They’re the best Anime that 2013 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Hal, Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Endymion no Kiseki, Sakasama no Patema, and more!
MAL Score: 7.44
Kurumi is a beautiful young woman whose beloved boyfriend, Hal, died in a sudden airplane accident. Left heartbroken and gloomy, she isolates herself in a small house. But this soon comes to change when her grandfather requests the help of a humanoid robot named Q01.
Taking on the appearance of Hal, Q01 is sent to Kurumi’s house in order to save her from her state of despair. As Hal returns day after day and increases his efforts, Kurumi, despite her initial reluctance, slowly begins to open up to him and break free from her depression. But there is more to Hal than meets the eye, and these two will soon learn an unexpected truth about this relationship between a human and an android.
Using various things left behind in that small button shop Kurumi lives in as clues, Hal does his best to simulate the former Hal as best as he can. Photo albums and short messages written on Rubik’s cubes are his main ways of connecting to the now reclusive Kurumi. With each short exchange, they start to open up to one another, sharing in their pains of loss and memories of a once happy life. With each side of the Rubik’s cube solved, each bearing a different message and a different color, everything culminates in a beautiful ending of growing closer to one another, no matter what the source.
“Hal” is a short film that packs into it a myriad of emotions of love and loss that gives viewers glimpses of the lives of Hal and Kurumi before and after the plane crash. After shutting herself in her room, Kurumi seems to spend much of her time trying to fix a broken red video camera that taped moments of her and Hal’s lives, some memories flattering and others painful. Seeing the past shows us that things were not rose colored and perfect, but sometimes troubled. Overcoming these obstacles and growing closer is the heart of this film.
The story is like a puzzle, leaving us as confused as Hal at first. Through those disjointed recordings of the past, and as Kurumi fixes the video camera, these scenes become more complete and raise certain questions. Loose points and fuzzy details rise that do not seem to make much sense, but every little detail comes together brilliantly in a dazzling conclusion that reveals much about the story behind the story. It is like how the characters love solving Rubik’s cubes, how with each completed face of the puzzle the overall picture becomes clearer, another message is revealed, and another beloved memory is remembered once more. It is a game of puzzles that leaves viewers playing the game with Hal all the way until the very end.
However, not everything is fleshed out and not everything is made clear. There is a much darker side to “Hal’s” world that the film hints at but never really goes into depth with. The only clue is Hal’s hated memories of being poor and his experiences as a child. Given more time, the film could have created another aspect of the future world the characters live in to bring up more points about the conflict that robots bring. In fact, the robot aspect plays such a minor part that much of the film would be unchanged if they were suddenly taken out. Even so, this is a way for the story to bring in the interesting aspect of questioning what would happen if a loved one was suddenly replaced by a robot that looks exactly like them.
The film is a visually pleasing swirl of colors and reflections, light and dark, old and new. The setting is gorgeous, with the sun shining and entering the lonely button shop that Kurumi lives in. Even though this story takes place in the near future, there are still traditional buildings, customs, and a festival parading through the modern town. The water illuminates, the trees shade the light, and everything seems to flow. The film looks very crisp and colorful. The most stunning scene, where everything ties together, is a wonderful display of fantastical light and reflecting waters.
Accompanying the film is a pleasant soundtrack that accents the mood the film creates, that of hope and comfort, of regaining the past. The voice cast is excellent, with some of my favorites playing the characters. The ending song is Owaranai Uta by Yoko Hikasa, who plays Kurumi. It is a wonderfully bittersweet song that adds a sense of completeness to the film. All the way until the last note, viewers are still playing the game with Hal.
“Hal” is an enjoyable, romantic story of finding the past and growing closer to one another. Accepting our flaws and less savory parts is another step towards love and understanding. It can end abruptly, it can end violently, it can end unfairly, but learning to move on afterwards and taking comfort in fond memories is our way to cope with the ever painful reality of loss.
Just like solving a puzzle, solving each part and filling in the blanks, this story completes a picture of memories, both good and bad, of the precious time that we spend with our loved ones.
[POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW: I have refrained from spoilers as much as possible. Read at your own risk.]
Story & Setting
The setting of the story is slightly into the future, where robots and other more advanced electronics are common place. In a mere hour, HAL demonstrates the cycle of what was a regular relationship turned bad through the death of one of the two young love birds. The story centers around the main character, a robot who now takes on the face and role of Haru, as he tries to reach out to Kurumi, the latter whom has given up the will to live upon the passing of the original Haru. A touching story, astonishingly full of emotions despite its short length.
The animation is relatively detailed, creating beautiful environments and bringing out the various emotions belonging to each scene. In particular, water appears to be a main focus of the show with it being used in various ways throughout.
The background music acts as a great way to pull the audience deeper into the story, creating gripping scenes which do nothing but cause you to gasp in shock or smile along with the characters. The generally gentle music in addition fits very well with the theme of comfort and trying to regain the will to live.
In this short span of time, a great deal of focus has been successfully put into showing the relationship between the characters. Haru, the robot desperate to learn more about Kurumi to cheer her up and Kurumi, the grief stricken ex-girlfriend who wants nothing more than to go back to the time when she and Haru were together. I had expected the characters to be rather shallow due to the time constraints of the movie but was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case, but rather, the opposite of what the anime managed to convey.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie as though rather short and could possibly be considered rushed, it still manages to very effectively make me feel along with the character and associate with their feelings. Though some things were left unexplained, in particular some parts from the start, it became apparent later on through self deduction as other truths were revealed throughout the anime.
Definitely a good watch and all in all, a rather spectacular piece of work.
[AFTERWORD: Thank you for taking time to read this review. Please do give any comments of which I could learn from and improve on for any reviews I might do in the future!]
This movie was a total disappointment in both characters and story aspects .The concept and idea was good but the execution and rushed pace made it worse.
The story is about losing a person who is dear to you and the movie portrays the human drama behind that loss. The only problem is the execution of the plot and character interaction.
The rushed pace that the movie uses , instead of making the viewer accommodate with the story and characters , all of the emotions and drama is lost on the way leaving no impact or message.
The characters are poorly written , we can’t get to know them and understand their sufferings because the movie doesn’t tell us nothing about them. They are thrown into our faces and used as plot devices for the progression of the story. For example the relation between HAL and Kurumi who is the main focus in the movie , the execution and the way it’s delivered as a human drama aspect for the viewer, fails it’s expectations and potential.This happens because the movie doesn’t explore the characters background story enough, we are shown only pieces of the puzzle but those pieces are not entirely connected to the story or serve a purpose for the human drama theme.
The transition between different aspects of the human drama is rushed and all of the emotions is lost . For example when HAL tries to help Kurumi and cheers her up , the anime doesn’t take a natural pace to form a bond between those two instead all happens in a instant and we are left with a lot of questions and a sour taste of disappointment.
In conclusion I was disappointed in the execution of the story and plot because of the rushed pace, the poorly written characters who I couldn’t get to know them well both on story and emotional state , a lot of unexplained plot holes and finally the focus on the human drama aspect that lacked a strong impact and message to me as a viewer.
