They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Little Witch Academia: Mahoujikake no Parade, Little Witch Academia, Promare, and more!
3: Little Witch Academia: Mahoujikake no Parade
English: Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade
Japanese: リトルウィッチアカデミア 魔法仕掛けのパレード
MAL Score: 7.77
You can tell witch training is not going swimmingly for the young sorceresses Akko, Lotte, and Sucy—they face expulsion for screwing up one class too many, and their only way out is if they successfully organize their academy’s annual parade through a nearby town. But when they stumble upon the momentous discovery that the objective of the parade is to humiliate witches and commemorate their past subjugation, Akko decides it is time for a change: It is time to show the world how fantastic modern witches truly are! However, with the other girls struggling to keep up with Akko’s grandiose ambitions, and everything from mischievous boys to slumbering giants getting in their way, maybe pulling it off will require not only all the magical prowess the pupils of Luna Nova Magical Academy can muster, but also a miracle.
Like most sequels to beloved classics, expectations were quite high for Little Witch Academia 2. Considering that it was practically funded out-of-pocket by fans of the original short film via Kickstarter, anime fans really had every right to demand their money’s worth on this one. With the quality of the original and the hype that was created thereafter in mind, my inner cynicism led me to believe that LWA 2 was set up for failure. However, much to my delight, it can be said without hesitation that LWA 2 recaptures the magic of its predecessor and yet again contains more energy and charm in its little finger than the entirety of the modern anime comedy genre has in its whole body.
Synopsis: Akko and her friends are tasked with organizing the annual “witch parade” for their town. As you might have guessed, not everything goes according to their plan.
If ever there was a difficult characteristic to describe, it would be “charm”, and yet it is just that which makes LWA 2 such an entertaining and heartwarming film. It captures that innocent, child-like sense of imagination and wonder that never fails to pry your lips upwards into a smile, and does so with the utmost perfection. Despite being an adult male, this movie made me giggle like a little girl from beginning to end. It’s not just heartwarming; it’s hilarious. The comedy is spot on and it hits every note that it needs to hit. Something about this anime brings back that Disney-esque feeling of seeing your wildest dreams brought to life by the power of animation; like seeing Fantasia for the first time. In an industry that many feel lacks the soul that it once had, LWA 2 has soul in spades. It reminded me why I like anime to begin with.
Another masterful aspect of this film was the fact that its pacing was flawless. Every scene has a purpose, not a single one of them drags on for too long, and no scene is a boring one. The fast, energetic pace of LWA carries on into its sequel, and it fits the spirit of the show to a T. Despite being less than an hour long, this movie goes through a full, satisfying story arc, several character dynamics, and effectively expands upon its cast of colorful characters. There’s something beautiful about the simplicity of a well-executed children’s tale; the premise isn’t anything remarkably original, but it doesn’t have to be because the execution is all that matters. The characters don’t have remarkable amounts of depth, but they don’t need to; all that matters is that they have personality, they are entertaining, and they are likable. Disregarding a recap scene or two, which you could potentially argue were unnecessary, I wouldn’t change a thing about the story direction.
One of the most important aspects of an anime in this style is the animation. When you write a quirky, upbeat script, it is absolutely imperative that your animation is equally quirky and upbeat, otherwise the show is doomed to fail. Needless to say, Studio Trigger totally nailed it, just as they did in the original. Comedic timing is something so nuanced that it comes down to fractions of seconds, and while many lighthearted anime (even the good ones) can sometimes find themselves a bit off on their timing or not executing jokes as well as they could have, LWA 2 has no such issue. It is no exaggeration to say this movie makes the most of each and every scene. The visuals are like eye candy, everything is polished and crisp, the character designs continue to be brilliant, and every movement is about as fluent as you’ll ever see. Simply put, it’s animation done right.
To sum it all up, LWA 2 is a brilliantly executed anime movie that appeals to everyone. All ages, all genders, and all cultures won’t be able to resist cracking a smile at a movie that is simply so much fun. It’s a fast-paced, heartwarming adventure that will bring out your inner child, and I highly recommend that everyone take the time to watch it. If you ever need a pick-me-up, I can’t think of another anime that will cheer you up more than this one.
