They’re the best Anime that 2019 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Promare, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 2, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 3, and more!
MAL Score: 8.02
Thirty years ago, a new race of flame-wielding mutants suddenly appeared, destroying a large portion of humanity. These so-called “Burnish” have continued to appear at random, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake.
The autonomous republic of Promepolis is a thriving nation thanks to the incredible efforts of their leader, Kray Foresight, against the Burnish. A team of firefighters known as the Burning Rescue is tasked with stopping these horrifying monsters, using the most performant technology available thanks to their incredible mechanic Lucia Fex. Galo Thymos is an energetic young man, who considers Foresight his hero for saving his life and is the rescue team’s most recent recruit.
A terrorist group calling themselves Mad Burnish has been causing havoc all over the nation. After an encounter with Mad Burnish leader Lio Fotia, Galo sets out on his fated journey to find the truth about these mutants, ultimately leading him to question everything he previously held to be true.
Six thousand people sat and stood in wait for twelve hours for this movie. They got more than what they came for.
When the movie started I remembered just how good Kill La Kill was; not overall, but at the beginning. You know, the first five minutes where the entire setup and exposition of the show just blows the skin off of your face and you fly backwards down a giant obsessively beautiful mountain of detail all to fly forward on the ground into a close up of Ryuko’s face…
Ryuko: “So this is Honouji Academy…”
Audience: *gargling noises*
That was pretty good… Promare made me feel like that again about 20 seconds into the movie… then it kept going… wait what do you mean “keep going” you already have me hooked. I’m interested. I like the premise you just established you wanna move on from OKAY SO YOU’RE GONNA SHOW ME THE COOL THINGS HAPPENING OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT’S NICE WE’RE 50 SECONDS IN NOW YOU THINK IT’S TIME TO LET OFF THE GAS A BIT AND LET US TAKE THIS SHIT IN?!
Hiroyuki Imaishi: “… Nah bro check this out–”
– and so fourteen minutes later, the entire audience sat there, mouths agape, vocal chords sore, eyes dry; contemplating when, if ever in our brief existences, we had ever witnessed a work of visual media with a higher “awesome per second” ratio.
We had not.
My friends, the movie industry has lost its way. I think the anime industry has also lost its way.
I know that’s a bold statement to make.
I believe that this is the best that animation has ever been in every sense of the word “best.” The average animated television show is better than it ever has been, and the best shows of each year are almost always better than the best shows of the previous year. The size of the anime consuming market in the US and around the world is growing at an unclear but certainly substantial rate. Who the hell am I to claim that this artform is doing ANYTHING wrong?…
… I’m a dude that just saw a single 90 minute movie have more fun than every show and movie in the last three decades combined.
Fast forwarding to about six hours after the movie ended, I realized that this feeling was one I had felt before. When the videogame “Doom (2016)” came out, everyone kind of had a “come to Jesus” moment. We realized that we didn’t need a philosophically engorged cutscene to tell us why we were going to be shooting demons, we needed some demons to terrorize, enough ammunition to out-lead-poison the most illiterate US state, and a soundtrack to keep the blood seeping from our eyes from running dry. A videogame… that’s “fun” first… good idea… when exactly did we forget about it? I don’t know, but the fact that it was a big deal to remember it is proof that we did, right?
Well… here we are. Promare felt fun like nothing I’d seen in years, if ever, and that’s proof that we MUST have forgotten what it means to be “fun” first.
I didn’t like this thought. There’s no WAY that that can be right. OF COURSE anime movies are “fun” I thought to myself.
I mean just LOOK at all these anime movies I can think of that are fun from start to finish that were critically acclaimed.
Let’s go down the list:
– Your Name
– A Silent Voice
– Night is Long Baby Walk On Girl
– In This Corner Of The World
– Liz and the Blue Bird
– Anthem of the Heart
– Giovanni’s Island
– Boy and the Beast
SEE! SURELY ALL OF THESE MOVIES ARE “FUN” RIGHT!?…
… I… no they aren’t… At least not first?… Beautiful, serene, provocative, inventive, colorful, cathartic, sympathetic, heart-wrenching, ‘moving’; absolutely, but “fun”… I don’t know.
Fun is going down a waterslide.
Fun is throwing a water balloon at someone then circle strafing around a picnic table with adults at it so they can’t hit you with theirs.
Fun is that thing that we’re supposed to have had surgically removed at the age of 17 to be hopefully replaced with concerns about the economy and thoughts of financial independence.
I think I thought that Art, if it wanted to be taken seriously, couldn’t JUST “Put Fun First.”
I don’t think that anymore.
Promare is the most fun I’ve ever had in a movie theater. This movie pulls you through a seven-year-olds imagination at speeds that would pull the skin from your skull, but sometimes it stops, jarringly To methodically contrast something important to you and to the characters. The film goes fourteen minutes before hitting you with the concept of moral relativism. It hammers that gong HARD and meaningfully over the course of the film. It goes half a movie before ripping the proverbial carpet out from under the universe that it built for you. By the time the movie is over, it’s committed so many narrative faux pa’s that I’m surprised nobody in the theater laughed at any of them. Until something absolutely fucking glorious happens.
The movie exhibited a level of self awareness that I’d only ever seen rivaled by other anime also directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, AND THOSE HAD BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS THAT PREVENTED HIM FROM SEIZING THE MEANS OF KITCHEN SINK PRODUCTION, AND LIFTING AN ENTIRE KITCHEN SINK FACTORY TWENTY THOUSAND FEET INTO THE AIR AND DROPPING IT ON A THEATER FULL OF UNSUSPECTING FANS.
There is a “noun” that will not be spoiled here that is canonically named “Deus Ex Machina”… that leads us into the final God Damn act. Every man, woman, and (man)child that made this movie must have been having the times of their fucking lives. This is Studio Triggers first movie, y’all. I didn’t really realize what that meant until after the movie had ended and Imaishi rolled onto the stage from underneath a table.