4: Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Endymion no Kiseki
English: A Certain Magical Index the Movie: The Miracle of Endymion
Japanese: 劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 エンデュミオンの奇蹟
MAL Score: 7.46
In the scientifically advanced Academy City, a miracle is about to occur: the completion of the world’s first space elevator, “Endymion.” Meanwhile, a certain high school student, Touma Kamijou, and his companion Index are going about their daily lives when they encounter and befriend Arisa Meigo, a cheerful and ambitious singer. When strange occurrences begin taking place throughout the city, they lead to the discovery of an intricate plot surrounding Arisa and Endymion. Things only get more complicated when the Stiyl Magnus appears, signifying that the magical world is somehow involved too…
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki (A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion) is a film based off the franchise known as Toaru Majutsu no Index. (also known by its English name as A Certain Scientific Index) The film is designed as an side story in part of the Index franchise. As such, expect some of the supporting and main characters to make appearances with roles in this film. It is important to note that fans should already be somewhat familiar with at least season one of the Index series. Otherwise, the experience you get out of this film might not be as special as you’d hope for.
I had high expectations of the film and I am thankful to say that those were met. The film itself takes place in the same setting as the TV series, Academy City (sometimes referred to as the Experiment City) a sovereign city-state where technology are highly evolved. Among its cities’ residents though are students and scientists whom the latter conducts research on psychics known as Espers. However, the film itself steps forth beyond just science but also crosses with the magic realm.
The timeline of the film is assumed to take place between the Remnant and Daihaseisai arc. (refer to the TV series for insight) But because the setting is at the location of Academy City, expect some advanced technologies to make it on screen. Take the Endymion for an example. Based on a name from Greek mythology, Endymion is a pivotal factor in this film as influences both the science and magic sides. It also serves as a symbol of pride for Academy City as well as an instrument of war for military purposes. The mysteries of this technology is revealed in the movie and fans can interpret its revelation in a variety of ways. It’s more than just a space elevator, much much more. It’s a new story to tell and hope to remember by.
No story can be complete without its characters. In this film, it is crafted from the basis of a new character named Meigo Arisa. As an upcoming rising star, she plays the role of a singer with both a gift and mystery regarding her origin. Although labeled as a level 0, her character is prominent especially when we learn about the influence she has according to a certain magician. Arisa’s name also is literally translated as ‘sound’ so expect to hear quite a bit from her in the form of her songs. After all, it’s the songs that attracts the other main characters like Touma and Index early on as well. It seems like fate has plans for them because Arisa does get a surprise regarding her singing talent. More importantly though, we also learn that there are also other people who wants her but for much contrasting reasons.
Among other characters that we might be familiar of includes Academy City’s ranked #3 Railgun, the only and one Misaka Mikoto. Going by perhaps a more catchy name as BiriBiri (as nicknamed by Touma), she makes an electrifying appearance in the film with not just her skills but also in her outfit. Fans of the A Certain Scientific Railgun franchise might also be delighted to see her friends (Kuroko, Kazari, and Ruiko) make appearances as well. After all, friends have to stick together to bring miracles. On a more badass side, we also see an esper who is unmatched on the level 5 ranking charts.
Perhaps dream also are soaring high for Arisa because her inspiration to become a singer. There is no doubt that the girl has talent and it’s why Index and Touma became entranced by her voice in the beginning. However, the reason others wants her are for more reasons than just talent. That talent isn’t just singing but for purposes that crosses the lines between science and magic. For a particular girl on the magic side, it is her duty to protect Arisa. We see that later on, this girl represents a sense of miracle because a certain incident in the film. In fact, you might be somewhat surprised at what you’ll yourself. Miracles comes in surprises and this film also brings in some surprises of its own.
So the film incorporates many other factors with its characters. There’s a variety of them such espers, magicians, idols, immortals, witches, and wizards. All of them comes in a package as they display their powers to the audience. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a sense of mystery. Obviously, all eyes are on Arisa as she is a person of high interest. There’s many questions going on regarding her origins and why she is so important. There’s also a sort of metaphor with her Arisa’s character going on as her singing represents inspiration and hope. We hear it like just music but behind those lyrics is a girl who is selfless with a big dream.
Like its original predecessors, the film also adapts some of its more humorous moments. In fact, Arisa shares a similarity with Index that could cost quite a budget out of anyone’s wallet. Then, there’s Kuroko who retains her fantasies and awe to her onee-sama, Misaka Mikoto. If bad luck hits home, then Touma’s name is written all over it. There’s the gimmicky and cliched moments where Touma gets himself in compromising positions as well. This should be nothing new though considering the result of a double edged sword from his Imagine Breaker.
Action wise, the film maintains a solid formation with its fighting scenes. There’s intensity from both the science and magic side. Flames are expected in the forms of magic while there’s also electrifying sparks flying in the air from Biribiri. As both magic and science side clashes, there’s that sense of both fear and antagonism regarding our new uprising idol – Arisa. However, also expect fan service. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t omit these factors after shower scenes. There’s also reused character designs in the form of lolis as Kamachi often spotlights them on the screen. That is hardly refreshing. Anyone familiar with the Railgun manga or Index novels will instantly realize this. Those who have been following the animated Railgun series recently will also find a similar pattern. Lastly, there’s some main characters who doesn’t seem to get the spotlight they deserve. In fact, they seem to be more in the background as supporting characters. I’m referring to a certain albino boy that is famously known for a certain experiment in Academy City. As a fan of his character, there’s some disappointment that hit me home.
As this product is set on a theatrical screen, expect cinematic animation. Most noticeably, this film is performed with vertical resolution complete in concrete details. Therefore, expect more focus on backgrounds and details at many various scenes that are can be noticeable. The adaptation of Academy City is also presented with strong artistic values to reflect its scientific structures. Arisa’s character design gives her an outlook that fuses between an ordinary girl with pink hair and an idol singer with her flashy outfit. Other new characters gives off their magical look like the witches hat and trooper like outlook. The way most of the movie is shown reflects on the animation of scientific and magical values. Clearly, this movie should be watched under at least 720P or higher to get a full pleasant experience.
Because a good portion of the movie focuses on Arisa, she is the star and coming with her is that magnificent voice. Her voice performs a variety of songs with various purposes. I give praise to Sachika Misawa for her role as Arisa. Not only does she voice her character but also the various songs performed in the film that clearly shows her talent in the music industry. As an upcoming idol in the fictional world of Index though, there’s also a sense of miracle in her voice. It seems to inspire hope/miracle and Arisa’s songs presents that. The OST remains consistent during battle scenes and those where comedy pops out in the open.
I don’t entirely believe in miracles because not everything happens at that moment when you want it to. However, I got what I wanted and that’s an enjoyable experience from Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki. The Toaru Majutsu no Index franchise is already massively successful with its spawn of the spinoff, Railgun. Similar results also can be traced for this movie through some statistical figures with its premiere. Of course, statistics aren’t what determines your judgement of this film. Still, do give this a movie a try especially if you’re a fan of the Raildex franchise.
This movie itself establishes the line when both science and magic worlds clashes. When that line is crossed, you’d expect struggle and conflict. From that, there comes miracles.
