They’re the best Anime that 1996 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Dragon Ball Movie 4: Saikyou e no Michi, Lupin III: Dead or Alive, Slayers Return, and more!
5: Dragon Ball Movie 4: Saikyou e no Michi
English: Dragon Ball: The Path to Power
Japanese: ドラゴンボール 最強への道
MAL Score: 7.13
A retelling of Dragon Ball’s origin with a different take on the meeting of Goku, Bulma, and Kame-Sen’nin. It also retells the Red Ribbon Army story; but this time they find Goku rather than Goku finding them.
Better renderized, it just became beautiful and gives joy to watch. The original magic got stronger with this special animation and it surely won’t disappoint anyone who loves DB, and even the ones who had never watched it.
Some characters were excluded, like Pilaf and his comrades, and some members from RR (Colonel Silver, Captain Yellow etc.), but those were less important in the saga. What matters is that it shows us, in 75 minutes, all that happened before Piccolo Daimao’s appearance.
So, basically, the story goes from Goku meeting Bulma, Oolong, Yamcha, Puar and Master Roshi, to the complete defeat of the RR’s army, with some small changes in the way it goes and the exclusion of Goku’s training with Kuririn, as well as their first Tenkaichi Budoukai.
Ending credits with “Dan Dan Kokoro Hikarete ‘ku” as its background made me cry (this song really moves me). Any real fan of this incredible saga should watch it! Strongly recommended!
We open with Goku meeting Bulma for the first time. Yay, another re-telling like the first film. So, they meet Oolong and Yamcha and then things surprisingly get switched up and they encounter the Red Ribbon Army. So, instead of a straight up re-telling, it’s more an alternative scenario where the group encounters the Red Ribbon Army while first hunting for the dragonballs instead of Pilaf and his minions.
The biggest issue with the narrative is that some parts of it are overly predictable. Like, the big climax is very much of the “everything is obvious before it happens” variety. Of course, this isn’t a franchise that’s known for its surprising twists. It’s known for its big, over the top action sequences. But it’s usually not quite this obvious with every single beat being super telegraphed. The film also repeats some of the gags from the series verbatim and they just don’t have the same impact. It doesn’t help that they aren’t even close to the funniest gags from the series.
On the positive side, changing things around so that the group’s first major conflict is with Red Ribbon, does change things up enough to give the film a sense of uniqueness, in spite of being an alternative re-telling. Which is something of a rarity. It also does mostly capture the sense of fun of the series proper pretty well.
Chances are, most of you are familiar with the major Dragonball characters like Goku, Bulma and Roshi. You also get more minor supporting characters like Oolong & Pu’ar. There’s also Yamcha for the one person out there who likes Yamcha. Fortunately for the rest of us, he pretty much just follows the group and gets used as a butt monkey. The somewhat surprising character is Cyborg Eight, or Hat-chan if you prefer. He gets used quite extensively in this one. It’s a fun cast, not all that deep but well suited for the film’s aesthetic.
Mostly, the artwork is pretty well done. There are some cool action moments. The character models look good. Bulma has purple hair instead of her usual teal for some reason and Goku wears a blue gi instead of his usual orange. Probably because the non-canon GT had just come out and he wore blue in that. The only real issue with the art is that they really overdo the shadow effects and there are points where it just looks a bit rubbish.
The acting is well done. They got the usual cast with Nozawa Masako, Tsuru Hiromi, Tatsuta Naoki, Iizuka Shouzou and the others. So, it’s a group who know the characters they’re voicing really well and are good at them. The music is typical for the franchise. Which isn’t a bad thing. Dragonball consistently has some pretty strong music.
Areas of Improvement:
1. A little surprise to the climax. Yes, this is a formulaic franchise but they could still put in something a bit unpredictable to make things more interesting.
2. Rework the gags a little. There’s a reason Spamalot doesn’t use the exact same jokes as Quest for the Holy Grail. Gags are funnier when they’re fresh. If you know the punchline, they just don’t work as well.
