jounouchi is too. Jounouchi has no real purpose in the movie but they give him more screentime than Yugi. He and Honda only serve as comic relief characters.
The original characters aren’t developed well in the movie, except for Yugi, Kaiba and Bakura. Yup, Bakura. Bakura has an importance in the movie that connects to Aigami’s backstory and that is a job well done. I really like what they retconned to the story, it gives more depth to both Bakura and Aigami.
Kaiba had always been an asshole with a surprisingly good side. At first you’d think Kaiba is the protagonist for this movie, but then you’d think he’s actually the villain. Kaiba’s character is complex yet simple, for he only wants to defeat Atem but he’d do anything for it. I can’t say much about him, but he’s my second favorite character in the movie even though I hated him in the original series. His character in the movie is very well written.
Yugi is supposed to be the protagonist? I think he has less screen time than Aigami or even Jounouchi. Yugi has grown, sure. But his character is still shallow. It’d be great if the movie goes deep into his character of a loser who gained strength or focusing on his growth, but even in this movie, he doesn’t feel like the protagonist to me. I still can’t like his character.
The mysterious beutiful kid Aigami is the best character ever made in the entire Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise imo. His character is so well written and lovable, he should be considered as the real protagonist for this movie. His motivation and backstory is deep, not what you’d expect from a yugioh (especially the original yugioh). The depth of his character really surprised me.
As for the story, it’s really unlike what you’d expect from a yugioh. 5D’s had a great plot, Zexal II’s and Arc-V’s were good too. But the original? Not really. DM had a shallow plot. But they expanded it in the movie. The movie answers a few questions people may have for DM, regarding Shadi. Aigami has a bitter backstory, and the plot revolves pretty much around him. The plot for me, is the best thing in the movie. It really surprised me for being deep.
In terms of enjoyment, I give it 9/10. At first I was like “the hell is going on? I don’t get it” and there are scenes that feel kinda out of place, but that still didn’t stop me from enjoying it. It’s not yugioh without children’s card games, so of course there are duels in the movie. The movie is 2 hrs 10 mins long and it has a lot of story to tell but they still included a few duels in it. So the duels feel kinda rushed, and I couldn’t really pay attention to them ’cause they were so fast-paced. It’s not like Bonds Beyond Time where they explain every card effect and stuff or whatever move they make. In my personal opinion, they should have made only one duel towards the end of the movie so that more time can be used for the story. The movie has a few pacing issues, but that still won’t kill the awesomeness.
The best anime movie I’ve watched thus far was Gintama but this just surpassed it. I don’t judge based on bias just because yugioh is my favorite anime. Heck, Gintama is my least favorite anime but the movie was so great I rated it as the best. The Dark Side of Dimensions however, is a real masterpiece, especially for a yugioh anime. I think it’s appropriate to give the movie 9/10.
The story is nothing much to speak of, a slotted in bad guy with the wrong intentions and then another “bigger” villain. The heroes then all come together to save the day. But like I said, this film is about character and that’s where it shines – Because this film is for Kaiba.
They knew perfectly what people love about Kaiba, his sass and utter fire that he talks. His personality is better than it’s ever been, it was all tuned up to 11 for this film as Kaiba does everything WAY over the top, and it’s beautiful.
((( WARNING FOR SPOILERS AHEAD)))
But Kaiba’s comedic ways aren’t the only thing shown from him, we get to his his acceptance of the past. He refers to Yugi as Yugi and Atem as, Pharaoh. Kaiba isn’t in denial anymore and we get to see this, but what’s more is that we see him missing his greatest rival. His passion to defeat his rival is so great that he invents the worlds most advanced holographic systems and then even later on, breaks the barrier between dimensions.
Kaiba is having a struggle, because while everyone else accepts their loss, Kaiba for once is the one character that has completely refused to give up on someone.
He is the driving force for this movie, he sets up all of the plot and shows he’s more than capable of crushing anyone in his path even if they possess magic.
On the other end we have Yugi. Having parted with the Pharaoh and grown up a bit, he feels as if a bit of him is missing but has chosen to move on. There’s really not much else to say for this, Yugi is simply here within this film. He’s here for Atem to have a single second of spotlight.
Speaking of which, Atem does show up and in the most glorious of fashions. A golden light suiting of his majesty, a draw of a single card that allows him to win, to prove his might. It was something that got the cinema cheering in a situation that should be silent.
Buuuut then everyone’s spirits were crushed because in the three instances Atem has, he says NOTHING. I’m not sure what they were thinking with all this because it pissed a lot of people off, there wasn’t a single “It’s time do duel” or “You’ve grown” Or ANYTHING – But anyway.
