They’re the best Anime that 2002 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Kinnikuman II Sei: Muscle Ninjin Soudatsu sen! Choujin Daisensou, Armitage III: Dual-Matrix, One Piece Movie 3: Chinjuu-jima no Chopper Oukoku, and more!
5: Kinnikuman II Sei: Muscle Ninjin Soudatsu sen! Choujin Daisensou
Japanese: キン肉マンII世 マッスル人参争奪！ 超人大戦争
MAL Score: 6.66
In order to save a princess, Mantarou (Kid Muscle) and the gang must find a special ginseng. They are later joined by Kevin Mask.
4: Armitage III: Dual-Matrix
Japanese: アミテージ ザ サード DUAL-MATRIX
MAL Score: 6.85
A few years after they first met, Naomi Armitage and Ross Syllabus have started a family. Despite their normal lives, they must keep their identities a secret because many people believe that Robots do not deserve equal status with humans. Ross has an opportunity to abolish these ideas on Earth through a vote, but organizations in the shadows are working so that it doesn’t happen.
The story itself is a complete reversal of the original/Polymatrix. Now, Earth (or at least a part of it) wants the Third reproduction capabilities, when the original the Earth wanted all Thirds destroyed BECAUSE of those abilities. Add in the go-nowhere/excuse subplot of the Robot Rights bill simply to get Ross and Yoko on Earth, and you get a clunky, non-cohesive story. Not to mention Yoko’s eidetic memory.
The art, to be fair, is decent, but lacks the punch of the original as well. This version loses on the shading, favoring instead somewhat brighter colors. So decent, but not the best.
Going full cyber instead of cyberpunk, the music reflects the nature of the film; muted, letting the action and interaction speak for itself. The voices are well done, for the most part fitting the characters perfectly.
To be honest, the only reason this scores so high is because they didn’t completely lose the elements of Ross and Naomi from the first film; they managed to retain their fighting skills, even if there are some asspulls.
In the end, i didn’t enjoy this film; while okay or average, as a followup to the original it falls completely flat. This movie does not harmonize with the first at all, ignoring the tightly done story of the first and rewriting the world.
With a futuristic theme and a lot of sci-fi Armitage III Dual Matrix is a must for those who like science fiction and robots. You’ll get the classic Matrix style action, high tech battles and a very interesting environment.
Though a few details are left shrouded in mystery, a lot of character development does go on, making it a worth-while movie.
It does have the classic and often overused theme of a robot becoming very much like a human, but it’s not sappy about it in the least. While some search for the logic that explains an event proving that humanity, which is not the common "I have feelings too" claim but a different kind of event, others can’t help it but to be amazed by the mystery. To say anything else would spoil it, so just watch it for yourself and enjoy a great sci-fi movie.
The story in this movie focuses more on the heroine Naomi. It focuses on the 2 sides of her; One that she is a Third type fighting machine and the second is that she is a loving mother who will risk her life to save her child from any danger she faces. The relationship with Naomi and Yoki is very hearfelt and you can clearly see that she cares for her own daughter, even if Naomi is a robot. Ross is still good but he has little to do in this movie and he’s only useful in the last hours of the movie where he is protecting Yoki from a bunch of Thirds prototype robots that love to kill and for some reason, they can’t stop laughing. The villain in this movie was boring as shit here and he’s there to be an evil stereotype guy with no purpose whatsoever. Even the side-characters are as boring as ever in this movie and have barely to do in the story, minus that clown looking guy that helps Armitage (forgot the name).
The animation is improved in this movie for the better or worst. For the good about this animation is that it looks more slick and stylish than the first and the colors are greatly improved. For the bad part is that the animation company AIC had a low budget for this project and they used incredibly cheap CG animation that looks terrible and doesn’t even fit with the 2D art style but I can’t blame them. The English voice-acting is improved tremendously and Juliette Lewis performance as Naomi Armitage is badass, cool and most of all, heartwarming and she did a bang job at her role. Hank Wilspank’s performance as Ross is a greater improvement over Sutherland’s and while it isn’t perfect, at least he gives more energy to his role than what Sutherland did in the first movie.
While not as good as the original, Dual Matrix offers enough depth and charm that it hardly matters if the sequel is better or not. If you’re a fan of the OVAS or the movie, then I recommend this to you but don’t expect this to be the perfect sequel that makes the original look bad cause it’s not. It’s only a solid and fun movie.
