They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Hanasaku Iroha Movie: Home Sweet Home, High☆Speed! Movie: Free! Starting Days, Detective Conan Movie 02: The Fourteenth Target, and more!
50: Hanasaku Iroha Movie: Home Sweet Home
English: Hanasaku Iroha the Movie: Home Sweet Home
Japanese: 劇場版 花咲くいろは HOME SWEET HOME
MAL Score: 7.87
Ohana Matsumae has been working at Kissui Inn as a waitress for a while now. However, she realizes that she is starting to lose her desire to sparkle, having grown accustomed to the routines of her job. As this was a desire she had when she first moved to the inn, the realization bothers her. While having Yuina Wakura—Ohana’s classmate, friend, and the daughter of rival Fukuya Inn’s owner—under her as an apprentice, Ohana stumbles upon some old archives that mention her mother, Satsuki. Ohana does not know much about her mother, but these archives could shed some light on her past.
Besides learning more about her mother, it is business as usual at Kissui Inn—though with a couple of challenges to test Ohana and the staff of the inn.
Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home is not one of those movies, but do still keep your expectations in check before digging in. Most of what was frustrating about the main series remains here.
Taking place somewhere in the time-frame of the TV series (no indication is really given as to when), Home Sweet Home decides to show us a little bit more of an oft neglected character: Ohana’s mother, Satsuki. While cleaning one of the inn’s storage rooms, Ohana happens upon a set of diaries from her mother, telling the story of Satsuki’s rebellious teenage years to the birth of Ohana. We see in greatest detail how Satsuki met Ohana’s father, but the message is never in the story itself – it’s how it relates to Ohana’s own struggles. Like mother, like daughter, or so they say.
There’s an inherent sense of maturity to Home Sweet Home that was not present in the TV series. We see the beauty of childbirth (reminiscent of Mamoru Hosoda’s “Wolf Children”) and the toils of an adolescent girl trying to find adulthood in a world alien to her. Growing up has always been the central theme of the series, but the movie achieves it with much more clarity than the TV series. Few stories evolve the conflict beyond existential angst and into parenthood. There is a reason for us to care this time, and there is finally a message to be drawn by the end of the story, unlike the ambiguous “Huuuh?” of before.
Being a product of P.A. Works, of course, it is impeded by melodrama. Plenty of screaming, crying, and more screaming for your hearing pleasure. Why do they always do this? Home Sweet Home is a better story than that. I understand that it is mainly a story about teenage girls, but come on, you can convey emotion through thoughtful dialogue instead of this nonsense. It doesn’t always have to be two characters screaming at each other. It’s a shame that an otherwise intelligent story had to be bogged down this way.
The biggest problem however is that Satsuki’s story only takes up about one-third of the overall story. Ohana, Minko and the rest of the inn are often given the spotlight instead for whatever reason. This naturally creates issues when the runtime of the movie is just 60 minutes. Large sequences of time are skipped by in a flash, numerous questions are left unanswered, and we never do fully understand the relationship between Satsuki and Ohana’s father. Why does she fall in love with him so quickly? And why is an adult like him even interested in a highschooler suffering from a severe case of teen angst? Who really knows. Maybe we could have if the movie didn’t spend its time on irrelevant subplots.
I just have to wonder, why? Ohana and the rest of the inn already had plenty of focus in the main series. It’s merely a repetition of what we have already seen. The worst offender is the Nako subplot, based on her issues at home and relationship with her siblings. One of her sisters runs away at random, generating us ten minutes of the inn screaming and searching for her, only to end with the tired message of “Nako is mature”. The audience knows that already. It is verbatim. Why not show us something new about the character, or instead spend that time developing the relationship between Satsuki and Ohana’s father? There was plenty of potential here for something great and in the end it is pushed aside for the familiar.
The audio-visual quality fares much better. Even when it’s only “pretty good” by Hanasaku Iroha standards, it still looks better than many animated films released these days. The lighting and reflections are the art’s greatest asset as they often have the ability to enhance the story itself (one particular scene has Satsuki’s confused face mirrored in the bus that her love interest is leaving in). The animation is merely serviceable, however, and distant shots will often have the characters drawn without a face. This laziness feels especially out of place when contrasted with the beautiful backgrounds.
As for the sound, while I can’t imagine there will be anything to stand out in anyone’s memory, there is a certain beauty to the background music when one listens closely. There’s a subtle sense of melancholy to each piece, never relying on loud, sappy music to make the audience feel something. It makes the quieter moments all the more powerful, and these quiet moments are unequivocally the strongest piece of the experience.
At the end of the day, is Home Sweet Home worth your time? Certainly. If you had problems with the TV series, there is nothing here to change your mind in any significant way (there may just be more melodrama than before), but at only 60 minutes long it’s hard to go wrong with more Hanasaku Iroha. It’s just unfortunate that P.A. Works decided to play it safe for the fans instead of trying for more. Is that so much to ask for? I don’t believe so.
From P.A. Works’ original animated series that debuted in 2011 known as Hanasaku Iroha comes forth a new movie. P.A. Works is well known for many of the original works such as Tari Tari, Angel Beats, and recently Nagi no Asukara. What they’re less known for is perhaps their involvement in the film industry. Of course, adapting a slice of life story is never easy. The expectations of a movie usually involves a detailed storyline with engaging characters. With a movie running for roughly 60 minutes, it might look intimating to achieve such expectations. However, I am grateful to say that Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home has reached that level of expectation.
For starters, the movie stands out as a side-story of the original series, Hanasaku Iroha. However, I do recommend viewers coming fresh into the franchise to watch the original series to gain a better understanding of the characters, settings, themes, and the overall style of P.A. Works’ slice of life presentation. As a slice of life, Hanasaku Iroha shines in its character interactions and dynamics rather than a powerful storyline. Ohana Matsume returns as the main character in this movie as she is still a resident of the hot springs inn that her grandmother manages. What originally started as a girl with little interest for those around her life now emerges a confident young woman with an appreciation of her new lifestyle. She’s not the only character making her return though. Fans should also be thankful that most of the original characters make their returns including Minko, Nako, Tarou, Takako, Enishi, Wakura, Tohru, and of course the master of the inn, Sui Shijima.
The movie itself surprisingly has this explosive energy. Most of this comes from Ohana especially in the beginning. Along with this energy brings forth welcoming humorous moments around the inn such as the priceless acting and food decorations. It might not be masterpiece or Oscar level but it can definitely bring forth a smile to anyone’s face. Similarly to its original series, the movie retains its slice of life format and tells it similar to a narrative. Only this time though, it also focuses on Ohana’s mother(Satsuki) with a little trip down memory lane.
In a way, Satsuki’s character isn’t very different from her daughter Ohana in the beginning. Both characters has a stubborn attitude and doesn’t seem to appreciate their lifestyles at first. Additionally, the both of them often clashes against other members of the inn at first becoming a talk around the house. Throughout the movie, a line of “I want to shine” echoes that seemingly symbolizes a chance to become something bigger in life for Satsuki. It’s written in text as well and becomes an important theme in growing up. Surprisingly enough, I can find this relatable. After all, everyone wants to grow out of their shells and challenge themselves to become something they never thought they’d become. For Satsuki, she is inspired to become a professional writer/editor. But if we look at life itself, there’s that sense of obstacle that can prevent dreams from coming true. Satsuki sees that obstacle as her residence at the inn because from her perspective, it prevents her from shining in the real world.
The movie also focuses itself on character relationships. For Satsuki, it brings out her character in different ways of expressions including anger, sadness, regret, but also joy. However, her character does seem to rush a bit much in terms of development. It’s hard to take her maturity in a serious perspective as her actions speaks louder than her aggressive words. These actions are also usually performed out of carelessness with some regrets. Satsuki’s dream also somewhat reflects on her mother as they both chased after a different dream but similar reasons; like mother, like daughter.
Although the movie focuses a lot on memories, other characters do make some moments in particular Minko. Her admiration for her superior Tohru is still easily noticeable as she wants to impress him with her cooking skills. Nako’s highlight in the movie details her insecurity regarding her friends and family. What’s important here though is that these character interactions can be reflected on how friendship and guardianship can play such a big part in our lives. Without family or friends, a home wouldn’t be sweet in any sense.
If drama was a major idea in this movie, then I’d say there’s too much of it. At times, it seems to be forced with the emotions and tears running down. Satsuki is just one such example but some of the other characters’ drama seems to be forced out of their shells as well. It doesn’t help by the fact that these drama doesn’t tie in with relationship progression. Yes, the lack of relationship progression for some of the main characters doesn’t seem to hit anywhere near home. There’s also bits of fan service out of nowhere that can be distracting. Furthermore, the absence of a main supporting character from the original series is hardly memorable from this movie. Memories are captured by the lens of a camera but some of them zooms by like flying rice.
Once again, P.A. Works shows the world their talent in artistic visuals. The animation of this movie is outstanding with rich artwork. The character designs all seems natural. It’s refreshing to see what Satsuki looked like as a young girl to what she looks like later on. It creates that atmosphere for viewers to see how much she has changed over the years. The inn itself is also designed to look exactly how it should be with its traditional designs.
The soundtrack is cherry and lighthearted. It brings forth a home-like atmosphere to the movie as everything feels right at home. Most of the VA does a terrific job with their role. Satsuki’s voice as her younger self is also depicted well with a mixture of arrogance, insecurity, but also inspiration.
Photo albums contains memories.
Memories are created from experiences.
Experiences are bought forth from friends and family. Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home is a movie that serves as a primary example of how to live through life. There are obstacles but at the same time, there is also hope and prosperity. I don’t know how many of you reading this once and awhile looked back to your photo albums. But if you do, you’ll probably feel the nostalgia of walking down a memory lane that feels like home sweet home.
My expectation wasn’t very high; I knew that the movie duration wasn’t too long (66 min), and I knew that the story wasn’t a simple continuation from the last episode of the TV series. I thought if it was mildly entertaining that would be enough.
I was wrong.
Animation art direction was P.A. Works at its best. It captures well the good scenes from Yunosagi (largely based on the real Yuwaku Onsen town).
The story was surprisingly good and actually quite emotionally moving; never thought it could be that good. Music was the familiar Hana-Iro touching soundtrack with a new ending song by nano.RIPE (I like the crude-but-charming vocal; at least she has originality). All the main characters have their fair share of appearances except for Ko-chan (but he’ll be Ohana’s boyfriend in the end, as we all know).
It’s a great fan-service for sure but this movie was much more than that.
It’s a story of family (hint: the heroine’s name).
I am also a fan of K-On! Series and loved its Movie. Perhaps as a work of pop art though, the Movie of Hanasaku Iroha might be better overall. If you liked the series, there is no way that you’ll be very disappointed.
Well done P.A. Works. Well done.
49: High☆Speed! Movie: Free! Starting Days
English: Free! Starting Days
Japanese: 映画 ハイ☆スピード！ -Free! Starting Days-
MAL Score: 7.87
High☆Speed!: Free! Starting Days plunges into the past of the Iwatobi Swim Club members alongside their fellow swimmers and competitors.
Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana have started middle school and must adjust to the changes that come along with growing up. While Makoto fits in with his classmates and remains positive about swimming, Haruka struggles to befriend others or join his school’s swim club, as his previous issues with swimming trouble him. Distancing himself from his lively classmates and the swimming club, he has difficulty deciding which club to join instead. The rest of his classmates, including Makoto, are also hesitant as to which clubs to participate in. After an argument leads them to join the swimming club anyway, the boys strive to hone their skills, harmonize their swimming styles, and refine their conflicting feelings toward swimming and each other.
As determination and talent run high, witness Haruka and Makoto—along with their classmates—discover themselves and improve their talents during their starting days.
High Speed gives a closer look into the lifes of Haru and Makoto before they go to Iwatobi High (Anime Series), so it’s not necessary to see the anime before, but can be also seen as an addition to it. At the start of the movie the story goes on rather slowly, but with a lot of funny scenes, that made me laugh more than once. The watcher gets to know the new characters Ikuya and Asahi and also can recognize the ones, already shown in the anime like Kisumi or of course the main characters Makoto and Haru. After this the stoy goes on with a faster pace, but for me it didn’t feel rushed at any time and the time went by like nothing. The fanservice strongly focused on the relationship between Haru and Makoto in this movie, which is amazing for a fangirl like me but could be rather annoying for someone, who is not into it that much. But it’s Free so I guess we gotta live with it .(It’s not like I would complain about it anyway) Towards the end of the movie the story gets a lot more emotional and really moved me to tears sometimes. Sadly the ending was a bit disappointing since it felt abrupt for me and for a moment I wasn’t even sure if it was over already. I kept wondering why Asahi and Ikuya didn’t appeared a single time in the anime (f. e. in a flashback) even though they built a strong friendship with Makoto and Haru in the movie.
All in all I will give the Story a solid 8!
The Art will forever be one of the things I love most about Free! The Art is just incredibly outstanding! The backgrounds f. e. the cherry blossoms are really detailed. Also in scenes, where the watcher sees with Harus eyes, when he swims, or when a pool is shown, the water is also drawn with a lot of effort and looks truly beautiful. The beautiful art style also applies to the characters. The character design is amazing and also matches with their personalities a lot. Every single character looks stunning in his own way and had his own unique appearance. There were no characters (excluding supernumerarys) that looked much like each other, except the ones where it was logical because they’re related (-> Ikuya and Natsuya (brothers) have the same eyes).
I think this text shows clearly that I can’t give the Art anyhing less than 10 points, it’s just absolutely amazing!
Okay, first about the seiyuus (japanese voice actors): I’m really glad that they decided to keep the seiyuus for Haru, Makoto, Rin, Sousuke and Kisumi, with the reason that their voices start to deepen at that age. I’m really in love with the Free! Cast and even though the voices sometimes seemed a bit too dark for such small boys, their voices brought something well-known in the movie and connected it to the anime series, which I really liked. Also the voices for the new characters fitted their personality. Sadly the „their-voices-start-to-change-at-that-age“ – theory didn’t work on Nagisa, so they casted a woman to synchronize him. In my opinion his voice was a bit too high and annoying at some time… Another thing I have to highlight about the seiyuus is the amazing work of Tatsuhisa Suzuki as the voice of Makoto. I always think that Makoto is one of his best roles ever, because he managed to adapt his voice without sounding odd, even though Makotos voice distinguishes a lot from Tatsuhisas „normal“ voice.
Talking about Suzuki-san , this leads to the second topic: the music. Some of you maybe know that the Theme Song „Aching Horns“ was performed by Tatsuhisas band „Oldcodex“ with him as a singer. Of course it’s a matter of taste and if you like J-Rock, but in my opinion the song is really amazing and will always remember me of the movie!
The soundtrack playing during the movie was good and really beautiful sometimes but sadly I don’t remember most of the tracks and had to look them up again before writing this review…what I noticed however was that they took some soundtracks from the anime and revised them. (For example the well-known track „Words that changed my Life“ got a new version called „Precious Words“ in High Speed)
After all I will give 9 out of 10 points for the sound!
At the beginning some of the characters may not seem understandable to the watcher since their reactions to some situations don’t really make sense to them. However later most characters get at least one scene of the movie focusing on them and revealing their backstory, which makes them more understandable for the watcher and feel sorry for them. Some of their storys really made me cry. But it was not only for the new characters like Ikuya and his brother but also with characters, some of you already know from the anime! High Speed showed especially Makotos flaws more exactly than the anime did and made me feel really sad for him. Also I can understand Sousukes character even more now after watching the movie. Concerning the side characters I’m really happy they included some already known characters like Nagisa and even Rei, even though they were not important for the plot at that time. I also like the new side characters, like Nao and Natsuya!
All in all 9 points for the characters~
For me as a huuuge Free! Fan the movie was just the best movie ever! (I did my best to be objective though~) I think people, that are interested in anime about sport but also about friendship will love this movie, especially if they enjoyed the anime series too! The movie has funny as well as emotional scenes in it and for someone who likes this combinaton, it’s definitely a good recommendation!
I would totally watch it again and again so 10 points for me!
Thanks for reading I hope I stayed more or less objective ^^’
Man, the story. I did keep my expectations low. Or, I didn’t really expect anything at all (neither positive nor negative stuff) and I ended up being blown away.
It starts off by introducing all of the characters very well, one by one. About the first half of the movie, we’re getting to know them and the setting. And then the emotional drama starts happening. Haruka, Makoto, Ikuya and Asahi go through mental challenges, Makoto is questioning his choices, Haruka isn’t too sure about himself or his friends either. They’re all facing struggles thats effects them as a team.
It’s easy to keep up with this movie, the main aspects aren’t too complicated and we only focus on one big thing at a time.
Kyoto Animation did an amazing job with the art, style, animation, background details and usage of colors. Everything goes so well with each other and this movie is just stunning to watch.
Same applies to the music. Free! wouldn’t have been Free! without this music.
I was worried about the new characters, mainly Ikuya and Asahi. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one that got reminded of Haruka and Momotarou when I took my first glance at them. But High Speed suprised me! Yes, Ikuya’s facial expressions are similar to Haru’s, but he’s still very different as a character. Asahi is energetic like Momo, but he’s still different from him. What I’m trying to say is that all of the characters ended up being different and likable.
Haruka and Makoto are.. Well, pretty much just like how you would expect. Their strong bond is very known, and you can clearly see it in this movie. Haru knows when something is off about Makoto and same goes for Makoto. In the flashbacks from the actual show, their bond didn’t seem that strong, so I’m glad that we got to see how close they actually were as kids/pre-teens. Makoto also shows a deeper side of himself.
I would say that Ikuya had the hardest time. He was a quiet boy, but he would still talk whenever he could and add a bunch of comments. I respect Ikuya as a character because he had so much more pressure on him than the others. As his bonds with the boys got stronger, he would open up more, and share more about his life. He’s also a very cute character, almost being shy in the beginning.
Asahi would be more of a stereotypical character in anime, but there’s still something special about him. The way that he interacts with the others makes him seem like an idiot, but being his confident self, it doesn’t bother him. However, he’s still facing other types of struggles.
All of the characters end up being very strong, and they have great developments.
I loved how Nagisa, Rei, Sousuke and Rin would pop up once in a while, I mean, they were still involved with the main characters’ lives. Plus, it was so nice to see what /they/ were doing in the meanwhile. Don’t get me wrong, they only showed up at occasions where it fit, when they were useful to the plot.
(During the dramatic, moments near the end, I WAS SO SCARED AND WORRIED FOR ALL OF THEM, I GOT EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO THEM SUPER QUICKLY. They went through so much ohh lord)
I truly enjoyed this movie to the fullest. I’m already very interested in swimming, and the messages that Free! is trying to bring about friendship, the future and freedom, are also important to me. Starting Days does bring up a lot of the same stuff from the actual show, but I would say that first and foremost; this movie is about acceptance, of oneself and of others (the key to happiness). It’s all about these boys being willing to work together as a team. And It’s so beautiful.
I recommend this movie to people that value these aspects in life, or just want to have a good time.
I’m going to go and rewatch this now.
The story, while nothing exceptional, is solid. There is a degree of repetitiveness among the two seasons of the anime and this movie in terms of main themes and sources of conflict, and if this movie’s other elements weren’t so well-done I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. Fortunately, that’s not the case. The movie had uncertainty about the future, family drama, and, as this is Free!, friendship being its main drivers, and while it did get a bit too melodramatic sometimes, overall I feel that the story was handled well and made for a movie that had some substance instead of having it be an hour of fanservice, which was a route they could have easily gone down.
There are some moments in the film that feel a bit awkward or shoehorned in (for example, Sousuke had more interaction with the gang than I’d previously thought from the way they act towards each other in the future, and I did question Haruka’s future attitude towards competing.) but I don’t think they detracted from my enjoyment of the film in a major way.
Where I feel this movie did an exceptional job is its characters. I was worried, at first, with such a large number of the main cast (especially since there is already an established universe) being original characters (not counting the novels). I was pleasantly surprised that all of them received some amount of development and had good, believable dynamics with each other. Overall, both new and familiar characters were likeable in their own ways, and I found myself emotionally invested in them.
One other thing that the movie did excellently is developing the relationship between Makoto and Haruka. For characters whose relationship in the future is already so well-known, their interaction in the movie never felt unimportant and are, in fact, what I believe are some of the strongest points of the movie, whether or not the larger franchise is considered. I left the theatre with a greater appreciation of their friendship, and I believe a better understanding of the relationship between the characters’ older selves.
This being a KyoAni production, it was definitely a visual treat. While
I do think their style can be rather bland, the movie is undeniably very pretty, with fluid animation, great backgrounds, and good use of colour when it counts. There is one particular scene between Makoto and Haruka that was animated beautifully (more so than the rest if the film,) which I feel really emphasised it as a pivotal moment.
The sound and music were also fine, and served their purpose well. The music will sound familiar to those who have seen the series. It’s not a soundtrack that will merit multiple replays on its own, but it was definitely effective in the context of the movie.
Overall, this is a movie I can recommend without reservations to a fan of the series. While I can see how it might be less interesting to someone not already interested in Free!, I think it still merits a watch for anyone who wants to see a beautifully animated but sometimes slow-moving coming-of-age film.
Note: I saw this movie in Japanese with no English subtitles. I am currently a Japanese language student, and while I’m confident that I understood almost everything in the movie, there may have been some things I missed. I will update this review if my opinions change after I see it again once the DVD comes out.
48: Detective Conan Movie 02: The Fourteenth Target
English: Case Closed: The Fourteenth Target
Japanese: 名探偵コナン １４番目の標的
MAL Score: 7.89
A mysterious attacker has appeared and is assaulting people whose names contain a number from the standard deck of cards in descending order. When Conan Edogawa points out that all the victims are related to the now famous detective Kogorou Mouri, suspicion immediately falls upon the recently released convict Jou Murakami, as Kogorou was the one responsible for his arrest ten years prior.
With potential victims still at risk, Conan and the police are determined to catch the culprit. As the case gradually unfolds, both Conan and his friend Ran Mouri learn more about her parents’ separation and the truth on what transpired a decade ago.
A brilliant story, and the system which the murderer uses in amazing, the story itself is good then too, and the plot isn’t what you think it is. A cool story, with a second story in it, a piece of Mouri and Ran’s past, I gained alot of respect for Mouri through this (and the first) movie. I see this character in a (almost) new light.
Same ol’ characters, just as usual good, we get a look at a piece of Mouri’s and Ran past, which made me see Mouri in a new light, a better light, the new introduced characters, the old villian, the victims and the murderer are great, all are different, yet the same in a way, and without knowing it (most of them) bear a relationship with each other. Magnificent!
It all begins with Ran having a nightmare, where her father shoots her mother. This actually happened, he only grazed her. Now, 10 years later, Ran tries to find out, why did he shoot the kidnapper, if he knows, he could’ve killed his own wife? This is the sidestory for this movie.
The real story is how a murderer takes out (or tries to take out) 13 people which are related to Det.Mouri, by playing a smart death-system via cards and numbers. As soon as injuries become murders, our… police team, Mouri and Conan get angered and try to find out who the murderer is, and why he’s doing it. It all folds together in the end, with most of the (chosen) victims in one place, this is where the mainplot folds out. At the ending of the movie itself, the reasoning from the past (where Mouri shot his wife) comes to place, when it’s happening again, (this time of course with Ran and Conan).
The art’s good, so is the animation, sometimes the animation is really smooth and lovely, sometimes it’s just normal animation. But they did a good job.
this time the story is about attempt at serial killing of 13 people that are related to kogoro mouri. the build up is pretty good although a bit draggy in the beginning but an improvement compared to the first movie
pretty fluid in movement there is no really major improvement when compared to the first movie overall pretty fitting for a movie
yeah.. the standard detective conan music. if you like the music from the tv series you bound to like this one too
thankfully there is more character on this one. frankly its way too eazy to guess the culprit in the first because of how there is only a few character in there, the second have more character and more diverse personalities oh and the character from tv series is coming back.
as usual detective conan is an enjoyable movie if you have nothing to do at home
if you are itching for some detective mystery series then go ahead and watch this one
Sadly an issue this movie has right off the bat is that, in some ways, it’s a bit of a repeat of the first movie. Like, last movie was a series of bombings that had a pattern, and this movie is a series of murders with a pattern. Of course there are some differences, namely that the heroes find out about said pattern very early on, so the cast is moreso trying to prevent the murders while following the pattern.
This movie also introduced one of the most (in)famous memes in the franchise: Hawaii! Yup, every time Shinichi does something crazy, he’ll just hand wave it as him having learnt it in Hawaii by his father. In this movie, it turns out two of the things Yusaku apparently taught him was to use a gun and FLY A HELICOPTER! Like, I can see why he’d like to teach him the former, but what’s the point of even teaching him the latter!?
Another issue with this movie is that it’s final twist of who the culprit is ends up being predictable. Of course it is not gonna be the guy everyone suspects it is, we know that it’s actually gonna be one of the possible victims instead, so what’s even the point? Also, the actual culprit is voiced by Nakao Ryusei, the voice of Freeza. Because of course that would be the case.
Actually, on that note, that’s one of the amusing bits about most of the movies, most of the one off characters will often have some big name actors attached to them. I already mentioned Nakao, but there’s also the late great Suzuoki Hirotaka, Okamoto Maya and the late great Utsumi Kenji.
That said, there are some things that put this above the first movie, even if it technically does more things wrong. For instance, the whole scene in which the cast is stuck in an underwater complex is great, with the feeling of paranoia running through. I also feel this movie does much more service to Kogoro’s character than most of the anime fillers do. The thing about Kogoro is that he walks a very thin line between incompetence and laziness. The manga original stories moreso goes for the latter, as while he’s a good detective (Not as good as, say, Heiji or maybe even Yusaku but still competent) he’s just too lazy to follow more than one line of reasoning. The anime by contrast moreso goes for the latter, being legitimately bad at his job and only gets as far as he goes because Shinichi knocks him out. Here we get a happy balance, being shown as a bit lazy at times, but is still a competent detective in his own right. The movie is also the only Detective Conan related… thing that actually bothers to give an explanation as for why he and Eri are estranged. Oh yeah, this is also Eri’s movie debut!
Then there’s the climax. If you thought the last movie’s climax of the last movie was intense, well, this movie has the cast escaping an exploding underwater complex, then a hostage situation at the top of a collapsing building and THEN trying to get the now injured hostage into a helicopter. Yeah, I think we know which movie has the better climax.
So like the last movie, I really enjoyed this one. It had more issues, sure, but I feel that it also does a lot more right than the last one. Definitely another movie that’s easy to recommend.
Final Score: 8/10
47: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st
English: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st
Japanese: 魔法少女リリカルなのは The MOVIE 1st
MAL Score: 7.89
Nanoha Takamachi, an ordinary third-grader, loves her family and friends more than anything else. One day, after having a strange dream in which a ferret gets injured, she sees the very same ferret in real life and rescues it. That ferret turns out to be Yuuno Scrya, a mage from another world who is trying to capture the 21 scattered Jewel Seeds before they cause serious damage to the universe. Yuuno is not powerful enough to capture the Jewel seeds on his own, so he grants Nanoha the intelligent device “Raising Heart” and begins training her as a mage.
Unfortunately, the powerful Jewel Seeds attract those with ill intentions. Another mage, Fate Testarossa, is desperate to collect the seeds for some unknown and sinister purpose, though the solemn look in her eyes makes Nanoha think that there is more to Fate than meets the eye. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st is a retelling of the original series, which tells the story of two young mages and how their strong emotions shape their actions.
It’s unfortunate then, that the stereotypical mahou shoujo anime still reigns supreme.
The rather strangely titled Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st (simply calling it Nanoha: The Movie would have sufficed as there’s only one Nanoha in anime as far as I’m aware – feel free to correct me on this point though), is, as many anime fans may already know, about 9 year old Takamichi Nanoha, who answers a ferret’s cry for help, obtains an intelligent device named Raising Heart (or Raging Heart, I’m still not sure which is correct), and becomes a magical girl tasked with finding “Jewel Seeds”.
Cue the twinkly effects and soppy romance? Hell no! This is Nanoha, and she’d kick Sailor Moon’s arse from here to the next dimension.
As far as the story goes, the movie is nothing more than a condensed retelling of the first series. Now some have tried to claim that the movie is a parallel history rather than a straightforward rehash (I’m looking at you Tsuzuki Masaki), however the differences between the two are very small indeed. While the movie takes liberties in an effort to condense information, the content is still pretty much the same (the major points anyway), so it puzzles me how anyone could consider this an alternative take on the original series.
Which brings me to a major problem I had with the movie. The plot flows rather nicely throughout the film, and the story has been compacted to a pretty good degree, however sacrifices have been made in order to accomodate the shortening of a 13 episode series into just over 2 hours. The biggest problem with the movie is that it has lost much of the charm the original series had, something which affects the characters in a big way. Granted there’s more focus on the action, but one of the reasons why the whole Nanoha franchise works is because we see her grow from being a young, naive girl into the Ace of Aces, and much of that growth is missing from the movie.
Here’s what I mean. Part of what I liked about the original Nanoha series was seeing how she came to terms with her new role and how it affected her relationship with her family and friends. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t have the time to go into this kind of detail so much of this is missing, and the upshot of this is that many of Nanoha’s later actions, her fights with Fate and such, don’t really have the same level of justification that they did in the series. The movie is nothing more than action for the sake of action, and the whole “alternate history” concept is only really noticable in a few small scenes..
But it’s still enjoyable nonetheless 🙂
As for the effect of the shortened plot on the other characters, while the original series made some effort to round out certain individuals, the movie does nothing of the sort. Granted this is because of time constraints, however one can’t help but wonder how fans of the series will take this distinct lack of characterisation and development, although in fairness to the movie, the viewer does get a good idea of Fate’s motivations.
One thing that I did like is the fact that the cast from the original series and it’s sequels have reprised their roles here, and their familiarity with the characters is telling as the performances are very good throughout. The only real downside to the acting is that there aren’t too many opportunities for the seiyuu to display their talents because of the nature of the movie (i.e. it’s far more action oriented), which limits their performances to a degree. As for the sound, the effects are exceptional throughout, especially during the combat sequences, while the music is very good not only in the scope of tracks, but also in their choregraphy.
In terms of looks, the movie is very clearly a reflection of the first series, and the characters and settings will be very familiar to those who have watched the original. The only real differences between the movie and the series are that the animation is, on the whole, better in the new version, and the action sequences are much more exciting now than they were before. Granted there are some minor visual alterations between the two, however these are nothing more than cosmetic changes to facilitate the belief that this is an “alternate history”.
Now, did I enjoy the movie? Damn right I did. While I may not be a diehard fan of the franchise, Nanoha really did change my opinion of mahou shoujo, and while I may seem critical of the flaws in the film, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. The movie is very much an action based affair, and while this is an enjoyable romp in the realm of Nanoha, in all honesty I would much prefer to watch the original series. While the movie is a great way to while away a couple of hours, there is a distinct lack of character interaction that was part of the charm of the original series.
I doubt whether fans of the Nanoha franchise will find this a bad film as it enompasses a good deal of the plot from the original series. That said, while I enjoyed the movie a lot, there really is no competition as I much prefer the series. This isn’t a bad film, not at all. It simply lacks some of the things that I liked about the original, and the fact that this is being pushed as an “alternate history” doesn’t help matters.
In truth, while Nanoha: The Movie (see how much easier that is?), may be good, it’s not the re-envisioning I expected or hoped for. The film could have been so much more if writer Tsuzuki Masaki, and director Kusakawa Keizou, had decided to follow one route only – either a complete alternate history, or a condensed retelling of the original series.
That said, this is a good action movie that suitably pays homage to the original, and while it can’t really compare to the series in terms of depth, it will serve as a great introduction for new viewers who, like me, simply haven’t realised just how good a mahou shoujo anime can be if done right.
First off, as any Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha fan can tell by the title alone, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st is basically a recap of the first season. Things like reused elements to keep the whole feel of the series coherent, summarized version of the story to stay on track with the original, and on occasions seemingly reused portions from the original series… all of these are to be expected I guess. I’m pretty sure the creator(s) were aware of this, so in order to make such a recap interesting, they would have to make slight alternations and focuses to the storyline, put emphasis on the highlights or important parts from the original, subtract what is not extremely beneficial to give the intended feel or express the intended message, and add some stuff unavailable in the original series. Of course, I think keeping on track with the original is very important, yet it’s easy to make it feel repetitive. So, the challenge for the creator(s) was how to make the movie feel different while still remaining loyal to the original. That said, I think the creator(s) did a pretty good job with most of it.
STORY – 9/10
A smooth flow from beginning to end, even though it was a combination of seemingly reused scenes accompanied with new stuff. The basic structure of the beginning and ending is pretty much the same as the original series, with Nanoha encountering Yuuno and becoming a Mahou Shoujo in the process, eventually leading to the emotional and inspiring scene at the end with Fate. However, the middle portion of the story was altered somewhat. In the original series, you get to see more of Nanoha and her life, while in the movie you get more emphasis on explaining Fate and Precia’s situation which leads to a deeper understanding of the overall story if you have watched the original series before. I felt that the different perspective was definitely a nice touch, because in the original series it was easy to “get the logic” but not necessarily the “understanding”, whereas in the movie it was easier to “understand” because you just get to know a lot more about Precia and Fate’s past, with a few touch-ups like how Fate became the skilled Mahou Shoujo that she is and how Precia became the woman that she is because of loving her daughter so much.
Along with more of Fate’s side of the story, there were also a lot more (or in a sense, an abundance of) showdowns between Nanoha and Fate. This was one thing that I didn’t mind but was also questioning. With intense battles, I think it’s also a good thing to have some “quiet times”, such that the audience can refresh instead of possibly starting to falter from being overloaded by the intensiveness thus possibly degrading the quality of a few of the battles. Thus I wondered if any of the battles can be taken out, and my conclusion was that ever single battle felt necessary. Through each battle, Nanoha gets her message to Fate little by little. You can’t just have Nanoha finally realizing Fate’s situation in a mere 2~3 battles. I think the amount of battles put into the movie was probably the ideal solution, but I suppose the fact that everything felt a little too compacted is inevitable in a movie that tries to compress a 13 episode series into a mere 2 hours, especially if more new scenes are added to it. The creator(s) did a very good job in my opinion, but the challenge was probably just too difficult to overcome completely.
ART – 10/10
I don’t think there was anything to complain about the art. My view of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series is that it’s a cute series in general, and I think the character design, background, color choice, etc… all reflected that very well. It remained pretty much the same as the original series anyways. The magic battles were also magnificent, being very flashy and elegant, as well as powerful both visually and in the impressionistic sense; The shaking of the screen, details of the spinning magic circles, detailed animation of the weapon assembling and form changes, they were all well done, perhaps a slight level up compared to the original series. If you pay enough attention, you will also notice that both Raging Heart and Bardiche was slightly redesigned to make them both look a little more epic but still look very much like Raging Heart and Bardiche. There were redesigns with Nanoha’s and Fate’s battle costumes as well, though it might not be so obvious to notice for Fate if you’ve never studied her costume design (not like the difference of Nanoha’s costume is that easy to spot either). Again, nothing to complain about, and the extra touches didn’t feel out of place.
SOUND – 10/10
I never disliked any of the Theme Songs or OSTs used in any of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series, so there was nothing to complain about this either. I’m sure some people might want to hear at least a few new soundtracks (unfortunately I couldn’t tell if there were because there were some retarded anime fans that liked to yell or make idiotic comments while I was watching the movie), but I think more so than that, it’s important to make sure every piece fills the puzzle nicely. I would of course actually be glad to hear some new soundtracks as well, but in a sense I’m just plentifully happy with refreshing my memory of the series with the usual soundtracks. The only specific flaw for me was when Arf marched towards Precia with a rage. The sound effect made it appear as though Arf was wearing iron boots. o_0 But, it was so minor I just decided to overlook it.
CHARACTER – 9/10
There’s nothing new on Nanoha’s side, but as said before there’s a lot more emphasis, therefore character development, on Fate’s side of the story. In a sense I was happy about this, yet in a sense I was somewhat disappointed. Nanoha is obviously the main character, so logically speaking it would be best to give her the most depth in the story. However, like said before it’s probably a better idea to change the focus of the movie to make it not look just like a total recap of the original series. I suppose for people who have watched the original series before, the shift in emphasis would be beneficial. On the flip side, for people watching the movie for the first time, they might feel Nanoha a bit lacking in quality when compared to Fate, asides from Nanoha living up to her reputation of a “Magical Cannon Girl” as named by fans of the series. Nonetheless, I think character development on Fate’s side was well done. You get a few more flashbacks of her or Precia’s memories as new pieces of information to enhance the story. Characters were introduced as necessary, everyone felt like a necessarily component of the story, and every character was likable in their own way(s). At least, I found every character to be interesting. Even if they’re are just minor characters, you can still get a general sense of their personality and their importance to glue the story together.
OVERALL – 9/10
I was more focused on the creator(s) decisions or evident differences of the movie when compared to the original series since I didn’t expect much in terms of a different story, so that’s probably why I’m giving Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st such a high score. Basically, I enjoyed noticing and studying the differences, which in return I was amused by the amount of decision making put forth to making this movie. I guess another reason I gave a high score is because I’m a big fan of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series. I felt that the original series was already pretty good, and the creator brought forth something different (it’s different enough to me anyways) that was also enjoyable, so I didn’t hesitate to stick a positive impression in my mind. Despite being so short, I still think the movie still manages to capture the whole feel of the original series well. Another thing is that I loved was the scene near the end where Nanoha and Fate conversed before the farewell. Nanoha said what I consider as perhaps one of the greatest quotes of all time, and Fate’s reaction to it just makes me almost burst into tears while feeling so happy for her. That highlight was in the original series, and I was very happy that it was in the movie as well. Neither the movie nor the original series would’ve been as great without that scene.
Unfortunately, in the end I suppose I still suffer from knowing the general story beforehand. Even if has been over 2 years since I watched the first season of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, a few reminders from the movie allowed me to remember the general story very quickly. The upside of that was that I get to remember how much I liked the series to begin with. The downside of that was that if I wanted to enjoy the movie as I did, I couldn’t just sit there and watch it like it was something I’ve never watched before. I was too aware of many things from the original series that I had to kinda tweak my mindset a bit in order to absorb everything fully. Either way, I still think Nanoha fans would be able to enjoy the movie. For people new to the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha universe, the movie would probably be a great introduction to the series, except I’m somewhat under the impression that if you do watch the movie first, the first season might not appear as good. It’s your call though. I would recommend watching the original series first, then jump to the movie as if it’s a super long OVA that covers more details of the overall story. If you do watch the movie first though, you can still try the original series right after, or jump straight to the A’s season without a problem. And of course, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st also works as a single story on its own.
For the movie itself, I won’t be reviewing it as a comparison to the series but as a standalone, mostly because it is possible to watch this movie without having any other knowledge of Lyrical Nanoha.
The story in the movie is pretty blunt and right to the point; basically, our main herione Nanoha gets involved with a young boy from another planet named Yuuno, and his quest to collect the scattered Jewel Seeds that have fallen to Earth. At the same time, another young girl named Fate is also after these Jewel Seeds. The two girls’ conflicts, and own inner conflicts as well, are the major driving points of the story.
The movie isn’t something that’s very hard to follow or understand, however it does go a bit deeper then what you’d expect from a magical series. It’s a pretty well written story that mostly focuses on the relationship between Fate and Nanoha. The story flows pretty nicely since it’s mostly focused on the rivalry along with growing friendship between the two of them. Speaking of rivalry, you should know that there are quite a few fight scenes in this as well. The movie focuses a lot more on these scenes then one might expect, especially if you’re already familiar with the show where these didn’t occur as often. While the story could’ve focused a bit more on some other characters or even had the fights occur less frequently, you have to remember it’s condensing 13 episodes worth of material into a 2 hour long movie. The movie basically covers all the events and relations between characters that you need to know.
The story itself is, like I said, more in depth then you’d normally expect. While the movie doesn’t totally screw you over and ride along on the dark side like Madoka Magica, it does have it’s fair share of moments that may leave you in shock, and also in awe. Everything flows smoothly together and these more or less shocking moments flow with it as well. Events in the movie are paced a bit faster then I’d like, but again – it’s condensed material. Standing alone, the story is an easy to follow one that’s driven mostly by its characters and their own actions.