Despite its immense popularity in Japan and abroad, the Index series in general has always been wishy-washy (my honest opinion). Sure, there’s a running plot with a somewhat interesting ensemble of main characters, but it has plenty of flaws too – too many convoluted terms that are unexplained or mentioned once and quickly forgotten about, an utter lack of character development, and so on.
This movie – Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki – continues to extrapolate these same exact flaws, and in addition to that, adds some serious inconsistent plot elements that are both glaring and ridiculous.
Let’s start off with the positives for once. Compared to the original Index series (which, I would recommend watching first before watching the movie, just to get a sense of what is going on), the artwork has vastly improved. The artwork and animation is crisp, fresh, and light. You can just tell from the first few frames that a lot of effort was put into this movie, and for that I am thankful. But there is just plenty of inconsistencies that utterly destroys J.C.Staff’s (& co) hard work and washes everything down the drain.
First off, the plot inconsistencies. Despite having a clear goal in mind, the Endymion movie takes more of a meandering path to get to its destination. In doing so, it introduces many new plot elements that were not present in the original series and does so in a terrible fashion. I would recommend watching the Endymion special if you get the chance – even J.C.Staff points out a lot of the plot points that I have a problem with (in a comedic fashion, too) – but I’ll just briefly mention a couple: Kanzaki in space. The three midgets plus Stiyl fighting against Touma and crew. Who are these three individuals? Why are they important in the story? What is their purpose, and why did the writers feel a need to introduce them at all?
I mean, seriously, what is even going on?
Second, the characters. Arisa and Shutaura are clearly the stars of this movie and fortunately they get plenty of screen time. They meet the main characters, learn about them, and grow as individuals. Could their development been flushed out a little more? Yes. Could their relationship be more clearly explained besides trying to shovel everything together in the latter half of the movie? Yes, but it is satisfactory, so I’ll just leave it at that.
The main problem I have with this movie regarding the characters is that plenty of characters appear in this movie. You have plenty of characters from the Index series showing up, and also some others from the Railgun spin-off series. But here’s the catch: they don’t really serve any purpose except to serve the fans and/or make the plot interesting. Of course everybody would complain if Accelerator never shows up, but his transitioning into the movie is both (1) rushed and (2) doesn’t really serve a particular purpose except for one particular thing (I can’t spoil everything for you, ok?). And that’s it. Otherwise from that, if you removed him completely from the picture, the story could have just proceeded fine.
One final thing that I will briefly mention and did like, however, was how the theme of “miracles” was decently integrated throughout the plot. It showed up throughout the movie over and over, and is well-incorporated through both symbolism and the dialogue among the characters. Hell, the entire space station structure is symbolic in itself, but you’ll need to put a critical lens on to see just how it is related to the entire concept of “miracles.”
Overall, a lackluster story with a little bit of development and some thematic material, but it is weak as a whole. Some of the sound elements were clearly borrowed from the other two Index series. Would have gotten a 3 by my rubric if it weren’t for those two big glaring errors.
– Crisp, crisp, crisp art. So crisp. Probably some of the most improved artwork I’ve seen over a stretch of a series.
– Well-incorporated theme
– Plotline that was (relatively) easy to follow, even for the average viewer; but I would recommend watching the other Index series first just to make sure you don’t get lost in everything
– Many of the characters are still one-dimensional, but there is SOME development.
– Many characters were rushed into the movie and don’t hold any real significance except to please viewers
One thing I always find great about movies based off of series isn’t just more of what I like, but to see how the company handles it, so with J.C. Staff holding the reigns I had expectations and those expectations were surprisingly met. The production value truly shows with Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki when it came to top-notch visuals, soundtrack and even though it wasn’t as good as it could be, the plot wasn’t too bad itself. It seems this movie has had a better share of miracles instead of misfortune.
The plot is something I’ve always been skeptical on when it comes to movies from more popular series like Index, Bleach, FMA, etc. I always feels it’s more like a way to show off some snazy visuals with a mediocre story(Not for all movies of course) and cash-in, but Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki did manage to deliver a slightly better than average story, only slightly though. It follows the main set-up of our favorite Certain Magical Girl Puncher(I kid) Touma, Index, and a new girl Arisa whom sure enough is a mysterious girl with some sort of power that creates friction between the Science and Magic faction with Touma being the guy right in the middle of it. While seemingly standard there are twists to keep you interested enough to keep watching. The main problem after watching the movie I had though was I was left with plenty of questions and not many answers, so while the plot had its advantages in some areas, it lacked in others. That being said though, I was satisfied with what I was given, could they have gone further with it? Sure. Did it lessen my viewing pleasures? Not at all.
This is what I was looking out for in this movie. One thing I know these companies love to do is make spectacular visuals for movies compared to what has been made before for the series and it was spectacular. The fight scenes, scenery, animation, everything was top-notch and very appealing to the eyes. They had put a lot of time and money into the visuals and it paid off very well and it will leave you amazed.
The soundtrack was another fantastic aspect of the film. I had expected some nice Background music here and there, but it looks like they went all out and even gave our main girl Arisa, a stage with plenty of songs to sing for us. The songs are done professionally, leaving me baffled as when you’re watching the songs being sung by her on stage, along with the visuals, it truly felt like a concert.
The characters are probably the most important aspect of this movie. We see plenty of familiar faces aside from our main cast, Saten, Misaka, Accelerator, Last Order and so-on, but are introduced to plenty of new ones as well. While I enjoyed seeing so many of these characters, the problem was trying to fit so many in the time-frame the movie had. While we are familiar with our cast, the new characters are left to be desired and even a few seem to just be there to be more fan-service than anything. There was no real development with characters, just plenty of interactions and the most that did take place was between Arisa and Shutaura, while Touma of course helped them along the way. Now was this bad? No, we know our cast already of course, so it wasn’t as much of a problem, but when it came down to the new characters and even antagonist, they were really shallow characters with not much of a story to go with them.
The movie was weak in some areas, but it succeeded in others. While I still feel a bit confused and have questions, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. The jaw-dropping visuals, amazing soundtrack and all let me momentarily forget about my questions and just savor the movie. It was a real treat and probably will be for anyone else that’s a fan of the series.
Even though Toaru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki had its flaws, I sure as hell was entertained. The cameo appearances from several characters, music, stunning visuals when it came to the battles, background and such, were all just superb. The only thing holding it back from being great is the un-answered questions it left and the shallow characters, but Touma, Misaka and the gang made that up as I enjoyed every second of seeing them on screen. It’s not the best movie, but it is pretty good and I recommend if you’re a fan of the Index or Railgun series to check it out or have misfortune befall you!
3: Sakasama no Patema
English: Patema Inverted
MAL Score: 8.01
Patema is a plucky young girl from an underground civilization boasting an incredible network of tunnels. Inspired by a friend that mysteriously went missing, she is often reprimanded due to her constant excursions of these tunnels due to her royal status. After she enters what is known as the “forbidden zone,” she accidentally falls into a giant bottomless pit after being startled by a strange creature.
Finding herself on the surface, a world literally turned upside down, she begins falling towards the sky only to be saved by Age, a discontented student of the totalitarian nation known as Aiga. The people of Aiga are taught to believe that “Inverts,” like Patema, are sinners that will be “swallowed by the sky,” but Age has resisted this propaganda and decides to protect his new friend. A chance meeting between two curious teenagers leads to an exploration of two unique worlds as they begin working together to unveil the secrets of their origins in Sakasama no Patema, a heart-warming film about overcoming differences in order to coexist.
