They’re the best Anime that 2014 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Pokemon XY: Sora no Hahen, Cardfight!! Vanguard Movie: Neon Messiah, Long Zhi Gu: Poxiao Qibing, and more!
5: Pokemon XY: Sora no Hahen
Japanese: ポケットモンスターXY 宇宙の破片（そらのはへん）
MAL Score: 6.75
Pocket Monsters XY: Sora no Hahen, is an anime movie tied to Pokémon XY television anime, that screened in two Tokyo planetariums. Like previous Pokémon planetarium anime, this one was projected onto 360-degree panoramic domes.
The story follows Satoshi and his friends when they visit the Pokémon Aerospace eXploration Agency (a nod to the real-life Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).
They are thrilled by stories from PAXA’s astronauts about the wonders of space and the possibility of Pokémon living in space. Then, just as they hear about the dangers posed by space debris, sirens suddenly ring out. Team Rocket have plotted to seize control of PAXA and have apparently infiltrated the facility.
At that critical moment, trouble develops in a control system for artificial satellites. Large pieces of space debris have collided, causing fears of even more debris.
4: Cardfight!! Vanguard Movie: Neon Messiah
Japanese: 劇場版 カードファイト!! ヴァンガード ネオンメサイア
MAL Score: 6.77
A hybrid anime/live-action movie for the series to be released Fall 2014.
After the events of Link Joker-hen, Aichi and Kai team up to a confront an enemy that threatens the peace they’ve just regained. The movie also covers the events leading up to Aichi’s disappearance in Legion Mate-hen.
Short review: Yay! The world is once again on the break of destruction and the heroes once again have to save the world. This movie is a movie about a phenomenon like Link Joker, but now it is called the Deletor. Deletor deletes and Link Joker possesses card fighters. The Deletor only needs one person, while Link Joker needs an army. So they aren’t that really that similar, I guess, but close enough. Anyways, the point is that if you loved the Link Joker arc, then you should give this movie a try.
Long Review: The problem about this movie is that there isn’t anywhere you can watch it in super good quality and accurate sub titles, but you can watch the movie on YouTube (Just search up CardFight!Vanguard: Neon Messiah english sub or CFV Neon Messiah english sub). If you are bothered about spelling mistakes like me, try to ignore it because you get the point and the movie is really good.
Since the synopsis is really inaccurate in MyAnimeList at this time, I will summarize the movie better. The just of it is that the world is once again threatened by a new enemy, which is called the Deletor, I mention that name 4 times already in this review. Basically, units started disappearing all over the world and Takuto Tatsunagi needed Aichi, Kai, Misaki, Kamui, etc’s help once again to absolutely destroy the enemy and eliminate it from the face of Earth and Cray. I’m going to pause the review for a second.
Didn’t Takuto get sucked into the Link Joker Ring in the end of the Link Joker arc? I was confused on why Takuto was back. Could this movie be a prequel?
Continuing on the review… Takuto invited them to a tournament called the Messiah Scramble for a reason I’m not going to tell you. The story is actually really good, they did a great job at finishing up the first part of the series because after this movie, you will never see Aichi or Kai ever again, probably.
The art was amazing. I think it is at the level of the Fate series. Maybe not, but you can see all the time and effort it took to make the art flow so smoothly. If you were waiting for fights to be an actual card fight holograms, then you will love this movie’s art. The problem for the art now is there are no card effects being presented and it is hard to know when they are taking damage. For all we know, Ibuki can be cheating his way through the tournament.
Like all the seasons, the sound is really good. I don’t think I have any other comments for sound.
The new character Ibuki is the antagonist of this movie. He follows the popular cliche for most antagonists, the cliche is the bad past cliche. According to the developer Ibuki had a bad experience relating to Vanguard, but I’m still not sure what that is.
There is this moment when you see Kai have some kind of light in his eyes. I think Kai secretly has Psyqualia.
Final Comments: It’s a really good movie. It is probably between Legion Mate and G, Takuto somehow used his magical powers to resurrect himself. But that is just a Theory right now.