Imaishi said “This is the first thing I’ve actually fully owned and directed since Gurren Lagann, and I don’t even know how many of you really remember that one.”
… The entire crowd cheers loud enough to not need a translator for him to get the point. About half that cheering came from me but this isn’t the point. The POINT is that this man has been waiting twenty some odd years to have complete, unhinged, unfettered creative freedom. He finally got it, and all we got out of it was the most spectacular looking movie I’ve ever seen.
It’s not just pretty. It’s optimally pretty. The aesthetic of this movie optimized the studios ability to pump as many frames and as many details into every single frame as possible. Studio Trigger has always had some of the best animators in the world do some of their best work on their products, but this is the first time I’ve seen an art direction be this considerate of what actually matters; GETTING RID OF DETAILS THAT CAN’T BE FUCKING “ANIMATED.” LOOKING AT YOU, COMIXWAVE!!! YOUR LANDSCAPES ARE BEAUTIFUL BUT THEY DO NOT DANCE A JIG FOR THE CAMERA!!
In the hands of ANYONE ELSE, this art style could have been viewed as “ugly” or “stilted” or “other negative adjective here” but these fuckers decided to go PEAK modern art on our asses and take animation back to geometry 101 and high school art and English classes.
One side of the conflict is made up of squares, the other by triangles. One side is blue, the other is pink. One side is cold, the other is hot. Every silouette is optimal. Every character design, robot design, vehicle design, and their corresponding color palates are unrivaled in their simplicity and their clarity, which I imagine only happened naturally as WHEN YOU NEED TO ANIMATE TEN MECHS SUMO WRESTLING WITH A FIRETRUCK, A HELICOPTER, AND A BATON WIELDING MAN MADE OF FIRE, THEY PROBABLY HAD TO ITERATE ON THINGS UNTIL LESS THAN HALF THEIR FOCUS GROUPS WERE FROTHING AT THE MOUTH FROM EPILEPTIC BRAIN ANEURISMS AFTER THE FIRST THREE AND A HALF MINUTES.
I’m writing this review the day after I saw the movie. I could barely sleep because I was still thinking about it.
You see, I had to miss this day at the convention anyway because I had to go home and check on my apartment because there WAS A FUCKING EARTHQUAKE YESTERDAY!!! OH YEAH, GET THIS. In the movie, and sure spoiler alert but you could have basically assumed this would happen from the rest of the review so not really. There’s a time in the movie where a giant robot punches the ground and causes the earth to shake. Fifteen mintues later, there was an actual fucking earthquake in los angeles. Hiromi Wakabayashi, Hiroyuki Imaishi, and Masahiko Otshuka are on stage talking about the development process at this point where the lights on the ceiling start swinging like pendulums and the entire audience goes silent; naturally a bit concerned about the 7.1 earthquake that just happened. After a few seconds, Imaishi giggles a bit and says something to Wakabayashi. Wakabayashi smiles and nods his head a little bit and then goes back to talking. If I was a betting man, I’d bet that Imaishi made a joke about how their movie caused a fucking earthquake… to me, it may as well have.
I give this movie an unreadable Babylonian symbol out of ten.
To compare this film to other films that have the vaguest concept of giving a shit about what academics have to say about it is an insult to the intent of the creators.
I will woefully depart from the opinions of the masses here. I will throw myself into a clown costume and proselytize until tranquilized. This is a hill I will die upon. I pray for a future where this is the most influential movie made in the last ten years.
Buy it. Watch it. Gift it. Listen to it.
Tell me what you think about it.
I love Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. I love Panty & Stocking. I enjoyed Kill La Kill. From what I saw: I liked Imashi’s works. At the very least they were enjoyable. They knew what they were and what they were doing.
Trigger as a whole I wasn’t liking.
I thought Kizunavier was a idea-centric story that eventually threw up it’s hands and said: “This idea was contrived and stupid.” But that was by Mari Okaba. She wrote IBO also. And I hated both shows. So it was her.
I thought Darling in the Franxx was terribly written. Character focused at the start, which is fine. But then turns story focused and brings in amnesia as a plot element and reveals a bunch of plot twists one after another before climaxing prematurely and leaving ejaculate everywhere to clean up.
I thought SSSS.Gridman was the same as Darling in the Franxx. More focused on the episodic character “fleshing out”. Until they introduced a shit ton of plot twists and suddenly tried to make a sociopathic character seem victimized in the last 2-5 episodes.
Both shows also had a lot of references to other, better shows.
But maybe those were just one offs. Maybe Imashi will carry the studio. Maybe it’s all Imashi. Maybe Promare is different.
It wasn’t. Same plot twist cascade. Referencing other shows obviously because that’s the only way they can piece together a film. Obvious pandering. The characters were ass. There’s one character that is just there for plot relevance and to be the main character’s squeeze. She does nothing. Most of the entire Fire Force squad does nothing. If the villain didn’t do one thing, everything that he was doing would be reasonable. And the only reason why the world was still saved afterwards was because of an asspull that was only known to be possible after they fought. It’s one of the worst anti-racism movies I’ve ever seen. Because it’s so contrived to the point where it legitimizes the reasons why the Burnish are discriminated against.
It’s a great spectacle though. If you only came to watch cool shit go down and cool fights to happen then this will be entertaining. I don’t like the composer’s works. The soundtrack is really carried by the singers and the two Superfly tracks. The soundtrack is mostly the singer’s nice voice with a repetitive drum beat in the background. It does fit the movie so I don’t think you’ll be bothered by it if you don’t care about the story.
I do. And this is only somewhat better than Gundam Narrative.
If you want better mecha stories I’d suggest re-watching Gurren Lagann, Gunbuster, Diebuster, GaoGaiGar, King Gainer, L-Gaim, Turn A Gundam, Iczer 3 and more.