3. Stop Putting shadows over everything.
Saikyou e no Michi is a solid Dragonball film, in spite of its late release and fans of the franchise will probably enjoy it once they stop complaining about Goku’s wardrobe change and Bulma’s hair dye. For myself, the climax was far too obvious and the recycled gags didn’t land particularly well, but I still thought it was a solid film. In the end, I’ll give it a 7/10.
“The Path to Power” is the Dragon Ball 10th Anniversary movie that backtracks to the origin of the series, with apparently an “alternative take” on how Goku met up with his friends.
If truth be told, I was pleasantly surprised by “The Path to Power”. Unlike most of the other DB movies that I’ve seen, this one actually has a story. Yeah, you heard me right. The usual set up for Dragon Ball movies is this: Introduce some new villain(s) within the first 5 minutes that’s out to take over the world… and then the rest of it is just a long drawn out battle between Goku and co with the aforementioned villain(s). At some point, Piccolo would make an “unexpected” appearance in order to save Gohan (Goku’s son), then gets beaten up before Goku saves the day. The end. Surprisingly, this movie deviates from that much used formula. Shocking though it may seem, THIS movie actually has a story to tell, a story that can actually be considered a proper adventure, albeit one with lots of time spent battling enemies. However my point is there IS story development here and not just a simple 5 minute set up to face up to the newer, badder, stronger than ever enemy. This is what makes it so refreshing in comparison to the other Dragon Ball movies. The story itself is decent too, and kept me interested for most of the duration of the movie despite some parts being quite predictable.
I enjoyed the comedy element of the movie as well, I remember one classic line “I don’t want to touch your dirty ass” that had me LOLing for a bit. The animation is of the usual sub-par Dragon Ball standard, though I’m grateful for the lack of typical fast exchanges of blows style battle animation that’s so prevalent in other Dragon Ball movies. The character designs are typically uninspiring, with young Goku looking exactly like Gohan in the other movies – they are so similar in fact, that I thought this was Gohan’s story at first. It’s quite funny (in a good way) to see a young, naive Goku. He’s makes for a decent lead character. The frankenstein character wasn’t so good though – there was one point where he suddenly changed in a way that doesn’t make much sense from a character development point of view. Oh well, what the hell am I doing being so fussy about the characters in a Dragon Ball movie anyway…
My main issue with this movie isn’t actually with the quality of the content (my expectation wasn’t exactly sky high in the first place), it’s with the frequent fanservice. I’m not a fan of fanservice even during the best of times, but it’s worse here because it’s highly inappropriate considering the age group of the audience thats being targeted.
Though “The Path to Power” still a way from being good, I’d definitely give it a thumbs up for good effort, and for succeeding to be one of the more interesting Dragon Ball movies.
Extended edit: having watched the first Dragon Ball movie “Curse of the Blood Rubies”, I’m even more impressed with “The Path to Power” now, because comparing the two movies revealed just how different this one is to its predecessor. It’s not just a copy cat version of the original (which is a trap that remakes can easily fall into) – it came up with a completely different storyline that achieves the same aim and is by no means inferior to the old one.
4: Lupin III: Dead or Alive
English: Lupin III: Dead or Alive
Japanese: ルパン三世 DEAD OR ALIVE
MAL Score: 7.16
Lupin, Goemon, and Jigen take a mini-helicopter and head to the mysterious “Drifting Island” looking for a treasure rumored to be hidden somewhere on it. Through their exploration of the island, the trio encounters the lethal “Nanomachine,” the island’s security system. The trio triggers the alarm, springing “the Nanomachine” to life. The key to solving the island’s mystery lies in the small nation of Zufu. This once prosperous nation is now ruled by the ruthless, knife-collecting, General Headhunter. Fujiko does her usual probing and hacks into General Headhunter’s computer hoping to find some crucial information. Zenigata has received a video message from Lupin in which Lupin announces his desire for the priceless treasure. Oleander, a fiery blond officer with some hidden secrets of her own, steps in to help Zenigata. Armed with their newly found information, Lupin, Goemon, Jigen, and Fujiko go back to “Drifting Island,” but this time they are followed by General Headhunter.