So, after four seasons of a great anime about a card game called Cardfight Vanguard, comes this movie. After watching all 4 seasons of CFV, I watched this movie and honestly, this was one of the biggest let-downs I had with any series so far.
But, let’s start with the good stuff:
1. Characters – Most of the characters from this movie were taken directly from the series and have complex designs and unique personalities. While very little of it can be fleshed out with a time restriction like in this case, the characters are represented well. There is ofcourse a new character, Ibuki Kouji. His character is well designed (not so much his cards), his backstory well explained and he, as a villain, represents a real threat, which makes him relevant.
2. The ending – If any of the CFV season had at least one thing in common, that would be a satisfying ending. This movie is no exception. While I won’t spoil it for now, I’d say that it does redeem the movie a bit.
3. Voice acting – While this is hadrly its own topic since it mostly belongs under characters it might be worth noting that it is on point and well acted.
And that’s pretty much all I can come up with for the good stuff. Next comes the stuff that makes me feel that 3 is a very generous score for this movie.
1. The cardfights – Oh wait,… this is wrong,… there are no cardfights! Oh, yeah, that’s what I actually meant. “The lack of cardfights” would be more appropriate. This is why people who liked the series might not like the movie. And one of the main reasons I didn’t like it. So, what basically happens, CARDFIGHTS GET REPLACED by weak Half-CGI BATTLES, that will make your head spin an make you wonder wtf just happened. Also lots of gore-like stuff, ripping through people’s stomacks with one’s hand etc. (tons of unneccessary violence, in my oppinion)
So, no points of power, no trigger checks, no clever skills, basically nothing that make vanguard special as a card game. Instead, we get our character’s avatars flying around cray clashing weapons and smashing into their enviroment at nausiating speeds with weird camera angles, even weirder camera angle transition and just in general cluster**** action. If you like that kind of stuff, then great, but in my oppinion, slapping the name “Vanguard” on it is an insult to the original. Especially since the villain is apparently so overpowered that noone can defeat him without an actual miracle (minor spoiler), yet there is no explanation how he does it or what makes his cards so strong. Sure, the word “delete” gets thrown around, but unless you’ll go read the game rulebook it won’t help you at all.
2. General cinematography – It seems to me that the director of this movie just went a bit crazy and tried to squeeze every camera and perspective tric he could possibly imagine. Some of them look really cool, but when the cool shot lasts for two seconds only to immediatly and awkwardly transition into a new camera gimmick, the good shot loses most of its appeal. Most certainly not one of Shin Itagi’s finest works.
Personally, this ruined my viewing experience the most if I ignore the lack of cardfights. Lots of potential wasted.
3. Nagisa – That annoying little girl that won’t stop obsessing over Kamui. Well, at least they can’t make it worse, right? Wrong. Now she also showers the screen with imaginary hearts everytime she appears.
I’m gonna stop here. I could go on, but I’m too lazy and many things might not apply to everyone watching this. And in the end, it’s just my oppinion. I hope you don’t waste time on this bad excuse for a vanguard show, but if you do, I hope you’ll at least enjoy some of it.
Art + Sound + Character – 7/10 all together.
Enjoyment – 1/10: there’s no way that I can enjoy this movie. I hate it. the reason is well to tell the truth, Cardfight!! Vanguard is a card game anime, Not Dragon Ball Z. but this is wrong. There AREN’T Any Card fighting in here in this movies at all. I should call this Dragon Ball Z Vanguard.
A little talk like telling your unit skill and flip the card over for attacking would be more appropriate. but here, you are transform into unit itself, and I saw Aichi Sendou and Kai dodge the attack and counter the attack. not even mention about there are a few tons of unneccessary violence like GORE in the movie.
in cardfight rules, for each attack from your vanguard attack. you’ll be able to pull card(s) for triggers. in this movie, I witness no trigger checks, no skills reveal to activate it. basically this movie is not a vanguard card game. I heard that Ibui use Deletor deck which allow him to delete opponent vanguard. which is flip vandguard face down and its text and power are lost. I didn’t see it in the movie. Daunting Deletor, Oksizz I love this card so watch. I was hoping to see how the card works by counter blast 3 and put card in RG into soul and delete opponent vanguard and unit get +10000. um.. I didn’t see that stuff mention in here.