3: One Piece Movie 3: Chinjuu-jima no Chopper Oukoku
English: One Piece: Chopper Kingdom of Strange Animal Island
Japanese: ワンピース 珍獣島のチョッパー王国
MAL Score: 6.93
The crew comes upon Crown Island where the animals can talk and they makes Chopper their new king. But there are human hunters there also looking for the legendary horns that will give the person who consumes it immense power. Luffy and friends must stop them from destroying this animal kingdom.
Watching this was just like watching the series except with a higher degree of animation and it is the quality of animation that makes the film shine. One Piece episodes around the time of 2002 looked okay but the movie quality allows for some really smooth character animation and richer colours for backgrounds which really adds to the overall experience. The characters in the film are just as good as they are in the series and in terms of sound and music they happen to be in good supply too. Overall I really liked the film just because it was One Piece in a higher quality animation; it’s definitely worth the watch if you can’t get enough of the One Piece adventures.
In this review I will talk about One Piece 3rd movie and first of all, I have to say that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE One Piece, but this film just pissed me off. This morning I decided to watch the first OP film and I enjoyed it a lot, so I binged two more. I just hope it doesnt keep getting worse, as I plan to watch them all.
So the movie starts the same way the other two did: The mujiwaras go after a treasure (what?) and they end up helping the good people defeating the bad guys. I have zero complainments about that, its a long running shonen movie so I didnt expect Toei to surprise me in that aspect. Then, why am I that triggered if I didnt expect anything from Toei? Well, lets talk about it.
The film’s MC is supposed to be Chopper, as he is isolated from the crew and he is proclaimed as the king of the animal island. Then, why does he end up in a second place? Does every OP story arc – or movie – need the monster trio to have a fight?
Toei missed a great opportunity to develop Chopper and they didnt take advantage of it. But if you think a little bit about it… Chopper DID receive a development in this movie but, does it make sense?
In Drum Island, we meet Tony Tony Chopper, a timid reindeer with self-esteem issues, that keep being a coward until Arabasta arc, when he gets developed after watching Ussop suffering. So, if this film takes place after Drum Island (remember that this arc is part of the Arabasta saga, but occurs before the Arabasta arc) why does he overcome his personal problems dealing with the villains? It just doesnt make sense in the OP timeline (well, only few things in this series does make sense).
I love Chopper, but if you are going to let him behind after putting his name in the fucking title and you wont respect the canon timeline, I dont want him to be the “protagonist”. Just fuck you Toei.
Early OP villains arent the best of the show, but the enemies of the movies are just pathetic. First movie had a nice story and it was related to some canon characters like Woonan and second one at least had some good characters as Borodo. But if you dont have a good story nor charismatic characters, the TRASH villains take more and more importance. Dude just give the guy the violin violin no mi so, at least, he doesnt rely on improvised power-ups.
As I already said, this movie does not have good characters. You have the mujiwaras, your typical OP child with a sad backstory, 2 weird animals that can talk and 3 sad villains. The rest are just animals that doesnt even talk. Trash out of 10 for the characters.
The first thing I noticed when I started this film was: why the fuck are the strawhats shining? are they using lotions now? The art style is so bad it made me cringe for the 10 first minutes of the movie. About the OST, I cant deny that OP soundtrack is amazing, but as a guy that has seen this show twice and that listens to it while studying I can say Im a little bit bored of some pieces.
In conclussion, this is the worst of the 3 first OP movies and I cant believe that something will be worse than this piece of shit. Hey, at least it was funny, they made strawhats interactions believable.
As always, I find myself losing time in MAL in exam time, I hope that some of you made it to the end. Peace!
This is by far the most unimpressive premise of all the movies since there is absolutely nothing grand scaled going on here. Ok, supposed the bad guy is going to be super powerful if he finds the horns but even after he succeeds he is nothing before Luffy’s plot armour. Just imagine that although Oda takes ideas from these movies into the canon story later on, there was anything worth to tribute here, since everything is so damn simple in terms of themes. There are many islands with jungles and weird monsters in canon anyway.
In reality the whole movie is dedicated to the latest addition to the crew, Chopper (and his voice actress). It even tries to build a sort of drama around his personality where he finds a place to call home. There are many animals like himself there and he had the chance to leave the crew and stay there for a happy life. Ok, it is clear that he won’t in the end but supposed the drama is there to make us feel sad or something.