As for the characters themselves, the movie mainly focuses on the two rivaling girls – Nanoha and Fate. Nanoha is a motivated, friendly, and overall likeable character and a very good fit for a magical girl movie lead. Fate, on the other hand, is a cold and distant girl who fights with loneliness in her eyes and determination in her heart. The two girls do indeed clash because of their own motives for the Jewel Seeds, but throughout the movie we get to see the relationship between Nanoha and Fate grow as Nanoha continues to work harder to get along with Fate and eventually become her friend.
While the characters aren’t the most original, the way that they’re presented and used in this movie is done so well that you almost forget that Nanoha is the nice-girl archetype while Fate is the emotionless girl one. It can easily bring a smile to your face to watch as Nanoha does her best to reach out and help Fate, and it’s nearly heartbreaking to watch exactly what Fate has to go through and how hard she’s trying to do what she thinks is best, even if it means being alone. The movie doesn’t try too hard to flesh out the characters or anything like that either. The bonds and connections between the two girls is really just something you want to sit back and appreciate.
The only downfall with the characters is that no one else is really focused on or given much screentime other then Nanoha, Fate, and anyone else involved with the Jewel Seeds. Again though – condensed material. It’s much rather preferred that this movie focuses on the major conflicts and relations between the main characters then the side ones.
As for the animation, considering it was made in 2010 and it is a movie it’s only natural that you’d expect the most out of the animation, and that’s what you get. The battle scenes are extremely fluid and really engaging to watch, along with the transformation scenes. (despite the fact that these were pretty infrequent.) Something that people may have an issue with is the really big eyes that are used on, well pretty much everyone, but it’s something that can be easily overlooked when you consider the well-done (and improved) character designs and fight scenes that take place in this movie.
The soundtrack isn’t something that I can say is the most memorable. While it is indeed there, most of the tracks aren’t something that you’re going to remember or really want to look up later on after the movie’s over. Most of it consists of pretty average battle music and just some nice pieces to fit the mood. The seiyuu’s all do a great job and fit their roles very well, but again it’s nothing all too fabulous. One thing I will give you as a treat to the viewers though is, “Namae wo Yonde.” Look up that OST. I can honestly say that it is the most emotional track in the soundtrack. You’ll thank me later.
I have to admit, I really did enjoy watching this movie. It was nice to see the story more focused on the plot and two main characters as opposed to the series, which took a little while to really set the story forward. The only thing that brings down my enjoyment is the fact that I had already seen the series and knew what was going to happen, but thankfully this movie doesn’t use the copy and paste formula when it comes to animation and gives you pretty much the same storyline, but with newer scenes (for lack of the better word) and better artwork as well.
Overall, if you’re a fan of the Lyrical Nanoha series and you’ve yet to see this movie, I’d highly recommend you pick it up since I highly doubt there will be much to disappoint you. You can still watch this movie without seeing the series, but I wouldn’t really say that’s the best way to approach the Lyrical Nanoha franchise. If you do plan to watch this first and you enjoy it, at least go back and watch the original series as well. Both truly show how great a mahou shoujo can be when it’s done right. & I can undoubtedly say that Lyrical Nanoha did just about as much right as one could expect.
46: Lupin III vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Japanese: ルパン三世vs.名探偵コナン THE MOVIE
MAL Score: 7.89
It is a cross over between the series Lupin III and Detective Conan and takes place after the television special Lupin the 3rd vs Detective Conan. The plot follows Conan Edogawa who sets out to apprehend Arsène Lupin III, the suspect of stealing a jewel called Cherry Sapphire.
STORY: This movie is a direct sequel to the popular Lupin vs. Conan special from 2012. In case you didn’t see it, don’t worry, this movie has a summary clip in the closing credits. The series will also make you do a double take a few times as it gives tongue in cheek references to Conan characters and more Lupin references (like the Fujiko series and the Gold of Babylon movie) than Green vs. Red.
CHARACTER: Zenigata is given more lines and more personality in this special, but it seems forced. Still, the differences detracted slightly from the movie. Zenigata also has a very pointed line (I really don’t know how to word that without giving it away) that seems like it’s there for different types of fans. I’m interested to see how they’ll translate it when the movie is dubbed. The more I think about it, maybe Zenigata’s personality is changed due to the fact that he has a competent partner (a Conan character) in the movie?
As for other characters! Conan and Jigen play off the relationship they had in the first special, and it works out hilariously well. Because Conan can arguably be meant for a younger audience, Jigen and Goemon are less gritty and Fujiko isn’t as sexualized. I got a kick out of the Conan kids and how they all worked with the Lupin gang. I thought that with such a large cast it might feel forced, but it didn’t at all.
The only issue was the “flavor of the week” characters, whose problems I found myself glossing over heavily. The movie does not make you care about them at all, which I think is the problem: the first special was about Lupin and Conan while this one was about Lupin, Conan, and a third party.
ART: You have to understand that these are two different styles of animation. However, the Lupin franchise has done a great job over the years mixing in other styles with their own.
A problem with mixing styles that are so different is that they don’t play well together. For example, every time the Conan characters have a scene where they’re shown from the side (profile), I couldn’t get over the elongated face, almost like an animal’s muzzle, and sharply upturned nose. It’s easy to move into that world of animation while watching Conan, but when it mixes with the old, long legged Lupin characters grates on the senses. Lupin’s characters are long limbed and gritty detailed. Putting these two in the same scenes together doesn’t work fantastically. For instance, one of Conan’s characters has big, blue eyes. She’s talking to Zenigata who does his bow legged walk out of the room. Then the Conan characters are shown from the side and look almost inhuman. So you’re left with a dissonance in which you have to force yourself to believe this is the same anime universe.
SOUND: The usual Lupin and Conan cast sounds great! Only problem (to me) is that in an effort to merge the two, they limit the amount of jazz that Lupin fans might be used to hearing.
ENJOYMENT: Very enjoyable! Lupin and his gang over the years have gotten more family friendly and this definitely falls in that vein. I’d describe it as fluffier than many Disney movies. But hey, you want gritty? Go watch the Fujiko series and Jigen movie…
While distinct from the prequel, watchers are advised to view it or they might otherwise miss out on certain parts. The sheer number of characters in both series allows little screen time for the side characters, but you will definitely have your fill of the protagonists. I look forward to more crossovers between the two series.
45: Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple
Japanese: 文豪ストレイドッグス DEAD APPLE
MAL Score: 7.89
A large scale catastrophe is occurring across the planet. Ability users are discovered after the appearance of a mysterious fog, apparently having committed suicide, so the Armed Detective Agency sets out to investigate these mysterious deaths. The case seems to involve an unknown ability user referred to as “Collector,” a man who could be the mastermind behind the incident.
Trust and courage are put to the test in order to save the city of Yokohama and ability users across the world from the grip of Collector where the Armed Detective Agency forms an unlikely partnership with the dangerous Port Mafia.
This is coming from someone who absolutely adores the Bungou Stray Dogs series. Needless to say, Takuya Igarashi might as well be my pallbearer so that when I die, he can let me down one last time.
I’ll start with some positives–the animation was pretty good (although that’s to be expected for a feature length anime film), the voice actors did their jobs well, the music, while not exactly noteworthy, was decent, and there were a few interesting elements and events relating to the protagonist that I found to be genuinely interesting. The film, however, puts them to waste with a confusing plot, a seizure inducing climax, and probably the dumbest and most contrived antagonist to come out of BSD.
The story is about a series of (presumed to be) suicides by ability users using their own abilities. The reality is that a fog causes their abilities to manifest into this ghost of sorts that attacks their own user. Defeating this manifestation will return the original user’s ability. This isn’t a bad plot device in it of itself, if only it were an actual plot device at all. Instead, this predicament (which is made out to be this serious and daunting problem) serves as a mere triviality as the heroes of the movie take care of it in a matter of a few minutes, save for the main protagonist, which I’ll get to later.
The cause of this entire conflict is the new character that is introduced, Shibusawa Tatsuhiko. BSD’s strongest point is easily the lovable and empathy inducing characters. Kafka Asagiri lovingly crafted the entire life stories of each and every single character, and it shows without even needing a tragic flashback for most of them, even making a literal PEDOPHILE likable. The fact that no character, not even the villains, are tied to the good and evil binary is one of my favorite things about the series. That said, the new villain is absolutely dreadful. His motives are unclear–he wants to die? He wants to attain the perfect ability? What in God’s name does he want?! The movie shoves down your throat that this character is simply too complex a person to understand and that only two other people (Dazai <3333 and Fyodor) match his wit, but from a writing standpoint, it sounds like a poor excuse. If the audience is unable to fathom the sheer complexity of a character, there's no point in having him be that complex in the first place. You cannot write a complex character if you yourself are not that complex. It's simply impossible. It's not artistic or poetic or thought provoking. It's just plain stupid. By the climax, the movie had completely lost me. With all the information being thrown at your face, it's damn near impossible to piece together what the hell is going on, much less enjoy it. The movie's lack of exposition only makes the confusion worse--none of what happens is ever explained, and none of the information from the main series explains it either. The entire time, I was thinking, "Why and how is this happening? Is that even possible?" The film tries to surprise you by pulling a completely unnecessary move (for the sake of not spoiling, I won't say what) that leads to no consequence whatsoever and was so obviously only included for shock value, and it didn't even do a good job because it's a freaking anime movie, and nothing that happens in anime movies ever matter or affect the main series. The final battle against Shibusawa wasn't anything interesting either; just a generic shounen mindless punchout where Atsushi believes in himself enough to defeat him. Speaking of Atsushi, his character arc was very poorly handled in the film. The anime watchers know all too well of the tragic past he's had to endure and carefully watched him move past his insecurities. So that's it right? No more of him screeching about how he isn't good enough? Nope! The movie needlessly brings back what was already resolved in the anime by making Atsushi 90% less sweet and lovable and 200% more annoying. I cannot wrap my head around why the hell they would touch this internal conflict when it was so phenomenally handled in the manga. As a matter of fact, this was a common complaint of the original anime, that Atsushi was a whiner, so why, dear God WHY would you bring it back?? And lastly, the little to no screentime from the supporting cast. They were discarded as quickly as they were introduced. I would've liked to see more of them working together for more group dynamic material like in the manga, but they were never to be seen again after the fog settled and at the very end where they pop out of nowhere to remind the audience of their existence. All in all, disappointing. I'm honestly surprised at how many stellar reviews there are for this movie when picking apart would show how bad and rushed it really is. It's a shame, I was hoping they'd put the money towards a third season. [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews2:”]I went to see this movie on the day it came out. Despite it being 8:30 in the morning, the cinema was absolutely packed with fans (mostly young women) showing just how high the expectations were. I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint, and kept me hooked from beginning to end! Although the developments are not necessarily shocking, it kept my attention for the whole movie. The movie focuses mostly on Shubusawa, Atsushi, Akutagawa, Kyoko (the real MVP), Dazai and, to a lesser extent, Chuya. If your favorite character is one of the other members of the Armed Detective Agency, please understand that they may not get as much screen-time as you'd like, which is perfectly reasonable considering how much they tried to squeeze into the movie. The artwork is stunning, although not particularly a step-up from the TV series. The action is well-done and I absolutely loved Chuya's fighting scenes! One of the biggest highlights for me was the soundtrack. I was a big fan of the TV series OST, but the new tracks for the movie are just as good, if not better. (I was listening to the movie OST on repeat for a few days after seeing the movie...) Overall, I really enjoyed the movie to the extent that I went to see it twice. However, I do want to give a warning to all BSD fans before they give this a watch. This movie is going to tire you out. It's almost only serious conversation or action, and is very low on the comic relief. Although there are lots of little funny moments scattered here and there, they are pretty subtle. When the movie finished, the other people in the audience were saying the same thing to each other: 'wow, that was great but it tired me out'. In general, I recommend this for all BSD fans! It's fast-paced, action-packed and has a brilliant soundtrack. Unfortunately it is a little hard to follow if you are not familiar with the series and characters, so I don't really recommend it as a stand-alone work. [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews3:”](Originally posted on my blog, moetology. Includes a teeny tiny bit of spoilers) I'm not exactly your typical Bungou Stray Dogs fan; I rather disliked season one due to the stories being short and weak, but season two dived into longer arcs, and the opening backstory nailed the emotional component and turned me into a fan. And if I had to pick a favorite character, it'd be Kyouka first and Osamu second, instead of fan favorites like Chuuya. Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple is the latest installment in the franchise. It's a brand new story in the Bungou Stray Dogs universe, much like the Ordinal Scale movie in the Sword Art Online world. But even though it's a brand new story, Dead Apple nevertheless is built on season two as it references characters introduced then, and one should definitely watch the TV seasons before watching Dead Apple. As far as the movie itself goes, Dead Apple offers plenty for the fans. The plot is tried and true; the Armed Detective Agency is called upon to solve another problem arising from a gifted user, much like how the stories in season one are structured. This time, the gang has to fight a villain who's able to pit gifted users against their own abilities. It plays right into the theme of characters accepting themselves for who they are, even if their abilities may have caused grief in the past. If you are like me and want to watch more of your favorite characters, don't worry; every Yokohama character gets screen time in Dead Apple, from the good guys, the Armed Detective Agency, to the frenemy, the Port Mafia folks, and even the government guy from season two. We also get teases of new characters who might show up in a sequel. Some characters, like Kyouka and the lead character Nakajima Atsushi, also receive a bit more backstory, and Atsushi in particular has a past with the villain. Dead Apple isn't without its flaws, however. The biggest issue is its lack of clarity around motivations, especially for the villain. The movie opens with a flashback story from six years ago as Dazai and Chuuya fights the villain for the first time, but exactly what this flashback had to do with the plot in Dead Apple beyond showing that Dazai knows about the villain isn't clear. Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple is a movie made for the series' fans. It offers plenty of action, and the plot, while typical and safe, doesn't detract from the series. And it even manages to endear some characters to fans even more. The only question for fans now is: when is season three? [/collapse]
44: Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Movie: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai
Japanese: 劇場版 世界一初恋 横澤隆史の場合
MAL Score: 7.90
Movie adaptation of the Sekaiichi Hatsukoi: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai BL light novel.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]*Taken from my AniList Review, I am using the 0/100 scoring, instead of 0/10.
Story (70/100) The Case of Yokozawa Takafumi is by all means no masterpiece. In reality, it is far from it. It is filled with cliché moments found scattered all about in the Boys’ Love genre, and Nakamura is no stranger when it comes to said cliché. (-10 points). When you look at it as a whole, if this was any regular story, it would be rated extremely low. But since this is the ever-so popular BL genre, it is safe. You start out with Yokozawa awaking in a stranger’s house. Seems…okay, right? Well, YtnB stays like that throughout the whole movie.
‘Okay’. Nothing too exciting happens. Man meets another by accident (in this case, they sort of knew each other), they hang out for awhile (in actuality, Yokozawa was blackmailed), and love sprouts off-screen, instead of showing them actually falling in love. (-5 points). This is where I thought it might have been better as a 4 episode OVA. I dislike how Yokozawa gained affection for Kirishima off-screen. Over the course of what seemed a few days, or maybe even weeks by the minute. (-5 points).
After falling in love, of course there is a huge conflict that keeps them from confessing. It always happens. Whether it be a past lover/break-up, misinterpreted cheating or anything else in the bag of cliché. (-5 points). In the end, they live happily ever after. (-5 points).
Character (85/100) Despite all its’ cliché story ideas, Yokozawa is by far one of Nakamura’s best characters. He acts like a true person when it comes to breakups and love. No one is able to get over your first love so quickly like most BL show. You can see Yokozawa’s inner dialogue throughout the story, and you understand why he is the way he is. Why he is so rude. Why he is unapproachable. His gentle side, too. Although I dislike how Yokozawa is tsundere, and even Kirishima points that out.(-5 points).
Kirishima is your typical seme (-5 points). but with a twist;He has a daughter. And he loves his daughter. He wants the best for her, like any caring dad. His constant antics toward Yokozawa are quite amusing, as well. But he does them for a reason. That doesn’t take away that he’s a typical topper, though.
You have your other known characters as well, such as Takano and Ritsu. It sort of goes into their relationship as well, but what Ritsu tells Yokozawa is unlike him. (-5 points). I can’t just see Ritsu up and telling Yokozawa what he did.
Visuals (80/100) I’m not really a fan of Nakamura, so for me, that retracts 5 points. (-5 points). But the visuals were done very nicely.
Now the bad things. Typical. BL. Bodies. HUGE hands, tiny heads, and odd proportional bodies. (-10 points). . Some of the movements looked weird because of their distorted bodies. They weren’t fluid because of it. (-5 points).
Audio (95/100) Audio was done very well. I don’t really complain when it comes to audio, though. Everyone’s voices fit perfectly fine. I don’t remember any of the OST’s, if there were any. (-5 points).
Enjoyment and Final Scoring (82/100) 70+85+80+95+80=410/5=82
Overall, it was a nice movie to pass the time, and since I’m a sucker for BL, I had to watch it, seeing as how there are barely any adaptations of BL manga. If you love Nakamura and Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, I recommend this. If not, and you are just a BL fan, then dive right in.
It still has typical BL problems, such as feeling incredibly rushed — or maybe that was a feature of it being a 50 min movie instead of a, say 4-6 episode OVA; I haven’t read the source manga — I didn’t keep exact track of how much time passed between Takano breaking it to Yokozawa that there was no chance at them ever getting together, but it felt like at most 2 weeks. Hm. I should rewatch to check out the weather, because at the end the cherries bloom; maybe more time passed than I realized. Anyway, it felt much too fast, because it takes time to let go of the old feelings, even though Yokozawa sort of always knew that there was no real hope with Takano, he had just settled into that role. And I don’t believe anyone would introduce their new flame to their kid this fast, and leave them alone together.
I also didn’t like that Yokozawa got ukefied, and into a tsundere to boot; ugh. Why can’t more mangaka let go of the idiotic stereotypes? I am pretty sure at this point Japanese women can handle the occasional BL couple who both act like men, and who switch. But at least they didn’t have him undergo a complete character change, which means he has now replaced Yukina as the most transgressive Nakamura character — an uke who doesn’t at all look like an uke and doesn’t behave like one in public either. Nicely done, Nakamura-sensei. Go on, be more daring!
Since Yokozawa got mildly ukefied, of course we needed an über-seme, henceforth the very forceful Kirishima, who didn’t shy away from a little friendly blackmail because right after my rapist, my blackmailer is who I’m gonna fall in love with; so much for realism. Well, we can’t have it all. At least we were spared a naked apron scene.
But it was still better than any of the silly seme-uke pairings of the main anime with their never-ending push-pull antics. Not a lot of time was wasted on superfluous drama and artificially thrown up barriers like random women standing between the men, or their own weaknesses preventing them from actually grabbing what agency they could get, unlike the other pairings. Kirishima was very straightforward, to the point of hurting Yokosawa’s pride at one point, which was a realistic problem — some things, however true, are very hard to hear from somebody else, especially somebody by whom you want to be respected, but Yokozawa pulled himself together without weeks of moping.
This is now my favourite pairing because they acted the most like adult men, and actually gave the impression that they could have a healthy relationship, not something I feel is a given for any of the other couples. Yokozawa was a bit of a prick to Onodera in the previous installments, but I never saw him as a true villain, and here he completely redeems himself, in more than one circumstance.
The story itself is VERY previsible. You don’t even have to watch the trailer of the anime to know the ending. Also, I felt the plot lacked enough conflict to actually be called a movie. It was like watching a longer episode of a slice of life anime at times because of that.
So, does that mean that “Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai” is bad? The answer is no, because despite of it’s flaws there’s a lot to love in this movie: first, despite my initial fear of making a villain-like character the MC of a romcom, Yokozawa suceeds on having a story centered around him, showing a sweeter side without having his personality changed. Second, I think that even people who hate yaoi will be able to watch this movie, because it doesn’t have many “innapropriated” scenes and shows a healthy homoparental household with the main couple adorably taking care of Zen’s daughter, Hiyroi. This is important considering how many people still oppose the idea of same-sex couples raising children. And don’t forget that Yokozawa, despite officially being an uke, doesn’t look like one, which is refreshing to see.
I recommend it for everyone who wants a light and cute movie to spend a Sunday evening. “Sekai ichi Hatsukoi: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai” might be a pretty forgettable romance, but is above average to the regular yaoi genre.
43: One Piece Film: Gold
Japanese: ONE PIECE FILM GOLD
MAL Score: 7.93
Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Crew have finally arrived on Gran Tesoro, a ship carrying the largest entertainment city in the world. Drawn in by the chances of hitting the jackpot, the crew immediately head to the casino. There, they quickly find themselves on a winning streak, playing with what seems to be endless luck.
When offered a special gamble by Gild Tesoro—the master of the city himself—the crew agrees, choosing to believe in their captain’s luck. However, when they find themselves victims of a despicable scam, the crew quickly realize that there is something darker happening beneath the city’s surface.
Left penniless and beaten down, the Straw Hat Crew are forced to rely on another gamble of a plan. With the help of a new friend or two, the group must work to reclaim what they’ve lost before time, and what remains of their luck, runs out.
What to expect:
Luffy (Gear 4)
Roronoa Zoro (air swoosh)
From an aesthetic perspective the movie is basically flawless. The animation is gorgeous, the character designs are on point, and every costume change the case goes through is exciting and memorable. The film-exclusive character is far more memorable than most of her predecessors as she is an old girlfri- I mean accomplice of Nami’s from her cat burglar days, and their dynamic is simple but effective. Getting the One Piece cast to do a heist film is inherently interesting given how batshit insane the characters are, and the genre-standard twists are handled well. There is a particular sub-twist that makes perfect sense in universe that was both inspired and hilarious.
The movie isn’t flawless character wise. Like most OP movies the characterization is slightly off. Nami, despite having ample screen time, never comments on the fact that the kids enslaved by the casino are basically in the same situation she was in for a decade. Luffy seems unusually apathetic when a crewmate is placed in danger in the first act. Nothing is egregious, but it is enough to take notice. As for most modern OP films some characters are included for no reason other than to have them in marketing material. Still have no idea what Sabo and Lucci were doing. The gambler character introduced serves no particular purpose and just drags down the movie in the middle.
The main villain is compelling ideologically, but never gets quite enough attention to make sense. His devil fruit is busted to the point it is completely unbelievable, and the main confrontation between him and Luffy suffers as a result. Cool idea, but not enough spice to make him memorable.
Its a good One Piece experience, but outside the outfits and nice cuts of animation provides nothing to remember it by.
Score: Strong 6 to a Light 7
Our beloved straw hats are going to the biggest casino in the world to have some fun and of course they will meet the owner himself!
The Casino is the biggest ship I’ve ever seen in the series and I couldn’t believe it was moved by 2 gigantic turtles! “There is gold, gold, everywhere” I mean the whole casino is filled with golden buildings, statues, restaurants, hotels and even golden amusement parks!
The animation is by far the best performance I’ve seen in a OP Movie! I was really happy to see some darker colors in the movie because the casino is filled with thousands of golden stuff. So I saw yellow and golden colors the whole time. They have done everything right at this point!
The sound was incredible! Background music, conversations and fights. Everything was sounding like I wore high end headphones the whole time!
There are so many apperances from older arcs and of course I will not tell you who I mean! I loved the costumes because our beloved crew got some noble outfits!
I heard so many laughs during the movie because there are so many funny moments while the straw hats are enjoying the time in the casino!
I really enjoyed One Piece: Gold, because I love to see how the straw hats enjoy their time like a family! The best part are the final fights and they are all insane!
Watch this movie! You’ll see a lot of old characters from the past and a lot of funny moments with luffy and the rest of the crew.
42: Haikyuu!! Movie 1: Owari to Hajimari
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 終わりと始まり
MAL Score: 7.94
First Haikyuu!! recap movie.
It didn’t really provide new content or anything, but if its been a while since you watched the first season (and never continued to the second) it’s pretty helpful.
The artstyle, sound, and characters are same as before. Beautifully well done.
The story is a little smooshed together (as all recaps are) which is perfectly fine.
If you have just finished watching the first season of Haikyuu there is absolutely no need to watch this movie at all.
If you’re like I am, and watched it a few years ago and completely forget basically everything that happened I would recommend watching the first and second recap movie before moving on to the next season. You’ll basically get all the information you need from the anime you’ve already finished in a much quicker time span. Which is the good thing about this recap! If you don’t have all the time in the world to completely rewatch the entire season (which would be 25 episodes amounting to 600 minutes) you could watch both movies which would amount to 177 minutes instead. It’s pretty convenient.
Overall I’d give it a 6/10, it’s fine. It’s a good recap but it’s not original content.
The art style is lovable and memorable, but at the same time – if you pause it at almost any point, it looks VERY strange, i.e. facial expressions, weird arm movements, etc.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series – but those sound effects are very strong. They always fit the overall feel of the situation perfectly and the music never fails to bring hype.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
This is a recap of some the anime first season. It has how Hinata joins Karasuno and how he meets again and teams up with his rival Kageyama, then we see how the team gets back Nishinoya and Ashai back into the team after there fight and finally, we see how Karasuno finally gets there match against there rival team Nekoma High.
This recap wasn’t bad, art, the sound stayed the same from the anime. Nekoma High team is my favourite team amongst the rest and I like some the character that is in the team
I enjoyed this recap, as it refreshed me of the first half of the season of Haikyuu
41: xxxHOLiC Movie: Manatsu no Yoru no Yume
English: xxxHOLiC The Movie: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Japanese: 劇場版 ×××HOLiC 真夏ノ夜ノ夢
MAL Score: 7.95
Summer break has arrived, but while his other classmates are out having fun, Kimihiro Watanuki continues to work as compensation for the eccentric Yuuko in her shop. With the spirits and supernatural phenomena that bother him lessening, he pays his dues by cleaning, cooking, and doing whatever else the apparently lazy Yuuko needs.
Watanuki, however, gets involved in a new predicament when Yuuko receives a mysterious invitation to a mansion whose owner seeks Yuuko’s wish-granting ability. When he, Yuuko, and his classmate Shizuka Doumeki make their way to the peculiar residence, they meet others who were summoned by the same strange invitation. All of them are collectors of various unique items, drawn there by the chance to expand their collections. But as the collectors begin to disappear one by one, Watanuki and his companions must solve the mystery and put the case to rest, or find themselves in risk of danger.
It still scared me though. That little girl is the spawn of evil and I wish I never have to see her in a CLAMP crossover series. Speaking of crossover, I got a laugh out of the shameless plug at the end. I don’t wanna give out any spoilers, so I’ll just say it has something to do with a CLAMP crossover movie.
The animation really improved for this one with regards to details. The backgrounds were more intricate, the color palette had more variety and the characters were given more realistic bodies. Their heads were notably smaller though.
The music was really great too. There was an assortment of tracks that were nicely made and perfect for the theme of the movie. I also like the ending theme by Suga Shikao.
It really was a good decision to watch the movie as a supplement to the series. I strongly recommend watching this movie to other xxxHOLic fans – you will not be disappointed.
It starts with Yuko receiving an invitation stating that her ‘collection’ is incomplete and is inviting her to an auction at his house. This story is something we’ve all probably seen before. Main character gets invited to creepy old house, weird things happen, they solve a mystery, the end. Even with a common plot, it’s still a good story. They keep a fair amount of mystery and there are scenes that make your heart skip a beat.
The characters aren’t something new. We have the same main characters, Yuko, Doumeki and Watanuki. One thing worth mentioning is the crossover scene at the end. This movie crosses over with Tsubasa Chronicle: Tori Kago no Kuni no Himegimi.
The sound is something I would expect out of a Final Fantasy game. It has that mysterious tune that helps build up the climax and is perfect for this movie’s theme. Once again, Shikao Suga does a great job with the ending song.
The animation is, as expected of Production I.G., superb. The animation is smooth, their movements precise and has great quality. The details were really improved. I liked the art in the xxxHOLIC series, but this is a step up from that. You will also notice that Watanuki is also more flexible, thus being able to perform more of his weird movements, which we all enjoy.
Story — If anything made me hesitate about seeing this movie, it was the story. For most movies based off of an anime series, their plots generally leave something to be desired. For the most part, they tend to feel like one long episode rather than an actual movie. However, xxxHOLiC’s movie actually felt like a movie. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but regardless, this movie delivers on plot. The mystery and intrigue build and build, occasionally relieved by humour (mostly on Watanuki’s part) or heightened by some frightening scenes. Near the end, the story got a little confusing, but that’s quite typical of xxxHOLiC and CLAMP in general, so it wasn’t all that unexpected.
What was interesting, though, was that this movie explains the meaning of the series’ title. This hasn’t even been done in the manga to my knowledge, so I do wonder if this is something CLAMP has confirmed themselves or if it was made specifically by the movie’s director. Still, when it was revealed, it made sense and sheds more light on the manga’s themes, which I really enjoyed.
Art — If you know CLAMP’s latest art style, you’ll know that they’re in a tall and lanky character phase. This movie carries over that style into its art and it takes a bit to get used to – all too often, the heads seem to small, the limbs too long and rubbery, etc. But putting that aside, the art is fabulous. The colours and rich and vibrant, and the scenery in the house is especially something to be marvelled at. On my DVD, I even took a few minutes to go over the slides of the background art so I could get a closer look at them (because you only get a few seconds to see them in the actual movie!)
Sound — As usual, the seiyuu did excellent jobs. Even the English voice actors didn’t do too badly (the only exception, for me, was Mokona’s English voice but Mokona has such a small role in this movie that it wasn’t too detracting). The music was wonderfully done, as well, thanks to the work of Saitou Tsuneyoshi. There are some very good tracks on the OST, and they really contribute to the atmosphere and feeling of the movie – everything from building mystery and wonder to Yuuko’s jazzy, fun theme at the end. And maybe just as importantly, silence is used effectively to build suspense at the freakiest of moments.
Character — I really suggest knowing what xxxHOLiC is about before going into this movie because you really need to understand who the characters are. I showed this movie to my non-otaku friends and I had to explain who everyone was and what they did before they could understand it. And because this is a movie and not the actual series, there isn’t too much character development here (since most of that seems to be reserved for the actual anime and manga), which is where it may fall short. This movie is more plot-driven than character-driven, after all. The original characters for this movie were average – not particularly memorable but not bad, either.
Enjoyment & Overall — Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and have watched it multiple times and intend to watch it more in the future. If you’re familiar with xxxHOLiC, it stands on its own well enough, but you might also want to check out the Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles movie, too (if you buy the DVD, they come as a set), since like the original series, they intertwine and events that occur in one movie affect what happens in the other. Still, I thought the xxxHOLiC movie did a much better job in terms of presentation and plot, but that’ll lead us into a completely different review. In any case, I’d definitely recommend this movie to any xxxHOLiC fan.
40: Kurenai no Buta
English: Porco Rosso
MAL Score: 7.96
After a curse turned him into a pig, World War I ace Marco Pagot becomes Porco Rosso, a mysterious bounty hunter who takes down sky pirates in the Adriatic Sea. He whiles away his days on a secluded island, rarely leaving other than to collect bounties or to visit the beautiful Gina, a songstress and owner of the Hotel Adriano.
One day, while traveling to fix his faulty engine, Porco Rosso is gunned down by a young American hotshot named Donald Curtis. Thrilled at the possibility of fame, Donald boldly declares that the flying pig is dead. Not wanting to disappoint Gina, Porco Rosso flees to the famous Piccolo S.P.A. airplane company and takes out a massive loan in order to repair and improve his fighter plane. There, he is surprised to find that the chief engineer of Piccolo S.P.A. is the 17-year-old Fio Piccolo, who hungers for a chance to prove herself. With Fio’s improvements, Porco Rosso prepares to challenge Donald officially and regain his honor.
Miyazaki movies can broadly fall in 2 or 3 categories; some of them are driven by their uncanny and bizarre plot (princess mononoke, spirited away etc). And then there are some where the direction almost completely overshadows the plot-line. Like Totoro, Porco Rosso falls in the latter category. From the opening scene to ending, this movie is all about direction, direction and direction.
The movie, set in the 1930’s, starts on a deserted island which acts as a hideout for the famous war-veteran turned bounty hunter ace pilot known as porco rosso (scarlet pig) who, we soon learn, has been afflicted by a curse which turned him into a pig. Just knowing this much can give you a false impression that this movie, like most miyazaki movies, has a lot to do with the mystical or the supernatural, but nothing can be further from the truth. Our ‘manly’ protagonist is a pig for a reason, but that reason has little to do with magic. The movie follows the scarlet pigs journey to reclaim his honor, after being ‘shot down’ by an American mercenary. For the most part, its a comedy drama with sprinkles of romance and slice-of-life
As the movie progresses, we learn more about the scarlet pig and some of his background. Eventually we get to the reason of his current predicament. There is a strong lesson to learn here, and thankfully it’s not force-fed into your head like Disney does with some of its movies. Here, the message is subtler and yet strikes a stronger chord.
‘Porco Rosso’ is different from miyazaki’s other endeavors. For one, it has a lot more comedy in it, and this aspect is amplified by the comical and, sometimes, witty dialogue. The humor is in-your-face laugh-out-loud funny, filled with wise-cracks, puns and word-play. And the concept of a man-turned-pig ace pilot flying the skies of a fictional Europe dueling pirates and an arch-nemesis from America is not something you’ll find in every anime.
Speaking of arch-nemesis, this movie has a really good one in the form of Donald Curtis, a notorious womanizer, and an over-confident and pompous, yet funny and very likable American, who also happens to be Porco’s rival in lurrve. Two of the funniest sequences of this comedy ride are his ‘encounters’ with porco in the skies. Characters in general have been done very well, with each of them lending to the comical aspect of the movie really well.
The airplane designs and all the flying sequences are really good. Some of the flying sequences are especially enthralling- not in the eye-candy sense, but it’s just that they’ve been done so well that it feels like whoever did it must be in love with airplanes and flying in general. In fact, a good part of Miyazaki’s early life was spent drawing battleships and airplanes. That life-long fascination of his mirrors very well throughout his works, especially this movie.
The premise and the post WWI European setting gives a very unique and exquisite feeling to the movie; and this fact is reflected well in the artwork, with its lush sceneries, views of exotic islands and beaches, cities and some of the characters, especially the pirates, which really do look like something from cartoony Europe of the 30’s. The leader of the pirates, for one, can pass for a Bluto (from Popeye) look-alike. For the most part, the miyazaki like feeling is intact. The animation is just gorgeous for a movie made in 1992. The color palate is exceptionally vibrant and has a certain depth to it that Miyazaki fans have come to associate with his movies.
The music is vintage Hisashi joe; fans of the maestro will find some of his best tunes in this movie. The animation and music blend perfectly to evoke the right emotion at the right time, bringing to life the world of Porco Rosso while lending it a unique charm that you probably won’t see in any other anime movie. Disney’s dubbed version has excellent voice-overs that fit perfectly with each character’s personality. I find that the Disney version does not deserve the hate that it is often subjected to by the fans of the older pre-Disney dub versions.
However, there are two things that might put-off people. The first is the minimalistic approach to storyline. Plot-junkies who expect their animes to be filled with deep and complicated plots might not find this to their liking (I’ve heard a few complain about this). But if you like Miyazaki movies in general, you’d know that complaint is baseless. With Porco Rosso, everything might be charming and simple on the outside but there’s more to this movie than meets the eye. The second complaint, which is actually a little more common, is that the ending is too abrupt. The ending is a bit subtle, yes, and it may leave a you wishing there was more, but the movie manages to tie all the loose ends very well, and it is by no standards an unsatisfactory ending. Porco Rosso is more like an old friend from a long forgotten time who stops by your front door to have a nice cup of tea, has a warm and pleasant chat with you but then quietly leaves from the back door with a quick goodbye.
Thanks to Miyazaki’s captivating direction, the movie is very soothing and peaceful and I think its best watched at the end of a hard and tiresome day, when you want to watch something calm and relaxing. All in all, Porco Rosso is a unique movie; not just as miyazaki or a Ghibli film, but a unique anime movie.
This right here is what you call a good fucking “anime” movie. Yes i know, those exist, right? Way back, millennia ago, before dinosaurs become extinct and before anime movies weren’t only a weeabo-loser and pedophilia pander, good movies, heck even stupid movies reigned supreme.
Now you might be asking yourself, hey but this is a Miyazaki flick, doesn’t he always have some pre-teen girl as the lead in his movies so that pedophiles from all around the globe can cream their unwashed jeans. Well yes, and actually no, this one is an exception hence why Im writing a review for Porco Rosso and Porco Rosso only.
This movie delivers one of the finest main characters in anime cinema history, even tho is he merely a swine, he is actually Clint Eastwood in his patented ice-cold ass-whippery, he is James Bond in his wittiness and humor, he is John Wayne, he is Steve McQueen, he is a culmination of the spiciest cultural ass-whoppers from the far east to the shores of the west.
The WW2 setting just adds to the flavor.
Although this movie does have a pre teen girl in it but who the fuck cares about her, we are here for the swine, amirite? Im not?
Blow me, moving on.
Now, Porco Rosso does have a lot of the typical Miyazaki niches. You have the small underage heroine, the curse which our main protagonists has to overcome, a douchebag on crack, some olg hag and so on and so forth. What is unbeknownst to me and to many other intellectuals is just how underrated this movie actually is, quite possibly Miyazakis most underrated film to date. Why is that you may ask?
There are a few reasons for this the main one being is that most people see our protagonist which is a swine looking like a pimp on steroids and immediately conjure thoughts like “But where is muh cute little girl” or “this most be boring”. If you ever encounter people like this the right thing to do would be to call the authorities and have the pedophiles removed from the streets and loser ridden anime conventions.
The OST? I dont even have to delve any deeper into this to say anything other than give that nigga Joe Hisaishi a raise for these fine pieces of music. He constantly hits it out of the park and leaves you craving for more after you have listened to his playlist for the 84th time.
The art is fine, like in every other Miyazaki film. So nothing special to write home about here.
On the other hand it is unique because of the world it builds around. Any fans of classic Hollywood will be pleased at the amount of homages that are spread through the story, both in individual scenes and in tone. This movie holds many similarities in its more dramatic part, both aesthetical and story-based, with “Casablanca”; and the slapstick comedy that is there through the whole storyline, softening the conflicts and relationships of the characters, resembles “The quiet man”.
This polarity between a heavy character drama and a dreamy comedy may be a double-edged sword, in the sense that many people will probably find this movie inconsistant in terms of its mood, but I think “Porco Rosso” does a really fine work at balancing both aspects of its storyline. The comedy never disallows the viewer from appreciating the gravity of Porco as a character, and the serious and intimist sequences don’t deny the zaniness of his daily life. The best thing about this is that it allows to create a full dramatic portrayal of the main character, while bringing some kind of fabulistic charm to his lifestyle, which gives nostalgic vibes to the story. This ends up being relevant as well in the romantic view that Miyazaki brings to describe one of his childhood passions, flight engineery. In this movie it becomes completely obvious through the careful visual depiction and the spectacularity of the flying scenes.
The storyline is completely focused on Porco and the universe around him. He is definitely a complex character that goes way beyond his main defining trait. In fact, his aspect in the context of the daily relationships it’s the least relevant. We are told that he is a human turned into a pig by some sort of mysterious spell, but those around him still recognize Porco as a human. Even Gina, the one that he’s most closely related with, treats him as if he was the same as always. The appearances in this movie are brought for a much less superficial purpose, as this transformation is used as a metaphor for the deep wound Porco carries with humanity in general, and with himself. His bitterness, however, is contrasted in the movie. That is, instead of being exaggerated, and giving rise to an overly cynical character, the story also emphasizes on his caring side. He is shown to have friends, understand their emotions and care for them; his scenes with Gina make clear that they love and respect each other. This side of him is emphasized later with the presence of Fio and the clear effect she has in his growth as a character.
The rest of the characters, while not being as fleshed out as Porco, still hold their own charm. I am specially fascinated with Gina. She doesn’t even appear too often in the story but her elegance and intimist approach increase the emotional effect of every scene she’s in, and the hints on her own past are so suggestive and enveloping that, despite the lack of physical presence in the plot, she manages to create a very strong emotional involvement around her. She is there in some of the most moving moments of the story and I’m specially fond of one where a flashback of her past with Porco is shown.
Fio, on the other hand, plays the counterpart of Porco as a quick-witted and joyful girl. This simple purpose is actually conveyed in the form of a very strong and charismatic character. Her chemistry with Porco through their scenes is amazing, and another one of the key points of this story. In fact my favorite scene of the movie involves them both; with Porco narrating a defining experience of his past -in his very own way, though- and Fio hearing this whole story completely captivated, understanding, finally, the dimension of his personal conflict as a whole.
