They’re the best Anime that 1999 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Tenchi Muyou! in Love 2: Haruka Naru Omoi, Pokemon Movie 02: Maboroshi no Pokemon Lugia Bakutan, Taiho Shichau zo The Movie, and more!
5: Tenchi Muyou! in Love 2: Haruka Naru Omoi
English: Tenchi Forever!
Japanese: 天地無用！ ｉｎ ＬＯＶＥ２ 遥かなる想い
MAL Score: 7.21
Tenchi runs off into the woods to spend some time alone after his friends have another argument. While lost in thought, he hears a voice coming from a camellia tree. Tenshi approaches it and vanishes through a portal.
Six months later, Tenchi still has not returned home. Though most have given up the idea of ever finding him, his friends refuse to lose hope and have split up into two teams. Aeka and Ryoukou remain on Earth to investigate while Washuu, Sasami, Kiyone, and Mihoshi comb the rest of the galaxy in search.
Their efforts eventually pay off when Tenchi’s energy is picked up on their radar. However, the happy reunion will have to wait as the girls gear up for their biggest challenge yet—Tenchi seems to have completely forgotten them and is living happily with another woman. Instead of solving their problems, finding Tenchi has left them with even more questions.
It ended up surpassing my expectations by some distance. I found it to be emotionally moving and involving – I couldn’t help but care about the characters. However, it isn’t something for Tenchi fans; it’s for fans of well written and executed films. It has a low MAL rating – on par with the Christmas special of a second film – and I understand why without even asking anyone: because it lacks the feel of the other Tenchi anime in existence. If what came before is classed as Tenchi for the younger generation, then this is most certainly Tenchi for adults.
To start with, the art differs from the art of the previous films, both of which looking like the OVA series. I wouldn’t say the previous art looks cartoony but it doesn’t exactly look realistic either. The intention was clearly to make this installment more realistic to go with the story, and they started by altering the art. The faces look more realistic, the size/proportions of the characters look more realistic… everything apart from the ears and eyes looks realistic. This is a weird complaint to have but the ears bothered me, Ryoko’s bothering me the most. Instead of having ears, it looks like a number of characters have rectangles stuck to the sides of their heads. I’m not sure if Ryoko always had rectangle for ears and the different art style simply made me notice, but whoever designed the ears deserves to be shot. Repeatedly.
The music also differs considerably from what’s gone before, changing to fit with the new direction. In the past fitting but uninspiring and unmemorable efforts good for comedy were used, but in this there are drama orientated instrumental pieces. Even ‘Étude No.3’ – the famous piano piece – plays towards the end.
…Anyway, getting back on track. The story starts in normal Tenchi style; with Ayeka and Ryoko fighting like cat and dog and Tenchi getting involved. But within minutes (literally), Tenchi randomly stumbles upon a tree and, enchanted by its beauty, walks toward it. He then gets taken somewhere by a mysterious woman who appears before him.
The plot then fast-forwards six months. Tenchi has been missing and his harem have split up to search for him. Ayeka and Ryoko, who have teamed up, have managed to find out the city he’s living in thanks to Washu and they work as waitresses while living there to pay the bills. Ryoko has a watch that alerts her to Tenchi’s presence but hasn’t had any luck finding him.
It’s soon revealed that an older looking Tenchi, complete with long hair, has been living with the woman who appeared before him at the start. The woman is called Haruna and Tenchi has lost all of his memories. And when I say living together, I mean they live together as a couple, doing what couples do when alone. It’s normal for anything sexual in a harem to be used only for comical purposes, without any actual sexual intercourse taking place, but there’s nothing comical about Tenchi and Haruna’s relationship. They’re shown together in bed, naked, with Haruna on top of Tenchi early on and later Haruna moves herself slowly up Tenchi whilst he lies down, grinding her body against his.
I’m mentioning this and going into detail because it highlights the different audience the film is aimed at. Sex goes from being childish to being handled in a far more mature fashion. That’s quite a jump for what was, before this attempt, a simple and straight-forward harem story involving alien ladies.