While I was worried in the opening portion of the film that we were substituting too much magic for drama, a satisfying and action-packed conclusion saw the series back at its strongest. There are areas where the original animation excelled better but there’s plenty here that also adds a lot in areas of world building and action. This latest addition to the LWA series remains a family-friendly, energetic experience that’s going to leave you beaming as the credits roll by.
Akko, Sucy and Lotte plus a trio of new characters find themselves thrust into control of the upcoming town festival. While Akko naturally wants to showcase the best of what witches have to offer, her ideas bring with it a few problems and create tension with her fellow students. That’s not all that’s at play, however. Before they know it the group are forced to band together and use everything at their disposal to overcome their biggest hurdle yet.
Having roughly 40 minutes to put together a cohesive, interesting narrative is a big challenge but Trigger managed to overcome this previously in half the time so they’ve had their practice. They also get the bonus this time of being able to cut down on a lot of exposition. They use this time well to expand the scope of the story. Because of that though there’s a little less intensity and magic. It works both ways.
The overall tone of the story is the biggest change up when compared to the previous offering, with a bit of character conflict thrown into the mix this time around. There was a real sense of adventure and exploration in the first film. Watching the characters make their way around the school grounds was exciting, the lessons were amusing and story in general was a lot more fluid. With some extra time up their sleeves Trigger opt to at least give us a lot of new characters and new settings. There’s some small thematic jumps, so it’s great to see the studio didn’t simply opt to do the exact same thing twice. Some elements of the story have certainly been copied over, but an expanded cast and setting help make it feel fresh.
Adding new locations to the world our story takes place in has its ups and downs. I felt that bringing the witches out of their school environment and into town took some of the ‘mystique’ and the ‘magic’ away from them. At the same time it’s nice to see the wider community around them and what the witches place in that universe is. When you look at it, there’s only so much Trigger could do by limiting everything to the school. While it’s wonderful to imagine all of their adventures happening in their own little bubble, it adds a new dynamic between the magical and human societies. Some may like that, others may not.
Some themes have channelled over from the first film, but the biggest change this time is the focus on friendship. In the original show it was more on having confidence in your own ability. This time Akko faces a lot more conflict and troubles with those around her, friends included. People may be a little bit put off by this slightly more serious approach but it thankfully has its purpose. Trigger use their extra minutes to create character complications that stretch over a long run of the film. The strength of friendship is an easy theme to stuff up and instead come across as cheesy. They mostly avoided that here. Everything revolving around this theme is nothing original but that hasn’t stopped it being executed fairly. Characters are shown to have retained important lessons, reflected on what they’ve been through and apply all that knowledge to find a solution – much like the first film. It’s a formula that works, even though it brings nothing new to the table. It’s easy to watch and it manages to be entertaining while doing so.
When the action kicks into another gear as the film nears its conclusion, the ride feels worthwhile. One particular moment is immensely satisfying, and you’ll know it when you see it. It’s a perfect blend of Trigger’s animation capabilities and ability to put on some memorable set pieces.
Characters + Art
Akko returns as our loveable, often inept, lead character. While Akko remains a primary source of comic relief for the show she’s a lot more proactive this time around. It’s refreshing to see that the original LWA tale has had an effect on her in that way. The original series gave her a huge shot of belief in her own capabilities as a witch and now this is a look at how she applies her new knowledge. I think some may be a bit turned off by this new, confident side of her. It’s certainly quite the leap from what we’ve seen previously. Her outgoing personality and habit of acting before thinking gets her into trouble once again. Nothing new changes there at least – and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Both Sucy and Lotte feel a little underutilised but, honestly, that’s not a big deal. That too serves a purpose of its own. When they are on screen not a second is wasted and their role to play in the story still feels meaningful. It can serve as reminder that even not being around can make the times you are more important. As for our new trio they’re not that memorable, more there just to help drive the story along than contribute anything of value. They get their odd scene of comic relief or chance to show-off but that’s about it. I think it’s also disappointing that Diana, someone who played a big role in the complication of the first film, gets cast to the back this time around. Strange that Trigger didn’t opt to make more use of a character with a more defined personality and presence than almost anyone else in the show. It’s a show that very much rides on one character, Akko, which means a lot of your enjoyment will come out of how much you can take to her character and how’s she’s changed from the first outing.
