They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Hug tto! Precure?Futari wa Precure Movie: All Stars Memories, InuYasha Movie 1: Toki wo Koeru Omoi, One Piece Movie 4: Dead End no Bouken, and more!
50: Hug tto! Precure Futari wa Precure Movie: All Stars Memories
Japanese: 映画 HUGっと！プリキュア ふたりはプリキュア オールスターズメモリーズ
MAL Score: 7.55
A vengeful teru teru bozu-like monster called Miden is stealing all of the Cures’ magical powers and memories, turning them into helpless infants, barring Nagisa Misumi and Hana Nono. They must help the affected Cures to regain their abilities and fight off this new menace.
Quality action, hilarity, emotional moments. You’ll generally find this in any Precure movie and this one does all of these things well. Watching all the Precure roll around as babies was great. The lengthy scene that goes back through all of the Precure series as they fight is really cool and emotional. There is a CGI element to this movie that might throw off some viewers but I personally thought it looked pretty good not just for CG but in general. You get to see some angles and curves you don’t usually see on the drawn material.
Check it out, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
The first half is entirely hand-drawn animation, and primarily focuses on the Hugtto and Futari Wa Precure casts. It gives off a similar vibe to Hugtto itself, so if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll probably enjoy this just to see the characters you like again, and in a new context (that being that most of them are turned into babies for a short while).
The second half switches to full CG animation, which while not looking extremely impressive, given just how much action is portrayed in this second half, along with the fact that it brings in every(!) Precure from past seasons to do an attack or two, it’s likely we wouldn’t have got such a blowout without resorting to this, and all things considered, they use the models and camera movements in a dynamic enough way that the action is still satisfying throughout, with some fun character moments thrown in for good measure.
The plot is nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done. If you’re watching this movie, it should be to see all the Precure in a single movie, or at the very least, to see the Hugtto/Futari Wa casts a bit more (beyond those two, the other Precure mostly just show up for a minute or two to do an attack then fade into the background). The fact that this is a children’s movie becomes quite apparent at a few specific moments where the audience is literally instructed to cheer the Precure on with an item that was handed out in Japanese theaters, which could put some people off given that’s not how anybody is going to be watching the movie at this point, but I honestly found that element charming in spite of how cheesy it was.
All in all, if you just like the Precure characters and want to see some fun moments with them along with some pretty cool action, and don’t mind a barebones plot and half of the movie switching to a CG artstyle, this is easy to recommend as something quick and easy to throw on and have a good time with (it’s only about 75 minutes long). The more Precure you’ve seen the more inclined you’ll be to enjoy this, but even as a casual fan, I found a lot of simple fun in it.
In other words, this thing is created with the only purpose of selling toys to “kids”… Even if the great majority of people watching this franchise by this time are grown-up men (That’s not really something bad… well, kinda)
Pretty Average… It follows the formula of a kid’s movie pretty close.
A villain appears, do something evil, the heroes of the movie have to discover what is going on, there is a lot of light comedy and light music, not a true tension and a happy ending for the kids because the writers don’t want they to cry.
It becomes boring with the time, because of how predictable all it was, the plot obviously has conveniences, like “Kids, cheer up your favorite Cure and it will win”, because it is supposed to be for little kids.
There’s no true emotional impact, the main reason why the bad guy is bad came out of nowhere, and it is resolved out of nowhere… a complete leak of tension.
The only part when things became a little more entertainment was when the battle scenes show up, the animation was nice, the sound effects were nice… Was just brain-dead fun action.
For everything else, nothing is really unique or has an impact.
There are the typical archetypes with absolutely no-development.
The 55 warriors only appear for a couple of minutes in the movie, the main characters are only living the adventure, they really don’t show us how they feel… Maybe just for a little minute, but it felt rushed and a little bit forced.
There’s a couple of Yuri references in some scenes for the Otaku fans that are watching this movie. it is kind of distracting.
It was actually pretty good, the CGI was particularly impressive in the movie, with the movement of the characters, the colors, the backgrounds, the scales, the designs… It was really impressive and outstanding in terms of presentation.
But that doesn’t make the movie better.
Nothing really stands out, the voice acting is generic, the music is fine, and the sound effects kind of cool… but nothing more.
In general, it is your typical average kid’s movie with nothing really special in it… With the big differences that the great majority of people watching this are grown-up men.
49: InuYasha Movie 1: Toki wo Koeru Omoi
English: InuYasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time
Japanese: 犬夜叉 時代を越える想い
MAL Score: 7.56
Inu-Yasha has mastered the ultimate attack of the Tetsusaiga and continues his battle for the Shikon Jewel shards with Kagome, Shippo, Sango, and Miroku. Unfortunately, a freak occurance with a jewel shard has brought to life an incarnation of a demonic enemy sealed by Inu-Yashas’ father. Inu-Yasha must surpass his father and destroy this demon or every soul in Japan will be consumed.
the first inuyasha movie, affections touching across time, quite the piece of work it is. the story line to it had the same sort of feeling that any of the other inuyasha movies had and the show as well. filled with fighting, jokes, romance, and the characters that only this series can provide. having their original voice actors and music that can be linked to that of the show, it wins in the department of having that “inuyasha” feel to it. it doesn’t quite fit in the time sequence of the show, it sort of serves as a side story. i wouldn’t recommend this if you haven’t seen any of the show or at least read the manga because then it wouldn’t make sense. though it is the first movie out of four, it relies on the viewer having some knowledge of the inuyasha world but for a fan, it’s great to see. the characters are still just how they always were in the show, lovable and memorable in my point of view. the only thing i have to complain about in this movie is the art. the art for inuyasha in the anime was beautiful, it wasn’t flashy or quite as modern but i fell in love with it. the art is different in this movie from the original though at times it looked like it tried to revert. it IS different but it doesn’t get in the way too much though i would have liked to see the original beauty.
all and all as an inuyasha fan, i found it to be an enjoyable movie that i would most definitely watch over again 😀
The plot is absolutely astounding and the villain continues to make me cringe every time I see him lift up a leaf to his lips. He’s a villainous demon I just love to hate.
I can understand what the produces were trying to do, but the movie didn’t make alot of sense. I think it was because it didn’t flow that well. It was like one minute kagome was all possesed and the next minute she passed out, out of nowhere. I was starting to lose interest, so i skipped some of it because it was getting boring.
The art in this movie was pretty horrble. I guess it’s because im used to the art in the inuyasha series, that it looked a little weird to me. For example- In the inuyasha series sesshomaru’s face is not that long. In this movie however,sesshomaru’s face looke really long and narrow. And his ears in this movie were pointier. Im not sure if it was just me but Kagome’s eyes looked bigger and browner than usual. I guess I expected the art to be better since this movie came out after the Inuyasha series started.
As usual, the sound & characters were as good as always. The characters still kept their distinct personalities.
I did enjoy the movie if you took away the agravating art and the boring & unflowing parts. Overall, i liked the movie even though it could of been produced better.
48: One Piece Movie 4: Dead End no Bouken
English: One Piece: Dead End
Japanese: ワンピース デッドエンドの冒険
MAL Score: 7.56
Luffy and crew arrive at the harbour of Anabaru. The local casino is holding a competition in which the winner will obtain a huge monetary reward if he reaches the finishing line first. Nami is elated and decides to participate in the competition. However, there is a conspiracy going behind the competition and the mastermind is an ex-military commander, Gasparde. His plan is to lure all the pirates to the military base and send them to their deaths. Luffy and gang have to overcome the numerous tests and tribulations along the way to complete this dead-end adventure.
story: The story follows the straw hats pirates while they are on a Island and in need of money, they soon find out that there is a great pirate race. That alone should be good enough to catch anyones interest. The whole movie is amazing and the enemy is one you can hate.
Art: The only reason that I didnt give this a 10 is because One Piece is art style is a little differnt to other animes but it is true to itself and is even better.
Characters: Great characters, if you follow the series I dont need to say anymore, if you dont then all I have to say is you will never see better characters than this group.
Enjoyment: I love this movie, it is the best out there and I have seen it many times and each time it still makes me smile.
Overall: Best anime movie I have ever seen.
ART: It’s One Piece with all it’s might. On the other hand, it’s One Piece with all it’s might, which might not make you happy due to it’s particular, peculiar and bizarre art style and design. Nontheless, the art is very refreshing and original, you can’t deny that. It also features enhanced animation in comparison to the anime, although it’s not that great. One thing I could mention is the backgrounds and the sea, as well as the ship movements, all that is awesome.
SOUND: The sound qaulity itself it’s nice, with a couple of nice new battle tunes and as always the brilliant voice acting of really great seyiuus like Mayumi Tanaka, Kazuya Nakai and Kappei Yamaguchi.
CHARACTER: Though non-canon the movie provides some insight in the world of One Piece showing two more Giants, an old rival of Arlong and some other nice new characters. The two main movie-only characters would probably Shuraiya and Gasparde, the main villain. The first sport an awesome look, and the villain just looks like a couple more of other villains in One Piece: thinks dreams are for the weak and the crewmembers are just underlings. Though it has a pretty nice background and look.
ENJOYMENT: I only gave this 7, yeah. The first reason is that probably most people don’t get the motivation they need to watch the movie since it’s non-canon. So that pretty much lowers the enjoyment level of a movie, particularly, a non-canon anime movie. Secondly, although the three major fights in the movie are really good (Shurayia and Luffy vs Gasparde’s crew, Needles vs Shurayia and Luffy vs Gasparde), there’s not much importace to the rest of the Straw Hats, the simply don’t have a final fight, which I think is also bad.
OVERALL: Although I have only watched the first 4 movies of One Piece, I think this is by far the best, with some pretty nice story, characters and all that you expect from One Piece. You should definitly watch it if you’re a One Piece fan.
Story (5/10) Mediocre
I thought the beginning plot for this movie was fine at first and they hype up this Dead End Adventure, the Pirate Ship Race (which gets interrupted and just felt bland) and the story of Shuraiya and his backstory and what not. I think with these three written on paper it sounds like it should be a good movie but I personally felt it fell short in the execution department as certain parts felt drawn out all of characters in the straw hat character didn’t really do anything in this movie and I felt the pacing was was off as there was a lot of boring dialogue scenes and had me dozing off honestly. Too much uninteresting things I felt was going on in this 4th movie of One Piece.
Art and Animation (6/10) Fine
Continuing with this annual repetition of release the 4th One Piece movie yearly at the point of this movie coming out of course. The only major difference I saw between this an the last movie is that during the beginning they tried to do this 3rd 1st person view of going through a town at night seeing all the people of the town until we eventually get to the Straw Hat Crew who is in a restaurant of some sort getting their grub on like always. I understand the idea of what this scene was trying to do and it probably looked good back in 2003 but I don’t think it aged well at all because this is really slow frame rate 3D presentation honestly just hurt my eyes. The camera angles were cool but the fact that it felt like an introduction to a 1999 computer game before you hit the title screen just didn’t sit well with me. Other than that everything else seem fine for a One Piece movie as far as the 4 that I’ve seem to this point. This one doesn’t look any better than the 3 that came before it and it’s not surprising since this (just like movie 2) came out almost exactly a year after the 3rd movie so advancements in the art style and animation category obviously made no improvements.
Sound (7/10) Good
Nothing to compliment but nothing to complain about. The BGM and voice actors were fine. Outro is fine also not bad not amazing it just exist so yeah..
Characters (6/10) Fair
Like I said in the story section majority of the characters in the Straw Hat Crew hit the back-burner hard in this movie. As we really only get to see mostly Luffy and not that much either. This movie tried to push the movie MC mostly and his introduction started off good. Shuraiya with Luffy in the like the first 15 or so minutes of the movie and they are about to throw down but the main antagonist comes in and interrupts their fight as they basically say “we’ll fight later”. To me that’s Toei basically hyping up a fight we never saw and at this point who cares because the Movie MC Shuraiya get’s his ass whooped around the end of this movie anyway so I didn’t even want to see the fight between him and Luffy anymore. His backstory with him and his sister (who didn’t even looked like she aged since her backstory) was boring and uninteresting and since the movie gave him so much screen time I personally think he’s the reason why I was dozing off during this movie. The other characters like the straw hat crew when they were doing something was good but like I said we don’t get to see them that much, I usually give this section a 8, 9 and sometimes a 10. But that’s only because I enjoy seeing the Straw Hat crew do what they do, when they are taken out of the picture my score in the section will most likely dwindle if the characters they focus on can’t suffice for replacement.
Enjoyment (5/10) Mediocre
My enjoyment was not that high for this movie, I was honestly expecting more from it. And I like I said earlier I personally think they failed to capture my attention with this movie with the various things this movie tried to bring to the table. My interested raise just a tad at the very end when Luffy is fighting the Movie Villain and his Candy Syrup powers or what ever when he messes up Luffy’s hat and the various signature moves Luffy was using against him. It was a good fight but I don’t think it was enough for me to forgive the rest of my boredom I had for the other hour and like ten minutes I was watching the movie for.
Overall (5/10) Mediocre
More Specifically (5.80/10) Mediocre at best
Dead End no Bouken in my opinion is probably the most boring of One Piece movies yet. It’s down there with the 2nd movie and I like I said earlier if they focus on the Straw Hat crew then we can have a more entertaining movie, hopefully the future ones don’t follow this template of letting the movie MC have all the spot light just to get whooped and end the movie with a Luffy fight because I don’t think that’s a good formula.
47: Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Gekitou-hen
Japanese: 真救世主伝説 北斗の拳 ラオウ伝 激闘の章
MAL Score: 7.56
The third chapter of the pentalogy (3 Movies + 2 OVAs). A retelling of Kenshiro’s final battle with Raoh.
46: Slam Dunk: Shouhoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi
Japanese: スラムダンク 湘北最大の危機！燃えろ桜木花道
MAL Score: 7.57
After losing the titanic match against Kainan High, Team Shohoku and a newly shaven Hanamichi Sakuragi are challenged to an exhibition match by virtual basketball unknowns Ryoukufu High. Coach Anzai sees this as an opportunity for Shohoku to regain their confidence, but Ryoukufu are revealed to have a newly assembled championship calibre lineup and may give Sakuragi & Co their toughest test yet.
Even i laughed too the same as Sakuragi’s gank, Haruko with her two friends laughed, Ryota, and Micchi laughed at Hamaichi until they stomatch hurt >.< Very Slam Dunk's style, just like they always do! Also some new characters begin to appear here, like Michael Okita and co Winning is not everything. That's the motto we got from this 3rd movie Love the ending song! Cool music and lyrics [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews2:”]Another good movie from the Slam Dunk series. A good story with some meaning to it and the great comedy as usual with good pacing. The animation and sound were good as usual. I love the music from Slam Dunk. Some new characters were introduced in this movie but they were not that deep and were just ok. Overall an enjoyable movie and I recommend if you have finished the Slam Dunk series this movie is a recommended watch to get to the know the main and supporting characters a bit more but not completely necessary since it doesn't affect the actual story too much. [/collapse]
45: Majo Minarai wo Sagashite
MAL Score: 7.57
27-year-old Tokyo office worker Mire Yoshizuki just returned to Japan, while 22-year-old fourth-year college student Sora Nagase aspires to be a teacher, and 20-year-old boyish Reika Kawatani is a part-time Hiroshima okonomiyaki shop worker and freelancer. What draws together these three women from completely different walks of life is a magic gem. A “New Magical Story” begins when they are mysteriously brought together by chance and embark on a journey.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]For the 20th anniversary of the release of the original TV series, this movie was made. It is not part of the series, but it is somewhat related. The three protagonists of the movie watched the Doremi franchise when they were kids, but even after becoming adults the TV show still holds a special place in their hearts.
If you want to watch this movie or are curious about it, there is a chance you have seen the TV series. To those, I warn: this story is not about the magical girls. It is about being inspired by the Doremi series. The movie is through and through about the three protagonists: Mire, Reika, and Sora. The trio is very well fleshed out and developed in the movie. They are completely different young women who by coincidence meet and bond once they discover they are all big fans of Ojamajo Doremi.
Initially I was a bit disappointed with the movie since the movie occasionally hints that the magical girls might appear, but we must realize that it has been 15 years since the ending of the last season of the TV series. This movie was made for everyone. For those who have never seen the show and maybe make them curious about it. And for the ones who did watch it a long time ago (or maybe recently), it is easy to connect to the trio of protagonists since you can easily see the philosophy of the show incorporated into them. We see how much they still love the show despite so many years have gone by.
Overall, it is a decent movie that can be seen by anyone. Despite the absence of a magical setting, the movie really captures the incantation and the storytelling of such a remarkable TV show for kids.
Now, for any Doremi fans expecting this to be a new movie about the girls, you’re out of luck. It’s not about fighting an evil queen, there’s literally no magic at all, and the girls we’ve come to know and love aren’t the focus of the movie. This is because Ojamajo Doremi, in this movie, is a show that the three main characters watched and are fans of. Kind of like how Digimon Tamers made the first and second seasons into a show the main kids in that show watch. Anyway, the story centers on three very different women, living very different lives, and having to deal with various problems. Reika is a young woman trying to make ends meet and get into college, but is stuck in part-time jobs, her lazy boyfriend is constantly stealing her hard-earned money, and she herself is reeling from her family’s divorce. Sora, a college student, is struggling with training to become a teacher, as she got too caught up in trying to help a special needs child, and begins to question whether she’s fit to be a teacher. Mire works at a trade company, but is constantly belittled and degraded by her bosses for being a woman and for speaking her mind, and they waste no time taking all the credit for her achievements. The three find themselves meeting at a real life location used in their favorite show, and after finding out they’re all fans of the Doremi anime, they decide to indulge in some anime tourism in order to find reprieve from their troubled lives and find solace in each other’s company. It becomes an experience that the three of them will never forget.
For anyone wondering, although the movie is filled to the brim with references to the show and its characters, you don’t need to have seen the show in order to enjoy this movie, thankfully. The movie tells its own original story about three completely new characters, all adults, and how they become friends through their shared love of their favorite children’s show, and the hardships they face and overcome along the way. Basically, it’s a low-key, slice-of-life road trip anime movie…and honestly, I really like this approach, as not only does it allow the movie to stand as its own entity without relying too much on the Doremi brand, so that it doesn’t alienate newcomers, it also presents relatable conflicts and storylines that people in positions similar to the main trio can sympathize with. Even without the Doremi connection, this is a movie about the friendships you forge through shared passions and helping each other. The same story can be told using nearly any other anime one can find, but it’s often more poignant when children’s shows are involved. I mean, who hasn’t befriended someone because they liked the same TV show? That’s basically how I tried forging friendships as a kid, and I still do to this day! It really hits home whether you’re into Ojamajo Doremi or not, and that kind of universal appeal is just amazing to me.
A lot of animation staff from the original series returned to make this movie, and although I haven’t seen much of the series, I can recognize it’s animation style from miles away, and based on stuff the staff worked on after this, such as Heartcatch Pretty Cure, it’s very easy to recognize. Large, sparkly eyes, exaggerated cartoony expressions and movements for comedic scenes, zany animation, fluid and smooth movement, thick linework, all of it is on display here, and it surprisingly fits the movie’s overall tone quite well. Animation isn’t always about having great artwork or having the biggest budget, but being able to bring the characters to life, and I think the animators who worked on this pulled that off wonderfully. It helps that the background art is very pleasing to the eyes, filled to the brim with color and detail, and consistently excellent all around. The soundtrack is no slouch either, with no shortage of great tunes and a whole variety of instruments like saxophones, oboes, full on-orchestras, and every single piece of background music absolutely rocked. Also, the movie contains a much slower, more melancholy version of the first TV anime’s opening theme, “Ojamajo Carnival!!” and the TV version is much more peppy, fast paced, squeaky, and akin to stuff you’d see on a Saturday morning cartoon. Honestly, I’m probably going to commit blasphemy for saying this, but…I actually like the movie’s version of it better than the original, because I found the original to be way too obnoxious for my liking. The movie’s slower, low-key version with its acoustic guitar, lovely piano tunes, and softer vocals is more my jam. Sorry!!
Of course, the heart and soul of this movie comes from the characters, especially the main trio. Not gonna lie, I love all these precious beans. Every single one of them is perfectly likeable and three-dimensional even with the movie’s short run time, all displaying their strengths, flaws, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and the things that make them who they are. They’re a fun bunch with their own eclectic personalities and different approaches to life, making them the kind of people you know you want to root for. Even the minor characters they run into have more to them than just one character trait, with plenty of subtle nuances to their characters that make them stand out from the usual archetypes associated with them. The fun in the movie comes from seeing how these characters deal with and overcome the various adversaries that make up the roadblocks in their lives, and seeing them help each other through their hard times. Also, seeing Mire judo-throw Reika’s awful boyfriend and tell him off was satisfying as hell. Best girl right there. Everything from the way these girls carry themselves to how they connect over their shared love of Ojamajo Doremi makes them all feel like people, their actions throughout the story are realistic, and the movie really wastes no time in showing what these girls are like, actually giving you good reasons to care about them. I can wholeheartedly say that Looking For Magical Doremi did a bang-up job in making me care about this loveable trio, and I want all three of them to be happy!
With all the praises I’m singing for this movie though, as far as flaws go, I can really only find two, and IMHO, they’re pretty inconsequential. One is that Mire and Reika get into an argument about how the latter dealt with a recent event, and while I can understand where the other girls were coming from, I don’t think they should have tried to paint Mire as completely in the wrong about what she said to Reika, because she’s actually right. Could she have said what she said more delicately? Sure, but Mire is technically right about Reika’s inaction during said event, and in some way, Reika did have a right to be told the truth. The second one is the scene at the very very end, just before the credits, as it comes across as a little too magical for an otherwise grounded story. But that’s really it in terms of drawbacks, and even then, they didn’t kill my enjoyment of the movie one bit. Actual hardcore fans of the Doremi franchise are bound to take issue with how different this movie is compared to the other ones, especially with it not being about the Doremi girls at all, and I can understand where they’d be coming from. I did read that the creators did originally want the movie to be about the 20-year-old versions of the Doremi girls finding a time capsule that they buried during their graduation, but had concerns that doing that would alienate viewers who weren’t in that generation and figured the best way to go would be to appeal to a more general audience than just Doremi fans, so that newcomers could have an easier time watching the movie without feeling lost, if they hadn’t watched the show. I personally think this was a good decision on their part, because it helps the movie stand on its own without relying too much on simply cashing in on the nostalgia, something other movies have a hard time doing. Plus, the story of the original Doremi girls is over, and they don’t really need to overstay their welcome. Who says you can’t try something new once in a while?
Whether you’re a fan of Ojamajo Doremi or not, this is an absolutely amazing and wonderful movie that really deserves more love. Please watch it!!
The music is back, the visual style is back, the writing is back, the themes are back, even the situations with magical stage are back and for adults who like to get drunk with friends (which was already in the original doremi anyway) but now there’s more. It looks beautiful, it sounds beautiful and it is beautiful.
44: 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.
43: Heartcatch Precure! Movie: Hana no Miyako de Fashion Show… Desu ka!
Japanese: 映画 ハートキャッチプリキュア！花の都でファッションショー ですか！？
MAL Score: 7.59
Sakura Kurumi, Erika’s mother, is preparing for a fashion show in Paris. The girls of the school’s fashion club are going to model there, including some high school students. While in Paris, they meet a mysterious boy named Oliver. However, Baron Salamander of the Desert Apostles appears, and the girls transform into Pretty Cures to defend Paris.
Our girls visit France in preparation for a fashion show organized by Erika’s mother, and what is supposed to be just a fun time visiting Paris changes once Tsubomi meets Loup-garou, a boy who’s being chased by enemies and proceeds to help him.
The story of this movie focuses on him and Salamander, a member of the Desert Apostles (the enemies on this series) and delivers very emotional moments when we get to know more about them and what they went through. The fantastic main cast of the series adds a lot to this movie via interactions (mainly with Loup-garou) where their personalities and own experiences during the story make for great scenes.
This movie delivers in terms of visuals, with very nice looking action scenes and fluid animation, the music is more or less the same of the TV series, with variations to the opening and second ending theme used with similar purpose here.
Overall that was a great movie and definitely a must watch if you like Heartcatch Precure, which I definitely recommend if you haven’t watched yet.
42: Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 1 – Kizashi
Japanese: たまゆら～卒業写真～ 第1部 芽-きざし-
MAL Score: 7.62
The first movie of a four-part finale of Tamayura.
You may ask what is Tamayura all about ? I’ll tell you now this is a show about nothing. Yes, that’s right. So, what to expect with a show about nothing ? Of course, it wont make you jump out of your chair creaming ” omg, it’s AWEEESOMEEEE “. No, what you will get is an interesting, relaxing, fun show with many heart-warming moments.
This movie is one of the final four movie of Tamayura. You can consider it season 3 of this show.
The Art is nice, the music is relaxing, the characters are interesting, so what are you waiting for. Go watch Tamayura right now
Based on “Slice of Life” genre, this series brought up a story that both have meanings for life, as well as easy to follow. Even though it’s bit long: 2 season, few OVAs and movies, it’s not boring at all to follow the stories thoroughly.
The music and songs used in the series also helps building up the mood, enhancing what are the pictures trying to tell you, thus creating a pleasant but awesome atmosphere to watch the anime. Don’t be surprised if you found yourself suddenly bursting into tears after watching some scene, especially if you try to put yourself in the character’s foot.
In short, this series is really easy to follow, yet relaxing. After a busy day, watching this kind of stuffs will replenish your spirit to continue make something in the rest of day, as well as keeping a good mood for the next day.
Try watch them, you won’t be disappointed.
If new to this series, I recommend watching the OVA and two TV seasons before starting this – however, this movie works as an introductory piece as well.
Story: It actually feels much like an extended normal episode of Tamayura, and the longer airtime led to substantially more and higher-quality scenes and interactions between the cast. The relationships between the four main characters and the supporting cast remain the same as ever. It definitely has not lost the trademark healing feeling.
Art: What an amazing jump in quality! I was particularly surprised and impressed by the difference in the character designs, but every visual aspect has shown some improvement as well. That said, the gentle backgrounds and colors seen in the past “Tamayura” works has remained, which only serve to immerse the viewer in a gentle mood.
Sound: Spot-on sound as expected of the franchise. Satou has a great knack at sound direction in both Aria and Tamayura, and it shows. The voice actors remain vibrant and gentle, and their familiarity with the characters shows in their delivery.
Character: Although far from unique, the four main characters interact with each other brilliantly as always. None of the characters seem out of place or lack airtime. The supporting cast holds the main characters up as well, and they do not seem discarded or forgotten. It has been like this since the very beginning, and it’s great that this has not been lost even with the amount of character development every main and some regular supporting characters have undergone.
Enjoyment: Trademark “healing” anime feeling, an incredibly refreshing watch after a long day. The extended time only adds space for the producers to fill in the atmosphere and further immerse the viewer in a relaxing, warm, gentle feeling that has been this series’ strong point for its entire run.
Overall/Remarks: Fans of “Aria” and “Tamayura” cannot be disappointed with this great addition to “healing” anime, and it can only get better from here!
41: Free! Movie 2: Timeless Medley – Yakusoku
Japanese: 劇場版 Free!-Timeless Medley- 約束
MAL Score: 7.62
Rin Matsuoka’s childhood friend, Sousuke Yamazaki, has recently transferred to Samezuka Academy. Upon their reunion, the two reminisce about their childhood days and reaffirm their wish to swim together. Now with Rin, Sousuke, Captain Mikoshiba’s younger brother Momotarou Mikoshiba, and hard-working Aiichirou Nitori, the Samezuka relay team is formed, and their friendship deepens. However, as tournaments, races, and training go on, the reason for Sousuke’s sudden return begins to trouble him and affect his swimming. Noticing Sousuke’s change, Rin pushes to uncover what is holding him back.
However, unlike the first movie, I do actually recommend that you skim through this movie. Let me explain: the first movie and this movie are both compilations of Free!: Eternal Summer. Each movie shows different scenes to tell the same story, but you can get most of those scenes by watching the anime, so it’s kind of useless to watch the movies. Except for the fact that you’re gonna get a few brand new scenes in both movies. The first movie’s extra scenes don’t really add much to the main storyline; they’re just there as Easter eggs. This movie, though, does feature some content that benefits the main story. You’ll also get more extra scenes in this movie than you will in the first one.
I think this is because the first movie essentially followed Haru and Iwatobi while this one followed Rin and Samezuka. Since the original story is mostly about Iwatobi, there isn’t as much content on Samezuka so they had to add more to this movie to fill the time. They do rework the scene where Haru asks Rin to come to Iwatobi. Instead of him asking Rin after a tournament, he asks Rin over the phone. Not that big of a deal, but it’s still different.
The rest of the scenes either show you something that the original story just told you about or they add something completely different to the story. For example, in the parent story, Makoto says something like “I discussed the issues about Haru with Rin.” In this movie you actually get to see that conversation. At the end of this movie, you’ll see Sosuke tell Rin about Ikuya, warning him to watch his back should he ever race against him. That’s one of the main things I think adds to the parent story because in the current storyline (Free!: Dive to the Future), it’s very possible that Rin may end up racing against Ikuya.
Some things you need to know before watching this move: It’s a good idea if you’ve seen at least Starting Days before watching this. There will be more Easter eggs in here that won’t seem as cool to you if you haven’t seen Starting Days. Also, I’d recommend watching Take Your Marks before this as well just because this movie will lead into it and it’s nice to know where it’s leading to.
Again, don’t watch this as a replacement for Free! For one, this movie and the first skip past the first season, so you need to watch that anyway. For two, it doesn’t have the little details in it that the actual series does, so you’ll miss good bits and pieces. Also, this movie is mostly about Samezuka, Rin, and Sosuke, so just watching this movie is a bad idea anyway.
However, if you haven’t seen Free! in a while or if you want to catch up on it before watching the third season or Take Your Marks, these movies are pretty good tools to use to refresh your memory and even get a few new insights on the characters. Basically, I just skimmed through the parts that are already shown in the series, and I think it was pretty effective. If you like Free!, at least take the time to watch the extra scenes because they’re worth it.
I rewatched Starting Days before watching this and boy, I’m glad I did. Our lovely boys Ikyua, Asahi and Kisumi return, looking mature and handsome as ever. What makes this film so great is the foreshadowing, or closure that the 2nd season lacked. It leaves the thread for the 3rd season to expand upon, while managing to give the audience a fresh perspective on the 2nd season without feeling bored. So yeah, this is a must-watch! Especially for Rin fans. Skim through parts the original season covered, watch the new scenes, and you’re good to go.
The beginning actually brought me to tears because there are extra scenes of Rin’s childhood when his father was alive and he was a happy little kid who admired his father. But then you also see that same child lose his father trying to deal with the pain that comes with it. You see him feel like he has to fill his father’s shoes because he’s the only son and male in the family anymore. You see how much it really hurt him and how hard he tried to stay strong for his mom and sister. How swimming was the most important thing his father ever gave him. These scenes were strong enough to break my heart. Even though we already know the details of Rin’s past, seeing these extra scenes allowed me to understand why Rin became a sort of “antagonist” in the first season, the strength Rin really had and his unchangeable love for swimming relays.
All in all, the extra scenes really helped me comprehend Rin’s character and see his side of the story. It made me realize why his friendships with everyone are so important, like why he became so upset that Sousuke didn’t tell him about his injury or why he insists on swimming relays or who he exactly swims for. If you want an eye-opener on this series especially in terms of Rin and the Samezuka swim team, give this movie a definite watch!
40: Slam Dunk: Hoero Basketman-damashii! Hanamichi to Rukawa no Atsuki Natsu
Japanese: スラムダンク 吠えろバスケットマン魂!!花道と流川の熱き夏
MAL Score: 7.67
Ichiro Mizusawa, a player from Rukawa’s old junior high school, Tomigoaka, is diagnosed with a crippling leg condition and wants to play one last game with Rukawa. Hanamichi sets out to help the boy and fulfill his wish.
“I am still waiting for inoue-sensei to continue slam dunk until shohoku conquers the national tournament, I think all of us do, right?!! He left us hanging, darn it! But I will still wait…. I will wait…
Well actually this movie doesn’t need a review anymore because we all know how inoue-sensei does his work, as always a great piece. n_n
Overall a very enjoyable and also an emotional Slam Dunk movie. Man I need to forget this movie if I wanna experience it again, I can’t put it in words!
39: Digimon Adventure tri. 3: Kokuhaku
English: Digimon Adventure tri. Confession
MAL Score: 7.67
The Chosen Children are in shock after the betrayal of Meicoomon, the digital monster who had recently joined their group alongside her human partner, Meiko Mochizuki. Koushirou Izumi is determined to diagnose the infection that took control of Meicoomon. Meanwhile, Takeru Takaishi realizes that his own partner, Patamon, is starting to exhibit alarming symptoms similar to that of other infected Digimon, like Meicoomon.
Just then, the Chosen Children receive a message from the mysterious entity Homeostasis, who informs them that their world is in danger of total destruction—and the Digital World, the home of the Digimon, is too. Homeostasis plans to enact a “Reboot,” which will reset all the data that makes up the Digital World and eradicate the infection. However, the Reboot will also erase the memories of all Digimon, including the Childrens’ partners. Can the Chosen Children stop Meicoomon before the Reboot becomes necessary, or is this the end of their time together with their Digimon?
Kokuhaku’s atmosphere is much darker than that of tri’s previous instalments and it manages to convey a dull, melancholic feeling from the very beginning. This is supported by the absence of an opening in the first part of the film whose presence would have cheered the viewer up. Of course, this film is not entirely dark as there is a good amount of comic relief to see. However, one cannot deny that the events of the previous films have affected the cast’s – and, therefore, the film’s – mood immensely. Nevertheless, Kokuhaku feels natural as the tone shift is not unexpected, even though the story could also have progressed in a different direction which, thankfully, it did not.
Another difference from Saikai and Ketsui, the films which preceded this one, is the length: Kokuhaku is approximately 20 minutes longer. While one could be thankful for this, it also comes with a number of problems since, for example, the film’s pacing suffers greatly from this. Toei Animation could have compressed the story into a shorter film and not much would have been lost. The way it is now, some scenes feel a bit too long, even though they are important. Additionally, the animation quality and the consistency of the character designs have decreased in quality, albeit not having been extraordinarily great in the other two films either. Had the film been shorter, aforementioned aspects would probably not have suffered as much as they have now.
That being said, this film is in no way boring. The viewer experiences amazing and surprisingly complex world building which does not contradict anything that has already been established. One might argue that it is a bit too complex for its own good but even then, it does not disrupt the film’s flow.
