They’re the best Anime that 2017 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch I – Koudou, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai, Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower, and more!
5: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch I – Koudou
English: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion I – Initiation
Japanese: コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュⅠ 興道
MAL Score: 7.90
The Holy Britannian Empire is a powerful nation that uses its military strength to expand its rule, and the small island nation of Japan is yet another victim. During a worldwide conflict in 2010 known as the Second Pacific War, the once-proud country was reduced to rubble and mockingly renamed to Area 11.
However, one student plans to free Japan from Britannia’s control through an extraordinary rebellion. His name is Lelouch Lamperouge, and he is fueled with hatred for the Empire, plotting to wipe its accursed name off the face of the planet. Lelouch’s malicious plans are unexpectedly accelerated upon meeting the mysterious woman C.C., who grants him a supernatural ability known as “Geass” that makes anyone Lelouch commands unable to defy his will.
Now armed with a devastating power, Lelouch assumes the persona of Zero, a revolutionary figure who carries the hopes and dreams of the oppressed around the world. He vows to restore the glorious nation of Japan and deliver divine retribution to Britannia.
Almost a decade after the saga of Lelouch came to an end, the magnificent bastards over at Studio Sunrise brought the old writing and directing team of Garou Taniguchi, Ichiro Okouchi, and others altogether for a project of retelling and resurrection. A retelling of the original 50 episode series was made as a film trilogy, with this being the first. Admittedly, some may pause at the word “retelling”, asking why not refer to it as recap. Simply put, it is far more, as they made alterations to the script for a new age and for the condensed format. The story of Code Geass has been passed down to a new generation, with the old masters learning from the year since the original’s conclusion, analyzing the original for what best to keep for a trilogy, and adding to it to strengthen the parts they kept and improve on characters in interesting ways with their new take on things. It’s a wonder the pacing is as decent as it is.
When it came to lifting visuals from the show, they did nothing to alter it, which sadly means no improvements on the CGI or any of the momentary dips on quality. However, the new scenes were wonderful, recapturing the look and feel of the show with a slightly sleeker look that hardly looks out of place. While the visuals of the show itself could have been polished up for the big screen in places, the plethora of new scenes makes up for it in a way due to how faithful and wonderful they look. The mech battles are as fun, well-planned and executed, and acrobatic as ever, and any new clothing featured looks as great as the rest.
Another area the film adds new love to is the music. Code Geass already has a wondrous OST, and this film nor only shuffled around tracks from the episodes being retold and added some fantastic tracks from R2, but the new tracks (whose names cannot be discerned at the moment due to lack of release) not only fit in perfectly but work as wonderful as the rest. They even added new songs from Hitomi Kuroishi, who sang the more melodic songs of the original such as “Continued Story”, “Stories”, and “Precious Time”. They kept the iconic opening to the TV series and added a new ED theme that surpasses both of the first season’s EDs, especially the first one. “Aka Dake ga Tarinai” by Iris, is a fantastic track that fits perfectly with the penultimate scene of Todoh’s rescue from episode 20 of the original, with wonderful vocals and lovely chorus sections that blend in magnificently with the tone of the scene proper. It was a wonder hearing the old tracks in new places and the new tracks getting along perfectly. Kotaro Nakagawa and Hitomi Kuroishi, thank you for such wonderful contributions to what is already one of the best OSTs in anime.
Admittedly, the film does carry a few vices from the television show. While not every tone shift in the series was done poorly and abruptly, they clearly only took the bad ones. I still have questions regarding the creation of Zero’s iconic uniform, among other questions. However, the new footage does a lot to expand on things, like give more time for the Black Knights to have fun and do relevant things not shown during battles and other moments in the original; the film even explains how they got their headquarters. From the end of the first scene, we even see relevant relatives of Lelouch as they see him and his sister off. These relatives would be the very same we know proper in the show, so it was a sweet touch to add to make the idea of them seeing Lelouch again all the more impactful. You can tell they analyzed this story to an extent to see what to add and what to alter. There is even a montage that shows some of the events the Black Knights did in the early parts of their campaign following the final major event they partook in during the film, showing most of what was skipped. As well, some scenes played out differently regarding Villetta and the Japan Liberation Front, in order to suit the runtime, and they work flawlessly.
While regrettably, the scenes of Arthur biting Suzaku and later getting acquainted with him were cut given a role that was played towards R2’s finale, it is nothing worth fretting overmuch. They even alter a scene of Lelouch and C.C in a way that has her come off as more tender and vulnerable, showcasing a stronger connection between the two at that point than the series did. Not to mention that a variety of the new scenes centered around those two, including a scene of Lelouch playing darts as C.C eats pizza. It’s very clear where the writers are taking this relationship in comparison to before. No other character was altered in any significant way with aside from adding more scenes with Lelouch playing darts and facing hardship over a major reveal about his rival; everyone remains just s good as you remember them. The only exception is a member named Naomi, who actually gets added relevance with her actually doing something like taking down an enemy onscreen and witnessing Zero’s conversation with the head of Kyoto along with more relevant members, Kallen and Ohgi. It may be odd to focus on such a minor character from the original, whose name the series didn’t actually tell us (promo material, merchandise, word of god, etc. told us instead) but the film adds a bit to her and they didn’t need to go out of their way to do so. Nice things aren’t always necessary to do, they’re just thoughtful and sweet and deserve to be acknowledged.
Effectively, this film succeeded splendidly as a retelling of the original 17 episodes (and episode 20, sans 8, 9, most of 12 and 13, and 14-16), while adding meaningful content to really justify the film’s existence, from new tracks to entire scenes that contribute to the characters in some way. The alterations worked wonders as well for this new interpretation of the material. It will be fascinating to see how the next two films of this new version of the story will handle things, and based on the results of this film, I am more than confident that they know what they are doing. As a fan of the original series, most notably the first season, I am more than satisfied with this new take on this legendary show, and at the end of the day, that was all they needed to do to solidify this film’s existence. Until next time, as always, I bid you adieu.
The stuff it leaves out/covers in less detail is generally very well done so the movie has a nice flow and still covers all the important developments. However they made one glaring mistake when it came to deciding what material to cut. This movie cuts out almost every interaction anyone has with the characters Shirley and Euphemia which is a massive problem. The relationships formed between Lelouch and Suzaku and them are incredibly important to the development of the plot and if someone were to only watch the movie version they would have almost no idea who they are or why they are so important and beloved. The sad thing is it would have been such an easy problem to fix by just extending the movie’s run time 5-10 minutes.
For reference I gave the original show a 10/10 because even though it isn’t perfect it was just so much fun to watch and I gave the movie an 8/10 because they left out the heart of the show by cutting out any emotional developments.
4: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai
English: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: Vow in the Snow
Japanese: 劇場版 Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ 雪下の誓い
MAL Score: 7.96
After succumbing to an unenviable fate, Kiritsugu Emiya has left Shirou Emiya the duty to save mankind in his place. The world is dying and time is ticking, but when the salvation Shirou seeks is at the cost of his only family left—his younger sister—will he still have the heart to pursue this duty?
