They’re the best Anime that 2000 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Escaflowne, Digimon Adventure 02 Movies, Doraemon: Obaachan no Omoide, and more!
English: Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea
MAL Score: 7.07
Hitomi Kanzaki is in a very depressed mood. She only wants to sleep and fade away. Her misery summons Lord Folken who sends her to Gaea. The people of Gaea think she is the Wing Goddess, who can call upon the legendary Dragon Armor called Escaflowne. On Gaea, King Van, the sole survior of the White Dragon Clan, is also in a depressed state. Swearing an oath to get his revenge on the Black Dragon Clan that obliterated Van’s kingdom, he lives by the sword. Now that the Wing Goddess has finally appeared, she posseses Gaea’s world fate in her heart. Escaflowne will either lead Gaea to peace or total ruin.
While I have to admire Sunrise to attempt to condense the series for those unfamiliar with it, as well as breathe new life into old characters, this isn’t the way to do it. Hitomi, instead of being a shy, but head-strong girl, is now a whiny brat who contemplates suicide. Van, instead of being a bickering but brave and powerful warrior, is now Tarzan with a sword. Allen is now a clone of Sephiroth, and so forth; every character you knew from Escaflowne is ruined, and these character would still suck even to those not very familiar with the franchise (such as myself). The only improved character is Merle, who’s a good deal less annoying than she was in the TV series. In fact, she’s the best character in the whole movie! Unfortunately, that’s not a compliment.
Remember those great mecha battle scenes with Van on the Escaflowne? They’re gone now, as Van spends most of the movie slashing at things and watching them bleed. There IS a robot battle, but only one worth mention, and it doesn’t come until pretty far in to be of much notice.
Then there’s the writing. I suspect Sunrise hired Escaflowne fans in middle school to write this, as the plot and its constant mention of the same things over and over again makes Doraemon look like it was written by Charles Dickens. Not to mention how boring of a formula the movie follows: if you’ve watched anime for a few years now, you can guess what will happen before it happens.
So is there anything I liked about this movie? Well, it’s pretty, with slightly improved character designs and a good sounstrack by the great Yoko Kanno. Annnnnd that’s about it. Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea is a pointless retread of something that was good enough the first time around, and it won’t win over any new fans in its wake. And Escaflowne fans themselves should stay as far away from this turkey as possible.
Hitomi Kanzaki is depressed and considering killing herself. One day, a man appears before her and calls her the Wing Goddess, summoning her to Gaea, a world at war, where she is the ultimate arbiter of the God of the Heavens and War, Escaflowne, and, accordingly, Gaea’s destiny.
As you can probably tell, this is a complete retelling of the original series. There are far darker takes on all the characters than you saw in the series, and a completely different plot and world that they’re in, which in and of itself has its effects on them. And honestly, even though it’s worlds away from the series, it’s just as good of a story as the series told, especially in a more limited timeframe to work in. Every character from the series shows up, though some have their involvement changed around somewhat.
For most major characters, there is enough basic similarities between their design (though not necessarily their clothing) in the series and in the movie that you can tell who’s who easily. There are some characters that got a complete facelift for this, though, most notably Folken and Millerna, and the overall effect is not all that bad, really. In fact, RAWR.
The art for this is richer and draws some amazing contrasts, especially with color in some of the earlier scenes and a notable scene that goes from watercolors to full cel animation; however, the same basic style from the series is kept and exaggerated in some cases, which, at times, does not produce the greatest effects. CG is also used far more in here, and it’s kind of just as obvious as when they used it in the series.
Every character’s seiyuu was able to return for this, which adds that more of a sense of familiarity and continuity, especially if you can’t recognize them at first glance. Yoko Kanno returned to work on the soundtrack for this, and it’s just as beautiful as the series was.
So, overall, while the movie does have a more limited timeframe to work in and lots of info to convey, the new storyline and character designs are more than welcome, especially with the seiyuu returning to provide continuity, and with Yoko Kanno on the soundtrack, and a richer environment to play around in, this adaptation is just as good as the series.