If you wanted a better anti-racism film I’d suggest Remember the Titans. If you wanted anime I’d suggest Parasyte, Haibane Renmei, maybe Trigun.
This film is their first in the almost 8 years the studio has been running and a similar affair to Darling in the Franxx in that it is a collaborative work. How it isn’t similar, though, is that it isn’t shit and their collaborative studio, Sanzigen, are a CGI studio who work in the field of revolutionizing CGI use in anime. While some of collaborations mainly focus on background armies and mechanical parts, their standout title Bubuki Baranki from 2016 received praise across the internet for being the best looking use of CGI in anime to date and many claiming it to be the future of CGI anime. It’s clear with Promare they are wanting to take their highly praised CGI/cel shading anime aesthetic and combine it with the stylings of Imaishi and Nakashima to create the most traditional looking anime CGI project to date, and here I believe they succeed.
On the quality of the CG and integration, I personally found it fantastic. There were a small number of times the frame rate seemed only slightly off, but in the grand scheme I’m only making this criticism to be fair. For my personal enjoyment of the film it had very, very little impact. After seeing the film and following the discussion online, I want people to understand that enjoying or praising this film doesn’t mean the individual is a fan of or sympathizer of CG integration in anime, but can appreciate a well animated, piece using it. For example, even though they are stylized vehicles, I love the cuts in episode 6 of Panty and Stocking with Chuck and Fastener fighting in their cars. It’s easy to dismiss CGI outright without actually analyzing what works and doesn’t in a scene, and with Promare, I’d say it almost always works. Also, even thought there is a lot of CG integration, there is a ton of purely 2D cuts as well. The conclusion to the fight between Galo and Lio among many others is entirely 2D and there are some seriously awesome cuts that people are going to see in .webms for a long time to come.
Concerning the story itself, it is a Nakashima Kazuki story through and through hitting all the right Imaishi notes. It begins setting up a very familiar chaos vs order story line but quickly begins to focus mainly on discrimination and instead of breaking apart order with progress and chaos, the idea of unity and rebirth. It’s a very familiar story, but with just the right variation to the tale to make it feel fresh and relevant. It definitely moves very quickly, as it’s covering a story that could easily have been expanded and made into a longer series, but as is, it works. I was all in, but can also immediately see where a lot of the backlash for this film is going to stem concerning the themes and criticisms of society present. This film is apparently going to be getting a more global release, and I implore you if interested to catch this film on the big screen. The visual story telling at play was fantastic and the film had my blood pumping from beginning to end.
Touching briefly on the music, I enjoyed Sawano’s soundtrack but a few tracks were a bit repetitive. He has a recognizable sound.. And the soundtrack of was most remenisent of Kill la Kill, albeit a weaker Kill la Kill. All things considered however, Kill la Kill is one of my favourite soundtracks of all time, so this is barely a criticism. The music wasn’t a highlight of the film for me but still very enjoyable.
4: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 2
Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 Die Neue These 星乱 第2章
MAL Score: 8.09
Marquis Reinhard von Lohengramm’s plot to destabilize the Free Planets Alliance succeeds when the treacherous former Rear Admiral Arthur Lynch instigates a coup on Heinessen. Equipped with a plan crafted by Reinhard himself, Lynch encourages his longtime friend Admiral Dwight Greenhill to supervise the National Salvation Military Council’s toppling of the civilian government. Seeking to defend democracy and restore the Alliance constitution, Admiral Yang Wen-li faces off against his fellow citizens—and, regrettably, the father of his devoted adjutant Lieutenant Frederica Greenhill.
Now with the Free Planets Alliance thoroughly occupied with their own internal matters, the forces of the Galactic Empire can safely suppress the newly formed Lippstadt League led by Duke Otto von Braunschweig. However, with his friend and loyal subordinate High Admiral Siegfried Kircheis fighting far away in the noble-controlled frontier regions, Reinhard increasingly relies on the advice of the ruthless Vice Admiral Paul von Oberstein, whose influence within the esteemed Lohengramm admiralty steadily grows.
Though bloodshed is inevitable on both sides of the galaxy, Yang Wen-li of the Alliance and Reinhard von Lohengramm of the Empire each ask themselves the same questions: how will history look back on their actions? Will the ends justify the means?
Well, actually, it isn’t the blast itself. Simply adding nuclear bombs does not make something good, at least unless you happen to be AI Gandhi in Civilization. For the rest of us, it is about how they are used. Death is easy, interesting conflict is hard. You could demonstrate endless slaughter on-screen and still have a boring show on your hands. And the interesting part need not be about the person who launched the missiles in the first place.
Thematically, we have the good old utilitarian moral dilemma. You know what I’m talking about: Would you actively sacrifice people to potentially save even more? While not a very original idea, it was implemented in a plausible and impactful way. It might warm a philosopher’s heart at least a little bit.
That said, the biggest payoff for the event will take place… you guessed it, in the next set of episodes, so make sure you are comfortably seated because you will have to wait even longer. The story in this is so long that even the swift pacing isn’t enough to deal with much of it here. Actually, one might argue that the plot is moving too fast already, and I think they would have a point. In this set of episodes, it is easy to notice a few scenes that were shortened compared to the OVA and a few scenes that were prolonged or added altogether (which were in the original novel but not the OVA). The original novel is still the best option overall, by the way. Aside from the obvious events, there is some interesting narration that couldn’t plausibly be fit into the adaptations.
The other main storyline is also interesting thematically. There is a lot you can do with people who try to correct political corruption and social flaws with drastic measures. Roads paved with good intentions and all that. What is the worst thing that could happen? While not exactly original as a general concept, it is rare to see it play out in a relatively modern setting and with political manifestos like these. It is also rare to witness the characters actually debate the issue and the not-so-cheerful outcomes that follow. That said, time constraints are a problem here as well. If I was the author, I would spend many more pages (and episodes) in these parts, but I suppose I will have to take what I can.