Shirou is now pressed with the choice to continue being a hero of justice—or become the very evil his ideal has vowed to vanquish. The orphan is alone once again, yet his body is still made of swords. The Fifth Holy Grail War now begins with his oath under snow.
The content of the film itself is quite specific however which makes it quite difficult to recommend to anyone who hasn’t seen all 4 seasons of the Prisma anime. With that said, If you are a fan of the Fate/Stay Night/Zero series you may very well find this film quite enjoyable even without prior knowledge of the Prisma series. While the content of the film is a flashback arc of the third main series of Prisma, it effectively acts as a sort of spinoff Shirou storyline, taking place in an alternate dimension which pulls from the Fate/Stay Night series, especially Heavens Feel. This may sound very complicated, but again, this is a very specific story and is definitely only able to be penetrated by those who have seen Prisma and those with a working knowledge of the Fate series.
The main reason I am specifying this is possibly enjoyed by those with a working knowledge of the Fate series but not necessarily Prisma is that many are turned off by the loli fan-service that plays a large role in the Prisma series. The animation, art and story line are all very strong in this film and there is just about zero fan service. Therefore, it can definitely be enjoyed by a larger audience.
If you are a follower of the Prisma series, you may be disappointed by the lack of fan-service but if you’ve read the manga, you’ll know this is a very serious arc where Shirou takes up the role of protagonist. Along with that, Illya makes only the briefest of appearances and Kuro, not at all. For a series with such a heavy reliance on fan service and the girls , this could be seen a downside but the film really plays into its respectable and serious tone, I think to its benefit. I feel like They could have done a flash forward to the bathing scene that takes place immediately after this arc for a bit of fan-service but they instead take it full circle in a much more well done and respectable way. As a big fan of the fan-service this series offers, the restraint they show in this film is actually quite commendable.
The film itself very closely follows the source material with decent animation and art all around. The animation is likely the weakest part of the film. Coming off of the already more poorly animated 3rei TV series and with film expectations, it does let down in this department. I may have expected a bit too much since it is a film and they generally have much higher budgets, but Prisma fans are generally spoiled on the art and animation front.
One interesting addition is an extended montage of Shirou collecting the class cards after his fight with Shinji. My mouth was wide open this whole time due to the sheer unexpectedness of it, the great animation and many fun Easter eggs and references to other Fate series in the identities of the installers. It also came immediately after a great battle with Shinji and featured tons of great 2D animation, as opposed to the final battle with Angelica which relied on quite a bit of CG. It’s very interesting that the best animated section of the film is anime original but this is definitely the highlight.
All in all, definitely check this film out if you follow the Prisma series (I’m sure you’re already frothing at the mouth to view it) and even if you are just a Fate/Stay Night or Zero fan. I didn’t focus on the earlier, slice of life moments much here. The first half could be seen as quite slow but they really beautifully build up Shirou and Miyu’s relationship which causes the rest of the film to be that much more tragic. I went with my girlfriend who has no knowledge of the Fate series and even she really loved the nicer slice of life moments in the first half and was really endeared to the characters.
Oath Under the Snow is a prequel story that tells the origin of the character, Miyu and adds context to the overarching plot of the TV series, Fate/kaleid liner Prismy Illya 3rei!! It’s a prequel in the best sense of the term, taking a primary character—in this case, Miyu—and adding depth to them in a way that changes how you view them and their actions while never betraying the character that has already been established.
As Oath Under the Snow is a prequel story, viewers will already know how it ends. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any tension in the movie’s climax. Quite the contrary. However, having seen the Prisma Illya series—in particular 3rei!!—and having seen how the state of the world in the series contrasts with how Oath Under the Snow begins, we already know right away from the start that tragedy is waiting throughout the movie, and the movie plays it to the hilt.
Loved it anyway.
Having read the original story prior to watching (and loved it), I had high hopes for the story’s adaptation into movie format. For the most part, the movie had adapted nearly every aspect of the story save for the actual framing device of the story in the original source material and a few minor parts but those were not issues for me. As for the actual story, Oath Under Snow is the prequel to the events of the Prisma Illya series that tells the origins of Miyu (a main character in the aforementioned series) prior to her appearance in the actual series though the story’s focus is placed on her brother, Shirou Emiya. There are some changes to certain parts of the story from the source material (with some key moments switched to other parts of the film) but I found that those changes benefited the movie in establishing certain facts (with some possibly being able to help fresh newcomers gain a grasp of the story – I can’t say for certain on this point since as I’ve stated before, I am following the series). Overall, I give the story a 10 for how much I enjoyed this adaptation of a story I already loved.
Firstly, bear in mind that I am not the best judge for aesthetics so take what I say with a grain of salt: This is probably the film’s only real weak point. For the most part, the art was good and the animation of an acceptable quality. While nothing compared to Ufotable’s animation, I found the art of the film satisfying to watch.
EDIT: Upon retrospective, I would have to amend this part. The animation is not that great. The animation is not that great and definitely could be improved a lot. The direction of the main fights while good, are hampered by the film’s animation. With that in mind, I’m changing the actual Art score to 6. It’s fair, not great but not god awful either. I’ve seen god awful animation in other Fate anime and this film… is not that bad. Just not great for this arc.
I will have to split this part into two segments, voice and music. For voice, the voice actors pulled off amazing performances all around. Noriyaki Sugiyama especially pulls off an amazing performance as Shirou Emiya, hitting all the right notes and tones for the dialogue and monologues for his character. The only gripe I can come up with is that Kiritsugu (yes he is in this movie) comes across as lacking emotion at times but this is a negligible issue at best. As for music, it is fitting and great at setting up the tone & emotions for the scenes with a recurring Leitmotif that plays in appropriate moments in the story. The editing of the music was great as well. The best of the music in the film would have to be in the final battle of the film with every beat matching up with the scene to make for an amazing viewing experience. Even now, I still want to go back to watch the film again just to watch the climax again and see that amazing blend of visuals and music. Thus, I would give the sound a 10.
Part of why I enjoyed the story is due to Shirou Emiya’s arc in this story. I will not go into detail on Shirou here to avoid spoilers but let me just say that Shirou’s arc is well-portrayed and presented in the film with stellar voice acting as mentioned before. As for the rest, they do their parts well with the Ainsworth family being antagonists with heroic goals (though being cruel enough to make Shirou sympathetic despite the implications of his success). Sakura also appears in this film too with a great performance by Noriko Shitaya, hitting the right notes and tones for her character (I wound up liking Sakura quite a bit here which is a stark contrast with my indifference to her in the original series she is from). Overall, the characters are outstanding to me at least which is why I give a score of 10.