Donald Curtis and the pirates, despite being technically the antagonists of the main story, are actually quite light and charming. The arrogance of Curtis is contextualized in a way that emphasizes on his innocence rather than on an actual malice. And similarly, the pirates never come off as evil and their hate towards Porco is never treated seriously.
On the artistic level, this is a great effort overall, though probably not as satisfying as other Miyazaki movies. For example, it suffers from a lack of shading in many scenes, and the designs of the background characters don’t look very inspired. However, it still keeps a lot of strength in the visual depiction of the scenarios, and places like Porco’s lonely island or Gina’s bar are given a distinct atmosphere that becomes very effective. The design for the main characters is simple, yet very effective, with Porco being the obvious choice as the most outstanding. The aesthetics, as said, are very closely tied to the imagery of classic films, which sort of fit very well with the Italian environment of the late 20s this movie is located at.
Similarly, the soundtrack is quite outstanding overall but not as consistantly mesmerizing as in other works of the author. Then again, this is not a very relevant issue, and I guess it has to do with the huge variety of music pieces; as this variety leading to some irregularity seems unavoidable. Anyway, if I have to choose one, it would be Tokiko Kato’s version of the French Revolutionary song “Le temps des cérises”, that serves to introduce Gina. Her song in the ending credits is equally beautiful.
All in all, and while it’s not my favorite, it is still a Ghibli and Miyazaki movie I am very fond of. It is a little tricky to recommend here, though, because its style and themes will probably not fit the tastes of an anime fan if they are mainly interested on exploring the imagery and philosophy that are associated with the Japanese culture; in fact, I think that “Porco Rosso” is a better recommendation for movie-goers than for anime fans, in general. That doesn’t mean it will be necessarily less enjoyable, but it’s more likely for people with a grown interest on Western filmmaking to find points in common with this movie.
39: Trigun: Badlands Rumble
English: Trigun – Badlands Rumble
MAL Score: 7.96
Vash the Stampede is a contradiction. He has a notorious reputation as “The Humanoid Typhoon,” laying anything he comes across to waste on the desolate planet of Gunsmoke. However, Vash is in fact very non-confrontational and kind-hearted, living by a code of pacifism.
Twenty years ago, a high-profile bank heist went sour. The ringleader, Gasback Gallon Getaway, swore to get back at his backstabbing crew and the man who stopped him from killing them: Vash the Stampede. In the present day, the traitorous crew has been living the good life as successful entrepreneurs and politicians. Although two decades have passed, Gasback’s bitterness has not waned as he aims to take them down one by one, by any means necessary.
Just in time to foil Gasback’s plot, Vash has arrived in Macca City. Teaming up with the mysterious Amelia Ann McFly, along with the insurance agents Milly Thompson and Meryl Stryfe, Vash is ready to rumble.
While it was fun to see Vash and the gang again I was really disappointed by this. My major problem was the story-line. It was predictable.
1 – Vash rolls into town, destruction (best part)
2 – Introduce the sex appeal (she’s useless throughout the movie, but she can beat up a couple nameless thugs pretty good)
3 – Introduce the Bad Guy, he has a strange philosophy where destruction and robbery fuel his massive ego
4 – Re-introduce the old mains, who rally to save everyone
5 – Vash rolls in to save everyone at the last second, because only he can.
6 – Sun glances off Vash’s super cool glasses and he wakes away into the desert without water
My problem with this story line is that it has been done over a million and a half times. There are no surprises in the entire movie (except for the part where Vash got shot, but we all knew he hadn’t really died BECAUSE HE’S THE MAIN CHARACTER). I fail to see any creativity in this old re-used excuse to bring back fan-favourites.
Here is what I wanted:
1 – If you’re going to introduce sex-appeal, then let there be sex. Otherwise, give them a use. Give them a personality. Give them something to make me feel like they are a real person and have something to contribute to the story. (Amelie was, admittedly the daughter of the bad guy, but whatever. That’s not enough for me :/ )
2 – Everyone has flaws, except the characters I see in anime/movies/books. Fictional characters seem to have fallen into a cookie-cut staple where they are basic and boring. When was the last time you saw someone seriously fuck up, or kill the bad guy out of rage, or shoot a bullet that missed and ended up killing an innocent, or something I can’t foresee.
3 – It seems to me that anime’s choose to be realistic whenever it serves to aid the plot. Example, Vash never misses a shot, except when its the final bad guy of the movie. A weak example, but I feel if you’re going to introduce realism to an anime, you need to keep it consistent throughout the entire thing. You can’t use it as a plot device, because it cheats the entire story(side note: I hate plot devices, they are boring).
I wanted more from this. I LOVED the original Trigun series, (I especially loved looking for that blasted black cat who was always hiding somewhere in the background of every episode, one of my favorite flavor-pieces of any anime ever). But I found nothing new or interesting in this story. It was nice to see Vash again, but I would have preferred that his memory was preserved in memory rather than tarnished by something new, and dull.
The worst part was probably the story. It is very obvious, every little twist that is. And I don’t just mean that Vash isn’t dead. If that’s a spoiler for you, you’re just strangely not aware of the likelyhood of the main character of a large franchise dying before the movie is even close to over.
Following that, would be the original characters. Like in many films, they lack even the interest that you would feel for a character who was introduced for one episode or chapter of a manga.
Lastly was the music, which while fitting in some ways, was rarely used and not put to good use.
The pacing was also strange. Like many movie adapations, it forgoes most character interaction for extended scenes of nothing. Also, planet gunsmoke now has 3 moons, which I don’t personally recall. It also has a very populated galaxy, which again I don’t recall. There’s like 20 planets on the zoom out, all within a planets distance of each other!
Of course, Vash was made out to be an idiot, rather than just somewhat strange.
While the animation was really good, it just lacked most anything that made Trigun good. And I did watch it subbed, unlike some reviews for it that rated it rather high.
38: Tamako Love Story
MAL Score: 7.96
As she edges toward the end of her high school life, the energetic but generally clueless third-year Tamako Kitashirakawa has only one major concern: pulling off a stunning baton performance at the Usagiyama Marching Festival. But all too soon, she is confronted by the reality that all her friends have big plans for their futures; she, on the other hand, just operates with the moderate goal of continuing to work at her family’s restaurant.
Under the same brilliant sky, Mochizou Ooji intends to study at a university in Tokyo, leaving behind his family, friends, and most importantly, his first and only love Tamako. Unfortunately, the shy admirer cannot bring himself to declare his love, and Tamako is yet unaware that she is the source of such anguish. With time quickly running out, Mochizou must confess his feelings to Tamako soon, or his dream of romance will never be fulfilled.
When characters become so endearing and the story becomes so interesting, it’s difficult to let go of preconceptions and selfish desires. Desires to, for a lack of a better word, fill in the gap for the future of the beloved characters. To want to know more, more about the new world that they have entered through their actions in this movie. How they will grow, how they will learn to cope with difficulties, together. We don’t want to be left out of their future adventures, and that is one of the great hallmarks of a truly great show or movie. To leave an impression, and change the viewer’s mindset on whatever it may be. And while some may argue that this movie did in fact have an excellent ending that finalizes all things past and present, I differ slightly.
It is because it has such a great ending that, paradoxically, it does not.
It keeps the future in a haze (although some may argue that the future is clear and defined).
It leaves more questions than it answers (although some may argue that all questions have been laid to rest and satisfactorily answered).
It selfishly ends itself on a high note, with a cinematic and unquestionable “thud”. It tells the audience that all is well, and yet sneaks in the false feelings of anticipation and hope. It dramatically and slowly closes its doors on that beloved story with a smile, leaving the rest of the character’s lives up to the imagination of the viewer. Are the viewers to be left happy in the dark, when the play has finished, when the actors and actresses have bowed to the audience, the curtains lowered and the lights dimmed? And in a ironic and unexpectedly cruel twist, one may find that it may have been “better” to end the story ambiguously.
Opinion is not the greatest tool of measurement, that much is clear. The opinions of the viewer cannot change what has already happened. All that we can do is reflect on the past and look forward to the future. And the process of moving on is perhaps the most difficult part of watching any show or movie.
And it’s Anko-chan Pero Pero throughout – cute girls doing cute things.
As anticipated, Kyoto Animation delivers when it comes to simple human drama of teens’ friendship and maturing – and Director Naoko Yamada now successfully adds a guy (!), as well as families, and some good people in the neighborhood (although this mix probably didn’t come out too well in the TV series). Yamada proves herself again as a director capable of delicate handling of emotions; by depicting a girl sitting alone in a classroom on a table in silence, the Director lets you share her mixed emotions of sorrow, slight regret, and fulfillment.
But the girl won’t be left alone by herself for too long, as she has a good friend who wants to “go up with her to a higher ground and overcome” an obstacle. How to overcome obstacles in life is probably the “hidden” theme of the movie (Yamada probably felt that it needed to be tackled after making K-On!). Isaac Newton and his answers to how he overcame his obstacle and found the gravitation theory (“By always thinking unto them”) was quoted as a reference (and hence the title of the ending song- Principle; also the story behind the visuals in the ED song of the TV series with the Sun and Moon and Tamako with a different sort of face is now revealed).
My favorite line in the movie: “Bitter memories are proof that you did something”.
Some ways of presentation (“camera work”) that Yamada uses, and the way things are told covertly might not appeal to everyone, but I personally enjoy that as originality and creativity- it keeps the movie fresh from banality. Overall, it’s an “ordinary” love story, a pure and innocent one, with which anyone with a heart and memory can sympathize (and writhe in shyness and embarrassment). You would almost certainly have a Mochizo or Tamako (or perhaps a Midori – lez or no lez, that’s not the matter) inside you.
It’s not a big film but it’s heartwarming. If you’ve liked the small film by Ghibli like Mimi O Sumasebai, you might see Tamako Love Story as Kyoto Animation’s reply to a sort of similar theme. Go see it, or buy a BD/DVD release (should be released in the later half of 2014).
Tamako love story is just like a mainstream romance/slice of life anime at first glance. I enjoyed watching it, but there’s something that made me love this more than any other romance/slice of life anime, its realistic and simple story.
Story – 10
This is suppose to be the sequel of tamako market and the development of both male and female protagonists. But I can say that this sequel doesn’t need a prequel, it can stand alone by itself. The story is so simple yet you feel the enjoyment throughout the film and you can share the same emotions as the characters are making.
Art – 9
KyoAni’s art is expectedly moe-ish but that moe-ish art makes the characters emotions a little closer to realistic. And at the same time, its cute.
Sound – 9
The sound sticks to a romance genre anime, soft, gentle, and gives off emotions. I really enjoyed the song [koe no uta] It gets right into my heart (dam*).
Character – 9
The flow of all the main characters development is perfect, I’ve learned a lot in terms of love (romance genre, duh). That’s all.
Enjoyment – 10
The enjoyment I felt is not something out of ordinary, I don’t know if I’m crazy or not, because I’m smiling from the start until the end of the film. I might go to a hospital one of these days.
Overall – 10
This film is a must watch for romance lovers, of course you need to watch Tamako market before this, ignore the stand alone blah blah in the story part of my review. Because by watching the prequel, you will get to know the characters more and their everyday lives. And you can feel their love by watching the sequel.
37: Haikyuu!! Movie 2: Shousha to Haisha
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 勝者と敗者
MAL Score: 7.97
Second Haikyuu!! recap movie.
It provided it’s purpose in making the viewer remember “Wait, what happened in the first season?”
It’s been so long since I watched the first season, and I really didn’t feel like rewatching it to entirety because of how long that would have taken.
So instead, I’ve watched the first and second recap movies.
If you still remember what happened during the first season, this is something you can skip.
But if you’re like me and have absolutely forget the entirety of the story it definitely helps you prepare for season 2.
It smooshes together the first season of 600 minutes, into two movie recaps of 177 minutes.
So needless to say, there is a lot of detail missing. So if you haven’t watched the first season at all and thought to replace it with the recap movies, don’t.
This show is amazing in many ways the recap movies simply can’t capture.
Overall the recap movies are a 6/10 for me, they’re just fine. Not a masterpiece in any way and they’re only to serve one purpose, not provide new or interesting content.
The art style is lovable and memorable, just… don’t pause it.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series, but they helped make the franchise even more enjoyable so that is not a bad thing.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
This was another recap of the half of the first season
The recap showed the match of Karuasuno vs Datakou and Karusono vs Aoba Jousai and how they won against Datakou but lost against Aoba Jousai. The Art and sound were just the same as it was some parts were from the original anime and the characters are just the Karusuno, Datakou and Aoba Jousai teams. The recap I enjoyed as it had the best parts from the first season mainly when Nishinoya saved the ball with his feet was really great moment.
The recap wasn’t bad, it told half the first season within an hour and a half, maybe a bit rushed but it was still good
36: Doraemon Movie 31: Shin Nobita to Tetsujin Heidan – Habatake Tenshi-tachi
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん 新 のび太と鉄人兵団～はばたけ 天使たち～
MAL Score: 8.00
Jealous of Suneo’s new robot toy, Nobita asks Doraemon to build him an even better one. Doraemon initially refuses, until Nobita accidentally discovers pieces of a mysterious robot that falls from the sky. After gathering all the robot parts and assembled them together, the giant robot, Zanda Claus, is soon completed. The duo soon learn that the robot is not a mere toy, but a powerful weapon in the fight against the coming Robot Army that is going to attack Earth and enslave the human inhabitants of it. An invasion is near, as a mysterious girl Riruru (リルル, Alternative spelling: Lilulu, Lillele [Doko Demo Doa Scanlations]) shows up, looking for the robot.
There is pretty much nothing Bad I can say about this movie.
This movie has great characters, a pretty good antagonist, good comedy and the soundtracks as well as the animation are on another level.
One thing that makes this movie special is that no matter how many times you watch it doesn’t get old. There is always something in the movie that you love and the ending is emotional, it pulls you in right from start and the new characters that introduced in the movie are probably the best doraemon side characters ever.
In my opinion this is peak doraemon and the series may never reach this level of quality again when it comes to movies and This movie is without a doubt, worth your time and I can’t recommend it enough.
Despite being made for kids, this movie is actually quite good and better than your average kids movie.
There aren’t any major plot holes and everything makes sense while being somewhat complex at the same time.
This is also a remake of the older version of steel troops and this remake made it way better.
I liked the old one but with it’s really good animation, voice acting and overall enjoyment this remake elevates the old movie story line to a whole new level.
In the past they have remade older movies and improved on them but this remake is just on another level compared to the others. The actual steel troops story is honestly the best out of all doraemon movies as well.
If you are a doraemon fan I recommend this.
The characters who stole the show the most in this movie were Riruru and Shizuka. You will see Shizuka’s kindness tested to it’s absolute limit, and Riruru questioning her beliefs and purpose. It is surprisingly deep material for a Doraemon movie, especially near the end which I will not spoil for you.
Unlike other Doraemon movies, this one has a more serious tone. The bad future always seems like an immediate threat, which makes for an action-packed movie. There are still some moments of levity despite this, to keep the film from getting depressing.
Overall, I would say to check it out. It is among the best Doraemon movies, and it’s heartwarming story shows us why Doraemon ended up being such a beloved character in our culture.
35: Detective Conan Movie 15: Quarter of Silence
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 沈黙の15分
MAL Score: 8.02
The momentous day of the opening of the new Tokyo subway, the Touto Line, has come, but a bombing incident puts all celebrations to a halt. The governor of Tokyo is caught in the blast while onboard the train, but he and everyone else present is fortunately saved by the quick thinking and actions of Conan Edogawa.
Intrigued by the incident, Conan researches the governor’s political history and discovers that the man was responsible for the destruction of a village in Niigata to build the Kitanosawa Dam. Believing the attack to be related to the construction of the dam, Conan, accompanied by Ran Mouri, Kogorou Mouri, Professor Agasa, Sonoko Suzuki, and the Detective Boys, decides to visit the village and investigate.
There, they meet a group of locals who lived in the old village before it was torn down. However, just as one mystery leads to another, one of the locals is murdered. Suspecting that something much more sinister is afoot, Conan vows to uncover the truth behind these two incidents before it is too late.
But after watching this movie, I just got an urge to do it.
So, here I go:
Even though the trailer didn’t get me least excited and therefore I wasn’t THAT hyped, because of Movie 12’s, 13’s and 14’s Awesomeness, this one blew me away, once again.
It had everything, I love so much about this series (except for Kaito and Heiji, but they were in Movie 14 already).
The case was very exciting, the typical humour was good and the action was thrilling.
Of course, there also was the obligatoric dosis of drama, the series and especially the movies, always got. Some may find it cheesy and that’d be fine. But it doesn’t bother me.
Last but definetely not least, there was one of my most favourite things about the show, that I missed in the recent movies.: the presentation of the beautiful country and culture of Nippon (mostly country this time).
Before and even in between the cases, the series very often delievers a heartwarming, authentic and overall fascinating impression of the land of the rising sun. In my opinion, that is what makes the show so great, almost as much as the cases themselves.
The only thing I didn’t like, were the 3D-Effects regarding vehicles and traffical stuff in general. It’s common in anime these days and especially the Conan-Movies made use of them for a long time now.
Still I like the “old way” of animation best, were this parts also were “handmade”.
The Skate- and Snowboard-Scenes were an exception though. They were fantastic. They added a lot of action and dynamic feel to the movie and were great to watch.
The finale was the cherry on the cake. It was one of the best, if not THE best in the whole series. And that is quite an accomplishment.
It was dramatic, fast paced and simply bombastic.
Bottom line it was one of the best Conan-Movies so far, even though nearly all of them, were top notch.
Every fan of the series should’ve watched it and most of them, should come to love it, too.
As a huge DC fan, I was wondering about how they could surprise us, after producing both DC movies (13 & 14) which where very very enjoyable.
So, does this film hold all his promises, and our expectations?
Let’s talk about it.
Detective Conan Movie 15: Quarter of Silence:
After an introduction scene, showing a boy falling from a small snowy cliff, the story begins immediately out kind of crazy.
With a threat against the japanese governor, which became reality with a bomb’attack in a subway tunnel.
Conan succeeds to save everybody, after seeing someone suspect in the tunnel near this subway (actually, in top of) and understanding that some bombs were planted there.
Then.. A police summit and… nothing.
Conan & friends decided to came to Kitanosawa for Snow’s party (does it really exist in english?), and after the eternal and essential Agasa’s quizz, we discover the main characters of this movie. (Oh wait, I do not talk about the “memories” present, and the snowmobile’s course cause it’s without interest)
We discover these 5 people, childhood friends, who seem to be connected by tragic events (for each of them: A dead sister, a son in the coma, a killer…).
And after that, all of the continuation of the movie is tasteless. Indeed the story is soooo easy to guess, and far too badly settled and introduced:
The awakening of toma, after 8 years in the coma, the death of the character which seemed the most narcissistic and “bad”, Conan who ridicules Kogoro by finding how the culprit made not to be seen (in a easy way, moreover), the memory which returns little by little to Toma, which could remember the man who would have pushed him of the cliff…
Conan who solves easily the survey, the children who leave the place with Toma, and who are followed by the killer, then saved by Conan..
And similar. Bombs on the dam, predictable since the beginning.
How to stop the water of the dam? With an avalanche, obviously.
We also knew it since the beginning, as soon as they speak of ” how long we can survive under the snow after an avalanche “… Oh wait. Reread the title of the movie.. Yes, we still guess the end. AGAIN
Conan who arrives supernaturally to make an avalanche, to save everybody and the village, and RAN who finds him (shinichi, again) at the last second (14 minutes > 15 minutes of survives max.. Remember?)
Aniway, even if the story isn’t that much interesting, I’ll give a 04.
I was a bit sad at the beginning of this movie. DC passed in full HD, and it’s wonderful. The animation is redone and perfectly worked. To my eyes, the movie is really very very beautiful.
Nevertheless, all the added details, to make the spectator laugh (all these visual onomatopoeias, all these small gags…) are tasteless and without interest. And it’s a pity..
Sound is cool. Nothing really good, or really bad.
Even if I didn’t like Kogoro’s voice in this movie, it’s quite enjoyable.
•Characters (02/10): (DID NOT COUNT DC USUAL STAFF)
No surprise, we have the team: Kogoro/Ran/Sonoko/Conan + Agasa/Ai/Ayumi/Genta/Mitsuhiko.
And that’s, then, the BIG weak point of the movie. All the unpublished protagonists and existing only for this movie are clichés and stereotypes. Besides we’ll never arrive to fasten (Your sealtbealt *.*), indentify ourselves to one of them.
They are divested of interests, both by their character and by their actions.
I have no problem to watch this movie. Even if it was boring at such time, it’s always like that in some point, in DC movies, that’s why it does not disturb.
Yeah, I’ve lot of problem with this movie.
OBJECTIVELY, how did a 10 year’s boy could stop cars on road, at high speed? Could survive at bombs, and avalanche (after being shot, yes, shot by a rifle)? Couldn’t be unmasked, while IT WAS a lot MORE EXAGGERATED than lot of DC’s movies (Summit police, when Conan’s talent vas revealed AT TV!!!).
There were too many coincidences, too many improbable and guessable events at the same time, so that I appreciate OBJECTIVELY this movie.
And the IMPORTANT part:
The morality of the movie being badly brought ( the friendship > Movie’s people + Conan & Shonen Boys) making it so old-fashioned…
And it’s a pity, he would have been able to be a waaaaay better than that!!
Thks for reading, and sorry for the english, not my language.
Story (7/10): After an almost fatal bombing on a newly opened subway line occurs, Conan believes there’s a connection to a dam building project that relocated an entire village 5 years ago, and the whole gang (minus the police department characters) end up traveling there. They are then met with some freaky coincidences that could lead to the culprit in this case. But just what is that persons goal, and what does a coma patient have to do with it?
As a story for a movie, this feels a bit underwhelming, but by no means is the story itself bad. In fact I would say that it’s the one of the more well done stories in a Conan movie to date, utilizing the time correctly and using the movie exclusive characters very well. The bad thing though is that it does feel like a longer episode of the main show, so there’s a bit too much padding to fill out the almost 2 hour time frame. The movie also tries to bring up the Shinichi/Ran romance, but where it fit almost naturally into the previous movie, here it feels tacked on for the sake of having it just be there.
Also I hope you’re a fan of the Detective Boys, cause they play a larger part here than in more recent films, but even I, who isn’t really a big fan of them, have to admit that they added a certain charm to the story itself. Otherwise I feel like the story moves along fairly well and the climax is really amazing, so kudos (heh) for holding itself up to the better standards of the last few movies.
Art (8/10): I get the feeling that the staff who works on the movies is getting more into doing action scenes, since they were better than ever. They must have had fun with all the snowboarding scenes because hot damn were they fluid and exciting. The snowy village location was also really nice to look at, though this does cause the problem of the film being very white and pale colored heavy.
Sound (7/10): I’m not going to rehash anything, since sound is pretty much the same in most Conan movies by now. But as usual, it was great (an much better timed with things compared to the horrendous job done in the last movie).
Character (7/10): Conan/Shinichi, is, as usual, great, along with a bit more screen time for Ai, but since they really don’t have too many character moments themselves, lets focus on the others. As I said before, the Detective Boys are actually fairly important in this movie, so I hope you have a soft spot for them (me personally, I don’t really like them all that much, but they have their moments). But thankfully, they fit in very well with the plot and they are played up with their strengths, making them much more tolerable than in other films. Agasa, Kogoro, Ran, and Sonoko, on the other hand, are just sort of thrown into the movie and don’t really do all that much, one of the unfortunate trends that the movies tend to have.
(If you’re wondering, Conan movies have the bad tendency of only focusing on one set of secondary characters, so one movie (Rave Chaser) may focus on the police characters, one (Jolly Rodger of the Deep Sea) focusing on Ran and Sonoko, and this movie on the Detective Boys, where the other set(s) feel out of place or underutilized. …rant over, I promise.)
The movie characters, thankfully, are fairly strong and are fun to watch. While they aren’t too amazing (they do have the standard feel of a Conan case character), special note goes to Touma, who is fairly interesting and probably could have had more screen time on his own, but for what we got he was interesting and helped with some interesting parallels with Conan, Ai, and the Detective Boys.
Enjoyment (8/10): Going into this movie, I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was that there was a snowy location and…that’s it. But I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. While I do think that they could have made the film a slight bit shorter, it was entertaining and a totally fun watch.
Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence is a fun ride from start to finish, though it doesn’t feel quite as strong as the two movies prior to it. But that doesn’t matter as much since the mystery was interesting, the action fun, and it gave some characters some time to shine. While some things are the same as ever, it’s still a fun movie for fans and non-fans alike.
7/10 = fun movie with an interesting mystery and good action, but just doesn’t feel as strong as some of the better entries in the movie franchise; you better like the Detective Boys, because they’re partial headliners here
34: Detective Conan Movie 03: The Last Wizard of the Century
English: Case Closed Movie 3: The Last Wizard of the Century
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 世紀末の魔術師
MAL Score: 8.03
Kaitou Kid dares to challenge the police once more, setting his sights on the Russian Imperial Easter Egg. With the date, time, and place, the Osaka police force scrambles to stop him. But this time, Kid may have bitten off more than he can chew—Conan Edogawa, Heiji Hattori, and numerous others are also trying to get their hands on the jeweled egg.
As the race for possession of the egg escalates, a string of murders threatens those after it, and at the same time the tragic truth behind the Romanov Dynasty is finally revealed. At the center of these developments, it is up to Conan to solve the gruesome murders and catch Kid, all while protecting those close to him and concealing his identity.
The most notable thing in detective movie is the mystery element. Be prepare to found an amazing movie with a lot of mysteries hidden with it. You will be blinded by one of the most well-produced mystery. While the individual elements of the story done well, the plot is decent and manage to balance the story up. With historical value within this film, Last Wizard of The Century have a + sign for them and did a fairly good job in the plot settings.
It is easily accessible, the movie is a perfect example of enjoying the series at its best without having to watch all of Meitantei Conan episodes.
The animation is quite old if we compared it with our era now, but in general, it’s decent. The sound settings are also decent as well.
The characters came out from everywhere, almost all of the main cast appear in the screen.
Kaitou Kid is the omniscient and overpowered character while our hero Conan is analytical and smart. Although omniscient is not a good thing, but the character did their roles pretty well.
Overall, if you are a fan of Meitantei Conan, don’t miss this. Also, if you a fan of detective and mystery settings is quite recommended for you.
As you should know Edogawa Conan is Shinichi after being poisoned by the mysterious Black Organisation.
The story starts with Conan, Ran and Mouri going to Osaka, under the request of Ran’s Best friend in order to protect their family’s Fabergé egg, which is under threat of being stolen by Katiou Kid (A new Character in the series which appears around 120 episodes).
The plot revoles around the mystery of the Fabergé egg and the history and secrets it holds. The uniqueness of the plot is how it accounts for Tsar and its family including the history of the russian revolution. After Kaitou Manages to steal the egg from the police that were guarding it. He is shot down by a mysterious character, all that was left was his broken moncle and an injured white dove.
With Kaitou mysteriously disappearing, The owner of the egg decides to go and make sure the egg is undamged after the incident. During this time someone who claims the egg belongs to their ancestors arrive. with the orginal designs for the egg. Only to discover from the drawings that there is two eggs.
As the characters begin to relax and let loose and the other parties begin to fight over buying the egg, a murder takes place. Which leads Conan to believe the murderer is the same person who took down Kaitou. Therefore calling up Proffessor Agase. To check up the interpol wanted list. and found his suspected murder “Scorpion”
All in all this movie involves probably the largest array of the Conan characters, practically everyone makes an appearence. From Inspector Meguri to Conan’s Fellow high School Detective Hattori Heiji.
I enjoyed this movie mainly cause there was more mystery then the first two. But at the same time it felt more story watching then challening you to try to solve the murders and the mystery. But I still enjoyed the twist at the end of the moive. ^_^
At first the story starts off getting to the real point of the whole thing. Kito Kid is in this, and he is a magician, so he must of course be the Last Wizard of the Century, which is the title of the movie, no? I mean, it is three years away from the change of the century to two thousand when this is movie is made. This might be something that one might want to keep in mind to the end.
The ideas and the concepts in the movie run through in a way that one might think one thing at the begining and be possibly blinded by them, but as one gets furthur along in the movie and more historical facts are revealed to the audience, one becomes less and less mystified and begin to put the facts together. The information presented about hte Russian tzar and his family is fairly accurate from what I can tell.
As always, Detective Conan’s animation is good, expessully for the time frame that it comes from. And some of the details on things, like the egg that Sonoko’s family owns are amazingly detailed. I would go more into this, but the one problem is, if I do… I’ll give away a story line that is really good and that isn’t the point of a review.
The musical score for the soundtrack reminds me of the soundtrack for the Disney Movie Anastasia. It was released two years after Disney released it’s movie, so it is an actual possibility that one movie may have influenced this movie. That really is up to you the viewer to decide, not me.
We get to see the unprofessional acting cops who are after Kito again, which is histarical, though they don’t play as big of a humor role in this. In fact, there are a lot of characters that rather show up in this movie, the cast isn’t limited. Also, not only is this a Kito Kid movie, it gives depth into the theif magician’s character.
At first I was, for the first ten to twenty mintutes, not exactly thrilled with the movie. Most of the good stuff happens later on. Then again, Detective Conan movies are some of the few that will actually go and give a synopsis of what has happened so far for him, which might have been part of my problem, as I kind of feel that I know that allready.
I am a major fan of the history and mystery surrounding the tzar’s family and their deaths. So when I found, or more of figured that this played a good role in this movie, I was thrilled. And I might admit… biased because of it. From the historical point of view, they handled the historical facts quite well.
If you are a fan of Detective Conan, or of the tzars story, this is worth the watch of someone to watch, whether it is only one or not. It is put together in a way that is craftmanship.
33: Detective Conan Movie 04: Captured in Her Eyes
English: Case Closed Movie 4: Captured In Her Eyes
MAL Score: 8.03
On a rainy afternoon, the Detective Boys witness a murder across the street. Barred by traffic, the culprit slips away and Conan Edogawa is left a single clue by a dying detective. Days later, another detective is found murdered in a parking lot, leaving the police rattled. Suspicious that the culprit is one of their own, everyone in the police department without an alibi is suspect. But despite being on high alert, they are outmaneuvered and suffer yet another attack—this time with Ran Mouri finding herself in the crossfire.
Traumatized, Ran wakes in the hospital with retrograde amnesia, remembering nothing about her life. Soon released, she struggles to remember her past and grows fearful of not regaining her memories before being targeted by the killer for what she witnessed. As she is guarded by friends and family, it is up to Conan to piece together the clues and find who the murderer is before they strike again.
Captured In Her Eyes is the best movie of Detective Conan. Shinichi confessed that he likes Ran. Ran lost his memory and no matter how Shinichi wanted to appear to her as Shinichi and comfort her…thinking of it just made it harder for him. And also that Haibara almost confessed to Shinichi…that part is really something. The thrill, the excitement, the romance, the mystery being revealed…I really like it so much!
It’s so painful even for a great detective like himself not to be able to help the one you consider the most important in the world…but because of the unexpected situation he got himself into, he made a really big sacrifice. Shinichi doesn’t want to hurt Ran and that made it a lot difficult for him especially when he sees that the only one Ran felt nostalgic about after losing her memory is his picture. And in here, Conan got saluted by a high ranked officer of the police department. It’s really good!
A lot of the emotion comes from Ran losing her memories after a traumatic experience with the murderer. The fact that Conan can’t do anything as Shinichi to help her is a very cruel thing to undergo. But despite that, Ran is still still just as much her awesome self as she was with her memories. The fact that she still chooses to keep a positive outlook after the incident is probably one of my favorite things about her and why I love this movie so much. One of my favorite parts about this movie is the finale in Tropical Land, which is home to some of the most imaginative environments in a Detective Conan movie. Combine that with a well-polished art style and what you have is a movie that’s both fun and good to look at.
The movie itself, while interesting, is admittedly kind of slow. Having to wait while Conan plays catch-up with the audience is one of the least exciting moments in the film. Also, the case itself isn’t that very interesting to solve, with the first clue about the culprit being heavily reliant on Japanese wordplay. It’s very clear that the movie was more focused on Ran’s amnesiac experience than the mystery itself. By no means is that a bad thing, as a lot of the emotion comes from everyone dealing with her loss of memories. If you are looking for a movie with a great mystery to solve, this may not be the one for you.
Captured in Her Eyes is one of my favorite Detective Conan movies. While the case itself isn’t much to write home about, the fun character moments and polished visuals are what keeps this movie highly rated for me.
32: Detective Conan Movie 10: Requiem of the Detectives
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 探偵たちの鎮魂歌[レクイエム]
MAL Score: 8.06
After receiving a strange invitation, Kogorou Mouri pays a visit to the Miracle Land theme park along with his daughter Ran, Conan Edogawa, and the Detective Boys. Once there, Kogorou and Conan are tasked with finishing an unsolved case by a mysterious stranger. Realizing that the invitations were actually an elaborate trap, the two have just 12 hours to solve the case or face grave danger.
With the help of familiar faces like Heiji Hattori, Kaitou Kid, and even Saguru Hakuba, the group of detectives must unravel the web of clues surrounding the case in order to find the culprit and bring them to justice before it’s too late.
The only saving grace about this movie is its story, which has Conan and the other detectives try to solve a case for a client before they all explode. There is some semblance of a looming sense of dread, as every moment is leading closer and closer to death as the movie goes on. There are even a few decent character moments here and there. Of course, this is where the praise for this movie stops.
While the story itself is good, the execution is extremely lacking. Despite being under pressure to solve a case as soon as possible, the way the scenes are shot fail to capture that urgency. Everything feels so slow and plain that it eliminates any semblance of tension that the characters may be under right now. What also ruins this movie even more is its art and animation. The Detective Conan movies usually have a level of polish that puts them above the anime series. Here, there is no trace of quality or refining done to either the art or animation. It is, quite literary, an extended episode.
If this were a TV special, then I wouldn’t mind it so much (then I wouldn’t even need to review it). But this isn’t just a movie; it’s a movie celebrating the 10th anniversary of the series. When put into that context, what does it have going for it? What can you watch in this movie that you can literally see in any other movie? Heiji and Kaito Kid? They already have their own movies. Everyone is going to be killed if Conan doesn’t solve the case? Try the Eleventh Striker. Requiem of the Detectives’ main problem is how basic it all is; every other movie before and after it did the same things that this movie does but even better. It’s almost like this movie only had the story to work with and just did whatever with everything else.
Before I end this review, I do want to stress that this only just me speaking and that my opinion may not apply for everyone else. These movies are like different flavors of ice cream. Some are like chocolate. Some are like strawberry. Some are even like pistachio. If I had to define Requiem of the Detectives as an ice cream flavor, it would be vanilla. Not French vanilla or vanilla bean; just basic vanilla. Some people like vanilla and that’s okay. Even I’m morbidly curious what maple bacon ice cream tastes like. As such, Requiem of the Detectives will always be somebody else’s favorite Detective Conan movie no matter what I think of it.
31: Summer Wars
English: Summer Wars
MAL Score: 8.07
OZ, a virtual world connected to the internet, has become extremely popular worldwide as a spot for people to engage in a large variety of activities, such as playing sports or shopping, through avatars created and customized by the user. OZ also possesses a near impenetrable security due to its strong encryption, ensuring that any personal data transmitted through the networks will be kept safe in order to protect those who use it. Because of its convenient applications, the majority of society has become highly dependent on the simulated reality, even going as far as entrusting the system with bringing back the unmanned asteroid explorer, Arawashi.
Kenji Koiso is a 17-year-old math genius and part-time OZ moderator who is invited by his crush Natsuki Shinohara on a summer trip. But unbeknownst to him, this adventure requires him to act as her fiancé. Shortly after arriving at Natsuki’s family’s estate, which is preparing for her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday, he receives a strange, coded message on his cell phone from an unknown sender who challenges him to solve it. Kenji is able to crack the code, but little does he know that his math expertise has just put Earth in great danger.
Now those of you who have watched the latest anime incarnation of Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl who Leapt Through Time), will be familiar with Hosoda’s work as a director, and as good as that movie is, his latest effort, Summer Wars, would have been at least equal to it except for one thing.
It’s been done before.
The story follows the brief summer “holiday” of a high school maths prodigy called Koiso Kenji as he travels to the countryside with his senpai (and secret crush), Shinohara Natsuki, ostensibly to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday. During his stay he receives a strange e-mail containing a sequence of numbers, and thinking it simply another maths problem, he solves it and sends it back. The following day all hell breaks loose (but in a quaint manner, this is rural Japan after all).
Summer Wars has a lot to recommend it in terms of its plot and story. The pacing and progression is very good, and the numerous events that take place are justifiable to a certain degree. It’s just unfortunate that while watching Summer Wars, I couldn’t help but think of a certain 1983 movie called War Games.
If one disregards the settings in the real and virtual worlds for a moment, then what’s left, ironically enough, is a high school kid who unwittingly begins the end of the world through something nuclear, and all because he broke a code. It’s even more ironic that the computer in War Games was developed from a simple Tic-Tac-Toe playing AI, and that it believes it is simply playing another “game” (if you can call global thermo-nuclear war a game that is).
Even with the parallels between the two films, Summer Wars is a good enough story in its own right, and like War Games, is very much a movie of its time. The use of online social networking is something that only a few shows have touched upon, and even though the application of it is somewhat unbelievable (everything from traffic management to emergency services is part of the OZ network), it’s a purposeful device that makes the story much more relevant to this day and age, and it doesn’t really impinge on one’s enjoyment of the movie.
Summer Wars is distinctive in its looks, regardless of which world is on screen at the time. The settings, backgrounds and characters are very similar to those used in Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, but there is far more creativity and diversity in the design of this movie, an example of which is skin tone, with several characters being tanned to various degrees. Alongside this is the look of the characters themselves, and it’s truly nice to watch a show that takes a more realistic approach in this area. The people in the movie literally do come in all shapes and sizes, with no two characters (in the real world), sharing anything more than the resemblance that close relatives would have.
The one aspect of the design that is surprising is that of the virtual world, but not in the way that most people would think. The CG used in the movie is extremely well handled, and each avatar is completely unique, yet also reflective its real world user. That said, those who have seen another of Hosoda’s directorial works, Superflat Monogram, may experience some bemusement as the design of Summer War’s virtual world has been adapted from that featurette. While the art and animation are very good throughout the movie, it would have been nice if Madhouse had avoided cutting corners by using things that have been done before, but that’s just a personal preference. As far as the virtual world goes, the majority of viewers will find it inventive, original, and more than a little amusing at times.
A big plus for the movie is its cast, and although most are relatively unknown (including the two leads), this doesn’t preclude them from providing some very good performances. Kamiki Ryonosuke is very good as the bumbling, introverted and ever so slightly love-struck Kenji, while Sakuraba Nanami provides an excellent balance to this as the spirited and precocious Natsuki. One of the biggest surprises in terms of acting though, is Tanimura Mitsuki, whose portrayal of Kazuma has all the foibles and gripes one would expect from a 13 year old with a game addiction.
In terms of music, the various pieces on offer serve the movie very well, and Matsumoto Akihiko (who also provided the music for Resident Evil Outbreak: Files 1 & 2), really shows his talent as both a writer and composer. Strangely, the ending theme, Bokura no Natsu no Yume, is the only track composed by someone else (in this case by Yamashita Tatsuro), and is actually a rather appropriate lilting ballad that rounds things of nicely.
So where are the problems with the sound? In truth, the majority of issues stem from the effects as there are several notable occasions where the music, speech and effects clash quite badly. The majority of the movie is relatively well choreographed so that the noise is kept to a manageable level, but this is not always the case, and when events get out of hand, the effect on one’s ears can be a little tough.
The one area where Summer Wars really excels is in its wealth of characters. While most of the focus is on Kenji, a good amount of time is spent observing Natsuki’s extended family, and it’s this aspect of the movie that makes it such an enjoyable film to watch. Anyone with slightly dysfunctional relatives will appreciate the numerous minor clashes, feuds, loyalties, gripes, trials and tribulations that go into making any such gatherings a “success”, and it was an absolute joy to see Natsuki’s family bounce off each other like peas on a drum (which probably makes this required viewing at Christmas time). The entire family structure and their relationships with each other are handled in a very intelligent manner, and viewers may be surprised to find themselves relating to certain situations, and finding a degree of familiarity with certain events in the story.