I’m personally a big fan of Trigger’s character designs. The exaggerated expressions and reactions are always worth a laugh. The studio keep things simple when it comes to effects and shading in the animation, putting most of the work into some nice backgrounds. As always in Trigger’s works there’s the odd lazy bit of animation scattered about. Some background characters look crudely drawn and it’s often very easy to pick out where the costs have been saved. Some frames look very hurriedly put together, but thankfully most pieces of action looks a treat. As a whole, however, the first LWA struck me as more visually impressive.
Even when given additional time thanks to the efforts of their backers, Trigger was going to find it hard to live up to a wonderful debut in this franchise. But they’ve come close. It’s a show dying for more exploration of its characters and an expansion of its magical elements. I like the friendship building side of things, don’t get me wrong, but there’s that sense of adventure and mystery lacking that was present in the original Little Witch Academia.
Score: 6/10 (Fair)
Little Witch Academia was a surprise upstart in the Young Animator’s Expo in 2012, and along with fellow member Death Billiards, these two productions started making waves. The fan outpouring was great, and demands fell on the then-brand new studio Trigger to make more! A kickstarter was raised, and incredibly, the $150,000 goal was smashed in 30 days with the help of nearly 8000 backers and a grand total of $625,318!! (This is all pre-Kill La Kill, guys and gals.)
Let’s get into some other nice numbers- the score on this anime.
Artwork and Animation: 10
The original was entirely hand drawn, and with an enormous budget, it turned out to be a spectacular showing of fluidity and vibrant, flashing magical colors. LWA 2 is no different; it’s absolutely stunning to watch flow across the screen. I would go so far as to say that this is on a Disney level of traditional animation both techincally and in fluidity. The magic and characters practically animate themselves right off the screen, crisply, sharply, and beautifully.
You Yoshinari doesn’t get enough recognition for his work at Trigger in my opinion. As a Key Animator and character designer for FLCL, Gurren Lagann, KLK, Dead Leaves, PSG, and others, this guy has a crazy credit list, and his work is always quality. As the director and creator for Little Witch Academia- his eye for animation really comes to life.
Sound and Voice Acting: 8
Same players, new game. Sounds great, and good performances by the VA.
Characters and Story: 9, 8
After getting in trouble in potions class by Professor Snape, the hyperactive Akko, the narcoleptic Sucy, and the brainy Lotte are forced to plan and create a parade float for the yearly festival in town. Traditionally, the parade
is about making fun of witches and reenacting middle ages witch hunts, but in a much less deadly way; but our trio team up to change the public’s opinion of witches by making it into a fun and exciting show and showcasing how cool and exciting witches can be!
Along the way, Akko gets cross ways with her friends, and ends up having to work with three new characters, the “problem children”. This little gang is constituted of Amanda O’Neill, the red headed, hot tempered girl, Constanze Braunschbank Albrechsberger, the silent German robotics engineer, and Jasminka Antonenko- the constantly grazing Russian girl.
The story is paced excellently, with not a magical drop of filler to be found. An hour of screentime practically flew by on a broom, from the opening with a very Harry Potter feel, to the magical dreams-come-true Disney ending.
It’s a very heartwarming and enchanting watch- honestly, I know I keep repeating myself, but it just feels very Disney.
Enjoyment and Overall: 9
The extra length, the new characters, and the sharp, beautiful animation really sell Little Witch Academia. It’s a fun romp through a gorgeous world.
Little Witch Academia 2 didn’t have to be astoundingly original and bold to be charming and fun. The humor hits the right marks, the visuals are awesome, and it is simply easy to enjoy. The original was a very cute work that was obviously inspired by children’s tales and movies from ages past, and this works well within that framework- another adventure, another day in the life of a little witch.