As someone following the manga and having read the original source material, this film was an outstanding experience for me from start to finish. As an adaptation, the film is great with key points and moments adapted well along with fitting voice acting and music throughout. I still recall sitting at the edge of my seat in sheer glee as scenes straight out of the manga are adapted into enjoyable spectacles (and as mentioned before, the film even adds on an original montage showcasing more of Shirou’s battles). In the end, I was left thoroughly satisfied and happy to have seen the film in cinemas. I’ll probably watch the film again in the near future. Overall, this gets a 10.
I enjoyed this film as a person following the original source material and its anime adaptation. Every element was done well enough to provide for a great experience that I want to relive through future re-watching. After the rather poor final episodes of 3rei during its original airing (though I hear the Blu-Ray versions are better), it is great to see Silver Link putting in such a good amount of effort to make such a satisfying final product.
EDIT: Now thinking about it, here’s another definitive issue. Pacing. The film goes by fast.
3: Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower
English: Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower
Japanese: 劇場版「Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Ⅰ.presage flower」
MAL Score: 8.22
The Holy Grail War: a violent battle between mages in which seven masters and their summoned servants fight for the Holy Grail, a magical artifact that can grant the victor any wish. Nearly 10 years ago, the final battle of the Fourth Holy Grail War wreaked havoc on Fuyuki City and took over 500 lives, leaving the city devastated.
Shirou Emiya, a survivor of this tragedy, aspires to become a hero of justice like his rescuer and adoptive father, Kiritsugu Emiya. Despite only being a student, Shirou is thrown into the Fifth Holy Grail War when he accidentally sees a battle between servants at school and summons his own servant, Saber.
When a mysterious shadow begins a murderous spree in Fuyuki City, Shirou aligns himself with Rin Toosaka, a fellow participant in the Holy Grail War, in order to stop the deaths of countless people. However, Shirou’s feelings for his close friend Sakura Matou lead him deeper into the dark secrets surrounding the war and the feuding families involved.
For those of you unfamiliar with the series, the basic setting is a small city in Fuyuki. 7 historical figures are summoned by 7 “masters” in a fight to the death. Once a single servant and master are left standing, they are rewarded with the Holy Grail – which grants any wish for both of them. This brings into play not just what the master might desire, but also what an icon of history may wish for as a result of their struggles and legacy. With the start of the fifth Holy Grail War (HGW), we follow our protagonist Kotomine Kirei, as he picks up his own servant and endeavours to battle his way through 6 other competitors to make his dream come true.
The main protagonist is depicted flawlessly. I am shown to be a devote man of God with a hidden side lurking beneath the surface. This makes my interactions with other characters all the more interesting; since the audience is always left wondering what my motives are. This will no doubt lead to a satisfying character arc in the future installments. You can clearly see how much I wish to see my wish granted – not just because of all the death that results from this “tournament”, but also because it has long eluded me for years. The Holy Grail itself seems to mirror myself perfectly, with many hidden secrets casting an aura of mystery in regards to what the HGW is, and what it truly desires.
Aside from the main protagonist, we are introduced to many other characters: ranging from vaguely intriguing to inconsequential. Blondie makes an appearance and is truly a divine presence in the film. Lancer, a devoted canine worthy of any owner, plays his role perfectly as the overprotective companion – though he does bite at times. Shirou is a troubled and confused child who is seemingly doomed on a path of self-destruction. Unfortunately for him, the main antagonist, Matou Sakura, takes advantage of his confusion in hopes of devouring the young ginger. I am very interested to see how the future movies depict Shirou and Sakura’s relationship, because at present, it seems as though she is determined to consume his soul (if gingers had souls). As you can no doubt tell, Sakura is a contemptible creature. Her vile and disgusting presence reflects the dark side of this HGW.
Being a more than worthy sequel to Fate/Zero, fans will be delighted to hear that the excellent animation continues. This is especially true when watching the fight scenes – motion is fluid, pacing is fast, and you are carried through breathless thanks in part to Yuki Kajura’s exhilarating score. Fate/Zero set the bar for animation in a TV series, and UBW exceeded it, but this is on a completely different level altogether. Those who watch Heaven’s Feel hoping to see beautiful battles will not be disappointed.
In short, see this movie. It is worth your time. Rejoice.
–SPOILERS BELOW: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN OR READ HEAVEN’S FEEL–
Here I will go more in depth into the main plot.
With the 5th Holy Grail War quickly approaching, both Gilgamesh and I were excited to begin our new journey to victory. I had butterflies in my stomach from anticipation, since this would not only be my second HGW, but the first which I would be the overseer of on behalf of the church. Unfortunately, with only a few days left, I had begun to fear that I might not have been chosen by the Grail to compete. This saddened me greatly, but I had heard that our friend Bazett had received her command seals. To fulfill my role as overseer, I went to meet and confirm her entry in the coming battle, as well as to congratulate her. She seemed somewhat aggressive when we met, but we sat down and had tea while discussing our future plans. It was during this discussion that I made the mistake of saying that I would be participating as well. Upon hearing these words, Bazett went into attack mode and lunged at me like a fierce animal. Clearly, she had decided that if I was to be involved, she would need to eliminate me before I became a threat. This cold and calculated attack scared me, and it was all I could do to defend myself while pleading that she show mercy since the war had not started. I tried to escape through the front door, but Bazett had grabbed by hand with a steely and determined grip that told me nothing short of my death could satisfy her. I instinctively pulled my hand back, but to my regret, I had forgotten how great my manly strength was. So determined was I to protect myself that I did not think to control the force which my bulging muscles were exerting. The result was that when I pulled my arm back, I had inadvertently torn Bazett’s arm off cleanly. In the next instant, she had fallen on the ground unconscious from loss of blood, and I was left standing there horrified. Fearing that she might die, I needed to contact the hospital to save this poor woman’s life. Since this was 2004, however, I did not have a cell phone to call, and using Bazett’s home phone without permission would have been rude. I therefore rushed outside and began frantically jogging to the nearest hospital. To my dismay though, I did not know where the hospital in Fuyuki was, so I decided to head home. It turned out that a dog named Lancer had followed me. Seeing this as a sign from God, I decided that I should use this opportunity to take Bazett’s command seals and join the Holy Grail War.