As far as actual development goes, there isn’t really any aside from Kenji, and even that takes time to progress (although he does “man-up” in the end). Aside from that, there isn’t much in the plot that encourages the rest of the characters to grow, but then again, each is an individual to a tee, and therein lies the true strength of this movie – characterisation. It’s the power of their personalities (thanks to some great acting and scripting), that allows the viewer to relate to the characters in a way that many other shows would envy, and it’s for this reason that development isn’t really a necessity.
Summer Wars is a very enjoyable romp in the realms of absurdity that has the benefit of being relevant to a degree. The exponential growth of social networks is having an increasing impact on society, and it’s this phenomenon that is satirised the most, hence the inclusion of so many societal controls and services within the confines of OZ. While the story itself may not be new, one could consider this a more up to date re-telling of the theme – kind of a “War Games 2009” so to speak.
Whatever you think of the movie, at heart it’s only meant to do one thing – entertain – and it does that very well.
The film opens with an introduction to ‘OZ’. An information network that controls and monitors electronic services all over the world: from shopping to competitive gaming to healthcare facilities. Think the current internet age, but even more extreme.
Then we’re introduced to Kenji, a math wiz who works as a moderator for Oz and has a crush on a girl named Natsuki. A few moments later we’re introduced to this crush of his who begs him to come with her to visit her family’s summer home. Thus kicking off the plot.
Well not quite. Turns out Natsuki has a huge family and the film takes its sweet time introducing them one by one thus establishing some characters and relationships. If you can’t quite tell who’s who by the end of all the introductions you needn’t worry. The characters who end up mattering can be counted on one hand.
All the setup eventually builds up to the following: Kenji, during his stay with Natsuki’s family, is tricked into giving a dangerous computer virus access to OZ. Said virus wrecks havoc over the entire digital world causing all sorts of trouble to pop up in the real one. Now Kenji must work together with Natsuki’s family (the 2 or 3 that matter at least) to save two worlds from imminent disaster (because the authorities don’t matter).
Thus the whole story unfolds in typical blockbuster fashion: (cyber)-battles will be fought, old grievances will be reconciled and boys will turn into men.
So the end result is a movie that wants to be a sci-fi action blockbuster AND a family drama AND a romance story. Problem is that none of the elements are particularly good in their own right.
– It fails as a romance story because the whole plotline is trite and forced. The lovebirds-to-be are complete anime-stereotypes (nerdy nice guy and cheerful nice girl) who lack any kind of believable chemistry. Initially the whole thing just feels like a plot-device to set the plot in motion. Then the middle act all but drops it. Finally, the end of the film also concludes the love story in the cheesiest way imaginable. That wouldn’t have been so bad in and of itself but it doesn’t feel believable. The 2 characters in question aren’t shown growing towards one another and learning to understand each other better. They just love each other when the plot needs them to.
– It fails as a family drama because an overwhelming majority of the characters is painfully one-dimensional. They’re just caricatures who stand in the background and occasionally showcase their one personality quirk. The few who don’t fall victim to this aren’t particularly interesting either, and are often no more than devices to shove the aforementioned crappy love-story in certain directions. The only somewhat interesting element in this plot-thread is a subplot dealing with a bastard-child who was branded an outcast of the family; but this thread is ultimately resolved in a sentimental manner.
– It fails as an action-packed blockbuster because most of the fights aren’t very interesting. The idea of having avatars do battle against a computer virus within Oz allowed for the makers to go crazy, and there are 2 or 3 spots where some creativity is showcased in regards to having fighters transform the arena to better suit their purposed. But as it goes on any semblance of choreography or creativity is thrown out of the window in favor or giant punches fuelled by the power of love and friendship. It’s sad that the best choreographed fight is a short demonstration early on in the film. Summer Wars sadly fails to avoid the usual anime-cliché where fights get less creative when the power-levels are increased.
So there you have it: 3 poorly executed and fundamentally flawed storylines that merge into one to create an unfocused and ultimately unsatisfying viewing experience.
Summer Wars was directed by Mamoru Hosoda, who previously directed the acclaimed ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’. The irony here is that the two movies are almost polar opposites from an artistic standpoint.
– One tries to be a blend of many different popular anime-trappings and ends up unfocused and messy. The other has a very focused and well-thought out narrative that fully explores all the possibilities of its scenario.
– One features a huge cast of characters with no real standouts, the other features only a handful of characters most of which are (somewhat) realistic, well-developed and humanly flawed.
– One has a gimmick that ultimately serves as either window-dressing or a cheap way to create tension in the plot. The other has a gimmick that contributes the narrative in a meaningful way as an interesting dynamic.
In the end ‘Summer Wars’ failed to impress me. It tried to combine all kinds of different flavors only to end up with a product that doesn’t have any kind of flavor to it, much less one to call its own. It’s not a bad movie. The animation, especially in OZ, is wonderful (though the designs of the human characters are a little basic), the soundtrack is adequate and there are a few entertaining moments but after all the hype I excepted much more.
– Want an interesting love-story with a cool twist? Check the aforementioned ‘’The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’’. Same director, much better movie.
– Want a good story that explores familiar relationships? ‘’Haibane Renmei’’ features a surrogate family of sorts. Wonderful drama filled with realistic, richly-drawn characters and a captivating atmosphere.
– Want a cool science fiction story where a bunch of kids use strange technology in all sorts of imaginative and fun ways? Check out ‘’Dennou Coil’’. Same studio, similar concepts but explored in much more detail and with better characters to boot.
Kenji Koiso is a high school student/math genius who works part-time with his best friend, Takashi Sakuma as moderators for the massive, widely popular virtual world called OZ, where the norm consists of virtual shopping, business, and much more (Second Life, anyone?). One summer Natsuki Shinohara, Kenji’s senpai (who he also has a crush on) invites him to her grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration in the Jinnouchi clan estate. But Kenji is immediately caught up in Natsuki’s desperate request to act as Natsuki’s husband-to-be, much to his chagrin.
Kenji spends the initial parts of the movie getting acquainted with the rest of Natsuki’s relatives, and receives a mysterious email soon after. The message contains a huge numerical code, and, being a math whiz, Kenji opted to crack the code right away; he does so overnight. But as soon as he sends the solution, a virus – named Love Machine – successfully hacks within the OZ mainframe and causes turmoil in many parts of the world. As Kenji is deemed the culprit, it is up to him and his newfound family to solve the problem before more lives are put in danger. So, this is basically Digimon: The Movie adapted to a newer version, minus all the ‘mons making up that particular movie. While that thought might pull you away for whatever reason you might bear, Summer Wars’ narrative is more than just games and cyberspace. This movie touches on important themes, with family being one of its central points.
Okay, I lied. This movie IS all about games and cyberspace. For as much of a silly thing it is to base your movie on the inner workings of the Internet and social networking, it actually makes you feel weirdly sympathetic for those things. Perhaps Summer Wars teaches and/or reminds us that family can stretch beyond bloodlines, and we all can potentially build unbreakable bonds with total strangers even across the entire world, both real and virtual. Also, when it may seem that all the chips are down, there’s always hope, and it’s a hope we could always hold on to.
While the story’s great and all, Summer Wars would probably be nothing without its outstanding cast of characters. Stretching from the shy, introverted Kenji to the rest of Natsuki’s spunky, quirky, and empathetic family members, it truly feels like watching an ensemble cast bring their A-game to the table. Though it’s a lot of characters to take in immediately, seeing them once or twice is enough to make you remember them. Hell, I only remember a few names out of all the characters introduced, to be honest. There is a good mix of funny and sincere banter in-between, which really makes each character’s presence seem imperative and convince you to care about them. The main characters as well as the supporting ones play integral roles in bringing Love Machine down, and the movie does a good job making their strengths shine through.
But I think the best character out of all–and I think everyone is in unison on this–is Sakae Jinnouchi, Natsuki’s grandmother. Despite having minimal knowledge of the virtual world, she’s pretty much the one inspiring everyone to fight the infection and teach them the value of what family is. I also think it’s her courage and pretty much her overall personality that drives the story forward, as well as motivate the characters to do what they must.
Summer Wars is perhaps one of the best examples of an ambitious visual splendor, animated or not. The production values are all top-notch, with the near-perfect blend of CGI and cel-shaded effects bringing a lot of vibrancy to the movie’s cyberspace environment, the real world, and astounding attention to detail. Just thinking about the unimaginable number of sprites and avatars interacting in the entire virtual space is just insanity, and shows how much incredible amount of work was done to make this visual masterpiece happen. The animation style is no pushover either, as it is both breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Action scenes are all incredibly exciting, intense, and amazingly crafted that kept me at the edge of my seat for most of the movie. Character designs are also sharp and well-designed that all the more makes this one of the most magnificent-looking animated movies I’ve seen in a long while.
I don’t usually pay attention to movie soundtracks that much, mainly because most of them are so forgettable and barely intriguing; Summer Wars’s musical score is an exception. Top that with an excellent Japanese voice cast that brings much needed emotion and invokes life through the characters they play. I haven’t heard the English dub of the movie yet, but after seeing this movie, I’d be glad to that version when I finally get the chance to, all while reliving this grand adventure again a second time. Hell, I wouldn’t mind seeing it for a third go. Or a fourth. Who can blame me, really?
Summer Wars is definitely one of the best anime movies I’ve seen in years. It’s as enjoyable of a watch as it occasionally tugs on the heartstrings. It’s a good reminder that there actually IS something to feel positive about being in the Internet. For all its eye-popping, superb visual presentation, it’s also got a well-written, thematic, feel-good storyline and a fantastic cast of characters that will surely please the audiences both inside and outside of the anime realm. In short, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you’re missing out on something special.
30: Detective Conan Movie 08: Magician of the Silver Sky
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 銀翼の奇術師[マジシャン]
MAL Score: 8.08
Once again, Kaitou Kid crosses swords with Conan Edogawa in this annual installment of the Detective Conan movie franchise. After receiving a letter from the thief, famous actress Juri Maki seeks the help of private detective Kogorou Mouri to protect the Star Sapphire—the “Jewel of Destiny,” said to represent faith, fate, and hope. Thinking he has deciphered Kid’s riddle, Kogorou personally shows up to the newly constructed space theater where Juri is acting in the play “Josephine” in order to catch Kid in the act.
The next day, Conan and the gang are invited by Juri to her holiday home, to celebrate the thwarting of Kid’s plan and the success of the play. However, their triumph crumbles when a murder occurs during the flight there. Although unintentional, this sets off a series of events that escalate to catastrophic results. Conan and Kid, unlikely allies that they are, must work together to save both their friends and every other passenger aboard the plane.
One of the movie’s most interesting aspects is how it takes three different scenarios and combines them into one, cohesive story where the elements in one part carry on into the next. While this is some very interesting story-writing, one could not help but wonder if more time went into writing one part more than the others. In 1995’s Goldeneye, the movie begins with an opening so great, that the rest of the movie fails to measure up to it. The same can be said for Magician of the Silver Sky. As fun as the other two parts are, the first part is and always will be the most memorable part of the whole movie. It’s kind of like eating a three-course meal, where the first dish is a juicy steak, the second is a PB&J sandwich, and the third is a bowel of chicken noodle soup. All are of varying quality, but none are better than the first dish.
One other thing that people do not like about this movie is how Kaito Kid always disguises himself as Shinichi. As genius as it was for him to do so, it sort of takes out the fun of figuring out who Kid is. Back then, I wouldn’t really have a problem with Kid disguising himself as Shinichi since it meant Conan can’t point him out without giving himself away. But after 15 years and 2 other movies where Kaito disguises himself as Shinichi (plus 1 if you count Fist of Blue Sapphire), I think now would be a good time for Kid to change up his Modus Operandi.
Despite my earlier analogy about chicken PB&J, Magcian of the Silver Sky is still a worth while watch. Everything that people love about Detective Conan is here and is still just as good. The story structure is interesting, the art and animation is pretty good, and the characters are still their usual lovable selves. Definitely a good watch.
Story-wise, it isn’t the typical Detetive Conan wherein the ending is usually when the culprit is caught. It somehow has a mix of other genres as well that made it unique in a way to the other movies so far. The mystery and detective-ness of the typical Detective Conan though was outshone by the scenes in the plane. In a way that made this a bit anti-climatic in terms of mysteriousness. It was however refreshing to see a different story from the typical series. There were also some scenes that had a bit of a bland after taste to it but still the good parts outweigh those. The story was good not the best one there is but it was good.
Every anime has its own unique art style. What sets Detective Conan apart from the others is that aside from the unique plot the art is also different so the author’s work can be easily distinguished for the others. Growing up with this anime makes my rating for it biased but I, for one, am content with the art.
The usual sound effects used in the series but there were a few added sound effects to make it sound new to the ears. Not complaining with the usual opening though, it just makes it even more exciting since it is the signature opening of Detectuve Conan so nostalgia from it isn’t lost to me.
The characters were okay though the culprit was predictable. The different sides of Kaitou Kid was seen here though his identity remains a mystery and that makes him all the more a character one can look forward to every time he appears. The kids however were a bit unnecessary in some scenes. Ran’s parents however made it refreshing. Everytime those two show up it’s really fun to watch. There were characters though that were a bit lacking in presence and sort of easily remained in the background. Conan though, is still the typical Conan we all know and love.
It was not what I had expected from the title and the movie poster though, so at the beginning I thought it was going to be a full on Kaitou Kid vs Conan movie but the unexpectedness of the plot all the more made it a good movie to me. There were some scenes that for me, were not needed and felt like they were just a few added scenes to make the movie longer. But other than that it was good. Not the best Detective Conan movie I’ve watched but nonetheless a good movie to watch.
If you want something a bit different from the typical Detective Conan, this is probably the way to go. There are a lot of mixed genres here that made it enjoyable to watch. It was a good movie. There were unexpected scenes and twists but that just made it even more fun to watch.
29: Stand By Me Doraemon
Japanese: STAND BY ME ドラえもん
MAL Score: 8.08
Nobita Nobi is an elementary student who hates studying, is bad at sports, and does everything half-heartedly. He is a pushover, unlucky, and fearful of many things. His personality makes him a failure in life, even affecting his progeny. This causes his great-great-grandchild, Sewashi, to take control of the situation.
Sewashi travels back in time from the 22nd century to the 20th century to meet Nobita, who is shocked to see him appear out of his drawer alongside a blue robotic cat. The robotic cat calls himself Doraemon, who claims to have been pressured by Sewashi to assist Nobita, with their ultimate goal being to provide Nobita happiness. Frustrated after seeing Nobita’s hopeless state, Doraemon decides to go back to the future. However, Sewashi activates a program within Doraemon that prevents him from doing so.
Forced to stay, Doraemon helps Nobita using futuristic gadgets through his four-dimensional pocket—a bag containing anything inside it. Can Doraemon bring Nobita happiness and return to the future?
Story : 10/10
The story starts from their first meeting (i suppose the first chapter?) so everyone can watch it even if they have never watched Doraemon before.
At first both of them just wanted to finish their own goal, but then It’s very sweet how their relationship grows as they spend their time together. The story is pretty straightforward, similar with the Anime, where Nobita is such a failure in life and Doraemon come to rescue with his magic pocket. The main difference is the movie gives more focus about Nobita’s struggle in his love life.
Something that bug me is that I feel Doraemon is so mean (this is very subjective, however for people who already watch Doraemon’s kindness to Nobita in the anime may feel this way too). Doraemon thinks Nobita is hopeless and seem to hates him, but then it changes (pretty suddenly). I think the movie is too short to show all the hardships they’ve been trough, but still they managed to wrap it all perfectly.
Art & Sound 10/10
The CG is just amazing.
Deep. How they develop each character is amazing, especially Nobita. From a fail lazy kid, becoming a brave and responsible young adult. For Doraemon, I still think they need more scene to show how his feelings to Nobita had changed.
Overall, this movie is amazing!! i love it~ Sometimes I can’t even see what’s happening because of my eyes flooded with tears. This may be the final episode of Doraemon, but the other OVAs are still coming so u don’t have to feel lonely!
The thing is, the pacing is bad. Like cardiac arrest bad. Suddenly it’s going so fast, and suddenly it’s going so slow when there’s part that could be skipped. Stand By Me skipped what’s important and extend what’s not.
That’s where the visuals kick in. Bang. I will never feel the same about Take-copter after seeing this movie. It’s so mindblowing. Doraemon, Shizuka, and Nobita look cute and adorable. Gouda still the badass he is in the manga, and Suneo is still as annoying. Visuals are the best thing in Stand By Me Doraemon because it gives us a new look, a more updated look that keeps us watching the literally same story from the manga version.
If the visual is not enough, there’s still the soundtracks and scoring. It captures Doraemon’s tone perfectly by using acoustic guitar, and using melodramatic piano tone in the perfect timing. Once again, if you don’t like the visual, at least you’ll like the soundtrack.
Or the seiyuu. Kudos on the seiyuu. Some moments won’t be as great as it was if they change seiyuu into another seiyuu.
Overall, it’s a good watch. If you are not a fan, you might love this movie because you (maybe, hopefully) don’t know the story.
If you are a fan, it’s still nice seeing your childhood relived.
28: Haikyuu!! Movie 3: Sainou to Sense
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 才能とセンス
MAL Score: 8.08
Recap film that will cover the match against Aobajosai High School that took place in the second season.
(Source: MAL News)
TL;DR: Watch for the additional scenes on Seijoh at the end of the movie if you want to know more about them after their match.
I absolutely love Haikyuu!, and I have no qualms re-watching every episode of the anime series to recap the story. I have always avoid recap movies as I get more kicks out of watching every small detail rather than just watching all the major developments.
That said, I adore Seijoh as much as Karasuno, and the end of season 2 have always leave a bittersweet taste in my mouth as I felt that there was no proper closure for Seijoh’s match from their POV. The movie have additional scenes on what happens in Seijoh after the match. The fact that they are not just another “side character” team, but a proper rival team that deserves a bit of insight on how their emotional and psychological state outside of the game is like really showcases the beauty of this anime.
I am not a manga person, so the additional animated scenes to tell us a bit more of the rival characters that I have grown so attached to really brings me so much comfort. hahahaha.
The third recap movie for the Haikyuu series for the 2nd season. The recap shows us when Karasuno shows us the training camp they go where they practice getting better and stronger with the other teams. Then after that, we see the fight against Hinata and Kageyama on how they blame themselves for not working hard enough then we see how each Karasuno is continuing their training and how we are introduced to new moves/techniques like the tempo’s that Hinata and Kageyama learn then we see we the match against Karasuno vs Aobajousai and how Karasuno won but we see some extra scenes, not from anime which shows some of the Aobajousai team after their match and how they felt on losing the match and knowing some they will be leaving the team after high school.
So this recap wasn’t bad, showed the major points in the second season and yes it took some parts away from the anime like when Daichi gets hit in the cheek or the other matches before the main match against Karasuno vs Aobajousai but in replace of some of those parts was those extra scenes which weren’t bad as it showed the side of Aobajousai and how they will continue playing volleyball even after that loss. This recap was good, I liked it
The art style is only slightly less detailed in this recap and reuses some scenes, so at times it felt a little lazy.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
Hajime Iwaizumi (Iwa-chan, Iwa)
27: Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 4 – Ashita
Japanese: たまゆら～卒業写真～ 第4部 朝-あした-
MAL Score: 8.11
The final movie of a four-part finale of Tamayura.
What makes Tamayura so great is how well it tells a simple story with simple characters. A heartwarming story about a group of young girls who are about to enter adulthood and how they have to overcome their own personal barriers to follow the path that they want to go down in life, Tamayura is a coming of age story. The story is beautiful and at moments brought me to the brink of tears. It’s also cheerful and light and is very relaxing to watch. Many times over the whole series I sat down and took a deep breath and just enjoyed myself. It put me at ease much like other relaxing/healing anime such as Non Non Biyori, Aria or the latest spring anime, Flying Witch.
The art much like the series is very calming. It’s clean and sincere. The scenery is very pretty and it adds that feeling of home sweet home. The original OVA was released in 2011 and the 4-part movies were released quite recently so there is a noticeable change in quality but even from the beginning the artwork does it’s job.
The original soundtrack is amazing. A beautiful composition that adds to the overall vibe of Tamayura. I’m going to mention it again but it really is one of Tamayura’s strongerquality, the sound is relaxing and warm. More notable are the various piano versions of the OP and ED that are played whenever things get emotional and it works like a charm. It gave those scenes more oomph and had a huge impact on me. Speaking of OP and ED, both OP and ED from the first season, ~hitotose~, is absolutely wonderful. The two songs, Okaerinasai and Kamisama no Itazura, have such a deep and powerful meaning to the entire premise of the anime. The two songs have become one of my favorite anime related songs and I rarely go a week without listening to them once or twice, or thrice, even learnt how to play them on the piano.
What makes a slice of life anime good or uninteresting is it’s characters. Since slice of life doesn’t usually rely on a plot to carry itself forward, the characters are the most important aspect. Tamayura is a bit different in that all the characters are driven by their goals but that is hardly a plot. The one exception would be the main character Fu Sawatari. It’s evident that she is the one character that is most connected to the premise of the story, her grief and insecurity caused by her father’s death, and she is the one that develops the most over the course of the anime. It may not be obvious because the show doesn’t directly show us her growth but by the end this movie she, along with all the other main characters, are completely different people than the ones you see in the first episode. They’re lovable, they’re adorable, you want to be their friends, you want to go on their little adventures. Even thought they’re pretty basic characters they still manage to make quite an impact.
Needless to say, my enjoyment can be measured as through the roof. I actually started watching Tamayura only a couple months ago and instantly fell in love with it. It has become my #1 anime and I will without a doubt be re-watching the entire series again some time in the near future. A grounded slice of life anime that isn’t filled with overly cute characters or uses cheap comedy is what makes Tamayura so special. The whole time when I was watching this last movie I could get get rid of the sad feeling inside of me knowing that there may not be any sequels after this. But I am okay with that because I know how much this anime meant to me if I felt that way.
I highly recommend this series to everyone.
From an ambitious 4 episode OVA in 2010 there have been 2 seasons and now this instalment of 4 Movies á ~50 Minutes. In this last part the creators say their final good bye to Tamayura and deliver something that is a rare sight nowadays: A proper ending.
Fitting to the theme of this whole third Season the character development is being tied up neatly and the characters you have grown to love are receiving their well deserved spotlight as they start their new adventures. Thanks to the build up not only in this season, but also during the whole run of the show, it feels very natural and relatable.
Tamayura shines again with a relaxing musical composition and beautiful backgrounds. The character animations aren’t very notable though, however I wouldn’t say that this hurts the experience.
All in all I have found lots of enjoyment yet again in Tamayura and am recommending anyone, who liked the previous instalments to dive into these Movies as well. The production quality has improved continually from the OVAs on and the plots have never felt rushed.
This “Healing” Anime is on par with Aria and the Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō Manga, it is a lot of fun to watch!
26: Detective Conan Movie 05: Countdown to Heaven
English: Case Closed Movie 5: Countdown to Heaven
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 天国へのカウントダウン
MAL Score: 8.12
Conan Edogawa, the Detective Boys, and Professor Hiroshi Agasa decide to visit the Nishitamashi Twin Towers. There they run into Ran Mouri; her closest friend, Sonoko Suzuki, and Ran’s father, the famous Kogorou Mouri. Learning the trio are attending the towers’ grand opening, Conan and company tag along for a private tour of its floors.
However, as preparations are finalized for the opening ceremony, their visit takes an unexpected turn—three brutal murders occur, seemingly linked to a mysterious Porsche 356A. Soon after, as Conan and the detectives dive deeper into the case, the towers are rocked by an explosion. With fire rapidly spreading and lives in danger, police desperately seek to evacuate everyone. But when the elevator, their only means to escape goes down, Conan and company are left behind. With help on its way, they frantically try to keep everyone safe, but time is running out if they want to bring the perpetrators to justice.
One might think that the idea or inspiration for this movie came from the 911 attacks, however, this is not so, the same way as Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers had no relation. This was released in April of that same year, so it was months before the attack happened.
Why the comparison to the attacks? Well, because for one thing there are a few simularities and second, one might feel a bit of nolstalgia from this movie, a good kind, as… well, the thing about detective mysteries, it is very rare that the detective gets to die, so you know that there is a happy ending, which is nice in comparision to the 911 attacks.
It had beautiful art work in this. I loved for example, the design for the two towers, and I also liked the paintings of the painter. There are other things I liked about the art, but hey… that would kind of give spoilers for the movie.
This one didn’t have much varience from the typical Detective Conan score, not from what I could see.
How to go about this without spoiling things. I have to say that the murder in this happened to have such a beautiful, dramatic reasoning behind it, but murder is still murder. It was one that I have to say I definatly liked.
I loved how Sonako is rather concerned with her looks, but when isn’t she? I also liked how quite a few of the canon characters, expessully Ran and Conan get their kicks of heroics. Sherry is as always, her pesimistic self.
I am seriously trying to think of things to say that doesn’t give away the plotline here. The new characters almost have no character development along the way, until the very end. So that is a problem.
My enjoyment was high, but I related this to the 911 tradgedy. And it wasn’t like it was, oh… they based this on 911, but I did wonder and go research that small detail there. I had to say that I was rather impressed with the action scenes too. I can’t tell much as for this one it would give away the plot line… and for murder mystery, that can be a bad thing.
For this movie, I would say that a lot of people might like it, but there are going to be a few people who don’t, might call it clique. Some people might go and say that it is based of 911 and they are trying to make money off of it, much like someone did with the Two Towers Movie for Lord of the Rings.
I also wonder if this is going to be brought over here, or if they might skip bringing the movie over here. Or if they will release the third and forth movies in time, they will be able to release this in time for the tenth anaversary of 911, which to me would be cool, but for some people, they might not like it.
But why do I think so?
There are a plethora of reasons! The animation, the storyline, the dramatic and the score… I just got into it so fast and I can’t get away…
Of course, the animation might be a bit outdated, because this movies goes back to the very beginning of the last decade; however, it’s still wonderful to watch it! The Animation and the score, side by side, work wonderfully together! And that’s why there’s room for the story – it allows to improve itself even without much dialouge!
I did enjoy (and I still do so) the characters and their background stories – which is for a conan movie always quite important!
So, I just can say: go and watch it!
My first reason is that this movie is bursting to the brim with great moments from the main cast. Conan, Ran, Kogoro, the Detective Boys, & Haibara all get their moment to shine in the spotlight. The moments with these characters are so charming and fun that it’s able to carry the audience through parts of the movie some would consider to be boring without. That’s not to say that the story sucks. In my opinion, it’s a very-well told story with several twists and turns that keeps the audience engaged all the way to a satisfying conclusion. I think everyone can agree that everything that happens in the third part of the film has some of the best moments in the whole series(save for maybe Haibara’s quick lesson about physics). If I had only one nit-pick about this film is that it is too dark. That is, a lot of scenes in the latter third are shrouded in darkness, making several scenes, including those epic ones, feel significantly less epic. If this movie received a visual update, it could easily become a strong competitor for my favorite Detective Conan movie.
If you are still deciding if you should see Countdown to Heaven, then put those doubts aside and go see it! While it may not have aged well in the art style, don’t let that put you off from enjoying this fun and classic movie that showcases the best that Detective Conan has to offer.
25: Haikyuu!! Movie 4: Concept no Tatakai
Japanese: ハイキュー!! コンセプトの戦い
MAL Score: 8.13
Recap film that will cover the match against Shiratorizawa Academy that took place in the third season.
(Source: MAL News)
I am a big fan of Haikyuu! here, but not much of a manga person. The movie contains some scenes that are not included in the main series. There’s even a little extra flashback scene here that tells us where the phrase “One point that worth a hundred” actually comes from. The additional scenes on Shiratorizawa were endearing too.
The recap itself was done pretty well too, better than the previous 3 recap movies. Not to say their recap was bad, just that there were too many important moments (to me) in the timeline that the previous 3 recap movies span across, and the movie itself wasn’t able to capture all of them.
The art style is on par with the third season and is very well detailed. The small details on the faces and outfits of Shiratorizawa leaves you with your mouth agape
The sound effects here are very well used and well placed, it all flowed smoothly and the dramatic silences, as well as voice acting, were all phenomenal.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
The fourth recap movie that recaps the entire third season of Haikyuu. So this recap is basically the entire battle of Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa. The recap was good it had all the battle major moments like when Tsukishima stops Ushijima spike or the final rally of the two teams trying to score the final point to win and we see Karasuno winning but at the end of the credits we see some extra scenes from Shriatorizawa side after there battle and how Ushijima is giving the new roles to the second and first years to help their team grow stronger as they will be leaving team knowing they won’t be able to participate in the next inter-high with each other but yet they will continue to play volleyball.
Just like the rest of the recaps, I liked them, it kept, the art and sound the same and how I enjoyed some of the moments and those extra scenes are a nice way to show what other teams are doing which also the third recap showed for Aobajosai team. I really liked this recap.
24: One Piece Film: Strong World
English: One Piece Film Strong World
Japanese: ワンピース フィルム ストロングワールド
MAL Score: 8.14
Upon hearing news that islands in East Blue are being destroyed, Monkey D. Luffy and his crew go to investigate. On their way, however, an outlandish pirate ship appears out of the sky, helmed by the infamous pirate Shiki “the Golden Lion”—a man who ate the Float-Float Fruit and the first ever prisoner to escape from Impel Down. In his quest to defeat the World Government, Shiki kidnaps Nami to be his own navigator and sends the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates to his floating islands as hostages, leaving her in a dilemma. Separated in a land under Shiki’s absolute control, Luffy and his crew must survive the mystifying terrain in order to bring back their navigator and friend.
I don’t wish to ruin anyone’s enjoyment, that’s why I will try to be as objective as possible and give all the arguments necessary for my score decisions.
BUT LET ME WARN YOU, THIS IS A NEGATIVE REVIEW AND IT MAY CONTAIN SOME SMALL SPOILERS, SO DON’T READ IT IF YOU KNOW IT MAY AFFECT YOUR VIEWING EXPERIENCE!
STORY: The story is nonexistent. There is absolutely nothing in this that could be considered a story. The crew just beats the crap out of the bad guy saving the damsel in distress in the process and all for some cheap reason. When I say that the reason is not worthy to mention is because the viewer just doesn’t seem to relate to the seriousness of the situation, mainly because we only HEAR about what the bad guy (Shiki) is going to do. There is almost NO VISUAL REPRESENTATION of the tragic that such a situation would represent, so the viewer remains unfazed emotionally most of the time. My score for the story is 3, yes you read it right, 3. All the hype about Eiichiro Oda being the one to write the script for this film I think it was mainly done for publicity reasons, as there is little substance to the actual story.
CHARACTERS: The characters that we all love and adore are full of clicheistic behaviour and unnatural reactions. But let me elaborate a bit on what I mean. The Straw Hat crew seem to behave throughout the story mostly in repetitive ways from past series’ episodes. Now, this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if done with care and moderation, but here we just see this many behaviour patterns brought together from several different arcs from the anime series and mixed to form this “thing” that lacks substance. On the other side of the barricade, the bad guys are… well… just silly. I mean, Shiki is one bad dude, his power is awesome, I can’t deny that. I was really surprised by it, but his personality is just demeaning for the “legend” that he is supposed to represent and his actions and his master plan are just at a kindergarten level. His crew is stupid, and I mean stupid… There is no way such a crew could ever pose any threat to anyone, especially Gol D. Roger. They’re not scary, they’re not smart, they’re not powerful and they’re not even funny… especially funny. The jokes are terrible. And not only their jokes, but the jokes throughout the hole movie. They’re really D grade material. The only thing that really stands out about the characters is the clothes they wear. Now, I don’t dislike them, they’re pretty cool, but I think this is mainly for the fanservice and the publicity and don’t really fit well with the adventurous atmosphere that the One Piece world should have. So… for the characters I think a score of 4 is just about right. There are some good points but too few to make a difference. The not so good points just seem to overwhelm everything…
ANIMATION: The animation, at first really blowed me away, but slowly started to seem less and less attractive. The opening and the first part of the anime has astonishing graphics, wonderful views with top notch computer finishes. The battles are also very beautifully animated and really give a sense of awesomeness. But… yes… there is a but here too… There are some sequences where the animation just seems rushed and others where it seems plain. Not many I might add, but it still adds this feeling of inconsistency throughout the movie. Talking about inconsistency, the pace is very uneven. Either a fast pace is invoked or a slow one and they don’t really transition smoothly between one to another. So, for the animation, I think an 8 is appropriate, and yes, I don’t think I’m being generous. This is probably a fair score.
SOUND: Now… here you will find a problem. One of the first thing you may notice is that there is NO SOUND… yes, you heard me correctly… NO SOUND. And when I say this I mean there is no music through much of the film. The music is the most important thing when one wants to create an atmosphere suitable for the different situations that arise. And this movie lacks everything when it comes to atmosphere, and mainly because of the music. I was really disappointed by this. The characters’ voices are pretty decent… the ones’ everyone’s already familiar with, so no problem here, although there isn’t really much dialogue to be found. So for the sound, another 3, and now I’m being generous…
ENJOYMENT: I was really flustered about my expectations from this movie and it’s real value. So, while I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it I can’t say I felt any kind of satisfaction either. More like dissatisfaction. So… for the enjoyment, let’s say… 4 will do.
RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a One Piece fan, watch it. Also, if you’re age is not greater than 12 you’ll probably find it cool. Otherwise don’t waste your time with it.
OVERALL my score is 4. Now, I don’t know, maybe I was in a bad mood when I watched it and it deserves more, so don’t go screaming your eyes out at me. If you disagree with me then I’m really happy for you, because the time you spent watching this film was enjoyable and it probably became a happy memorable experience for you.
Story (9): The story is great. I suppose they couldn’t do more in just one movie. The Strong World: Episode 0 OVA helped buying a lot of time. Like in any One Piece arc, the story moves fastly, no matter what has been shown before.
Art (9): Once you watch One Piece (anime) and see how the art isn’t that good in many parts of the series, you’ll notice that this movie contains a great art. Like, Franky had a banana on his hair. What the hell is that? Brooke was smoking. Well, I liked it and all, but the clothes were strange, and I have to admit it. Anyway. Great art and this is it.
Sound(9): The sound is great, but it has nothing “unexpected”. New soundtrack, but once it’s a movie, it had to be like this. The voices were great (duh) like on the anime.
Character(10): Luffy’s crew is so original that I can’t give it less than 10. Their personalities, the clothes they were wearing (strange, but original)… Shiki was, as well, an outstanding character. I have nothing bad to add about the characters.
Enjoymen(9)t: If you like One Piece and you aren’t expecting a lot of this movie just because Oda wrote this, then you’ll love this movie and even give it a 10. The key is: Don’t overrate it.
Overall(9): Well, many may not agree with me and rate this movie with a 10. But in a general analysis, 9 is a great note for this movie. All of the terms were combined and this is what we got: 9. The absence of logic in some parts (once I may not write spoilers, I’m not telling which parts these are), besides One Piece lacks logic on the anime itself many times, makes me feel like if this movie deserves a 9.
We open with ships floating in the sky. We cut to a pirate who causes them to fall on a group of government ships. We then cut to silly putty brain and his crew wandering around on a floating island. Why? Well the film quickly moves into a flashback to show a pirate named Shiki, the same guy who made the boats float, trick elongated man’s paint chip eating roommate and his crew into crashing on the island so he can kidnap Nami. What’s the point of showing the events out of order? I have no idea, it doesn’t make sense. There’s no story reason for this structure nor does it create tension. Anyway, Shiki wants Nami to join his crew because he needs a good navigator so that he can take over the world. Okay, so the story is pretty cliche. How’s the execution? Well, the first issue is that Shiki isn’t even remotely threatening. He has sword legs which just look stupid and shouldn’t be functional. Swords, they don’t work that way. He also looks like the love child of Jay Leno and Kraven the hunter, making him very difficult to take seriously. Then there’s his crew, which consists of a clown who wears shoes that make fart sounds, a pink gorilla and a bunch of nameless henchmen. I’ve seen more menacing villains in the Care Bears. Maybe they’re trying to be funny, but there’s not a lot of humour here. There were all of two funny scenes. Another thing that really bugs me is that they use the term “Evolution” when what they mean is mutation. Science, how does it work?
The characters are pretty one-dimensional. Let’s be generous and say that they’re relying on us knowing them from the show. But those characters who I remember from what little I’ve seen of the show haven’t changed, except for their outfits. Rousai’s disappointing grandson is still an obnoxious moron and the rest of the cast is pretty under-developed and bland.
The art… I don’t even know where to start. I have to admit that I hate the art in One Piece. The mostly lidless and blank eyes, the mouths that always seem to have their teeth showing for no reason, the bizarre proportions, the random things that replace various body parts. I will give the film credit though, most of the fight scenes do look pretty cool.
The voice acting is okay. I really can’t stand Tanaka Mayumi’s performance, although I don’t really blame her since I know she can act. It’s probably the direction. The rest of the voice actors do a decent job albeit exaggerated a times. The strongest performances are probably from Cho and Okamura Akemi. The music is pretty underwhelming and forgettable.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There isn’t any in this.
So, how does Strong World fare? It’s not that bad. The story is pretty stupid, Elastic girl’s brain damaged admirer is the worst aspect and the weak antagonists don’t help matters. To the film’s credit, the fight scenes are pretty good and a lot of it does fall into the “so stupid it’s funny category.” So, I’m going to give it a 4/10.
23: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me
Japanese: 映画 中二病でも恋がしたい！-Take On Me-
MAL Score: 8.14
Although already a third-year high school student, Rikka Takanashi remains a chuunibyou—a “disease” that causes people to fantasize about themselves and their surroundings. Her relationship with Yuuta Togashi has also gone unchanged for the past six months, and with entrance exams right around the corner, both of them strive to enroll at the same college. However, Tooka—Rikka’s elder sister—decides to take Rikka to Italy as she has found a stable job there. This unforeseen turn of events causes a commotion between the couple as neither of them want to be separated from each other. Desperate for ideas, they seek assistance from their friends, and after a brief conversation, they come up with a plan—to elope.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me is a sensational drama featuring the couple—Yuuta and Rikka—as they journey across Japan. The two attempt to prevent Rikka from being taken to Italy, but will they be able to succeed in doing so?
This movie is practically identical to the anime series, offering new content and pushing the romance onward. Fans and haters will hold similar thoughts about this sequel for the given reason. Those who thought Tamako Love Story is the best conclusion KyoAni has ever given, will find Take On Me give them a gentle bitchslap in the face.
Our story is amazing. The daily life of Rikka and Yuuta where we run from place to another in absolutely ridiculous tempo. The movie is practically a presentation of what side-tracking means. Much like the mind of a child, the focus changes from one play to another. Our characters constantly getting interested from new things and interacting with the newly discovered, only to find something better moments later. This type of ADHD narrative holds some beauty for sure.
My favorite scene was the one where Rikka was supposed to study, but wore night goggles and ate cookies instead. If this is not how you life properly then I don’t know what is. My favorite meme was Rikka failing to enter Mordor. As a person who also has found automatic doors to be my enemies, I can totally identify. My favorite explanation was Rikka’s take on motion sickness. It’s the devil!
There are 4 core flaws here that all made me drop my score by one:
– No date at a zoo arc
– No one drinks dr. Peter
– Deko’s hair rolls didn’t K.O anyone
– They didn’t use the song ‘Take On Me’ by a-ha even once
– When Rikka brought destruction upon earth, there were no casualties
– The movie contained direct to indirect kisses in 5:1 ratio which is way too low
– The amount of Yuuta and Rikka holding hands totaled mere 16 minutes. What travesty.
I started from 11 because this thing is beyond perfect by default, and I refuse to count because math is for nerds.
I recommend this movie to intellectual people as there was a symbolic artwork in the background, The Creation of Adam. There were also countless eggies from earlier KyoAni shows, such as the stuffed animal being a character (Talking Pimp-Bird-san) from Tamako Market. I have decided to release my review with a score of a 10/10 to prove that I, indeed, understood these references.
Those who don’t think this review is amazing most likely didn’t yet see the movie, or my references failed. Either way, this movie is beyond happy and I especially recommend this to people who aren’t because you will be after watching it.