Visually the film is stunning, probably the best YuGiOh has ever looked, they perfectly evolved the style whilst keeping it nostalgic. And the masterful use of CG models (Which doesn’t have a frame lock) were perfect for a lot of the mechanical designs.
Duels are swift and don’t give the intense nature or dramatic effect of the series duels, or Pyramid of Light. Because this isn’t a dueling film, this is a presentation of character – And as I said before Kaiba is that driving force. So if you’re wanting a nostalgic duel, you’ll get the monsters, but not the feeling tactics or display. Because most of the film is taken up by showing where the characters are now and what they’re up to. (But mostly Kaiba)
For villains and side characters it can literally be summed up with.
(( Friendship powers go – Random bad guy that comes out of nowhere, and is completely slotted in – Sad backstory for those villainous agenda’s – loads of cliche crap ))
But Téa’s new design is hot asf.
Overall I came out of this very upset with the ending, villains, plot, even some of the new monsters (Mainly those damn cubic things). But there are some characters in this film, that simply carry it all and put a smile on your face.
Also it’s nice to see Takahiro Kagami’s name as character designer, he was the best animator on the original series and his style has become a staple for YuGiOh to this very day.
The setting takes place one year after the Ceremonial Duel that sent the Pharaoh spirit within the Millennium Puzzle to the afterlife. Yugi, Tea (Anzu), Joey (Junouchi), Tristan (Honda), and Bakura are all ready to finish off high school and become something in the world. But before that, they’re met with an unprecedented foe with the power to erase both people’s memories and the physical world as we know it. All the while Seto Kaiba has gone out and put the Millennium Puzzle back together in order to finally get his rematch with the Pharaoh. Both these plot lines meet and the end results have twists and turns that anyone can enjoy!
I’d give this score a 15/10 if I could. The visuals and animation throughout the entirety of this movie are such eye-candy and an absolute treat. Updated character models of both people and duel monsters are a feast for the eyes, especially during duel action sequences. The combination of regular 2D animation and CG animation for the monsters don’t hamper the viewing experience in any way, but instead give it a sense of wonder and awe.
The voice acting, oh how I’ve missed the voices of these characters. Every original series voice actor is back to give life to their characters from the Duel Monsters series. I watched this in English, so to hear Dan Green and Eric Stuart return as Yugi and Kaiba respectively is an absolute nostalgia bomb. The sound effects for the duel sequences are top notch and the music is superb, blending a mix of orchestral tunes with the music from the original series that I never knew I needed.
Everyone is back and it feels so good to see them grown up a bit. Yugi has matured from a timid child to a competent and mature gentleman. Joey is still a goofball. Tristan has become a more dependable young man around his friends. Tea is more outgoing and is ready to study abroad to become the dancer she always wanted to be. Kaiba is as awesome and egotistical as ever (and it’s amazing). Bakura is shy and heartwarming (especially without the Millennium Ring around his neck). Characters from the TV show such as Mai Valentine or Rebecca Hawkins don’t make an appearance, but instead are replaced with the villain and his compatriots that have quite a bit of depth and a surprising connection to the original series.
Maybe is just nostalgic value, but I enjoyed every moment of this film, especially the final act and the closing minutes. The animation, the music, the characters, it was all a treat that I personally missed seeing on my screen. So much so that I was never bored at all during all 2 hours of this movie. Grab a seat and grab your favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! cards because it’s time to duel!
You almost never come across a sequel movie that caps off a series as good as this one does, especially one that comes out 12 years after the original series ends. This is one of those rare occasions that does so with interest. If you’re a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise in any way, this is a must-see. Though, it might be best if you watched Seasons 1, 2, latter half of 3, and 5 of Duel Monsters before watching this.
5: Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale
English: Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale-
Japanese: 劇場版 ソードアート オンライン -オーディナル スケール-
MAL Score: 7.59
In 2026, four years after the infamous Sword Art Online incident, a revolutionary new form of technology has emerged: the Augma, a device that utilizes an Augmented Reality system. Unlike the Virtual Reality of the NerveGear and the Amusphere, it is perfectly safe and allows players to use it while they are conscious, creating an instant hit on the market. The most popular application for the Augma is the game Ordinal Scale, which immerses players in a fantasy role-playing game with player rankings and rewards.
Following the new craze, Kirito’s friends dive into the game, and despite his reservations about the system, Kirito eventually joins them. While at first it appears to be just fun and games, they soon find out that the game is not all that it seems…
The story is great. It is sort of like a mixture of tragedy, comedy and romance. Its sort like the mixture of SAO, ALO and GGO but mainly it revives that kind of feeling after you watch the original SAO. It makes me feel nostalgic.
For me, the art can be considered good enough and at certain parts the coloring is mind blowing especially when they defeated the monster. The animation also looked more lively compared to the recent GGO series. A great improvement overall.