Here we have the series staple of “democracy is broken,” quite justifiably, judging by the events. While not terribly rare as a concept, usually fiction does not focus on the point quite so much or debate it at such great length. Broken democracy seems pretty difficult to fix though because every attempt also seems to result in disaster, as demonstrated on-screen. It is kind of ominous, really. If you follow politics even occasionally, you can notice that the idea of broken democracy is as timely as ever.
Some of the side characters are not portrayed in the best way possible. Braunschweig is supposed to be incompetent, but he goes a bit overboard. The same with a few of the other nobles. Falk is still too crazy, but he thankfully doesn’t waste a lot of time here. Most of this was in the source material too, so we can’t blame the adaptation crew for it. Meanwhile, some characters who might have seemed irrelevant suddenly play a bigger role, and some characters get to take the most of their limited screentime. Merkatz always seems to leave an impact in these parts.
Baghdash only gets about four minutes (actually, that is a decent amount), but we learn his always timely wisdom of “A man’s principles are his means of staying alive. If they get in the way of staying alive, one need only get rid of them.” Actually, that might warm a philosopher’s heart too. It warms my heart, at least.
Anyway, treat this as a little recommendation and follow up on some of my thoughts about the continuing legend of the galactic heroes anime. This season we have the continuing story of fabulous bishounes playing politics in space, while something that looks more cartoony than wars in Star Wars plays on the background.
There are the usual flaws here. A lot of the political, and thematic heavy matters come more to terms of aesthetics, instead of something thematically relevant or studied upon. Big universe chattering event come and go in one or two episodes, new regimes rise, and lot of politic intrigue is always presents. But the bulk of it always passes by, leaves not much impression or is properly elaborated upon. Logh does not holds this flawed democracy, military regimes, decadent nobles, or our charismatic war heroes to much scrutiny or sociological study. Rather they mostly work as plot, excuses for cool conflict, aesthetic background for the characters to explore, a thing I find really cool.
Nothing says this better than the heavily militaristic setting and background for most events. Because the military and war in Logh barely remind their historical counterparts. Characters looking at screams, some commander coming to unbelievably dumb or intelligent conclusions, or some ships firing and blowing up. This is the actual warfare presented, with the actual antiwar epic coming mostly from supposition and implied content.
If you are thinking in terms of downgrade in regards to the original series, the only aspect I really care towards (omg some of the designs tho) are the side characters. Those are usually pretty bad, having their existence and whole personalities based on narrative purpose, or in some preachy messages on politicians or nobles. Logh is perhaps exceptionally in showing when the story does not give a fuck for one character. Their dialogue gets unbelievably dumb and asinine (this can get painful at times).
Nevertheless, Yang and Reinhard stellar journeys makes up for it. A weird though I have when watching them, is of their existence akin to in universe forces of nature. Narrative, conflict, the whole universe is moved by both characters, their decisions, ideals, and most important personalities. Enabling a story that even when having dozens of characters and plotlines, still feels intimate and focused.
Props for the music also. Perhaps it feels less grandiose or epic than the soundtrack for the original series, but the tracks are definitely better implemented. They always have the right timing and moment when using background music. Those even allow for some of the deaths and sad moments of actual nobodies in the series to actually feel powerful and tragic. Basically there are great tracks all around.
Beyond everything, the new Logh is fun. Seeing these characters planning and executing changes to the very fabric of this universe is always exciting. I love the recurrence of historical motifs and events, the gloriously stupid nobles. There is a splendor in the bizarre nature of axe fights in space, which makes them way cooler than lightsabers. Perhaps there is some hidden depth I am not getting, however what keeps me coming back for Logh is always the fun. And I am glad it delivered.
(+) Things excalated very quickly. There’s still very little (but still some special scene that I enjoyed) relationship development but now the war is way more complex and gruesome than ever. You don’t know where to look and unexpected things will happen this time. They divided alternatively both sides by 50/50. I enjoyed how they added classical orchestral music as background.
(-) It felt more like a transitional phase, an intermezzo of sorts, although at the end of episode 20 they led us to believe something big will happen. I felt like we’re missing the real bad people out there. Maybe I’m looking at the wrong direction?Also, why did they divide second season like this? It’s confusing because it’s not really a 1h movie, they’re like OVAs.
3: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 3
Japanese: 銀河英雄伝説 Die Neue These 星乱 第3章
MAL Score: 8.22
At the behest of Admiral Yang Wen-li, defected intelligence officer Commander Baghdash makes an emergency broadcast announcing that the National Salvation Military Council staged a coup under the direction of the Galactic Empire. Despite the lack of physical evidence, this debilitating declaration inspires former Rear Admiral Andrew Lynch to reveal his own role in sowing discord within the Free Planets Alliance. A fatal shootout between Lynch and Admiral Dwight Greenhill acts as the final death knell to the short-lived period of martial rule.
Within the Galactic Empire, footage of Duke Otto von Braunschweig’s nuclear bombing of Westerland results in the dissolution of the Lippstadt League. Marquis Reinhard von Lohengramm’s decision to allow the massacre for personal gain creates a rift between him and High Admiral Siegfried Kircheis, souring the taste of their inevitable victory. Now on the cusp of achieving absolute power, Reinhard is embattled by his apparent personal failings and the heavy responsibilities of leadership.
Though the civil wars in both the Alliance and the Empire are coming to a close, neither side can ever regain what is lost. Yang Wen-li and Reinhard von Lohengramm each take bitter solace in the knowledge that just on the other side of the galaxy is a worthy opponent—and a true equal.
One of the side effects of splitting the season into four-episode sets is that I get to review them on their own. This particular set of episodes happens to be stacked with important plot points and dialogue. This is where several premises are overturned. Basically, it means plot twists of pretty big importance, and they also make a lot of sense in-universe. Furthermore, because of the selection of episodes, many of the problems that were present in the other parts are conveniently absent. Pacing is now slower, in part because it was slower in the source material to begin with.