Gilgamesh and I were thrilled with Lancer’s skill, so we decided to send him out on errands one day since we were running low on milk. On his way home, he had apparently noticed that my young apprentice Rin was all alone at school after dark. Knowing this to be a dangerous time with the start of the Holy Grail War, he decided to escort her home with my approval. Unfortunately for Lancer, she recognized him as a servant and ruthlessly attacked him with her own. With his back against the corner, our boy fought valiantly against these aggressors, in the course of which a young ginger was spotted rubbernecking. Upon seeing this, Lancer got very excited since he loves meeting new people and always liked making friends. The young boy, unwisely, started running away, which only makes Lancer more excited to chase after. Finally catching up inside the school, a tragedy occurred. Through no one’s fault of their own, the young careless boy who was trespassing on private property had tripped over himself. Likely on drugs, he flew off-balance and landed on Lancer; impaling himself on the spear. Both Lancer and I were shocked, and I knew the boy needed an ambulance immediately. Regretfully though, I was sitting comfortably with Gilgamesh in the church lounge while this occurred, and the nearest phone to me was in the next room. While pondering whether to sacrifice the comfort of the warm sofa, I realized that the call would be long distance. I therefore instructed Lancer to race to the nearest hospital to fetch a doctor as fast as possible. To my surprise, the boy had disappeared upon Lancer’s return. Fearing that Rin had finished off the helpless child and disposed of the body, we searched frantically to find him. To our initial relief, we found the daywalker safe at home after likely escaping Rin’s lust for murder. Our relief was short lived, however, as the young man took up a weapon and attacked Lancer. With his life now in tremendous peril, my servant acted as any reasonable person could have in self-defence. Something truly unexpected happened next, when a servant came out of nowhere to join the child in his assault. This was obviously an ambush, and the ginger had merely feigned an injury to lower our defences. With a heavy heart upon realizing how uncivilized this war has made all of us, I reluctantly gave Lancer the go ahead to use his noble phantasm. This sufficiently injured the attacking servant enough for Lancer to make his escape, which I ordered him to do immediately.
Being the overseer, I would need to confirm the newest combatant into the war, which I was able to do that night when he came to the church for a visit. Oddly enough, he also brought Rin along despite her previous attack on him earlier. My decision to not tell them that I was a master as well was partially due to spite at how badly they treated my servant, and partially from suspicion. The redhead identified himself as Emiya Shirou. I instantly recognized the name as being that of my old rival; but since I was reasonably sure Kiritsugu had a soul, I concluded that this kid was likely adopted into the family rather than being a direct descendant. Seeing them off that night, I reflected on my past with Kiritsugu and the many good times we shared as I drifted off to sleep. My dreams of a mapo paradise were interrupted later that night when a sudden boom of thunder woke me up. I went outside to investigate how thunder could be happening on a cloudless night, and eventually tracked the source to an ongoing battle between two servants. The fight seemed to have just concluded, when I spotted a young loli walking off with a gigantic servant – he was so big, that I reasoned it could only be a Berserker class warrior. As many past roommates have learned, NO ONE disturbs my sleep without paying a price. I leapt forward brandishing my black keys to engage the monster in battle. Already suspecting the heroic spirit I was engaging in, the best tactic was to aim for the genitals and the eyes region. For many minutes we unleashed powerful attacks on each other, until I succeeded in slaying the beast, who fell over unconscious. Knowing the wounds would be fatal, I walked away in triumph. Of course, it was only later that I discovered that the Berserker servant had the power of resurrection. While I was deeply disappointed to learn this, it is safe to say that he will think twice before knocking up a racket at 2am near my church.
Slightly sleep deprived the following morning, I was amused to see that the young Emiya Shirou had taken the trouble of coming to visit me to gain information. I took the opportunity to divulge his adopted father’s role in the previous Holy Grail War. Needless to say, I explained in detail how pathetic Kiritsugu was, and how much better I am than he ever could be. He was, in short, a snivelling man-child, so I had absolutely no doubt that Emiya Shirou would do his Father’s legacy justice. The ginger left the church an enlightened and better person.
In the coming days, I began to catch whispers of a dark influence within Fuyuki City. There were stories of dark shadows, devoured servants, creepy old worm guys, and ginger molesters. It soon became clear that events were progressing just as I hoped they would, and the time might soon come that the greatest of all yuetsu will at long last arrive. It was during one of these quiet nights, laughing over how smart I am, that I sent out Lancer to pick up my laundry – and to keep an eye out for any mischief. Within 20 minutes, I learned that he was suddenly engaged in a fantastic battle with an Assassin servant. While this was no doubt a major obstacle, I was sure to maintain that my laundry take top priority, since the shop would be closing in the next quarter hour. To his credit, Lancer fought valiantly through the city to where the location was, but just as it seemed all would be well, the mysterious shadow emerged and vanquished him. With this, my formal involvement as a participant in the Holy Grail War had come to an end, and it was deep shock to me. Gilgamesh joined me the following day, and we both walked to the pet cemetery where a memorial for Lancer was held. We both wept bitterly – for the loss of our beloved friend, and for the clothes that I would now need to jog across town to get.
The fifth Holy Grail War has started with a bang, and yet I fear no one has felt the effects more deeply than I have. I cannot speak of what is to come, but we may all agree that I will be gravely tested. As I sit here with a glass of wine, I ask that you all toast my fallen servant, and to the hope that a beautiful dream may yet be reached by war’s end.
I’ll keep this brief, Fate Stay Night Heavens Feel – I Presage Flower can be an awesome ride, depending on how you go into it.
The Fate Series is infamous for being confusing and a challenge to even figure out where to begin watching, and while I can understand and even endorse newcomers to watch Unlimited Blade works by Ufotable (or even god forbid the two deen adaptations) I highly, highly, HIGHLY encourage people to make sure they have a sound knowledge of Fate before they go into this trilogy.
I watched the Australian premier of the film, and even there I witnessed many confused faces. This movie can be a mess if you don’t understand the majority of Fate, but if you do, the film is fantastic.
This is easily the darkest adaptation of Fate, and while a lot of what makes it dark is yet to come in the sequels, the beginning of the trilogy can paint an impression very quickly.
Quickly ill note, the characters are great, (much more expressive then usual), and a lot of characters that didn’t get much more screen time in UBW (such as Rider, Kirei, Shinji, and obviously Sakura) get a lot more development, at the expense of other characters such as fake Assasin and Caster and her Master (also don’t go into the movie expecting Gilgamesh…. he is basically not in the movie).
Similarly, I was surprised how much screen time Taiga got, which led to some funny comedic moments that didn’t pull me away from the mostly bleak atmosphere the rest of the film maintained, (and I mean bleak in a very positive way, the general atmosphere of the film is chilling and engrossing).
Unfortunately, like with all Fate routes, Shirou is still a fairly incompetent protagonist and as always makes numerous facepalm-inducing decisions. However by this point, I have come to accept who Shirou is, and if you are familiar with the Fate series, hopefully, you will have accepted who he is as well, (and to be fair, he is not nearly as incompetent as he was in past adaptions). Another small gripe I had was how much Rin was in the film, which was not a lot, but I won’t put that against the film considering how much development she got in UBW, I just personally like her much more than Sakura, who spends most of the film looking miserable until her glorious Senpai arrives.
The animation is fantastic, easily the best-looking anime related adaption I have ever seen in terms of presentation and polish (or though it can lack personality and style in some instances) and the fight scenes are amazing, except for a few instances in which I felt the battles moved a bit too quickly and had some jilted animation (such as the Berserker fight) the music is also fantastic, with the Aimer ED being especially great.
Overall I really enjoyed The first Heavens Feel adaption, and recommend it to people, but only if they have a decent understanding of the fate timeline, otherwise they will get very confused very quickly as the foundation of the plot is basically a montage in the opening.