2: Little Witch Academia
MAL Score: 7.82
For young witches everywhere, the world-renowned witch Shiny Chariot reigns as the most revered and celebrated role model. But as the girls age, so do their opinions of her—now just the mention of Chariot would get a witch labeled a child. However, undeterred in her blind admiration for Chariot, ordinary girl Atsuko Kagari enrolls into Luna Nova Magical Academy, hoping to someday become just as mesmerizing as her idol.
However, the witch academy isn’t all the fun and games Atsuko thought it would be: boring lectures, strict teachers, and students who mock Chariot plague the campus. Coupled with her own ineptness in magic, she’s seen as little more than a rebel student. But when a chance finally presents itself to prove herself to her peers and teachers, she takes it, and now it’s up to her to stop a rampaging dragon before it flattens the entire academy.
Aside from Ryo, which I can’t seem to find anywhere (if you happen to know a site, a link would be very helpful), I’ve seen all of the Anime Mirai 2013 films. All 4 are about half-an-hour long, so they’re pretty concise with their story. Death Billiards is pretty good, but it feels a bit pretentious, shoving a little philosophical question down your throat but not really making you think that much. Arve Rezzle feels like the pilot to a full series, and as such offers very little closure, but it has some nice ideas, even if those are undermined slightly by some rather half-baked characterisation and poorly executed exposition.
I’m giving my little mini reviews to the other episodes simply to give my review of Little Witch Academia some context. As someone with a rather cold demeanour, and who typically enjoys a dark thriller or gore-heavy action series, it may come across as somewhat surprising when I say that LWA is my favourite of the three. It’s almost Disney-esque, with genuinely loveable and quirky characters, a strong and functional, if not particularly complex, story and a completely uplifting tone. The humour is solid and hits you enough to make even the most stoic individual smile a bit. The animation is brilliant, with the art differing just enough from the conventions of the Japanese style to make me completely fall in love with it. Voice-acting is probably my primary gripe, but it’s not so bad that it distracts from the episode. It’s fun, and reminds me of why I need to be less tolerant of those angsty action-thrillers like Arve Rezzle that seem to make up the meat of today’s anime industry.
LWA is like Shrek. Far from being childish, this little gem is fun for everyone (though it doesn’t share Shrek’s gleeful love for sexual innuendo). Even if, like me, you’ve grown into an emotionally-jaded, highly critical badass, you may just find that Little Witch Academia has enough substance and upbeat tone to penetrate your doughy cynicism and really cheer you up.
I would genuinely rather they made a full series of this than Arve Rezzle.
Actually, Little Witch Academia caught me by surprise. I didn’t know Studio Trigger had something like that in stock and after I found out about this little gem I almost instantly decided to download it and oh boy was that a fine decision.
Reminder: This review will be spoiler free and I will refrain from going too deep into happenings and just summarize it really, really quickly. We have the main heroine Akko Kagari. As a child she was attending a magic show featuring the witch Shiny Chariot who has become an idol for Akko. Even though she is not born into a magic family she attends the name giving magic school and is friends with Sucy and Lotte.
Let’s split up this review into the five categories as usual:
There really isn’t much I can say about a one episode anime with 25 minutes without coming up with a summary or spoilers. So let’s just say that Little Witch Academia features a coherent plot. It features a look in the past of the main character and her motivations, parts of the everyday life at the academy and the interactions between multiple different characters. It’s just one episode but felt concluded and not rushed by any means.
Since it has been Studio Trigger working on this it has this certain touch you instantly get out of it if you have watched Kill la Kill before. In general the backgrounds are very nice to look at, the animation is fluid, lightning looks gorgeous and the character models are full of variety in looks and facial animations. There is nothing to complain about here.
As it is a single episode anime yet I would have never thought so much effort has been pumped into the soundtrack. It was outstanding and had a broad variety of different tunes to set the mood. I really loved that it consisted mostly of orchestral music. It just fitted so well.
Another part worth mentioning in the “Sound”-category is the voice acting. Trigger got really, really talented people on board for Little Witch Academia and it was a pure pleasure listening to them.