Once it’s clear how Tenchi’s living, the plot starts moving slower. The first twenty minutes flew by – I was surprised by the pacing – but then everything slowed down for character development. Ayeka and Ryoko become more and more depressed with every glimpse of Tenchi happy; oblivious to their existence. Despite them being rivals for Tenchi’s affection when down in the dumps, rather than fight over Tenchi, they support each other. Ryoko pushes Ayeka’s buttons when she’s on the verge giving up and Ayeka tries to do the same for Ryoko. It’s fair to say their friendship and not the rivalry they’re known for shines through in the film.
All of the other development is, as you’d expected, Tenchi and Haruna development, mixed in with some Yosho (Tenchi’s grandfather) development because of his connection to Haruna. The other cast members basically just make cameo appearances. Tenchi comes across differently than the plain harem lead type from before; he’s far more troubled and always deep in thought, drawing in an attempt to express himself and the memories that lurk in the back of his mind. Haruna, who is the villain of the story, tries to keep Tenchi ignorant in an attempt to keep him close to her and ease her loneliness. Rather than being yet another one dimensional Tenchi bad guy, she’s well developed and by the end you can’t help but feel sorry for her.
The important characters all receive lots of development, and the story even fills in some small Yosho related holes. The only serious flaw is that, as I mentioned before, it doesn’t have the same vibe as the other Tenchi anime. It’s very serious, focusing almost fully on drama. There are very few comedy scenes and the cast only gets together at the end. If I was someone who loved Tenchi for being light-hearted fun, I wouldn’t be best pleased, so I can understand the problem people have with it… but I’m not one of those people and I respect those in charge for trying something different.
Overall, watching the film was an excellent way to end my Tenchi love affair. I was expecting to end it to end on a low note, but I ended up actually thinking highly of a Tenchi offering. To anyone other than diehard Tenchi fans who can’t accept change, I strongly recommend it.
This movie is an original, meaning it’s not a sequel/prequel to the TV/OVA whatsoever, borrowing just the concept/cast/background of Tenchi Muyo, which I like. The story’s rather simple but intriguing, with an interesting twist. The pace of the whole show is set steadily and it gives a lot of room for thinking. The setting felt somewhat nostalgic and familiar. The tone is not as comical as the TV/OVA but a tad more serious.
The art of Tenchi Muyo in Love 2 is beautiful. I grew up with cel-art, but my generation belongs to CG, so I can appreciate both kinds of artwork, and the artwork is really really gorgeous. Environments are rendered realistically but it fits the mood and setting. The characters are also drawn in higher quality than in the series, with more care of the details and richer colour. There are a few new character designs that I think are better than the old.
I don’t usually pay attention to the music/sound unless it stands out, but definitely the sound/music helped to create the magical mood/setting of the show. The ending song is very appropriate and soothing as well.
There are some new characters in the movie and I like the characters as they are and how they fit into the movie. The older characters didn’t get so much air time but I think each character is given enough screen time to make a significant impact on the main character. The main character gets a lot of development and gets shown in a different light than usual. I felt like I got to know the main character a lot more from this short 1-2hours than the whole TV/OVA series.
I enjoyed it a lot. It’s my cup of tea. The ending was done rather well, and the length of the movie is just nice.
Anyone who enjoys a good cup of a romance movie should try Tenchi Muyo in Love 2. It doesn’t really matter if you watched the original series or not. Definitely a must watch for people who likes older anime and cel graphics.
The art style and shifts in art throughout the story are very interesting and different.
To get ANY ENJOYMENT from this film I would suggest watching Tenchi Muyo the TV series to understand the character relationships and motivations.
There are not actions scenes or fighting so if that is your thing you might be disappointed.
4: Pokemon Movie 02: Maboroshi no Pokemon Lugia Bakutan
English: Pokemon: The Movie 2000
Japanese: ポケットモンスター 幻のポケモンルギア爆誕
MAL Score: 7.34
An ancient prophecy tells of a day when the titans of ice, lightning, and fire are disturbed. When this occurs, Lugia, the guardian of the sea, will rise up and restore harmony. Enchanted by the words of the prophecy, Gelardan, a Pokémon collector, sets out on his airship with a dreadful plan to capture Lugia by going after these three titans.