I was going to give the movie an 8/10. however, the Kirei Kotomine scene pushed it to a 9/10 (if you have seen the film, you know exactly what scene I’m talking about… nom nom nom)
This will mostly be a character driven review, so I suggest you to leave if you don’t want spoilers.
I’m amazed and filled with melancholy.Those are some of the emotions the movie gave me. I’ll start off by saying that Heaven’s Feel is, without a doubt, the best Fate anime adaption thus far.
When I first heard that Heaven’s Feel was going to be a movie series, I was a kinda baffled, I had my doubts: how could three movies deliver without rushing the source material? All those doubts were destroyed when I finally saw the first movie: the movie format, presentation and content actually gave Heaven’s Feel a boost that couldn’t have been possible if it was a TV series. Before I go in depth to analyze various aspect, I must warn you that the movie is graphically violent compared to pretty much any other adaption of the franchise, precisely because they could get away with it given the the theatrical release. That, combined with the fact that the movie director teased sex scenes in the next movies, is the reason why I must advise you to avoid this movie series if you’re younger than 16. Without spoiling what’s coming, the route gets pretty heavy in both violence and sexual content.
First and foremost, this movie is a character drama rather than a war between supernatural beings. Yes, Heaven’s Feel is unique in that it is a slow burn rather than a bombastic experience. The Holy Grail War and most of the servants take a back seat in favor of the development of the human characters, in particular Shirou, Sakura, Rin and Kotomine. I must say that this was an extremely ballsy and risky move, with potential catastrophic results considering how many people are drawn to the franchise precisely because of the nature of the Holy Grail War, and how much of a popular character Saber is, who is pretty much a side character here. And yet, destroying all my doubts, the movie beautifully delivers what it wants to be. That’s the main aspect that sold me about it: the movie knows EXACTLY what it is and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. I like confidence, be it with people of products, and as a result I was truly happy that the movie never betrayed itself an stayed true to its premise.
The meat of the movie is the relationship between Sakura and Shirou. What really impressed me is how the director portrayed these two as beautiful, fragile souls that deserved to be happy with each other. Both Shirou and especially Sakura have suffered immensely in their past, and the movie goes all out in showing that, even with lacking the amazing powers and charisma of Gilgamesh or the intellect of Rin and Kirei, Shirou and Sakura have amazing inner strength that keeps them going. Through the movie, the director masterfully conveys the chemistry between these two, as you get the impression that they really understand each other to the point that they naturally get drawn to each other.From the comic relief scenes with Taiga and Issei teasing both of them about their relationship, to the more heartwarming and intimate moments, you can’t help but want those two to be happy.It’s the little, down the earth moments that make this relationship stand out, like Sakura”s decision to help Shirou with his daily chores since Kiritsugu’s death. It’s admirable how a person that suffered so much still goes all out to help those she cares about. The duality of their relationship, innocence and admirable will power, is pretty much the backbone of Heaven’s Feel as a whole, and, with spoiling what’s coming, it will pretty much explode in the most horrifying and beautiful way in the next movies.
Speaking of other characters what stood out this movie for me was Shinji. This Shinji was different from the Shinji in the rest of the franchise. Or rather, it was the same Shinji, but more human. Shinji in Heaven’s Feel is different from the cartoon villain he was in UBW. What was a laughable, mustache twirling pushover is replaced with a much more sinister, desperate and bitter being. Don’t get me wrong, Shinji is still an absolute despicable human being, but this movie presents him in a new desperate dimension, a much welcoming change from the one dimensional villain in other routes.
The other characters are pretty much the same as their other incarnation, with them being put in a much more otherworldly situation by the horrifying pseudo Servant known as The Shadow. The Shadow is more of a force of nature than a villain so far, despite being the primary antagonist other than Zouken and secret Servant. What I must remark about the Shadow scenes is how masterfully the direction captures the Lovecraftian and errant nature of this being. Historical heroes, known for their daring and glorious actions, are pretty much horrified every time this thing appears, with the lightning of the scene becoming more and more blueish/dark the more it advances. The message is clear: the Shadow doesn’t have a concept of dead, it’s pretty much impossible to destroy.
While the Shadow is more of a nightmare fuel inducing force of nature, the secret Servant is more of standard villain.The secret Servant is an average servant with a Noble Phantasm really good at killing people. Starting off as a brainless insect, he becomes more and more intelligent as the movie goes on, and by making the best use of his deadly Noble Phantasm while managing to turn the situation in his favor when The Shadow appears, he’s pretty much THE main badass aspect of the movie, a nocturnal killer as deadly as the Shadow itself. Still, as said before, this aspect still takes a backseat compared to the relationship between Shirou and Sakura, but it doesn’t stop this guy to have the best fight Ufotable ever animated thus far.It’s pretty much the main noteworthy fight of the movie and oh boy, Ufotable really delivers.
Despite those horror-like moments that will most likely be increased dramatically in the next movies, the more funny, slice of life scenes during the day are also a treat, especially the glorious Kotomine eating spicy food scene. He gets so hot that he starts unbuttoning his shirt, revealing his manly pecs. This little funny scene still has its meaning: it’s kind of a “breathing moment” between all the heavy, more serious staff. That’s what I really love about this movie: everything happens for a cause, everything has it’s meaning that beautifully blends together.
The art of the movie is simply stunning.To put it simply, you could pretty much stop the movie at any moment and use the images as the background of your computer. The vivid popping out colors and the amazing lightning are an absolute joy for the eyes to see. I was very impressed by how evocative the background were, an absolute masterful work and the best Ufotable ever did. The animation is also amazing and, especially during the longest fight scene in the movie, you could see how much it benefits from being a movie. The more graphic violence helps to highlight how dangerous those supernatural beings are, it gives off a sense of danger and “heaviness” that other part of the franchise didn’t have.
The OST, while standard Kajiura stuff, really helps setting the mood of the movie, from the frantic battles to the more somber moments. To put it simply, if you know who Kajiura is, you know exactly what to expect from the movie in terms of music. Nothing revolutionary, but pretty good at helping the atmosphere. The voice acting is, as usual, flawless. I especially like how intimate Sakura and Shirou sound when they’re together, but what stole the show for me was the hammy performance of the Secret Servant, who hilariously shares the voice actor of Gamagoori from Kill la Kill.
Overrall, the movie is pretty much a masterful character driven story where you can’t help but love what you see, how those characters feel, and most of all, YOU ROOT FOR THEM. This is incredibly important. You want to see Shirou and Sakura happy, because they deserve it. The heartwarming moments mixed with the thrilling sense of doom make it impossible to get bored during those two hours, precisely because the movie goes all out at making you care for these two. Heaven’s Feel is pretty much a personal experience: you can’t help but get passionated with out Shirou and Sakura fight against fate against all odds, help each other and fall more and more for each other. Their relationship is, simply put, genuine. A must watch for all lovers of character driven, slow burn stories about two people connecting with each other, and a fantastic opening for a trilogy which will most likely end up as one of the best anime movie series of all time.
