They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi, Shiranpuri (Movie), Dragon Quest: Your Story, and more!
5: Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi
English: Air Bound
Japanese: GAMBA ガンバと仲間たち
MAL Score: 5.83
Gamba, a town mouse with a brave, adventurous spirit decides to go on an adventure to discover the ocean. On his way, he meets a troubled child mouse, Chuta. He says his family and other mice have been killed by a clan of weasels living on a nearby island. Chuta asks a group of ship mice, the bravest of their kind, for help, but when they find out that the villain behind this event is the terrifying weasel-leader Noroi, they give up on helping Chuta. However seeing the hopeless Chuta, Gamba promises him to save the island, his family and the other mice. Gamba and his friends team up to go on their adventure to defeat the evil Noroi and his clan.
(Source: Varèse Sarabande)
4: Shiranpuri (Movie)
MAL Score: 6.28
When a young boy witnesses Yaragase and his gang bully his classmate Don, he becomes incredibly uncomfortable. Unable to intervene out of fear of becoming their next target, the young boy decides to mind his own business. As Yaragase’s tormenting becomes increasingly worse, the boy’s sense of guilt continues to grow. After he talks to an oden stand owner who believes that people who watch and do nothing are just as bad as those bullying, will the young boy be able to end his classmate’s misery?
The rest of the young animator training projects definitely feel like they’re aimed at a family audience. Even Wasurenagumo, although that ending would probably give the children nightmares. But their stories are generally well told enough that they’re engaging without feeling condescending. Minding My Own Business doesn’t manage that balance at all. It’s about bullying in school. The artwork looks like children’s scribble drawings, which suits the tone its going for, since it’s meant to be a child recounting their observations on bullying. But the whole thing comes off as a 30 minute infomercial your primary school teacher shows you when she’s too hungover to actually do any teaching. Which is fine if you are a hungover primary school teacher, but as a dirty foreign pirate illegally downloading obscure single episode pieces airing on Japanese television as a training scheme for young animators, it isn’t really worth your time.
For one episode it has a better narrative (beginning, middle and ending) compared to many 12 episodes anime shows which often concludes into nothing.
Shiranpuri is about bullying, it isn´t really something new because this topic is already explored through many other media and in various ways.
But what I like about this one is its mores realistic approach and being a point of view for a bystander, not the one who is being bullied:
I can hardly see any reason to skip this one especially because of its unique but quite well made animation, good voice acting, good plot phasing and it being a whole story itself.
It doesn´t need more than one episode because it knows what it wants and does it.
The animation style is very different from the usual anime visuals but it does have fluidity and that helps getting the ideas across with this not so colourful style.
The sound design is solid with the seiyuus really delivering their lines perfectly.
The theme for this story is about bullying and how ignoring it only makes it worse. It’s a tough theme to portray in a meaningful way but it was a nice attempt and anything that raises awareness to the damage that bullying causes is always worthy of praise.
As I said in the beginning, it’s a nice and sweet piece of art that gets a 7/10 from me.
3: Dragon Quest: Your Story
Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト ユア ストーリー
MAL Score: 6.81
Following in his father’s footsteps, Luca must find the hero who wields the zenithian sword to save his mother from Ladja. Based on Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride game’s story.
(Source: Apple TV)
Obviously most of the time people are only driven to review something if they really enjoyed it or really hated it, and as stated I am the latter. In fact I am still riding the high of how disappointed I am so keep that in mind while reading.
I will start with good.
The art is actually pretty good. I know a lot of people wanted the OG Toriyama style but it is still a pretty movie. The effects are probably hands down my favorite thing about the movie, they really hit it out of the park with the partical effects.
Music is classic DQ, so there is that. Even though the scene you first hear the overture in kind of ends with imagery that doesn’t match the triumphant tune.
And that is all that I liked…
So the movie has bad pacing issues, which in all honesty I expected as a lot of adaptations have the same issue, especially anything trying to condense a story. I was able to deal with some of it, as I am used to that with a lot of anime adaptation films for tv series. I initially felt it would help if they didn’t assume that everyone has played DQV, though I understand those are the people they assume will see it. (Also, in Japan it is probably safe to assume most people have some knowledge of it.) However, it is more than just rushing through the story. Their ability to set up a scene suffers from the pace they try to maintain the whole move. There are few if any establishing shots to give you a feel of an area or give any extra weight to a scene. We go from the Hero being kidnapped, to 10 years later in a prison camp, to them escaping a prison we barely see, through a city we never see again, to him returning home that we only saw for seconds in the beginning of the movie, where we have little to no connection to because the Hero himself barely reacts to being home after 10 years because the plot need to start up again.