The film was first premiered at France’s Annecy, the world’s largest animation festival, on June 13, 2013. Screening in Japanese theaters began on November 9, 2013.
No, not really. That plot synopsis is pretty close though.
After falling into a pit that her village declared a danger zone, young Patema is plunged into a bizarre new world where everything is inverted. Suddenly, literally falling into the endless sky becomes a very real possibility. She meets an inhabitant of the land, Age, and they quickly connect with each other. Patema clings to Age very closely, as he is the only thing that stands between her and being “eaten” by the sky. Despite her fear of the sky, Patema discovers the amazing new world that she had been told stories of as a child, living her dreams of seeing the world for what it really is.
The world that Age lives in is classically isolated and under absolute rule, complete with a 1-dimensional dictator that crosses his hands in a way that screams “excellent work, my minions.” Looking into the sky is forbidden, and Age has already suffered for his curiosity. With Patema, however, he learns that there is more to the world than what he has been taught, and seeks to live his own dreams of flying in the sky as well.
The characters are connected in this visually stunning film, literally to stop them from falling but also to emphasize the message that people of different backgrounds can coexist and live peacefully. It’s a time tested story that we are no doubt familiar with, but the way the film uses the inverted gravity to bring the main characters together and to build the legends and myths surrounding the world is remarkable.
The fact that everything in the film is reversed depending on your perspective is a unique aspect that plays with what is real and not. For example, you could turn your screen upside down and still watch essentially the same film, because the film itself frequently turns itself around so that we can see the same thing from either Patema or Age’s perspective. What is normal ground to Age is a ceiling to Patema, with nothing but the vast sky beneath her feet, and vice versa.
The story is thought provoking and with so many inversions of the screen, we begin to feel just like one of the characters, confused at the sudden shift of gravity and afraid of what is beneath us. Through this adventure, Patema and Age encounter new worlds themselves, thinking to themselves “This is what was really out here?” They see beautiful things, like the stars in a swirling galaxy, and they see the abandoned, like the wasteland their ancestors forgot about. Even when everything comes together, there are still mysteries left unanswered. Why not try figuring them out?
The artwork and animation for the film are top notch. Particular detail is made to the sky, because for all the characters, it is such a mysterious place. Clouds swirl in streaks of white and gray, the stars peek out from the night sky, and the sun illuminates in soft streaks of orange and yellow. There is a scene in the middle of the film that is particularly stunning, where Patema and Age finally found out what links their world and the truth of the past. The color palette between Patema and Age’s world is very distinct, and its use of color is no doubt excellent.
Along with the visually pleasant film is a soundtrack that captures the mood perfectly. Sometimes it is like “space” music, and at other times it is a sweeping orchestral piece to go along with the sense of adventure in the film. The ending song is “Patema Inverse” by Estelle Michaeu, which is a nice listen that emphasizes the connection between two different worlds.
It’s been a long time of waiting for this film, but it was well worth it. It was an enjoyable, romantic adventure that took the familiar story of acceptance between 2 different worlds and spun it literally around with gravity inversion, a result of a failed experiment from a long, long time ago. At the heart of the film is a realization that people need each other to survive, and to discover our common features is truly a wonderful thing.
Don’t be afraid to look up at the sky! Likewise, don’t always look down at the ground! There is a much bigger, more fantastical world out there than what school and books tell you. All it takes is a little push.
The brainchild of the movie falls under the hand of Yasuhiro Yoshiura, who also serves as the director. His previous involvement in projects such as Eve of Jikan and Pale Cocoon labels him as a colorful director, one that can turn a sci-fi story inside and out. And indeed, Sakasama no Patema is such a film that is literally turned but this time from up and down.
To get an experience of what the world is like, one should first be familiarized with how flight works. Literally, the movie has the two main characters, Patema and Age (Eiji) hanging on to each other as they see their perspective world from different points of view. You ever heard of the perhaps humorous joke of ‘don’t look down’ on a suspended bridge? Try putting your shoes into their position in this movie and you’ll get a good general idea. Nonetheless, the movie wastes little time by introducing the two main characters and their perspective worlds. In the underground kingdom, the technology is rigid and desolate. People there relies on scavenged food and crude machines to survive. But as a curious girl like Patema, she’d definitely want to explore what the outside world is like. Of course, curiosity almost kills the cat as she ventures into the danger zone and gets herself into some serious trouble, more than what she had imagined.
On other hand, there’s the surface world. Unlike the underground kingdom, the technology there is sufficient and its strength lies with the superiors. Classrooms are in fact held indoors with dictatorship and authority by the higher ups. Taken for granted, Patema falls into the danger zone and is thrown into danger until Age prevents her from “falling down”. From there on, we get whole scenarios where he must hold Patema in order to prevent her from flying away. It brings credibility to the term of ‘inverted’. But for a movie with this sense of adventure, there’s needs to be more to add on. From an experimental perspective, there’s also a sense of prejudice as the antagonists label certain characters as “sinners”. On the other hand, there’s the way how Patema experiments with her life in the surface world. At first, it’s easy to tell that she’s scared as a new kid in the world of the unknown. Oh and don’t forget the fact that she sees the world differently as everyone else through her inverted vision. It’s a unique gimmick despite lacking strength in crafting its concept of gravity. In fact, gravity is defied and the law of the universe is negated.
They’re not star-crossed lovers but Patema and Age shares a rather unique relationship. Combined with the way they discover each other, the pair brings dynamics, humor, and integrity. It takes guts to fight off governmental control or those menacing looking bat humanoids as seen throughout the movie. At the same time, their connection builds off what little time they share with each other. Unfortunately, this doesn’t transit into any sort of significant development as most of their moments in the sky is reflected by struggles. What we have here is something they contrast in terms of dealing with their families, friends, and relatives. Patema has the love of her people in the underground kingdom. On the other hand, Age shares minimal connection with his professors and friends (or at least so evidenced) in his society. To make matters worse, we briefly witness Age’s past which comes out as more of a painful memory rather than as a treasure.
As thought provoking as the film sounds to be, the antagonist can and should be labeled as rather stereotypical. Although not a mad scientist, he still has similar ambitions such as making Patema a guinea pig of sorts through intimidation. And of course, he doesn’t get the answer he wants to hear. At the same time, we learn that the classes taught in Age’s world serves more as a propaganda rather than education. There’s a conspiracy vibe going on as we find out more about the past involving the “sinners” and experiments. Then, there are interesting concepts involving the world referred to by the characters. One could formulate their own theories and come to conclusions as how they function. It creates interesting and methodical ways of seeing the story from another point of view, perhaps not opposite down but more with thought.
Like I mentioned before, this isn’t love story but it does have some flags going up in the sky. Some moments capture fine details involving how Patema and Age are fated to be together while other times creates a feeling of despair. For Patema’s childhood friend though, he becomes more like a scapegoat to the story. Despite his heroic efforts, he seems to be unrewarded towards the end. At the same time, the antagonist’s obsession to discover the people from the underground world leads to a downfall, even to a point where his own subordinates questions his motivations. Still, action speaks louder than words and during climatic moments, we witness it firsthand. While it is dramatic, it’s also cheesy and unrealistic where one could feel less attached to how it’s presented.