The main character of Hitomi is changed from a generic plucky cipher into an actual human being, a typical teenager with suicidal tendencies, who actually has a character arc. Her plight is introduced and compressed into about five minutes very efficiently through adept usage of editing, direction, art and music, with a montage of scenes between her and her best friend, who she pushes away due to self-loathing.
Five minutes is definitely enough of watching a mopey girl and sure enough before we know it she’s teleported into Gaea for a life-changing adventure with plenty of thrills and drama. The movie is paced so well that it knows how each segment could drag the story if played out too long, but it’s also paced too fast in that the story rolls along without giving the viewer, or characters, time to breathe. It’s one of the main reasons the overall score isn’t higher than it would have been if the story were more simple or the running time longer.
Another fatal flaw is the antagonist of the story, although much better than the beardy old man of the TV series, the motivation and methodology is again woefully lacking. Just what exactly is the point of the bad guy in this story? What does he want? To destroy the world? Eh? Is that it? Why do we not even care? The writer learns his lesson from the TV series by using a better character as the main bad guy and keeping him bad, but again he doesn’t give the viewer an insight into the thought-process of the character, what he wants and why; or why other people would even follow him and do his bidding.
The movie’s not perfect and these flaws do irk, but they do not make the movie unwatchable, they simply prevent it from getting a high score. Escaflowne remains a memorable experience and worth a watch because it’s not long enough to overstay its welcome.
The TV series is, or bloody well should be, notorious for its completely out of control plot holes, twists and meaningless revelations. The movie veers away from this childish nonsense for the most part and opts for more streamlined and concise storytelling, however cliché it may appear, it’s at least solid in narrative and consistent in theme.
Now, whenever inexplicable stuff does happen, it’s dressed in abstract tones so it feels more cohesive and natural, it’s more like dreamy art that doesn’t have to make conventional sense, but relies more on mood to convey information or feeling to the viewer. Maybe I’m going too easy on the anime, but you can’t deny the powerful imagery and composition in this movie, its effective. It feels like Mamoru Oshii versus David Lynch.
Escaflowne concerns itself with fate, space and time, so its skilful editing in the movie can be understood as part of the theme, whereas in the TV series the editing was conventional yet the story made no sense. This is the key difference between TV series and movie. One is dressed up in conventional tones yet is weak narratively, while the other is an abstract enigma that makes somewhat logical sense underneath the mystery.
People who give this movie undue flak either have suspect taste or are too literal in their criticism of this reimagining of the TV show. And it is a reimagining, not a condensed version of a 26 episode show, because that would be futile and foolish.
This is the writer doing what he should have done the first time round, this is taking the core premise of Escaflowne and fulfilling its potential by working with the rest of the cast rather than doodling random crap together by himself and worming his way out with deus ex machinas every five minutes. This is a near-perfect melding of all departments of the production team gelling together to bring to the viewer a unique vision of another world and its impact on a teenager at the end of her tether.
Character designs are more ‘realistic’ than the TV series as expected, but what stands out the most is the world design which feels mystical and dreamlike, very memorable and unique, it feels like Escaflowne and not a random generic fantasy-land. The music by Yoko Kanno recycles some motifs from the TV series but includes a few new compositions and songs, all of the standard you’d expect from the master composer.
Escaflowne itself is one of the best mecha designs I’ve seen in anime, truly a beast of a ‘machine’, literally taking the flesh and blood of whoever the poor user of it is, a real tool of war, one that is a double-edged sword, quite literally. And when Kanno’s amazing music is playing it’s a sight to behold.
The last 10 minutes of the movie revert back to TV levels of idiocy with childish plot devices and character behaviour, but if you’re forgiving enough you’ll overlook these flaws and just revel in the imagery coupled with Yoko Kanno, the likes of which you’ll not see anywhere else.
4: Digimon Adventure 02 Movies
English: Digimon: The Movie
Japanese: 映画 デジモンアドベンチャー０２
MAL Score: 7.11
Years after a young boy in America loses one of his Digimon friends, an evil viral Digimon successfully kidnaps the original Chosen Children. Their younger friends must race against time with their Digimon partners to discover the source of this new menace, and perhaps solve a years-old mystery.
First of I really really hated that guy named Wallace, he literally made me scream a couple of times out of anger for how annoying he is.