There are great character moments here. Oberstein delivers a strong performance, as expected. Reinhard has to re-evaluate his principles. Lynch gets to mock self-righteous people and notions of honor. The scenes with Yang and Trunicht in episode 4 are also very detailed, actually much more detailed than in the OVA. Democracy, is it really that great? The scene in episode 1 between Konev and Rubinsky is in the original novel but was not present in the OVA. It was a shame because Konev is absolutely on fire there, but now they have included it. Even in general, the dialogue gets into political philosophy even more than usually.
Episode 4 draws some great parallels between the events in the Alliance and the Empire, both in terms of the narration and the direction. Maybe the addition of the Earth Cult right at the end was a bit hasty, but they need to properly appear eventually because their characterization has always been too scarce in general. Incidentally, this version is more faithfully reproducing the novel’s dialogue on the potential consequences of organized religion.
Meanwhile, a few anime-only lines from the OVA are missing from this one. Some of them did add a nice touch. I can understand choosing to stick to the source material, but what is relevant is whether the work is improved or not. The losses are not life-threatening though.
The already big visual budget has been put to even better use than before. Artemis’ Necklace looks very detailed. At particularly dramatic moments, fleets warps in and out in a well-choreographed manner. If you really dislike CGI, your mileage may vary, but at least it isn’t on the cheap side. There are also other interesting artistic decisions. After big explosions in orbit, Heinessen at night is lit up for a few brief moments. Earth looks more ravaged and barren than in the OVA. They are also paying attention to the music quality. When the plot gets dramatic, suitably dramatic music is played. The ending song is fairly memorable, and the voice actors are working very hard for their salaries.
For how many years they will keep producing this? It seems that they are not short on budget, at least. If they adapt the novel fully, we’ll probably be waiting here for eight more seasons. It is definitely an anime for the patient viewer. I don’t mind playing the long game though.
Try to make this review as short and simple as possible, so that it does not contain any spoilers, don’t expect a very elaborate review.
We have already completed and finished the second season of Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These, originally we all expected to see this in 3-movie format, but in the end we can consider it as a regular second season of 12 episode anime, that unfortunately the serie did not have much attention as the deserved or at least I perceived that, although well this is not a surprising.
Why this is not popular? It does not have Lolis, It does not have Power Ups, It does not have Ecchi and more importantly: it’s not a harem.
I feel that the animation and CGI was a little better worked compared to the first season, the CGI personally in this show does not bother me, it does well especially in space battles which are usually very static…there are things that this remake skips and some plot points are treated quite quickly, but they are not such vital things and the differences are minor, and the most important thing is that history does not lose its charm at any time.
Another thing to highlight is it’s OST, it’s very good and sticks very well, also with his characters designs it was just a matter of appreciating them well and they’re really not bad. Almost every time I see criticism or negative comments about the series I find complaints about its design and jokes, it seems that beyond watching any video or images they have not really tried to watch the serie.
The characters look quite detailed and it seems that some efforts have been made in their designs for this second season, although there are some characters that really their design does not fit them at all and even makes them look younger than they are, the Empire side being more affected in this (I am seeing Oskar and Mittermeyer), there are others very successful as the case of Kircheis, Oberstein, with Kircheis, this design fit him more has as more nobility and class, the same with Oberstein and several characters whose design manages to reflect his personality.
This version is not yet finished and I hope that the study continues until the end, and so we can continue to see this story that focuses on the “global scenario”, showing us that no type of government is right or wrong, that interstellar battle between democracy and the monarchy, together with That fascinating and harmonious mix between futuristic and classic styles.
With the end of this season we reach the first big shocking moment of the series. The story could be said that it really starts from here, let’s just hope that Production I.G continues to do more LOGH and can finalize its full version. I personally liked it a lot, philosophy and political intrigue are here, the struggle and strategy are here, the losses are here, the deceptions and manipulations are here, the emotions are here.
LOGH always shines.
After watching all episodes from 1 to 24, I can really say I don’t regret watching this at all.
It started slow, it seemed lackluster, maybe the original work would be better, but I finally continued the series with the Seiran “movies” and the plot was starting to take form and it became quite interesting.
(+) Why a remake? Obviously there’s more possibilities now with the CGI upgrade and the characters are more natural and more credible with this new aesthetics. I’m not a person that really likes the bellic genre, I really hate it but this is more about an amazing story about a complex human society in all universe. I felt this could be really what could happen in the future and all my imaginary hats are down.
(-) Really. They didn’t show much progression about relationships and everything we know till now was already stablished in seiran nº1(apart from political and enemy encounters). It was strongly suggested that everything we watched till now was only an introduction to the main story so now that we’re hooked with the additional characters and open ending we must revise the manga or the original anime.
I would be willing to continue this story as now we’re starting to see things that are going to get really interesting.
2: One Piece Movie 14: Stampede
Japanese: 劇場版『ONE PIECE STAMPEDE』（スタンピード）
MAL Score: 8.22
The world’s greatest exposition of the pirates, by the pirates, for the pirates—the Pirates Festival. Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Crew receive an invitation from its host Buena Festa who is known as the Master of Festivities. They arrive to find a venue packed with glamorous pavilions and many pirates including the ones from the Worst Generation. The place is electric.
It felt like their Budget on Animation was just as much on this 1:40h Movie as on a normal 20 Min episode of One-Piece. The animations are horrendous and PC 3D animations are used waaaay to often, they didn’t care animating many scenes. About 40% of this movie is made in some 3D software and not Animated. Very disappointing concidering Cinema movies rack in way more money than just a single episode.
The character Bullet also seems like a cool idea also coming off of GolD Rogers ship but his backstory and especially his Devilfruit concept are very bad and just made to be over the top. And on top of that he looks very bad in the Anime only being animated in 3D….