This time Lupin and the gang, based on a rumour, head to a mysterious island to find a massive hidden treasure. Upon their arrival, they are attacked by a super sci-fi based security system and narrowly escape. The key to finding the treasure on the island is by unlocking some secret a small dictator nation has.
Although the plot is not too bad nor is it really good by any means, this Lupin movie is pretty average for the most part. Production was incredibly rushed and Monkey Punch basically only designed the opening and ending sequences, the most action packed parts of the movie. The rest of the team “filled” in the rest of the movie, which is why Dead or Alive has a bit of a slower pace and many questions and plot holes until magically filled in at the end. Basically, Monkey Punch did what he could to make this respectable.
Animation and sound are nothing spectacular. All of the usual Lupin characters are present as well as a change in Fujiko’s look and the basic Lupin driven femme-fatale character. Nothing really seems to stand out as good or bad in this anime. Even the evil villain in Dead or Alive seems too much of an evil gimmick. Dictator General Headhunter collects knives and is ruthless enough to kill with said knives. This character may be a gimmick but at least fits the evil villain role well right up until the end as he should.
The sci-fi element is what drives Dead or Alive. As opposed to the usual Lupin heist, this is more of a mystery treasure hunt. With this aspect it can either disappoint those who wanted more or intrigue those who wanted something different out of Lupin. However, for the fan familiar with Lupin and the gang, it is an average anime with a neat little science twist to drive the plot.
There a weird love story around the character development woman, but to me, it has a natural way of playing out. She seems pretty real about it around everything that’s happened, and I’m ok with her ending. It’s kind of obscure, but I’d say it’s enough.
I feel like the art and sound quality fell short on this one. I would recommend this to new Lupin fans, and people new to anime.
3: Slayers Return
English: Slayers Movie 2
MAL Score: 7.32
The inhabitants of the village of Biaz, forced to labor in the serivce of the world-domination-happy Zein organization, hires Lina Inverse and Naga The Serpent to drive off the invaders. Lina and Naga agree, lured by stories of Elfin treasure sleeping below Biaz, only to get considerably more trouble -from the Zein and from the treasure – than they ever expected.
The film furthers the misadventures of Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent. A young woman named Saleena finds them and requests their help to save her village, which has been taken over and the villagers forced into labour unearthing some strange device. Lina agrees, much to Naga’s surprise, when she hears the village’s name and remembers tales of elven treasure. The humour in this is highly effective and enjoyable throughout. The story itself is much better paced than Perfect’s. It does a good job of building up some suspense and the climax is both funny and interesting.
The characters don’t have much depth. That being said, they are very effective from a comedic standpoint. They’re ridiculous, absurd, and quirky. They all have a lot of comedic potential and their interactions are really funny.
The art is a lot better than it was in the first film. It’s more like the actual series in that it looks like time and effort went into it as opposed to looking rushed. Its bright, vivid and the characters have interesting designs. The action scenes are really well executed and the backgrounds look nice.
The vocal cast remains excellent. Hayashibara Megumi and Kawamura Maria, both amazing actresses, are joined by Hiramatsu Akiko, Ootsuka Akio and Utsumi Kenji, all of whom are masterful at their craft. The music is really splendid as well.
The Ho-yay factor is a 2/10. There are a few moments where things between Lina and Naga look a bit homo-erotic, like Naga telling Lina to pay for her meals for the rest of their lives, but nothing substantial.
That’s Slayers Return. It is an improvement over the first film, with a lot of that film’s problems being absent. It has a lot of really funny moments, the art is great, the voice acting and music are excellent. If you want a good comedy, check it out. My final rating is a 9/10. Next week I’ll finish up March with a look at Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu, unless something unexpected happens.
The gist of the plot is that an evil organization called Zein is looking to obtain an artifact from a small village, Biaz. To that end they have enslaved the citizens of the village, and it’s up to Naga and Lina to save them – though of course Lina is mainly interested in fulfilling her own goals.