But what was also really annoying was the music. . . the ELEVATOR MUSIC ruined the whole fighting experience. . .
Only thing I could enjoy were the visuals, but still . . . 3/10
This movie has the unfortunate luck to be the last part in the English dub of the Digimon movie, and thus labeled a black sheep. “Our War Game” is admittedly hard to top, but when Saban Entertainment made the attempt to link that movie to this, things got messy and more confusing rather quick. I have to at least throw them a pity bone that they had their reasons for why they did this, and they made do with what they had. Nothing they could’ve done would’ve made this any better, although it definitely could’ve been a lot worse. Both versions of the movie have problems, it’s just the English dub gets bashed more even though I personally feel they at least made it slightly more tolerable. I’ll explain when I get there.
Note: the English dub definitely has a different plot than the original does, but I will bring up both versions here, even if it’s to point out differences.
Story (6): A young American boy named Willis (a dub rename from “Wallace”) has twin Digimon, Gummymon and Kokomon, but the latter vanishes under mysterious circumstances while they’re playing in a field of flowers at a summer home in Colorado. Years later, the DigiDestined are taking a much-deserved break after the defeat of the Digimon Emperor when Kari and T.K., visiting Mimi in New York, witness her disappearance. The other five of the original DigiDestined still in Japan also vanish, being spirited away by a corrupted Kokomon, now Endigomon. After running into Willis and Terriermon’s confrontation with Endigomon, T.K. and Kari begin their long travel across America to Colorado, and they tell Davis and the others to meet them there. The trio also run into Willis, and have their own run-ins with the corrupted Digimon, who has been chasing after the boy without recognizing the grown-up Willis, all while going on hitchhiking road trips to Colorado in the hopes to confront and calm the increasingly-berserk Digimon. In the meantime, the disappeared DigiDestined have found themselves in a cold, presumably-nonexistent environment and are slowly decreasing in age as a delusional Kokomon searches for his friend among them.
The movie is really nothing more than a road trip across America to the West with the occasional scuffle with Endigomon before having the final, climatic battle in the second half. It honestly doesn’t feel like a Digimon movie with this sort of plot/execution, even though it’s not a bad idea to show corrupt Digimon, especially one that’s partnered with a DigiDestined. It’s just that unfortunately (whether this is a good thing or not), we don’t get an explanation for why Kokomon became corrupted. The dub, in attempt to link this with “Our War Game”, explained in Willis’ exposition that the DigiEgg that came out of the computer had been infected with the same virus that corrupted Diaboromon, and Kokomon caught it, even though Endigomon in actuality came to being because of its loneliness. It’s lame, but it’s at least an explanation for why Kokomon had gotten spirited away in the dub.
Speaking of what the dub did, remember how I said I felt Saban made it a little bit more tolerable, even IF the pacing felt a jumpy? Well, that’s because most of the padding was removed—and “Hurricane Touchdown!!” has more padding than the “Golden Digimentals”. Looking at the original, most of it could’ve been left in, especially when it came to the six DigiDestined disappearing into the void and when Willis and Davis are talking in the forest (although that moment in the dub just feels like a funny Davis moment, and I secretly love those), but it must not have “fit in” with the “virus link”, or they just HAD to put in the Angela Anaconda short and felt no more could be added to the duration. Even so, some of that padding didn’t add much to Willis and Terriermon’s characters even though some of that padding was them talking about things that don’t really go anywhere. Slow moments are fine, but when it goes nowhere, it’s hard to sit through, and they could be cut from the film and nothing would be lost. And to briefly point this out, the hitchhiking was rewritten to be the result of “relatives of Yolei” running into them, since hitchhiking has become discouraged, at least in America (and I imagine in 2002 it was still common even in the countryside which is where most of the film takes place, but it was slowly being more and more frowned upon).
The second half of the “Golden Digimentals” are what people remember most when thinking back to this film, and it’s truly the most memorable part, mainly when the final evolved form, a corrupted Cherubimon, comes in. The fight scenes aren’t bad, probably could’ve been more balanced out between the Digimon, though they at least showed how much difficulty there was when it came to fighting Cherubimon. But that’s not what everyone remembers, no. It’s the deus ex machina involving Angemon and Angewomon briefly Warp Digivolving to their Mega levels for the sake of activating the Golden DigiEggs; I don’t know how, but they do. So in the movie, we got to see Magnamon again, and that’s cool, but at least in the series, there was build up to it. There was nothing in this film that at least foreshadowed the Golden DigiEggs to come into play (unless you want to stretch it out and say “Well, Cherubimon’s a Mega!”). But who cares, it’s Magnamon, and he and Rapidmon save the day!