For a one-piece show they had a pretty adorable and varying cast reaching from the arrogant but talented witch with her two friends and the goofy main character as well as her sidekicks which would be a clumsy glasses girl and the superficially more introverted girl with the not-so-obvious but kickass abilities. All in all a very good cast of likeable characters.
I can’t remember when it was the last time 25 minutes felt that short. It was over in almost an instant and had no dull moments. It was funny, suspenseful and full of quality. Pure entertainment!
A very good anime. It is nice to see that projects like Little Witch Academia are such a success (600.000 clicks on YouTube according to Trigger). Also the second episode has been an insane hit on Kickstarter, fulfilling the 150.000$ mark in just one day. I can’t wait for more.
It was fun all along. You shouldn’t miss out on this enchanting tale! It’s worth your very time and appreciation.
*) Score is not an average
Instead of writing an essay about this i’m going to create a list of Positives and Negatives, I know when you’re just looking to see if an anime is worth watching you usually don’t want to read all that much.
– A short story which leaves room for expansion yet ties up the major loose ends and sticks to a three act structure incredibly well.
– The characters are all very different from each other, none are stereotypical archetypes and each are likeable in their own way.
– The soundtrack is not something I noticed too much, but it was enough to create the correct atmosphere for the scenario’s.
– The animation, I feel like this really needs to be stressed, by god the animation is amazing, everything is so smooth I think this might be the smoothest and most consistent animation i’ve ever seen.
– Hard to think of many.
– The soundtrack wasn’t extremely memorable, hardly much of a negative.
Like I said, it’s very difficult for me personally to find faults in Little Witch Academia, I would recommend this to almost anyone and am certainly looking forward to the future of this project.
MAL Score: 8.02
Thirty years ago, a new race of flame-wielding mutants suddenly appeared, destroying a large portion of humanity. These so-called “Burnish” have continued to appear at random, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake.
The autonomous republic of Promepolis is a thriving nation thanks to the incredible efforts of their leader, Kray Foresight, against the Burnish. A team of firefighters known as the Burning Rescue is tasked with stopping these horrifying monsters, using the most performant technology available thanks to their incredible mechanic Lucia Fex. Galo Thymos is an energetic young man, who considers Foresight his hero for saving his life and is the rescue team’s most recent recruit.
A terrorist group calling themselves Mad Burnish has been causing havoc all over the nation. After an encounter with Mad Burnish leader Lio Fotia, Galo sets out on his fated journey to find the truth about these mutants, ultimately leading him to question everything he previously held to be true.
Six thousand people sat and stood in wait for twelve hours for this movie. They got more than what they came for.
When the movie started I remembered just how good Kill La Kill was; not overall, but at the beginning. You know, the first five minutes where the entire setup and exposition of the show just blows the skin off of your face and you fly backwards down a giant obsessively beautiful mountain of detail all to fly forward on the ground into a close up of Ryuko’s face…
Ryuko: “So this is Honouji Academy…”
Audience: *gargling noises*
That was pretty good… Promare made me feel like that again about 20 seconds into the movie… then it kept going… wait what do you mean “keep going” you already have me hooked. I’m interested. I like the premise you just established you wanna move on from OKAY SO YOU’RE GONNA SHOW ME THE COOL THINGS HAPPENING OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT’S NICE WE’RE 50 SECONDS IN NOW YOU THINK IT’S TIME TO LET OFF THE GAS A BIT AND LET US TAKE THIS SHIT IN?!
Hiroyuki Imaishi: “… Nah bro check this out–”
– and so fourteen minutes later, the entire audience sat there, mouths agape, vocal chords sore, eyes dry; contemplating when, if ever in our brief existences, we had ever witnessed a work of visual media with a higher “awesome per second” ratio.
We had not.
My friends, the movie industry has lost its way. I think the anime industry has also lost its way.
I know that’s a bold statement to make.
I believe that this is the best that animation has ever been in every sense of the word “best.” The average animated television show is better than it ever has been, and the best shows of each year are almost always better than the best shows of the previous year. The size of the anime consuming market in the US and around the world is growing at an unclear but certainly substantial rate. Who the hell am I to claim that this artform is doing ANYTHING wrong?…
… I’m a dude that just saw a single 90 minute movie have more fun than every show and movie in the last three decades combined.