Artwork is handled by the relatively unknown studio Purple Cow Studios Japan. Yet, its craftsmanship decorate the backgrounds with great creativity. It sharply details the contrast between Patema and Age’s world. The steampunk style of the underground kingdom shows consistency while the surface world focuses on its more advanced society. Character designs also makes sense with Patema’s designs matching her curiosity and attractive cyan hair. However, Age’s character design shows little distinctiveness but instead comes off as a rather normal human being. For the antagonists though, they share facial features to demonstrate their intimidation. In particular, the bat humanoids have a design that makes them look like malevolent machinations. It creates the feeling of fear and how hunters can become the hunted. Finally, the camera angles is important to really bring the idea of ‘inverted’ to life. And I’d have to say, it did just that. You’ll have to see it to believe it.
Likewise, soundtrack is strong and demonstrates maturity. There’s no stupidity in its OST as comedy isn’t a main focus. During the more dramatic scenes, the soundtrack systemically follows in rhythm with the mood. On the other hand, we also get tense and sorrowful moments when characters are put into more complex situations. Speaking of characters though, Patema and Age has voices that matches their persona. Patema sounds like a normal girl despite her status as a princess in her world. There’s no egoistic or brash attitude coming out of her but rather as a girl who is just curious. Similarly, Age has the voice mannerism of a normal boy and often worries about the well-being of others, in particular Patema.
If you ever wanted to fly, take this movie as a motivation. Of course, you’ll probably need some aerial experience to ensure yourself that you don’t land in the wrong place. For Patema and Age, they land themselves into an adventure that will be unforgettable for the rest of their lives. As a movie crafted by such innovative ideas, I find it to be well done but not ultra-thought provoking. Sure, the idea is great but the time the characters spent together lacks meaningful development. Whatever the goal the movie was trying to accomplish focuses mostly on its premise with less emphasis on characterization but more on concept. Still, this movie should still be on your watch list especially if you’re in a mood for wanderlust.
There wouldn’t be a movie if they didn’t opt for the latter. And they become quite a pair. Age is observant and intelligent, but sullen and despondent; Patema is upbeat and adventurous, but somewhat scatterbrained and clumsy. These are perhaps not the most unique attributes for the protagonists of an animated adventure film to possess, but what distinguishes them as more than lazy cliches is the ease with which we can see how each of them is a natural product of their respective environment. Age, once a dreamer with plans of leaving the ground and flying, has been beaten down in his day-to-day life by a society which believes that the sky is a source of death and destruction. Bereft of anyone to share his thoughts with, he has locked them away and chosen to meet the minimum expectations of his world with begrudging cynicism and indifference. Patema’s world is equal but opposite—its rules discourage exploration as well, but out of a real desire to provide safety rather than to control. The people of the underground try to shelter Patema, and the result is a girl whose curiosity and enthusiasm far exceed her capabilities and knowledge. These two are not merely personalities dropped into a world, but characters built from the ground up to make sense in the world of Patema Inverted.
Moreover, their chemistry works with the simple grace that is characteristic of this film. Patema’s earnest curiosity pulls the old Age back into the light, unearthing his buried interests and passions, restoring some of the childish happiness and optimism which he was forced to outgrow. He, in turn, provides the reason and restraint that she is lacking. Together, they’re a force to be reckoned with, a billiard ball of measured recklessness careening through a world that has never seen their like.
The film follows their lead, rolling along from obstacle to obstacle. It carries the marks of veteran storytellers. It’s paced brilliantly, balancing frantic, high-energy chases and momentous events against careful, deliberate exposition and instances of character introspection, maintaining a brisk speed while occasionally giving the film (and the audience) a chance to breathe and consider the impact of events. Despite the thoughtful and curious nature of its concept and setting, it neatly avoids the tar pit of wordiness and overindulgence into which stories of that nature have the chance of sinking; it is never too slow or too obtuse, instead rationing its heavier sci-fi aspects so as not to become overly ponderous. It foreshadows its twists and turns with admirable finesse and carries itself smartly, eventually leading to a conclusion which, while definitely a shock, ends up providing the satisfaction of a story brought to fruition from start to finish as one realizes that all of the requisite hints were provided, and it suddenly all makes smashing, effortless sense.
Visually, there is much to love. While the production values might not stack up to those associated with many feature films, this is nonetheless a pleasant movie to look at. Key character designs are refreshingly simple, yet distinctive, and backgrounds are filled with bright, glossy detail. However, it is Yasuhiro Yoshiura’s skillful direction and cinematography which steal the show. A pan across a classroom shows, row by row, each student staring blankly ahead, except for Age, who gazes out the window at the forbidden sky. Patema fears the stars in that same sky until she sees their beauty reflected at an angle in Age’s briefcase, truly aligning her perspective with his for the first time. Yoshiura’s compositions and shots not only draw the eye with subtle technique, but reflect the theme of the film, wordlessly expose the thoughts of his characters, and imbue each scene with a sense of purpose.
It’s worth mentioning, though, that the swift, simple and energetic nature of the film is a double-edged sword. When a light, pleasant story is told with such sure-handed competence, it’s not unreasonable to wonder what could have been had the storyteller gone the extra mile in search of more creative ideas, more thematic resonance, more lasting impact. In essence, Patema Inverted is just a little safe. The settings—both Age’s oppressive totalitarian society and Patema’s underground village of peaceful outcasts—tread well-worn territory for sci-fi. The antagonists—the unquestionably evil, short-sighted dictator and his doubting second-in-command—are also old standbys. They serve their roles adequately, but unlike Patema and Age, they lack the foundation of character needed to be true standouts from their respective crowds. And while the film contains many tidbits about what we can understand and accomplish when we merge our perspectives, and the inherent fragility of close-mindedness, it’s lacking the focused thematic punch in the gut needed to make a permanent impression.
That’s not to say that Patema Inverted is a brainless work, that it’s poor, or even that it’s merely forgettable, airy entertainment. The opposite—it’s not only entertaining, but also clever, deftly executed, artfully made, and chock-full of those little touches that make the difference between a tired, mediocre creation and one that is palpably bursting with the life, thoughts, and energy of those who created it. It might not aspire to greatness, but it’s good with such confidence and efficiency that one can’t help but smile.
2: Steins;Gate Movie: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu
English: Steins;Gate: The Movie Load Region of Déjà Vu
Japanese: 劇場版 シュタインズゲート 負荷領域のデジャヴ
MAL Score: 8.47
After a year in America, Kurisu Makise returns to Akihabara and reunites with Rintarou Okabe. However, their reunion is cut short when Okabe begins to experience recurring flashes of other timelines as the consequences of his time traveling start to manifest. These side effects eventually culminate in Okabe suddenly vanishing from the world, and only the startled Kurisu has any memory of his existence.