Oh, and while we occasionally cut back to the original six DigiDestined in the nothingness, even getting to see them as young children (back to the same age as when they witnessed the Greymon and Parrotmon battle at Highton View Terrace), we don’t see them again after Kokomon checks them out. Apparently they went back to normal after all was over and done with, but we don’t even get an after credits scene of them. So I’m just going to assume they were all erased from existence. Thanks a lot, movie.
Art/Animation (8): This was the visual red flag in the English dub that it was an entirely different movie. The previous two were all directed by Mamoru Hosoda, whose art-style is distinctive. That’s not to say Shigeyasu Yamauchi’s is all bad, it’s still smooth, and the characters are animated rather well. The style was just indeed vastly different, and somewhat jarring, but with the movies by themselves, it fits fine. There are no complaints here about how it looks, and the sceneries all look nice with either the majority or all of the backgrounds done in watercolor. I can’t say for sure if it fits the Colorado/Midwestern look, or at least back in 2002, but it’s definitely not Japan, nor the Digital World.
Sound (6): The English dub’s soundtrack mostly consists of pop/rock songs, it’s standard Saban dub-fare. Whether those songs fit the movie or not rests entirely on the viewer; I personally don’t care for them in most cases. The original score consists mostly of Western-style atmospheric music that’s remindful of Trigun. And that was distracting, to be honest, as it never goes beyond this style. I get it, the setting’s in America, particularly in the Midwest-further-West, and it has a nostalgic feel to it. However, when that same piece of music is being used for the fight scenes, it was hard to tell if it fit the mood. There was one moment near the end where a song does come in while the Digimon are proclaiming they’ll always protect their partners and Magnamon and Rapidmon release Cherubimon, but I can’t tell you if it works, especially when the music style is still the same.
At least the song during the ending credits is by Ai Maeda, and she was stellar as always. That song fits better than the “Kids in America” cover in the English dub.
Characters (6): While Davis is in more of the movie than the others, the DigiDestined and their Digimon are the same as in the series, so the only ones really worth mentioning here are Willis, Terriermon, and Kokomon. To get Willis out of the way, he’s boring, both in the original and in the dub, even though there’s apparently character development that I couldn’t catch. There’s nothing to his character that makes him really stand out other than he had twin Digimon and he lives in America where he goes back-and-forth between Japanese and English (in the original—it’s rare for him to slip into Engrish territory, actually, have to give the voice actress credit for that). He did crack more sarcastic quips in the dub, but that’s to be expected with Saban, and he doesn’t stand out from that, either. Willis also had this thing for Yolei and apparently Kari because I guess he likes Japanese girls? He had a Japanese girlfriend, but that was his only reasoning, even though that was how he learned Japanese (which is funny because at least one time on the phone to his mother, he was speaking Japanese when he normally spoke English). Oh, and Terriermon kept making remarks he’s a momma’s boy even though we can see that each time he calls her up. We can assume he’s the same age as Davis and the others, so why his mother let him travel by himself is beyond me.
Terriermon is your typical Digimon partner, always saying he’ll be by Willis’ side no matter what, and that he’ll always protect him. Voiced by Aoi Tada in the original and Mona Marshall in the dub, they’re both good performances and probably the best in the film (and weirdly coincidental, they both would reprise their roles as another Terriermon in Tamers). What makes him a little different is he’s a twin, so he would talk about Kokomon here and there in trying to assure Willis that he did nothing wrong, and that it was no one’s fault Kokomon became corrupt. Like with the other Digimon, Terriermon’s pretty much Willis’ foil, so I suppose they balance each other out fine. Keeps Willis from being a nobody, that’s for sure.