*Wagnaria Cafe (www working!) made a cameo !
The OST is not as great as SAO, but they did use some of the SAO soundtrack (mainly Swordland) and even made an improved version for certain situation.
In Chinese philosophy, whenever there is Yin, there is always a Yang. But for this movie, they neutralize it perfectly. There is no real main evil guy here. All the character had been well design and created with lot of background information. (You can dig deeper to see how much they took into consideration before creating a new character such as Eiji) The MC, Yuna is so kawaii (you will know what I mean once you have watched the movie). A little bit fan service as usual between Asuna and Kirito.
I really enjoyed the 2 hours in the cinema and I do think that you probably need to watch the original SAO series first before watching this movie if possible try to finish ALO and GGO as well.
Overall score is 9.4 but I will definitely round it off to 10 instead of 9 because of the story, the comedy, again Yuna is so kawaii, the art and coloring during the FIANL MOMENT when the monster is defeated and the BGM being played at the right time at the right moment. I would definitely recommend any SAO fans to watch it, you will never regret!
* For those who plan to go cinema and watch it, do stay until the ending song is finish. You will be rewarded 🙂
** Sorry for my poor grammar, do drop me a message if you found any grammar mistake that I had made.
To make a clever analogy, Sword Art Online is similar to an apple that looks fresh on the outside but is all rotten inside. If you have ever heard of the “Rotten Apple” theory which states that one rotten apple can ruin an entire barrel, that is what I am affraid of.
Anime series similar to Sword Art Online will spread like mold in an old house, resulting in lowering the current set standards for a “good” show.
Unfortunately the very premise of the show makes it hard to take seriously. A new innovative game “Ordinal Scale” is created and people are crazy about it until shit hits the fan and Kirito must save the day.
The story revolves around Asuna and Kirito’s group of friends battling Augma as well as Asuna’s and Kirito’s romantic relationship. The story is more of a way to connect and insert action scenes rather than progressing with the characters.
To compare SAO:Ordinal Scale’s plot with the previous series I would say that Ordinal Scale is better but as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
With that being said, the story is still boring, predictable and borderline ridiculous containing numerous plot holes, plot armor and having a simplistic idea that is poorly executed. Ordinal Scale is a failed mix of comedy, drama and romance but it does have great action scenes that keep attracting viewers.
The story brings nothing new to the table, it is mostly the same old repetitive SAO plot but a bit diffrent and a bit more enjoyable with the only redeeming factor being its pace. Even though the story itself is nothing special, the pacing is pretty good to be honest.
The characters are poor, one-dimensional, cliched, generic and utterly annoying, there is not much to say that can redeem them.
Ordinal Scale features lots of survivors from SAO and I liked seeing them again, just a bit of nostalgia.
Kirito is the same overpowered guy that can defeat anything and anyone if he gets serious. All the girls still fall for him even though he has no charisma or an intriguing personality nor is he particularly intelligent.
In Kirito’s defense, I suppose being a hero in a life-or-death game can make most people grow to respect him and maybe “love” him.
Asuna is the same as always, a generic damsel in distress that is constantly seeking attention and constantly irritating me. Asuna does have some good moments thorughout the show but that is not nealry enough to redeem her character.
Shino Asada, a generic character from the ALO/GGO series. I liked the fact that she respected Kirito and Auna as a couple even though she had feelings for Kirito therefore not creating further drama.
The only character I liked was Eiji, a badass player who is top ranked and has a cool air about him, won’t go into details due to possible spoilers.
The villains are cliched, generic and imbecilic. We have seen these type of villains many, many times before in the provious seasons of Sword Art Online or other low tier anime series.
The overall art and animation is great, fluid with nice design and colors, just what you would expect from a 2017 anime production.
The fight scenes are very well coreographed, fluid and engaging.
The animation does have some glitches but I am compelled to overlook them.
I personally did not like the OST, they used some old SAO music and some new and not very good songs.
The overall sound is pretty good but nothing memorable or to brag about.
After finishing Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale I was left with a “meh” feeling and a bad taste in my mouth. Having Kirito wear his old “black swordsman” uniform was a sore sight.
There are some good battles and nice scenes but they are not nearly enough to make this a good watching experience.
Unfortunately Sword Art Online continues being the malignant tumor slowly eating away at the good anime production.
The poor plot and generic characters can not be overlooked even though the animation and sound were very good. If you are the typical SAO fan you will love this movie but if you did not like the SAO series you will not like this.
If you are ready to waste 2 hours of your life, I recommend giving this a try since it is so popular.
Because for the first time, SAO became action-centric, rather than plot- or character-centric.