As different as Kokuhaku might be, it still stays true to the franchise to which it belongs. It communicates important themes such as departure or loss in true Digimon fashion and does not disappoint when it comes to nostalgic moments either. It shows how a story can continue without conveying a feeling of a franchise being milked.
Other than the other two films, Kokuhaku does not focus on two characters. While Koushirou and Takeru are a bit more important than the rest of the cast, the plot does not revolve around them as it did with Mimi and Jou in Ketsui. Thanks to this, one is able to see how the events in the previous films helped developing the personality of certain characters, especially Jou. Moreover, this film revolves more around the Digimon than the other two did. While before, they were shown side-to-side with their partners, this time we can see them interact with one another without the children being nearby. These scenes show how much personality the Digimon have, which is a fact that is often forgotten.
Action scenes are, on the one hand, handled rather well. The battles’ choreographies are more complex than in the TV series, where fights usually ended with Digimon using their respective special move. Here, much more thought has been put into the action and the result is undeniably satisfactory. On the other hand, aforementioned animation issues dull the experience a bit and, moreover, it feels as though the camera is zoomed in during important clashes, making it hard to find out what exactly happens on screen.
Kokuhaku is unexpectedly emotional. Digimon has always been a bit cheesy and this film is no exception. However, the execution is on point and underlined by a beautiful soundtrack. Moreover, due to the aforementioned atmosphere, emotional scenes are much more believable and relatable. In this aspect, Kokuhaku surpasses the two other films and to a certain extent also the TV series.
In my opinion, this film is the best tri-film so far. It has less weaknesses than the other two and manages to surprise its audience with compelling twists, even though it is basically targeted at children. It might not be entirely perfect and the usual production quality of Toei Animation is not its only fault. However, Kokuhaku is a must-watch for Digimon fans and I personally cannot wait for the next film to air.
Literally 3 movies to show that Ken is up to no good and that digimon are infected, that is literally what happened so far, no more no less, plot-wise.
They focus too much on normal day to day scenes like going for baths or school festivals, which would be fine if they had decent character development going on, which for the most part they didn’t, just trivial quarrels and whatnot, some seemed to come out of the blue with no apparent reason.
The only good thing I have to say about this one is that it was pretty emotional, and on that I do agree they did a good job, brought me some tears to my eyes.
But the rest? Especially the plot, they advanced next to nothing, so there’s really not much to spoil even if I wanted to do so, the show is just moving that slow, if their pacing is terrible or if they’re just bad at story telling.. well I really dont know, but so far this has been quite mediocre at best.
They just improved a lot in this one. Saikai was pure fanservice (characters, all the fucking evolutions…), dissapointing and rushed. Ketsui was better but it lost so many time in high school things so typical and cliche in anime nowadays. I was afraid for this anime taking that way. Thank god it finally didn’t.
Kokuhaku takes a big step up in the rather neglected plot in the first two parts. The character development is still present but in a more subversive way. The pacing is nice and the climax is very emotional, been a while since i didn’t feel like that with Digimon.
However, i have a big problem and question with kokuhaku: why they can’t digivolve to a better level freely? it has no sense facing Meicoomon in champion level. I guess they can’t control it anymore like 02, but with a couple of digivolutions more, all that happens next could be avoided perfectly, feeling like some kind of plot device. Anyways, although the situation was somewhat confusing, Tentomon manages to hit me right in the feels. God, that episode.
I can notice some greek tragedy influence in Kokuhaku, specially the oracle’s prediction (Hikari’s Homeostasis) and the dramatic irony. For those who don’t know about dramatic irony, it’s a literary device by which the audience’s understanding of events or individuals in a work surpasses that of its characters. In Kokuhaku, we know what is happening but not the kids, so this way we know they’re gonna suffer so bad at some point, which increases the impact of the climax.
Nothing to say about art and animation, It’s a good work by Toei, but it’s still Toei. And Toei is shit, so tha animation while decent it has some flaws. Soundtrack as epic as ever, well choiced and put.
Overall, Kokuhaku is starting to carry Adventure Tri. to an enjoyable point. Still has flaws, but the setting andits identity have improved a lot in this one. Digimon is not an action kid show anymore. Now it’s a mature show that explores the characters that grew with us. It’s a product made for us and not for the new generation, lacking action to work on the characters we knew as children, and taking the plot to a different level.
I hope the next parts keep and improve the level. Unlike the first two parts, this is the right way.
38: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S: Kaguya-hime no Koibito
English: Sailor Moon S Movie: Hearts in Ice
Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーンS かぐや姫の恋人
MAL Score: 7.68
An unusual snow storm hits Tokyo and the Sailor Senshi discover that an evil snow queen Kaguya, wants to freeze the entire earth. It’s up to the Inner Sailor Senshi along with the Outers, to defeat the Queen. Meanwhile, Luna falls in love with a human astronomer named Kakeru whose girlfriend is an astronaut about to take a space shuttle mission. Kakeru becomes ill and Luna wishes she could be a human to help him.
In my opinion, the S movie stands head and shoulders above the other two in almost every way. I’m glad that the focus is on Luna instead of Usagi. Not that I dislike Usagi (quite the opposite), but we get plenty of her in the TV series, so it’s nice to see something different. Also, they managed to fit quite a bit of stuff into a short running time without making it feel too rushed. The story isn’t the most original or innovative, but it still hits all the right notes.
Speaking of hitting all the right notes, the best thing about this movie is the music! It uses all the various musical cues to great effect, without going too over-the-top. My favorite is the beautiful, heartbreaking theme used for Luna– I cry when I listen to it. The music does a great job of punctuating and enhancing every scene and without it, I don’t think I would have enjoyed this movie so much.
1. It is actually based off the manga, though in my opinion the manga was way better (you even get to see a party in the beginning of the manga as well as Usagi using the Luna Pen, which she hasn’t used in a long time!
2. I happen to like Luna, who some may think is a nag, but at least she does care for Usagi and is actually quite useful in a lot of ways. Anyways, this is based mainly on Luna.
3. C’mon, you just gotta love the plot as well as the background music and the characters and villians too. And may i say, the artwork is gorgeous!
It’s about a guy named Kakeru, who dreams of going up to the moon And dreaming of a princess from the moon named Kaguya, who he is fascinated by. He is a scientist who has deep feelings for his childhood friend and partner, Himeko, who secretly loves him in return.
Anyways, Luna begins to fall in love with Kakeru after saving her from getting ran over, during which she caught a cold and stuff. Anyways, Luna falls in love with Kakeru and a love triangle forms in front of them and Himeko.
Meanwhile Earth is being controlled by a snow demon named Kaguya also, who wants to take revenge on Earth and stuff.
It’s a really good movie that is my favorite out of them all, and i recommend in buying the movie as well as watching the movie too. You’ll love it!
Story: Ok I’ll be honest, when I first watched this movie as a kid, the plotline concerning the scientists confused me. I wasn’t too sure what their connection was to the movie’s villain, or what was going on between the two of them. After watching it again when I was older, I finally slowly understood it. They seemed to mix up the timeline with the past and present, and it can get easy to mix them up.
Other than that, the story consists mainly of Luna, and her feelings towards ‘stuck being only a cat’. I was disappointed; they didn’t take this chance to explain more about both Luna and especially Artemis’s past as the manga did, but overall it still was a pretty good plot even with our usual main characters not being seen as much.
Art: Once again, the art is basic Sailor Moon style and there is nothing really that stands out. The ending scene is really nice to look at, especially the transformation sequence.
Sound: Sound wasn’t so much of a deal. Didn’t have breakthrough songs, and the sounds of the Snow Dancers made my ears bleed.
Character: I’m going to say it here and now. Luna’s outcome at the end was the only reason I liked this movie. I cared little for the supporting characters, and the main characters were hardly present.
Another good point was the outer scouts made a believable appearance in this movie with the absence of Saturn, who hadn’t yet appeared in the series timeline. The movie even managed to squeeze in short moments between Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask and Mini Moon.
Enjoyment: I liked the movie and thought it was cute to see Luna’s outcome and Artemis acting adorable. I wouldn’t say it’s not necessary to watch because it does have some important scenes to see before getting into the SuperS season.
Overall: A cute fluffy movie, but overall nothing huge.
37: Star☆Twinkle Precure: Hoshi no Uta ni Omoi wo Komete
Japanese: 映画スター☆トゥインクルプリキュア 星のうたに想いをこめて
MAL Score: 7.68
When a meteor shower causes a mysterious star-shaped alien to land in Lala Hagoromo and Hikaru Hoshina’s home, the girls find themselves having to take care of the mischievous creature whom they name “Yuma.” Although their relationship gets off to a rocky start, Lala and Yuma eventually connect through their similar passions for music and exploration.
However, when strange alien hunters targeting Yuma arrive on Earth, the girls learn that there is more to Yuma than what meets the eye. In protecting Yuma, the Star☆Twinkle Precure find themselves entangled in an astronomical battle where the fate of the galaxy is at stake! Will Yuma feel the Precure’s emotions through their melody, and can they make the necessary sacrifices to defend everything they love?
There’s something important we have to discuss though, and that’s the character design on the water seijin. The water-themed hunter that played a villainous role. That thing is extremely physically attractive. I want to be its gf or at least have it kill me or something. There are worse ways to die. I’d watch a 48 ep series with that thing as the main character. And that’s just talking about its standard form character design, it fights in a really cool way too. The other hunters were of course really awesome but I want to bashfully hold hands with water seijin.
But it’s exactly that which made me very thrilled and more glad I watched this movie.
The story itself had a very interesting theme of having an alien named UMA get exposed to Earth life. That sense of fascination was satisfying and relaxing to sit through. And, to have UMA decide its perception of how Earth is like based on the things that happen around it is a very clever implication of how people are in the real world. I would know, because I am someone like that.
The insert song Twinkle Stars is one of my favourite songs of all time in Precure and while it may have repeated a similar trope of Go Princess’ all-star movie it was a very fitting end to the story.
The movie also focussed on Lala’s opinion as an alien living on Earth. It was an absolute fit for the character and showed her responsible, cautious side in addition to being a friendly and sweet girl. The fact that the season had thrown Cure Star out of the window for a unique take on having Milky seemingly breaking the typical Pink Cure spotlight trope of Precure made the movie’s continuation of it fresh.
In a nutshell, I wouldn’t exactly recommend the movie in comparison to some other Precure movies but for all the backlash the main season received, it elevated the status of its movie and made it a hidden jewel I was thrilled to uncover.
Honestly, all this film did was bore me. While it has some cute moments with the new alien, Yuma, and a girl trying to take Fuwa home as a plushie, the story was boring. I am of the mindset that a movie based on a TV show really needs to justify itself with an amazing plot not possible in a 22 minute episode, and not only was the movie not an improvement from the anime, in all departments but the animation it was a downgrade! It’s just mindblowing that they’re able to make an interesting concept like an alien that can be dangerous with the wrong influences and turn it into something so boring.
The biggest problem I had was how boring the villains were. We have grown to love Kappard, Tenjo, and the other villains from the anime, and the movie would have been a perfect opportunity to expand upon these characters or even finish Tenjo’s arc in a larger than life way. Instead, we waste our time with a group of new elemental villains who are bland and generic. They are not threatening or interesting at all, the stakes feel so low even when the cures are trying to protect this alien. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys were rejected villains from the first draft of the anime.
Of course the animation is spectacular, that would be the one redeeming aspect of the movie, but unless you’re here solely for the animation and nothing else, this movie is very unlikely to satisfy you as a Star Twinkle Precure fan.
36: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Eternal Movie 2
Japanese: 劇場版 美少女戦士セーラームーンEternal
MAL Score: 7.68
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So the dream arc is my favorite story arc of sailor moon. I even adore the supers adaptation of it. The second movie does an excellent job of adapting the remainder of the dream arc. It has beautiful animation and character designs, a beautiful soundtrack with some nostalgia thrown in and a fantastic story. The second movie is where the plot really starts moving forward.
So the dream arc offers some backstory and world building, highlights the individual guardians, with this second movie focusing on the outer guardians as well as some development for both mamoru and Usagi. Get prepared to learn more about the silver millennium, Mamo and the Golden Crystal. The Golden Crystal’s role is quite different from the 90’s anime and far more interesting. People have complained about mamo being useless for far too long. It’s about time he gains the ability to truly stand with his love. It’s too bad it took so long, we won’t be seeing much of it in this movie or hereafter.
Now Nehelenia is a petty woman and I adore her and her circus. The Amazoness Quartetbis such a fun group and I’m thrilled to finally see them in all their guardian glory. The old anime redeemed them as well but made the bad choice to not reveal that they are sailor Guardians destined to fight with Chibiusa. It instead chose to lightly hint that they’ll meet again and then never show it. Unlike in the supers arc adaptation, Nehelenia is completely defeated here and won’t be an opponent in the stars arc. She also has no tragic backstory bit is instead quite similar to Maleficent, the wicked fairy, from Sleeping Beauty. While she doesn’t have a tragic story this time around, she does offer an interesting perspective when paired with Queen Serenty.
Alas, for all this movie does right, it’s tight run time hinders it. The film goes by at a rapid pace. You’ll want to give it your full attention so you don’t miss anything. Sadly the movie, much like crystal cuts some fun moments, as well as some backstory and explanatory content. If your left slightly confused by anything, I encourage you to give the manga a read to fill in the blanks. My honest oppinion though is that you’ll comprehend everything fine.
For example, I believe in the manga the guardians visit their castles or at the very least we get a view of them. Each one has a fantastic design and we’re a gift from Queen Serenity upon the birth of each guardian. The anime cuts the backstory and were just sort of told they have castles and need to channel their power to help sailor moon.
For those of you wondering, yes saturn has a transformation at last. And it is completely underwhelming. It’s animated beautifully, there’s just not really much to it. They could of kept it relatively the same but with a little more oomph. Like have her state on the crystal rocks around her or something. We waited years for this and will only see it once.
Helios and chibiusa are portrayed excellently here. Their romance is truly a highlight and a personal favorite of mine. The resolution to their character arcs is far stronger here and it it climaxes with a moment that heralds back to the iconic Usagi and Mamo moment in arc 1 where the silver crystal reveals itself and saves him. Only this is Chibiusa’s moment to shine.
Now the soundtrack, anyone feeling nostalgic should definitly watch the credits. While the first film used the first ending of super s the second film used the second and it’s just as fantastic as you’d think. It will make you want to dance like the guardians did in the old ed visual.. The other song played during the credits is another character song that can be found on the soundtrack. Please give it a listen.
Well that’s it for now. The movies were fantastic despite their faults. Let’s hope we see the stars arc soon. I’d be happy for wither a few more movies or a season. As long as it comes fast.
“Inside each of us is a star”
I’ll try to make this review as spoiler-free as possible. When I’ll have to be more specific, I’ll keep spoilers as vague as I can.
The pacing just naturally flows better compared to part 1. Manga and adaption got it. The action builts up steadily and consistently. It feels like a long fairytale. I love the Sleeping Beauty elements. The first 20 minutes are all about the Outer Senshi and their story is spectacular, with amazing chemistry between them and I loved the direction of Hotaru’s awakening. The backstory of Elysion, Helios and the Golden Crystal is just so much better than the 90’s. You see the unity between the world of dreams, the Earth and the Moon. It makes you actually care about what seemed to be a horseland LOL. The story does such a good job balancing the dynamic between Mamoru and the Senshi. The romance in this film, not just the lovers type, but also idealistically speaking, is touching and has a classic touch to it. Like reading a classic novel. Loved the talk about the relationship of light and darkness and the inner drive of each person shining through adversion. No complaints about the adaption but more about the story itself now. I wish we had a background for the status of the Senshi, Luna and Artemis in their past lives. Some things take place that would be more impactful if they had a deeper and clearer explanation besides magic and the power of prayer. Not bad or a deal-breaker, but a solid backstory would take the moment these “things” happen to new heights imo.
The first and last 25 minutes are spectacular. Very delicate, detailed, fluffy, and dreamy. Some gore-y parts were toned down, but anything regarding Nehelenia is flesh-y and just great. The parts in between are simple with a bolder look, however very consistent. It’s hard to spot the different animation directors frame by frame which I appreciate a lot. This “harsher” look kind of fits the events of the movie in this time frame. Everything is dark and gloomy, there is a lot of angst, idk, I don’t mind it. If you compare it with the parts before and after, you notice the difference, but while you’re at it, you are not bombarded with super gorgeous and then not so gorgeous shots, it’s all on the same level. I read reviews bashing it, but it was pretty darn solid imo. No complaints really. Nothing extreme. Stock footages for the Outers were really pretty imo. World Shaking is just IT. Dead Scream too. Saturn’s transformation is short but very smooth.
There was significant less use of music in this part, which I found interesting, especially when Usagi first encountered Nehelenia. I personally find this intriguing, but it can be jarring to some. The theme of the Outers is a banger. Moon Effect, the song where all the Senshi get to sing while facing Nehelenia, is so catchy and dramatic. Gotta mention the ending theme, Moon Colour Chainon, which is absolutely beautiful and Naoko deliivered with the lyrics. I love the new versions of Watashi Tachi Ni Naritakute & Rashiku Ikimasho after it. Vocals on fire. Nothing else to add compared to part 1. Crystal/Eternal’s music is always ethereal and fits the source material to a T. I also have to mention the sound effects. I love the use of the 90’s ones and all the new ones. So sharp and dramatic.
The Outers have so much humanity in their plotline at the beginning. In 20 minutes you just get to see all of their emotions and connections. It’s wonderfully depicted. Peak SM for me. Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship is so loving. The dynamic is healthy and it’s refreshing to see. They feel equal. Usagi making smart observations and helping to advance the plot is super pleasing. She is idealistic in such a mature way. I love her speech at the end. You can see her growth so clearly. Mamoru having a presence in battle is great. The Inners don’t have a significant moment of their own until the climax, but they got their moment in part 1. The cats are just there advising and observing, as always, but they are as squeezable as ever. Helios and Chibiusa are so cute, straight out of a Disney movie. Another healthy dynamic completely missing from the 90’s. The Quartet is absolutely adorable. Love their interactions with Chibi Moon and Saturn. Speaking of Hotaru/Saturn, she is so damn powerful and such a loving cutie. You root for her all the way through. There is balance and connection between human Hotaru and Senshi Saturn. They feel different, but also united this time. Nehelenia doesn’t have this big emotional outburst and background of the 90s anime, but the immense vanity and cold-heartedness is a solid characterization and I don’t mind it at all. *Zirconia* keeps being *old* and creepy. Part of me wishes the tie with the *young and beautiful Nehelenia* was more clear, but that’s also what I like? It’s kind of obvious in this case.
Again, this felt like a classic fairytale. A smooth ride all the way to the end. You have the bonds, the dreams, the emotions, the idealism and the unity. That’s Sailor Moon.
One of the things I’m not very happy about them is that I’m still not convinced that the movie format was the best for it. Specially in the first film, you can clearly see that episodic style and how the original manga chapters were made. Even though I’ve read the manga I believe everyone could notice that. If they would have made a 8-9 episode series it could have been better. But who knows.
Anyway, I also don’t agree about the animation quality. The problem isn’t that the production doesn’t seem to be made during 5 long years, but I’d directly said it has too many flaws to be a film. Normally anime films are more detailed and cared.
But, of course, I’m not saying these two are bad films. As always in Sailor Moon, we’ve got a very emotional and bittersweet story with lots of action, love, and superpowers. And it’s a really pleasure to finally see a Sailor Saturn’s transformation sequence. If you are a Moonie, you’ll obviously enjoy this so much.
35: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R: The Movie
English: Sailor Moon R: The Movie – The Promise of the Rose
Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーンＲ THE MOVIE
MAL Score: 7.70
When Mamoru was little he gave a rose to a little boy named Fiore. Fiore promised that one day he would bring Mamoru lots of flowers. Now Fiore has come back to earth but his intentions are not merely to fulfil a promise…
We open with the sailor soldiers going to a greenhouse/ garden to look at flowers. Everything seems to be going well and laughter is in abundance. That’s when a strange guy approaches Mamoru and takes his hand in a very suggestive fashion while telling him that he’s brought a flower like he promised. Usagi notices and tells him that Mamoru is her boyfriend. He responds by pushing her away, shifting appearance to look very similar to Ail and Ann & teleporting away with a flowery effect. But he vows to bring Mamoru lots of flowers. Mamoru mentions the name “Fiore” and goes off on his own. Leaving the soldiers to contemplate what it all means and Usagi to try to deal with her boyfriend’s probable bisexuality. Although she really has no room to judge given that she’s attracted to at least three other women over the course of the anime.
Now, I actually do like that they use their words and try to reason with the antagonist rather than just going into a long fight scene. I also do like that they make Fiore sympathetic, which is pretty common for Sailor Moon villains, instead of evil for the evils. The film also has some good comedic moments, some with Chibi-Usa, although I only begrudgingly admit that I liked some of her scenes. I also like that the film’s story is self-contained, giving you enough information that you can easily understand it even if you haven’t seen the series leading up to it. The film’s major narrative flaw is the ending. A lot of the stuff leading up to it is good, but it moves into an obvious fake out scene with a cheap resolution. Now, it really needed a little time after that scene to wrap things up properly. Instead, the movie just ends abruptly. It feels like they couldn’t think of a good way to wrap things up and just decided not to bother.
The sailor soldiers remain fun, entertaining and interesting characters. Some of the best scenes in the film involve the five of them just having fun or explore their bonds with each other. Fiore is also a great character and I did, overall, like what they did with his story arc. The weak links are Chibi-Usa, who gets some funny scenes but is still a pretty annoying character, and Mamoru, who is just as bland and generically good as he’s always been. The difference is that in the series he stayed largely on the sidelines as a secondary character and in this film he’s one of the major focus characters. It does make his dullness more noticeable.
The art is good. The character designs look as nice as ever. The action sequences flow better than they do in most of the series with some of the stock attack animations being replaced by more active scenes, although there are certainly plenty of the stock animations present. The backgrounds are lively and nicely detailed, certainly moreso than was present in the first series at least.
The vocal cast is superb, as it is in the main series. Mitsuishi Kotono, Hisakawa Aya, Tomizawa Michie, Shinohara Emi and Fukami Rica are joined by Touma Yumi as the Kisenian flower and Midorikawa Hikaru as Fiore. Sailor Moon fans may recognise them as the same duo who played Ail and Ann in R. Which is a little confusing given that the film’s story really has nothing to do with the main R storyline in spite of the title. Still, they all give great performances. The music is really good. Sure, some of it is recycled from the series but it was good music then and it’s still just as good.
Given that the plot revolves on another man with an obvious crush on Mamoru and that Mamoru does respond to his feelings pretty favorably in spite of Fiore’s feelings being arguably one-sided, I’m going to give it a ho-yay factor of a 5/10.
Sailor Moon R: The Movie does have a lot to recommend it. The characters, aside from a certain two, are really good. The story itself is compelling and features a lot of good moments. The voice acting and music are great. It’s not a great film, however. It suffers from a weak ending. It feels incomplete. One of the focus characters is Generic Male Love Interest #403. If you’re a fan of the Sailor Moon franchise and you haven’t seen it, check it out. You’ll probably like it okay, at the very least. My final rating is going to be a 7/10. Tomorrow, a film from a different famous Toei animation franchise. Yes, this one is probably the first one you thought of.
Story: Truly an interesting story for a short movie. It provided some background to Tuxedo Mask’s mysterious past.
Art: Art was typical Sailor Moon style, but some scenes were very well drawn and detailed. The battle scenes were fast-paced but full of such detail that it I believe it made certain scenes feel much more tense and moving.
Sound: Sound definitely was my favorite part of this movie. This movie made many fans who claimed they hated the American dub to make an exception when it came to Promise of the Rose. Songs created for the movie were my favorites out of the entire series.
Character: Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask scenes were abundant in this movie compared to the other movies. It’s obvious this movie was meant for R’s season. Tuxedo Mask expresses his emotions more openly and visibly.
Enjoyment: I really loved this movie. I felt sorry for one of the villains, was touched by the movie’s romance, and thrilled at the battle scene. There wasn’t much lagging as the other movies had.
Overall: As I said before it’s my favorite of the three. If you love Sailor Moon for its romance between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, definitely this is a movie to see.
34: One Piece Movie 6: Omatsuri Danshaku to Himitsu no Shima
English: One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island
Japanese: ワンピース オマツリ男爵と秘密の島
MAL Score: 7.71
“If you are a pirate among pirates among pirates among pirates, then gather your steadfast crew of friends and set sail for our island.” Upon finding an advertisement with these words on it for Omatsuri Island, the only recreational resort on the Grand Line, Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Crew set out for it immediately.
Enticed by the island’s casinos, spas, beautiful women, and exquisite cuisine, the crew are eager to relax and enjoy themselves. Much to their disappointment though, they are told upon arrival that they will first have to pass Baron Omatsuri’s “Ordeals of Hell.” Once they complete this series of challenges, they will be able to enjoy the resort.
However, problems begin to surface the longer they stay on the island. As strange events continue to unfold, the Straw Hat Crew find themselves at odds with one another, disagreeing at every turn. Will the Straw Hat Crew be able to figure out the truth behind Omatsuri Island, or will they fall apart from infighting first?
Whilst sailing the Grand Line the Mugiwara pirates come upon a message in a bottle, advertising Omatsuri Island (Festival Island), a pirate paradise. But when the crew reach the island eager to kick back and relax, they are propositioned to go through ‘Ordeals’ (much like the Skypiea arc) that are all based on Japanese festival games (goldfish catching etc). Luffy, forever positive, is happy to participate in the ‘games’ while the rest of the crew slowly start to fall apart. Compared to the series, this movie is much more mysterious and, at times, even unsettling, especially towards the end when everything becomes desperate. I’ll leave the Story at that, not wanting to spoil anything.
I noticed the art straight away and it first I thought it was just for the opening, but it stays throughout the whole anime and fits perfectly for the more serious tone. The characters are still drawn the same way, but there isn’t any cell-shading (y’know that band of light anime characters get across their hair? Yeah, there’s none of that), it gives a more ‘flat’ and simple look.
Computer animation is also used quite a lot (backgrounds, weapons, plants, goldfish..), especially when they first arrive in the island and are moving through the jungle. It jarred me at first, but eventually I started to like the 2-D characters against a computer animated 3-D background, it some ways it made up for the lack of colour the characters had.
There are also other things in this movie which you wouldn’t find in the series: a First Person Perspective – there are a lot of times where you hear dialogue but you don’t see our characters. Sanji also breaks the fourth wall a few times (turning to the viewer and speaking to them) early on.
Where do I begin? I think after the art, the sound is something easily noticed. I cannot express how much I adored how the sound was used in this film, rather the background music or lack thereof. During the opening, there’s some steel drums and very ‘Caribbean’ music – highlighting the fact that the Mugiwaras are heading to a paradisiacal island (this actually reminded me of a certain Disney movie ¬_¬).
I can’t really remember any distinct scores of music in the film, but that’s probably because there are massive gaps of silence in the music. I loved it. It’s common that during a film we’re subconsciously affected by the soundtrack, it’s even more common that we can’t remember things like background music unless it’s highlighted. In this film, the lack of music really works; it makes us focus our attention on the characters and their expressions, their emotions and conversations. Often, the camera would be fixed on a character for a number of seconds with no dialogue or music, and even no real animation. It can feel a bit strange at times because you end up thinking to yourself “It would be more interesting if they were actually doing something” but looking back it enhances the overall style and feel of the movie.
As usual, the seiyuus of One Piece are brilliant.
This is probably the most important aspect of the movie, as in most movies that are based off a series; you need to be able to introduce your characters effectively for the familiar and unfamiliar audience. Within the first five minutes, we are shown all of the main characters personalities and desires quickly, whether it be Sanji’s affection for beautiful women or Nami’s for luxuries, Usopp’s ‘cautiousness’ or Zoro’s aloofness. For an unfamiliar viewer it helps you understand who these characters are, and their motives, for the familiar viewer, it’s fun to see the characters basic urges being poked fun of.
I’d say through the film we see (without trying to spoil anything) a different side of the characters, or at least in their attitude towards each other. Misunderstandings occur, arguments happen, crew members go missing and suddenly everyone’s fighting with each other. If, like me, when you watch One Piece’s emotional scenes (the character’s pasts, Luffy and Usopps fight etc) you actually feel for the characters, you cheer Luffy on, and when your favourite is beaten, you feel beaten too, this movie will get to you. The sight of the main characters drifting apart is painful and you think “What are doing you idiots? You’re nakama!” – that is the key to this whole film.
To touch upon the new characters that are solely in this film, they all have their own charm – I found Brief endearing and funny, the Tearoom pirates, despite their smaller amount of screen time, managed to have their own story and a family dynamic. Finally, Baron Omatsuri and the rest of the Island’s inhabitants are probably the most difficult characters to talk about. Personally, I probably felt more pity for them than anything else, despite the Baron being the ‘villain’. Characters like Muchigoro and DJ had the strange ability to invoke fear and sympathy at the time, I found it hard to completely dislike them even though they were the enemy.
Briefly, everything I love about One Piece was in this movie – the characters, the humour and the usual emotional nakama-related plot. If you enjoy One Piece for the same reasons, I highly recommend you watch this. I would even perhaps recommend this to people who haven’t watched the series, but I doubt it would have the same impact as it would for fans.
Thank you for reading, please feel free to send me any feedback etc.
The story and the setting and even the personality of the characters really help to set in the art style. and it really does help to show how the characters reactions and feelings begin to shift in the story.
The story was weird at first, but it almost immediately begins to make sense.
the action in this movie was decent and very enjoyable, especially the finale, which I really enjoyed, that scene just engraved itself into my head.
OVerall the story was more of a ghost tale, but at the same time it also held a important message of freindship. which I also enjoyed. the voice acting was brilliantly done as usaul, and the character were well thought out.
Overall I enjoyed this movie, more then some of the other one piece movie releases mainly because of the difference in the style and maybe due to the story itself, either way I really enjoyed it and have found my self rewatching it for more then 7 times.
On one hand I quite liked the story. The Strawhats, as always, are out on an adventure. It is wacky, funny with some slapstick and the good old jokes.
On the other hand the story is different from the usual One Piece we know, this is both good and bad as the story becomes interesting, but I will try to write them in a list.
– You do not know what exactly to expect to happen, so the plot twist is more satisfying
– The usual deal about a bad guy who needs to be beaten is not all this story is about
– The Straw Hats are seen in a desperate situation which test their relationship to one another
– the plot twist also makes the movie seem like another movie altogether. The tone, so to say, change drastically and magnificently.
– Plot holes. In the end this alternative story is indeed refreshing, but it does leave some things unexplained.
– After the first initial start of the movie I found the pace to be slow for a while. However I believe it is because of the mystery presented in the movie and the viewer is left question what direction the movie is going into
– The internal struggle which the Straw Hats goes through is not resolved. It simply disappears, which I find to be a huge letdown and it also reflect my Character score
The art is wholly different from the standard One Piece art, but this is not necessarily bad, I just find it to be bad in this case. Both the background and the characters, especially the expression on the crews faces is different.
Much of the story has buildings in its background, and those are amazing to look at. The things is though, that they are too different from the characters design, it just does not mix well together, at times it looks as if the characters has been plastered on.
The expressions and characters designs seen one the crew is refreshing. The expressions seem more cartoonish to me, a big plus.
The music used is a mix of the standard from the series and and some original mixed together, they mix okay together. The voice actors also do a pretty good job. In short I found the sound to be the most satisfying in the movie.
The characters could have shined in this movie, but ultimately failed to do so. The movie put the Straw Hats up against each other, but fail to do it trustworthily, as they act out of character and the conflict is never resolved, it simply disappears.
All in all this movie has it shortcomings, but it does not fully take my joy from watching this movie. It was pleasing to see a different story, even if it did not fully do its job.
33: Kyoukai no Kanata Movie 1: I’ll Be Here – Kako-hen
English: Beyond the Boundary: I’ll Be Here – Past
Japanese: 劇場版 境界の彼方 I’LL BE HERE 過去篇
MAL Score: 7.72
The first part of a two-part movie. The story is a recap of the TV series.
Mirai Kuriyama is the sole survivor of a clan of Spirit World warriors with the power to employ their blood as weapons. As such, Mirai is tasked with hunting down and killing “youmu”—creatures said to be the manifestation of negative human emotions. One day, while deep in thought on the school roof, Mirai comes across Akihito Kanbara, a rare half-breed of youmu in human form. In a panicked state, she plunges her blood saber into him only to realize that he’s an immortal being. From then on, the two form an impromptu friendship that revolves around Mirai constantly trying to kill Akihito, in an effort to boost her own wavering confidence as a Spirit World warrior. Eventually, Akihito also manages to convince her to join the Literary Club, which houses two other powerful Spirit World warriors, Hiroomi and Mitsuki Nase.
As the group’s bond strengthens, however, so does the tenacity of the youmu around them. Their misadventures will soon turn into a fight for survival as the inevitable release of the most powerful youmu, Beyond the Boundary, approaches.
This is a really good summary of the original series. No new scenes are used. It reuses the scenes from the original anime to make this summary.
The story of Kanbara Akihito and Kuriyama Mirai is explained. It does not go into the side stories like with the Nase Family, Inami Sakura and Fujima Miroku.
Since it uses the same scenes, it has no change in art. It’s the same KyoAni which you’ve already seen. The artwork is amazing. Nothing more to say.
Both the opening and the ending are really good songs. They are played near the end of the series.
The opening is played when Kanbara Akihito reaches Kuriyama Mirai when she is fighting Kyoukai no Kanata near the end of the movie.
The ending is played at the end and is a full version. It is played through the credits.
Voice actors are same.
If you haven’t seen the original anime and watch this movie only, you’ll miss out on many characters. As I said before, this movie focuses on Akihito and Mirai so the other characters get very little to no screen time. The only side character to have some play in this movie is Izumi Nase.
I loved the original anime and I liked watching the summary too. Even though it is a summary, some comedy bits are placed in it. And there are some emotional rides too.
It’s a really good summary and for fans of the series, it is a good way to catch up and remember what happened.
Overall, I liked it. A heads-up, in the end of the movie, after the credits, they give a preview of the next part of the movie.
I should say first though that I love the original Kyoukai no Kanata show and Kyoto Animation in general so I’m not really reviewing the show here. Its just that KyoAni can’t seem to do well with its show-to-compilation-film adaptations (I’m looking at you too Chuunibyou compilation film, but that’s another story for another day). Why they feel the need to reinvent their existing works is beyond me.
Basically what we have here is the studio taking the original 12 episode series and cramming it into a sparse 120 min feature. The (many) small scenes that develop the characters in the original anime are mostly left out or completely removed in the movie, and the original show already moves blistering fast pace. We are then left with only the major plot events, and little to no context as to what’s going on in the story or why we should care for our main dynamic duo.
I personally liked the series because of all the little nuances and goofy side humor that seasoned it, and the somewhat incomprehensible plot stood up for me because of how much I liked the characters.
So don’t watch this wrung out version of Kyoukai no Kanata; it’s like trying to eat an apple with no juice in it. Instead, watch the original series and give yourself the favor to THEN decide whether you like lolis with death weapons, siscons, 500 iterations of the word “Senpai” and all the other things that make this weird moe action combo meal a fun experience (or not).
The main thing about this movie is that, whilest watching it, it only made sense to me because I watched the original series (twice even because I like it so much).
A lot is left out, and yes, the main plot points are stuffed in there, but they’re basically presented without context and a lot doesn’t make sense at all if you haven’t watched the original series.
I can’t quite give a good opinion on the story/art/character development because of this. It just barely contains any that makes sense without the context of the series. Besides that, it occurred to me that the movie looked like a literal edit of the series. I don’t believe they’ve re-animated anything nor make it fancier (ex. how the Madoka movies were literally the series but with much better animation).
I don’t want to completely bash this movie into the ground though, it just needs a little instruction I think?
If you want to watch the movie because you watched the series, hell yeah! The great thing about the movie is that, the series was a while ago. If you want to go into the next movie I suppose you need the base the series/first movie shows otherwise you won’t know anything about the world.
So, as a reminder of what exactly the series was about and who these characters were, I think this is a great thing, since you don’t need to watch the whole series all over again.
If you want to watch the movie without watching the series first, I can strongly recommend against that. You’ll miss out on tons of story and context and I’m sure a lot of things won’t make sense to you since there’s barely any worldbuilding in this.
I haven’t watched the second movie yet, but I’m pretty sure the best way to watch and enjoy Kyoukai no Kanata is to watch the series, the first movie and then the second movie. This way, you won’t miss out on anything, and if you are doing a marathon, you can even skip out on the first movie (though I’m not sure if the small fragment after the credits matters, because that IS new, contrary to the rest of the movie).
Either way, I’m not here to dictate people, and this is merely an advice ofcourse. If you enjoyed the series and you just need a thing to remind you what it all was about, this is a pretty great movie, since it takes away the need to watch the full series again.
If you’re planning to watch this without having watched the series, I wish you good luck, because there’ll be a lot of confusion ahead.
32: Free! Movie 3: Road to the World – Yume
Japanese: 劇場版 Free!-Road to the World-夢
MAL Score: 7.73
Recap of the Free!: Dive to the Future TV series featuring new scenes.
Most of the Hiyori/Natsuya parts of the season were significantly shortenend and might arguably be a tad hard to understand for anyone who hasn’t seen the season. The rest was put together rather well, though I do have to say that I was surprised at the amount of new scenes.
Overall I would advise viewers to watch the whole season to get the full context. Due to the amount of new scenes this movie seems more suitable for people who have actually seen the season before and just want a small reminder/new content.
That is probably the best thing to come out of this film, if I’m honest, but only because we were deprived of it in the main story. So, like… I wouldn’t call this a summary? I mean, it totally is a summary because there’s probably about 45 minutes of recap or so (maybe less, I didn’t check), but there are SO many new scenes– way more than the first two recap films. Before I get into the new stuff, though, just know that they replaced some of the music that plays over certain scenes with different OSTs and some of those scenes got better because of it.
Anyway, so this film did recap Dive to the Future, but it also rewrote some of it. I’m not too terribly crazy about that, but then again, the main story would just take a quick edit to make everything sound as far as continuity goes. It isn’t that anything too serious is rewritten, it’s just that certain scenes got revamped so they could of them rather than playing the whole scene over again. For example, Haru and Rin saw each other again after Haru talked to his coach about his swimming. Since, I assume, the filmmakers wanted to cut the time it would take to show the coach and Haru having their conversation to give context to Rin and Haru’s meeting, they just opted for Haru and Rin to meet in a different setting. It isn’t like it’s upsetting the very story itself, it’s just different for the most part.
That’s the recap stuff done. The new stuff– boi, you better bet that there’s moments in this film that have become some of my favorite moments in the whole franchise. I won’t go into detail so the people that want to watch it can watch it fresh, but there were characters meeting up and extra conversations shown that were freaking awesome. I’ll talk about that more in a bit, but first I want to mention that this film kind of formatted itself to be a montage of the main story with deleted scenes shown in full in between. Of course, the plot did show us full scenes when it came to the big stuff that happened in the main story, but for the most part, the bulk of the scenes we got in full were scenes that filled in the spaces of time we didn’t see in the main story. Like, for example, what Sousuke was doing in Tokyo before Rin met up with him or how Haru asked his coach to train him for the IM.
Oh, that’s the other thing. These extra scenes don’t really involve Haru all that much. I got the feeling that the purpose of this film was to fill in time for the other characters; plus, Haru didn’t really need more added to his story since… well, he’s the main character. We got it all in Dive to the Future. Also, the recap starts right before the IM. Well, I mean, it does montage through what happened before then, but the first big recap scene that’s shown is the IM. There were also flashback scenes of the characters talking about their dreams when they were in elementary school, which was a nice setup for the point of the film.
I feel like I’m not really reviewing this but rather just explaining that it is in fact worth watching. Okay, so, let me explain WHY it’s worth watching. The extra scenes (I said I’d come back to this, yeah?). There were a good chunk that either filled in story we didn’t get to see but knew about or were just conversations between characters. However, there were scenes that seriously– and I mean seriously– progressed the story that you’re not gonna get literally anywhere else. That was what was so cool about watching this film. There was real development both in the story and for the characters. Not only that, but this film made connections between characters that will have a serious impact on the story going forward that you wouldn’t be aware of unless you watched this.
Basically, I just wanna say that this film is worth watching just for the new stuff. Do what I did and skim through the stuff you already know about and watch the new stuff. Oh, important point: don’t watch this as a substitute for Dive to the Future. You’ll miss out on a bunch. Though, you’ll miss out on quite a bit if you don’t watch this too. So, watch Dive to the Future first so you have context for what’s happening in this film, but definitely watch this because, holy hell, it took me on a ride. I don’t know what the future holds for Free! what with the complications with the studio, but I really, really hope that plans for the sequel movie pick back up despite the news that it was delayed because this film just set up so much more for me to be excited about going forward. Here’s to the future!
31: Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 2 – Hibiki
Japanese: たまゆら～卒業写真～ 第2部 響-ひびき-
MAL Score: 7.76
The second movie of a four-part finale of Tamayura.
TL;DR: Stuffed the essence and all the good things of the Tamayura franchise in around an hour: heartwarming from the first minute to the last, substantial and realistic character development, great pacing, and the same relaxing atmosphere we all have loved. I look forward to watching the next two movies!
Story: The first movie did not really give viewers much of a clue as to how the four movies will end the story of Potte and friends – and all the better for how great they started things off with this movie. The conflict – centered around the characters’ plans for the future – was introduced slowly and gently, and the characters dealt with it with an aggressive decisiveness that we’ve seen in the past TV seasons. It’s almost like a whole new season wrapped up in an hour! Even then, the pacing definitely was not rushed and the movie instilled the franchise’s trademark gentle healing feeling.
Art and Sound: In one word – “gentle”. Art features soft colors – not pastels like in “Hourou Musuko”, but not bright vibrant colors like in “Sore ga Seiyuu”. The visuals are very pleasing and easy to look at and are of very high quality. Sound is very atmospheric and relaxing, fitting the movie.
Characters: The characters shone incredibly brightly in this movie. Amazing development from Norie and Kaoru – the two highlighted characters for this movie – and their distinctness is highlighted in how differently they reacted and dealt with the problem presented to them in the movie. This was one of the things I’ve liked about Tamayura – its characters are vibrant and very distinct, shown not only by their visual design or speech but by how they interact with one another and how they deal with problems or events.
Conclusion and remarks: Heartwarming from beginning to end, with character development and insight that rivals that of an entire season, with a great pacing that does not seem too rushed. This currently is the pinnacle of the Tamayura experience and I have nothing but good words to say about it, save for minor inconsequential complaints. This has only served to raise the bar for the third and fourth movies, and judging from how great it has been, it’s going to be an amazing ride to the end.
30: Free!: Take Your Marks
English: Free! -Take Your Marks-
Japanese: 特別版 Free!-Take Your Marks-
MAL Score: 7.76
Taking place between the events of Free!: Eternal Summer and Free!: Dive to the Future, Free!: Take Your Marks plays out the graduated seniors’ last summer through four different stories before they set sail for the future.
Unmei no Choice! (Destined Choice!) follows Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana searching for a new apartment for Haruka as he settles into Tokyo.
Hitou no Cooling Down! (Cooling Down at the Secret Hot Spring!) sees Aiichiro Nitori choose a graduation gift for Rin Matsuoka and Sousuke Yamazaki, while Momotaro Mikoshiba wins tickets to the Anago Hot Springs. Hoping for a trip together, Aiichiro and Momotaro invite Rin and Sousuke.
Kessoku no Batafurai! (United Butterfly!) shows Rei Ryugazaki, Nagisa Hazuki, and Gou Matsuoka creating a recruitment video to attract new club members for the next school year.
Tabidachi no Etanaru Buru! (Departing Eternal Blue!) looks into the Iwatobi and Samezuka swim teams’ plans for Rin’s surprise going-away party, as he will be departing for Australia soon.
I went to see this movie with a friend in theaters on White Day. I know what to expect as I went in blind without having even seen the trailer for it. I just assumed, “well it’s free! of course I’m going to like it” and I was right. If you are a long time fan of this franchise, you will enjoy it.
This movie is broken up into four “episodes” that are interconnected. Each episode contains a theme that is carried out by the end of it so watching only one won’t leave you on that much of a cliffhanger. However, the stories themselves are written with their target audience in mind. Personally, I was not expecting the movie to be this funny.
I found it hard to breathe at times with how hard I was laughing. I was clutching my friend’s hand in a death grip (sorry friend!) and doubling over with laughter at how some of the scenes played out. Dramatic irony is utilized a lot which, while somewhat of a cop-out, adds to the charm that is the franchise itself. None of the episodes are “deep” or delve into characterization but then again, this movie is intended for fans of the series who are already familiar with the cast.
There were a few new additions to the cast (perhaps foreshadowing their addition in S3) that only had a brief mention. It was disappointing that the new characters only had a few seconds of cameo as it would have been nice to get to know them a bit more than a name and a random quirk. I would have preferred if they weren’t brought up and the episode instead focused on the already established characters.
The art was good aside from a few moments where it was a bit…questionable. Aside from that, it was typical Kyoani quality. Beautiful scenery and visuals with only slight drawbacks regarding some frames.
To be honest, I couldn’t remember most of the OST because the theater was engulfed in laughter for almost the entire film. The ending song was really good.
I love the entire cast and I am biased in that regard. The new characters seemed interesting and a few characters from the prequel movie were included as well.
The opening scene of episode one almost gave me a heart attack and I was hyperventilating. If you like shipping the characters, you will enjoy this film. If you enjoy fan-service, you will enjoy this film. There were a lot of times where I was whispering to my friend, “I *wrote* this, like this is something I would write in a fanfic” so please take that as you will.
If you like Free! as a franchise, this movie is a must see. It’s funny, it has fan-service moments, and it has “shippy” moments (or as “shippy” as you can get from Kyoani). Regardless of whether you’re into it because of the fan-service, or into it because you like swimming, this movie has something for everyone.
I highly recommend watching it as it is a feel good, lighthearted comedy that is enjoyable for everyone.
The are 4 stories taking place between Free!: Eternal Summer and Free!: Dive to the Future show the transition for all the characters as they mature and their lives will change dramatically when the summer ends.
* Destined Choice! shows Makoto helping Haruka apartment hunt prior to college in Tokyo. The one he chooses does end up feeling like destiny, as a character from Free Starting Days shows up.
* Cooling Down at the Secret Hot Spring! Lucky Momo wins tickets to a hot spring and they give them to Rin ans Sousuke as a graduation gift. All 4 end up there and hilarious shenanigans ensue.
* United Butterfly is about the Iwatobi team’s new recruitment video. This one actually made me tear up. I want friends like this. Everyone should have friends like this. Also the reality is it is very hard to keep a specialized club going, without support, but friendship CAN last the test of time and distance. At least that’s the message here, full of hope.
* Departing Eternal Blue! Starts with Rin’s emotional reaction to a movie. OH NO we can’t be together if you love cats!!! Then the Iwatobi and Samezuka swim teams’ plans for Rin’s surprise going-away party are misinterpreted by Rin as Momo wants to date Gou. And the mis-understanding just gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger. This was great, I was laughing so hard.
The characters got a chance to dress really well in many outfits and the quality was good as usual.
This could have been better. Not sure why they did chibi Elvis outfits for the ED, I kind of miss the boy band music video versions from season 1 and 2 to be honest.
I’ve grown really attached to all of them. Except Haru, who, while talented, frankly has loads of room for improvement. I consider him a work in progress but all the rest are great and I’d be friends with all of them in a heartbeat.
I loved this installment of the Free Franchise. Time does go on. People grow up and situations change – there are so many transitions in life and this slice of life sports anime shows them to great effect. Changes don’t mean endings, but new beginnings. At the end of the day, it is up to both parties to keep in touch and keep the friendship going. If fate wills it, they’ll meet again.
Aside from the swimming competitions, it was nice to sit down and hang out with the characters for a while. It also left a nice lead-in for the third season that will be coming out soon. I enjoy watching this characters grow and change so much, and I look forward to seeing more in the next season.
I’d definitely recommend this movie to fans that love these characters. Maybe you shouldn’t stay up until 5:30 AM to watch it like I did, but you should watch it all the same. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
29: Hibike! Euphonium Movie 3: Chikai no Finale
English: Sound! Euphonium: Our Promise: A Brand New Day
Japanese: 劇場版 響け！ユーフォニアム～誓いのフィナーレ～
MAL Score: 7.76
A new year signifies a new beginning, and that seems to be the case for Kitauji High School’s concert band. Following the graduation of the third-year seniors comes the entrance of the first-year juniors. The band members put in their utmost effort in practicing for their goal—to enter nationals.
The now second-year Kumiko Oumae, along with her friends, is met with the new and quirky batch of first-years, resulting in friction and conflict between the band members. However, as time passes, their inner feelings slowly unravel, but not every conflict is as easy to solve as the other. The trust and bonds between the band members will be challenged as they push forward for their regionals.
I’ll talk about the positives first.
The music, as expected, is fantastic. The soundtrack is amazing and really sets in the mood for you to relax and enjoy. I had no problems with it really. The music played by the band is also incredible and it really does the series justice. If you haven’t watched the spin off movie Liz and the Blue Bird, I highly do suggest you watch it beforehand to get a better grasp on the music piece played by the band. It made the orchestra scene so much better and emotionally powerful. This is just a suggestion for fans of the series who are invested in the musical aspect.
The art is fantastic as always. It’s the same classic style you see from season 1 and 2. Nothing much changed and nothing much really needed to change. The quality was still good and while the animation itself was nothing much to brag about, the art and cinematography more than make up for that. There was nothing as well animated as the Kumiko running scene or the Reina smile scene in season 1 but the movie still held up high in regards to looking great.
The thing about Hibike! is that it is a character driven show, and as much as people give the music the highest praise, the characters are the best part of it. I really appreciated the fact that they did build up the characters we were familiar with, such as Natsuki and Kumiko. You see them still grow and adapt to their new roles in the club, especially as they are a year older now and they must shoulder the responsibilities that their former mentors held. The movie didn’t totally just remove their role in the band in favor of the new students. However this becomes a double edged sword. I talk about the negatives regarding the characters below but the positives are still there in the mix. The character drama is all generally realistic in its portrayal of not only band culture but of competition. The series themes resonate with the movie still regarding both the philosophy of talent and winning. Because for some, winning is the only thing that matters, while for others, it’s the effort in achieving either success or failure that is what is most important. You can achieve nothing but that is better than doing nothing. Hibike! prides itself on centering themes around this type of philosophy and they do a great job. It’s why Hibike! is so good. If anything else, I consider the overarching theme in the movie to be the best positive I can write about.
I’ll be moving on to the negatives now.
The movie was fairly rushed and you rarely have time to settle down with certain scenes and their implications before moving onto another problem. One of the reasons for this was that they heavily condensed the novel from which the movie was adapted from, cutting almost half of the substance. And while of course the anime movie should be judged independently from any other source, it does explain why the plot seems to be as if some scenes are being skipped. So when you are watching the movie don’t worry if you do get slightly confused, some context is missing. And while this issue is not obvious all the time it does seem noticeable in a few important scenes relating to the new characters. You see them lash out spontaneously and their reasoning while perhaps justified have no real set up, making it as if we were supposed to have watch another prequel about the new 1st years before this movie to really understand them. We don’t know enough about them to emphasize with them on anything but a shallow level. The pacing wouldn’t have been that much of an issue but certain things seem to snowball together for a bit of confusion towards the end of the movie. KyoAni was essentially juggling screen time between the popularity of the old characters for fans and the introduction of the new ones.
The drama of the series is also a part where this rushed storytelling suffers from. The movie switches between the personal problems of Kumiko and the problems of the 1st years. And so what you get is kind of this underdeveloped conclusion to both in certain ways. While of course you can give the benefit of the doubt as there will be a sequel season 3, the movie seems to dilute the new characters a little too much. We rarely get to see them outside of their drama, acting as students circumnavigating band life in its entirety. It’s more that we see them as walking talking plot points to address in order to move the story forward. You don’t really know who they are as a person and I think that for a series like Hibike! there should have been a little more due diligence in fleshing out the new characters for the audience to relate to. The new characters all suffer from a lack of believable development save for one of them. The story tries its hardest to make up for that by giving them all emotional conclusions to their personal arcs but it feels somewhat hollow.
The movie may offer nothing truly “new” to the table for those already familiar with Hibike! but it does give us a small glimpse of the greatness that was season 1 and why the series is so popular.
Thanks to Fathom Events, this Hibike! Euphonium fan was able to see the latest installment of the series on the big screen, and I enjoyed it a lot. Hibike! Euphonium Movie 3: Chikai no Finale follows Kumiko and her friends on her second year of high school, directly after Hibike! Euphonium 2. If you’re just reading for my general opinion: Overall, the movie suffers from the issues you would expect from condensing a season’s worth of story into roughly 2 hours and may not be great as a standalone film, but is definitely worth a watch for anyone who liked the first two seasons.
As you would expect, this movie delivers the same outstanding aesthetics you would expect from Hibike! Euphonium and Kyoto Animation. The character designs have that signature kyoani moe, the backgrounds are vibrant and gorgeous, and the animation is a step above their competitors. Not on the level of standalone films like Koe no Katachi, but definitely not a step down or a huge improvement from the Hibike! Euphonium anime.
And that’s what this movie felt like, just a continuation of the main series rather than something separate like Liz and the Blue Bird (which is now a priority for me after seeing a particular scene in this movie). There’s a bit of deja vu from the first season, and the movie showcases recurring events for the Kitauji Band, such as the Sunrise Festival. Unfortunately, some of the little day to day interactions were cut to make time for these pivotal events. As expected of this series, there’s a lot of character drama leading up to the big performance, including freshman recruitment and competition auditions. The narrative doesn’t go out of its way to introduce any new concepts, it just shows similar sequences as the first season, but now the characters are in different positions. But that isn’t a bad thing in itself, as it shows how Kumiko and the now second and third years have matured and learned from their past mistakes, and their new determination to succeed at Nationals. An example is Yuko, who as the new captain of the band has to learn to become an effective leader, and further progresses from the character she was in season 1.
Speaking of characters, that’s where this film faltered. As expected, a new school year brings in lots of new characters. At the same time, some second and third years who didn’t get a character arc previously also got an extra spotlight. But of course, there were only an hour and 50 minutes to tell everyone’s story, so some of these new faces definitely got the short end of the stick. It was disappointing to see some interesting new characters shown on screen who either completely ignored or given a character arc that lasts about 5 minutes. There was really only one freshman character who we got to know well. At the same time there were some recurring characters that had their own drama, but got so little screen-time in the past installments that I just had no idea how I was supposed to feel about them. But the lackluster character development doesn’t feel too bad in this kind of movie, since it’s pretty obvious that this was just a bridge to lead into the inevitable Hibike! Euphonium 3. If this was a standalone film, I would’ve come out of the theater way more dissatisfied. I’m sure these looked-over characters will be able to shine in the next season. I won’t say exactly what happened, but the romance progressed further in this movie than it did the past two seasons. The romantic tensions unfortunately felt a bit rushed, but still were so heartwarming and cute that I couldn’t help but laugh and smile along with everyone else in the theater. There’s something here for fans of all ships!
But aside from the pacing of the movie leading to a lack of character development, this was a fantastic experience. The music is absolutely incredible, as you would expect. Arguably, the best part of the movie was the performance scene; it might just be my favorite in the series yet. The smooth animation, slick camera movement, good use of 3D, combined with the gorgeous soundtrack made for a truly blissful experience in the last leg of the movie. Seeing it in theaters only made it more magical.
And that’s what I thought of the movie. This is definitely a must watch for anyone that is still interested in following Kumiko and Kitauji in their quest for Gold, but I would advise anyone who hasn’t seen the tv anime yet to watch that before seeing this movie. As a standalone movie with no context, this will be a pretty dissatisfying film. And as always, feel free to ignore the numbers you see here and have your own opinions on the movie. As for me, Chikai no Finale has got me even more excited for the next chapter in the Hibike! Euphonium story.
Like all movies, material is condensed, and there’s quite literally nothing we can do about it except show our support for the makers in hopes of getting more content. The film starts by giving a 10 minute review of what happened in the first 2 seasons, and then kicks off. One should definitely watch “Liz and the Blue Bird” before watching this, because there are quite a few connections to that movie (don’t wanna spoil anything).
I agree, this could have easily been a season in and of itself, but it was crammed into a movie. There was a little bit too much drama for just a movie, and although we know the series has drama, they overdid it a bit for the duration of the film.
I really enjoyed the piece they played, and I love how they take the time to animate the entire duration of the song and the characters playing! The piece was not as moving as the “Crescent Moon Dance”, but maybe because we don’t have a big back story behind this new piece like we did in the first 2 seasons. Also, seeing familiar faces come back on screen was a very pleasant surprise. If I say anything else I might spoil it, so I’ll stop, HOWEVER, there is an after-credits scene that some people might enjoy a lot.
28: 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.
27: Crayon Shin-chan Movie 09: Arashi wo Yobu Mouretsu! Otona Teikoku no Gyakushuu
Japanese: 映画 クレヨンしんちゃん 嵐を呼ぶモーレツ！オトナ帝国の逆襲
MAL Score: 7.77
Adult people all over Japan had been captivated by 20th Century Expo, theme parks that reenacted good old days of the 1970s (the last days of Japan’s high economic growth). One day the adults disappeared into the theme parks, leaving their children abandoned. That was a plot by “Yesterday Once More,” an organization who despises the 21st century and tries to bring Japan back to the 20th century with the dreams and hopes. Shinnosuke and his parents, Hiroshi and Misae, fight against the plot of “Yesterday Once More” in order to live together with family in the 21st century.
(Source: Manabu Tsuribe)
I’m not exactly going to review this anime. Let me just say two things, and I’ll list out some quotes from the movie, and I’ll be done.
First, this movie made me realize that crayon shin-chan isn’t just for kids.
Second, some animes in the world may have mediocre story, mediocre art, mediocre sound, but may deserve no less than a 10/10.
These are quotes by Nohara Hiroshi.
“Those who believe they have gotten big have no right to be big.”
“The antonym for justice isn’t evil, but another justice.”
“My life isn’t not interesting! I almost want to share the happiness of having a family!”
“Like I’d have any regrets on a world without Shinnosuke!”
“We aren’t heroes who save the world. We are fathers who want future for their children.”
“I’m never letting you go again, Shiro, Shinnosuke. Never again.”
“It isn’t life if it goes as planned.”
“There are no parents who tell their kids to die!”
“There are people who can work for me, but there are no replacements for father.”
“No matter what happens to my body, I protect my family!”
“Idiot! It’s admonishing, not educating! There is no point if you don’t do it yourself!”
All the days gone by were better.
Avant-garde structures of unprecedented forms, international coexistence at the furthest scale, a rock brought from the stars yonder. The crowds, diligently convened in endless queues underneath the blazing sun, gaze in awe at extravagant pavilions competing to offer a glimpse of the upcoming millennium; all fevered by an ambience of meteoric scientific development, stretching their hands towards the world of tomorrow. And at the center of it all, Japan, savouring the remaining days of its miraculous economic growth, at the apex of its inner and outer cultural relevance. The 1970 Osaka World Expo stands as a symbol of the promising future, and the purest definition of modern times.
«Progress and Harmony for Mankind.»
Then, the trick is dismantled. A camera films the set where hopes and dreams have been contained, never to be disturbed, yet never to be fulfilled—an eternal sunset. It’s 30 years later, at the dawn of a new century; memories distilled in a theme park ride for the amusement of nostalgia-blinded adults, and to the misfortune of their oblivious offspring.
Such is the way ‘The Adult Empire Strikes Back’—the ninth feature film tie-in in the Crayon Shin-chan series—draws the curtains of this play. Located amidst rural lands, the 20th Century Museum has become the Japanese’s most frequented attraction, its influence reaching far beyond the walls that surround it. People drive vintage vehicles where radios play long-forgotten music records; obsolete television devices reign in every living room, their antennas capture signals of old-fashioned programs; local markets resurfaced, tradition on display in the streets. A contagious atmosphere rapidly spreading across the country. At the forefront of this change is Ken, a man claiming to have obtained ‘the scent of the past’. His project—’Yesterday Once More’—reaches its final stage when adults leave town to forever plunge in the joys of their childhood, abandoning all worries and duties. The neglected children are left behind, then forcibly assembled; only Shin-chan and friends running free and determined to seize their progenitors back.
Keiichi Hara’s script is penned with commendable skill, gradually unfolding a brilliant premise whose complexity steadily builds upon itself. Though it’s often the younger cast members who shine under the floodlights, the ulterior core of the film lies within the inner conflict faced by their parents, explored through numerous entangled motifs. The aforementioned Osaka World Expo, for instance, emerges as a relic of the past disrupting the future, its associated values of progress corrupted and turned upside down, acting as the central point of escapism. The travessy from urban life to the countryside is yet another subversion, that of the massive rural migration to Tokyo during the Golden Age of Capitalism, and symbolizes for the Japanese a return to their youth, a simpler life away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
Exuding nostalgia in each and every frame, we’re drawn to a world that no longer is. Bittersweet melodies of old are gracefully complemented by a fitting original score of minimalist acoustics. The crimson sun looming on the edge of the Earth but never fading away, finely crafted background plates of beautiful colors bathed in its gloomy light. References to popular culture carefully inserted along the way—tokusatsu, the earliest magical girls, artists and personalities of all sorts. Narrative detours delve into hushed montages where one is left to simply soak in the atmosphere, guided solely by their senses.
The infamous lowbrow comedy characteristic of the franchise appears at first glance inevitably bound to clash with such a melancholic tone. However, the Nohara’s zany misadventures not only feel at home here, but ‘Adult Empire’ manages to keep itself significantly grounded in comparison to all preceding installments by integrating them meaningfully into the narrative. Clocking barely 90 minutes of runtime, the picture hardly wastes a second to aid its thematic relevance, seamlessly introducing visual cues throughout to showcase the disconnect between adult and child worldviews, both literally and figuratively, or allegorically exploring the struggles of child-rearing and family life. A recreation of Miyazaki’s classic Cagliostro chase sequence taken to the extreme pokes fun at the absurdity of media’s over-reliance on nostalgia factor, only one of many bizarrely amusing scenarios where everyone’s expected roles and behavior are misplaced.
The protagonists’ joyful defiance contrasts with the attitude exhibited by the main antagonists. Foreseeing the isolating effects of technological development, they reset life back to inviting small communities and tight-knit neighbourhoods, metaphorically stepping down from the future and returning to the past at the beginning of the film. They exemplify the disillusionment of the Japanese born and raised in the twilight of a resoundingly prosperous era, growing up to find themselves in an increasingly harsher world where the evolving geopolitics placed a higher degree of independence and responsibility on their shoulders. As the 21st Century draws closer and closer, the country is forced to choose its own path. Ken’s answer to that conundrum is to stop time itself. But neither he or his companion, Chako, hold malicious intent—they’re simply worn out. Restrained and distant, they rarely hinder the character’s path when given the chance, rather choosing to test their resolve to achieve their goals and thus the strength of their counterargument. The project itself is merely sustained by the adults’ will for it to exist, as opposed to any form of external coercion.
In what’s perhaps the film’s most emotionally gripping sequence, the memories of Hiroshi—Shin-chan’s father—are followed from childhood to adulthood; arguing the rewarding benefits of family life and long-term commitment to achieve happiness, stating the need to leave certain things behind while growing up in order to acquire new ones along the way, and hinting at the struggles to stay oneself while the world around us relentlessly changes by keeping Hiroshi always positioned in the middle of the frame. Consciousness regained, the Nohara family—for the first time reunited—runs against the clock. During the riveting climax, the camera cuts away to the people witnessing through television the dramatic climb to the top of Tokyo Tower’s replica, tears rolling down their cheeks. The heroic feat breaks the spell, revealing the fakeness of a motionless world. A genius final play of metanarrative; beyond the screen, an aimless Japanese society in the year 2001 finds the encouragement to move forward. One of the closing shots shows an empty room where the TV is now turned off. It’s the end of the fantasy, and the beginning of reality.
«The 20th Century is over.»
Regarded as a masterpiece and a classic in Japan and South-East Asia at large, ‘The Adult Empire Strikes Back’ is an exceptionally well directed and narrated feature; equally respectful for the bygone days and optimistic for those to come, reconciling with the most difficult dilemmas adults and children alike and society as a whole. Some may argue the message is lost in translation. But time is universal—its passage, Nature’s single dogma.
The story begins of nice, Shinnosuke and his family star in this action movie where his Dad plays a parody superhero. (Parody of Ultraman.). After this it just continues normally, everyone we basically know from the normal series is at the World Fair’s 20th Century Museum, where all the parents try to relieve they’re childhood. As they are about to enter the 21st century, a certain evildoer hypnotizes adults via tv, thr…ough a 20th Century Museum commercial, this turns the adults in childs, not psysically, but mentally.
This shows that Shinnosuke can be very mature, and yet.. not.
So the story’s pretty plain, but the way it is shown in this movie it’s just great.
They still use the same weird art style, which is just needed in Crayon Shin-Chan series/movies, specials and such. So I’ll give it a good score. The sounds okay too.
The characters, of course, Shinnosuke is still the same ol’ perverted kid, which I said before. Furthermore he still has those crazy moods and actions. Shinnosuke’s friend group is just as crazy as normally, especially when they get drunk on Oolong Tea. You can see they’re mature side which you don’t see very often, yet they can act as baby’s the next moment.
If you’re ready for a bit extraordinary artstyle, alot of humor and a funny adventure. This movie is where you need to be. I recommend that you’d watch (a bit) of the series, "Crayon Shin-Chan", just so you get to know the characters and minor characters a bit. But it’s highly enjoyable, even to watch it several times.
26: Hibike! Euphonium Movie 2: Todoketai Melody
English: Sound! Euphonium the Movie: May the Melody Reach You!
Japanese: 劇場版 響け！ユーフォニアム～届けたいメロディ～
MAL Score: 7.77
Following their success in the qualifying round for the Kansai regional competition, the members of the Kitauji High School concert band set their sights on the next upcoming performance. Utilizing their summer break to the utmost, the band participates in a camp where they are instructed by their band advisor Noboru Taki and his friends who make their living as professional musicians.
Kumiko Oumae and her friends remain determined to attain gold at the Kansai competition, but trouble arises when a student who once quit the band shows interest in rejoining and sparks unpleasant memories for the second-year members. Kumiko also learns about her teacher’s surprising past and the motivation behind his desire to lead the band to victory. Reaching nationals will require hard work, and the adamant conviction in each student’s commitment to the band will be put to the test.
Can’t really recommend watching this instead, as it offers little over the original show, while have reduced content. But is a solid movies in itself.
I haven’t noticed any differences in the visuals or the sound, and it was something fun to watch.
How long does a review have to be? There isn’t much to say about this. Go watch the original.
I’m a musician. Well, mostly retired at this point, I haven’t touched an instrument in years now. But I can totally appreciate a marching band/wind ensemble anime even though the only wind instrument I’ve ever played is a recorder. At the beginning, the band is struggling, to put it charitably, and the teacher says to them as politely as possible, “You guys suck.” Intriguing, so this is about the band working hard towards victory at a competition? Uh… no, not really. So it’s about the girls featured in the opening animation– no, not really. So what is it about? I could never pick it up, and I watched both seasons.
The greatest issue I had with the series (and thus, the movie as well) is that the writing never gave me a believable reason to care. So you were basically tricked into playing the euphonium? If that’s the kind of shenanigans this band pulls on me I would’ve been out of there after having shoved the instrument up the senpai’s bum (well, okay, if I were Kumiko, I would’ve just left). The senpai is charismatic? Uh, the vibe I got was “manipulative”. The teacher is a genius? Fine, let him go teach band at a more prestigious school if he’s got the time and apathy to belittle a group of kids. Same with the trumpet player. I have little patience with this idea that the best way to improve an ensemble is to beat them down into the dirt (the army boot camp tradition of marching band) as opposed to lifting them up and teaching them how to climb. These are kids, not soldiers. I’m sure the plot revealed some details why these characters are the way they are, and as I recall, my reaction was, “So? Cry me a river, sunshine.” To be fair, I’ve seen (and played under) people like these as a musician, and unlike this series, not once have any such musician motivated anyone to be better (it was orchestra– different tradition, and obviously the boot camp method is the worst way to go about it). Perhaps I’m a tad biased there.
Kumiko has to be one of the least interesting main characters in a KyoAni production, and I thought Tamako was bad. Putting the heroine into spectator mode like this is neither original nor fun to watch. The one time her character is at all interesting is at the climax of the film, and that barely moved me. You’d think she would step up when the going started to get really tough, but… really? Was there an actual point to having Hazuki, Sapphire, Shuuichi, etc. around? Evidently the film editors agreed with me, since they’re practically nonexistent. I really don’t think there was much chemistry among the characters aside from the main duo of Kumiko and Reina, and even then I don’t really remember how good or bad it was, which means it never really clicked with me. They’ve had two seasons and a movie to convince me, and they failed.
I think part of the problem was that the pace of the story felt slow. Now, slice-of-life shows naturally have slow pacing, since most of Japan isn’t a war zone or a long-running sketch comedy. But even the movie with its abridged plot… it just dragged. I think this is because there weren’t very many emotional highs in the show, or true low points. Everything just felt… flat. This is like the old Piano anime but with more instruments. That was an extremely realistic anime, and it was also excruciatingly dull.
To me, a more interesting anime with a wind ensemble theme is HaruChika, and that’s because there are solid comedic elements and a “mystery du jour” with some real drama. The animation isn’t as polished, the character designs are a touch “odd”, there isn’t as much full ensemble music performance, but I thought that was a stronger production overall, even with just one cour. Then there’s Your Lie in April, which, though more melodramatic, at least had a drama I could follow and care about because it was happening to the main character. The current-running Mori no Piano, again, is less realistic but at least involves the central characters in its drama. Finally, there’s Nodame Cantabile, which, again, is more leaning towards the ridiculous, but at least you can laugh, there is more music to enjoy, they did realistic musician animation way before KyoAni did with Euphonium (and it’s probably the only show that actually researched how violinists play– most studios never bother, and the resulting postures scream “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING but I sound great because of the violinist the studio hired but for some reason didn’t record onto video for the animators”), and the plot and characters are far more complex.
Briefly, yes, this show isn’t K-On. K-On had character chemistry, it was hilarious, it balanced the laughs with some good original drama, and most importantly, it didn’t rehash the television series in its motion picture. The only strength Euphonium might possibly have is story, and saying “I have a better story than a weekly comic strip!” is like saying “I’m stronger than a kitten!” It’s really not a valid comparison, and the original story in K-On’s motion picture, in my view, outclasses Euphonium. About the only thing they have in common is that they’re not really about the music at all, and the K-On series had other strengths that complemented the epic performances. Euphonium, I’m sorry to say, does not.
Anime is, first and foremost, entertainment, and Euphonium was a very expensive production that failed to entertain me.
25: Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 3 – Akogare
Japanese: たまゆら～卒業写真～ 第3部 憧-あこがれ-
MAL Score: 7.81
The third movie of a four-part finale of Tamayura.
24: Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke no Bohyou
English: Lupin III: Jigen’s Gravestone
Japanese: LUPIN THE IIIRD 次元大介の墓標
MAL Score: 7.83
The film will be a continuation spinoff of the 2012 “Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine” television anime series.
Lupin and Jigen have their sights set on a treasure worth stealing called the Little Comet which is located in the country of East Doroa. The country has fortified its border after a singer named Queen Malta got assassinated in the neighboring country of West Doroa upon visit.
Despite the two countries being enemies, Lupin and Jigen still plan to steal the treasure. During the heist, Jigen almost got killed by a skilled sniper named Yael Okuzaki. His specialty is preparing tombstones for his targets before executing his kills. Its said that no one has survived after Yael makes a grave for that target.
Visually the film looks pretty good with vibrant and colorful animation. My biggest problem is the audio in this film and I don’t mean the music. I prefer to watch my anime dubbed but the dub in this film was pretty atrious to be honest. Tony Oliver, Richard Epcar, Michelle Ruff, Lex Lang , none of these original voice actors are present in this film to reprise their roles. Richard Epcar is in the film but only to voice Zenigata’s 2 lines in the epilogue of this film. What a waste! If you have the original voice actor, why not let him voice Jigen?! The new voice actors they picked to voice the main characters, deliver their lines with no emotion or charisma to the point where I thought about switching the audio to Japanese halfway through the film.
The story of Jigen Daisuke’s Tombstone is definitely weaker than its original counterpart, even compared to individual episodes – which is certainly a shame. Rather than a focus on Lupin III, as you may have guessed the story is focused more on his hat-tilting, gun-toting friend Jigen. Or does it? Jigen is indeed the one in the title, but he seems less interesting than other iterations of himself, and commands less focus (More about that in Characters). Rather the plot revolves around an assassination, the assassin involved and why it happened. But is that even the point?
If you couldn’t tell, the story, while easy to understand, lacks focus. It sets up a story of politics and assassinations, changes to one of ‘who is of greater skill’, gets sidetracked by something almost completely unrelated (Pretty much an excuse to get Mine Fujiko naked again – which isn’t a spoiler), then wraps it all up with brief mention to previous points. While it does hit the regular Lupin III plot point of Lupin being the smartest guy in a room, I can’t help but feel as if it’s setting up for sequels by intentionally leaving things unexplained. I guess I just expected more.
The regular Lupin III cast returns… except my two favourite characters are missing! But oh well, the detective and samurai can be put on hold I suppose. As for the cast that does show up, I have to say I’m a little disappointed. While indeed Lupin, Fujiko and Jigen are all more or less themselves, I can’t help but think that Fujiko and Jigen are less capable than they were in the original ‘Mine Fujiko’ series. To say more is spoilers, but I can’t help but think that their skill is arbitrarily reduced to generate conflict. Despite this, there’s nothing particularly wrong with any of the main characters personalities – if you liked them before, you’ll like them now. The ‘villain’ however is not too exciting, the writers thinking eccentricity is a replacement for actual character. But if you’re into calculated killer type of villain, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy him just fine.
While the art and the character designs is still very nice to look at (almost identical to the ‘Mine Fujiko’ series), I have to say that it looks much cleaner than its original counterpart, lacking the same style. Depending on your personal opinion that’s either better or worse, but personally I missed the thick chalky shadows of the original. Certainly anything but bad, but it doesn’t look quite as impressive as the original.
Pretty standard for a modern Lupin creation – which means it’s quite good. It lacks the breadth of the original ‘Mine Fujiko’ series, but then again 57 minutes compared to a 13 episode series means you can’t have as diverse a soundtrack. Also a little less jazzy, which I missed, but that’s just my personal tastes.
As I said in the opening, while lacking the same quality as the original, Lupin IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke’s Tombstone is still entertaining, as pretty much all Lupin is. It’s a short watch, and worth it just to have a bit more quality Lupin.
Overall, if this is the first spinoff of many, this first one certainly hasn’t reduced my opinion of those to come. I’m excited to see where this is heading, but I hope the story improves.
STORY: As I said, not much focus on Jigen. I mean, I guess it was titled “Tombstone” and not “Jigen Origin Story,” but I expected more from the trailers. I skipped through it before watching it, and found a scene with a woman on stage. I assumed we’d have a detailed backstory about that. Nope. No emotional connection there. And the movie is odd; broken down into two parts. Every single Lupin movie/special has at least one laugh out loud moment, one moment to make you really feel glad you watched it. This movie is so blah it’s ridiculous. It’s an action movie with very little good action and too many over used (and unsuccessful) story props. HOWEVER! The last 10 minutes will pay off. We get a few good cameos, and one that has me going back to watch the certain movie he or she was in.
CHARACTER: As a woman, the only thing I dislike about Monkey Punch’s anime and ESPECIALLY the manga, is how much he seems to hate women. They are there to be, either abused, killed off, or romanced. Every single female character in a special is killed off once we’ve warmed up to the idea of her, or Lupin goes gaga for her, or she’s the betraying vixen. Fujiko covers those last two pretty well. This time around, Lupin isn’t having any of her B.S. But still, she gets groped, of course, and is nude, of course. The movie takes the rapebait Fujiko trope (and I’m ashamed to admit that’s what she is at this point) up a step when Fujiko is set as entertainment for a bunch of pervy old men (picture the club from Speed Grapher) and is almost raped by a giant robot. Really. Horror movie fare, and not something I expected to see in Lupin (despite a good number of his villains being after Fujiko as the norm). All right, enough about Fujiko.
Zenigata and Goemon?? Absent from the movie. Entirely absent. And before you whine: 3 second cameos do not count. They count as fanservice, but do not number towards the character count.
In the movie, Lupin acts as though he practically owns Jigen — he’s clearly the star of the show, there’s no doubt about that. This is a Lupin movie, not a Jigen movie. Even during the end show down, it’s all about Lupin looking cool.
Oh, and we find out Jigen likes couture. Whoo. So glad we got that backstory out of the way. Not like there’s a whole period of his life he spent in America, or his youth, or anything else from his life before Lupin we could have possibly covered in an hour about Jigen, right? Right?
ANIMATION: Good, I guess. Steps it up a bit from the Fujiko series while still maintaining the style. The only thing worth mentioning is Lupin’s new look. Whether a blue or green jacket, that’s debatable as the movie gets a subtle filter that could have shaded the jacket from green to blue (and for the time line laid out, green would make sense). For a few minutes in the movie, Lupin gets a delightful disguise (you know the one — with the eyepatch). Also, Jigen hasn’t looked this good since the Pink Jacket series. As there were only a few characters, they definitely stepped up their allure.
SOUND: Where’s my jazz?? No Yuji Ohno on this one! Other than that, normal voice acting from the Lupin gang. Nothing worth mentioning.
OVERALL: Meh. Watch it because it’s as good as watching one long, unimportant episode of Lupin. Watch it because you like mediocore action. Watch it again for the end scenes ^__^
23: Lupin III: The First
English: Lupin the 3rd: The First
Japanese: ルパン三世 THE FIRST
MAL Score: 7.83
The iconic “gentleman thief” Lupin III returns in an action-packed, continent-spanning adventure, as Lupin III and his colorful underworld companions race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary, before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich. The gang undertakes trap-filled tombs, aerial escapades, and daring prison escapes with the trademark wit and visual finesse that have made Lupin the 3rd one of the most storied animation franchises in the world, in a thrilling new caper that is sure to delight fans old and new.
(Source: GKIDS, edited)
Lupin the Third: The First (yes, it is a very confusing title) is a typical Lupin movie through and through with just a single new addition, it is in CGI. Not just any regular anime CGI, Hollywood level CGI. Disney/Dreamworks level CGI. The animation itself made this movie better than most of its Lupin counterparts, but the story has a couple of extra things that made this installment stand out among its peers (besides for the CGI).
First off, the story: Classic Lupin story, if you have seen any other Lupin installment than you know what happens here. No twists you won’t be able to see coming a mile away. However, this movie adds a Indiana Jones aspect to it that fits in quite well for Lupins character. I won’t call this movie a complete rip off of Indiana Jones, but it is obvious to tell where the inspiration came from.
For those who haven’t seen a Lupin film before: Lupin is a thief and he and his team steal something, it gets taken from them, then they try to get it back with Inspector Zenigata on their trail trying to arrest them. Very simple concept which somehow is still interesting even after seeing it over one hundred times.
Moving on to the technical aspects of the film, I can’t praise the art/animation enough. The CGI is on par (or at least close) to a Disney film. While a couple of the character models look a little weird compared to their 2D counterparts, the CGI is great, particularly in the action sequences. The animation is super smooth and fluid and everything looks clean and polished. The chase scenes in particular are fantastically animated and directed and it is easy to just replay them over and over.
However great the animation is however, just like usual, the greatest thing in every Lupin film/series continues to be the Soundtrack/OST. Yuji Ohno has succeeded in making one of the most iconic themes in all of anime and this is proven when the same theme has been used and praised for over 40 years. It’s not just the main theme song however, every one of his pieces are brilliantly orchestrated and are arranged in different ways for different movies. It is impossible to not just hum/tap along to the main theme and the ED “Gift” sung by Lyn Inaizumi is another beautiful addition to the Lupin music library.
The voice acting (Japanese) was very good, which is no surprise coming from Lupin which has a long history of good voice acting. Even the new roles in the movie were done really well, with a shout out to Suzu Hirose who voiced Latiana.
The main characters are the same as always. Lupin is a playful not so serious thief, Fujiko is mysteriously trustworthy/untrustworthy as usual, Jigen is the serious partner, Goemon is the cool headed samurai, and Zenigata is the stubborn, persistent, and foolish inspector. The side characters however really make this movie stand out. Latiana is a great new addition used to attract our the viewers sympathy, and it succeeds. The antagonists are also given a lot of screen-time to help them not just be the forgettable Lupin villain. One of the antagonists actually has a little bit of depth.
This movie was extremely enjoyable to watch as a huge Lupin fan. Even in CGI, it feels like a Lupin movie. I will definitely watch this a couple more time once the English dub gets released.
Overall, this movie was as perfect as a copy paste story-telling Lupin movie could be. Th CGI was visually appealing, the OST was gorgeous, the new characters were given some depth, and the plot was an Indiana Jones movie. The movie couldn’t have been much better.
Score: 10: A masterpiece and so good that i would watch it again and again and again.
Apart from short Lupin III 3DCG special, this is the first time Lupin has been animated in full 3D and boy I’m really pleased with the result. The animation is fluid and detailed, and it really makes the action scenes shine. The character design was translated into 3D perfectly and respectful to the original (though not without any change. I’m especially a fan of the movie look of Jigen, albeit I’m a bit saddened that Jigen and Goemon didn’t get more spotlight. Laetitia, the newest addition to collection of Lupin ladies is also seriously cute. I also really liked the animation of facial expression of the characters. Yes, the style of animation looks quite like a western-made movie, to an extent that it at first felt almost unnatural that the dubbing was Japanese and not English, but I don’t see a problem with that, if anything it keeps things fresh, something that a franchise with so many specials and movies certainly needs.
The plot isn’t ground-breaking, but I don’t think anyone expected a revolutionary script for a non-reboot Lupin Movie, go watch The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and its related movies for that. Regular Lupin movies (and specials) are foremost meant to be fun and this one passes with flying colors. If you’ve seen some amount of Lupin anime you probably already know what to expect plot-wise, so there is no need to go into greater detail here. I’ll just note that this one feels a bit Indiana Jones-ish, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Overall, I certainly recommend it to Lupin fans, but it works as a family movie too, even if not every member of said family is a Lupin fan.
After waiting for some while I finally got to watch this but since it was fansubbed there were many hilarious mistranslations here and there. Gotta give the studio props since this cg looks fantastic. It is like the level of Pixar or Dreamworks. It is smooth and looks and feels quite nice. Of course I thing Lupins artstyle works well as CG anime. It isn’t overly anime looking so it works, it is like some cartoon artstyle.
Story: So Nazis are trying to get their hands on this one dudes journal but it goes missing. Later it was found and thrown in to a museum in France. Of course Lupin wants said thing so he goes to get it. Well the journal gets taken by a girl named Letizia and Lupin follows. Well shit happens and Luping gets caught. Then comes another rescue operation. The journal contains information and the whereabouts of an ancient weapon of mass destruction. This one man wants to get that weapons and deliver it to Hitler. We then follows the adventures of Lupin III, Letizia, Mine Fujiko, Jigen Daisuke, Ishikawa Goemon and Zenigata. Who gets the weapon first will be the winner.
Characters: They are the same as before. Letizia is a girl who wants to go to the Boston University to study archaeology. His so called “dad” will send her to the university if she brings the journal to him. Later on she joins Lupins gang to find the weapon. Lupin is still the quirky, comedic and sometimes badass thief. Jigen is still the master marksman he has always been. But in this it feels like he is a bit closer to Lupin than in the previous shows. Goemon still does cool samurai stuff and gets awkward around women. Also he really doesn’t want to lose his sword. Mine Fujiko is back with in my opinion the best character model she has ever had. It looks so good. She still uses her charm to get out of tough situations.
The theme is the Ol’ Reliable. So it is the same as Part 4 and 5 and etc.
If you like Lupin, then watch this. If you haven’t seen Lupin then this is a very good show to start with.
22: Flanders no Inu (Movie)
English: The Dog of Flanders
Japanese: フランダースの犬 (1997)
MAL Score: 7.86
Set in 19th-century Belgium, this classic tale, based on the Flemish novel by Oui’da, celebrates the affectionate bond between an innocent boy and his faithful dog. The stunning animation, a masterful combination of traditional and computer-aided animation, captures the natural splendor of the Flanders countryside and recreates the spirit of this classic story that has captivated audiences world wide for more than 130 years. In fact, the popularity of The Dog Of Flanders led the local Belgian government of Flanders to dedicate a statue to Nello and Patrash in 1985, immortalizing their devotion to each other.
Where Flanders no Inu (or, to give it it’s correct moniker, A Dog of Flanders), differs from those stories though, is that it’s all been done before…
For those of you who don’t know, the story known as “A Dog of Flanders” was originally written by Ouida (the pen name of English novelist Maria Louise de la Ramé), and was first published in 1872. For over 135 years the tale has captivated the hearts and minds of audiences the world over, and has been adapted for TV and movies no less than 8 times. The anime movie itself is an adaptation, not only of the novel, but of the TV series as well, with both the TV anime and this movie having the same director (Kuroda Yoshio).
The tale, for those of you who don’t already know the story, is set in a small town called Hoboken, near the city of Antwerp in Belgium, and is about a young boy named Nello, who has lost his mother, and comes to the town to live with his Grandfather. One day, Nello finds a dog that has been almost beaten to death. He decides to care for it, and calls it Patrasche.
The story is very much in keeping with the novel and, although it’s far more abridged than the TV series, it still maintains the essence of the tale. A Dog of Flanders is not simply about love and friendship against the world, it’s also a social commentary on how the rights of man seem to work against a scale called money – something which isn’t really an uncommon theme, but there’s a reason this story is called a classic. The plot makes for pretty powerful reading, however the transfer to anime has served to enhance the story in several ways, the most obvious being accessibility. Like Barefoot Gen and Grave of the Fireflies, Flanders no Inu makes the inequities and personal trials, triumphs and tragedies that little bit harsher than normal by giving them a “cartoon” setting.
Animation is, on the whole, very good for the movie. The character have a distinctly European flavour about them, and the animation is very smooth overall, however both can look dated compared to more recent anime. There are some blips, however these are easily overlooked as there is often enough going on to keep your attention. The backgrounds are delightfully rendered, with much of the rural setting possesing a quaint charm which adds to the movie as a whole. There are, again, some minor inconsistencies in how things look, however these do no impact on the movie in any way (so don’t worry about them).
One thing I did like about the movie was how much more representative the changing seasons were to the events in Nello’s life, something which is often missed when reading the book.
Sound is extremely good throughout the movie. The voice actors are very good in the Japanese dub, however this movie is actually better in English, especially as the original story is English so nothing is lost in translation. The English seiyuu have been chosen very well on the whole, however there is a bit of woodenness about some of the characters at certain points (unfortunately the same can be said of the Japanese dub as well).
The music has a generally pastoral feel to it, and is very much in keeping with the rural setting of the story. There are some scenes where the music not only adds to the impact, but acts like a punch to the stomach, the most memorable tracks being the tragic yet triumphant score during the scene with Patrasche and Nello in the church, and the ED “When I Cry” (sung by Dianne Reeves), an original piece that was written specifically for the movie.
As far as characters go, the movie isn’t a patch on the book (so let’s get that out the way right now), nor is it a rival for the TV series (which is 52 episodes long and part of the World Masterpiece Theater. This movie, like others before it, is very much an abridged version of the story, and as such it loses something in terms of it’s characters. However, even with this disadvantage the characters are still as lovable, joyous, hateful, spiteful, proud, envious, sad, etc, as they are in the other versions, and this comes across to the viewer in a very direct manner, with very little melodrama needed (thankfully). Others may not see it that way, however it’s important to remember that the story comes from another age altogether, and that life was much harder then, with societal lines far more definite and rigid, and above all, enforced.
Anyone who’s read and “enjoyed” A Dog of Flanders knows there’s no real way to for me to give the story a nice spin, and truth be told, I shouldn’t. This is a very sweet, but also very cruel tale, and whilst it’s easy to make light of it because it’s a story, the same thing happens every day somewhere in the world – even now. Like I said, the novel is also a social commentary, with money and status being the enemies of one’s basic humanity.
I loved the book, and I really do like this movie. It’s a far better adaptation than some of the live-action efforts I’ve seen, even though it has it’s own flaws. That doesn’t mean that anyone who likes the novel will love the movie though, as you may find that your favourite bits have been removed.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a good cry. There are those who claim that nothing will move them to tears, yet I have proof that this movie is enough to turn hard-nosed, world weary, 30+ year old rugby players (my old team mates), into blubbering heaps, and nobody I’ve ever shown the movie to has managed to maintain a dry eye come the end. It’s up to you if you want to try it, although it is said that a good cry can work wonders.
Also, if you’re a dog lover then you may want to keep those tissues handy. You have been warned.
This is nothing like Barefoot Gen, GotF, or Ushiro no Shoumen Daare. There are no wars in this tale, no armies bent on world domination, no bombs, no guns. This is more horrific than those movies in a certain sense, as this is an example of what was occuring during peacetime. For that reason alone it stands apart from these and many other anime, especially as the concept of one being outcast is, in this tale, not a cue for god-like superpowers, or for multiple girl/women to fall out of the sky, etc, etc.
Over the decades the story has been referenced and parodied by so many shows, anime and otherwise, a testament to it’s influence in both Eastern and Western media, as well as to it’s enduring appeal worldwide. There are many reasons why this story is called a classic, and has been a beloved work of fiction for well over a century (there’s even a statue to Nello and Patrasche in the town of Hoboken, Antwerp).
What really brought it home to me though, was the fact that this is simply a tale about a boy and his dog, and of the loyalty they had to each other.
I’ve watched many movies throughout my childhood. Namely the Pokemon movies, some Disney movies (namely Aladdin), and others. But none of them have really made a huge impact on me because of the limited time they have to get made. Characters aren’t always developed, plots are too narrow, and some just turn out plain terrible…that is, until I stumbled upon THIS. I read about it on a blog and I thought “This looks interesting. Maybe I’ll watch it.” And right when I did…I WAS BAWLING LIKE A BABY AT THE END!!! I FOUND MY NUMBER ONE MOVIE EVER!!! Movies I’ve watched in my lifetime never really made an impact on me, and I read good reviews about this one…and I’m glad to say, I never expected it to be THIS awesome and…THIS ONE MOST CERTAINLY HAS!!! This movie has left me an emotional wreck, and I am glad to say that this is my all-time favorite movie ever made!
So the story’s about Nello, a good-hearted young boy in 19th century Belgium who lives a poor but happy life with his grandfather Jehan. He saves a dog, Patrasche, from a cruel and abusive owner and keeps him as his own. They develop a VERY strong brotherly bond. Nello also has Alois (pronounced Ah-Lou-Ah in Flemish), a young girl from a rich family whose father doesn’t like Nello for his poor upbringing. Nello wants to become an artist just like Peter Paul Reubens, but tragedy strikes Nello one after another and his bond with Patrasche is put to the test. Simple enough, yes? Let me tell you this: This isn’t some cheesy Disney movie with a cheesy happy ending! This movie will leave you crying buckets at the end!
Unlike most movie characters who don’t always get explored, everyone in this movie feels complete, even the side characters who all have their own personality and contribution to the story. All of them have subtle backgrounds that you can easily figure out just by looking at them. All of them have their own personality and they’re never incomplete. The soundtrack is also wonderful, always knowing when to be joyful and sweet and sad and heartbreaking. The music at the end left me broken to tears. The movie itself is just one big tearfest. When one grievingly heartbreaking scene ends, yet ANOTHER one comes right after! When will it end!? The end of course!
The only things that aren’t all that are the visuals and some of the voices in the Japanese version. But hey, the movie was made in 1997 so of course they’re not gonna be pretty and sparkly all the time. But they do, however, do an awesome job at making the capital of Belgium come to life in animated form, more specifically the city hall with all the flags on it. And I will say this: When it comes to the voices and casting, I think I prefer the English dubbed version over the Japanese because some of them sound a bit shaky, like Mrs. Nulette. In the Japanese version she sounds like she has strep throat. Jehan sounded like he had a sinus infection. The only Japanese voices I liked in the movie were Alois, George, and Paul. They were perfect. But I hear that the Japanese version has scenes that were cut out of the dub, so in respect to that, I’ll prefer the Japanese over the English version.
Despite the slightly old visuals and slightly shaky Japanese voice acting, these should be NO reasons to NOT watch this adorable, beautiful, heartbreaking, and awesome movie! This movie shows that life is fragile and not eternal, and it deals with serious issues such as death, poverty, and classism. It also emphasizes the benefits of honesty, friendship, work ethic, creativity, and knowledge, and how the ignorance of various people’s actions and thoughts can really shape the person. All of you MUST see this wonderful movie! I would love to own it myself, but it’s both out of print and appallingly expensive! It’s the best movie I ever saw, and the best movie ever made!
Flanders no Inu (Dog of Flanders) is based on the book by Marie Louise de la Ramée, it has been widely read and also adapted into several films and anime (MAL actually lists two series). This film is pretty much a compacted version of said series.
I found the story very… honest. It addresses poverty issues that occurred back in those days and it really doesn’t beat about the bush.
The film was quite a downer, to be honest. His best friend’s father keeps stopping his daughter from seeing him, Patrasche’s old abusive owner tries to reclaim him, forcing Jehan to pay him off with their rent money. Jehan dies, Nello is accused of starting a fire, he loses an art competition for money that will save his life, no one wants his milk delivery business anymore, he gets kicked out of his home, he walks around in the snow with no shoes on and in the end he freezes to death in front of paintings that he has forever longed to see in a church with Patrasche.
The art was very good, although it did get a bit sloppy in some areas, as is wont with many anime films and series.
I found the sound very moving, it certainly made the ending scenes more hard-hitting.
I feel that there could have been more character development with Aloise and her father, especially as to why he dislikes Nello so much. I think it would’ve been nice to see more of Nello’s two other friends as well. But considering this had the time limit of a film, I’m sure there simply wasn’t enough time. I haven’t seen the series, so I’m also sure that there’s more character development in there.
It was a good film, yes. Did I enjoy it? Yes and no. I enjoyed it for its honesty. But overall… no. I’m not saying that I wanted a happy ending… but it could’ve been less… pathetic, to be honest. Not pathetic as in crap, but pathetic as in… let this poor kid go with some dignity, eh?!
Overall, it’s definitely one to watch if you can stomach VERY unhappy endings. But it’s also nice to watch for those playful and fun scenes when things are still going right for our Nello. :]
21: Lupin the IIIrd: Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon
Japanese: LUPIN THE IIIRD 血煙の石川五ェ門
MAL Score: 7.86
Lupin’s friend, the samurai Goemon Ishikawa, takes a job as bodyguard for a yakuza boss. But a brutal assassin kills the yakuza and Goemon is honor-bound to track him down.
A 1/10 is the worst score possible on this website and I’ll now explain why in my opinion is a fai score for this film.
Animation: the visuals are my least favourite from all the different animation styles that Lupin III has seen over 50 years. I like the detailed backgrounds but I don’t like the “rough, dark” appearance of the main cast.
1) the soundtrack does not include jazz or “samurai” songs that are part of the musical legacy of Lupin III.
2) the iconic Lupin III theme song is nowhere to be found. You may argue that because this special is more focused on Goemon, it’s something that made sense to leave out of the film but I don’t agree with that at all. The movie is titled “Lupin III” and is part of the franchise. Goemon himself is a main character in the franchise. It only makes sense for the trademark instrumental to be there.
Story and characters:
1) the only characters that act as themselves are Jigen and Fujiko. The rest of the cast seems to have either nothing or very little with the versions of themselves that have existed for 50 years. Lupin doesn’t act as his “happy-totsan-love-me-Fujiko” ways once throughout the film; Zenigata is overly-serious and shows no emotion whatsoever about the possibility of chasing/arresting Lupin and his buddies. Goemon does the unthinkable and this will be a SPOILER!!!!! – Goemon dismantled his Zantetsuken to get a new guard and handle. There’s no way in flipping hell that Goemon would do this. Every single individual that has watched Goemon for at least 5 minutes understands how Goemon feels about his sword. This sword is sacred and is more important to him than his own safety. And then of course Goemon gets stupidly injured by bullets that he’s been able to easily dodge or cut for 50 years and of course at the end Zenigata doesn’t acknowledge him as part of the Lupin III gang and warns him not to trouble his police work. It’s been 50 years worth of thefts and other shenanigans for Goemon with Lupin and the rest but for some stupid reason, someone thought it would make sense for Zenigata to have a case of sudden memory loss about Goemon’s involvement in those events.
2) SPOILER: I don’t know where to put this but to have Goemon challenge a baby Megalodon was ridiculous and absurd.
Regardless if you read the spoilers above or not, the main reason why I gave a 1/10 to this movie is because of this: I sat down and chose to watch this movie because it’s part of the Lupin III franchise. That’s what I expected. It doesn’t sound like Lupin III (soundtrack) and the characters don’t act like the characters from Lupin III. If something takes the name of Lupin III and/or its characters I demand to get the same enjoyment and experience and unfortunately this was a waste of 1 hour of my time that just made me feel that Monkey Punch’s creation was disgraced by this rubbish.
Art direction is fantastic as usual. I really like the more mature view of Lupin III that this movie has. It’s something Lupin needed to a degree, almost as if it’s a homage to the original manga. It’s mature enough to be appealing to older audiences, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has the same “air” as all the other Takeshi Koike films. It’s dark and disturbing. Sexual at times. But that’s something I don’t mind. It’s really startling how Lupin can either be fun and light, or can be the complete opposite and sometimes disturb its viewers.
It felt much more enjoyable than Takeshi Koike’s first Lupin special, that being Jigen Daisuke’s Gravestone. I feel like this special was more “tight” – now that they’ve worked with their interpretation of blue jacket Lupin once, they’ve now gotten it right. I’m excited to see what they might have in store next.
I watched this without subtitles and my understanding of spoken Japanese isn’t the greatest, so I can’t say much about the story, unfortunately. The main villain was interesting and creepy, despite not really looking like it.
As for characterization, the special mainly focuses on Goemon and his view of his honour from what I could understand. I felt like his characterization was similar to that of The Mystery of Mamo – he becomes a brooding samurai, faced with defeat, unsure of what to make of himself. He’s not really a punchline at all. He’s very serious in this special, almost to a terrifying degree (as Lupin puts it in the original green jacket series, he’s a “scary man”). The antics between Lupin, Jigen, and Fujiko were quite entertaining. Their silliness was a lot more adult-oriented. I got the feeling from this film that Goemon wasn’t very close to them at all, but I think it fit for his character. Zenigata’s characterization of a more hardened detective is also starting to grow on me, and I liked his interactions with the gang.
Regardless, if you’re a fan of the more violent and serious Lupin, this is a special that you need to watch. I’ll definitely be rewatching it once subtitles come out so I can fully understand it. Visually, this is the most appealing thing. The animation is incredibly smooth and the characters are always so nicely drawn. The way they draw each character has really been refined in this special. It’s definitely a treat, so I highly recommend you check it out.
If you’ve already seen the movie, then you might be disagreeing with me on this. Goemon has a lot of screen time, he struggles with a conflict unlike we’ve ever seen before, and the final scenes are his time to show off. But I have two major problems with how this was executed. One, we never learn anything about how Goemon is feeling, what he’s thinking, or why he does anything directly from him. He barely talks to the other regular characters or interacts with them. Every insight into him is provided by Lupin’s narration, even when there’s zero logical reason for him to know the things he explains. As a result, Goemon comes off as very distant, barely a character. My second problem is that Goemon having such a crisis in the movie makes no sense. The fight that breaks his spirit is nothing out of the ordinary, but if it has such an effect on him, it makes you wonder if this is the first time in his life that he loses. I don’t think they wanted to make the title character come off as a spoiled brat who’s never had to face disappointment before, but that’s what it looked like to me. If they’d presented this as Goemon being an arrogant upstart who learns a lesson, it would have had the potential to be great, but due to the emotional distance, it just doesn’t work.
The plot is fairly incoherent as well. It starts off promisingly enough, with Goemon having been hired as a bodyguard for a mob boss whose casino Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko have decided to rob. The three are being targeted by a new character called Bermuda Ghost, a terrifying giant of a man who seems inhumanly unstoppable. Meanwhile, Zenigata is searching for Bermuda Ghost as part of an investigation.
Circumstances get all these characters mixed with each other, and soon it looks like we’ll be following Goemon on a path of personal revenge and reclaiming his honour. But, due to the reasons mentioned above, it’s not a very engaging path. The movie fails to wrap up most of its plot threads. We never learn who hired Bermuda Triangle and why. Zenigata’s investigation goes nowhere and we never find out why the chief was trying to stop him, creating the feeling that his plot line existed only so that we could have some exposition on who Bermuda Ghost is. Goemon gets over his crisis due to a deus ex machina plot point that comes out nowhere and makes so little sense that Lupin has to explain it to the viewer. The revenge angle has no proper climax for anyone involved. Fujiko just walks out of the movie.
In short, I feel that the people who made this movie had lots of really cool ideas they wanted to include, but they didn’t manage to create a story where the events follow each other logically. I think it might have benefitted from being longer so that it could have given some depth to its characters and tied up the plot more neatly. One of the elements I like best about the Lupin franchise is how the regular characters play off each other, and that is almost entirely missing here. We get a few amusing scenes with Lupin, Fujiko, and Jigen, but other than that it feels like the characters only exist to make the plot move onwards.
All that said, there were also elements that I enjoyed. The animation and colour design are great and make the movie beautiful to look at, the soundtrack is smooth, and there were a bunch of cool and entertaining scenes. The first half in particular worked and raised my expectations pretty high. The fight scenes were as brutal as the title promises, so if you like that kind of thing, this is definitely worth a watch just to see Goemon get beaten that badly. Since this is a direct continuation of Jigen’s Gravestone, I assume there will be more movies taking place in the same timeline. Hopefully they’ll do a better job of wrapping things up.
20: High☆Speed! Movie: Free! Starting Days
English: Free! Starting Days
Japanese: 映画 ハイ☆スピード！ -Free! Starting Days-
MAL Score: 7.87
High☆Speed!: Free! Starting Days plunges into the past of the Iwatobi Swim Club members alongside their fellow swimmers and competitors.
Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana have started middle school and must adjust to the changes that come along with growing up. While Makoto fits in with his classmates and remains positive about swimming, Haruka struggles to befriend others or join his school’s swim club, as his previous issues with swimming trouble him. Distancing himself from his lively classmates and the swimming club, he has difficulty deciding which club to join instead. The rest of his classmates, including Makoto, are also hesitant as to which clubs to participate in. After an argument leads them to join the swimming club anyway, the boys strive to hone their skills, harmonize their swimming styles, and refine their conflicting feelings toward swimming and each other.
As determination and talent run high, witness Haruka and Makoto—along with their classmates—discover themselves and improve their talents during their starting days.
High Speed gives a closer look into the lifes of Haru and Makoto before they go to Iwatobi High (Anime Series), so it’s not necessary to see the anime before, but can be also seen as an addition to it. At the start of the movie the story goes on rather slowly, but with a lot of funny scenes, that made me laugh more than once. The watcher gets to know the new characters Ikuya and Asahi and also can recognize the ones, already shown in the anime like Kisumi or of course the main characters Makoto and Haru. After this the stoy goes on with a faster pace, but for me it didn’t feel rushed at any time and the time went by like nothing. The fanservice strongly focused on the relationship between Haru and Makoto in this movie, which is amazing for a fangirl like me but could be rather annoying for someone, who is not into it that much. But it’s Free so I guess we gotta live with it .(It’s not like I would complain about it anyway) Towards the end of the movie the story gets a lot more emotional and really moved me to tears sometimes. Sadly the ending was a bit disappointing since it felt abrupt for me and for a moment I wasn’t even sure if it was over already. I kept wondering why Asahi and Ikuya didn’t appeared a single time in the anime (f. e. in a flashback) even though they built a strong friendship with Makoto and Haru in the movie.
All in all I will give the Story a solid 8!
The Art will forever be one of the things I love most about Free! The Art is just incredibly outstanding! The backgrounds f. e. the cherry blossoms are really detailed. Also in scenes, where the watcher sees with Harus eyes, when he swims, or when a pool is shown, the water is also drawn with a lot of effort and looks truly beautiful. The beautiful art style also applies to the characters. The character design is amazing and also matches with their personalities a lot. Every single character looks stunning in his own way and had his own unique appearance. There were no characters (excluding supernumerarys) that looked much like each other, except the ones where it was logical because they’re related (-> Ikuya and Natsuya (brothers) have the same eyes).
I think this text shows clearly that I can’t give the Art anyhing less than 10 points, it’s just absolutely amazing!
Okay, first about the seiyuus (japanese voice actors): I’m really glad that they decided to keep the seiyuus for Haru, Makoto, Rin, Sousuke and Kisumi, with the reason that their voices start to deepen at that age. I’m really in love with the Free! Cast and even though the voices sometimes seemed a bit too dark for such small boys, their voices brought something well-known in the movie and connected it to the anime series, which I really liked. Also the voices for the new characters fitted their personality. Sadly the „their-voices-start-to-change-at-that-age“ – theory didn’t work on Nagisa, so they casted a woman to synchronize him. In my opinion his voice was a bit too high and annoying at some time… Another thing I have to highlight about the seiyuus is the amazing work of Tatsuhisa Suzuki as the voice of Makoto. I always think that Makoto is one of his best roles ever, because he managed to adapt his voice without sounding odd, even though Makotos voice distinguishes a lot from Tatsuhisas „normal“ voice.
Talking about Suzuki-san , this leads to the second topic: the music. Some of you maybe know that the Theme Song „Aching Horns“ was performed by Tatsuhisas band „Oldcodex“ with him as a singer. Of course it’s a matter of taste and if you like J-Rock, but in my opinion the song is really amazing and will always remember me of the movie!
The soundtrack playing during the movie was good and really beautiful sometimes but sadly I don’t remember most of the tracks and had to look them up again before writing this review…what I noticed however was that they took some soundtracks from the anime and revised them. (For example the well-known track „Words that changed my Life“ got a new version called „Precious Words“ in High Speed)
After all I will give 9 out of 10 points for the sound!
At the beginning some of the characters may not seem understandable to the watcher since their reactions to some situations don’t really make sense to them. However later most characters get at least one scene of the movie focusing on them and revealing their backstory, which makes them more understandable for the watcher and feel sorry for them. Some of their storys really made me cry. But it was not only for the new characters like Ikuya and his brother but also with characters, some of you already know from the anime! High Speed showed especially Makotos flaws more exactly than the anime did and made me feel really sad for him. Also I can understand Sousukes character even more now after watching the movie. Concerning the side characters I’m really happy they included some already known characters like Nagisa and even Rei, even though they were not important for the plot at that time. I also like the new side characters, like Nao and Natsuya!
All in all 9 points for the characters~
For me as a huuuge Free! Fan the movie was just the best movie ever! (I did my best to be objective though~) I think people, that are interested in anime about sport but also about friendship will love this movie, especially if they enjoyed the anime series too! The movie has funny as well as emotional scenes in it and for someone who likes this combinaton, it’s definitely a good recommendation!
I would totally watch it again and again so 10 points for me!
Thanks for reading I hope I stayed more or less objective ^^’
Man, the story. I did keep my expectations low. Or, I didn’t really expect anything at all (neither positive nor negative stuff) and I ended up being blown away.
It starts off by introducing all of the characters very well, one by one. About the first half of the movie, we’re getting to know them and the setting. And then the emotional drama starts happening. Haruka, Makoto, Ikuya and Asahi go through mental challenges, Makoto is questioning his choices, Haruka isn’t too sure about himself or his friends either. They’re all facing struggles thats effects them as a team.
It’s easy to keep up with this movie, the main aspects aren’t too complicated and we only focus on one big thing at a time.
Kyoto Animation did an amazing job with the art, style, animation, background details and usage of colors. Everything goes so well with each other and this movie is just stunning to watch.
Same applies to the music. Free! wouldn’t have been Free! without this music.
I was worried about the new characters, mainly Ikuya and Asahi. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one that got reminded of Haruka and Momotarou when I took my first glance at them. But High Speed suprised me! Yes, Ikuya’s facial expressions are similar to Haru’s, but he’s still very different as a character. Asahi is energetic like Momo, but he’s still different from him. What I’m trying to say is that all of the characters ended up being different and likable.
Haruka and Makoto are.. Well, pretty much just like how you would expect. Their strong bond is very known, and you can clearly see it in this movie. Haru knows when something is off about Makoto and same goes for Makoto. In the flashbacks from the actual show, their bond didn’t seem that strong, so I’m glad that we got to see how close they actually were as kids/pre-teens. Makoto also shows a deeper side of himself.
I would say that Ikuya had the hardest time. He was a quiet boy, but he would still talk whenever he could and add a bunch of comments. I respect Ikuya as a character because he had so much more pressure on him than the others. As his bonds with the boys got stronger, he would open up more, and share more about his life. He’s also a very cute character, almost being shy in the beginning.
Asahi would be more of a stereotypical character in anime, but there’s still something special about him. The way that he interacts with the others makes him seem like an idiot, but being his confident self, it doesn’t bother him. However, he’s still facing other types of struggles.
All of the characters end up being very strong, and they have great developments.
I loved how Nagisa, Rei, Sousuke and Rin would pop up once in a while, I mean, they were still involved with the main characters’ lives. Plus, it was so nice to see what /they/ were doing in the meanwhile. Don’t get me wrong, they only showed up at occasions where it fit, when they were useful to the plot.
(During the dramatic, moments near the end, I WAS SO SCARED AND WORRIED FOR ALL OF THEM, I GOT EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO THEM SUPER QUICKLY. They went through so much ohh lord)
I truly enjoyed this movie to the fullest. I’m already very interested in swimming, and the messages that Free! is trying to bring about friendship, the future and freedom, are also important to me. Starting Days does bring up a lot of the same stuff from the actual show, but I would say that first and foremost; this movie is about acceptance, of oneself and of others (the key to happiness). It’s all about these boys being willing to work together as a team. And It’s so beautiful.
I recommend this movie to people that value these aspects in life, or just want to have a good time.
I’m going to go and rewatch this now.
The story, while nothing exceptional, is solid. There is a degree of repetitiveness among the two seasons of the anime and this movie in terms of main themes and sources of conflict, and if this movie’s other elements weren’t so well-done I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. Fortunately, that’s not the case. The movie had uncertainty about the future, family drama, and, as this is Free!, friendship being its main drivers, and while it did get a bit too melodramatic sometimes, overall I feel that the story was handled well and made for a movie that had some substance instead of having it be an hour of fanservice, which was a route they could have easily gone down.
There are some moments in the film that feel a bit awkward or shoehorned in (for example, Sousuke had more interaction with the gang than I’d previously thought from the way they act towards each other in the future, and I did question Haruka’s future attitude towards competing.) but I don’t think they detracted from my enjoyment of the film in a major way.
Where I feel this movie did an exceptional job is its characters. I was worried, at first, with such a large number of the main cast (especially since there is already an established universe) being original characters (not counting the novels). I was pleasantly surprised that all of them received some amount of development and had good, believable dynamics with each other. Overall, both new and familiar characters were likeable in their own ways, and I found myself emotionally invested in them.
One other thing that the movie did excellently is developing the relationship between Makoto and Haruka. For characters whose relationship in the future is already so well-known, their interaction in the movie never felt unimportant and are, in fact, what I believe are some of the strongest points of the movie, whether or not the larger franchise is considered. I left the theatre with a greater appreciation of their friendship, and I believe a better understanding of the relationship between the characters’ older selves.
This being a KyoAni production, it was definitely a visual treat. While
I do think their style can be rather bland, the movie is undeniably very pretty, with fluid animation, great backgrounds, and good use of colour when it counts. There is one particular scene between Makoto and Haruka that was animated beautifully (more so than the rest if the film,) which I feel really emphasised it as a pivotal moment.
The sound and music were also fine, and served their purpose well. The music will sound familiar to those who have seen the series. It’s not a soundtrack that will merit multiple replays on its own, but it was definitely effective in the context of the movie.
Overall, this is a movie I can recommend without reservations to a fan of the series. While I can see how it might be less interesting to someone not already interested in Free!, I think it still merits a watch for anyone who wants to see a beautifully animated but sometimes slow-moving coming-of-age film.
Note: I saw this movie in Japanese with no English subtitles. I am currently a Japanese language student, and while I’m confident that I understood almost everything in the movie, there may have been some things I missed. I will update this review if my opinions change after I see it again once the DVD comes out.
19: One Piece Film: Gold
Japanese: ONE PIECE FILM GOLD
MAL Score: 7.93
Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Crew have finally arrived on Gran Tesoro, a ship carrying the largest entertainment city in the world. Drawn in by the chances of hitting the jackpot, the crew immediately head to the casino. There, they quickly find themselves on a winning streak, playing with what seems to be endless luck.
When offered a special gamble by Gild Tesoro—the master of the city himself—the crew agrees, choosing to believe in their captain’s luck. However, when they find themselves victims of a despicable scam, the crew quickly realize that there is something darker happening beneath the city’s surface.
Left penniless and beaten down, the Straw Hat Crew are forced to rely on another gamble of a plan. With the help of a new friend or two, the group must work to reclaim what they’ve lost before time, and what remains of their luck, runs out.
What to expect:
Luffy (Gear 4)
Roronoa Zoro (air swoosh)
From an aesthetic perspective the movie is basically flawless. The animation is gorgeous, the character designs are on point, and every costume change the case goes through is exciting and memorable. The film-exclusive character is far more memorable than most of her predecessors as she is an old girlfri- I mean accomplice of Nami’s from her cat burglar days, and their dynamic is simple but effective. Getting the One Piece cast to do a heist film is inherently interesting given how batshit insane the characters are, and the genre-standard twists are handled well. There is a particular sub-twist that makes perfect sense in universe that was both inspired and hilarious.
The movie isn’t flawless character wise. Like most OP movies the characterization is slightly off. Nami, despite having ample screen time, never comments on the fact that the kids enslaved by the casino are basically in the same situation she was in for a decade. Luffy seems unusually apathetic when a crewmate is placed in danger in the first act. Nothing is egregious, but it is enough to take notice. As for most modern OP films some characters are included for no reason other than to have them in marketing material. Still have no idea what Sabo and Lucci were doing. The gambler character introduced serves no particular purpose and just drags down the movie in the middle.
The main villain is compelling ideologically, but never gets quite enough attention to make sense. His devil fruit is busted to the point it is completely unbelievable, and the main confrontation between him and Luffy suffers as a result. Cool idea, but not enough spice to make him memorable.
Its a good One Piece experience, but outside the outfits and nice cuts of animation provides nothing to remember it by.
Score: Strong 6 to a Light 7
Our beloved straw hats are going to the biggest casino in the world to have some fun and of course they will meet the owner himself!
The Casino is the biggest ship I’ve ever seen in the series and I couldn’t believe it was moved by 2 gigantic turtles! “There is gold, gold, everywhere” I mean the whole casino is filled with golden buildings, statues, restaurants, hotels and even golden amusement parks!
The animation is by far the best performance I’ve seen in a OP Movie! I was really happy to see some darker colors in the movie because the casino is filled with thousands of golden stuff. So I saw yellow and golden colors the whole time. They have done everything right at this point!
The sound was incredible! Background music, conversations and fights. Everything was sounding like I wore high end headphones the whole time!
There are so many apperances from older arcs and of course I will not tell you who I mean! I loved the costumes because our beloved crew got some noble outfits!
I heard so many laughs during the movie because there are so many funny moments while the straw hats are enjoying the time in the casino!
I really enjoyed One Piece: Gold, because I love to see how the straw hats enjoy their time like a family! The best part are the final fights and they are all insane!
Watch this movie! You’ll see a lot of old characters from the past and a lot of funny moments with luffy and the rest of the crew.
18: Tamako Love Story
MAL Score: 7.96
As she edges toward the end of her high school life, the energetic but generally clueless third-year Tamako Kitashirakawa has only one major concern: pulling off a stunning baton performance at the Usagiyama Marching Festival. But all too soon, she is confronted by the reality that all her friends have big plans for their futures; she, on the other hand, just operates with the moderate goal of continuing to work at her family’s restaurant.
Under the same brilliant sky, Mochizou Ooji intends to study at a university in Tokyo, leaving behind his family, friends, and most importantly, his first and only love Tamako. Unfortunately, the shy admirer cannot bring himself to declare his love, and Tamako is yet unaware that she is the source of such anguish. With time quickly running out, Mochizou must confess his feelings to Tamako soon, or his dream of romance will never be fulfilled.
When characters become so endearing and the story becomes so interesting, it’s difficult to let go of preconceptions and selfish desires. Desires to, for a lack of a better word, fill in the gap for the future of the beloved characters. To want to know more, more about the new world that they have entered through their actions in this movie. How they will grow, how they will learn to cope with difficulties, together. We don’t want to be left out of their future adventures, and that is one of the great hallmarks of a truly great show or movie. To leave an impression, and change the viewer’s mindset on whatever it may be. And while some may argue that this movie did in fact have an excellent ending that finalizes all things past and present, I differ slightly.
It is because it has such a great ending that, paradoxically, it does not.
It keeps the future in a haze (although some may argue that the future is clear and defined).
It leaves more questions than it answers (although some may argue that all questions have been laid to rest and satisfactorily answered).
It selfishly ends itself on a high note, with a cinematic and unquestionable “thud”. It tells the audience that all is well, and yet sneaks in the false feelings of anticipation and hope. It dramatically and slowly closes its doors on that beloved story with a smile, leaving the rest of the character’s lives up to the imagination of the viewer. Are the viewers to be left happy in the dark, when the play has finished, when the actors and actresses have bowed to the audience, the curtains lowered and the lights dimmed? And in a ironic and unexpectedly cruel twist, one may find that it may have been “better” to end the story ambiguously.
Opinion is not the greatest tool of measurement, that much is clear. The opinions of the viewer cannot change what has already happened. All that we can do is reflect on the past and look forward to the future. And the process of moving on is perhaps the most difficult part of watching any show or movie.
And it’s Anko-chan Pero Pero throughout – cute girls doing cute things.
As anticipated, Kyoto Animation delivers when it comes to simple human drama of teens’ friendship and maturing – and Director Naoko Yamada now successfully adds a guy (!), as well as families, and some good people in the neighborhood (although this mix probably didn’t come out too well in the TV series). Yamada proves herself again as a director capable of delicate handling of emotions; by depicting a girl sitting alone in a classroom on a table in silence, the Director lets you share her mixed emotions of sorrow, slight regret, and fulfillment.
But the girl won’t be left alone by herself for too long, as she has a good friend who wants to “go up with her to a higher ground and overcome” an obstacle. How to overcome obstacles in life is probably the “hidden” theme of the movie (Yamada probably felt that it needed to be tackled after making K-On!). Isaac Newton and his answers to how he overcame his obstacle and found the gravitation theory (“By always thinking unto them”) was quoted as a reference (and hence the title of the ending song- Principle; also the story behind the visuals in the ED song of the TV series with the Sun and Moon and Tamako with a different sort of face is now revealed).
My favorite line in the movie: “Bitter memories are proof that you did something”.
Some ways of presentation (“camera work”) that Yamada uses, and the way things are told covertly might not appeal to everyone, but I personally enjoy that as originality and creativity- it keeps the movie fresh from banality. Overall, it’s an “ordinary” love story, a pure and innocent one, with which anyone with a heart and memory can sympathize (and writhe in shyness and embarrassment). You would almost certainly have a Mochizo or Tamako (or perhaps a Midori – lez or no lez, that’s not the matter) inside you.
It’s not a big film but it’s heartwarming. If you’ve liked the small film by Ghibli like Mimi O Sumasebai, you might see Tamako Love Story as Kyoto Animation’s reply to a sort of similar theme. Go see it, or buy a BD/DVD release (should be released in the later half of 2014).
Tamako love story is just like a mainstream romance/slice of life anime at first glance. I enjoyed watching it, but there’s something that made me love this more than any other romance/slice of life anime, its realistic and simple story.
Story – 10
This is suppose to be the sequel of tamako market and the development of both male and female protagonists. But I can say that this sequel doesn’t need a prequel, it can stand alone by itself. The story is so simple yet you feel the enjoyment throughout the film and you can share the same emotions as the characters are making.
Art – 9
KyoAni’s art is expectedly moe-ish but that moe-ish art makes the characters emotions a little closer to realistic. And at the same time, its cute.
Sound – 9
The sound sticks to a romance genre anime, soft, gentle, and gives off emotions. I really enjoyed the song [koe no uta] It gets right into my heart (dam*).
Character – 9
The flow of all the main characters development is perfect, I’ve learned a lot in terms of love (romance genre, duh). That’s all.
Enjoyment – 10
The enjoyment I felt is not something out of ordinary, I don’t know if I’m crazy or not, because I’m smiling from the start until the end of the film. I might go to a hospital one of these days.
Overall – 10
This film is a must watch for romance lovers, of course you need to watch Tamako market before this, ignore the stand alone blah blah in the story part of my review. Because by watching the prequel, you will get to know the characters more and their everyday lives. And you can feel their love by watching the sequel.
17: Doraemon Movie 31: Shin Nobita to Tetsujin Heidan – Habatake Tenshi-tachi
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん 新 のび太と鉄人兵団～はばたけ 天使たち～
MAL Score: 8.00
Jealous of Suneo’s new robot toy, Nobita asks Doraemon to build him an even better one. Doraemon initially refuses, until Nobita accidentally discovers pieces of a mysterious robot that falls from the sky. After gathering all the robot parts and assembled them together, the giant robot, Zanda Claus, is soon completed. The duo soon learn that the robot is not a mere toy, but a powerful weapon in the fight against the coming Robot Army that is going to attack Earth and enslave the human inhabitants of it. An invasion is near, as a mysterious girl Riruru (リルル, Alternative spelling: Lilulu, Lillele [Doko Demo Doa Scanlations]) shows up, looking for the robot.
There is pretty much nothing Bad I can say about this movie.
This movie has great characters, a pretty good antagonist, good comedy and the soundtracks as well as the animation are on another level.
One thing that makes this movie special is that no matter how many times you watch it doesn’t get old. There is always something in the movie that you love and the ending is emotional, it pulls you in right from start and the new characters that introduced in the movie are probably the best doraemon side characters ever.
In my opinion this is peak doraemon and the series may never reach this level of quality again when it comes to movies and This movie is without a doubt, worth your time and I can’t recommend it enough.
Despite being made for kids, this movie is actually quite good and better than your average kids movie.
There aren’t any major plot holes and everything makes sense while being somewhat complex at the same time.
This is also a remake of the older version of steel troops and this remake made it way better.
I liked the old one but with it’s really good animation, voice acting and overall enjoyment this remake elevates the old movie story line to a whole new level.
In the past they have remade older movies and improved on them but this remake is just on another level compared to the others. The actual steel troops story is honestly the best out of all doraemon movies as well.
If you are a doraemon fan I recommend this.
The characters who stole the show the most in this movie were Riruru and Shizuka. You will see Shizuka’s kindness tested to it’s absolute limit, and Riruru questioning her beliefs and purpose. It is surprisingly deep material for a Doraemon movie, especially near the end which I will not spoil for you.
Unlike other Doraemon movies, this one has a more serious tone. The bad future always seems like an immediate threat, which makes for an action-packed movie. There are still some moments of levity despite this, to keep the film from getting depressing.
Overall, I would say to check it out. It is among the best Doraemon movies, and it’s heartwarming story shows us why Doraemon ended up being such a beloved character in our culture.
16: Stand By Me Doraemon
Japanese: STAND BY ME ドラえもん
MAL Score: 8.08
Nobita Nobi is an elementary student who hates studying, is bad at sports, and does everything half-heartedly. He is a pushover, unlucky, and fearful of many things. His personality makes him a failure in life, even affecting his progeny. This causes his great-great-grandchild, Sewashi, to take control of the situation.
Sewashi travels back in time from the 22nd century to the 20th century to meet Nobita, who is shocked to see him appear out of his drawer alongside a blue robotic cat. The robotic cat calls himself Doraemon, who claims to have been pressured by Sewashi to assist Nobita, with their ultimate goal being to provide Nobita happiness. Frustrated after seeing Nobita’s hopeless state, Doraemon decides to go back to the future. However, Sewashi activates a program within Doraemon that prevents him from doing so.
Forced to stay, Doraemon helps Nobita using futuristic gadgets through his four-dimensional pocket—a bag containing anything inside it. Can Doraemon bring Nobita happiness and return to the future?
Story : 10/10
The story starts from their first meeting (i suppose the first chapter?) so everyone can watch it even if they have never watched Doraemon before.
At first both of them just wanted to finish their own goal, but then It’s very sweet how their relationship grows as they spend their time together. The story is pretty straightforward, similar with the Anime, where Nobita is such a failure in life and Doraemon come to rescue with his magic pocket. The main difference is the movie gives more focus about Nobita’s struggle in his love life.
Something that bug me is that I feel Doraemon is so mean (this is very subjective, however for people who already watch Doraemon’s kindness to Nobita in the anime may feel this way too). Doraemon thinks Nobita is hopeless and seem to hates him, but then it changes (pretty suddenly). I think the movie is too short to show all the hardships they’ve been trough, but still they managed to wrap it all perfectly.
Art & Sound 10/10
The CG is just amazing.
Deep. How they develop each character is amazing, especially Nobita. From a fail lazy kid, becoming a brave and responsible young adult. For Doraemon, I still think they need more scene to show how his feelings to Nobita had changed.
Overall, this movie is amazing!! i love it~ Sometimes I can’t even see what’s happening because of my eyes flooded with tears. This may be the final episode of Doraemon, but the other OVAs are still coming so u don’t have to feel lonely!
The thing is, the pacing is bad. Like cardiac arrest bad. Suddenly it’s going so fast, and suddenly it’s going so slow when there’s part that could be skipped. Stand By Me skipped what’s important and extend what’s not.
That’s where the visuals kick in. Bang. I will never feel the same about Take-copter after seeing this movie. It’s so mindblowing. Doraemon, Shizuka, and Nobita look cute and adorable. Gouda still the badass he is in the manga, and Suneo is still as annoying. Visuals are the best thing in Stand By Me Doraemon because it gives us a new look, a more updated look that keeps us watching the literally same story from the manga version.
If the visual is not enough, there’s still the soundtracks and scoring. It captures Doraemon’s tone perfectly by using acoustic guitar, and using melodramatic piano tone in the perfect timing. Once again, if you don’t like the visual, at least you’ll like the soundtrack.
Or the seiyuu. Kudos on the seiyuu. Some moments won’t be as great as it was if they change seiyuu into another seiyuu.
Overall, it’s a good watch. If you are not a fan, you might love this movie because you (maybe, hopefully) don’t know the story.
If you are a fan, it’s still nice seeing your childhood relived.
15: Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 4 – Ashita
Japanese: たまゆら～卒業写真～ 第4部 朝-あした-
MAL Score: 8.11
The final movie of a four-part finale of Tamayura.
What makes Tamayura so great is how well it tells a simple story with simple characters. A heartwarming story about a group of young girls who are about to enter adulthood and how they have to overcome their own personal barriers to follow the path that they want to go down in life, Tamayura is a coming of age story. The story is beautiful and at moments brought me to the brink of tears. It’s also cheerful and light and is very relaxing to watch. Many times over the whole series I sat down and took a deep breath and just enjoyed myself. It put me at ease much like other relaxing/healing anime such as Non Non Biyori, Aria or the latest spring anime, Flying Witch.
The art much like the series is very calming. It’s clean and sincere. The scenery is very pretty and it adds that feeling of home sweet home. The original OVA was released in 2011 and the 4-part movies were released quite recently so there is a noticeable change in quality but even from the beginning the artwork does it’s job.
The original soundtrack is amazing. A beautiful composition that adds to the overall vibe of Tamayura. I’m going to mention it again but it really is one of Tamayura’s strongerquality, the sound is relaxing and warm. More notable are the various piano versions of the OP and ED that are played whenever things get emotional and it works like a charm. It gave those scenes more oomph and had a huge impact on me. Speaking of OP and ED, both OP and ED from the first season, ~hitotose~, is absolutely wonderful. The two songs, Okaerinasai and Kamisama no Itazura, have such a deep and powerful meaning to the entire premise of the anime. The two songs have become one of my favorite anime related songs and I rarely go a week without listening to them once or twice, or thrice, even learnt how to play them on the piano.
What makes a slice of life anime good or uninteresting is it’s characters. Since slice of life doesn’t usually rely on a plot to carry itself forward, the characters are the most important aspect. Tamayura is a bit different in that all the characters are driven by their goals but that is hardly a plot. The one exception would be the main character Fu Sawatari. It’s evident that she is the one character that is most connected to the premise of the story, her grief and insecurity caused by her father’s death, and she is the one that develops the most over the course of the anime. It may not be obvious because the show doesn’t directly show us her growth but by the end this movie she, along with all the other main characters, are completely different people than the ones you see in the first episode. They’re lovable, they’re adorable, you want to be their friends, you want to go on their little adventures. Even thought they’re pretty basic characters they still manage to make quite an impact.
Needless to say, my enjoyment can be measured as through the roof. I actually started watching Tamayura only a couple months ago and instantly fell in love with it. It has become my #1 anime and I will without a doubt be re-watching the entire series again some time in the near future. A grounded slice of life anime that isn’t filled with overly cute characters or uses cheap comedy is what makes Tamayura so special. The whole time when I was watching this last movie I could get get rid of the sad feeling inside of me knowing that there may not be any sequels after this. But I am okay with that because I know how much this anime meant to me if I felt that way.
I highly recommend this series to everyone.
From an ambitious 4 episode OVA in 2010 there have been 2 seasons and now this instalment of 4 Movies á ~50 Minutes. In this last part the creators say their final good bye to Tamayura and deliver something that is a rare sight nowadays: A proper ending.
Fitting to the theme of this whole third Season the character development is being tied up neatly and the characters you have grown to love are receiving their well deserved spotlight as they start their new adventures. Thanks to the build up not only in this season, but also during the whole run of the show, it feels very natural and relatable.
Tamayura shines again with a relaxing musical composition and beautiful backgrounds. The character animations aren’t very notable though, however I wouldn’t say that this hurts the experience.
All in all I have found lots of enjoyment yet again in Tamayura and am recommending anyone, who liked the previous instalments to dive into these Movies as well. The production quality has improved continually from the OVAs on and the plots have never felt rushed.
This “Healing” Anime is on par with Aria and the Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō Manga, it is a lot of fun to watch!
14: Dragon Ball Super: Broly
English: Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Japanese: ドラゴンボール超（スーパー） ブロリー
MAL Score: 8.12
Forty-one years ago on Planet Vegeta, home of the infamous Saiyan warrior race, King Vegeta noticed a baby named Broly whose latent power exceeded that of his own son. Believing that Broly’s power would one day surpass that of his child, Vegeta, the king sends Broly to the desolate planet Vampa. Broly’s father Paragus follows after him, intent on rescuing his son. However, his ship gets damaged, causing the two to spend years trapped on the barren world, unaware of the salvation that would one day come from an unlikely ally.
Years later on Earth, Gokuu Son and Prince Vegeta—believed to be the last survivors of the Saiyan race—are busy training on a remote island. But their sparring is interrupted when the appearance of their old enemy Frieza drives them to search for the last of the wish-granting Dragon Balls on a frozen continent. Once there, Frieza shows off his new allies: Paragus and the now extremely powerful Broly. A legendary battle that shakes the foundation of the world ensues as Gokuu and Vegeta face off against Broly, a warrior without equal whose rage is just waiting to be unleashed.
This is an absolute gem of a movie. Modern Dragon ball can’t get any better than this. It was really phenomenal. Here a few key features of the movie
The movie is divided into 2 phases. The “Past&The Present”. The start of the movie is all about the history of the Saiyans. The movie does a half an hour long depiction of the history of the Saiyans. The past is mostly based on “DB MINUS” with a few tidbits from the “Bardock: The Father of Goku”. The movie is more about broly. Broly was a Saiyan with really high potential. King Vegeta being jealous of Broly’s latent potential decided to send away baby Broly to a faraway planet “Vampa”. Paragus(Father of broly) being betrayed by The King, vowed to find his son and one day get revenge on the king. The movie explains the ties of fate between Goku, Vegeta and Broly. The present section of the movie takes place after “THE TOURNAMENT OF POWER”. It’s about the encounter of the 3 fated Saiyans with each other. Pretty simple plot not too complex or anything but is really well written and executed pretty well!
The animation of this movie is out of this world. Toriyama and Toei Animation decided to change the animation supervisor and character designer “Tadayoshi Yamamuro” to “Nahiro Shintani”. His animation is more fluid and gives a refreshing feel to the movie. There is a use of CG as well. In short, this is the best anime movie of 2018 when it comes to animation. Having animators from My hero academia, one punch man etc working on it. Also got Toei’s best staff with the likes of Naotoshi Shida, Yuya Takahashi, Naoki tate and other great animators. The movie is one hour and forty minutes of pure ” SAGAKA”.
SOUND AND DIRECTION 8
The movie director is “Nagamine” who produced one of the best episodes of super like episode 95 or the introduction of Ultra Instinct etc. The movie is directed really well by him. His storyboards were really amazing. The music is composed by ” Sumitomo” who had his fair share of criticism from the fans because of his music at the beginning of super. His music in the battle of gods was pretty good but in this movie it’s so emotional and captivating
FIGHT SCENES 10
Dragon Ball is known for producing some of the best fights in all of anime. And this movie is no exception. With the likes of Takahashi and Naotoshi Shida handling the main action parts of the film, the fight scenes are absolutely mind-blowing. Especially the final section of the movie where Shida brings his A game to the movie, Shida mixed with Shintani sheets produced some of the best fights in all of anime.
CONCLUSION….. overall 10
You should absolutely watch this movie. Not only its animated really well, but it also showcases some of the best fights of 2018, and it has great music too. Please go and watch this movie in the theatres. Its theatrical experience will blow your mind. Overall it’s a pretty solid movie. 10/10 for me !!!
-Goku who has a scar in his face
“I smell obligatory money grab in the air.”
-Me, and about half of the DB fandom
Let’s face it, Dragon Ball Super is just fanfiction written by the original Dragon Ball creator. First the amazing Dragon Ball manga was ruined by the Z route with its fillers and godawful pacing, and then the franchise got extended with million different side/backstories/sequels over decades and they are shamelessly even called “canon” because that’s the best insult anyone could ever come up with when trying to mock DB. I wish this would stop because nothing was needed after Kai. Nothing.
In this movie, Goku and Vegeta have an obligatory fist fight, Bulma tried to be sexy. Beerus and his buddy eat some cake and every main character acts like a clown to add some comedy. Rest of the story focuses around 2 things: recycling the same shit in the exact same manner as DB Super did, and adding new story elements and characters in the mix in purpose of rewriting the true canon story. It’s truly amazing how mere 20 minutes of the movie’s air time is put in something that quite literally just rapes the history of Saiyan race once again. “There was this guy and that guy and then this happened oh and that, and yes, it totally existed always now I am just confirming this shit, I swear.” What a joke. At the very least, separate, 2-hour long movie about this subject would have been needed, but I guess that’s fine, it’s not like this franchise is supposed to be taken seriously anymore. I actually read that the original script was 3 hours long, but the storyboard was changed by the director and the outcome is now this 1 hour 35 minutes of messiness that doesn’t give a shit about Dragon Ball. Quality level: shonen.
Character-wise, at least the main cast’s personalities aren’t as heavily altered as in the later DBS arcs, so I guess that’s an achievement of some sort. Broly himself is basically acting like a mentally handicapped dog. I am sure he couldn’t even fetch a stick, etc. ETC standing for Electrical Training Collar. Seriously, this version of his character is pretty much just a ripoff of Danny the Dog. Frezzamocca (Freeza) also talks about planet Vegeta’s destruction for the 90.000th time here as well because no one has yet grown tired of hearing about that shit. Such a fresh experience this one. It’s truly great to see the fans getting respected this way, love letter to the fandom, no less. //sarcasm. Art and sounds are pretty much the same as earlier, tho the last fight scenes are quite spectacular especially considering it’s the work of 2018’s Toei. If we talk about the event that lead to the fight, the pacing, the fusion training, the powerlevel asspullery… well, maybe they pass as a comedy. Lots of lung work is put in the yelling sequences and the hair designs are matching all colors of rainbow. The 3 seconds long OP doesn’t really make any sense, but who cares really. Broly’s own song is cringe as duck, tho. “Go Broly, go go” and I hate myself for letting it get stuck in my head.
Because I considered myself a fan of Dragon Ball, I can only call this movie trash. I give a 2 instead of a 1 because Piccolo.
I am not going to explain the story because the internet is flooded with it.
What i do can say is that the story used for the movie is built up better than most popular series movies in the last 3-4 years.To be honest i did not expect that because most of the past movies are not that big story based in the DB universe.
however i do feel that they could’ve exploit some topics broader.
Ladies and gentlemen you need to see this movie just for the artwork/animation alone.
While every other series are fully going for the digital animation/modern look,the director of the DB Broly movie MADE a STATEMENT by making the movie in Old School manga/anime colours and pencil strokes.They do have some use in the movie of modern techniques but it does the movie justice.
I watch anime for over 25+years and my god this movie gave me back those Old School nostalgia.
no other series can top this up for the moment.
But i must confess i did not like some of the character designs because it did not match the Old School touch.
soundtrack and movie effects are on point and were blasted off on the right moment.
I felt that some characters did not match the whole concept of the movie.Probably they did this to make the movie more open for NON-DB viewers.
The new Broly design is superb!It truly screams the savage saiyan look.The old broly personage of the previous movies is blown by bits from the new broly.
To bad some characters had not to much screentime.
How can you not enjoy this movie?This movie is packed with action.
There is nothing wrong watching some old school typical DB fighting.
This movie will dominate box offices.
The amount of effort and work into it is insane,if you can not acknowledge that then i suggest you stop watching J-animation in it’s whole.
This movie made a statement by using the Old School look and re-vamping 2 popular characters and that takes balls to do it since we live in an era flooded with oversensitive fanservice fans and keyboardgangsters that like to bash because they cannot accept change or cannot accept good work.
I salute the whole crew who made this movie!It has been a while that i really enjoyed a good J-animation movie since kimi no wa and wolf children
13: One Piece Film: Strong World
English: One Piece Film Strong World
Japanese: ワンピース フィルム ストロングワールド
MAL Score: 8.14
Upon hearing news that islands in East Blue are being destroyed, Monkey D. Luffy and his crew go to investigate. On their way, however, an outlandish pirate ship appears out of the sky, helmed by the infamous pirate Shiki “the Golden Lion”—a man who ate the Float-Float Fruit and the first ever prisoner to escape from Impel Down. In his quest to defeat the World Government, Shiki kidnaps Nami to be his own navigator and sends the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates to his floating islands as hostages, leaving her in a dilemma. Separated in a land under Shiki’s absolute control, Luffy and his crew must survive the mystifying terrain in order to bring back their navigator and friend.
I don’t wish to ruin anyone’s enjoyment, that’s why I will try to be as objective as possible and give all the arguments necessary for my score decisions.
BUT LET ME WARN YOU, THIS IS A NEGATIVE REVIEW AND IT MAY CONTAIN SOME SMALL SPOILERS, SO DON’T READ IT IF YOU KNOW IT MAY AFFECT YOUR VIEWING EXPERIENCE!
STORY: The story is nonexistent. There is absolutely nothing in this that could be considered a story. The crew just beats the crap out of the bad guy saving the damsel in distress in the process and all for some cheap reason. When I say that the reason is not worthy to mention is because the viewer just doesn’t seem to relate to the seriousness of the situation, mainly because we only HEAR about what the bad guy (Shiki) is going to do. There is almost NO VISUAL REPRESENTATION of the tragic that such a situation would represent, so the viewer remains unfazed emotionally most of the time. My score for the story is 3, yes you read it right, 3. All the hype about Eiichiro Oda being the one to write the script for this film I think it was mainly done for publicity reasons, as there is little substance to the actual story.
CHARACTERS: The characters that we all love and adore are full of clicheistic behaviour and unnatural reactions. But let me elaborate a bit on what I mean. The Straw Hat crew seem to behave throughout the story mostly in repetitive ways from past series’ episodes. Now, this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if done with care and moderation, but here we just see this many behaviour patterns brought together from several different arcs from the anime series and mixed to form this “thing” that lacks substance. On the other side of the barricade, the bad guys are… well… just silly. I mean, Shiki is one bad dude, his power is awesome, I can’t deny that. I was really surprised by it, but his personality is just demeaning for the “legend” that he is supposed to represent and his actions and his master plan are just at a kindergarten level. His crew is stupid, and I mean stupid… There is no way such a crew could ever pose any threat to anyone, especially Gol D. Roger. They’re not scary, they’re not smart, they’re not powerful and they’re not even funny… especially funny. The jokes are terrible. And not only their jokes, but the jokes throughout the hole movie. They’re really D grade material. The only thing that really stands out about the characters is the clothes they wear. Now, I don’t dislike them, they’re pretty cool, but I think this is mainly for the fanservice and the publicity and don’t really fit well with the adventurous atmosphere that the One Piece world should have. So… for the characters I think a score of 4 is just about right. There are some good points but too few to make a difference. The not so good points just seem to overwhelm everything…
ANIMATION: The animation, at first really blowed me away, but slowly started to seem less and less attractive. The opening and the first part of the anime has astonishing graphics, wonderful views with top notch computer finishes. The battles are also very beautifully animated and really give a sense of awesomeness. But… yes… there is a but here too… There are some sequences where the animation just seems rushed and others where it seems plain. Not many I might add, but it still adds this feeling of inconsistency throughout the movie. Talking about inconsistency, the pace is very uneven. Either a fast pace is invoked or a slow one and they don’t really transition smoothly between one to another. So, for the animation, I think an 8 is appropriate, and yes, I don’t think I’m being generous. This is probably a fair score.
SOUND: Now… here you will find a problem. One of the first thing you may notice is that there is NO SOUND… yes, you heard me correctly… NO SOUND. And when I say this I mean there is no music through much of the film. The music is the most important thing when one wants to create an atmosphere suitable for the different situations that arise. And this movie lacks everything when it comes to atmosphere, and mainly because of the music. I was really disappointed by this. The characters’ voices are pretty decent… the ones’ everyone’s already familiar with, so no problem here, although there isn’t really much dialogue to be found. So for the sound, another 3, and now I’m being generous…
ENJOYMENT: I was really flustered about my expectations from this movie and it’s real value. So, while I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it I can’t say I felt any kind of satisfaction either. More like dissatisfaction. So… for the enjoyment, let’s say… 4 will do.
RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a One Piece fan, watch it. Also, if you’re age is not greater than 12 you’ll probably find it cool. Otherwise don’t waste your time with it.
OVERALL my score is 4. Now, I don’t know, maybe I was in a bad mood when I watched it and it deserves more, so don’t go screaming your eyes out at me. If you disagree with me then I’m really happy for you, because the time you spent watching this film was enjoyable and it probably became a happy memorable experience for you.
Story (9): The story is great. I suppose they couldn’t do more in just one movie. The Strong World: Episode 0 OVA helped buying a lot of time. Like in any One Piece arc, the story moves fastly, no matter what has been shown before.
Art (9): Once you watch One Piece (anime) and see how the art isn’t that good in many parts of the series, you’ll notice that this movie contains a great art. Like, Franky had a banana on his hair. What the hell is that? Brooke was smoking. Well, I liked it and all, but the clothes were strange, and I have to admit it. Anyway. Great art and this is it.
Sound(9): The sound is great, but it has nothing “unexpected”. New soundtrack, but once it’s a movie, it had to be like this. The voices were great (duh) like on the anime.
Character(10): Luffy’s crew is so original that I can’t give it less than 10. Their personalities, the clothes they were wearing (strange, but original)… Shiki was, as well, an outstanding character. I have nothing bad to add about the characters.
Enjoymen(9)t: If you like One Piece and you aren’t expecting a lot of this movie just because Oda wrote this, then you’ll love this movie and even give it a 10. The key is: Don’t overrate it.
Overall(9): Well, many may not agree with me and rate this movie with a 10. But in a general analysis, 9 is a great note for this movie. All of the terms were combined and this is what we got: 9. The absence of logic in some parts (once I may not write spoilers, I’m not telling which parts these are), besides One Piece lacks logic on the anime itself many times, makes me feel like if this movie deserves a 9.
We open with ships floating in the sky. We cut to a pirate who causes them to fall on a group of government ships. We then cut to silly putty brain and his crew wandering around on a floating island. Why? Well the film quickly moves into a flashback to show a pirate named Shiki, the same guy who made the boats float, trick elongated man’s paint chip eating roommate and his crew into crashing on the island so he can kidnap Nami. What’s the point of showing the events out of order? I have no idea, it doesn’t make sense. There’s no story reason for this structure nor does it create tension. Anyway, Shiki wants Nami to join his crew because he needs a good navigator so that he can take over the world. Okay, so the story is pretty cliche. How’s the execution? Well, the first issue is that Shiki isn’t even remotely threatening. He has sword legs which just look stupid and shouldn’t be functional. Swords, they don’t work that way. He also looks like the love child of Jay Leno and Kraven the hunter, making him very difficult to take seriously. Then there’s his crew, which consists of a clown who wears shoes that make fart sounds, a pink gorilla and a bunch of nameless henchmen. I’ve seen more menacing villains in the Care Bears. Maybe they’re trying to be funny, but there’s not a lot of humour here. There were all of two funny scenes. Another thing that really bugs me is that they use the term “Evolution” when what they mean is mutation. Science, how does it work?
The characters are pretty one-dimensional. Let’s be generous and say that they’re relying on us knowing them from the show. But those characters who I remember from what little I’ve seen of the show haven’t changed, except for their outfits. Rousai’s disappointing grandson is still an obnoxious moron and the rest of the cast is pretty under-developed and bland.
The art… I don’t even know where to start. I have to admit that I hate the art in One Piece. The mostly lidless and blank eyes, the mouths that always seem to have their teeth showing for no reason, the bizarre proportions, the random things that replace various body parts. I will give the film credit though, most of the fight scenes do look pretty cool.
The voice acting is okay. I really can’t stand Tanaka Mayumi’s performance, although I don’t really blame her since I know she can act. It’s probably the direction. The rest of the voice actors do a decent job albeit exaggerated a times. The strongest performances are probably from Cho and Okamura Akemi. The music is pretty underwhelming and forgettable.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There isn’t any in this.
So, how does Strong World fare? It’s not that bad. The story is pretty stupid, Elastic girl’s brain damaged admirer is the worst aspect and the weak antagonists don’t help matters. To the film’s credit, the fight scenes are pretty good and a lot of it does fall into the “so stupid it’s funny category.” So, I’m going to give it a 4/10.
12: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me
Japanese: 映画 中二病でも恋がしたい！-Take On Me-
MAL Score: 8.14
Although already a third-year high school student, Rikka Takanashi remains a chuunibyou—a “disease” that causes people to fantasize about themselves and their surroundings. Her relationship with Yuuta Togashi has also gone unchanged for the past six months, and with entrance exams right around the corner, both of them strive to enroll at the same college. However, Tooka—Rikka’s elder sister—decides to take Rikka to Italy as she has found a stable job there. This unforeseen turn of events causes a commotion between the couple as neither of them want to be separated from each other. Desperate for ideas, they seek assistance from their friends, and after a brief conversation, they come up with a plan—to elope.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me is a sensational drama featuring the couple—Yuuta and Rikka—as they journey across Japan. The two attempt to prevent Rikka from being taken to Italy, but will they be able to succeed in doing so?
This movie is practically identical to the anime series, offering new content and pushing the romance onward. Fans and haters will hold similar thoughts about this sequel for the given reason. Those who thought Tamako Love Story is the best conclusion KyoAni has ever given, will find Take On Me give them a gentle bitchslap in the face.
Our story is amazing. The daily life of Rikka and Yuuta where we run from place to another in absolutely ridiculous tempo. The movie is practically a presentation of what side-tracking means. Much like the mind of a child, the focus changes from one play to another. Our characters constantly getting interested from new things and interacting with the newly discovered, only to find something better moments later. This type of ADHD narrative holds some beauty for sure.
My favorite scene was the one where Rikka was supposed to study, but wore night goggles and ate cookies instead. If this is not how you life properly then I don’t know what is. My favorite meme was Rikka failing to enter Mordor. As a person who also has found automatic doors to be my enemies, I can totally identify. My favorite explanation was Rikka’s take on motion sickness. It’s the devil!
There are 4 core flaws here that all made me drop my score by one:
– No date at a zoo arc
– No one drinks dr. Peter
– Deko’s hair rolls didn’t K.O anyone
– They didn’t use the song ‘Take On Me’ by a-ha even once
– When Rikka brought destruction upon earth, there were no casualties
– The movie contained direct to indirect kisses in 5:1 ratio which is way too low
– The amount of Yuuta and Rikka holding hands totaled mere 16 minutes. What travesty.
I started from 11 because this thing is beyond perfect by default, and I refuse to count because math is for nerds.
I recommend this movie to intellectual people as there was a symbolic artwork in the background, The Creation of Adam. There were also countless eggies from earlier KyoAni shows, such as the stuffed animal being a character (Talking Pimp-Bird-san) from Tamako Market. I have decided to release my review with a score of a 10/10 to prove that I, indeed, understood these references.
Those who don’t think this review is amazing most likely didn’t yet see the movie, or my references failed. Either way, this movie is beyond happy and I especially recommend this to people who aren’t because you will be after watching it.
The movie is a big, pretty piece of f*cking nothing. Nothing happens in the grand scheme of the Chuunibyou series. There are no themes here that aren’t tackled somewhere else in this series, but the worst part of it is it dangles genuine character growth in front of you and then it spits on it and sneers at you, “How could you? How could you genuinely expect these characters to develop and change and grow? Don’t you know you need to accept all the imperfections and bla bla bla”
Rikka’s character arc in this movie is utterly ruined, because it would rather pander to it’s base and keep everyone’s precious status quo than possibly challenge the viewer. These characters are stuck undergoing their Sisyphean task of being the same dull characters they were in the rest of the series.
The idea of Rikka finally maturing and dealing with the adult world in a healthy way is a very interesting one, but the execution is atrocious instead choosing to romanticize her unhealthy delusions because “As long as someone encourages you delusions- I mean loves you for you are, you need not grow” She has grown past the need for these eight-grade delusions, but because the audience hasn’t, she will be perpetually stuck as a mentally ill teenager.
Take On Me begins with Rikka up to her usual antics. She’s in her third year of high school now, but not only does she still have chunibyo, she and Yuta still haven’t even kissed. This alone strains credibility, but fortunately the film immediately identifies this as a problem to be fixed. Rikka and Yuta go on a journey around Japan together, knowing that they’re escaping from impending reality, but wanting to maintain their current relationship until the end. Fans who have been waiting to see progress between these two will probably come out of the film feeling satisfied.
It is starting to get tiresome, however, to see this series revolve around the same “will they or won’t they?” romance in its third instalment. Rikka and Yuta may be an official couple, but if anything, they’ve gone backwards since the first season. By this stage, Rikka has some prosaic issues that she ought to be worrying about—like whether she can pass her entrance exams—but her only moments of introspection show her worrying about whether falling more in love with Yuta will make her “lose” her powers. This is the exact same conflict that was central to the second season. This time, at least, Take On Me allows Rikka and Yuta to progress their romance, but the issues of Rikka’s grades and future are never brought up past the beginning of the film. It’s a sweet resolution, yes, but it’s frustrating to watch these kids work through the same basic issues every time.
On the other hand, it’s not the destination that matters so much as the journey. As a road trip story, Take On Me encapsulates that idea perfectly. Fans of Kyoto Animation shows will get an extra kick out this film, as the characters visit the locations shown in Tamako Market, Sound! Euphonium, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Clannad, and other familiar series. Not only do these various locations provide fodder for some amusing sight gags and referential humor, it also gives the characters a chance to breathe outside the school setting. The gags feel fresh here; it’s especially funny to see Nibutani and Dekomori take on the role of the ineffectual pursuers. Their hilarious frenemy dynamic definitely steals the show more than once.
I should note that not every character gets a chance to shine in this film. Kumin-senpai has apparently graduated but still hangs around the school anyway, but this setup is a bit of a waste since she barely contributes to the plot in any meaningful way. Shichimiya, meanwhile, is stuck playing the same role she had in the second season—the friendly antagonist who pushes Rikka to make an important choice. To be fair, the series has always had a problem with utilizing all of its characters effectively, but I do wish Kumin and Shichimiya could have more chances to show off their quirks in this film.
It’s also a bit disappointing that the production values aren’t quite as polished as they could be. The film by no means looks bad—this is a Kyoto Animation production we’re talking about—but there were some noticeable imperfections with the compositing in particular. 3D objects like vehicles stood out against the 2D backgrounds more than they usually do for a Kyoto Animation production. I also couldn’t help but notice that the crowd scenes didn’t have as many background characters drawn in them as usual. The animation itself was on par with the TV anime series, which is to say it was full of energy and stylistic flourishes, but for a cinematic feature, Take On Me was a bit of a letdown.
In short, Take On Me is the quintessential Chunibyo experience: it captures the charms of the TV series but also the flaws. On a thematic level, the series has already said everything it needed to say in the first season; everything since has been an extended encore. The film functions best as fanservice, not just for Chunibyo fans, but for anyone who has ever loved a Kyoto Animation production. Take On Me is at its most fun when its jokes veer off the plot’s beaten track to revel in the countless Easter eggs aimed at KyoAni fans. I won’t spoil these, as spotting them for yourself is half the fun, but after watching the film I’ve started to think that maybe the world is ready for a Kyoto Animation extended universe saga.
Overall, I recommend Take On Me only for Kyoto Animation fans who weren’t too jaded by the second season of the Chunibyo TV series. Actually, you can probably understand the film without watching the second season. Only Shichimiya was a new development in that season, and her role is pretty much the same in the film anyway. Also, do watch this film if you’re a fan of the shipping, as it absolutely does deliver by the end. Otherwise, my general recommendation for Chunibyo is to stick to the first season of the TV series—it’s the best telling of the same story.
11: Quanzhi Gaoshou Zhi Dianfeng Rongyao
MAL Score: 8.15
Two years ago, Glory started out as just another MMORPG, but its real-world influence has grown as more countries begin to recognize esports as an official sport. Now, in China, arrangements are being made to hold the first professional league of Glory, culminating in the Glory Championship.
Friends Ye Qiu and Su Muqiu both aspire to make a career out of esports. However, due to personal reasons, Ye Qiu has been hesitant until now to chase his dream onto the national stage. When the two boys finally agree to form their own team, they are supported by Tao Xuan, their boss and the owner of Excellent Era internet cafe, after which they name their team. And so, Team Excellent Era sets their sights on defeating all opponents who stand in their way of reaching the ultimate summit of Glory.
Art: The art is beautiful, on par with some great Japanese anime. The animation, aside from the hit or miss parts before the final climax, is excellent as well. The final fight between the MC and the last opponent, especially, was godly.
Sound: The OST is pretty good as well. Especially on the final fight with, combined with the animation, makes it a great experience to watch.
Story: Now this is where the flaws begin. This story serves as a prequel before the entire main series. However, even then, the plot was rushed, especially since you’re cramming a prequel novel into a 90 minutes movie. There’s seem to be pretty rushed directing as well, since between the time of the team forming to the finals except for one point in between, it’s just going to places to places. It’s sufficient as a companion piece, but as a standalone, it fell short
Character: Likewise, because of how rushed the story was, the character development were rushed as well. Aside from MC, his best friend and the sister, the other characters’ development were lacking. We didn’t know much about them aside from the Spellblade guy.
Overall: Despite the shortcomings in the story and character department, plus some hit-or-miss animations before the finals, it’s a very enjoyable movie to watch to fill in the time while waiting for Season 2.
My recommendation is watch at least Season 1 (and maybe the OVA) before jumping onto the movie.
The visuals are still pretty good. I might not understand what’s going on, but at least the fights look intense. Music was cheesy at times, but it fit well with what was going on. Voice acting was serviceable as well.
Overall, I enjoyed it about as much as I enjoyed the main series; not very much. Seeing what initially pushed Ye Xiu into esports was my only takeaway, the movie is still plagued with the issues that made the main series hard to sit through.
Compared to japanese animes I’ve watched the past years, this is on a totally different level. Having watched many chinese anime until now, I got used to how fast they feel, I have barely time to read the subtitles, which I never had a problem with before. Maybe to others, this adds to the already fast paced story on some parts.
Story: 9/10 I loved the story right from the beginning. I only feel it lacks a bit of interaction between the characters.
Art: 10/10 What else can I say. No 5 year olds that are actually 25 and no giant, wobbly boobies.
Sound: 10/10 Apart from the amazing soundtracks, the simple sound effects they use to dramatize a scene are something that doesn’t even exist in japanese anime. They also added details to small things like the sound of their armor mid battle. Simply awesome!
Character: 8/10 Like other reviews already stated, due to the fast pace it’s a bit hard to get to know the characters or add any real character development. Regardless, I liked the characters and the most important characters got enough love to grow to like them.
Enjoyment: 9/10 I watched it for the action, awesome animation and badass MC. And I got action, awesome animations and a badass MC!
Overall: 9/10 Apart from a few problems the show had, I loved it. There’s no such sing as a “really perfect anime” every show has it’s flaws somewhere and for me the flaws in this one were a minimum.
It was refreshing to see an anime stray from the cliche all animes are filled with nowadays. Because I’m already fed up with those.
It’s pretty simple, though: If you came here for action, you will like this anime. If you came here for characters, their problems and development, you probably won’t. But maybe give it a try anyway.
10: One Piece Film: Z
English: One Piece Film Z
Japanese: ワンピース フィルム Ｚ
MAL Score: 8.17
The Straw Hat Pirates enter the rough seas of the New World in search of the hidden treasures of the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger－One Piece. On their voyage, the pirates come across a terrifying, powerful man, former Marine Admiral Z.
Z is accused of having stolen the “Dyna Stones”, weapons believed to have the power to shake up the New World. The Marine Headquarters believes Z is about to use it to end the pirate era, and with it, the lives of many innocent people. In fear of such a phenomenal event, marines start to take action against the former admiral.
Even if it means stumbling upon marines and the navy, the Straw Hat Pirates decided to chase after Z and stop him from causing havoc. As they continue to embark on their ventures, the pirates bump into new and familiar acquaintances.
For this review it will be broken down into four parts: Music, Animation, Characters and Story.
If you watched the trailers, you know that two tracks of Avril Lavigne would be played in the movie but you won’t hear that until the credit rolls. First half was “How You Remind Me” and then “Bad Reputation” played after that. The original soundtrack was brilliant. It was different while at the same time maintaining that One Piece feel we all love; high tension to melancholy themes that played throughout different scenes.
There was a lot of CGI just like Strong World. The action scenes were animated far better than anything I’ve ever seen in previous One Piece movies or the anime. The angles and camera movements following every scene was done fluidly.
The title of the movie is quite self-explanatory. The movie focused on Z, at times even more than the Straw Hat gang. Character Z, also known as Zephyr had such deep story to him and if you love backstories of various characters in One Piece, you’ll definitely love Z’s. As for our lovable characters, the Straw Hats each got their turns to shine in this movie, however the stronger and prominent fighters such as the Monster Trio(Luffy, Zoro and Sanji) had their own individual opponent to fight. Franky was the next in line after the Monster Trio. Usopp also had good action scenes, but not quite on the same level. Nami and Robin at times were used for fan-service until the climactic battle at the end. Chopper was funnier than ever before, but not entirely important to the story. Brook didn’t do a lot in terms of getting into battles, but he had his comedic moments just like Chopper.
This movie as an entirety was built around the Marine lore and back story. This will have it’s drawbacks for some though. The story had lots of explanation regarding the principle themes of the Marines and some characters were basically used strictly just for the sole purpose of providing exposition. To fit the plot in a movie length time span, it was surprisingly well done. This was one huge gripes that I had with Oda’s previous project, Strong World was a bit of a let down. With Film Z, I feel that he understood what it took to make a movie that retains the breathtaking aura of One Piece series, and he delivered it.
I would love to talk about just about every scenes in the movie but I want to keep it spoiler-free. If this movie doesn’t win major awards in Japan, I will be very surprised. It surely deserves to be nominated in Japanese Academy Awards and win Best Animated Japanese Film Awards or even Best Picture of the Year Awards.
That being said, let’s talk about this movie. I was excited when I first heard of it. They were projecting it to be better than Strong World, and Oda was going to have a hand in it (which meant the possibility of something canon) I couldn’t contain myself the first couple months it was in theaters in Japan.
Then life kind of got in the way, and I forgot about it until it came out on blurray and I was finally able to see it subbed. When it started, I quickly felt the excitement I felt months ago, but that was quickly dashed as the movie progressed.
Now, if you’re a One Piece fan, you have to watch it. Same as with Strong World. Regardless of what I think, of either movie, One Piece fans need to probably judge for themselves. Which probably makes you wonder what the point of this review is.
Well, as much as I wanted it to be true, this film is not better than Strong World. I know many people complain about Strong World basically being Arlong Park arc, but it at least had pacing. This film doesn’t really. It has a lot of nice animation and some humorous moments (along with a few kind of overly suggestive scenes) but not much else.
One minute you’re on one island and the next you’re on another island resolving the main conflict. They try to make you empathize with Z a bit, but because of the vagueness in Garp’s story about Z and the sort of unexplained randomness of Z’s flashbacks, you never really get a chance to know that character. Which is unfortunate, because this is the type of thing One Piece usually excels at
In the end the fight between Z and Luffy isn’t especially memorable. He gets beat in his first fight with Z, and wins by overpowering him in the second (despite nothing really changing in his strategy) Similar thing happens with Z’s henchmen. In Strong World you at least had a pretty epic fight in the air, and there was more tension with whether they would get the antidote for Nami in time. Here the stakes were supposed to be raised, but you never quite felt any of the danger.
This movie on the other had is a sad reminder of what one piece has been reduced to. One pointless and boring arc after the other, introducing character who are never developed enough to be either liked or hated and going on the very same ideas that started with, but after 10years it simply can not shock or cause the same emotions anymore. It got old, outdated and donwrigth dissapointing.
The plot is your typical nowdays onepiece. A “stong guy” (my name is Z…) wants to destroy the world. He encounters the strawhats, he beats them. Many boring scenes later the same happens. Boredom after boredom later they meet again, only this time luffy wins. The end.
I mean,at least try to deliver something original. I know that expect Strong world, one piece movies are ‘nt that great, but at least they try. Some even have some interesting plot and good ideas, which never happens here. This movie could end at 20 minutes, after all its not like the enemies are that strong anyway.
The strawhats are the strawhats,no surpise there. But the villains….
are simply horrible. A weak as hell sword lady who zoro takes pity on, an annoying plant ninja who is one of the worst characters ever conceived, and then Z. A guy so underdeveloped that has to repeat his name so the viewres do not forget him. We get nothing on his story except he was an admiral( a really weak one compared to the three monsters we know as admirals, i mean the guy uses haki, big deal, even coby uses it nowdays), no idea on why he does what he does. Nothing. The guy was so boring that even his death caused no reaction on my part. I even speeded it up so the movie could end sooner.
So, Z is a horrible movie. But it represents perfectly the onepiece of the 2013. An anime that half the people who watch it simply wish it was like the one piece of old,and the other half feel like they have to, as a sad obligation.
Really, shame on us who endulge movies like this
9: Kyoukai no Kanata Movie 2: I’ll Be Here – Mirai-hen
English: Beyond the Boundary: I’ll Be Here – Future
Japanese: 劇場版 境界の彼方 I’LL BE HERE 未来篇
MAL Score: 8.18
After Akihito Kanbara reunites with Mirai Kuriyama—whom he believed had vanished after defeating Beyond the Boundary—he discovers a heartbreaking fact: Mirai has lost all memory of him, their friends, and her past as a Spirit Warrior. Akihito is utterly devastated, but realizes that she has a unique opportunity. Mirai can finally live the life of a normal girl—where she’ll be completely devoid of the supernatural society that both shunned and used her. While it’s all for the sake of Mirai’s happiness, the price is costly—Akihito and his friends must keep her true origins a secret from her, and as a result avoid befriending her.
However, the troubling memories of Mirai’s old life gradually begin to resurface, and a mysterious new evil leads a group of shadow-like creatures into the city with the goal of seeking her out. As the situations become dire, Akihito must fight to protect himself, his closest friends, and Mirai—the bespectacled beauty he holds most dear.
First things first, the story. They did an excellent job tying the story back together. While there was some disappointment with the ending of the series, this movie brings it all home. I was surprised by how many small points in the show were actually significant events what would be referred to in the movie. The show was a bit of a wild ride, but I absolutely love the story, theme , and setting. Everything about it is fantastic. However at points it can be hard to follow but it all ends up making sense.
Next the art. They did an amazing job with the art style of this movie. It is not unlike the original series, with exception of amazing well animated fight scenes and a few amazing animations. I’m picturing a certain scene, which you will know after watching the movie.
The sound quality was also amazing. Usually, I could care less, as long as it doesn’t sound like someone talking through a paper towel tube. But this movie had some amazing points in which I found my headphones rattling. It really blew me away. Some of the scenes sounds like a huge budget action movie. So more than I could ever ask for.
The characters were as good as always with some amazing depth. They really touched on all the main characters well, and even some side characters. The story is very intricate and will not leave you hanging. I would love to go more into detail, but I’d prefer not to spoil anything.
Overall, it was an amazing movie, that inspired me to watch asap, and here I am writing my first review on MAL so that should say it all. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the movie!
It is impossible to say anything about the story because the first thing you watch is a major plot twist about the end of the anime series, and everything goes around that twist. A minor hint, though: the movie is full of Akihito and Mirai tears.
My problem with the anime series was its drama, and how it wanted to force you to feel sad or be sympathetic with its characters. That problem continues in this movie. As the movie takes itself seriously, the drama I really didn’t like is everywhere. I didn’t grow emotionally attached to these characters, so for me the drama presented here is just there and nothing else. And the worst part is that what made the anime so enjoyable for me, i.e. the slice-of-life, comedy moments between the characters, just got in the way of that drama, making them out of place and very uncomfortable (or in the words of Mirai, fuyukai desu).
One of the reasons why the comedy didn’t work was the background music. The OST was made to make you feel sad, and basically the same sad violin song is played all along the movie: during the emotional parts, during the lighhearted parts, during the battles, during everywhere! Seriously, it is impossible to laugh at how Mirai fails to hit a tennis ball if funeral music is being played in the background. The ED song was good though. Minori Chihara has an amazing and beautiful voice, and the song is really connected to the events of the movie.
The characters also got some mild development. Even though the characterization is attached to the emotional parts of the movie, it at least answer (in a way) very good questions posed by the anime series: how Mirai got her ring, information about her mother, some mild explanation about Akihito’s mother. Hiroomi continues being awesome and keeps a bit of his main character quirks. Unfortunately, Akihito and Mirai spent most of the movie crying and suffering, and we didn’t get to see a lot of what made them really likeable in the series (although that is supposed to happen, given the main plot of the movie), and Mitsuki continues to be the useless, Senjougahara wannabe I’ve got to know.
There is little to say about the animation and art, only that it was, once again, absolutely gorgeous. Is Kyoto Animation, what can you expect?
Although I didn’t hate the movie, I didn’t get to enjoy it that much. It suffers from lots of the flaws of the anime series, and neither the character development, nor the amazing animation, nor Hiroomi being the best character of the series could save the movie for me.
HOWEVER, if you happen to be reeeeeeally attached to the characters, especially to Akihito and Mirai, and if you liked the drama of the anime series, then this movie would most likely be a 10/10 for you.
The story. It has many potential and they covered nearly all. Although there are some comedy, they stuck to the point, which didn’t leave me hanging. They pretty much answered many questions. Personally, it was amazing, but the reason why I said “nearly all” was the fact that by the end, it was just it. I meant I asked many questions “What happened to this?” and “What happened to that?”, so on and so forth. I just begged more questions.
The art. Long story short, outstanding. The animation, the visuals, everything, just great.
The sound. They’re great. Sounds effects, awesome. Music, beautiful. It could’ve been flawless, had they timed it right on some parts.
Characters. The movie covers mostly on the two main characters: Mirai and Akihito. I felt connected to them as they had to get through the suffering, especially from Akihito, as from the end of Kako-hen in the bonus scene (you better watch it first). The movie also told us the fate of the characters that went missing. However, the movie was so focused on these two that it left many other characters behind, including Mitsuki and Hiroomi. These two were pretty much left standing around, except for one scene where they find out who the masked person was, but even then, they weren’t covered as much. Sakura and Ai-chan, yeah, they’re just there.
Enjoyment, it was good, but like I said before, it left me hanging around. It made me ask more questions both from the end of the anime and the end of the movie.
Overall, it’s a very good experience. Although it answered some questions, it does inherit some flaws from the series.
Despite some flaws above, I personally recommend you watch the movie, if you watched the anime/Kako-hen of course. It’s a great film.
8: Liz to Aoi Tori
English: Liz and the Blue Bird
MAL Score: 8.20
Liz’s days of solitude come to an end when she meets a blue bird in the form of a young girl. Although their relationship blossoms, Liz must make a heart-wrenching decision in order to truly realize her love for Blue Bird.
High school seniors and close friends Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki are tasked to play the lead instruments in the third movement of Liz and the Blue Bird, a concert band piece inspired by this fairy tale. The introverted and reserved Mizore plays the oboe, representing the kind and gentle Liz. Meanwhile, the radiant and popular Nozomi plays the flute, portraying the cheerful and energetic Blue Bird.
However, as they rehearse, the distance between Mizore and Nozomi seems to grow. Their disjointed duet disappoints the band, and with graduation on the horizon, uncertainty about the future spurs complicated emotions. With little time to improve as their performance draws near, they desperately attempt to connect with their respective characters. But when Mizore and Nozomi consider the story from a brand-new perspective, will the girls find the strength to face harsh realities?
A spin-off film adaptation of the Hibike Euphonium! series, Liz to Aoi Tori dances between the parallels of a charming fairy tale, a moving musical piece, and a delicate high school friendship.
The story itself is very simple, examining the relationship of Nozomi and Mizore in their final year in high school. It openly compares the feelings of the two characters with the piece they play, the namesake of the film, and the folktale it was based on. I was originally concerned that the comparison would end up overplayed and come off as forced, but I left pleasantly surprised. The film acknowledges the simplicity and straight-forwardness of the story, but instead of allowing itself to be confined to that, it achieves a level of technical mastery that managed to blow me away, even though I was already plenty used to the historically superb Kyoto Animation and the other wonderful works by director Naoko Yamada before watching it.
The film succeeds on such a level because it allows itself to be a single vignette in the “Hibike” storyline. It’s not a story of hard work, a story of competition, or even a story of music. It’s a simple story of two characters, and it’s precisely because this aspect of it was so intimately understood by the production crew at KyoAni that such a story was allowed to flourish. There is no excess. The film brazenly jumps through time, refusing to linger on anything unnecessary while still allowing the events that clearly happen off-screen to create meaningful depth in the story. We don’t focus on what practicing is like. We don’t see what the characters do on their weekends. We don’t listen to the girls ruminating on their feelings in the comfort of their beds. From the moment we as an audience walk with Mizore onto campus at the beginning to when we exit it at the end, all we see is what’s limited to the confines of the school, to the band room and to our two leads, and everything else is left to become a sort of wistful ether that exists on the fringes of our minds. Because what was shown was clearly so carefully chosen, we come to viscerally understand the weight behind every lingering shot. It’s an incredibly delicate experience, and one that could’ve only been realized with production quality of this caliber.
Yamada’s quirks as a director have often been the subject of conversation in the anime community, but I believe that this film has been one of the best applications of those idiosyncrasies to date. Her approach to the art of unspoken communication paralleled the film’s focus on Mizore, a girl unable to truly express, and at moments even understand, her own feelings. Subtle gestures such as Mizore stroking her hair not only serve to silently convey the cast’s thoughts, but end up feeling as if they were sewn into the very plot itself due to how integral of a role they play. The consistent focus on the characters’ legs—a mainstay in Yamada’s works—mirrors Mizore’s own downcast eyes, and the other camera shots always seem to look off to the side, as if shyly avoiding the characters around her. Add to this the introduction of a softer pastel art style, and we see the world brilliantly through the lens of our main characters, creating something amazingly intimate.
The soundtrack and sound direction are, hands down, the shining star of the film. It combines composer Kensuke Ushio’s fragmented, minimal approach also found on his work in Yamada’s previous film, “Koe no Katachi,” with the expertly realized orchestral arrangements that the series is known for. However, gone are the sweeping brass-heavy pieces that complimented Kumiko’s role as a main character in the original series. The introduction of the new piece instead turns the focus to the woodwinds. Brass now supports from the background, and the airy voices of woodwind instruments paint the entirety of the film with a wonderful warmth that sets it apart from the main franchise. The parallel stories of Mizore and Nozomi and the girls from the folktale blend masterfully into each other because of this—from the gorgeous bass clarinet adding a sense of comforting security to the cold isolation of a “Koe no Katachi”-styled piano piece casting an ominous tone over the characters—yet the well-timed use of other instruments such as the bassoon add the perfect amount of levity when necessary (the bassoon in particular being used wonderfully to comedic effect when the bassoonists themselves are relevant to the scene), while still staying in line with the overarching thematic style.
That’s why this film works. Every aspect of it is fine-tuned to near-uncanny perfection. The psyches of each character are silently brought to the surface through each deliberate animation choice, from Nozomi’s eyes darting around the room to Mizore’s subconscious trembling. The soundtrack compliments each and every emotional swell—synchronized musical flourishes match footsteps and impeccably timed silences pull us devastatingly close to the most minute of actions. Each background track cuts to the core, yet never accidentally overpowers the gentle art and soft color scheme. Because of this masterful balance, all of the reactions are almost unnaturally natural, seemingly larger than life because of how lifelike they are. This kind of exaggerated humanity is an achievement only possible through the medium of animation, and even then, I have never seen it done quite like this. Although giving a full score seems like it could be a provocative statement for a film focused simply on the minutia of a measly two characters, if this movie isn’t considered among the best for the sheer level of craftsmanship that it exhibits, then I really don’t know what other film deserves to be.
The story is unfortunately basic. Two friends are playing important parts in a concert band piece and relate themselves to the story behind the piece. They have a very gay scene at the end where they hug and say what they love about each other. In the end, they become closer friends because they understand each other more. There is not enough content to stretch the movie out to 90 minutes with. The first scene is seven and a half minutes and literally nothing happens.
The movie takes place in two locations. The first is the school, which consists of a couple generic highschool rooms. The second is the world of the music piece, which uses a different art style to differentiate it from the real world. When the movie is in the real world, the style looks like that of A Silent Voice. When it’s in the music piece, it looks somewhat like a picture book and uses the style of Baja’s Studio.
The soundtrack is the most important part of the movie. The titular piece, Liz and the Blue Bird, was made specifically for the movie. We don’t hear much of it, just the 3rd movement. The piece was made to reflect the contrasting personalities of the two main characters. The rest of the soundtrack is relaxing and subdued pieces that are intended to evoke a dreamlike feeling, and succeed in doing so.
The story was not one worth telling. While it’s an improvement upon Hibike Euphonium Season 2’s arc revolving around the two leads, spending 90 minutes watching two girls walk around some halls, talk to each other and play instruments is not engaging. The visuals of A Silent Voice were more consistent and more impressive due to the many different locations and plot events that allowed for lots of animation. The style of Baja’s studio is too cutesy and childish, but it isn’t used enough to be a large problem. The soundtrack is the major reason to watch the movie. It wouldn’t have as much significance if you listened to it by itself since it needs the context of the movie. Even so, Liz and the Blue Bird is too boring to be worth your time.
Should you really watch Liz and the Blue Bird?
No. It’s boring.
The movie focuses on two Hibike side characters, Mizore and Nozomi. The story is about their relationship and personal drama, mainly focusing around the ever present music and how it plays a part in their coming-of-age and self-discovery, giving a meaning to their life and the base to their relationship. The movie especially focuses on how hard letting go off something is, and raises the question “are all good things really bound to end?” This is presented in 3 different ways. Directly in daily life, inderectly and silently through audiovisual story-telling which is mainly seen via character behavior and expressions, and the third way being the symbolism of Liz/aoi tori.
The music presented is way more impactful -for myself at least- than in the actual Tv series. The art an animation is typical KyoAni for the expectation of the actual monogatari side of the story which is so fluid and gentle it looks almost fragile. Surprisingly beautiful for KyoAni who practically never tries anything new to secure mainstream appeal. Kudos for that.
Basically, this is highly similar to other KyoAni movies. In a way, it’s like Tamako Love Story with different approach, but also like Koe no Katachi except this time the other lead characters is not a mary sue. For those who enjoyed these movies for their drama, and found beauty within them, Liz and the Blue Bird is more than recommendable.
7: One Piece Movie 14: Stampede
Japanese: 劇場版『ONE PIECE STAMPEDE』（スタンピード）
MAL Score: 8.22
The world’s greatest exposition of the pirates, by the pirates, for the pirates—the Pirates Festival. Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Crew receive an invitation from its host Buena Festa who is known as the Master of Festivities. They arrive to find a venue packed with glamorous pavilions and many pirates including the ones from the Worst Generation. The place is electric.
It felt like their Budget on Animation was just as much on this 1:40h Movie as on a normal 20 Min episode of One-Piece. The animations are horrendous and PC 3D animations are used waaaay to often, they didn’t care animating many scenes. About 40% of this movie is made in some 3D software and not Animated. Very disappointing concidering Cinema movies rack in way more money than just a single episode.
The character Bullet also seems like a cool idea also coming off of GolD Rogers ship but his backstory and especially his Devilfruit concept are very bad and just made to be over the top. And on top of that he looks very bad in the Anime only being animated in 3D….
Consistency to the Main story is also close to None, for example with Luffy being able to Use Gear 4 Multiple times within 5 Minutes. Oh and dont even get me starten on the “King King King Kong Gun” or whatever it was.
All in all there are some enjoyable moments (Sabo and Ace Fire Fist in the end) but all the bad aspects of the movie push me to beg you to not support this movie in any way shape of form. Dont buy the CD, dont buy Figures of this movie etc. We have to choose what we want and we definetly dont want trashy 3D animations. Vote with your wallet and show them we want something better. I get it’s just a filler but they probably spent more money advertising the movie than actually making it.
Though I had high hopes for this one, unfortunately it turned out to be quite horrible. Brainless plot, abrupt start & ending, bad use of characters, no heartfelt incidents, no meaningful turning points, dialogs that made me facepalm myself and so, so many coincidences throughout this movie. So many coincidences it’s actually ridiculous. For instance, they are all on a huge freaking island and they just keep ‘stumbling across’ one another at the right moment. Nevertheless, the thing that ticked me off the most was that I found 0% funny scenes. Seriously, even One Piece Movie 6 had more humor and its basically a psychological thriller.
It seemed more like a really long One Piece commercial that a movie. “Oh, look! We have all those cool characters in our anime. Come and watch it.” I mean they introduce a person like Bullet and he does absolutely nothing other than shout “I strive to be the strongest!” Sooo original! In addition, how he enters the scene is boring enough to revert your eyes from the screen. An otherwise stressful moment of Usopp being hurt by this insanely strong enemy, was ruined when it was not shown properly so that the viewer will feel fear or compassion for this long-nosed character.
Fight animation wise it was… decent. A few fight scenes looked quite silly, but those were few and far apart. The final battle though was just awful. It was fairly alright until Bullet decided to go full Mechagodzilla style which, in my humble opinion, destroyed my already low interest in this movie.
This film could have had SO much potential (and I can’t emphasize this enough!) due to the festival setting and the story of one of Roger’s former crew-mates, but they managed to ruin it and create a “stampede” of already well known characters who begged for screen time and nothing more. Maybe this story required 2 parts and more time to do it correctly.
And all the aforementioned come from an One Piece fan that loves it since grade school. I do not know why I still keep watching this anime. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, the need to know the ending or maybe just to see some random adventure of this crew. Whatever the reason, I always hope for at least a decent plot and not some unreasonable fights with gibberish dialogs like in this movie. But, alas, our beloved One Piece has already become another victim of exploitation and exists for the sole purpose of selling merchandise, video games and plot-less films. It’s a shame…
I want to preface this review by saying, if you’re not already a die-hard One Piece fan, this movie has next to nothing for you.
Despite my fairly limited Japanese ability, I was able to comprehend the entire plot and the vast majority of the dialogue, (maybe to an extent of about 90% or so). I think the reason being is that this movie has barely any substance. When the movie starts we’re introduced to the island and then the “first event” starts.
Shortly after the battle begins the movie devolves into “oh hey look it’s [insert one piece character here]” that character does an attack or something and then we get another character show up and the same thing happens all the way till the end of the movie.
I kept expecting some hint of story to be mentioned but it never really happened, aside from a few short moments.
The villain is highly forgettable and leaves no real lasting impression, even writing this review I was struggling to even remember his name, despite being able to remember the Z and Gold villains easily, despite having seen those movies a much longer time ago.
This isn’t to say that the movie is bad, if you’re a die-hard One Piece fan you will find enjoyment in this movie. The battle is enjoyable, the animation is good and the soundtrack just adds to the excitement.
But I think the lack of a decent story and over-reliance on fan service really brings the movie down.
For me I think the movie would sit at a 5 or 6. It’s better than average and I enjoyed watching it, but I would be in no great hurry to run out and watch it again. And if you’re eagerly awaiting the western release, and expecting anything more than fan service I recommend you lower your expectations to get more out of seeing this movie.
TL;DR The movie is severely held-back by it’s lack of narrative, over-reliance on fan service and rushed pacing. Lower your expectations before watching to get the most enjoyment from this film.
6: Stand By Me Doraemon 2
Japanese: STAND BY ME ドラえもん ２
MAL Score: 8.27
After reminiscing about his late grandmother, Nobita Nobi wishes to see her again and asks Doraemon to return them to the past. Following the wholesome reunion of the two, Nobita’s grandmother confesses that she hopes to meet his future bride. Nobita accepts her request out of filial love and quickly scrambles into the time machine as he and Doraemon journey forward in time.
However, when the duo warps to Nobita’s wedding day, they discover that the future Nobita is missing from the ceremony! Determined to set things right, Doraemon and Nobita embark on a mission to search for Nobita’s future self and encourage him to discover the happiness he deserves.
First off, I kind of want to talk about the visual first, the 3D animation was highly impressive as ever. To say the least, the 3D animation is quite on par with Pixar or DreamWorks movies. The backgrounds are pretty detailed, especially the city landscape (Both future and present city landscape) and the level of detail during time machines sequences was pretty much sublime. If there are hiccups, I’d say some of the characters looks pretty awkward and just didn’t fit to be interpreted in CG, but that said it just tastes come into play while I think visually it was very good overall.
In context to story, Stand by Me Doraemon 2 is the re-adaptation of the two previous short film, namely Doraemon: A Grandmother’s Recollections (2000) and Doraemon The Day When I Was Born (2002). Both adaptations were mixed into the main story; where it shows the wedding of Nobita and Shizuka, the combination works really well together and doesn’t really hurt the flow for the story in relation to the movie. This film is still in the direction of director Takashi Yamazaki who also direct the previous film and made it into the box office.
However, I wasn’t really sold into the plot. it’s full of the typical plot holes and paradoxes that always crop up when people attempt to employ time-traveling shenanigans. There are cringes moment that you’d expect in this kind of these kiddy movies. Ultimately this is a kid films that push a lot of power fantasy and probably intended to be something wholesome or invoking emotions for the long-time fans rather than providing a good storyline for general audiences. Indeed, it’s got a whole lot wholesome and emotional moments such as Parent’s Love or Reminiscing of the loved on that already passed away. Also, in this movie, there’s shown a little bit of the circle of life, we get to see Nobita in every age; from the day he was born, became a toddler, to the present day when he’s a kid and ultimately his future self where he finally gets married. I will be lying If I said I didn’t feel anything about those emotional moment because it was the highlight of the movie for me.
Having said that, the pacing is also somewhat an issue. This film is about 90 minutes long but at best the movie has enough meaningful content for an hour, a lot of conflicts were quite dragged and somewhat forced to the point the resolutions had to be forced as well in order to conclude the story. The comedy is repetitive and the characters besides Nobita and Doraemon had no value whatsoever unless you know the others characters beforehand.
I think the music is suits the time period very well and knows how to suit the atmosphere but at the same time quite forgettable as well, the most memorable soundtrack is probably the ED song but even then, it wasn’t really something that I personally will treasure for. The voice acting was on point and they definitely bringing a lot of breadth to the characters.
As a continuation for the first stand by me film, this movie was a decent continuation that brought a consistent playful tone and a definitive conclusion for the story, however I’m not terribly impressed with the film as a whole. While it does have some fun moments, there’s just too many uninspired elements and predictable formula for me to really recommend Stand by Me Doraemon 2 to anyone who isn’t a die-hard doraemon fan or someone who just wants to see the conclusion of the film
Story 10/10 :
Because the story unravels a whole that we don’t know as I told you above.
Art 10/10 :
Of course because of 3D, I saw from their willingness to make this art. Starting from the character that moves even though it’s not the focus angle (when it’s blurry)
Sound 10/10 :
Their seiyuu very intentional and precise in portraying a character. And the backsound and the ending sound are very precise and match the atmosphere and feeling.
Despite how biased my score is to the sequel of Stand by Me Doraemon, I can still say that the story is a big mess stitched together just to conclude, if you’re asking a similar example to this movie, it would be any Pixar films that were released in the 2010s. It would be Inside Out, Coco, The Good Dinosaur, it felt like that. It had some good moments, but really no one is going to remember a lot of those things because the story is almost a mess.
Everything is a 10/10, it’s just to say something here now.
First of all, I really grew up with this show, to the point where there were people actually mocking the voices of the characters we grew up with, I couldn’t hate them at all even though as time has passed by. I still vividly remember how these characters would be used to act and how they would interact with certain things.
Finally, the matter of subject being pushed into this movie, clearly a concept of time travel and doing the right decisions, spoke to me a lot. Not to mention the fact my grandmother has passed away recently this year. So when I watched this movie, I was close to the point of crying, so it resonated with me the most.
For me, it’s definitely better than the 1st. For you, if you’re looking for a more tear-breaking movie, this might not live to your expectations, but at least watch it when you have the chance.
5: K-On! Movie
English: K-ON! The Movie
Japanese: 映画 けいおん！
MAL Score: 8.34
Graduation looms for the founding members of the Light Music Club. With only a few precious weeks of school left, the girls decide to make the most of it and plan a trip abroad. Hawaii, New York, Dubai—many destinations are suggested, but after a little help from the club’s precious pet turtle, Ton-chan, London is chosen as the host of their next misadventure!
Yui Hirasawa, Mio Akiyama, Tsumugi Kotobuki, Ritsu Tainaka, and Azusa Nakano will visit famous landmarks, perform live music for Londoners, and eat all sorts of delicious food, all while stumbling clumsily from place to place. But the fun won’t last forever, as heartfelt songs and goodbyes will be made as their high school days together come to a close. One thing is for certain though: the undeniable friendships these girls have formed is something that will carry on long after the final scene rolls.
And when the credits roll in the K-ON movie, you know that you just witnessed something great.
After over a year since the second season of the anime finished its airing, KyoAni has released their final work for their famed K-ON adaptation. A movie with anime-original content or “filler” is something that normally carries a very negative connotation. For a person who doesn’t see themselves as a large fan of the series, this may appear to be something pointless, or, in the most severe form, a cash grab for the series. Though KyoAni has always prided themselves in selling based on the quality of their products, it’s safe to say that these worries have absolutely no basis in the movie.
This is in many ways the true ending to the series. It’s something that takes the expectations from the brilliant second season and goes above and beyond with what the series is truly capable of. Cute girls, comedy, and other important traits of the series remain prominent here, but it’s also something that shows itself to be much more than that.
K-ON is a series that needs no introduction. It’s always had a simple premise – young girls playing in a music club and growing up and having fun along the way. Yui is as ditzy as ever and Azusa is still her strict and mature self, though not without the character growth that came towards the end of the TV series. Taking place a few weeks before their graduation, the girls of the series make one last trip together as a full group in London to end things off with a smile. And just as you would expect, seeing the characters in a completely foreign environment and in a variety of strange and unique situations is a very delightful and amusing thing.
Surprisingly, there’s a large amount of exposition and build-up in the beginning as well as a lengthy goodbye at the end when they come back home. This isn’t a movie that starts and ends with their trip in London – it begins with a full 30-minutes of introduction and deliberation leading towards the trip. After finally boarding the plane and dealing with Yui’s silly shenanigans along the way, we see them in London making their way around the city sightseeing, having fun, and unfortunately for them, stumbling around and getting into several misunderstandings from their lack of knowledge with the English language.
They travel to many locations within the city that are based on and modeled after the actual locations, which is something that KyoAni has shown themselves to put a lot of work into. For somebody that lives in London or has been there frequently, there’s a lot of familiar sights in the movie which reminds the audience that this isn’t a story that takes place in a fictional setting, but our own living and breathing world. Even for people that aren’t familiar with the city, it gives a great glimpse at what the life and culture there is like and what the city has to offer. This is the real London, the hotel they stay at and all the locations they visit are very much real and lifelike places. And for a large part of the movie, you will feel like you’re traveling alongside the girls and witnessing all the silly and interesting things that they experience.
A lot of complaints towards K-ON can be directed towards a perceived lack of music which was established as the theme at the very beginning of the series. And while that does carry a small sense of validity in the TV anime, the movie is definitely something that will alleviate those complaints immensely with the amount of music the girls play and the amount of new tracks implemented here. A large portion of the screentime is spent by the girls performing music, both in London and back at home at their school. There aren’t just one or two new songs added in for the movie, but five in total, all performed and sang by the girls and their seiyuu. Two of these songs include a unique opening and ending while two of them are performed by the girls on-stage, and another exists as an insert song while they’re exploring the sights of London.
Background music is also much more varied and includes classical music reminiscent of the England from centuries past while others are more contemporary and involve catchy guitar riffs. While the background music in the TV anime wasn’t something that stood out most of the time, it is quite impossible to deny its presence here in the movie. Each track adds heavily to the emotional value and they also had me close to tearing up just from the music alone during a couple of the more serious scenes. This is a soundtrack that will be found incredibly hard to forget, especially with repeated and future seeings of the movie.
Another thing in particular that KyoAni should be commended for here is the quality of animation and the detail of the scenery. It’s honestly breathtaking at times and the characters and environments move so fluidly that it puts even the TV series to shame, which is saying a hell of a lot. Thankfully, many unique outfits are given to each and every character in the movie, rather than falling to the trope of a single outfit for the entire trip like many anime do. It’s very evident here that KyoAni put all their efforts into making sure the production quality is high up there, and it’s a very pretty anime as a result of that.
A large part of the emotion stems from the audience’s attachment to the characters, but with the direction of the movie itself and especially in the last thirty minutes, it finds a perfect way to end the series and tie it together with the ending of the second season. The story behind the song performed for Azusa during their graduation is easily the largest theme next to the seniors themselves moving on, and the movie goes into full detail with the creative process and emotion put behind that song. It’s what makes their final performance in the clubroom so meaningful and even more emotional than it was in the second season. With all the build-up and cues set before that point, it’s quite difficult to resist shedding a few tears or feeling impacted as the story of the five girls finally reaches its conclusion.
Many people praise previous KyoAni works like “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” and “Clannad After Story” as being some of the best of anime, but now it’s quite safe to say that KyoAni has opened this spot for a third title.
This is our final goodbye to the series, and what a beautiful goodbye it is.
“But, O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes!”
– Shakespeare, As You Like It
By the end of this humble review, the case may be that I will find myself skewered by countless pitchforks and torched at the stake by those who bear disdain towards K-ON! for forging what is igniting the burning passion in my heart for all to see. In spite of this inevitable dreary destiny, I shall boldly write on and write on I shall ‘till kingdom come for friend or foe to witness. So without further ado, before I enrage the angry mob which desires my public evisceration and execution to the point where they can no longer withhold their murderous intent, I shall grace your eyes with the weaving of this golden yarn of mine.
Infamous for its intricate, innovative and inspiring PLOT, or rather a lack thereof, K-ON! has garnered a reputation for being an inane and unproductive moefest after two seasons of moe madness featuring the endless antics of the musical moeblob members of the Houkago Tea Time Club.
But that is what it is.
And it will stay true to itself regardless of how irrational it may be. Because the story of the hectic daily lives of these high school girls aiming for the Budokan, and their various shenanigans along the way, is the quintessence of why we love them, or hate them, depending on which side of the spectrum that you may be.
This iconic image remains unaltered in its motion picture premiere. Indeed, there is never a dull moment in the world of K-ON! as it flawlessly maintains its ditsy eccentricity from Japan to England and back. That’s right. In this chapter of their high school adventures, the K-ON! girls travel to London, the birthplace of many talented musical prodigies, for their much awaited graduation trip. As with each episode of K-ON!, one cannot help but imagine in anticipation and in expectation of what lies in each installment, however it is usually the case that we are often wrong in our predictions of the coalescence of the events.
The same concept is applicable to the movie, which welcomes its audience with an explosive heavy metal opening that stands in stark contrast to the light and fluffy music that we are accustomed to. However, after a period of violent and erratic headbanging, I came to revisit the overwhelmingly nostalgic innocent and happy-go-lucky atmosphere which characteristically defines K-ON! We are immediately reminded that this chapter in the K-ON! girls’ lives takes place in the period before their graduation, after the senior girls receive confirmation of their acceptance into university. As such, they are presented with the dilemmas of how to celebrate their graduating year and final high school days as well as what will pose as the more uncertain and difficult challenge of expressing their gratitude to Azusa.
With these elements of PLOT presented, KyoAni does a splendid job of executing this duality by not only making the graduation trip an exciting and memorable experience for both the K-ON! girls and their spectators, but also succeeds in weaving the narrative fabric to incorporate the latter aspect throughout the film. And thus, we are once again thrust into the wild wacky absurdity of K-ON! From silliness on the airport conveyor belts which are undoubtedly amusing to tread on, to getting lost in a foreign land resulting in an unintended musical performance via a case of mistaken identity and Engrish gibberish, K-ON! and their fans embark on a misadventure with more destinations than what was planned on the trip itinerary. All of which was expertly animated by the talent at the KyoAni Studio, which never fails to dish out perfection with a side dish of K-ON! The addition of CGI that complimented the meticulously drawn conventional animation was a great welcome and generated eyegasms aplenty.
The movie also serves as a fast-track tourist trip to London city as we travel with the K-ON! girls to famous landmarks such as the London Underground, the Borough Market and the banks of the River Thames where the Tower Bridge, the London Eye and the Elizabeth Tower containing Big Ben all lie in their gloriously animated state. For those who have been to the massive metropolitan city, it is a refreshing sight to view its beautiful landscape in animated form. By the same token, it stirs a desire to retrace the steps of the K-ON! girls in those who have yet to travel to the hallmark destination.
Moving on, the audience is once again graced with the excitement that a typical K-ON! musical gig provides. KyoAni doesn’t disappoint its fans with the animation of the gigs, which leave me jumping and pumping my fist in the air in tandem with the song. I’m just kidding, I don’t do that. As we approach the film’s conclusion, we re-experience the nostalgic bliss of the end of the senior girls’ high school days and their final gift of gratitude to Azusa that they worked so hard throughout the movie to have come to fruition, which takes form in the performance that is depicted in Episode 24 of the second season. Witnessing the penultimate events which led to the pinnacle of that emotional scene was the most masterfully executed moment of heartfelt nostalgia that I had the privilege of experiencing and I felt the full brunt of the bittersweet joy that I basked in once before.
One would like to believe that after three years have passed since the debut of their high school years, the K-ON! girls would experience some sort of progressive change as they nurtured each other’s growth. However, that is far from the case as the only thing that has probably altered is the fact that they have become complacent to each other’s idiocy, and therefore have become increasingly idiotic. Hirasawa Yui returns as your friendly neighborhood airhead guitarist and stars in all of the crazy acts of hilarity which we all know and love. Tainaka Ritsu’s erratic hard-headed large-forheaded rash irrationality compliments Yui and completes their comedic duo in their plethora of stunts. Akiyama Mio. Ahem. Wait a moment please, I must compose myself. So Mio flawlessly and triumphantly makes her stunning comeback as our adorable and lovable cute and pure maiden. Bubbly Kotobuki Tsumugi and her eyebrows of awesome return to be Mugi and bubbly. Nakano Azusa, also affectionately known as Azunyan, becomes translated into Engrish as Azu-Cat and remains the most sane and levelheaded member of K-ON! Even side-characters make their respective cameos to remind the viewers of all of the individuals with which the K-ON! girls have met in their high school journey. Oh and Sawa-chan looks damn delectably delicious in black. In essence, KyoAni manages to preserve the iconic identities of all of their characters and work their magic by making the vast array of personalities interact and mingle in new ways.
Now how could I possibly forget about the musical score of a series centered around a group of girls who are characterized by their identity as band members? The soundtrack recycles some of the K-ON! series background music pieces to retain its iconic happy-go-lucky feel, but we are introduced to new music as we enter the realm of the English homeland K-ON! style. This is welcomed with open arms as it adds to consolidate the foreign setting of the film. In addition, the OP songs “Unmei wa Endless!” and “Ichiban Ippai” are sure to satisfy the listeners who are yearning for more K-ON! fluff. On the other hand, ED song “Singing” which bears the angelic –singing- voice of Hikasa Youko emanates the same feel as her previous K-ON!! ED piece, “NO, Thank You!” However, the film returns to showcase hallmark tracks which have defined its musical prowess such as “Fuwa Fuwa Time,” “U&I,” “Gohan wa Okazu,” and “Tenshi ni Fureta Yo.” All in all, the film’s soundtrack features some new spectacular tracks and reintroduces their predecessors to keep K-ON! music and nostalgia fresh.
Watching the K-ON! Movie has been the most exhilarating anime entertainment experience that I have witnessed and I am eternally grateful for seeing this legendary series meet its conclusion with such sparkling splendor. Bravo KyoAni for creating a beautiful masterpiece.
And in the end, Yui still got to go to Europe.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I am being carried against my will by this legion of pissed off K-ON! haters to be burned at the stake. I guess I have to visit the hospital after to treat this multitude of pitchfork punctures too. Well don’t worry, it’s just a flesh wound.
The school year is drawing to a close at Sakuragaoka Girls’ High School, and with it will come the graduation of four of the five girls in the school’s light music club. The girls have already spent plenty of time together during and after school having fun, making music, and drinking tea, but what better way to cap it all off than with a graduation trip? After some serious deliberation and a little outside help, the five girls decide to go to London, guitars and bass in tow. Between visiting Abbey Road, seeing palace guards, drinking afternoon tea, and more, they’ve got plenty to do on their schedules, but how much of the trip will go as planned? While these sorts of questions have a tendency to sort themselves out, one more question is weighing heavily on the minds of the four seniors, Yui’s in particular: what kind of song will the four write as their goodbye to Azusa, the one junior they’ll be leaving behind?
Fans may insist that it is impossible to grasp all the qualities of K-ON! without being intimately familiar with the franchise, and to a degree, they would not be wrong in saying this. However, the film still succeeds in its attempt to please fans across the spectrum, drawing even the most unfamiliar viewers into its world through its minutely detailed characters and fun, thoughtful story while also providing more than enough to keep hardcore fans happy.
Our heroines do arrive in the promised land, but much of the stereotypical sightseeing the girls do is summarized fairly quickly in a montage of short moments at famous locations. The speed at which this all goes by may be a let down to some, but on the converse, this approach does an excellent job of capturing how a highly-planned overseas vacation in an unfamiliar land might feel, as rather than actively engaging in their sightseeing, the girls’ experience seems to passively happen to them as they whisk themselves off from one spot to the next.
While the film’s first two acts are well-paced and easy to follow, the third and final act may prove to be the most divisive between hardcore fans of the K-ON! franchise and those who aren’t. Not only have the girls returned from a lengthy and conclusive trip by this point, but viewers will also have grown accustomed to the film’s technical aspects, meaning that the significantly lengthy end segment hinges around the emotional drama between the girls as all but one of them spends their final days in high school.
The production quality for the movie is insanely high. I love KyoAni’s realistic rendition of the city of London, which looks exotically breathtaking. The detailed and vibrant background is noteworthy, and it exactly highlights London’s busy streets and beautiful scenery. The animations and some of the carefully chosen angles make them as comparable as most of K-ON’s high-quality ending sequences. Also, the several number of food scenes expressed and reinforced the cultural opposites of the girls’ usual obsessions; teas and cakes, which was pretty refreshing.
As for the music in the film, all of the girls’ catchy, fluffy power-pop songs heard in the various performance scenes will be familiar to those who have seen the television series, as the three new songs by the K-ON! girls are used are all heard outside of the context of the story.
While this probably goes without saying, you’re looking for a theatrical anime experience that will blow you out of your seat, K-ON! is probably not the movie for you. What it is, however, is a very well-crafted and whimsical look into the lives of the movie’s five heroines, with each of its constituent parts supporting and creating a polished final product. Its story might just be about a group of girls who go on a school trip, but they’re are quickly made into characters who you develop emotional connections with and naturally want to watch as they go about their lives. While it may seem like a light message delivered in a sugar-coated package, K-ON! does a brilliant job of reminding us that sometimes who you choose to spend your time with is more important than what you do with that time.
All in all, the movie shows us the five good friends doing what they do best; messing and playing around, relaxing, trying to come up with new songs and procrastinating; all the way in London.
4: Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidou Shuki Ningyou
English: Violet Evergarden I: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll
Japanese: ヴァイオレット エヴァーガーデン 外伝 -永遠と自動手記人形-
MAL Score: 8.40
Isabella, the daughter of the noble York family, is enrolled in an all-girls academy to be groomed into a dame worthy of nobility. However, she has given up on her future, seeing the prestigious school as nothing more than a prison from the outside world. Her family notices her struggling in her lessons and decides to hire Violet Evergarden to personally tutor her under the guise of a handmaiden.
At first, Isabella treats Violet coldly. Violet seems to be able to do everything perfectly, leading Isabella to assume that she was born with a silver spoon. After some time together, Isabella begins to realize that Violet has had her own struggles and starts to open up to her. Isabella soon reveals that she has lost contact with her beloved younger sister, Taylor Bartlett, whom she yearns to see again.
Having experienced the power of words through her past clientele, Violet asks if Isabella wishes to write a letter to Taylor. Will Violet be able to help Isabella convey her feelings to her long-lost sister?
Thank you so much KyoAni for the World Premiere Screening on AnimagiC, Germany.
Simply put, the story is like a very long version of a typical Violet Evergarden Episode, where this time Violet considers someone as her first real friend.
Animation is like every KyoAni movie breath taking and in comparison to the TV-series, there is slightly no difference. As for the soundtrack, there is some old very recognized ones as well as some new tracks. Main and support characters are presented or mentioned, with also a lot of references from the TV-Series.
Overall, very good story, animation and soundtracks.
is about a illegitimate noble woman Amy, who survived during the war years alone, resp. with her (not related) little sister Taylor. Due to a deal with Amy’s father both were separated from each others. In short, Violet helps Amy and later …
Story: The story is divided into two chapters. In the first chapter, Violet Evergarden goes to the private girls’ school and works as a private tutor for a girl named Isabella York. In the second chapter, the younger sister of Isabella named Taylor Bartlett comes to CH Postal Company and starts working as an apprentice mail deliverer. These two chapters are masterfully intertwined into one coherent story. As you watch, you will laugh; you will cry; you will be moved beyond words could express. See it for yourself. It is as perfect as a story can be.
Art: Violet Evergarden Gaiden is even better than the TV series in terms of quality and design. Whether it is an interior scene or an outdoor scene, the art design is impeccable. With vibrant colors and meticulously drawn scenery, every scene in the movie is breathtaking and a joy to watch. Simply put, KyoAni has delivered again.
Sound: Violet Evergarden Gaiden’s sound design is some of the best I have ever experienced. It sets the mood perfectly and makes the scenes more beautiful and vibrant. Kudos to the sound director Youta Tsuruoka and the composer Evan Call.
Character: Characters are well-developed and multifaceted. It is a masterful character design in every aspect.
Overall Enjoyment: It is very enjoyable and has a lot of re-watch value. I would re-watch it multiple times when the Blu-ray is released.
In conclusion, Violet Evergarden Gaiden is a masterpiece that is built upon a solid foundation. It complements the TV series and offers a fantastic experience. It is one of the best, if not the best anime movies I have ever watched.
What’s unique about this movie in which stands out more than any other normal Violet Evergarden episodes are :
– It has slight Yuri tease.
– Violet doesn’t really have much role in this movie. Instead, the movie feels more focused towards the two sisters. Amy Bartlett and Taylor Bartlett ( slightly contravening the rule of slice of life but I wasn’t bothered by it ).
This movie is like a dream come true for me. I used to think that if Violet Evergarden had Yuri. At least a little. Would it make the anime overall better? This is my answer. Yes. Yes, indeed.
Other than the Yuri teases that made me scream and go all fanboy over it. The movie uses the same soundtracks from Violet Evergarden ( except the ED ) and the quality is pretty much the same.
I cried my balls out when I was watching this movie. My eyes went red. My body was shaking. I tried to control myself but I couldn’t. I’d say that this movie’s sadness scale is comparable to the normal anime episode where Violet skipped on the pond or the famous episode 10 that everybody cries over.
I had an amazing time watching this movie. It feels nice to be back and I’m also incredibly glad that I had the privilege to watch this early. Y’all peeps who haven’t watched this yet. Don’t be fooled by the movie’s rating. It was botted. The movie was actually OK HAND.
3: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu
English: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
MAL Score: 8.63
One cold Christmas day, Kyon heads over to school and the SOS Brigade’s holiday celebration, only to realize that Haruhi Suzumiya seems to have disappeared. Moreover, no one even remembers her or the SOS Brigade; Mikuru Asahina knows nothing and is now afraid of him, and Itsuki Koizumi has also gone missing. The Literature Club, formed only by an uncharacteristically shy Yuki Nagato, now occupies the old SOS club room.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu is based on the fourth light novel of the acclaimed Haruhi series and is set after the events of the anime series. Not uncultured in the supernatural, Kyon will have to deal with his whole life turned upside down like a bad joke, and maybe it’s better that way.
Well, it seems someone was listening.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu begins on 16th December, a month after the cultural festival in the first series, and all is seemingly peaceful. It’s not long though, before reality gets put through the wringer, and it’s up to Kyon to fix everything.
The thing that most surprised me about this movie is how closely it tries to follow the light novel of the same name. Granted there are a few liberties here and there, but nothing near the number used in both TV series. The benefit of this is that the story has a solid base to begin with, especially as the plot is mainly based around Kyon’s thoughts and actions.
The movie begins at a farily placid pace with nothing untoward or suspicious occuring, but one of the problems with the story is that it never really shakes off the languidity of the first 20 or so minutes. While the story itself is actually very good, there are occasions where there is a marked lack of urgency about the plot, and it’s these occurences that upset the flow of the movie.
There are some plusses though. The fact that much of the movie is based around Kyon’s motivations makes it a more interesting piece than the majority of TV episodes, as he is now the engine by which drives the plot rather than a reactionary element. Another big plus are Kyon’s numerous monolgoues which reinforce the direction of the story, but also offer some insight into his character, especially towards the end of the movie.
The design is exactly what one would expect from the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise and follows that of both TV series, but it’s when things go to hell that KyoAni really begin to flex some of their creative muscles. The alterations in the character’s appearances and actions are extremely well managed, and the characters are generally more expressive here than they are in either series. The animation is crisp and smooth for the majority of the movie, however there are the oddfew blips here and there with character actions (nothing that’s really worth worrying about though).
The music used throughout the movie is actually very good, even though the majority of Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu lacks any thematic pieces. The main theme, “Yasashi Boukyaku”, is sung by Chihara Minori, and while the song has echoes of regret and oppurtunities lost, these sentiments are made more powerful by the lack of any musical accompaniment. The rest of the music is choreographed well with the on screen action, and some of the tracks chosen are inspired in their usage.
The one thing that hasn’t really changed at all is the cast, and while many of the seiyuu definitely earn their pay with this movie, the two stand out performances are from Sugita Tomkazu (Kyon), and Chihara Minori (Yuki), both of whom give a new perspective on their respective characters.
Which neatly leads me on to the characters themselves.
One of the things that has always been a bit lacking with the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise is that there hasn’t really been much focus on specific characters with a view to developing them. Thankfully, this movie begins to address that issue. Unlike the two TV series, both of which adopt a more reactionary approach to the growth of a character, the movie is more direct in terms of Kyon’s development, and the difference this makes is rather surprising. While some may find Kyon’s monologues to be no different to those in the series, it should be noted that the content of his comments gradually changes overthe course fo the movie, and the culmination of this development bodes well for future releases.
In all honesty, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The tight storyline, together with the more focused character development, means that the plot is more flowing than in either of the TV series’ (although admittedly the time jumps from one episodeto the next play a part in that too). In truth, this movie is everything the second season should have been, and it goes some way to tying up certain loose ends from both series.
One thing that many people don’t seem to see though, is the very clear influence of a certain long running British sci-fi series about a time traveller who sometimes calls himself “John Smith” and there were occasions in this movie where I kept expecting to see a TARDIS.
As with any popular title though, there will undoubtedly be those who will be inclined to hate this movie because it’s part of the Suzumiya Haruhi series. The majority of viewers however, may find that they enjoy the movie in a way that isn’t possible with a 13 episode series.
Hopefully, movies like this will be the way forward for the franchise, as the last thing anyone needs is more Endless Eight.
First and foremost, this movie is indeed a sequel to both of the previous two seasons of Haruhi. Watching this movie without seeing both seasons is not suggested. For those who have seen both seasons, I suggest first taking time to remember some plot details and characters. First of all, who is Ryoko Asakura? If you remember from season one of Haruhi you would know that she is yet another alien in the same ranks as Nagato Yuki. In (chronologically) episode 4 of the first season of Haruhi she tries to kill Kyon by stabbing him. Second you should refresh your memories on the first episode of the second season of Haruhi, “Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody”, which is when Kyon goes back in time to help Haruhi draw lines on school grounds but then gets trapped in the past.
Since the plot summary isn’t too well done on the website, I’ll give a brief go. The plot starts on December 16. In about a week, Christmas will hit, so the SOS Brigade decides to have a Christmas party in which Haruhi will make a hotpot for all the members to enjoy. On the morning of December 18, Kyon goes to school to find the strangest thing: Haruhi has gone missing and there are no aliens, espers, or time travelers anymore. As bizarre events keep occurring one after the other, he finds that he is the only person who still knows who Haruhi is. As Kyon loses all hope, he goes to the club room and finds, in one of the books, a bookmark with Nagato Yuki’s hand writing. Striving to figure out its mysterious message, Kyon goes out and tries to find the key to changing the world back to how it used to be.
The plot is exceptional, with a huge plot twist in the middle. The monologues are very well done, including a really epic monologue near the end of the movie. The amount of thought put into the entirety of the plot is also well done; just by reading the plot summary will automatically suck you in. You will be on the edge of your seat the whole time trying to figure out the reasons for these bizarre events. There are some epic moments that really bring out your emotions. You will, at least one, feel tingles down your spine; for me it happened like 10-20 times. The plot is just that well put together that your body can’t help but to let you feel it epicness. Time travel is AMAZINGLY done in this movie. Your mind will be blown by the end of this movie because of time travel. One point in argument is that there are loose ends to the movie. This, of course, is part of the story because it will tie in with the seventh light novel of Haruhi (This movie being the fourth), so the movie automatically is open to a sequel, which of course is a really good thing.
The art is amazing, just as good, if not better, than the TV series. There is a fair share of flashy lights and warping colors when time travel or alien sequences occur. The art is wonderfully beautiful at Kyon’s monologue near the end; trust me when you see it you’ll know. The music is of course amazing, the OP is Bouken Desho Desho, sung by Hirano Aya (Haruhi) and is the OP to Haruhi season one, and the ED is Yasashii Boukyaku sung by Minori Chihara (Yuki) which is peaceful sad melody. The overall OST is amazing and I would definitely get it since it combines sad music with upbeat music when Kyon makes a breakthrough in trying to solve the mysterious occurrence.
Characters are at their best in this movie. Kyon is the central character and makes the biggest change in this movie. He comes to an ultimate realization of everything he was living for: Does he like the life with aliens, espers, and time travelers? Nagato Yuki would be another major character because her life, not as a humanoid interface, but as a human grows. She gains a little bit of emotions and is able to realize her true feelings. Even in the end, Kyon realizes that he has never been thankful everything that Nagato has done for him and ultimately saves her. Even minor characters play a big role, for example Taniguchi, who is ultimately the one who saves Kyon from absolute despair. Haruhi in the distorted world is just a normal person, but without her help, Kyon would not have been saved. The characters are amazingly done and you will love the way they are all presented.
Overall, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a plot filled, plot twisting, emotional giving, character changing, enjoyment giving, plot loving, mind blowing, time traveling, time distorting, epic bringing, ultimate awesomeness, wonderfully put together, amazingly amazing story. There is only one scene in the movie that is particularly different from the light novel; this would be when Kyon and Asahina encounter Nagato at the school early in the morning (you’ll know when), the movie has the scene take place outside the school gates, where in the novel it takes place inside the clubroom; however, I would say putting that particular scene outside was a good call. Fans and haters alike will not be able to deny that this movie is amazing and will love every moment of it. As I said many times before, Kyon’s monologue near the end is wonderfully epic and you will love every moment of it with a passion. Your two hours and forty minutes will not be in vain in any manner, shape, or form. The DVD will come out in 8 to 11 months and you WILL rewatch it because it is just THAT good, I wouldn’t be surprised if I watch it two to three more times. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a wonderful experience and might be the best anime this 2010 year.
I posted this review in a blog, so please feel free to leave a comment.
The series, though arguably mediocre, had some very fun moments. So where does this movie, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, stand?
Story/Presentation: I’m going to skip over the synopsis, since you can already read one with a button away. Due to the hype behind this film, it’s practically common knowledge that this movie has a complete different tone compared to the hyperactive series. It starts off like any other episode from the show, and then slowly transitions into a more solemn tone. Sure, it isn’t dark as something Gen Urobuchi would write, but in contrast to the series, it’s quite the difference. The use of tone is used well, and it helps make the movie feel a lot more believable than the show (assuming you have a suspension of disbelief).
Though the tone was one of the film’s highpoints, I can’t help but feel that it makes it a tad, just a tad, disjointed from the series. People expecting more misadventures from the original show will be sorely disappointed in this movie’s change for a serious plot.
The pacing also deserves mention. The beginning of the film is very slow and deliberate, and though many people may criticize it for being boring, I found it to be good writing. Sure, it may seem a bit dragging at times, and it really doesn’t pick up until a big plot twist ¼ of the movie in, but that’s the writer’s intention. It’s supposed to give the viewer the sense of the dull normal world Kyon’s facing after Haruhi’s disappearance, this being reality.
In terms of the story itself, it turns out to be quite the intricate tale, at least compared to the series. Many plot twists come along the way, and for the most part, the film remains unpredictable. Time travel also has a big role, and it really made me think, which is something I can’t say for the show.
However, my favourite part about the story is how it uses past events from the series, as many subplots and character motivations come back and play their role here. When it comes down to it, the writing here has moments of absolute brilliance.
Its connection to the series can be, to some, a downfall, as this isn’t a standalone. To watch this, the viewer must have knowledge of the first two seasons. Another flaw of this film is its association to the source material. It leaves a few plot threads dangling and a few unanswered questions by the ending (I will refrain from spoilers), and until we get more of the series animated, these plot threads will remain unanswered (unless you consult said source material).
Characters: I loved the eccentric cast from the series. Sure, they mostly followed typical stereotypes, but they did so in a refreshing matter that made them memorable. If there’s one thing that bugged me about the series, it is the lack of characterization. Though one shouldn’t expect much of such from a slice of life show, it was shame that most of the characters weren’t given much depth on their own and in their relationships. In addition, they never really felt like real people.
This is yet another highlight of the movie. Kyon is our point of view in this movie, and after Haruhi disappears, all his motivations and interactions with other characters are completely believable. The best part of his characterization comes to play when he starts to question whether he prefers the supernatural world he always complained about or the normal life he wanted from the beginning. His decision regarding that aspect says a lot about his character.
Another character I’d like to mention is Yuki Nagato. We’ve all known her as the monotone emotionless alien/robot, and now we see her as a quite shy bookworm. How she got that way comes from her motivations from the previous season, and her actions in this movie really strengthens our view of her as a character. Did she really feel nothing throughout all the events of the original show? Is she really the emotionless drone we all thought she was?
Surprisingly, Haruhi herself, despite being part of the driving force, doesn’t get as much screen time as one might expect. That’s not to say she was used poorly, and on that note, all the side characters were used well and they each held their respective purpose in the movie strongly.
Art/Animation: Ah, Kyoto Animation. Feast your eyes, ladies and gentlemen, for this movie is a visual ecstasy when it comes to Japanese animation. The visual quality for the original series was already top notch, so just imagine Kyoto Ani squishing that entire budget on a 2 hour and 40 minute movie. I don’t think I need to say much more than that this film, from a visual standpoint, is absolutely stunning. The colours are vibrant and the animation is smooth.
Speaking of the colours, they compliment the movie very well. In the beginning, the colours are bright to show the spunky life of the SOS Brigade, and when the movie transitions in tone, the colours become subtly darker to really drive home the dullness of an ordinary life. This is just a subtle but noticeable change, and that’s what I love about it.
Music/Voice Acting: This has got to be one of my favourite soundtracks in anime of all time. Each track compliments the movie extremely well and every single one of them is fantastically orchestrated. There is a lot of range in atmosphere in the soundtrack, from upbeat to suspenseful to solemn. It goes without saying the soundtrack is excellent and is used masterfully well.
As far as the English Dub goes, I really have no complaints. It is the same cast as the original series, and so if you had no issues there, then you shouldn’t have any here. Each actor continues to compliment his or her respective role well. As far as standouts go, they would have to be Crispin Freeman as Kyon and Michelle Ruff as Yuki Nagato.
Crispin brings something new to the table as Kyon, going beyond the usual snarky attitude he usually has. Michelle Ruff wasn’t necessarily impressive in the original series (though in her defense, her character didn’t really call for anything special), and when it came to portraying the new side of Yuki Nagoto, she really delivers. She doesn’t go crazy and change her voice drastically. Instead, she subtly adds an indescribable… meekness to her performance.
So yeah. The music and the dub are both fantastic.
Final comments: This movie will give fans of the original series the fangasm they were wishing for, and even those who didn’t like the series might find something to enjoy here. Does this make the original series worth watching? In many ways, yes, it does. It’s a well-written movie with a great use of tone, amazing presentation, and masterful production values. It goes without saying that The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya gets a high recommendation from me.
That’s all for my review, folks! Feedback would be greatly appreciated, whether it be praise or criticism.
2: Violet Evergarden Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 ヴァイオレット エヴァーガーデン
MAL Score: 8.87
Several years have passed since the end of The Great War. As the radio tower in Leidenschaftlich continues to be built, telephones will soon become more relevant, leading to a decline in demand for “Auto Memory Dolls.” Even so, Violet Evergarden continues to rise in fame after her constant success with writing letters. However, sometimes the one thing you long for is the one thing that does not appear.
Violet Evergarden Movie follows Violet as she continues to comprehend the concept of emotion and the meaning of love. At the same time, she pursues a glimmer of hope that the man who once told her, “I love you,” may still be alive even after the many years that have passed.
Humans understand their feelings. Especially important people. A new era is coming with the passage of time. Everyone dies someday. A person who someone met becomes precious to existence for them. The core is love. Even if people never going to see each other, they live eternally in their hearts. Violet Evergarden. She and this series title are symbolizing life strength. We are the same, too. Life is Treasure.
Violet finally could know the meaning of “love” in TV series. The word is involved in this sequel deeply. Telling some emotions by a letter has mental imagination. Ulysse. He is one of the new characters in this series. His depiction is connecting Violet and Gilbert’s destinies. In a word, every character is well-written in terms of development. Violet is still thinking everything of Gilbert. She is a doll but not just a doll. She is an automatic doll named pure human. Violet is continuing to write letters for many people. The root can also be said for her dear Gilbert. Their relationship is straightforward in a good way and very emotional. This point can say the same for some character’s expressions. Violet and Gilbert think of their worlds. War in this series was ended but that’s not enough. Like we are living in these peaceful ages without war, Violet and her companions also living in their place so hard. That’s why many people never stop living for something purposes. Strong or Weak. These are symbols of this movie.
As a whole style, This movie is full of characters crying. Not your typical melodrama. As I said above, humans die in the future. I even don’t know when I would be dying. I felt like this movie is a love story more than TV series. It depends on you whether this is good or not. To me, it was very sweet. I have moved a certain scene so much. I cried many times while watching this movie. Combined with the effect, the voice acting was top-notch. Yui Ishikawa (Violet), Daisuke Namikawa (Gilbert), Takehito Koyasu (Hodgins) did really stellar job. Their voice acting gave me an admirable impact. Not only do characters move, but you should concentrate on every voice including three casts. Of course, art is also splendid. Beautiful, detailed, glorious. Really flawless. You can understand why KyoAni is one of the best anime studios. Music and theme songs are very wonderful, too.
I can say this is the perfect sequel. You should watch this finale. No regrets. Thank you, KyoAni. I never forget this holy masterpiece forever.
As the death-causing waves of COVID-19 continue to encounter all parts of the globe, one may understand how lackluster the world is without theatre movies – one of the most recreational industries of humankind. The fact that no movies were produced, or even recorded, for 5 or 6 months really hits the industry into its core, and casts a big doubt on its survival.
Luckily, the debut of several movies during this crisis has just confirmed that the community has its capability to overcome the difficulties. And to be honest, it was much more outstanding than I’ve ever imagined.
The latest movie of Demon Slayer was a good example, a remarkable debut and a truly wonderful cure for the whole community indeed. Everyone is talking about it, everyone is hoping this will act as a catalyst for more to come out.
I’m not an exception of this, but to be honest my intention was left on something else, something that may truly helps me gain back my fading interest…
Violet Evergarden Movie.
I have just finished it with my warming tears hooking on my face all along at the theater. I didn’t even remember where was the last time I cried so much like this…
Where should I start with…
The story was introduced in a quite unfamiliar way, which may distract or confuse viewers a bit thereafter. But from my perspective, it acts as a guide for the whole story to be smoothly displayed and thereby more easily grabs their intention. As the story continues to progress, you’ll have the chance to meet both new and appeared characters, each will leave a mark on the story as a whole.
What I love most in this plot is that everything was set and done exquisitely, a proper pace we’ve all seen in this franchise to, a decent amount of time separated for each scene to develop and expand the story, and the position flashback scenes which makes viewers cry so bad. Such great works KyoAni have finished, that every words, every expressions and actions matter.
Several friends of mine told me that the plot was what they did not found difficult to predict, and surprisingly they were right. It was indeed a drawback of this movie where the actions and conversations at the beginning indicated way too many details, which should have better been revealed in the middle or later of the story. Having said that, when the final phase of the movie was displayed and as your delicate heart were already step-by-step melted, it shattered yours and in the meantime pushed the whole story into a breathtaking finale.
The BGM and SFX of this movie is, from my perspective, the most successful and indispensable part of it. Old OSTs were played all along the movie, which really hit me with nostalgia and fill me up with fresh feelings that I’ve been new to for ages. The sounds of nature, the birds, the river, the waves of ocean, the sadness in rainy scenes were absolutely incredible. Crucial conversations was remarkably emphasized by wonderful soundtracks at the beginning but then just relied on characters’ voice soon after, which makes them more genuine and in a more aesthetic viewpoint. And of course, why should not I mention the appearance of “Michishirube” at the end of the movie, which was somehow sounded way much better than any versions and in any situations in the the anime series.
And not to forget the visuals, still as outstanding as usual. The characters were beautifully designed, each of whom possessed a unique look as well as a distinguished way of understanding and acting. And how about the landscapes? They are all delicately polished in the smallest details, which gave them a more real and lively look, as to highlight the meaning of each scene taken spot on them.
The conclusion of the movie is something I adore so much, but the point is that I’ve never read the novel so it’s not objective to say which one is better. To be honest, a happy ending is all I wanted after being shredded in pieces by the story and my own feelings, and I appreciated that they did not disappoint me… However, the changing of the sky color in the final part was something unrealistic. What I mean by that is, the way they changed the sky color in order to emphasized the contents (as it shifted from day to dawn then dust relatively) was quite unusual and not as successful as they expected it to be.
The movie, even though not flawless, is still something real authentic and fresh that may drive our feeling through this crisis. It’s not actually the one that marks the return of KyoAni after its 2019 tragedy, but it’s believed that Violet Evergarden Movie will set a high standard for any movies coming out after it.
So, if you feel life is boring and want something fresh, or you are desperate for more anime after you hyped up with Demon Slayer movie, then this is the one for you. I won’t add any further details that may ruin your feelings or your expectations, I’m just here to firmly tell you that the movie is amazing and you should give it a try.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, let the music flowing in your mind and take you along until the very end of the journey.
So how this 140 minutes long movie looks compared to its prequel? Well, much, much better. It went full melodrama mode. Movie pick up the story basically where 2018 TV show left. Violet is unable to forget about Gilbert and don’t want to believe he’s gone forever. Even everyone told her to move on. The MAL synopsis doesn’t give much justice to the actual movie plot, but on the other hand… it’s somewhat perfect. This nearly two-and-a-half hour long movie throws us pretty fast in the story and it’s damn hard to avoid spoilers at this point. Enough tho say, that Violet herself is at her limit and anything can broke her faith and feelings she just learned to understand. As for romantic melodrama pacing is damn fast and story and directing doesn’t give much time to process the story. But it ain’t flaw, actually it’s better for the plot and it’s heartbreaking twists. Trust me, even with no spoilers, you’ll need napkins. This movie doesn’t take prisoners, you’ll cry. Especially changes towards Light Novel went even deeper than in TV series. And I’m happy of that, especially when it comes to the finale. Trust me, you can expect suprises, even tho it’s still bit predictable. But it was to be expected. It’s Violet Evergarden at her finest.
Honestly, this movie is fucking breathtaking. KyoAni did another masterwork, quality of animation is just speechless. Such a beauty, starting from flawless and even more enhanced character designs, throught amazingly animated action and dynamic scenes, finishing on backgrounds and planning. Animation is flawless, smooth and better than ever. Colours, quality, shadows, all location and character designs is just top of the top notch. If it comes to animation this year, no one can stand next to this masterfully crafted work, except ufotable of course. And even that, it’s extremely hard to compare this animation to anything I’ve ever seen. Work of pure art, such a beauty that leaves you literally speechless. KyoAni outdone themselves.
It’s KyoAni, sound quality is over the top. Perfectly synced, beautifully fitting every second of this movie. All-star seiyuu squad did work of the year, next to final F/sn movie, can’t actually decide which is better. Voicing is perfect, leaves no doubt that it’s real piece of art. There’s soul and love in every dialogue, feelings and power is everywhere, it’s a work full of dedication and understanding. Both, for characters and audience. Then we have beautifully crafted atmosphere, world is full of life and ambient sounds are just perfect. And finally we have soundtrack. Evan Call outshine himself once again, music is beautiful, very soft, but at the same moment powerful. It’s extremely well fit the melodramatic atmosphere and works both, as perfect piece of work that hit you straight into heart and separate album, will get it asap.
As before, this movie stands mostly on characters. But this time psychological portraits are deeper and much more detailed. Violet struggling with herself, her feelings, beliefs and past even more than before. It can be truly heartbreaking at one point. This time Dietfried, Gilbert’s brother received much more screen time and his character is much deeper and more clarity than before. Finally we can completely understand him, his pain and he went throught. In the past and now. Fortunately rest of the supporting characters got just enough time and plot to actually, unlike the TV series, be much more important to both, Violet and audiences. I mean that this time every important character, starting from Claudia finishing on Cattleya have important task and deepened characteristics and psychological portrait. It’s a huge step forward comparing to the prequel and deserves praise. This time characters are on the first plane, including the most important one next to Violet.
The movie heavily plays on the feelings, even more that TV series. But taking whole melodrama to another level it was pretty predictable. Enjoyment is top notch, but can be literally painful at some point. Before you visit your nearest cinema, ensure you have enough tissues on you. I’ll not spoil anything, but it’s Violet Evergarden, so trust me, you’ll need them. Enjoyment overall is great, you’ll sit on the edge of your seats, you’ll feel, laugh and cry with the characters. And you’ll love Violet even more than before. Such a powerful chatacter. Once again she’s having literally whole production on her shoulders, but this time, there’s no flaws. Enjoyment, even hurtful sometimes is outstanding. It’s a perfect entertainment. And perfect sequel, without a doubt it’s the best return for KyoAni after the tragedy. Beautiful.
It’s 10. Second best anine movie I’ve seen this year. Extremely poignant, beautifully crafted, with beautiful, bit predictable, but still satisfying plot. It’s an perfect example of closing a story and hitting deep into soul of its viewer. This anime movie is not only the best closure for the story, but actually is better in everything than its prequel TV series. It’s deep, touching and full of extremely different feels. Will leave you speechless, shocked and ultimately satisfied, even if you didn’t like prequel. KyoAni managed to achieve something very rare, they delivered satisfying, amazingly crafted epilogue to this story that’s actually better than ever before. 140 minutes long runtime gives perfect amount of time to answer all unanswered questions, to deliver beautiful romance and extremely touching story. It’s a masterpiece on its own rights. And beautiful tribute to all these people that died in this awful fire. Is it better than final Fate movie? Probably not, but it manages to stand next to it like equal. Terrible year for humanity, but great year for anime. This is how you craft masterpieces, even if you don’t agree. Beauty.
Long live Kyoto Animation.
And get bloody tissues, you’ll need them.
1: Koe no Katachi
English: A Silent Voice
MAL Score: 8.97
As a wild youth, elementary school student Shouya Ishida sought to beat boredom in the cruelest ways. When the deaf Shouko Nishimiya transfers into his class, Shouya and the rest of his class thoughtlessly bully her for fun. However, when her mother notifies the school, he is singled out and blamed for everything done to her. With Shouko transferring out of the school, Shouya is left at the mercy of his classmates. He is heartlessly ostracized all throughout elementary and middle school, while teachers turn a blind eye.
Now in his third year of high school, Shouya is still plagued by his wrongdoings as a young boy. Sincerely regretting his past actions, he sets out on a journey of redemption: to meet Shouko once more and make amends.
Koe no Katachi tells the heartwarming tale of Shouya’s reunion with Shouko and his honest attempts to redeem himself, all while being continually haunted by the shadows of his past.
Nishimiya’s entire character is her illness. She is paper thin with her sole character trait being she likes to feed fish. She is so inhuman it is gross. Moe being used in this way is offensive. Including deafness or any other handicap into anime is an exciting idea, and I laud the attempt. Sadly, the execution is simply sickening. A personality-less self-insert male character who wants to repent for mistakes he made when he was a child falls in love with the object of his errs. It’s inherently questionable to approach this topic from a romantic perspective because it’s hard to sympathize with an object. And that is what Nishimiya is, an object. To be affected on, for us to pity, for us to see illness in a “new light,” to justify against bullying, to see the indomitable human spirit. A show like Monster works this concept excellently because it uses the object of interest (Johan) as more of a symbol. This work tries to make Nishimiya a character as deeply developed as Shouya but they foist too many roles on an underdeveloped symbol, not even mentioning her role as a character.
Shouya, Ueno, and Ishida are all flat. Their motives are drawn to plot points not to logic. Ueno shows up when things finally start moving in a direction the audience would be satisfied with in tacky KyoAni fashion. Drama in this work is so over-the-top and predictable it’s borderline cringe-worthy. Even if you could swallow the unbelievable developments that lead to the saccharine mid-section of the film the way it dissolves is so inauthentic. Shouya shows no signs of development and no effort to change throughout the work and then magically obtains a group of friends.
As for the abstract? The art? If you polish it up enough and use a voice technique the audience is unfamiliar with you have the safest ticket to visual and audio praise you can muster. Are there creative shots in this work? Impressive blocking of characters? Fresh setting or new takes on animation/style? No. This is a typical KyoAni work. They stuck with what sells.
What the point is thematically I can’t tell you. I can tell you that this film is successfully doing what it wanted to do. Capitalize on disease using moe with the highest budget in the industry. This work is not even average, it is bad. Please stop and think about why you feel the way you do when you watch this work. If you’re crying is it because Nishimiya is a person you have become endeared by or are you crying because she’s like an injured puppy? Affection for things like this a wonderful human trait, but this work is dubious.
[Art] 10 – Characters true to their manga designs, high quality animation.
[Sound] 7 – Creative use of sound/music. Nothing too special and memorable besides theme song.
[Character] 7 – Side characters had their story severely cut. Leaving some with empty character.
[Enjoyment] 10 – Tears, sadness, anger, happiness and laughs, the whole package.
[Overall] 8 – Definitely would watch again.
For those wondering how and where I watched this film, I watched in Japan. At Keisei Rosa10 in Chiba on September 17th.
Having read the manga 4 times over and crying every time, I went into the theater not expecting much tears as I have pretty much dried up my emotional experience with this manga.
However, much to my surprise, it has been a very, very long time since I have cried that much while watching a movie. Even comparing to a similar anime film Anthem of the Heart, which surprisingly lacked the ability to really give me a tearful moment. Not to say it wasn’t a bad movie, but if you liked that one, you will certainly like this.
Be prepared for a emotional roller coaster as the movie plays with your ever so weakening heart as the movie progresses.
That being said, this is no perfect movie. The story falls short, very short in terms of character/plot progression outside of the two main characters. Perhaps it was because of the limit of having to cram the story into a 2 hour film that the writers had to cut corners.
However, story/character development of Shoya was spot on. The movie clearly delivered his character and it was very easy to sympathize and relate to the character. Same with Shoko, though the film did leave out some specifics, the repercussions of Shoko’s existence could be felt where one may even agree with Ueno who despised her.
Unfortunately, the remaining characters were pretty much left out. And the overall story was ultimately incomplete because of this. With audiences who hasn’t read the manga asking why some characters were even there. Character development with the side characters were very lacking and a lot of important details were stripped apart leaving a big hole in the story.
The only character who avoided this cut was Yuzuru who retained a lot of her details and character development.
This meant that people who haven’t read the manga can be very confused by the end of the movie. As I had heard people talking about while leaving the theater.
Many details were left out, but the film retained a lot of the core elements from the manga in puzzle pieces, allowing those who read the manga to fill in the gaps to understand what it means. But that also meant those who haven’t were left scratching their heads.
Besides the emotional road trip of your lifetime, Nagatsuka’s moments in the film are very comedic and actually funny in a lot of ways. Often when the audience was laughing, it was usually when Nagatsuka was at his antics.
As for the art, no complaints here. Besides having some overally familiar Kyoani characters faces, Kyoto Animation has done a excellent job in representing the characters true to the manga. It’s no Makoto Shinkai film, but the quality is nothing to scoff at. The high quality is retained throughout the entire film and no lazy production was visible.
Voice acting was top notch and sounded very familiar to daily Japanese life. Though overall sound was okay. The creative use of music in the film is a bonus. Besides that, not much to write home about.
The movie tried to stay true to the manga as best as it could and in the core elements in delivering the original message that the manga had, it succeeded. But unfortunately while following the path, they dropped a lot of it’s side content.
The movie was able to deliver the core plot of the manga.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable film and I can’t wait for the disc release.
A quick overview: Koe no Katachi is a very well done film, although not without shortcomings, and which has dealt with (a) complex issue(s), and which leaves the viewer with questions but no easy conclusions. It is a powerful enough film to remember and ponder over, and people may draw different lessons, or perhaps none.
Pros: The sound and vision (KnK is top-notch Japanimation. I dare say that in some aspects, it is better than a Ghibli film). The ambient piano background music really matches with parts of the film, and the use of marimbas and even silence at the dramatic climax worked out well. Shoko Nishimiya is adorable when she has that half-proud and half-shy face when she does ponytail. Cute, but elegantly done and not unpleasant. However, was this better than Tamako Loves Story – I cannot tell. There were recognizably magical rooftop sequences in Yamada’s K-On! and at the classroom and school ground with Midori in Tamako Love Story. I am not sure whether KnK had such “magic” moment despite its very fluid art.
Voice actors have all done a great job. Saori Hayami, Yuki Aoi, Miyu Irino were expectedly good, and Kaneko Yuki (who played Midori in Tamako) was a great pick for Ueno, another difficult character.
Con: I feel that the original manga’s theme was very challenging for a very young manga artist to deal with; I also felt that some themes weren’t fully explored or developed properly. Besides the bullying/redemption theme, there is an attachment/detachment in relationship theme, and on top of that, a male-female friendship and romance theme. Those themes coexisted and had resonated against each other for sure, but it’s not done in a well-calculated and clear-cut way. That was the main issue of the serial manga, and to explore those themes, the manga author had to involve the characters to comes to terms with each other in a slightly forced situation (like the movie club and the event of going to a theme park).
Although the story line of the movie club was completely cut and altered, the theme park sequence was saved for the film- which still felt forced. However, I felt that Reiko Yoshida has done a nearly perfect job with script-writing and editing the story to be able to fit in for a two hours film. My only grievance is that the reason behind Nishimiya’s decision at the climax was not convincingly told (which was as in the manga- but the Manga fully told Shoko’s mother’s sufferings of being divorced because of her child’s disabilities and sis Yuzuru’s side story of being bullied because of the same reason- so there was a more natural reason why Shoko should have cumulative feeling of guilt that she was making other people involved with her unhappy [and not just that sense of guilt towards breaking up Shoya’s relationship with others]). Viewers might be puzzled then why Shoko had to make that decision in the climax (as it was already not exactly written convincingly to start with in the original manga).
Final verdict: Having written down the cons, this is a very challenging work of art (yes, “art”, which is not simple “entertainment”), and it did choke my heart at several moments. This won’t be everyone’s favorite, as it deals with a serious and dark issue, and as it’s not all straightforward (as in Tamako Love Story) – but it leaves viewers questioning about their own relationship with other people in the past and present.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Koe no Katachi
2. Violet Evergarden Movie
3. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu
4. Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidou Shuki Ningyou
5. K-On! Movie
6. Stand By Me Doraemon 2
7. One Piece Movie 14: Stampede
8. Liz to Aoi Tori
9. Kyoukai no Kanata Movie 2: I’ll Be Here – Mirai-hen
10. One Piece Film: Z
11. Quanzhi Gaoshou Zhi Dianfeng Rongyao
12. One Piece Film: Strong World
13. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me
14. Dragon Ball Super: Broly
15. Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 4 – Ashita
16. Stand By Me Doraemon
17. Doraemon Movie 31: Shin Nobita to Tetsujin Heidan – Habatake Tenshi-tachi
18. Tamako Love Story
19. One Piece Film: Gold
20. High☆Speed! Movie: Free! Starting Days
21. Flanders no Inu (Movie)
22. Lupin the IIIrd: Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon
23. Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke no Bohyou
24. Lupin III: The First
25. Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 3 – Akogare
26. Digimon Adventure: Bokura no War Game!
27. Crayon Shin-chan Movie 09: Arashi wo Yobu Mouretsu! Otona Teikoku no Gyakushuu
28. Hibike! Euphonium Movie 2: Todoketai Melody
29. Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 2 – Hibiki
30. Free!: Take Your Marks
31. Hibike! Euphonium Movie 3: Chikai no Finale
32. Free! Movie 3: Road to the World – Yume
33. Kyoukai no Kanata Movie 1: I’ll Be Here – Kako-hen
34. One Piece Movie 6: Omatsuri Danshaku to Himitsu no Shima
35. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R: The Movie
36. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S: Kaguya-hime no Koibito
37. Star☆Twinkle Precure: Hoshi no Uta ni Omoi wo Komete
38. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Eternal Movie 2
39. Slam Dunk: Hoero Basketman-damashii! Hanamichi to Rukawa no Atsuki Natsu
40. Digimon Adventure tri. 3: Kokuhaku
41. Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 1 – Kizashi
42. Free! Movie 2: Timeless Medley – Yakusoku
43. Heartcatch Precure! Movie: Hana no Miyako de Fashion Show… Desu ka!
44. Digimon Adventure Movie
45. Slam Dunk: Shouhoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi
46. Majo Minarai wo Sagashite
47. InuYasha Movie 1: Toki wo Koeru Omoi
48. One Piece Movie 4: Dead End no Bouken
49. Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Gekitou-hen
50. Hug tto! Precure Futari wa Precure Movie: All Stars Memories