Kokomon is the antagonist who came to be probably not of his own free will, but from his loneliness. Well, at least when he was Endigomon, he was lonely, it’s not known how it extends to when he was still Kokomon. He just all of a sudden gets corrupted, and he has no memories but of him playing with Willis as a child. Apparently he was kidnapping anyone with a Digivice in the search for Willis, but we only get to see the original six DigiDestined get spirited away by him (or by whatever’s actually possessing him). He Digivolves up into his Mega level during the course of the second half when he becomes threatening, consumed by a “dark heart”, as Kari mentioned. This could make for an interesting villain, or at least a lackey of whatever was the true evil behind it all, but when you pit him up again Diaboromon, he’s not as threatening, or even as memorable outside as Cherubimon. He suffers this in the English dub because of it, whether he deserves it or not. But by himself, he’s okay, albeit tragic.
Enjoyment (5): Even with the cheesiness of the Saban dub, I don’t care for this one. The original may only be an hour long total, but from the way I kept looking at the clock the entire time, it felt longer due to its padding and slow moments. I don’t hate it, I just don’t like watching it in either version. I know it’s not a good idea to compare it to “Our War Game”, however, the English dub didn’t really give much of a choice in that regard. And considering the twin films aren’t considered canon to the timeline, nothing will be missed, let alone gained. Sure, there was a CD drama that DID take place in the same “canon”, but I have no personal interest to seek that out even if things get explored more.
Really, this was more for Digimon fans than the average movie-goer, and that could’ve been the biggest contributor to why the English dub of the movie doesn’t have good reviews (ignoring the splicing of the three movies). I found “Revenge of Diaboromon” a better Zero Two movie than this, to be frank, but there are still fans who do like this film, and I can’t take that enjoyment away from them. I just personally couldn’t really get into it, and I’d more-or-less advise a “skip if you want to” than a recommendation.
Well, there are no words in this world that can describe how bored I as watching this movie. The character Wallace is the most boring and annoying guy ever and the music and sound effects are just pathetic. Why the hell would you use elevator music in the main fight scene of the movie? Angewomon finally evolves into Holydramon and gets a 5 second airtime before she gets one taped by the most poorly developed virus digimon ever. Can’t help but laugh at this ngl xd
I’ll give it a 4 just cause I got to see Holydramon :)))
3: Doraemon: Obaachan no Omoide
English: Doraemon: A Grandmother’s Recollections
Japanese: ドラえもん おばあちゃんの思い出
MAL Score: 7.27
Nobita misses his granny that died a few years ago, so Doraemon takes Nobita to the past to see his grandmother one more time. But they face through a lot of things such as the younger selves of Nobita and his friends, and young Nobita’s mother that doesn’t recognize Nobita or Doraemon.
2: Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game!
English: Digimon: The Movie
Japanese: デジモンアドベンチャー ぼくらのウォーゲーム！
MAL Score: 7.77
This movie takes place after the Adventure series ends. It begins when a new Digimon Egg is found on the internet, and manages to penetrate into almost every computer system in Japan. When the egg hatches, it’s identified as a new kind of Digimon, a Virus-type. It sustains itself by eating data from various system, and starts wreaking havok in Japan. As it consumes more and more data, it continues to evolve. And Taichi and Koushiro decide it’s time to stop it.
They’re off, sending Agumon and Tentomon through the internet to fight off this new enemy. But, with the Virus controlling systems like the American military, all too soon, this digital menace may become all too real. Calling in the help of Yamato and Takeru, they hope that they can stop what’s already begun, and maybe save this world a second time.
Summer Wars had nearly two hours to work with, so it made sense to fill that space with a much larger cast, whose complex interwoven plot lines took that film in a number of different directions. Bokura no War Game feels effortless in comparison, and is the more focused of the two; at only forty minutes in length, it has to be. With that in mind, the creators made the smart decision to only involve a handful of the cast from the main series.
Taichi and Koushirou are the central protagonists here, and their chemistry is the main reason that the film is so enjoyable to watch at the surface level, as they act very casually and naturally together. There’s a great deal of humor between the two of them, and between the cast as a whole—nothing of the laugh-out-loud variety, but enough to keep the film from feeling too heavy.