Slayers Return is a lot more enjoyable to watch than Slayers Perfect; it’s funnier, for one thing, and the character interactions are amusing to watch. There’s not much for character development – Lina, Naga, and the rest are pretty stagnant – but let’s face it, we watch Slayers for comedic moments and parody, and character growth is optional (though not completely unwanted). Thus, the lack of metamorphosis is not a bad thing at all.
The scriptwriter is nothing to sneeze at; while Slayers Return takes place before the animated television series, and is pretty much a part of a series of episodes involving Naga and Lina’s adventures, it can absolutely be watched as a stand-alone work. It makes no references to either the previous movies or OVAs, or to the television show. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with being familiar with the characters beforehand, and honestly, it would probably bolster your enjoyment of the movie a lot.
Technically speaking, the palettes used in Slayers Return are pretty dark. However, the animation is fairly fluid most of the time bar jitteriness during running scenes. Fight scenes themselves are pretty well-animated. There’s also a good amount of detail in many frames. Characters look just like themselves and the movie-only cast have pretty good designs.
Soundwise, the movie is fairly average. The OST is all right, though not very memorable in my opinion. It does its job for the most part. I will say I did like Slayers Return’s soundtrack more than Slayers Perfect’s. The movie features a vocal track sung by Hayashibara Megumi and Kawamura Maria. It’s entitled Just Be Conscious and plays during the credits. It’s a very enjoyable song to listen to and it’s definitely the highlight of the soundtrack. It certainly bolsters up the sound rating.
Overall, Slayers Return is a nice little standalone title that I certainly liked watching, and I’d recommend it to any Slayers fan.
There’s really no point reiterating my thoughts on Naga and Lina, or the animation and music. There’s nothing that makes these films distinct in any way; neither from their predecessors nor from anime movies in general. This one has a weak plot, boring side characters, uninteresting action, and can be summed up as: eh. It has an occasionally decent chuckle here or there but I don’t understand the appeal of these. First of all, they have nothing to do with the vastly superior television series. The TV series is well-balanced, with a cast of characters that work off of each other and a plot that allows for enough action and comedy to keep the viewer engaged. The movies and OVA’s, so far, have showcased a very different Slayers, one that isn’t so much a parody of fantasy as much as a stagnant fantasy/comedy of its own.
A friend of mine put it best: the Slayers movies are filler. The problem is, filler is annoying in the context of an ongoing series (such as the Excalibur filler of Soul Eater) but even more annoying when it comprises an entire product (such as this, or the whole seasons of filler in Bleach).
Return isn’t a bad movie; it’s just another average, unmemorable money grab.
2: Tenchi Muyou! in Love
English: Tenchi Muyo! In Love
Japanese: 天地無用! in Love
MAL Score: 7.42
In a dark corner of the universe, intergalactic criminal Kain breaks out of prison and destroys the Galaxy Police Headquarters. Basking in the afterglow of the terror and destruction he has caused, Kain sets his sights toward a much bigger prize waiting on Earth.
Meanwhile, Tenchi Masaki and his crew are watching some old home videos of his mother, Achika. As the film rolls, Achika slowly starts to vanish. While watching her fade away, Tenchi also begins to disappear. However, thanks to a device created by Washuu Hakubi, Tenchi is not gone for good.
The gang soon learns about Kain and deduce that he must have done something to Achika, which has resulted in time being altered. To save himself and maintain the future, Tenchi travels with the girls back in time to protect his mother from her fate.
If you loved Tenchi and 90’s anime as much as I do, there is a lot to take from this film. The artwork is drawn in the certain old fashion style and the music is charming. The actual film starts out like a slice of life as everyone adopts to their new lifestyle while trying to protect Tenchi’s mom. There is laughter, Ryoko and Ayeka share some their classic banter and other great characters return like Washu, Sasami and co. The third act of the film is a bit slow, going more into the fantasy aspects of Tenchi, where as I was more enjoying the casual school life with a little bit of mystery as to Kain’s appearance. But the ending was beautiful because it was your classic anime ending. I don’t know why, but endings to anime films, usually from the 90’s always get to me. If you love Tenchi Muyo, you will love this film. A classic in 90’s anime culture.