The movie is a big, pretty piece of f*cking nothing. Nothing happens in the grand scheme of the Chuunibyou series. There are no themes here that aren’t tackled somewhere else in this series, but the worst part of it is it dangles genuine character growth in front of you and then it spits on it and sneers at you, “How could you? How could you genuinely expect these characters to develop and change and grow? Don’t you know you need to accept all the imperfections and bla bla bla”
Rikka’s character arc in this movie is utterly ruined, because it would rather pander to it’s base and keep everyone’s precious status quo than possibly challenge the viewer. These characters are stuck undergoing their Sisyphean task of being the same dull characters they were in the rest of the series.
The idea of Rikka finally maturing and dealing with the adult world in a healthy way is a very interesting one, but the execution is atrocious instead choosing to romanticize her unhealthy delusions because “As long as someone encourages you delusions- I mean loves you for you are, you need not grow” She has grown past the need for these eight-grade delusions, but because the audience hasn’t, she will be perpetually stuck as a mentally ill teenager.
Take On Me begins with Rikka up to her usual antics. She’s in her third year of high school now, but not only does she still have chunibyo, she and Yuta still haven’t even kissed. This alone strains credibility, but fortunately the film immediately identifies this as a problem to be fixed. Rikka and Yuta go on a journey around Japan together, knowing that they’re escaping from impending reality, but wanting to maintain their current relationship until the end. Fans who have been waiting to see progress between these two will probably come out of the film feeling satisfied.
It is starting to get tiresome, however, to see this series revolve around the same “will they or won’t they?” romance in its third instalment. Rikka and Yuta may be an official couple, but if anything, they’ve gone backwards since the first season. By this stage, Rikka has some prosaic issues that she ought to be worrying about—like whether she can pass her entrance exams—but her only moments of introspection show her worrying about whether falling more in love with Yuta will make her “lose” her powers. This is the exact same conflict that was central to the second season. This time, at least, Take On Me allows Rikka and Yuta to progress their romance, but the issues of Rikka’s grades and future are never brought up past the beginning of the film. It’s a sweet resolution, yes, but it’s frustrating to watch these kids work through the same basic issues every time.
On the other hand, it’s not the destination that matters so much as the journey. As a road trip story, Take On Me encapsulates that idea perfectly. Fans of Kyoto Animation shows will get an extra kick out this film, as the characters visit the locations shown in Tamako Market, Sound! Euphonium, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Clannad, and other familiar series. Not only do these various locations provide fodder for some amusing sight gags and referential humor, it also gives the characters a chance to breathe outside the school setting. The gags feel fresh here; it’s especially funny to see Nibutani and Dekomori take on the role of the ineffectual pursuers. Their hilarious frenemy dynamic definitely steals the show more than once.
I should note that not every character gets a chance to shine in this film. Kumin-senpai has apparently graduated but still hangs around the school anyway, but this setup is a bit of a waste since she barely contributes to the plot in any meaningful way. Shichimiya, meanwhile, is stuck playing the same role she had in the second season—the friendly antagonist who pushes Rikka to make an important choice. To be fair, the series has always had a problem with utilizing all of its characters effectively, but I do wish Kumin and Shichimiya could have more chances to show off their quirks in this film.
It’s also a bit disappointing that the production values aren’t quite as polished as they could be. The film by no means looks bad—this is a Kyoto Animation production we’re talking about—but there were some noticeable imperfections with the compositing in particular. 3D objects like vehicles stood out against the 2D backgrounds more than they usually do for a Kyoto Animation production. I also couldn’t help but notice that the crowd scenes didn’t have as many background characters drawn in them as usual. The animation itself was on par with the TV anime series, which is to say it was full of energy and stylistic flourishes, but for a cinematic feature, Take On Me was a bit of a letdown.
In short, Take On Me is the quintessential Chunibyo experience: it captures the charms of the TV series but also the flaws. On a thematic level, the series has already said everything it needed to say in the first season; everything since has been an extended encore. The film functions best as fanservice, not just for Chunibyo fans, but for anyone who has ever loved a Kyoto Animation production. Take On Me is at its most fun when its jokes veer off the plot’s beaten track to revel in the countless Easter eggs aimed at KyoAni fans. I won’t spoil these, as spotting them for yourself is half the fun, but after watching the film I’ve started to think that maybe the world is ready for a Kyoto Animation extended universe saga.
Overall, I recommend Take On Me only for Kyoto Animation fans who weren’t too jaded by the second season of the Chunibyo TV series. Actually, you can probably understand the film without watching the second season. Only Shichimiya was a new development in that season, and her role is pretty much the same in the film anyway. Also, do watch this film if you’re a fan of the shipping, as it absolutely does deliver by the end. Otherwise, my general recommendation for Chunibyo is to stick to the first season of the TV series—it’s the best telling of the same story.
22: Lupin III: Cagliostro no Shiro
English: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro
Japanese: ルパン三世 カリオストロの城
MAL Score: 8.15
Arsene Lupin III discovers that the spoils from his latest casino robbery are actually “Gothic Bills,” legendary counterfeits that are nigh impossible to distinguish from genuine bills. Together with colleague Daisuke Jigen, he heads to the small nation of Cagliostro to investigate the origin of these counterfeits. Upon arrival, they save a girl from a high-speed chase who turns out to be Clarisse d’ Cagliostro, the daughter of the late Duke d’ Cagliostro. She is running from a sinister plot by Count Cagliostro to steal her family’s treasure through a forced marriage.
Natural flirt Lupin dislikes seeing a girl in distress and seeks to remedy the situation. Goemon Ishikawa XIII, Fujiko Mine, and Kouichi Zenigata also join the fray, each with their own motivations. As everyone converges at Cagliostro Castle, Lupin reminisces about his visit there 10 years ago, and the castle’s secrets emerge from the depths.
Lupin and Jigen are following the trail of some counterfeit money to a castle in a small independent country in Europe. This leads them to a girl from Lupin’s past in need of a hero.
Miyazaki’s first feature film is a great one. He takes the already lovable Lupin cast and makes them just a bit more innocent, which gives this a very pleasant fairy tale feel. The characters are charming, and it’s a joy watching the story unfold.
In this great adventure, our heroes set out to save the damsel in a tower from an evil count. The always great Fujiko is there looking for some loot, samurai Goemon shows up to lend his blade, and Inspector Zenigata is on Lupin’s tail as always.
The movie has a laid back, cool feel at first. It also gets pretty fast paced, and the action heats up. Pretty much, it’s great to see all the Lupin characters in top form, their interactions always entertaining.
There are some nice nods for fans of the series too. For example, a montage of a younger Lupin’s exploits features some of the situations from the intro of the original series.
It’s beautifully animated, with a very moving score by Yuji Ohno. And of course, great voice work from the Lupin cast. Plus this movie has one of the coolest car chases ever.
Pretty much, this movie is two masters at the top of their game, Hayao Miyazaki and Lupin III. A true classic, check it out.
Little known director Masaaki Ōsumi directed a show called Lupin III, an action/adventure/comedy series based upon the exploits of the eponymous master thief from the manga by Monkey Punch, which in turn was inspired by Maurice Leblanc’s crime novels about gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. The show proved to be too dark and adult-themed for general audiences, so Ōsumi was replaced by two directors. The new duo working under the name “A Productions Directors,” consisted of Isao Takahata (who would later give us emotional films like Grave of the Fireflies and Only Yesterday) and Hayao Miyazaki. Under their direction, the show was given a lighter, more family friendly tone, though this did little to affect the show’s already poor ratings. Following the show’s cancellation, Miyazaki and Takahata worked on various projects together. In 1979, the creators of the original Lupin III show, TMS Entertainment, ask Miyazaki to come back and direct the next feature film in the franchise. At this point, Lupin III has had one live-action movie (that borders on being absolutely terrible), one anime film (that’s in the same adult style as the original series), and a second anime TV show. With Miyazaki now in the director’s chair, one of the finest films ever created is made.
The Castle of Cagliostro debuted in Japanese theaters on December 15, 1979, only five days after the second series’ 113th episode. While initial reviews were positive, the film failed to become a box-office success and thus only had a limited theatrical release. However, over the years the film gained a cult-like status and was a fan-favorite at various anime conventions. There’s even a rumor that it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival (making it the first anime to be shown there), though there’s very little out there to verify this. Even more dubious is the claim that Steven Spielberg was in attendance and called it, “One of the greatest adventure movies of all time.” In 1992, the film was dubbed into English by Streamline Pictures and was distributed internationally. In 2000, Manga Entertainment purchased the license from Streamline and created an all-new second dub. I’ll talk about each dub in detail later on. Now that you know this history behind this film, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth all the hype. To answer that question, I can respond with a firm, “Yes!”
The story starts off rather simply. Lupin III and his buddy Daisuke Jigen have just robbed millions of dollars off a high-class casino, making a clean getaway in their stylish Fiat 500. When they examine the money, the duo soon realizes it’s all counterfeit. Lupin instantly recognizes the high quality workmanship of the money. Years ago, he attempted to find the source of the “goat bills” himself, but was almost killed and narrowly escaped with his life. Now Lupin decides to locate the source once again at its supposed location: The Castle of Cagliostro. Before arriving, they rescue a young girl who was being pursued by a gang of thugs. She is later captured by the men, but not before leaving a ring bearing the crest of Cagliostro that gets into Lupin’s possession. The girl is revealed to be Princess Clarisse, who is to be married to the Count in a few days. By marrying Clarisse, the Count wishes to cement his own position of power by bringing the two families together and to uncover the fabled treasure of Cagliostro. Lupin bears a strange connection to Clarisse as old memories from his past soon come back to haunt him. No-nonsense samurai Goemon Ishikawa XIII joins the Lupin gang to help rescue the princess and Fujiko Mine assists by working under disguise at the castle. Kochi Zenigata also shows up in order to capture Lupin, but winds up helping him instead.
Castle of Cagliostro is a real visual treat for the eyes. The gorgeous backgrounds are full of intricate detail and color. The character designs may seem simplistic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Lupin and his gang were meant to look this way. Not as realistic drawings, but as cartoonish and vibrant characters. Some people have claimed that this animation doesn’t look as good as Studio Ghibli’s films. I really think that’s an unfair comparison. Studio Ghibli’s artwork is more realistic, yet fantastical at the same time. With Cagliostro, the style is completely different. Lupin III has always been more about simplicity, and that’s not a bad thing. Characters are supposed to look basic, while backgrounds are meant to be more detailed. If this movie had animation like Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, it simply would not work. Not only does this look amazing for 1979, it’s still breathtaking today. From that dreamlike opening titles sequence, to the masterfully animated car chase scene, to that climatic clock tower duel; Cagliostro simply looks beautiful. My review on the animation cannot do this film justice. It really has to be seen to be believed. The soundtrack is great too. Series veteran Yuji Ohno is at the reins here and his jazzy tunes perfectly fit each scene. The score can bold and upbeat for the more intense action scenes, as well as subtle and quieter for more mellow parts. The film’s main theme, “Treasure of the Flame,” is one of Ohno’s best contributions to the Lupin III music mythos with its beautiful lyrics and composition. I’m sure that most fans (myself included) will get a kick out of the use of the amazing Lupin III ’80 theme during the opening car chase theme. I also really enjoyed the use of the third movement from Bach’s BWV 590 organ piece during the wedding scene. It feels so haunting, yet strikingly beautiful at the same time. Altogether, Cagliostro looks and sounds wonderful. ‘Nuff said.
As mentioned before, Hayao Miyazaki is director, and his fingerprints are all over this movie with its characters. You won’t find any of his environmental or political themes here, but his influence is still strongly felt. Lupin is noticeably much more “nicer” than previous incarnations and demonstrates his more chivalric side. Although he is very much after the treasure, he no doubt wants to save Clarisse by being, as he puts it: “your thief in the night.” Yasuo Yamada is back again as Lupin and he plays him expertly as always. In fact, all the Japanese regulars are here again. There’s really not too much else to say about the original Japanese audio, because it’s pretty much perfect. The actors hit all the right notes with each scene and character, so there are no problems here. Instead, I’ll talk more about the two English dubs. In the Streamline dub, Lupin is voiced by veteran voice actor Bob Bergen. I should also note that in this version, Lupin is referred to at all times as “The Wolf,” due to fears of copyright from Maurice Leblanc’s intellectual property estate. This is sort of laughable though, as the symbol on his belt clearly bears the letter “L,” and his calling card also reads the name “Lupin.” While I normally enjoy Bergen’s voice work, he sounds way too cartoonish and silly here. It’s not terrible or anything, just kind of unfitting for a master thief. David Hayter in the Manga dub, on the other hand, is far better suited for the role. You heard me right. The same guy who voices Solid Snake in the Metal Gear series voices our main protagonist. How cool is that? He perfectly gives Lupin that “nice guy” vibe and always nails each line of dialogue. There are hints of kindness in his voice, but also a bit of the gruff Snake tone when he gets more serious. With Zenigata, David Povall is serviceable in the Streamline dub, but Dougary Grant proves to be much more entertaining to watch in the Manga dub. It’s clear that Grant was trying to emulate Gorō Naya’s acting in the original Japanese dub, though he does a good job in the role himself nonetheless. This time around, Zenigata teams up with Lupin to uncover the secret behind Cagliostro’s counterfeiting ring. The banter between these two guys is pretty funny to watch seeing as how they’re normally enemies.
Then we have our main villain, Count Cagliostro himself. There’s really not a lot to say about him, because there’s little character to him other than he’s the evil guy after the treasure and power. Even still, he provides an excellent foil to Lupin by being that diabolical antagonist to go against our hero’s noble and heroic antics. Both actors in the two dubs do a pretty good job of getting that “snobbish aristocrat” personality out of him and there’s not a whole lot of difference between their performances since they handle the character so similarly. The final sword fight between Cagliostro and Lupin in the clock tower is an absolute joy to watch; and it’s seems to have inspired several works of animation from The Great Mouse Detective to Batman the Animated Series. I should also note that voice actor Kirk Thornton actually appears in both dubs! In the Manga dub, he plays Count Cagliostro and in the Streamline dub he plays the chief guard Gustav (who in the Manga dub has an awful Arnold Schwarzenegger-like voice).
We also have two female supporting characters. The first is Clarisse. With her voice, I have to say that I prefer Joan-Carol O’Connell’s acting in the Streamline dub than Bridget Hoffman in the Manga dub. Both actresses do a great job, but I feel that Hoffman sounds a bit too childish for my tastes. Clarisse seems to be little else other than the stereotypical damsel in distress. However, I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing. That famous scene where Lupin climbs the tower to rescue Clarisse is an obvious homage to classic fairy tales. In fact, I think that in the Streamline dub this is more apparent when Lupin calls himself Clarisse’s “knight in shining armor.” Even though she may not be the strongest female character ever, you still want to see her rescued by Lupin. Again, it’s sort of the same with the Count. These characters aren’t meant to be complex, but rather basic archetypes that are supposed to be simple enough for the audience to sympathize with. Lupin is the brave hero, the Count is the evil villain, and Clarisse is the damsel in distress. With this kind of film, you don’t need any more depth or character beyond that. That’s not to say there’s not a strong female character in this film. Come on, it’s Miyazaki! He’s better than that! That role belongs to Fujiko Mine, Lupin’s lover, ally, and foe. In Cagliostro, Fujiko is no longer the buxom babe that she was in previous incarnations. Miyazaki never cared for Fujiko being the object of Lupin’s lustful desires and long-time fans of the franchise will immediately know what I’m talking about. This time around, she’s a spy working undercover at the Count’s castle. She helps Lupin out of sticky situations, but it’s clear she has her own intentions. Between Streamline’s Edie Mirman and Manga’s Dorothy Elias-Fahn, the point must go to the Manga dub. Elias-Fahn gives off much more emotion than Mirman, whom I consider to be a little too stiff in the role.
Finally, we have our supporting characters Daisuke Jigen and Goemon Ishikawa XIII. In previous anime, Jigen and Goemon are Lupin’s loyal henchmen and that’s no different here. Jigen is Lupin’s straight man, and he always has Lupin’s back with his quick gun-slinging skills. I found Jigen’s Streamline voice actor, Steve Bulen, to be way better than Manga’s John Snyder by far. Bulen feels perfectly natural, but Snyder tries to add a sort of “toughness” that’s unconvincing. He’s still perfectly fine, but there is a notable difference between the two actors. Either way, both manage to have perfect chemistry together with Lupin’s actors Bob Bergen and David Hayter, respectively. Sword-wielding samurai Goemon has little dialogue in both versions. As an honorable warrior of little words, he’s the type of guy who doesn’t waste time talking and focuses solely on the matters at hand. Steve Kramer in the Streamline dub and Richard Epcar in the Manga dub give different takes of the character. Kramer is quiet and calm with his voice (though he does have quite a few annoying one-liners), while Epcar’s voice is deeper and has more presence. I don’t really think it matters that much if I compare the two together, since Goemon doesn’t have that big of a role in this film to begin with. Basically, the two actors play him fine. Speaking of Goemon, here’s a pretty cool Easter egg I discovered at the beginning of the film. Lupin and Jigen rob a casino in the intro, but throw the money away when they realize it’s fake. If one looks closely during the scene where Lupin tosses the bills out of the sunroof, the top of Goemon’s head and sword can be seen in the pile of money! I didn’t realize this until I read some trivia online. This is probably why Lupin and Jigen were able to make such a clean getaway and they probably dropped him off before they reached the Cagliostro border. I’m guessing that there was probably a planned sequence with Goemon, but it was taken out from the final film. Really though, Jigen and Goemon don’t serve that much of a major purpose in the film other than being Lupin’s backup. Still, I think that they’re both given enough screen-time as is. Giving Jigen and Goemon bigger roles would only shoehorn them into the plot. This film is really more about Lupin and his own quest to save Clarisse.
Overall, both dubs have their own strengths and weaknesses. The Streamline dub takes some rather needless liberties from the original Japanese script and the lip movements don’t always match up with the dialogue; but the acting is solid for the most part. The Manga dub is much more faithful to the Japanese script and the acting is strong; but there is much more swearing in this version. I’m not offended by this or anything, but it kind of ruins what’s otherwise a family friendly film. Regardless of which dub you get, it shouldn’t really affect your overall viewing experience. I’m honestly a purist for the original Japanese language track with English subtitles, but I have to say that I prefer the Manga dub over the Streamline version. Since most releases usually have the Manga dub, that’s probably what you’re going to get anyways. The Streamline dub will probably appeal more to those nostalgic fans who had the film on VHS way back when it was originally released, but it really shouldn’t matter for the casual viewer.
Now that I’ve talked about virtually every aspect of the film, I’m going to give my own personal take and thoughts on something that rarely gets talked about: the hidden level of emotion and storytelling that can easily be missed by the average viewer. I’m probably drifting into spoiler territory here, but chances are you’ve probably seen the film already. If you haven’t; skip this paragraph, watch the film, and then come back to it. Anyways, onto my analysis.
When I first saw this film, I instantly knew it was a perfectly crafted animated feature. I really loved the film, but because it was my first time in the rich universe of Lupin III, a lot of things slipped under my radar. What do I mean by this? After I had seen the film, I soon went to the original green-jacket series. The Lupin I saw in that show was almost the polar opposite of the one I saw in Cagliostro. While in the film he was brave, heroic, and chivalric; our thief in the show was crude, mean, and arrogant. This was of course due to the way he was originally portrayed in the manga series by Monkey Punch. What could have possibly caused this drastic change in character? The touch of Hayao Miyazaki. When Miyazaki and Takahata first worked on the series, Lupin’s evolution began. The series started hinting at this, but by the time we’re in Cagliostro; the change is complete. The production-wise reason of this was that Miyazaki disliked the original character of Lupin and wanted him to be more likable and nicer. Story-wise though, we see something that perhaps was unintended. The opening of the film shows Lupin and Jigen on a more-or-less standard caper: stealing money. The robbery goes off without a hitch and it’s clear that Lupin has mastered the art of thieving at this point. When he sees the counterfeit bills, that’s when Lupin’s old memories resurface. The man thinks back to a time where he was young and just starting out. In fact, we are treated to a brief flashback sequence that shows actual scenes from the original series re-animated and integrated mid-way through the film. Lupin looks upon those days with regret and chides himself for being so arrogant. Perhaps this represents Miyazaki’s own views on his earlier animation career. Now that Lupin is more experienced, those rookie days are behind him. Lupin wants to save Clarisse for the reason that he himself might be saved. As mentioned before, Clarisse is the damsel in distress; but she means much more than that to Lupin. She’s his path to what could possibly be a normal life. A normal life away from the chase and the thrills of being a thief on the run from the law. He battles through Cagliostro’s forces with all his might and in the end; he’s successful in rescuing her. Lupin is then face with a personal choice: what do I do from here? He looks into Clarisse’s eyes and sees the innocence that he himself never had. Lupin doesn’t want Clarisse to have the same life by following him. Instead, he leaves her behind but vows to always be at her side if needed.
That final scene in which Zenigata is in hot pursuit of Lupin symbolizes how his thieving ways will never change. Lupin will never have a normal life because he doesn’t need one. He lives and enjoys his life by always being on the move and savoring every moment of the chase. Going back to Miyazaki, I think this also shows his own personal choice by being an animator. He enjoys what he does, and wants to create these kinds of films for the rest of his life. Just as Lupin’s purpose in life is to steal, Miyazaki’s is to create animated films. And that’s what I believe is the main theme in Cagliostro. Looking upon your own life and questioning if this is what you’re happy with. Can people really change, or do we stay the same throughout our lives? I find it quite ironic that such a seemingly simple film has these kinds of themes. Whether or not Miyazaki actually intended for this film to have a deeper meaning is up for debate, but I think that’s the whole beauty of it all. It doesn’t really matter if the creator intended for this film to have any symbolism or meaning. That’s up for the audience to decide. Cagliostro isn’t just an entertaining film, but a film that can actually teach you something if you look hard enough. Miyazaki does this in all of his films, but in Cagliostro it’s just less apparent. Now the difference between the film and the television show is probably quite obvious. Films have longer running times, thus more character development and plot can be added in. You can add drama and the previous themes that I mentioned, but not so much in a television show episode. Since Lupin episodes only are about 20 minutes, it usually just cuts right to the action. It’s a nice change of pace to see Lupin given more character and emotion than his usual TV self. Needless to say, I realized none of this when watching the film for the first time. However, going into this film with a new set of eyes made it mean a whole lot more to me.
Now we come to the bad news. In the US, there’s unfortunately no definitive release of this wonderful film. Manga’s original DVD release of the film is a non-anamorphic transfer that only has decent picture quality. The DVD itself doesn’t even have any extras. A few years later, Manga released a “Special Edition” that improves picture quality and they even added a couple of extras. However, one absolutely pointless change completely ruins this release. The original opening titles sequence has been altered. Instead of using that beautiful animation with the Japanese credits, Manga decided to remove all Japanese text and only show still frames of the intro. Why would they ever do such a thing? It completely takes you out of the moment and destroys the original version! That’s why I cannot recommend you purchase this so called “Special Edition.” Both DVDs have also been long out of print for years. In Japan, Cagliostro received a deluxe Blu-ray treatment with a gorgeous new transfer in crystal clear 1080p high definition. Seeing has how it’s region free, I would have imported this in a heartbeat; but there are no English subtitles or language options. Europe received a full English version of this Blu-ray, but it’s region-locked; thus it can’t be imported by anyone else. I really hope that this release will come stateside soon. And why shouldn’t it? This is a classic work of Japanese animation! To all those that live in Japan and Europe, I urge you to buy this! Hopefully the strong sales of it will guarantee a wider release!
Hayao Miyazaki’s last involvement with the Lupin III franchise was directing final two episodes of the second TV series. Miyazaki himself really doesn’t consider the film his best work, and called it a “clearance sale on all the previous Lupin ideas I had previously done.” If one watches the original television series, the influences that it had on this film will be extremely noticeable. There are many scenes here that are almost taken shot-for-shot from the series and a lot of the scenarios are similar. And perhaps that’s what makes this film so enjoyable. It takes everything that that Miyazaki ever did with the Lupin III series and puts it together into one satisfying experience. I don’t think that Miyazaki is ever going to go back to Lupin. Now that he’s with Studio Ghibli, there’s little reason for him to go back to the franchise. My one dream is for there to be a brand new Lupin III animated feature film that reaches audiences worldwide. It would give our thief the international popularity he deserves, similar to how Spielberg’s Tintin film revived interest in Hergé’s original comic series. Even if that never happens, at least we still have this masterful film that has aged remarkably well. This is a movie that, after you’re done watching, you immediately get a good feeling inside. Anyone who’s a fan of Hayao Miyazaki should see this film as it demonstrates his own animation techniques just when he was starting out. If you’re a serious fan of animation or film, you owe it to yourself to see the Castle of Cagliostro. It gets my highest praise and reminds us all why we enjoy the genre in the first place. Go see it!
The art style may seem a bit dated to some, but despite its age, it really gives the film life and is a treat for the eyes.
In terms of audio, the dub and sub are both very nice, especially the dub. Coming from a person who cannot stand anything in dubbed, I have to say that their English voice actors, really fit their characters roles and as such made it easier to enjoy the film, so for those of you who prefer English over sub, you are in for a treat.
The characters in general, ranging from Lupin all the way to the zany inspector Zenigata, were well written and interesting, with their various personalities, actions, and dialogue. It never felt stale, they really kept the picture alive.
To be entirely honest, if you are a lover of Hayao Miyazakis work, or perhaps a lover of things involving Lupin and his pals, then I can guarantee that you will love this film, because it is quite honestly a classic.
21: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A’s
English: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A’s
Japanese: 魔法少女リリカルなのは The MOVIE 2nd A’s
MAL Score: 8.15
Six months have passed since the events in the previous movie. Fate has returned to Uminari City with Lindy as her legal guardian and is living the life of a normal elementary schoolgirl along with Nanoha and her friends. The reunion between the two new-found friends is cut short, however, when they are assaulted by four ancient magic users who identify themselves as the Wolkenritter. As the motives behind the actions of the Wolkenritter become clear, Nanoha and Fate find themselves in a race against time to stop the reactivation of a highly dangerous artifact known as The Book of Darkness.
Needless to say, I was absolutely excited after I found out that A’s was going to get a movie version like the first season. After all, the first movie was great. It trimmed the fat of the first season to make a stellar narrative. Of course that meant that with A’s, something was going to be cut out. This was probably what I was most worried about that since I found it hard to cut scenes out of A’s without losing something.
Now, without further ado: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A’s.
Since the movie itself is an alternate re-telling of A’s, the story is overall very similar minus one set of characters whose actions did guide certain events along. For example, Nanoha’s Starlight Breaker + to break the barrier and Reinforce’s Starlight Breaker were all cut out from the movie. Despite the missing portions from the original story, the it still acts as a smoothly written and captivating narrative.
Art and Animation: 9
Movie budget. Need I say more?
Unlike the TV seasons and the previous movie, the soundtrack was composed by Misa Chujo as instead of Sano Hiroaki. My first reaction when this was announced was definitely negative. Sano Hiroaki had always created such a beautiful, pumping OSTs that always fit the moods of the scenes they played in perfectly. As such, I was pleasantly surprised when I watched the movie and heard the OST. While it was not as good as Sano Hiroaki’s, it was still well composed and fit the movie really well.
There were two insert songs.
“Snow Rain ~ver. Holy Night~” by Ueda Kana was played at the same scene that the original Snow Rain was played in the series. The difference between the two was, of course, the instrumental but the new version still meshed really well with the scene and as such created the same impact it did in the original series.
The second was “Sacred Force” by Nana Mizuki which played at the same time that “Brave Phoenix” played in the original. While Sacred Force went well with the scene, it just didn’t have the same chilling feel that Brave Phoenix had in the original.
The last aspect of Sound is of course the voices. Starring the same stellar cast as the original series, the movie did not disappoint overall in this aspect. My only issue is with the defense program’s cry. Originally, it was given an eerie and highly feminine cry. This was meant to drive home the connection it had with Reinforce (this and the feminine shape you see on the defense program’s body being Reinforce’s former hollow shell). However, the movie gave it a more monstrous male roar. In a sense this somewhat distanced it from Reinforce while still keeping the feminine shape stemming out of the body of the program.
What the story lacked was definitely made up for with character development of the knights especially Reinforce. In the original, Reinforce’s appearance was sudden and did not make too much sense until the end. However, the movie does a good job of building her up from the very beginning of the narrative. However, the movie does a good job of building her up from the very beginning of the narrative. At the same time, the development of the knights is also extremely well done.
This category is kinda subjective isn’t it?
This movie is definitely something I’d definitely recommend that you watch the movie. However, I would also recommend that you watch the TV series first if you didn’t as it will fill in a lot of gaps. If possible, buy the DVDs or Blu-rays because they are worth every penny spent.
Genre: Action, Magical Girl, Drama, Sci-Fi.
Length: 1 movie, 2 hours 40 minutes.
A side note guys – I ADORE the “Mahou Shojou Lyrical Nanoha” series. It’s my favourite series. Therefore I may ramble on a bit thoughout this review.
This movie is a retelling of the 2nd series, “A’s” … Most retell movies only have improved animation going for them, truncicating the plot to cram it into a shorter time limit. Nanoha had previously proved an exception to this, as the first movie not only perfectly retold the season, but ADDED details and backstory. It’s a bit interesting to note now that 2nd movie DOES cut out a rather significant plot point, but I always hated that particular plot point, and never thought it made much sense. It’s replaced by some more character development for Adrmial Lindsy and Chrono’s father, which is a GOOD thing.
Animation is amazing. It’s easily a 10/10. The movie budget does not disapoint, as even the most complext of action sequences do not present a dull in animation.
Action is incredible, it looks amazing and feels amazing. Much of the high impact action is intertwined with some fairly emotional moments (Such as Nanoha fighting down Reinforce while Fate struggles with her identity)
Characters are as likable and fun as ever, with Nanoha and Fate taking center stage in all their glory. Interestingly, the yuri overtones between the two appear more obvious than the series (theres seriously a moment where they hold onto each others hips and stare into each others eyes….) but that’s pretty cute. Nano-Fate is a thing. In the actual series, it was a bit more subtle. A non intuitive viewer might’ve had more trouble picking up their relationship. It’s more obvious in this movie. Take it or leave it whether thats good or not. I’m personaly indifferent.
My only disapointment was the end scene: In the series, it shows Nanoha and the rest grown up, in their “adult” forms. This was such an incredible highlight for me, marking the end of an era and the start of something amazing (Nanoha StrikerS). In the movie, only Fate appears SLIGHTLY older (and even then, by about a YEAR at maximum) and the rest are looking the same age. I can only hope that the StrikerS movie appears!
SORRY! I tried to keep this as short as I could, but this IS a movie from my favorite anime series. Anyway, 100% recomended!
Visually speaking, the movie is extremely shiny and polished, despite a few moments of off model that were barely noticed. While the first movie looked great, it still resorted to stills in combat scenes, but 2nd A’s makes these weaknesses far less pronounced, leading to a ton of fluid movement. Regardless of the actual content of the movie, it sure does look appealing, especially for those into moe aesthetics.
Unfortunately, it falters in the story department. This was to be expected, as the series was 13 episodes long with minimal filler. Trimming at anything significant would weaken the narrative, and unfortunately there are a few plot threads that simply will not make sense to those who haven’t seen the tv series. That is most likely the greatest weakness of the movie, and I would have to recommend you watch the tv series first.
What it does focus on, it does fairly well, and offers a lot of humanization to the antagonists of the story which makes the storytelling a more balanced affair. It’s not too easy to take sides in this conflict for good reason, and that makes the movie more involving to watch. The movie actually doesn’t spend that much time pew pew’ing all day as compared to the first movie, and focuses some on developing the characters’ personalities and inner thoughts. Still, due to time constraints, certain key players from the tv series are left hanging but still left there leaving you wondering what they’re supposed to do. I felt they could have fit them in more cleanly.
In the end, I was very much satisfied to see Nanoha animated after an absence of three years. This movie is much more for fans though, and while I’d recommend that you could skip the first television series for the first movie, I really can’t say the same for this. So, if you’re into the series, you should know what to expect. If not, then try the television series, and give this a pass for now.
20: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Movie 1: Gurren-hen
English: Gurren Lagann The Movie: Childhood’s End
Japanese: 劇場版 天元突破グレンラガン 紅蓮篇
MAL Score: 8.16
Animation studio Gainax presented a website for the release of a movie adaptation of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann TV series in the fall of 2008. Both the original director and series script editor will return to work on the new project. Gainax will also be hosting four events to celebrate this occasion at this year’s Tokyo International Anime Fair, featuring voice actors from the anime.
“Men put their souls into their drills when breaking through!”
Some obvious advices/facts before we dive into the review.
This is NOT a standalone movie thus having knowledge from the TV series is highly recommended and also beneficial to your mind.
Do NOT compare the pacing of the TV series with the movie. One is called a TV series and the other is called a movie for a reason, k? Both the TV series and the movie are by the original director and script editor so they know what they are messing with.
Do NOT expect to see a lot of new footages. Does this mean this is a “recap” of the TV series? Not exactly. There are enough plot differences in the battles for this movie to be considered an adaptation instead of a complete “recap”.
Is the movie rushed? To a large extent, yes it is. There is simply too much material to cover in too little time. This is probably what most people are complaining about.
Is it worth your time to watch this? Only if you can distinguish what to expect between a TV series and a movie.
The problem with trying to remake a masterpiece level of work (and that applies not only to anime) is that people will only be curious to see how the new work can surpass the previous work. Often people will have a pre-set level of expectation for these works and more often people will find themselves expecting too much and ended in disappointment. For example, after rating the original TV series 10/10, viewer X eagerly awaits the movie adaptation. But what can he really expect? That the movie worth 11/10? No, that is not possible. This is all thanks to something called human prejudice. Everyone who has seen the TV series first will consciously/unconsciously be comparing them. So please be mindful when watching the movie not to compare it bit by bit with the TV series. It is not fair for the movie.
Those of us who have seen Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (TTGL) will know what it means when I say the show as a whole defies the Laws of Physics. While there are plenty of examples for that type of shows, TTGL is by far the most outrageous, thus the term “epicness” is seen wherever TTGL appears. The story of TTGL is a prime example of the “underdog” battle. The main characters began with very little fighting chance but every time they seem to turn the impossible possible. And how do they do that? With a DRILL of course!
The movie has some great new battle scenes. Animation wise it is the same as the TV series (for those who like to compare the two). Most scenes were pretty consistent but lacking in details from time to time which is to be expected from the sketchy and cartoonish-looking animation. What truly makes TTGL “epic” though is that the scenes match well with the “mood” at that particular moment of the show. This is partially due to the great soundtracks and theme songs by Shoko Nakagawa. Overall those of us who are familiar with Gainax’s previous works will not be disappointed in TTGL.
Character wise, there was a slightly heavier emphasis on Yoko in this movie which is great for all Yoko lovers. Simon and Nia also have a decent character development throughout the movie. Unfortunately, because of time constrain, there was not much character building for the secondary characters like Rossiu and Kittan who ended up being quite hollow. Thus if all you ever care about is Kamina, Nia, Simon, and Yoko, then there shouldn’t be anything wrong for you. For the rest of us … brace ourselves for some disappointment here.
The following is targeted to those who have concerns with regard to the pacing of the movie. Ask yourself this, how long as it been from the end of the TV series to the airing of the movie. Answer: 11 month and 1 week (give or take a few days). Do you honestly expect to see tremendous differences (next to what it has presented already) given the time? Do you honestly expect to see a whole new story with the same awesomeness produced in 51 weeks? Given the time, though of course we can argue that they could have delayed the movie if things didn’t work out, I think it was a fairly decent job. Hopefully you will find it a good enjoyable watch too!
I really enjoy the series, and feel that anyone considering watching this should instead watch the series.
The original series is twenty-seven episodes long, or – minus the openings and endings – around about nine hours. Gurren-hen follows the events of the first thirteen episodes and so is just over two hours shorter than its source material. As you would expect, much of the development is glossed over and the story proceeds at a lightning pace. The story itself is more or less the same as in the series – much of humanity lives underground until Simon and his ‘bro’ Kamina break free, to find the surface inhabited by ‘Beastmen’ who pilot giant mechas – with a movie-original opening and ending that sets things up nicely for the sequel. The plot comes across as – unsurprisingly – very rushed; the characters are offered little development and during the middle act there is a ridiculous – but unfortunately necessary – montage to progress the story. Developmental issues pave the way for an adequate at best plot.
The animation isn’t a huge step up from the series – if different at all – but the opening and the ending deliver some exciting new material. The ending, especially, is a welcomed feat. The new climax is both thrilling and well executed, and will have you eagerly awaiting the next installment. Corners have been cut, however, with the music. The score by Taku Iwasaki from the series returns with no new additions, which causes Gurren-hen – at times – to feel something along the lines of a movie-length recap; something you’ve already seen before. New inclusions to the soundtrack certainly wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The main trio and the prime supporting cast return in Gurren-hen, though most have left their depth and development at home, particularly Rossiu and Kittan. Yoko fans are offered more excessive fan service and Simon – in the new sequences – is particularly prodigious. The lack of development to the cast is massively disappointing, however, and causes Gurren-hen to come across as rather disengaged and retrogressive.
Gurren-hen is an enjoyable movie, urged on by its source material, but is let down by lapses in development. The middle act could have benefited substantially from some new material, acting as a bridge between the beginning and the end, offering the supporting characters alternate introductions and addressing developmental issues, but instead the staff opt to rehash the series to a disjointed, disappointing effect. The new opening and ending sequences are both longer and far more engrossing than expected, however, which offer the movie some value. If you enjoyed the series, you’ll get a kick out of the movie, but if you didn’t, it’s best to avoid Gurren-hen. If you’re new to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the movie isn’t worth your time, and may come across as completely incoherent, with many characters remaining a mystery; without motivation and depth, just empty shells.
19: One Piece Film: Z
English: One Piece Film Z
Japanese: ワンピース フィルム Ｚ
MAL Score: 8.17
The Straw Hat Pirates enter the rough seas of the New World in search of the hidden treasures of the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger－One Piece. On their voyage, the pirates come across a terrifying, powerful man, former Marine Admiral Z.
Z is accused of having stolen the “Dyna Stones”, weapons believed to have the power to shake up the New World. The Marine Headquarters believes Z is about to use it to end the pirate era, and with it, the lives of many innocent people. In fear of such a phenomenal event, marines start to take action against the former admiral.
Even if it means stumbling upon marines and the navy, the Straw Hat Pirates decided to chase after Z and stop him from causing havoc. As they continue to embark on their ventures, the pirates bump into new and familiar acquaintances.
For this review it will be broken down into four parts: Music, Animation, Characters and Story.
If you watched the trailers, you know that two tracks of Avril Lavigne would be played in the movie but you won’t hear that until the credit rolls. First half was “How You Remind Me” and then “Bad Reputation” played after that. The original soundtrack was brilliant. It was different while at the same time maintaining that One Piece feel we all love; high tension to melancholy themes that played throughout different scenes.
There was a lot of CGI just like Strong World. The action scenes were animated far better than anything I’ve ever seen in previous One Piece movies or the anime. The angles and camera movements following every scene was done fluidly.
The title of the movie is quite self-explanatory. The movie focused on Z, at times even more than the Straw Hat gang. Character Z, also known as Zephyr had such deep story to him and if you love backstories of various characters in One Piece, you’ll definitely love Z’s. As for our lovable characters, the Straw Hats each got their turns to shine in this movie, however the stronger and prominent fighters such as the Monster Trio(Luffy, Zoro and Sanji) had their own individual opponent to fight. Franky was the next in line after the Monster Trio. Usopp also had good action scenes, but not quite on the same level. Nami and Robin at times were used for fan-service until the climactic battle at the end. Chopper was funnier than ever before, but not entirely important to the story. Brook didn’t do a lot in terms of getting into battles, but he had his comedic moments just like Chopper.
This movie as an entirety was built around the Marine lore and back story. This will have it’s drawbacks for some though. The story had lots of explanation regarding the principle themes of the Marines and some characters were basically used strictly just for the sole purpose of providing exposition. To fit the plot in a movie length time span, it was surprisingly well done. This was one huge gripes that I had with Oda’s previous project, Strong World was a bit of a let down. With Film Z, I feel that he understood what it took to make a movie that retains the breathtaking aura of One Piece series, and he delivered it.
I would love to talk about just about every scenes in the movie but I want to keep it spoiler-free. If this movie doesn’t win major awards in Japan, I will be very surprised. It surely deserves to be nominated in Japanese Academy Awards and win Best Animated Japanese Film Awards or even Best Picture of the Year Awards.