After Gelardan makes his move, drastic climate change begins to take place, as terrible storms start popping up all over the globe. One such storm causes the ship carrying Pokémon trainers Satoshi, Kasumi, and Kenji to drift off course and land on Earthia Island. Upon arriving, Satoshi is told of the ancient prophecy, and of his destiny as the chosen one who will help Lugia restore balance to the world.
With the fate of the world in his hands, Satoshi must summon the courage to face the chaos that threatens to tear everything apart and stop Gelardan.
The story was gorgeous, and the music was gorgeous!
I’m giving it 10/10 because, well. That’s how I feel about it.
I’m not one to give away spoilers but let’s just say this one has to do with the legendary birds and gets really heated and epic. Plus, who doesn’t love Lugia? AND LUGIA’S VOICE. Might as well have been Morgan Freeman (in the dub, that is. And I’m not one who usually even likes dubs. Of course I was a kid when I first watched this…)
And then there’s the Guardian’s song. It made my neck hairs stand, and all I could do was gaze at the television screen. Absolutely majestic.
Even though they have started changing the way the movies look by adding 3d backgrounds and its getting kind of ridiculous with the number of movies they have come out with. You gotta admit the first couple of movies were the best. I had always supported this series since the day it came out and I know a lot of people hold this series deep in their hearts because they grew up with it and we will probably watch them with out kids. But I just have to say that I love pokemon forever and always.
3: Taiho Shichau zo The Movie
English: You’re Under Arrest The Movie
Japanese: 逮捕しちゃうぞ the MOVIE
MAL Score: 7.38
Bokutou Precinct rarely deals with criminals more nefarious than speeding sportscar drivers. So when Officers Nikaido Yoriko and Aoi Futaba find a cache of illegal firearms in a stolen car, and a rash of traffic control malfunctions snarls traffic along Tokyo’s streets, it is up to Tokyo’s finest to figure out what’s gone wrong. And of course, it’ll take the talents of Kobayakawa Miyuki and Tsujimoto Natsumi to crack the case. But will Miyuki’s trusty Mini-Pat and Natsumi’s fierce determination be enough to stop a devious mastermind from exploiting the weaknesses of the system and crippling Tokyo—and the world—for good?
In this franchise, Taiho Shichau zo The Movie (1999) is a controversial film because a lot of fans consider it a break from the main show. Instead of a sitcom in which they face minor cases, they carry out their civic duties and resolve their personal affairs; here we have a police thriller in which members of the traffic department have to stop the terrorist acts of a former member of the police force. The change in focus appears to be in accordance with the idea that the films should narrate events equal to or more extraordinary than those seen in the show. Hence, many popular franchise movies are about heroes saving the world from some threat. However, the film also seems to have received some influence from the Patlabor saga, especially from the second film.
The feature film, however, does not involve as drastic a break or a change as Oshii did in Mobile Police Patlabor 2: The Movie (1993) to express his personal concerns. To begin with, the tone of the film is indeed more serious and sober because the professionalism of the police force and the magnitude and nature of the crimes (arms smuggling, destruction of infrastructure and sabotage of communication systems) stand out to a greater degree. But it also significantly reduces the show’ own humor by avoiding the inclusion of extravagant characters like Strike Man and reducing the quota reserved for the dynamics of the group members and their individual behaviors. Still, the humor is there, although in a moderate way — Natsumi’s delays or Yoriko’s nosy attitude. And despite everything, the film is far from the gloomy and muted tone of Patlabor, which was also explained by a corresponding visual design. Nishimura’s film enhances realism and formality, although the whole is familiar and friendly.
In relation to crime, the film – like Oshii – opts for terrorist attacks devised by a mastermind. However, there are important differences between one and the other. On the one hand, Patlabor 2 is a slow-paced political thriller that reflects on the political problems and internal contradictions of Japan in the 1990s. Instead, this film is a more hectic-paced police thriller with less intellectual pretensions and greater attention to entertainment through a less complex and realistic criminal plot and a greater presence of action. That is to say, the work in question, although it draws heavily on the famous director’s feature film, is not as comparable to this one but rather to a good Hollywood thriller.