The story suffers more than I thought it would after starting it. I figured they would give an abridged version of the first few hours of the game so we could get to the main story. What I didn’t think they would do though is introduce characters vital to the story without an actual introduction. It reminded me of G1 Transformers. A character shows up and they are already established and have a connection to the Hero. Bianca gets your typical “Oh I haven’t seen you since…” intro but she is the only one. Everyone else, they just start talking like they have always known one another for years and it takes half a conversation before you realize why the Hero knows them already. Not to mention when they just talk about dungeons and quests from the game as if we would have already seen them. Again it is assuming you have played the game but this time it assumes that you have an intimate knowledge if the game.
This is more of a nitpick but they had a few fourth wall moments and “in jokes” that took me out of the movie. Stuff like this always bugs me because it feels like either the screenplay writer or the director throws it in because they don’t take the property they are working on seriously. One that really took me out was when the Hunter Mech/Killing Machines were introduced and a comment about robots being “a little random” was thrown in. (wording may be different from subs to actual spoken Japanese in the scene.) It just sucked me out because the Machine Family of monsters has been in this universe since the second game. That is maybe just me being to much of a nerd about it though.
I could have dealt with all that though and walked away with this as like a 6.5 or 7, HOWEVER, once the “twist” ending was revealed it all started to make sense and piss me off. The rushing through the intro to the game along with certain story segments, the stupid little jokes, the painful nods to the camera, and even some of the particle effects used. I tried not to spoil anything in case someone out there really wants to watch this and is reading reviews first, but this twist ending not only killed the whole movie for me but really has me questioning why fantasy as a genre is so stale in Japan right now and why they are so stuck on the big thing at the moment when it comes to “fantasy”. Also, the whole idea that people need to grow up and let this story/game/video games in general go and just let them be a fond memory all while faking some kind of sincerity in delivering that message really pissed me off. I am sorry if you can figure out the twist with that, but maybe I saved you some time instead.
In the end, I was really hoping this movie would do good outside of Japan. It could get some more interest in Dragon Quest for new fans and ride the wave of positivity from DQXI. Then maybe we could have gotten a few more games that we never got here (DQX) or just more Dragon Quest stuff in general. That was apparently just me setting the bar WAY to high.
So yeah, I have strong nerd opinions on this one. Watch it if you are interested but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Overall, I enjoyed the anime very much. I am abit curious though if my opinion would differ if id have played the game.
The main problem with this movie is that it often doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. On the one hand it seems to base itself almost entirely off nostalgia, meaning that if you don’t have fond memories of the game and remember it’s story fairly well, you’ll probably be at a loss for what the hell is going on most of the time. On the other hand, barely anything that happens in this movie is done as it is in the game, with a lot of characters never even appearing, and the ones that do often acting totally different from how they are in the game. Visually the movie also clearly does it’s own thing, which isn’t necessarily negative as it’s visually quite solid for the most part,but for nostalgic fans (which again, this movie clearly tries to pander to) it may be a bit weird to see these characters look totally different from their original designs by Akira Toriyama.
The entire movie also has an incredibly rushed pace throughout it’s runtime, which makes it hard to get attached to the characters, as they’re always rushing off to the next goal without ever giving us any breathing room to get to know them better. This means major events like Pankraz’s death or the hero’s return home after ten years as a slave aren’t given enough time to leave any impact on the viewer.
There’s also the twist of the movie, which I won’t spoil here, but it’s fair to say it’s a twist most people will either love or hate. I’m guessing most viewers will lean towards the latter. It’s not a dumb twist per say, but it IS a confusing one, as it doesn’t really add anything to the movie other than a weird, almost cultish, message that encourages escapism to an unhealthy degree. As someone who really adored the game when I first played it, and still occasionally play it to this day, the message didn’t resonate with me in the slightest, and I’d honestly be a bit concerned for the people who do. These games are awesome, but in the end they’re still games, and should be treated as such.
Sound-wise this movie has a solid soundtrack, but the voice acting is a bit more of a mixed bag, especially if you watch in english. I watched the movie with the English dub, and though the voice actors all do a solid job with what they’re given, it’s hard to get invested when the script gives them very little to work with. Nearly every line is phrased awkwardly, using wording that sounds either stilted or just plain unnatural, which really took me out of the experience. It also doesn’t help that the English lip-syncing is rather poorly done. I watched the movie again in Japanese, and the difference in quality is noticeable enough that I would definitely claim the Japanese dub as superior. Still, kudos to the English voice actors who clearly did their best with what they had.