And, although this is a direct sequel to Digimon Adventure, only cursory knowledge of that series is required to fully enjoy this film. You’ll catch on soon enough that there’s this group of friends who’ve made connections with certain Digimon partners in the past. Anything past that is for the fans to be concerned with, as no direct mentions to the main series’ plot are ever made.
Regardless, Bokura no War Game feels very different from the series. Characters are now animated with lifelike mannerisms and realistic movements, qualities rarely seen of them in the series. Hosuda’s influence is very noticeable, most evident in the single-tone shading of the characters and their rather blobby proportions. Additionally, almost every shot here feels purposefully framed, resulting in a film that’s consistently pleasant to look at.
It’s also here where Hosuda begins to show his apparent love for modern technology, especially from a visual perspective; there’s no shortage of telephones, cell phones, computer screens, clocks, keyboards, or other mundane electronics occupying the shots. They feel like a very physical and real part of the world that the characters live in—as they should in this modern age. These elements are contrasted with shots of the more rural countryside and of households where this technology isn’t so prevalent. Yet, both elements seem to compliment each other more than anything else, as if to remind us of how quickly technology has progressed; it’s incredible to think that a vast and complex network such as the internet does actually exist alongside much simpler ways of life, as shown here.
Being that this is a Digimon film, battles will be fought between digital monsters, and here the internet is their battle ground. Imaginatively, the internet is depicted as a web of large spherical structures, all lined with psychedelic designs and filled with floating debris. Characters in this space are either drawn with orange-colored outlines, or with no outlines at all, making them stand out in visually interesting ways. The admittedly dated Windows XP-styled messaging prompts are also used to great effect while inside the net, materializing in midair for the characters of the real world to communicate through. As a whole, this creates a very distinct and striking aesthetic—one that Hosuda would continue to use in later works such as Summer Wars.
The battles fought between the Digimon in this trippy internet world are quick, exciting, and creative, often making good use of the setting. The fights are Dragon Ball-esque, for lack of a better term, featuring characters zooming across the screen at high speeds, firing projectiles and throwing hard punches. All of the actions have a nice weight to them, so you’ll feel the impact of every hit. The talented animators, choreographers, and sound designers definitely deserve major props for that.
The soundtrack of Bokura no War Game is mostly orchestral, save for the few returning J-rock tracks from the series, which are always nice to listen to. The soundtrack otherwise gives the film a particularly old fashioned sort of vibe; the more lighthearted scenes are accompanied by whimsical woodwinds, bells, and swells of strings, while the more intense scenes feature great thematic interplay between bursts of brass and sharp staccato strings. The angelic choir near the end is worth noting, as well.
Perhaps the best quality of this film is how it effectively builds tension and momentum. What starts out as a lazy morning for Taichi, snowballs into a frantic race against the clock to stop the detonation of a nuclear missile—all within a few hours. Help is always just out of reach for our heroes, while the main villain, a computer virus that has taken control of the internet, is always one step ahead. Stakes are raised by the minute, and in a multitude of layers. Hosuda highlights this tension by constantly cutting back and forth between unrelated events that are happening in parallel, the culmination of which ends up feeling very satisfying. While the pace of the film is slow-building, it’s also ever-accelerating, much like the rapidly approaching nuclear missile of the story itself. This results in an unexpectedly powerful emotional scene near the end—one that would undoubtedly feel hammy if left in the hands of a lesser director.
Ever since this film, it seems Hosuda has been fascinated by the turn of the century and the ways that society will continue to interact with newer technology, whether that be for better or for worse—fitting, then, for this film to have been released in the year 2000. If you can believe it, despite having Digimon in the title, this film manages to feel very grounded and relevant. The fantastical Digital World makes no appearance here, and instead it’s the internet as we know it that becomes the main stage for the plot and for the film’s themes. There’s also no inclusion of a hypothetical virtual reality like the OZ network of Summer Wars. A real point is made here about how even now, society is reliant enough on the internet and its related networks that if things were to go haywire, chaos would ensue. It feels like a warning sign to the present, not one to a possible future.
However, that would all be meaningless if the film itself weren’t just simply enjoyable to watch. It’s got heart, personality, and style, and its relatively short length is sure to keep your attention the whole way through. There’s a reason I keep coming back to it; there’s also a reason Hosuda keeps coming back to it.