Overall: 4/10 to be honest. I can’t enjoy this movie. the way our character flying around and slashing and dodging is not really a cardfight. if this movie call Dragon Vanguard Z Movie Neon Messiah then I have no problem rating 10/10 lol
3: Long Zhi Gu: Poxiao Qibing
English: Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn
Japanese: 龙之谷 破晓奇兵
MAL Score: 7.21
The land of Altera has observed an uneasy peace for years among Humans, Elves and Evil beasts who are loyal to the legendary Black Dragon. But the Black Dragon begins to stir from its hibernation, sending the Beasts marching across Altera. With a beast conquest perilously close, a small group of Humans and Elves unite to try to find a secret hidden road to the Black Dragon’s cave and destroy it. But the fate of all of them may be in the hands of the young warrior Lambert, who must summon the confidence and skill to face the Black Dragon himself just when all may be lost.
(Source: Official site)
As a former player of Dragon Nest who had experience with its Story & Characters , I would say that this movie is just another failed game adaptation. I thought the movie would be awesome as the its great trailer but no; it’s very disappointing, it’s as the same level with the new garbage Disney movies.
Story: Apparently, the story takes place before what’s happening during the game. After many never-explained wars between races like (humans vs elfs); a dragon…a big black one awakening ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) , very few warriors who have been selected to eliminate the big-ass threatening dragon who’s going to awake, (apparently each one of them represents their race). And for some reason one of them is untrained newbie who was allowed to joined them in that hard mission. It’s told that dragons have jewels which hold powerful energy that can even revive dead beings; hence everyone before and during the mission are fighting about what to do with that fucking jewel.
The writing was bad, the story was too predictable and filled with plot conveniences. Characters meet each other coincidentally or putted in situations deliberately in a clear way.
Characters: The original bad-ass characters like Argenta, Geraint and Velskud are portrayed as pathetics, their personalities were RUINED.
Lambert who’s the protagonist is your energetic battle maniac cliche BUT you what’s worse? Unlike Sed Novstat (the protagonist from Dragon Nest: Shungeki no Sedo), Lambert doesn’t even have a backstory (not even a little) and we don’t even know where he came from or and how he use the sword. No info about him, he’s a two dimensional.
Liya is more developed characters since she’s a bit related with the hatred from elves toward human, but unfortunately the plot didn’t dive that much into themes such as discrimination but it’s okay. What’s not okay was her predictable romance relationship with Lambert as they keep saving each others ass the whole movie.
Other side characters aren’t even worth to mention; they’re just their to fight and talk shit to each other BECAUSE WE MUST UNITE!
Sound: I’ve watched the movie in the English Dub, it was good and fitting most of the time, except maybe for the screaming. The BGMs were okay.
Art: Very beautiful backgrounds and towns were resemble to the ones in the game, great characters desgins especially for the MCs. The animations are good but sometimes look funny especially when the characters turn their head.
Overall: The movie is very BAD in terms of the story and character, But very GOOD in terms of art and thrilling action scenes, it also has some decent comedy and accidental boob grabs.
So I watched it, and… lets leave a disclaimer here:
– I am realy big fan of the Dungeon and Dragons games, and I realy like this stuff. This movie, (for me) somehow managed to evoke the same feel of all those games and adventures. Which realy made me happy, and pointed me towards the seccond movie, that I realy enjoyed. So, if you are DnD fanatic like me, I guess there isnt any downfall in watching this for you… For the rest of the people tho, there is probably lot of flaws in this movie, that perhaps can ruin the fun…
Lets talk those flaws:
Not knowing anything about lore of this franchise… I must say, the first movie realy dont help all that much. There is lot of nicely animated characters, that are truly undeveloped, but visualy and character-wise interesting.
There is a quest and there is realy straight forward story, with some predictable character developements… well… It definitely is not one of the sharpest tools in the box.
For the things that i liked on the other side, even if It isnt best movie…
Action is very good, visuals are well made and there is even bit of a romance going on. There isnt any unbearable fanservise and its made in a way, that is KID FRIENDLY.