The TV anime focused heavily on its characters. The climax of the Aincrad arc was not Kirito beating the game (spoilers, I guess), but his last scene with Asuna. The Fairy Dance arc focused on its plot, and the Phantom Bullet and Mother’s Rosario arcs were basically character studies. Since these things were written poorly, these arcs were poor as a result.
By the time Alicization came around, Kawahara learned how to write a good plot, and SAO Progressive marked his transition into writing good characters. It’s an absolute joy to read about Kirito and Eugeo’s exploits in Underworld, compared to the tedium of his harem in Aincrad.
By comparison, Ordinal Scale’s plot is extremely simple and straightforward, largely serving as an excuse to serve up action scenes. It centers around a consumer-grade AR device called the Augma, presumably a precursor to Accel World’s Neurolinkers (in more ways than one, as is eventually revealed). The conflict in the plot comes from the titular Ordinal Scale, an ARMMO for it. Think “Pokemon Go meets Aincrad,” and you’re in the right ballpark. Trouble befalls SAO survivors who die in Ordinal Scale, and it’s up to Kirito to figure out what’s happening and put a stop to it.
The villains are simple, cliche, and boring – you’ve seen them a million times before. Likewise, the new poster girl, Yuna, joins Yui, Eugeo, and Kizmel in Kawahara’s growing list of “might as well just be human” AIs. The plot unfolds at a satisfying pace, utilizing a Mother’s Rosario-esque structure. The story is completely self-contained. Basically, this is just another original anime movie for a popular anime. So why am I not giving this a five?
Because A-1 Pictures brought their A game on this one.
The action scenes are GORGEOUS. They’re beautifully choreographed, making them easy to follow while simultaneously being fast and exciting. Even the final one, which was so fast-paced it’d put Sonic to shame, was an avalanche of awesomeness that I could enjoy without being confused. Captain America Civil War could’ve learned a thing or two from this movie.
Additionally, all the action scenes were backed by a frankly kickass soundtrack, noticeably getting me more excited than I would be without them. Say what you will about SAO, but you can’t deny that it’s always had amazing sound direction, and it really shows in this movie.
Don’t get me wrong, though. There are plot holes. A LOT of them. How are these places in Tokyo empty enough for a bunch of LARPers to do their thing every night? Lemme tell you, I ain’t ever seen the UDX plaza that empty, no matter how late it gets. How is the Augma not constantly making the news when people inevitably become spontaneously idiotic? Remember Pokemon Go? The Augma is supposedly even more prolific, and since it’s a product, it’s presumably here to stay. How are these make-believe battles actually making people recoil, making them encounter physical resistance to their movements (i.e. when they block an attack), sending them flying, and all these other things? How is Kirito – weak as he is in these battles – able to do even what he DOES accomplish? He is canonically a frail, weak, and slightly effeminate-looking nerd. In any other SAO production, I would not be able to forgive so many plot holes, which reek of the Kawahara who brought us the content of the TV anime. However, I can make an exception for Ordinal Scale.
The movie does not take itself seriously.
One problem with the TV anime is that it overblew the drama, making every single plot point feel like the end of the world. Ordinal Scale doesn’t do that. It doesn’t linger for longer than it should on any plot event, instead prioritizing constant movement to get to the next action scene. At one point, it even throws all logic and common sense right out the window, since it’d rather be awesome than have a coherent plot. The TV anime wanted you to take its stories and characters seriously, and that didn’t work, since the writing was usually bad. By contrast, Ordinal Scale’s writing is generally unremarkable (besides the litany of plot holes that perforate it like Swiss cheese), but it doesn’t care. Rather than boast and brag and say, “Look at how great my story is,” it instead directs your attention to the flashy and exciting fights. It just wants you to have a good time. Don’t get me wrong – the fights were the best part of the TV anime too, but the difference is that Ordinal Scale WANTS you to focus on them. It succeeds at what it goes for, whereas the TV anime failed at what it was going for.
That said, there was no reason why there needed to be so many unexplained plot holes – even a comment in passing would have sufficed – so my final rating for Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale is a seven out of ten.
For all its flaws, it’s hard to hate this movie, even for someone who’s usually unimpressed by the SAO series. Existing fans will love it, and even haters might find something to like, too.
Also, what was up with that post-credits scene? Unless it spoiled the mastermind of the Alicization arc (which I haven’t finished) or the Moon Cradle arc (which I haven’t even started), then are we getting more anime-original content?
4: Overlord Movie 1: Fushisha no Ou
English: Overlord: The Undead King
Japanese: 【前編】劇場版総集編 オーバーロード 不死者の王
MAL Score: 7.61
First Overlord recap film.
There’s basically nothing more to say, if you’ve watched the anime watching the movie will probably disappoint some of you, since it doesn’t add more to the plot of the story which we have been dying to know more off.