2: Kuroshitsuji Movie: Book of the Atlantic
English: Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic
Japanese: 劇場版 黒執事 Book of the Atlantic
MAL Score: 8.25
The young Earl Ciel Phantomhive—the Queen’s Guard Dog—is once again called to investigate seemingly supernatural phenomena when news of miraculous resurrections begins to surface in Victorian London. Along with Sebastian Michaelis, his demon butler, they board the luxury cruise liner Campania to investigate rumors of the Aurora Society—a medical organization suspected of experimenting on the dead.
Grim reapers begin to appear on the ship, and it becomes apparent that the ship is about to be overrun with the undead as a devious plan is put into motion. Ciel and Sebastian must now uncover the secrets that lie behind the Aurora Society’s phoenix symbol, and with the help of some old acquaintances, return the undead to their coffins or share a watery grave.
Book of Atlantic executes itself wonderfully. It maintains the line between action and comedy well – the latter of which I should remark is above average, due to its fair balance of deadpan-like humor and gags. For a film whose manga premise is about a boy who is in a contract with a demon, this film also possesses very heartwarming scenes between a typically sullen boy and his ever-cheerful adorable fiancée.
The Funimation team translated the film very well! A couple of mistranslated lines from the online scanlation that were for foreshadowing purposes weren’t mistranslated, such as Frances’ gender-neutral comment about “that child protecting their beloved” or something to that nature. Lines weren’t translated awkwardly and suited well to the western audience, translating Japanese words to British slang/vocabulary, for instance.
The animation staff who worked on Book of Atlantic gave it their all on the fighting scenes. I especially praise the storyboard artist(s) who worked on Lizzie’s scene. I read Yana’s tweet about Lizzie “moving like a ballerina” and had my doubts prior to watching it, but she was indeed right. Her movements were meticulously animated and I adored the attention to the way the camera constantly panned to her shoes. I’m glad the writers and animators didn’t rush it. I should also remark they made her extra cute in the film.
The scenes with the grim reapers were energetic and fun. I have to say, I didn’t really understand the appeal of Grell or Ronald, but the script truly had them perform as charming individuals and as a funny team. In the past, Kuroshitsuji shoehorned Grell too often unnecessarily, thus giving off an image of her being incompetent and purely Sebastian-obsessed. Fortunately, the accuracy to the manga had Grell in the film, albeit indeed flirty and flamboyant, a skillful grim reaper. She definitely stole the scene in the film a couple of times and I’m fond of Grell now, as well I am of Ronald.
I was worried of Double Charles’ appearance being annoying and perhaps disrupting the Midford family’s performances, as they did not appear in the manga during this arc, but their scenes were also brief yet enjoyable. They appear at the dinner with the Midfords, during the bizzare doll’s onslaught (during the carriage scene), and again at the sea in the aftermath of passengers rushing to escape (in which a child was being quietly consoled by Charles Phipps). There was a funny original scene in which Sebastian and Charles Grey chat at the dinner-table, in which Sebastian remarks something along the lines of being “kicked multiple times to life”, referring to Grey’s actions in the Murders arc.
The CGI is indeed noticeable and off-putting sometimes. The film abuses CGI a number of times and sticks out like a sore-thumb in scenes that are supposed to be regular. This is especially noticeable in the beginning of the film, where we see the view of the Campania, which is clearly rendered in CGI and contrasts with everything else that is hand-drawn yet digitally colored. However, they did well in the dramatic scenes. For example, with the Undertaker where we caught a glimpse of the characters’ locations in their encounter. I should also note the film didn’t fare well in scenes where the camera panned back to reveal a character doing a particular pose, such as Undertaker pulling his hair back and whatnot, which I felt although it attempted to be detailed, was quite stiff. The great green aura that surrounded Undertaker, however, distracted me well enough.
Scenes were unfortunately cut, such as Tanaka’s role in Ciel’s flashback due to the voice actor’s passing and the hospital scene. We were unable to hear Madam Red speak in Lizzie’s flashback, but she did speak once during Ciel’s scene with the queen. The scene in the manga where Lizzie witnesses Ciel have a coughing fit was cut as well, unfortunately, because it’s a subtle detail that is for a particular chapter/oncoming event. The tailor Nina, which made her debut in the manga following the Circus arc, did not make an appearance at all in the film. I was happy to see Lau and hear him speak in the film albeit briefly, even if animation wasn’t put into him much. The intro scene with Sebastian startling the sheepish Ciel after he speaks with Elizabeth about a vacation break was cut and we only saw Sebastian confirming his research in his doctor’s clothes.
There was an extra, anime-original sweet scene with Elizabeth and Ciel after the ending credits (as well as the original manga’s William’s scolding to his co-workers), though, so I can tolerate those cuts. I should note that when you watch Ciel and Lizzie’s flashback when they’re facing the graves of the Phantomhive family, the anime staff quite emphasized a “hint” about a certain popular, established theory in the Japanese fandom and a growing one in the western fandom.
Overall, a really great movie and I’m glad to have watched it. The person in my company, although unfamiliar with Black Butler and having only seen a few clips, was able to enjoy the film as we did not require much prior knowledge of the manga’s content. I should also mention, as a final note, that the soundtrack is superb a couple of times during the film, albeit unmemorable for the rest (especially combat scenes). They re-used some of the previous soundtracks, such as Fantasia and Sweet Tears from “Book of Circus”, and Annoying Visitor and Thick Fog from “Book of Murder”. However, let me just say the orchestral track that plays when Ciel has a PTSD flashback watching Sebastian violently slaughter the Bizarre Dolls was my favorite, and I hope for the soundtrack to be released soon for it. Additionally, SID’s theme song for the film that plays in the credit is catchy and beautiful and I encourage staying for both the song and the extra scene after the credits.
Kuroshitsuji Book of the Atlantic was the first anime movie I had ever seen in theaters (I know that’s very sad lmao) and I was very pleased by it!
Right at the beginning I was a little upset that they had used CGI for the ship and people, it wasn’t horrible just very noticeable. The movie follows the manga very well and they didn’t change anything major that I recall. The voice acting was very amazing, the mood was fantastic and all the ladies, and few men, were fangirling like crazy. The only thing that bothered me at times were the animation. Most of the animation was amazing but a few parts could’ve been much better in my opinion;and the CGI was also used many other times which for me was a turn off. (Another thing that isn’t about the movie was that the people in the theater were VERY annoying, they screamed and made stupid remarks,so beware. Also the movie is a little dim in some parts and the subtitles are bright so it might hurt your eyes if your eyes are sensitive like mine)
If even my sister, who is a strict adult that doesn’t watch anime, can sit through and enjoy it, I’d say you could enjoy it too. Also beware of the hotness overload, bring tissues for them nosebleeds!