Overall, this movie clearly tries hard in a lot of areas, but sadly doesn’t really live up to any of its many ambitions. It looks and sounds great, but the plot is all over the place with a pace that’s so rushed it’s hard to ever really care what’s happening. It expects you to know the game’s story before even watching it, yet at the same time it ignores and glosses over so many major plot events it leaves me wondering who they even made this movie for in the first place. It’s not a movie for newcomers, and it’s not a movie for nostalgic fans either… It’s not really a movie for anyone.
2: Stand By Me Doraemon
Japanese: STAND BY ME ドラえもん
MAL Score: 8.08
Nobita Nobi is an elementary student who hates studying, is bad at sports, and does everything half-heartedly. He is a pushover, unlucky, and fearful of many things. His personality makes him a failure in life, even affecting his progeny. This causes his great-great-grandchild, Sewashi, to take control of the situation.
Sewashi travels back in time from the 22nd century to the 20th century to meet Nobita, who is shocked to see him appear out of his drawer alongside a blue robotic cat. The robotic cat calls himself Doraemon, who claims to have been pressured by Sewashi to assist Nobita, with their ultimate goal being to provide Nobita happiness. Frustrated after seeing Nobita’s hopeless state, Doraemon decides to go back to the future. However, Sewashi activates a program within Doraemon that prevents him from doing so.
Forced to stay, Doraemon helps Nobita using futuristic gadgets through his four-dimensional pocket—a bag containing anything inside it. Can Doraemon bring Nobita happiness and return to the future?
Story : 10/10
The story starts from their first meeting (i suppose the first chapter?) so everyone can watch it even if they have never watched Doraemon before.
At first both of them just wanted to finish their own goal, but then It’s very sweet how their relationship grows as they spend their time together. The story is pretty straightforward, similar with the Anime, where Nobita is such a failure in life and Doraemon come to rescue with his magic pocket. The main difference is the movie gives more focus about Nobita’s struggle in his love life.
Something that bug me is that I feel Doraemon is so mean (this is very subjective, however for people who already watch Doraemon’s kindness to Nobita in the anime may feel this way too). Doraemon thinks Nobita is hopeless and seem to hates him, but then it changes (pretty suddenly). I think the movie is too short to show all the hardships they’ve been trough, but still they managed to wrap it all perfectly.
Art & Sound 10/10
The CG is just amazing.
Deep. How they develop each character is amazing, especially Nobita. From a fail lazy kid, becoming a brave and responsible young adult. For Doraemon, I still think they need more scene to show how his feelings to Nobita had changed.
Overall, this movie is amazing!! i love it~ Sometimes I can’t even see what’s happening because of my eyes flooded with tears. This may be the final episode of Doraemon, but the other OVAs are still coming so u don’t have to feel lonely!
The thing is, the pacing is bad. Like cardiac arrest bad. Suddenly it’s going so fast, and suddenly it’s going so slow when there’s part that could be skipped. Stand By Me skipped what’s important and extend what’s not.
That’s where the visuals kick in. Bang. I will never feel the same about Take-copter after seeing this movie. It’s so mindblowing. Doraemon, Shizuka, and Nobita look cute and adorable. Gouda still the badass he is in the manga, and Suneo is still as annoying. Visuals are the best thing in Stand By Me Doraemon because it gives us a new look, a more updated look that keeps us watching the literally same story from the manga version.
If the visual is not enough, there’s still the soundtracks and scoring. It captures Doraemon’s tone perfectly by using acoustic guitar, and using melodramatic piano tone in the perfect timing. Once again, if you don’t like the visual, at least you’ll like the soundtrack.
Or the seiyuu. Kudos on the seiyuu. Some moments won’t be as great as it was if they change seiyuu into another seiyuu.
Overall, it’s a good watch. If you are not a fan, you might love this movie because you (maybe, hopefully) don’t know the story.
If you are a fan, it’s still nice seeing your childhood relived.
1: Stand By Me Doraemon 2
Japanese: STAND BY ME ドラえもん ２
MAL Score: 8.27
After reminiscing about his late grandmother, Nobita Nobi wishes to see her again and asks Doraemon to return them to the past. Following the wholesome reunion of the two, Nobita’s grandmother confesses that she hopes to meet his future bride. Nobita accepts her request out of filial love and quickly scrambles into the time machine as he and Doraemon journey forward in time.