However, in a sense the movie helps hyped up the story for the upcoming Second season. It also help us remind of what happened in the story, so when the second season hits we would felt like theres no gap from season 1 to season 2.
Overall the movie was bog standard. I enjoy the anime, and seeing the recap movie helps me remember the fun times I had watching the anime in the first place. It’s fun imagining ourselves as the Overlord, which could take over the world easily.
I recommend you watch the anime, however if you’re waiting for the second season like I do. You could consider watching the movie it summed up the first-half well and with more time on our hands. But if you have more time in your hands, i recommend just rewatching the anime for the full ride.
** Spoiler Alert **
In the beginning there was the dive scene.
Momonga chatting with Sebas was modified a bit.
Lots of pan out scenery shots of the cities and Nazarick.
The slane theocracy mission.
And a few more.
** End Spoiler **
Again it doesnt make a huge impact if you did watch the anime but it does add a little bit extra details here and there, which i enjoyed watching (despite watching the anime a few times and having it rather fresh in my memory).
I have to say, however, that even as a fan of the original series, I was quite disappointed. So here I am writing a review for anyone who might be about to dive into the movie with any sort of heightened expectations.
The recap is basically just what it says it is, a recap. It adds NOTHING to the TV anime, like new scenes or dialogue (apart from the 30-second scene in the beginning), and improves NOTHING even though Madhouse should have had enough time to up the quality even by a bit. The animation is the same, the CG fights are the same etc. You could watch the TV show and it wouldn’t make much difference apart from giving you the full story.
The only thing saving this movie is the fact that it’s Overlord, Momonga is cool, Albedo is sexy and funny, and all the characters are basically a joy to watch. The music hasn’t changed and it is passable.
So yeah, if you’re going into this movie expecting something different or better from the TV anime, then don’t. It’s just the same thing, minus a couple scenes stuck together and thrown in the theater for money money money. 5/10.
3: Overlord Movie 2: Shikkoku no Eiyuu
English: Overlord: The Dark Hero
Japanese: 【後編】劇場版総集編 オーバーロード 漆黒の英雄
MAL Score: 7.64
Second Overlord recap film.
If you haven’t seen the first television season then this will be a good recap to prep you for the second season. If you have seen the first season then know this movie covers roughly episodes 8 through 13. Keep in mind there are a few extended scenes.
Peppered throughout the film are several moments of extended dialogue, battles, and a few changes that include the appearance, albeit brief, of an as yet undefined character.
So put it like this; if you have an hour and a half, think you’d enjoy a re-watch of the second half of the first season that focuses on the highlights, and wouldn’t mind seeing a little extra, then this movie is for you.
If you haven’t seen the first season, but have seen the first movie and liked it, then what are you waiting for? You’re gonna love this! 😉
2: Quanzhi Gaoshou Zhi Dianfeng Rongyao
MAL Score: 8.15
Two years ago, Glory started out as just another MMORPG, but its real-world influence has grown as more countries begin to recognize esports as an official sport. Now, in China, arrangements are being made to hold the first professional league of Glory, culminating in the Glory Championship.
Friends Ye Qiu and Su Muqiu both aspire to make a career out of esports. However, due to personal reasons, Ye Qiu has been hesitant until now to chase his dream onto the national stage. When the two boys finally agree to form their own team, they are supported by Tao Xuan, their boss and the owner of Excellent Era internet cafe, after which they name their team. And so, Team Excellent Era sets their sights on defeating all opponents who stand in their way of reaching the ultimate summit of Glory.
Art: The art is beautiful, on par with some great Japanese anime. The animation, aside from the hit or miss parts before the final climax, is excellent as well. The final fight between the MC and the last opponent, especially, was godly.
Sound: The OST is pretty good as well. Especially on the final fight with, combined with the animation, makes it a great experience to watch.
Story: Now this is where the flaws begin. This story serves as a prequel before the entire main series. However, even then, the plot was rushed, especially since you’re cramming a prequel novel into a 90 minutes movie. There’s seem to be pretty rushed directing as well, since between the time of the team forming to the finals except for one point in between, it’s just going to places to places. It’s sufficient as a companion piece, but as a standalone, it fell short
Character: Likewise, because of how rushed the story was, the character development were rushed as well. Aside from MC, his best friend and the sister, the other characters’ development were lacking. We didn’t know much about them aside from the Spellblade guy.
Overall: Despite the shortcomings in the story and character department, plus some hit-or-miss animations before the finals, it’s a very enjoyable movie to watch to fill in the time while waiting for Season 2.
My recommendation is watch at least Season 1 (and maybe the OVA) before jumping onto the movie.