The best things that can be said for this is that the soundtrack is very good and the animation quality is still pretty good, even with the anime hair. It looks nice and it’s detailed and bright, with that extra polish movies typically get. I also still love the way they animate Ryoko and her abilities. Still my favorite version of teleportation, and I love watching her fight.
The plot just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Every infodump scene is nonsense that couldn’t even be classified as junk science and none of the characters do things that make logical sense in any fashion whatsoever.
The opening is supposed to be an emergency scene where we preview just how powerful Kain is. But nothing any of the police officers(?) says make sense. They’re studying time? Time is passing? Oh no! What will we do when time and space are moving! (Paraphrasing a line one of the characters says) Kain sucks the space station into a black hole. Then… makes it reappear, but severely damaged. Because. Because? Sailor Pluto may be a character I love but jeez this short scene makes even less sense than her character timeline.
How did Kain escape? We never know. It doesn’t seem like he can get more powerful in his prison cell. Washu at least compensates for this at the end by commenting that he’ll probably escape again, so best murder him before that happens cause you know… he kills planets and stuff. But if this ‘galactic cannon’ exists in the present, prior to Kain escaping, and they clearly are not attempting to reform and eventually release him, and he did all those bad things… why NOT execute him? Are they studying him? When Washu goes into the database for the police they don’t seem to have learned anything about him so all this time has passed and studying him hasn’t seem to have done anything for them, if that’s what they’re doing, and he somehow escaped his prison so… maybe just use the cannon on him to be safe?
Why would someone even build a cannon that can destroy galaxies? What is the purpose of that? As a way to keep the Jurai in check? And if Kain destroyed the entire Galaxy Police force, where did Washu get the cannon from? Or is that at the university she got kicked out of? Why does a university have a galaxy destroying cannon?
So Kain gets powerful enough to escape his prison somehow. Okay. Why… go after Achika? Why go back in time? Did he lose control of his power and get kicked back in time after traveling near Earth for some reason – which was nowhere near his prison cell – and then, well, he’s ‘attracted’ to Jurai energy so he found Achika? It’s less silly than thinking he planned this out. He clearly doesn’t know who Achika or Yosho are ahead of time. Although it’s odd that he’d go after Achika rather than Yosho, considering that Yosho might be stronger. Maybe Yosho really is just that good at hiding himself.
I feel like if a sentient supernova, as Washu puts it, were able to break out of an impossible to break out of dimensional prison somehow, probably going to the planet with lots of Jiraians on it would make more sense than traveling to some random planet and then going back to the past. Particularly when there are fewer powerful Jiraians there. In the present you have Yosho, Tenchi, Ayeka, Sasami, and all the equipment from Ayeka and Yosho’s ships. In the past you just have Yosho and Achika, and the remnants of past Jiraians who settled there long since. Kain doesn’t seem to be out of control of his powers. His time travel was deliberate. So… why? It’s not like Achika trapped him originally. Why not travel back and kill the people who imprisoned him in the first place?
The A-Team gets told one instruction: DO NOT INTERACT WITH ACHIKA BECAUSE THAT COULD CAUSE A PARADOX! So what do they do? Immediately do their best to interact with and interfere with Achika’s life. I mean already the answer to PARADOX is “stalk teenager in the past” so whatever.
And why is the random galaxy police officer there? Can the galaxy police travel back in time? Kain should already be in prison in 1970. Why doesn’t the dude alert headquarters if he’s from that time period? How did he track down Achika? Washu at least has Tenchi to go on for her calculations. What the heck is this officer relying on to track Achika down? For that matter, why isn’t the information that officer had available to Washu when Washu looks up the database info about 1/3 of the way through the story? I like watching Ryoko fight, but the dude is literally there just to pass time by telling us information we should have learned earlier.