Consistency to the Main story is also close to None, for example with Luffy being able to Use Gear 4 Multiple times within 5 Minutes. Oh and dont even get me starten on the “King King King Kong Gun” or whatever it was.
All in all there are some enjoyable moments (Sabo and Ace Fire Fist in the end) but all the bad aspects of the movie push me to beg you to not support this movie in any way shape of form. Dont buy the CD, dont buy Figures of this movie etc. We have to choose what we want and we definetly dont want trashy 3D animations. Vote with your wallet and show them we want something better. I get it’s just a filler but they probably spent more money advertising the movie than actually making it.
Though I had high hopes for this one, unfortunately it turned out to be quite horrible. Brainless plot, abrupt start & ending, bad use of characters, no heartfelt incidents, no meaningful turning points, dialogs that made me facepalm myself and so, so many coincidences throughout this movie. So many coincidences it’s actually ridiculous. For instance, they are all on a huge freaking island and they just keep ‘stumbling across’ one another at the right moment. Nevertheless, the thing that ticked me off the most was that I found 0% funny scenes. Seriously, even One Piece Movie 6 had more humor and its basically a psychological thriller.
It seemed more like a really long One Piece commercial that a movie. “Oh, look! We have all those cool characters in our anime. Come and watch it.” I mean they introduce a person like Bullet and he does absolutely nothing other than shout “I strive to be the strongest!” Sooo original! In addition, how he enters the scene is boring enough to revert your eyes from the screen. An otherwise stressful moment of Usopp being hurt by this insanely strong enemy, was ruined when it was not shown properly so that the viewer will feel fear or compassion for this long-nosed character.
Fight animation wise it was… decent. A few fight scenes looked quite silly, but those were few and far apart. The final battle though was just awful. It was fairly alright until Bullet decided to go full Mechagodzilla style which, in my humble opinion, destroyed my already low interest in this movie.
This film could have had SO much potential (and I can’t emphasize this enough!) due to the festival setting and the story of one of Roger’s former crew-mates, but they managed to ruin it and create a “stampede” of already well known characters who begged for screen time and nothing more. Maybe this story required 2 parts and more time to do it correctly.
And all the aforementioned come from an One Piece fan that loves it since grade school. I do not know why I still keep watching this anime. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, the need to know the ending or maybe just to see some random adventure of this crew. Whatever the reason, I always hope for at least a decent plot and not some unreasonable fights with gibberish dialogs like in this movie. But, alas, our beloved One Piece has already become another victim of exploitation and exists for the sole purpose of selling merchandise, video games and plot-less films. It’s a shame…
I want to preface this review by saying, if you’re not already a die-hard One Piece fan, this movie has next to nothing for you.
Despite my fairly limited Japanese ability, I was able to comprehend the entire plot and the vast majority of the dialogue, (maybe to an extent of about 90% or so). I think the reason being is that this movie has barely any substance. When the movie starts we’re introduced to the island and then the “first event” starts.
Shortly after the battle begins the movie devolves into “oh hey look it’s [insert one piece character here]” that character does an attack or something and then we get another character show up and the same thing happens all the way till the end of the movie.
I kept expecting some hint of story to be mentioned but it never really happened, aside from a few short moments.
The villain is highly forgettable and leaves no real lasting impression, even writing this review I was struggling to even remember his name, despite being able to remember the Z and Gold villains easily, despite having seen those movies a much longer time ago.
This isn’t to say that the movie is bad, if you’re a die-hard One Piece fan you will find enjoyment in this movie. The battle is enjoyable, the animation is good and the soundtrack just adds to the excitement.
But I think the lack of a decent story and over-reliance on fan service really brings the movie down.
For me I think the movie would sit at a 5 or 6. It’s better than average and I enjoyed watching it, but I would be in no great hurry to run out and watch it again. And if you’re eagerly awaiting the western release, and expecting anything more than fan service I recommend you lower your expectations to get more out of seeing this movie.
TL;DR The movie is severely held-back by it’s lack of narrative, over-reliance on fan service and rushed pacing. Lower your expectations before watching to get the most enjoyment from this film.
1: Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – II. Lost Butterfly
English: Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – II. Lost Butterfly
Japanese: 劇場版「Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] II.lost butterfly」
MAL Score: 8.56
The Fifth Holy Grail War continues, and the ensuing chaos results in higher stakes for all participants. Shirou Emiya continues to participate in the war, aspiring to be a hero of justice who saves everyone. He sets out in search of the truth behind a mysterious dark shadow and its murder spree, determined to defeat it.
Meanwhile, Shinji Matou sets his own plans into motion, threatening Shirou through his sister Sakura Matou. Shirou and Rin Toosaka battle Shinji, hoping to relieve Sakura from the abuses of her brother. But the ugly truth of the Matou siblings begins to surface, and many dark secrets are exposed.
Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – II. Lost Butterfly continues to focus on the remaining Masters and Servants as they fight each other in the hopes of obtaining the Holy Grail. However, as darkness arises within Fuyuki City, even the state of their sacred war could be in danger.
10 minutes into the movie: huh?
30: WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE
Mild spoilers follow.
No tedious philosophies nor pretentious dialogue that solely exists to postpone the battles and extent the awful battle tournament shonen storyline because of pride or other equally laughable reasons. No. This time it’s all about Sakura being too horny to stand and Shirou holding hands with every girl imaginable. Literally sex scenes and masturbation. Now this is what I always wanted from Fate. Finally understand why Heaven’s Feel is the best route.
The pacing can be a problem to some viewers because it is seriously fast and scenes change at ridiculous tempo. There is constantly something happening, twists actually in goddamn fate and people die. Why the earlier anime were even made when something this good was already written I do not know. As a whole, the story is insane and completely fucked up in a good sense.