The visuals are still pretty good. I might not understand what’s going on, but at least the fights look intense. Music was cheesy at times, but it fit well with what was going on. Voice acting was serviceable as well.
Overall, I enjoyed it about as much as I enjoyed the main series; not very much. Seeing what initially pushed Ye Xiu into esports was my only takeaway, the movie is still plagued with the issues that made the main series hard to sit through.
Compared to japanese animes I’ve watched the past years, this is on a totally different level. Having watched many chinese anime until now, I got used to how fast they feel, I have barely time to read the subtitles, which I never had a problem with before. Maybe to others, this adds to the already fast paced story on some parts.
Story: 9/10 I loved the story right from the beginning. I only feel it lacks a bit of interaction between the characters.
Art: 10/10 What else can I say. No 5 year olds that are actually 25 and no giant, wobbly boobies.
Sound: 10/10 Apart from the amazing soundtracks, the simple sound effects they use to dramatize a scene are something that doesn’t even exist in japanese anime. They also added details to small things like the sound of their armor mid battle. Simply awesome!
Character: 8/10 Like other reviews already stated, due to the fast pace it’s a bit hard to get to know the characters or add any real character development. Regardless, I liked the characters and the most important characters got enough love to grow to like them.
Enjoyment: 9/10 I watched it for the action, awesome animation and badass MC. And I got action, awesome animations and a badass MC!
Overall: 9/10 Apart from a few problems the show had, I loved it. There’s no such sing as a “really perfect anime” every show has it’s flaws somewhere and for me the flaws in this one were a minimum.
It was refreshing to see an anime stray from the cliche all animes are filled with nowadays. Because I’m already fed up with those.
It’s pretty simple, though: If you came here for action, you will like this anime. If you came here for characters, their problems and development, you probably won’t. But maybe give it a try anyway.
1: No Game No Life: Zero
Japanese: ノーゲーム ノーライフ ゼロ
MAL Score: 8.25
In ancient Disboard, Riku is an angry, young warrior intent on saving humanity from the warring Exceed, the sixteen sentient species, fighting to establish the “One True God” amongst the Old Deus. In a lawless land, humanity’s lack of magic and weak bodies have made them easy targets for the other Exceed, leaving the humans on the brink of extinction. One day, however, hope returns to humanity when Riku finds a powerful female Ex-machina, whom he names Schwi, in an abandoned elf city. Exiled from her Cluster because of her research into human emotions, Schwi is convinced that humanity has only survived due to the power of these feelings and is determined to understand the human heart. Forming an unlikely partnership in the midst of the overwhelming chaos, Riku and Schwi must now find the answers to their individual shortcomings in each other, and discover for themselves what it truly means to be human as they fight for their lives together against all odds. Each with a powerful new ally in tow, it is now up to them to prevent the extinction of the human race and establish peace throughout Disboard!
Great story but it definitely feels rushed even with 2 hours. Tet recalls the story of 6000 years ago before he becomes the one true god and it pretty much explains who everyone is and the survival of imanity, however, they just go over way too many things and loses the entire “no game no life” part of NGNL. To elaborate, they have to cover the great war, romance between two characters, and focus on several characters in just 2 hours, which isn’t enough imo. What really pushed this movie from a 7 to an 8 was the fact that it was a recollection done by Tet, who makes an appearance at the beginning and at the very end, which may explain the amount of content covered. Still interesting and very enjoyable though.
To me NGNL will always be way up there in art, the colors and the unique designs and fantasy setting all work together to create a vivid and interesting experience and NGNL Zero does it even better. The setting is much darker than the original, but it was still an incredible experience to see in theaters to say the least.
Sounds were great and built up was on screen nicely. The ost playing as Tet concludes his recollection really made an impact, however, none of the OST’s in the core part of the movie stood out as some of the more iconic themes did in the anime.
This was another problem for me with the anime, as all the characters were great, except Shuvi, which is somewhat of a problem as she’s our heroine / Shiro replacement. Her entire premise as an ex-machina, and robot yet human felt out of place and just continues to feel out of place while she develops. As for the others, a majority of the characters resemble the cast of the original NGNL anime (since they’re technically their ancestors), and to top it off, the movie has a much nicer looking, less annoying Steph.
I point out a lot of the issues I had with the movie and the truth is it was great. I`m probably going to go see it again before I`m out of Japan but it`s something you have to see if you even somewhat enjoyed ngnl.
Btw if you saw it in theaters(Japan) you can buy goods and you even get a free little manga-like mini-pamphlet for free. Pretty nice!
The story is well written for both anime and Light Novel; Volume 6, content delivery is very good and easy to understand. However, it is important to watch the TV anime before proceed to the movie since not everything explain from scratch.