Comparisons aside, the Hachi Ichi Gou case can be considered genuinely intriguing. Initially, the pieces of the puzzle give the impression that there is no relationship between them. To this lost connection is also added the unknown of the mysterious informant and the contents of the confiscated disk. Despite finding and arresting the traffickers, the film makes a plot twist by involving the boss in the events, catching the viewer by surprise, although we are all aware of his innocence. However, this helps us to know the name of the culprit —Emoto— and his friendship with the boss, although we still need to know his motive. After locking up the boss, a mysterious man calls the police station to warn that the Sakura Bridge will explode and that, later, another will.
From here, the film gains a lot in terms of suspense because the police force goes into action and the antagonist’s plan takes place, allowing us to understand the reason for the breakdowns, the content of the disc and the objective they are pursuing.On the other hand, the assault and subsequent pursuit of the criminals generated most of the action of the film. The quality of the chase, destruction, and gunfights scenes is among the best in the franchise, reaching the rating of remarkable. In part, they do not reach a higher level because animation exhibits limitations due to the use of frequent static images, which are not exactly the result of an artistic decision. Despite this, the action transmits tension and emotion, with touches of humor such as the use of paint guns or the balloons in the boxes. Of all the scenes, however, the landing of the police vehicle of the protagonist couple is the most outstanding.
This film is a novelty that distances itself from the animations that make up the animated catalog of the franchise by not coinciding in part of its essential features. However, this fact is not a setback as it becomes a proposal capable of granting greater diversity and quality to the ensemble thanks to the suspense generated by the terrorist case and the high-level police action. Perhaps a greater participation of characters like Nakajima or Futaba is missing, but in general it does not disappoint.
You can also find my review here: https://elarmarioanimados.blogspot.com/2021/01/resena-estas-arrestado-la-pelicula.html
Two policewomen are assigned a spot on the Boku Police Patrolwomen. Meaning they deal with speedy and reckless drivers on the big streets of Tokyo. The skilled and badass Miyuki is teamed up with the sometimes lazy Natsumi as they and a bunch of other pretty ladies make sure the streets are safe. But when they encounter a car full of guns, suspicions rise as to what is going on, are they dealing with the mafia? Or a possible drug cartel? It’s all up in the air until one of the bridges in Tokyo is blown up, the girls race to secure the area, only to find out it was a decoy and the real target, was the Boku Police Station. What is happening? Who is behind this? And what is the secret behind Bee One? A computer system that may have the ability to completely shut down Tokyo.
This film could be a staple for action anime of the 90’s. There are crazy gun battles and slick car chases (and boat) that make up most of the one hour thirty minute running time. But its so worth it, I loved all the characters, you had a wide variety from the cold and calculated Kinoshita Kaoruko to the totally ditzy Nikaido Yoriko and of course the two leads. It’s funny, cool and mean. The music was rad, totally complementary to the 90’s action genre. I dug everything about YOU’RE UNDER ARREST THE MOTION PICTURE, maybe I seek out the anime and give that a try and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the DVD of this one of the best on this list so far.
It encapsulates all of the best elements of the anime series that came before it. This movie is riddle with action and intense situations, but treats them all realistically. The chemistry between the characters, their dialogue and their teamwork, all fits together flawlessly and doesn’t come off as awkward or cliche at any moment. The story keeps you on your toes the whole time; even when it is a relatively calm moment you still have that sense that the scene is driving the plot forward. This is an hour and a half experience where even if you don’t know the story of You’re Under Arrest you will enjoy yourself immensely.
2: Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku
English: Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena
Japanese: 少女革命ウテナ アドゥレセンス黙示録
MAL Score: 7.61
All eyes are on Utena Tenjou, a mysterious transfer student to Ohtori Academy. But Utena’s eyes seem to be fixed on one familiar face that stands out among the rest—Touga Kiryuu, Utena’s childhood friend. Touga knows of Utena’s past and possesses knowledge of the Mark of the Rose, a set of unique rings worn by those who compete for the hand of the Rose Bride. The Rose Bride, Himemiya Anthy, belongs to whomever wins her in a duel, and the one that wins all the duels is said to be given the power to bring revolution to the world. Utena is drawn into the duels, but Touga and their complicated history together may end up unraveling everything. Nothing is as it seems in this retelling of the original anime series.