In the midst of despair, Kurisu is faced with a truly arduous choice that will test both her duty as a scientist and her loyalty as a friend: follow Okabe’s advice and stay away from traveling through time to avoid the potential consequences it may have on the world lines, or ignore it to rescue the person that she cherishes most. Regardless of her decision, the path she chooses is one that will affect the past, the present, and the future.
How does one continue a story that has already wrapped up perfectly? The announcement of a Steins;Gate sequel film was inevitably met by both caution and anticipation. Like the concept of travelling backwards in time, Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu is a paradox. It does not need to exist, and yet it still has every right to.
It could have been an ordinary piece of fanservice, a throwaway story, and some would have been perfectly content with that. It could have been a forgettable prequel or even a retelling of the TV series’ story. There were so many options available that you can’t help but wonder, why on Earth did they choose to make a direct sequel of all things? It’s almost as if they were asking, begging for a disaster.
The end result has proven to be anything but a disaster. This is a continuation every bit as compelling as it is justified.
Taking place exactly one year after the events of the main series, Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu depicts a seemingly blissful world. There is no SERN, no time machines, no unavoidable deaths– but still something is amiss. Okabe’s memories are distorted. His experiences with time travel have made him an unstable entity. Perhaps it’s just a fit of emotional trauma, he thinks, but his worst fears are realised when he suddenly disappears from existence, trapped between multiple World Lines. Miraculously, Kurisu manages to remember Okabe’s existence through a steady case of deja vu – determined now to do everything she can to stop him from disappearing forever.
Kurisu’s role as the protagonist is the film’s greatest strength. While the TV series primarily focused on her intellect and relationship with Okabe, the film instead decides to show a more human side to her character. Kurisu’s emotional state takes the centre stage this time, her being subjected to many of the same horrors that Okabe previously experienced. Even when it comes to the light-hearted ‘moe’ scenes (and there’s quite a few in the beginning), Kurisu’s personality remains consistent and believable. She acts flustered and embarrassed not for cheap pandering, but because she’s not used to having close relationships – she’s dedicated her entire life to science. The term “tsundere” does not even feel appropriate. Kurisu is simply a human being with her own flawed personality… although, to be fair, she is pretty much the modern day Einstein.
Fans of Okabe will not be disappointed either. There is plenty of the usual banter and Hououin Kyouma shenanigans within the first thirty minutes of the story. It’s only after that point that Okabe actually begins to disappear, and the minutes after still occasionally see him appear. What makes Okabe stand out, however, are the moments between him and Kurisu. We see the romance explored in much greater detail than the TV series, which more or less ended it at a single kiss scene. One of the most powerful moments in the entire series (not something to be said lightly) occurs as Okabe painfully convinces Kurisu to forget him, content with disappearing in return for her safety. Without an episode number to constantly remind us that there’s more story to come, there is a perpetual feeling of anxiety not knowing what might happen. What if it actually ends that way? Nothing is for certain.
Also of note is a short scene near the beginning with a drunk Kurisu teasing Okabe and rubbing against his face. I may just nominate that for the cutest moment of the year.
The rest of the cast is largely ignored, but it is mostly for the better. The side characters have never been the series’ strong suit, particularly with regards to Mayuri, so scatterbrained that you would assume she has brain damage. The @channel references are also kept to a minimum this time around, although there is still plenty of the ol’ Dr. Pepper advertising.
For as great as Kurisu’s and Okabe’s characterisation is, there are still some minor faults in the story. My main gripe is that there is a lot of build-up and yet very little climax. The entire story builds up towards something grand… and then it all ends within about five minutes of talking on a bench. Compared to the last two episodes of the main series, it all feels a bit disappointing. Perhaps it simply needed an extra ten or twenty minutes of screen-time, as the rest of the film never felt like it was being rushed. There is also a short instance of melodrama (Kurisu running and falling as she chases after Okabe) and the changes made to the sci-fi canon would have benefited from a stronger explanation, but neither of these are bothersome enough to dampen the overall experience. Just don’t be expecting much realism from the science aspect – this is a story about time travel, after all.
Much like the TV series, the soundtrack of Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu is stellar all-around. The score mainly comprises of ambient sound and moody piano pieces, subtle enough to add to the atmosphere without being overbearing. In the one scene where the music is most noticeable (a piano version of the main theme playing in the background), it is genuinely emotional, never melodramatic. Kanako Ito also makes a return for the opening song of the film, effectively creating a sense of familiarity for fans of the series. Special props should also be given to Asami Imai for providing some of the strongest voice acting in years.
The visual quality is about on par with the TV series. While there is little animation and few scenes that strike the eye, it never quite feels like it needed more than that. It is consistent and plenty adequate for an animated film. My only complaint is that it lacks colour – the original Huke artwork from the visual novel was so much more interesting.
Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu is a veritable triumph. Rather than simply exist as a superfluous sequel (or worse – a bad one), it succeeds in enhancing the overall story. Kurisu is now as strong of a character as Okabe ever was. The relationship between the two has finally been explored with the attention and detail that it truly deserves. This is the definitive end to the story and it proves difficult to let go. Maybe it didn’t need to exist, but I’m still glad it was made. Some things are worth waiting for.
Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu is quite simply a thrilling, romantic and beautifully heart-warming experience.
The Story: 9/10
Under the production of White Fox, the original Steins;Gate anime made in 2011 has received it’s long waited movie arrival. The original Steins;Gate anime was under high critical acclaim, and was successful in both Japan and Western countries where it was the spotlight anime for the year. And it had such a great reason to be there. It was quite simply stunning. Shortly afterwards, the special of Steins;Gate was released and ranked to be the highest rated special on MyAnimeList. Here then, we have the next Steins;Gate addition. Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu. The actual story of this movie takes one year after the events of the anime series where Okabe has finished his assiduous, terrifying travel between world lines where he has miraculously reached the Steins;Gate world line. After a while, he starts feeling disorientated with the constant world line swapping which causes him to eventually dissolve and be forgotten from everyone’s minds. Kurisu remembers him from déjà vu, and from there complications begin to arise.
The story was told in such a way that it could be said Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu could be a smaller movie version of the Steins;Gate anime. Similar to the start of the anime, Steins;Gate FRDV starts off with quite an identical kickoff, minus Kurisu dying. Then we have the meeting of the characters, all is well then next second you know it, the same intensifying thriller in Steins;Gate is met here in the movie. The overall story is quite similar to the normal Steins;Gate except shorter, and more focused on the relationship between Okabe and Kurisu and their ability to make decisions. It’s good to see the rules of world lines are still intact in this movie, and they even mention it a couple of times and explain more about it (regarding Okabe’s case, of course). But, you definitely need to focus in the explanations to get it. As the story progresses, it does get slightly more predictable at times but this can be dismissed quite quickly, as it is just as astonishing as if you didn’t identify it. The pacing of the story, for a movie of only 90 minutes is extremely good and very little scenes were particularly rushed.
The individual elements of Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu is quite good. The Sci-Fi setting follows on from the Steins;Gate anime and the thriller and romance you find there are just as well done here. The suspense in the movie was done perfectly well timed which just accompanied well with the thriller. Romance in this movie plays quite a part in the plot/story and it’s very well fleshed out. Feelings towards each other contribute to how the main protagonists make decisions and in turn helps to create the certain drama element Steins;Gate has acquired. The ending is entirely satisfying, one that will leave you with a feeling of peace and fullness in the Steins;Gate universe.