Art : 10/10
If you like colorful anime you know NGNL have it but dark-themed of NGNL surprisingly went along with the story theme. It’s the great war after all. Well drawn background and coloring, expected nothing less.
Character : 10/10
This part might containing a spoiler however reading this will not spoiling your experience.
Author, or rather Tet, made Riku and Shuvi similar to Sora and Shiro, keep in mind that they are not same person ( same VA though ) and Tet mentioned that he alter the story a bit so that the REAL story remain untold. In reality, probably that actually Riku and Shuvi look nothing like Sora and Shiro, but since it is 6000 years ago, the story look more interesting if the character similar to someone that we already know, Sora and Shiro. If they created entirely new character, we might not get the similar experience. ( Can you imagine an NGNL without loli heroine? )
Sound : 8/10
The sound is good, but not great. The OST goes well with anime with good impression but there’s nothing catchy. If you fall in love with the anime, sound is not something that you’ll hype, still it is good.
Enjoyment : 10/10
Watched this twice at cinema, further explanation is not required.
Overall : 10/10
This one will require math. Total of my score before is 48 which when divided by 5, resulting in 9.6 and after rounding off it, 10.
No Game No Life (TV) is, to me, a flashier version of the detested Sword Art Online as both anime share many similar strengths and faults. These similarities include poor pacing, overpowered characters and an outstanding soundtrack. However, unlike Sword Art Online which, aside from the gradual deterioration of its concepts, has relatively consistent quality, No Game No Life throws many of its strengths out in No Game No Life: Zero, the prequel to the TV series.
One of the most noticeable changes is the shift from a vivid palette to a duller one which helped enforce the movies more serious and dismal tone. Unfortunately, despite the visual adjustments, the writers could not get this tone across as the utilized poorly placed jokes to lighten the mood. These jokes, though humorous, ruined almost all of the more serious, melancholic moments this movie had to offer, altering the atmosphere and creating a lighter tone. These tone setting (and ruining) jokes made the visual modifications futile as the only offered to deduct from No Game No Life: Zero’s quality.
The creators of No Game No Life: Zero, despite changing the palette, fail to improve the overall caliber of its animation, keeping its quality relatively the same as the TV shows. This lack of color, however, expresses the negative aspects of the movies animation as it flaunts the numerous errors that passed us by in the first season. These poorly animated scenes, though prevalent in the TV series as well, were less prominent as the series used vivid colors and unique backgrounds to divert our attention from their errors. However, without the palette No Game No Life is so well known for, this facade is easily seen through.
Battles in No Game No Life: Zero are the exception when it comes to the animation quality as it revives many of the shows vivid colors and combines them with fluid animation. Many of these astounding fight scenes were, unfortunately, ruined by the CGI that accompanied them. Though I don’t believe this CGI is necessarily bad when compared to many other anime, I do feel CGI itself has a long ways to go before it can consistently and excellently be implemented into anime without ruining its overall quality. This poor CGI animation was only made more evident because of its brighter pigmentation, creating a stark difference between it and the somber background of the show.
Aside from their shabby attire, the characters themselves are quite aesthetically pleasing, using many of No Game No Life’s original character designs as templates for No Game No Life: Zero, retaining at least some of the artistic choices the series is so well known for. The characters themselves, however, are riddled with a multitude of flaws.
One of the more noticeable flaws these characters exhibit is their lack of rational thought. Throughout the movie, almost every character, both main and side, make irrational choices that only serve to push the plot forward. Riku, for example, uses his anger at the world (and how unfair it is) and presumed thirst for vengeance as the driving forces behind his will to survive. However, despite knowing Schwi was the one who destroyed his town and forced his neighbors underground, he is willing to take her in and care for her. This hatred and fear for AI among the humans is also demonstrated when Riku forces Schwi to conceal her identity from the rest of his group for her own safety.
Similarly, Schwi, hoping to learn about the human “heart” leaves her swarm, cutting off all connection to them to be with Riku.Why an AI, which is known to only make rational decisions, left in the first place and why she was allowed to, however, is never explained. What is explained, upon Riku and Schwi’s first encounter, is that Schwi is under the misconception that to understand the human heart she needs to have sex. This misunderstanding prompts her to consistently request Riku’s body. Surprisingly, it is later revealed that Schwi is incapable of having sex, making her reasoning for leaving the safety of the swarm in a chaotic world pointless (and therefore irrational). Why Schwi left her swarm to understand the heart despite physically being unable to (because of her misconception) is also beyond me and the rationale behind it is never explained within the anime.