The story is rather quickly developed, handled, and solved with very little lulls between movement. Though there are only three battle scenes, Taichi and Koushiro are dealing with the effects of the viral Digimon in the real world which keeps them and the audience on their toes while they look for new strategies one after another as they are thwarted at every turn. Though it is quite formulaic in its execution, it certainly isn’t boring, and though there are plenty of inconsequential sidestories, they all add something to the immediate action required throughout the movie as parallels.
Everyone’s back, though not everyone is part of the main plot. Some contribute through the above-mentioned sidestories while others fight. The characters, already established, stay true to who they were in the series with very few exceeding development. Relationships are remarkable though, as Taichi and Sora seem to have progressed theirs, slight as it is.
Of course, it’d just be another Digimon episode if it weren’t for the phenomenal animation. If the style looks familiar, don’t be surprised. Directed by Mamoru Hosada, better known for his latter work, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, the movie features fluid, detailed animation and a gorgeous metaphorical style for the Internet as it becomes the battlefield for the Digimon against the latest threat. If there is only one reason to give this movie a look, even if you’re not a Digimon fan, it’s to check out the animation which for its day and age is close to quality bar none.
Performances are all good, and the BGM is rather dignified, so much so it may be surprising to those of us who grew up watching the dub. It’s all quite fitting, especially in the climactic sequence where, spoilers aside, it adds something wonderful to it all.
There’s a lot to enjoy about the Digimon franchise; the surprisingly mature execution, the partnership between the kids and their Digimon, and more, but this movie stands out in technical quality above all others. Combined with tight and well-paced execution, it’s a movie no Digimon fan should miss, and maybe even one for purveyors of quality animation all-around.
Overall, I give Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game a 7 out of 10.
This takes place after Digimon Adventure ended and it deals with a digimon who is on the network, eating data and growing powerful.
Through the movie there is a lot of tension and good moments of suspense as the plot moves forward, but I have to say that the writers were really lazy at times; leaving out so many characters like Sora, Mimi, Jyou and Hikari off the main plot is a bad gesture, especially considering how the anime was so well recognized for being able to handle 8 characters at once. Granted, they all get believable excuses for their absence, yet you can feel how the writers just wanted to minimize the amount of characters as much as possible. Aside from that, the plot develops and it’s fairly enjoyable, still the ending is quite anti-climactic and may leave you frowning; ok, it’s not that bad, but it ended quite abruptly and as such a story with so much potential kind of feel like it works, but it works at half of its power.
As I said in the story section, the writers minimized the amount of characters to just 4: Taichi, Koshiro, Yamato and Takeru, and of those 4 Taichi takes the spotlight, with Yamato and Koushiro having some moments too. For a 40 minutes movie, it has many good moments; these are characters that are quite beloved and really likeable, and among them Taichi gets some extremely good moments in the film, and not just him; whenever we see each character frustrated it feels real, whenever we see them nervous, anxious or anything at all it works because it carries on well with their previous development in the anime series, and as such the character work is great, almost reaching to outstanding.
Sound: There are great tracks in the movie, the very same ones used in the anime plus some new ones. In general, they are all as well scored as in the anime and the timing is also impressive, though there is a moment when Brave Heart runs in a loop and become annoying, but it’s just some mere 15 seconds or so.
As a whole, I’d say the movie is worth watching, it’s very good and quite entertaining, still I’m not sure if I would call it a must see: Digimon fans will likely enjoy the movie, but there’s no doubt that most of us can feel that, while being quite good, it never really tried to be as good as it could be.
1: Vampire Hunter D (2000)
English: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
MAL Score: 7.89
The story revolves around D, the infamous “dhampir” (born of a vampire father and a human mother) outcast and renowned vampire hunter. His prowess at hunting the creatures of the night allowing his acceptance among humans, he is called upon to locate Charlotte Elbourne, the lovely daughter of an affluent family who has been mysteriously kidnapped.
When the sun sets, the hunt goes on! Charlotte’s father offers a rich bounty, be she dead or alive, a task D willingly accepts, even with notorious Markus brothers and their gang of bounty hunters seeking the prize as well. Amidst the chase and unknown to all lurks, a sinister evil which has been secretly manipulating their every move and has set a chilling trap that none will expect and few will survive. With the tables turned and the secrets revealed, the hunters could quickly become the hunted!