So I watched it and wondered what sort of crack I had smoked before popping the DVD in. Apparently, I had not smoked any crack, and it was just Utena that was messing with my head.
The story is…I don’t know. Up to now, I hardly know what happened. It’s long, convoluted, and they don’t ever, EVER explain what the hell happened. Well, they sort of did, with visual symbolism. But I’m sort of dumb in a fabulous way, so I barely understood any of that.
The art and animation was top-notch though. It looked incredible. The sound was great too.
Characters were…interesting, to say the least. I was pretty certain that at least four people in the main cast were homosexual, or maybe it’s just all the flower imagery that threw me off.
I didn’t enjoy this movie because I spent the whole time tugging at my marvellous hair wondering ‘WTF?!’ is going on.
It’s not unfabulous, and it’s worth a watch, I say.
Adolescence of Utena is best described as the TV series retold in two hours or less with different plot elements bought up or discarded, with some characters absent, and lots and lots of symbolism and, some would argue, a heavy dose of crack.
I would highly suggest watching the series going into this. I watched this first, then watched the series, and then watched this, and I found that the series helped me understand it more, which is what the creators intended with this. And then the movie, in turn, helped me understand elements of the series that I didn’t before, which in turn helped me understand the movie more, which helped me understand the series… it’s a cycle of positive feedback. And it’s amazing.
The art for this is a lot smoother than it was in the series, though it is still heavily stylized. A definite improvement.
The music has a lot of the same themes, subtly reworked for the movie, which gives it a whole new feel. There are also some new vocal pieces that don’t have to do with the duelling songs, and they’re quite addictive.
Most of the vocal cast was able to return for this, except for Akio’s seiyuu, which just adds a nice touch to this.
An amazing movie, and one of my favorite anime movies to date.
That’s not to say the symbolism’s the only thing worth watching the movie for. Every moment of screentime is purely entertaining, whether symbolism is the focus or not. The only real complaint I had with the TV series was that some episodes felt repetitive and didn’t seem to contribute much to the main characters’ development or the overall plot. Here, however, every fight scene, every conversation, everything really matters. The movie is not content to simply have a fight: at the same time the fight is going on, there is development for Utena, Anthy, whoever she’s fighting with, and even background characters.
The backgrounds themselves also deserve a mention. The school puts Hogwarts to shame, as it’s constantly in motion, and there’s always something interesting to look at. Everything is constantly in motion, and while this is partially for symbolism, it helps to make the series very pretty. Though some of the reviews complain about the music, I had no problems here. Absolute Destiny Apocalypse is as awesome as ever, and the rest of the music is also great. Perhaps not as wonderful as in the series, but still very fitting.
Other than the symbolism, the main draw of the movie is the characters. Utena herself is even more magnificent than in the series, simultaneously vulnerable and strong. And not vulnerable in the way typical strong anime females are often vulnerable, but in the way you’d expect any middle school girl to be. That vulnerability causes problems for her at times, but she deals with it in an appropriate and realistic way, as it contributes nicely to her development. Utena’s relationships, especially with Touga and Anthy, are all interesting as well, as they help her grow in interesting ways throughout the movie, and their interactions are always clever and witty.
As a final note, I should add that this movie works best when you’ve seen the series first. Almost nothing is the same as it was in the series, but a lot of the minor characters are better understood with the series’ development behind them. If you’ve watched the series, the movie is a splendid treat.
1: Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 1
English: Cardcaptor Sakura The Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 カードキャプターさくら
MAL Score: 7.64
During an after-school shopping trip, Sakura Kinomoto decides to participate in the Tomoeda Shopping District’s year-end lottery, with the grand prize being a round trip to Hong Kong. Surprisingly, she draws the winning ball. Alongside her best friend Tomoyo Daidouji, her older brother Touya, her crush Yukito Tsukishiro, and Keroberos, Sakura heads off to Hong Kong.
However, vacation for the Cardcaptor will get cut short. Little does Sakura know, the trip may be connected to her recent, prophetic dreams featuring a mysterious woman and Clow Reed himself, creator of the Clow Cards.