This wasn’t a movie, this was a filler episode that lasted for two hours of excruciating pain. The plot was literately titanic + zombies. There was horrific CGI and no effort into the sound track. Too many flash backs, too much effort incorporating all the previous characters, and there was extremely unrealistic character development for Elizabeth. Suddenly she can wield two swords now and climb on walls. She also had a stupid backstory explaining how difficult it was to not wear high heels since Ciel isn’t tall. Boo friggin hoo. For some reason Ciel has shown an exaggerated increase in his love and protection towards Elizabeth, which I call bs because he’s never done that before. Sebastian also became uh…useless? He couldn’t fight back against a grim reaper, which we all know he has done many times before!
The movie was horribly directed, with weird bits of comedy shoved in the most serious situations. Every two minutes when zombies go after Ciel, some kind of stupid joke is introduced, like the snakes talking or something.
Also, undertaker is revealed, to be a grim reaper? W-what? Why. For some reason he becomes an asshole that experiments on humans. So out of place and nonsensical. No follow up either. There was no direction in this, what was the point of going on a ship? For Ciel to carry out his duties as a loyal dog? To kill zombies? Why zombies? What? Honestly is this how the manga is later on? That’s terrible. Why is book of murder so good but book of Atlantic is so bad.
Don’t be fooled by the ridiculously high score on this movie because only a few hundred people watched this and of course 95% of those people just like Sebastian or Ciel.
3/10. Don’t watch it please.
1: Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
MAL Score: 8.81
After helping revive the legendary vampire Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade, Koyomi Araragi has become a vampire himself and her servant. Kiss-shot is certain she can turn him back into a human, but only once regaining her full power.
Araragi has hunted down the three vampire hunters that defeated Kiss-shot and retrieved her limbs to return her to full strength. However, now that Araragi has almost accomplished what he’s been fighting for this whole time, he has to consider if this is what he really wants. Once he revives this powerful immortal vampire, there is no telling what she might do, and there would be no way of stopping her.
But there is more to the story that Araragi doesn’t understand. If a newborn vampire like him could defeat the hunters, how did they overpower Kiss-shot? Can he trust her to turn him back to a human? And how is that even possible in the first place?
Araragi is at his limit but he must come to a decision, and it may not be possible to resolve this situation without doing something he’ll regret…
As perfect as they were, I almost regret giving the other two movies tens, for now I have no numerical way of showing that this one is far superior to even them. Spoilers for those movies, obviously.
Anyone who’s seen the main Monogatari series can tell you that the difference between pre-Kizu Araragi and post-Kizu Araragi is like night and day. The question, though, is this: what happened in Kizu to change him so dramatically? There were two catalysts: Hanekawa and Kissshot. In Nekketsu, we saw him learn the joy of true friendship when Hanekawa obstinately stuck by him where any sane human wouldn’t have. In Reiketsu, we see the effect Kissshot had on him. This relied on buildup from the previous two movies – through them, the viewer and Araragi had to come to like Kissshot. But this is a review for Reiketsu, so I’ll quickly move on to why that’s important here and now. You know how Kizu has been devoid of the signature Araragi narration that pervades the main series? It comes back after a certain scene in this movie. My belief is that it’s intended as a delineator between pre- and post-Kizu Araragi. “This scene is where the transition was complete.” I don’t want to go into further detail because I don’t want to force my interpretation on you, but the takeaway from this paragraph is this: Araragi’s character arc in Kizu is very cleverly done, making use of both female leads, who themselves have character arcs.
Readers of the book know that there’s a very long talk scene in this movie (after the one I was just alluding to), meaning that Shaft has to pull out all their Monogatari tricks to keep the viewer’s eyes open. And they do it well. The tone shifts at a moment’s notice, with the OST and the animation style as its indicators, keeping it from becoming monotonous. The comedic timing was brilliant, enhancing jokes to be even more funny. The symbolism is cheesy and heavy-handed – to comedic effect. It was clear that Shaft knew they were being ridiculous with the symbolism in this scene.
This has nothing to do with Shaft, but the juxtaposition of the two talk scenes (both of which I talked about, believe it or not) really is brilliant. It’s like a modified Hero’s Journey template that has two Audience with the Father sections. It raises the stakes for the Ultimate Boon section.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about that, shall we? The fight scene in this movie was a lot longer and more action-packed than I remember it being in the novel. Frankly, it was amazing. Several parts of it were somehow silly and badass at the same time. The best part, though, was that we knew our characters. They were both unique, well-developed, and interesting. Think about – REALLY think about the climactic showdowns you’ve seen and name one that fits all three of those criteria. Ain’t easy, is it?
But as any reader of the novel knows, the real climax of this story is the very, very end. Remember that legendary narration from the last few paragraphs of the novel? They kept it. Every last word. A huge number of factors make it so that the end of the fight scene isn’t also the end of the movie’s tension. Your socks will be blown off.
After writing so much about this movie, it made me realize why I consider it so much better than the first two, though they were perfect too: out of the three Kizu installments, this is the one that feels most like a standalone movie. Its tone shifts multiple times, its pacing is extremely varied, and it feels like it has a proper climax. What was Tekketsu’s climax? “Pleasure doin’ business with you.” It was hard to say that that movie was anything more than set-up (albeit very good set-up) for the next two. What was Nekketsu’s climax? “I’m not a human anymore.” The story was quite obviously nowhere near any satisfying endpoint, and we had two character arcs very openly unresolved. It was, again, hard to argue that it had merit as a standalone movie. These problems were borne of Aniplex’s decision to cut Kizu into three, which is why they didn’t affect my scores for the movies themselves, but it’s worth noting why Reiketsu is so much better than Tekketsu and Nekketsu.
Now that I’ve talked at you for five friggin’ hours, I’d like to end my review with this. Out of all the anime movies I’ve seen here in Japan so far (Kimi no Na wa, KnK, Nekketsu, Planetarian, Kagerou Daze, AC…), this is the only one where I’ve walked out of the theater and thought to myself, “I want to see this again, right now.”
Oh, and there’s no post-credits scene. Sorry! No “Owari S2 soon” or “Musubi in stores now” or anything.
Kizumonogatari takes a cinematic approach on the well-established TV series the Monogatari series. This is truly a prequel that can only be appreciated when watching all of the series up towards Owarimonogatari. If you want Kizumonogatari in the chronological order you are watching anime wrong and the entire intention of the series is ruined. The foreshadowing is lost and you lose the bigger picture SHAFT tried to create for Nisio’s work.