No ‘master this master that’ bullshit from the servants. They powerful and have their own will this time around. Sakura literally too horny to stand. Haven’t seen anyone in such heat in the animated medium before, excluding hentai. The countless scenes where she said “senpai” and “humu humu” finally confirmed who is the best girl. Shirou is not afraid of anything I swear and Shinji got owned to hard they should cut him off from other routes. The feelings stuff is neato and for once the series feels genuine thanks to the characters who for once are not either living 100% slice of life or other times throwing some pseudo-intellectual horseshit one-liners no one cares about.
Slow motion hugging scene in the rain by goddamn ufotable. Prettiest shit I ever saw. Literally can’t wait to see Berserker vs. 2B Saber in blu-ray such badassery and perfect fight. The color pallet is glorious as ever and those animated tentacles piercing ppl’s hearts amazing. And just when I thought it couldn’t do anything more brutal they hit it with mutilation scene by Gilgamesh. The gore is seriously impressive.
Glorious as hell. Flamboyant and atmospheric. Absolutely served the movie. Great decisions were made. Ending song beyond catchy can’t wait for part 3.
Great fucking movie, will buy.
Violated is my body, and corrupted is my blood
I have been infested by over 1000 worms
Craving death, yet clinging to life
Have withstood pain to be with my Senpai
Yet his hands hold other women
So as I pray
Stay by my side forever…Senpai
Heaven’s Feel: Lost Butterfly is probably the most sinister and vulgar representation of a survival game that I’ve seen yet. Its structure is completely different from the other two Fate routes. Instead of showcasing that fantastical and epic feeling that the other arcs so expertly portray, the tone of Heaven’s Feel is much more despair inducing and grounded in reality. Characters don’t give grand speeches about their beliefs among other things and don’t always get moments of grandeur, and instead often find themselves dying in abrupt and grisly ways. Primal human emotions like lust and envy are amplified in this adaptation, showing off the impurities of the characters. Despite being a movie embedded with magic and mythological heroes, it never felt wondrous or magical. It instead instilled feelings of misery and dread into me, like a world devoid of the warm caress of light from the heavens.
Which is exactly how a death battle royale featuring broken characters should make me feel. And I loved every second of it.
I find it appropriate to start with what I found to be a big highlight of this movie, which would be Sakura Matou, the female protagonist. Heaven’s Feel completely deflowers the typical depiction of an anime heroine. Saber from Stay Night and Rin from UBW are prime examples of ideal heroines. They’re strong, attractive, kind, yet still have some issues that they get over with the help of everyone’s favorite idealistic protagonist Shirou. Plus they’re pretty excellent waifu material if you ask me. Heaven’s Feel takes an entirely different approach with Sakura. She’s much more realistic in that she’s far from perfect and pure. We actually see her masterbate on screen and express her desire to have sex with Shirou, while being disgusted with herself for having such impure cravings. She’s incredibly possessive of Shirou and is clearly agitated at the thought of him being with another girl, most specifically Rin. Her yandere tendencies led me to compare her with the famous yandere from a different survival game that I’m sure every anime fan knows: Yuno Gasai. And although Sakura is like at least 10 times less popular than Yuno, I’d say that she’s a far more engaging and fleshed out character than Yuno is. And that’s all thanks to the excellent portrayal of Sakura’s character.
Sakura’s story is hella depressing. I’ve always felt bad for her, especially after watching Fate/Zero. Yet my empathy towards her was highly amplified in Heaven’s Feel thanks to her finally taking the spotlight. Her relationship with Shirou was done excellently. It was one of the most legitimate relationships that I’ve seen in an anime. Both characters are broken in their own way, and they rely on each other to keep going. Shirou even gives up on his hero of justice ideal just for Sakura, which I found to be some great development on his part. Though what I find to be the best part of Sakura is her underlying dark nature. I think it was made pretty apparent from the previous movie, but in order to avoid spoilers, I’ll just say that she isn’t as innocent as she seems. Though it’s not really her fault.
In fact, my absolute favorite moment of the anime would be Sakura’s dream sequence and the aftermath that immediately followed. Using some creative visuals that rivaled the unique animation techniques of Studio Shaft, Ufotable presents a happy dream that Sakura is having where she’s a lovely fairytale princess in a kingdom of wondrous creatures. Yet the entire sequence is quite eerie, and kept me on edge. It culminates with her turning some of the creatures into candy after they were being naughty, and she happily unwraps a piece and eats it. Pretty harmless, right? But the scene that follows is simply chilling. And it was absolutely brilliant. It’s moments like these that made me really appreciate Sakura as a character. In fact, she was excellent in every scene she was in, and I could go on and on talking about her role in Heaven’s Feel. I had honestly never really given Sakura much thought since she was always outshone by the rest of the amazing Fate cast in my opinion, but my views immediately changed after watching this movie. Sakura is a criminally underrated heroine, and she deserves more love.
Most of the Fate cast hardly get any screen time, especially when compared to previous instillations, and like I said previously, usually just end up dying in gruesome or epic ways after going down fighting, as true heroes should. Since Heaven’s Feel is a group of movies and not a two season anime, I’m perfectly content with this approach. This way the movie can focus more strongly on its core cast of characters. So Saber, Gilgamesh, and others, I love ya, but you need to move over. You’ve already had your time to shine. Aside from Sakura and Shirou, the other character who gets a decent portion of focus would be muh fav loli in all anime (no I am not joking), Illyasviel von Einzbern.
Illya has a funny, and now that I think about it, only, comedic moment in the anime before everything goes completely crazy. She just never fails to make me smile. I love her relationship with Shirou in this film, and the two of them holding hands was pretty frickin kawaii. There’s also a really great moment where she overhears Taiga talking about how Kiritsugu would constantly go oversees in a desperate attempt to find someone who he dearly cherished, who would of course be his daughter Illya. It’s pretty heart-wrenching because Illya was led to believe that her father had abandoned her, but that was not the case at all. Dem unlimited feels tho.