The Art: 8/10
The art style is pretty much like the previous. The textures in the background shades were spectacularly made to attend to the main characters, whose expressions were done realistically and whose movement was fluid throughout the movie which was pleasing to the eye. This makes it it’s own art style which is separate from other anime which were adapted from visual novels. The art style is very fitting for the story. The dark shades accompanied the mood in the scene very well and made the simplest streets look like the most eye-catching scenery. Background scenery was rarely ever lively, but it was this that made you feel how the characters might possibly have felt at that time. Character designs are similar to the ones met before in the anime. Each character design was different- from the plump Itaru to someone as small as Mayuri. And all were in high condition. Overall animation panels looked strikingly high in quality and led the story line very strongly.
The Sound: 8/10
Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu has the same character voice actors as the anime, so instantly you can familiarize with them. Each voice fits the character they show and are each unique. From the ‘nyaaa…’ of Akiha to the ‘tuuuturu…’s of Mayuri, each one was very likable in voice and performance. Background music blended in with the scenes quite well and helped to frame the certain atmosphere in the plot. Sound is a powerful tool in shaping the audiences emotions towards characters or story developments and here, it was used quite well. The opening song is worth mentioning, as the theme song performance was done by Kanako Ito- the same person who sung ‘Hacking to the Gate’ in the Steins;Gate anime. This is instantly recognizable in her voice, and makes her ideal to lead the anime with an opening sung by her. The ending is sung by Ayane, a change from Yui Sakakibara who sung the ending in the previous anime. This isn’t much of an issue, but if you liked her you would probably feel a bit bummed. [Just one thing to note, at the moment this Steins;Gate movie does not have a dubbed. I’ll update this when I hear news of one and have confirmed it.]
The Characters: 9/10
Character development started off with the assumption that you watched the anime and the special, as it mentions events in the two quite a couple of times. The characters were quite unique- each of them had a strength and a flaw. The supporting cast had its same use of bringing in a relaxing feeling into the movie. It’s also good to know that they even have the same voice actors for the movie as they had in Steins;Gate. Though none directly contribute to the story line other than Suzuha, it was very welcome that they were shown. Each one of the supporting cast is quite likable in some way and they almost never seemed to be annoying. Their peacefulness contradicts with what the main characters are feeling, and this helped to emphasize the mood of the progressing plot. Of the supporting cast, Suzuha is the most fleshed out- mostly because it is her that actually has any major interaction to the main characters.
Mayuri’s most obvious flaw has to be that she is a little blunt, but even that has strengths. Due to this, she is more open and contributes to the development of the story- power she didn’t have as much in the anime- even by the random things she might say. Itaru is someone who can be said to be the ‘tool’ of the movie. People in the Lab give him things to do, and he does it. Otherwise he simply sits around on the seat clicking away at the computer. Okabe didn’t have as much screen time as he did in the anime, and this is mostly because of the fact that he is meant to be the one saved by Kurisu. His absence in certain scenes attributed to this, and so Kurisu was able to mimic the feelings Okabe felt in the anime which, in turn connects to the viewers. Kurisu is probably the most versatile character in the movie. Her development as a person is clearly seen throughout the movie and is displayed in all the little to big choices that she makes. It’s her choices and personal emotion that leads the direction of plot in the movie. She is given the most screen time and the producers have made use of this extremely effectively by making her the most pivotal character in this fragile story. Her decisions are mostly characterized by the emotion she feels in the given time and in this sense, it’s very realistic.
The Enjoyment: 10/10
Personally, this is the most enjoying movie I have ever watched. The thrill when a shiver is sent up your spine is such a surprising and addicting feeling and the romance was quite lovingly solid. Others who have watched Steins;Gate and have enjoyed it will also most likely enjoy it. I haven’t re-watched this, as I just finished watching but if you enjoy re-watching things, just go for it. Next time I do watch this though, heck, I’ll make sure to get the disk.
Overall, from the opening to the conclusion it’s quality production. Inevitably, because this movie is only 90 minutes, it might not cover entirely everything as it achieved in the Steins;Gate anime. But for what it performed, it did an amazing job. Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu is a very memorable movie which serves to be the absolute final to the Steins;Gate franchise.
And it’s a damn good one.
Steins;Gate:Fuka Ryouiki no Deja vu, or “The burden of Deja Vu” is the absolute ending to Steins;Gate. Need I say more? Yes? Well, let’s get into the details while avoiding as many spoilers as I can.
This movie is a sequel, after the bonus episode “Oukoubakko no Poriomania”, and it acts as a finale to the series, closing loop holes in the story that were not closed, and giving it a last bit of closure. The emotional side of the story is almost masterfully handled, with the emphasis on Okabe and Kurisu’s relationship to a pinpoint degree. I will say this though: The movie does not focus on the plot nearly as much as the character reactions, which is the strong side of Steins;Gate in the anyways. Unfortunately, that is probably the most I can say without spoiling anything in the story, as this movie is very tied to the Steins;Gate mythos.
The movie is rather short, less then 2 hours if I recall correctly, and it is a entertaining watch. However, like most anime movies based on a series, it would not hold a bucket of water if you watch it separately from the tv series, or have not read the visual novel.
Last word: Watch it if you have seen Steins;Gate. If you have not seen Steins;Gate, then go watch that so you can see this movie. You will not regret it.
1: Gintama Movie 2: Kanketsu-hen – Yorozuya yo Eien Nare
Japanese: 劇場版 銀魂 完結篇 万事屋よ永遠なれ
MAL Score: 8.94
When Gintoki apprehends a movie pirate at a premiere, he checks the camera’s footage and finds himself transported to a bleak, post-apocalyptic version of Edo, where a mysterious epidemic called the “White Plague” has ravished the world’s population. It turns out that the movie pirate wasn’t a pirate after all—it was an android time machine, and Gintoki has been hurtled five years into the future! Shinpachi and Kagura, his Yorozuya cohorts, have had a falling out and are now battle-hardened solo vigilantes and he himself has been missing for years, disappearing without a trace after scribbling a strange message in his journal.
Setting out in the disguise given to him by the android time machine, Gintoki haphazardly reunites the Yorozuya team to investigate the White Plague, and soon discovers that the key to saving the future lies in the darkness of his own past. Determined to confront a powerful foe, he makes an important discovery—with a ragtag band of friends and allies at his side, he doesn’t have to fight alone.
I haven’t actually finished the series but I did get to see the movie in theaters. It was simply amazing! I won’t give anything away but you get the typical Gintama goodness!
The story is pretty great. Gintama’s jokes are amazing and the way the story was set up was pretty original! The beginning threw me off but, Gintama always does that, to be honest.
The characters were SIMPLY FANTASTIC! The facial expressions and reactions were awesome and I, along with the theater, were laughing to death because of it. Seriously, great design, expressions, outfits, etc.
The audio was GENIUS! Spyair was awesome as always and the music was incredible. Some familiar music was played and the movie’s original and the battle, humor, etc sounds were great.