However, when the duo warps to Nobita’s wedding day, they discover that the future Nobita is missing from the ceremony! Determined to set things right, Doraemon and Nobita embark on a mission to search for Nobita’s future self and encourage him to discover the happiness he deserves.
First off, I kind of want to talk about the visual first, the 3D animation was highly impressive as ever. To say the least, the 3D animation is quite on par with Pixar or DreamWorks movies. The backgrounds are pretty detailed, especially the city landscape (Both future and present city landscape) and the level of detail during time machines sequences was pretty much sublime. If there are hiccups, I’d say some of the characters looks pretty awkward and just didn’t fit to be interpreted in CG, but that said it just tastes come into play while I think visually it was very good overall.
In context to story, Stand by Me Doraemon 2 is the re-adaptation of the two previous short film, namely Doraemon: A Grandmother’s Recollections (2000) and Doraemon The Day When I Was Born (2002). Both adaptations were mixed into the main story; where it shows the wedding of Nobita and Shizuka, the combination works really well together and doesn’t really hurt the flow for the story in relation to the movie. This film is still in the direction of director Takashi Yamazaki who also direct the previous film and made it into the box office.
However, I wasn’t really sold into the plot. it’s full of the typical plot holes and paradoxes that always crop up when people attempt to employ time-traveling shenanigans. There are cringes moment that you’d expect in this kind of these kiddy movies. Ultimately this is a kid films that push a lot of power fantasy and probably intended to be something wholesome or invoking emotions for the long-time fans rather than providing a good storyline for general audiences. Indeed, it’s got a whole lot wholesome and emotional moments such as Parent’s Love or Reminiscing of the loved on that already passed away. Also, in this movie, there’s shown a little bit of the circle of life, we get to see Nobita in every age; from the day he was born, became a toddler, to the present day when he’s a kid and ultimately his future self where he finally gets married. I will be lying If I said I didn’t feel anything about those emotional moment because it was the highlight of the movie for me.
Having said that, the pacing is also somewhat an issue. This film is about 90 minutes long but at best the movie has enough meaningful content for an hour, a lot of conflicts were quite dragged and somewhat forced to the point the resolutions had to be forced as well in order to conclude the story. The comedy is repetitive and the characters besides Nobita and Doraemon had no value whatsoever unless you know the others characters beforehand.
I think the music is suits the time period very well and knows how to suit the atmosphere but at the same time quite forgettable as well, the most memorable soundtrack is probably the ED song but even then, it wasn’t really something that I personally will treasure for. The voice acting was on point and they definitely bringing a lot of breadth to the characters.
As a continuation for the first stand by me film, this movie was a decent continuation that brought a consistent playful tone and a definitive conclusion for the story, however I’m not terribly impressed with the film as a whole. While it does have some fun moments, there’s just too many uninspired elements and predictable formula for me to really recommend Stand by Me Doraemon 2 to anyone who isn’t a die-hard doraemon fan or someone who just wants to see the conclusion of the film
Story 10/10 :
Because the story unravels a whole that we don’t know as I told you above.
Art 10/10 :
Of course because of 3D, I saw from their willingness to make this art. Starting from the character that moves even though it’s not the focus angle (when it’s blurry)
Sound 10/10 :
Their seiyuu very intentional and precise in portraying a character. And the backsound and the ending sound are very precise and match the atmosphere and feeling.
Despite how biased my score is to the sequel of Stand by Me Doraemon, I can still say that the story is a big mess stitched together just to conclude, if you’re asking a similar example to this movie, it would be any Pixar films that were released in the 2010s. It would be Inside Out, Coco, The Good Dinosaur, it felt like that. It had some good moments, but really no one is going to remember a lot of those things because the story is almost a mess.
Everything is a 10/10, it’s just to say something here now.
First of all, I really grew up with this show, to the point where there were people actually mocking the voices of the characters we grew up with, I couldn’t hate them at all even though as time has passed by. I still vividly remember how these characters would be used to act and how they would interact with certain things.
Finally, the matter of subject being pushed into this movie, clearly a concept of time travel and doing the right decisions, spoke to me a lot. Not to mention the fact my grandmother has passed away recently this year. So when I watched this movie, I was close to the point of crying, so it resonated with me the most.
For me, it’s definitely better than the 1st. For you, if you’re looking for a more tear-breaking movie, this might not live to your expectations, but at least watch it when you have the chance.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Stand By Me Doraemon 2
2. Stand By Me Doraemon
3. Dragon Quest: Your Story
4. Shiranpuri (Movie)
5. Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi