They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Nagagutsu wo Haita Neko: 80 Nichikan Sekai Isshuu, Pokemon Movie 13: Genei no Hasha Zoroark, Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki, and more!
50: Nagagutsu wo Haita Neko: 80 Nichikan Sekai Isshuu
English: Puss-in-Boots: Travels Around the World in 80 Days
Japanese: 長靴をはいた猫 80日間世界一周
MAL Score: 6.84
Brave cat Pero once had a bet with treacherous multimillionarie Grumon that he can travel around the world in 80 days. The stake is high, in case of success Grumon will give all of his fortune to Pero, but in case of failure Pero becomes slave of Grumon for the rest of his life. Pero departs together with his faithful friends behemoth Kato and brave Small Mouse. Grumon tries everything to prevent their arrival to the finish.
This art style is very old, as of the time I am writing this it is 46 years old, and so the art style is a lot worse than what most people are used to. However, this old art style was very good for its time and even looking back at it now, it does not make this film any less enjoyable.
Ah – that classic theme song, it never gets old. If you listen closely to each one, the lyrics are changed in each movie to reflect the kind of antics that Pero gets up to, and occasionally what he gets up to in the film. The voice acting is good but due to the age, the voices don’t always sound like they fit in the scenes (such as wind getting quieter just for when they speak).
Pero – A kindhearted cat who is hated by King Cat and wanted dead for his betrayal to his species by always freeing caught mice.
There are a few animated sequences that are nothing short of virtuosic, such as the chase across castle parapets, or Pero’s fantasy about the female cat. They can really hold candles to today’s animation.
Design wise, this antiquated movie has better character design than any animes that feature anthropomorphic animals I’ve seen. It’s no wonder why Pero is still used as Toei Animation’s mascot.
The art can’t be compared to today’s computer-assisted drawings, but all of the scenes featuring buildings are top notch. In fact, what I think is the weakest part in the movie is the voice. Sometimes it doesn’t match what happens in the scene, but it’s probably due to the constrain of audio technology of that time.
Overall, a very enjoyable family-friendly movie.
49: Pokemon Movie 13: Genei no Hasha Zoroark
English: Pokemon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions
Japanese: ポケットモンスター ダイヤモンド&パール 幻影の覇者 ゾロアーク
MAL Score: 6.86
The shapeshifting Pokémon Zorua and Zoroark are captured by a mysterious group intent on using their illusory powers for their own gain. They unleash Zoroark on Crown City, forcing her beforehand to take the form of Suicune, Entei, and Raikou, the guardians of the town.
As Satoshi and his companions visit Crown City to watch the much-anticipated Pokémon Baccer World Cup, they encounter Zorua, who managed to escape captivity. At the same time, Zoroark goes on a rampage, unaware of Zorua’s breakout. Disguised as the Legendary Beast Trio, she starts destroying the city and terrorizing its inhabitants.
Will Satoshi manage to stop the deranged Pokémon before Crown City perishes? Will the sudden arrival of long-unseen Celebi change the outcome of the seemingly inevitable clash between Zoroark and the impersonated Legendary Beasts?
Quality-wise, the movie holds the tradition and invests on eye candy visuals to grasp attention — since this job isn’t very suitable to the plot or characters, but we’ll talk about these latter. Fluid animation and CGI effects are elements essential in order to build some exciting action scenes, which absolutely cannot be removed of a Pokemon movie. The character design… well, it’s the same as always: generic and childish, but it’s part of the franchise’s style, so you can’t avoid it. The sound? Oh, yes, there is sound. It’s not like Pokemon’s voice actors lack emotion, though that’s precisely the case of the soundtrack, but probably the lame ones are the characters themselves. Not even Wakamoto Norio could do something to help if he wanted.
Speaking of characters, that’s a somewhat difficult to analyse item in the franchise’s movies: you can’t discuss about the protagonists because their development happens in the original series, since the movie is merely another adventure, but you can’t simply discard them. Nevertheless, what doesn’t change is the fact that characters serve, amongst other purposes, as means to get the viewer’s empathy or hate. Phantom Ruler Zoroark fails at both, whether at the good or the bad side.
Let’s start with the villain perspective for a change: a one-sided dude who wants power at all cost despite any consequences. Oh, we’ve never seen this type before, right? The interesting part is that he really doesn’t give the vibes of a big bad guy many times. I mean, he is bad all right, but who is he against? The three legendary dogs, Celebi, Zoroark and Zorua. The previous two don’t seem much of a threat, but have you ever tried to mess with a son in front of the mother? Don’t even try, as that’s definitely not a good idea. And his ability doesn’t help too much because he can see an immutable future, meaning no one can change it.
As for heroes, you have Ash, his usual gang and a couple of random guys. This time there isn’t even a back story or something, they are simply pawns used to face the villain. Actually, facing the villain isn’t really their jobs; instead, all they do during the whole movie is: distract enemies, help setting traps and other minor chores. The rest us up to Zoroark, Raikou, Entei, Suicune and Celebi. Look, Director-san, Writer-san, no one is saying that Ash needs to be a legendary hero destined to save the world in every single movie (I don’t even like him), but c’mon, he is the freaking main character!
Surprisingly, the narrative is pretty good for a Pokemon movie. Of course, this whole time travels/future stuff has been explored many times, twice just in Pokemon movies, but the plot flows well enough. Little by little the pieces come along: first there is a problem, then our heroes try to solve it, while at the same time we have a cunning villain making his moves and the legendary dogs trio observing the situation. Eventually the good guys figure out the villain’s plan and use his own scheme to defeat him. A pretty straight forward approach, but it works.
Anyway, the main question remains: “Should I watch this?”, to which I can answer with another interrogation: “Well, why not?”. Phantom Ruler Zoroark is overall a nice family movie, although teenagers who are not fans may want to skip this, offering mindless fun with cute, likable and innocent monsters fighting against an evil ambitious man. Just think how many moral lessons the parents will be able to elaborate! … Not really an exciting thought, but there is some good amount of action scenes for those with a fare for adrenaline. As for the fans who withstood every single movie until now, one more shouldn’t hurt.
The most notable thing that sold the film to the audience is the titular star, Zoroark. Being a furry bipedal creature with an elongated face and no legendary status, Zoroark has a few more than passing similarities with Lucario, the star of the 8th Pokemon film. Personality wise, the two are nothing like each other. As for their role in their respective pictures, the two share no similarities. Thus, we can lay to rest any accusations of plagiarism.
The main plot, by itself, is pretty weak. It hinges on the personalities of Zoroark and the main villain to keep us occupied. Zoroark performs his job with good marks. He’s nice to watch, menacing and his powers give us enough eye candy to enjoy most of his shenanigans. Kodai, on the other hand is a mixed bag. After witnessing terrible villains such as Marauder and Zero in previous Pokemon films, it’s hard hate Kodai much. He often falls flat and his incredible wealth is a bit hard to believe, but at least it’s some kind of an explanation for his high tech gadgets. While subpar, he can hold his own as an unlikable, yet not annoying guy up to the very end.
Ash and company feel like simple audience stand-ins. Their job is to watch, comment and keep up with Zoroark. They’re given some interesting dialogue and a few funny quips as Zorua, Zoroark’s child, plays with them. This keeps them from getting annoying and keeps the dialogue fresh. Through the film we’re introduced to a few additional supporting characters and they’re used efficiently, albeit conservatively.
Soundtrack is uninspired and while the art design is nice to look at, it lacks an outstanding location or two. The location of the final showdown is underwhelming, as well. These two form the biggest crime this movie committed – it felt uninspired. When a movie you’re making focuses on a singular Pokemon star, it’s understandable to put the plot and other characters in the backseat, but the presentation should still matter.
As a hype piece for Zoroark, this film excelled. As a stand alone Pokemon adventure, it did passably. Zorua & Zoroark are always present and as the only characters who are given constant care in the writing/animation department, they continuously uplift the film from getting stale. There are a few moderately fun battles, but generally the film feels like it could have been much more. Even if there’s not a lot of outright bad stuff in here, a lot of it feels underwhelming. 5.5/10
While Zorua bordered to annoying and still managing to be really entertaining too with its transformations, Celebi’s role seemed kind of insignificant even though it was important. Zoroark was a bit hard to grasp, although still interesting.
The plot was quite effective, the art was good, and the presence of Legendary Beasts (Raikou, Entei and Suicune) definitely rocked.
This was the first time Unova Pokémon were introduced. It was kept vague, though, which is nice seeing as Ash’s story is not taking him to Unova just yet.
The villain, Kodai with a fading ability to see his own future, was somewhat interesting, but the rest of the new characters were left a little thin: none were overwhelmingly deep or momentous. They did their thing, served their purpose, and kept the story moving.
All things considered, the plot was solid and entertaining, didn’t fail too badly at anything, and the movie was thoroughly enjoyable.
48: Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki
English: Friends: Naki of Monster Island
Japanese: friends -フレンズ- もののけ島のナキ
MAL Score: 6.86
On an island, legend has it that monsters have lived there since ancient times. Because of this, the residents have named the island “Monster Island.” In actuality, the monsters living on the island are friendly, but live in fear of humans. A child named Kotake wanders onto the island. A grumpy red ogre named Naki ends up taking care of the child. What strange things might this encounter cause?
Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki (Naki of Monster Island) is a fun, emotional, and heart-warming movie. I can loosely compare the plot to Monsters Inc., where a young child is left with a couple of monsters who try to send it home and in the process develop caring feelings for it.
200 years ago, monsters and humans were at war, and the monsters were driven to a different island where there numbers have diminished significantly. Humans are more afraid of them than ever and never dare go to the island, where monsters never dare go to the human island in fear that what little is left of their population would be massacred. However, one day, a young boy goes to pick mushrooms from the trove of them the monster island has. After a couple of monsters chase him down, he desperately escapes, leaving his younger brother, Kotake.
We are then introduced to the two main characters, Naki and Gunjo, who lost their parents in the Human Vs. Monster war and consider humans to be terrible beasts. They handle the child in exchange for sole rights to the mushrooms for a year. The story simply takes off from there, and becomes an enjoyable and emotional ride.
The animation can be a little stiff, especially more obscure background characters. However, overall, the animation is very good quality. The scenery of the islands, and the stark contrast between them, really shows in a beautiful display of colors and atmosphere. Facial expressions are also done very well.
The soundtrack is quite amazing. I would definitely have every track from the movie on my computer if it weren’t for a lack of places to find it. The music really sets the mood of any given scene. Sounds effects are executed nicely, and the voice acting is superb.
The characters are where the movie shines the most. Seeing Naki’s character development over the course of the movie is touching, as well as his relationship with Gunjo. Gunjo is a fun character and by the end of the movie will tug at your heartstrings. These two alone make the movie worthwhile, but their development and interactions with Kotake and the other monsters on the island, as well as humans later on, is really well-done and written excellently.
Overall, this movie is a shining gem, as are most movies from Japan aimed at children in my personal opinion. I urge everyone to give this movie a try and spread the word. Maybe even if you don’t like it someone you know will.
47: Pokemon Movie 11: Giratina to Sora no Hanataba Sheimi
English: Pokemon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior
Japanese: ポケットモンスター ダイヤモンド&パール ギラティナと氷空の花束 シェイミ
MAL Score: 6.89
The legendary Renegade Pokémon, Giratina, encounters the Temporal Pokémon Dialga by a lake and successfully manages to drag Dialga into its home—an alternate dimension separate from the normal world. But a small green Pokémon gets gotten dragged in as well—and though it somehow escapes, Dialga uses this opportunity to escape as well after preventing Giratina from chasing after it.
After accidentally ruining Satoshi and his friends’ picnic, the green Pokémon is taken to the Pokémon Center where it is treated for injuries and introduced as Shaymin, the mythical Gratitude Pokémon. Using telepathy, Shaymin demands that Satoshi, Hikari, and Takeshi take it somewhere. But before they can find out where to go, the group find themselves being pursued by both Giratina and a strange man named Zero—both in search of little Shaymin! Will Satoshi and his friends be able to find Shaymin’s desired place while keeping themselves out of danger?
To be clear, I find my enjoyment score biased on behalf of Giratina. ^^;
I found that the story itself was smooth, and the fact that is brought in some information from the 10th movie (Dialga vs Palkia vs Darkrai) was great, and showed continuation (unlike many of the movies, whose storylines stay fixated in their own space bubble). I did enjoy how Shaymin’s journey to the Garden ended up leading Ash and co right into the Zero and Giratina conflict, instead of Ash and co immediately jumping into it – so there were ultimately two plots. As I’ll explain in detail later, the villain in this movie was exceptionately good and well-crafted for this installment. He effectively posed a great threat to the world. And, as expected, there are plenty of instances of humor.
Though Pokemon artwork may not come close to some animes, I believe FOR Pokemon, the art was a “very good”. I appreciated the Reverse World, to name something in particular. It certainly set the mood as a place fit for a Pokemon like Giratina (spooky and almost like a dangerous fun house). However, things like Zero’s giant ship/machine was…out of place. It was a little too 3D for the 2D world it was thrown into. However, that’s a matter of taste. It’s the same effects of Pokemon 2000’s catching sky-mecha.
I always find that the sound effects in Pokemon movies are actually quite good, and that’s no different here. For Giratina in particular, I think the sounds they had it emit fit it very well, very “other-worldly”. As usual, background music fits. After that, I don’t really pay attention to this area much.
And here’s where it gets interesting. Ash and co are generally the same as they are in the show – kinda corny, good-hearted people who would help any Pokemon in need. (take that any way you please). That’s to be expected. Now for the real characters, because to be completely honest, I felt the whole time Ash and co (as well as Team Rocket, for that matter) took a back seat and watched the new characters have the spotlight.
Shaymin and Giratina were the “stars” of this movie, and certainly played as so. I liked that Giratina was made out to be a villain the whole time and then at the end, it really wasn’t, which made it seem like a guardian at his post – doesn’t care about anything else but it’s duties, even when people are trying to help. Shaymin, on the other hand, I didn’t like so much. I know some people might get tired of it’s stuck-up-ness after the first few times. It just gets irritating, especially in the dub. Bascially, it acts like a spoiled brat. Upon turning into Sky Form, it gets better, but it doesn’t stay like that long enough to save the character. -.-
Zero, the true villain of the movie was great, and so pulls the whole score up to where it is. I did find him similar to the second movie’s villain, in that he is trying very hard to capture a legendary Pokemon and has a large, souped up machine to aid him. However, his objective is completely different. In fact, his diabolical plans have nothing more to do with Giratina but take its powers (in the process, killing it, though it’s not mentioned outright) and ruling the Reverse World. He is completely insane…and I love him. XD
Personally, I really did enjoy it, but in effect, I felt it short and then even lacking at parts. It starts off with a bang and ends beautifully and the climax is all there…it’s just that rising action that wasn’t very…action-y. There was some information to take in, but a lot of it was filled up with trips to the reverse world and fights against Zero’s hoard of Magnemite. Hard to explain…all I can say is that if you loved movie 2, you’ll like this one.
Overall, I give it an 8, biased as I might be.XD I think any Pokemon fan will like this one, whether its for one specific reason or not. I don’t think it’s possible to like everything about it, but it is entertaining for one reason or another.
I’ve got two main gripes with this one. The far bigger one is Zero himself. The villain in this feature is an overly designed, white haired, badly tempered wunderkind. Impossible magical technology and fantastical flying CGI fortress included. Hastily screwed backstory and inane dialogue, too.
Gripe number two is the lack of a character arc for Shaymin. The film essentially starts as a completely different beast than it ends up being. We’re treated to a vulnerable pokemon crossing paths with our heroes. It’s Shaymin, the purifier of nature. He’s being hunted by Giratina and in order to secure himself, he needs to meet up with other Shaymin at the fields high up in the mountains. Altruistic as always, our team decides to help and thus we’ve got an adventure.
Shaymin is rude to them time and time again. Especially towards Ash. He’s not really likeable, at least not all the time. Acting like a brat, you may think it’s his way of coping with the feeling of powerlessness. Maybe it’s a facade to hide his soul drenched in fear. Nope! By the end he’s not learned anything – he’s exactly the same as he was at the start. All the film makers had to do was rewrite ten lines and there’d be an arc in here, but no – making a mischievous brat is enough to please the kids in the audience. They’re not thinking of making a good film. Rather they’re working in cheap jokes for the kids.
This is a shame, because the film could have been a great character focused adventure, something pokemon have a knack for. Each time they decide to focus on it, that is – which is almost never. This leaves me to my second point. Shaymin’s neither terrible nor unbearlable, thus the film should have been a good adventure, even if a bit shallow. This is where my first gripe returns and strikes again. Half way throughout the film, as you enjoy the landscapes, Zero butts in. Proceeding to derail the film, Zero makes every scene he’s in cringeworthy or boring. His plan makes no sense. His backstory is a hastily thrown out one-liner. His beliefs inane ramblings of a madman. Action he offers lasts too long and more often than not, borders on stupid. Due to bad direction, it’s not particularly engaging, either.
While there are a few neat moments, such as Regigigas appearing, the film ends up a very flawed character focused story and a bad villain-of-the-film flick. Reverse world was a fun location, even if somewhat underwhelming. A few locations looked gorgeous and Shaymin’s interaction with other Pokemon were pretty fun. Giratina stole every scene it was in. In the end this film falls right in the middle. There are multiple good scenes here. The question is whether it’s worth watching the whole thing. Since it’s the middle part of a ‘trilogy’ (using the word very loosely), I recommend giving it a spin if you’re watching the others. Otherwise, no.
46: Pokemon 3D Adventure 2: Pikachu no Kaitei Daibouken
English: Pokemon 4D: Pikachu’s Ocean Adventure
Japanese: ポケモン3Dアドベンチャー2 ピカチュウの海底大冒険
MAL Score: 6.89
When Pikachu and friends decide to stop by a tropical island for some rest and relaxation, they got more than they had bargained for after Chatot discovers a Treasure Map! They follow the map to Wailord’s Tear, a mysterious place located in a sunken pirate ship. Will Pikachu and friends find the treasure? What mysteries and dangers are in store? Will our pals return safely? Find out in Pikachu’s Ocean Adventure!
45: Youkai Watch Movie 1: Tanjou no Himitsu da Nyan!
English: Yo-kai Watch the Movie: It’s the Secret of Birth, Meow!
Japanese: 映画 妖怪ウォッチ 誕生の秘密だニャン！
MAL Score: 6.89
The movie will feature special guests such as popular familiar characters from the TV anime series and the latest Youkai from the upcoming Youkai Watch 2 sequel games.
That success has partially translated over to the international side, however not to the same extent as Japan. That’s probably why this movie was only in theaters for a single day in America, and wound up quickly popping up on television and Netflix.
It’s clear from the beginning of this movie that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and recognizes that a lot of its audience will consist of ADHD children. The first two minutes are devoted to a sketch of familiar characters (to anyone who’s watched Yokai Watch, at least) trying to tell you to enjoy the movie but winding up in some silly slapstick situation.
The story itself isn’t a fresh idea, but it’s one that’s easy to tell/put a new spin on and easily captivate a child audience, involving time travel and a child going back in time and meeting their grandfather as a kid. The presentation is pretty entertaining, thanks in part to Nate’s sidekicks Whisper and Jibanyan, who are very much the comic relief of the story.
As usual, Yokai Watch has a cruder sense of humor than Pokemon, so expect some fart jokes and a joke about pulling a cork out of a yokai’s butt. Though it seems like they avoided some of the more devious innuendo from the TV series this time, perhaps recognizing that more parents would be in the audience than usual.
Towards the end of the film, there’s an extended sequence in which pretty much every yokai from the series pops up. There’s a purpose to this in the story, but there’s also another purpose the producers were certainly thinking of: showing off cool yokai for kids to get excited and point out to their parents. That’s when it hit me: for some kids, this is going to be their “Pokemon: The First Movie”. They’re going to have it on loop on Netflix and be obsessed with it, while their parents are just kind of lost/long for the days of PBS, but don’t say anything because they recognize the movie as largely harmless.
If you’re a fan of Yokai Watch, you won’t be disappointed by this movie. It’s nothing outstanding, but it’s a good time with familiar characters. If you aren’t a fan of Yokai Watch, this won’t convert you. If you know a kid who’s a fan of Yokai Watch, showing them this movie (if they somehow haven’t seen it already) will likely delight them and make you happy that they’re happy.
44: Cello Hiki no Gauche (1982)
English: Gauche the Cellist
MAL Score: 6.90
The story concerns Gauche, a professional cellist. During rehearsals for a performance, he is scolded by the conductor because his playing is not good enough. His timing is off and he seems to have no “feel” for the music.
Gauche returns to his lonely cottage and starts practicing. Then a cat enters who tricks him into understanding the inner meaning of the music. The importance of practice is shown by a cuckoo, rhythm by a badger and tenderness by a mouse. In four days he learns the true meaning and feeling of music and develops into a great musician.
Laced with popular classical music this special combines fun and inspiration for all ages and audiences.
(Source: AnimeNfo, edited)
Gauche the Cellist is a movie that tells the story of a guy named Goshu that just tries his best to be a better cellist player. His hopes are put down by the conductor that’s managing the orchestra. Surely, this was a big downer for Goshu. Being bad already and out of tune at playing his instrument, he doesn’t get any support from anyone at all. He then decides to practice harder back at his cabin so he can prove his master wrong. As he does, random animals appears out of nowhere. That’s where the fun starts. The plot is really very straightforward, until those talking animals just showed up mysteriously.
The movie’s animation, I’d have to admit, isn’t all that great. Considering that it’s made back in the ’80s, I consider the bad quality of the animation. I wouldn’t be too generous giving it a higher mark, but below a ‘fair’ score would also be too harsh, with the account that it is an old movie. There’s nothing much really to talk about concerning the art. The setting takes place for a short time at the school building where the conductor and other students were, and most of the movie focuses on his cabin, where most of the story happens. The cabin is in the middle of a rice field, and maybe on the outskirts of a jungle just across a bridge. But it’s really nice to see a view of that place, which reminds me of how a simple life should be lived as back then. Even dragonflies are focused by the animators flying around, along with other insects/birds that usually just get ignored.
The sound was good. Gauche the Cellist focuses on classical music obviously, since a cello is part of the title in the first place. If you appreciate this kind of music, then this will surely be a good movie to watch. I’d say the voice acting could have been done better though, since some parts of the movie I can’t even hardly hear the voices at all (it just lowers all of a sudden sometimes). But again, an old movie, so I gave it some considerations. The playing of the cello by Goshu was also enjoyable for me, and when he actually got better at it, which was really a good listen.
The characters are mainly a person, then a bunch of animal creatures. Each of those animals seemed to teach Goshu about something that he has yet to discover for himself. It’s like one of those stories with moral lessons where animals talk. Exactly just like that. Those animals really got the smarts to pull off helping out a guy in need. Even the conductor back at where Goshu performs have that angry-looking face that just makes one wants to punch him right on the face. He’s that irritating that I laugh it out for being irritated at that guy. Really unique characters, with added flavor, making animals do the work.
As I said, if classical music doesn’t bother you, then this movie is worth checking out. Despite the old animation, it’s really a movie that I enjoyed. Nodame Cantabile was also a fun series that focuses in classical music, and this movie should just be added to anyone’s collection if they’re into that.
I really recommend Gauche the Cellist mostly to music enthusiasts, specifically to Nodame Cantabile fans that watched the show because of the music as part of their reason. I can see why this movie isn’t all that popular, but I really recommend it to anyone that likes something new to watch, something different.
Story [9/10]: The story is rather simple actually. Based in the countryside of Japan in the era of the 80s. Goshu is a Cello player in a choir. Always making mistakes on some of the fine playing whenever the choir is practicing. The conductor of the choir thus gets mad at him many a times. Goshu tries hard to perfect his playing by practicing on the Cello at his home every night after finishing his chores for the day. Every time during his practice he is interrupted by one of the animals living nearby his home. Yes the house is away from the town he goes for his choir practices everyday, so there are lots of small animals, birds around. Though he is interrupted every time by these animals they somehow help him by teaching the tunes he is trying to perfect.
The story is very well written. I always find that stories written in the olden times were much much more imaginative than they are nowadays. Continuity of the story in the movie is good and it builds up an atmosphere of the typical countryside. Overall there is a feeling of -i watched something very nice- at the end of the film exactly because of the atmosphere that the movie creates.
Animation [7/10]: Animation is okay. I think good according to the technology of the 80s probably. Movements of the charatcres and the animals shown are smooth enough most of the times. So its not all that bad.
Art [7/10]: Art again I give a 7. Characters drawn are too fat. but the animals are drawn well. The landscape portrays the countryside well. Goshu’s home looks really nice though its in a sort of an isolated place away from town.
Sound [8/10]: Music is good. Western Classical songs played during choir practices and when goshu is practicing at his home. Background music is okay again good considering the time in which it was made.
Character [10/10]: All the characters in the choir are very well portrayed. Gives an essence of the typical countryside folks. Animals also have been given distinct personalities very much suitable as to what kind of animal it is.
Enjoyment and Overall [9/10]: Really enjoyed watching this old movie for a change. The Ghibli type elements of fantasy are there in this movie as well. Enjoyed seeing the countryside in the movie. Overall a good watch.
43: Pokemon Movie 04: Celebi Toki wo Koeta Deai
English: Pokemon 4Ever
Japanese: ポケットモンスター セレビィ 時を越えた遭遇（であい）
MAL Score: 6.90
40 years ago, a Celebi was being attacked by a Pokemon Hunter. Luckily, a young boy named Sammy saved Celebi. Using its Time Traveling power, Celebi transported himself and Sammy 40 years into the future. There, Ash, Misty, and Brock assist Sammy to the healing lake in the forest so they can heal the wounded Celebi. Unfortunately an evil Team Rocket member, Viscious a.k.a. “The Iron Masked Marauder”, tries to capture Celebi using his technology. As Ash and Co. try to get away from Viscious, they also run into Jessie, James, and Meowth, who also want to capture Celebi. Soon it becomes a race against time to get Celebi and Sammy back to the forest before Celebi is caught and is used to destroy the forest and themselves.
On a more critical side of things, the cringeworthy introduction of the main antagonist is hard to watch. As his terrible (in both dub and sub) evil laugh spreads throughout the forest, your brain will hurt – how did he invent EDGY pokeballs that turn pokemon souls evil and have an effect of leveling pokemon to level 100? Wait, he has an awkward spider mech now? Movie, please, can we please go back to Ash?
Another victim of the film is the dialogue. After the pretty good (subbed) dialogue in the first film, servicable dialogue in the second and some really good lines in the third, this film treats us to really cringey writing. Beyond that, the whole plot is filled with contrivances and nonsense in general. Following the bad choices from the second movie, all science and logic are thrown out of the window. Nothing makes sense and nobody tries to explain anything. This film presents us with the first braindead Pokemon fantasy ride instead of a (more or less) realized Pokemon world.
Character development doesn’t exist. There’s no complexity to any of the characters and there’s a blatantly obvious “Okay, this will be the character development scene” that does nothing. Did you notice I wrote that in singular? Yes, that’s because the movie has only one and it’s forced as fuck. It felt like a made for tv movie aimed at kids aged 3 to 5 that unintentionally turns to self parody with Ash graciously flaunting Celebi’s dead body into the screen as a cheap way of making us cry (before reviving him because you can’t have death in a Pokemon film)
In conclusion, there’s not much good in here. I wouldn’t recommend it if you like bad movies because Celebi: The Meeting that Traversed Time simply falls flat. It isn’t especially enraging, either. To sum it up in one short sentence: It exists. After all of this, though…. I would still have to tentatively recommend it to hardcore pokemon fans who watched the whole anime series and after all of that have no standards left whatsoever. They might enjoy the few comfy moments in this movie’s beautiful forest. For a few minutes at least.
The main problem was that the generic “guy tries to capture Pokemon” story was nowhere near as interesting as the stories of the first three. Though halfway through, with Celebi being possessed, things did get real, and it got interesting from that point.
And aside from the weak story, it was great. Sam and Ash’s friendship was really cute, and there was a lot of nice, cute bonding moments. The animation was beautiful, and there was a number of drop-dead gorgeous scenes. Celebi was very cute, and there was some good humor especially from Team Rocket.
But once again, what secured it’s grade was the direction. Things really pick up halfway through, and it keeps getting better and better until the climactic scene, which is possibly the single definitive moment of the series.
As a whole, a big step down but a good movie overall.
42: Pikmin Short Movies
Japanese: PIKMIN Short Movies (ピクミン ショートムービー)
MAL Score: 6.92
Three short stories from the Nintendo Pikmin game series.
The short 3D animated film is a project that Shigeru Miyamoto, a Japanese video game designer, created to explore the characters in a way his games could not.
Pikmin Short Movies will be familiar to anyone who has played the Pikmin series of games (especially Pikmin 2) but non-fans won’t get the full experience. I’d only consider watching it if you’re a fan of the series already, and even then it’s not really recommendable. It isn’t bad, but it can’t be said to be as clever or whimsical as the games themselves.
Review in full:
This is a collection of 3 plot-independent stories involving the titular Pikmin and (to a lesser extent) Captain Olimar. It’s suggested that this takes place sometime during the events of Pikmin 2, given the types of Pikmin featured and the presence of the research pod from that game.
Apparently Shigeru Miyamoto came up with the idea to make these shorts to explore the game’s characters in ways that would be difficult in an actual game. Despite this Olimar isn’t given any character outside of being the guy directing the Pikmin sometimes. Aside from a couple of enemies and the research pod (who also don’t do anything besides the basic role they have in the game) the only characters we’re left with are the Pikmin themselves.
So the exploration is with the Pikmin, right? You could say that, and the shorts definitely focus on them, but there isn’t a whole lot of character exploration with them either. After watching you’d be able to make a few bullet points regarding the base characteristics of the Pikmin as a whole, but hardly anything could be said about the individual types. Their basic abilities are shown (and the white Pikmin can spit corrosive acid for some reason) but there isn’t any character behind it. A blue Pikmin could wake up as a yellow Pikmin one day and it wouldn’t act any different than it had before the change, or at least we’d be led to believe that after watching this. If building characters beyond the games was the purpose of this, then it didn’t achieve its goal in the slightest.
That being said the plots of the episodes themselves, while not amazing, are still enjoyable at a base level. The humor is usually decent and the stories themselves generally make sense (though it’s not exactly like the games). There’s even a few things that may catch you off guard. It’s still nothing worth coming back to though. It also makes references to, specifically, Pikmin 2. If you haven’t played that game then these shorts will not resonate fully with you.
The animation and art quality is pretty good. It’s what you’d expect from something Nintendo was involved with and there’s some nice touches of detail (like individual Pikmin reactions) if you look hard enough. The music is whimsical but isn’t recognizable from the games (which is a shame since they have nice music). The sound consists of a lot of clips straight out of the games, which sometimes fits and sometimes feels low-quality compared to the rest of the presentation.
It’s a standard series of computerized shorts, containing some of the quirks from the games and some oddities of its own. Nostalgia aside it isn’t really special and fails to be anything other than simple humor. As a fan of Pikmin I could enjoy it somewhat, but I don’t see a non-fan easily getting as much (or more pessimistically, as little) out of it as I did.
41: Doraemon: Doraemon Comes Back (Movie)
Japanese: ドラえもん 帰ってきたドラえもん
MAL Score: 6.94
Movie version of the Doraemon: Come Back Doraemon Special.
40: Pokemon Movie 07: Rekkuu no Houmonsha Deoxys
English: Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys
Japanese: ポケットモンスター アドバンスジェネレーション 裂空の訪問者 デオキシス
MAL Score: 6.96
Satoshi and his friends travel to LaRousse, where they meet a boy named Tooi who is afraid of Pokemon due to an incident that happened four years earlier. Meanwhile, Deoxys, a Pokemon from space, has reappeared, putting a barrier around the city and kidnapping people. Rayquaza, a Pokemon that lives in the atmosphere, comes to fight it.
The story begins when Ash, May, Max and Brock journey to LaRousse.
This magical city is really cool! There are numerous flying robots that patrol and regulate the city and they are super kawaii desu~
The story continues when Ash stumbles upon a pokemon contest, now this is where the movie really shines; the battle scenes!
The sound, the animation and the pokemon truly come together to put on magnificent shows of flashy fight scenes, the choreography is amazing and animation top notch!
Later, as Deoxys is born, the story becomes more intrigueing as the city is overrun and taken over by said Pokemon.
Suddenly munchlax evolves, and they all lived happily ever after.
The plot is pretty good, although sometimes not executed in sharpest possible detail (in movies/tv shows directed to kids, they usually jump around a bit to skip anything that might lose the viewer’s focus). Altogether, the story was good and touching just the right way, and not hurried for the sake of progress.
This is one of the rare times when the new side-characters in the movie weren’t disappointing; they were well made and introduced, and you actually cared about what happened to them. They became something other than meaningless faces tagging along for the action; they were part of the team.
Team Rocket made their mandatory appearance, but I don’t think they contributed too much to the plot in general. And I don’t think they were supposed to, either; they were just familiar faces you could recognize in the flow of the movie.
There was also a Pokémon Munchlax that had a small role to play, and it was quite cleverly introduced to the movie. You don’t need to do much to gain a certain level of affection.
A good, enjoyable movie although it started to get a little dull near the end. No matter. An entertaining movie for all Pokémon fans.
Destiny Deoxys flaunts an interesting futuristic city, as expected for a film set in the Battle Frontier. The city is filled to brim with CGI elements and I’m happy to say that they don’t seem out of place. Rather, they enhance the setting. The film is heavy on plot, thus it can’t cash in on the atmosphere completely. Nice to the eyes, art style and animation remain the highlights of the film. There are a few unfortunate moments in which Rayquaza isn’t to scale, though. It distracts from the action when a superstar looks two to three times smaller than he really is.
Plotwise, the film is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the film is driven by the Deoxys hunting squad. On the other hand, film is not really about the plot, but the character of Tory. While the two are combined in a satisfactory manner, neither of the two get fulfilled in a completely satisfying way.
On the upside, the character development of Tory was natural and believable. The film establishes his character twice. First time in the opening sequence and the second time after he meets Ash. The film uses visual language of Tory’s white hair, eyes and clothes to signal viewers his personality – namely, he’s a socialy inept nobody. The problem with the opening sequence is that his personality and design are based on what he becomes after the opening sequence. Thus, the kid ruins the opening sequence by looking badly out of place. The Lion King ripoff scene with a deviant art looking character isn’t a good first impression. The Rayquaza and Deoxys battle the opening concludes with looked fine, even if a bit unambitious. Since this same battle, only with Ash reintroduces the same elements almost flawlessly, I’d advise film makers to cut the redundant opening sequence out.
Even though character development was done well, it doesn’t mean the work should have given it as much time to it as it did. The character development happened in a few mostly subtle scenes. Film shouldn’t have revolved around around Tory as much afterwards. There were multiple scenes forcing the plot to a halt so we can talk about the dangers of the situation, but these scenes weren’t really about creating suspense. Rather, they were here to force Tory in a room with Pokemon which he fears. As a result we don’t feel the urgency and danger we should and the whole film suffers.
This isn’t to say it’s all bad. Basic structure of the plot is fine and Deoxys is given lots of menacing things to do. The problem lies in the fact that the things Deoxys does are cool, but too removed from film’s focus. Often time you’ll get a feeling that the scenes are happening out of time and space, since Deoxys is doing nothing and appears only after a character scene is wrapped up.
Tory is not a very complex character and chemistry between the show’s cast and film only cast isn’t very good. This often leads to boredom until the plot picks up. Some of the scenes are saved by fun Pokemon interactions. Munchlax is notable for having his own miniplot that was well interwoven into the film.
Rayquaza and Deoxys have a servicable clash near the end of the film and while Rayquaza was misused during most of the film, he ends up being a fine addition to the cast at the end. We’re also treated to one of the best action scenes involving humans in a Pokemon film – Ash practicing parkour over the city’s haywire defence systems. My only complaint is that it took less than 3 minutes in total. Still, brevity is a virtue. Better leave us wanting more than overstaying your welcome.
So, what’s the verdict? A neat premise, great art, some interesting character moments and a memorable (albeit short) action scene. Film drags on, misses plot oportunities and is often unengaging and boring. It narrowly falls flat, but it’s worth a watch if you like Pokemon films. 4.5/10
39: Inazuma Eleven Go vs. Danball Senki W Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 イナズマイレブンGO vs ダンボール戦機W
MAL Score: 6.97
As Shinsei Inazuma Japan was about to have a match with Inazuma Legend Japan, a mysterious attack of a person and a swarm of robots interrupted, and another mysterious girl’s power drove the world into another dimension. As the world of Inazuma Eleven Go and Danball Senki W met, the two teams must work together to find out what happened to their worlds.
Before watching this movie, I had only watched the Inazuma Eleven (Go) series. So the combination of Inazuma Eleven and Danball Senki W was something new for me.
The story starts with Tenma and his team playing a match against coach Endou and his team. Then they suddenly get attacked by LBXs. At that moment the guys from Danball Senki W come into action. With the help of everybody of Raimon, they defeat de LBXs but then something else happens. Pieces of the world disapear. After that, Tenma and his team, along with Ban and his friends will try to safe the world from being erased by the enemy.
For me, who hadn’t seen Danball Senki W, was de mecha element of the movie something new. Because there is no mecha in the Inazuma Eleven series. The overall main story is a bit of the same as always, I expect that it’s also the main concept of the Danball Senki series. They get attacked and try to safe everybody. They argue sometimes, but it always ends well. Even though it’s not original, it always gets me excited and brings a smile at my face. It’s a bit of thrill that sports can bring to you.
The art was good, the drawing style of both animes was pretty much the same so it wasn’t that the characters from one anime were more detailed drawn then the other.
I also don’t really have anything to say about the sound. The sound was good, it fit the moments.
The characters of the animes are also alike. Ban is like Tenma, they’re both optimistic and help their team go through tough times. Other characters have also a bit in common. I’m not really sure if it’s the same for Danball Senki W, but in this movie, some characters from Inazuma Eleven Go who don’t really play a big role in the series, are also in this movie. (Like Hakuryuu from the other Inazuma Eleven Go movie.)
I really enjoyed this movie. Because I didn’t know Danball Senki W, it added something new for me in the movie. It’s also that, except from just one soccer match, there are two different matches, soccer and LBX. The difference is that, while soccer is physical, LBX is more mentally, because, to control a LBX you should just toutch buttons, and willpower is more important. I’m not saying that it isn’t important for soccer, ofcourse. Watching movies like this leaves a kind of happieness in me and a smile on my face. I also liked it to see the way that the characters of both series became friends.
I hope that my review helped a bit, I recommend this movie, I liked it more than the other Inazuma Eleven go movie. It is a bit different and I enjoyed watching it. I hope you will too :).
38: Nagagutsu wo Haita Neko
MAL Score: 6.98
Pero, a sword-wielding cat-in-boots sentenced to death for sparing a mouse, escapes his execution and embarks on a journey. Along the way, he teams up with a company of bandit mice and Pierre, a gentle orphan who has been cheated out of his inheritance.
When Pero learns that Princess Rose is seeking a husband, he becomes determined to make sure that Pierre is the one chosen. However, Princess Rose is forcibly betrothed to the wicked ogre Lucifer! Pero begins to spin a web of lies to enthrall Rose with Pierre, but Pero’s boasts are far from the truth. Pierre has to keep up with Pero’s bold image of him but is frightened, because while Princess Rose is charming, loving her means going against the Devil’s wishes.
The art style for this is VERY dated, but for a 1969 movie, it flows nicely. The animation is a lot smoother than most movies around that time and the errors in the end outcome are very little (only minor missing details that would be hard to even see with the video quality anyway).
The music is VERY addicting and is easy to sing along to. I saw this an hour ago and even now the main theme is going on in my head. The sound effects for some things, such as a falling brick, sound a bit strange and the audio quality is quite low (also because it is an old movie) – but every song played is one I would have loved to sing along to as a young child and one I believe many children would have sung when it came out.
The art is fine for the year it was made but not the best compared to some of its contemporaries, the music nothing memorable but it does it’s job represnting the situations and characters in a musical movie style.
The story mostly follows the main plot of the tale with some added elements such as booted cat being an outlaw among the cats for saving a mouse so between the movie we see him being pursued by the Three Blunderers which adds some comedy and action to the original story.
I suppose it was a successful movie in its time since it were mede a follow up movie and a TV series which explains becoming the mascot of Toei.
I recommend it to watch for young kids since the story, action and comedy are well fitted for them.
I had the English dub version of the movie on DVD and didn’t watch the original Japanese version but I still think that the voice actors did pretty well, especially for the time period it was made in.
Made from TOEI Animation, was a crisp animation with a good plot/story and fun characters. I don’t know if many people even watched the movie because it is old but I recommend that everyone watch it!
*FUN FACT: TOEI Animation’s mascot is one of the main characters of this movie!!!
37: Pokemon Movie 12: Arceus Choukoku no Jikuu e
English: Pokemon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life
Japanese: ポケットモンスター ダイヤモンド&パール アルセウス 超克の時空へ
MAL Score: 7.01
In ages long forgotten, when Earth found itself on a collision course with a meteor, Legendary Pokémon Arceus used its power to avert the danger. However, this feat caused the 16 Plates surrounding it to scatter across the world. Without the Plates providing Arceus with life energy, it began to die. A human named Damon managed to find one of the Plates and returned it to the moribund Pokémon, helping it recover. As a reward, Arceus created the Jewel of Life and gave it to the people of Michina Town, stipulating that it must be returned, but the humans refused, hogging the Jewel to themselves. In the battle that ensued, Damon was killed and Arceus went into slumber, vowing to punish humanity upon its return.
Satoshi and his companions arrive in Michina Town where they come across Sheena, a descendant of Damon, who claims to be in possession of the Jewel of Life and intends on giving it back to Arceus when it awakens.
The situation takes an unexpected turn when Arceus, despite Sheena’s best intentions, remains unsatisfied. Satoshi must now prevent the destruction of the entire human race, as Arceus’ fury causes distortions in the fabric of the universe, enraging the Legendary trio—Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina—and disturbing the world’s balance.
The story was great. Honestly from Diamond and pearl movies this is the best. We see palkia, Dialga and Gitatina again and that was a sorprise. I thought this movie will decribe a Giratina and Dialga battle, but the battle was between this three and Arceus.
THe art was good. Not the best and not the worst. Its like always, so I put an 8 in art. The same goes to characters. The three protagonist are the same, and I think Sheena was a great chaacter.
I really enjoy this move. From pokemon movies that I saw isnt the best, I enjoy other pokemon movies more than this, so I put a 9
In oveerall I put an 8 becouse of this: There are more pk movies and are better than this, but this movie is really enjoyable.
To understand some of the images and references in this movie, I suggest you watch the two previous Pokémon movies first: “The Rise of Darkrai” and “Giratina and the Sky Warrior”. You will better understand where those other legendary Pokémon are coming from.
As a rule, Pokémon movies aim to touch the audience and make them sympathize with the cause presented in the film. While I could understand Arceus’ anguish, that was about it on an emotional level. This movie just didn’t do anything for me.
They assumed too much, not bothering to work for it. Team Rocket was just tossed around for a few brief comical moments. Our heroes did nothing overly spectacular. The new characters remained empty and uninteresting. I’m not sure if I liked Arceus’ voice, either (although that isn’t relevant to the story, right?).
I guess after making 11 movies prior to this one made them a bit lazy and they didn’t bother making this as sharp and dazzling as some of the other movies are. A shame, because there was potential in this. It was very nice to see Dialga and Giratina again, though.
Deciding to go the epic route, this film had some big shoes to fill. The Rise of Darkrai was the best film since Latios & Latias and considering that that it dominated the last 7 films, Arceus’s Jewl has big shoes to fill. Opting to use the classic action epic mold with all the classic time travel tropes, they obviously emulated Darkrai’s approach. Arceus’s trilogy-closer fell short in the end, but not spectacularly, mind you. Being a fine watch, it offered nice action, occasional bad CGI and a timetravel story with questionable logic.
What stands out here is the ammount of mayhem and overt destruction the legendaries cause. For example, mountain is split apart before our eyes. In Darkrai’s flick, the world is being peacefully eroded by pink ether. Darkrai used this threat as a plot mover while Arceus finds its use more in the ecstatic violence for its own sake. And it works. There’s a lot of it, but never enough to get boring.
Timetravel plot itself is servicable. I’ve found some joy in recognising all the classic time travel tropes. While the whole thing almost never feels as serious as it should be and there’s quite a few nitpicks and plotholes I can point to, what is there never gets too dumb to watch.
Arceus himself has an unambitious but slightly interesting story to tell. There’s not much else to say. To recap: The story is full of holes, but somewhat competently string together. Action is pretty good, but not the best ever. Movie is never stupid, just sometimes dull. Arceus has a fantastic scene or two and the whole thing feels like a passable time waster that’s hard to get upset about.
36: Unico: Mahou no Shima e
English: Unico in the Island of Magic
Japanese: ユニコ 魔法の島へ
MAL Score: 7.02
Based on “Unico and the Kingdom of the Sun,” which was newly written as a theater version, this animated film features a battle between the wizard Kukuruku and Unico. Kukuruku builds a castle using dolls transformed from men as building parts. The story revolves around the sorrow and terror of men who have been transfigured into dolls, and a girl named Cherry who wishes to recover the kindness in her brother, who is a student of Kukuruku. This work reminds us of the fact that “transformation” or “transfiguration” – favorite themes of Tezuka Osamu – involves not only material aspects, but also man’s immaterial heart.
(Source: Tezuka Osamu’s Website)
35: Pokemon 3D Adventure: Mew wo Sagase!
English: Pokemon 3D Adventure: Find Mew!
Japanese: ポケモン３Ｄアドベンチャー ミュウを探せ！
MAL Score: 7.02
Pikachu and Meowth are on a search: a search for the elusive Pokémon, Mew. They search everywhere! The sea, the sky, the woods…will they ever find Mew?
34: Hoshi wo Katta Hi
English: The Day I Bought a Star
MAL Score: 7.03
A young boy, tired of the city, escapes into the country. When trying to bring vegetables to the market to sell, his cart breaks down and he exchanges the vegetables for a mystical seed. Returning home he plants the seed in a normal pot—only to find it growing into a planet.
That said, the visual art was very impressive. The story focused around a boy planting and fostering a miniature planet which allowed for several interesting effects. An artificial atmosphere was creating by spraying water on an initially lifeless, rock-like planet. Animations involved careful depiction of weight as affected by gravity in the atmosphere of the planet. There were a few shots using a fixed perspective from the rotating planet. Night shots made great use of light beams and casting shadows.
Characters designs felt reminiscent of other Ghibli films, notably Howl’s Moving Castle and Porco Rosso. There were a few cameos from other films too.
The world building featured more sci-fi elements than other Ghibli films. A majority of the film was narrowly focused on the residence the main character stayed at. There were a few short scenes showing a bustling, futuristic city which would be interesting to see more of.
I’d love to see this again with English subtitles to gain a better understanding of the story.
33: Doubutsu no Mori
MAL Score: 7.07
Ai is a self-reliant girl that moves to Animal Village. She makes friends with the various villagers as she settles into the village. One night as she walked along the beach, she finds a message in the bottle. It sets her off on a quest of planting pine trees around the village to fulfill a miracle on the eve of the Winter Festival.
I didn’t even know there was an anime adaption of Animal Crossing before I came across it on this site. My first thought was, how could the make a movie out of a game that doesn’t have a plot? But I was really interested, as I loved the game. Not sure what to expect, I watched it. And I was very surprised.
Story ; 9/10
The story centers around the main character, Ai, and how she adjusts to living in the animal village she just moved to. Again, I wasn’t really expecting this to have a good plot, but it did! (or at least in my eyes)
Art ; 10/10
The backgrounds were a tad simplistic, but the people and animals were adorable. Bouquet was so cute! The designs of the animals stayed very close to their game counter parts. The colors were fantastic; bright and colorful and fun to watch. Very smooth animation.
Sound ; 8/10
Just sound pulled from the game, but it was still nice. It worked well in the situations it was put in. Along with the bright colors it had a calm and almost peaceful effect.
Character ; 10/10
The characters were all very fun to watch; each had their own distinct personalities. Ai, the main protagonist of the story was very outgoing and determined to be successful in her new village. The other characters personalities also were very similar to the game.
Enjoyment ; 10/10
Although this movie was aimed more towards kids, I loved it! This was one of the those rare shows/movies that made me laugh and almost cry at some parts! It was well put together, and a very heart warming movie with a good message at the end.
Overall ; 10/10
Whether you liked the game or not, this movie will have you smiling through out the whole thing.
The reason that I liked Animal Crossing is that unlike most movies or animes, it really is faithful to the video game and has a story of it’s own to keep it strong. It is really worth a watch and if you gather you friends to watch it, all the better. It has a good moral towards friendship, which I highly admire. If your out and about and looking for something cute with a bit of adventure in it, pick up Animal Crossing. You won’t be dissapointed ^_^
The main character’s name is Ai, a magnanimous yet somewhat undecided girl who comes to live in the village of animals, moving away from home. As she goes through her days in the new village, she meets new animals and opportunities arise from their influence on her, especially Sally, the fashion-designing elephant who shortly moves away to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer. But she inspires Ai to find her own dream, or, as the two playfully allegorized, her own cherry pie. She does find her ambition by the end of the movie, and also fits in a little more in the village by helping out with what occurred proving to be the mysterious “miracle” on the night of the Winter Festival. Because previously Ai had found bottles with notes explaining that if she planted a fir trees in certain spots, a wonderful miracle would happen on the Winter Festival night.
While you’re watching it, it’s very relaxing and calming, much like its game counterpart. The art is absolutely adorable, keeping the style similar to the game. The colors are bright and the animation flow is fluid and rich; I love especially the beautifully rendered backgrounds. Everything was so nice to look at! I loved the music too, because it’s all the same tunes as in the game, and if you play the game you’ll recognize that immediately.
One thing I didn’t understand that some of the names were different than in the game. I suppose they were the original names in the Japanese, but then again, why would the English translation bother to change them if they were just names like “Sally” (or I should say Sari) or “Bouquet”? That has nothing to do with the enjoyment you get out of the movie.
I really liked it overall; I guess the only thing that irked me was the whole bit concerning the notes and the UFOs. I would have rather if it was just a poignant but sweet story about finding your ambition and at the same time, maintaining a strong friendship. This is recommended if you like the game, or you just want something nearly saccharine to watch.
32: Pokemon Movie 20: Kimi ni Kimeta!
English: Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!
Japanese: 劇場版ポケットモンスター キミにきめた！
MAL Score: 7.07
The film’s plot tells the story of how Satoshi and Pikachu came to know each other. Pikachu was not cooperative toward Satoshi, but Satoshi only wanted to be friends with Pikachu. On the day they set out from Masara Town, both of them saw a Ho-Oh flying and made a vow to someday go and meet it.
(Source: ANN, edited)
I was pretty excited to get the chance to see this film on the big screen. It had one showing at my local Cinemark and no matter the audience (mostly kids), I wanted to see it. Big shout out to Fathom Events for continuously offering anime films in the United States.
I would describe myself as a closet Pokemon fan. There are bits and pieces of the TV shows (Pokemon Advanced, Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, Pokemon Sun and Moon, ext) and films (Pokemon Heroes, Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, ext) that I really enjoy. However, the main bit of content (especially the films) are just not for me. It is painfully easy to tell that the past 9 or so films including this one are full blown for the kids. No longer is there content present that appeal to both a younger and older audience; it is all for the younger generation.
The film opens with what is essentially episode one of the first anime. I wouldn’t say it is a shot for shot recreation (it’s been awhile since I’ve seen that episode) but it is pretty close. They dedicate around 10-15 minutes for this content. I quite liked the visual style since it was blending in the older character artwork style with updated backgrounds. It is, for the most part, a pretty nice looking film. There are some wtf animation moments to be found in the film but it wouldn’t be a OLM film without that sort of thing. What occurs afterwards is a sort of montage of key moments within the first season’s content leading up to the 3rd gym battle. After this event though (minus some other scenes regarding Pokemon Ash adds to his team) we dive completely into new content. THIS IS NOT A RECAP FILM and honestly I applaud their balls for trying to do what they tried to do. To be completely honest, I was really liking the first half of this film. It made me think that the current drought of meh Pokemon films was over. Unfortunately though the second half of the film just doesn’t have any stopping power. They wanted to encapsulate the feeling of the first season while incorporating the values and key elements of the past 9 or so films. This combination however, did not work for me.
We are bombarded by two products trying to find space for each other; combining the new story present in the film (which is a run-of-the-mill Pokemon movie formula; there is a legendary Pokemon lets chase it!) with the older first season scenes so that the Pokemon on Ash’s team have a backstory. The combination does not mend very well with each other and makes the film feel super empty. If they wanted to do a new story with the backdrop of Kanto, fine that could have been great. Trying to hit up the nostalgia with scenes from the original show though tramples on any sort of pacing.
But lets take a step back and look at our cast. We have of course Ash and Pikachu who for all intents and purposes are the same Ash and Pikachu we have seen for the past 20 or so years. Instead of Brock and Misty though we have two new companions that join up around 30 minutes into the film; Makoto and Souji. I don’t have a real issue with these two new characters but they don’t really feel all that unique. Both of them also have Pokemon that we are already familiar with, Lucario and Piplup. It felt like a bunch of business men met in a board room and discovered that if they took main series Pokemon (Lucario from his film and Piplup from Dawn’s team) and put them into this film it would make the new characters seem…more relatable? I’m grasping at straws here; the new characters are fine they are just not at all standout worthy. I won’t get into Ash’s other Pokemon because it will give major hints to the TV show scenes that are present in the film. Just know that they are indeed Pokemon that Ash acquired in the show.
While we are at it lets briefly address the elephant in the room. I already mentioned that Piplup and Lucario are in the film (you can see them on the poster for this film so it’s not a spoiler). For w/e reason there are a ton of other series Pokemon in Kanto. The legendary Pokemon that Ash is chasing are from the Silver/Gold generation, Ash’s rival in this film has Pokemon from the Sun and Moon series; there is no sort of continuity present in this film. I guess…Kanto now has all the Pokemon? I’m not quite sure how I feel about this design choice.
Speaking of Ash’s rival, he is another super generic “I’m the very best and have totally bad/evil characteristics so hate me but turn me good by the end of the film!” character to add to the trash bin. To make things worse…his name is Cross…and he has a cross pattern on the front part of his hair…*mega facepalm*. He treats his Pokemon like shit (which is how we are introduced to one of Ash’s Pokemon), only says super edgy dialogue (calls weak Pokemon and Trainers trash; Gigguk might like this dude), and of course turns good by the end of the film. Just…I don’t have anything more to say about this character.
That little spew helps us arrive at the main issue of the film; what is the point? Most of the Pokemon films have a clear and concise villain. While most of them are comically “bad guys”, they have a purpose and enough charm to make up for how generic their ambitions are. This film…doesn’t have that? The rival just happens to trail the main cast all the way through the film like a weird stalker. When get to the end of the film, he has one line that is supposed to make him relevant to the plot but it is so out of left field and super Deus Ex Machina (and not the good kind). It just seems like a huge clusterfuck in order to make sense of all the elements coming together at the last second.
And that’s the real shame in this film. It had two routes it could have gone on; reboot and recap the first season (something that is appealing to both older fans and possible new younger ones) or use the setting and time period of the first TV season and tell a new story. They decided to make both into one and it ended up not appealing to either crowd in my opinion. If it had been just one of those two options, I’m sure I would have liked the film. I was so ready to finally see a decent Pokemon film since the last one that I really enjoyed was Pokemon Ranger (which was back in 2006; long time without a decent Pokemon film). I’m sad to report that Pokemon: I Choose You joins the heaps of super meh Pokemon films.
Thanks for reading my review! If you liked my writing style, would like to see some other reviews, or just want to talk, please stop by my page!
Ladies and gentlemen, Pokémon Trainers all over, here is my review of “Pokémon The Movie: I Choose You!”
Pokémon The Movie: I Choose You starts the same way the Pokémon anime series did; Ash Ketchum wakes up late, all of the starter Pokémon are taken, he ends up getting a Pikachu, they don’t get along well at first, they accidentally tick off a group of Spearow, Ash tries to protect Pikachu, Pikachu knocks all of the Spearow out with a Thunderbolt, Ash and Pikachu finally become friends, and they see a legendary bird Pokémon fly through the sky. Your childhood memories know the drill here….but here’s where the story starts to diverge. As this legendary bird Pokémon – Ho-oh – flies away, it leaves Ash and Pikachu a rainbow-colored wing; the two then make a promise to each other to one day meet this Pokémon. After that, Ash travels through the Kanto region, collects Gym badges, and follows his dream to be a Pokémon Master, like he originally had been doing; however, an encounter with another legendary Pokémon, Entei, reminds him of his promise. Together with new traveling companions, Verity and Sorrel, Ash and Pikachu embark on a quest to reach Rainbow Mountain and encounter Ho-oh.
Okay, time to try to not fangirl.
May I first say that the story was masterfully executed? I personally would have liked to see some of Ash’s Gym battles, as part of one was actually shown and it was differently executed from the series; however, with a limited amount of screen time and a different story to tell, I fully understand this decision. In regards to this “different story”, it shared some key story elements with the series, but even with those integrated, the film stays on its own two legs through and through. Although it does start back when Ash is at square one in regards to being a Pokémon Trainer, the different direction the story took didn’t affect his character development. In fact, I dare to say that this film dug deeper into his and Pikachu’s characters than the series did and gave both of them great amounts of character development as a result.
Some of the other characters were likable, too, but they come with the one flaw I’d say this film has; they don’t get fleshed out enough. Perhaps the biggest offenders of this are Ash’s new traveling companions, Verity and Sorrel; while they are interesting characters with their own respective backstories, these backstories aren’t fleshed out enough for the audience to really get to know them, and they are sadly left as mostly supporting characters. The infamous Team Rocket trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth return, but they are also reduced to supporting characters and don’t get as much screen time as they did in the series; however, the scenes of them that we DID get were amusing and retained each of their personalities. Another new character, Cross, is the exact opposite of the ones I have mentioned; he does get enough screen time for his character to be fleshed out, but that doesn’t mean he came off as likable. As a rival, he is definitely a powerful adversary who actually affected Ash emotionally, but at the same time, the various problems he ends up causing and the things he says just made me want to throw my bucket of popcorn at the screen.
What this Pokémon movie lacks in fleshing out most of its characters, however, is redeemed in its art. Instead of conforming to the new style of the Pokémon Sun and Moon series, the art style stays close to what the series was before then, which was a wise decision cinematically; with what kind of story it was trying to tell, using that rather goofy style would have made it look pretty ridiculous. However, even with that in mind, this is definitely the best-looking Pokémon movie I have ever seen; the animation was smooth and solid, the backgrounds were drawn in a beautiful fashion, and some shots were masterfully executed. Now, I don’t care what other people say about Sarah Natochenny voicing Ash; all of the voice actors did a stellar job at their roles, and there was pure emotion in their performances, too. While I’m not always one to pay attention to background music, I definitely have to give this film’s background music credit; the music always blended in perfectly with what was going on. Finally, the opening theme was an excellent remix of the first Pokémon theme song, and the ending theme…. OH, THE ENDING SONG. I wanted to stay at the theatre just to finish listening to it; it was that good!
Overall, Pokémon The Movie: I Choose You is definitely an excellent movie and a challenging one for a longtime Pokémon fan like myself to critique. I wouldn’t recommend it to those who can’t handle different stories and the fact that Misty and Brock are missing (although I do admit, it was slightly disheartening not to see them), but other than that, I’d recommend it to any Pokémon fan out there, even the ones who haven’t watched the anime in forever. With this movie being watched and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon being eagerly awaited, I can tell that it’ll be harder to critique anything Pokémon-related from here on out, but with that being the case, maybe I should just let my inner fangirl out!
I am particularly impressed how the movie not only retells the original kanto journey, but also weaves back in a once-long-abandoned plot point with Ho-Oh. While weaving the new hotness with Marshadow in felt a bit forced in some aspects, the story had nice pacing and even had some tension at the climax that ultimately was resolved not with raw strength, but by the bond between Ash and Pikachu overcoming those odds. Overall, all that occurred worked quite well even if some of the older parts were abridged for the sake of moving the story along.
First off, Ash’s design seems more in line with his Gen V and Gen VI designs which is a nice change from the excessively cartoonish art style I’ve seen from his SM exploits. And the character designs of the supporting cast are definitely quite something as well. Secondly, I like how they played around with color and shadows, adding atmosphere and life (or lack thereof) to the film. Not breathtaking or anything, but it worked.
Not much to note here. Not too intrusive nor breathtaking persay, and yet evocative when it needed to be.
Besides Ash and Pikachu’s obvious OTP-in-the-making, the other supporting cast actually kept my interest. His traveling companions, both from Sinnoh (Gen IV remake, anyone?), each have their own goals independent from Ash. The female one is determined to show her mother (who I am convinced is Cynthia) that she is worth something, and the male companion is a professor wannabe and seems to be quite knowledgeable in a few things as it is. Then you have the brutish ‘rival’ character who has Alolan pokemon and the conviction that might makes right in direct opposition to Ash’s ‘friendship is magic’ policy. In any case, I would’ve loved to see more of these characters and learn their past as well as witness their continued growth in the future. Who knows if that’ll happen though.
As for the pokemon, again, Pikachu is the center as a support to Ash. We finally learn why it doesn’t like to be in its pokeball (which Ash had carried with him all through the film), and they take things a few steps further than they had ever done in the series with their relationship up to this point. As for the other pokemon, the butterfree plot thread becomes a side-story that kind of resolves itself with less investment than the original, whereas the Charmander sideplot comes full-circle in the best way possible. Then there’s Marshadow, which again I feel they did kinda push in for…reasons. Maybe would’ve been better in its own movie, but I guess they saw an opportunity of sorts.
It was definitely worth watching. Most pokemon films are just a supplement to the anime, but this effort of retelling and revamping made the Kanto region seem a lot more vast and alive than the prior time around. Hopefully should we travel to it in USUM, it will live up to the hype…and the Pokemon Company can follow this up with something just as nice.
Overall, I give this series a 91%.
31: Pokemon Movie 03: Kesshoutou no Teiou Entei
English: Pokemon 3: The Movie
Japanese: ポケットモンスター 結晶塔の帝王 ENTEI
MAL Score: 7.08
Mii Snowdon is left on her own after her father disappears while investigating the mysterious letter-shaped pokemon called the Unown. The only clue to her father’s disappearance is a box containing several tiles. While playing with these tiles, Mii makes a wish to see her father again, and this wish awakens the Unown—who summon the lion-like, legendary pokemon Entei to act as her father.
Meanwhile, Satoshi heads to Greenfield with his faithful pokemon companion, Pikachu, to meet with his friends, Kasumi and Takeshi. When they reach the area, they are shocked to find the place crystallized. They quickly learn that the Unown are responsible for this, and that they will need to be defeated in order to restore Greenfield to its former beauty.
The situation becomes personal when Satoshi’s mother is kidnapped by Entei. To discover why his mother was taken away, Satoshi, along with his friends and pokemon, must travel the crystallized landscape to confront Entei and the Unown.
It Had Great sound,great artwork, a heartwarming story and as a kid it was just awesome.
They did a lot of character Development on Entei, showing his depth and he wasn’t just the bad guy-he was the misunderstood villain,so much that i didn’t see him as the true villian-he was the good guy to me.Entei was My Favorite character in the movie because the gave him so much depth,care and feeling to him.
A truly heart warming movie-Much recommended to any Pokemon Fan, Young or old. Overall: 9
Even it has been a long time since I watched this one I still remember it.
Story: 7 . Many have given this movie a low rating. I am not sure why because I think has a very good story. There is some mystery and it is excting story too.
Art: 8 I think the art and sound is very good in this movie. What I can say about the art is that is a very beautiful art this time. Wonderful. Sound – as the other Pokemon movies.
The characters is this movie in Ash and co. but there is also a little girl which is a very good character. And Entei, the ‘father’ who wants to give his ‘daughter’ everything.
Enjoyment: I have seen movies many time and I think this was the Pokemon movie I enjoyed most. I thought it was an excting and touching movie too.
Overall: 8 because I think this is one of the better Pokemon movies out there
Why am I talking about the setup of a Pokemon movie? Because in this film, an intriguing premise is used to create a different experience. The most visible stand out in the film are the twisted worlds Molly created (and manipulates throughout the film). These locations keep the slow moving plot from getting stale. Spell of the Unknown keeps the plot really simple; the goal is to reach the heart of the twisted kingdom Molly is shaping and snap her out of madness. Throughout the film, she’ll appear before Ash, Brock and Misty, testing their strength, as they and Delia slowly make the girl realize what she’s doing is wrong.
In the movie we’re given a very memorable fight between Charizard and Entei, a fight that ranks among the best in the film series. Knowing that settling cerebral problems with a neat fight isn’t viable in any self respecting work, this film uses it merely as a catalyst for the character resolution, instead of a resolution itself.
The film isn’t without its faults, though. One of the two major complaints I have is the mediocre soundtrack. While a valid critique, my the second complaint can’t be helped – the middle of the film felt slow due to underwhelming battles. These moments really show how the budget for this film got cut. Beyond this, I’ve got minor nitpicks about about the dialogue at times (it helps a bit if you watch the film in Japanese with subtitles).
Pokémon 3: The Movie (or Emperor of The Crystal Tower: Entei if you prefer Japanese) is an interesting creation. It’s a very subdued Pokemon film. At its core it’s a fine children’s character film (woe unto humanity if someone thinks I’m critiquing this with same expectations I have for Paradise Lost!). While it drags on for a few scenes, it’s elevated by great visual design, locations and atmosphere. Character arc is resolved in a satisfying and not overtly cheesy way. Eventually there’s a great Charizard VS Entei fight, too. What more could you want?
Standing out as a slower character work, I’d recommend this one to everyone interested in Pokemon films.
30: Digimon Adventure 02 Movies
English: Digimon: The Movie
Japanese: 映画 デジモンアドベンチャー０２
MAL Score: 7.11
Years after a young boy in America loses one of his Digimon friends, an evil viral Digimon successfully kidnaps the original Chosen Children. Their younger friends must race against time with their Digimon partners to discover the source of this new menace, and perhaps solve a years-old mystery.
First of I really really hated that guy named Wallace, he literally made me scream a couple of times out of anger for how annoying he is.
But what was also really annoying was the music. . . the ELEVATOR MUSIC ruined the whole fighting experience. . .
Only thing I could enjoy were the visuals, but still . . . 3/10
This movie has the unfortunate luck to be the last part in the English dub of the Digimon movie, and thus labeled a black sheep. “Our War Game” is admittedly hard to top, but when Saban Entertainment made the attempt to link that movie to this, things got messy and more confusing rather quick. I have to at least throw them a pity bone that they had their reasons for why they did this, and they made do with what they had. Nothing they could’ve done would’ve made this any better, although it definitely could’ve been a lot worse. Both versions of the movie have problems, it’s just the English dub gets bashed more even though I personally feel they at least made it slightly more tolerable. I’ll explain when I get there.
Note: the English dub definitely has a different plot than the original does, but I will bring up both versions here, even if it’s to point out differences.
Story (6): A young American boy named Willis (a dub rename from “Wallace”) has twin Digimon, Gummymon and Kokomon, but the latter vanishes under mysterious circumstances while they’re playing in a field of flowers at a summer home in Colorado. Years later, the DigiDestined are taking a much-deserved break after the defeat of the Digimon Emperor when Kari and T.K., visiting Mimi in New York, witness her disappearance. The other five of the original DigiDestined still in Japan also vanish, being spirited away by a corrupted Kokomon, now Endigomon. After running into Willis and Terriermon’s confrontation with Endigomon, T.K. and Kari begin their long travel across America to Colorado, and they tell Davis and the others to meet them there. The trio also run into Willis, and have their own run-ins with the corrupted Digimon, who has been chasing after the boy without recognizing the grown-up Willis, all while going on hitchhiking road trips to Colorado in the hopes to confront and calm the increasingly-berserk Digimon. In the meantime, the disappeared DigiDestined have found themselves in a cold, presumably-nonexistent environment and are slowly decreasing in age as a delusional Kokomon searches for his friend among them.
The movie is really nothing more than a road trip across America to the West with the occasional scuffle with Endigomon before having the final, climatic battle in the second half. It honestly doesn’t feel like a Digimon movie with this sort of plot/execution, even though it’s not a bad idea to show corrupt Digimon, especially one that’s partnered with a DigiDestined. It’s just that unfortunately (whether this is a good thing or not), we don’t get an explanation for why Kokomon became corrupted. The dub, in attempt to link this with “Our War Game”, explained in Willis’ exposition that the DigiEgg that came out of the computer had been infected with the same virus that corrupted Diaboromon, and Kokomon caught it, even though Endigomon in actuality came to being because of its loneliness. It’s lame, but it’s at least an explanation for why Kokomon had gotten spirited away in the dub.
Speaking of what the dub did, remember how I said I felt Saban made it a little bit more tolerable, even IF the pacing felt a jumpy? Well, that’s because most of the padding was removed—and “Hurricane Touchdown!!” has more padding than the “Golden Digimentals”. Looking at the original, most of it could’ve been left in, especially when it came to the six DigiDestined disappearing into the void and when Willis and Davis are talking in the forest (although that moment in the dub just feels like a funny Davis moment, and I secretly love those), but it must not have “fit in” with the “virus link”, or they just HAD to put in the Angela Anaconda short and felt no more could be added to the duration. Even so, some of that padding didn’t add much to Willis and Terriermon’s characters even though some of that padding was them talking about things that don’t really go anywhere. Slow moments are fine, but when it goes nowhere, it’s hard to sit through, and they could be cut from the film and nothing would be lost. And to briefly point this out, the hitchhiking was rewritten to be the result of “relatives of Yolei” running into them, since hitchhiking has become discouraged, at least in America (and I imagine in 2002 it was still common even in the countryside which is where most of the film takes place, but it was slowly being more and more frowned upon).
The second half of the “Golden Digimentals” are what people remember most when thinking back to this film, and it’s truly the most memorable part, mainly when the final evolved form, a corrupted Cherubimon, comes in. The fight scenes aren’t bad, probably could’ve been more balanced out between the Digimon, though they at least showed how much difficulty there was when it came to fighting Cherubimon. But that’s not what everyone remembers, no. It’s the deus ex machina involving Angemon and Angewomon briefly Warp Digivolving to their Mega levels for the sake of activating the Golden DigiEggs; I don’t know how, but they do. So in the movie, we got to see Magnamon again, and that’s cool, but at least in the series, there was build up to it. There was nothing in this film that at least foreshadowed the Golden DigiEggs to come into play (unless you want to stretch it out and say “Well, Cherubimon’s a Mega!”). But who cares, it’s Magnamon, and he and Rapidmon save the day!
Oh, and while we occasionally cut back to the original six DigiDestined in the nothingness, even getting to see them as young children (back to the same age as when they witnessed the Greymon and Parrotmon battle at Highton View Terrace), we don’t see them again after Kokomon checks them out. Apparently they went back to normal after all was over and done with, but we don’t even get an after credits scene of them. So I’m just going to assume they were all erased from existence. Thanks a lot, movie.
Art/Animation (8): This was the visual red flag in the English dub that it was an entirely different movie. The previous two were all directed by Mamoru Hosoda, whose art-style is distinctive. That’s not to say Shigeyasu Yamauchi’s is all bad, it’s still smooth, and the characters are animated rather well. The style was just indeed vastly different, and somewhat jarring, but with the movies by themselves, it fits fine. There are no complaints here about how it looks, and the sceneries all look nice with either the majority or all of the backgrounds done in watercolor. I can’t say for sure if it fits the Colorado/Midwestern look, or at least back in 2002, but it’s definitely not Japan, nor the Digital World.
Sound (6): The English dub’s soundtrack mostly consists of pop/rock songs, it’s standard Saban dub-fare. Whether those songs fit the movie or not rests entirely on the viewer; I personally don’t care for them in most cases. The original score consists mostly of Western-style atmospheric music that’s remindful of Trigun. And that was distracting, to be honest, as it never goes beyond this style. I get it, the setting’s in America, particularly in the Midwest-further-West, and it has a nostalgic feel to it. However, when that same piece of music is being used for the fight scenes, it was hard to tell if it fit the mood. There was one moment near the end where a song does come in while the Digimon are proclaiming they’ll always protect their partners and Magnamon and Rapidmon release Cherubimon, but I can’t tell you if it works, especially when the music style is still the same.
At least the song during the ending credits is by Ai Maeda, and she was stellar as always. That song fits better than the “Kids in America” cover in the English dub.
Characters (6): While Davis is in more of the movie than the others, the DigiDestined and their Digimon are the same as in the series, so the only ones really worth mentioning here are Willis, Terriermon, and Kokomon. To get Willis out of the way, he’s boring, both in the original and in the dub, even though there’s apparently character development that I couldn’t catch. There’s nothing to his character that makes him really stand out other than he had twin Digimon and he lives in America where he goes back-and-forth between Japanese and English (in the original—it’s rare for him to slip into Engrish territory, actually, have to give the voice actress credit for that). He did crack more sarcastic quips in the dub, but that’s to be expected with Saban, and he doesn’t stand out from that, either. Willis also had this thing for Yolei and apparently Kari because I guess he likes Japanese girls? He had a Japanese girlfriend, but that was his only reasoning, even though that was how he learned Japanese (which is funny because at least one time on the phone to his mother, he was speaking Japanese when he normally spoke English). Oh, and Terriermon kept making remarks he’s a momma’s boy even though we can see that each time he calls her up. We can assume he’s the same age as Davis and the others, so why his mother let him travel by himself is beyond me.
Terriermon is your typical Digimon partner, always saying he’ll be by Willis’ side no matter what, and that he’ll always protect him. Voiced by Aoi Tada in the original and Mona Marshall in the dub, they’re both good performances and probably the best in the film (and weirdly coincidental, they both would reprise their roles as another Terriermon in Tamers). What makes him a little different is he’s a twin, so he would talk about Kokomon here and there in trying to assure Willis that he did nothing wrong, and that it was no one’s fault Kokomon became corrupt. Like with the other Digimon, Terriermon’s pretty much Willis’ foil, so I suppose they balance each other out fine. Keeps Willis from being a nobody, that’s for sure.
Kokomon is the antagonist who came to be probably not of his own free will, but from his loneliness. Well, at least when he was Endigomon, he was lonely, it’s not known how it extends to when he was still Kokomon. He just all of a sudden gets corrupted, and he has no memories but of him playing with Willis as a child. Apparently he was kidnapping anyone with a Digivice in the search for Willis, but we only get to see the original six DigiDestined get spirited away by him (or by whatever’s actually possessing him). He Digivolves up into his Mega level during the course of the second half when he becomes threatening, consumed by a “dark heart”, as Kari mentioned. This could make for an interesting villain, or at least a lackey of whatever was the true evil behind it all, but when you pit him up again Diaboromon, he’s not as threatening, or even as memorable outside as Cherubimon. He suffers this in the English dub because of it, whether he deserves it or not. But by himself, he’s okay, albeit tragic.
Enjoyment (5): Even with the cheesiness of the Saban dub, I don’t care for this one. The original may only be an hour long total, but from the way I kept looking at the clock the entire time, it felt longer due to its padding and slow moments. I don’t hate it, I just don’t like watching it in either version. I know it’s not a good idea to compare it to “Our War Game”, however, the English dub didn’t really give much of a choice in that regard. And considering the twin films aren’t considered canon to the timeline, nothing will be missed, let alone gained. Sure, there was a CD drama that DID take place in the same “canon”, but I have no personal interest to seek that out even if things get explored more.
Really, this was more for Digimon fans than the average movie-goer, and that could’ve been the biggest contributor to why the English dub of the movie doesn’t have good reviews (ignoring the splicing of the three movies). I found “Revenge of Diaboromon” a better Zero Two movie than this, to be frank, but there are still fans who do like this film, and I can’t take that enjoyment away from them. I just personally couldn’t really get into it, and I’d more-or-less advise a “skip if you want to” than a recommendation.
Well, there are no words in this world that can describe how bored I as watching this movie. The character Wallace is the most boring and annoying guy ever and the music and sound effects are just pathetic. Why the hell would you use elevator music in the main fight scene of the movie? Angewomon finally evolves into Holydramon and gets a 5 second airtime before she gets one taped by the most poorly developed virus digimon ever. Can’t help but laugh at this ngl xd
I’ll give it a 4 just cause I got to see Holydramon :)))
English: The Fantastic Adventures Of Unico
MAL Score: 7.14
Unico the Unicorn has the amazing power to make anyone he meets happy. Whether it’s because of his personality or the powers of his horn, no one knows. However, the gods become jealous of Unico, thinking that only gods should be able to decide or let people be happy or not. Unico is banished to the Hill of Oblivion, and the West Wind is ordered to take him there. She can’t stand giving this fate to an innocent like Unico, so Unico’s adventures begin, as the West Wind takes him from one place and time to the next, in a neverending journey to escape the wrath of the gods. In this adventure, Unico meets Beezel a devil child and then Katy (Chao), a cat who wants to be a witch! Can he become friends with them?
I decided to watch this movie on a whim, expecting nothing of it, and I was pleasantly surprised, particularly by the first 30 minutes of the film. After the absolutely adorable opening song, Unico is sent away to a wasteland. The lonely, cold atmosphere really got to me, and seeing Unico, the beacon of happiness and hope, pull through and turn the selfish, temperamental devil Akuma into a charmingly awkward friend was really inspirational.
Sadly, the rest of the movie is much more average and not well-constructed. The second character Unico meets on his journeys is Chao the cat, a far less charming friend than Akuma. She stays a boring ditz the whole movie, not really learning much from Unico.
The villain, while totally fearsome and creepy (mostly due to excellent visual design), really detracts from what the film could have been. He has no depth and is defeated without any emotional fanfare. While his battle with Unico might be visually grandiose, there is nothing of substance here.
I really did enjoy the bittersweet ending, though. Unico’s curse, bringing happiness to all, but never being able to stay with his friends, is tragic but meaningful to me. The plot and pacing are really unfocused for most of the film, leading to plenty of interesting themes…that are completely underutilized.
Still, I really admire how atmospheric and interesting the visuals are in Unico. The sheer scale of important figures like the West Wind, the Night Wind and the villain is immediately apparent with their distinct designs that look great animated. Unico is literally the most adorable character on the planet. The whole package oozes creativity.
I should also mention that while this is technically a children’s film, I wouldn’t recommend it for really young ones. There’s plenty of violence and dark atmosphere, a very imposing big bad, not to mention subtle rapey undertones.
Unico has a lot of problems, but its heart and creativity push it into the 7/10 territory for me. On a bad day, maybe 6/10. I recommend it to anyone who’s a sucker for this power of friendship type of stuff and wants to see some fun art and animation. There are much worse things you can spend your time on.
The music is very cute and the art is nicely done.
The fight scene towards the end of the movie was crazy and vibrant in color. The fight scene remind me of the dragon fight in sleeping beauty.
I would of liked to see Unico meet more people. but the two he did meet were both good. I liked the cat and her naïve. It drove the plot forward and caused good character development and was taught a good lesson about kindness. The demon Unico meets learns about friendship and how to be a good friend. Kid movies should have morals like these in them.
The west and winter winds are good plot devices, which can be use to continue the story indefinitely. Remember that this movie as a sequel.
28: Happy Birthday: Inochi Kagayaku Toki
Japanese: ハッピーバースデー 命かがやく瞬間
MAL Score: 7.14
After being abused by her mother physically and mentally Asuka gets taken in by her grandparents. Slowly she learns her own worth as a human being and overcomes many obstacles.
I find it sad that a movie of this quality (ignoring the animation and sound issues) can go unnoticed and unappreciated for so long.
This English sub is quite good, again the animation and sound are not the best, but I think anyone who really loves Anime and wants to see everything Japan has to offer should watch this.
My personal opinion (keep in mind it is my opinion) is that if someone re-made this movie for western audiences it would be very well received.
So basically the story’s about a sweet but weak-hearted girl named Asuka Fujiwara who goes to a school full of bullies and cowards. Her mother doesn’t give her much attention. She seems to favor her big brother, Naoto, over Asuka. Asuka feels better when she befriends a severely disabled girl named Megumi (who I think might have cerebral palsy or something). But when her mother intentionally forgets her birthday and says it’d be better if Asuka didn’t exist, Asuka is so traumatized that she loses her voice. Naoto, feeling angry at his selfish mother, decides to send Asuka to her grandparents’ for a while. There, she learns everything she needs to know about the beauty of nature, her mother’s reasons for being the way she is, and, most importantly, the fact that life is precious.
I’m gonna get to the good parts first, and believe me, there are TONS of good things about this movie. Wanna know the thing about this movie that got my attention the most? The fact that THERE’S ACTUAL DISABLED KIDS IN THIS MOVIE!!! Yes! There are ACTUALLY disabled kids with illnesses like cerebral palsy or something like that! No anime I’ve seen has ever been gutsy enough to show actual disabled kids before! No wonder this anime is so criminally underrated and under appreciated! Yes, someone gets it! Someone gets that NOT EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN JAPAN is physically and mentally beautiful (no offense intended). Seriously, why are most anime nowadays making all their characters look physically perfect? Jeez! It’s like they have a complex against flaws or something! Even most American cartoons acknowledge that not everyone is perfect, both physically and emotionally! Heck, they don’t even give their characters braces! Well, I’m glad to say that this beautiful gem not only acknowledges that not everyone is perfect, but acknowledges that that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Bravo!
Now onto the characters! I’m just so happy that this anime portrays all of it’s characters realistically and makes them into real, down-to-earth people with flaws and reasons for doing what they do. Asuka’s a great lead character. She starts off weak and broken, but thanks to the kindness of her grandparents and other people she meets, she evolves into a bold, warm-hearted, and outspoken young girl who isn’t afraid to stand up to bullies who are being mean to her friends. Plus I love the friendship between her and that girl Megumi. They’re so cute together! When I first read the plotline of this movie, I thought her brother was going to be just as selfish and cruel as his mom, but when I watched it, I was proven wrong. While he’s still kind of a guy, he not only cares for his younger sister, he disapproves of his mom’s cruel ways and even berates her at one point! You go, Naoto! Asuka’s classmates are awesome too, turning from a bunch of bratty and cowardly kids to kind and respectful people. I found Kobayashi’s transformation to be very convincing. I didn’t get what happened to him, but he has his reasons for being the way he is, and he changes when he and Asuka get into a fight. The same goes for Asuka’s mom, who goes from disliking her daughter to remembering the pain she used to feel when she was a child. I’m glad they didn’t make Asuka’s mom a totally evil person. But out of all the characters, my favorite has to be Megumi. She is just awesome beyond belief. Just her very presence makes this anime shine. She’s pretty much one of the center characters of the story. I wish there were more characters like her in anime nowadays!
As much as I’d love to keep glorifying this movie, I have to admit that yes, like other anime, it has its flaws. For one thing, this anime was made in 1999, so of course the animation is rather dull and a little inconsistent (some faces looked weird at points), but it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. Yeah the animation’s not stellar, but that doesn’t stop the movie from being really good! Plus the footage I found of this anime has REALLY BAD sound quality. At first it nearly turned me off, but I had to convince myself this is better than nothing, so I endured it. Also, the OST isn’t really all that memorable, but that’s fine.
However, as much as this anime has both flaws and good points, I feel that the single BEST thing about this anime are it’s themes and moralistic values. Basically, it’s an anime about life and the joy of living, but it has other strong themes too, like undying compassion, true friendship, the fact that supposed evil deeds always have a reason behind them, the beauty of nature, love, social injustice, and the power to heal. Lots of anime touch upon these themes, but they’re rather poorly executed. However, HB: IKT does everything right and knows what it is. It’s simple, but it definitely strikes an impact. It did on me! I cried at this movie! Twice! At totally different scenes! One of which I absolutely CANNOT spoil because it will ruin the entire movie if I do. But if you don’t cry at this movie, then get your eyes and heart checked! In a way, this reminds me of Amuri in Star Ocean (Crazy, right?). Yeah yeah, that’s a sci-fi anime while this is slice-of-life, but they actually have a lot more in common than you think. They both focus on social injustice, true friendship, and the power to heal. Seriously, why don’t they get more attention?!
Happy Birthday: Time When Life Shines is a wonderful jewel that MUST be in any collector’s collection! Come on, people! Sub this thing and give it the attention it deserves already!
This will be a review for the anime “Re-Birthday”, a film that so few on MAL have seen yet is considered a hidden gem. Were this film to reach the wider public by some obscure, low-budget, 70s kids anime-oriented youtube channel like “AnimeEveryday” I have no doubt that it would be absolutely beloved by the entirety of MAL. As you can infer I didn’t really enjoy this movie and there are good reasons for it.
As those of you can plainly see: this anime was directed and animated by Magic Bus, a low budget hentai making studio and the same people who are unfortunately famous for making schlock like Mad Bull 34, Wounded Man, and only around 3 anime to their name that is considered to be of any real value (though nearly all of them were produced in joint projects with Madhouse or Shaft). Most famously of them is Legend of the Galactic Heroes, an anime that is so praised on MAL that it is erroneously considered the single best anime ever and of all time. This of course is the only reason why Magic Bus isn’t looked down upon by our beloved MAL Church of Good Taste like A1 Pictures, White Fox, or such. These of which on average not only produce better content on average than Magic Bus but get a worse rep due to sensationalism brought on by our beloved wannabe loli, underage crossdresser fanfiction writing, brony lolcow, bootleg John Lennon looking dweeb Conrad Collins as he watches from behind the screen at his domain of the AniTube downing a bottle of week-old whiskey paid for by his girlfriend among other things. The director of Re-Birthday, in particular, is our very own Satoshi Dezaki who unlike his younger brother Osamu Dezaki, the man responsible for creating some of the greatest anime series ever made, has mostly made low budget unmemorable flicks, OVAs, and a few forgotten TV series as well as the above mentioned Mad Bull.
I would like to mention first and foremost that unlike most people I am generally ok with what other people as pure unadulterated cheese. Some of my favorite anime include Elfen Lied, SAO, Nagi no Asukara, and pretty much anything by Key that is not Angel Beats, etc. In all of these shows, I could probably find one idea that I liked which made me appreciate regardless of whether the plot didn’t make sense or if the characters were generic or unoriginal. Be it learning to share your niche interests with others, learning to adjust to a new place, or just having fun slapstick comedy that most people can appreciate. The theme of Re-Birthday is that “everyone is inherently good” and that all evil actions have a reason and motive behind them. This theme that Re: Birthday has chosen to convey through its writing is not unique as many, many, many anime have expressed variants of it such as One Piece, Naruto, Yu Yu Hakusho, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Monster etc. The former all having handled it well as an addition to their own main ideas. Wellbeing a relative term. However Re: Birthday or as I like to call Re:Tarded handles its theme with the same lack of self-awareness that something seemingly innocent like Captain Planet might handle a serious issue like AIDS or deforestation.
Our story centers around a young girl named Asuka (not to be confused with infinitely better characters with the same or similar names) Fujiwara from an unknown town in Japan who is just an absolute darling, little cinnamon roll, cherub, angel, and paragon of virtue who enjoys going around helping kids with cerebral palsy at the local disabled children’s school and protecting her classmates from being bullied without a care in the world. Which goes on through nearly the entire film.
But hold on there’s a catch. Later on, it is made clear that Asuka’s mother Shizuyo, has been secretly favoring her brother under the pretenses of her daughter having lower grades than him. Asuka’s brother Naoto admits, to her upfront that Shizuyo had throughout her life on this earth never felt even an ounce of affection towards her daughter and that every birthday party supposedly dedicated to Asuka’s name was only done so to keep her quiet. Asuka, grieving over her mother’s outburst, loses her voice the next day and winds up having a severe fever lasting roughly 2 months. After getting the shit beaten out of her by her mother, the girl then had to be taken by train to her maternal grandparents’ farm where she completely recovered from her fever the day after arriving with her vocal cords repairing themselves the following day.
Later on, after returning home from her grandparents’ house Asuka and her friends proceeded to confront the class bully and track down Germy who had been routinely skipping class. They then had to confront her as their classmate is gripping with thoughts of killing herself. The 4 then did the unthinkable, the monumental Herculean task of telling the teacher that Germy was being bullied. All of a sudden a parent-teacher meeting was put in place and everyone who had bullied Germy for the last 2 months broke down into tears and say they’re sorry. EXCEPT for the main bully saw at the beginning of the film picking on Germy, the likes of whom was not fazed at all and whom we will refer to henceforth as Caillou. She then has a forced change of heart which is followed up by Asuka yelling at her mother who then has a forced change of heart and the movie ends. Notice anything wrong with this? You bet your ass there is!
First, we need to talk about Asuka. She is the blandest character in any anime that I have ever seen but the thing is: I don’t generally expect every anime character I see to be completely original and different either. Most anime characters tend to reflect the trends of the demographics that consume that specific genre in their designs and age groups. Usually, a character can be humanized by giving them defined interests, goals, and plans for the future as well as an outlook on life influenced by the various external factors around her. Asuka has none of that, She starts off as a boring mary sue character or something to that effect whose only traits are that she’s a brunette and she’s an elementary school champion of justice. She feels like more of a cringe PSA advertisement for “everyday heroes” than an actual factual character. Asuka losing the ability to make use of her vocal cords and then falling into a fever because her mother forgot her birthday is probably one of the dumber plot points in this series and the fact that it took only two days to get rid of a predicament that had gone on for 2 months is absolutely beyond me. The power of love doesn’t heal vocal cords Dezaki you putz! You and Anno are both officially on my shit list!
Not to mention that this movie has more face turns than Naruto. I shit you not. Half of the characters in this movie are nigh irredeemable assholes or bystanders who end up not preventing most of the conflict from occurring when they have the power. Asuka’s mother has hated Asuka forever solely because of the fact that the girl resembles her dead older sister (which is not even really true since they look completely different). This was the same sister that Asuka’s grandparents had to spend more time growing up with because of her sickness and had an apricot tree planted for her instead of Shizuyo, the mother. At her age, she should have gotten the memo a long time ago but I guess not. Then after nearly a decade after Asuka being born and a child yelling at her she suddenly regains her maternal instincts. The brother who was initially in on it with the mother and who was initially cheering her on for her actions suddenly becomes very saintly and kind when Asuka gets sick for reasons that are never explained. He also drops out of school to “become his own man” (presumably under a bridge) and no one questions a thing.
The movie also never goes fully explains why Germy was being bullied……or why she was even being called Germy in the first place. The whole suicide subplot occurs without any real buildup or explanation. Usually when a bully picks on someone that person has to possess undesirable qualities that one can exploit or has done something to anger the bully. Throughout the film, she has her backpack stolen from her, her desk drawn on, and is prevented from entering the classroom and the teacher doesn’t even notice a thing. That same teacher even broke down into tears when Asuka and friends informed her of Germy’s bullying and responded that she thought her class was perfect. With the principal and teacher involved and supposedly taking this very seriously, you would think that suspensions would be issued and expulsions considered at the very least but no! All they do is recite Germy’s suicide letter to the class and the little turds go from talking about how “hot” one of the parents is to sobbing their eyes out and talking about how sorry they are. Caillou, like the brother, goes from being a rotten little bastard who scoffs at suicide letters, bullies his classmates without being reprimanded in the slightest, denies his own crimes in public and beats up Asuka for calling him out then becomes kind after the disabled girl is about to crash and drown in the lake. Then admitting afterward that he was in fact locked in a closet as a child and scalded with hot water by his mother for reasons that are never explained.
Megumi, the disabled girl who Asuka had been visiting periodically, unlike all of the other characters is honestly more of a stage prop. I’m not sure what her purpose in the film was other than to look creepy, smile, and laugh all the time. Even when she’s hurtling towards her death. When the director tried to make me cry and feel sorry when she did die and “live on in everyone’s hearts” because of her disorder I didn’t feel as though any of it was earned. The least they could have done was give her a personality and not make her look and act like a clone of my creepy Aunt Nina but to no avail.
When you come to the conclusion that the average panhandler from the streets of Dharavi, Mumbai is spending more money on himself in a year than the budget of your feature-length film you know you’ve done something wrong. The soundtrack (which is too good for a show of this caliber) was pretty emotionally sterile but decent at best. You could replace the entirety of it with an airhorn version of Only Time by Enya and insert it periodically and the end result may end up actually improving the movie slightly. With the ending credits consisting of the Trololo song as a clip of Dezaki laughs at us in the background, doing the windmill in our faces.
The art as you may have guessed as of now is sort of abysmal for the time and doesn’t befit a film with a synopsis such as this. There’s an awful light filter that ruins the serious moments like the bullying scenes, Asuka losing her voice and makes any part of this movie that takes place in the daytime look like it was being filmed inside a Gundam space colony that was in the middle of getting pulled a quarter of the way into the sun. Most characters tend not to have more than 4 or so facial expressions which severely lessened the emotional impact of scenes like the ones where Junko is yelling at Asuka to never approach her again. The designs looked like they had been made out of a bunch of amorphous lines and squiggles that were arranged to make a person with no real detail or intricacy. “bUt LaMp ItS JuST a StyLE”. Need I remind you that all of this was produced in 1999, I get that the Summer 1999 anime season wasn’t exactly the most promising with GTO being the only somewhat high budget anime with good production values coming out but the thing that everyone has to realize (and probably instinctively knows) is that nearly every noteworthy anime movie created BEFORE 1999 has better animation and art either compared to Re-Birthday or for its time. The art and soundtrack in re-birthday look like they would fit better in the late 70s. But then again stuff like MSG 0079, Lupin 111, and Ashita no Joe have better character art, better soundtrack, and don’t have that god-awful light filter.
The worst thing about Re-Birthday though that it may have done is temporarily dislodge my utter disgust and vehement hatred for Neon Genesis Evangelion and force me to complement the latter on how unique and creative it is compared to this….thing. Much to my everlasting shame.
27: Pokemon Movie 05: Mizu no Miyako no Mamorigami Latias to Latios
English: Pokemon Heroes
Japanese: ポケットモンスター 水の都の護神 ラティアスとラティオス
MAL Score: 7.16
As they continue their journey through the Johto region, Satoshi and his friends visit Altomare, an island city that hosts an annual racing event called the Pokémon Water Race. While Takeshi and Kasumi are enjoying themselves, strange things seem to be happening to Satoshi—he somehow loses the water race, sees some women attack a girl with their Pokémon, and despite them saving her, the girl later denies ever seeing Satoshi and Pikachu before!
Fortunately for Satoshi, his confusion clears up as he learns that the girl he and Pikachu saved earlier was actually a Pokémon named Latias, who likes to disguise herself as her human friend, Kanon. Latias and another Pokémon, Latios, are known as the Eon Pokémon, as they inhabit and guard Altomare along with a mystical blue sphere called the Soul Dew. An ancient legend of Altomare is highly connected to the Eon Pokémon and the Soul Dew, and is well known among the locals—as well as among Latias’ earlier assailants, the thief sisters Zanner and Lyon. As the thieves attempt to capture both the Eon Pokémon and the Soul Dew, Satoshi is forced to act in order to stop them from bringing disaster to Altomare.
I just love the story, the music, the art. The storyline is very nice written, the characters are ofc what we are used to 🙂 I prefer the “older” pokemon storyline, and i think this was the last one which made me whatch it without going away from it in the middle.
I think this is a pretty good one, although the ending is kind of expected. I like this pair of legendary pokemons and I personally like Latios more than Latias. I love the way he protects his sister. Moreover, this pair of pokemons are really loyal to the city. They will sacrifice themselves to protect the city and it’s really beautiful to see this kind of loyalty. And it’s kind of sad too because it somehow makes me feel that they were born to protect the city. =(
Lets get the bad over with first. Continuing in the grand tradition of rushed and poorly thought out plots, here we have a machine which lacks any real gounding in the real world and is bound only by the power of plot necessity. There are two big questions which arise from watching the movie – How did ancients build a mech-pod with a VR interface and magic cameras all over the city? How do infinite prison bars materialize all over the place? Both of these are answered with the power of Latios and Latias, of course. To give credit where it’s due, I can swallow the two Eon pokemons being very smart and sight sharing could be utilized as a camera. The rest of it just isn’t tought out, at all.
On the brighter side of things, the town looks lovely and Venice, the city this film was modeled on, can only wish to be this beautiful. Locations in this film are amazing and ooze with atmosphere, arguably more so than any Pokemon film since. Coupled with a really great soundtrack to complement it, the film becomes an unforgetable cozy experience. As a stand out song, I have to mention Mistery Girl, Again – a great example of music being synced with a scene in an intricate way.
Since the plot is paper thin, the film has to rely on something beyond the drive towards a distinct goal. While some later films utilized daily life in Ash’s journey to pad out the running time, this one embraces that reality and shapes itself into an intriguing character piece.
After we’re treated to an engaging and visually creative opening through a pokemon race, film lets us soak in the atmosphere of the city for a few minutes. Not overstaying its welcome, we’re soon introduced to a mute girl, Latias in disguise. After a few fun adventures, Ash finds himself in direct contact with two siblings, Latios & Latias.
What makes the movie tick are the regular interactions between Ash, Latias and Latios. Unlike questionable relationships Ash had with others in pervious and future films, you can really feel the connection between the trio here.
Eventually a duo of thieves steal the Soul Dew, a jewl which grants its wielder control of the city’s defense systems. This leads to a tragic sacrafice. While the aformentioned machine is a lazy plot McGuffin, it’s used to steer character interactions into an arc and give them a sense of purpose. While certainly a thorn in the side of this movie, it doesn’t detract from the overall experience much. It’s probable that the film would be better were it not for villains and the the perilous event was instead triggered by a timed cycle.
At the very end of the film, we get to witness Ash’s first kiss. Latias in her human form thanks him for everything he’s done for her, cementing this as the weirdest Pokemon film yet.
Guardian Gods of the Capital of Water: Latias and Latios is a comfy cartoon about a special day in Ash’s life. Its B plot is kind of a mistake in itself, but it’s easily glanced over. Beyond that, the film is a very enjoyable experience. I doubt we’ll get something like it ever again, so even if it ain’t the greatest thing since baked bread, it should still be cherished.
26: Pokemon Movie 21: Minna no Monogatari
English: Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us
Japanese: 劇場版ポケットモンスター みんなの物語
MAL Score: 7.16
As Satoshi continues his journey to become a Pokémon Master, he travels to Fura City to attend the annual Wind Festival. Pumped up, Satoshi and Pikachu are determined to win the festival’s Get Race. Meanwhile, Kagachi, a show-off and a habitual liar, joins the competition at the request of his niece Lily. Having almost no knowledge about Pokémon, he manages to strike a deal with a socially awkward scientist named Torito in exchange for help with his upcoming speech. Following Kagachi’s victory, Satoshi meets Risa, an ex-regional track and field champion looking to catch a Pokémon. However, during Torito’s speech, Team Rocket strikes and manages to steal a capsule from his lab.
Tragedy strikes one after another as the Wind Festival’s Sacred Flame disappears! As they set off on a journey to find the culprit, Satoshi and the group meet many people on the way—including Zeraora, the Thunderclap Pokémon who was believed to be dead…
Lets get started.
The Power of Us is no sequel to I Choose You, it is its own story. Going into this movie, my expectations had to walk a fine line between my inner Pokemon fan, and my subjective view to critique it. I give this movie credit for having the bravery to juggle at least 6 main characters, and not lose its way. For a majority of the time, it is consistent with the world it sets up. The story caught my attention, although nothing groundbreaking. The shift away from story revolving around Ash’s actions alone provides a unique angle that the series often does not explore. The pacing was above average, especially when comparing this film to I Choose You, which had the first 10 minutes with Ash and Pikachu going over the events of the first episode. There was no rush or glaring issues with the story flow, and I was pleasantly surprised. The story shares beats with past arcs in Pokemon, though there is clear direction being shown. Zeraora was well integrated for having little to do with Lugia, and felt like a believable addition to the cast. Fula City is one of, if not the most fleshed out settings the franchise has to offer. Realistic for the fantasy setting, and believable figures, such as the mayor, who’s actions are anything but “Let the 10 year old kid handle it by himself”. As for the artwork, I cannot say anything less than outstanding. Backgrounds and wide shots were something out Studio Ghibi, while character designs were vibrant, representative of their respective character, and unique to say the least. Every battle that takes place is a joy to watch, WIT Studios outdid themselves with fluid and clear animation, barely surpassing I Choose You in terms of quality. Redesigns are well done for Ash and Team Rocket, in particular. Music of the film was fitting for the most part, and served some scenes more justice than others. The english Dub kept a majority of tracks the same as Japanese. Moving on to characters. Ash, Lisa, Harriet, Callahan, Torren, and Margot. The Power of Us giving 6 central characters their own focus gave me worry on how the shared screen time would translate to development. My fears were put to rest upon first viewing, as each was handled and given a necessary amount of screen time. Part of this film’s charm is to see the interaction between these people whom would have never met otherwise. The Power of Us derives its strength in simplicity, and earns endearment in the most unlikely places. Doing my best not to spoil, one of Callahan’s scenes was particularly touching and deserves a place of mention. Risa’s simple story I found relatable, being a former athlete, and her scene with Ash was charming.
My overall enjoyment was outstanding for this film. It is reassuring when a franchise can still give good quality after 20 whole movies. In short, I recommend watching Pokemon: The Power of Us, as a well produced, entertaining, and endearing addition to the series as a whole.
At first glance, it looks like it’s a remake (of sorts) of The Power of One, the second Pokemon movie. The title “The Power of Us” is a great mirror of that and it stars Lugia as the centerpiece. Except it’s not. This movie isn’t about Lugia, it’s about Zeraora. So if you think this new Electric-type fursona looks super cool, then this movie’s gonna be up your alley 10/10.
So let’s throw all immediate comparisons out the window. That’s fair, I don’t mind at all. But I’m still completely unsure as to what this is supposed to be. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with I Choose You, that movie isn’t even referenced in this. Forget that really cool potential development Verity might’ve had with her Mom–not important or anything it’s just the fucking Champion of Sinnoh–she’s out of the picture forever, I guess. But they’re still continuing this theme of Ash and Pikachu’s journey starting from scratch, considering Ash is wearing the same cap from ICU. Whatever, maybe they were afraid people wouldn’t keep up with the movies enough, so they didn’t wanna make a whole new storyline with them, fine.
So this movie isn’t a sequel to I Choose You, nor is it a remake of The Power of Us. Alright. I still don’t know what this movie is.
I guess they decided to remove the ‘adventure’ part of Pokemon to make a drama instead, since the only settings in this film are a boring town and a boring . . . mountain. Cool. It’s not necessarily terribly written–most things make the proper amount of sense with most of the causes and effects lining up, but it’s just so . . . boring. Two seconds with all of the characters will tell you everything about them and the arc they will eventually follow. The uncle guy lies to his niece to impress her. Even a Slowpoke could predict that he’d be found out halfway through the movie, become hated, and become part of the heroic plot later to redeem himself. Amazing.
Look, I get it. It’s Pokemon. I’m not expecting an Academy-level plot here. But . . . I also enjoy the Pokemon anime most of the time, because it’s not so thoroughly bland and uninspired?? The Sun&Moon characters have tons of quirks, tons of personality, and they’re tons of fun to watch even though literally nothing happens in that series. Power of Bum feels equally pointless but pretends that something interesting is happening the entire time.
This movie just has too many pieces. It ultimately spreads out into a three-pronged conflict where its bloated cast is scattered all over the place. As a result, tons of things need to happen and need to be explained, causing many of these pieces to have extremely minor uses. Two Pokemon Hunters appear in the beginning of the movie for a couple seconds, obviously scheming something, and then they show up about halfway through to start shit, and then they disappear off-screen forever. The gyaru-looking chick has a brother just so that he can magically guide her through the forest for one scene later in the movie. And there’s the incredibly dumb “plot twist” about how Zeraora was condemned by a past generation, only for the leader of the current generation to know the truth all along, but keep that a secret from everyone for absolutely no reason when he could’ve settled that dispute years ago, but that’d pre-emptively erase half the conflict of the movie.
Also, can we talk about the fact that, of all things, the “forest guardian” in this movie is an Electric-type . . . thing? What is this? What is “forest-like” about this creature? Have they just completely given up on symbolism with their legendaries? Marshadow is one of the coolest Pokemon ever, how did we go from that to this in a single generation? Its only defining trait is that it’s fast so that they can play the same scene of a thing falling on top of a guy, only for Zeraora to swoop in and catch the falling thing at the last second. Every. Single. Time.
. . . Wait, hang on. Pokemon Hunters . . . forest guardian . . . this is actually a remake of Pokemon 4Ever. What the fuck. Those LIARS!!!
Even as a general Pokemon story, it doesn’t really capitalize on anything about Pokemon. The biggest opposing threat in this movie is an oh-so-ominous gas cloud. No, I’m not talking about Gengar, it’s just some poison gas that Ikoma from Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress made. Sure, it’s Effect Spore, sure it’s an actual Pokemon thing and they use Lum Berries to cure it; I like practical applications of small Pokemon bits like this. But that’s all they are. Small bits. Who the fuck wants to watch a Pokemon movie about Ash and Pikachu fighting against toxins. Pokemon should always be about THE Pokemon as much as possible, and these mechanical elements should take a backseat and serve as tools instead of being the plot themselves.
So, again, what IS this movie? What is the point of it? That Pokemon and people should work together? You know . . . the theme of EVERY FUCKING POKEMON STORY IN EXISTENCE??? It doesn’t even scratch the itch one might have of seeing animated Pokemon battles in the big screen–you get some, for sure, and for what it’s worth the Pokemon Catching contest was pretty fun–but the movie’s more of a problem-solving thing than anything. I guess. But, beyond that, it’s just a bunch of really boring characters involved with a plot that has too many things going on. And then Lugia appears for like five seconds.
I just can’t recommend this. If you’re a Pokemon superfan who just likes watching Pokemon then you’ll probably just shit on me for posting this and go watch the movie anyway and have a great time. Whatever, I don’t look down on that. But I’m not that kind of person. I’m giving this a 2 because it feels so pointless and boring and did absolutely nothing for me. It didn’t do anything to insult my intelligence, necessarily, which is why it won’t go lower, but it feels like a waste of money and a waste of time more than anything. Maybe “The Power of Us” refers to the people who made the movie and their power of siphoning my wallet. Can’t wait for Smogon to ban that shit.
Pokemon Movie 21 “The Power of Us” had no right being as great as it turned out to be. My impressions of the 20th film “I Choose You” almost made me write off Pokemon for good. Its attempt at trying to capitalize on the first generation while also fitting in another B plot into one film (as well at retconing a lot of what happened in the first TV series) was atrocious to say the least.
However for the case of “The Power of Us”, I am utterly shocked how much I enjoyed this film. It still is Pokemon for babies (which I fear is all we are going to get seeing how Pokemon Go and Pokemon: Let’s Go turned out) but this film had muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch more creative juices flowing.
“The Power of Us” starts out with Ash embarking on a new journey. This time, he finds himself in Fula City; a city that flourishes due to the wind granted by Lugia. Each year the town holds a festival to honor Lugia’s commitment to providing the city with wind. Ash eventually runs into many other characters such as my new favorite Pokemon bae Risa, the convulsive liar Callahan, the old shrew Harriet, and a whole slew of other characters. This is all a good thing…annnnd a bad thing.
This huge influx of characters means you need to give them a reason to exist. This film does tackle this providing B-plots for all of them. What this ends up creating though is the issue that…80% of the film is just all these B-plots going on. There is an overarching plot line that drives the film but you are not made fully aware of it until at least half way through the film. Also there is a total lack of a antagonist in this film. So essentially if you do not buy into the character development going on, the film will be a horrid experience for you.
Now I really cannot talk about any of the characters in depth because what goes on with them is like the entire reason the film exists. So lets talk about other things such as the gorgeousssssssss character designs by artist Shizue Kaneko. They are simply phenomenal. Each character in this film looks perfect. The right amount of cuteness, the perfect outfit, everything. This aspect is nailed so fucking hard that I’d venture to say that these are the best character designs in Pokemon to date (and that’s saying something comparing it to X&Y as well as Sun & Moon).
The world design is also pretty great. The town looks super interesting. The pier area where all the festival stuff occurs is also really cool design wise. I will say that the CG flying scenes where Pokemon are going through the city looks pretty generic. Like, in background shots the city looks great but as soon as those super camera panning CG shots happen, things turn pretty generic.
The camera movement and directing in general though are really spot on in this film. There is this scene where one of the character is about to get attacked by another group of people. However, it is stopped at the very last second by Pikachu using Iron Tail. As this person looks up, you see a 3rd person view of a slow motion Pikachu repealing the attack with its tail. However, it’s how the shot is framed, lit, and paced that make it such a stand out moment. And this isn’t the only shot you can take under a microscope and enjoy; the film is filled with them.
The sound design (especially of a particular Pokemon) is really well done. Everything in this film feels like it has weight because of this aspect. Though this isn’t really anything new since most Pokemon related stuff has great sound design.
Music was…there. I didn’t notice any standout pieces but it fit the mood well enough.
The English voice acting was…pretty ok. I did think that Risa and Callahan were really well acted. The marriage of their visual performance and the voice actors was really spot on. And honestly all the comedy bits in this film was pulled off really well because of this. The old hag character Harriet had a plethora amount of funny moments because of this.
(I recently re-watched this in Japanese; way better in my opinion. Really well acted cast.)
So when looking back at the film as a whole…I am a little conflicted. The first 70% of the film is essentially like a TV episode where you meet characters that go through arcs. Then all of the sudden the film realizes it needs to get the real plot moving so there are exposition scenes out the wazzu, deus ex machina moments, and plot holes that never get filled. From a pacing standpoint, the film is actually quite horrid. However, I did end up enjoying all these B-plots so for me, I really ended up enjoying the film as a whole. If this is what I can assume the future films of this timeline will employ, then count me in. Like I said in the beginning, the film is still tailored for the younger generation; however it was still impactful.
Thanks for reading my review! If you liked my writing style, would like to see some other reviews, or just want to talk, please stop by my page!
25: Doraemon Movie 29: Shin Nobita no Uchuu Kaitakushi
English: Doraemon the Movie: The Record of Nobita’s Spaceblazer
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん 新 のび太の宇宙開拓史
MAL Score: 7.20
While Nobita is sleeping, he suddenly feels the floor is trembling, like there would be an earthquake in his room. A little rabbit from an alternate universe named Chamii opens the door between the dimensions using a hammer and gets inside Nobita’s room through the floor. Nobita waks up and Doraemon hears somebody steals food from the fridge in the kitchen. It is Chamii, who gets caught by Doraemon and Nobita. She shows them the passageway through Nobita’s floor into the spaceship. After they enter the spaceship, they see the Koya Koya Planet. they meet a boy named Roppuru…
24: Rockman.EXE Movie: Hikari to Yami no Program
Japanese: 劇場版 ロックマン エグゼ: 光と闇の遺産
MAL Score: 7.21
Deep in the dark recesses of the UnderNet, Forte sleeps as he drifts aimlessly. In this cybernetic graveyard, a pulsating power re-awakens Forte, alerting him to a dangerous being shortly ahead. A haunting face appears amidst a massive bright purple blob, laughing directly at Forte. Cursing him, Forte finds himself powerless as the blob takes form, and captures him within its grasp!
Nearing the time of sunset, a peaceful city and its people go about their everyday business. Curious bystanders on a sidewalk glimpse a shimmering purple light, which suddenly expands into tall pillar that reaches up to the sky. Screams erupt from the people as the pillar of light takes flight, absorbing everything in its destructive path. A tower clock dings the hour of 4 o’clock as the pillar desintigrates, leaving behind a trail of cybernetic residue and utter emptyness.
‘The Program of Light and Dark’
(Source: Official Site)
As for everything else, uh… It’s Rockman.exe. You don’t exactly look to it for interesting stories with complicated characters. Basically, the most interesting character you can expect is Higsby.
Basically, watch this movie if you like Mega Man Battle Network and you don’t mind a bit of weird inconsistency in quality, because the lows of the movie are inoffensive and the highs of the movie are hilarious fun.
23: Tabisuru Nuigurumi: Traveling Daru
Japanese: 旅するぬいぐるみ ~Traveling Daru~
MAL Score: 7.21
Daru, a cherished handmade stuffed toy, gets lost and separated from its owner one day when at the airport. Determined to find her again, Daru sets out on a journey around the world in search of her. As time passes, the girl begins to forget about Daru. Will Daru be able to find and see his beloved owner again?
Traveling Daru is a short 10-minute film about a young girl who loses her plush toy as her family leaves for America and the journey the toy named Daru takes to reunite with her. It’s extremely sentimental in that the journey visits many sites while also cutting to the girl as she grows up. The loss of the toy has a profound effect on her life as she vividly remembers what it looked like even as she goes into running her own business. Daru’s journey is at times uplifting and depressing, but it wonderfully works out in the end after having traveled the other way around the world to see her again.
Contentwise, The film has no dialogue, but still expertly tell the story with underlying message of its main character; Daru itself is based on Japanese traditional toy called Daruma dolls, which is seen as a symbol of perseverance. Despite being separated by time and distance, he never gives up. Instead he decided to travel around the world, seeking for the information of its owner by talking with another dolls, animal and souvenirs from different country despite many years have gone.
Visually the film was pretty to look at. Most of the animation is this eloquent blend of computer generated and traditional animation. Colors are bold and vivid as the scenes involving a setting sun are often the most wonderful. The sea, filled with choppy and flowing waves of water, is also impressively animated to a realistic extent. Daru’s journey literally takes him all over the world; from various cities, to the countryside even to the South Pole. A lot of the landmarks in this short should be familiar to a lot of people, regardless of whether they’ve actually been there.
The music is essential to the emotional impact of the film. These songs that mostly revolve around fanciful yet engrossing strings and joyously upbeat piano arrangements seem to add an extra layer of innocence to the film.
Overall. Consider giving this film a watch.
Story – 7
It’s obviously not got a filled out story, only being 10 minutes long, but that was enough time too draw you into what story there was. The pace was quick but not rushed and that was enabled by the soundtrack which sped it along in the initial stages. My attention didn’t waver once because immediately I was interested in the journeys of a tiny, little stuffed toy (presumably made by the young girl) and where it was going. There is no dialogue (apart from 2 sentences at the end in English) but this in no way hinders the story, it makes your senses become more acutely aware of the sounds going on in the background and various images in each scene. There was also a lot of symbolism used in the centre and in the backgrounds, for example. the butterfly spreading it’s wings after being trapt in the coccoon, it foretold of the final journey to be had by the stuffed toy. The ending was a mixture of both happy and sad, it was the ending you would expect and also not in some ways I think. The last scene after the credits really brought a smile to my face.
Art – 9
It had the most spectacular sky scenes, I almost gasped during one of the scenes. The character designs are relatively simple and the main girl looks very ordinary. Careful precision has been made with many of the scenes, such as the reflection in the window as the girl touches the glass, the wind through the scarecrows hair and waterdroplets on the ground. I think it’s the precision that adds a new dimension to the TN:TD.
Sound – 9
It starts with a fast-paced 50’s style trumpet tune that allows the story to move through time very quickly. It then slows to a peaceful guitar and piano song, the standstill of time when both the stuffed toy and the girl are in deep contemplation and a sense of loneliness comes through the music. Then the music stops for the sound of the waterdroplet, it is after this that piano music emerges which then changes to violins/cellos that make you feel uplifted and hopeful. The music is extremely effective, it substitutes the lack of dialogue perfectly. You could shut your eyes and almost follow the story from the music alone.
Character – 6
Not much to say on character as it is so short and there is no dialogue till right at the end. We come to understand that the stuffed toy has never stopped wanting to reach the girl throughout the story. The girl is shown in the beginning to be devastated to loose her toy and then as the story moves on and she grows up we come to understand that she has become a fashion designer. She seems to be finding inspiration difficult and she is frustrated, you see that she also still thinks about the stuffed toy she lost many years before. At the end you see that she has never forgotten about this stuffed toy even though her life has moved on such a long way.
Enjoyment – 9
Really surprised by how much I have enjoyed this short, I came out feeling good and optimistic. It really reinforces the value of determination. I was happy at the end but also managed to feel really sad in the middle and the end as well, for something with little time to make me feel, lonely, sad and happy must be good.
Overall – 8
Definitely worth the little time it takes, it took me by surprise and maybe it will you too. It may seem like a childish tale of a stuffed toy that walks and journeys but actually I felt it could be shown to all ages. Everything about this short wasn’t lacklustre or lazy, it was done precision and careful planning, there were tiny details and clever symbolism that scattered the backgrounds and made it eye catching and interesting.
Key things to note before even watching:
It’s a short ( xx mins. < 30 mins.) It lacks dialogue (mostly...) Story: 9/10 --Despite the short having less than 5 sentences, the story is told through the journey of a little handmade toy that was left behind by his owner in a rush to board her plane with the parents. Daru, the toy, ventures to return to his beloved owner and along the way he travels to many countries, searching for her by asking various other objects and animals. He even manages to make a small companion friend, a caterpillar, whom he protects from the elements when he finds that it turns into a cocoon. Art: 7/10 --It's not amazing, but it is charming and very cute. In some scenes there was a lot of thought and details put into certain objects. Sometimes the art/animation is absolutely outstanding; one such case is when they showcase the night sky with the clouds (Around the 2 min. mark). Since Daru is traveling around the world, it is easy to note where he's has gone to by paying attention to the background. Sound: 9/10 --Charming. It's very simple and relaxing and in my opinion, the music suits the mood of the scene wonderfully. From the excitement to the hopeless moments, the music is a perfect match without being too overpowering for the scene, but neither lacking in emotion either. Character: 10/10 --There are really only two characters to focus on, and though while neither really talk much, there is a lot of heart they both have. The owner and Daru both display loyalty and love for one another in their remembrance of each other and determination (In Daru's case) to reunite. Enjoyment: 10/10 --While others have expressed lack of interest or enjoyment from this short, perhaps because it IS short and they think it lacks a story, I find this little anime to be quite charming and thoroughly heartwarming. It most definitely reminds me of pixar's shorts--little to no dialogue, but a story behind the actions of the characters and emotion that can be felt. I suppose it takes a certain kind of person to find this enjoyable. It's quite quaint, but it is very cute. If you're anything like me, if you can relate to and understand the message without it being thrown in your face, you'll like this. I quite like this little anime a lot. I love the simplicity of it, as well as the ending. It's nothing powerful and amazing but it's simply the same as enjoying a beautiful day. It's not so much what you did with your time, but just enjoying it for being what it is. Though it looks quite childish, I do believe that a mature audience can take pleasure from this sort of piece. Overall: 9/10 --It's simply very cute and charming. It tells a great story given the time frame. The music is wonderful. The art is simple sometimes and amazing other times. The characters truly show heart for one another. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and because it's so short, it's worth sparing 10 minutes and enjoying it for what it is. [/collapse]
22: Doraemon: 2112-nen Doraemon Tanjou
Japanese: ドラえもん ２１１２年ドラえもん誕生
MAL Score: 7.22
The movie is sort of a prequel to the entire series, it showed the life of Doraemon before traveling to the 20th century: How he was made, how he was partially broken, how he lost his ears, how he met the Nobi family and decides to return to the past to help Nobita.
Review[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]Watching Doraemon’s beginnings made me appreciate him more and understand his devotion to Nobita in a much deeper sense. He was, after all, just like Nobita, a clumsy amateur cat-robot with bullies of his own and a girl that makes his days a little more pleasant despite of the hardships. The bond he had with Sewashi, the grandson of his eventual master, was very adorable as well.
I also loved how the very idea of Doraemon took form from a manga artist’s desperate search for a new story into a dream, a fateful encounter with some random toy, and eventually into a legacy that proves time and time again the importance and magic of friendship.
I think I’ve fallen in love with this series even more now. ♥
21: Doraemon Movie 38: Nobita no Takarajima
English: Doraemon the Movie 2018: Nobita’s Treasure Island
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん のび太の宝島
MAL Score: 7.22
Doraemon: Nobita no Takarajima takes the well-known characters to the Caribbean Sea; Nobita is the captain of a ship and fights against his enemies. Shizuka is kidnapped and a storm prevents her persecution. When the adventurers finally find the mysterious Treasure Island, where they have taken Shizuka, they discover that it is something more than a common island.
(Source: Official Website)
A new original movie for 2018 even though the pattern’s been remake of an old movie followed by an original. Interestingly enough, Genki Kawamura was responsible for the screenplay – he was one of the producers for Your Name and also The Boy and The Beast.
As usual the art is good and this was actually quite a good action comedy. Shizuka gets a lot more screen time than she usually does. They added in a bunch of little riddles in for fun too and movie doesn’t forget to empthasise on protecting Earth and its environment as its been with previous movies.
Worth a watch for Doraemon fans.
20: Doraemon Movie 39: Nobita no Getsumen Tansaki
English: Doraemon the Movie 2019: Chronicle of the Moon Exploration
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん のび太の月面探査記
MAL Score: 7.22
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
The story is shallow as ever. The problems with movies after Fujiko’s works run out is that they’re so soulless. How amazing and phenomenal his world building was, always so imaginative and beyond my wildest dream, I always wanted to be a part of the never ending adventure that he drawn. His story while was aiming for kids, it always had the exciting and thrilling feelings behind it. The bad guys are very comical but they’re smart and put things to their limits. The new one, they’re just the shadows to highlight the generic friendship story that you’ve watched a thousand times in any shounen movies. You name it, applied the formular and then boom a new doraemon movie is born.
At least they tried to keeps the characteristic cast as close as possible but while doing that, they accidentally hold down the true potential display that Fujiko aimed in his story. It just felt like a shell, a copycat with no real understanding of what makes themself great in the first place.
Their saving grave are the great animations, very beautiful sharp characters designs and bright enough color to enhance the overall theme of the movie. The soundtracks are great, fitting the atmosphere and some scene feels very emotional. Especially love the ending song, you should hear it.
I don’t think this movie is worth watching. But I was always a Doraemon fan, oh no, I’m still one. So how sad it is, I will still sit here in my hard wood chair and watch their next adventure.
19: Xuyuan Shenlong
English: Wish Dragon
MAL Score: 7.24
Determined teen Din is longing to reconnect with his childhood best friend when he meets a wish-granting dragon that shows him the magic of possibilities.
18: Pokemon Movie 10: Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai
English: Pokemon: The Rise Of Darkrai
Japanese: ポケットモンスター ダイヤモンド＆パール ディアルガVSパルキアVSダークライ
MAL Score: 7.27
The beautiful Alamos Town is home to a pair of century-old structures known as the Space-Time Towers, built by the architect Godey to play orchestral music in the area. The towers are also home to the Alamos Town Contest Hall, which is the next destination for Hikari, Satoshi, and Takeshi in their journey through the Sinnoh region. A woman named Alice and her partner Chimchar are happy to guide Satoshi and his friends through the town and its hallmarks.
But the tour is suddenly interrupted when Alice’s friend Tonio notices a wave of dimensional disturbances throughout the town—all of which is blamed on an ominous Pokémon named Darkrai. The space-time disturbances continue to intensify as two legendary Pokémon, the Temporal Pokémon Dialga and the Spatial Pokémon Palkia, appear to duel each other, isolating the town and everyone present in it from the world into another dimension!
As he learns that this event was foreseen long ago, Tonio finds that his great-grandfather left behind a way to stop the dueling Pokémon. Will Satoshi and his friends be able to use this last resort to save Alamos Town from vaporizing between the dimensions?
The story plot was FAIR. When I originally heard about the movie, I thought it would be much much much different. Since I’ve been a Pokemon Fan for most of my life, I was expecting the movies to have much more of a Climatical part. It did not have a true "climax" per se. It was an average movie with an average storyline.
The art was nothing special. The best art I saw was at the very end. The art was just as if it was a regular old Pokemon episode.
Sound was my favorite part. I loved the theme song in both English and Japanese, and I loved how the ending theme stayed the same. I also loved the song Aracion.
Of course, Ash, Brock, and Dawn make an appearance, being the main Characters. I didn’t see anything outstanding in the adding of the movie characters. Just like the episodes, there was nothing that made them stand out.
When I watch a movie, I want to have somewhat the same thrill of when I watched it the very first time. I want it to be moving. When I watched this movie, I saw it all. I only re-watch it if my friends wants to see it again or if I was going to be in a Pokemon TCG tourney the next day.
Overall, it earns a fair 7. It was decent the first time through, but after that, it just gets boring and more boring.
Two guys will compete for a girl and it will be shown, not told. The resolution will be clear as the loser stumbles in the background. No exposition needed. Don’t get me wrong, by no means is this a masterpiece. What it is, is a highly polished work following all the standard conventions with enough sophistication to be a good cartoon.
I wouldn’t call any single component of the film bad, but where it does stumble, or at the very least, doesn’t shine as the rest, are the characters. The main show cast don’t get much attention. Plot expiosition is what they’ve been used for before and that’s what they’re used for here. By no means are their lines cringeworthy. By no means are they especially interesting, either. This becomes a hinderance which prevents the film from getting a higher rating, as their wacky shenanigans in the second act, while main plot is on hold, don’t hold a candle to what comes before and after. They could’ve been given character developement or something meaningful to do so we connect to them. Slightly boring and overly silly slapstick dominates a dozen scenes. At least they’re watchable.
Alice and Tonio are worth a mention. Their simple, but fun relationship subtly embelishes a few moments. Darkrai stole a few scenes, as well. Expecting him to be an edgelord, this was quite a surprise to me.
There’s a thin line between an unoriginal ripoff and a well executed, traditional story. I’ve already praised the film for being the latter. One element of the plot stands out, though. Music. Pokemon flirted with this idea in the second film, but didn’t have the courage to incorporate Melody’s song into the plot. This is fortunate, since the song wasn’t exceptional. I’m by no means an expert in music, but I found the song in here pretty good for what it is – an audience mover. While by no means something heavenly, it works well enough that you can accept it as having mythological significance in the film.
Artwork for the film was pretty good. Use of CGI for the church, while justified, wasn’t nearly as flawless as in some older Pokemon works. Still, CGI was utilized in multiple good action scenes. Action was pretty good in general here. Almost as relevant as in the last film’s final action scene, Ash gets to do something again. Ash, Dawn & their pokemon are really fun to watch as they wrestle with time and space to save themselves.
There’s nothing more to say. It’s a highly polished action film with weaker characters than I’d like. Groundbreaking? No. Solid? Yes.
Recommendation to pretty much anyone interested.
Well, let us start with the Story.
It’s always interesting – especially in the case of Pokemon – how they made it so far! At that time over 400 Pokémons – and the Franchise seem to be still growing!
This movie I just watched because I liked (and I still do so) the 4th Gen. very much! And that’s why I came to watch it! And I wasn’t disappointed. The storyline has gotten an epic Flair which I really enjoyed. The battle between Palkia and Dialga and, finally, Darkrei as well, was something I didn’t expect. That’s why I consider the Story as quite fresh, a little bit dramatic and sad.
The Sound was just phenomenal – especially the Oracion-theme! WOW! I was thrilled from the very beginning!!
However, the characters…, well actually, it’s just Ash with a bunch of other people trying to save the world/City… so, as you can imagine, it’s pretty much the same as always 😉
17: Doraemon Movie 34: Shin Nobita no Daimakyou – Peko to 5-nin no Tankentai
English: Doraemon the Movie: Nobita in the New Haunts of Evil -Peko and the Five Explorers-
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん 新 のび太の大魔境～ペコと5人の探検隊～
MAL Score: 7.27
This is a remake of the 1982 film, Doraemon: Nobita’s Great Demon, which was written by original Doraemon co-creator Fujiko F. Fujio.
16: Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru
English: Night on the Galactic Railroad
MAL Score: 7.28
Giovanni is a young boy who lives on the outskirts of a small rustic village. His mother is bedridden and his father has not returned home since leaving to work on a fishing boat. An outcast at school, Giovanni has only one friend: Campanella, the mayor’s son. During the town’s Festival of Stars, Giovanni starts to daydream atop a hill and looks up to find a steam engine train floating in the air. He boards the train only to find his friend Campanella already there. And so, the two begin their journey through the stars where they come across unusual people and visit many beautiful and haunting places.
Night on the galactic Railroad is quite the ride… to say the least. Before beginning this movie I had been given fair warning, yet I still proceeded giving it the benefit of the doubt.
Have you ever smoked acid? Me neither, but I’m pretty sure this story is something that might pop into your head if you did. Get ready for the ride of your life as you follow two cardboard cutouts into a cluster of strange and meaningless scenes. Usually stories have linear plots and character developments with a twist at the end that makes everything make sense. Gisaburou Sugii throws all of that out the windows. Night on the Galactic Railroad is a tale that will leave you shocked at the fact that you just spent over an hour of your life watching nothing.
Bambi was made in 1942 and the animation still hold up to this day. Night on the Galactic Railroad was made in the mid 1980’s (38 years later) and the animation was terrible. This is a slideshow of a movie. Almost every shot is either a panning shot or a series of recycled animation.
Never has there been a more disturbing sound track in anime. For 113 minutes I squirmed in my seat out of discomfort. The soundtrack consists of nothing but scary, creepy, and unsettling music. Even if the characters are going through something heartfelt or loving the music would cut in and ruin everything. The quality of the music is also a problem. This static music not only sounds bad but it breaks all illusion of immersion, destroying the atmosphere, which in all honesty is a breath of fresh air.
Have you ever sat down and looked at a piece of cardboard covered in crayon scribble. That’s basically the experience of watching these characters on the screen. There has never been a more cold hearted character as Giovanni. This ice cold cat stares without compassion as children drown before his eyes. The only other being that is as heartless as Giovanni is his prick friend Campanella. This couple stares poker-faced as they see horrific sights and atrocities committed in front of them. It does not matter what these characters go through, their facial expressions will not change in the slightest.
The sound scraped against my ears, the animation scraped against my eyes, and the story scraped against my soul. This movie was uncomfortable, horribly written, and everything about it made me want to turn it off. This was a train-wreck of a movie.
I would not recommend this movie to anyone and neither should you.
15: Doraemon Movie 24: Nobita to Fushigi Kaze Tsukai
English: Doraemon the Movie: Nobita and the Windmasters
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん のび太とふしぎ風使い
MAL Score: 7.28
One day, Nobita runs into a creature-like ball of wind, which came from a faraway land, but blew into their neighbourhood following the recent typhoon that went through the area. Nobita names it Fuuko. Eventually, he, Doraemon and their friends take it to a vast countryside through the Anywhere Door. There, they learn about the Wind and Storm Villages, and Fuuko’s real identity. Soon, Nobita and his friends have to protect Fuuko from the Storm Village and a now-possessed Nobuo, who is being controlled by the spirit of the Storm Village’s former leader.
Story: 9/10 without giving much away. This movie is just one of lots of movies, but just like the previous movies, it shows us a beautifull and heart warming feeling. This one isn’t very focused on doraemon’s gadgets or nobita’s friends but we can say it revolves around Fuuko and nobita.
Art: 8/10 the art its pretty decent, i guess a normal in doraemon’s movies.
Sound: 7/10 the sound is more or less the same has other movies 😀
Character. 9/10 like i said this movie has lots of good new characters as well as the usual ones.
Fuuko a wind ball, i really liked the character, it was really cute as a wind ball, and when she was in the dragon, not enough words to describe the happy feeling in conveyed!
Enjoyment and Overall: This a movie totally worth watching, for all it gives us, and for the nostalgia people feel when watching this 🙂
Thanks for reading
14: Digimon Adventure 02: Diablomon no Gyakushuu
English: Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon
Japanese: デジモンアドベンチャー02 ディアボロモンの逆襲
MAL Score: 7.28
After the events of 02, everything is finally getting back to normal. That is, until a strangely familiar icon starts showing up on computer systems around the Japan. And not just computer systems… TVs, mobile phones, video games; anything with a screen with online capabilities. And this icon seems to be looking for somone… Yagami Taichi, and Ishida Yamato, who defeated it several years before. Yes, it turns out that this jellyfish digimon is in fact Diablomon, the Virus-type Digimon that was defeated in the second movie. But this time, he’s learned to make himself physical, and is sending thousands of copies of himself into the real world.
Koushiro and Ken devise a plan to rid the world of the virus once and for all, but it’ll take the help of all the Destined, past and present. Once again, it’s a race against time to put a stop to Diablomon’s plot… but even that is cloaked in shadow.
Will the revival of Omagamon be enough to stop Diablomon a second time, or will the millions of copies prove enough of a power boost to shrug off the “Digimon Champion of Justice”? Of course, he hasn’t seen the new breed of Chosen, nor the new techniques. It’s a fight to the finish, with the destruction of Tokyo resting on the line.
Story: The Story is pretty simple and nothing special but its intriguing and Diaboloms comeback is mostly believable.
Characters: Well its the characters from Digimon some suck dick like Daisuke and some are awesome like Ken or Taichi. Nothign changed from the series.
Art: The art is pretty solid especially considering it was made like 15 years ago. Animations look solid and Omegamons fight with Diablomon is awesome. But the last fight when Diablomon is defeated bothers me. I dont know why they did that or if they just didnt have any budget left but the Digimon looked static and not as smooth as in the other fights and didnt change their stance at all whilest being in mid air for like 20 secs. It looked really off. Other than that you will be able to enjoy some nice Omegamon action again.
Sound: I dont know if I have to say anything about the sound. Its Digimon. Its awesome.
Enjoyment: I really enjoyed the film. Its not as good as its prequel and it suffers from 1 or 2 plotholes along the way but in the end it is an enjoyable experience for every Digimon fan.
13: Pokemon Movie 08: Mew to Hadou no Yuusha Lucario
English: Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
Japanese: ポケットモンスターアドバンスジェネレーション ミュウと波導の勇者 ルカリオ
MAL Score: 7.30
A long time ago, the people of Camaron Palace found themselves on the brink of destruction. Fortunately, they escaped it when Sir Aaron, the True Guardian of Aura, saved them. He sacrificed himself to stop a war between kingdoms. From that day on, a tournament is held every year to commemorate his noble deed.
Satoshi, a budding Pokemon trainer from Kanto, manages to win the latest tournament and is allowed to wield a staff said to have belonged to Sir Aaron himself. Lucario, the Aura Pokemon—who is also the servant of the True Guardian—emerges from the staff. However, remembering his last memory of his master abandoning him, Lucario runs away in confusion.
Meanwhile, Pikachu, Satoshi’s companion, is abruptly taken by a Pokemon named Mew to the legendary Tree of Beginning. Only Lucario knows the way there, but he is unwilling to trust humans after his master’s betrayal. Even so, to save his partner, Satoshi and his companions must acquire all the help they need and travel to the Tree of Beginning, unfolding hidden truths from centuries ago.
What made Lucario and the Mystery of Mew so appealing was that instead of just showing a legendary pokemon and making it more epic than it really needs to be, this Pokemon movie took a step backwards and just didn’t use a legendary pokemon as a main character (Mew seemed more as a side character) but Lucario was also close to the old atmosphere that made the older movies so great.
The very first scene shows a raging two-sided war. That alone drew me in for I knew that this movie was much more than what Pokemon Ranger or The Spell of the Unknown was. It had the same feel as Pokemon 2000 and The First Movie. It was a fun ride, I’ll tell you that.
The animation was phenomenal in the movie. From the sparkling spirit of lucario’s last moments to the action scenes, the movie never let up on the pretty graphics. Everything had a real fantasy look to it and it’s very cool to see on a HD TV.
The sound was great, even if a little familiar. The usual opening scene of Ash battling someone to the tune of a recent opening song from the main series (which was lost in some other movies) was a fun scene to watch. By now it seems the dub DVDs will never supply us with a Japanese track, which is disheartening to say the least.
Lucario is by far one of the better “main” movie pokemon characters. He was lik a mix of Lugia and Entei combined into one and his personality was amusing. Sir Aaron was another likable character, though his time on screen is short.
After Jirachi Wishmaker and Destiny Deoxys, many people thought that Pokemon movies were falling into a sinkhole but it’s great to see that Lucario and the Mystery of Mew was able to pull through. I recommend it to the die-hard pokemon fans. And maybe a few others that are looking for something to watch on a Friday night.
The story line keeps you guessing, no matter what part it is at. I could watch this movie over and over and over again, and the ending is very moving. Anyone, even those who don’t like Pokemn that much, will find this story absolutely great.
They had a lot of new art, and the setting was beautiful.They had a lot of fun with the outfits (in the beginning). I did not see any art errors whatsoever.
I loved the theme song (it is my favorite one) and I loved the ending song as well. All the songs in the middle during the different scenes really set the tone and mood. I have no complaints.
The whole thing with Lucario being involved was a true throw-off from what the Pokemon series is use to. The only characters that are humans are extreme minor characters (except the Pokemon Hunter; she was a Major Minor character, but she did not fill an important role).
I loved this moving. Whenever I watch the ending, I can’t help but shead tears. I could watch this over and over, and I wouldn’t get sick of watching it.
Overall, this is my absolute favorite Pokemon Movie so far. It has great backbones in the plot, and they did a lot of changes I wish would continue throughout the rest of the movies and series.
Better get good out of the way. Soundtrack was fine, even if not on the level of the first or fifth film. Art, on the other hand, was not fine – it was much better. Just like in the last film, artists did a great job. While not breaking standards set by the first, third and fifth films, some images present in here will stay vivid for days after you’ve watched it. Mew and the Aura Hero: Lucario certianly did a lot better than Jirachi and kept the consistency of Deoxys’s flick.
What else was good? Lucario ended up being a well crafted character, even if a bit stereotypical. Relationship with his trainer was completely predictable and some of Lucario’s lines towards his master were really bad (made him sound like a sexually submissive other). Fortunately, this didn’t diminish Lucario’s character. His interaction with Ash was a bit more aggressive that Pokemon sequels usually dare to go, even if it was for only a few minutes. And well… Did I mention landscapes? There’s some georgeous landscapes in here.
When discussing this film, I can easily break it down into three main sections. That is to say, the film shifts gears twice, changing its style. These sections are at the castle, aproaching the mountain and in the mountain. Of the three, the only one I’d characterize as good is the second one. It’s also the shortest.
Considering that the opening scene is the same as in so many other films, I don’t have much to say. It wasn’t particulary bad, but I can’t say much good about it either. It’s just there. I guess seeing a hundred copy-pasted pokemon fighting was neat, though.
Now we get to the real begining of the Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Film lures us in with neat arhitecture. We get to really enjoy the location for a few minutes as Ash battles another trainer. A bit later into the act, film uses classy outfits to draw us into a rich party. Both of these disguise the main problem of the film for only a few minutes. After the wow factor fades away, you start to notice the dialogue and interactions between the characters. Simply put, they aren’t interesting. There are a few pokemon only shenanigans used to distract the viewer, but they’re not nearly as effective as in most other films.
At one moment Brock sees a girl and opens his stalking notebook. As he reads through the insanely stupid list of gal’s achievements, you cringe at this catastrophic attempt at comedy. The party drags on forever and it’s only after Ash summons Lucario that things get a bit interesting. How did he do it? Due to lazy writing, of course. For some unexplained reason his aura is the same as Lucario master’s (even if their characters are nothing alike). What a cop out! A chance to make the premise of the film interesting is ignored.
Throughout these first 40 minutes of the film, we’re treated to multiple scenes of Team Rocket and other characters doing irrelevant things. All in all, there’s around fifteen minutes of footage which should have definitely been scraped, as it adds nothing to the experience.
After film shifts geas, we’re sent on a journey towards the crystal mountain. The journey is perilous since, well… No one’s been there. As baffling as this is, the following 20 minutes feature some neat scenes and atmosphere. Ash and Lucario clash, Lucario gets to act tsundere and a few jokes are genuinely funny. On the other hand, the stupidity doesn’t leave. We discover some flowers which record and show the past. And apparently no one’s ever tried harvesting this power, or at the very least we aren’t informed of it, as film finds it irrelevant. Next up, the gang trriggers a thousand year old crystal flower with Lucario master’s memories. How this is possible, I don’t know. As the gang is attacked by underwhelmingly weak Regi legendaries, we approach the third act.
In the third part of the film we’re treated to a fun subplot – Mew & Pikachu playing. A few of their scenes were shown earier, but the culmination of the subplot happens here and I gotta give credit where it’s due – they look adorable.
As for the main plot, the film completely breaks down here. Starting here, the film contains numerous vices and sins that Pokemon films indulged into throughout the years. There’s the sentinent mountain’s very own defense system against humans (no, I’m not joking), villains having acces to impossible technology, there’s shallow mysticism, characters surviving impossible falls and nature acting in baffling ways. Yes, Pokemon was never about realism, but within every work exists a treshold where things turn to schlock. This film breaks the Pokemon scale. Yes, I could go in depth and explain each and every thing wrong with it, but this is a review, not an in depth critique. Not to mention the length of this piece is already going too far. The gist of what I’m saying is – at a certain point you simply stop caring as the rules have been bent too far and the whole work becomes boring. Then the film ends with a somewhat interesting sacrafice, but you’re too far gone to care much. At the very least they didn’t ruin Lucario’s character.
I’m left with two distinct impressions; I see a neat concept with a nicely realized character. I also see a mess of a film with no consisteny, a boring first part and inane second half. There are a few neat Lucario moments sprinkled therein, but I can’t recommend it to anyone expecting a good film. Fortunately for Lucario and his Mistery, there’s a rabbid fanbase of the character out there. And this fanbase will go through the fire and the flames just to watch him some more. This film is tailored for them, even if it is a trainwreck. So, enjoy the movie, I guess.
12: Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko
English: Pom Poko
MAL Score: 7.32
With the increasing need for Tokyo to expand as one of Japan’s major cities, inevitable sacrifices must be made so that changes can take place. One of these sacrifices is that the room for nature and wildlife to flourish will decrease significantly over time. As this decline continues, many animal communities experience the brunt of urbanization. One such community known as the “Tanuki,” a type of magical shape-shifting mammal, is caught up in a struggle to defend their beloved forest from being absorbed by the looming threat of an expanding Tokyo.
As more and more Tanuki find themselves with nowhere to hide and territorial fights become increasingly regular amongst the different factions of the community, the elder Tanuki Oroku decides that something must be done. For the sake of their home as well as the safety of their future generations, the Tanuki unite as one with the hope that together they may be able to repel mankind’s construction projects and scare them away from the forests using their shapeshifting abilities.
But as they begin their first attempts at sabotage, the Tanuki soon realize the operation will be no easy task. Will they reclaim their forest as a united community, or will they be torn apart by a war against humanity, blinded by anger and pain after witnessing nature’s destruction?
Isao Takahata is a name that needs no introduction whatsoever. The man was studio Ghibli’s greatest asset, and he was the one responsible for some of the greatest movies and TV series to come out of both Ghibli’s discography and the Anime world in general. Though Takahata has had many celebrated works throughout the course of his life, he’s also had works that have somehow managed to slip under the radar when it came to audiences and viewers everywhere. Beneath the eminent and prominent works that were Akage no Anne, Grave of the Fireflies and Omoide Poroporo, there was also a work that was just as thematically rich as those three, yet never got the recognition it deserved. That work is of course none other than the brilliant 1994 Anime movie, Pom Poko.
What is Pom Poko exactly? Pom Poko would be the result of Takahata replacing his cast from his previous works with anthropomorphic animals – as in the characters have all the charm and humanity that the other Takahata characters possess, the only difference here being the fact that they are not human. Just like Takahata’s other movies, this movie was ahead of it’s time in the way it handled it’s narrative and used it to convey it’s central theme to it’s audience — which was environmentalism — unlike any other Ghibli movie that came before and after it. While Princess Mononoke was a great experience both in terms of visuals and direction, it didn’t quite hit the mark with it’s environmentalism theme, and it delivered the theme quite poorly might I add. It was an excellent film both narratively and visually, but Miyazaki became overindulged with those aspects of his work that he forgot to deliver the message that he preached about in a quality fashion. Unlike Princess Mononoke however, Pom Poko never concerned itself with a grand story nor did it explore the various political factions or the many landscapes and mythical creatures within it’s narrative. Pom Poko focused narrowly on a small, select group of raccoon dogs called the Tanuki species, where these Tanuki would shapeshift endlessly to take the form of humans and use those shapeshifting abilities to stop housing construction on their homeland. This was of course brilliant in reinforcing Takahata’s message regarding environmentalism. By focusing solely on his central theme and giving it more importance than other aspects of the work, he managed to deliver that theme quite perfectly in the end.
The comedy is pretty spot-on as well. Almost every shapeshifting scene was fun and hit the mark in terms of making me laugh, and never did a scene go to waste. The comedic timing is almost perfect here, from the lady Tanuki shapeshifting into a malicious fox to instruct the young, juvenile Tanuki to use that specific transformation to scare off the pesky humans when their identity is discovered, to the elder Tanuki stretching his testicles to form a mattress so that the other Tanuki can sit on them. They were all lighthearted gags that never ceased to amaze me. Though the comedy managed to hit the nail on the head at most times, the testicles gag did become old and stale halfway through the movie, and it lost it’s charm due to the overuse of the gag, which is a shame since it was pretty hysterical when it hadn’t become an overused trope. It is pretty ironic though that the funniest thing about this movie is not the various creative transformations that the Tanuki made use of, rather the fact that Disney renamed the term “testicles” to “pouches”. It is a pretty bizarre and awkward stance, and it gets even funnier the more one thinks about it. It was not an unnecessary change though, since most Ghibli movies are directed and are made for children at the end of the day, and western audiences are cultured differently from Japanese audiences, so it makes sense.
The animation here is pretty consistent just like most other Ghibli movies. It does the job and it does it well enough to assert itself among it’s contemporaries. It has many well animated scenes, but my favorite one has to be the parade sequence the Tanuki perform near the middle of the movie’s run, where even by Ghibli’s standards it looks quite excellent and stands out from the rest of the scenes. Although the animation was pretty consistent for the most part, my biggest gripe with this movie was the absence of any originality or creativity when it came to the character designs. It looked like Takahata never placed any thought into making his characters as uniquely looking as possible, rather, it looked like he churned out the same character design over and over again until he got the main and supporting casts ready for use. Every character here looks like the typically animated raccoon that you would see everywhere on animated television, and all the characters look like they were copied and pasted off of one another, which makes matters even worse since the characters were well written in their own right. Now granted, this is a movie about raccoons and not humans, but it still isn’t a valid excuse for the vapid character designs. Many anthropomorphic animals are drawn in a very distinguishable and unique way in other media, so why should there be a problem here? In addition to the trite character designs, the soundtrack was pretty forgettable as well, which is a shame since most Ghibli movies are recognized by their main themes – Spirited Away had the hauntingly beautiful “The Name of Life”, Princess Mononoke had the haunting yet so ever-present “Legend of Ashitaka” and Kiki’s Delivery Service entranced it’s viewers with the beautiful orchestral melody that is “A Town With An Ocean View”. It seems here, with Pom Poko, not one track stands out from the rest. All of them are uncreative Japanese folk music tracks, they flow smoothly with one another and do well at being a coherent and cohesive soundtrack for the film, but fail to make an everlasting impression on the viewer.
Not going to lie, the characters were pretty charming and were all full of wit and personality, and the creative dialogue between them was ever present. It just felt weird watching this movie and knowing that it was produced by Studio Ghibli, since there was no female protagonist to save the day in this one. Regardless, the most interesting aspect about this movie is the fact that it’s so focused in Japanese folklore, and it’s a pretty great introduction for anyone who would like to know more about Japanese mythology as a whole. This movie is a well-known representation of Tanukis in their fairy tales/mythology. For Japanese children, this is just a normal depiction of one of the many animals from their fairy tales. It is a good starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about them in their famous Japanese stories.
Overall, it’s not that hard to see why Pom Poko is pretty obscure and niche compared to the other Ghibli titles. It does not have a standout heroine, it is underproduced in terms of audiovisuals compared to some of it’s contemporaries, and it focuses solely on it’s main theme – which is environmentalism – rather than focusing on developing a compelling narrative. However, I also think that this is what makes it the most unique work out of all of them. If you want to vicariously experience the theme of environmentalism, then no other movie does the theme justice more than Pom Poko. In it’s thematic exploration, it is rather excellent, and unlike Princess Mononoke, the message never felt forced whatsoever. Don’t expect this to be on the same level as other Ghibli movies in terms of anything else though, it delivers it’s central message quite perfectly, but that’s about it.
The Tanuki’s transformation prowess here makes for some of the of the most imaginative and unrestrained animation I’ve ever seen. A careful eye will notice Kiki, Totoro, Porco Rosso, and Galaxy Express 999 during the parade sequence. The tanuki themselves fluidly turn without restraint into hyperrealistic, humanistic, and charicature forms. (the third being a homage to a classic manga-ka)
The characters for the most part aren’t very notable, more important is the interactions in the community.
Pom Poko is easily the most misunderstood movie put out by Studio Ghibli. While there is some environmentalist message there, I feel this movie is more about adapting. In fact, while the main characters are raccoons, they represent the Japanese society, and how it has to cope with tradition being overtaken by technology. The older raccoons wear traditional kimonos and plan to wipe out the humans developing on their land. The grand masters apparently inspired Japanese deities-(the oldest master being 999 years old.)
Eventually the tanuki learn to hide among the humans (modernize) but, not before one last battle. Most people view the battle as humorous, and it is indeed the most commented part of the movie (because of what, exactly the tanukis transform.) But I see it as an act of desperation, putting their very manhood on the line for one last hopeless push. The aftermath of the battle is all the warriors’ dead bodies being dumped in a huge pile, more reminiscent of Auschwitz than a Disney movie.
Because of the overwhelming circumstances the main characters must fight against, I found this movie to be sadder than Grave of the Fireflies, Takahata’s much more famous work. This isn’t Fern Gully or Avatar however, the tanuki are full of flaws. When they steal a TV to learn more about humans, they become couch potatoes instead. In another scene, they feast upon stolen McDonalds hamburgers.
This is a very Japanese movie, it is filled with references to Japanese culture, mythology, yokai, folklore, and culture. This can make it dense and unappealing to some. They say that a truly good film is universal, but after seeing this film I disagree.
Truly a great movie, one of the best. However, it might take a little patience on the viewer’s part to fully enjoy. One of the best- but you might want to watch it in two parts.
Though in the film they are introduced as raccoons, the Tanuki folklore is centered around a very different breed, known as the raccoon dog. In either case, the creatures in this movie are far too plump to be easily identified, doubly so with the fact that in the movie, the raccoons do not possess the famous ringed-tail that raccoons are known for. Studio Ghibli’s depictions of the Tanuki are nonetheless charming and adorable. Even the mean and stuffy raccoons are hard characters to hate.
Also featured briefly in the film is another creature of folklore known at the Kitsune, a transforming fox, which in the film tries to convince the raccoons to stop their personal war with the humans and instead use their shape shifting abilities to change into humans and begin new lives. This decision is widely argued over in the film, partly because of the raccoons’ inability to transform into convincing humans.
I think a child would thoroughly enjoy this movie, however, here’s where the warnings begin to come in. I had not been familiar with the Tanuki folklore before I watched this movie, so was surprised to discover that until about an hour through the movie, I had not noticed the raccoons’ exposed genitalia. I later learn that this exposure is a prominent detail of the Tanuki in folklore, representing good luck financially. Though it may seem overly risque to the unknowing, their exposure is never, in the lore or the film, intended as sexual, and the film does not illustrate them sexually either. Rather, in the film they use what is referred to in the English dub as their "Pouches" to contribute to their shifting, such as parachutes which are seen later in the film.
Other material in the film include the deaths of humans and several raccoons, and though there is occasionally blood, it is never graphic. Additionally, there is a short scene narrated by one of the raccoons talking about how, because of lack of food and sheltering, they must halt breeding. While the raccoon talks about the female raccoons making sure this rule is kept, we see male raccoons charging at female raccoons, some seemingly drunk, and the female raccoons using karate moves to fight back, which implies their attempts to cease reproduction. Some female raccoons also have exaggerated breast size with occasional cleavage.
This movie I predict would otherwise be a delightful watch for children, even if they have to watch for 2 hours waiting for the conclusion. I extend yet another ovation for Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki.
11: Doraemon Movie 25: Nobita no Wan Nyan Jikuuden
English: Doraemon the Movie: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん のび太のワンニャン時空伝
MAL Score: 7.32
One day, Nobita finds a stray dog drowning in a river while playing by the river side. Feeling sorry for the dog, he decides to take it home by hiding it in a “kennel on the wall” and names it Ichi (originated from “One”, which sounds similar to “wan”, the sound a dog makes according to the Japanese language), and secretly feeds it and plays with Ichi with his Kendama to find. Soon after, he also adopts a stray cat named Zubu (or wet in Japanese, due to the discovery of it in a rainstorm)… and many other stray cats and dogs. With so many stray cats and dogs, Nobita, along with his friends, decide to send them back in time, 300 million years ago, where there was no other living beings around. After using the Ray of Evolution to allow them to operate a food-making machine, they depart, with a promise to return to the present.
However, when they try to visit them the next day (from their point of view), they encountered a time-space anomaly, sending them crash landing 1,000 years before their original time-destination— to their surprise, They found out the dogs and cats have evolved enough to form a civilized society that rivaled those of Future Society. As the time machine is broken, they try to find help to repair it so they can continue their chrono-journey, only to learn of a bigger issue — a cluster of asteroids are going to Collide with Earth.
Will Nobita finally reunite with Ichi, as he promised? More over, what’s with Hachi, a dog who resembles Ichi greatly? The 300 million years of time and space adventure begins.
10: Pokemon Movie 02: Maboroshi no Pokemon Lugia Bakutan
English: Pokemon: The Movie 2000
Japanese: ポケットモンスター 幻のポケモンルギア爆誕
MAL Score: 7.34
An ancient prophecy tells of a day when the titans of ice, lightning, and fire are disturbed. When this occurs, Lugia, the guardian of the sea, will rise up and restore harmony. Enchanted by the words of the prophecy, Gelardan, a Pokémon collector, sets out on his airship with a dreadful plan to capture Lugia by going after these three titans.
After Gelardan makes his move, drastic climate change begins to take place, as terrible storms start popping up all over the globe. One such storm causes the ship carrying Pokémon trainers Satoshi, Kasumi, and Kenji to drift off course and land on Earthia Island. Upon arriving, Satoshi is told of the ancient prophecy, and of his destiny as the chosen one who will help Lugia restore balance to the world.
With the fate of the world in his hands, Satoshi must summon the courage to face the chaos that threatens to tear everything apart and stop Gelardan.
The story was gorgeous, and the music was gorgeous!
I’m giving it 10/10 because, well. That’s how I feel about it.
I’m not one to give away spoilers but let’s just say this one has to do with the legendary birds and gets really heated and epic. Plus, who doesn’t love Lugia? AND LUGIA’S VOICE. Might as well have been Morgan Freeman (in the dub, that is. And I’m not one who usually even likes dubs. Of course I was a kid when I first watched this…)
And then there’s the Guardian’s song. It made my neck hairs stand, and all I could do was gaze at the television screen. Absolutely majestic.
Even though they have started changing the way the movies look by adding 3d backgrounds and its getting kind of ridiculous with the number of movies they have come out with. You gotta admit the first couple of movies were the best. I had always supported this series since the day it came out and I know a lot of people hold this series deep in their hearts because they grew up with it and we will probably watch them with out kids. But I just have to say that I love pokemon forever and always.
9: Pokemon Movie 23: Koko
English: Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle
Japanese: 劇場版ポケットモンスター ココ
MAL Score: 7.34
The new film’s story is set in Okoya Forest, a Pokémon paradise protected by strict rules that forbid outsiders from setting foot inside. The film centers on Koko, a boy who was raised by Pokémon and also considers himself as one, treating the Mythical Pokémon Zarude as his father. Ash and Pikachu encounter Koko during an adventure. The film focuses on the theme of a “human raised by Pokémon,” instead of the previous films’ focus of the “bond between a human trainer and their Pokémon.”
I know there will be people out there calling this a Tarzan rip-off, and I’ll admit, the concept is nothing revolutionary and the plot can be very predictable at parts, but BOY is the overall execution and heights of the emotions in movie incredible. Its 100% worth a watch, especially for any long-term Pokemon fans out there.
I love this new alternate line of Pokemon movies after the soft-reset that was Pokemon Movie 20: I Choose You and then Movie 21: The Power of Us which seem to focus on a specific theme instead of trying to follow the canon storyline of the TV anime. This way, the movies can pack more richness in its characters and concepts without sacrificing continuity. Its really a win-win in my book.
Art and animation are SOLID. Everything in Okoya Jungle looked lush and vibrant and teeming with life. The same could be said about the scenes in Milyfa Town where we get to see Pokemon living together with humans and participate in various events and festivals together. Overall, the Pokemon in this film feel very integrated into the world and strengthens both the world-building and the central theme of the story: how Pokemon and humans coexist to become friends, and even family to one another.
Also while the soundtrack of this movie is not particularly mind-blowing, it works well for what it is. The few insert songs used were quite sappy but effective at conveying the budding emotions that bloom in the climax moments of the movie (where the big cry happened for me).
I won’t rant on too much longer because really there is not that much to dissect here. Its a classic coming of age/parenthood story between a human and a Pokemon Zarude. Ash is there as well to propel the story forward. Team Rocket is as adorkably conniving as ever and really helps the protagonists in this movie more than do any actual villainy.
My only criticisms for this movie were some occasionally awkward CGI, especially in some crowd shots, that really weren’t TOO noticeable. And also, the main “twist” villain (if you can even call it that) was not interesting whatsoever and could be spotted a billion miles away the moment they appeared on screen. I also wished they built a little bit more on the established lore of the forest and the whole shiny Celebi aspect as I felt like that was almost completely brushed over.
I rarely leave reviews, but I feel bad that this movie, which obviously had a lot of love and passion put into it, was mostly brushed under the rug due to the pandemic. I hope that it will get more attention once it hits streaming platforms here in the west.
Lastly, if you are going into this very good movie expecting to get major backstory on Ash’s dad, DON’T. You’ll be disappointed haha. Now, go watch the movie!!!
So as the pokemon franchise has been doing for all these years the movie was satisfying and filled with vibrant colours and elemnts of fantasy. well, as the trailer suggests it focuses on father-son relation. Moreover the storyline is quite similar to previous movies depicting atrocities of some evil humans on Pokemon and our protagonists comes to save the day. But this movie actually made me cry a lot. It is a perfect amalgam of hear-warming and heart-wrenching scenes! It takes you on an emotional roller-coaster with touching reunions and revelations! Now some people might not find it that amzing but instead critic on repeated tropes but being a Pokemon fan since a long time I appreciate the portrayal of newer aspects and how they would turn out in the Pokemon Universe! I like this movie a lot!
Story: While it might give you Tarzan vibes to some extent. It’s more of a heartwarming story between a Child and their parent, and the relationship they’ve build with each other. And how like any Pokemon movie, gotta save the world or area they’re in. As far as Ash and Pikachu goes, they seemed more like side characters in this one, which I did not mind at all. It made Team Rocket seem less than side characters, and you can honestly forget they were even in the movie. They could’ve made the movie without them in it. I honestly say though they could’ve added a more tougher situation in the story to make it seem more threatening, but I mean what they did was alright in my book.
Art: That animation though. Like it’s great. Especially the scene with Pikachu swinging around. You could also feel the emotion behind the pokemon and characters in certain scene of course.
Sound: Music was interesting. It definitely fit the jungle vibe.
Characters: It was mainly about Coco and Zarude. And the display of their bond was done really well. Of course Ash & Pikachu were there usual selves which is always done well lol
Overall: I enjoyed it. Not the best Pokemon movie, but I’d rank it in the top 10 maybe. I’d definitely recommend watching it
8: Brave Story
English: Brave Story
Japanese: ブレイブ ストーリー
MAL Score: 7.44
When 11-year-old Wataru’s father leaves home and his mother is taken ill to the hospital, he decides to change his fate by traveling through the door shown to him by his friend Mitsuru. In a land of magic and monsters, Wataru must summon all his courage and embark on a journey with several comrades to meet the Goddess of Destiny and change this “mistaken fate.”
The pace of the movie was just right with the plot.
Animation wise, it was superb. The details for the effects were very impressive.
The ending song was also amazing. Best song heard from AquaTimes (but I only heard 3 so far =P)
I love this anime so much, I’m gonna start reading the manga & playing the game =D
But still, I can’t help but say this movie was a cute one. A young boy striving forward. While not particularly being talented or smart; rather much more average. He goes into a different world to there fulfill his wish.
On the road towards his goal he meets a lot of characters; which contains of different characters all in one. You see, almost all the characters he meet are animals, or well, look sort of like a animal.
Which is also one of the reasons I found this movie so cute. And I’m sure that many besides me who also have seen this movie thought the same. There’s the cute kitty, a big funny lizard and more. All in all, an interesting cast indeed. Especially like able if you enjoy seeing animals in Anime.
The movie is more than just a bunch of animals in a fantasy world; which, I forgot to mention, is a beautifully animated and quite happy world you only see in dreams.
Music and sounds are by far the best this movie has to offer. The story is already intriguing and captures your thoughts perfectly fine; the music however adds up to it and makes it even more incredible.
Besides the animations, story, sounds, characters and all of that being quite awesome and impressive. I can honestly say this movie was definitely worthwhile and enjoyable for anyone with time to spare.
The style used in the movie matches the story and just like the music; adds up to it. It’s quite a happy story and doesn’t leaves much to complaint about.
To be honest, there’s not much more to be told. Now it’s your time, your time to go and see for yourself and be enchanted by this world. Too bad I was only enchanted for a mere one hour and fifty two minutes.
Now I haven’t played the games nor have I bought any of the franchise(apart from this DVD) which all stem from the novel, yet after finishing the film I knew that a lot of the script were cut from the original adaptation, making what could have been a great movie into something I’d say as mediocre. When I had asked the 3 boys if they knew what the story was about, all 3 shook their heads and gave me 3 misinterpretations of what they ‘thought’ it was about. While I thought the answers were cute, I realized Brave story was 100% animation and CG and 0% story.
Story – 5
Brave Story is mostly about Wataru and his adventure into a fantasy world known as Vision. As the synopsis had already mentioned, prior to Wataru entering this world, his own was already on a brink of collapse with his father running off with another woman and his mother falling ill due to the situation. Having heard that he can change his destiny if he completes a certain quest, Wataru decides to take on this quest and that’s where his adventure starts. This part of the story I really never cared for, and the way they had presented things I believe was in poor taste anyways. I mean who wants to know that your dad was cheating on your mom at the age of 11? It’s like Disney sending subliminal messages for kids not to smoke in Snow White(or else you’ll end up ‘short’ like the seven dwarfs)
Anyways, that’s not where the plot-holes and bad pacing start to show up. It’s when Wataru enters Vision that really gave me angst. We are introduced to a myriad of citizens from Vision who embark in the journey with Wataru which you can tell there is a story to them that’s waiting to be heard and hopefully fulfilled. Yet isn’t. I really found that frustrating as it was like watching someone play an RPG and taking on side quests but not completing them as that player heads to the main goal. Another thing I hated(without giving too much of a spoiler) was how they “brushed” everything in the end to give us a happy ending. If I was 10 years old, I wouldn’t really have cared about this, but I’m not.
Art & Sound – 7
The art and sound for Brave Story is its saving grace. From studio GONZO, well known for their collaboration with CG in their work, I have to commend how they implemented the world of Vision. The cities were given a European-esque look, and each towns citizens were nicely detailed giving you that feeling of how life is in that world. For a movie that had been created in 2006, Brave Story excels with its beautifully rendered landscapes making some series I had seen in 2010 pale in comparison.
As I mentioned, another saving grace for Brave Story is with its sound. Brave Story had utilized Juno Reactor(performers well known for their music in The Matrix trilogy as well as other anime), to do the score for the movie. This was a plus for BS as the BGM blended naturally with the animation giving you the sense of adventure that was encountered. With the ED “Ketsui no Asa ni” performed by J-pop band Aqua Timez at the end, the OST for Brave Story would make a nice collection for any music enthusiasts.
Characters – 4
This is where it REALLY fell short for me. The characters introduced in Brave Story were one-sided and there wasn’t enough profiling to give the characters depth.
First you have Wataru: an 11 year old boy who’s world seems to be crumbling due to events rifting between his parents. A very nice sob story indeed, but somehow I just couldn’t empathize with him due to that everything seemed to fall in his lap like a stroke of good luck(courtesy of bad storytelling). Then you have his friend(and semi-antagonist for the film) Ashikawa, who he meets at the beginning of the film. Apparently he has gone back and forth from the real world to Vision and is on the same quest like Wataru. Unfortunately this is never explained as the focus is more on Ashikawa’s sob story instead. Inconsistencies continue in this fashion for both characters which really became a minus for me.
Then we have the supporting characters who Wataru meets. This is the part that had really frustrated me the most as we are introduced to people like you would in an RPG’s side quests; who have their own problems waiting for the hero to help fix and to which unfortunately for them, he doesn’t(like I mentioned earlier). Now this could be due to that there wasn’t enough time to do these quests as the movies running time was close to stretching on 2 hours, but if that were the case why introduce them at all? For the sake that they were in the adaptation?
Enjoyment – 6
Whilst Brave Story has its faults, this doesn’t mean its not entertaining and I believe the movie has met their quota when reaching its targeted audience: kids under 10 who like big bangs and pretty animation. The foundation to which the film provides, gives viewers who are into fantasy and RPG’s like Dungeons & Dragons a nostalgic feeling with its presentation, and the breathtaking art and music would get even the harder-to-please kids glued to the screen. Unfortunately for bigger kids like myself, the weak storyline and poor execution just didn’t leverage to how good this film could have been which set my score back from an 8 to a 6. I wish I could say good things in this review like those before me, but then I’d be lying to myself.
Overall – 5
The Good – Great animation and CG for a movie that’s as old as my son, accompanied with a great soundtrack.
The Bad – Everything else. The DVD would make a great Christmas or birthday present for anyone under 10. Of course, anyone over that age may think you have it in for them.
7: Doraemon Movie 26: Nobita no Kyouryuu 2006
English: Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Dinosaur 2006
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん のび太の恐竜2006
MAL Score: 7.47
Nobita finds a fossilized dinosaur egg by accident, and with the help of Doraemon’s tools, they hatched the egg and began raising the dinosaur. Knowing that they can’t keep the dinosaur forever, Nobita was forced to send it back to prehistoric times where a group of hunters from the future threatens to endanger the dinosaurs. Determined to save the dinosaurs from the claws of the hunters, Doraemon and the gang returns to the past and sets out in a prehistoric adventure.
The story is very interesting and makes you very emotional at the end if you are into Doraemon.
The Art is really beautiful for that time and the sound was perfect aswell.
The characters are amazing and you can really see how they develop.
Enjoyment is on 100%
Overall Ill give it 9/10, as I said it really made emotional at the end and thats what I like about these sorts of animes.
I really dont see anything I didnt like about this movie, it really was just very good.
Recommended to all anime lovers!
The movie is about friendship, courage, love, fighting for good,… typical doreamon story, but it will lighten your soul from ecchi, dark anime nowadays.
What i like about this movie was the story and music, Sukima Switch did very well.Although it was a remake, but it carried out a lot of things: lambent,lively,colorful art ; the sound is well-made: dinosaurs’s roar,running sound very true…
The original movie could not be outdone but this remake kept most of the good parts from the original and successfully breathed new life into the franchise with refreshing animation and many nice new additions.
My recommendation: watch it with your loved one or family and have a funny, feeling times or you can watch it alone to think about something deeply? LOL
May be after watching it, you will find something that you missed?
6: Madang-eul Naon Amtalg
English: Daisy: A Hen into the Wild
MAL Score: 7.57
A Korean animation about a hen named Leafie who lives and works on an egg farm who dreams of freedom outside her cage. One day she fakes her own death to escape the farm.
As average as it is, this movie was kind of fun to watch.
It starts with Leafie wanting to live in the backyard instead of laying eggs, so she pretends to be dead and is sent off to be buried, but manages to escape. After this weasel is introduced who wants to eat Leafie and a Wild Duck helps her escape.
This Wild Duck has been fighting the Weasel for some time. And there is his final fight, where he sacrifices himself by jumping off a cliff and taking the Weasel with him, but the Weasel survives.
After this “the real movie begins,” as Leafie helps a Duck’s egg hatch, and she becomes the “mother” of this duckling. Before this, the wild duck that Leafie calls “Wanderer” tells Leafie to take the duckling that was about to hatch to the swamp, and she doesn’t know the reason for this, but he says that one day she will understand.
During this the relationship between Leafie and her “son”, whom she names Greenie, develops. One thing I did not like is that there is Time-Skip in the middle of nowhere, from one scene to another at the moment when Greenie is just a puppy.
The movie portrays Greenie’s acceptance that his mother is not a duck either. At one point he says he is ashamed of her, but she saves him from the man and he sees that she is a good mother to him.
Towards the end there is a competition of the wild ducks to see who will be their flight leader. The result was kind of obvious, but it was nice to see. After this some things happen and the film ends, Leafie and Greenie say goodbye with the promise of meeting again.
The characters are not great. The best is Leafie, who is very charismatic.
The only character I didn’t like is Otter, he is very annoying and even irritating at times.
One thing you can’t complain about in this movie is the production. Everything is very detailed and consistent.
The animation is very fluid and consistent. There were moments that I didn’t know if it was CGI or 2D because it was so well done.
It’s an average movie, but I had a good time.
Leafie, A Hen into the Wild is one of the most touching animated films I have ever seen that involves animals. It is based off a popular children’s book by Hwang Sun-mi.
It has the feel of a Western animated feature but the undeniable grief and hardship often exhibited in Eastern drama films.
The concept is fairly simple. Leafie is a hen who is confined to an egg farm and dreams of simply going outside to the yard. By playing dead, Leafie is taken out of the farm and dumped in a landfill where the farmer puts all his dead hens. Thankfully she lives and discovers the beauty of the wild. In the wild she meets lots of new characters but especially grows fond of a handsome mallard whom she calls Wanderer. Chaos ensues and Leafie is left to take over the egg that Wanderer and his beloved left behind. The movie primarily focuses on Leafie and her new duck son, Greenie.
As silly as that all sounds, the movie is done exceptionally well. It’s seriously unbelievable how a story with such childish-sounding characters can be so touching and heartfelt.
The art is top notch, very close to the quality you would have seen from Disney animated features. The backgrounds are all hand drawn and very beautifully done. It gives the movie a kind of children’s story book feel which fits the movie perfectly since it’s based off a book. The only issue I have with the animation is that some frames look like they were done in Flash. Flash animations always have this type of motion animation that looks too smooth to be traditional hand-drawn animation. However, this minor flaw does not tarnish the otherwise incredibly beautiful artwork. The 3D blends incredibly well with the hand-drawn art and it some cases you may not be able to tell them apart. It’s just really that well done.
One thing I really liked about this movie is how each major character has depth. The main antagonist, the One-Eyed Weasel, is seriously a great character. She starts off as that typical bad guy character but as the movie progresses we see her character become humanized and empathetic.
Despite how much I love this movie, it does have its flaws. As expected from an animated feature, there are some parts that are well–childish. At one point in the movie there is a competition. The scene is described like an Olympics sports event which is kind of amusing but doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. They’re in THE WILD. Animals DO NOT HAVE MICROPHONES. Seriously, the side characters narrating the scene had no equipment of any sort (except for some kind of log…microphone) so I have no idea how they’d be able to narrate a fast-flying competition unless they were following the competitors (and they weren’t).
And of course there is the character design of Wanderer which is so hilariously bishonen that many people who watched this movie couldn’t help but laugh. I have to admit, it made ME want to watch the movie because it’s just so hilarious to see a BISHONEN DUCK. Aside from Wanderer, there are other characters with distinct features that you seriously wouldn’t find on any wild animal. To be honest it reminds me of what Don Bluth does with his animal characters. This isn’t a huge flaw but it could make the story hard to take seriously for some people.
Like any Western animated feature that this film clearly takes a lot of inspiration from, there are parts where it focuses on side characters doing silly things. This isn’t necessarily a flaw but there are some parts that are so childishly dumb that adults might feel it to be off-putting. One example of this is when Leafie finds Mr. Otter literally taking a dump and then falling off a rock. No idea what was up with that scene and I felt it to be pretty unnecessary among other unnecessarily disgusting “funny” moments.
Overall though, Leafie, A Hen into the Wild, is an absolutely gorgeous movie and I can only hope this gets an official English release at some point.
-If you are a parent or a wise child you understand what is empty nest syndrome. In short it involves the kids leaving their parents for their solo life adventure. Here it is only slightly different for it starts from the child’s side before it gets to the eyes of the parent(s).
– Introduction was straight forward
-conclusion was not what i thought would happen. Especially in a movie meant for kids. Although, props to the writer for not only was it understandable but could have been far more grotesque.
An inspiration anime. An anime that encourages one to follow their dreams for where it leads them. Not only that but anyone can make a good team no matter the situational outcome.
5: Digimon Adventure Movie
English: Digimon: The Movie
Japanese: デジモンアドベンチャー 劇場版
MAL Score: 7.58
A brother and sister discover the digital world is more than 1s and 0s when a living creature arrives out of the family computer. The adventures of a group of children start with the appearance of a Digital Monster in the real world.
As you first start the movie you are immediately hit with the nostalgic Digimon theme song: “Digimon, Digital monsters, Digimon are the champions!”, a dangerously catchy tune that will have you humming it for ages afterwards. For a twenty-minute movie not much else can be said about sound except if you watch the English dub, they surprise the viewer by using some well known upbeat American songs.
This is supposed to be a prequel to the anime series. Being such a short film you can’t expect to know who all the characters are or what the main bulk of the story is unless you are familiar with the show. Having said that it does deliver the premise quite well at the beginning of this film with the simple sentences: “Did you know that there are two worlds? Our world and the digital world.” From that you immediately thrown into the Digimon world and all its glory. This particular story only follows two of our ‘Digidestined’; Hikari and her elder brother Tai, just normal children in an otherwise normal city. This is where the series actually starts as they encounter their first Digimon and all the things that come with it.
For viewers who are familiar with the Digimon franchise this is a fulfilling re-watch, which questionably enough comes to be heart-warming. For viewers who are yet to discover the Digiworld this is a good introduction to the real show — Digimon: Digital monsters, which is set four years after the events of this film. Digimon Adventure has genuinely been an enjoyable movie; childhood favourite or not – as it delivers reasonable voice acting without sounding childishly lame; sophisticated execution for a show primarily aimed for children and decent animation for an anime from 1999. If you have 20 minutes to spare check it out — either to remember the Digimon days or to embark on Digimon days to come.
As they say in the theme song: “Digimon, Digital monsters, Digimon are the champions!”
And they’re not lying.
(This review will go back and forth between the sub and the dub, and will seem to be slightly biased as I prefer one over the other, and yet for a better reason than “It’s nostalgic”.)
Story (7): A young Tai Kamiya (Taichi Yagami) wakes up in the middle of the night to find his sister, Kari Kamiya (Hikari Yagami) in their father’s office staring at the computer where an egg comes out of it. It hatches the next morning into a cute black creature that doesn’t trust them at first, but warms up to them, getting the strength to grow into a pink creature with long ears named Koromon, and later that night into a large dinosaur-like creature that goes unnamed (although it is Agumon). It escapes with Kari into Odaiba where it causes slight havoc before a larger egg appears in the sky and hatches a large parrot (also unnamed, but is known as Parrotmon). What happens lays the foundation of their fate as DigiDestineds years later.
As it’s a 20-minute-long prologue, not much story can be told, and yet it works well as a prologue. Its job was to introduce the characters to the audience and get them familiar with the little rules laid out from the start—even though, unfortunately, those rules change somewhat in the TV series, but it’s nothing major. It can stand on its own, though it’s hard to tell if it really can stand on its own after having seen the TV series before seeing the prologue.
Art/Animation (9): There’s really not much to say about this part. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, his touch in the art and animation department is everywhere in this 20-minute film. Colors are muted, the animation is very fluid despite the flat appearance due to lack of shading, and the detail ranges from minimalistic to out-right gorgeous. It’s more realistic-looking and has better care to it than the TV show itself, save for one episode, and it shows in both the character and monster designs, and in the monster behavior.
Sound (6 for sub, 8 for dub): I’m pretty sure Toshiko Fujita and Kae Araki are talented voice actresses and were good choices for Tai and Kari. However, I found them okay in this film, and I don’t know if it’s because of the script or because they’re just voicing young children. Compared to the dub, the script’s fairly simplistic with the characters. Joshua Seth and Lara Jill Miller were more passionate with their characters, even when attempting to sound like young children (with various results). The script in the dub had more dialogue than in the sub as well as more humor due to Saban being known for dubbing Digimon as a gag dub. Even in scenes where the characters aren’t talking dialogue is added, but it’s usually more for a quick joke and gives a more light-hearted feel throughout, even though in tense scenes it remains tense.
The sound-effects were also more emphasized in the dub than in the sub, particularly with Kari’s whistle, which I personally feel was a good decision they made as the whistle in the sub was too quiet for my tastes, personally. (This is probably justified if the whistle’s more of a toy, but some parts of the whistle blowing I didn’t like—but that’s my own personal problem.) The soundtrack is TERRIBLY limited in the sub to one song, “Bolero”, until the credits, and that I feel is the worst part of the movie. The dub may have used rock songs during the movie, and even used the Digimon theme song by the end, but the music was at least more appropriate for the scenes. I personally don’t find Parrotmon descending from the sky ominous when “Bolero” is playing. They tried to do a reprise of “Bolero” when Greymon and Parrotmon were fighting, but because it’s still “Bolero”, it’s distracting. Playing the Digimon theme song in the dub was more effective in giving the impression the fight’s cool and action-packed.
Characters (7 for sub, 8 for dub): The characters in the prologue are young and fairly simple, and thus their personalities somewhat change and further develop by the time they age about four-to-five years. The Tai we all know is not yet a leader, he’s just being a big brother to his baby sister, and Kari has a sense of curiosity. The other characters appear at the end, but they’re more like background characters at this point. The dub takes it slightly further by having the characters act somewhat the same as they did in the TV series, with Tai snarking and cracking jokes throughout.
Koromon is an interesting case. While I can’t speak for the original, the dub implies the Koromon in the TV series is the same as in the prologue, and yet their personalities are entirely different especially when he Digivolves. However, while this Koromon was indeed a different Digimon, it just happens to be the same Digimon Tai wound up with. Considering it was supposed to be a one-shot at first, it shows, and it causes a slight snarl in whether-or-not Koromon had indeed met Tai and Kari prior to them entering the Digital World. Even so in both versions, Koromon is friendly to Tai and Kari after warming up, he’s just happier and more chatty in the dub. The dub goes further with Koromon by having him speaking slightly as Agumon and Greymon, yet gruff and almost primitive even though in the original, he only roars and growls to emphasize how animalistic he is, but still has some intelligence. Even Parrotmon speaks in the dub, yet is silent in the original.
Enjoyment (7 for sub, 10 for dub): I will be honest that while I liked seeing the scenes that the dub had cut out, because of the dialogue, some lack of sound-effects, and the terrible use of soundtrack, I found the sub a bore, if not hard, to watch. The dub may unfortunately be overlooked as a whole because it’s part of the terribly-put together Digimon movie, but as its own separate entry, it is better dubbed and more fun to watch. Kari’s narration may take away from it, but when easily-ignored, the dialogue isn’t bad. It’s your typical Saban’s gag dub script, and I feel the cheesiness works. But it’s all based on personal taste, as some people don’t like the gag dub approach and feel it’s a terrible dub, while others like the gag dub and can go back and forth as to whether it was a good dub or not.
So take your pick as to what you want to watch. It’s good either way, the differences are just vastly noticeable and varies from person to person. I personally will continue to watch the dub even though I won’t easily forget the cut scenes and will quietly muse how the dub would’ve handled those scenes if Saban had been allowed to keep it uncut.
4: Pokemon Movie 01: Mewtwo no Gyakushuu
English: Pokemon: The First Movie
Japanese: ポケットモンスター ミュウツーの逆襲
MAL Score: 7.63
It was a successful science experiment gone horribly wrong. When a team of scientists discovers the DNA of the ancient Pokémon Mew, they harnessed the potential within it in an attempt to create the ultimate living weapon. With advanced cloning techniques and resources provided to them by Team Rocket crime syndicate leader Giovanni, the scientists succeed in creating the powerful psychic Pokémon, Mewtwo.
Pokemon: Mewtwo no Gyakushuu reveals the terrifying power of Mewtwo as he learns that not only was he created to be an experiment, but also to be a tool for Giovanni’s sinister dealings. Breaking free of his control, Mewtwo creates his own island fortress and reconstructs the cloning technology that gave life to him.
Under the guise of being a master Pokémon trainer, Mewtwo lures the best trainers in the world to his base. Among these trainers are Ash Ketchum, his loyal Pokémon Pikachu, and their friends Brock and Misty. United together, human and Pokémon alike, they must not only discover the hidden secret of Mewtwo’s plans, but stand against his terrifying might. If they fail, Mewtwo’s vengeance will not only lead to tyranny over all the Pokemon, but also the extinction of the human race.
The reason why Ash is always able to win is because he’s friends with his Pokémon. The whole series is an allegory on how you’re supposed to treat your fellow man, using the relationship between Pokémon and their trainers as a parallel for the relationship between human beings.
Mewtwo’s hatred for mankind stems from their lack of compassion – he was basically used. He was given life, and then treated as less-than-life – a tool to be used for human purposes, rather than a living being with a living will and a purpose. He has no purpose of his own, he didn’t know he was, so he lashed out against all of humanity, and against the Pokémon he felt were being used by their masters.
Mew is his foil, as Mew is everything that Mewtwo is, minus the hatred. Mew loves mankind because he knows that they’re just another form of life on the planet. He eliminates the antipathy between humans and Pokémon by realizing that they’re all the same. Pokémon and their trainers can be friends, but can also walk their own paths, just like all humans in real life.
Mewtwo makes his own purpose in life the destruction of life itself, but realizes that isn’t the way things are supposed to be. The reality of friendship “slaps him in the face” as he sees all the Pokémon weeping over the petrification of a human being who only wanted to protect his friends.
Pikachu is the Pokémon embodiment of friendship. The relationship between Ash and Pikachu is the entire central theme of Pokémon: friendship prevails over selfishness. Pikachu’s will is so similar to that of Ash’s that he refuses to fight the other Pikachu (essentially, refuses to fight another living being to prove to the other Pikachu that the fighting is pointless – even Meowth, who’s supposed to be one of the “bad guys” knows better than to fight like that), even as it continues to slap him over and over again.
The most saddening part of the movie as a child was when Pikachu just kept taking the hits without retaliating. As an adult, I understand why that was so heartbreaking: Because that’s the way many people in the world are, just fighting each other to prove that their purpose means anything, instead of just banding together in friendship.
We’ve been so deadened as a society that we think that that is “cheesy,” and “children’s material.” No. Fuck that – I’ve been through the ringer in life, and I can still come back around and see the value in a story like this. It’s a parallel to life, and I believe the creators would be very sad to know that audiences are taking it with a grain of salt instead of realizing the true message behind their work (instead of just writing it off as “kiddie stuff”).
I know that many adults don’t want to hear it, but “kiddie stuff” is codeword for “things that are important in life, but I don’t want to think about them anymore.” You have to think about them. “This is life,” as Nurse Joy herself puts it.
Also, the dub did dumb down some of the deeper parts of the message for American consumption, but that’s America’s own damned fault for thinking that our children can’t handle being exposed to a little bit of truth for an hour and 15 minutes of their lives.
If you’re an adult, and you find yourself calling this movie “stupid,” you should try looking beyond the medium and look to the message. You could find that you’re a bitter Mewtwo, and two stubborn and hurt to see it. The human condition.
Don’t be a Mewtwo. Mew :3
4kids have cut out 15 minutes of the movie, removed part of Mewtwo’s monologue simply because he mentioned ‘God’ and distorted the message movie was trying to give. Mewtwo also wasn’t portrayed as the spawn of Satan in the original version, but a misguided villain. He was given motives and backstory. Mew was subjected to character change as well; in Japanese version, he doesn’t want to start the fight, but certainly thinks of clones as lesser beings.
So, what does this have to do with reviewing the movie? Everything. The point is that unlike the English version, which feels like a relic from the 90s, Japanese one makes a good movie. It isn’t plagued by false moral messages (fighting is wrong anyone?). Mewtwo is a being estranged from love and misunderstands the nature of life, like some kind of a distorted overman. That’s not my pretentiousness. The overtones and philosophical implications are in the dialogue.
Art and animation are great and CGI blends in perfectly. The movie is very dark in general and heavy for its target audience. For a kids cartoon, it’s great. Even an adult can get a small something from it and there are certain symbols and references in its designs everywhere, which should keep adults from getting bored.
STORY – As a kids’ movie for a kids’ show, the themes in Mewtwo Strikes Back are actually quite impressive. The morality of cloning and genetic modification/enhancement is a very real debate that ripples through the scientific community now and again, and it’s interesting to see that idea translated into a Pokemon movie. Thus, as far as its target audience goes, the core plot of this First Movie is definitely doing something uncommon. The arrangement of the story around this central theme is a little more normal as it retains many typical elements from the anime series.
CHARACTERS – Let’s skip over the normal cast of the series because I’m going to assume you already know there isn’t a lot going on there. Now, Mewtwo is a fun character — his monologue presented at the beginning of the movie and the constant destruction he finds himself in is a great way to start the foundations of his character. His feelings are very logical and easy to understand while offering possibilities beyond what’s obvious. His repeated question of "What is my purpose?" highlights the deepest theme of the movie well, and I find it very exciting that the rest of the movie is based around the fact that he creates a purpose for himself, since no one else is able to provide him with one. If you take a step back and go through Mewtwo’s train of thought, it’s really not that riveting or different from what you would expect, but when you remember again that this is a movie directed towards a younger audience, I think the philosophical and moral implications of those kinds of questions and actions is very potent, thus making for a great movie character.
Mew and Mewtwo’s clones pretty much make up the rest of the movie-exclusive characters. The simplicity of Mew was a great foil to the complexity of Mewtwo, though I still wonder if they could have been more clear about Mew’s intentions because certainly she had some. The rest of the clones were rather generic, bending easily to the whims of the movie’s message with no real personality of their own. That’s perfectly forgivable though; after all, kids’ movies need morals.
ARTSTYLE & ANIMATION – Honestly, there wasn’t much notably different from a normal Pokemon episode. Maybe things were animated a bit more smoothly, but other than that, just average.
MUSIC – I’m actually rather fond of most of the music in this movie. It was great that they used the full version of the normal TV introduction (whether in English or Japanese). There are some pretty epic tracks played during Mewtwo’s reign of terror, and many of the movie’s other background tracks are reminiscent of melodies also found in the series. Mew’s innocent little theme also comes to mind as a pretty fun and memorable tune.
VOICE ACTING – I’ve seen this movie in English, Japanese, Cantonese, and Mandarin. I’ll just talk about the first two though, lol. The English dub… well, I’m sure you already have your own opinions about Ash and the gang, but I liked Mewtwo’s voice. It suited him very well. And so did Mew’s! But I guess that really isn’t that impressive. I liked the Japanese better mostly because I like the main cast better. Especially memorable is the opening scene with Ash and his friends, during which he’s challenged to a random Pokemon battle. The Japanese version offers some brilliant Engrish that just can’t be rivaled: "OH MY GODDDDDD!!!"
OVERALL – Pokemon the First Movie is my favorite Pokemon movie (keeping in mind I’ve only seen the first three). Sure, it’s definitely a film aimed for the younger audience, but even for an older audience, as long as you can bring yourself to swallow some of the corny bits, I think it retains a lot of merits. Cloning and genetics is always an interesting subject, anyway.
3: Muumindani no Suisei
MAL Score: 7.69
Unusual things have been happening in Moominvalley. Moomin, Sniff and Mee leave for the Observatory on the Lonely Mountains to confirm the Muskrat’s words: a comet is about to hit Moominvalley and destroy everything. On the way they meet Snufkin, the Hemulen and the Snorks and experience many adventures.
I watched this movie twice. The first time I watched it with Polish dubbing and a bad subtitle that I found and translated just for me to watch; the second time I watched it when I translated this movie into my language, which is Portuguese.
This movie is a prequel to the Tanoshii Muumin Ikka series, and is a good introduction for those who want to see more of Muumin. It doesn’t matter if this movie is seen before or after the series, since it takes place before and, as I said, is a good introduction.
Here we see how Moomin met Snufkin, Floren and Snork, his brother. They go on an adventure to find out about the comet that is going to fall on Moominvalley.
Since I saw this movie before the series, I knew nothing about Moomin’s world or the characters. Everyone is introduced in a natural way as they are going to find out about the comet.
We know that Snufkin is a wanderer who doesn’t care much for material possessions; Snif is greedy for wealth but never gets anything; My lives a lot with the Moomins and so on. Of course, this was introduced in the series, but this for me, who saw the movie before, was a good introduction.
I liked the characters in the movie, and did not intend to see the series. I ended up watching the series and liked the characters even more.
The technical part of the movie is ok. It is on the same level as the series, when it comes to animation. What stands out most in this movie in terms of visuals is the extremely well-detailed scenery.
The end of the movie is pretty cool, and it can make you want to see the series.
In general it is a nice movie. It is very simple and functional to get to know the characters. I recommend it.
I may be a little bit biased with this one, but I noticed that there was not a single review for Moomins! I tried not to put too high ratings, but it’s so hard. I already feel like I’m giving it lesser score that I actually think it deserves. Sometimes it’s hard to be objective…
So where should I begin? Yes, it’s a “children’s movie”, Moomins are targeted for children (which is odd since the original source, Tove Jansson, didn’t emphasize them to kids especially…) but you can see a lot of mature themes and grim moments – I wasn’t allowed to watch Moomin’s before going to bed when I was a kid. Do I still watch Moomins? Of course! This is a good example of an animation that pleases everyone – at least I’ve never heard of a person who hated Moomins.
The lore and the world in Moomins fascinate me a lot. This movie is no different, and it serves as an “origin story” to the show and it underlines the tone that the whole show will have – except I remember that the show was a little bit more lighthearted, which can be explained by the plot of this movie; A gigantic star is falling from the sky! You remember when Final Fantasy 7 went grim and melancholic when the star was peeking from the horizon, soon to be crashed on earth? Well same here, except the gripping feeling is through the whole movie “Will they make it in time?”.
The story is done well, it really gives you the feeling of a long and exhausting adventure, even though it’s a short movie. The setting is build up perfectly for the show to continue where they left off, but the movie stands alone perfectly – just like the show does (so you don’t need to watch them both if you don’t want to.).
The art style… oh boy. I just love it okay? It’s simplistic but detailed where it needs to be? That sounded confusing.
I haven’t seen same kind of art anywhere else. I love how the hills, forests and other landscapes look. The colors blend together beautifully and give away a serene and a mystic feel in some way. Sure, the characters may seem a little bit simply done, but I think that’s a matter of opinion if it bothers someone or not.
For it’s time, it was really pretty and I think it has aged perfectly.
The characters are the weakest point to be honest, but they are still pretty decent.
I’ve always loved Snufkin (really? that’s what you call him in english/japanese?) and he definitely shines in this one once again. I just think he is so cool, travelling all the time and being handy, friendly, few with words and mysterious.
The protag in itself is pretty neutral moomin, someone that the audience can relate to and look up to, since he is also quite brave.
I was often referred to Little My as a kid because of my short temper… Eh, people either love her or hate her.
But the blandest character… Floren. She is bearable in this movie, our heroes save her and her brother and she is pretty neutral, but in the show… She is just so meh. I never really liked her as a kid that much since she was too girly and moody in my opinion.
This movie has it’s great, okay and meh characters. All of which succesfully entertain you and makes you feel attached to them. The best character? The muskrat (a philosopher muskrat) who lives under the bridge. His most famous line “Stupid woman – Cleaning doesn’t help anything” is a bit of a running joke in finland.
and the music! It’s awesome. Do I need to say more? (go google “Sumio Shiratori” soundtrack and listen those sweet tunes) THIS MUSIC SHOULD BE ON SOME VIDEO GAME OH MY GOD IT’S SO GOOD! (I’m sorry I had to.)
but… the voice acting. I really can’t bear the voices in japanese. Maybe it’s nostalgia, I don’t know. Little My sounds really unbearable. I prefer the Finnish voice acting and subtitles. Maybe it won’t bother you. It bothered me.
I think that I fell in love with Miyazaki’s films because of Moomins. They are in many ways similar. And no wonder; Akira Miyazaki worked in this! He may not be Hayao, but the similar feel this movie and the show has is striking. Moomins are enchanting and enriched my young mind with wonder and adventures. If you love Howl no Ugoku Shiro or Majo no Takkyuubin, I think you should check out moomins.
This is a show/movie I’m going to revisit many times and in a few years I’m going to watch it with my own children.
(I’m sorry if my review is too hyped, I tried to tone it down. Moomins are my weak point and it’s terribly hard to stay objective about them! I have notalgia goggles and I admit that.
You can see if I’m only talking and go watch it! It’s only 1h and 15min movie! If you get hooked there is always the show too!)
Moomins, or Muumit, like we call them here in Finland, are these little gritter-like creatures – size-wised somewhere around a hedgehog – who live in a not-so-magical and almost-realistic-like world, called the Moomin valley, spending their days mostly just… well, pretty much in a same manner, like I used to spend my summers when I was a kid. Originally created by Tove Janson, Moomins weren’t originally ment especially to be mainly for kid’s entertainment, since the original strips contained pretty heavy adult themes, like drinking, life and death, once place in a world, loneliness and fear. The original Moomins even looked pretty creepy, and the characters tended to be way more adult-like, than how I used to know them as a child! But, since Japan showed an interest to turn this dark, mysterious finnish creation into a slice of live- formula-based tv-show for kids, it’s only natural, that in a prosess, the movie was also made! And, here it is! Moomins the Movie: the Armageddon!
So, what’s the story then? The story begins on a events even earlier than the actual tv-show. Moomin family is settleing down in a peaceful Moomin valley – how it was called, before this little convenient naming, I wonder? – and building up their vairly marketable blue round house, when one stormy night, a shady character under a bridge tells them, that something bad is on it’s way, and there’s absolutely nothing they should, or could do. After a heavy rain of soot, Moomin trollen, accompanied by couple of his friends, decide to travel all the way to the Lonely Mountains, in a search for a observatory, and on the way, they meet many friends and enemies, like Snuffking, the travelling but world-wise hermit, crystal-obsessed lizards, dangerous bug-eating Angostura-tree, Hemulen, Octopus, and of course, know-it-all Snorken and his sister Snorkfröken, who becomes Moomin trollens immiedate love-interest. Together they learn, that a dangerous Comet is on it’s way to the Moomin valley, and it’s only about two days time to evacuate, and save whatever there is to save – funny thing is, that the astrologists have absolutely no idea, what will hapen when the comet hits!
The story is indeed exceptional, considering the sourcematerial, but oddly enough, it really actually works to it’s favour! It’s not overly complex, and it’s thus easy to follow, but it gives constantly that odd yet curious vibe about something unknown approaching, not exactly knowing what it is or what’ll does, and if the worst possible hapens, what’s left after – rebuild, death, or search for a new home? Seeing how this steadily approaching threat from beyond the stars, with no name, personality or motive, simultaneously destroys everything on it’s way and causes bot panic, terrors and sadness to those, who’re about to loose everything, but also exitement and joy for those, who won’t understand the real danger and are just waiting in a amazed awe, is both terrifying and dark, that wouldn’t so easily fly in many other franchise, especially aimed for kids. And, since this movie was partly made in Japan, the music is of course a top notch, since every single piece and note fits and plays perfectly in every scene, complimenting the beautiful landscapes and emotions, so that the overused exposition is almost completely left out. This movie doesn’t hold any hands, or doesn’t try to make something “less frightening” that it should be. It’s a story about a world, that’s about to end – how much sugar coating there really can even be?!
That all being said, I really can’t say, whom I can recommend this to, other than all the fellow finns, and those rare individuals abroad, who know the original Moomins. You don’t need to know all the characters, or their stories, since most of the characters are actually met first time in this movie, as their own debute to the viewer. This movie was Finland’s seventh most watched movie in it’s time, but still, it never saw a light of day in any country outside of Japan and Scandinavia, and sadly, it was never dubbed in english – not in my knowledge, anyway. If you even happen to find it from the ether, I’m pretty sure it’s either on finnish, or swedish, and since not so many people actually really understand any of these two languages… yeah, good luck watching this movie, if you’re at all interested. My condolences.
Overall, this movie is great. It starts of the whole premise for the tv-series, introducing many of our favourite characters and even some of the actual world and it’s wonders and dangers, without being too overwhelming, and even tough it is mostly suitable for kids, even adults can still enjoy watching it with them. If I could, I would translate this whole movie into english subs, since I know Finland is gaining popularity on abroad, as a relatively interesting country and culture, but because I myself don’t own this movie in DVD… yeah, I’m not that smart!
Enjoy this movie, those of you who can, and keep the spirit of Moomins burning bright! And that theme music… omg what a earworm that is!
2: Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game!
English: Digimon: The Movie
Japanese: デジモンアドベンチャー ぼくらのウォーゲーム！
MAL Score: 7.77
This movie takes place after the Adventure series ends. It begins when a new Digimon Egg is found on the internet, and manages to penetrate into almost every computer system in Japan. When the egg hatches, it’s identified as a new kind of Digimon, a Virus-type. It sustains itself by eating data from various system, and starts wreaking havok in Japan. As it consumes more and more data, it continues to evolve. And Taichi and Koushiro decide it’s time to stop it.
They’re off, sending Agumon and Tentomon through the internet to fight off this new enemy. But, with the Virus controlling systems like the American military, all too soon, this digital menace may become all too real. Calling in the help of Yamato and Takeru, they hope that they can stop what’s already begun, and maybe save this world a second time.
Summer Wars had nearly two hours to work with, so it made sense to fill that space with a much larger cast, whose complex interwoven plot lines took that film in a number of different directions. Bokura no War Game feels effortless in comparison, and is the more focused of the two; at only forty minutes in length, it has to be. With that in mind, the creators made the smart decision to only involve a handful of the cast from the main series.
Taichi and Koushirou are the central protagonists here, and their chemistry is the main reason that the film is so enjoyable to watch at the surface level, as they act very casually and naturally together. There’s a great deal of humor between the two of them, and between the cast as a whole—nothing of the laugh-out-loud variety, but enough to keep the film from feeling too heavy.
And, although this is a direct sequel to Digimon Adventure, only cursory knowledge of that series is required to fully enjoy this film. You’ll catch on soon enough that there’s this group of friends who’ve made connections with certain Digimon partners in the past. Anything past that is for the fans to be concerned with, as no direct mentions to the main series’ plot are ever made.
Regardless, Bokura no War Game feels very different from the series. Characters are now animated with lifelike mannerisms and realistic movements, qualities rarely seen of them in the series. Hosuda’s influence is very noticeable, most evident in the single-tone shading of the characters and their rather blobby proportions. Additionally, almost every shot here feels purposefully framed, resulting in a film that’s consistently pleasant to look at.
It’s also here where Hosuda begins to show his apparent love for modern technology, especially from a visual perspective; there’s no shortage of telephones, cell phones, computer screens, clocks, keyboards, or other mundane electronics occupying the shots. They feel like a very physical and real part of the world that the characters live in—as they should in this modern age. These elements are contrasted with shots of the more rural countryside and of households where this technology isn’t so prevalent. Yet, both elements seem to compliment each other more than anything else, as if to remind us of how quickly technology has progressed; it’s incredible to think that a vast and complex network such as the internet does actually exist alongside much simpler ways of life, as shown here.
Being that this is a Digimon film, battles will be fought between digital monsters, and here the internet is their battle ground. Imaginatively, the internet is depicted as a web of large spherical structures, all lined with psychedelic designs and filled with floating debris. Characters in this space are either drawn with orange-colored outlines, or with no outlines at all, making them stand out in visually interesting ways. The admittedly dated Windows XP-styled messaging prompts are also used to great effect while inside the net, materializing in midair for the characters of the real world to communicate through. As a whole, this creates a very distinct and striking aesthetic—one that Hosuda would continue to use in later works such as Summer Wars.
The battles fought between the Digimon in this trippy internet world are quick, exciting, and creative, often making good use of the setting. The fights are Dragon Ball-esque, for lack of a better term, featuring characters zooming across the screen at high speeds, firing projectiles and throwing hard punches. All of the actions have a nice weight to them, so you’ll feel the impact of every hit. The talented animators, choreographers, and sound designers definitely deserve major props for that.
The soundtrack of Bokura no War Game is mostly orchestral, save for the few returning J-rock tracks from the series, which are always nice to listen to. The soundtrack otherwise gives the film a particularly old fashioned sort of vibe; the more lighthearted scenes are accompanied by whimsical woodwinds, bells, and swells of strings, while the more intense scenes feature great thematic interplay between bursts of brass and sharp staccato strings. The angelic choir near the end is worth noting, as well.
Perhaps the best quality of this film is how it effectively builds tension and momentum. What starts out as a lazy morning for Taichi, snowballs into a frantic race against the clock to stop the detonation of a nuclear missile—all within a few hours. Help is always just out of reach for our heroes, while the main villain, a computer virus that has taken control of the internet, is always one step ahead. Stakes are raised by the minute, and in a multitude of layers. Hosuda highlights this tension by constantly cutting back and forth between unrelated events that are happening in parallel, the culmination of which ends up feeling very satisfying. While the pace of the film is slow-building, it’s also ever-accelerating, much like the rapidly approaching nuclear missile of the story itself. This results in an unexpectedly powerful emotional scene near the end—one that would undoubtedly feel hammy if left in the hands of a lesser director.
Ever since this film, it seems Hosuda has been fascinated by the turn of the century and the ways that society will continue to interact with newer technology, whether that be for better or for worse—fitting, then, for this film to have been released in the year 2000. If you can believe it, despite having Digimon in the title, this film manages to feel very grounded and relevant. The fantastical Digital World makes no appearance here, and instead it’s the internet as we know it that becomes the main stage for the plot and for the film’s themes. There’s also no inclusion of a hypothetical virtual reality like the OZ network of Summer Wars. A real point is made here about how even now, society is reliant enough on the internet and its related networks that if things were to go haywire, chaos would ensue. It feels like a warning sign to the present, not one to a possible future.
However, that would all be meaningless if the film itself weren’t just simply enjoyable to watch. It’s got heart, personality, and style, and its relatively short length is sure to keep your attention the whole way through. There’s a reason I keep coming back to it; there’s also a reason Hosuda keeps coming back to it.
The story is rather quickly developed, handled, and solved with very little lulls between movement. Though there are only three battle scenes, Taichi and Koushiro are dealing with the effects of the viral Digimon in the real world which keeps them and the audience on their toes while they look for new strategies one after another as they are thwarted at every turn. Though it is quite formulaic in its execution, it certainly isn’t boring, and though there are plenty of inconsequential sidestories, they all add something to the immediate action required throughout the movie as parallels.
Everyone’s back, though not everyone is part of the main plot. Some contribute through the above-mentioned sidestories while others fight. The characters, already established, stay true to who they were in the series with very few exceeding development. Relationships are remarkable though, as Taichi and Sora seem to have progressed theirs, slight as it is.
Of course, it’d just be another Digimon episode if it weren’t for the phenomenal animation. If the style looks familiar, don’t be surprised. Directed by Mamoru Hosada, better known for his latter work, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, the movie features fluid, detailed animation and a gorgeous metaphorical style for the Internet as it becomes the battlefield for the Digimon against the latest threat. If there is only one reason to give this movie a look, even if you’re not a Digimon fan, it’s to check out the animation which for its day and age is close to quality bar none.
Performances are all good, and the BGM is rather dignified, so much so it may be surprising to those of us who grew up watching the dub. It’s all quite fitting, especially in the climactic sequence where, spoilers aside, it adds something wonderful to it all.
There’s a lot to enjoy about the Digimon franchise; the surprisingly mature execution, the partnership between the kids and their Digimon, and more, but this movie stands out in technical quality above all others. Combined with tight and well-paced execution, it’s a movie no Digimon fan should miss, and maybe even one for purveyors of quality animation all-around.
Overall, I give Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game a 7 out of 10.
This takes place after Digimon Adventure ended and it deals with a digimon who is on the network, eating data and growing powerful.
Through the movie there is a lot of tension and good moments of suspense as the plot moves forward, but I have to say that the writers were really lazy at times; leaving out so many characters like Sora, Mimi, Jyou and Hikari off the main plot is a bad gesture, especially considering how the anime was so well recognized for being able to handle 8 characters at once. Granted, they all get believable excuses for their absence, yet you can feel how the writers just wanted to minimize the amount of characters as much as possible. Aside from that, the plot develops and it’s fairly enjoyable, still the ending is quite anti-climactic and may leave you frowning; ok, it’s not that bad, but it ended quite abruptly and as such a story with so much potential kind of feel like it works, but it works at half of its power.
As I said in the story section, the writers minimized the amount of characters to just 4: Taichi, Koshiro, Yamato and Takeru, and of those 4 Taichi takes the spotlight, with Yamato and Koushiro having some moments too. For a 40 minutes movie, it has many good moments; these are characters that are quite beloved and really likeable, and among them Taichi gets some extremely good moments in the film, and not just him; whenever we see each character frustrated it feels real, whenever we see them nervous, anxious or anything at all it works because it carries on well with their previous development in the anime series, and as such the character work is great, almost reaching to outstanding.
Sound: There are great tracks in the movie, the very same ones used in the anime plus some new ones. In general, they are all as well scored as in the anime and the timing is also impressive, though there is a moment when Brave Heart runs in a loop and become annoying, but it’s just some mere 15 seconds or so.
As a whole, I’d say the movie is worth watching, it’s very good and quite entertaining, still I’m not sure if I would call it a must see: Digimon fans will likely enjoy the movie, but there’s no doubt that most of us can feel that, while being quite good, it never really tried to be as good as it could be.
1: Omae Umasou da na
English: You Are Umasou
MAL Score: 8.03
By a twist of fate, a herbivorous dinosaur finds a lost egg and brings it back to her nest. When the egg hatches, however, a carnivorous dinosaur emerges. Unable to abandon the child, she names him “Heart” and raises him in exile alongside her own child. As Heart comes of age, he struggles to eat the same food as his family and runs away in disgrace when he learns that he cannot live properly without meat.
Years later, the now feared predator Heart encounters a situation similar to his past—he spots a dinosaur egg opposite his kind. As it emerges, Heart remarks that the newborn is delicious-looking. The newborn herbivore thinks that Heart is his father and takes delicious-looking, or “Umasou,” as his name. Unable to eat a newborn who loves him, Heart reluctantly decides to raise Umasou as his own. As he nurtures a forbidden child like his mother before him, Heart struggles to deal with an unforgiving world and the true natures of predator and prey.
Story: The story focuses on a T-rex(Big Jaw as it’s called in the movie) named Heart. At the beginning of the movie an egg drifts down the river, a plant eater(Completely blanking on the species) finds this egg and decides to take it as it’s own along with her own eggs. After a dinosaur attack all that remains of her eggs are just one of her own eggs, and the one with Heart in it. After the eggs hatch the herd tells the mother to abandon the egg due to it being a meat eater, the mother decides to split off from the herd and raise the two children in solitude. In order to control Heart’s meat eating nature the mother has him eat red berries as a substitute. This plan works decently but Heart still has his cravings for meat. While Heart and his brother Light(The other dinosaur that hatched) go out berry hunting, Heart decides to head off in his own direction. Heart then meets a herd of Big Jaws with their leader being a one eyes big jaw named appropriately “One Eyed Baku.” While the herd is taking in their game Heart flees at the sight of them eating the flesh of their catch, Baku then questions him on why he is here and what is he doing. After answering his questions and scurrying off, one of the herd breaks off to track Heart. When Heart returns to Light the herd member (Think his name was Doma. Names were far and between in this movie) attacks Light and questions Heart’s relationship to a plant eater. Doma laughs at the idea of the two being brothers and tempts Heart with the taste of meat and tells him that he is a Big Jaw.(Which Heart denies due to being raised as a plant eater) They scuffle with Heart ripping off Doma’s tail and Heart begins to question his taste of meat and what he really is. That’s part one. I’ll focus on part two briefly so you get a glimpse of why the hell this movie is named what it is.
A stronger grown up heart (This is probably the only movie where you will see a T-rex doing push-ups with one hand), after breaking off from the herd has taken his taste of meat with pride. Hunting other dinosaurs and eating his flesh, he soon sees a tiny egg on the ground. Heart approaches it to find a baby anklyosaurus(Hard Shell is the term they use) who believes Heart is his father. Heart in his meat phase calls the baby Umasou(Which means something on the lines of delicious) as to which the baby thinks his name is(Reminded me of Chii’s sweet home). Umasou now follows Heart believing that he is his father and wants to become strong like him. I’m gonna leave off there since I’m sure at this point if you’re reading you must have some interest in this movie. I hope that’s the case.
Art: The art is very colorful. Landscapes are painted to match the areas, my favorite being the vast deserts covered with sands with animal bones being scattered all across, with patches of grass randomly in it. Character designs are well, this is a kid’s movie after all. Basic and plain, but enough to warrant some attention.
Sound: Music choices fit the scenes accordingly. There are 3 vocal songs that are actually really catchy. The main one being when Heart and Umasou are training(For what dare you ask? Watch the damn movie!). It’s really addicting I swear.
Seiyuu’s are also very good. Was surprised to see Baku being played by Ikari Gendo’s seiyuu(He’s like, every villian now).
Character: Very good. You get attached to the Heart and the struggle he goes through. Being raised by the complete opposite and ending up raising the complete opposite with Umasou. The other characters like Umasou and Heart help keep the story in check. Was a little bit upset that Umasou did not really do much in the last part, he was just kind of there to say “Hey! Cute mascot here!”
Enjoyment: The movie is meant for kids, that’s a given. But it does appeal to all crowds. I grew up with these types of movies so seeing another one is fine with me, though for this one the fight scenes are actually pretty cool. The last one with ____ being the best one. I watched it on my own and enjoyed it, I’m also 20 by the way.
Overall: This movie is the same old telling just brought back with some cool stuff. Characters are fun, the songs are catchy, and in the end you really do feel for Heart and the choices he makes as a character. It’s a movie you can really watch with anyone, and I’d say if you got nothing better to do. Watch Umasou do a breakdance spin with his awkward body.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Omae Umasou da na
2. Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game!
3. Muumindani no Suisei
4. Pokemon Movie 01: Mewtwo no Gyakushuu
5. Digimon Adventure Movie
6. Madang-eul Naon Amtalg
7. Doraemon Movie 26: Nobita no Kyouryuu 2006
8. Brave Story
9. Pokemon Movie 02: Maboroshi no Pokemon Lugia Bakutan
10. Pokemon Movie 23: Koko
11. Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko
12. Doraemon Movie 25: Nobita no Wan Nyan Jikuuden
13. Pokemon Movie 08: Mew to Hadou no Yuusha Lucario
14. Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru
15. Doraemon Movie 24: Nobita to Fushigi Kaze Tsukai
16. Digimon Adventure 02: Diablomon no Gyakushuu
17. Pokemon Movie 10: Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai
18. Doraemon Movie 34: Shin Nobita no Daimakyou – Peko to 5-nin no Tankentai
19. Xuyuan Shenlong
20. Doraemon: 2112-nen Doraemon Tanjou
21. Doraemon Movie 38: Nobita no Takarajima
22. Doraemon Movie 39: Nobita no Getsumen Tansaki
23. Rockman.EXE Movie: Hikari to Yami no Program
24. Tabisuru Nuigurumi: Traveling Daru
25. Doraemon Movie 29: Shin Nobita no Uchuu Kaitakushi
26. Pokemon Movie 05: Mizu no Miyako no Mamorigami Latias to Latios
27. Pokemon Movie 21: Minna no Monogatari
29. Happy Birthday: Inochi Kagayaku Toki
30. Digimon Adventure 02 Movies
31. Pokemon Movie 03: Kesshoutou no Teiou Entei
32. Doubutsu no Mori
33. Pokemon Movie 20: Kimi ni Kimeta!
34. Hoshi wo Katta Hi
35. Unico: Mahou no Shima e
36. Pokemon 3D Adventure: Mew wo Sagase!
37. Pokemon Movie 12: Arceus Choukoku no Jikuu e
38. Nagagutsu wo Haita Neko
39. Inazuma Eleven Go vs. Danball Senki W Movie
40. Pokemon Movie 07: Rekkuu no Houmonsha Deoxys
41. Doraemon: Doraemon Comes Back (Movie)
42. Pikmin Short Movies
43. Cello Hiki no Gauche (1982)
44. Pokemon Movie 04: Celebi Toki wo Koeta Deai
45. Pokemon Movie 11: Giratina to Sora no Hanataba Sheimi
46. Pokemon 3D Adventure 2: Pikachu no Kaitei Daibouken
47. Youkai Watch Movie 1: Tanjou no Himitsu da Nyan!
48. Pokemon Movie 13: Genei no Hasha Zoroark
49. Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki
50. Nagagutsu wo Haita Neko: 80 Nichikan Sekai Isshuu