No Game No Life: Zero’s cast also lacks a backstory of any kind. What Schwi did in the swarm, how Riku survived the destruction of civilization despite being a human child and how he becomes the leader of his group of dwellers (among many others) are never addressed and are only there for plot convenience. Without Riku having survived we couldn’t have had this story, without seeing Schwi’s actions in her swarm we can grow to like her (as she presumably made some inhumane choices which is why Riku is wary of revealing her identity to his fellow humans) and without Riku being his clan’s leader, he could never have ordered his allies to die for his sake and therefore would never have fallen into as depressed a state as he did (if he had still managed to survive) therefore giving him little to no motivation.
Regardless as to whether you want to know the backstories of the characters or not, their futures are just as poorly written. Aside from the cute and entertaining interactions between Schwi and Riku, there isn’t much depth to their relationship. In the anime, you see the dynamic duo meet and their first interactions and then there’s a one year time slip that leads to an anti-climactic confession.
At this point you’re probably extremely confused and are asking yourself, “What time skip?” I myself didn’t actually notice it but, researching the anime on several different sources, I discovered there is a major one hidden within the anime as the movie itself spans roughly a year and a half. What exactly happened over this year, however, is left up to speculation.
This major time skip, however, affects the shows pacing dramatically as it rushes major events with little to no actual build up. Because this movie also tries to cover such an enormous amount of events in so little time, the buildup and excitement meant to be felt in a lot of these scenes is lost and the anime itself feels rushed as it jump from one major plot point to another.
To make up for the lack of emotion presented in and around (chronologically) these major scenes, No Game No Life: Zero implements multiple “shock factors” to move the audience. A prime example of this is with Ivan, a deceased human whom we see sacrifice himself (at Riku’s command) so that others might survive on an outing during the first 5 minutes of the movie. Apart from knowing his loyalty to Riku and his clan, the only thing we really know about Ivan is that he has a (presumably young) daughter. After this scene ends (where Riku and another young man escape the crashed Dwarven ship), the anime cuts to a makeshift classroom where a young girl proudly proclaims that she can write her own name and can’t wait to show her father. Aside from this and a name, nothing else is known about poor little Nonna.
The movie then transitions to Riku’s return where Nonna rushes out to greet her father. The father who didn’t come home. The movie then tries to play this off as Riku’s breaking point (ruining it with a bad joke mind you), making us feel pity for both him and Nonna; characters we know next to nothing about.
Emotionless scenes similar to that one are abundant in No Game No Life: Zero as they express where certain characters relationships are in the movie. However, because of the time skips, these relationships aren’t fully expanded upon or developed and we’re left with poorly written shock factors and our own assumptions to fill in the multitude of blanks.
To make up for its poorly written “emotional” scenes, No Game No Life: Zero implements a heart wrenchingly beautiful soundtrack. Though the songs themselves aren’t as catchy or memorable as the TV series, they’re much better at eliciting the desired emotions from the audience. Unfortunately, No Game No Life: Zero, despite boasting a beautiful soundtrack, misuses its OST which, more often than not, takes more from a scene than it gives to it. Music in most anime (including No Game No Life: Zero) is meant to add to the scene and the dialogue but, in No Game No Life: Zero, the music competes with the actual dialogue for the limelight. This competition takes a lot away from the scene and I found myself becoming much more emotional because of the unbearably loud music than the actual dialogue or story it was supposed to be aiding in the delivery of.
Overall, despite being satisfied with the concepts No Game No Life: Zero had, I found the experience ruined by a multitude of factors ranging from poor writing to poor volume control. These negative aspects took so much from the actual experience of the movie that I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it, especially as it became more evident that my burning questions wouldn’t be answered.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. No Game No Life: Zero
2. Quanzhi Gaoshou Zhi Dianfeng Rongyao
3. Overlord Movie 2: Shikkoku no Eiyuu
4. Overlord Movie 1: Fushisha no Ou
5. Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale
6. Yu☆Gi☆Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions
7. Pokemon Movie 23: Koko
8. Rockman.EXE Movie: Hikari to Yami no Program
9. Pokemon Movie 21: Minna no Monogatari
10. .hack//G.U. Trilogy
11. Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Movie: Chou Yuugou! Toki wo Koeta Kizuna
12. .hack//The Movie: Sekai no Mukou ni
13. Yu☆Gi☆Oh! (Movie)
14. Monster Strike The Movie: Hajimari no Basho e
15. Monster Strike the Movie: Lucifer – Zetsubou no Yoake
16. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya: Prisma☆Phantasm
17. Yu☆Gi☆Oh!: Hikari no Pyramid
18. Monster Strike the Movie: Sora no Kanata
19. Duel Masters Movie 3: Honoo no Kizuna XX
20. Duel Masters Movie 2: Lunatic God Saga
21. Duel Masters Movie 1: Yami no Shiro no Maryuuou
22. Usagi ga Kowai