They’re the best Anime that 2010 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st, Trigun: Badlands Rumble, Omae Umasou da na, and more!
5: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st
English: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st
Japanese: 魔法少女リリカルなのは The MOVIE 1st
MAL Score: 7.89
Nanoha Takamachi, an ordinary third-grader, loves her family and friends more than anything else. One day, after having a strange dream in which a ferret gets injured, she sees the very same ferret in real life and rescues it. That ferret turns out to be Yuuno Scrya, a mage from another world who is trying to capture the 21 scattered Jewel Seeds before they cause serious damage to the universe. Yuuno is not powerful enough to capture the Jewel seeds on his own, so he grants Nanoha the intelligent device “Raising Heart” and begins training her as a mage.
Unfortunately, the powerful Jewel Seeds attract those with ill intentions. Another mage, Fate Testarossa, is desperate to collect the seeds for some unknown and sinister purpose, though the solemn look in her eyes makes Nanoha think that there is more to Fate than meets the eye. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st is a retelling of the original series, which tells the story of two young mages and how their strong emotions shape their actions.
It’s unfortunate then, that the stereotypical mahou shoujo anime still reigns supreme.
The rather strangely titled Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st (simply calling it Nanoha: The Movie would have sufficed as there’s only one Nanoha in anime as far as I’m aware – feel free to correct me on this point though), is, as many anime fans may already know, about 9 year old Takamichi Nanoha, who answers a ferret’s cry for help, obtains an intelligent device named Raising Heart (or Raging Heart, I’m still not sure which is correct), and becomes a magical girl tasked with finding “Jewel Seeds”.
Cue the twinkly effects and soppy romance? Hell no! This is Nanoha, and she’d kick Sailor Moon’s arse from here to the next dimension.
As far as the story goes, the movie is nothing more than a condensed retelling of the first series. Now some have tried to claim that the movie is a parallel history rather than a straightforward rehash (I’m looking at you Tsuzuki Masaki), however the differences between the two are very small indeed. While the movie takes liberties in an effort to condense information, the content is still pretty much the same (the major points anyway), so it puzzles me how anyone could consider this an alternative take on the original series.
Which brings me to a major problem I had with the movie. The plot flows rather nicely throughout the film, and the story has been compacted to a pretty good degree, however sacrifices have been made in order to accomodate the shortening of a 13 episode series into just over 2 hours. The biggest problem with the movie is that it has lost much of the charm the original series had, something which affects the characters in a big way. Granted there’s more focus on the action, but one of the reasons why the whole Nanoha franchise works is because we see her grow from being a young, naive girl into the Ace of Aces, and much of that growth is missing from the movie.
Here’s what I mean. Part of what I liked about the original Nanoha series was seeing how she came to terms with her new role and how it affected her relationship with her family and friends. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t have the time to go into this kind of detail so much of this is missing, and the upshot of this is that many of Nanoha’s later actions, her fights with Fate and such, don’t really have the same level of justification that they did in the series. The movie is nothing more than action for the sake of action, and the whole “alternate history” concept is only really noticable in a few small scenes..
But it’s still enjoyable nonetheless 🙂
As for the effect of the shortened plot on the other characters, while the original series made some effort to round out certain individuals, the movie does nothing of the sort. Granted this is because of time constraints, however one can’t help but wonder how fans of the series will take this distinct lack of characterisation and development, although in fairness to the movie, the viewer does get a good idea of Fate’s motivations.
One thing that I did like is the fact that the cast from the original series and it’s sequels have reprised their roles here, and their familiarity with the characters is telling as the performances are very good throughout. The only real downside to the acting is that there aren’t too many opportunities for the seiyuu to display their talents because of the nature of the movie (i.e. it’s far more action oriented), which limits their performances to a degree. As for the sound, the effects are exceptional throughout, especially during the combat sequences, while the music is very good not only in the scope of tracks, but also in their choregraphy.
In terms of looks, the movie is very clearly a reflection of the first series, and the characters and settings will be very familiar to those who have watched the original. The only real differences between the movie and the series are that the animation is, on the whole, better in the new version, and the action sequences are much more exciting now than they were before. Granted there are some minor visual alterations between the two, however these are nothing more than cosmetic changes to facilitate the belief that this is an “alternate history”.
Now, did I enjoy the movie? Damn right I did. While I may not be a diehard fan of the franchise, Nanoha really did change my opinion of mahou shoujo, and while I may seem critical of the flaws in the film, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. The movie is very much an action based affair, and while this is an enjoyable romp in the realm of Nanoha, in all honesty I would much prefer to watch the original series. While the movie is a great way to while away a couple of hours, there is a distinct lack of character interaction that was part of the charm of the original series.
I doubt whether fans of the Nanoha franchise will find this a bad film as it enompasses a good deal of the plot from the original series. That said, while I enjoyed the movie a lot, there really is no competition as I much prefer the series. This isn’t a bad film, not at all. It simply lacks some of the things that I liked about the original, and the fact that this is being pushed as an “alternate history” doesn’t help matters.