I don’t think I need to discuss how amazing the visuals and sound quality are. Ufotable’s animation is the cream of the crop. Fight scenes are done beautifully. The slow motion hugging scene in the rain was one of the most visually appealing things I’ve ever seen. Everything just looks so damn good. And Yuki Kajiura once again composed a heavenly soundtrack. Plus the ending theme song by Aimer is pure epicness. The voice actors are amazing as always.
Fate has always been one of the most entertaining and well made franchises for me. Yet out of all of the Fate media I’ve watched, none have been quite like Heaven’s Feel. It’s a different experience from what I’m used to, but I absolutely love it. It tells a truly compelling yet tragic tale, and my eyes were glued to the screen while watching. After it ended, I found myself staring at my blank computer screen with unblinking eyes, an accelerated heartbeat, and numerous emotions flowing through me for a minute or two. Yeah, I know that sounds cringy af, but it’s true. I don’t believe that I’ve ever felt the same way after completing another anime then I did with Heaven’s Feel: Lost Butterfly. And let me tell you, I enjoyed every second of it. Can’t wait for movie three!
This review will heavily incorporate events that occurred in other works by Type-Moon, so I am going to assume that you are familiar with their other works.
I am pretty sure vast majority of the people who wants to watch this film are familiar with the original visual novel and have some general idea where the story is headed, but just in case you haven’t figured it out, Sakura is going to become full yandere by the end of the film. Not the Gasai Yuno kind of yandere. The good kind of yandere, where the film properly explores the events that gradually transforms Sakura’s fall from grace and makes her character believable. And that is in fact the key triumph of this film; it is raking in all the emotional weight accumulated from Sakura’s love for Shirou from the first film by crashing her world down slowly. The film does make use of some classical yandere tropes like “confine your boyfriend in the house to protect him from danger” and the “smiles of insanity” to make Sakura’s deadly transformation clear, but it was more effectively told through visually like the static interference happening to Sakura’s body, the ominous shadow that keeps following her, and that one scene where Shirou fearfully tried to ignore the dark presence following Sakura.
If you are familiar with the collaborative works between Type-Moon and ufotable, then you cannot help but draw the comparison between this film with Kara no Kyoukai chapter 3. KnK came long before Fate/Stay Night was published, so you can tell that Sakura is inspired from Asagami Fujino. They have very similar hair color, extremely similar build, and both are incredibly timid girls who later on go on a rampage, but that is about where the similarity ends. The difference is that in this film, we had an entire 2-hour film prior to this to make us feel invested in Shiro and Sakura’s love story, and also that Shirou has a large influence on Sakura’s humanity, and the outcome of the story depends entirely on Shirou’s decision. There was a certain scene near the end where Shirou had to make a decision about Sakura’s future brought tears to my eyes, because it was a perfect illustration of how much Shirou and Sakura are dependent on one another. Once you realize what Shiro had been up to, it suddenly hits you just how much Shiro is conflicted by his own emotion and his sense of justice.
That scene also revisited the single key dilemma that characters from Fate series have to explore endlessly. Will Shirou stick with his sense of justice and forsake Sakura, or will he forsake his hero complex and save the one he loves? From the perspective of us audiences, Shirou doesn’t only have his love for Sakura to consider. Abandoning his hero complex means abandoning the legacy that his father (Kiritsugu) left for him, which at this point defines his entire existence. Ten years ago, we saw that Kiritsugu’s sacrifice saved countless lives by preventing the Holy Grail from being fully complete, so Shirou should follow suit, right? It is not an easy decision for sure, but I love it that the film brings new perspective to this theme of justice and sacrifice that Nasu Kinoko has consistently tackled from multiple viewpoints from intertwined characters from different works. I must also applaud this film’s production staff for clearly communicating this theme and dilemma by trimming the fat from the visual novel and treating key thematic scenes with the respectful grace they deserve.
Now, regarding the technical merits, I will say that the film definitely had large amount of budget to work with, almost to the point of making the producers value quantity over quality. I forgot exactly what happened in the original visual novel, but it felt like the only things happening in the fight scene were explosions. Saber and Berserker also spent a lot of the time jumping from place-to-place and performing mid-air kicks like Rock Lee with five gates opened, so there wasn’t much opportunity to explore the mental state of the fighters. Don’t get me wrong, the animation was certainly gorgeous and fluid, and it also featured this insane sakuga where the camera showed the background of a natural scenery changing from following the movement of a character while showing beautiful animated explosions happening in that same background (the staffs of this film were boasting about this particular scene being the pinnacle of Japanese animation). But these fights feel empty unless we can feel the emotional stake of the fight, which it had none. There was also this scene where Sakura was confessing her secrets near the beginning of the film where Sakura was making so much facial and body movements that it seemed incredibly unnatural. I think this is what animators do when they have nothing better to animate but still want to make the scene look impactful. I am not a huge fan of this. However, not everything was overdone. Ironically, I felt that the art shined the most when there was not much to animate, when the characters were living their daily lives, when silence and calm conversations tells a better story. The music suffered the same problem as the animation. There were a lot of explosive choruses during fight scenes (no pun intended), which sort of distracted me from the fights, but it was haunting and beautiful during gruesome and emotional scenes.
So in conclusion, this is a film that is made for Type-Moon x ufotable fans through and through. You will especially get a lot of out of this film if you have already read the visual novels and have seen all the previous main Fate franchise anime. Ironically, the core hook of this film is its story and characters, which I didn’t think was going to be the case because I just simply didn’t think they would go in such depth in exploring the themes and characters in a humanistic way. The film is gorgeous to look at, but I question some of its animation directions. Like mentioned before, this is a story-focused film, so the best parts come from scenes that don’t involve actions. I will briefly mention here, that the highly anticipated sex scene was given the proper treatment. It was not overdone and it properly articulated the love between the participants. I just thought that you might be interested.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – II. Lost Butterfly
2. Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 3
3. One Piece Movie 14: Stampede
4. Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 2