Set after the first season, Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie takes Sakura to an entirely new environment: Hong Kong. After winning a five-day trip at a local store, Sakura is given the opportunity to travel to a different country for the first time in her life. Things are not quite so simple, though, and as several foreboding dreams and supernatural phenomenons soon reveal, there is more to her winning the trip than a mere game of luck.
The first twenty minutes are fairly promising, immediately opening with a tense fight for one of the Clow Cards. Hearing a few beloved tracks from the series once again evokes a sense of nostalgia, and the characters quickly show that they are just as endearing as ever. Kero-chan remains his frivolous, gluttonous self, while Touya continues to tease Sakura for amusing results. Some of the best moments are those early on with the characters travelling through Hong Kong and taking in the sights, and the beautiful artwork makes these scenes all the more breathtaking.
Eyecandy is certainly not something that is lacking in this film. Fluid animation, detailed expressions and stunning scenery all set the visuals of Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie to a much higher standard than most animated films. Hong Kong is presented as far more than a busy metropolis, with a diverse set of authentic locales being used to effectively portray the culture. Unfortunately, the moments highlighting the characters’ experiences with the city are all too fleeting. Instead we are gifted with a trite and highly predictable story for the remainder of the film.
It’s around the point where Sakura finds herself drawn to a shrine that things steadily go downhill. Most notably, Li and Meiling show up from absolutely nowhere. In the exact same area of a massive city, with no prior knowledge that either group would even be there. There’s even the cliche of bumping into each other in Meiling’s case. How is the viewer supposed to take the movie seriously when it relies on absurd plot conveniences so early on? An explanation may have made the scene less silly, but there is not even that. “What are you doing here?”, asks Sakura. A question left unanswered.
The rest of the story focuses on a vengeful spirit who drags Sakura into a conflict that is only tangentially related to her. This represents the main issue with this film– it doesn’t have any relevance to the overarching story. None of the characters are developed aside from a few scenes with Li’s mother and Clow Reed’s past relationship with the spirit. There’s no sense of accomplishment once the conflict is finally resolved, and the only emotional value is during a scene with Sakura relating to the spirit’s unrequited love. Unless you are a particularly patient viewer, there’s a strong chance that you will find yourself bored with anything beyond the first thirty minutes.
Much of the film takes itself far too seriously and as a result, most of the charm from the TV series is absent here. Dramatic moments were common in the main series, but they were always interspersed with comedy and had relevance to the story. Not here. It is ceaseless drama distinguished by superfluous (though pretty) action scenes and vague, cliched lines about destiny. It just doesn’t work.
As for the sound, the voice acting is exceptional and the eclectic soundtrack compliments the setting especially well. Traditional Chinese music is used while the characters traverse through the city, and a palatable mix of jazz and orchestral music plays during the action sequences. The ending song is also quite nice and serves as a satisfying conclusion to a bittersweet story. It’s hard to find much fault with the technical aspects of the film.
Despite a variety of complaints, Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie is not bad by any means. Compared to most anime movies, and particularly within the mahou shoujo genre, it is still well above average. Fans of the series will most likely find some level of enjoyment here between the disappointment, and at only 80-minutes long it’s hard to go wrong with the prospect of more Cardcaptor Sakura.
Still, considering the quality of the main series, decent just isn’t enough here.
The art, as usual for a CLAMP adaption, is gorgeous. But the dub is AWFUL, and changes the dialogue around completely. Avoid it at all costs.
One of my favorite things about this movie was story expansion into Clow’s life. He’s a very interesting character, and the story from his past in this movie I think would make a great anime series on it’s own.
I wish I had known to watch this chronologically! I watched it after I had watched the entire series. It seems like it’s supposed to take place between season one and season two, even though it came out right after season two had finished airing, based off of her wand as well as a couple of other things I wouldn’t want to risk spoiling about the main series. So if you’re reading this review and haven’t watched CCS yet for some reason, I recommend watching this at the end of season one.
Don’t skip this just because some people didn’t like it as much! It’s eighty minutes of top quality Cardcaptor Sakura!
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 1
2. Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku
3. Taiho Shichau zo The Movie
4. Pokemon Movie 02: Maboroshi no Pokemon Lugia Bakutan
5. Tenchi Muyou! in Love 2: Haruka Naru Omoi