The story seems simple on the face of it, but couched in the plot are beautiful layers of character development. A vampire hunter, D (a dunpeal or vampire/human half breed) is commissioned to recover a rich man’s daughter, Charlotte, who has been kidnapped by a vampire. She is wanted dead (if turned) or alive (if still human).
D meets up with a band of bounty hunters, all of whom have their own special powers, and personal demons. Against them are an array of gypsy monster/vampires. The animation and sound are so good that one feels compelled to watch and rewatch the fight scenes just because they are so well done. Each character is different and their story comes through, the only fault is the minor villains’ motivations could have been made more clear.
The pacing of this movie is excellent, and it is definitely theater quality in all respects. I’ve introduced my friends to anime by showing them this movie, a few have become fans. The only drawback is after viewing this masterpiece, some of them complain it is hard to get other anime of this caliber quality (plot, action, animation, character, sound).
Unlike the original Vampire Hunter D, the Bloodlust movie is gothic, gory, beautiful and touching. Highly recommended to be watched on a big screen, preferably with surround sound. You won’t be disappointed if you rent/download this. It’s so good you’ll want to own a copy to add to your anime collection, as the rewatch value is very high.
D is a half-vampire, half-Mexican–er, wait. Anyway, D is not human but he’s not exactly a vampire. His powers allow him to hunt most other evil vampires and he takes up a mission to save some stupid human girl who wants to get it on with the undead, and so runs away with her vampire lover. While D tries to get the hussy back, a rival gang who also hunts vampires compete with him. This movie was excellence. Watching all the action, the fabulous choreography of the fights were simply jizz-in-your pants worthy.
Art and sound were pure amazing. It looks beautiful, and D can make the straightest of men drool over his beauty, really. He was hotter than the chicks, believe it or not. Sound was cool, felt like I was listening to an epic horror flick. Which I was.
Characters weren’t so hot except for D who we’ve established is walking, delectable man-meat for the ladies and just the sort of guy folks like myself just wanna hang around and kill things with. Anyway, D’s just cool and aloof and can kick all types of behind. The rest of the characters were cool as well, I didn’t have a problem with them, since most knew when to die anyway.
All in all, Bloodlust is the best Vampire Hunter D movie ever. And it is better than you, too.
The dvd available in North America (at least in Canada) is only available in the english dub. For elitetists this is a huge problem, but the dub isn’t terrible, it’s pretty good as far as dubs go.
The theme for this, doomed love, is played so beautifully in this. There were a few scenes that almost moved me to tears. I loved the way the story progressed, they adapt it quite well from the book. The Markus Brothers and Leila also keep the pacing of the story quite well. There are a few scenes with them that really add alot to the story. There aren’t alot of loose-ends, and it ends semi-ambigously but they add a very comforting scene right at the end.
The art in D is good. It’s very distinctive, there are some beautiful subtleties to it. They put alot of time into some of the scenery which really show off the skills of some of these artists. Some of the character designs bug me, villagers all seem to have the same kind of frame and all moved very similarly. But they play a small part in the movie and the Markus brothers have some nice designs.
The gothic soundtrack in this is very nicely composed. It definitely suits everything that happens in this. It greatly heightens all the emotions you would feel anway. It conveys the hope and the hopelessness of it, as well as the darkness of the time.
The characters have changed slightly from the novel. These changes are for the most part quite nice. As far as progression of the story the characters pull them off quite nicely. I had a few problems with the changes that were made, but the changes they made push the anime in a completely different direction. D is how D always is, they don’t change him at all…and they don’t need to.
As far as vampire anime go this one is quite good. They show vampires in both ways, both as super-powerful as well as being weak zombies. So people who like both style of vampire won’t be dissapointed. If you’ve seen the first movie and were highly dissapointed then you definitely need to watch this. It’s a great movie, but if you can’t find the jap audio don’t sweat it too much, the dub is decent.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Vampire Hunter D (2000)
2. Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game!
3. Doraemon: Obaachan no Omoide
4. Digimon Adventure 02 Movies