In truth, while Nanoha: The Movie (see how much easier that is?), may be good, it’s not the re-envisioning I expected or hoped for. The film could have been so much more if writer Tsuzuki Masaki, and director Kusakawa Keizou, had decided to follow one route only – either a complete alternate history, or a condensed retelling of the original series.
That said, this is a good action movie that suitably pays homage to the original, and while it can’t really compare to the series in terms of depth, it will serve as a great introduction for new viewers who, like me, simply haven’t realised just how good a mahou shoujo anime can be if done right.
First off, as any Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha fan can tell by the title alone, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st is basically a recap of the first season. Things like reused elements to keep the whole feel of the series coherent, summarized version of the story to stay on track with the original, and on occasions seemingly reused portions from the original series… all of these are to be expected I guess. I’m pretty sure the creator(s) were aware of this, so in order to make such a recap interesting, they would have to make slight alternations and focuses to the storyline, put emphasis on the highlights or important parts from the original, subtract what is not extremely beneficial to give the intended feel or express the intended message, and add some stuff unavailable in the original series. Of course, I think keeping on track with the original is very important, yet it’s easy to make it feel repetitive. So, the challenge for the creator(s) was how to make the movie feel different while still remaining loyal to the original. That said, I think the creator(s) did a pretty good job with most of it.
STORY – 9/10
A smooth flow from beginning to end, even though it was a combination of seemingly reused scenes accompanied with new stuff. The basic structure of the beginning and ending is pretty much the same as the original series, with Nanoha encountering Yuuno and becoming a Mahou Shoujo in the process, eventually leading to the emotional and inspiring scene at the end with Fate. However, the middle portion of the story was altered somewhat. In the original series, you get to see more of Nanoha and her life, while in the movie you get more emphasis on explaining Fate and Precia’s situation which leads to a deeper understanding of the overall story if you have watched the original series before. I felt that the different perspective was definitely a nice touch, because in the original series it was easy to “get the logic” but not necessarily the “understanding”, whereas in the movie it was easier to “understand” because you just get to know a lot more about Precia and Fate’s past, with a few touch-ups like how Fate became the skilled Mahou Shoujo that she is and how Precia became the woman that she is because of loving her daughter so much.
Along with more of Fate’s side of the story, there were also a lot more (or in a sense, an abundance of) showdowns between Nanoha and Fate. This was one thing that I didn’t mind but was also questioning. With intense battles, I think it’s also a good thing to have some “quiet times”, such that the audience can refresh instead of possibly starting to falter from being overloaded by the intensiveness thus possibly degrading the quality of a few of the battles. Thus I wondered if any of the battles can be taken out, and my conclusion was that ever single battle felt necessary. Through each battle, Nanoha gets her message to Fate little by little. You can’t just have Nanoha finally realizing Fate’s situation in a mere 2~3 battles. I think the amount of battles put into the movie was probably the ideal solution, but I suppose the fact that everything felt a little too compacted is inevitable in a movie that tries to compress a 13 episode series into a mere 2 hours, especially if more new scenes are added to it. The creator(s) did a very good job in my opinion, but the challenge was probably just too difficult to overcome completely.
ART – 10/10
I don’t think there was anything to complain about the art. My view of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series is that it’s a cute series in general, and I think the character design, background, color choice, etc… all reflected that very well. It remained pretty much the same as the original series anyways. The magic battles were also magnificent, being very flashy and elegant, as well as powerful both visually and in the impressionistic sense; The shaking of the screen, details of the spinning magic circles, detailed animation of the weapon assembling and form changes, they were all well done, perhaps a slight level up compared to the original series. If you pay enough attention, you will also notice that both Raging Heart and Bardiche was slightly redesigned to make them both look a little more epic but still look very much like Raging Heart and Bardiche. There were redesigns with Nanoha’s and Fate’s battle costumes as well, though it might not be so obvious to notice for Fate if you’ve never studied her costume design (not like the difference of Nanoha’s costume is that easy to spot either). Again, nothing to complain about, and the extra touches didn’t feel out of place.
SOUND – 10/10
I never disliked any of the Theme Songs or OSTs used in any of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series, so there was nothing to complain about this either. I’m sure some people might want to hear at least a few new soundtracks (unfortunately I couldn’t tell if there were because there were some retarded anime fans that liked to yell or make idiotic comments while I was watching the movie), but I think more so than that, it’s important to make sure every piece fills the puzzle nicely. I would of course actually be glad to hear some new soundtracks as well, but in a sense I’m just plentifully happy with refreshing my memory of the series with the usual soundtracks. The only specific flaw for me was when Arf marched towards Precia with a rage. The sound effect made it appear as though Arf was wearing iron boots. o_0 But, it was so minor I just decided to overlook it.
CHARACTER – 9/10
There’s nothing new on Nanoha’s side, but as said before there’s a lot more emphasis, therefore character development, on Fate’s side of the story. In a sense I was happy about this, yet in a sense I was somewhat disappointed. Nanoha is obviously the main character, so logically speaking it would be best to give her the most depth in the story. However, like said before it’s probably a better idea to change the focus of the movie to make it not look just like a total recap of the original series. I suppose for people who have watched the original series before, the shift in emphasis would be beneficial. On the flip side, for people watching the movie for the first time, they might feel Nanoha a bit lacking in quality when compared to Fate, asides from Nanoha living up to her reputation of a “Magical Cannon Girl” as named by fans of the series. Nonetheless, I think character development on Fate’s side was well done. You get a few more flashbacks of her or Precia’s memories as new pieces of information to enhance the story. Characters were introduced as necessary, everyone felt like a necessarily component of the story, and every character was likable in their own way(s). At least, I found every character to be interesting. Even if they’re are just minor characters, you can still get a general sense of their personality and their importance to glue the story together.
OVERALL – 9/10
I was more focused on the creator(s) decisions or evident differences of the movie when compared to the original series since I didn’t expect much in terms of a different story, so that’s probably why I’m giving Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st such a high score. Basically, I enjoyed noticing and studying the differences, which in return I was amused by the amount of decision making put forth to making this movie. I guess another reason I gave a high score is because I’m a big fan of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series. I felt that the original series was already pretty good, and the creator brought forth something different (it’s different enough to me anyways) that was also enjoyable, so I didn’t hesitate to stick a positive impression in my mind. Despite being so short, I still think the movie still manages to capture the whole feel of the original series well. Another thing is that I loved was the scene near the end where Nanoha and Fate conversed before the farewell. Nanoha said what I consider as perhaps one of the greatest quotes of all time, and Fate’s reaction to it just makes me almost burst into tears while feeling so happy for her. That highlight was in the original series, and I was very happy that it was in the movie as well. Neither the movie nor the original series would’ve been as great without that scene.
Unfortunately, in the end I suppose I still suffer from knowing the general story beforehand. Even if has been over 2 years since I watched the first season of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, a few reminders from the movie allowed me to remember the general story very quickly. The upside of that was that I get to remember how much I liked the series to begin with. The downside of that was that if I wanted to enjoy the movie as I did, I couldn’t just sit there and watch it like it was something I’ve never watched before. I was too aware of many things from the original series that I had to kinda tweak my mindset a bit in order to absorb everything fully. Either way, I still think Nanoha fans would be able to enjoy the movie. For people new to the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha universe, the movie would probably be a great introduction to the series, except I’m somewhat under the impression that if you do watch the movie first, the first season might not appear as good. It’s your call though. I would recommend watching the original series first, then jump to the movie as if it’s a super long OVA that covers more details of the overall story. If you do watch the movie first though, you can still try the original series right after, or jump straight to the A’s season without a problem. And of course, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st also works as a single story on its own.
For the movie itself, I won’t be reviewing it as a comparison to the series but as a standalone, mostly because it is possible to watch this movie without having any other knowledge of Lyrical Nanoha.
The story in the movie is pretty blunt and right to the point; basically, our main herione Nanoha gets involved with a young boy from another planet named Yuuno, and his quest to collect the scattered Jewel Seeds that have fallen to Earth. At the same time, another young girl named Fate is also after these Jewel Seeds. The two girls’ conflicts, and own inner conflicts as well, are the major driving points of the story.
The movie isn’t something that’s very hard to follow or understand, however it does go a bit deeper then what you’d expect from a magical series. It’s a pretty well written story that mostly focuses on the relationship between Fate and Nanoha. The story flows pretty nicely since it’s mostly focused on the rivalry along with growing friendship between the two of them. Speaking of rivalry, you should know that there are quite a few fight scenes in this as well. The movie focuses a lot more on these scenes then one might expect, especially if you’re already familiar with the show where these didn’t occur as often. While the story could’ve focused a bit more on some other characters or even had the fights occur less frequently, you have to remember it’s condensing 13 episodes worth of material into a 2 hour long movie. The movie basically covers all the events and relations between characters that you need to know.
The story itself is, like I said, more in depth then you’d normally expect. While the movie doesn’t totally screw you over and ride along on the dark side like Madoka Magica, it does have it’s fair share of moments that may leave you in shock, and also in awe. Everything flows smoothly together and these more or less shocking moments flow with it as well. Events in the movie are paced a bit faster then I’d like, but again – it’s condensed material. Standing alone, the story is an easy to follow one that’s driven mostly by its characters and their own actions.
As for the characters themselves, the movie mainly focuses on the two rivaling girls – Nanoha and Fate. Nanoha is a motivated, friendly, and overall likeable character and a very good fit for a magical girl movie lead. Fate, on the other hand, is a cold and distant girl who fights with loneliness in her eyes and determination in her heart. The two girls do indeed clash because of their own motives for the Jewel Seeds, but throughout the movie we get to see the relationship between Nanoha and Fate grow as Nanoha continues to work harder to get along with Fate and eventually become her friend.
While the characters aren’t the most original, the way that they’re presented and used in this movie is done so well that you almost forget that Nanoha is the nice-girl archetype while Fate is the emotionless girl one. It can easily bring a smile to your face to watch as Nanoha does her best to reach out and help Fate, and it’s nearly heartbreaking to watch exactly what Fate has to go through and how hard she’s trying to do what she thinks is best, even if it means being alone. The movie doesn’t try too hard to flesh out the characters or anything like that either. The bonds and connections between the two girls is really just something you want to sit back and appreciate.
The only downfall with the characters is that no one else is really focused on or given much screentime other then Nanoha, Fate, and anyone else involved with the Jewel Seeds. Again though – condensed material. It’s much rather preferred that this movie focuses on the major conflicts and relations between the main characters then the side ones.
As for the animation, considering it was made in 2010 and it is a movie it’s only natural that you’d expect the most out of the animation, and that’s what you get. The battle scenes are extremely fluid and really engaging to watch, along with the transformation scenes. (despite the fact that these were pretty infrequent.) Something that people may have an issue with is the really big eyes that are used on, well pretty much everyone, but it’s something that can be easily overlooked when you consider the well-done (and improved) character designs and fight scenes that take place in this movie.
The soundtrack isn’t something that I can say is the most memorable. While it is indeed there, most of the tracks aren’t something that you’re going to remember or really want to look up later on after the movie’s over. Most of it consists of pretty average battle music and just some nice pieces to fit the mood. The seiyuu’s all do a great job and fit their roles very well, but again it’s nothing all too fabulous. One thing I will give you as a treat to the viewers though is, “Namae wo Yonde.” Look up that OST. I can honestly say that it is the most emotional track in the soundtrack. You’ll thank me later.
I have to admit, I really did enjoy watching this movie. It was nice to see the story more focused on the plot and two main characters as opposed to the series, which took a little while to really set the story forward. The only thing that brings down my enjoyment is the fact that I had already seen the series and knew what was going to happen, but thankfully this movie doesn’t use the copy and paste formula when it comes to animation and gives you pretty much the same storyline, but with newer scenes (for lack of the better word) and better artwork as well.
Overall, if you’re a fan of the Lyrical Nanoha series and you’ve yet to see this movie, I’d highly recommend you pick it up since I highly doubt there will be much to disappoint you. You can still watch this movie without seeing the series, but I wouldn’t really say that’s the best way to approach the Lyrical Nanoha franchise. If you do plan to watch this first and you enjoy it, at least go back and watch the original series as well. Both truly show how great a mahou shoujo can be when it’s done right. & I can undoubtedly say that Lyrical Nanoha did just about as much right as one could expect.
4: Trigun: Badlands Rumble
English: Trigun – Badlands Rumble
MAL Score: 7.96
Vash the Stampede is a contradiction. He has a notorious reputation as “The Humanoid Typhoon,” laying anything he comes across to waste on the desolate planet of Gunsmoke. However, Vash is in fact very non-confrontational and kind-hearted, living by a code of pacifism.
Twenty years ago, a high-profile bank heist went sour. The ringleader, Gasback Gallon Getaway, swore to get back at his backstabbing crew and the man who stopped him from killing them: Vash the Stampede. In the present day, the traitorous crew has been living the good life as successful entrepreneurs and politicians. Although two decades have passed, Gasback’s bitterness has not waned as he aims to take them down one by one, by any means necessary.
Just in time to foil Gasback’s plot, Vash has arrived in Macca City. Teaming up with the mysterious Amelia Ann McFly, along with the insurance agents Milly Thompson and Meryl Stryfe, Vash is ready to rumble.
While it was fun to see Vash and the gang again I was really disappointed by this. My major problem was the story-line. It was predictable.
1 – Vash rolls into town, destruction (best part)
2 – Introduce the sex appeal (she’s useless throughout the movie, but she can beat up a couple nameless thugs pretty good)
3 – Introduce the Bad Guy, he has a strange philosophy where destruction and robbery fuel his massive ego
4 – Re-introduce the old mains, who rally to save everyone
5 – Vash rolls in to save everyone at the last second, because only he can.
6 – Sun glances off Vash’s super cool glasses and he wakes away into the desert without water
My problem with this story line is that it has been done over a million and a half times. There are no surprises in the entire movie (except for the part where Vash got shot, but we all knew he hadn’t really died BECAUSE HE’S THE MAIN CHARACTER). I fail to see any creativity in this old re-used excuse to bring back fan-favourites.
Here is what I wanted:
1 – If you’re going to introduce sex-appeal, then let there be sex. Otherwise, give them a use. Give them a personality. Give them something to make me feel like they are a real person and have something to contribute to the story. (Amelie was, admittedly the daughter of the bad guy, but whatever. That’s not enough for me :/ )
2 – Everyone has flaws, except the characters I see in anime/movies/books. Fictional characters seem to have fallen into a cookie-cut staple where they are basic and boring. When was the last time you saw someone seriously fuck up, or kill the bad guy out of rage, or shoot a bullet that missed and ended up killing an innocent, or something I can’t foresee.
3 – It seems to me that anime’s choose to be realistic whenever it serves to aid the plot. Example, Vash never misses a shot, except when its the final bad guy of the movie. A weak example, but I feel if you’re going to introduce realism to an anime, you need to keep it consistent throughout the entire thing. You can’t use it as a plot device, because it cheats the entire story(side note: I hate plot devices, they are boring).
I wanted more from this. I LOVED the original Trigun series, (I especially loved looking for that blasted black cat who was always hiding somewhere in the background of every episode, one of my favorite flavor-pieces of any anime ever). But I found nothing new or interesting in this story. It was nice to see Vash again, but I would have preferred that his memory was preserved in memory rather than tarnished by something new, and dull.
The worst part was probably the story. It is very obvious, every little twist that is. And I don’t just mean that Vash isn’t dead. If that’s a spoiler for you, you’re just strangely not aware of the likelyhood of the main character of a large franchise dying before the movie is even close to over.
Following that, would be the original characters. Like in many films, they lack even the interest that you would feel for a character who was introduced for one episode or chapter of a manga.
Lastly was the music, which while fitting in some ways, was rarely used and not put to good use.
The pacing was also strange. Like many movie adapations, it forgoes most character interaction for extended scenes of nothing. Also, planet gunsmoke now has 3 moons, which I don’t personally recall. It also has a very populated galaxy, which again I don’t recall. There’s like 20 planets on the zoom out, all within a planets distance of each other!
Of course, Vash was made out to be an idiot, rather than just somewhat strange.
While the animation was really good, it just lacked most anything that made Trigun good. And I did watch it subbed, unlike some reviews for it that rated it rather high.
3: Omae Umasou da na
English: You Are Umasou
MAL Score: 8.03
By a twist of fate, a herbivorous dinosaur finds a lost egg and brings it back to her nest. When the egg hatches, however, a carnivorous dinosaur emerges. Unable to abandon the child, she names him “Heart” and raises him in exile alongside her own child. As Heart comes of age, he struggles to eat the same food as his family and runs away in disgrace when he learns that he cannot live properly without meat.
Years later, the now feared predator Heart encounters a situation similar to his past—he spots a dinosaur egg opposite his kind. As it emerges, Heart remarks that the newborn is delicious-looking. The newborn herbivore thinks that Heart is his father and takes delicious-looking, or “Umasou,” as his name. Unable to eat a newborn who loves him, Heart reluctantly decides to raise Umasou as his own. As he nurtures a forbidden child like his mother before him, Heart struggles to deal with an unforgiving world and the true natures of predator and prey.
Story: The story focuses on a T-rex(Big Jaw as it’s called in the movie) named Heart. At the beginning of the movie an egg drifts down the river, a plant eater(Completely blanking on the species) finds this egg and decides to take it as it’s own along with her own eggs. After a dinosaur attack all that remains of her eggs are just one of her own eggs, and the one with Heart in it. After the eggs hatch the herd tells the mother to abandon the egg due to it being a meat eater, the mother decides to split off from the herd and raise the two children in solitude. In order to control Heart’s meat eating nature the mother has him eat red berries as a substitute. This plan works decently but Heart still has his cravings for meat. While Heart and his brother Light(The other dinosaur that hatched) go out berry hunting, Heart decides to head off in his own direction. Heart then meets a herd of Big Jaws with their leader being a one eyes big jaw named appropriately “One Eyed Baku.” While the herd is taking in their game Heart flees at the sight of them eating the flesh of their catch, Baku then questions him on why he is here and what is he doing. After answering his questions and scurrying off, one of the herd breaks off to track Heart. When Heart returns to Light the herd member (Think his name was Doma. Names were far and between in this movie) attacks Light and questions Heart’s relationship to a plant eater. Doma laughs at the idea of the two being brothers and tempts Heart with the taste of meat and tells him that he is a Big Jaw.(Which Heart denies due to being raised as a plant eater) They scuffle with Heart ripping off Doma’s tail and Heart begins to question his taste of meat and what he really is. That’s part one. I’ll focus on part two briefly so you get a glimpse of why the hell this movie is named what it is.
A stronger grown up heart (This is probably the only movie where you will see a T-rex doing push-ups with one hand), after breaking off from the herd has taken his taste of meat with pride. Hunting other dinosaurs and eating his flesh, he soon sees a tiny egg on the ground. Heart approaches it to find a baby anklyosaurus(Hard Shell is the term they use) who believes Heart is his father. Heart in his meat phase calls the baby Umasou(Which means something on the lines of delicious) as to which the baby thinks his name is(Reminded me of Chii’s sweet home). Umasou now follows Heart believing that he is his father and wants to become strong like him. I’m gonna leave off there since I’m sure at this point if you’re reading you must have some interest in this movie. I hope that’s the case.
Art: The art is very colorful. Landscapes are painted to match the areas, my favorite being the vast deserts covered with sands with animal bones being scattered all across, with patches of grass randomly in it. Character designs are well, this is a kid’s movie after all. Basic and plain, but enough to warrant some attention.
Sound: Music choices fit the scenes accordingly. There are 3 vocal songs that are actually really catchy. The main one being when Heart and Umasou are training(For what dare you ask? Watch the damn movie!). It’s really addicting I swear.
Seiyuu’s are also very good. Was surprised to see Baku being played by Ikari Gendo’s seiyuu(He’s like, every villian now).
Character: Very good. You get attached to the Heart and the struggle he goes through. Being raised by the complete opposite and ending up raising the complete opposite with Umasou. The other characters like Umasou and Heart help keep the story in check. Was a little bit upset that Umasou did not really do much in the last part, he was just kind of there to say “Hey! Cute mascot here!”
Enjoyment: The movie is meant for kids, that’s a given. But it does appeal to all crowds. I grew up with these types of movies so seeing another one is fine with me, though for this one the fight scenes are actually pretty cool. The last one with ____ being the best one. I watched it on my own and enjoyed it, I’m also 20 by the way.
Overall: This movie is the same old telling just brought back with some cool stuff. Characters are fun, the songs are catchy, and in the end you really do feel for Heart and the choices he makes as a character. It’s a movie you can really watch with anyone, and I’d say if you got nothing better to do. Watch Umasou do a breakdance spin with his awkward body.
2: Detective Conan Movie 14: The Lost Ship in the Sky
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 天空の難破船
MAL Score: 8.13
One night, the Tokyo National Institute of Microorganisms is attacked by a mysterious organization calling themselves the “Red Siamese Cats.” The group causes the explosion of a high-security lab storing a virus—said to have a mortality rate of 80% with no known cure. This act of terror dominates the headlines, overshadowing the unveiling of the world’s biggest airship developed under Jirokichi Suzuki. Peculiarly, the unveiling has a note attached for Kaito “Kaitou Kid” Kuroba, challenging him to steal the jewel on display—the illustrious Lady Sky.
Conan Edogawa is permitted to board the airship along with Kogorou Mouri, Ran Mouri, Sonoko Suzuki, Professor Agasa, and the Detective Boys. However, their fun comes to a halt when an unknown caller contacts Jirokichi and declares that they have released a certain virus in the smoking room. Soon after, symptoms begin to appear among the passengers and chaos ensues. Seizing the opportunity, the Red Siamese Cats suddenly appear and hijack the airship!
To stop the assailants, Conan and Kaitou Kid, along with their allies, must work together to decipher the clues and discover the Red Siamese Cats’ real objective before time runs out.
The Lost Ship In The Sky is the 14th addition to the Detective Conan movie franchise. Jirokichi Suzuki, who has just made most luxurious blimp in the World, challenges everyone’s favourite phantom thief Kaitou KID to steal the big jewel “Lady of the Sky” which is being transported on the blimp. Conan and his friends are on board like usual. However, the blimp gets hijacked by a group of terrorists who threaten to release a deadly virus onto the blimp. Conan and KID may have to work together in order to overcome this dangerous situation before the virus endangers the entire population of Kyoto.
As stated, this movie is a huge departure from every single Detective Conan movie to date. Foregoing a plot driven by a murder mystery, the movie is mostly a thriller, relying on the graphics, sound effects and the constant danger surrounding the protagonists to keep the audience engaged. Gone are the constant guesses at who the culprit is – you’re too busy worrying about the fate of the cast rather than trying to figure out how the murder was conducted.
It may seem like a daunting idea that there isn’t a person murdered under mysterious circumstances and Conan doing the detective work in the world of Case Closed, but this movie is arguably the most gripping Conan movie seen in many years. Being the thriller that it is, it succeeded very well. Both the pacing and progression are very good. It managed to keep me on the edge of my seat for the course of the entire movie and prevented my mind from drifting off even once. This is a feat that a Conan movie hasn’t accomplished in many years.
As for the plot itself, it certainly lacks depth in comparison to most previous Conan movies. This goes all the way from the plan, motive and even the execution. This is to be expected from a thriller – a genre that keeps the audience’s heart beat fast instead of taxing the brain to work out what’s going on. For a TV series with more than 600 episodes full of the latter experience, this movie is a fresh break from traditional Conan ordeals which plenty of us see on a weekly basis.
The fact that this movie has Kaitou KID in it already makes it a must-watch for his army of fans. However, if you’re watching this movie for the composed, calculated phantom thief putting on an extravagant show for like he always does, prepare to be disappointed. There’s no such thing as a grand entrance, and epic theft and a perfect getaway in this movie. His role in this movie has been changed from the pivotal anti-hero to a support character who exist for slapstick humour.
This is the first time that Kaitou KID has been depicted in such a manner in the Detective Conan movie franchise, and is sure to frustrate and anger a lot of of his fans. However, as a true fan, I welcome the implementation of KID as such a character. Any reader of the original Magic Kaito series should know that behind the scenes, KID isn’t the impeccable criminal mastermind who is as confident and composed as he is in front of his audience. In reality, he really is just Kaito Kuroba, a high school student who has a sense of humour and loves to have fun.
Up to now, he has always been shown with his poker face in the Detective Conan series, as if he is another character. Finally, he is shown with his mask off in the Detective Conan franchise. Many people are likely shocked by this sudden transformation, as if “his character is being ruined”. You need to realize that the Kaitou KID in this movie, by no means, is out of character at all. In fact, this is his true face, which has been kept hidden from you who have exclusively seen Detective Conan. He’s still the lovable phantom thief whose amazing charisma will surely grip you again throughout the course of this movie.
The animation is again, beautifully accurate and fluid like all other Conan movies due to their remarkably high budget. The use of CG has been toned down since the Raven Chaser, and the implementation is much more natural. As for the soundtrack, well, it’s pretty much the only thing that’s remained practically unchanged since the first movie, which isn’t bad. It’s as jazzy as ever and sets the atmosphere perfectly.
As for all the other recurring characters, they are faultlessly presented in this movie like usual. Nothing to complain about here. Ran is the damsel in distress. Kogoro is there for comic relief. The Detective Boys become the critical keys to success and Conan saves the day in the end as usual. Even Dr. Agasa’s dry joke still makes an appearance.
The Lost Ship In The Sky certainly isn’t going to carter for everyone’s tastes, especially with the distinct shift of genre from mystery to thriller. Also, the comedy has been toned up drastically in comparison to any Conan movie to date. The shift between light-hearted and serious scenes are incredibly rapid. There’s a laugh in here every ten minutes or so throughout the whole movie, even in the tensest parts. Depending on you, it may make or break the entire experience. For me, it made the experience better, but I don’t represent the entire population.
This movie has been the most enjoyable Conan movie for me since the The Phantom of Baker Street which released eight years ago, which I enjoyed for completely different reasons. This is the first Conan movie I have ever enjoyed simply due to its exciting, mindless fun. While I don’t wish for all future movies to follow in the same steps, this type of execution was perfect for The Lost Ship In The Sky. If you’re a Conan fan, watching this movie is a no-brainer.
P.S. You MUST watch the scene after the credits. It’s a direct continuation that is the true ending of the movie.
Comes with pictures if you read this review on my blog. 😀 http://imperialx.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/conan-movie-14-review/
I’ve watched all Detective Conan movies and this one was particularly outstanding.
First things first. The director pulled another movie like “The Raven Chaser” off. There’s action, Conan getting hurt, guns, and there’s kid. This movie is dedicated to fans of the series rather than mystery fans.
The actual story was quite easy to guess. Halfway I already knew most details and the hints were overall way too easily exposed. But this isn’t about solving a crime. Not this time.
In my opinion, this movie depicts Kid and Conan working together. Outwitting others. A lot of smirking, cool postures and epic scenes.
In my opinion, this makes it rather enjoyable. Even at a dead serious situation, Kid and Conan are hilarious.
Highly recommendable if you’re a hard-core fan. Have been, it’s the anime/manga of my youth. I basically grew up with it.
Story (9/10): Conan and friends are invited on Sonoko’s Uncles blimp/airship to witness a battle between him and Conan’s other ‘antagonist’, Kaitou Kid. But things aren’t exactly alright, since there has been a bio-terrorist attack on a lab that housed a deadly bacteria that has sent Japan into a panicked state….and of course the terrorist cell has landed on the airship itself. It becomes a race against time for our detective as he has to stop the hijacking, contain the bacteria, and stop Kid from stealing the jewel once they reach Osaka.
What makes this different from other Conan movies is that this is more of a thriller style story than a murder mystery. While there is still the mystery aspect, specifically what the terrorist group is doing and what their main goal is, it just feels more action packed and exciting than other stories. It definitely benefits from having at least 4 sets of groups running through the story, with Conan and Kid on the airship, Osakan detective Hattori covering the ground, the other main cast in the cabins of the airship, and the police characters just assisting the two (they aren’t in the movie much, if at all). The story just feels like a thriller novel and works fairly well in-universe. I can only hope that we see more films that take this kind of risk and do something different.
The movie also benefits from also being a Kaitou Kid movie, since it adds a little more dimension to his relationship with Conan (even if it is somewhat non-canon thanks to being a movie). Though the only drawback is that the plot isn’t fully focused on Kid himself, leaving his fans still in wait of a movie that’ll be an epic clash between him and Conan. (It does lead to an amusing comment from Ran, implying that she remembers the events of movie 8, Magician of the Silver Sky.)
Art (8/10): No complaints here, in that the art for the movies just get better and better as they go along. The action scenes are well done and I have to do something unique and say that the shading for the day and night scenes are very well done. Especially in the case of the ending.
Sound (5/10): Here’s a weird complaint- was the sound director drunk when he was assigning which tracks to use with which scenes? Cause BOY is there some music mood whiplash in this movie. Normally I wouldn’t comment on it, but it’s pretty jarring to have silly sounding music playing through a HIJACKING scene. It’s like that all over the place and it’s insanely distracting. The normal Conan music is great, don’t get me wrong, but the incidental tracks are placed in the worst spots possible.
For example, near the end of the film is the big showdown with the Big Bad and Conan, and it switches to the rest of the cast with ‘hilarious’ music being played, then WHOOSH right back to serious mode. It’s pretty bad.