Enjoyment is 18798370984273984 out of 10. You can’t beat this. I watched the One Piece and Dragon Ball Z movies and Gintama greatly kicked them in enjoyment. I haven’t laughed so hard in forever.
Even if you haven’t watched Gintama, watch the movie because then you’ll REALLY wanna watch the anime. Got a few of my friends into Gintama now and they’ve never seen it before but changed their minds thanks to the movie.
The movie begins a bit slow at start and this is due to the “Movie Thief” character. While Odd Jobs are working in a theater for some money, the Movie Thief himself starts doing the obvious; filming illegally. As the long discussion goes with Gin and the Movie Thief about right and wrong, the producers decide to add in some jokes for the viewers to enjoy, by putting tons of laughs into it for the viewers. Is that all this Movie Thief is though? Is he just there to film illegally? Or maybe his role is more significant than we may think. But I thought this movie was about his past, not them working at a theater… Guess you’ll just have to watch!
One would think that the way the producers would portray this movie is by showing his past… Well of course they’re going to show his past, but the producers decide to use a theme we’re all used to seeing now, and that is “Time-travel.” To be honest, I was a bit surprised by seeing this, since I just recently watched the Steins;Gate movie and didn’t think that Gintama would also use this type of theme. Though, as we all know, time-travel is a commonly seen thing in shows and that of movies. Some could say that the movie is pretty predictable, but that’s for you to decide; I didn’t think it was.
The one thing I could say that I was disappointed by was the fact that there was little to no development on the future selves. All we know is that the characters have grown in these past 5 years and that Shinpachi looks nowhere close to his younger self. And Kagura, well… She’s grown in places that count to say the least. All that’s known is that Odd Jobs is no longer a group of people, but split into two groups. Odd Jobs Fumiya and the other Odd Jobs Takamoku. Wait, what happened to Gin, the leader? Well… to be frank, he’s missing.
Gintama has always been great for their soundtrack, and they even used some from the series. You can especially expect some great OST during the shounen type scenes later on in the movie. Though, that’s all I can really say about the OST because there’s nothing to really complain about and nothing to say vastly amazing about, but it still does the job at providing some great sounds for us, the viewers
The art has been vastly improved as expected for a movie. I wish it could be like this in the T.V series as well because the fights are animated better, clearer and more colorful to watch when seen in better quality. Character designs as I’ve talked a little about have been changed for a few as well. Shinsengumi is no longer the police force anymore really, but almost something like the Joui rebels themselves, though not necessarily identical. The producers decided to poke at some of the characters too, by making fun of them; Catherine mainly, who prioritizes in mainly making the viewer’s think of her as the troll character of Gintama. Elizabeth’s appearance changed drastically… One could say he’s all muscle now.
The movie, Gintama: The Final Chapter – Be Forever Yorozuya is definitely something a fan of the T.V series should watch. As for myself, I’m always excited for more Gintama and still await the T.V series to return for me to enjoy some good laughs, action packed scenes and just overall enjoyment that is Gintama. Everyone who has watched the T.V series knows that all we’ve seen about Gin’s past was little flashbacks during the war. So shouldn’t we be seeing more of the war? Well no, if they did that the film would be shorter than a 3 episode long series. This was the best way to do things IMO, and the producers did it pretty damn good. Overall, the film gives tons of laughs throughout it, but kind of lacked in the action packed scenes. Though one could argue that Gintama isn’t your typical shounen and that action isn’t everything, which is correct because Gintama does what it does best and that is making you laugh.
The story opens up with the Yorozuya three and Sadaharu in a movie theatre working part-time to grab some cash. Through a series of surprisingly refreshing and funny fourth-wall jokes, Gin and a new and hilarious character, the Movie Thief, end up travelling forward in time by five years. Here Gin learns the true identity of the Movie Thief and discovers that the world has been drastically altered and many people on Earth have died. To make matters worse, Yorozuya has disbanded and in this world Gin is missing and the Gin from five years ago must try and restore the world.
The story, which renews the most popular theme in contemporary anime, is about time traveling. If you’ve seen one anime about time traveling, whether it be Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya or Steins;Gate, you’ve seen them all. What these stories have in common is using time-travel as a plot-device to provoke a sense of regret and gratefulness out of our otherwise complacent main characters. This concept strings pretty far back in the medium and unless the story is presented in an innovative manner the plot device of time travel is incredibly predictable. Time travel can no longer exist as the sole concept in a work. In Steins;Gate it was a character study on the stress of an individual undergoing intense trauma, and in Disappearance it was the deliberation between being safe or being in love. In both stories the main characters support the work. Here time travel is sadly used as a way to advance a very generic story in a setting that was created to provide the Gintama fanbase with some fun character designs.
While the story is predictable it still is entertaining to any shounen fan. All our favorite Gintama characters appear, and the jokes ultimately keep flowing. But we don’t get to see the characters from the main series develop into their new character designs, we just see how they’ve changed in five years. It’s a bit disappointing coming from a series that often pays meticulous care to even the most trivial character’s background. For a movie marketed as game-changing for the franchise, I can’t help but to feel a little swindled. It’s mostly just the same Gintama jokes from the show with less attention to story.
The ill-explained time travel really hurts the bombastic finale of the film and everything about the story felt simply too convenient. While the movie is presented as a mystery Gin does almost none of the footwork to figure out about the world around him or how to fix it. The events of the movie occur jarringly fast. Plot points simply keep forcing themselves into scenes until finally you arrive at the final battle. It’s frustrating that the film is so linear and there is almost no despair to be felt in a world that was supposedly ravaged. Even as far as a Gintama arc would go, it is safe to say that this would be a very weak one. The story suffers from cliches, linearity, and unbelievable explanations to the point of boredom. The main Gintama series can do better than this story and it’s upsetting to see such little thought put into it.
The cast remains the same if not caricatured. Ultimately we learn nothing new about the cast of the entire series other than that Kagura five years in the future is stacked. There is no character development in this film, which you can expect from a side story, but there is also no new character relationships. The films characters are very static.
The soundtrack lifts nearly all songs from the main anime series and is of course very fitting because of this. Despite the contempt for innovation here the score still feels right. The animation looks vastly improved from the main series, though! Simply put, it is more fluid and provides a greater range of facial expression. The fight scenes are also animated very well, and provide for some exciting hack-and-slash entertainment. The character designs are great and should be lauded as well. The movie does a great job poking fun at some characters with the astute redesigns and pays attention to detail here with wardrobe subtleties. A fun example is Shinpachi is wearing Gin’s shirt and Kagura is wearing his robe as a skirt. If there’s an reason to see this movie it’s to see the older counterparts of each character.
Gintama Yorozuya yo Eien Nare is typical Gintama. It’s more Gintama. If you want more Gintama then watch this film. It’s nothing innovative, and it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Some of the jokes are really funny, but mostly the films struggles with a convincing plot and frequently devolves into artificial sentimentality. I liked the film but was disappointed in it’s simplistic design, but I humbly hope Gintama returns to form with some more hotpot and Christmas episodes in April.
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1. Gintama Movie 2: Kanketsu-hen – Yorozuya yo Eien Nare
2. Steins;Gate Movie: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu
3. Sakasama no Patema
4. Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Endymion no Kiseki