Note: the character animation resembles the new Tinkerbell movies. 🙂
So in conclusion… if you are not expecting anything deep, smart and complex, but want to enjoy some nice animated fantasy movie, with well made action scenes.. this is the right stuff, than can even be watched with the kids in the room. 🙂
2: Doraemon Movie 34: Shin Nobita no Daimakyou – Peko to 5-nin no Tankentai
English: Doraemon the Movie: Nobita in the New Haunts of Evil -Peko and the Five Explorers-
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん 新 のび太の大魔境～ペコと5人の探検隊～
MAL Score: 7.27
This is a remake of the 1982 film, Doraemon: Nobita’s Great Demon, which was written by original Doraemon co-creator Fujiko F. Fujio.
1: Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke no Bohyou
English: Lupin III: Jigen’s Gravestone
Japanese: LUPIN THE IIIRD 次元大介の墓標
MAL Score: 7.83
The film will be a continuation spinoff of the 2012 “Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine” television anime series.
Lupin and Jigen have their sights set on a treasure worth stealing called the Little Comet which is located in the country of East Doroa. The country has fortified its border after a singer named Queen Malta got assassinated in the neighboring country of West Doroa upon visit.
Despite the two countries being enemies, Lupin and Jigen still plan to steal the treasure. During the heist, Jigen almost got killed by a skilled sniper named Yael Okuzaki. His specialty is preparing tombstones for his targets before executing his kills. Its said that no one has survived after Yael makes a grave for that target.
Visually the film looks pretty good with vibrant and colorful animation. My biggest problem is the audio in this film and I don’t mean the music. I prefer to watch my anime dubbed but the dub in this film was pretty atrious to be honest. Tony Oliver, Richard Epcar, Michelle Ruff, Lex Lang , none of these original voice actors are present in this film to reprise their roles. Richard Epcar is in the film but only to voice Zenigata’s 2 lines in the epilogue of this film. What a waste! If you have the original voice actor, why not let him voice Jigen?! The new voice actors they picked to voice the main characters, deliver their lines with no emotion or charisma to the point where I thought about switching the audio to Japanese halfway through the film.
The story of Jigen Daisuke’s Tombstone is definitely weaker than its original counterpart, even compared to individual episodes – which is certainly a shame. Rather than a focus on Lupin III, as you may have guessed the story is focused more on his hat-tilting, gun-toting friend Jigen. Or does it? Jigen is indeed the one in the title, but he seems less interesting than other iterations of himself, and commands less focus (More about that in Characters). Rather the plot revolves around an assassination, the assassin involved and why it happened. But is that even the point?
If you couldn’t tell, the story, while easy to understand, lacks focus. It sets up a story of politics and assassinations, changes to one of ‘who is of greater skill’, gets sidetracked by something almost completely unrelated (Pretty much an excuse to get Mine Fujiko naked again – which isn’t a spoiler), then wraps it all up with brief mention to previous points. While it does hit the regular Lupin III plot point of Lupin being the smartest guy in a room, I can’t help but feel as if it’s setting up for sequels by intentionally leaving things unexplained. I guess I just expected more.
The regular Lupin III cast returns… except my two favourite characters are missing! But oh well, the detective and samurai can be put on hold I suppose. As for the cast that does show up, I have to say I’m a little disappointed. While indeed Lupin, Fujiko and Jigen are all more or less themselves, I can’t help but think that Fujiko and Jigen are less capable than they were in the original ‘Mine Fujiko’ series. To say more is spoilers, but I can’t help but think that their skill is arbitrarily reduced to generate conflict. Despite this, there’s nothing particularly wrong with any of the main characters personalities – if you liked them before, you’ll like them now. The ‘villain’ however is not too exciting, the writers thinking eccentricity is a replacement for actual character. But if you’re into calculated killer type of villain, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy him just fine.
While the art and the character designs is still very nice to look at (almost identical to the ‘Mine Fujiko’ series), I have to say that it looks much cleaner than its original counterpart, lacking the same style. Depending on your personal opinion that’s either better or worse, but personally I missed the thick chalky shadows of the original. Certainly anything but bad, but it doesn’t look quite as impressive as the original.