That being said, let’s talk about this movie. I was excited when I first heard of it. They were projecting it to be better than Strong World, and Oda was going to have a hand in it (which meant the possibility of something canon) I couldn’t contain myself the first couple months it was in theaters in Japan.
Then life kind of got in the way, and I forgot about it until it came out on blurray and I was finally able to see it subbed. When it started, I quickly felt the excitement I felt months ago, but that was quickly dashed as the movie progressed.
Now, if you’re a One Piece fan, you have to watch it. Same as with Strong World. Regardless of what I think, of either movie, One Piece fans need to probably judge for themselves. Which probably makes you wonder what the point of this review is.
Well, as much as I wanted it to be true, this film is not better than Strong World. I know many people complain about Strong World basically being Arlong Park arc, but it at least had pacing. This film doesn’t really. It has a lot of nice animation and some humorous moments (along with a few kind of overly suggestive scenes) but not much else.
One minute you’re on one island and the next you’re on another island resolving the main conflict. They try to make you empathize with Z a bit, but because of the vagueness in Garp’s story about Z and the sort of unexplained randomness of Z’s flashbacks, you never really get a chance to know that character. Which is unfortunate, because this is the type of thing One Piece usually excels at
In the end the fight between Z and Luffy isn’t especially memorable. He gets beat in his first fight with Z, and wins by overpowering him in the second (despite nothing really changing in his strategy) Similar thing happens with Z’s henchmen. In Strong World you at least had a pretty epic fight in the air, and there was more tension with whether they would get the antidote for Nami in time. Here the stakes were supposed to be raised, but you never quite felt any of the danger.
This movie on the other had is a sad reminder of what one piece has been reduced to. One pointless and boring arc after the other, introducing character who are never developed enough to be either liked or hated and going on the very same ideas that started with, but after 10years it simply can not shock or cause the same emotions anymore. It got old, outdated and donwrigth dissapointing.
The plot is your typical nowdays onepiece. A “stong guy” (my name is Z…) wants to destroy the world. He encounters the strawhats, he beats them. Many boring scenes later the same happens. Boredom after boredom later they meet again, only this time luffy wins. The end.
I mean,at least try to deliver something original. I know that expect Strong world, one piece movies are ‘nt that great, but at least they try. Some even have some interesting plot and good ideas, which never happens here. This movie could end at 20 minutes, after all its not like the enemies are that strong anyway.
The strawhats are the strawhats,no surpise there. But the villains….
are simply horrible. A weak as hell sword lady who zoro takes pity on, an annoying plant ninja who is one of the worst characters ever conceived, and then Z. A guy so underdeveloped that has to repeat his name so the viewres do not forget him. We get nothing on his story except he was an admiral( a really weak one compared to the three monsters we know as admirals, i mean the guy uses haki, big deal, even coby uses it nowdays), no idea on why he does what he does. Nothing. The guy was so boring that even his death caused no reaction on my part. I even speeded it up so the movie could end sooner.
So, Z is a horrible movie. But it represents perfectly the onepiece of the 2013. An anime that half the people who watch it simply wish it was like the one piece of old,and the other half feel like they have to, as a sad obligation.
Really, shame on us who endulge movies like this
18: Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna
Japanese: デジモンアドベンチャー LAST EVOLUTION 絆
MAL Score: 8.18
As the Chosen Children and their partner Digimon live happily together in the human world, Taichi Yagami and Yamato Ishida, alongside their friends, dedicate themselves to maintaining this hard-earned peace. Though united by this innate responsibility, each one has already started to take their first steps toward a future beyond being a Chosen Child.
However, this new journey is interrupted by the appearance of Menoa Bellucci, an American professor specializing in Digimon research. She bears news of several Chosen Children from around the world being found comatose, with their partner Digimon nowhere to be found. Menoa’s investigations indicate that a new breed of Digimon is behind the alarming phenomenon: Eosmon, who hides within the internet’s depths.
To succeed in this mission, the team must endeavor through the growing distance between them and band together one last time.
With Taichi and his friends in their early twenties, Kizuna is the perfect example of a coming of age / growing up movie. You can see them talk about university or job hunting, when some moments later they encounter a powerful, unknown enemy Digimon, Eosmon. Unable to instantly defeat it, they meet Menoa Bellucci; a girl who is a Digimon researcher and offers her help. She tells them that, because they are growing up, their time with their Digimon is limited and that sooner or later their digital partners will disappear. Not spoiling you the rest, but get prepared for a chain of unpredictable events and many meaningful messages.
The now grown-up characters we loved as kids, show clear character development and are true to their beliefs until the end, especially Yamato and Taichi who are the main protagonists. Daisuke and his gang from Digimon Adventure 02 play a role too, and seeing all the Chosen Children / DigiDestined fight together is pleasing. The main antagonist of the movie is what I would call a well-written villain, or maybe anti-hero, which is a big plus. There is no good and bad guy in this movie, there are just Chosen Children fighting against their own coming of age, each in their own way.
It is indisputable that Toei Animation put a great effort into this movie, because it is spectacular, full of detail and amazing soundtrack. Starting off with nostalgic “Butter-Fly” and “Brave Heart” to hit us in the feels, with a well-animated battle and beautiful scenery, they make it clear we are going to watch a great movie. As time passes, there is always a different soundtrack playing. It feels like each one is better than the previous one – and they all fit the atmosphere perfectly. The animation is great from beginning to end, the Japanese voice actors did an amazing job so it is inarguably a great audiovisual experience. Special credits to Natsuki Hanae (Taichi), Yoshimasa Hosoya (Yamato) and our guest star Daisuke Ono whose addition was a pleasant surprise to the Digimon world.
Closing the review, I would like to note that Last Evolution Kizuna is not only for Digimon Adventure fans, but for all audiences. That’s because it is not a typical Digimon work and it holds special meaning for everyone. Its theme is something everyone can relate to, therefore I highly recommend it to all of you reading.
The film strikes a nice balance between telling a new story to wrap things up while also referencing many classic moments in the series and fanservice without going overboard. The opening scene is a great example of this while also showcasing the best animation of the film. This opening scene was very exciting but unfortunately raises expectations on the visual front a bit higher than the rest of the film is able to manage. After the scene concludes, we’re quickly shown some generic cgi crowd and pedestrian shots and reminded to keep our expectations in check. Overall the films visuals are an upgrade from Tri, though in all honesty that isn’t really saying much. The character art and animation is solid and the designs are definitely an upgrade from what has recently been put out. Unfortunately the main villian Digimon is animated fully in CG and some of the later action, showcased after an extended period of plot and talking suffers from heavy CG use not present earlier in the film.
On the character front, it’s great seeing all our favourites grown up and (mostly) achieving their future aspirations. This is also a major theme of the film, and coupled with a plot that directly draws on and even uses the classic child character designs, really brings the story full circle and amps up the nostalgia factor. Additionally, seeing these characters we grew up with drinking alcohol and having their porn stashes found by their digimon (yep) really drives home how many years have passed since seeing these characters for the first time. This nostalgia is likely what most fans are looking for in a film like this, and on this level I feel the film succeeds, and to a much greater degree than Tri.
The plot at times felt reminiscent of the first Digimon film to me, with some of the staging of scenes being direct callbacks to the film. The themes of the film focus on loss and acceptance and the power to move on mirrored in both the films antagonist and Taichi and Matt. The film manages to be quite serious at times, with some fairly serious real world stakes both small and grand scale. It’s able to evoke a few really emotional moments and like I hinted at the beginning of the review as well, the film does actually has the guts to live up to its title and for that I commend it.
Overall Digimon:Last Evolution is a nice send-off to the series that should certainly satisfy fans in a way Tri didn’t even come close or TRY to (sorry). At this point, I feel like that’s the best Digimon fans could have asked for.
17: Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: Fuuin Sareta Card
English: Card Captor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card
Japanese: 劇場版 カードキャプターさくら 封印されたカード
MAL Score: 8.21
For this year’s Nadeshiko Festival, Sakura Kinomoto’s elementary school class is presenting a play. She will portray a princess who struggles to respond to the love confession of the neighboring country’s prince. Sakura empathizes with her character all too well, since she herself still owes an answer to the boy who confessed his love for her four months ago.
When cousins Shaoran and Meiling Li return from Hong Kong to pay a surprise visit to their friends in Japan, Sakura receives further encouragement to finally declare her feelings. However, she is repeatedly distracted by a presence reminiscent of a Clow Card as well as unexplained disappearances around town.
Eventually, Sakura learns of another of Clow Reed’s creations—the “Nothing”—which was formerly sealed away beneath the magician’s old house. It has power equal to all 52 cards Sakura possesses, and furthermore, it wants to take those cards away from her! Objects, space, and people disappear from Tomoeda with each card that is stolen. Sakura sets out to capture the Nothing so everything will return to normal, but what must she sacrifice in the process?
Story 10/10: The story was a lot more gripping to me than the first movie, mostly because this movie was a direct sequel to the series. I truly enjoy the relationship between Syaoran and Sakura and was rather disappointed in how the series ended, without Sakura being able to say how she felt about him. Another thing I was afraid of with this movie is that it would feel like a giant monster of the week, but I felt that the antagonist and the conflict in the story were rather unique as far as the series is concerned and it was interesting enough to not bore me within the first half hour.
Art 10/10: This may be a little biased, but I’ve always been a fan of CLAMP’s art. The problem with a lot of anime movies is that they get such a bad rep that the funding for the movies are significantly less than the series. As such, many times you’ll find that a movie based off an anime series has lowered animation quality than the series itself. I was really glad, then, when I found no quality loss in this movie. It’s still as bright and flashy as the series and the characters haven’t started to suffer from Anime Movie Deformity Syndrom.
Sound 9/10: Something that’s always kind of bugged me about this movie is that every version I’ve seen of it, the sound quality is drastically lowered. It isn’t as bad as the first movie, but it sounded like it was recorded playing out of speakers and then THAT recording is what was played in the series. I mean, it isn’t the worst sound I’ve ever heard, but it was enough to break the perfect 10 record I’m giving this series.
Character 10/10: I’ve always loved this series’s characters. CCS characters have always been really unique and vibrant, catching my attention very easily. They all have their own pros and cons that don’t fit easily into anime stereotypes. For this movie in particular, since they were exploring unknown territory, such as the deepening relationship with Syaoran and Sakura, I was afraid a lot of out-of-character experiences would occur, where the characters weren’t acting at all in their personality. Thankfully everything was pulled off without changing personalities or giving you a bad taste in your mouth.
Enjoyment 10/10: I think this is just a summary of what I’ve been saying all along: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The characters were wonderful, as was the story they were wrapped in, and the art and music weren’t enough to turn me away from it. I love watching this movie again and again, and I hope you will too.
The movie takes place after the anime TV series, where Sakura is still reflecting on Li’s confession from before he moved… Yeah. One day Sakura notices a presence while walking around with Tomoyo at an amusment park which was being built where a character of the series previously lived, and there she meets Li, who is visting from Hong Kong with Meilin. As the movie goes on, Sakura makes several attempts to tell Li how she really feels about him, and during this time she notices that her Sakura Cards are starting to disappear, and that a 53th card is behind it all….
As I watched the plot of the movie unfold, I had a serious case of deja vu. Why I don’t know, it could possibly be that the plot had something of an inkling to the previous movie where the antagonist of the story was taking things away from Sakura, actually, I think that’s what it was. Anyway, that aside, the plot was alright, it was good enough to keep my attention, though I was also watching to see if there was any real advances in Sakura’s and Li’s relationship…
Well, this is probably the part of the review that I dislike the most, since I always say the same thing. But anyway, the animation was the same as the TV series, so I didn’t feel like I was watching something totally different, though I wasn’t sure if I was looking at the same Yue. The coloring of the backgrounds fitted their respective scenes (does that make sense?), though some parts did seem dark and… yeah.
Background music was okay, though I don’t really remember any of it (despite the fact I just watched it) except for the dramatic parts, which were good. I absolutely loathed the vocal insert songs and I didn’t really pay attention to them.
…I watched the dub to this, and I sort of regret doing so, not because I thought they were bad, but because I simply wasn’t really used to them, which happened with another series that I watched. I also thought that Sakura’s voice could’ve been a little… lower… But I loved Eriol/Eli’s voice, which is some proof of me not being used to the voices since I haven’t heard his voice in the series. However, I do have to note that the pronouncations of the names in this movie were accuate, or more so than the series, though I’m not sure what Eriol’s name is anymore…
Erm. The characters do remain true to their TV series and manga counterparts, Sakura being a bit dense, and Tomoyo being… well, Tomoyo. Their interations, especially Li and Sakura’s are very cute, since it’s young love, and you know that you have to go “Aw….” when you see it, or you’re like me and you giggle, especially with the movie’s closing line.
The antagonist, the Nothing/Nameless/Whatever Her Name Is Card is probably my favorite character because she does seem rather human, she’s not being evil for the sake of being evil, it’s because she wants her friends back, and yeah… You can’t really help but feel sorry for her.
I can’t really say that I really really loved this, but I think that it was okay. The sound really brought it down for me, and at times I did want to stop watching, but I kept on watching because I didn’t want to drop it…
The Good: Ah… Probably characters. They are just cute and lovable!
The Bad: …But I didn’t enjoy their voices all that much, nor any of the background music…
i really love the works of CLAMP, especially cardcaptor sakura.
in the anime, syaoran grew a warm feeling for sakura and when he confessed, sakura was at first, confused but in the end, she knew what she also feels for him. the ending was kinda “bitin” but still, i’m satisfied with it…
then, i saw this movie. i was really excited to watch it and witness the continuation of their lovestory.
i won’t spoil anyone esp those who didn’t watch it yet but i’m telling you it’s really a happy ending for them.
the movie is really heart-warming and “nakakakilig”.
i was “kinikilig” the whole time and i’m super-duper satisfied with its ending.
they finally heard each other’s feelings…they finally told “it”. 😀 got the hint?
16: Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome
English: Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
MAL Score: 8.21
On a mysterious night that seems to last for a year, an ordinary college student continues to chase one of his underclassmen, a girl with black hair—the girl of his dreams. Up until now, he has been relying on a simple plan, which is to calculatingly bump into her every day while making it seem like a meaningful coincidence. However, his efforts remain futile as their relationship is not progressing at all.
Meanwhile, the black-haired girl believes that everything is connected by fate and endeavors to experience as many new things as possible, leaving it all for destiny to decide. While strolling along the lively streets of Kyoto, she discovers that the very beginning of her fateful journey—a book she had as a child—is currently being sold in a second-hand bookstore. Upon knowing this, the college student eyes another opportunity to run into her “by chance”: this time, he hopes to get the book before she does and finally grasp the thread of fate that could connect their hearts.
The First one is that it is hardly accessible for anyone who aren’t familiar with anime and probably not the best starter if you want to go through Masaaki Yuasa’s. In the Tatami Galaxy, the barriers to many people are the fast-paced dialogue that makes you had to rewind every minutes in order to read subtitles. In this movie, specifically in the first 25 minutes, Is even had more barriers; not only does the dialogues is still fast-paced, It’s very absurd, the story was just some random bullshit about nonsense that no one care about. The character’s even doing some unfunny jokes involving wrestling moves which does occur repeatedly. It does serve its purpose to introduce the characters that play role in the story and to know the basic of their personality and how the main girls is obsessed with drinking but even then it was random into doesn’t make any sense in the end. Whenever I watching anime I always put some though “if I haven’t known anime much, would I like this?” ‘The night is short’ though, doesn’t have that accessibility because it is too niche, which I think could lead its potential audiences to be lost interest.
The second one is the characters which is sadly quite weak. It is because the personality of these characters are something you have seen before, the protagonist is just some nice guy acting realistically, the ’ god of books’ may be funny but if you have seen Tatami Galaxy you just realize he is carbon copy of Ozu (which is intentional I think). The rest of the cast is as eccentric as they get but the movie doesn’t expand it further. The cast in Tatami Galaxy is also present and they play major role in the story instead just being a cameo, but it doesn’t help much. The anime doesn’t seems to be focused on the aspect.
What it focused on I think is the overall experience with its story and the visual, and I think it deserves credit, for manages to make up simple idea into a convoluted storyline that is somehow still able to be entertaining. The basic premise is quite easy but relatable and effective, it is essentially about some dude who had crush with a woman and he gets some powerful friends with info about her, so basically he would stalk and gets her impressed with information from his friends. Then we moved on to the single night of university festival when the plot be chaotic where to be some competition of eating spicy meatballs in hell, meeting some kids who declare himself as ‘god of books’ and many many other nonsensical thing that could be listed.
What makes this things effectively works is the visual. It is not just there to be some thrown away object and background, but becoming integrated part with the story, making the movie looks like a visual journey. Mostly it was chaotic and abstract but complementing plot very well. Particularly in the final scene which hard to be explained in text formats. But even then it is not artsy for the sake of being artsy, the anime may have some short open chance to be deeply analyzed by its presentation, but it’s not that much matter because taking it away does have zero effect on overall experiences. It is also very aesthetically pleasing, the animation is gorgeous, very vibrant and effectively create happy-go-lucky mood.
The main feature of the sound is definitely the ending by Asian Kung-Fu Generation which could stand on its own without ever experiencing the movie to liking it. The voice acting was good and the actor combined very well with their characters. All In all. The sound was solid
At the end of the day, what we have here is a show that’s superficially hard enough to get into yet, I think when one could pass through the beginning of it, it’s actually quite an experience; with its abstract yet pleasing visual trick. Characters that while unexplored but entertaining, eccentric, and funny. The plot that is a convoluted mess that is somehow manages to be easy to follow and entertaining. The finale that’s solid and the journey that making simple story about romance cliché that expanded further in a good way. The night is short is quite an option if you’re getting tired of anime with conventional approach, but I wouldn’t hold your breath expecting someone say you’re weird for liking it.
Note: On my own list I give this one a 5 mainly because my personal enjoyment suffered that it got me two sitting to finish it due to first 25 minutes, but here I’m giving this a 6 because the actual content it has.
To put it simply: this movie is an utter, frenetic delight.
The story, without spoiling too much, is a perfect match for the big screen. Covering the events of a single lively night in the imaginative world of Morimi’s Kyoto, it’s not often you see so much happen in such a short amount of time. Fans of “Yojouhan” will be familiar with the unforgiving speed of the dialogue, but as you’d expect with a film adaptation, the story events move just as quickly, with scene after scene transitioning wildly into the next. To add to that, the content is as surreal as ever despite the simple premise. Most of the scenes are thoroughly steeped in a sort of magic realism, the characters seeing the strangely off-kilter world—in which people claim to be local deities, loan sharks travel along the rivers, students run around hosting guerrilla theater productions, and everyone seems to have bottomless stomachs—with a sense of relative acceptance. Though this kind of storytelling seems like it would be hard to follow, I surprisingly never got lost, as the story itself is fairly straightforward and the motivations clear.
That’s not to say the film’s design is simple as well, however. Yuasa’s portrayal of Kyoto at night is as much his as it is Morimi’s. Every crevice of the city is brimming with life and abstract design to match the surreal events of the story, and following the characters as they jump from narrow, pub-filled alleyways to bustling marketplaces in the middle of the night, from brightly-lit restaurants to unreal, technological command-rooms almost feels like watching a fever dream unfold. In every new scene, the nighttime city evolves more and more into a fantastic, magical maze of mythology and wonder, something that only the combined imaginative force of Yuasa and Morimi could produce. Add to that the wild, exaggerated, but uniquely simplistic art style and the light, delightful soundtrack, and the end result is something truly refreshing.
As was the case with “Yojouhan” as well, the characters are a complete joy to watch. All of them are immensely varied in personality but still somehow all manage to stay afloat amidst the chaos of the story as they effortlessly weave in and out of plot. In particular, the black-haired maiden, voiced by the equally delightful Kana Hanazawa, carries the show with her indomitable charm and a refusal to let herself be slowed down by what happens around her, instead almost encouraging the story to grow even more wild. I was a little unsure about the male protagonist at first, but his personality proves to be an invaluable foil that really seals the movie’s conclusion for the better and makes for a very satisfying ending. The side cast is also extremely memorable and full of strange, amusing personalities that somehow work in perfect conjunction with each other despite being so unique and energetic.
Of course, this movie isn’t without its flaws. I’m honestly not even sure “flaws” is the best way to word it, but for better or for worse, there are a couple of scenes and subplots that seem to be drawn out a little excessively, albeit in true Yuasa fashion. (They certainly serve a purpose, but the experience is still a little jarring and they tend to break the flow.) In addition is the large cast. While the major side characters are given surprising depth and background despite the movie length, I feel this very strength takes away from the development of the two main characters slightly due to the limited time. Also, a lot of the more minor characters are thrown into the story a little too haphazardly. While it does add to the overall exciting and chaotic atmosphere, it can be a little overwhelming at times, and the sheer number of characters gives each of their stories somewhat less impact.
This brings me to how much this movie references earlier works. In every recess of the film are nods to previous Morimi adaptations and Yuasa films, including the use of many character designs from “Yojouhan” and even featuring a brief cameo from the director’s as-of-this-moment not-yet-released film, “Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta.” This has the wonderful effect of allowing us to enter the all-too-familiar Morimi universe with minimal amounts of exposition, but it presents a somewhat high barrier of entry for people that might not be familiar with “Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei” and, to a much lesser degree, “Uchoten Kazoku.” Although not entirely necessary to enjoy the film, I strongly recommend watching “Yojouhan” beforehand to get a firm grasp on the characters of this eccentric universe so you’ll appreciate the film that much more.
All in all, “Yoru wa Mijikashi” is an immensely delightful experience. Every second of it is filled with undeniable charm and gorgeous imagination, and the breakneck pace of the story and transitions alongside the quirky cast of characters brimming with personality come together to take the audience on a wild ride really unlike anything else. I highly recommend it.
This film is closely intertwined with The Tatami Galaxy, a previous Yuasa-directed work. Their original novels were written by the same author, they share a setting in Kyoto and apparently take place in the same universe – many characters from TG pop up here and there in NiS, if not always in the way you expect them to. It’s not strictly a sequel, but you’ll get much more out of the film if you’ve seen Tatami, so that’s something to consider.
Night is Short, much like Tatami Galaxy, is a bit of a difficult sell plot-wise – it focuses mostly on a college student only named Senpai whose only goal is to win the heart of his crush, the titular Girl, over the course of a night in which the two are out and about in Kyoto. Of course, it’s not quite that simple- inventive camerawork and use of surrealism turn what could have been a very dull story into an amazingly fun adventure through Kyoto with a bouncy, dynamic cast of lovable characters.
Without revealing too much, the film retains Tatami Galaxy’s distinctive, surreal visual style and sense of humour, but is much more lighthearted, comedic, and amazingly over-the-top in places without missing out on conveying its own messages. If you liked Tatami Galaxy, I can practically guarantee you’ll love Night is Short.
The increased film budget combined with Yuasa’s direction style lead to some beautiful animation sequences, and the Girl is so amazingly cheery, she can’t help but grab your interest. An easy 10/10 from me, but then again I also loved Tatami.
15: Majo no Takkyuubin
English: Kiki’s Delivery Service
MAL Score: 8.22
Kiki, a 13-year-old witch-in-training, must spend a year living on her own in a distant town in order to become a full-fledged witch. Leaving her family and friends, Kiki undertakes this tradition when she flies out into the open world atop her broomstick with her black cat Jiji.
As she settles down in the coastal town of Koriko, Kiki struggles to adapt and ends up wandering the streets with no place to stay—until she encounters Osono, who offers Kiki boarding in exchange for making deliveries for her small bakery. Before long, Kiki decides to open her own courier service by broomstick, beginning her journey to independence. In attempting to find her place among the townsfolk, Kiki brings with her exciting new experiences and comes to understand the true meaning of responsibility.
Everything about this movie just brings me a smile and always brings me up when I feel down. What makes this movie great is that it doesn’t have huge ambition; it’s not here to tell you about the consequences of relying too much on technology, or destroying the natural earth, confronting the spirits of the forest. Of life. But it’s simply the story of a young girl coming to terms with growing up and living in an entirely new town with total strangers. Transitioning from the comfort of her quiet country side hometown, to the hustle and bustle of an urban area.
Being independent for the first time is a terrifying experience for anyone, but it’s also enlightening, as you can learn more about yourself and others than you thought. Kiki’s Delivery Service showcases those ups and downs brilliantly. From an awkward introduction to baffled strangers on the streets, to starting her own business and befriending her clients, to meeting the owner of a Bakery who immediately shows a keen interest in the young girl, taking the role of a sort of mother figure to her. You meet all sorts of characters in this movie, all of them with an interesting or realistic characteristic. From a gruff looking, but gentle husband of the Bakery owner, to a boy who is extremely passionate about flight and aircrafts(even attempting to lodge a propeller onto his bike to try to get some air) who develops an immediate infatuation with Kiki, to a painter who takes comfort living in the middle of the woods, befriending the hordes of crows that live in it.
And then there is Kiki herself; at first glance she is cheerful, if a little naive. Honest, yet surprisingly old fashioned(“It’s not polite to ask a persons name without introducing yourself first!”). The thing I love about her character is that she’s so many things, so many qualities that show how much of a varied, complex, but very realistic character she really is. She isn’t a spoiled brat, she isn’t selfish, she isn’t annoying. She’s simply a little girl with her own quirks and principles.
The film showcases the joys and pains of growing up finding your place in the world. At one point, she wearily laments the fact that she doesn’t have pretty dresses, and she cannot afford that sparkling pair of red shoes that she gazes at through the window of a clothes shop. She sees her friend Tombo chatting and laughing with girls, sparking an immediate sense of jealousy from Kiki due to her insecurities.
She wants nice things, she wants to wear a nice dress, she wants to talk to boys and make friends. But cannot afford it, nor does she have the time. She simply desires a lot of what girls probably want at that age or slightly older. It’s what makes her human and convincing as a character.
Even if you’re not the same age group, or even gender, I feel that a lot of us have lived through moments where we feel so unsure of ourselves, feeling a sense of loneliness and isolation in the process.
And even though she goes through times of insecurity, depression and feeling like she’s in a rut. She also befriends and meets many people that find her remarkably charming, sweet and sincere. She experiences friendships, success in her business and feeling accomplished.
The music, composed by the master himself, Joe Hisaishi. Is nothing short of perfect, the soundtrack has a very distinct European sound to it, also induces a large sense of nostalgia. From the early 60s pop sound of the opening, to the tender folk ballad of the ending. The soundtrack compliments nearly every scene in the movie to considerable effect. As expected!
The animation and designs are also incredibly top notch. It’s crisp, it’s clear(I just recently purchased the bluray version), it brilliantly showcases the varied areas and backgrounds. Everything is just straight up gorgeous. The town itself, Koriko, an ideal version of a pre-WWII Northern European city is one of my favorite designed places in fiction. To the hectic main-roads, the quiet alleyways and side areas you could casually stroll through, to the gorgeous beaches and scenery. It’s very romantic and exhilarating. I would personally love to live in a city like this.
Despite what it does right, does it do anything wrong? Well, I wouldn’t have minded if the movie went a bit more into the witch culture. In the story, when 12-13, a witch must leave her town and spend a year elsewhere, growing and learning, broadening their horizons essentially. But it’s not really explained too much, but this is simply a nitpick as the film is more about Kiki and her experiences than all that.
There’s a certain warmth to this film that makes it feel like you’re revisiting an old friend. I find it difficult to find any major faults in this movie. I’ve grown up watching it on tv dozens of times, and later in life revisiting it, only to truly then realize how special this film is to me. I never said that I would be objective or impartial in this review, that would be pointless and a disservice to the film. Kiki’s Delivery Service makes you passionate, or just really happy and relaxed, whichever works for you.
It’s anime like this that proves to me yet again that animation can be a wonderful expression of art. If you’ve never seen this film, do yourself a favor and do so soon. Set up some free time during a quiet weekend afternoon and let yourself be enveloped in tenderness.
Any constructive feedback is appreciated on this review!
I liked the plot of Spirited Away much, much better though. Spirited Away had a more complex and interesting plot, while Kiki’s story was simpler. I guess the advantage of that is it’s easy to understand. As much as I like stories about witches living amongst normal humans, Kiki didn’t really act or live like a witch. She was more of a human who can fly and happens to own a cat that talks.
Since I brought up the subject of the talking cat, I’m glad I picked the English dub over the original Japanese dub. I fell in love with the cast when I saw their interviews, so I decided to go with the Disney dub.Sure it became more Disney-ish, but it was actually pretty good. I like how they made Jiji talk more – I realized that in the Japanese dub Jiji wasn’t as talkative. Also, Phil Hartman made Jiji way funnier.
As expected of Hayao Miyazaki, the animation was fantastic – even if it was a 1989 movie. Since it’s from 1989, I’m assuming everything is hand drawn. The backgrounds were very detail, but it wasn’t overwhelming. It’s kind of looking at a fine, intricate watercolor painting that moves.
I did notice a lot of fan service throughout the movie. I know that seems weird, but there were numerous panty flashes from Kiki herself. I was beginning to think if that was intentional.
Disney edited the music, for sure. There were poppy, contemporary songs (both by Sydney Forest) during the beginning and the ending scenes of the movie. I can’t say I like the songs that much, but they were pretty catchy. I also noticed that a lot of the original BGM was omitted – I don’t know why that is. For the BGM I heard, I thought those tracks were very nice. They were easy to listen to and made the scenes especially peaceful and serene.
I’m probably gonna watch it again. It’s the kind of thing that you can watch any time and you’ll never get tired of it.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of the very few Ghibli movies that would make a viewer cry. Spirited Away would come close, but it wouldn’t quite hit the mark with what it offers, and wouldn’t emotionally resonate with some viewers. Kiki’s true beauty, however, lies in the fact that it is a simple movie, and any person would have come up with both the plot and the ending, but it takes a lot of care and brilliant directing to make a plot so simple shine in such a prepossessing manner. Miyazaki took a simple concept that is magic and witches flying through the air, and turned it into a film that emotionally resonates with most of those who have seen it. The plot follows Kiki, a young witch who wants to find her place in the world, and this is where the narrative truly stands out from the rest of both the other Ghibli movies, and the other witch fairytales. Kiki’s Delivery Service may seem like a witch story on the surface, but as you delve deeper into it, it begins to show itself as a movie exploring the hardships of life and a masterfully crafted coming of age story as well. The titular character is one of the most relatable to ever come out of the Ghibli discography, and is the most explored heroine in Ghibli’s catalog as well.
The central character Kiki, is relatable due to the fact that her relationship with her companions is explored thoroughly, from her relationship with her black cat Gigi, to her relationship with the young boy Tombo, to her relationship with the bakery owner, and so on and so forth. Not only are the character interactions believable and thoroughly explored, but so is the fact that Kiki exhibits human behavior unlike any other Ghibli character. When I say “human” I do not mean in the sense that it is forced like some of the other Ghibli characters, as her depression and lack of self-worth arise slowly after losing something that is deep to her, which makes her character all the more believable. It doesn’t come across as something that is shallow for the sake of gaining some sympathy and tears from the audience, since the thing she lost is something which she had owned her whole life, not something cheap which came out of nowhere and then vanished that easily to garner sympathy and tears from the viewers. This is one of the very few times where Miyazaki would go into such hard topics when it came to his characters. Usually, Miyazaki’s characters are mostly joyful and cheerful, whereas Takahata’s characters are the ones to exhibit such genuine lack of emotions and self-worth, which is another factor as to why this movie stands out as something that is both unique and exceptional in Miyazaki’s discography.
As for the other characters, they aren’t as well explored as Kiki, but they serve their purpose well within the narrative regardless. Kiki’s black cat, Gigi, isn’t the typical black cat that a witch would carry around, he talks, and his attempts at humor land solidly. When something devastating happens to him, the audience relates with him and to his struggles. To be able to make the audience feel attached to a character that isn’t as deeply explored as a well-developed protagonist like Kiki, is a feat that should not be underestimated, but Miyazaki did it brilliantly this time around. As for the bakery owner, she serves to guide Kiki through her emotional struggles and as a maternal figure to Kiki as well, since Kiki is a character that was forced to depart from her parents as a part of undergoing a witch training program. The contrast between the owner’s kindness and Kiki’s depression makes the emotional catharsis all the more immense here, and makes Kiki even more relatable as a character. Kiki is also not a perfect character at the end of the day, which makes her all the more relatable to the audience, especially those who struggle with hardships. Yes, she may be a witch and she may have special powers, but she isn’t a princess nor a hero prophesied in legends like most other Ghibli heroines. Kiki is clumsy, acts haphazardly at most times, especially with her terrible ability when it comes to landing her broom, and she tries to better herself and develop throughout the movie’s run.
As underrated as this gorgeous movie’s characters and direction are, the most underrated aspects of it are the animation and the visuals. People do not give enough credit to this movie’s audiovisuals, as it boggles the mind how a movie that is thirty years old, can have such animation that has not aged in the least bit. It is also nice to see Ghibli upping their game with this one, as the animation progressed from stills and flappy animation back in 1986 with Castle in the Sky, to some of the most fluid animation found in Kiki’s Delivery Service. Whether it’s the beautiful hand drawn animations, or the picturesque landscapes, Ghibli never ceases to amaze with this one. The backgrounds serve the story better and make the atmosphere all the more engaging, especially with the places they chose. The colors are vibrant and give the movie more life, and become pale and lifeless when the movie needs to be serious and grim. As for the character designs, Kiki is by far the most visually striking Ghibli protagonist, her most appealing feature being her tie that she wears on her head. Her dress is only one cloth, but it’s a nice change from the ridiculous clothes many other Ghibli characters wear, and it adds more to her humble character.
As for the soundtrack, this is Joe Hisaishi’s best work. The soundtrack immensely captures the beauty of the film and the general atmosphere that it was striving to achieve. The best piece Ghibli has ever put out is “A Town with an Ocean View”, as it is immensely visceral and awe inspiring, and it beats out Spirited Away’s main theme, “The Name of Life”. The other pieces helped solidify the scenes that they were placed in as well. All around this soundtrack is Hisaishi’s most emotionally striking soundtrack, even when some may argue that it isn’t his absolute best.
This is Miyazaki’s masterpiece. After seeing most of what Ghibli had to offer – from the bad, to the nauseatingly slow average, to the very good, I can assure readers that this is Miyazaki’s crème de la crème. This movie contends heavily with some others that Takahata has put out, and uncertainty always arises when trying to make sure what Ghibli’s absolute magnum opus is. Regardless of that, this is Miyazaki’s visceral masterpiece, without a shadow of a doubt.
14: One Piece Movie 14: Stampede
Japanese: 劇場版『ONE PIECE STAMPEDE』（スタンピード）
MAL Score: 8.22
The world’s greatest exposition of the pirates, by the pirates, for the pirates—the Pirates Festival. Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Crew receive an invitation from its host Buena Festa who is known as the Master of Festivities. They arrive to find a venue packed with glamorous pavilions and many pirates including the ones from the Worst Generation. The place is electric.
It felt like their Budget on Animation was just as much on this 1:40h Movie as on a normal 20 Min episode of One-Piece. The animations are horrendous and PC 3D animations are used waaaay to often, they didn’t care animating many scenes. About 40% of this movie is made in some 3D software and not Animated. Very disappointing concidering Cinema movies rack in way more money than just a single episode.
The character Bullet also seems like a cool idea also coming off of GolD Rogers ship but his backstory and especially his Devilfruit concept are very bad and just made to be over the top. And on top of that he looks very bad in the Anime only being animated in 3D….
Consistency to the Main story is also close to None, for example with Luffy being able to Use Gear 4 Multiple times within 5 Minutes. Oh and dont even get me starten on the “King King King Kong Gun” or whatever it was.
All in all there are some enjoyable moments (Sabo and Ace Fire Fist in the end) but all the bad aspects of the movie push me to beg you to not support this movie in any way shape of form. Dont buy the CD, dont buy Figures of this movie etc. We have to choose what we want and we definetly dont want trashy 3D animations. Vote with your wallet and show them we want something better. I get it’s just a filler but they probably spent more money advertising the movie than actually making it.
Though I had high hopes for this one, unfortunately it turned out to be quite horrible. Brainless plot, abrupt start & ending, bad use of characters, no heartfelt incidents, no meaningful turning points, dialogs that made me facepalm myself and so, so many coincidences throughout this movie. So many coincidences it’s actually ridiculous. For instance, they are all on a huge freaking island and they just keep ‘stumbling across’ one another at the right moment. Nevertheless, the thing that ticked me off the most was that I found 0% funny scenes. Seriously, even One Piece Movie 6 had more humor and its basically a psychological thriller.
It seemed more like a really long One Piece commercial that a movie. “Oh, look! We have all those cool characters in our anime. Come and watch it.” I mean they introduce a person like Bullet and he does absolutely nothing other than shout “I strive to be the strongest!” Sooo original! In addition, how he enters the scene is boring enough to revert your eyes from the screen. An otherwise stressful moment of Usopp being hurt by this insanely strong enemy, was ruined when it was not shown properly so that the viewer will feel fear or compassion for this long-nosed character.
Fight animation wise it was… decent. A few fight scenes looked quite silly, but those were few and far apart. The final battle though was just awful. It was fairly alright until Bullet decided to go full Mechagodzilla style which, in my humble opinion, destroyed my already low interest in this movie.
This film could have had SO much potential (and I can’t emphasize this enough!) due to the festival setting and the story of one of Roger’s former crew-mates, but they managed to ruin it and create a “stampede” of already well known characters who begged for screen time and nothing more. Maybe this story required 2 parts and more time to do it correctly.
And all the aforementioned come from an One Piece fan that loves it since grade school. I do not know why I still keep watching this anime. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, the need to know the ending or maybe just to see some random adventure of this crew. Whatever the reason, I always hope for at least a decent plot and not some unreasonable fights with gibberish dialogs like in this movie. But, alas, our beloved One Piece has already become another victim of exploitation and exists for the sole purpose of selling merchandise, video games and plot-less films. It’s a shame…
I want to preface this review by saying, if you’re not already a die-hard One Piece fan, this movie has next to nothing for you.
Despite my fairly limited Japanese ability, I was able to comprehend the entire plot and the vast majority of the dialogue, (maybe to an extent of about 90% or so). I think the reason being is that this movie has barely any substance. When the movie starts we’re introduced to the island and then the “first event” starts.
Shortly after the battle begins the movie devolves into “oh hey look it’s [insert one piece character here]” that character does an attack or something and then we get another character show up and the same thing happens all the way till the end of the movie.
I kept expecting some hint of story to be mentioned but it never really happened, aside from a few short moments.
The villain is highly forgettable and leaves no real lasting impression, even writing this review I was struggling to even remember his name, despite being able to remember the Z and Gold villains easily, despite having seen those movies a much longer time ago.
This isn’t to say that the movie is bad, if you’re a die-hard One Piece fan you will find enjoyment in this movie. The battle is enjoyable, the animation is good and the soundtrack just adds to the excitement.
But I think the lack of a decent story and over-reliance on fan service really brings the movie down.
For me I think the movie would sit at a 5 or 6. It’s better than average and I enjoyed watching it, but I would be in no great hurry to run out and watch it again. And if you’re eagerly awaiting the western release, and expecting anything more than fan service I recommend you lower your expectations to get more out of seeing this movie.
TL;DR The movie is severely held-back by it’s lack of narrative, over-reliance on fan service and rushed pacing. Lower your expectations before watching to get the most enjoyment from this film.
13: Kuroshitsuji Movie: Book of the Atlantic
English: Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic
Japanese: 劇場版 黒執事 Book of the Atlantic
MAL Score: 8.25
The young Earl Ciel Phantomhive—the Queen’s Guard Dog—is once again called to investigate seemingly supernatural phenomena when news of miraculous resurrections begins to surface in Victorian London. Along with Sebastian Michaelis, his demon butler, they board the luxury cruise liner Campania to investigate rumors of the Aurora Society—a medical organization suspected of experimenting on the dead.
Grim reapers begin to appear on the ship, and it becomes apparent that the ship is about to be overrun with the undead as a devious plan is put into motion. Ciel and Sebastian must now uncover the secrets that lie behind the Aurora Society’s phoenix symbol, and with the help of some old acquaintances, return the undead to their coffins or share a watery grave.