As unimpressive as the premise may be, the artwork makes up for it somehow by being extremely detailed and weird. I mean, damn, there are so many colours and weird animals in here to give you a seizure. The screen is constantly filled with a hundred things to look at and there is even a weird orchestra of villains that mesmerize you with their song. It all feels very quirky for a shounen adventure and I guess that is what makes this movie eye-catchy but otherwise boring for most of the target audience. The action is after all closer to crazy than cool and personally I didn’t like them at all. And the monsters felt like ugly aliens so I almost ended up hated them. So in all, it is not just another passable movie but also something you will most likely dislike in overall.
Oh and don’t miss the special short that comes with the movie. “Soccer King of Dreams” may only be 5 minutes long but has some really good jokes in it.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 9/10
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 2/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Animation 2/2, Visual Effects 1/2
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 2/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 1/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Presence 2/2, Personality 0/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 0/2, Catharsis 1/2
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Art 1/1, Sound 0/2, Story 0/3, Characters 0/4
2: InuYasha Movie 2: Kagami no Naka no Mugenjo
English: InuYasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass
Japanese: 犬夜叉 鏡の中の夢幻城
MAL Score: 7.67
Inuyasha and company have finally destroyed Naraku. And each start to go in their separate ways. Sango going to find her younger brother Kohaku; Miroku back to his old home; Inuyasha, Kagome and Shippou go to gather the rest of the Shikon shards. Unfortunately this peace is not to last. Shortly afterwards the full moon rises, and just keeps rising each night bringing with it the promise of danger. Kagura and Kanna go in search of a mirror, where locked inside is the ruler of the eternal night, Kaguya. To set her free they must gather five items and drop them into the five lakes of Fuji. Setting her free means the worst danger for Inuyasha and the others. Who are forced to face this new threat.
An interesting thing about this movie as well is the use of poetry. In the process of releasing Kaguya. I found that superb. There were several moments in the movie where I would get chills even having seen it two other times. That’s how exciting and intense this movie was to me. Of all the movies, this is definitely the one worth the watch. I give a 9/10! It’s great!
On the other hand, this is definitely a good movie to watch when you approach “An Ancestor of Kagome” episode, since it gives more insight in Akitoki Hojo’s character.
The movie was good! I wouldn’t say it was thought-provoking, but more like an extra long episode. It was fun to watch since the anime doesn’t show funny stuff in midst of battles like the movies do, so it’s a bit different to watch. Would recommend everyone give it a chance.
The type of the movie you can watch with non-Inuyasha watchers! So family and friends 🙂
1: Sennen Joyuu
English: Millennium Actress
MAL Score: 8.26
At the turn of the millennium, Ginei Studio’s dilapidated buildings are set to be demolished. Ex-employee and filmmaker Genya Tachibana decides to honor this occasion with a commemorative documentary about the company’s star actress: Chiyoko Fujiwara, the reclusive sweetheart of Shouwa Era cinema. Having finally obtained permission to interview the retired starlet, an enamored Genya drags along cynical cameraman Kyouji Ida to meet her, ready to put his lifelong idol back in the spotlight once more.
Hidden in this secluded mountain retreat is a thousand years of history condensed into one lifetime, waiting to be narrated. Chiyoko’s recollections take them on an illusionary journey through Japanese cinematic history that transcends the boundaries of reality; the saga of her acting career intertwines with her filmography, the actors in her life blend seamlessly with the characters on screen, and the present melds with the past. Though the actress may have retired at the height of her career 30 years ago, the curtain on her life’s stage has yet to fall.
The story follows a pair of filmmakers who are interviewing a famous actress who has been retired for many years to celebrate the studio’s 70th anniversary. Millennium Actress features one of the most original story telling methods I have seen. We see the majority of the movie told through the actresses various movie roles. We shift from feudal Japan, World War 2, and a futuristic moon base, amongst others. You are never actually sure what is real and what is the movie all the time. I also found it interesting that the two filmmakers were always observers during the entire process. Their presence provided an interesting way of narrating the story and kept the viewer from getting confused by the constantly changing scenery.
Though many will perhaps not be able to relate to Chiyoko’s devotion to a man that she hardly knew anything about, I still never felt as though it was too farfetched. Whether or not she truly loved him the way one might feel for a lover is beside the point. Her love is what shaped the remainder of her life and allowed her to accomplish the things she had. I think this is summed up best by her last lines from the film when she comments that finding him was not that important, because it was the chase that she loved the most.