Pretty standard for a modern Lupin creation – which means it’s quite good. It lacks the breadth of the original ‘Mine Fujiko’ series, but then again 57 minutes compared to a 13 episode series means you can’t have as diverse a soundtrack. Also a little less jazzy, which I missed, but that’s just my personal tastes.
As I said in the opening, while lacking the same quality as the original, Lupin IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke’s Tombstone is still entertaining, as pretty much all Lupin is. It’s a short watch, and worth it just to have a bit more quality Lupin.
Overall, if this is the first spinoff of many, this first one certainly hasn’t reduced my opinion of those to come. I’m excited to see where this is heading, but I hope the story improves.
STORY: As I said, not much focus on Jigen. I mean, I guess it was titled “Tombstone” and not “Jigen Origin Story,” but I expected more from the trailers. I skipped through it before watching it, and found a scene with a woman on stage. I assumed we’d have a detailed backstory about that. Nope. No emotional connection there. And the movie is odd; broken down into two parts. Every single Lupin movie/special has at least one laugh out loud moment, one moment to make you really feel glad you watched it. This movie is so blah it’s ridiculous. It’s an action movie with very little good action and too many over used (and unsuccessful) story props. HOWEVER! The last 10 minutes will pay off. We get a few good cameos, and one that has me going back to watch the certain movie he or she was in.
CHARACTER: As a woman, the only thing I dislike about Monkey Punch’s anime and ESPECIALLY the manga, is how much he seems to hate women. They are there to be, either abused, killed off, or romanced. Every single female character in a special is killed off once we’ve warmed up to the idea of her, or Lupin goes gaga for her, or she’s the betraying vixen. Fujiko covers those last two pretty well. This time around, Lupin isn’t having any of her B.S. But still, she gets groped, of course, and is nude, of course. The movie takes the rapebait Fujiko trope (and I’m ashamed to admit that’s what she is at this point) up a step when Fujiko is set as entertainment for a bunch of pervy old men (picture the club from Speed Grapher) and is almost raped by a giant robot. Really. Horror movie fare, and not something I expected to see in Lupin (despite a good number of his villains being after Fujiko as the norm). All right, enough about Fujiko.
Zenigata and Goemon?? Absent from the movie. Entirely absent. And before you whine: 3 second cameos do not count. They count as fanservice, but do not number towards the character count.
In the movie, Lupin acts as though he practically owns Jigen — he’s clearly the star of the show, there’s no doubt about that. This is a Lupin movie, not a Jigen movie. Even during the end show down, it’s all about Lupin looking cool.
Oh, and we find out Jigen likes couture. Whoo. So glad we got that backstory out of the way. Not like there’s a whole period of his life he spent in America, or his youth, or anything else from his life before Lupin we could have possibly covered in an hour about Jigen, right? Right?
ANIMATION: Good, I guess. Steps it up a bit from the Fujiko series while still maintaining the style. The only thing worth mentioning is Lupin’s new look. Whether a blue or green jacket, that’s debatable as the movie gets a subtle filter that could have shaded the jacket from green to blue (and for the time line laid out, green would make sense). For a few minutes in the movie, Lupin gets a delightful disguise (you know the one — with the eyepatch). Also, Jigen hasn’t looked this good since the Pink Jacket series. As there were only a few characters, they definitely stepped up their allure.
SOUND: Where’s my jazz?? No Yuji Ohno on this one! Other than that, normal voice acting from the Lupin gang. Nothing worth mentioning.
OVERALL: Meh. Watch it because it’s as good as watching one long, unimportant episode of Lupin. Watch it because you like mediocore action. Watch it again for the end scenes ^__^
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke no Bohyou
2. Doraemon Movie 34: Shin Nobita no Daimakyou – Peko to 5-nin no Tankentai
3. Long Zhi Gu: Poxiao Qibing
4. Cardfight!! Vanguard Movie: Neon Messiah
5. Pokemon XY: Sora no Hahen