Fast forwarding to about six hours after the movie ended, I realized that this feeling was one I had felt before. When the videogame “Doom (2016)” came out, everyone kind of had a “come to Jesus” moment. We realized that we didn’t need a philosophically engorged cutscene to tell us why we were going to be shooting demons, we needed some demons to terrorize, enough ammunition to out-lead-poison the most illiterate US state, and a soundtrack to keep the blood seeping from our eyes from running dry. A videogame… that’s “fun” first… good idea… when exactly did we forget about it? I don’t know, but the fact that it was a big deal to remember it is proof that we did, right?
Well… here we are. Promare felt fun like nothing I’d seen in years, if ever, and that’s proof that we MUST have forgotten what it means to be “fun” first.
I didn’t like this thought. There’s no WAY that that can be right. OF COURSE anime movies are “fun” I thought to myself.
I mean just LOOK at all these anime movies I can think of that are fun from start to finish that were critically acclaimed.
Let’s go down the list:
– Your Name
– A Silent Voice
– Night is Long Baby Walk On Girl
– In This Corner Of The World
– Liz and the Blue Bird
– Anthem of the Heart
– Giovanni’s Island
– Boy and the Beast
SEE! SURELY ALL OF THESE MOVIES ARE “FUN” RIGHT!?…
… I… no they aren’t… At least not first?… Beautiful, serene, provocative, inventive, colorful, cathartic, sympathetic, heart-wrenching, ‘moving’; absolutely, but “fun”… I don’t know.
Fun is going down a waterslide.
Fun is throwing a water balloon at someone then circle strafing around a picnic table with adults at it so they can’t hit you with theirs.
Fun is that thing that we’re supposed to have had surgically removed at the age of 17 to be hopefully replaced with concerns about the economy and thoughts of financial independence.
I think I thought that Art, if it wanted to be taken seriously, couldn’t JUST “Put Fun First.”
I don’t think that anymore.
Promare is the most fun I’ve ever had in a movie theater. This movie pulls you through a seven-year-olds imagination at speeds that would pull the skin from your skull, but sometimes it stops, jarringly To methodically contrast something important to you and to the characters. The film goes fourteen minutes before hitting you with the concept of moral relativism. It hammers that gong HARD and meaningfully over the course of the film. It goes half a movie before ripping the proverbial carpet out from under the universe that it built for you. By the time the movie is over, it’s committed so many narrative faux pa’s that I’m surprised nobody in the theater laughed at any of them. Until something absolutely fucking glorious happens.
The movie exhibited a level of self awareness that I’d only ever seen rivaled by other anime also directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, AND THOSE HAD BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS THAT PREVENTED HIM FROM SEIZING THE MEANS OF KITCHEN SINK PRODUCTION, AND LIFTING AN ENTIRE KITCHEN SINK FACTORY TWENTY THOUSAND FEET INTO THE AIR AND DROPPING IT ON A THEATER FULL OF UNSUSPECTING FANS.
There is a “noun” that will not be spoiled here that is canonically named “Deus Ex Machina”… that leads us into the final God Damn act. Every man, woman, and (man)child that made this movie must have been having the times of their fucking lives. This is Studio Triggers first movie, y’all. I didn’t really realize what that meant until after the movie had ended and Imaishi rolled onto the stage from underneath a table.
Imaishi said “This is the first thing I’ve actually fully owned and directed since Gurren Lagann, and I don’t even know how many of you really remember that one.”
… The entire crowd cheers loud enough to not need a translator for him to get the point. About half that cheering came from me but this isn’t the point. The POINT is that this man has been waiting twenty some odd years to have complete, unhinged, unfettered creative freedom. He finally got it, and all we got out of it was the most spectacular looking movie I’ve ever seen.