The two filmmakers Genya and Kyoji provide a nice anchor for the viewer. Of the two Genya is the most important and as the story unfolds we learn about his past and why he idolizes Chiyoko. As for the object of Chiyoko’s devotion we really learn little about him other than has ultimate fate. I think it was a good decision from a storytelling standpoint because his mysterious nature was what kept her looking for him.
The art was really exceptional. There were sometimes that some of the backgrounds looked like actual photographs and perhaps they were but they seamlessly fit in with the rest of the animation. The film as does a wonderful job at portraying many different settings. Everything feels so authentic from the prewar Japan costumes and architecture to the 50s styling and fashions.
Overall I really can’t recommend this movie enough. I don’t think its appeal is limited to just shoujo and romance fans. Give this movie an hour and a half, you will be glad you did!
Millennium Actress is a film that can easily be called great. It is outwardly audacious and seemingly gorgeous in nature.
Though frankly, Millennium Actress comes across as something that would be praised as long as the aesthetics are nice, the plot is convoluted and that it is directed by Satoshi Kon. As ridiculous as it might sound, this is a genuine statement after coming to a conclusion: the movie’s fans are often completely oblivious of any criticisms, and their belief that this movie is a magnum opus will not change due to the mentioned reasons. Of course, about the said belief, I beg to differ.
The story is quite average. If I should be honest, this is the kind of plot that I would consider dreary and uninspiring for how frequent it is recycled in Hollywood, so I see no point in magnifying it. It’s just not special, but it has a heart, and that’s what matters. I can clearly see where they were trying to go with, and so the intention is clear and rightfully consistent throughout. Unfortunately, this also means the movie is predictable and has virtually nothing to anticipate other than “does the actress meet her love?”, which is kind of a dull two-sides-of-a-coin. Nevertheless, it is still a movie that feels complete and satisfying regardless. Also, paying homage to Japanese cinema is no good excuse for an average story, though it’s nice and somewhat exciting to feel such radiated, genuine affection of Kon towards the pridefully rich cinema history.
The execution, however, is arguably poor. As thin and uninspiring as the story is, the execution barely does anything to embrace it (unlike in, say, Tokyo Godfathers). To be fair, all the director does for the movie is dragging this nonexistent storyline for an hour and a half. And so coming upon the second problem, the expendable convoluted nature of the narrative. For a story with barely any philosophical weight or plot development, the messy confusing narrative is just absolutely pretentious. “Oh but it’s gorgeous, and it merges reality with memories…” well, fair enough. But this naturally would beg a question, “Why confusing, necessarily?”. While acknowledging that by the end of the actress’ life, she can recall the events so vividly and can’t differentiate what’s real and what isn’t; yet forasmuch as this whole sequence solely focuses on that concept itself without even bother to have a wider, or deeper reach, it gives the audience no insights or depth other than the actress’ very simplistically discernible state of mind. This would have been so much more thematically powerful if it had included an actual psychological emphasis, and that the acting career emergence didn’t just take up the whole second half for nothing. When an idea so superficial being told so grandiosely, it will inevitably give the impression of being overly self-indulgent. To me, the complexity (or just convoluted, not complex) in this movie has not much depth or thematic ideas.
The characters are fine. They are fun and likable enough to lead the audience till the end, but none of them were even remotely profound or memorable. Some parts of the scripts are honestly so corny. I could forgive everything these hombres verbalize throughout the movie, but for the last line, I simply couldn’t. It’s just melodramatic and corny and foreseeable. Unforgivable.
The tone is clearly a craft of dexterity by a truly talented director. Kon knows exactly how and when to implement comedic relief, or to build up our expectations for an emotional impact. And so, thanks to the tone, the story seems to flow much more seamlessly. Still, this is insufficient as a saving grace for an overall poorly-written and executed movie.
Nonetheless, taking all that aside, we actually have quite a fantastic audiovisual piece of art. The animation is flawless and the art is not your typical degenerate garbage (not trying to sound disrespectful, but it really does look mature and visually intriguing). The music is really good and generally well used. I have no major complaint about the production value and perhaps am even more than enthusiastic to praise this truly astounding audiovisual spectacle. I can rest assured anyone who watches this movie would concur.