Book of Atlantic executes itself wonderfully. It maintains the line between action and comedy well – the latter of which I should remark is above average, due to its fair balance of deadpan-like humor and gags. For a film whose manga premise is about a boy who is in a contract with a demon, this film also possesses very heartwarming scenes between a typically sullen boy and his ever-cheerful adorable fiancée.
The Funimation team translated the film very well! A couple of mistranslated lines from the online scanlation that were for foreshadowing purposes weren’t mistranslated, such as Frances’ gender-neutral comment about “that child protecting their beloved” or something to that nature. Lines weren’t translated awkwardly and suited well to the western audience, translating Japanese words to British slang/vocabulary, for instance.
The animation staff who worked on Book of Atlantic gave it their all on the fighting scenes. I especially praise the storyboard artist(s) who worked on Lizzie’s scene. I read Yana’s tweet about Lizzie “moving like a ballerina” and had my doubts prior to watching it, but she was indeed right. Her movements were meticulously animated and I adored the attention to the way the camera constantly panned to her shoes. I’m glad the writers and animators didn’t rush it. I should also remark they made her extra cute in the film.
The scenes with the grim reapers were energetic and fun. I have to say, I didn’t really understand the appeal of Grell or Ronald, but the script truly had them perform as charming individuals and as a funny team. In the past, Kuroshitsuji shoehorned Grell too often unnecessarily, thus giving off an image of her being incompetent and purely Sebastian-obsessed. Fortunately, the accuracy to the manga had Grell in the film, albeit indeed flirty and flamboyant, a skillful grim reaper. She definitely stole the scene in the film a couple of times and I’m fond of Grell now, as well I am of Ronald.
I was worried of Double Charles’ appearance being annoying and perhaps disrupting the Midford family’s performances, as they did not appear in the manga during this arc, but their scenes were also brief yet enjoyable. They appear at the dinner with the Midfords, during the bizzare doll’s onslaught (during the carriage scene), and again at the sea in the aftermath of passengers rushing to escape (in which a child was being quietly consoled by Charles Phipps). There was a funny original scene in which Sebastian and Charles Grey chat at the dinner-table, in which Sebastian remarks something along the lines of being “kicked multiple times to life”, referring to Grey’s actions in the Murders arc.
The CGI is indeed noticeable and off-putting sometimes. The film abuses CGI a number of times and sticks out like a sore-thumb in scenes that are supposed to be regular. This is especially noticeable in the beginning of the film, where we see the view of the Campania, which is clearly rendered in CGI and contrasts with everything else that is hand-drawn yet digitally colored. However, they did well in the dramatic scenes. For example, with the Undertaker where we caught a glimpse of the characters’ locations in their encounter. I should also note the film didn’t fare well in scenes where the camera panned back to reveal a character doing a particular pose, such as Undertaker pulling his hair back and whatnot, which I felt although it attempted to be detailed, was quite stiff. The great green aura that surrounded Undertaker, however, distracted me well enough.
Scenes were unfortunately cut, such as Tanaka’s role in Ciel’s flashback due to the voice actor’s passing and the hospital scene. We were unable to hear Madam Red speak in Lizzie’s flashback, but she did speak once during Ciel’s scene with the queen. The scene in the manga where Lizzie witnesses Ciel have a coughing fit was cut as well, unfortunately, because it’s a subtle detail that is for a particular chapter/oncoming event. The tailor Nina, which made her debut in the manga following the Circus arc, did not make an appearance at all in the film. I was happy to see Lau and hear him speak in the film albeit briefly, even if animation wasn’t put into him much. The intro scene with Sebastian startling the sheepish Ciel after he speaks with Elizabeth about a vacation break was cut and we only saw Sebastian confirming his research in his doctor’s clothes.
There was an extra, anime-original sweet scene with Elizabeth and Ciel after the ending credits (as well as the original manga’s William’s scolding to his co-workers), though, so I can tolerate those cuts. I should note that when you watch Ciel and Lizzie’s flashback when they’re facing the graves of the Phantomhive family, the anime staff quite emphasized a “hint” about a certain popular, established theory in the Japanese fandom and a growing one in the western fandom.
Overall, a really great movie and I’m glad to have watched it. The person in my company, although unfamiliar with Black Butler and having only seen a few clips, was able to enjoy the film as we did not require much prior knowledge of the manga’s content. I should also mention, as a final note, that the soundtrack is superb a couple of times during the film, albeit unmemorable for the rest (especially combat scenes). They re-used some of the previous soundtracks, such as Fantasia and Sweet Tears from “Book of Circus”, and Annoying Visitor and Thick Fog from “Book of Murder”. However, let me just say the orchestral track that plays when Ciel has a PTSD flashback watching Sebastian violently slaughter the Bizarre Dolls was my favorite, and I hope for the soundtrack to be released soon for it. Additionally, SID’s theme song for the film that plays in the credit is catchy and beautiful and I encourage staying for both the song and the extra scene after the credits.
Kuroshitsuji Book of the Atlantic was the first anime movie I had ever seen in theaters (I know that’s very sad lmao) and I was very pleased by it!
Right at the beginning I was a little upset that they had used CGI for the ship and people, it wasn’t horrible just very noticeable. The movie follows the manga very well and they didn’t change anything major that I recall. The voice acting was very amazing, the mood was fantastic and all the ladies, and few men, were fangirling like crazy. The only thing that bothered me at times were the animation. Most of the animation was amazing but a few parts could’ve been much better in my opinion;and the CGI was also used many other times which for me was a turn off. (Another thing that isn’t about the movie was that the people in the theater were VERY annoying, they screamed and made stupid remarks,so beware. Also the movie is a little dim in some parts and the subtitles are bright so it might hurt your eyes if your eyes are sensitive like mine)
If even my sister, who is a strict adult that doesn’t watch anime, can sit through and enjoy it, I’d say you could enjoy it too. Also beware of the hotness overload, bring tissues for them nosebleeds!
This wasn’t a movie, this was a filler episode that lasted for two hours of excruciating pain. The plot was literately titanic + zombies. There was horrific CGI and no effort into the sound track. Too many flash backs, too much effort incorporating all the previous characters, and there was extremely unrealistic character development for Elizabeth. Suddenly she can wield two swords now and climb on walls. She also had a stupid backstory explaining how difficult it was to not wear high heels since Ciel isn’t tall. Boo friggin hoo. For some reason Ciel has shown an exaggerated increase in his love and protection towards Elizabeth, which I call bs because he’s never done that before. Sebastian also became uh…useless? He couldn’t fight back against a grim reaper, which we all know he has done many times before!
The movie was horribly directed, with weird bits of comedy shoved in the most serious situations. Every two minutes when zombies go after Ciel, some kind of stupid joke is introduced, like the snakes talking or something.
Also, undertaker is revealed, to be a grim reaper? W-what? Why. For some reason he becomes an asshole that experiments on humans. So out of place and nonsensical. No follow up either. There was no direction in this, what was the point of going on a ship? For Ciel to carry out his duties as a loyal dog? To kill zombies? Why zombies? What? Honestly is this how the manga is later on? That’s terrible. Why is book of murder so good but book of Atlantic is so bad.
Don’t be fooled by the ridiculously high score on this movie because only a few hundred people watched this and of course 95% of those people just like Sebastian or Ciel.
3/10. Don’t watch it please.
12: Non Non Biyori Movie: Vacation
Japanese: 劇場版 のんのんびより ばけーしょん
MAL Score: 8.25
With summer vacation coming to an end, the girls are having as much fun as they can with their remaining time. However, their daily shenanigans are cut short when Suguru Koshigaya wins the grand prize of a lottery—tickets to Okinawa! After hasty preparations, the Asahigaoka group embarks on a three-day trip for their final summer getaway.
Upon arriving in Okinawa and checking into an inn, the group comes across Aoi Niizato—the young daughter of the inn’s hostess. Despite being of similar age, her mature demeanor leaves Natsumi Koshigaya reflecting upon her own childish nature. With the sign of an unexpected friendship blooming on the horizon, the girls waste no time diving into their ambitious sightseeing plans and regional activities!
While there is really no “plot” in the movie, you shouldn’t expect that if you’ve already seen the two season of the original series. The girls and friends go on vacation to Okinawa… they eat, they kayak, they snorkle, and they swim. And that’s it. The movie is meant to be JUST as feel-good as the series was. The production was very engaging (it had to in order to keep my attention as an English speaker) and very fun for anyone who loved the original show. I also teared up a bit at the end, because Non Non Biyori has always brought a certain innocence and charm that touches my heart.
I own and have read all the mangas up until volume 12 (which is the most recently released one) at the time of writing this review.
The manga itself is super good, but this movie made the contents even better than the manga. This is not saying the manga is terrible or anything, in fact it’s one of my favorites, but the movie went in to much more depth for the vacation chapters.
It’s been probably a year and a half since I read the chapters of the contents in this movie so my memories may not be 100% correct. I think most of the activities in the movies were done as like those “time-skip”/ “fast forward” panels where they just flash a scene and move on to the next in the manga, but this movie actually shows them doing these activities.
Just a typical slice of life story. Travel to Okinawa and do things there. Nothing much to say here.
I may be bias, but I’m a huge fan of Atto sensei’s (original creator of NNB) and Silver Link’s art style. The style is just like all the previous NNB anime. Oh, background art is beautiful as always. Really captures the nature. The animation is great too, I didn’t see any bad animations watching it in the theatre.
No complaints on sounds either. Just like the previous NNB, they share similar style of music and BGM. I didn’t hear anything that wasn’t fitting. The OP is sang by nano.RIPE and still has the same chill and relaxing theme as the music they sang for NNB before. ED is sang by our 4 main girls and it’s super cute!
This is why I love this show so much! Everyone is just so lovable! For this movie specifically, I felt that they focused on Natsumi the most out of everyone else. She got more screen time than any other character but not so much that it makes all other characters irrelevant. (Her screen time is cause of her relations and interactions with the new character that is introduced in this movie) You still get your super cute Renge and Koma-chan moments and oh, I found so many parts of the movie just making me and the audience around me in the theatre giggle. Pretty much all the comedic moments hit their marks. The character interaction is great as always! I found myself smiling so much during the movie and I can feel the joy in the theatre.
Having already read the manga, I knew what I should be expecting content wise, but after watching the movie I really felt like it blew the expectations off the roof. It was so much more than I could ask for and I would definitely go rewatch it again if I have the time for it! Gonna grab the BD for sure when they announce it!
This brings me back to my point in the beginning. If you are a NNB fan or a slice of life lover, you have to watch it. If you hate slice of life or has no interest in them, I really don’t recommend watching this movie.
We open with our girls, Renge, Hotaru, Natsumi & Komari, just hanging out and trying to make the most of their summer vacation before it ends. That’s when they spot Miss Candy Store, Kaede, and Renge’s oldest sister, Kazuho, driving to the department store. The four of them convince the older women to take them along due to Kaede’s soft spot for Renge, picking up Natsumi & Komari’s older brother on the way. While at the store, the older brother wins a raffle and gets four tickets to Okinawa. Naturally, they all go along with Konomi and Hikage.
The narrative is pretty simple and it’s also really well executed. The whole thing is very cute, full of funny moments and just a fantastically executed slice of life. It has strong pacing, a lot of memorable parts and a little side story about Natsumi experiencing her first love with Aoi, the girl who works at the inn.
My biggest issue with the characters is with the side character, Konomi. She just doesn’t have much personality nor does she really contribute much to the humour. I have the same issue with her in the series proper. She has that one memorable scene where she and Hotaru talk about things that go over Komari’s head and make her feel childish. Most of the scenes she’s in would be just as good without her. Aside from that, this is a great cast with strong interactions and great comedic chemistry.
The character designs are good and the animation moves smoothly. Even the ending card is super cute. But where Silver Link really kills it is with the backgrounds and nature scenes. There’s always so much detail and effort behind them. I could pretty much make any nature still from this film my background and it would look really nice. I also appreciate that when you see Renge’s drawings they look like a child’s drawings.
All the actors from the series proper do a fantastic job. There are a lot of talented ladies in this cast. The main person who joins them is Shimoji Shino as Aoi. You may also remember her as Beaver from Kemono Friends. The music is really nice too. Very pleasant and soothing.
Hotaru’s blatant crush on Komari is still going strong. In addition to that, we have Natsumi and Aoi. They have that dynamic where it very strongly comes across as attraction. Right down to them getting all flustered and blushing a lot. I will say, their dynamic could have worked a bit better if we’d gotten a few more scenes with them.
Areas of Improvement:
1. They could do something with Konomi’s character.
2. The ending credits could have shown cute vacation snapshots instead of scenes from the film. Provided a little more impact.
3. We could have stood to see a little more of Aoi.
I actually enjoyed this film a lot. It’s pretty much everything you want out of a slice of life. It’s endearing, entertaining, and very adorable. It also does feature some of the best nature scenes I’ve seen in an anime. So, I’m going to go so far as to give it a 9/10.
11: Stand By Me Doraemon 2
Japanese: STAND BY ME ドラえもん ２
MAL Score: 8.27
After reminiscing about his late grandmother, Nobita Nobi wishes to see her again and asks Doraemon to return them to the past. Following the wholesome reunion of the two, Nobita’s grandmother confesses that she hopes to meet his future bride. Nobita accepts her request out of filial love and quickly scrambles into the time machine as he and Doraemon journey forward in time.
However, when the duo warps to Nobita’s wedding day, they discover that the future Nobita is missing from the ceremony! Determined to set things right, Doraemon and Nobita embark on a mission to search for Nobita’s future self and encourage him to discover the happiness he deserves.
First off, I kind of want to talk about the visual first, the 3D animation was highly impressive as ever. To say the least, the 3D animation is quite on par with Pixar or DreamWorks movies. The backgrounds are pretty detailed, especially the city landscape (Both future and present city landscape) and the level of detail during time machines sequences was pretty much sublime. If there are hiccups, I’d say some of the characters looks pretty awkward and just didn’t fit to be interpreted in CG, but that said it just tastes come into play while I think visually it was very good overall.
In context to story, Stand by Me Doraemon 2 is the re-adaptation of the two previous short film, namely Doraemon: A Grandmother’s Recollections (2000) and Doraemon The Day When I Was Born (2002). Both adaptations were mixed into the main story; where it shows the wedding of Nobita and Shizuka, the combination works really well together and doesn’t really hurt the flow for the story in relation to the movie. This film is still in the direction of director Takashi Yamazaki who also direct the previous film and made it into the box office.
However, I wasn’t really sold into the plot. it’s full of the typical plot holes and paradoxes that always crop up when people attempt to employ time-traveling shenanigans. There are cringes moment that you’d expect in this kind of these kiddy movies. Ultimately this is a kid films that push a lot of power fantasy and probably intended to be something wholesome or invoking emotions for the long-time fans rather than providing a good storyline for general audiences. Indeed, it’s got a whole lot wholesome and emotional moments such as Parent’s Love or Reminiscing of the loved on that already passed away. Also, in this movie, there’s shown a little bit of the circle of life, we get to see Nobita in every age; from the day he was born, became a toddler, to the present day when he’s a kid and ultimately his future self where he finally gets married. I will be lying If I said I didn’t feel anything about those emotional moment because it was the highlight of the movie for me.
Having said that, the pacing is also somewhat an issue. This film is about 90 minutes long but at best the movie has enough meaningful content for an hour, a lot of conflicts were quite dragged and somewhat forced to the point the resolutions had to be forced as well in order to conclude the story. The comedy is repetitive and the characters besides Nobita and Doraemon had no value whatsoever unless you know the others characters beforehand.
I think the music is suits the time period very well and knows how to suit the atmosphere but at the same time quite forgettable as well, the most memorable soundtrack is probably the ED song but even then, it wasn’t really something that I personally will treasure for. The voice acting was on point and they definitely bringing a lot of breadth to the characters.
As a continuation for the first stand by me film, this movie was a decent continuation that brought a consistent playful tone and a definitive conclusion for the story, however I’m not terribly impressed with the film as a whole. While it does have some fun moments, there’s just too many uninspired elements and predictable formula for me to really recommend Stand by Me Doraemon 2 to anyone who isn’t a die-hard doraemon fan or someone who just wants to see the conclusion of the film
Story 10/10 :
Because the story unravels a whole that we don’t know as I told you above.
Art 10/10 :
Of course because of 3D, I saw from their willingness to make this art. Starting from the character that moves even though it’s not the focus angle (when it’s blurry)
Sound 10/10 :
Their seiyuu very intentional and precise in portraying a character. And the backsound and the ending sound are very precise and match the atmosphere and feeling.
Despite how biased my score is to the sequel of Stand by Me Doraemon, I can still say that the story is a big mess stitched together just to conclude, if you’re asking a similar example to this movie, it would be any Pixar films that were released in the 2010s. It would be Inside Out, Coco, The Good Dinosaur, it felt like that. It had some good moments, but really no one is going to remember a lot of those things because the story is almost a mess.
Everything is a 10/10, it’s just to say something here now.
First of all, I really grew up with this show, to the point where there were people actually mocking the voices of the characters we grew up with, I couldn’t hate them at all even though as time has passed by. I still vividly remember how these characters would be used to act and how they would interact with certain things.
Finally, the matter of subject being pushed into this movie, clearly a concept of time travel and doing the right decisions, spoke to me a lot. Not to mention the fact my grandmother has passed away recently this year. So when I watched this movie, I was close to the point of crying, so it resonated with me the most.
For me, it’s definitely better than the 1st. For you, if you’re looking for a more tear-breaking movie, this might not live to your expectations, but at least watch it when you have the chance.
10: Tokyo Godfathers
English: Tokyo Godfathers
MAL Score: 8.29
One Christmas Eve, Hana, Gin, and Miyuki are rummaging for presents through heaps of garbage when they chance upon an abandoned baby in the cold winter night. Appalled at the pitiful sight, Hana’s maternal instincts kick in and she insists on finding the baby’s biological mother to demand an explanation. Naming the baby Kiyoko—meaning pure child—they begin their search using the possible clues left alongside her: a mysterious key and a single note. However, their plans are soon thrown into disarray as they get caught up in a series of unprecedented events.
Tokyo Godfathers follows the journey of the trio as they stick together through thick and thin, hoping to deliver Kiyoko to her true home, and find their very own Christmas miracle.
STORY – In brief, Tokyo Godfathers is a heart-warming Christmas story about family. Slightly elaborated, it’s a rather unique slice-of-life movie featuring a less-than-average family. Sure, inspiration was taken from an old western film (3 Godfathers), but I haven’t seen it, and I don’t think having seen it would have affected the charm of this one. (Other than the bare bones, the details of the two movies are vastly different anyway.)
Though thoroughly punctuated with reminders of how hard life can be, the movie was fun, comedic at times, and pretty darn feel-good, reflecting the general optimism associated with the winter holidays. It was uplifting, meaningful, and potentially relevant to people from all walks of life. That said, there were a lot of situations that felt a bit contrived and overly corny. For a destined-to-have-a-happy-ending story like this, a few coincidences here and there are completely expected and can even be cute. But there’s a line somewhere and after a certain point, it starts to get a bit silly. (How many characters do we need to be coincidentally named "Kiyoko"?) I’d say that Tokyo Godfathers crossed this very vague line — maybe not by much, but it was crossed all the same. I guess I can only take so much cute before I start groaning.
The main theme of this movie is the importance of family, which is a huge shift from Kon’s usual work involving diminished divides between fantasy and reality. Even so, there are little indications of the man’s handiwork woven carefully into the backstories of the individual characters, which I found interesting. After all, you don’t immediately think of hobos when you think "family values," but the homeless might be among more believable subjects for those who may want to disassociate themselves with reality. It was subtle, but I really think Kon did a superb job blending the two themes together, and that was just what I needed to tide me over.
CHARACTER – The characters were definitely the highlight of the film. The three protagonists were all wonderfully in-depth, but I never got the feeling that their complexity was being flaunted or that they were throwing it in our faces. Gin, Hana, and Mitsuki are all introduced as fairly ordinary people, which makes them easy to sympathize with and easy to relate to, even for such unconventional characters as Hana. They were all troubled people — a deadbeat debtor, an okama with AIDS (implied), and a teenage runaway, all homeless and living in a tent in the park. But each character’s personal issues were presented in gradual fragments, and there is enough ambiguity and deception to keep you wondering. That scores big in the realism department with me; after all, you don’t really go around dumping life issues on people, even if they’re your friends.
Throughout the movie, each of our three godparents struggle with their personal issues, even as they all deal with the immediate crisis involving the baby. But despite the fact that the baby problem was very pressing and is the main storyline, it’s hard to miss the gradual development in the characters. There are short, solo scenes for all the protagonists scattered throughout the movie, and that’s where some of the coincidences start mounting. Tokyo is a huge city, and I found it a little ridiculous that so many relevant figures from the characters’ past should appear in such a short time, but I realize that those situations are hard to avoid, if not impossible. All the same, I really enjoyed each character’s maturation, especially since so little was actually said in two out of three cases. That made everything seem all the more poignant. For some reason, even though I thought Miyuki’s runaway story was a bit "Wait, what?" I could sympathize with her all the same.
The main trio aside, the other characters were more roles within the story than actual characters. Sachiko was a little over the top for me, and her husband a bit predictable as well, but that’s okay. The other support characters more than make up for them. The yakuza guy was entertaining, and the Hispanic hitman intriguing, not to mention the raving, crazy, old hobo. They’re as good as minor characters get.
ART & ANIMATION – Tokyo Godfathers was a gorgeous, gorgeous movie, but I wouldn’t have expected or accepted anything less. Seriously, there wasn’t much not to like here visually. The characters were all distinct, memorable, and animated. Expressions were rendered with impressive realism, and the scenic city background was beautiful. I especially loved how the snow and light rail were handled, as well as nighttime city lights. The realness of the city really resonated as well. We do see a few prominent landmarks like Tokyo Tower, but pretty much all the buildings looked like they could have been real. The big city feeling really came out perfectly. It was kind of nice to see a few trademarks of Satoshi Kon’s style as well, including that a stout, self-important man, and that one creepy, old guy. They’re Kon’s white doves.
MUSIC – Average in that I-don’t-really-remember-any-of-it way. The final melody that played with the end credits was nice though.
VOICE ACTING – I saw this movie subbed, and it was lovely. The cast for our three protagonists all did great; the emotion was clearly there. I was especially fond of Yoshiaki Umegaki, who voiced Hana. I suppose I’m always impressed with those that do well playing less traditional roles, but it was a very believable portrayal. And… the baby cry was too believable. I don’t like babies much, but even amongst the baby lovers of the world, I’m sure there is a general consensus that the noise they can make is incredibly unpleasant. I almost muted this movie so many times because oh, snap, there is a lot of baby wailing in this movie. Oh well. More realism points?
The inclusion of a few Spanish-speaking characters in the movie was a nice surprise and scored some multicultural points. I like Spanish a lot and even though I probably wasn’t the best student of the language, I understood well enough without subtitles (I guess KAA hadn’t been prepared to sub Spanish). They used real Spanish-speakers too, so it actually sounded like Spanish instead of some strange, garbled Supaniishu. Yay!
OVERALL – Barring a bit of partial nudity (exposed breasts for breastfeeding), I think Tokyo Godfathers is an excellent family film. The story is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. All the traditional elements of a Christmas movie are there — inspiration, hope, good deeds, strong relationships, family values, feel-goodness, and a happy ending — but the rich characters that Satoshi Kon brings into the mix really makes the difference. So yeah, even with all the silly little coincidences that move it along, I really enjoyed this movie.
Story: This story is about 3 homeless people (a washed-up father/husband, a homo, and a runaway teen) during the Christmas Holidays. The story gets going when they find an abandoned baby at a dump site. Even though one of them wants to raise the baby himself, they knew that they couldn’t, so they go on a search for the baby’s parents. As this search goes on, they start to learn about each others past’s and we see how it ties into the present.
While it may seem like a pretty straight forward concept, Kon Satoshi manages to fully utilize it by putting all these twists and turn that keeps the movie exciting. What makes the story so special is how Satoshi manages to portray the homeless urban hood and how he cleverly ties everyone’s pasts together. So if a funny, compelling, heart-filled story is what you’re searching for, then look no further than this.
Animation: For a movie made in 2003, the animation is very solid. Style-wise, there is nothing spectacular about it. It doesn’t differentiate itself from other anime like Mind Game or Dead Leaves does, however, what makes it so appealing is all the detail it has when presenting urban Tokyo. A lot of work must have been done to try to represent the homeless.
Sound: There really isn’t much to say about this. There weren’t really anything that gave a huge impression; however, all I can say is that the music really fit the movie. Its one of the reason why movie stayed exciting
Character: Probably the best aspect of the movie was the characters. The first thing I want to point out is the realism. While they may be “weird” characters, their situations are really similar to society today. I can see a teenager running away from home. I can see a washed-up husband/father becoming homeless. Another fascinating thing about the characters is the growth that they go through. Because of this baby, we see the subtle growth of each character and the bonds between them becoming tighter.
Overall: This was a surprisingly good movie. It is a great addition to a Christmas holiday collection. I haven’t been glued to a movie like this in a while. Now I am definitely looking forward to his latest work Paprika.
9: K-On! Movie
English: K-ON! The Movie
Japanese: 映画 けいおん！
MAL Score: 8.34
Graduation looms for the founding members of the Light Music Club. With only a few precious weeks of school left, the girls decide to make the most of it and plan a trip abroad. Hawaii, New York, Dubai—many destinations are suggested, but after a little help from the club’s precious pet turtle, Ton-chan, London is chosen as the host of their next misadventure!
Yui Hirasawa, Mio Akiyama, Tsumugi Kotobuki, Ritsu Tainaka, and Azusa Nakano will visit famous landmarks, perform live music for Londoners, and eat all sorts of delicious food, all while stumbling clumsily from place to place. But the fun won’t last forever, as heartfelt songs and goodbyes will be made as their high school days together come to a close. One thing is for certain though: the undeniable friendships these girls have formed is something that will carry on long after the final scene rolls.
And when the credits roll in the K-ON movie, you know that you just witnessed something great.
After over a year since the second season of the anime finished its airing, KyoAni has released their final work for their famed K-ON adaptation. A movie with anime-original content or “filler” is something that normally carries a very negative connotation. For a person who doesn’t see themselves as a large fan of the series, this may appear to be something pointless, or, in the most severe form, a cash grab for the series. Though KyoAni has always prided themselves in selling based on the quality of their products, it’s safe to say that these worries have absolutely no basis in the movie.
This is in many ways the true ending to the series. It’s something that takes the expectations from the brilliant second season and goes above and beyond with what the series is truly capable of. Cute girls, comedy, and other important traits of the series remain prominent here, but it’s also something that shows itself to be much more than that.
K-ON is a series that needs no introduction. It’s always had a simple premise – young girls playing in a music club and growing up and having fun along the way. Yui is as ditzy as ever and Azusa is still her strict and mature self, though not without the character growth that came towards the end of the TV series. Taking place a few weeks before their graduation, the girls of the series make one last trip together as a full group in London to end things off with a smile. And just as you would expect, seeing the characters in a completely foreign environment and in a variety of strange and unique situations is a very delightful and amusing thing.
Surprisingly, there’s a large amount of exposition and build-up in the beginning as well as a lengthy goodbye at the end when they come back home. This isn’t a movie that starts and ends with their trip in London – it begins with a full 30-minutes of introduction and deliberation leading towards the trip. After finally boarding the plane and dealing with Yui’s silly shenanigans along the way, we see them in London making their way around the city sightseeing, having fun, and unfortunately for them, stumbling around and getting into several misunderstandings from their lack of knowledge with the English language.
They travel to many locations within the city that are based on and modeled after the actual locations, which is something that KyoAni has shown themselves to put a lot of work into. For somebody that lives in London or has been there frequently, there’s a lot of familiar sights in the movie which reminds the audience that this isn’t a story that takes place in a fictional setting, but our own living and breathing world. Even for people that aren’t familiar with the city, it gives a great glimpse at what the life and culture there is like and what the city has to offer. This is the real London, the hotel they stay at and all the locations they visit are very much real and lifelike places. And for a large part of the movie, you will feel like you’re traveling alongside the girls and witnessing all the silly and interesting things that they experience.
A lot of complaints towards K-ON can be directed towards a perceived lack of music which was established as the theme at the very beginning of the series. And while that does carry a small sense of validity in the TV anime, the movie is definitely something that will alleviate those complaints immensely with the amount of music the girls play and the amount of new tracks implemented here. A large portion of the screentime is spent by the girls performing music, both in London and back at home at their school. There aren’t just one or two new songs added in for the movie, but five in total, all performed and sang by the girls and their seiyuu. Two of these songs include a unique opening and ending while two of them are performed by the girls on-stage, and another exists as an insert song while they’re exploring the sights of London.
Background music is also much more varied and includes classical music reminiscent of the England from centuries past while others are more contemporary and involve catchy guitar riffs. While the background music in the TV anime wasn’t something that stood out most of the time, it is quite impossible to deny its presence here in the movie. Each track adds heavily to the emotional value and they also had me close to tearing up just from the music alone during a couple of the more serious scenes. This is a soundtrack that will be found incredibly hard to forget, especially with repeated and future seeings of the movie.
Another thing in particular that KyoAni should be commended for here is the quality of animation and the detail of the scenery. It’s honestly breathtaking at times and the characters and environments move so fluidly that it puts even the TV series to shame, which is saying a hell of a lot. Thankfully, many unique outfits are given to each and every character in the movie, rather than falling to the trope of a single outfit for the entire trip like many anime do. It’s very evident here that KyoAni put all their efforts into making sure the production quality is high up there, and it’s a very pretty anime as a result of that.
A large part of the emotion stems from the audience’s attachment to the characters, but with the direction of the movie itself and especially in the last thirty minutes, it finds a perfect way to end the series and tie it together with the ending of the second season. The story behind the song performed for Azusa during their graduation is easily the largest theme next to the seniors themselves moving on, and the movie goes into full detail with the creative process and emotion put behind that song. It’s what makes their final performance in the clubroom so meaningful and even more emotional than it was in the second season. With all the build-up and cues set before that point, it’s quite difficult to resist shedding a few tears or feeling impacted as the story of the five girls finally reaches its conclusion.
Many people praise previous KyoAni works like “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” and “Clannad After Story” as being some of the best of anime, but now it’s quite safe to say that KyoAni has opened this spot for a third title.
This is our final goodbye to the series, and what a beautiful goodbye it is.
“But, O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes!”
– Shakespeare, As You Like It
By the end of this humble review, the case may be that I will find myself skewered by countless pitchforks and torched at the stake by those who bear disdain towards K-ON! for forging what is igniting the burning passion in my heart for all to see. In spite of this inevitable dreary destiny, I shall boldly write on and write on I shall ‘till kingdom come for friend or foe to witness. So without further ado, before I enrage the angry mob which desires my public evisceration and execution to the point where they can no longer withhold their murderous intent, I shall grace your eyes with the weaving of this golden yarn of mine.
Infamous for its intricate, innovative and inspiring PLOT, or rather a lack thereof, K-ON! has garnered a reputation for being an inane and unproductive moefest after two seasons of moe madness featuring the endless antics of the musical moeblob members of the Houkago Tea Time Club.
But that is what it is.
And it will stay true to itself regardless of how irrational it may be. Because the story of the hectic daily lives of these high school girls aiming for the Budokan, and their various shenanigans along the way, is the quintessence of why we love them, or hate them, depending on which side of the spectrum that you may be.
This iconic image remains unaltered in its motion picture premiere. Indeed, there is never a dull moment in the world of K-ON! as it flawlessly maintains its ditsy eccentricity from Japan to England and back. That’s right. In this chapter of their high school adventures, the K-ON! girls travel to London, the birthplace of many talented musical prodigies, for their much awaited graduation trip. As with each episode of K-ON!, one cannot help but imagine in anticipation and in expectation of what lies in each installment, however it is usually the case that we are often wrong in our predictions of the coalescence of the events.
The same concept is applicable to the movie, which welcomes its audience with an explosive heavy metal opening that stands in stark contrast to the light and fluffy music that we are accustomed to. However, after a period of violent and erratic headbanging, I came to revisit the overwhelmingly nostalgic innocent and happy-go-lucky atmosphere which characteristically defines K-ON! We are immediately reminded that this chapter in the K-ON! girls’ lives takes place in the period before their graduation, after the senior girls receive confirmation of their acceptance into university. As such, they are presented with the dilemmas of how to celebrate their graduating year and final high school days as well as what will pose as the more uncertain and difficult challenge of expressing their gratitude to Azusa.
With these elements of PLOT presented, KyoAni does a splendid job of executing this duality by not only making the graduation trip an exciting and memorable experience for both the K-ON! girls and their spectators, but also succeeds in weaving the narrative fabric to incorporate the latter aspect throughout the film. And thus, we are once again thrust into the wild wacky absurdity of K-ON! From silliness on the airport conveyor belts which are undoubtedly amusing to tread on, to getting lost in a foreign land resulting in an unintended musical performance via a case of mistaken identity and Engrish gibberish, K-ON! and their fans embark on a misadventure with more destinations than what was planned on the trip itinerary. All of which was expertly animated by the talent at the KyoAni Studio, which never fails to dish out perfection with a side dish of K-ON! The addition of CGI that complimented the meticulously drawn conventional animation was a great welcome and generated eyegasms aplenty.
The movie also serves as a fast-track tourist trip to London city as we travel with the K-ON! girls to famous landmarks such as the London Underground, the Borough Market and the banks of the River Thames where the Tower Bridge, the London Eye and the Elizabeth Tower containing Big Ben all lie in their gloriously animated state. For those who have been to the massive metropolitan city, it is a refreshing sight to view its beautiful landscape in animated form. By the same token, it stirs a desire to retrace the steps of the K-ON! girls in those who have yet to travel to the hallmark destination.
Moving on, the audience is once again graced with the excitement that a typical K-ON! musical gig provides. KyoAni doesn’t disappoint its fans with the animation of the gigs, which leave me jumping and pumping my fist in the air in tandem with the song. I’m just kidding, I don’t do that. As we approach the film’s conclusion, we re-experience the nostalgic bliss of the end of the senior girls’ high school days and their final gift of gratitude to Azusa that they worked so hard throughout the movie to have come to fruition, which takes form in the performance that is depicted in Episode 24 of the second season. Witnessing the penultimate events which led to the pinnacle of that emotional scene was the most masterfully executed moment of heartfelt nostalgia that I had the privilege of experiencing and I felt the full brunt of the bittersweet joy that I basked in once before.
One would like to believe that after three years have passed since the debut of their high school years, the K-ON! girls would experience some sort of progressive change as they nurtured each other’s growth. However, that is far from the case as the only thing that has probably altered is the fact that they have become complacent to each other’s idiocy, and therefore have become increasingly idiotic. Hirasawa Yui returns as your friendly neighborhood airhead guitarist and stars in all of the crazy acts of hilarity which we all know and love. Tainaka Ritsu’s erratic hard-headed large-forheaded rash irrationality compliments Yui and completes their comedic duo in their plethora of stunts. Akiyama Mio. Ahem. Wait a moment please, I must compose myself. So Mio flawlessly and triumphantly makes her stunning comeback as our adorable and lovable cute and pure maiden. Bubbly Kotobuki Tsumugi and her eyebrows of awesome return to be Mugi and bubbly. Nakano Azusa, also affectionately known as Azunyan, becomes translated into Engrish as Azu-Cat and remains the most sane and levelheaded member of K-ON! Even side-characters make their respective cameos to remind the viewers of all of the individuals with which the K-ON! girls have met in their high school journey. Oh and Sawa-chan looks damn delectably delicious in black. In essence, KyoAni manages to preserve the iconic identities of all of their characters and work their magic by making the vast array of personalities interact and mingle in new ways.
Now how could I possibly forget about the musical score of a series centered around a group of girls who are characterized by their identity as band members? The soundtrack recycles some of the K-ON! series background music pieces to retain its iconic happy-go-lucky feel, but we are introduced to new music as we enter the realm of the English homeland K-ON! style. This is welcomed with open arms as it adds to consolidate the foreign setting of the film. In addition, the OP songs “Unmei wa Endless!” and “Ichiban Ippai” are sure to satisfy the listeners who are yearning for more K-ON! fluff. On the other hand, ED song “Singing” which bears the angelic –singing- voice of Hikasa Youko emanates the same feel as her previous K-ON!! ED piece, “NO, Thank You!” However, the film returns to showcase hallmark tracks which have defined its musical prowess such as “Fuwa Fuwa Time,” “U&I,” “Gohan wa Okazu,” and “Tenshi ni Fureta Yo.” All in all, the film’s soundtrack features some new spectacular tracks and reintroduces their predecessors to keep K-ON! music and nostalgia fresh.
Watching the K-ON! Movie has been the most exhilarating anime entertainment experience that I have witnessed and I am eternally grateful for seeing this legendary series meet its conclusion with such sparkling splendor. Bravo KyoAni for creating a beautiful masterpiece.
And in the end, Yui still got to go to Europe.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I am being carried against my will by this legion of pissed off K-ON! haters to be burned at the stake. I guess I have to visit the hospital after to treat this multitude of pitchfork punctures too. Well don’t worry, it’s just a flesh wound.
The school year is drawing to a close at Sakuragaoka Girls’ High School, and with it will come the graduation of four of the five girls in the school’s light music club. The girls have already spent plenty of time together during and after school having fun, making music, and drinking tea, but what better way to cap it all off than with a graduation trip? After some serious deliberation and a little outside help, the five girls decide to go to London, guitars and bass in tow. Between visiting Abbey Road, seeing palace guards, drinking afternoon tea, and more, they’ve got plenty to do on their schedules, but how much of the trip will go as planned? While these sorts of questions have a tendency to sort themselves out, one more question is weighing heavily on the minds of the four seniors, Yui’s in particular: what kind of song will the four write as their goodbye to Azusa, the one junior they’ll be leaving behind?
Fans may insist that it is impossible to grasp all the qualities of K-ON! without being intimately familiar with the franchise, and to a degree, they would not be wrong in saying this. However, the film still succeeds in its attempt to please fans across the spectrum, drawing even the most unfamiliar viewers into its world through its minutely detailed characters and fun, thoughtful story while also providing more than enough to keep hardcore fans happy.
Our heroines do arrive in the promised land, but much of the stereotypical sightseeing the girls do is summarized fairly quickly in a montage of short moments at famous locations. The speed at which this all goes by may be a let down to some, but on the converse, this approach does an excellent job of capturing how a highly-planned overseas vacation in an unfamiliar land might feel, as rather than actively engaging in their sightseeing, the girls’ experience seems to passively happen to them as they whisk themselves off from one spot to the next.
While the film’s first two acts are well-paced and easy to follow, the third and final act may prove to be the most divisive between hardcore fans of the K-ON! franchise and those who aren’t. Not only have the girls returned from a lengthy and conclusive trip by this point, but viewers will also have grown accustomed to the film’s technical aspects, meaning that the significantly lengthy end segment hinges around the emotional drama between the girls as all but one of them spends their final days in high school.
The production quality for the movie is insanely high. I love KyoAni’s realistic rendition of the city of London, which looks exotically breathtaking. The detailed and vibrant background is noteworthy, and it exactly highlights London’s busy streets and beautiful scenery. The animations and some of the carefully chosen angles make them as comparable as most of K-ON’s high-quality ending sequences. Also, the several number of food scenes expressed and reinforced the cultural opposites of the girls’ usual obsessions; teas and cakes, which was pretty refreshing.
As for the music in the film, all of the girls’ catchy, fluffy power-pop songs heard in the various performance scenes will be familiar to those who have seen the television series, as the three new songs by the K-ON! girls are used are all heard outside of the context of the story.
While this probably goes without saying, you’re looking for a theatrical anime experience that will blow you out of your seat, K-ON! is probably not the movie for you. What it is, however, is a very well-crafted and whimsical look into the lives of the movie’s five heroines, with each of its constituent parts supporting and creating a polished final product. Its story might just be about a group of girls who go on a school trip, but they’re are quickly made into characters who you develop emotional connections with and naturally want to watch as they go about their lives. While it may seem like a light message delivered in a sugar-coated package, K-ON! does a brilliant job of reminding us that sometimes who you choose to spend your time with is more important than what you do with that time.
All in all, the movie shows us the five good friends doing what they do best; messing and playing around, relaxing, trying to come up with new songs and procrastinating; all the way in London.