Why doesn’t 1970s Yosho know who Ayeka is? He should be able to at least tell that she’s from Jurai, at the least. I get it, past him is only in like five seconds of two scenes. Maybe he’s just observing to see that nothing goes wrong. Maybe he doesn’t know she’s his sister. I guess. But… still.
Why is Mihoshi a teacher and Kiyone is a janitor? There’s no reason for them to pick one over the other, but Kiyone makes better sense as a teacher because she has the sense to figure it out more than Mihoshi does. Sure, Mihoshi could probably still screw up a janitorial position, but how would she pass as a teacher? Her entire time on-screen is devoted to how bad a teacher she is. Hilariously, somehow, in the next film she’s shown doing cleaning work. There’s no story reason for why Kiyone went with the janitorial position, unless you editorialize that Kiyone hates kids and/or teaching and Mihoshi hates manual labor and/or cleaning?
And then there’s the climax. Achika and Noboyuki get sucked into this other dimension/alternate timeline(?) Washu found. The A-Team needs to get them out. Interestingly the dub has Tenchi say that he doesn’t want to die. The sub doesn’t. I get it, the audience should know that, after the whole plot of the film, Tenchi’s parents not getting together and having Tenchi means no Tenchi, but it was a bit… odd. Why does Ryoko ‘save’ him? She’s not saving him. There’s no way to ‘save’ him if his parents are sucked into the void with no way to return.
So the A-Team needs to get to the parents, even though there’s no way to pinpoint their location. Oh, I know! We’ll transfer Achika’s brainwaves to Tenchi! And Ryoko can lock onto the coordinates of that!
…I really think whoever translated for the sub did a bad job. Like I hope that’s what happened. If not, like. What? On the one hand, maybe it’s sort of an “Assassin’s Creed” genetic memory thing before AC was a thing. Doesn’t really explain how pulling on Tenchi’s “genetic memory” of his mom would pinpoint her present location unless he’s like… looking through her timeline. In which case, she shouldn’t ‘sense’ him. Because he’s not connecting with her. He’s just looking at events that have already happened in HIS past.
Basically the climax is “we can’t find the spatial coordinates so let’s transform monkeys into apple pies to solve the problem”.
Hey remember how the series fridged Tenchi’s mom? Remember how everything we know about her, from the movie and the various series, makes her sound neat and interesting and powerful and she would sure be an interesting character to see a story about? Remember how this ending basically explains how she got fridged?
Skip this. It just… is not worth it. Listen to the soundtrack somewhere else. The dub handles what jokes there are better, because the sub actors have no intonation, but the ‘jokes’ are also poorly timed and the script is just bad, so whatever.
1: Shin Kimagure Orange☆Road: Soshite, Ano Natsu no Hajimari
Japanese: 新きまぐれオレンジ☆ロード ～ そして、あの夏のはじまり
MAL Score: 7.42
It’s been several years and Kyosuke Kasuga is now 19. A mysterious phone call warns him of oncoming cars but he doesn’t listen. Ironically, he gets hit by a car and because of his telepathic abilities, gets sent three years into the future. His 22 year old future self is now a photographer who is lost in Bosnia and believed to be dead. Kyosuke must find his 22 year old future self and restore himself, the 19 year old, to his correct time. Along the way he reunites with Hikaru who is now a professional and famous dancer. Madoka is also there, distraught over both Kyosuke, the 22 year old, going missing in Bosnia and Kyosuke, the 19 year old, getting hit by a car.
Have to admit that the experience wasn’t as good as the first time. Shin KOR gives you a semi-old feel, so as a person exposed to post-AD2000 animations, it doesn’t really give you a full retro feel or a new feel. Once you get used to HD quality anime, you’ll need to take some time to get accustomed to Shin KOR artwork. Nevertheless, I kinda liked the artwork. It has lost a bit of the original appeal, but the change in artwork makes it easier for later generations to appreciate Orange Road.
Before I start, just a warning that I may reveal some spoilers subtlely, but I try not to (as for all my other reviews soon to come).