Character (7/10): The normal cast is here (sans the police characters, who are only really in like 3 scenes total), so nothing really interesting happens with them. But having Kaitou Kid and Hattori here are always a positive thing since they bounce off of Conan so well. Really, their interactions are the best thing about the movie. And of course, as is tradition, we get a bit of the romance angle coming in thanks to the always sneaky Kid doing his Shinichi impersonation on Ran, though it seems like she’s starting to catch on to his tricks.
The villains are pretty good, though as with most Conan movie antagonists, they kind of fall apart towards the end. That’s really all I can say without spoiling other reveals, though.
Enjoyment (9/10): Hot damn was this movie a lot of fun! Thanks to the thriller aspects, the plot was pretty unpredictable and just a ton of fun to watch unfold. It’s just different enough that I was fully entertained by everything, and come on! Who doesn’t love them some Kaitou Kid? 😀
Detective Conan: The Lost Ship in the Sky is another strong movie entry into the franchise, with a great story, well done art, and the inclusion of fan favorite Kaitou Kid. While my main complaint is that the music has problems, it’s overall a fun and interesting film for fans to see.
8/10 = great movie for fans and non fans alike, though knowledge of Kaitou Kid will help you get the most out of the film; don’t go in thinking this is a Kid vs. Conan movie, cause it isn’t; thriller aspects are the best draw here and is just a whole lot of fun
1: Gintama Movie 1: Shinyaku Benizakura-hen
English: Gintama: The Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 銀魂 新訳紅桜篇
MAL Score: 8.52
Gintoki and his Yorozuya friends (or rather, employees suffering under labor violations), Shinpachi and Kagura, continue to scrape by in the futuristic, alien-infested city of Edo. They take on whatever work they can find while trying not to get involved in anything too dangerous. But when Katsura, the leader of the Joui rebels and Gintoki’s long-time acquaintance, disappears after being brutally attacked by an unknown assassin, Shinpachi and Kagura begin an investigation into his whereabouts and the identity of the assailant. Meanwhile, Gintoki takes on a seemingly unrelated job: the blacksmith Tetsuya requests that Gin recover a strange and powerful sword called the Benizakura which was recently stolen.
As the two investigations gradually intersect, the Yorozuya crew find themselves in the midst of a major conspiracy that hinges on the sinister nature of the Benizakura sword. Gintoki resolves to take the fight directly to the enemy headquarters, and together with a few unexpected allies, sets out on one of his most perilous jobs yet.
The Benizakura story itself is kept unchanged. Katsura, leader of anti-government faction, has disappeared. Some believe he has fallen victim to a murderer, who targets samurai on the streets of Edo. Gintoki wants to look for his missing friend, but is given a job. He has to find a stolen sword, the Benizakura. While he is searching for it, Kagura and Shinpachi are looking for Katsura. They all face some dangerous enemies and eventually discover a conspiracy aiming to overthrow the government.
The differences with the TV episodes are not that great. They have re-used about 85% of the existing material. Most of the scenes, the fights and the dialogue are identical. In the movie, they have improved some small animation details, like sword reflections and effects. Some pieces of the background music and some camera angles have also been changed. There are also about 10 minutes of original footage in the movie, with some additional scenes (and some new jokes).
The overall enjoyment for Gintama fans would be 10/10… even though it is just the old episodes pasted together with some minor cosmetic changes. The Benizakura arc is awesome and watching it again never gets old. Those, who haven’t seen the series, can still watch the movie and enjoy it. The story is easy to follow and the action is good. Some may notice that the characters’ background and motivation need more explanation (which is covered in the TV episodes). Also some things (like Elizabeth) in the crazy Gintama world might seem confusing. Anyways, the movie is good, but “newcomers” would probably rate it around 8/10.
This movie’s plot comes from episodes 58-61 of the original series, just redone. The story is phenomenal (Gintoki keeps his former friend from destroying Edo).
The art is typical Gintama, as are the character’s audio.
What pushed me to love this was that the enjoyment was simply satisfying. From the usual Gintama, I would just get a laugh and that was it, but this is the whole freaking package. We finally see Gintoki get serious and it is awesome. His fighting rivals that of Kenshin Himura for all of you Rurouni Kenshin fans (I’m a hardcore one myself).
This movie is amazing. All I can really say is check it out.
Is it really necessary for me to explain and describe the plot and characters in this review even though you obviously seen the anime and if not why are you, the reader even going to attempt to watch the movie? You won’t understand it.
In all seriousness what was the point of this movie? I thought it was going to be something original, something that Gintama fans never seen before. But it turned out to be a remake of a popular arc. I hope I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong the Benizakura-hen arc is everything a Gintama fan would want it had action, comedy and adventure but was it really mandatory to remake the darn thing instead of creating something freah and exciting? It takes out the element of suspense and therefore it becomes bland and repetitive. My suggestion: watch the anime.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Gintama Movie 1: Shinyaku Benizakura-hen
2. Detective Conan Movie 14: The Lost Ship in the Sky
3. Omae Umasou da na
4. Trigun: Badlands Rumble
5. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st