That said, this movie, albeit aesthetically merited, is subpar in almost every way. Satoshi Kon is definitely not a hack, however refutably overrated, for he has demonstrated his genuine competence in composing his own coups such as Perfect Blue or Tokyo Godfathers, and even glimpses of greatness here and there in Millennium Actress. Nevertheless, the self-indulgent and bafflingly confusing narrative has made Millennium Actress his weakest work that I’ve experienced so far. Mind you, this movie used to hold a 10 on my list for quite some time, so I do understand all the unhinged worshipping. Yet have I verily changed to thus give my sincere final verdict upon this movie: How corny.
STORY – Millennium Actress’s story is very simplistic and very sweet. I’m not usually a fan of unquestioning, devotional love, especially to such a crazed, obsessive extent, but the way this movie presents things makes it very easy to like. Just the extent of everything, the lengths to which Chiyoko had been willing to go; all of it was incredible. Even better still, was the idea that we in the audience could not know just how much of it was real and just how much of it was fantasy. The lines seem permanently blurred and any one scene might have just as easily been a memory or a dream, especially since all of the recollections are coming at an age where forgetfulness is common, making everything all the more tragic.
The use of movies to convey a fantasy was brilliant, especially considering the story’s form as a movie. The way people in the present are thrown into the past (or fantasy) was also a wonderfully creative way to tie the two times together, and there’s even a bit of tongue-in-cheek self-commentary on this way of handling things. Really, it’s Satoshi Kon’s phenomenal storytelling that transforms Millennium Actress’s exceedingly simple plotline into a masterpiece.
CHARACTERS – I have mixed feelings about the characters in this movie. I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of sudden, unquestioning love; thus, I definitely wasn’t a fan of the fact that Chiyoko essentially fell into eternal love with a man she’d met once, briefly, for several short hours. At the same time, the extent to which she took this infatuation seemed strangely realistic, despite how incredible it was. Indeed, people obsess over little things all the time, irrelevant people, incidental meetings; there are short moments that they will remember for the rest of their lives, so perhaps it isn’t so strange that Chiyoko should cling onto something like that. Besides, it wasn’t as if she had thrown her entire life away for the man, even if she did build up everything she had in order for him to see her. Aside from the obsession, I really enjoyed the way the elder Chiyoko was portrayed. It was very believable that she would become a recluse, and the way she told her story, the small revelations that came along with it — all of it was wonderfully interesting to watch and very touching in the end.
The other characters in the movie are all relatively minor and their characters subsequently less complex. Mostly, their personalities are sculpted so that they contribute directly to moving Chiyoko’s story along, whether by acting as antagonists or by wanting to discover more. In the end, I find them more to be tools to help Chiyoko along more than being characters of their own, but in a movie like this, I think that’s fine.
ARTSTYLE & ANIMATION – Millennium Actress has some absolutely gorgeous animation. The art style is rather typical of Satoshi Kon, and you’ll easily notice that many of his middle-aged and older male characters look startlingly similar across the movies and series he’s directed, but the same can be said with a number of other prominant artists and directors. What I loved about the animation itself was how smoothly scene transitions were handled, especially considering that we moved back and forth between present day and past recollection and between reality and movie fantasy constantly. The inclusion of the present day interviewers within flashbacks is one of my favorite touches and really helps weld everything together in the end. It was especially nice too, to see so many different kinds of scenes animated since they were just scenes within Chiyoko’s movies.
MUSIC – Maybe I was too wrapped up in the pretty animation and storytelling, but I didn’t note very astounding music, though nor did I note anything bad.
VOICE ACTING – I saw this movie subbed. The voices were pretty average for the most part, though I didn’t rather enjoy elder Chiyoko’s performance for some reason. Her emotion, especially near the end of the movie, was just very touching. :3
OVERALL – I really enjoyed this movie, though if I had just been given a synopsis, I probably wouldn’t have been very interested in the first place. Having Satoshi Kon’s name attached to it did help though, and I think this is one of the better examples of his works. The way the story was told just changed everything, including the fact that the plot itself was very simple.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Sennen Joyuu
2. InuYasha Movie 2: Kagami no Naka no Mugenjo
3. One Piece Movie 3: Chinjuu-jima no Chopper Oukoku
4. Armitage III: Dual-Matrix
5. Kinnikuman II Sei: Muscle Ninjin Soudatsu sen! Choujin Daisensou