It’s not just pretty. It’s optimally pretty. The aesthetic of this movie optimized the studios ability to pump as many frames and as many details into every single frame as possible. Studio Trigger has always had some of the best animators in the world do some of their best work on their products, but this is the first time I’ve seen an art direction be this considerate of what actually matters; GETTING RID OF DETAILS THAT CAN’T BE FUCKING “ANIMATED.” LOOKING AT YOU, COMIXWAVE!!! YOUR LANDSCAPES ARE BEAUTIFUL BUT THEY DO NOT DANCE A JIG FOR THE CAMERA!!
In the hands of ANYONE ELSE, this art style could have been viewed as “ugly” or “stilted” or “other negative adjective here” but these fuckers decided to go PEAK modern art on our asses and take animation back to geometry 101 and high school art and English classes.
One side of the conflict is made up of squares, the other by triangles. One side is blue, the other is pink. One side is cold, the other is hot. Every silouette is optimal. Every character design, robot design, vehicle design, and their corresponding color palates are unrivaled in their simplicity and their clarity, which I imagine only happened naturally as WHEN YOU NEED TO ANIMATE TEN MECHS SUMO WRESTLING WITH A FIRETRUCK, A HELICOPTER, AND A BATON WIELDING MAN MADE OF FIRE, THEY PROBABLY HAD TO ITERATE ON THINGS UNTIL LESS THAN HALF THEIR FOCUS GROUPS WERE FROTHING AT THE MOUTH FROM EPILEPTIC BRAIN ANEURISMS AFTER THE FIRST THREE AND A HALF MINUTES.
I’m writing this review the day after I saw the movie. I could barely sleep because I was still thinking about it.
You see, I had to miss this day at the convention anyway because I had to go home and check on my apartment because there WAS A FUCKING EARTHQUAKE YESTERDAY!!! OH YEAH, GET THIS. In the movie, and sure spoiler alert but you could have basically assumed this would happen from the rest of the review so not really. There’s a time in the movie where a giant robot punches the ground and causes the earth to shake. Fifteen mintues later, there was an actual fucking earthquake in los angeles. Hiromi Wakabayashi, Hiroyuki Imaishi, and Masahiko Otshuka are on stage talking about the development process at this point where the lights on the ceiling start swinging like pendulums and the entire audience goes silent; naturally a bit concerned about the 7.1 earthquake that just happened. After a few seconds, Imaishi giggles a bit and says something to Wakabayashi. Wakabayashi smiles and nods his head a little bit and then goes back to talking. If I was a betting man, I’d bet that Imaishi made a joke about how their movie caused a fucking earthquake… to me, it may as well have.
I give this movie an unreadable Babylonian symbol out of ten.
To compare this film to other films that have the vaguest concept of giving a shit about what academics have to say about it is an insult to the intent of the creators.
I will woefully depart from the opinions of the masses here. I will throw myself into a clown costume and proselytize until tranquilized. This is a hill I will die upon. I pray for a future where this is the most influential movie made in the last ten years.
Buy it. Watch it. Gift it. Listen to it.
Tell me what you think about it.
I love Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. I love Panty & Stocking. I enjoyed Kill La Kill. From what I saw: I liked Imashi’s works. At the very least they were enjoyable. They knew what they were and what they were doing.
Trigger as a whole I wasn’t liking.
I thought Kizunavier was a idea-centric story that eventually threw up it’s hands and said: “This idea was contrived and stupid.” But that was by Mari Okaba. She wrote IBO also. And I hated both shows. So it was her.
I thought Darling in the Franxx was terribly written. Character focused at the start, which is fine. But then turns story focused and brings in amnesia as a plot element and reveals a bunch of plot twists one after another before climaxing prematurely and leaving ejaculate everywhere to clean up.
I thought SSSS.Gridman was the same as Darling in the Franxx. More focused on the episodic character “fleshing out”. Until they introduced a shit ton of plot twists and suddenly tried to make a sociopathic character seem victimized in the last 2-5 episodes.
Both shows also had a lot of references to other, better shows.
But maybe those were just one offs. Maybe Imashi will carry the studio. Maybe it’s all Imashi. Maybe Promare is different.