My ratings (y’know like 9 for story, 7 for art, etc) are kinda biased for Shin KOR because I simply love KOR too much lol. But pretty much this was the kind of rating I’d give when I watched it 5 years ago, or perhaps better. I’d highly recommend this to everyone who watched and liked Kimagure Orange Road (TV/OVA) because it is sort of an ending to the story. One reason I liked Shin KOR was because I could relate with the characters and I know what happened in the TV/OVA/MOVIE.
The story was pretty well-made. It followed the KOR series chronologically and it put a stop to the story itself. The feel and direction was very different from the original though. The kind of experience you’d get is different from KOR, and the climaxing points are emphasised on different areas.
Shin KOR is slightly aimed at a more mature audience I rkn, with many suggestive sexual content. Pretty mild but enough to feel that, hey the characters are already adults. I didn’t quite like the mature direction it was heading to, but it was still alright. I loved the idea about time travel though, and how it was pieced together. It kinda came to me that “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki o kakera Shoujo?sp)” was inspired by orange road. The romance was awesome and refreshing, which is what I love about KOR.
The artwork is similar to 1990+ animations. Colours used give you a warm feeling, and brings out the landscape really well.
The OST is really nice. I was shocked that it’s by Yuki Kajiura because it’s not her usual kind of ‘opera-sensation’ music. I think this was one of her earliest works in Anime. The music brought life to the movie. In fact my favourite part of the movie was the piano pieces played in the movie.
Character development wasn’t very much present, because the foundations were still based on the TV series. But really, the characters have grown much in this movie. It was really fun to see how they become like. The change was rather great (inclusive of the character design). Quite a lot of dialogue between characters, but the feelings of the characters were well portrayed. It touched me.
Overall it’s an enjoyable movie for me on Christmas Day. I’m starting to miss KOR. Maybe I’ll continue with the manga. KOR really made me enjoy my memories so much.
One character from the OVAs appears in the movie, so you may want to watch the OVAs first to learn who the hell the guy is. I thought he seemed out of character, though; he was hitting on Madoka as if he never came to his big realization.
The plot feels kinda aimless once Kyosuke gets sent to the future. He’s confused, he doesn’t know what to do or where to go… All he can do is give us a tour of the future to show us the after story. Once the solution is presented… Well, he didn’t have to work for it at all. It gets you feeling like there won’t even be a climax, but then there’s sort of one shortly after.
The details in the art and animation made it look more like a movie than the first movie. It was still pretty average, not like it was so incredibly smooth that it stands out. I guess you could say it was about as good as any other anime movie based on a series. Y’know, stuff like Spirited Away is on another level.
The characters have smaller eyes than before and generally look older and a little more modern. One point I found odd was the size difference between Kyosuke age 19 and 22. It was like comparing a teen to an adult… but they were both adults. It would be sort of unusual for a person to still be growing at that age…
Yusaku is still missing in action. I don’t remember what happened to him in the series at all… like he just faded away at some point. Would Hikaru accept him if he managed to directly tell her how he feels? This feels like one loose end that could possibly end that love triangle once and for all.
Anyhow, it was a pretty decent movie. It wasn’t very exciting or whatever and it didn’t really have me guessing what would happen next since they introduced the solution to the problem pretty early in the movie. Despite that, I still found it interesting, though.
It continues to show how he envisioned the characters from the original Manga, now nineteen, would have moved on with their lives through university. If you watched the first movie, you might feel better for the characters after watching this. Maybe it was Tereda’s way of trying to redeem himself after the poor reception of the first movie. I guess you could also consider this movie fan service for those who wanted a more complete closure to the relationships.
However, it gets quite weird with the supernatural powers back in and the way they’re used just feels silly as usual.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Tenchi Muyou! in Love
2. Shin Kimagure Orange☆Road: Soshite, Ano Natsu no Hajimari
3. Slayers Return
4. Lupin III: Dead or Alive
5. Dragon Ball Movie 4: Saikyou e no Michi