But before going through Kizu 1 and 2 we are here on this page for Kizu 3. Kizu 3 was truly a wounded story. A story that doesn’t end happy nor does it end conclusive. It’s a prequel to the giant franchise therefore whatever happens at the end is only just the beginning. The story begins right where we left off. Arararararagi has collected the arms for Kiss Shot and is now going to see her full form. After some talks with Meme, we finally see her beautiful, bodacious, succulent body in all of her motherly, milf, glory. Truly a work of art. Fastword and we get to see the conflict arise. Ararararararararagi begins to realize that Kiss Shot in her full form is a danger to the human race. Internal conflict starts to brew within our young naive main character. Most of the middle part of the movie is focused on Hanekawa and Ararararararararararagi getting prepared to fight Kiss Shot. Of course, this wouldn’t be the Gatari series without fanservice. And with some big ole’ titties, it’s obvious that Hanekawa will motivate him with her body. So to summarize, the first half is Kiss Shot and Arararagi, Second half is Hanekawa. Now the final part is strictly a fight between the two. This fight goes on for a while but you never truly get bored. There are 10 different art styles and animation styles in this 1 fight that you never get bored. As I stated early, you will have so much fun with this. To be exact, this might be the best fight scene in all of the anime. Scratch that, might is underselling it. It is the best fight scene. Bless you, father Oishi, the series director of Bake and storyboard for Kizu. And we end with a great moment. But it’s not a happy one. Everyone is equally miserable. But that’s what true happiness is. Wait for that like communism. I digress. Ararararagi ends up not killing Kiss Shot and having her live her life feeding of him to live. Arararagi doesn’t turn back into a human. And they will spend their lives worried about someone hunting them.
So where do the first 2 movies play in this? The first movie serves as a way to introduce us back into the world. However, in a new world, Oishi constructed. The world where things are more avant grade. The world where internal monolog isn’t needed. Exposition is replaced with visual storytelling. The second movie serves as the meat of the story. Showing us the best fights and the most interesting plot points. This movie serves as the concluding narrative to branch into the sequels. Sincerely, this is the best installment in the Gatari series. But to understand the lore more one must have watched everything that aired. I have to say, this is one of the best movies I have watched in my life. Thank you, Shaft, thank you, Oishi. God bless Japan.
BUT WAIT THERES MORE. The ecchi scenes are amazing in this movie and so is the fight scenes. Hanekawa and Kiss Shot titties are a 10/10 alone.
Kizumonogatari is back and at last we get the last piece of the puzzle, This time part three otherwise known as “Reiketsu-hen” or “Cold Blood”. The final chapters animated, just how well did it do?.
Story 10 / 10
We start the film at a brief conversation between the characters of Oshino Meme and Araragi Koyomi talking how it is unreal how Koyomi managed to overwhelm the hunters that were after his life and his master, Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade.
The film progresses as we see a rampant return of the eloquence of visuals, symbolism and long chats that have left a mark on anime by the now known “The Monogatari Series”. Reiketsu unites the presence of Monogatari by displaying thought and process of our main character Araragi Koyomi and the familiar Monologues as we se how Araragi opens up his conscious and spills it right before all of us all and notice how he has changed. Reiketsu shows us how is it that Araragi came to be as characters and show the transition to us all by splitting up the process.
As on Tekketsu, Kizumonogatari is Visceral as it appealed to human instinct of its rawness but also included a conversation oriented presentation that carried the first act.
Nekketsu focused more on youth, The youth of our characters reminding us just how over their heads the main protagonist are, being Hanekawa Tsubasa and Araragi Koyomi. It imposed the rampant sexuality and the ego of our characters and it brought forth action to the table that greatly differs from the first act, Tekketsu.
Reiketsu in the other hand combined all of that, and brought us the current formula of Monogatari as the last piece of the puzzle is unlocked and we get those ever so necessary inner monologues showing us the how! of how can someone who lives on being spontaneous and show us the results that it carry. It also shows us the result of forbidden knowledge, as the more you know, the less safer the world becomes.
Reiketsu at large, It can be called the very beginning of the franchise of The Monogatari formula, it can also be the start of series itself but buried in all that, Reiketsu was the conclusion and acceptance to the end of ordinary lives that will from now on live knowing of the supernatural.
Art 10 / 10
Shaft really outdid themselves with this final arc, and brought us more fluidity we ever dreamt off to the screen surpassing the preceding films in the direction of visuals and their rawness, the combination of 3D CGI with 2D artistry of the highest caliber showcased on a eccentric but fully working presentation that the trilogy is. as well as honoring the culture of animation now that it has become a well define characteristic of the new culture of japan, that marvelously attracts new blood to japan enticed for the ever newer pile of contribution to society with impact on international scale.
Sound 10 / 10
The sound direction was astounding, as it was the voice actors on their A game. followed by well composed OSTs and keeping the old school horror feel you’d normally feel from Alfred Hitchcock, as many reference and use of direction clearly referenced the style and with new twist to the presentation of the film.
Character 10 / 10
Our characters, Oshino Meme, Araragi Koyomi, Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade and Finally Tsubasa Hanekawa were connected on highly unusual ways that your standard presentation, As their interaction feels timelined of progress aided by well directed visuals and ever accurate sound directions.
Our characters are weaved on the thread of ignorance, youth and experience. weaving them differently but ultimately presenting us in split acts the coming together of a series and the buiding blocks of a character we’ve enjoyed for years on the Monogatari franchise.
I’ve waited for this for a long time, due to work I sadly missed this film while on theaters because of work. Know this though, any anger I held and all regret that plagued me as I patiently waited for clearly was worth every second now that I’ve witnessed the final film.
If you’re a monogatari fan, I highly recommend it and if you’re not give it a shot, For it is very possible you’d be one of us and enjoy of the international harmony and fandom that surrounds The Monogatari Series
However as much as I loved the movies, If I was director I would have added and removed a couple of things. In comparison I liked the structure of Tekketsu. The Alfred Hitchcock direction references and the music with cold moments with well executed music.
For example, instead of the dancing monks when Araragi returns from the convinience store to Kiss-Shot, I would reuse the animation just prior, where Kiss Shot in all her forms are running about in the garden of flowers, I would reuse that but change the background into a landscape of corpses and/or entrails. Adding some blood to the faces of the multiple kiss shots creating a better visual of Araragi Koyomi world view, the alternative would be to use the style of Onimonogatari painting like style but of old Europe showing vampires with human skulls since it’s a European folklore, Given the use of French I’m guessing Kiss-Shot is probably of French relativity . If used the first scenario with the landscapes I would put a stare similar to hanekawa just like how she looked right after passing out in front of ararsgi after being ripped open by episode’s cross and place it in the multiple kiss-shots.
I would add the same effect to Guillotine Cutter severed head, and remove the CGI because that’s the only section where it doesn’t really play well the CGI environment and 2D people is awesome but making Guillotine Cutter that way really steals from the punch araragi is supposed to feel.
I would have also added on the beginning a little flashback in black on white, same style as tekketsu, when Oshino Meme first came In contact with Kiss Shot the legendary vampire and her power as a little background when Meme tells araragi when he took Kiss-Shots heart.
Maybe that’s just me, Absolute masterpiece of a trilogy nevertheless.
Overall Grade: 10
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
2. Kuroshitsuji Movie: Book of the Atlantic
3. Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower
4. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai
5. Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch I – Koudou