It wasn’t. Same plot twist cascade. Referencing other shows obviously because that’s the only way they can piece together a film. Obvious pandering. The characters were ass. There’s one character that is just there for plot relevance and to be the main character’s squeeze. She does nothing. Most of the entire Fire Force squad does nothing. If the villain didn’t do one thing, everything that he was doing would be reasonable. And the only reason why the world was still saved afterwards was because of an asspull that was only known to be possible after they fought. It’s one of the worst anti-racism movies I’ve ever seen. Because it’s so contrived to the point where it legitimizes the reasons why the Burnish are discriminated against.
It’s a great spectacle though. If you only came to watch cool shit go down and cool fights to happen then this will be entertaining. I don’t like the composer’s works. The soundtrack is really carried by the singers and the two Superfly tracks. The soundtrack is mostly the singer’s nice voice with a repetitive drum beat in the background. It does fit the movie so I don’t think you’ll be bothered by it if you don’t care about the story.
I do. And this is only somewhat better than Gundam Narrative.
If you want better mecha stories I’d suggest re-watching Gurren Lagann, Gunbuster, Diebuster, GaoGaiGar, King Gainer, L-Gaim, Turn A Gundam, Iczer 3 and more.
If you wanted a better anti-racism film I’d suggest Remember the Titans. If you wanted anime I’d suggest Parasyte, Haibane Renmei, maybe Trigun.
This film is their first in the almost 8 years the studio has been running and a similar affair to Darling in the Franxx in that it is a collaborative work. How it isn’t similar, though, is that it isn’t shit and their collaborative studio, Sanzigen, are a CGI studio who work in the field of revolutionizing CGI use in anime. While some of collaborations mainly focus on background armies and mechanical parts, their standout title Bubuki Baranki from 2016 received praise across the internet for being the best looking use of CGI in anime to date and many claiming it to be the future of CGI anime. It’s clear with Promare they are wanting to take their highly praised CGI/cel shading anime aesthetic and combine it with the stylings of Imaishi and Nakashima to create the most traditional looking anime CGI project to date, and here I believe they succeed.
On the quality of the CG and integration, I personally found it fantastic. There were a small number of times the frame rate seemed only slightly off, but in the grand scheme I’m only making this criticism to be fair. For my personal enjoyment of the film it had very, very little impact. After seeing the film and following the discussion online, I want people to understand that enjoying or praising this film doesn’t mean the individual is a fan of or sympathizer of CG integration in anime, but can appreciate a well animated, piece using it. For example, even though they are stylized vehicles, I love the cuts in episode 6 of Panty and Stocking with Chuck and Fastener fighting in their cars. It’s easy to dismiss CGI outright without actually analyzing what works and doesn’t in a scene, and with Promare, I’d say it almost always works. Also, even thought there is a lot of CG integration, there is a ton of purely 2D cuts as well. The conclusion to the fight between Galo and Lio among many others is entirely 2D and there are some seriously awesome cuts that people are going to see in .webms for a long time to come.
Concerning the story itself, it is a Nakashima Kazuki story through and through hitting all the right Imaishi notes. It begins setting up a very familiar chaos vs order story line but quickly begins to focus mainly on discrimination and instead of breaking apart order with progress and chaos, the idea of unity and rebirth. It’s a very familiar story, but with just the right variation to the tale to make it feel fresh and relevant. It definitely moves very quickly, as it’s covering a story that could easily have been expanded and made into a longer series, but as is, it works. I was all in, but can also immediately see where a lot of the backlash for this film is going to stem concerning the themes and criticisms of society present. This film is apparently going to be getting a more global release, and I implore you if interested to catch this film on the big screen. The visual story telling at play was fantastic and the film had my blood pumping from beginning to end.
Touching briefly on the music, I enjoyed Sawano’s soundtrack but a few tracks were a bit repetitive. He has a recognizable sound.. And the soundtrack of was most remenisent of Kill la Kill, albeit a weaker Kill la Kill. All things considered however, Kill la Kill is one of my favourite soundtracks of all time, so this is barely a criticism. The music wasn’t a highlight of the film for me but still very enjoyable.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Little Witch Academia
3. Little Witch Academia: Mahoujikake no Parade