8: Gintama: Yorinuki Gintama-san on Theater 2D
Japanese: 銀魂 よりぬき銀魂さんオンシアター2D
MAL Score: 8.44
Demonic Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi, Toushirou Hijikata, acquires a cursed sword—one which completely rewrites his personality, morphing him from a hard-boiled, no-nonsense cop into a hopeless otaku. As he struggles to break the curse, an ambitious new member of the police force, Itou Kamotarou, seizes the opportunity to depose Hijikata in his bid for power within the organization. However, Itou’s scheme is revealed to be more devious than anyone imagined, and the very existence of the Shinsengumi is thrown into peril.
In another time and place, the Yorozuya squad is suddenly greeted by a potential new recruit. Before them is a mysterious young woman named Pirako Doromizu who hides a penchant for extreme violence behind her smiling, enthusiastic exterior. However, unbeknownst to Gintoki and the others, Pirako has strong ties to one of the ruling figures of the Kabuki district of Edo, and her arrival sets off a chain reaction that throws the inhabitants of the district into a civil war.
Are Shinsengumi Crisis and Kabukichou Four Devas one of the best Gintama arcs? Yes. Does this recap actually add anything of value? No, I don’t think it does. At least, I certainly haven’t noticed any difference. Someone might compare those frame by frame to the original airing and please, do prove me wrong as I’d like to see what the extra content actually is, but currently I’m pretty sure nothing worth of noting was added. Should this get high rating just because the content it’s copypasting is great? I don’t think so – just the original version should. In fact, I would argue that watching this recap movies is the worse experience than just plainly watching the original episodes. Thankfully the arcs are short so the content didn’t have to be cut down drastically, so you’re not losing much there. But there’s one small but major detail – those recap movie are only available in SD, as the only physical media it was released on were DVDs. So unlike the series which is available on bluray, you can see this only in 480p. And why would you want to watch the great arcs pixelated? And if you’ve already seen them, why would you want to see them pixelated instead of the available HD regular episodes?
Plainly said, it’s a worthless recap that brings nothing of value. So an average recap. Well, it’s still Gintama and the arcs are still great so I can’t bring myself to give it 5/10, but you get the point.
7: Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fine
Japanese: 冴えない彼女の育てかた Fine
MAL Score: 8.47
With the second Winter Comiket just around the corner, Blessing Software has been vigorously producing its new game, “How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend.” Despite Utaha Kasumigaoka and Eriri Spencer Sawamura leaving the circle, Megumi Katou and Tomoya Aki are hopeful that, by sticking to Tomoya’s original vision for the game, their upcoming creation will exceed Blessing Software’s previous installment.
With the addition of new members Iori and Izumi Hashima, development ensues—but not without its share of setbacks. Things rarely go as planned in the dating sim industry, with numerous obstacles forcing Tomoya to decide between helping his friends or completing the game.
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fine draws the series to a close as Tomoya selects his final route, both within his personal life and Blessing Software.
The animation is very good and what one would expect for a movie production, and there are plenty of Easter eggs for you to spot in various scenes.
But I feel that aside from Eriri, all of the other characters aren’t given the development and growth they deserve. It’s unfortunate that even though Michiru and Izumi get relatively more screen time, their existence isn’t very important.
There are both scenes meant to be heartwarming and heart-wrenching, but everything gets rushed along due to the time constraints and the impact isn’t as strong as one would hope.
It is an ending to the series, but was it the best ending? I personally don’t think so.
Also, when you watch this, be sure to watch past the credits.
If I were to describe this movie in a few words, it’d be sweet and satisfying. The heavy focus on romance is what made it so much more satisfying to watch than the previous 2 seasons.
The animation, as expected, was great. Clean and high quality, a slight step above its already well-animated prequels. Comedic scenes were also scattered throughout the movie and funny to watch.
The story was well-executed. Although this anime is known for its melodrama, I feel that the plot was nothing too extravagant. The romantic development was simple and clear cut. I really liked the empathy and understanding between the MC and best girl, which gave a really different form of romantic entertainment unlike the usual misunderstandings in romance anime.
All in all, it was immensely satisfying to watch its conclusive ending. If you’ve watched the preceding 2 seasons, I’d highly recommend that you watch this movie. I’d personally gave it an 8.5, but I’m sure it’d definitely be worth a watch for anyone else. Oh and remember to stay after the credits!
Yes, I’m aware of the things that they could’ve made way better but in a good anime, there’s either an ending that satisfies you, confuses you, or pisses you off. None of these three are bad but that depends on your “taste” in anime. Me personally, it made me really happy. The ending was just perfect (before end credits), and the fact that they came back to where it all started brought tears in my eyes.
Only reason why I didn’t give this a 10 is because of the disrespect on Utaha, who’s supposedly one of the main characters. Not only was her screen time limited but the lack of her development as one of the main characters bothered me. On the other hand, Eriri was given what she deserved with a “proper” goodbye to her “what could’ve been relationship” with Tomoya.
The actual ending (after credits) hit me right in the heart, I was brought back to reality after seeing what could’ve been the end of their relationship and their status as a couple after giving up on their dreams. Later then being reunited with all the members was just the cherry on top of the movie, it really couldn’t have been any better than that.
So if anything, don’t drop the series, trust.
6: Zoku Owarimonogatari
Japanese: 続 終物語
MAL Score: 8.48
Graduation day is finally here, marking the end of Koyomi Araragi’s eccentric high school life full of peculiar relationships with otherworldly beings.
However, Araragi is unexpectedly absorbed into his own bathroom mirror and trapped inside a bizarre world where everything he knows is completely reversed—the haughty Karen Araragi is shorter than usual, poker-faced Yotsugi Ononoki is brimming with emotion, and cute ghost girl Mayoi Hachikuji is a grown woman! But not everything is as it seems.
Zoku Owarimonogatari details the story of Araragi’s endeavors in this new world as he struggles to return to his home and understand the nature of this bizarre dimension.
Note: Watched this in Japanese cinemas. Japanese is not my native language and the monogatari series is quite complex to say the least. Therefore I might not have understood everything to the fullest extent. Luckily the BD release is just around the corner! Anyhow, this is still one of the best parts of the monogatari series in my opinion though.
So how you do you make a sequel to the end? Well, Nishio Ishin managed to it again! In my opinion, Zoku Owarimonogatari was not really needed to wrap up the main story. However, it is a neat little extra storyline for those who wanted to know what happened with Araragi after his graduation.
As I hinted at before, this story is about Araragi. Even though the main story line is practically finished, Araragi’s mind and thoughts has not reached the conclusion he wants. Araragi is kind of stuck in one place, he just finished high school but has yet to start college nor got any job, he became a nobody despite all the adventures he has experienced so far. Suddenly, a little bathroom mirror incident quite literally turns his reality backwards or “inverts” it if you’d like. The story is just as bizarre as one would expect from Ishin-sensei by now. All I will say is that as for someone who has been in the same shoes as Araragi regarding regrets in life and anxiety for the future, I can really appreciate this story. I really hope you will as well!
I won’t say more story-wise for those who are really looking forward to watch this, but I really want to talk a little about how Shaft’s anime adaptation of the novel is so splendid. Apart from the excellent story and the great characters we have come to love from the monogatari series (albeit a bit different this time), I really must talk about the animation and the effects in this movie. The animation and effects happen to be one of the best parts of this film, since they are in a sense so well adapted from the novel (Which makes no sense because novels do not have animation and effects). But hear me out! For those who has read the novel know the setting of this story, and the way shaft uses reflections to enhance the visuals and make the setting more trustworthy really blew my mind because it is something, I have never personally seen myself before in an anime. The amount of detail shaft has put into the “inverted/mirrored” reality, environment and characters really makes you further respect the love and effort Shaft has put into the monogatari series. I can’t wait to inspect the environment when I watch the film again.
The only thing that I think could have been slightly better is the background music, it is a slight step-down from earlier entries. It is worth to note that the music is still very good, but I expected much more depth from something like monogatari.
Overall, I really love this film, it is definitely one of the best monogatari entries but it’s kind of sad that the main story has come to an end. The monogatari series will remain one of the best series I have ever watched, and I am glad it has gone on for this long. Now, we just have to wait and see which monogatari novel is the next to get an anime adaptation.
¡ᴉɹɐʇɐƃouoɯᴉɹɐʍO-nʞoZ ʎoɾuǝ ǝsɐǝld
PS: Sodachi is great freaking waifu material in this one.
Every good thing must come to an end, or at least that’s how the saying goes. Not that it’s too good to continue on forever, but because it should end while it’s still doing well. If not, however, it is doomed to milk its already-explored ideas until it drenches all the quality from its previous work. Thus is the fate of the once beloved Monogatari series.
Promise of the Premise:
Zoku Owarimonogatari, captures the events that took place after the Second Season of Owarimonogatari, and before the epilogue to the series, Hanamonogatari. We are, yet again, tossed into another strange story that begins with a seemingly unfortunate series of supernatural events; Arraragi Koyomi, who is dealing with an identity crisis upon graduating high school, and is now having problems with moving on with his life, somehow finds himself trapped inside what he refers to as “the mirror world.” In this inside-out version of reality, he encounters all the people important to him, who are now fundamentally changed. We soon learn that the nature of the characters in “the mirror world” is to serve as the polar opposites of the ones in the “our” reality; they reflect all the characteristics that the characters in our reality tried to shut in.
For the most part of the show, we are left to explore the mirrored reality through Araragi’s lenses, as he spends most of the runtime interacting with altered characters as he tries to figure out the nature of the world he is stuck in. He quickly realizes that not only are the characters changed, but their very position in the world is off. And as the story moves on, there seems to be a bigger mystery hiding behind the scenes.
The setting seems to offer a lot of insight, both regarding the characters and regarding the story of the franchise looking from the grand scheme of things, now that the franchise has reached its conclusion in the previous entry. However, the show does none of that.
Toll of Redundancy:
The main problem of every milked continuation is its inability to cohesively add new ideas without contradicting itself in the process. Zoku Owarimonogatari, however, dodges this problem by having no new ideas whatsoever.
To observe the characters from the inside-out perspective would generally be a great move, and a useful tool when it comes to character development. The problem is, however, that every information about the characters that this introspection gained us was something we already knew and were aware of. Throughout the franchise we followed the characters as they all went through a similar path of development: they were introduced along with their demonic apparition, representing their negative sides and the parts of themselves they want to reject and deny, and then we see them as they overcome their flaws, or simply accept them and move along. Having that transformation inverted inside-out is nothing more but going back to the stage of development the characters were in when they were first introduced. Nothing new was gained in the process.
So to cover-up for such lack of progression, the show goes for a solution that I like to refer to as “madlibs storytelling.” Instead of actually providing progress in character dynamics, the characters are given a bunch of random traits that are supposed to fit in with the setting, but add nothing of substance aside from gimmick. And instead of using that to explore characters on any deeper level, now that we are given the opportunity to see the mutual interactions of their inverted personas, we are provided with nothing but a charade of randomized Monogatari characters, self-referencing series’ previous works. It’s filled to the brim with beating-‘round-the-bush philosophy, horribly timed comedy and general lack of direction.
What we are left with is a thin idea that tries to present itself as a gigantic one by hopelessly connecting to everything that the series previously built. A story that pays more attention to browsing its own catalogue of characters than it does trying to write or develop itself.
Through-out the runtime of 6 episodes, or a 2-hour long movie depending on which version you’ve seen, Zoku Owarimonogatari has constant trouble keeping up the pace, and balancing out it’s weak story and its unspeakable urge to fill in with as many redundant characters that were most likely put into the story for a mere self-reference. However, the worst part about this redundancy, as I said, is the fact that after those 6 episodes (or one movie) we are at the exact same place as we were before watching the show. Not only is all the information provided one we already know, but all the progress done in the mean time turns out to be inconsequential, if there ever was one. Zoku Owarimonogatari feels more like an alternative spin-off of a sort, with value of an average Christmas special: it serves no purpose except for you to indulge yourself in the known universe once again. And the worst part about it is that it doesn’t use said universe as a platform for exploring ideas, but rather as a playground for already-explored ones.
I won’t dive too deep into the spoiler section on this one, even though I don’t think this is an entry that deserves to be watched. However, I have to mention that the “explanation” of the story-wise elements might be the most disappointing thing that the franchise ever did. It all boils down to “everything that pointed to a bigger story underneath was a cover-up by a mastermind X,” which itself isn’t too far from the madlibs storytelling I mentioned before. The problem with this Aizen-like ass-pull is that it not only makes a fool out of you, the audience, for trying to figure out the answers, but it also makes all the build-up up until this point just a bunch of cool tension-building ideas that were put for the sake of it. The show forcefully asks of you to follow its plot, and then punishes you for doing so.
It doesn’t happen very often that a continuation shows no understanding of its predecessors aside from the surface-level analysis. Zoku Owarimonogatari is not only failing to understand the main motif of the series, “people save themselves. No one could ever save anyone else,” but it straight-up contradicts it. What was once a self-centered story about overcoming your own flaws and accepting yourself, is now a one-man Messiah story. And this severe contradiction is not only subtly implied throughout the show, but is presented as the very conclusion, slapped across our screens through an overly-sentimental closing montage.
There seems to be an ongoing misconception where people think adding another ending to the ending is what makes the conclusion stronger. However, not only is that not the case, but doing so actually takes value away from the ending. After all, if the ending isn’t complete, it’s not an ending at all. If a character needs five “moving on” stages to actually move on, it makes all the previous 4 stages completely redundant and stripped off of value. This matter is discussed in the final sequence of the show, where Araragi states that he is always unsure whether he should step onto the road with his left or right foot, and is advised by Senjougahara to instead carelessly jump ahead instead of thinking about the next move. Not only a very flawed idea with barely any thematic weight, but also a hilariously cheesy, out-of-place symbol. A fitting conclusion for the messy, incoherent story that this apparition of a show rightfully deserved.
Nothing much to say here, as the audio and visual style remained the same as the rest of the franchise, which is ironically enough, the only coherent part about it. However, I do have a few complaints.
While the animation quality sure is great, the visual narrative was oddly off. Framing is rather more concerned about looking goofy and looking somewhat visually appealing than it does trying to actually say something, which is not common for a Monogatari show. What bothered me the most about it is the downright awkward use of certain visual tools, such as using the frame dividers to capture character’s breasts in the main plan of the shot. It is vaguely pointed out that the shot may be constructed like that for a reason, since that would exactly be the thing that would occupy Araragi’s attention, but it’s still a very dull way of using it.
The audio was hardly even noticeable, and featured no iconic tracks of the franchise, not even the character themes which would be the most fitting considering the direction of the story.
Zoku Owarimonogatari is a painful exercise in redundancy, that serves as a great example of “stop while you’re still worth something.” It tries its hardest to keep the series alive by cramping as much memory of it as possible, but with little to no idea what is to be done with them.
From a long-loving fan, a somber goodbye to the franchise.
5: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! Movie: Kurenai Densetsu
English: KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world!- Legend of Crimson
Japanese: 映画 この素晴らしい世界に祝福を！紅伝説
MAL Score: 8.49
It is not strange that the Demon Lord’s forces fear the Crimson Demons, the clan from which Megumin and Yunyun originate. Even if the Demon Lord’s generals attack their village, the Crimson Demons can just easily brush them off with their supreme mastery of advanced and overpowered magic.
When Yunyun receives a seemingly serious letter regarding a potential disaster coming to her hometown, she immediately informs Kazuma Satou and the rest of his party. After a series of wacky misunderstandings, it turns out to be a mere prank by her fellow demon who wants to be an author. Even so, Megumin becomes worried about her family and sets out toward the Crimson Demons’ village with the gang.
There, Kazuma and the others decide to sightsee the wonders of Megumin’s birthplace. However, they soon come to realize that the nonsense threat they received might have been more than just a joke.
The Good – The humor is on point, exactly the same quality as the show. Kazuma’s antics are entertaining as always, Megumin gets plenty of fanservice, Yunyun gets a bit more screentime, and even the new villain is memorable. The interactions between the characters were a goldmine of laughs for me. Story-wise, it’s a simple story about the gang visiting Megumin and Yunyun’s hometown. Nothing special, but no one watches Konosuba for the plot, amirite? 😉
The Bad: Since the movie is basically just an extended episode, the animation was lacking in quite a few places, which is even more noticeable this time since it’s supposed to be a movie. Background characters sometimes barely have a face. True to the spirit of Megumin, they seemed to put more budget into just the explosions, which looked pretty good.
Overall score: 8/10 – If you liked the show and don’t expect the movie to go above and beyond the show’s quality, then this will be a great watch. If you didn’t like the show, why are you even reading this review? Go watch something else, pleb. 😛
Definitely not a bot
Saw this movie in a local german cinema a few hours ago.
The german subtitles were kind of inaccurate at times, but nothing that impacted the understanding of the scene/plot. (But one time they forgot to translate background chatter, that was subtitled in Japanese.
Story – 7
Nothing too special, but not generic either.
The story was mostly what you’d expect from Konosuba, but the last 20 minutes were a bit too “cliché-anime-movie”, in my opinion.
However all plotpoints had the usual quirky (and kinda dumb-funny) konosoba-feel to it.
It was sort of ecchi-heavy and it revolved more about sex, love and relationships as i expected.
Art – 6
Probably my biggest gripe with this film.
Most of the time it just looked like the TV-show, but on a big screen.
There was no scene that looked like complete trash, but -apart from some spells and explosions- nothing really stood out.
Also this movie had a lot of jiggling boobs.
Sound – 8
Can vary depending on Location, but my local cinema is pretty new so the sound equipment is rather good. You could really feel the explosions through your whole Body, but the sound wasn’t deafining in any way.
Music was fine, the use of the OP at the beginning was fitting.
Voice acting was on point, but that’s not too surprising.
Characters – 10
The characters and their quirks is something that makes Konosuba to what it is, as most of the jokes are built those characteristics.
Probably most important was Kazuma’s desire to be a womanizer, which was used throughout the film, creating funny scenes until the very end.
All the characters’ actions fitted their respective personality, nothing felt off.
The new characters were all pretty quirky and made for some humorous additions.
Enjoyment – 9
I pretty much laughed throughout the whole movie, in fact i laughed so much, that at some point i had to stop laughing, because my face started hurting.
Really only the chliché finale bugged me.
Overall – 8
“Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!: Kurenai Densetsu” knows where it strengths lie and plays them perfectly, but its weaknesses can’t be overseen, especially the animations.
4: Gintama Movie 1: Shinyaku Benizakura-hen
English: Gintama: The Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 銀魂 新訳紅桜篇
MAL Score: 8.52
Gintoki and his Yorozuya friends (or rather, employees suffering under labor violations), Shinpachi and Kagura, continue to scrape by in the futuristic, alien-infested city of Edo. They take on whatever work they can find while trying not to get involved in anything too dangerous. But when Katsura, the leader of the Joui rebels and Gintoki’s long-time acquaintance, disappears after being brutally attacked by an unknown assassin, Shinpachi and Kagura begin an investigation into his whereabouts and the identity of the assailant. Meanwhile, Gintoki takes on a seemingly unrelated job: the blacksmith Tetsuya requests that Gin recover a strange and powerful sword called the Benizakura which was recently stolen.
As the two investigations gradually intersect, the Yorozuya crew find themselves in the midst of a major conspiracy that hinges on the sinister nature of the Benizakura sword. Gintoki resolves to take the fight directly to the enemy headquarters, and together with a few unexpected allies, sets out on one of his most perilous jobs yet.
The Benizakura story itself is kept unchanged. Katsura, leader of anti-government faction, has disappeared. Some believe he has fallen victim to a murderer, who targets samurai on the streets of Edo. Gintoki wants to look for his missing friend, but is given a job. He has to find a stolen sword, the Benizakura. While he is searching for it, Kagura and Shinpachi are looking for Katsura. They all face some dangerous enemies and eventually discover a conspiracy aiming to overthrow the government.
The differences with the TV episodes are not that great. They have re-used about 85% of the existing material. Most of the scenes, the fights and the dialogue are identical. In the movie, they have improved some small animation details, like sword reflections and effects. Some pieces of the background music and some camera angles have also been changed. There are also about 10 minutes of original footage in the movie, with some additional scenes (and some new jokes).
The overall enjoyment for Gintama fans would be 10/10… even though it is just the old episodes pasted together with some minor cosmetic changes. The Benizakura arc is awesome and watching it again never gets old. Those, who haven’t seen the series, can still watch the movie and enjoy it. The story is easy to follow and the action is good. Some may notice that the characters’ background and motivation need more explanation (which is covered in the TV episodes). Also some things (like Elizabeth) in the crazy Gintama world might seem confusing. Anyways, the movie is good, but “newcomers” would probably rate it around 8/10.
This movie’s plot comes from episodes 58-61 of the original series, just redone. The story is phenomenal (Gintoki keeps his former friend from destroying Edo).
The art is typical Gintama, as are the character’s audio.
What pushed me to love this was that the enjoyment was simply satisfying. From the usual Gintama, I would just get a laugh and that was it, but this is the whole freaking package. We finally see Gintoki get serious and it is awesome. His fighting rivals that of Kenshin Himura for all of you Rurouni Kenshin fans (I’m a hardcore one myself).
This movie is amazing. All I can really say is check it out.
Is it really necessary for me to explain and describe the plot and characters in this review even though you obviously seen the anime and if not why are you, the reader even going to attempt to watch the movie? You won’t understand it.
In all seriousness what was the point of this movie? I thought it was going to be something original, something that Gintama fans never seen before. But it turned out to be a remake of a popular arc. I hope I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong the Benizakura-hen arc is everything a Gintama fan would want it had action, comedy and adventure but was it really mandatory to remake the darn thing instead of creating something freah and exciting? It takes out the element of suspense and therefore it becomes bland and repetitive. My suggestion: watch the anime.
3: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu
English: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
MAL Score: 8.63
One cold Christmas day, Kyon heads over to school and the SOS Brigade’s holiday celebration, only to realize that Haruhi Suzumiya seems to have disappeared. Moreover, no one even remembers her or the SOS Brigade; Mikuru Asahina knows nothing and is now afraid of him, and Itsuki Koizumi has also gone missing. The Literature Club, formed only by an uncharacteristically shy Yuki Nagato, now occupies the old SOS club room.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu is based on the fourth light novel of the acclaimed Haruhi series and is set after the events of the anime series. Not uncultured in the supernatural, Kyon will have to deal with his whole life turned upside down like a bad joke, and maybe it’s better that way.
Well, it seems someone was listening.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu begins on 16th December, a month after the cultural festival in the first series, and all is seemingly peaceful. It’s not long though, before reality gets put through the wringer, and it’s up to Kyon to fix everything.
The thing that most surprised me about this movie is how closely it tries to follow the light novel of the same name. Granted there are a few liberties here and there, but nothing near the number used in both TV series. The benefit of this is that the story has a solid base to begin with, especially as the plot is mainly based around Kyon’s thoughts and actions.
The movie begins at a farily placid pace with nothing untoward or suspicious occuring, but one of the problems with the story is that it never really shakes off the languidity of the first 20 or so minutes. While the story itself is actually very good, there are occasions where there is a marked lack of urgency about the plot, and it’s these occurences that upset the flow of the movie.
There are some plusses though. The fact that much of the movie is based around Kyon’s motivations makes it a more interesting piece than the majority of TV episodes, as he is now the engine by which drives the plot rather than a reactionary element. Another big plus are Kyon’s numerous monolgoues which reinforce the direction of the story, but also offer some insight into his character, especially towards the end of the movie.
The design is exactly what one would expect from the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise and follows that of both TV series, but it’s when things go to hell that KyoAni really begin to flex some of their creative muscles. The alterations in the character’s appearances and actions are extremely well managed, and the characters are generally more expressive here than they are in either series. The animation is crisp and smooth for the majority of the movie, however there are the oddfew blips here and there with character actions (nothing that’s really worth worrying about though).
The music used throughout the movie is actually very good, even though the majority of Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu lacks any thematic pieces. The main theme, “Yasashi Boukyaku”, is sung by Chihara Minori, and while the song has echoes of regret and oppurtunities lost, these sentiments are made more powerful by the lack of any musical accompaniment. The rest of the music is choreographed well with the on screen action, and some of the tracks chosen are inspired in their usage.
The one thing that hasn’t really changed at all is the cast, and while many of the seiyuu definitely earn their pay with this movie, the two stand out performances are from Sugita Tomkazu (Kyon), and Chihara Minori (Yuki), both of whom give a new perspective on their respective characters.
Which neatly leads me on to the characters themselves.
One of the things that has always been a bit lacking with the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise is that there hasn’t really been much focus on specific characters with a view to developing them. Thankfully, this movie begins to address that issue. Unlike the two TV series, both of which adopt a more reactionary approach to the growth of a character, the movie is more direct in terms of Kyon’s development, and the difference this makes is rather surprising. While some may find Kyon’s monologues to be no different to those in the series, it should be noted that the content of his comments gradually changes overthe course fo the movie, and the culmination of this development bodes well for future releases.
In all honesty, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The tight storyline, together with the more focused character development, means that the plot is more flowing than in either of the TV series’ (although admittedly the time jumps from one episodeto the next play a part in that too). In truth, this movie is everything the second season should have been, and it goes some way to tying up certain loose ends from both series.
One thing that many people don’t seem to see though, is the very clear influence of a certain long running British sci-fi series about a time traveller who sometimes calls himself “John Smith” and there were occasions in this movie where I kept expecting to see a TARDIS.
As with any popular title though, there will undoubtedly be those who will be inclined to hate this movie because it’s part of the Suzumiya Haruhi series. The majority of viewers however, may find that they enjoy the movie in a way that isn’t possible with a 13 episode series.
Hopefully, movies like this will be the way forward for the franchise, as the last thing anyone needs is more Endless Eight.
First and foremost, this movie is indeed a sequel to both of the previous two seasons of Haruhi. Watching this movie without seeing both seasons is not suggested. For those who have seen both seasons, I suggest first taking time to remember some plot details and characters. First of all, who is Ryoko Asakura? If you remember from season one of Haruhi you would know that she is yet another alien in the same ranks as Nagato Yuki. In (chronologically) episode 4 of the first season of Haruhi she tries to kill Kyon by stabbing him. Second you should refresh your memories on the first episode of the second season of Haruhi, “Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody”, which is when Kyon goes back in time to help Haruhi draw lines on school grounds but then gets trapped in the past.
Since the plot summary isn’t too well done on the website, I’ll give a brief go. The plot starts on December 16. In about a week, Christmas will hit, so the SOS Brigade decides to have a Christmas party in which Haruhi will make a hotpot for all the members to enjoy. On the morning of December 18, Kyon goes to school to find the strangest thing: Haruhi has gone missing and there are no aliens, espers, or time travelers anymore. As bizarre events keep occurring one after the other, he finds that he is the only person who still knows who Haruhi is. As Kyon loses all hope, he goes to the club room and finds, in one of the books, a bookmark with Nagato Yuki’s hand writing. Striving to figure out its mysterious message, Kyon goes out and tries to find the key to changing the world back to how it used to be.
The plot is exceptional, with a huge plot twist in the middle. The monologues are very well done, including a really epic monologue near the end of the movie. The amount of thought put into the entirety of the plot is also well done; just by reading the plot summary will automatically suck you in. You will be on the edge of your seat the whole time trying to figure out the reasons for these bizarre events. There are some epic moments that really bring out your emotions. You will, at least one, feel tingles down your spine; for me it happened like 10-20 times. The plot is just that well put together that your body can’t help but to let you feel it epicness. Time travel is AMAZINGLY done in this movie. Your mind will be blown by the end of this movie because of time travel. One point in argument is that there are loose ends to the movie. This, of course, is part of the story because it will tie in with the seventh light novel of Haruhi (This movie being the fourth), so the movie automatically is open to a sequel, which of course is a really good thing.
The art is amazing, just as good, if not better, than the TV series. There is a fair share of flashy lights and warping colors when time travel or alien sequences occur. The art is wonderfully beautiful at Kyon’s monologue near the end; trust me when you see it you’ll know. The music is of course amazing, the OP is Bouken Desho Desho, sung by Hirano Aya (Haruhi) and is the OP to Haruhi season one, and the ED is Yasashii Boukyaku sung by Minori Chihara (Yuki) which is peaceful sad melody. The overall OST is amazing and I would definitely get it since it combines sad music with upbeat music when Kyon makes a breakthrough in trying to solve the mysterious occurrence.
Characters are at their best in this movie. Kyon is the central character and makes the biggest change in this movie. He comes to an ultimate realization of everything he was living for: Does he like the life with aliens, espers, and time travelers? Nagato Yuki would be another major character because her life, not as a humanoid interface, but as a human grows. She gains a little bit of emotions and is able to realize her true feelings. Even in the end, Kyon realizes that he has never been thankful everything that Nagato has done for him and ultimately saves her. Even minor characters play a big role, for example Taniguchi, who is ultimately the one who saves Kyon from absolute despair. Haruhi in the distorted world is just a normal person, but without her help, Kyon would not have been saved. The characters are amazingly done and you will love the way they are all presented.
Overall, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a plot filled, plot twisting, emotional giving, character changing, enjoyment giving, plot loving, mind blowing, time traveling, time distorting, epic bringing, ultimate awesomeness, wonderfully put together, amazingly amazing story. There is only one scene in the movie that is particularly different from the light novel; this would be when Kyon and Asahina encounter Nagato at the school early in the morning (you’ll know when), the movie has the scene take place outside the school gates, where in the novel it takes place inside the clubroom; however, I would say putting that particular scene outside was a good call. Fans and haters alike will not be able to deny that this movie is amazing and will love every moment of it. As I said many times before, Kyon’s monologue near the end is wonderfully epic and you will love every moment of it with a passion. Your two hours and forty minutes will not be in vain in any manner, shape, or form. The DVD will come out in 8 to 11 months and you WILL rewatch it because it is just THAT good, I wouldn’t be surprised if I watch it two to three more times. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a wonderful experience and might be the best anime this 2010 year.
I posted this review in a blog, so please feel free to leave a comment.
The series, though arguably mediocre, had some very fun moments. So where does this movie, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, stand?
Story/Presentation: I’m going to skip over the synopsis, since you can already read one with a button away. Due to the hype behind this film, it’s practically common knowledge that this movie has a complete different tone compared to the hyperactive series. It starts off like any other episode from the show, and then slowly transitions into a more solemn tone. Sure, it isn’t dark as something Gen Urobuchi would write, but in contrast to the series, it’s quite the difference. The use of tone is used well, and it helps make the movie feel a lot more believable than the show (assuming you have a suspension of disbelief).
Though the tone was one of the film’s highpoints, I can’t help but feel that it makes it a tad, just a tad, disjointed from the series. People expecting more misadventures from the original show will be sorely disappointed in this movie’s change for a serious plot.
The pacing also deserves mention. The beginning of the film is very slow and deliberate, and though many people may criticize it for being boring, I found it to be good writing. Sure, it may seem a bit dragging at times, and it really doesn’t pick up until a big plot twist ¼ of the movie in, but that’s the writer’s intention. It’s supposed to give the viewer the sense of the dull normal world Kyon’s facing after Haruhi’s disappearance, this being reality.
In terms of the story itself, it turns out to be quite the intricate tale, at least compared to the series. Many plot twists come along the way, and for the most part, the film remains unpredictable. Time travel also has a big role, and it really made me think, which is something I can’t say for the show.
However, my favourite part about the story is how it uses past events from the series, as many subplots and character motivations come back and play their role here. When it comes down to it, the writing here has moments of absolute brilliance.
Its connection to the series can be, to some, a downfall, as this isn’t a standalone. To watch this, the viewer must have knowledge of the first two seasons. Another flaw of this film is its association to the source material. It leaves a few plot threads dangling and a few unanswered questions by the ending (I will refrain from spoilers), and until we get more of the series animated, these plot threads will remain unanswered (unless you consult said source material).
Characters: I loved the eccentric cast from the series. Sure, they mostly followed typical stereotypes, but they did so in a refreshing matter that made them memorable. If there’s one thing that bugged me about the series, it is the lack of characterization. Though one shouldn’t expect much of such from a slice of life show, it was shame that most of the characters weren’t given much depth on their own and in their relationships. In addition, they never really felt like real people.
This is yet another highlight of the movie. Kyon is our point of view in this movie, and after Haruhi disappears, all his motivations and interactions with other characters are completely believable. The best part of his characterization comes to play when he starts to question whether he prefers the supernatural world he always complained about or the normal life he wanted from the beginning. His decision regarding that aspect says a lot about his character.
Another character I’d like to mention is Yuki Nagato. We’ve all known her as the monotone emotionless alien/robot, and now we see her as a quite shy bookworm. How she got that way comes from her motivations from the previous season, and her actions in this movie really strengthens our view of her as a character. Did she really feel nothing throughout all the events of the original show? Is she really the emotionless drone we all thought she was?
Surprisingly, Haruhi herself, despite being part of the driving force, doesn’t get as much screen time as one might expect. That’s not to say she was used poorly, and on that note, all the side characters were used well and they each held their respective purpose in the movie strongly.
Art/Animation: Ah, Kyoto Animation. Feast your eyes, ladies and gentlemen, for this movie is a visual ecstasy when it comes to Japanese animation. The visual quality for the original series was already top notch, so just imagine Kyoto Ani squishing that entire budget on a 2 hour and 40 minute movie. I don’t think I need to say much more than that this film, from a visual standpoint, is absolutely stunning. The colours are vibrant and the animation is smooth.
Speaking of the colours, they compliment the movie very well. In the beginning, the colours are bright to show the spunky life of the SOS Brigade, and when the movie transitions in tone, the colours become subtly darker to really drive home the dullness of an ordinary life. This is just a subtle but noticeable change, and that’s what I love about it.
Music/Voice Acting: This has got to be one of my favourite soundtracks in anime of all time. Each track compliments the movie extremely well and every single one of them is fantastically orchestrated. There is a lot of range in atmosphere in the soundtrack, from upbeat to suspenseful to solemn. It goes without saying the soundtrack is excellent and is used masterfully well.
As far as the English Dub goes, I really have no complaints. It is the same cast as the original series, and so if you had no issues there, then you shouldn’t have any here. Each actor continues to compliment his or her respective role well. As far as standouts go, they would have to be Crispin Freeman as Kyon and Michelle Ruff as Yuki Nagato.
Crispin brings something new to the table as Kyon, going beyond the usual snarky attitude he usually has. Michelle Ruff wasn’t necessarily impressive in the original series (though in her defense, her character didn’t really call for anything special), and when it came to portraying the new side of Yuki Nagoto, she really delivers. She doesn’t go crazy and change her voice drastically. Instead, she subtly adds an indescribable… meekness to her performance.
So yeah. The music and the dub are both fantastic.
Final comments: This movie will give fans of the original series the fangasm they were wishing for, and even those who didn’t like the series might find something to enjoy here. Does this make the original series worth watching? In many ways, yes, it does. It’s a well-written movie with a great use of tone, amazing presentation, and masterful production values. It goes without saying that The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya gets a high recommendation from me.
That’s all for my review, folks! Feedback would be greatly appreciated, whether it be praise or criticism.
2: 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.
1: Gintama: The Final
Japanese: 銀魂 THE FINAL
MAL Score: 9.00
New Gintama movie.
It was the best farewell imaginable.
The art was top notch as it was shown in the trailers.
The story was heartbreaking yet heartwarming at the same time. I don’t think there will be another anime which engages me more than Gintama for the rest of my life.
The characters of Gintama always seemed real to me more than any other anime. I laughed with them, I cried with them. like Gintoki, my soul has been colored by every one of them. They left a very deep impression on me and I truly hold them dear not only in my heart but from the bottom of my soul.
The sound and themes were awesome specially Wadachi as it somehow resonates with the whole story.
To those who want to watch Gintama: start it right now. it is a slow burner but I am sure you won’t regret it as you progress forward, seeing this beautiful yet cruel story.
To think that it’s over really brings tear to my eyes. It showed me desires, bonds and aspirations that I thought could never be shared through an anime.
Thank you Hideaki Sorachi for creating some of my most precious memories
Thank you for showing me what is the purest color of a person’s soul
I am grateful to you for the rest of my life.
Ah, Gintama, you used to be great a long time ago, what happened? “The Final” symbolizes the fall from grace of an once amazing series, that started losing steam along with its self-awareness.
I’ll go straight to the point: My main complaint about this movie (which also applies to the second half of Gintama as a whole) is that it deviates from what made it actually interesting on first place. Making fun of most anime tropes through witty parodies and non-stop references? Nah, let’s became one of the things we used to laugh at (a standard, uninteresting battle shounen) instead. How ironic.
As such, “The Final” ends up carrying the flaws that marked the second half of the story: a generic and over the top “lets-save-the-world” plot filled with some of the most cheesy dialogue i’ve ever heard. Jesus, a good chunk of these one-liners made me physically cringe. It was a faithful adaptation, that’s for sure; but when the only thing that’s left is a half-baked mess, there’s not too much to do.
A comedy show like this could’ve done way better with a less “epic”, more open ending. Before that, it should have tried to tie up some of the plotholes that were left (like Gintoki’s past, which was incredibly left aside) on a less pompous manner. You know, some short but probably better written arc on the vein of Yoshiwara and Benizakura. Yeah, those were the good ol’ days. But it seems like Sorachi got a bit too ambitious and things went out of hand.
And i don’t usually complain about production values, but i’d be lying if i said this movie wasn’t lackluster in that aspect. The animation was so incredibly cheap and clunky. And the close-ups and transitions… at times i felt like i was watching some kind of cheap soap opera. In retrospective, it made appreciate a bit more these episodes which consted of a single frame with a lot of dialogue; at least that was more creative, funny and sincere.
Gintama was an anime on which i invested a considerable amount of time, and has been with me since the last year of highschool. It easily became one of my favorites, and i ended up getting attached to the majority of the cast. I repeat: as a fan, i’m disappointed. 4/10, with an extra point because of the opening and the post-credits scenes, which were more faithful to the true soul of the series.
It managed to utilize such a large ensemble of characters incredibly well, although some had only time for a cameo. We laughed and we cried and we laughed again… (I’ve only ever heard the audience laugh this loud in the previous Gintama movie!)
The animation was beautiful, although you could tell where they saved on the budget as it wasn’t always so even, but it has a very unique touch to it when the budget is on.
This movie has heart, and more importantly it has SOUL.
And IF they don’t troll us again and it’s really the final Gintama, it’s an awe and some way to leave.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Gintama: The Final
2. Gintama Movie 2: Kanketsu-hen – Yorozuya yo Eien Nare
3. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu
4. Gintama Movie 1: Shinyaku Benizakura-hen
5. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! Movie: Kurenai Densetsu
6. Zoku Owarimonogatari
7. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fine
8. Gintama: Yorinuki Gintama-san on Theater 2D
9. K-On! Movie
10. Tokyo Godfathers
11. Stand By Me Doraemon 2
12. Kuroshitsuji Movie: Book of the Atlantic
13. Non Non Biyori Movie: Vacation
14. Majo no Takkyuubin
15. One Piece Movie 14: Stampede
16. Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: Fuuin Sareta Card
17. Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome
18. Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna
19. One Piece Film: Z
20. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Movie 1: Gurren-hen
21. Lupin III: Cagliostro no Shiro
22. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A’s
23. One Piece Film: Strong World
24. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me
25. Haikyuu!! Movie 4: Concept no Tatakai
26. Detective Conan Movie 05: Countdown to Heaven
27. Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 4 – Ashita
28. Detective Conan Movie 08: Magician of the Silver Sky
29. Stand By Me Doraemon
30. Haikyuu!! Movie 3: Sainou to Sense
31. Summer Wars
32. Detective Conan Movie 10: Requiem of the Detectives
33. Detective Conan Movie 03: The Last Wizard of the Century
34. Detective Conan Movie 04: Captured in Her Eyes
35. Detective Conan Movie 15: Quarter of Silence
36. Doraemon Movie 31: Shin Nobita to Tetsujin Heidan – Habatake Tenshi-tachi
37. Haikyuu!! Movie 2: Shousha to Haisha
38. Kurenai no Buta
39. Trigun: Badlands Rumble
40. Tamako Love Story
41. xxxHOLiC Movie: Manatsu no Yoru no Yume
42. Haikyuu!! Movie 1: Owari to Hajimari
43. One Piece Film: Gold
44. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Movie: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai
45. Detective Conan Movie 02: The Fourteenth Target
46. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st
47. Lupin III vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
48. Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple
49. Hanasaku Iroha Movie: Home Sweet Home
50. High☆Speed! Movie: Free! Starting Days